Saturday, March 26, 2016

Short story serial-Science Fiction tale Fourth and last segment

 March 26 

Last segment of the Roller Coaster Ride. 2,751 words. Next week might be another story revised like this one was. I have two or four others I would like to share. But I also have excerpts from a new book or two.  

To this story:
Did they escape? Get blasted or their cargo taken? And what were those pirates after?

Great readers' fun.  :)

No way to move the Ant out of the way, Mantiee felt useless and almost dead. A movement, he glanced at Jonathan. He motioned with his hands above his control panel. Mantiee couldn’t see the image he was adjusting-a recording of his last will and testament going out with a last love letter to his wife? 
    No, a slight noise from outside on the hull. Jonathan must have quickly adjusted the other turret and triggered a very short shot. Two beams short term beams shot out. Both hit the bubble, it popped and the explosion inside triggered. Jonathan fired another shot at another bubble with the same result. Next he grabbed the tractor beam controls and used its beam to grab another bubble on its way to them. He brought it closer then up and over them. It hit the wall right above them exploding. 
      As pieces of armor rained down on them Mantiee first let out a breath-told his heart to calm and said, ”What are you doing?”
      “I am trying to use them to knock us loose.”
      “By careful man those things are powerful.”
      “I am. I want to make it home. It wouldn’t be good if my wife killed you because we didn’t make it back.”
      Mantiee looked at him and just said, “Good.”
      Jonathan asked, “What happened to the shark?”
     After a quick check Mantiee said, “Two of the bubbles in that group you sent their way hit them. They blasted two others before they pivoted around and took off around the corner with the left overs and two new ones chasing them.”
     “Good, now rock this baby and lets get loose before any more show up.”
     Mantiee said, “Sounds good to me,“ pressed his hands into the image before him. The Ant began to rock up and down. 
     The drives started to over heat after a few second so he cut back.
     Jonathan said, “Try reversing course but keep it as level as you can and slow at first.”
     After a thirty-second cool down he did just that. He tried that is. He slowly brought up the drives to half power but no movement. 
     Jonathan said, “Try again. Line us up at the same angle we came in on. Go slow again and keep it level.”
     Mantiee said, “I’m trying to.”
     After another try and failure he angled the ship slightly and tried once more. The cockpit was becoming warm or so it seemed to him. Maybe the environmental controls had been damaged. No time to check. With the drives back on it had all the power it needed.
    Despite his thoughts he kept a rock steady hand on the controls. This time with a screech of metal the runabout moved backwards. Mantiee managed to back it up while keeping his eye on the level readout on his control panel. It usually didn’t matter that much if he kept the little ship on a completely level course or not but now he was sweating as he kept barely touching four different touch points. 
    He shook his head, hoped the head’s controls stayed up. He needed to pee again and he would need a long hot shower when this was done. Not to mention an extra hot wash for the clothes he wore.
    He watched the level. A green line on top of a red one showed the Ant’s relationship to the crack it had gotten jammed in. When a tiny bit of red showed he gave the 3-D image the tiniest of touches. Finally the runabout’s wing arrived in the wider part of the crack, probably the section it had slipped into while he had been paying attention to something else. He stared at that crack for a long moment. Space armor didn’t split like that. Dent maybe but not that. He wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of whatever weapon did that. Not even that shark could handle it.
    He noticed Jonathan get up. His turn to use the head? Getting a snake? No time to think on it, he wiped sweat from his eyes.
    Five-seconds more and he stopped the backward movement of the Ant. He let loose a breath and breathed in deep three times. A moment later he slid the craft sideways until the wing was all the way out. He sighed, wanted to faint. 
    His friend clipped him on the shoulder and said, “Very good, that's almost as good as I could have done. Now lets get out of here.”
    That almost startled Mantiee for he hadn’t noticed that Jonathan had come back. Something tapped the front of his right shoulder. He reached up and felt cold. What? A bottle? He looked at the container he now held. Frizzy water: cold. It contained electrolytes and other good stuff. It tasted just a bit like limes. Before he knew he had moved his other hand he had the top twisted off and drank a third of it. Ohhh that was good.
   Jonathan said, “Lets go.”
     Mantiee nodded raised the Ant above the large piece they had been stuck in. Just as they cleared the wreckage Mantiee saw something ahead, stared-his lips narrowed, then suddenly he sent the ship down nose first.
     Jonathan said, “What? More bubbles?”
    “No, a missile orienting on us,” came the tense answer.
    “A missile? One of those round globe shape ones? I haven’t seen one of those.”
    “No, a long straight human type.”
    “What? How would one of those survive? If it was launched it would go for some target even if it couldn’t find its main target.”
     “I don’t know,” Mantiee said as he steered the craft up followed by a very short hop over a round fat huge canister piece of debris. He dropped down then zipped under a patrol ship with a shuttle design. It was listing to one side so they could see a series of holes blasted along it side. Five, all of which were the same size and the same distance apart. Each hole was just a bit wider then the runabout. He drove the ship up and up way past the patrol craft. 
     He dived the runabout again and said, “Maybe that missile was knocked out of its tube before it could be launched but after it had been armed. Whatever it’s coming closer fast and I cannot shake it.”
     Jonathan said, “Up again and when I say now go back the way we came,“ as he fired the grassers at the missile.
     He fired two sets of double short duration beams every couple of seconds. They all missed. It was one smart missile. The missile either moved up and down to avoid the shots or ignored them as they missed on their own. Many hit pieces of debris, sometimes with spectacular results. Mantiee directed the runabout along the underside of a big ship, probably a cruiser, then up as Jonathan had said. Instead of going straight up he steered them on a curving course going to port as well as up. 
     Finally his partner said now and he flipped the ship over on its back and zoomed back the way they had come. Seconds later the missile crested the piece the had just come over and followed them. Jonathan watched his sensors and directed Mantiee to go to port then starboard. They went though the top potion of that debris field made up of many small pieces of many different ships. Tiny bits sparkled on the Ant’s shields. The missile, however, avoided every piece. Three bubbles started after it but the runabout and missile were going too fast. It would catch them before they would catch it. 
     Finally Jonathan said to go over this upcoming fragment then down. Mantiee did that with the missile in hot pursuit and closing fast. He thought this ship looked familiar but thought it must be a second one. Seconds later though he saw he had been right. It was the ship with that long crack in it for there flew the second spinner they had fought. It now had its drives going. Jonathan said to aim straight at them. When he glanced at his sensor screen he added something about emergency power. 
