Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Digital Art / Hobbyist Core Member Chris Price52/Male/United Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
2 Month Core Membership:
Given by DrOfDemonology
Statistics 551 Deviations 3,705 Comments 29,834 Pageviews

Favourites

On a tree trunk by charmeurindien
Mature content
On a tree trunk :iconcharmeurindien:charmeurindien 166 48
Literature
Roaring Bear: Chapter 12
12
Last Frontier, Rasalhague Province
Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
28 June 3050

Although Cera had never given the Free Rasalhague Republic much thought, especially considering their attitude towards mercenaries, it still felt odd to be in the base that until only days before had belonged to the First Freemen. The Ghost Bears had invaded Last Frontier on schedule, dropping into their designated landing zones on the twenty-third of June. Hitting the defenders were the Ourse Keshik, the Silveroot Keshik, and the 310th Assault Trinary of Alpha Galaxy’s 1st Bear Guards.
    During the battle with the very brave but inexperienced First Freemen, saKhan Teresa DelVillar led the Ourse Keshik against one of the First’s ammunition dumps during the second day of fighting. Överste Knute Kurita’s company, which was defending the dump, opened up on the charging Ghost Bear forces and, in a blind stroke of luck (or misfortune depending on your point o
:iconDrOfDemonology:DrOfDemonology
:icondrofdemonology:DrOfDemonology 7 15
Demon Bride Part 1 Comic, Page 15 by mjarrett1000
Mature content
Demon Bride Part 1 Comic, Page 15 :iconmjarrett1000:mjarrett1000 18 4
Map of Clan Invasion Corridor by DrOfDemonology Map of Clan Invasion Corridor :icondrofdemonology:DrOfDemonology 4 3 Maw of the beast by thefirstfleet Maw of the beast :iconthefirstfleet:thefirstfleet 86 44 Commissioned: The Norn's Discovery by Colourbrand Commissioned: The Norn's Discovery :iconcolourbrand:Colourbrand 68 37 The dungeon master  by travisJhanson The dungeon master :icontravisjhanson:travisJhanson 266 50 ALIENS - Cpl. Dwayne Hicks by NicolasRGiacondino ALIENS - Cpl. Dwayne Hicks :iconnicolasrgiacondino:NicolasRGiacondino 188 47 Trust the yeti by travisJhanson Trust the yeti :icontravisjhanson:travisJhanson 334 34
Literature
Roaring Bear: Chapter 11
11
Pencader, Tamarind March
Federated Commonwealth
22 June 3050

Alexandra was sitting in her office and reading the latest technical report filed by Jimmy on the company’s lone Bushwacker. The pre-production BattleMech was currently sitting in the hangar without its engine. Due to the complex nature of its interior layout, the comm, sensor and targeting suites were placed too close to the engine; and the engine’s shielding wasn’t good enough to prevent radiation disrupting the other systems. So her Chief Tech and his team had removed the engine and taken it apart in the hopes of fixing the shielding problem. It was a work in progress.
    She looked up from the computer’s vidscreen when someone knocked at her door, but didn’t have time to reply before the door opened. It was her sister.
    “Elizabeth, what is it?” she asked.
    “You gotta come, right now,” Elizabeth replied, wavin
:iconDrOfDemonology:DrOfDemonology
:icondrofdemonology:DrOfDemonology 10 23
taking poses by philippe-art
Mature content
taking poses :iconphilippe-art:philippe-art 247 5
MiniCharacters - K by NicolasRGiacondino MiniCharacters - K :iconnicolasrgiacondino:NicolasRGiacondino 182 39 Guardians of the Galaxy by PatrickBrown Guardians of the Galaxy :iconpatrickbrown:PatrickBrown 19,182 734 Zegra by MitchFoust Zegra :iconmitchfoust:MitchFoust 127 7 Wizards  by travisJhanson Wizards :icontravisjhanson:travisJhanson 293 28 The epic backstory  by travisJhanson The epic backstory :icontravisjhanson:travisJhanson 278 48

