"Aye, th' emp will nae be payin' ransom tae pirates an' other clots," Alex said. "If he gi'es in, we'll be bleedin' credits frae noo until Hades grows icicles on his hairy erse."
"Oh, aye. Violence will ne-er wark. Ah can see 'at reit aff."
Alex smiled. "Och, Ah hae a much mair terrible fate in stair fur ye, laddie... Ah'm gonnae teel ye a story. An' at th' end ay it, Ah hink yoo'll be canty tae sin' loch a coalminer's canary."
Alex stopped. He poured what was left of the narcobeer into the mug, the sweetened it with the last of the Stregg. Polished it off. Burped, then rose.
He looked the Bhor prisoner over. The poor lad was quivering with exhaustion. His skin was gray, his bearded cheeks pinched from his ordeal.
When Bhor saw Alex looking at him, and cried, "You're a monster! You should be locked up."
Alex looked hurt. "Ah'm on'y tellin' you a wee story, lad."
The Bhor laughed wildly. "It's torture, that's what it is. Pure torture of the meanest kind."
"Is it now, lad?" Alex said.
The Bhor drew on all his strength and shouted, "I'll not talk. No matter what you do, I won't snitch on my mates. Nothing you can do will break me!"
Alex shook his head - sad. "It's no my intention to break you, lad. It's only my tale Ah meanin' to tell you."
He strode to the door. "Ah'l be back tomorrow wi' th' next part ay the story."
"You mean there's more?" shrieked the Bhor rogue. "More?"
"Oh, aye, lad," Alex said with a chuckle. "There's plenty more to this tale of the wee lad n' the desert and the wise old snake."
And he went out the door, the Bhor screaming, "This is hell! Hell I say!"
In the other room, Sten heard the screams and shuddered.
The entire 8-novel landmark science fiction series is now being presented in three three giant omnibus editions from Orbit Books. The First - BATTLECRY - features the first three books in the series: Sten #1; Sten #2 -The Wolf Worlds; and Sten #3, The Court Of A Thousand Suns. Next: JUGGERNAUT, which features Sten #4, Fleet Of The Damned; Sten #5, Revenge Of The Damned; and Sten #6, The Return Of The Emperor. Finally, there's DEATHMATCH, which contains Sten #6, Vortex; and Sten #7, End Of Empire. Click on the highlighted titles to buy the books. Plus, if you are a resident of The United Kingdom, you can download Kindle versions of the Omnibus editions. Which is one clot of a deal!
THE STEN COOKBOOK & KILGOUR JOKEBOOK
Two new companion editions to the international best-selling Sten series. In the first, learn the Emperor's most closely held cooking secrets. In the other, Sten unleashes his shaggy-dog joke cracking sidekick, Alex Kilgour. Both available as trade paperbacks or in all major e-book flavors. Click here to tickle your funny bone or sizzle your palate.
|Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969|