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I worked hard around the house today.  I mowed the grass and helped my wife clean and reorganize the garage.  It was hard work, but it needed to be done.  I took a load yesterday and one today to Goodwill.  Now I’m going to settle down in the rocking chair with my laptop computer and work on my book.

I’m going to work on some of the gangs.  They’re not going to be your run-of-the-mill thugs.  Each one is going to be centered around its respective theme.  One, in particular, is going to be a collection of face-paint-wearing psychos who thrive on sowing anarchy and fear throughout the neighborhoods they claim ownership of.  All in all, it should be fun.

This Halloween

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Years ago I used to really enjoy Halloween.  I guess I still do, just in a different way now.  I suppose the main reason I don’t enjoy All Hallow’s Eve like I used to is because of all the trick-or-treaters who have few if any manners.  I would take the time to go to the store and spend my money on candy and I would give said candy out to the kids and only a handful of them would actually say, “Thank you”.  Call me old-fashioned, but if someone gives you something, you’re supposed to express your gratitude for it.

These days I would rather lock the front door, keep the porch light off and enjoy watching some scary movies and eat the candy myself.  I guess I’m just a grumpy old man these days.

I do plan on delivering candy to some of the young neighborhood kids we’ve known for a while, but the run-of-the-mill trick-or-treaters are out of luck this year.

Whip Cracker

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I looked into getting a literary agent a couple of weeks ago.  I thought it was going to be a good move, but she did not seem to understand the fact that I can only write during my time off and I do not have a lot of that to spare, even when I’m off from work.  (There are things I have to do around the house when I’m off duty like feed and walk the dog, do the dishes, help with laundry, etc.)  Then she wanted to call while I was at work to pester me about how many words per page I had written recently.  She was becoming more of a taskmaster than a helpful consultant, so I fired her.  I don’t need someone standing over me cracking a whip.

Qualified

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A couple of weeks ago I qualified at the gun range for my job.  We used to have old, worn out Ruger P89’s, but this year we upgraded to the new Smith & Wesson M&P.  I qualified with a score 40 points better than I did last year.  I hope my score continues to improve with the new pistols.

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 . . .