More promoting, a chapter peek from Elder Offensive and Poetry!

The original cover concept for Elder Offensive Book 1

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© 2018 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except where permitted by law. This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously

Venoshia 3 –

It’s been 10,000 years since the Unified Earth Alliance had been established. 20,000 years since humanity has taken to the stars to fight overcrowding, petty warfare and human created famine and disease. Multiple solar systems had been claimed, fought for and settled in the name of the old countries for which they represent. The Empire of the Human Race was teetering on the brink of all out civil war and rebellion… until now.

On the last planet on what was supposed to be the first system of multicultural existence an ancient alien people are discovered to have existed. An alien race older than humanity had lived here and told of a great catastrophic event that had occurred and could happen again. A disaster brought upon the universe by the Elder Ones or Gods, survivors of a previous incarnation of the universe. However, little did the new Earth government know that supporters/worshippers of the malignant beings of the previous incarnation of the universe still existed. They had waited for aeons in the shadows to act and were almost on the brink of extinction until the discovery on Venoshia 3. In a last ditch bid for power, a cult of those beings that began on old Earth quietly waited for an opportunity. Then, as if the Elder Gods that they worshipped had heard them – a key was found. A device that once activated called across the fabric of time and space and not only activated its twin in another dimension, but awoke the ancient evil that is the Elder Ones or Elder Gods ruled by Cthulu.

Now, the race is on for a small group of Unified Earth Rangers and Special Forces to find and destroy a total of 52 keys in 30 days before a great gate is opened and the host of dark forces led by the Elder God Ammutseba would once again spill forth into our universe and destroy all in their path. Everything depends on Sergeant Arthur MacReady, Captain Pisti Aklonkonous, the alien beings – a Quartal named Ahk – Setnusam and her half – dragon and half – gryphon friend Ornaclan and the people in their command to navigate an entire planet, survive armies of horrific creatures and human collaborators and stop this ancient evil.

Chapter 1: MacReady

An empty room. Another one after. The entire floor was nothing but vacant space. The hall echoed with heavy sounds of marching boots, military to be precise.

This was the fifth building of this nature, and yet sergeant MacReady of 43rd platoon, beta battalion, 4th Regiment, advanced scouts/rangers aka the Elite Wraiths, was definitely feeling even more uneasy about this reconnoitre. Maybe because it was an Asylum? The sign from the flight in mentioned the name of the place was Pendragon Asylum for the chemically, emotionally and psychologically disturbed. Yeah, that was it! The idea of running into a loon with an axe, no fear or pain receptors wasn’t very encouraging.

In regards to offensives, the whole thing was a bad job in his eyes. No visible enemy to shoot at and everything in pristine condition. Here however, if what he read on the outside was correct, in an asylum of all places, there was a strange presence in the air. There was no other way to describe it. When they landed on the roof, all dozen in the initial debarking squad in his command stopped in their tracks and took defensive positions before the other dozen rangers came up behind them. None could see anything out of the ordinary, but all felt as if the they were being watched and a couple in the rear guard could swear there was movement.

The air was thick with fear and dread. Once, not so long ago, say about five months prior, this was a vibrant colony of humanity. Venoshia 3 was colonised in the Centurion Decade of the fourth cycle of the Emperor’s year – Kashimai. That was five years ago.

Terra-forming revealed this was once populated by a now long extinct or emigrated race of reptilian people ( or was that amphibious?). Arthur MacReady only knew that they lost contact and it was up to the United Earth Alliance Armed Forces – Special advance scouts – to assess the situation and render aid.

None of the previous comm traffic was available to the soldiers. All the sergeant was told was to be on guard and keep to the prescribed arsenal provided. He wondered for a moment what would make his superiors think that plasma cannons, fission grenades and silver ( yes, silver) bullets were in order. It was daunting enough to have to carry his rifle; the Armbrister 900 with a bull-pup configuration, front clip and belt feed with over and under barrels to accommodate the different sized rounds. Perfect for overkill or crowd assault. It looked like a sleeker version of the old helicopter guns, less bulky and only slightly awkward to use. On the other hand it weighed a freaking tonne! The good news was the grenades were light. The bad news, you throw one, it had better be at least 20 metres away or else you wind up vaporised! Yup, it was a mini tactical nuke you could throw like a baseball or cricket ball. He, Arthur, was almost afraid to use the silver bullets due to the price tag. What in Gods name is it that’s so unique and dangerous you need very expensive bullets for?! He thought to himself. A shrieking sort of static came over on his wireless headset. It was Dokens and Royker, two of his seconds in command.

“ Say again you morons! I can hardly hear you!”

MacReady shouted into his microphone. A distinct cockney accent took to the airwaves.

“ We’re on the third floor… just across from the operating theatre… you have to get down here… as in now sergeant! There’s a weird energy vortex.. got Royker… barely pulled him free.”

MacReady whistled and the other 21 came double time and gathered around him.

“ Okay ladies, quick time to the third floor – and yes Jennsen that’s 20 floors down!” The Irish corporal just bit back a response and stewed in silence. He hated when his sergeant read his mind like that. Before any other protests could erupt, the six foot four inch, 250 pound non – com was already at the door to the stairs kicking it in and making for the lower levels.

They got one floor above when an explosion rocked the building! Coming through to meet the platoon were the corporals. Royker was being carried by Dokens who was sprinting like his arse was on fire! An anxious moment as their medic met them half way when a roar to beat the band echoed up to the stunned sergeant and his men.

He took a deep breath, cursed silently and hand signalled his men to follow and fan out. He just turned the corner of the corridor that the two corporals apparently ran down when he saw something that made his jaw drop! It was half human and half fish plus a bit of lizard tossed in! And it was roaring in pain as apparently part of it had been cut or shot off, the tail to be precise.

The head was fish, that much was obvious, but the lower body was human female from the neck to the hips and the legs looked reptilian. It crawled in agony. All told it appeared it was as tall as the ceiling, a good 3 to 6 metres in height, if it were to stand up.

He brought up his Armbrister 900 and prepared to fill it full of silver when another roar, much loader and fear inducing rent the noise and caused an even bigger explosion and the structure to shake. MacReady’s ears were bleeding and his head was spinning now as the he couldn’t hear anything any more. He hadn’t lowered his weapon, but on the other hand he was now cut off from his platoon! The fish woman was nearer now and looking at him, almost pleadingly.

A giant tentacle armed with hooks in it’s suckers flailed about as if searching for something by touch. Arthur decided that it would be best to go after the larger of the two evils and hope he wasn’t wrong in his line of logic. He pulled one of his grenades and motioned for the fish woman to come closer to him before he threw his lethal surprise.

Oddly enough, she or it understood him and was barely able to avoid being mashed like a giant potato. Arthur took a deep breath, pulled the electronic pin and threw for all he was worth at the tentacle. Thankfully the tentacle took the explosion and was actually atomised by the blast.

However, there was bad news as two more seemed to come from nowhere and began angrily thrashing about! Just great, the floor structure was already dicey enough as is, Arthur thought to himself, now this overgrown kraken is trying to finish the job.

He got on the radio and did his best to get aid and his rangers out of this without further damage done. When he turned to see to the fish woman, she was now much smaller and more human – especially the face this time. She or it had grabbed an old lab coat that flew out of the room nearby when the tentacles went on a rampage. She spoke, or it spoke, in perfect English! She even knew his name!

“ Sergeant MacReady, if you would help me up please. My apologies for scaring you, but there’s a reason I’m here and if we don’t clear out soon the structural integrity will be the least of your worries. I can help get you to your men. However, we need to exit! The portal is unstable and there’s no danger to the surrounding area… please?”

Arthur took a second to curse up a storm before he acquiesced to the request of whomever this was. He helped the female appearing being up and, as if by magic, they wound up on the opposite side of the rubble.

