SFFSat The Last Goodbye

BLS Mockup4cThe Last Goodbye ~

Thank you for joining us today for the final installment of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. More than a web ring of tasty snippets of the latest work of indie SF/Fantasy authors, Sci-fi Fan Sat has been a home for me, a sounding board, and the place where I met colleagues who became my best friends. Without the authors and writers featured here over the years, THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES wouldn’t be the same and might never have seen the light of day. A heartfelt thanks to Laurel Kriegler, our illustrious leader and editor extraordinaire for bringing us together in a positive, supportive environment. This Saturday tradition has been the launch pad for my books, and the books of many gifted and talented authors like Cary Caffrey, TK Toppin, Pippa Jay, Patrick Stutzman, Heidi Ruby Miller, TM Hunter, Peter Vialls, SA Check, Gayle Ramage, Misa Buckley, Aurora Springer, and so many more.

BWC SOVRAN'S PAWN - FINALBWC HERO'S ENDIt seems only fitting to leave you with a snippet from the same scene, from the same book that brought me to SFFSat to begin with five years ago. BARRON’S LAST STAND was always THE book I was writing. SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END just happened to be the backstory. Thanks to Laurel’s encouragement and that of the SFFSat crew, I wrote those first and am just now getting back to the book that started it all. So for my last trick, here is a snippet from BARRON’S LAST STAND in which Bo Barron finds that her estranged husband, Blade Devon has stowed away aboard her ship. In five years, the scene has undergone some revisions from it’s first appearance, but here it is as it will appear in the upcoming release.

“Hello, my love.”

The smooth, familiar, baritone voice hit her like a plasma storm, taking all her defensive systems offline. Her lungs felt as if the hull had been breached and all the atmo had blasted out into the vacuum of space, leaving her helpless to do more than stare into eyes the same shade as the bluestone of the Gallis Highlands where she’d grown up.

A slow, rakish smile softened his stern features.

Hell no!

Her heart pounded in time with the cycling engines. She wasn’t some twitter-pated fangirl who would melt under his megawatt, crooked little, bad-boy smile. That ship broke grav five years ago. He did not get to swagger back into her life as if nothing had happened.

She squeezed the trigger.

Blue energy flashed from the muzzle and struck him in the thigh.

He grunted in pain and reached for his wound.

Bo tightened her grip on her blaster and set her jaw. “Keep your hands where I can see them!”

 

Thank you for sharing these last five years with all of us. God Bless.

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Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday

Welcome back! Last week, Blade listened to a log entry from Bo’s ship, looking for answers to explain the deplorable condition of her sick bay. He’s still looking for answers and hoping her shipboard computer will be able to fill in the blanks.

Blade frowned. “That was terse, even for Bo,” he said. “How badly was she hurt?”

The diagnostic screen attached to the side of the gyro table flashed with the timestamp from twenty-seven months ago, followed by a diagram of a female form highlighting a rundown of her condition. A knot twisted in his gut as Sundance scrolled through a lengthy list of injuries that told him far more about what had happened than Bo’s cryptic log entry.

She’d been ambushed and overwhelmed. Defensive wounds showed that after they’d attacked her with energy weapons, she’d fought them in close quarters.

“How many were there? Four? Five?”

“Six.”

Don’t forget to visit the other Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday participants.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 8

Back again? Yes, it’s Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. I’ve been serializing my latest short story about Blade Devon’s misspent youth. More specifically, the rather sketchy period of his past between the time he left the Inner Circle and started his holofeature career.

This is not the arrogant, larger-than-life interstellar man of mystery we know from SOVRAN’S PAWN or HERO’S END. This Blade is scrawny, young punk who can’t seem to stay sober, or out of trouble. It’s up to his big brother Chase to pick up the pieces.

***

Sighing, Chase rolled his eyes and pushed away from the counter. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s get you home so you can finish sobering up.”

“I’m not that drunk,” Blade muttered, falling into step behind him.

“Right.”

