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Author Topic: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I  (Read 3919 times)

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #30 on: 09 April 2020, 12:32:13 »
                                                                                                             Leverage
       Spaceman and Rabbit had been assigned to watch some of Katherine’s officials. In this case, two wealthy upper class men, who fancied themselves to be great generals. These two were outside of the pair’s usual hunting grounds. Rabbit disproved of shifting to the unfamiliar terrain. Spaceman was glad to have new places to go, fresh smells to sniff and new mud to crawl in. Or at least he would have had they not been in a sprawling glass and concrete jungle, no mud for them there, just smog.

       After four days of tentative snooping, exploring and sleuthing, Spaceman and Rabbit learned that their targets were planning on hiring a large mercenary command onto Kathrine’s payroll. The loyalist Force in the area would not be able to handle that much firepower. They had to keep this from happening, and they diligently passed their findings up the  chain of command.

       The oh so high command had decided, this must prevented by capturing the two men for interrogation. During their business meeting with the mercenaries. It was even mentioned in the briefing they may try to kill the mercenary’s leaders, cut the head off the snake. Rabbit was able to understand that much of the logic. He felt kind of bad for doing that to the mercenaries, they weren’t on one side or another, they just needed paying. But as Spaceman put it, “business is business, and sometimes business is bad.” Rabbit worried it would make this a personal matter and get the mercs involved with or without payment, but The Rodents had their orders.

       After the two objectives were identified, Rabbit failed to understand high commands mission plan. Rabbit figured a couple well-placed snipers and some infiltrated “janitors” would be able to handle the situation, quickly, quietly, covertly, and with minimal resources or potential losses. But that wasn’t command’s plan. They had a whole Battalion of heavily armored mechanized shock troopers, and their company of tracked A.P.C.s. They even had a VTOL gunship, and they still wanted Spaceman and Rabbit to lead the “assault”.

       The plan was for the Battalion of shock troopers, all nine platoons, and their vehicles, nine A.P.C.s one for each platoon, plus a specially equipped medical vehicle and two medium tanks were to roll into the city. They would split into two groups, the tanks and five of the nine A.P.C.s and their corresponding infantry platoons were to launch an attack. The mercenaries at the space port had no contract and could not attack, be attacked, or face war crime charges for one or both sides, but there was a Garrison of those who flew the colors of the traitor, Kathrine.

        Weak though it was, that’s who this attack was to be directed at. The Davion commanders were hoping their units could move fast enough to attack the garrison force before they could deploy any of their heavy firepower. They had a full lance of mechs, and while each was weaker than the Main battle tanks the shock troopers had brought, their combined firepower was far more. The goal there was to use the tanks to smash through the electrified chain link fences for the compound and have the shock troopers secure the battle mechs before they could be deployed, Kathrine's forces had only a single platoon of regulars there that worked in shifts, broken down by squads to guard the hangar and patrol the compound, so provided they could do it fast enough, the attack group should have little to no resistance. The remaining four A.P.C.s and their troops plus the medical vehicle were to simultaneously converge on the 20 story building where the meeting was taking place. 4th platoon was to deploy into the streets and split into squads, one squad would secure each corner of the building, surrounding it either with people or fields of fire, cutting off avenues of escape.

       Then the entire first company was to pour through the two larger doors into the ground floor of the building. With the ground floor secured, the third platoon would remain there to hold the exits open, the first platoon would then break up into squads. Each twenty-eight man platoon was further divided into four seven-man squads. Each squad was then split into two teams. First and second squads would take the two sets of elevators straight to the top, the twentieth floor where the business deal was going down. Squads three and four would then split between the two staircases and ascend the building manually. They were to stop, sweep and clear each floor as they went up. Clearing the building of hostiles, and if the elevators were stopped and, or the power cut then they are to either rescue first and second squads or capture the targets. The second platoon would sit in the lobby with the third platoon, as a reserve. From there they could either hold the ground floor, or go outside to help fourth platoon fight off enemy reinforcements as they sat guarding the vehicles. Or use some of the other elevators or rush up the stairs to assist the first platoon in clearing the building and or securing the “packages”. Rabbit and Spaceman were to ride in one of the compartments of the medical vehicle and ride with the troops in the elevators. This effectively turned the seven-man first squad from a three-man fire team and a four-man assault team to a five-man fire team and a four-man assault team. The VTOL was to destroy the private helicopter on the roof so no one could escape that way and keep the air space clear for the shock troopers. If things went really sideways it way also slated to evacuate the first platoon from the roof.  But there wasn’t room for Spaceman and Rabbit or the targets, so they would have to escape by strapping their bound and gagged prizes to themselves and repelling down the sides of the building, back to the vehicles and escape with second, third and fourth platoons, if it got to that.

       Spaceman and Rabbit sat in the darkened bay of the medical truck. Rabbit complained of how pointless urban camouflage was, and longed for their currently unused bush-like camo suits, and the proper environment to use them in. Then he cursed the millitary's stupid planning. Spaceman grumbled about the failures of their government that were imminent because no one listens to his specific advice. As they bitched and moaned, they checked their equipment, made sure their boots were tied, their blood types displayed in three locations, all their magazines loaded and their weapons ready, gas masks handy, night vision goggles ready, charged batteries in their flashlights and the red dots on their rifles. Made sure their double-action sidearms were set to single action and then sat in silence as the big diesel engine of the armored medical truck grumbled under them. The vibrations of the tree-sized driveshaft could be felt through the floor of the inverted pentagon-shaped hull the pair were trapped in. They hoped to return to and leave in this vehicle without needing the attention of the three young men who shared the space with them. The wore more urban camo, military scrubs and were proud of their budding mustaches.

        The larger half of the convoy split off as they entered the city. Spaceman and Rabbit were very nervous as they rolled in. What if the mechs were already active and patrolling, not down and cold as their commander’s planned on them being? Who was going to confirm that, or would they not even know until contact was made? The smaller half of the convoy made its way to the target building. After the longest five minutes of their lives, the A.P.C.s were in position, the doors dropped down and the men poured out. Still, the rodents hated this. Running such a large operation, running it on someone else terms, according to some one else's plans. Working with men they didn’t know the names of, much less if they could rely on their steadfastness. Was to big, to diluted feeling for their liking.

