Trouble Seems to Follow (Kate Almir Serialized Novel) Chapter 1 part 1

 

The sound of his footsteps echoed down the deserted corridor, their lonely tune matching the depression and desperation in his heart. Five years and three hundred million credits and he were reduced to hoping that a nineteen year old girl could succeed where others failed.

It proved to be fantastical, a turn of events that Rear Admiral Claudio Reyes, head of Fleet Intelligence, would never had dreamt of. Several men and women, all soldiers who’d been critically injured, had volunteered for the program, which lead to each failure eating at Claudio until a black hole filled his heart and it’d swallowed all his emotions.

Not that he was without them, mind you, otherwise he wouldn’t wrestled with the decision on whether or not to risk one of his newest bodies on a former gladiator slave. No, the question about what to do with her and her ruined body had become a priority and that’d taken over his life for the past week.

Of course, he chided himself, none of this would’ve happened if you’d not approached her in the first place.

Lord only knew how ridiculous he looked on Arino when he asked for, and received, a private meal with her. It was something almost unheard of, an event reserved for only the greatest of the gladiator Master Champions…and one that she’d earned many times over.

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Talia Rough Draft Snippet 2-27-2014

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The woman in white shirt and black pants convulsed several times before dropping to the concrete as if a puppet with its string cut. One of the soldiers ran up and then knelt down to check her for weapons.

Sergeant Mason Williams started to approach, not taking his eyes of the young girl. She was beautiful; her silver hair shined in the sunlight and her high cheekbones and slightly rounded chin combined with her slightly pale skin to give her to appearance of an angel who’d descended from heaven. Incredibly, despite the situation, his manhood started to grow slightly until he looked away.

My God, he thought, I’m getting a hard on for some spy.

“Sergeant!” A soldier snapped. “The prisoner’s isn’t breathing!”

“Medic!” He snapped.

A cold chill ran down Williams’ spine as he watched the medic race over and then kneel beside the pilot. This couldn’t possibly be happening! If that woman died, then he’d be in serious trouble with Command for using a taser on her instead of just taking her into custody.

“Sarge,” another man said. “I think you need to come over here.”

“What is it?”

“Better to show you.”

The medic backed off a bit to give him room to kneel down beside the woman’s prone form. When the woman fell, she hit her head on the concrete and a small piece of skin hung loosely from her temple and it revealed something strange. A normal person’s body, especially their head and face, was full of blood vessels, which meant head wounds tended to bleed a lot, and this one did. However, instead of the normal thick, red flow of blood, a thin red colored liquid ran from the wound and then pooled around her head.

“If that’s blood,” the medic said, “Then she’s got the worst case of hemophilia that I’ve ever seen.”

“If that’s not blood, what is it?”

“My guess is some sort of red fluid meant to simulate blood, but that’s not all.”

“Ok…”

“Here,” the medic used an infrared thermometer to scan the pilot’s forehead. “Look at this.”

“One hundred fifteen degrees?” Williams said. “I thought a normal body temp was ninety-eight something.”

“Within a degree or so, yes,” the medic said as he used a gloved hand to wipe the fluid away. “Notice something?”

Williams wasn’t one to be taken by surprise by much, twenty years in the military and being in several war zones took the ability away, but this discovery made his heart skip a beat. Normal wounds have red flesh underneath once the top layer of skin got peeled away. Except this one gleamed under the light of the sun and he looked at it and then at the medic.

“Metal?”

“Uh huh,” the medic said.

“What the hell do we have here?”

“I don’t know.”

Williams never took his eyes off the girl as he raised his radio up to his mouth and then pressed the transmit button. “Command this is Sergeant Williams. We have the pilot in custody.”

“Bring her in then,” came the crisp reply.

“I don’t know about that. We have something strange here.”

“Like what?”

“She’s got metal under her skin.”

“So?” The woman said. “Plenty of people have steel plates.”

“And a body temp of one hundred fifteen degrees?”

“Are you shitting me?”

“No, Ma’am.”

“Ok, I’m contacting General Thomas at the Defense Research Center for orders. This is now within his purview.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“And don’t let anyone near her, Sergeant. And I mean it. If anything happens to her, you’ll wish you’d never joined the military.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

The communications was cut.

“You heard the woman,” he said. “Let’s keep her secure.”

 

#

 

Alex couldn’t believe his luck when it came to his golf time. Once again he was headed out for the links when the call came in about the strange woman at Andrews Air Force Base. This one, however, intrigued him far more than did the one in the sealed lab because it looked human, while the other one vaguely did.

And the fact that the woman, or whatever she was, could fly a fighter at Mach two created a mystery that even the old soldier found impossible to resist. Throw in the fact that the craft came from the orbiting ship and it made from a match made in heaven-or hell if she proved to be dangerous-for the eggheads. Maybe the being on the table in front of him could shed light on the one below that they hadn’t found a way to activate yet.

From the safety of the observation room the General watched the eggheads work and couldn’t help but start to get excited. Military technology always needed to advance to keep up with the growing threats around the globe, and the woman’s body could potentially be a treasure trove of information. Not only for new weapons but about the people who made her and whether or not they were a threat to mankind.

He activated the com. “Are you sure they can’t feel anything?”

“Her skin is synthetic,” the lead researcher said. “So, I’m sure that she can’t feel it.”

A scientist rolled a cart over to where they secured the woman’s prone form. Even knowing that the thing on the table was unconscious and probably couldn’t feel pain didn’t keep Alex from wincing as the researcher ran a scalpel around the circumference of the woman’s arm. Once done, he peeled the skin off, exposing the metal skeleton underneath.

“Amazing,” he said.

“Look at the details,” the scientist said. “It mimics our body to the minute detail. Ligaments, tendons, joints…”

Alex had to agree that it was indeed an amazing sight to see. The fact that someone, somewhere was able to make a mechanical body that mimicked the human form to such an extent boggled his mind. How many lives could be saved if they could send artificial people to the warzones to fight instead of flesh and blood soldiers?

Those and a thousand other thoughts ran through Alex’s mind as he thought about what to tell the President. A finding like this couldn’t be kept from the Chief Executive, but that didn’t mean he needed to tell the man everything. Yes, it was dishonest as hell but what the current administration didn’t know sure wouldn’t hurt them.

Although, he thought, it could possibly cost me my commission and pension.

“General,” a researcher said. “You need to see this.”

“What is it?”

“It’ll be easier to show you.”

He motioned to a guard to escort him before heading for the door. Just because the woman was unconscious didn’t mean she would stay that way and keeping someone around to defend him sounded like a good idea to Alex.

Although, he thought, could a bullet actually stop something like her?

“What do you have?” He asked as he approached the table.

The woman was borderline beautiful, and young enough to be his daughter, which did make this operation a bit tough on him. Her silver hair, almost the color of an anime character, and athletic frame reminded him more of a college student than someone from another planet. And what made things worse was God only knew how strong she’d been once awake.

“There’s a small port on the back of her head. We missed it earlier because it was covered by her hair.”

“What do you think it’s for?”

“If I had to hazard a guess, it’s for a computer interface.”

“Do we have a way of connecting to it?”

“It’s much like a USB port,” the scientist said. “But I don’t know if it’s wise to link something like this to our computer network.”

“What if we put her onto a closed system, one that doesn’t have any connections to the rest of the base or outside world?”

“That could work.”

“Make it so,” Alex said. “I want to know what that thing thinks.”

“It might take a little bit.”

“Just make it happen. I don’t care how long it takes.”

“Yes, sir.”

Athol Novel Rough Draft Snippet 2-4-2014

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Combat veterans will tell people that on the battlefield, sleep is fleeting and when they did get some, it was always with one eye open. It’s much the same way for assassins; we never know if the police are coming or if someone will try to kill us because  we’ve eliminated targets.

This was the case tonight as I lay in bed looking at the ceiling, with my pistol in my hand. I can’t stop thinking about that assassin, and only a fool would believe that Julia was her name or that mine was Jessica, and whether it was bad luck that we encountered each other or did she hunt us out. Either way, the identity of at least one was known, which left me with the problem of what to do about it.

