Tuesday’s Tale, 2/21/2017.

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Once again, health problems cause me to skip a week. Maybe I should nominate a catch all day, in case I miss Tuesday? But then I’d probably miss that day too….

Anyway, I’m back and ready for action – except I’m not. I just spent most of my waking day writing on a serial chapter. 8 pages, a pretty good total for me; my average is 4 to 5.

But… the show must go on, and I’ve already missed a week. So, without further ado, five minutes on my clock, and away I go.

Another prepared position and another shot rewarded him with another victim. This one shot with what appeared to be a grazing hit under the leg but was really a strike on another suit joint.

Sometimes he felt bad about the lingering deaths he was causing – but only sometimes. That was an emotion best saved for after he survived the fight anyway; consciences were for the victors.

He worked back below the ridge line as the answering shots came; there was a third position that was a hole in an outcropping of rock, which would work like a natural murder hole, provided he didn’t eat a face full of stone splinters.

The muted roar of a drone engine working under heavy load caught him by surprise; he’d have sworn the pirates were out of those.

And that’s it! See you next week!

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Tuesday’s tale, 2/7/2017.

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Alright, you all know what time it is by now. Five minutes on the clock, no plot and no safety net. Let’s see how far we get.

The pirates started firing back at the prepared positions, the slaved AI terminals taking a beating. But they were never more than a distraction at best. the real threat was his old rifle. A relic from the days when all of humanity was on one planet, the thing used gas from explosive powder to fire a small lead bullet at a target.

Once upon a time there were even armor to protect against such things but in modern times such armor was usually spotty at best; not everyone had it. And the gun, venerable as it was, was an efficient killing machine hard to match with modern technology.

He took his time, lining up the first shot. Not the faceplate, not center mass, those would be the best protected. Just under the ring joint under the neck? The perfect spot; even the best suit had a tendency to wear there.

One down, and he had to give them credit; the pirates nearest him shifted aim immediately to pin him down. Of course, he was already moving, so it was pointless, but he appreciated the effort.

Best I can do today; total time elapsed was four minutes and 52 seconds. See you next week!

Tuesday’s tale, 1/31/2017.

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Another Tuesday, which means another five minutes. The clock is now set, and, action!

They came at him as a squad; a ragged squad, but a squad nonetheless. two by two or three by three formation, moving from cover to cover in reasonably good order. Their weapons were pointed forward and everything.

He met them with laser fire.

It wasn’t like all those old classic movies, of course. There were no colored beams of light with pew noises, easily tracked. Instead, his laser was a consistent beam that could not be seen or heard whose sole stopping power was the ability to puncture a suit… if you could keep the beam on someone long enough.

You couldn’t actually dodge such a thing if the person behind it was good enough, not for long, but you could take cover. The tell-tale interior heat climb as your suit started cooking was a giveaway, though, which is why this type of weapon was hardly used. Some had a tendency to forget they even existed.

They had their uses, though. When tied to a combat AI, even the crudest, the weapon could be placed on a tripod and used to stop attackers. After all, it didn’t need to puncture suits to work, just make itself out to be a threat. Even for the few minutes the power pack lasted.

Human nature would do the rest.

Both squads hunkered down behind rocks or brush, looking for the person lighting their suits up.

And that’s it for this week. Enjoy that cliff, and see you next week!