I can't write today, so instead I drew this. Goodbye Jareth.
My reading list of 2016 so far includes Nnedi Okorafor,’s Who Fears Death? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XFYIE2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q5LJFJA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HC3UF6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Bird In The Sky, http://www.amazon.com/All-Birds-Charlie-Jane-Anders-ebook/dp/B00W190RPG
and Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026SCN54/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
I NEED MORE NAMES! HALP! Writing continues apace. Sort of.
I have a story coming out next year!
the book will be sent out to agents on my Birthday in February.
That's my deadline.
I'm busy living and writing, but I'll leave you with a poem I wrote.
(with thanks to Bogi Takács for the writing advice)
justice, much like faith,
is a faerie-tale,
cannot be made right not when
the killer is a white man and
the victims looked too dangerous,
too black, too transgender too
Cheyenne-Arapahoe, too female,
America, land of the free, much like hope
is a bed-time story we tell ourselves, hands
red from the days denials, justifications,
righteous prayer to our pale-skinned
god damn us all.
He was only 12
She was unarmed,
They were only walking,
but the Second Amendment
craves more blood
to water the tree
I’m sorry, patriots
those that die so we can be free
Tamir , Bettie, Paul, Yvette, Tanisha, Akai,
on and on a thousand names more
Emma’s poem, “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
is just a joke now, don’t you know
it’s all been a joke back since Wounded Knee
I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Shootout Solution: Genrenauts Episode 1 by Michael R. Underwood, the author of the Ree Reyes Series, Shield And Crocus, and The Younger Gods. I was not in any other way compensated for this review.
Let’s get something out of the way: I hate and love serialized fiction. Good serialized fiction hurts the worst, and therefore gets my hate more than bad serialized fiction, which I just drop after a certain point (Stephen King’s The Plant comes to mind.) Great serialized fiction, (like Claire Monserrrat Jackson’s Blood Ties series) delivers more story per square inch in a single episode than some bloated fantasy Decalogies in their entire ten novel run.
In that sense, Michael R. Underwood’s Genrenauts feels like a strong start to a great series. Snappy dialogue, twisting plot turns, and efficiently written action scenes combine with a strongly realized protagonist that reminds me of a old friend from my art school days, not a cardboard cut-out of the “strong female character” trope.
Leah Tang, flailing comedian turned improvisor extraordinaire is handed the weirdest opportunity of a lifetime, (and rocket ships, and a six shooter) before she gets tossed into an hilariously exciting adventure that shows sometimes the heroes aren’t the only ones who save the day.
Leah gets a surprising bit of breathing room to show off her personality of a decidedly strange world in this quick introduction to the series. If there is a flaw in the serialized fiction format, it’s that this character development comes at the expense of Leah’s team-mates, a few of whom seem to have just as interesting backstories as Leah. This seems especially true for one of the characters backstory which feels like a last minute inclusion to tick a box, instead of part of who the character is. THANKFULLY Michael R.Underwood has promised me via email that each of the teammates gets their own spotlight in Season 1, while some are even getting more stories in an anthology. (YAY)
The first “episode” contains just enough twists to bend my brain, which makes it compelling fiction, and I read it in a single sitting. Don’t worry, it’s not a short story, it clocks in at just under thirty thousand words, so you definitely get your money’s worth from the experience.
This series episode will be quite enjoyable for fans of Quantum Leap, Jim C. Hines’ Magic Ex Libris series, any of the Buffy Whedonverse, or of course fans of Ree Reyes from Geekomancy and Hexomancy. I loved it, personally—but I’m biased towards the deep pop culture references, the meta-story story, and the hint of worse to come. And that’s why I also hated it. Now I have to wait for the next episode to come out.
The Shootout Solution (Genrenauts Episode One) is available for preorder from this page here and will be available to read on November 17, 2015.
S.L. Huang’s ROOT OF UNITY is the latest in the Cas Russell series ( Russell’s Attic Series) and it is nearly a nonstop adrenaline bang-up car-wreck of an amazing ride. The TL;DR is BUY THIS BOOK AND THE REST AND READ THEM IN A SINGLE GO.
