The Adventures of John L. Steelhard

A ripping saga of tantalizing adventure

The Adventures of John L. Steelhard is an exciting new adventure series by author James B. Riverton.  The first book in this series is Black Tiger, "a ripping saga of tantalizing adventure" and origination story of the legendary hero John L. Steelhard.  

EXCERPTS!


Black Tiger (Steelhard - Book 1)

Chapter 3...

He was waiting for the guards to start their return journey around the building, when a truck pulled up in front of the command center. People began climbing the front stairs.  There sure seemed to be a crowd gathering.  He could hear boots shuffling across the wood plank floor above, as dust settled through the flooring, filtering down, clouding the air. Staying still, doing a slow 360 degree turn to survey the area under the building, he wondered how Bob was making out. Probably halfway finished. Something moved on the ground, about ten feet away, silently... slithering slowly towards him. He focused his night vision, and saw one very large snake edging its way along. 

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 A security system, probably for rats, but it was quite possibly also for anything stupid enough to crawl under the command center. Crap, it was at least fifteen to twenty feet long; and more than likely, very hungry.  He carefully withdrew his knife, remaining perfectly still, trying not to move a muscle. The snake was having a hard time locating its prey; pausing, its forked tongue darting out rapidly, sensing for a meal. Steelhard slowly pushed his backpack in front of him, and that got its attention as it lunged forward the last five feet, sinking its teeth into the pack. Steelhard buried his knife into the top of its huge skull, pushing down with all his strength, the snake's body wrapping around him quickly. Steelhard flexed his muscles to counteract the crushing coils as they surrounded its prey. He kept the knife deep in, twisting it with both hands, keeping pressure downward. Crap, he thought! It was either him, or me, it might be me; slowly he felt the coils begin to lessen, the tail whipping free, thrashing about.

Chapter 23...

Steelhard, Black Tiger, roared to the ceiling, the primitive sounds echoing off the underground concrete walls like a thunderstorm. Shaking his head, his eyes aflame, sweat mingled with blood flinging off his mane of hair, he was a beast of pure hate. The crowd was in chaos; people stampeding, bolting in circles, knocking each other down, not knowing what to do, or where to hide; it was a savage and brutal ending.  David was screaming at the top of his voice, his wheelchair spinning in automated circles, lost in the den of people's excitement, some running past the security guards in panic to escape the violent ending.

It was over! Steelhard smiled at the limo, the dead Tu and Kong. He faced the three Triad members, with his dark blue eyes, his expanded chest panting like an animal, and his eyes filled with extreme hate.  He bowed to them from the waist, with his palms together. As they were trying to back away, he shot them the bird with both hands, as he stood up, turning, laughing in glee, his head thrown back in joy.  Adams and Collins were dancing the Irish Jig together, slapping their hands, shoving their fists into the air screaming, "Hooyah! Hooyah!"

A tall, pale slim man, wearing a long black full-length overcoat, dark sunshades and fedora, watched the events, waiting for everyone to depart. After everyone had left, he quietly seeped from the shadows, floating to the stone pillar where Steelhard had impacted with Kong's throw. He took out a small folder and using an instrument, scanned some of the blood on the pillar with a blue-lighted beam. The tall, pale man put the instrument back in the small folder, and disappeared into the night, like fog.

Steelhard looked around as the jazz combo was starting to move to the small lighted stage area, raised just eight inches, stuck in the corner at floor level, facing an area that sat about forty customers. He was supposed to play a set with them, but he didn't think he could get his alto sax mouth piece in his mouth, let alone play a whole set. He looked around at the available talent. All the cocktail girls seemed to be busy. It seemed his chances were slim tonight with everyone winning money on the fight.  The girls were hustling their normal clients who had also won. No real outside talent had come in, unless they were with a date. The night was starting to look like a bust. What a shame, it should be a time to celebrate. Even beaten half to death, he was always aroused after a fight. It was too bad Green Eyes wasn't here. What were the odds on that, oh, at least a million to one?

He looked up as she sat down next to him at the bar, dropping her full-length black sable fur coat on the back of her barstool. She was still wearing the low cut, black, form-fitting cocktail dress and the string of pearls.  She looked straight at him in the back-bar mirror; green emerald eyes like Ava Garner, lips like Marilyn Monroe and better looking than Susan Hayward. Dark auburn hair down to her shoulders with skin like honey cream - absolutely dangerous - and the wrong kind of woman for him. Perfect.


