Fated

Sophie Davis Books

Fated (Talented Saga #8)

Realease Day July 29th, 2018

FATED, the last book in the TALENTED SAGA, is up for pre-order!

Talia and Erik thought defeating TOXIC was enough. They were very wrong. With enemies approaching from every direction, they're fighting for the existence of their species.
Not everyone will survive....


Pre-Order FATED Here!

Scroll down to read the entire Prologue

 

 

Warning: The following contains spoilers for earlier books!

Prologue

“Can’t this heap of metal fly any faster?” Penny Crane demanded.
The hover pilot, Agent Miles DeSanto, shot her a wry smile over his shoulder. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, girlie, we’re all but breaking the sound barrier. Just ten minutes until we reach the Isle of Exile,” he soothed.
“Bryn Wellington might not have ten minutes, Miles,” Penny snapped.
The hover’s comms unit crackled, signaling an incoming message. Miles pressed a button on the console.
“Traffic control to 4928,” a male voice said through the speaker. “Please confirm your identity 4928.”
“Agent Miles DeSanto, UNITED ID 230,” Miles replied, furrowing his eyebrows. “I have two injured civilians onboard and have already been cleared to land. A medical emergency team should be standing by to meet us, over.”
Anxiety shot through Penny. Victoria Walburton, head of the UNITED Council, had assured them that the staff on the islands would be awaiting their arrival. Why was traffic control asking for confirmation?
“We need to reroute you, 4928,” the speaker replied.
“Why would we reroute?” Miles demanded. “We have two passengers in critical condition, they need immediate medical treatment.”
“That information is classified,” the voice answered shortly. “No aircrafts are cleared to land on any of the islands. Your orders are to proceed to the States. There is an airstrip eleven miles outside of D.C. on the Virginia side. We will have a medical team standing by at that location, over.”
Penny shoved Miles out of the way and pressed the image button on the console to see the man on the other end. A holo of a guy with big brown eyes and closely shaven hair appeared.
“The hell you’re rerouting us,” Penny shouted into the intercom.
The traffic control agent widened his eyes, taken aback by the venom in her voice.
“Agent Crane…,” the man began tentatively, trailing off when something behind him caught his attention.
The internal intercom on the hovercraft screeched. It was followed by the voice of the head medic, Agent Carolyn Rice, who was treating Riley and Bryn in med-bay.
“Wellington is coding, we need to get her on the ground now,” Agent Rice insisted.
“We’re doing our best, Carolyn,” Miles growled.
Both Penny and Miles turned their attention back to the holo screen, but the traffic control agent had disappeared.
“What the hell?”
As Miles spoke the words, the radar screen lit up like a holiday tree. Red and green blips appeared all at once. The dots were moving steadily, all converging on one target. It happened to be the same destination that Miles was trying to reach, The Isle of Exile.
Penny and Miles exchanged nervous glances.
“Traffic Control, this is 4928, come in,” Miles barked into the intercom.
“Miles?” Carolyn called. “What’s happening up there?”
Miles muted the internal intercom and turned to Penny. “Go back there. Tell them not to panic, but I think we might have company. I’ll keep trying to get some answers.”
Penny nodded. “Okay. I’ll get my uncle on the line, too, and make sure his people are prepared for our arrival. Maybe he’ll know what’s going on.”
She hurried through the main passenger cabin and down the stairs to the hover’s med-bay. Agent Rice met Penny on the landing.
“What’s happening?” she demanded.
Sparing a glance toward the teams of medics swarming the two gurneys—one with Bryn Wellington and the other with Riley Wyld—Penny pulled Carolyn to one side by the doctor’s scrub top.
“Look, Miles doesn’t want to cause a panic, but traffic control wants to divert us.” Carolyn began shaking her head adamantly. Penny held up a hand to silence her. “I know. We told them Bryn doesn’t have that much time. They’re still insisting no aircrafts can land.” Penny lowered her voice before continuing. “We’re picking up a lot of activity on the radar. I think….” She hesitated, not wanting to voice the suspicion.
“What? What is it?” the doctor demanded, her voice raising an octave.
“An attack on the Isle is imminent,” Penny whispered. “I think we’re flying right into the danger zone. We might take some fire.”
On cue, the hover tilted sharply to the left. Penny and Carolyn both lurched a step. Medical instruments flew through the air. Without conscious thought, Penny used her telekinesis to freeze the objects before they caused any injuries. Syringes, vials, and bloodied cloths hung in midair, as did several of the medics who’d lost their footing when the hover banked.
“Miles?” Penny never spoke to the other agent mentally, but they’d spent so much time together lately that reaching his mind was a cakewalk.
“Get up here,” he returned, stress evident in his voice.
The hover stabilized, and Agent Rice let out a sigh of relief. Penny didn’t share her sentiments. They were under attack. She didn’t need Miles to tell her as much—she read the truth in his thoughts.
The hover dipped dangerously low. Carolyn screamed, arms flailing as she desperately clawed for a handhold. The gurneys were secured to the walls, and both Bryn and Riley were strapped down. Still, Bryn’s body bucked. Her back arched and head lulled to one side. The machine monitoring her brainwaves flat lined. Penny’s heart dropped.
“I need you now,” Miles roared inside her head. Somehow, he managed to steady the craft again.
Riley moaned and turned his head. He vomited, then passed out.
“Carolyn, I need you to listen to me,” Penny began, her own stomach feeling as though it was on the spin cycle. She swallowed the bile burning her throat. “Get Bryn stable. Now. That’s an order.”
Penny’s words carried physical weight. She didn’t like using mind manipulation on the doctor, but the situation was dire. And Carolyn Rice was on the verge of losing it.
“You will keep Bryn and Riley alive until we reach Virginia.”
Agent Rice nodded, her eyes wide and glassy.
“Girlie, I’m not screwing around,” Miles sent. “I can’t keep dodging shit.”
Penny took a deep breath and used her best “Talia” voice on the doctor. “Bryn and Riley are not dying today.” Without waiting for a response, she sprinted to the cockpit.
“What’s going on?” Penny demanded, sliding into the copilot seat.
On the radar, the dots had multiplied like rabbits in springtime. Penny zoomed in. Over a dozen fighter hovers were directly over the islands, represented by the green dots. The red ones were heat signatures and signified people.
“They’re so many of them.” Penny pointed to the red dots on the radar. Turning to Miles, she added. “And they’re flying sideways and upward.”
“Maybe they’re morphs? You know, like the kid—they change into birds,” he suggested.
Penny shook her head. “Birds wouldn’t show up on this screen, even human morphers. Those are people flying.”
The radar screen began blinking. A warning siren blared through the medi-hover’s internal intercom.
“One of those fighters is coming for us,” Miles yelled, his voice barely audible over the noise.
Penny bit her lip and swore. Carolyn’s voice screeched through a speaker on the dashboard. “This craft isn’t equipped for a fight,” she insisted.
This wasn’t news to anyone. The only weapons they had onboard were the Talented.
“Secure the patients and strap in,” Miles sent back, his gaze straying toward Penny. “We aren’t defenseless, Carolyn. I’ll do my best to get us out of here quickly.”
Muting the intercom, he cut off any response Agent Rice might have made. His eyes were still on Penny, even as the alarm continued. With a deep breath, she nodded in answer to his unasked question. For good measure, she added, “I’m ready. I can do this.”
Miles turned his attention back to the controls. “I know, girlie. Believe me, I’ve seen what you can do.”
On another day, Penny might have blushed at the compliment. She had twelve talents—twelve—and knew how to use most of them. But Penny wasn’t a trained assassin like Talia and Erik, her skillset was more covert. Undercover work? No problem. Fighting to the death? Not so much.
Glancing at the radar screen again, Penny’s insides lurched at the sight of the red dots.
So many people are going to die.
“We’ll die if we try to help them,” Miles told her, fingers fiddling with buttons and knobs until the alarm ceased.
The silence was almost worse for Penny. It left her mind free to wander, to wonder, to contemplate their situation. She understood the consequences of actively joining the battle. In a way, she’d be sacrificing Bryn. Her friend needed more advanced treatment than was available on the medi-hover, and she didn’t have much time.
While Miles was correct that they weren’t defenseless, they also weren’t prepared to go on the offensive. Not only was Penny not a trained fighter, neither were the medics.
“I’m sorry, girlie. It hurts me too,” Miles said softly.
He took his eyes off the windshield for only a second, just long enough to miss the red dot zooming toward them. The attacker landed on the hover’s hood with a loud thump and a flutter of shining silver. Penny jumped in her seat, and Miles fought for control of the craft.
Poised like a sprinter about to start a race, the assailant stared up at them with dark, expressionless eyes.
You can do this, Penny thought. Filling her lungs to capacity, she summoned so much energy that several of the lights on the dash blinked out. Penny directed her power at the attacker. His mouth formed a large O as he flew backward, like an invisible hand had punched him the gut.
The assailant was strong. Penny felt his untamed power, wild as a stud yet to be broken. Large silver wings sprang from between his shoulder blades, keeping the attacker from falling to his death. He hung three feet in front of the craft, a wicked grin on his lips. His dark gaze was blank from behind a shining white face shield. A silver mark curved down one side of his face, stretching across his throat like the head of scythe.
