Tag Archive: Action


Mcdonough’s Tale

A short historical piece I wrote, centered around Pearl Harbor. This story is tied in with “Siege of Fortuna”

…As Major Mcdonough’s P-40 Tomahawk hurtled down the runway, its engines roaring like an enraged tiger, he glanced over his shoulder, checking for enemy fighters. Seeing none, he brought his plane up into a climb, pulling it away from the tarmac. The tomahawk then soared up to cruising altitude, and Mcdonough looked to his left spotting two other tomahawks that made it into the air. He gave them a salute, before his eyes drifted towards Pearl Harbor. The billowing plumes of smoke coming from throughout the harbor, as well as the occasional tounge of flame shooting out of the shattered and mangled husk of the USS Arizona, only strengthened his resolve. He banked his plane towards the battle, the other tomahawks following him as he rushed towards the sound of danger, intent on avenging the Americans that lay dead and dying below him.

    Mcdonough’s  hodge podge squadron flew into the fray, catching a small group of Japanese aircraft from behind. They dove down on the enemy, Mcdonough knocking out a Nakajima B5N “Kate” torpedo bomber before the japanese had time to react. A dogfight ensued, with several Mitsubishi A6M “Zeros” peeling off from the main Japanese formation to intercept Mcdonough’s fighters. Mcdonough’s formation split, and began a deadly dance of death with the enemy fighters, both sides darting around trying to line up a lethal shot on the other side.  One of the enemy fighters erupted in a ball of flame after one of Mcdonough’s wingmen lodged a bullet inside its engine. Mcdonough let off a stream of bullets at another nearby fighter, then glanced over his shoulder, cursing as one of his wingmen was hit, his engine sputtering. He watched the plane as it spiraled down to its death, the pilot bailing out. He was shaken back to reality by the sounds of bullets bouncing off his own wings, and glanced behind him, spotting a Japanese pilot. Another round of bullets struck his wing as he dove, and as he glanced over, he could see fuel leaking. He cursed, and turned his plane around, struggling his way back to Hickam Field. He landed his crippled plane amid all the destruction and devastation, then climbed out of the cockpit, before blacking out from blood loss, due to the bullet that had passed through the base of the Tomahawk’s wing and into his leg.

A short story I wrote, based off of  a certain historical event, and tied to a short historical fiction piece i wrote!

..As Joseph Pavlik led his squadron of Damocles class missileboats towards the fusionpulse gate, he looked over his shoulder at the hundreds of other Damocles and Excalibur class vessels forming up for their own gatejumps, their sleek, almost shark-like hulls glistening in the light of X26-G13, the nearest star. The emblem of the Langrith empire shone out on some of their delta wings, its crossed swords brandished over a single golden shield. He prepped his missileboat’s pulsedrive, before nodding at his wingman, and entering the gate, heading for the Asopus system, and war.

    The planet Fortuna wasn’t a planet persay. It was far too small to be a planet. Nestled in the rings of the gas giant Asopus, Fortuna was a small moon, mostly covered in blue-green seas. Its gravitational forces had made a small clear space in the rings, large enough for a fleet of warships to dock in. This gap had been taken advantage of by the Elysian Republic, who had colonised the little world that hid in the shadow of its leviathan neighbor. The gap had been quickly filled with large dry docks, storage tanks, and stations. Fortuna itself had become somewhat of a vacation world for the Elysian crewman when they were on shore leave. Several small towns had popped up on the planet, mostly along the shoreline. On the first sunday of the last month of the Elysian calendar, the 72nd Battle Fleet, under command of Admiral Patrick Mcdonough, was in port for refit and repair at Fortuna.

    Patrick Mcdonough stood on the bridge of his flagship, the ERS Athena. He was a fitting presence there, one with authority. He could trace his lineage all the way back to Old Earth, where his ancestors fought in the United States Army Air Corp. The military was in his blood, and his crew knew it. On this particular day, He stood looking over his combat information display, at the twenty four ships scattered throughout Fortuna’s facilities, all under his command. There were three hundred small blue dots as well, sprinkled throughout the asteroids in small spindly lines. These dots represented Fortuna command’s defense force of Ceres Class fighters, all docked in their high capacity parking limbs. He glanced away from the console as he sat down, and looked out a nearby viewport at the Athena’s seven sister ships, sitting in a set of two straight lines across the gap from the Athena, their splendor and strength clearly evident against the backdrop of Fortuna’s topaz seas. He gazed at the ships for a few more moments before looking away and picking up a stack of E-Pads, and prepared to spend another uneventful sunday reading reports.

    The computer in Joseph Pavlik’s Damocles came to life as they neared the Asopus System.  He looked at the computer for a moment, before letting out a sigh, and opening up a channel to the rest of the Missleboats and Fighters, ordering them to warm up their weapons and prepare for re-entry into normal space. As he prepared his own weapons, he let out a heavy sigh, the weight of what he and his comrades were about to do, and about to start, finally hitting him. He rubbed his face, then ordered the attack force to cut engines as the the pulsedrive tunnel collapsed.

    Asopus’ light blue clouds disguised a large molten iron core. This iron core, five times the size of the planet Earth, projected a massive magnetic field. This magnetic field disguised the pulsedrive tunnel collapsing on the far side of the planet from Fortuna. Asopus also hid the 420 tiny flecks coming out of that pulsedrive tunnel, as they approached the azure jewel nestled inside the ring of icy rocks that orbited the giant ball of gas.

    Eveline Hersman guided her mining barge through the rocky maze of Asopus’ rings, navigating towards a particularly ore-rich clump of asteroids. As she neared the cluster, she saw several dozen bright flecks of light approaching her, not showing up on sensors. She shrugged the flecks off, assuming the navy was simply running exercises. As the flecks approached, and became small ships, she quirked an eyebrow. “Those ships don’t look right.” she thought.  “Their shapes are all wrong.” As the ships grew close enough for detailed inspection, her eyes locked on the crossed swords and shield painted onto their hulls. “Those are Langrith ships!”  Panic flew across her face, and she powered down the barge, save for the comm, which she used to try and contact Fortuna Command with a warning.

As the strike force approached Asopus’ orbit, Pavlik spotted a mining barge drifting in the gas giant’s retinue of asteroids. He let out a sigh, and motioned a couple times to his nearest wingman with his hand. The pilot gave a nod, and veered his craft towards the barge. The small strike craft descended upon the barge like a hawk, weapons hot, but instead destroying the lumbering defenseless giant, simply shot out its comm array. After making its pass, the strikecraft gently turned, and headed back towards the FusionPulse gate, its engines on lowest power levels to avoid detection.

Despite his best efforts, Admiral Mcdonough had dozed off in his command chair. He dreamed of his home on the planet surface, right on the coast of Fortuna’s pristine oceans. He and his small family were on the beach, his young son playing with the sand as he and his wife watched. The hours passed, and day turned to dusk as he and his family watched the massive blue orb of Asopus settle down under the horizon as Fortuna’s night cycle began. Suddenly, his dream world was shattered to bits as a klaxon blared out on the bridge. His eyes flew open and darted around, trying to figure out what was going on. The bridge was in chaos, alarms flashing  and wailing, people scurrying about to their battle stations.  He jumped up as a small blast shook the ship, and wobbled his way over to the  C.I.D. As he leaned against it and studied the display, his eyes widened and he paled. For every blue icon on his screen, he saw at least four or five blood red icons racing around, attacking any and every ship in Fortuna’s Orbit.  The Athena’s bridge shok again as another blast, at least twice the size of the first, shook the mighty giant to the core. Mcdonough’s eyes flew to the viewscreen, and his jaw dropped as the massive destruction being delivered upon Fortuna’s infrastructure became obvious. Flashes were going off all around from the sheer amount of laser fire pouring down on the defenders like a torrential downpour of angry red rain. Several smaller ships were listing uncontrollably towards Fortuna’s atmosphere, their lights and power conduits flickering, and most of the larger ships had clearly visible impact burns on their hulls, some of which were bleeding atmosphere. Then another Impact shook the Athena, and the viewscreen went dark.

