"K.J.Heritage's uncanny sense of pacing and story puts him at the forefront of today's speculative fiction writers."

Samuel Peralta, US TODAY bestselling author and creator of The Future Chronicles

When K.J.Heritage isn't penning third-person descriptions about himself for online consumption, he's an international bestselling author writing the books he likes to read. From psychological thrillers and mystery sci-fi to crime, action & adventure, and epic fantasy. He should really stick to one genre, but he's not that kind of writer... or reader.

His first sci-fi short story, 'ESCAPING THE CRADLE' was runner-up in the 2005 Clarke-Bradbury International Science Fiction Competition.

Other stories have appeared in several anthologies with such self-publishing sci-fi luminaries as Hugh Howey, Samuel Peralta and Peter Cawdron

K.J.Heritage's short story, CHURCHILL'S ROCK, part of the 'Chronicle Worlds: Legacy Fleet' anthology, will be aboard the Astrobotic's Peregrine Lunar Lander set for launch on the United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket platform bound for the moon on Christmas Eve 2023

He has worked all the requisite 'writer jobs' such as driver's mate, factory gateman, barman, labourer, telesales operative, sales assistant, warehouseman, IT contractor, Student Union President, university IT helpdesk guy, British Rail signal software designer, premiership football website designer, gigging musician, graphic designer, stand-up comedian, sound engineer, improv artist, magazine editor and web journo... Although he doesn't like to talk about it. Mostly. Well maybe a little bit.

He was born in the UK in one of the more interesting previous centuries. Originally from Derbyshire, he now lives in the seaside town of Brighton. He is a tea drinker, cancer survivor, dog lover, and neurodiverse (ASD) human being.

Quick-Kill & the Galactic Secret Service Omnibus by K.J.Heritage

Never, ever, let yourself never get caught… who knows what may happen?

The forgotten, seedy backwater planet of Plenty (the most unfortunately-named world there ever was), is no place for a girl to grow up parentless and alone. But self-styled, femme fatale and genius gun-for hire, Quick-Kill Jane, was no normal kid. She learned her trade early on, making a name for herself. And by the time she became an adult, everyone feared and respected that name in equal measure.

In what should've been a straightforward job—one of the many she had built her reputation upon—she finds herself in pursuit of small-time criminal and wife-beater, Rollo Barla. But things do not go to plan.

She learns that the contract on Rollo was ordered by the Cabal—a loose network of galactic criminals, and that they, and the equally shady Galactic Secret Service, were now in competition to chase her down.

Quick-Kill must use all her considerable talents, skills and guile to stay one step ahead. But events take an unexpected and extraordinary turn.

A twist that will change Quick-Kill's life forever…



  • "One of the most refreshing bits of sci-fi I've read in a while. Golden Age with a modern take."

    – Reader review
  • "…exciting and funny and down and dirty. A must read!"

    – Reader review
  • "Fast paced improbable fun fun fun!"

    – Reader review



I TIGHTEN THE WIDE, EMERALD sash around my fat belly, straighten my thawb—the name of the local knee-length tunic—and perform a few last-minute checks on weapons and grenades. Everything flashes green as expected. My wafer offers me reams of diagnostic information, but I don't take any of it in.

This is habit. Rote.

A way to calm my nerves—one better than instructing my wafer to mess with my autonomic system.

Robbing banks is certainly different from my previous line of employment. An assassin plans to the same degree, but they cut down all the variables. Not so much with thieving. For a start, there are more people than I'm used to, crammed into this sprawling structure that mimics a desert tent popular in this hot, dry system. To call this building 'a bank' doesn't do it credit. It houses various financial services, from pawn-brokers and lending sharks to investment advice and financial services—all under the auspices of the Gilligan Corporation. The Hejaz system—a tightly-knit sector of planets, moons and asteroids—is controlled by this single, dominant ginger-haired clan.

At least two hundred locals mill around the space, arguing with one another in the many queues. And that doesn't include the roboes. In short, the entire situation is messy and unpredictable. But the tension is necessary. Without it, I may get sloppy and getting sloppy is a sure way to get dead.

The queue I'm in lurches forward. I act annoyed at the slow progress and curse in the local language, pretending to play the Hejaz system's popular game of Seega on my battered handheld device. The game is akin to checkers, but with various levels and… you get the gist. It's just part of my cover as an overweight, middle-aged down-at-heel merchant going by the name of Finley Shaddeed—one of the many disguises I've been using over the last few months as part of my so-called 'crime spree'.

The line moves, and I float forward on my hover-chair. An accessory that the low gravity—a quarter of one gee—allows for. But it ain't no regular chair. I've spent the last few weeks in my workshop perfecting it.

The tall robo waiting in front of me doesn't move. I give the thing a hefty kick on its mechanical arse. The domed head swivels and an array of optical interfaces check me out. The mechanical has a snooty look, like it thinks it's better than me. Good luck if it's trying a scan—all it will see is what I want it to see. A harmless old merchant wearing a pair of battered sunglasses under a headscarf, sitting on a hover-chair and clutching a bag on his lap. Exactly like every other overweight, middle-aged loser on this moon—although my bag contains enough weaponry to demolish the building in a couple of seconds.

That's not the plan—but close enough.

I offer the robo a fake smile of apology and turn my attention back to my game.

The head swivels back in place and it glides forward on long legs—a gawky desk lamp with attitude. The Hejaz system uses roboes for everything. Even the poor own a robo or two, although only richer, well-connected clan-families can afford well-maintained bio-mechanicals like this one. I've always hated the 'mechanical men', as I called them as a kid. Never liked them, never will. Even with my interest in tek and tinkering, the closest I've ever wanted to get to one of these machines is blaster distance.

Time to go to work.

I kick the robo again and swear loudly in the local language, causing a few heads to turn. The robo faces me, a rebuke stuttering from its mechanical throat. And that's when I hit it with a focused signal from my wafer. The thing wobbles and jerks to a stop, its head swivelling. The rotation increases in speed and thick, acrid smoke—reeking of burnt relays and fried biological circuitry—pours out of its domed head.


The robo pitches onto the floor, flames quickly taking hold. I'm 'forced' to glide away on my hover-chair—dropping a handful of smog and percussion grenades. They spiral outwards across the sand-polished, marble floor, rolling under the sandaled-feet of the bank's many customers. They might've noticed, but the robo ain't the only one that is malfunctioning. My wafer had hit all the roboes within a two-hundred metre radius. Others are spinning out of control, arms flailing and falling over. Smoke bellowing from their burning metal insides.

Children scream. Men and women shout. And I laugh.

I command my grenades to detonate and the bank's expansive foyer is engulfed in a thick, impregnable soot-like smog. In the ensuing mayhem, I throttle my hover-chair and glide over the wall of bank-tellers, throwing more grenades as I go. I hear the thrum of blaster bursts behind me. Probably a security guard taking out a robo or two. Good. Their attention is at the front of the bank, where I need it to be.

I land and pull out my stun-gun. I want to use my laser, but even if Mother hadn't told me it would compromise my cover, I ain't in the habit of killing civilians. I may be Quick-Kill—but you want me to kill someone, you either pay me, or you give me a damn good reason why.

I send my hover-chair spinning back into the mayhem of the lobby, spewing more smoke as it goes and superimpose the bank's schematics over my sunglasses' HUD. My augmented shades easily penetrate the gloom, allowing me to drop anyone who gets in my way. I attach a couple of heat-mines to a heavy security door and step aside. The mines glow red hot. Within seconds, there's a hole large enough for me to dive through—an act made easier by the low gravity. A couple of startled security guards—a man and a woman—greet me on the other side. Their expressions of shock well-suited as I drop them with two silent shots from my stun-gun. A quick search and I find the security band I'm looking for.

This area is full of surveillance—cameras, recording devices and scanners—but I want to be seen. I want them to know it's me. Sure, my disguise is different, but they won't be fooled. My MO is always the same—although today I'm adding an extra surprise.

It's all I can do to stop myself waving.

The security band gets me through a couple more doors and into a plush-looking stairwell, which takes me down into the security-locker area. I wonder what's behind all those keyed doors, wishing I had the time to look. I may be here to rob the bank, but this ain't what I'm after. No, my sole intention is getting the attention of the Gilligans—the clan I already mentioned. Mother wants me to infiltrate them… and the best way to join their ranks is to show them what I can do. They are not going to be happy about my latest escapade on this busy little moon of theirs. But they'll be damn-well impressed.

As to why I'm doing all of this?

The Galactic Secret Service has its eyes on another more important goal—is what Mother told me when she gave me the mission brief.

And that's all I know.

I take out a few more guards and arrive in an unassuming office—my target. I've scanned the building from orbit, using every tool at my disposal to interrogate the tek systems of this moon, but I ain't been able to confirm the location of the vault.

But it's in here all right.

I grab my trusty laser from the bag and check the settings. I point it at the far wall and fire. The barrier collapses in slow motion due to the low gravity. Bits of ceiling bouncing off my head. I take out the next wall and reveal a further room—the one I'd guessed was in here. A block of almost white metal three times my height and just as wide squats inside. A vault made from impenetrable alloy. Even my laser at its hottest setting wouldn't scratch it. The only way in is through a single circular door made of the same material—a door secured with an impressive mechanism. Not the kind of vault you'd expect to find in such a provincial bank.

My hunch was right. Pay dirt!