South of Douglas Mountain, old Colorado (United States Post-Apoc)
The three men ate sitting around a tiny fire. It was a little chilly, but they dared not build anything larger. The stress up at the main house was already getting tense.
The size of the fire matched the size of their spirits. Small and not much help warming them up.
Jeremiah looked out at the landscape and blew out a heavy breath. He turned back and nodded to the two of them, “Todd, Dirk, I got to ask, and I’m going to lay it out right up front, I’m staying.”
Todd, about six foot two inches and thin as a sapling tree snorted, “You know it’s our death’s right? Sarah Jennifer ain’t going to go down for any man. She will take her size whatever-the-hell-they-are boots and shove them up Childers’ ass, guns blazing before she accepts any of his deals.”
“Seven,” Dirk answered. Both men looked at him, “What?” He shrugged, “Common size for women, it isn’t strange or anything.”
“She had you clean them, right?” Todd asked, “Caught you cussin’ around her?”
“Damn right she caught me cussing,” Dirk admitted, smiling at the memory, “I slipped and popped myself in the mouth trying to pull some leather. It hurt. So, I go off and say shit or something like that. I turn around and there she is, glaring at me like my mom or something. I figured, ‘what the hell’, so I went ahead and let loose with everything I could remember.”
“Got them all out of your system?” Jeremiah asked.
“Yeah,” Dirk admitted.
“So, did you screw up again?” Todd asked, “Just curious, took me three times to start looking around myself.”
Dirk smirked, “One other time.”
Todd turned to Jeremiah, “You?”
“Oh, no.” Jeremiah shook his head, “My mom was hell on wheels about cussing. So, I learned early to treat all women as ladies.”
Todd nodded in the direction of the house, “That why we all making our last stand?”
Jeremiah turned in the direction of the house, “No, not for me. Sometimes you realize that when civilization cratered, morality took a beating. Justice died and ethics took a sabbatical.” He turned back to the two men with him, “Ain’t ever gonna come back unless someone is willing to take a stand.”
Dirk pointed to Todd and then Jeremiah and finally at himself, “So, the three of us against thirty…or more right?”
“Well, say it like that and you make me want to tell Childers he needs to bring another twenty or so. Don’t forget Sarah Jennifer is worth probably ten of those sad sacks.”
“And her armament.”
“You ever seen it?” Dirk asked, looking between the two men.
“Her guns?” Jeremiah asked.
He never got to answer, a call came out of the night.
Michael had been walking for a day already. It had taken him three solid hours to figure out how to Myst again, and go through the damned hole up at the old base.
At least he had decent clothes again.
Bethany Anne had provided money. While he kept some, he figured it would probably be useless. He had on jeans, a black shirt, and for some insane reason, her guards had provided him a black leather trenchcoat.
It did help hide his two pistols, apparently Jean Dukes Specials. He read the instructions carefully before locking them to his palm print. With over five thousand rounds, he figured he would be good for a while. But, he had no idea how often this new world would require … attitude adjustments.
He practiced with the pistol, turning up the kinetic kick from one to ten and back down. Ten had impressive destruction. John’s note to him explained how the pistol used etheric generated magnetic something or another and how the rounds were made to replace them.
Basically, he figured out, he had a tiny rail-gun in his hand. Technology ahead of its time and probably still ahead of this time, as well.
Well, he sure hoped so. He was sure that rail-gun technology would be pretty nasty stuff to deal with if it was pointed at him.
Finally, she provided two Wakizashis and one Katana. He left the Katana behind as being too impractical and kept one Wakizashi, the two pistols, two sets of clothes and scrounged for soap and other stuff pushing it into a leather bag he slung over his shoulder.
He had no shampoo. He spent an extra hour looking for any damned shampoo but the base was dry. He passed a mirror at the hour mark and saw his reflection.
Making a face, he realized the soap was sufficient. He still had no damn hair.
It took him another two hours to once again attain his Myst form and make it back up and out of the base. He was pushing himself and had made it halfway down the mountain when he suddenly dropped out of Myst form. This resulted in an ass over appetite, arms and legs flailing, tumble down the slope. He travelled more than a hundred yards, introducing himself to hundreds of small rocks and stones and bouncing off of one damned large rock in the process.
He laid for a minute, just muttering “OOOOwwwww” over and over again.
Finally, he turned over and stood up, trudging back up the hill, grabbing his bag and thought about why he was having trouble with skills he had honed over a thousand years.
“Focus,” he muttered, “It’s got to be focus.” Some time later, he saw the campsite, the tiny fire burning like a lighthouse beacon for him.
>> FROM MICHAEL – THANK YOU EVERYONE who is helping w/ the Queen Bitch edits! The is SUCH a relief…believe me. Right now, we are about 9 days from releasing The Dark Messiah.
I have about 20,000 more words to write (I just gave Chapter 18 to Stephen Russell.) I always split my longer books up into 25 chapters…So, 6 chapters to go. 😉
We are releasing NOMAD FOUND in a few days…And we are looking to release (we hope) TS Pauls Book and Paul C. Middleton’s book “very, very soon” as well.
JUSTICE IS CALLING (With Justin Sloan) is doing very well. Thank you ALL who have bought it, enjoyed it and reviewed it (or bought it and enjoyed it, too!) You have already changed an author’s life. It’s been pretty cool being his partner, and seeing the possibilities open in his eyes for himself as an author, and his family as Valerie takes hold.