The Man From Rome
by Dylan James Quarles
Genre: Urban Fantasy
From the author of the highly rated Ruins Of Mars Trilogy:
Rome is a city like no other, protected by a man like no other.
He is the unnamed Immortal, the Man from Rome, and he is under attack.
An agent of his secret order has been murdered, her tongue ripped out, her throat coated in molten silver. The killing is meant to be a message, a warning that old enemies have resurfaced to punish the Man for the sins of his past.
Forced to retaliate, the Man sets in motion a sequence of events which pit an American thief, a Roman policewoman, a heartless mercenary, and a fallen Olympian against one another in all-out war. The streets of Rome become a battleground where the supernatural clash with the mortal, and the Eternal City bears witness to yet another chapter in its storied history of violence.
Vengeance reigns supreme in this, the newest Novel from Dylan James Quarles.
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Mr. Hannity came down the cellar stairs with a heavy duffle sack in each hand. When he reached the bottom, he saw that the space had recently undergone a transformation. All of the shelves which had once housed Bruno’s priceless bottles of wine were now gone so that the cellar was open from end to end.
Waiting for him with the brothers, Bruno waved to an old plank table.
“Over there if you please.”
Hannity set the bags on the table, then gazed around.
“The place looks different,” he said. “Almost like a shooting range.”
“Almost a lot,” he corrected.
Bruno laughed and clapped his hands together enthusiastically.
“I’m glad you like it. It’s all for you—well, and for them.”
He put a hand on Notus’ shoulder.
“It’s high time we introduced our boys to the magical weapons of the modern era, wouldn’t you say?”
Hannity smiled and unzipped the duffels. Inside, a litany of military-grade firearms lay in half-assembled, zip-tied bundles. Chief among them, a Windrunner .50 caliber sniper rifle, and a pair of belt-fed M249 SAWs were, by far, the most lethal.
Taking a combat knife from one of the bags, Hannity used it to cut the zip-ties on an M16. He separated the various parts, then began methodically assembling the weapon. Closing in behind him, the brothers watched with palpable interest.
“In the age of heroes,” spoke Bruno. “Wars were fought with skill, and brawn, and grit. The Spartoi—your kin, were known for their savagery. No man could challenge them, not even Jason—not really.”
He gestured to the guns.
“Now however, the power of Olympus has fallen to Earth, and is accessible to any man.”
Snapping the stock in place, Hannity set the M16 aside and started on an MP5.
“We call this the age of gunpowder,” Bruno went on. “And though it is different from what your ancestors would have known, there is yet a place for you among its most infamous elite.”
He smiled at Hannity.
“Like you my friend. You are a modern day Hector, a man supreme above all others on the field of war. You know what it takes to survive when the bullets rain, and the cordite thickens the air to a haze. I have seen you in action—it gave me nightmares for weeks.”
Hannity shot the brothers a malicious grin.
“Something tells me they aren’t going to have any trouble adapting, boss. We’ll show you nightmares, isn’t that right boys?”
Becoming strained, Bruno’s smile faded.
“We aren’t killing a man, Mr. Hannity. Quello Vecchio is a fiend. It will take all of your skill—every ounce of grit you have to end him. He is like a raging elephant.”
Hannity pull the trigger and the submachine gun clicked in his hands.
“Yeah, but is he faster than a bullet?”
“Yes,” said Bruno matter-of-factly. “Not that it would matter unless you were using the right kind of ammunition.”
Frowning, Hannity looked up.
“Are you surprised by this?” Asked Bruno. “You shouldn’t be—not after everything you’ve seen.”
He gestured to the foot of the stairs where a third duffel bag sat in the half-shadows.
“Boys,” he spoke. “Zephrus—will you please fetch that and bring it to Mr. Hannity?”
Breaking away from the others, Zephyrus hauled the heavy bag to Hannity’s feet. Abandoning his work, Hannity crouched to inspect the contents.
“Rounds,” he grunted.
“Yes,” said Bruno. “But not just any kind.”
“You could say that. Hand me one, will you?”
Hannity passed up a .50 caliber sniper round—muted and silver.
“This is Adamantine,” said Bruno, tapping the slug. “It is the only metal that can kill quello Vecchio—or any God for that matter. As such, it is something of a secret to the rest of the world. One must know the right people, and have the proper funding to secure it.”
He held the bullet up to the light.
“This Adamantine was repurposed from the melted down axe-heads of a lost Viking army. They were found in a subterranean lake near the border of Finnmark. According to my supplier, they had lain at the bottom of that abyss for over one thousand years, and yet you see what I see—the metal is as fresh as ever.”
Catching the light, the bullet shone.
“It cost me a fortune to procure this much Adamantine, and another to have it crafted into bullets.”
Bruno tossed the slug into the air and snatched it in a closed fist.
“That having been said, when you find quello Vecchio in your crosshairs, I want you to fire every last round you have into his body. Reduce him to a pulp, my sons. Utterly destroy him, am I understood?”
In unison, the brothers nodded.
“Good,” whispered Bruno. “Mr. Hannity will show you how to accomplish this, won’t you my friend?”
Rising, Hannity held out his hand. Instead of shaking it, Bruno gave him the sniper round.
“Teach them well, for they are dear to me.”
Hannity wrapped his fingers around the bullet and squeezed.
“I’ll do my best, boss. You know I will.”
Dylan was born in Portland OR but moved to Washington state as a young boy. Growing up in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula, he spent most of his youth involved in various creative projects.
With a passion for films, music and writing, Dylan even had the honor of being featured in the Port Townsend Film Festival for his short film "La Niut Des Vampires".
After high school, he attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia where he directed two more films, "Resurrected", and "House On The Borderland".
Graduating a year early with a BA in film, he moved to South Korea and taught English in an after school academy. Deeply impacted by the experience, he returned to the States a much different person than when he left.
Shortly there after, work began on The Ruins Of Mars Trilogy and the next chapter of Dylan's life opened wide.
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for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway