In this snippet from Renegade, scientist Griffin encounters a gladiator hunter fighting with the new refugee Katana. Enjoy!
A female scream pierced the air from the direction of Overlook Point. Racing uphill, Griffin heard them before he saw them: the slapping thuds of hard fists on soft flesh that brought back sickening memories. He’d been too small, too weak back then to protect his mother. Interference had made the beatings worse.
This wasn’t the time to recall nightmares.
He careened to a halt at the sight of the new refugee, Katana—her nose bloodied, mouth bloodied, thermal suit bloodied—backing away from the biggest gladiator he’d ever seen. The hulk must have been at least six-foot-eight with a shoulder span that tripled his own.
Witty remarks and his usual charm wouldn’t stop a brute. He should leave right now, race to the nearest sentry on the wall, and make them ring the warning bell, but he couldn’t leave the woman in the hands of a damn gladiator.
How would he save her without getting himself killed in the process? He hadn’t raised a fist since the day he vowed nonviolence, an oath he refused to break.
The hulk punched Katana’s face. Her head snapped back, and for a suspended moment Griffin was a child again, paralyzed, clinging to Father’s bookcase, too scared to help Mother. Katana stumbled backward, tripping and landing on her butt in the weeds. She scrambled to her feet and grabbed—
No! Not the telescope!
She gripped the instrument over a shoulder like a bulky, awkward bat, and then swung for the gladiator’s head.
The hulk leaned away. The weapon flew past and the gladiator rushed her. In a quick movement, he had her disarmed, spun around with her back pinned against his chest, and a fist yanking her hair back exposing her neck, the tender white flesh streaked with crimson.
Weaponless, and without a plan, Griffin sprang forward. “Let her go!”
In the Survival Race, only the last man alive can win… but his competitor is the woman he loves!
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