Monday, February 7, 2011


The tiny soldiers are charging into battle
Disobeying orders once again;
Never listening to their commander
and running to their death again.
They run down the trail
Across the salt stained lips
and down onto the battlefield below.
The one where the battle ends
Where they're done charging
When all they can do is stay there and watch.
Watch the battle roll on.
Stop the charging
Stop fighting
Stay back
and stay clean.
No more messes
No more heartache.
Won't these little soldiers ever follow,
Can't they ever listen?
They charge through like animals
like savages trying to escape.
Pick up all the bodies;
Lying still and wet on the battlefield
Pick them up and strategize
Conquer up a new plan
A new method to approach things
One that has less causalities
Wipe away the soldiers;
all the ones running to their death
one's running to the land's own destruction
The more soldiers that keep on marching
The harder it gets to win
The harder it becomes to hold them back
The harder it gets to save the others
Once one soldier runs;
the rest follow right behind
The soldiers are running
from the all seeing lands
Past the mountain
over salt stained hills
off the cliff
and onto the battlefield below.

Monday, January 31, 2011


On a dark cloudless night,
I peered into the sky,
When suddenly I saw a
Shimmer of light
My Heart could not deny.
It glared upon the surface
Of the earth on which I lay,
And lifted me into the night
Towards the God unto whom I pray.
I saw the earth from up above
It's mystery abounding
Filled with trees and streams I love
My heart was now strongly pounding.
The earth I saw was sad and weak
It had signs of neglection.
As the tears ran slowly down my cheek
I cried for it's lost perfection.

The Project

I know I am not as "serious" of a writer as the rest of you, but I still would like to post some of the things I have written and receive comments as well.  Be gentle. :)