Gunfights on starships didn’t normally happen; that was something only seen in the movies. Even the military shied away from them unless absolutely necessary because the risk of hull ruptures preyed upon their mind. That meant the girl would have to make direct contact because there wasn’t a chance I’d let Lacey stop eating at communal tables. And when the killer did make her move, I’d be ready to care of her.

Lacey, damn her, is sleeping like a baby and snoring like a chain saw. How one human being can be so relaxed while being pursued beat the hell out of me. People have said that I’m cold as ice and don’t have any emotions whether it’s doing a job or being pursued but Lacey doesn’t have nerves of steel like me, she’s just plain stupid.

Either way, I’m stuck having to protect her and all I want to do now is go back to my apartment and eat Chinese food. At least there I could go back to being an assassin and not have to sit back and try to be a bodyguard to a dumbass bitch who didn’t have a clue how serious of a situation she’s in.

Its times like this that I love to take walks to give myself time to chew on the problem. However, that’d leave Lacey alone in the room and I’d be exposing me money maker to unnecessary risk. Second, I’d hate to have to face Janice after letting Lacey die and explain how we didn’t get the money promised. That’s one conversation I’d rather not have.

Fuck it, I thought as I entered the luxurious warmth of the shower.

Yes it was a risk to leave Lacey unguarded but I needed the time to myself. The number one rule in assassinations was to keep your identity a secret, yet this girl had decided to throw it away. That was just one of many unanswered questions that were rattling around in my mind as I exited the room.

The liner’s owners took great care to make the concourse and atrium beautiful, and that included how it was light during the “night time” hours. Streetlamps, each made to look like an oil lamp, lit the walkways and Christmas lights were wrapped around several of the trees. It made for an area that proved to be both peaceful and romantic at the same time; in fact, I bet even at this hour that there were couples having sex back amongst the shrubs and grassy openings.

A voice in the back of my mind screamed at me to be careful as my senses went onto high alert. If the other assassin was awake, this would be the perfect time to make a move. The area was dim, keeping a person from seeing more than a few feet into the trees, making it a great location for an ambush.

While anyone looking would see a non-threatening teen girl out for a walk, I was anything but. Since firearms were out of the question, nothing kept me from carrying a knife and its hilt bounced against my back as I walked. Let the other woman come; it’d be a fatal mistake.

Its times like this that I wonder what life would’ve been like if Dad hadn’t died. Of course the cold streak that allows me to be such a good killer would’ve remained, but would I have chosen the course Tom put me on? I’d love to say that it wouldn’t have but that’d be a lie. While it would’ve taken some serious work to keep my activities a secret, I still could’ve pulled it off.

Not that it mattered now; Dad was dead and Tom trained me to be a killer. It’s who I am and I doubt I could function in any other job now. Besides, could a normal everyday job allow me to make the kind of money being an assassin did? The answer would be no.

Going back to Earth wasn’t high on my list of things to do. Because I eliminated Tom’s cadre, thus saving the Darbytown Police Chief embarrassment, he allowed me to escape to another colony. In return, we’d agreed on the condition that I’d never come back to my home, which basically exiled me from ever visiting Dad’s grave.

Dad was a good man, everything that Tom wasn’t, and while I don’t think about him much, I do miss him. Birthday and Christmas were the best time of year; we’d get together, have dinner and just enjoy the day together. And he always knew how to give the perfect gift for every occasion.

Tom had always been cold, aloof and borderline assholish to me when I was growing up, so the thought of having to live with him had upset me as Dad slowly weakened from the cancer. I doubt any of us truly knew what my uncle was capable of until the night of the funeral and Tom raped me for the first time. This went on every day for three months until I’d learned enough from my training to have him begging for his life one night. From then on, he kept his hands off me.

Training to be an assassin is hard work; something that takes more than one day or one person. To be successful, I needed to know martial arts, marksmanship and how to hack into security systems of all types. So, Tom’s cadre of corrupt cops each handled a section of my training.

