Daily Archives: November 8, 2015

Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 4

Izok’s crib was magnificent.  Trophies and treasures crafted from the finest rare metals adorned his walls.  His floor was pure sacamora, a black marble like substance.  He sat on a jewel encrusted throne he’d made himself, surrounded by females of all various species, each more alluring than the next.  They fanned him and fed him berries.

A coarse furred banji beast rested its head at Izok’s feet.  It was majestic.  Quite a site indeed.  The pink eyes, the massive fangs protruding out of its mouth, I’m surprised Izok was able to find one.  They’re virtually extinct.

“Roman!”  Izok shouted across the enormous room, his echo reverberating in my ears.

“Hello Izok,”  as I said when I reached him.  “Your stock certainly has risen.”

“Do you like it?”  Izok asked as he outstretched his hands and looked around his digs.

“It’s a step up from the chaizo,”  I replied.

Izok laughed, then clapped his hands twice.

“Leave us, bitches!”

The ladies took their leave.  Izok stood and embraced me, pulling me close with his tree trunk arms.

“Ahh, it’s been too long, brother,”  my host said.

“It has,”  I added.

Izok pulled back, then looked over his shoulder.  He made a big deal about it.

“What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Looking for the knife,”  Izok answered, flashing a wry grin.

It isn’t easy dealing with a shai.  Since their eyes reveal nothing, your only hope for figuring out what’s on their mind comes from what their mouths are doing.

“I could say the same thing,”  I said.  “You know how I feel about the Cabal.”

“I knew joining them would end our friendship,”  Izok said.  “But let’s face it, Roman.  The Cabal’s done more for me lately than you ever have.”

“They’ve done more to me too..”

“Oh, are you still on that?”  Izok asked.  “Families come and go, brother.  Money’s all that matters in this life.”

Ninety-five popped out his lazer cannons.

“Stand down,”  I said.

“Step aside, human,”  Ninety-five said.

“Sourcemind, are you in there?”  I asked.

Ninety-five powered down.

“I have to say I’m surprised you’ve partnered up with the machines,”  Izok said as he looked Ninety-five over.  “They’re going to kill everyone before the Cabal ever will.”

“It was a forced arrangement,”  I said.  “The head clank caught me with my dick in my hand.  Literally.”

The banji beast, six feet long and roughly a deuce and a half, rubbed its cat like head against my knees.  Izok yanked back on a chain attached to its neck.

Ninety-five turned back on and Sourcemind was in control.

“Will you two stop measuring your appendages and kill each other already?”  Sourcemind asked.  “Get out of the way, Roman so I can blow Tau’s head off.”

“It’s not our way,” I said.

“What?”  Sourcemind asked.

“Roman and I are just a couple of hood rats from the same shai chaizo,”  Izok explained.  “Our mutual master, Ashakti, trained us well in shai martial arts.  He’d look down on us quite disapprovingly from the great beyond if one of us were to kill the other in anything short of a duel.”

Sourcemind retracted Ninety-five’s cannons.

“Oh for the love of…fine.  Do your human bullshit but I’m not leaving without your latest acquisition, Tau.”

“We’ll see about that,”  Izok said.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 3

Two suit sporting goons stopped on our approach to the elevator. They both wore shades though it seemed pointless. Shai eyes don’t give anything away, after all.

“I’m an old friend of your boss,” I said.

“And this thing?” one of the goons asked as he pointed to Ninety-five.

“Some discount military hardware I’d like to unload on Izok,” I replied. “Let’s just say he fell off the back of a delivery ship.”

Ninety-five looked at me. “I am not stolen merchandise I am…”

I patted him on his metal back.

“Shut your interface hole and speak when spoken to, robot,” I said.

The head goon relayed my arrival to Izok. After a moment, he nodded to me. “He’ll see you.”

Another goon tried to scan me with his Sen Pen but was stopped.

“It’s ok,” the head goon said. “The boss says they’re cool.”

We were shown into the elevator. I punched the button for the penthouse and we were off.

“Deception was the inaccurate course of action in that situation ,” Ninety-five said in his cold tone. “My strategic programming indicated the best option was to shoot them in the face and take the elevator by force.”

“Well that doesn’t sound very strategic at all,” I replied. “I think your programming is on the fritz.  Just let me do the talking.”

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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 1 Interview – Sarah Lyons Fleming – Packing the Perfect Bug-Out Bag

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here. If you’re just tuning in, last month I was trapped in the East Randomtown Zombie apocalypse.

