A date that will live in infamy…

Today is the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. There are few living veterans of that fateful day and even less that are capable of making that trip one more time. Having said that, there are reports that four of the five surviving USS ARIZONA vets will make it.

These are the images we remember/grew up with…

ph-radiogram

This is one that always strikes home- USS ARIZONA after she was hit…

Landscape

Photographer unknown

We always heard the stories about what the Sailors, Marines and Army troops did, but I had never heard anything about the other folks, like Nurses…

MOAA had a very nice article from a variety of nurses, HERE. Roll your cursor over the article title to go to that story.

One from Military.com HERE.

Another from DOD.live HERE.

And one more from San Diego Tribune HERE.

No nurses died at Pearl Harbor, but over 200 died during WWII in various areas. One nurse, LT Anne Fox was awarded the Bronze Star for her actions at Hickam Field during the attack. The National WWII museum has a good look at Women at War, HERE.

No nurse that I have ever known was a shrinking violet, but I cannot imagine the horrors these women and men saw, not only on Dec 7th, but throughout WWII. God bless them for their willingness to step up and do what needed to be done not only to treat, but to comfort the wounded.

Boosting the signal!!!

Two good friends have books out today on Amazon!

First is Peter Grant, with the 5th Maxwell book, Stoke the Flames Higher.

peter-stoke-the-flames-higher-cover-ebook-blog-size

The blurb-

Two planets, torn apart by the same fanatics – and Lancastrian forces are caught in the middle!

Major Brooks Shelby must keep the peace, on a world where radical terrorists want submission or death. Lieutenant-Commander Steve Maxwell must trace the source of their fighters and funding, deal with diplomats, and fend off a nosy journalist.

The marines are up against smuggled explosives and suicidal martyrs, while a suborned bureaucracy stymies the investigation. Brooks and Steve must find a way to stop their enemies at all costs, before the fanatics unleash their own version of Armageddon!

I beta read it and it’s good! Fast paced, multiple twists and turns and multiple viewpoints as the tension builds!

Next up is ‘Kelly’ Grayson, he’s finally gotten the rights back to his book, Enroute: A paramedic’s story of life, death and everything in between.

kelly-book

This release adds back in original stories that were cut, and it is by turns humorous, terrifying and touching.

The blurb-

Steven “Kelly” Grayson has seen the best of us at our worst. When hearts stop working, when blood alcohol levels exceed limits we shouldn’t contemplate, when bodies are extricated from car wrecks, he’s been there to pick up the pieces, save our lives, and watch us slip away. En Route is an unflinching look at the heart of a paramedic and the profession that shaped him. Grayson’s touching stories of life and death and the hilarious ones of times in between are here to give us an insight of what happens after we call 911, the ambulance doors close, or even what happens inside the ER when the nurse shows the family to the waiting room.

Both are great reads for those cold winter days and nights! Enjoy!!!

Random stuff…

Family time is coming…

Kaya is developing a personality, feisty seems to be the key. At five months she’s starting to set up!

And Vito is now doing double duty, between her and Jace…

kaya-vito-12-3-2

She’s still learning about that whole crying thing in range of Vito 🙂kaya-vito-12-3

He’s just doing his ‘job’… Two weeks and I get to go see them.

And a little ‘humor’ to start your Monday!!!

santa-believe

h/t Stretch

Aviation Art…

Since Dec 7th is this week, a little different one. There were actually TWO battles on the same day, Pearl Harbor, which is the one everyone remembers, but there was another…

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Some American pilots managed to counterattack, two such heroes, LT. General USAF (Ret.) Joseph Moore and Colonel USAF (Ret.) Sam Grashio,are pictured in “Too Little Too Late”.
Lt. Joe Moore in his Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk at 22,000 feet over Clark Field is defending against the Japanese attackers as war begins on December 8, 1941 in the Philippines. Over the smoke below is Petty Officer First Class Saburo Sakai’s Zero pursuing Lt. Sam Grashio in his P-40E.

One view of the battle is HERE, and some on LTGEN Moore is HERE.

