Saturday, December 23, 2017

My yearly-2017-why we celebrate Christmas message: Joy and God with us.

Christmas: why we celebrate it and why it is important.
   The word Joy is a part of Christmas decorations: Joy, Peace, Hope and Love. And there is a reason for that. Jesus, later in his life on the Earth, promised us Joy unspeakable. Joy is a large and good emotion. It is to happiness as an old fashion search light is to a 100 watt bulb. And we are promised it because of what Jesus did after being born here. 
    Some want to argue about what time of the year He was born, but the important thing is that He was. For He was not born to make another religion, but to make a way so we can have a relationship with God. On other words to show us how to be forgiven, and have right standing with the Creator. Joy comes from that relationship-in actually knowing God the Creator. No matter the circumstances we are in, no matter what was done to us, Joy is from God and knowing Him. That brings healing and hope and forgiveness. Joy is a bright light and it comes from God. It is something He wants to give to us individually. Yes, God wants to give you Joy. No matter what you have done, how many times you have done it or what was done to you. God Loves You and wants Joy in your life.
    Another reason we celebrate Christmas is that it shows us that God is with us. He was suppose to be called Emmanuel or God with us. Later in His life on the earth said, “Lo, I am with you even to the uttermost parts of the earth,” or whatever we are going through, or have gone through. God the Creator was born as a wholly God and wholly Man to make a way, as I said, to have right standing with Him, so we can have an eternal relationship with Him. That starts now, which means He is with us every day, all the time. He has your back, as the saying goes. 

So we celebrate Christmas because He is with us, because it is a sign for His Great love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, because He gives us Joy unspeakable. So good we cannot describe it. 

It doesn’t take much to start a relationship with God. Believing and saying to Him what we want. Believing is just accepting what He said, it is simple. You are closer to it than you may think. In this case that we would be forgiven, that He would be with us and that He would give us Joy-among other things. 

So yes Christmas is a good thing and it is a good thing to celebrate-however we do. 

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Late Christmas sale on all of my E-books

 All three of my E-books are on sale. And two sets of short stories at the usual inexpensive price. 
Each one makes a good gift

Each novel has suspense, action, adventure and is a fun read.

Two Urban Fantasy 

One Steampunk-special Ops

one set of seven fantasy stories

one set of five Science Fiction tales. 

One tale in Strange New Worlds Ten but I have no control on that price. Excellent stories though. 

Even for yourself after the Christmas rush.

E-books also at  iTunes and Kobo 

My author's page at Amazon 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Second half of Alternate Universe story

Part two of my Alt universe story from last week. This one had a lot more conversations and I didn’t revise a lot so that may mean I missed stuff.
A short paragraph from last week to start it.

But enjoy:

