Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Sixth Precept by Larry Ivkovich

The Sixth Precept In 16th century medieval Japan, Yoshima Mitsu, who is gifted with psychic powers, uses her prescient abilities to send her young attendant, Shioko, into the future. There, Mitsu believes Shioko will be safe from the purges of the maniacal warlord Omori Kadanamora, his warrior monks and his half-human, half-bestial Shadow-Trackers. In present-day Pittsburgh, police Lieutenant Kim Yoshima is attacked by a creature out of someone’s twisted nightmare. In the aftermath of that terrifying struggle, Kim finds a young Japanese girl named Shioko, lost, confused and calling Kim “Mitsu” and her monstrous attacker a “Shadow-Tracker.” Wayne Brewster dreams of the costumed hero, ArcNight. But more than that, he feels bizarrely connected to the fictional crime fighter as if ArcNight and his comic book world are real. And in all of his dreams, Brewster sees one constant, one face repeated over and over--the face of Kim Yoshima. Empowered by a mysterious book, The Five Precepts to Enlightenment, Kim realizes her destiny is in the past. Using her own burgeoning esper powers, Kim, accompanied by Shioko and Brewster, travel by means of a temporal rift to feudal Japan. There they must assume different personas to fight Omori and creatures of Japan’s mythological world to fulfill ancient prophesy and modern historical fact. If they fail, history will be altered and the world will change forever.

EXCERPT – 16TH Century Japan

The attempt on his life had been an act of desperation, he knew. The battle was lost, the opposing forces broken and scattered. Without the inspiration of Soun Ujitsuna, the Odawaran armies had been routed. Omori Kadonomaro had vanquished those foes who had defended this city as he had crushed everyone else who had ever opposed him. Even now, most of his own army and all but a few of his warrior monks were rounding up prisoners or putting to the sword any who offered even token resistance. But the assassins’ threat had been real enough, though for a different reason entirely.

He had led a small party of his warrior monks and a trio of shadow-trackers in the hunt for the shirabyoshi spoken of by Eela. He had no desire to sit and wait, to allow others to do his work for him. He had always been a man of action and the Prophecy of the One Child concerned him greatly.

Though the shadow-trackers had no real scent or clue to rely on, through the magic urging of the majo, one of them had led Omori and his men to the market district of the city. The creature’s manner was agitated yet focused; the beast appeared like something out of a traveler’s tale. Naked, it moved like a ghost, spiriting almost invisibly in and out of the smallest places as it used the shadows as cover.

Omori had never gotten used to them but the creatures did serve his purpose. Whatever magic the witch called upon to create such monsters was the warlord’s to control. At least for the moment.

And he meant to keep it that way.

Located near the lower west gates, the marketplace was the one area his attacking land forces had been able to breach. Parts of it lay in smoldering ruins; the remaining residents hiding fearfully behind closed and latched doors.

The city’s defenders had been beaten but the fear of Omori and his allies—the sohei, the witch and the shadow-trackers—still hung thickly in the air. To most of the downtrodden Odawarans, it was their worst nightmare realized.

Eela rode by the daimyo’s side. Both men’s armored horses picked their way among the scattered rubble and trash that lay strewn about the streets. “My pet seems sure the one we seek is here, Lord,” the majo said silkily. “He is the best of the three and can discern his prey with very little assistance.”

His pet. Omori frowned. Eela’s skills had extended to supervising the breeding, raising and training of the shadow-trackers, skills Omori appreciated but which gave the majo another point of power in his favor. “Just make sure your pet finds her,” Omori said distastefully. “I will stop this child once and for all.”

Larry Ivkovich is an IT professional and the author of several science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories and novellas, published online and in various print publications and anthologies including M-Brane SF, Afterburn SF, Penumbra, Twisted Cat Tales, Abaculus III, Raw Terror, Triangulations, Shelter of Daylight and SQ Magazine. He has also been a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and was the 2010 recipient of the CZP/Rannu Fund Award for fiction. His debut urban fantasy novel, THE SIXTH PRECEPT, is now available from IFWG Publishing, Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He is a member of two local writing/critique groups, the Pittsburgh Southwrites and the Pittsburgh Worldrights, and lives in Coraopolis, PA with his wife Martha and cats Trixie and Milo.
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  1. Thanks for hosting me on this tour, Monique!

  2. I've been enjoying the tour very much! One of the things it's helped me with is focusing and organizing my thoughts on writing for the blog posts and interview question answers. A lot of my writing is done in what I refer to as an "alterted state" where I just let it flow. By thinking a little about the process, I've surprised myself with some of my observations!

  3. I understand what you mean about the different modes of writing as well as the "altered state".:) I am glad your tour is going good!


Thanks for leaving a comment! :) I love reading each one.