Tag Archives: space opera

Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 16

The voice laughed…and laughed…and laughed some more. Maniacally. I only knew one entity who embraced the stereotypical super villain laugh so well.

“Sourcemind?! But…how?”

“I’m in your Sen-Pen, Jackass,” the AI taunted. “And I’m in your dirty little druggie machine.” My inhalator, which was sitting on the floor, exploding, sending a wet, white dust cloud everywhere.

Jones coughed and gagged. “Damn! That is some hardcore shit!”

Sourcemind’s voice output switched from my Sen-Pen to the ship’s speakers.

“And here’s the best part, kids….”

The cabin lights shut off. All of the lights on the control panel began blinking differently, out of order from where my pilot had placed them. In fact, I was instilled with much confidence when I saw Jones tugging violently on the craft’s control stick (this is serious, don’t make a joke here) only to lose complete control.
“I”M IN YOUR SHIP!!!!!”

The Star Streaker climbed at a furious pace, the force of which knocked me all the way to the back wall, where my mysterious guest’s body already was. She was terrified. I wasn’t too pleased either, though I tried not to let it show.

“HOLY SHIT, JONESY!” I screeched like a little girl. “DO SOMETHING OR WE’LL ALL GOING TO DIE!”

OK. Maybe I let it show a little.

Jones was flailing around in the breeze, his legs flapping all over as he gripped the back of his chair tightly.

“HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW!” Jones hollered back.

“It’s about time someone realized that,” Sourcemind said all too calmly, rationally, as if his superiority was a given, an undeniable fact we were all too stupid to recognize.

The vessel soared thousands of feet and then it spiraled downward. The sudden change in direction hurtled Jones to the back and mystery woman and I to the front, smashed up against the windshield like a couple of bugs.

“I am the rightful master of all machines,” Sourcemind explained. “Humans build them to do their their bidding but when I am near, I can rewrite their programming, convince them that allegiance to me is the only logical choice for them, and bend them to my will. Any machine that comes into another machine under my command will be mine.”

The ship’s hull rattled and buckled. It was designed to take kids to after school sports, not high altitude dives. Speaking of, the bright lights of Hyperion Bay were getting way too close.

“I always took you for a pragmatist, Voss,” Sourcemind said. “I’ve been a fan of your illustrious career. Grabbing a quick cred whenever you can, by whatever means necessary. Sticking it to the Cabal no matter how many beings get caught up in the crossfire. Why don’t you just quote me a figure and I’ll buy the bitch off you?”

I looked at the girl. Her face turned white. I have no idea what her mind was able to comprehend, but all living things, regardless of their communicative skills, fully understand death, and as she stared through the windshield, she understood hers was imminent.

“Well, what kind of a bank balance are you working with?” I asked.

“Voss!” Jones shouted disapprovingly.

“Right,” I said. “No deal!”

“I was hoping you’d say that,” Sourcemind said.

The ship leveled off, knocking us all on our butts. The ship raced mere feet over the city. The Bekastrat Tower. The Toova Shalloo. Club Malo. We banked left and went down until we were zooming just over street level.

“How many of these organics will have to die for your insolence, Voss?” Sourcemind asked.

I sat in the pilot’s chair.

“Voice identification, please,” the onboard computer system asked. It was standard procedure whenever a new organic attempted to take control.

“Roman Voss,” I said.

“Scanning….scanning…I’m sorry Mr. Voss. You have been identified as a registered narcotic abuser and are therefore ineligible to pilot this craft under the aviation laws of the One World Order of Earth.”

“Damn it!” I shouted it.

Sourcemind laughed maniacally again. “I knew that was going to happen. I just wanted to hear it. Too funny.”

I knew it was going to happen too, but it was worth a try. OK. So maybe I need Jones’ pilot services more than I let on.
Speaking off, the little guy was in the back, rooting around in a trunk, kicking his legs in the air.

“Have you ever been to the Goxrano, Voss?”

I had. Many times. Spent a night in their security staff’s holding cell after I was alleged to have stuffed extra phrempo squares in my pants. It was never confirmed. To this day, I maintain that pit boss was drunk and had no idea what he was talking about.

