The Plain Beyond

17 08 2015

The summer months are for demons and devils they say. Hot weather and hellish humidity offer stinging previews for the evily inclined. Its hard to disagree, looking back at those days. June was disastrous, July was no better. Hell found its way into every crack and crease of life those first few months. But as they say, it was a sick preamble to the woes to come. 

There wasn’t much left out in the reaches already. War had laid the once bustling orbitals low. The great rings of iron dock and post no longer hugged the planet close at its waist. Now the greatest constructions in the history of that world hung like rusted halos around the necks of long dead angels. The armistice that followed paled in significance to the fallout. Some of that iron plummeted to the surface, smashing cities and townships alike, scarring the earth and killing its people. 

Doomsday became the official religion, cannibalism became kind of vogue, and coveting was the mildest thing you could do to your neighbors’ ass.

The day to day is a real bitch.

As the great doors to the vault swung ponderously outward on their hinges, the event was heralded by the torturous screech of metal that hadn’t been oiled in decades. Light spilled into the cavern beyond bathing a filthy face in gold. 

Shilo stepped beyond the portal doing his best to cover his eyes. At one time he had worn sunglasses on these rare excursions but they had been smashed to pieces on the last trip out. He was much like the rest of his neighbors; thin and frail wearing a dull gray jumpsuit that had belonged to who knows how many people. His hair was the color of dirt and about as clean. His face was smudged with motor oil and sweat, and a sad canvas pack hung from his back. 

Two others joined him. They weren’t much better off. 

Shilo turned to his companions, “Any idea how many?” He tightened the shoulder straps, eyeing the others. They shook their heads, preoccupied with what might be around them. 

Their complex was cut into a single mountain that dominated the surrounding landcapes. The magistrate likened it to a beacon he learned about in a book from a place on the old world; a city built on a hill that attracted people from miles around. He had never seen it. No one had.

It was just a mountain to Shilo. A mountain that hid his home, much like the rest of the complexes spread around the plain. The three began the trek down the low trails that would lead them amongst great boulders, big as houses, before giving way to the rolling fields of grains and tall grass beyond. There were others out there. 

Today they might finally find one. 





Friday Night Fire Fight

12 09 2014

Well look at that it’s Friday. What say we just make the whole week a fiction week, yeah?

Oh and this one is kind of messy.

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The whining of strained hydraulics weren’t enough to drown out the screams.

“Someone put her out already!” A man in a white coat stained with blood spatter shouted at a half dozen women around the table. Upon its surface the screeching, bloody highlight of the night’s latest casualties writhed, batting away restraints and making the administration of drugs a near impossible prospect.

“Fuck it.” Came a static encrusted voice as another man pushed his way through the women, his massively armored frame making the nurses seem like children. The man hefted a huge pistol over his head and brought it down hard into the face of the screaming patient. At once she was silenced, not having the opportunity to register her orbit shatter before losing consciousness.

“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” a nurse grabbed at the large man’s arm trying to usher him away. He knocked her back without difficulty, aimed the pistol and fired. A thunderous boom and blinding flash filled the room momentarily before the remaining staff was hit by fresh red mist and chunks of meat as the nurse’s head exploded like a hammered grape.

The medical staff recoiled and backed away from the giant. “Today doctor.” The armored suit spoke before returning to his place on the wall. The team resumed applying restraints and running IV’s to administer a massive cocktail of pain killers and antibiotics. No one dared a glance at their number that now lay dead on the floor.

This was best. This woman wouldn’t have lived long enough to get drugs if that monster of a man hadn’t stepped in. She was tiny, even compared to the medical staff, all normal human beings; her frame was particularly petite. Standing she was less than five feet tall, her young face was scarred with more battle field hours than should ever be visited upon a child.

“She’s set doctor.” Said a nurse.

“Okay, start popping the mods, everything below the neck and above the waist needs to come out.”

The girl’s clothing had been cut away to allow the staff unimpeded access to her most serious injuries. There was so little flesh in parts of her torso that a selection of drills, saws, and welders that wouldn’t typically see the inside of the OR had to be brought in. Only the tiny girl’s breasts and part of her midriff was still flesh, the rest having been given over to mechanical replacements; flashy ones.

“Mods are out, everything left is hardwired.”

“Shit.” The doctor started drilling into her abdomen, above the flesh of her belly, deep into the metal cavity that held her heart. He stumbled when it broke through. That was the hardest part. He removed the drill and snatched a long fiber optic cable from one of the nurses and started snaking it in, staring at a monitor suspended from the ceiling that let him see her insides.

The lights flickered. An explosion rocked the doors into the OR. The two armored behemoths standing watch near the operating table nodded to each other, unslung huge rifles from their backs and made for the door.

The doctor wiped sweat from his brow with the back of his sleeve, eyes glued to the monitor as it struggled to maintain functionality. The auxiliary generators were already running, if power was interrupted that would be that.

The bloody vision of the girl’s heart loomed into view.

“Holy shit we were right, it was the heart. Quick, get the cells in there before we don’t have juice to run the little bastards anymore.”

A nurse screwed a thin vial into the end of the cable. A metallic, mercury-like liquid sloshed around inside. “Go.” She said, and the doctor plunged the contents into the cable. A moment later the camera feed registered the liquid dispersing into the cavity, coating the girl’s insides with quicksilver.