Newest Deviations

Fading Away by Nuclear-Fridge Fading Away :iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 2 0
Literature
17 - In The Middle of the Madness
DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
8 December 3053
    Yesukai might be very surprised by the scene playing out in Brigitte Olafsdottír’s quarters. Pacing restlessly to and fro in front of her desk, the commander of the Norns pauses only long enough to shoot a furious glance at the visphone resting on top of a thick sheaf of hardcopy reports. Her hands are opening and closing from sheer frustration.
    That terse voice message from Liam Tyler and the lack of any useful contact from her senior NCO since have rattled her far more than she cares to say out aloud. Why do I worry about him the way I do?
    She knows the answer to that, even if she doesn’t much like it. Without Valentine Tyler at her back, she simply would not be able to keep this mongrel collection together. It’d be difficult enough if all she had to deal with were pilots and Techs from the Inner Sphere. Th
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 9
Literature
Billy's Big Day
"Billy's destiny was at hand. He had the X-99 solution set to be filtered into his 'transmutation chamber'. The NASA-vintage storage tapes were all programmed and ready. Very soon now, he would be granted awesome powers beyond the grasp of normal men!
"How do I know all this? Well, Billy decided that his transformation really ought to be recorded for posterity. He set up a few cameras for the big event; I got hold of the video files. This first bit I've had to edit. Heavily. Sorry for that, but I didn't think you'd like seeing his naked, skinny butt as he climbs into the chamber. He looked worse nude than he ever did fully clothed. Note my use of the past tense.
"The master control console's on a timer at this point. Once Billy slams the chamber door shut, the whole thing's on automatic. It can't be shut down... A minor detail that Billy comes to regret in the next sixty seconds or so.
"Now me, I'm all about the details. Like, 'Hey John, what if you needed to get out of this thi
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 1 7
Literature
16 - Burdens of Command
DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
8 December 3053
    Ingrid smacks her lips and winces at the foul, stale taste lingering on her tongue. She does not remember stuffing one of her used socks in her mouth before she fell asleep, because that is exactly what it feels like. Blinking in the half-level lighting, she fumbles around until she finds her glasses and puts them on. Better.
    She sits up and winces. Muscles in her neck hurt. Scientist Ingrid gingerly touches her swollen and aching cheekbone. It brings back a recent memory: Point Commander Adrian’s hand whipping across her face. Without meaning to, Ingrid flinches. Then she remembers other things. She looks around at her unfamiliar surroundings cautiously. She sees a bottle of water at the foot of the bunk. There is a note taped to it:
    Room service. Tyler.
    The visphone next to her on the bunk lets out a beep.
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 12
Literature
Billy's Big Invention
"Billy had the chamber all ready to go. He just needed a liquid catalyst to transform his cellular structure. A magic potion, if you will. Important safety tip here, people: 'Magic Potion' only works if you're in an Asterix cartoon.
"Of course, Billy couldn't get what he wanted from legitimate suppliers. He had to do a lot of legwork; go black market, track down crackpot conspiracy theorists. He spent six months on his hunt before he found what he was after: Formula X-99.
"Formula X-99 was one of those big-budget research ideas that didn't work out. I have a copy of the project summary right here. You can see the word 'Cancelled' in red ink on the cover.
"Billy fixed on what X-99 promised to do. He didn't bother to read the whole thing. If he had, he might have learned a few things... like why it got cancelled.
"X-99's full name is about eighty-five letters long; a liquid compound of truly ferocious potency. It was meant to be used on trees, for crying out loud, an
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 1 5
Literature
15 - Clan Tyler
Jade Falcon Replenishment Depot Five, Bowerton’s Barrier
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
7 December 3053
    Marc Campbell shakes his head. “This place is looking more and more like a breaker’s yard.” He studies the nearest of the ‘training cadre’ BattleMechs with interest. The captured machine is a Bombardier, sporting heavy armour damage to its right torso and right leg. As a missile boat, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the familiar Archer design… but it packs an XL engine, CASE for its missile bin, and where the ARC-2R Archer would carry a pair of rear-firing medium lasers the Bombardier has a high-speed anti-missile gun.
    Lying sprawled across the crumpled chain-link fencing that surrounds the supply depot is a second Bombardier, in slightly better condition. As far as Marc can tell, neither machine suffered any internal hits during the
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 5 9
Literature
Billy's Big Idea
“Hey there, kids! I want to talk to you about superpowers. You know, invisibility, mind-reading, laser blasts, all that kind of cool shit?
“Well, I really want to talk about how you acquire superpowers in the first place. All manner of ways that can happen, and I gotta warn you, most of them aren’t very pretty. Or enjoyable. Cybernetic surgery you have no say in. Saturation in deadly chemicals. Radioactive insect bites. Disintegration by prototype teleportation device. You get the idea.
“The dumbest way to get superpowers, though, is when you decide to do it yourself. Like this kid named Billy Baxter...”
"Kind of a cliché, I know, what with the alliterative name, but Billy was destined to achieve international notoriety. Here's a picture from his school yearbook. That's him right there: third from the left, with the acne and the bad hair. He was the smartest kid in his class. That's where it all started.
"Had Fate dealt Billy a different hand,
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 3 9
Literature
14 - The Bones of Achilles
Crawford Fort Landing Field
Achilles (Co-ordinates Deleted), Federated Commonwealth Space?
7 December 3053
    The first impression she has of Achilles as the shuttle’s pressure hatch opens is of dry, dusty heat. Michaela Stoyanova sneezes before she has the presence of mind to fasten her humidifier mask into place.
    Shading her eyes as she steps down from the KR-61 shuttlecraft, she takes in her surroundings with interest. She is standing in the ruins of what used to be an airport. Two hundred years of neglect and exposure to the elements have left the place wholly useless. Just another worthless remnant of the lost era of the Star League, stripped bare of technology long ago and left to rot.
    Michaela smiles behind her mask. Not nearly so worthless as one might think
    She studies the unloading operation going on some three hundred metres to the east. Parked on a patch of ferrocrete apron, a B
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 12
Literature
The Norns' TOE, 6 December 3053
Command Lance
    Captain Brigitte Olafsdottír, Regular, Axeman
    Sergeant Benjamin Gleason, Regular, Clint (Woody)
    MechWarrior Juno, Regular, Stormcrow
    MechWarrior Silver, Regular, Black Hawk
Reconnaissance Lance
    Corporal Amber Tyler, Regular, Raven (Blackie)
    MechWarrior Carter “Grizzly” Morton, Regular, Valkyrie
    MechWarrior Rhianne “Rainy” Ó Máille, Regular, Commando
    MechWarrior Reinhardt “Olds” Olsen, Regular, Commando
Combat Lance
    Lieutenant Marcus Campbell, Regular, BattleMaster
    Staff Sergeant Valentine Tyler, Veteran, Crusader
    MechWarrior Midge Fairchild, Regular, Zeus
    MechWarrior Malcolm “Malky” Duncan, Regular, Excalibur
    MechW
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 9
Literature
13 - Amber to Red
DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
7 December 3053
    “God damn it,” mutters Ben Gleason as he hears the alert signal pinging sharply away from his earpiece comm, currently hanging on a coat hook. It’s matched by the same sound relayed via Sharyl’s comm, in the pocket of her overalls thrown over the back of a chair.
    Flushed, breathless and very annoyed, Sharyl leaves off kissing her way down over Ben’s bare chest and props herself up on her elbows. All she’s wearing are her socks and her dog tags, which gives Ben a truly wonderful view. Unfortunately he hasn’t got the time to enjoy it.
    “C’mon. We got work to do.”
    Sharyl rolls off the bunk with a curse in French. “I just spent five long hours doing stupid BattleMech maintenance,” she gripes. “When am I gonna get serviced?”
 