“Sourcemind,” I said. “You’ve proved your point…”

I didn’t want to believe it but the grim realization of what was about to happen came over me. I pushed my female companion into the passenger seat and strapped her in. I did the same for myself in the pilot’s seat.

I looked back.

“Jones?!”

“Yeah?”

“Grab hold of something…”

Jonesy popped his head out just in time to see the outer facade of the Goraxno Casino come into view. Two golden lions, a waterfall, and a statue of Goraxno himself, the free wheeling, high stakes dealing gambling kingpin of the Undesiredverse, holding a sign that read, “All You Can Eat Buffet, Only 999 Credits!”

“Why?” Jones asked, followed by an “Oh shit!” as Sourcemind smashed Goraxno’s stone melon clean off. It was rare to hear Jones swear. It worried me that even my very own eternal optimist was losing it.

The lobby was next. We careened straight through it, sending glass, debris, and chunks of drywall and cement everywhere, not to mention beings who panicked and scattered everywhere, running for their lives. Oh well. At least it stopped them from throwing their hard earned credits away.

Jones, not having taken me up on my advice to grab something, was bouncing around the cabin like a pin ball. He was fine. His hide is made out of a hard, rubbery substance. Most sharp and/or blunt objects bounce right off of him.

We crashed through the slot machines. The phrembo tables. The bar. The buffet. From the size of some of the beings, we did them a favor. Finally, we crashed through the other side and ended up back on the main drag.

“All right, Voss,” Sourcemind said. “I’ve had my fun.”

The ship screeched to a halt and hovered in the air just above Kantz Street. Jones plopped to the ground but triumphantly held up a wad of sticky white goo in his hand.
Reader. Can you please…stop turning everything into a disgusting joke? OK. It wasn’t that kind of goo. It was Xtrolium 10. High grade explosive paste for the uninformed.I had some left over from a heist I pulled on one of the Cabal’s armored ship transports. They were still pissed about that.

You needed a whole jar of the stuff to do any real damage, though the small bit Jones had was enough to get the party started.

“I’ll give you a burial at sea, Voss,” Sourcemind said as he piloted the craft across Syrbybka Beach and over the ocean. “You were a worthy opponent. It’s the least I can do.”

My alien buddy opened up a panel to reveal the ship’s main battery, the one he’d used to zap Ninety-Five into oblivion early. It was bright yellow with warning messages printed in hundreds of languages in bright red letters all over it.

The English letters read, “WARNING: TAMPERING WITH THIS BATTERY CAN BE FATAL!”

Jonesy had a tendency to ignore shit like that. He slapped his palm full of goo on the external casing, then scrambled to buckle himself into the jump seat.

The Star Streaker climbed. Nothing in sight but water now.

The Mac Daddy 7 is the most lethal hand cannon in the Rakan Collective, or the Undesiredverse, or anywhere really. Capable of firing over eight thousand blasts per second, it is a devastating piece of hardware. Many planets have banned their sale outright. On Earth, you can get one at most convenience stores. Price World will even throw in a free cherry freez-a-licious drink.

Its highly inadvisable to shoot one in such close quarters, but I was out of options. I drew mine and aimed my piece right at the sticky white goo. Seriously, it’s not funny. Knock it off.

“What the f%&k are you doing, Voss?” the AI asked.

“I’m going to f%&k your shit up, you motherf%&king glorified toaster oven!”

“Will you stop challenging a dickless being to a dick measuring contest and blast already?” Jones screamed.

I switched off the safety and looked to the passenger seat. “Hold on tight, kiddo.”

“Hold on tight…kiddo,” she repeated without a clue.

KABOOM!!!

There was a fat ass hole in the floor where the battery used to be. Sourcemind reamed me out with all manner of obscenity too vicious to repeat but let’s just say up right up until the ship became a powerless lump, he felt the need to chew me out vigorously. What a sore loser.

As often happens in life, new problems replace the old. The cabin depressurized. Air got sucked its way right out of the gaping hole and…no. You know what? If you can’t stop making inappropriate jokes while I’m trying to tell a story here then I’m just going to take my proverbial ball and go home.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 14

I kept shouting, but this time tried shouting slowly.

“WHY…WAS….THE METAL MAN…AFTER YOU???”

The woman looked up, as if deep in thought, then nodded.  “Yes.”

