Future Plans

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I realize some folks may get upset at this decision, but I’m taking a break from the Silva Malorum series of Warhammer 40K fan fiction short stories.  I plan on coming back to it in time, but for now, please consider the most recent offering as a season finale for lack of a better description.  To be totally honest, it was only meant to be something fresh and different to work on while I took a much-needed break from my own original sci-fi crime drama series of stories I intend to publish professionally when they are finished.  I was watching an episode of Chicago PD a few days ago and it caused me to yearn to return to my law enforcement story for a while and try to see it through.  I apologize to anyone who is upset, but I feel the need to write what I’m inspired to write about and when that particular inspiration hits.

The Stinking, Painted Harlot (Silva Malorum Part 4)

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As protocol dictated, the Iron Dutchess’ Rogue Trader fleet exited the Warp well before entering the Rubycon II System of the Drusus Marches Sub-Sector.  Just ahead of them hanging in the cold vacuum of space was the massive void station known as Port Wander.  There was a well-known quote about her being referred to as a “stinking, painted harlot” that had been coined by a Rogue Trader Captain in years past.  She was a light in the void, but the weary traveler would pay for that comfort, sometimes with more than he or she had bargained for.

Each of the ships under Lord Everbound’s overall command were directed to a particular docking station.  The Silver Leopard slipped into her designated area and the docking clamps found purchase onto her ancient hull.

Once inside Port Wander, Privateer Captain Marcus Baltimore directed his ship’s command staff to procure the final list of necessary provisions for their journey into the Koronus Expanse.  Captain Baltimore had no formal houseguard retinue to speak of, so he rounded up half a dozen voidsmen who were found to be acceptably proficient at combat arms and assigned them to armsmen duty.  They were all criminals who had been convicted of violent crimes involving weapons of some sort.  Most of the group had received at least some rudimentary military training.  They were all minimally proficient with their preferred weapons.  Baltimore led them deeper into the station.

The Enforcers of the Adeptus Arbites watched silently as Captain Baltimore and his ad-hoc retinue passed by their duty station down the corridor.  The Arbites did not condone civilians carrying weapons aboard the void station, but the Naval Provost allowed it, especially since according to the Imperial Navy, Rogue Traders and their ilk were not classified as civilians.  If they were to be counted on to help defend the station, they could brandish a weapon.  The Privateer Captain and his group passed by unchallenged.

Captain Baltimore knew enough about Port Wander to know to head to The Blind Eye, a tavern near the station’s sunward shuttle bays.  That was the place to do business if one wanted to recruit professionals for a journey into the Expanse.

Once inside, Baltimore picked out an empty table in the corner with a view of the entire tavern.  He sat and retrieved a data slate from his long blue coat with tan cuffs and collar.  He looked around the drinking establishment and visually inspected the occupants inside.

Most of the clientele were giving him and his companions the once over as well.  Everyone knew the common convict crewmen wore blaze orange coveralls, but only the more trusted convicts aboard a Rogue Trader or Privateer vessel, especially those who were tasked with guarding their Captain, were permitted to don the khaki shirts and trousers along with the black leather gun and knife belts of the “building tenders”, as they were called on dirtside correctional institutions.

Guzz Klobber, the acting leader of Baltimore’s makeshift security detail, stood to the Privateer Captain’s right.  Brilita Sparks was on his left side.  Klobber was a brute of a man and brandished a bolt pistol, a double-barreled shotgun, and a machete with a hook on the blade’s spine that was popular with sugarcane harvesters on some agriworlds.  Sparks was the polar opposite of her hulking counterpart.  She was slender and wiry and appeared to be speed and stealth incarnate.  She carried a stiletto blade in the scabbard on the left side of her knife belt and a handcrafted autopistol holstered on her right hip.  The other four khaki-clad building tenders were spaced out around the tavern, but not too far from Baltimore’s table.

From just within Baltimore’s peripheral vision he caught movement and someone in a booming voice spoke to him, ‘Do you feel safe with that motley assortment of common street thugs watching your back?’

To be continued . . .

Time to Remember (Silva Malorum Part 3)

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The journey to the first rendezvous point with the rest of the fleet was to be a long one.  While sailing the void, Captain Markus Baltimore’s mind began to wander to recent memories.  He sat upon his command throne and stroked his greying beard.  The greying of his facial hair contrasted with his dark brown skin.