               Alex threw her suitcase and book bag into her car and then backed out of the driveway.  She was late to pick up Pierre and she knew how much he hated being late.  She also knew that it would take them a good five hours to get to Eureka Springs and she wanted to get four solid hours of work done on the project tonight.
                She pulled into the cracked driveway and stopped the car.  The ancient looking house that stood before her seemed to cry out for mercy.  Its lavender paint was chipping off and it’s porch looked as if it would collapse from underneath you if you stepped on it.  Alex found it quite repulsive, but Pierre said that if had a touch of flare.
                A tall, handsome man came out from the fuchsia door with a night bag in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He wore a pair of loose khaki shorts and a white Polo shirt. His dark tan seemed even more golden in the April sunshine.  As he approached the car, the mid afternoon sun caught the green of his eyes and they sparkled like lovely pools of water.
                She had always found him attractive, but today he seemed more than just attractive; he seemed sexy and irresistible.  As he opened the car door and sat in the seat, Pierre thought to himself:
                “Oh my gosh, she’s gorgeous!  I wonder what kind of kisser she would be?  I wonder if she thinks about me as much as I think about her? ”
He shook away these thoughts quickly though.
                “No!  What am I thinking?  She’s getting married in just a few months.  She’s in love with Ken.  I introduced them for heaven’s sakes.  I can’t be attracted to Alex.  We are here to finish our project and nothing more.”
                He decided to brush the thoughts aside and chide her for being late.
                “It’s about damn time you got here. I thought you said 3:30?”  Pierre questioned, being quite sarcastic.
                “You know I love it when you’re mad.  It makes things so much more interesting.  Now let’s hit the road.”  Alex jabbed back at him.
                Pierre chuckled to himself and then adjusted himself in the buckle seat.  The drive from Lawrence to Eureka Springs was absolutely gorgeous.  The newly budded leaves and the emerald green hills and meadows beckoned the two friends to a state of relaxation.  The sun began to set when they reached Mark Twain National Forest.  The sky slowly changed from yellow, to orange, to red, to a deep shade of purple.
                “Wow, that was beautiful!”  Pierre decided to break the silence.  Somewhat shocked by the sincerity of the statement, Alex could only answer with a barbaric sound “Yeah”.
                “Almost as beautiful as you.”  Pierre continued, with the same sincerity as his comment about the sunset.
                “Thank you dawling.” Alex said in an overexaggerated brogue.  “Is there any particular reason for kissing up to me this way?”  Alex teased.
                But he wasn’t kissing up.  He admired her shapely figure and incredibly long legs.  Her long, wavy hair gently blew in the breeze from the open car windows.  He loved her big brown eyes which had a certain melancholy to them when she was concentrating.  Her breasts, perfect and round, which were hidden underneath a tight fitting pink cardigan sweater.  He loved her.  He loved her stunning body and her alluring eyes.  He loved her kind and gentle way of looking at everything in the world.  He loved her orneriness and her stubborn side.  He loved her, but he knew he shouldn’t.  Ken, her fiancĂ©, was an old high school buddy.  He introduced them to each other.  Now he almost regretted it.
                Alex and Pierre were both graduating in May, so they decided to get together and work on their senior project.  It was due in two weeks and they had barely scratched the surface.  They needed to concentrate all of their time to the project this weekend.  That is why they were here.
                Alex’s parents owned a bed and breakfast in Excelsior Springs.  She thought it would be a quiet place for them to work, away from the crazy college life at the university; away from the temptations of end of the year parties.  When she was younger, she loved to go to the inn.  It was always so quiet and peaceful.  It seemed that the whole world had slowed down to a crawling pace inside this town.
                “Welcome to Eureka Springs” the sign read as they approached the quaint little town in the hills. The narrow streets and the Victorian homes smiled on them as they drove.
                “My parents place is just up this hill.”  Alex beamed with anticipation.  “It’s funny,  every time I get near this town I am filled with excitement.  I feel like a ten year old again who is on her way to grandma’s house.  It’s so comfortable.  Everyone in town is friendly.  The streets are filled with quaint country stores and restaurants.  I guess that’s why mom and dad decided to buy this place.  They came here for their tenth anniversary and fell in love with it.  It was eight years and about twenty vacations later that they bought the Piedmont.  I can’t wait to show you the place,Pierre, you are going to love it!”
                They pulled up in front of the two-story Victorian home.  It was painted blue with pink laced around the windows and other trimmings.  It had a porch that encircled the whole house.  Off to the north side of the porch, you could see the rolling hills and peaceful countryside of the Ozark Mountains.
                Alex pushed open the heavy oak door that led them into the house.  She immediately walked up the curving oak staircase that led them to the rooms.
                “We can stay in Suite #6.”  Alex said more to herself than to Pierre as she entered one of the rooms.
                The room, much like the rest of the house, had dark walnut floors.  The walls were papered with a delicate cream wallpaper, laced with pink roses.  In the center of the room was a queen sized bed covered with a fluffy down comforter that matched the pink roses of the wallpaper.  The intricately carved wood posts of the four poster rose high above the bed.  In one corner of the room sat a rocking chair that appeared to have rocked many a child to sleep in its lifetime.  On the opposite side of the room sat an antique oak dresser.  The only other piece of furniture was an antique desk that had been painted blue and had chipped away with time.
                “It’s very charming.”  Pierre said, responding to the room.  “You are right, I do love it.”
But what he really meant was that he loved her.  The room was filled with Alex.  The softness of the walls, the wholesome old-fashioned charm of the floors and furniture.  The room was Alex and that is what Pierre loved about it.
                “Well, I’d show you the rest of the house, but the trip took longer than I expected and I really think we should start working.”
                “Working?”  Pierre whined the most childish whiny voice he could muster.  “I don’t want to start working.  Can’t we just fool around?”
                “Of course we can dawling, but I usually like to play hard to get.”  Alex smirked.
                Pierre’s words were teasing of course, but his heart wasn’t.    Was Alex aware that his playful flirtations were more than just friendly banter? 
                Pierre thought to himself, “Alex is the perfect woman for me.  I have loved her since the first time we met.  This is my one last chance to tell her.  If I leave this weekend without telling her how much I love her, then she will marry Ken and my chance will be forever lost.  I’ve got to tell her, but how?”
                Alex noticed the sudden sullenness on Pierre’s face and wondered what she had said.  They have always joked around with each other like this.    Oh well, it was a long drive and they had a lot of work ahead of them.  Maybe he was just stressed.  Anyway, they really did need to get to work.  So she looked over at Pierre, winked and said, “Let’s get to work.”

To be continued

The Plan

I know I already read this today, but I wanted to post it just in case anyone had any other comments they wished to give, after having read it in.. er.. black and beige.

