Thoughts and a bit of poetry or jobbing for readers ~

Rant for a moment ~

If it seems I’m bent on doing things myself, think of it this way;If you were thrown to the proverbial wolves as often as I haveIf you were ever promised the world only to be given a bill of goods or a lot of emptyBeen sneered at or belittled because the other side had the numbers and all you had was youI believe you’d rely on only yourself, be determined to succeed and venture where fools and proverbial angels fear to tread. Yeah, I may seem to learn the hard way. However, no one can take away my knowledge and experience. Nor can they criticise my failures or personal victories; they’re mine. My lessons learnt. My scars and my triumphs. It’s taken me ages to even find the small handful of people I can freely admit I can rely on and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! Be that as it may, I’ve been called impossible, irascible, a pain the arse and worse… but at least I’m me and if I look as if I stand alone, especially now, you’re too narrow of vision to see beyond the hill and horizon. I’m never alone. not any more…

Okay back to the Author’s thinking and writing ~

Poetic Moment ~
What was I supposed to say?
You claim to know it all
Did you really think I’d not walk away
Give you my moment, my time of day
I wonder if humanity was truly in your blood
Or did you like me shedding my own?
What could I have done
In this or any other life
That meritted such harsh and distant treatment
Where did the heart wander
Was there really something to you
Don’t pretend to shed a tear
I know cruelty fine
I’ll not look back
I’ll just reach for my horizon
Walk on well tread ground
Lose myself in something else
Maybe one day
I’ll know love

Book jobbing 101

Dr. James Camden is swept up into an adventure few could dream of in a Galaxy light years away fleed with Alien Space Pirates, a relentless Evil Empire and alien cultures and fantastic beasts!
Spider people, underground rail ways and alien romance … Oh my!
Children by the score, the Amanor rise again plus more Follies

Cliff hanger, space battles, alien pirates galore! The close of Series 1…
Series 2 begins! Hodwinked into another marriage, an insidious plague arrises and the Garanthian Empire’s latest weapon

Looking forward to hiring my next book cover for ” Garinthians Wane ” as soon as finances avail themselves.
Otherwise, for the moment, aside from my mini Dragon anthlogy and minor adventure/horror books…
Till Next Time


~ The Pirate Poet

Christmas/Chanukah Blog & Book Plug

Well, 2020 is almost over. Thank Goodness! However, in the interim we have holidays to see to. Christmas and Chanukah are two of them, I can’t truly recall all the holidays though Solstice is one other I can.
Needless to say, I still wish all a peaceful, abundant holiday.
Now, for some business ~
I’ve put up some links of books for sale by myself and friends. I know I’ve been jobbing the American market far more than my own. My appologies to the English/U.K side! I shall do my best to put the appropriate links with my book mentions. These are books writen by some of my gifted, talented and wondrous author and artist friends. They make great Christmas/Chanuka/Solstice gifts and don’t ( aside from Ebook copies ) require batteries or complex machinery/machines – just a vivid imagination and a desire to open the theatre/cinema of the mind. Without further adieu here are the books I believe will make great stocking stuffers or just gifts…

https://www.amazon.com/Camdens-Follies-Book-part-Corres/dp/1983318361/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=camden%27s+follies&qid=1607909156&s=books&sr=1-2

Camden’s Follies 2 : The Empire Rises to Battle
English Link
English Link
English Link
English Link
English Link
English Link
English Link

Okay, for now, this is it. May you all get wondrous presents and much joy and please, please, please remember to support your local or international Indie Author, Artist or musician.

~ The Pirate Poet

Finally, a September Blog moment…

Okay, so, some folk still find being offended is the best state of being to be in. Yup, the TERF and CIS war of words just WON’T give up.
Me, I’m generally staying out of it, muting, unfollowing and just blocking in some cases some of the more vehemently violent.

I tried to tell folks. I even pointed to an Irish article from a Dublin paper that was about as pro British as I am pro Brusell Sprouts. For them, or the author/reporter to take such a stand or point out the futility and long term damaging effects of a war of words has produced speaks volumes.

However, it seems popular culture can’t be bothered with sense and reason, fact over hyperbole. Their loss in more ways than one and than can be counted in one generation. Yes, it’s that kind of long term damage and it WILL come home to roost sooner than later.

Now, on to more relevant to writer ideas and concepts…..

When writing a horror novel, it can be really a big pain to have to decide on how and which characters die. In my case with the array of monsters, items and other devices of lethal cunning it is a minor nightmare.
I know who and roughly when, but the how part is eating at me – figuratively speaking.

So, any ideas of how someone can meet their doom in a horror novel?
( I’m being rhetorical…)

For Camdens Follies, it’s now re – plotting out a massive series of pirate raids with new characters and introducing a new race from the quadrant of pirate clans.

Also, going through the general hassle of reformatting Book 1 of the first series so it physically fits in with the others in the set – 6″ x 9″. It’s a pain as I have the joy of making the cut and past is done chapter by single chapter.
This is because I need to take out the massive divides that occur when OpenOffice transfers to Microsoft Word. This also means seeing that sentences make sense and are complete and not cut off at the mid point or elsewhere.
If this seems complex or confusing; welcome to my world!
For now, since my ranting is over and I’ve gotten my literary notes in…
Here’s a sample chapter from Elder offensive…

© 2020 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



Book 2: Ammutseba’s stand

Chpt 17 Aftermath – the second wave begins

Ahknam South

How Campinetti got himself and Aklonkonous to even the edge of town was a major miracle. No med tech, no comm tech and only hints at any of his squad surviving by the sound of running gun battles and the odd smoking corpses of Shambling Horrors he could smell.

His captain was barely awake; She’d lost a lot of blood after taking shrapnel while he was carrying her out to the APC. Campinetti vaguely recalled seeing Verdun pulling himself up and running over to get to Raymond as Salukous opened up on another of the giant furred beasts.

Sounds of explosions from further away echoed in his ears before he passed out from exhaustion in the back of the APC next to captain Aklonkonous. He doubted that his old friend Tenovoli was able to get out of that rat trap, but then again, Vakalas was with him and they could have met up with Verdun and company and made for shelter – though that seemed highly unlikely. Thomerson was practically in tears when she heard his voice answer her. Royker and MacDouglas were dead – at least Royker was after a second wave of Maultauk caught their squad off guard. Sands, Abbot and Shiverini were wounded, but they recovered one of those key devices. She lost track of Morningstone and MacDouglas after they went in to retrieve the key with Shiverini. Stravolini was with her seeing to Abbot after narrowly missing being crushed by debris and flying Maultauk parts.

The sergeant said, before he passed out, that there may be a chance those two were simply caught behind some rubble and out of radio contact.

That’s when the radio died. Aboard the lander, Malcom was going berserk with Kalkulokous. The e.m pulse they experienced shouldn’t have affected the lander as badly as it did. However, all satellites were seemingly flying either blind or on limited function or the reception towers were fragged. In any event, it would take a major act of the divine and the high command to deploy emergency satellites and assign ground crew to set up portable relay towers. In short, that would be when hell froze over!

No one heard a peep from the other lander. Malcom noted that the sensor logs recorded the medium sized troop transport vessel hurtling into the troposphere, with no active guidance system or evidence of human or otherwise piloting. The same scans showed a good chunk of the northern pole now at the bottom of the ocean and a new chain of islands had appeared, each with a very large crater where a temple once was.

An odd piece of information the comm tech gathered was what appeared to be the beginnings of a mass exodus by the Maultauk from various areas around the globe. All seemed to be headed for the southern pole or there about. Hundreds of contacts could be seen traversing the ocean on a southerly heading, none the less.

After a few hours, Malcom turned to Kalkulokous. “ All right, nothing here, but a few dead circuit boards. I think the old AM/FM band radios still work…” He walked over to a closet and began pulling out older models of the wireless systems they used – a bit bulkier, a little more clunky and the size of a small inventory and scanner pad. He handed it to her and motioned for the Greek private to follow him.

Planet Camus

United Earth Defence 10th Fleet
UEADSS Amartha

Admiral Hiroshi looked as if she died in her command chair. The e.m pulse knocked out over half of the morning side communication satellites just as she was trying to get word to Ahk – Setnusam that the European Oversight Committee had decided to adjudicate her claims against brigadier general Abrahms and had him removed from his post along with his advisor, admiral Nakamura.

