The Zombie Plagues Weekly Upload five from Geo Dell

The Zombie Plagues Weekly Upload five from Geo Dell: Posted by Geo Dell 03-31-17

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 Wendell Sweet & his assignee Andrea Scroggs All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This Material is NOT edited for content


To Live Again

March 12th

Mike closed his notebook and stuffed it down into his pack. Looking around the cave, he was surprised how different a few more warm bodies could make it. It didn’t seem as cold, so oppressively quiet, so echo filled with any kind of sharp noise, so… so different. But different in a good way.

Candace had been watching from across the cave where she had made a little area for herself. She hadn’t wanted to interrupt while Mike was writing, but now that he seemed finished, she walked over to him.

This was really nice of you,” she said as she walked up. “We were staying in that old school building. None too stable. Last night was the best sleep I’ve had in a while.”

Funny,” Mike replied, “I was thinking the same thing. For me it was just having others around. People.”

Candace smiled. She’s beautiful, Mike thought. He wasn’t normally a fan of tattoos, but she had some sort of tribal stuff that snaked up under her shirt sleeve. Just a hint of ink where her shirt didn’t quite meet the top of her Levi’s made him wonder just exactly where the ink ended. She caught his eyes and smiled again.

Mind?” She asked, gesturing at the ground beside him.

No, sit down,” Mike smiled. “I have no manners at all. How long does it take to devolve? I guess a little over a week.” He smiled again.

She laughed as she sat down. The silence stretched out for a few seconds, each of them looking around the cave as the others talked or settled in for the night. They both spoke at once.

Sorry,” Candace said and laughed.

No, really. It’s that devolved thing again. Go ahead.”

She fixed her eyes on him. “I was just wondering what you were planning on doing. I mean, have you thought about leaving? I know you spoke a bit about it yesterday when you were talking to Tom. But I could see you weren’t quite ready to fall in with the Tomites yet.” She lowered her voice for the last.

Mike looked at her levelly. “Yeah… I guess it does show. I don’t dislike him. I don’t even disagree with what he said. I just… I just don’t know. We don’t click, know what I mean?”

Yeah, I do.” Candace answered. “It’s the same with me. I can think. I don’t need someone to do it for me.”

Exactly,” Mike agreed. “But it’s a little more too, like Alpha male shit. This is my tribe. Me chief.” Mike finished in a near whisper.

Candace giggled but quickly clamped a hand over her mouth while nodding her head in agreement.

Mike continued. “I’m not really an Alpha male type of guy,

but I’m not a dumb sheep either.”

Me either,” Candace agreed, her giggles under control. She fixed him with her serious eyes once more. “So what will you do?”

Probably like I said, like everyone else said, leave. But I don’t see why the south or the west wouldn’t be a good direction to go in. We’ll all see, I guess, as spring comes on, or as…”

What?” Candace asked.

Well, as this goes on. It might not be over yet. There might be more changes ahead. The days have slowed down, almost seemed to stop for a while last week when the sun just hung in the sky. Maybe what was supposed to happen happened? Now the sun’s rising in the wrong place in the sky. Did the Earth’s spin reverse, that fast? Weren’t some people claiming we’d fall off the Earth? Something like that?” He took a deep breath.

I guess I’m just waiting to see how this goes. What happens next? But in a few months, not far into spring, I’ll probably leave. Whatever has happened, is happening, should be over by then,” He smiled. “I guess that was a long drawn out answer.”

No. Not really,” Candace answered. “I’m in the same place. I’m not sure what happened either, or if it’s all over. But, I don’t think I want to live in a cave forever either.” She looked around, “But who knows; maybe it’s come back to that?”

Mike shrugged his shoulders.

Anyway,” she continued. “I… I just wanted you to know I’m seeing it the same way as you. I mean… I mean I want to be on your side of it.” She locked her eyes on his and gave a firm nod, then flipped her short, black hair out of her eyes. She firmed her mouth, set her jaw and spoke once more. “I’d like to go get my things, Move over here with you.” Her dark eyes settled on his own. “Be with you… I mean be together.”

Quick,” Mike said.

She nodded and smiled, “Maybe it’s a quick world now. I’m taking you at face value, I guess. You don’t have a little harem locked away farther back in these caves, do you?” She smiled.

Mike laughed. “Not hardly.”

Well then,” she asked quietly, her eyes serious.

Mike nodded, which caused a huge smile to spread across her face. His own smile answered it. But, he thought, did she really mean…? He didn’t complete the thought as she stood and walked across the cave to where she had put her things and spent her first night. She turned and looked back at him. Mike stood and walked over to help her move her things over to his side of the cave.

Several pairs of eyes watched the move.

~

Guess that settles that,” Robert Dove said to his wife Jan.

His wife nodded, a slight smile on her face. For the last few days Tom had been pushing Candace. Jan had disapproved. Let the girl make up her own mind, she had thought.

Maybe it’s for the best,” she said now. “That young man is much more likable, Bobby.”

Bob nodded in agreement. The fly in the ointment might be Lydia who had been making eyes at Tom since they’d first met, but who, for the last few days, had only had eyes for Mike. Bob looked over just as a look passed between Tom and Lydia. Oh, he thought.

Jan shook her head. She had noticed the look pass between them too. “Maybe if those two get together it will level everything out,” she said softly. Tom had made it clear he was interested in Candace, not Lydia, but the girl had made her choice. Tom would have to accept it. Jan felt Candace had made the better choice of the two. She turned her attention back to the conversation she had been having with Bob.

Tom watched as Candace moved her sleeping bags and back pack over to Mike’s side of the cave. He didn’t see what she saw in Mike, but it was her choice, and she wouldn’t get a second chance with him. He frowned at his own thoughts. Don’t be an ass, he told himself. It’s not that serious. He looked over and caught Lydia’s eyes; the question was right there. He nodded, and she sprang to her feet like a rabbit. A mean look on her young, pouty face as she looked towards Candace. The look went unanswered by Candace. She turned her back to the girl as she walked back over to Mike’s side of the cave.

~

Lydia quickly gathered her things and moved them over to Tom’s area. Stupid bitch, she told herself. She can have the cave man dude. She’d only wanted Tom all along, even the last few days. Chasing after Mike the last few days had only been an attempt on her part to make Tom jealous. Tom would take her out of here. She hated this place and everything to do with it, always had. Tom was tough, tougher than the other guy. She didn’t think of it in terms of Alpha Male and territory, but it came down to the same thing. Tom was the top dog. Her top dog.

The fire burned lower as everyone settled in for the night. Some happy, some worried, some undecided, but everyone along for the ride.


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The Zombie Plagues Book One Created by Geo Dell

Posted by Geo March 29th 2017

Well here we are in the middle of the week and that is progress. when I came to work this week I was not sure the week was ever going to move from day to day and it has. Some weeks you can’t ask for moire than that. I am looking forward to next week when the weather person predicts that temperatures will rise and we will all thaw out for a few months. Just in time before we have a spate of people spontaneously blowing up or something from all the winter tension. My personal belief is that it has lasted far too long this year.

I am hard at work today editing, and so I will leave you with a look at the Zombie Plagues book one which is a free download. So if you like it, you can get the entire book for free. Feel free to pass on the link. I will see you on Friday, but check back everyday as there are always new links and pages added daily. Geo…



The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Geo Dell

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2009 – 2015 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This material is copyright protected

This material is NOT edited for content


The Zombie Plagues

It was Candace who first noticed the small group walking across the steaming pavement towards them. Her gun seemed to magically appear in her right hand. Lying alongside her thigh, just out of sight.

Mike and Tom were nearly as quick getting their own guns into their hands, but not nearly as subtle.

“That’s close enough right there,” Tom said.

No one spoke for a moment. The two groups of people appraised one another carefully in the silence.

The group was small, four women, and two men. One of the men was no more than a boy, Mike though, but, after the shootout with the kids a few days prior, no one was about to take any kid lightly.

“We saw you from way back,” one of the women said. She pushed sweaty brown hair from her eyes as she spoke. “If we meant trouble…” She let the implication hang in the air.

As she finished, Candace raised her weapon from her side to let the group know she had also seen them, and had been ready for them. They smiled uneasily at one another. The woman held out her hands, and the others in the group did the same.

“We don’t want a problem,” she said softly. “I’m thinking you are part of the group that took care of those kids from the north side the other day. We heard it.”

“If you could hear it, why didn’t you join in to help us?” Tom challenged.

“Good question,” Mike echoed softly.

The woman who had spoken first nodded. “We have two guns between us. One’s a twenty-two rifle, the other is a Three Eighty which we only have eight bullets for. We didn’t realize how things were going to go bad so fast,” she looked up at the sky where the sun continued its curving, staggering climb. She looked back at Mike. “We just want to talk for now.”

Candace got to her feet, holstered her gun and walked towards the small group.

“Candace,” she said, holding out her hand.

“Patty,” The young dark haired woman answered. She turned to the others behind her. “Sandy, Nell, Tim, Lilly and,” she pointed to a young dark skinned man who was standing slightly back and apart, “That’s my man, Ronnie.”

As she finished the introductions, Bob and Janet came to the cave opening. Candace made the same introductions ending with Mike and making it clear he was also not available.

As her eyes caught Mike’s, he seemed slightly amused by it. As she turned around, she poked her tongue out slightly at him and made a silly face as she walked towards him, inviting the others to sit down.

“Does that make me your bitch,” Mike whispered as she sat back down next to him.

“Ha, ha,” she whispered back. “…Bitch,” she giggled, but she didn’t allow the giggle to pass her lips. Mike stifled a laugh, but a smile rose to his face. He turned to the small group.

“We’ve got water inside, maybe some more coffee made, bottled soda.”

“Some coffee would be nice,” Patty said and smiled gratefully. Mike left for two cups of coffee and some bottled water as everyone began to sit down. The party had been traveling with backpacks and gear, and it came off now, making a small pile as they sat down. When Mike returned just a few minutes later, the silence still held. He handed out the water and coffee and sat back down next to Candace. All eyes turned to him. He glanced over at Tom, but Tom seemed to be studying the small patch of asphalt at his feet. Mike found his voice.

“So…” He let the question hang, picked up his still warm coffee and took a reassuring sip.

Patty seemed to hesitate, so the girl she’d identified as Lilly spoke up. She flipped loose blond curls away from her face before she spoke.

“We want to join you,” she said finally in a quiet yet firm voice.

Patty, whose hands had been clasped tightly together, parted them and raised them to her shoulders palms up in a ‘there you go’ gesture.

Candace was amazed at how much Lilly looked like Lydia. She even sounded like her. It must be that age, Candace said to herself. Everyone acts alike. She looked over at Tom to see if he had noticed, but his eyes were already locked on the young woman. Patty continued.

“We’ve been living in a collapsed apartment building over off State Street. We couldn’t find anything better. Now that’s come the rest of the way down. To be honest, we’re afraid to go into any of the buildings. There’s a lumber shed over there, just a roof really. We spent most of last night under that trying to stay out of most of the weather. Not much to it. We figured we could get out quick enough if it came down.” She took a deep breath. “That’s where we’re at,” she finished.

When the girl finished speaking, Candace’s head was bowed as if in thought. She raised her head, met Patty’s eyes, and then the others one by one. She let her eyes wander around their own group. One by one they all nodded. Everyone on this side was for it; it was easy enough to see. Tom’s eyes were still on Lilly, so it was clear what his feelings were.

“You are welcome here,” Candace said. A small chorus of welcome from the others echoed her own words. “There’s plenty of space here, and in a few months most of us will be leaving, so there will be more room after that.”

The small group of newcomers all seemed to heave a sigh of relief at the same time. Nervous laughter followed, and smiles lit up their faces.

