Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Excerpt: Crooked Pieces, Part Two

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/914410


Part Two

Promotional Discount
Inside Part One!
Chapter Four

BOOM!
The explosion lit up the green in Turbine 7000 Dozer’s metal eyes. String 8000 Weaver was wide-eyed, reflecting the green back at him. Before the explosion finished, before screams followed a small and violent fissure, Turb kept her wrapped in his left arm as he swung her away from danger. His right hand reached for the hilt of his revolver, fingers hot with electric fire the moment they wrapped around it.
She gripped him tight, balancing her knees away from bending to gravity’s will, as her heart mechanical heart raced. But, unlike the other dancers, String’s lips kept any scream escaping into the dense air.
As Turb yanked a large revolver out of his leather shoulder holster, the steel of it refracted the disco lights as cursive name reflected from String’s eyes. Just one name, etched seamlessly on the thick barrel of the revolver: Marlowe.
He could feel the metal in his thumb creak as it bent, pressing against the hammer of the revolver as the roars of the Ak-47s spat armor-piercing rounds. Turb’s steel gaze met the hollow stares of the Russian gangsters, war welling back into his mind as robots fell to the swarm of bullets in front of him -- many falling to their knees or climbing on top of one another to find an escape. A sigh left his mouth as he took sulfuric life into his mechanical lungs, a life borne from the click of the hammer and the crank of the cylinder.
Pulling the trigger made his circuitry flow like a calm river. However, the flash of each shot made him glimpse an image of a smile. It was a smile that wasn’t just creepy, it was familiar in more ways than one. Despite the horrific vision, his aim was true: six thugs, each catching a bullet between their eyes.
Gray atmosphere still mired the large hole in the wall, made from the explosion. Turb opened the cylinder, letting the shell casings shimmer as they hit the floor, as the silhouette appeared within the smoke, running towards the crowd.
Quickly reloading the empty chambers, Turb heard someone yell, “Grenade!” He swung the cylinder back in place as the thug threw the grenade toward the ground. It wasn’t a hard aim, but he made sure to shoot the grenade at its highest point, reducing the amount of damage the explosion radius would cause.
While he was protecting himself and String from the debris of the explosion, as other robots were knocked to floor from the impact, he saw the Russian disappear. The bastard was making a run for it, and Turb was in the mood for a chase, but there was a crowd of robots between him and club’s new exit...
Just a large jump away.
Feeling the last bit of heaven gliding away from his arm as String and him parted the second he took flight, Turb entered a kaleidoscope of dark fury, of screams and smoke. He noticed two important details: first, he noticed Granite 1000 Fog was nowhere to be found; and he noticed the fat and golden robot was eyeing Turb as he arm acted as a barrier between Line and his need to act. Another thought gnawed at his head as he landed near the hole in the wall, and it quickly became the dominant thought in his head. Namely, the thought became a question: Why would the Russian mafia risk upsetting the Italian mafia, just to violently crash a party full of robots?





Author Info


Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.




Catch Him At These Sites:






Donate Via PayPal: https://paypal.me/MikeWhitacre

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Excerpt: Crooked Pieces, Part One


Hullo Readers!

Thank You For Your Time!

After You're Done Reading, Please Consider Following Links, Commenting Your Thoughts, And Most Of All, Share To Your Hearts Content! 

Also, If You'd Like A Bit Of Context For The Main Character, Turbine 7000 Dozer, Please Read His Crossover Story With The Fabled Jack Irons In:

"The Man Who Was Irons".

For Now, Please Enjoy This Excerpt Until Crooked Pieces, Part One, Releases On December 7th, 2018, To Give You All A Little Extra Smash For Your Holiday Spirit.

I've Decided To Release This Novella In Parts, Giving You All Small Doses Of Built-Up, Science Fiction Action, And Maybe A Little Robotic Romance On The Side. Either Way, You Shouldn't Miss This Series, Which Will Keep Giving You Story After Story. What's More, Each Story Will Craft A Fun, Gritty, And Vibrant Universe.