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 9
Literature
12 - Abandoned Stars
Fourth Talon Cluster Firebase
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
6 December 3053
    Star Colonel Bosha leans over the holographic display and shakes his head in dismay. Yesukai’s Star of OmniMechs, demolished in detail. Most – if not all – of the Elemental Trainees he sent along with her have been wiped out. Loss of all contact with the supply depot personnel.
    Something that Yesukai said to him a few days ago comes back to him. She had complained about withering away behind her desk, instead of being a MechWarrior leading her forces. I guess she got what she was after
    He glances up at the two young officers standing on the other side of the display table. Star Captain Gedwin and Star Captain Valentina. Neither of them looks happy to have an aging relic such as he in their command centre. Bosha could not care less about their feelings.
    “Options? Either one of
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 4 7
Literature
Yesukai's Response Force TOE, 6 December 3053
Fourth Falcon Talon
Cluster Command Star
    Star Colonel Yesukai Shambag, Veteran, Summoner
    MechWarrior Logan, Veteran, Executioner
    MechWarrior Jeremiah, Regular, Kit Fox A
    MechWarrior Seamus, Regular, Kit Fox
    MechWarrior Diana, Regular, Kit Fox
Delta Nova
    Star Captain Rosa Osborne, Veteran, 5 Elementals
    MechWarrior Emilio, Veteran, Hellbringer
    Point Commander Brendan, Veteran, 5 Elementals
    MechWarrior Thora, Regular, Kit Fox A
    Point Commander Wilson, Veteran, 5 Elementals
    MechWarrior Jennifer, Regular, Summoner
    Point Commander Cheryl, Regular, 5 Elementals
    MechWarrior Harmony, Regular, Nova
    Point Commander Monica, Regular, 5 Elementals
    MechWarrior Arkady, Regular, Viper
Peregrine Eyrie Clu
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 3 4
Literature
11- Eight Thousand
DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
6 December 3053
    Mike Holznecht scratches the side of his head as he listens to the audio feed from his wireless comm. “You don’t say?”
    “Seriously,” comes Liam Tyler’s voice. “A big-ass engineering vehicle, with a HIAB hoist and winch. Low-ratio gearing, plenty of grunt on the torque and only got eight thousand kays on the clock. All the toys; it’s even got decent cup holders. Best of all, it’s got a matching cargo trailer. Twenty-five ton capacity, easy.”
    “But, can you get it going?”
    There’s a chuckle in Mike’s ear. “Uncle Del taught me how to jack high-class aircars back on Gibraltar. This beast? No problem.”
    “Okay then,” Mike says, rolling his eyes. “See you soon. Out.”
    “Th
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 5 8
Literature
10 - Highlander Fling
Jade Falcon Replenishment Depot Five, Bowerton’s Barrier
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
6 December 3053
    Malky Duncan flicks the controls on his weapons array, disengaging the safeties. A set of little red lights turns green to confirm his Excalibur is ready for battle.
    The tactical plot being provided by his ’Mech’s KBC Starsight tracking array shows the oncoming Falcons quite clearly. They’re in an awful hurry to get into firing range, which more or less ties in with the idea that they’ve been bored out of their tiny minds standing garrison duty.
    Malky shakes his head. The three Stars of Falcon machines – and their attending Toads – are spreading out. The lake to the west of the supply depot, along with the wooded hillocks, present a barrier that even Clan technology can’t easily overcome.
    Well. Not his problem.
    Lunging
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 5 13
Literature
9 - Had Me A Thing
Jade Falcon Replenishment Depot Five, Bowerton’s Barrier
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
6 December 3053
    Star Commander Helena is having perhaps the second worst day of her life, ranking right below the time she was deemed no longer effective as a MechWarrior and reassigned to a garrison force.
    Shaking her head, wincing at the shrill, high-pitched ringing in her ears, she rolls over on the floor and scrambles to her feet. She spares a glance over at Bryce and Claude, and sees that they are both dead.
    Armoury, she remembers. That was where they were headed before the explosion took place. She reaches for her earpiece comm and cannot find it. It must have come loose in the blast. Not that it would do her much good with her hearing so badly affected.
    She stumbles away down the corridor, coughing and spitting on a throat full of smoke and dust.
    “These are yours,
:iconNuclear-Fridge:Nuclear-Fridge
:iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 5 5
Mature content
8 - Reaction Time :iconnuclear-fridge:Nuclear-Fridge 5 11

Critiques


This sketch definitely has Firefly overtones to it, what with the scruffy jacket, gunbelt and holster. In keeping with the character, h...


Inverting the character truly 'sells' the idea of zero-G without giving the impression it's all done with wires or green-screen camera ...

Visitors

Wishlist

white rope. by luanalani
Mature content
white rope. :iconluanalani:luanalani 465 44
a time for me. by luanalani
Mature content
a time for me. :iconluanalani:luanalani 659 60
rose petals II. by luanalani rose petals II. :iconluanalani:luanalani 699 98 Stephanie in Peril by NICELabs
Mature content
Stephanie in Peril :iconnicelabs:NICELabs 64 24
Sniper by NICELabs Sniper :iconnicelabs:NICELabs 23 6 Mummification Ritual by NICELabs
Mature content
Mummification Ritual :iconnicelabs:NICELabs 393 140
Patience.... by NICELabs
Mature content
Patience.... :iconnicelabs:NICELabs 83 40

Friends

Activity


DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
8 December 3053

    Yesukai might be very surprised by the scene playing out in Brigitte Olafsdottír’s quarters. Pacing restlessly to and fro in front of her desk, the commander of the Norns pauses only long enough to shoot a furious glance at the visphone resting on top of a thick sheaf of hardcopy reports. Her hands are opening and closing from sheer frustration.
    That terse voice message from Liam Tyler and the lack of any useful contact from her senior NCO since have rattled her far more than she cares to say out aloud. Why do I worry about him the way I do?
    She knows the answer to that, even if she doesn’t much like it. Without Valentine Tyler at her back, she simply would not be able to keep this mongrel collection together. It’d be difficult enough if all she had to deal with were pilots and Techs from the Inner Sphere. Throw in the Clanners and it’s like trying to hold the lid down on a pressure cooker. Watching Zoë battering Colin into gurgling submission was a sobering reminder that these people come from a culture where violence is usually the first, best answer to a problem. Any problem.
    I really need him back on the clock, she tells herself. She grabs up the visphone and opens up its text function.

    Anton Delaney raises an eyebrow as he enters the cabin with Lucy trotting along at his heels.
    “Nobody here’s gonna offer me a beer?”
    The little Jack Russell makes a beeline straight for Amber, who scoops her up and cuddles her in her arms.
    “Here you go,” Liam says with a grin, holding up an opened bottle. “Thanks for taking Lucy out.”
    “Yeah, well, I thought that I’d be the better choice for that job.” Delaney settles himself down onto the small couch next to Amber and Lucy. “There’s still the outside possibility Lucy would try and bite you in the balls.”
    Liam Tyler acknowledges the point with a shrug. “Fair enough, I guess.”
    Amber looks up at Del. “How’s Blackie?”
    “He needs a whole lotta work, I gotta say. That ankle joint’s been fused solid. Sorting that out is gonna be a total bastard.” Delaney’s answer makes Amber sigh sadly. Del looks around, frowning. “Where’s Val, anyway? He’s usually a lot more careful about letting you two loose on his booze stash.”