Conversations…

It’s always interesting when a random conversation gets started around here and the ideas/arguments/comments flow freely…

Today’s iteration of that was the three laws of robotics as they are being reflected in my upcoming MilSF novel. Midwest Chick turned to me at one point and said, “Isn’t it fun when everybody knows the three laws?”

Of course there was no consensus, which means the ‘discussions’ will continue… Sigh…

I’m just gonna write the damn thing and let the chips fall where they may. 🙂

At least ‘some’ of the folks understood my point of view on it and the way I introduced it!

Finished the beta read for DaddyBear on his second part of the latest Minivandians, Lost Children and it’s GOOD, dark but with points of light, and a damn good read!

Now it’s back to the grindstone, so light blogging and commenting for a few days, while I try to beat my story into submission… Or at least get my muse to talk to me in some language I understand!

While I’m off fighting with mine, if you like cops and robbers, highly recommend Larry Lambert’s latest one, Exile from Eden. Click the cover for the Amazon Link.ll-exile-from-eden

And here’s the blurb-

The novel, set in the early 1990’s, is told from different first person perspectives. In a sense, it is a coming of age story wherein the principal characters, Sean O’Bryan and Jessica Baker are joined in a backdrop of intrigue as they simply attempt to live life.

Sean, on a journey to be his own man, joins Satan’s Legion, a motorcycle gang in Southern California. Jessica, adrift as a stranger in a strange land, joins him in the gang as they try to work out who they are as individuals and as a couple.

As their need to join the criminal world completely becomes more pressing, things for Sean and Jess don’t realize that what they say is being recorded and what they plan to do is part of a larger net that is dropping over them. While justice is about to be served, compassion by the undercover police officer in their midst sets the wheels in motion for their escape.

Jessica, wanted in England for a crime that she did not fully commit and their involvement with Satan’s Legion culminates in a flight to the Boneyard, in the most unlikely place.

It’s worth the money and I definitely recommend it if you like a true to life mystery!

 

Interesting tidbit…

This one came over the transom from the mil email group…

Wyatt Earp on shooting!

On November 3, 1930, the Saturday Evening Post published Wyatt Earp’s comments that he expressed to his biographer Stuart N. Lake about gun fighting.

This how it really was information sometimes contrasts with Hollywood’s interpretation. The following is an excerpt from that article with Wyatt Earp in his own words: 

“I was a fair hand with pistol, rifle, or shotgun, but I learned more about gun fighting from Tom Speer’s cronies during the summer of ’71 than I had dreamed was in the book. Those old-timers took their gunplay seriously, which was natural under the conditions in which they lived. Shooting, to them, was considerably more than aiming at a mark and pulling a trigger. Models of weapons, methods of wearing them, means of getting them into action and operating them, all to the one end of combining high speed with absolute accuracy, contributed to the frontiersman’s shooting skill. The sought-after degree of proficiency was that which could turn to most effective account the split-second between life and death. Hours upon hours of practice, and wide experience in actualities supported their arguments over style. The most important lesson I learned from those proficient gunfighters was the winner of a gunplay usually was the man who took his time. The second was that, if I hoped to live long on the frontier, I would shun flashy trick shooting — grandstand play — as I would poison. When I say that I learned to take my time in a gunfight, I do not wish to be misunderstood, for the time to be taken was only that split fraction of a second that means the difference between deadly accuracy with a six-gun and a miss. It is hard to make this clear to a man who has never been in a gunfight. Perhaps I can best describe such time taking as going into action with the greatest speed of which a man’s muscles are capable, but mentally unflustered by an urge to hurry or the need for complicated nervous and muscular actions which trick-shooting involves. Mentally deliberate, but muscularly faster than thought, is what I mean. In all my life as a frontier police officer, I did not know a really proficient gunfighter who had anything but contempt for the gun-fanner, or the man who literally shot from the hip. In later years, I read a great deal about this type of gunplay, supposedly employed by men noted for skill with a forty-five. From personal experience and numerous six-gun battles which I witnessed, I can only support the opinion advanced by the men who gave me my most valuable instruction in fast and accurate shooting, which was that the gun fanner and hip-shooter stood small chance to live against a man who, as old Jack Gallagher always put it, took his time and pulled the trigger once. 