    Mantiee said, “That would use the power for the air and heat.” 
    Jonathan said, “It will but if we don’t do something we won’t be needing the environmental circuits.”
     Mantiee frowned, nodded, switched to emergency power. Jonathan meanwhile had been adjusting his controls so he added power from the rear shields, the grassers and comm to the drives. This amount of power could burn out the drives real fast but they would only need it for a few seconds. He fired the front weapons at the spinner as suddenly their craft acted like it had been kicked and doubled its speed. They zoomed toward the other ship aiming at its center. The ship reacted and fired at it but the shots that hit were absorbed by the shields. Jonathan kept up his firing and soon Mantiee executed a very fast zig to port going around the round ship. It continued to fire. Probably its gunner thought they had been on a suicide run therefore was slow on the uptake that they were no longer in front of it. The Ant continued on along the side of the spinner, then Mantiee zagged back to the center Jonathan said to cut emergency speed as he quickly reestablished the rear shields. Seconds later there was an explosion on the other side of the spinner. The blast easily overwhelmed what was left of that ship’s shields then began to eat into the ship itself. It vaporized much of the front of the spinner while sending small pieces tumbling away. Some of the pieces went flying after the runabout impacting on its rear shields. None were large and none did any damage.
     Mantiee said, “Whew, scratch one missile and one pirate.”
     Jonathan said, “That missile’s computer most have been damaged. Since it targeted on us I was hoping it would also consider the spinner an appropriate target.”
     “It did and good thing it did. That thing was fast but as you said earlier lets get out of here.”
     “Sounds good to me. Go up I think I know of a way out.”
     “Good but what about the shark?”
     “I saw some explosions on the sensors in the same direction 
it ran. Hopefully it has been taken care of, but we will keep a 
sharp eye out for it.”
     Mantiee nodded and followed Jonathan’s directions and soon they were skimming along the top of the manmade debris field. After just a minute Jonathan told him to go higher, to pivot the runabout in a certain direction and to slow. Mantiee did that and soon they were watching three ships headed away from the field. One had the unmistakable shape of the shark. On the side they could see it had two holes in it. One was about midships on the shark and the other was back toward the stern. That one was significantly bigger then the other and had very jagged edges. The small warship was leaking air from that hole. It was not traveling at full speed either. The two other ships were spinners. One was untouched as far as they could see but the other one had smaller holes toward the front and a gash along one side. It was the one they had originally hit which had gone spinning away. By the looks of it had hit something probably a jagged piece of some blasted ship. It might have been leaking air also but it was too far away to tell for sure.
     Mantiee made the runabout execute a smart looking about face and before it zoomed away at its top speed. Six hours later they were at the outpost and had unloaded their cargo. The outpost was a small station near an area of space not populated or even traveled though much. Miners and other such worked in the area. Just the perfect location to delivery cargo no one should know about. Hopefully there were no pirates there. 
   The two important items were now in the appropriate hands. Jonathan had warned about the pirates and were told they would watch for them.
   They both now walked back to their landing bay with money and credit chips in their pockets. Stores and cafes brought people from all around the station but it wasn’t wall to wall people yet. The smells made Mantiee remember that he hadn’t eaten for a while. They stopped for three different types of meat on a stick and cold water. They had changed and bathed already so Mantiee, and anyone else, only smelled the food. He had placed the bottle in a pocket and it froze his thigh but he could take it for the walk back to the Ant.   
     After a few bites Mantiee said, “I think I know how those bubbles were able to move.”
     He watched Jonathan raise his eyebrows and say, “Oh?”
     “Yes, as you discovered they oriented on our drives. I believe that the Zoonu now include something in the make up of the bubbles so that they would be attracted to a certain radiation. The type drives produced. Much like a magnate is attracted to metal.”
     Jonathan started to say something but Mantiee raised his hand and said, “Yes, I know steel is attracted to it but if you were to let a small magnate loose and brought a heavy piece of metal to it the magnate would move not the metal. Same thing with those new bubbles.”
     “So the faster you go running away the faster they would move after you?”
     Mantiee nodded and Jonathan continued, “And the bigger the drive unit the more they would be attracted to you.”
     Mantiee nodded and said, “Makes sense to me.”
     Jonathan said, “Hmmm, and do you know which cargo the pirates were after?”
     “I think so,” came the response, “They probably were after something we didn’t have.”
     “Oh?” came Jonathan’s surprised response.
     “Yes, just before we left the Beta dram station some of the people we had drinks with were hauling a Thrumer treasure chest.”
     “One never knows for sure what is in those chests but the Techno terrorists like them.”
     “Exactly, back when they were terrorists before they became the guardians of that double system, they had some good finds with a couple of treasure chests. Now they go after each one they can.”
     Jonathan said, “That would explain what they were doing 
around these parts. They most have caught wind of the find,” he 
shook his head then continued, “All of that destruction and lose of lives for something we didn’t even have.”
      They walked further and two minutes later Mantiee spoke again.
     He said, “Hey, if you want to increase the speed on that runabout of yours I know where you can get a couple of Jaguar drives.”
     “Those things are expensive and hard to come by. They would be fast though.”
     “I know where you can get some for free. I know someone who knows where a jaguar crashed. Its on a planet that is difficult to get to. All he wants is the star navigation computer and some info in its main terminal. I saw a picture of it. At least two of the auxiliary drives survived the crash. They should be about the right size for your little ship.”
     “He would be willing to give those up?”
     “He doesn’t have much money so they would be your payment.”
     “I would have to rework the power converter and maybe put in a better power source but those drives could also up the shield power and…”
     Mantiee smiled because he knew his friend and knew he would go for it. He also smiled for he had learned that he was a better pilot than he had thought, with a little help from Jonathan he had saved their butts. That made this trip worth it but he would still keep his share.  
     He continued, “After we go home to pick up your freighter of course. We can back track though that battle field, I still want that power converter cylinder. Your tractor beam should be able to handle it.”
     They went on arguing about the dangers and benefits of going back into that armed debris field, all the way back to their runabout.

Easter- Good Friday. What is it?

A little late here with this here on my blog but the basic ideas here are still good.

I want to say that as Good Friday this is a very special day for Christians. Christmas is a most celebration of God's love and God being with us, sending Jesus as a gift for everyone individually but what we observe today is what Christmas is all about. Jesus came not only to do good things, to teach good things but to die after living a perfect life. This death is God's sign of His love for us all-individually. For while we were yet sinners, separated from Him, God showed His great love by sending His son to die for us. The perfect for the unperfect so we would have a way to God. Jesus is that bridge from sin-all have fallen short of the Glory of God-there is none righteous-For our righteousness is as filthy rags-to the perfect, holy, God. Now our sins are cast as far away from the East is from the West. Not just covered but done away with. We can have right standing with God and become an adopt child of God. It matters not what we have done, not done or what was done to us, because of Jesus' death. He knowingly went through hell on earth, death and real Hell to buy us back. Therefore He is our Redeemer. 

All that so we can have right standing with the God who Loves Us. He promised us Joy unspeakable, peace that goes beyond understanding, and Hope when there is none. He is God, He raised Jesus from the dead He is Hope. For a changed life, for forgiveness, for healing of issues and habits and hurts. And more.

All that is what Good Friday means to Christians.

here are a couple of songs that help to show this.
One sing here to help show this

A last bit here on what Good Friday means
No rituals can save us or wipe away our sin or give us right standing with God.  His Mercy and Grace alone does that. We just have to believe and receive it. It's easy for us, Jesus already did the hard part. Because He had to, we can't do it on our own. All have sinned and come short of the glory God. And I repeat-our righteousness is as filthy rags compared to God. 

Another song to help show it 

And God's Love For us Because of who He is

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Short story serial: Science Fiction tale part three

March 19   

This week I am doing part three of Roller Coaster Ride. A Science Fiction  thriller as in will they escape or not. As I mentioned in earlier post I am revising this old story as I go, I believe this week's segment is the best so far in regards to the writing. I got myself to spend some extra time on it plus it didn't need quite as much work as the previous segments. 

For those who may not have seen the first two parts two friends in a small runabout are on the run from a gang of pirates. Jonathan was delivering two very important cargos when the two sets of pirates came up them. Mantiee who was along for the ride happened to be piloting. He ran for a huge debris field from a space battle only a few days before this. So far he hasn't been able to lose the chasers. And they found out that some of the weapons in the debris field are still hot.

This is the longest segment at 2,500 and a few words. And obviously there will be four parts to this story after all.


