Minutemen: Do No Harm – Prologue


For those who haven’t read my first book yet, here’s a handy link so you don’t fall behind!

MINUTEMEN: Do No Harm

Prologue – “No Exit

16:00 DLT

Frigate Enduring Progress

High orbit above colony world Eridanus

The Frigate Enduring Progress was a nuclear-armed coffin tumbling through the inkwell of space. To the passing ship or satellite she was a metal husk, a rush-job war machine with weapons that looked welded on last week. To sensors, the Progress was bereft of life, fallow, useless. As Colonel Tovald Bristow stalked the Progress’ hallways only by the grace of magnetic soled boots, he could not help but agree with that assessment.

As the Progress’ Executive Officer reached the rusty blast doors of the warship’s bridge, a hacking cough attacked and he scowled at the sky blue mucus floating in front of him. Now matter how short the journey, cryogenic freezing was, is, and forever would be a mother.

Ancient blast doors scraped open and Bristow scowled as he stepped into the cold dark silence of the bridge. Nothing moved, save a few pieces of trash floating in zero gravity. No hum of computers, no rush of air outside, only the eerie sensation of hurtling through space at a ludicrous speed yet feeling nothing at all.

The Colonel grunted and put an orange key into a glowing blue port on the captain’s chair. The soft, ethereal, symphonic tones of the ship’s computer booting managed to lift Tovald’s a mood a little as he nodded to the room. “Report.”

The seemingly ubiquitous, disembodied woman’s voice filled the room. “Per emergency order by the Commander. I have repaired essential systems. And am prepared to calculate an escape vector.”

“Where are we?”

 

“We are drifting with the remains of the Resistance Fleet. Of the thirty ships involved in combat action, only Martyr’s Sword and Just Cause survived. Be advised, Just Cause is venting atmosphere and has not responded to my hails in three months.”

 

             “Three months?” The cobwebs in Colonel Tovald Bristow’s head fell away in an instant. Bristow was already dreading the weeks of physical therapy required after such a sustained cryogenic freeze.

All essential systems suffered catastrophic damage in the assault against Colonial forces. Immediate repairs are required.”

“What’s the body count on the ‘Collies? How many did we get?”

The Libertad suffered one fatality from equipment failure during an after-action space walk–”

 

            “Computer to mute.”

 

The clinking of trinkets falling to the deck informed the XO of the return of artificial gravity a split-second before the computer flashed confirmation on the navigation table. A DNA swab and a hand wave later, the table hummed and disgorged gorgeous holograms of turquoise Dominion and its twin moons, Scylla and Charybdis; but there were no holograms of any of the dozens of ships that were always buzzing around the planet.

Bristow smacked the table with a fist, causing the image to flicker and splice, still nothing but the planet and moons. “God damn border control officers,” he muttered as he stalked back to the chair, feeling the hot flush of his blood pressure rising, “Bribe ‘em and they give you a blank map…god damn criminals.”

The Colonel jabbed a button on the captain’s chair. “Begin cryo thaw for all crew and bring jump systems online. Lieutenant Hartley is required ASAP at the bridge to explain himself to the Commander.”

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Giant-sized Gossip Girl Review: The Kids Aren’t All Right


Gossip Girl Review: Dan and Blair. Yeah. You read that.

This is happening. Just accept it.

Okay! Let’s shake off the rust here for a second. It’s been a dog’s age, friends, lovers, and thieves. I think my last review was somewhere at the start of season three around the time that Gossip Girl decided to just go off the freaking rails and I swore I’d never love again.

Then people started paying me to write about TV.

SHAMELESS PLUG: My new show, bought and paid for by Hulu, where I write with brilliant folks about TV. It’s called The Morning After, and it’s on Hulu every weekday. I feel dirty doing that, but that’s why I watched Gossip Girl last night and why I’m back to doing this.

Also, I now have help. Very witty, New York-based, wonderful to look at, delightfully English help. Learn who it is after the jump.

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Every Elevator Character Ever Created


We’re shin-deep in the final season of the popular web series Elevator and recently I asked the fans if they wanted to help contribute to our final season. To help jump-start your brains (There are over 200 episodes after all, there’s a lot to watch.) I’ve compiled a list and brief summary of all the characters ever introduced in the series. I’m sure I’ve missed one or two, but you get the idea.

Take trip down down the memory shaft or browse this entry and wonder just how the hell someone once paid us to make this. Enjoy

Harold the janitor

I am Iron Man.

Played by Ben Pace

Notable episodes – Enter the Matrix, Harold the Vampire part 2, When you gotta go, The Clone Wars

No one knows how old Harold is or when he first started working at the office, but everyone knows that he was there on his or her first day and he’ll certainly be there on the last…and possibly every day in between. Harold is, to borrow a phrase, “scary smart,” often inventing incredible gadgets and contraptions on a whim and using them for his own pleasure. He has a love/hate relationship with Waldo.

