Terminal Core Synopsis

Aon, a solid core planet made of pure caladium, is under silent attack. The planet’s center is the hardest and most valuable element in the galaxy. Rogue officials, led by President Gaylen and in turn directed by off-worlder’s, set an 80-year plan in motion to seize Aon’s core. Off-worlders work to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century Earth. Once the oil is refined the by-product, gasoline will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitants to carry out this work. The caladium core consists of living beings–these indestructible creatures prepare to defend their domain against the elements  harvest. Separate alliances unwittingly come together in the dead city of Baine with Clay gravitating to leader. Their objective; preserve the planet. Disregarding all else, the crude oil thieves continue to process the pilfered caladium. Those who desire to save Aon will, along their path, face the core creatures, avoid horrific aberration’s one step behind, and dodge deadly pitfalls ahead. Once Clay melds the coalition, a battle for life and world begin.

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It Seems to Me That Stuff Plays Such a Large Part of Our Stuff That the Stuff We Value Gets Stuffed Away Where No Stuff Should Be Stuffed, Rendering It Useless Stuff

I’ve been toying with a story idea I’d like to run past you. It would parallel real life and go something like this:

Kelly awoke startled by her bed-blaster alarm clock. She slid out of her Sleep Letter Bed and onto her new Lumber Bum apple-wood, pre-finished, laminated floor. Kelly washed her face with Spring Clean, brushed her teeth with Tarter Boom and combed her hair with Spray and Fill.

“There you are,” she said, placing her hand on her newly purchased make-up device. She sprayed an even coat of base with her air brush, followed by Lusty Eye mascara, Double Dip lipstick and a last minute dollop of Pimple Prep.

She slipped into her designer little black dress, designer 6” black heels and headed for the kitchen designed by Likea. She popped four Waste Away Fat Busting tablets, downed a quarter sized Weight Be Gone bran muffin, then headed to work.

Kelly arrived at work sporting her new BNW with no-hands parking technology. She worked until midday designing designer socks with open-toe technology. She devoured an alfalfa sprout salad for lunch and then returned to work designing brass-infused energizing socks.

Completing her day’s work, she stopped by the local gym to wile away several hours in the relaxing grip of top-of-line designer-weight machines.

Back at home she dines on a light meal of no nitrate hotdogs, gluten free bread, organic peppers and onions, organic sauerkraut, organic chili, organic cole slaw, organic tomatoes and organic cheese.

After removing her designer wardrobe, designer make-up, and scrubbing and brushing in reverse, Kelly lays down on her unbelievably comfortable air mattress. As she begins to doze off, an audible hiss followed by her sinking into her bed ensues. “No matter,” she says. “With the lawsuit I have against my diet pill manufacturer, the rodeo clown and those tainted alfalfa sprouts I eat everyday, I’m a cinch to get a settlement that will get me enough cash to afford that cloud-floating bed.  

She falls asleep watching her 50 inch HD TV and the soothing sounds of the bountiful items she may partake of and the legal advice she may seek when the half gallon of ice cream she ate everyday for a year causes unsightly bumps in her little black dress. . . “C’mon man,” Kelly says, “its the circle of strife.”

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Terminal Core Excerpt

SAL RICKY HAD CLEARED the saloon wall by ten feet when Clay’s gun fired. The dual rounds flew true, making contact in the middle of his back. A bright light and a sonic boom of sorts ensued, splitting the creature in half. The two portions continued to run, slowing to a wobble and falling over sideways. No blood or fluid escaped the bifurcating wound as the molten copper rendered the cauterization complete.

Clay shook his head and picked himself up off the floor. A flood of pain shot from his right hand, up his arm, spidered through his shoulder and into his brain.

“Remind me not to do that again,” he said to himself, as he gingerly shook his hand hoping to relieve the widespread burning.

He made his way through the hole in the saloon wall (compliments of one decimated hydrak), and upon reaching the deceased creature, he nudged it with his boot.

“Now I’ve got to move two large pieces that are nothing but dead weight as opposed to one larger being that could move itself.” He removed his hat, lowered his head and shook it several times. After replacing his hat, he looked at the two dead halves.

“Why do they always have to choose the hard way?”

See what people are saying about TERMINAL CORE: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29773457-terminal-core?ac=1&from_search=true

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The Most Unusual Circumstances Today Can Pull Two Complete Strangers Closer Than Imaginable

Long before I penned my first word, I found myself gravitating toward science fiction, fantasy and adventure. As a kid, I would marvel at the stop-animation used in movies through the eighties, and scarf up the multitude of novels available for the taking. If I was awake, there was a sci-fi book in my hand.

As I began to write, I could easily find subjects for my work in nature. A search through creation could yield a veritable plethora of subject matter. Throw in a vivid imagination, a quirky sense of humor, a dark side so the good guys will have something to fight and you have the perfect recipe. This formula will guarantee an upside down, knee slapping, bad vs. good, destroy the world, (if you’re not careful) nail-biter of a finished type novel. . .Whew!!

Unfortunately, situations come in to play that are as morose as those written everyday without a thought of these tales making their way into our everyday lives.

In memoriam: On a bright September 11th morning 16 years ago, terrorist murdered over 3000 people, at the world trade center towers, the pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.  Harvey and Irma have devastated Texas and Florida, with Irma still pounding away. When healing can begin, both states will likely take years to fully recover. But, you know what I’ve seen in these situations? They bring unity. There are none of the differences; just people helping people. Maybe we should give it a try. I think that’s how God originally intended it.

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What Could be Better than Writing Science Fiction? It’s like You’re Dr Frankenstein on Steroids. a Little Piece here, a Little Piece There, and What do you Have. . . ? That’s the Great Part. . . Only you Know!

Sixty-seven

“SPEED ‘EM UP, VICTOR,” Clive barked. “We’re barely keeping ahead of this thing.”

“Ha’yah!” Victor cried, accompanied by the crack of his whip. The wagon bolted forward, leaving the ominous hole behind for now.

“What in Bill’s bald head was that?” Carl questioned.

Clive looked at his comrades.

“The more pertinent question is how long can we out run it?”

“That’s impossible to tell,” Victor managed to communicate from the front of the buckboard.

As the wagon rounded a curve, Carl extended a finger and voiced an observation.

“Looks like we’ve kinda got a handle on that question of time you had earlier.”

A three foot high wall of stone stood across the entire width of the road. Any attempt to circumnavigate the obstacle meant an impossible forty-five degree climb to the right and a deadly forty-five degree plummet to the left.

“Victor,” Clive barked, “left turn now!”

Victor looked to the left and eyed his options. He turned to find Clive.

“It’s too─”

“Now!” Clive roared.

The buckboard veered off the road. They found that the steep embankment was a small part of the problem. Hidden beneath the waist high grasses were potholes, ruts and rocks, large enough to destroy an ellack-drawn wagon.

“When I get to the station,” Carl yelled, “somebody’s gonna get an earful.”

Clive nodded. “Give ’em one for me too,”

Clive and Carl sat on the floor of the buckboard with their backs plastered to the front of the wagon. Each man had one hand grasping the iron bar at the bottom of the driver’s seat and the other hand looped through the back of Victor’s belt. They wedged themselves in place by pressing their boots against the barrels in the back of the wagon.

“Thanks for the hand hold,” Victor said, knowing he wouldn’t be heard if he voiced it any louder. Even so, he felt the need to express the sentiment. He was doing nothing more than holding on himself. His boots were locked underneath a flat plate normally used for the driver and passenger to rest their feet on.

The ellacks bore the brunt of the punishment. The muscles in their rear pair of legs contracted, lifting them off the ground, allowing the second pair, ahead of the rear legs to carry the load. Enzymes in the animals’ muscles stiffened the second set of legs to near unbreakable, allowing the joints to remain movable.

Much of the animal’s weight would be shifted to the flanks, causing the front legs to tread lightly, sparing them irreparable damage. Once the crisis was over, the rear legs would relax and lower to the ground and the second pair would contract to the abdomen to heal.

“How much more of this can we take?” Carl shouted.

Clive took a deep breath. “The buckboard can’t last much longer and then we’re next.”

Victor strained to see thirty feet in front of him.

“What is that?” He craned his neck to see, and in an instant was rolling over top of it, “A ramp?” He held his breath until the wagon landed on flat ground. “And, man, am I glad it was there.”

