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Henchman Book Two

Carl Stubblefield

Copyright © 2020 by Carl Stubblefield

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48



About Carl Stubblefield

About Mountaindale Press

Mountaindale Press Titles



This book goes out to all the underdogs. The unsung heroes who keep working hard, with minimal recognition, support, or appreciation for all their efforts.

Keep pushing, even when it appears the whole world is against you---because your efforts matter. Whether you know it or not. And if that fails...make them pay.


Don’t miss out on future releases! Sign up for the Mountaindale Press newsletter to stay up to date. And as always, thank you for your support! You are the reason we’re able to bring these stories to life.


Brad Buchanan sat with his feet kicked up on the console, playing a game on his phone. Another computer in the large room beeped in the distance, followed by a whir of drives being accessed and an electric hum as others switched on, doing their preliminary checks before coming online. The sudden flurry of activity startled Brad and he almost tumbled backward. He juggled his phone, trying to keep from dropping it on the polished concrete floor, before he regained his balance. He scooted his chair closer to look at the monitor and pushed his glasses up his nose. The only message displayed was:

Beacon detected. Signal: extremely weak.

A terminal nearby began to emit a pinging pulse that reminded Brad of the sonar in the old submarine war movies his dad watched. Rolling his chair over to the terminal, he saw a green world map displayed. Ripples like a stone dropped in a pond emanated from their location outward. The weak signal was lost amid the competing interference of other signals. Brad had one job: Notify his superiors if the computer detected anything. Finally, he could do something for a change. Sure it was easy money, but with nothing else to occupy his thoughts, it made for some long days. He needed to get out of here, but that would take a promotion.

Brad was the only monitor still working who knew what they were supposed to be watching for. And it took nearly a year of sucking up to the old man who took over for the morning shift. He had finally told Brad the day he retired.

An evil grin formed on his face and Brad keyed the communicator on the display. Focusing on the signal, he left a short message: “Thank you, whoever you are. We have been looking for the manor for so long. Now that we know where you are, we will be seeing you soon to reclaim what is ours!” Satisfied with himself, he sat back in his chair. They hadn’t mentioned anything about communicating back, but they liked people with initiative, right? Who knew what promotion awaited him? He sent a quick communique on his console to his superiors and told them what he had found.

As if waiting on the other line, a voice Brad had previously only heard in training holos answered as soon as he hit send. He looked at his watch. 3:23 AM? Who was awake at headquarters at this hour?

A manic, gravelly voice came through his console, “I will be there immediately.”

Archon leaned back in his high-backed leather chair in the office far above, his bony fingers clawing the armrests in triumph and excitement. “Finally, revenge is at hand for Manticorps!” he shouted to the empty office. After Manticorps’ fall from grace, they had become forgotten, abandoned by those who purported to be allies. Those deserters would pay. All would regret their betrayals. Archon spun his chair and looked out at the night sky, excited to share the news with his son.

Chapter One

Start Over

Gus was training on the beach, the soft sand cushioning his falls as he tried to level up Basic Flight. He jumped and flipped in the air, throwing Jet into the nearby blue water. The sleek black shape disappeared under the water. Gus pulled with an Ether Leash and a large fish came with it, skewered on the end of the blade. The serrated edge kept the fish from sliding off as he pulled the weapon back to him. He didn’t need to fish, but it was easy grinding for Polearms, Ether Leash and Fishing.

The past couple days had fallen into a comfortable routine. Training in the morning in the arena, a big breakfast, then relaxing on the beach. Fishing was a lot more fun when he didn’t have to do it just to survive. Also, it helped train his reflexes and aim. Gus enjoyed leveling at his own pace, with no emergencies to drive him. With the bio-stasis shield down, he could eventually make it back to civilization when he was ready and felt he had trained enough to hold his own.

Gus nodded in appreciation at Stuart’s efficiency. The manor’s AI steward in charge of managing the facilities had been tasked to clean up the remains of the Dark Nth. His robot minions were doing an exceptional job. The grounds already looked back to near-pristine condition. Gus would cook up his catch later in the day when the

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