Fresh from her adventures in Book 2 ( HALF LIFE) Cas finds her morality-map fraying at the edges, and her usual coping methods are collapsing around her, at the worst possible time. The third book in the series sees her lethal brand of math-fu joining forces with a hacker named Checker, and a former private investigator named Arthur to find a kidnapping victim, and apparently the answer to a math problem that would change the world forever.
The stakes are higher for everyone this time, with Cas’s calculus martial arts ratcheting up even as she personally begins to fall apart. Expect no easy answers, and the slow simmering build-up to the Twist is presented excellently. Huang’s prose disappears behind the story, which is by turns hilarious (“He’s fine. He had a building fall on him.”) tragic and always action-packed. As someone who HATES math (I have dyscalculia) I love how the story presents mathematical ideas in a way that a total non-numbers type can follow, and the plot never slows down for it.
Cassandra Russell is an excellent heroine, a woman of color who is bad ass, not beautiful, competent, not cute, and would likely hold her own against James Bond and Indiana Jones. Huang’s a rising talent in the sci-fi world, and I would not be surprised to see her books optioned in Hollywood soon.
S.L. Huang’s book is tightly written, and is a perfect example of a compelling page-turner. I read it in two sittings, in the middle of the night and as soon as I woke up the next morning. 6 out of five stars.
HEXOMANCY hits all my sweet spots for good crunchy urban fantasy fiction, with laugh out loud snark-studded dialogue, just the right amount of nostalgic callbacks to things geeks of all genre-spheres will love, and crisply paced prose that moves the story forward at downhill-on-black-ice-slope’s pace. Action in good measure, humor throughout the book and a hell of a genre-shaking gut punch twist at the end that literally left me in tears. Very very few really good books can make me laugh, yell, and cry out loud anymore and Michael R. Underwood’s HEXOMANCY does all of that in a tightly tailored read that epitomizes compelling page-turner.
If there are any flaws in the book, there are only three I can think of that stand out, none egregious. I wish in certain places there were more dialogue-tag identifiers to see who is speaking. Other than that, my complaints are silly; I want the book to be longer so I can really sink my teeth into the lives of the supporting characters, and 2.) I wish wish wish this book was available in print so I could share it with my technophobic friends.
Michael R. Underwood’s HEXOMANCY is a clever spin on the world of geek-infused urban fantasy, a fun thrill ride to the end, even as it toys with my emotions. I hated characters, I loved characters, I loved characters that I hated minutes prior. This book is an excellent choice for any reader who wants a snappy story with a cheerfully smart protagonist and her party of adventurers.
I highly recommend you buy this book STAT and read it with your favorite cup of coffee, magical D20, and pizza at the ready.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go pester the author for more books like this.
This poem made it to the last round of inkscrawl submissions, but I badgered the editor repeatedly into rejecting it so I could post it here for you so that you can hate it.
Every once in awhile there comes a writer whose prose is so elegant, they change the river of literature in their wake and leave an indelible fingerprint on the landscape of the reader’s imagination. Such rare treasures are often buried deep in the sea of good-to-mediocre, their diamond presentation just waiting for the right time, the right hands. Thankfully, at last I can say that Miss Claire Monserrat Jackson is such a jewel. You’ve the hands, dear reader, and the time is right now.
Some who want everything for nothing will complain that the serial is too short for its price, and although I agree with the former I vehemently argue against the latter. For the price of a cuppa, you get a tiny puzzle box world so intricate and detailed and layered with meaning that it might well take multiple readings to see all the carefully crafted gear work moments of confusing perfection. Monserrat Jackson’s prose weaves its way through mythology and history in a dance that’s familiar, yet eldritch and alien giving you a dystopian afterworld gilded with gods and myths of the past wrapped up in passages that yearn for Sam Spade’s office.
Claire Monserrat Jackson’s heart beats on the page, the blood in the words and the ink, and the work is better for it. Our protagonist is a woman of color (and song!) and from what I can guess, at least a little more than Queer in the LGBTQIA sense. Which, frankly, in a world with too many white male heroes, is a giant relief. People want diversity in speculative fiction, and Miss Monserrat Jackson serves it up on a plate of caviar prose. Make no mistake, she’s a genre breaker, delivering such a svelte story so impressively drenched with just the perfect detail to leave you in the moment of that world.