“ United Earth Alliance Advance Rangers, we are LEAVING! NOW! Up to the transports ladies, hustle like there was no tomorrow because there isn’t!”

All of the soldiers were taken aback for a moment as the former fish woman stuck to Arthur like glue. The building shuddered and shook as roar after blood curdling roar echoed. Command was on the frequency demanding to know their progress and what the source of the energy build up was. The sergeant ignored his superiors requests for now and practically sprinted up to the roof!

The platoon barely made it to their individual transport vessels or barges to make way to the nearby landers that brought them. Just as they got to safe distance the asylum glowed and seemed to implode out of existence. It left only the basement and a scorch mark circle around the remains of the building.

Arthur took a deep breath and sat down heavily on the cushioned bench of the lander in the debarkation area. The fish woman sat near him looking gravely concerned. He knew he was in for it and now there were more questions than answers. His superiors would ream him a new one, unless they bought his report, which for the record sounded pretty far – fetched even by his standards.

Even if this being with him were to speak up for him on his behalf, he doubted he would be able to sufficiently explain an unknown phenomenon like a phantom portal. He felt a hand on his arm and decided to get this over with.

“ Okay, I’ve got a few billion questions and …”

She put a hand up that immediately calmed him down. She didn’t appear to breathe, but she did appear to be mentally taking a deep breath.

“ All right sergeant MacReady, I’ll give you what I can. That was a portal to a sub dimension.

A sort of dimension within a dimension. I am a Quartal, an amphibious being and shape changer. What was going on was your people discovered an artefact of great power and attempted to use it.

I believe they were physicians and they discovered this item among the possessions of a man who lost his mind finding it. This artefact was actually a key, a key to a place that should have remained closed. It was what destroyed the ancient civilisation that called this place home and drove the people to another star system before your colonists claimed this world. The effect of opening the portal caused an Elder One to stir and consume the population nearby. If you were to search about, you’d find survivors on the outer cities and towns. As to what an Elder One is, I believe, if I’ve read my human mind correctly, you’d refer to it as an ancient god. This is a massive creature that possesses great power and a desire to get more. You have nothing to stop them permanently if the portal had remained open longer than it was! For now, I’m stuck on this planet and this dimension. All I can say is thank you for your assistance. That fission grenade of yours caused enough instability to shut the portal down and nullify the item the luckless doctors activated. On the other hand, my people and I know more of these things are scattered about the planet. I must find them and destroy them as soon as possible before catastrophe hits your universe. Please forgive me, I’m tired and worn out from my own end of the ordeal. I’m sure this will help on your verbal report to your superiors… if I may, I must sleep.”

With that and no further explanations, she laid down across his lap and closed her eyes. This gave him an opportunity to really look at this version of her. She had deep blue and black hair, alabaster skin and, as he recalled when she was awake, ruby red within blue eyes. The good news for sergeant MacReady was the female Quartal had an inner timer so she or it awoke as they landed at the designated rendezvous point. He quickly got her a field jumpsuit to put on as the frayed lab coat was a little distracting. Through the portals of the lander the troops could easily see where they arrived. The field was roughly a mile in diameter and located far north of the city they were investigating first. To the north – west of their position were a series of hills and plateaus before a grand stretch of plains that led to some of the largest mountains MacReady had ever seen. Forest land filled in here and there giving them perfect ground coverage for a quiet encampment. On the other hand, it gave the enemy perfect cover for scouting them out or a sneak attack. The two unlikely allies got up and walked to and up two flights of stairs that separated the command deck from the cargo, embarkation, vehicle storage and maintenance, med lab and computer conference room. The last doubled as a work station and video conference area for tactical discussions between landing vessels and had the appearance of a computer lab at a university, replete with 3 video monitors for conference discussions. The other 23 of his platoon joined him after temporarily setting their lander down a few hundred metres away and remotely launching before putting it on autopilot and sending it into temporary atmospheric orbit.

Corporal Royker and the sergeant agreed that they could consolidate to one lander for the duration of this mission – till they found survivors to evacuate. Then, the second lander could be used for the sole purpose of civilian extraction. Everyone was seated or standing about 3 metres from the comm console on the bridge with the seat of honour reserved for the sergeant. As he expected, he hardly got a word in edge wise at first as his superiors sat safely in their hovering fortresses above the furthest planet in the system. It would seem that his C.O and the big high command decided to bring their vessels and fleets for some odd reason. When he was allowed to give his report at last, to a man and woman, all of them went pale and seemed to confer amongst themselves. Admiral Hiroshi, a female space naval officer from New Hawaii, Vascom 4 spoke for the openly frightened and worried group of admirals and generals. If it weren’t for the fact they were all in combat grey camouflage, Arthur would have bet real money they’d look a lot worse!

“ Sergeant MacReady, you say one of these Quartal people is with you now? She or it helped you and your platoon escape?” She seemed very hesitant, almost apprehensive and seemed she was almost grasping for something that would be considered good news. Arthur took a moment and bit back some disrespectful and rather sexist comments that came to mind before answering.

“ Yes admiral, I did. With all due respect, this doesn’t answer why my men and I were armed with some of the most expensive ammunition ever and why what happened is so…” He gesticulated wildly in the air trying to find the right words, he was so flustered with the lack of information and even less of a reasonable explanation he had to take extra time to check his colourful metaphors.

“ … important. Whatever was going down, it managed to stop itself. Or do you think those other key things are waiting to activate themselves or something?”

Hiroshi seemed to jump back in her chair as the desperation and anger seemed to have crept into the sergeant’s voice and took her by surprise. She turned off her microphone and spoke with her subordinate and then the other generals and admirals in on the video conference. Arthur’s men and the Quartal were in the background listening in rapt attention. Finally, after almost an hour of talking amongst themselves, she addressed the combat veteran.

“ Sergeant MacReady, this goes against protocol, but you and your men are the only thing between us and disaster as we can’t risk more human resources on limited intelligence. You’ll find a computer transmission on your tactical system. It should answer all your questions that your alien associate can’t. All I can say is, may God help you because we can’t. Not until you’ve neutralised the immediate threat or discovered that the inter – dimensional devices are inert, broken or are not in the hands of supporters of our adversaries. All your questions will be answered, it’s on the file marked “ Old Ones”: The Elder Offensive initiative.” She then abruptly ended the transmission.

Quietly, almost apprehensively, he went to his computer station at tactical and called up the file in question. The first line of the operation read simply; Ammutseba Invasion Protocol. Over his shoulder, Dokens and Royker nearly fell over themselves. Corporal Jennsen spoke up from behind them before Arthur could get past the title.

“ Are they effing kidding?!? That’s, what, the dark ones, er, elder gods stuff! The high command are saying these things are real?!?” All looked at him, even the Quartal. She spoke up before the rest of the soldiers or the irritated sergeant could.

“ Yes corporal, that would be true. Now that we’re going to have to work together, a formal introduction is in order. My name, in your language is Ahk – Setnusam. The reason, sergeant, I know as much as I do is partly because of what happened in my home dimension and …”

She collected herself for a moment before continuing. “ .. before this incident, your scientists from your military spoke with the leaders of my people. This occurred a good ten years ago. We tried to warn them of the dangers of ancient technology and mystic items that were scattered on our side and were connected with ones on yours. However, the colony on this planet either never was informed or ignored the warning that this was one of the ancient Old Ones strongholds before it was colonised by the G’tral – a reptilian species that had emigrated from our dimension after an old one decided to invade. Thankfully, they realised the dangers and made a mass exodus from here to a star several million light years away before the elder spawn could arrive and attempt to destroy everything they could. On that occasion, the portal malfunctioned and killed the spawn before they could build a staging area. It would seem that your scientists on this world allowed their curiosity to override their good sense of judgement and presented them with another opportunity. I came as an emissary or good will ambassador on the behest of your government in order to assist in containing this problem before the elder beings took hold here – once again. Before your species evolved, your world was a staging area of sorts.”