Cocking and firing mechanisms on new revolvers were almost invariably altered by their purchasers in the interests of smoother, effortless handling, usually by filing the dog which controlled the hammer, some going so far as to remove triggers entirely or lash them against the guard, in which cases the guns were fired by thumbing the hammer. This is not to be confused with fanning, in which the trigger less gun is held in one hand while the other was brushed rapidly across the hammer to cock the gun, and firing it by the weight of the hammer itself. A skillful gun-fanner could fire five shots from a forty-five so rapidly that the individual reports were indistinguishable, but what could happen to him in a gunfight was pretty close to murder. I saw Jack Gallagher’s theory borne out so many times in deadly operation that I was never tempted to forsake the principles of gun fighting as I had them from him and his associates. 

That two-gun business is another matter that can stand some truth before the last of the old-time gunfighters has gone on. They wore two guns, most of six-gun toters did, and when the time came for action went after them with both hands. But they didn’t shoot them that way. Primarily, two guns made the threat of something in reserve; they were useful as a display of force when a lone man stacked up against a crowd. Some men could shoot equally well with either hand, and in a gunplay might alternate their fire; others exhausted the loads from the gun on the right, or the left, as the case might be, then shifted the reserve weapon to the natural shooting hand if that was necessary and possible. Such a move — the border shift — could be made faster than the eye could follow a top-notch gun-thrower, but if the man was as good as that, the shift would seldom be required. Whenever you see a picture of some two-gun man in action with both weapons held closely against his hips and both spitting smoke together, you can put it down that you are looking at the picture of a fool, or a fake. I remember quite a few of these so-called two-gun men who tried to operate everything at once, but like the fanners, they didn’t last long in proficient company. In the days of which I am talking, among men whom I have in mind, when a man went after his guns, he did so with a single, serious purpose. There was no such thing as a bluff; when a gunfighter reached for his forty-five, every faculty he owned was keyed to shooting as speedily and as accurately as possible, to making his first shot the last of the fight. He just had to think of his gun solely as something with which to kill another before he himself could be killed. 

The possibility of intimidating an antagonist was remote, although the ‘drop’ was thoroughly respected, and few men in the West would draw against it. I have seen men so fast and so sure of themselves that they did go after their guns while men who intended to kill them had them covered, and what is more win out in the play. They were rare. It is safe to say, for all general purposes, that anything in gun fighting that smacked of show-off or bluff was left to braggarts who were ignorant or careless of their lives. I might add that I never knew a man who amounted to anything to notch his gun with ‘credits,’ as they were called, for men he had killed. Outlaws, gunmen of the wild crew who killed for the sake of brag, followed this custom. I have worked with most of the noted peace officers — Hickok, Billy Tilghman, Pat Sughre, Bat Masterson, Charlie Basset, and others of like caliber — have handled their weapons many times, but never knew one of them to carry a notched gun. 

“I have often been asked why five shots without reloading were all a top-notch gunfighter fired, when his guns were chambered for six cartridges. The answer is, merely, safety. To ensure against accidental discharge of the gun while in the holster, due to hair-trigger adjustment, the hammer rested upon an empty chamber. As widely as this was known and practiced, the number of cartridges a man carried in his six-gun may be taken as an indication of a man’s rank with the gunfighters of the old school. Practiced gun wielders had too much respect for their weapons to take unnecessary chances with them; it was only with tyros and would-bes that you heard of accidental discharges or didn’t know-it-was-loaded injuries in the country where carrying a Colt’s was a man’s prerogative.”

The facts put paid to some of those movie interpretations, don’t they…

TBT…

Getting old is NOT for sissies…

You can tell when the weather is going to change, you’re expected to be grumpy (I LIKE that) and you’re not embarrassed to take an old gun to the range…

Sitting here thinking last night I remembered back-

I remember Sputnik- My mother told me years later I begged Daddy to take me outside so I could see it go over… (Not)  Today you can watch the ISS every night, and most people don’t even think about it.

I remember my first gun at age 8- A Savage Sure Shot single shot .22 (still go it)

My first knife- It was a Case Peanut, when I went out to my uncle’s place, he gave me a Sowbelly, said I’d need all the blades on it. And carrying those knives through high school. (Now days that would be expulsion at best)

My first rifle- A model 94 in 30-30 (still got that one too)

Pistols- Colt revolvers and Colt 1911s (being in the South, most officers and veterans had Colts)

B&W TV with 3 channels, and it was only on 12 hours a day

Veterans- WWI, WWII and Korea. Just everyday people, the mailman, the grocer, the little league coach, the deputy sheriff and many others. They all got dressed up and marched in the Veteran’s Day parade, even in a small town, but they never considered themselves special.

My grandfathers- What they taught me, by word and deed. Honesty, responsibility and integrity

President Kennedy being shot.

My first car- $300 for a Corvair Spyder, from mowing yards. (I was 14). Learning how to maintain and work on cars (actually started that at age 10 with Grandpa)

Cars you could actually recognize by sight AND sound (Ford V-8 vs. Chevy V-8 vs. Dodge V-8)

My first ‘paid’ job, shovelling crap for a veterinarian for $1/hr… Made the point that I was going to get an education… (at 14)

Playing sports, hunting, some fishing growing up. Learning about Buck gates, how to blood track, what a flyway was…

Going to school with either a rifle or shotgun in the car/truck and a pistol under the seat (And not even locking the car/truck)

 

Family reunions, real letters, my grandmother still being on a party line.

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, everyone glued to the TV for the launches and recoveries. Watching the moon landing in a bar on the Via Venato in Rome, walking back to the Pensione we were staying in at 0400 in the morning and every place that had a TV had it on and facing the street, with people around all of them. Random people shaking our hands and congratulating us as Americans.

Vietnam, ‘my’ first war. Wondering if I was going to be drafted, going in the Navy.

Learning FORTRAN and programming on an IBM 1190 punchcard machine.

The first space stations, Skylab, Mir, the first shuttle launch. Skipping forward to my Navy days, Challenger and the flight hours searching in vain for the capsule.

Calculators- Buying one for over $200 dollars to make doing my job easier.

My first computer- An IBM XT, single floppy, 640k of memory. Building my first computer- Spent something like $3200 buying hardware in the mid-80s from the suppliers in Silicon Valley (It was an early 386). Kept that monster in to the 90s. AOL (spit), had to cancel a credit card to keep them from continuing to charge me after I cancelled my account…

Two daughters and now three grandkids

So many other things… I’m not rich, never will be, but you know what?

I wouldn’t change a damn thing…

 

 

 

 

 

Really???

Sooo… The facts are that a 18YO Somali refugee used a car and a butcher knife yesterday at OSU, right?

It apparently doesn’t matter that the suspect who stabbed at Ohio State University students with a butcher knife didn’t have a gun – or that the attacker was stopped by armed police officers – or that the college is a gun-free zone – because Democrats wasted no time Monday before they began demanding gun control.

Yep, the usual suspects really DID go there… Read it HERE. No, the Kaine and Sheila Jackson-Lee tweets are not fakes… Sigh…

Texas Governor Abbot had a different perspective-

Texas has an open-carry law on its college campuses, and had a similar law been in place in Ohio, students at Ohio State University could have acted quickly to stop an attacker who used his car and a butcher knife to target other students, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday.

Full article, HERE.

And to add ‘icing’ to the cake, the Democrats are saying they will fight reciprocity tooth and nail, HERE.  Since it takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, that could pose a problem. And once again the Dems are willing to go play on the third rail…

To what end??? Too early to tell whether this is pure bluster or not.

Rimworld tease…

It’s either a political rant or another tease from the Rimworld book…

Since I’m tired of politics, you get this… As always, unedited, stream of consciousness writing… Right at 60K words in.

Moments of Terror

The days melded one into the other as the ship trundled across space toward Star Center. After two tries at eating with the other passengers, Fargo and Nicole had adopted similar routines of eating in the crew mess, exercise and using the VR sims every day. They almost never interacted with the other passengers at all, much to Fargo’s relief.