In silence, the two men left the detention center through the main doors. Blade glanced back at the gloomy gray building looming behind them. How long before they went through this again? How long since the last time? Maybe he should just cut his losses and disappear. His brother surely didn’t need the aggravation. Chase had worked hard to build a nice life for himself. The last thing he needed was a criminal in the family. Having a brother like Blade around could only drag him down.

It was one thing to ruin his own life. Blade wasn’t comfortable ruining his brother’s, too.

***

So that’s my meager offering for today. I hope you enjoy and comment. I shall reply as soon as I finish dancing the night away at my exotically beautiful daughter’s wedding to her own handsome soldier.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 7

I see you’re back for another round of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. In case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve been serializing my latest short story about Blade Devon’s early days and doling it out a few sentences at a time. In the interest of moving along, I’ve skipped ahead a few sentences to Blade’s release from jail as he’s remanded into his brother’s custody.

Last week, Blade’s personal effects were returned minus a few contraband items, like a couple of pocket knives…and a few other minor things. This week our intrepid hero is faced with the truth of his condition as he sees himself through his brother’s eyes.

***

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just leave you here until your hearing.” Chase Fossey demanded.

Blade glanced over his shoulder at his brother.

His anxieties faded like shadows in the daylight. Despite his open disapproval, Chase was the only person he trusted to always have his back.

When the guard finally stepped away with the manacles, Blade’s shoulders sagged in relief.

Baby steps.

He slowly turned to his brother. Chase, a broad, blond, giant of a man glared impatiently at him. Though they were roughly the same height, and normally of similar build, Blade felt dwarfed beside him.

The stark disparity between them drove home just how screwed up his life had become. He’d lost a lot of weight after the injury that had sent him home on extended medical leave. Sleepless nights and self-loathing had left him hollow-eyed, pale, and apathetic.

Blade was still trying to decide whether his life was worth the effort of recuperation. Chase of all people didn’t need to know how close to the edge he was dancing. His brother was his touchstone and the only thing that kept him sane and grounded.

***

I shall be posting next week because I don’t want to leave you hanging, but I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to fully participate in the conversation. My daughter is getting married next Saturday — the last of three daughters who all decided to get married this year. I may be a bit delayed. Please check out the other wonderful authors participating and don’t forget to show them some love!

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 6

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences designed to reel you and leave you screaming for more!

Last week, Blade ran the gauntlet of temptation from holding cell to release, thankfully without killing anyone. Blade is home  on medical leave (or AWOL) and suffering from PTSD.

***

“Prisoner release,” the guard said. “Name of Dev Fossey.”

The uniformed clerk on the other side of the transparisteel opened a strongbox and began removing items, placing them into a drawer and identifying them aloud as he went.

“One Unitek chrono…one wallet…four hundred eighty-seven Commonwealth credits, hard currency… one com-set… one pair of sunshades… three finance cards, one belonging to Dev Fossey, one belonging to Chase Fossey, one belonging to Blade Devon.” The clerk peered up at him, his red-rimmed eyes filled with mistrust. “We’ve run them all through the system and none were reported stolen.”

Blade craned his neck to see into the box. “I had a couple of pocket knives, too.”

The clerk consulted his list. “A Mergent Arms TJ-65 blaster pistol, leather shoulder holster, twelve throwing knives, ten throwing discs, fuseform knucks, bolo, and a government issue RK-129 have been confiscated and taken into evidence.” He pressed the controls sending the drawer out to Blade. “Please verify the contents of the drawer for records.”

Blade glanced down at his things, sighing over the missing contraband. “Yeah. That’s my stuff.”

***

That’s where the natural break was. I hope you enjoyed this teeny peek. Come back next week to find out what happens once Blade begins the process of re-entering civilization. While you’re waiting, I’m still busy with BARRON’S LAST STAND. If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.

Also, in a personal note, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an affliction that hits close to home. With three family members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan I have seen first hand that it is something very real, and very much an unending nightmare for the men and women returning from war. There is a reason combat vets have that 1,000 yard stare.