I Hope You Enjoy Each Crooked Pieces Story, As Well As Each Part Of The Crooked Pieces Novella. But, More Importantly, Be At The Ready! There Is A Crooked Pieces Novel In The Work, After All

____



https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/906008

Part One

 
Dear String,

They’re finally shipping me out of Neptune. Officially speaking, we’ve accomplished our mission, which is hard not to see considering the battle we won. As tough as the Chinese forces are, their drones put a few dents in my jaw, they couldn’t beat our spirit and resiliency. However, a few of us agree that there was something off: the ending of this mission feels more like a diplomatic win, not the good kind - if there is such a thing. We plan to make sure the mission is truly complete, tonight, at the risk of a court-martial. Personally, I couldn’t live with myself knowing we weren’t 100% certain that this colony was secured; also, it doesn’t feel right winning a battle without putting one of those UN scum in the dirt. But, I am looking forward to getting back to Earth and wrapping you in my arms. Unfortunately, it will be a small comfort as long as these wars continue to taint each colonized planet, in our solar system. Even if it end within half-a-year, even if sentience will no longer be outlawed, and even if liberty and sovereignty will finally burry the tyrannical, decaying ideal of universalism, a byproduct of globalism… I can’t help but feel that a parasitic terror, greater than war, will loom over our solar system…

Classified Documents\War of Screams\Torn Letter-1.jpg




Chapter One
Tense Arrival
 


San Francisco.
A chaotic mess of bodies moved every which way, no rhyme nor reason in sight, but that was just the way a jumper station operated. The convenience of artificial wormholes, portals in layman, allowed for bustling movement for those who needed to bounce from one city to the next, with less downtime than an airplane, at nearly the same price. It was barely a decade ago when San Francisco and Berkeley were the epicenter of protests against jumper technology, especially since they were being made privately. False claims of jumper side-effects and narratives revolving around them being made by corrupt venture capitalists, funded solely by the rich and greedy. But, this wasn’t the turn of the 21st Century and the decades that followed: as soon as word got out that his jumper tech was being built by an entrepreneur from Oakland, funded by descendants of Japanese refugees, the activist habit slowly dissipated into quiet grumbling of entitled academics, doing God-knows-what in their ivory towers.
Refusing history lessons… certainly.
Out of the jumper station, Turbine 7000 Dozer immediately saw a different kind of bustling atmosphere upon viewing of the landscape of the city. Some parts were similar, like Market Street and its swarm of consumers, but there were more than a few instances to admire, like the various construction projects accommodating the versatile nature of flying cars - as well as the many restoration projects for building s that almost didn’t a survive the horrors of an age now long gone and barely confined to the pages of history…
While puffing cigar smoke from his lips, Turb snapped himself out of his thoughts. History always had a way of helping him cope with the here-and-now, but more time coping meant more time getting lost within his own mind, which meant less time figuring out important crap.
Then Turb looked down and caught a young woman, failing to imitate a punk rock band and dawning a full head of unkempt dreads, looking up at him agape. He cocked an eyebrow ins response, even if her reaction to his presence was to be expected.
Can I help ya, Miss?” Turb asked.
Eyes going wide, as if waking up from a marijuana-induced coma, the young lady took a step back and gripped her clipboard close to her chest. Shivering, she asked, “What the hell are you?”
Irritated with the question, Turb closed his eyes and took in a deep breath then exhaled a fog of smoke before reopening his eyes. “A seven-foot tall robot, ma’am,” he answered with a growling voice, “and I hope you have a wonderful day.” He then tipped his fedora and began walking away as fast as could.
Know your place, botto!” she yelled, letting loose the full brunt of her hysteria. “Polluting abominations like you are as good as trash if we catch you walking where you’re not wanted!”
Home, sweet home,” Turb muttered, straightening his pinstripe suit as he walked further and further away from the young woman.
Capitalist perversion!” were the last two words he heard her yell at him.
The UN radicals had better insults.
After that, Turb searched all around the outer area surrounding the jumper station. Not a single familiar face could be found, not to mention the one he was looking for, which soured him more than the crazy activist.
Giving up the search, Turb sat down and looked up at one of the skyscrapers. “Columbus,” he sighed. “Why did you create me here, of all places?”


