The Wayward Star
Only in darkness can you see the stars…
As the Tarot incarnation of Justice, tracking down the outlaws of the psychic community and delivering them to Judgment is Sara Wilde’s business…and business is good.
Now a rival syndicate known as The Shadow Court seeks to impose their own brand of justice, restricting magic to only the richest and most influential psychics, while stripping power from all the “undesirables” along the way. Their top priority? Hit Sara Wilde, guiding light of psychics everywhere, where it hurts…
Right in the heart.
From the crackling fires of Burning Man to Sara’s even more incendiary high school reunion, the path is never more twisted than when you follow The Wayward Star.
Read an Excerpt
In war, some battles you win, some you lose. And some you never stop fighting.
“The Nazi ratlines,” I muttered, staring up at the grandly elegant mansion nestled against the lush forest primeval in the foothills of the Swiss Alps. “I wouldn’t have thought they’d lead through here.”
“That was, you’ll agree, exactly the point.”
Beside me, Nigel Friedman scanned the walkway outside the ostentatious private castle with a faint air of refined censure, one of his most well-developed abilities. The Brit was dressed appropriately for the party at the multibillion-dollar home, his compact, special-ops-trained body encased in a well-cut dark gray suit and a snow-white open-necked shirt. Beside him, I felt woefully out of place, though for once it wasn’t because I was underdressed.
On the contrary, I was perfectly presented for this shindig in a red Chanel bandage dress and high-heeled boots that were definitely not meant for walking. All part of our cover as guests of the Odermatts, an excessively rich and moderately psychic power couple who threw fancy parties for fancy people about once a month at their mountain-bound fortress of excess.
The soirées usually drew the crème de la crème of Connecteds—seers, intuitives, readers, and magicians of some renown—whose bank accounts were as well developed as their psychic gifts. Before today, the Arcana Council had never responded to one of the Odermatts’ invitations. However, times, they were a-changing. Whether we liked it or not.
Besides, there was something to steal here. After all my years of artifact hunting, often on the shadowy side of the law, that always appealed.
“The psychoactive tracer is pinging into red, and a measure of intense psychic radioactivity is present on-site as well,” Nigel murmured. “It’s the same electrical signature we were able to identify from the Nazi uranium cubes recovered in Virginia. We can only hope the Odermatts haven’t opened their cubes as well, or it will make transport a lot less fun.”
I grinned. “At least you’ll never be scared in the dark again.”
Nigel ignored me, another one of his consummate skills. I wasn’t truly worried about us going nuclear, though. Back in the States, the Council’s head technical whiz kid, Simon, had assured us at length that the level of radioactive material in the famed Nazi artifacts we were searching for was negligible. That wasn’t their true threat.
The uranium cubes smuggled out of Nazi Germany had made history twice over. First, as the incentive that had helped propel the United States into the nuclear research race on a quest for who could develop the atom bomb fastest. Then as a startling discovery, only a few years ago, that those cubes had been merely props. Decoys and propaganda to make the Third Reich’s technology appear first-rate. After the cubes’ nuclear worth had been debunked, modern science had jeered, neo-Nazis had slunk away muttering, and everyone had had a good laugh. The uranium cubes sank once more into obscurity.
Then, within the last few weeks, one of them had been examined by a scientist with a certain measure of psychic skills. Using his Connected abilities, he realized that something didn’t quite square with these cubes. Specifically, they did possess power. Staggering power. Just not the kind of power anyone had understood.
An elegant squeal ahead of us drew my attention, as two thirty-something women bristling with diamonds embraced with all the affection of half-starved piranha.
“I’m not noticing any other artifact finders here,” Nigel murmured beside me. “Are you?”
“Nope, or much in the way of bodyguards. Nobody’s expecting to get bilked tonight, least of all by us. Which…presents some intriguing possibilities.” I eyed the two women, noting the flash of Byzantine earrings that dangled from the brunette’s ears. Along with their obvious material worth, they glinted with arcane power.
Nigel followed my stare. “Not the mission,” he reminded me. “We’re not here to engage. We watch, we learn, we fetch the cubes and leave. That’s it.”
“Killjoy,” I muttered.
It hadn’t taken long for a collection of the Nazi cubes to make their way to the Arcana Council, a collection of sorcerers, seers, and conjurers dedicated for thousands of years to the idea of balancing magic on Earth. Much like our role here tonight, the Council never officially engaged with anything. We were like the United Nations of magical peacekeeping—never taking sides, always watching to make sure nobody got too strong for their own good.
The Council’s style of sideline quarterbacking had worked relatively well for millennia, but new threats were coming out of the woodwork, challenging the place of magic on Earth and who should be controlling it. Worse, a disturbingly high number of Connecteds had started—some quietly, some not so quietly—assembling storehouses of magical gewgaws, whozits, and thingamajigs like the Nazi cubes we were hunting tonight, all with the apparent intention of preparing themselves for a Magical Throwdown to End All Throwdowns.
Fortunately, the Arcana Council loved nothing more than collecting random arcane flotsam and jetsam, especially if it kept it out of the hands of bad actors. This kind of arms race played right into our hands.
Which brought us to the not-so-fuzzy dice the Nazis had collected. Once Simon and his gang of tech heads had cracked open the cubes and examined their uranium interior, the truth had surprised us all. These cubes may have held no value in the nuclear war, but they were a game changer for those choosing sides in the coming global thermo-magical confrontation. Properly triggered, a few of these cubes could create a metaphysical blast that would wipe out all psychic abilities within a 2500-mile radius. Not a big deal if they got dropped in the middle of the ocean, maybe, though the dolphins would be pissed. But in a heavily populated metro area…it could be bad. Really bad. The fallout could potentially change the nature of magic forever.
Or so we feared. Nobody knew the exact damage we needed to control, because nobody had detonated these little cubes of joy yet. It gave a whole new meaning to rolling the dice.