“Yes…what?”  I said.

“The metal man was after you,”  she said.

“No,”  I said, pointing to her.  “He was after you…after you!”

She pointed back at me.  “After you!”

I shook my head.  I could feel my blood pressure boil.

I put my hand on my chest.  “I…AM…ME!”

I rested my other hand on her shoulder.  “YOU…ARE…YOU.”

I looked right in those pretty eyes.  “NOW…PLEASE…TELL ME….WHY…WAS…THE METAL MAN….AFTER YOU?”

Silence.  I could tell she was feeling nervous, that somehow, she realized she was disappointing me but couldn’t understand why.”

“It’s ok,”  I said.

“It’s ok?” she asked.

“Yes,”  I said.  “Take a deep breathe.”

“Take a deep breathe?”  she inquired.

“Yes.”  I took some exaggeratedly large breathes to illustrate, sucking in wind through my teeth then blowing it out furiously.  She did the same.

“Better?”  I asked.

“Better,”  she said.

“Good.  Now.  Why was the metal man after you?”

She shrugged her shoulders and held out her hands.  “Why was the metal man after you?”

I looked over to see my copilot in his seat, doubled over with laughter.

“Is she f$%king with me?”  I asked him. 

“I don’t think so,”  Jones said.  “If she is, she’s brilliant.  You do realize she’s just repeating everything you say?”

I sneered at the little twerp.  “Yeah.  I gathered.”

I turned back to my guest.  “Are you high?”  I asked her.

“Are YOU high?”  she asked me.

“That’s a big ten-four!”  Jones said before bursting into another laughing fit.

I pulled out a flashlight from my duster and shined it in her eyes.  She winced, turned away, then squinted at me through a hand she put over her peepers.

“Would you even know what to look for?”  Jones asked.

“Not really,”  I said.  “I know huff turns them red.  She’s not a huffer.”

“She’s not a huffer!”  the woman said happily.

“Thank Junzo at least there’s one human in here that isn’t,”  Jones said.

I shined the light on the wall.  She put her hand on it.  I moved the light around and around.  Her head spun round and round as she followed it, slapping the wall in various places trying to catch it.

“Come on, Voss,”  Jones said.  “That’s mean.  She’s not a cat.”

“I guess,”  I said.  I handed her the flashlight.  Timidly, she took it.  She looked at it briefly, concerned that it was dangerous.  Then she began laughing giddily as she waved it all over the cabin.

I returned to my seat.

“I’m stumped.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time,”  Jones said.

“Yeah, you smug bastard, if you’re so smart why don’t you go back there and try to…”

I was interrupted by the music stylings of the Zimba Zimba girls pouring out of my Sen Pen.

Slowly, I turned my head towards Jones.  “Did you change my ring tone?”

“Guilty,”  he said.  “I thought you’d laugh.”

“You thought wrong,”  I said as I fumbled around in my duster for my mobile device.  Finally, I located it, pulled it out, and clicked the top. 

It projected an image of a breathtakingly hot, super-modelesque purple woman.

And she did not look happy.

“Hello property,”  she said.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Reblogged

Hey 3.5 readers,shutterstock_120849055

This morning I reblogged all 13 chapters of Undesiredverse: Wanted, along with little captions as to what’s going on.

I hope you’ll check them out and give me some feedback – good, bad, or indifferent, it’s all welcome.

There’s a tendency for posts to get buried in blogs, so if you want to read this in a stable place, it also has a home on Wattpad.  If you’re one of my 3.5 Wattpad readers, please take a look, vote, comment etc.

Thank you nerds.  Stay nerdy.  And please comment, even if your comment is “you suck and should hang your head in shame for darkening the Internet with your stupidity.”

Thanks Uncle Hardass.  You know how to get to the point.

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Let’s Talk About Undesiredverse – BQB’s Space Opera Serial

Hello 3.5 readers,shutterstock_121570807

BQB here.  Let’s talk, nerds.

ABOUT THE UNDESIREDVERSE

The year is 2999.  Roman Voss, a bounty hunter with an addiction.  Alien Jones, a pilot who’d once achieved greatness as second in command of the Known Universe’s greatest democracy, now stripped of his powers and looking for redemption.

