Wednesday, March 30, 2016




Kilgour looked gloomily around their toolroom prison, gingerly shifting his bulk away from the nearest corpse.

“If ye thought it was a trap, lad,” he said, “Why did’ne ye warn yer auld comrade in arms an’ other low pursuits?”

Sten shrugged. “Guess I just got caught up in the wonderfulness of your con job.”

“As it turns out,” Alex said, “it was nae me who was doin’ the connin’.” He snorted, disgusted with himself. “Mister Kilt Man, she called me. Whit can Ah say – it went tae me noggin, it did.”

“It was a lower extremity than your head she was aiming for,” Sten said. “Much lower.”

Then full realization sunk in. Sten groaned. So much for all that Mantis training. 

“Mahoney’s going to clottin' kill us,” he said. "Then he'll tan our bodies and hang us out for bayonet practice."

But as he spoke, one of Alex’s corpses started making very undead like sounds – choking and gasping and flopping about.

“Sten, me wee lad,” Alex exclaimed, “ah think thes wee lass has returned frae th’ deid!

“For God’s sake help her,” Sten said. Thinking, hope against hope that maybe something could be salvaged from this mess after all.

With both hands, Alex started pumping the big woman’s chest. Then pinched her mouth open and blew in a mighty breath.

More choking. More flopping. Sten looked closer at the woman’s face. Despite the agony-contorted features he thought he recognized her as one of the Zabanya guardswomen who had accompanied Venatora at the Xypaca match.

She had a little beauty mark on the left hand corner of her bottom lip. Yes. The very same woman. He recalled wondering if she might be Venatora’s second in command. If so…

“Keep it up,” Sten said.

He clicked his com unit. “Ida! Are you there, Ida?”

The Rom woman’s sarcastic voice came crackling back. “Of course, I’m here, you big clot,” she said. “And quit yelling. Last thing I need is another ear drum transplant.”

“What’s the ETA on the jarheads?” Sten demanded.

“If by jarheads, you mean our lovely marines,” Ida replied, “they’ll be there in two shakes. I’ve slaved the atmosphere unit to my station so you should have breathable air any second now.”

A moment later: “Okay, you’re good to go,” Ida said. “Now say ‘thank you, oh wise and beauteous Ida.’”

“Knock it off,” Sten said. “One of these dead women has decided she’s not so dead after all. But I need a medpak, fast!”

“Ah,” Ida said. “Trading stock.” A brief silence. Then, “Okay, the marines are here. Go get ‘em, boys.”

Sten flexed the fingers of his right hand and the knife sphinctered out into his palm. Quickly, he carved a man-sized square into the toolroom’s wall. Then leaned back and kicked.

There was screech of metal straining against metal. He kicked again, and the area he’d cut ripped away, clanging to the floor outside. Air flooded in with a whoosh and Sten felt his ears pop.

Lt. Mk’wolf’s hawk-like face appeared in the opening. His brow was wrinkled with worry, but when he saw that Sten was apparently unhurt, the frown turned into a grin.

He offered a helping hand. “Better get a move on, sir,” he said. “They aren’t too far behind us.”

Sten grabbed and heaved himself out. He pointed at Alex, who was bent over the thrashing figure of the woman. “Get a medic working on her,” he told Mk’wolf.

“I don’t care what kind of hypejuice you pump into her, just so long as she can stand on her own two feet for a couple of minutes.”

“Gotcha, boss,” Mk’wolf said and motioned for one of the young marines to come forward.

Seconds later the Marine medic had taken over from Alex. He slapped a breather on her face, holding it in place with one hand, while he sorted through his medkit with the other.

Keeping her down with the weight of his body, he shot her full of wakeup juice, recharged the hypogun and did it again.

She jumped like she’d been hit with an electrical charge. She sat straight up, carrying the medic with her. Sten motioned for another marine to join him.

“Help him restrain her,” he said. “Then haul her out and get her undercover.”

He heard Alex shout a warning and an AM2 round sizzled past his face. It hit the toolroom wall, molten metal splattering.

Then more rounds were coming in and while Kilgour and Mk’wolf laid down bursts of answering fire, Sten and another marine helped the medic drag the wounded woman out of the toolroom.

At first she made no resistance, but as they pushed her behind the barrier of shipping containers Alex had muscled into place she started struggling and making horrible gargling noises through her injured throat.

“Here, now,” Alex said, reaching for the woman. “Yer gonna get yerself kilt!”

He grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and hauled her to safety just as another burst of AM2 rounds buzzed around them like angry hornets.

“Return fire,” Sten shouted. “But for clot’s sake don’t shoot anybody. Just keep their heads down.”

Easier said than done. The enemy fire was so hot and heavy Sten and others could barely move without exposing themselves.

On their right, Sten spotted a squad of Himmenops leapfrogging from cover to cover, while their sisters kept up the withering assault.

Any minute now and they’d have Sten’s team flanked and at their mercy. After that, well, somehow, he doubted they had a word for mercy in their native language.

Sten looked desperately about, then spotted an enormous yellow crane parked in one corner. This was the obvious place for Himmenops women to take cover and prepare for the final assault. He noted the crane’s three-story-high hoisting boom hanging over the scene.

Just then, one of the marines gave a cry and fell to the ground, bleeding from a shoulder wound. While the medic attended him, Sten dragged the man’s weapons pack over and started pawing through it, hoping Ida had supplied the Marines with a few of the nastier weapons out of the God Box.

He breathed a sigh of relief when he found what he needed.

Sten drew out a slender tube about half a meter long. He twisted it and at first the tube grew in girth until it was as thick as his arm. Then he gave it a back and forth twist. And pulled. The device telescoped out until it was a little over a meter-and-a-half long.

He turned back to the weapons pack but Mk’wolf had seen what he was up to and dug out a bullet-shaped object about twenty five centimeters long.

Sten took the device from him, gave the bottom a hard slap and three fins popped out. When he inserted it into the tube the device started to glow a rich golden color.

What he was holding in his hands now was a very deadly weapon – a Fēidàn Javelin. A kind of shoulder fired missile said to have been first invented by the Chinese on Old Earth.

He turned back to the crane. “Get another one ready,” he told Mk’wolf. Then he took careful aim.

A woman on the Himmenops squad saw what he was up to. The only defense against the Fēidàn was to pin the would-be attacker down with all the fire power you could muster and never let him up.

Sten hoped like clot her training had been negligent.

No such luck.

She shouted to her comrades and they all turned and opened up on Sten.

AM2 rounds whizzed all around him. But he held steady, bringing the Fēidàn to bear on the crane’s boom.

He ran the sights down the jib until he came to the place where it joined the body of the machine. From his machine shop schooldays back on Vulcan he knew that’s where the gravunits would be.

The AM2 fire became so heavy that it was all he could do to defy the instinct to duck before one of the rounds took his head off.

Then he depressed the trigger and – whoosh, the Fēidàn streaked out, leaving a shower of sparks in its wake, as it shot toward the crane.

Compared to most weapons of its kind, the Javelin was agonizingly slow and wobbled in its course. The Himmenops turned their attention on the missile, blazing away.

But the missile jerked this way and that, automatically avoiding enemy fire. It was clumsy, but it worked.

And then the missile struck!

Flames gouted from the base of the crane. A deafening explosion. Then another. Smoke boiled up. And then there was a loud screech of metal ripping away.

And slowly, so slowly, the boom came crashing down.

It hit the warehouse floor with a resounding crash. Metal parts flying everywhere.

The cloud of dust it raised was too thick to make out much, but then they cleared and to Sten’s relief he saw the Himmenops women dashing back to safety. One of them was helping another, but other than that, it didn’t look like anyone had been hurt too badly.

The marines cheered. Mk’wolf started to get up, ready to lead the marines in a charge. But Kilgour grabbed him and pulled him back, while Sten motioned for the others to stay put.

He fiddled with his com unit, turning it to “Big Voice.” Drew in several deep breaths. Composing himself.

Then he spoke up.

“Venatora,” he called out. His voice, magnified many times, boomed across the warehouse.

No answer.

“Venatora,” he called out again. “I hope to clot you’re there. We don’t want anyone else to get hurt, do we?”

Still no answer.

He glanced over at Kilgour, who shook his head. “Nae a prayer’s chance in perdition, laddie,” he muttered.

But Sten didn’t think Venatora was the sort who would let others do her fighting for her. She’d want to kill her own snakes. With Sten, in this case, serving as the serpent.

He was about to shout her name again, when her voice rang out. Clear and calm and without a hint of worry.

“Is that you, lieutenant?” she said. “The poor soldier with a hundred grand in ready money?”



THE TIMURA TRILOGY: When The Gods Slept, Wolves Of The Gods and The Gods Awaken. This best selling fantasy series now available as trade paperbacks, e-books (in all varieties) and as audiobooks. Visit The Timura Trilogy page for links to all the editions. 

NEWLY REVISED KINDLE EDITIONS OF THE TIMURA TRILOGY NOW AVAILABLE. (1) When The Gods Slept;(2) Wolves Of The Gods; (3) The Gods Awaken.


Tales Sometimes Tall, but always true, of Allan Cole's years in Hollywood with his late partner, Chris Bunch. How a naked lady almost became our first agent. How we survived La-La Land with only the loss of half our brain cells. How Bunch & Cole became the ultimate Fix-It Boys. How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us. The guy who cornered the market on movie rocks. Andy Warhol's Fire Extinguisher. The Real Stars Of Hollywood. Why they don't make million dollar movies. See The Seven Pi$$ing Dwarfs. Learn: how to kill a "difficult" actor… And much, much more.

Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:

U.S. .............................................France
United Kingdom ...........................Spain
Canada ........................................ Italy
Germany ..................................... Japan
Brazil .......................................... India


A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF: In Book Three Of The Shannon Trilogy, young Patrick Shannon is the heir-apparent to the Shannon fortune, but murder and betrayal at a family gathering send him fleeing into the American frontier, with only the last words of a wise old woman to arm him against what would come. And when the outbreak of the Civil War comes he finds himself fighting on the opposite side of those he loves the most. In The Wars Of The Shannons we see the conflict, both on the battlefield and the homefront, through the eyes of Patrick and the members of his extended Irish-American family as they struggle to survive the conflict that ripped the new nation apart, and yet, offered a dim beacon of hope.



A True Story About A Boy,
A Teacher, And Earthquake,
Some Terrorists And The CIA

LUCKY IN CYPRUS is a coming-of-age story set in the Middle East during the height of the Cold War. An American teenager – son of a CIA operative – is inspired by grand events and a Greek Cypriot teacher. 

He witnesses earthquakes and riots and terrorist attacks, but in the end it is his teacher’s gentle lessons that keep him whole.

Here's where to get the paperback & Kindle editions worldwide: 

Here's what readers say about Lucky In Cyprus:
  • "Bravo, Allan! When I finished Lucky In Cyprus I wept." - Julie Mitchell, Hot Springs, Texas
  • "Lucky In Cyprus brought back many memories... A wonderful book. So many shadows blown away!" - Freddy & Maureen Smart, Episkopi,Cyprus. 
  • "... (Reading) Lucky In Cyprus has been a humbling, haunting, sobering and enlightening experience..." - J.A. Locke,



THE HATE PARALLAX: What if the Cold War never ended -- but continued for a thousand years? Best-selling authors Allan Cole (an American) and Nick Perumov (a Russian) spin a mesmerizing "what if?" tale set a thousand years in the future, as an American and a Russian super-soldier -- together with a beautiful American detective working for the United Worlds Police -- must combine forces to defeat a secret cabal ... and prevent a galactic disaster! This is the first - and only - collaboration between American and Russian novelists. Narrated by John Hough. Click the title links below for the trade paperback and kindle editions. (Also available at iTunes.)


A novel by Allan and his daughter, Susan

After laboring as a Doctors Without Borders physician in the teaming refugee camps and minefields of South Asia, Dr. Ann Donovan thought she'd seen Hell as close up as you can get. And as a fifth generation CIA brat, she thought she knew all there was to know about corruption and betrayal. But then her father - a legendary spymaster - shows up, with a ten-year-old boy in tow. A brother she never knew existed. Then in a few violent hours, her whole world is shattered, her father killed and she and her kid brother are one the run with hell hounds on their heels. They finally corner her in a clinic in Hawaii and then all the lies and treachery are revealed on one terrible, bloody storm ravaged night.

BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization. 



Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969
In the depths of the Sixties and The Days Of Rage, a young newsman, accompanied by his pregnant wife and orphaned teenage brother, creates a Paradise of sorts in a sprawling Venice Beach community of apartments, populated by students, artists, budding scientists and engineers lifeguards, poets, bikers with  a few junkies thrown in for good measure. The inhabitants come to call the place “Pepperland,” after the Beatles movie, “Yellow Submarine.” Threatening this paradise is  "The Blue Meanie,"  a crazy giant of a man so frightening that he eventually even scares himself.

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