The Struggle

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This new version of my story is certainly the general direction I want my story to go, but it’s proving to be a difficult journey in these initial stages.

I know who my characters are and what I want them to do, but I’m having to put in a lot of work figuring out other aspects of the story.  Astu de Latro is the name of the planet that will be the focal point of the story.  It’s Latin for World of Brigands.  It truly is that.  The title of the series, by the way, is going to be “Hell’s Half-Dozen” and the working title of the first book is “A Lawless World”.

Astu de Latro, which is commonly referred to by the locals as simply “Latro”, is a jacked up place.  In fact, the opening statement by the instructors at the law enforcement academies is, “Are there any badasses in here?  I ask again, are there any badasses in here?  If there are, Astu de Latro needs you!”

I’m having to figure out why a place as dangerous and violent as Astu de Latro would be important enough for the Sapient Commonwealth to retain as a territory and protectorate.  The folks there are fiercely independent and everyone is armed to the teeth.  Astu de Latro is on the fringes of the Sapient Commonwealth’s border.  I’m thinking that border may be near a potentially aggressive and violent alien species.  What if said aliens would have to, for some weird reason, go through Astu de Latro to gain access to the rest of the Commonwealth’s holdings?  That would be like an enemy of the United States having to attempt an armed invasion of Texas in order to continue the campaign against the rest of the nation.  Who would actually attempt that?

I’m sure there are other reasons for keeping the World of Brigands in the fold.  Resources would likely be near the top of the list.  Perhaps individuals with unhinged minds go there on thrillseeking vacations?

I guess I just needed to have a soundboard for my thoughts.

As the WWE’s Godfather used to say, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy.”

 

November 1st

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Now that Halloween is over and the masks are off, I can get back to enjoying what’s left of the Fall season.

Last night I locked myself up inside my home and watched the first two The Purge movies and worked on my story.

Being undisturbed, I actually got some quality content created.  I had been struggling with how I wanted the prologue to read.  The first version I wrote a couple of weeks ago was good, but I didn’t feel it was right for the story.  The one I created yesterday evening fit a little better, but as with everything else I write, I think it could be better.  I won’t be surprised if I churn out a third alternative today.

By the way, while the series title retains the original title, the first book in that series has a new working title.  Sorry, not ready to divulge either one here as of yet.  You will just have to wait a little while longer (insert sinister laughter here).

Happy Halloween

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Happy Halloween, everyone . . . I suppose.  This year I’m going to be a crotchety old man.  I have candy, but I’m going to keep it all to myself and my family.  I may give some to a few neighborhood kids who will appreciate the gesture, but nothing for the rest of the self-entitled riff-raff.

The kids who come around my house year-in and year-out become increasingly ungrateful.  Few say, “Trick-or-Treat.”  Even fewer say, “Thank you”.  Many of them feel entitled to pick what candy they get from the bowl and others feel the right to ask for more than they are given.

I no longer dress up for Halloween parties, the few that I go to that is.  So many people are so narrow-minded and self-absorbed to the point that no matter who I dress as they do not know who I am supposed to be.  ComicCon, now that’s a different story, but that’s another tale altogether for a different day.

This year I’m going to lock myself inside my home and eat a little candy, watch some classic horror films and work on my story.

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.  Not so much anymore.

The Cop Shop

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My version of The Captain’s Table may end up being a “cop shop”.  That’s a restaurant or bar that encourages law enforcement officers to frequent there.

Back when I worked for the Johnson County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, that was Whataburger in Cleburne.  More often than not I worked Evening Watch (4 PM to Midnight) and back then that was the only eating establishment in town that was open past Midnight.  It was usually off-duty Cleburne PD, Johnson County (sheriff’s office and constables) and the Texas State Troopers that were there at that time.  The riff-raff usually didn’t hang around long while we were in there.  It was probably the safest place in the county to be, ha, ha.

Yeah, I may have to follow through with this idea.

The Captain’s Table

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Alright, sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while.  Been doing some tweaking on my own original story I’ve been working on.  I was spinning my wheels for a while and had to take a break from it to work on some Warhammer 40,000 fan fiction.  Well, I’ve been reinspired as of late and got back into the saddle.

I tried to write it in various versions including having the protagonists be mercenaries, then pirates, but finally settled on the fact they needed to be futuristic peace officers.  I believe that decision will be most fruitful for me and the storyline alike.

A couple of years ago some friends and I were going to write a series of science fiction stories and said series was going to be called “The Captain’s Table”.  It was going to feature an eating and drinking establishment known as The Captain’s Table.  Only captains could enter the business.  They could be a ship’s captain, a military captain, a police captain or even the captain of a sports team, but they had to be a captain of some sort.  The patrons did not purchase their meals and/or drinks with money.  Those items were obtained with a story of past deeds.  The better the story, the higher the quality of meal and drink.  I know, I know.  How would a business be able to make it by doing that?  Well, it’s science fiction.  It doesn’t have to make sense, ha, ha.