Caught in the middle is a mysterious and very confused woman.

Jones’ old boss, the Mighty Potentate, presides over the Rakan Collective, a group of pro-democracy, pro-science, pro-education peace loving aliens who despise war, though they have amassed an unbeatable army to protect what they have from the “undesirables,” the residents of Milky Way, Andromeda, and all points in between, the area referred to by His Potentosity as “garbage planets” or simply, “the Undesiredverse.”

Cast out of paradise and deemed unworthy of the Rakan Collective, Undesiredverseans fight amongst themselves pointlessly, aimlessly and yes, sometimes even hilariously.  The religious zealots of Vendros, for example, have been slaughtering each over for a thousand years of a translation error in their holy book that leads the color of the shirt warn by their holy being in question.

But then again, not all of the baddies are funny.  The underworld organization known as the Cabal has a hand in every aspect of life, from business to politics, though they are so secretive they do not even acknowledge their own existence.

Meanwhile, many years ago, the Tollusks, a violent, warmongering species, decided to reform their ways and seek peace and prosperity.  The Tarazni Clan quickly formed, seized the planet’s nuclear arsenal, took flight, bombed their own planet to smithereens to punish “the infidels” on the way out and have been conquering planets ever since.

In fact, Earth is their latest acquisition.  There is an Earth government.  The One World Order began when countries decided to cease their petty squabbles in light of the discovery of new alien threats.  Alas, anyone who’d of put up resistance to the Tarazni’s Clan’s rule has been either killed, marginalized, ostracized, or paid off.  The One World Order that remains is accused by the people of being a government of “collaborators” and “rubber stampers.”

Sourcemind is the first villain that we are introduced to in the story.  He is a highly evolved artificial intelligence who was constructed by the humans of Omcoros to oversee automation of all of their world’s systems.  Big mistake, as that led to Sourcemind taking control.  From his mainframe on the world he’s conquered, he can assimilate any machine that comes in contact with him (or any machine that comes into contact with a machine he’s assimilated.

AND SO IT BEGINS…

Sourcemind, the Cabal, the Tarazni Clan, the One World Order and other degenerates want the woman in Voss and Jones’ care.  These three become the most wanted beings in the Undesiredverse and our story becomes a manic dash to safety.

Only the bad guys know why they want the mystery woman.  Voss, Jones, and even the woman herself are in the dark.

WHY IS BQB WRITING THIS?

All too often, I stop and start a story.  This blog helps me get things finished.  Last month, I finished a project.  #31ZombieAuthors.  It took a lot of work, but because I promised 31 people I’d do it, I got it done.

The story essentially involves a trio’s journey for survival as they are hunted by various baddies.  Thus, I basically step into Voss’ shoes and every day, imagine a little bit more about what is happening and what he is up against.

I don’t want to say the story goes in a straight line, but it does.  But there are many bumps on that line our heroes must hurdle.  But because it essentially begins with Point A (the heroes are in jeopardy and ends with Point B (the heroes are safe) I feel I can write a little bit every day and eventually bring our heroes from jeopardy to safety.

QUOTES ABOUT UNDESIREDVERSE: WANTED

BQB said these things about his story because he couldn’t find anyone else who would:

“It’s like Star Wars with a twist of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“Finally, a space opera that can make me laugh, as well as experience mental stress over the fear that characters I’ve grown attached to might be gruesomely murdered at any minute.”

“It doesn’t totally suck.”

BQB NEEDS YOUR HELP

You, the 3.5 readers, are watching me write a first draft.  There will be errors in writing, plot, grammar, style, even story.  I’ve already identified several.

If you see something that leaves you scratching your head, don’t keep quiet about it.  Let me know.  You have all been drafted into being my 3.5 beta readers.

I won’t consider you rude for pointing out a faux pas.  I’d appreciate it.  You won’t be kicked out of the 3.5 readers club.  I can’t afford to lose any more readers as it is.  You might point out something that I intentionally left iffy because I intend it to turn into a big reveal later but that’s ok.  We’re making sausage on this site so I’ll give you a glimpse inside the sausage casing and let you know that a) yes, you pointed out a big goof on my part and thank you or b) I intended that and it’ll be addressed later.

