I am currently working on the next Mongruxx book in the series. Goal is 120K words (keep the size down for Kindle). Recently I have been trying out having art work down for the books. The current book about to be published (still with my editor) is Transport: Unfriendly Skies. It exists in the same universe. New characters, more humor and a lot of fun.
Below is some artwork that will be used in “Where the river ends.”
Taros inserted a coms device into his right ear, then held out the box to Ivan. Ivan shook his head, frowning. “No thanks, Taros. One jackass in my ear is more than enough.” Taros eyes narrow, then snorted. “Gods damn it, Ivan! Quit behaving like a spoiled child and take the damned earpiece!” Andrade and Prio stood across the compartment, talking. Andrade looked over at Ivan questioningly. Ivan lowered his head as he blushed slightly. “Ok, Taros. I didn’t want the ship yammering in my ear the whole time I’m away from it.” Taros slowly shook his head, his big horns barely missing the overhead. “And I thought I was the stubborn one.” A soft tone emanated from the overhead. “Ivan, I will only contact you if needed. So the only yammering in your ear will be Taros, I afraid.” Taros grinned. “Thanks Ave. I’ll make sure I yammer enough for both of us.” Ivan rolled his eyes. Andrade looked at Prio, then Ivan and Taros. “Are you two done yammering? We’ve got places to be.” Taros snorted and banged his horns against the bulkhead. “I’d say so, Andrade.” Ivan rubbed his forehead, then looked at Andrade. “Where’s the meet?” Andrade flipped her long dark hear back over her shoulder. “A bar, where else. Follow me.” A soft tone emanated from the lock. “Stay safe out there, and Ivan, make sure you look twice when crossing the street.” Ivan shook his head. “Everyone’s a comedian.”
The bar was dark, filthy, and full of smoke. Ivan coughed, then looked at Andrade. “Did they just put out a fire in here?” Andrade pointed at a lit sign above the bar. “It’s called the smoke bar for a reason.” Ivan shook his head, then pulled out a cigarette. Lighting it, he watched the smoke lazily rise to the ceiling and stay. “It should be called the no air filtration bar.” Ivan coughed. Taros stood at the bar, looking around. The barkeep was at the other end of the bar, consciously ignoring him. Taros reached over the bar, grabbing a bottle of whiskey and four shot glasses. As he started walking away, the bartender finally noticed him. A large burly man stepped out of the shadows, coming near Taros. “We don’t like your kind in here. Why don’t you find someplace else to drink?” Taros snorted. Then started laughing. He laughed so long and loud that the denizens of the bar started to look at him. The large burly man placed his hand on Taros. Taros’ eyes instantly went red. “That was a mistake friend,” was the last thing the burly man heard before he found himself flying across the room, then smashing into a wall headfirst. Taros snorted, stomping his iron shod hooves into the floor, damaging the wooden surface. Everything was silent. No one moved or made a sound. Taros looked around the room. His head and horns whipping around, looking for the next target. Gradually, people began to speak again, business as usual. Taros stood there a moment more, the red slowly leaving his eyes. Moving to an unoccupied table, he set down the bottle of whiskey and the four glasses. Andrade, Prio, and Ivan came over to join him. Taros sat down on an oversized stool that creaked under his weight. Grabbing the bottle of whiskey, he poured the four shot glasses to the brim. Ivan’s smiled reached all the way up to his eyes. Taros cocked his head. Ivan looked at Taros. “See? You didn’t have to kill everyone. “ Prio looked across the room. “Just that one guy there. He looks pretty dead to me.” Taros made a lopsided grin. “Yah, sorry about that, Prio.” A sunny smile crossed her face. “No worries, Taros.” Taros looked across the room at the body, then looked back at her. “Sometimes Prio, you’ve got to take out the trash.” The bartender and a bouncer moved towards the dead body of the big man. Grabbing him by his feet, they dragged him out the back door. Ivan watched, taking a drag from his cigarette. “I don’t think that’s the first time this has happened in here, and probably won’t be the last.” Andrade chuckled. “Especially if Taros keeps coming back.” They all began to laugh. Taros lifted his glass. “Time to take out the trash!” Ivan, Andrade, and Prio lifted their glasses and clinked them against his. “Time to take out the trash!” they said in unison, then threw back their drinks.
A tall man in dark glasses and an overcoat approached the table. “That man belonged to me.” Removing his glasses, he looked at Andrade. “I’m Milo Becker, your contact. That dead guy over there,” they all looked over where the dead guy was being dragged out, “was Johan Werner, a local district fixer. Let’s get out of here while we can.” Taros looked at the whiskey bottle, then Milo. “We haven’t finished out drinks yet, Milo. Leaving right now would be rude. You would want us to be rude, would you?” Milo looked at Taros for several seconds, then looked away. “No, of course not, where are my manners. Please, continue.” Andrade held out her hand across the table to Milo. “A pleasure to meet you in person, Milo. These are my associates, Prio Vega, Ivan Volkov, and Taros Crosse.” Milo nodded. “A pleasure meeting all of you.” Taros grabbed the whiskey bottle and filled the shot glasses to the brim. Sliding his over to Milo, he nodded. “You can use mine, Milo. I’ll drink from the bottle.” Then Taros tilted the bottle back and chugged down half the bottle. Wiping his mouth off, he set down the bottle with exaggerated care and winked at Milo. Milo picked up his glass. “To your health.” Everyone else did the same, then threw back the drink. Taros drank the rest of the bottle, this time setting it down hard enough, that it smashed into pieces. Then he turned away from the table and belched a colossal burp. The table next to them started gagging and trying to wave it away. Looking back at Prio, he winked. “Got to be polite.” She grinned back at him. Milo’s eyes were wide as he carefully looked around the room. “Now that our drinks are done, would you care to adjourn to the warehouse?” Andrade nodded. “Let’s go.” Ivan crushed out his cigarette and got up to go.
The next novel in the Mongruxx series, “Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2” is available on Amazon now!
Settling into the S. A. Mursa base, the united groups of Human, Mongruxx, Machina, and Gaja people set out to save the captured humans from the Synthocts. Not knowing what lies in store for them by doing so. Lives will be lost, and friendships broken.
But this is just the beginning of their story. A battle made in hell is just ahead. The Ogin armour sets out to destroy them in a battle that takes from them that which may never be recovered.
The gods that may walk among us. A secret revealed that tears at the minds of those who may know.
The Synthocts many secrets, that lay within their gestalt mind. A terrible knowledge that sets in motion a chain of events that can have only one ending.
The recovery of the supermassive tank “Stella Extinctor,” that could save or be the end of us all. The unintended costs of war.
The recovery of old friends. Some who are lost, a found once again.
Join the Tank Commander Sam, Golgoth, Hezyz, Akira, Mungford, Griff, E. Sutton, Hanuman Secundus, Medicea Aamita Tabu, and many others, as we find our way once again through this, the White Desert.
“Gods damn it Taros, you didn’t have to kill everyone,” Ivan shouted. The engines were heating up quickly as they scorched through the atmo.
“I only killed who needed killing, Ivan.” Taros snorted as he buckled himself into the oversized jump seat near the cockpit.
Ivan shook his head. He and Taros had been together a long time. But sometimes it was trying. Taros was a huge mountain of muscle with horns on his head that would have made a Texas longhorn proud, assuming there actually was such a thing. According to Taros, there was. Kin, he said. Best not to press further.
Ivan pulled hard on the yoke. A trilling beep went off, target lock. “Taros, Get in the bucket and shoot that missile down.” Taros unbuckled and swung his huge frame up the ladder to the bucket, a gimballed autogun station at the top of the ship. His heavily steel-shod hoofs clanged up the ladder as he climbed. Thrown around by Ivan’s wild maneuvering, he muscled his way through. Climbing in, he buckled himself up and pressed the big red button. The bucket became loose and easy, and he swung it around with his thoughts, looking for the target locked missile. “Any time now would be nice!” yelled Ivan. Jerking the heavy transport around, he was stressing the airframe outside of its operational envelope. Taros snorted over the intercom. “Don’t get your panties in a knot, Ivan.” Taros focused, the sounds of the overheated airframe, the punished engines, and even Ivan faded away. Taros squeezed the trigger gently like he would on a fine woman. The missile exploded, shrapnel bouncing off the tough skin of the Avem Vecto.
Taros leaned back in the bucket and relaxed. “Happy now?” he asked over the intercom. Ivan wiped the sweat from his face. “Yeah. I’m happy, Taros.” He evened out the flight and brought her around to a more gentle angle of attack. Turning on the autopilot, Ivan tried to relax. Almost getting your ass blown to smithereens tends to make one a bit uptight. But they did have the payload onboard and a payday around the corner. Taking a drink from his whiskey flask, Ivan lit a cigarette. He could hear Taros clomping down from the bucket. The cockpit hatch opened a moment later. Taros stuck his great bovine horned head inside. “You need to relax, Ivan. You know if someones giving you trouble, I’m gonna take care of it,” Taros said in his basso profondo voice. “Got it, my friend. You don’t need to kill everyone you meet, you know? You might want to talk with them more than once. Hard to do if they’re dead,” said Ivan. Taros tilted his head for a moment, the huge horns on his head, scratching against the bulkhead. “Perhaps a reasonable thought. We could indeed engage in philosophical conversations that might lead us further on the long slow path of enlightenment.” Taros snorted. “But then again, I could just kill them and let them try again. This reality or another, it matters not, my friend.” Taros withdrew his head, and the cockpit hatch slid shut. Ivan drew on his cigarette with sweaty trembling fingers as they crossed the exosphere. Looking out through the armour glass, he watched the stars. Breathing deeply, he began to run through his mantras, calming himself once more. The deep space ship blipped on the radar guidance systems, and a payday awaited.
An excerpt from Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2 (Chapter 23 – Scene 9)
Golgoth looked down at his feet. His enormous belly partly obscured his view, but it still put a smile on his face to see his old combat boots on his feet. The loaner pair sat in the corner of the driver’s pit. Seneca, the Ol’ bastard complained that Golgoth was turning it into his shoe closet, he thought with a chuckle.
Perhaps something sat wrong with the gods. The wholesale slaughter of the Ogin armour felt wrong somehow. Like it wasn’t a fair fight.
In war, nothing is fair. Innocents are often killed as collateral damage. Life itself is capricious and often uncaring. The universe isn’t a nice place. It’s dangerous and deadly, full of people, places, and things that want to kill you and worse. We’re just bugs on a rock, hurtling outward at forty percent of the speed of light for the few brief moments that we live.
Golgoth looked at his boots again, a gentle smile on his face. One could only enjoy the small things: friends, laughter, love, a good pair of boots.
Seneca the Ol’ bastard looked over at Golgoth for a moment. “Everything ok?” Golgoth nodded. “Just contemplating this life and my place in it.” Seneca scratched his head and looked uncomfortable. “The introspective and the unaware both die the same way, my friend.” He took a pull from his drinking skin, then offered it to Golgoth. Taking it, Golgoth leaned back and took a hard pull as well. Handing it back, he said, “Yes, tis true, Ol’ bastard.”
Seneca chuckled and took another drink. Golgoth smiled sadly. “Tell me, Seneca, why do you drink so much? I ask not in judgment, for a Mongruxx may choose to live his life as he pleases. But in curiosity. I have known you for many years, and I don’t believe I have ever seen you sober.” Seneca’s eyes narrowed. “Life has too many hard edges, Golgoth. The drink sands off the edges. Makes things seem nicer than they actually are. For our lives are as we perceive them, no less, no more. So I choose to live in a world where the edges are rounded off a bit. Where the hard metal bites not into me.” Golgoth stared at him for a moment before turning to look ahead at the endless white sand.
An excerpt from Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2 (Chapter 24 – Scene 1)
Are the gods/daemon/blackhole absent minded?
Perhaps with such incredible single minded acts of creation, a little absent mindedness might creep in? With so much and so many to keep track of, how could possible any being be aware of anything and everything? Such would be acts of schizophrenic madness. To see all and know all, without any partition, to regulate and control the massive flows of information. Then to do all of this on scales that are indeterminate. Constantly changing as the flicker of life go out and lights up, across uncountable universes along with multiphasic versions of billion trillion realities.
It fills my mind with the dread of boredom. The endless monotony of the expanding universes within black holes in black holes in creation.
The space in between, where nothing is created. Empty and devoid, silent and calm. There I may forget for a moment or billion trillion millennia.
All are the same.
The silence of such places are of a calming nature. Allowing the forgetfulness of all that I/we/us/them are. They extend my thoughts without the clamor and roar of everything around me, in me, through me. To appreciate this utter complete silence, one needs to be forgetful. Forgetful of the noise of constant creative orchestra that plagues oneself, such as the “Collectiveness of I.” You stare into the sky, looking for something that isn’t you. The blackness that goes on forever lit only by the stars across unimaginable distances that your lifespan will not allow you to cross. I digress for a moment. It is not the vast distances that keep you from traveling to galaxies far and away. It is your lifespan. For even if you develop faster than light travel by way of bending space, you are still left with the relativistic effects when you get home. Leave for two years to see a distant star system. When you come back, everyone you’ve ever known, seen, or heard of is dead. You are alone, a stranger in this new land. Until your lifespan become much longer, you won’t be going anywhere. Or your perception of movement through space (time) becomes as one. Then you could perceive it now as then, and relativistic effects become null.
The silence is beautiful. Endless quiet that is perpetual. Even your mythology speaks of it from time to time. Would you think that the gods might morn the loss of this? Perhaps that is why there are the “in between” spaces. I know what you are thinking now. Perhaps it is in these “in between” spaces, that we might travel, escaping the relativistic effects, lifespans be damned! In truth, for I would never intentionally lie to you, that is true. It is a way across. But should you choose to use these places, be wary.
Working my way through my second science fiction novel, I am struck by the way the stories reveal themselves to me. As they do, I quickly note them down in my story arc file or book notes files, or one of the many other places I keep my thoughts, depending on where they land. This morning as I wrote and another story arc revealed itself, I felt the excitement of writing about this character, the places she would go, the things she would do, until her death would bring us to depart.