Candace stood along with the others and motioned towards the mouth of the cave. “It isn’t much,” she said and laughed. “But it’s home.” The group picked up their gear and backpacks and followed her inside.


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Earth’s Survivors, The Zombie Plagues, Politicians and free reading as allways

Posted by Geo Dell 03-27-17

Hello everyone. I am sure you caught the Earth’s survivors news, if not catch it there. It is cold today and overcast, but I can smell summer so it must be close by to me; maybe lurking down the hall in the supply closet. I am truly sick of this winter. It has gone back and forth, a few weeks back we had near summer type weather, then a few days later a blizzard, then below zero days. Crazy, but I have to agree with our president that global warming is not happening because there are too many rich men that need that to be true right now so they can make more money. Maybe next year when they are a little richer. Cynical? Not really, just amazed some days when I read the news or hear the news. It is sort of like living with a full grown lion outside your home. You know someday it’s gonna get you, but you keep playing the odds. And I am not political. They’re all equally liars in my book.

What am I doing today? Dodging the raindrops in a nice warm office and getting ready to give you a free preview of the Zombie Plagues today. This series started the Earth’s Survivors books. It was posted on Dell Sweet’s website several years back and became popular there. For now there are no plans to expand this series. You can get The Zombie Plagues nearly anywhere on-line, Nook, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords. So, enjoy this free preview please and if you want more head to the booksellers and get a longer preview. Don’t forget, you can download the first book free. Enjoy and I will see you on Wednesday. Meanwhile stop by daily as there are always new pages being added. Stay out of the rain, you might shrink… Geo


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THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES: BOOK FOUR

Created by Geo Dell & Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book Four

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 by Geo Dell & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Lenox Avenue

She slipped from the shadows and ran along from building to building until she reached the end of the block. She had expected to hear gunshots behind her. Expected to find herself falling to the ground dead, a bullet in her back, but the bullet never came. They must have stayed asleep.

They, were four guys who had come around a few days before. She had opened the door to her apartment. Stupid. If she could have gone back and undone it she would have, but she had been so scared. She had been so alone. The kid at the peephole had seemed so young. Scared himself. All she had done was open the door an inch or two, just slipped the chain, and the other three had slammed into it. The four of them had easily broken the chain and pushed past her into the apartment. She had given in. There had been no sense in fighting them. What could she do?

She had been their toy. Passed from one to the other. Yesterday morning they had come back from someplace with a new girl. She had no idea where they had found her. Sometime late afternoon, before dinner, they had killed her.

Something had occurred. She hadn’t been able to tell what. But she had heard the shot, and then they had brought her out from the bedroom and dumped her on the living room floor. Naked. A bullet hole in her head. And she had known it would not be long before it would be her turn to be dead. She had just known it.

She had been cooking for them, a little grill out on the balcony. They went out and brought things back, canned stuff; she cooked it on the grill in a pot, and they ate it it like it was the finest gourmet food available anywhere. She had gone into the bathroom, opened the medicine chest and stared at the sleeping pills she had put there, until one of them, Randy, she thought his name was, had come and yelled through the bathroom door. She had taken the pills and dumped them into her pocket, flushed the toilet and went back out to the kitchen.

She had put all of them in the food. Mixed them right in with the canned spaghetti, and they had wolfed them right down. Never had a clue. Now they were all out. Maybe dead. There had been an awful lot of pills.

She had been with Bobby a few days before, when she had thought to get the pills. Bobby was nice, if there could be anything close to nice with these guys. He had looked her up and down and that had been that. She imagined he had probably never had a woman that looked like her in his entire life. Maybe never had a woman at all. It was clear he was an inexperienced lover. He had no idea what he was doing. He was rough, cruel even. Nice only meant he didn’t beat her, he still used her as he pleased.

He had taken her with him because the others had been out and he had not wanted to leave her alone in the apartment, guessing, correctly, that she would not be there when he came back. But, he had been bored, left alone, and he wanted to look through some shops and stores in the neighborhood.

It had been broad daylight, but there had been no one to stop him or any of the other gangs that roved the streets and did as they pleased. He had broken into a pawn shop. She had talked him into going into the medication aisle at the Korean store down the street. And she had picked up the sleeping pills. He had seen her do it. She had told him it was relief for period pain. She had picked up a box of pads too. He had turned red and had not asked her about them again. As a bonus, he had left her alone that night also, probably thinking that she had been indisposed. Fine. Whatever. It didn’t matter any longer.

It was nearly dark by the time they had finally passed out. That had pissed her off. Pissed her off and scared her too. The dead were out here somewhere. The dark was their time.

They had died off when the planes had come over, but they were back now. Strong, or becoming strong. She wanted to get as far away as she could before the street was completely lost to the night. There were people down the street, two blocks or so down. She had seen them coming and going. Making sport of the zombies. Enticing them into chasing them and then killing them with head shots from the shotguns they carried; routing them out in the daylight and running them over with cars, shooting them as they roared by, racing the block from end to end in a souped up car they had gotten from somewhere. They had been out earlier. If she could get down the street, she was sure they would take her in. Positive.

She stopped at the end of the street, caught her breath leaning against the side of a pickup truck, and then took off once more at a fast walk.

She was halfway through the block when she realized someone was following her, and her heart sank like a stone. Bobby… Had to be. She stopped and peered back through the shadows and dark. The moonlight was bright but it was still not easy to see. She thought she saw movement at the corner of a building two buildings back. She screwed up her courage.

“Bobby… Bobby don’t be sore… Don’t…” She stopped and squinted into the gloom. Two people had come from around the edge of that house. Two, and neither of them looked anything like Bobby. Both were shuffling and lurching as they came. Her heart leapt high in her throat, seeming to clog her airway. A strangled squawk came from her open mouth. She swore under her breath and turned to run.

He caught her under the arms. He must have been standing right behind her all along, she realized.

“Hey… Hey, there’s no…” She stopped in mid word and began to scream at the rotted face that angled down at her own face. His hands clawed at her throat, closing off her screams, and then his teeth found her and he began to tear and bite. A second later the others joined in, dragging her to the ground and then out into the road. They left her under the street lights, her blood pooling around her head.

The Docks

Donita walked along aimlessly. The smell of the river was heavy on the air, and she was following it. She was unsure what she had in mind. The tears continued as she walked. It wasn’t fair, she continued to tell herself, but telling herself it wasn’t fair didn’t do anything for her situation. And here she was wandering around in the night where the dead ruled, like she wanted the exact opposite of what she had told Bear that she wanted. Like, instead of dying, she wanted to slip into forever alive like the zombies seemed to be. Like she was some sort of… Some sort of Zombie bait… Teasing them.

But there were no Zombies around, or if they were, she couldn’t see them, hear them, feel them. She pressed her hand flat against her chest. The pain was worse. Much worse. And she wondered how much more she could take, how much more her body could handle. She stopped and drew several deep breaths, trying to ease the pain that seemed to close on her chest like a fist. When the pain eased a little, she started off down the street once more, heading toward the river.

The Dead Girl In The Street:

They came from the shadows, the smell of blood pulling them. The young man in the lead approached the girl’s body where it lay on the pavement. They had watched it far into the darkness and now into the sunrise. But unlike some, it had not come back. He looked over at her now, her eyes dull marbles, her mouth wide as if frozen in a scream, curled on her side, one sneaker twenty feet away. The pink sock on that foot had a hole in the toe, and her toe peeked out, red polish glinting in the early light.

They had watched as the other dead, the slow ones, had gotten her last night. Not that they wouldn’t have gotten her themselves. They had been following her too. But the others had gotten her first. They had chased them off before they could take her too far into death, to the place where she could not come back. But sometimes they didn’t come back. No reason, no explanation. They just didn’t.

He walked across the asphalt. The sunlight bothered his eyes, but he wore dark glasses to protect them. He walked up to the girl’s corpse and toed it with one heavy work boot. She rocked stiffly.

“Done for,” he said. His voice was clear but distorted. Two in the small crowd behind him whined. He stepped back from the body. “Go ahead,” he said in a rasping whisper, “Go ahead.”

The small crowd of seven fell on the girl’s body and began to feed on it where she lay in the road.


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Building Guitars Post 4

Building Guitars Post 4

Late last night I glued up the new top, braces, etc.

Late this afternoon I took off the clamps, worked the neck pocket with files to remove the excess top wood and got my first look at the way the neck mount will look. Very nice. There is a slight angle to the mount that is perfect. I ran a straight edge along it and it will work fine, I’m very happy with it.

I moved on to the bridge. I had already made the maple bridge to match the bridge I had made on the build similar to this, but I decided I did want rosewood. So I dug out the rosewood and cut a slab and then made a two piece bridge that I really like. It took most of the day to design it, cut it, shape the pieces, drill it, route it, etc, but I think it was more than worth the work.

I kept reminding myself that this was a seven string so that I wouldn’t end up laying out a six string instead, and still, twice, I marked the bridge for a six string layout. Measure three thousand times cut once. Good thing that is a rule. I am pleased. The sound when I tap the top around the bridge and sound-holes is very treble rich, glassy, exactly like the last build I did like this. That is what I wanted. Of course, that is no guarantee I will get a repeat in sound that I got from the last build, but I’m hopeful.
The lower bout is the opposite, very bassy, also the same. The Spanish bracing gives it that difference in sound between the upper and lower bouts that is so stark. Not a slowly changing tone when you tap the wood but an immediate change once you pass that central bridge strut.
That build I refer to was about eight years ago, I kept good notes, I have not deviated much at all.
So far I have about $60.00 in the whole thing, that includes the donor body, neck, fret wire, electronic pieces, including pickups, piezos, etc. I’ll add tuners, strap buttons, paint and still be under a hundred finished and playing.
………………………………..
Hey! Check out my Guitar Works guides!

Guitar Works One: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VF0RYJE

Guitar Works Two: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VITFXZE

Guitar Works Three: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XNPXHQI

Guitar Works Four: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01390FUSY

Guitar Works Five: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XPCGGLZ


New paperback books from Wendell G Sweet this month

New paperback books this month

THE LEGEND OF SPARROW

“In the beginning the Creator made a way to the peoples that will always be open. First Woman, The Clan Totems, the Star People, were all able to communicate, and they are still able now, up to this day and beyond, until your days cease you will have a pathway to that knowledge. A way to reach all that is possible. You hold the keys to all that is within yourself. We all do…” “This is how the Creator came to make that way open for us, Benjamin told me.” Laura nodded, curled her feet under herself and settled in to listen. “We were in a sweat lodge at the time. One Benjamin had built with the help of my Uncles and Cousins. So many used it though that we had to check first to see if it could be used.” “The Owl Woman’s Society uses it,” he told me. “That meant nothing to me. At least nothing concrete. I had known my mother belonged to the Owl Woman’s Society. I didn’t know what they did: Where they met. What they decided. How important they were to each other, to us, to the well being of our people.” “We settled into the sweat lodge and Benjamin began to tell me the legend of the Dreamer’s Way… What came to be known as the legend of the Sparrow…”


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 Zero Zero Paperback – October 15, 2016