    The door chimes, and Valentine Tyler gets up to answer it.
    As the panel slides open, it reveals an extremely upset, dishevelled young woman with an unruly mop of white hair and big dark eyes. She looks about ready to start bawling on him.
    “Crap,” Val mutters and steps back into the cabin. “Come on in before you get seen.”
    Snorting back on the imminent threat of tears, Brigitte Olafsdottír does as she’s told. She doesn’t say a word until the door panel has closed behind her.
    “Is... Is Amber okay?”
    Tyler sighs. “She will be. She had a real bad scare out there, but she’ll recover. She’s a whole lot tougher than me, even if she don’t know it.” He forces a smile. “Takes after her Momma in that respect.”
    Brigitte wipes at her face with her hands and regards him quizzically. In all the time that she’s known Valentine Tyler, she has never heard him refer to Amber’s mother directly. With a small start, she realises that he has never brought the topic up; not even once. Tyler’s always given her the feeling that it was a subject that was simply not open for discussion. Nor has she ever dared to broach the matter with Anton Delaney...
    Looking at him now, seeing how tired he is, Brigitte has to wonder just how much weight he’s had to carry on his shoulders, and for how many years. As if he’s overheard her train of thought, Tyler straightens up.
    “Never mind my sorry, sagging, self-pitying ass. How are you doing?”
    “Not great,” Brigitte admits. “I had no idea just how much I rely on you, you dumb bastard. You know that?”
    Tyler shrugs. “That I’m dumb or that I’m a bastard? Because I can tell you, you’re correct on both accounts.”
    She shakes her head, exhausted down to her bones. “I mean it, Val! I can’t do this alone. All the jokes in the world can’t cover over that.”
    He nods, conceding her point. “We never counted on any of this happening, did we? Never even dreamt about it.” He waves a hand at the decking beneath their feet. “We’ve jumped in size overnight, it seems like. We got giant-ass problems to deal with regards supplies, spare parts, transport capacity that we never planned for three months ago.”
    Brigitte sighs. “Yeah. Tell me about it. I’ve got a pile of datapads and hardcopy on my desk that seems to double in size every time I turn around. Hell, it’s making my head spin like a top, and that’s before I have to saddle up and go out to fight a battle...”
    Tyler reaches out and draws her into a hug. “I think we gotta get our asses out of here. Away from Persistence; away from Camelot, even. We all of us need some time to sit down, calm down, and catch our breath. You in particular. No one is gonna give you a medal or say ‘thank you’ if you drive yourself into the ground, Brigitte Olafsdottír.”
    She wraps her arms around him in return and squeezes. “You going to do that a lot?”
    “Do what, exactly?”
    “Tell me what I already know, Staff Sergeant.”
    He chuckles. “I figure I have to. Makes it seem like I’ve got something to contribute here, you know?”
    Brigitte rests her forehead against his shoulder, smiling. “You’ll always have something to contribute. Believe me.”
    Val rubs her back and sighs. “I guess.”
    She tilts her head so that she can settle her cheek against the front of his shoulder and in doing so realises that they are not alone in the cabin. Tucked up in a blanket-wrapped ball on the top bunk, fast asleep, she can see...
    “Is that who you mentioned in your text back to me? Ingrid?”
    Tyler nods. “Yeah. She helped me crack into that armoury.”
    Brigitte breaks out of their embrace to step over and take a closer look at the sleeping young woman. Ingrid seems barely older than Rebecca Mackenzie, what with her hair tied back in a scruffy brown ponytail and her hands tucked together underneath her cheek.
    “She’s just a child, for pity’s sake. What the hell is she doing here?”
    “No idea. Not for sure. I found her in some kind of survey lab. Whole lotta maps on the walls, orbital pictures, stuff like that.” Tyler shrugs. “Way I figure it she got sent there to look for something the top-level dickheads of Clan Jade Chicken wanted found.”
    Brigitte can’t help herself. She reaches out and brushes a few errant strands of hair away from Ingrid’s closed eyes. You poor little thing...
    “We can’t leave her here,” she says decisively. “We just can’t.”
    She doesn’t see the look that Valentine Tyler gives her as she says this.

    Kyle accepts the bottle of water from Daniel with a nod of thanks. He has had to sit down again, with the tightness in his chest threatening to burst into a round of ragged coughing. He is heartily sick of it; sick of not being able to keep up, sick of not being able to pull his own weight. Worst of all, he is sick of the knowledge that things are not going to get any better for him.
    He edges along on the equipment case to make room for Daniel to sit down next to him. “How are things going with the Archer? Maya’s machine?”
    Daniel shrugs before taking a swig from his own water bottle. “Not well,” he admits. “For every circuit or relay we fix, two or three other things seem to stop working on us. The thing is a pile of wreckage.”
    Kyle nods. “I heard Angelica saying very much the same thing.” The former MechWarrior looks up at the dented 70-ton ’Mech undergoing maintenance in a cradle across the Lodestar’s main bay. Even given its hopelessly outdated design, it is by no means an impressive sight. He may not be a Technician, but he can see where the whole starboard-side section of the torso seems to have been grafted on from a different machine, and poorly at that. It is not even aligned properly. No wonder it has been malfunctioning…
    He looks away from the dilapidated BattleMech at the sound of laughter. Carson and Oliver, in the company of one of Mitchell’s female pilots, have returned. They are stepping off the forward lift platform together.
    “They look cheerful,” Kyle notes as the trio head towards the turbolift.
    Daniel nods. “Cameron took them over to the combat site to recover some of the abandoned ’Mechs, the ones that could be moved easily. He needed some pilots and what with everyone else either stood down or keeping a watch out…”
    “He picked them,” Kyle says quietly. He rolls his unopened water bottle to and fro between his hands. Daniel has the good sense to stop talking at that point. One look at Kyle’s face is enough warning for him.

    “You didn’t kill him. Please tell me that you didn’t kill him.”
    Tyler sighs. “Word gets around fast on this tub… No, I didn’t kill him. I left all my weapons behind; even the blades. I just went to make sure Mike hadn’t gone and done something dumb. He’s blaming himself for Amber nearly being killed out there.”
    Brigitte nods. “We got really lucky there. Amber got lucky there.”
    “Yeah...” Tyler rubs at his face with both hands. “The poor dumb fracker’s been running on caffeine and neat adrenaline. He’s just about burnt out. Mike needs our help and he hasn’t been getting it.”
    “Where is he right now?”
    “Flat out in his quarters; he’s fast asleep. Claire and the bridge watch have been keeping an eye out in his place. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we could do with what we’ve got.”
    She closes her eyes, wincing. “I think we need to go. Right the hell now. While we still can.”
    “We still have a pile of salvage and supplies to handle, you know? That Man O’ War for one. Its head is busted all to hell and gone, but it’s worth taking with us. Could be the Irregulars have a spare cockpit module to fit it. Be a crying shame to just blow it up.”
    “I know…” Brigitte lets out a breath. “It all seemed so damned simple back in that planning session, you know?”
    Tyler shrugs. “Life has a way of doing that on you: getting screwed up real fast with no warning.”
    Olafsdottír gives him a small smile. “I’m starting to see that for myself.”

