Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 6

“Up there,” Austere exclaimed as she tilted her wings toward her clan’s home.

Zodic shifted the weight of the stag hindquarter in his paws. He dug his claws in to make sure he didn’t drop it. The view before him was amazing. The ice wrapped around the mountain like a flowing blanket. It glistened and sparkled like polished stone in the late morning sun. Within the folds of the ice were pockets where Zodic could see white dragons tucked away in their nests of furs, some singularly, some couples and many families.

As they approached, the dragons rose from their nest sites like an excited flock of cliff dwelling birds. The air was full of Frost dragons sailing and drifting lazily on the updrafts off the mountain face the ice climbed upon. But, Zodic noted there were no alarm calls, no warning or threatening roars, only an attentiveness to the Furry that was approaching their lair. All of a sudden he felt very out of place in what he had always thought was a beautiful coat of black.

“This way,” Austere called and began to ascend the ice covered ridge.

Zodic could see she was leading him to an ice shelf about mid-way up the mountain slope. He caught the updraft off the mountain beneath his wings. The lift was refreshing and gave him assistance with his heavy load.

Austere circled to one side and came in from the upwind side of the ledge.

“Claws!” She cautioned over her shoulder. “Watch the ice.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 5

Zodic stood stark still poised on the layer of ice covered snow, his head cocked to one side, his ears pricked forward intently listening. Trenic was a few yards away in exactly the same pose.

All at once Zodic rose up to his full height on his hind legs, he curled his head down and plunged forward with his front paws, crushing through the ice and burying the top half of his body, up to his waist below the snow. When he pulled himself back out he had a huge grin on his face. He could feel the mouse running around frantically on his tongue.

“Ieee Whinnn!” he hollered at Trenic without opening his mouth.

When his friend looked up. Zodic opened his mouth and the mouse shot out like a minnow trying to escape a larger fish. It slid and scurried across the ice until it found refuge under a snow covered bush.

“Two out of three,” Zodic crowed. “I win.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 4

Austere had left during the night and made her way back to her hunting den. The den was built over another small stream which flowed into the far side of the lake. The entry was from underwater, but the den itself sat on fallen logs and brush she gathered to make a floor. Overhead the carefully interwoven branches were strong and covered with a deep layer of insulating snow, which kept the den warm with merely her own body heat.

The clan had many of these dens scattered throughout their territory. These were used to stash their catches and kills until they had enough to make the trip back to the ice lair worthwhile. Austere’s clan was matriarchal. Her mother’s litter mate was in charge and ruled with a council of her female peers including Austere’s mother. The un-mated females and the males were the hunters for the clan. They often spent days or weeks away from the main lair. It was solitary work. That was the reason running into Zodic had been such a thrill.

She thought about spending the whole night with him. She even briefly thought about hunting with him in the morning, but then she thought better of that particular day dream. He was a Furry. Their clan was known to be unfriendly and sometimes downright hostile. But… Austere had seen nothing of that in Zodic. He was polite and gentle. He did not seem to be the big, bad Furry her fellow clan members had always warned her about. He seemed almost timid and very sweet.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 3

The night remained clear and neither of them wanted to say goodbye. They were both dry now and their bodies were suited to this cold climate where they lived. After they finished their meal, Zodic dug a pit in the snow beneath the tree and settled down in it for the night. He would get an early start in the morning. He was determined to get a stag. He had had enough of ice fishing for the time being.

When Austere did not appear to be interested in leaving for her own den, which she said was not far, he raised a wing and invited her to share the warmth of his fur and his makeshift den. She curled up with her back to him and her head lay on his paw. They were both exhausted from the dunking Zodic took and the clean-up afterward. They fell fast asleep before either of them could even bid each other goodnight.

When Zodic woke the next morning she was gone. There was a light snow overnight and when he rose and shook the fur from his coat he saw no sign of her trail. She must have left in the dead of night. The snow had covered her tracks. He couldn’t help himself and put his nose to the new layer of snow in hopes of finding her trail, but it was not to be. There was no lingering scent of her only the smell of fresh snow and the forest at his back.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story Chapter 2

It was the cold from the water where his wings drooped into the river that woke him up. It was late afternoon and he had fallen asleep on the rock warmed by the winter sun. Tracking and chasing the stag all morning had worn him out. He shook his wings without thinking and in the process a dozen fish started to scoot away from his perch. One was exceedingly close to his face as he hung over the edge. Thinking fast he plunged his muzzle in the icy depths intent on catching at least one of the huge fish to take home.

He grasped it in his mouth and pushed up off the rock with his front paws. His mind had time to register that the fish was as long as he was tall with its tail still dangling in the river, flipping water in huge splashed from side to side. He reached out with his front paws to grasp it, when all of a sudden something grabbed hold of it at the tail and pulled hard. Zodic was already a bit off balance with his head stuck out over the water and reaching forward with his front paws while sitting not too steadily on his haunches. The yank from the other end of the fish was hard and his teeth were firmly planted in the head. He toppled forward into the river.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 1

Tonight we start a new fantasy story on the blog.
Follow our story of star-crossed lovers of the Dragonic type.

