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Table of Contents


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Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one


Glossary of Historical Figures, Slang, and Technology

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Sometimes the monsters are real.

BY 2058, BOTH THE SINO-American War and the Sterility Epidemic have decimated the male population. Electricity does not function in five western states. Collectively, they are known as the Juniper. It is the most dangerous place on Earth.

For months, Cavatica and her gunslinging sisters have heard rumors of psychotic monstrosities killing everything in their path. But first the Wellers have more important concerns: Pilate and Micaiah have been captured by the ARK, and it’s up to the sisters to save them.

Once again, the odds are not in their favor. If they manage to survive the treacherous weather of the Rocky Mountains, Tiberius “Tibbs” Hoyt has created new army of super soldiers known as the Severins to stop them. You need an army to fight an army, and the Weller sisters think the Outlaw Warlord known as June Mai Angel might help them. But she’s tried to kill the sisters twice. Can they convince her to help?

And while the Wellers think their enemies are outside of their tight family, the ultimate betrayal lies ahead as they battle their way toward the Kansas border.

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O beautiful for outlaw girls,

For whiskey morning pains,

For purple mountains bruising bad

Above the salvaged plain.

Oh Juniper! My Juniper! God turned His back on thee!

For ’Murica loves her ’lectric lights

Not you, the dark between the seas.

—Country Mac Sterling


HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF God, you can’t help me with this next part of my story ’cause I don’t believe in you, in Saint Joseph, in Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a mule. When I was in the autumn of my sixteenth year, the silence of God drifted down upon me, and I faltered.

Micaiah and Pilate, the two men I loved to hate and hated to love, had been stolen from us, or so we thought when we found the coffee mug and the bracelet outside of Glenwood Springs. The city was burning even as zeppelins shined spotlights down, trying to find us. By us, I mean me, my sisters, Sharlotte and Wren, and Rachel Vixx, our one-time enemy but now sister. We also had two new additions to our crew.

Dutch Malhotra was Wren’s bad ex-boyfriend and even worse current one. He’d supposedly stumbled upon Pilate and Rachel, and yeah, he’d helped us escape Glenwood Springs, but I still didn’t trust him. He was a slippery, handsome man with dark skin and a flashing smile, viable and stupidly arrogant about it. With a last name like Malhotra, he was definitely Hindu and prolly something else besides.

Little Marisol, a twelve-year-old orphan girl we’d saved from Aces, also joined us. We’d sworn to get her back to her family, but that was before we’d discovered Micaiah and Pilate might have been captured by an ARK convoy going south out of Glenwood Springs.

The American Reproduction Knowledge Initiative, called the ARK, was the biggest, richest corporation on Earth. It had the cure to the Sterility Epidemic but didn’t want anyone to know. Tiberius “Tibbs” Hoyt was making too much money selling Male Product to women around the world so they could have babies.

And when he wasn’t doing that, he was brewing up armies in vats to protect his empire. We’d killed three out of the four Vixxes but managed to save Rachel from herself. Micaiah gave her a dose of the serum he used to give himself emotions. It turned out the boy was as bio-engineered as Rachel, maybe even more so. The serum made Rachel human. Without his meds, Micaiah turned into someone I couldn’t love.

I’d had to break up with him, but that didn’t mean I shouldn’t go and save him.

No, I had to rescue him and Pilate—part Roman Catholic priest, part gunslinger, all Pilate. We’d gotten separated after the fall of Glenwood Springs, after Wren killed Aces. The ARK ground troops, the Cuius Regios, had come slamming through the city with tanks, zeppelins, bombs, and a firestorm of bullets.

We’d escaped with the chalkdrive containing the entire research database of the ARK, including the cure to the Sterility Epidemic and the future of the world. I was wearing it like a pendant, close to my heart. Dutch and Marisol had no idea.

Back then, my heart beat strong and true, and I knew we’d find our men. We’d make it to Burlington, where I would give the chalkdrive to June Mai Angel, who would use it to tell the world that the ARK had been lying to us for years. We could even out the male birth rates so the ratio would be fifty/fifty, not ten percent. And with ninety percent of those males sterile, well, we could fix that, too.

I figured June Mai Angel would love the chance to stride into the limelight. She could say we had the cure, and she could tell all of America that President Amanda Swain had sent June Mai and the other vets into the Juniper so the U.S. wouldn’t have to treat the various disorders brought on by the Sino-American War, the worst war the world had ever seen.

The Sino used up the world’s resources, killed several generations of men, and brought about the Yellowstone Knockout that wiped out the electricity in five states—Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana—and several chunks of other states besides. Why China had nuked Yellowstone was anyone’s guess, but the explosion had caused a flood basalt, which had created the Juniper, 1.5 million square kilometers of wasteland and Outlaw Warlords. A penal colony, fenced in with protected borders and laws to keep the bad people in and Americans out, unless

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