Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
This picture from the web reminded me of the main villian in Ethan Hawk - a Nephilim conqueror named Mordred who is sometimes indwelt by a demon named Jericho.
Out of four series I've started so far, this one may be my favorite...but when you put so much into a novel it's really hard to pick favorites!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging--unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.
That, of course, he will never do.
Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.
From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.
Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead's riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medival Britain, Lawhead's trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
This has to do with my whole life. During the Iran Hostage Crisis, I heard TV reporters using the term "fundamentalist terrorist" without regard. I'd been taught in Sunday-school that those who believed in the Bible were Fundamentalists. That bothered me and it was the planted seed.
Shortly before being saved in the early 1990s, I read a copy of Hal Lindsey's, Late Great Planet Earth.
I always wanted to write fiction, but as a fan of science fiction, and with my new fascination in eschatology, everything clicked. Christ coming in the near future? Cyberpunk (near-future dystopian high-tech sci-fi), was the perfect genre.
I did learn soon that obsession with the end Times was not very useful. The Gospel is all about love, and new believers are easily distracted.
Congratulations on asking the hardest question I've ever had to answer in an interview. (No problem,) My short answer is life. And I mean all of it, highs and lows. Pack it all into 60k words. What don't kill ya' makes you stronger. Yeah that's a cliche, but when you can pack all that pain into so little space--that's action. Blow by blow.
If one wants to learn how to write a tight action scene, check the Cyberpunk series called Shadowrun. Thanks to Kevin Lucia's Titletrack, I discovered Mel Odom's Website and I got to nag him one night to write another of my top three favorite cyberpunk novels. Run Fast, Die Hard is a classic. Argent, his main character rocks. One of my top ten novelists replied by next morning. I Smiled.
Cyberpunk is all about action:
Top novels Wolf and Raven, Run Hard Die Fast, Striper Assassin, by Michael Stackpole, Mel Odom, and Nyx Smith.
Top Films: The Matrix, Blade Runner (genre debateable--sue me), Johnny Nemonic.
Sci-fi aside? Die Hard, Raiders, and Bourne--all-that. My big complaint about action films, if bullets miss there has to be a reason why.
All-time favorite movies: The Matrix, Schindler's List, Monty Python and the holy Grail.
All-time favorite authors: George Orwell, CS Lewis, and ML Tyndall.
4.) Are you a disciplined writer or seat of your pants? Do you outline everything first or allow the mood to strike?
Beginning and end. I do write out a rough outline before I begin a fiction project.
But from my creative approach, a story must tell itself. I detail the outline as I go.
When it comes to fiction there is no moral absolute. There is no proper way. We're all created in the image of the Creator, so we fallen-scribes have that going for us. I cannot believe a number of creative methodologies through which successful authors approach.
5.) What can we expect in the future from Frank Creed as a writer and this series?
War of Attrition: Book Two of the Underground: the Unholy Trinity, trauma-action, and a surprise at the end--stand alone novels only in this series. Necessary background data included.
In coming months, Frank Creed the writer will be offering manusript evaluation services
6.) How did you come to be published with the Writer's Cafe Press?
Here comes the big secret. Marry a schoolteacher. I met my wife online, on May 9, 2003. Cynthia edited many things for local schools and education organizations, and offered to edit Flashpoint.
We wound-up marrying. Because it took her two years to get her Green Card, the only thing we could think of for her to make income was her editing skill. She started a business called the Writer's Café. After years of editing and networking, she learned that the Web and trend for corporate outsourcing had changed the publishing industry forever. A small independent press could now do everything that the traditional houses had been doing for decades.
When she told me she wanted to publish Flashpoint, it was very exciting, but that excitement was tempered by an amateur feeling. Face it, being published by your wife is a short step away from being published by your mom. I gained confidence quickly as she published a fantasy anthology (Tales for the Thrifty Barbarian), and A Child Underground, the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor. By the time the Biblical speculative fiction Anthology, Light at the Edge of Darkness, was compiled in August of 06, my confidence was complete.
I may be sleeping with my publisher, but our business relationship is completely professional. She respects me as an artist, and I get the same kind of deadlines, contracts, and expectations as everyone else she publishes. We work well as a team and I expect this to be a huge advantage as together we live the crazy-paced lifestyle. Book signings are also desperately needed weekends away.
Just as everything else in my life goes into my books, how God gave me a gift like Cynthia, is absolutely unreal. In conclusion: marry a schoolteacher! TWCP is currently booked through Dec of 2008.
To be interviewed by the Chronicles of Soone mastermind. The honor is all mine, Mr. Somers.
