Alien Rock

Being a famous rock star is hard. Especially when an alien invasion hits mid-concert. As lasers and abductions abound, do you think your sick beats can stop this catastrophe? Write about how you attempted to fight off the aliens and whether or not you succeeded.

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653 thoughts on “Alien Rock

  1. rosmid


    The set was going pretty good, all things considered. I was strumming along on the bass while Anthony shoved his pelvis against the microphone stand. Anthony was a dick but the guy could sing and Carlos and I needed the extra cash. And, as we all know, hot lead singer equals hot girl presence equals guys cubed equals money.
    So there we were, rocking out. The place was packed with people. Girls actually threw their bras on stage. I had to laugh, it was so ridiculous. It was like something out of a Van Halen video. Anthony ripped on the guitar and Carlos hit the drums like they owed him money.
    Then it happened and of course it happened right in the middle of our top song, “Get You.” Anthony was just about to sing the catchiest hook I had ever written when we heard it: a noise that sounded like metal being torn in two. Everyone covered their ears. One girl in a pink tube top passed out.
    People started to rush out of the club. Carlos was shouting at me from behind the drum set but I couldn’t hear him over the noise of people running outside. I jumped off the stage and before Anthony or Carlos could say anything I had been taken by the flow of people to the streets outside the club.
    I stared upwards at the ship. It was wide and pulsing with a green light. It sat docile and tame in the night sky. Some people took photos with their phones. Others called the cops. One topless girl was crying.
    There was a flicker in front of the crowd and a creature materialized in front of us. The crowd gasped and backed away. Only I remained in front of the creature. My mouth was wide open. I must have looked like a complete dork.
    The creature was tall and green. It had mandibles in front of a mouth filled with sharp pointy teeth. Its skin was scaly like a serpent’s. It was tall, maybe about seven feet. Strangely, it was wearing what looked like a leather jacket.
It pointed at me with an impossibly large talon and screeched something. I covered my ears, as did the rest of the crowd. The creature took a step back then reached into the pocket of the jacket and pulled out a yellow pill. It tossed the pill back in its mouth and pulled out of the other pocket what looked like a flask. It downed whatever liquid was inside and coughed.
    “Shit, that’s tasty. Sorry, guys, didn’t have my translator in” said the creature. It raised two fists up in the air. “NOW WHO’S READY TO ROCK AND ROLL?” The creature laughed, then coughed, then held its stomach. Pink ooze fell out of its mouth and onto the asphalt, where it started to burn through the street.
    And that is how I met Zorbaz, the greatest metal player the universe had ever seen.

  2. girl-in-progress

    Call me a traitor all you want but I’m not going back with you my brothers. I don’t belong to that bottomless pit. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Not in a million light years. Not since I’ve burned the midnight oil ‘Up There’ scheming on how to get here, in this planet. Not now that I’ve began to succeed. Not now that I can act, speak, and understand Earthling. Not now that I’ve become a “world-class rock star” as these puny earthlings put it. Not now that I’ve finally found my talent – my voice. Not now that I’ve taken ahold of that Shure SM58. Not now that I’ve made the whole world sing…

    Heavens, brothers, can’t you see? Just look around! They adore me! My! They are even shouting my silly, unpronounceable name, asking for my autographs, selfie-ing with me, interviewing me, casting me on TV for the entire world to see…

    The number one reason that I’m not going back Up There is my fans or these earthlings, whatever you call them. Oh yes, we may have started off on the wrong foot but who cares? I just owe them my alienness. If not for them I would not have achieved everything – my rise to stardom, my billion dollar Beverly Hills mansion (which came to being when the engineers accidentally demolished my lovely ovoid-shaped mobile), and most especially, these, my dashing good looks. These humans deconstructed my face, my whole body. It took them two full years to complete this design of the earthling-me. From then till now, I’ve never been happier to look at myself in the mirror.

    That is why my brothers, guardians of the third kind, I beg you. All of you. Don’t take me back with you. Up There is not my home any longer. I’m now an earthling in body, mind and soul. And I’m proud of it. You should be proud of me as well. Besides, what are aliens for, right?

    And lastly, please oh please, don’t make a scene here anymore. I don’t want my beloved fans to think that this is an invasion which in reality is. You have made your point and I have made mine. I love these earthlings as much as I love you all. Let them be. Make a peaceful voluntary exit if you can. Your grand entrance a while ago was enough.

    From My Intergalactic Famous Speech. Copyright © 3014 by Azilisquafx “Allen” Nbufitliboxx. All rights reserved.

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      lol, Girl… I’m really glad I came back to this prompt after the new one started because this was really really fun to read. You really hit a home run with this because the voice it is is just fantastic. You’re really grabbing hold of this writing thing, and I hope that you’ll post up for the new one! Thanks for sharing!

      1. girl-in-progress

        Oh thanks a million Doc Jay! I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and positively commenting on it too! 🙂 Yes, I’ll try posting for the new one.

    2. Lexicomical

      What an interesting twist to an already bizarrely captivating prompt! This was a fantastic read, keep it up. Just for future reference, a light year is the distance light travels in a year, not a measure of time. The more you know.

    3. sjmca1966

      I echo Jays comments, girl-in-progress. Your POV was a great vehicle to get the message of your story across and something many people of this world could learn from.
      Well done 🙂

      1. girl-in-progress

        Thanks sjmca! I never thought you’d like the speech of that conceited alien! Hahaha:)

        P.S. Your take is terrific too! Hurray for you.

  3. Observer Tim

    Part Six and Final. See also:

    Coming Out Fighting
    Rust Red Rebirth
    Out of the Frying Pan
    Go Big Sister



    I got my first real bout of stage fright that evening. I was trying out a new song in a style I’d never done before. There was no wall of power, at least not for the first bit, only a single triangle jingling out a haunting melody.

    The morning after,
    The tears and laughter,
    There’s nothing left of the life that I knew.

    Aggie was gone. I knew that because I shot her myself. She’d had a gun pointed at Jenna and had already shot Luka. Her hatred of the Garridans had driven her to kill children.

    The morning after,
    It spirals faster,
    I’ve lived a lie but I know now what’s true.

    Luka was treated and released at emergency. Her organs weren’t in the same place as a human’s, which saved her life. But it triggered something else; she fell into a coma just after we got home. Jenna said that was normal, and we took her at her word.

    The morning after,
    Start a new chapter,
    The morning after my life without you.

    Trevor held me once the girls were safely in bed. I felt so alone, so hopeless and lonely, but he stayed with me. What happened next… maybe it was tension sex, or rebound sex, or any of those words we make up to hide ordinary human desire. All I can say for sure is I moved first and he assented to my desire.

    My life has changed and I can’t see where it’s going;
    The change is fast and it shows no sign of slowing;
    I’m rushing blind
    Into the depths of time
    I’m terrified ‘cause I’ve got no way of knowing.

    In the morning Trevor and I talked it out. He isn’t the girl of my dreams, he never can be. But he’s a friend, and he’ll stay with me as long as I want him. He even offered to pretend to be a girl in the bedroom if I’d show him how. It sounds weird, but it’s the best offer I’ve had in a long time.

    The day is new and it’s bright and unforgiving;
    My only hope is to just go on with living;
    The rain will fall
    It does that after all
    And I’ll be fine if I only keep on giving.

    Jenna says her sister is going through pupation, turning into a proper human. It’s sort of an alien puberty. The injury triggered it prematurely, but before long the others will do it too. I’m not supposed to worry, just keep her warm and wash her down with water a couple of times a day.

    The morning after,
    I am its master,
    I can decide everything that I do.

    The Garridans have been driven off and the human race is rebuilding. I’d love to say we’re doing it right this time, but old hatreds are already resurfacing. Someday we’ll go out there and exact justice; maybe we’ll even find out why they attacked in the first place.

    Time will tell.

    1. Observer Tim

      I’d like to thank those who stuck to this for the duration. My inspiration was the giant robot operas of the 1980’s and 90’s, especially

      Space Fortress Macross (the Japanese versions)
      Super Dimension Century Orguss
      Bubblegum Crisis (not actually giant robots, but a classic anyway)

    2. lionetravail

      Wonderful, bitter-sweet and majestic finish to the saga, with the opportunity for a lot in between to be filled in.

      OT, really fantastic- I had a blast reading this!

      1. Observer Tim

        Thanks, lionetravail. I had a great time writing it. I played an extended wartime anime in my head and pulled the episodes that centered around music. If I get really ambitious, I would love to spend time filling in the gaps. 🙂

    3. Reaper

      Tim, I don’t know if you’ll come back and read this but beautifully done, riveting stuff. This reads like a good light novel and with a couple of extended battle scenes throne in could be a good core for an anime with a possible extension into a second season of revenge. Glad I read it and came looking for the end today.