It didn’t take long for the five of them to realize I had natural aptitude for killing, and they made sure to take advantage of my cool nature. While most people would rebel against such manipulations, I reveled in it and my skills continued to grow to reach what you see today. So, in many ways I owe my success to Tom, which to be honest galls me to no end.

I round a bend and to my surprise the assassin is sitting on a bench with her legs pulled tight to her body. It makes the young woman look younger and vulnerable; almost as if she were an older version of me from the Tom years.

“You don’t need a weapon,” she said. “I’m unarmed.”

“Don’t mind me if I don’t believe you.”

“Can’t blame you.”

“I’m so glad you see it my way.”

“You know that you don’t have the slightest chance of protecting your little friend.”

“Bitch, I’m good at what I do. You won’t get close enough to kill her.”

“Give it up, Mareth,” she said, “you’re up against something bigger than you.”

“You know, I always wanted to go big game hunting.”

“I don’t know if you’re stubborn or a whole lot dumber, but adults are playing here. Keep sticking your nose into it and it’ll get chopped off.”

“I always wanted a nose job. This thing is entirely too big.”

“This is your only warning, Mareth. If you don’t back out, I will kill you.”

With that she gets up, turns her back to me, and then walks away. What the fuck? Did that bitch have so little respect for me that she wasn’t afraid of getting a knife to the back?

I’m tempted to run up and ram my knife into her back and kill her, but I’ve got the feeling it wouldn’t work. She was right: there was something bigger going on then I’d been told when taking on the job. And I doubt seriously that Janice lied to me either, which leaves one option: Lacey’s playing me.

If that was the case, what did the little rich bitch have to hide? And who the hell hired the assassin? To be honest, she’s frighteningly confident and skilled, almost as if she worked for the government. Christ, I hope not because that opens up a can of worms I do not want to deal with.

When I get back to the room three hours later, I’m relieved to see Lacey up and preparing for breakfast. Maybe if I’m lucky the girl will tell me what’s going on if I badger her enough. More than likely, she’ll just deflect the questioning and leave me in the dark as usual, so I stop and send a quick text message to Janice.

“Good morning,” Lacey said.

“That depends on your definition of ‘good.’”

“Huh?”

“I had a little encounter with our assassin this morning.”

“Oh, is she dead?”

“No, but I’d like to know why she’s telling me I’m involved in something bigger than I know.”

“Damned if I know.”

“Fuck you, Lacey. Goddamn it, you do know what’s going on! I need to know if I’m going to protect you.”

“Now you listen to me, Mareth,” Lacey’s tone is colder than ice, taking me by surprise. “I’ve told you everything there is to know. Just do your goddamn job and go back home.”

“I don’t know who’s fucking worse,” I grumbled. “You or that prick Tom. And you know what happened to him.”

“Are you threatening me, Mareth? If you are, that’s not good for your long term health.”

With that, Lacey stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door behind her. Where the fuck did that sudden cold streak come from? Yes, I know that Lacey isn’t who I thought she was in school, but up to that moment she’d been some ditzy playgirl. Now, she shows that she can piss ice water and I’m not sure what to do about it.

My computer vibrates to let me know that Janice has answered. The message is brief, to the point, and I raise both eyebrows before closing and then storing the message. It would be useful later.

Since I have nothing better to do, I take a seat and wait on Lacey. Knowing her, it’ll be another hour at least before she’s ready to go to breakfast so might as well get comfortable.

Exactly one hour later Lacey exits the bathroom and starts to get dressed. My instincts are screaming bloody murder because all signs of the coldness from before is gone and it’s been replaced by the ditzy childishness of before.

“Ready for breakfast?” She asked.

“Yeah, I’m starving,” I lied.

“Lead on.”

It’s not often that someone gets the drop on me, but when they do it’s always a doozy. Soon as I open the door, something heavy hits me in the stomach, making me stagger as my breath rushes out in one large wave. Metal gleams in the bright lighting before the pistol slams into the side of my head, causing my vision to black out for a moment, and I fall to the floor.