       The fourth platoon spread out, forming the perimeter as planned. Second and third platoons stacked up on the doors and soon had them smashed in and were charging inside. First platoon sat in cover behind the vehicles with Spaceman and Rabbit amongst their number. They looked to each other, their eyes asking “Why are we even here for this?” without having to share a word. After just Longer than twenty-five seconds, the second platoon gave them the all-clear. The shock troopers and the rogues rushed the building together. Spaceman and Rabbit were lead to the elevators by the first squad, the second squad went to the elevators on the other side of the main lobby. There had been no resistance, there was a hand full of civilians cuffed gagged and on the floor. Third and fourth squads came through the South doors and made for the stairs as the doors to the elevator closed in front of Spaceman and Rabbit. Spaceman was still unsure whether he would want to climb all those stairs or risk someone cutting the cables and dropping their elevator down the shaft.

       The main security office to the building which was home to a dozen armed staff was on the eighteenth floor, just below the board room and executive suites. If the elevators made it all the way to the top, they would not have long to secure the Steiner Generals and get a move on, if the elevators didn’t make it up, then they would have to fight their way through the guard station first. Spaceman preferred this, having bad guys between you and your way out were a big no, no in his book.

       The elevator jerked and they started moving up. The floors fell away more slowly than either of them expected they exchanged surprised glances with each other behind the wall of stinking, sweaty, shock trooper that was casting shadows over them and filling the elevator with oppressive silence, at least until someone grunted loudly and passed gas. Then there were thirty seconds of gratuitous cursing. Rabbit put his gas mask on. The guilty trooper vowed to never eat scrambled eggs before a mission again.

       The elevators jerked violently to a stop between the twelfth and thirteenth floors. Someone somewhere knew something was up, now the prank was over and the game was afoot. Spaceman and Rabbit exchanged glances and then chambered their rifles.

       One of the shock troopers stretched and reached up. He opened the emergency hatch in the roof of the elevator. Then he dropped to a knee and cupped his hands. The three other squad members then stepped from his hands to his shoulders and climbed out of the elevator. Spaceman and Rabbit followed and then turned as he lifted his arms, together the pair managed to lift the three hundred pounds of armored soldier through the hatch. The group now standing on the roof of the elevator had to figure out how to pry the doors open from the inside, the doors were also only waist-high. It took nearly three minutes and some chattering on the radio to figure out how, but they managed. Spaceman and Rabbit took a knee near the far wall and covered the door as the three riflemen dropped to their bellies and crawled through the gap feet first, eventually dropping them onto the floor of the twelfth floor. Spaceman and Rabbit fallowed the shock troopers out, then via radio discovered that the rest of the squad, having only four men in their lift instead of five had gone slightly faster and was now on the thirteenth floor, while they were still on the twelfth.

       “Fabulous” Rabbit complained, “Were already divided, now we’re just waiting to be conquered.”  First squad’s assault team and the whole of second squad were unfortunately on the floor above them. With a quick bit of radio chatter third and fourth squads were to leave the third floor where they were, because they had already swept and cleared the second floor, and join up with them. Second platoon would move from it’s loitering position to finish sweeping the floors of the building as first platoon tried to put itself back together.

       Their fire team was to meet up with the rest of their squad, plus second squad on the floor above, as they waited for those units would sweep and clear level thirteen while they waited. Now they just had to find a way up to the next floor, third and fourth squads were on the way up too. Once the thirteenth floor was secured they were to sweep and clear fourteen fifteen sixteen and seventeen as the rest of the platoon caught up. Then they would able to link up and push through the nearly platoon strength security force on the eighteenth floor. Those two squads, the poor men had a lot of stairs to cover. So now, the five of men including Spaceman and Rabbit had to find the stairs, which as memory served, having reviewed building blueprints there were sets of stairs on both north and south walls of the building with the elevators on the east and west walls. It was decided they would head to the north wall’s staircase.

       After a few sweaty minutes, they were all regrouped, and they had the thirteenth floor cleared, together the two squads, one for each staircase went up to the next floor. Levels fourteen, fifteen and sixteen went by without incident. The rest of the first platoon met up with the Rodents, and after giving them a minute’s time to catch their breath the entire platoon cleared the seventeen floor together. By this time Second platoon had cleared three four, five, six, seven, eight and were working on sweeping the ninth floor.

       They weren’t sure what to expect from the security station other then they knew it was going to be a gunfight. The men were stacked up by the doors at the elevators. The troopers carefully cracked the door open and tossed flash grenades down opposite ends of the main hallway. The squads poured out of the doors and into the hallways. They broke into their respective fire teams, taking positions in doorways on either side of the hall, the assault team teams went through the doors and secured the rooms.

       The two rooms on the West side of the building were an interrogation room and a large open holding cell, both empty. The two on the East side of the building were a small armory and a room full of t.v. screens with displays from all the cameras. Those were also both empty. As the fire teams were returning to the hallway the trap was sprung. Two groups of the local security force members attacked. The Shock troopers and their advisers were caught off guard, each of the two groups was approximately squad strength when compared to the shock troopers. The men officially sanctioned soldiers dove into the doorways, spilling into the rooms the assault teams were trying to come out of, it made quite the traffic jam. Spaceman and Rabbit were left in the open in the hall as the bullets started to fly. The pair dove behind the security desk that was in front of the elevators a few paces down the hall.

       They had trapped the men inside those rooms, mitigating their superior numbers and firepower. Not bad planning on the part of the security team Rabbit was willing to admit to himself. The shock troopers, and the rodents all had suppressors on their weapons. The security forces were armed with pistols and sub-machine guns, and due to their lower budget, they had no silencers. The thunder of their shots rolled down the hallways and was painfully loud. The men collectively decreased the gain on their noise canceling head sets. The fully automatic weapons fired so fast that as the sound waves of the first shot were meeting Rabbit’s delicate ears the sound waves from the second shot were already leaving their point of origin.

       The sub-machine guns chattered, and the pistols popped loudly. The shock troopers returned fire as best they could. Spaceman threw the chair from behind the desk out into the walkway to make more room for both of them behind it. Fortunately, it was a big heavy wooden desk, and it had only a small gap above the floor, making it hard for rounds to skip off the floor and hit them. 