Zodic knew he was not supposed to be on the ice covered lake. His father, the leader of the Furry Dragon Clan always started out his winter lecture to the young of the clan with his warning about the lake. It was always a temptation for the pups and younglings to play on the ice, but it could be deadly. Furry dragons could swim, but a soaked furry in cold water could easily drown. Their fur kept them insulated against the cold and wind of the high northern regions, but it was heavy when wet - heavy enough to pull a dragon down.

But, Zodic kept telling himself he wasn’t on the lake. He was in the river leading to the lake intent on catching fish. He missed the big stag he was after earlier and he couldn’t fly home without at least some fish to show for his day’s outing.

He dug at the crust of ice formed over the river’s edge and flipped it up piece by piece on to the shore until he had an opening large enough he could see the fish below. The river was fast here and about as deep as he was tall. He figured if he did slip and fall in, he could make his way out. Ten feet wasn’t that deep and it was another hundred before the river spilled into the lake. Here was where the fish usually congregated in the pools just above the falls.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 23 - Final

The whole thing turned out to be a bit anticlimactic. Once the Hummer Arr was talking to understood that the Calpernia, which is what it related to, could fix the problem, the Hummer started bouncing the code out to the Hummers it was connected to, they bounced it to the next group until all the other Hummers in all the NBs throughout the Verse had a copy and the fix for the virus.

All this time the Valarians thought each Hummer team in each NB was an isolated entity, but all along they were connected and had been talking to each other all this time. It was truly amazing.

Our part was finished. The NBs were back online. All the backed up traffic was being routed properly and within a week or so even the outlying areas were back to operation as usual.

The only thing left to deal with was Zackary Taylor.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 22

“The Calpernia’s weapons array just came online,” Ma-rye-a advised me in my ear bud.

“Get out of here!” I shouted.

Jake looked at me as though I lost my mind. I motioned to my ear. He knew I kept in contact with my ship. “Calpernia’s weapons just came up,” I informed him.

Jake stepped to the console and started trying to shut the system back down.

“Come on girl, talk to me,” he coaxed the Calpernia. “Daniel!” he shouted.

“Working…” Daniel answered and continued to push images of data round on the flat in his lap.

“Arr!” Jake hissed.

Arr didn’t even bother to answer. He was humming so loud I thought I could feel the bulk heads vibrate.

“I do not wish to countermand your orders, Captain, but you might need us close at hand for a hasty EVAC,” Ma-rye-a pointed out in her logical, calm voice.

“You can’t EVAC if you are blown up,” I countered. “Get out of here and hide until I call you back. That’s an order!”

“Affirmative,” Ma-rye-a answered.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Art for the Star Traveler Series

I have been having a lot of fun working with an artist on bringing our Star Traveler Team to life.
I am pleased to reveal Jake Harcourt and Arr of the Henu by Vicki Cacciottoli.
Kay-o is coming soon, but I just couldn't wait to show you these great drawings.



I would also like to announce that the Star Traveler volumes are all going to get wonderful new space scape covers over the next few months. Volume 1 and 2 will be posted the day after Thanksgiving, November 28th, in both ebook and paperback on Amazon. Cover Art/Design by Sherry D. Ramsey of Deviant Art.



Now drop down and read the latest chapter of It's All About the Game!

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 21

I handed Arr a cup of his home planet’s herbal stuff called Bitter Sweet. I couldn’t stomach the it, but having grown up with it, he loved it. Arr had been at it for over five hours now - sitting here just a few hundred yards from the NB humming his little heart out with no apparent results.

I had Ma-rye-a holding steady within a pod jump of the Calpernia. Arr explained that the Hummer related to the Calpernia as being the one that talked to them, not Arr, so I ferried Daniel over so he could coordinate with Arr. Arr was trying to convince the Hummers the Calpernia was willing to assist them with the repair of their damaged beacons.

“Thanks,” Arr said, as he took a break and a sip of his Bitter Sweet. He stood to stretch and rolled his shoulders. He had been hard at it. It wasn’t do to not trying that we were still sitting here.

“Any luck?” I asked, as Jake came up behind me with a plate of sandwiches.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 20

I apologize for being so late this week in posting. 
I have been editing a novella for a friend and got tied up until almost 3:30 am this morning. After about five hours sleep, I was at it again and just finished about two hours ago.

 Please except my apology and I hope you enjoy
the next installment of
"It's All About the Game!"


“Sam are you set?” I asked.

I had Ma-rye-a turn around and place us just outside of the window and off to the left, out of the way. I had Sam train our weapons on the mouth of the window. His reaction, and recognition time was far superior to mine. If the Tiltode came though that gate either alone or chasing the Calpernia, I wanted to be prepared.

“Ready and waiting, Captain,” Sam replied.

He had no sooner spoken than the Calpernia came sailing through unhindered. Jake pulled his ship up beside Ma-rye-a as soon as he caught sight of her and Ma-rye-a threw his and Arr’s imagine up on the viewport.

“You okay?” he asked with a concerned look.

“We’re fine. How about you?” I replied.

“A little damage to the hull, but nothing a good Refitting Station can’t bang out.”

I saw Arr behind him putting out a small electrical fire on the bridge with Kay-o their protect Dar-dolf getting in the way. Arr kept pushing the beast down as the thing lunged at the extinguisher as though he thought he had to do battle with it.

“Jake, can you call Kay-o?” Arr yelled.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 19

“We will be exiting the window in ten minutes,” Ma-rye-a announced.

