Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Blue Man Post Four

There was a rustle in the back yard. Had one of the kids escaped? She got up slowly, and crawled to the corner of the house. The back yard was fenced in with large, flowering shrubs that filled the area with a cloying scent. The French doors between the house and the patio stood open. But the yard was empty.

Cyndia stood up and left the corner of the house. How to tell the police? Intrepid amateurs were always accused of being the murderer. Skipping that would be great. And she had to tell Murdock. He’d want to see the crime scene while there was still a way in.

If she hadn’t been staring at the lighted doorway, she would have seen the movement in the shadows of the yard. What she did see and turned toward was the arm in motion.

Her elbow dug into the grass when she hit the ground. The dark blur jumped to land on her legs. She pulled them out of the way and kicked back. He fell on his back. No knife, otherwise he wouldn’t have punched. Cyndia pounced, landing on his torso. She punched his jaw and then hit him again. “You murdering, feathered psycho!”

Thestern rolled Cyndia onto her back. His hands latched onto her throat. Breathing isn’t optional, and she pounded on his arms. “You disturb God’s name.” He let her go and ran through the yard.

She had to lay there, sucking down air to cool her burning lungs. Where was he going now? She crawled about halfway around the house before getting enough strength back to stand up. Staggering across the street to the Baton yard, Cyndia heard a loud splash in the lake. “Great, he thinks he’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon now.”

The Baton house was still empty. Tonight was Bingo night; Mrs. Baton wouldn’t be back for another hour. Cyndia crawled back in through her bedroom window. That should be plenty of time to consult with Murdock. She grabbed a flashlight and the house keys.

The lake only showed a few ripples in a slight fog over it in the flashlight beam.


“Murdock?” The spaceship door was still open. “You’re going to get found out if you don’t shut the door.” Cyndia staggered up the ramp.

The orange mass formed a face that looked at her as she came in. “What happened to you?”

“Thestern killed another family. I had a fight with him. He jumped in the lake, I think.”

“The Odrichans are an aquatic species.” He got up from the desk and cupped her chin with a tentacle. “Your skin is discoloring.”

Now she could feel the throbbing across her cheekbone. It hurt to the touch. “He smacked me hard. He said I was disturbing God’s name.”

Murdock had reformed into the humanoid shape. The eye hollows looked down at her. “You fought with Thestern. Do you have any concept of how doltish that was?”

“He hit me first!” Cyndia jerked away and threw herself into a chair. “What does disturbing God’s name mean?”

“I do not know.”

“Didn’t you guys do a psych evaluation when you had him in custody? Psychiatric,” she added to his blank look.

“There was not enough time and the Odrichans did not. This is frustrating; I’m too far apart from where I need to be.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Blue Man Post Three

Cyndia took a deep breath and took a swipe at the moistness leaking from her eyes. She needed a nap. Yes, that would make her feel better after all this.


Pounding heart, what had woken her up? Cyndia blinked in her darkened bedroom before looking at the red numbers of the clock radio. She had been asleep for hours. The unofficial bedtime for the subdivision had already passed.

Cyndia went to her bedroom window. Funny, the bedroom lights at the Johnsons’ across the street were still on. She grabbed her tennis shoes and out them on. The Johnsons’ were usually the first ones out. She eased opened the window and eased out into the flowerbed. The garden stake marking what plant was planted here made sure that the window didn’t shut and lock.

Nobody else was out in the yards or the street to see her sprint to the Johnsons’. Cyndia didn’t want to be mistaken for a murdering prowler tonight. Their living room had a window that faced the side yard. She could peek there without being seen.

She got between the two shrubs planted under the window to prevent easy access. One branch dug into her cheek but she ignored it. Her brown eyes eased up over the window sill. The room was obscured by something red splattered on the glass, a fine red spray.

Cyndia jerked back. The branch snagged her hair and cut her cheek. She landed on her butt and hands. The back of her head hit the fence. Too late, too late, why did she go to sleep?

There was a rustle in the back yard. Had one of the kids escaped? She got up slowly, and crawled to the corner of the house.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Zy's Novel Post Two

Probably the other reason for not getting as much done, I was distracted by getting this part ready to post. Also discovered an oopsie with the calender in the journal of Chapter One. If I get a few second I have to fix that and other oopsies.