 Russia and America’s decades long silent war escalates in the shadows. With Nuclear weapons armed and waiting both believe the other will be the one to flinch. Most of America is not even aware these weapons still exist, and the few that know they do exist believe no one will ever use them. One last time Earth comes to the brink of destruction. Controlled by powers both on and beyond the earth her fate is left to a small group of survivors to secure. Zero Zero begins with a secreted base that holds the keys of destruction: A madman who holds those keys in his hand, and a small group of men and women who challenge him as the clock ticks down to Zero Zero. As the clock ticks down for our planet and her inhabitants, powers that have lain dormant for centuries are loosed on the Earth. Zero Zero takes a look at a post apocalypse world in ruins. The governments are gone. The police, the military. The United States is no more. And even the simplest things are hard to come by. Some have hidden to ride out the storm unleashed upon the Earth, others have taken a stance in the fight. Those that survive the apocalypse are splintered and isolated. Mistrustful of one another, but beginning to come together in small groups. They have been told of a place a safety, but getting there, if it exists, is not a guarantee. The powers that have been unleashed may not be done with them, and they have to be wary of everything and everyone in a world where firepower and fearlessness rule the day…


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Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Billy

The Deal… The man moved more fully into the shadows. “You Gabe?” he asked in a near whisper. The darker shadow nodded. “You…?” He started. “Now who else would I be?” He asked. The darker shadow said nothing. The other man passed him a small paper bag. “Count it,” he told him. Gabe Kohlson moved out of the shadow, more fully into the light. “It’s a lot; I can’t stand here, out here counting it.” The man laughed. “You asked for this place. It’s the middle of nowhere. I Googled it, it comes up marked as the middle of nowhere. Who will see you?” He laughed and then choked it off with a harsh cough. “Count it. No mistakes… You got it?” Kohlson’s head popped up fast from counting. “Of course I don’t… That wasn’t the deal.” “Easy… Easy… Keep your panties on… I’m saying you got it… You got access to the it?” “That I got… I can get it out this Thursday at shift end…” He held up the paper bag. “A lot of this goes to greasing the skids… You know, to get it out,” Gabe told him. “This stuff.” “Whoa right there,” the man told him. “Don’t say anything about it. I don’t know what it is and I don’t want to know, see? I do a job. Take this thing there, that thing here. That’s all I know. Keeps my head on my shoulders when all about are losing theirs.” “Uh… Lost me,” Gabe Kohlson told him. “Just shut up about it, man. I don’t want to know anything past what I know, okay?” “Okay,” Kohlson agreed. “I do know you got to get it out and I will be here to get it… Hey,” he waited until the kid looked up. “You know who I work for, right? You muck this up you’ll wind up out at the county landfill… Gulls pecking out your eyes let me tell you. I will meet you here next Thursday night… Seven… Don’t be late… Don’t mess this up… Don’t make me come looking for you…” He faded back into the shadows more fully, turned and walked down the shadowed front of the building. A few minutes later he found his car in the darkness: He waited. He heard the kid’s beater when it started. A few moments later he watched as it swept past him, heading out of the small park area toward the river road. He levered the handle on his own car, slipped inside, started it and drove slowly away…


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Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Jack and Maria

When a catastrophic natural disaster looms on the near horizon, the government releases an airborne virus designed to make the human race tougher, better able to survive. It was developed for soldiers to make them better able to fight, go longer without food and water, and increase their strength. The bonds itself to human cells and helps them to regenerate at an advanced rate, so that even if the person dies they can rise again. In non combat field tests the soldiers become aware of this, they called the phenomenon Overclocking and looked at it in a positive light. How could you look negatively at being able to live forever? A quick shot of the antidote after the heart had begun to beat again and the virus seemed to slip into remission, leaving a healed body that would then come out of the virus induced coma in a few days on its own. But the virus does something the governments didn’t consider, it never stops working, never truly becomes dormant. Even after the body has ceased any real life, the virus lives on, rebuilding its host in a new and potentially indestructible way. Days later, what was dead becomes alive once more. Joel: It was on a Tuesday. I went to get the mail and there were six or seven dead crows by the box. I thought those goddamn Clark boys have been shooting their B.B guns again! So I resolved to call old man Clark and give him a piece of my mind, except I forgot. That happens to all of us: It’s not unusual. I remembered about four o’clock the next morning when I got up. Well, I told myself, Mail comes at ten, I’ll get that, and then I’ll call up and have that talk. I make deals like that with myself all the time. Sometimes it works out fine sometimes it doesn’t. It didn’t. Ten came and I forgot to get the mail. I remembered at eleven thirty, cursed myself and went for my walk to the box. I live alone. I have since Jane died. That was another hot summer when she went. I used to farm back then. I retired early a few years back. I rent out the fields. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I walked to the mail box cursing myself as I went. When I got there I realized the Clark boys had either turned to eating crows or they had nothing to do with the dead crows in the first place. There were dozens of dead crows, barn swallows, gulls. The dirt road leading up to my place was scattered with dead birds; dark sand where the blood had seeped in. Feathers everywhere, caught in the trees, bushes and the ditches at the side of the road. There were three fat, black crows sticking out of my mailbox: Feet first; half ate. Some noise in the woods had made me turn, but I didn’t turn fast enough. Whatever had made the noise was gone once I got turned in that direction, but there were bare footprints in the dry roadbed next to the box. They were not clear, draggy, as though the person had, had a bad leg. He had of course, but I had yet to meet the owner. I had seen him almost a week later. I was sitting by the stove that night and heard a scrape on the porch. His leg was bad. Somebody had shot him, but this fella had worse things going on than that. He was dead. What was a bum leg when you were dead? Small problem, but it made him drag that leg. I’m getting ahead of myself again though. I picked up my old shot gun where it sat next to the door, eased the door open and flicked on the porch light. He jumped back into the shadows. “Step out into the light,” I tried not to sound as afraid as I was. “No,” he rasped “Step out here or I’ll shoot,” I tried again. Nothing but silence, and in that silence I got a bad feeling. Something was wrong. It came to me about the same time that he stepped into the light. There was no sound of breathing. It was dead quiet, that was what my panicked mind was trying to tell me. My own panicked breathing was the only sound until he stepped into the light dragging his leg. My heart staggered and nearly stopped…


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Guitar Works: Volume Five: Repair Work

Whether we are customizing a guitar, repairing a fractured neck, refretting a beloved instrument or building our own guitar from scratch, there are those of us who love to work on and modify our guitars. I have done so for many years and I build hundreds of guitars in the process. This manual is designed to get you comfortable with doing your own neck repairs, refretting jobs and cutting, shaping and installing your own nut or saddle. It covers a complete rebuild of a damaged neck: Fret board removal, truss rod installation; it will show you how to radius the new board and install new frets. This will cover a snapped neck, where the neck is cracked in two. How to make a lasting repair and the order in which to do the multiple repairs you will need to perform to do that. It will show you how to take a bone blank and turn it into a saddle; how to get the shape and measurements you need to accomplish it: How to install it and set it up to your own tastes. This manual covers repairs that can save you hundreds of dollars in a professional shop. It can allow you to save money purchasing guitars that need work and give you the confidence that you will be able to perform the repairs yourself. This guide is illustrated with full color photos to help you to understand the work.


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Earth’s Survivors Collection Five

The Earth’s Survivors Series follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in desperate struggle to survive. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The dead lay in the streets while gangs fight for control of what is left. Small groups band together for safety and begin to leave the ravaged cities behind in search of a future that can once again hold promise. Earth’s Survivors Collection Five brings together book Six and book seven from the earth’s Survivors series in one volume. From the theft of the virus from a top secret facility to the births of The Nation’s first babies to the formation of The Fold and how it came to be. Book six tells the story leading up to the Apocalypse. That tale includes the story of Billy Jingo, Alice Tetto, Major Weston’s private secretary. Ben Neo and Jimmy West, hired Killers, and a drug deal designed to hide the transfer of a top secret drug stolen from the Underground Bluechip facility, that goes very wrong. Set in the days leading up to the catastrophe that ends the world as we know it, Watertown is a hardcore ride through a world few would want to live in, but the world it leaves behind is somehow even worse than the one it helped to take away… Book seven steps back to the beginning of the catastrophe to bring you the story of the Fold; Jessie Stone and why and how Snoqualmie settlement came to be. It begins in present time in the Nation and then falls back to just a few days after Watertown ends and the beginning of the Apocalypse. The Fold becomes the biggest challenge to the Nations power. The community that can force the Nation into compromise, or bring a war that may destroy both societies. Both stories in their entirety in one volume…


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Earth’s Survivors Collection Four: Candace and Mike

The Earth’s Survivors books follow groups of survivors as they struggle to stay alive in a vastly changed world. The most popular group from the website writings were Candace and Mike. They are from the northern New York town of Watertown close to project. Mike was a long time resident of Watertown. He knew the ins and outs of the small city: The people; the bars. He worked a boring factory job, the same job his father before him worked, but he didn’t think of escape from his life. He had settled into it. He liked the small city and he was looking forward to his first vacation in many years. He went to sleep thinking about how great his vacation was going to be, but he woke up in a world that had little to do with the one from just a few hours before. Candace was a transplant to Watertown. She had found work at a 24 hour convenience store but it barely paid the bills. Then someone had dropped her name to one of the local club operators and suddenly she was tending bar in a fast moving club. When she went to sleep she believed that in just a few days she would start work in the club as a dancer. Life seemed to finally be going her way. In the early morning hours of March 1st great change came upon the entire planet, touching the small northern New York town where Mike and Candace lived as it touched every other place in the world. The world was no longer predictable, stable and the coming days would bring even more changes. Follow along with Mike, Candace and the other survivors as they struggle to survive on the new planet Earth… Earth’s Survivors Collection four presents the only story that completes the original story of Candace, Mike, Patty and Ronnie as well as fills in the missing pieces of where they went…


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Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Jack and Maria Kindle Edition by Wendell G Sweet & Geo Dell

Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Jack and Maria Kindle Edition


The Zombie Plagues Weekly Upload four from Geo Dell

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 Wendell Sweet & his assignee Andrea Scroggs All rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


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This material is NOT edited for content


Candace March 10th

It’s late at night. What a difference a day makes. Mike is his name.

We went back today to see if he had been back to the store. I went there first. I hoped to catch him there early, but he wasn’t there. Tom dragged his feet. Like he didn’t want to go at all. He didn’t say that but, it seemed that way to me. Maybe things were just getting to me. Tom’s been putting more and more pressure on me to be with him. Lydia’s turning up the I hate you attitude. Maybe it’s just me, or just was me. Either way, by the time we did get there this morning, the snow was melting, and there was no real way to tell if he had been there at all. I thought about what I had decided yesterday, just going without Tom, but I waited.

We went back to the river and began looking along the banks on that side. I couldn’t figure where he had gone.

I backtracked to the store, thinking I must have missed him, missed something anyway. On the way back, I saw him crossing the end of Public Square. I practically screamed out loud, but he didn’t hear me. By the time we got there, he was gone.

The day just started to slide away. I began to think I wouldn’t find him at all. It depressed me. It was Bob who smelled smoke. All we had to do was follow the smoke, and we found him. Bob found him. How do you follow smoke? Have you ever tried? I mean, if I could see it in the air, sure. But I couldn’t. Bob knew how to follow it anyway.

I guess there’s a lot more that I could say about today but I’m not going to say it now. I’ll say this though, I want him. I want him, and Tom knows it. It’s like Tom knew it would turn out this way. Jan knew how I felt, knew how it would be. She told me that today. She said she could see it in me last night. Like this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Lydia knows as well. She’s happy about it. I saw her face when she figured it out. She looked from me to Mike and back. Then she did it again, this puzzled look on her face, and then she smiled, looked at me and nodded. I think she’s just biding her time now. I guess I am too.

Michael Collins. Mike. I think I already wrote his name. I don’t know what happens next. How to make it happen. I’m no good at that sort of thing. I’ve never done it. And my little notebook here, my only friend through all of this, along with Jan, can’t help me with that. I can write it here, look at it, but that doesn’t realize it.