Impossibly bright golden-platinum and hot white-blue headlights briefly blinded and then faded behind them as they rode silently along the interstate.  The weekend’s events had been simultaneously baffling and enlightening, and occurred in such a whirlwind fashion that when the driver of the rented SUV glanced in the rearview mirror, he gasped in fleeting shock as the white and orange insignia of the U-Haul trailer he was towing almost completely blocked his view.
                The bewildered driver was tired; he longed to be home in his apartment, indulging in a frosty foreign beer and soaking up the aromas of patchouli incense and chicken marsala.  This was a scene he frequently repeated after a day of hard intellectual labor, but as he’d barely finished any complex thought in the chaos of the last two days, he almost felt unworthy of even that one savory memory.
                Ebon considered himself a rational person, but also one who could appreciate a healthy amount of spontaneity.  If asked to describe him, he expected his colleagues and close friends and family would say that, yes, he was a responsible, ethical scholar, but that he had been known to take calculated risks from time to time with where he decided to call home from time to time, and that the money he earned that didn’t go to bills or the purchase of a few items for his own immediate pleasure typically ended up in an account dedicated to the reservation of necessary funds for trips that often took him halfway around the planet.  He wondered if those summers of boundless fun and exciting adventure had come to an end.
                And yet, Ebon found himself oddly accepting of this notion, feeling now that the most recent change in the plan he thought was infallible, might be exactly what he needed.  Asleep in the passenger seat next to him was Zenith, whose friends and family affectionately called him Netty, a twenty-two year old man he’d met when Netty had barely entered adolescence.  For seven years, they had spoken mostly via email about the trials of high school and early adulthood that had once seemed so dire to the younger man.  But those juvenile preoccupations were nothing compared to the uncertain future that the pair faced now.
                Ebon was intimately aware of Netty’s hand on his thigh.  He had never imagined their relationship turning into this… whatever this was.  When they first met, Ebon was almost thirty; Zenith was barely fifteen.  He hadn’t expected the force with which Netty pursued his friendship, but six months later, they still emailed back and forth almost daily.  So unsure of himself, if Ebon didn’t respond to emails within a few hours, Zenith was prone to send more, apologizing generously for saying anything which might have offended him.  Taking respite in his old office, where he was an assistant magazine editor, he used to chuckle in spite of himself at how eagerly this teen reached out to him.  Eventually, he set clearer boundaries with Netty, but he didn’t miss a beat and changed his behavior very quickly.
                He drifted into a sweet recollection of the cathedral they visited together with Netty’s mother, where Ebon had calmly told them everything he knew about Saint Peter.  Zenith had hung on his every word, his eyes sparkling as the freshly-lit candles danced in his peripheral line of sight.  The stained glass masterpieces and high tapered ceilings were breathtaking, yes; but not nearly as much so as the shy smile and blush that engorged his cheeks whenever their gazes met.
                Suddenly, Netty’s hand squeezed the flesh of Ebon’s upper leg.  He must have been dreaming, but what about?  Since their lane and the two surrounding ones were empty, and a barrier separated those lanes from oncoming traffic, he briefly looked over at the young man and sighed.  “What the hell are we doing, guy?”  There was no response from the softly-snoring boy, and he hadn’t expected one.  They would do as Ebon tended to, and figure it out when they got where they were going.

