RoustWriter: Blog

Chapter 444 of Book 3 is in the queue

July 14, 2017
Posted at 2:19 pm
 

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

..."Uh, computer?" Mike Hall addressed the AI at the Retreat.

"Yes, Mike?"

"Can you see me?"

"Yes, Mike. I see you clearly. Is there something wrong?"

"I mean all the time?"

"Oh, no, Mike. My cameras in private areas activate only when I am addressed or otherwise instructed. Even then, you may request that they remain off. I can see everything in all the public areas and hallways of the Retreat. I also have access to all security cameras outside the retreat throughout the entire area. Is there anything else, Mike?"

"Uh, no. That's all for now."

"Have a good day, Mike."

"Uh, you too," Mike responded before catching himself. Now I'm wishing a good day to a computer. "Fuckkk," he said, stretching out the word as he went to use the bathroom and wash his hands.

Have a goodun;

Roust

Chapter 443 of Book 3 is in the queue

July 7, 2017
Posted at 3:05 pm
 

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...By the time he had all the meat hanging in the ice cave and the case wiped clean, it was almost midnight. After adding more wood to the fire, he collapsed into his makeshift bed.

Awakening cold around four in the morning, Morales grumbled to himself while restarting the campfire as well as the fire under the drying meat. While warming himself, he debated going back to bed for a couple hours, but he knew that Gertrude would announce the day as soon as the first rays of the morning sun touched the cave. Hmmm. How in the hell does she realize it's day with the door closed? Then answering his own question. Must be the firing port that lets in enough light to wake her. I need to put some type of cover over that to help keep in the warmth as well as keep the light out until I want to get up. Knowing my luck, though, she'll wake up, and wake the rest of us no matter what I do to keep out the light. The chicken is psychic or something. She must be able to fucking smell daylight.

As he was standing there warming himself, Gertrude stumbled off her nest to stand madly flapping her wings. He supposed it was something like a human stretching in the mornings. When she was done with her routine, she squawked out, "Peeccckkkak. Peeccckkkak," loudly enough to wake the dead.

"It's not daylight yet, you feathered monster," Morales groused. "Go back to bed, or nest, or whatever the fuck you call it. I had to get up because the fire had gone out and I was freezing my ass off. What's your excuse?"...

Have a goodun;

Roust

Chapter 441 of Book 3 is in the queue

June 30, 2017
Posted at 3:00 pm
 

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...When Morales led the harnessed wolf over to one of the rolling cases, Lobo seemed to figure it out. I wish I could read wolf expressions better. With all those teeth, even that grin of his is a heart-stopper.

Using a length of paracord, he secured the back of the harness to the right side of the pull handle on the case. After filling his pockets with jerky, and strapping on his weapons, he opened the door before coming back to grab the other side of the pull handle. He was tempted to call out mush, but he knew Lobo wouldn't understand, and if he somehow did, Morales doubted the joke would be well received. Instead, "Let's give it a try, Lobo," he quietly said as he began pulling the empty case toward the door.

The big wolf lunged forward, jerking the case into Morales' back. "Easy, Big Guy. It's empty and extremely easy to pull. Save all that energy for when we come back with the case full - assuming we manage to kill something." Then calling to the other wolf, since she had remained in the passageway staring at them, "Come on, Lila."

Clear of the passageway, Morales went back to secure the door while Lila sniffed the harness and whined at Lobo who managed to look put upon.

Barely underway, Morales could see a distinct disadvantage - while helping pull the case, Lobo wasn't able to range on ahead to look for danger. "Oh, well, you have the idea by now," Morales told his partner as he unhooked the wolf from the pull rope and wound it around the case handle. "We're going to the plains," he reminded the wolf. "Go search for us, please. Take Lila with you and teach her what to do. If we manage to kill something, you can help pull the loaded case on the way back."

Lobo touched his muzzle to Lila's head for a second, and still wearing the harness, trotted away with Lila a few paces behind him, sometimes hopping on three legs, other times on all four with a slight limp...

Have a goodun;

Roust

Chapter 441 of Book 3 is in the queue

June 23, 2017
Posted at 1:19 pm
 

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...When Morales finished taking the meat to the ice cave, the two continued to watch as he scraped, then stretched the heavy hide, both men grinning as he and the wolf eventually sat to eat breakfast, with the bear steak a primary part of it.

"Not bad - for a city boy," Jeff joked as he made another pot of coffee. "Well trained, that man would give an enemy hell."

The General frowned as he turned to his Colonel. "I know what you're thinking. But… there is no way I'm bringing that guy back here to turn him loose on society. He killed…" Whitworth waved his hand to stop Jeff's protest before going on, "Granted they fucking needed killing, but he did kill. What will he do when he comes back and somebody else needs killing, at least in Morales' mind?"

"So? Train him and put him on one of the exploration teams. How many people from those teams do we lose in a year? And not all of them are lost to enemy fire. As you well know, some of them are killed by fauna - and even flora occasionally - on new planets. I strongly suspect that Morales' survival on 2214 is enhancing his primitive instincts along those same lines. And that wolf is obviously smart as hell. They make a great team. The regular army uses dogs to supplement front line soldiers, and the police use them, too. We've talked about how well Morales and that wolf…"

"Lobo," the General offered.

"…Lobo communicate. There's obviously something going on there other than verbal. Somehow, they seem to know what the other is - oh, hell, let's just say it - thinking. What better mode of communication could there be? We've watched the two move along those game trails. I didn't say walk, and used the word move on purpose, because that's what they do. Morales hardly makes a sound - even when he and Lobo are just going to the fields, and of course, neither does the wolf, but I suppose that just comes naturally to the animal. But, dammit, I think the wolf has somehow taught Morales to move quietly. I wonder if he even realizes it. I'm telling you, Sir, that we're wasting resources. Those two - both of them - can add to our exploration efforts."...

Have a goodun;

Roust

Chapter 440 of Book 3 is in the queue

June 16, 2017
Posted at 2:45 pm
 

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...When he returned to his cooking, his eyes fell on the wolves as they lay side by side with the ballista another ten feet past them. "You know," he said aloud to himself, "If I had a way to get that thing to the plains, I could probably take down one of the aurochs, not to mention a full-size buffalo. I have enough meat to get me through the winter - I think - but a couple of those giant hides would surely come in handy. Ah, shit. Wishful thinking," he scolded himself, but went on anyway. "The ballista is heavy, and those wheels would just bog down in the mud, not to mention trying to push it over limbs, rocks, roots and all the other crap on the animal trail. There just doesn't seem to be a way to make it happen," but his mind went on worrying the subject...

Have a goodun;

Roust