Dark Fate Ten? What, again?

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.)

65 responses to “Dark Fate Ten? What, again?

  1. “up and down like a whore’s drawers;” ain’t sure I’ve heard that one before. Heh, heh.

  2. Huh. Can’t wait to see how they AoE the revenants.

    (Hoping Grant figures out something clever, tbh.)

    • I quote from a World of Warcraft paladin tanking forum from long ago: When it doubt, round ’em up and consecrate.

      Of course, that means in WoW terms “turn the ground they’re standing on holy”, but it’s the thought that counts. 😀

      • This is usually followed by telling your party members, “AoE on me, you’re bound to hit SOMETHING.” Ah, the days. Sadly, I was usually the poor schlub in the back trying to keep that masochist alive, with mixed results. It started good, but got worse as I got more mixed drinks in me. When I stopped adding Coke to the Jack … well, that’s when my wife (who was my Pally of choice) started to get worried.

  3. My high school French didn’t tell me; I think it was “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” that made me think I know that last word in Portuguese which reminded me of:

    “‘What?’
    …’Same last words recorded on them little black boxes of crashed planes. Same last words for a last of poor [so and sos]'” (Patricia Cornwell, “Postmortem,” 1990, p. 329 pbk.).

    (Umm, shambling and limping make sense, but leaping? Yikes. And thousands?)

  4. And “circumvalacao” must be traffic circle, I guess.

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    For what it is worth Sarah, you didn’t “mis-count”. This is Chapter 10 (or at least the first part). 😉

  6. “FIRST AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, THIS IS NOT CANON.”

    And despite firearms in the story, it’s not cannon either. 😛

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      We need to make cannons canon.

      • My current Kindle Unlimited read is the April series by Mackey Chandler (with, I discovered after I finished the first book, cover art by Sarah Hoyt). I’m loving the story and its libertarian flavor, though the occasional punctuation mistake (usually an erroneous quotation mark obviously left over from editing) throws me out of the story makes me wish he’d gotten someone to do a final proofread after his final edit. But the mistake that annoyed me the most was when the protagonists get a flatbed lunar rover and install a pintle-mounted “canon” [sic] on the flatbed. And just in case I thought it was a typo, they make several references to it in the next few paragraphs, and refer to it as a “canon” each time.

        The book’s still good enough that it didn’t bother me nearly as much as it would have if I’d been enjoying the book less. But it reminded me again why in my field (software development), it’s standard practice to get someone else to look over your work for any obvious mistakes that might slip past you, and why authors should do the same thing.

        • Speaking of doing a final read-over, I left out the word “and” in one sentence. I meant to say that the occasional mistake throws me out of the story (albeit briefly) AND makes me wish …

          🙂

        • Aw, c’mon; haven’t we all seen good stories destroyed by suppressive canon fire? “He wouldn’t acy that way!” “She’d never tolerate that kind of behaviour!” “No, look, in book #2 it clearly states …”

          My biggest peeve is the introduction of characters clearly intended to set up their later elimination, either as “Red Shirts” to establish the antagonist’s ruthessness or as walk-ons to make their fortunate later reappearance and befriending the protagonist seem more likely. I just despise canon fodder.

          • That’s one of the downsides of long-running series, especially with long breaks between installments, and internet fandom. The first gives you lots of time to imagine possible futures and fall in love with them; the second fans the fires by getting people to build each other’s expectations.

          • Grrrrrrr…..

            “He wouldn’t act that way!” dangit, a.c.effing-T that way.

        • A pintle mounted canon? Was it a 1D MkII? A 70D, a Powershot?

    • Cannons with grape and chain might do the trick on that beach.

  7. You certainly should be sorry about putting this up so late. Do you realize that as a result of your dilatoriness I ended spending time interacting with people in meat space? I might eventually forgive you but Beloved Spouse, forced to endure extra hours a day with me, might not be so agreeable.

  8. Step 1: Oily bean soup. Lots of it.
    Step 2: Firehose.
    Step 3: Apply fire to bean soup.
    Step 4: Run bean soup through firehose.
    Step 5: Apply bean soup to revenants.

  9. OT, but Mrs. Hoyt, you might be pleased to know David Lee Summers is plugging the Tombstone anthology on at least some of thr panels at TusCon that he’s on.

    (I can’t speak for all of them, because the only panels I’ve seen are the ones I’ve providing Tech for.)

  10. Grant! Grant, baby! You’re supposed to get bruised thighs AFTER the Portuguese chick decides to “sing” for you, not BEFORE! Rookie mistake!

  11. This is the Jack Bennyth comment.
    Also: moo.

  12. Meanwhile, just offshore…
    PREHISTORIC, DINOSAUR-ERA SHARK WITH INSANE TEETH FOUND SWIMMING OFF COAST OF PORTUGAL
    http://www.newsweek.com/dinosaur-era-frilled-shark-insane-teeth-found-portugal-708764

  13. Thank you for the free story.

    So we have gone from ‘this is fanfic’ to ‘for now this is fanfic but I’ll show it to Larry and maybe…’.

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