Thursday, March 31, 2011

On the other side of that door

You actually know what's happening in the room down the hall. But do you know that you know...

Part XII – The Blonde’s First Mistake

            She looks down through the vent into the hallway.  The bodies of two security guards are lifeless on the floor.   She can hear the sounds of fighting down the hall, in the direction the man who killed the guards went.  ‘That gut with the old slugthrowers is good,’ she thinks. ‘I’ll have to avoid him; don’t want to be mistaken for security.’
            She pushes open the vent and drops onto the floor.  She looks down the hallway, toward the direction of the gunshots.  The doors to the big room at the end are open, with four dead guards lying in the doorway.  She bends down to pick up a bolter rifle.  A sudden explosion from the big room sends her diving to the floor.  A cloud of smoke and debris billows out through the doors.
            ‘Rifle launched grenade.’  She picks herself up off the floor.  ‘I’m not gonna stick around to see who comes outta there.  Either way it could be bad for me.’
            She heads the other way, turning left down a different hallway.  She passes numerous scorch marks from bolters on the walls, and a few dead security guards, before  reaching her destination.  The metal door to the lab is locked, but it’s no problem for her.  She jacks in, finding the code in seconds, and opens the door.  She walks into the lab, and goes right to the terminal.  The information is very easy to find.  She doesn’t even need to enter the virtual Matrix to find it.  ‘Piece of cake. Guess they never expected anyone to get in here.  Guess they never heard of me.  Good for me.’
            She downloads the data onto a chip, then puts it in the port on the back of her neck.  She hears footsteps out in the hall, and ducks behind the metal desk.  She sees the man in the trenchcoat walk past the door.  ‘That’s my cue to get out of here.  The cops’ll be swarmin’ this place in minutes, looking for someone to blame.  Don’t wanna be that person.  I got what I came for, plus a new rifle I could sell.’
            She gets up into the ventilation shafts, which she follows to the roof and her awaiting jetpack.  She straps it on and flies off into the artificial daylight of City Level One.

Until next time...

Monday, March 28, 2011

And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

Been away for a few days, now I'm back to pick up where I left off.
'When last we left our heroes'...well, there was stuff happening, that didn't make much sense at the time, so this won't help clear things up at all. Or will it...

Part XI – Closure

“P-please don’t,” Cameron begs.  “I’ll pay anything.  Just don’t kill me, please!”
            Standing at the door, he holsters his Kolt 700 and looks at Cameron groveling on the floor.  “Sobbing for your life.  You disgust me.  Do you know how many you’ve murdered?”
            “I’ve never killed anyone!” Cameron counters.
            “No; you paid someone else to do it for you.  Or your company did it, by forcing families off farms, or out of their own businesses.  You took something from them, and from me, that your money could never bring back.”  Just then, a security guard runs, bolter rifle at the ready, into the bright office.  The guard shouts ‘Freeze!’.  Instead of standing still, the man in the trenchcoat swings around, grabs the guard’s throat with his cyberarm, and breaks his neck with a twist of the wrist.  The guard’s lifeless body drops to the floor.
            “Oh, God,” Cameron sobs.  “No, don’t kill me, please.”
            “Shut up,” he says to Cameron as he drags him by the collar to the large window overlooking the harbor.  “Transluminum, right?”
            He taps the window with his fingers.  “We must be pretty high up.  Above most of the thick smog layers.  Must be one of the tallest buildings in the city.  Must make you feel good, being up here in the sun, above everyone else, all the little unimportant people down there.”
            He pulls out his old slugthrower.
            “No, oh no, please,” Cameron cries.
            “I’m not going to shoot you, don’t worry about that.  This is for the window.”  He takes three shots into the window, cracking and breaking it.  A punch with his cyberarm knocks out the broken pieces.  “I’m not even going to kill you.  I’ll let something else do that.”
            “What is-is it?”  Cameron asks, fearing the answer.
            “The ground,” he replies, and picks Cameron up with his cyberarm and tosses him out the window.  He watches Cameron fall until he gets into the smog layers and can’t be seen.  As he turns away from the window, he pulls a picture from inside his armored trenchcoat.  He looks at the image of the woman and the little girl, both smiling and beautiful. ‘I know you’ll never come back, but now neither will he.’
            A single tear falls from his eye onto the picture in his hand.

Next time around, you'll get to meet someone new.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lazy today

Just some music I love today. I'll post some more of my story tomorrow night.
If you like the 'Alt-rock', you should give these a listen. Good stuff.