       The shock troopers shuffled around in the doorways, rearranging themselves so the men armed with the light machine guns were in the doorways. Their high capacity weapons soon filled the hallways. The thunder of their firing, even with suppressors was overpowering. Several of the opposing private security officers were felled by these big guns. One of the troopers was hit. Two pistol rounds clipped him in the bicep and shoulder, he would have two big nasty bruises, but because of the head to the heavy armor they all wore, he was almost un-phased. He just cursed a little louder and shot a little more.

       One of the windows at the end of the hall took a hit and shattered. The glinting bits of glass tumbled away to the street below, raining down amongst fourth platoon who still sat outside with the vehicles. The breeze came in. it was cold and very fast, there was more wind now that they were a couple of hundred feet off the ground, and didn’t have all the buildings in the city screening them from it.

       The gunfight continued. Spaceman and Rabbit through the din herd some thumps. Some banging and some crashing. After a few seconds, there were some short bursts of silenced automatic weapons fire. The security forces at the ends of the hall let out a quick shout, and then there was silence. After a pause, the assault teams of the various squads came down the hallway. They had smug grins on their faces behind the armor of their visors. They had avoided the hall, by smashing through the walls of the various rooms and outflanked the security forces at the ends of the hall, while the light machine guns kept them distracted. Spaceman and Rabbit hadn’t even realized what was going on until it was over, then as the troopers returned the pair could see the insulation and sheetrock dust on their armor, and upon sticking their head through the doorways they could see the new 'doorways', the troopers had made, each roughly four foot by two foot bored through the rooms, making it appear almost like a pair of tunnels, running the length of the building, parallel to the hallway. The Platoon led the pair back to the stairs and was soon trekking up them to the next floor. By now the second platoon had cleared more of the floors and was now securing the twelfth floor that the fire team and the Rodents had rushed through. When they were done, they would return to the ground floor if not needed at the top.

       The biggest worry was that not all of the security forces had been there. Two-thirds of them had. So the platoon leader surmised to Spaceman and Rabbit that the defense force had split themselves into three equal groups, leaving two there to ambush them and the third group was likely with the officials on the top floor.

       They pushed through the nineteenth level uneventfully. Then came out the stairs on to the twentieth floor, and through the small lobby and past the assistant’s desk to the board room. Who knew what was behind the door, first and second squads stacked up and readied.

       With a nod and some rapid hand gestures, the two men in front leaned down, lunged hard and put their shoulders into the doors. They were forced open with a pop and swung out rapidly banging had on the walls beyond them.

   The two officials they were after were already diving from their chairs. Three men, in odd, mismatched uniforms assumedly the mercenaries got their hands in the sky real quick as the doors sprung open. The rest of the security team was waiting inside just as the platoon leader had figured. Their submachine guns readied. Someone somewhere set off another set of flash grenades. The two generals caught the full blast of the charges. The millions of candle watts of brightness and hundreds of decibels of sound left them blind and deaf. They both fell backwards, smashing into the chairs around the big conference table. The Security guards recovered quickly though. They fired with their sub-machine guns. They must have been loaded with some sort of saboted armor-piercing rounds. They cut through the thick body armor of the shock troopers. The assault teams from first and second squads were felled in the opening salvo. The fire teams who were coming through the doors after the assault team was able to return fire. The belted light machine guns again returned fire. Taking out some of the guards. The troopers were forced into cover behind the deep richly colored conference table. They cuffed and secured the two generals who were still clutching their ringing ears. Third and fourth squads came through the doors too. Adding their gunfire to the fray.

   Several of the security officers went down. Two remained, both on the left side of the room, their rapid-fire machine guns kept the shock troopers pinned under the table with the now cuffed and gagged 'generals'. The gunfire went thru the doors, down the hall and prevented reinforcements from coming to help. Fortunately the security officers were dumb enough to only fire through the open doorway. Spaceman put his gloved fist through the wall and with the six-inch diameter whole was able to shoot through it and kill the two remaining security officers. The targets were collected, thrown over shoulders and carried to the elevators. In the craziness, the three mercenary representatives managed to disappear. No bodies, no blood no trace was found beyond the tipped over chairs. Almost an hour was spend looking for them, or a hidden safe room or an escape hatch, but no luck. For fear of retribution the shock troopers, with captives and rodents in tow returned to the elevators. The armored men stood about in stoic silence as they rode back down.

   Without another word the teams returned to the vehicles, the men loaded up and with the two captives sitting cross-legged on the floor held at gunpoint the vehicles rolled out. Leaving the city without incident.  That night back at their base, the shock troopers still with with Spaceman and Rabbit collectively raised their bottles of standard-issue military beer to those who had fallen, the night was silent, the entire company sat in silence, all in one room, all together, all tipping back a long neck, all in remembrance of those they had lost. Their fallen brothers who had given everything to capture these two bargaining chips, they had died for nothing but leverage.
-Chace A. Randolph

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #31 on: 17 April 2020, 15:30:08 »
                                                                            Death to all but Metal

       The parts of the local government that were still loyal to house Davion and the local commander, someone who was barely a general had called on Spaceman and Rabbit, yanking the thin leash that still linked them to the military’s command structure. Dragging them into his posh office where they were offered coffee by a civilian secretary. Rabbit was a lightweight and couldn't handle his caffeine and Spaceman had already had his limit for the day, so they declined politely, mostly. The secretary was dismissed outside the office so they could discuss classified material without the worry of her eavesdropping.
Two small men with glasses came into the office through a small door tucked into the back corner of the office, both had shifty eyes, and intelligence insignia on their polo shirts. One carried an easel over his shoulder. 

       The officers then proceeded to provide a long briefing with lots of big words. Spaceman and Rabbit nodded and waved their hands for the two to intelligence officers to proceed from time to time, shaking their heads when asked if they had questions. Never understanding a word of it. The Rodents had been on their own for a long time, getting the results they desired from the targets they picked. When targets and objectives were assigned to them by someone who ‘knew better’ it never turned out as good as they hoped. They were eventually thanked for their service, handed packets of paper and shoved out the door. Spaceman tried to make a conversation with the secretary as she passed them in the hall as she returned to her desk. She ignored the pair of unshaven privateers.