I still have my father’s gun. That has also been my friend the last few days. But it can’t help me either, unless I shoot Tom. I guess that’s not funny. Tom never liked my gun. It bothered him. Not ladylike? Something like that I think. Mike wasn’t shocked at all except to say he should have already gotten one and didn’t. It didn’t intimidate him in other words.

Tomorrow is March eleventh. I would have started a new life tomorrow. Maybe one I wasn’t meant to start. I feel like… I don’t know. To be honest, I feel like I’m just a dumb girl pretending to be a woman, a grown up. Does nineteen know everything? No. I don’t want to pretend at this. I want to get things right. I don’t know what’s next. But, does anybody?

Mike March 12th

Things have been really crazy the last few days. I’m not alone anymore. It’s funny because that’s the last thing I wrote, and two days later it’s like an answer to prayer. It happened later on the evening of the tenth. Oh, and it was the tenth. Tom has an old fashioned wind up watch. So does Candace. And, they’ve both kept track. Kept them wound up too. But, in another way it isn’t the twelfth today at all because the days and nights, or the rotation of the Earth that makes the days and nights, isn’t the same at all. It’s much slower. It’s taking about twenty-eight hours to cycle through. But last week, it was up to almost thirty six hours. And none of us knows why, except it slowed up and it’s now starting to get back to a normal length of time to cycle through a night and day. So, it’s not really the twelfth, and they’ve just been keeping track of the days as they pass, same as I’ve been; except for the day I thought I’d lost.

Anyway, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the start; I was organizing stuff. There is a warehouse down closer to the river full of wooden pallets. I went down there a few days ago, box upon box. I have no idea what’s in them. I figured sometime I’d just open a few up and see. Maybe it would be something useful, maybe not. What’s useful now is radically different from what used to be useful.

Anyway I noticed all the pallets. Pallets everywhere. Some full, some piled high with stuff, but a lot of empty ones; so I went back down with the sled and made a few trips back and forth to the cave so I could stack the canned stuff on them, so they’re not sitting on the floor. I was putting them in the back of the cave. I was so wrapped up in stacking the canned goods that I never even heard them until Candace cleared her throat, I guess to get my attention.

It scared me bad. I thought about the gun I had never bothered to go and get, and a lot of other bad stuff. It went through my mind so fast. The first thing in my head was, the wolves got me! They sneaked up on me! Stupid, I know. I knew it was a person, but my head still insisted wolf. It didn’t last though, and my reaction scared them too. Lydia said I had a can of peas in my hand, and she was sure I was going to bean Candace in the head with them. For some reason she found it funny that I would bean someone in the head with a can of peas, and she giggled. I just felt embarrassed, and glad I didn’t throw the can. I set it down on the stack and took a few deep breaths instead. We all ended up laughing our asses off. Nervous energy. Release, I guess, or something like that. And then, we all began to talk at once.

They had known about me for two days. They had seen that someone was going in and out of the supermarket. They were going out to one on the north side, the other side of the river from where I was. For some reason I hadn’t thought to cross the river. They had already been on the other side to begin with, and even though the main bridges seemed too damaged to be trusted, the railroad trestle seemed solid and unharmed to them, so they crossed over on that to get to my side. I was impressed; that is an open trestle, a long way down to the water.

Because the snow on the asphalt was melting, they couldn’t figure out where I was going when I left the market. They were actually going back across the river when Candace happened to look over her shoulder toward the opposite bank and happened to catch me going into the cave. She had thought to yell, but over the sound of the rapids, she couldn’t get anyone around her to hear her, let alone me.

Once they were across, she talked to Tom; Tom pretty much was their leader (I don’t know if I like that. Do we need leaders?), and they decided to come back the next day, which was two days ago, and see if they could find me. They didn’t know about the cave. Candace had thought I was just climbing the rock above the river. They searched along the back of the Public Square, or what’s left of it, and down towards Coffeen Street. If they had come back down one more road towards the river, they would’ve found the cave then. Maybe they hadn’t realized there was a road there at all; so they just followed the path of the river, thinking I was living in one of the fallen down buildings along the banks.

They had seen me from quite a way off, crossing the square as they were heading back. It looked to them like I was heading for the north side, maybe crossing one of the bridges, but by the time they got there, I was gone. They even began to wonder if I had seen them and hidden on purpose, maybe out of fear. They had searched for a while and then, just when they had been about to quit for the day, Bob realized that he could smell smoke. As soon as he said it, everyone else realized they had smelled it all along as well. After that, it didn’t take long to find the cave. They just followed the smell of smoke down to the lower road and found the cave.

So that was that, and now we are six. Tom, Thomas Evans, he was their leader as I said. He’s an older guy, in his late thirties. Used to be a truck driver.

Candace Loi (Don’t call her Candy. I don’t know why.). She’s nineteen and was visiting her grandparents. She was from Syracuse. I thought she was with Tom. I think Tom thought so as well.

Bob and Jan Dove. Bob is a little older than Jan, in his fifties, and he said he is a mechanic. Jan does, did, data processing.

And Lydia. Her real name is Marcia George. Lydia is her middle name. She said she always liked Lydia better. She was still in school, local college. I guess she’s the same age as Candace, nineteen.

And last but not least, me.

We spent all of yesterday getting their stuff from across the river and bringing it over to the cave. I thought that was weird. Why go get stuff anyway? You can have anything you want. It’s all free. But in another way I guess I understand. We’ve lost everything. We want to hang on to what little we still do have. We’re all going to stay here. And we talked about what’s next, and what we know about what happened.

I said I had been kind of planning to leave once spring came. Head south or west, somewhere where I wouldn’t have to worry about winter. Tom said it may be that, where it would normally have been warmer, it won’t be anymore. He said it depends on what happened. None of us really know. He thinks it might be smarter to stay here. We could stock up this cave. We could even hunt. He said he’s sure there are deer around. Bob agreed with him, at least on there being deer around.

I told them about the footprints by my house. They said they had seen footprints as well. They had gone out Coffeen Street and seen the tracks of three or four people going in and out of a small store there. They had called out, but no one had answered. They had had second thoughts about calling out too. They weren’t armed. What if someone shot at them?

That brought my original thoughts to mind about a weapon. I mentioned the sporting goods store, and we all agreed to make a trip out there soon.

We talked about cars and trucks and agreed it would be good to get an SUV or truck of some kind if we could find one that will run, as they might be the only vehicles that could drive around as bad as things are torn up. They have also tried starting a few vehicles with no success. I mentioned my electronic brain idea, and Tom said he had thought of the same thing. Turns out he’s also a mechanic. I guess I can see why they chose him to lead. I feel kind of useless around the guy though. We agreed to try finding an older vehicle. Tom thinks our chances of getting one running are good. We’ll see what we can find.

The first night together was good. The best I’ve slept since this thing started. Just not being alone, you know?

I guess I’ll end on that note…


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Snow day and a free short story from Billy Jingo

Wednesday! Posted by Geo 03-15-17

Well we made it to mid-week and we can see the finish from here so it will probably all be good from here on out…

If you live in New York and have somehow not looked out the windows in the past 48 hours go do it. Okay, pour yourself a drink, it’ll be okay. The storm did hammer us, but it left us alive. we got about two feet here but other places in the state got up to eight feet. No that is not a misprint there were places that got that much up north near the Tug Hill plateau, Lake Placed, far northern New York. In Rochester and Syracuse travel has been limited but the traffic is moving again and it looks like the worst of it is over.

So go to work. I know, or you could call in sick and shovel the driveway, at which point you really might be sick if your ticker is not too good and you might actually end up in the hospital in which case everyone will come and visit you, send flowers, talk about how the streets are a mess and you are better off here… And then the surgeon will come in and say…

“John, we’ve scheduled the chest-buster for 11:00 am.” He looks down at his wrist. “You have about three minutes to prepare.”

“Three minutes,” you ask, but no one answers. Instead Joan, and Bob, and Devon from accounting are asking their own questions. “What the hell is a chest buster?” and “He looks weak, probably won’t make it.”

And then, just as you are wondering what a chest buster is the nurses on the surgeons team rush in , kick the parking brake off on your bed and you are off. Rushing through the hallways headlong…

Sorry, I got carried away, but that is why I am a writer. That imagination that never shuts down. Anyway, you will probably be alright, just call in sick, go ahead…

So it is Wednesday and that means the weekend is on the way, so hang in there. I am working on editing and writing and just awestruck by all this snow when the ground was bare 48 hours ago. Crazy.

I will leave off and give you a short story to help you through the day.


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This material is NOT edited for content.


Star Dancer

By Dell Sweet

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved


STAR DANCER

PROLOUGE

Universal Planet Time was part of the Space Travel Treaty signed into planetary law back in 2050 when regular cargo trips had begun between the moon bases and the first private colonies on Mars. Of course now there are dozens of colonies on Mars, Venus and Jupiter’s moons: Plus six major colony cities on the moon, and new colonies are being proposed daily to the space council.

Universal time meant that space ran on a different non-changing schedule from the Earth. Space time ran twenty-four hours, and business was always conducted seven days a week. There was no down time, only changing crews, flight coordinators, colony station personnel. Space was the biggest cash venture on Earth. It was what had pulled the global economy from the slump and severe depression at the beginning of the century, and it was still growing.

The technology had been ready for a very long time, there had simply been no economic stimulus to begin the push. Men and women with the money and the fortitude to put that push on and get the entire global community involved and interested: After that initial global push the speculators had poured onto the scene. Then the serious investors, then the corporations, and the industry had been born. And as the saying goes, nobody has looked back since.

ONE

Earth Date: 2096 – 08 -25 – 16:21:43

Moon Base 14: United Planet Technologies

Intra Flight Systems: Star Dancer

Michael Watson

I purchased Star Dancer right after college, and I’ve never looked back. I can remember my great-grandfather, gone now for more than forty years, talking about what he had, had for opportunities right out of high school. That would be laughable now. My parents had, had my life mapped out from the age of two. Life Mapping was a serious thing, I don’t know any that don’t have their lives mapped out now from birth.

School was not complete without college. You could not be licensed to work the counters of Planet Burger unless you had two years of college. My own career had taken four years of specialty college and geared trade school from the first grade on. When other first graders were learning about monetary systems and world level banking, I was learning about Star Drives and ION Propulsion units.

The grades, one through twelve, start at age three and last on average seven years. Some fall behind, some spring ahead, but by ten years of age most are ready and I was no exception. I began my specialized training, four years, four more years of global military service after that with an option for six more, which I declined, and I am pretty sure made my instructors very happy by doing so, and so at the old age of eighteen I signed a twenty year funding commitment for Star Dancer. At the time I was sure I would never dig myself out of thirty million credits of debt, but for the last two years I have been watching credits build in my accounts.

Today I was docking at UPT on Fourteen to pick up a four year re-supply for a prison colony at Mars-Twenty-Seven: Some kind of Tech drop for Colony One, and two panel pre-fab labs for IO’s base six.

Moon Base Fourteen is United Planet Technologies own base. There is not much else here; a small cafeteria, some lounges for through travelers, each progressively worse than the last: The best being Vic’s, and Vic’s was the only official bar, the other two were simply overlooked. That could happen at a base that was not really a base at all, but a company town.

I had, had the tour before, and short of taking on a small crew, and maybe a new navigator to replace the one I had been without for the last seventeen months, I would be here only long enough to fuel, be unloaded and then loaded and once I was re-supplied I’d be off: So there would be no downtime in the next twenty-four.

The crew was a transport crew. In other words, a company crew that would accompany me to all three of the offloads, do all the offloading and on loading. I would be coming back to Fourteen with a full load of finished products bound for Earth. They would pack it all, all I had to do was bring it back.