If I haven’t impressed this upon you yet let me scream it from the roof tops. Blood Ties: Part One is an amazing masterpiece of urban punk noir, and you should buy it yesterday.
Some notes: Although I was given access to an advance copy, I purchased mine, and was not paid or otherwise coerced to do this review. She's just that good.
Work in Progress from the sequel to Guns Of Penance:
(Which is free August 18th ONLY)
"Ceras frowned, and popped the passenger door of her car open for her lover. The scissor door slid up towards the sky and the front of her Spyker C9 Aileron, and Ceras frowned as she saw a helicopter swing sharply back towards them two city blocks away.
“Jenna!” Ceras called out as her hand went for the gun clipped to the magnetic holster on the dashboard.
Jenna’s face slid from anger to wide eyed confusion just as the helicopter finished the turn and started firing from guns mounted on the right side of the aircraft. The eerily familiar pop-chopping sound of the heli’s guns spilt the air apart as rounds exploded in the street sending chunks of asphalt and clouds of dirt skyward.
Jenna started to turn but then felt a chill down her back and a cold bead of sweat slip down her temple, tracing the line of her cheekbones. Something in the air shifted, the sort of thing that makes hair on the back of the neck rise, the way it feels just before a lightning storm in the summer, or an earthquake about to happen.
Before she could move there was a searing pain in her calf and right arm, as if wasps the size of baseballs punched holes through her body with 9 mm stingers. A microsecond later the pop-pop of gunshots rang out, and as she fells the pain blossomed from tiny sparks in an ocean of darkness into a raging ball of fire, like two small stars burning as bright as if the sun had taken up residence in her body. We are all made of stars, she thought in a crazy moment that made no sense.
Then her head hit the pavement."
-Blades Of Lucifer
I am sooooo tired of pretending I am ok. Listen, here it is. The spinal stenosis is bad. The infection that put me in the hospital 3 times is back. I'm bleeding pretty much every day. I have ratchety hole filled teeth. Essential meds I need are running out and I don't know how to get more since my Doctor has decided he's no longer my Doctor. So that means the anxiety is up. Which means it's harder to do basic tasks. The depression—emotional dampening field is in full effect. Basically the only emotions I have access to now are dread, anger, and sadness. The writing, the art, all of it feels beyond my grasp right now.
"Hug your son,"
"Hang in there,"
"You have my prayers,"
There, I said the words for you, so please don't say them back to me. Hugging my son does NOTHING, except maybe increase my sense of dread that I am failing him in ways I can't even perceive, and consequently, increase my shame and self-hate at being a failed mom. And don't get me started on "Hang in there." What am I hanging with exactly? My hands? My neck? Everything hurts and I feel like I'm choking to death. Got it.
Look, I'm sorry. Well wishes allow people to express the fact that they empathize with me, and were I not so exhausted and tired of literally being so sick and tired I'd offer my sincere thanks, but right now all I can really do is withdraw and try my best to be polite without downright lying to anyone.
I am now in the eating peanut butter sandwiches and ramen phase of my career as a writer. The muses are back, but only for fanfiction. Ideas are percolating but ideas don't get new doctors to help fight recurring cellulitis infections, or help me solve the gap between my rent (rising) and my income (flat zero.) Not to mention surgical funding for other treatments Medicare just hates to cover ( even though they say they will,) and $ for meds.
In other me-news (???) I found myself involved in Twitter's #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs hashtag recently, and at first my tweets were kind of "meh," but by the final few I was bawling my eyes out.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs everyone's like "Stop being lazy and faking it." As if I'd choose this hell for fun.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs holding your son who is asking you why are you crying, & hating yourself because you can't stop-or feel joy.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs hating yourself because you can't feel joy for your family whom you love, & seeing their disappointment
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs not feeling anything but sad, angry, and self hating anymore because of chemicals in the brain.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs being powerless to stop it from wrecking your marriage the resentment your spouse has because she needs you.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs trying meds, therapy & hospitalization & seeing it all fail when insurance runs out & you can't afford it.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs suicide is illegal but no one will help you endure the day after day hell of living-yet demand you not give up
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs living with it for 30+ years, people can't or won't help you & you have to "chin up." w/o begging for help
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs putting on a brave face, saying "I'm fine" when asked, staying awake at night in terror & crying in secret
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs knowing that if I kill myself someone will say, "Why didn't she say something, someone should have helped."
