“I’m not going to kill you, Kierra. I’m going to break you. Piece by piece your humanity will fall apart and all you’ll have is the pain and knowledge that you are mine to do with as I please. There’s no-one that can help you down here, you are completely on your own.”
Kierra Anne Zalet is not your regular teenager. Her life has been a struggle from a very young age. Kidnapped at one, escaped at six, framed for murder at thirteen, killed her first bad guy at fourteen, kidnapped, tortured, then stabbed at fifteen. Kaz, as she prefers to go by, is looking for a normal life but life has other plans. She now goes to school, running club and gym… but those men look strangely familiar and her past comes back to haunt her.
She doesn’t want to kill anymore, she doesn’t want to hurt anymore.
Can she stand by while criminals walk the streets around her?
Can Priestley, the man who protects her, keep her from killing anyone else and forfeiting the freedom they have worked so hard to get?
And who is Mr Clim, the teacher who keeps asking too many questions?
Outlaws: Echoes in the Dark is the first in a series of three books that follow on from the series Outlaws: The Eagles.
Outlaws: The Eagles included three stories following Kaz on her journey; Year One, The Slave Trade & Freedom Fighters.
In this book, Angel of Death, we continue to follow the story of Kaz and her comrades.
Kelly Pickering has been writing since she started high school. Her first book completed by age fourteen she has been writing ever since and now has five action packed books with characters to love, hate and facepalm at. While enjoying rolling her fingers over the darker side of the keyboard, she also enjoys the occasional light-hearted children’s world where pixies and dragons really do exist.
While working at various shops to make ends meet Kelly worked a small writing competition for writers young and dyslexic, giving them the opportunity to be published in one of two beautiful anthologies and helping them find the confidence to pen their own exciting adventures adding to their enjoyment and her own.
Kaz paced up and down the small living room rubbing her head, the gentle sounds of the harmonica coming from Priestley’s laptop on the side wasn’t helping. I’m almost certain he was an Eagle. Almost certain.
It’s the almost bit that’s upsetting, her little voice moaned. You could be wrong. Maybe you are paranoid.
Kaz closed her eyes against the thought. I’m not paranoid. I’m just…. I have to know. I have to know, she thought again, opening her eyes and looking at the clock. Parkour starts in an hour. That meeting starts in an hour. Should I play it safe and go to the parkour?
I’m not really in the mood for parkour, too busy stressing over the chance of Eagles in the area.
Why should it concern you anyway? She stopped in her tracks, a cold fear running down her spine.
I will survive this and I will start again. That was Wu’s last words to me.
But Wu’s dead, her little voice said firmly.
We believe he is anyway, they couldn’t prove that. They filled the place in.
There was army everywhere, there’s no way he could have escaped that day.
With his military training, there’s always a chance he could have anticipated the moves of the military and worked around them, who’s to say he didn’t have another way out.
Hoping he’s dead!
This meeting could give you the truth. He could be there.
Oh god, I hope not.
Kaz fell onto the couch her head in her hands. Will you feel any safer If you don’t go to this meeting to find out? Her eyes turned back to the clock.
If I left now I can still get to the meeting place in time, find a way to sneak in and maybe just maybe… She got up. Changing into a darker set of clothes and tying back her hair she set out for Gallery Place at a jog.
She was breathing heavily as she reached Gallery Place. Still open, with access to the gym and late night Christmas shoppers milling about in the cold, excited breaths showing in small bursts of white air.
The parkour club will be meeting now, probably already together waiting for me.
I can’t, she decided. The Eagles has to be my main concern tonight.
Skirting around the edge of Gallery Place she headed to the back where a high metal fence was all that stood in between her and the building site. She moved back into the shadows as she saw two men leave a car and head into a warehouse through the main entrance. She would have to find a quieter way in.
Placing her hands against the wire fence she pushed against it, testing its strength, then stood to a side and measured the distance between the wall opposite and the fence.
“Okay, I can do this,” she said aloud to herself. Then placing her back to the fence she ran at the wall, jumping at it and transferring her weight forward so she was wall-running up it, then she pushed back in a leap turning in mid-air to grab the fence and pull herself up and over the top, diving to the floor in a forward roll. She let out a gentle whoop as the adrenaline of her success ran through her.
“Hey, good landing, Kaz!” her heart stopped in a moment of horror as Miles congratulated her.
Then she heard the tell-tale sound of the fence as others repeated the same manoeuvre she just had. Instinctively she moved out of the way as the parkour runners joined her.
You’ve got to be kidding me? “What are you all doing here?” she hissed, furiously.
“Kaz, we were there when those guys talked about this meeting,” Moose started.
“Yeah, you seemed a bit freaked, so when you didn’t show up tonight-“ Miles put in.
“I mean it’s not like the club is far from here,” Moose continued.
“You can’t be here, it’s dangerous,” Kaz cursed, looking around to make sure they hadn’t been spotted.
“If that’s the case, what are you doing here?” Miles gave her a searching look then shrugged when she didn’t answer. “Now we’re here, we may as well find out what there is to see.”
“No. Miles, for heavens’ sake,” Then as Miles reached a hand out to the closest door Kaz grabbed him and pulled him back. “What the hell, Miles?! You wanna get yourself killed? you don’t just charge in.”
“What is wrong with you?” Miles snapped.
“There’s a way in up here,” Moose said from up above.
“Cool,” Skittles replied, then joined him. Kaz watched them free run to the roof and uttered a million curses under her breath in Eshish before climbing up to join them.