      1. Observer Tim

        Thank you greatly, Reaper. I had a blast writing it, and now the plot sequence through the subsequent mission to Garridan space (undertaken by the girls, of course) is stuck in my head. Before it fades I intend to write an outline and see if I can flesh it out further outside the scope of the prompts.

        Of the series I leeched for inspiration, the only one you mentioned that I didn’t use was Cowboy Bebop, which is after my time. I’ll have to check it out.

    4. snuzcook

      Nice conclusion with open ends for more, O.Tim.
      My popcorn’s soggy–don’t know if it’s more because Aggie’s dead, Luka’s been prematurely pupated, or because Trevor may end up in a push up bra.
      Thanks for giving us this wonderful series!

  4. Observer Tim

    Part Five. See also:

    – Coming Out Fighting
    – Rust Red Rebirth
    – Harmonics
    – Out of the Frying Pan

    Go Big Sister

    “Miss Myers, you are needed here!

    “Admiral with all due respect, and that isn’t much, I’m needed out there! The new Garridan ultra-mechs are taking our people apart and you need every pilot you can get your hands on!”

    “Absolutely not! We cannot risk a valuable strategic asset…”

    “I’m not an asset! I’m a human being!”

    “No you are not, Miss Myers! You are half-Garridan!”

    My voice turned to ice. “And you think I’ll defect. Admiral, those creeps have annihilated over ninety-nine percent of the human race; they have to be stopped before they finish the job!”

    He turned to the marines who provided ‘security’ for my concert. “Make sure she doesn’t leave this room!”

    I turned on Trevor. “You could have helped!”

    “What Mindy, use my awesome military street-cred? I’m too busy prepping the girls.” He knelt down and adjusted Sasha’s mike. Sasha and her three sisters were half-Garridan like me, hard metal rockers with truly magical voices. Unless you actually saw them you’d never know they were eleven years old.

    Trevor was just finishing up. “Okay girls, remember if something goes wrong you jump down that tube. It goes straight to the evacuation pods, right next to the mecha bay. Got it?”

    The girls nodded, but I was the one who got it. I was in the tube before anyone could react.

    The mecha bay was pretty picked-over; all the pure combat mechs were out there fighting already. I chose a search & rescue unit. It was lightly armed and armoured but very fast.

    I was in the cockpit with a flight suit half-on by the time my marine babysitter arrived.

    “Mindy! Get back here right now!”

    “Catch me, trooper!” I slammed the canopy and slithered my arms into the suit. I could do it up while launching. Just before climbing the mech onto the catapult I jettisoned the rescue gear. That got me a call from the ground crew.

    “Miss, you’re going to have to keep the throttle way down or you’ll black out.”

    “Screw that, ground. I’m Mindy Myers, half-Garridan. I can take twice as many g’s as a human and I’m going to use every one of them! Launch!”

    I love ground crews; they don’t waste time when it counts. Four seconds later I was in space and clear of the carrier. I switched to tactical channel and heard Jenna’s voice over a high energy bass line that would scramble the nervous system of any full-blooded Garridan stupid enough to listen in.

    Go Big Sister! Hit ‘em like a twister!
    This is the time, this is the place,
    Gotta blow the bad guys out of space!

    I love that song; it was the first one Jenna wrote after we rescued her. I’m Big Sister. I checked the tactical sub-channel and saw where I could do the most good. I slammed on the thrusters and blasted out at just over twenty g’s. Even the ultra-mechs could only pull fourteen.

    1. lionetravail

      I hear space opera music with every ‘episode’!

      Tim, your prose is absolutely racing! Every one of these have been pedal to the metal, full throttle, and balls (though no actual testicles, of course) to the wall. Even the pace of the stories is exciting!

  5. sjmca1966

    You Can’t Go Back –

    It was the last night of what had been an arduous eighteen month grind. We’d retired a decade earlier after nearly forty years of living the so-called dream.

    After Joey ran foul of the IRS and Nicky’s medical bills started piling up, re-forming was the only logical thing to do. The Hip Replacement Tour, we’d called it.

    Over the years I’d learned not to become distracted, but when we walked on stage we couldn’t miss the thin mushroom cloud forming in the distance. We were about to launch into ‘Mable Under the Table’, when two more clouds appeared in different parts of the city.

    “Richie, they’re back,” said Robbie.

    “Looks like it,” I replied.

    Within seconds an ominous shadow began gradually overtaking the stadium.

