City of Swords (Rogue Angel, Book 39)
Alex Archer, Jean Rabe
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In Charlemagne's footsteps, a man who would be Holy Emperor…
It was the kind of internet posting guaranteed to attract the attention of the American cable TV show Chasing History's Monsters: "Dog-headed men sighted by tourists in Avignon." Drawn to France to explore the myth of Saint Christopher and the cynocephalus, or the dog-headed, archaeologist and television host Annja Creed finds herself repeatedly and inexplicably targeted by vicious mercenaries. Her best defense is to trace this brutal violence back to its source, which she soon discovers to be a millionaire and self-professed descendant of King Charlemagne.
Caught up in a romantic and ruthless sixth-century world, the man is convinced that if he collects mankind's most precious and holy swords, he can fulfill his medieval ancestor's failed goal to build the City of God. And he's stealing the priceless relics one by one to arm his modern-day paladins. Now he has his eye on a very special sword—Annja's.
And he'll have to kill her to get it.
very near the spot of William Wallace’s victory at Stirling Bridge. It wasn’t a particularly pretty setting, but the stone structure loomed over the Scottish countryside. He nosed the rental Fiat into one of the few empty spots in the lot, turned off the ignition and pocketed the keys. “Are we ready?” he asked. Sarah nodded. “Yep, let’s do this.” The man in the backseat didn’t reply, but got out, rotated his neck and reached down to touch his toes, working off the cramp from sitting in the
the cliff. There was another link to the story of its theft, in which Brother Maynard, whom she’d spoken with earlier, was quoted as saying, “A loss for all of France.” She found Tizona in a link to a story about the auction and how much money the sword went for. Lured by other links off the page, Annja searched for upcoming auctions, but didn’t find anything about swords. “Too bad he couldn’t collect comic books for a hobby. Or baseball cards or those little Hummel figurines.” She closed the
The steel cut into her flesh. Despite the added misery, she didn’t stop. While she sawed, she listened to water drip and the squeal of rats. No human sounds, no footsteps. Summoning the sword was just what Lawton wanted and was the last thing Annja wished to do. But without the sword, she wouldn’t get out of here. Maybe even with the sword she couldn’t. Annja hadn’t gotten a good look at the cell she’d been tossed in; she might not have the tools to effect an escape. They’d taken everything
cyclosarin were, and tabun and soman were likely of a similar nature. Liquid nerve gas. They were called G-series chemical warfare agents, developed by German scientists, hence the G attached to them. Hideously nasty stuff. And that’s why they were down here, where it was cool. At room temperature they became volatile. Odorless, colorless and lethal. Enough of it could wipe out entire communities, especially if the wind was blowing...or used surgically, in small indoor places. There were nine
dated some of the oldest to Merovingian times, others to the French Revolution. The bones in this chamber were the shade of eggshells and old parchment. Femurs were stacked like logs reaching waist height, and between the puddles that dotted the floor were chips of bone. All of it had a patina that on pottery or art would be considered striking and beautiful. Annja walked softly, tiptoeing around bone fragments out of respect. The tunnel continued beyond this place, and Annja had just stepped