On my last stop, IO, I’d lose the crew. That would leave me alone for the return trip, unless of course I signed a navigator today. So far out of twenty possibles I had, had only five show up, and out of the five three turned me down. I turned the other two down. So if I was a betting man, and I am usually, I’d say the odds were that I would be riding this trip alone.

I eased my ship into dock. Some go with the auto-nav, but I have heard too many horror stories about out of phase computers, last second power surges and more to trust my ship to the machines. I do it myself. I have known how to do it since third grade in the flight sims. Microsoft had the best federally approved space flight sims, and my parents had made sure I got the best.

I gave my reverse thrusters a quick slap with my palm at three hundred feet out and watched my lock coupler drift home with nothing more than a small frame vibration when I went green on lock-in. I keyed my overhead.

“Central, I’m locked on 6B… Standing by for loading, over…”

“Green on my board, Dancer… Unlocking for loads… You have company standing by, Dancer.”

“Oh yeah?” That was a surprise.

“Uh… Lounge seven… Navigator?”

“Oh, okay, right… Send him right up, and thank you.”

“Uh, her.”

“Her?”

“Oh yeah… Pretty sure, unless I’m blind.” He chuckled.

“Huh… Supposed to be…” I punched the name up on my scheduling screen. “Pete Stanovich.”

“Uh huh… Short for Petra, no doubt… Petra Stanovich… See, you must have heard the Pete part and not the tra part.” He chuckled again.

“Someone screwed up… It’s entered as Pete in the com. Okay send her up then, and thanks.”

“Coming at you… Base out.”

I clicked off and sighed. This meant number twenty-one was most likely a wash too. Most women who interviewed for the job were not interested once they realized it was an intra-galaxy, or system cruiser, and one that was considered a dinosaur of a ship. About all I did have to offer was transferable credits for Federal space-work. I had what was called time for time credit. A perk because I had done my four in the service and never deactivated my six. That meant technically the feds could still pick me up for that six any time they wanted to. In exchange, it meant that I could offer my employees who were fresh out of military service time for time credit. A young navigator would have to be fresh out of military service, or within their benefit time window, thus making them eligible for the time. The time would count directly as military experience in advanced navigation. A big plus, but maybe not worth the two year minimum hitch on my ship.

Even so it was a good perk, and the past three navigators I had hired were immediately picked up for star ship service at the end of their contracts. It was both my ace in the hole and my queen of spades.

I unbuckled, thought about it, and then keyed my Com-Link

“Unlocked, central, and could you delay my visitor by twenty?”

“Be at least that… Problem?”

“No… That’ll work… Out.”

He keyed his Com-Link as an answer. I flicked the unlock switches for the cargo holds, electronically signed my security certificate to allow off loading and loading and headed for the showers and fresh clothes. I may as well make the best impression that I can, I reasoned.

Earth Date: 2096 – 08 – 25 16:27:14

Moon Base Fourteen: Visitor Lounge seven

United Planet Technologies:

Petra Stanovich

I could see the bar through the glass wall, I suppose that was the idea, but the last thing I needed before the interview was a drink.

This would be my fourth interview: Each interview had started good and then spiraled downward. I supposed my job broker was doing the best he could though. I had no experience. My parents had used all of their remaining influence to get me into the military after two years training school. I had worked out of field for the last two years, a bad mistake. You became obsolete fast as a navigator. I had been considering using my six on the back and going back into the military side of the feds. There would be plenty of navigators and pilot positions there. The out of field work had really put me in a bad position, and if I went to the Military side of the feds I could forget ever having a civilian career.

The only good thing about this particular position was that it was a time for time position. It would count as military time; restart my clock and qualify me for something better down the line.

Time for time did not take away from my on the back time, it added to my military experience instead: So my two years became four years, and two more became six. In that sense it was a good opportunity, but nothing else about this position looked good at all.

I had watched the Star Dancer dock: A twenty-eight year old Intra-Cruiser. Straight cargo. She was shaped like a giant box with rounded corners. The propulsion units, ION drives and living quarters sat atop the box, rounded, slightly flattened spheres looking as though they had been added as an afterthought. I had thought, ‘How many of these were left in service?’ … ‘Two?’ … ‘Three?’ … A quick check of my wrist pad showed me just how wrong I was. There were over ten thousand Intra-Class cruisers of this configuration in service right now. That was mind boggling. I had assumed that the heavy Star-Cruisers were what dominated the heavens, but I was wrong. The same link gave me the data for that configuration: Only slightly more than four thousand, and out of that number only one hundred twenty-eight were licensed as Star Cruisers, the rest were Galaxy-Cruisers, short run re-supply craft, and drone craft for quantum travel. The antiquated Intra-Cruisers far outnumbered the Galaxy-Cruisers of the official Federal fleets. Maybe the whole thing could be a plus, I thought.

I watched the huge, plastic outer wall. I saw loading was already taking place on the cruiser. Two hatches were open, and company workers in full radiation suits could be seen inside the cargo bays.

Rows of lights lit the space. It yawned open like a cavern, far into the interior of the ship; so far that I could not see the end of the space. All the approaching shuttles and even the workers all seemed to be moving in slow motion. Space did that. It seemed to take forever for something to actually happen: A shuttle to close the pace to a dock facility; a worker to push off and then maneuver with suit thrusters to their next work station.

On the other hand, I had stopped watching twice, chasing thoughts in my head, and when I had turned back so much had happened that I was surprised. More support shuttles towing cargo barges had shown up: Teams of workers riding on the open barges for their short trip to their work stations. The whole ship was crawling with workers: Inspectors, mechanics and repair persons. Seen from this perspective it made the Intra-Cruiser appear to be a very important ship after all. I shook my head. It was still thirty year old technology. If I was offered the job, and I hoped I was, I would stay no more than the required two years to get my career back on track… Nothing more, if I did stay longer the technology curve would pass me by. That was the last thing I needed. I would have absolutely nothing left to fall back on, and that was bad. That was how the prison colonies were populated.

The prison colonies had started with the undesirables: Murderers, rapists, predators that were deemed unfit for society: As the colonies grew they moved on down the criminal line to fill them. Multiple offenders, thieves, and other criminals. Finally, the prisons on Earth were emptied and all prisoners were re-located off Earth.

The real estate on Earth was suddenly deemed too expensive to use for housing them. Yes, correctional services was still a cash cow, but it was simply moved off planet. Earth’s citizens did not want their criminals living among them. The colonies on Mars, IO and Venus were perfect for penal colonies. All the first off Moon colonies had been founded by, and built by prisoners.

It had worked perfectly, and long before the massive death tolls and horrid conditions came to light, the Feds had perfected living condition requirements and buildings that could withstand life in those places. What was past, was past, those that write history shape history they say, and it had been that way, I knew.

The changes and colonies had come at the expense of some ninety-two thousand inmates and political prisoners. Earth’s citizens turned away their blind eyes, happy that those prisoners were not a blight upon the Earth itself, walking among them in some cases. Glad to risk lives that were not their own for progress.

It left a bad taste in my mouth, but my own position was not much better. Last year both of my parents were killed in a random terrorist attack on their building. It happened about twice a month somewhere in the world. There were so many factions opposed to the unified Federal Global Government.

Truth be told, I didn’t like it myself. It scared me in its impersonal approach to life and death, human rights. Two years before it had become a world class felony to be found homeless. Picked up and convicted, the offenders were deported off-world to one of the penal colonies. An unspecified sentence which was a black mark forever, and then usually an offer of half pay to work at some back water colony base, or new base construction project, with little or no law.

The new law affected me because I was not yet a viable worker, and the government had seized all of my parents property and assets for unpaid Life Taxes: Poor planning on their parts. I was, essentially, homeless, living on my two year service benefit. That benefit entitled me to free government housing, education and job placement: Meals, as well as a small monthly credit allowance, but it was not indefinite. It would continue for three years, four if I applied for the extension. Time was running out.

Of course, worse come to worse, I would re-enlist before I would allow myself to slip into an illegal existence and be shipped off to some penal colony. It was still far from a happy existence for me. Better if I got this job. I needed to get this job.

I turned my attention back to the infra-cruiser and saw that the first two shuttles had arrived in the first cargo hold and were off loading. If I were on that ship it would be my job to monitor that off-loading and re-loading as it occurred. I would be doing my pre-flight checks as I did it. I would probably be thinking about my first off-planet trip. I had never seen Mars, Venus or IO except in video clips.

My concentration was broken when I heard my name announced over the loud speaker system in the lounge; I got up, gathered my case and headed for converse four as instructed. It was easy enough to find. Ten minutes later I was strapped into a battered dock shuttle on my way to the Star Dancer.

Earth Date 2096-08-25 16:52:58

Star Dancer

Michael

I got a good look at Petra as I flagged her through the air-locks: All fresh air; your basic space bug, Earth bug delouser unit. People had, at one time, believed that space was sterile. A few serious contaminations early in the century had stopped that. Of course the process rendered you sterile. It was the same, male or female. The price you paid, so you banked your eggs or your sperm and didn’t give it any more thought. Space travel, constant radioactive exposure, caused all sorts of birth defects. It only made sense.

She was tall, blue-black hair, high cheekbones. Russian. The hair had to be died, but it suited her face, which was hard edged and a little angular. Something past pretty, but less than beautiful… Maybe, I decided.

I had read her information over twice as I had waited for transport. I had picked up the lounge seven video feed, so I knew who I was looking at, matching the details with what I read.

She was on thin ice. About a year left on her military benefits and she would be declared homeless, and probably insolvent shortly after that. Her only choices were military services or a foot in the door somewhere. I had no doubt she would use that as a stepping stone, but it would set up my operations with Star Dancer for the next two years, and I needed the stability back.

Top ten percent of her classes. Short on military experience, only a two year plan. Fluent in twelve languages, double the average. She had no political advantages, so she had no opportunities in the corporate world. She needed me, it seemed, as much as I needed her.

I buzzed her through the last lock. Flushed the air, and then keyed my Com-Link.

“I’ve sent the El for you. It’s a slow go traveling three hundred decks, but it’s programmed to bring you to the bridge. I’ll see you in about twenty minutes, Miss Stanovich.”

She turned her dark eyes to the camera. “Thank you.”

Star Dancer Bridge

17:13:22

Michael

“Full gravity?” Petra asked as she stepped from the El. I had met her at the elevator door and we were walking the curved and window ported outer hallway that ringed the central area.

“It’s magnetic, and yes it’s full-time… Doe it feel like Earth?”

“Very much so… I didn’t…” She colored.

I laughed. “Don’t worry about it. You won’t hurt my feelings. I know, fresh out of service you must have seen technology that makes this old bucket look its age.”

She smiled, but her face was still flushed.

“Really… I do understand, and don’t worry. The field is a perk. The feds installed it. They ship some gravity sensitive stuff, there’s a small cargo space directly above us, and really sensitive ‘Destroy if captured’ stuff in security safes on the main deck. So… We get gravity full time.” I smiled at her again and she smiled back. “It’s not perfect though. The mag field takes a little getting used to. It’s never bothered me though,” I finished abruptly, realizing I had just run on longer than I needed or intended.

“What does it do?” She asked.

“Space sickness… Upset stomach. Two of my navigators and one of the crew who came up here to exercise… It lasted a few days and then they got their space legs. “I laughed.

“Exercise equipment?”

“Another perk. I carry full crews out bound every trip, and I almost always come back with a dead head crew too. They’re supposed to use it, but they rarely do. They tend to socialize together on their own deck, two below this one. There’s a small inner-deck El that connects us. The exercise deck is up here: Treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes… It’s nice.”

“But, shouldn’t they check in with you?” She seemed surprised.