Now, a promising beginning to an almost impossible operation was just thwarted in one swift stroke. MacReady was dead or as good as along with the rest of Ghost company’s Wraith platoon – the most honoured and decorated of any of the ranger’s in the brigade. Protocol dictated that she send out the emergency satellite retrieval and placement teams, send out at least 4 companies of rangers plus medical evacuation shuttles. Yet, here she was just sitting there on her bridge as her command staff looked between each other in a frightened fashion.

Comm tech 1st class Morris sat behind his console with white knuckles as he gripped the controls hard enough to rip them out if he wasn’t careful. He took a deep breath and, for what seemed the umpteenth time, scanned all known bands – plus a few of the defunct ones – in the military communications frequencies.

Just as Morris began to tune into something on the old AM/FM bands, a hail came through.

Hiroshi got up, slowly, but she got to the comm station. Morris was about to open the channel when the admiral did it for him. “ This is admiral Hiroshi of the Amartha, putting you on secure audio comm channel.”

“ This is captain Anson, security brigade aboard the former flag ship Kyle Morgan. I’m contacting you in regards to orders from the EOC Judiciary Division.” Hiroshi wanted to scream to the heavens, however she took a more calm and diplomatic tact. “ Go ahead captain, it’s just me and my private comm tech.”

Anson said nothing for a moment as someone in the background spoke to him in a whisper.

“ Admiral, it’s brigadier general Abrahms and admiral Nakamura – they’re gone. They vanished a few minutes ago after a communiqué from the European Oversight Committee on military judicial procedures. We found general Fitch, unconscious in his stateroom ma’am. Chief med tech Peterson is examining him now. We think it may have been Nakamura who knocked him out, ma’am. Orders? We’ve been informed you’re the new acting senior commanding officer on this operation and Chief of Staff by order of the European Oversight Committee on military affairs and assignments.”

Hiroshi had her head in her hand as a very large headache came over her. All she could think was, this is just great! Any more good news? She recovered in time to realise that her bridge crew were looking at her as if she just came back from the dead.

“ Since when did this become a zoo? GET BACK TO WORK! Stations! NOW! Captain Anson, how in the name of everything reasonable did two key members of the joint chiefs just vanish into thin air? What happened to security cameras? Where were the personnel assigned as escorts and security details? DON’T JUST SIT THERE ANSON! GET ON IT NOW!”

She began to breathe again as noises of chairs falling over and people running greeted her ears when she noticed Morris and what he was doing.

Venoshia 3

It wasn’t a cave to begin with. However, it was the first and most stable place that Ornaclan could find. Torres was unconscious again. Vargus, Marks, Forscolm and Lineheart were busy drying off. Tenaka and Jennsen were laying quietly a metre or so from Torres. Of the two teams, only a few of the members made it to either of the APC’s. Ornaclan had rescued Torres and managed to get the others – barely, from their APC.

Brichter and Buckley were nowhere to be found by Ornaclan. Then again, the dragon woman was only able to see into the passenger section. She knew that both the APC’s were floating off the shore and going with the current. One was around a thousand metres away from the other at an odd angle.

The last words from Ahk – Setnusam were about her going to MacReady’s side. Reed and McGuinnes plus the wounded on the lander hadn’t spoken on the radio since before the explosion. Ornaclan was drained from just saving her Stefan and rescuing who she could. For the moment, she’d nap with her chosen one in her arms.

Reed and McGuinnes were a hundred or so miles away trying to find a landing field. Thanks to the Scot med tech, Porkovyavitch and Shaver were out – under the influence of anaesthesia in the centre of the mini – shuttle they designated for loading the wounded on in case the lander was busy.

Neither man was interested in anything else, but getting to at least a temporary safe haven before attempting to recover the lander. The Scot physician wondered what happened to Ahk – Setnusam. One moment, she was in a panic near him on the bridge, the next she was gone and the explosions hit. The guidance system was shot by the e.m pulse and next he knew he was desperately racing to get his wounded on a evac shuttle.

They’d need Royker or Dokens to assist in getting the lander working – if they decided to get back to it – and currently; Neither man was answering their radios, nor did the med and comm tech have working comm stations. Meanwhile, slowly heading away and southward from the former big island, McGoff had dragged Dokens from the water and got him on an ammunition crate. Brichter and Buckley were on a similar makeshift life – raft near them with Thomerson. Ashlen was killed almost immediately as the first explosion caught him in mid run with Samuel on his shoulders. Thompson, Tims and Jameson were behind the Scot private and his limy charge. That was the last McGoff had seen of the trio as the land beneath them became like a giant pile of jell – o.

Had the big Scot the energy, he might have seen his fellow soldiers making for the top of the passenger compartment of the APC floating a few metres to his left and just behind him or the half – dragon and half – gryphon flying in circles above the group a couple of hours later.

West of Ahknam South

Morningstone had barely enough energy to hold up her rifle and it took her and MacDouglas almost 4 hours to get him out of his walk – tank suit.

Both were trapped in a small space between themselves and the remaining squad. She could swear that there was knocking on the stone wall from the outside and Shiverini was yelling for the two of them with Sands. She crawled over to her beau and collapsed in his arms as the scratching and digging noises grew louder.

MacDouglas knew that his walk – tank was out of power. He knew he’d lost some blood after the Maultauk who attacked him managed to get a good shot in and sliced him in the chest. He looked towards where the corridor was, emphasis on was and where Hirimoshi disappeared to and the key was located. By MacDouglas’s reckoning, the way the wall collapsed – the area where the corridor was, is now open air.

He felt Morningstone on his chest and resigned himself to buying the farm with the lady he’d been with the longest. The last thing he heard was an explosion – sounding distant and sunlight on his face. Outside, Shiverini was desperately clawing and digging his way through the rubble – despite being wounded. Hirimoshi had Thomerson basically drag Shiverini away so he could open the hole large enough to get the two soldiers out. The walk – tank began to protest as it was running low on fuel. The half – Japanese private cursed in Swedish and got out of his suit before it shut down on him and called Thomerson with Stravolini over to help him drag the wounded out. Just as the duo had gotten the latest pair of walking wounded to the APC, the sight of a mini – barge or emergency shuttle came into view.

One of the great reasons to have the little beauties – where they were stored they could be shielded from most types of attacks; Including e.m pulses! Malcom and Kalkulokous got out running over trying to explain everything that happened and how they couldn’t locate any of captain Aklonkonous’s squad.

On the other hand, when Mali saw the body of Royker she collapsed in tears. She really liked the old limy corporal. Malcom found Shiverini against the wall of the APC. “ Sergeant? Stay with me! Abbot! You still with us?” The med tech nodded and pointed to his shoulder. “ I got stabbed in the upper chest, got shock mainly you ruddy Scot mother hen! Now move, I can give him an adrenaline shot to get him going for a wee bit and he can talk for about fifteen minutes, okay?” Malcom bit back his sarcastic retort and nodded as the new 3rd senior med tech gave the big Greek sergeant an injection. Shiverini’s eyes popped open in time to see Malcom over him. He started to speak when the Scot comm tech held up his hand.

“ Okay, just sit still and listen. Looks like we’ve lost the captain – unless something comes up to contradict the evidence. Also, we may have lost Mac and the rest of Wraith Platoon. All comm channels aside from the old AM/FM channels on analog are fubar for now. We can get the lander going – with some help. Maybe we can fly up north and see if we can corral that lost lander and then maybe scan for survivors of that horrific explosion. Anyway, we have to get you and the others back to the lander and see if we can kick – start that bloody med computer and automated doctor. We’ve got a little over two weeks and 30 of those dirty great pains in the arse – the keys or this will have been for nothing! Stravolini! C’mon! Let’s get this walking hospital back to the lander and get our people back in one piece so we can put a stop to this lunacy.”

The Greek private spit out what he was drinking, looked at Malcom as if he were insane and then helped Shiverini to his feet. Hirimoshi and Sands exchanged exasperated looks and followed suit. Abbot was in good enough shape now to help with Royker’s body and Thomerson acted a human crutch for MacDouglas and Morningstone.

Ahknam South

Captain Aklonkonous adjusted her bandages. She felt that moving Campinetti wasn’t a great idea – especially considering there was no Davies or Abbot. Her radio was virtually junk; All she had left was the APC and some extra rounds of ammunition. Aklonkonous decided to do a reconnaissance of the area to find her surviving squad members and was slowly and methodically checking street by street, trying to avoid the Shambling Horrors and a few undead.