       They returned to their low cost, slightly dingy motel room where they were hiding under fake names with government-issued credit cards. They took turns cleaning and prepping weapons and gear. Skimming through the folders given to them. When they had both read the provided documents and readied all their gear they ate the canned chili beans and soggy premade cornbread they had on hand and slept, in shifts as they always did.

       Come the next morning they re-read the dossiers again. Slowly, carefully. They studied and memorized, because this was a test, and their lives did depend on it. Their understanding slowly grew and coalesced until the could recall the reports from memory. Why the wording of the briefing from the intelligence officers had to be so complex and convoluted was unknown to the two, but after reading the files they finally had come to an understanding of what was being asked of them.

       The cities local police force was split, politically divided. Some members being paid by Katherine and her operatives. Other’s kept their oaths under the original offices they had taken up. These turncoat cops were making life in the city rather miserable. It seemed they were specifically targeting those who were known to still be loyalists. Generally causing trouble sowing fear and making life difficult. Almost enforcing their own set of laws rather then what had been laid out for the populace prior. They were getting in the way, had already been threatening the Loyalist government personnel. They wouldn’t budge when asked nicely. They wouldn’t do what they were supposed to. Now, the gloves were coming off, they couldn’t play nice anymore. The traitors were being paid well and they still maintained an air of deniability even though word of their corruption had gotten out.
 
       House Davion was losing its patience and could not afford this sort of harassment and demoralization especial within their own ranks, but they also had their hands tied without physical proof of half the police’s corruption, to sweep the matter under the rug Spaceman and Rabbit were to take the corrupted officials out, all at once, all in one fell swoop this was the kind of nasty stuff that made even the rodents cringe a little. The plan was left mostly up to the pair, so long as it was done discreetly, and there was no evidence pointing towards the specific involvement of any party.

       They planned it that night, digging through city records and staying up late, even ordering food delivery, twice. Rabbit, using his experience with radios and electronics was going to use some “borrowed” equipment and break the decryption system on the local law enforcement’s short-range personal radios. He would use them to call all the corrupted officers back to their station and get the few remaining clean guys out of the station. Then he would use a different set of borrowed equipment to hack into the fiber optic line that a local radio station used. Where he could adjust the broadcast frequency and the encryption code to broadcast the high power signal on the same frequency as the short-range radios and fill them with his collection of overpowering metal music, a whiteout. No one would be heard over it. Meanwhile, Spaceman was going to sneak onto the local base, steal ammo, what ever the could get their hands on so the military wouldn’t even know what it was being used for, they could rightfully claim it was stolen and missing. Then with some weapons purchased locally, they would attack. Once Spaceman returned with the weapons and ammo they would head to the station, Spaceman would enter the building with weapons concealed and provide a distraction, Rabbit would be outside the building and cut its fiber-optic and hard phone lines so no one could use computers or phones to call for help or back up. Once the communications were cut Rabbit would enter and he and Spaceman would take care of business.

       It took two days for Rabbit to figure out the frequencies and the encryption using the civilian grade equipment he had acquired from the local hardware and appliance stores. Long nights and much frustration on his part were required for all the electronics to be dealt with. In the meantime, Spaceman had provided locally sourced weapons and was in place with a stripped-down shotgun and a high capacity pistol hidden inside his baggy jeans while already inside the police station.

       Rabbit cut the hard lines and had a high caliber revolver, stolen body armor, and a small semi-auto carbine, he was poised at the station's back door, ready to pounce. He had to move fast before their victims were able to react to the security cameras, but he had to wait long enough to make sure the cameras saw him, and his civilian grade weapons and lack of military uniform. Timing was critical for this to both be deniable and still have the desired effect on their targets. After a short pause as the cameras in the parking lot full of squad cars panned around, he made his move.

       Rabbit used the remote control he had for his radio jammer system and cranked the output first to the right radio frequency, then piggybacked onto the existing carrier wave and broadcast his signal over the top of it. Cranking up the amplitude so his death metal thundered full blast. The thundering drums and hammering guitar solo could be heard even from outside the building. A few seconds later when the bass guitar and the vocals kicked in so did Rabbit. His heavy civilian snow boots smashed into the thick wooden door just next to the knob. He leaned his body forward as he thrust with his leg, adding the weight of his body to the muscle and momentum behind his kick. The wood of the frame split lateral from floor to ceiling and flew into the hallway beyond. The door swung open violently. The hall was empty. Rabbit fitted his gasmask and flipped the safety off on his rifle. He stepped forward the weight of the magazines unceremoniously stuffed into the thigh pockets of his cargo pants made running awkward, so instead he shuffled quickly the five paces down the hall to the first door. There was shouting and cursing that wasn’t his music coming from the radios inside the room. He kicked that door too.

       Inside was an overweight police sergeant cursing at his radio and computer. He looked up into Rabbit's gas mask, there was a second pause as they both looked at each other. The thinly mustached patrolmen voice the question “What the ******?” Rabbit recognized his face from the folder with the blacklist. He shouldered his weapon and fired the military’s steel core armor-piercing FMJ. The blasts were loud and left his ears ringing, the casings bounced off the wall and tumbled about Rabbit's feet. He foxed off seven rounds, the first five were all center mass, but as the recoil mounted and the muzzle climbed the other two passed over the man’s shoulder. He fell backward behind his desk, knocking his chair sideways its seat spinning very fast, but the fallen officer made no attempt to get up.

       Rabbit returned to the hall where three more officers were leaping from their offices into the hall screaming. “shots fired shots fired, armed suspect in the building” their radios still shouted curses into the air as the music’s guitars and distortion tried to overwhelm the vocalists' gravelly voice and the deep thumping bass tried to out loud the screeching guitars.

       Rabbit already had his rifle shouldered. He fired more shots. The first responder took two to the leg, and fell thumping his head on the tile floor on the way down, he was out cold his polymer frame pistol chattered across the hall floor. The second fired several shots, but his shaky hands or Rabbit’s luck whichever makes you feel better about it caused those bullets to miss. They slammed into the floor just inches from Rabbits toes, he fired and dropped the second, with three to the chest. The third in the hallway must have been a rookie because he was too busy shouting “officer down, officer down!” to shoot back, Rabbit hit him with a salvo to the chest and dropped his rifle back to the low ready.

       By now three more officers were thundering down the hallway towards Rabbit pistols drawn, one with a rifle in hand. They were shouting orders of “Stop”, “Drop the weapon” and “freeze” when one of them suddenly had his feet swept out from under him, the man running behind him tripped over him and fell too. The third that had been running on the other side of the hall skidded to a stop to help his clumsy conniving compatriots back to their feet. He turned and saw that they were not clumsy but had instead been tripped by the outstretched leg of Spaceman. That was all he ever saw because he then took a military nine pellet twelve gauge to the face. He slumped backwards and slid down the opposite wall of the hall, Spaceman cycled his pump and fired again taking the lower shin and foot of one of the still floored men. Rabbit got his rifle raised and plugged the two men on the floor as Spaceman cycled his pump again. They rendezvoused at the pile of bodies and pressed on past the now empty offices and overnight holding cells to the front half of the building which held the reception lobby and the doorway to the armory.

   The lobby was empty except for one man who was cuffed at the hands and feet. He had an eye swollen shut. His good eye was wide with fear.  Spaceman and Rabbit had a witness now, that they weren’t military just a couple crazed guys with some firepower and a hatred for cops. Then the lead started flying. A fully automatic assault rifle chewed the air as an officer in full riot armor stood in the doorway across the room. Spaceman and Rabbit dove in opposite directions.

   Spaceman recovered and fired two rapid shots from his scatter gun. Several of the pellets hit the rifle-wielding man but his thick armor stopped them. He disappeared back through the doorway.

   Two more officers stepped forward. They were not in heavy armor, but they too also had automatic rifles. They sprayed lead over the head of the cuffed man who was now in the fetal position in the middle of the tile floor. They hosed the room down with long continuous bursts when their rifles went empty Spaceman fired another shot from his shotgun catching both of them with the shot as it spread over the distance across the room. Neither officer was hit badly, but both had wounds to their forearms and biceps and were bleeding. Spaceman’s shotgun was now empty. He was fumbling around in the pockets of his jeans for the fistful of shells he had to reload with. Rabbit fired his rifle, riding his trigger’s reset carefully, quickly pumping ten rounds through the doorway. The armored officer returned and fired another burst of automatic weapons fire, his magazine went empty with an audible click as the bolt locked open. He dropped the magazine from his weapon and was pulling a fresh one from the pouches on his chest when Rabbit emerged from behind the water cooler and hit the armored man with a double-tap of armor-piercing rounds. The man flailed his arms about as he stumbled backwards and fell on the floor in the room beyond.
       Spaceman had finished feeding his shotgun and stood cycling the pump as Rabbit dropped back behind the water cooler performing a tactical reload. He dropped the mostly used magazine from the mag well and into his support hand, he tucked this into the belt of his pants and pulled one of the four other magazines he was carrying from the thigh pocket of his cargo pant and refilled his rifle with the fresh ammo source.

   The other two riflemen from in the room beyond returned, one fired, again spraying madly about the room as the other drug the fallen man from the middle of the floor to deeper into the room. Spaceman fired, the shell’s pellets hit the delinquent officer in the thigh, he fell to the floor, cursing. His rifle fell beside him, he drew his sidearm from it's plastic holster and started firing from the floor. One of the rounds hit the water jug of Rabbits water cooler. The high-velocity hollow-point introduced hydrostatic shock to the water jug. The round did not pass all the way through the jug but broke up inside its liquid contents. The shock of the impact split the side of the jug. This dumped more than three gallons of slightly chilled water onto Rabbit. Soaking him through.

   Spaceman fired and cycled again. The pellets caught the unarmored man who was lying on his right shoulder full in the chest. One struck his gun and shattered the pistol's plastic frame, one hit the knuckles of his left hand, leaving him short two fingers. The other pellets passed through his uniform, his pens and his digital voice recorder before stopping in his chest, keeping his shattered ribs and perforated lungs company. He lay on the floor gurgling. The screaming, dirty fuzz spit a long chain of curses at the two in the lobby.

   The man stuck the barrel of his rifle around the door frame and blindly fired into the room. His muzzle climbed quickly, most of his bullets found the ceiling as his magazine ran empty again. Rabbit slung his rifle, drew his hand cannon of a revolver and stood to leap forward and catch the man while he was still reloading, but he slipped on the water all over the floor and his feet when out from under him. He sat down hard and the wind was knocked from him.
The crooked law returned and was leveling his rifle on Rabbit who was sitting in the floor mere meters in front of him panting hard with his head rolling dazed on his shoulders, Spaceman fired from the hip hitting the shooter a second time. But the spread pattern did not immediately debilitating damage. Bleeding from multiple wounds the rookie cop lowered his rifle onto Rabbit. He squeezed his trigger and his weapon went click. Rabbit was still out of breath but he could now see clearly again as the water seeped into his pants and the cold tile floor and water on his butt brought Rabbit back to the task at hand. The cops flinch when the rifle dry fired was not lost on Rabbit, who with one hand raised the big revolver and fired off a single shot. The massive forty-four slug found the man’s sternum and split him open like a dropped melon.

   Rabbit stood slowly and stiffly as Spaceman finished cycling his pump having short shucked it the first time. He leaned back, rolling his hips forward, thrusting his pelvis out, avoiding his now bruised tailbone. The pair did a mental count of all they had slain and satisfied they had done their job they exited out the back door that Rabbit had kicked and were about to disappear into the shadows of the alley across the street to ditch their weapons and mount the stolen bicycles to make their getaway when Spaceman thrust and arm out and stopped Rabbit in his tracks. Then without saying a word he pointed to one of the patrol cars, neither had ever ridden in one, and both wanted to play with the lights and siren. That sounded like something the cop killing civilian lunatics they wanted this incident blamed on would do.