  



Author Info

 

Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.




Catch Him At These Sites:






Donat Via PayPal: https://paypal.me/MikeWhitacre





Saturday, July 28, 2018

"The Man Who Was Irons"



“The Man Who Was Irons”
A Crooked Pieces X Jack Irons Story


Story & Crooked Pieces

By
Mike Whitacre

Jack Irons

By
Cody Fernandez
____


A whole lot of crazy can happen.

For Private Detective Turbine 7000 Dozer, a seven-foot tall robot wearing a wrinkly pinstriped suit, it often came in the form of a street gang, looking to mug him for his parts and cash. They were young and stupid, of course: thinking a robot, like himself, didn’t know anything about the latest performance-enhancing drugs, nor did they think he was too keen on the kind of weapons that could dismantle any mechanical device pseudo-surgically, which were popular for black market consumers. San Francisco was full of crazy, but this kind was dangerous.

They surrounded him, gleaming their glittered teeth and their uncanny muscles and their shiny weapons. Each of their insults didn’t register with him: too busy thinking and smoking a well-made Gurkha cigar as his right, red eye emitted a soft glow. Best thing to do when waiting for them to finish jerking around, finally deciding to get their mugging on.

Soon enough, they were ready to commence.

He tried not to enjoy this.

A couple of them were caught off guard when Turb gave them spiral fractures, others were out as soon as he smashed their faces into concrete or pavement. One guy pissed himself when Turb broke his expensive, dangerous toy.

It was shameful, really: Turb was hoping they’d be spry enough to give him a challenge. Would’ve saved time if he had just scared them off with his large six-shooter. Not worth the bullets, of course.

Damnedest thing happened, though.

Upon walking away from the beaten-up gang, Turb somehow stepped into a hole. Except, it wasn’t just any damn hole: It was an inter-dimensional wormhole. He’d have to tell the theorist all about it, if he managed to survive the headache it was giving him.

Or the fall.

Fall hurt… understatement of the year.

Nothing was quite as painful as metal shaking like a gong, slapped by a culturally inappropriate Pride Parade coordinator. Sand was involved, too… or maybe it was dry dirt. Either way he fell into it, face first, and caused a cloud to form all over.

Painful and mortifying.

When he finally got up, Turb found himself in an alien world, and he’d been to a few crazy Uranus colonies. For sure, this wasn’t like any planet in Earth’s solar system… at least as far as he knew. Yet, something felt familiar to him the longer he stared at the sky and the vast wasteland.

He should’ve been a little more conscious.

Something hot stuck into his side before a wave of electricity surged through him. Instantly, his systems went all out of whack and his energy drained completely. Turb could feel the brunt of his won weight before he fell over, kissing the ground once more.

Vision and hearing were faintly functional for a minute, allowing to see something he had never seen before: Demon-like creatures with four arms, wearing human-lit clothes. One was even wearing a trucker hat.

Sure this is a borg?” the one looking at him asked. “Never seen one like this…”

The creature’s voice trailed off in the distance.

Automatic system shutdown…


*

Within the darkness, Turb’s secondary systems booted and began downloading a file, which was met with an error code. It was followed by the apt explanation: Foreign Software Not Compatible. Less than a second later, another download initiated, but it was met with another error: Attempt Failed. He was being hacked.

Simultaneous uploads.

Cute.

They were treating him like a government computer… Perhaps they didn’t know any better. If that was the case, he thought, this might be the perfect opportunity to learn something, even if it required a bit of trickery.

He played around with the last download, allowing it to load as useless file, at least to his systems. Then he opened a hacking program of his own, and they wouldn’t see it coming. According to their computer, it would look as though they achieved a full hack, giving them complete control over his entire being. In reality, he now owned every computer within a mile radius, which was impressive tech, but there was something gaudy about it. Reviewing the code, Turb noticed two key distinguishing marks: whoever owned the code had something to do with a non-word like Glorr, and they were trying to brand steel cowboy into his emotions-matrix.

Finally, their guard was lifting a little, giving him the right time to boot up entirely. Patience was key: Turb wanted to be 100% capable before he made his escape.

Easier said than done: having patience.

Opening his eyes, Turb immediately saw a creature’s face - likely a Glorr - in his face, and it was wearing his hat. Nothing was harder than maintaining a straight, emotionless face when he wanted to punch this Glorr’s face in.

You operational, bot?” the Glorr asked.

Judging by this question, and the way the others - surrounding him in this small, bouncy room - stared at him, Turb discerned they wouldn’t respond well to his… human-like remarks.

Affirmative,” Turb answered.

See,” gaffed another Glorr, slapping the other’s back, “just a basic bot… Even if he looks like a high grade powerhouse. Bet someone spent a fortune to build him.”

Who dressed ya, bot?” asked the leering creature, looking over Turb with a suspicious expression painting his face.

Data not present,” Turb answered, getting tired of being a convincing, emotionless machine. He didn’t sound convincing, in his own mind, to boot.

Must’ve miffed his memory when he got zapped,” said a Glorr, behind him.

The Glorr in front of him scratched his chin as he said, “I don’t know… something just don’t feel right.”

Quite your worrying and sick him on Irons! Bounty ain’t going to be claimed the longer he roams free!”

Each of them cheered in agreement.

Alright, alright… Hey, bot, you got your orders. Now, get up and catch us a Steel Cowboy. Living or dead.”

Done playing subservient, Turb curled his metal lips and said, “No.” Then the lights went out, the room stopped bouncing, and an array of shouts and gun blasts began sounding off.

Upon getting his hands on the Glorr wearing his hat, Turb said, “That belongs to me, asshole.”

Before long, Turb managed to knock out nearly every Glorr before finding his gun. Then he heard a sound behind him, and when he turned around, Turb saw one of the Glorr trying to get distance away from him.

Stepping out, Turb shot one of its legs.

It toppled to the ground. Then it began to crawl away as fast as it could, but Turb eventually caught up with it. After comfortably fitting his hat, of course.

Pulling the hammer back as soon as his shadow casted over the Glorr, Turb said, “That’s far enough… You and I are going to get very acquainted. Now, turn over.”

Doing as Turb said, the Glorr trembled as his four arms were stretched out. “Have mercy,” it squeaked.

You’ll live… Where exactly am I?”

Furrowing its brow, the creature asked, “What kind of bot doesn’t know about this place?”

I’ll give you two guesses later. Next question: Who the hell is this Steel Cowboy you were clamoring about?”

Suddenly, Turb heard a click as a cold thing kissed the back of his neck. Then a grizzly, corse voice said, “Right here, partner, and that’s ‘bout enough.”

Oh?” Turb asked. “Care to elaborate?”

Never one to discuss things with a borg.”

B-,” stuttered the Glorr. “B-bot!”

Huh?”

Yeah,” Turb muttered, “that was going to be my next question, but-.”

Jerking, Turb convinced the cowboy to shoot. He could fee the bullet’s stopping power before it left the muzzle, feeling the thrust of wind on his jaw as he dodged it. Unfortunately, he didn’t count on the bullet blasting off the Glorr’s head, but he had not time to worry about that.

Bang!

The two were now staring down each other’s barrels, as well as each other. Finally, the wind had a chance to whistle a calm sigh, brining no amount of calm to this intense situation.

Nice gun,” the cowboy said, referring to Turb’s revolver.

Grinning, Turb said, “Not so bad, yourself.”

Can’t remember the last thing that dodged my bullets.”

Funny, I’ve stopped quite a few large robots with my bullets, but here you are, standing here, and not bleeding out.”

