Flash Fiction Friday: Once More Into the Breach

Haven’t updated in awhile. It seems that Flash Fiction Friday is not as popular as I thought it would be. No worries, you live and learn. This is another story set in the Galaxy Command RPG setting.

——–

Argus stared at the screen over the bar through bleary red eyes. Someone sat on the stool to his left, “How are you buddy?”

Argus drained his glass with one long pull. “What parts of no you don’t understand Gary, the N or the O?” he spat at the new comer.

“The part where you’re broke or the part where you still have nine months on your reserve status, I can’t decide which part that may be Argus,” said Gary.

“And what are you going to do about it?” Argus looked around him, “I don’t see a security squad with you and you’re not stupid enough to try to drag me back to the brig all by yourself so what do you want?”

“I’m putting a new team together and I need someone like you. Technically I could order you back, but I don’t want it to go down that way.”

Argus made a slicing motion across his throat to the bartender. “Technically I could give three shits about what you want or your orders.”

“I’ll take care of that,” said Gary to the bartender. He took the data pad and sign in his own name. “Still drinking scotch I see, all three bottles worth.”

Argus shrugged, “You done?”

“Yeah. There should be something waiting for you in your room. Think of it as your severance package.”

Argus got up from his chair and made his way across the casino. Little old ladies played the coin machines. Lights and sounds blasted through his dulled senses. Inside his room, he stumbled in the dark. “Ouch! Damn it!” A small table toppled over. The pain emanating from the stubbed toe pierced through the alcohol induced mental fog. “Lights!” A black box lay on the ground.  It came to life the moment he touched it.

WE ARE D’VOR

Startled by the ominous voice Argus put the box down on the bed. Gary’ holographic face appeared before him, “Argus this is part of a transmission we received from Eden about a week ago. You heard the rumors about what happened. We still don’t have all the facts and I can’t say more without compromising security. I need someone to whip up a new team to investigate this. Training contract, good pay, expunged record. Can’t give you back your old rank, but you never stood on rank anyway. Meet me at the starport at 11:45hrs. If you don’t show up, I won’t hold it against you. Hope to see you there.” The image winked out.

Argus shook his head and flopped back to be. He would be crazy to return to Galaxy Command. Not after the Koha Maru, not after what happened to Ryan.

Then again… he thought, but sleep took over.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Escape From Eden P2

Second part of Escape from Eden. Sorry for the delay. Last week was hectic, to say the least.

—-

WE ARE D’VOR

Carson stared at her screen. “Captain take a look at this,” she forwarded to his console.

WE HAVE COME TO LIBERATE YOU FROM EXISTENCE

“Where is this coming from?,” Captain Byron asked.

“Don’t know. It’s on all the system’s data channels,” Carson replied.

Tech specialist Holland, the junior member of the crew screamed, “Massive neutrino build up from Eden’s star and a spike in gamma radiation.  The star is going supernova!”

Lights flickered across the ship. Captain spoke into the ship intercom, “All hands, status report.”

Holland spoke first “High radiation burst. I don’t think we can survive many of those. The star’s outer layer is expanding rapidly.”

The Captain turned to the navigator, “Tszar, get us out of here, now!”

The voices of the crew became a confused chorus as reports flooded in.

“Eden ordered system wide evacuation.”

“We have eight maybe nine minutes before gamma ray saturation exceeds biological limits.”

“Captain, I’m unable to plot an accurate exit vector.”

“Will jump with whatever you have. Do it now!”

“Jump in 3…2…1!”

The Marie Antoinette lurched violently as it exited Shunt Space. Carson shook her head. Jumps always messed with her perception of self.

A voice came though the ship’s intercom, “Captain, ion drive is out of line.”

Byron responded “ETA for repairs?”

“I have fires across the engineering section! Most of the drive is out of order. Without a space dock I don’t think I’ll be able to put her back together.”

“Understood. Do we have any forms of propulsion left?”

“We have jump drive and thrusters, that’s it Captain,” said the voice from engineering.

Captain Byron turned his attention back to his crew, ” Where are we?”

Tszar responded, “Unknown location.”

Holland followed up Tszar’s report, “Sensors array is damaged but still operational. Possible habitable moon around a nearby gas giant. Distance 6 AU.”

“Tszar, plot a course to that moon, stand by for jump,” ordered the Captain.

“Are you insane?,” Carson countered, “That’s a bloody gas giant! Half our systems are down. We can’t–”

“Shut it Carson! Navigator, engage jump drive when ready.”

“Yes Captain. Jump in 3…2..1!”

The Marie Antoinette skimmed the moon’s atmosphere as it came off the jump.  The ship shuddered and creaked as it blasted it way across the moon’s sky.

Lipton voice came through the intercom from engineering “Jump drive is shot Captain!”

Byron ignored him, “Takes us in Tszar.”

“In one piece!” Carson screamed.

The ship crashed landed on alien beach. Carson torso snapped forward. Her head hit her console. Her vision blurred with pain and blood. She staggered from her chair across the bridge. She collapsed near Holland crumpled body. her tears mingled with the blood from her forehead.

