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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!




Any flash rules?

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Snowing Awful
900 words

The winter air always had that peculiar glass quality to it. Inhaling the fresh cold air, it always felt like that was how breathing glass was supposed to feel. Of course, it was a strange sentiment, one that you couldn‘t explain to most people. For them, this cold winter air would feel like nose hair freezing together. To each his own, how they say, but Hans thought that his idea was more poetic.
Of course, this high up in the mountains you had to always wear a scarf around the face. Scarf might have naturally been an ally of the neck that also saved the nose from falling off. But playing nice with breath wasn‘t one of its strong points. The humidity, it stays in the fabric, causing it go damp and wet and smelly. Yet, it’s either that or sacrificing one’s nose. And in comparison to having a gaping hole in the face, some damp discomfort did not really matter.

Now, being careful when placing steps was of utmost importance. The mountains rise ever upward and the path rises in turn. They aren’t that trustworthy at the best of days and lowest of altitudes, being quite thin, uneven and strewn with little pieces of rock. The only blessing was that this path was used quite frequently by Hans’ friends and compatriots, so it was usually clear of snow, and any new fresh snowfall would’ve been trampled under many boots, before it became as solid as any good path. Just had to hope it wouldn’t ice up!
Yet it still gave out the characteristic snow squeak, compacted as it was by the long line of mine plodding up the path, hunch under they packs. This was nowhere near the fun Hans used to have when he was little. For one, you don’t have haul heavy loads up the mount when you’re young. And snow is, in general, one of the most magical substances known to child. Fluffy and lightweight when dry, good for snowballs and snowmen, and snow forts and… and… well, all sorts of things when slightly wet.

But the most cherished quality of snow was the crust that would form on it. Since it’s one of few things that kids could break without repercussions, it used to be one of the greatest joys, about ten winters ago. Sure, it wasn’t very nice when you had to go somewhere: thick as little Hans’ pants used to be, he could still feel the jagged edge of the crusts when advancing in snowdrift. But when you didn’t have to go anywhere special… Ah, then you could imagine that you’re an iceberg or throw them as discs…

Or – and Hans really used to love this – you could try stepping on it, ever so lightly, just so it wouldn’t break. And it wouldn’t! For a spell, one could almost imagine standing on snow, much like a wood witch from a fairytale. Could almost imagine running and leaving no steps behind! But that special moment was always short lived, as the rules of experiment demanded shifting more weight on the leg, and the crust would crack and break. So much for being a wood witch.

That is not to say that Hans and his friends didn’t look somewhat eerie. Hans, and Jorgen behind him, they were both carrying the same heavy tube. And they were dressed uniformly: winter clothing, thick gloves, scarves. But their eyes stood out the most. They didn’t look human. Instead, they had two white oblong discs. Each of them had slits cut in them, a shape not unlike that of a crucifix lying on the side, as if drawn with a pencil. These glasses, necessary to save the eyes from all the white and all the light, reminded Hans of the drawings he saw in the books, of the northern savage tribes in the New World. He figured their eyes were no more immune to the harsh winter sun than Hans’.

At least, he figured, they didn’t have to haul such weight themselves. They probably had sleighs and dogs to draw them. They probably didn’t go so high up the mountain, either. And why would they? They didn’t have a war nor officers to tell them what to do. The only thing in common would be the discomfort. The mountain might be cold, but the burden was hot. Carrying one end of tube under his arm, Hans was sweating, and all that sweat could only seep into his clothes. He was that close to simmering in his uniform. Kind of ironic, considering the cold outside, but also inevitable. Then again, Hans didn’t feel like he had the right to complain. The other men, they might not all be carrying the tubes, but they all carried something else: wheels, boxes, bundles. Everyone was in this together.

By the time they reached their destination, the lads had already assembled the carriage. Big iron wheels, clad with wooden planks and all the necessary struts and pipes to keep it stable. The only thing missing was the tube that Hans and Jorgen had been carrying.

Hans pulled his scarf down and called out to the men:

“So, you think we’ll finally get them?”

One the figures working on a wheel turned to face him.

“How can we not? We are the highest standing battery in the mountains! The Italians are as good as dead!”

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Is the losertar permanent?

What happens, now that I lost?

What does Toxx mean?

