If your biggest payout was from your worst enemy, would you still take the deal?
After thirty years living in exile from her homeworld, Nara grew weary of the monotony of mercenary life: Do job for Company A, anger Company B, then diffuse the inevitable retaliation. Repeat ad nauseam.
Most importantly, try hard not to piss off the ruthless Galavantier Corp again. A task easy enough- until the unconscious body of the Biotech’s heir lands at her feet.
Thrown in the midst of a cutthroat power shift within the heart of cybernetic conglomerate, Nara must now decide: return to the safety of her hermetic lifestyle, or aid her strange bedfellow-and hope to survive the aftermath.
Sleepless Flame is a faced-paced action-packed scifi story that features a nonbinary protagonist. Enter a vibrant cyberpunk world full of corporate intrigue while using fascinating automated combat technology and computer skills.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I started this book with the simple desire of wanting to write Cyberpunk, being obsessed with the genre and not seeing it a lot in book form. I have always had these worlds in my head and I wanted them to be a reality. This one in particular took seven years as I was trying to tailor it, and I was also going through my own personal identity. As my writing voice developed, the characters and the world started to become more concrete, and I used my voice to incorporate a more diverse world.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I am a dungeon master and have a lot of experience with character creation on the fly. I started with base archetypes, and as the story grew, so did their personalities and mannerisms.
“My humble friend,” Nara proclaimed as she leaned heavily on the
doorframe. “I’m afraid I will require the full-service treatment.”
“Oh, no. What happened to you, my dear?” Matteus hastily
approached, ushering her inside and shutting the door behind her.
“A long, tiring series of events,” she sighed. “I have an excess of
funds at your disposal, and I will steal for you whatever priceless artifact
you may require if you make me leave this planet for the next few
hours. Three artifacts if you make me forget days.”
“You know exactly my opinion on that issue,” he scolded as he led
her to the counter.
“Yes, yes.” She waved him off, bracing herself on the furniture.
“Only if I can also go back in time and return it to the rightful owner,
“Well, you are one of the few clients who are capable of respecting
my wishes in that regard,” he said with a smirk as he approached a
massive black wooden door at the back of the room.
A hearty clunk resonated through the shop as he flipped the latch
of an antique wrought iron mechanical lock. With both hands, he
grasped an aged metal ring set in the jaws of a carved stone gargoyle
and heaved the door aside. He then collected his guest from the
counter and escorted her inside.
A comforting aura radiated from inside celestial blue painted walls.
The clandestine sanctuary was a perfect blend of mystical Old-World
aesthetic and modern technology. Every detail, including the position
of the furniture, was arranged in a harmonious composition. Soothing
energy assured the newcomers with a hospitable, ethereal glow.
The domed ceiling above was formed by stained glass panes of
deep blues and purples. Their swirling patterns were sporadically
broken by orbs of contrasting sheens representing celestial bodies and
glimmering constellations from a faraway galaxy. A glow of soft light
shone behind each panel, the resulting reflections dotting the room
with a rainbow of diffused glints and sparkles.
Nature-carved stones of varying heights bordered the perimeter,
each possessing a collection of white candles and curious golden icons
ODIN V OXTHORN
of ancient deities from long-forgotten traditions. A sweet, smoky scent
permeated the air as incense gently smoldered, tracing a haze of relaxation
through the atmosphere. A miniaturized waterfall constructed of
neatly piled rocks filled the chamber with its gentle chattering, inviting
listeners to enjoy its soothing narrative. A small stream trickled its way
toward a pond on the opposite side of the room, where aquatic plants
and rainbow scaled fish peacefully swayed inside its crystal waters.
Nara stepped inside the spiritual haven and groaned painfully as
she shed her coat, which Matteus obligingly assisted with and carried
off. Every part of her ached, and the hazy air actively obstructed her
She let Matteus guide her to a carved stone seat in front of the
simulated waterfall. Much to the delight of her tender muscles, the
throne was heated to an inviting temperature. She sank into the oddly
comfortable chair and let her back absorb the warmth, fighting off the
immediate urge to fall asleep.
Matteus set a small copper cauldron next to her that contained a
bundle of dried herbs. He took out a lighter and ignited the bouquet,
then softly blew the flames out. He fanned at the smoldering pot to
encourage the herbs to release their inebriating smoke.
“Well, you’re still breathing,” he assured as he helped her remove
her shirt. “So now, you have another notch in the armor to tell others
“This notch has been here for quite some time,” she commented,
wincing at the slightest movements.
“Even the largest chinks can be repaired. But you are right, some
of them may never be perfectly clean,” he sympathized as he examined
the injuries on her torso.
“I don’t . . .” She trailed off, incapable of processing his metaphors.
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