We caught a window and jumped which would put us back in Jake and Arr’s neighborhood. They were just finishing up a mission on Nexus 3 and we planned to rendezvous at the NB just the grid above their location.

“Think your friends will be on time?” Daniel asked.

He had never met Jake and Arr. Daniel stays mostly planet bound, whereas Jake, Arr and I bump into each other pretty regularly between their mercenary missions and my trade-goods deliveries.

“Jake is usually very punctual.”

I leaned forward and flicked the button on the harness mechanism on Daniel’s chair. The harness curled up over his shoulders and across his lap. I sat back and activated mine. Always a good policy to be strapped in when you entered or exited a window. The dangerous thing about traveling through them was that you were basically blind coming and going. No way to determine if there was another ship in one until you entered because something about them dampened the electronics for surveillance until you were inside. And, on exiting there was no way to be sure there wasn’t a ship sitting a wee bit too close to the entrance for you to maneuver fast enough to miss it. I didn’t normally take a window unless I was forced. I felt it necessary under the circumstances.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 18

Claiming to know someone who could talk to the Hummers was taking a wee bit of convincing until Coal managed to pull up some info on his computer about by friend, Arr, Jake Harcourt’s partner. Seemed a doctor named Margaret O’Connor was doing a bit of a study on him and she had recorders that attested to his ability to learn languages faster than a Roughnut snake can swallow a gerbit. You see, Arr’s people all have genetically inherited memories - abilities that are passed from generation to generation in the basic makeup of their brains. Arr can learn languages just by listening to them. Within a few hours he can master any language. Last count he gave me was one hundred and one, and that’s fluent, not just counting to ten and asking where the restroom is located.

A while back Arr and I were stuck in adjoining hospital beds for an extended period of time. We had a lot of time to exchange stories as we healed. That story is in my log books as “Body Bags and Other Dark  Places” if you wish to look it up. Anyway… Arr told me about Jake explaining to him how the NBs worked - that they each held a Hummer inside. Arr was trapped alone on a planet for several years until Jake found him. Arr was shocked to think the Hummers were isolated in the NBs. He wanted to talk to them to make sure they were okay with what he saw as captivity. So Jake parked their ship, the Calpernia, by one and Arr took a few hours to learn their language and reassure himself that they were quite content as they were.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 17

It had been a rough two days. We spent some of it hearing the story of what put Zack in his Servo-chair, some of it listening to Daniel and Zack blaming each other for what had happened with the NBs and a lot of it trying to fix the problem.

The three guys, Daniel, Coal and Zack were currently clustered around his duel monitors mapping a signal to the Valarians which we hoped they would not be able to trace back to us. We didn’t want them running here to arrest Daniel and/or Zack.

All of the guy’s non-stop efforts over the past fifty-six hours had led to dead ends. Each time they thought they had the problem solved something would thwart them. They came to the conclusion the Valarians were somehow blocking their attempts. We took a vote and decided we needed to get them to trust us, to work with us instead of against us.

I was busy at the little kitchenette on the far wall preparing pasta for the crew. From the beginning, not being techie in the least, I was relegated to mess duty. Zack seemed to live on Vita Tabs and some sort of frozen processed junk I was sure a Dar-dolf wouldn’t even eat, and Dar-dolfs will eat most anything. However, finding and procuring enough for all of us to eat was a challenge from the first.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 16

- Thank you for being patient, my dear readers. A day late, but hopefully worth the wait -

Zack was back working at his console. He was diligently trying to figure a way into the NBs. He seemed to be locked out. No doubt the Valarians had taken monumental steps to take down the system in order to prevent the virus infected NBs from doing any further damage, but the news was not good. Everyone was finding that a verse without the beacons was almost impossible to navigate. Regular shipping lanes were backed up. Ships had run out of fuel while trying to make their way independently through the verse, creating a hazard to the ships still trying to navigate their way. It was like having a planet bound airstrip without a control tower.

But, try as he might, the way Zack got into the NB to begin with was blocked and with every new possible breach he ran into another wall as though something was tracking him from the other side just waiting for him to virtually walk in.

He heard the rollers of his front door start to move behind him. He had time to think that it was not Henry’s day to clean and Emery came yesterday, before he turned to find himself looking down the barrel of a Class III Blaster.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 15

Zack sat silently listening to the med tech as he jabbered on and on about the numerous incidents surrounding the breach in the NB operational system.

“I can’t believe someone would mess with those beacons,” the tech said, as he threaded the new tube through the holder on Zack’s servo-chair. “I mean, what kind of asshole would hack something that important to every living being in the verse?”

Zack had experienced a true epiphany the day Daniel triggered the cascade in the beacons. On that day one of the ships that locked onto an infected NB was a tour ship with a load of teenagers coming home from an interstellar field trip. The ship had no weapons to activate. Instead it just took over the controls from the adult crew and flew the ship into the nearest star. It was a long enough trip to the star for all the kids to call home and say goodbye to their family, not long enough for anyone to launch and save them. All twenty-one died on impact.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 14

Dangling from a sheet hanging out of the second story window of Daniel and Targus’ hospital room, I wondered if I had made the right decision. I was on a rescue mission, but it looked like I was the one needing to be rescue at the moment. I have great lower body strength. I could stomp a Tuldavian swamp lizard to death with my spacer boots, but I have no upper body strength. Luckily, Coal thought to tie an occasional knot in the sheets, so I was just cascading from knot to knot. I was losing my grip and concerned that the next one I hit would make my hold break altogether and I would go crashing to ultimately break something and foil our plan for escape. I couldn’t help but ogle the hard ground below.