Luckily, I was saved thanks to the advice of #31ZombieAuthors!

Yes, these fine writers provided me with their undead expertise and saved my oily hide so that I can continue to entertain you, or at least attempt to do so.

So it’s time to reblog the #31ZombieAuthors, starting with Sarah Lyons Fleming, author of the Until the End of the World Series, who taught me how to pack a bug out bag.

Bookshelf Battle

sarah lyons fleming

FIND THIS ZOMBIE AUTHOR ON:

Amazon

Facebook          Twitter

Website             Blog

Kicking off this zombie author interview series in style is Sarah Lyons Fleming, the writer behind the Until the End of the World series, billed as “a story of survival, humor and true love.  And zombies.”

Reading Order:

1 – Until the End of the World

2 – And After 

3 – All the Stars in the Sky

She’s also the author of the novella So Long Lollipops, but recommends you read Book One first before delving into it, unless you’re a sucker for spoilers.

NOTE: BOLD=BQB, Italics=Sarah

Q.  Hello Sarah.  BQB here.  I’ve called you because my friends and I find ourselves in quite a predicament.  We’re locked up tight in Price Town, a Wal-Mart-esque store with everything you could ever possibly want under one roof. The security…

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 2

Unfortunately, I have no other graphics to offer except various photos of Alien Jones, who is stripped of his Esteemed Brainy One powers at some point before 2999.

Unfortunately, I have no other graphics to offer except various photos of Alien Jones, who is stripped of his Esteemed Brainy One powers at some point before 2999.

Narrated by Roman Voss

Rizzle Juice goes right through me.  I was relieving myself at the trough in the unisex bathroom when the door opened and closed all by itself.

Weird.  Was that the wind?”

The door locked by itself too.  It was not the wind.

Heavy footsteps approached.  I zipped up and turned around to see a feint, flickering shimmer turn into seven foot tall killing machine.  Flawless, gleaming chrome you could see your reflection in.  Red eyes affixed in their sockets.  Stenciled across its chassis was the number, “95.”

It darted a metal hand towards me, caught my throat in its impenetrable grip, and lifted me off my feet into the air.

“Scanning,”  the robot said as it painted my face with a red laser grid.  “Identity confirmed.  Voss, Roman.”

I wasn’t feeling like much of a conversationalist.  “GAAACK!” was all I managed as tried to pry his hand open to no avail.

“Standby to connect with my master.”

Ninety-five’s eyes dimmed down.  His head dropped.  His hand opened up.  I was released…straight to the floor on my ass.

My attacker perked up again.  This time, he had a new voice.  It still had a tinge of tin because it was being projected through a robot, but the tone, inflection…it was all very sentient.  Humanish, even.

“Heard a rumor you were on world, Voss,” the voice said.  “Ninety-five found you easily.  All he had to do was scan around for a washed up degenerate huff addict and here you are.”

I clutched my throat and gasped for air.  A metal hand was offered to me.  I took it and was helped up to my feet.

“Sourcemind,”  I said.

“In the flesh,”  the voice said.  “So to speak.”

“You touched my duster!”  I shouted as I punched the metal monster’s hulking frame, only to instantly regret doing so as it did not give one iota against my knuckles.

You’ve heard of Earth, Alaquan, and Drokmire, the three worlds where humans are the indigenous species.  Omcoros had been the fourth until twenty years earlier, when the powers that be on that world made the fateful mistake of commissioning the “Sourcemind Initiative,” a level twelve artificial intelligence that was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity by automating all of the government’s systems, from defense and weapons manufacturing, all the way down to the most mundane civil operations.

Long story short, Sourcemind took control of every last machine on the planet, decimated the Omcoran population from twenty billion to twelve million, who are currently kept as slaves to serve their metal master.

The politicians of the Undesiredverse aren’t packing much what it comes to brains, but it didn’t take long for every world to ban the production of an artificial intelligence greater than ten on the Jansen scale, named of course for the leading human AI scientist who developed a classification system designed to help AI developers to determine what actions their creations are capable of and correspondingly, how dangerous they are as a result.

Ironically, it was Dr. Jansen himself who created Sourcemind, but more on that later.

“If I were a gambling higher form of existence, I’d wager you’re here for the bounty on Izok Tau’s head.”

“Maybe,”  I said.

“Let me guess,”  Sourcemind said.  “His old Shai business partners were none too pleased when he ran off with all their money, which he used to buy his way into the Cabal.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re like the nerd in class who drones on and on because he’s in love with the sound of his own voice?”  I asked.