The Personal Journal of IGA Agent Zy

1.6.1012/September 16, 1998

I never wanted anyone to be responsible for. Partners ended up dead and you have to do something, Sam Spade was right about that. And look at poor Jessica Fletcher. Everybody she knew either ends up as a corpse or has a corpse thrust on them. Spare the ones you love that.

And what would an IGA agent need with a bodyguard? You’re trained to be able to handle any emergency. But after he saved my life and refused to go home, what could I do?

Pressure bore down onto Zy’s back between her shoulder blades. Her spine cracked. A hand fumbled with the holster on her hip for only a second before drawing out her gun. “Coculas.” The voice was deep but had a hiss to it, like air being forced through many holes. “You come to kill me with this? You show more courage than the others.”

The light reflecting from the floor dazzled her eyes. Have to get this guy off. She pushed up with her arms. The pressure on her back increased, and she gasped for breath.

“Coculas. You will join our Master in death. I will guard him. It is all you and the tkultar have left me. It is all you deserve after abandoning him.”

“I think you’ve made a mistake. I am IGA Agent Zy, here to talk to Cobain about some murders.”

“IGA?” The pressure easied slightly.

“Inter-Galactic Agency for the Apprehension of Felsons and the Investigation of Criminal Activities. Somebody decided to make a shorter name with IGA. I am an official representative, and if anything happens to me, you won’t like the consequences and repercussions.”

“Another organization with business for Master?” There was a rapid clinking sound as the pressure left her back. “You come too late.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I will show you.” Two talons grabbed her upper arms and lifted her up so she could scramble her legs back underneath her. “Straight.”

Was it worth getting shot with your own gun just to catch a glimpse of your attacker’s face when you wouldn’t have a chance to share that information with anyone? Zy decided not and started walking down the hall.

The smell was getting even stronger, but she couldn’t rummage in her pouch for the breather. The guy behind her would see it as going for a weapon.

The hall opened into a large room, and Zy gagged on the stench. Two torches burned on the other end, wafting thick, black smoke toward the celing. It must be a type of throne room judging by the artwork carved into the wall and the raised platform underneath the torches. A cloth-draped table was on top of that platform with a body laid on it.

She managed to cross the woobly room. The being was six-feet long (use metric equivalent) from the top of the skin hood above the head to the tip of its tail. Cybernetic arms had been crossed over the chest area and gleamed in the flickering light. The jaw hung open, and empty eye sockets stared up at the ceiling. Not quite empty, something white and wormy wiggled out onto the cheek. Dried blood led up to a small hole on the left temple. It was a straight line from there to the missing right back corner of skull and skin hood. More white fat worms wiggled in the gore revealed by her flashlight. The winged insects took flight, darting straight toward her face. Zy batted them away and saw a multi-legged centipede thing with iridescent blue exoskelteton as long as her arm wind its way out of the mouth.

Her stomach rebelled, and she choked back the nausa. It turned to dizziness, and washed over her head with a wave. She sat on the platform edge, bending over so her head was almost between her knees. He was dead, as dead as the corpses Patricia Cornwell never glossed over in her books. Training hadn’t prepared her for this. IGA Agents always came in after the impartial robots dealt with the mess.

The being who had escorted her to this death chamber expelled air, which hissed through many holes again. He stepped on the platform and stood next to her. She could hear a brushing noise. “Stay off Master.” He stepped back down once he was finished.

Zy swallowed hard. How long had he been sweeping off bugs? She couldn’t take this. She couldn’t do this. Ifeket had been different; Xeryl had had cornorbots. She went to his rooms with a breather after the body was taken away to be buried. Nobody told her how to deal with a dead body on a backwater planet. This place was so backwater, it didn’t even dispose of the dead. Even Earth had funeral arrangements. Earth also had training with real dead bodies. The poor dead guy, the poor dead guy.

Tears welled in her eyes. “He died and everyone else ran away. They couldn’t even bury him? Instead of leaving him here like the rest of the junk they didn’t want?” She jerked her head up to find her assailant.

He sidestepped to not be blinded by the flashlight. Sharp, needle-like teeth interlocked perfectly on his massive jaws that extended in a snout from his bald head. His grey skin looked rough, like reptile hide. She couldn’t remember ever seeing mention of his species before. The sleeves of the loose grey monk robe he wore covered his hands. His head titled as he blinked his black eyes. “You mourn Master?” (Description needs to be broken apart more.)

“He doesn’t deserve to be treated like road kill, no matter how horrible he was!” Zy roughly wiped her cheeks. “That’s Cobaine, isn’t it?”

“That is what the tkultar left of Cobaine, yes.”

“Do you know what happened? Who killed him?”

“His employees, the coculas, said it was a demon. He held the gun in his hand and brought it up to his head,” he pantomimed the action with her gun, “while screaming for us present to stop the one making him do it. No one there was close enough to force him. Master fired the gun. I reached his body first through the confusion and the gun was gone. The lieutenant saw the gun was missing and screamed demon. The coculas ran.”

“The gun was missing? Somebody pried it out of those cybernetic hands, somebody you couldn’t see?”

“That is right. There are still shavings from the gun on the claws.”

Zy considered standing to look, but her head still felt light. “Somebody took Ifeket’s gun too.”

“The tkultar has killed others?”

“Possibly Ifeket. Possatact’s head exploded, a different M.O. But these three guys were linked. Why haven’t you buried him? Or cremated him?”

“I must serve.”

“He’s dead.”

“I must serve. As long as Master lies in wait, I can serve.”

“He’s dead now. That usually means you’re free.”

“I cannot be free until the honor has been repaid.”

“Honor of being a slave?”

“I am betah. Unless I serve my master for five years, I will remain a betah forever.”

Being a betah must be fairly horrible if brushing bugs off a dead body looked good by comparison. Zy didn’t think she could keep the bile down any longer. “I have to go.” She stood up and the room spun so fast around her it returned with only slight rocking. Cobaine’s servant grabbed her arm, a solid rock next to her. “I have to go.”

“Go where?”

She closed her eyes. “Go find an invisible killer demon thing. Go someplace where I can breath. Breathing first, then demon.”

“You are breathing.”

“But the smell is making me sick!”

“Smell? Ah, no choice over odors to taste.” His teeth clacked together. “We shall adjourn.” His steps moved her closer to the door, and she wanted not to lean so heavily on his shoulder. The air grew fresher the further back down the hall they went. “Are you a warrior?”

“I’ve had fight training.”

“You hunt demons with only training?”

Zy took a deep breath. The decaying odor at this level she could tolerate. “I doubt it’s a demon. But someone made Cobaine commit suicide in a room full of witnesses. That someone is a murderer and it’s my job to catch them.” The planet was finally steady under her feet.

“Are you only trained to do that as well?”

“I’ve solved five cases successfully! And I’m going to solve this one!”

His expression was unreadable. “What will you do with the tkultar once you find him?”

“Turn him over to my superiors with all of the evidence, and he will be judged and punished.” She hoped his culture had something resembling those concepts.

He snapped his jaws together three times, each time sounding like a mousetrap slamming on a hapless victim. “You serve Master by punishing the killer. Mylte will now serve you to serve Master and fulfill the obligation of betah.” He knelt on one knee, and placed her hand on top of his head.

The Blue Man Post Two

Did not get as much done today that I had hoped. Always bad on Mondays.

“Hey!” The shout jerked Cyndia to the present.

Billy O’Neal put his hands on his hips. “Are you supposed to be here?”

“No, I’m hiding. Could you be quiet about it?”

“I left my Spider-man in the tree house. Can I get it?”


He scrambled up the rope ladder and brought the Spider-man action figure down in his teeth. Deciding not to leave the yard, he sat on the grass in front of Cyndia. “Mommy says Frank and Harry ain’t coming back. They had to go to Heaven.”

“Your mommy’s right.” Cyndia pulled her knees in and rested her chin on them.

“Mommy says the cops are going to catch the man who killed them.”

“That’s what cops do. Even cops from outer space.”

“There’s cops in outer space?”

“There has to be cops every where.”