The engines of Pavlik’s Damocles’ screamed as he dove towards an already battered fighter parking limb. He lined up his crosshairs on the rapidly approaching structure, and pulled the trigger. His missileboat shook a bit as he pulled up, verifying to him that he had hit the parking limb’s fuel storage, and most likely destroyed the structure. He then pulled up, and headed towards the center berth in the harbor, where eight lumbering Zeus Class Battleships lie in dock. He lined up his missileboat for an attack run on one of the  battleships, with the name Ares painted onto the hull. He gave his missiles a few seconds to lock, before sucking in a breath, and pulling the trigger.

The Athena’s Viewscreen flicked to life, just long enough to give Admiral Mcdonough a view of the Ares being struck by two missiles. The mighty ship listed for a moment, before igniting into a massive fireball and ripping in half. The massive shockwave hit the Athena, and the ship shook, the screen flickering back out along with the lights, casting Admiral Mcdonough and his crew into darkness.

The news reports the next day were grim. Within two hours, 24,030 men had been killed by the Langrith attack. The most devastating blow was the loss of the Ares, along with 11,170 of her crew. The next morning, The Elysian Republic, under urging of their president, Fairfax Radburn, declared war on the Langrith Empire.  Analysts were spouting off about how there hasn’t been a surprise attack against a naval base like this since Old Earth’s second world war, when the Japanese Empire attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, with results much like what occurred here at Fortuna.

Bastion Chp. 3

Avina stared at the radar console as her men stepped off of the Hermes  and onto the shoreline. She glanced out of a nearby window at the island a short distance away, and began to daydream, thinking of a town forming on its beaches, slowly growing into a mighty city, eventually even spreading out onto other islands. She thought of her people growing from a small community of scientists and pioneers to a bustling, thriving, metropolis, an oasis in the middle of the endless sea. A smile played across her face as her imagination ran wild, her nation and people spreading throughout the earth, and bringing a new golden age to mankind. Without warning, her reverie was smashed, as the radar console let out an angry series of beeps. She looked back down at the console, and her eyes widened as four or five large red blips streaked in from the other side of the island, like deadly balls of fire.

Lucius strode down the alley to a half hidden sign that read “The Flying Dutchman! Best pub this side of the street!” He went through the door under the sign, and strode up to the bar. The barkeep strode up and and said “Ello mate! Wotcha’ have?” Lucius said in a low voice “Im looking for a man named Balt.” The barkeep visibly darkened, and motioned for Lucius to join him in the back room.

      As they entered the back room,  the barkeep spun and slammed him against the wall. “How do you know that name!” He yelled at Lucius.  Lucius shoved the other man off him, brushed himself off, and said “ I was told to contact a man by that name. I am interested in joing his… organization” The barkeep calmed down, and said “Oh… well in that case, a moment please” He turned, and began to walk away seemingly to get “balt”. Suddenly, he spun and threw a knife at Lucius, who caught off guard, barely dodged it. The barkeep charged at the surprised hero, and punched him in the chest before grabbing his arm, which he twisted. Lucius cringed, then spun, breaking the hold. He kneed the man in the gut then spun twice, hitting the man on the ear and in the ribs. The other man staggered back, shocked b y the speed of the attacks, but he only was off guard for a moment. He recovered, and threw a murderous right hook at Lucius dodged, and the man’s fist hit the wall with a *crack*. He howled in pain and staggered backward, cradling his smashed fist. Lucius took this moment to strike, knocking the man to the ground, and stepping on his chest. Oddly enough, the man laughed. “Impressive” he said. “ I think you have the right stuff for The Shadow. Welcome to the club… what was your name?” Lucius’ eyes widened, as he realized he hadn’t thought of a decent name. thinking quickly, he blurted out “Drake. Just drake” Balt patted him roughly on the back as he said “Well then, welcome to the club Drake”

 

Okay after that brief break from the story of our mysterious lucius, I give you the 6th installment of The Jester’s Blade!

