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I'll Write Until The Muddy Grave Takes Me

Archive for the ‘fiction’ tag

Wolf Head Books and Publishing is Accepting Submissions

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So my publishing company, Wolf Head Books and Publishing, is now accepting submissions in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, and Historical Fiction.

WHBP is accepting shorter and longer works. Shorter work will probably be put into a collection, longer works are stand alone. If you want to submit to Wolf Head Books and Publishing, click here.

I hope that I can publish stories that readers will enjoy and find inspiring.

Good luck to all those that submit.

Editing A Story and Book Covers

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Now that I have a number of short stories completed, I find myself now an editor. More so then if I were to send the stories to magazines for consideration.

As a self publisher you need to be the final gate before the press. It is recommended by many on the web that I should hire a professional editor.

I agree. But I can’t afford an editor. To pay what I can pay for… well lets say I’ll get what I payed for. Not worth the money wasted.

So I decided I must do this myself. I am going to post each story on a critique site. I think this is the best bet for a first reader. With the help from the site and my own skills in the English language, I am sure I can get something that looks professional. If not I’ll hear about it in reviews I’m sure.

As I build my business and career as a writer and I know I can earn out the money spent on an editor… well then I’ll hire one.

But not now.

Instead I’m going to spend my money on a professional book cover using 99designs.com I have heard much about the site and checked it out for myself. So far I’m impressed.

One tool of editing I’m going to include is a style sheet. I want to get good at the style sheet. It will keep my stories congruent.

So currently I am editing a number of short stories that will be part of a science fiction/fantasy anthology. My first book. Each story will be released as singles as well.  The covers for the singles will be done by me, or bought cheap from a designer. The main anthology will have the large purchase cover. $300 if I go with the smallest package 99designs offers.

Thats where I am at.

I also want to note that I’m sorry if the site was down. I just tried to get on today to discover it blank. One of the plugins was giving me trouble. But as you can see the site is back up now.

Cheer’s all.

Written by Cali

February 10th, 2014 at 2:34 am

NaNoWriMo Excerpts : Sins Of Our Fathers

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It’s week three into National Novel Writing Month. Week One went well. Week Two I had the flu for a few days and barely could think let alone write. The next day was Rememberance day, and being in the army, I was part of that. I stayed at a friends house for the night, to drunk to drive home. So that was out. I fell far behind, and have so far lost interest to catch up on the word count. I may try to, but right now I’m in the mode that I got a story started, I will finish it on my own time now, not worrying about the dead line.

I have titled the book “Sins Of Our Fathers”

But here are a couple excerpts of the story so far.

Hope you enjoy.

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Excerpt # 1

Manard Swanter rode his roan gelding through the Forest of Felrenn only a day’s ride south of Felrenn on the road back his Lord Ehorld’s estate. He trotted his horse Big Guy — as he had named him from a foal — then let him rest, trotted, then let rest.

He could make a good pace this way. At least make it back in eight days instead of ten. He was instructed to take his time, as his message would be accepted easily and be of no worry to the King.

But it looked like his Lord Ehorld was wrong and now a quicky pace must be maintained to end the war before his Lord got his head hanged of the kings castle as an example.

Manard took his messenger skills seriously, and with great pride. His father had laughed at him when he said he wanted to be a messenger boy. “Boy,” he said, “you couldn’t remember your own name if I hadn’t beat it into your head.” But he proved his father wrong.

He joined his lords army, became a messenger boy, and fought in many campaigns the Carcan had committed to fight in with the king. His memory to words saved lives. No messenger carried his message on paper. If he died, or was caught, the enemy could find out what the message was by simply reading the orders. No every messenger memorized every message, and they went with him to the grave.

Manard felt Big Guy weezing a bit. His horse could keep the pace up for so long, but he would need a break. He slowed Big Guy to walk for about half an hour, then turned off the road into the Felrenn forest.
A creek ran along this part of the road. Before he let Big Guy drink he listened to make sure he had cooled down. He learned from his mistakes when he had let a horse that had been running drink a bunch of water right after. The horse later became sick and died.