Our plan was hatched during the day today when Daniel and Coal, putting their two head together, managed to finally track down the source of the NB virus. The perp was a master at covering his tracks. Daniel was like a dog on a scent. He was certain he knew who it was – there were only a few who had been close enough to hack into his server. He knew it wasn’t me. I have to be shown the way into one of his intricate gift boxes of chocolates. This culprit’s identity was buried very deep. It took three full days of searching to prove it was Matt Milestone A.K.A. Zackary Taylor, Daniel’s gaming buddy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 13

The hospital staff on Uli Minor had never seen a Walhmite, so Damion was pulled into surgery to repair Targus’ arm. Not that you could have kept him from his captain’s side. Even though he was exhausted from taking care of his two patients all the way to the facility, he should have rested. He didn’t.

Some technician ran the ultrasonic rock breaker (not its real name – which I can’t pronounce) over Daniel under the guiding eyes of another doctor with headgear on that made him look like a giant fly with multifaceted eyes. After a couple of days of rest and having fluids pumped into him Daniel was still weak, but at least not on the critical unit any longer.

The staff was a bit awed by the three Valarians, Warsy and his two escorts, who followed us in. We were the best entertainment they had ever seen, being an all human colony.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 12

I don’t have a sick-bay aboard Ma-rye-a, so Damion was in the guest room with a dying patient in each bed with nothing more than my first-aid kit. I don’t usually need intensive medical treatment. My medical supplies are geared toward a headache or the flu.

The way Damion explained it was that by the Valarians injecting Daniel with anhydrates, his body was full of what must have felt like small medieval maces floating around inside him.

Targus, on the other hand, almost had his arm torn off.

Damion needed a ship load of painkillers, a well-equipped surgery for Targus and an ultrasound-stimulator to break up the rocks in Daniel’s system. Headache and nausea patches were not going to do the trick.

Coal and Ma-rye-a had their heads together, or at least virtually together, trying to find the quickest route to the best facility for the equipment we needed to save our two friends. Ma-rye-a had already kicked herself into hyper-drive and was speeding toward a window by a little planet labeled M1743H2 when the Valarians overtook us.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 11

Damion walked Targus and me to the pod bay. Targus was examining a small button shaped device he held between his huge fingers.

“An RAS?” he asked Damion.

“A Remote Assessment Sensor,” Damion explained. “The techs at Headquarters gave me the specs when we were in dock last time. I was supposed to field test it. Luckily the specs were in my PDA I had on me when we left the ship. Ma-rye-a ran it out on her fabricator. This is a golden opportunity. If you find Daniel in any type of medical crisis just plant it on any free area of his skin and it will transmit a medical readout to me. Then I can keep you informed while you negotiate with the Valarians.”

Targus slipped it in his breast pocket. He clinched his jaw teeth together and said, "Mike Test, Coal." All Galactic personnel are implanted with a jaw mike and wear an ear-bud when on a mission. They activate the mike by clinching their teeth together. At least that was one piece of equipment they didn’t lose with their ship.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 10

Daniel slipped in and out of consciousness as he lay strapped to the table. When he was lucid he was unable to determine how long he had been here. Longer than two days…Not as long as a week, he didn’t think. If he had been here as long as a week surely someone would have come to his rescue. Theresa knew he was here on Valaria. She called him to say she was going to intercept MT 2424.

When was that? How long ago? Warsy, A-Factor of the Valaria’s High Council, came to request his help in stopping the virus. The administrator was cooperative at that point. He pinwheeled in on his eight legs accompanied by two other lesser Valarians. Daniel was working on setting up the computerized fireworks display for Theresa’s party on the recreational ring of the planet when he arrived. He asked for Daniel’s assistance. The many pops, whistles, and smacks his two mouths made translated through Daniel’s ear-bud.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's All About the Game!- Chapter 9

Zack sat watching the drama unfold across his monitors. The virus he initiated in the beacons around Valaria had done their job. It was better than any game display could possibly be. The mercenary ship opening fire on the settlement on Gamma 3 was his favorite part. He had it on loop and it was playing over and over and over again. The recording, made by a civilian survivor, of the ship descending upon the colony with laser cannons firing, the destruction of the ancient runes the archaeological colony was built around blown into rubble, and the citizens running, screaming. The visuals made Zack’s blood race. He had lost the line between ‘game’ and ‘reality.’

Saturday, August 2, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 8

Targus stood leaning against the wall on my bridge. None of the chairs were large enough for his huge frame.


“The Valarians are always slow to abide by the Galactic Forces Treaty even though they were one of the founding races,” Targus explained.

“What worries me is why won’t they let us at least speak to him via the comlink?” Coal put into words what we were all wondering.

Ma-rye-a hadn’t been able to reach Daniel via the NET or our comlink. We arrived a little over five earth hours ago and had spent that whole time jumping though the equivalent of black holes to find someone high up enough to let us enter Valaria.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 7

“Mayday…Mayday…This is MT 2424,” Coal said in a hoarse voice. Over six hours of calling out to what appeared to be an empty verse had left him hardly able to speak. Next chance he got he was going to rework the gear for longer range coverage and auto-voice repeat presentation.

