05/02/2023 Snippet, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA.



“Look, ma’am,” Lucas drawled, politely keeping his hands where the client could see them, “Liberty Lair isn’t just bragging when they say they’re thief-proof. They’ve got guards, they’ve got traps, they’ve even got spells. They’ve got people watching all the time, and they’ve got somebody watching those people. Most of all, they’ve got a dragon. Shoot, the dragon’s in charge, and she’s smart. Whatever you’re planning, for your sake I hope it’s not a smash-and-grab.”

The client smiled, thinly. Like Lucas, she was elvish, and claimed the name of “Two-Eyed Elanor” — but she talked like an Old Louisville lawyer instead of a Ladezel buccaneer, or even the more civilized tones of Lucas’s own Elf-Lands Delta gentry. “As I explained, Mr. Coltrane: I cannot give you the full details about the item we require until I at least have your signature on a nondisclosure agreement. Rest assured, though, we do expect that acquiring it will require skill, effort, and discretion. Which is why we’re ready to pay quite handsomely for it.”

“Yeah. A little too handsomely. You throw that kind of money around but won’t say what for, folks start to wonder if the job has teeth, and how many bites out of them it’ll take.”

04/24/2023 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

“Put in a reminder to fill this out,” I said. “All the cool writers do that,” I said. “What’s the harm?” Arrggh…


That made one conversation in particular extra-awkward. “What?” Mika sounded annoyed and confused, in equal parts. “No, you can’t go through Adam Sild’s things. There’s no point to it.”

“You saying that as the doctor, or my boss?” I asked her.

“Both. Your boss has to remember that Adam’s sick, and supposed to be on his way to treatment. He’s also not involved with any of the crap that’s happened here since we put him in cold sleep, so there’s no reason to ignore his privacy rights.”

“We don’t know that,” I pointed out. “He could be involved, somehow. Maybe the people behind all of this had a connection with him.”

“Or maybe he went space-happy all on his own, Pam. That’s the right way to guess.”

“Fine.” It wasn’t, obviously. “So what does the doctor think?”

“The doctor thinks you focus a little too hard on Adam Sild.” That stopped me, particularly since Maki looked concerned when she said it. “As in, your face suddenly looks more attentive when you hear his name, Pam. It’s subtle, but it’s there. I think you should mention it, the next time you have a therapy session.”

Fortunately, she didn’t make that an instruction, although she might have if there hadn’t been a distraction just then. Something involving priority levels for our short-term supplies, which were starting to dip a bit from the quarantine and general insanity. One more thing for Maki to worry about, so I decided to cut my losses and leave before she noticed I hadn’t agreed to let my brain get scrubbed too squeaky-clean.

04/22/2023 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

Got through a couple of chapters today! Which is good. I need this sucker done.


I got excitement anyway, in the form of Nur tossing a small, tangled lump of wires and circuits onto my desk. “Behold!” he intoned. “The thing that tried to kill you.”

I looked at it — and then I looked away. There was something wrong about the twisted, matted thing, like the wires were spelling out words I didn’t want to read. The whole effect was spoiled by the long iron nail that Nur had presumably hammered through the item, although ‘spoiled’ isn’t really the right word there. “Okay, what is it? Where did you find it? And when did it try to kill me?”

“Well, easiest question first. I found it inside the basket you brought along for your picnic, hidden inside a cold-pack.” I realized right then that Nur had the kind of calm you get when you’ve slammed a couple of mood-dampeners in a row. “It was also smeared with a pretty nasty neurotoxin. Good thing I was wearing gloves.”

“Jesus.” That was closer to a prayer than I’d come for a long, long time. We’d been carrying that thing around all day, after all. “Wait, though: this isn’t a bomb, is it?”
“Oh, no, Pam. It’s a sonic transmitter. One that broadcasts at a frequency we can’t hear, but the local lifeforms can. I checked with the some people in Biology, and they think the not-cows could have been able to hear the signal. The only thing is, we’d have to actually check to confirm it. Which is not a good idea…”

“Gotcha. I don’t feel like trying to be cruel to alien animals, either. What if we succeed?”


And that is all we know, aside from the fact that GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE is coming out next March. Something to look forward to! I do like me some monster movies, especially since they’ve stopped trying to get me to root for Kong in opposition to Godzilla. He’s an all right dude, really, but the Gorilla-Whale’s been indispensable in numerous US military operations. I value my country’s allies.

Tweet of the Day, This Time It’ll Be All On THEM edition.

I don’t blame confidence game victims for being victims of a confidence game, even when they should have known better*. …The first time. After that, it really is your own damn fault.

*Anybody can have a bad day, and/or a moment of weakness, especially when somebody gets inside their decision loop and is deliberately putting them off-balance. It could happen to anybody, including me. We’re all bozos on this bus.


On first glance, I don’t… hate TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM? This is fairly significant, actually. I went in prepared to hate it. It didn’t make my teeth grate, though. I also don’t think we’re ever going get a live-action TMNT to look good, so this has an advantage, right out of the box. You know how bad it can get already.

Via @IMAO_.