Is "16teen" "2014teen" a joke I'm not getting or is my English at fault?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Djeser posted:

Losertars are your badge of shame until someone (possibly you) changes it, just like any old avatar.

You lost, but now you can learn from your mistakes for next time.

Toxx means you submit something, or you get banned. It's your choice if you decide to toxx yourself.

18teen is from a historically bad TD story.

Sorry that this post wasn't funny

Sorry that my posts are never funny



I had some early impression that Losers miss the next TD, that's why I'm askin'.

Is that historically bad story linked in the OP?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Kaishai posted:

To expand on this one, in the last Thunderdome thread, Baudolino posted the immortal epic "Rural Rentboys." Nothing before or since has topped the sentence 'England,Shropshire, Wroxeter, two 18teen year old boys are entering an abonend bunker.' That's not to say some writers haven't tried. Baudolino's opus finds a place in the hearts of all who read it, and the thread title and any other teenteen jokes are fond tribute.

The story is linked in the second post of the thread, toward the bottom.

I read it.

I can see forever!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Hell, I'm in

Also, was I the overall looser this week, too?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!



Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it? I'll just step away from they keyboard.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Winter/Fire, 679 words.

An Interlude

“So… he had a still in the cockpit?”
“The safest place if you want to avoid an inspection.”

The two officers took long gulps of their mo-caf. In a relatively safe distance, a collapsed mech was blazing. Flames rose high and illuminated the night. Shadows of trees and people danced, elongated by the fire, and twitching from the flickering.

“The Tyrant’s gonna have my head for this.”
“Why would he? Report mechanical failure, and it will all be OK. Will is dead anyways, so it’s not like he can be charged with something.”

The officers could feel the radiating heat of the fire. It was a blessing to feel it on the face. The night was freezing, and that much colder if the snow storm got you. Luckily enough, the platoon had camped in a small wood. The trees were barren and there was a lot of snow, but it was at least marginal shelter. And now, they even had a fire to keep warm.

“Jesus Christ, we’re the UN! You’d expect more professionalism…”
“From what we get? Everybody’s either hunkering down in their own country or turning Quisling. ‘Join the UN, fight aliens, elves and the Fourth Reich’ doesn’t have the same kind of draw these days. We take what we can.”

As if to prove the point, one private, having discovered that the snow was starting to get soggy, made a snowball. Unfortunately, that one landed on a Ugandan sergeant, and she got two others to enact some snowy discipline. The first officer sighed.

“Guess you’re right. So many enemies, so little time…”
“…even less funding…”
“…but we had to take the hamlet tonight. Who the hell knows what the elves are going to do tomorrow.”

The other officer took in the howling wind, the heavy snowdrift, and the freezing temperature – all that was now somewhat manageable near the pyre.

“My guess? Not much. The full moon is two days away, so no strong magic. They’re summer court, so it’s not their kind of weather. I bet that in this weather their pointy ears would crumble in five minutes. If they have pegasii… well, they’re like not to have those in the morning. They were definitely not planning for this.”

“The marginal benefits of the Scouring…”

The decision to cleanse the US – to the world from the AIs and the singularity, as the OrBat hAIbrid put it – was as much of a shock to the environment as it was to people. Some were naming it the Sub-Atomic Winter (giving grammar sticklers the fits), others got to calling it Ragnarok. Winter that year was unprecedentedly fierce, invoking images from fairy tales and fables: snowdrifts higher than a man, nights as dark as pitch, winds howling like the devil, wolf packs stalking humans, and a myriad of tales both old and mysterious. The spindly icy fingers of winter grasped the globe and shook something loose, something unseen for hundreds of years.

The silence was broken by the first guy: “Well, at least their pride won’t let them use Quizs for warmth…”
“Chop down trees, light a fire? Not exactly the summer court way… And even then, those elf Quizs are all hippies and potheads. Can hold a rifle, can’t swing an axe,” the other answered and raised the cup to his lips. Alas, the mo-caf remains had grown cold, so he sloshed them out into the snow, thinking it would make an unsightly brown stain in the morning. “I’m gonna get more. You want some?”

The other officer nodded. His friend collected the cup and started the trek back to the APC. Flames colored his winter gear orange, and the high snowdrift made him raise his legs comically high. The remaining guy chuckled before having to take a sudden dive.

“COOKOFF!”