That’s when she found Raymond. He was hanging half – way up an emergency stair case. He looked as if he’d been launched there. She knew instinctively that he was dead. It was sickening how he looked like an old fashioned puppet. She carefully made her way up to retrieve his body when she heard Salukous cursing in Greek around half – way up.

“ Private? Salukous! Is that … ” ROAR!

Coming from around the corner of the building, climbing up like horrifying version of a sloth, a Shambling Horror made its way towards her with its maw wide open. Aklonkonous froze and was very nearly critter chow when the silence was interrupted by the opening of an Armbrister 900. The behemoth screamed in pain as it dropped from its perch 15 metres in the air and a fission grenade found itself at home in the horror’s mouth, virtually vaporising the beast. Salukous stuck her head out from behind a window just above the captain with Verdun on her shoulder. The comm tech smiled weakly before addressing his commanding officer.

“ Captain! Good of you to join us. I was just trying to recalibrate the radios for AM/FM bands when you showed up. Care to get us back to the lander?” Aklonkonous laughed in relief and assisted the duo down and then got Salukous to help her get Raymond’s body.

West of Ahknam South

The mini – barge made it to the lander, which was sitting around 15 miles from the outskirts of town. Thomerson got to work with Kalkulokous to get the spare circuit boards in case a re – boot was impossible. Malcom told the resting Shiverini that it would take at least 4 hours to get everything ready to go. The main problem wasn’t the engine or the core computer per se, but the peripheral guidance systems and access points.

This was why med lab was still working – that and it had a back – up generator that kicked in independently of the main system.

Abbot walked over and addressed the sergeant and the comm tech.

“ Okay, good news sergeant – you should be up and at ’em in two days. Sands is about the same as cleaning the wound and getting the stitching started was easier than I thought. MacDouglas thinks you have enough ammo to last about another two weeks – if used judiciously. Stravolini has expressed a desire to head out with Hirimoshi, Morningstone and maybe Thomerson if we can spare her. Why he told me and not you? Don’t ask sergeant! I just know he thinks they can find the captain and the others based on last telemetry reading, radio contact and all.” Shiverini just wanted to pull a MacReady, but held off and decided to just call the private in.

After about an half an hour discussion, Shiverini agreed, but only if MacDouglas would go with the trio. “ So, no heroics – got me? Walk – tanks plural! Thomerson should be bound to the APC on the portable, just in case they figured out what we did with Malcom’s help. Morningstone has her shotgun, so keep the rear closed tighter than a drum! Get out there and don’t make me wish I hadn’t sent you at all!” Just as Stravolini made for the APC Malcom came running down. “ Sergeant! We found ’em and we didn’t need much sensor help – they’re on the underground from the looks of it, no idea of who’s where, but there’s a butt load of uglies with ’em and they’re heading this direction! Tram exit to the outside is about a mile from here. Did you get that Stravolini?” The private waved as Hirimoshi and MacDouglas got their new walk – tanks going.

Ahknam South Underground railway

“ Salukous! LOOK OUT!” FWOOM! ROAR! KA – BOOM!

Tenovoli threw a high arcing fission grenade 5 metres behind the head of the abysmal dragon as the APC with Aklonkonous at the wheel rocketed forward. Opposite Tenovoli, Vakalas was laying down limited cover fire with his QFNAL while running backwards motioning for the Italian corporal to get moving as undead were beginning to pour in from the side entrances to the tram station. Salukous barely avoided being crushed in the jaws of the dragon and was sprinting like a mad woman for the APC. Campinetti and Verdun were busy taking single shots at the zombies as Vakalas practically carried Salukous with him to the waiting transport. Aklonkonous heard the running gunfire when passing a storm drain and heard the duo of Vakalas and Tenovoli cussing up a storm and running from something.

The APC was just small enough to fit into the entrance to the underground tramway and the captain and her recently rescued remaining squad ran right into the giant meat grinder – clipping the beast in the lower jaw, stunning it briefly as the two wounded in the passenger section of the armoured transport opened fire and Salukous flew out to help the corporal and private.

SCREEE! KA – BAM! RIIIIP! “ DAMN! You all right back there?!?”

Aklonkonous called back as she realised she ripped the top of the passenger side clean off when she hit the stairs to the platform and underestimated the height of the entry way in.

Verdun opened the partition between the cab and the passenger side looking as if he just survived a bucking bronco! “ Yeah, just peachy captain! Now… WATCH IT!” Aklonkonous barely turned in time to slam on the brakes and nearly do a 360 as an abysmal dragon crashed through an arcade a block away and just missed biting the rear of the APC off.

Tires squealed and the smell of burning rubber filled the passenger section. Whomever could, threw a couple of fission grenades at the behemoth. The captain made it as far as the end of the boulevard when a Shambling Horror leapt and bounced off the back of the APC, denting the frame further as Aklonkonous never hesitated and floored it doing 100 mph heading for the western side of town. More roars greeted her and her squads ears; All getting closer! She was almost out of petrol when another APC rambled out of nowhere with a pair of walk – tanks leading it. BOOM! KA – BOOM! FWOOM! Three volleys of h.e incendiary rounds hit their mark and a wall of heat washed over the two APC’s as Stravolini jogged up in his walk – tank. “ Captain! C’mon! You can switch APC’s – Malcom and Kalkulokous are working on the lander with Shiverini and Thomerson… SHITE!” WHOOSH! BRRRRT – BRRRT FWA – BOOM!

The giant clawed paw of a Shambling Horror missed the private in his walk – tank as Hirimoshi caught the movement and unloaded with a 55mm round to the beasts chest shoving it backward into a store front, igniting the entirety! Morningstone chanced to get out and help the others from the nearly destroyed APC to the one she and Thomerson were driving as Hirimoshi and Stravolini provided covering fire. Several tense minutes later the squads arrived at the lander just as Malcom had made a breakthrough.

Abbot made to get Campinetti, Salukous and Aklonkonous to the med lab. Malcom rushed over as the returning surviving squads got checked out as well as the chem cleaning of the APC’s to be sure of no contaminants – not that they hadn’t thought of that before, but the remnants of both platoons had a heightened sense of paranoia.

“ Abbot! I need to talk to our captain… please!” Abbot nearly took Malcom’s head off till he saw the look in the comm tech’s eyes. “ Fine! She’s suffering from blood loss, however her wounds are healed and cleaned enough she can sit up and listen – for 10 minutes max!”

Aklonkonous gave the unified platoons current senior med tech a very dirty look before sitting up and seeing what Malcom wanted to tell her so badly. “ Okay, give me the good and bad news – bad news first.” She turned her original sour look on Malcom. He put his hands up and wrung them frantically. “ No! No, bad news! Besides, we have another 30 or less of those keys to find. It turns out that only 1/3 of the circuit boards were damaged and only half of the satellites on this side of the planet were taken out. I found out about the later after we got the sensors working and the computer rebooted. I have an updated map of the world with the locations of the sleeper keys. Mind you, I’m not sure how we can destroy the others – not with no Ornaclan or Ahk – Setnusam, but I’m game if you are! We can always launch the lot into a sun or blow ’em up in a rocket in an asteroid belt, yeah?” The captains look went from sour to confused to amused in near record time. She laughed as she realised Malcom was trying to make her feel better.

“ All right Malcom, I’m not sure about the primitive approach, but I do agree that we can still get those keys. Any sign of any of our wandering people?” The Scot comm tech sadly shook his head.

“ No ma’am. We did find, on the sensor sweeps, 2 half – submerged APC’s near where the northern pole used to be or rather where the majority of land mass that was their Arctic circle used to be. Life signs in the area are still too tough to pin down – let alone any critters wandering the area. One something to note; There seems a mass migration of the Maultauk heading south or to the southern seas or possibly to the southern Antarctic pole of Venoshia 3. Sadly, there’s signs that they’re taking humans along with them some how – for food or whatever is still to be determined. We’ve also yet to pick up on the comm channels the high command have been using, nor have we noticed anything on the bogus emergency channels either.” This last tid bit got the captain’s attention.

“ Wait, nothing? What about the scheduled med bus? Didn’t the brass think that they might have to try a live contact or were even remotely curious about what was going on or if they’d have to send in a full regiment… of anything?” Malcom just angrily shook his head no. “ No offence ma’am, but those shite heads – aside from admiral Hiroshi – were counting on us failing. Or did MacReady fail to mention that part?” She shook her head and spoke in almost a hiss.

“ He did, but I didn’t believe that it went this far! And yes, he did hint that Wraith Platoon was on a suicide mission of sorts. As I said Malcom, I didn’t believe it. I knew Fitch and Nakamura were always waiting to pounce on Mac for anything – they hated him for his results and the fact he had more savvy than them. Or was this that infiltrator or collaborator – general Lewis possibly – with Ammutseba that turned them and Abrahms too?”

Malcom threw his hands in the air and Abbot of all people jumped in.

“ Captain, your guess is as good as ours or Mac’s would be. Right now you need to heal so we can have you on the line with us! I hate the idea of losing Davies, McGuinnes and Marks along with the rest of my platoon. I just know Mac would have wanted you and the rest of us to keep going and make these bastards pay and pay big! Who knows? We may get lucky and find some of the guys too tough and determined to snuff it here. Let’s get this done – I have first shot at Fitch though, okay?” She looked into the older Scot med tech’s eyes and noted the angry fire that reminded her of MacReady. “ You’ve got it Shane. As long as I get to kick Nakamura’s arse first!” She got a brief smile before Abbot got back to seeing to Campinetti.

Aklonkonous looked out beyond the med lab and noticed how everyone was keeping busy. Hirimoshi kept an almost stone like mask with as little emotion as possible, but there was a band on his arm with the names of Tenaka, Porkovyavitch and Dokens on it… among others, in Japanese kanji and Swedish. Tenovoli was busy with Shiverini, they looked like they were hashing out tactics and teams – as usual. Before she gave in to exhaustion to sleep for a bit she even saw Kalkulokous and Thomerson talking in near whispers with Sands and Morningstone; Consoling each other while looking at Royker’s shroud.

The Northern Pole Islands

Ornaclan dived at mach speed while shredding Maultauk stragglers. It would seem that not all of the local amphibians were wiped out and the few that had awoken from being stunned or badly burned had decided to stop and make a snack of the survivors on the floating debris.

Small arms fire could be heard for the immediate area as Brichter and Buckley were taking careful pot shots at roughly a dozen wounded Maultauk with Samantha Thomerson. McGoff was using a combat knife and pistol while the trio of privates were shooting with their QFNAL’s.

After a few intense moments, the remaining Maultauk made for the depths and headed south away from the humans and dragon. Two hours and a few rather comical moments of soldiers getting air sick, the remaining members of MacReady’s teams were huddled in a cave. Marks was looking after Torres, Tenaka and Jennsen. Torres had some minor cuts and a concussion, while Tenaka and Jennsen mainly had burns and hypothermia from being doused in ice cold ocean water for about an hour or so. Vargus, Forscolm, Lineheart acted like nurses and tried to plan out how to fish the ammunition boxes out while they were still dry and perhaps salvage some of the weapons. Dokens sat with Ornaclan who was fussing over Torres. “ … as I was saying before the Portuguese drama king here got started; If you can get me to the airlock of the lander, I can manually get in and open the cargo bay after activating the atmospheric shielding. I just need to be able to reach the external lever to open the door. I know where all the spare parts are. If nothing else I can get to one of the mini – barges and get the portable automated doctor. It would save us some time, considering that the high command have probably abandoned us to the fates and done a bunk, er run off with their tails between their legs.”

Ornaclan looked up from a furiously blushing Torres and addressed the corporal. “ In other words; You want to fix or re – start the lander and or get an emergency transport to us to get the wounded to proper medical facilities and recover what equipment we can to finish this mission? All right – If you don’t mind hanging on my back.”

Forscolm walked over with McGoff. “ Not a problem Ornaclan! We’re going too you limy moron. Or are you forgetting we’re both in your league and Royker’s for mechanics and ship repair?” He grinned at the limy corporal as McGoff shook his head. “ Seems he has laddie. Sad to say – and don’t look at me like that! Mum looks at me like that enough to be getting on with. You know as well as I do that 3 can do this faster than 1- so quit trying to think of a good way to call me a bastard and let’s get this show on the road, yeah?” Dokens just sighed. “ I suppose I’m suppose to put together a make – shift saddle or something? No? Okay, we’ve got some rope on the APC’s if they haven’t sunk to the bottom yet and those fish fiends aren’t still trolling for food – are they Ornaclan?” It took the dragon lady a minute or two to sort out what the corporal was talking about before she seemed to nod in recognition. “ No, they left. It seems they’re being called or compelled to migrate to the southern oceans. Not to mention your squad made it very difficult for them to get close enough even to taste you – and that was a joke. Your weapons are very effective and you’re too tough for an easy meal. Anyway, are you going or do you need my aid for that as well?”

She realised a bit too late that she had stated the last with a little more than a bite of angst in it. The looks on the trio’s faces was priceless.

Dokens and company even started to head to the opening of the cave and look for a way to traverse the distance down when Ornaclan ran up with her hands up. “ Wait! I’m sorry! I know you need my help and I’m not begrudging you that. Even in my human form I’m strong enough to carry all three of you down to the ocean before transforming into my natural state and flying you the rest of the way – please, let me help you!” Three heads looked down at their feet before Forscolm made a hand gesture to defer to Dokens.

“ All right! Forgiven! Besides, Stefan would probably shoot us if we didn’t accept your apology…” Torres limped up at that point looking fit to be tied. “ Shoot you!?! Maybe, but not for that! Ornaclan, I’m well enough to walk this far without help, okay? Sheesh!” The dragon lady merely smiled at him and chuckled. “ So you ARE fond of me! * smooch * I knew I grew on you…” Now the other three were laughing and the Portuguese private was redder than a tomato! “ THAT’S NOT FAIR! Well, okay, the kiss was nice, but… * mmmff *” Ornaclan held her shorter beau close.

“ Be quiet you Portuguese Peacock! I’ll be back and in one piece and we can continue this on a more appropriate occasion, okay?”

Torres just nodded and slowly limped back to where he was napping and recuperating. All three of the engineering squad stood off to one side as Ornaclan took her natural form. It took five minutes to find the floating APC’s and around an hour for all three to find what they had in mind for a long flight plus some other items in case the enemy miraculously discovered the power of flight.

Ornaclan only needed 4 trips to get everything back to the cave for the soldiers to go through and see what was useful – which thankfully was all of the ammo and weapons!

As the teams worked independently of each other, not knowing their fates, Ornaclan sat by private Torres and let her thoughts drift to her old friend Ahk – Setnusam. Above, in the space between Venoshia 3 and Camus, two med buses and a troop carrier led by admiral Hiroshi and comm tech Morris began to make ready to replace the dark satellites and possibly lead a full company down to find MacReady and possibly the survivors of Liekos Company.

The final teaser of my first 4 pt series… Please enjoy and buy the books…

And now for the final first chapter tearser of my current series in print..
The Garinthian Scourge and the Border Wars

© 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.

Cafea’s Log, In the captain’s stead 1

“ JAMES!”

“ Get out of it Cafea… Sha’l Ter, help Kildro with her … Save Scy Lors and Cynthia, Kildro can’t do it alone! GO!”

The door to the bridge shut as mister Renault guided me and my mother in a daze down to the shuttle bay, I was wounded by an explosion at my station just after Cynthia, but I had no idea to the extent. I just knew I could barely walk. Fires had erupted everywhere on the top decks it seems, but somehow the Bernoulli held together. The Savion Reaper was nowhere to be found as it went back for aid as James and Skar’l ran diversionary tactics. Aid that was never able to come in time as I would learn later.

Cynthia was on a gurney and Scy Lors had just gotten onto the evacuation shuttle. The roar of the Bernoulli’s guns rang throughout the ship. I could still hear Forraz cursing over the intercom which was now broken as Azfar and Cafar were constantly talking with James, Rayne and Vashinka.

Manually we opened the bay doors in time to see the Fire Fan open up on a pair of inbound cruisers. The Dragon Empress was still hovering by the remains of half the base we just took out with a dreadnought hot on our heels. Another brilliant manoeuvre by my now missing or dead husband, getting it to get in close over the energy centre and blowing that up instead of firing on our pursuer and sending the vessel into the rest of the complex setting off a series of devastating explosions.

Ahead were another dreadnought and a destroyer class ship, from the look of her, she was Tack – So’s new command vessel. There was no time for anyone to stand around and watch, my husband gave an order to evacuate and we had to obey it. Well, I was in no condition to argue and neither were the other 3 wives. Another pair of fleets was in orbit waiting for the other destroyer class led fleet that was returning from the outer edge of the system as 2 or 3 were wiped out after trying to enter the atmosphere at sub light speed.