To God be the glory,Frank Creed--novelist & founder of the Lost Genre Guild
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Yes, it was my first novel. I was blessed to find a publisher very quickly. I finished Book 1--or, rather, a version of Book 1--in December of 2002, my agent started shopping it around (as Book 1 of a trilogy) shortly after the new year, and it sold in the spring. I spent part of 2003 making edits--editor Gary Terishita asked me to make the book longer by about a third--and The Bark of the Bog Owl came out in the spring of 2004. So it was a pretty whirlwind-ish process. At the time I didn't appreciate how unusual that was.
2.) Did you go through the whole submission rejection thing before finding an agent and publisher or was it a quick process for you? [this is covered in the previous answer]
3.) How did you come by the decision to make parallels with your Aidan character and King David from the Bible?
Eugene Peterson gave me a whole new way of looking at David's story. His book Leap Over a Wall demonstrates how much narrative richness there is to be mined there. Peterson has a lot to say about the "earthiness" of David's story, and that had a big impact on me...though in the end, the "earthiest" people in the book are the feechie folks, not Aidan. Peterson got me thinking about David, but I have to say, I think my story gets better the farther it strays from David's story.
4.) Feechies have to be some of the most fun characters I've read about in some time. How did you come up with Dobro Turtlebane?
One summer I worked on a construction crew with a fellow whose hobby was hunting wild hogs in the swamp--without a gun. He had some dogs that would catch the hog by the ear, and he would tie it up and carry it out of the woods on a pole. He was about as earthy a fellow as you could ever hope to meet. I filed that guy away, and ten years later when I sat down to write the Wilderking, he became Dobro Turtlebane.
5.) Most fantasy novels revolve around Dragons and Elves and stuff like that. Was there a conscious effort on your part not to include these sort of characters in your Wilderking novels, and if so, why?
Yes, I suppose you'd say I made a conscious decision not to include dragons and elves. In my very first outlines of the story, I don't think I had quite decided whether the feechiefolk would be elfish, magical creatures or just swamp people. It didn't take long for me to decide it would be more fun if the feechies were so different from "civilizers" that they just seemed magical. So feechies can disappear, but not the way an elf or a sprite disappears. They disappear the way a snake disappears. I once saw a copperhead on a leaf-strewn trail, and in the second it took me to bring it to a friend's attention, the snake just melted into the leaves. Even knowing it was there, I still couldn't see it for ten seconds or more; the camouflage was that good. That's not magic, properly speaking, but the effect was very much the same as magic.
I guess you could say I went down the path of seeing how "magical" the natural world could be, and decided that, for my purposes, it was magical enough. If you've ever been to the Okefenokee Swamp or Mammoth Cave, it's hard to picture a fantasy setting that could be more fantastic. And though I've never encountered a dragon, I suspect it would be a lot like encountering an alligator.
In he original proposal for the Wilderking, there's a swamp goblin in Book 2. My wife talked me out of it. In a world with feechiefolks and alligators, she said, what do you need with a goblin?
6.) As a writer, would you consider yourself to be very disciplined and do you outline everything prior to beginning a novel or are you a spur-of-the-moment / seat of your pants type of writer?
I always have a good idea of where a story will end before I start writing. But I give the story a lot of freedom to unfold the way it wants to unfold. I always have an outline--sometimes detailed, sometimes not--but I'm never afraid to throw out the outline. And I always expect a lot of treasures to reveal themselves after I've started writing. Here's an example: When it was time to hunker down and finish Book 3 of the trilogy, I went to my in-laws' farm in South Georgia to write. Eating supper at a restaurant, one of the locals (a man I had only met that night) sat down at my table and got to telling about a bar fight he had gotten mixed up in. Within twelve hours, a feechiefied version of that story was in the book, in the exact form it exists now. (If you've read The Way of the Wilderking, it's the scrape Aidan and Dobro get into at Ma Pearl's public house). It was never in any outline, but it's a pretty important scene in the book.
I like what Anne Lamott says about writing a book. It's like driving at night: you can't see very far ahead, but you can see far enough. You can't see around the next curve, but by the time you get there, your headlights will provide you with the illumination you need to negotiate around it.
7.) What would you say the greatest change in your writing has been since becoming published?
8.) What key piece of advice would you give to writers who are struggling to get published in today's Christian marketplace?
Hmmm...I don't know about giving advice to hypothetical people--people whose real situation I don't know. But I do have a few general remarks on the subject of publishing.
I have a cousin who builds houses, and he tells his clients, "If you weren't happy before you got a granite countertop, you probably aren't going to be happy after you get a granite countertop." Which is to say, a big, fancy house won't make your life fulfilling. Likewise, if you weren't happy before getting a book published, you probably won't be happy after getting a book published. Don't look to the things of the world to do what they can't possibly do for you. I do think that's an important thing to keep in perspective.