"December's tragic drive..." Brilliant.

"If their hearts were dying that fast, they'd have done the same as you..." Brilliant.

"All this time looking for love and you want to find peace, and you find me..." Brilliant.

"I couldn't end it there..." Brilliant.

"So you can't hold a star in your hand..." Brilliant.

"The glove compartment isn't accurately named, and everybody knows it..." Brilliant.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Double shot

These parts are both pretty short, so I've got a double-shot today.

And just because;

Part IX – Downtime

            The bald man looks up from his desk when his partner comes in.  “Where you been?” he asks
            “Shopping, I guess you could say.  Got a new gun.  It’s old, of course; a Wesson-Jones.  Different from the Kolts I have, but a good old slugthrower nonetheless.”
            “I got bad news partner,” the bald man says.  “I talked to Rock earlier.  Declan got nailed.”
            “Declan?  How?  He’s one of the best.”
            “Rock said it was on a job against the Company.  He said Declan and Wilson took out a few security teams before they ran into a Eudoran.  Now he’s nearly brain-dead.  No function except to keep him alive.”
            “Those bastards.  First that Borg, now this.  Robots, aliens, what’s next, Syneshtia Bees in the aircar?”
            “So what do we do?” the bald man asks his partner.
            “What do we do?  We get the bastards who’re responsible.  We go after the Company.  Get in touch with Rock and the others.  We’re going to need some help on this one.”

Part X – Our Gang

            The stereo is on in the background as the three friends sit in Rock Tone’s studio.
            “…And that was the new song from Rock Tone and the Element.  The latest on the shooting at their show yesterday.  The bassist was apprehended this morning, after killing four cops and wounding twenty-two people, mostly people at the free concert.  Hats off to her, and luck to the Element finding a replacement for their cursed bassist spot…”
            “Radio,” says Rock. “Shut the hell up.”  The stereo turns itself off, and Rock turns to his two friends.  “So what do we have to do?”
            The bald man turns to his partner.  “Yeah, what’s the deal?”
            “Rock,” his partner starts, “I need you to call on our old buddy Facelift.”
            “He ain’t been around since he flatlined Vampire Jones.”
            “That was a couple years back.  I think Jones’s corporate pals are over it by now.  Just see what he says.”
            “I’ll call Vostok,” the bald man suggests.  “I’m sure we could use his help.”
            “Good idea,” his partner says.
            “And you?” Rock asks.
            “I’m going to call an old war buddy of mine who owes me a big one.  I think the six of us will be good.”
            “We’ve got our team, and our objective.  We’re golden!” Rock sings.
            “Yeah; we just need one thing now,” the bald man mutters.
            “What’s that, big guy?”  Rock asks.
            “A plan.”
            The radio turns itself back on…
            “…her last words as Element bassist Moon Lace was being dragged into the prison; ‘I didn’t shoot no one that didn’t need shootin’…’”

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not much to say...on to the story...

