A Tale of Two Bitzers Tales From the Outback Book 1
by Amanda N. Newman Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Sometimes friends can be found in the most unlikely places.
After spending the last two years confined to the Republic’s prison, Trapper Cayuse wants nothing more than to walk free again. The conditions for his supposed freedom: simple, tell the Republic’s Army where the rest of his Bitzer gang is. However, when the opportunity to escape presents itself, Trapper takes the chance and pays a heavy price. Injured and shackled with a device that makes him unable to use magic, Trapper now faces a long road out of enemy territory, a road that just happens to lead him to an unlikely ally, a Republic teenager named Ara.
Bitzers aren’t supposed to get involved in conflicts between slaves and their masters, let alone get involved in ways that end in blood. Nickel Cly has known that ever since he joined the Bitzer life, and never questioned it, until a chance encounter preys on his sense of honor. With a single arrow, he saves Alura, a non-magic wielder, from the master that almost killed her. But Bitzers don’t normally keep slaves for themselves, and acts of mercy aren’t always simple, especially when they make him question himself and the life he’s lived for the past decade. Now, he has a choice to make: send Alura back to the Republic, send her back to the slave trade, or protect her from those who wish to harm her, all while threats from her past close in.
Zyra crossed his arms over his chest and his eyebrows drew together in a frown. “You shot him? You shot a civilian?”
I eyed him, not responding verbally.
“Are you crazy?”
“You know the code I live by, Zyra.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t do shit you’ll regret and honor above everything else, including pleasure.”
“I saw the shot and took it. Can’t say I regret it either.”
“Did anyone see you?”
“No. They were alone.”
“And you’re sure he’s dead?”
I shot him a low-level glare. “I hit him in the eye.”
Zyra raised an eyebrow at me. “You shot a civilian in the eye with an arrow?”
The head Bitzer gave a slight laugh through his teeth. “Remind me to never piss you off, you bloodthirsty lunatic.”
“I figured you’d be more pissed about this.”
He shrugged. “I can be pissed off all I want, but it’s not going to change anything. At the end of the day, the son of a bastard is still dead and you’re as much of a bloodthirsty bastard as I ever knew you to be. Honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing, depending on the slave.” He turned his face toward the horizon. “There’s a lot of monsters out in the world. Slaves may be their masters’ property, but there’s a fine line between punishment and cruelty for cruelty’s sake. At least you were careful enough when you gave in to your bloodlust.”
Amanda N. Newman is a blended fantasy author from New York. She has been writing since she was a child. As a quiet person who didn't make friends easily, while also battling social and general anxiety and depression, she found refuge in writing. She first started handwriting alternate universe style crossover fanfiction featuring her favorite characters from various video games, anime/manga, television shows, and other books, though she never shared any of these stories on any public forums. As her stories became longer and more intricate, she branched away from and adapted her stories from fanfiction and into different subgenres of fantasy fiction. In her final year of high school, she wrote her first original novel Hybrid Empire, a YA fantasy about an international student trying to fit in at a fictitious boarding school in Alaska. She currently lives in New York with her fiancé and two rescue dogs named Norman and Link.