THE EMPEROR’S EDGE
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Copyright 2010 by Lindsay Buroker
Corporal Amaranthe Lokdon paced. Her short sword, night stick, and handcuffs bumped and clanked at her thighs with each impatient step. Enforcer Headquarters frowned down at her, an ominous gray cliff of a building that glowered at the neighborhood like a turkey vulture, except with less charisma.
Amaranthe drew her pocket watch and checked the time. Where was her partner?
At the soft squeak of boots on snow, she looked up. A narrow side street expelled a squat, burly man in enforcer grays. Morning light glinted against the large brass rank pins crowding his collar: four bars under two crossed swords, the mark of a district chief.
Amaranthe fought back a grimace and straightened, heels clicking together. The chief’s dark gaze latched onto her from beneath shaggy gray eyebrows that crashed in the middle when he scowled. He was scowling now.