Indie Book Spotlight: Resolver, by Trent Whippler
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
In the Corporate City of Gralex, there are no arrests, no jails or prisons, no judges or juries. Only executioners.
In the Corporate City of Gralex, there are no arrests, no jails, no judges, and no juries. Only executioners. Gregory Hunt is a Resolver, a cybernetic security officer. Backed by an array of surveillance technology and armed with the cutting edge of weaponry, Hunt patrols the city's lower levels and enforces the law with deadly efficiency.
On a night like every other, a seemingly random encounter will lead Hunt down paths that challenge everything he believes in and expose the fragility of the status quo in Gralex. Beneath the orderly facade of a smoothly running machine lies a disenfranchised population barely kept in check by draconian measures. And now, their seething anger has given rise to a shadow corporation that has infiltrated the city’s all-encompassing cyber systems and unleashed a savage urban war. As the mysteries deepen and the violence escalates, the power struggle between an enemy he cannot see and a corrupt ruling class he cannot trust will shatter Hunt’s illusions about the world he lives in and force him into decisions he never dreamed possible.
The streets were quiet. The overnight shift would have just started, and the late shifters dispersed either home for the night or to the bars. The air was still, hazy and heavy. I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of me. All the lights of the skyscrapers reflected off the smog, creating a weird mirror effect I enjoyed watching. This was Central, and now that I had another part of the city to compare it to, I liked home even more.
A faint humming noise came from above me, and I looked up. There was something moving up there, hidden by the smog. An air-car, by the shape. It was certainly flying low since I had only ever seen them above the buildings. The car moved on, and I continued walking, but not straight home. I still missed the beat, so I would take a long route home.
I felt watched. It should be the other way around. The air-car kept hovering above me, even lower than it had been before, and scanned it just in time to see a concussive grenade dropped from the passenger side and sprinted away and hit the ground as it exploded a few feet from me. The shockwave hit me and sent me sprawling another couple feet. Then laser fire strafed me. My overcoat protected me, and it only felt like a strong rain was coming down on me, nothing more. They hadn’t learned their lesson, I guess.
I tried linking to the surveillance system but couldn’t. A dampening field was in place, like at Miranda’s. Something was scrambling me, and I couldn’t even lock on to anything. Someone had learned from our last encounter.
Whatever. Springing to my feet, I returned fire and had to dodge another grenade and more laser fire. I rolled with the shockwave from the grenade, took stance, aimed with just my eyes, and fired. One of my three shots nailed the air-car in its underbelly and sent it spinning out of control. A third grenade dropped and fell to the ground, exploding and sending out another shockwave, but this one hadn’t been aimed at me, so there were a few extra feet of distance.
Watching the air-car spinning around in the air, I contemplated firing another shot, but I didn’t want to destroy it, or rather, I didn’t want to kill everyone in it. I needed to start attending to the small details. My attackers had enough to worry about trying not to crash into the side of a building, and that wasn’t helping the driver gain control. Then the air-car lost power and dropped straight down and crashed in the street. A moment later, it exploded. Bad credit! More dead guys I couldn’t question.
Lights hit me then, the headlights of two air-cars floating at street level behind me. I turned and faced them, my rifle raised. Their windows were darkened, and I couldn’t see inside. I took fire from my left and hit the ground before returning fire, angry that I had let myself be distracted. I propped myself on one knee and blasted away. Out of habit, I tried scanning and found that it worked again. Whoever was in the first car had some tech that disrupted mine, but these guys didn’t.
Two men in riot gear were shooting me. They both stood in the entrance of an alleyway on my left. The one on the left was shooting at me with a laser rifle while the guy on the right tossed a grenade my way. I shot the grenade out of the air, and a wave of fire blasted out in all directions. An incendiary grenade, like back in the Waterfront attack. They hadn’t expected me to do that, and they instinctively turned their heads and ducked to protect themselves. That gave me all the time I needed. One shot, a second shot, and they were down.
One of the air-cars plowed right into me and damn near knocked me out when my head smacked into the ground. I was pelted with something as the other car ripped past me. By the time I got to my feet, they were gone, disappeared into the smog. I couldn’t see any lights from them, and I couldn’t lock onto them with my sensors. The only thing a shot from my rifle would do was hit the side of a building.
About The Author
Trent Whippler is a black belt, a football referee, MA in Military History, inveterate gadabout-the-house (according to his wife), proud educator, and author of the new science fiction novel Resolver. Trent’s imagination has been running wild his entire life, and when not working on his sci- fi and fantasy work, can be found reading and/or watching movies and television as he seeks to understand and explore the human condition. Trent lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with his wife, Koreena, and their two cats.