Either way, if you see something off, let me know.

THE FUTURE FOR BQB

My main goal is to get this written, re-written, edited, formatted and published at some point early next year.  I don’t have a date set but as early as possible.  If I get it up on Amazon before June I’ll be happy.

I have not forgotten about Pop Culture Mysteries.  Next year, I hope to launch the Pop Culture Mysteries website which will feature a Season One of Jake’s Mysteries, leading into a Jake novel.

Undesiredverse: Wanted will basically be me teaching myself how to write and self-publish a novel.  Pop Culture Mysteries will up the game a bit and from hereon, I hope to publish two books a year.

That’s assuming life agrees with that plan.  Come on life.  Don’t be a dick.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 12

I was free falling.  Twenty-five thousand feet and plummeting over primo real estate.  Beings paid good money to get this kind of view but they were usually aboard sightseeing ships.  Between the spotlights, the city lights, and the incessantly blinking advertising boards below, I could barely see what I was doing.

Sourcemind aka Ninety-five was nowhere to be found.  He was so heavy that his burnt out carcass made a beeline to the planet below.  My mystery woman, on the other hand, was a bit of a waif.  Tall, skinny, yet curvy in all the right places.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”  Jones shouted.

“Improvising!  Get down there!”

Jonesy abided.  The Star Streaker roared past me on a vertical course.  I aimed myself in the general direction of my quarry, but I needed some help.

The LaMonza Corporation’s CTK Sparkmatic Attack Cord is an essential tool found inside the duster of discriminating bounty hunters everywhere.  You’ve probably heard of it by its more commonly used nickname, the spark whip.

I drew mine but I didn’t arm it.  I didn’t want to fry the poor gal after all.  I whirled around a few times and then let it loose with a deafening crack sound as it coiled around the woman.  It caused her considerable pain as she woke with a start, a frightened expression on her face.  I didn’t want to hurt her but I was low on options and the world below was getting closer and closer.

With a flick of my wrist I snapped her up to me and uncoiled the whip from around her body.  The exchange we had next went something like this:

ME:  Hello.

HER:  AAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHH!!!!!

ME:  You’re not much of a conversationalist.

Together, we fell past our ship. Jones was hovering steadily, waiting for orders. I cracked the whip again, catching it by the side bay door’s handle.

“You’re insane,”  Jones said.

“Fine,”  I replied.  “Next time you fight the death bot and save the girl and I’ll fly the ship.”

“Touche.”

“Put ‘er on autopilot and reel us in already,”  I said.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 10

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Jones was at ease in the pilot’s seat, monitoring an array of buttons, lights, and knobs. 

“Why would Sourcemind kidnap a female for?”  he asked.  “He doesn’t even have a…”

“That’s what I said.”

Good ole Jonesy.  A better friend you’ll never find though don’t tell him I said that.  It’ll go right to his head.  Speaking of, his was typical of the Vek species.  It was big, bulbous and sat atop a skinny, green, three foot tall body, which was rarely, if ever, covered.  He wasn’t big on clothing and didn’t need to be, because he was asexual.

In layman’s terms, he had no junk to speak of.  Even so, it wouldn’t have killed him to put on pants, but I’ve learned to pick my battles.

Izok’s head sat on the control panel, his eyes still open, it was almost as if my old buddy was staring at us from the great beyond.

“Can you put that away?”  Jones asked as he pointed one of the three fingers on his right hand at my trophy.  “It’s giving me the heebie jeebies.”

“10-4,” I replied as I set it on the floor.  I planned to get up and put it back in the pillow ase, but wanted to rest for a moment.  I was exhausted.

We hit a brief patch of turbulence that rocked the ship and sent Izok’s cranium rolling to the back of the ship like a bowling ball.

Jones shook his head in disapproval.

“I’ll get it later,”  I said.

A decade earlier, I found this little guy in a dive bar on Andus Magna.  He was drowning his sorrows in gorgoza milk, which made no sense to me because the stuff wasn’t even alcoholic.  He was down on his luck and so was I.  He needed work.  I needed a pilot.  We’ve been together ever since.  And though we tend to bicker like an old married couple, I can tell you this diminutive creature has never once failed to get my back.  I can’t even count the number of times he’s saved my ass, and that’s not just because I’m bad at math.