She briefly paused for the soldiers to take in what she said before continuing.

“ That was while it was easy to maintain portals and gates. However, after a few millennia, they were driven back to their home dimension – a sub domain of my home dimension to be precise. Whatever it was that succeeded in defeating them, no one was able to find out. All we know is they were sent into hibernation… until now. There were 52 items on this planet that could be used as a key to open up the gates. If all of them – or even the majority – were opened, a mighty gate that would be impossible to close would be activated. Ammutseba, devourer of stars, would lead the charge this time and as I said, you have nothing in your arsenal that could stop him. Killing his followers is simple; thus the silver bullets and other armaments. Not even my people have discovered the significant weakness of the Old Ones to bring down such a massive being as Ammutseba – and he’s one of the lesser threats!”

Arthur just sat stunned. He hadn’t even gotten round to reading the intel and plan of action on the part of the geniuses that posed as his superior officers and now there’s this little wrinkle. Gee, just stop this virtually indestructible and immortal omnipotent being, take out some of its monstrous abomination like goons and then – head for the tavern for a few pints. The sergeant sincerely wondered why and how he managed to get talked into signing up to be a lifer in the space corps!

Based on the expression on the Quartal’s face, he did a horrible job of hiding his feelings on this matter. Arthur mentally cursed, closed his eyes and calmed down just long enough to try and formulate a reasonable series of queries before he began reading the good news from the high command.

“ All right, so our best and brightest knew about this and decided not to tell us – the ground units and basically cannon fodder. My best guess is that the first little inter – dimensional summat of yours was an accident. You both decided to test the waters here and there and eventually came to an understanding of sorts…” Arthur put his hand up to quell a potential answer or rebuttal from the Quartal. “… no, that’s fine, I’m not going to push for the political mumbo – jumbo explanation. As for you being a good will ambassador; I’m not sure one way or another. I’m not the high command and it’s not my call, however, I’ll trust you – to a point. You saved my life and my platoon’s lives. For that, I owe you one! My feeling on this operation is we’re stuck having to find all the rest of these wondrous pains in the arse devices and destroy them somehow or just make them useless. All I really need to know is; How much time do we have? If this Old One of yours is that determined and powerful, I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to take to this set – back and is going to want a few pounds of flesh, per se.”

Corporal Royker handed his sergeant a hip flask, which Arthur accepted gratefully and practically downed it one gulp. The alien ambassador just seemed to be of forced patience at this point. Arthur’s intuition told him she was trying to act the better person and not yell at or try to rip him apart limb from limb.

She addressed him in a calm fashion, almost soothing.

“ Your assessment of the meeting of the minds was correct. However, you needn’t worry about destroying or neutralising anything; That’s my duty primarily as I have a better grasp of how they work and the dangers associated with them. Mind you, I will defer if weapons can be utilised, but only then. Each item is guarded to a degree. However, if I read your body language correctly – impatience mixed with anger – you needn’t get so agitated as we do have a good amount of time and finding the keys should not be a great problem. On the other hand, your obvious worry about the minions of Ammutseba is well founded. In this case, it’s a mix of groups being employed including a cult made up of people from my home world. I doubt they’d try subterfuge as they’re quite fanatical and lethal without it and they want to be obvious. And before I get too engrossed, I’m sorry you don’t trust me completely, but I see your point. Back to the time table for a moment. We probably, if I recall my local calendar, have 1 month to find the majority of the items to stop the greater portal. If not, we’d better have a damn good plan B as you humans say. If not, you’re going to wish you’d never heard of the Old Ones!”

Arthur rolled his eyes ala his father trying hard to ignore the last, but conceded to reason none the less. He nodded before addressing his new ally on a different tact.

“ So that wound to your tail, I guess that’s what that part of your anatomy was, came from something on your side trying to stop you? I ask for just a tad of clarification. I have a feeling that if that was the Old One we wouldn’t be speaking at the moment.”

Ahk – Setnusam took a breath of relief, or so it appeared, and spoke to address the sergeant’s question.

“ Yes, that was why I was wounded and you were correct on the part of my anatomy. As to that not being Ammutseba – actually, it was. His physical form was too massive to fit through the small portal. He was trying to catch and devour me before I reached you. The site of our dimensional gate was discovered without our knowledge and the Old One himself decided to take matters into his own hands, er, tentacles. That, in of itself, should point to how important it is that we destroy or neutralise the threat of the gate keys. One other point of information that your admiral failed to mention; You, Arthur MacReady, are the human liaison to our people. This means that if we are successful, you will be travelling between here and my home.”

The colour drained from Arthur’s face. He kept his wits about him, despite wanting to vomit or pass out from this lovely news. He wondered what other little surprises were coming his way for a moment till it dawned on him that it just might make things worse for him – thinking about such things. The Quartal just smiled at him, as if she could read his mind and tell he’s conceded to her thinking. She then, after an awkward pause, addressed another probably pressing enquiry by the sergeant. “ I wouldn’t worry myself with ambassadorial duties at this stage of the game sergeant. As to how I was recruited or talked into being the liaison for the Quartal, simply put I was the most compatible – as you are. I was not trained in combat, but on the other hand I do know the weaknesses of the enemies minions. I would also concentrate on finding the survivors, the civilians who are currently in disarray over this latest turn of events. One something I can tell you that’s also mentioned in the debriefing you have on your computer; Ammutseba can reanimate the dead. In other words, he can create zombies after a fashion. You must be wary of these creatures in particular! The will look as the ones you wish to save, but they are flesh craving, mindless pawns of the Elder One and they will attempt to devour you … alive. They can be killed, just as the other minions. It’s just a much crueller and insidious way of dispatching an enemy.” The sergeant bit back the obvious question; What did she mean by compatible? He turned to Jennsen, Dokens and Royker.

“ All right, you heard, and no need to get tetchy ladies – we have a job to do.” He pointed behind Dokens to the field medics. “ McGuinnes, Abbot, Davies and Marks; Put your field med kits together. Have the good, erm, liaison here brief you on what to set the sensors for, aside from normal life signs before you get started. If that Elder has managed to make some zombies, I want to know!” MacReady waved Jennsen to one side to get the comm techs attention. “ Reed, Malcom, Morris – get the transmission station operational. I want drones on stealth, secure frequencies and a live feed with eyes on all of us! Everyone else, gear up! Two four person patrols and one five person recon group, that’s three teams. You’ll be divided accordingly; Teams of two at a time on the perimeter alternating with one ranger with one drone. Field cameras on, arm for bear and make sure you have a direct line with me, the med techs and comm techs – try not to wander off if you can help it. There’s 2 dozen of us and 0 guarantees any of us will survive. We’ve been left, on our own, to hold off the hoards – so watch the ammo! I have a feeling the good admiral and the high command have no problems sending that and explosives our way; Just don’t count on it or back – up except for who’s with you. DISMISSED!”

He turned back to the 3 corporals and the Quartal female.

“ Okay, now we all know how screwed we are. So, what are we gonna do about it?” He looked at each of his subordinates one at a time followed by their Quartal advisor or helper. Dokens cleared his throat, looked off into the distance to steady himself, took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. “ Well sergeant, I’d say we do this systematically, unless Ahk – Setnusam here has a way to tell if we’re near or far from an active or passive device. For all we know, a few of those pains in the arse are already gonzo – but it would be nice to know if we have all 51 objects or not.”