    “How many of those bastards are there, do you think?”
    Claire Klassen-Ward looks up from her station. “Falcon ’Mechs?”
    Seth Klassen leans back in his chair on the bridge of the Lodestar and holds up his hands. “Brigitte and the gang have smashed up a pile of their precious machines by now. I was just wondering how many more of those things they’re going to be dumb enough to throw at us.”
    Claire pulls up a display on her holoscreen. “Good question… Let’s see… Ten ’Mechs and five Points of Toads from the Fourth Talon in the first attack, backed up by five old machines and five more Points of Toads from that ‘trainee unit’. A bunch more ’Mechs in the second fight, fifteen all told…” She regards the figures for a moment. “Hard to say.”
    Her brother gives her a sour look. “I could have asked the bulkhead and gotten the same answer...”
    Claire lets the sarcasm wash over her. “We don’t know how many of their machines are combat-ready. Some may be in for repairs; the ones that got away from the first fight took a few heavy hits, don’t forget.
    “Add to that they’ll need to guard some of the facilities all along that river valley. Storage yards and repair bays. Sure, they’ll have some over-the-hill people to walk foot patrol and carry rifles, but these Falcons are touchy assholes. They’ll want to have a couple of ’Mechs to protect their toys. What Tyler and Zoë faced at that base they hit wasn’t a full Star of ground-pounders. There were only thirty, thirty-five of them there. A Star of foot soldiers comes in at one hundred twenty-five people.”
    Seth blinks. “I didn’t know that.”
    Claire points at another open window floating in the display. “Checking security passes and manning gatehouses; the end of your military career in the Clans if you don’t get lucky and have your head blown off. There’s no retirement plans for these people, especially the trueborns. Did you know that? Once they get too slow, too old, to be useful they’re supposed to do themselves in quietly. Ease the burden on the Clan.”
    “That’s… disgusting. But, I guess it fits in with those maniacs’ viewpoint.” Seth raises an eyebrow. “How did you get so well informed?”
    “Zoë told me. We sat down the night after we left Camelot with Adele and Katsumi, for some girl talk.”
    “Sounds pretty heavy going.”
    “I wanted to learn some more about her, about where she came from, about what she’s been through.” Claire shakes her head. “Zoë killed her first man when she was fourteen. Some ‘bandit caste’ piece of crap. She beat him half to death before crushing his windpipe with her bare hands.”
    “Seriously?”
    “Seriously. You wouldn’t think it to look at her. I mean,” Claire says, shrugging, “Zoë just doesn’t come across as being all that, well… dangerous. Okay, she’s big, and it’s all muscle, but she seems so amiable. You kind of forget that she can pick you up and throw you across the room without even trying…”
    Seth nods. “And she’s on the small end of the Elemental scale. I’ve seen a couple of those giant big bastards she leads, Colin and Tomasz. They give me the chills.” He’s quiet for a moment. “How did Zoë end up in that pirate-hunting unit, anyway? That was some kind of garbage heap posting, wasn’t it?”
    “She made a few enemies, Seth. One of them used to be her unit commander, her Star Captain, but she outperformed him and took his place. He got bumped down a rank. Another one was her own sister. Well, that’s how Zoë referred to her; she’s from the same genetic batch Zoë was grown from. They saw to it that Zoë got busted down from front-line duty to that ‘Black Raptor’ force. For all of their high-and-mighty blather about honour and integrity, members of the warrior caste do go in for an awful lot of backstabbing.”
    “All of it to do with earning one of those precious Bloodnames.” Seth scratches at his chin. “It sounds totally crazy.”
    Claire nods. “It is crazy. The warrior caste makes all the big decisions for their Clan as a whole, but most of the time they haven’t got a fracking clue. Say the Jade Falcons want another ’Mech factory. Do they allocate manpower and resources to build one, or do they just go and issue one of those bonehead battle challenges to a rival Clan for their ’Mech factory?”
    “I’m guessing that most of the time, they’ll go for the chest-thumping pissing contest option,” Seth replies dryly. “Show everyone just how big and tough and superior they are.”
    “Fracking idiocy,” Claire concludes. “The really awful thing about it all is that they don’t see it that way.”
17 - In The Middle of the Madness
     Leadership doesn't end on the battlefield, and it isn't an easy burden to bear... as Brigitte is learning.
Loading...
I've been ably assisted all the way with the Norns stories, and now it's only fair that I hand over the keyboard to my partner-in-crime, Rob...

              Hey, guys! It's Rob Price here. First and foremost, a big and bad-assed shout out to you fella's who've taken the Norns into your hearts and your minds! Despite what Chris tells you, it's him that has done most of the leg work with our little MechWarrior fables. I write stuff when I get the time, which ain't often at the moment!

            We do game all our battles, and it's me playing the Norns.We stop after each round to note down who has hit whom, take a slurp of beer and chuckle about some of the crazy tactics we're trying on each other. Problem is, at the moment, I'm working 6 days out of every 7. Which is a bitch. Volume 6 is proving to be problematic but Chris and I have written a ton of stuff for it! It's up to the Master Editor (Nuclear Fridge) to edit the frack out of it.

            He'll do it. He's Chris. He sorts out my cracked ideas.

            One thing I've only just realised upon re-reading "Reaction Time" again and we'd both missed it was at the start when Ingrid hears 'someone howling in agony' was obviously Val at work with his combat knife on the guy who hit him with the hand flamer. How the heck did we miss that one? I'll leave it you fella's to work out where Tyler stuck the blade in! 

            Anyways, couple of questions for you guys...


            Popandchips: Thanks for your replies dude! Gotta ask you a question. I seem to remember Chris telling me that you're ex-Navy, like me. Or did I imagine it? Love your comment about 'Point Commander Corpse'! Top man!

            DBrentOGara: You, Sir, are a gentleman. You've fallen in love with Ingrid as much as I have! And, yes, to answer your question, Ingrid and Valentine will have a lot more screen time together. Frack, I'd invented Ingrid and the whole Clan Tyler. I think you'll like the episode of "Clan Spaniel". And "Dakota". And "Fall from the deep". And "Trading day". Think I may have used too many ands... 

            DrOfDemonology: First contact. Chris speaks highly of you, dude. Wait until you read Val and Adele's exchange at the start of 'Persistence at Rest'. Think you'll like it brother! It's not often I can get Chris laughing at something I've written!

            Hope you got the e mail from Chris regarding the moment back in the nineties when Tyler finally came into focus for me. I literally had three things: a surname, a Crusader and a Sternsnacht. Then the mean old bald bastard broke through the fourth wall and has been getting me into more scrapes than I care to mention...

            The-Colonel-382: "Bore da" (Welsh for good morning as I'm writing this at 00.15 hours). Like you, buddy, Yesukai's reaction in "Highlander Fling" left me actually stunned. Chris, as is his wont, smiled at me and told me that he'd written something that 'might catch me off guard'. My jaw literally hit the keyboard when I read that!

             Oh, and like you, I'm always drawn to the characters that seem to be bouncing along rock bottom with no obvious chance of redemption. Yesukai's path ain't going to be easy is all I'm saying 'cos I've just seen some bits Chris has written...

             To everybody who has read the continuing (mis)adventures of the Norns, thanks a lot from both of us in Wales that seems to have been transported into the Arctic circle!

            P.S. One of you has got it right about who 'liberates' something very big!

            P.P.S. Take care guys. Respect.

"Billy's destiny was at hand. He had the X-99 solution set to be filtered into his 'transmutation chamber'. The NASA-vintage storage tapes were all programmed and ready. Very soon now, he would be granted awesome powers beyond the grasp of normal men!

