Monday, December 26, 2016

Pugnata Est

     Standing in the middle of the kitchen with a steaming cup of espresso, Jougs asked, “how much longer do you think he needs?”
     Vorant laughed. Then, laughed harder when he realized Jougs was serious.
     “Why ya laughin’?” Jougs asked.
     Without answering, Vorant crossed the kitchen to the espresso maker, took a cup out of the cupboard, and set it in the cradle. He’d managed to calm himself down a bit, but still wasn’t quite prepared to answer. After adjusting the dials and pressing the start button, Vorant turned to face Jougs. He shook his head, smiled lightly, and put a finger to his lips. Taking the cue, Jougs closed the distance between them and leaned his right ear toward Vorant, who promptly hissed, “the safe houses are rigged for sound. So, quit bitching.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lege Teneri

     The tears wouldn’t stop flowing. She’d ravaged her swollen eyes and raw nose with half a roll of toilet paper, but still, the damnable salt water and mucus trickled down her face. Her ass hurt from prolonged sitting, the ceramic toilet seat offered her no comfort. Her temples throbbed; each beat sent a shockwave through her nervous system. Holding onto the bathroom wall, to keep from falling off the toilet, she sunk into the cold tiles. The position was awkward, but the cool tiles soothed her burning skin. When the urge to vomit finally passed, Tokus Cassius, Mercury’s Messenger, climbed off the toilet. She slowly navigated the bathroom to the sink, where she turned the cold water tap on and began a two handed shoveling maneuver, slapping her face with the ice water. She gave no thought to the water that jumped over her shoulders to land on her back. Right when she was starting to feel like a functional human being, her stomach flipped. She lunged back to the toilet, where she barely made it before—Oh, sweet mother of Mercury! That’s disgusting!—hugging the porcelain goddess. In her painful state, she did not hear the thrice knock of the Mercury’s Elite Guard.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scholam Frequentare

     Standing in the Observation Tower listening to Major Derrick Peters’ monotone lecture on the importance of proper documentation was enough to make Tech Sergeant Rydel question his will to live, but more importantly his loyalties. Since Major Peters’ father happened to be the General of the Southern Battalion—renown master of the fine arts of diplomacy and deception—it had seemed like a good idea to ingratiate himself. But, every good idea comes with at least one moment of doubt, and in the weeks since the prisoner’s disappearance Rydel had found the doubtful moments were adding up at an abnormal rate. Whatever feud existed between the major and the commander had only been exasperated by the pothole’s disappearance, the recovery drone’s bird strike, and the commander’s psych-eval (meant to be a private affair, which naturally meant that the entirety of Camp Polkner knew). Rydel stared out the western window at the snow-capped, rolling blue and purple Iphigenia Mountain Range. Somewhere in those hills was the escaped prisoner. For the umpteenth time since the disappearance, Rydel longed to be anywhere but Camp Polkner. The hair on the back of his neck came to attention seconds before a private barged into the room bellowing, “ATTENTION ON DECK!” Without thinking, Rydel and the rest of the soldiers popped to and swung toward the door where Commander Randle Dante, Sr. entered.

Monday, December 5, 2016

In Somnis

     Former Private Willy Jessup sat on the edge of his bed, naked save his dog tags, his heart racing and his eyes darting around his mother’s living room. He’d always been paranoid, that was nothing new. But, this. He grabbed his pants from the floor, slid them on, and buttoned up while looking for his shoes. He’d never understand where shoes walked off to when he deliberately sat them down out of the way. He retrieved his shirt via his left shoe and his socks via his right. Then fell into his grandpa’s recliner, where he groggily shoved one foot after another into his socks and shoes. Half-awake and half-dressed, he stumbled over to the coffee table where he’d fallen out with a mostly full beer and a half-smoked joint. He shoved the joint tip into his mouth as he clumsily patted around on the coffee table until he found the lighter. Once he was smoking, he picked up the beer and raised it in salute to a mantel filled with pictures featuring his uniformed forefathers. After swallowing warm, flat beer, Jessup took another hit, and then stood up in a fog. Somehow keeping his balance, he waited for the fog to pass, and then crossed the living room to the mantel where generations of uniformed Jessups stared at him. He frowned, the proud, brave Jessups never had a military fuck up before me. What’s my legacy? With the joint between his lips and his beer in one hand, he managed to get his dog tags off and hung them from his own military picture. He stared at his reflection, ran a hand through his slightly grown out hair, pulled deeply on the joint, and then laughed, “aw, fuck it. An oath’s an oath. Ain’t it, Commander?”

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tremit Artus

     Sitting by the hospital bed, Captain Prescott spoke softly, “don’t worry. The situation is contained. General Tomlyn will not be pursuing charges.”
     “Well, that’s fortunate,” Goldie replied, flicking her blonde bangs away.
     “Goldie,” Captain Prescott stated, “I’m not going to apologize and I don’t expect one from you, either.” He couldn’t help but look at her with pity; his heart hurt to see how her sunken cheeks highlighted the bags under her eyes. If only we’d met in some other place, he ground his teeth trying to shake the thought loose. Once again speaking softly, he said, “considering everything, you’ll have to stay under observation.”