    “Yep, it’s them alright.”

    The mother-ship hovered to a standstill over the stadium.

    “Remain calm, everybody!” I yelled into the mic.

    My words were soon made redundant, as a wave of blue light left the audience incapacitated.

    “I know I promised,” said Joey, “But I need a bloody drink.”

    “Just play it cool, man,” I said, “Leave all the talking to me.”

    Over the years, Joey’s mouth had gotten us into more scrapes than I care to remember, not to mention costing us three damned good managers.

    A quick glance off stage let me know that the four of us were the only ones not immobilized.

    A humanoid figure of around seven-foot-four materialized at the stage entrance. The surrounding scaffolding shook and the floor felt like a trampoline as the figure made its way towards me. Stopping no more than three feet from me, I looked up at a face that was perfectly symmetrical, its olive-brown skin was unblemished and the eyes were like chrome with the full spectrum of colors ingratiating them as they moved.

    “Mul duc, et kal! Lal et verk Richie!” said the figure.

    “Qal Noc, you old bastard, how the hell are you!” I replied, as I was lifted up off the ground in a warm, if not a little painful embrace.

    “Not bad you son-of-a-bitch. Long time my friend, long time,” said Qal, as he finally put me down.

    Qal headed over to Nicky and gave him a hug, he repeated the gesture with Robbie. He offered Joey a handshake and wiped the sweat from his hand once they broke grip.

    “What brings you to this neck of the universe?” I asked. “As if I didn’t know.”

    “Well you always have the hottest chicks at your concerts.”

    “How many you after this time?” I asked.

    “About ten-thousand.”

    As he turned smiling towards the audience, Qal soon gave a look of shock. His back started arching in convulsions and his cheeks started expanding. He then chundered all over the front three rows.

    Qal crouched down and pulled a cloth from his uniform to wipe his face clean, “What’s happened?” he said.

    “We all get older Qal. You haven’t been here since eighty-three.”

    Within three minutes Qal and the mother-ship were gone. To us our audience was still as beautiful as it had been when we first started, I guess Qal just didn’t share our view.

    1. Reaper

      I love the hip replacement tour, both the overt meaning and the awesome secondary. Very funny with a nice feel good touch at the end. Wonderful story.

    2. Observer Tim

      I guess, according to Qal at least, rock and roll is a game for the young. This was great, sjmca; you had me laughing a good one. 😉

      I don’t know if you remember the Comets (as in Bill Haley) going on tour a few years back with “We Ain’t Dead Yet”. That is what this tale brings to mind. Of course, now a Rolling Stones tour comes across that way too…

      Septagenarians Rock!

    3. snuzcook

      You had me grinning with ‘hip replacement tour’ and brought it full circle to the punchline nicely. Love the device of the scary alien being an old friend. Wiping off the sweat after the handshake was a great detail. Wonderful tale, sjmca1966!

    4. lionetravail

      Jethro Tull again in my head- Too old to rock and roll (and too young to die)!”

      Nice work here SJMCA. I also love the Hip Replacement Tour, and casual hand-in-glove abductions, and the subtle reference to the aging concertgoers keeping pace with the aging rockers 🙂

      Well-written, the prose being, and I’m using this for its synchronicity with the story itself- Spry!

  6. lionetravail

    “Part 7- Conclusion of Rocking Barsoom!”

    My brother took us directly to the Palace of the Warlord of Barsoom. I remained on the flyer, hidden on the floor of the control room. Hestur would go to speak with the Warlord himself, so as not to give any suspicion to Talos K’ree or any of his agents that I might have returned. Such knowledge might easily have cost the lovely Seris Hatak her life.

    As I lay out of sight on the hard deck, my mind could not but revisit the fierce and heroic set of her mien, her courage in the darkness, and her willingness to risk herself to distract Talos and the Ptarthian assassin. Her actions were among the noblest of all, and such heroism did not deserve that which fate had already inflicted!

    Soon, Hestur returned to the ship and swiftly took us up. “I’ve informed the Warlord, and he agrees with your plan to attend the concert in order to give the assassins a chance to strike, lest they otherwise be warned and seek another opportunity. He will seed some of the best fighting men of Helium in the plain trappings of household servants who will be fortunate enough to sit near him during the concert.”

    “And what of Seris?” I said, perhaps a bit hastily as I stood up.

    “There’s been no word of her,” Hestur said. “If what you say about Talos is correct, and he intends to force her…”

    “She will no doubt take her own life rather than suffer the shame,” I said mournfully.