On a related note, we all hope our writing will have an impact on the people who read it--I know I do. But it's helpful to remember that the people we're really going to have an impact on are the people we see every day. I say that by way of encouragement. People who are "struggling to get published in today's Christian marketplace" are going through the struggle (hopefully) because they want to make a difference in people's lives. If that's your earnest desire, you can be sure you'll have opportunity to do that, whether you get published or not. If there were some way of totalling up such things, I know I've had more influence (for good or for ill) on the people God has put in my life than on everybody who has read my books put together. I realize that we're not talking about a huge number of people who have read my books, but I suspect the same would be true for most authors.
9.) What made you decide to join up with the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy blog tour?
[I'm afraid I don't have anything interesting to say on this topic: Rebecca Miller asked if I was interested, and I said yes--though I'm still not clear on what a blog tour is, exactly.]
10.) What are you working on now and should we be looking out for new novels from you in the near future? If so, can you give us a teaser to whet our appetites?
I have started a novel for grown-ups. It's neither science fiction nor fantasy, but a quiet book about a quiet life well-lived.
Thanks so much for doing the interview and for writing such an enjoyable series of novels. I look forward to reading what you come up with next.
Thanks for having me on your blog, James. It's been a pleasure.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.
Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Earthquakes, fire, disease, and floods pummel the earth, and its citizens watch in horror.
But in the darkness there is hope—an anonymous but powerful hero whom the public dubs "Guardian" emerges from the wreckage. He is Grant Borrows, one a chosen few who walk the earth with extraordinary powers. They travel the globe, helping those in deepest peril and determined to uncover the secret behind this world-shattering cataclysm.
But when signs of a dangerous ancient prophecy begin coming true, dark questions arise about secrets Grant might still be harboring.
The world teeters on the brink.But some refuse to let it fall.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
If I seem to be dancing...there's a great reason. I've just been informed that the agent of my new friend, Wayne Batson, has agreed to represent my book, The Chronicles of Soone: The Rise of Lucin to Christian book publishers this July at the International Christian Retailers Show in Atlanta.
I can't thank the Lord enough or Wayne for his help. The book had been on the plate for publishing this November at Breakneck Books, but was not yet under an official contract. Breakneck Books is wishing me well on this and removing the book from the schedule.
This is a great opportunity for me and my work and I certainly hope the Lord has opened this door so that the book will be published and in bookstores where it can really get a chance to take off with readers. Online is nice, but to really have a fighting chance, brick and mortar is still the best way to reach readers.
I ask for any prayers on the matter that I can get...the book still has to sell, so I'm not out of the woods just yet, but at least I'm riding with a good guide in a Hummer!
Monday, April 16, 2007
RETURN OF THE GUARDIAN KING by KAREN HANCOCK: The powerful finale to the Christy Award-winning novels in the LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIAN-KING series. Believed dead by all but the handful of supporters who rescued him from his Mataian enemies, Abramm Kalladorne has fled his homeland to the high mountains of northern Chesedh. Traveling under a new name with a group of bitter and increasingly desperate fellow exiles, Abramm hopes to reunite with his wife in Chesedh, where he will offer his services to her father in fighting the invading armies of the Black Moon. But with every step he is hindered, delayed, and diverted from the direction he desires to go, and it soon becomes clear Eidon has other plans for him. In the royal city of Fannath Rill, Maddie alone believes Abramm still lives. But since she has no proof, her friends, family, and public opinion press her to remarry. With its neighboring realms now under enemy control, Chesedh has become the last bastion of Eidon’s Light. Desperately overmatched, it cannot survive on its own. Yet the rich, handsome eastern warlord who is openly courting Maddie has a vast fleet of galley ships that could turn the tide in Chesedh’s favor....
WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
"Return of the Guardian King is a fantastic ending to a fantastic series. Honestly, it may be the best of the four. A wonderful representation of the self-life man and finding our true rest in Christ and dependence on him. Awesome representations of spiritual warfare with one of the biggest principles being: the refusal to believe the enemies lie over our Lord's truth. And on top of that...just a wonderful wonderful story with great characters. Hopefully Karen will revisit this world."