He moved his trusty friend up to the creek. Big Guy resisted at first, his ears laying back. “Whats wrong Big Guy? It’s alright, we’re just getting some water.” Manard coaxed his big horse farther into the forest towards the creek. Bug Guy’s ears lay flat. Something must be wrong here. He needs water though. We’ll just get some water and get out fast. Probably just a coyote stalking around, no big deal.

Big Guy stuck his big nose into the water. Manard gave a stretch and leaned back on the saddle. He looked up into the tree above him and gave a howl. Big Guy started and gave a buck, sending Manard into the air. The large mountain cat jumped out of the tree and onto Big Guy’s back, clawing away as Big Guy took off through the bush.

Manard watched his big horse take off. He knew his friend was doomed. He was doomed. He couldn’t move his legs, his arms. He could not move his head. He could hear something wet dripping onto the leaves. My blood. Oh I have failed! His eye sight began to fade. Then he slowly could not think. Finally Manard Swanter the Messenger of Lord Ehorld Carcan was no more, and so his message bore the same fate.

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Excerpt # 2

A guard came to attention at the dinning hall, stomping his foot down. “My Lord, a messenger from the King. Urgent business my Lord.”

Lord Terrance looked to his guests. “Please excuse me. Enjoy your meal. We will drink and play with my wenches after dinner.” Some of the old men huffed at that. Of course they would not mind some pretty women while away from their wifes, but they would not openly admit that.

Lord Terrance pulled some black leather gloves over his hands and motioned to his guard to take him to the messenger. He strode down his fortress corridors until they reached the main floor where a messenger waited in the throne room. Lord Terrance approached the man who bowed deeply and handed him a parchment with the Kings seal on it.

“Must be important to send this message on parchment.” Lord Terrance flipped the messenger a coin who looked confused while snatching the coin out of the air at the same time. Either way, he quickly stuffed it in his pocket, likely before he thought Lord Terrance would change his mind.

Terrance walked over to his throne and sat down, reading the message. A few minutes later he looked up at the messenger. “Tell King Martakdus my troops will be there in half a months time.”

“Yes my Lord.” The messenger bowed then left.

Lord Terrance turned to the guard who led him to the messenger. “Arot, bring me General Lanctar.”

“Yes my Lord.” Arot said turning to his new task.

Half whispering to himself, “We have plans to discuss.” Terrance laid his head against the black thrown felt with a grin on his face the King himself would cringe at.

Written by Cali

November 17th, 2010 at 12:17 am

Din

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Din is another story I wrote for my writing course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I tried to weave an element of possible romance into this story with a battle against nature. I feel the story is rushed. One problem I had with the Institute is that they give you very short word counts. I had to fit stories under so many words, and some stories needed more words to really make it feel like a good story.

But the word count is made to help me learn to write what I want to write and get the story across in a short amount of time. It did help me. I think, though, that this story could use a lot more words to make it better. I liked the character development in this story though. I felt that I knew the characters and they seemed realistic.

I hope you enjoy the story. Please comment and let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Cuyler Callahan

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Din

“Stop touching that!” Tina let out her breath, “You are so stupid.” Annoyed with her golden haired little brother, Din, Tina fluttered her translucent fairy wings in irritation and flew over to him, landing hard on her silk slippers, snatching the wooden music box from Din. “Why don’t you grow up?”

“I’m sorry.” Din looked down at the green leaf floor of their leaf-globe home.

“You always say that, but you don’t mean it.” Tina straitened her blue, silk tunic. “Mom and dad aren’t around to watch you any more, and I am tired of doing it. Why don’t you just run away.”

Big blue eyes looked up at her; tears slid down Din’s face. Tina looked up at the leafs overlapping, creating the ceiling of the protective globe from the elements; hating seeing her brother sad. Looking down showed Din had left, the small leaf door still flapping lightly.

“Fine, just leave. Better off without you anyways.”

Stamping out onto the branch leading to the house, Tina’s slippers left the ground, wings buzzing furiously. Golden hair floated in the wind straight over her back. Flying helped Tina to think. I wish I wasn’t so mean to Din. He is only a little boy, to young to even fly yet. Feeling terrible, Tina knew bullying Din more and more would not help him. I am to hard on him. Watching leaf globe homes go by, and other fairies at daily activities, helped calm her nerves.

