Where are they are Mars?

Are you all reading the first two acts of The Three Hundred ?

With story structure, we have many different things to consider.  In a short story, you have limited words to work with, which translates to limited plot devices, characters as well as the structure itself.  If we write a novel of 60 to 100 thousand words, then what?

More characters, more twists, and turns, and the structure changes.

The Three Hundred currently is 10K words and, there are more in the pipeline.    Sitting on Mars, we have a small crew investigating the infamous face on Mars.

What is it?

Back in the dark ages…1976, Viking 1 snapped a picture of a fantastic sight.  There on the surface in an area of Mars known as Cydonia was proof positive that there was life on Mars! 

Maybe not.

Taking a picture of a rock formation that appeared to have two eyes, nose and mouth, NASA released the image to the public to drum up interests in NASA and Mars.  It worked.  It worked a little too well as the rags that live on the shelves by the checkouts in stores, showed the face and tantalizing teases.

Writers like yours truly, use it as fodder for stories, and why not?

If you were standing on mars close to the two-mile-long structure, dare I say it, you would not recognize it as anything other than rocks.

For the purpose of this story, there is a rectangular opening. What are the odds of a perfectly rectangular opening on and edifice that looks like a large human face?

If and when we ever do get to Mars, I am confident that someone will snap a picture of it from ground level. Until then we can enjoy The Three hundred and other sci-fi fantasies

One of the craziest scams I saw recently was someone selling an acre of Mars for $12.  Much like the star registry, someone came up with selling land on another planet.

Can you just imagine some rich Texas oil tycoon buys Mars in total, finds a way to go there to discover that life is on Mars, and they are all larger than life spiders?

I am giving away a much better product, a fantasy of Mars, and all you have to do is to hit that follow button and read on when the next act drops.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

As always, I welcome your feedback, comments, and a friendly Hello.  We are all in this COVID Pandemic together. Why not find something bad like this virus to bring us together as a people, instead of divide us like so many in the media want to do?

Much Love -TW

Happy ‘Hump Day’

What does Hump day say to you?

As a writer of naughtiness on occasion, I have mixed feelings about the words ‘hump day.’

In the spirit of total transparency, I have issues with the appropriation of many words and colloquiums. 

I rather like the term gay as happy.  Now, if you were to say ‘I feel so gay,’  people would look at you strangely and might say, good for you for coming out.  

Imagine you are at a social event, and you are feeling rather ‘gay.’  You see your man friend drinking a girly drink with that skewer of pineapple and maraschino cherry.  Not wanting your friends to think him effeminate, you go and steal it playfully.  You then look at him with a cat-like grin, tell him ‘ha, I got your cherry.’

How might that conversation go?

While hump day is the reaching of the precipice of the week, and then the egress down the other side, how many of us think something very different?  That is one reason I think Wednesday night church service is a bad idea.  At the end of hump day, I don’t want to be thinking about Jesus on the cross.

***

If you are a regular, you no doubt have read the second act of The Three Hundred.

I was reading it over last night and found more typos than I usually allow but, I left them for this reason.

When you write something, don’t be so hard on yourself.  My mistakes occur because I think much faster than I can get the ideas down on paper.  In one sentence, there is ‘door something and door’ again. One tip I usually use is to read it aloud.  Printing is also an excellent way to catch errors.

I will go back and correct it soon.

I started ACT III, and I hit a stumbling block.

Here is a question for you who follow me.  Should I have them find living Martians or …should I have them find evidence of Martians?

I told you when I started, I was offering you the chance to have input, there It is.

Say something in the comments below.

Until then, my lovelies, stay safe, sane, and remember it is Hump day.  Make sure your loved ones know you are thinking of them.

Much Love -TW

Stopping to get water from the Martian ice, they did not expect to find this.

The Three Hundred ACT II

© TWScott 2020

Family

Dave headed back down the hall, passing different people who all seemed to be on a mission.  Nobody stopped to acknowledge him, which seemed rather strange.  The lights were out in his quarters, and there was a lump under the bedding.  Sam turned over with the sounds of him undressing.

“You did come back.”

The warmth under the covers was comforting while snuggling up to her.  Hours passed before there was a buzz at the door.

“Damnit!”

Tossing his robe on, he opened the door to find a young lady standing there.  Her English was broken but understandable.  “Bill, he ah sent me down here to remind you of your address to the crew.”

“What address is she talking about?” Sam asked, looking at the short blond-headed woman.

“It is right here on the schedule, 1400, address to the crew.  You are the captain, ya?”

David looked at her nodding his head.  The door shut with her still standing in the room.  “Where are your clothes?”

David looked at Sam and then back at this person.  “Excuse me, who are you?”

“Oh, begging pardon, I am Helga.  I am your assistant, butler, and go-to person.  I am also your …other.”

David was not sure what she meant, but he assumed it was a language thing.

“Oh, well I need to shower and dress, I will be along in about twenty minutes.”  The blue eyes pierced his soul as she did not waver or turn to leave.  Her short curly hair reminded him of a poodle his mother once had.

Helga left the bedroom as her short skirt left little to the imagination. She headed into the bathroom, turning on the shower, she returned.  “The water is perfect if you don’t mind.” She said, reaching for his robe.

Before he could object, she had his robe in hand while turning to reach for a hanger.  Spinning around, she looked at him, “Go; time is …fleeting.”

Sam thought it funny until Helga pulled the sheets off the bed.  “You too, miss, go help him get clean.”

Helga was unmindful to the nudity, which took Samantha aback.  Heading into the bathroom, David was somewhat surprised to see her joining him. “Do we have a keeper,” she asked?

Shaking his head, he passed her the soap.  David stepped out of the shower, and before he knew it, Helga was there with a warm towel.  That part of the treatment he liked.  Sam stepped out of the shower to see her drying him off and became jealous.  She wanted to say something when part of her ‘programming’ kicked in.  The feeling left as soon as it came up.  Helga turned to see her dripping water on the floor.  Pulling out a warm towel, she wrapped it around her before taking another to dry her hair.

“Sir…you need to hurry..” she said as she dried Samantha while setting her in a chair by the mirror.

David turned around, leaving the two heading for the closet. 

Helga watched to see that he was close to dressed before taking a brush to his hair. “Go, we will catch up with you.”

David hit the door, taking one last look at the two.  Samantha did not mind the pampering or her familiarity with either of them.

“What did you mean by, other?”

Helga looked at her in the mirror. She was rolling her hair on the brush while drying it.  She then took the time to explain it to her in detail.

The door to the main auditorium opened where David was on stage.

“Bill, why didn’t I know about this?”

“As our team makes it through the education process, they suddenly have a purpose.  Helga, who I believe you have met, is assigned to you and Sam.”

“Assigned?”

“The Ularins have different ways of structuring families, people, and social situations.  You might have noticed that we have a high ratio of women to men on this tub.”

“I hadn’t noticed, why is that?”

“I don’t want to spook you, but if the human race is to survive, we need babies.  Why do you think this ship is so large and there are so few of us?”

“Are you fu…kidding me?”

“Nope, the aftereffects of that virus have not been negated.  Samantha and others are going to be working on that.  Helga, well, she is to make sure you or Sam are not lonely or become depressed.”

David shook his head, thinking he was in some dream that he could not share with anyone.  “Tell me this, was this their choice?”

“Over thirty percent of these girls came from the red light district in different countries.  They are working girls.  Since they are healthy and have an aptitude for certain things, the Ularins grabbed them.  Yes, they are thrilled to be here, and for your edification, they were given the choice of who they wanted to serve.  There was contention for you and Sam, so they might be some sharing.”

“Oh my goodness, what will Sam think of this?”