I shook my head and shrugged. “Technically, I am their captain, in actuality they couldn’t care less. They’re company men and women. They take their orders from the company. As long as they don’t interfere with the running of my ship we operate independently. You’re accustomed to the chain of command…”

She nodded.

“Nothing like that here. We’re like neighboring countries, my own crew stays here, they stay there. I can’t recall a time when I have met more than two or three of a crew at any given time. Usually one or less.” I shrugged once again. “That’s the reality of intra cruising.”

She nodded and followed me onto the bridge.

The bridge on an Intra-Cruiser is a very small area. It is at the front of the pod with two huge viewing ports and one even larger viewing screen in between them. Contrary to popular belief, even my own until the fourth grade, there isn’t anything of great interest to see in space at any given time.

Most of the rooms wall space is taken up with smaller flat panel displays hooked into ship systems. There are three console units with chairs directly facing the view ports.

“You would be here with me most of the time.” I waved my hand to include the entire room. “Take your pick of seating, any can be configured the way you want it to be. Sit down, give a shot. It’s pretty straight forward.”

She sat, pulled the overhead monitor down and had the navigation screens up in just a few moments. She studied them for a few seconds. “Looks easy enough.”

“It is… Believe me, you’ll be bored most of the time.”

“When would I have to decide?”

I looked at one of the wall monitors and the time stamp that ran along the bottom. “You have about four hours from now. That will give me time to re-configure rations, get your licensing in order, passport, extra fuel supplies… Or, you could think it over this trip and I’ll be back in thirteen months, give or take… That’s my average return trip.”

“So… So, you’re offering me the job?” she asked. She was a little wide eyed.

“Absolutely… You’re qualified… Listen, let’s face it, you’re overqualified. I’d be damn lucky to get you. The only thing I’d ask of you is the standard two year contract.” She started to speak, but I held up my hands.

“You can’t hurt my feelings. Two years, as we both know, is the maximum benefit time for you, and it will give you the time to look around. It is an incredible world out there. You won’t believe all the contacts and people you’ll meet. It will give you some real time to breath… Think about what you really want to do. I’ve got some good contacts I could point you at.”

“You’d do that for me?”

“Absolutely… You do right by me and I’ll be happy to do right by you.”

“Okay.” She looked around the room. “My stuff is in a locker off Lounge 7.”

It took me a second. “Oh, you meant okay as in you’ll take it… The job?”

“She smiled. “Sorry. Guess I forgot to add yes I’ll take the job.”

“No, no, I’m a little slow.” I turned back to my monitor and pulled up the re-stocking charts. “Any particular wants or needs? We eat pretty well. The Fed contracts load us up with all kinds of stuff. Perks again, but they are well stocked here at Fourteen… Real coffee… Media… Whatever.” I continued through the screens and began to recalculate the fuel requirements.

Earth Date 2096-08-25 00:03:51

Moon Base fourteen

United Planet Technologies

Intra-Cruiser: Star Dancer

I ran down the lists as Petra pulled them up on her screens and checked them off. Flawless.

“It looks good, Michael.”

“It is good, Petra… Take it out.” I picked up my mug of coffee, the first real coffee I had, had in a while. It sure beat synthetics. I felt the vibration as she threw the dock lock switches and expertly palmed the thrusters. We did a slow, nearly perfect half turn, then she did a longer burn to put us into our ten mile safety limit before she could engage the ION engines.

I watched Moon Base Fourteen fall slowly behind us on the main monitor, and then continued watching as Petra went through the pre ION drive check lists. I had done it so long by myself that I felt almost guilty sitting back and letting her take care of it. Nevertheless, it felt good, and I was looking forward to the company.

“Ten plus zero zero one,” Petra said.

“Kick ’em,” I told her.

She grinned at me and then reached forward and engaged the ION drives.

I sat back and watched the red mileage numerals begin to move fast, then I turned my attention to my own checks. Cargo, decks, company crews. A few minutes later I was done and I sat back and watched as Petra finished her calculations and sent them to my screen to check and approve. She began to program her side navigation console.

Moon Base Fourteen was gone. The moon itself was a distant smear of dull gray next to the big blue ball. Sometimes there were things to look at in space.

I sat back and relaxed into my chair and thumbed by Log-Link.

“Intra-Cruiser Star Dancer, forty-five minutes and twenty-eight seconds out of Moon Base Fourteen. Present, Michael Watson, chief operating officer, Petra Stanovich, navigation officer. We have at present, twenty-eight UPT crew members, see contract FQHPX2879 for a crew manifest… Mars Prison Colony Twenty-Seven will be our first stop, a re-supply, see manifest 97715. Mars One tech drop, see Fed contract 771926f, our second stop. IO six, last drop, pre-fab building shipment under science contract 279916bx… Watson out.”

I picked up my mug and sipped at my coffee while Petra did her own log. I had a navigator for the next two years, after that maybe I would bite the bullet and spring for an Intra-Galaxy Cruiser. I thought about it. I just might do it. Maybe it was time for a change. Maybe I could even run it by Petra, see how it sounded to another set of ears. Maybe it would even interest her.

It made me feel good. I guess I had fallen into a rut over the past seventeen months. I was surprised how good the bridge felt with someone else on it. I sipped at my coffee and watched the Earth grow smaller as we picked up speed.


Take a look at the other short stories in Billy Jingo: Amazon | iTunes | NOOK | Smashwords


Cold Monday and a look at Dell’s SCIFI Fantasy book Dreamers

Posted by Geo 03-13-2017

It is cold in the city today. Glad you made it and glad you dropped by to see what I was up to. Winter is still laying it on us here in New York. Looks like there is no end in sight. Last week in the seventies, this morning just above zero, crazy.

I spent most of my weekend cleaning out my shop and getting ready for a new guitar build. I do the guitar builds to take me away from the writing at times. Stress relief. I have often wished I could split myself into three people, one to write, one to do music and the last to build video games. Probably  Frankenstein way to do it.

So Dell Sweet is working on the Life Stories, the first two of which I am now editing and those will end up on Amazon in a few weeks. They are the individual stories of the Earth’s survivors. When Earth’s Survivors was originally published on the website that is how they were written. The first book was Rising from the Ashes and the story was a single about Mike and Candace. When they were published through Smashwords the other stories were tied in with it and the first book to be mass published was entitled Apocalypse.

So now you will have the individual Survivors Stories that some of you asked for. They will also be priced below the main Earth’s Survivors books.

The two new Collections were released last week. Collection four: Candace and Mike and Collection Five: Books Six and Seven. Both of these join the other collections that are only available from Amazon.

I think that catches us up on the news. I am writing all week and editing in my spare time, ha ha. There is no spare time. I feel some game building coming soon, I am missing it a great deal. I will leave you will an excerpt from Dreamers a SciFi book from Dell. Take a look…


DREAMERS

Dreamers is Copyright © 2016 by Dell Sweet. All rights reserved foreign and domestic.

Cover Art © Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

Parts of this novel are Copyright © 2010, 2015 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.


In The Moonlight:

Laura Kast

“Easy… Easy, girl, I wont hurt you.” I lowered my hand slowly to let the dog get my scent as I approached the van… Boy, my mind corrected… Boy, Laura…

“Boy,” I said aloud and laughed. But the dog looked like he knew what I had said, cocking his head from one side to the other. His upper lip curled away from his teeth, but he was no longer snarling or growling deep in his chest. “Easy, Boy. Easy, Boy… It’s me, Laura… Easy.” I reached down and he allowed me to rest one hand on his head. I ruffled the thick fur there.

This was new. Did the dog know me? Did I know the dog? I thought about it and realized that at the very least I knew the dog. That didn’t mean the dog knew me. And the dog was definitely not letting anyone near the van. Guarding it. He seemed to consider me on a deeper level, his eyes locked with mine. When had I looked back at him? I couldn’t answer the question. With the dog looking at me like that the question didn’t seen important at all. Wasn’t, important at all, I corrected myself… The dog corrected…?

“You do know me… Don’t you? …Bear?” The dog, who was not a dog, cocked his head to one side and seemed to smile at me. … “Your name is, Bear? … Good, Boy… You’re… Joe’s dog… Bear. Good boy, Bear… Is he here… In the van?” I eased closer as I talked.

Bear watched me, but no longer growled at all. Even the stiff posture he had assumed had changed. His tail dropped and moved slightly. It may have been the beginning of a wag. He whined low in his throat. His eyes reflecting green iridescence in the blue of the moon light. He whined again and then came closer to me, easing his head back under my hand so carefully it seemed as though it had always been there. I rubbed his head once more and then my hand slipped under his jaw, scratching, my head lowered at the same time. Bear whined again and then licked my face.

Laura, you take too many chances, I told myself. Too many. But my hand continued to rub Bear’s head and scratch under his jaw, allowing my racing heart to slow. Catching my breath. Wondering what came next. I was new to this. I had never been this far before. I didn’t know what came next.

“You get in the van,” Joe said from the open window above me.

A small, sharp scream slipped from my throat before I could stop it; sounding like someone was strangling me as I tried to suppress it.

“Jesus… Jesus, Joe… Jesus!”… I managed to get myself back under control after a few seconds. I sucked air back into my lungs. Bear whined and looked up at me. My heart slammed against my rib cage.

“No… Not, Jesus. Thank God it’s not that time,” he said.

I met his eyes, but there was no smile in them. “You scared me,” I said defensively, still breathing hard, chest heaving, heart slamming against my ribs.

“No shit. You think I wasn’t scared too? You’re not supposed to be here … You never have been.” He finished quietly after starting in a loud, strained whisper. His eyes remained on mine. The wind picked up moving the limbs in a huge Elm that stood nearby. Its winter-dead limbs clicking and clacking as they came together. The heavy branches groaning and creaking as the wind momentarily gusted.

The wind continued to build for a few more seconds. Our eyes still locked on one another. Then the wind died down with an audible sigh and I shuddered involuntarily and shifted my eyes away.

“I know… I know,” I started. I moved my eyes back to his, but he just stared at me.

“I do know,” I started again. “I’m not even sure how… How I got here,” I finished quietly.

Bear pushed past me, tail wagging, and jumped up into the van as Joe opened the door.

“That’s how it happens,” he said every bit as quietly as I had started. His eyes that had wandered up to the night darkened sky were back on my own now. Staring at me out of the open door. Bear’s head popped up, looking at me from between the seats.

“Well,” Joe asked?

“What,” I asked? I cocked my head in an unconscious imitation of the way Bear was looking at me.

“Shouldn’t you get in,” he asked? … “Or don’t you want to?”

And that was the question, wasn’t it? Here I was, where I was not supposed to be, where I was not invited to be, where I had never been before and it was time to make the choice.

Bear cocked his head once more as if he were also waiting to hear my answer. The dog that was not a dog at all… a… wolf? Maybe… Maybe more than that too… His green eyes asked the question.

“I get in the Van,” I said quietly.

Joe looked away and then turned quickly back. “Yeah. Yeah. You get in the van and we… We go… It’s nearly dawn… There isn’t much time and we have to get as far as we can before the sun comes up.”

He stretched one hand across the seat, held out to me and I could hear the engine running… When had he started it? … I couldn’t remember. My tongue poked out and licked at my dry lips. Bear seemed to grin. No. Not just a wolf either… One side of his upper lip curled over his teeth.

I found my feet stepping up into the passenger area and I followed…

In The Moonlight:

On The Road With Bear

Joe

I rolled to a stop at the intersection. The city was ahead, the house behind, I had never turned left or right so I had no idea what might be in those directions. Were those two roads, one to the left, one to the right, winding away into the distance, just conceptions? One of those photo realistic things that made you look twice, maybe even more? I looked again.