“Every one to your homes! Battle comes again. To your homes!” A fairy guard in brown battle armor yelled, zooming around low to the tree bark below Tina. Deep warning horns sounded.

“Oh, not again. Can’t beetles make their homes in trees without current residence.” Tina sighed and turned sharply back, flying speedily home.

Tina expected Din had come home and cried himself to sleep as usual. Pushing through the leaf door however revealed no sign of Din.

Oh, Din…Where are you? Panic stricken and worried enough to lose her breakfast, Tina raced out of her home. She flew to her nearest neighbor, Granny Homeo. “Granny Homeo, Granny Homeo!” Tina pounded on her leaf door, resounding a barely audible tang.

A year passed- seemingly to Tina’s worried fairy brain- before the leaf door opened. “What is it dear?” the old lady fairy croaked out, tattered, brittle wings shaking.

“Din is missing, have you seen him?”

“I saw him run past, out the city.”

“Out the city! I have to find him.”

Leaving Granny Homeo at her door, Tina brought up speed she had never accessed in her life; powered by ten times the worry of just a missing brother. Out the city past guards yelling for her to stop she flew. Gravity’s free fall and her wing power sent Tina hurtling down the steep trunk of the fairy tree. She told him to grow up. She knew her brother more then anyone; fighting the beetles when he grew up he always said. Why did she have to encourage him? Ground looming before her, she stopped to survey the gruesome scene.

Fairy soldiers in brown, leather battle armor blocked giant green and black beetles from the fairy tree. Throwing spears into the tremendous beetle masses didn’t stop their insective instincts of marching to a new home.

Chaotic order ruled the battle. How will I find him in this? How would he even get down here? Self control shattered at fear for her brother’s safeties pounding. What if he fell off the tree? He can’t fly. He is down there somewhere, helpless.”

I must help him. No thought of self safety brought Tina hovering above the battle field. “Din, Din. Where are you?” The roar of battle, the squeaks of the beetles, the moan of the dieing, all over road her voice; no use.

Flying higher for a better view, Tina looked right as a large mass tumbled into her. A beetle in flight had a scruff of her green, silk leg stocking in its mandibles. It drug her through the air- her wings useless against its beastly momentum- to the fairy tree flinging her against its bark. She grasped the rough bark with nimble hands as she gained stability. The beetle ripped at the bark, digging its new home.

“Oh, no you don’t. Get him men.” Five soldiers flew overhead, landing on the beetle, stabbing it with spears. A screamed produced a fairy holding his handless arm. The beetle squeaked, falling dead into its own pit, dropping the hand from its mandibles.

“Get Janaa to a fairy healer,” the obvious commander ordered.

“Can you tell me where my little brother is?” Tina yelled over the bustle- overriding her horror at the poor soldiers fate.

The commander turned around. “You should be up in the city.”

“I know. I think my brother is down here though.”

“All civilians have been evacuated to the tree top.”

“I know my brother is down here, now tell me if you have seen him,” Tina commanded, face red with frustration.

“I have miss, I seen a little tike with wing sprouts fall to the forest floor,” another soldier answered, near the fallen beetle. “ I saw him land on the pebble pile.” He pointed down with his bloodied spear. “It’s swarmed over with beetles, you’ll never make it alive.” The soldier took off his helmet. Brown hair glinted with the dim forest sunlight, lighting his handsome face. “If the commander permits, may I help the miss retrieve her brother?”

The commander nodded curtly.

Tina bubbled with excitement and dread. Would she find her brother alive or dead? She knew his location, but if he died could she fathom the idea of living with herself?

She jumped and gave the commander a hug, the soldier who volunteered his life to help: a kiss. “Thank you. Please let us go before it’s to late.”

The soldier saluted his commander, placed his helmet back on his head, then jetted down the tree with tremendous speed. They dived to the pebbles. Tina hovered softly, looking for her brother. She screamed to see a beetle walking over top of his motionless body.

Tina raced to his body and kicked the beetle in the face while landing it screeched and scurried away. Another came and snapped at her on its way past towards the tree. She trembled in fear at the beasts. A beetle took to the air a little distance off with a buzz. Tina climbed over another pebble and reached Din’s body lying face down between two pebbles. The soldier landed beside her, bloodied more then before. Two beetles lay dead near each other not far off.

