MonthJune 2014

Monday Fiction – Avalon Chapter 7


Anne stood to the left of the hotel door with her Glock at a low ready. Jason was opposite of her with his own Glock drawn. Behind Anne were Veronica and Samantha with their pistols. Kurt was standing behind Jason with a short-barreled shotgun. Jason also held the keycard to the room. The manager of the hotel refused when Anne showed the woman her detective’s shield, but buckled when Jason flashed his Homeland Security credentials. Damn Feds got all the breaks.

I’m not sensing any thoughts in the room, Samantha reported over the group’s telepathic link.

That’s not as helpful as normal, Jason observed sourly, At least they don’t have any regular humans in there.

Do a knock and announce? Anne asked. Jason shook his head.

Vampires are kill-on-sight monsters. We go in hard, Jason said. Veronica, put up the sound and sight barriers to keep out the curious. The sorceress nodded. Her hands glowed as she made the intricate motions to twist and then sling the spell. Satisfied, Jason held up four fingers as the count. The team tensed as Jason counted down. At zero, he ran the keycard and tapped the door open. Kurt slid by Jason and kicked the door in. The door swung open with Kurt charging in close behind with his shotgun up. Just as they’d practiced, Kurt slid to the side and cleared the left side of the room. Anne was the next in, sweeping the right side. Jason followed with the two remaining Avalonians trailing.

Veronica had barely stepped into the room when one of the vampires was suddenly in their midst. He looked like a dark-haired male of average height and build in a tight shirt and jeans with wraparound sunglasses. That was all Anne saw before the vampire’s arm blurred and backhanded Kurt. The tall German was thrown across the hotel room before slamming into the couch. None of them had time to react as the vampire moved and punched Jason. The detective/special agent gasped in pain and crumpled to the carpeted floor. Anne spun and opened fire with her pistol, but the vampire wasn’t there. Samantha and Veronica were hurled back out the door. Then the vampire was standing inches in front of Anne. He flicked off the wraparound sunglasses. Glowing red eyes bored into Anne’s blue. Terror rushed through Anne as her muscles locked in place. She barely remembered to breathe.

“Yes, you are the one we were told to watch,” the vampire said in a low tone. A low, sexy tone. The terror vanished, and Anne was instantly filled with desire. Anne focused hard on the image of the woman this vampire killed earlier that night, and her rage insulated her from the vampire’s attempted seduction.

Halten Sie weg von ihr, Vampir!” Kurt screamed, as he touched off his shotgun. Somehow, he’d managed to move just enough to get Anne out of the line of fire. The thundering blast drowned out the vampire’s scream of pain as thirty silver pellets slammed into its side. At that range, the pellets made a hole the size of a baseball. Black guts spilled out as the vampire’s stomach was ripped out.

The vampire moved faster than Anne could track. It was in front of Kurt and snatched the shotgun out of the German’s hands with a contemptible ease. The vampire placed the muzzle of the shotgun on Kurt’s chest and squeezed the trigger. Anne didn’t hear her scream over the shotgun’s blast. Kurt fell to the ground. Grief and rage coursed through Anne.

The streams of magic around her were instantly visible. Anne dropped her pistol and grabbed one of the streams. Her hand closed on empty air, but the stream responded like Anne was actually holding it.

Anne, what are you doing? Veronica almost screamed through the telepathic link. Anne’s answer was less words than raw emotion of vengeance.

You can’t use raw wild magic like that! Veronica said, “You have to twist it into a spell before slinging it.” Veronica sent a series of images over the link, showing Anne what she needed to do. The vampire spun as Anne’s hands flicked to twist the stream of wild magic into the spell.

IKALA!” Anne screamed as she slung the spell at the vampire. A brilliant red ball erupted from Anne’s hands. Unbelievable burning pain blossomed across her hands. The ball lanced out at the vampire, who was too stunned to move. As the ball touched the vampire, it screamed and was reduced to ash. Anne crumpled to the ground, screaming in pain. Her hands were a brilliant scarlet.

