Saturday, July 7, 2018

Blog Tour: grydscaen: dark by Natsuya Uesugi (Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: grydscaen: dark by Natsuya Uesugi (Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway)
grydscaen dark

Natsuya Uesugi has a new book out in his dystopian sci fi series grydscaen:

A clandestine meet occurs in the Echelons under cover of darkness where Top Secret intel on the stock market changes hands. The insider tip gets the gothic hacker Jester engaged in a high tech game. Parliament votes to lower harsh stock market regulations fueling the Corporation's bottom line, a payoff from ministers who were propped up by illegal corporate campaign donations. Ordered by Jester, the teenage hacker Rom infiltrates the largest high volume brokerage house causing wild gyrations in trading. When Jester triggers an insidious stock market payload, all hell breaks loose threatening the pristine City. Will Zoon, the leader of the Triumvirate, get roped into the fray? Can Raven, the government hacker, put the cryptic clues together before the market crashes? Find out in grydscaen:dark. Whose side are you on?

Series Blurb:

Lino just wanted peace. All he got was war.

In the year After Colony 2055 there was the Great War. SenseNet government scientists harnessed their knowledge of nuclear weapons and created a new form of energy. This kedek energy was a natural found occurrence that existed in pools far inside the planet. Harnessing this energy into weapons called kedek bombs, scientists warned these weapons were unsafe and should never be used.

The draconian Atlantea Federation conquered more than half of the world’s territories. A group of islands and nation states formed the Pacific Territories and in a single brave act retaliated in a battle known as the Blood Red Incident. The Atlantea Federation responded with wrath releasing the kedek-based Dionysis Effect nuclear bomb stolen from the SenseNet. The untested weapon’s radioactive fallout created Codesswhich manifested as psychic powers.

Pacific Territories’ society was segregated into citizens and non-citizens. Only citizens could reside in the pristine City. Non-citizens were left with poverty and strife in the Zone where the bomb had gone off, or in the Echelons with the Red Light District, drugs, and crime.

A group of hackers rose up to combat government oppression and injustice by the Zone Police. Enforcement squads rounded up psychics nightly taking them to work camps in the toxic kedek mines. The Terror Hack used guerrilla warfare to fight the Elite government. The Packrats, a cyber terrorist organization vowed to regain control and free society through cyber revolution. Run by the elite hacker Faid Callen, he created the Packrat Sprawl and set up the Runners, Wastes, Acolytes, Hosts, Prophets and Mobile Command. Each faction possessed deadly skills and laws in the Packrat Code that ruled their actions. Civil war ripped at the heart of society.

The son of the Viceroy, Lino Dejarre had psychic power. All he wanted was peace. He joined the Psi Faction as a clandestine psychic operative and was tasked to capture Faid Callen and quell the violence. When the Atlantea Federation attacked the City, Lino found himself once more answering the royal edict and forced to become Sub Viceroy and rule as war raged around him.

Separated at age nine and banished from the royal family, Riuho Dejarre’s hatred for Lino grew as he tried to scrape out a life in the slum level Echelons while Lino lived in the pristine City. Stripped of his citizenship, Riuho vowed he would get revenge and did everything in his power to thwart Lino’s every move. From his first encounter with the Atlantea Federation, Riuho found his place and the resources to get what he desired.

The Atlantea Federation attacked brutally on the ground and also threatened the Pacific Territories’ space colonies. Lino and his Psi Faction team were roped into global diplomacy, inter-colony politics, covert missions, battleships, and space battles where they encounter the Atlantea Federation head on. When Riuho once more enters the fray, the high stakes game threatens to destroy everything for which Lino has worked.

Intrigue, psychic powers, clandestine operations, treaties, politics and a hacker revolution. From space battles, to kidnappings and assassinations, and battleships off the coast, grydscaenis filled with in depth characters and richly detailed storylines that peak your interest and keep you coming back for more.

Buy Link:


Natsuya is giving away eBook copies of two of his other works - grydscaen: tribute and A Storm's Coming one shot manga - with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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“Not here. Hide the data till we are off the street. This way,” Toapfyl hurriedly motioned to the data messenger in the blue military coat, dark cargo pants and combat boots who followed him off the sidewalk and down another alley. He was wearing the typical garb for a data messenger which made Toapfyl comfortable when he met the stranger in the alley leaning against the wall, easily identifiable.

Toapfyl, a Level 3 hacker, was wearing maroon jeans and a zippered black hoodie pulled over his ebony half shaved head, exposing a slap of dirty brown dreadlocks gathered in a ponytail at his forehead hiding his right eye.

A prostitute wearing a pink miniskirt and fishnet stockings kissed a businessman in a black suit under a sickly yellow streetlight. Toapfyl and the data messenger were once again shrouded in shadow by the derelict buildings as they passed leaving the two to their pleasure.

Toapfyl pushed in a dilapidated door at the end of the alley, grime from the street creating a dusty haze in the air leaving a putrid stink. They entered a staircase. There was no light as they descended. Toapfyl sparked up his aegis to his hand, the manifestation of his psychic power, and lit a path to the basement.

He pushed in the door onto a dimly lit room and revealed Jester, the leader of the Jester hacker guild sitting in a rickety folding chair in the center of the empty room smoking a cigarette from a long black holder. A soft haze filtered over him from a light fixture dangling precariously from ceiling wires, the glass cover filled with dead moths that had happened their way inside and lived out their final days circling the artificial sun. The wan flickering light cast shadows that danced at the corners, the bulb swinging back and forth, moved by the basement door opening.

Legs crossed, Jester was wearing black patent leather platform boots, a shiny mahogany lace skirt, skintight black denim jeans, and a slick dark vinyl blouse with embroidered crimson roses, He sported an elaborate olive short coat with a high collar and dark cuffs and epaulets. A monocle optical sensor over his right eye, he was wearing a green top hat with a scarlet rose perched at the brim. His pink straight, shoulder length hair shined in the light.

He made an irritated gesture with his hand. “Don’t keep me waiting. Where is it?” Jester took a long drag from the cigarette and blew out a puff of smoke. He waved as Toapfyl closed the door.

“Not until I get paid.” The shocked data messenger prompted pulling out a red etched credit sized data card shaking it.

“Do the needful,” ordered Jester raising an eyebrow. He turned his back to them as he continued to smoke his cigarette taking a long drag.

Toapfyl pulled a platinum credit card out of his back pocket. The data messenger pulled his. They locked the two cards at the long end, pins embedded in the technology. Toapfyl typed out the amount of 55,000 credits on the virtual keyboard appearing on the face of his card. The cards chimed signaling the encryption key matched and the credits transferred from Toapfyl’s account.

The data messenger released his card and ran it through a handheld confirming the amount. He nodded stashing the handheld in his chest pocket.

“Done,” responded Toapfyl.

Jester turned back around not witnessing the exchange purposefully and stuck out his hand with his black lacquered fingernails in the knitted fingerless gloves. The stitching was coming apart at the seams on the thumb and index finger, the gloves covered in little white pills. Where everything about Jester’s appearance was immaculate, the gloves gave away an underlying confusion or sloppy disregard for his perfect veneer.

Jester was one of the hacker guild leaders who almost never showed his face in public. It was well known that Jester did not make meetings with data messengers or low level hackers, like a Level 3. He couldn’t be bothered with them. The fact that the data messenger insisted, and that Toapfyl made it happen, kept the data messenger on guard. He placed the red card in Jester’s palm and turned to leave.

Toapfyl jerked raising a gun to the data messenger’s temple. He touched skin. “No one leaves until the data is confirmed.”

Rom, the teenage Level 9 hacker, emerged from the shadows behind Jester. Eyebrow raised, he was annoyed with Toapfyl. Rom pulled a handheld out of his tan trench coat as he came into the dim light. His dull blonde unkempt hair gleamed with a blue streak at the front. He took the data card from Jester and swiped it in the port on the handheld reading the file as the system ran the security check. He typed on the deck triggering an encryption key prompt as the handheld’s computerized female voice spoke the request.

“The data is encrypted? Why didn’t you mention that?” questioned Toapfyl suspicious. He pushed the gun barrel closer taking a step in and made the data messenger move his head back.

“No problem,” interrupted Rom. “Most data messengers are Packrat Runners smuggling data from the City into the Echelons. It should take a Packrat decrypt key. I have access to the Packrats’ archive of one-time, pre-shared obscure keys. What I need for this, right?”

