Immortal Wars: Light, Blood, & Tears Part 39

(Disclaimer: A warning to those who continue.  This is a sequel to a previous story.  Both of these were written in the mid-1990’s.  While the first one was slightly edited and vanity press published, this one has not been touched in over 20 years.  I figure I should do something with it and people may get a laugh or fright from how I used to be.  Every author comes from somewhere, so this is part of my origin.  To that end, I am deeply sorry for whatever nightmares I will inflict on the literary world and the American English language.  Enjoy?)

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Twenty-nine miles outside of Earth’s gravitational pull is the space skimmer that carries the female guardians.  Currently, it is moving very slowly behind Tegam’s larger space shuttle.  Both of the ships are covered in deep dents and several burn marks are on their wings.

“I can’t believe you used the electromagnetic pulse gun on him.  You knew that it would have destroyed all of his engines and our internals.  That weapon has been untested for so long and now was not the time to test it.  I can’t fix all of this without my tools.  At this rate, we’ll get to Neptune in a week at least,” complains Hydrana, who is rerouting some of the undamaged electric wires.

“Does it look like I’m happy about it?  Tegam said to make it seem like we’re trying to disable his shuttle.  That’s why he shot down our overdrive engines and blew up our backup cells,” replies Miracle.  She is attempting to send a message to the other space skimmer, but the only thing she can get is annoying static.

“Sorry, but the communication system can only receive messages for now.  I can fix it in about ten hours if I start now.  But I’m trying to get the environmental control systems online.  It’s too hot in this thing.  What does the radar say about Tegam?”

“Why not use your new senses?”

“They’re a little busy helping me with all of these repairs.  So, stop wasting our time and answer my question before I zap you into the next millenium.  With all these mangled wires, a water blast can do some nasty damage.”

“He’s still a good thirty-two and a half feet ahead of us.  Another shuttle has just left Earth’s atmosphere with Cybro and Adriana.  It’s ignoring us and heading back to Pluto, so we have some good news.  I hope.”  A series of soft beeps, followed by a circuit board exploding, goes off behind Miracle and Hydrana.  The Neptune guardian gets up to look at a fist-sized screen.

“Infinity is trying to send a message to us.  But we have some interference from Tegam’s communication jammer.  Give me three or four minutes and I can pull it through the interference.”

“What do you think we’ll find?  On Neptune that is,” the ebony-haired immortal casually says.

With a smile, Hydrana answers, “A new Tegam and a very battered space shuttle.  Maybe a couple of pissed off aliens that he owes money.  Who can guess what’s waiting for us besides Tegam?”

“I guess.  But the Glebnoks live somewhere on Neptune.  He’s definitely going to them for help.  That’s a good thing in my mind.”

“You seem to have forgotten a small detail.  Those aliens hate all Earthlings for what happened to the original planet guardians.  The fact that we’re the new guardians means absolutely nothing to the Glebnoks.  After all, they’ve been avoiding all contact with us for over a year.  Our closest meeting was when they tested that heat shield and twisted our emotions doing our first week in the Sun Base.  And that was an accident on their part.  They are not going to enjoy us landing in their backyard without an invitation.”

“Aren’t you the optimistic one on this trip?”

“Somebody has to be.  Look, the Glebnoks are supposedly a peaceful race and don’t like dealing with war.  So we’re fine.  Yes!  There we go.  I can only receive the verbal part of Infinity’s message.  Let me put it through the speakers.”  Hydrana turns the sound on, but Miracle doesn’t hear anything except a low droning.

“When are you going to put the message through the speakers?” inquires the Venus guardian.

“I already did!  In fact, it’s so loud that I can’t understand a damn word he’s saying!” yells the redhead.

“You forgot about the magic ring, water sprite.  Change the enhanced sense you’re using.  Use taste or something.”

“What!”  In annoyance and desperation, Miracle creates a pair of chains and smashes the speakers.  To silently restate her previous comment, she whips Hydrana’s hand that has the ring on it.

“Oh, the ring.  I forgot all about this.  But since you just destroyed the speakers there is no way we can hear the message.”

“Watch and learn.”  New, and better, speakers appear in place of the old ones and Miracle simple presses the on button.  But she has to continually force the speakers to remain in existence once the sound hits them.