The buckboard came to a slow rolling stop. Victor applied what remained of the parking brake. He dropped the reins, removed his hat and fanned his face.

“All passengers may disembark in an orderly fashion.”

“Just get me out of this death wagon,” Carl said, falling over the side before catching himself.

Clive jumped to the ground.

“Victor, I don’t know how you did it, but you did it good.”

Victor climbed down last, said nothing and made for the anomaly he knew he had seen.

Sixty feet from the buckboard’s final resting place, was a man-made depression. It was more than large enough to hold both ellacks and the wagon. The alarming part of this scenario was the rows of sharpened, six-inch thick wooden spears that lined the bottom of the depression, protruding up some four feet.

“Ya think someone might have it in for us?” Carl asked.

Victor nodded toward a curved structure.

“I think somebody’s doing a stellar job of looking out for us.”

The three men moved as close as they could to the mound of clay that saved their lives. It was placed to carry both vehicle and occupants over the hazard and deposit them with minimal damage.

“Let’s check the buckboard,” Clive said, “then I think it best we get outta here.”

 

*  *  *

 

“How many barrels did we lose?” Clive asked.

Victor continued to drive, Clive rode shotgun, which left Carl to count. They were traveling at a slow, but steady pace. Carl could stand and make a quick count.

“I count seventeen. We started with twenty-four. Seven lost.”

“Not bad for what we’ve been through,” Victor said.

“I guess not,” Clive replied, “I can’t help wondering what’s next.”

“What do you mean next?” Victor asked.

This piqued Carl’s attention, and a third joined in the conversation. “Yeah, next doesn’t sound so good back here either.”

“In case you two haven’t noticed,” Clive said, “the closer we get to where we’re going, the more trouble we run into.” He ran a hand over his stubbly face. “It’s making a fella feel like he ain’t welcome in these parts.”

“I hear ya,” Victor said.

“Where are we going?” Carl asked.

“Whoa,” Victor said. He turned around and looked at Carl . . .  “Right here.”

“Where is here?” Carl asked. “I don’t see anything but dirt and rocks.”

Clive hopped down from his perch.

“That’s a very astute observation,” he said to Carl, “Let me see if I can shed a little more light on the situation for you.”

Clive walked up to a rock formation the size of a three bedroom house. He pushed his hand into a small depression that no one save for Victor would have noticed. Clive removed his hand, then turned and smiled. A muffled click then a steady hum signaled movement.

“What the . . .” Carl mumbled, as a panel slid back into the rock, leaving an open doorway.

“After you,” Clive said.

Victor slipped in; to him this was home. Carl stumbled through slowly; his head moving up one side, across the top, then down the other.

A short walk down a dim hallway opened into a single round room with a dome ceiling. A large pipeline entered from the east wall, continued through the building, and exited out the west wall. Three quarters of the pipe were covered with a square shroud that reached the floor. Three steps led to a small elevated control center.

“So, close your mouth and tell me what you think,” Clive said. He adjusted several switches on the wall, bringing up the lights and adjusting the temperature down a few degrees.

Carl lowered his head from gawking at the ceiling and looked at Clive.

“I want you to tell me what all this is. Quincy mentioned his involvement in an operation, but indicated nothing like this.”

Victor had climbed the stairs and was working at the power console.

“What this amounts to,” Clive said, “is a big siphon. Crude oil extracted from Earth is pumped through this pipeline and into the storage facility at Baine.”

“I’ve seen nothing in Baine that would show any liquids other than liquor and urine,” Carl said.

Clive chuckled, “The other Baine.”

“I’ll let you finish before I bring that up again.”

“Good enough. As I was saying, the oil is pumped through this pipeline. The covered area you see is a miniature refinery, in part, at least. As the crude travels through this area, forty percent of one of its components, called gasoline, is extracted and pumped into an underground storage tank beneath our feet. The liquid is extremely flammable and volatile if confined without a means of pressure relief.”

“All that stuff is fine, well and good, so let’s talk about the old city of Baine.” Carl tipped his hat back and placed both hands on his hips. “From what I’ve gathered, and I believe these to be reliable sources, that place is just as lethal now as it was when people occupied its hallowed halls. And feel free to ignore the hallowed halls reference.”