Jonathan pressed a button projected in front of him. Raised a hand and made a motion as if he twisted a dial. 
      He said, “Got it with the tractor beam.”
      Mantiee said a little loud, “Tractor beam? It’s already coming our way on its own.”
      “Just head toward those others and when I say dive fast.”
      Mantiee steered the little craft toward the group of bubbles and as he did the bubbles moved closer to them. 
     He started to say something but Jonathan beat him to it, “I know. Its what I expected, just keep going.”
     Mantiee looked at his friend like he was mad but kept going. 
     Seconds later Jonathan said, “Dive!”
     Mantiee immediately pressed a double switch and a second one nearby. The ship’s nose dipped down suddenly. As it did Jonathan manipulated the controls for the tractor beam. As the ship dived the bubble kept going controlled by the tractor beam. It ran smack into a piece of debris drifting nearby. The piece happened to by in front of the group headed their way. As the bubble popped it released the explosive force inside it. The explosion broke up the piece of debris and sent pieces of it flying in three directions. One of those directions was toward the oncoming bubbles. Some of those popped when hit by slivers. Those not hit were sent flying every way. Most ended up hitting something and popping.
     Mantiee said, “So you did know what you were doing. Man, if just one of those things had hit us, at the very least, it would have taken out our shields leaving us naked and it probably would have damaged other systems.”
     He leveled off then dived under a small something or another floating right in front of them. As they came from underneath it he steered the ship up. Up further then the point he had started the dive from. Next he leveled off for a count of ten then sank for a few seconds. He steered in between two huge ship fragments that Jonathan pointed to. As they came out from in-between the two pieces they almost ran into a spinner coming to investigate the explosions. Mantiee let Jonathan fire three asteroid clearers and one set from both of the small double grasser turrets. These produced a beam only 6 cm wide. There was a turret located under each wing very close to where the wing met the fuselage.
     The crew of the other ship most have been just as surprise as they were since it took them a couple of seconds to react. When they did the first weapon they fired was the gamma plasma cannons. On this modal of this spinner there were eight sets. The barrels stuck out of slight bulges in the base. 
    A part of Mantiee’s mid insisted on telling him that instead of being full turrets these were slots that allowed the barrels to go up and down only. They could fire almost straight up, straight down and any where in between. 
      Three sets were in the right position to fire at him and his friend. Six streams of plasma shot out from the bottom of the spinner toward the little craft. Just the fact that they were streams of plasma straight from the drives would have been bad enough but these had been charged with gamma radiation. That made them stronger without increasing their power needs much. Two sets hit the ship as Mantiee frantically tried to turn the runabout faster than it should. His fingers punched at the control images hard enough for him to feel the power of the projection field. That was not a good thing.
     Even though Mantiee and Jonathan wore safety straps both were almost shaken out of their seats when the beams hit them. As the runabout finished the turn another stream impacted their shields. Something sparked in the back. Mantiee hoped it was nothing important, but he smelled burnt fiber optics. 
     The spinner had been turning in the opposite direction the runabout had taken but it took them only seconds to reverse the direction. Too soon they were ready to fire again. His sensor showed him that it had been hit by at least two of the grasser shots as well as two of the rockets Jonathan had fired. No damage. They can’t get lucky all the time. 
     Jonathan told Mantiee to pivot the ship when he said now.
     Mantiee just nodded since he was trying to run from the spinner and at the same time keep from bumping into the side of the very large fragment they were zipping by. It was a long piece and had protrusions sticking out every now and then. Jonathan was continually firing the grassers managing to hit the spinner a number of times. It still caught up with them and pulled along side. 
     Jonathan said, “Now!”
     Mantiee pivoted the runabout toward the attacking ship right where a depression appeared. It must be for docking or repairs Mantiee thought. The suddenness of the move surprised the other ship. Jonathan hit it with two rounds from the blasters. All eight energy balls hit. He next fired the grassers once more and as he did their foe shot back with its GP cannons and two of the mini-missiles they liked to carry. This time two streams hit quickly followed by one mini-missile. The impact of the combined strike sent the runabout spinning away. The view window spun around, Mantiee had to close his eyes or his last meal would come up. Bile had already. 
     The shields fluctuated just as Mantiee managed to get the runabout’s course straighten out. A sudden grinding metal against metal sound made him “yip”. Jonathan cursed which made Mantiee want to stare at him for a half second. Before he could decide what they had run into a kind of crunching noise happened. The forward movement of the ship stopped abruptly. Mantiee was jerked into the seat belts, then back into his seat. His head felt like it hit something hard dissipate the seat padding. 
     A buzz sounded loud. Oh oh that was the structural integrity alarm. A readout warned, “starboard wing was in danger of separating from the main hull” 
     Mantiee shut the drives down even as Jonathan said to, just as another readout showed that the drives were overheating. He waved his hand in front of him to bring the sensor images closer. 
      The spinner drifted away. From the damage the sensors showed The first set of ion bolstered blaster shots accompanied by four grasser beams had brought down its shields. The next set had hit the bare metal of the ship. One of those punched though a patch. Air came out. Another one must have landed on one of their turrets. It did not damaged it much but the ion charge had  disrupted its electronics so it could not fire. One grasser turret had been aimed just right so its two beams dug into the base of the attacking ship. One of those found a drive unit burning a pencil thin hole though it. That might be why the ship was now drifting. Its helmsman had had to shut down the other two drives, Mantiee thought, because they had started to push the ship out of control.
     A sigh, then he sat back, Mantiee said, “I think we are stuck.”
     Jonathan said, “Yes, I figured that.”
     Mantiee said, “What is the chance of that happening though? Its got to be huge.”