" Like its neighbor nations Kiriath has fallen. The Shadow rules with an iron fist oppressing any opposition. While most of his countrymen assume he is dead, a few close advisors are fleeing with distraught Abramm Kalladorne as they are forced to take flight way from his beloved Kiriath to take temporary sanctuary in the desert. He hopes to reach his wife Maddie in Fannath Rill in the last realm of Eidon's Light, mountainous Chesedh. Once there he plans to assist his father-in-law fight the Black Moon legions of the Shadow. However no matter how hard he tries to reach his spouse's side, he stumbles until finally Abramm assumes that for whatever reason Eidon has a different fate in store for him. Meanwhile her family insist Abramm is dead having fallen nobly in combat and that to save their country from being the next and final domino to fall she must marry a suitor who can provide the realm galleys that could turn the tide in their favor. Without this aid, Chesedh will lose. Maddie tries to resist the pressure as she believes in her soul she would know if her beloved died, but saving her people and her family seems the right thing to do as the conquerors head in their direction. The fourth tale in the "Legends of the Guardian-King" (see THE LIGHT OF EIDON, SHADOW OVER KIRIATH and THE SHADOW WITHIN) continues the exciting fantasy war between the Dark Moon forces of the Shadow and that of the Light of Eidon. However in this tale the hostilities play more of a doomsday countdown backdrop to the dilemmas of Abramm and Maddie as each ponders what to do next as duty supersedes their personal relationship. Fans of Christian Armageddon sagas will enjoy the fight between the light and dark due to the quandaries confronted by the lead pair, who put human faces on the supremacy war."
Friday, April 13, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
There was no one there to mourn Jerome Brown that day, other than his special ops team leader, Jason Night. Four H8 robot counterparts worked the coffin into its place using a lift. They had been the pallbearers for Jerome’s coffin, yet they cared nothing for their deceased cargo.
Alfred stood next to Jason at the gravesite. He appeared as the late fifty-ish butler with graying, wavy hair and a suit with overcoat. A pair of wire rim glasses completed the look. Alfred actually seemed more interested in the robots working the site than anything else.
“A newer model, but still inferior,” said Alfred in his human guise as the dark knight’s manservant. It was a favorite phrase of Alfred’s. Jason often wondered if Alfred really felt the pride he exhibited over his own advanced modifications and obvious superiority. It couldn’t be anything more than the nuances of his special programming, he thought. Maybe that’s all that makes up my personality over anyone else’s, a few variations in the chemical reactions of my brain, a little different pattern in the firing of neurons. Maybe Alfred isn’t much different from a real man in that respect.
The plain stone marker simply said, Jerome Brown, died 2094. It seemed so empty, he thought as he stood staring at the tombstone—nothing about his friendship, his bravery in countless highly dangerous secret missions. Nothing was left to the world of Jerome Brown as a man. After all of his courage and loyalty, countless hours of hard work had only earned him a cold piece of granite and a hole in the ground.
To the public, Jerome Brown was the owner of a bakery in London. He had been on vacation in New Rome and was gunned down by a common street thief. This was his epitaph. It was all the world was allowed to know. Jason held the Vellum in his hand that showed the news article pulled from a local newspaper’s world wide mind portal. He wondered what the news would report when he died. Local, New Rome coffee shop owner dies, perhaps?
Alfred remained by his side, as always. “Sir, we should be going. You don’t want to keep Ms. Cross waiting.” Alfred knew what no person, other than Jerome, had known. He knew about Sarah Cross.
“You’re right, Alfred, time to go.”
They both turned and left the H8 robots to their work, filling in the grave. As they passed other markers on the way out, Jason caught the phrase, Rest in Peace, on more than a few. To him, it seemed more of a question—after all; did anyone know if they really were resting, did they have peace? These were questions he didn’t have the answers to and had no idea where they might be found. Seeing Sarah again would lift his spirits.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Now, crossing genres is nothing new and there's certainly nothing wrong with it. But I was actually expecting more of what the cover promises -- suspense and intrigue.
As it turns out though, there was some suspense, a bit of intrigue and a clean cut Christian love triangle centering around an autistic "mozart" styled quantum physics prodigy named Dillon.
Double Vision has enough premise to be any of several kinds of novel and do well. My hope was that it would run more with the quantum computer disaster possibilities and the thriller elements that could have gone much farther than they ever did, but that's simply because of my personal tastes. The novel does a nice job of providing an interesting story, with good writing and the romance elements are always battling with the quantum computer scandal for prominence. I have to say that were I to take up romance novels on a regular basis, Double Vision would be the sort I would gravitate toward with its sci-fi elements. And since Ingermanson is himself a physicist, he has no trouble presenting quantum mechanics in a way that even us know-nothings can handle. While I can't escape the idea that this premise could have been handled in a much edgier fashion and made for far more excitement, Double Vision does deliver for a christian romance with a bit of intrigue and a lot of heart.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The province consisted of primarily small homes packed around a small metropolitan area. There were a number of larger structures located there including the Council chambers for the province.
The delegates from the Guniran council seated themselves inside the ornate council chambers; inside one of the larger two story buildings located in the Guniran province. The delegates all wore similar apparel consisting of tan trousers and shirts with a long waist coat that was open in front below the waist, even when buttoned. The borders of the garments were embellished with an intricate pattern of darker material. They all wore brimless caps upon their heads and they had the air of politicians, which made Tiet uneasy.