“You, me, and everyone here has had a little tweaking of our brains; her programming will come to terms with it rather quickly, as will yours.”

“Programming, have we gone from slaves of the politicians and damned billionaires to slaves of the Ularins?”

“No, think of this as the ARC and David, we will probably never see the Ularins again.  This is our shot.”

“What is your role?”

“I am thankful that you and I were friends, I might have still been in the Congo when things happened.  Like always, you and I complement each other.  I have been given a little more of the game plan because I am detail-oriented.”

David shook his head, thinking about what Sam was surely thinking.

The background sounds in the room dropped down to dull roar as Sam and Helga walked on the stage.

Sam stood beside him, wrapping her arm around his.  David glanced at her, and she just smiled. Helga took her place directly behind the two.  She was, among other things, their manager.

Bill tapped the microphone causing the room to become still.  Sam looked at David and then said. “I will start this.”

David’s nostrils flared as he watched her step forward.

By now, you all know as much as any of us.  The world we grew up on will be uninhabitable for at least ten years.  The release of nuclear bombs has triggered multiple volcanic eruptions, including the supervolcano under Yellowstone.  As you can see on the monitor, the Earth is shrouded in clouds and particulate matter, which will block the sun from reaching the ground.  If we are right, the Earth will enter an ice age after the firestorms from all of the explosions.

After the particulate matter settles, there is the radiation that was released.  If anything survives at all, it might be sea life.

As you all have experienced by now, our history sucks.  Incredibly, this race of beings sought to save any of us from ourselves.  Those of us on this ship represent .0000009 percent of the Earth’s population, rounded up.   David and I just discovered a few moments ago that our lives would never be as they were.  Our customs and mores must be malleable.  From what I am told, there have been no serious objections.  Visit me if you have any issues, and I will see if I can fix them.

We have three months’ worth of supplies before this ship coast in the vacuum of space until we all either starve, run out of oxygen, or, we all pitch in using whatever talents we have and make this work.

It appears that I am to be a doctor.  If any of you were trained in medical procedures, I would like you to meet with me in room 259, after our captain dismisses us.

David approached the podium.  “Nice speech.”

“I wanted you to have some time to clear your head and get some thoughts together, did it work?”

He smiled and chuckled as he made his way to the podium.  Passing by the short blond in the blue ruffled dress, he glanced at her again, smiled, and turned his attention to the crowd.

I don’t think I can stress the importance of this mission any more succinctly than Sam just did.  I would like to add that we are all one rather large family.  Each of us has a job, at least one task to perform.  I would like to meet with you in the conference center if your education includes anything related to space, physics, Astro-physics, or particle physics.

“Bill, do you want to say anything?”

Yes, thanks.  While the two groups of people that David and Sam want to speak with head that way now, the rest of you stay here, I want to meet you and get an idea of what you all do.

Several people headed off following Sam.  David wondered why so many but let it go—leading many to the conference center, around fifty people more women than men followed him.

Bill stayed there with around two hundred people.

“You may have noticed we are chugging along right now because we don’t know where to go.  In this room there are pieces of the puzzle we must learn.  Once we all meet, I hope we can give David, the captain, some input as to a plan.  Any questions?” Bill asked

“Ya, I am to take care of the water.  There is lots of it on comets, asteroids, and the poles of Mars.  I would suggest we head to the red planet first.”

“Are we low on water?”

“Nine, but that large glass top up there is for farming and recreation.  Many of us are farmers, and we need to get things planted if we intend to have fruits and vegetables.”

“How many farmers here?”  

Over a hundred people raised their hands.

“Would you folks go up to the garden area, inventory what we have and what we need.  Peter, I have you down as our water person, are there others?”

Over two dozen raised their hands.  Bill learned they were trained on different systems on the ship

Red Mud

Bill met with the engineers that made the ship work. When he talked with David, they developed a plan.

They were learning that the ship was capable of faster than light travel.  That was an exciting proposition.  How much faster was the question?  The question about why a star system 300 light-years away puzzled them.

David returned to his room to find Sam and Helga sitting on the couch, talking.  “Ladies, I have been distracted by this most of the day.  How is this supposed to work?”

“We were debating those very questions.  It would seem that many of the couples and men on this ship are having similar conversations.  Helga has offered it up this way.  We have a spare room which I know you were thinking was your office.  We can make it a bedroom for her.”

Helga looked at the two of them.  That is not what she wanted.  She was looking for acceptance.

“That is not what you had in mind, is it?”

“No, I will if that is what you want, but I would rather be part of your unit.”

“Unit?”

“She means a family unit. She would be one of us.  You commented on the size of this bed, now we know why.”

“Sammy, what do you think about all this?”

“David, she not only pleases you, but she pleases me.  We please each other.”

“Bill was telling me about this, and I just about choked on my coffee.”

“You don’t want that?” Sam asked.

“I didn’t say that.  I have loved you since we were kids, and I don’t know how this all works.”

“Well, if we will permit it, that shower is more than large enough for three of us.  Not only can she dry you off, but she can scrub you too, and you can scrub her and so on.”

“When I was in college, a group of us got drunk on cheap wine.  When the bottle was empty, we all ended up in one large pile of flesh on the bed.  Sam, do you remember that?”

Helga was listening to them.  She realized that they were talking themselves into the relationship.  As they spoke, she began to undress.  The conversation stopped as both of them were now watching this blond vixen.  Not only had she been in the red light district, but she had worked on stage.  All of those talents were in use by the time she landed on the bed with them.  Kissing Samantha first, and then David, the pile of flesh was repeated without the Ripple.

Similar scenes played out throughout the ship. The Ularins had picked the ratio of more women than men for a reason.  They needed to get past their first taboo and start the process of creating their replacements. 

As shifts went on and others came off, the demeanor of the crew was much better every hour they were together. 

Setting a course for the red planet, Bill and David watched the screen as Mars became larger than life.

“I used to see this through my telescope, never in my life did I think I would be this close.”

“So we just stick a straw into the snow and suck up water,” David asked?

“No, there are smaller ships in the launch bay that have water tanks on board.  We thought we would keep this water separate from our potable water, just in case.”

“In case?”

“The planet is dead.  Anything that was once alive is dead because there is no atmosphere or magnetic shield to protect it from cosmic radiation.”

“Bill, if this is so, why not just add to our water?”

“Theoretically, it should be dead.  We still don’t want to take any chances.”

Bill headed off to speak with the team that was going to acquire the water.  Running biological scans of the water was part of the plan.

They were staring at the planet below them. David could see where water had once been.  Mars was once alive; he knew it.  Orbiting over the South Pole, the team left the ship heading to the surface.  David thought about taking one of the trips to the surface when Helga stopped him.

He and Sam had been talking when she came out of the bathroom, dripping wet. “You are not going down there.” She said.  Sam got up getting a towel to cover her, and return the favor.

“I am the captain, why can’t I go?”

“You are the captain, which is why you can’t go.  Let the women do this.”

“You mean the crew is all women?”

“Yes, we are expendable.”

“Nobody is expendable!”

Sam interjected, “she is right, there are more of us than men.  We need to be pragmatic about this and David; you are not leaving this ship until we reach wherever we are going.”

“Who is the captain?”

Helga pushed him back on the bed, landing on top of him.  “You are when we let you.”  Stopping his talking any further by kissing him, Sam watched and was suddenly very aroused by her actions.  Her milk-white skin was almost too perfect.

***

With all the crew back on board, they had acquired tens of thousands of gallons of water from mars.  Detecting Nothing in it that was harmful, they begin to farm.

The area topside was under a glass dome made in such a way that the lower the light available, the more it would reflect light to the surface.  It was a special glass that was tougher than steel, impervious to meteorites, and very transparent.