     “Whatever it is, we did it. We can celebrate later. Try reverse.”
     “I have already, but I can try again as I wiggle the runabout.”
     He did, then tried again. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his partner startle. He bent forward and adjusted controls.
     Without turning Jonathan said, “Stop the drives now! Turn them off.” 
     His warning had such a urgent tone that Mantiee immediately obeyed.
     He asked, “You see something?”
     Jonathan said, “Take a look out the side view window.”
     Mantiee did and as he saw, what his partner had seen on his sensors, he paled. Three of the energy globes they had had trouble with were floating by. They were quite a distance from them but evidently could still come their way. 
     Jonathan explained that he had notice them on his sensor screen. They had come around the corner of the piece they were stuck to. It seemed like something was pulling them. There was more then just the three Mantiee had seen. 
      They sat there for a two and a half minutes.
      Mantiee spoke up, “They still there?”
     “Yes. One might be out of reach but the others are still drifting by as slow as bubbles in a slow breeze.”
     “If they stay around for much longer I am going to have to use the head.”
     “Well, it looks like we will be here a while and the head is working so go ahead.”
      Mantiee unstrapped himself and was just standing when Jonathan spoke.
      He said, “Turn everything off now,” he started flipping every power switch in reach. He had used that urgent tone again so Mantiee dropped back down in his seat and started turning off every power control.
     Jonathan said, “I mean every thing. The lights and environmental controls also.”
     Mantiee looked at him funny but he touched the power controls images, one by one. When he was done he turned to Jonathan.
      He asked, “What more bubbles?”
      Jonathan just pointed out the view window again. This time Mantiee saw a more deadly sight then the energy globes. It was the shark coasting on by. It was small looking because of the distance but he knew it was deadly. They would not be able to bring down its shields as easy as they had the spinners. Its design was typical for sharks: two narrow triangles set base to base. The second one was much shorter and slanted downward a little. Two nacelles rested near the sides underneath the rear triangle. These were where the drives were located and if it was the same as the other sharks Mantiee had seen the forward end of each tube like nacelle had four blaster barrels sticking out of it. Two were the largest size for that style of blaster and two were the size under that. He shook his head, they probably won’t be ion charged but there were big enough to cause big problems for the little runabout even so. 
    Along each side of the front triangle were three larger double laser turrets. They would be at 25 cms. It also would have two turrets with more of the full size blasters. The aft had four gamma plasma cannon emplacements and two more lasers. These would be twice the size as the ones the spinners used. The side lasers and the GPCs were in slots so the barrels could elevate up and down but not sideways. 
      Mantiee spoke, “Oh oh. But they will be able to detect us. Our life signs will show up easily around here.”
     “I am betting that they will be looking for drives and other energy signatures not life signs. If they detect our batteries they will hopefully think they are back up batteries still functioning in this wreckage. There probably are some still providing power to busted systems.” Jonathan answered.
     “Sooner or later they will figure we are running silent and 
check for life signs.”
     “True but by then we will have to think of something and I think I know what.”
     Mantiee looked where Jonathan was looking and said, “Uh huh, we are not going to surround ourselves with those energy bubbles. Way too dangerous.”
     “I have another idea but that one has merit maybe we should do it instead.”
     “No, no. Forget I thought of it. Your idea is better.”
     “You don’t even know what it is.”
     “Its got to be better then that because it would be safer.”
     Jonathan smiled and said, “It is actually but you should have seen the look on your face when you thought the only reason we were going to do it was because you thought it up. Now we are going to have to time this right. We need to pre start the power source and aim the grasser turrets.”
     “Aim the turrets? One can only shot at the piece we are stuck on.”
     “I know but we may be able to use that one to weaken where our wing is stuck.”
      They busied themselves for a while. The searching ship had moved on but it would be back. The spinner still seemed to be drifting. If they had completely blown that drive it might drift until someone came to help or the helmsman decided to control the spinner’s thrust with only two drives. He might be able to do it with both at half power. That would get them out of here and to one of their partners. The crew of the shark must not care if they survive or not or so Mantiee hoped.
     Jonathan not only aimed the turrets were he wanted them but he used the tractor beam to move some of the free floating globes. Powered only by batteries the tractor beam was on low power but the globes were easy to move. He managed to arrange five of them before the shark came back. This time it was closer.
     Mantiee said, “Why do I have a certain base line popping into my head at the moment?”
     He watched Jonathan glance at him before he said, “Ok power up. Time for us to leave.”
     Mantiee touched the controls for the power supply and seconds later started the drives. The shark turned suddenly and made a bee line for them. Jonathan used the tractor beam to give the cluster of deadly bubbles a push. He had moved five but five more had joined them which meant ten moved toward the shark. 
    He said, “Its drives were more powerful then the runabout’s so I think they would zero in on it instead of us especially with the push I just gave them.”
     As he spoke  Mantiee noticed that he adjusted the firing controls with a wave of his fingers. Finally he fired the grasser on the side of the fragment they were stuck to. He reached to the image and slowly rotated his hand which moved the turret as the two pencil thin beams cut though the armor of the ship fragment way too slow for Mantiee. Suddenly the computer chirped, Mantiee looked then squeaked out his friend’s name loudly. Sweat formed on his forehead and under his arms again. They were clammy enough already. He could smell his own sweat, Jonathan’s and burnt components with the environmental controls still off.  
    Jonathan turned and looked out the side view port. He must have seen what Mantiee and the computer had seen: a bubble coming straight at them. Mantiee was glad he had used the head after all for that one was close and moving in fast for a slow bubble. Mantiee took a second to think that some gum would be good for his last taste.

