Jak Phoenix – Chapter 1 Intro Excerpt

Since I’ve been quiet for a fairly long time, I thought I would start at the beginning and share this excerpt of my space adventure novel, Jak Phoenix. This is very beginning of the novel, with Jak and Baxter about to face danger on the planet Scoparia.

Sand. It’s amazing how many planets are covered in it. Gray sand, black sand, red sand, brown sand, white sand. The universe seemed to have arranged the odd coincidence to make most planets either too hot or too cold. The cold ones had snow—basically cold sand. It must have been a life-shattering disappointment to the ancient people who first mastered space travel. They lived their lives working on it, spent their money funding it and sometimes died trying it, only to find more of the same dirty rocks and sand they had just left behind.

Captain Jak Phoenix went over these random thoughts in his head as he lay burning in the sun, in the vast deserts of Scoparia, just behind the peak of a tightly packed sand dune. He peered over the edge and into the canyon below, eyeing his goal: a small space freighter that sat crashed, abandoned, and had apparently been left untouched for decades.

It was also a quirk of fate that Jak’s involvement in various ridiculous schemes would inevitably lead him to some moon, asteroid or planet that would surely be covered in some type of sand. Despite the dull appearance and apparent lack of appeal of these desolate sand-balls, action always seemed to involve them. Locations like this were essentially a child’s sandbox for adults. Somewhere to hide, (or lose), expensive and valuable objects or build fruitless sand castle colonies destined to fail due to the lack of resources and the inverse abundance of hunger and thirst. They were also a common place to hide yourself, (or get lost), if you weren’t already in the process of being killed and disposed of in an easily excavated hole.

“So where is this ship anyway?” asked Baxter.

“Quiet,” Jak shot back, snapping out of his mindful wanderings.

Baxter, Jak’s long-time shipmate, was just now coming up to the foot of the sand dune. He watched Baxter stumble through the sand like an infant who had just learned to walk.

Jak realized he should have come alone.

Turning his focus back to his target, Jak pulled out his worn and beaten pistol. It was an old fashioned Z8 model with a handle that curved right around into the barrel, ending with a slightly flared muzzle. It was a gem to Jak, but archaic to nearly every other gun-requiring space pirate. It would only hold enough charge for eight shots, making accuracy rather important.

Why in God’s name did he bring the Z8? He should have brought the Z16. Then Jak remembered his frugal thoughts about not wanting to lose the expensive sixteen shot rifle in the sand and made a mental note to possibly re-evaluate his priorities on future missions.

The first novel from the Jak Phoenix series, by Matt D. Williams, is available free at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo,iBooks/iTunes and in the USA/Canada Kindle Store.

Jak Phoenix vs. the Scoparian Dragon in the sands of Scoparia - a Scene from the first Jak Phoenix novel.1

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