David went up to look at the farm.  Rows of different plants were growing.  Many of the farmers took turns caring for the plants.  They were forced to play the role of the honey bee, which would require the hundred or so farmers to manage it.

The warmth under the dome caused many to wear little, while playing farmer.  David and Sam went to walk through a part of the farm set up as a garden.  They noticed many topless ladies and a few men who were also just wearing pants.

“Do we have a ship of nudists?”

“If they are happy, do you care?”

“No, are they playing in the water over there?”

A girl went running by as another was chasing her with the hose. “I think so.”

“This is still Martian water, right?”

“There is Nothing in it.  We have tested it; I think some these guys have drunk from that hose.”

David shook his head.  “My gut tells me that it is a bad idea.  Doctor, I want you to check anyone who has drunk this water.”

“David, you are a little paranoid.”

The light from above cast just enough of a shadow to give him contrast of the soil.

“Sammy, that dirt has a red ting to it, why?”

The smile left her face as she looked down to see what he was talking about. “Shit!”

David yelled at all who could hear until he got their attention.

“The doctors are going to be checking each of you.  It would seem that the Martian water does have something going on with it.”

Soil samples were quickly analyzed to find that something was growing beside their plants.  A bacteria of an unknown kind was in the water and now contaminated their entire farm. 

When people began to have strange growths on their skin, the entire medical staff went into action.

Martians

“How many are infected, Skipper?”

“Bill, dammit, I knew better.  I knew it was a bad idea, and now we have alien fungus or something infecting the entire farm and all of the farmers.”

“Are they quarantined?”

“I have them restricted to the section of the ship closest to the farm.”

“We can’t set it on fire, what do we do?”

“Nothing yet, I have them tending to the plants as if there were Nothing wrong.  The fungus on the farmers is Nothing more than a minor irritant at this point.  The botanist is looking in on the farm.  The scientists are examining the water.  We need to know what we are dealing with before we react.”

“What about the people who drank the water?”

“Don’t know.  Sam thinks their stomach acid might save them.  She has applied a weak version hydrochloric acid to some fungus on one of the farmers, and it seems to have killed it.”

“We should have radiated that water before we brought it on board.”

“If we survive this, we will have other challenges.”

The medical crew applied fungicide to the growths on the farmers.  After a few days, the fungi seemed to vanish.  The botanist kept up with the farm and noticed the plants were growing much better than before.  Examining the root system under a microscope, they were surprised to see fungi that appeared to be very much like mycorrhizal fungi.

“Wait, you are telling me this is similar to what we had on earth?”

“Other than the part where it is growing on the dirt, pretty much.  It seems to have made the dirt work better, allowing a better root system for the plants.”

“Sam, what do you think?”

“I think we should sterilize that water and not worry about the plants.  It appears that the farmers were infected by playing in the water.”

Bill listened in on the conversation while thinking about what could have happened.  They could ill afford any more screw-ups.

Orbiting the planet, one of the science officers had been scanning the surface.  Finding a structure under the surface, she alerted the crew.

“What kind of structure?”

“There is a subterranean structure close to this thing that looks like a face.”

“Do you realize how many people have postulated about what this is?”

“Skipper, we have a chance to see what it is.  What do you think?”

“Everything we do risk the success of our mission.  Still, if there is a structure and that thing is not an aberration of wind-blown stone, it would be kind of cool to know for sure.  How is our fuel holding out?”

“We have well over 90 percent of it left.  This thing must get two million miles to the gallon.” Bill joked.

“Why don’t you handle the team for the surface? I need to work with the scientist to see if we can locate a source of fuel.”

“Skipper, should I go with them?”

“Do you want to?”

Bill smiled for the first time since this adventure started.  “Tell the Amazons that I said it was ok.”

He laughed as he left the board room.  David knew that they could die at any moment.  They were babes in the woods.  Mars was in their back yard. This adventure was probably a once in a lifetime chance to learn about the planet.

David met with the scientist as they pontificated about dark matter.  The ‘teacher’ had told them much, but it did not allude to where they might find it.  He sat in the board room as several of them other prattled on about different theories.

Flipping through photographs of different images captured by stellar photography, he could not help but stare at the Andromeda galaxy.

One picture after another caused David’s attention to fade.  A scientist realized that David was not paying attention to them.

“Are we boring you,” One of them asked?

“Pete, tell me, what holds these galaxies together like this?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are the arms twisted like that all on one plane?”

“We think gravity from a black hole, why?”

David talked to them for several minutes about black holes and such when it hit him.  “What if dark matter is holding things together?”

“Between the arms?”

“Yes, what if a black hole is nothing more than an abundance of dark matter?”

“We think a black hole is a tear in space.”

“How would that create gravity?”

“We can solve this question quickly enough; there is an instrument on this ship that detects black holes.”

David looked at him.  “Do you suppose that could be like a GPS for the gas station?”

“Maybe, it is a hell of a risk.”

“What about a small black hole, don’t they have those?”

“If you are right, we have several tanks full of the stuff of black holes.”

“When Bill and the team get back, locate a small black hole, and let’s see what happens.  Also, while we are waiting, why not see if there is other equipment on board for, I don’t know, collecting things like black hole material.”

The team left the board room to explore the ship, while Bill and his team were making their way to the surface.

***

Turbulence buffeted the ship as it made its way through the thin Martian atmosphere.  Dust devils the size of mountains on Earth tracked the grounds under them.  Vectoring around one of the more giant vortices, Bill set down close to the monolithic edifice.  Once they were all in atmospherically controlled outfits, they became the first humans to step on Mars.

There were no cameras, no fancy words that would go down in the history books.  He did not even have a flag to hammer into the soil.

Those gathering the water never left the ship.  Had Dave been more protective, this visit might not have happened.

Pointing to what looked like a rectangular opening to something, the four-headed in that direction. 

They had never been off on another planet before.  The ‘teacher’ had briefed them on proper procedures for off-world travel.  Still, even with the education, they did not anticipate the lightness in their steps or the fact that they could see the wind moving sand and dust around, if they opened their visor, they would die instantly.

As civilian citizens learning about barometric pressure meant little to them.  Bill knew that there was so low pressure, it would be as if they were in a vacuum.

Standing at the base of the monolith, it was clear this was made by some form of intelligence.

“I guess this answers the question about life on Mars.”

Turning on lights on their suits, they entered the room.  Equipment, as they had never imagined, lined the walls inside.  The floor was covered with piles of red dirt that had blown in from eons of the door open door.

Recording what they were looking at, the team examined the intricacy of the gauges, knobs, and so forth. 

“I wonder how old this stuff is?”  A team member asked.

“It looks dead as a doornail, but just the same don’t touch anything,” Bill said.

“Look, there is a door over there.  If my scans are correct, that leads to a hidden chamber.”

“By the size of the doors, whoever was here must have been about ten feet tall.”

Bill walked over to the door in the back of the room.  Buttons by the door were the only way he could see of entering or opening the door.  Touching a button, the lights came on in the room.

Their heart rate jumped as they heard the door behind them closing.

“Shit!” Bill said.

“Hang on Bill, this is probably a way to keep the air pressure from the outside, effecting that beyond that door.”

They heard sounds of wind whistling.  Soon there were vortices of sorts blowing dust and sand about at first clouding the air around them.  Bill noticed the air clearing as a filtration system had activated cleaning all the sand and dirt from the room.  Looking at a gauge on his suit, he saw the pressure was adjusting closer to what they were accustomed to on Earth.

One of the team members pulled out an instrument monitoring the actual air in the room. 

“What is it doing, Dana?”

“Oxygen content is rising.  If it were to continue, this would be breathable.”