End segment

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Short Story serial: Science Fiction tale Part Two

Last week I posted part one of this adventure on my blog and so here is part two

It's an old story and I have revised-revising each part just before I post it. It needed a lot of work. That including deleting a lot of stuff and rewriting sections and sentences and moving sentences.
This part is 2,257 words
Still not as I hoped it would be but it is a lot more readable than it was.

So anyway here is Part Two:

They zipped past ship and hull pieces, which had been cut out by lasers and other concentrated energy beams, that were larger than Jonathan’s main freighter. They could see that smaller ships involved had been involved in the battle also. Over there was a smaller red and green scout size ship that had smacked bow first into a large chunk of something. The whole unit drifted faster than the other pieces and spun. The something had been a ship before its power plant blew. Now only its bow remained with twisted and jagged edges on one end. The bow was still two and a half times bigger then the scout. The scout had a series of holes in it all the same size, probably blasted into it after the crash. 
      Mantee mumbled something about the pilots over there were good, for their still followed them. Along the way Jonathan said they needed a few seconds in the clear so they could change places. Mantee knew that would be difficult in this small cockpit. The chaser were too close: it would leave them without a pilot for too long.  
    He shook his head, wiped sweat off of his forehead, wished for some gum to keep his dry mouth refreshed. The Sansiburg frizzy gum would be good for that.
    When he dipped the Ant sideways-to him-he thought he smelled something burning. He realized it must be his imagination when he flew them past a ship engulfed inflames, its life support had to be still functioning. He must have seen it through the corner of his eye or on the sensor screen.
    Mantiee zagged back and forth to escape from their pursuers. Jonathan made suggestions: go through a hole where a hanger door had been turn around in the hanger bay then back the way they came.
    It took longer for him to thread his way through the hanger because of what might have been assault shuttles still in their cradles, two hung loose on tethers. They were hard to see in the dark cavern. Which meant they were stealth shuttles.  
     Once back outside Jonathan said, “And you wonder why I don’t want to get on that vital roller coaster you have been trying to get me on. If we survive this that roller coaster would be tame.”
     Mantiee said, “If we don’t survive this your wife will kill me.”
     Jonathan just stared at his friend with an incredulous look on his face.
     They continued on their course for another minute or so. They zoomed over a shattered vessel then dipped suddenly going though what had been a flight deck on a carrier of some type.
     Jonathan took a closer look at his display and said, “I was right there is a shark back there. As well as at least three spinners.”
     Mantiee asked, “What’s a shark doing so far this far north on the galactic compass? Aren’t they mainly used by the Tech Terrorists?”
     “As you said mainly used by them. Some of the groups that raid in our sector have gotten hold of a few,” Jonathan said, then added, “Just before we past out of these fragments head up.”
     Mantiee said, “But that is not a clear way. It is though a tight debris field.”
     “Just do it. Even our shields can block those pieces...Now!”
     Mantiee hands flew over the controls and the little runabout suddenly peeled off headed upward and to one side. It quickly went though the opening and into the mini debris field. Jonathan adjusted the power settings. Small and tiny pieces of what had been military ships with thousands of beings on board hit the shields ricocheting away or were pushed out of the way when hit by the shields.
     Jonathan made some minute adjustments to three controls, said, “That will increase the strength of the shields for a little while. That should take care of the smaller pieces. You will still need to miss the larger pieces however,” pointing forward.
      Mantiee saw that they were headed straight at a rather larger piece of twisted metal. It looked like space armor that had been hit by a solar tornado of Epsilon Tenny. 
     “I’ve never seen a piece of hull that twisted before. Obviously it had been part of another larger piece once but what that larger piece had been I can’t tell in the two or three-seconds we have.”
      He said, “Epp,” and fingers flying over the controls.
      The runabout curved to one side just missing the piece. He thought he could reach put of the top of the Ant and snag one of a tiny wedge. He thought it had been military green but a color that could be freeze dried blood decorated the inside of it. Then they were out of the closely packed small wreckage. Jonathan instructed him to continue along the hull they were now above, then down its other side. Mantiee did as instructed and as they reached the bottom Jonathan said to go under its stern then up the other side. Mantiee did that and as they came up on the other side they saw a spinner right in front of them. 
     A spinner, even though shaped pretty much like a top, did not spin as their name implies. They are small only about four times the size of the runabout and very maneuverable. 
     “Damn,” Mantee said! At the same moment he heard a second one.
     “Those things can pivot back and forth very fast. Most are armed with two sizes of lasers as well as small gamma plasma cannons. It may have been outfitted with mini-missiles.”
    The one now in front of them had been last in line of the ships chasing them. They had come at it from the rear and Mantee could see the large double hatch. This would be where the pirates would load the goods they capture. The ship looked matte black with white lines that suggested speed. Mantee, however also saw that this one had two larger lasers, one on each side. His head jerked up to look at the two small double lasers on the rear of the upper tapered section. It probably had two in the front also.
    Mantee had noticed that Jonathan had already activated the targeting computer back when they chase started. When he cleared the edge of the wrecked ship targeting brackets appeared on the view window. The second a bracket touched the spinner, even before the spinner was within the target circle he fired the blasters. 