That was one reason why the Empress Dragon was still in good shape, that and mister Fizbark, who came along despite all his work at the dry dock and never told us, had managed to implement his deflector style shields and for now they were holding. However, they didn’t go up fast enough to prevent the pounding she took when Arzkel decided to dive into the heart of 3 fleets just jumping from sub light into the atmosphere! The good news, and the reason the Garinthians lost a pair of fleets, was that cruisers weren’t designed to come out of sub light speeds in a planetary atmosphere, bad news was that by doing so they ignited the gasses at that altitude and caused enough damage to rain fire on the surface below. This confusion was enough for my second mother to mount her assault.

Meanwhile, Jame’s hunch that this was a secret staging area set up in a hurry by Tack – So was spot on. This and one other planet on the edge of the system were supposed to be mega bases to launch an onslaught on the Dragon Helm and the rebels nearby to finally crush us and their other problem. We found that out from records we could recover later on. Unfortunately for him, my husband had other ideas and a better offence. The Savion Reaper, originally, had broken off to hit the southern pole base first as James went north. We should have stuck together, but hindsight is rarely helpful.

The last vision I had before mister Kildro put me out with a sedative was the Fire Fan diving for the planets surface while James plunged the Bernoulli in between the massive ships! Flashes of green and red would plague me there after as billowing black smoke filled the air.

I was told by Arzkel that our escape wasn’t easy as we had to run the gauntlet of ships in orbit and then see if what Fizbark had come up with to match the Bernoulli was even going to work, let alone get us to the right place in space. Other pirate clans reported that the atmosphere of Calieb 7, the planet we assaulted, looked more like a major weather event on a gas giant than a habitable world! There were a couple of sightings of a golden flash, a bit like the one I witnessed almost 2 years ago when the Bernoulli did a small hyper space jump to get us away from our moons south pole and to the smugglers cavern prior to our current mountain base, the Dragon’s Nest. No one could confirm or deny that this happened, they could just say that explosions rocked the planet for days and fires could be seen from orbit for about a month or so.

Word came from the Tedarian Free Traders Union that one of their ships was in hiding in an asteroid field nearby when a fleet with a destroyer class, 4 dreadnoughts and a dozen cruisers engaged a pair of burning pirate hulks to no avail. They didn’t say how long the fight lasted or what happened next as they were too busy praying to Magda to pay attention.

Despite orders from Kildro, Cynthia, Scy Lors and myself took Sha’l Ter and Arzkel to the Fah – Hid system and Calieb 7 to see what, if anything, could give us clues to our husbands fate. We offered to take the Arch Nit matons of Azfar and miss Havershime with us, but they declined politely and asked for solitude during this difficult moment.

When we got to the planet, most of the atmosphere was gone. The lands were barren wastes for the most part strewn with rubble and debris from the fighting. Tack – So’s apparent command vessel had been cleaved in two and looked like a pair of tombstones in the earth. We found what was a piece of the Bernoulli on the furthest side of a destroyed base. Much to our horror it seemed to be from the bridge, from the outside.

At least I hoped that was where it was from. An outer door from the lower decks had Azfar’s bandanna stuck to it. I just recall falling to my knees and weeping uncontrollably with Scy Lors as Cynthia was held up by Sha’l Ter. A ways further, remains of cannon from the Fire Fan lay on the bottom of what was a fresh water lake. Again, more Garinthian wreckage than pirate.

If our husband had died, either here or in space, he certainly took more than his kilo of flesh. Then again, Skar’l also had his wicked way with the white devils. We decided to forgo a trip to the asteroid field and went back to the moon, James never got the hang of its name, Coloracus. Garinthian comm traffic was next to non existent, but reports on their end said that Tack – So survived by running away like a coward and lost both destroyers, 5 total dreadnoughts and 7 fleets out of the 12 in the area assigned for patrol and security. The outside bases were abandoned and self destructed so we couldn’t get anything out of it other than the pre-recorded command to evacuate.

One battle to give our clan and family relief, a price too dear to even think, let alone dream about was paid. My husband, first and foremost, his engineer Forraz, Azfar, Cafar, captain Soong and lieutenant Vashinka, captain Skar’l plus around 100 pirates. I couldn’t face our daughters and son Archie and neither could Cynthia or Scy Lors. Cron and Bree collapsed on the news of their recent pators apparent demise. Tem, Sab, Scy and Felia just hugged the now toddlers when they could and never spoke, just cried silently.

To this day, Carinthia still waits at the door for James. She recently gave birth to a litter of 5 cubs, 2 boys and 3 girls. Still, even though I should be happy, I just can’t. Arzkel and Sha’l Ter have tried to keep us going, our spirits lifted, but without any real success.

Captain Ackban and the rest of the Dragon Helm paid their respects. I can’t recall anything any of them said, aside from Ackban’s words of encouragement. Arzkel was now in charge of the Dragon’s Nest and I had full command of the Camden’s Folly. Cynthia has been distant, staying with Archie and reading to him and not leaving his side.

Our daughters still sit on the outer flat’s balcony, as if they think their father is coming home any time. It’s hard to try and dissuade them. I find myself, when on patrol, turning to Scy Lors and almost calling her Azfar, Cafar or asking where James is. Any time I’ve had to speak with Fizbark, I’ve caught myself calling him mister Forraz.

At the dry dock, I’ve found Alice Lucio sitting with her plant pet looking out at the mountains with a tear in her eye as Haimish is unreadable. The brood James fathered before we went on the ill fated expedition has hatched and Scy Lors and the other Arch Nits seemed preoccupied with them. Unlike my brood or Cynthia’s Archie, they need special attention for at least 6 months.

One day, I decided to go to the asteroid belt near Fah – Hid. It gave mister McTavit an opportunity to try out the hyper space capability of the Camden’s Folly, which was as much an excuse as any to get out. When we arrived in the area the traders described, we found wreckage of quite a few vessels. On one of the nearer asteroids we found part of the Fire Fan. It would seem it exploded somehow or was blown in half by cannon fire. There were two frozen bodies of crewmen, but none of the command staff. The radio was permanently fixed to the frequency of the Bernoulli. It was burnt out by the explosion and fused pretty solidly. We were about to head back to the ship when Scy Lors picked up a hand held wireless radio we’d use in emergencies.

It was still active, just not strong enough to do more than issue static at us. We brought it back none the less, a souvenir of a great battle and perhaps hope if we could get it to work. Mister McTavit retrieved the scanner logs, as bad off as they were and set about decoding them. I never mentioned any of this in my report to Arzkel. Why get anyone’s hopes up?

I had limited knowledge of comm devices, but applied myself on the trip back. For a moment, I could swear I heard mister Forraz discussing rations or something, though it seemed distant and I may have been reaching. I knew James would never have given up on us, so I’d not give up on him.

Time seemed to fly and slowly we got back to almost our normal selves. Archie was starting to speak again, we found him a translator crystal in McTavit’s storage shed. The girls, well, they were starting to mirror their mothers in a variety of ways. Unless things changed though, we’d be having a chat about their father sooner than later and it wouldn’t be a very well received one. Their Arch Nit brothers and sisters were coming along, a bit slower than Tedarian or Earth children, but still coming along. Like Archie, the boys seemed to take after James, even down to hair colour and facial expressions.

One day, Sha’l Ter came in with Arzkel and they both looked at us like we were hatchlings.

“ All right, so nothing is all right and we’re no closer to finding James alive or dead. I know, I know, he wouldn’t give up on finding us and making sure we were all alive and in one piece. However, facts are staring us in the face. I loved him as much as you three, so did Arzkel. And yes it does hurt to think of him going out like that without us at his side. He was stubborn, obstinate and a real pain in the arse when it came to thinking of us over his own safety. His sacrifice shouldn’t be remembered that way! Mister McTavit told me a little while back about Jame’s knack for pulling victory from the jaws of defeat…”

She paused with a tear in her eye.

“ Well, his last apparent act was to do just that! What he didn’t manage was to kill the man that made it necessary for him to make such a sacrifice. Tack – So is still out there! We should be concentrating on finding that yellow sadistic Garinthian and putting his head on a silver platter! Feeling sorry for ourselves and dreading what we need to tell Archie, the girls from Cafea’s brood and the 20 daughters and sons to be named from Scy Lors won’t make things easier. I don’t want James to be dead, nor the others! But we can’t wallow in self pity any longer either.”