"How do I know all this? Well, Billy decided that his transformation really ought to be recorded for posterity. He set up a few cameras for the big event; I got hold of the video files. This first bit I've had to edit. Heavily. Sorry for that, but I didn't think you'd like seeing his naked, skinny butt as he climbs into the chamber. He looked worse nude than he ever did fully clothed. Note my use of the past tense.

"The master control console's on a timer at this point. Once Billy slams the chamber door shut, the whole thing's on automatic. It can't be shut down... A minor detail that Billy comes to regret in the next sixty seconds or so.

"Now me, I'm all about the details. Like, 'Hey John, what if you needed to get out of this thing in a real big hurry? Wouldn't it be a smart move to fit a release handle on the inside of the door?' It's the reason why I have a double wall of sandbags built up at the side of my workshop. Something goes wrong, I can dive for cover.

"Billy didn't think of that. Billy also didn't stop to wonder what might happen if the X-99 he'd stolen from that USAF boneyard station had gone stale inside the trailer truck. His big machine was all set to do its thing... Just that it was gonna do it with a vital ingredient that had basically curdled over the years.

"Okay, here we go. The first fifteen, twenty seconds, it all goes according to plan. Nasty green light shining out of that window Billy's built into the chamber door. All those refrigerator parts starting to rattle like crazy. Lights flashing away on the NASA equipment. And then...

"There we have it: Master Alarm on the main console. That's Scientific for 'bad shit's going down here'. And for Billy, it's enormously bad shit. Some of the welds in those metal pipes feeding X-99 from the overhead tanks have melted through, dripping that aforementioned curdled crap onto some pretty important bundles of wires. Smoke's starting to come out of the data storage system.

"Then the filters blow out. Billy gets a full-on dose of stale Formula X-99 dumped down onto him. The temperature inside the 'transmutation chamber' jumps a full forty degrees Fahrenheit in only two seconds. You can hear him screaming now; good thing the chamber's mostly soundproofed. I think he's trying to beat the door down with his head...

"The wiring's on fire by this stage, and the NASA equipment's begun to melt down. 'Bio-Mutation Process Zero One' just got replaced by a bunch of total binary garbage, and it's getting transmitted directly into the chamber.

"The refrigerator components are exploding like 100-pound lumps of popcorn. Metal popcorn, I guess. A lot of them go flying up through the roof, anyway. Those sizzling noises in the background are Billy's soft tissues undergoing some... drastic changes. We lose a couple of the cameras here..."



To Be Continued
Billy's Big Day
Remember: when the big red warning light comes on and the klaxons sound, run for the exit.
Loading...
DropShip Lodestar
Persistence, Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
8 December 3053

    Ingrid smacks her lips and winces at the foul, stale taste lingering on her tongue. She does not remember stuffing one of her used socks in her mouth before she fell asleep, because that is exactly what it feels like. Blinking in the half-level lighting, she fumbles around until she finds her glasses and puts them on. Better.
    She sits up and winces. Muscles in her neck hurt. Scientist Ingrid gingerly touches her swollen and aching cheekbone. It brings back a recent memory: Point Commander Adrian’s hand whipping across her face. Without meaning to, Ingrid flinches. Then she remembers other things. She looks around at her unfamiliar surroundings cautiously. She sees a bottle of water at the foot of the bunk. There is a note taped to it:
    Room service. Tyler.
    The visphone next to her on the bunk lets out a beep.
    I do not own this item!
    She glances at the screen, which informs her that she has missed four calls and two text messages addressed to her from Valentine. She accesses the texts.
    “Ingrid. This is Valentine. You’re holding my spare phone. Hope you slept well and long. Water at the end of the bed. You’ll like freedom!”
    She grins as she thinks of him and opens up the second message.
    “Crap! Sorry! Meant to tell you that you’re in my daughter’s cabin. If you need me, come find me or use this phone to ring me. You’re safe. You’re under my protection now. Hope you’re okay.”
    Despite the reassuring nature of the texts, Ingrid finds herself very, very, frightened. She has betrayed her entire upbringing. Her culture. She is a Jade Falcon.
    Albeit of the Scientist Caste. And now isorla
    She hesitates, as her trembling hands seem to take on a life of their own. She is calling Valentine.

    “Oliver? Carson?”
    The two men exchange a glance and turn to look down over the safety railing of the repair platform parked in front of Brigitte’s Axeman. Standing on the decking at the base of the platform is Cameron, looking back up at them. Next to him is a slender young woman from the former Black Raptors unit.
    Carson clears his throat. “Cameron? What is it?”
    “Can you come down here, lads? I need you both for a job.”
    They turn back to where Jerry Bishop is inspecting the forward torso plating of the Axeman. He looks up from the gouged ferro-fibrous armour and shrugs.
    “You might as well, fellas. This whole section is gonna have to come off, and I can’t really do that with you boys crowding me. Besides, I’ll need to go get the cutting gear.”
    Once Jerry has lowered the raised platform back to deck level of the ’Mech bay, all three of them climb down to join Cameron and his companion. Her name is Rosannah.
    “How may we help you, Cameron?”
    “Me and Rosannah here are headin’out to the supply depot together. Some of those machines from yesterday’s battle seem in decent enough shape, so we need to get them back here. Fancy saddling up a couple of captured ’Mechs for a wee walk?”
    Carson grins. “Sounds good to me. Oliver?”
    “When do we leave?”

    “Hey, you. You okay?” Valentine Tyler speaks into his visphone and listens intently for a few seconds before replying. “Don’t worry, it’s all okay. I’m on my way. Stay there. Be with you in a moment.”

    “Stars above,” Amber Tyler nudges her brother’s forehead with her sock-clad foot. “I’d forgotten just how much you fracking snore.”
    Liam wakes up with a start.
    “Amber?” He looks up from the far end of their father’s bed. It’s like they’re kids again, topping and tailing on a transport bunk somewhere between systems.
    “Where’s Lucy?”
    He shrugs. “I seem to remember Uncle Del coming round earlier to take her out for a walk and a squat. I remember feeding her in the wee small hours.”
    “Where’s Dad?”
    “Last time I saw him, he was on his way to see Mike,” admits Liam. “Don’t worry. He left all his guns behind.
    “More importantly, how are you doing, Amber?”
    “Not good,” she admits honestly. “I keep seeing that bastard Vulture coming after me every time I close my eyes. We got any beer? I feel like getting really fucking drunk.”
    “Amber? We’re in Dad’s cabin,” he grins at her warmly. “Of course we’ve got beer. It’s like a booze singularity in here.”
    “Good,” she smiles weakly back at him. “I want to get trashed with my brother and listen to some of Dad’s crappy old music files.”
    “Now you’re starting to sound more like you.”
    “Beer, now,” she snaps her fingers at him. “I’m gonna text Dad to let him know we’re drinking up all his booze.”