FaI chapter 2

Chapter 2
“Alright” said Lance rotating his shoulder to make sure it worked properly. He had taken off his armor which was now lying on the table across from him as the maintenance robot went about the repair procedures programmed into it by Mar-Cii.
Very few people had seen Lance Sunquencher without his helmet on. Those who did preferred the faceless visage of the helmet to his actual face. It was not an ugly face just intimidating. He had short black hair and a bright blue eye. The only feature that marred his image was the eye patch over his left eye, which he had lost in a fight with a Dracodian Glacian . Many of his employers had wondered if he wore it for appearance but only a few had voiced the sentiment aloud. They were always answered with the same action. He would lift up his eye patch and reveal to them for an instant a vacant socket. Most of them would simply shake it off by saying that they found it hard enough to look into his one eye, and that two would probably paralyze them.
Who those employers were ranged from local crime lords to the big timers to occasionally planetary governments. He was the best bounty hunter in known space.
He looked over at his armor. Lance reached out and pressed a button on the control panel in the wall. “Hey Mar-Cii how is the repairs to the shielding going?”
A smaller image of Mar-Cii sprang to life in front of him. The only difference between it and the one he had left in the cockpit was that this one red hair had darkened, a sign of fury. She crossed her arms and stared at him. It might have been frightening except for the fact that Lance could look straight through her to the control panel behind her.
“I…” Mar-Cii said her hair getting darker by the second “…am perfectly capable to fix whatever damage you do to your equipment. And I don’t need you badgering me. If you would just exercise a little bit more caution then maybe you wouldn’t have to worry so much about it.”
Her hair was almost black at this point and she was glaring at Lance like she would want nothing better than to program the maintenance robot to fuse his lips shut. Then a ripple went through the AI’s frame.
“Who’s calling?” Lance asked
“The old snake himself.” Answered Mar-Cii, her hair lightening to a dark burgundy. Do you want to return to the cockpit to hear it?”
“No.” said Lance “Just patch it into here.”
Mar-Cii’s hair flashed back to black. Unlike the cockpit the control panel could not sustain two holograms. Another one of Mar-Cii’s quirks was she was very vain about her avatar.
“Fine.” She said, her voice making clear it was not, and disappeared. In her place was appeared to be a black snake in what could only be described as a red velvet tube.
It was an Anoconduan. They were snake like aliens whose former home world had been miles after miles of wetlands. It however was destroyed in the waning days of their brutal wars with the humans. They held a large empire of planets that was even larger than that of the Humans. However their real empire was crime, which as this one had once told Lance “know not the boundaries set by foolish sentients.
Its green eyes widened in surprise. “You honor me you facccccce Ssssunquencher. I trusssst then that your lasssst enterprissse went well?”
 “Don’t they always?” Said Lance cooly.
“ Good good good. It pleassses me to hear it my friend. For it would not do my heart well to hear ssssomething had happened to my mossst trusssted employee.”
“ I sincerely hope Hissy…” Lance said in a low voice “ that you are not making the same mistake as your father did three years ago.”
The Anoconduan shifted his coils restlessly. It might have been fear from the memory of what had happened to his father or the use of Lance’s nickname for him, for he said after an interval. “ When will you learn to adressss me by my proper name Hissithissiith?”
“I’ll get on to that.” Lance said dryly “Look I know you didn’t call just to make sure everything was fine with me. Now what’s the job?”
Hissithissith let out a hiss and then said. “You are alwayssss sssso direct Ssssunquencher. It issss both aggravating and reassssuring at the sssame time.”
“You are however correct” he continued “ asss of yessssterday an employee of mine hasssss left his posssition asss my accountant. He hassss ssssince been under the protection of the Human Intersssstellar Empire. It isss believed they plan on usssing his knowledge assss evidenccccce aganssst my… asssssociation.”
“Your gang you mean.” Said Lance
“sssss ssss such words cannot properly describe my orginasssation. I myssssself will of coursssse be untouched assss a national of the Anoconduan Empire I have immunity. However sssuch a thing will sssset me back a great deal ssso I wassss hoping you could help an old friend for a reasonable price of course.”
“Where is he being kept?” 
“On the Planet Rome VII in the new safe house, the one said to be impenetrable.” Hissithissith adjusted his coils again “ It might interesssst you do know that Captain Kamya has been asssssigned to guard him.”
“I see.” Lance said with a shadow of a smile flashing across his face. “I trust you have the layout of this safe house?”
“If I can assssssume you are accepting…”
“Of course you can.” Said Lance with growing impatience.
“Then I leave it with you.” Hissithissith vanished and a building appeared.
The defenses were intimidating. They had a new state of the art energy shield that could withstand a nuclear blast. There were always twenty armed guards on duty. To get through you had to go through retinal scans, hand print voice identification, and dna testing. There was no way to blast or trick your way in.
Lance scrolled down to the safe room. It was 200 feet below the surface in a chamber similarly defended from a nuclear blast. In case of an emergency the witness and his family were sent down there right a way. Lance examined the designs again. The energy field that protected the safe room was powered by the main generator.
 Lance thought. 200 feet. “Mar-Cii.” He said suddenly
“Yes.” Said Mar-Cii’s disembodied voice. Her tone indicated she was still put out with him.
“Can you bring up the plans of Rome VII’s major city with the data of the safe house installed to its blank spot?”
“Of course I can. What do you think I am? Some 21st century search engine?”
In moments the plans popped up. It was as Lance had expected. The sewers fell 250 feet below the surface. That was standard procedure for Imperial cities with over a billion inhabitants. Also it was impossible to communicate over any frequency down there.
Lance said “Can you show me where the sewer drains out?”
“That I’m afraid would be pushing the limit of this unit’s holograph crystal” said Mar-Cii slyly. “It would be much easier on the equipment if you used the cockpit’s holodisplay unit instead.”
Lance knew that this holodisplay was more than capable of handling a hologram of the size he was asking. The reason Mar-Cii suggested the one in the cockpit was because it could also sustain her avatar. Lance didn’t want to waste time and knew that if he protested Mar-Cii would go and another tangent about not taking care of his equipment.
“Fine.” He said rising from his chair.
He walked down the passageway to the cockpit. The doors opened for him on approach. “Looking good as always.” Lance said as he stepped through the doors. Mar-Cii’s hair went from dark red to strawberry blonde in an instant. “So what did you find?”
Mar-Cii, still flattered by the compliment responded more brightly than her usual self “After going through an intensive filtering process it goes to black stone lake. I take it you have another scheme so simple that no one has even considered it.”
“Yeah” said Lance staring at the diagram “I sure as hell do.”

Rolo-Dee looked around at the strange human faces around him. He, the-mate-of-his-life and their offspring had been put under the protection of these strange creatures on the condition he testify against Lord Hissithissith. He shuddered as he remembered the glowing green eyes of the Anoconduan.
Rolo-Dee was a tanamduan. He had small black beady eyes and a long snout much like the anteaters that were said to once in habit the human’s homeworld of Earth. He had soft brown fur with a bald patch on his belly. He had always been good with numerals. That was what made him valuable to Lord Hissithissith. But he could no longer work for a criminal when the-mate-of-his-life was with child.
One of the humans was approaching him now. It was a female he assumed. She looked like she was descended from the humans on the continent of Asia. She gave him the greeting “How are you doing?”
Rolo-Dee responded in his own trumpet like language. The translator device attached to his clothing the emanated. “I am fine Captain Kamya. If I understand the meaning of your greeting.”
She let out what he assumed to be a display of amusement. At that moment Rolo-Dee spoted an insect flying above the human’s armored shoulder. He inhaled quickly and suck it into his snout. It tasted rather good.
“That’s disgusting!”
One of the dark skinned humans had let out that exclamation. He had a look of disgust on his face. Captain Kamya said sharply “Go back to your post Lieutenant.”
“Aye Aye Captain” said the human, snapping a small solute.
Rolo-Dee looked around at the Imperial soldiers. He knew well the security measures they took. Yes, he was safe here.

