Balanced on the Blade’s Edge


by Lindsay Buroker



Smashwords Edition


Copyright Lindsay Buroker 2014


Foreword

As a writer, sometimes you have a thousand things (or at least five) that you should be working on, but you get an idea for something new and just have to run with it. I wrote this story quickly, because I knew I had other series to get back to, but it also came out quickly of its own volition. I enjoyed these characters and this new world, and I hope you will too. Before you jump in, I would like to thank Cindy Wilkinson, Pam Tkachuk, and Sarah Engelke for reading an early version and for offering feedback. I would also like to thank my editor, Shelley Holloway, for working this one in on short notice. Thank you, too, good reader, for picking up a new novel and giving it a try. I hope you enjoy the adventure.


Part I

Chapter 1

Colonel Ridge Zirkander had walked the hall to General Ort’s office so many times he suspected his boots were responsible for the threadbare state of the drab gray carpet runner. The two privates standing guard on either side of the door were too well trained to exchange knowing smirks, but that didn’t mean gossip of this meeting wouldn’t be all over the citadel by noon. It wouldn’t be the first time. Fortunately, uniforms only held awards and not demerits.

“Morning, gents.” Ridge stopped before the door. He eyed the privates’ rifles—they had the new lever-action repeating models—but neither man looked like he had been given orders to keep visitors out. Too bad. “How’s the general’s mood today?”

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