Up until a little while ago Targus had kept them in the vicinity of the debris field so if someone latched onto the beacon Coal triggered, there would be something bigger to home onto than three small bodies floating in space. But Targus had passed out a few minutes ago. His tanks were nearly empty. It took more air to keep the big guy going. Coal’s heart beat was slower than his Walhmite captain’s or the human medical officer. Damion was out cold too.

“Mayday…Mayday…This is…”

“MT 2424, this is Ma-rye-a ST 1266 - Come back,” 3su’s voice ran in his ears.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 6

Four months later
Targus activated his jet pack which yanked first Coal, and then Damion trailing along behind him on the tether line.

“MT2424 to anyone listening on this channel. Mayday! Mayday!” Coal said over his helmet’s com. “We are adrift in space. Air running low. Mayday! Mayday!”

Targus pushed a piece of the shattered hull of MT 2424 aside. Their Mobile Tactical Unit was little more than space debris. This was not how he wanted to see his command end.

8.10 hours ago

Targus leaned over Coal’s shoulder to look at the monitor. “If we jump through the Window at Triad #3 and then link into the N.B. there we should be able to make it to Valaria in plenty of time. Lay in a course.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 5

Two months later
“How are you feeling,” I asked as I sat in the chair across from Daniel. We were sitting in the covered atrium of the facility. The temperature was perfect, the sound of the water trickling into the pond and the recording of the birds, mixed with the gentle breeze generated by their weather control unit. All in all, it felt like a mild spring day even thought it was minus 243 degrees outside the dome.

“I’m doing well,” Daniel assured me. “You picked out a really nice place.”

Ma-rye-a, Horus, Cassie, and I had talked the night I came home from the dinner with Daniel when I discovered the drugs and the game tweaking. We put our virtual heads together and found an abuse rehab facility on Rigil #3. They had a stellar reputation for helping folks reclaim their lives lost to addiction of any kind. It took me a while to arrange for Daniel’s admittance, and even longer to convince him he needed to go, but he had eventually given in. I can be quite stubborn when the need arises. I just nagged and badgered until he finally couldn’t take it anymore.

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's All about the Game! - Chapter 4

Zackary Taylor a.k.a. Matt Milestone sat at his computer diligently working. He used a VACP or Voice Activated Command Program to put the finishing touches on the computer virus he was creating. Like his character, Matt Milestone, he liked the physical. However, his real body was stuck in a servo-chair and had been for the past ten years since the accident that put him there. He couldn’t even scratch his nose let alone do the physical activity Matt ran through in the games.

The accident was a devastating chemical explosion which killed fifty-three and left Zack and hundreds of others maimed. The loss to the corporation was horrific and sent it into bankruptcy and eventually foreclosure. None of the survivors received any kind of settlement. Zack’s medical bills were so astronomical he gave up on the rehab and the possibility of prosthetics long ago. He ate and defecated through tubes. He was basically a brain in a chair and nothing more.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

It's all about the Game! - Chapter 3

How had the evening digressed this far? No, don’t tell me, I know. Because I lectured Daniel about the drugs, I felt like I should indulge him when he suggested we play a game after dinner.

First off, I must confess I am not a game player. I am probably the only Captain of a star traveling vessel that is not. All of my friends and acquaintances play them to pass time on long journeys. The closest I get to a game is an occasional round or two of CU and, even at that card game-of-chance, I usually loss. That is the reason I do not play. I never get it. I never win. Besides, Daniel built me five incredible AIs who keep me company. I would much rather look over fashions on the web with Cassie and pick out a new wardrobe, virtual or not, or have a great intellectual conversation with Horus, or even repair something with Sam then I would to waste time playing a vid game. But hey, that’s me. And I admit I am a bit strange.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 2

Greeting, by dear readers.

I hope you will bear with me over the next few months. I will be posting just once a week, instead of twice as in the past. I am working on editing my latest book in The Farloft Chronicles editing the 7th in the Star Traveler Series and trying to get all the books up on Smashwords and CreateSapce so you can download and order them in any form you would like. All this 'marketing' stuff takes time so I need to focus and prioritize.

I do not want to disappoint all you loyal readers, so I promise I will give you something worth reading each weekend until the end of this latest Star Trader Update, which I started last week.

I hope you will take the time to jump over and read some of the past Star Trader Updates , if you haven't already and if you want to see what ignited them in the first place, check out the Star Traveler series on Amazon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's all about the Game! - Chapter 1

As promised the beginning of a New Star Trader Episode!

Matt Milestone stood gazing down into the tunnel at his feet. He was a big man. Some said he had been built too big. But, big made him powerful, and he needed to be powerful in his line of work.

He shucked his backpack off his shoulders and began to rummage through it to find the items he had to take with him through the tunnel if his mission was to succeed. He stuffed what he needed into the various pockets of his cargo pants. He could leave his LongRange AW90, but he had to take his blaster. He couldn’t face what was in there without at least some kind of weapon, even if it was a handgun.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Beginning of a New Adventure

I hope you enjoyed Farloft's tale these last few weeks. 
I am sure he will come up with another for us soon. 
Remember if you need a 'Farloft Fix' you can always pick up his Chronicles in the Kindle Store on Amazon or hop over to his blog Farloft's Rhetoric and listen to his free Audio Book.