MacReady looked at the female with a raised eyebrow. “ I was wondering that too. Unless you advanced alien types have some sort of telepathy or something you can use or a portable version of a scanner that you can lend us?” Ahk – Setnusam was pleasantly taken aback. It would seem her human counterpart could be thoughtful and reasonable and more than a savage primitive. She pondered the question for a good minute and a half before answering. “ Sergeant, I don’t have a scanner, nor do I have super sensory perception – as I stated earlier. I do know of what you ask in regards to the frequency to monitor to see if the devices are active or resting or for that matter viable. You need to use your medical sensors to detect them. Set them to a low frequency, passive detection. It’ll sound like a living pulse, if memory serves. I’ll help your medics with the settings after this conference or meeting of ours.” The Quartal took a moment to pause to frame her words, this was still a new language for her after all.

“As far as a systematic searches goes; That’s an excellent idea! It should work wonders and save us time trying to locate things at random. This is, after all, a very large planet and the sooner we narrow down our search areas the faster we can find and dispose of the nuisances. The other headache, as you’d say sergeant, you’d be eliminating would be the confrontation with the forces of Ammutseba. I’m sure your people can make a grand accounting of themselves, however we have the problem of avoiding civilian casualties and risking reprisal from a better prepared force. Also, if they’ve activated even one device, they could get reinforcements quite quickly. The advantage you have is; The fission grenades of yours. You can cause an anomaly that would destroy a portal and eliminate the threat of the immediate creatures. Just a point of information; If any of the minions are cut off from their contact with Ammutseba, they die or are destroyed. He’s the only thing keeping them together – literally.” Royker let out a loud whistle. “ What do you mean about a better prepared force? They have fancy energy weapons or would they have numbers on their side? I mean, would they try to overwhelm us?” The Quartal never hesitated. “ All of the above. The Elder Gods relied on massive numbers to wear down their victims or to gather more followers. It would seem that the more they had , the more powerful they’d be. That would be another danger good to avoid. As to energy weapons, more like a biological advantage that can be just as efficient, if not more so, than conventional weaponry or projectile/energy weapons.”

Arthur nodded and wordlessly dismissed the corporals to see to their underlings. Ahk – Setnusam lingered at a distance, just studying him like a subject in a med lab experiment. The sergeant did his best to ignore this as he read the briefing or plan of attack on the main comm computer screen.

As Ahk – Setnusam confirmed, they first, the humans, encountered the Quartal by accident following an attempt at creating a new sub – space frequency for civilian business. It would seem they used enough energy to create a singularity that punched a whole through hyperspace.

Both sides had awkward moments of communication, but eventually were able to peaceably communicate. After much diplomatic and cultural barriers, say, four years later the topic of dangers of travelling between the dimensions came up. This is when the Earth learnt of the earlier encounters with alien or inter – dimensional peoples. It would seem as if the Mad Arab wasn’t so mad after all! Earth scientists then decided to delve into the known copies of the Arab’s manuscript, the Necronomicon. Despite the technology at the disposal of the humans, it wasn’t until sometime last year that they sorted out the machinations of the Old Ones or Elder Gods. It was decided, unanimously, among the member worlds of the United Earth Alliance Government to instate the use of silver bullets, among other weapons in case the Elder Gods decided to make another attempt at reaching our dimension for conquest.

In regards to the incident here on Venoshia 3, it seems the Earth Government was caught a bit flat footed and the people in the asylum thought they knew what they were doing. Translation; Instead of waiting to see if the experts really knew what they were talking about the doctors greed for information or knowledge got the better of them. To clarify, one of the points of agreement with Quartal people was that any alien artefacts that were found were to be examined by both the Earth and the Quartal as many a dangerous device, such as the dimensional portal or gate creator, were still out there. In English; Once the cat was out of the bag about the horrors of what awaited mankind in the other dimension that could come back to the humans to assure their worst nightmares, all decided it was best to be overly cautious as opposed to being cavalier about it.

Arthur’s thinking was, that the military at least, foresaw the potential for some pretty big cock – ups, thus the silver bullets. As to why silver? Apparently, it was a rare material that most creatures of Ahk – Setnusam’s dimension were deathly allergic to ( or something like that). He was so wrapped up in reading he almost didn’t catch his female alien companion’s head on his shoulder reading along with him. His face went flush with embarrassment as the Quartal didn’t seem to notice. “ Um, comfortable Ahk – Setnusam?” She just gave him a blank look and put her hand on his free shoulder.

“ Hmm? Now I am, thank you. You’re quite a careful reader I see. Those are just the highlights as you’ve deduced… is there something wrong sergeant? Oh! You’re a bit shy when dealing with females, my apologies.” He was clearly taken aback, then again she was lovely.

He had to mentally shake his head and banish those thoughts as he had no idea what this Quartal’s motivations were. He decided to just ignore the possible bait and ask an overdue question.

“ Okay, do you have a title or something? Doctor, lawyer, healer… etc.?” She looked at him askance before smiling like a crocodile when facing prey. “ Not really, though I do know you have no ill intent by your query. I read temperature, pheromones and surface thoughts. As to title? I guess you could call me a healer of sorts, perhaps even – a mystic. I suppose this is to make conversation less awkward and tense?” He nodded mechanically and gave her a wry smile.

“ Well, as to the lack of awkward conversation – yes. Also, now that I know you’re a healer, I can relax more. So, most of this is just highlights? My best guess is, you had military or other intel on this Ammutseba as being the one leading the charge here. Either that or the artefacts were his, had his signature or mark on them to identify the owner. Are these keys alive? You mentioned they made a signal that sounded like a heartbeat, er, pulse.” She raised her eyebrows impressed and hugged him with one arm.

“ Well, you’re definitely someone to keep an eye on, very astute of you Arthur. We were aware of stirrings in the sub – dimension for a while, but it took some extra effort in identifying the source of the signal calling to the Old Ones or Elder Gods. And yes, something was calling to them – like your alarm clocks? I’ve had a chance, prior to this, to see what the doctors at the asylum found. I can also say, with some confidence, it was the reason why their patient had lost his mind. So, yes, the keys are alive. They need either a living host to possess or enough energy to activate. If all or most of those keys had been together, Ammutseba wouldn’t have had any trouble following me and preventing your action of stopping his first return attempt. On the other hand, enough of him made it through that he now has an idea of what he may be up against and potential hosts to create his seemingly endless armies. He would make this, how would you phrase it, the beachhead of the invasion. Abominations would follow, among other creatures before the other Elder Gods awakened and came. The last time it took nearly 100 millennia before the force that ejected the Old Ones came into being. And no, it was no native deity! That much my people have been able to confirm. You seem to have a grasp of the dire nature of your situation. This isn’t impossible, we just have to make the most of our time. Agreed?” Now, the Quartal was so close he could feel her lips on his ear. He ignored this with Herculean effort and spoke as calmly as possible.

“ Okay, agreed… and are all of your people this, er, friendly?” She just grinned at him in an unreadable way before hugging him again. “ No, not really. However, as I said in so many words, you intrigue me. Now, I suppose you’d like me to assist the med techs with the scanner settings?” Arthur nodded in agreement, but made no drastic moves. He wasn’t sure what the reaction would be and her natural state was a giant being that looked quite strong enough to kill him with no problem what so ever. Also, he had no idea of her motivations. They walked quietly in to the cargo section of the landing craft. As with all campaign grade military vessels, this shuttle was huge! Then again, it was a model A – Celebor fusion powered sub – light landing craft. It was capable of going ¼ the speed of light and a staple of the Advanced Scout/ Ranger battalions. Lightly armed with atmospheric missiles, medium range energy cannon, rail guns and deceptively armoured with energy shielding and photomorphic skin for camouflage. It was large enough to carry half a dozen armoured personnel carriers, ten single operator walking tanks – a kind of body armour with reinforced steel frame plus 2 – 3 55mm cannon, laser sighting and computer targeting. It looked like an exoskeleton on steroids! The shuttle had 3 dozen emergency cryogenic chambers for medical emergencies plus a fully automated mini – hospital complete with android nurses. Normally, in orbit would be the main carrier. Those were behemoths that looked like a sort of jumbo sized super aircraft carrier.