The OR shook as another explosion threw pieces of ceiling and floor tiles around the room, knocking the doctor down. Another of the nurses fell dead beside him, a disgusting amount of shrapnel lodged into her face, throat, and chest.

Gunfire pulled his attention to the OR entry doors were one of their monstrous guards was blazing away at an unseen foe beyond. The other of the pair lay motionless on the ground. One of his pauldrons had been blown away, little arcs of energy flicked between the door and his helmet visor where a long metal rod had forced it’s way through.

“Charles what do we do?” Another of the nurses screamed to him from around the other side of the table.

“What?” his attention was pulled back and forth between the door and the nurse. He didn’t know what to do; this wasn’t something he was trained for. He was scared. He was breathing far too quick to think clearly.

There was a loud gritty scream ending in a sharp gargle.

He saw the remaining guard impaled by an impossibly long sword.

The giant’s torso was separated from his legs with a single flick of the man-sized blade.

Another explosion rocked the building, the horrifying sound of twisting metal and collapsing structure screamed from the floors above them. Then there was light, hot, and bright, and a thunderous clap of another detonation.

And sleep came rushing in.





Breaking Fiction with Fallopian Tubes

18 05 2014

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This is nothing new. That being said, it remains something that bears repeating especially since we are so close to the publication date. For anyone who may not know, early in the year a fiction magazine by the name of Lightspeed put up a kick starter campaign. But not just any old kick starter, this thing has got teeth.

I first found out about the special “Women destroy Sci Fi” issue from Mur Lafferty’s site. I adore Lafferty, she writes some great stuff so naturally, when she started blogging about destroying a genre I love using only her fallopian tubes I was… curious?

I can’t say exactly where the hub was first bubbed but after reading silly things like complaints over Starbuck being cast as a woman in the Battle star reboot, well, this sounded like a great idea.

According to the magazines Kick Starter page,

It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley wrote what is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel (Frankenstein). Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t—or can’t—write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE‘s June 2014 issue—our fourth anniversary issue—will be a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. And we will also—for the first time in LIGHTSPEED’s history—have a guest editor at the helm.

The original announcement of this special issue generated so much excitement that we wanted to find ways to include even more amazing science fiction by women. So—with your help—we’re going to make the special issue twice the size of a normal issue of LIGHTSPEED.

 

Next month, June 2014, make sure you check out this very special edition of Lightspeed.





Go. And Do it Boldly.

21 01 2013

 

Do I have your attention then?

So I decided to take a break from browsing my spam folder which contains some real gems at the moment. One of them was three paragraphs long and focused on harassing me about search engine optimization and how I could make nearly three thousand dollars a day from home by watching their “webinar”.

Now,  you may or may not know, depending on if you’ve been here before or not, I like sci-fi. I like it a lot. Science fiction has played a large role in my desire to start writing and it has given me years of entertainment. It excites me. It makes me think. It keeps me coming back time and time again.

So every once in a while when I stumble upon something that really grabs my attention, I must share it. And recently NASA did just that.

The Story Available here.

NASA is working on a warp drive. WARP DRIVE.

Falls out of chair. Convulses.





Saving The World One Geodesic Icosahedron At A Time

12 03 2012

There’s two words I get nervous writing. Geodesic. Icosahedron. It’s that whole math thing where numbers and I don’t get along. That makes those two a little strange. They are words, which I love. But they’re telling me about numbers, which I hate. Two little, traitorous, nonsensical words that put me on edge. It’s an amalgam of that which I loathe and that which I base a part of my life upon.

But enough of that crap!

Do you know what a Geodesic Icosahedron is? I didn’t either for a long time. It was just some other crazy shape that I almost certainly could not find the area of. Oh and by the way. In case my high school math teachers reads this, I have never once needed to figure out the circumference or area of anything. Mmhmmm.

Here’s what I can tell you about it. It’s a shape that’s familiar to anyone who has ever closed a rift, cyber’d a punk or dungeon’d a dragon. Yup, I’m of course referring to the twenty sided dice. Or more accurately, the twenty faced dice. And Geodesic? Well that’s talking about curves. NO, I mean theEarth’scurves. Really people, get out of the gutter.

Now put that all together and what do you have? A twenty faced, Earthy, curvy, thingy. OR, maybe you get THIS THING.

Has your mind been sufficiently blown yet? No? Well lets break it down a tad more shall we?

I first read about this back in, oh, 2006. I can’t remember how it was that I stumbled upon Globus Cassus but I was just tickled when I did. See, I’m a big fan of Science Fiction and things like this fit the bill perfectly. I love mega engineering. Go nuts for it. Damning entire oceans, dome cities, artificial worlds, the total deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of the entire planet. These are the foundation for some of the genre.

Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Issac Asimov. They’ve all included huge constructions in tales at one point or another. I’m pretty sure Niven’s most well received series focuses on the events that unfold on Ringworld. And yes, it is a world. That is a ring. Someone builtit.

Now, Waldvogel isn’t a science fiction author. To my knowledge. He’s just a guy with ideas the size of mythical legume-bearing plants. I’ve read a great deal of criticism to the idea. Namely the lack of sufficiently strong materials to build the darn thing. But hey, that’s today. If computer chip performance doubles every two years, who is to say this may not one day be a realized dream?

It wouldn’t be the first time that sort of thing has happened you know.

Oh, and while we are on the subject maybe you should take a look at a few of these.

Go forth and enrich thyself. And do it, with Science.

Seriously. Go.