A missile arced out of the fire and exploded somewhere above the forest. He didn’t see that, because his face was full of snow and it stuck all over his uniform. He hissed as he got up and started brushing off any clinging globs.

“loving William.”

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Achtung Legionäre

An APC trudged into view, a red wireframe in a green wireframe landscape. Many times before, it was all Klaus needed to turn it into a burning wreck. Firing would take more time than making the decision. But this time, he faltered.

It was one thing to mow down Red Wave clones rolling over the Baltics, but ChiCom still drew troops from natural born citizens. An APC had a squad of soldiers, well drilled and instilled with the sense of duty and comradery, ready to use best weapons China could provide in a combined arms battle. All twelve of them ready to do their best.

Unfortunately, they had no chance against an EuroNippon Legionnaire. Fighting for a continent too self absorbed to grow a new generation or fight and an island too old to recover, a young man was a precious resource. So precious that the best engineers worked on overloading his reactions and strapping him into armor that was almost magical. One was worth a hundred ChiCom troops – and he had to be.

Klaus did indeed pull the trigger and coms sparked to life

“One and a half second? You’re slipping, man”.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Chairchucker is the most eloquent of gentlemen, so I'm signing up for this week. Hit me with some music!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


sebmojo, you can make a man blush! I just hope it's better than AT-44 writing!

Both this week and last week's writing draws on ideas I had for games. This week was XCOM Kitchen Sink - or The Droods, a Skirmish Level Miniature Wargame

However, I hope to improve next week. Less lore, more names, conflict without guns, etc.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Write thunderdome entry, check and see that it's two days too late.

Whelp, at least not suffering another DM

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Kaishai posted:

What? Entries have closed, but submissions haven't. From the prompt post:


You still have plenty of time.

Somehow, I misread Nov 14 as being the last days for submissions. Thanks!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Alabama Shakes - Hold On

Not Much
(784 words)

A Korani corvette is a nice ship, both in space and historical recordings. It‘s a lot less nice when it has crashed in the middle of the shantytown, and leaking hypercore liquid is pooling in a deep hole. A deep hole that used to be “Clobber’s Drink Hall”, before it was swept away by one of the corvette’s still functioning retroboosters. Now, only the basement and stacks of liquor remain, irrevocably tainted by hyperliquid. Town drunks would be heartbroken. But not as much as Randy Clobber, son of Jeb Clobber, standing at the precipice of the hole that used to be his father’s bar… and his bar, once it was passed down to him.

Randy did not cry. The whole planet was built on hard men, harder women and the hardest of effort needed to loot crashed ships. It was no place for tears, unless you were drunk on moonshine, yamshine, cornshine or whatever liquid that was on sale. Randy has seen a lot of those tears, liquor as much as water, streaking down rugged, windswept faces of ship breakers and field hands. Would be one or two every evening. Randy would pour drinks and drunks would pour out their hearts.

But now it was all gone, swept away in a superheated blast of the booster. All the work his father had done, all blasted away. All those hours Jeb spent ordering Randy and his brother Joe around, burnt away. All the effort to build and maintain the place, all the school lessons sacrificed, gone with the wind. All that’s left was Randy, a rapidly expanding square pool of shimmering liquid, and the sounds of first ship breaker convoys coming to dine on the carcass of the corvette.

So he crouched to take a closer look at the shimmering liquid.

The quicksilver pool… extremely toxic, very much lethal. Randy wouldn’t now, his childhood and teens were spent at the bar and running errands. But Joe managed to scrounge money for a dataslate and spent a lot of time reading, at least, whenever he could slip away from father and the endless chores. He told Randy about the stations up above, about space ships… and hypercore liquid. So pretty, so vital, so deadly. Such a welcome solution to Randy’s problem.

He stood up and took one step closer.

After all, what was he to do, now? The bar was all he had; that was all the life he had built or had it built by his father. He didn’t know much besides running the bar: haggling for booze, cleaning glasses, throwing away drunks, paying off enforcers… A very specific skill set. It let him live, hand to mouth, to be certain, but it let him live. Surely it was better and smarter than ship breaking, at least his father used to say so.
So what is a shantytown bar owner to do with no bar, no liquor, no one who called him “friend” while sober, and only a few credits to his name? Might as well jump in and end it. It would a fitting death: the bar consumed his life, so why not go down with it? His father drowned himself in the bottle, and Randy would drown in liquor and hyperliquid. Kind of ironic that poisoning on the fluid so necessary for interstellar travel would be the closest he’d get to a spaceship, adventures and travels that Joe used to talk about.

