Dark Fate Ten b – The Sequelning!

*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.

Previous installments are HERE.*

Come to Portugal, I thought.  Come for the history, the culture, the thousands of years of ruins and artifacts.  But stay for the beaches.  I stared at the hordes of revenants scrambling up the beach towards us.  Or on the beaches.  In itty bitty pieces.  Until the next goddess or false saint or whatever gets its panties in a twist and…. assembles you to do her bidding.

It was bright enough — the police had spotlights on the bridge — that I could see the nearest revenants were collections of marine life in human form.  Some fish were still flopping, while pretending to be part of a leg or arm.  One of them, I could distinctly see, had seaweed air, and sea shells for eyes.  I shuddered.  I don’t know why and I will certainly not explain it, but I hated the idea of being eaten by zombies made up of seashells and fish more than being eaten by zombies made up of rotting flesh.  To be fair I never liked fish.

Silvia was yelling loudly at the policeman, and one of the dark haired, thin guys I had seen at the Dark Fate headquarters lay down next to me, supporting his — machine gun? — on the top of the seawall (which was deeper on the beach side, but here was about 2 feet up from the road.)

The machine gun went the hack hack hack of an AK47, and he stitched neat rows across the heads of the first row of zombies who fell to be trampled by their fellows.

He looked up at me, “So, Americans too good to shoot? he said, before resuming shooting.

My first impulse was to tell him to go to hell, but if I understood what I was supposed to be doing here,  but I was supposed to be a good will ambassador.  Considering it was Franks who had told me that, perhaps I should be Grrrrring or shouting “Classified” at the hapless people now taking their place on the wall and shooting down at the zombies.  I noted they made no big difference, except the horde advanced somewhat slower.

Silvia was still yelling at the policeman.

I shouted over the machine gun and — were some people really shooting handguns? — other fire “And what do you think this will do?”

“We die defending the city,” the guy next to me shouted, and took a moment to glower at me, as if I were a bad person for not embracing this glorious martyrdom.

Look, the point of a battle is to make the other guy die.  Sure, sometimes you have to give your life to save someone, but the whole point is that in that situation it should be possible to save someone.

I’d once made a snap decision that I couldn’t save someone else and saved myself, and therefore had lost Julie Schakelford’s good opinion, but hey, sometimes your decision was wrong.

In this case, though…  I looked at the massed, massing hordes, and the idiots machine gunning them down, without trying to do something that would actually save them.

Right.

I thought if I started running now, stole one of the cars parked in the police barricade of the street, and drove like hell to the airport, I could definitely save myself.  Of course, sea-revenants might eat and shred the whole North of Portugal.

And Franks would almost certainly growl at me.  Also, possibly rip my head off and beat me to death with it.

So…

Besides, it would take a hell of a lot of driving to get me out of there.  And look, the US couldn’t possibly drop a nuclear bomb over Portugal without starting some internatioal incident.  … well, it could if the other option was letting all of Europe be devoured.  And damn it, I thought well of the Louvre.

The idea of cars waiting at the barricade stirred in my mind.  There was something….

Suddenly it bloomed in my mind, filling everything — so to put it — with light and heat.  The hordes of undead were now so near I could smell them, a smell like clam chowder gone very, very bad.

I ran back towards the barricade.  I barely heard the sneering “Run, American run.”  Yeah, what I really needed in my life, right now, was sneering nationalistic condescension.  Well done, them.

The vehicle I remembered seeing was just past the barricade, and I was very glad to read on the side “BP Oil” Because it would be pure crap if, say, it had been milk.  My mind desperately wanted to make a joke about the milk of human kindness but I didn’t let it.  I also didn’t let myself think about whether this would work.  After all, could you burn sea-revenants?

I knew it was a crazy, last ditch idea, but it seemed better than let the sea-dead eat the living of Europe.

I climbed on the running board and knocked at the window to the tanker truck, and the man rolled it down and garbled at me in Portuguese.  I screamed incoherently at him “Get out, get out, get out” and reached for the door handle.  To my shock the door came over.  The guy was about twice my size, and started screaming at me and trying to push me.

In the process, he also half-stepped out of the truck.  Which is when I beaned him with the guitar — Toink — shoved him out of the truck, shouting, “There really are useful for monster hunting” and then, after a moment of confusion, drove the tanker truck forward.

This involved driving between two rows of parked cars.  Well, kind of in between.  As people screamed and ran out of the way, I scraped the doors of cars on either side and might have dragged a smart car several feet.  The police tried to wave me off the barricade, but when I drove towards it, they dove out of the way.  I stopped the truck, looked over at the beach, and the situation was as desperate as I thought, so I ran back.

The guys with machine guns were preparing to fall back, and Silvia was about to join them.

People surrounded me and tried to stop me, or pull me away from the truck, but I was bigger than most of them, and bulled through.  The guitar, much the worse for the wear, thonked a couple more heads.

Fortunately the tanker had a hose.  Well, sort of a hose.  I think it was meant to fit into the receptacle for gas stations’ underground tank.

I didn’t have a way to unlock the end, though, and nothing was flowing.  So I dragged the hose out to the wall, pointed it over the wall,  banged the end-piece of the hose till it broke and gas started flowing.  I was in luck.  It flowed out with pressure.

I pointed it at the revenants, and let it fly.  Then I yelled.  “Anybody have matches?”

The guy next to me passed me a matchbook, and suddenly all the guys on the wall let go the machine guns and started flinging lit matches.  None were making it.  They were just too light.  The gas-soaked revenants advanced, close enough to see the shells of their eyes.

I said “Lighter.”

Guy next to me said, “It won’t stay lit”

I said “Lighter.”

Looking dubious, he handed it to me.

There was something I had learned.  That is that sometimes you really do have to risk your life to save others.  I lit the lighter, jumped over the sea wall and ran at the revenants.

A hand made of fish and shells grabbed me.  I put my lighter to the other arm.

I think it let go of me.  I wasn’t sure.  I was too busy wondering if I’d come back as a sea zombie or a vampire.  I tried to run for the sea wall.  There was an explosion — I think — at least I was flying through the air, and I think my hair was on fire.  At least it hurt like hell.

I hit the wall face first, and fell into…. Her arms.

She was blue and twenty feet tall, and the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, even if she smelled like fish.

“Hello Sailor,” she said.  “I’ve been waiting for you.”

“Not a sailor,” I said.

And everything went black.

 

 

65 responses to “Dark Fate Ten b – The Sequelning!

  1. One of these days I have to sit down and read them. Just not in the mood for fiction these days. 😦
    *peers mournfully at Kindle loaded with unread novels*

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    She’s blue. Does that mean she wants Grant to cheer her up? 😉

  3. That is very dark ending.

  4. 20 foot tall woman? Wow, last I remember was 15-foot giants. Blue though, eh? Frost Giant Woman? Now I’m going to have to get the REST of Larry’s books just to figure out what’s going on. 😉

  5. OK, I *have* to visit that link at the top and read from the beginning.
    And, obviously, I need to get the next MHI book (I’m way behind) and get to reading.

  6. Purty danged funny, missy!

  7. AK14? Don’t quite know what it is, but if it’s good enough for Portagee monster hunters I want one. 🙂

    • richardmcenroe

      Kalashnikov’s first assailt weapon with the bump stock…

      • William O. B'Livion

        They don’t exist any more, and would not (probably) been able to export to Portugal.

        There is an AK-12, but it only went into production in 2010. It is essentially (handwaving) the Russian equivalent of a M16-A4/M4, using the 5.45×39 round (rough equivalent of the 5.56×45.

        Given the timeframe (blackberry not too obsolete to use), I don’t think that Portugese would have had these yet.

        There is also the AK-74, which uses the same round and has been around for a long time.

        For things like that a AK-47 would be “better”, but a PKM…now THAT would be good for moderate problems.

        Serious problems require crew served weapons.

        • the AK 47 DOES exist in Portugal. I was shot at with it.

          • richardmcenroe

            Oh, pish! I have it on very good authority (twitter) that there is very little gun violence in Europe!

            • This was the seventies, after the revolution, so everything was peaceful and it was utopia.
              I was shot at a couple of times and “brandished at” about ten. I have very little respect for people pointing AKs at me when I can bean them with my umbrella AND their friends are right behind me. I told them they were literally a circular firing squad… Fricking idiot commies.
              Another time the only reason I’m here is that idiots didn’t understand recoil. They shot the ceiling…

          • AK-47s are the cockroach of guns. Fun bonus fact: We were told in Initial Entry Training (Basic) that it takes 36 inches of wood to stop a 7.62 mm round. Yard thick trees are kinda scarce.

            • > cockroach of guns

              [looks at gun rack]

              Well, yeah. But the Mosins are running a close second…

              • Older son loves the Mosins. Not that he has any, because you know, tragic boating accident.

                • Yeah. Lots of that going around…

                  The Mosin was originally the Berdan #1, designed by one Hiram Berdan, a former Union army officer. The Tsar’s army adopted it, and later an improved version as the Berdan #2. Later the army wanted to upgrade from single shots to repeaters, so they added a magazine to the Berdan, and while they were at it they went to a spiffy new small-bore smokeless cartridge, the 7.62x54R.

                  The Berdan and Mosin are such close cousins that when there was a rifle shortage in WWI, the arsenals upgraded Berdans with Mosin parts to turn them into repeaters.

                  The Mosins were declared obsolete and stored in warehouses until the Soviet troops in Afghanistan found out that the ancient British .303s used by some of the indigenes easily outranged their spiffy new AK-74s. The call went out and thousands of Mosins were cleaned up and sent back into combat.

                  The Russian Empire went away, the Soviet Union went away, and the Russian Federation traded most of its Mosins for dirty capitalist imperialist dollars, much to the consternation of gun safes and closets throughout the USA.

                  But Russian police still use a descendant of the Mosin as a sniper rifle, and I imagine there are a few ancient warehouses full of crates seeping the Soviet version of Cosmoline… And the 7.62x54R is still ab active service cartridge, mostly for light machine guns now.

                  That’s quite a success story when you think about it.

      • AK 47. I’ve been typing weirder than normal all day.

    • ACK. It’s supposed to be 47. Stupid fingers.

      • OK, makes sense. But then, here being here, I thought it might be some kind of AK-47/M-14 hybrid – an AK platform firing the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round. Hmmm . . .

        • which is currently available from VEPR, and thre used to be ones available from Saiga…

          but at this point you can get an AR10 for less.

        • No. Though honestly, a lot of guns in Portugal are frankensteined from foreign parts. One of my dreams is to take Larry to the Portuguese museum of guns, and have him go “WTF?” and take a lot of pictures and laugh.
          Thing is, if I were doing that, I’d have made a big deal of it, not just mentioned the characteristic sound of the 47

          • Eugene Stoner designed the M-16. The M-16 was a descendant of his earlier AR-10 design, the main difference being that the AR-10 was in .308 and the M-16 in .223.

            The AR-10 was always the odd alternative, and the only major purchaser was Portugal…

            There are plenty of “AR-10s” on the market now, but most of them share only the caliber and name with the original design.

            • My dad has a book on Portuguese guns. Unfortunately he lost it. His mission is to find it before I visit, so I can steal it… (Is it stealing if he knows I’m going to do it?)

              • Depends on whether you’re going to ever return it. And if he ever offered to let you borrow it.

                “Papa. You remember you offered to let me borrow your book 5 years ago? Well, I just did.”

                • He offered to GIVE it to me, he just can’t find it. In his defense, my mom thinks too many books are a problem, and she might have thrown it away.

                  • To many books can only be a problem if it’s effecting the structural integrity of the building. Then the problem is you need a better building!

                    • Mom thinks “too many books” is more than a dozen that look good in her front room (small) bookcase.
                      At one time she decided “books piled everywhere” were a problem for my bedroom, so she flung them out the window, to farmer’s field next door. That I still have a mother is a minor miracle and proves i’m not as much of a berserker as I thought.

            • not really, most of the commercial AR-10s use dimensionally similar parts in many places. Many use other magazines (there have been ones that take FAL mags and M-14 mags) or essentially scaled up AR mags (the SR-25 pattern mags) That and the charging handle was changed to the AR-style “T”. They have essentially been given the M-16 design changes (to make them mechanically similar to the M-16) and the A3 improvements like picatinny rail receivers instead of the old carry handle, especially because the military wants to use them as DMRs.

      • Send your fingers to bed without any supper! That’ll teach them.

  8. William O. B'Livion

    Dunno if it’s a continuity error, but in the beginning all he’s got in his checked bags is Knives, then it turns out he had a Glock in there.

    Probably hid it inside his hair dryer.

  9. Really looking forward to reading these one day!

  10. /me waits for Larry to react

  11. I’m hoping that last 20 ft woman is an hallucination.

  12. So will Grant undergo a sea-change? As The Bard would describe it.

  13. I guess Grant is too young to make a reference to “El Kabong.”