Starting Saturday we will be revisiting 3su, Star Trader to the Known Universe . 
It is going to be a wild ride you will not want to miss. 
Strap on your blaster, kiss your sweetheart goodbye, and get ready for our next adventure!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 16

The gryphon, and the dragons who had helped rescue them, stood on one side of the meadow. The gryphon were hesitant and appeared to Farloft as though they might take flight at any minute, but they were also exhausted from their ordeal. They stood quietly as they faced the Forest Night Dragon clan led by Vespal.

Melozzo had his wing protectively draped over Belree as she stood with Mims on her back. Jozwik had given up on following the heated discussion and flopped down on her belly to rest her injured wing. The rest of the members of the gryphon colony stood or sat behind Timenall. The hybrid huggled Weirim with a wing as they stood at Salishan’s side as he confronted his father and the other clan members.

“They cannot stay here!” Vespal growled in anger for the umpteenth time. “Their day flights will draw the humans here and put all of us in danger.”

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 15

Farloft was tending to Melozzo’s wounds as the forest dragon cradled one of the gryphon hatchlings in his huge multi-toed paws.

Farloft did not know the hatchlings name just that it had lost both parents in the battle with the Varda and for some reason had taken to Melozzo for comfort. Farloft continued to lick the deep cuts where the forest dragon took the lashes of Ram’s whip to protect the hatchlings. Belree, Weirim’s best friend, was sitting close to Melozzo comforting the young orphaned hatchling by meticulously grooming it. It had fallen asleep, but neither adult had noticed. They were quietly talking above it, their heads close together.

The fires from the funeral pyres Farloft set, one for the Varda, and one for the five gryphon that had died in the fight, were still smoldering below. Timenall, three of the older gryphon, Lopho, Dalfie, and Keeree, and Salishan, were huddled away from the group. They appeared from Farloft’s view to be deep in conversation, but due to the other chatter of the reunited hatchlings with thankful parents, he could not overhear whatever was keeping them occupied.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Timenall and the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 14

Timenall had freed Weirim ,and she in turn had freed Dalfie. The two gryphoness wanted to fight, but the hybrid called them back. “We need to get the packs off the rest so we can get out of here.”

“I am not going anywhere until I see that man Ram die,” Dalfie hissed in anger. She started toward the cluster of men the dragons were holding at bay.

Timenall reached out a wing and batted Dalfie in the face to get her attention. “We need to free the others,” he repeated in a firm tone. “There will be time enough for revenge.” He had no idea that Dalfie had seen her mate die at the hands of the Varda leader.

Dalfie pinned Timenall with a piercing stare. “You free them. I am going to see that these men never leave this valley.”

Timenall reached for her, but she evaded his wing. Weirim nudged him with hers. “You can’t stop her,” she said. “Ram killed Marsdon.”

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 13

Everything seemed to happen at once. The other dragons pushed their boulders down from the rim. Men dropped the leads on their gryphon captives and scrambled from the avalanches created by the huge rolling stones.

As soon as Farloft reached the cage he wrapped his paws around the upper bars and flapped his wings to hover over the hatchlings protectively until Melozzo arrived.

The group of men who had gathered to discuss the problem of getting the hatchling cage around the impediment were regrouping and trying to arm themselves with weapons strapped to the packs on the backs of the their gryphon prisoners - the gryphon were having none of it. They were fearlessly bucking and kicking. The heavy weighted boots on their paws were lethal if they impacted a man’s head or chest.

The other dragons descended following the tumble of rock. They grasp men with claws and teeth and flung them against rock and hard packed trail.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 12

“Back up,” Timenall warned and followed the order with a shove of his wing. “They’ll see you.”

The hybrid and his dragon allies were stationed all along either side of the rim of the canyon the Varda were about to enter. The plan was to separate the caravan into smaller units so the human’s couldn’t put up a unified defense. Last night the dragons placed large boulders in the path that the Varda would need to navigate around and over in single file. As this broke up the line of the caravan the dragons would push some even larger, strategically placed boulders down the canyon walls. At the opposite end of the canyon the dragons blocked the exit totally with boulders and fallen trees. The Varda would not be able to see it until they rounded the curve in the canyon. By that time it would be too late. There would be nowhere to run and no way to drive the cage full of hatchlings through.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 11

Farloft cocked his head as he dipped a wing to get a better look at the scene below. Timenall assigned him the duty to scout out the location and status of the captured gryphon. The hybrid thought the Varda would not associate the dragon with a possible rescue attempt.

Farloft chose to spy on the caravan at night. His night vision was excellent and the fires the Varda clustered around made it easy to survey the kidnappers and assess their strengths and weaknesses.

Farloft had no trouble spotting the cage Timenall described which held the hatchlings. It sat right in the middle of the camp. The little ones were all huddled together in the middle, using each other’s bodies for warmth and comfort. The Varda had the adult gryphon staked out separately, hobbled with their wings bound to their sides and their beaks all covered with wire cages which kept them from chewing off the weighted boots they all wore, much like the ones Timenall was wearing when Farloft found him. The hybrid had told Farloft the boots were way too heavy for any of the gryphon to fly far or high, but they could for a short time if their wings were released. It was only the foolish actions of the Varda not binding his wings right away, and his size and strength from his dragon side, which allowed him to escape in spite of the boots.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 10

Farloft followed Timenall down into a valley surrounded by old growth forest. They had been traveling for three days and finally arrived in the remote area Timenall’s mother once called home before leaving her clan.