“This is Steve.  We know what has happened with Tegam and where you two are going.  But there are a couple of things on Earth that Eddie and I have to take care of.  So you two might be on your own for that adventure.  Fate is busy being mobbed by reporters and photographers, so that’s one problem we don’t need.  He’s promised to help fix the damages to the city with my help and Eddie also tried to explain what happened with you, Delila.  But I don’t know if it worked or not.  As for our other three friends, there are . . . mixed emotions between the two of us.  I’m happy that they’re gone while Fate’s depressed.  The best news is that Draveon. . .”

“Draveon what!  Where’s the rest of the message, Kelly?” asks Hydrana.

“Hold on.  Give me a minute to catch my breath.  I’ve never had to sustain any of my solid illusions for this amount of time.  It’s a major strain on my entire body.  Here’s the rest, but get ready to catch me if I faint.”

Infinity continues, “Draveon is dead and gone forever.  Fate and Adriana joined forces in order to take him down.  Cybro is still around, but will be out of commission for a couple of weeks.  And, Adriana. . .Gee, I don’t know how to say this, but I swear that it isn’t a joke.  You can compare her DNA and his DNA by using the skimmer’s library files.  It’s strange how some of our enemies are closer to us then we thought. . .”

“Take a break, Kelly.  I’m skipping to the important part.  I don’t believe this.  He goes on mumbling like an idiot for ten and a half minutes.  That boy definitely has a motor mouth at times,” laughs the Neptune guardian.

The message continues, “I have to go help with the repairs, so I’ll just come out and say it.  Fate is Adriana’s son, who she was forced to abandon on Earth for some unknown reason.  I know it sounds like a very terrible movie and book plot twist, but it’s the truth.  Have a nice trip.”

Silence fills the skimmer while Miracle goes to look at the DNA of Adriana, Fate, and Kilanus.  After twenty minutes of staring at the intricate strands, she transfers it onto the largest screen that works.

“He’s right.  This explains Fate’s genetic resemblance to Kilanus.  There was never any genetic manipulation like we were lead to believe.  It’s a natural similarity between siblings.  I think we were slipped a fake hair a year ago in order to stop us from figuring out their connection.  Adriana’s been reading way too many comic books to attempt that trick,” explains Miracle.

“I can’t believe we even fell for it.  Now that you mention it, there is a physical similarity between the three of them.  The blond hair, slender body, and perfect skin are seen in all of them.  Of course, whenever they met, neither of those three would stand still for too long.  They always had to jump right into the battle or something.  Are you okay?” questions Hydrana when she notices buckets of tears forming in her best friend’s eyes.

“Hunh?  I’m great.  Never felt better in my life.”

“Don’t even try to lie to me with that face, Kelly.  I can see those two waterfalls are preparing to fall down on your face.  Remember, if I know anything, it’s water.  So, spill it, tomboy.  And I’m not talking about the tears.”

“It’s about Eddie.  What if this causes him to switch sides?  Finding out who his real mother is has been his biggest dream.  Even bigger than what the future is going to be like for him and me.  Now, we find out that our leader, my boyfriend, is the son of our most dangerous enemy.”

“Give me a break.  Both you and Adriana know that Fate isn’t going anywhere.  He’s the immortal boyscout.  Besides, he made it through eighteen years without knowing the bitch.  It won’t change anything between them.”

“You’re wrong about Adriana and Eddie.  This new connection between them is going to make the war a lot harder for them.”

Hydrana starts to laugh before saying, “I can see how this is going to be hard for Fate, considering he has to kill his own mother in order to win.  Of course, I can’t even try to guess his reasons for loving the woman who abandoned him and has been trying to kill him.  I wouldn’t think twice about killing Adriana, but that’s just some of the left over psychotic attitude talking.  Still, Adriana can be ruthless and evil beyond the extreme.  Just because Fate’s her son, doesn’t mean that it will affect her,” explains Hydrana as she starts to work on another terminal.

Miracle gets to her feet and puts her hands on her hips before saying, “Have you ever read any of the reports Fate has made on Adriana and Kilanus?  If you did, Delila, you would know that Adriana always cares about her offspring.  Her actions are occasionally done solely to protect Kilanus and she gets very angry if that girl gets so much as a papercut.  I’m willing to bet that the same thing will happen every now and then with Fate.  Not every time, but it will occasionally occur.  Why are you smiling at me?”

“Nothing.  Only a funny passing thought that you’d kill me for having.  Forget I even mentioned it.”

“No chance of that happening.  Tell me.”

“Well, you know how some guys tend to fall in love with a girl that reminds them of their mom?  Usually, they don’t mean for it to happen.  Anyway, I was just trying to find any similarities between you and the immortal slut.”

