Powerful, beautiful, bio-mimetic energy in its purest form. A benevolent gift meant to launch humanity into a new age of space travel. They were the hope for the future. The key to the next stage in human discovery.
But every gift has its price.
Nearly a thousand years after Earth took its place in the network of galactic
commerce, the planet is depleted of resources and on the edge of collapse. Can stardrive technology bring the Earth back to life?
Adventurer Axel Ryan is betting his life that it can. But there aren't any stardrives left to be found on Earth, and ships capable of interstellar travel are hard to come by. His only choice is to enlist the aid of
mercenary pirates to steal one. With the stakes high, and the future of Earth
on the line, does it matter he'll have to betray the love of his life?
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer has always been Element Cruz's motto. And it couldn’t be more true with Axel Ryan. Drugged, abandoned, and her ship stolen, she's more than ready to let the
price on his head kill him. Except Axel holds the key to saving humanity. And if there's one thing Ellie can't refuse, it's the chance to win.
An explosion rocked the room. Throwing them all to the floor.
"Warning, hull breach imminent,” the station emergency system said in calm, female tones.
Axel, blinked, shaking his head. A buzzing sound filled his mind. He thrust himself to his feet, ignoring the pain in his body, and sought out Ellie. She was on the ground a half meter away, her mother kneeling beside her. He shook his head again, but it didn't stop the ringing in his ears. Had he blacked out? How long did they have? Not more than a moment or two before the pirates gained entry and came gunning for the wealthy hostages he`d promised them they could have.
"Warning, hull breach imminent,” the station emergency system repeated.
"I know!" Rose shouted. "What the hell happened to the emergency bulkheads?" She struggled to help Ellie to rise, but Ellie was batting her hands away.
"No, no, no," she whimpered, as if in pain.
“Christ.” Axel lurched toward her. What the hell had he done? No ship was worth this.
"Warning, hull breach imminent.”
“Escape pod. Now!” he shouted. Built for two, the women would be protected by the automatic defence system on board, while the pod sped them to the safety of the nearby Terran colony on Europa.
“Oh God,” Rose said, panic clear in her voice as she checked Ellie over. "I think its her leg."
“I’ll bring her. Just go!” Axel picked up Ellie, ignoring the way she winced and screamed as her left foot banged his thigh, and hurried in the direction of the escape pod.
Smoke was seeping in around the edges of the main door, making the red light of the emergency system a hazy mist. The sound of stressed metal reverberated throughout the room. As did the resonant hum of blasters being fired.
“This is all your fault, you bastard!” Rose screamed at him, speaking aloud what Axel already knew to be true. It was his fault. All of it. The betrayal. The hurt. All of it.
The pod door slid open with the touch of Roses hand. Her expression sparked with hatred as she pressed herself into the upright harness of the cylindrical tube and reached for her daughter. Axel helped Ellie into the other tether as he counted the seconds in his mind, willing the main door to hold just a heartbeat longer. One, two, three—
The stressed metal exploded, breaching the room.
“Axel!” Ellie screamed. She reached for him, her green eyes wide.
“Only room for two,” he said and hit the release button.
The capsule door slammed shut, separating the two women from his view. Then it was gone, disappeared down the launch tube.
Star Keeper: Legacy Hunter Book 2
Axel Ryan is running for his life.
Pursued by bounty hunters with a price on his head, he should disappear into the stars to hide and continue his search for Stardrives. But his soulmate, Element Cruz, has resurfaced and after spending the last six months searching for her with no luck, finding her again is worth gambling his life. She’s putting her own life in danger by infiltrating an illegal slave auction where the Star Keeper of Andoria is being sold; a woman with empathic abilities, worth more credits then Axel can legally gather.
It should be an easy mission. Crash the auction, save his girl, and fly off into the galaxy to live happily ever after together. But the universe has another destiny in store for Axel, one he’ll need to embrace to save them all, or die trying.