Don’t like talking,” the cowboy said, gripping his wound, already healed.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Shots echoed across the wasteland as the two had a themselves a shootout, neither making a significant mark with each squeeze of their triggers. At one point, the cowboy tired to fake Turb out, but he responded with a large leap into the air. This prompted an arial gun fight, but since Turb had the sun bursting over shoulder, the cowboy couldn’t manage to get a shod shot in. Because gravity was pulling his weight to the ground at a fast weight, Turb’s accuracy wasn’t exactly in the right either. Eventually, Turb slammed his foot into the ground, as the cowboy dodged it at the last second. With Turb’s foot seemingly stuck in the ground, the cowboy took the opportunity to smack Turb across the face before going in for another shot, but Turb caused a thick cloud of dirt to form when he quickly lifted his foot out of the ground and kneed the muzzle away from its intended target. Clearly, the tow were experts in their craft of action: nearly matched in accuracy, reload time, and gun power.

Eventually, the duel came to a stalemate when they shot off each other’s gun, flinging the revolvers a ways away from their owners. After that twist of cliched fate, Turb finally caught up to a fit of exhaustion once more, albeit different from being electrified out of energy. It was clear, at the same time, that the Steel Cowboy had caught a bout of heavy-breathing, himself.

What’s your name, partner?” the cowboy asked.

Turbine 7000 Dozer,” Turb answered. “Yours?”

Jonathan Nathaniel Irons… Call me Jack.”

Yeah… Turb will do just fine for me, too.”

Another hot whistle of a sighing wind before they smiled at each other. Then Turb and Jack engaged their fisticuffs on one another, neither in it to pull any punches. Neither fighting for glory or for a violent win. It was almost like a sparring match between two like-minded brothers, testing mettle. Fist to fist, heart to heart, and suffering to suffering.

Blood and oil.

Sun began setting when their swings slowed, bodies two large silhouettes across the bright red horizon. Their last swings marked the casting of twilight.

Finally, when the sky twinkled its stars, the two collapsed to their backs and began catching their breaths. Moments passed before their chests calmed, and now, they were caught in the silent awe of the heavens. Spotting a constellation, Turb was caught with the sobering realization that he was on Earth… Questions left unanswered, for now.

You’re not a normal bot,” Jack said.

Thanks, pot,” Turb muttered. “Got any good bars in this universe?”

Jack chuckled, “Heh. You buyin’?”

Before long, maybe an hour or more after they finally got their asses up, Turb and Jack were enjoying more than a heavy dose drinks. When they each had a third mug, Turb and Jack decided to have a belching match.

After his fifth mug, Jack slammed his glass onto the counter and belched out to the tender, “Woman! Two more prota-beer for my new pal, Turb, here!”

Make it five!” Turb belched, after slamming his mug down.

The bartender would’ve been annoyed if their jovial chuckles weren’t giving everyone high spirits that night… Yeah, a whole lot of crazy can happen.

Even the good kind.

___

Author Info



Mike Whitacre is a fiction writer, carving his own gruesome path through his work. He often mixes genres, but is primarily interested in the Crime/Mystery genre that utilizes the style of hard-boiled writers like Raymond Chandler. He lives in California, making too many damnable mistakes.

E-mail: mikeswhitacre@gmail.com


Check Out These Sites:

PayPal: www.paypal.me/MikeWhitacre

Patreon: www.patreon.com/MikeWhitacre

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeWhitacre

Gab: https://gab.ai/MikeWhitacre

WordPress: https://mikewhitacre.wordpress.com

Blogger: http://mikewhitacre.blogspot.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/MikeWhitacre



Attribution

Cody Fernandez is the creator of the character and universe of Jack Irons. Highly recommend you check out the sites and see what him and his team has in store!

Sites:
Tapas: https://tapas.io/basslegend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowboy_steel

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Jack_Irons_Steel_Cowboy

Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jack-irons-the-steel-cowboy-2-books#/



___

Crooked Pieces, Part One Is Live On Smashwords!

And, Since Turb Wants You To Have A Jacked Up Christmas, He's Giving You A 25% OFF Coupon!

Here's The Code For The
Jacked Up Christmas Coupon:
CK84E 

Use It To Buy Crooked Pieces, Part One Here:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/906008