One Hundred (or so) Tuesdays Ago…
I started this post in which, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd challenge readers and lend a helping hand. Generating more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use, my family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll continue to include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.
To celebrate this occasion – I’ll make a mash up of ideas from all three genres…and I’ll add The Western and a dash of Romance for added spice!
H Trope: Ancient tombs discovered/cursed/releases monster/mummy & fairy dust
SF: Starship Troopers
F Trope: Elves, gnomes and Halflings
Western Trope: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
Romance Trope: Beauty and the beast
Rayyan Brakus powered his exoskeleton armor up and swung down from the troop transport. Granted, he was supposed to be eighteen; granted, he’d lied about his age.
But when the InterWar recruiter had shown up at the base of Butte Vertical Village in their shiny starship, offering lots of cash and a life of adventure, Rayyan ran to place his thumbprint. His ID didn’t show that he was 16 and a half. It showed he was 22. So what if the recruiter’d said, “You bring your cat along to lick your whiskers off, soldier?”
Rayyan snorted, blowing a blot of snot on the inside of his faceplate. He reached up to wipe it away, remembered it was inside and ignore the other soldiers who laughed at him. He’d show THEM!
He clomped down the ramp, stepped to one side and stopped, scanning. A bleak place, this world. Looked like lots of dunes, dead trees and boulders – some sort of adobe village a couple klicks. Command channel blasted into his ears, “Target acquired. Mumiyah’s Cavern has been partially secured. Local resistance armed and should be considered dangerous. Squads Delta and Theta proceed with caution. Air support unavailable.”
Rayyan felt his stomach drop to his feet then sprinted to follow the rest of Theta Squad. His first live combat mission...
He wasn’t expecting the attack. He should have been, but they’d never trained against cavalry.
Horses ridden by midgets. With bazookas. Trying to kill him. “Not me personally!” he shouted into his helmet as he fired into the mob with his stunner. There wasn’t any reason to…
A female midget – sorta hot looking, he noticed before she sprayed something on his armor – swung a mass-balanced lance that glowed as it cut through the first layer physical defense then was deflected by the monomolecular fluid underlayer.
Deflecting the lance, the inertia transferred to him, her speed and weight knocking him over. Instead of a hard crash, it felt like he’d fallen on sponges. The midget on her full-sized horse, was wearing a cowboy hat and clenched a cigar between her teeth. She raised a mace and shouting, brought it down on his helmet.
Vesna Lobato stared down at the man wrapped in bug scales and shook her head. Polish him up a bit and he might be a good-looking boy. A bit older that her little brother, his blonde hair was snarled, the fabric body suit was soaking wet from the dissolution of the armor by her fairy dust. She was reasonably certain the dust was no longer potent, though she’d had at least ten soldiers of the hundred the Imperial Mounted Police had repelled from Mumiyah’s Cavern – die. Their skin liquefied, sloughing from the bones. The screams made her shudder.
But it wasn’t like she was fighting people. They were soldiers, impersonal, caring nothing for the cultures of the New West. They wanted only to dig out its secrets and turn them into another weapon to subjugate the worlds!
She lifted the lance to strike the youngster’s head off.
“Hold your blade, Vesna!”
“Why, brother? He’d have killed me if I hadn’t knocked him down first.”
Her brother looked down at the soldier and said, “If nothing else, we can strip out of his brain what he thinks he knows about the Cavern.”
She lifted her blade, took a deep breath and said, “I’ll stop my lance – but only ‘cause I might ask him out on a date before we magick out his brain.” She wheeled on her horse and headed back into town.
Name source: (m) Malaysia, Greek; (f) Macedonia, Portuguese