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The virus ran swiftly on the hot summer breeze. Unseen. Unheard. Unknown. It swept through the entire earth in a matter of months, having mercy on no one.

Young—old—it didn’t matter.

Brought to us by the Drabs, it was the last thing we expected. But the Drabs knew. They even fought a war over whether or not they should save us.

In the end, it was decided that we were diseased insects who were unfit to breathe their air.

Our air.

So they left the human race to die a miserable death of agonizing pain. Left us with no doctors or medicine. Their plan was to rid the earth of us and to take our home as their own.

And that the ruthless bastards did.

What they never expected was the change that would come after the plague. We didn’t all die as they’d planned. Those under the age of twenty-five somehow managed to survive the disease.

We managed to pull through it, even alone, without doctors, and we learned to hide ourselves while our bodies changed and mutated. Still human, but now something else. Something more powerful. More intuitive.

More magical.

More pissed off.

We’re still here, on this earth, and we’re not leaving. This is our home.

Our planet.

Drabs take note and learn to be afraid. You’ve had a hundred years to thrive on earth, but now your time here is done.

You called us rodents. Insects. Diseased animals. The scraps of humanity—and that, my Drab friend, we certainly are. But what you should have realized is that you can’t kill a Scrap. Humanity isn’t dead. Not by a long shot. We still have our soldiers and we have our conviction.

Most of all, we have hope.

We are the human race.

And we will win in the end. Whatever it takes. Whatever it costs. For we are mighty, and we are united in our cause. We won’t allow you to take our planet from us. So, count your days, Drabs.




Chapter 1

Well that little hissy fit is certainly going to get their attention. So much for keeping a low profile, huh? You might as well have just set fire to your nuts on the Capitol lawn.”

Leaning back in his black leather desk chair, Josiah hated to admit just how right Anjelica Shepherd might be.

Except for one thing ...

“This didn’t leave me sterile.”

“No, but if they catch you—” she gestured at his crotch— “They’re going straight for your no-zone, buddy. Trust me, those little friends of yours will be the first thing they take and fry up for their main course.”

He flashed a devilish grin at her. “Then let’s make sure they don’t.”

She rolled her dark brown eyes. And shook her head so forcefully, it made the beads in her Nubian braids jingle. “Don’t even go there, Old Man Crow.”

He ignored her play on his last name of Crow and the fact that he was half Apsáalooke. Anjelica was one of the few who knew that little tidbit about him—along with the major secret he kept as sacred as a vestal virgin matron in charge of her convent’s vault of keys to their chastity belts.

Just as he was the only one who knew she and her daughter, Kyisha, had made their way from the refugee camps out of Louisiana to the hills of Tennessee where they were currently in hiding from the Drab creatures who would slaughter them should they ever find them.

And she was lucky. He killed most people who knew anything personal about him. A necessity he’d learned a long time ago.

Keep your secrets close and you’ll live longer. Keep your enemies dead and you’ll live longer still.

But that was neither here nor there. They were self-proclaimed Scraps. The last of humanity—the mutated remains of a once great race. To the Matens who’d conquered them, they were lesser formed creatures, but Josiah knew better. The Scraps were the next evolutionary step.

Mankind 2.0.

Or rather with this last act against them, they had just evolved into Mankind 3.0. A new breed who would no longer submit to, or tolerate Drab rule. It was time to send the Drab Matens packing. And it was their job to hold the line and make sure the human race didn’t become extinct.

“I didn’t start this war, Anj.” The Drabs had, a hundred years ago when they’d brought their disease to the earth and left the human race to die out in utter misery.

When they’d left him a mutant with skills that defied everyone’s expectations.

Even his own.

Yeah, you should have made sure I stayed dead.

Their mistake.

Shakespeare had once written that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The great bard was wrong. Hell hath no fury like a human forced to watch everything he or she loved be ripped away while the one who did it stood back and gloated in selfish, smug satisfaction. While they taunted their victim among their friends, and took everything that had once belonged to him or her and claimed it as their own creation.

As they tried to make it their own.

Male. Female. Made no never mind. For one so slighted, either gender was just as vicious as the other when it came to seeking vindication.

If the history of humanity had any lesson to be learned whatsoever it should have been that no one fought harder than the home team. Whether it was the Athenians at Marathon, the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the Spartan Three Hundred, Alfred the Great, the Colonial Americans, or even the Native Americans who’d kicked Eric the Red’s ass out of Vinland—humans were capable of unimaginable feats when facing advanced technology and tactics while protecting their own.

No one got the better of them.

One voice could change the course of history, forever. No matter how small the Who in Whoville.

It was never about the size of the dog in the fight, but all about the size of the bite in the dog.

Too bad the Drabs had burned all human literature and history books instead of reading some.

Now they were about to get schooled at the University of Serious Bell Ringing by Dr. Crow and his elite faculty of kick-your-ass-and-make-it-count.

Because Josiah had no intention of stopping until he hand-delivered the bill that was long past due, and shoved it down their gray, Drab throats and made them choke on it.

This was personal. They had made it so.

His gaze fell to the latest report that had finally prompted his declaration of war. And his throat tightened around the bile that rose up in angry indignation. He was through watching his people die.

“Did you hear? They burned the Phoenix colony last night.”

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