Saturday Review – Shattered Under Midnight

So, it is time for my Saturday review. One of my invisible internet friends finished this book recently. The last book I read of hers Scaling the Rim was an exciting sci-fi story that pulled me into the story. I still remember remnants of the story and it has been a couple years since I read it.

When she told our group that this book was on Amazon. I snapped up Shattered Under Midnight immediately. Sadly I have a TBR pile that is pretty large. I also do my reading just before I go to sleep. It’s one of the reasons that I know when a book grabs me or is a snoozer.shattered

So a couple of days ago, I pulled this book up on my kindle .

It started with a young woman in a space port with an explosion behind her. That was the end of me and I was there with this girl as she went to the surface to find a new life.

The woman is much younger than how she dresses and as I continued reading, I found that she had many dangerous secrets. Many of these secrets were more dangerous than the man who accompanies her.

Plus she has red hair. I won’t tell you the significance of the red hair. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Dorothy Grant needs to write more. I would love to go on adventures with more of her characters.

If you haven’t figured it out yet… I highly recommend it.

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited.

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Something about Quantum Mechanics

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CC0 Public Domain. DasWortgewand

Lately I have been reading about weird government programs such as “remote viewing,” a program that is immortalized in “Men Who Stare At Goats.” The movie has George Clooney as the main character. I saw the movie when it first aired on Netflix a few years ago. Then I dismissed it as fiction.

What got me interested in this subject was a you-tube video in the Dark Matter channel, where Art Bell interviews one of the remote viewers. My first reaction is “this can’t be right.” Why would they use military personnel for basically a psychic untested theory? So I went further and researched the heck out of it.

After reading four accounts of folks who worked in the program and a little online search, and found to my shock that it was true. There are only a few reasons that government agencies would use this type of program. One, the Russians were using psychic spying. Yes, they were. Two, the program had a high success rate. Considering the program ran approximately twenty years, it had a good success rate until it lost funding and was turned over to the CIA. Of course, the CIA gave it the coup de grace in 1995.

So where does this put me??? A naysayer? A person who truly believed that psychic phenomenon couldn’t be measured? If you read the accounts, the remote viewers describe it as a virtual video game instead of a psychic experience because they use the entire body. Some call it a “martial art of the mind.”

It’s been a wild journey through my brain as I read these accounts. We are more connected and less isolated than we believe. We live in a Quantum world instead of the Newtonian world, we had always known.

Some of this I could see as a fiction story– and might have been written in the 1950s by one of the classic sci-fi authors. It blows my mind that this program is in the past and not the future.

Some of these remote viewers started teaching their techniques to ordinary people and to natural psychics. Some of these remote viewers help find kidnapped children.

Let’s explore interconnectedness. It means that the good wishes and prayers have an effect on all of us.  A few decades ago, I was blown away when we found that the brain had weak electrical fields. Now researchers have an “Electromagnetic Brain Theory.” Go and read that one and you’ll think you were living in the future.

I don’t know why this is so fascinating to me. I know that after all this reading, some of it will find its way into my stories.

Happy Release Day – Late Payment

GKTC2015ebookcover1So today is the day, that my two short stories: Late Payment and If You Should Chose This Mission are live on Amazon. These are new stories with Joe and Donald, two intrepid representatives who fix technical, physical, and customer problems, when terraforming goes awry.

Just because I am such a nice person (this is the same as saying trust me), I have the first story The Green Knight Terraforming Company free for the next two days.

We first meet Joe when he is being attacked by several blades of grass.

If you want to go paperback, the three stories are bundled in Green Knight Terraforming Company. I didn’t manage to get the paperback online at the same time as the release date. I will have to do better timing next time.

So please enjoy these stories. Thank you in advance for leaving a review.

If you should choose this mission VII – Friday excerpt

Just a reminder that this is Memorial Weekend. Remember the ones who died fighting in our wars. I will remember my grandfather who fought in WWII and was lucky to survive to know his grandchildren.

Back to our story:

Previous installment

Kaboom. The gate disintegrated. Klaxons screamed. Ermie was screaming with them. I pulled him out and put him into his capsule. It would take him some time to calm down from the noise. It looked like Ermie was down for the moment. Still I had Donald. What! Donald was grinning.

Yes, I was grinning back. We hadn’t had this much fun since we were out in the field. In fact we had so much fun with guns and explosions that Ms. Frigg had pulled us to work for tech support call center. That wiped the grin off my face.

I would give my left nut to stay out in the field and off those phones.

I peeked above the barricades to see if our explosion had been noticed. It was eerily quiet. If there had been a guard on that gate of any species, we would have heard some swearing and shots at my exposed head.

“Donald,” I said. “Check with net control.”

Since Donald was slightly telepathic. Humans were the only species in the cosmo that was head-blind, which sometimes put us in a disadvantaged position against other species. But, our abilities to adapt to most situations and flexible mental structures made us very dangerous. Well, we were a quarantined world.

Though I wondered if we were actually rats in a laboratory experiment.

I adjusted my telescopic vision. This was a biological implant that worked with my eyes to see better and farther than normal vision. Unlike Ermie, it wasn’t sentient. I saw a long black line against one of the square ugly buildings. While I watched it moved so slowly that I wasn’t sure what it was.

I bumped Donald so he would take a look. He began swearing up a blue smoke.

“Damn,” he finished. “That is one helluva big roach.”

I wasn’t seeing it until he pointed up. I was seeing the legs. The body of the roach blocked out the sun and was over the roof of the ugly squat building.

“What the hell.” I spit out.

“I’ve never seen on that big.” He urgently hit all the telepathic buttons to the lab animals. If Ermie was still in my ear he would be screaming and fainting, and fainting and screaming. I felt like doing it myself.

We backed away slowly. Maybe the roach wouldn’t see us. It was so big and we were so little. Long thin extensions around the mouth reached for us.

Donald yelled, “Down.” We were flat and the things passed over our heads. “Stay away from the maxillae.” Donald yelled.

I had no idea what the maxillae were, but if they were the things trying to grab us, he didn’t have to tell me twice. I scrambled on my hands and knees. The rocks bit into my hands. If I jumped into one of the sticker bushes, maybe it would discourage the roach.

I wasn’t quick enough. The roach reached down and picked me up by the bug spray strapped to my back. I think I screamed when I saw the mandibles crunching. I patted pulled my big knife from my belt and held it in front of me. If it got me anywhere near its mouth, it would hurt before I became roach food.

continued next Friday

If you should choose this mission VI – late excerpt

Well two weeks have gone by and I still haven’t done my duty– worked on this story. So here is the next installation and I will… I promise… I double dutch promise that you’ll have another installation on Friday. What? I don’t have my fingers crossed behind my back. Why. sputter–

 

Last installation

I put him in my ear. Ermie was an ear worm with a talent for languages. He hadn’t met a language he couldn’t chew and swallow. In the process he translated the digested form to me.

“You will be at the gate and act like apes” was the Ermie’s translation.

“I got this,” I said. Unfortunately, I was really good at looking like an ape.

Donald, Ermie, and I were standing at the front gate of Area 51. I had given Ermie the option to stay in the mostly safe lab tech area, but he was insistent that I would need to have his services. I am not the kind of man to deny someone a little fun.

I was itchy. The bug spray had seeped into all my crevices that weren’t protected by my clothing. It was so itchy that Donald gave me the “this is serious look.” I had been doing a sort of ants in my pants dance.

Oddly the gate was closed, but there wasn’t any guards on it. If I remember from my Army days, okay I didn’t have any Army days, but I had watched all those old movies, there should be someone at the gate so that someone like me couldn’t just walk in. So there was probably some other way to keep people like me out. I pulled off my leather belt and tapped the buckle on the gate.

Zzzzzzzttttt. The gate was electric. I now knew why no one was worried about my abilities to pass the gate. Donald tapped on the watch the tech’s had given him so that we could be precisely on time with our diversion. I suspected that they wanted to pipe the bug killer into the compound and kill all the bugs. It seemed like a simple enough plan.

I was at a loss. At the side of the gate was an intercom. I had heard about the things and seen them in the old classic movies, but I was unsure what button to push to talk to someone. I squinted, did a quick prayer because the buttons could electrocute me, and started punching buttons next to the speaker.

“What?” the sound was between a crackle and a hiss. An old camera turned towards us. Boy, these roaches used technology that wasn’t just old, but was ancient. I had an inappropriate moment. Yes, I started to laugh.

While I was trying to talk to the person or roach, Donald was wiring up the gate. The techs had been better prepared than me because Donald used some gloving. It’s a type of invisible armor for dangerous situations that if I had seen before my troubleshooting days with The Green Knights, I would have considered it magic.

Donald backed up. I let the button go that was giving me audio and backed up with him. When Donald backs up, it would behoove lesser creatures to do the same.

We crouched around the barricades leading up to the gate.

Kaboom. The gate disintegrated. Klaxons screamed. Ermie was screaming with them. I pulled him out and put him into his capsule. It would take him some time to calm down from the noise. It looked like Ermie was down for the moment. Still I had Donald. What! Donald was grinning.

continued this Friday

If you should chose this mission-2 Friday excerpt

My medical biography In the Shadow of Death: Reflections on a Chronic Illness is now an updated version and live.

 

Ms. Frigg ignored my exclamation and greeted the group, “Thanks for coming. It is a dangerous mission, but you guys are the only ones that can do it.”