Billy thought about that. “Yeah, I guess so. But how will we know when the cops catch him?”

There was a tapping noise on the window. The cylinder tapped against the glass. Cyndia opened the window and it zipped past them, heading over the lake to the forest.

She looked down at Billy’s wide eyes. “Well if our cops catch him, it’ll be on the news. If the outer space cop catches him, I’ll tell you.”

Billy turned from Cyndia to track the cylinder. “Wow.”

“Hey, don’t tell anybody okay? We don’t want a cop hunted like E.T.”

“No, ma’am. I got to go home now. Bye.”

Cyndia took a deep breath and took a swipe at the moistness leaking from her eyes. She needed a nap. Yes, that would make her feel better after all this.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Blue Man Post One

# - marks section break

The Blue Man on the Porch
“Still not back.” Cyndia dropped The Whitechapel Horror onto the couch. She stretched as she moved toward the kitchen, and glanced toward the front door.
The blue man with a butcher knife locked eyes with her. Cyndia hesitated and lunged for the rusty shotgun her foster mother kept in the umbrella stand next to the door. She rammed it against her shoulder.
The blue man had disappeared from the front door window.
Her chewing gum cemented in her mouth. The back door was locked; she always locked up when left at the house alone. She moved to the back of the living room. She could see both the front door, down the hall to the bedrooms, and the archway to the kitchen, and could jump out the window if necessary. The cordless phone sat on the end table until she grabbed it.
“911. Please state the nature of your emergency.”
“There’s an intruder outside the house. He had a knife.” Cyndia took a deep breath and leaned her back against the wall. She answered the operator’s questions while balancing the shotgun on her shoulder. “I’m here alone. I looked out the front door and saw him through the window. Big knife, butcher knife. Can you give the cops a code word? Okay. There are three entrances, the front door, the patio door, and the back door through the garage. All doors locked, but the garage is open. My foster mother isn’t back yet. My name is Cyndia Taeurs. He was blue. No ma’am, not wearing blue, his skin was blue. It could have been make-up.”
Blue lights flashed from outside. Voices came up to the front porch and then moved back.
She kept the operator on the line until there was knocking at the back door. She eased into the kitchen, keeping her back toward a wall.
“Miss Taeurs? It’s the police. Cagney and Lacey.”
“The police are here.” She ended the call and opened the back door. Two uniformed officers had their guns drawn. Cyndia pointed the shotgun at the floor. “It’s not loaded.”
“Are you injured?” The younger officer with sympathetic blue eyes asked.
“No, I’m fine.”
“Officer Hilden is going to check to the rest of the house. Show me where you saw the intruder.”
Cyndia led him into the living room while his partner headed down the hall. “I was reading on the couch. I got up and saw him at the front door. Grabbed empty shotgun and he was gone. Backed away and called 911, Officer?”
“Peterson. Did you notice if he was bleeding?”
“No, but I only saw waist up. He was blue and had a butcher knife. You found blood out there?”
Officer Peterson frowned. “What do you mean he was blue?”
“His face was blue.”
“A mask?”
“No, his skin was blue.” Cyndia pressed against the door window to see the blood they had seen. “Oh, the neighbors are coming over. Do you need to put up the yellow tape?”
Officer Peterson said something under his breath. “Hilden, we’ve got to protect the scene!” He yelled down the hall.
The taller officer with a bald head came back to the living room. “Rest of the house is clean.”
“Backup ain’t here yet and we have onlookers arriving.” A roll of thunder punctuated the statement. “And now the weather.”
“First that weird plane crash, now this.”
Cyndia put the shotgun back in the umbrella stand and followed them into the kitchen.
“Miss Taeurs, you stay here.”
“The hell I am. What if that guy decides to circle around and come through the patio? Besides, I know the crime scene rules: don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything, don’t touch anything.”
The two cops exchanged why-did-it-have-to-be-us looks, but made no more arguments as they headed out the back door. Hilden moved to the crowd gathering in the front yard. Peterson went to the patrol car and came back with a roll of the crime scene barricade tape. “Just stay back.” Peterson told her as he moved toward the porch.