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs the absolute worst is getting up and TRYING for my son in the hopes he doesn't get depressed either.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs trying to explain to a 4 year old boy why mommy is sad all the time, & the shame I feel for having to.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs watching people trying to console you with words or gestures & feeling empty because no one votes for change.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs not having the guts to tell people their hugs and words of consolation are like the goggles, they do nothing.
#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs eating to feel better & people say "why are you so fat, loser?" & then you feel bad so you eat even more.
"She turned from the mirror, and looked at me with crackling, dark eyes.
'There are twenty-three knives in the kitchen,' she said. "Eighteen lengths of cord or wire in the living room. Seven industrial strength cleaning agents under the sink. Nine different bottles of pills over my desk.
'And zero methods of dealing with the pain.' Memet turned to the mirror and laughed, bitterly. I said nothing, afraid.
'In this country,' she continued, 'suicide is illegal.'
'People go on and on about how they don't want you to die, about what a mistake that would be, but for the person on the brink to hear you say 'please get help,' the question is, from who? What help? Therapy, hospitalization, daily life assistance, these options are realistically only available for the wealthy.
"'Think of your son, your family, your friends. You dying will hurt them forever.'" Her tone mocked my earlier pleas. I opened my mouth to reply, but she stared at me with dead-fish eyes and spoke over my unwhispered words.
"So you're saying that I should remain, when I'm physically disabled and dysfunctionally mentally ill, and be a burden on them they are not equipped to handle? That's a twisted kind of cruelty, even for you."
This is from the sequel to Guns Of Penance, which will be on sale at $0.99 for the next ten or so hours ONLY before going back to its normal price.
"Without thinking, leaping like an animal, Stacey grabbed the rocket, listening to the beeping noise, and ran back the way she came. She leaped up onto the hood of her car and saw the last attacker frantically loading another rocket into the tube.
Stacey stood on the hood of her car, all six foot six inches of her lean muscle mass trembling with rage, rocket in one hand, rifle in the other. Her arm burned with the agony of the rocket’s weight and the wound.
She yelled, screamed, roared with a shaking fury and hurled the rocket back with all her strength at the woman just as the other woman looked up at the scream.
Stacey raised the Barrett M107 as the rocket sailed up in a tumbling arc. She aimed, and fired.
The rocket, while not set to explode until a certain range, was not itself armor proof, and each of the six inch long .50 caliber BMG shells were designed to shoot down aircraft, proving themselves more than capable of piercing the rocket’s casing.
The rocket exploded mid air and knocked Stacey off the hood of her car, but not before she saw the other woman also go down, and she was close enough to hear a single scream."
Because I'm crazy, I'm temporarily dropping the price of my first book's Kindle version to .99 cents USD. I can't discount the paperback version any further than it is, because I don't print it (CreateSpace does.) But now you can pick up the book for less than the cost of a 36oz bottle of soda-pop! So Yay!
Reviewers are calling my book
"a delicious page turner," "a cracker, a gripping read from front to back," "raw, carnal and gritty"
So yes what are you waiting for?
Go get Guns of Penance from Amazon Here!
Go get Guns of Penance from Smashwords Here!
You can still buy the paperback version, though not as heavily discounted, here
This is an excerpt from the upcoming novel ESC:AI, set in the same universe as Guns of Penance, but focusing on Asia and a bit farther on the timeline.
Rei watched the scene repeating itself over and over for awhile, then walked away stumbling at first but quickly regaining her self composure. heading in a vaguely northern direction. The city in this place felt familiar, like a blended copy of Tokyo, Osaka, even Neo-Beijing. It was as if the metropolises had been scanned and then merged together as a single entity. She spotted an exact duplicate of the Naihaiden building from the Meiji Jingu Shrine in the middle of a park across from a replica of the brick and stone pagoda of the Cishou Temple. She watched as several people approached a prayer collection table in front of the Naihaiden-copy. They paused, tossed a coin through the dark black wooden slats of the collection table, bowed, clapped their hands twice, and prayed. Just beyond the park was a building that looked like the Mori building from Roppongi hills merged with the Tsutenkaku Tower that rose from the building’s center. It was ungainly, but looked utterly natural.
It was all fake. But it felt more real than the Realm ever did. Still, Rei thought, if it was the game world, and it followed Realm rules... She swiped her hand, palm out in front of her, as if opening an invisible sliding door. The Realm’s user interface menu appeared, and she selected the Map option.
The Realm universe map appeared, floating as a large glowing web of light in front of her, her vision darkening slightly to better see the map’s features. The city she was in was called Godtown, and it existed where the human starter player city should have been. As she studied the map it shifted slightly, following her gaze and revealing more detail that scrolled into view. None of the cities that she remembered from the original Realm game were here, instead either replaced by strange city names or gone altogether. Fire City...Cannonsville Starcliff, Redwater.... all of these names were alien to her. Except one.
White City. That was place where she was last logged in to the real Realm game and the location of the campaign where she had her the Kurimoto’s seizure that put her in the hospital. She grabbed the node of light next to the name of the city. The familiar sensation of a thousand small coins sliding down her body was interrupted by a strong lurching sensation, and she stood at the teleport point of White City, or what was left of it.
The White City, a large opulent non-player metropolis (modeled after a Neo Rome set a thousand years in the future) was once a beautiful mixture of ivory marble, white Corinthian columns, brushed aluminum and perma-glass facades lit with open flame that poured like water through spiraling tubes inside the perma-glass walls. Once a bustling economic center for players who crafted in game items for other players, the White City was swarmed with non-player Machine battalions during the last game expansion. Repeated battles had turned the city into a vast apocalyptic no man’s land. Perma-glass, (despite its name) had been smashed into perhaps millions of shards, marble walls had been scorched, crushed, and bombed to pieces. Cars and other vehicles had been crushed under collapsing buildings, and the buildings themselves had either been bombed, slagged by molten cannon fire, or just smashed from robotic fighter unit combat. Not one of the cities famous columns remained standing. It was impossible to see the streets without the aide of the AugReal map lines and names.
Few of the original buildings remained standing in the city, and what rubble did remain was piled little more than 5 meters high. Rei looked at the wasteland of the Machine Faction’s aggressive campaign, and sighed. In a month or so, the city would slowly begin to rebuild itself, and the players who lived in the city would return some time after that, salvaging their wares, or making them anew from the raw piles of rubble that remained. In truth, Rei thought as she stood their, for players high enough in skill to salvage the city, the place was a gold mine of free resources that might be hard to gather otherwise.
But for now, with fires still smoldering and squads of Machine Stalker units standing guard a few hundred meters from each other the White City was clearly off limits to non-combat players.
Rei stood near the teleportation site quietly and looked at the numbers of enemy non-player units. Judging by the sheer amount of battalions the Machine faction had here they must have a full legion of at least five thousand Machine fighters in the city proper alone. If that was the case it meant the Machine faction had beaten all the player groups who tried to retake the city, which was a huge embarrassment for the player groups and human players in general.
It might be that human players were simply waiting for the inevitable reset of the game’s servers, which would remove the Machine Faction’s present military successes and allow players to rebuild their resources before the Machines returned to mount another assault.
That was one aspect of the Realm game that Rei always hated. Yes, she understood why portions of the game reset themselves to prevent various areas from becoming too hard to ever play, but it ruined the sense of realism and any real consequence from the game. Secretly she wished the Machines would be able to stay and turn the White City into a Machine operated super-fortress. It might upset new players and power-gamer groups, but it would certainly shake things up.
She swiped her hand in that “opening a sliding door” gesture. The UI menu returned with a flash, and Rei navigated her way to the Equipment and Weapons section. She didn’t really think she stood a chance at surviving combat here, but since the teleportation center was destroyed she’d need a vehicle to make any hope of an escape. Her trusty WSR Mark III Weapons Platform tank did get a decent speed considering the amount of missiles and Ion cannons it had aboard. If she could upload it here, eject all the weapons to save weight drag, and drive like hell she just might be able to get out of the city far enough to lose pursuers.
When the Weapons and Equipment menu loaded, Rei’s mouth dropped. Her WSR Mark III was gone, as were all her other siege weapons. Where they had been was now filled to the brim with non-player weapons usually only reserved for Game Monitor staff. She had complete access to weapons, equipment and armor that was strictly for use by Omegicom employees in order to deal with players who were breaking rules and harassing other players, or in rare cases, when high level non-player characters were glitching and attacking cities or other safe zones. It didn’t happen often, but there were cases of higher level players attacking lower level monsters, luring them to a low level player area, and then either logging out or leaving via personal teleports. Normally the monster would leave the area when its primary target did, but not always.
Rather than have a battle area reload command that would reset all the monsters, the developers of the game gave the Game Monitors super powered weapons that would destroy any non-player character with a single attack. The weapons and armor also had the added benefit of looking very sleek, dark and imposing, which was a useful look to have when dealing with wayward players caught harassing others.
Rei remembered stories in the early days of the Realm where Game Monitors would come under attack from Player Killers by the dozens, and simply stand there chatting and laughing at the players whose attacks did no damage. When the players’ weapons were depleted or damaged beyond repairs, the Game Monitors might use the attack called a Gentle Sneeze on the player. The attack looked exactly like a simple sneeze, but the effects were devastating, killing the player’s avatar instantly. Most of the time when this happened the Game Monitor would resurrect the player for free—it went against good customer service otherwise.
It was also rumored that in the most severe cases, or where clearly illegal activity was taking place, a Game Monitor could simply delete a player’s avatar and account forever, essentially banning them from the game, though these occurrences happened so rarely they bordered on the edge of mythical legend.
And now she had access to all that power.
She couldn’t help herself. She equipped sets of body armor, one after the other, just to see what she looked like in them. She settled on a form fitting white cuirass made of the rarest Realm metal, polyceramium. It was trimmed with white eagle feathers and ivory bone buttons with lace. It came with matching gauntlets, greaves, pauldrons and polyceramium leggings with with leather straps up her calves and inner thighs. It even came with the Wings of Godstone, large angelic hawk’s wings that warped into a feather cape when not in use. There were two weapons available, the Tremor Mallus, which was an elegant needle of a rifle, and the long slender silver colored blade, the Black Xifos.
A cursory check of her player stats while wearing the armor simple said “Dev Mode Enabled” in the hit points, energy, ammo, and mana fields. She equipped the rifle and walked towards the nearest trio of Machine Stalker tanks. They looked like absurdly tall crabs with mushrooms for bodies and cannon tube eyestalks.
The Machines swiveled to face her as she approached, and the lead Stalker took a few tentative steps forward, extending a slender wire in her direction. A detection scanner. For a few seconds she held her breath, never having been this close to a Machine squad before. The detection wire trembled a moment, and Rei waited for the shrill attack alarm that normally followed it, but the Stalker simply withdrew the wire into itself, and turned back.
Of course. If she had been given the power of a Game Monitor, then her avatar’s level and faction would make her immune from the non-players like Machine Stalkers.
She grinned. In a moment of absolute childishness Rei aimed the rifle at the Stalker and fired.
Tremendously oversized bolts of white, orange, and red lightning leaped from the rifle barrel and arced across the gap to the trio of Stalkers. All three exploded instantly in a shower of light and debris, the burnt out husks tumbling down to the rubble in the street.
From the first draft sequel to Guns of Penance.
Somewhere in the wealthier part of the South Pacific, a tall shirtless dark skinned man, his body scarred by bullets, blades, and teeth stood on the marbled rooftop deck of his penthouse. He was watching the North American newsfeed on the wall. The large screen showed images of police helicopters in front of a massive spider-like war machine, a tank the size of a high rise apartment complex, spouting lightning bolts and flame. It was like something out of that god damned War of the Worlds movie, the man thought.
The moment he saw the mammoth mobile rail gun platform on the screen in the New Cal megalopolis, he knew that its target was the Wall that he had built his fortune on. The Wall had been his crowning achievement, a towering eighty foot high steel and concrete barricade that divided the irradiated poor from the pure, healthy rich of what remained of ruins of the United States of America. It had been his wall, his plan to keep the streets of what many named Corporate America safe as the rest of the country slid into madness.