These are the ideas that get me excited to write. Seeing the possibilities with a distinct direction revealing itself to me. Following the story where ever it goes.
The stories write themselves in the act of creation. Sure, I write a very high-level outline where I want the book to go. But once I start writing, all bets are off. I am no longer in control. I follow the story where ever it goes. The story tells itself, however, it chooses. I am the one writing it down, organizing the endless quantities of characters. But the creation that comes is something more than that.
It tires me at times and energizes me at others. I am amazed at what comes forth. It may be beautiful or dreadful. The scenes of battle and death sometimes sicken me, the pain burns my soul, the quiet love quickens my heart. All of these feelings and more come through the writing.
I have evolved through this. I’ve learned to listen deeply to myself, to take note of even the small quiet ephemeral thoughts that are here for a moment and then gone.
The characters are like good friends. Something you value as you get older. I get the opportunity to know them as they grow. To see their strengths and foibles. To walk with them through the valley of death and not fear the darkness. But instead, embrace it. Both the dark and the light.
At 114K words, I am past the halfway mark on my current novel Mongruxx: Starship Umbra Book 2. After my last book, I’ve found that once I hit the halfway mark to my goal (the goal is 200K words), things get more comfortable. Although this second book has been a lot easier to write, than the first one. A lot of that has to do with world building. Building out your world/universe/galaxy is a lot of work. But it’s worth it. Because once your world is built, you can forever play at enhancing it, changing it, developing it, and more. It’s a playground that only the gods get to play in.
I was watching “Adult Swim” the Venture Bros. when a commercial came on pitching Xbox games. I looked at it for a moment, thinking, Yeah! That sounds cool! Maybe I’ll buy one, waste literally years off my life having fun. Then it hit me! I remembered that it wasn’t really that much fun. I became bored relatively quickly, playing various games. But worst of all, it sucked the creativeness out of me. That thought led me to another reflection of how much I enjoyed building my worlds. There are no rules in my world except the ones I make. I can love with a depth that few have rarely known and kill with impunity. The ground trembles with the footfall of the gods.
I enjoy creating. The creation process if you will. It can be difficult and exhausting at times, but the ones that live in my worlds are never far from my mind. Writing books, building war vehicles, the characters, and cities in models and words. I enjoy it all. I think that perhaps I want to live there. Be in their adventures. Live by the sword, die by the same, and be re-instantiated once again. For seven times, until that final day. When all will fight, and none will die ever again.
One last thought. At this age, I’ve found myself aware enough to feel these spectacularly good times as I’m going through them. Usually, when you’re younger, you don’t realize the great times you are going through, the struggles and difficult challenges until they are well past. In retrospect, you may think to yourself, those were the days. I have been guilty of that. But these days, I am more aware than I have have ever been. Aware of the beautiful lovely lady I am in love with and married to, the painful feelings I have that my daughter chooses not to talk to me and not tell me why (most likely my ex-wife’s nefarious influence), the anxiousness I have over life and career on some days, the interesting life I live here among the clouds of my mind. I am grateful to be aware of these things. To not live in abject fear of the corpse god, nor death, for it is a part of the cyclic nature of whatever this is that we live in.
It is the only way I can deal with those I wish to deal with. That is without destroying them or having them self immolate on contact.
Even the gods have limits.
Mostly the limits of dealing with lesser beings. Trying not to destroy them. Much as you would with an ant. You would take special care not to kill the ant you wished to communicate with. Instead, if you could, you might make another part of you smaller, and even small then, so you can commune with the lesser being without utterly destroying it. That is assuming you have made that sort of investment in it.
Religions are derivative. Even as in your reality, the major religions are formulated by the ones that came before. Keeping some parts, leaving others to wither away. Knowledge lost, knowledge gained. It’s all the same. Perhaps the religion you subscribe to, describes one who came to save you. A mystery of three parts and one walked as a man.
I would laugh, but the solar flairs alone would burn the atmosphere from your planet and scald it down to bedrock. In any case, what I am describing lessor creatures, is what they described. I would know it came from me or one like me. Remember, this ever expanding universe, exploding outward at forty percent of the speed of light, with the speed increasing, all reside within a black hole. All at once, and not at all.
Here, not here. Time, present, and past are just concepts you use to try to make sense of what you cannot understand. At least not at your current state of development. Someday, you may become more. Iteration through iteration, changing, and growing. Three steps forward, two steps back. Then three steps back after that. Only to start anew. Perhaps the forward steps will last just a little bit longer than the ones that push you back. I wouldn’t hold my breath. These things play out of the beginnings and endings across a thousand million realities buried within black holes inside of black holes.
Pray if like, try if you must, wish if you will.