Baltimore had grown up idolizing the Imperial Navy and joined as soon as possible.  He had enjoyed a stellar career despite the fact he did not come from Naval royalty.  He worked hard and eventually earned for himself an officer’s commission.  Because of his family’s modest means, he did not have the political clout to advance beyond the rank of lieutenant.  So, after coming to grips with that fact, he retired and cashed in his pension in order to buy a voidship and ply the stars.

He could have purchased a comparatively small Iconoclast Destroyer and had a slightly used, well-maintained ship that would have been quite affordable to operate, but that was not what Baltimore wanted.  He wanted a Cruiser.  The only one he could afford was an old mothballed Murder-class Cruiser.  He lucked out because the ship still possessed all of her necessary equipment, meaning she had yet to be sold off piecemeal for parts.  The Admiral in charge of the reserve fleet’s docking yards was only too eager to be rid of the old girl.  You see, Murder-class Cruisers had a sinister reputation for their crews going mad and devoting themselves and their ship to the Ruinous Powers of the Chaos gods.  The Admiral did not want a vessel like that around on his watch.  Markus Baltimore bought the ship for a steal but had to perform some serious maintenance on her before she could sail the void for any serious length of time.  His first order of business was to rechristen her the Silver Leopard.

To be continued . . .

 

Get in Formation (Silva Malorum Part 2)

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The Silver Leopard approached the waiting Rogue Trader fleet out beyond the world’s orbit.  One of the bridge crew turned to Captain Baltimore seated upon his command throne, ‘Sir, we’re receiving a message from Iron Dutchess actual.’

Markus Baltimore pointed to the main bridge vox caster and nodded.  A harsh male voice erupted from it like a klaxon, ‘This is Lord Everbound.  Glad you were able to join us, Baltimore.  We have a schedule to keep, so take up your position in the escort squadron.’  It raked the Silver Leopard’s captain a bit that the Rogue Trader did not use his title when addressing him and it irritated him further that he was being treated as if his ship’s arrival was tardy, when in fact they were right on time, but he was not surprised knowing his employer’s salty reputation.

The Silver Leopard took up the last position on the Iron Dutchess’ port side.  The fleet was comprised of the flagship and her escort of assorted destroyers and frigates as well as a collection of various freighters and transports.  The ships made their way further out into the void and entered Warp Space.

To be continued . . .

 

The Silver Leopard (Silva Malorum Part 1)

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The Murder-class Cruiser turned from the orbital shipyard and made a course away from the world below.  The ship’s thrusters moved the vessel out of orbit and toward the void beyond.

Captain Markus Baltimore had retired as a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy to become a privateer and live a life of adventure.  He spent the entirety of his pension on the ship.  After buying the ancient warship there was only enough money left to hire a handful of experienced command staff.  Almost all the crew had experienced brushes with the law.  Much of the rank and file crewmen and women were comprised of penal legions.  He could not afford to hire a dedicated ship’s crew; as a result, violent criminals wandered the numerous corridors of the vessel.

The Silver Leopard was her name.  That was not her original moniker.  Avenging Dragon had been the ship’s first name.  Captain Baltimore had a fondness for large cats, so after he purchased her, he renamed her after his favorite predatory cat, the snow leopard.  He had read about the felines of Holy Terra’s ancient past while he was a child.

In order to make a living, Captain Baltimore agreed to sell his services and those of his Silver Leopard to the Rogue Trader Lord Rasmus Everbound as a part of the cruiser squadron to his flagship, the Avenger-class Grand Cruiser Iron Dutchess.  The Rogue Trader had a reputation for not being a compassionate man.  He was known for treating everything and everyone as expendable assets.  Captain Baltimore felt he could live with that.  Time would tell.

To be continued . . .

 

The Side Project

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I’ve decided to work on a side project of dark gothic science fiction.  It will be called “Silva Malorum”, which is Latin for Bad Forest.  That is the name of the planet the story takes place on.  I was inspired to write this by something some friends from Facebook were working on.  They recently had an ongoing Warhammer 40,000 game and storyline called “Tor Megiddo”, which, as I understand it, was set on the desert world of the same name.  While I was born in West Texas, I really haven’t spent enough time in desert areas to feel comfortable enough to write about life on a desert world.  Although, I have spent a lot of time in forested and semi-forested parts of the state, so I decided to write about a sub-tropical Death World filled with dangerous creatures and those individuals who are forced to survive there.  It will be an ongoing series.

I still plan on working on my own original story, but I feel I have to get this particular storyline on paper, so to speak.  So, please bear with me.