Now that I’m working on my own original storyline again, I may use a modified concept of The Captain’s Table in my fictional universe.  I think it’s a great idea and to my knowledge, no one else is using it right now.

When I reach the point I’m comfortable with in regards to my story, I’ll post a short story about it here.  Not sure when that’ll be, but keep checking in so you don’t miss it.

 

New Focus

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I realize this blog is intended to showcase some of my writing, but I decided I needed to post something since I haven’t done so in a little while.

I have been working on an original storyline set in a fictional universe of my own design since about 2013 or so.  It’s taken me this long to get where I’m at because I work full time (law enforcement) and have an active family life.  I have to scrounge what little free time I have to work on that story.  That story kind of became stagnant for a while, so I took some time to work on Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) fan fiction to break up the monotony.  Recently (quite recently, in fact) I found new inspiration for my own original storyline while I was mowing the grass.  So, I’m not sure how much WH40K fan fiction I’ll be posting on here over the coming days, weeks or months.  I have to strike while the metal is hot, to quote an old saying from my late grandfather who was a blacksmith.

By the way, the above photo was chosen because there will be a lot of military-style convoy work going on in my story.

Until next time, stay safe.

Barbaricus Squad

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THE PROW OF A SHIP cut a wound in the very fabric of the void.  Lightning crackled and the rift grew in size as a rare Tempest-class Strike Frigate exited the Warp.

  As the Strike Frigate exited the tear in space, the opening closed once again, sealing away the Sea of Souls from the physical universe once again.

  The vessel’s engines rocketed it forward.  The name she was known by was Thunderbeing.  She had once been a part of an Imperial Navy Strike Frigate squadron assigned to one of the realms of space located near the Calixis Sector.  She was a veteran combatant of numerous engagements against the countless enemies of Mankind.  Having been repaired and refitted scores of times, virtually none of her component parts were original equipment.  She was subsequently sold off to a comparatively wealthy Rogue Trader.  After decades of plying the stars beyond Emperor’s influence, she was found adrift and crewless just inside Imperial Space by an Imperial Navy patrol.  

  Wanting nothing to do with her, the local commanding admiral offered the vessel to anyone willing to accept her just to be rid of what was believed to be a cursed ship.  The perpetually under-equipped Ordo Peirates, the pirate hunters of the Emperor’s Holy Inquisition, who snatched her up and assigned her to Inquisitor Magnus Kane’s command.  He, in turn, handed her over to the Astartes of Barbaricus Squad.

THE ENTRY HATCH TO THE armoury opened and a massive member of the Adeptus Astartes entered.  Clad in deep, dark red armour the colour of heart’s blood, he carried his horned helm in the crook of his right arm.  Six other Astartes were a various tables and counters situated inside the armoury’s interior.  

  One of the Astartes who was loading the ammunition belt feed mechanism of a heavy bolter was the first to acknowledge the newcomer’s arrival and announced his presence, ‘Captain on deck, Brothers.’

  Six deep voices echoed off the walls of the arming chamber, ‘Hi, Crow.’  The Astartes barley looked up from their actions.  Each warrior continued to prep his respective weapon.  

  The newly arrived warrior removed an impressive looking bolter from the fully stocked weapon rack mounted on the bulkhead nearest him.  He pushed a button on the side of the bolter and removed the drum magazine, and satisfied that it was fully loaded, pushed it back into place in the magazine well until he heard the distinctive click ensuring the cylindrical device was properly seated in place.  

  A vox bead attached to the warrior’s left ear activated.  He listened to the incoming transmission, then nodded his head, ‘Thank you, Commander.  Maintain a safe distance behind the target vessel.  Ensure we’re not within their detection range.’

  As Crow slung the weapon across his shoulder he turned and addressed his Battle Brothers, ‘Barbaricus Squad, we’re almost to our objective point.  Time to board the transport.’

CREWMEN AND SERFS PARTED OUT of the way of seven Astartes as they passed through the corridor headed to the ship’s hangar deck.  Each transhuman warrior was clad in identical blood red armour of various Mark patterns.  Their pauldrons were ash grey.  The right pauldron on each suit of armour bore the symbol of the Inquisition, whereas the left ones were decorated with a stylized equestrian head.  

  Crow led the procession.  His horned helmet in place, he more resembled a member of one of the Traitor Legions than a Space Marine loyal to the Emperor.  The others followed in his wake; Jackal, Kraken, Sword, Vortex, Leo and Fist.  Each warrior’s armour bore individualistic totems and decorations that, despite their unified livery, gave each Astartes a unique appearance.  

  The Astartes boarded the waiting gunboat and each seated himself into a crash seat in the vessel’s interior.  Once everyone was properly secure, Crow gave the command to the craft’s pilot to launch.

THE GUNBOAT RACED THROUGH THE void like a loosed arrow.  The vessel quickly overtook the lumbering ship ahead of it.  The target vessel was a hodge podge assembly of various classes of spacecraft, civilian and military alike.  Ork ingenuity seemed to know no bounds or limitations.