“Can you lift him?” the soldier asked.

“I think so, at least to the tree.” Tina doubted she could carry her little brother any further.

“Do so, I’ll watch your back.” Giving a smile through his helmet, he raced off, jumping on the back of another rumbling beetle, driving a spear into its head.

Tina pulled her little brother into her arms and raised slowly into the air. She could already feel her wings straining for more power. Moving slowly over the battle towards the tree, her brother started slipping from her arms. Only a little farther.

“Faster, you need to go faster.” Tina heard the soldier call behind her. Blackish green masses of beetles flew past her, some brushing her. She heard a warning horn blow below her. Fairies popped into the air, fighting the air assault.

Tina struggled through the mess, holding onto her brother by his arm. Just as Din slipped from her grasp she used her knees and pushed him onto the bark of the fairy tree, grasping it with her hands. Using her body she pushed against Din’s to press him to the tree. Battle raged around her but she couldn’t do anything. The helpful soldier grabbed the bark beside her with gloved hands. “I’ll watch your back.” He pushed off into the fray around her.

Din woke up under Tina. He mumbled a whisper to Tina with half closed eyes, “Tina, have I grown up?”

“No, and I don’t want you too.” She smiled at him worriedly and brushed his hair with her fingers. “I am so sorry. Can you forgive me?”

“Yes,” Din said, passing into sleep again.

The soldier twirled his spear near her, fighting beetle after beetle. When it seemed the worst was over, no more came. Another horn sounded in the forest. A horn Tina knew since birth that said battle had ended. “I’ll grab some men to take your brother to the fairy healer,” the soldier said, hovering in the air beside Tina. He sped away up the fairy tree before Tina could say anything.

“What’s your name,” Tina whispered to herself, “I won’t forget you?”

Written by Cali

December 6th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Space Cows

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Space Cows is a story I wrote a year or so ago for a writing course I was taking through the Institute of Children’s Literature. It was for the Beyond The Basics Course I took. The second course I took through the institute.

I went through the story and edited it again, and now I’m posting it here for your enjoyment.

I feel this story seems a bit rushed, like I rushed the story out the door to my instructor after procrastinating on writing it. The character Waret seems a bit forced to me. I should have added some character flaws. He seems almost to perfect, like the goody two shoes who every one loves. Always doing the right thing. He needs some flaws. I should have given him a bad temper or something. Or maybe made him so he didn’t get along with people that well or something.

Anyways, regardless, I hope you enjoy the story,

Cuyler Callahan

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Space Cows

Waret’s seventeen-year-old brown-haired head hit the kick guard railing as a pulsing, ear-cracking, buzz echoed through the milking parlor. “Ah, crap, they never said anything about a drill,” rubbing his aching skull, he exclaimed.

A stern voice crackled over the intercom, drowning out the panicked bellowing of nearly one hundred black and white Holsteins. “This is no drill. I repeat, this is no drill! Prepare for possible unit separation or space station destruction.”

“What the-” Waret wrapped his arms around the kick guard railing, holding himself, space station shaking, rumbling, moaning, and creaking. Cows stumbled, but held their balance. Tripping up three grated stairs out the milking pit to a steel sliding door gave him a good bruise on his leg. Entering his password on a rubber pad, while supporting his weight on one leg, and hissing through his teeth in pain, proved a great bother to Waret. Especially when his password didn’t work the first time. “Arrggg, I told those lazy techs to fix the bloody door.” Waret fell to the floor, the station on the rocks again. Reaching up, he typed his password again. Finally the door slid open with a loud hiss, and he crawled inside, then stood up.

Inside lights blinked, a wall alarm light went round and round, flashing red off the metallic walls of the control room. Waret smashed his fist down on a big red button, only used in emergencies. The milking line doors opened and the cows, in fright, quickly exited, dropping their milking claws, some getting smashed, hoses ripped off, and the pulsators began making weird rhythm after the space station took another hit, sending Waret staggering forward to hold his balance against a breaker box.

