A Briar Patch Tale

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I hope that no other cars end up getting into a huge car wreck because the road was blown out. But other than that, I really enjoyed this chapter!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

FIFTY-ONE

The Loper had arrived, keeping the moon between themselves and the planet to ‘hide’ from the visual sensors of any watchers and Chapston had brought the ship in close besides the larger ship after Dawton had contacted them with their salutations and a request from Commander Hawle. The Lappinean had set certain matters in hand before walking off the bridge with Colleen Una
“Why we couldn’t have sent the message without coming all this way, Aldair,” Una commented as they headed for the teleport bay, “I don’t know…”
“Simple,” the Commander replied, hands behind his back, “we’d have needed to send a narrow beam transmission to avoid being heard. Easy to do with a planet,” he added conspiratorially, “less easy to do with a ship.”
Una huffed. “I meant now, Aldair.” Half a grin appeared. “As you know quite well.”
“Oh, that! Well, as you know… indeed, as you’ve SAID… someone might be needed for negotiations.” He chuckled. “And I love annoying a certain Captain with my presence!”

Commander Rhew met them in the Rodomont’s primary teleport bay and offered a hand to Una, which she appreciated. “Welcome aboard the Rodomont, Ambassador.”
“Thank you, Commander,” Una commented, glad she’d checked rank insignias were the same on the Loper as everywhere else. Commander Hawle had a rather laissez-faire attitude to the uniform and Una, not being totally experienced in military matters, had wondered. “It’s good to be here,” she finished, pretending not to notice that he’d not welcomed Aldair Hawle yet.
“Shall we head on up,” Hawle said diplomatically. He clicked his felt topped boots together, just to bring attention to them as he started to lead the way from the room.
Rhew had to walk a little faster to take the lead. “Might I lead,” he asked.
“Of course, Commander Rhew.” Hawle looked distracted. “Who are your other guests, by the way?”
“A Mican army troopship,” Rhew explained. “They arrived a little while back. We’re waiting on information from Talvary.”
“Which we’re here to bring,” Hawle replied. He held up a padd and transferred information to Rhew’s. “Get your comms officer to scan all these frequencies. They’re hiding in the highs and lows. Should tell them to call us quick if they get anything as they’ll know they’ve been made. Of course, this knowledge is temporary, hmm?”
Rhew raised an eye-ridge “So Lieutenant Stikka hasn’t been made privy to the information?”
“Well, we’ll only find out about that after Raicarra requests everything’s turned back over to them.”
“Flamin’ contract law,” the Polar said, knocking on the conference room door.

<“Programming it now,”> Maldak said from the bridge as Rhew sent her the new information. <”Should know in a few moments.”>
Una considered the others around the table. The Captain, of course, she’d met on Cora II and, again, she was impressed by the intensity of the Rottian. He had a gaze that could burn a hole in tables from twenty paces and she could feel his strength from here. The Mican didn’t have the same gravitas but had a poise all his own as the group studied the maps of the colony world. She, herself, was looking through the listings for the colony cabinet members and run a ‘read’ on them to see which might be the easiest one to pressure into letting a major scale operation take place on their soil. She’d reasoned it would take someone connected to the colony’s space control centre to hep them initially evade detection. The others had agreed and pointed to some of the wide vistas as a good place to build a base. She’d started looking through the files for government members connected to building regulations and permits as the others ran simulations over possible attack sites.
The comm booped. “Postain,” the Captain answered.
<”Maldak here, sir,”> the Quokka said. <”I just received an information bullet transmission from Hadrian Jak,”> she continued, making Una wonder who Hadrian Jak was. <”They’ve got a lot of information on the base, according to the message, but they’ve been made. They’re being chased.”>
Postain threw a pointer onto the table. “Get the information loaded,” he demanded tersely. “Any luck on the scans?”
<”We’re having to realign th...”>
Una noted the comment from the bridge continue even as Hawle activated his comm to talk to the Loper. “Dawton,” he snapped. “Run the scans.”
<”Aye, sir,”> the Human replied.
“Sorry,” he told the gang. “No-one said you might need to recalibrate sensors.”
Postain waved a hand. “Forget it, Commander. If a small screw up’s the only thing that goes wrong, we’re golden.” He looked at the map uploaded by Jak. The location of the base was marked out, along with a blue icon that seemed to indicate Jak’s vehicle. He noted the rough direction it was saying they were going and the rough speed. “We still don’t know the disposition of their forces enough to bring the ships in closer,” Postain fumed. “And they need rescue now.”
“Send the co-ordinates to the Loper” Hawle remarked.
“But what…” Postain threw his hands up. “Fine. I’m trusting you, Hawle.”

Dakrin almost destroyed the suspension as he twisted back out onto the main road at speed, turning into the skid to survive it and ending up facing the correct way after leaving trails on the tarmac. The car stopped for a few seconds and the lights behind them got uncomfortably close before the vehicle started up again. “It can’t take too much more,” he called to his companions, who could barely hear him over the noises from the road.
“It can take more than us,” Harvest called s a searchlight cut in from the skies behind them.
“The DX-37’s back from destroying the transmitter,” Dakrin mused.
“A DX-37,” Jak coughed. “Great. It’ll catch us in about ten seconds at this rate…”
The beam came closer as the aerial vehicle brought them into it’s sights for all to see…

The vehicle exploded as two bolts caught it from above and behind. A lone starlancer fighter angled into the attack, firing on the pursuing vehicles. Jak’s comm rang. It was a bit of a surprise to him as he didn’t think there was a signal here. “Yes,” he said as the car kept heading south.
<”You’re welcome,”> Maze Hardy said from her fighter.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Wonderful chapter once again! Looks like I was worried about nothing! Elena's ex and her current boyfriend seem to be getting along fine. :D

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Fifty-Two

From the files of Harvest Moon.

‘When you’re being rescued by air support there are pluses and minuses to whichever craft it is that does the rescuing. If it’s a shuttle, it’s generally a smooth ride with some defence capabilities but relatively slow on the uptake when you’re trying to get away from the firing range. A fighter, on the other hand, allows for swift action and blazing firepower but, with its speed, it’s going to be past you in nought point three of a second and, unless you believe those lying movies where the bad guys all stand in a line, the fighter’s going to miss at least half of the targets. This is why, despite the sudden attention of a Starlancer fighter, Dakrin’s still legging it down the road at a rate of knots that indicates he has an artificial leg that’s jammed on the accelerator. If we had wings, we’d be nearing take off speed. I look at the damage to the vehicle and wonder if the two that got past the fighter are going to try to add to it. It’s quite interesting, seeing the blazing wreckage of their friends lighting the horizon up behind us. It looks like Sunrise in the twilight.

Jak’s breathing quite hard. I’ve got the feeling his seat’s quite damp and stained and not in the ‘better’ way either. We need to pull over and fight but we really can’t. It’s a catch 22 situation right now.. I note an articulated lorry carrying produce coming towards us, and I suspect the driver is automated, judging by how it’s ignoring the people shooting at us. I note that my mad, nude, driver is heading straight for it in this battered, clapped out, new car that’s going to fail its next transport ministry check and I have a massively horrible feeling as to what Dak’s going to do next. Yeah, he’s going to do it… He’s going to take the top of the car off by hurtling underneath the flatbed section and… Oh. He swerved around the back of the truck at speed. I almost fell out but not quite. I almost have an idea to grab hold of the ladder on the back of the lorry but sanity refused my arm permission to carry out my brains’ plan. He’s caught them slightly on the hop with his turn, though. They’re about ten seconds behind us now. And I have an idea. These autodrive things are getting popular because they’re hard to hijack. They don’t stop moving and, if you try to board the cab area, they fight back. So, I think as I pull Jak’s shok-prod from it’s belt, it just needs good timing… and…

I reach out, to one side and give the cab a whack with the prod turned on. Oh. I broke the stick. Almost broke my hand too. Never hit a large object when its moving at speed. Really smarts. But it seems to have done the job as the charge runs through the metal. As we nose out in front the thing pushes into where we were in an attempt to damage the car. But it’s not our car they’re damaging. Dakrin actually laughs and says he hoped I’d get his plan as the last two leave us and tumble through a fence into a field. HIS plan? Huh!

A few minutes later it’s safe enough to pull over and I grab the first aid kit to do some checking on Jak.’

Up above things, Dawton had reported in and told the trio aboard the Rodomont that there was one shrouded ship in the area even as Hardy had rocketed down towards the atmosphere. Postain had made his choice. “Northwich,” he said, tapping the desk, “your ship can do surface landings, right?”
Northwich nodded. “That’s Fawren Spaceways’ speciality,” he admitted. “Atmospheric abilities and large scale landings. It’s the engines that…”
Postain waved a hand. “I don’t need to know the specifics, just that it can do it. Take Karl and get your people down there. I’ll give you the comm frequency for Jak so you can locate them. Meantime, Hawle?”
“Yes?”
“Get off my ship, Rabbit. The ambassador can stay here if she likes. We have to deal with that ship.”
Hawle nodded. Postain had a point.
“I stand with my ship,” Una said, almost taking Hawle by surprise. “Besides, he’s less likely to be hit.”
“Understood. Dawton,” he called, “send Maldak the location of that ship.” He waited a few seconds as Dawton complied. The others had already left the room, some to get to their ships and Rhew to get to the bridge next door, when Dawton cleared the line and Postain had Maldak send a narrow beam transmission to the general area of the shrouded ship. “Am I on,” he asked.
<”Yes, sir.”>
“Right.” He straightened up before speaking again. “You out there! This is Captain Postain of the U.S.C. Rodomont. We are here to place you under arrest. We are here to capture and dismantle the Calavix apparatus and we are permitted to use lethal force to achieve that aim. As you have just discovered we now know how to penetrate your cloaking ability with impunity and how to disable your ship. We learned this from the ship we captured in a one on one firefight. Now there are two of us. These people are not worth dying for. And that IS what’s going to happen! You will NOT be allowed to escape and we WILL destroy you if you choose to fight! We can take you in in one piece or ten thousand! Which ever you want is your fate!” He closed the line and commed Rhew. “Mikkel,” he ordered, “launch fighters and set an intercept course. Contact the Rabbit and get him to head in on the attack. Target engines and weapons.”