The Asiatic woman steps over me and then starts to move towards Lacey, who freezes. Simply breathing is a challenge as I try to overcome the pain in my stomach. What the hell did that bitch hit me with? A two by four?

“It’s over,” the assassin said. “You should’ve stayed on Mather Nine and made this easier for both of us. Now I got to kill Mareth too and my bosses aren’t going to like that.”

Serialized Novel

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I’m currently working on a pair of new projects, so it’ll be a slow dribbling process. What I am going to do is take both chapters down and edit them and get a polished version up there. Each one from now on will be polished, which means it’ll take a bit between chapters being posted so bear with me. 

Otherwise, I hope everyone enjoys it. 

 

Question for my followers

I’ve been putting out a lot of snippets from my almost finished novel, along with a piece of a non-Talia novel that I started. What would you folks, writing wise, want to see? A complete chapter of the first one? More of the ‘Mickie’ novel as I write it or segments from my second Talia novel? The second Talia novel hasn’t even been touched for editing so there’s plenty of errors to fix in there so it’ll be a very rough read. There is some good dialogue in it though.

Or would you like me to show some of the more humorous elements involving Talia and her sisters in the first novel. They have a pretty good argument during a battle that is very funny. And there’s more to her story line with Dirrnyg also.

So, what would you like to see?

By taliasworld Posted in Writing

Today’s snippet

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Crios entered the bar and wished she could turn around and walk out. The fog-like cloud of cigarette smoke turned the patrons into murky outlines. A large bar ran the length of the left wall, as customers sat around various tables while loud music played.

This is fun.

The rotten stench of stale tobacco and alcohol made her stomach protest as she wrinkled her nose. She loved a good bar because you could always find someone to take home when desired. This one, however, would be far, far down her list of pick up places and if they didn’t suspect Dragus involvement, she wouldn’t touch the establishment with a ten foot pole.

One thing for sure, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone in money trouble, or just plain greedy, which was one of her favorite tricks. When a person was behind, then they’d do anything to pay back the debt. The only problem would be finding the exact person, or persons, that were the best targets.

She approached the bar and sat down as the bartender walked up. His mouth was missing several teeth as he smiled and shot her a sleazy look. The man didn’t even try to hide that he was checking her out and she looked at his greasy, unwashed black hair and resisted the sudden urge to puke.

Disgusting.

“What will you have, sweetie pie,”

She shot him a “did you really just say that to me?” look. “Double shot of scotch, little boy,”

“That’s a lot of booze for a lady like you. Sure you can handle it?”

She leaned forwards and then placed her elbows on the bar. “I’ve drunk stronger,”

He handed her a glass. “If you’re here, then you can’t be a fifty pound weakling.”

“Good, I’d hate to have to regale you with stories about combat,”

“You’re too pretty to be a marine. Mercenary?”

“Of a sort…”

“Tough girl, eh?”

“The worst you’ll ever see,”

“I’ve seen a lot,”

“Trust me, you haven’t seen the likes of me,”

“Well, just let me know if you need anything,” he winked before walking away.

The warrior looked at the man’s back and then chuckled under her breath. Was that supposed to be the best pick up line he had? Eighty grit sandpaper was smoother than that! Poor guy. She’d heard everyone that could possibly be created over the years anyway.

She sipped at the whiskey and struggled to keep a sour expression off her face. Anyone who called this crap a drink needed their heads examined. There were cleaning solvents that tasted better and didn’t cost as much!

What did she expect though from a dive such as this?  No matter where a traveler went, the sleazy places criminals frequented never changed. They were all filled with cheap booze and easy women. One could literally exchange the races involved and things wouldn’t change one iota.

I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to decide to talk to me.

A man sat down next to her and she didn’t look up from her drink. Well, that didn’t take long. Since the other women weren’t as pretty, he probably had sex on the brain. Too bad for him that wasn’t what she came for. Besides, she thought wryly, no human or Gahl man can resist an attractive woman.

“I haven’t seen you before. Where’d ya come from?”

Really?? That’s the best pick up line you can come up with? Sad!