“That is why I wanted Jester at the meet. Toapfyl, all data messengers use encryption. If you don’t know that, you are an idiot. No self-respecting hacker attached to Jester would even ask the question you did just now. Only a Level 9 can penetrate. Jester would know a Level 9. Rom is one of the best in the business,” the data messenger revealed his disgust with Toapfyl and yanked the gun out of his hand pointing it back at the hacker.

Toapfyl blanched confused how he had been disarmed and lowered his eyebrows at the disrespect. Rom shot him an angry glare silencing him.

Jester smirked giving Rom permission to engage and waved the data messenger off. The messenger lowered the gun handing it back to Toapfyl.

Toapfyl opened the basement door and motioned the data messenger out accompanying him up the stairs leaving Jester in the room with Rom.

Packrat Underground FicLet
This is Rom from the Packrat Sprawl making waves and coming to you live and direct from the Runner’s tunnel entrance to the Sprawl. We are in it for real today. I have a score to settle with Shine. He is a jerk and a Waste and he has been bad mouthing me ever since I had to fight him when I first came into the Packrats, a group of hackers. Shine is a conniving little fool and has had it in for me from the beginning. He is mate pairs with Dark and they both hold sway over a rebel group of Wastes who fight Naito, the leader of the Wastes at every turn. I am on my way to a hidden corridor in the Sprawl. Shine and I need to have words. Follow along. I am not going to be nice about this. He needs to stop trashing my reputation. I will not let him walk all over me at my expense.