    The door opens and Tyler bursts into the stateroom. He looks feverishly around his daughter’s quarters. “Ingrid?”
    “Up here. Where I woke up,” comes a very tiny voice from the top bunk.
    “Did you find everything okay?”
    “Neg. I am isorla. And very frightened! Why are you being so kind to me? You are Warrior caste!”
    He rubs at the stubble on his chin, thinks of Amber, and lets out a sigh.
    “I’m just a tired old man, worrying about two pretty young women who have just experienced life changing events. My son is looking after my daughter and I came here to see if I could help you.”
    “I am scared, Valentine! You should have struck me several times for speaking out of turn!” Ingrid sobs, as she buries her face in her hands.
    “Oh, frack that horseshit,” he says irritably as he climbs up to sit on the bunk next to her. He wraps his arm around her shoulders. “I told you already: I’ve never liked bullies.”
    Ingrid’s body is starting to wrack and twist with distress and the tears are flowing freely. The enormity of it all is starting to hit the girl.
    “You’re under my protection now,” he tells her quietly. “I will not allow anybody to hurt you. They’ll have to answer to me, Amber or Liam before they get close to you. They’ll have to get through Del, Grizz and Adele before they meet us.”
    “I am lost, Valentine...”
    “No, you’re not, Ingrid. You’re found.” He smiles as he rocks her, ever so gently. “You’re found.”
    The tension and anxiety seem to flow out of the young woman in his arms and he feels her physically relax against him. Within a few, fitful minutes, the teenager is fast asleep, holding onto his wrist.

    The battle site does not look any better in the early morning light. Between the sprawled, wrecked heaps of machines like the King Crab, and the upright, deactivated ’Mechs like the Loki, the landscape is a miserable shot-torn shambles.
    “That Archer is in a right old state, but it can still walk,” Cameron says to the three MechWarriors with him. He nods at the big 70-ton machine that is missing its entire left arm and all of the heavy armour protecting the Doombud LRM-20 in its left torso. “Which one of you wants to take that?”
    Oliver shrugs. “I shall, Cameron.”
    “Good lad,” Cameron says and hands him a bulky duffel bag from the flatbed truck’s cab. “Once you’ve got it running, stay put. Malky and Krysta will escort you back to the DropShips. Don’t want you getting blasted to bits just because you’re driving a Falcon machine.”
    The former Smoke Jaguar nods. “Understood.”
    As Oliver sets off on foot towards the stationary Archer, Cameron turns back to Rosannah and Carson.
    “There’s a Stinger over that way I want moved as well. I’d like you to handle that, Rosannah; you’re a light ’Mech pilot. I’ll drive you over there in a minute.”
    “Very good, Cameron.”
    “Which machine am I taking?”
    Cameron Mackenzie shrugs. “Which machine would you like, Carson?” He waves his hand at the two inactive Bombardiers nearby. “They’re both a bit chewed up, but their internal systems seem fine.”
    “Not the Hellbringer over there?”
    “Which one is that?”
    Carson points at an abandoned OmniMech just visible past a copse of trees. “That one.”
    “Oh. The one we call a Loki.” Cameron shakes his head. “No. The pilot ejected from that one. The cockpit is a complete loss.”
    Carson nods. “One of the Bombardiers it is, then.”
    “Right. Here you go.” Cameron pulls a second bag from the flatbed’s cab. “Coolant vest and a lightweight neurohelmet; the exact same stuff I gave Oliver just now. Enough for you to get that thing up on its feet.” He looks at Carson and Rosannah both. “When you get your machines on line, walk them over to join Oliver. I want you all going back together, with the escorts.”

    “Gyro, engine, heat sinks... Totally wasted. They really gave it a going-over. The only things holding this pile of junk together are fresh air and wishful thinking,” says The Bomb.
    Examining the mangled hulk of the Vulture, Angelica has to agree. “The arms can be salvaged,” she points out. “The lasers all seem to be intact.”
    Jacqui Chiang nods slowly. “They’re modular pods, aren’t they?”
    “They are. We could fit them into one of the Omnis we have.”
    “Okay, we’ll take the arms off; forget the rest of the thing. It’s way beyond screwed.”
    The two women pause in their inspection as the overlapping sounds of BattleMechs in motion reach them from the middle distance. Shading her eyes with one hand, The Bomb watches as three of the more-or-less operating Falcon machines move into formation with Malky’s Excalibur and Krysta’s Battle Hawk.
    “Fracking shame, that,” she says, half to herself.
    “Excuse me?”
    Jacqui waves her hand at the damaged Archer in the middle of the group. “That Archer there. It’s lost its left arm... just like that old pile of scrap from Jacobs’ base camp.”
    Angelica gives the big machine a closer look. “So it has... You were thinking of grafting an arm from the junked machine onto that one, correct?”
    The Bomb nods. “Yeah. So much for my bright ideas.”
    Her companion is giving the matter some thought. “Maybe not... The ’Mechs that were aboard the Iron Tower included an Archer. They had a considerable amount of spare parts and equipment for them. Perhaps there is a spare arm we can use.”
    “That’s right! When we get back to Camelot, we’ll go digging, you and me.”

    “When were you going to tell me?”
    Juno looks up from the packed lunches she is in the middle of preparing in the Lodestar’s galley, a little surprised. Standing on the other side of the counter is Silver, her hands jammed into the pockets of her jacket.
    “Tell you about... what?”
    Silver shrugs as if it is obvious. “You and Monique, of course.”
    Juno sets down the knife she has been using to cut sandwiches. “I... I do not know, Silver. I felt awkward. I did not know...” She trails off.
    “You did not know how I would take it?”
    “Aff.”
    Silver takes her hands out of her pockets and sits down on one of the counter stools that is bolted to the decking. She regards her sib with something like fond exasperation on her face. “You really are your own worst enemy, you know that, Juno?”
    Juno gives her an embarrassed shrug. “The strictures against relationships with those of the lower castes...”
    “Don’t apply any longer. Not to us. We are not of the Smoke Jaguars now.” The unexpected contraction in Silver’s retort makes Juno shiver in reflexive unease. Her sib is quiet for a beat. “Juno?”
    “Silver?”
    “Just answer me this: does Monique make you happy?”
    Of all the questions Silver could have asked her, Juno did not expect this. She nods, then feels that she has to say something. “She does, Silver. She... When I wake up in the night, afraid, she is there for me. Always. She holds me until I can sleep again.”
    Silver leans across the counter and lays her hand over Juno’s. She knows just how much that admission cost her. “That is all I need to know, sib. I am glad for you. Glad for you both.”
    “Thank you.” Juno reaches up to wipe at her eyes with her free hand. She manages a smile. “Monique has spoken of... of formalising our relationship, when our tour at Camelot is over.”
    “You mean marriage?” Silver grins at Juno’s look of surprise. “I have been reading books, sib. Would you like me to stand with you when the time comes?”