If you know someone who suffers from PTSD, I urge you to support them and encourage them however you can. They will not be the same person they were before they went into hell on earth. They won’t want to talk about the evils they’ve seen and done. Sometimes having someone be there without judgment is all they ask.

There are many support groups for veterans and their families. Personally I support the Wounded Warrior Project. For more information on the Combat Stress Recovery Program, follow the link to their web site.

Other helpful links:
www.ptsdsupport.net/

www.ptsd.va.gov/

www.operationnotforgotten.com/PTSD

www.militarywithptsd.org/

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 5

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences designed to reel you and leave you screaming for more!

When we left Blade last week, he was being taken from his cell to be processed for release. But Blade is home  on medical leave (or AWOL) and suffering from PTSD. To calm the violent rage boiling inside him and prevent himself from giving in to his training, he’s been mentally running down all the actions he would take if he needed to break free. He was doing well until he noticed the guard in the security cage had an NS-10 energy rifle.

***

The power cell from his guard’s com-set would provide enough of a charge to open the cage. Control the barrel. Rifle butt to the face. Take the weapon.

The secured door ahead of them buzzed open.

The man in the cage nodded to them as they passed.

The guard dragged him to a halt in front of a secured counter at the far end of the hall.

Blade dabbed his brow with his shirt sleeve. His heart pounded in his chest.

He hadn’t broken free from his restraints, nor had he killed anyone.

That was a good sign.

***

That’s where the natural break was. I hope you enjoyed this teeny peek. Come back next week to find out what happens once Blade begins the process of re-entering civilization. While you’re waiting, I’m still busy with BARRON’S LAST STAND. If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.

Also, in a personal note, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an affliction that hits close to home. With three family members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan I have seen first hand that it is something very real, and very much an unending nightmare for the men and women returning from war. There is a reason combat vets have that 1,000 yard stare.

If you know someone who suffers from PTSD, I urge you to support them and encourage them however you can. They will not be the same person they were before they went into hell on earth. They won’t want to talk about the evils they’ve seen and done. Sometimes having someone be there without judgment is all they ask.

There are many support groups for veterans and their families. Personally I support the Wounded Warrior Project. For more information on the Combat Stress Recovery Program, follow the link to their web site.

Other helpful links:
www.ptsdsupport.net/

www.ptsd.va.gov/

www.operationnotforgotten.com/PTSD

www.militarywithptsd.org/

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 4

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences designed to reel you and leave you screaming for more!

We’re back with a young Blade Devon, a 23 year-old special forces combat veteran home on medical leave (or has he gone AWOL?) When they arrested him, he had three forms of ID on him, each in a different name. He’s been booked under the name Dev Fossey and he already made believers out of the other miscreants sharing the holding cell with him.  Unlike the other miscreants in holding, Blade has a straight-arrow brother who’s posted his bond. Now all Blade has to do is not kill anyone before he’s remanded into his brother’s custody. That may be the most difficult task ahead of him.

***

With one insistent tug, the guard dragged him out of his thoughts. His boots felt like someone had activated gravity plates as he stumbled the first few steps, trying to match the other man’s pace down the hallway.

It would be so easy to overpower the man beside him and free himself.

Elbow to the face. Cut off air supply with the binder chain. One quick twist of the head to snap the neck. Sharp blow just so on the hinge…

Fine beads of perspiration broke out on his forehead.

Blade lifted his gaze to the surveillance network tucked into the ceiling.

Disable the power supply by shoving the broken edge of the binder into the servomotor and set up a chain reaction of power failures along the line.

They passed a transparisteel observation cage with another guard inside. An NS‐10 energy rifle leaned against the wall behind him.

Blade clenched his jaw so tightly a muscle twitched in protest.

***

There’s more, but this was all I could swing for this snippet. Come back next week for more! In the mean-time, I’m going to spend my days feverishly working on BARRON’S LAST STAND. If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.