She continued to sip at the drink, while letting her body language show disinterest. “A long ways from here,”

“I like your accent. Are you from Brownsville or Galveston?”

I wonder what he’d say if I told him the truth?

“I’m a twenty thousand year old alien warrior from a planet several thousand parsecs away.”

“That’s funny! Seriously, where you from, sweetie?”

She smiled slightly. “In the neighborhood,”

“I thought I recognized that accent! What brings you to Selkirk? You’re seriously slumming!”

“Slumming, eh?”

“That’s what I said.”

She downed the whiskey and motioned for another. “You been in combat, son?”

“Me? Combat? Hell no! I’m only interesting in making a credit.”

“Well, I’ve seen more than my share, so this ain’t ‘slumming’ after the hellholes I’ve seen,”

By taliasworld Posted in Writing

A part of my rough draft

imagesIt’s going through a second hard copy edit to finish smoothing it out. I’ve just started on the first two chapters so if there’s any errors please give me a chance to get up to this point to be able to fix them. Otherwise, have a good day. 😀

Talia pushed the emergency exit open with the barrel of her rifle before climbing up. A darkened shaft greeted her as she knelt down on the roof and waited for the processor to adjust her vision for the low light. Two large mag lev tracks ran from the top of the building to the basement along the left and right walls. Maintenance ladders ran the length of the front and rear walls.

The car started to accelerate and she sucked in a deep breath as a slight breeze lifted her sweat soaked hair off her shoulders. She’d done plenty of crazy and downright stupid things during her long life, but riding the top of an elevator was a new one. And this time she was truly working without a net. There’d be no Methos or Crios to bail her out.

What are you doing here, Talia?? This is so not a good idea!

She must be out of her mind! Dannae’s team was still under fire and here she rode off to face who knew what! Too late to turn back now! Methos was so going to lecture her when they got back to the ship.

The car glided to a stop and she watched the door slowly open. A deafening roar of assault rifles echoed up and down the shaft as she placed her hands over ears and waited for it to stop.

I hate being right!

Talia sucked in a deep breath before she swung downwards, using her knees to keep from falling. A quick glance show four soldiers, plus one with a gold leaf on each side of his uniform collar.

One of the marines looked at Talia and the woman’s eyes grew wide. Great, what terrible timing! She pulled the trigger and winced as orange flame shot from the suppresser and the roar rattled her teeth. The bullet struck the woman in the chest, spraying blood everywhere as she fell.

A man went to fire his rifle, and heard it click. He looked at Talia with a horrified expression. Talia showed no emotion as she put two rounds into his head, causing it to explode as if an overripe melon.

The third marine spun around, replacing her magazine on the fly, and then raised her rifle. Talia fired. The rounds punched two fist sized holes in her back before slamming her into the wall. She slid limply to the floor, leaving a streak of blood behind.

A bullet whizzing by her face, and Talia winced as a young man fired at her. Humph. Well, someone actually got a chance to shoot! She calmly turned her attention to him and put two rounds into his chest and he went down hard.

The officer turned to run and she whistled loudly, stopping him in his tracks. He turned to face her and then she placed the rifle’s barrel inches from his forehead.

#

The smoking barrel of the firearm rested inches from his head. This couldn’t be happening! It had to be a nightmare! Someone that young couldn’t have just killed four marines in ten seconds!

Pale blue eyes, reflecting an intelligence that far outclassed his, locked on him. They were the center piece of a slightly rounded face with high cheekbones and a small chin. Despite the situation, Sean felt a surge of sexual attraction, causing himself to grow.

Shoulder length silver hair hung down, its color muted by sweat, and her eyes darted left and right before she raised an eyebrow. Sean felt naked under her gaze and he wanted to shrink back and hide like a scolded child.

What was she thinking? Probably about pathetic he was, and she’d be right. There was no reason for her to think that he was anything other than bottom dwelling sludge. No warrior should ever betray his own government unless they betrayed him.