    “Then our plan is sure to keep her safe!” he said, hopefully. “John Carter has promised to make sure that Talos is among the retainers who accompany him to the concert- we will take him at the appointed zode, and force Seris’ location from him.”

    I could only pray that he was correct.

    Shortly thereafter we were at his dwelling. The comforts of civilization were the most appreciated I can ever recall finding them, but the largest portion of my mind dwelled on Seris’ plight, mitigating the pleasure.

    Within the zode we were off to the Amphitheater, where I met the other players. Hestur and I briefed them on what was to happen, and their faces showed their rage at the villainy to be perpetrated! I hid among the speakers above the stage, waiting for the right time to appear, as they prepared behind the curtains. Outside, we could hear the crowd begin filling the venue, and could tell when the Warlord arrived from the loving, full-throated roar of the people of Helium for him and his Princess.

    Finally, it was time, and the Green Woman, Th’lar, began to play on her drums, and the curtains lifted to show all the players but me. The music began in earnest, and the crowd cheered its approval as I surveyed movement in the area around the Warlord.

    After several songs, I saw them! Supposed latecomers, nonchalantly making their way through the seats around the Warlord’s position. And I dropped from my perch to the astounded cries and cheers of the crowd.

    The music stopped with my appearance. “This next song is dedicated to the Prince and Princess of Helium!” I cried, the signal for those hidden loyal warriors to spring to action. The space around John Carter and Dejah Thoris devolved into utter chaos as the Warlord’s chosen men rose to do battle with the would-be assassins.

    I dropped the microphone and leapt from the stage, aiming myself straight at the odious figure of Talos K’ree, who stood to one side, watching worriedly as his henchmen were met with steel of the greatest fighting men of Helium, and were steadily overmatched.

    He saw me rushing towards him and drew his pistol, but my speed was so great that I was upon him before he could take a single shot. With a mighty blow to his chin, the gun flew from his hand and he spun right around, sagging to the floor with a moan.

    I looked about to see every single assassin pumping his lifeblood to the floor of the Amphitheater, and only minor wounds among the Warlord’s personal guards. I grabbed Talos K’ree as he was coming to consciousness and shook him.

    “Speak villain!” I cried at him, as the noise of the concert site waned to see this additional drama. “Where is Seris Hatak? If she does not still live, by my ancestors I shall see you to your death this very moment…!”

    “She lives,” he coughed, spitting up blood. “She is unharmed, in the quarters of these Ptarthians who failed in their mission.”

    My heart sang in my chest, more melodic by far than any attempt I had made vocally during my life. I was about to reply when I heard the Warlord speak from behind my shoulder.

    “You have betrayed me, and the people of Helium, Talos K’ree,” he said. “The penalty is death, but if you would have that death with honor at your own hand, then you must explain to me this plot.” He put his hand on my shoulder. “Go find Seris Hatak, Padwar,” he said in a kindly voice. “Your work here is done, but the girl remains in need of succor.”

    I saw him glance at his Princess, the incomparable Dejah Thoris, and I felt a lump in my throat at the love between them. I nodded, and left the Amphitheater at a run to find the woman whom, I was certain, could make me feel the same.

    A short time later, I had freed her from her captivity. She greeted me coolly. “I would have escaped on my own in just a few more xats,” she explained.

    “I… I but wanted to ensure your safety, Seris Hatak,” I said carefully.

    “As long as you realize that I can take care of myself,” she said primly.

    “Yes, my lady,” I said. “I have seen your courage and selflessness firsthand, and know you for the capable Heliumite your father raised you to be.” I looked at her lovely face, and saw no softening there. “I will leave you then- I am just glad you are safe.” I turned to go. Never should I have even imagined that the daughter of a famous warrior could have affection for a mere Padwar.

    “I didn’t ask you to leave, Hintur Hund,” she said, a touch impatiently.

    I turned back to her. “But…?” I began.

    “I merely said that I wanted you to realize that I can take care of myself,” she interrupted. “I would not take it amiss if you were to call upon me.”

    My heart lifted. I offered her my arm.

    She took it. “And just where are you taking me,Padwar?” she said, the hint of a smile on her full lips.

    “Didn’t you hear, my lady? There’s a concert today at the Amphitheater….”

    1. Reaper

      Beautiful ending. I continue to love the language, the epic heroic dialogue. You did the action here very well. It was fast paced and well executed. Whew, that was a journey I’m glad I went on with you.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is positively epic, Lionetravail. It should be assembled, have the little bits of needed cleanup done, and published. This has been a three-day trip back to the past in grand style! There are not enough exclamation points in my vocabulary to do this justice.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    3. snuzcook

      What a wonderful series, lionetravail! All the elements are there for a full, statisfying hero story. And the ending brought it all back down to the classic hero being humbled by fair damsel’s whims.
      Well done!

  7. Observer Tim

    Part Four, following:
    Coming Out Fighting
    Rust Red Rebirth

    And now…

    Out of the Frying Pan

    I put the Garridan mech through its paces; there was no way we were going to escape from their ship only to be blown apart by Earthforce. Casey, my wing-lass, was out like a light due to g-stress; somehow, I was in fine form despite flying in my underwear with no flight suit. I finally found the communicator and turned it on.

    “Cambodia, don’t shoot! It’s Mindy Myers! Lightning Four! We escaped from a Garridan ship in a commandeered mech!”

    “What’s the passcode, Lightning Four?”

    “I don’t know the damn passcode! I’ve been held captive for the last two weeks!”

    I jinked the mech sideways and dodged. A plasma beam narrowly missed me.

    The Earthforce mechs redoubled their efforts as I approached the Cambodia’s landing bay. My dodging got the girls flying around the cabin and screaming with glee. Sasha slammed into my chest, knocking the wind out of me. This thing was designed for one, maybe two adults, not two adults and four kids.

    “Lightning Four? Mindy? If that’s really you, what’s going on over there?”

    “I have civilians on board!” Sort of a lie, but they don’t need to know that.

    “What’s a civilian?”

    “Not now, Jenna. We have to prove we’re not Garridans.”

    “But we are Garridans.”

    “We can’t tell them that!”

    A beam grazed the mech’s left leg, causing it to shudder.

    “Okay girls, any idea how we can prove we’re not Garridans?”

    Luka tugged on my hair. “I know.”

    My Garry lies over the ocean,
    My Garry lies over the sea;
    My Garry lies over the ocean,
    Oh send him a missile from me.

    It was crazy, but it worked. No Garridan soldier would ever sing anything. Singing was like a sonic attack to them. The shooting stopped and they let us land, which was the beginning of our problems.

    You haven’t lived until you’ve stood, in your underwear, alongside your wing-lass and four ten-year old girls, also in underwear, and faced down an angry Wing Commander and an amused First Officer, both in standard uniform.

    “I trust there’s an explanation for this, Lieutenant Myers.”

    “Yes, First Officer.”

    “And it is…?”

    “Casey –Lieutenant Parks– and I were on patrol when we spotted a Garridan science ship. We went close to investigate but were spotted by hostile forces.”

    “Sir, we have standing orders not to engage…”

    “I am aware of that, Commander. Let her continue.”

    “Our mechs were aggressively disassembled and our flight suits taken. We were held captive for nearly two weeks and experimented on. After that, with the help of these girls who we taught to sing, we escaped in a stolen Garridan mech.”

    “And how did these girls come to be on the Garridan ship, Lieutenant?”

    Jenna spoke up. “We’re half-Garridans, just like Mindy is!”

    At least the cell was comfortable. We had a bed, and we got coveralls. And there were enough blood tests so everyone could have one. Several, actually.

    1. Reaper

      Beautiful twist there. You have certainly kept the anime feel even in your plot flow. Very nice Tim. I would still be watching this anime and that is pretty impressive.

    2. lionetravail

      Tim, I love it- this whole suite of short pieces, told in Mindy’s voice, is an amazingly fun romp through mech adventure. I’d posit to you that these 4 pieces form a skeleton of a novel-length story I would buy and enjoy, and hope to see on the silver screen.

      I sincerely hope you run with this: I love the stories, the tone, the humor, and the MC’s voice. Nice job!

  8. lionetravail

    “Part 6” (I lied, I needed this and one to follow- sue me, it’s my damn story, and I want to tell it right :))

    Rearmed from the would be assassin of Ptarth’s lifeless body, I began the long lope home, unsure I would make it at all, let alone in time. Mad Thuria raced from the heavens as I ran, with cold Cluros taking a longer and more stately progress before full dark fell. I knew that at that moment, Talos K’ree would be meeting with his Ptarthian killers, making final preparations for the murder of the most worthy man we know on Barsoom. Were I not cut of the same cloth as every proud fighting man of Helium, I might have given in to despair.

