Old friends, former clients, and even rivals find themselves in the sights of a murderer who loves his work a little too much and seems custom-built to take on New Boston’s most famous Army-surplus cyborg. Roland and his team will have to play detective to piece together the identity of this strange assassin before all his associates end up face down in the street.
It would be a full day’s work for anybody, but it wouldn’t be Dockside if a whole crop of other disasters didn’t pop up at the same time just to make things interesting. A possessive ex-boyfriend, upheavals in the local police department, and shadowy corporate interests all choose this moment to rear their ugly heads.
But far be it from the galaxy’s strangest duo of problem solvers to turn away from hard work or a decent paycheck. If anybody can juggle corrupt cops, sinister corporations, and one strange killer all at once, it’s everybody’s least-favorite metal curmudgeon and his hyperkinetic partner.
Before the gunfire fades and the dust settles, The Fixer will meet death head-on to find out if he has what it takes to face down a DEAD MAN DREAMING.
He’s really trying to be a better person. Killing fewer people, talking out his issues more, and not immediately resorting to violence whenever a problem arises. But let’s face it, when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
It’s not like he has any shortage of nails kicking around, either. After stopping that last batch of mobsters and pirates from upsetting the delicate balance of New Boston’s seedy underworld, the list of people willing to pay hard creds for his head is even longer than usual. Worse, The Brokerage still wants Dockside, and they have called in a ringer. Who is this guy who seems to know an awful lot about Dockside’s most famous Fixer? Where did he get all this classified information? Who are these unregistered mercenaries that keep popping up at inopportune moments?
Roland will need the help of all his allies if he wants to run down the answers to these questions before a galactic crime war leaves the streets of his beloved hometown awash in blood. But at least there is one thing everybody agrees on:
Dockside is done playing by mob rules.
The war for the docks is coming to a head, and there is no guarantee that anyone will be left standing when the dust settles. It will be up to everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg to take the fight out of Dockside and into the streets of New Boston. The stakes have never been higher, and the fight never more desperate than now.
But Roland Tankowicz is mad as hell, and no matter what happens, a whole new crop of mad Science gone awry is about to learn a painful lesson about the differences between HAMMERS AND NAILS.
The last time he went there, he died. So, no one could really blame him if he never went back. Nevertheless, when a squad of Venusian assassins ruins date night, everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg decides to take a trip to Earth’s sister planet and have a sit-down with an infamous group of terrorists.
Perhaps it’s because he really likes date night. Maybe he just wants to keep the promise he once made to a troubled young man. It is even conceivable that he might still have a heap of unresolved issues with the separatists who blew his body apart years ago. For whatever reason, the big man and his motley crew of misfits strap on their guns and hurl themselves into murky world of interplanetary terrorism.
To his dismay, Roland discovers that Venus has changed since his last visit. The black-and-white politics of the fanatics and governments he remembers have now merged into complicated shades of gray. Cyborg killers walk the halls without fear, and the soldiers stationed there seem no better than the thugs they fight. The sweltering underworld of Venus holds terrors and trials that will test the old soldier in ways he is not prepared for, while a crafty assassin stalks them all from shadows both real and imagined.
The team must to walk a narrow path between terrorists, soldiers, and their own dark pasts if they expect to get out of this one alive. Is The Fixer strong enough to pull an entire population from the ashes of civil war? If he isn’t, they may all drown in a flood of: APHRODITE’S TEARS.
The Guardian is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies.
The stories are:-
Awakening - Alasdair Shaw
The Lattice - Jeff Tanyard
Biting Shadow - C Gold
Gate of Dreams - Rick Partlow
The Following Star - Elizabeth Baxter
The Renewal - Zen DiPietro
Stowaway - Benjamin Douglas
Baptism of Fire - Cora Buhlert
Sleeping Giant - Andrew Vaillencourt
We Have the Stars - JJ Green
Warning Signs - Edward M Grant