Not this time though. This was one of only two shuttles used for this platoons reconnoitre and possible rescue mission. The other, as MacReady bitterly reminded himself, was in low orbit on auto – pilot. The computer was programmed for emergency landing in the next 6 hours in case there was no command response on the ships computer frequency. If Arthur remembered, it would land within a mile of their current position. This brought up a whole new worry; Fuel for both craft. According to intel, there were two stations to fuel up for the return flight to the outer orbit planets where the command fleets sat waiting for progress. He, the sergeant, and his corporals sincerely doubted their back – up would even remotely hang around beyond the planned time table – If that.

He watched with keen interest as the group of medics and their new alien ally worked on setting the portable sensors. McGuinnes, the Scottish senior medic, led his Aussie second Marks and MacReady’s fellow Englishmen Shane Abbot and Nigel Davies in setting up the computer and setting the portable sensors. In all honesty, the real time taker was programming the central medical computer to instruct the sensors what to do. The devices themselves were not capable of handling as much data as a physician would normally need. Thus, it was decided by better minds than those in the space marines, army and navy that there would be a central medical computer to handle the data from the field or where ever the med techs happened to be.

The medical lab or sick bay, came equipped with a dozen emergency surgical beds connected to a central medical computer that stood independent from the main computer system or main frame network. It was quite antiseptic, almost so bright and white it could blind you. All personnel were required to load personal medical data discs into the server prior to launch to make rendering treatment that much faster. If you could name the medical emergency, they could handle it.

The area was so large that a seven person operating squad could work without interrupting procedures occurring at the next table. A bio – energy shield prevented contamination or pathogens of air or a physically transferable nature. There was no way that any known virus or bacteria could spread without someone actively allowing it. Any alien life forms encountered were another story all together.

As he continued to observe, this Ahk – Setnusam really surprised him. Still, the actions of this Quartal have been, despite being consistent, strange. And did this have to do with compatibility? Or was she looking for a snack, like his brains for example. Considering how the high command was pussy – footing around and determining what it was that he needed to know – then still not telling him – made him quite curious. MacReady excused himself and went to the command deck and got on the computer. The good news was that interplanetary computer networks were still up. He tried to recall what Morris told him about hacking into the central command main frame. If it weren’t for the fact that all three of his geniuses were busy, he wouldn’t be brow beating himself so much as reading what he needed. Yes, he did have the initiative plan on Ammutseba, but this was different. He was curious as to the entire big picture and he didn’t know if he’d have…

So much for curiosity. He raced down to the source of the alarm, the main entry way and ran smack dab into an Italian private, Tenovoli, who looked like he ran a marathon. “ Sergeant! You better come and see this.. it looks like some sort of two legged wolf or something. Thomerson, Vargus and Torres are keeping just down wind of it. They think they can outflank it…” Ahk – Setnusam ran up and got the private by his shoulders. “ Did you say a two legged wolf? How big? Silver fur and metallic looking claws? Sergeant, if it’s what I think, we’re being hunted. That’s a tracker and the hunting party might not be that far …” Outside and just past the grove of trees nearest the landing craft gunfire erupted.

“ Don’t just stand there like a brain dead idiot, let’s go – move it! Move it!” An explosion like a fission grenade sounded a few hundred yards ahead. Thomerson was limping with Vargus and Torres was providing covering fire. That’s when Arthur heard and ungodly roar and some language, guttural and deep from beyond the trees. “ Torres, Thomerson, Vargus… what the hell’s going on?”

Another roar and the sound of crashing trees got his attention and answered his question at the same time. He saw something he’d only seen in his nightmares; It was huge!

It looked like a cross between a squid, alligator, fish and worm. A large eyeless head like an alligator with tentacles and stubby reptilian legs pulled along a worm – like body with fish fins and gills near the head with a body that had to be 100 metres long if it were a centimetre and around 20 metres tall! Ahk – Setnusam came running up yelling at them. “ Use your fission grenades! Your bullets will only antagonise it – more so than it is already. It’s armour is based for projectile weapons…”

Arthur rolled his eyes, roared a battle cry and ran up to throw three perfect bulls-eye’s in the beasts throat. An eye blink later – FWOOM! The sergeant was thrown backward violently into his patrol, along with pieces of the monster, and wound up landing in the arms of the Quartal.

Without any preamble or thanks he turned and spoke to her. “ Is this what you meant by reinforcements? What the hell was that thing?” She resisted the first impulse to drop him for his rudeness and answered. “ That was an abysmal dragon and yes, that was what I felt they would call for back – up. You’re welcome sergeant.” She said the last with more than a passing bite of impatience and anger. Arthur finally realised the awkward position he was in as his people were pulling themselves out of the nearby trees and off the ground looking at the pair quizzically.

“ Sorry and thank you for saving my neck – again! Also, thanks for the helpful tactical tip and not staying behind at the shuttle.” Arthur actually saw her smile in triumph. “ Apology accepted along with the implied compliment. Now let’s get you back to the ship, this changes things just a tad and I, like you, want to hear how this happened, er, when and how they discovered the werewolf that started this, erm, tactical engagement.”

Arthur just sighed, motioned to be gently put down and walked with as much dignity as possible with the four privates and his companion, for lack of a better new term, to get the report and review the audio/video log as well as check in with the other patrol and the advanced scout squad. This was going to be the longest, strangest operation in his life – if he survived it!

That’s it! You want to know the fates of the protagonists/soldiers and their alien ally? Get Elder Offensive Book 1 – Today! Book 2 is still brewing and needs final type ups and editing… but it will be coming! Now, the poem…

What, but the wake we follow
Where but the light do we seek
To guide us along, a tremor, a melody old
In deepest oceans or highest peaks
A journey of the soul begins
The time of an ancient closes
So the sun chases the moon
Beauty hiding in shadows
Just as villainy conceals in the brightness of day
To the last I call forth, the first I treasure
In the end, do I sail for a star
An enigma to be savoured

Again, give Elder Offensive a chance as well as my fellow colleagues! I will be posting links soon… Till next time!

~ The Pirate Poet

Books, promotions and thank goodness for Starbucks and take away Pizza!

Okay, so no rants but a sneak peek of what’s coming and a blurb… Also, working on my Starbucks Mocha Frappiccino and getting ready for take away Italian and film day!

Blurb ~
For James Camden, things have been put at the speed of light! Claimed by not one, but three women who insist that he is THEIR one. The Garinthian Empire is stepping up their efforts and have dispatched both the Garinthian War Hound – Vice Admiral K’yo Maru Kosch and the Imperial Scourge Admiral Arz Khan. The Dragon Helm, behind James, is slowly fighting back, but only just. A new and insidious villain is lurking in the shadows preparing to reveal itself on our hero….
But the worst for James is still coming… Parenthood! Can he survive the onslaught of nappy changes, feedings, mine – mine tiffs as well as fend off the current assault on his native clan and the quadrant?!?

I know this is a single chapter or part of, but the point still applies as made below…

Camden’s Follies
Part 3
Dynasties, Prams and New Orders

© 2019 Jon Corres Pirate Poet
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except where permitted by law. This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously.

