Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CHAPTER FOUR - EPISODE FIFTEEN

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*****

VENATORA

Unfortunately, the damage was done and before long word of the strange doings aboard the J’ol Cash reached the lovely ears of Venatora.

After spreading a several fistfuls of bribe money about she obtained a very good description of the young lieutenant whose arrival had caused such a stir aboard the Imperial ship.

“I knew he was the law,” she told Marta, her El Segundo. “And he’s clearly hiding something.”

Although Marta was as big and muscular as the other Zabanya guardswomen, her features were more delicate – her face heart-shaped, with a beauty mark at the left hand corner of her lip.

“But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has anything to do with our business, does it Ma’am?” she asked.

“I’m probably being paranoid,” Venatora said. “But if it weren’t for paranoia, one of my royal sisters would have killed and eaten me long ago.”

“I’ll try to find out more, Ma’am,” Marta said. “But it’s difficult. The Imperial sector of the port is under the tightest security our spies have ever seen.”

“Even more reason to suspect that Sten is the Emperor’s man,” Venatora said.

The pirate queen reflected a few moments. Then a smile of pleasure lit her ebony features. 

“All that Imperium X,” she murmured. “I’ve dreamed of a chance like this since the night Melipona crept into my room with murder on her mind.”

She chuckled. “She didn’t know I’d been tipped off and was waiting behind the door. Pillows stuffed under the blankets. Such a simple, almost childish trick.”

Marta laughed. “There was nothing childish about the knife you used on her, Ma’am,” she said.

“No, not at all,” Venatora said. She drew a long, bejeweled blade that dangled from the slender golden chain belted about her narrow waist. She turned it this way and that, admiring how the light rippled along its surface.

“The last of your rivals, Ma’am,” Marta murmured, reflecting on that long ago memory.

“Oh, there will be others,” Venatora said. “The hive is already reaching its limit. We need to expand – and expand quickly – or I’ll have a whole army of envious princesses at my throat vying to rule my Himmenops sisters.

“And to expand on the scale I’m planning we need money. More money than we’ve taken in during my whole career chasing the crumbs the Eternal Emperor leaves scattered about.”

“We’ll have an entire space train of crumbs, won’t we, Ma’am” Marta said, enjoying the little joke. “Nearly two hundred kilometers worth of Imperium X for your war treasury.”

Her lips twitched and Venatora thought the movement of the beauty mark was enchanting.

“Indeed we will,” Venatora said. “But we don’t want to fall into the trap of underestimating the Emperor. He’ll have a plan to deal with those mutineers.”

Venatora flipped the blade end over end, snatching it from the air with a flourish. “Mutineers.” She shook her head in mock dismay. “Oh, how that must gall him. Traitors in his own service. He’ll want their heads.”

“But the mutineers are demanding amnesty, Ma’am,” Marta said. “If he wants his Imperium X back he’ll have to let them live.”

“That’s our hole card,” Venatora said. “We must make the mutineers believe that no matter what promises the Emperor makes, he won’t keep them and that he’ll kill them the first chance he gets. Of course, to convince them otherwise, he’ll have to send his very best man.”

“And you think this Lieutenant Sten might be that man?” Marta asked, looking doubtful. “He’s so young.”

Venatora gave a low, throaty chuckle. “Deliciously so,” she said. “However… there was something about him. Something…” And she let the rest trail off.

Marta sniffed. She’s jealous, Venatora thought. How charming. She knew if she just touched Marta, the woman would melt. Such was her power over all her warrior women. And then she wondered if she would have the same effect on Sten. 

Her heart fluttered. If she was honest with herself, she’d have to admit he had a definite effect on her.

She shook herself. Enough of that.

“Very well,” she said, all business once again. “If we can’t get past Imperial security in the little time we have remaining, then we’ll have to get them to come to us.”

“What do you have in mind, Ma’am?” Marta asked.

“A black marble,” Venatora replied. “We just need to find the best place to drop it.

“…Then see where it rolls out.”

NEXT: PORT CHINEN

*****



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. 

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*****


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.

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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.

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 LUCKY IN CYPRUS:

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.

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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, Bookloons.com
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NEW: THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION OF

THE HATE PARALLAX

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.)

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THE SPYMASTER'S DAUGHTER:

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. 

*****

TALES OF THE BLUE MEANIE
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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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