Carinthia looked in on us with sad pleading eyes. Her cubs came up and nuzzled her, mewing for attention. Scy and Lors, Arkette, little Cafea, Archie and Arzkel Cron came trooping in soon after as Carinthia tried to corral them all. I sat down heavily as Sha’l Tsai climbed up on my lap to hug me.

“ Son, daughters, we need to talk…”

Cynthia started to say but just couldn’t continue. Arzkel gently picked up Archie and fed him along with his sisters before herding them into the living room and sitting them down for what was the longest 15 minutes of our lives. Two of the girls ran from the room crying followed by two of our nannies, another three just hugged each other and Archie cried on Arzkel’s shoulder while the rest of us tended to the remaining. We found the two who ran out with Scy and Tem, it was Sha’l Tsai and Arzkel Cron.

All at once the day came back to me and I silently vowed to find the truth of James demise or escape. We still had the radio and the scanner logs. Fizbark said he could have a report ready for us in about 3 weeks as that was the best he could do. McTavit said the radio could be boosted in about two days. He also mentioned that hyper space travel could have been Jame’s salvation. It could also mean he’s lost out there with limited resources and considering the amount of time that’s gone by…

Anyway, he said he’d give it his top priority. Daskin of the Dragon’s Sail said that two of the lesser clans had formed a pact and were going to try and challenge the Dragon Helm clan for control of the area since the Garinthian hold here had been weakened as it did. News also arrived that the Dragon Roar and Dragon’s Eye would be ready and joining us as part of the fleet stationed here. Ackban mentioned, by Arzkel’s recommendation, that Cynthia be the new captain of the Dragon Roar.

I did a little digging and found that Tark may be financing the new clan and possibly the Garinthians may be backing him on the bid to be its commanding captain or at least its controlling interest. H’tha, my little sister from Arzkel’s side of my mothers, had been transferred to the Dragon’s Nest by Ackban as part of a new raiding party. Her ship, the Little Wing, was packing 2 stealth skiffs plus an arsenal of personal flight packs that were like mister McTavit’s except they worked, were lighter and had a more reliable power cell to draw on.

These were highly adapted to space use and had a camouflage feature. My first thought on those was, if we found James and he was held captive somewhere we could use them to liberate him and the others if they still lived. The good news was, even if they had jumped into hyper space and escaped, the area they could go to was limited to 4 sectors, but plausible. The bad news was 2 of the sectors were controlled by either the Garinthians or a rival clan called the Soul Reapers. The other two were either uncharted or considered neutral territory.

The Golden Dragon and Black Dragon Reaper were now officially ready for duty and action. Their first assignment was a patrol of the immediate area on our western orbital vector that faced the Fah – Hid system. Mister Fizbark was to go along with mister Sali on the Golden Dragon as mister McTavit was to be assigned to look after the Black Dragon Reaper.

Arzkel was to hold the fortifications down as Sha’l Ter was to go on the opposite side planetary orbit and I would take the closer planet, Cerios, and maybe head to the northern orbit that definitely led to a Garinthian stronghold territory also known as the regional senate headquarters with the system representatives of a dozen Garinthian aligned worlds housed in one spot.

It was a tempting target, considering my ire at the moment. However, I had orders and, as James would say, a family to keep an eye on. Speaking of them, Scy Lors had escorted them to the train below and placed them in the care of Felia and Bree Tom’s primary school and day care.

I hated to do that, so did Cynthia and Scy Lors. However, it was either that and keep them socially active with the Arch Nit children or leave them with their younger Arch Nit siblings and have to oversee chaos incarnate!

I’m not sure what the rest of the year holds, the Garinthians seem to be regrouping and stories of the Amanor are reaching Arzkel’s ears from all around the pirate community. Cynthia and I are almost ready to call our searches off. Scy Lors still holds hope with the grand matons, or is it wishful thinking? 6 months since that fateful day, clues have been sketchy and our children disheartened and disillusioned.

I’ll finish this entry with a note from mister Fizbark.
“ I think that I may have found the source of the noise this radio is picking up on and it’s definitely on the other side of the Soul Reapers territory. I’ll need to requisition a ship to go and get a better fix. Rumours have come to Sha’l Ter’s ears about running battles near there… will know more when I get close enough to triangulate.”

More Follies teasers! For the people who like to read them

And so, as promised here we go with the 3rd installment of the first series! Please enjoy and remember to buy the books!

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…”

BOOM!

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.

Back to the authoring… Or, at least back to promoting my work… and hopefully…

All right then. On another platform I did promise the first chapter of each of my first four books in the Camden’s Follies Universe. If you want the full story, go to Amazon.com and buy the individual books.
No, I haven’t organised them into a box set yet – not had enough time to sort out if Amazon can do that. However, I shall tease my future and current readership with all that I can…
So now to the beginning ~ Camden’s Follies series 1, book 1

© 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.

Part 1, Chapter 1: From the diaries of Doctor Camden, Lunar physician and Pirate

My Journey Begins

The main engine of the Queens Dirigible“Bernoulli” makes a chirruping sound as the propeller squeaks on and off. Forensic Physician Dr. Camden looks bored and frustrated behind his aged typewriter as he attempts to compose his thoughts. A brief flurry of screaming followed by heavy feet running to and fro cause the near middle aged traveller to look up from his palms.

The tall English gentleman sits in a confined space where he’s been trying to type his journal up. Young, relatively, Doctor Camden is dressed in khaki brown with a waist coat while his long coat is draped over his chair. His hair is solid black and the look of a well groomed upper class gentleman. His handlebar moustache seems a bit out of place as it covers his entire mouth. The lines around his eyes make him seem older in the dim lit cabin as he continues to stare at the ceiling, ranting out loud.

~

“ Best to stay inside and not bother the professor… professor?! Hah! Daft old man and an even more dense pair of followers, I’d say. Six weeks and barely land in sight, a flight that was supposed to take half that time. I’m sat on my backside in this cramped cabin, not so much as a flying monkey and it’s far too cold out on deck to even try to take a photograph, decent or otherwise, of the, er seascape. I wonder why the captain even remotely tolerates the barmy old codger? ”

I begin to type again when a familiar odour wafts from beneath my door. The acrid smell of burnt rubber and petrol products forces me to open the window of my cabin, perhaps that’s being too generous. It’s a portal that is as easy to open and close as a whale bone corset! I’m wondering about my decision to trust these people to take me to Africa when I could have simply bucked up my courage and taken a steamship to Egypt before taking up the reigns on a fine Arab charger, something I’m more at home with than modern machinery that I have no idea how to operate and at this rate no desire to learn about.

“ DAMN IT MAN! I SAID SPANNER! NOT GIVE ME THE CAN OF LUBRICANT!!!”

* Sigh * My eyes nearly lock in their sockets as they roll up in disgust.

How many times must this buffoon, Scottish at that, forget that between his accent and his lack of linguistic ledger domain his non – English speaking assistants have a hard time understanding him. Not withstanding the idea his “help” has a limited command of the English language. Blast this old typewriter! And who’s that at my door?

“ Mr. Camden? Doc – tor James Camden?”

I hear in a barely audible tone and in a very thick Portuguese accent.

“ Sir, professor McTavit needs you, sir… in ze engine room, we are, as you say, not sure ’bout what it is he’s asking ’bout … please!”

My frustration is at it’s peak now. First off, I’m a physician in training of sorts, something new called forensic medicine… dissecting the dead and all that to determine cause of death. I was supposed to be in central Africa with a company of soldiers working with their surgeon, a Doctor Hamslick from Kent. He pioneered this idea about five years prior on the behest of the Duke of Edinburgh to help settle a case of poisoning of one of his staff, nasty business.

I throw my long coat on and make my way behind a very frustrated and agitated middle aged man from Portugal who is muttering curses in his native tongue under his breath.

We arrive at the doorway to the engine room, just beneath the centre of the dirigible. It’s blackened and charred from a series of explosions and fires. McTavit won’t tell me one bloody thing about his contraption. Suffice it to say the gears and inner workings seem to need to be kept both cool and well lubricated and that’s all I can ascertain from my personal observations and that would be all I know of it.

Well, all right I can tell it’s massive and took a lot of time to put together, but what fuels it and why it needs to be in a state of near bathing in oil… that one is definitively over my head!