Chpt 1 Arz – Khan’s fall and hints for future

The Savion Reaper danced between two cruisers as the Empress Dragon took fire from the support group of fighters and cruisers on the port side. The shuttle that Azfar and mister Cafar was using as part of the initial assault was floating behind the Camden’s Folly as crews worked to put out fires. Cynthia was a blur of motion and the wireless radio was overwhelmed. I had decided not to use the Bernoulli in the initial engagement and put McTavit in charge of getting her ready as we drew off the command vessel and the dreadnoughts. The Final Fire had led 2 of the dreadnoughts to the dark side of the moon on a diversion, but ran afoul of the 4th fleet who were hiding there. Captain Kuul however, was just as clever as I thought and was currently fighting from a position of stealth while keeping them at a distance.

As for us, we blasted through the first fleet before the support carriers and cruisers came from the nearby planet, at the moment I can’t recall the name, but they weren’t expecting a small fleet to come and meet their gauntlet. I spent my time between the bridge and the rifle stations on the shuttle with Scy Lors, when we were connected by a boarding tube. She’s currently in the hospital wing with mister Kildro, wounded with burns from a glancing shot that set off a pair of weapons mounted near her as we tried to dodge enemy fire.

I told that Admiral that he picked the wrong pirate captain to threaten, all the while the stealth skiff made for the command vessel to rescue the War Dragon Fire crew and maybe use the ship to fight from the inside, that was 4 hours ago and misters Sali, Forraz and Renault weren’t exactly the first people I’d form a rescue squad with. I jumped over to the firing station as Cynthia looked as if she was going to collapse. Cafea’s voice was on wireless screaming our names to see if we were alive. I forgot to mention she was with McTavit awaiting my orders to launch. I got off a pair of volleys at a closing pair of cruisers and hit the massive command ship on her aft.

“ … talk to me!!”

I pressed the button as fast as I could.

Now would be a good time you two! Unless you need a formal invitation, I did think you had more sense than this… I’m taking our wife to mister Kildro now while we have a moment between volleys… if you would be so kind… so I could save Arzkel and the others…”


The radio went dead as a tremendous burst of energy exploded near us finishing the floundering cruiser.

“ Mister Fizbark! Emergency power to the engines! That super gun has our attention…”

“ You bet your sweet arse captain… hold on to your breakfast!”

We lurched forward with great force, thankfully the chairs were part of the bridge and Cynthia was belted down… not me however as I slammed into the bulkhead. With stars in my eyes, I got my human wife out of the chair just in time as we were spun by the force of a secondary blast that pushed us further away from the battle and closer to the moons gravity!

I cursed and was going spare when Scy Lors popped the door open and grabbed Cynthia.

“ No worries, pator mine… blow those fiends to the punishment planes! Mister Kildro? Stay with me…”

My fellow physician stumbled in looking bruised and grim. He nodded to me and helped Scy Lors half drag and carry Cynthia out as she popped into and out of consciousness. The radio came alive on the imperial frequency.

“ This is Arz – Khan to captain Camden. Well played sir, very well played, though this cat and mouse game seems a bit beneath you, does it not? Yes, you did surprise us with your small fleet, but is it not better we settle this, you and I? Your vessel looks in bad shape, but as we both know, looks can be deceiving. I’m coming around and when we’re even keel I intend to end this once and for all by vaporising you like the pesky insect you are! What say you captain?”

“ Arz – Khan, you talk too much! You’re right, I’m much better off than I look, however it’s you that’s going to be vaporised, not me. I’ve yet to use these cannon in concert… for you however, I’ll make an exception.. prepare for what we call Verilda’s Wrath…”

I never finished my sentence as there was a great explosion from the mid section of the command ship, around the bottom. The War Dragon Fire flew out with cannon roaring, making for the Empress Dragon and Savion Reaper, she was smoking, then again so were the other vessels, but she was going down fighting.

“ Damn you Camden, DIE!”

I saw the ship pirouette and come full speed at me as I grabbed the wheel and spun to give her a full broadside.

“ Mister Fizbark, with extreme prejudice if you would… FIRE ON THOSE IMPERIAL SCUM!”

It felt as if this were my last act. I knew that there was a shuttle on board for emergencies and that both Fizbark and Kildro knew when to cut and run, but I was going to stay till the bitter end and send those Garinthians to hell…

Just as I was waiting for the counter attack, something appeared on the outside of our port side and flew past at blinding speed till it was between us and the command ship. For a moment, nothing happened as the great imperial ship came to a halt and started to pivot. However, before it could finish, the Bernoulli opened up with 5 successive volleys that looked like great green waves! The explosions that resulted tore the great vessel in half and then obliterated the remains. I fought to stay conscious as the fighting with the other two fleets came to an abrupt halt. The Bernoulli had come to the rescue and was now heading in to clean up. The remaining ships of the Garinthian fleets tried to turn and run, but met renewed volleys from the two weakened pirate ships and a wave of death from the Bernoulli.

The Savion Reaper raced off to the dark side of the moon to assist the Final Fire. I collapsed as the Bernoulli came along side and set up the boarding tube. I could feel where I had broken my ribs again, thankfully it was a clean break. My breath was ragged, but steady, as I made my way down to the lower decks. There was a great deal of damage, superficial in most cases, particularly on our aft section near the engine room. I was half way down the stairs when McTavit met me with a look as white as a sheet.

“ Damn it man, quit being noble for a moment… Cafea! I found him, I think he was heading for the hospital wing…”

“ JAMES! Where’s Cynthia, the baby is it…”

I passed out as mister Kildro stumbled up to us and had a hand on Cafea’s shoulder. When I came to, I was in our medical ward, er, hospital wing, mind isn’t working well… I was in a sick bed.

Cafea was was with Cynthia, who was looking quite well, but a little bruised. Both women looked relieved and were cuddling or hugging. I cleared my throat.

“ Would it be too much to ask for a status report … someone? Anyone…”

I started to rise, but someone grabbed my shoulder, which got me wincing, and gently pushed me back. I turned carefully to see it was captain Arzkel. Scy Lors had rushed over as well and given me a needle in my arm that made the pain go away.

“ It’s all right James, honestly! We saw you blast the command ship, I think I recall the name I read on her was Verilda’s Sword. The other fleets were trying to regroup when you charged at their flag ship. Cafea was right, you fought like demon! The other dreadnought was behind the command ship and never got a chance to get a shot off. Pretty impressive cannon, the Bernoulli has there. Bit risky holding her back, but you proved you didn’t need it and damn near single handedly sent them packing. Ackban is all right, if you’re curious, bit singed, but there you are. He lost a couple of crewmen, then again so did we all, gunners and repair crews. Mai – Soong managed to save Liam’s bacon from the fire, but only just. The Final Fire may be a lost cause…”

She let that hang in the air.

“ Captain Kuul can have the Camden’s Folly if he’d like or another vessel if we find one. Didn’t he use the sub space power generators?”

She shook her head.

“ Of course, but there was no McTavit or Fizbark to help him. I think the one he had is salvageable, so no important loss there… Now don’t go trying to get me distracted me hearty! I came over to let you know you’re on the shelf for a while. Mister Kildro thinks that a couple of weeks and a month of Sunday’s would be the order, but he believes you won’t hold to that. I know you’re tougher than a Nezore in mating season, no question, but I can assure you that the Garinthian empire won’t be sending anything at us for a while… especially knowing what the cost of tangling with you is!”

She paused as Cafea and Cynthia came over.

“ Now is the time for you to be at ease, heal up and be a house father of sorts for a bit. No arguments captain! I’m moving in as of today and all 4, er, 5 if you count that pet Liondarg of yours, of us are going to make certain you get better and no action .. unless you count husbandly and fatherly duties, yes?”

I got a semi stern look from all four females.

“ Aye captain and mother in law mine! Understood! Would it be possible then for something to eat? I presume that’s one of the orders I’m under and wouldn’t mind having a nice dinner with you four, that is if mister Kildro won’t mind us eating here? He can join us if he’d like.”