The Rottian strode out onto the bridge to see his orders were already being carried out. He strode to his seat as Rhew finished his orders to Hawle, who wore an expression that he’d already planned to do just what he was being told to anyway. Postain sat in his chair and pulled his shirt down. “Helm,” he ordered as a familiar sound came from the alert speakers, “Follow the Loper in. Ready all weapons. Maldak, keep an ear open. If they signal surrender, tell us. Other than that? We’re not taking prisoners this time.”
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This chapter is just really stunning! I love how well you write!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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FIFTY-THREE

From the files of Harvest Moon

‘We’re not getting the deposit back on this thing. It’s clapped out a mile from the truck and Dak’s just about got it to the side of the road before the vehicle passed us. I’ve managed to get Jak out – more or less with his help – and the medical pack’s proving less than optimal. Dak’s watching for enemy action as the Starlancer buzzes overhead, low enough to make my fur stand on end with it’s anti-gravity thrusters. Jak’s quite defiantly telling me he’s absolutely fine but I figure he’s lying. I work with the little tube of congealment in the pack and apply it to a hole I could put my finger in. I can admit I only thought about doing it. I wouldn’t actually do it. Honest. There’s a new pressure building and Dak delivers a rather choice choice of words as a very large thing lands in the field next to us. “Might as well stand our ground,” I call to Dakrin. “Not many places we can run from here!”
“Might as well face death with dignity,” he calls back and I resist the temptation to mention the skidmarks that aren’t on the tarmac… Someone calls for a medic and I’m pretty sure it’s not me. Boots appear besides me and the Mican wearing them puts down a medical pack. She smells of Lavender, Rice and Coconut mixed with the sourest of chemicals that makes your nose itch and runs a scanner over Jak. She nods and directs two to help her back to the troopship. Troopship! I hate and love Harriet.’

Colonel Northwich approached as the other pair headed back to the ship. Behind him three light hover vehicles were pushing their way out of the back of the ship and making themselves ready as the Officer made his way across to Harvest. “I take it you’re Harvest Moon,” he asked.
Harvest thumbed towards Dakrin. “Well, he isn’t,” he said. “You tracked Hadrian’s comm, I take it?”
Northwich nodded. “Seemed the way. You have information for us?”
Harvest looked over the Military Mouse and back at Dakrin, stood with his hands on his hips in the light from the ship and enjoying the breeze. “He’s been inside the base,” Harvest said as he glimpsed Patcha watching over Jak. “Actually,” Harvest added conspiratorially, “I don’t suppose you have anything he can wear, do you?”
Northwich grunted. “Fortunately he’s small for a Celican.”
“Hey!”
“So there might be something in the troopship. But I need to learn the layout.”

Five minutes later, the trio and Karl stood, crammed into the tiniest office Dakrin had ever seen. The table in the middle of the room was pretty much designed for one person on each side and there were four of them in there right now. Dakrin was finishing the very quick sketch-work on the sheet of paper that outlined the parts of the layout that he’d seen. Harvest noted the lack of watch towers and assumed that the sheer distance between the base and any local civilisation meant they weren’t exactly expecting people to refuse their hospitality. The vehicle compound was guarded more intently, with automated machine gun turrets ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. Karl hmphed as he described the Feline he’d met there and she wondered if this could be the errant Scientist? Probably not, she decided. But he was still someone she wanted to have words with.
“Excuse me,” a voice said from the door. A Mican female was there with the biggest shirt and trousers that they had available. “Murringer says he hopes these fit.” Harvest couldn’t help but notice the female flicked a quick glance down as Dakrin accepted the clothes that actually looked like they might fit. Just.
“Thanks,” he said. “Is there a place to dress?”
She nodded to a very small toilet area. “There. Might be a ‘tight fit’ for you, though…” She headed out with a sly chuckle as Dakrin headed to the toilet area. It had the seated facilities with a small sink on top of the cistern. Dakrin just managed to turn around and closed the door.
“We going to have to rescue him again,” Karl sneered.
“Probably,” Harvest advised. “The start of the chase involved Wolves. The car killed one – I’m claiming the assist – but there’s probably more than one there.”
“Probably clanless,” Karl advised. “I HAVE one, by the way,” she told Northwich. “They’ve joined this one so they’ll be loyal to it if they’ve been here any real time. They’ll be the first into hand to hand if there is any.” She nodded. “I’ll handle them when they appear. If you can’t shoot them.”

Hawle closed in on the target, his better, faster, engines bringing him up ahead of the old battleship. “Shields up,” he told Raven and she relayed the order. “Chappers,” he continued, “any sign of our opponent?”
Sarah shook her head. “It’s darker than a Nightclub in Whiteladies,” she replied.
“I… have no idea what that actually means but I take it the answer’s ‘no’?”
“Aye, sir.”
“Very well,” he decided, “do me a favour and keep us on target, yeah?”
“Locked and waiting for someone else to load, sir.”
“Dawton, is Hardy back with us yet?”
The Human ran a quick check on the Flight leader’s location. “She’s breaking orbit now, sir.”
“Send her an invite and launch the rest of the gang.”
“On it.”
Hawle waited as the orders were carried out efficiently. He sat back before Raven made him and allowed the restraints to lock him in.
The Raitchian, Match, spoke from the sciences station. “I don’t think they’re surrendering, sir,” he said.
“Any particular re…” Hawle stopped as twin bolts of energy struck out at them, skimming the Loper’s shields. “Well, that’s rude,” he declared huffily. “Well, if they’ve invited us to party, might as well RsVP. Send our reply, would you, Raven?”
“Now that they’ve given away their weapons ports location, it’s my pleasure,” Raven growled. “Fire.”
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Rydr Warklub »

You honestly should collect your stories into books. They deserve to be recongized beyond just this forum.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Any royalties that he gets he would need to give me at least 5% since Elena is my character. XD

Anyway really well-written chapter as usual Welsh!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Heh. Thanks. Whiteladies is an area of Bristol (Where Sarah's from)
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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FIFTY-FOUR

Postain watched as the battle began, the Loper swapping shots with the unseen vessel as her fighters launched; fireflies against the hull of the ship. He was still a minute out but his squadrons were already on their way to join the fight. “Adjust our approach to come in from their flank,” he ordered and the helm shifted, twisting slightly up and to the left to try and establish a better line of fire. He could estimate the distance between her forward cannons to give an idea of size but couldn’t say the estimation was accurate yet. He knew that Senny Appleby was in position as Rhew had just told him. His fighters spun to join the Loper’s squad. “When we get a clear shot, take it,” he commanded.

The Loper shook under the pressure of incoming fire. “Shields at 70,” Match said from his sciences station.
“Lovely to know,” Hawle replied, “but how are theirs doing?”
“Unknown, sir. We’d need to see them first.”
“OK,” Hawle commented, “let’s work on that. Weapons, can you over-rule the ‘pulse’ effect?”
“Pardon, sir,” the weapons officer said, resisting the compulsion to turn around.
“The ‘bullet’ effect. The short out that means the shields are only down for a few seconds. Can you remove that so we project a continuous beam?”
Now the officer DID look around as the system fired on automatic. “Sir, that’s not advised. They’d be able to fire directly on us!”
“But it can be done, right?”
The Canine nodded hesitantly. “Ye-es, sir…”
Hawle smiled lightly. “Then get ready to do it, Willa. Don’t worry, I have a plan.”
“Can I make my will,” Raven grumbled.
“Nope, you’re still leaving me your music collection,” Hawle told her. “Now back to business, Willa.”
The Canine turned back to the fight as the lights sputtered for a second.

Maze Hardy opened fire. She was still out of position as regards her flight but that would only be a problem for a short while. She wondered if the opposition had fighters of its own and appreciated that the Rodomont’s Wing Commander had put one of her flights in overwatch whilst another targetted the shields. But the area they were targetting… From what she could see it wasn’t anything pivotal there. She understood the idea of breaching the shields but where they were… Wait a moment, she told herself, wasn’t this thing invisible? She looked up. The fighters were firing on a hole in space. But… She hit the intership comm. “Flight leader Hardy to Rodomont Fighter Commander!”
<”Senny Appleby here, Flight leader. What is it?”>
“Have your fighters trying to breach the shields fire on the same location I’m about to engage.”
<”Exactly why?”>
“I’m in a Monta experimental Starlancer. My sensors can detect that ship.” So much for no industrial espionage, she thought as she opened fire, jinking around incoming bolts of energy.

Harvest checked his borrowed weapon and thought himself thankful it was a Fawren weapon. More power and less weight, specifically made for Mican forces, like the Harkalan weapons the others had. Admittedly this one was more for the secretarial oriented soldiers but, in times of crisis, a gun was better than no gun. He was riding in the back of the Colonel’s ATV as it hovered over the road and pushed towards the base they’d been running from. Dakrin was on his left, looking a bit upset that he wasn’t quite too big for the Mican clothes he was wearing and checking the side arm he’d been given. His look was still quite defined under the clothes, though, and Harvest was sure his voice was a quarter octave higher. Karl was flanking him to the right of the back seat and he got the impression that the only way he was getting out of this vehicle was over her dead body. Or, more probably, over his own. She was doing the ‘protect’ thing again and had since visiting Jak in the excuse for a medical bay on the troopship. One table, one computer and an auto surgeon capable of minor operations. Jak was going to be fine. The wound was more shock than anything. Well, shock and blood loss. The computer had Cervidan blood in its’ memory and had managed to replicate a general version for him. Now they were a few minutes out from the base. “I want the feline alive,” she told them again.
“He might not be there,” Harvest replied. He looked up at her, eye to eye, showing no fear. “Iif he figured out there was a danger and he’s as high as you think? He probably bugged out in the opposite direction as soon as Dak’s subterfuge was uncovered.” He gently put a hand on hers as she reached across him to grab the slightly cringing Celican. “Not his fault, Patcha. We’ve all been improvising. It’s still a good collar.”
“If I get held responsible,” Karl warned Dakrin, “I’m going to rip all your shirts.” She looked at him hard until he registered what she said and his face fell into confusion. Then she lapsed into a grin and he knew he’d been had.
He wagged a finger. “You,” he said, “are very scary.”
“Good,” she replied as a heavy weapon truck pushed past them to open fire on the gate.