“What about pathogens?”

“Sir, this planet is sterilized dead.  That fungus we picked up is only there because there is water.  Anyway, I am finding Nothing organic.”

“Something is producing oxygen.”

“Not just that, sir,” Jane said.

“What.”

“Detecting trace amounts of humidity, something is allowing water to survive here.”

Calling the ship, there was no answer.

The equipment around them began glowing.  Panels lite up as monitors sprang to life.

“If a little green man pops out that door….”

“We have no weapons, so let’s hope if they do, they are friendly,” Bill said.

***

“David, I am not getting any signal from the biometrics of the team.”

Speaking to his science officer, David asked. “Do you have any readings on where they are?”

“There ship is close to that monolith.  They reported there was an opening, and they were going to investigate.”

“Keep trying to raise them.”

David went off to find Sam.  Heading to the galley he found many but not her.  His quarters were next on his list.  Opening the door, he saw her, with Helga.

They were engaged in pillow talk when he entered the room.  Glancing at him, the soulful look from Sam was met with the analytical mind of Helga.

“You’re not expected for another three hours,” Helga stated.

“These are my quarters, that is my bed, and that is my…Samantha.”

Sam jumped out of bed, grabbing a robe. “What is going on with you?”

Looking down at the floor, he shook his head.  “Some things are going on, and I wanted to talk them over with you.”

Pulling him to the bed, Helga scooted over so he could sit.

“David, Helga is our…too.  We can label her if you like, but she loves you as much as she loves me.”

“You’re right, Helga, this is still new to me.”

Helga looked at him, crawling up beside him.  Placing her warm body next to his, her face was now within inches of his. “I understand more than you know.” Kissing him, he forgot why he came looking in the first place.  His mind was soon drifting to these two had to offer before Sam stopped them.

“I sense there is more on your mind than an afternoon …nap..”

Sitting back up, Helga was once again planted at his left side.  His arm around her waist was more than a distraction.  Her warmth and supple skin made it hard for him to concentrate.

Standing, she sat next to Sam while he looked at them.

“Bill and his crew our out of contact with us.  Biometrics is reporting a loss of signal with their suits.   I am worried, and I wanted your opinion.”

“David, I would love to walk on Mars.  Why don’t we see if we can land the ship close to them so we can send out search parties?”

“This ship is the size of a small city.  It makes an aircraft carrier seem like a yacht.  You want me to land it on the planet?”

“It was on the moon; it was under our ocean for a time, let’s see if there is enough flat surface around there where we can put down.”

“When was it under our ocean?”

“The Ularins were examining our sea life.  I got a full lesson from one of my medical courses.”

“You have been rather subdued Helga, what do you think?”

“My mind was thinking of other things, and you interrupted that.  What I know about this ship, it will take hours to get it ready to land.  Why not tell the crew to get it ready, and then you take a nap before we have dinner.”

Samantha smiled, tossing the robe on the chair, sitting back down with Helga.

“Yes, why don’t you do that?”

Helga was worse than being drunk.  Every time he was around her, it was as if he turned into a college kid who just got the keys to his parent’s car.

He smiled at the two of them.  “I will be back in a jiff, keep your motors running.”

Truth

There is no your truth, or my truth, there is only ‘The Truth.’

Reading your blogs, many of you are philosophers. You folks are having thoughts on current events that provide for a healthy debate. 

Could Bloggers be replacements for journalists?

Looking at a story through the lens of the media, often the story is colored with opinion, not fact.  The media creates stories based on belief and a smattering of the facts on both sides of the aisle.  They have an agenda.

Ms. Harris was interviewed on late-night TV by a comedian who called her out on the primary debate. Leading up to and during the debate, she called Joe racists, and accused him of pedophilia, and said that the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct was credible, and she believed her.

During the interview, he asked her how she could be the running mate of a man that was that flawed.

Laughing hysterically, she responded, ‘that was a debate.’

In her mind, the truth has no place in politics.  The media fawned over her performance, calling her a rising star. 

You say whatever you think your audience wants to hear.  You do whatever it takes to win.  I find that disturbing on so many levels.

What I believe and have seen a history of, politicians will say or do whatever it takes to sway public opinion.  The problem is this. 

We have the 1rst amendment.   The press are to keep the rich and powerful in check.  China, for instance, if their journalist wrote an unflattering story of Xi Jinping, they would disappear forever.  In the US, that is not supposed to be the way it is.

For those of you who think that all of the people who had dirt on the Clintons, died of suicide, you probably also think Epstein hung himself.   

Her answer sets a dangerous precedence.  She is not even trying to hide the fact that she is a pathological liar.  

Since we know this about her, we have no clue what she really stands for. 

***

I have some good news.

The second ACT of The Three hundred is in editing.    Stay tuned to see what happens as our intrepid survivors of the earth are now out in space, on a ship the size of a small city.

ACT III started about 3 this morning.  Was there life on Mars?

Hit that follow button if you haven’t already.

Stay safe, calm and cool.  We will get through it, and come out the other side a lot wiser and stronger.

Cheers -TW

Three Hundred Update

Now we learn that the face on Mars is not just our mind playing tricks.

This is a quick note to let you know that act II is well under way. At present, a small contingent of the ship has left for the surface of Mars.

While getting water from the polar caps, they found that upon closer inspection the FACE on Mars appears to have subterranean structures.

They have been stuck there for two days while I dream up what they will find.

Is this important to the story? Yes

Is it critical, not sure.

What will they find? You will have to follow me and wait like the rest of us to discover the true story on the face on MARS.

I hope you all had a perfectly splendid weekend and that your Monday is not too objectionable.

Much Love -TW

The Three Hundred

David never suspected that the Ularins targeted him to save the human race.

Blinding White Light

The white orb in the distance is all that was left of home.  Once a thriving population of over three billion people, it was a cold dead rock.  The beacon alerting wayfaring travelers to steer clear of this world was set on automatic. 

Powered by the radiation emitted from the globe, the message would repeat until such a time there was insufficient radiation to fuel it. The message created in all known languages warned of the extreme radiation hazard.

“We set the last of the beacons, what now?”

“We have enough supplies for three months give or take. Did the Ularins leave us anything in the database regarding habitable planets?”

“They wiped all of the information except one-star system.”

“Where is it?”

“300 light-years in that direction,” Bill said, pointing to a small blue dot.

“The binary sun?”

“It is nothing like we are used to.  Two blue stars locked into a death spiral.  Why that star system and not one like ours is anyone’s guess.”

“That is in the handle of the big dipper, isn’t it?”

“Yep.”

“We are looking at an image three hundred years old, for all we know it has collided and is already a supernova.”

“They selected us and brought us to this ship; they must have had a plan,” Bill said.

“They gave us a puzzle and a fighting chance.  We have two hundred and ninety-eight other souls on board; let’s hope one of them has some ideas.”

Bill turned to leave as David sat there looking at the planet, which was no longer blue.  Passing outside the orbit of the moon, the earth appeared much like Venus.  A white dot against the ebony backdrop of nothingness.

The old base on the moon was now vacant, as the last of the Ularins headed out on their next mission.

***

Years before, David had been an advocate for humanitarian groups to eradicate the diseases where the plague had popped up.  There were hot spots created by mass migrations of people who had no food.  Much like the locust that gave them a reason to migrate, they traveled in packs overwhelming ‘civilized society.’ Destroying infrastructure, taking what they wanted before burning it to the ground, they murdered the people who were there before them..

His part of the military focused on finding those responsible and stopping them by any means possible.  Finding the blackened remains of towns, David threw up the first time he saw what was left behind.

Pregnant women had been tortured, their breasts cut off, and babies cut from them only to be eaten.

