Verity ~ Divided

Verity Chronicles Book Two:


No good deed goes unpunished when you’re a crew of criminals.

Agent Joe Anderson finds a home on the Verity among the crew, but staying true to his TSS mission gets harder every day. Caught between his relationship with Captain Iza Sundari and stopping a plot to overthrow the Taran government, his loyalties are tested when he’s forced to choose between his heart and his duty.

All Captain Iza Sundari wanted was freedom on her own ship. Instead, she ended up with an eclectic crew of misfits, an alien artifact with unknown origins, and a contractual engagement all competing to ruin her life. When her android friend, Trix, contracts a mysterious virus, she finds herself in a race with time to find a cure, but she can’t do it alone.

Things only get worse when the alien artifact places Iza at the center of a political race for power. She must come to terms with her unresolved feelings for Joe, save her ship, and her friends from destruction, while solving the mystery of the artifact and her past before everything she’s always wanted is lost.

Divided Loyalties is the second installment in the Verity Chronicles, a space opera adventure series set in the Cadicle Universe, perfect for fans of Firefly, Dark Matter, and classic space adventure. Continue the adventure today!

PLOT SYNOPSIS – Divided Loyalties (Verity Chronicles Book 2)

After a month and a half of living together on the Verity, Iza, her passengers, and crew have settled into a rhythm. Iza is fighting her feelings for Joe in light of her fake engagement to Karter Hyttinen; Joe is feeling more comfortable in his Jovani Saletas undercover alias than as his real TSS Agent self; the mysterious sphere is giving Iza odd dreams; Braedon and his Healer ex-girlfriend, Cierra, are caught in an endless fight/break-up cycle; and android Trix is as logical as ever.

While trying to complete a delivery, the crew learns that there have been a series of abductions of notable scientists. Braedon notices that his father, Victor Arvonen, has put out a call for scientists, and he fears the worst. The concerns are confirmed when he and Joe witness an attempted abduction in progress, and they intervene to get the scientists to safety.

Things get more complicated when the Verity and Trix both start to malfunction. It appears to be some sort of foreign virus wreaking havoc with the computer systems, but its origins and goal are a mystery. To make matters worse, someone released information about Iza and Karter’s secret engagement to the tabloid Sensationals, prompting the organization of a last-minute engagement party to be the official reveal.

Iza is whisked away to the Hyttinen Dynasty’s Blue Hills Estate to play the role of Karter’s fiancée for a few days. However, the night of the engagement party, thieves break into the estate, stealing the mysterious sphere along with jewelry and other valuables from the guests. In her attempt to thwart the robbery, Iza recognizes Reis, a crewmate of her rival, Captain Douketis, and a talented coder, Viper, whom Iza had once helped free from prison. They escape, but the damage is done. With fears of Karter’s life still being at risk, he joins Iza on the Verity.

Braedon locates an auction that’s a promising lead for where the stolen items will be sold, and they set a course. They reach out to Viper to assist with the heist from the auction, persuading her it’s a better option than continuing to work for Douketis. While waiting for the auction to begin, Iza notices a young man skulking around; she recognizes him from her weird dreams, though she doesn’t think they’ve ever met. Though the rest of the night doesn’t go to plan, Joe and Braedon are ultimately able to get the sphere and escape with Karter’s help.

Meanwhile, Joe has received strict orders from the TSS to get the sphere and keep it out from civilian hands. Ancient records suggest that it might be alien in origin, and research of the tech is strictly forbidden. However, Joe’s feelings for Iza have become more important than his mission, so he allows her to keep the artifact.

Karter’s old friend, Raquel—an archaeologist—whom Iza briefly met at the engagement party, joins them on the Verity, and she and Iza soon become friends. Iza allows her to study the sphere. It becomes clear that the sphere is the source of the computer virus messing with Trix and the ship, though Iza isn’t sure how to address the issue since she needs to keep the object out of Arvonen’s hands.

While malfunctioning, Trix takes the Verity to Tararia, where she directs Iza to meet with a woman who looks like her supposedly dead mother. Iza learns that the woman is her mother’s twin sister, and she recognizes the young man who’s been following her as actually being her cousin. Left with more questions than answers, Iza storms out from her aunt’s home, feeling betrayed and abandoned.

Unable to sleep one night, Iza goes to patrol the ship but is knocked out and taken to the Arvonen One. The vessel has been converted into a lab dedicated to researching the alien technology. The sphere allows the opening of a portal—a Gate—but no one has been able to pass through and return alive. Arvonen plans to use the technology to shift the balance of power in the Taran Empire and advance his own position.  It turns out that Raquel has been working with Arvonen all along and is prepared to do anything in the name of their research. Iza is offered up as the next test subject. As they are about to force her through, the scientists notice that her pendant necklace is floating around her neck, apparently in reaction to its proximity to the Gate.

Joe and Karter, realizing Iza is in dire trouble, strike a deal with Investigator Hyttinen and Captain Douketis of the Iron Dog to provide backup for a rescue. The terms are that Joe will turn himself over for violating his TSS orders and Viper will return to the Iron Dog to work off her debt to Douketis.

In the chaos of the rescue, Iza is thrown through the Gate. She finds herself in a dark cavern on what could be an alien world. She’s certain she is being watched. Not wanting to push her luck, she quickly tries to go back through the portal. It feels like she’s being held back, and she loses a shoe.

Arvonen is defeated, allowing Iza and company to return to the Verity. Iza learns about the deals that were made to save her, and Joe also finally comes clean about his ties to the TSS. Iza gives the sphere to Joe, and they part on tearful terms with a promise to be reunited after he’s officially kicked back to Earth.