Postain wondered quite what Hawle was up to as his ship veered under the unseen enemy ship, letting its top weapons take the strain before beginning a loop that would bring it back in roughly the direction he was coming from. It was almost as if the Rabbit was trying to make him the priority target or something. And it was working. The fact he had the heavier weapons made him the more appealing target and most of the enemy cruisers fire was turned on him now. He guessed he’d find out if the repairs had taken as the first shots impacted his shields, making the entire ship judder. It seemed this ship might have higher grade firepower than the one they’d previously engaged and… What WAS Hawle doing? The Loper was almost behind the Rodomont now and was twisting again. Was he hoping to use the battleship’s shields and save his own? He’d be lucky, Postain thought as the shields dropped to 75%. The old girl was going to need full repairs, he sensed.

Hawle watched as the loop was completed and the ship faced the enemy again from underneath the Rodomont. He knew that, in optimum condition, the battleship could take this thing solo but she wasn’t in optimum condition. Over the last week or so she’d been in pitched battle and bombed. Sections of hull had been replaced and repaired and not run in=. So there was a trick the Loper, with her lesser firepower, could do for her… He watched as shots continually slammed into the bigger ships shield system. “Willa,” he asked.
“Sir?”
“If you have the target, hit it.”
“On it, sir.” The Canine pressed the button and the shields dropped so the Loper’s forward cannons could fire. But, instead of dropping for one or two seconds to allow the energy through, they staed down to allow a continual pair of punishing beams to lash across space onto the enemy ship, lighting space for thousands of kilometres as they did so.

“That mad Rabbit,” Postain said with a note of reverence that almost startled Rhew. “He’ll breach their shields in seconds…”
“And could destroy his own ship in the process,” Rhew counselled.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by DDeer »

See Jak's in the wars again, some car carnage also.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Really digging how this chapter has come out! I hope Hawle doesn't die but if something happens maybe Postain will take Elena back. XD

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

FIFTY-FIVE

From the files of Harvest Moon

‘I have to say that the effect of a Mustech Phantacannon (Mark 12, I think) on the main gate is pretty impressive. It held up well for about 0.5 of a second and then flew off the frame and threw itself backwards over several feet before crashing down onto the greenery and melting the grass. Which is quite something when you think about it. The bolt comprises explosive energy for the hit and a core of about three thousand degrees for the REAL impact damage. I don’t ask how it works. Smarter people than me invented it. But it works and it allows the army swift access to the target complex. We’re stopped fairly soon after as pop-up turrets… well, pop-up (what else would you think they’d do?) and open fire on us. The shot impacts on the armoured hull of the first shuttle and knocks it back. No wheels, no traction so anything that promotes movement in a different direction to the way you’re going can knock you off course. The lead vehicle has to stabilise itself before it can return fire but the second of the advance guard engages one of the turrets whilst the soldiers behind us target the second. Energy weapons fire and spark as they hit the energy shields around both of the turrets.

Karl joins me behind the armoured vehicle by the simple action of picking me out of the vehicle and taking me with her. She looks me in the eye. “They’ve got armaments here, Harvest, but I doubt they have where you met Fabrico there,” she finished, indicating Dakrin.
“Probably not,” I agree, getting the idea I know where this is going. “It’s about a mile that way.” I point along the road. Dakrin’s also got the idea now, I think. His groan is for the ages, heard over the sounds of battle. Northwich is too busy directing the battle from the front so we slip away down the road. At best running speed. It’s not easy in this coat. I miss my hat.

Five minutes later we’ve made it to the exfiltration point. It’s marked by a tyred and rundown Wolf lying dead in the road. Karl sniffs him. “Don’t know him,” she says tightly, “but I can follow his scent back.”
“She figures I got lost, doesn’t she,” Dakrin asks me, almost petulantly. He thinks she’s doubting his hunting prowess, perhaps? I look back at him. “OK,” he admits, “maybe I did a little…”
“Don’t worry,” I say, following the swift moving Wolven and trying not to trip over roots, “she won’t let you forget it!”’

After about twenty seconds, the Loper’s forward cannons were beginning to fry so Hawle had Willa stop the beams.. They cut out and Willa checked the logs. “Think I’m out of this fight,” he told the Commander. “Wirings’ beginning to fry from the effect. Put any more power through and we might blow out half the ship.”
“That would explain the ruptured power lines on ‘C’ deck,” Match cut in. “Engineering teams are on their way. Enemy shields are pretty much obliterated, from what I can tell, sir.”
“Good,” Hawle replied, “Raven, go watch over those engineers. Call if you need more or if security can give you a hand. Our shields were down for twenty-five seconds so…”
“Possible beam in,” the Burman realised. “Right, I’m on it.” She removed her restraints and headed quickly from the bridge.
“Now it’s up to that old dog to teach them some new tricks,” Hawle muttered.

“Keep us in front of the Loper,” Postain commanded as the ship shook from another barrage. “She’s done her job!” He watched as starboard weapons tore into the battered shields of their unseen adversary. In the distance he could see that Hawles’ fighters and his had united their efforts on a section of the shields opposite and… He held on as the biggest blast yet hammered the shields. Xarra looked up from her console. “Our shields are at thirty percent,” she called. “The repairs aren’t holding!”
“Never mind ours,” he growled, “what are theirs like?”
“There’s are…” She looked up as the fighter’s broke through. “Their shields are gone, sir!”
“Fair enough. Maldak, send to them that we’ll stop killing them if they surrender.” He held on as another impact rocked the ship. He heard Xarra report damage to the hull, with a breach inprogress in B-15. Postain ordered the section evacuated.

Darren Levan held the door as sciences evacuated. He’d been one of the essential ones that couldn’t get into a ‘safe zone’ – or, at least, that was how he was choosing to remember it. In reality he hadn’t been fast enough to get to the nearest before it had sealed. Now, though, he was fighting to keep the bulkhead open. It was trying to close as the void pulled at the atmosphere inside, sucking it out. But Yinna was still thirty feet away. The Raitchian was struggling to close the gap to safety, pulling herself forward against the pressure. Levan was certain he was going to hold the door for her. He was going to save her. He was… She stumbled as the pressure grew more intense. Fell backwards. Ten feet away. He could tell she wasn’t going to make it, reality crashing in on his hopes. The Celican swallowed and chose to save the rest of the ship by pushing himself into the stable area of the ship and letting the bulkhead slam shut. He tried not to think of what was happening in the depressurised area right now as he gasped for breath. The tears were just from the change in pressure, he was sure. He pulled his tired frame up, told himself the shuddering was just from the pressure change – like the tears – and walked shakily down the way.

Kerri, on the other hand, was keeping busy, zipping around from work group to work group, doing whatever they needed her to do. Appleby watched over her from a distance, mentally helping her friend keep her emotions in check – just this once – as she engaged in close up conversations with her male colleagues. It wasn’t anything heavy or proud for Appleby but the need was there. The need to help her friend. Besides, it was just a minor thing she was doing. Hopefully. Not that she’d tell Kerri that she was doing it, mind.

Down on the surface, Northwich had noted that his ‘civilians’ had wandered off and a team of five had been sent after them, leaving him Fifty to deal with the forward armour. It cost him a half track but finally the shields on the turrets failed and the Phantacannon did what it liked to do on the first turret, blowing it skywards in an explosion that thundered into the night for miles around. The blast destroyed its own compatriot and knocked half of Northwich’s platoon to the floor. Three died as their ATV hit them as they fell. The Colonel pushed himself back up, thanked the stars he’d been wearing earplugs, and pushed on into the complex.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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Magnificent chapter once again! I really am enjoying reading every new installment!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

FIFTY-SIX

From the files of Harvest Moon

‘My arms are falling off. I don’t know how she’s doing this but, after a mile run in the twilight along a paved road, we’ve turned towards the base and are doing a cross country at breakneck speed. I don’t know how she’s doing this? Of COURSE I know how she’s doing it. She’s a Wolf and one of the fittest and strongest and stroppiest I’ve ever met. I’m proud and terrified to call her my friend. Dakrin’s staying behind me, making me a Grainivore filling to a predator bread sandwich and yet, if I had the time to feel anything, it wouldn’t be fear, it would be protected. I wonder how long ago Northwich noticed we’d wandered off and sent people after us? If he has, of course. Something explodes off towards the main gate and the night flashes for a few seconds, casting yellow hints across the trees and through the gaps. It attracts the attention and Dakrin, already complaining that Mican boots are a bit tight on Celican feet, almost goes flying over a root. The Keevik in the tree behind him would have loved that. I think we’re closing in on the base door though. I do hope I’m right. My lungs could do with some close quarters gunfire. The sort where you take cover behind things and get your breath back.

Karl puts a hand out when she’s about to break the treeline and I stop, panting like my life depends on it. Dak’s somewhat out of breath too. Karl shows favouritism that I kinda expected and says I did a good job in keeping up. She’s right, even if being patronising. We Field Micans are built for short speed dashes and darting through tiny holes. Dak, she reckons, should work harder at keeping fit. She comments that all he’s done is run the same distance as her after being chased over the same area by Wolven and a Celican. Then she grins and gives him a pain inducing smack on the arm to tell him she’s being friendly. The way ahead’s clear and there’s shooting to the other side of the base but it’s silent here. I have a feeling some other cliché should go here but, when the grain’s too inviting, there’s a trap nearby. I have the night vision goggles in my pocket so I put them on and wonder where Dakrin got that Bekrit he’s eating from. Karl turns it down. “Never go into battle on a full stomach,” she advises. I imagine it’s something about added ferocity or something. And eating your opponent. I run the scans over the field in front of us and tell Patcha that there are heat scanners set up but there was a way through. She says she has another way and vanishes into the trees for a moment. She comes back with s scrabbling and screaming Lagomorph in her hands and asks me where the sensors are. I point them out and she backs up, takes a run up and bowls the Lagomorph over arm into the middle of the field with all the strength she has. It lands halfway between us and the base, rolls several times, then runs like heck away from the mad Wolf. “That’s hardly scientific,” I tell her.
“I’m hardly a scientist,” she replied, running from cover and heading across the field, following the route the Lagomorph had taken as far as she could before darting for the doorway.” Excerpt paused

Karl made it but barely. The systems detected her straying from a ‘safe’ path and the automatic systems kicked in, laser weapons striking out from the wall and gashing her arm before she barrelled into the door, which, annoyingly, remained shut. She was almost as annoyed when Dakrin simply walked across the field, taking a wavy path to the door, with Harvest reluctantly following him and getting in tight as she scowled at the Celican. “I remembered the route Fallak took me out by,” he told the Wolf. “I would have told you if you’d asked,” he added, tapping in the code he’d seen the other Celican use to open the door from the other side. “Never think on an empty stomach,” he said as the door opened.

Northwich moved up, over the bodies of his troopers and those who’d chosen to defend the base with their lives. He had his pistol and he had his knife and he used the latter as a Canine swung at him. He used it as he ducked under the incoming blow and brought it up under the assailant’s ribcage to end him quickly. To the left, three of his ATVs were fighting a running battle with a number of their mobile units and he was annoyed at how much time those automated turrets had taken. The element of surprise had been lost and the defenders had started to develop a line. They’d break it, sure, but it would take a few minutes.

From the files of Harvest Moon.

‘There’s another reason we needed to come in the back door and I mention it to Karl as Dakrin does the computer thing to shut down the rear defence field so the Mican soldiers who probably followed us don’t get ripped to pieces. There’s a computer here, there must be. Not this terminal but one with details of all the Calavix plans – or a lot of them at least – and details of personnel. It’s currency to the intelligence services and, frankly, we can’t let Harriet get to it first. She has probably sent Northwich with that as the ‘B’ objective and she’ll keep it to the Micans. I’m not actually against that for obvious reasons but Micans live on other worlds too and their intelligence people should have access to the same information. Besides, she’s not the one employing me, the Council are and, when first and second loyalties clash, you go with the instinct you trust more. So we’re headed through for the offices. Quickly. They’re probably… Oh, that’s rather smart. Dakrin turned the power off to this part of the base. At least I hope it was him. A glance in the red emergency lighting and I see him grin. “I’m not useless, boss,” he says. I tell him we’ll judge by how many times we run into walls. I wonder where Fallak is? I’d anticipated running into that git before now. Threatening to shoot me, indeed!

We’re on our toes again. Karl’s taken off and we’re following the complaining fleas shucked off her tail by her sudden acceleration and changes in direction. I don’t know where she’s headed in the red light but she seems to know. Now I think I can smell a Celican. Fresh trail, so to speak. And it’s not Dak. I know his scent by heart by now and Karl’s growling. She launches herself into a room with a Feline and a Wolf in it and we follow her in as the Wolf moves to intercept Karl. There’s a clunking sound from behind as someone clunks Dak. Or the other way around. It didn’t work, though. I can hear scrabbling behind me. That just leaves me with the businesscat. The one coming at me, claws out.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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Glad you are back to writing this! I love each new chapter! ^_^

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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FIFTY-SEVEN

Talvary Communal station was busier than it had been for quite some time. Security from three colonies were there to take prisoners after station staff had checked their backgrounds and logged the transfers and the crew of the Rodomont and families who had needed temporary billeting on the station, crowding out the hotel aspect on the Council’s dime. The cafe’s were full, the shops were running out of stock and Henry was of split opinions on it. On the one side money was coming in, on the other side transit passengers had no-where to stay. They were going to get some one star reviews in the coming days.

In the medical bay, Enzo Carvalho cared nothing for any of that. They’d taken his mother into the station Hospital as soon as they’d gotten here after her situation worsened on the trip. They’d said things about ‘relieving the pressure’ and ‘getting scans’ and ‘tracheotomy’ – or something like that – that he’d not really understood but they’d said things like ‘your mom’s going to be all right’ and ‘it’s just precautionary’ in ways he didn’t like. He was a Raitchian. A young one but he was still able to work out when the smile was overly forced. When it didn’t meet the eyes. When people were lying to him for his own benefit. It had kept him awake half the night, watching as they worked. He’d begged Jasmine to let him stay here as she needed the rest in the apartment closest to the hospital. She’d agreed on condition that he never left the side of the attendant Nurse and that, if she decided he should come back to the apartment, he would walk with her. She’d made him agree twice. Once after making sure he didn’t have his fingers crossed. He’d scowled but was amused. She was learning his tricks.

The door opened behind him and he turned to see Miss Dox walk slowly into the room with a shopping bag. She propped herself up on a table for a second as Enzo, glancing back at his mom, went over to help.
“Mikkel has,” Jasmine huffed, “a lot to answer for, Enzo.”
“Thought you was resting, Miss Do… uh, Jasmine,” he said, helping her to a chair.
“Had three hours, Enzo,” she said, “then I figured I needed to buy stuff for my boy here.” She put a hand down to cradle her womb, dipping the other one into the bag to pull out a Raitche sandwich. “And get some lunch for you,” she added, giving him the Frayameat, cheese and seeds sandwich before adding a bottle of water. “How’s your mom?”
Enzo couldn’t reply for a moment as he was eviscerating a sandwich so it was a Doctor coming out of the room who explained that they’d caught the bleed in time and that she was going to be fine with time. Jasmine took him back to the room, where she showed him some of the things for the baby and he made subdued appreciative noises “And, of course,” she added, “I couldn’t have you wearing the same things day after day. What would your mother think of me?” She pulled a pair of light cream trousers and a blue T-shirt with a print of a Killranger on it and handed them to him.
He accepted them with a smile and glanced at the shirt. “The Blue Ranger,” he said lightly.
“They had others,” Jasmine assured him, “but I like the blue one best. Can’t think why.”
“I can,” Enzo said, his wide grin shifting several crumbs on his whiskers. “He’s a Rabbit and he don’t kill much.”
“Must be it.” She nodded to the room he’d chosen as his. “Want to try them on? I’m pretty sure they’re your size from the clothes you had on the ship but…” He headed in and closed the door. After a few minutes of quiet, Jasmine opened the door quietly to see him half undressed and asleep on the bed. She closed the door again.

“We’re receiving a signal, Captain,” Maldak called from her station. “It’s just two words and, uh, one of them’s profane.”
“Drat it,” Postain cursed. “Tell Hawle to reverse at best speed and get his fighters back! Rhew, order ours to return too!”
“You think they’re going to self destruct,” Rhew asked.
Postain nodded. “Seems like it.”
“Should I set a course away, sir,” the helm officer asked as the others made their calls.
“No,” Postain replied savagely. “We have the best shields, the best working weapons and they could be trying a con job. Take their bridge out of the equation.” He remained seated whilst his forward cannons spoke again, rupturing the enemy hull near the front middle. He knew it was hardly going to affect their actual bridge if the ship was anything like a Council vessel, where they were three floors down and a hundred metrons from the front of the ship but it should get the message across. Or not. “Incoming signal,” Maldak shouted, “they’re trying to beam something onto the bridge!”
“Stop them,” Postain ordered, before using his armrest controls to do it himself, deflecting the incoming transport to an area about 100yrds off the port side of the ship. The bomb blew, carving a mighty hole into the side of the battleship, rupturing systems and power lines. Postain and Rhew would have fallen from their seats as the gravity shifted if it weren’t for the restraints keeping them in place. Maldak did faceplant into her console though, so she was holding the end of her muzzle as she regained her position. “There’s their last chance,” the Rottian spat. “Wasted. Are weapons still active?”
Rhew shook his head to clear it of several butterflies that had been fluttering in his thoughts. “Aye… aye, sir,” he said, reading the power reports from his armrest. “Cannon three is down and one’s iffy but two and four are still powered due to them be…”
“Then use them to clear that S.o.B out of my space!”
“...cause they’re on the other side of the ship,” Rhew finished. “Starboard weapons,” he said smoothly. “Fire until that thing’s just debris. Medics, see to Maldak.”
“I can…”
“You can be treated, Ensign,” Rhew stated. For a few minutes no-one was going to be on the comms duty. He reckoned that would be long enough.

Down on the planet, Northwich entered the base.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

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Great work as usual! I love how you are writing this!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Down to the last few parts now (I think)

FIFTY-EIGHT

From the files of Harvest Moon.

‘There are pluses and minuses when it comes to civilising Felines, now I come to think of it. The wearing of shoes means they lose a full ten blades from their arsenal. The Minus is that civilisation hasn’t gotten as far as wearing gloves and muzzles. This scraggy old moggy’s after my throat and his keratin blades slish past my face as I jink to one side. He cuts through my cheek but that’s not really a surprise when you think he outnumbers me ten blades to none. I have a gun but it seems kind of beneath me just to shoot him in the gut without even trying to take him alive so I think I’ll try a few things. Gods, I’m stupid. He slashes again and I grab his arm and use his own momentum to try to dislodge him. It doesn’t quite work but it does pull him in closer so I can elbow him in the gut. He coughs as the air is driven out and his free hand fails in its grab for me. I stamp on his foot, just to irritate him. Felines are just like sane people. Make them mad and they stop strategising. They make mistakes. They let go. They do little things like hop with the shock which gives unscrupulous types another chance to dislodge them by putting their arm under the raised knee and pulling quickly. He crashes to the floor but I’m not in a position to take advantage of it as a Celican has just thrust Dakrin into me, sending me staggering annoyingly close to where Patcha is enjoying herself in entanglement with another Wolf, who’s trying to give as good as he gets. Dakrin pulls himself off me as I shake my head and heads back into the fight, Ripping claws across his opponent’s face as Patcha’s punches her in the ribs. Patcha winces. Oh, yeah. That was where she’d been wounded a week or so back. I hope he didn’t.. He did. He hits there. He’s going to get the upper hand if something doesn’t… Dakrin gets thrown again. Seems this Celican knows his moves. I get back up and kick the Cat in the side. He takes a sharp gasp of air but strikes out at my leg, knocking me back a few steps as Dakrin charges his former friend. At least I think he’s a former friend. I’ve never tried to kill any of my old friends. The Cat flips himself back up again and makes for me. He’s not trying to escape. Well, he can’t. There are two Celicans fighting in the doorway. There are two Wolves fighting by the window. And there’s a Mican kicking him hard in the groin. That drives more wind out of his sails and I hit him with the biggest uppercut I’ve thrown at a Feline, bringing it up, under his chin and launching him back as I break a knuckle. Ouch. He’s lying still for the moment. Is that fighting outside the room I hear or is the blood rushing to my ears? The blood that isn’t running down my face, that is? “You two castle,” I call as I look to see if the computer’s in one piece. Well, it might be. If we can find the hard drive in all the smashed parts.

Dak knows what ‘Castling’ means. I’m pretty sure Patcha does too. She just doesn’t want to do it. It’s probably her honour again. It’s because Castling is designed for when you’re fighting two on two and you’re perfectly matched against your chosen opponent. You switch up the fight by switching your opponent. I have no confidence that Dak could hold the Wolf off for long, even if I do help out. But he wouldn’t have to. Patcha wouldn’t let the Celican stand for long. But she doesn’t want to play and it’s not until Dakrin manages to manipulate the other guy into chucking him just where he wants to be chucked that he’s able to start engaging the Wolf. “Patcha,” I call, “deal with that guy first!” The Celican looks like he’s about to wet himself. He might be lithe and strong but his eyes widen as Patcha glares at him.
“Fff… Fine,” Patcha says, leaping at the youth as I pocket something that looks like a solid state drive.
They MIGHT have the data stored, safe and sound, on the dark section of Galnet but, generally, if you don’t want e-snoopers, you keep the stuff you want private behind secure walls, with hot and cold running security guards and a number of tanks. Something useful might be on th… ah. I move quickly to grab the Wolf’s free arm and try twisting it as he was preparing to use it in a straight blow on Dakrin. I can hear him screaming ‘not the face’ internally and I don’t want to pay for the cosmetic surgery on my insurance. The Wolf turns to look at me and it looks quite fierce. So I headbutt him on the nose. It catches him by surprise – it caught ME by surprise – but I do recall my mentor once saying that, when afraid the worst thing to do is run away from an enemy. It puts them at your back. Going from that, it seems like the thing to do when you’re flat out petrified of an enemy is to attack them immediately as they’ll never expect it. Case in point. He takes his free hand from around Dak’s throat and puts it to his nose. I don’t know if he’s expecting to see blood as, with all the blood already on that hand, it should look exactly the same. Dak rips the Wolf’s side with his claws. He might be exhausted, scared, battered and bruised but he’s not giving up. I might have to give him more of a wage for this. Or pay for his funeral as the Wolf tries to bite his head off. He can’t quite grip Dak as someone’s still hanging on to his arm and biting his hand for all they’re worth. It’s dirty and underhanded but what the heck. I gotta gnaw on something and his hand is… quite disgusting really. Patcha’s taking her ti… Oh.

Something that used to be a Celican slaps wetly across the Wolf’s back and connects skull with skull as Patcha swings it by it’s tail. Don’t worry about it being humiliated, I doubt it’s in there any more. At least I hope it isn’t as Patcha returns to the fray with her fellow, flinging her floppy friend aside and jumping for the back of his neck. He does his best to move with weights on his arms but it’s the thrust provided by Patcha’s weight – I’ll tell her it was her forward momentum as I’m not THAT stupid – that throws us off. I land conspicuously close to a certain feline and punch him in the face to make sure he’s not playing at being out cold with pain. He grabs my throat and I realise that he was. There are about ten ways to get out of this situation without harm. A Mican soldier putting the boot in is a new one, though. She offers me a hand up as the Moggy falls unconscious again. Might as well take it. Oh, it’s the medic! “Do you want to make sure he’s really out of it,” I ask, indicating a ‘jabbing’ motion to his stomach.
“The Colonel disapproves of crippling unconscious enemies,” she replies with a grin.
“Oh,” I say, “good guy, huh? I wouldn’t stop her, by the way,” I say to the two headed to haul Patcha off the fallen Wolven. She’d got the bite on the back of his neck and was in the final motions of finishing him for good. “You took your time,” I say to my rescuer, a PFC… Kingston..
“Give us a map, did’ya,” she replies as Patcha applied the final touches, snapping her opponents’ neck. “Why didn’t you shoot him,” she asks, indicating the Feline.
“We needed one alive,” I say, thumbing to Patcha before she turns. I see a grin under that Mican battle helmet and I don’t think it’s to Patcha’s actions. “I’d better take a look at you lot,” she says as Patcha, despite her injuries, old and new, cuffs the Feline.
“You can take them back to the landing craft facilities,” Northwich states, entering the room as she’s stopping my face leaking. He points to the Feline. “As a goodwill gesture, you can have that. The Mican Army is taking this base and all its assets.”
Gotta love Harriet.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

It's going to be a shame once this story ends. I was hoping I would get to be Elena a few more times!

But I have really enjoyed the story so much!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

FIFTY-NINE

Jak groaned and worked on sitting upright in the medical bay. He whacked his antlers on the ceiling and made the liquid metal melt into the smallest configuration despite a headache capable of waking a Rhynon andhe put his feet to the ground. Things were still swimming in his vision and the orderly Mican took three steps to be at his side and try to keep him on the bed a bit longer. “Whoa, fellow,” the Mican said, don’t try to move so fast, you’ll hurt yourself!”
“Are you… are you kidding,” Jak replied, looking at the saline drip he was attached to.
“Absolutely not,” the Mican remarked. “You’re still a couple of quarts shy of a full load, bloodwise.” He looked up at the guard. “How many units of Cervidan blood do you think we have here? I had enough replication tokens to get enough to keep you up and alive but don’t push it, eh?”
Jak took the information in and put fingers to the point on his back where he’d been shot. He could feel the slightly odd burned fur and where they’d sealed the hole. “How bad…” He swallowed as his vision swam for a few seconds. “How bad was it?”
The medic tutted. “Seen worse,” he admitted. “The car took most of the forward force but it was bad enough. It was coated with something that worked against coagulation. Which was counteracted slightly by this.” He held up a piece of sponge like material that was now ‘painted’ red with Jak’s innards.
“What is that,” Jak asked shakily.
“Seat insulation. When it went through your chair it took some of the innards with it. Hat plugged some of the gap.”
“I owe… my life to fluff,” Jak said morosely before trying to laugh. “How… how long’s it been? Where is everyone?”
“It’s been…. About a half hour,” the Mican said, checking his comm. “The others are assaulting the enemy base.” He gestured to the lifesigns listings on the computer. “There have been casualties,” he continued, making Jak consider the lines that weren’t there, “but the other lines have been steady for three minutes now so I hope it’s over.”
He grabbed at a pistol as they both heard someone drive up.

The pieces had become visible as the ship fell apart under fire. Hawle, Postain, Raven and Rhew watched their screens intently as the debris pushed towards them, fizzing and sparking as they impacted the ships raised shields. “Escape pods,” one asked, feeling the sudden guilt of victory stab.
“I’m picking up five,” the science Officer replied. “twenty lifeforms aboard.”
“Talk to our partner,” the first officer said. “We’ll take the starboard ten. They can have the others.”
The Commanding Officer contacted the security chief and told her to be ready for transported prisoners.

“Whoa,” Kingston said, putting her hands up as the medic with the gun covered her. “I did radio in, saying we were coming!” Karl, holding her injured side, still looked ready to fight someone, even with a feline slung over her shoulder.
The medic put his gun away. “I was busy,” he explained. “I didn’t hear you.”
“I can see that. I need the bed, sir. For this fella.” She indicated Dakrin, almost out on his feet and Harvest moved to support Jak as the Cervidan instinctively swung his feet down to get off the bed and almost overbalanced.
“Well,” the Doctor allowed, “if my ONE patient wants to half kill himself, who am I to argue?”
“You’re a Doctor, apparently,” Harvest said. “Can I get him to a seat?”
“Take two. He’ll need them. And is it two patients or three,” he demanded, noting the feline.
“This one gets seen last,” Karl declared. “Need somewhere to lock him up.”
“This is a troopship, not a prison ship!” The Doctor groused about it, then pulled a pair of handcuffs from a drawer and tossed them to Karl. She caught them, exposing her wound for a few seconds. “Cuff him to a railing or something.”
Karl looked at him quizzically. “Why does a Doctor need handcuffs?”
“I don’t just have to treat my side’s wounded, y’know?” He pointed at Dakrin. “You! Up! Kingston?”
“Sir?”
“Go do the work on the Field-mouse.”

Jak huffed slightly as the Mouseman put him on the front row of chairs in front of the door as it was the only slot into which he could easily fit. “Is this all… over,” he asked.
“For now,” Harvest answered truthfully. “but I can’t imagine we got the entire operation, no.” He sighed. “It’s too big. This was a main base, sure. It may even be THE main base but they’ve been setting this up for quite some time. Not that we’ll ever hear about it now that Northwich has seized the base.”
“The… the Captain won’t let that last long…”
Harvest gave a short laugh. “Mican Army,” he said, “on a Mican colony. Not much he can do without giving the public a lot of worry about super criminal gangs that, frankly, they don’t need. Of course, we do have a couple of things. Moggins there,” he said, indicating the feline at the back that was now handcuffed around a railing, “and I swiped this before Northwich chucked us out.” He let Jak get a glimpse of the SSD Hard disk before he put it back in his pocket.
“Is that a hard disk in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me,” Kingston asked from behind them.
Harvest turned, grimacing, and noted the Greyfur had taken her helmet and jacket off. She had the cutest eyes, a tone that was slender yet muscular and fur extensions that brought her back headfur down to her shoulders. “Honestly,” he said, half smiling hopefully, “I’m pleased to see you.”
“Well, good,” she said, taking some salve from a bag and putting it on her latex gloves. She started gently applying it to the claw wounds on Harvest’s face, letting herself step closer to do it. “If it were a hard disk, I’d have to tell the Colonel about it, wouldn’t I?”
“Well, uh,” Harvest said, brain jamming into neutral at her touch, “good job it’s just, uh, a candy bar?”
Jak looked between the two of them. “Is that the best you can come up with, Harvest? A candy bar?”
“Well, he’s not exactly thinking with his brain,” Kingston replied. “But, I’ll allow it.”
“Thinking on my feet,” Harvest tried.
“Probably about halfway between.” She finished the treatment and bid Harvest sit next to her. “I hear you’re a Private Eye on Pandera?”
“Caldera,” Harvest corrected.
“Always thought about holidaying there,” Kingston remarked, running a scanner over his body. “Anything worthwhile there,”
“Mostly the spaceport,” Harvest said absently until Jak clipped him around the head. It flashed red on her scanner as Kingston giggled. “Ow! What..? Oh, there’s several mansion houses, a couple of theme parks, a beach…”
After a few seconds of silence, Jak prompted “You’ll have to..?”
Harvest’s ears pricked up. “Oh! I’ll have to show you around sometime!”

