Book 1 in the Huntress series.
World Council researcher Cambria Petersen is in a whole lot of trouble. Exiled to a jungle prison planet populated with rapists, terrorists and a psychopath or two by a corrupt Judicar, she has two choices: find a way home, or die trying. But to find justice for herself and others wrongly exiled, she must set aside civilisation and become the very thing she was accused of.
Cambria lifted her head and stared in shock at her dark-haired boss. Dull red crept up his fleshy jowls and into his face, grey eyes narrowed with anger and his hand shook as he held out the inch-thick, buff coloured file she’d placed on his desk two hours ago.
“Sir?” She rose from her seat and stood with hands clasped.
Senator Heinrich Dortmund waved the offending file at her and she eased back.
“My office. Now.” He turned and stormed back through the open double doors of his inner sanctum.
Cambria shuffled her feet on the grey carpet, confused by his reaction. She’d seen the Senator angry before, but nothing like this. He’d asked for research on the Judiciary and she’d obliged. She’d answered his question with explicit data, as requested. Nothing she could think of in her report should make him go off the deep end like this. Was there? It was a good report: researched to within an inch of its life. Had she missed something? Been in error somewhere?
Cambria worked as his research officer for six months. Any subject he’d raised, she’d gone to the library, documents room, archives, everywhere she could think of to get him answers. A surge of ice shot through her veins. Had she misinterpreted his questions? Wasted weeks of research on the wrong topic?
“Better not keep him waiting.” Missy Lane called from the desk next to hers. Missy headed the Senator’s staff. Nothing and no one got by without her knowledge. With her pale grey-green eyes, she could pin her staff to the wall and have them confess any misdemeanour they ever perpetrated. She was the terror of all the Senatorial staff for the World Council and Cambria was glad Missy was a friend, not an enemy. Missy personified efficiency.
Cambria gave her a wan smile. “Will he fire me? Or give me a good raking over hot coals?” Acid churned in her stomach and she suppressed a sigh. Before the year was out, she’d have another ulcer. Missy raised an eyebrow.
“It can’t be that bad, can it?” Cambria asked and Missy shrugged.
“It’s only a job.”
Cambria smoothed her black hair to make sure it hadn’t loosened from the bun, straightened her knee length emerald skirt and buttoned the matching jacket.
Taking a deep breath, she marched through the doors.
Senator Dortmund sat behind his lake of a carved oak desk, his expression thunderous. Matching oak bookcases lined two walls. On the left, floor-to-ceiling windows framed the snow-cloaked Swiss Alps; on the right, a deep red leather couch faced a smouldering fire. Thick, royal blue carpet lay on the floor, muffled her footsteps as she approached. The surface of the desk was neat, obsessively so, she thought. Everything lined up according to size and use, pens, desk calendar, coffee cup, clock, and banker’s desk lamp. Her file lay before him.