The one comming him was dressed in the same tasteful clothes as Samuel was and had his hair in the same style. Samuel eyed the other warily, pressing a button that traced the comm signal back to its source. He wasn't surprised that it led back to a vessel very similar to his. It was one of the black ones and had exactly the same power readings as his vessel.
The other smiled warmly, which did not reassure Longrian, and said, "Hello, brother traveler. Is this what you expected?"
Samuel said, "Yes and more. This is wild."
Samuel’s eyes went wide when a double beep came from his computer, he almost jumped to it see what the problem was but realized that the second beep had come over his comm speakers. Both computers were reporting that a new arrival was about to enter the asteroid belt.
He glanced at his sensor screen than to a certain screen on his computer.
He said, "So another arrival at this party."
The image on the comm screen said with a humorous smile, "Yes it looks like it. I wonder if we will know him, or not."
A second later the other person said, "I wonder how many that makes."
Samuel said, "I think some where between sixteen and twenty-one."
The other said, "My approximation also."
Samuel said with a smile, "That’s not surprising."
After contacting the newcomer they found it was a woman in her thirties. Her red hair and green eyes, made her a striking figure. Both of their eyebrows raised as they saw the first female to appear at the gathering.
Samuel hadn't really considered the possibility, but he realized he should have. He saw the same look mirrored in the face of the guy he was talking to and knew he had just thought the same.
After greeting her, they went back to their conversation. Chatting for a minute, the double click sounded again. The other again reached off screen this time for longer period of time. At the same time he glanced at something off screen, his face showing puzzlement.
Oh Oh, Samuel thought.
The other looked at Samuel, than back to the side. His face clouded over, his joyful expression turning angry.
Definitely, this isn’t good.
The other asked in a low sounding voice so familiar to Samuel, "What are you doing?"
Knowing he was caught, he just mentally shrugged and said, "Getting some information I need back home."
"So," The other said, "That is why you have been asking some of your interesting questions?"
"I was hoping to learn something I could use."
"For what purpose?"
"I think you know. Let's just say that I hope to find something I can use to further my ambitions."
Here the other pressed another button.
He said, "So, you not only use our comm links to steal information from my computer, but you also want to use it to get advantage over other people."
"Better me than someone else. I have the brains and natural skills needed to be a leader."
"A leader who forces himself on other?" the contempt was dripping from the others words.
"Someone has to do it, just as well be me."
The other again reached off screen, pressing one, or two buttons. Thinking that something wasn’t right, Samuel looked at the same screen. What he saw shocked him. Files were appearing, than being deleted, almost faster than he could see. He scooted over quickly and started typing commands on his keyboard.
Soon the files slowed down and he typed some more. Finally the process stopped altogether. He smiled and moved back over to the screen.
He said, "That was tricky. Your program got in under my antivirus, anti-hacker program without sounding an alarm, but my advanced ‘ICE' got it."
"Hopefully, it got to enough files to hinder your plans. Maybe I can hinder you even more."
"I cannot allow you to do that."
The other smiled for a second, than said, "That’s my line. I cannot allow you to steal from anyone here, to use that info to hurt people."
"We could rumble, but I would win of course."
"I won't bet on that. We’re comparable."
Longrian looked at his sensor readings again and saw that it was true. Both ships had the same power readings and probably the same armaments. And his potential foe, no doubt, had experience using them. It would be almost like fighting himself. If he was ever able to fight himself, there would be no telling who would win. Of course he would have an advantage since he would not be averse to fighting in ways some called dirty. He called it winning. The other had already shown that he did not mind being underhanded, but he could not anticipate the things that he, Samuel, could come up with.
So Samuel G. Longrian said three words, "Computer, fighting mode."
Immediately his vessel changed. Not in any obvious way, but in attitude. The ship's lighting dropped down to battle levels, weapon emplacements popped up, and hatches slide open revealing more weapons. Shields came into existence.
Even before he had finished speaking the other on the screen had said the same three words. Now Samuel's eyes narrowed when he saw the exact same weapons appear along the other ship's hull.
His new foe asked, "Do you really want to fight me, in here?"
Samuel said, "Not really." And he was surprised to really mean it.
Suddenly his comm bleeped, as did his new foe's.
They both pressed their respective receive buttons. The loud voiced newcomer appeared on the screen. His face was red which almost matched his hair.
He said, "What are you two malcontents think you are doing?!"
 Automatically Samuel said, "It was just a misunderstanding."
He had spoken it a little too fast, and the image's face showed the speakers unbelief.
Samuel thought quickly and spoke again, "It was a
misunderstanding, he thinks I am going to hurt someone."
Hid potential foe said, "He said he wanted to use information he was stealing from us to force people to accept his rule.”
Samuel said, "That was the misunderstanding. I don't want to rule people, but even if I did it would be my business, not the gathering’s."
The loud mouthed one said, "Except for the fact that how you are thought of can put a bad light on the rest of us, and what happens to you might effect the rest of us in ways we can not anticipate."
Samuel just waved his hand, in a way to say that he thought that idea irrelevant.
He said, "It's still my business."
By now the rest of those present had noticed the two ships now had "hot" weapons and shields. Most tuned into the conversation to see what was happening.
When they realized that there could be a fight between two ships, groups split up, with each person rushing back to their own ship. Some of the ship moved out of the way, while others joined one side, or the other. One of the smallest ships zipped first to one of the twin ships than to the other, probably after its pilot realized he had gone to the wrong ship.
In one vessel two men were talking face to face. One of these two men was from the small runabout that had been standing off by itself. His ship was now docked with one of the larger ships.
That man said, "I th-think we should get out of here, in case they do fight."
The one he was talking to said, "That might be a good idea."
The first speaker said, "I-I knew I needed a bigger ship to check out this meeting."
As the nervous one spoke the other stepped to his controls
and started moving both ships away from the gathering. The two ships cautiously moved as one, though the wall of asteroids. Soon they were in the clear and after a few seconds later the owner of the ship they were in touched a control that
sent a special signal. Very soon, off to one side, a large strange ripple effect begin. An object began to solidify in certain places. Than, as the process increased speed, within seconds a ship appeared. It was rather large and streamlined. It looked very much like Samuel’s ship, but much larger.
The one who had sent the signal said, "I did bring a bigger ship."
His guest started with surprise and said, "So you are n-not