    Still feeling awkward with her injured arm bound up in a sling, Yesukai manages to keep her reflexive shudder of distaste hidden as she rides the turbolift car down to the Lodestar’s primary ’Mech bay. Next to her are two of Brigitte’s freebirth underlings, a male and a female. She cannot recall their names, and she finds herself trying not to stare at the lurid tattoo the female sports on her face; it surrounds her left eye like a massive bruise.
    “The Black Buck is three-quarters full,” the woman is saying to her comrade. “We had to reorganise some stuff when Bish asked us to load that pile of Uller body parts aboard.”
    “Do what you can, Rainy. We may have to leave some stuff behind.” The man shrugs. “It sucks, but there it is.”
    ‘Rainy’ nods. “Something we are not leaving behind is all that fancy repair gear for Toad suits. That’s packed aboard the Snow Leopard right now.”
    “Good to know.”
    The turbolift halts at that point and the doors open. ‘Rainy’ follows the man out, and Yesukai trails them both. She glances from side to side, feeling very much out of place. Everyone she can see in the ’Mech bay is busy with something or other: reloading ammunition bins, making repairs to damaged armour plating, or carrying out routine maintenance.
    She, on the other hand, has nothing to do. After Brigitte scrounged up some spare clothing for her to wear in place of her ruined coolant gear and combat footgear, she had taken Yesukai to a double-occupancy cabin. She had told the injured Jade Falcon that this was her berth, before she had been called away on some urgent matter.
    Right now, Yesukai feels utterly useless. Her forearm aches inside its cast, as if it has been listening to her. She scowls at the reminder of weakness. Perhaps she can do very little with only one good arm, but she really should not be standing idle. It reflects badly on the woman who has claimed her as property.
    “Ben? Got a minute?” The voice snaps her out of her ruminations. The man with ‘Rainy’ has stopped and is talking to a Tech who has stepped away from a powered cart loaded with repair gear.
    Taking a closer look at the dark-skinned man speaking to ‘Ben’, Yesukai notices the crude-looking things he wears over his eyes. Freebirth devices called ‘glasses’. She has seen several of the citizens of Persistence with them, and they just seem to emphasise the inferiority of Spheroids compared to Clansmen.
    She turns away and walks across the floor of the bay, mindful of the work going on around her. Brigitte would no doubt react with great anger if she were clumsy enough to injure herself again, or interfere with the Techs as they work...
16 - Burdens of Command
A lull in the gunfire gives the Norns a moment to catch their breath...
Loading...
I've been ably assisted all the way with the Norns stories, and now it's only fair that I hand over the keyboard to my partner-in-crime, Rob...

              Hey, guys! It's Rob Price here. First and foremost, a big and bad-assed shout out to you fella's who've taken the Norns into your hearts and your minds! Despite what Chris tells you, it's him that has done most of the leg work with our little MechWarrior fables. I write stuff when I get the time, which ain't often at the moment!

            We do game all our battles, and it's me playing the Norns.We stop after each round to note down who has hit whom, take a slurp of beer and chuckle about some of the crazy tactics we're trying on each other. Problem is, at the moment, I'm working 6 days out of every 7. Which is a bitch. Volume 6 is proving to be problematic but Chris and I have written a ton of stuff for it! It's up to the Master Editor (Nuclear Fridge) to edit the frack out of it.

            He'll do it. He's Chris. He sorts out my cracked ideas.

            One thing I've only just realised upon re-reading "Reaction Time" again and we'd both missed it was at the start when Ingrid hears 'someone howling in agony' was obviously Val at work with his combat knife on the guy who hit him with the hand flamer. How the heck did we miss that one? I'll leave it you fella's to work out where Tyler stuck the blade in! 

            Anyways, couple of questions for you guys...


            Popandchips: Thanks for your replies dude! Gotta ask you a question. I seem to remember Chris telling me that you're ex-Navy, like me. Or did I imagine it? Love your comment about 'Point Commander Corpse'! Top man!

            DBrentOGara: You, Sir, are a gentleman. You've fallen in love with Ingrid as much as I have! And, yes, to answer your question, Ingrid and Valentine will have a lot more screen time together. Frack, I'd invented Ingrid and the whole Clan Tyler. I think you'll like the episode of "Clan Spaniel". And "Dakota". And "Fall from the deep". And "Trading day". Think I may have used too many ands... 

            DrOfDemonology: First contact. Chris speaks highly of you, dude. Wait until you read Val and Adele's exchange at the start of 'Persistence at Rest'. Think you'll like it brother! It's not often I can get Chris laughing at something I've written!

            Hope you got the e mail from Chris regarding the moment back in the nineties when Tyler finally came into focus for me. I literally had three things: a surname, a Crusader and a Sternsnacht. Then the mean old bald bastard broke through the fourth wall and has been getting me into more scrapes than I care to mention...

            The-Colonel-382: "Bore da" (Welsh for good morning as I'm writing this at 00.15 hours). Like you, buddy, Yesukai's reaction in "Highlander Fling" left me actually stunned. Chris, as is his wont, smiled at me and told me that he'd written something that 'might catch me off guard'. My jaw literally hit the keyboard when I read that!

             Oh, and like you, I'm always drawn to the characters that seem to be bouncing along rock bottom with no obvious chance of redemption. Yesukai's path ain't going to be easy is all I'm saying 'cos I've just seen some bits Chris has written...

             To everybody who has read the continuing (mis)adventures of the Norns, thanks a lot from both of us in Wales that seems to have been transported into the Arctic circle!

            P.S. One of you has got it right about who 'liberates' something very big!

            P.P.S. Take care guys. Respect.

deviantID

Nuclear-Fridge
Chris Price
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United Kingdom
Interests

Journal History

Groups

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:icondrofdemonology:
DrOfDemonology Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  Professional Writer
Many thanks for the points, mate! :handshake:
Reply
:iconnuclear-fridge:
Nuclear-Fridge Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As a certain fellow would say: no problem!
Reply
:icondrofdemonology:
DrOfDemonology Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018  Professional Writer
Happy New Year!  Party 
Reply
:iconbradgb:
BradGB Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2018
Happy new year :)
Reply
:icondrofdemonology:
DrOfDemonology Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2017  Professional Writer
Just to say hi :D

Harebell Broomstick Emoticon by DrOfDemonology
Reply
:iconnuclear-fridge:
Nuclear-Fridge Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi right back! ;)

Stay tuned... things are about to get a bit sticky for Brigitte and company!
Reply
:iconmartymartyr1:
MartyMartyr1 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reply
:iconnuclear-fridge:
Nuclear-Fridge Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for accepting me! :D
Reply
:iconlaspe:
Laspe Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch!
Reply
:iconnuclear-fridge:
Nuclear-Fridge Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! You're welcome! ;)
Reply
Add a Comment: