Hot off the Press!
Hot of the press replaces previous ‘Excerpts’. It will be excerpts that I have just written; little tasters of what I am up to, but not too much. I think I can just about manage this final one from Iron III: Worlds Like Dust.
Worlds Like Dust
Copyright © 2011 by Lazlo Ferran
All right Reserved
“Good thinking, Caron. However that still doesn’t help much. I don’t think any of us would get far … wearing a suit outside the port is gonna look pretty strange … And I don’t even speak Ischian!” After half hour deliberating they still had no decent plan. “Anyways, I am gonna get some kip. Bryant, you are on watch. Wake me in one hour. I’ll sleep on it!”
When they drifted cautiously into Dock 422 in Mars Space Port, they still had no plan beyond the inchoate one suggested by Caron.
Built in the late 21st Century Mars Space Port, also known as Port Brutus, named after the first man to set foot on Mars, was still very impressive. Built from the then-cheap black seribdenum alloy, the matt surfaces on the ten mile long aisles and shorter piers appeared blacker than black. Only the twinkling pot lights highlighted its profiles and gave an almost sickening perspective to it.
Ischian cruisers were larger than human ones and the docks could barely hold them so McNeill had to use every bit of skill to dock without damaging the ship. They knew they would be scrutinized, and probably reported if they made an error. They didn’t need the attention. McNeil was sweating when the cruiser finally came to rest and the docking clamps juddered into position. Osei, in the Ischian suit, used a translator to respond by keyboard to the Port’s new controller while keeping the others off the comms viewing screen. A stern looking Ischian Commander demanded an explanation several times for the suit and the lack of vocal communication.
‘Were involved in a skirmish with a stolen cruiser, Commander,’ Osei typed. ‘In Earth’s vicinity. We sustained damage to our recyclers and comms equipment.’
“But I can see no sign of damage to your ship, Captain!”
‘They had Ischian cruiser, Commander. That means they had disrupter. They may be poor shots but they were lucky.’
“Yes, I know. We have been told a confirmed damaged cruiser is possibly heading this way. I presume that was the skirmish you were involved with?”
“I see. You need a Repair Crew? I can’t spare one until tomorrow …”
‘We barely made it here, sir. Need to contact our Commander and request a brief for a new mission.’
“Hm. Your unit is near the Earth’s Moon, subduing Rebels, I believe. He won’t have time for that. What’s his name? I might be able to get a message through …”
“Wait. Our old Commander was killed yesterday. We have a new one but I forgot the name.” Osei broke the link. “Quick! Somebody get me a name … From the logs; from a bunk; the suits … I don’t care!” There was chaos as the three grunts turned the deck upside down. Caron found a tag in one of the suits.
“Kreikos …? Something like that, I think. My Ischian’s not so good …”
Osei reconnected with the Dock Control. ‘Kreikos,’ he typed in.
“Right.” I’ll get in touch. You report to me directly you get port-side. Understood?”
It looks like editing on The Journals Of Raymond Brooks, Second Edition is complete so I look forward to seeing that published on Amazon soon. The new cover of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate seems to be working for me; I have sold 11 copies in the first week. I really hope to finish Worlds Like Dust in the next two weeks so that I can move on to stories which have languished too long in a half finished state. I am also starting work with Omri Koresh on the new cover for Ordo Lupus II: The Devil’s Own Dice, so look for that in August or September.
Just a quick word about the Shopper Discount Scam. A close friend of mine was angry to find they had been paying £10 per month to a company they had never heard of the other day. It turns out that thousands of people have been caught by the same scam: you pay for something on a reputable website like Argos.co.uk or Prontaprint.co.uk and unwitting find yourself becoming a member of the shopper discount service. They do offer a voucher for £15 (or something like that) off your next purchase but proceed to debit your credit card account by £10 per month indefinitely. it is quite difficult to stop them and neither the banks nor the website companies (ie Argos) seem interested in helping you. It does smell badly of bad practice at the least and I am amazed something like this is allowed to go on in the consumer-conscious 21st Century.