The S.A.I.N.T.S series: The Captain and the Alchemist by E.M. Moon

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I’ve been sent an excerpt of a book from a new author called E.M. Moon. It looks quite interesting and I’ll be reviewing the full novel in due course.

Have a read and let me know what you think.

In a neo-Victorian world where Zeppelins rule the sky, steam is the power of choice, and the night life is lit up with magic, chaos, and an underground civilization of the Supernatural; comes an alliance of five women who all share one thing: to hunt down and destroy the Order of Infallible Sanguine Sovereignty.

Captain Colette St. Claire and the Alchemist Madge Alexander have their fates intertwined as they are cast into the world of the Supernatural in hopes of finding out who is behind the destruction of their seemingly normal lives. Together they encounter a manner of seemingly unfathomable characters in the seedy underbelly of Whitechapel London and come face to face with the most unsavory of them all: Jack the Ripper. Can the two unravel the mystery behind the city and it’s rejected inhabitants and hopefully come one step closer to discovering who the O.I.S.S is? Or will they succumb to the evil that breeds on the streets of Whitechapel?

Excerpt from Chapter 2: Lazarus Rising

“Lenora,” The doctor’s eyes were wide and bulging as if he had seen some sort of horrific sight, “How long have you been standing here?”

“Oh, not long. I just came back for my journal and was just about to knock when I lost my footing. Silly me, always a klutz.” Lenora tried to keep her wits about her as she slowly backed away from the deranged looking doctor.

“You mean this one?” He pulled Lenora’s leather journal out of his apron pocket.

“Yes, sir. Thank you so much.” Lenora stretched her arm towards the doctor without thinking. He quickly tossed her journal behind him and roughly gripped her wrist, yanking her to him in one swift motion.

“You’re lying, Lenora dear. I know you heard that whole conversation, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU?” Gunther raged, shaking Lenora so hard she swore she heard her skull rattle.

“No, no sir.” Lenora stuttered, trying to stay calm.

“Since you wanted to be such a nosy little thing, I will just demonstrate for you my findings, maybe let you participate in a few tests?” Gunther yanked Lenora through his office door and dragged her over to the wooden platform where the corpse lay strapped to it.

“This is Mr. Monroe, but we will not need his assistance any longer. I have a live participant now; I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. This may explain everything.”  Dr. Faust quickly unbuckled the leather straps binding Mr. Monroe and shoved his rotting corpse off the table, letting it crumple in a heap on the floor. He tossed Lenora onto the platform, and although she protested strongly, he was able to secure her in position.

He then pumped a petal that lay on the floor and the wooden table lifted itself from a horizontal position to a vertical.

“Since you decided to stick your nose where it didn’t belong, I will be more than delighted to let you in on my little secret.” Dr. Faust hissed, fiddling with a syringe that sat on a metal tray next to the platform.

Lenora took note at the size of the needle that the doctor held and averted her eyes, trying not to panic.

“There is a lot you don’t know about me, dear Lenora. Just as you answer to me as my apprentice, I too answer to a higher power. Ever heard of the O.I.S.S.?” The doctor inserted the syringe into a vile of indigo liquid.

Lenora screwed up her face at the doctor, partially confused and partially infuriated.

“Oh, no, of course you haven’t. The Order of Infallible Sanguine Sovereignty. They are destined to purify this world through the blood, or bloodshed, whichever way you want to look at it.” The doctor extracted the liquid and held up the syringe to study the quantity.

“Any way, I won’t go into too much detail. They have hired me to create a serum that will resurrect the dead, permanently. No real magic involved.” The doctor waved his hands in a demonstration of arcane magic, not scientific alchemy.

“I have been working on this since we met. I hoped that your expertise would help further my studies, but you seem to not remember how you do the things you do. I kept you on, hoping that you’d give me some formula, some inkling that I could use to perfect my craft.

Alas, you haven’t proved yourself to really be anything more than a bumbling idiot savant who just happens to stumble across great feats of alchemy.” Dr. Faust flicked the syringe and gently pushed on the plunger, liquid squirting from the needle as he did so.

The doctor leaned into Lenora, dangling the hand holding the syringe down by his side.

“Such a pity too. Maybe I should have utilized you more than I did.” Dr. Faust reached out and stroked Lenora’s curly tresses, tracing his finger down her neck, over her collar bone, and stopped as he reached her right breast. He deviously narrowed his eyes at her for a moment.

“Go to hell.” Lenora hissed, spitting in the doctor’s face.

Gunther screwed his face up in repulsion, reared back and slapped Lenora harshly. Her jaw stung as the doctor laughed deeply at her pain.

“Eventually, my dear, eventually. But for now I need to find a way to create an army of the undead. The serum has thus far failed on the dead, but I wonder if it would thrive in a living body. My theory is that where it made the deceased a bit unruly and overly strong, I feel that with a live subject the act of insentience will be null. Hopefully this will leave you brain dead, yet fully moldable. Like a revenant, but with direction.” Dr. Faust backed away for a moment, grabbed a thick leather strap from his work bench and came back to Lenora, securing it tightly over her mouth.

“I don’t want you waking the neighbors.” He grinned, making sure that all sound would be cut off.

Lenora began to struggle, attempting to buck herself out of the bindings, but her efforts were futile and exhausting.

“As amusing as this is, I don’t have time. Sit pretty, darling. This shouldn’t hurt much.” Gunther reared back, and with one swift movement thrust the syringe into Lenora’s sternum, pressed the plunger, and waited.

Lenora could feel all of the muscles in her body tense and lock as the serum flowed through the valves in her heart and were quickly pumped through every vein.  Soon, her chest went numb, then her torso, and finally ending in her limbs and face.

She tried to call out, whether it was in agony or defeat, but her lungs wouldn’t fill with air and her vocal chords wouldn’t vibrate.

Lenora was dying and no could save her.

“Guten nacht, my little apprentice. When you wake, well, you won’t ever wake again.” Lenora could hear the doctor, but his voice sounded so far off. She wanted to curse his name before her demise, but she knew it would do no good.

She just slipped into oblivion as she felt her soul escape through her glassy eyes.

The Captain and The Alchemist is already available at Amazon for Kindle at £2.99 here: The S.A.I.N.T.S. Series: The Captain and the Alchemist on Kindle

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