Private Jacob Jones was on guard duty. It was the most boring job in the world. No one in their right minds would try to break into the facility again. The last three that tried had very painful and public executions. Wasn’t it bad enough the other guys called him JJ. Why did he always have to get the worst job?
 Suddenly one of the alerts was going off Private Jones began examining the view screens. There was a man outside with some boxes. This wasn’t right. They had just received a food shipment yesterday. “State your business.” He said over the intercom.
“I’m your guy’s shipment of food.” Said the man.
Jones tried to get a read out of the man’s biosigns and what was in the boxes. To his surprise he found out that all systems except for audio and video were being jammed. This wasn’t good. “Captain?” he said over the comm chanel.
“Yes what seems to be the problem?” Captain Kamya’s voice said from the audio emitter.
“A man just came by that said he was here to deliver food.”
“We had a delivery of food yesterday” the captains voice said
“Yes ma’am I know that.”Jones explained “But when I try to get a reading on him and the cargo all my sensors are jammed.”
“Then order the auto turrets to shoot him.”
“But ma’am the auto turrets targeting systems use thermals which are being jammed.”
“Damn!” the captain’s voice said. “Alright Private here’s what you do. Tell him to wait there. I’ll send a squad up. When they get there let him through. Then we can apprehend him and find out whatever is in the boxes.”
“Yes ma’am.” Jones said. Then he switched to the man outside. “Could you wait a moment while we get the appropriate personnel to take your cargo? You understand. Procedure.”
“Of course” said the man cheerfully.
Jones looked to the vids coming from the first check point. Ten Imperial guardsmen were standing there. One gave him a thumbs up. “Alright then, if you would please come in and submit to a search everything will be fine.”
The man had little choice. He had ten plasma rifles aimed right at his chest. To soldiers grabbed him and pulled him inside. Four more grabbed the boxes and brought them inside. As soon as they were in Jones closed the door. The shields quickly went back up.
The men began going through the boxes. They pulled out various things and checked them all with hand scanners. One of their alarms began to go off.
“What have we here?” said soldier bending down to pick up the cabbage he had been scanning. He there was a sharp crack of electricity and the man withdrew his hand.
“Hey would you look at this energy shields. What do you think Jones?” the soldier said.
Jones was about to answer but suddenly the systems were suddenly no longer being jammed. The cabage was a modified holovid player, but the modifications were defensive not lethal. It had a state of the art energy shield around it. Other than that the rest of the cargo was clean. Then his eyes went to the man. His eyes widened in shock.
Private Jones never got a chance to finish that statement, for at that moment the small nuclear bomb inside the pseudo man went off.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Chapter 1