Shit, I thought. Here we go again. But even if the female was Ms. Frigg, the most dangerous female in the galaxy, I couldn’t refuse her. What would my mother say?   Beginning here.

Still I cleared my throat. All eyes turned toward me even the ear worm quit drinking and jumped up and down, presumably to stop me from saying my next words. “Why would I help you, when you just fired me?”

All matter of foam flew across the table– interesting, Ms. Frigg was the only one there who was still beer, or juice free when the snorting and spitting stopped.

She gave me that look. The one that women have been giving men for generations. I didn’t try to interpret the look, I just knew she was going for the throat.

Then she smiled. If it the thought that she was Ms. Frigg the most dangerous woman in the galaxy hadn’t been burned in my back brain, I would have been lost. Her pearly teeth winked at me.

Then she spoke with that dryness that made me want to wince. “The mission? The important mission that I need you to go on– Tiny.”

“Joe,” I mumbled under my breath.

“Tiny,” she repeated. Oh dang, she heard me. “Some roaches have landed on the quarantined planet. You, buddy boy, will get to go home.”

I think my heart sunk to my stomach and then onto the floor. Oh yes, I wanted to go home. But roaches? They were the scariest, most intelligent, insects in the galaxy, cosmo, whatever.

They ate everything. They weren’t the benign cockroaches of earth origin. Oh no, they were bigger, almost human size, and with ferocious appetites. They ate anything in their way. The only reason I could think of that they would go to Earth was to breed more roaches.

Once they settled in, they were almost impossible to get rid of– somewhat like cockroaches.

“I accept,” I said quickly as if I had a choice.

I really hated it when Ms. Frigg smiled like that. It meant that I hadn’t gotten the whole story… again.

continued next Friday

 

If you should chose this mission – Friday excerpt

I called him Donald because he waddled like the duck in that old time cartoons that were so popular in the twentieth century. The boss and I were on the outs so I was sitting on a couch watching vids from the computer library. Instead of knocking on the door, he waddled in and gave me a hang-dog look.

“You coming?” Donald filled the room. He may waddle like a duck, but the man was all tank.

I tried to ignore him, but it was hard to ignore my second in command. He knew how to loom.

I was one of the few humans in the entire cosmo that was allowed to run around among the galaxy set. Our world had been declared dangerous because of our propensity to use almost anything as a weapon even our bodies. The cosmo wasn’t a gentle place, but they had declared us as too dangerous so we were quarantined. Most humans didn’t even know that there were aliens out there. There were times I wished I was one of them and I was home on my blue-green planet playing golf.

No, I was picked because I was a troubleshooter. I was plucked out of earth because my skills were hard to find in the galaxy, universe, whatever.

“The team are getting together at the pub,” Donald voice went an octave higher. He thought the higher sound was more persuasive.

“I don’t have a team anymore,” I tried not to sound sulky. “I was just fired.”

Donald smiled.

“Oh man,” I said. “Don’t smile. You could scare old ladies into heart attacks.”

“Come on, Tiny,” he said again. “You know if Ms. Frigg had fired you, that you’d be on the next spaceship to earth and mind-wiped.”

“Joe,” I said automatically. My name was Joe, but it didn’t matter to the team. I would always be tiny. I waved my hand at the vid, giving it the one finger salute and the vid turned off. I had my own private gestures that I used on my electronics. It was my way of keeping it human.

I followed waddling Donald down the hall, out the port, and into a main center of the space station. The halls were actually circular, and the rooms were built in the inside of the circle. The gravity was close to Earths. So I didn’t have to do any strange floating.

I had been eating a lot junk food since my “firing” so my middle had expanded a little. A couple of drinks wouldn’t make me thinner or fatter.

At the pub, the techs (rabbit and hamster) plus Ermie, the earworm were in a booth waiting for us. The rabbid rabbit and Hammie had already started on some green concoction that looked green and smelled like fermenting grass. Ermie was sipping a thimble that was too large for his body.

The waitress, tall, long legs, and pincers on the end of her arms, brought Donald and I two frosted glasses of beer. I sighed. After that loud discussion with Ms. Frigg, she really knew how to kill a guy with words, I was ready for some relaxation.

Except when I looked up and saw Ms. Frigg floating through the door and toward our booth, I snorted the beer through my nose. “What the f— is she doing here?”

Donald turned towards and took a long look at Ms. Frigg. She was in a red dress that fit her chest like a skin then flared and swirled from her hips. If it was possible, she was poetry in motion. Ms. Frigg was definitely humanoid.

Ms. Frigg ignored my exclamation and greeted the group, “Thanks for coming. It is a dangerous mission, but you guys are the only ones that can do it.”

Shit, I thought. Here we go again. But even if the female was Ms. Frigg, the most dangerous female in the galaxy, I couldn’t refuse her. What would my mother say?

Continued next Friday