Young women were taken and raped, men were killed, and children either became slaves or were eaten.  Finding children and babies on spits over what was an open fire shocked them profoundly.  David and his group were disgusted by these animals.  They sought to wipe them from the face of the earth. Society had been pushed to the brink. Those that were pushed, de-evolved into the savages they came from eons ago.  His anger was causing him to de-evolve too.

Lawlessness broke out in every country, and the government ceased to be effective.  Killing its own people by the tens of thousands only sparked outrage by civilized society.  A civil war between the people and the government pitted father against son.

David left the military when his tour was up.  He did not like where it was headed. The fabric of the military broke down when they were forced to use missiles, tanks, and other weapons of war in the suburbs where they grew up.

Turning their weapons on their respective governments, society stopped.

A virus created to eliminate the old and sickly was set loose on humanity. The elite held the formula for the vaccine and kept it a secret.  The virus would remove millions without one bullet fired.  The single strand of RNA, like most unstable viruses, evolved.  The vaccine designed to protect the elite failed.

This virus was a genetic doomsday device.  Created to be thousands of times more infectious than its closest related cousin, it was unstoppable. 

Turning the body’s defenses against itself, those who caught it died a most horrific death.  Much like fish removed from the water and left on the beach to gasp for breath, this was the fate of billions of people, young and old alike.

The earth was languishing in pestilence. Millions were dying every day.  Large fires to eliminate the bodies that were once a weekly occurrence, turned daily.  Massive fires never ceased to reduce the bodies and try to control the plague. Some countries hauled the remains up to active volcanoes, where the earth could devour its own.

The odor of burning human remains only magnified the stench of rotting flesh.  No pocket full of posies would fix this.

What were once a proud people, were now piles of porcelain teeth, titanium knees, and hips, with the occasional golden nugget that was once the pride of someone’s mouth.

The Ularins had been watching from the moon.  Listening to our broadcasts, they had seen it all before.  An intergalactic police force, they waited patiently to see if the humans would evolve.

With the death of so many, so too was the end of any infrastructure to supply food.  Those that would survive would need to be the ‘master race.’

Pulling pages from Joseph Goebbels’s life, the media became the propaganda machine controlling the people through fear, emotional triggers, and hunger. There were still megalomaniacs in the world who believed that some form of equilibrium would occur, and they could swoop in and offer them a solution.

The virus had other ideas.  Science had reached its zenith and fell short of its ability to sustain itself. Those who worked to cure the effects of the illness succumbed to it.

The media let the phrase slip out, ‘A man who does not benefit the world by his life does so by his death.’

Re-writing ancient text to include this aphorism into dogma, had a minimal effect.  Many who had never cracked the sacred book before, had little idea what was original and what had been added as a control mechanism.  History had been erased by those who felt they knew better.

Those that read the text and committed suicide to aid the rest were too few to be of any use. 

Extolling the virtues of abortions through the media, were also too little too late.

Little did those who tried to limit man’s population know that they would need babies.  While supply and demand for resources should equal out, the virus had other plans.

Gang warfare became a nightly occurrence as city after city was torched by the ‘have nots.’ Politicians hoping to capitalize on their votes, lost control and soon became victims of the mob.

As resources became harder to come by, the average age of those that needed to die went down from 70, to 60, and then to 50.

The virus was tweaked again and released on to the world stage.  Younger megalomaniacs took over the development of the virus, the war efforts, and the propaganda.

Children were slaves and forced to work in the fields.  If they wanted to live, they worked from sun up to sundown.

The media dutifully told the world what was wrong, and whose fault it was. Of course, what they were preaching was whatever the elites told them to say.  Government controlled fact-checkers quickly debunked clandestine videos of the truth.

Slavery by non-disabled people was praised as patriotic, even when it meant bringing most of the food to the ivory towers of the gods.

The Ularins paid attention from their base 250,000 miles above the earth. Scouting missions were a constant as even certain media would release reports of UFOs by independent journalists.  The mainstream media used those reports as distractions. 

***

David had worked hard teaching people how to farm.  People who had grown up in front of computer screens were thrust back into an agrarian culture.  He had grown up in Iowa and knew all about Farming.

With the death of the internet, social media lost its control over the masses.  Radio and TV were next to come under assault from the lack of power.

When Samantha, his old neighbor, heard what David was up to, she contacted him via radio, using solar panels and batteries for power.  Traveling home, the two were once again on the same farm. 

He listened from the porch as he heard her inside with pots and pans on the top of the old potbelly stove.  The aroma of cornbread and roasted chicken filled the air.  Sitting on the porch of his parent’s house, the stars were more vivid than he had ever seen them.  Samantha was inside, trying to keep from burning their dinner.

Once the government fell, those who still had weapons put an end to the roving gangs.  It was not only the criminals that did not turn in their guns; it was also the farmers, the people who did not live in the city, and those who knew history.

What the virus did not kill, they did.  It was kill, or be killed. Those that knew how to survive bit their lips and defended what was theirs. 

With no lawyers, judges, or politicians left, the society which survived the plague, and the riots were polite.  It was not uncommon to ride into town and see people with stretched out necks, swinging in the breezes. The law of the six-gun returned overnight. The gang bangers did not know how to react when people fought back. 

The silent majority was silent no more. 

Coyotes from the river sent out their lonely calls. David made sure his livestock was safely in the barn.  Not unlike the roving gangs, the varmints were hungry too and were much more cunning.  David had set traps, as coyotes are nothing more than dogs that are not tame.  Dog meat is edible.

While David was looking up that stars, he had little clue that someone was looking down at him.

***

The roving gangs that were still alive brought their unique diseases with them.  Setting up radio links, the farmers knew their movements.  Assaulting them on their own grounds, there were more piles of bodies that needed to be discarded.

You either provided for the common good, or you died.  Goebbels would be proud.

The population of the planet went from billions to millions to thousands.  The remoteness of the clans halted the spread of the virus.  If they controlled the gangs, the virus would stay at bay.

The rich and powerful became the hunted. People learned the truth about the media, the lies, and what governments had done to them.  Those who were filthy rich became worm food.  Even on their private islands, they were sought out and destroyed for their treachery.  The list of billionaires who played god became the worlds most wanted.  There was not a safe place for them to hide. They had betrayed everyone, even their servants.

Part of the original design of the virus was to sterilize women.  Anti-abortion groups made it too hard to get the population under control.  The designers of the virus had the virus attack the endocrine system, among other things causing the hormones that generally control the fertility process, to stop working. 

New births plummeted before the virus mutated, eventually taking out those who were vaccinated against it.

Distancing on a massive scale would stop the spread but ensure that if they ever traveled too far from their clan, there was mutually assured destruction. Each group had their unique genetic version of the virus.  Their herd immunity only protected them.  They thought that was their answer until the biting insects infected the animals that occupied the skies, and even the livestock.

Another reason for the extreme distance requirement is the virus was airborne.  In order not to panic the masses, the governments of the world did not share that information, using draconian methods to control the spread instead.  If the virus spread, they blamed the population and not the fact that it was airborne.  They missed the mosquito as a carrier. Nobody suspected it until a researcher discovered it while researching other pathogens that seem to be mutating and traveling.

Since it could only be seen under an electron microscope, the researcher that discovered it disappeared before she had time to announce her findings, so the gods thought.

A release from a hand written note made it an underground radio station that informed the public much to the chagrin of the government.  To control the masses they needed to control the flow of information.

This bit of data turned citizen against citizen, which was another distraction from the truth.  There were reasons that the gods did not wear PPE.  They knew it was worthless.

Sterilized and separated, radio from a primitive time allowed some to communicate.  Creating energy from wind, solar, and biofuel, gave some lights, but few knew how to utilize feces as a form of fuel. Even fewer knew how to farm.  These electrical devices had a finite life span. There were no more factories.  If they could not make it, grow it, or steal it, they did not have it.

The gradual demise of the animal called man was in the works.  Those who stayed in the city did not last long.  That is where the gangs stayed until all of the resources had been depleted.  Rats soon were the only living creatures that inhabited the skyscrapers, where the gods used to live.  They carried their own version of destruction.  The bubonic plague followed the rats into the streets, alleys, and gutters where the dead and dying laid, waiting to become food for the vermin.

The gods were massacred by the very people they sought to control.  When the lights went out, and money was no longer useful, their own guards turned on them.  Some gods were tossed off the roof of the 32nd floor for an audience who craved blood.  Anger filled their hearts. After there was no more gods to destroy, they turned on each other.  The streets ran red, attracting more rats to the feeding frenzy.

History was replete with this very behavior, but of course, the history books had been destroyed. They had been labeled as racist, homophobic, and sexist. The gods knew that an ignorant society was much easier to control than one who was educated.  They had learned this from the days before the civil war when it was illegal to teach a slave to read.  The politicians who promoted that law remembered it, and used it without mercy.

A select few gods had their fingers on the buttons of a nuclear arsenal.  If they were going to go, they were taking the rest with them. 

***

With the ability to adapt, very much like a chameleon, the Ularins found the cure for the virus. Inoculated themselves before embarking on their missions, they cured and disinfected all those subjects that were under consideration before abducting them.  From their ship in orbit, the Ularins watched as once brightly lit areas of the globe went dark, they knew the end was near.  From their base on the moon, the noise of the once-bustling world diminished.  That noise is what drew them to this part of the galaxy.  As the radio emissions slowly faded, TV signals were broadcast at diminished power levels, with far fewer signals detected.

Artificial satellites went silent, piquing the curiosity of the Ularins.  Some of the satellites lost their geosynchronous orbit, raining down on the planet below in a spectacle of fireballs.  With the chaos on the streets, nobody even noticed when the international space station lost altitude, breaching the earth’s atmosphere at over 17,000 miles an hour.  Had people been alive on board, they might have been able to warn the people below that there was incoming.  Sadly the occupants had perished from starvation, as there was nobody to send supplies to them.

The fireball lit up the night sky over Siberia before exploding with the force of an atomic blast.  A few in the northern parts of Alaska felt the shockwave but had no idea what caused it.

Sporadic low power communications interested the Ularins, who soon had targets of places to visit.

The time to harvest was near. Their job was clear, find the best and the brightest of the population, and remove them before the extinction event.   They had already found the first two, they needed three hundred total.

Stars

David sat in the control center as people from different countries were educated on the ship’s systems.  The Ularins had developed a virtual teaching tool, much like some of the video games that were produced.  Unlike the video games which used the body’s senses, this tool went right into the neural pathways of the brain, creating synapses and neural pathways as needed.

The humans were unaware that their animalistic instincts for fight or flight were being modified.  Those lower lizard brain functions were responsible for the carnage of that world throughout its troubled history.

Downloading every bit of the earth’s history, the humans were also taught it in painstaking detail. 

The Ularins allowed them to see, feel, smell, and taste the entire history of their world.  From Hitler to the Rape of NanJing, they experienced all of it.  When Vlad the Impaler was part of the lesson, many were shocked beyond belief.  This was the price these three hundred people must pay for their salvation. This was their lineage, their history.  The evil people that they hailed from were responsible for the horrific deaths of millions, and these three hundred saw it all.  The end of the lesson was the creation of the virus and the evil atrocities that greedy people perform for power.

The failure of the education system was directly to blame for the massacres throughout human history.  While the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result, if they didn’t know history, they could not begin to comprehend why ideologies like socialism would never work. 

David was still ruminating over some history. The PTSD caused by the lesson was healed before the lesson terminated.  The memories would never leave.

Samantha could tell he was deep in thought.    Being healed did not stop one from thinking about what they learned. This method of teaching allowed one to experience all of it with all of your senses.  There was not shutting your eyes or plugging your ears.  The three hundred were to complete their education before being allowed to pilot an intergalactic spaceship.

They realized how evil the gods were.  Their right to vote was never so important to them after they learned why.  They and people like them put some of those gods in their ivory towers.

The importance of their vote never occurred to many, as they were all lost in their little worlds.  That was not their fault.

They were damned sure going to know how this happened. The Ularins would make sure they understood why their race was now on the verge of extinction. They would know why their world was at the beginning of a nuclear winter.

Samantha appeared, breaking David’s trance.

“Are you coming to bed?”

“I don’t know, look where we are.”

“Dave, ever since they took us off the farm, you have had little sleep. You need to rest to stay healthy.”

Dave allowed her to take his hand, leading him off the central control room floor.  Bill took over as she led him away, down the main corridor toward their quarters.

Sitting on the bed, he watched as the moon was much closer. “Look, you can see where their base was.”

Sam looked at the crater, and what was left of the edifice, they lived in.  Removing her clothes, she cleared her throat.  Dave turned around to see that sleep was not forefront in her mind.

Hours later, he awoke with her in his arm.  They were past the moon, headed out of the solar system, or so he thought.

“Can’t sleep?”

Dave looked over at her brushing her auburn hair from her face.  “I slept.”

“Three hours is not much sleep.”

“Why did they pick us?”

“Are we going to have that conversation again?”

“Sam, they put us in charge of three hundred lives.  These are all that is left of the race known as humans.  Surely there are better-qualified people on board to lead us.”

“I think your humility has something to do with why we are in charge.  Are you worried about the supplies and how we are going to survive?”

“That is part of it, we are out here in space, passing by the moon with only this small minuscule part of billions of stars mapped out for us.  Why there?  We are leaving our home in the dust as it were.”

David knew he could go where he wanted, but for some reason, the Ularins had only mapped out this particular region of space.  They did not tell them why.  It was like breadcrumbs in space, leading them to a binary star system. 

The crew was going through the education campaign that was more like indoctrination. The computer downloaded their memories and then added to them.  These would be the brightest and best of the human race.

David and Sam had gone through it first before the others were aboard.  The image of the white flashes from the planet below them still played in his mind.  Someone, several others had thought there could be a winner with nukes.  David did not know that the minuteman defense system was set to automatic.  When an incoming target was confirmed, the system responded in kind.

“I think we can go back and learn more if we need more information.” She said.

“How do you know that?”

“Dave, they made me a kind of doctor.  As we proceed, I have to go back and learn more.  That thing creates these pathways between the hemispheres of our brains. The more pathways the more we can learn.”

“I don’t want another history lesson.”

“We come from pretty shitty people.  They wanted us to know that.  We are capable of great things too, we have to choose.  We can dream wonderful things or we can dream evil things.  Now that we understand the evil, I don’t think anyone who goes through that would pick it.”

“I hope not, I would hate to have a psychopath on board.”

“They will not allow a mentally disturbed person to inhabit this ship.”

“What does that mean?”

“If they are defective we will jettison their body in to space. That teacher is also judge and jury.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“You do now, hope the Ularins picked wisely.”

The beeping sound from the door buzzer brought him back to the present.  Pulling the sheet up over Sam, he dawned a robe and went to the door.

“Bill wants to see you; he thinks he has an idea.”

“Give me ten minutes; I will meet him in the conference center.”

Sam turned over to see him tossing the robe on a chair.  “No time for an encore performance?”

The chuckle caught her by surprise.  “I don’t remember you ever being this amorous on the farm.”

“We were not safe on the farm.  I had to cook as a cavewoman might cook.  No, I was not in the mood.”

“We are in space, we have a limited amount of supplies, and I am still waiting on the crew to be educated before I can plan anything.”

“Do you want to kill my mood?”

Turning to face the bed, he laughed, “no, I have a lot on my mind.”

“I know, once you are on task I don’t stand a chance.”

Jumping back on the bed landing on top of her, they were now facing each other. “I have loved you since we were kids.  We may not have haylofts or swimming holes, but we have a huge ship that even with the others on board, it is like we are the only ones here.”

Brushing his blond hair back away from his eyes, she kissed him again.  “There is an area on the ship that is made for Farming.  I would bet the Ularins got the seeds for such things.”

“Farming takes water. I need to go see Bill; when I am finished I will come back here.”

“Promise?”

Kissing her, he headed to the bathroom to dress and leave before he was distracted once again.

Bill was looking at some charts he pulled up when Dave walked in.

Handing him coffee Dave was wide eyed.  “Where did you get this?”

“One of our crew is now a chef.  She always liked cooking but after her ‘education’ she learned how to use the equipment in the kitchen.  Programming it for humans, out comes coffee.”

“Does this solve our supply problem?”

“Yes and no.  This device uses the same energy that our engines use.  We have to find dark matter, and we have less than three months to do it.”

“Perfect, we have to locate and figure out how to get a theoretical compound within three months, or we all die.  Do I understand that correctly?”

“It is not theoretical; we have storage tanks full of it.  We need to learn how to handle it and more about it so we can speculate about where it might be.”

“That wasn’t in my education, was it in yours?”

“No, presumably, someone on this ship will be a physicist.”

“I hope they turn up fast, the sooner I know where to head, the quicker we can get that part of the puzzle behind us.”

“Our tanks are full, think about that skipper.”

“Shit, that means we make regular trips to the gas station.”

“Bingo, I am betting this stuff is more abundant than we think.”

***

Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  This is where you come in. 

Years ago, I was working on writing more judiciously.  When twitter was more restrictive than it is now, I wrote several chapters of The Saga of the Starduster in tweets.  Stream of consciousness. 

This story you just read is, act one, of a stream of conscious session with the keyboard.

This blog is un-edited and a rough draft.

 If you want an act two, tell me.

If you have an idea for act two, let’s hear it.

What I would like from you is this, do whatever it is you do to reblog or copy or share or what have you.

Since the COVID virus, sales of my novels have cratered.  Now I realize that people are hurting, and that is one reason I am going to create this story on my blog for my followers.

If you can do anything to drive traffic this way, I would appreciate it greatly.  I can even make that little heart sign with my own two little hands.

As a business owner, I am not eligible for unemployment insurance.  I have been frugal with my money, and book sales have assisted in the past.  Too many more months of this, and I don’t know where we will be.  Maybe the Ularins will come to get us.  J

Much love -TW

Why Write?

Skinny Dipping on an Alien world was probably not their best idea.

Greetings to you fellow bloggers, readers, writers and friends.

There are days I feel like that ‘primal scream’ is going to come out when I least expect it.  If you know anything about the Myers Briggs model, I am what they call an INFJ  … I need people like fish need water.  I am a social creature.

While the business has slowed way down, I have used my time wisely.  I make a point to spend at least fifteen minutes a day in the sunshine.  I talk with friends and family on the phone and now video chat so you can see another face.  I stopped watching most of the news as most of it is just ‘el Toro de caca.’ {shit of the bull}. 

In the US, where I am currently, the media used to have value.  We would read the paper because it provided something of value.  I stopped taking it because most of the stories are creations of a biased journalist (using that word loosely) spun, not to report the news, but to make it.

In some countries, the news is so flagrantly created by a fiction writer, that it might as well start with ‘once upon a time.’  That is why you can discard it; it has no value.

I can say with almost certainty that all of you who read this have more in common than not.  If we were all in one room, we would agree with each other on almost everything.  Using a Venn diagram, if we put all of our wants and needs in different circles and allowed the ones in common to overlap, we would learn no matter your race, religion, gender, or country of origin, we would have more in common than not.  They, the purveyors of politics and power, create strife, hate, and racial tension to keep us divided, so they can control us using our emotions.  It is merely social engineering to control the herds.

Why control us? Power and greed. If you are convinced to vote for the devil, they will spend a fortune to get your vote so they can then be bought or sell their vote to big business like insurance companies, big pharma or other chemical companies. They make the laws that you must follow and they control what a business can and cannot do.

If the business wants to make more money they simply buy off someone on the committee. That is why someone will spend 19 million dollars of their own money for a job that pays $150K a year.

You would do best to ignore the news, turn it off and don’t read or watch it.  If a station like CNN has to pay every airport in the world to only have their station on, you know that is absolute brainwashing.

They are bought and paid for as well. The rich and powerful control what you read, hear and see. Even social media is bought and paid for, censoring your tweets, post on Facebook and alike.

The only thing missing in this day and age is Soma.  Yes, the blue pill that makes you a mental midget.  Oh, but wait, there is more. 

If you elect the most corrupt among the candidates, they will legalize pot, which will do what??? C’mon think.  SOMA….  Kill some more brain cells so you will be compliant. Yes they are screwing you but you wont care… Isn’t that nice?

Yes, there is a fringe element in all societies that would not fit into your Venn diagram at all.  Those are the ones that need to grow as a human and stop with the ‘poor me’ mentality. They hang on to wounds from hundreds of years ago because it relieves them of the responsibility to grow up.

Why do we write?

Let’s change that to why do people read what we write?  We provide something of value to them.  Whether it is an academic paper or a novel about wizardry, there is something of value in it for them, a reward for the reader.

As fiction writers, we make promises.  We then must keep them.  We mention a wand or perhaps a villain in an early part of the novel, and then we must do something with it.  That is the payoff.  We reward our readers and encourage them to keep reading.

I think one of the best compliments I ever received is an e-mail I got from someone reading Saga of the Starduster.

They were upset because they started reading it before bedtime on a Sunday night.  They had to turn the next page and the next.  Before they were aware of it, the time had passed by while they were in my world.  They ended up sleeping in on Monday after calling in sick… LOL 

They were rewarded to the point of shooting themselves in the foot, but, it was a compliment to me, your humble author.

If you are like me, locked down… not up… but sheltering in place, take time for yourself.  Learn yoga, find a park with few folks in it, and walk.  Use the time to talk with relatives and friends who are also ‘flattening the curve.’

Speaking of the curve, the outbreak two weeks to the day of the riots is not from opening up the country.  The media is lying to you once again to protect their inept, feckless, fiction writing, journalist.  The spread of the virus through the mobs is why we are experiencing this.  You will notice that even the news makes it seem more general like, the outbreak in Georgia instead of Atlanta specific, which is where the riots were.  Technically correct, it is Yellow Journalism.

Ok, I am off to do what I do, which will take all of about an hour and then I will be back to creating my latest novel. 

The story is about a witch coming into her own.  All the things that happen to her as she grows into her powers.

To keep this novel from being too ‘tropey’, my writing has to be ever so much cleverer than in the past.   Stay tuned for more on release dates.  Follow @authortwscott and, of course, follow me here on WordPress. 

Thanks as always, and have a blessed day.

Much Love -TW

Drop Your Drawers

If you have read any of my racier novels, you might think of this as a prelude for some intimate moment.

That is not, however, what this is.  I know, I am sorry to disappoint you.  What this is about, is writing.  Let me take you back to a conversation of plotting vs. pansting.  (as in by the seat of.)

After taking a long hard look at Scrivener, I am thinking about purchasing it once again for my Macs.  I am a PC type person, but, programs like Vellum are only written for the MAC.  Vellum is the ‘cats ass’ when it comes to formatting your book.  You can either pay people to format your book, or, you can buy the program and do it yourself.

Vellum is very easy to use, which is the secret for Microsoft, and yes, the Mac OS as well.  Let’s contrast that with Scrivener.

I won’t give you a tutorial here on this blog about Scrivener, let’s just say it is not intuitive.  Is it worth it?

It is not the price for the software you have to consider; it is the learning curve.  Now add into the learning curve, is this the way you write?

As a Panster, I have resisted plotting any part of my novels.  I have a starting point, and I have an idea of where the ending place will be, and I kind of aim in that direction via a stream of consciousness.

Ok, so let’s drop our pants down to our undies and see where we go.

I would call on New Writers to get used to the idea of creating a logline first.  Let’s say you’re like me, laying there at night waiting for sleep to find you and this idea for a story is rolling around in your head.  What if?  is typically how it starts.

What if we had this guy that is digging around using a metal detector, and stumbles on to something that triggers his detector in a big way?  He is out in the country on land he recently purchased and built this metal detector from a kit.  He and his wife take off on Saturday for something to do as a husband and wife.  Ok, they have a metal detector, then what?

As they trace the arc of the signals returned to the device using little wooden markers, they discover that under their feet is a large metallic object.

While the reader is trying to guess what they found you, the writer is just writing it as if you are there with them, as the events unfold as it were.

What if you started your story with this?

A husband and wife spend the weekend looking for golden nuggets when strong signals send their metal detector into overdrive.  Moving a few boulders away from an outcropping buried by scrub brush, they find a metallic doorway with strange-looking controls by one side of it. Within moments they are inside an alien craft that was hidden by its occupants from centuries ago.

A good logline should be two sentences, not three, but 30 to 50 words or so is about right.

Let’s try again.

An undersea anomaly causing ships to sink brings the military and several different scientists in to solve the mystery.  As the secret unfolds, they discover an ancient alien civilization has been on Earth for hundreds of years, breeding with the indigenous people, creating those with god-like powers.

Ok, two lines 48 words.  This is a decent logline.  Now, as the writer, you take that logline and form an outline for your novel. Using something like Scrivener, you plot out your book, yes in your undies…ok not really.  You get the point.

Loglines are nothing more than a very brief tease to get the reader to open the book or buy tickets to the movie.  You, as the writer, can use them to keep you on target.

What might a tagline look like for this novel?

When the captain of a cruise liner barely escapes a disaster, he brings in the government, which discovers a city filled with aliens on the ocean floor.

These are all from my novel Ghost Signals of Colorado Springs.

If you are like me, sitting inside your house bouncing off the walls, take a trip to the stars in this futuristic adventure through time and space.  Please consider leaving a review on the site from which you purchased it.  Now, if you did not like it for some reason, please let me know here.  Feedback is critical for authors.

Much Love -TW

The Saga of the Starduster

Skinny dipping on an alien world was probably not their best idea.

When communications from Earth stop, Don soon discovered the reason why.  The ISS, where he and Sergey were the last two astronauts on board, became unwilling guests of the Ularins. Their world changed forever when their doctor learned Don was carrying cancer in his lungs.

An intergalactic spacecraft three times the size of our largest Aircraft carrier was now perched over the ISS.  Watching the stars disappear, Don and Sergey wondered who it was that was hijacking them.  Sergey was worried that they were to become an hors-d’oeuvre for aliens.

Convincing Sergey to leave the gun in the safe, Don was soon a visitor aboard the Starduster.  Convinced to remove his clothing and submit to a routine physical, every anal probing movie he ever watched played through his mind.

The Saga of the Starduster is one of TW’s signature novels.  Starting as Science-fiction, the book takes the reader on a wild ride through the galaxy with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the epilogue.

As TW, like many others, are now sitting at home awaiting the virus to pass, the idea of wasting another moment worrying about it seems futile.

Take a mental vacation from your sequestration and enjoy a ride through the stars while sharing the furtive imagination of TW.

From Science-fiction to fantasy and yes to the racy side of life, TW strives to give the reader their money’s worth.

Follow the link for your mental vacation.  If you enjoy the ride, consider taking a moment to leave a review of my novel on the site you purchased it from.

As always, I will be happy to discuss topics of interest with you on the blog.

-Best

Under Roswell on Sale!

“Can you imagine?”

“Sure, what am I imagining TW?”

Imagine that you find this guy really hot.  This guy is so cool that he has no clue he is cool.  You watch him work on things, and you admire the way he thinks.  He is kind to you but does not come on to you in any way.

Imagine you work with this guy for months on end, and you don’t think he is noticing you but, he has no ring and never talks about anyone in his life.

Ok, he is single, why?  The guy is built, smart and dedicated to his work.  You see him working on a pet project that his company allows him to do, and you ask him, ‘what is that for?’

The guy turns to look at you as if for the first time.  His eyes relax, and he smiles as he begins to talk with you about his hobby of technical rock climbing.

‘That explains why he is built the way he is but ‘rock climbing?’’

You can tell from his relaxed way of talking about it that if you want to get into his life, you need to try and understand what makes him tick.

You make a note to research rock climbing so you can engage him with more than a passing interest.  That night you talk to your friend, who was your roommate in college.  She tells you that there is a place not far from her that teaches rock climbing.

Now imagine you are kind of afraid of heights and yet pull it together and learn how to not only master your fears but, you can get to where you are not scared of dying.

With these new-found skills and understanding of the hobby, you began to engage Elliot, Omicron’s ‘fair-haired boy’ regarding a project he is working on.  He tells you that it is a device that destabilizes the atomic bonds of the rocks in a narrowly focused beam, making it super easy to place a hold.

Your job, however, is to report back to the owners of Omicron what he is working on.  They, of course, see this ‘toy’ as a weapon of immeasurable value.  Copying his notes and designs they are sent off to a facility deep within area 51.  Elliot is very much against building weapons, and that is why they hired Susan.

Back in 1947, this alien craft supposedly crashed in Roswell.  What they didn’t know it was not one but three.  Two scout ships crashed just, and one, a much larger intergalactic spacecraft returned into the time-space continuum of the earth, forcing millions of metric tons of rocks to eject from the ground, looking like some kind of geological anomaly.    The place is, of course, the ranch where Elliot’s parents were both living when the crash occurred.  It is also where they mysteriously, disappeared.

Onboard this craft under the rocks is a sentient computer, much like HAL in Space odyssey.  Unlike Hal, this computer can tune into the human brainwaves from quite a distance.  That computer takes an unhealthy interest in human sexuality and develops a few quirks along the way.  (All characters must have a flaw, right?)

Susan convinced Elliot to let her accompany him on his vacation.  She is giddy as she thanked her one day and called her ‘honey.’  ‘He does notice me,’ she thought.

While Susan is in hopes to snag the heart of Elliot, Elliot is in hopes of finding the mystery of where his parents disappeared to, hence the entire interests in rock climbing.  Whey they disappeared, that was not one shred of anything left of them.  Footsteps that just ended or a mysterious note left in the sand.

On this trip to the back of his ranch, while rock climbing, Elliot would dislodge some rocks that fall into a crevasse, and when they land, they make a mysterious ‘clunk.’

Ok, this is you.  Whether you are Elliot or Susan, what happens next is an adventure into another world.  What will you find, and what will you do?

The military has a listening post not too far away, and that all plays into this adventure, which starts out ‘Under Roswell.’

 

This novel is on Sale both on Smashwords and Amazon.   Down from $9.99 to $5.99 for the e-version.

This novel is 681 pages.  The print version is what it is because of the printing cost.  Many of you prefer that, and I thank you.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/670705