Waret had to get the animals into their stalls. The barn techs installed a food line right through the middle, between stalls facing each other. Waret guided the food bag from the control room with a joystick. “There we go.” Waret shook a little, nervous, hoping he would finish in time. He wouldn’t abandon the cows to die helplessly. The food bag lined up nicely with the extra food alley. He had never used this one before. He opened the bag with a black button, and moist silage began pouring rapidly out the bottom of the bag. The bag slowly moved down the barn to the back, filling the food alley full. The cows, so nervous however, didn’t notice.

Waret ran out of the control room, through the milking pit, to the back of the barn, “Come on you beef bags, eat the food unless you want to die.” He began guiding a cow towards her stall. The animal saw her food and went the rest of the way. He did the same with others. They began seeing the food as well. The station shook more violently then ever, sending animals flying, falling. Waret felt his feet lift off the ground and he flew upwards to his left towards the head gate system and the regular route of the food line. He thought he would hit it, but he continued flying upwards. Seeing the cows flying as well, “Ah, not this!” he exclaimed disgustedly. Referring to there being no gravity.

I could use this to my advantage, Waret thought. He bumped into the ceiling and quickly padded his way with his hands, pulling himself towards the wall. He then padded with his hands down the wall, head down, his feet floating behind him. He continued by grabbing onto things, and pulling his way to the front of the barn. He went through a door to the right of the control room and found a white suite with jet propulsion. He wrestled into it while floating in zero gravity. “Okay, lets see how well this thing works.”

Waret used the joystick control sticking out past him on his right, connecting with the jet pack. Pushing forward on it, he moved forward. He controlled himself past the milking equipment to the back of the barn, and found a cow. Zero gravity means they way nothing, so he grabbed the animals and pulled them, or pushed them. He continued grabbing animals and putting them in their stalls. Some floated out, and Waret put them back in. Most stayed in however.

“In you go girls, come on, hurry up, he slapped one last cow on the rump,” laughing a little, knowing they could not go any faster then he pushed them. Once they all floated nervously in their stalls, he zoomed to the wall, leaving a little trail of smoke behind the blue jet fire, and broke some glass, then pressing another red button- this one never used in the drills. Large metal plates pushed down by hydraulic rams slid from the sealing of the barn.

Waret saw the space station rumble again, though he never felt it, suspended in the air. All the plates connected with latches in the cows stalls, creating large boxes around the animals. Then more plates lowered perpendicular to the floor from the ceiling, the tops of the plates held large oxygen tanks and heating systems. These created the tops of the box. The bottoms would come out of the stall floor. “Good, all locked and ready.”

Waret jetted to the front of the barn, and exited the barn via another sliding door, entering a hallway full of floating people, padding along the walls, or a few in jet suits, some black meaning they held the position of guard.

Waret wiped some crap onto his suit legs and opened a small cubby with a computer inside.

“Activate automatic unit separation,” he said nervously, “ that’s what I do next.” Waret breathed heavily, his mind flew at one twenty, his fingers moving faster over the keyboard. Nervous eyes scanned the computer monitor as a loading bar steadily moved across it. “Yes, all good. All good.”

The loading bar reached the edge of the screen. “Activation successful,” a computer toned voice said.

Waret shut the cubby and jetted down the flashing red hallway, passing the people padding along the wall to the pod garage. Waret entered the large space station garage bay. His pod lay near the end, yet how could he find it now? The pods floated in the air and his could be anywhere.

Waret slowly floated through the mess, dodging pods, left and right, and other people, looking for their pods. His old junker of a machine couldn’t have floated to far away, he hoped. He reached his registered parking space, to find his machine not there, of course. He looked around, and saw his machine floating near the ceiling, bumping the top every
once in a while. Waret jetted to the top, and grabbed the blue, rusted pod by the door, and dragged it to the ground.

“Now I need to get out of this suite.” Waret unzipped the suite and struggled out. He forgot to switch it off, just as he had a leg out, the jet activated, sending him flying across the garage. Freeing his leg up, he looked ahead, and saw a beam getting closer. Waret smacked into it with his abdomen. He felt the air knock out of him. He breathed hard, finally getting in air. He had to get across the garage somehow now, without the suit. He pushed against the beam, and started floating across the garage again. He pushed off another pod, sending it crashing into another. “Dang, hope whoever owns that doesn’t get mad.” After pod jumping, he reached his pod place again, and realized his pod had floated to the ceiling again, bumping against a support beam.