Rom whipped around the corner on to a wall which cut off the current tunnel he was in. He would have to teleport over the barrier to get to the hidden corridor. He breathed in deep and teleported past the wall. He materialized in a dark tunnel with a single sickly yellow light hanging from the ceiling on a frayed wire. The light swung back and forth in the breeze from a fan pumping in air from above off the street. The corridor was dank and there was precipitation dripping down the wall as this was part of the sewer system. The wet left puddles every few meters. Rom listened intently. He could hear low talking ahead of him. He walked on.
“Now, you need to play this strategic. Don’t let Rom get the upper hand. I am here to back you up. But I will not help you,” warned Dark as Shine took his Ang Packrat knife out of his back pocket.
Shine scowled irritated that he had to have this meet in secret. He wanted to have it out with Rom at the Waste area in front of other Packrats so he could trash Rom to everyone in attendance. He had only agreed to meet Rom in secret after Rom had brought Faid into it and had questioned the Packrat rules. Acolyte had stepped in and stated they had to follow the Packrat Code and have an actual challenge, otherwise the confrontation was forfeit.
Shine swiped his knife through the air. “He has some nerve going to Faid. All that shows is that Faid favors him. That is unfair. He has special privileges. I have fought my way up the ladder since I originally fought Rom a while back. I am a higher level than him. He can’t bad mouth me like that to Faid.”
“Remember. You are the one that has been badmouthing Rom. It is not the other way around. Faid was irritated this even came up. Play this wrong and you are on Faid’s list of little irritations. You don’t want that,” replied Dark.
“Whatever…” Shine bitched.
Rom lingered for a moment listening to the conversation and hearing Dark’s voice. Shine always ran to Dark when something didn’t go his way. The two of them played politics with the best of them and Dark gave Faid a run for his money as the Saicho. Dark had challenged Faid for his position many times and the last few times he had almost won which would have banished Faid from the Sprawl and leadership would have changed hands.
Rom zipped around the corner pulling his Packrat Ang knife out of his pocket and confronted Shine. “Hey jerk. Couldn’t come fight yourself. Had to bring your babysitter with you!”
“Take that back,” shouted Shine.
“Don’t let him provoke you. Rom is beneath you,” reminded Dark.
“Right. Rom, I challenge you. Right here. Right now!” called out Shine.
“I will not fight you…” countered Rom and stepped in raising his knife slowly and pointing it at Shine who got down in Packrat challenge stance.
Rom did not engage. Shine hung there until Dark lunged at Rom and stuck his own Packrat knife under Rom’s chin and nicked him. A trickle of blood loosed and dripped crimson onto the front of Rom’s trench coat.
“You will fight. A challenge has been issued. There is no backing down or you will lose your standing. You insult the Packrat clan. Why don’t you want to fight? Is it because you are a coward?” shouted Dark.
Rom huffed and slowly got into a crouch across from Shine engaging. He raised his knife to his chest and changed his grip, ready to fight.
“Proclaim your name!” shouted Dark.
“I am Shine. I fight for the glory of the Wastes.”
“And you?”
“I am Rom. I affiliate with the Runners.”
“You are not even a full Runner. Couldn’t hack it. Faid won’t even let you out of the Sprawl…” barked Shine ad swiped his knife through the air changing his grip and lowering his stance looking for an opening.
The two of them hung in silence for a moment. Rom did not blink. He controlled his breath as Dark backed up to give them room in the small space. Rom closed his eyes for a single second wanting to force the move. In that instance Shine lunged for him countering, he leaned in and swiped Rom on the arm cutting his coat. Rom took a step back out of range and held.
“Come on now. You let it be that easy I will win in no time.”
“Don’t get cocky now,” Dark tried to control Shine’s ego. It was unprofessional in a challenge to get ahead of himself. Right now Shine and Rom were officially the same level until one of them could come out on top. Rom got into crouch again and waited patiently. He would not let Shine get in another hit. He held still prolonging it making sure Shine got irritated.
They stood there for some minutes. Rom unmoving. He watched on as Shine’s irritation raised.
Shine started sweating and he shook his hand, clutching the knife tighter. Rom would give no opening. Shine’s irritation got the best of him and he launched at Rom out of desperation. He swiped the knife at Rom who spun and tripped Shine dropping his knife. Shine fumbled for it going down on one knee and quickly recovered moving out of range. It unsettled him and he setup again now off guard.
“Watch that temper of yours,” Rom mocked.
The two held again for many minutes. Shine keeping his anger in check now that he had been bested for being hasty.
A crowd of Wastes appeared having been called by Dark. Rom’s eyes opened wide not liking the deception. Shine got bold now that he had support. He attacked Rom viciously. He cut into Rom’s thigh who jumped back planting a hand on the wound. The blood trickled over his hand as he took a limping step backwards. Rom held his ground now hurt and at a disadvantage. He tried to steady himself with his wounded leg. Shine had cut deep, the pain stinging.
Shine attacked again, with Rom barely able to remain standing. Rom held his own but just barely. He was breathing hard, the pain blinding him.
A moment later Faid appeared and grabbed Shine’s knife disarming him. “What is this! Who sanctioned this fight?” Faid brandished the weapon and threw it on the concrete floor at Shine’s feet. Shine reached down to pick it up but Dark grabbed his arm and stopped him.
Shine didn’t speak. Rom lowered his knife and fell back into the wall unable to hold himself up with the wound to his leg.