He looked away before sighing. “I guess you’re ready to shoot,”

“Who says so? Maybe I just want to shoot the shit,”

“Hell of a way to go about chatting,”

She shrugged and made a contemplative sound. “Hmm, never thought of it that way,”

“Anyone ever tell you it’s impolite to stare?”

“I’d like to know what makes someone like you throw away their honor.”

“You should know with your background, kid, that the lure of power is an intoxicating thing.”

Almir shook her head. “‘My background?’ Hmph. You call what you’re doing power Look at me; I’ve commanded millions of soldiers and sailors, and fleets so large you couldn’t comprehend, moron. There are beings in the galaxy that still tremble at the mention of my name.”

“Yeah right, Almir. You’ve truly lost your mind.”

“The name’s Talia De’Zahna. If you’re going to insult me, at least get it right.”

Sean just looked at her.

“What’s wrong, Creoth got your tongue?”

“Right…If your name is Talia than I’m the Pope.”

“Huh? Who is that?”

“You’ve really gone off the deep end, Almir,”

“De’Zahna, idiot, De’Zahna,” she corrected. “And I don’t have a clue who, or what, the pope is. I haven’t been to Earth before, at least not as myself, but Almir has…damn, enough of this, it’s giving me a headache!”

He shrugged. “Fine, either way you’ve gone nuts.”

A marine wandered into view and De’Zahna shot the woman before turning her attention back to him. “Sorry ‘bout that but I didn’t want out pleasant conversation interrupted. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I’m twenty thousand years old by the way.”

“Fine,” he said, “You’re name is Talia De’Zahna. What do you want?”

De’Zahna narrowed her eyes. “You still haven’t answered my question. Why’d you sell out?”

“Power is a great thing,” he said.

“So like a stupid human,” De’Zahna shook her head. “I was fighting battles before your people ever became Homo sapiens. In fact, my people seeded your DNA to help you evolve quicker.”

Wait, it can’t be, can it?

“You’re…

De’Zahna chuckled softly. “An Alien? Gee, you finally got it right. It did take quite a bit of prodding though, so I don’t think you’d do well on any game show.”

“I…”

“Enough about me, as you would say. Major, I want to know why you’d consider that tiny little amount of power worth much.”

“Didn’t you say that ‘beings trembled at your name?’” Sean asked. “Isn’t that the very definition of power?”

De’Zahna frowned slightly, and he wondered what the alien was thinking. Had he struck a chord?

“You fucking idiot,” she said softly. “It’s nothing compared to honor and commitment. Look at me! I’ve commanded billions in my life and I’m still bound to the Alliance because Almir swore allegiance to it.”

“I’m not you,”

“Gee, did it take a computer for you to figure that out?”

“If you’re waiting for an apology, it isn’t happening.”

“Actually, I just want to know how many soldiers are guarding the Admiral.”

“And why should I tell you that?”

“Because it could mean the difference between dying quickly or in agony,” De’Zahna narrowed her eyes. “You’re choice.”

He stared at her for several seconds and resisted the urge to turn away. There was coldness in her eyes, and it made his blood run cold. De’Zahna was a woman capable of great violence yet driven by honor, commitment and compassion. She was everything he wasn’t.

He looked at the floor. “Eight, with four inside his office,”

“Hmm, interesting,”

“Huh?”

“I expected more,”

“Most are, or were, defending against your attacks,”

De’Zahna cocked her head slightly and then clicked her tongue. “Good luck what that one. You should tell your next in command to surrender before more lives are wasted.”

“No.”

De’Zahna looked at him with an “I can’t believe what I just heard” expression. “Of course not! You bastards just don’t know when to quit. Is Josephson still in his office or in the underground bunker?”

Sean worked hard to keep the surprise from showing. Rickman must’ve told her everything!

“He’s in his office,” he said. “Tell me one thing,”

“What?”

“Are the others like you?”

“Others?”

“The silver haired girls,”

“Oh, them,” De’Zahna smirked. “Those are my sisters.”

“Sisters?”

“‘Sposed to have been the salvation for our people, but it didn’t work.”

“How the hell could you four fight so many battles in the past and stay young?”

“We carry our memories and personality through our DNA.”