Mister Kildro blushed and laughed.

“ I believe captain, that that’s one adventure and bit of rule breaking I won’t mind at all! In fact, I’ll find the cook and personally get things started… you do keep that Scot whiskey you like in your cabin, yes?”

I nodded laughing, but then felt a poke in my ribs as Cafea got my attention.
“ You heard the matron mister Camden! Next time, I order!”

She kissed me and put her head on my chest as the other 3 decided that was a good way to pin me down so they leapt up and joined her. Needless to say I got an extra week in bed for that, not that I minded as I saw Scy Lors grinning up at me from beneath my chin. Dinner was exceptional and mister Kildro showed me that Cynthia’s baby was right as rain, though how is beyond me unless those mini robots can keep ones equilibrium in check.

When we returned and got settled in I was allowed to stroll around the base for a few minutes at a time. I went down to the dry dock the next morning as the others were busy getting Arzkel’s things into a spare room in our flat, er, the living room was converted as the conservatory wasn’t big enough. As predicted, the Final Fire was a total wreck, though her frame was still good as was most of the outer hull. There was no bay door, however, as well as the front of the ship looked like the exterior parts were melted off as was the prow and everything up to the bridge.

Mister Fizbark told me that something called the emergency atmospheric shields came on and saved most of the crew before they wound up at the mercy of space. Captain Kuul said he took most of the damage when he had to steer right in between the two dreadnoughts while leading the pursuing fleets into a cross fire with their own people. Mai – Soong recounted that he thought the Final Fire was dead and abandoned when he arrived. He managed to get some shots off, but most of the damage was done when the cruisers had exploded and or when they accidentally shot their own command ships. I believe he said it was a gambit worthy of me! Except I wouldn’t have had that much damage taken and more than likely the 2 dreadnoughts would have been scrap metal. Liam punched Mai – Soong in the arm for that remark. Then he stated, unequivocally, that at least he was of nerve enough, had a sturdy enough ship, aside from me, and equipped enough to even dream of trying such an outrageous stunt as that.

That got captain Kuul a smack on the head from lieutenant Hafcar.

Had a vessel in your case is the operative statement! Seems to me at least he can save his ship. Also, if you’ve not noticed by now, captain Camden tends to to walk away with his vessel less scathed than you by a long shot!”

There was an awkward pause as captain Kuul looked like he was going to say something scathing in retort, but he erupted in laughter instead as the rest of us joined him.

“ Looks like we may have to have a contest of scars there mate! Ah well, I guess thanks are in order captain Mai – Soong, so I’ll buy the rounds for the evening unless captain fearless over here has a stash of spirits he’d like to share?”

I just rolled my eyes as the laughter started again.

“ Why yes captain Kuul, as a matter of reference I do! I always keep some on me for just such emergencies as saving a friend from a fate worse than the Garinthian’s, cheers lady and gents!”

I reached inside my dressing gown and pulled two bottles of wine that I got from Cafea and snuck out of the flat that we could all take part in! Never hurts to think ahead, I always say.

When I got back to the flat I was amazed to see that Arzkel had her things at least in place, if not arranged to her tastes. I manoeuvred around the throng of ladies decorating and arranging and sat down in the kitchen just in time to see a very large Carinthia on the landing outside look up and give me a greeting. I walked over to the oversized kitten and scratched her behind the ears and let her lick my face. I never was so glad to have a companion, particularly one who didn’t nag or complain, sitting with me on a lovely afternoon.

My thoughts, as she curled up at my feet into a giant puff ball, went to the Arch Nits and their dealings underground. I day dreamt of travelling on the rail line, playing with the children of the broods. Then it hit me again. I was going to be a parent sooner than later! True, I had some preparation and training, but that didn’t lessen the jitters I was having. As usual, I got lost in my thoughts and distracted just enough for one of the women to sneak up on me. I only jumped slightly, or I should say turn around quickly as Scy Lors looked in on me.

“ So, my pator, feeling okay? I see our guardian for you is on the job.”

Carinthia stirred just enough to give a low “mrowr” before rolling half way and shutting her eyes again.

“ Indeed she is, I can actually go for around ten minutes before I have to sit. If you have a moment, perhaps…”

“ No need to ask! I’d love to join you my one.”

She kissed me warmly and sat near me while putting her arm through mine.

“ You sure you wouldn’t want to try for a larger place? You lot have been really busy and despite the room we’re supposed to have its starting to feel a little cramped to move around.”

I proposed as she looked thoughtfully as the sun set behind some clouds.

“ We could go to the third platform. It was supposed to be a visitation rest stop… I think Cynthia called it a hotel?”

I nodded.

“ Correct. Pretty posh too if I recall… Then there’s the botanical garden with spare room, not to mention the train itself… Also, there is the Bernoulli with a sub space room, size of a mansion to be honest. We could, with some assistance from McTavit, move it here even.”

Another voice came from behind us inquiring.

“ Move what James?”

Cafea sat next to us giving me a squeeze and Scy Lors a kiss.

“ I was mentioning the sub space apartment on the Bernoulli, the one you, myself and Cynthia stayed in a bit briefly before we arrived here…”

Cynthia and Arzkel came out looking curiously at me.

“ What was that about the place we were in before here James?”

Cafea answered before I could.

“ He was discussing moving the sub space home we had on the Bernoulli here with help from mister McTavit. Come to think about it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea… It had 2 floors, expandable into 3, 3 bathrooms, a pool, technically a 4th bath, and plenty of room so Carinthia could move in too. We could still use the flat as a kind of business area or meeting place.”

Arzkel raised her eyebrows.

“ A sub space living quarters?! I’ve got to see that! It’d be a boon to the clan I can tell you… and us.”

I gave a thoughtful scratch of my chin.

“ Okay, I’ll check with McTavit then. Until that happy moment or not I’ll just learn to move around with care near the old living room so I won’t rouse you…”

She laughed.

“ Rouse me? I’m a deep sleeper James as Cafea can attest. Not to mention, who says I wouldn’t want to be roused by you?”

I got a strange look from Scy Lors as the other two just shared in the joke. Me, I just hugged my Arch Nit maton and prayed that my mother – in – law wasn’t serious about applying to be a wife of mine.

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the sneak peek first chapter of Camden’s Follies Book 1, Part 3 : Dynasties, Prams and New Orders
This is coming out in August, so prepare for more follies, action and comedy!
Cover art yet to be revealed…
To those who’ve stuck with me – please be patient! I’m only one author with a LOT of demands…


~ The Pirate Poet

New day same rant, to a degree – More book news!

I’m not sure where to begin. Okay, I actually do, but I feel that using foul language an colourful metaphors beneath me.
1) U.K or British English is used FAR more than American. It’s hubris to believe that American is THE comprehensive form of English Language.
2) Editors, ESPECIALLY American ones CAN’T make a novel great. The story MUST speak to the audience on its own merit. The editor did NOT create the world or setting, nor did they write the plot. One of the BIG reasons I don’t work with editors is the idea that their EGO needs to be stroked and not actually help the author.
3) Don’t EVER tell me that this nonsense, akin to Stephanie Meyer, is the way it’s ALWAYS BEEN! I was there when your grandparents were in nappies ( diapers ) and your modern way has NOT been the way for all time!