“Did you guys walk in Mrs. Baton’s flowerbed?” Cyndia frowned at the trampled daylily.
“No,” Peterson looked down. “Geez, we’ve got a footprint. What kind of shoes was this perp wearing?”
Cyndia moved closer. What she could make out in the black potting soil reminded her of a duck’s foot. Swimming fins would be longer. The wind gusted. “You better pour the plaster soon. I think it’s going to rain.”
This time Peterson didn’t bother muttering the swear word. “We don’t have plaster. Forensics has plaster.” (Double check)
That was a dumb move. Cyndia trotted into the garage and scanned the storage shelves. The long plastic box holding Christmas ornaments looked wide enough. Eyes and brains might solve the crime, but you had to have admissible evidence for court. And Forensics always gets to the scene after everybody else.
She dumped the boxes of ornaments gently onto the concrete floor. A swipe with the hem of her T-shirt made sure she wasn’t transferring any debris. Then she presented the plastic box to Peterson. “This should cover the footprint.”
“Resourceful, aren’t you?” He carefully set the translucent box over the portion of the flowerbed. The yellow tape was wrapped around the porch columns.
“If you can’t roll with the punches, you wind up dead.”
Screams turned everyone’s head to a nearly identical house one lot over.
Peterson threw down the yellow tape. “Hell, now what!” He ran toward the screams. “Hilden, keep them here!”
Cyndia ran after Peterson. The Millers’ front door was open, and Mrs. Gregory stood on the threshold screaming. Peterson pulled his gun and he joined her. His other hand grabbed the walkie-talkie clipped to his shoulder. “_________________________. Found a homicide site. Two bodies visible. Alert homicide and send more backup.”
Mrs. Gregory sobbed now, collapsing against Cyndia. Red splattered on the golden-yellow walls. Mr. Miller lay in front of the door on his stomach. A puddle of blood spread over the ceramic tile right inside the door. Mrs. Miller sat on the couch, her head bent over the back with her chin pointing at the ceiling. Cyndia hugged Mrs. Gregory.
“How many people live here?” Peterson still hadn’t holstered his gun.
“They … they have three kids.”
“Stay here and don’t touch anything.” He stepped into the house, avoiding the blood and the body.
Cyndia hugged Mrs. Gregory. The older woman showed no signs of stopping, and the shoulder of Cynthia’s T-shirt was already soaked. She frowned watching Peterson step around bloodstains on the carpet. Stains that looked the same as the footprint in the flowerbed.
Morning sunlight poured into the kitchen. Cyndia sat down at the end of the kitchen table, as far from Mrs. Baton and the stove as she could get without leaving the room. She felt like Mrs. Gregory was still attached to her shoulder, even though that had happened hours ago.
“We can’t go on the front porch.” Mrs. Baton gave the grits a quick stir. “And the poor Millers. This used to be such a good neighborhood.” She glanced at Cyndia, pursing her lips.
Cyndia cast her eyes down at the kitchen table. The cops had already interrogated her enough. More commentary from her foster mother wasn’t necessary. She had missed something in Mrs. Baton’s tirade.
“All those stupid mysteries you read, planting ideas in your head. You just dreamed up a prowler.”
“Right and my imaginary friend broke into the Millers, killed them, sauntered over here, and left imaginary blood on the porch.”
“Don’t get impertinent. You just wanted an excuse to call the police. And they actually had the nerve to tell me where I should keep that old shotgun. We don’t need the notoriety and you just revel in it. We’ll never get people to move out here now.”
Cyndia slammed her hands on the table as she pushed herself up. “If I hadn’t called the cops, we wouldn’t have found the Millers until they started decomposing!” She stormed out the patio door.
The late morning sunshine thawed her skin. Being a moody teenager had its advantages; Mrs. Baton didn’t follow her to the back yard to continue the tirade. Probably calling her case worker to tattle on the latest insolence.
She walked to the bench set next to the hedge blocking the yard from the trees. The lake lapped slightly with the breeze, so she watched the ripples kiss the shore that touched the yard. She was tired, up all night, answering the questions of detectives who doubted her judgment. Well-read detectives, one hadn’t liked it at all when she said Inspector Lestrade was mentally quicker and Inspector Japp had better manners.
Her pointy chin rested on her knees. He hadn’t been wearing a mask or make-up. She was ready to swear to that in court.
