UNEDITED

Pirate Ship Folly

“Move your land-loving-lard-ass!”  Billy yelled at two of the crew who were stowing a bit of the external equipment into the shelter on the ship as the rain and wind buffeted around them.

He pressed himself against the bulkhead to let the two pass before taking two more steps and opening the door into the bridge.  He walked over to the controls and looked at the equipment that showed them any ships in the area. “Is that shit working?” He asked, leaning down to study the screen one more time. “It keeps fading in and out.”

Electronics operator Sally David replied after glancing at what Billy was looking at, “Bout as good as we can expect with the lightening and charged particles in the air, Billy.” She reached up to grab a metal tool and then delicately tapped above the screen.

It cleared up.

Billy stood back up and rubbed his chin, “So, not too far.”  Then, everyone in the bridge reached out to hold on as the ship dipped to their left.

“SONOFABITCH!” Mellon cursed behind Billy.  Billy turned in time to see the young recruit slide the last five feet before slamming up against a wall. Billy flinched from the sound of the collision, “Do a better job holding your ass up, Mellon!” Billy yelled before turning back to the screen and then up to the glass in front of him, attempting to look through the clouds and occasional open space which allowed him to see a distance through the clouds, lightening lighting up the clouds and the ship in front of them.

“I’m ready to eat some damned meat, tell those down in engineering and batteries we will move the product and slaves and then gut that ship after taking the equipment and batteries over there. But that means we have to go faster so redline those gauges, let’s come in like Hell’s own demons.

“Aye aye, Captain,” Sally David answered before turning back to her controls. She reached for the communications device.

New York City State

The city was a damned mess.

Akio hovered over the tallest building in the dark of the night, and with clouds covering the area he dropped out of the Pod and landed on the roof.  He spent a little time looking over the city and the surrounding area before making his way down to the street level.  He pushed out a bit of fear, keeping the area clear for him as he walked around.

He read the minds of those around him as he walked the streets.  The most interesting bits of information came from the police.

There had been a major battle here, and it had changed many people in various ways. Some of them grew closer, some further apart.

A few had killed themselves.

Akio allowed his mind to wander to the airport, where he was able to move unseen among the men and women drinking coffee, talking amongst themselves and directing ships which had arrived late at night to clamp on to the massive towers, reeling the ships in and connecting them for passengers to be able to drop off.

Only one ship was connected at this time.

“We’ve lost them, the Captain of the ArchAngel says he was going into the storm to shake the pirates behind him.”  One woman spoke to her friend as the two of them came around a corner of a building, the lights casting their faces in shadows as Akio turned to read their thoughts.

He pursed his lips and stepped back into the shadows, “Eve?”

“Here,” the AI’s voice came back.

“Bring the ship to me,” Akio replied.

“There is a hidden square about twelve blocks north …” Eve started, but Akio interrupted.

“Here.” Akio told the AI, “Now.”

 


 

FROM MICHAEL >>> So, about 1:30 AM this morning, I finished the edits for Damned Into Hell, Trials and Tribulations Book 02 with Natalie Grey. We are only waiting on a cover (it is in JIT right now) and then it will be released as I continue working on The Darkest Night.

Tomorrow, I have a phone call with a previous BAEN Editor, or at least one who had worked w/ BAEN at one time. I don't know the stories personally, but I've gleaned enough to know that I wish I was around and working with those guys when Jim Baen was alive. I have read the amazing obituary penned by Dave (David) Drake – you can read it here http://david-drake.com/2006/jim-baen/ – and I hope that someday, maybe I'll be remembered as someone who ripped up the normal way of doing stuff for readers, and that it worked out for fans of LMBPN Publishing like it has for those of us (including myself) who love BAEN.

Anyway, I get to chat with an Editor who worked with them and it kind of made me melancholy thinking back over my own history of reading, and enjoying so many damned fine stories by the men and women of Sci-Fi / Fantasy and Military Fiction. I know that those of us who have come lately stand on some incredible shoulders.

To those of you at BAEN Books who are alive, and to those who have passed on …

Ad Aeternitatem!

Michael Anderle