Postain relaxed for the moment. Things would heat up again shortly, he was sure. “Go call her,” he told Rhew, noting the Celican seemed more nervous now than during the fighting. “Use my office.” His tone turned stern as Rhew swept to the back door. “Rest of you get the reports from your people! I need to know what’s broken and who isn’t! Get on it!” He started checking his messages to see if any reports were in already.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Really having a great time reading through this! I hope you can keep up the momentum! :D

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Y'know, I'd almost forgotten I left Jaqui Pangal on Cora II?

SIXTY

Appleby sat patiently in the interviewers chair as the interrogation room as the door opened and the Feline was brought in by Yarkin and cuffed to the table. He looked at her impassively as the Security chief walked back out, locking the door. “Isn’t it normally the other way around,” he offered, determined to lead the conversation.
“Normally,” she conceded, “but normal is boring. Where is ‘Professor ‘Calavix?”
He spread his hands as best he could considering the handcuffs. “I sit before you.”
Appleby snorted a laugh. “Oh, I very much doubt that, Keeley. After all, we know his species and he’s not a Feline.”
Keeley, a tad perturbed by the use of a name he hadn’t used for some time and didn’t know she’d found out, pushed himself over the table towards her. “Who’s to say there’s only one Calavix? Some organisations have many heads and many leaders. They often answer to one name and only very few know the absolute truth.” He tapped his head. “In case you’re wondering I’ve had some training in mental defences, Agent Appleby.” He smirked. “By the time you get anywhere, operations may well have moved on. Moved out. Moved to new locations. Oh, you’ve had a big victory today, I admit. You took out our main training base and two of our principal ships. But an organisation like ours is far from finished, Miss Appleby.” He chuckled. “You’ll be seeing us again.”
“I don’t doubt it,” Harmony allowed. “Now, why don’t you tell me everything you know about the operations?”

Jaqui Pangal, usually Chief of security on the Loper, held her breath. She often did when in the final moments of a planned attack and, with three of hers and select members of the local force, she was ready to move. The warehouse was in their sights as the secondary team kept watch on a home in the suburbs. Above them the sun blared yellow and Jaqui hoped they’d have the weather control system up and running properly soon. The local Police Chief, a Blackfur Mican called Fraser, indicated three dots on his comm. Then two dots. Then one. As a unit, they sprinted for the wall next to the main door. They pressed in tight as a designated officer took the ‘big, red, key’ to the door, caving it in and allowing shouting police into the building, giving up the element of surprise for the hope of shock, awe and stun grenades. The flash bangs reacted well with the interior, knocking the senses from three individuals as they pulled their weapons. To the other side of the room, one unaffected started trying to destroy a computer but Pangal took a shot and stunned him in the middle of his back. He fell forward onto the table as the Lappinean Chief bounded over to him. She didn’t often move like that but, sometimes, it seemed appropriate. Someone fired back from the stairway and the energy fizzed behind her head and onto the energy dampening armour one of the Chief’s troopers was wearing. Several bolts fired back and the assailant toppled from his perch before officers moved to check on the hit officer. She groaned and pulled herself up. “Lucky it was my turn,” she said groggily. The Lappinean government had put money into the Mican colony of Cora II recently, working on the factories rebels had once developed to fight against the Council and were using the produce to build their newer colonies further out. In acknowledgement of the greater potential threat, they’d put money into the law enforcement budget too and they’d begun to buy new armour. Teams split up to secure the area as Pangal worked on pulling up what they’d tried to erase. “Looks like they were preparing to attack President Dundee,” she advised, making Police Chief Fraser hurry over to see what she was looking at. “It’s a layout of the route she was planning to take tomorrow, yeah,” she asked.
“How can you know that?”
Pangal shrugged. “I asked her. She said she was opening a school tomorrow and this is the route to a school.”
Fraser nodded. “They’ll have a back up route. I’ll get them to use it. Just in case there’s a second unit.”
Pangal thought on it for a moment. “Tell them to send the double,” she advised. “By the route we have here.” She glanced up. “If we’ve got the only gang, she’s safe. If not, they’ll know we’ve hit the group here and found out the route. As far as they know, we’d never use this route.”
“Possible. But I’ll need to check every inch of that route any way.”
Pangal nodded. She’d expected no less. She also had an idea.

Commander Rhew looked almost anxious as Talvary Communal station came into view. He paced the bridge in front of the command chairs and Postain found he already knew the answer to Rhew’s burning personal question before even the Celican did. “We’ll be there in ten, Commander,” he intoned, choosing to let Rhew tell him in his own time. “Not much point in pacing. It won’t get us there any faster. You told Jasmine you’re coming?”
Rhew looked around, just about registering that someone had been talking to him. “uh,” he managed as his brain worked out what had been said, “uh, yes, sir,” he replied. “I, er, think I might be taking up a post on, uh, Pandera, s...sir.” he looked helplessly towards his Captain. “If… if I can, uh, sir… I mean she’s got a locked in offer and I…” He drifted off so Postain finally ‘stepped in’.
“You can’t do this to her again. Or yourself.” Postain sighed. “I get it, Rhew, I really do. But what would you do?”
“He could always apply to IOC,” Patcha Karl said, stepping onto the bridge with Dakrin and Harvest and Jak escorting them. “We’re a man down. A Commander could do us well. If you can pass the exams.”
“Might be an idea,” Rhew allowed, thankful that someone had given him an option. He’d not had a clue as to what his next step would have been.
Karl nodded. “I’ll get Senior Agent Jones to give you a call.”
“Ready to get rid of us, Captain,” Harvest asked, thinking it the right time to change the subject.
“Am I ever,” Postain grumbled. “Still, you did well.”
“Learned a lot,” Harvest agreed, before looking up at Jak. “Like you’re reactive to certain grasses, hmm?”
“Never tell my wife,” Jak pleaded, his nose wrinkling at the mere memory of the ten minutes before they’d changed fields.
“Never would, bud.” He offered a hand, which Jak accepted. “If you’re ever on Calderon…”
“Get off it as soon as possible,” Dakrin finished, before starting work on a Chocolate mini-roll.
“Tell me that when I get there,” Karl said, before looking at the horrified look on the Celican youth’s face. “You DO know I’m holidaying there in a month?”
“Get off my bridge,” Postain snapped as docking began. “Rhew, let them go first. Then you go. Then we’ll discuss things later.”

Five minutes on, Rhew followed the civilian trio off the ship and picked Jasmine up in a loving embrace. Much to Enzo’s disgust.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This story whenever it gets a new chapter always makes me very happy as it puts a smile on my face! Awesome work!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

SIXTY-ONE

The Presidential cortège made its way down the E417 road between the central part of the city and the suburb with the new school in it. The colony wasn’t grand enough for massed civilians but Jaqui Pangal reckoned there were a good thousand or so along the way. The Chief of Police had checked and secured the route ahead of time but Jaqui had her own concerns. She had several security Officers in the numbers alongside the road, looking for anyone acting oddly or threateningly. She noted children waving miniature colony flags and gave a small smile. Chichester was good at inspiring the young and saw that, if the colony was to have a future, she needed more of these. There were even some Lappineans in the crowd with their own flags, integrating into the community in a way they might not have been able to do on their previous worlds.

Mikkel was a little surprised when he took Enzo to see his mother in the hospital. It wasn’t the fact that she was sitting up that surprised him, it was the fact that Doctor Jul was sat in there, talking to her. Enzo stopped at the door, just out of sight, so he could listen in.
“...was concerned when you were injured, Bridget,” he said with passion. “I… I found I couldn’t stop thinking of you and Enzo and if you were going to be all right and there was nothing I could do to help and…”
Enzo heard his mother speak with a cracked voice. “I’m gl...glad you remembered Enzo,” she said. “But this doesn’t… doesn’t sound like the casual Doctor I wanted to sleep with,” she coughed.
“I…” the Mican paused and thought hard. “I’m not sure it is,” he admitted. “I’ve slept with…”
Bridget leaned back onto her pillow. “NOT a line to use, Martin,” she advised.
He laughed and shook his head amongst the silent machines. “You’re probably right, Bridget,” he admitted. “But I’ve never been concerned for any of them after like I have been with you.” He took her hand. “You I always want to see again, Brid. I want to be with you, play with you… and Enzo, of course…”
“Good to see he remembered me,” Enzo grumbled quietly.
“...I could take you both out to the hologram suite and theme parks when we’re on planets the like and help him with his homework…”
“...so he can correct your sums,” Bridget said with a wry smile. “He is a Raitchian, y’know? We’re good at sums.”
“Well, um…” Jul looked at a bit of a loss.
“I don’t know,” Bridget announced. “What do you think, Enzo?” She chuckled.
“How does she DO that,” Enzo asked Rhew from where he figured he’d been out of sight. He headed in quickly and enveloped his mother in a hug that she returned happily.
“Doctor,” Rhew said, following him in.
“Commander,” Jul replied, getting up. “I’ll just…”
“Don’t go,” Rhew told him. “I’m just here to ask a question of Enzo’s mother. It shouldn’t take too long.”
He waited until Bridget had finished hugging and kissing Enzo before approaching.
“I understand you and Jasmine have been looking after my boy,” she said, looking up with tears in her eyes. “Th...thank you.” She poked Enzo in the chest, on the Blue Ranger’s muzzle armour. “Th...thought your favourite was the Black one?”
Enzo looked down at himself and shrugged after a few seconds. “Blue’s pretty good too,” he admitted. “Joint first?”
Bridget laughed until she coughed a few seconds later. Again she looked up at Rhew. “What do you want to ask, Commander,” she asked.
“Well, um,” he started, wringing his hands together as he tried to phrase it. “Me and Jasmine are looking to do a certain Celican ceremony…”
“They’re getting hitched,” Enzo whispered.
“...and we need certain people for certain things. I need a Celican to be involved…” He looked shifty as he considered who that would mean, “to witness the ceremony and Jasmine needs someone to escort her and stand on the other side to me. Her family can’t...or won’t… be here in time so…”
“Jasmine wants ME to be the escort,” Enzo finished excitedly. “Can I do it, mom?” he bounced up and down until Jul motioned to him to stop.
Bridget smiled, despite the tubes connected to her. “As I’m going to be here for a bit, I suppose we need to keep them onside,” she said, winking to Rhew to let him know she wasn’t being serious. She rubbed his shoulders. “Of course you can, love. Can I attend, Commander?”
“Only if the medical staff say, Bridget. And it’s Mikkel.”
She nodded. “Mikkel. And, as for medical..? I’ll bring a Doctor.”
Rhew thanked her, nodded to Jul, and let Enzo stay with mum and Jul for a while whilst he went to sort out the registrar and get a hold of Levan.