Sourcemind chuckled.  “A proposal, Voss.  You want Tau.  I want something in Tau’s possession.  Let us work together.”

I thought about it.

“I am a gambling man,”  I said.

“I’m aware,”  Sourcemind said.  “You’ve been banned from many casinos.  I’m surprised the authorities even allowed you to land on this planet.”

I ignored the jab.

“I’d be willing to wager that whatever Tau has, it must be pretty important to you, seeing as how the only thing keeping the Mighty Potentate from vaporizing Omcoros was an agreement that you’d never operate off world and yet here you are, propositioning me in a dark rave club bathroom on Malostet.”

“Perhaps you haven’t sniffed all your brain cells away, Voss,”  Sourcemind said.

“And you sent Nintey-five, your most powerful underling,” I noted.  “Usually you send androids on your off world black ops missions.  They blend in with the locals a lot better than this contraption.”

Sourcemind opened up the metal doors in Ninety-five’s shoulders to produce two high caliber laser cannons.

“I don’t have all day, Voss.  Do we have an accord or do I paint the wall with your brains and send Ninety-five after Tau on his own?”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“Well, when you put it that way.”

“I knew you’d listen to reason,”  Sourcemind said.  “I’ll leave you two to it.”

Once again, the robot shut down and restarted.

“Master has instructed you on mission parameters?”  Ninety-five inquired in a sterile, monotone.

“Yup.  It’s you’re lucky day, Ninety-five.  The Cappo Di Tutti Clink Clank has talked me into watching your six.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 1

As Narrated By Roman Voss

Malostet – 2999 A.D.

Alien Jones laughs when he learns he will get no profits from Undesiredverse sales.

Alien Jones laughs when he learns he will get no profits from Undesiredverse sales.

1:00 A.M.

Thump.  Thump.  Thump.  Thump.

The bass launched an assault on my eardrums.  The strobe lights weren’t helping either, though they achieved the desired effect of making thousands of useless lowlives look more interesting than they actually were.

The DJ shouted some nonsense then cranked his synthesizer on high.

“Ladies, gentlemen, andacrons, filozens, polaprops, and all of the various, assorted Rombekian sexes too numerous to mention at this time, welcome to Loktai Cren!  Is everybody having a good time?”

No,” I thought as I moved through a crowd of scantily clad flesh. “I am not having a good time.”

Loktai Cren.  Roughly translated from Shai to English, it means, “The Skin Palace.”  If you’re a pervert who enjoys hooking up with random strangers and don’t have much in the way of standards, you’ll of enjoy this joint.  Hell, you’ll of love all of Malostet for that matter.  The entire planet is Andromeda’s answer to Vegas.  Just pop a few penicillin chews before you book your trip.

I pushed my way across the dance floor, bumping into tails, claws, scales, all kinds of non-human body parts, although there were plenty of my kind in attendance as well.  In fact, one of them, wearing nothing but his underpants and a pink top hat jumped out in front of me and got in my face.

“Dance, man!”  the loser said.  “You gots to dance, baby!”

“Move,”  I replied.

Feel the vibes, guy!”  the idiot said.  “Let go and become one with the music!”

“Your snot box is about to become one with a clothesline,”  I said.

The dumbass put a greasy hand on my shoulder.  Right on my duster.  From the outset of this tale, I’ll tell you one very important rule.

No one touches the duster.

Punch.  Drop.  No one noticed or cared.  That’s the type of place it was.  Frankly, that’s how most places in the Undesiredverse are.

I stepped over his twitching body.  Stop worrying about him.  He was warned.

I reached into my pocket and retrieved my Sen-Pen 89.0.  It looked more or less like a regular silver writing implement.  As mobile devices went, it got the job done, though it was no Nokarima Mind Box. 

I clicked it, turned it on, then put it back in my pocket.

“Call Jonesy,” I said.

My pilot’s reply came through on my cochlear implant.

“Boss?”

“You ready to bug out?”  I asked.

“What, you’re not scoring with the talent?”  Jones asked.

What timing.  Just as he said that, I spied a slimy Steegotz, shimmying all seven hundred of its grotesque pounds around the room, spewing a heavy mist out its blowhole all over anyone who got too close.  The medical community claims that Steegotzian blowhole discharge doesn’t contain any contagious germs but I still didn’t want any of that gunk on me or my duster.

“There’s no talent to speak of.”