       They nodded to each other and silently shuffled into the machine, Spaceman behind the wheel, Rabbit turned on the police radio and cranked the volume, and his jam was still jammin’. With lights flashing and siren blaring they rushed away, pedal to the metal for three blocks, running two red lights in the process. Then they stopped the car at a gas station, left behind their long arms and stolen ammunition as they casually walked into the gas station, bought cheap sodas and with stupid grins and hands in their pockets walked down the street. They even managed to crane their head curiously with everyone else on the sidewalk as a half dozen police cars with lights rushed past going the opposite direction shortly afterwards.
-Chace A. Randolph

ThePW

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #32 on: 17 April 2020, 18:16:59 »
Still not convinced they are the good guys (but then again, Chaotic Neutral isn't anything Good alignment). Too bad we didn't get a Blues Brothers type chase outta this...

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #33 on: 29 April 2020, 15:09:22 »
                                   The curse of the full auto falling block
       Even if house Davion officially controlled the planet many of the local citizens still felt one way or the other about the civil war and its conflicts. They caused a little bit of ruckus about it. There was s small riot and some demonstrations in some of the towns. Most were handled by local law enforcement. Unfortunately, there was one case that hadn’t been dealt with.

       Some lunatic with a rifle was shooting everybody. Cops, the city clerk’s lawyers, anyone that wore a uniform or was obviously part of some government controlled organization. The Davion military was busy though, they hadn’t devoted any resources to the problem, and now with more than twenty dead and another dozen wounded Spaceman and Rabbit felt it was their civic duty to help deal with it.

       The pair arrived under the cover of darkness. It was a small town in the southern half of an ancient and dry lake bottom, about three thousand people called it home, they had one general store, three gas stations, which was about two too many, one little ice cream parlor, a couple mom and pop restaurants The public library was in sorry shape, and there were several rundown buildings with broken windows and sagging or leaking roofs. Some train tracks ran right through the heart of the town, it was little more than a bulge in the tracks if you looked it up on a map.

       On the south side of the tracks was the better part of town, the local schools, were there with a surprisingly successful highs school and beyond that and the city hall the town started to crawl up the side of the lake bed, the nicer houses, the better off people lived there, on the slope leading up to the rim of the empty bowl. On the North side of the tracks was the shady part of town. There the houses were old, and most of them needed painting, many with scruffy mutt breed dogs chained out in the front yard and leaky roofs and toothless old women on their porches peeling potatoes and smoking cigarettes. There was the public park just to the west of this almost trailer park-like suburb which had two baseball diamonds and two soccer fields that doubled as football fields plus a heavily graffitied and unkempt skate park, and about six miles further north of that, at the very bottom of the lake bed, was an airport, or at least it was marked as an airport on the maps but was really just two tin hangars and a cracked runway with a couple old fighter pilots chewing tobacco and swapping stories. Ten miles or so further down the tracks was a farm town, with many fields and to many churches, both towns had slowly spread out and had now started to grow together, where one stopped and the other started was getting harder and harder to define. 

       Spaceman and Rabbit walked across the track having followed the dirt road from the airport where they had arrived along with the bi-monthly shipment of mail and passed a used car lot, the only one in the town of course, but there it was. The pair stopped to eye an old and dented truck, it was mechanically sound, or so the sticker on its windshield said it was. Spaceman didn’t care whether it was or not, he was impressed by the diameter of its tires and displacement of its engine regardless of how many miles were on its odometer, he wanted to take it out into the dusty desert bottom of the ancient lake bed this town filled and see how far it would go before it got stuck. Rabbit tugged on his elbow and as they collected their duffel bags they came to the first of the cities two stoplights, they made a left turn and headed down Main Street, or it should have been Main Street but the sign identified it as Fourth Street.

       After another twenty minutes of walking and slipping down a couple back alleys, they arrived at the local police station, who was now short two of its twelve officers and one of its detectives.

       A large, tired and grumpy looking blond woman in uniform was behind the front desk and eyed them suspiciously when she didn’t recognize them as locals. She asked them their business. They asked politely to speak to the police chief then slid her a manila file with some papers. She looked them over in silence, opened the file skimmed it for thirty seconds before her eyes grew as big as dinner saucers, then quickly returned to normal size. She looked the two over again, and then adjusted her hair bun before informing them.

       “The chief is asleep right now, do you boys feel this is urgent enough to wake him at almost one in the morning, or can it wait?”

       Feeling that the sniper was unlikely to strike at night, and feeling that they wouldn’t be able to catch him at night either, they said it could wait until morning and instead asked if there was a place they could stay that was “under the radar” She directed them one of the two overnight cells, tossed them clean sheets and pillows, gave them the key to the cell so they couldn’t get locked in, told them to ignore poor old drunken tom in the cell next to them and bid them a good night.

       They collectively shrugged, figuring they had slept in worse places. They passed drunken Tom on the way to the indicated cell. He was stretched out on his cot, boots, dirty jeans with no knees and plaid shirt with only one button still on, one arm hung over the side, hand resting palm up on the floor the knuckles swollen with arthritis. He drooled out onto his unshaven cheek. Rabbit and Spaceman argued over who got top and who got the bottom bunk, neither wanting top Spaceman ended up on the bottom bunk and Rabbit drug the mattress off the top, found a spring protruding from it, flipped it over, and found a large odd colored stain on the other side, returned it to the side with the spring and flopped it on the floor along wall opposite form Spaceman, then they both slept their feet sore from thirteen miles of walking that evening and night, their duffel bags were tucked out of sight behind the toilet and its small privacy wall at the far end of the room.
Rabbit woke first, yawning he scratched himself. Then he rolled over and scratched some more. From his position on his belly, he stretched, did two quick pushups, and then stood to streatched some more. He was in an unusually good mood despite the accommodations he moved the duffel bags to safety and donned his boots. As he laced up his boots Spaceman woke on his bunk. He stood and scratched under his three-day beard. Rabbit greeted him in a comically bad accent.

“Good morning buddy!”

       Spaceman replied with a markedly better Russian accent “Hello comrade”
With that they unspoken agreed to use false accents on the locals, they didn’t need to particularly, but they could, and that was half the fun of it.

       The police chief arrived. He greeted the two wearily, eyeing them up and down, gauging them in these troubled times. Would they help him, would they be of use or were they going to be the trouble makers. He could tell from their demeanor and clothing that they were trouble makers and soon mulled over the decision on whether they were good or bad trouble makers. Handshakes were exchanged. He was given a portfolio. It contained only a few papers. They were military enlistment records and dispatches. With lots of heavy black lines blotting out close to a third of their contents. He looked at the papers saw a couple code words he knew that had been handed out to a few local law enforcement agencies to help keep them in the loop. So when he looked back up to the two shit-eating grins he knew more or less who they were and what they could and could not do.