“And you didn’t find any.”

“You wish.  The two of you are physically built in a similar way with your wild, and I think, unnatural figures.  No normal creature can have a body like that.  Both of you wear daily clothing that would make some strippers feel embarrassed.  The only real difference between you two is that Adriana is a human king-sized bed while you, my dear friend, are more of a human hammock.”

Miracle lightly backhands Hydrana into an empty closet and creates a couple of steel locks to try and keep the redhead in.  They start using their powers on each other for the next couple of minutes until the two female guardians think of one other important fact that they had previously missed.

“Hey, Kelly.  What will happen to Adriana when the other villains find out about Draveon and Fate?” asks Hydrana, who is locked in a colonial stock.

“I haven’t the slightest idea.  But she is definitely not going to like it once it happens.  Uh, can you please let me down?  I think my butt is frozen solid,” answers the Venus guardian who is frozen to the ceiling.

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War of Nytefall: Eulogy is Coming this Weekend!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Only a few days until the War of Nytefall finale is released!

That’s really it.  I’m putting the finishing touches on everything and should announce it as early as Friday evening.  I’m going to send out the blog tour info to volunteers on Saturday after I get some rest.  It’s not too late to join in and help say good-bye to Clyde and the other Dawn Fangs.

Let’s have some fun.  For those who have read the books or the teasers, what do you remember most about this series?

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Teaser Tuesday: Building a New Steed

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Today, we’re going to focus on Bob . . . Not as easy as I would like.  He’s a fun character to write, but he works best when used sparingly.  Also, best when he’s with other characters who act as his foil.  Still, he has some great scenes like this one from War of Nytefall: Lost.  Enjoy.

Continue reading

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New Release! “Wreck of the Lanterfish” by C. S. Boyack @Virgilante #newrelease #whattoread #writingcommunity #mustread

D. L. Finn is a wonderful author and one of my Story Empire colleagues. She’s generously offered to lend me her site today to talk about Wreck of the…

New Release! “Wreck of the Lanterfish” by C. S. Boyack @Virgilante #newrelease #whattoread #writingcommunity #mustread
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Questions 3: Filling in the Lost History of The World

Poneglyph from One Piece

In the manga/anime of ‘One Piece’, there’s a character named Nico Robin.  Her goal is to find these large blocks of stone called Poneglyphs.  They tell a variety of things, but there’s one that is supposed to hold a span of lost history.  It covers what’s called the Void Century or Blank Period, which nobody knows anything about.  This is a really cool subplot, which doesn’t get nearly enough attention.  It also got me thinking.

Robin’s quest is much like world-building.  You have your starting point, but a lot of gaps to fill in as you go along.  Every story adds to the world.  Not only in locations, but the past of those areas and the surrounding lands.  You learn about ancient wars, great heroes, old villains, and other colorful additions that make your world feel alive.  Thankfully, it’s much easier to find your world’s Poneglyphs when you’re the one creating them as they’re needed.  Personally, I think this is one of the most entertaining parts about world building, especially in fantasy.

Huh . . . This post was supposed to be longer, but that point was pretty clear.  Guess I’ll switch a few things around and make this a Questions 3 post.

  1. How much of your world’s history do you design before writing?
  2. Do you think minor details (local tales for color) are important or should be left out?
  3. What is one piece of advice you’d give your younger self or a new author in regards to writing a history for their world?
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Happy Hanukkah 2021! (Nope. I’m Not Early.)

Needless to say, I was shocked when I checked a calendar and saw Hanukkah started November 28th and went until December 6th.  Guess we’re really trying to escape the gravitation pull of Christmas this year.  Anyway, enjoy some funnies while I celebrate over here.  Not as many as I would have liked though.  Stopped scrolling the Yahoo Image search after the 3rd pro-Nazi meme showed up under ‘Hanukkah Funny Meme’.  Yikes.

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Goal Post: Guess I’ll Try Again Next Week

First:

War of Nytefall: Eulogy will be released next weekend. Email to volunteers will be sent Friday evening.

Well, that’s pretty much the extent of my writing progress this week.  I tried to use last Sunday to design the 4 main characters for Phi Beta Files, but it didn’t go so well.  The cold weather, busyness at work, and general life stress kept causing me to fall asleep next to the notebook.  I managed to finish only 2 of the characters, but I might have to redesign them because I was groggy.  This time of year is always a pain because the cold and stress makes it hard to focus.  Maybe I’ll have a better shot next Sunday since I feel like these characters are the first hurdle.  Not sure if I’ll go into detail on the others since the books may run similar to ‘Bedlam’ structures.

