Hiya peeps! We have debut author Don Allmon visiting today with his brand new release Apocalypse Alley, we have brilliant post from Don where he shares a deleted scene, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah “Comet” Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT’s home has been shot up like a war zone, and his friend has gone missing.
Comet’s only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name’s Buzz Howdy. He’s a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they’re sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.
Despite their mutual distrust, they’ll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a killer Buick, and rampaging cannibals. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn’t work out so well.
Don Allmon: Deleted Scene: Comet Gets a New Dick
Hello, all! I’m Don Allmon and this week I’ll be touring the web to promote my new book, APOCALYPSE ALLEY, the second in the Blue Unicorn series.
If you’re looking for fast-paced cyberpunk/fantasy romance – Terminator 2 meets Fury Road with two sexy guys and a dragon – this is your jam.
Join in the fun by leaving a comment which enters you to win a Riptide gift card!
I rewrote APOCALYPSE ALLEY about a billion times and have at least two books worth of deleted scenes. One of the things I like most about writing in this weird crossover genre is that I get to write paragraph after paragraph about dicks. You might think I’m obsessed.
One of my favorite deleted scenes is this one. It’s a flashback from Comet’s perspective immediately after recovering from his death and being curious (and a little torn) about his new body. It didn’t really fit into the story anywhere, so got cut, but I still think it’s a great scene and wanted to share it, so here it is:
After he’d come back from the dead, Comet had stood in the hospital room bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. It was too much like jacking a bad sim with too deep of an uncanny valley: a body too close to his own, but not his. It was disorienting and he kept sending the command to end the sim and drop out back into his old body, but the command didn’t work because his old body didn’t exist anymore. This uncanny body was real.
He’d always been lean and muscled, a bantamweight fighter. His skin color had always been dark amber. The shape of his hands and his cheeks, his jaw, and eyes, and his wild straight hair (needing a haircut), that was all the same. But this body here was just all that much more of everything: a bit bigger, more cut, sharper somehow, more solid, vibrant. His skin was perfect. No knuckles white with healed tissue or callouses across his palms. Not one single scar. The Pacifica Rangers Tiger Battalion tattoo on his arm was gone, like they’d erased the last evidence of his service. That bare patch of skin itched like mad. He kept rubbing. Phantom limb pain, except not a limb.
And that cock was definitely not his. He wrapped his hand around it and it didn’t feel like his cock. His fingers and thumb didn’t meet the same way they once had. (And his hand, too soft, didn’t feel like his either.) He tugged his foreskin to see how far it stretched. He’d been cut before, and now he wasn’t. He slid it back and felt cool air on the head. The red of his glans was darker than before. He let the skin go and it slowly slid back into place, swallowing up his head bit by bit, then gathering, crinkly. He pulled the skin back, let it go, pulled it back, let it go. It was amazing. He could do this all day.
When he was a kid he’d done this: explored himself, poked and prodded and squeezed, wondering about the hardness of his nuts and why in all that softness of his sack there were two moons there and not one or three or four. (He remembered thinking they were shaped like half-moons for some reason and not like eggs or beans or any of the other things they could have been shaped like.)
He remembered the first time he’d ever come. He’d been sitting on the edge of his bed—how old had he been? Nine? Ten?—and the sheets he’d had then had been printed with battle mecha (later his parents would blame his bed sheets that he’d joined PacArmy). It had been by accident he’d made himself come, and it had scared the hell out of him because it had been too sudden, too extreme, and too surprising to register as anything good. And it took an hour of sitting there panicked watching that bit of fluid soak into the cartoon robots before he’d convinced himself that what he’d just done was the same thing those boys at the academy talked about and not that he’d broken himself which was what it had felt like.
And here he was now, twenty-six years old, playing with his dick the same way he’d done back then like he wasn’t sure the rumors of what it did could be trusted.
“It’s gonna take some getting used to,” Duke said behind him. For such a huge guy he walked soft as a cat.
Comet had never been shy around the Old Man even from the beginning. He’d always liked being watched. He turned so Duke could see him and showed him how far the foreskin stretched.
Duke said, “Figured I’d let you decide whether you wanted to be circumcised or not.”
“What was wrong with my old body?”
“It couldn’t survive a motorcycle accident. Are you mad at me?”
“No. How could I be mad?” Because just look at him. What guy wouldn’t die to look like Comet did now? And what could he do now, out in the field? How fast could he run? How far? How much could he lift? How many lives could he save now that he couldn’t before? He felt like he could catch bullets out of the air. How could he be mad? He wasn’t mad. He wasn’t. But still his eyes burned a bit and he was gonna turn away so Duke couldn’t see.