What the hell? Penny wondered, blinking rapidly to make sure she wasn’t imaging things.
The boy raised his palms toward the craft, but Penny was ready for him. Their powers clashed in midair. Gold and black sparks erupted over the hood of the hover. More lights on the dashboard went dark. Screams from med-bay reached Penny’s ears as she unleashed another tidal wave of power. One of the attacker’s wings crackled and went up in flames. He dipped briefly out of view, but his head and torso reappeared quickly.
“Nice hit, girlie,” Miles said through gritted teeth. He struggled to keep the hover level. “Think you can take out the other wing?”
Sweat beaded Penny’s forward and pooled in her armpits. She sucked in another breath, absorbing more of the hover’s electricity. The boy was quicker this time, but his aim wasn’t great. A wave of power hit Penny’s shoulder and pinned half her body to the seat. Instead of fighting his hold, she drank in the energy, replenishing her own supply while depleting his.
Miles did a double take, his eyes growing impossibly wider as he stared at her. Penny looked down at her arms and chest. A soft glow coated her body, growing brighter by the second.
“Penny?” The use of her name from Miles snapped her into action.
Raw power filled the cockpit. Penny felt drunk on her talents as she directed all her energy toward the attacker’s good wing. Her aim was true. Flames from the wing licked the nose of the hover briefly. The assailant disappeared for good but left a parting gift.
The hover’s windshield splintered, spider-web cracks obscuring Miles’ view. He swore loudly. Without thought, Penny’s fingers flew over the controls. A navi-screen appeared over the broken windshield.
Miles blew out a long breath and looked over at Penny. “Nice work. Try not to suck so much out of this bird next time.”
She managed a smile. “I’ll do my best.”
On the radar screen, dozens of fighter hovers dotted their flight path. One broke away from the pack and headed in their direction. Still high on adrenaline and power, Penny gave herself over to her talents. Her mind was focused on one thing: annihilating the threat.
Talia could take down an entire craft. So could Erik. In theory, Penny was capable of the same.
The radar screen flashed with another warning. This time the alarm was only audible in the cockpit and not nearly as deafening as before.
Kinetic bombs, Penny thought as the weapons appeared in the distance.
“They’re locked on us,” Miles said through gritted teeth. Before he could even start diversionary tactics, Penny focused on dispersing the bombs. The weapons exploded into tiny, confetti-like pieces that floated in a spiral formation.
The fighter craft was still close, though. If it rammed the medi-hover, they had no chance of survival. Miles spared a quick glance at Penny, whose face glistened with a mixture of sweat and tears. A slight tremor ran through her body. Then, he felt it. Her power washed over him like clouds parting to allow the sun to shine through.
Penny gasped and started panting. Miles chanced another look, his grip tightening on the controls. Focused, she looked like she was hyperventilating while in a trance.
“Girlie? Talk to me,” he tried. Penny didn’t respond.
As he looked forward again, a nearby explosion rocked the medi-hover. Miles’ head hit the side window. He saw stars from the impact. At least, he thought he did. The bright spots in his vision were truly there, though. The fighter craft was gone.
“They’re all dead,” Penny whispered into the deafening silence. “But I can hear their screams inside my head.” Tears streamed down her face and dropped from her chin. She didn’t wipe them away.
Miles wanted to comfort her but couldn’t find the words. The truth was, Penny had killed everyone aboard the attack hover. No placation would change the fact she’d have to live with that. It was something UNITED agents learned early on—sometimes it was kill or be killed.
But Penny wasn’t trained as a UNITED agent. The coalition had trained her as a spy, not a front-line fighter. She wasn’t practiced in compartmentalizing when it came to casualties.
Finally, Miles simply reached over and patted her shoulder. Penny didn’t look at him. Instead, she gazed out her window at the Isle below. They were far enough away that the attack hovers looked like shining toy models. Except those toys had caused absolute devastation. The islands were fiery masses. More flames rolled on the waves that lapped the shores.
“We’re at war,” Miles said quietly. “Our kind is under attack from all sides. Before this is all over, we will all have to make some very tough decisions. Try to remember that what you did saved a lot of lives.”
Penny turned her face to him, expression blank. Her voice was soft and sad when she gestured to the window.
“I can hear their screams, too. So many of us will die before this ends.”

Fated Release Day July 29th, 2018 

Pre-Order FATED Here!