It was a crisp fall day and Spencer Nolan was noticing just that fact as he rode his motorcycle to school. The leaves were festive colors of orange and yellow and red and they were at that perfect stage where, when tread upon, they released the most delightful crunching sound.
Spencer slowed as he reached the parking lot of M. Watson High School. He parked his bike and took off his helmet. As he turned to go inside, he noticed ominous dark clouds in the distance, no doubt warning of an impending storm.
“Spencer!” At the sound of his name, Spencer looked away from the clouds and saw his longtime girlfriend, Mandy Roswell, waiting for him at the front door.
“Hey Mandy.” He slipped his arm around her thin waist as he reached her.
“Spencer. I need to talk to you.” She hesitated. “After school, okay?” She kind of squirmed under his arm.
“Alright babe. Is everything all right?” He peered into her clear, blue eyes.
“Yeah, yeah. I have to go to class.” She replied quickly. He gave her a concerned look and released her as he reached hi homeroom.
As she began to walk away, he called after her, “I love you.”
Mandy looked back, smiled weakly and replied, “I love you too, Spencer.”
Spencer followed her lean figure with his eyes until she rounded a corner and disappeared from view. He turned and took his seat. Right next to Misty Roswell, Mandy’s identical twin. Both girls had big blue eyes and short, straight, very blonde hair, but that’s where the similarities ended. While Mandy took on the typical schoolgirl prep look, Misty preferred the ‘scene’ style. Today she had plastic dinosaur jewelry, skinny jeans, pink converse, oversized eyeglasses and to top it all off, she was wearing hot pink, fake hair clip-ins and pigtails. Misty noticed him looking and flashed him a too bright smile.
“Like it?” She asked.
“Well, it’s different.” He answered honestly. “But not bad. It’s very… you.”
“Okay, I’ll take that.” She laughed good-naturedly and turned to the front.
“Hey Misty. Do you know what’s going on with Mandy? She seems really upset.”
Misty turned reluctantly and gave him a sympathetic look. “Of course I know, but you know I can’t tell you.” She frowned. “I don’t know how you’ll take it. None of us saw it coming.” Her frown deepened and as an afterthought she added, “Everyone would have thought that, out of the two of us, it would have been me, what with my crazy fashion. It seems to fit my stereotype better.”
Spencer opened his mouth to ask what the heck she was talking about when their teacher entered and immediately began the lesson. Spencer anxiously waited until class was over and then rushed to corner Misty. He hoped to find out what she meant, but when she saw him coming, she quickly disappeared into the hallway’s surge of students. With Misty’s hints spinning through his thoughts the whole time, Spencer’s day seemed to drag on and on. What could it be? Was Mandy cheating on him? Was her family moving? Was she sick? Was she going to die? His speculations became increasingly worse as his class drug on.
When his last class finally came to a close, he was overcome with a terrible sense of dread and as he walked outside, the ever-darkening sky only served to darken his mood.
He caught sight of Mandy standing alone by the gym and drawing near to her, he imagined of every step as a beat in a death march.
“Hey Spencer.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him into the empty gym. “How was your day?”
“It was okay.” It was miserable.
“Good, good.” She put her hands behind her back and stared down at her shoe tracing a line on the floor. He knew that gesture well. She did it before every kiss goodnight. She was waiting. She was nervous. So was he. He could see as she visibly gathered her courage and looked back into his eyes.
Here it comes. He thought, bracing himself.
“I’m gay.”
Spencer’s mind stopped working. “What?”
Mandy’s gaze locked back on her shoes and stayed there this time.
“I am… a lesbian,” She faltered. And then more firmly “I like girls.”
Spencer’s mind began to sputter to life, but only minutely. His only focused thought was She’s not going to die! “Oh Mandy! That’s great.” He stopped. Not the best reaction. She gave him a startled look and he hastily tried to backtrack. “Well… Uh. Not great, but at least you’re not going to die…”
“Spencer, what are you talking about?” She knit her eyebrows together.
“Well I was trying to guess what might be wrong and I thought that maybe you had a terminal illness or something. You scared me, Amanda.” He sighed.
“Oh. I’m sorry.” She said relieved. She looked up as if a new painful thought occurred to her. “You do realize it’s over, though, right?”
“Oh.” He echoed her. He hadn’t realized.
“I’m sorry, Spencer.” Her eyes began to well up and she looked over her shoulder at the basketball team filing in for practice. She hated public displays of emotion. When she looked back, she had regained her composure and she met his eyes. “I do still love you, just not that way.”
Spencer nodded once and realizing there was nothing more to say, turned to go. He walked to the door and then glanced back at her. She sat with her knees to her chest and her head down sobbing. His heart lurched. “I’m glad you aren’t dying, Mandy.” He hesitated and added, “And I still love you, too.”
When he walked outside, it wasn’t raining yet, but the wind was fierce. Spencer’s jacket whipped around him as he walked to his bike. He didn’t know much about motorcycles except how to ride them, but he did know that his old one wouldn’t fare well in heavy rain. He mounted his bike, fastened his helmet and sped out of the parking lot. He wasn’t angry at Mandy for being… he couldn’t make himself think it. At least not yet.  But what she was, but he was upset their relationship was over. He knew it didn’t make sense but emotions rarely do. He clenched his teeth and sped up. He couldn’t think about his break up if all his concentration was being used keeping his bike upright in the wind. Just as he finished his thought, all at once, the heavens opened up and the rain began to fall in torrents all around. The roads became slick very quickly and Spencer flipped on his headlight hoping it would show him his way through the dense sheets of water. Unfortunately, the light only reached about two feet in front of him until the rain essentially solidified and blocked all of even the smallest hints of illumination from reaching its destination. Spencer broke his concentration when he realized he probably missed his turn and as he felt his bike fishtail, he also realized he was still going way too fast. With this in mind, he gripped the handlebars tightly with both hands and struggled to slow the speeding bike.  He cursed loudly as a wet leaf stuck to his helmet over his eyes and shook his head furiously. The bike was still going dangerously fast and Spencer was trying to avoid having to let go with one hand. The leaf wouldn’t budge and Spencer began to panic, realizing that the road he was on ended abruptly at a massive ditch. He cursed again, reached up and deftly wiped of the leaf only to see the end of the road speeding to meet him. He screamed, punched the brake and turned a hard right all the while knowing it wouldn’t help. His speeding bike slid into a bump in the road and both Spencer and the bike were suddenly airborne. The last thing he thought as he flew off his bike was Thank God I wore my helmet! And then the world went black.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fire and Ice