I tried holding my nose as I entered, but to no avail. My compatriot handed me a set of goggles to put on so, well, I guess my eyes would be protected or less likely to melt out of my head. It smelt like the engine room of a freighter, if it hadn’t been cleaned in about ten years! It felt like stepping into a really bizarre painting, everything seemed to be black and hardly discernible! I knew there was a lot of piping and that the head room was dicey at best. I made my way via the sound of the shouting and the expertise of my guide, whom I hoped that he would have the where-with-all to have memorised his surroundings. Not too successfully, I must say as I managed to bang my forehead and top of my skull twice, I made it to my destination.

By the looks of it, the two yelling at each other were in the centre of a chamber of some sort.

Openings at the top were in rows and lines, three roughly from what I could make out. The odd part was that there were what looked like mirrors or mirrored surfaces all over the walls and even the floor. I noted that there seemed to be some kind of clean – up under way. That’s when I saw the old goat arguing with the other poor prat, er, assistant. McTavit was old, with bushy mutton – chop sideburns and the complexion of a tomato. He looked a burly man gone to seed and was easily as tall as me, if only a tad shorter. His red hair was still visible through the heavy silver gray. He was even dressed in coveralls of a tartan nature, that is, from what was visible beneath the grime.

McTavit was pointing and looking apoplectic at the eastern most wall of reflective surfaces and moving his eyebrows like my old professor at Cambridge. I stood mesmerised till I realised that the wall of mirrors was slightly concave. I looked to their twin to the west and noted they were convex, perhaps they were supposed to be identical? That seemed to be what was getting under the engineers pecks. I shan’t bore you with details, suffice it to say that everything came to a grinding halt once my guide coughed and pointed. McTavit’s demeanour changed frighteningly fast as he turned to the noise and addressed me.

“ Doctor Camden! Thank you very much for coming, sorry to be a bother to ye, however I’m having a wee bit of difficulty…”, his other assistant snorted in derision, the one he was arguing with that is. He gave the man a warning look and changed quickly back into the pleasant aspect he held only for me at the moment. “ … ahem… a wee bit of difficulty getting Mr. Sali to apply the right material to, er, clean off the walls. As you can see they were meant to be bright and shiny and convex… or perhaps not.” He said the last as he noted the look of complete lack of understanding on my face. “Anyway, that seems to be my problem. Could you be so kind as to assist me in my ‘conversational’ Portuguese?”

He tried to look polite, but I could easily tell he was tetchy and out of patience. I sighed, my trademark way of avoiding conflict. “ Of course, I’ve nothing better or more important…”

McTavit smiled a semi toothed smile of a man who had seen either too many knocks to the head or been on the wrong side of a tavern disagreement. So, I spent the better part of two hours, mainly due to the fact I refused to translate gutter speak, telling my Portuguese associate that the chief engineer wished him to brush, one time, a coat of glowing green ooze onto the carbonised material. Not two or three, but simply one and let it sink in before rinsing it off with some blue gunk that I refused pointedly to handle or get within a metre of!

My guide and other lackey, er, assistant had to excuse himself more than once during this exchange, laughing in hysterics just outside my line of vision and apparently the hearing of McTavit. I went back to my cabin feeling a few stone lighter than when I went in to the engine room and went straight away to my bathing chamber after sending my clothes to be cleaned thoroughly!

What on Earth was this man thinking? We had two perfectly functional propellers that could use equal if not greater attention and all he could think of was that disgusting chamber that any board of health would condemn faster than one could blink.

It dawned on me that even with my limited knowledge of things mechanical that it seemed like an awful lot of area devoted to an engine or any other device that was supposed to keep this air ship flying. What were we anyway, 100, perhaps 150 metres in length?

I briefly wondered if my fellow passengers were as curious as I was? I only saw the captain once and only from a distance. There was a shy and retiring young dowager on her way to Kenya to meet the expeditionary force that brought her late husbands remains from India. Miss Belle – Anderson, as I thought I heard her tell the man at the ticket desk as I was behind her, was petite, with sandy blonde hair and very bright, almost emerald green eyes. She was quite pretty and very lady like, in a sweet and warm way, but distant manner. Not surprising, but there you are. Around dinner I decided to eat in the main dining hall. I met the woman as she was leaving her cabin, dressed in a more winter appropriate form of dress. Hard to believe it was nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the ground!

The stars were out and the sky was remarkably clear. There was an absence of shouting and cursing from the engine room, much to my relief. I finally looked out over the railing to notice that we were, in fact, over land, at last. Just where I couldn’t tell you as I thought I saw Kilimanjaro off to the right of the crescent moon rising over the horizon.

I was pleasantly taken aback when the lady took my arm just as we made the stairs. She seemed composed enough or as much for a recent widower as she could be. My best guess was that since these dinners were somewhat formal she should at least appear to be attended to. The room had one long table, around 15 metres in length with seating for roughly 3 dozen. I could see another room just beyond behind some marvellous French glass doors with the crew seated and quietly eating.

I began to make my way to the seat nearest the end of the table near the crews dinning area ( I suppose you could call it a mess hall, it looked like they ate just enough food to feed a village and left most of it everywhere, but in them!). Surprisingly, the glass rendered it impossible to hear what was being discussed amongst the crew, which was why I chose my strategic spot in the room. Almost as surprising the dowager sat next to me and smiled warmly.

“ I see there is a gentleman beneath that gruff exterior and occasionally unkempt clothes. A handsome one at that! I was wondering for a while that despite your intelligent conversation that you bore more of a resemblance to Professor Haimish McTavit, our, um, chief engineer and consulting,” She seemed as if she wasn’t sure of her terminology or if she wasn’t being polite enough and paused. “… scientist? The first officer told me that the professor worked on the first of the steam freighters and passenger ships. The lieutenant further mentioned the captain knew him from the military though, he wasn’t sure in what capacity.”

A waiter arrived and gave us water and told us the other passengers would be round later, possibly. He took our drink order and gave us menus and told us to take our time since the kitchen would be available all evening. I smiled politely. He needn’t have said that, again for the hundredth time or so.

It was curious as to how we had as much in the way of supplies as we did. I hadn’t thought of it till now, but it seemed as if we were stocked for a voyage of at least ten times the projected length. I was so lost in thought that I had almost forgotten the woman next to me. She laughed loudly and nearly lost her breath as my head snapped around at my realisation.

When she caught her breath she proffered a dainty hand and introduced herself properly.

“ My apologies, oh, and my name is Cynthia. Cynthia Belle – Anderson.”

I drank some water, as I took her hand, to collect myself.

“ James Camden, Doctor of surgical procedure and general practitioner.”

She inclined her head in a gracious nod and had some water herself as our wine and tea arrived. She had tea and I had the wine, my best guess was that we both needed nerve tonic after todays events.

I was just feeling a bit better when the doors swung open where Cynthia and I entered earlier. An elder gent with the look of a London banker came and walked in with a very stately lady on his arm, wife from the look of it. They seemed to be preoccupied with the physical dimensions of the dinning hall and the lack of decoration.

The two sat at the far end away from us and merely curtly nodded in my direction before ignoring us. A few moments later the Portuguese engineers came in and sat near us, both waved and said hello and were quite chatty till McTavit came in. He looked beaten down, but cleaner by far than when I last encountered him.

The two at the end of the table looked scandalised as the professor slapped the gentleman on the shoulder and winked at the woman. McTavit barely nodded at me and gave a gentlemanly bow to Cynthia before sitting across from his two assistants.

Mere moments later the captain, I believe his first name was Mathias, Germain and his entourage made their way in greeting all in kind with equal respect as only an officer for the royal navy could. He was as tall as I, but with sandy brown hair and a very trim and neat moustache and beard with a decidedly military hair style. His air of confidence and command seemed to emanate from every pore in his body.

At his left was a younger man, middle eastern by the look of him or perhaps Asian (Indian or somewhere about that area), the lieutenant that Cynthia mentioned earlier I’d say, as well as the navigator and helmsman for our airship. They sat near the professor and mainly kept the conversation to a bare minimum and then only business. Before they left to get back to their duties and or possibly some sleep, the captain approached me to speak privately.

“ I do hope, Doctor, that despite the length, your voyage has been pleasant?” He enquired kindly, but I was world wary enough to know evasive small talk when I heard it. I didn’t answer right away, but I didn’t press him to get to the point either.