Queen Killer, Legacy Hunter book 1
There was rain and then there was rain, and in Element Cruz's opinion, Cooper's Paradise was the wettest, most soul-drenching moon she’d ever had the misfortune to encounter in all her travels.
She didn’t know who the original Cooper had been, but this place was no paradise. The once-thriving colony had long since abandoned the moon and left for sunnier and more lucrative— so she assumed—prospects to carve out a living. What was left of the mining site had become a haven for smugglers and criminals of every variety. Leaving her new spaceship, Star Child, unmanned and unprotected while she attended to business hadn't been an option. And even with Jase, the cyborg she'd reprogrammed to serve her wishes to guard it, she had her doubts as to whether it would still be in one piece when she returned, or if she'd find it stripped and sold on auction and Jase sold along with it.
This place was exactly the kind of hell hole she'd been told to avoid all her life. Which made it exactly the kind of place she needed to be right now.
The War of the Cruzes.
Life has become complicated for Element Cruz. Her mother is the most terrifying dignitary in the galaxy and wants Ellie dead. Her estranged father has been living a double life as a revolutionary. Her half-sister is an empath with an uncomfortable interest in Axel Ryan. It might be easier for Ellie to pretend her family never existed and start anew.
When a plot to extinguish freedom in the galaxy is unearthed, however, more than Stardrives, lives, and love are on the line. Ellie must help Axel, Hendrix and her father in a race against time to stop her mother from destroying a space station. Loyalties are tested. Truths revealed. Boundaries broken.
Can friend and foe put their differences aside and trust one another or is the future of humanity doomed to end in the War of the Cruzes?
Galactic Outer Rim, Azzi System
IN THE VASTNESS of space, the Core cruiser loomed, its exterior lights and the glow of distant scattered stars the only illumination that brightened the darkness. To the helpless light cargo ship that drifted without working engines or defensive shielding, the Core cruiser seemed like a spectre of certain doom.
The cruiser was not there to help. It was there to hunt.
But the captain of the cargo vessel reached for the inter-ship comm, one last time. “Core cruiser, Intrepid. This is Captain Axel Ryan of the Queen Killer. My ship is dead in space. We surrender to your assistance. Please respond.” He spoke as calmly and clearly aspossible, and waited. The Queen Killer hadn’t a frelling hope of escaping the inevitable outcome of this altercation, but it was important to remain calm even in the face of certain doom. For one thing, the lives of five other crewmates depended on how well he played his part as Captain Ryan right now. And for another, the Queen Killer deserved an honourable demise and not one choked in fear.
The silence from the Core vessel lingered.
Axel frowned and turned to Element Cruz, who stood beside him. “I don’t think they want to chat about it.”
She shrugged. In the onboard lighting of the ship, the soft curves of her face seemed resigned. “Did you think they would?”
Axel shook his head. “Not really.”
“We did blow up an entire squadron of their ships.”
“Well, that wasn’t our fault,” Axel said. “We suffered a weapons malfunction because of the Stardrive.”
“A weapons malfunction? A weapons malfunction is when your weapons don’t fire or they misfire, not totally obliteratefifty something ships.”
“Their missile cannons are coming online, and now within range, Captain,” Shiznit said as he scanned the readouts on the display.
Axel nodded. This was it then. The end of the line for the Queen Killer.
All seems lost for Axel Ryan.
Pursued at every port of call by the Trade Corporation, the Dark Horizon has been abandoned, and the Freedom Collective forced underground. With few safe havens left to hide in, it’s only a matter of time before the Galactic Core finds them, ending their lives and freedom in the galaxy.
When Axel’s uncle, Henry, is discovered alive after being missing for over five Earth years, hope is found. His knowledge of Stardrives could save them all. But Henry is locked inside the walls of the Fatal Fortress, a Borbian prison from which no one has escaped.
Axel gathers a crew to do the impossible: retrieve his uncle from the clutches of the Borbs who’ll lock up anyone for the right price. Armed with the specifications of the prison and a ragtag team, including Ellie and Shiznit, Axel will do anything to free his uncle and win freedom for everyone.
But the price of freedom is higher than Axel ever imagined. To succeed, he’ll have to do the one thing he never wanted—reunite with his estranged older brother, Kendrick.
An Excerpt from Chapter 2
"SHIZ, YOU'RE DOING that thing again," Axel said in a side-whisper to the frozen-in-awe Gho’bar.
The lift had brought them to the level of the Athenaeum, and the trio stood in front of a pair of ornately carved wooden doors, the length of which loomed at a height easily twice that of Axel's.
Caree placed her hand on the Gho’bar’s forehead. "Shiznit is feeling overwhelmed by the majestic size of this place, reminds him of... home."
"I...I..." Shiznit stuttered as he came out of his momentary paralysis. He glanced from the doors to the garden surroundings. “This doesn’t seem right. Shouldn’t there be guards or something?”
The lack of any kind of welcoming party or even sentry equipment did seem odd. Axel tried his comm. “Ellie? Can you see anyone inside the Athenaeum?”
There was a pause, and then Ellie’s voice came over the comm. “Axel! Where are you? I lost you on tracker as soon as you went into the falls. I’ve been trying to raise you over the comm, but—” static interrupted and her voice broke up as she spoke, then cleared. “…you’d better hurry. There’s Core ships on long-range. Axel? Are you there? This stupid comm keeps—” The comm signal hissed into static and didn’t come back online.
“Cutting out,” Axel finished with a frown. That wasn’t good. Without contact with Ellie, they were on their own. And it sounded like the Core were on their way. “We’d better get moving.”
The tall doors before them seemed innocuous but could be hiding anything. And if Ellie was having trouble getting through on the comm and couldn’t see them on the trackers, then the Athenaeum had some seriously heavy shielding protecting it.
“Caree? Can you sense anything through those doors?”
She batted an insect away from her face with a frown. Down in the tunnel, the multi-winged bugs hadn’t been a bother, but in the open, they were beginning to swarm again. “I do sense something inside there, but can’t say how many beings there are, or if they are pleased we are here.”
"Fair enough. Only one way to find out.” It wasn’t like they had all day to stand there thinking about it anyway. Axel moved toward the door. “We’ve respected the local customs, so I believe they will open their doors to us." He raised a hand and knocked on the door twice. "You know, I thought they might have had better technology though, like a..."
The doors folded inwards on their hinges and opened to a square lobby just two meters long at each side.
Axel peeked his head inside the white room. “No scanning devices. No guards.” He walked inside the Athenaeum followed by the others. The door shut behind them, sealing them in silence. “I guess we’re in?” To the left and right of the lobby, a corridor extended. “Which one do we take?" Axel asked.
Caree closed her eyes. "I can't pick up on any specific direction. Something is here, but not present."
"What the frell does that even mean?" Shiznit asked.
"It’s possible entry is automatically granted to those who pass their tests to get here. But I don't feel comfortable thinking it's that easy." Axel looked down both corridors. "Maybe we should split up? Take both paths and see where they lead?"
"Oh frell, how did I know you would say that?" Shiznit asked. “You're not happy unless you're scaring me."
Axel, Ellie and the team are in a race against time to find Amasis, the mysterious home world of the aliens who gifted Stardrives to humanity a millennium past. Caree’s life is in danger and the Visitors may be the only ones who can save her. But little is known about the planet, as any who’ve ventured there have never returned.
Pursued by bounty hunters and the ever-tightening net of the Galactic Core, the team risks everything to find the answers they need before it’s too late. But when Tobias goes missing and can’t be found, the team may already be out of time.
Axel Ryan jolted awake.
He sat up in his bed, his pulse pounding as he tried to make sense of the sound that had broken his sleep. The echo of the loud bang reverberated through his mind. What had that been? An explosion?
Emergency lighting bathed the nighttime shadows in red as an alarm began to sound.
The Galactic Horizon hotel’s holographic automatic attendant flickered to life from the emitter on the bedroom wall. “Warning, environmental breach. Emergency controls activated. Please remain in your suite until further notice.”
“Frell that.” Axel reached for Ellie lying next to him and shook her gently. For all her being a kick-ass tactician, Element Cruz was one hell of a heavy sleeper.
She stirred and blinked at him, the discordant alarms chasing sleep from her expression. “What the frell is going on?”
“Something just blew up.”
“What? Inside the dome?”
“Yeah. Not sure how bad, yet.”
The auto-attendant flickered by the wall, blank expression revealing nothing of what had caused the breach. But with the alarms blaring and the emergency system activated, they had to assume the worst and the hotel was no longer secure. Karolta was a backwater planet prone to high heat and storms, the small domed city of Lux relatively off the radar of interest. It had been a good place to hide out for a few days. But with gang lords running the cities and a high rate of corruption, it wasn’t unusual to see fights break out. Was the attack on their hotel an innocent coincidence? Or had the Core found them?
Ellie’s gaze steadied on his as if she were thinking the same questions. “We need to get the others.” She threw off the tangle of sheets and headed for their enviro suits. “Caree? Dad? Anyone?” she called into her comm.
“We’ve been compromised. Code Black. Get out now,” Tobias Cruz said over the secure channel. His words cut off with a grunt.
“Shit. Dad? Dad!” Ellie pulled on her suit in a fluid motion as Axel did the same with his. “Dad?!”
“Code Black means communication lockdown and immediate evac,” Axel said. “He can’t answer you now.” Axel checked his blasters. Fully charged. He handed them to Ellie and grabbed a second pair.
“Yeah, I know. It means we’re frelled.”
Excerpt: Chapter 1
Dark Horizon, Legacy Hunter book 3
Fatal Fortress, Legacy Hunter book 4
Book 6 CORE SHIFTER coming soon
Book 7 LOST LEGACY coming soon
Legacy Hunter is a science fiction series written by Kate Reedwood and Chris Heinicke. Set nearly 1,000 years into the future, the series sees Axel Ryan travelling from system to system exploring and getting himself into all sorts of adventures. He'll take on the high paying high risk jobs for the thrill of it, and to help restore order where he can.
Phoenix Rising, Legacy Hunter book 5
While on vacation at a resort space station, a young misfit named Shiznit must travel through time and battle a sentient Yeast Beast to save his crewmates from certain death.
Unknown Realms - including Microscopic Mayhem: A Galactic Misfits Adventure starring Shiznit.
We are fortunate to have comic book artist Ash Madi design some character profiles for us.
Axel Ryan is the nephew of historian and explorer, Henry Ryan. Refusing to settle for like as a miner, like his father and 4 older brothers, Axel sets of to follow his missing uncle's trail and clues to try and save his dying planet, Earth.
Element Cruz, or Ellie, as she prefers to be called, is next in line to the family's trading company. The feisty heir would prefer to travel the galaxy, and be with the man she loves, Axel Ryan. But when he betrays her and steals her ship, she's ready to show that she's not a woman you want to ever cross.
Shunned by his own people, Shiznit is a native of the planet Gob’harchreig (pronounced Goober Cragg) and sent to assist Axel and Hendrix traverse the cursed mountain. His vast knowledge and kind nature sees him and Axel rapidly strike up a friendship.
Hendrix has been a friend of the Ryan family for years, especially having a strong bond with Axel Ryan's missing uncle, Henry. Hendrix oozes charm, but can he be trusted?
A female bounty hunter and pirate who's as deadly as she is beautiful. Anyone not on her side can soon find themselves in deadly peril, and her face may be the last you'll see