Politics was a dirty sort of business for the most part with much scheming and backstabbing usually taking place. Tiet preferred open combat in a warrior’s uniform with clearly defined enemies and a sturdy blade to the sort of dress he was made to wear today. Mirah had insisted that he dress formally for the meeting, since so much depended on its successful outcome. She had selected for him, a dark blue semi-formal suit that had been purchased in one of the province’s shops. It was similar in style to the delegate’s attire and Tiet didn’t like it, but he was consenting so long as Wynn and Grod were made to wear the same. With dark wavy locks hanging on his high, tight collar and his olive skin, Tiet was handsome in the attire but terribly uncomfortable. He wasn’t and never would be a politician.
Tiet, Wynn and Grod took their seats and a beverage was poured for each of them by a servant. “Thank you,” said Tiet.
He picked up the wooden cup with its intricate carvings along the rim and took a sip—it tasted quite good, but he wasn’t familiar with what it was.
“Gumji,” said one of the delegates as he took a drink from his own cup.
“Gumji. It is made from one of Kosiva’s native plants,” said the delegate whose name was Onnell. “It has medicinal properties.”
“Ah… my wife is a physician—she might be interested in knowing more about it,” said Tiet.
This small talk would soon become an annoyance. Tiet wanted to get straight to the matter. “Gentleman, now that you have consented to our staying in the area near the province, I would like to discuss the possibility of enlisting some of your people to aid us in a permanent dwelling for our group,” said Tiet.
“And what would you pay our laborers with?” asked one of the other delegates.
Tiet noticed a hint of sarcasm in the man’s voice—he didn’t look pleased to be meeting with them.
“I’m sure we could come to some sort of arrangement,” said Wynn.
“The fact of the matter is you don’t really have anything of value that we would be interested in,” said Onnell.
Clearly the small talk and pleasantries are over, thought Tiet.
“The only reason that we have consented to this meeting is because of Aija’s influence,” said Onnell.
“Who is this, Aija?” asked Tiet.
“He is the prophet of Elithias, The Eternal One,” replied one of the other delegates. “He instructed us to meet with you, as the king of the Barudii.”
“Well, that’s fine,” said Tiet. “So why do we appear to have a problem if your prophet has told you to meet with us?”
“The problem, Master Soone, is that we know who you are,” said Onnell. “We are afraid of the trouble that follows you.”
“And what trouble might that be?” asked Grod. The dark skinned warrior was formidable looking and his deep voice filled the chamber when he spoke. He was large and looked like his muscles would burst out of the Guniran suit at any moment.
The delegates looked coyly at one another and then Onnell continued speaking only to Tiet. “You are the king that fought and defeated the army of the Baruk and now your planet is under the control of the same being that controlled their clan for so long. It is very apparent; you barely escaped the planet with your lives.”
“We are not warriors here,” continued another Guniran clan delegate. “We cannot fight an army if they come to Kosiva looking for you.”
“I assure you, gentlemen, it is not our intention to place you and your people in danger. I am the Barudii king in the stead of my father. I returned from exile to avenge my fallen clan, but the time was right to form a rebellion against the Vorn, so we did so and we won. The Baruk answered this defeat of the Vorn with an attack on the twin Castai. It was only with General Grod’s help that we were able to defeat the Baruk, but that is when their leader, this symbiotic creature, escaped and began a fifteen year assimilation of much of the population on Castai.” said Tiet. “We came to Kosiva on the run from whatever has taken over the bodies of our people on Castai. This is true, but what else could we do?”
“You see Councilmen,” said Grod, his voice commanding their attention, “We had peace. This was all due to the efforts of the King. Tiet is not some war monger who is trying to bring the conflict to your planet. He made peace with me and my Horva brothers, recognizing our struggle for freedom. We, in turn, assisted him against the Baruk. It could not be helped that the creature escaped and later overran the twelve cities. We made every attempt to stop the takeover, but we were simply outnumbered.” Grod’s presence, with a large muscular build and his dark skin, seemed to be unsettling to the Councilmen, though they would not admit it. They knew of the Vorn and Horva only in the sense of the war, as enemies.
“If I may, Councilmen,” said Wynn, his voice more calm than the others, “Our way of escape from the planet is the key to the matter.”
“I don’t follow you,” said Onnell.
“You see, we utilized General Grod’s transgate portal technology, found only on our ship, the Equinox. It would be extremely unlikely that this creature would make any attempt to follow us and more importantly, it doesn’t know where we have escaped to.”
Tiet was growing nervous. The thought was ever present in his mind; his own son carried one of the symbyte creatures inside his body. “So, you see, gentlemen, there really shouldn’t be so much concern,” said Tiet.
