Thursday, March 27, 2014

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Jet Tetsuo

Book: The Culling (Slave Girl Chronicles #1)
Author: JC Andrijeski
Heroine: Jet Tetsuo

Jet Tetsuo, the 19-year-old heroine of The Slave Girl Chronicles novels, grew up in a post-apocalyptic version of earth that's now being run by an alien species known as the Nirreth. Jet grew up protecting her mother and brother with her Japanese-style sword, Black, which she learned how to use after being trained by her ex-rebel uncle and his ex-rebel wife. She's spent the vast majority of her life hiding out underground from the Nirreth, in the skag pits outside of Vancouver, BC, which exist in the dead zone well away from the furthest edges of Nirreth society. From there, she and her friends and family hunt for food, grow what they can in the changed atmosphere, and fight off animals and human bandits, as well as the Nirreth themselves.

Jet's tough and sexy because she's totally her own person, self-reliant and unafraid to make her own way in the world, despite all of the obstacles in front of her. While she's a survivor and will cut corners when she has to, to protect the ones she loves, she never loses her sense of who she is...even after she gets picked up by one of the infamous "culling" ships of their Nirreth overlords. The Nirreth bring Jet to one of the Nirreth Green Zones to fight in the Rings, their version of the Colosseum, only populated mainly by human slaves, and while they try to wear her down and make her "obedient," they never truly succeed, even when she has to compromise with them to stay alive.

Jet is a 19-year-old skag, one of the humans still living free on Earth following an invasion of creatures called the Nirreth. Squatting in the ruins of Vancouver, Canada, Jet and her family eke out an existence underground, hiding from the culler ships. No one knows where the ships take the people they grab, but they never return. When a culler finds Jet, she may discover the truth the hard way.

Jet landed hard on a metal deck. It felt as if she’d been thrown there bodily by two large men, each holding one half of her arms and her legs.

For a long-seeming second, she sat on the ridged metal floor, panting, gripping the wall with one hand. She gripped the hilt of her sword in the other.

The instant she could focus her eyes, blinking back the tears from the wind and her screaming as she rose in the air, Jet lurched drunkenly to her feet, holding the sword in front of her. Both of her hands gripped the hilt as soon as Jet pushed off from the wall.

She could barely see the creature in front of her, but she heard a hiss as it backed off. She stepped towards the lit hatch door, moving sideways so that her eyes never left the tall, midnight blue-skinned shape in front of her. When she finally chanced a glance down, her heart sank. The hovercraft stood at around the fifth story of the nearest building.

If she jumped, she’d die. And she didn’t see a ladder, or even the vine-like rope they’d used to haul her up.

“Let me down!” she shouted, taking a step towards the creature with the sword.

He slid gracefully back, moving with an incredible lightness for such a tall creature.

“Let me down!” she insisted, louder. “I’ve broken no laws!

Which wasn’t true of course. Just living underground, squatting in caves and growing their own food was technically against the law. Much less the poaching they did, or the bartering with others, including black marketeers. Really, the only way to live outside the Nirreth cities and not break the law was to work for the Nirreth directly and live in their assigned settlements, what humans called the ‘Hamster Cage.’ Even those people starved unless they cut corners.

Jet knew that because her settlement traded with them for some of the staples they had no other way to get locally. Like rice. Flour. Even sugar on occasion.

But the laws were just an excuse. The Nirreth must know just like we did that everyone broke them, pretty much every day. They picked up skags because they could.

“Let me down!” Jet yelled again. “You have no right to keep me!”

She tensed when the creature met her gaze with its large, black eyes. It gestured towards her, in one of the few Nirreth signs she knew.

It was a peace gesture, an offering to parlay.

“No,” she said. “No parley! Let me down...right now!”

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