Good News

I have several audiobooks coming out, but before I get to that, let me tell you of other developments. Firstly, I removed the four ebooks in the Hell Patrol Saga and the three Badlands Saga ebooks. I combined both into two thicker books-The Hell Patrol Saga, Fall of the proud, Fall Into Darkness, and episodes 1-5 and The Badlands Saga episodes 1-6. I also released Prelude To A Myth: The Beginning Of The End (How It Began), Book 1:Not Your Ordinary Soul.

And if that wasn’t enough, I also put up several books for audiobook production. The Hell Patrol Saga, The Badlands Saga, The Death Of Humanity, Twenty-Five Days Of Christmas, and The Incident At Three Corners will join the books already available at Audible (and on Applebooks). I am also hoping that Tales From The Renge: The Prophecy, Book 2: Birth Of A Savior, The Morrow Family Saga, series 2: 1950s, Book 4: StarBaby, Dreams I’ll Never See, and Seven By Jay: Seven Short Stories will also grace my finished list as the producers involved in the first two have returned to continue the stories, but I await to hear from the latter two producers and fear that they may not be able to complete their contractual obligations.

Still, the overall news is delicious. I have the next installments in Prelude To A Myth begun. I also have Midnight At The Oasis, one of the novels tied into Door On The Thirteenth Floor and The Incident At Three Corners, almost completed and the first book in Haunted Iowa, Oleo Acres, started…though Olov has yet to speak to me again. And to make things more tasty, I also plan on returning to both The Badlands Saga and The Hell Patrol Saga to finish them out. I also await my tax returns and the past three stimulus payments so I can finally release books 4-7 in the Angel Of Death series (all of which can be read in past posts here on this blog) as well as the first book in the Witchdoctor series.While I wait, I will finish what I have got in the offing and publish them.

The Alpha Triad Cycle

I have begun the permanent removal of all books in The Alpha Triad cycle. The Remaining books will be removed from Amazon after they are ordered and received by me. This means that three of the books–The Soul Shard Chronicles, Books 1 and 2 and The Dimensional Wars Are now out of print for good.

These leave both Delta Link International books as well as Pawns of Revenge and possible one or two more books. The reason is simple. I will be integrating the episodes into Prelude To A Myth and future books in Stranger Than Fiction.

the idea, of course, is to flesh out the existing episodes–the ones I will be using, anyway–and add to the storyline of the saga being told. This will make the Stranger Than Fiction saga longer and darker.

The original books will not be going back into print. If you would like to buy copies, you can still get them through Draft2Digital for a limited time. Once I finish buying myself copies for my own library, they will be removed from D2D as well.

Thorogon’s Transgression, Chapter 2

“What is the meaning of this?” Judge General Jorrin demanded.

“What is what?” Norrim responded.

“What is this, this, this, recusing yourself from the Thorogon case?” The Judge General reasserted.

“Oh,” he frowned, “that.”

“So?” Jorrin tapped his foot impatiently.

“I feel he has valid points,” he averred, “and I cannot, in good conscience, preside over his sentencing.”

“The law is clear on these things, Nor,” Jorrin remanded him, “one simply cannot ignore the law.”

“But laws can be unjust and unethical,” he admitted, “and thus wrong to uphold.”

“This falls under neither,” Jorrin frowned, “you should know that. Now, you are in peril of being convicted of aiding and abetting.”

“No, Jor, I am not,” he shook his head, “and I am right. As was he. Some things should not be subject to law. Not even when it is meant to preserve us. Thorogon comes from an age before the law. A time when immortality was still new. He is not a willing participant in this world and that, alone, should stand for something.”

“It doesn’t,” Jorrin stated coldly, “since he lived when the laws he now seeks to break were made. Where was his voice then?”

“Ask him,” he shrugged, “though I would wager he voiced his disapproval and found his voice unheeded.”

“And now?” The Judge General insisted.

“He has voiced his disapproval  in his opening statements with truths I cannot deny,” he looked away, “ones I cannot ignore for law’s sake.”

“Then,” Jorrin scowled, “you are done as a judge.”

“So be it,” he stated, resigned, “it was bound to happen at some point.”

“That kind of thinking is apocryphal,” the Judge General growled, “and undoubtedly heretical.”

“Apocryphal my ass,” he smiled involuntarily, “and no more heretical than our supposition of the role of God.”

“But we have become gods,” Jorrin snorted, “there is no need for a deity above us. We have supplanted all other deities. We are the very God you speak of.”

“No, Jor,” he shook his head, “we are not. Nature, the world around us, and the universe are the gods we have always sought.”

***

Thorogon paced in his cell, contemplating his fate. He smiled. They had no choice but to execute him now. 

He would remember when these cells were first designed. He had helped design and build them. But that had been centuries ago.

Then, they had not been intended to hold people like him. People who sought to retain their mortality through dying at their natural times. No, they had been meant for incorrigibles. Those who refused to stop murdering, raping, and stealing. 

Not for those who had felt that they had lived long enough. Or a bit too long. And he had lived way too long.

He had opposed the laws that forbade self-euthenasia once immortality was the norm. Yet, when it all began, immortality was not the norm. It had been the exception.

It had begun with a single person. Over time, every generation had at least one. Then, more and more people began to show up as immortal. 

But it had started after mankind had become immune, through medical advancement in creating vaccines, to everything including cancer. From there, life expectancy grew by leaps and bounds. Yet, death had remained a constant.

In the beginning, laws had not forbade death. It had forbade only murder and maltreatment. And though it was illegal to medically assist in suicides, it was not illegal to commit suicide. 

He remembered those first years. Immortality was a novelty. It was new. 

With immortality came elongated reproduction cycles. Women began having babies at all adult ages, even ages past what had been menopause. Slowly, the population rose.

Humanity was curious about it. What would it gift them? What would its price be?

Once the newness had worn off, boredom set in.  there was no thrill. No logic.

What should have been a blessing was more of a curse. Life unending was so unnecessary. So illogical.

And then, the laws began to change. Life was for living, the authorities had said. There would be no desiring death.

And so, it became illegal to commit suicide. Or even to desire death. Boredom became illegal.

But without death, there was a threat of overpopulation worse than any scientist in the past could have dreamed of. There was also the threat of complete depletion of food and water. 

And yet, they foolishly passed laws that forbade suicide. These laws caused a surge in population that caused them to pass more laws, reminiscent of ancient absolutist China, that limited births and pregnancies.

The fools. Those laws had not worked before.  They wouldn’t work after being implemented.

***

High Director Landor was beside himself. Laws long held as infallible were now being challenged. Laws that had been meant to bring harmony and unity.

They had not brought either. Instead,  they had brought the opposite. And caused some to question the ethics of those laws. 

Too many were now questioning the morality of them. The rightness. The validity.

What made it bad was that he couldn’t blame them. Immortality was both a blessing and a curse. The birth laws had been meant to limit the population in a way that would preserve natural resources, they had not. 

Food was running low. Available space for farming was almost nonexistent. And wild game was now extinct.

Without war, abortion, and natural death, there was nothing to thin the population. A population that continued to climb. A population that had no purpose anymore.

And a population without a purpose was bored. Too bored to enjoy immortality. Too bored to appreciate its existence.

Why had nature also removed the need for food as well? It would have solved many of the problems now being faced. The same events that now threatened to cause humanity’s extinction.

Even he understood that. And yet, the laws were still in place. Still condemning thousands to death for mere thoughts.

Morally, it was wrong. Legally, it was right. Ethically, it was against all that was natural.

And yet, even his very thinking could send him to his death. Just knowing the truth. Just admitting the truth.

In order to change his possible fate, the laws had to change. But could they be changed in time to spare his own life?  He sighed. 

That was a good question. And one he didn’t have the answer to.

A Little Note

Before I forget…

I did something a couple months ago. You can now get the full first series in the Morrow Family Saga here:

and the full Tales From The Renge: The Prophecy here:

This is for the ebooks only (wish Amazon would sell the paperbacks as sets as well).

The New Serialized Short Story

I just realized that I was writing the prequel to Thorogon’s Dilemma. That means that Thorogon is going through the trial that precludes his being in the masses. It also means that he is attempting to acquire his right to die.

I had not set out to write the prequel, but it just began writing itself. Still, sometimes, this is how things happen.

The point of the Thorogon series is to question our perceptions of moral right and wrong versus legal right and wrong. morality is not the same as legality. Not everything that is legal is moral.

In Thorogon’s world, immortality is normal. But even though humanity has become immortal, they have remained imperfect. They are still the broken. ignorant race they were before the change.

They have conquered all illness. All genetic imperfections. Everything that would mar the physical appearance.

They have yet to evolve spiritually. Emotionally.

The desire to die is illegal. The desire to do away with one’s mortal shell is against the law. It is seen in the same light as murder, rape, and theft.

Thorogon’s Transgression, Chapter 1

“You have been indicted for conspiring to die, Thorogon,” Judge Norrim began, “how do you plead?”

“Your honor,” The frail old man before the court began, “why is it a crime to want to rest from this life? I realize that it is natural, this immortality we have raised ourselves to, but I am tired. Worn out. I am far older than many who sit on your council and yet, you wish to punish me for wanting to end a life long lived. Why?”

“I will ask the questions here,” the judge roared, “not you.”

“Your honor,” he quietly deflected, “I was there when we conquered death. I was among the first generation to enjoy the extended life. In reality, I am your elder…and yet, you treat me as an inferior. I am entitled to choose the method in which I finish this journey.”

“And so,” Norrim snorted, “you believe that you have a right to die?”

“Precisely,” he nodded, “it is a curse to live any longer. I have already outlived all of my contemporaries. But I refuse to commit a crime in order to be sentenced to death. And by crime, I do not speak of wanting to die so I can rest. I speak of the other unspeakable crimes. Rape. Murder. Theft. Greed. Hate. Covetousness. Pride. Sloth. Fear. Gluttony.”

“And you do not see wanting to die as a crime?” The judge was incredulous.

“Not in the same way that you do,” he shook his head, “while suicide, death by my own hand would be a crime, allowing the system to put me to death would not. It would be reaching the end of a well lived life. One that was ended in its latter days through the mercy of the system.”

“but the system does not execute innocent men and women,” Norrim stated bluntly.

“Who said I am innocent?” He countered. “none of us are truly innocent. We all have criminal thoughts from time to time. It is just that we do not all act upon them. some of us are wise enough to live much cleaner than our thoughts might be.”

“And what crimes have you dreamed of?” The judge begged, exasperated.

“I have thought long and hard on murder, your honor,” he smiled sadly, “in the past. It was my job to catch murderers and so, I had to think like them. In many ways, I was no better than they.”

“But you sered the public!” Norrim exclaimed. “You were not a common criminal!”

“What is the difference?” He returned. “I killed many a man in my mind. I even had to kill many a man before they could be taken in for sentencing. I am no better than those I had been sent after.”

“But these crimes were in the service of man,” the judge objected, “they were not committed against man.”

“What is the difference?” He frowned, knowing that there really wasn’t any difference.

“the difference is why the deed was done,” Norrim attempted.

“No, your honor,” he shook his head, “there really is no difference. A crime is a crime. Murder is murder.”

Norrim knew that he was caught. Thorogon was correct. A crime was a crime. No matter whether it was committed in the service of society or not. Murder was indeed murder whether or not it was justified or in the line of duty.

And this made him question other accepted lies. Lies such as the illegality of desiring execution instead of immortality. Or the lie of there being no crime in the hearts of man.

He sighed in resignation. He had no choice. He had to rethink things. Or recuse himself from the proceedings.

“This inquiry is adjourned until tomorrow,” he stated quietly, “so I might explore the validity of the claims of the accused.”

He slammed down the metal knocker he used as a gavel.

“Sir?” The Bailiff inquired. “What do we do with the accused?”

“Put him into a holding cell,” he replied, “at least until tomorrow.”

“Very well,” the bailiff responded, then turned to Thorogon, “come with me.”

Thorogon obediently followed the bailiff from the courtroom. He smiled. He had won this round.

***

Norrim sat in his chambers defeated. Thorogon was right. By all rights, he could not stop him from choosing his exit from life.

Even though it was illegal to die, the law was immoral. Immortality, though normal, was not something that one could take lightly. Nor was it something that was for everyone.

Thorogon had pointed out that many committed the unforgivable crimes in order to get out of living forever. He had also pointed out that some had committed the unforgivable in the service of the society he represented.

In essence, there was a deep hypocrisy within that very society that forgave crimes committed in its service while damning those that were committed against it. Even though crime was still crime, no matter what it was committed for.

He would have to recuse himself. Thorogon had brought doubt to his mind. A deep seated doubt.

It was something he could not shake. Something he could not deny. He had to investigate it. He needed to know the truth.

He needed to know, no matter how hard it would be to accept. After all, the truths that Thorogon had revealed had been damned hard to accept. And yet, he had.

***

Thorogon sat in his cell. He was finally alone. In solitude.

Here, he could rest without being assailed with questions about his why.  After all, he had chosen death over living with guilt. And without regret.

He did not want to live forever in regret or with guilt. He had suffered with it enough. In fact, he had suffered it for centuries too long. Now, he wanted it to end.

He was tired. Worn to the bone. He needed rest. 

Immortality, as it was, demanded no sleep. No slumber. No rest.

So unnatural. Even though it had been a natural advancement for mankind. Yet instead of being a blessing, it had become a curse.

Like the vampires of myth and legend, mankind became monsters. Not in the conventional sense, though. Instead, they had become intolerant of those who desired death.

It had become a crime to want an end. To die. To seek a mortal rest from life.

In reality, they had forbade all from being human. In seeking their humanity, they had lost it. They had advanced past their mortality only to lose that which made them more than animals.

And he was the only one who could see it. He was the only one who could see that immortality had destroyed humanity. Cause it to become savage. Inhumane. 

Now, he wanted out. He wanted to return to the very dust that man had risen from. By the time this trial was over, he would have his wish.

Epiphany

So I was at work today and realized that I was missing a link in the chain that contains the books The Door On The Thirteenth Floor, Incident Ar Three Corners, the forthcoming Midnight At Oasis, and Mr Mephistopheles. In Incident, I introduce five friends including Daniel Marlowe. Door, being Daniel’s story, was only a chapter in a much larger tale as is Incident, Oasis, and Mephistopheles.

  • Castle Grey is the beginning, along with Mr. Mephistopheles.
  • Incident is the explanation of how it all begins for the group of friends. Mephistopheles will give insight on Marlowe’s dilemma.
  • Door is the only book without a mention of Mephistopheles but the first to introduce Billy, the criminal that appears again in Incident.
  • Mephistopheles gives the background of the main villain in Incident and Oasis.
  • The Reverend Mr. Black will follow Theophilus Black.
  • Incident follows the life of Matthias Luckner, who also appears in Oasis.
  • Oasis follows Job Broward’s adventures.

That left out one of the characters. Tychus Broward, At first, I was going to make him part of Castle Grey. But he began demanding a story of his own. Thus, Castle Grey will only follow the life cycle of the castle…in which, Tychus is but a tiny part.

Therefore, Tychus’s story needs to be told. So….Sailing The Devil’s Sea will follow Tychus. Strangely enough, I believe that the reader will love the tale as it will take them on one amazing journey.

Thorogon

I am planning on revisiting my favorite sci-fi character Thorogon. When I last left our poor intrepid immortal mortal, he was being pardoned right before he was to be executed. For some reason, the dear man wants a new story written.

Therefore, the next stories will be:

Thorogon’s Transgression,

Thorogon’s Heresy,

Thorogon’s Redemption,

Thorogon’s Sacrifice,

and

Thorogon’s Resurrection.

There’s a possibility of one more, but I want to wait and see where these take me. Recent television viewing has made me question a few things, all dealing with immortality and its price. Especially for humanity.

Update:

When I finally get my tax problem fixed, I will be adding new products. New books. T-shirts. Cups. Hats.

I will be buying a six-in-one press so that I can personally design and produce my own promotional goods. I will also be getting the covers to at least three books made. Maybe four.

The idea is to get the next two books in the Angel Of Death series published and release the first book of the Witch Doctor series. I may even ask my artist for both of those series to create the cover of Oleo Acres and a couple other books.

I will also be pulling the Tales Of The Alpha Triad and related serieses from publication, possibly permanently, as well as a temporary pull of The Hell Patrol Saga and The Badlands Saga, in order to reorganize the current set so that they can be released on D2D. Beyond this, I will be publishing the rest of Tales From The Renge: Chronicles Of The King Qarkis, a total of nine books. And possibly the remaining nine books in The Morrow Family Saga, Series 2: The 1960s…and I am beginning to run out of books in series one for my narrator to read through.

As I do so, I am going to commission my artist to combine two pictures for the first tee that will promote The Door On The Thirteenth Floor. I will work with current pics to create tees for Angel Of Death and other series/books that I have.

Charnel House Earth: The Death Of Humanity, Chapter 21: Endgames

The final battle was well planned. Executed to specs, we would possibly never know whether the offworld strikes would work. Everything hinged on it working here on Earth.

At least as far as finding out whether or not the other attacks worked. If it didn’t work here, we would never know. We would not survive.

It was determined that the cure was safe for human and alien use and so, they began inoculating all of us. Slowly. Just to allow our bodies enough time to assimilate the vaccine and replicate its antibodies.

I keep calling it a vaccine. It was more of an antibiotic. Something the parasite could not tolerate.

Something that killed the parasite. Destroyed its ability to control. Its ability to invade.

Behind enemy lines, our carpet bombers were laying the gas down thick, killing any larvae that might be on the ground. Our warcraft and planes were blowing their warcraft out of the skies. Our dirty bomb grenades were killing hosts on contact. Our bullets, too. 

We were entering the final phase of our little war. From here on, it was either success or humanity was as good as extinct. This was our one shot. Our moment of truth.

“We need to send in a monitor of some sort,” I suggested, “to observe when the missile hits the alien ships.”

“I agree,” the general nodded, “and we can set up an observation system to the west to watch those ships as well.”

“Wish I could go,” I averred, “but I am needed here. In case this doesn’t go as planned.”

“Who says you can’t go?” He smiled. “After all, this is your baby. Your brainchild. You should be able to witness its success.”

“Or its failure,” I added.

“Have a little faith in yourself,” he advised, “it’ll succeed.”

“I hope you’re right,” I smirked, “I’d sure hate to piss off an unseen nest of hornets with a bad idea.”

“These parasites are basically vulnerable, Jeff,” he reminded me, “and rely on the infected host for mobility and sentience. They ain’t gonna live through this. Their slaves might, but they won’t. Nor will their hosts.”

“You’re right,” I chuckled, “I was just testing you.”

“”Oh, har, har,” He chided.

“We’ll win this thing,” I grinned, “even if we have to fight to the very last man.”

“Very true,” he nodded, “never underestimate the resolve of humanity. We will either succeed or die trying.”

***

I watched as the alien ships vanished in the blink of an eye. Those headed for the parasite’s homeworld. Those headed for infected worlds. 

I pondered just how well our plan would work as I was sped to the south to observe the southern ships. And since I knew that the ships were basically defenseless, without guns or any kind of main defense, I knew that they were all pretty much sitting ducks.

All of the missiles were launched simultaneously and streaked in every direction. I, of course, could not see this as I had already been taken south, but I closed my eyes and imagined how it would have looked. It must have been a beautiful sight. Streaks of fire spreading out like fiery fingers, reaching for their targets.

Below my position, the carpet bombing continued. Behind me, the same. The armies of the alien parasites were being eradicated. Destroyed.

I felt for the hosts. Trapped. Unable to control their own movements. Unable to break free.

We had discovered that the neurotoxin the parasite used acted as an impulse inhibitor. It selected what it wanted its host to do and overrode the impulse so that it could guide its victim’s movements. They had no choice but to do.

Those who had rebelled had been killed by the parasites. And though it also killed the parasite within, the collective deemed it necessary. It proved to be a very motivating warning to the rest.

Do not resist or you will be killed. That was the parasite’s warning. And after a while, the host was so worn down that they could not resist. 

Aware that your body was being used to do evil things and not being able to control it. It was a sad existence, really. If you could call it that.

I called it modified zombification. Living death. A true example of undeath.

Both living and dead, the host struggled with their dilemma. Unable to stop it, they stumbled on in hopes that some other being could. Most would die when their body could take no more of the parasite. 

I contemplated this as I watched the alien craft to the south of me. My companion tapped my shoulder and pointed. I turned.

There were the missiles. Coming straight at the craft. I smiled.

I watched as the missiles struck each craft. There was a puff as the missiles slipped into the bubble. Then a loud thud as they pierced the saucer. And finally, a boom of sorts from within the ship.

I watched in disbelief as the ships disintegrated before my eyes. I looked behind me at the lines of alien soldiers. They disintegrated as well. 

***

I ventured forth from my place of concealment with an air tester in hand, my guards by my side. There was no sign of any contaminants. No sign of the parasites.

A single blow seemed to have destroyed them once and for all. Still, I was leery. It seemed too easy. Too good to be true.

I was having a hard time believing that it was over. Nothing had ever been that simple before. Nothing had ended that abruptly.

“Jeff,” the general’s voice came over my communicator, “did you see that?”

“Yes, sir,” I managed, “and I am having a hard time believing my eyes.”

“I don’t blame ya,” he agreed, “never saw anything react that way in my life. They just—melted.”

“Yeah,” I averred, “I saw that too. Don’t know what to make of it.”

“Got your sensors going?” He asked.

“Yeah, why?” I returned.

“What are your readings?” He queried.

“Normal,” I responded, “no infectious materials, no toxins, no nothin’.”

“They’re gettin’ the same readings from the area to the east,” he stated, “almost as if the damn things never existed.”

“What of any reports from our alien friends?” I asked, interested.

“Same results,” he responded, “apparently, once the carpet bombing began on the parasites’ planet of origin, they began disappearing from the other planets.”

“So my hunch was right?” I asked. 

“Apparently so,” he acquiesced.

I sat down where I was and put my head in my hands. My gamble had paid off. My theory had been correct.

Sadly, over a third of the Earth’s population as well as the majority of several other planets’ populations had had to die before someone figured it all out. Races had been erased. Planets destroyed. Systems drained.

My mind returned to Earth. What had been Earth’s civilizations, its countries, had been destroyed. We were now homeless. Without any form of government. 

And yet, so many of us had survived from every country.  Perhaps we could out back together what had been destroyed. But why?

That had been why we had ended up being noticed. It had drawn the parasite. Our greed. Our hate. Our fear of the unknown. That had been the death of humanity. That had been why the human race had almost been eradicated.

No, we needed a new government. A new path. Something that would lead us forward. Away from those things that we now knew would cause our extinction.