“I understand your dilemma, Master Tiet, but please understand ours,” said Onnell. “We are simple people; farmers and merchants. We came here to Kosiva to escape the war. We wanted no part of it then and we want no part of it now. This province is all that we have.”
“Perhaps we should just leave Kosiva altogether then,” said Tiet, frustrated. “We had hoped for peace ourselves, but it appears you are unwilling to grant our petition to stay among your people.”
“We are not saying that you have to go,” said Onnell. “Your suggestion might ultimately be the best solution, but we have been commanded by the prophet not to send you away. In fact, Aija himself desires to meet with you.”
“Where is Aija then?”
“He lives on the mountain of Honnib,” said Onnell. “Aija has sent a messenger proclaiming his desires with regard to your group. He expects to meet with the Barudii king in approximately three months from now and he has instructed us to pay you the kindest hospitality. He claims it by the will of Elithias.”
“Well, this is more like it,” said Tiet under his breath as he looked sideways at Grod. “We would—“
Tiet’s com-link pin beeped on his collar. “Yes,” he spoke chin down toward the pin.
“Tiet, it’s Kale!” said Mirah. She was nearly hysterical.
“Mirah, what’s wrong?”
“Kale—he’s gone—he’s run away through the transgate!”
“Calm down, Mirah, I’m on my way now,” said Tiet. He stood to his feet addressing the Gunirans, “Gentlemen, I have an emergency—we’ll have to continue this at a later time.”
“But we have more details that must be worked out before we—“
“Wynn, Grod, if you wouldn’t mind to stay and settle this, I need to get back to the ship and see what’s happened.”
“Of course, Tiet,” said Wynn. “Go on ahead and we will be along as soon as our business here is finished.” Wynn had more experience with this type of situation. He was measured in his speech, careful never to say more than needed saying and his neatly kept white hair and beard gave him a distinguished look that people respected naturally. Wynn could do this without him.
Tiet headed out of the council chambers. He was trying not to get too excited. Maybe his son had just gone somewhere without his mother realizing and she was mistaken. He was telling himself that explanation, but he wasn’t buying it. There just wasn’t any reason he could think of why Kale would take off through the transgate.
The Gunirans had been kind enough to offer his group several animals for traveling after they had hiked into the province for the meeting. Tiet unfastened the reins of his leore and climbed into the saddle. The domesticated animal was a quadruped with hooves. Its coat was short and fiery red in color with a blonde mane flowing down the back of its neck. Tiet turned the animal, with a pull of the reins, and a quick goading of the leore’s sides with his heels sent them both galloping away toward the outskirts of the province and their ship beyond.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Have you heard about the latest archeological discovery?! Forget the Jesus find--here's a real bombshell!
Scientists have just uncovered a tomb in the arctic north which contained the bones of several people! One was a big boned male along with a female and the bones of a smaller person nearby.
Cryptic writings on the tomb have been deciphered to read, "The Kringles."
That's right folks, scientists are working on DNA evidence and expect to confirm very shortly the discovery of the real Santa Clause and his wife, Mrs. Clause. The smaller set of bones is expected to reveal ELF DNA!
What a devestating blow this will be to the world...while believers all over the world have already said that they still believe Santa to be alive and well, hidden at the North Pole in his workshop, skeptics are already signaling the end of Christmas as we know it.
I'm sorry....really I'm not...we who are born again should remain steadfast in the face of such ridiculous unfounded "discoveries" like we've been seeing in the news recently. Friend, a scientist could just as easily say they had discovered old Chris Kringle, because DNA testing is a comparitive test...ie, you need a genuine sample to compare it with. I'm sorry to tell them that they'll have to wait for the second coming to get one!! Praise the risen Savior!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
“Jerome, it’s me, Jason.”
Soulman’s arm relaxed and dropped like it had a fifty pound weight attached to it. He had to struggle just to speak. “Jason…I knew you’d find me. I’ve been trying to hold on until you got here. I tried the transmitter; it must have gotten shot away. I didn’t want to die alone.”
“Die? Hey, don’t start talking like that,” Jason said as he crawled closer to his friend.
“I already know, it’s bad, man. No use blowing smoke; I’m done.”
Jason wished he could argue with him, but he knew Jerome was probably right. He plugged an interface cable from his micro computer module on his left bicep into the same on Soulman’s arm. The two units communicated briefly and then when Soulman’s unit acknowledged Jason’s unit as that of the team leader, Nightstalker, it surrendered all of its relevant data.
Physiologic data, coming from Jerome’s uniform, confirmed his self diagnosis. He had shrapnel lodged in his heart, tears in both iliac arteries, liver damage and several small and large bowel perforations. Jerome’s blood pressure was displayed on Jason’s CLD. It was steadily dropping below critical levels despite the auto tourniquet system. Jason could smell the foul odor of blood collecting in pockets under his friend’s uniform.