Joe! The thought startled him and he almost lost balance. Joe! He had gone away from it all, a few years ago. Damned by Jeb for going off with the breakers and damned twice more for using the money to set up in a station visible from the shanty. “That boy flaunts his insolence, money he wasted on toys instead of being thankful for what I’ve done and helping the bar” father would say when spotted the shining dot up in the sky. Joe didn’t care. He had his own place, selling games and entertainment to other station employees. It was almost like a bar, but people brought their own beer and fought holographic robot battles.

At least, that’s what Joe would tell him when wanted to get Randy to join him. Randy, of course, refused. The bar was left to him and father wanted him to take care of it.

Except that now “Clobber’s Drink Hall” was just a hole in the ground. Nothing to keep him there.

Randy took a step back.

Nothing to keep him there.

He didn’t have much money, but he had enough for a few days. Enough time for Joe to hear about the crash and call him.

He just had to wait.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


4/5? Well, can't wait for the next prompt. I don't think there would be that much fun in writing after 5/5 DM/losses.

Now, with such grand standing statements, the next one should be either really really good, or give you the next thread title

As for interprompt:

Calamity Jane brought her 'mech to halt atop a red dune and opened fire with the autocannons. Tracers raced towards the advancing undulating horde of colonists and one of the dinky little rovers exploded in a faint ball of fire, its comically over-sized wheels flying off in any direction.

Her radio crackled:

"Well, Jane, how do you feel fighting the zombie hordes?"

Jane arced a glob of chewed tabacco at the spittoon she had had installed in her cockpit and launched missiles. As high explosives and shrapnel tore through emanciated bodies and dirty dregs of environment suits, she flipped the com switch.

"That's bull, Hank, an' you know it. I reckon these fellas just plain forgot what it is to be human, what wit' havin' left good ol' Earth behind".

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!



Is it OK to ask about interprompt criticism? Because I'm a little confused about autocannons and missiles and such and such. Should I replace "fired the autocannons" with something like "with a press of the trigger, she let loose the dogs of war, and 20 mm shells of her autocannon mulched a dirty old rover, showering the horde with hot metalic debris" or "the two boxy missile batteries did a minute adjustment of their position before triggering the munitions. Four arcs of smoke marked their path to the target down bellow: the front ranks of the shuffling colonists disappeared in fire". I'm confused as to how one should describe battle. .

And yes, I like reading RPG splatbooks(for the lore. Is that bad?), even if I don't get to play them

JcDent fucked around with this message at Nov 17, 2014 around 12:25

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm in for this week!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mammon The Socialite
(1268 words)

Even with the darkened lighting professor Alfred Malnstein could see his own reflection on the polished revolver. The long, heavy gun next to a thick old tome bound in sinister black leather, and a half drunk bottle of whiskey made for an interesting trio. Malnstein had a rule about not bringing food nor drink into his study, and he was never enamored with guns. But there he was, a trifle too old to stop the Circle Crimson and save the world, and a little too cowardly to shoot himself while sober. But, after what he had seen in the last few years and considering what was supposed to happen in the next few months, a bullet to the head was a preferable alternative.

He just have to man up, or, failing that, draw on “Dutch courage”, as the British used to call it in the Great War.

In his half drunken stupor he barely noticed the muted protestations of his housemaid downstairs. Thus he jumped in his seat when the study door suddenly slammed open.

“Professor!” shouted his intrepid young assistant, Tom Watkins, as he burst into the room, “the world is saved!”

“And who would be this savior, my boy?” Alfred inquired skeptically. Before the assistant could answer, another man stepped in and left professor’s mouth agape.

“John St. John. Industrialist,” that was Mr. St. John’s trademark introduction, and it was as fitting now as it was in gala events. “I understand you have problems with a certain Desmond Harp-Fitzgerald and his band of occult lickspittles.”

“Well, y-y-yes,” the professor stammered. “But what is it to you?”

“Mister Watkins told me certain stories, ones that would explain certain eerie things I saw happening at my Caribbean fisheries,” he gestured towards the now silent assistant, “and I have invested far too much into this world to see it go to waste.”

