From John Bentacourt, Publisher:
Note from Allan: Meanwhile, I'll keep
posting the weekly blot episodes until we reach the ever loving END! There are eight episodes remaining. And now, here's this week's episode:
Venatora’s plas-domed fortress turned slowly in space, an exotic gem of glimmering lights against a starry backdrop.
This was her most essential outpost, her first, second and last defense against any and all enemies of what she and her Himmenops sisters called “The Colony.”
That it was bristling with weapons went without saying. It also possessed the most sophisticated battle computers, com systems, and high tech shields that money could buy on the black market.
They weren’t up to Imperial standards, of course, but with the wealth that would soon come pouring in from her latest endeavor, plus her long-term agreements with the Tahn, she’d soon be closer to his level. On this little corner of his Empire, that is.
The fortress sat about a third of the way into the Kill Zone she’d constructed years before and had constantly upgraded with the latest mines and other nasties guaranteed to take down anything up to and including Imperial battleship.
She could wreak enough damage on the nastiest dreadnaught to give a battle-hardened admiral pause. Allowing her more than enough time to fall back behind a series of defenses that would whittle away any force thrown against her.
Making things even more difficult for her enemies was the Armageddon wasteland that was the Possnet Sector.
Back to back ancient celestial disasters had turned everything in the Sector into rubble—ranging from a few planet-sized to billions of smaller particles that whipped about one another in crazy mini-orbits, many ending in collisions that created even more rubble.
Originally, the Himmenops had carved a relatively safe space into the Sector as a means to escape their enemies. Of which they had many. The Himmenops were piratical by nature and darted about the Empire in swift little ships, hijacking whatever they could lay hands on, then retreating into the Colony to enjoy their loot.
With the rise of the Fathers, now led by Father Raggio, and the creation of Venatora, the Colony grew in a grand scale that required more and more space and stolen resources.
It was Venatora’s cunning and sheer courage that allowed her to vastly increase the latter, and her organizational skills that led to an even more formidable base of operations, tucked into the middle of a Sector where celestial disturbances and disasters were a regular occurrence.
This, along with her super-enhanced pheromonal powers, kept all her subjects in a state of lustful adoration that she could dial up to a religious frenzy at will.
She and her Fathers had created a place that kept all the chaos that was the Possnet Sector at bay, with gigantic shields that warded off the worst of the disasters. Occasionally her scientists would spot a impending collision that might overwhelm the Colony’s shields, and she’d mount mini-expeditions to move the offending planetoid into a safer orbit.
Over the years, several hundred of these planetoids had been hollowed out by Venatora and her Himmenops to create homes, factories, and workshops for her endeavors.
The Himmenops prospered mightily under her rule. Population pressures had already caused the Colony to split once. And it had taken years of stealth and back-court killings before Venatora managed to unite the pirate colonies under her crown.
And now, that time was upon Venatora once again. A new rival had risen. Her name was Princess Anthofelia and she had many supporters of her cause. In the past, Venatora and had been able to keep rival princesses and blasphemers at bay by sheer force of personality, wit and pheromonal dominance. When those failed, she had teams of loyal assassins among her Zabanya guardswomen to eliminate any and all transgressors.
But this time it was different. Her pirate operations had been so successful that it had blown out the natural order of things and the population of the Colony had grown to the point where governing had become unwieldy.
But Venatora was more determined than ever to maintain her iron-handed rule. There could only by one queen of the Himmenops, and Venatora was determined to remain that monarch.
Her new alliance with the Tahn was making all that possible. It didn’t matter that she disliked her new allies. They were a cold people, obsessed with warfare, and who had little love of the finer things that life had to offer, like art and music and theater. All of which Venatora supported and encouraged among her own people with lavish grants for the most talented young Himmenops her scouts could find.
“You must always remember, daughter,” Father Raggio was wont to say, “that an ally should be looked upon as nothing more than a future vassal state.”
Such was the ambition of Raggio and the other fathers who saw no end to the possibilities of Himmenops rule.
And now the greatest coup of her piratical career was only a few E-hours away. Soon, Zheng and Rual would cause the diversion that would fix Sten’s attentions on the wrong direction.
Then they would slip away and, relying on the skills of the navigator, Bishop Shaklin, approach the Killing Zone where the first mines would be hidden.
There she would reveal the safe course to them, and they’d weave their way past mines and planetoids bristling with missiles and guns all the way to The Fortress, where Venatora would greet them with open arms.
And she would sweep all that lovely Imperium X into her charge. Then, with the help of the cunning Lord Wichman, she’d sell the entire train for enough credits to drown out Anthofelia and her adherents.
Later, with her influence and voice vastly diminished, one of Venatora’s assassins would silence Anthofelia once and for all.
Yes, life was good, she thought. Not perfect, of course, but good.
And then she thought of Sten and felt her loins stir.
Sten. Ah, yes, Sten.
What wonderful daughters they could make together. Daughters worthy of one day ascending the throne to continue Venatora’s rule, assuring the future of the Himmenops.
Father Raggio had told her that this was not only a distinct possibility, but one to be greatly desired. One of his minions had scoured the Xypaca area after the fight and had collected Sten’s biological spoor.
Samples had been taken and it was Father Raggio’s opinion—or, more likely the opinion of his breeding scientists—that Sten had the perfect genetic makeup to add to Venatora’s DNA pool.
But that was all very technical and supremely passionless.
Not at all the way Venatora felt about Sten. She wondered what it would be like if they were ever found the opportunity to alone together.
She shivered in anticipation. Promising herself that the day of that assignation would not be too far away.
And then Marta was plucking at her sleeve and speaking with some urgency.
“Ma’am! Ma’am! They’re coming, Ma’am!”
Venatora snapped to full attention and examined her vidboard.
It was true. The Flame was approaching the Kill Zone.
She frowned. But why were they more than two hours early?
Venatora looked closer.
NEXT: SNOOP AND POOP
NOTE FROM ALLAN: My multi-talented brother, Drew Cole, has just released a marvelous new album of original songs – “The Shook Souls.” Some of the songs will make you cry, some will tickle your irony bone, and all of them will take you back to moments in your life, both painful or joyful, that will never be forgotten. The songs are free, but you can feed the kitty if you like them. Click on this link and hear for yourself.
STEN OMNIBUS TRILOGY
MAKES ITS AMERICAN DEBUT
Well, my American publisher – Wildside Books – was listening and is issuing all three omnibus omnibus volumes on this side of the Atlantic. Sten Omnibus #1 was published
last month. Sten Omnibus #2 debuts this week. Stay tuned for the publication for Volume Three.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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, Bookloons.com
NEW: THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION OF
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.)
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
NOW AN AUDIOBOOK!
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.