“Jerome, you’re dying, my friend.” The words cut at his heart to say them, but it was true.
Jerome nodded his understanding and acceptance of the situation.
“Is there anyone—?”
He smiled through the pain as he labored to breathe. “Now, you know I’ve always been more of a player, man. There’s no one ever been waiting at home for me.”
Jerome grabbed Jason’s arm, then he found his hand and squeezed it tightly. “Jason,” he said with great urgency. “Theed’s men, they knew I was coming.”
“I know, but it’s true. They were waiting for an assassin to come into that hospital room and you can see they were ready for me.” It was difficult for him to get the words out.
Jason contemplated what his friend was telling him. If it was true, then they had a mole within BABYLON.
“I’m afraid.” And with that, Jerome Brown’s stare became blank and the tension in his face became slack. His grip on Jason’s hand lost all strength and he was dead.
Jason turned away from him, still holding the man’s hand. It was one thing to kill a man targeted for assassination you had never met and a completely different experience to watch your best friend die. It made him glad that very few individuals held such a close connection to him, because he never wanted to experience this again.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The rider’s hair was silvery white and long with pointed ears that protruded through at the normal place one would expect. He wore a thin beard of the same color and his skin was a ghastly, pale gray. His torso was adorned with a silver breastplate made of layers of metal scales that shimmered with violet color and he carried a long, intricately crafted lance in his right hand. The elf’s form was beautiful and terrible all at once and his steed made him all the more hideous. The elf looked at Daniel and he was frozen with fear.
More ghastly riders appeared, coming through the trees behind the first with their horrid mounts, their eight legs traversing the surface of the mighty forest root system with ease. Daniel tried to run, but he slipped on the ice. His skates were missing, replaced by his normal shoes. The elf rider urged his spider-mount forward to attack the boy with its great, two foot long fangs. Daniel could see the venom dripping as its mandibles opened to reveal the black daggers.
Daniel was snatched away from the jaws by a large bird of prey, nearly his size and powerful. It bore him up swiftly, carrying him by the shoulders. Was he now to be this predator’s next meal? “Don’t worry, lad, I’ll get you out of here,” said Meineke’s voice through the bird.
“Meineke, is that you?” cried Daniel as they soared up toward the twisted branches of the nearby trees.
A blast, like a clear bubble, was hurled off of the end of the elf’s lance. It hit Daniel and Meineke in flight, sounding like a thunderclap. Daniel fell away and landed among heaps of decaying leaves within the gaps in the massive tree roots. Meineke tumbled in the air on a collision course with the thick trunk of a craggy, old tree. His form morphed almost faster than could be seen and he righted himself in time to land on the vertical face of the tree trunk. Meineke was hanging there in his original form, claws set into the porous bark like a defiant squirrel.
He leapt down to the ground with the same elegant precision and found Daniel among the smelly old leaves where the roots hung over them like prison bars. “Come on, Daniel,” said Meineke as he led the boy back into the leaves and intertwining roots.
The Wil was tunneling through, finding their way through the labyrinth created by the roots. Pockets of dead space were littered among the leaves as they tried to keep moving away from the Spider Elves. The spaces between the roots were too small for the spiders to enter, but Meineke could hear them moving around above them, searching for their prey.
Meineke spotted a patch of light and they headed for it. The pair came up through a rotted out trunk that had a large enough hole in its side for them emerge onto the forest floor again. They were running again, with the Spider Elves about twenty yards behind them. Daniel did his best to try and keep up with Meineke. The Wil seemed a natural for such an environment, leaping from root to root and ducking under others to stay ahead of the elven riders and the nightmares they were riding upon.
As they were running through the dense forest, Daniel began to notice something. There was a distinct groaning emanating from all around them. It was like the forest was moaning in agony over the situation. The harder he ran and the closer he and Meineke’s pursuers got to them, the louder the noise became.
The trees were beginning to sway their craggy top branches, yet Daniel felt no wind and the intrusive fog was not being displaced. Could the trees be moving on their own, he wondered. He ran into an area where the roots heaved up in tight bands like a wall before him. Meineke had circumvented it while Daniel was paying more attention to the movement of the forest than his way. He realized, too late, that he was cornered next to a huge old tree with massive boughs.
One of the elven riders was upon him. His mount hissed and bared its venomous fangs for the kill. Meineke was nowhere to be seen. Daniel turned to attempt a climb, but he couldn’t find a purchase anywhere for his incapable, child’s hands. The tree was vibrating underneath his palms and there was a sound like wood twisting under duress. The giant spider lunged forward at the prodding of its rider. Daniel screamed as the sleek black fangs came at him; there was nothing he could do to defend himself.