Nicole seemed to be less inclined to interact with anyone as the days went by and her worries ramped up, causing her to be even pricklier. The only time he’d seen her laugh was on the third day, when Evie joined them for lunch and Nicole had asked who the other Hilbornite was.

Evie’s hair had stood up, and she literally hissed before getting herself back under control, “That bitch is one of my great-aunts, she claims I have sullied the entire clan’s reputation by being a starship pilot and I deserve to be cut off from the clan. She called me a vacuous disease ridden whore, only fit for space after I told her I liked my job!”

Nicole almost spit her food out in amazement, then said, “I’m afraid I would have slapped her into the middle of the next galaxy for that! Who the hell does she think she is?”

Evie shrugged, “Apparently she is chief surgeon of Hilborn Center.”

Nicole asked, “So… Important? Yes?”

Evie chuckled ruefully, “She is the highest of the high in medical circles. She is touring the Rimworld planets collecting medical specimens and disease vector data to update the galactic data base.”

Nicole asked with a laugh, “Are you sure she isn’t the vector?”

Evie burst out with a laugh, fur laying down smoothly, “Possibly!”

Nicole mumbled, “Still a bitch though.”  Evie smiled and squeezed Nicole’s hand quickly as she got up to resume her piloting duties.

***

      Fargo’s wrist comp pinged, bringing him out of a dead sleep. He started muzzily at it, CAPTAIN FARGO TO THE BRIDGE IMMEDIATELY.

Sitting up, he heard it ping again, and he hit it simultaneously with replying, “On the way.” Pulling his shipsuit on, he shoved his feet into his boots, quickly fastened them and headed for the hatch. Niceties like combed hair and brushed teeth could wait, if the captain wanted to see him now.

Three minutes later, Fargo approached the bridge hatch and watched it dilate as he stepped quickly through, “You wanted to see me, Captain?”

Captain Jace glanced at Fargo and motioned him to the jump seat to his left, “Yes I did Captain. What would be your response if you knew we were about to be attacked by pirates, or brigands, or Traders?”

Scanning around the bridge, Fargo didn’t see anyone but Captain Jace and Evie, and nothing screaming red or any blaring alarms, “Uh, depends on capability. And size. And options… Can we run? Maybe outrun them? Shit, I don’t know. I’m a ground pounder, not a space…”

Captain Jace turned to face him, “So if you had those answers, would you fight?”

Fargo scrubbed his face, “Oh hell yes. Anything is better than dying on our knees.”

Captain Jace turned back, “The captain agrees, we fight.” Suddenly the bridge screens transformed, with feeds showing an older destroyer with one missile door open, and weapons availability popped onto another screen as disembodied voices sounded on the bridge.

“Sensors, remote feed indicates Dumont class destroyer GP Epsilon. Last in service 2804. Struck from rolls in 2815. Last known at breaker’s yard, Arcturus. EMCON at this time.”

A second voice said, “Tracking. Target estimated 1,500,000 miles. No indication of shields at this time.”

Captain Jace replied, “Weaps, authorized, prep exciter. Standby for deployment.”

A third voice said, “Weapons tight, available weapons VM-133 medium range missiles, bays 3 and 4, passive tracking initialized. Counter missile battery spinning up, tubes 1 and 3. Dorsal needle lasers up and up, internal power only, stowed. Request power shift to prep exciter.”

“Approved.”

“Comms. Demand message from target, six second delay. Screen?”

Captain Jace replied, “Main screen.”

The main screen lit with a head and shoulders shot of a grizzled captain with a backdrop of the Galactic Patrol appeared.

The captain said, “Unknown ship, this is GalPat Destroyer Guernsey. You are ordered to cut power, coast, drop all shields, and standby for boarding inspection. Failure to follow these directions will force us to fire on you.”

Captain Jace said, “Comms, record for outgoing, character five. Break. Captain this is Nuevo Frisco out of Altair Four. You should be copying out beacon. We are a Galactic Consortium member, why are we being stopped? We will protest this. Break. Send it.”

Fargo’s jaw dropped as he saw what appeared to be an old man in a fragile voice standing in front of a shabby logo deliver the captain’s message over tight beam. Captain Jace turned to him, “Target is about one point one million miles out. My intent is to fire when he reaches half a million miles, which should be in… twenty-four minutes at max closure rate.”

Fargo asked, “But how… What… How do you know what is following us? What is this ship?”

Captain Jace’s feral grin was followed by a distinctly predatory look as he scanned the screens. “We were followed through the last transit point. This area is, so called dead space, with no habitable planets in this region. We dropped a recon drone a hours after we cleared the boundary, and that’s what you see on screen one. It’s an FTL unit, so we’re getting real time updates. It’s tail chasing now, in the destroyer’s baffles. The data base we accessed is the GalPat database, and it’s up to date. Guernsey exists, but she’s in the yards at Earth four. Weapons? Yes, we have a few. We have limited offensive and defensive capability.”

“You still haven’t said what this ship is.”

“Simply put, we don’t exist. We can be anything we want to be, outside of a direct visual scan.”

Fargo’s mind whirled, and he wondered what in hell was going on. “You don’t exist? Then what the hell am I standing on or rather sitting on? You’re not making… sense…”

Captain Jace turned to face Fargo again, “Hyderabad doesn’t ring a bell does it?”

Mystified Fargo shook his head, “No, should it?”

Captain Jace replied, “Well, if you were a student of Earth’s early naval history, it would, or should. There was only one purpose-built Q-ship built by the British in the First World War, almost a thousand years ago. The Hyderabad. She was a 600-ton vessel, launched in 1917, with a very shallow draft to allow torpedoes to pass under the ship. She was armed with hidden guns and torpedo tubes to allow her to sink German U-boats.”

“So… Wait, you’re a…”

A voice sounded, “Incoming comms, main screen in three.”

The same grizzled captain, now almost smirking popped on screen, “Your decision is a good one, Captain. You have nothing to fear as long as your papers are in order.”

“Answer required?” The phantom voice asked.

“Negative,” Captain Jace replied. Turning to Fargo again, he said, “Before you ask, no GalPat doesn’t know we exist. No, they didn’t approve our mission. But we are the good guys.”

Fargo stewed for a few minutes as the range closed, and he wondered, Have I gone crazy? Jace and Evie seemed to be perfectly content to let this… This apparent pirate close to a range of a half million miles, where they planned to kill it. No questions asked, they are just going to kill it. They aren’t even excited. And I’m the only one… I wonder if they’ve even told the crew… Aren’t they supposed to do something like go to battle stations? What about the passengers?

“Um, Captain, shouldn’t you at least alert the crew and passengers?” Fargo asked.

Captain Jace grinned again, “Oh the crew already knows. The passengers? Well, if we fail to kill this bastard, there will either be twenty minutes to get them off in the pods, probably to be shot out of space, or the Epsilon will just blow us away. Either way, it doesn’t much matter. If we kill it, then the passengers don’t even need to know.”

Fargo shook his head, “But…”

Voice one said, “Sensors acquired passive laser targeting. Up on screen two. Passive track input and gen track now on screen. Four minutes to five hundred thousand mile engagement range,” a disembodied voice said.

Captain Jace said, “Weaps, cleared to deploy dorsal lasers in three minutes thirty seconds.”

Another disembodied voice answered, “Weapons, aye!” Fargo opened his mind to try to figure out what Captain Jace or Evie was thinking, but he didn’t feel or sense anything. Opening further, he felt Nicole up moving around and wondering what was going on. Reaching out further, he could sense some low level emotions among the passengers, but he didn’t sense a single crewmember. Anywhere…

A rising groan raised the hairs on the back of Fargo’s neck, as something in the ship came to life. It thrummed for a few seconds as the pitch rose, then seemed to lock into a rumbling growl. Looking around, Fargo expected some kind of reaction from either Jace or Evie, but neither even seemed to notice. How can they be so calm? Something… Needs… Ah shit. There isn’t anything that can be done. How do the spacers deal with this? Not knowing… Or knowing and having to wait to see what’s happening.

Two minutes later a red countdown window popped up on the tracking screen, along with what Fargo recognized as targeting data that seemed to be constantly refining. “Weaps, status?” Snapped Captain Jace.

What Fargo was now thinking of as voice three replied, “Exciters preloaded, super caps ready, power shunt standing by to deliver required power.”

As the countdown reached thirty seconds, screen three switched to external views in split screen and showed upper and lower panels opening and what must be lasers extending outside the hull.

Captain Jace said calmly, “Weaps, it’s all yours fire at will, target open missile tube forward.”

As the countdown hit zero, the voice said, “Lasers firing.” Fargo heard a groaning sound increase in pitch, rising to nearly a scream, as the mechanical voice continued, “9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Cease fire.” There was a ‘ting’ and the loud noises stopped almost immediately, as Fargo sat mystified at what he’d witnessed.

“Did the work? I mean did… I didn’t see any pulses.”

Distracted, Captain Jace said, “Standby.” Staring intently at screen two, as it blossomed into a flash he suddenly roared, “Yes! Got that bastard!” Fargo looked up in time to see the tracker going from red to white.

Jace said conversationally, “Needle beam lasers. They spread over distance, but even with that they were less than nine inches in diameter. Both of them hitting the warhead at megajoule power was enough to heat it and set it off before they could react. Stupid captains drop their shields early, because they have to be down to fire. We knew the shields were down, so we took advantage of it.”

He saw the lasers retracting on the adjacent display, and what he guessed were armored hatches closing over them. Suddenly, all the screens blinked back to normal for an unarmed merchant ship.

Evie commented, “Thirty-eight minutes behind, Captain. Permission to push it up to make the next jump point on time.”

Captain Jace leaned back comfortably, “Do it.”

Fargo looked between them in amazement, “What about the, maybe… Survivors of that ship? Shouldn’t you report this to GalPat?”

Captain Jace spun his chair, “There weren’t any survivors. Epsilon is now dust in the wind, so to speak. And it will be reported, just not right now. We’ll take care of that at Star Center.”

Captain Jace hit a button on his command chair and broadcast over the IC, “Sorry about that noise folks. We had a bit of an issue with one of the power plants. It’s currently off line and being repaired. We will make up the time lost and hit our jump point on time. Thank you.”

Snerk…

This one came over the transom via the milemail net…

HORROR MOVIE SURVIVAL

-If the house you’re living in tells you to “GO AWAY” do so immediately.
-Never take a bath or shower with a maniac/spirit/demon/creature in the house.
-When it appears that you have killed the maniac/spirit/demon/creature, DO NOT check to see if he/she/it is really dead. Keep hacking at it until it is in pieces small enough not to be a threat to you. If you’ve shot at it, shoot it again in the head, and remember, shoot till it stops moving, and then keep shooting till you’re out of ammo. Then reload and shoot it some more. Then set it on fire and burn it up, this works with everything except demons and spirits. Then get the hell out of there!
-If plumbing fixtures or other structures in your home begin shaking and spewing body fluids, it’s time to leave.
-Never read aloud from a book that summons demons. Even as a joke.
-Don’t look under the bed.
-Do not search the basement, especially if the power has just gone out.
-If trees, TVs, or other objects try to consume your children, save as many as you can and then get the hell out of the area.
-If relatives or pets come back from the dead, don’t approach them and ask “What did you come back to do?”
-If inanimate objects such as dolls, toys, or furniture attack you, be prudent, leave the area.
-If you’ve hidden from the maniac/spirit/demon/creature and you are not found, do not peek from or decide it’s safe to leave your hiding place. If you do decide to leave, scan the ground for twigs before you take a step.
-Never believe that your companion has truly become “dispossessed”.
-It is very, very dangerous to back into, or through rooms.
-If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they do not know, or if they speak to you using a voice which is other than their own, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. (Note: It will probably take several rounds of gunfire to incapacitate them, so be prepared.)
-When you have the benefit of numbers, never, ever, pair off, or go in alone. The more people the maniac/spirit/demon/creature is distracted by, the better “your” chance of escape.
-Never get into a car without first checking the back seat for occupants.
-If demons begin possessing your companions, it’s a good idea to leave the area as soon, and as quickly as possible.
-If your companions start turning up dead, make yourself scarce before someone else does it for you. Worry about funerals later.
-If you’ve just finished running over the maniac/spirit/demon/creature in your car, keep going. Most certainly do not get out of the car under any circumstances to see if he/she/it is “really” dead.
-As a general rule, don’t try to solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.
-Don’t fall asleep if you have a history of homicidal/suicidal nightmares.
-Never stand in, on, above, below, beside, or near a grave, tomb, crypt, mausoleum, etc.
-Never stand in, on, above, below, beside or near a window, especially those that appear that they would break easily.
-If you find something that appears to be alive that you cannot identify, don’t pick it up or touch it, with anything.
-If you’re searching for something which caused a noise and find out that it’s just the cat, leave the room immediately or else you will quickly die.
-If someone is in the water and starts screaming and is pulled under, don’t go after them or peek over the edge of the shore “to see what’s wrong”. If you are in a boat, head for shore.
-If appliances start operating by themselves, you are in danger.
-Do not accept/take anything from the dead.
-If priests won’t or can’t enter your home, start looking for a new home.
-If you discover the place you are visiting is known for its history of mass murders, deaths, freak accidents, or supernatural occurrences, leave.
-If you wake up from a particularly horrific dream and find yourself still alive, you probably aren’t awake yet.
-If you find a town which looks deserted, it is probably deserted for a damn good reason. Take the hint and stay away.
-Don’t play with Ouija boards. If you do and the Ouija board starts moving by itself, stop playing and leave.
-If supernatural beings start calling your name, leave the area immediately.
-Never pick up a hitchhiker or stop to aid a suspicious person, especially if he/she/it resembles Santa Claus or Satan.
-Don’t fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you’re really sure you know what you are doing.
-Make sure that your weapon is really loaded before you try to use it.
-If your space ship gets an alien distress signal from what appears to be a dead planet, don’t stop to check it out.
-Never put your back to or lean on a door.
-Never take the dare to spend a night in a haunted house.
-Never speak to clowns in sewers.
-Never accept gifts from strangers, especially if you suspect that they are really supernatural beings.
-If you’re running from the maniac/spirit/demon/creature, expect to trip and/or fall down at least twice, more if you are female. Do not turn to look back, if you do, you stand a good chance of tripping immediately and being killed. If you turn and look back, and you don’t see the maniac/spirit/demon/creature chasing you, stop and run immediately back the way you came because the maniac/spirit/demon/creature is now in front of you.
-If your companions exhibit uncharacteristic behaviour such as hissing, biting, thirst for blood, howling, glowing eyes, unnatural hairiness, marked resemblance to demons, excretion of ectoplasm or other forms of gelatinous goo, flaming appendages, extra appendages, etc., get as far away from them as possible.
-Listen closely to the soundtrack for hints on what is going on around you. Use all resources available, especially the audience, for on the average, they are much, much more intelligent than you could ever hope to be.
-Stay away from certain geographical locations, some of which are listed here: Amityville, Elm Street, Crystal Lake, Transylvania, Mydian, Questa Verde, the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.
-Beware of transvestite doctors that sing.
-Avoid secluded mountain resorts, especially those which keep ‘Redrum’ in stock.
-Beware of strangers bearing tools of destruction such as chainsaws, staple guns, chipper/shredders, weed poppers, combines, lawnmowers, knives, flamethrowers, band saws, crossbows, napalm, grenades, high-powered rifles, gophers wielding axes, laser pistols, or Alludium Q-36 explosive space modulators.
-If you’re going to shoot something, in the immortal words of Robert Ruark, African game hunter “USE ENOUGH GUN”.
-If entering your craft you put your hand in a kind of sticky/slimy/resinous kind of substance that was not there before, turn and run immediately.
-If you are in the Arctic and find an alien frozen in ice, don’t touch it, don’t thaw it out, leave it alone. -The alien should be incinerated with thermite (or preferably a thermonuclear weapon), otherwise if it thaws out, it will kill you and every living thing on earth.
-If you are alone in a house and something calls your name, leave the house immediately through whatever exit is in the opposite direction. If there is no exit, make one.

YMMV… When in doubt, shotgun, flamethrower or nuke it from orbit would be MY choices…