“All who threaten me die.”
These words made Morgan Stormrider’s reputation as one of the Phoenix Society’s deadliest IRD (Individual Rights Defense) officers. He served with distinction as the Society’s avenger, hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan seeks to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends as a musician.
Regardless of his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider after a dictator’s accusations make him a liability to the organization. He must put everything aside, travel to Boston, and prove he is not the Society’s assassin. He must put down Alexander Liebenthal’s coup while taking him alive.
Despite the gravity of his task, Morgan cannot put aside his ex-girlfriend’s murder, or efforts to frame him and his closest friends for the crime. He cannot ignore a request from a trusted friend to investigate the theft of designs for a weapon before which even gods stand defenseless. He cannot disregard the corruption implied in the Phoenix Society’s willingness to make him a scapegoat should he fail to resolve the crisis in Boston without bloodshed.
The words with which Morgan Stormrider forged his reputation haunt him still.
Matthew Graybosch is the author of Without Bloodshed, a near-future science fantasy thriller set in the Starbreaker universe. Without Bloodshed is published by Curiosity Quills Press and will be available on 17 November 2013. His other works include “Steadfast”, a novelette published in five parts at curiosityquills.com; Tattoo Vampire; and “The Milgram Battery”, which was included in the Curiosity Quills Primetime charity anthology.
According to official records maintained by the state of New York, Matthew Graybosch was born on Long Island in 1978. Urban legends in New York suggest he might be Rosemary’s Baby, the result of top-secret DOD attempts to continue Nazi experiments combining human technology and black magic, or that he sprang fully grown from his father’s forehead with a sledgehammer in one hand and a copy of The C Programming Language in the other — and has given the poor man headaches ever since.
The truth is more prosaic. Matthew Graybosch is a novelist from New York who lives in central Pennsylvania. He is also an avid reader, a long-haired metalhead, and an unrepentant nerd.
In his foreword to revised editions of "The Lord of the Rings", J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author."
I am not so cordial in my dislike of allegory, and am somewhat wary of applicability as well. The last thing I need is to have the Secret Service knocking on my door because a mentally ill reader decided that the way the Phoenix Society handles abuses of power should be attempted in real life.
These characters are, for the most part, trained professionals. Their actions are appropriate to their society.
Don't try this at home, kids.
If you find any allegory or applicability, please consult a qualified professional for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.