Chapter 1
That was the thought going through Lance Sunquencher’s head. He was being chased by an Araknos bounty hunter across the Tipocco city skyline.
            Araknos are a bipedal spiderlike sentient only found in the Arasah system. Their diamond hard shell made them the only creature capable of surviving on their home planet. Their planets ozone layer had been wiped out a millennium ago. All of the previous owners of the planet had been wiped out by the radiation of their own sun, leaving the Araknos as the planets only inhabitants. Hell only knew what they ate.
            Unfortunately for Lance, its exoskeleton made the plasma blast from his pistol absolutely worthless. Not to mention his own armor could only with stand so much of the fire coming from the plasma pistols griped in each one of the Araknos’s six claw like hands. Normally under such circumstances the best thing to do would be to double check your will and make peace with God. But Lance wasn’t ready to die just yet.
            Lance pulled out his plasma pistol and fired at one of the only weak spots in the Araknos’s exoskeleton. Its eyes. It began screaming in pain as plasma splattered across its eight eyes. Lance took a quick breather. All this for 100,000 credits. The Araknos had been acting as the body guard of some stuck up politician who had the audacity to take loans from the local crimelord to fund his election and then not pay it back. So Lance had been called in, the politician had been taken out, and the chase began.
A wooshing sound brought Lance back to his sences. He leapt back instinctively. A scraping noise made him swear. The Araknos’s claws had gouged nine holes in his armor.
“ Hey !! I just had this thing buffed last week!” Lance yelled as he raised his plasma pistol.
The Araknos reacted instantaneously. Its claws lashed out and knocked the plasma pistol right out of Lance’s hand. Lance reeled back in shock from the blow. 
Idiot. The Araknos were the only species in the entire galaxy with a spacial awarenes . They didn’t need their eyes to know where you were and what you were doing. Lance had let himself be caught off guard.
He struggled back to his feet. The Araknos’s ruined eyes were fixed upon him. It rushed at him, but this time Lance was expecting him. The Araknos’s exoskeleton made it practically indestructible. However, it had one more weakness. The joints of the older members of its species became more brittle than a sun baked Aquaneid(an alien that must always remain in water and away from sunlight do to its extraordinary reaction to even the slightest amounts UV rays) due to the large amount of radiation they experience in the course of their lifetime.
Praying that his assailant was past his prime Lance brought down his fist on the top shoulder, snapping all three of its left arms off. It slashed viciously at Lance with its three remaining arms, but Lance ducked underneath the blow and rolled straight to his plasma pistol.
He leveled his weapon and fired three shots into the hole where the Araknos’s middle left arm used to be. Lance could only imagine the creature’s pain as its internal organs burned up. Finally the fire burned out of it eye sockets. It remained frozen on its feet for a second be for it crashed to the ground, a lifeless smoldering husk
Lance let out a sigh of relief and lowered his weapon. He activated the relay system. Static filled the helmet for a few seconds before it cleared and a woman’s voice said. “You’re still alive. When you said an Araknos was on your tail I began to compose your eulogy.”
“Thanks for your confidence in me.” Said Lance irritably.
“Are you sure you don’t want to hear it? I became rather poetic at the end.” The woman’s voice spoke again.
“ No just get the ship down to my location ASAP.”
“ Righteeo. Mar-Cii out.”
Static filled the helmet again. He shut of the relay system. Then for the first time in 30 minutes he relaxed. He could hear the sound of the hover cars flying past him a thousand feet above ground.
“ THERE’S THE ASSASIN! SHOOT HIM!” a voice shouted from the side.
This just wasn’t his day. First the Araknos and now Peace Keepers. They were the police force of the CIPMDAA, the Confederacy of Independent Planets for the Mutual Defense Against Annexation. It was a political organization that cropped up a hundred and fifty years ago when the Humans and Anoconduan empires began to have a border war and the little planets were afraid of being swallowed up by the two giants.
A plasma bolt streaked by Lance’s head. He raised his plasma pistol and fired four shots. Three of the Peace Keepers fell but the last bolt splashed against an invisible barrier and dispersed.
“Shit”, Lance thought. Energy shields. They were a fairly new technology that had yet to work out all of the kinks. But that did not take away from the usefulness. That’s why Lance had had them installed into his armor.
He activated his energy shield. They came up for and instant the sputtered and disappeared right as a plasma bolt slammed into Lance’s left shoulder. The armor which had already taken a beating from the Araknos’s plasma bolts melted and burned his shoulder.
The energy shields must have damaged by the slashes from the Araknos Lance thought as pain ripped through his senses. It was ironic. Even though it had died the Araknos had still managed with that one blow to seal Lance’s fate. 
Lance hit the ground and looked angrily at the still smoking shell. What did it care about delicate wiring and energy shields. With its indestructible exoskeleton it was immune to plasma bolts, but there was no cover for him on this blasted roof top.
Wait a minute. The exoskeleton! Lance thought in a flash of inspiration. He rolled over to the lifeless shell and heaved it up in front him. Plasma bolts impacted uselessly against the corpse. Lance began returning fire, trying to overload their shields.  He was far from safe however. One of the more intelligent Peace Keepers decided to stop trying to go through his defense and just go around it.