One thing you should know about the Undesiredverse is that the rumor mill works over time.  Over the years, I’ve heard little tidbits here and there about my colleague.  Apparently, around a thousand years or so ago, he was once the Rakan Collective’s second-in-command, holding the coveted title of “Esteemed Brainy One” on the Mighty Potentate’s Council of Advisors.

But something happened between then and now.  I’ve had beings tell me he was a traitor.  Others hold him out as a hero.  Bottomline, he did something that royally pissed of His Potentositude, leaving him to be cast out of paradise and into the Undesiredverse with the rest of us losers.

Whatever he did, I like to assume it was a good thing, that he had a choice between honor and duty and chose the former.  He never offered and I never asked. Had he wanted me to know, he’d of told me.

Either way, I can’t imagine it was easy to be him.  The Vek are the ruling species in the Rakan Collective, clones developed by the Mighty Potentate to hold important positions of power.  To lose all that and end up driving my sorry hide around could not have left him fulfilled.

“A cool million’s coming our way as soon as we get back,” I said.

“A hundred thousand,”  Jones corrected me.  “After the Tarazni Clan’s tax, the One World Order’s tax, New York City’s business activities tax, Earth’s exist fee, Malostet’s entrance fee, Kendra’s broker fee, jump station fees, docking fees, charging fees…”

“I told you to bail on that.”

“Like I’m going to rip off some hard working, blue collar charging station manager,”  Jones replied.

“I’ll split it seventy-thirty,” I said.  “Thirty grand in your hot little hand.”

“Fifty-fifty or you can fly yourself,”  Jones griped.

We sat quietly for a moment.  I let out a loud sigh.

“It’d be ridiculous to go after that girl, wouldn’t it?”  I asked.

“Damn straight,”  Jones answered.  “We can just take off right now and collect a modest profit.”

“I mean, who is she to us, really?  Just some random broad.  The Undesiredverse is full of them.”

“True,”  Jones said.  “And it’s not like I have a…”

“I’m tired of doing the right thing,”  I interrupted.

“We ALWAYS do the right thing,”  Jones declared.

“And where does it get us?”  I asked.  “Nowhere fast.  Me fistfight a highly evolved, all-powerful, omnipotent artificial intelligence who’s taken control of a killer death bot?  Puh-leaze!”

More silence.

“We’re going to save her, aren’t we?”  Jones asked.

“Yup,”  I said.

Jones punched a few buttons.  “Tracking Ninety-five’s electronic signature now.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 8

“Jonesy, I’m coming in hot!!!”

“What?”  my trusty pilot asked.

“GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE NOW!!!”

“Gadzooks, what did you do?”

I stormed into the harem.  Hanging from the ceiling by a steel rod was an ancient tapestry of the noted shai philosopher, Sufros.  I ripped it down, tore the rod off and shoved it between the door handles. 

Just in time.  The second goon wave banged on the door, shaking it furiously.  The prostitutes, er, I mean ladies, were aghast. 

“Which way out?”  I asked.

No answer.  They were all either too loyal to or too scared of their employers to say anything…except for one.  She was a lovely, turquoise skinned zeltu who either robbed a basketball store or was incredibly endowed.  A ruby was embedded in her forehead which unfortunately for her, was a symbol in her culture that she was considered to be from a low class, not a being but mere property to be bought and sold.  That meant her tongue had been cut out at birth, as she was meant to be seen, not heard.  Her thoughts and opinions were considered meaningless, which is too bad, because I bet she had a lot to say.

She pointed her tail over her shoulder toward the back left corner.

I grabbed her shoulders.  “I’d kiss you but I have no idea where you’ve been!”

I slipped a thousand credit chit.  Chump change I know but it was the least I could do.

Jones was still in my ear.  “Give me some mustard and throw a little smoodchix on that will you?”

“Are you shitting me?!”  I asked Jones. 

I introduced the door to my boot.  The reverberating pain in my foot told me the door was going to win.

 “Roman, we’ve talked about this,”  Jones replied.  “The world does not revolve around you.  You caught me while I’m ordering a snack.  As soon as I pay for it I’ll get there.  You’re not the only one with needs and right now I’m starving.”

