Hiatus for Darkest Hour :(

Hello all and welcome to my first edition of “Ack, so sorry! Don’t beat me with sticks!”

Darkest Hour is going on hiatus for a bit. Why? Well there’s several reasons for it which I shall explain.

1. Pushing forward with the novel

This one is the biggest reason. I’ve been pushing ever forward on my novel and really need to buckle down. Last week I managed 5 Chapters, or roughly 14,000 words which is a good amount. I want to keep this pace going and Darkest Hour takes a whole lot of that time away from me. I love Darkest Hour, and I love fan fiction but for the moment I need to be concentrating on my novel.

I want to get out of this damn cubicle someday, and so thus must write the book. Book or bust!

2. The steam engine is slowing

I had a lot of power going into this story. As it continued on though I lost a little bit of that steam. If you haven’t noticed, the last two chapters haven’t been terribly inspired. I wrote them on the weekend and it started feeling more like work than fun. When that happens, the work suffers and you guys deserve better out of me. I don’t want you coming to my blog and reading crap. I just don’t.

3. Icarus shall continue

That’s right! I hope some of you are enjoying my voyage into serial fiction with my Icarus posts. Starting tomorrow I’m going to try posting 3 times a week instead of 2. Will it blow up? Maybe. Will it be fun? I sure hope so.

4. So… what about Fan Fiction Mondays?

Still gonna happen, but instead I’m going to try and point you to some other folks who are doing AWESOME work out there. So please, if I link a Fan Fic, check it out. They’re good people.

Mike out.

Darkest Hour – Chapter 4

It has been said that in absence of light, a single spark will ignite like a blazing sun. Such was our hope until we watched it stamped out. Now we run to our end.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 41, Verse 7

Chapter 4

I was wrong.

The subway did go further than I thought, but the last half mile of it was buried. We climbed up from the collapsed street and made our way north along the Delaware, stopping only to clear a few reaper forces here and there. We dare not take on too many of them, just picked off one or two as we went so we could get by without being detected.

“Go ahead punk, make my day,” Foren said as he sighted on our next happy customer, a husk blocking our path between two crumbled apartment buildings. I sat next to him with my back against a burned out car. Leah was at my right and offered me a nutrient bar. I took it with a sigh.

“I better get used to these,” I muttered as Foren’s shot echoed through the air. I winced, the blast of the sniper rifle’s discharge making my ears ring. Fishing out my sound dampeners and putting them back in my ears, I took a bite of the bar. It sucked, tasting just like the color brown. Continue reading

No “Darkest Hour” this Monday

Hey folks,

Sorry if you checked in before I was able to edit this post. My wordpress accidentally posted before I was done.

I’ve been sick this past week and insomnia has really wrecked me so I wasn’t able to deliver a quality Darkest Hour chapter this week. I’ll be working steadily on Chapter 4 this week and have it out for you next week.

Thanks for understanding!

 

Darkest Hour – Chapter 3

As one, we rose against the coming darkness with blade in hand. One by one we fell, each life like a star snuffed out of the night sky. Those who remained huddled in prayer with eyes closed and hope so frail that one word might shatter us all.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 13, Verse 1

Chapter 3

Jump Zero, Five Years Prior

“What do you mean she’s problematic?”

“Mister Wolfe, I assure you we did everything we could to make it as easy as possible-“

“Again, what do you mean she’s problematic?”

The doctor stood in the doorway, his gray hair perfectly in place, his features flat and unreadable and his clothes unrumpled. I found it unsuitable that a man fresh from two hours of surgery should look so pristine and unworried. They won’t let me see her.

He sighed. “Are you family, Mister Wolfe?”

The question angered me even more. “What? No I’m her friend-“

“Then during visitation hours you will be able to see her all you want. Now I really must get back to work.” He turned to leave but I grabbed his arm. Immediately, two solders pulled me away but my biotics flared to life. I drew it in, felt its power grow in my pores, within my very blood as my adrenaline kicked it into overdrive. I reached out and Pulled. All I managed to do was draw the doctor’s pen from his pocket. It floated uselessly toward me. Continue reading

Darkest Hour – Chapter 2

They say we are the lucky ones, we who survived the first cataclysms. To live a life alone amid so much loss is to die a hundred thousand deaths. Those who perished in the beginning and did not know this suffering, they are the lucky ones.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 1, Verse 8

Chapter 2

Three days ago Leah and I had dinner with Rachel and Elani across the hall. Rachel was a biochemist working for the University of Pennsylvania. She was an amazing cook, blending local custom with off-world traditions in ways I couldn’t begin to understand. We had prime cuts of sirloin marinated with butter and Seguthi sauce from Thessia, Elani’s home world. I could still taste it if I allowed myself.

We found them in the bedroom, Rachel’s hand still grasping Elani’s. Ebony skin intertwined with light blue, coated in dark blood. They’d put up a fight but it was clear they’d been overwhelmed. Several husks lay around the bed, and I could feel the latent residue of eezo in the air. Elani’s biotics weren’t strong by Asari standards and Rachel was only a lab tech. They hadn’t stood a chance.

I finally tore my eyes from the sight when Leah put a hand on my shoulder. A deep sense of loss came over me, not just for losing new friends but that two lives so intertwined would be removed without reason or need. Elani spoke with me just last night about their plans to travel once Rachel had sabbatical. She wanted to take her to Thessia and then to the Citadel. I reached for Leah’s hand, reflexively, but she moved away.

“Come on,” Leah said and we left the room. On the way to the door I found an image recording of the two of them in John Kennedy Park, standing in front of some old piece of art that simply said “Love.” The simple cliché of the image made me smile and I tucked it away into my belt. If there was ever a memorial here in Philadelphia, I’d make sure it was added. Continue reading

Darkest Hour – Chapter 1

I stood amidst the corpses of friends and allies, their blood everywhere soaking the walls and fields. The gore was so unimaginable I was helpless before it and fell to my knees with shaking hands and uncontrollable tears.

The world cracked and fell away. There came a light, a brilliant, blinding light to erase our world. I stared, transfixed, my gaze torn away from the face of my mother. My memory yet burns with the memory, her lips frozen in that terrible light with the last syllables of my name upon them.

From the heavens, came our Hell. I saw them as great shadows with one giant eye. They descended and fell upon the land and I knew the face of death.

The end had come.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 12, Verse 14

Chapter 1

 Just when I’d thought my day couldn’t get any worse, the world decided to end.

The bastard came down right over City Hall, digging giant tentacle appendages into Penn Square like an omni-blade through butter. I watched, dumbstruck, as the damn thing obliterated William Penn’s bronzed visage from the face of the Earth. I raised my M-3 and fired at that red eye until my thermal clip was full. The act of ejecting it woke me from my idiocy just in time to grab the nearest gawking civilian and haul him bodily into the cafe I’d just come from.

The street exploded into a million fragments of superheated polycrete and old fashioned masonry. I kept my head down and managed to kick over a table just in time for the shards to embed themselves in its plastic exterior. Another blast ripped through the air with a deafening sound that ripped a scream from my throat.

The world went red and burned away to a stark white nothing. I felt something pop in my ears and a sudden silence overcame me, followed by a high pitched ringing. For a heartbeat I thought I’d died, but my vision returned enough to see the world through flashes of light and darkness.

The cafe no longer had a wall and the ceiling was gone. I could see daylight above me, several hundred stories of building ripped open like a serrated can. Debris fell all around me, crashing into the street, into parked cars, and worse… into people. Continue reading

Next week’s stories

Now that The Squire has made its full run, it’s time for something new! I’ve got some big plans for the coming weeks and I hope you (and all your friends who you’re going to tell, right?) will enjoy it. I’m returning to Science Fiction full time with two new stories. One is fan fiction again, this time featuring Bioware’s Mass Effect universe and the second is an original.

Before I get into the stories themselves, I’ll be updating 3 times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’ll be taking the weekend off, though I’ll still be writing. A writer’s job never rests.

Fan Fiction Mondays

Every Monday I’ll be posting the newest chapters of my Mass Effect story, Darkest Hour. In the event that I’m unable to post on that Monday, I plan to feature someone else’s fan fiction for your enjoyment.

Wednesday and Fridays

On Wednesdays and Fridays will be updates for my original Science Fiction story Icarus.

Now to tell you about the stories themselves:

Darkest Hour is a brand new piece of Fan Fiction set in Bioware’s Mass Effect Universe. For those who have played the games, it takes place during the events of Mass Effect 3. For those who haven’t played the games, giant, sentient, synthetic machines are invading and mankind is on the verge of extinction. If it sounds a little like the premise of Battlestar Galactica, you’re not half-wrong. 

Synopsis

Lieutenant James Wolfe is having the worst day of his life when the world decides to end. His girlfriend refused to marry him, his mother has announced that she has an incurable form of Eezo infection and his sister’s mental condition is worsening. When the Reapers land in the city of Philadelphia, he joins the desperate and futile attempt to fight back. Despite overwhelming loss of life, hope remains when the local resistance receives a strange transmission stating it contains vital information on defeating the Reapers. Unfortunately, no one can crack the security code the plans are concealed in.

No one except Kylie, Wolfe’s sister.

With a little help from an eccentric infiltrator and the powerful biotic who refused to wear his ring, James must carry this transmission into the rural reaches of Pennsylvania. The group must evade Reaper forces and mercenaries gone rogue in the vain hope that Kylie will be able to crack the mysterious code during Earth’s darkest hour.

Read new installments of Darkest Hour every Monday!

Icarus is a brand new, original piece of Science Fiction about mankind’s reach for the stars. Ever since I was a kid, I would look up at the night sky and wonder what existed out there beyond the distant lights of Deneb, Betelgeuse or Altair. In this story, I try to explore that sense of wonder through the cynical eye of a writer who accepts a dangerous assignment to travel where humans have only dreamed.

Synopsis

NASA’s prototype deep-space science vessel, the Icarus, is going to Alpha Centauri and William Shriver is not the kind of man you’d think to send.

He doesn’t know the first thing about the Time-Vortex Tunnels or how a star drive works. He doesn’t even read Science Fiction books, but when the pay and opportunity to spend ten years away from Earth comes up, he can’t help but volunteer. As a writer, his job will be to experience the trip and write down his observations in the hope that once he comes back to earth, he will have one hell of a story to tell.

Hell could be the story he brings back.

Written in the form of Shriver’s journal entries, Icarus tells the story of mankind’s first journey through the mysterious Time-Vortex Tunnels. These fluxes in space-time allow a ship to travel a great distance in a fraction of the time. It will take the Icarus approximately four and a half years to reach Alpha Centauri, but an extended stay in cramped quarters with a group of strangers isn’t the only problems awaiting the crew of the Icarus.

Like the fable, will the Icarus fly too close the far-distant star, daring what mankind should never dare?

With new entries coming every Wednesday and Friday, Icarus will feature short entries that you can easily digest in a few minutes, the perfect thing for when you have an itch for fiction but not a lot of time to read. Be sure to check it out and if you enjoy it, tell your friends!