Holland was dead.

—-


Flash Fiction Friday: Escape from Eden-P1

Another Friday, another piece of flash fiction. This one is inspired by the video in this post. Hope you like it.

—-

Drip…

Drip…

Drip…

“Carson? Where are you Carson?”

The sound of Tszar’s voice drew Jane Carlson’s mind away from the drops of water percolating though the hull of the Antoine Marie. Over 300 meters of the ship laid underwater. Tszar, the ship’s Smtek navigator came down from the access platform to where Carlson stood on four, double jointed appendages.

“Captain Byron wants a word with you”, Tszar said or though, the trans-box attached to the Smtek forehead translated his thoughts to Human Standard.

Carlson stared at Tszar large, liquid eyes. “More repair work, right? The ship is broken. We are not going anywhere. We’re lucky to be alive”, she said.

Some of us anyway, she thought.  Unlike Holland and Dolby.

“There is still a chance of a rescue Carlson” Tszar responded.

“Only if Byron’s crazy idea works, and I doubt it.” She whipped strands of black hair from her face. “The odds of boosting a signal that reaches a inhabited system are low, to say the least. ”

Balancing on three limbs Tszar extended a fourth toward Carlson. The end of it changed shape to resemble a human hand. It came to rest on her shoulder, “We survived a star going Nova. That means that Fate is on our side, for now.”

The Smtek believed in what the universe existed in dynamic balance between two “Wills”, Fate and Sentience. So nothing and Fate takes over, act and you shape Fate. Carlson didn’t care much for a living cosmos but they were alive so maybe there was something to it.

“OK, I’ll see what Byron wants.” She walked away, leaving Tszar to stare at the water descended one drop at a time.

—-

Another video. This one is an EVE Online trailer:

Straight from the DVD: The Sky Crawlers

I picked this DVD up in my local video store. Had won multiple awards and came from the Mamoru Oshii stable of films so I gave it a try.

It was not what I was expecting. And that was not a good thing.

Coming from the man that brought Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor to the big screen. It certainly has his style but the story….

It’s not really there.

Gorgeous CGI, realistic air combat sequences (if some of the maneuvers where a bit much for the aircraft involved) and beautiful scenery, but the story….

In a nutshell the story centers around a young pilot who is a “Kildren” who is stuck in adolescence. All of the pilots of the “corporate” squadrons are stunted youths. That much is clear. Everything else, including the locations, and the relationship between the characters is left unclear.

Somehow the “Kildren” never really die, except in combat, although they appear again days later with no memory of who they where (and with a different name).

According some material I found on the net, the war is fought for “entertainment” which would explain why non of the combatants use modern weaponry, although their aircraft seem to be advance propeller driven aircraft.  Yet the reaction of the people around the pilots doesn’t seem to suggest that it is a form of entertainment as the news people take it very seriously, then again considering recent events and modern “infotaiment” is hard to tell what is deemed serious by media moguls.

To me, the real problem is that as a viewer don’t get enough information. Nothing is really explained about the Kildren who I guessed were clones of some kind, maybe. Nor do we see the real impact of this war. We see some blood, maybe a body covered in a tarp, but that is it. A sharper contrast between the attitudes of the people not directly involved with the “war” and the realities of the war itself might have helped.

Add an alternate Earth of sorts (it looks like the English countryside but the few maps point to it being in mainland Europe as do the snippets of news) where the characters speak Japanese on the ground (and read Japanese language newspapers), English in the air and sometimes English with the locals and you end up scratching your head from beginning to end.

The one thing I will say is that the English title is accurate. It crawled from one barely noticeable plot point to the next.

This movie was not for me or for anyone else expecting furious air combat and a gripping story.

This is an animated art house film.

It certainly has the awards to prove it.

Evagelion 2.0

Evangelion is an apocalyptic mecha action series which centers around the efforts by the paramilitary organization Nerv to fight monstrous beings called Angels, primarily using giant mecha called Evangelions which are piloted by select teenagers, one of whom is the primary protagonist.

Evangelion was a anime series from the late 1990s that deconstructed all manner of anime/manga based tropes from giant robots fighting (and trampling) in Tokyo to teenage mecha pilots saving the day.

How?

Mid way through the first episode the teenage pilot of the titular giant robot goes unconscious in middle of the battle.

The giant robot takes over.

Beats the crap out of its opponent.

And then eats it!

Then it got worse….

By that I mean it got weird….

Which really means it got way better….

And then it had two endings.

Which can only be described with one compound word.

Clusterfuck!

In a artsy sort of way.

Which both rocked and…

Didn’t….

Confused?

You better be.

After all:

Events in the series refer to Judeo-Christian symbols from the book of Genesis and Biblical apocrypha among others.[6] Later episodes shift focus to psychoanalysis of the main characters, who display various emotional problems and mental illnesses;[7][8] the nature of existence and reality are questioned in a way that lets Evangelion be characterized as “postmodern fantasy”.[9] Hideaki Anno, the director of the anime series, suffered from clinical depression prior to creating the series, and the psychological aspects of the show are based on the director’s own experiences with overcoming this illness.