Dark took a step in front of Shine and raised his hands gripping his own knife. He lowered his crouch and confronted Faid. “I sanctioned this fight. As the leader of the Mobile Command Center, the fighting force that includes the Wastes, it was my call to engage.”
“This is against the Packrat Code!” cried Faid.
“No it is not! Rom insulted me. He will answer to that. You Faid are showing favoritism. That is against the Packrat Code.” screamed Shine stepping in front of Dark who grabbed his arm again and shut him up. Shine took a step back behind Dark angry.
“Be very careful…” Faid breathed out slowly pulling his own Packrat knife out of his back pocket and lowering into a crouch. He was seconds away from killing Shine for his disrespect.
Dark lowered his crouch and brought his knife up ready to confront Faid.
“You dare!” whispered Faid unflinching. He did not take his eyes off of Shine. Faid was a killer. He would kill Shine in an instant. It was only Dark’s presence right now that was keeping Shine alive. Shine had violated the right of challenge in the Packrat Code, a banishing offense.
Rom found it hard to stand even with leaning up against the wall. His leg throbbed. He fell down to sitting and grabbed his leg moaning.
Anj, the leader of the Runners appeared having been called by Faid to see to his person. He stepped over to Rom down on the floor and opened a first aid kit pulling out a bandage and started to bandage Rom’s leg after giving him a synth shot, a healing drug.
Dark did not move. He stayed faced off with Faid. Their battle of wills ensued. Faid would never back down to Dark not after all the challenges the two of them had.
“Are you challenging me?” Faid smirked a wicked smile crossing his face. He dared Dark to defy him.
The two of them stood as the group of Waste’s watched on. Dark did not relent.
“Take him!’ Shine taunted Dark to attack. Dark didn’t move.
Shine swiped his knife from the floor and brought it up confronting Faid.
In an instant, fast as a blur, Faid had Shine disarmed with his cheek face first into the opposite wall, the knife leveled as his neck in for the kill. “Do you want to die?”
Dark swirled not fast enough as Faid pushed the knife in closer. Faid held the knife seconds away from the kill. Dark stopped in front of Faid not wanting to provoke the situation any further. The seconds ticked as the tension in the corridor raised.
Suddenly Acolyte appeared and stepped in between Faid holding Shine at the wall with the knife at his throat and Dark looking on unable to make a move or change Shine’s inevitable death.
“This is over. Disperse!” Acolyte cried and walked over to Faid who was breathing deep not willing to release.
Acolyte was directly challenging Faid. A risk in and of itself. Faid had to make his next move without looking weak or like he was taking orders from Acolyte, his subordinate.
“Faid. Shine is not worth it. Don’t even bother to take his life,” Acolyte spoke softly in a whisper trying to diffuse the situation.
Faid held for another minute then backed off releasing Shine. He pushed Shine into the wall and then took a step away and pointed his knife at Dark.
“You will answer to this. Leaders, quorum now. In the Acolyte Forward Base!” Faid ordered and vanished.
Acolyte left a second later vanishing and teleporting out to the meeting. Anj stood up having finished bandaging Rom’s leg. Anj pulled Rom to his feet and let him lean on his shoulder. He helped him take a few limping steps. Rom teleported out with Anj as the crowd dispersed leaving Dark and Shine alone in the corridor.
“Who won?” Shine wanted to know.
“No one. Watch your step. You confronted Faid. Faid is a killer. You need to be careful with that,” warned Dark.
“You should have attacked him. You would be a better leader than Faid,” barked Shine.
“Faid would kill me first,” Dark confessed.
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes, I do…” Dark insisted and vanished going to the quorum where he would have to defend his actions and Shine yet again and make sure Faid didn’t kill Shine for his disrespect on a whim.
Shine stood alone in the corridor for another second and then teleported out to the Waste area. He arrived and threw himself down on a set of pillows at the back angered he had not been able to best Rom.
“Come with me, arsehole!” shouted Naito and grabbed Shine’s arm pulling him to his feet.
“Why…” Shine inquired.
“You just confronted Faid in a sign of disrespect. He should kill you where you stand but he didn’t. You need to listen and listen close. You do one single thing wrong in the next few days, you watch Faid kill you without hesitation. I am going to tell you how to stay alive,” Naito smirked and took Shine down to the Mobile Command Center into the hangar to teach him respect and the rules of the Packrat Code.
Shine followed hesitant and then realized the situation he was in. He stopped in his tracks as Naito continued forward. Shine acknowledged in that second exactly what he had just done and then just for a moment realized that Faid had left him alive. A look of worry crossed his face and he hurried down the ramp after Naito who had his arms crossed waiting for him.

Author Bio

Natsuya Uesugi

Natsuya Uesugi is a systems analyst and ethical hacker by day and a manga artist and a writer by night. With an MBA in International Management and a minor in Japanese, Natsuya insists on showcasing diversity in his writing using his Japanese, Native American and African American heritage.

He studied animation and game design in art school and has published the grydscaen manga "A Storm's Coming" which features the LGBT teen Rom from "grydscaen: dark," and two manga in the yaoi series "graphic noiz." Two episodes of the short anime "A Storm's Coming" is available with a third episode planned. Four counseling centers are currently using the "A Storm's Coming" novelette to help LGBT homeless youth and troubled teens with self esteem.

He is author of the dystopian cyberpunk "grydscaen" series, the dark fantasy trilogy ""The Seer of Grace and Fire," and the yaoi novels and manga "graphic noiz." He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, watching anime in Japanese, watching French news, World Cub futbol, eating ramen and anything with matcha, and writing poetry.

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