“ Well, aside from the windows being a bit dodgy and having to referee a clean round between the good professor and one of his assistants, Mr. Sali, everything has been quite pleasant. And of course not being able to get out on deck was a bit of a bad turn, but I did get work on my medical journals.”

I tried to sound like I was being mildly humorous and gave a polite grin to punctuate what I was trying to say. He smiled and laughed jovially along as if he supposed I had meant what I said.

“ Well, I’m glad! There may be a bit longer of a delay than I first thought, no worries mind. There are plenty of supplies and we’re in safe air space for the moment.”

I forgot myself and a look of mild panic and concern crossed my face briefly. The captain laughed.

“Oh, no need for panic my good doctor! Not like the Zulu or some other heathen tribe would set upon us, no sir.”

He genially slapped me on the back before giving me a serious look.

“ I would be appreciative, however, if anyone were to ask you, that if anyone enquires, please tell them we’re taking a more scenic route due to weather… also, please do check in on Mrs. Farber if you would, the elderly woman with Sir Michael Farber, the international banker and financier…”

I nodded and looked discreetly where the couple were sitting enjoying a brandy. I had no idea we had such an important person on board. Of course that would explain why he seemed to be touring this ship when he walked in. Perhaps, he was going to invest in her or something, maybe he held the title? I turned back nodding.

“ Of course captain, I would be more than happy to assist you and of course I shall keep mum on our situation until you say otherwise!”

He shook my hand and briskly made his way back to the pilots chamber. Later, as I walked away from the hall, I saw Cynthia and the captain exchange a brief, but heated conversation. She seemed to be pointing to the western side of the ship as she pointedly made eye contact with him. I stayed discreetly in the shadows for as long as possible. This was a most unexpected side to the demure woman. Walking the more scenic route to the side where my cabin was I chanced a glance to the west. I must have been tired or slightly more inebriated than I first presumed. I could have sworn I saw, no, that would be impossible, an Earth – like planet in the skies! I shook my head and glanced again. There it was! Not only that, but the crescent moon of earlier had, well, brothers/sisters it seemed. I decided I was deluded by my harrowing day and made my way through the corridor and started to make my way down the steps. I was half – way down when a woman cleared her throat. I looked sharply and there was a slightly miffed Miss Belle – Anderson waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs.

“ Just where on Earth did you get off too?! I was worried sick, not to mention we never really got a chance to talk and I do hate trying to have a private conversation with eaves droppers all about.”

She had her hands on her hips and I felt it wise not to argue with a woman that could potentially be so formidable. She definitely gave the captain quite a nasty shock when she rounded on him as she did earlier. Cynthia proffered an arm and looked impatient as she awaited me taking it. When I did, her handbag struck me and I couldn’t help, but notice that for something so small it packed a bit of a punch! Bit like being hit with a pipe or a small club. I regained my balance quickly, but not before having a look of pain cross my face that seemed quite humorous to my new found lady friend.

“Please tell me you’ll live, I didn’t manage to hit you in the family jewels per chance did I?”

She said this failing badly at hiding a laugh.

“No, nothing vital hit ma’am … I take it that you get a lot of unscrupulous advances and thus filling your hand bag with, well, a cannon ball and half the kitchen…”

This only made her laugh loudly and fight for her breath. Once she regained her composure she shook her head and held up a finger to give her a moment to show me something. She reached within her hand bag and pulled out a baton roughly a half metre long! I stood flabbergasted and absolutely gob smacked! I must have looked a right fish out of water and this time she held herself together as she cleared her throat.

“ The bag and my protective device are all courtesy of Professor McTavit! It seems he was dabbling in physics and dimensional, what was it he referred to it as, oh yes, spacial expansion.”

She smiled broadly, but it faded fast as she noticed my continued look of incomprehension. Her face screwed up for a moment before she spoke again

“That means he made it somehow bigger on the inside, the hand bag that is, so it could hold a bit more. He told me he discovered it and the new engine design in an old Mayan pyramid or something like that. As to the baton, well it’s more than that.”

She hefted the device in her hand and pressed a black button on the side of the tube. A rifle stock popped out of the sides and a barrel extended from the end away from her. A small telescopic sight appeared after she pressed the top, near the newly formed barrel as a trigger appeared in the same place one would expect a rifle to have a trigger complete with a very elaborate guard.

“Watch!”

She pointed this compactable rifle at a spot just above the railings, pulled the trigger and, to my continued shock and surprise, a beam of light flashed out and hit a spot roughly 500 metres away! The resulting explosion made a fireball big enough to take out an infantry of men.

“This is McTavit’s ‘Light Blast Cannon‘! Surprisingly light and easy to shoot, just needs about 5 seconds between shots to recharge fully between firings. Impressive, yes?”

It took a moment, but I gulped and looked at the weapon and then her. What I wanted to say was different from what I actually articulated.

“Well, in a word, indeed! I thought those kinds of things were only in that science fiction nonsense they sell every so often… fantastic tales and all that.”

I paced in one place for a minute before I spoke again, she neatly put the device back in her hand bag and patiently waited.

“ What on Earth do you need a thing like that for? I know blokes on the new iron warships that would give their right arms for one of those…”

She held up her hand just as the captain and one of the crew came running round a corner.

“What the devil is going on here? What was that…”

He then noticed Cynthia and coughed, gulped and calmed down almost immediately.

“Ahem, * cough * , oh, I see, sorry Madam, carry on, should have realised… well, have a pleasant evening, shan’t bother you again. Doctor.”

He bowed and saluted me, oddly enough, before expediently gathering his subordinate and leaving us to our own devices. I turned to Cynthia and she gave me the sweetest of smiles.

“For a moment James, I may call you James mightn’t I? Well, let’s just hold that subject for another time, yes. I’d much prefer to talk about you anyway. A tall, handsome, dark haired proper gentleman who can speak at least three other languages aside from English, I’m presuming you speak at least three as Africa requires French and whatever local dialect along with your knowledge of Portuguese…”

She took my arm as she spoke, more carefully this time so I wouldn’t get bludgeoned again at the hip and started to lead me, bewildered, in the direction of her cabin…

Book 2 coming soon…. GERONIMO!

~ The Pirate Poet

And so, onward… for now or until I’m on the move again..

Okay, still working on my bread and butter series ~ Camden’s Follies. Space, adventures, Pirates, Evil Empires and Ancient peoples, spousal and children troubles… My how the Camden Family Circus grows!
Despite only the cover art to show for the final installment of Elder Offensive, it’s only a matter of being energetic enough to type the ruddy thing up.
Also, finding even an Indie Publisher is getting to be a chore these days. So, Scales and Hearts must wait a while longer.
Life is indeed short, wild and ocassionally sweet. More often it’s a contest of whether my nerves will hold out or not. Book sales haven’t been quite up there yet… yet. I get word out on the primary work regularly, refuse to have to pay Amazon to do what they should from the off – their job!
I will keep exploring how to pay more than one author their fair share plus!
But that’s the future and yet to be written.

For now, I’ll keep well from the pandemic. I’ll try and find more avenues for publlishing and of course poetry will keep me on my toes.

Till the day I see ye on the trail, the science fiction or comic con panels, be well, keep writing and never give up or in. Never be cruel, nor cowardly.

Yours truly,
~ The Pirate Poet

Been a while…

Concept Art 1

Okay, so I’m still waiting on the cover artist for part 2 of Camden’s follies and pricing out a way to raise funds for book 2 , the conclusion of the Ammutseba Saga…
Editing is an ongoing process, even for me. Once again, I’ll be appearing at COSine in 2019, January… for details see below

 

Weekend is still $45 American and the hotel is reasonable/tolerable. This is a NON – big media convention featuring insightful panels and a chance to discuss a variety of topics from the folk who are looked to for the next big piece to be adapted to the small or large screen… meet and greet them, read and of course have fun. They even have a game room with RPG and advanced strategy board games.
As with all the works in my life, things are starting slowly, but with consistency…

ALLONS – Y!

~ The Pirate Poet

Renewed advertising… yeah, it’s still selling … And I’ll have copies at COSine!

 

 

Okay, so above are links for 2 of the books I have out… I’ll find the ones for Scales and Hearts soon.
I shall be at COSine in Colorado Springs, CO for the beginning of the book promotional tour.

COSine Science Fiction Convention

January 18-20, 2019

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Here’s the link if you’d like to attend!

I’ll work on budgeting for other conventions here and abroad … soon!
Keep reading, writing and dreaming!