"Correct I’m not, but back to the point I was making, you will have noticed that some here have different characteristics.
Those two for example. One is the Boy Scout while the other is a manipulator. That loud mouth with the speedy ship is the brash one."
"He-he-he almost scraped my ship when he arrived. I thought he was going to ram me."
"You would think that. Anyway as I was saying, I’m the cunning one and you, my guest, are the nervous one," he said as he manipulated his controls maneuvering his ship closer to the larger one.
"Th-there should be a brain around here than."
"Hmm, you’re right... I wonder which one it is. He could have been here from the beginning."
Sweat formed on the nervous man's forehead but he said, "Your ship m-m-most have a large Process engine."
"Yes it does, but you will be able to see it soon."
"No, I-I'm n-not, I am going back to my ship."
"You could come with me, I could use a decoy where I come from. We would make a great team."
"I-I-I wouldn't m-make a g-good d-d-decoy."
"Yes, with your nervous stutter, they might see though you."
Suddenly the speaker noticed that his captive seemed to be pressing something in his pocket.
He said, "If you are trying to control your ship from here, it won't be able to do anything while under my tractor beam."
"I am not trying to control m-my-my ship."
"You’re not a good liar."
Suddenly though the observation window each could see light spill out of an opening in the side of the ship they were approaching, as a hanger door slide up.
A few seconds later, just as suddenly, a number of ships zipped in from behind the larger ship. They quickly came along both sides of the ship the two were in, stopping in perfect
formation. From their appearance they were defiantly military warships. There were ten ships in all. Seven were a flat half moon shape and had crews of ten men. Two were larger cigar shapes with crews of thirty. The last ship had a basic cigar shape, with a slightly bulging top and snubbed, swept back wings. It had the appearance of being very streamlined, even with the bulging top. It carried fifty crew members.
The nervous man said, "I told you I was not trying to control my ship. Th-these are my ships. I was pressing a panic button to call them. Now you will let me go in my small craft."
"Hey, you can go, I wasn't going to kidnap you."
"Perhaps not, but I-I wanted to make sure. These are from an elite fighting unit. Isn't that correct Major?"
A new voice sounded, coming from a brooch looking device on the guest's lapel, "That is correct, sir. I apologize for
appearing a little late."
The cunning man said, "I warn you if you do try to attack me after you are gone, my ship out there is powerful enough to destroy, or damage many of your warships."
"We won't," the other replied. "unless you fire on me. If you do plan on f-firing on me, as I leave remember, they will take y-you out. And don't think going into stealth will help you. This force has had experience fighting stealth vessels."
The other inclined his head in understanding, as he said, "I wasn’t planning on attacking you."
The strutting one made his way though the airlock and into his ship. It undocked and zipped very quickly to the largest military warship. Once on its hanger deck he got out and made his way to the bridge.
The major was standing there and as soon as he came out of the lift the major spoke, "I again apologize for being late. We
had to go around another force which came with another member of
the gathering."
The major's boss nodded then said, "I'm glad I insisted on
having your people join me out here."
He paused for a moment then said, "It’s p-p-probably a good time to leave."
Suddenly a flash of light caught their attention and they turned and looked at the view screen located in the front of the bridge. The vessel belonging to Samuel G. Longrian had just come though the hole leading to the clear area. It zipped by them heading for a clear area where Samuel activated his process drive. It was followed by the one owned by the Boy Scout, but Samuel’s ship disappeared, before the second ship could get to it. Many other ships were in the process of leaving also.
The nervous follow continued, "Looks like the party is over anyway."
The major said, "I will give the necessary orders."
Just than the large ship they were still surrounding rippled and very quickly disappeared. One of the bridge crew members reported that it looked like they had joined the others and had fled.
The major said, "Good, he really didn't want to fight," here he turned toward his boss and asked, "Was joining the gathering worth the trip?"
The reddish haired nervous man turned his green eyes to the major, "I think so, Major, but I need to go make me report with it all fresh in my mind, and than I need to relax."
The major answered, "I understand, sir. I will look forward to reading your report."
The other just nodded and turned toward the lifts glad to be out of that gathering. He had been studying a new type of experimental engine that was supposed to have a very interesting
process, few light years away when the authorities had come to him. They had wanted his help to infiltrate this meeting they had spied upon with stealth probes. It turned out that some high energy flares had attracted the attention of the military officer in charge of protecting this area of space. She had sent in the stealth probes, than had sent for him to join the gathering. He hadn’t understood why they thought he was the only one that could get in. Now he did, but he still was a nervous wreck.
As he started to fill out his report his warships rotated half way around a circle and zipped away in a perfect formation. Ten-seconds later they disappeared in a shimmer caused by their faster than light drives.
Soon afterward after every other ship had disappeared in a burst of light, another vessel rippled into existence.
Its lone occupant flipped on a diary begun to dictate, "Hmmm, the warships belonging to that nervous guy may have had experience fighting stealth ships after all. My sensors detected a drive unit moving away from where that large ship went stealth, but according to the same sensors it was still there. I noticed some of the war ships played sensors over where the ship had been, but most kept painting the area around the large ship with targeting sensors. Just enough to let that guy know they hadn't been tricked.
“It does look like the party is over, in that case I should probably get going too. I'm glad I listened in on some of their conversations. The one with the stealth ship was right, there was the evil one, the good one, or boy scout, the brash one, but if he was the cunning one that most mean that I am the sneaky one. They never knew I was here, even the first one who made careful use of his sensors, missed me. But who was the brain? Maybe we all were.”
"Hmm, the nervous one was the only one without a process engine, which probably means he was local. Not surprising all those energy flares, from the process engines, would attract attention. Somebody moved fast to get him out here so quick. Very impressive even though it won't be surprising, that he had been near by doing some research, I suspect it on the Process Drive. But his nervousness caused him to go slower then the rest of us. Now though he knows it will work.
“That could mean that someone will show up late. But if so all of the energy from temporal energy releases left behind will alert him that he is late.
“Now it’s time for me to go home."
“But a second thought. I am curious about what form of government they have here. I will stay just long enough to learn that but even so I need to watch those troops they know stealth vessels.”
Just as the nervous one finished a short preliminary report and signed his name Samuel G. Longrian, the sneaky one said, “Samuel G. Longrian signing off”.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

First half of Alternate Universe tale by me

This is my first alternate universe tale. Or half of it that is. I wrote this originally over six years ago, I could easily see what needed work, even though I went over kinda of quick. It was 4600 and some words long and that was before I started to revise it. Now it is 4,995 words. It will be over 5,000 by the time I finish. And that is with deleting some parts. This part is 2,282 words.


The Gathering

Samuel G. Longrian waited. He knew they would make an appearance just like he had known that the process would work this time. That trip though had been wild. He still felt a bit dizzy. Which wasn’t the fault of his ship-the thirty meter long twenty meter wide Future. The energy convertors and extra shielding: radiation, electronic, stealth-he had those turned off now though-and heat and cold, all functioned well. He didn’t know if he would need all of that but to test his new process drive powered by tachyon radiation he thought it would be best. So now he waited. His cushioned seat, silk fused with leather, and air temp were set for his maximine comfort while he waited. The air tasted just right too. He had learned that something bad in the air would change its flavor, the hard way. For a second he thought he had smelled too many man scents during the trip but now his command center had a good smell.
The command center contained three other seats, but he didn’t need a crew or passengers for this trip.
His command center-like a big cockpit in a huge air transport-styled plain with the only colors were black, silver, and dark gray-had arrived here in one piece with every device functioning correctly at 110 percent.
The sensors beeped for his ship sat inside a large empty pocket near the side of an area full of asteriods and other space debris. The experts thought an exceptionally large comet had collided with an ice planet. One or the other had a change of orbit possibly because of a mini black hole passing though, a war, a very slight time shift, or nothing at all.
He had known there would be such a clear area, before he arrived, so it hadn’t taken long to find it. Samuel made the test with his sensors on max, just to make sure that he really was the first to arrive. He had been.
Some of the asteroids that made up this belt were as big as large houses, while others were barely the size of a medicine
ball. Opposite where his ship was resting, there was an opening, just large enough for a small space craft to easily fly though. He had flown though it, so knew it how easy maneuvering through it, would be for the others.
Samuel had been waiting for twenty-four hours already, and was surprised no one had shown up yet. He still had no doubt they would be there. Not all, of course, for some would have experiences circumstances that interfered with them being able to come here. Some would be dead, that made him think. How many times had he almost died. More than he wanted to conterplate
A few hours later, after he made a trip to his little ship's head, he made himself some Chinese green tea. As he poured the tea leaves into the hot water, he wondered if the others would like green tea as much as he did. Probably, but it wouldn't be that big of a deal if they didn't, he decided. He would be finding out soon enough anyway. He quickly ascended back into his ship’s observation cabin.
On most ships it would be called an observation deck, but because his ship was so small, he always referred to it as a cabin. He sat in his favorite of the four seats in the cabin. It was a comfortable padded lounge chair, that was in the right spot for him to see space, free of any obstacles. Five steps behind the chair there was a circular door in the floor, which led to the control room. He always left it open so he could hear any beeps the computer might make. He could jump though it and immediately be in the control room, if something did happen.
Not many vessels, as small, as his had observation cabins and that was one reason he had chosen this vessel. One of the other reasons would be evident if any of the others gave him any trouble.
He had just taken a couple of sips of the tea when his sensor array beeped. Something was coming. After glancing at the small repeater screen, near the chair he was relaxing in, he decided that he had time to enjoy some of his tea.
A few minutes later he observed another vessel make its way though the opening in the far wall. It was a vessel slightly larger than his with different lines, however he could see that it too had an observation blister.
His ship was very streamlined, looking very much like pictures he had seen of spy planes flown way back in the 1950s on Earth. The Future was thicker than those planes, with various blisters along each side. Some blisters protected sensor arrays while others hid weapons. One larger blister on top, toward the back, made up the top part of this cabin. This new vessel was less streamlined and more cubic looking.
“So”, he spoke out loud, a bad habit he let himself have, “the first one has arrived”.
After another thought he added, “The first one after me that is”.
Now he had to decide rather to contact the newcomer, or allow the person to contact him. It was possible that it was not one of the ones he was expecting. Someone else could have made the trip, but he just shrugged thinking that he would find out soon enough.
The other would know that he was there. The new ship's
sensors would be able to identify his ship easily. He took another sip of the tea rolling it around his tongue. He decided to let the other do the work. He glanced at his sensors again and it showed what he had expected, that the newcomer had no weapons online. He had been careful keeping his weapon systems on standby. They could be at full power in a second, or two though.
He watched the other ship stop in the center of the clear area. His sensor screen showed that the single occupant of the new ship first scanned the clear area, some of the surrounding asteroids and finally executed a deeper scan of Samuel's ship.
Seconds later his comm unit beeped the incoming message signal. He decide to jump down to his command room instead of
activating the observation cabin's comm screen. It would lower
from the ceiling and obscure most of the window he was now looking out of. That was one of the few things he didn't like about this ship.
He sat down the still half filled cup, stood than running to the hatch he leaped though it, landing easily, flexing his knees as his feet touched the floor. He quickly straighten up and took the three steps to the main comm unit. He activated it and, as the screen slide up out of its recess a picture formed on it. It showed the head and shoulders of a fairly young man with medium length reddish hair, bright green eyes. He looked to be in his 30s, 38 to be exact, Samuel knew. Even though the image on the screen had longer hair than he expected, it was one of the people he had been expecting.
He said in a deep voice with proud ring in it , "Greetings. I am Samuel G. Longrian."
The other responded with a hello, and by saying his name.
Samuel said, "I've been expecting you."
"I am, on the other hand, fairly surprised to see you."

Samuel sat down in his captain's chair and said, "After some thought I concluded that I wouldn't be the only one to learn of the process, and be willing to test it."
"Now that you mention it, it's obvious." The other said with a smile.
They chatted for a long period of time, describing their lives plus getting into the history and modern affairs of both their worlds. During their talk more ships joined them. Some came though the short channel and others came though the narrow wall of asteroids that made up the edge of the belt.
Soon the clear area was full of one man ships. Many were carbon copies of Samuel's ship, while three were copies of the second arrival's ship.
Of the ship's similar to his, most were black, even though two of those had red trim. One copy was bright red and three had been painted white. One of the white ones had red trim while one had black trim. The third was solid white.
The smallest of the ships arrived almost last. This ship was the only one with just a passenger compartment, to Samuel it looked to be some type of runabout: long, narrow, with two drive pods next to the hull and what might be a shark’s fin on top. It was purple, blue, green with chartuse trim of all colors That ship came through a side wall, thick with larger asteroids, and stayed to one side, instead of mixing it up with the other vessels.
The second to the last ship to arrive zipped though the opening at breakneck speed. Its pilot almost scraped two ships sitting near the opening. Finally it executed a maneuver that could only be called screeching to a stop. Even before this new ship had come to a complete stop, its occupant had sent a signal, interrupting all of the other comm signals being used.
His image showed a man with long flowing hair, a muscular figure except for the start of a beer belly, he wore a black turtleneck with slacks. he said, "I am here, let the party begin."
Samuel noticed that even though this brash new comer looked to have the same build as most of the others, some were a little heavier while some were a little scrawnier, he seemed to take up more room. It was as if he had a large body to go with his loud voice. His green eyes were intense while having a humorous twinkle to them. He dressed in an older, to Samuel, casual-dress style. The majority of the others were dressed in a casual-formal style. Samuel's clothes were one step up from them. Some of those gathered wore ship jumpsuits. One man dressed in bright colors of a form of robe.
Some of those present ignored the newcomer going back to their conversations. Others greeted him like a long lost brother.
Samuel, along with everyone else in the gathering, talked for many hours, after taking his leave of the first man. Some shared computer files: with songs, books, histories etc, while others just chatted. Finally, after most of those talking considered it to be late night, the conversations ended for the day. Many went to bed, while others stayed up even later. The noisy one invited some over to his ship where they partied far into the "night". 
 The next morning, ship time, Samuel G. Longrian woke and had a leisurely breakfast. Afterwards he commed a few of those present, he hadn’t had the time to talk to the previous evening. Hours later he realized that he had talked to most of those present. He had declined invitations to come over with various excuses and made more excuses when two of the more brash ones wanted to visit him.
He had, as most had, exchanged adventure tales, while asking questions about the other person's background. Samuel asked some questions a few had thought strange.
He looked at his computer's screen and decided that he needed to talk to just two, or three more than he could go home. He was uncharacteristically a little nervous about the return trip. The process had worked once to transport him here, as it had worked in tests, therefore it should function correctly to send him back home. Should was the operative word though. In his life he had found many things that should work didn't. There was always the possibility that it would not work at all, or that it would send him someplace else. The process had been steady and reliable in the many tests, but a part could short or disappear on him. That had happen twice during his first tests. He had learned that most of the others had the same test results. Except for three he had talked to. One had gone through the tests like they were not really needed, another had better success so hadn’t needed the same number of tests. Samuel thought about talking to him more but he seemed even more intellecual then Samuel which was sating a lot. He mentally shrugged there was always a chance of harm in most things humans do, even in ordinary travel.
His musings were interrupted by his comm unit beeping. Someone else wanted to talk to him. Which was fine with him. That is it was fine, until he keyed his unit to receive. A picture of the person comming him instantly appeared.
The one comming him was dressed in the same tasteful clothes as Samuel was and had his hair in the same style. Samuel eyed the other warily, pressing a button that traced the comm signal back to its source. He wasn't surprised that it led back to a vessel very similar to his. It was one of the black ones and had exactly the same power readings as his vessel.
The other smiled warmly, which did not reassure Longrian, and said, "Hello, brother traveler. Is this what you expected?"
Samuel said, "Yes and more. This is wild.”

end part one

Saturday, December 2, 2017

excerpt from 2017 NaNoWriMo

An excerpt of this years NaNoWriMo novel. This is from story one. It's science fiction and takes place in the far future.