<”Team three reporting in,”> Pangals’ in ear comm announced, <”The Raitchian wasn’t up to anything.”>
Pangal sighed. Perhaps they’d got them all. Perhaps there was no ‘second cell’ here on Cora II. Perhaps there…
<”Jakins here,”> reported one of the Micans that answered to Fraser. <”Got a suspect moving through the crowd towards the front.”> Pangel looked at Jakins’ position on the map and figured it looked like a good ambush point.
<”Don’t move too far, Jakins,”> Frasers’ voice came through, <”let Pasina take over as soon as possible. Don’t allow them to let you make a hole in the cordon.”>
Pangal approved. He knew what he was doing. Any assailant group may be using a lone attacker as a distraction. Pangal sat quiet as the motorcade went past Pasinas’ location where she couldn’t make out the Police taking a would be assailant into custody as was, apparently, happening.

The school had been checked, of course, the area secured and access restricted to a few dozen people who weren’t school children. As the motorcade drew up and the crews got out, one member of the assembled press clicked his camera. Nothing seemed to happen so he clicked it again. “They ran a lot of checks over this place,” the photojournalist next to him said. He turned and looked the Lappinean over before noting the Burman standing behind him. “They discovered the device an hour ago,” Hawle said as Raven gripped the would be attackers neck with one hand and pulled him back towards the police. Hawle put away the signal tracer he’d used to track the Feline. Now he had the evening to himself before the Loper had to leave. Well, himself and Elena. And a table at the colony’s best restaurant.

President Dundee stepped into the headmaster’s office and waited until the real version of herself teleported down from the Loper as she stood there impassively. Chichester shook her head. “If they ever get these things to accurately simulate personality,” she said of the Robot before walking out to do her job.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Getting closer to the end it looks like but I am hoping to see more Hawle though. Wonderful job!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

More ending scenes for a few characters.

SIXTY-TWO

Three days later, the station Reverend worked on tidying the last few seats in his small chapel and made sure the galnet system was set up for those logging in from outside the station. He’d had to make sure the Celican videofeed was on one side and the Lappinean on the other. Both of them would be sent through subspace at velocities approaching the ludicrous as the Reverend had access to the station gold communications channels. The soon-to-be-weds had sent out the instructions to their families on how to log in and he understood that a dozen of Rhew’s family had made contact to say that they’d be in ‘attendance’ and three of Jasmine’s had responded. Well, he thought, more like a dozen had probably replied but only three had said they’d be tuned in.

Darren Levan was of two minds about this as he pulled on his snow white shorts and clipped the tail button closed. He’d had to go down to the nearest colony for the fast fitting and he’d felt it was a lot of pressure simply because he was a Celican. The Polars ceremonies insisted a Celican had to be in attendance at any marriage ceremony, even if it wasn’t a Polar ceremony being performed. In their eyes he needed to be in an ‘official’ position or it simply didn’t count. He liked being important. He liked Commander Rhew. They’d spent several meal times together over the last half year but he wouldn’t really call him a ‘bestie’. Still, though, he was going to do the duty of a proud Celican and wasn’t going to wonder if these thoughts were due to having a Human mother. They weren’t thoughts worthy of her. He wondered if Enzo had had similar thoughts as he’d been fitted up for his pale green trousers, light blue jacket and yellow shirt. Those, Darren thought, were the Lappinean colours of matrimony. To do with springtime and the burgeoning sun coming through the morning or something. That was what Scientist Kavalla had told him anyway. She should know. She’d been married twice. Anyhow, now was the time, he supposed, as he made sure he had the ring for Jasmine in his sleeveless, open shirt’s pocket. Yup, there it was. The clock ticked to magic time. He stepped out to where a somewhat trembly looking Mikkel was waiting for him.

Rhew looked around as the not-quite confident Celican walked up behind him, tail swaying as he walked past the group of guests. He noted Darren and Kerri shared a glance and a bit of a smile as he passed before giving her face a gentle ‘boff’ with his tail that made her laugh. He kept the tail under control as he passed by Postain and Maldak, with Xarra on the other side of the aisle as Darren did the ceremonial bow to Mikkel. The Commander responded, putting his left hand to his stomach and lowering his top half towards Darren by about fifteen degrees. He returned to the upright position in his off-white suit (chosen so he didn’t appear quite naked on the videolinks) and gestured for Darren to stand by his left side, which he did.

Jasmine Dox had butterflies of her own, in her pale green dress and she looked to the smiling face of Enzo for courage. The moment was here and her family wasn’t. Her folks hadn’t even responded to the video link request. Still, she told herself, at least Duncan and Petal had agreed to ‘attend’. She’d known she was going to be somewhat estranged from her family over this but… It still hurt. Anyhow, she was going to be joining Mikkels’ family. One warren to another, so to speak. “You… you ready,” she asked Enzo.
The Raitchian boy checked his jacket for the ring, then made sure his laces were tied. “Um, I think so,” he said, peeking out to make sure his mother was there. Yup. Between Doctor Jul and Doctor Cobalt and wearing a monitor. He glanced around. Doctor Flakk wasn’t here. Probably didn’t want to be. The Reverend at the altar was looking at his watch. They weren’t late, were they? “Think they’re ready, too,” he said.
Jasmine huffed forward and took his hand. “Guess we’d better go in then, hadn’t we?” She smiled down at him. He grinned back and remembered which foot he was supposed to lead with.

They stepped into the main room and Enzo tried to remain confident. Jasmine squeezed his hand reassuringly and he managed to squeeze back as they went past the same group Darren had just passed. Jasmine couldn’t help but note the several empty chairs on her side. She cheered as she heard Duncan urge her on from Lapas, his children joining in the cheering. With Lappinean custom she ‘hopped the last step and, failing to keep himself from laughing, Enzo copied her before standing to her right. She smiled at Mikkel and he beamed back.

A slight commotion struck up slightly before the Canine Reverend started and attracted the attention of all inside the chapel towards the entrance at the back, through which the rest of the station lay. “I’ll sort this,” Postain gruffed, getting up and heading out to deal with it. A moment or so later, he returned. “Nothing to worry about,” he intoned, “just a couple more guests.” A Polar Vixen entered, side by side with a Lappinean doe who had, apparently, been in fairly animated conversation. They both looked quite happy about it.
Enzo looked at Mikkel and Jasmine and was amused to see both of their mouths hanging open. From the photographs Jasmine had shown him he knew who the one was and he assumed it was something similar for the Commander. He realised he was right as he heard Mikkel say ‘Mother’?
The Vixen inclined her head gracefully. “You thought I’d miss this, Mikkel,” she said kindly.
“I could ask my daughter that, too,” Jasmine’s mother said, stepping up to the altar and embracing her daughter. “I would never disown you, love,” she said happily. “Dad’d be here but couldn’t get the time off at short notice.Now get married, eh?” She released her daughter with a kiss, smiled genially down at Enzo and stepped over to Mikkel as his mother stepped to Jasmine. “We should have met before now,” she said. “But I get why we didn’t. On my behalf, welcome to the family, Mikkel Rhew.” She took his hand, stood on tippy-toes and kissed him on the lips. “Tradition,” she claimed. Mikkel thought he’d need to check on that later but now? He was a bit of a whirl in his mind.
“Might I,” Mikkel’s mother said after introducing herself. She was pointing to the womb so Jasmine agreed with a chuckle. The elder Vixen knelt and gently put an ear to the enlarged area. “Sounds a very vital child,” she said appreciatively, before standing as the Reverend coughed and she took up the corner chair directly across from Jasmines’ mother. Rhew nodded his thanks to the architect of the surprise. Quite a gift, he thought, from the Captain.

“Shall we get on with it,” the Reverend asked.
Commander Hawle. U.S.C. Loper. By the talented DDeer.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Let me know when it is time for Hawle and Elena's ending scene.

It probably would be a lot more easier to write if you had a messenger we could go over the details on but you said you don't like them.

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Their part - in this - has finished. I'm running through basic ideas already for the next tale but they won't start to be written for a while. I didn't really need Hawle and Raven for that last bit but figured it would be just like them to have a bit of dress up fun...
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Does it prove you're a popular artist when your prints are given away with big purchases?

SIXTY-THREE

From the files of Harvest Moon.

‘The worst part about saving the sector in secret – hmm, nice sibilance there – is the fact you can’t expect a ticker tape parade when you get home. It pays moderately well, though and I found I was able to buy Dakrin new clothes on the way back. He has a not very modest collection of clobber for a Celican. He’s the only one I know of that has a wardrobe and I bought it for him so he wouldn’t leave them in a pile on his floor. Went in his apartment once and I’m sure the pile was trying to follow me around the room. Anyhow, we land at the spaceport and Sheriff Javey’s not there to meet us. This is probably a good thing. Dakrin’s happy. It gives him time to put the case in the car, along with the free gift he got for spending three hundred credits of my money. A Rydran print for his wall. I’m not sure how that works. I spend the money and HE gets the free gift? Still, it’ll be better than the provocatively positioned Vixen posters he currently has up. He rips them down every time we know Harriet Thurso is coming to inspect her property. He loads them up into the car and we’re chugging our way out within five minutes. I call Javey and arrange a lunch meet with her for tomorrow. Dakrin looks at me in the mirror and I know he’s heard the word ‘Meet’, taken it as ‘meat’ and decided we need to stop at a drive through on the way. I sigh and tell him to use the one at the Shopmart. We’ve been gone a week, the milk’ll have gone off and the bread will be stale.