       The police chief asked what he could to for them. One, the shorter of the two with a foreign accent asked if he had a sniper problem they could fix. The other taller and darker one with a very thick but unplaceable accent that brought the word hick to mind stated that they liked snipers.

       The chief looked from one to the other and then closed the folder, returned it to them and waved for them to follow, leading them from the cell to his office. Wordlessly he handed the pair another folder of his own. They took it and sat. Spread out its contents on the chief’s desk and shuffled through it. Locations, trajectories, ballistics, victims. All his shots had been fired from one general area, and at very long ranges. The pair soon developed a plan. A two-pronged attack to deal with the sniper next time he made himself known.

       The police chief was not happy about the pair not planning anything until the shooter was shooting again, but they had little information to go on. It would be faster, based on the frequency of his attacks.

        Spaceman dug out his rifle from in his duffle bag. Assembled it and loaded it. H was going to take up a position in the lower part of the city, hoping to see the shooter, possibly relay his location to Rabbit who was now armed with his favorite shotgun and would b0 in the upper part of the city, where the shooter liked to operate. Armed and ready the tricky part was now getting into position without being seen. So dressed in plain clothes the two set out. Spaceman was wearing some sneakers, gym shorts and a sports jersey so that his large duffle bag didn’t look so ominous. He kept his rifle packed away carefully inside. Wrapped with more gym clothes. He walked seven blocks, to the laundry mat. Where after walking casually into the laundry mat he started a load of gym socks and then once the other two occupants of the building had left, he took the opportunity and seclusion to climb through an access hatch to the roof and nestled down in-between the two massive swamp coolers on the roof of the laundry mat. Rabbit slapped on a fake mustache, a v neck with a scarf, some tight jeans, loafers with no socks and fake glasses, and then picked up his guitar case. He had “borrowed” the case from the evidence room at the police station and ripped the form-fitting foam liner out, and put his shotgun in the guitar case and with one hand in his pocket and the other on the guitar case he stepped out of the police station with slightly exaggerated feet shuffling swagger.

       Rabbit weaved his way uphill, toward the area the shooter inhabited. The two of them were doing this without back up from the local law enforcement. They would be to easily exposed and would be putting more lives at risk than necessary. Then they were going to wait until the sniper showed himself again. Rabbit wandered through the side streets, wandered back and forth, hung in the shadows where he could but not so much as to make his avoidance obvious. Spaceman stayed snug in the shadows in the roof. The heat vented from the A/C units he was between was becoming intense though. He used the clothed from inside the gym bag to insulate himself as best he could. He lay sweating heavily as he reassembled his rifle. Screwing the silencer down tightly and very deliberately loading his magazines. Spaceman sat for four hours, sweating furiously. He was starting to become light-headed. Rabbit continued to wander, shuffling back and forth past a condemned building that used to be an auto parts store. Crossed the street past a pizza shop, he could smell the oily pizza from the street.  Spaceman shifted, and scratch his forearm with the stubble of his three-day beard.

       Rabbit waited for an old beat-up truck with three dented fenders and a fading blue paint to make a slow turn through the intersection, as it past rabbit stepped into the crosswalk a single shot thundered through the valley. Rabbit froze, and looked about, then realizing he was still standing in the middle of the street, finished his crossing and stood at the corner. By the pizza shop, across the street from Spaceman’s laundromat. Rabbit spoke into his wristwatch which had a hidden radio.

       “You hear that?”

        “Yes Rabbit, I think the whole damned city heard it. I think it came from the North East.”

       No sooner had Rabbit finished speaking when a second shot thundered out. A massive deep boom. Rabbit could tell where it came from too. He wove through the cars in the parking lot at the pizza place and headed up the hill. Past a small lumber yard. Shortly a third shot rang out, and the sirens from the police station could be heard. Rabbit sped up his pace. Spaceman shifted, trying to get a better angle, but had no luck.
Grudgingly he scooted forward, so he could get a better angle, but this exposed his rifle, head and shoulders to the sunlight and made him visible to his still unseen opponent. Rabbit was jogging now, clutching his guitar case to his chest, his sockless loafers slapping the sidewalk as he went. He covered a good half mile, real fast.

       An ambulance sped past him, up the steepest part of the hill. Rabbit winced knowing that someone was hurt, or worse, multiple someones. Rabbit turned the corner at the top of the hill to follow the ambulance. Spaceman came over the radio.

       “I see him. He is in the bell tower, of the church, just a little downhill, to your northeast. I’ve got no shot, I can only see the barrel of his rifle sticking out over the ledge.”
 
       Rabbit breathlessly changed course, hopping over a fence, outrunning a chained dog, and pulling his equipment from the guitar case as he went. The belt and the bandolier came out first, he threw them over his shoulder with his free hand and then pulled the shotgun from his case. And dropped the case. While clutching the shotgun with one hand as he tightened his belt and the bandolier over shoulders on the way. Once those were secured, he flipped the folding stock out on his shotgun, shouldered it and cycled the pump. Chambering the first in the long line of slugs. As he ran, he padded his battle belt, made sure his pistol was there, his medkit, and the other junk on his battle belt.
By now his fake glasses and lame-ass fedora had fallen off. He removed the fake mustache too. He lept, lifted both feet forward smashing through some nice trimmed shrubberies. He stood over a fifty-yard stretch down the church parking lot. He would be exposed. Rabbit radioed to Spaceman.

       “I’m in position, but there is too much open ground, I can’t get to him. What should we do?”

       “I have no shot, and I don’t want to spook him, he could go to ground, then we would be back to square one, or worse. I can still see he is still facing the Northeast, you should be good. I doubt he will see you.”

       Rabbit keyed his mic, to say something, but unable to decide whether to joke, curse or pray he said nothing and went off the air again. Spaceman heard the moment of static and could feel what Rabbit was doing.

