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Book 2: Hidden Relics (Audiobook)

Book 2: Hidden Relics (Audiobook)

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Captain Elya Nevers’ breath came hard and fast.

Sweat streamed down his face, burning his eyes and matting his hair to his temples.

He cast around, searching for Hedgebot’s comforting blue nimbus as his chest heaved. It was full dark in the building. No light, not even the soft glow the bot usually gave off.

He was trapped.

Groundlings prowled around him, toying with him while his heart thundered. He heard the click of their talons against the stone floor, the burbling, growling sounds they made when they were hungry. The metallic scent of blood filled his nostrils.

He followed the dim outlines of their hunched backs as they circled. Between three and six Kryl were in the room. He couldn’t be sure. Seeing what he took to be a narrow gap, Elya lunged forward, hoping to squeeze between them while he had an opportunity.

He was too slow. Their talons sank into his soft flesh like hooks into fish. He screamed so loud it felt like he had torn open his throat. They dragged him across the floor by the shoulders and thighs, leaving a wet streak of blood in his wake. His palms slicked up as he scrabbled for purchase.

His fingernails tore as they caught on cracks in the floor. His flesh rent with a moist ripping sound and a shock of pain as the groundlings hauled him over a semi-soft object. He managed to get his bloody fingers wrapped up in some kind of cloth covering a lump, and used its weight like an anchor to delay the inevitable.

The groundlings yanked on him like a pack of rabid dogs fighting over a rope chew, before retracting their talons and withdrawing suddenly, leaving him aching and panting and cold, leaning on the cloth-covered mound.

Hope flared in his chest. A bulb sparked to life overhead and he saw the object he’d been grasping onto.

It was a body.

And not just any body. It was his mother’s body. Glassy-eyed and open-mouthed, with old talon wounds exposing her neck and chest.

He gasped and scrambled backward, horrified. A hollow pit formed in his stomach. Like a bottomless hole, no matter how much fear poured in, nothing seemed to fill it.

When he managed to haul his gaze away from his mother, he saw two more bodies. His older brothers, Arn and Rojer—missing limbs, their guts trailing along the floor like a pile of white snakes. Captain Osprey lay to his left, still and pale, blood matting her short blonde hair. Beside her, Lieutenant Yorra and Lieutenant Park, his squadmates in the Furies, had died in each other’s arms.

Everyone he loved, murdered by xenos.

The groundlings surrounded him but didn’t attack. They watched him with bulging eyes. Strands of yellowish saliva dripped from their toothy jaws.

He was trapped. No escape.

“It doesn’t have to end this way,” Subject Zero said through the clicking mandible that had replaced his human jaw. The spider-like legs that had grown out of his back were fully extended, each ending in a bloodied, talon-bearing foot.

The Kryl-mutant hybrid he’d fought on Robichar stood over the bodies of his loved ones. Once known as Captain Omar Ruidiaz, a decorated starfighter pilot and hero of the Kryl War, he’d been turned into Subject Zero by the xenos and their parasites. Behind Subject Zero, an enormous, slavering xeno lurked in the shadows. Though he’d never seen one before, Elya took this to be Overmind X, the rogue queen who controlled Subject Zero and the rest of the hive—the same xeno queen who invaded Robichar in search of the Telos relic he’d recovered.

Join us, Captain. She spoke directly into his mind. No way to block out the sound since there was no sound. Join us and inherit the galaxy…

What they don’t know may doom the livable worlds

Captain Elya Nevers and the Furies face a different kind of danger back home as they bid farewell to fallen comrades, wade into the murky realm of Solaran politics, and hunt for knowledge about the Telos relics—while being hunted themselves.

Overmind X is still at large. She’s hungry to get her talons on the next artifact of alien power. Will she find it before the Solarans get their own house in order?

And what terrifying existential threat to the galaxy does she become if they’re too late?

Hidden Relics is the second interstellar adventure in the Relics of the Ancients series of space opera novels by bestselling author M.G. Herron. For fans of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and anyone who enjoys seeing starfighter pilots and their bots kick some serious alien menace.

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Hidden Relics is Book 2 of Relics of the Ancients.

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Series reading order

1. Starfighter Down
2. Hidden Relics
3. Rogue Swarm
4. Spare Parts
5. Raptor
6. Operation Heartstrike

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