Book Excerpt: Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss
Contributor

Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy,

 

Fid's Crusade

however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.

Praise:

"Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I've seen in years. His title character's crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn's After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin's Prepare to Die!." - Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt

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Book Excerpt:

“I’m fine,” I informed Starnyx as soon as he answered his highly-encrypted phone.

A swarm of medical automatons surrounded the gurney on which I was reclined, a humming and swirling dervish of blades, clamps, sponges and other surgical tools focused upon the stump of my shoulder. A surgical laser was carefully burning away flesh in a pattern that would increase the efficiency of repairs performed by the medical nanites once my right arm was reattached.

The blended smell of disinfectant and cooking meat had been disturbing at first, but I was beginning to get used to the odor.

“Okay…?” Eric yawned. “Where are you?”

“I’m back in Boston,” I winced; a more significant cocktail of painkillers was now coursing through my veins, but some discomfort remained. “I’m sorry, I forgot that you were asleep when I left.”

“Nah, it’s almost morning. I can wake up. What’s up?”

“I ran into some minor trouble on my way home,” I forced a chuckle. “It will probably make the news and I didn’t want you to worry.”

“Hold on, let me get to a computer.” I heard tired, uncoordinated movement over the connection.

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” Using my neural connection to the surgical control computer, I ordered one of the robots to add another dose of topical anesthetic. “Really, I’m fine.”

“So, what happened?” Eric must have reached his desk, because I could hear the clacking as he typed on his keyboard.

“I ran into the Brooklyn Knights.”

“I think I’ve heard of them. New guys, righ—” he paused mid-question and fell silent.

“Eric?”

“So, you’re fine then?” Nyx asked, patiently.

“Absolutely,” I affirmed.

“I only ask, because the first hit I get on recent news of Doctor Fid is shaky cel-phone footage of you with your arm cut off,” he explained. “And I’m pretty sure you had both arms earlier tonight.”

“Tis but a scratch?” I tried.

“Christ, Doc,” he sighed, “I’m not doing Monty Python bits with you. Let me get dressed, I can be up in Boston in a few hours.”

“Thank you,” I smiled gratefully. “But, really, don’t bother. I’ll have my arm re-attached by then.”

There was another long pause.

“How?” Starnyx sounded exasperated.

“Medical nanotechnology. I’ll have function back in eight hours.” Which was a good thing, since my civilian persona had a face-to-face meeting with the Governor of Connecticut this afternoon to discuss opening a new research facility in Middletown. “In twenty-four hours, I’ll be good as new.”

“You’re a scary man,” he chuckled, relieved. “Okay, I get it. You’re fine.”

“I am.”

“Keep out of trouble, Doc, I’m going to get back to bed. Stay in touch, yeah?”

“Of course.” It was an odd feeling, having someone who cared for Doctor Fid’s wellbeing.

He hung up, and I closed my eyes to think.

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