Duke must have seen. He said quickly, “You should give that thing a test drive,” with a nod to Comet’s dick. “I… uh… took some liberties with the wiring. I think you’ll like it.”
Spent casings littered the parking lot. A dead Atari Koroshiya 036 urban combat drone lay drowned in its own hydraulic oils, a twisted, scarred wreck. Scraps of high-tensile netting and plastic shards from burst floodlights sparkled in the afternoon sunlight. There were bullet holes punched in the corrugated walls and divots blasted out of concrete. The whole compound stank of burnt wiring.
It looked like Yingkiong, or Beylagan, or Kampong Cham, or any number of other torn-up places Comet had been deployed to. It didn’t look like Arizona. It didn’t look like Jason’s home.
Comet had known something was wrong the moment he’d stepped off the plane after six months deployed to India and Jason hadn’t been there waiting with balloons and a cold welcome-home beer he would party-trick open with one tusk. Comet had needed to cab it to Duke’s place. There, he had gone straight for his bike and pistol, hadn’t even said hi to Duke.
Duke had seen him leaving and sent, —Where are you going? over the net, the Old Man’s voice simulated directly into his brain. It sounded like Comet’s own thoughts, except different.
—Something’s wrong. And on the ride to Jason’s compound, his cold-gut feeling got worse and worse, and now here was all the evidence of a goddamn war.
He almost signaled his squad. He didn’t because they were on holiday now, just like he was, and this was Arizona, not Arunachal Pradesh, and he refused to admit home had changed so badly as that.
—Raiders hit Jason, he sent to Duke, glad for once that the sending protocol didn’t carry tone well. It kept the hint of panic out of his words.
He slipped off his modded Kawasaki, slaved his 9mm Israeli Qayin, and pressed himself tight against the wall of the nearest shed.
Duke had told Jason not to build so far outside of town: no one to call for help if a raiding band swept through. It was four K to the next home, ten K to Greentown. But Jason had to have his privacy.
Comet linked his vision so Duke could see what he saw. He started recording, standard procedure.
Jason’s home and business was a concrete enclosure turreted on each of four corners. It had one entrance: a drive with sunken hydraulic bollards and a gate that was closed and electrified at night. Right now it was open, and the bollards were down. Inside the wall was an open yard of mixed paving and gravel big enough to park five or six cars or APCs or whatever vehicle Jason was printing at the time—empty now, except for Comet’s motorcycle and way too many bullet casings.
Six buildings ringed the yard: a toolshed (Comet tight against it), an armory, a storage warehouse, an empty garage (all the doors rolled up so he could see inside), Jason’s home (single story, concrete and steel, Bauhaus would have approved), and the printer lab. The printer lab sat catty-corner to the house. It had two doors: a bay door for the vehicles Jason printed, and a standard people-sized door. The bay door was closed. The people-sized door had been blown off its hinges and lay bent against the frame.
None of the other buildings had been messed with, not even the armory, which Comet found curious, because if he’d been the one to raid this place, he’d have cracked that armory wide open. Jason built more than motorcycles and monster trucks.
—Find survivors, Duke sent. That word survivors, sterile and analytical, steadied Comet, as if it wasn’t Jason they were talking about.
Pistol in both hands, Jedi-blue cybernetic eyes flickering through wavelength bands (seeing nothing, seeing nothing, seeing nothing), he leapt up the shed wall, then from one roof to another light as a feather. Grandmaster Natalia Jen had taught him to fly the way the old heroes used to. It was called qīnggōng, and he’d almost been a master. He’d nearly lost it all when his cybernetic and genetic modifications permanently disrupted his qì. These fantastic leaps were the best he could do anymore.
He landed at the front door of Jason’s home and slipped inside.
The AC was busted. The air was acrid but infrared showed no fires. There was no one here. On the dining table lay a pair of open tungsten handcuffs and a half-eaten mustard sandwich. The bread was mostly soft. On impulse, he took the handcuffs, reset the code, and slipped them into his jacket pocket.
He returned to the yard and inspected the ruined combat drone. It had looked something like a mantis, once. It was pitted from high caliber bullets and its hydraulic tubing had been laid bare and cut at several critical points. Across its chest was hand-painted the word: DOC. The Atari Koroshiya 036 was expensive. They could work independently on their limited virtual intelligence, but to be worth the cost, they needed a skilled pilot. If there were more than a few hundred skilled pilots in the world, Comet would have been surprised. Pilots like those lived their lives 24/7/52 in deep sleep, their entire interaction with the real world through the drones they controlled. Duke would have given both nuts and also thrown in Comet’s to get someone like that on the payroll, and Duke really liked Comet’s nuts. They’d cost him a fortune.