As the figure drove the knife down, Lucius rolled, kicking the figure in the shin. The figure, taken by surprise, and thoroughly angered that its prey was still alive, jumped backwards, and drew a second dagger for his off hand. Lucius rolled out of bed, and jumped to his feet, grabbing his “juggling” daggers off of the wardrobe. He lunged at the figure, who easily sidestepped the half awake Jester, allowing him to barrel through the door.  Lucius stumbled back to his feet as the figure sprang through the door. Now that the figure was in the torchlight of the hallway,  Lucius could see that “it” was a small, lithe,man, clad in black robes, with a black hood over his face. The man slashed at Lucius with one dagger,  while he simultaneously stabbed at him with the other. Lucius dodged the blades nimbly, and grabbed the man’s off hand, twisting it until he heard a snap, along with the man’s scream. The man staggered then recovered, slashing at Lucius in a desperate attempt to regain the upper hand. he grazed Lucius’ chest, leaving a long slash across it and cutting his shirt. Lucius whipped out his own daggers, and threw two, pinning the man to the wall by his robe. Fighting the urge to kill the man then and there, he began to question him “What is you name, and who do you serve?” he asked the now bone white man. “My name is Occassus, and i serve my master” Lucius glared at Occassus, and almost growled the next question “Fine Occassus… who is your master?” “My master,” Occassus said, smiling insidiously, “Is the black death, the Furvus B’as, and your bane!” Suddenly, Occassus grabbed his dagger out of Lucius’ hand, thrusting it right into his own heart, then throwing it in one last rebellious attempt straight at Lucius. Lucius dodged the blade, then ran over to Occassus, who lay dying on the floor. Occassus looked up, spit at Lucius, then collapsed as his last breath escaped his body. “Fool.” Lucius muttered as he let go of the dead assassin.

With all his known leads either dead or worthless, Lucius felt lost. He lay on his bed in the inn, milling through the events of the past few days, searching for answers. He thought of Thane, the burly head guard at the palace. Could he know more than he let on to during Lucius’ capture? He thought of Earl Fraser, the man who had hired him. Could he have decided Lucius was a liability which needed to be disposed of?  Who was the man who left Sebastian’s Villa in so much haste?As Lucius began to doze off, hoping something might come to him in the night, he heard a click. Someone was at the door! Thinking fast, he rolled over, pretending to be fast asleep.

The door slowly opened, first only a crack, then wide enough to let a man slip in. A figure appeared in the doorway, black as night itself, and stood there for a moment before entering. It slid through the room, quiet as death, before stopping at the side of the bed Lucius was facing. It hovered for a moment before drawing a long, black, dagger from its robes, and raising it above its head, preparing to deliver a lethal blow…

Jesters Blade Chp. 4

The next morning, Lucius lounged upon his bed, debating where to start his search. He though of Earl Sebastian, Fraser’s opponent in the grain negotiations. Sebastian may have feared he was going to lose the trade deal, and in an act of desperation, ordered a hit on the king. Even if he hadn’t, Sebastian was a man with connections, who may have information on who did frame Lucius.

A day later, Lucius rode toward Sebastian’s villa, an opulent 4 floor mansion a few miles south of the capitol. As he neared the mansion, he saw a hooded figure, clad in charcoal grey, ride out of Sebastian’s estate, galloping full speed due north. Sensing danger, He pulled off the road, and hid in a nearby thicket of aspen trees. The hooded figure flew past, not even glancing in Lucius’ direction. After a few minutes had passed, Lucius returned to the road, and headed for the Villa

He slipped past the Villa’s outer guards without being seen, and approached the main entrance to the mansion. Instead of attempting passage through the heavily guarded main doors, Lucius chose to go directly to the Earl’s bedroom, on the third floor. He ran up the wall, grabbing a nearby window-sill, and began his ascent.  After climbing past various windows, arrow-slits, and balconies, he arrived at the bedroom balcony

, and saw light filtering through the curtains of a nearby glass door. He strode to the door, to find it unlocked. How foolish, he thought, for such a powerful man to feel so secure.

He slipped into the room unnoticed, and crept to the Earl’s bed, drawing a knife. He sprang up, putting the dagger at the Earl’s (who had been sleeping) throat, and using his free hand to cover his mouth. ” Earl Sebastian, how nice to see you” Lucius whispered into the Earl’s ear. “if you would be so kind, would you join me on the the balcony?”