4) I’m truly SICK TO THE TEETH with post eleventh century arguing! That especially includes ones that start out ” What’s so great about _____?!” or ” I can’t get into _____!”
Just because your mates are thick enough and pop culture infected to insist on driving you round the twist by shoving a book/film/music down your throat – DON’T TAKE IT OUT ON THE ARTIST/AUTHOR! Never let your peers dwindle your world down to nothing – NEVER!
5) Unless you have – 3 Doctorates/Phd’s, tenured professorship at Oxford or even Cambridge and proof you were head of Oxford’s prestigious English Literature Department – Your American degree means NOTHING in regards to your supposed rights to denigrate, ,diminish, degrade, insult or lord over ANY work of a classical nature. When you can , as Professor Tolkien achieved, a work that spans DECADES and influences HUNDREDS of authors across multiple genres. When you can have a best selling work every decade and year of its existence. One of the top 100, 50, 20 and 10 influential and beloved works …
CALL ME! Otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself and put your passion to your work…. lest I decide to take you to task with a group of folk that contribute to several writing journals!
6) If all you’re here to do is disparage or insult your fellow authors… LEAVE NOW! People here and on other platforms truly want new perspective content and not your tosh & waffle, codswallop, uneducated and rude speech!!! We also want to discuss types of genres and other relevant ideas, NOT put up with a foul mouth overgrown 2yr old!

Okay, that’s that.

For the good news…
I shall be posting links, LINKS mind you, for me fellow indie authors/artists to feature their brilliant work and attempt to expand their libraries and sources for wondrous artistic renderings and music…
I invite all my fellow authors, artists, musicians, bloggers to send links and let me know if yo wish to do an interview to introduce you to a new audience…

Coming soon ~ Elder Offensive: Ammutseba’s Stand….
& Camden’s Follies part 3 Dynasties, Prams and New Orders
© 2019 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

~ The Pirate Poet

A revision of the past…

This is a short story I submitted ages ago, for a wondrous artist known as Willow Raven.


© 2015 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

The Hoverat or hover chariot stood motionless over the sand dune. A trading and space port stood pristine and vibrant over the spot that once held a stone keep. The fortress fell a decade prior, and at a cost that young princes Lor’afa felt was too dear. Her eyes stung with bitter tears as the vision of the captain of her guard lay dead before her in the burnt out rubble crossed her mind.

Silently, she cursed herself for being so callous, unfeeling and cruel to such an honourable young man. Despite Jora’l’s consistent efforts at being kind, considerate and loyal she had treated him worse than a slave. That tragic day, it had dawned on her as she was being led away from the battle. Jora’l had saved her from a great support beam from falling on her after a cannon round found the inner citadel. He laid her down between her other personal guard after running her through near white hot fire to get her to safety. He declared the others to stay with her until her father could arrive with relief and then only move if the structure began to weaken. Jora’l then ran back into the inferno to buy time for the small group to be rescued.

That was the last time she saw him alive. He chanced one final look in her direction. Was it resignation in his eyes did she see? For what seemed an eternity the princess saw a glimpse of the inner pain that her protector carried within. Then, he disappeared and she found herself being forcefully held back and carried in the direction of the delivery doors.

The rest, as she adjusted her Hoverat, was a blur of activity she thought she’d never should have survived. Admittedly, it was a small raid by an overly ambitious prince. On the other hand, it was a diversion for a larger force of arms that her father, King Olan’m was grimly prepared for. Skiffs and other craft arrived within moments of her being escorted from the besieged fortress.

She was covered in soot and was coughing for all the smoke, but still she held out hope for Jora’l. There was a lot between them, but the least she could do was be sure she thanked him properly. It never occurred to the pampered princess just how deep the captain of her guard felt for her till after the siege.

Lor’afa ignored the pleas of her beleaguered remaining guards and made for the ruins. She could see her father’s advanced guard and his personal battle wagon coming across the desert sea as she carefully made for the citadel that Jora’l had made for. Near the top that was now sitting five stories lower in the sand she found her gallant knight.

His eyes were fixed upon his right hand as his left lay across his lap. It was clear he had passed some time earlier. His quarry, the power mad prince was pinned against the wall with a sword through his heart. A permanent look of shock, anger and fear in his eyes. Then, slowly, as she leaned over to see if Jora’l was dead she noticed what was in his clenched right hand. Gently, she removed the item and found to her shock and amazement that it was a favour she herself had given him years ago! Lor’afa stayed frozen as the memories, mostly bad, came flooding back to her.

All the recollections of times she acted like a pompous twit and treated him worse than a mere slave assailed her like darts hurled by an angry hunter. What crushed her was when she looked into Jora’l’s dead eyes.

There were tears! He knew his time had come and all he could think of was her. That was the sadness and resignation she witnessed before he died. This scared veteran, a man who looked much older than his years, had cared so much for her that he was willing to take the mistreatment and cruelty just to be at her side. It had never occurred to Lor’afa to see him such a light. His bravery, honour and courage – all devoted to her out of unrequited love.

All that price paid and all he had to show for it was a kerchief. This was the lesson her mother spoke of and that Jora’l had hinted to in the past. She found herself gently kissing his cheek before sitting back on her feet and crying like a baby for what seemed for ever. Some time later, Lor’afa knew she had been helped to her feet, to meet her father who was concerned for her.

She steadied herself and ignored hand maids, her weak fiancée and the doctors to walk directly to Olan’m. The conversation was brief and Lor’afa had it burned in her memory. She thrust the bloodied and lightly burnt favour at him.

“ Did you know this? All this time? Why didn’t you tell me?! WHY?!”

The king locked eyes with his bereaved daughter. He shifted in his own blood stained and charred armour uncomfortably before waving aside his attendants and quieting the throng around him and answering as calmly and gently as possible.

“ Some lessons must be learnt the hard way. We both tried – Jora’l and I, as did your mother, but you wouldn’t or weren’t ready to hear it or learn it for yourself. Your stubborn mentality, borne from me I believe, was never really tempered with your mother’s kindness. There were times when Jora’l and I would have loved to have shaken you or do something to awaken you to your plight. However, I, as he knew, couldn’t force you to do something or acknowledge anything you were against doing.”

He paused to quell his urge to both cry and scream. “ As a parent, I had to let you make choices – decisions – for yourself. They were your problems and you had to grow up to see the solutions for what they were. I could never have helped you and it wouldn’t have been fair to you if I had. I have to say I am as devastated by the loss of Jora’l as you are; More so as he was the finest protector of your personal guard. Not to mention, he was the closest to a son that I had ever had! Yes, I knew he loved you – deeply. That cloud over your eyes, it worried us both to death. All I am going to say is; If you really did or do care about Jora’l, then you’ll become the woman and leader he, your mother and I all know you are! Don’t let this sacrifice be in vane! Now go and let the healers and doctors see to you. There are many who lost their lives today and as much as I’d like to mourn, I am a king, first and foremost.”

Ten years and those words still stung and haunted her. Ten long years and finally Lor’afa had found the courage to come back. She wanted to scream to the heavens for the divine pantheon to give her back her true love. Once more, as a decade prior, she found herself on her knees in tears. She never married the popinjay. Her heart had found what it sought and would never let it go till she passed on. She found her strength once more, stood and as she looked up she could swear she saw Jora’l standing on a nearby dune. His coal black eyes were softened by a kind smile that played over a well cropped beard. The image nodded sadly at her and pointed to its heart. Before it faded from view, the spirit of Jora’l bowed one final time and disappeared.

One of the few bitter-sweet endings in my repertoire.

Needless to say.. I shall, come ‘eck or high water, have Elder Offensive book 2 ready as well as dress up Camden’s Follies Book 1, Part 3 on store shelves – so to speak, okay on – fairly soon… Well, Camden’s Follies by August anyway. Elder Offensive… As soon as humanly possible.

Switching or adding my Poetry Collections to Amazon is a strong consideration – currently. Now, I have them on Kobo as I like the pay out system a tad better.
Input being accepted on story ideas and trying to keep Wolfsinger Publications on the line long enough to get the second volume of Scales and Hearts going… * SIGH * & * ARRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH! *

Ah, I feel better now…

So, keep reading, writing and being brilliantly a creative you!

~ The Pirate Poet