“Calm down,” Clive said, “what you’ve heard has brought about the exact response it was intended to. That way people would stay away from the old Baine, allowing us to work unabated by sightseers and crooks alike.”

“Hey, boss man,” Victor said, “we’ve got a problem. When we first arrived, our underground tanks were topped off. Since then, we’ve lost a third of our product out of tanks one and two, and it looks like tank three is gone.”

“You mean empty?”

“No, I mean gone.”

A barely perceptible groan could be felt.

“Now what?” Victor said.

“Well, I guess you got your answer,” Carl said.

Clive looked at him. “Allow me to refresh your memory and I quote, ‘I can’t help wondering what’s next.”

The floor buckled, the slight groan now a full-fledged symphony of twisting tanks, floor plates and girders being ripped in two.

“I believe that’s our signal,” Clive yelled over the ear splitting chaos.

Three men exited the doorway as the faux building collapsed. Loading once again into the buckboard, they relived a scene that had played out hours earlier and would play out again.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m ba-ack!!

You never really know how much you miss something until it’s taken away. I was recently hospitalized for three weeks, the majority of which was spent in the ICU. Things were moving so quickly I didn’t have time to consider much of anything. Finally, the day came I was released. I required an additional two weeks of physical therapy and rest to begin my recuperation. Those days staring at my computer were nearly unbearable, knowing I couldn’t work. I was jones’ing to write. I had left some of my characters in such precarious positions that they must be wondering what happened to me. Well sufficed to say, by the grace of God, I’m on my way to recovery and back to writing. You’ll be happy to hear that all my characters made it out alive (except the ones I had destined to experience an untimely demise). Once again, all is right with the universe. Oh. . . and if I haven’t mentioned it before: It’s great to be back !

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Excerpt from Eden’s Wake

Belac, Ben, Eve, Pete and three of Belac’s men took turns lowering into the cave through the hole used to steal the Andor. Seven others remained above to trace the same path that the ones below would traverse.

            Belac handed each of his men two wooden branches and kept two for himself to use as torches. Once they were lit, he spoke.

            “You must remember the Andor is not to be touched. It must be carried by the poles inserted through the rings on each side.  This is also the same for the Shadow Ones. If they touch the Andor they will cease to be.”

            As the group moved deeper into the cave, they struck the ceiling with a long wooden rod. The men above would place an ear to the ground to follow them as they progressed.

            “We will halt for a moment,” Belac said. “The torches are growing dim and we must replenish the fuel supply.” He opened a bag and pulled several strips of cloths smeared with a black substance that smelled of petroleum. He wrapped the cloth around his torch. At once, the fire light increased. He did the same for the three of his comrades and then the group continued on.

            “Will the torches help us against the Shadow Ones in the caves as we search for the Andor?” Ben asked. 

            “In a minor way,” Belac replied, “if your skill is such that you are able to touch them with the flame.”

            “Is this the reason we have the torches instead of using the night vision instilled within us?” Ben asked.

            Belac nodded.

             “We will rely on both.”

            The group continued deeper into the underground lair. As they traveled through the tunnel it divided, heading in different directions leaving a menagerie of catacombs. They came to a halt with no clear direction to search.

            Belac pulled more of the strips from his bag and wrapped the torches increasing the light throughout the immediate area.

            “Gather the group closer together,” Belac ordered. “We must intensify the light into a single component, to battle our enemy.”      

            Several shadow creatures danced in and out of the groups vision as they moved closer and then further away from the firelight. As they did so, the torch bearers would swing their burning weapons in unison, causing portions of the creatures to disappear and forcing them to back away.

            The group moved with intent following the retreating creatures, all the while developing an insight of where their quarry lay.

            “I sense we are growing closer,” Belac said, extending his hand to stop Ben, Eve, and Pete’s progress.

            Belac’s three men took the lead, their torchlight fading. Volton, who traveled ahead of the rest, left the ground without warning. Amar reacted, thrusting his torch into the shadow creature holding his friend. The flame startled the creature, causing the spot it touched on its dark form to disappear; however, the gesture came too late as Volton slammed into the ceiling hard enough to shatter his spine and flatten the back of his head. He fell to the ground with a sickening thud that left him twitching as his involuntary nervous system protested one final time.

            “Everyone back!” Belac bellowed.

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