Sorry this is so late. Our internet has been up and down like a whore’s drawers which made compiling past posts kind of hard, but that’s done, in this page — Here. And now, when last we saw our heroes…
*FIRST AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, THIS IS NOT CANON. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNSANCTIONED (okay, not completely. Larry said I could do this for you guys without his ripping my head off) MHI FANFIC.
Good, now that we got that out of the way, why am I doing this? Both Grant and Fado Negro (Portuguese Monster Hunters) have minuscule parts in Guardian, the MHI book I’m collaborating with Larry Correia on. However, obviously the Portugal of Monster Hunter is not the real Portugal (Really, no arcane creatures come stumbling out of the undergrowth there. If there were arcane creatures, the country would be chock-a-block with them, when you take in account the continuous human occupation since… well, forever.) And this story gives me more of an opportunity to firm the worldbuilding. (Yes, it would be MUCH easier to do this with a notebook and noting things down, but that’s not how my mind works, d*mn it.)
Okay, that’s the rational excuse. The real reason is that d*mn Grant Jefferson won’t leave me alone. (Always had a thing for men from Patrician New England families. Ask my husband.) So I’m torturing him in order to redeem him.
Will this ever be a book? Don’t know. First Guardian will get delivered. Then, this being finished, I throw it at Larry. And then it’s his SOLE DECISION. (Which means, don’t you monkeys hassle him.) It’s his world and his character. I’m just grateful he lets me play in it in Guardian and here for your amusement.*
Dark Fate 10
There is a point at which you become suicidal. Since landing in this forsaken country, I’d been attacked by red caps, lamias and now revenants, and no one was explaining anything, and I was half-assedly (or perhaps not assedly at all) armed and I had run out of ammo, and I was heading to “the real outbreak.”
Also, my suit was ruined, and I was now out of suits and would need to buy — shudder — off the rack, in a country where most people were way smaller than I.
I texted back “What now?” followed by “Why are we working with the private Portuguese Monster Hunters, instead of their government counterparts?”
The answer came back almost immediately: “Classified.” And then after a second “Also complicated.”
I texted back “Grrrrrr.” There was no answer.
“WHY are we still headed to the outbreak?” I asked, turning my frustrated anger on my companion who was driving like laws of traffic happened to other people while the wind whipped bits of safety glass in my face, as more of the windshield disintegrated.
She turned to me and blinked “Because otherwise sea revenants are going to eat all the population of the seaside, before we get there, and then there will be more revenants.”
“But we’re out of ammo,” I said.
“Nah,” she said. “There’s more in the trunk. More guns too. And more guitars” She continued driving with, as far as I could tell, two hands, while with her third hand she lit a cigarette and started smoking. Okay, she didn’t have a third hand, but that’s the impression I got, from the fact that she never seemed to take both hands off the wheel and we were taking some pretty tight turns down this street with houses and parked cars on both sides, and yet she lit a cigarette and started smoking. Well, at least with the windshield out I wasn’t confined in here with the cancer stick smoke.
“I can see where guitars are essential equipment for monster hunting,” I said at my most sarcastic.
She grinned at me. “They are. Not only do they provide us cover from being anywhere at any time, since, you know, student music groups will practice all the time in the oddest places, but as you saw guitar strings come in handy.”
I remembered what I’d seen her do back there, and also her fury at my letting myself get jumped, and I felt my face heat up. I said, “Yeah, well.”
Seriously, I’m not usually an inept monster hunter. I’m not usually that inept with women, either. Watching my father and his guests at my father’s parties, I knew how to talk to women and how to act like the suave, sophisticated man of the world from the time I was ten. It had worked in the past, even with Julie Schakelford. Okay, only for a while, because– Never mind. There were times when the smooth and suave act melted, and one of them was when the woman decided they preferred a savage half polynesian or something.
But I wasn’t usually this inept, and I couldn’t understand why this woman neither reacted to my charm, nor, in fact, why I couldn’t find the charm I usually had. Mostly this small, slim, monster hunting, guitar-carrying female made me angry. She made me angry in a way I couldn’t even understand.
I said, “You probably can’t even play that guitar!”
She smiled, as if I’d paid her a compliment. “Of course, I can,” she said. “I am more likely to sing, though. I’ll sing for you sometime.”
Damn it, I hadn’t asked her to sing for me. This too annoyed me. I wanted to say something cutting, something that set up my superiority over her, but instead I said, “You know, I don’t understand any of this.”
To my surprise, she reached over and squeezed my thigh. Which is when I realized my thigh was all bruised, but I think I kept my mouth shut and my face manfully impassive.
Oh, and it wasn’t a come on. In any other circumstances, a cute female squeezing my thigh would be a come on, but this wasn’t. It was a weirdly friendly and reassuring gesture. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I understand Portugal can be bewildering for foreigners, and you’ve been having a very hard time of it. This will calm down a little at some point, and I’ll give you a briefing, and you’ll get it more. For one, I’ll introduce everyone better. But right now we fight.”
We had entered a wider street, with houses set back well away from the road and surrounded by iron fences.
She stopped in the middle of the street and said, “Here, put this in your ears.” This was rubber ear plugs, the kind of ear protection one should wear while shooting. “They’re to protect you from the siren,” she said.
Then she hooked something behind my ear, and a mike, attached to it, got stuck on my face by my mouth. She was doing the same. “Testing, can you hear me?” she asked.
I said, “I can.”
She said, “Good. We can neutralize the effect of the sirens, while still keeping in touch Okay. we’re about half a mile off, and the reports aren’t good.”
The reports, or at least I assumed that’s what they were, were coming in in a jibber jabber of Portuguese though the ear thing.
“Speak English,” Silvia said, sharply.
“Don’t see how much good that will do,” a male voice said. “We’re being slaughtered out here. We’ve dropped back to the circumvalacao and the police are closing it to traffic.”
“How many revenants?” Silvia asked.”
“Thousands,” the voice said.
Just then, we came across a police barrier. Sylvia spoke to them, and they let us through.
We crested the road, and up from the ridge glimpsed the beach.
It was covered in undead, all shamblinging, limping and leaping towards us.
We weren’t going to get rid of them with bullets, blessed or not, and guitar strings so weren’t going to cut it.
“Merda,” Silvia said.
I agreed wholeheartedly.
(This is part one of this chapter. Part 2 next week. Between the internet issues and reading myself up to date on this, I haven’t had time to do more, but I promise longer next week.)