The ship had stopped rumbling a while back, now that he began thinking about it. Thinking about it, it had not taken a large rattling hit in a long time… “Ah crap.” Waret realized what this could mean from his courses in ship fighting tactics during high school. His adrenaline started pumping.

Waret pushed up and floated to his pod. He opened the door, and slid in. He fastened his seat belt and ignited the pod. He took control of the machine and guided it through the mess to the pod launch tubes. He landed it in the launch tube and slammed, once again, another red button. The pod lurched forward as thrusters ignited, then jolted forward again at tremendous speed, sending Waret’s head smashing against his headrest.

The pod fired towards the space station’s dock on the moon. Waret watched through his side cameras, other pods heading to the same place. His rear view camera showed the space station, and hundreds of little ships zooming around it. Small rockets launched from some of them, at the space station, or at each other. Rockets launched from the space station, destroying some of the little ships.

A large ship sat outside the space station. The ship that had delivered the more powerful blows Waret had felt inside the space station. I sure hope those cows’ll be fine. They weren’t his, but sometimes he felt like they were. He had been working in that barn for five years now since he was twelve. He knew how everything worked, how every cow behaved.

His pod had autopilot on, so Waret continued to watch the space station. The large ship began rattling. Waret’s worst assumption had been correct. Only one thing could be happening- the ship was building it’s fire power. A powerful enough shot to take out the space station in one hit. The space bandits had really upgraded their weaponry. With every loss to the bandits, they became stronger. Suddenly hundreds of more ships poured out of the space station. They began fleeing towards the moon as well.

Waret nervously watched the space station separate into individual units. The large separate unit’s thrusters ignited, throwing them towards the moons space dock. I sure hope my barn makes it. One unit took a hit, breaking into separate pieces, sending a field of barley floating in pieces through space. Small bandit gathering ships gathered the barley, taking it back to the big ship.

“Requesting docking permission,” the pods computer announced. A brief moment later: “Docking accepted, prepare to land.”

Autopilot was shut off, and Waret took control. He found his registered space and landed the ship in the moons docking bay. He could feel the gravity boosters pulling on him. The pod opened up and Waret climbed out. He ran to the public viewing monitor and watched the chaos in space. The separate units floated helplessly in space as bandits began gathering them up, bringing the units back to their own ship. He ran out off the docking station and into the streets of New Beginnings- earths first off-planet city.

He ran past the cars and trucks, past the tall skyscrapers, and found a smaller building tucked into a small community, across from a coffee shop. The other farm technicians were there too. Waret’s boss- Fail Intak- stood on the front steps of his office building.

“ I know the space station has separated. You will all be given jobs on other agricultural stations until we rebuild this one.”

“What about the animals?” Waret spoke up, “ We can’t just leave them. We all know those space pirates don’t have the facilities to take care of the animals properly.”

“I know, it’s hard, but they have them. Our own guards couldn’t fight them off. The space bandits have grown to strong.”

Waret couldn’t take this. “If we continue to let them beat us, they will just get stronger and stronger, we have to fight back.”

Fail looked at Waret and frowned. Though Waret could tell it wasn’t an angry frown. More of a self determined do-what-you-gotta- type of frown. “Your right Waret. Who here is sick of these space bandits?”

All the farm technicians raised their hands. “Then lets take these bandits out and get our animals back, and save what crops we can. I’ll see if the army will help. I know they are few and usually don’t leave the moons perimeters, but maybe you guys going will inspire them to do their jobs the way we- the tax payers- want them to. Take the cargo ships and gather up the animals at least. I’ll tell the guards to give you backup until we have the animals to safety.

Waret and the others ran back to the space dock. Waret saw the guards all sitting around talking about their fighting when they entered the space dock. The farm boys ran over to the guards. “Why aren’t you guys getting ready?” Waret asked.

“You boys’ll be shot dead before you even reach a stalk of wheat.” A big burly guard spit on the floor.

“Well it’s more then your doing. Thats our life up there, and we aren’t letting the bandits take it. Come with us, or you can stay here you chicken livers,” Waret said furiously. He and the other farm techs walked past the guards towards cargo ships, massive things beside the large, but comparably smaller fighter ships.