“Incredible.”

Sean heard marines pouring into the hall and from De’Zahna’s calm expression; he figured they were part of her team.

“At this point, Major, there’s only one way to make amends.”

She wants me to kill myself!

A hint of a smile tugged at the girl’s lips. “I see you just put the pieces together. Took you long enough. Now, you can do it yourself, or I will, but you’re not walking out of here.”

“I’ll never kill myself.”

De’Zahna shrugged. “You’re choice; I’m not going to force you. But I have one last question. Does Josephson know where the missing colonists are?”

Sean snorted. “You already know that he’s our field commander. So, why wouldn’t he?”

De’Zahna raised an eyebrow as if to say touché. “You’ve got a point. Now, step back.”

“Why?”

“Does there have to be a reason? I really don’t care to have your blood on my face or in my hair.”

He swallowed hard. Death was something soldiers faced, but to be murdered in cold blood? A part of him raged over it, and hoped to see the little bitch in hell. De’Zahna had kept her honor and glowed with integrity, even then, and he felt soiled compared to her.

I bet they don’t even give me a tombstone.

A blast of fire ended it all.

By taliasworld Posted in Writing

Characterization

Music_Just_Moves_Me_by_Mallenroh001A lot of beginning writers ask: how to I make my characters better and not a Mary Sue? Well, that’s a good question to answer.

Characters start within you, the writer, and have a connection to your heart whether you recognize it or not. If you try to write a truly brutal person, but your heart doesn’t have that kind of aspect to it, then you’ll end up with a cardboard character. This is your first step.

The second step is that personality comes from actions, thoughts and speech patterns. How you chose to have them talk is a great way to show difference of personality. Do they all speak the same? Are their patterns identical? Can they make someone laugh or cry? How about the way they think? Does each character have identical thoughts and values? If they do, then you need to change that. Just as in real life, each person acts different, but it all your characters behave the same, then they’re cardboard characters.

As a whole, characterization isn’t the most difficult part of writing. Making sure your story follows a logical path, doesn’t have as many hole as Swiss cheese, will prove to be the hardest part.

Hope this will help those with questions.

By taliasworld Posted in Writing
Aside

One of the things I see a lot on writing forums are beginning writers asking about characters. It seems that creating characters is challenging to those who are just starting. In reality, they’re not. The problem most people have is they don’t realize that writing comes from the heart. What do I mean by that? Well, here’s a brief explanation.

I created a character named Kate over twenty years ago while I was in middle school and carried her with me until late this past fall. She was a brutal character who could be very violent, and always carried a lot of angst with her. I have Bipolar and when I was coming through the school system, there wasn’t the support programs there are now. In fact, my illness got listed as LD/ED, and it never addressed the issues that lead to being unstable and not able to fit in with the crowd.

That led to a lot of mental abuse from the people around me over the years and that ended up going into Kate. She became the anger, sadness and frustration that I felt over the past. So, all the brutal rage that builds up when one suffers abuse because the reason for her creation.

One day, a kind lady named Maia challenged me. She asked me whether I wanted to be a serious writer, and I decided that the answer was “Yes.” When that happened, a thought arose to create a new character and, PERHAPS, kill Kate off. As I worked on creating the new character, three more came along to create and ensemble cast (which is a post for another day). Things started to change, and a whole new world for the characters morphed off the one I’d already built for Kate.

Why?

As I said earlier, the previous character Kate was based off my pain and hurt. The new character, Talia, and her sisters came from the ‘new’ me. Having spent almost three years having regular counseling after my last bipolar breakdown, I came to learn, and accept, who I was. This opened up another side that never had shown itself while writing. Thus, the characters changed.

Hemmingway is famous for saying:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

His quote is very true, and I challenge everyone to look deep inside yourself when you’re starting your characterization process and see if there’s any connection, or chemistry, between you the writer and the creation. If that doesn’t exist than the writing won’t feel ‘real,’ and it’ll leave a person wondering what they’ve done wrong.

Writing comes from the heart.

TW

Writing from the Heart

By taliasworld Posted in Writing