Part VIII – The Eudoran Setup

            Declan wipes the sweat from his brow with his hand and feels his pulse racing.  The long fight has really tired him out.
            “How you doing?” he asks Wilson.
            “Bruised, battered, tired, and my armor’s almost gone, but I’ll live.  Assuming we get outta here.”
            “Oh c’mon, we’ll make it.  This’s been easy.  These security teams are nothing to two pros like us, old buddy.”  He’s lying, though.  His E-shields are low, and his light armor vest isn’t much good against high power bolters on its own.  He’s tired; worn out from fighting through the complex.
            ‘If only we’d noticed that alarm back in the lab.  That’s really Wilson’s job, but can’t be too hard on him.  He hasn’t been doing this sort of thing as long as I have.’
            “We can take those stairs down to the third floor, then the lift to the transport to the subway,” Wilson says after checking the map of the complex on his On-Body-Computer.
            “Let’s do it, then.”
            They run down the stairs and step into the hallway.  Wilson draws his bolter pistol and loads a new clip.  Declan has his vibro-sword drawn, and his other hand at the ready by his side to grab the vibro-knives from in his coat.  He’d rather not use the last few charges in his bolter unless he has to.
            They walk cautiously toward the elevator down the hall.  It’s very dim due to the damage to the generator their fight caused, so Declan puts on his low-light glasses.  They hear the elevator door open, and a lone, dark figure steps into the hallway.
            ‘White skin, black hat, gloves… Shit!  Eudoran!’  Declan pushes Wilson into an open doorway.  “Quiet,” he whispers.  He sees Wilson’s puzzled expression, and whispers to him.
            “A fucking Eudoran.  They’re Teeps; you know telepaths.”  Wilson nods.  “On three.  Ready, one, two… three.”
            They jump out, Wilson firing four shots down the hall at the Eudoran.  The shots are stopped short by an E-shield and the Eudoran’s armor coat.
            The Eudoran looks at Wilson and waves his hand in Wilson’s direction.  His bolter explodes in his hand, sending its energy and metal shards into his body.  He drops to the floor, twitching and gasping for air.  Declan looks down at his friend, then charges the Eudoran, yelling as he swings his sword.  His strike is parried by a blade of blue energy that suddenly materializes in the Eudoran’s hand.
            ‘Shit!  What the fuck is that?!’ Declan thinks as he fences the Eudoran and the psi-blade.  ‘This Eudoran’s a great swordsman.  I’m dead if I don’t get the hell out of here.  The Company pulled out all the stops for this one.  Fucking psychic swordsman.’
            Declan steps back away from the Eudoran, who waves his hand, and Declan’s body is flung against the ceiling, then dropped to the floor with a thud.  His head bounces off the floor, and one of his ankles breaks.  He turns onto his back, and throws two vibro-knives at the advancing Eudoran.  They stop in mid-flight, turn, and fly back at Declan, one impaling his left leg, the other just missing his head.  He winces in pain and reaches for his leg.
            The Eudoran reaches down and grabs his short, black hair, turning Declan’s face toward his own.   The Eudoran holds the psi-blade to Declan’s forehead.  “Don’t worry,” he says.  “This won’t hurt as much as killing you would.”  He stabs the blade into Declan’s head, scrambling his brain functions like an egg.  For a second, Declan wonders if he’ll be a vegetable; but only for a second. After that, he is incapable of thought at all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cool Stuff

Don't forget to check out the cool stuff I linked to over on the right.
Some Cracked, some Glyos, some toys, and the awesome Gendrone Chronicles, among other things.

They're right over there >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some characters do have names

This is the first part of the story where we learn one of the main characters names. There's a reason why you don't know the other guys' names. Maybe you'll figure it out. Eventually someone will tell you why. See if you can catch it. And see if you can catch the reference to a song from 1981 (that's the only clue you're getting).

Part VII – The Wrong Guy

            By the time he gets to the Level Two Common, the show has already started.  Rock Tone and the Element really have the crowd raging.  They’re in the middle of their  classic ‘Clone Heroes,’ their new bassist really keeping up quite well with her new band.
            Not that it matters much to him.  He’s plugged into his own player listening to something completely different.  He looks up at the band, then around at the crowd.  ‘I’ll never find them in this crowd.  I’ll just keep busy, then meet up at the end of the show.  We’ll have plenty of loot by then.’
            He works through the crowd, pickpocketing along the way.  He gets bumped by some guy dancing and drops his hoverboard.
            “Hey, watchit yobbo!” he yells.  “That’s a Hosoi 1600.  Cost more’n you’re worth!”
            He looks up at the unhappy bald man and his tall partner.
            “Excuse me?” says the bald man.
            “Whoa, sorry guy, I thought you… I mean I didn’t… ah… uh; bye.”  He stumbles away into the crowd quickly. ‘How crass.  Old guy gotta start shit here at the show, and he ain’t got cash.  Just this stupid crystal ball.  Gotta be worth somethin’ to someone.’
            He feels a tap on his shoulder.  “Excuse me.  I think you have something that belongs to me,” the voice says.  He turns to see a tall man in an armored trenchcoat, pulled back slightly to reveal an old slugthrower.
            “Oh, sorry, here,” he says, throwing a wallet at the man and running into the crowd, toward the street.  He turns to look behind him and sees the man running after him. ‘I need to get in the open, use my board.’
            “She’s got a gun!” someone yells, and the crowd starts screaming and running in all directions.  The sound of assault rifle shots is almost drowned out by the screams of fleeing concert-goers.
            ‘What the…’ he looks back to see the Element’s new bassist shooting wildly into the crowd and at security personnel.  ‘Shit!’  He drops his board, jumps on, and heads for the street as fast as a Hosoi can go.
            He hits the street amidst the fleeing crowd, and is immediately chased down by the bald man in an aircar, cursing wildly at him.
            ‘Shit; I picked the wrong guys to steal from,’ he thinks, as he speeds through a red light, barely missing crossing traffic.  The aircar flies right over the intersection, inches above the traffic.
            After rounding the next corner, the bald man is right behind him.  ‘Gotta get to the alley.  He can’t tail me into there.’
            Just as the aircar is about to run him down, he turns into a tight alley, too narrow for the wide, gleaming aircar.
            “Yes!” he shouts, looking back and laughing at the cursing bald man.  ‘Now to find my crew.’  He takes the turn from the alley onto the street too quickly, adrenalin clouding his judgment.  He doesn’t even see the truck that runs him down or hear its brakes as it hits him.

