Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sassy Saturday: Brave the Orderly Reality Vice

Sassy Saturday!  Every week will be an excerpt from one of my novels showcasing a kick-butt heroine. If you want read about the original blog hop the link is here.

The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Arin's Defiance

The context for this post:  Annala has joined a raiding party to free slaves from Latrot. Unfortunately, she has to pass through a region infested with spirits who want to kill her boyfriend.

They marched the remaining miles to the Orderly Reality Vice. Then suddenly, they were inside it and the world was a mass of grey mist. Just as suddenly, they were not and the sky was clear. Behind the wedge, Annala explained to Eric that the chaotic nature of the Orderly Reality Vice made it vary in size.

“This is why shipping has decreased in the region,” she said. “Many regard it as too dangerous these days. We should be out of the fluctuation zone in about ten minutes.”

Whether or not she was correct was difficult to determine. Their watches no longer worked properly. Counting off the seconds didn’t work either. Every barrage of soul mist brought with it the wailing and confusion of the countless consciousness within them. They shouted words, numbers, and gibberish that made them lose count.

Eventually, one of the barrages didn’t recede. Here, it was neither cold nor hot nor any earthly temperature in between. Here, there was neither sky nor ground because the Orderly Reality Vice ripped apart such distinctions.


Annala tackled Eric to the ground just as something wraithlike soared overhead. Beyond the girl’s veil, Eric could see piranha teeth but nothing attached to them. Perrault barked at more such forms from on top of Kallen. Only when the threat passed did she allow Kallen to stand. Annala pulled Eric to his feet and grabbed his chin with her other hand.

“No float spells, grip my hand, don’t stop moving forward; got it?”

Eric grinned. “Yes, ma’am.”

She led him forward by the hand while her familiar acted as Kallen’s blind-seeing-eye dog. The four of them walked in the shelter of the swan formation of Sister Sagart and the Ordercrafter Hunters. As strange and dangerous as the area was to the four, it was worse for the forwards. More than once, Meza had to assert his authority over the younger ones in his team as their sanity ran thin and their wills faltered in the face of the enemy.

Salamanders flew in erratic circles. Undines screeched and sobbed. Gnomes did senseless dances. Sylphs tore themselves apart only to reform again. Ghostly apparitions flew around them, spreading their despair like miasma. The sight of Kallen or Eric enraged all of them and they attacked without warning.

“New body!” The words echoed in the mist. “Live again! New body! LIVE AGAIN!”

“Stay away!” Annala deflected the specter. “I won’t let you hurt him!”

“World breaker!” the spirit mist boomed. “Chaos maker!”

“Where am I?” wailed one voice. “Lady Life said I was to reincarnate. Said it was somewhere nice...where am I?

“Get me out of here!” screamed another voice. “It hurts! YOUR FAULT YOUR FAULT! YOURFAULTYOURFAULT!”


One bolt from Annala’s Deathkiller bow drove them all back. It plunged deep into the cloud and released chaotic waves that burned their essence. It dissolved those that didn’t move fast enough. Perrault pounced on the ones advancing from the rear and shredded them with her teeth. The raiding party advanced, but where to they couldn’t be sure.

A crowd of spirits pressed together into an astral oversoul and, as if from a cannon, propelled itself past the Ordercrafter Hunters. It dodged Sagart and drove straight toward the demons. Annala stepped between them to intercept. It pushed her back and she dug her heels in, but the ground shifted and swept her off her feet. The composite monster rushed unhindered towards Eric and Kallen with its ghostly maw wide.

“Perrault! Go!”

The wolf was a golden-brown blur as it plowed through its target. The astral oversoul wailed and the sound rang in the raiders’ own souls.

“Not again! Not again! Not again! Not again!”

Chaotic residue from Perrault’s attack rushed outwards. Suddenly, the mists disappeared and were replaced by a world of fire, ash, and dust. Here, a duplicate of the astral oversoul battled Priestess.

It lashed out with its limbs and Priestess avoided with nimble leaps. She drew an arrow, shook it, and it became a lance. Then she plunged into the astral oversoul. It wailed as it was torn apart by chaotic energy.

Then a flash of darkness appeared on a cliff behind Priestess and a grim reaper emerged. It swooped down with its scythe cocked, and it was tackled by a golden-brown wolf.

This wolf bit its arm, so it transferred its scythe to the other and pointed at the astral oversoul. Black energy coursed through it and it rose again. It writhed in horrible pain until Priestess struck it down a second time.

“Hold him in place! I can’t have any distractions!”

Priestess recited chaotic prayers until the astral oversoul decompiled and drifted apart. Shrinking the lance back into an arrow, she put it away and pulled out a bag. She gathered the spirits into it and then the reaper sliced it in half.

“You can’t stop entropy!”

“Of course I can! I’m Maxwell’s Demon!”


Transcending Limitations, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon as an ebook. The series is also available in Kindle Unlimited. The paperback format is available at Amazon and also at Createspace.

To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.

Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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