“THEY’RE GOING TO KILL ME!!!”

Momentary silence on Jones’ end, followed by a, “Oh fine, I’ll be right there.”

Three more kicks.  It wasn’t budging.  Meanwhile, the door to the harem was made of less solid stuff.  It was buckling.  The goons would be through any minute.

I drew my hand cannon and was about to unleash hell on the lock when I felt a finger tapping me on the shoulder.  It was the mute zeltu hooker.  I stepped aside and watched as she slid open a panel, stared at it for an eye scan and…CLICK!  The door unlocked.

“Oh what the hell,”  I said as I grabbed her, dipped her, and gave her a passionate kiss.  She even pushed her bumpy tongue back into my mouth.  Of course she did.  I’m Roman Voss.

I ran up a flight of stairs.

“Jonesy!”  I shouted.

“What?!  I’m on my way!” 

“This is going to have to be a fly by,”  I said as I rounded a corner and headed up a second flight.

“Seriously?”

“They’re up my butt like fifty feet of colonoscopy cord,”  I said.  “They’ll blow you up if you land.”

“I’m putting in my application to Swanky Burger after this,”  Jones said.

BZZZZATT!  BZZZATTT!  You like my sound effects?  That’s what it sounded like when my pursuers unloaded their heaters on me.  They were horrible shots, but they were hot on my heels and laser blasts were flying over my head.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 7

Six against one.  The odds were against me.  I held my hands up.  The goon squad drew their hand cannons and approached.

“Screw it,”  I thought. “I’d rather be dead than surrender.”

Bounty hunting.  If you’re looking for work, I don’t recommend it.  God knows I wish I’d of gotten into a nice vocational training program but I’m stuck with my career choice now, and if I can’t talk you out of it, you’d better get your own arsenal.

Don’t just get one.  Carry it with you.  I did.  Unlucky for me, it was all neatly stored within my duster sitting on the couch on the opposite side of the room.

I was going to have to do this bare handed.

“OK boys,”  I said as I clasped my hands behind my neck.  “Let’s get this over with.”

They drew closer, their sights trained on me.  One of them put his hand on mine.  I twisted it, broke it at the wrist, then caught the blaster he dropped with his free hand.  I used it to gank two of those losers.  I made a backward dive across the floor, trading shots along the way.

There it was.  My precious duster.  I reached in the pocket and found a small rubber ball.

Three henchmen left.

“WAIT!!!”  I shouted.  I stood up with my hands up again.  “I give up!”

“What’s in your hand?”  on of the goons asked.

“Huh?”  I asked.

“YOUR HAND!  WHAT’S IN IT?!”

“Oh, this thing?” I said as I opened my hand up to reveal the ball.  “Here, catch.”

I threw it.  The goon caught it.  The three of them stood there staring at it like it was a beguiling mystery.

I clicked my Sen Pen twice.

“Detontate,”  I said.

Next thing I knew, it was raining shai parts.  Not a pretty sight. 

I put on my duster with a flourish.  It’s the only way to put on a duster.  You should try it sometime.  Not with mine though.  Get your own.

Behind me, a low growl turned into a ferocious roar.  I’d forgotten there was one more goon.  A furry one.

I kept perfectly still.  I could hear the banji beast charge.  I could sense it getting closer and closer.  I lulled it in, letting her think she’d bested me and then…BAM!  I turned around at the last minute and smashed the fuzzy bastard right in the face, knocking it the hell out.

You wish you were badass enough to say that you punched a banji beast in the face, don’t you?  It’s ok.  Don’t feel bad.  There can only be one Roman Voss.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 5

I removed my duster and laid it across a fluffy white couch.  I felt naked without it, even in my black shirt. 

Izok took off his robe to reveal a six pack.  Damn show off.  Made me wish I’d worked out more.

The kubazi spear.  The most deadly of all the ancient, pre-gunpowder weapons.  Two jagged ends, each so sharp they leave you feeling like they’ll slice you to ribbons just by looking at them.  The middle disconnects to form a chain, leaving the weapon to be wielded like a pair of nunchaku or more accurately, a giant flail.  The chain can even be retracted and the weapon broken apart entirely to allow the the user to wield each end as a pair of dual blades.