            “Did you find it?” the bald man asks his partner.
            “No, did you?”
            “No, but we better.  We went through a lot recently.  I’d like to have something to show for it for once.”

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the next installment, Part VIII - The Eudoran Setup, in a couple days. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It starts coming together

Right about now the story starts to come together.
And just because I listened to this earlier;

Stayin Alive has the best bass line ever. There, I said it. :)

Part VI – Connections

‘This has to be the easiest money we’ve made in a while,’ the bald man thinks.  ‘This better go down well.  Ever since the Company blew up our apartment, I’ve eaten nothing but kibble and meal bars.’  He puts down his half-eaten meal bar and takes a swig of his hooch.  ‘When Stern buys that Jelly from us, we’ll be all set.  Think I’ll get a new driver seat for the old aircar.  Some nice synthsuede, with massage.’  He turns up the radio.
            “…and here’s the latest from The Element; Rock Tone and crew got a new bassist, and a mini-tour, coming right here to New Boston Meg, on the Level Two Common.  This cut is ‘Farmtech Sucks,’ from the album ‘The Egg Machine’…”
            ‘I’ll have to see Rock when he comes around.  Assuming Farmtech doesn’t get the show sabotaged or canceled again.  His music isn’t always my style, but he is my old buddy, and they put on a good show.  And we really need a break from all this for awhile.  Syneshtia’s not a short trip, or a nice place to visit.  And the Pocait Trade Alliance wasn’t too happy with us ‘liberating’ that cargo ship for the trip home.  If that woman wasn’t such a good pilot, we’d be scattered all over the Syneshtan System.  It’s too bad what happened to her, crashing into her own place like that.  At least she went out in a blaze of glory; now what was her name?  Daly… Delia…?”
            His train of thought is broken by a flashing light and buzzer on the dash.  ‘The panic signal.  Something’s wrong.  Better take the ol’ aircar up for a look.’  As the bald man pilots his aircar up toward the brown, hazy sky, he sees what looks like someone falling.  The panic signal sounds again.
            “There he is,” he says aloud, steering toward his falling partner.  ‘Here we go again,’ he thinks.  ‘No vacation on New Kolarr for me anytime soon.’
            The bald man takes a bite of his meal bar and reaches to turn on the anti-grav ray to save his partner from the ground far, far below.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raw and unedited

I don't edit much. I just write. I rarely go back and change anything. So, what you see is almost always exactly as I wrote it, first draft. I feel too much editing can alter the intended mood, especially if it's been a long time, and the original feelings, motivations and inspirations are long gone, maybe forgotten.

Part V – For Sarah, and Little Zoe

            He scurries around the corner, keeping low and using the smoke and dust for cover.  Kneeling behind the thick column, he checks his rifle.  ‘The whole team,’ he thinks. ‘The whole goddamn team.  Who the hell is he?’  He calls on his headset for backup, but gets no response.  With the lift out and the stairs blocked, it looked like he had only one option.  ‘Gotta get him before he gets me.’
            He loads his last grenade into his rifle, and replaces the spent clip for the bolter.  Lowering the multi-optic goggles on his helmet, he peers around the corner.  He sees his target, across the large, smoke-filled room, hiding behind another of the large square columns.  The target cautiously leans around the corner of the column, then steps out into the open.
            ‘Here’s my shot,’ he thinks, and pulls the trigger on his grenade launcher.  The target dives to the floor in front of the column, shielding him from the blast on the wall behind it.
            ‘Damn,’ he thinks, as the bullet hits his helmet.
            He opens his eyes to the barrel of an old Kolt 700 slugthrower, pointed at him by a scraggly, tall man.
            “Don’t make me kill you,” the man says.  “While you were sleeping, I took off your helmet, and took your rifle, of course.  You’re lucky.”  He holds up the dented helmet.  “I checked your I.D. card, too.  Twenty-five, City Security for five years, wife and daughter; nice pictures, happy family.  Let me give you some advice.  Your boss is crooked; the Company owns him.  You seem honest, try to stay that way.   And, if you don’t move for three minutes after I leave, you’ll go home to your wife and baby girl tonight.  Any questions?”
            “J-just one,” he spits out, quivering.  “W-why?”
            “I don’t want to kill you.  You’re just doin’ your job.  They probably told you I was a terrorist or a cyber-psycho.  I don’t expect you to know the big picture.  And, I’m feeling good today.”
            “Th-thank you,” he says to the tall, bearded man.
            The man holsters his old pistol, turns, and walks away.
            “One more thing,” he calls over his shoulder.  “When you get home, tell your wife and daughter that you love them.”  The hint of sadness in his voice is almost lost in the large, smoky room.  The young security guard thanks his God for this fortune.
            As his partner gets into the aircar, the bald man lowers the volume on the stereo, and turns to him.
            “What happened?” he asks.
            “City Security Team.  Had to flatline all but one of them.”
            “Why not that one?”
            “I just…”  He stops, then starts again, “I just ran out of bullets, that’s all.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The good-guys shouldn't always win