The ground shook like an atom bomb unleashed, sending Daniel back on his side into the dirt. He looked back at the fiendish predator, only to find one of the massive branches of the tree grinding the spider and its rider into the ground, like a man squashing a bug under his thumb.
The branch began to lift slowly, revealing a ghastly residue from the kill. Daniel thought he might vomit, but that was before the rising branch revealed another elven rider twenty yards away. The rider looked aghast at his former companion’s remains dropping from the branch, intermingled with hunks of arachnid pulp, back into the stew surrounded by eight splayed legs.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
He felt a poke at his body, Derek finishing his job, no doubt. Then, he felt it again; two pokes to his ribs this time. Daniel might have laughed at the ticklish sensation if his head wasn’t throbbing so badly. Then, the finger poked at his head and he heard the distinct sound of someone close to his face, biting into something like a piece of fruit and the juice squirted onto his cheek.
Daniel winced and opened his eyes, expecting to find his bullies, but instead there was a thing staring at him and it spoke with fruit juice dribbling down its furry chin.
“What are you then, big nose?” said the creature.
Daniel screamed and his head throbbed hard, turning screaming to wincing.
“Well, I’m not that ugly,” said the creature, placing his curled little hands on his hips, a piece of half eaten fruit in one of them.
Daniel was amazed and suddenly realized his jaw must be dangling open well below his face. The creature was sitting on his haunches, but wouldn’t have been more than four feet tall on his tip-toes. He had a lemur like face, but long ears like a rabbit that fell back behind his head like a ponytail. His short silver fur covered most of his body and his hands and feet were ape-like and appeared good for climbing things.
“What are you?” asked Daniel, bewildered.
“I asked you first, big nose,” said the creature gruffly.
Daniel was suddenly aware that he had been insulted. “I’m Daniel and I haven’t got a big nose.”
“Well, it’s bigger than mine,” said the creature. “I’m Meineke.”
“Are you a monkey, Mr. Meineke?” asked Daniel innocently.
“Look, if you don’t want me calling you big nose then don’t call me a blooming monkey! I’m a Wil, of the noble family too.”
“A Wil, what’s that?”
“What’s a Wil? Aye, you’re not from around here are you?” said Meineke.
“Oh yes, I am. This is my family—” and suddenly Daniel realized that the world around him had changed. The frozen pond was the same, but everything beyond its edge had changed dramatically. No more was there a wide clearing sparsely populated by trees near the water’s edge—this had been replaced by a thickly planted forest of trees that looked centuries old and twisted malevolently by time.
Their bark was gunmetal gray spotted with black and the trunks of the trees were monstrous in width. The branches looked like grisly claws raking the sky in opposition to the sun and great roots covered the entire forest floor like a nest of snakes within the crag of a rock. The dark clouds above seemed married to the treetops and wisps of fog created a murky veil that made it impossible to see what lay in the distance.
“Where am I?” asked Daniel as he surveyed his new surroundings with a mixture of fear and awe.
Meineke continued chewing on his fruit, speaking with his mouth open. “Why, you’re right there,” he said, pointing a finger at him matter-of-factly.
Daniel blinked slowly, becoming exasperated with the little creature’s literality. “I mean, what is this place?”
Meineke stood up and spread his arms to the forest around them. “This awful place is Parengore Forest. It’s the home of the Spider Elves; scary huh?”
Daniel kept his eyes searching the various layers of the forest, expecting something terrible to erupt from the murk at any moment. “It’s not so bad,” he lied.
“Yeah, right,” said Meineke sarcastically. “Well, I normally wouldn’t be caught dead around here if it weren’t for the Wielder.”
“How did I get here? Last thing I remember, I was getting beat up by Derek Wentworth.”
“I haven’t a clue,” said Meineke. “I left my companion to find a place to conduct nature’s business and you were lying here, gone to the world.”
Daniel racked his brain. None of this made any sense: the Wil, this forest, Spider Elves, and his house no longer anywhere in sight. Perhaps, I’m dreaming. “Who is this Wielder person you said you were with?” asked Daniel curiously. If he was dreaming, then he might as well find out what the dream was all about.
“Oh, I’m not traveling with him, me and my companion are looking for—” Meineke paused, listening. His ears twitched and perked up over his head.
“What is it?”
“Shush!” hissed Meineke. He bent his head low, allowing his ears to pick up the vibrations traveling through the ground. Suddenly his eyes widened and he straightened quickly. “Come on, they’re coming!”
“Who?!” asked Daniel, confused.
“The Spider Elves—run!” And with that, Meineke bounded away from Daniel and the approaching rumble. Daniel watched the Wil running away and wasn’t sure what to do. Was this real? He took another fraction of a second to consider it. Whatever a Spider Elf is, I don’t think I want to meet one!