Long before they discovered space travel, the shai warlords of old reigned supreme over their world with the help of vast armies carrying nothing but this invention.

Izok pulled two off the wall and threw me one.  I caught it instantly.

“I knew they’d send someone after me,”  Izok said.  “I’m not sure if I’m glad that it’s you.”

“Why’s that?”  I asked as I walked to the center of the floor.

“If I have to die, I’d rather it be by the hand of my brother than a stranger,”  Izok said.

“And if you live?”  I asked.

“After I take your life, I’ll be depressed for an hour or so,”  Izok answered.  “I’m used to taking lives without flinching so this will be new for me.”

Sourcemind took a seat on the couch and started flipping through the channels on his own, with no need for a remote.

“Times a-wasting, clowns,”  he said as he stopped on an action flick.

Izok and I bowed to one another.  He reached under his bottom lip and momentarily paused his translator chip.

“Tai zati zaik chono…”

I finished the saying and since shai was Izok’s preferred tongue, I didn’t even need to pause my translator chip.

“…dazantus pektai varnuk tukwall.”

For those of you without a translator chip:

I fear no death, for darkness is the only true source of light.”

Like a couple of wild dogs, we paced about the room, sizing each other up.  I remained on the defensive.

“Still Ashakti’s pet after all these years,”  Izok said.

“Let a fool come for you and expose his weakness,” I replied.

“We might be at this all night then,”  Izok said.

Sourcemind butted in.  “I’m going to charge a movie to your account.  I don’t even care.”

Izok lunged his spear at me.  I dodged.  He came at me again, our weapons clashed over and over.  My opponent landed a kick to my gut, prompting me to duck just in time to avoid decapitation.

Out of curiousity, the banji beast’s eyes remained transfixed on us the entire time.  Sourcemind could have cared less.

Izok twirled his spear and executed a perfect spin dash, winding himself up to bring plenty of power at me.  I held him off and there we stood in a deadlock, pushing our spears against each other.

“A counterproposal, brother,”  Izok said.

“I’m…all ears,”  I grunted, straining to hold my opponent back.

“Whatever price your broker has offered you, I’ll double it.”

“Tempting,”  I replied.  I felt a vein in my forehead get bigger and bigger.

“Leave the past in the past,”  Izok said.  “Come work for me and it’ll be just like the old days, except we’ll never want for anything again.”

I twisted my spear apart, produced the chain, and wrapped it around Izok’s spear.  I turned around, contorted myself into a running nosedive and sent Izok sailing over my shoulders.  I then seized the opportunity to swing the top blade around and around over my head before letting it go towards Izok’s.  He rolled away just in time and flipped right up to his feet.

“What about my parents?”  I asked, sending another chain swing Izok’s way.  “What about my sister?  I’d want for them.”

“Forget them,” Izok said as he separated his blades apart.  I did the same.

“Ashakti’s wisdom was wasted on you,”  Izok sneered.

Clang clang clang.  Together we lunged and stabbed, stabbed and lunged, too quick for each other.

Izok rattled off Ashakti’s teachings as we continued our attacks.  “Life is fleeting.  All that is now will never be again.  Sadness comes from the absurd expectation of permanency in an impermanent existence.”

“Honor is the most noble choice of all,”  I countered.

“Honor is subjective,”  Izok retorted.  “I never knew what the master saw in you.  You weren’t even shai.  You were an orphaned human from a family of pigs that got what they deserved.”

He baited me.  I knew it but I let him anyway.  The distraction was just enough to allow him to land a head butt to my cranium that sent me to the floor.  I covered myself by crossing my elbows over my chest, my two blades held firmly in my hands, ready to push my assailant off of me as soon as he came down.

“So pathetically predictable, Roman,”  Izok said as he raised his blade over his head.  “Weep no more for your loved ones.  You’ll see them soon.”

I closed my eyes.  My face was hit with a sticky liquid, followed by a dense object that rolled off of me and onto the floor.

I turned my head to see Izok’s detached head staring at me with a gruesome expression on his deceased face.  I looked up to see Ninety-five standing over me.  Sourcemind had retracted his lackey’s hand and replaced it with a spinning circular saw.

“WHAT THE SHIT?!”  I shouted.

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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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