Chameleon (Steelhard - Book 2)

Chapter 20...

            "Dr. Gloom turned him into something called a Yar. He is here, somewhere watching Kruger and everything that is going on. I have never seen him and don't want to, but you must go now. Leave me until tomorrow. Kruger will have to let me up before we leave and he can't conduct his business rationally anymore. He is going insane with fear, and since the loss of the use of his hand, his whole mental framework has gone downhill. Black Tiger, you have put him in his own death box, and he doesn't even know the how or the why. You did a masterful job, Black Tiger, but we still have one more mission to accomplish. Do you still love me?"

     Steelhard kissed her gently. "More than you will ever know, my Lo Chi. Black Tiger has only one mate. I will see you tomorrow. You get some sleep now. There will be no bad dreams tonight." He left her with one final auto-suggestion and left her room after replacing the gag.

     Steelhard was slowly regaining his strength; he was so angry over Lo Chi that his heart was pumping blood into his body, his lungs taking in more air. His eyes were dark steel blue. He didn't dare put his hood or gloves back on, not wanting to take the risk of the suit shutting down. He slipped out the back of the basement, using a window in a storage room, and dropped to the ground outside. Steelhard could see lights reflected through the tall window in the dining area on the second level; music was floating out through one of the open balcony doors. He could hear people laughing and talking; it must be a nice dinner. He moved silently like a shadow through the landscape. He noticed movement in the distance. Someone was watching him, and he could sense their presence. Now was not the time to investigate anything, though, and he moved quickly to the Jag Sedan and drove back to the O'Malley cottage.

            Ca had seen someone drop out of the rear windows and move quickly to one of the autos. It was hard for Ca to focus on the person, he had some kind of skin on that negated his night vision and he moved like a feline. Ca felt the tip of his fang knife with his clawed finger. His job was to watch Kruger. Was that his name? He couldn't remember exactly, and his mate, the female that would be his when she became a full Yar. Ca slipped back into his hiding place and curled up. Only two more human days, then he would be back with his master, deep in the dark underground. Yes, he was getting hungry and Dr. Gloom had promised him Kruger, yes Kruger, his reward. He needed to feed. The above ground atmosphere and sunlight was draining his energy, but he was under orders to not expose himself, just watch and escort his meal ticket to the master's summons.


Eagle (Steelhard - Book 3)

Chapter 1...

"Ok," Steelhard said, as he dropped down beside the three-team leaders, his sword dripping with black blood. "I’ve taken out their sentries. We are going to spread the three teams out across the main tunnel and drive them back past the next hangar area. Andy, Bright and Helga's teams will form a blocking force from the other side; we will press them from both sides and eliminate this last pocket of resistance. Our goal is this last hangar area. It contains the largest group of UFO and USO’s. So, get in formation and get ready to attack. Boris, is there something wrong, your helmet not working?"

"No, helmet fine. It's just sad to think these two backstabbing motherf*****s been getting it for less. I mean, where is justice, I ask you, comrades?"

"I wouldn’t pay any attention to either one of them, they're both lying."

"Really!"

"Yup. Helga never charges any of the Black Tigers the going rate if she f***s them on a mission, at least not to my knowledge, right boys?"

Boris became a wild man taking the right flank, leading his team and fighting with a vengeance. The Yar, trying to hide, were confronted by a huge demon in black, screaming through his facemask in Russian, some English, and fogged with tears of regret and betrayal.

Two Yar leaped off a raised area, one landing in front and the other behind Steelhard, attacking in unison with their Fang knives. Steelhard sprang up in the air as the Fang knives whistled past him, back-flipping over the rear attacking Yar, using a downward stroke of his Samurai sword to split the back side of the Yar's head. The sharp blade stuck deep in the skull, ripping the handle out of his hand. He let go and landed on his feet, facing the attacking Yar who had jumped over his companion from the front, both hands holding rotating Fang knives. Steelhard's forearms blocked its two arms, reversing with a back-flip using one boot to break the Yar’s lower jaw, knocking him backwards. Two more Yar sprung out from the main battle as Steelhard landed on all fours. He pushed off the ground with his hands, sprang back to his feet using Aikido to fend off the attacking Yar, then dropping to the ground with a crushing Kung Fu leg sweep, breaking one of the Yar’s legs.

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