Of course, you don't know who the 'good-guys' are in this story yet. I like stories where the 'good-guys' lose. They seem more 'real' somehow. It started when I was a kid, and saw a movie on TV about a spy, who went through all this crazy stuff, thought he 'won', but at the end was killed by the person in the government who was his boss. To this day I have no idea what the name of the movie was, and have never seen it again. But it had an impact.

SPOILERS AHEAD You have been warned.

Even though just the mention of the following will spoil the endings for you, I have to suggest these;
The Wicker Man (the original, not the horrid remake from a few years back)
Spellbinder (A movie from the 80s. Pretty crappy, really, but if you can sit through it, very rewarding.)
I Am Legend (The Richard Matheson novel, not the Will Smith movie)
Soylent Green (A sci-fi classic)
Silent Running (Really, the good-guys don't lose, but at the end, it does leave you in a place you don't quite expect movies to leave you.)

Now on to the main event.

Part IV – The Big Hit

            He finally finds the door to the stairs, and kicks it open.  ‘Only a few more levels to the roof.’  He stumbles up the first few stairs, his leg burning from the Borg’s bolter.  He’s wheezing and coughing up blood by the time he reaches the next level.  The air filters don’t work so well deep in Level One, where the air is thick.  His own filter mask was knocked off by the Borg’s first punch, which also broke his jaw.
            The hit team was no problem for him.  They were mostly meat; slower, weaker, and less experienced.  But the Borg, that’s different.  He hadn’t anticipated them hiring one.  ‘They must really want me dead.’
            He falls at the next landing, coughing more blood onto the floor.  ‘Can’t stop.  Don’t know if I lost ‘em.’  He looks behind him down the stairs, then gets up to continue the climb to the top.  ‘Only one more level.  I should be O.K. then.’  He puts his hand on his favorite slugthrower for reassurance, and glances at his shredded armor coat.  ‘I better be.  That Borg hits me one more time with that bolter of his, I could be history.’  He clutches his wounded leg at the top of the stairs, still in great pain.  He opens the door and walks out onto the roof.
            “Hi.  Been waiting,” the Borg says in his synthetic voice, as he throws a devastating punch.  “Those are your ribs that just broke.”
            He blocks the Borg’s next punch with his cyberarm, but the Borg grabs his flesh hand, breaking three fingers.  The Borg throws him like a doll into a giant air filter exhaust tube.  He manages to dodge the Borg’s first bolter shot, but the second hits his cyberarm, scorching the whole arm.  ‘Shit. There goes my ace in the hole,’ his one-shot E.M. Pulse, to disable the Borg.  He draws and fires his old 700 pistol, but his bullets merely dent and bounce off the advancing Borg.  His last bullet breaks the Borg’s single eye as it closes in on him.
            “I don’t see with my eye,” the Borg says as it kicks his shin, breaking his leg.  The Borg picks him up and throws him near the edge.
            “Jump!” the bald man radios his partner.
            “Jump!  Now!” the bald man radios, and he rolls off the edge.  Seconds later, two missiles impact the Borg, destroying the rooftop along with it.
            ‘Here we go again,’ he thinks, as he holsters his gun on the long fall to the ground far, far below.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ashcan comics

I'm moving along with my Gobon story. I really dig these guys. Cute, fat robots, powerful enough to destroy the universe! MUAAHAHAHAHA!! Well, probably not, but, still pretty strong.
You can see more about Gobon here;
And here;
And, well, all over Matt's site. You can even get your very own Stealth Gobon (Just like our very own Stel, but without the hammer) here;

Enough plugging of Matt's stuff; on to mine;

Stel, Kren, and Clied investigate an outlying world, where the local Nav Beacon has stopped transmitting. They find the ground covered in a strange ash, with no sign of the structures that were once present.

With none of the familiar landmarks, and with twilight coming, they still have not located the Beacon.

At last, they locate the Beacon, but still don't know the cause of its malfunction.

Very quickly, the cause is discovered.

Battle is joined...

But it does not go well, particularly for Clied
'My arm! Flaming bastard!'

Will they be victorious? Will they be able to repair the Beacon? Will Clied get his arm back? Will I bother to finish this little story? (Probably not)

Thanks for stopping by! Next time I'll get back to my main story.

Saturday, March 5, 2011 place like home.

This needs to be edited a bit, but here's Part Three of the story. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think so far.

Part III – Circle

            She pulls the window cutter, and the circle of transluminum, away from the window, and puts them into the compartment on her jetpack.  She checks the chronometer on her cyberarm.
            ‘Forty-five minutes ‘til they turn on the ‘sun’ here on One.  Have to be done and up to Level Two by then.  Plenty of time.’
            She sticks her jetpack to the window and turns it off. ‘Have to leave it.  Too clumsy.’  She carefully unstraps and climbs over the pack and through the hole she cut.  Staying flat to the inside of the window, she pulls out a small canister from her belt and sprays smoke into the room.  The smoke reveals sensor beams crisscrossing the room.  Her stealth suit may make her invisible to optics and heat sensors, but she’ll still interrupt a beam.  She carefully steps, then flips, then steps again through the room to the door opposite the window.  She jacks into the lock, and finds the combination for it.  She pulls out her Stunstick, ‘just in case,’ and opens the door.
            The object of her burglary is in the center of the room, on a marble pedestal, surrounded only by transluminum.  In each corner is a camera, watching the pedestal, and the object on it.
            ‘I’m sure this is harder than it looks,’ she thinks.
            Another smoke spray reveals an amazing web of beams. ‘Undoubtedly hooked up to an alarm, and the cameras, which are of course lasers; the real cameras are always hidden.’
            She takes a few deep breaths, and jumps through an opening in the beams, landing on one foot in a very small triangle of space on the floor free from the red lines.  Balancing for a second, she makes her next move.  She punches her hand through the ceiling enough to hold on, and hangs, body flat to the ceiling, planning the next jump.  After another smoke spray, she swings carefully through a hole in the web of lines to the floor, flipping quickly backwards, bumping into the pedestal while landing.
            She turns, and in front of her is the object that will make her rich beyond her wildest dreams.  It is the ‘Crystal of Kllnon, an artifact from a dead, ancient race, whose ruins were still a breathtaking sight even after thousands of years of decay.'  At least that’s what the collector who wants this thing said.’  She carefully cuts a circle in the transluminum with the laser cutter in one of her cybernetic fingers.  She lets the piece fall into her other hand, and places it on the floor.
            She reaches in with her cyberarm, just to be safe, and grabs the Crystal.  She pulls it out and places it in her beltpack.  It almost doesn’t fit, but the top latches, so it’s safe.  She turns around, taking a deep breath.  She carefully retraces her steps and jumps back through the web of red beams, and rests at the door to the room with the window.  She looks at her chronometer.  ‘Not bad.  Thirty-eight minutes to get to City Level Two, and I am a gazillionnaire.  Me, just a petty burglar, but a damn good one, from New Boston Megatropolis, City Level One, Cityblock 114, Residence #2876.  What a crappy neighborhood.  No more for me. I’m gonna get a place inside the Phoenix Metropolis Arcodome, near the top, where real sunlight still comes through.  That’s the life,’ she thinks as she opens the door.  The security team is, of course, waiting for her.
            She jumps into the attack immediately.  She nails one guard on the chin with a spin kick, then stuns one with her Stunstick.  She takes a bolter hit in the back, but her E-shielding and sub-dermal armor protect her.  She spins around, grabbing another canister from her belt.  Aiming it at the guard who shot her, she presses the trigger button, launching a grappling hook and cord into the guard’s chest, knocking him down.
            Turning to the window, she sees a skycycle outside, its searchlight on her jetpack.  She retracts the grapple, and runs right over a guard to the window, hitting him with the Stunstick.  She dives out the hole in the window, executing a flip with her hands on her jetpack.  She pulls it away from the window, and begins a freefall.  Strapping herself into the pack, she turns it on, stops her fall, and flies toward the tunnel to Level Two.
            The skycycle catches up quickly, and is soon joined by another.  She tries to lose them by weaving through traffic levels, but has no luck.  She isn’t even close to the tunnel when they start shooting.
            She uses a looping maneuver to get behind one skycycle, and flies right up to it.  She entangles the pilot in her grapple, then attaches the hand-held end to her jetpack.  Then, with excellent timing, she turns off the pack, quick-releases her straps, and lands on the skycycle as the pilot, caught in the grapple line, plummets to the First City Level below.  She pilots the skycycle toward the tunnel, but her engine is hit by the other cycle’s gun.  She thinks of bailing out, using her other grapple on an aircar or something, and she checks her beltpack.
            ‘The Crystal.  I must have lost it in the fight.  Shit!’
            The fruitlessness of her actions overcomes her, and she loses control of the skycycle when it gets hit again.  Her cycle veers wildly out of control, circling down until it crashes… Right into New Boston Megatropolis, City Level One, Cityblock 114, Residence #2876.

            The bald man, disguised as a security guard, turns to his partner, also disguised. “Do you think she caused that explosion?” he asks his partner.
            “Who cares?  I got the Crystal in the fight, so let’s get out of here before somebody realizes who we are.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sol's goodbye

A little photo-story I did. These guys are Gobons, awesome little figures made by Matt Doughty, Onell Design. Great guy, great toys. One recently left my collection, so I had to make a little story for the event. Yeah, I get really bored sometimes.

After a long time together, the Gobons say goodbye to their good friend Sol. He's moving to a new location, where his skills of Sumo wrestling, developing photographs, and directing traffic, will be more in demand. It's sad, but for the best.

Sol gets ready to climb into the transport vessel, and waves goodbye to his friends.
                                                            'Bon voyage!'

                                                           'Bye guys!'

                                                'Take care, Sol'  Gobon fist-bump.

Sol is overcome by emotion, and gives GP a big hug
                                                            'I love you, man...'

With Sol on the transport, the other Gobons go back to work keeping the world safe from alien invasion.

And that's it for today. We laughed, we cried, we go back to work. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

mmm....Opiate Jelly. 100% natural, with unavoidable bee parts.

Part II – The Syneshtian Opiate Jelly

            He couldn’t believe his luck.  Here he was, wedged between two sharp, slimy rocks, and the belly of the Queen Syneshtan Bee.  She was practically dripping with the most desired drug this side of the Rim: Syneshtan Opiate Jelly.  Just being in the presence of it, leaning on rocks covered in it, he was beginning to trip out.  He reaches for his knife to cut off pieces of the sticky stuff, but becomes distracted by the Jelly itself.  He never before had seen it on the Queen, or even seen a Queen before.  She was enormous, like a whale, and bloated with hundreds, maybe thousands of Syneshtia Bee eggs.  The contrast of her white spots against dark blue, covered everywhere by a thin pink coating of Jelly, the smell of the cave mixed with the sweet aroma of the Jelly, the ringing in his ears…
            “They eat this,” he says to no one.  “They eat this, and fry out, and live off the shit, high all the time.”
            ‘To be a Syneshtia Bee,’ he thinks. ‘The flowers alone will get you off, but this Jelly… the Jelly… my knife!’  He remembers he’s here to get some.  He looks around quickly, and the cave seems different, brighter, bigger even.
            ‘I must be high off this stuff,’ he thinks to himself, as he begins to slice off a chunk of the mystic pink Jelly.  He puts it in his pack and begins to cut off another piece.  He looks around at the cave again.  He can’t tell if it is brighter or darker that last time, but he can see the pink coating over everything.  On the walls, floor, stalagmites, his boots, his hands…
            “Shit!” he cries, dropping his knife.  Distracted by the cave, and high off the Jelly, he cut himself.  He watches the blood mix with the Jelly on his hands, the red pushing into pink, then dripping onto the pink-coated floor, next to where his knife fell… shiny red-edged knife… ‘Did I drop that?’ he wonders.
            “Well, anyway, it fell, didn’t it?”  he says, chuckling to himself.
            “Hey, I’m bleeding,” he notices. “Blood leaks out, Jelly leaks in… to… oh, Gods.”
            He remembers Garrett’s last words: ‘The best high is when the shit gets in your blood.  Then you really get off.’
            He starts to panic; he doesn’t have much time. ‘Got to get out.  How’d I get in here?’
            He falls as he tries to get down from his perch under the Queen.  He sees her move. ‘They’re supposed to be hibernating. Shit!’ he thinks, knowing what it means, ‘the buzz… Gods help me; they’re awake!’ He picks up his knife, but can’t focus his eyes and grabs the blade, cutting his hand again.
            ‘Gotta go.’  He heads toward what looks like the way out, only to find his legs don’t want to go there.  He stumbles, falling against a pink-coated wall.  ‘It’s not sticky,’ he wonders, ‘but I can see Jelly all over it.  But can’t… feel it.’  As he reaches to feel the illusionary Jelly, he hears the buzzing again.  ‘I took their Jelly; they’ll kill me!’  He drops the bag with the Jelly in it, hoping that gesture will save him.  As he heads towards the swirling, hazy light he believes is the way out, he feels the swarm behind him.  He screams as the nearly foot-long stingers begin to impale him.  He screams again, in terror, as the now dead, meter long bees hang from him, stingers still piercing him.  He begins to scream again, but his life is over before it comes out.
            “Hey; what’s that on the ground?” the bald man asks his partner.
            “A body,” he replies.  “Wonder what happened?”  He turns the body onto its back.
            “Poor bastard fell on his own knife.  Must’ve tripped.”  He turns to the bald man.
            “Maybe he had too much Jelly, eh?” the bald man jokes, and the two laugh quietly as they head toward the cave to harvest the pink Syneshtian Opiate Jelly directly from the bloated belly of the Queen while she sleeps.

First Post!

Jethro Tull - First Post

Welcome. This is my new blog. I can't say how often I'll post, or that you'll really care, but here it is. Thought I'd start with a little light music, and the first draft of Part I of the story I've been writing for, well, a long time.

Part I – The Bald Man and His Partner

            His hands shook slightly, almost as if he were nervous, as he put the money into the bag.  He knew something was wrong.  He’d done this hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and never was it quite like this.  Maybe the room was too clean, or the air filter worked too well.  Whatever it was, he knew it was about to blow.  He put the money in his light armor trench coat quickly, and turned toward Stern.
            “Thanks,” he says, as the door shakes slightly.  He hears the whine of the door ram charging, and in come the cops.
            He takes one out as he dives behind the table.  The smell of powder fills the air as the gunshot echoes through the musty room, surprising the authorities.
            He always loved the old slugthrowers.  There’s no replacement for the power and feel of an old Kolt 700.  Even if he weren’t nostalgic, the fact that they did more damage than a bolter gun to a body, and they rip through E-shielding like it wasn’t there would have attracted him to the weapon.
            The cops start shooting, scorching the air with bolter fire, taking out Stern, who got caught in the crossfire.
            ‘One less to worry about,’ he thinks, as he plans his miraculous escape.
            His next shot takes out one of the cops’ knees.  His next, another’s head.  The bloody mess, he hopes, gives him enough shock value to spook the rookies, and he makes a dive behind the desk.  He takes two hits on the way; one cut through the coat and got his side.  He winces as it burns his flesh.  He ignores the pain, knowing he’s dead if he slows down.  He shoots out the window above him, another thing bolters aren’t good for, and turns to shoot over the desk.  He draws his second pistol, another old slugthrower, and unloads wildly while making two careful shots with the first.  One knocks out the lights, making the only illumination the dim, smog-filtered light reflecting off the Residential Cityblock structure across the way.  This provides sufficient, though temporary, cover to quickly get up and dive out the window.  He holsters the Kolt on the long fall to the Second City Level far, far below.  Pressing a button on his left, cybernetic arm, he thinks, ‘Be there, dammit, be there.’  An air car swerves, honks, then speeds away, barely missing him.  He presses the button again; ‘So this is it, I guess,’ he thinks as the ground rushes toward him.  He looks up at the barely visible sky, obscured by enormous Cityblocks and thick smog as he braces himself, and he suddenly slows in his descent.  The vague green haze around him allows him to relax, as the grav-ray pulls him into the cockpit of the waiting aircar.
            “How’d it go?” the driver asks.
            “You could have come quicker,” he replies.
            “You could be dead.”
            “Thanks,” he starts. “Went well; took down two that I’m sure of, maybe more.  Think I shook ‘em up when I jumped.  They didn’t expect that.”
            “You got the money, though, right?”  The bald man asks, taking the aircar into a tunnel to City Level One.
            “Yeah, right here… dammit, I knew it should’ve hurt more.”
            “What should’ve hurt more?”
            “The bolter hit; it should have hurt more,” he says, as he pulls out the scorched remnants of what was once a bag full of money.