Harold has the unique ability to be sympathetic for everyone while simultaneously cruel to others. He’s generally pleasant to everyone, with the notable exception of litterers and people who don’t recycle. If you don’t follow the basic rules of cleanliness (or if you make Harold’s job difficult) he will hunt you down, harass you, and probably end your career.

Part of Harold’s power is taken from the bin he carries around everywhere. Harold’s bin seems to have magical properties that allow Harold to produce whatever object he needs regardless of size or weight, and in one instance allowed people to see alternate futures when Harold filled the bin with water and dunked people’s heads in it. In the past, Santa Claus has come by the elevator looking for the bin, which has led some to believe that the bin’s lining is Santa’s magic bag. Harold also wields a mop named Bessie Lou.

He’s made allusions to his time in the Navy SEALS, has visited outer space, and pals around with janitors and Hollywood celebrities alike. He’s been divorced several times and doesn’t know his real father, though he suspects William Shatner on a daily basis.

Quotes:

Harold: Guys, I’m not a vampire. I just said and did all that stuff to get chicks.

Harold: Fifteen! One of my favorite bathrooms in the whole building, honestly…except unfortunately I just closed it via remote. There’s an app for that.

Charles Trippy: You’re one sick twisted janitor.

Harold: Thank you. I try.

Mr. Grant: Enough is enough, Harold. I want you out by four.

Harold: Sure. Whatever. I’ll just leave the overflowing toilets in the ladies’ room, the grease fire down in the kitchen, and actually Rachel in shipping who’s going into labor right about [Harold’s watch beeps] now.

Harold: Where’d you go, Waldo? Show yourself, you bastard!

Harold: Are you crying? [tastes tear] Wait a minute, these are tears of sadness!

Harold: Melora, I love you, and when you sing I feel lonelier than an infant in a meth den, but you’ve got to ramp it up!

 

ALL OTHER CHARACTERS AFTER THE JUMP

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Elevator Thursday! Batman vs. Spider-Man


This week’s Elevator episode asks the very tough question…who’s better? The Batman or Spider-Man? The answer may shock you.

Guest starring Lesley Tsina of Slave Leia and Squatters’ Brendan Bradley!

Apocalypse Wow!


What do you MEAN, you haven’t seen the trailer to my new series?

Why, it’s directed and developed by Scott Brown, mastermind behind such hits as “Blue Movies,” “Asylum,” and all the fresh new web stuff coming out of Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State!”

Did I mention our impossibly good-looking cast? Celebrated actor Craig Frank, Melanie Merkosky, Ben Begley, and “Star Trek” and “Passions” star McKenzie Westmore! You’ll also see everyone’s favorite janitor, Ben Pace, and internet hero David Nett. It’s absurd.

As for my role, I created the story, characters, and wrote the script, and generally wept with joy at how great the folk attached to this are. If you know folks with money, tell them to buy this show!

Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 17-


Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16

Minutemen: The Crucible

Chapter Seventeen: “The Life and Death of Tim McManus.”

McGoohan Hall
Harvard University
Boston, United North American Protectorate
September 1, 2552
Two months before the invasion of Earth

McGoohan Hall’s largest classroom was a hundred-seat cathedral designed to worship academia. Beige and baked red bricks towered over the students from every side, reaching up the impressive, ancient-looking domed ceilings. The progressive sunlight of each day sparkled through installed filters that in turn projected soothing, soft, inspiring rays of multi-colored light during the day and real-time constellations relative to the sky at night. To counteract the possibly distracting natural light display above, the ten tiers of evenly spaced workstations were all designed to focus the pupils’ attention down toward the stage-like lectern and the rail-thin professor behind its distinctly alter-like holograph projector.

The teacher’s knee-length formal jacket and bizarre white pants coupled with his hands and arms moving like some manic composer gave the class a more cultish feel, but Tim McManus was too busy thinking about beer.

The hazel-eyed Harvard Junior leaned back in his small leather chair, feeling the responsive nanomachines in the leather shimmy and move to make his new position as comfortable as possible. Tim tapped the stylus of his study tablet against a denim-sheathed knee to the beat of an unheard song and he sighed as he ruffled his long brown hair in anticipation of his emancipation.

The Interstellar Politics professor’s voice echoed against the bricks like a tropical bird’s mating call. “Everyone in the faculty urges you to attend the relief concert Saturday night and to welcome the class of ’56. All proceeds benefit the war refugees of Tribute colony.”

On cue, the study tablet of all ninety-five students winked crimson and white, showing details for Saturday night’s concert along with three buttons forcing the children to choose between if they were attending, might attend, or had no intention to attend. McManus sighed and stabbed his stylus at the “maybe” box, waiting for his teacher’s reaction. The long jacketed-cult leader Professor frowned.

“Ninety ‘maybes’,” He grumbled, “You cowards might as well just say ‘no.’”

