A Tale of Two Bitzers
Tales From the Outback Book 1
by Amanda N. Newman
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Sometimes friends can be found in the most unlikely places.
After spending the last two years confined to the Republic’s prison, Trapper Cayuse wants nothing more than to walk free again. The conditions for his supposed freedom: simple, tell the Republic’s Army where the rest of his Bitzer gang is. However, when the opportunity to escape presents itself, Trapper takes the chance and pays a heavy price. Injured and shackled with a device that makes him unable to use magic, Trapper now faces a long road out of enemy territory, a road that just happens to lead him to an unlikely ally, a Republic teenager named Ara.
Bitzers aren’t supposed to get involved in conflicts between slaves and their masters, let alone get involved in ways that end in blood. Nickel Cly has known that ever since he joined the Bitzer life, and never questioned it, until a chance encounter preys on his sense of honor. With a single arrow, he saves Alura, a non-magic wielder, from the master that almost killed her. But Bitzers don’t normally keep slaves for themselves, and acts of mercy aren’t always simple, especially when they make him question himself and the life he’s lived for the past decade. Now, he has a choice to make: send Alura back to the Republic, send her back to the slave trade, or protect her from those who wish to harm her, all while threats from her past close in.
“Where is your sister? Where is the rest of your gang? Tell me!”
I stood up, towering a head taller than the guard, the chain that linked the cuffs pulled taught. “Go fuck yourself.”
He leaned forward and pressed the hollow end of the gun against my forehead. “Tell me! Now! Unless you’re fixin’ to get shot.”
I gave him a slight smirk in return. “Go ahead. Shoot me. It won’t make a difference other than you’ll have a corpse to get rid of.”
Waylan’s face twitched, as if he was barely holding his anger inside. “Why can’t you just cooperate, you rat bastard? You’d really let yourself get killed for a family that cares nothing for you?”
“It’s called loyalty. Bitzers don’t sell each other out.” And neither does family, I added mentally.
“If your roles were reversed, your sister would’ve sold you out by now.”
He wasn’t wrong. She probably would’ve. But that didn’t mean I had to be like her. “And, she’d have to live with that choice, just like I have to live with mine, for however long or short of a time that might be. If you’re not going to shoot, if you’re not going to pull that trigger, I think we’re done here.”
“We’re done when I say we’re done! No sooner!” He pressed the gun harder against my forehead, forcing me to tilt my head back a little. “If I pull this trigger, no one will even miss you, you punk ass Bitzer. You’ll just be forgotten, thrown away like garbage. I guess that’s fitting, considering that’s what you are, you weak pathetic excuse for a slaver. You couldn’t even run away right.”
His last words felt like a knife had been driven into my chest, especially his last three sentences. Images of Talon calling me weak, reminding me that I wouldn’t be missed if something unfortunate was to happen to me, telling me that I should’ve been tossed away like trash. The inhibitor cuff began to heat up against my wrist, barely registering compared to the rage burning in my chest like a wildfire. I clenched my teeth so hard my jaw ached.
“Die in a ditch,” I snarled.
**Releasing Nov 13th!!**
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Amanda N. Newman is a blended fantasy author from New York. She has been writing since she was a child. As a quiet person who didn’t make friends easily, while also battling social and general anxiety and depression, she found refuge in writing. She first started handwriting alternate universe style crossover fanfiction featuring her favorite characters from various video games, anime/manga, television shows, and other books, though she never shared any of these stories on any public forums. As her stories became longer and more intricate, she branched away from and adapted her stories from fanfiction and into different subgenres of fantasy fiction. In her final year of high school, she wrote her first original novel Hybrid Empire, a YA fantasy about an international student trying to fit in at a fictitious boarding school in Alaska. She currently lives in New York with her fiancé and two rescue dogs named Norman and Link.
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