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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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 16-


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

MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

Minutemen Boston Sci FiChapter Sixteen: “Preparing to Fail”


Office of Captain Jack O’Shea
UNSC Post 53, “Fort Bunker Hill” 
City of Boston
September 29, 2552
Three weeks before the invasion of Earth


“Do they still hang traitors?”

Captain Jack O’Shea looked past the holographic displays streaming above his desk and across his spacious office at Master Gunnery Sergeant Gus Reynolds. Jack raised an eyebrow as he waved a hand over the surface of his workspace and powered down the desk.

“I haven’t educated myself on the subject, but I guess it’s pretty timeless, Gus.” The Captain answered, wary of his old friend’s conversational tone.

Reynolds put his freshly polished boots up on the table in front of the wide leather couch and sighed wistfully. “I think that’s how I’d want to go out. Firing squad is just kinda…sudden.”

“You’re in a particularly sunny mood today.”

Reynolds returned to sitting attentively, leaning forward, palms up in conjecture. “I’m just saying. If the kid rats on us—”

O’Shea rolled his eyes. “He’s not going to rat. As I recall, Master Gunnery Sergeant, you hand picked this kid.”

Reynolds shrugged noncommittally. “You can’t know how someone’s going to react to something like this. It’s not like we’re telling him his pet died.”

Jack made a show of powering up the desk again, stopping Reynolds’ train of thought dead in its tracks. “Look,” Captain O’Shea instructed, pulling a Marine dossier literally out of thin air, “This isn’t just some kid we’re talking about here.”

Reynolds stood up to refill his empty coffee mug from the thermos on O’Shea’s desk. “I know.”

“Are you sure?” The Captain asked pointedly. “Do you need another look at the service record?”

Gus put his hands up in surrender. Jack only stretched his hand out to increase the file’s size and resolution and then flicked his hand to spin the hologram so Reynolds had no choice but to see it.

“He’s not a kid. He’s a Marine. And when the corps asked him to put it on the line he did it no questions asked. He swore the same oath we did, Gus. He’ll play ball.”

Reynolds tugged on the hem of his crisp gray duty jacket before sitting down in silent thought. After a moment and a sip of piping hot tasteless coffee, the Master Gunnery Sergeant spoke without a hint of reservation.

“All right,” Gus nodded. “Let’s talk to the kid.”

Jack nodded back, satisfied, and tapped a translucent blue circle hovering an inch over the desk that turned red at his touch. “This is O’Shea,” he instructed casually, “Send in Lance Corporal McHale, please.”

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Minutemen: The Crucible -Chapter 15-


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

MINUTEMEN: THE CRUCIBLE

Chapter Fifteen: “The Rally Point.”

Marlborough & Exeter St.
Evacuated City of Boston
October 20, 2552
Late evening

“On the hop!” Master Gunnery Sergeant Gus Reynolds implored over the sudden explosion of noise ahead of them. Tim McManus, Ron Parsons, and Rachel Lynch hustled past him down the narrow alley while Reynolds put a hand to his throat mic. “McHale, where are you?”

Lance Corporal Adam McHale’s voice was officially frantic. “Bravo actual to all teams! I’ve got one dead, one wounded bad in no man’s land. Taking heavy hostile fire! We can’t hold the rally point for much longer!”

“McHale, talk to me!”

“We’re in a bad way here, Master Guns! Need assistance!”

“Just hold on! We’re almost there!”

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Come With Me If You Want To Live


 

uh-oh.

uh-oh.

Who would you follow in the war against the machines?

I don’t know much, but I do know this: eventually, machines will become our overlords, and not cool overlords like the apes who at least had the decency to feed us. No, I’m talking Judgment Day, 12 Colonies Holocaust, Matrix-level ish right here. When that day comes we’re going to need a leader. We’re going to need someone with the guts, the cajones, the presence of mind to throw down whilst shouting at the top of their lungs, “Suck my motherboard, you damn dirty toasters!”

But who would that leader be? I reached back into popular media to find our best techno messiahs and came up with four potential leaders of men. Let’s compare them and emerge with the savior of the future.

Gary Kasparov, chess grandmaster

John Connor, leader of the Resistance

Neo, the One

Admiral William Adama, Commander of the Battlestar Galactica 

My thoughts after the jump

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