McManus rolled his eyes from one of the back tiers, whipping around in his chair as a flash drive knocked into the back of his skull. Tim pushed the high collar of his new crisp fall jacket to playfully glare at his roommate, Dylan Winters, no doubt the perpetrator of the classroom crime. Indeed, Winter’s bright blue eyes shone with mischief, both from his last act and the fact that he was sandwiched between two very well dressed girls that Tim thought he recognized from Harvard’s dance team.

Winter’s dark brown skin contrasted sharply but stylishly against the sky-blue chalk stripes of his tailored suit, the home and away uniform of Harvard’s population of old money students. A slick, form hugging pink shirt lay beneath the suit, accompanied by a dark holopin attached to the lapel of his suit that read in stark black letters, “Remember Reach.” Despite the enormous wealth of Dylan’s family, Tim did not hesitate for a moment to flick the flash drive back at his friend when the Professor restarted his lecture.

“What’re we doin’ tonight?” Winters hissed at McManus and not-so-subtly nodded toward his companions on either side.

Tim McManus stopped tapping his stylus and looked over his shoulder with a look of betrayal. The secretly brilliant student, who knew the Professor’s lecture backwards, pointed the sleek writing utensil at his rich friend. “Um, I’m sorry, is it not the first weekend of the first school year we can legally drink? Because I’m reasonably certain tradition demands we defile ourselves at The Foxhole.”

“It’s like you live in my head.”

Tim laughed to himself. “It’s spacious enough.”

Dylan’s bright eyes narrowed conspiratorially. “Hey,” he breathed, leaning forward cautiously to avoid the Professor’s attention, “Remember last weekend of Relative Physics?”

Tim wagged his head as if jostling the memory out of his brain, “Kinda.”

Dylan leveled a knowing look at his buddy. “Class dismissed.”

McManus’ eyebrows shot up in recollection. “Oh.” He replied, finally putting all the pieces together. “Oh!”

Winters’ eyes twinkled as he glanced down at the droning teacher and the pupil’s sagging postures of boredom. Tim shook his head vehemently.

“We cased that for, like, two weeks.” McManus explained, now actively monitoring the Professor’s position and tone, “The firewalls here are way more sophisticated—”

Winters leaned back and shook his head sadly at the two attractive girls on either side. “Sorry girls,” he apologized, “I guess he’s grown complacent in his old age.”

The two old friends exchanged a series of looks that were a conversation in their own right. Finally Tim rolled his eyes. “Gimme your tab,” he sighed. “If anyone’s gonna get busted for this, it should be the guy whose folks bought the gym.”

“It was a library,” Winters corrected, but Tim was already hunched over Dylan’s study tablet, hands twitching over the glow of its display. The trust fund playboy draped an arm over one of the co-eds as he watched his friend with pride. After two minutes of frenzied but masked movement McManus finally slipped the tablet back under his arm and toward the waiting manicured hand of his colleague.

Dylan glanced at the smooth, thin black data pad, chuckled as he showed it off to the ladies, then tapped it with his pinky finger. Instantly, every student’s data pad faded out the lesson and replaced it with a jovial green and orange glow, accompanied by a bright white invitation in Gaelic font:

First weekend of the school year, the text message glowed in the same manner as the relief concert before. The legend is back and legal for the first time. Foxhole happy hour. Right now. Class dismissed.”

Tim shrugged innocently and lightly tapped the “Attending” box as he stood up, followed moments later by the entirety of the large auditorium. Dylan Winters laughed out loud. “Ninety-five attendings,” he crowed, slapping his friend on the back. “A new record!”

“Ninety-six,” McManus corrected, tossing his backpack onto a shoulder and nodding down at the exit. “I think the Professor beat us out the door.”

“You,” Dylan Winters said with not a little pride, “are a legend, man. They’ll sing your song forever.”

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Jersey Shore Review: The Hangover


JERSEY SHORE REVIEW:

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE RONNIE EMPIRE

Do you, bro.

Full disclosure: In my notes for this episode (and yes, sadly I do write notes about this show) I wrote in all caps: I LOVE THIS SHOW. So that’s two strikes for me so far.

Ronnie does mad work

So Ronnie won the breakup and earned the nickname IFF that definitely involves the word fuck but MTV bleeped the whole thing so we never definitively know what it is. I’m ___ ___. Not so much win there, MTV editors.

Situation’s all pissed at Ronnie because Situation doesn’t do as well as Smush. When discussing the premiere, Roommate Ryan had a hilarious observation about The Scenario’s thought process every night around 3am:

1. I’m gonna my dick wet. Fuck yea!
2. Oh hello, obliques.
3. Are those cameras? NICE.
4. FUCK. These chicks are busted and I claim to bag models constantly.
Do that thing where you pretend to come out of your black-out and
insult them on national television.
5. ::takes photo of his abs with blackberry. Grabs lotion and goes to
bed:: The only one who is hot enough for The Situation is The
Situation. Tell your friends.”

I wonder if the cast has to ask the producers if they can bring girls back to the place. That’s just funny to think about. It’s like asking your parents if your friend can come over, but instead of playing Ninja Turtles you’re having sex in a hot tub on camera.

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