“Here, let me help,” Veronica said. The small woman clamped her hands down on Anne’s. The pain intensified. “Anne look at me. I need you to look at me.” Anne forced herself to look into Veronica’s brown eyes. The pain noticeably dropped. Anne could feel the wild magic swirling around Veronica and herself. The pain lessened even more. Anne could see Veronica twisting the streams of wild magic into knots before running those knots over Anne’s hands. Anne’s eyes went wild as she realized Veronica was only using her mind and voice to manipulate the wild magic.

“My God, Vanessa, how are you doing that?” Anne breathed. Veronica gave Anne a half-smile.

“I’m sorry, this is going to be bad,” Veronica said, ignoring the question. The pain vanished, and Anne wondered what Veronica was talking about. Then an intense itching erupted across her hands and forearms. Anne instinctively tried to scratch, but Veronica held her tight.

“It will only be a minute, but it’s going to be one of the longest minutes of your life,” Veronica said, her brown eyes filled with compassion. “Look over at Kurt.”

“He’s—” Anne couldn’t complete the sentence. She was terrified to look over and see Kurt’s body.

“Magic vests, you silly girl,” Veronica said, with that same half-smile. “He’s hurt, but he’s alive. Look.” Anne turned her head. Kurt was sitting up with Samantha’s help. As soon as their eyes locked, Anne forgot the itching. Relief pounded through her. Kurt gave her a confidant smile, and Anne pulled out of Veronica’s grasp.

“I thought you were dead,” Anne cried into Kurt’s shoulder as she gripped him tight. Warm arms surrounded her.

“Anne, I’m alive, but that hurts. A lot,” Kurt said. Anne quickly let go of Kurt, who just continued to smile.

“We need to talk after this is done,” Anne said.

“Yes, we do.”

Friday Quote – Jacob Hornberger

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, then are not free at all.

Jacob Hornberger

Save me from the petty tyrannies of people trying to save me from myself.

Ten Gun Myths Exposed

A gun writer gives his top 10 myths and the debunkings.

Always good to go back and make sure what you know is actually true.

H/T Alphecca

Anti-Gunners Call For Executions of Gun Owners – Again

Hitting our end of the blogosphere have been a couple of pieces from the anti-gunners about how the incident at the Bundy Ranch proves that gun owners are all insurrectionists and should be dealt with violently.

Please explain how this is supposed to enhance “the conversation” our opponents keep telling us they want to have about guns in America. You are advocating murder over political differences.

Of course, it’s easy to spout hyperbole when you don’t have to be the one to pull the trigger.

Bearing Arms analysis here.

Miguel speaks here.

No-Fly List Procedures Unconstitutional

Judge tells .gov to tell people why they are on it and come up with a system for challenging inclusion.

How about we ban secret government lists that do nothing but act as leverage against the citizens?

New Metal Tuesday Page

I’ve added a new page for all of the Metal Tuesday posts.

It’s sorted by band and song name. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Enter the Red Pen

New York Times does a hit piece on Walmart.

Walmart responds with corrections.

Metal Tuesday – Rob Zombie – Dragula

This week’s Metal Tuesday is a bit different than the normal diet of power metal, but this is another one that will stay in my head for a week if I let it. So, let’s do Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.”

Lyrics in the YouTube video.

Monday Fiction – Avalon Chapter 6


As Erik awoke from the darkness, he was aware of three things. First, he was in a lot of pain. Second, he was bound upright. Third, he was naked. Well, it wasn’t like this was the first time this had happened during his career as an Imperial agent. Hell, there was a scenario during training that was pretty much exactly like it. Erik was pretty sure he was in more pain during the training scenario than he was now, although to be fair, those things were hard to judge.

Erik didn’t sense any emotions around him, but that didn’t mean much. Those creatures he’d been fighting didn’t give off any psi-scents. There weren’t even any residual psi-scents in the room. He spent a moment just listening. Erik couldn’t hear anyone breathing or any sounds other than the clinking of the chains holding him up. Erik cracked open his eyes. It was completely dark. He couldn’t even see his own body as he looked around. The air around him was cool and dry with no noticeable scents. He was standing on some sort of gymnastics mat from the texture and padding. His arms were stretched out and supported by metal shackles. His sides were shooting pain through the rest of his body. Well, they hadn’t fixed him.