“I’m just powering up,”  Jones said.  “You’ve got a real crap bucket here.  They want extra because they had to dig up a hundred year old converter unit.”

“Fine,”  I said, disgusted.  I was even more disgusted when I felt a claw pinch my ass.  It happened so quick I couldn’t figure out who did it. 

“Just put it on my credit.”

“Which account?”  Jones asked.  “They’re all maxed out.”

“Improvise.”

“Oh.  Charge and barge.  Gotcha.”

“Get over here,”  I said.  “I don’t want to spend a minute longer here than I have to.”

“Aye aye, mon capitan.”

Finally, I made it to the bar.

A stage hovered above the crowd.  There were thirty stories worth of dance floors in the entire tower and all the beings above gathered at the bannisters to look down on the main show below.

I took a seat.  The DJ babbled on.

“And now beings, put your hands, hooves, flippers, paws or whatever you’ve got together for…THE ZIMBA ZIMBA GIRLS!”

“Christ on the cross,”  I thought.  Anyone but them.”

The Zimba Zimba Girls were Earth’s top act.  You couldn’t step two feet out the front door of your unit without hearing someone playing their dopey cyber funk songs.  All screeching and moaning.  Elaborate costumes.  Multicolored hair.  Crazyness.  I assumed this trip was going to give my ears a rest but I walked right into a stop on their intergalactic tour.

“Who do I have to spark to get a drink around here?”  I asked out loud.

Poor choice of words.  I cringed as I felt a cold, six fingered hand wrap itself around the back of my neck.

“You can hit me with your big spark stick anytime, lover,”  cooed a sultry female voice.

I turned.  That elongated forehead.  Gray, scaly face.  Two creepy yellow eyes.  The daintiest pair of nasal slits I’d ever seen.  Otherwise, a fabulous human-like figure.  She was hot for a perrek.  On Earth, we’d of called her a butter face.

“Keeva?” 

“Hello Roman, dearest,” she said.  “I knew it was you.”

I struggled for words.

“How uh…how are you?”

“Absolutely dreadful since you walked out of my life,”  Keeva replied.

“Oh please,”  I said.  “I bet you say that to all your tricks.”

She lit up a crex pipe.  It was pink, like her dress.  She puffed it and attempted to pass.  I cut her off.

“Yeah thanks but no thanks,”  I said.  “I like to live.”

“Gorgoza shit,” the lady of the evening said.  “You’re going to sit there and tell me you’re clean?”

“I didn’t say that, but crex will kill a human as sure as orange juice will waste a perrek.”

“It will?”  Keeva asked.  “I swear, I need a flowchart just to keep track of what kills who anymore.”

The barkeep took a moment out of his busy schedule to mosey on over.

The Shai.  There’s been a long dispute as to whether or not they count as humans.  Essentially, they’re very close to being human albinos, with the exception that their eyes are completely blank, devoid of any retina and as eerily white as their skin.

Loktai Cren was owned and operated by some seedy Shai underworld types, so naturally all the paying gigs in the club went to their own kind.

“Your mother licks herpes sores off the backsides of dead elephants then eats waffles for dinner in the company of a flatulent orangutan,” the barkeep said.

“Excuse me?”  I asked.

The booze jockey reached a finger into his mouth, brushed it along his bottom lip, then shook his head.

“Sorry about that.  Lousy defective translator chip.  Gotta reset it constantly.  What’ll it be, mac?”

“Rizzle Juice,”  I replied.  “And don’t skimp on the rizzle.”

“One rizzle with an extra drizzle of rizzle, coming up.”

Keeva leaned in closer.

“You know I have missed you.”

“I’m surprised you even remember me,”  I replied.  “That was forty years ago and…”

I stopped myself. 

“Have many suitors?”  Keeva asked.  “True.  But none as memorable as you.”

I was certain that was just a hooker line, but it was nice to pretend that someone cared.

She brushed her fingers over my head.

“You’ve grown your hair long.  You barely had any that night.”

“Basic training regulation haircut,”  I said.

“Are you still in the service?”  Keeva asked.

“That didn’t work out.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.”

The barkeep returned with a stein full of sweet, delicious rizzley goodness.

That scaly hand was on my knee now.

“Perhaps we can pretend you’re on shore leave all over again, sailor?”

I took a swig.

“That ship…has sailed.”

Keeva was taken aback.

“And here I thought that night was special.”

“It was,”  I said.  “And I’m still itchy.”