    Instead, I struggled on in the darkness, my pace cut to a careful walk over the uneven ground. Prior to dawn, as the sky began to lighten, I picked up the pace again even as my muscles and thews protested. But both my Warlord’s safety, and that of the valiant Seris, spurred me to every exuberance.

    And then I heard the unmistakable sound from a great distance. A flyer! It might be enemies, Talos K’ree sending agents to ensure that I did not reach the city in time, but it seemed far more likely that it might be the next Padwar set to patrol my sector. Or so my heart told me.

    When I saw the flyer, I took the radium pistol from my harness, and fired it into the distance to my right several times. The pilot turned the prow of the flyer promptly towards me, bow presenting the smallest possible target for hostile fire. “Well, nothing for it then,” I said, and waited.

    As I watched the ship approach, I was suddenly distracted by a wild, ululating cry from my right. I gasped, traitor fear clawing for an instant at my breast, as I recognized the hunting cry of the Kursk Green Men! Others joined them, and I realized that my pistol shots had attracted their attention as well!

    I broke into a run, pushing my trembling muscles forward, trying to close the distance to the flyer and to stay ahead of my pursuers. I saw the ship begin to dip, her pilot having seen me and undoubtedly also seeing the Kursk giving chase: whether to harm, or help, I still didn’t know.

    Shots from the powerful radium rifles of the Kursk began to pepper around me as the flyer landed. Fortunately, the sun was not quite up, so the fired pellets were not yet exploding as their contents were exposed to the light rays. I raced for the rail, knowing that while I might be heading toward my death, I was certainly fleeing a sure one. I leapt aboard, and the pilot immediately took us into the air as the Green Men fired at the ship, hitting it, but not injuring it without the explosive rounds. I sought my breath as muscles cramped, leaving me lying helplessly on the deck.

    Once underway and out of range, as my breathing began to slow, the pilot came out to address me. I couldn’t see his features in the pre-dawn light, but there was a familiar shape to his torso.

    “I would’ve thought you’d make one rehearsal,” he said sardonically.

    “Hestur!” I gasped. “Thank the First Egg you found me!”

    “I do so give my thanks,” he replied. “When you did not join us, I feared the worst and have been searching for you these past days. The concert begins in just over eight zodes- we have barely enough time to get back, get you cleaned up, and reach the Amphitheater.”

    “We have much more to do than that, my brother,” I said, and explained all which had happened and occurred since I had left on patrol. His face became grimmer and grimmer with each tal.

    When I had finished the tale, he turned for the control room of the craft. “We must race back! I will push this flyer to its very limits, Hintur, that we can protect the Warlord! You must rest, to be fit for what must come,” he said over his shoulder.

    “And not only that, Hestur,’ I said solemnly. “There is a brave daughter of Helium whose life also hangs in the balance. But fear not, I have a plan…”

    (to be continued- last one to follow… I semi promise this time!)

      1. lionetravail

        Thanks OT- this one’s turned into a labor of love! I often read to my wife, and we’ve gone through 12 or 15 novels over the last 14 years.. and several were Barsoom novels. I’m trying to stay faithful to the original 🙂

    1. snuzcook

      Awe-some, lionetravail! I finally got a chance to read the recent posts, and I am enjoying the opportunity to read them in sequence. I was entirely unfamiliar (or long ago forgot) the reference of Barsoom. Thank you for bringing it so artfully to life! Looking forward to the showdown!

    2. Reaper

      What is Barsoom? I must read this now. Love the language as it has grown on me and the voice not only of the piece but the individual players is amazing and well crafted. I have been completely sucked in and wait with baited breath for the finale. The only thing that confuses me is in part five. There is a mention of stabbing a man wearing metal in the chest. Am I confused because it seems like you are describing armor which would make a higher target a better option but I am unfamiliar with the original so maybe it is a reference I don’t get or maybe the knife is that bad ass? I was going to give you credit for the amazing idea of rounds that explode but only based on the elements. If that was you awesome idea, if it comes from the source I love the touch.

      1. lionetravail

        Thanks so much everyone! Reaper, “Barsoom” is the name of mars among the martian people of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ brilliant series of at least 11 books. The stories are all elegantly written, with wonderful concepts such as radium bullet that only explode when exposed to light- when they hit, the lead coating is scraped off allowing the explosion by day. It’s described in the books that, following nighttime battles, the morning battlefield is no safe place to be as the rounds begin to blow as the light comes…and the first book was published in 19-freaking-12!

        It’s… god, it’s this great fusion of sci fi, heroic fantasy, romance, proper behavior codes for men and women, the power of friendship to overcome hatred, the power of willpower to defeat despair, and just plain adventure story. The first in the series is “A Princess of Mars”, and it’s available as a free e book these days:

        I was just seized by the idea of trying this out, and it’s consumed a whole lot of time, but it’s really been that labor of absolute adoration for the original series. Hope you give the books a try!

        1. lionetravail

          Oh, and the Barsoomians typically wear minimal functional clothing- a “harness”, straps and such for gear and coverage of the private parts. Not much for armor- the term “wearing the metal” means wearing the metal trappings on the harness which identify where you are from, loyalty, how important or wealthy you are.

  9. lionetravail

    “Part 5”

    The multiple revelations of Seris Hatak had my mind reeling, even as we made our way over the springy but dour ochre moss of the Barsoomian surface. She was an able companion quite apart from her loveliness- I felt an attraction to her courage and independence of spirit, both in the dark earlier and with her famed father dead. I would never impose upon her in the turmoil that her life had become, and yet had never before met a woman who embodied such a rich synthesis of elements, including her fitness at following me at a quick pace across the sward.

    Our speed left us little breath to speak. Every moment outside the safety of Helium left the dear woman potentially prey to any manner of beast or man- the small, but fierce Kursk tribe of Green Men had territory along my patrol route. They had been scattered once in the recent past, but their hatchery had never been found and so were reckoned to be a continuing threat.

    As we were about to top a rise, the shock of hearing voices from beyond it made me drop immediately to the ground, pulling Seris with me. I made a warning face at her as she parted her lips, and she kept silent.

    “… And they’re most likely dead, only bones remaining now,” I heard a deep voice say.

    “Excellent!” came a wheedling sort of voice. “Spurn me, will she, the little she-calot?” Cruel laughter, shared between the two men. “And that Hintur Hund too!” he cried. “Proud to have been summoned by the Warlord, was he? Proud of what? A great windbag he was, hardly even a soldier!” he cackled.

    My eyes were slitted in anger. Villain!

    Seris caught my eyes, and I saw her own rage reflected therein.

    “Well,” said the deep voice gruffly. “While I am glad for your personal triumphs, noble Talos, I am more concerned about the task for which you have hired me. John Carter has proven to be a very difficult man to kill in the past- how will my men and I reach him to bring our blades to deadly purpose?”

    My blood went cold! Not simply the petty revenge of an evil man, but the calculation of an assassination of the unifier of all Barsoom, the greatest warrior ever! I motioned to Seris to stay hidden, as I prepared to jump the two men on the far side of the rise. Though weaponless, no man was unarmed when fierce resolution and love for his leader burned in his breast!

    “I will contact your men at their hiding place outside Helium at twenty five xats past the twelfth zode, and give them the metal of citizens of Helium, plus entry passes to the concert which will be held tomorrow. It is there that they shall find the opportunity to strike,” Talos K’ree responded. It was not difficult to imagine the sneer upon his countenance.

    And then I suddenly heard another voice from beyond the rise and far to the left. “What ho, evil Talos!” Seris said haughtily. I looked around, and saw she had vanished from my side. “Brave girl!” I thought again, my heart in my throat! She had undoubtedly set to hazard herself so as to distract the two men, and give me a chance!

    Without hesitation, I fairly threw myself over the rise and saw the two men staring at the beautiful vision before them in some shock. I hurtled down the hill and leapt at the muscular, deep-throated fellow, clad in the metal of Ptarth. He was only just turning towards me as we collided, and I knocked him to the ground. I heard a cry of pain which must have come from Seris, and thought “No!”, even as I grappled for the slim dagger sheathed in the Ptarthian’s harness.

    His strength was prodigious as he rose to his feet with me hanging off him, seeking to hurl me aside. But my heart was burning with rage at the plot against the Warlord, and chill with fear for Seris, and I plunged the blade into his chest over and over with strength born of necessity. He grunted, collapsing under me as his blood stained the ground beneath us.

    As I stood, I saw Talos drag Seris at gunpoint into a small two-man flyer. He saw me and snarled in my direction, firing several shots which missed me. I ran towards the flyer even as it rose, and heard his cackle as he took the noble girl with him in rapid flight towards the twin cities, leaving me alone with only the corpse of his henchman for company under Thuria’s waning light.

    (to be continued- one final part to come)


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