    If the energy streaks were slow enough to be seen, one would see glowing yellow globes with what looked like electrical arcs shooting around on their outside surfaces. These blaster bolts were charged with an ion charge which gave them an extra twenty-one percent more oomph as they impacted. The ion charge would also interact with a shield, weakening it. Mantee hook his head those blasters barely have been even noticed by one of the warships they were weaving around. At least these guys were in smaller ships.
     Three shots hit the spinner’s shields while the fourth one went on by to impact the side of the wreck they were speeding by. Even as they hit Jonathan pressed the blasters again. He could see small arcs of the ion charges spreading out in small circles as the target’s shields absorbed the force of the blaster hits. Jonathan must have seen the same thing Mantee noticed; the rear guns on the other ship start tracking toward them, for he quickly hit the button to launch an asteroid clearer then fired the laser and grassers. 
    The clearers were small rockets tipped with explosive charges. They were to clear any asteroids in the path of a small craft like the runabout. Some used them, as Jonathan was about to, as weapons. 
    All four streams of deadly light from their weapons hit the target. The rocket hit the other ship, in the same area the second set of blaster energy had hit. The light beams hit. A section of the spinner’s shields glowed then “popped” as it went down. As weak as they were the lasers and grassers still cut into the target’s hull. Jonathan most have hit something important, Mantiee thought, for seconds later something in an upper section blew out. A small explosion but it looked like something important for the spinner went spun away to starboard.
     “So,“ Mantee said, “they can spin after all.”
      As he had been firing the last round Jonathan had ordered 
Mantiee to dive under the spinner and the wrecked ship. Mantiee 
did as instructed and as the runabout came out on the other side his friend had him go up the side of the hulk and though the mini debris field again. This time they came out, what to their orientation, was the top of the whole field and leveled off. Of course it wasn’t a flat top but there was a definite place were the wreckage ended. They zipped along side two or three ships that had been cut into pieces.  Glancing at the sensors Jonathan noticed, that even though the other two spinners had turned back to check out the battle scene, the shark was arrowing toward them.
     Mantiee asked, “What do those guys want anyway?”
     Jonathan said, “I don’t know but I think they want to take us and not kill us. They could have blasted us by now if that's all they wanted.”
     “So they want to capture us or our cargo.”
     “I would think so.”
     “Again I say what do those guys want?”
     “It could be the peace plans for the Herche accords we are carrying or it could be that Jewel we have back there.”
     “Yes, but no one is supposed to know we have either.”
     “You know how secrets can slip though the cracks.”
     “Of course I do but these were kept very top secret.”
     Jonathan just shrugged and said, “Evidently someone discovered something: a spy among them or someone was offered enough money to buy him or her.”
     Seconds later Jonathan spoke up again, “Go though that opening over there I see something we can use.”
     Mantiee nodded and sharply curved to port. He went down though an opening, in the side of a battleship, that had been cratered by a rather large blast. He steered the runabout around 
the splintered decking and titled it sideways. An opening appeared and he next threaded the runabout though an open hatch and down a very large passageway. Green stripes decorated the bulkheads along with what could be orange blood sprayed here and there. Of course it could also some form of sign the alien crew would know.
    After a few seconds opened into a landing bay. They zoomed though the bay and between partially opened bay doors. Both caught glimpses of runabouts, something that may have been a fighter and floating alien bodies. Once out the doors Mantiee saw what Jonathan was talking about. There were a dozen or so floating balls of energy. They looked pretty much like huge soap bubbles of the type children create with toys, however when these popped a sizable explosion followed. The explosion was somehow storied in the bubble and was released when the bubble broke. They were used primarily by an alien race called the Zoonus. All of the Zoonu warcraft most of which were flat looking had what looked like scoops sticking out from under the bow of the ship. These were its main weapons even though they also had lasers as well as massers and grassers. The energy balls would shot out from the end of the scoop. Sometimes an egg shaped missile they liked to use would join the bubbles. The missiles had a drive on them and some ability to avoid antimissile fire. The globes however had no drives nor ability to change directions. They just shot out of the tubes and drifted toward their target. They moved pretty fast however for they looked more like a bunch of soap bubbles floating out of a child’s bubble pipe. The bubbles were all the same size even though the missiles came in two sizes. Some of the bigger Zoonu ships were also armed with smaller tubes on their sides usually toward the back. 
      Mantiee calmed a bit for the bubbles had no way to change direction many would miss if the target ship moved. Which was why there were usually energy globes floating around after a battle involving the Zoonus, sometimes a lot of them. There seemed to be a lot less then usual at this site.
      Once out of the bay they headed toward one group of the globes. On the way Mantee had to dodge various pieces of large debris. Half way though them though Mantiee saw something on his pilot screen.
      He asked, “When did you turn on the tractor beam?”
      Jonathan who had seen the same thing said, “I didn’t turn it on, I thought you did.”
      Mantiee swallowed hard as his mouth became dry, said, “If you did not and I did not turn it on then how come that Zoonus bubble is following us?”
      “I don’t know. Those things don’t have drives so they can’t move by themselves. If it was a tractor beam my sensors would detect it.”
      “Don’t tell me tell that thing behind us. It is getting closer.”
      “Try speeding up.”