To find out more on nano go to

 A couple of years a go I discovered in NaNo's rules that we can do short stories with two stipulations: have to go together and they all equal at least 50,000 words. So this year I did The Adventures of Lance J. Starhammer five stories that equal 54,600 and some words. Someone has cursed him to live in interesting times and he has to find out who and stop them.

Lance is a Jack of All Trades who do many things for money, usually loners they can con, rob, smuggle, race, do unusual jobs. Some are little better than pirates but others have some scruples and will only go so far. Lance has run blockades to get food to people, and conned dishonest politicians among many other Jobs. 

I will be publishing the Lance Starhammer stories which is why I am changing the NaNo ending by adding to it. I didn’t have time to do the ending I wanted so I am doing it now. And I will also be adding a couple of little things here and there. I thought of two things while writing the last story that I need to add earlier. I hope to have it out in Jan or Feb. Three of the stories have been revised and I don't plan on adding to it beyond what I have stated.

In story one, Lance is transporting five very large creatures for a certain company using one of their ships. Someone has been releasing them. Lance and a Nancy works for the company full time has been trying to figure out who let out the first one. Then this happens.


Lance hit the intercom button, spoke, “Potential escape of Number Three, bring the sedative for it and the correct way to administrate it. Now!”
He thought of saying, “This is no drill”, but they hadn’t had that many drills, and he thought they should be able to figure that out with what they got paid. And with two men missing, dead, those six would earn their pay if that creature got out.
Nancy said, “What did you see?”
“I don’t know but something is not as it should be, I trust my instincts.”
He had called for the emergency response without thinking. He wasn’t even sure what he had seen. A flicker much faster than last time?
At another thought he hit the intercom button again, “Watch out, it could smoother you. Check out the bulkheads and ceiling outside the cage and inside. It likes to climb.”
In his mind he could see Jorge whispering that he knew that, while Tony would agree.
Lance decided he better go see what was happening but he told Nancy, who still seemed to want to go with him, to drive the tram. This way he could rewatch the door scenes and maybe see what had hit his subconscious.
He thought there was a very slight flicker but it hit him just before Nancy stopped the tram and said, there were there: the door looked the same in both recordings. It shouldn’t if the second recording had been taken from another angle. Shadows and blemishes should look different.
By the time they arrived, gotten out of the tram and walked the rest of the way to where the cages were, the creature, a giant being that looked like a half formed curving of an insect, It even creaked like stone when it moved, had been shooed back into its cage. Not the one he thought had escaped but it had been out. His men were having problems getting the door down and shut.
Lance was glad this worked out easy for the insect statue liked to walk up walls, but they had gotten it back in while it was still on the deck. Easier than he thought it might be. In its native habitat it walked on huge trees where it laid eggs and ate of the bark and leaves of that tree. It did eat other plants, and even some smaller insect type creatures that didn’t get out of the leaves it was eating, but it didn’t hunt or otherwise search for meat of any type.
A moment later though he looked at the door again,
He raised his voice, “Wait guys.”
They looked at him, he said, “Wrong cell.”
Tony said, “What? It was the one that was open.”
Lance shook his head, “I recognized the type of door it had. And checked the older recordings. Its cell is the one to the right of it.”
They looked at the doors in confusion.
Tony turned back to him and said, “Which creature was in that one?”
“The long, skinny blob, looks almost like a short, thick transparent snake.”
“And it likes to climb too.”
At just the right moment with what he said, a shadow moved on the deck near his feet. Again Lance grabbed Nancy and took off running toward the other bulkhead. Something wet sounding and large made a plop behind him.
Yeah, they like to climb walls but don’t always do a good job of it. I was right they can smoother you though if they land on you.
Nancy screamed this time. Maybe it had to do with the smell of the thing: unusual crap, dried mud, decay all mixed together, with how close it was.
Lance said, “Don’t worry, they don’t hunt meat or people. They are careless though. They don’t care you are there or are not intelligent enough to understand about getting out of the way of others.”
One of the other workers said, “How do we get the insect out this one’s cage?”
Lance said, “Take leaves from its cage and lay a trail to its cage,” as he ran toward them.
At least they had some form of stuff to knock this one out. Five of the men went to get the leaves. Very large with a rounded end and a stick at the other end that you did not want to touch. It was covered with tiny thorns and hooks. Not deadly even with its size but they still hurt.
What to do with the snake blob though? Even knocking it out was not the answer unless it was inside the cage.
His feet hit the deck hard this time, of course this part of the ship was reenforced with armor. Which made it harder when he hit it with any part of his body. He arrived where the one man was, Jaried, he thought. He wore a tank on his back which had a hose that led to a strange smaller rifle in Jaried’s hands. Next instant Lance identified the weapon. Not a gun but a spray nozzle set to spray out what was in that small tank. Another tank, hose, sprayer lay next to Jaried. Its user would be with those with the leaves.
At that moment two came around a corner. They each carried six of the leaves. Each one reached from the man’s fingertips to way past the man’s elbow and were wide enough to carry with both hands, like some type of huge meat platter shaped like a leaf. They were brown and reddish with a bit of what looked like blue throughout each one.
They left two in the doorway then placed one every couple of feet until the path led into the insect’s cage. A dozen had been placed inside on the deck.
Lance hoped they got it in and the door closed because it stunk in there. He decided to check on how often it had been cleaned out. Or for that matter if it needed to be. A very likely possibly existed that their natural den stunk that badly.
He wished for some gum to clean out his mouth. And by the look on her face Nancy had the same idea. The team didn’t seem to be bothered all that much. Maybe they were used to it, or stinks didn’t bother them that much. That might be one reason they were hired.
It took ten minutes to get the statue insect back in its own cage. Maybe that is why they had to force it into the other one. It knew it was not the correct den. This door closed as easily as it should.
Good something worked.
Now to get the long blob back into its place. At least that cage didn’t smell as bad. All of the stink had been absorbed by the creature, he thought. Even though it didn’t smell as bad as the insect’s cage or other stinks Lance had smelled over the years.
It had climbed the bulkheads and fell five times that he counted, while they had worked on getting the other one in its cage. How do you get this one in its cage?
First though…
“Let’s get the door to close.”
Tony tried it and this time it came down as it should.
Each of the team stared at it.
Lance said, “Maybe you pressed the button for the other door on your tablet when you thought this cage was the insect’s. This one didn’t close because you pressed the one already closed.”
Two of the team nodded as if that made sense. They tried the food trail again, once they figured out what this one wanted. But it didn’t seem interested. Full maybe? It didn’t like to eat outside its den? It didn’t really eat but undulates over the food to absorb it which is why it always had that decay smell.
Maybe they should use slight shocks. They had electric stun weapons on board. Start with the lowest setting and go up and have five of the men use them. They might use the crane deigned to carry huge beasts once it lay there out, even though it could harm this one. So could the shocks but they had to use something.
He ordered Tony to go get five stun weapons. The man looked at him for a moment but turned to leave. It shouldn’t take him long for there was a lounge with an emergency locker, which included these weapons, nearby. If not there was also a full armory two levels higher and over a section.
He looked at the other men and said, “Any ideas on how to get this fellow back in his home away from home without the electrical shocks?”
They all thought and they all shook their heads. It would be a good mark on his record f one of them could think of something, but there might not be another way.
One of the men said, “We tried food, we got out of the way, we yelled at it. Put hot sauce on the walls?”
 Lance said, “It might like it and it would take a whole lot of hot sauce.”
The man said, “Yeah, it would but I was kidding about that part.”
“I know, but I would try it anyway if I knew it could work.”
Lance waited for Tony to get back and thought some more. That much hot sauce would definitely smell up the whole passageway. It might even cover the stinks made by the open doors.
A new thought hit Lance. It is too perfect in here.
How about heat or cold. Would either chase it back into its den? He didn’t know. But more than likely one would. He rushed over to the master cage block menu, fed it his passwords when they were asked for. them
He found the correct menu. A movement caused him to look behind him. Tony stood there with the five shock weapons. His eyebrows went up, they looked like stub nosed small versions of the typical U-6 laser rifle. Someone didn’t have much of an imagination when it came to weapons.
“One moment, I am trying something else.”
Nancy was at another terminal, she sent a note to his that stated she was looking for the perfect weather for these snake-blobs.
He nodded, he would need that.
A moment later a new note formed. So that cold? Hmm.
He set the temperature level to cold enough for ice to form. He saw her stare at him with what might be confusion on her face. He looked up at her than her second note.
Damn, thrice used air filters.
He switched menus as quick as his fingers moved. There that second note had come from a different terminal. He resisted the urge to look up at where the closest camera was located. Someone had to be watching them and following their moves via computer probably via tablet.
A quick change again this time he waved his little finger over the spot for security protocols to begin.
He looked up suddenly said, “Damn, did that again what is with my little finger?”
A quick search through a list of tablets someone had hooked into the computer. There were seven in altogether. Almost like a miniature internet, he thought.
Two were needed, and used all the time, so he assumed it would not be them.
Another thought came to mind. If it turned out to be his, he would scream, hit his head on the monitor and punch someone hard, fast and continuous.
Lance found his but even though hooked in, it was on stand by which made him let out a breath of relief. A moment later he found two more. Looked closer at both. One watched movies his tablet held on the large screen set in that person’s cabin. He looked closer at it. No, no porn. He thought it would be porn and half afraid it would child porn or worse, but no just a regular movie. An old one in fact converted to this format.
He moved on to the next one. It had been disconnected but he was able to get a reading on it and send it to his tablet.