I need to get an idea of where I am, Erik thought to himself. Then, maybe try and figure a way out of here. He probed the room telekinetically. It was a decent sized room, maybe three meters by four by three. The chains were anchored to the ceiling. Erik couldn’t sense anything that felt like a door. He slumped forward and gritted back the pain from his ribs. Controlled probes were physically draining.

A door in front of Erik slid open. He shrank back from the sudden blinding light that filled the room. He heard someone walk into the room and could smell the expensive perfume as it wafted over to him. He couldn’t feel her emotions. The lights dimmed and Erik cracked his eyes back open. Glowing blue eyes met his. He tried to focus only on those blue eyes rather than the creature’s all-too-human form. The all-too-female human form. As she strode over to him, Erik could feel her soft touches in his mind. He clamped down hard as the creature gave him a seductive smile.

“What were you doing just now, Mr. Williams?” the creature purred. Erik barely stopped himself from answering. He studiously looked past her to where the door had opened. Could he force that door open with his powers? His thought were disrupted as he felt her warm caress on his cheek. She gently pushed his face to hers. Those glowing blue eyes reminded Erik of that movie Jason forced him to sit through. That one about the desert planet and the sound weapons. What was it called again?

“Mr. Williams, I need you to tell me what you were trying to accomplish,” the creature asked, bringing him back to the present. Erik bit his lip hard enough to taste blood. If he answered one of her questions, Erik wasn’t sure if he could stop himself from answering all of them. The creature breathed deeply before giving Erik a seductive half-smile.

“You didn’t have to do that just for me,” she said. Her hand moved faster than Erik could track. She pulled his bottom lip down and licked the blood. Electric waves of pleasure shot through Erik. He felt the pain in his sides dull and a slight giddy cloudiness come over his mind. It felt like he’d just been jabbed with strong narcotics. Worse, he could feel his body wanting more. What the hell was this woman?

“Are you going to tell me now, Mr. Williams?” the woman asked. Erik shook his head. Why was she calling him, “Mr. Williams”? Oh yeah, Erik Williams was his cover. Why did he have a cover again? Something for the Saint, he was pretty certain. That man always had some odd job he needed Erik to do. Pain lanced through his head as the creature forced her psychic presence into his mind. Erik pushed her back out, but it took more strength than he could spare. Erik was sure that the creature saw parts of his mind. Damn it. Sam had proved more than once how dangerous even a glimpse could be.

Those blue eyes pulsed for a moment and Erik’s head rocked as she slapped him. Blood dribbled from his mouth as he spit out a tooth. Without another word, the creature spun on her heel and stormed out of the room. The room was plunged back into darkness. Erik stared at the door. What had he done to piss that creature off, and could he do it again?

The pain from his sides flared back up to join his head’s aching. The pain was bad enough, but Erik could feel his desire for that drug rising again. One of the advantages of being forced through the Imperial Psi-Academy was that Erik had built up the strength of will that allowed him to separate his mind from his body. It helped being able to keep his rationality when his body was screaming for the touch of the drug again. Still, he was human. At some point, his will was going to break. He had to find some way out before that happened. Erik carefully tugged on the chains with his power. Maybe if he rested a bit and regained some of his mental strength, then he could yank down one of the chains.

A hissing sound started above Erik. He felt upward with his power. It was some sort of nozzle spraying some sort of gas. That couldn’t be a good thing. Erik started feeling dizzy. It didn’t feel like a nerve gas. Erik relaxed and breathed in the odd-scented fumes. Sometimes the best way to deal with adversity was just to embrace it and force your way through it. After a few breaths, Erik felt his eyelids grow heavy. His pain was dulled. A few more and the blackness consumed him.

Friday Quote – Alex Rainert

The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

Alex Rainert

That’s probably on the low side.

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