      A few seconds later, sweating dripping off of his forehead Mantiee said, “I did and it's still getting closer.”

End Two

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I guested blogged. On a couple of my darkest writing hours.

Here is the link to Christ Andrews Blog  He is also a writer with books and stories out. You can find out more on that by clicking on his "About Me" button. Some good stuff there.

My post is here 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Short story serial: Roller Coaster Ride a Science Fiction adventure tale. Number 1

For those who may not know Google Plus has various communities. One allows us to write and post stories and excerpts every Saturday. I just started a short serial I thought I would share with a wider audience. I decided to use a story I write when I first started writing seriously, some where around seven years ago, and revise it with what I have learned about the craft of writing since. Starting this Saturday I will be posting segments of my story  Roller Coaster Ride. Each Saturday for three or four weeks depending on what I add during the revision I will post a segment here on my blog.  

This story is straight up Science Fiction. I must confess though that while this revision improves the story and readability it didn't turn out as well as I had thought it would. Still though it has plenty of action and fun for the reader.
This week's part is just short of 1800 words long.

Two pals have an adventure while they haul two important cargos. Seems like a group of pirates didn't get the memo that the cargos were suppose to be secret with a last minute change of dates:

Unusual Rollar Coaster Ride

                       By L. E. Doggett

Looking like a fox on the run, the little ship quested the top side of the extensive ship fragment. Decks opened to space could be seen, fiber optic cables hung out in places, while personal belongings floated around inside and outside. Jonathan and Mantee, the only people on board, fled on the middle of a debris field many kilometers long and wide. 
     Their ship, the Cruising Ant, consisted of a hull close to the shape of a human thumb with two sets of wings: one smaller toward the rear and one close to the bow a third the size of the Ant. Its nose contrasted to a size where the two occupants sat close enough together to touch elbows, if they turned too fast.
     The Ant with Jonathan the owner, not at the controls, sprinted along the top of drifting piece of hull five times its size. Mantee drove the ship down, from their prospective, the far side, in an urgent attempt to loose the larger ships chasing it. It dropped nose first for a few seconds. At the point where it reached the bottom of another huge fragment, Mantee curved it under that piece. As it came out from that piece’s shadow Mantee titled its nose upward and zoomed almost straight up along another broken ship. This one looked only five and half decks high and twice as wide as the Ant was long. Both Jonathan and Mantee could see straight though eight of those ten decks. Bodies as well as parts of equipment drifted around. 
     As soon as its nose topped that smaller fragment the Ant leveled off and zoomed forward for six-seconds. Mantee finally sent in into a dive under a large shiny cylinder with a small bulge at one end and what looked like a twisted broken end at the other. Mantee mumbled something about going back to get that power converter after they lost whoever was chasing them. The cylinder was spinning slowly toward the smaller fragment they had just come from. 
     Suddenly he pulled the nose up as again. This time at a much lower angle. The Ant went up and over a wrecked ship. This one whole. It looked only four times the size of the small one currently on the desperate ride. The two pilots could easily see slices that had been cut in it as well as holes that had been blasted into it. As soon as they cleared the halfway point across the top of the ship Mantee aimed the little craft down at the same shallow angle he had gone up. However as soon as they were down past that ship they abruptly executed a curve to port. Small explosions peppered the space where they had been going. Mantee managed, “Those guys are good.” 
     Mantee bumped Jonathan again when he reached for a control to have the Ant slide sideways. Even though neither carried much extra weight the cockpit was a tight space. Jonathan at six, four had to almost duck to get in either seat. Mantee four inches shorter didn’t but with his wider shoulders, he was the one to hit Jonathan. After all the control panel was a V shape affair with two seats, one on either side of the inside point of the V. It fit the shape of the bow of the Ant. The end of the nose was three feet wide, with a height of three feet.
     Jonathan said, “We may have to fire back at them, to get their attention.”
     Mantee frowned but saved his energy for the race. The Ant was armed: from his spot he could almost see the four thin round barrels set in two rows along the top of the nose. Two thinner, outside barrels began just under the view window. However the lasers and tiny grassers didn’t have a lot of power. Like the ship’s wings they were not just for show as on some ships. This craft was capable of atmospheric flight and was able to land on most surfaces. And the weapons could do damage even though not a lot.
     He took a moment to wonder if those guys were after the cargo which sat behind him in the runabout’s cargo space. He shrugged the Ant was a bit small for a true runabout but Jonathan liked to call it that anyway.
    At the moment there were only three small trunks strapped down in the cargo area. Two were identical, three feet long, two feet wide and two deep, brown colored with blue trim and the same logo at each end. They carried their main cargo. The third was larger, a foot longer and a foot deeper: old and beaten with faded reds and blacks, it contained items that Jonathan had decided to take along since there was room. 
     In the back of this area was a wall that had two doors. One was to the head and one was what passed for engineering in this tiny craft. It was the size of a large closet. On both sides of the two doors were two small cabinet doors right in the middle of the wall. They were about two and a half feet long and two feet tall. They enabled the crew to get to more circuits. One tray pulled out to be the kitchen. A tiny microwave, a tiny toaster even, a very small burner and a sink. 
     The whole craft had been painted a light reddish brown with the aft end being black. There was a thick three foot long deep blue stripe on each side starting at the tip of the nose. The floor was covered with a greenish padded material. The walls were mostly unadorned and were painted a medium gray color. The doors were a very deep gray. The seats were a dark red. 
     Both had worked together as a team for years. Jonathan who stood at six Ft three inches tall with an above average build and medium length reddish hair usually was the pilot. This time around Mantee, who was four inches shorter with wider shoulders and an otherwise stockier build, happened to be piloting when they had been attacked. Mantee had the same red hair as Jonathan even though he wore it longer. He also had a mustache while Jonathan was clean shaven. Currently Jonathan was doing Mantee’s jobs. Which included adjusting the fuel to the engines, watching and watching sensors while using the comm. He also had controls to fix certain problems with the drives, the power plant or any other mechanisms. He was additionally in charge of the weapons and shielding.
     This trip had started as an easy job. They were supposed to haul two very important items to a certain space station. Each was important for different reasons. One was an accord that had been reached by two warring factions. The negotiating teams had been at a secret location for quite a while and had finally reached an agreement. Jonathan had taken the job to deliver the accords to representatives of both governments; he was well known and trusted by both sides. Mantee thought that those chasing them might want them to either stop the peace or to hold the accords for ransom. 
    On the other hand they might want the other item, a religious icon. It was made out of precious metals worth a lot of money by themselves even though it was worth much more to the religion. It had gone missing ages ago and had recently been found. Someone could want it for the materials or to hold it for ransom. The two identified teams, who were after them usually didn’t go in for that type of thing though. Well, the privateers usually acted like pirates but they went after certain groups only. Jonathan therefore Mantee didn’t belong to any of their usual targets. He mentally shrugged as he thought this though. Maybe they were branching out. 
     Jonathan had contracted for a date for both objects to be delivered. The date, a couple of weeks in the future, was far enough away so Jonathan had decided to overhaul his freighter’s drives. However yesterday the representatives of those who hired him came by to say that the date had been moved up. It turned out that their security protocols demanded that the time table for top security items be changed after the date was set. He had been told it that even though it could have been any date from three weeks earlier to a few days after the original date, two weeks earlier had been chosen. That was today or yesterday. It was either take the small runabout or lose the contract and probably the next one. It would also mean that the accords would not get to the representatives when they were expected. That could mean they would be refused. Jonathan had no choice but to go. Mantee came by about then so he was drafted to come along. Now he wondered about his bad timing. Jonathan said had been assured that the mission was very top secret and that the moving of the date would make it even more secure. An added security measure had been to change the delivery point as well as the date. It was a different location now. Now it was an outpost closer then the original one which ended up working in their favor. Which was good since they had to use the Cruising Ant, Jonathan’s spare ship. It could go FTL but had little room for supplies.  
     Every thing had gone smoothly during the first part of the trip so they decided to change places. Mantee excepted that Jonathan was by far the better pilot and usually piloted everything-both were his ships after all. Mantee even though no slouch at piloting needed practice at different controls. He decided that since this would be an easy trip he would get some practice in. Jonathan after coming back from a visit to 

the head found Mantee in the pilot’s seat. After some quick words by Mantee Jonathan agreed that it was a good time for Mantee to pilot the runabout. He sat down in the other seat. Soon after that they had detected the ships now after them. They had come out of no where and were headed straight for them. Mantee, who had known that a battle had taken place nearby four or five days ago, headed toward it as a precaution. The battle had involved humans from one Federation as well as a race called the Zoonu along with some from one or two other races who lived among both. It had gone on for days and had involved some very large ships by the look of the wreckage. 

end segment

Comments and real criticisms are okay

Probably shouldn't say this here but in my hurry with this I didn't get the opening like I wanted. I realized afterward when it was posted everywhere that oops, I had forgotten some detail on the setting.

next segments should be better