Rest of the week was spent handling things at work, which was kind of busy since we were heading into the Thanksgiving weekend.  Had to help my son get things ready for school too before the break.  It resulted in me not getting to relax until around 9 PM and that was just passing out.  One of these days, I’m going to make it longer or have the energy to be somewhat productive until 10:30/11 PM.

Just won’t be in December since it’s fucking freezing.  Something is wrong with the heating system, so the house gets cold quickly.  This is mostly at night, which is why crawling under the covers and trying to stay warm is my go-to activity.  Being so cold results in my brain having trouble focusing and my body lacking energy.  I mean, I’m sitting here writing this blog at 7 PM on Friday night and I’m trying desperately to stay awake long enough to meet up with some friends later.  It’s just difficult because I’m getting drowsy and cold.  Hate winter.  To be fair, I hate temp extremes in general, so summer isn’t fun either.

On the plus side of everything, I got all of the January blog posts done.  Well, I didn’t get the ‘Top 5 of 2021’ set up since it’s too early for those.  That takes some of the edge off my stress when it comes to this blog.  I may start in on February to create a bigger cushion, but I need to figure out Tuesdays for that month.  The teasers are getting repetitive and I don’t know if I should try to grab more.  I was thinking of opening the day to anyone who wants to promote their book.  I’ve done it before with not much success, but maybe I’ll see if anybody is open to it come January.  It’s something that may help people out if they need it.

Nothing else to really say.  We’re seeing ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ tomorrow as a family event.  S’mores and fun tonight with friends.  It’ll be a nice bit of fun before stepping into the 4 weeks without a day off.  Television viewing wasn’t that interesting with ‘Cowboy Bebop’ (definite yikes) and season 2 of ‘The Great’ (really good).  I think I finished ‘Food Wars’ as well, but I was dozing in and out of consciousness most nights.  That’s another reason I’m rewatching ‘Trigun’ and saving newer stuff for when I’m feeling better or the heat is fixed.

Got nothing exciting going on other than the book release.  It’s Hanukkah, so presents are wrapped and menorahs are taken out.  Potato latkes will be made next Saturday, which is a fun and greasy tradition.  Beyond that, I’ll be working, parenting, and seeing if I can get in any notebook time.  Wish me luck.

Goals of the week:

  1. Parenting
  2. Working
  3. Staying warm
  4. Releasing War of Nytefall: Eulogy
  5. Hydrating
  6. Notebook work
  7. Tinker with an outline if I develop any energy

Could it be depression doing this to me?  Probably should consider that’s a bigger factor than the cold and stress.

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7 Tips to Using Flight in Fiction

DC Characters

From the picture above, you can see how many ways there are to fly. Wings, flying mount, technology, wind, magic, simply going, and the list continues.  It’s probably one of, if not THE, most common and popular special ability in fiction.  So, what are some things to consider?

  1. You don’t really have to explain how the character flies if they simply have the ability to go up.  People will wonder, but you aren’t obligated to do so.  If you do then you may inadvertently limit the power or make it seem less plausible within the rules of the world.  For example, if the character can fly because they’re strong enough to resist gravity then everyone with super strength should be able to do so.  It also doesn’t explain how they can hover or move around like a plane.  Just be careful with your explanations and don’t think you really have to.
  2. Flight is more than soaring into the air and traveling.  Remember that the air is thinner and the temperature is colder.  A character who can only fly and has no protection from the elements won’t be able to go higher than birds.  The further away from the surface they go, the closer they are to the icy, suffocating grip of space.  That’s another thing to toss in here.  Eventually, they can hit a point where there’s no gravity or any forces that will normally help them return to Earth.
  3. Wings . . . They get in the way when in tight places.  If the character has them and can’t put them away then they need to operate accordingly.  Either they’re careful about moving around or they have a way to keep the wings restrained.  Yet, this would be like tying up your arms, so a character can demonstrate a discomfort with this necessary action.
  4. Flying with a passenger isn’t as easy as you think.  First, the character needs the strength to carry the person.  Flight doesn’t grant them the ability to lift a heavy person, so catching them will cause both to plummet.  At best, they can slow the descent to a safe speed, but this will also leave them open to attacks by any villains in the area.  So, think of ways that a flying character with normal strength can solve this problem before you throw them into it.  After all, they’ve probably considered the issue in their own world.
  5. If a flying character is knocked out while in the air, it doesn’t mean that they will survive the fall.  I’ve seen this a lot where a flyer is zapped, passes out, and falls from the height of the Empire Statue Building.  They’re not dead, which is weird since they don’t have enhanced durability.  A crash landing is the greatest threat for a character with this power, so either make it a threat or give a reason why they don’t have to worry about it.
  6. Wind in the eyes!  This is why some flyers have goggles, but people don’t usually remember this issue.  You have wind hitting your eyes between blinks, which can be painful and debilitating.  It’s just asking for the character to slam into an airplane by accident.  Think of ways they can avoid this problem since it’s one of the easiest to get around.
  7. If your characters flies using magic or technology then think about limits.  Is there a maximum amount of time before the spell or batteries wear off?  Once you figure this out, try to be consistent and don’t make it fail only when it’s dramatically appropriate.  This makes it feel like there’s no real limit and it’s only there to cause tension from time to time.  It’s easy to add this in too without making it a problem.  Just have the character charge the batteries while at home and doing something else.  It takes one sentence to recharge or recast here.
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Happy Thanksgiving . . . I Think