  As the gunboat drew closer to the Ork ship, Crow looked over the contents of the display screen of a data slate.  He addressed Barbaricus Squad without taking his eyes off the display, ‘Men, you know your duty.  We make our way aboard the Greenskin wreck and neutralize it.  In other words, kill the commander and anything else that crosses into our gun-sights.  This order comes from Inquisitor Kane, who says it comes from a mysterious source inside the Ordo Xenos’ Deathwatch.  This source, someone going by the name of Trident, or something or other, stated the elimination of this Freebooter vessel will go a long way toward his Kill Team being successful in their mission.  An Ork Warboss they’ve been tracking is apparently mounting a Waaagh! and Orks from all over are gathering to his location.  So, we’re going to do our part to ensure that doesn’t happen.’

  Five Astartes voices responded that they were aware of the mission objective.  A lone voice spoke out a second or two later, ‘Anything to help the boys in black.’

  Crow answered, ‘Yes, Fist, because we’re all one big, happy bunch of brothers.’

  Fist’s voice came from the back of the passenger cabin, ‘Whatever.’

THE ORK SHIP OPENED UP with its point defense guns, announcing to Barbaricus Squad that the Greenskins had detected their craft and were within range of the aliens’ primitive targeting devices.

  The alien ship was small in comparison to many other Ork vessels the Astartes of Barbaricus Squad had encountered, but despite its diminutive size, was believed to be infested with dozens, if not hundreds of Xenos fighters.  

  The gunboat maneuvered its way through the incoming Ork fire and touched down atop the alien vessel’s command bridge.  The gunboat’s boarding hatch sealed itself onto the enemy ship’s outer hull and a hole was quickly cut through the larger craft’s metal skin.

  Crow stuck his bolter through the hole in the Ork ship and fanned the weapon from left to right and back again.  After a prolonged burst of fire, he dropped down on the alien deck.  Strewn across the command deck were the corpses of at least a dozen Orks; their bodies torn and exploded from the damaging effects of the Space Marine’s ammunition.  Their improvised armour provided minimal protection at best under most circumstances and had been as effective as cardboard and masking adhesive against mass reactive bolter rounds.  
  
  Beyond the dead Orks stood the unmistakable form of the ship’s commander.  He was accompanied by no less than six heavily armed Greenskin soldiers.

  As Ork weapons barked and roared, the other members of Barbaricus Squad dropped down onto the target vessel’s decking.  The Astartes fanned out into positions that provided effective covering fire for one another.  

  Unsatisfied with a protracted shooting battle, the Ork soldiers closed the distance between themselves and the Space Marines.  Melee combat erupted in earnest as alien flesh collided with Astartes power armour.

  Jackal picked up the Ork soldier before him and raised him up above his head and brought the alien’s back down across his armoured knee, severing the Greenskin’s spine with an audible crack.  He unceremoniously discarded his defeated foe without moment’s hesitation.

  Vortex’s heavy bolter cut his opponent in half just as he was a couple of strides away.

  Each in turn, the Astartes dispatched their foes.  In the far corner of the command deck Crow swung sword against axe as he and the Ork Freebooter captain struggled in fierce hand-to-hand combat.  

  After numerous weapon strikes, the Ork commander brought the flat of his axe blade across the side of Crow’s helmeted head.  The powerful blow knocked the Astartes captain off his feet and onto his back.  The alien warlord quickly saw his advantage before him and raised the haft of his weapon over his head, prepared to strike.  

  A blast from a meltagun gave the massive Ork reason to pause.  A hole had melted its way through his flank.  The Ork gripped his side and look in the direction the blast had come from.  Jackal gave a mock salute to the alien commander.

  A burst of large calibre bolt rounds tore through the ship master’s arm, causing him to loosen his grip on his axe.  Vortex fired another volley from his heavy bolter and the Ork dropped the weapon onto the deck.  He bent over to retrieve the axe when Fist advanced on his position, energy crackling across the exterior of his power fist.

  The Ork swung his power claw in the direction of the Space Marine, but Fist swerved out of the large creature’s lurching arm and connected with a left hook of his own into the Ork’s unprotected flank.  

  Crow regained his feet and swung his sword at the warlord’s head.  The edged weapon bit into the green flesh between neck and shoulder.  Crow dislodged the sword and swung again, with even more force.  The Ork’s head was nearly separated from the torso as he pulled the sword free again.  The Astartes officer grabbed hold of the comparatively lose skin on the back of the Ork’s neck, what would have been on a dog called the scruff, and pulled with all his transhuman strength.  The snarling alien’s head ripped free of the rest of the body with a audible tearing noise.

    With the Ork command dealt with, Barbaricus Squad placed melta charges in strategic locations throughout the bridge and quickly re-boarded their gunboat.

  The gunboat was on its way back to the Thunderbeing as the Ork bridge, and then the rest of the ship, was engulfed in molten destruction.

  Back aboard the Thunderbeing, Crow removed his helm and took great pride in what he and his Brothers had accomplished.  

  Named in honour of the horse breed native to Ancient Terra, Barbaricus Squad had once again crushed the head of a serpent beneath their powerful hooves.