“You haven’t gone paloproptastic have you?”  Keeva asked.  “Sure, the outer glands are thrilling but once you get underneath that mushy layer its all sharp bone and acidic excretions.”

“No,”  I said.  “It’s not like that.  I’m here on business.”

“Pleasure IS my business,”  Keeva said.

“No sale, baby,”  I said.  “Peddle your inputs somewhere else.”

Keeva’s face turned sullen.

“I’m not peddling, Roman.  I really am quite pleased to see you.”

“Can’t say as I blame you,”  I said as I turned away.

Keeva took another puff then brushed her hand across my cheek.

“Poor thing.  I can see you’ve grown cold since our special night.  I wonder what happened to make you so?”

“I’d tell you but it’d probably take three or four days,”  I said.

I took out my Sen-Pen and set it to hover vertically above the bar.

“Last photo,”  I said.

An image of a Shai male popped up.  Tall guy.  Long beard.  Muscles.  Scar on the right side of his face.

“Has he been around?”

“Izok?”  Keeva asked.  “Sure.  He’s got the penthouse suite.  Something tells me you’re not here to just say hello to an old friend?”

“Something tells you right.”

“Keep my name out of it, please.”

“Of course.”

“Its none of my business, Roman,”  Keeva said, “But you do know Izok is a made being in the Cabal?  You’re inviting a lot of heat on yourself.”

“That heat’s been there for years,”  I said.  “I never asked for it.”

Keeva smiled, opened her mouth and stretched her long tongue out all the way to my cheek, slathering it up and down before pulling it back with a snap.

“You still taste delicious.”

“I moisturize.”

I had a few prepaid cred chits in my pocket.  I pulled one out and slid it across the bar.  She stood up and slid it back.

“I don’t want your money, fool.  I want…”

“What?”  I interrupted.  “A man to take you away from all this mess?”

“Maybe.”

I took another belt of rizzle juice.

“I’m not him, baby.  I’m knee deep in it.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – BQB’s Attempt at a NanoWriMo Novel

Hello 3.5 readers.

NanoWriMo is upon us and we will soon find ourselves in 2016, the year I promised myself I would release a novel.

So I’ve decided to give it a go with National Novel Writing Month.

I’m about to share with you two chapters of a story set in a world that I’ve been writing and re-writing for quite some time now. Technically, the characters, in one form or another, have origins in ideas I had as a kid.

And needless to say, Alien Jones’ rantings on this blog helped them to take shape.

So here goes nothing:

UNDESIREDVERSE: WANTED

The year is 2999.  Bookshelf Q. Battler is long dead, his bones merely dust mixed within the dirt of East Randomtown Cemetery.

Since time immemorial, the Vek, a species of super intelligent three foot green beings, have ruled over the Rakan Collective, a union of over a hundred billion peaceful planets.  In fact, it turns out that the default desire for most species is to be peaceful, productive, educated, happy, and non-hostile.  Under the leadership of the Mighty Potentate, the citizens of the collective live only to study science, philosophy, art, literature, and other subjects. They’ve built a mighty army to protect what they have, but amongst themselves, war is unheard of.

Then there’s the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies.  Together, they form a cesspool of depravity, chalk full of beings who never met war they didn’t like.  Violence over religion, over corruption, or just for the hell of it, these “garbage planets” as the Mighty Potentate refers to them are undesired.  They’ll never be welcome in the Rakan Collective, due to chaos they foster.

And what a scummy place the Undesiredverse is.  The Cabal operates a vast organized crime syndicate, dipping its toes into every facet of life, from business to government.  The Tarazni Clan, a group of renegade Tollusks who roam about stealing as much territory as they clan, have occupied Earth for forty years.

Oh, and don’t forget Sourcemind – the highly evolved Artificial Intelligence that conquered and enslaved a human world and can’t wait to expand his control further.

But every story needs a hero, doesn’t it?  Ours are Roman Voss, a routinely down on his luck, debt addled human bounty hunter and his pilot, a disgraced Vek/former advisor to the Mighty Potentate, Jones, or as Voss refers to him, “Jonesy.”

Our tale begins with Roman and Jones on a simple mission to collect a bounty on a ne’er-do-well, only to find themselves in possession of a bald woman who has no idea who she is, why every dirtbag wants her, or why the fate of the Undesiredverse (and even beyond) rests in her hands.

Roman, Jones, and Our Mystery Woman are about to become the most wanted beings around.

Let me know what you think, 3.5 readers.  If you like it, say so.  If it’s crap and I should quit, say so too.

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