***

There was a certain flurry of activity in the following weeks. Cars sped down the streets, narrowly dodging street cars and jumping sidewalks, leaving many a fair citizen shocked and flabbergasted. The vehicles would suddenly screech to halt. Men in sharp suits would get out, smart briefcases in tow, enter a municipal building, a federal agency, or a shady drinking hole, and soon emerge with their hands empty, but with content smiles.

Trains would stop before leaving the station. And if any of the more impatient or improper passengers would lean out of the window to shake a fist and maybe cuss out the station attendant, they could notice weasely accountant types holding their hats while running down the length of the platform and jumping into the last train car. The trip would then resume as if nothing had happened.
At least three different wives and five mistresses were surprised when their paramours suddenly bought them the dresses or pearls they wanted. What was the source of this sudden wealth? The men would just smile and say nothing. But deep behind their content facades, they’d be wondering: somebody paid me money for this?

***

The tribal council was perplexed. This white man, often seen in the newspapers and cited as no-nonsense man, was kneeling in front of them and asking, nay, almost begging to perform an ancient dance that they themselves had almost written off. That was odd, very odd, but Mister St. John was very specific about the day and time, and had even brought a special clock with him. More than that, he had brought a frankly unreasonable amount of money and binding contract: dance the Dance of Yellow Shades and the tribe will have enough money for a new irrigation system, and school repair to boot.
The elders could not say “no” to that.

***
Joel was crouching behind the truck when flaming chunks of the old Suppinton estate started falling into the surrounding swamp. It had been the most queer of the weeks in the county.
First, the Sheriff led some government types from the big city to raid the Suppinton villa, on the grounds that it was a moonshine hideout. That was very weird by itself, since Joel knew the best runners in the county, yet he had never heard of any action happening in the old place.

Then the place was bought out seemingly overnight, by some shady far away people that only appeared as lawyers and other entrusted folk. Who would want that old house in the middle of the swamp, especially since it was now more than a little shot up and had a fair share of bloodstains?

Eventually, this reached Joel when “No-Toe” Timmy approached him with an offer. For a fat wad of cash, he had to organize a ridiculous amount of TNT and meet his contact near at the Suppinton estate. When Joel finally made it there (riding with a truckload of dynamite had to be the most gentle of rides), Timmy was already waiting with a city boy by the name of Tom Watkins.
Tom was crazier that shithouse rat, so it seemed. They followed him around the house while he checked nooks and crannies, making eerie chalk markings here, sprinkling some stuff there, and often asking the men to move furniture and bookshelves.

Eventually, after humming and tapping his foot in a living room, Tom found a door to a cellar that the police seemed to have mysteriously missed. A huge Colt 1851 Navy revolver – Joel fancied himself a gun connoisseur – appeared, though the city feller didn’t look like he was very comfortable with it. Gun in the right hand, he opened the door, took a peak and a whiff, and slammed it shut.

After that, it was just a simple matter of stacking TNT on the hatch and letting her rip. Tom didn’t tell Joel why that had to be done, but he looked visibly relieved once the villa had disappeared.

***

The Harp-Fitzgerald estate – looming some distance past the gate and the wall – was dark, save for candles in some of the windows and lanterns of people patrolling the remains of the south wing that burnt down after what appeared to be a syndicalist attack on the “oppressor of common man” earlier that week. Apparently the electrical company had discovered a fault in one of their sub stations in the area, and it had to be taken down for immediate repairs. The night was quiet except for some distant mechanical rumbling down the road.

The professor took stock of the situation. A large number of men were crowding on the other side of the road from the mansion gate. Shotguns, trench coats, and electric flashlights.

“All good men,” said John St. John while huddling into his coat to keep the chill away, “All Great War veterans. They saw some stuff back in the day, so I think they can dependably carry you through the night.”

The rumbling got louder and closer.

“John St. John. Industrialist and savior of the world,” Alfred quipped with some hidden jealousy.

The man laughed.

“Yes, the power of wealth can carry one over many an obstacle.”

“Can it carry us over the gate?”

“I believe it can,” said St. John with impeccable timing as mechanical rumbling materialized into a restored Mark VIII tank. The metal beast used its considerable bulk to smash a hole in the wall. The men clutched their guns tightly and advanced towards the gap to follow the landship which was slowly making its way through the yard, guns blazing all the while.