Just as Waret took a step onto the first step of the ladder to the cargo ships cockpit, one of the guards pulled him off by the scruff of his shirt. “Hey kid, we are no sissy chickens. We’ll fight your fight.”

“It’s not just my fight.”

The guard thought for a sec. Then he nodded his head. “We’ll cover you farm boys. No bandit in a tin can is going to stop us.”

“Great!” Waret exclaimed.

The guard nodded then headed to a ship. Waret scrambled up the ladder, the other farmers behind him. Once at the top he asked. “So who’s driving the thing?” All the farmers looked at each other.

“This aint no tractor,” a red-haired youth said.

“ I can drive it,” a man built like an oak, and a gruff voice, said.

“Good, all the rest, lets get in the cargo bay and suit up.”

Waret lead the other farmers into the cargo bay. A large metal storage compartment. “Empty at the moment,” Waret said, “it’ll be a barn soon. Put these suites on. We need a man to operate the crane.”

“I’ll do it,” the red haired youth said.

“Okay, everyone has their jobs then. The rest off us will hook the cables to the crates.” Everyone gripped onto something as the cargo ship roughly took off out of the space dock.

Waret grabbed a white suite and slipped into it. The others did the same.

Moments later, “Okay boys, we’re entering the danger zone. I’ll pull up along the crates that the guards free up, and you guys can pull them in,” the pilot buzzed over the intercom.

Waret watched the battle outside through a viewing monitor on the upper deck. The guards were barely holding in. Most had close calls every couple seconds, barely scraping out of them, or taking minor hits, but they freed up a crate.

“A crates free,” the intercom crackled, bring her in boys.

Waret raced down the steps onto the cargo bay floor. The wall to his left slowly slid open, big enough to let six fighters fly through in loose formation. He grabbed a cable, previously laid out, and so did the other farmers. They pulled it to the edge of the ship, and looked out into open space. He took a big breath of the air inside his oxygen mask, then jumped into space towards the crate. A bandit ship flew overhead, a guard right behind it, firing wildly.

Waret attached the cables to the hooks on the crates corners, and jumped back to the cargo bay floor. The virtual gravity slowly pulled him to the floor. The other farmers did the same. The crane slowly pulled the crate in, and landed it on the floor.

“ One down, ninety six to go.”

Waret counted down every cow they brought. He could see the other cargo ships gathering animals, horses, beef cows, chickens. They left the wheat to float around. It wasn’t as important as the animals.

“Last cow,” Waret said, staring at the last crate. He jumped into space with his cable. As he was connecting the cable, a round of bullets flew at the container, bouncing off, but hitting some of the farmers. Blood floated past Waret. He noticed some of it coming from his leg. Pain shot through him. Some of the other farmers were wounded worse. Waret fought the pain and grabbed a man with a chest wound.

He pointed him to the cargo bay and pushed him. The man floated towards it. He found a man with a shoulder shot, and did the same thing. He hooked the last cables of the men he pushed, and pushed off the crate with his good leg towards the cargo bay. Some of the other farmers with similar wounds as Waret were doing the same. He landed on his legs in the cargo bay, and he yelled in pain. Some men dragged him to the side as the crate floated in. The cargo bay door shut just as a hail of bullets bounced off the outside.

“We all ready to go, cause I sure am?” the pilot asked nervously.

“Yes, get us out of here, we have badly wounded men,” an old farmer said.

The cargo ship hurried to the moon’s dock. Waret drank some pain killer and felt the paint subside drastically with the modern medicine. A cloth was wrapped around him, and Waret was able to sit on the stairs.

The cargo ship came to a rough stop in the dock, sending men falling and grappling for something to hold onto. Medics rushed into the ship and grabbed Waret and the other wounded men.

Later, Waret left the hospital, gladly, and went to the storage barn to find the cows all safe, and chewing cud- if a bit nervously.

“Good job Waret,” Fail said behind him.

“Thanks. I’m just glad to get the animals to safety.”

“Well, that type of dedication earned you and all the other farmers a raise to sixty electrocoins an hour.”

“Thanks.” Waret shook Fails hand then turned and rested against the fence, staring at the cows, and tenderly rubbed the bandage on his leg.

Written by Cali

November 30th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

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