Time for holiday funnies because I’m busy with family.  Either interacting with them or hiding under the bed from them.  Could be both at times.

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7 Tips to Using Intangibility in Fiction

Shadowcat

This is a power that fascinated me when I was younger, but I stopped paying attention to it as I got older.  Intangibility is what it sounds like.  A person can pass through objects like a ghost.  It seems simple and designed entirely for thieves because they can get into any building.  So, I lost interest until this (things really start around 1 minute):

Let’s get to the tips, but I’m probably going to use Mirio as an example for most of them because he’s amazingly well done.

  1. This is a terrifying power to have because of its greatest flaw.  If used improperly or control is lost, the character can (and really should) start falling through whatever they’re standing on.  This means falling out of any vehicles while they’re moving, through buildings from the upper floors, and even into the earth.  Authors tend to avoid this issue because it brings up a question of how they didn’t die when it first showed up, but that can be chalked up to a mental defense mechanism that cuts the power off when in danger.  This does NOT always work if a stronger character loses full control.
  2. Two things I never considered with intangibility are breathing and senses.  It makes sense that air wouldn’t enter intangible lungs and light can’t enter intangible eyes to create vision.  You can come up with reasons for these to not be a probably such as allowing oxygen directly in from the surrounding area.  Same goes for light since the two are not solid like what the character normally goes through.  Still, downsides like this can help limit the power of a character who is technically unstoppable.
  3. Psychic powers should still work.  Intangibility is only of the body, so the mind shouldn’t be protected by this specific power.  There can be some loopholes such as the character moving out of time or dimensions by a hair, but that should also mean that they can’t communicate with others.  If you’re going to have them become immune to psychics then you need a really big tradeoff.
  4. As you can see, intangibility at a higher level doesn’t always mean the entire body.  A character can practice to make part of themselves solid while the rest is ghostly.  This allows them to accomplish actions that require intangibility AND interacting with the environment.  For example, slipping a leg through a wall to trip a guard without exposing your whole body.  Reaching through something to type on a computer without entering the room is another.  Get creative since the human body can be split up in many ways.
  5. Yes, it’s funny for a character to phase and lose their clothes.  Don’t overdo that joke and try to keep it tasteful.
  6. Since intangibility is only the ability to pass through things, a character using it in combat needs to know how to fight.  Mirio is powerful because he knows how to fight even without using his quirk.  He’s developed a style that uses it to his advantage, but the moves are still part of a martial arts school.  For example, a character with intangibility can throw a punch, which passes through the skin to hit the liver directly.  This requires precision, knowledge of anatomy, and training to deliver the blow quickly.  An untrained hero might clumsily pull it off by surprise, but an experienced enemy will be ready once they see the power.  Combat training is where the characters can gain skills to handle hand-to-hand.
  7. In a world where intangibility is a known power, there should be defenses against it in terms of weaponry and security.  More than likely, someone with this ability set out to be a thief or broke into a building.  That means, advanced security systems can come with barriers designed to stop intangibility.  Same goes for guns, which may fire energy instead of bullets for these characters.  Keep in mind that these heroes and villains don’t cease to exist, but simply pass through objects.  They are some kind of wavelength or whatever you want to say to show they are still around since they can be seen.  So, it’s not surprising a scientist or organization found a way to counter it and make a fortune in the process.
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