Yeah, and now four new movies  try to reinvigorate the franchise.  The second installment came out today in Japan although we in the rest of the world will probably have to wait until either reaches a Japanese animation dedicated cable/satellite channel or it hits the DVD rack.  Either way Evangelion is back!

Here is the trailer for Evagelion 2.0:

Flash Fiction Friday: Scramble!

Stephen Delacroix pushed the sliding door to the mess hall to one side. The techies hadn’t fix it yet. A paper stuck to the other side read:

Please, do not lock door.

Thank you.

The Management.


Typical Stephen thought. Snatches of conversations buzzed past his ear.

“So I told her that I liked a threesome but not with Mary. I mean I thought she was her sister.”

“Really?

He reached the counter. An young and overweight attendant bent over a open fridge, exposing more flesh that Stephen cared to see. The attendant glimpsed at the new comer and yelled at him “Kitchen close!”

“At 20:00 hrs?”

At the sound of the voice the clerk spun around, nearly falling on his ass. “Sorry Boss. Didn’t know it was you. We don’t have much left, but I can whip up something for you” the clerk said scratching the back of his head.

“Just give me a ham and cheese, Jonsey.”

“Errm…we don’t have any cheese, Boss, unless you want goat cheese?”

Stephen made a face which Jonsey interpreted as a no. “Toast with butter, then.”

“What kind of butter, Jonsey?”

“Well, let me see.” Jonsey rummaged through another fridge, “Goat too.”

“Never mind, I’ll have just toast and a coffee–” The sound of klaxons interrupted him.

ALERT CONDITION ONE! ALL PILOTS, SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE!

Stephen Delacroix ran down the maze of corridors to the fighter launch bays. Techs helped him with his vac-suit and system checks. By the time the systems had synchronize the Typhoon Mk. VI slid into the designated launch tube.  Data streamed into his visor as powerful electromagnets clamped on the fighter’s hull. With a quick thumbs up the ship slid down the tube, crushing Gs pushing Stephen against his seat. He felt another jolt as the fighter blasted out of the station’s artificial gravity well.

“All units, this is Calvary Lead. Target ETA in 5 at 3G. Commence burn on my mark…MARK!” Fighter exhausts glowed white as the ships accelerated toward the target area. A quick look at his instruments showed what looked like a squadron of Aero-Fighters, Vampire Class, attacking an unarmed medium size transport.

Stephen, now Calvary Leader, keyed in his radio, “Bravo 1, do you have any other enemies on sensors?”

“Negative” came the reply.

No carrier in sensor range. Probably hiding on a nearby planetary orbit. But that meant that these pilots had flown a long way to close the distance to their targets. A warning beep in his ear snapped him out of his thoughts.

“Looks like they saw us coming in. Jammers online. Switch decoy dispensers to automatic mode.”

Several enemy fighters broke off from their attacks and launched missiles at Calvary Wing. Well practice maneuvers and several decoy canisters defeated the incoming missiles. Their attackers were not as lucky. The return volley devastated the pirate craft.  The others beat a hasty retreat.

Stephen sharp eyesight detected movement near the freighter moments before it engaged it FTL drive. “All units break reverse course!”

The freighter released several large canister which detonated in sudden, blast of light.  Several electromagnetic pulses hit the incoming craft. The systems on the Typhoons overloaded.  They were sitting ducks until the ships computers re-booted.

When the did….

BRAVO 1 TO CALVARY WING. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!

Stephen detected three warships on an intercept course with the station. Each ship poured volley after volley of missile fire while receiving devastating punishment in return.

“Calvary Lead to all fighters. Return to base, max burn” Stephen ordered. The Wing made it in time to stop one of the ships. The stations batteries destroyed a second, but the third punched through the defenses and smashed into the outer hull. A second later an explosion obliterated it and the lower half of Bravo 1.

The combined sounds of his breathing and heartbeat filled his helmet. Someone was desperate or callous enough sacrifice several fighters and three missile destroyers to achieve their objective.

Whoever they were….

Stephen keyed in his radio again, “Ground control, this is Calvary Lead, we request permission to land on spaceport.”

After a short pause a female voice responded, “Permission granted Calvary Wing. General Patterson will be waiting for you on the tarmac.”

“Understood.”

As his craft entered orbit Stephen Delacroix reflected on what had just happened.

Over six hundred lives.

This is war.

—–

Well, that is it for this Flash Fiction Friday. Not very imaginative, but good practice none the less.  Here is a short video that served as the inspiration for the narrative above. Its from the Macross: Do You Remember Love? PSOne game.

Enjoy!

—–

First Post: An Introduction and a Movie

Hello folks.

Yeah, I have ANOTHER blog.

Expect a large dose of all things games,gaming, and sci-fi.

I have a bunch of shorts ready for your perusal which I will post this Friday (a continuation of Flash Fiction Fridays).

But right now enjoy this “trailer” I put together for an upcoming RPG campaign our group is gearing up to play: