Friday, April 26, 2013

Star Trader Update - Post .013

Don't miss out on 3su's previous adventures. Check out her latest with Ambassador Attalla at the link below. 

And stay tuned here for an exciting announcement tomorrow...
(You're going to like this - A lot!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Star Traveler - Special Delivery: The True Story - Part 2

Now for the end of the true happening on Alta III. The recovery of the Blasters, Jake's and mine.

             I kept telling myself there was no reason to be reckless about this. I made it over the wall without incident. I was well hidden in a shadowed corner of the garden trying to time the guards making their rounds without the luxury of a watch. I tried to gauge how late it was and how much more darkness I had left.
 I am not patient by nature. I watched the pair of guards pass one more time, took a deep breath and made a crouching sprint for the trellis that climbed up the palace wall to the balcony where Muloot fell. I hoped to find Rand there, or at least be able to backtrack from there to his personal quarters where he hopefully slept like the dead, unguarded, and I could snatch my blaster and run like hell. I know, big stretch, but I was desperate.
I was a bit noisier then I hoped to be climbing the trellis, but luckily did not draw any attention from the guards. I made it to the balcony without incident. The room I was now familiar with was dimly lit and unoccupied. Now that I was here, I wondered if it was even conceivable I would be able to find Rand without running into a guard and getting myself recaptured. And, what would the future ruler of Alta III do with me when he found I didn’t return with his prospective bride in tow? You would think I would have thought this out before scaling the trellis, but as I said, I am a little impatient at times.
I tried to think of what I saw through doorways when Fatu and Salib walked me down the hall last time. I did remember one room that looked more masculine and palatial then the others. It did have a bed. If I was lucky, it was Rand’s room. I tiptoed to the door and slipped out into the hall. The carpet deadened my steps as I crept slowly forward. Everything seemed quiet. I paused outside the door to the room I thought was Rand’s. I put my ear up to it and listened. Was it too much to hope for a very loud snore from the other side?
 I took a chance, opened the door slowly and squeezed in. I closed the door gently behind me and stood for a moment letting my eyes adjust to the dim light from a candle on a sideboard under a mirror. There was a lump under the covers. Whether it was the right lump was the million chit question.
Without taking a step I scanned the room for something recognizable. Something that would tell me for sure the lump was Rand. I spied it hanging from the corner of the mirror. It was his medallion. The one I saw him wear each time I was with him. Unless his father possessed one just like it, this had to be Rand. I moved a step or two closer and caught a glimpse of my holster and blaster hanging from the bedpost at his head.
I crept forward and sure enough, ‘baby bear’ was fast asleep. I slowly slid the holster off the bedpost. Standing here, he was lying facing me. I was starting to retreat when I heard the door latch and saw the handle move. I ducked onto the balcony at the head of the bed.
The door slowly opened and Jake slipped in. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was he doing here? I mean, sure, I had expected my crew to contact him, but for him to show up now… right when I had everything solved and almost put to right.
I crept out from my hiding place exposing myself to him. He looked as shocked to see me there as I was to see him. He motioned with his hand from his hip like he was drawing his blaster. I grinned and patted my hip confirming that I had my blaster. He shook his head and did the motion again. It was then that I noticed he didn’t have his blaster on. Oh Shit!
It was at this point that Rand chose to snort and move in his sleep scaring the life out of me. I stood immobile waiting for him to settle down again. He rolled over. I could see the barrel of Jake’s blaster peeking from under his pillow.
I pointed to show Jake I spotted his weapon. I motioned with my hands prayer-fashion to the side of my face that the warlord was sleeping on it.
Jake motioned for me to come to him. I didn’t get to find out what his plan was because the first step I took landed my foot on a squeaky floor board and Rand came up out of his sleep like a cornered animal.
Jake’s blaster materialized in his hand. He grabbed me around the waist and pulled me face down across him. He held me in place with one strong arm. Maybe he was thinking of using me as a shield, because he immediately followed that motion with a sighting in on Jake and pulled the trigger.
But, nothing happened. Jake was still moving toward Rand. Rand pulled the trigger again and again as Jake covered the distance from the door to the bed. I rolled under my capture’s arm and managed to get my gun hand free. I pulled my blaster, stuck it up to his chest and pulled the trigger. Rand went limp under me, stunned back to sleepy time.
Jake had made it to us. He jerked his blaster out of the warlord’s hand.
“Damn it, 3su,” he whisper yelled at me. “I had this covered.”
“Oh, yeah,” I said rolling my eyes. “I can see how well you had it covered.”
“He can’t harm me with a bio-encoded weapon,” Jake hissed. “He couldn’t have used my gun against me.”
I pushed my blaster back into its holster. “Well, he sure as hell could have killed you with mine,” I breathed heatedly.
“Well, if you wouldn’t go around carrying a non-coded, black market special we’d all be better off,” Jake retorted.
Jake grabbed my hand and pulled me up off of Rand’s limp body.
“Out of here. Now!” Jake ordered.
I led the way. When we got a safe distance from Kadear Jake turned to me.
“You can get yourself in some of the worst messes,” he said as he ran his hand through his hair in agitation.
“I was doing just fine,” I countered.
“Yeah, right…” Jake drawled.
“Well, Jake…” I said turning to him with my hands on my hips in contempt. “You tell it anyway you want, but I was doing just fine without your help this time. I saved your ass for a change.”

“So let Jake tell the story anyway he wants. In this case, I let the ego win.” 3su

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Star Travelers - Special Delivery: The true story - Part 1

So... What you just read is how Jake always tells the story of the mission to Alta III. I'd just like to make a couple of important corrections to that recounting. Just for the Record - this is how it really went down... Let me take you back to the game of CU with Aldobi Rand...

“I value my men's recommendations, Harcourt,” Aldobi-rand said as he poured Jake and Fatu another goblet of wine. “But, I must ask, why Alta III?”
“I heard it was a lucrative gig if you could find the right employer,” Jake answered.
Fatu introduced him as a mercenary for hire. He built up Jake’s past exploits and padded a few numbers to make the freelancer an appealing asset to acquire.
“Good, I like a man that can be bought,” Aldobi-rand said with a smile. “Makes negotiations so much easier when it all comes down to money, and not title or duties. You don’t have any qualms about duties do you Harcourt?”
“I’m a mercenary,” Jake said. “Tell me what you want done and I’m your man for the agreed upon price, but cross me and you’re dust beneath my thrusters,” Jake warned.
“I can live with that,” Rand agreed.
“You will enjoy having Jake around for those quiet times too,” Fatu said. “He is a really good CU player.”
Aldobi-rand rose to the bait. His ego would not let the offhanded challenge pass. “Really? How about a game right now? I haven’t played in ages, but I wouldn’t mind a little game if there was a lucrative enough incentive.”
“I don’t have much on me,” Jake said. This was the plan Fatu and he came up with yesterday when they conceived the idea - enough money to play a game or two and lose. No more.
“How much?” Rand asked.
“I’ve got two gold ingots and a hand full of chits.” Jake pulled them out of his pocket as he spoke.
“I can cover that.” Rand said. “We can play a couple of rounds, anyway.”

The first game Aldobi-rand really did win, but by the second Jake was on to his ‘tell’ and let him win the second and third. Fatu floated him a loan, as planned, and he won the forth. He couldn’t look like a total non-challenger.
Jake raked in the pot. “Want to play one last hand? I’m beginning to feel lucky. Let me see if I can win a bit back.”
“I would, but I don’t think you have enough to stay in the game.” Aldobi-rand fingered his winnings.
“I tell you what,” Jake said. “I been noticing your Class I Blaster there.” He nodded at 3su’s weapon strapped to the man’s hip. “That’s almost a collector’s item these days. They don’t make that model anymore. I’ll bet my new Magnum Class against it. I win. I get the whole pot, whatever we’re up to and the antique. You win, you get the pot and the newest model on the market. How’s that for a deal.”
It didn’t take Aldobi-rand more than thirty seconds to agree to the bet. As Fatu expected he not only thought he lost the use of it as a blackmailing tool against a woman in the hands of the opposing tribe’s inquisitor, but he was also greedy and desperate for the newer model.
Jake drew the game out as long as possible. It really could have been a quick dusting cause every time Aldobi-rand bluffed he clenched his jaw. He was bluffing now. It was odd that no one ever pointed that ‘tell’ out to him. Then again, maybe the guys around here liked having the upper hand with the boss in one field at least.
After the fifth round and both blasters were on the table Jake thought it was time, but Rand beat him to it.
“CU,” Rand declared with a sly smile. He laid his hand down. It was a Full Galactic Flush against Jake’s Half Flush. The bastard won.
Jake’s eyes squinted into slits. The cleaver bastard had played him and he didn’t even see it coming. The ‘tell’ was a trick. Jake was decoyed like a rosy flat-beak to a pond.
Rand picked up Jake’s blaster from the top of the pot and strapped it on his other hip opposite 3su’s. He grabbed the fruit bowl from the low table, dumped its contents and raked the rest of the pile into it.
“Nice playing with you, Harcourt,” he grinned and offered his hand. “Maybe we can have a follow-up game sometime.”
Jake stood, rage boiling just below the surface. Damn! He let the man play him like some school girl.
Fatu impatiently pulled on his sleeve. He didn’t want the mercenary to do anything rash. They both needed time to figure this out.
Jake took the warlords hand. “Another time,” he promised.
Rand nodded in dismissal.
As soon as the door closed behind them Fatu turned on Jake. “I thought you said you knew how to play CU?”


Stay tuned for one more correction to Jake's story. How the whole mission came to an abrupt end.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Star Trader Update - .012

Be sure to read the latest posting to the Star Trader Updates "Councils, Contracts and Confusions .012"

And, keep an eye here for an alternate ending to "Special Delivery" starting here tomorrow. Things are not always the way 'some people' tell them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Star Travelers - Special Deliver: Snakes!

The guys decided to spend the night on board Ma-rye-a. I put them up in the guestroom. Come morning we would all go our separate ways. The boys had a gig already lined up. Jake picked it up off his sub-space messages once we got on board. He and Arr were headed out to meet up with Tim O’Malley.
            I needed to see if I could still make the appointment with Dr. Morie. I promised Daniel. I didn’t intend to go back on my word. There was still a lot I had to sort through. This mission was just an interlude.

            About 3:00 a.m. I woke in a cold sweat convinced there was something in my bed. It was a nightmare of course, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I put on my robe and padded quietly down the hall to the mess where I intended to get a cup of tea to settle my nerves. When I rounded the corner I found Arr already sitting at the table, cup in hand.
            “Snakes?” I asked.
            “Snakes,” he confirmed.
            It seems nightmares are not confined to the human species.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Star Trader Update Post .011

Check out the latest post to the Star Trader Updates Site. One of the Past Adventures of 3su "Councils, Contracts & Confusion."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

We 3 Now Available on Kindle

Dear Readers,

If you have been reading my Non-fiction site "We 3" I am pleased to inform you, it is now available on Kindle for the reasonable download price of $2.99.

We 3 is a collection of stories – sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious, always authentic – about a baby boomer (me) caring for her aging parents. First printed as a monthly column in the Gresham Outlook between 2003 – 2008, they were collected in book-form in 2007 (Mt. Hood Community College Press).

If you are reading my Sci-fi please stay tuned. It will soon be available on Kindle as well. All 6 volumes.

And if that wasn't enough good news... Keep your eye on this site. Three more posts to conclude "Special Delivery" then I will be giving you a glimpse of my 7th Sci-fi novel in progress.

Happy Reading!

Star Travelers - Special Delivery: Be concerned, Very Concerned

“I can’t believe they were that big,” Cassie’s voice held a note of awe.
“Believe,” I assured her.
“The one at the pod door could have eaten Kay-o and me whole,” Arr added.
We were all sitting around the table in the mess aboard Ma-rye-a. There was no need to hurry on now that we were safe up here orbiting above Alta III. Jake felt certain we made a clean escape. I was on an adrenalin high. It felt so good to have my blaster on my hip again and my friends at my side.
“I always wondered if it was superstition or if there really was something during the eclipse to be concerned about,” Jake informed us.
“Be concerned, very concerned,” Arr advised. The hair on his arms still stood up as he recounted the encounter with the snakes at the pod.
“There is no record of them in the planet’s database,” Horus assured us. “I would have warned you had I known.”
Moby’s prep unit spit out another plate of cookies and the conversation shifted to Jake’s meeting with Fatu and the battle of CU for my blaster.

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