First Book of the Gastar Series
First Book of the Gastar Series
Act of Redemption
Perfect Bound Softcover
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In a post-apocalyptic world with humans faced extinction as the priests of the God of the Dead release undead humans, children born and bred for battle face the enemy outside the great wall of the Great City of Gastar.  After the humans gained victory in sacrifice of many lives and culture, a second menace arrives to complete the original mission of the undead.  Zermon, ruler of all Hell, places himself just outside the city; bringing forth his own demonic horrors with plans to make Gastar part of his world in Hell.  One human now remains in Gastar; knowing of the past and aware of Zermon's plans; a small human girl assassin named Shevata.  She, along with her dragon mentor, her associates from the past, and the humans fight for their very existence.

Without speaking, he set his blood-red eyes upon her, slowly squeezing her neck with his huge hand, with an expression of satisfaction.   She eyed the axe, summoning it with her mind into her right hand, striking Zermon’s arm with all her might.  As he growled in pain, his hand loosened and she dropped to the floor.   She slid backwards, as the great monster stomped with huge hooves toward her.  As his clawed hand reached for her, she removed the sword sheathed beneath her cloak. 

The sword glittered in rainbow-like colors, filling the dimly lit amphitheatre with colored light.  Zermon first stepped back, shielding his eyes from the light with one of his huge arms.  His demonic form was almost man-like, except black with rough scales for skin.  Unlike lower demons, he did not have wings.  The horns across his massive head rose to about 12 inches.  A long, thorny tail whipped behind him. 

          “Shevata!” he said almost merrily, “Lower that ghastly sword! Aren’t you happy to see an old friend?   We met in my home of Hell.  You stole my prisoners, and assassinated my demons. Does it not seem fair that I visit your world?”

    “No,” she said, shaking.    She wanted to run, but she knew all too well the monster before her would reign hellish destruction if allowed to stay amongst humans.  “Your chance to return to Hell is now.   I suggest you leave before I kill you.”  She lunged at him with the sword, striking him across his abdomen, the demon grimacing with pain. 

        “Spoken like a true assassin, lady.” He growled.  He reached out for her, narrowly missing twice.  She struck again, landing a hard blow to his right arm, causing black blood to flow and drip upon the floor.  Zermon, winced, stepped back, holding his arm, revealing his impressive set of fanged red teeth as he growled.  Shevata stood firm, holding the gleaming sword with both hands in front of her, trying hard not to reveal how much her whole body was trembling with fear. 

Zermon lunged at her again, this time, swinging at her right shoulder with a claw, gouging deeply.  Shevata screamed in pain, dropping the sword and fell back.  Her eyes widened in terror as Zermon stomped closer.  He knelt down to her almost her level, saying in his deep voice, “It’s not what you think, little one.”  Smiling with his fanged teeth, he lifted her small chin with a clawed finger.   She scowled at him, trying hard not to wince from the pain.  “It’s worse,” he said, standing and laughing loudly, echoing throughout the empty underground temple.  He scooped her small body into his massive arms, while Shevata kicked her small feet and screamed.  “No one can hear you, my dear.  Abbias awaits you.”  He turned toward the gate, stepping into it, both disappearing into the darkness beyond.

C. C. Cole is a writer from rural Mississippi.  Schooled in medicine and martial arts, she lives a surburban life with her family and greyhounds.  Act of Redemption is the first of a 4-part series spanning Shevata's long journey from war-weathered child with a horrific curse to life as a human.

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