Lance only just noticed him in time. He readjusted himself behind the carcass and began firing dozens of shots at the aliens head. The shielding around the head began to glow red. Then with a terrible wine it gave out and the head disappeared in blast of red plasma. The corpse fell to the ground with the base of the neck still glowing red-hot.
The Peace Keepers had Lance in a pickle and they knew it. Their energy shields protected them from all directions. All Lance could do was huddle behind the dead Araknos and pray they didn’t try to flank him.
Maybe Mar-Cii will get to use that eulogy after all? Lance thought as the Peace Keepers began to move to his left and right.
Just then a roaring sound filled the air. Lance looked up their was his ship the Nova Wolf. Red streaks of light exploded from its twin plasma turrets. Explosions ripped through the night The Peace Keepers were engulfed in hot plasma. Lance could see their silluoets for an instant until their energy shields gave out and they vanished in the intense heat.
“Keeping things under control I see.” Mar-Cii said though the relay system in Lance’s helmet.
“Shut up.” Lance said as he activated the rocket thrusters in his boots. He launched through the air strait into the cargo hold of the Nova Wolf. “Just get us out of here!”
Lance tossed aside the Araknos carcass as he exited the cargo hold. He struggled down the passage to the cockpit. Standing there was the holographic image of pretty young woman with red hair and wearing a white jump suit.
“I don’t suppose you could take better care of your equipment.” Mar-Cii said looking at the melted shoulder pad and slashed chest piece. “After all I’m the one who has to set the maintenance robot to fix it and buff it.”
“Never mind that just get us out of this system!” shouted Lance.
A shimmer went through Mar-Cii’s holographic body as she calculated. “Alright we should be exiting the gravitational field … now.”
Lance felt his feet leave the floor and he went floating up and hit his head on the ceiling. “TURN ON THE A-GRAV UNIT DAMN IT!”
“Sorry.” Mar-Cii said wincing. Another shimmer swept through her body as the room resumed a one gee environment. Lance landed far more gracefully than his ascension had been. He hopped into the pilot’s chair. He had just managed to strap in when an explosion rocked the ship.
“ There is a 99% chance that hostile ships are in hot pursuit.” Mar-Cii said in a matter of fact tone.
“You think!” said Lance irritably. “Just give me control and a picture of what I’m dealing with.”
Mar-Cii stepped aside and a 3D display of the space battle. His ship, the Nova Wolf, was being chased by two Arbiter class fighters. Lance let out a sigh of relief. The explosion had convinced him he was in some danger. The voice of the pilots of the Arbiter fighters came in through the speakers.
“Unidentified ship. You are here by ordered to return to us to the surface Where you and any passengers will be charged with Espionage, First degree murder, Disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assaulting a Peace Keeper, seven accounts of slaying a Peace Keeper, and destruction of public and private property. You have the right to a counselor. You have the right to remain si…”
At this point Lance had gotten tired of the monologue and shifted the Nova Wolf into a vertical position and went full reverse. He slipped between the two fighters. He quickly snaped back into the right position and began firing on the left ship. The two fighters split up and Lance continued to pound the rear shields of the ship with his plasma turrets.
After a few more seconds of that barrage the energy shield gave way and completely disappeared. A plasma bolt hit its engine causing it to explode.
Lance turned out of the way of the inferno. After that he brought the Nova Wolf around to face the remaining Arbiter fighter. It had also turned around and was firing at Lance. “Mar-Cii” he said “divert energy from rear shields to the front shields and prepare to fire the rear emergency thrusters on my order.”  While Lance said this he also punched in the code to unlock the colligun.
Mar-Cii noticed this and a shimmer of comprehension and apprehension rippled through her holographic frame. “Alright but just know your crazy
Lance accelerated strait towards the remaining fighter. It must have believed that Lance was playing chicken for it also began to increase its speed. All the while it continued to pound the Nova wolf’s shields with its plasma turrets. Several warning signs came up on the screen. Lance ignored them.
“For your information” Mar-Cii said conversationally “that under current speeds and rate of fire we have eleven seconds until our shields fail and ten seconds until collision.”
“Nice to know.” Said Lance as the fighter filled his view screen
“Five and four seconds now.”
“Just shut up and fire the thrusters… NOW!”
The rear thrusters quickly fired up. The back of the Nova Wolf shot up. It went up and above the Arbiter class fighter, and more importantly perfectly aligned it with the Nova Wolf’s colligun
There was an instant when Lance could see the astonished look on the aliens face as it stared up at him in complete shock. Lance gave a smile which he could not see and waved goodbye. He then fired the colligun. The effect was perfect. The slug quickly overloaded the fighter’s shields and ripped the ship apart.
Lance watched the fragments and frozen air to drift for a few seconds before saying “Alright Mar-Cii we need to drop into sub space. Set the coordinates for Sol.
“Righteeo. And you had better get yourself to the sick bay. In the condition you’re in I’m surprised you were even able to fly this bucket let alone pull off flashy suicidal maneuvers.” Mar-Cii responded in the condescending tone she often employed.
“You’re pretty mouthy for an AI.” Lance pointed out.
“Blame my programmer not me.” Mar-Cii said defensively. “Which if my memory banks serve me was you.
“Shut up.” Muttered Lance