The roads were night dark, the moon playing hide and seek, gliding in and out of the heavy black clouds. The falling rain distorted both the near road and the distant road. How long had it been raining, I wondered, once the rain finally registered. Big, fat drops formed and rolled off down the slope of the windshield. I reached for the wiper switch but found nothing.

I took my eyes from the windshield and looked, supposing I had put my hand in the wrong place, but I had not. There was simply nothing but a gray, formless mass that slightly resembled the lower half of a dashboard. I blinked and when I opened my eyes once more the wiper switch was there. Exactly where it had not been. Exactly where it should be.

Tired I thought.

Bullshit was my second thought.

I blinked again, but the wiper switch remained. I flicked it on half suspecting that it wouldn’t work. That the wipers, if there were any real wipers, would remain frozen to the glass, refuse to move, but they swept up and pushed the beaded drops of rain from the glass nearly silently. Bear whined and pushed his nose under my hand.

“Alright, Buddy,” I told him. I stroked his head and then looked back out at the road. Left, right, straight, I asked myself.

There was a mystery to the city. Sometimes it went bad for me and sometimes it simply frustrated me.

… Running down the clock… One thing was sure, I had never come back out of the city in the many times that I had driven down into it.

… Left, right, straight, I asked myself again.

I pulled a small wire bound notebook and a pen from my shirt pocket and thumbed it open. Pages and pages of notes on the many times I had gone, but none of them amounted to anything except four entries:

The first entry, page twenty-Six, an address, 52715 Randolph Circle. I had never found Randolph Circle in all of my trips, let alone 52715. I had no memory of ever being there. Of any trip to the city when I may have gone there. I did not remember marking the address into the book. Nothing. A total blank.

The second entry, page twenty-five, read; Be careful of Locust street. Big bold letters. And I remembered being there. I had barely got away with my life.

The third entry, page twenty-seven said; ‘West End Docks.’

I knew that place. I remembered being there, the first time and several other times. But the details weren’t there. I couldn’t see them. Why had I been there? I couldn’t see it. Put my finger on it. There was a long, low building that fronted the docks. A house across the street. An old run down neighborhood. A low, curving concrete wall where I had sat and watched people come and go several times. And more. The feeling that I had been there other times that I could not yet remember. I say yet because I had the feeling that I would remember it. But page twenty-six? Nothing. Nothing at all. Not even a ghost of a memory.

A map would be useful, but there were no maps. It had taken a dozen times or more before I could count on the wire bound note book being in my pocket. Bigger things, like the van, had taken even longer. Before that I had had to walk or steal a car and that was always risky. But there was hope for a map. Someday, just not this day. At least I didn’t think so.

A quick check of the glove box and the engine cover storage area proved that to be true. Nothing useful. And why was it so much useless stuff was there? A spare pen cap… A broken transistor radio, the van had a radio of its own… Sometimes anyway, but there were no stations on the dial, or at least not yet there weren’t. That was another maybe, but it was there, so what good was a broken transistor radio?

Two paperclips. An insurance card, made out to me… For what? A fuzzy life saver, it looked like lime, my least favorite flavor. A flashlight with no batteries, and a dog biscuit. That was new. There had never been a dog biscuit before. Bear whined and gave a little woof in his throat.

I laughed, “It’s yours, Buddy.” He took it gently from my hand. The dry scrape of the Windshield wipers dragged my attention to the windshield. No rain. No rain on the road either. I reached down and flicked off the wipers. At least the switch was still there.

Straight, my mind finally decided. Better the evil that you know. Left and right could wait for another night. I eased off the brake as Bear jumped up onto the passenger seat, rested his paws on the dashboard and watched the countryside pass us by as we made our way into the city.

The fourth entry was on page fifty-eight. A series of numbers. 2757326901. All strung together, followed by a name Laura K. Whole first name, initial only for the last: Like I knew her maybe? I didn’t though. I must have at the time I wrote the number down, but I didn’t now. Who was Laura? Were the numbers a telephone number? Code talk? It bothered me that I had written the entry and yet had no recollection of doing it. Same as Page twenty-six.

I passed the City Limits sign as I wondered. Regular street lights. No traffic. Sometimes there was traffic, sometimes there wasn’t.

The rain began to fall all at once. One second no rain, the next everything was drenched as though it had rained forever: Always; would never stop. I fumbled for the windshield wiper switch once more, but by the time I turned it back on the windshield was clear. No more rain. The road looked as though it had never seen rain, as if it had never been there at all.

I glanced at the speedometer and then lowered my speed. I didn’t need to attract attention. There were cops here and they had no problem putting me in jail. It didn’t seem to matter to them that I was no more real to them than they were to me, off to jail they took me. And before that was all said and done I spent ten days in that jail. Eating Bologna sandwiches, smelling that moldy-pissy jail smell and trying to convince my court appointed lawyer that neither of us were really there. Jail was no good. I had no intention of going back there. I looked once more at the speedometer, backed off a little more, and then passed the sign announcing the city limits.

The city was early morning dead. It wasn’t dawn. If it were I would not have been there, but dawn was close. There was a glow above the city skyline. Faint… Pink… Growing as I sat idling at the intersection waiting for the light to change.

I noticed the rain was falling once more and I had either never turned on the wipers the last time it had rained, or I had turned them off after it had rained. I reached down to flip the switch on and that was when I  heard the sound of a heavy engine screaming. Gears clashing. Bear voiced a warning just as my eyes cleared the dashboard and tried to make sense of the scene before them.

There wasn’t much time to absorb it. A garbage truck just feet away from the driver’s door and closing fast. Sirens screaming. Red and blue lights pulsing. Chasing the garbage truck, I wondered? That was nearly the only thought I had time for.

Bear barked again. My eyes focused on the truck only inches away from me, and slowly rose to the driver. A woman… Laura? … Her eyes focused on my own for the split second before the Garbage truck hit the van’s driver door full blast.

Pain exploded inside of me. Faintly, far away, I heard Bear howl in either anger or pain. Then that sound, all sound, was quickly cut off, replaced with a low snapping sound that quickly turned into a heavy crackling sound. The smell of Ozone filled my nose, but something else quickly began to replace that smell. Gasoline. Gasoline and something else… Diesel? And then, with a low wham, the heat came. I struggled to free myself, but it was no use. I had time for one more quick thought … Laura … Laura … Why …? And then the explosion came and the pain flared, then ended almost as fast as it had come and I found myself flying through the blackness of the void… Flying…. Falling… Panic building… Lungs trying to pull a breath… Voice trying to scream… Nothing coming out… Then sight returning in a rush… The street racing up to meet me… The remains of the Van and the Garbage truck burning far below me…. Red and blue lights pulsing… Cars parked aslant in the street where they had skidded to a stop… Cops behind open doors… Crouched to fire… Their guns pointing… Rain falling… The pavement coming closer… So close I could see the individual pebbles of the surface embedded in the asphalt mix…

The impact came with no pain. The remaining air crushed from my lungs… I tried once more to scream, but it was no use… I hit hard, bounced, came down once more and my eyes flew open wide as I impacted the second time…

Gray half-light… The buzzing of the alarm clock… My own sheets tangled around me… Damp with sweat. The red numerals on the clock read 6:47 A.M. I sucked air greedily, like I had never been among the living at all. Never known how to breath. Just returned from the dead. I released my breath in a long, shaky shudder, found myself half sitting up in the bed and fell back to the mattress urging my racing heart to slow… Calming myself… Morning had come.

I reached over, shut off the alarm clock and silence descended on the room. I could hear my heart beating in that silence. Rapidly slamming against the inside of my ribs. Hard. Heavy. Loose and wet. Hear my labored breathing. I lay still for a few minutes watching more color seep into the sky, then got up and made my way to the shower.

In The Moonlight:

This Present Waking To life

Therapy, Laura

Tuesday: Late Afternoon

Doctor Donna Shulman’s Office

“So… How did that make you feel?” Doctor Shulman asked me.

“Feel? I don’t know… Dead? …. Like it was real? … Like it’s always real until I wake up and find out that it isn’t real, you know?” I lifted my eyes to her, but she said nothing. “And…” I paused. No way should I say what was really on my mind. Shut up, Laura! I told myself before any of the words could slip out.

“And?” she prompted.

“And?” I questioned innocently.

“And you left off at And… It isn’t a typical ending to a sentence. At least not any structure I know of. I felt you had more to say?” She lifted say so that it made her statement a question. She waited. She was a good waiter. The best waiter. The best I had ever met. They probably taught that in the psychology classes she had taken.

I had known Doctor Donna Shulman for two years now. All in therapy. Two years ago I had been speed addicted, just coming off living on the streets. Now I was back to my old job as a website designer. No one I worked for knew about my past. My Probation officer wasn’t invasive like that. He was satisfied that I was working, maintaining a home, residence was the legal terminology he used when we discussed it, and probably what he wrote on the forms that went back to the judge. I was testing clean. I was clean, and had been the whole two years. My probation ended in a matter of a few weeks.

“Laura?” She prompted.

“Sorry,” I said, even though I wasn’t. It was ingrained. I hated myself when I groveled or apologized for no reason.

“The guy,” I said reluctantly. “I dream about this guy all the time. I mean every dream, and I’m dreaming about the same places all the time too. Over and over… He’s …. I don’t know… I don’t want to sound crazy… He’s … It’s like he’s real.” There, I told myself, I said it.

“Do you feel crazy,” she asked? “Impulsive? Like you’re worthless? The way your father always made you feel?”

“No,” I answered quietly. We’d covered a lot of ground in the last two years of mandated counseling sessions. All for resisting arrest. Well, I had kneed officer Macho Man who had insisted on touching me everywhere he possibly could while he justifiably subdued me. It still made me mad. And I had also shot a looping right to his eye, but it was only luck that I hit it. Okay, I had taken self defense classes… Maybe it wasn’t just luck.

“Not feeling like using? … Getting high,” she asked?

“Absolutely not!” I answered a little too strongly. But it was the truth. I didn’t feel like using. Hadn’t in a long while. Not since the last time that had found me in the fight with officer Touchy-Feelie. After all of that I would have had to have been insane to want to drink: Of course N.A. talked about that. The insanity of the drug use. The addict doing the same things over and over and yet expecting different results.

“I feel like he’s substantial… He knows me … Knows things about me… Everything.”I said.

“Well, Laura. They’re your dreams… Naturally…”

“Right… Right… That’s why I sound crazy… I know it… But it goes past that… Like… Like I’m not even in… In charge? … Control? … Control is a better word. Like I’m not even in control of the dream, you know?”

She studied me. “…No…” she said at last. “No I do not know.” She studied me some more.

“Like… Okay… This will sound crazy… Like somehow I’ve crashed into his dream. Like I’m part of his dream… Like it’s not even my dream, it’s his, and somehow… Somehow I’m like some bit player in his dream… But it is my dream… So it’s like I’m a guest in my own Goddamn dream… Or his… which ever it is,” I finished quietly. I studied her right back.

“I see… Well, what do you suppose that is telling you?” she asked me.

“Telling me?” I asked back.

“Yes. Telling you,” she countered, refusing to give me the answer. She waited.

“I,” I sighed. “I don’t know,” I admitted.

“Really,” she asked?

I shrugged.

She sighed. “We’ve been over this, Laura… Your Father controlled you. Obviously this man… You feel this man is controlling you. You feel like you are living his dream.. Acting in his dream… As though it’s scripted by him… You can’t see the correlation?” She leaned forward expectantly.

“I,” I started, and then the small session clock on her desk chimed. I let out my pent up breath. She smiled.

“Saved by the metaphorical bell,” she said and smiled.

I smiled back.

“Next week then, Laura?” She smiled again.

