In this scene, Tornahdo is having a quiet drink at the bar when a member of Ghost Corps shows up and tells him to go home.
Ravenstongue sauntered toward him. "Why you here?"
Tornahdo kicked back in his chair. After stretching out his legs, he crossed his ankles. "Why do you care?"
"Big ops tomorrow. Lights out in ten. Time for you to go home and go to bed."
Behind the bar, the keeper closed up shelves and battened down doors.
"Yeah?" Tornahdo flicked a hand toward the door. "I'll follow you out."
"I'm not leavin'. Didn't you hear? We passed inspection with the highest scores. Got a free night out." Ravenstongue jabbed a finger toward Tornahdo. "But you gotta go home like a good boy."
In no kingdom in the galaxy would that happen.
Ravenstongue lifted two fingers, signaling his cohorts.
The keeper ducked behind the bar while the goons flanked their wannabe boss, imbecilic grins in place.
A pair of demons usually sat on Tornahdo's shoulders. The bad demon laid out strategy while the good demon discouraged action. Tonight, the good demon flipped a middle finger toward Ravenstongue with a not-so-subtle suggestion to kick his ass.
Tornahdo took his time rising, slid his chair under the table. "What did you say?"
"I said, 'You gotta go home like a good boy.'"
Hanging his thumbs in his belt, Tornahdo gave him a slow smile. "Go back to the bar, finish your drink and we'll pretend we're all friends and leave together. This is your last chance for a peaceful end."
"Peaceful." With a scoff, Ravenstongue jerked his head toward Short Goon. "You hear that?"
"Yeah. Maybe we oughta do what--"
Ravenstongue jabbed him with an elbow.
"I mean, yeah! I heard that." He leaned closer to his boss. "We gonna?"
"No, you idiot. Shut your face and back me up."
How did these hotheads enlist? Ghost Corps must have been desperate for bodies. Literally. A fighter's corpse they could reanimate. Which was a sobering thought.
Was that what the corps thought of him?
Lights Out by Kayelle Allen
He can save mankind. After he does one important thing. Die.
Join the Ghost Corps, they said. You'll live forever, they said. You'll save mankind, they said. They didn't say that to do it, first he had to die.
When Tornahdo signs on the dotted line, he puts his life into the steady hands of the mighty Ghost Corps. Three grisly deaths and three agonizing resurrections later, he's assigned duty on the space station Enderium Six.
He's facing his most dangerous mission yet, the very reason the corps exists.
Do they expect him to win? Fat chance. Tornahdo and his team are already dead and this mission is codenamed "Lights Out." No, there's more to this than he can see.
To discover the truth, he must face an unbeatable, unkillable enemy, and this time--somehow--find a way to keep himself alive...
Lights Out is in the Science Fiction/Space Opera anthology The Expanding Universe Vol 4, edited by Craig Martelle out Sept 17, 2018
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