Monday, November 21, 2016

Viam Persequi

     “Now you’re not listening,” Archel moaned.
     “I am too,” Cassie said, adding, “the Advisors won’t listen. And, you want me to do something about it.” She gave him a bland smile, “what can I do?”
     “Give them a message.”
     She tilted her head, “what message.”
     “We need help.”
     “I don’t think that your Advisors will like that.”
     “They don’t have to know,” Archel’s emerald eyes sparkled, “you don’t have to tell them.” He whispered, insisting, “we have to do something.”
     Cassie shook her head, “I’m not saying you’re wrong, but what if they find out?”
     “What are they going to do? Fire me? I didn’t ask for this…” he waved an arm around the sweat stinking Elite’s Training Center.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Angustiis Premi

     “Stop that right now,” Mary Darin’s high-pitched voice echoed throughout the caverns. In every crevice, the children of the Servants paused in mid-action, all fearing that Ms. Darin’s wrath was directed at them. “Willem! Gerick and Jocelyn! Put those babies down!” She glared at the older children with vehemence. “Come!” she ordered.
     The twins, Gerick and Jocelyn Motown, were the eldest of the children rescued by Sirios when the town of Avalona had been destroyed two weeks earlier. Though Willem Slaughter was only a year younger than them, his well-trimmed beard and thick build made him appear much older. Being eldest and close in age, the trio had developed into the group’s de facto leaders taking discipline unto themselves—a situation that Ms. Darin simultaneously encouraged and carefully monitored—though, occasionally they overstepped their bounds. Par for the course, considering the group was overwhelmed by their immense losses. The youngest unintentionally added further stress to the situation, since they did not yet comprehend their new lot as the first orphans of the bitterest travesty in recent collective memory.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Patria Carere

     Pacing the Bard’s Quarters, Kent Wheelock paused at the window overlooking the Forum Publicos. From this vantage point, he could see the tiny walled courtyard that separated Fintan’s quarters from the forum, as well as the mass of people haggling at the midday market. He could also see the Pissing Puppy Statue where he’d cussed Fintan out the first time they’d met after... You old rat bastard, Kent sighed, turning his back from the forum to continue his short journey to nowhere. Every day for the last two weeks, Celatrix Julianne Verna had plagued him with memorizing Donian rhyme schemes, epic grammar, and ancient idioms. Just thinking of her made his brain ache and his heart long for the far easier life he’d lived on the Gambling Strip, where scrambling for food and shelter were the apex of his intellectual problems. He sighed again, she’ll be here any minute. Get your head on, he shivered at the unintentional thought which brought with it the all too realistic feel of the shovel as it had connected with West’s neck. Throwing his hands to his knees to keep from falling, Kent weaved where he’d bent over. Staring at the maroon rug he suddenly experienced a wave of vertigo that ended with him kneeling on the floor, holding a hand over his mouth. As he was crawling on three limbs in a feeble attempt to make it to the bathroom, his door swung open and Ensign Balin entered.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Debito Justitiae

“Here gloom hath enchantment in beauty’s array,
And whispering voices are calling away —
Their wooings are soft as the vision more vain —
I would live in their empire, or die in their chain.”
The Valley Cemetery, Mary Baker Eddy

*** *** ***

Author's Note

On occasion, we set out to accomplish tasks that can be described as nothing short of monumental. Inevitably, Naysayers show themselves owners of the stereotype by spouting off about the impracticalities or impossibilities of extraordinary accomplishments. Rarely do Naysayers offer useful commentary, preferring to jar one’s hopes with their own special brand of negativity. Much like a tsunami, the Naysayer’s tidal wave is enough to crush the early momentum necessary for the average person to continue toward their lofty goals. However, one who recognizes Naysayers as victims of verbal vomit, also recognizes that these very same Naysayers are also self-aggrandizing projectors putting onto others that which is only true of themselves. In other words, when a Naysayer speaks negativities they prove their own incapacities, impracticalities, and impossibilities. The average person fails to obtain their goals when they quit acting in conjunction with their personal potential for accomplishment as when they take a Naysayer’s negativity to heart. By understanding that a Naysayer speaks of their own potential through projection, the average person can flip incoming negativity into outgoing positivity.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Announcing Ignes Fatui

The next adventure starts: 31 October 2016

This is just a brief note to let you all know that so far everything is on track for Ignes Fatui to start Oct. 31, 2016. As with Terra Damnata's Saturday publications, the start date of Oct. 31st has determined the publishing day. Meaning, that since Halloween falls on a Monday this year, so too will each chapter of Ignes Fatui.