Lucius shoved the now wide awake Earl through the door, pressing him against the balcony’s sculpted edge. “If you don’t want to become a cobblestone, you will tell me what i want to know!” Lucius said menacingly to the Earl, who replied, terror in his voice “Anything! what do you want to know?” “what do you know of the king’s assassination?” Lucius said, pushing a little harder on the aging noble. “The king’s assassination? some jester did it… Oh! and the spy I placed in his courts has been arrested for apparently trying to kill that Jester. Thats all I know! I swear!”

Lucius pulled him away from the Balcony, holding him up by the scruff of his nightgown “If you speak of this to anyone, you won’t survive the week” He threatened, before shoving him back into his room, and jumping off the balcony onto a waiting horse.

Jesters Blade Chp. 3

The next morning, Lucius awoke in the small room he had acquired in a nondescript inn in the countryside. Donning the new clothes he had also acquired, he went downstairs into the inn’s smoky, dimly lit, main hall. walking up to the innkeeper, he asked for a small meal, a mug of ale, and for the innkeeper to keep the room vacant for him, while handing over a small pouch of coin. After eating, he left the inn, and mounted a nearby horse, returning to the Kingdom’s capital city.

An hour or two later, as he rode through the city’s gate he saw a poster with an crudely drawn image of himself with the words “WANTED! dead or alive! reward: 50,000 sovereigns” written under it. He shrugged it off, knowing the guards would eventually discover the fact that his cell was empty.

He stowed his horse in a nearby stable, and walked to the “Gilded Dragon”, one of the city’s more famous inns. As he strode through the doors, he saw an aged, particularly pudgy, wealthy man sitting at a table and strode over to him. “Earl Fraser” he said quietly, slipping into an empty chair.  The man looked up, shock and confusion on his face, then exclaimed “Lucius! wha… how did you… never mind. Not here, this place isn’t safe. Meet me in my room in an hour, and make sure you aren’t followed.”

Around an hour later, Lucius snuck up to the Earl’s room, on the dragon’s second floor. He slipped into the room, to find Fraser sitting in front of a small fireplace. Fraser saw him enter, and got up, walking to him. “Lucius! I counted you dead for sure!” he exclaimed. “They’ll have to try harder than that to get rid of me” Lucius said, smirking. “Indeed…” the Earl retorted. “What were you thinking!” The portly noble said angrily as he shut the door “you were only supposed to spy on the king, gather information to help me get those grain trade rights, not kill the man!” “I knew my duties. I didn’t kill the king. someone framed me.” Fraser leaned back in his chair, stroking his small, white beard. “I see… Well this changes everything! If it wasn’t you, then who did kill our beloved imbecile of a ruler? And why would they want to frame you? Do they know of your true background, or were you merely a victim who was in the wrong spot at the wrong time?” Lucius looked at Fraser, cold, hard, determination on his face, as he replied “I do not know, but I intend to find out.”

An hour or two later, Lucius lay in his dark, dank, pit of a cell, eating Darkmyre’s terrible attempt at food. As he finished the “meat” he saved one of the narrower bones.

Within an hour, Lucius had managed to whittle the bone into a knife, and attempted to pick the lock on his cell door. At first, the lock stubbornly refused to co-operate, nearly breaking the makeshift pick, but after an hour or two of poking in the keyhole, Lucius heard a small click. He pushed on the door, which without the lock restraining it, swung open freely. Without the door to blockade him, the only thing between Lucius, Son of Graf, and freedom were four hundred guards and the second thickest gates in the entire kingdom.

The young Guard stood at his post at the cell block door, fighting against the growing urge to doze off for a few hours. As he was about to lose the battle, he was suddenly roused awake by an odd noise on the wall. He turned to see what the noise was, and after peering over the edge for a minute, decided it was the wind. He turned back to his post, to find himself face to face with a mysterious man in hooded robes. “G’nite boy!” the man said, before slugging the guard in the gut, and following up with an elbow to his head

After gaining a set of keys off the unconscious Guard, the man raced down the cell block, looking for the cell of Lucius, son of Graf.

As he came to the row of cells which contained Lucius he halted, checking for guards. Seeing none, he drew a small, dark, dagger out of his robes, preparing to deal a killing blow. He sprinted down the hallway, throwing his knife into Lucius’ cell as he ran, hitting Lucius’ cot squarely in the pillow.

Instead of hearing the dying scream he expected, the man heard only a dull thud. As first shock, then worry, then fear raced through his heart, he grabbed a torch off the wall and thrust it through the cell’s bars, illuminating the dank room. He found nothing.

As Lucius slowly slid down the wall on his newly acquired rope (courtesy of the Darkmyre store room) he saw a light shining out of his cell. Realizing either his escape had been discovered, or far worse had happened, he hastened his descent, rappelling down the wall as fast as he safely could.

The man ran to the cell window, and saw Lucius descending toward Darkmyre’s courtyard. He grabbed his knife and began working on the rope that Lucius was suspended by, hacking wildly, out of desperation.

As Lucius was nearing the bottom of the wall, he felt his rope jerk, then snap, falling down toward him. He began to freefall straight toward Darkmyre’s stone courtyard, just barely grabbing a drain protruding from the wall. Now hanging just a few feet above the ground, he dropped into the cover of a nearby bush.

The man mumbled something under his breath as Lucius touched the ground, then raced off, hoping to catch him before he escaped the prison entirely.

Lucius looked around for some means of escape when he heard a nearby door slam. He whipped around, to see a prison cart begin to pull away from one of Darkmyre’s towers. He raced after it, barely managing to grab a hold on the back of the cart, and passed right through Darkmyre’s 40 meter thick gates completely un-noticed.

The Man burst through a door at the bottom of the tower, and raced out of the gate before it slammed shut. He looked down the road and saw a cart tearing along into the night, with a poorly dressed, haggard man hanging on behind. He strode away, wondering where he might “meet” that man next.

As the king listened to the Earl’s proposition, which happened to be (as far as he could tell) about some grain shortage in one of the provinces, and another who could supply them, but refused to trade, or some such nonsense, he turned his attention to the court jester, a much more intriguing man. Having arrived only a fortnight before, the jester was the newest member of the king’s court, as well as one of the more popular. The jester, whose name was Lucius, was juggling some brightly colored balls in a figure eight pattern, while wearing a goofy grin. As entertaining as Lucius was, the king forced himself to listen to the pointless squabbles of the two nobles. As they quarreled on, he began to doze off, hoping they would simply be gone when he awoke. He had begun to dream of his villa high in the mountains, and his loving wife and four children, when suddenly he felt an excruciating pain in his side

The entire throne room went silent as the king slumped over, a dagger stuck in his side. As a guard ran out of the room, the color drained from the face of the Earl who had been arguing for more grain, while his adversary simply stared in shock at the murdered ruler. Within two minutes, the doors to the throne room burst open and every royal guard in the Castle poured through, surrounding the nobles, merchants, and performers, leaving no route for escape.

The head of the royal guard, a tall, burly, man by the name of Thane, strode up to the body of the king, ripping the small, gilded dagger from his side. He then ordered two of the guards to search all the court member’s belongings, as well as those of the various servants and entertainers. When one of the guards reached Lucius’ pack, he pulled out a small, decorated box and opened it to examine the contents. Inside the box lay five small, gilded daggers, exact duplicates of the one in the king’s side.

Thane strode over to Lucius, grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt, and pulled him up to eye level. “Lucius, son of Graf. You are hereby charged with high treason and murder of our beloved King Edric” He stated. “You are sentenced to be thrown in Darkmyre Dungeon until a new ruler is coronated, at which time a proper trial will be held”. “But… but.. Sire, I have done nothing wrong!” Lucius exclaimed. “Nothing? Are these not your knives?” Thane asked calmly, pulling out Lucius’ box “Yes sir. They are.” Thane then held up the dagger that killed the king “And is this dagger the same as those in your box?”  Lucius looked thoughtful “Yes sire, but I only own five of those knives” Thane suddenly became enraged, throwing the blood stained knife on the floor “LIES!” he bellowed “Guards! Take this traitor to his new home!” With that, two of the stronger guards under thane’s command grabbed Lucius and dragged him out of the throne room.