Timenall waved a wing toward a meadow below and the pair descended, spooking a small herd of deer from their evening drink at the stream that bisected the lush glade. Farloft’s paws sunk into the dense moss and fern covered floor of the meadow. Even the dragon’s heavy weight rebounded as he approached the stream to get a drink. He marveled at its beauty. The bed was lined with multi-colored agates which sparkled in the rays of the setting sun and the water was crystal clear. Farloft licked the beads of water off his muzzle. It was fresh and left almost a sweet taste in his mouth.

The young dragon raised his head to see a hare sitting on its haunches watching him from the edge of the glade. In the distance his eyes caught a pair of squirrels chasing each other in a frenzy of spring mating excitement around a huge pine tree. Birds flitted, chirped and twittered from all sides as they settled in for the night.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 9

Belree trudged along the steep trail beside Weirim. Her wings were pinned down tight to her sides and her back was heavily loaded with Varda trade goods. The fall of her weighted gryphon paws fell muffled in the dust. Her beak was covered with a cage held on by straps wrapped in a figure eight around her head and neck. She hadn’t had a drink in hours, none of them had. She was so tired and hot, and so very discouraged.


“Why are they doing this?” she asked between gulps of air. “If they want help transporting their goods why won’t they let us fly them?”

“We’re being trained,” Weirim answered her friend. “They want to show us who’s in charge.”

“We aren’t stupid,” Belree countered. “They know we will behave as long as they have the hatchlings.”

Weirim looked back over her shoulder at the caged wagon Riple and Marsdon were pulling. At least the hatchlings didn’t have to walk. They were caged, but they were safe from the whips and the prods the Varda were using so liberally on the adult gryphon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 8

Timenall shook his head. “I just don’t think it is a good idea. You don’t know these people. They are ruthless.”

The two were back at Farloft’s lair and the young dragon was worked up having witnessed the brutality of the crime against the gryphon colony. He was trying to convince his new friend they didn’t have to wait for Timenall’s paws to heal. He could do something in the meantime. He could infiltrate the Varda traders in order to set the captured gryphon free.

“They are not going to refuse the help of a dragon my size,” Farloft boosted. “I can carry four times the weight of an average gryphon. I tell you they would jump at the chance.”

“Farloft,” Timenall was trying to temper the young dragon’s imagined solution. He thought he could just walk in, offer his services and the Varda would fall agreeably at his feet.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter 7



Farloft and Timenall sat on the ledge outside the dragon’s lair watching the sunrise.

“I should go home today,” Timenall said reluctantly. He was not anxious to. “There is something I need to do.” He started to paw at the ground, but thought better of it. The young dragon’s administrations had succeeded in scabbing over the injuries. He didn’t want to break them open. He would need his paws for what he had to do when he got home.

Farloft could feel how upset the hybrid was just sitting next to him. There was something at ‘home’ that he didn’t want to deal with.

“Would you like some company?” Farloft innocently asked.

“It’s about a two hour flight from here.” Timenall remembered what was waiting and didn’t know if he should get the young dragon involved, but at the same time he would appreciate the company and the help once they got there, if the dragon was willing.

“Not far,” Farloft smiled a toothy grin. “I could do that sailing on my back.”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter Six



Timenall was having a dream, a lovely dream, in which Weirim was nuzzling his mane and then took to licking his toes. It tickled and he opened his eyes. It took him a moment to realize Farloft was leaning over him from behind, truly licking his toes. Damn!

Timenall sprung to his feet and scrambled out of the sleeping pit. “What do you think you are doing?” He asked in an affronted tone. 

Farloft came to a sitting position in the pit. The boughs cracked below his weight. “They have been oozing all night. I just thought a little…”

“A little what?” Timenall almost shouted, his feathers practically standing on end. “I’m sorry if I led you to think that if we shared a bed…”

“Wait!” Farloft huffed coming to his feet. “You didn’t think I was…”

“Of course you were…”

“Was not!” Farloft denied in a shout. Smoke curled from his left nostril.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 5



“Here it is,” Farloft announced as he landed on the ledge outside his newly established Lair.

Timenall landed a bit awkwardly beside him, trying to put his hind legs down first in order to spare his injured front paws the impact. He slowly turned around and looked back over the surrounding valley, hills and mountains bathed in moonlight. “Lovely view and easily defended,” he said agreeably. “Nice choice.”

“Come on inside,” the dragon invited with a toss of his head toward the cave’s mouth.

The gryphon mix limped in behind the young dragon, his feathers a bit ruffled and wings drooping due to the pain in his paws. The cave mouth sat in such a way that the moonlight illuminated all but the far back of it. Timenall could see the area where Farloft dug a sleeping pit and filled it with cedar boughs. The whole cave held the light fragrance of the tree. Not far from the bed sat a brightly painted wooden bowl of considerable size full of water.

“Where did you get the bowl?” Timenall asked.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 4



“You have been very kind,” Timenall said, “but my mouth is so dry I feel like I ate a cottonwood tree. Could we get a bit of water to drink before I explain?”

“There is a stream that way,” Farloft indicated with a nod of his head. “And a lake that way,” He indicated with a raise of his paw.

“I know the area, and I think the lake,” Timenall said. “I can soak these paws a bit.” He looked down at the blood oozing from the tips of his swollen toes.

“Hungry?” Farloft asked seemingly out of nowhere.

“Starving.” Timenall answered.

“You like those dapple coated things?” the young dragon asked.

“The klnicks?” Timenall asked with a smile. “Lov’um.”

“I’ll meet you at the lake.” Farloft backed up and spread his wings. “I’ll bring dinner.” He smiled a toothy grin.

“I’ll look forward to it,” Timenall replied, as he too spread his wings and they both vaulted into the sky.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Timenall & the Captured Gryphon - Chapter 3



The beast’s head was distinctly dragon. It was black in color with tiny smooth scales like those on its tail. Its main came up over the top of the head and dumped a fluff of currently sweat soaked feathers between his emerald green eyes. 

“Thank you Farloft,” the thing said. “I am Timenall of the Neeland Gryphons.”

“But, you’re not a gryphon,” Farloft stated the obvious. There was no beak. And yet, he wasn’t a dragon either.

“No, you are quite observant,” Timenall complimented what he now could see was a very young dragon. “I am a half-breed or hybrid - my mother a dragon, my father a gryphon.”

“Is that even possible?” Farloft asked.

Timenall raised a brow, “Obviously so.” He sat down on his haunches and started chewing at the bindings on the boots encasing his feet. He was having a hard time. The angle was all wrong.

“Can I help?” Farloft offered.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphon - Chapter Two



Farloft circled his prey from high above. The unsuspecting animal stood with its head down by a fallen tree. No doubt it was filling its belly with grass. It was larger than any others the young dragon had seen and bulkier. Like it still had its winter coat. He was about to dive in for the kill when its legs folded and it went down. Farloft opened his second eye lid in order to see better. He tilted his wedged head and stared at the beast. It wasn’t the same as the others. He dropped down several hundred feet in altitude making sure to keep his shadow off the animal so it would not know he was above. He was surprised at what he saw.

The beast was not the same at all. This one had wings. That was what gave it the impression of being bigger. They were close to its sides, but there.  When he passed around the head of the animal he could also see it had something draped or stuck on its head. As much as he squinted in the fading light he was not going to be able to see it clearly unless he landed. His curiosity was stronger than his appetite at this point. He landed softly behind it blocking its retreat. It would have to go over the downed tree if it chose to try an escape.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Timenall & the Captive Gryphons - Chapter One



Farloft was playing. He was gliding between the ridges of what the humans in the area called the Northern Steeps. He would tuck his wings to plummet swiftly toward the ground, then half way down pop them open to be shot in an exhilarating, stomach dropping, flight back skyward by the currents spiraling up the sides of the mountain range. It was fun and something he did on occasion to entertain himself while traveling alone.

He left his mother and father’s home several years ago. All young dragons had a desire to explore, to stretch their wings. Many returned to the area where their clan resided, but not before seeing a lot of the world. A few years back, Farloft’s parents produced a new hatchling. It was time for him to move on and leave them to raise and train the little dragon. One day he would return home and meet his sibling, but not today. Today he was a young dragon living wild and rough - eating off the land, sleeping where he chose and meeting all manner of beast and human alike. It was the perfect way to grow up. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Story

If you have been reading this blog very long, you will know that I alternate between Scifi Stories and Fantasy Stories. We just wrapped up a long Scifi, so now it is time to return to my friend, Farloft the Dragon.

Farloft is a very sociable creature. If you are not aware from reading his blog at:
http://farloftsrhetoric.blogspot.com/ you might have met him on my twitter account at @TheresaSnyder19. He takes it over the last Friday of each month.

Well, to make a long story short, Farloft and I have a friend there, Yogoloth. Yogoloth is a hybrid. His mother was a dragon. His father a gryphon. I had never heard of anything like that before. Of course, I have not lived near as long as Farloft. He told me he knew another hybrid when he was younger and sailing the thermals over the various lands. He proceeded to tell me the story of his adventure with "Timenall & the Captive Gryphons."

Starting Saturday I shall recount the story to you. Looking forward to seeing you then.
Our Friend Yogoloth   by bluekite

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Authorgraphs" New Way to have Your eBook Personalized

Note the new widget on my Blog called "Authorgraph" It is a real awesome service and it's FREE!

I signed up for the service so you can have your own Authorgraphed copy of my eBooks.

The widget allows me to send signatures that can be kept with electronic copies of my books. You just pick the book title from the Drop-Down menu. When it comes back to you it will have the cover of your selection and my response along with my autograph.

If you give me a little information in your Authorgraph request I will personalize my response.  If you take the time to ask me to write you something and sign it, I will take the time to answer appropriately.

Drop me a request and I will get back to you within a couple of days. Hoping to hear from you soon.

If you'd like to get a heads-up on my latest book releases, sales, and freebies, make sure to sign up for my newsletter! And you don't have to worry about getting a bunch of junk - I only send it out when I really have something you might want to hear about.

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