Comet checked for the Atari’s brain, but the slot was empty. Someone had taken care to remove any evidence of what had happened here.
Through the broken door of the printer building, Comet heard a woman’s voice: “Help me, Dante Riggs. You’re my only hope.”
That was just about the last thing Comet had expected to hear. Dante Riggs was Jason’s kid apprentice. Comet had never liked her.
He held his pistol close enough to his cheek he could feel its coolant. He leaned around the bent doorframe of the printer control room and looked in.
There was a man in the room. Comet didn’t know who he was, except he didn’t belong here.
He was standing amid the tangle of thick power cables that fed a hemispherical bank of eight 210-centimeter monitors behind him and was watching the projection from a large floor holo-display. It was working on backup power and projected a life-sized, staticked-up image of a pickup truck jacked high on immense wheels. The door of the holographic truck opened and a holographic woman dropped down from the cab to the ground. She wore a one-piece dress and her hair was done in an afro. The tips of her ears showed through. She was an elf and she was pretty. All elven women were. She said, “Help me, Dante Riggs. You’re my only hope.” And then the whole hologram went static and reset to the beginning: truck, door, woman, “Help me, Dante Riggs . . .”
The man didn’t look like a raider. Raiders wore body armor and bristled with knives and guns. This guy didn’t look to have a single weapon on him. He was as white as white guys got and probably Irish. He looked like a college kid out on spring break: cargo shorts and a flannel shirt over a faded T-shirt, white socks, and the antique kind of sneakers that never went out of style. He hadn’t had a haircut in a year and might not have owned a comb. His hair hung to his shoulders in a shaggy mass of loose copper curls and played mischief with his eyes.
He was adorable, and that was a damn shame, because any other time and place and the conversation they were about to have would have been completely different. Comet’s targeting laser brushed the guy’s cheek and settled over his temple. The guy was so deep in his study of the hologram, he didn’t even notice. Comet marked him as an enemy combatant and labeled him “Shaggy” so his gun knew who to kill, then he said, “Move and I’ll shoot you.”
Shaggy yelped and his hands shot up in surrender. Comet crossed the room fast and smooth, gun arm steady, and the little red dot wavered less than a few centimeters. Comet grabbed him by his shirt and shoved him back until he hit the bank of monitors. Shards of broken plexi clattered down.
He jammed his pistol under Shaggy’s jaw. “Where’s Jason? Who the fuck are you?”
Shaggy sputtered. Behind them, the hologram looped. “Help me, Dante Riggs. You’re my only hope.”
Comet lifted him so his feet were dangling. He didn’t weigh much. Comet could hold him up left-handed. He pressed the gun in harder. There was gonna be a bruise. The guy’s eyes rolled down and went mostly white trying to see the pistol buried in his chin. He said, “Qayin,” and closed his eyes like he was waiting to be killed.
Comet felt the smart link drop. The gun shut down. He pulled the trigger out of reflex. Nothing happened. This guy here had just hacked his weapon that fucking fast.
Shaggy took advantage of Comet’s surprise, twisted free, and sprinted hard for the door. Comet tackled him effortlessly—the guy wasn’t modded—and had him in an arm lock a moment later.
The guy cussed up a storm and huffed and whined as tears sprang into his eyes because that lock hurt, Comet knew. Comet tightened it so it hurt more.
“Now you’re gonna answer my questions.”
—Bring him in, Duke sent, having watched the whole thing through Comet’s eyes. He’ll answer mine.
Comet grinned wickedly. “Now you really fucked up.” He snapped the handcuffs on the guy and dragged him back to Greentown to see Duke.
Read more at: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/apocalypse-alley (just click the excerpt tab)
Blue Unicorn Universe!
JT is an orc on the way up. He’s got his own boutique robotics shop, high-end clientele, and deep-pocketed investors. He’s even mentoring an orc teen who reminds him a bit too much of himself back in the day.
Then Austin shows up, and the elf’s got the same hard body and silver tongue as he did two years ago when they used to be friends and might have been more. He’s also got a stolen car to bribe JT to saying yes to one last scheme: stealing the virtual intelligence called Blue Unicorn.
Soon JT’s up to his tusks in trouble, and it ain’t just zombies and Chinese triads threatening to tear his new life apart. Austin wants a second chance with JT—this time as more than just a friend—and even the Blue Unicorn is trying to play matchmaker.
In his night job, Don Allmon writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. In his day job, he’s an IT drone. He holds a master of arts in English literature from the University of Kansas and wrote his thesis on the influence of royal hunting culture on medieval werewolf stories. He’s a fan of role-playing games, both video and tabletop. He has lived all over from New York to San Francisco, but currently lives on the prairies of Kansas with many animals.
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