“I’ve got you buddy”

       Rabbit leapt from is hiding place and thundered down the slope to the parking lot his feet thumping heavy and hard with each footfall. He could feel his heart pounding, almost pushing too much blood through his veins he could feel it, pushing its way through his neck, into his brain. Which was busy thinking, of everything all at once. Hoping, pleading with something more powerful than himself, asking that he makes it safe to the church. His mind was pounding faster than his feet. Of the likely layout of the interior of the Church. Of the bad guy, of the sniper, and his fast shooting.

       Rabbit was surprised when he reached the building and thumped against its wall. The blood still pounding in his neck. He skirted the edge of the building and came to the front door, big and heavy and wooden with a cross emblazoned awning. Rabbit paused and then decided it wasn’t best to go through the front door. He had to find an alternate entrance. He kept going, keeping tight up against the wall, moving right under the sniper's nose. He rounded the corner, passed under the stained glass and around the corner again. He found another door. Of regular size, it was metal, Rabbit pulled the handle and swung the door open. Pushing his way past the push bar latch with his hip. He entered the building and thumbed the safety off of his shotgun.

       It was dark inside. The air was clearly stirring. Rabbits breathing felt loud and painful in the air. Like the whole church could hear him/ fortunately the church was empty. Or seemed that way. Until the windows seemed to shake and dust drifted down from the raters as another round went off. A deep thumping clanging metallic blast, it sounded of blood.

       Rabbit’s head snapped upwards. He could immediately see the faint outline of a man in the shadows and the light among the rafters. The action on the man’s rifle operated. Ejecting a spent casing, it tumbled down through the rafters, from the weapon. Before it hit the smooth wooden floor. There was a fresh round in the chamber and h action was closing. The hammer was dropping and the church was filled with ringing, even though its bell was just a decoration. It was then that Rabbit realized this was an old, single shot falling block rifle. He was almost dumbstruck by the man’s deftness and speed. He was certainly well-practiced.

      He deftly thumbed a load of buckshot into the magazine and cycled the pump. Catching the ejected slug with the other hand and popping it back into the magazine before shouldered his shotgun and letting fly. The hot load of OOO buck filled the air. It was like unloading all six from a really hot magnum revolver at the same time. The Rafters showed splinters down into the cherry wood benches of the church as the building absorbed the punishment. The tight group at this shorter range was spot on. Only two of the big heavy pellets punished the building, the other four punished the man with the full auto falling block.

       Finding his crouched form, hitting the shooter's ankle, his calf, his thigh, his hip. The big powerful rounds shattered his bones and knocked him from his perch amongst the rafters. He fell the solid eighteen feet into the seats, and more bones broke. The pump on Rabbits shotgun had cycled before the shooter hit the chamber’s floor. His rifle clattered across the smooth stone between the seats next to the fallen.

       Rabbit approached the man, he was tall dirty blonde though it was cut very short, only slightly longer the stubble on his face that did nothing to hide his crooked nose, and his recessed eyes were shadowed and haunted. They looked confused like he wasn’t sure whether to be angry, insulted, or scared. There was something back there moving, behind his eyes. A small but fast machine like a meat grinder. He wasn’t going to stop though, he was trying to sit up. Reaching for a big knife on his belt, as he grasped its hilt and drew it from its sheath he made eye contact with Rabbit. Rabbit could feel the manic crazy driving this man. It was oozing from him like a leaky oil drum. Then Rabbit shot him again.

       Rabbit Radioed Spaceman. “I got him, let’s get gone before anything else happens.”
“Anything else happens? We just got the bad guy.”

       “Yes, but I shot him, twice, in a church! I got a bad feeling about this, let’s make quiet and git outta here. Reaaal quick like.”

       “Yea, fine, I hear ya… I’ll meet you at the safe house and will boogey, a’ight fooo.”
“We don’t need the fame or glory anyway. Were supposed to be covert, let the cops take the glory, well get out before seeing another soul.”


P.S. That's it, there is no more out of the first collection of the adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit. There were planned parts 2,3 and 4 that take place after the fed com civil war... I'll have to look and see if any of them have stories that are complete and/ or worth posting. Thanks for the reads. it's hart warming that my old writing is so well viewed. I hope this is a good sign for the new writing.
-Chace A. Randolph

shadowdancer

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #34 on: 29 April 2020, 16:12:18 »
You will be missed.
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Anytime
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ThePW

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #35 on: 29 April 2020, 18:20:03 »
Wait, What? YOUR DONE?

snakespinner

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #36 on: 29 April 2020, 22:55:12 »
Thanks for posting the story. :beer:
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #37 on: 05 August 2020, 02:55:36 »
I am assuming it is against forum policy for me to post links to other websites here. So instead I will tell you what is going on. The first in a four part series of flash fiction, teasers for my book The Descendant. It is an original work and has nothing to do with BattleTech. but if you like my writing with Spaceman and Rabbit, maybe you'll like The Descendant too. These four vignettes are free to read, available for your viewing pleasure on my publishers website. One was released today, and there will be more, one every two weeks from now until the book release in the end of September. if you are interested, feel free to DM me and I will reply with a link, or look it up yourself. A simple google search for "Immerser Publisher" should point you in the right direction, if you find the Red dragon, you're in the right spot (I am proud of that commissioned art). If neither of those options work for you, my full name is Chace Randolph, and you can use that to find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, tumbler and so on. There will be links there also leading back to the Publishers website, or even through the websites I made for the book, "The Descendant Saga" or Chace Randolph" dot-com. If you don't care because its not battle tech and doesn't have mechs in it (yet) that's okay too. Thank for reading my story, and the feed back and letting me read your stories. May your dice be in a good mood.
-Chace A. Randolph

Chace of Spades

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Re: The Adventures of Spaceman and Rabbit, Part I
« Reply #38 on: 27 October 2020, 12:30:12 »
I know it has been some time and I apologize. The other three parts of the promotional flash fiction were released throughout August and September and my book The Descendant was released on September 29th. It's available on Amazon, check my profile if you want to find it. There aren't any big robots/mechs in it, yet. but there's more books coming. My publisher already has the manuscript for the second book. I'm getting married in less then a week and have been busy with that since the book release, sorry I haven't posted any new content for you in a while. I'll see you on the other side.
-Chace A. Randolph