We pull up in our usual parking spot and get our things from the boot to haul them inside. Harriet’s waiting upstairs with a ‘friend’ as we enter Dakrin’s apartment. She’s looking kind of stern and turns away from one of THOSE pictures. “Thought you’d stop in here first,” she says.
“Couldn’t you have met us downstairs,” I puff, putting a quite heavy case on the floor. “Then muscles could have helped us with the cases.”
“He only carries bodies,” Harriet replies. “I fancy I can trust you to not say anything about recent events?”
“Who’d believe me,” I reply, fudging it so as not to lie. I’m planning on telling Javey tomorrow, after all.
She looks at me slyly as Dakrin wonders how he’s going to explain the poster. “I can think of one who might,” she says casually. “But she’ll see there are advantages to it. Especially as the ‘round-up’s continue.” She flicks a finger towards me and ‘hoods’ her eyes to make her smile even more worrying. “Ours AND the Councils, thanks to that drive you took.”
“Who, um, told you?” Great. That cute Medic’s one of hers?
“No-one. They have CCTV and, when we put the computer back together, there was a piece missing. Quite upset Northwich.” She turned to Dak. “You’re being quiet. I have a necklace for you, by the way. Replace your lost one.” I’m not sure who’s more surprised. Me, Harriet or Dak as he envelops her in a hug. I see her hands flash from wanting to drive, claws first, into the area below his ribs to waving to her compatriot so he didn’t shoot Dakrin to patting him on the sides. “Tell no-one,” she threatened, looking at me.
“Who’d believe me,” I repeated.’

The sun rose above Pandera in a way that made the city glint with promise in the morning as Patcha got off the bus into work. She normally ran but she didn’t actually know the way from the spaceport so had sat with a number of eldsters and young hopefuls and generally given off an aura of hostility that meant the seat next to her had stayed unoccupied on a full bus. She was wearing denim and feeling self conscious as she stalked from the stop, through the check points and into her usual place of work where she’d take up her desk again and…
“PATCHA,” exclaimed a shrill voice that threw all her grumpiness in the nearest bin. “You’re back,” little Molly said, throwing herself up into the Wolven agent’s embrace.
“Oof,” Patcha said, hugging the youngster tightly and letting her think it was her impact that had winded the wolf, not her impact on previous impacts. “You’re getting big,” she said, rubbing cheeks. She helped the Mican pull back a bit. “Wolves don’t do hugs,” she intoned. “At least, not for long and never if anyone can see.” She darted her head forward and gave Molly a little kiss on the lips before letting her down and taking her hand. “I take it SAC Jones’ is here?”
“Uncle Feldar,” Molly replied. “In his office.” She looked at Karl. “Why are you wearing that?”
“Usual stuff got blood on it,” Karl replied.
Molly sniffed and looked up with what she reckoned was steel in her eyes. “You make them pay for it?”
Karl grinned. “They lost a lot more than I did.”
Molly chuckled. “That’s my Aunt Wolf.”

“You weren’t supposed to be back until tomorrow,” Feldar said, staying sat as Patcha and Molly walked into his office. Patcha released the girl and she headed over to the games console in the corner, putting the headphones on so she couldn’t hear the discussions going on unless her guardian pressed a button on his desk.
“Never been one for idling,” Karl replied, remembering to add ‘sir’ at the last minute.
Feldar huffed. “Don’t I know it? If I let you back in the office, you’re on paperwork until the local sawbones clears you for field work again, right?” He held a hand up as she was about to protest. “And you KNOW you’ve got a big report to write up – or dictate – for the last few weeks. Interactions with others, new criminal syndicates, bombs, full on assaults… Quite the time you’ve had.”
“It was interesting,” Karl admitted. “Sorted out a lingering clan thing too…” She looked around at the empty bullpen. “Where are Adriette and Corp?”
“Two days into an investigation in Lakla province. That you cannot join them on. I drafted one of the guards in to cover.” He sighed. “Not perfect but I’m having trouble finding good agents who want to work in the patch…”
“Well, boss,” Karl smirked, “you might be getting a call from Area Command about that.” She put her hands on the table. “Got a senior officer with his missus up the duff. She’s been offered a science job around here and he’s keen to follow…”
Jones wasn’t sure if Karl endorsing a recruit was a good thing or a bad thing...
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Rydr Warklub »

Yay, my alien artist counterpart is mentioned again!

I wonder if he'll ever show up in the story proper?
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Maybe he will if it will work to jump start his next story! Other than that, I don't know.

What I do know is that I need to apply pressure on him to get him to get an instant messenger. :mrgreen:

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by DDeer »

So Jak was saved by fluff eh? A novel use for foam seat lining, he's been through the wars alright. Good to see the rabbits do use a bunny hop on occasion when required. The Wedding scene was a nice touch.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Well, I thought it a novel way to survive against a weapon that fired stuff that worked as an anti-coagulant. Take some coagulant material into the wound with it...
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

And the final part.

SIXTY-FOUR

The door opened into the Rodomonts’ medical bay and Jak stepped in, still impulsively ducking as though his antlers were going to bang the frame. He looked around and found who he was looking for; the Wolf watching over his computer screen. “Not at the reception,” he asked.
“Don’t need to book you an eye exam, Hadrian,” Doctor Flakk replied. He turned away from the screen as he figured Jak was going to want to talk. “I take it you’re here to convince me to attend?”
Jak leaned against a table. “Well, more to persuade you anyhow. So, why aren’t you there?”
“No-one to go with,” Flakk said dismissively.
“There are plenty of people who turned up without anyone on their arm.”
“How’s the wife,”
Jak huffed as he noticed the attempt to change the subject. “Simone’s good, Doc. She’s waiting for you…”
Jak laughed as Flakk practically fell off his chair. “She’s what,” the spectacle Wolf demanded.
“She’s waiting for you. She wants to dance with the guy who keeps saving her husband.”
Flakk coughed. “You’re joking?”
Hadrian shook his head. He was serious, even if he was having some trouble in keeping a straight face. He put out a hand to help his friend up to his feet. “Absolutely not,” he promised. “She’s serious.”
Flakk did his best to look serious and intimidating. “I do NOT dance.”
“You do tonight, Doc,” Hadrian declared. “To me she’s more intimidating, even than you. Now come on. I know Wolves dance.” He smirked. “I saw the vids that got smuggled out.”
Flakk sighed. “Is the wedding cake Celican?”
“One of them is,” Hadrian nodded. “The other’s Vegan. They’re… being kept well apart.”
“Hmm,” Flakk grunted. “Smart people. Doctor Cobalt’s there, of course. And the Captain?”
Jak perked up. “Oh, Doctor Cobalt’s there but the Captain isn’t. Maldak’s controlling the bridge right now. Shortly after the ceremony, the Captain announced Rhew was going to be in charge of the repairs to the ship and he took some leave. Took off in the Nightsky, saying it was a shake-down cruise for Xarra.”
“The what,” Flakk said, frowning.
“Oh, Xarra named the pirate ship we stole.”

President Dundee sighed as she dealt with yet another minor political brushfire, agreeing a trade deal between Cora II and Valsimmikar for grains and plastics. The Celican Colony made some effective heat resistant plastics and Cora II needed them in case the weather control systems failed again. Cora II had a surplus of grain and, although the Celicans had little use for it themselves, the prey species they liked to practice hunting on certainly did and, their delegate had said, it also boosted their tradeable assets with other colonies. There was nothing wrong with that, she supposed. Still, it had taken her diplomatic team three weeks and ten meetings and that was only one of the things she’d been dealing with. The life of a President was, it seemed, never easy. Perhaps V.P. Dawson could take on some of the duties for a day or so to take some of the pressure off her but what could she do with the time off? There was nothing she could think of to do and no time to do it with. The President couldn’t take a holiday at the drop of a hat. Security had to be set up, the area they were holidaying in locked down to others and date had to be set up and arranged…

Her downcast thoughts were interrupted by the ‘boop’ of her main console. She considered it and decided to answer. Her face broke into a bit of a smile as she saw the unsmiling – well, TRYING to be unsmiling – face of Postain on her screen. “Marius,” she said happily. “Great to see your face.”
<”And the same to you, Chichester,”> Postain replied.
“So, um” she said, moving some of the papers on her desk aside before noting mentally that there was no actual way he could see them, “what’s the occasion? I was glad to hear you’d come through everything unscathed, Marius.”
<”And the same to you again, my l...Chichester. I heard about the attempt on you. I was concerned...”>
Dundee waved a hand. “Pangal and the Loper made sure I was never in danger,” she stressed. “You didn’t just call for that, I hope?”
Postain’s image shook his head. <“We’ve got a new ship to help protect the Colonies,”> he admitted. <”Wanted you to take a look at it. Can you arrange a few days off quickly?”>
She looked around at the desk and the mess. “I… I can’t arrange… I mean, I’d need security and someone to stand in…”
Postain interrupted gently. <”You have a Vice President for just that sort of thing and you’ll have a Council escort to the Waterfalls on Ederria. You’ll be perfectly safe and we can have you back here in hours if needed.”>
The waterfalls of Ederria. She remembered telling him she’d wanted to see them. Sparkling green crystal water that tumbled fifty metrons, then three hundred in a dazzling display of lights and colour that had most of the sectors poets writing their arms off to state their importance. She sighed. “Well,” she muttered, “I suppose I COULD…”

Three hours later, President Chichester Dundee was welcomed aboard the NightSky by Postain in full uniform. He coughed as he saw her arrive via the teleporter in a blue, flower print, dress and sun hat. Her light blue shoes completed a look that wasn’t lost on the security guards in attendance. “Well,” she said, “I’m not due back for four days so…”
“Dress down,” Postain said, referring to the term companies used for less formal wear.
“Something like that,” she allowed. “Now, we’d better head to my room, yeah?” She cocked her head inquisitively.

Postain and the guards walked her to her stateroom, which had belonged to one of the old senior officers. Xarra had done what she could with it, getting a double bed installed and a wardrobe and making sure the ensuite facilities worked and that the replication machine was up to the task. “Green carpet,” Chichester said as the door opened.
“Well,” Postain allowed, “it’s new. It can be changed later.”
“Come in, Captain,” she said, “we need to discuss things.”
He let the door close behind him before he picked Chichester up and kissed her with all the passion in his body. A passion she returned as her Mican tail wrapped around the arm holding her lower body. “I brought your book back,” he said as their faces parted.
“Oh, good,” she said, struggling to keep a straight face. “I need it to go back to the library.” She started giggling and put a hand to his chest before kissing him again. “I need to hit the bathroom,” she confessed sadly. “And then…” She glanced towards the bed. “Dress down?”

Postain nodded.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Nice to see that Postain has also moved on after Elena broke up with him. Anyway really awesome story! I can't wait for the next installment!

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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by DDeer »

Amusing imagining Flakk dancing with Jaks Doe. See the Captain and Chichester finally got some time together.
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Re: A Briar Patch Tale

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Just thinking how awkward it would be if Postain and Chichester ended up double-dating with Hawle and Elena. XD

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