“I will think about what you said,” I said, trying to mollify her. After all she did send reports to my probation officer; days to go could turn into weeks or months to go, maybe, if she turned in a bad report. “I really will,” I said, forcing my face to look as sincere as I could once remember looking, or wanting to look, when I really wanted to convince my mother that everything was okay in my world. It had worked then… Maybe…

I looked up and she was smiling. “I know you will. I’ll say that for you, you do the work… Have you given any thought to continuing therapy after the court ordered sessions stop? I’m sure you realize that next week is our last session.” She smiled once more. “I’ve already submitted your last report. I recommended you be released, Laura.”

My eyes immediately became moist and my throat caught. I cleared it, blinked a few times to keep the tears away. I hadn’t realized how afraid of all of it I was. Of all the times to start having nightmares. “I’m so grateful for that,” I said and I meant it. “I appreciate it.” There I was groveling again.

She smiled. “Let me know about the other,” she said as she opened the door for me. It took me a second, my mind was racing with all the possibilities of being free.

“Yes,” I said with a slight delay. I had felt compelled to answer, Yes I will. I’ll keep coming, but I bit that back. “I will,” I said, groveling again.

I stepped out into the hallway as I spoke and the door slammed hard behind me making my heart jump into my throat. I spun around thinking, the wind… Must have been the wind, but the door was gone. The hallway was gone. My heart hammered harder in my chest.

I heard the footsteps before I saw anyone. I was trying to take stock of my situation: Where I was. I had been there before. A wide open area of machinery. Huge ceilings twenty maybe thirty feet high. So much noise that I could hear nothing but the noise. And that made me wonder how I had heard the door slam. Heard the conversation for that matter. Heard the footsteps I still heard. My heart jumped higher, seeming to block my windpipe with every beat. Pulsing like drums in my ears.

‘Run, Laura, Run,’ my mind screamed.

I turned and ran blindly along a high metal catwalk that was elevated about fifteen feet above the floor. The sounds of the machinery now blocked out the sounds of the footfalls, but a quick glance over my shoulder showed me the two cops behind me. Right behind me. Maybe all of twenty feet. I tucked my arms into my sides, pumped my legs harder and put on the best burst of speed I knew how to put on. The ribbed steel treading of the cat walk provided good traction, but how long would it go on for I wondered.

I turned a corner. The cat walk ended, and I found myself in a huge garage. A large Garbage truck sat idling, the driver’s door hanging open. It seemed my only choice. Later I began to doubt that, but at the time it seemed so final, like there really was no other choice, but to jump into the idling truck, slam the door, and get away from those cops. Later it was obvious that it was too pat. A set up.

I hit the step of the cab and launched myself inside of it. My breath was coming in hard, painful gasps. My heart slamming so hard against my ribs that it felt capable of breaking bones… Or itself. A second later I was sitting upright, the stick shift in one hand, racing the gas pedal, punching my foot into the clutch, releasing the emergency brake and then nearly dumping the clutch all at once when one of the cops seemed about to jump onto the cab step. The truck roared, lurched forward and slammed into the closed garage door in front of it.

Glass and wood sprayed the garage. The door didn’t slow the huge truck down at all. I ducked reflexively as the truck lunged through the door and out into the street.

Halfway down the street I had the engine wound out in fourth gear when a couple of things occurred to me. First; I had never driven a stick before. I didn’t know how to do it. I shouldn’t have been able to know about the brake and be able to get moving that fast. Second; were the cops right behind me even now?

As if to answer my question the sounds of sirens came to my ears. Red and blue lights pulsed against the interior of the truck. The rear view mirror reflected them, catching my attention. It was only a second, but that was all it needed to be. I looked up and there was his face. Shocked. Eyes wide. Just a few feet away from me. A red van. Inches now. No time to stop. I heard myself scream as I hit the van broadside in the driver’s door lifting it off the road and into the air. The hood of the garbage truck flew up, smashed the windshield, and then came through it. It all happened in a split second, but in the same instant it seemed to last forever. To go on for a very long time.

I felt the pieces of the hood strike my face. Pain flared bright, hot, all consuming. All just a brief split second and then I was falling. I couldn’t breathe… Absolute dark consumed me…. Falling faster… I hit the mattress hard, a scream tearing from my throat as I did. I screamed a second time before I realized I was in my own bed. Grayish-pink dawn light glowing against the dirty window panes. The hands of the old wind up clock standing at a quarter to seven A.M.

“Oh, Jesus God,” I sobbed once I caught my breath. I curled up into a fetal position. Sickness ripping through my stomach. It was so real… So real.


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3D Game Making with Geo Dell 3D RAD, Open FX

Today I am finally back to working on a game. I spent a few days doing all of the sections of track, building a new terrain and today I will start actually building it out in  my modeler. I’ll post updates in  a few weeks. Meanwhile, watch the video and get an idea of what I am looking for.

3D Game Making:

When I have time to spend I like messing around with 3D creations, game making stuff. I think I have tried most of the contenders and it comes down to what you like in most cases. I say that because many of us just want to have some fun and never intend to publish a video game. This page is not meant to be definitive in any way except as it pertains to my own experience.

Game Makers: 3D RAD

There are dozens of Game Makers out there, but I have seen nothing at all that allows you to build, distribute, play, and comes with pre-made game modules you can both learn from and customize to suit your needs like 3D RAD. I know, Unity, Unreal and the list goes on and on. Yes, they do have game creation systems, but they do not allow you to publish unless or until you purchase an expensive license. So you can go ahead and create something, but unless you intend to pony up some cash you can not publish or share it.

3D RAD allows you to use it to create games and you can do whatever you wish with those games. Publish, sell, share, it’s your choice. It also comes with dozens of game examples that work. It is easy, with a little work, to customize those games, add your own 3D models, skins, pieces and make something fun and maybe even profitable. It is also completely free.

Game Examples and Abilities include:

  • Auto Racing
  • First Person Shooter
  • Flight
  • Menus
  • Network Play
  • Multi Player
  • Sound FX
  • More

For me the choice was clear over 10 years ago when I actually purchased 3D Rad. It is now completely free.

While this is great, there are some things that cause people to stumble. First, learning a system, any system, even if it has projects and pre-sets to show you how to do it is difficult. It is time consuming. I have found myself investing mass amounts of time in other game creators to learn them only to find that, in the end, I need a license, or I have to pay for content to use, something along those lines. 3D RAD has been free for quite some time. I know of no plans to take it back to a retail product. So, you shouldn’t get surprised down the line somewhere and find it suddenly has to be purchased, or you need to pay for a license to continue using it. So the time you invest is worthwhile in that respect.

 

3D RAD: http://3drad.org

3D RAD uses the direct X file format for the 3D models it uses. There is no modeler that was purpose built to model in the Direct X format. Yes, I have seen a few that claim to be able to do it, but I have tried them and they don’t get the job done, they are buggy, or they are works in progress. If I ever see one that actually works and has the features you need in a modeling program I’ll list here. And that doesn’t mean it has to be free. Some things I will list here are not free.

So, there are no Direct X specific modelers. However, there are Modelers that can do the job. You can go right to the top and spend the money for a top of the line modeler, or you can search the internet and risk contaminated files to try to find something that will do the job. Or you can do what I do, search for open source projects that work.

Why Open Source? I use Open Source modelers because I don’t have to worry about virus infection if I download them directly from Source Forge, GitHub or the projects own website. That might seem excessively cautious but after getting infected files several times I just don’t try anything else. And some of those infections were serious enough to make me completely shut down, wipe the drive and reformat completely. Even the low infection stuff copies files to your browser or hard drive and then you have to spend time deleting them, if you can. Oh, and they offer, of course, to sell you some virus software that helpfully can take care of this adware infection. Why put yourself through it? Well, because, like me, you’re cheap and you still want to play. So, go the open source route. Find something that works, download it and you’re set.

 

Mentioned: Source Forge: http://sourceforge.net/ GitHub: https://github.com/

 

3D RAD does not include a module to skin or UV models.

It used to be easier, in the old days, before 3D RAD went to Direct X models, to skin or UV wrap or UV Unwrap models. It used 3DS models and it had a module built in, small, but effective, that allowed you to do that. Simple, but it worked great. Not any longer. Now you have to find a program that will do that. It also has to be a program that can work with various model formats you might be using, and one that has the ability to save to the Direct X format.

A modeler was the first thing I needed.

OPEN FX: http://www.openfx.org/

Open FX is an open source modeler that was abandoned several years ago and then bought back. It has its quirks, but over all it is a solid modeler and very easy to learn and use.

It imports Direct X, 3DS, OBJ, LWO, DFX, and DAE. It does not export Direct X. You might ask, well, how does that help me to get Direct X into 3D RAD?

It exports DXF and 3DS both of which can then be faithfully converted to the Direct X format and used in 3D RAD. I know, I have used it exactly that way.

After a modeler I needed a way to get my model format of choice, 3DS, into the Direct X format.

 

ULTIMATE UNWRAP: http://www.unwrap3d.com/u3d/index.aspx

Ultimate Unwrap is written by the same man who authored Lithunwrap, so he knows what he is up to. It is not free, but there is a free demo you can download and test to see that it does what it says it will. Ultimate Unwrap is a beautiful piece of software and worth the cost of purchase. It can be used for many game systems and the website has dozens of plugin filters for various formats to import and or export.

It does faithful translations of 3D Models. Open your 3DS formatted or DXF formatted model and save it to Direct X or whatever format you need. It’s that simple. It is lightweight, small footprint and it does every single thing it claims it can do and it does them very well. It has some modeling features as well that can save you hours of time when you are setting up a model to use in a game. Sometimes it is worth paying for software when it is this good.

MODELS: http://www.turbosquid.com/

You can find hundreds thousands of models on the web that you can use. Some are royalty free, some are not. Many need a lot of work if you intend to use them in a video game where the poly count can be your enemy. You need something that looks good, but has a low impact size wise. Most model downloads are not going to fit that bill. You will find yourself spending hours upon hours on the simplest model trying to reduce the size, or change it to what you need.

The best thing to do is look at the models that are in 3D RAD already. Go ahead and open them in Ultimate Unwrap, save them to 3DS files and then open them in Open FX. Or open them directly with Open FX. Take a look at how they were constructed. In most cases you will see that most of the perceived detail comes from rendering, not the model itself. Once you realize that, and see how simplistic the models that are used in video games actually are you will realize it is worth your time to make your own simplistic models. But, go ahead, download that truck or car and have some fun with it. I did, and it taught me that I would rather build my own most of the time. Take a look at the tutorials for 3D RAD and for Open FX and Ultimate Unwrap. Learn those tools and you’ll be making what you want to make pretty quickly.

I like TurboSquid because it requires membership. Not a big deal, costs nothing, but it allows them to know you and you them. I don’t have to worry about contaminated files. They have free downloads, and they also have content you can purchase pretty cheaply and download and use in your creations.

Okay, none of these places paid me to link them. No kickbacks or click-throughs either. Just stuff that works for me and should work for you. If you find anything on this page that is not as I said, or that has changed, please let me know about it. In the meantime enjoy 3D Game Building!

This is a view of the same model above in Ultimate Unwrap. It was easy to assign values, colors, material, groups, you name it. I use this piece of software on every project. I only wish he would author a 3D Modeling program because he has such an intuitive approach to menus and implementation.

An Ultimate Unwrap view. I have taken the basic model and transferred it to a UV I can then use to build my own wrap from.

A Mustang model I customized and used in 3D RAD. Base for a video game I would like to build based on my Earth’s Survivors novels. This is a stock 3D RAD terrain, and a nearly stock 3D RAD Game example. I easily put my own model in it.

A video of a game I am working on right now…

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxVZFFcEJzmYZK3AaDl0F4A