St. John motioned to the waiting professor.

“Come along, dear fellow, the night is not yet over!”


Prompt: A golden key can open any door

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Finally achieved blessed mediocrity.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


gently caress it, I'm in!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


They say that nothing happens in my stories and I get to write one according to song in which nothing happens, with predictable results.
The song - Beach Boys - Busy Doin' Nothin'
Apparently I though that Beach Boys have something to do with Beastie Boys.

Together, They Fight Crime
777 words

“North-West frontier is again feeling the pressure as the migration waves…” the radio cut off when uncle Jonah stopped the Cruiser. It was one of his habits to turn it off when not driving.
“Come on, Billy, wanna see what the ruckus is about?” Billy, having already experienced a few rides with uncle the provost this summer, was less than enthusiastic, but he still climbed out of the car.

Mom said that it would be nice if he got out of the Cruiser at least once a dayThe Cruiser was a big, angular car, taken off the Frontier line decades ago, but still popular among the provincial provosts. It was probably the best part of the rides for Billy, because the rest of it was, well…

“Good day, Tilda. Heard you had some trouble.”

“Oh, it’s nothing, Jonah. Some yak tripped the sensors. We had to chase the silly beast around, and in the commotion I forgot to call the department…”

“Well, a provost is always glad to help, ma’am… Why yes, I would fancy some lemonade… Oh, and this is my nephew Billy…”

It would go on and on, the whole day. Uncle Jonah driving his big car around, helping people with small chores and smaller disturbances, maybe giving some lost drunk a lift back to town. It was so boring.

The cool car didn’t really help. As a healthy young boy, Billy had naturally played all the games, read all the comics and watched all the movies that had anything to do with the Frontier and the guardsmen keeping watch. He had seen – in the older magazines and movies – the Cruiser being used in daring chases and escapes and all sorts of blood curdling action. Never did it help to tow a stuck tractor.

Of course, the Cruiser was not nearly as cool as the new CW-5 Defender, the mainline light vehicle of the guardsmen, and the transportation of choice for Rain Talon, the coolest guardsman to have ever graced the pages of a comic book.

By the time they made their way out of Tilda’s farm, Billy was safely tucked into his seat and nose deep into a comic. Outside, the yellowing autumn trees and gentle county hills were rolling past. Inside – both in the book and Billy’s head – Rain Talon was fighting his way to the center of a migration wave. The kid was pretty sure that he didn’t lose much by not paying attention to the stuff around him.

And so the rest of the stops were made in relative peace and quiet. Uncle would hum a tune while he drove and let Billy stay in the cabin when he stopped. A kid could not see much out of the armored insides of the car. It was OK, because uncle would tell all about the latest emergency when he got back, and it would almost always be nothing exciting.

“Old Jensen made a still again and it burned down… again. Had to write him a citation.”

“Matt shot Gayne’s yak by mistake, but, uh, they had already made steaks and drunk their anger away. Want some steak, Billy?”

“Both of mister Carmody’s cats got stuck in a tree. Two different trees. Next time, I’m sending you, it’s not proper for a man of my stature to be climbing trees and chasing pussy. Heh.”

And so on, and so forth, till the last stop at the grocery store. Billy was tired of all this driving around, of all the nothing happening. He had read his comic books so many times, he could almost quote them. Still, the store would likely have local folks who would ruffle his hair, ask about school and talk other stupid adult stuff, so he stayed in the cruiser.

Uncle Jonah was back real quick and dropped something in his lap.

“Saw you getting bored, there, champ, so I placed an order…”

It was the newest issue of “The Great Rain Talon”. Billy almost tore the comic apart in excitement.

“Oh, uncle, wouldn’t you like to be on the Frontier? You could be like Rain Talon! He’s so cool! You could also have cool adventures.”

“I don’t know, Billy. I kind of like the life I have here.”

“But uncle, you do nothing the whole day!” Billy pouted, the thought that somebody wouldn’t want to be Rain Talon being a grave heresy.

“Well, you can grow to rather like doing nothing the whole day.”

“Oh, is it because you’re old?”

“Yes, Billy,” answered Jonah while absentmindedly scratching the acid burn that had stripped away the “Frontier Raiders, ’25-‘35” tattoo so long ago, “It might be that I grew old”.

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm in, let's write about alcohol without mentioning alcohol!

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