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.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 3

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.

***

Blade glanced around for any other last-minute confrontations. The other men in the holding cell suddenly found their nails or the cracked floor completely engrossing. Blade nodded to the guard.

A hollow thump, followed by a shrill plink echoed through the cell as the lock disengaged. The guard tugged the heavy door aside. It rattled on its rails as it slid open.

With outward docility, Blade presented his hands for the requisite manacles. Once the heavy, metal binders clicked shut around his wrists, the guard took hold of his arm in a painful grip.

Instinctively, his biceps flexed against the insistent fingers digging into him. Taking a deep breath he slowly released it, focusing on relaxing and meekly submitting. Adrenaline pumped through his body as his will battled to suppress his training.

***

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.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 2

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

While I keep working on BARRON’S LAST STAND here is the next segment of a Blade Devon short that I’m REALLY excited about. This is Blade during the darkest period of his life, after his stint with the Inner Circle and before his fame in holofeatures. Suffering from PTSD, Blade is drifting through self-destruction, picking fights, gambling, and getting arrested. Last week we met him as he was preparing to leave the holding cell, but he was interrupted by a thug who promised that his boss Deo was going to kill Blade.

***

Blade glanced at the unconscious lump of hairy muscle and filthy leathers that lay on the floor then he smiled at the posturing little tough in front of him. “I’m heartbroken,” he said. “After all Deo’s pretty promises? He said he was going to make me his bitch.” He tsked and shook his head. “You bangers can be so fickle.”

Blade’s smile faded.

“When Deo comes to, you can tell him I said to take a number and wait his turn,” he said, his voice low and dangerous. “He’s going to die soon enough. No sense rushing it on my account.”

The Tenpa’s bravado crumbled. The color drained from his face and he swallowed hard. Slowly, he eased back onto the flat of his feet, his shoulders hunched protectively as he lowered his gaze. He backed out of Blade’s way.

***

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.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

Hi! I’m back…again! BARRON’S LAST STAND is coming along nicely and you’ve all been so patient with me. I thank you! Last time, I showed you a little snippet from one of Bo’s solo short stories. This time, I think Blade himself deserves equal time. So many of my readers have asked for a bit of back story on Blade Devon, so I thought I’d accommodate you.

This snippet is an opening salvo from a short story about a dark period in Blade’s life after his stint in the Inner Circle and before he started his holofeature career. In this short, Blade is around 23 years-old, and on medical leave home for the first time in seven years. He is no longer the young man who impulsively joined the Consular Guard at the age of 16. This Blade isn’t sure whether he goes by Dev Fossey or Blade Devon. He also is suffering from PTSD. So what does a man like Blade Devon do when he’s being self-destructive? He gambles, picks fights with dangerous thugs, and winds up in jail. That’s where we find  him in this snippet.

***

“Mister Fossey!”

The guard’s gruff tone gave way to annoyed impatience as he repeated himself for the fourth time.

Slowly peeling one eye open, Blade Devon peered at the guard who glowered at him from the other side of the thick metal grate.

The guard’s face flushed and a vein or two throbbed prominently on his forehead. “Look, you worthless piece of shit, your brother’s posted bond and you’re free to go! Don’t make me come get you!”

Blade slowly uncrossed his arms and stiffly climbed to his feet. It had taken some time for his back and buttocks to grow numb enough for the hard narrow bench and cold wall to be anything close to comfortable. Needles of sensation prickled through his backside and down his legs, protesting the change in position.

The other detainees shuffled quickly to clear a path for him. A greasy, little Tenpa, dressed in ragged gang leathers planted himself in front of Blade. His hands curled into fists. He slowly rolled onto the balls of his feet, lifting his chin as he strained to match Blade’s height. His scarred lips peeled back from discolored stumps of teeth in what passed as a sneer.

“When Deo wakes up, he’s go’n to hunt you do’n and kill you!”

***

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.

Saturday Snippet: Efficient Prison Cell

Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

Hi! I’m back for another round this week! It’s nice to be back for Saturday Snippets after all the busy writing on BARRON’S LAST STAND. I’m also working on a collection of short stories about Bo’s solo adventures after HERO’S END titled BARRON: A New Hero Rises. Today I give you a third and final look at one of those short adventures: DEVIL’S BARGAIN.

In the previous post, Bo And The Pirates, we met Gray, a thoroughly vile crime boss with whom Bo develops a complex relationship which carries through to BARRON’S LAST STAND. Gray has a cargo and personnel that he wants Bo to transport for him. The problem is, He offered her a laughable amount to do the job. In this snippet, Bo has taken the cargo and passengers on board and now has cause to regret her decision.

***

 

Throbbing pain slashed through her temples, bisecting her skull into two equally painful halves. Drawing a deep breath of stale air, Bo forced her eyes open.  Bile climbed into her throat as a wave of nausea crashed over her. Groaning, she turned her head, setting off a fresh explosion of fireworks in her head. At least if she vomited, she wouldn’t choke on it. She lay there, unmoving, breathing through the first crushing moments.

It was dark; black as deep space. She lay on her back, her knees bent to her chest. Bo tried stretching her legs out, but came up against a solid barrier. Reaching out with her hands, she measured the cramped space around her, finding there wasn’t enough room to stretch out her limbs or stand. Curling her hand into a fist, she banged against the barrier in the darkness. A hollow thump reverberated around her.

Cargo container.

It made an efficient prison cell.

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, 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.

The first short story of the upcoming collection, THE OSTRA CHILD, was offered as a free download for Mother’s Day. Follow the highlighted title which links to the post that will tell you all about it and how to download.

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.

Saturday Snippet: Devil’s Bargain

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

Hi! I’m back! It’s nice to be back for Saturday Snippets after all the busy writing on BARRON’S LAST STAND. I’m also working on a collection of short stories about Bo’s solo adventures after HERO’S END titled BARRON: A New Hero Rises. Today I give you a second look at one of those short adventures: DEVIL’S BARGAIN.

In the previous post, Bo And The Pirates, we met Gray, a thoroughly vile crime boss with whom Bo develops a complex relationship which carries through to BARRON’S LAST STAND. Gray has a cargo and personnel that he wants Bo to transport for him. The problem is, He just offered her a laughable amount to do the job.

***

 

“You’re a liability, Barron,” he struggled to keep his voice to a hoarse whisper. “You top the Commonwealth’s most wanted list. I know you’re sucked dry of funds which is why you won’t meet groundside. I come to you with a good offer and you’re quibbling over price?”

Unperturbed, Bo lifted the glass to her lips and finished off her drink. The Gallis Rye burned its way down her throat and touched off a cozy bonfire in her chest. Setting the glass on the table with a solid clunk, she dropped her feet from the table. Her lips twisted in a small smile.

“You’re right,” she said. “I’ve got a price on my head that would make it worth my while to turn myself in.”

She leaned forward, bracing her forearm on the table. Her other hand dipped to cover the butt of the antique blaster strapped to her right thigh.

“There are plenty of other pilots and ships out there who can fly this job for you,” she went on. “If you’re coming to me, either you’re setting me up to collect on the reward, or you have a job that requires Barron Clan skills and I’m not just a Barron, I am THE Barron. Either way, I’m worth a hell of a lot more than sixty thousand.”

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, 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.

The first short story of the upcoming collection, THE OSTRA CHILD, was offered as a free download for Mother’s Day. Follow the highlighted title which links to the post that will tell you all about it and how to download.

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.