Nancy waved at him, got his attention. She pointed to his screen and made a writing motion with her hand. He got back to the temperature menu and saw that she had sent a note.
So heat would be better?
Not surprising.
Lance raised the air temperature.
Out load he said, “It's going to get very hot in here in a minute or so. Leave if you have to but it won’t last long,” he added to himself, “At least I hope so.”
Soon the air got hot, than hotter still. The creature bopped up and down and made a strong noise. Finally it moved toward its cell. Lance found the cell controls, made its cage cooler and blew air from it, like a strong breeze.
The snake-blob looked at the cage three times. Either it hated being in there, or it was just plain stubborn. He bet on the last and made it even hotter.
Sweat rolled down the back of his neck. Not so much under his arms though. The jumpsuits were heat and cold resistance. But his feet were out of them and now hot.
His own smell got worse, he licked his lips and came away with a salt flavor.
Two of the men took off their shirts, the creature looked uncomfortable.
Two other men moved closer to the snake-blob’s cage. He hoped it wasn’t too close for that might make the thing not want to go in. But then again it didn’t seem to notice people, or other animals or care if one was around.
A wet bounce made him look. It had fallen from its wall spot and bounced. That didn’t seem good. But it recovered and moved toward its cage. When it hit the cooler air coming from the opening, it moved faster. Within seconds it was inside. Evidently it could move fast when it wanted to. Someone hit the close button and the door came down.
Good, he got the right one.
Even before the door closed Lance had the temperature come down. He wanted to melt in relief but no time to relax. He grabbed one of the shock rifles and headed out the door. Soon he saw that Nancy had one and was with him. Tony wasn’t too far behind them. Back-up was good but did they know what they were letting themselves in for? No time to explain though.
He ran to a tram started it and gave it a heading and emergency speed, but didn’t get in. When Tony looked at him and the tram Lance shook his head. The little car took off like it would if someone drove it. Now if no one else saw it and tried to stop it.
He ran to the jefferies tube connection slipped in through a barely opened door. The elevator maintenance people used wasn’t connected to the main menu like the tram was. This elevator was basically only three feet wide, three deep with walls that ended at waist level. All three got in and up they went.
Once at the right floor it stopped and Lance got out, the others followed. Before they went through the hatch way he said, “This could be dangerous, I don’t know the motivation of the person who released the gagturid, I assume he did the other two to create confusion, but I don’t know. He might be crazy, he might be some form of animal rights terrorist, or someone who just likes to cause problems for other people. He may react calmly when I approach him, he may get violent, or sneaky and just pretend to cooperate. He may have helpers or he may not. Or a something set up already to trap or harm us.”
Tony said, “We get the picture. We know the danger already.”
Lance nodded and opened up the hatch out of the jefferies tube. No one was around. Lance wiped sweat off of his face. He had expected someone with a weapon.
When they went through the hatch Nancy said, “I was wondering how long you were going to talk us out of it.”
“I don’t want any harm to you on my conscious.”
“That’s nice, but we made up our own mind. But what about you?”
“I’ve been in violent situations before. And I am angry at this guy. He is responsible for the deaths of two men and of endangering this job.”
“Were you in the military?”
“I did a stint as a fighter pilot, found it wasn’t for me, but by violent I meant in fights with Crime bosses and other Jacks of all trades. Some are no better than pirates.”
She would know some of this already if she had read his files or talked about him. He let out more than he had wanted to but as he said he was angry.
A pause then, “Now we can have the rest of this discussion later, quiet from now until this is over.”
They both nodded. He was surprised by how well and fast Tony obeyed.
He set his shock rifle on the medium level, that way even a near miss could slow the man down. They walked on until they got to a certain door. He motioned the other two away from where the outside camera could not see them. He tapped the tiny square next to the number pad to alert the person or people inside that they had company.
To his surprise the door open. No one stood there. He peeked in and no one stood or sat, even close to the door.
He looked around the passageway just in case someone snuck up on him to harm him, or push him inside and lock the door. Belatedly he thought that of course Nancy and Tony were there to stop anyone or scream if someone showed up and surprised them.
He pulled out his tablet and speed checked where everyone was. According to the ship the person he wanted was in here. The sensors could be tricked of course so just as well go in and see. He walked in and found himself in a living room. His tablet had been set for detecting anyone close and would chime and buzz even with it in its holder.
No one hid behind the couch or in the closet. He walked to the bedroom and wondered if he would find a dead body but his tablet would detect one of those too.
He pushed open the door hard enough to slam into anyone on the other side but it just hit the wall. He went in with Nancy, Tony stayed on the other side.
The first mate sat at a computer desk. He turned suddenly and stared. “Oh, you’re here already.”
Lance said, “We made enough noise.”
“I was concentrating.”
He rolled the chair all the way around to face him. It took Lance two-seconds to see the hand gun The second mate held.

end excerpt