A bright light hit the back of the house like a camera flash. Paparazzi already? Shouldn’t they still be taking pictures of the Millers’ house? She stood up to look. All that was beyond the hedge was the still heavily wooded area not cleared for house. And the silver dome that had ballooned among them.
Anything that doesn’t fit the pattern must be investigated. Cyndia pushed through the gap in the hedge into the park.
The tall trees filtered the sunlight. The underbrush was kept cut down to prevent anyone not buying because it is unattractive. The silver dome was actually a life-sized, flying saucer right from a faked UFO picture. She touched the smooth surface. It felt like a car, only thicker. It was parked at the edge of the trees and an open patch. She pressed against the metal and it didn’t dent. Thicker than a car.
Something flickered. The silver metal vanished, leaving trees everywhere. But the saucer was still here, she could feel the smooth metal under her fingers. A sliver of light cut the trees. She ran her hand along the saucer, moving closer to it. It was a door with a ramp to the ground. Cyndia walked up the ramp. Too bad I don’t have a camera.
Inside was a normal-sized room, an office desk, a couple of seats bolted to the floor around the desk, two doors leading away from this room. Except for the stark metal and lack of decoration, it could be anybody’s office. “So much for exotic alien technology.”
The door slid shut behind her. Cyndia jumped. No buttons, no doorknob, no movement no matter how hard she waved her arms. “Abduction is a federal offense around here!”
Another door opened and an orange blob slithered out. Cyndia didn’t back away from it. “Let me out now!”
The orange blob moved faster than she gave it credit—straight for her. She threw herself to roll away, but the orange grabbed her before she hit the ground. She beat her fist, but it was hitting Jell-O. Warm Jell-O, tough Jell-O that didn’t break, covering her head. Her lungs burned.
Something hard pressed against the back of her neck and it stung. Suffocated by a giant alien jelly fish? At least that wasn’t a demise predicted by all those mysteries.
The orange pulled back from her face. Cyndia inhaled before pushing against the orange blob again. “Let me go! Let me go!”
It was saying something; at least she thought the sounds coming from it were supposed to be talk. It finished pulling away, and she landed on the floor.
Cyndia rolled to her hands and feet, and stood up.
The blob was keeping his distance now, continuously making those noises. He was changing shape, forming legs and arms and a head.
Having a head to yell at clicked something in her head. “Who the hell do you think you are? What the hell did you do to me? Who the hell are you? What the hell are you doing here?” Her fists balled up.
The head had a face on it now, a human face in orange Jell-O. And he was stilling twilling and chortling at her. Fists were effective earlier. She folded her arms over her chest. “I want out. Let me out.” I can be reasonable despite what Mrs. Baton says. “Let me out right now.” Oh this was hopeless, he obviously didn’t understand English. “They leave the language barrier out of tabloid stories.”
“Twilt… sorry. I am sorry for the incursion. It was the only way to mitigate communication. The nanobots should have established a link by now.”
Cyndia grabbed the back of her neck. She could see something metal floating inside his orange body. “You put robots in me!”
“Tiny ones.” The orange, translucent lips smiled.” “Otherwise, we could not speak. They translate. It is common practice when you have not time to learn the language.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Murdock. I am an IGA agent. Inter-Galactic Agency for the Apprehension of Felons and the Investigation of Criminal Activities,” he added.
“You’re an alien police officer?”
“For all purposes, yes. And you are?”
“Cyndia Taeurs. Why are you here?”
“I am tracking an escapee. IGA did not anticipate his coming to such an insular planet.” Murdock moved to his desk. “The ship crashed twenty-five kilometers from here. This is the closest population center.”
Cyndia felt the hair on her arms prickle. “What did he do?”
“He murdered,” Murdock glanced at her, “whole families.”
“The Millers.” She bit her lip. “Do you have a mug shot?”
“Mug… shot… are you thirsty?”
“No, it’s a picture used to identify people when they’ve been arrested.”
“Ah,” he turned to what looked like a laptop computer on the desk. “This is Thestern. He is an Odrichan.”
A figure rotated on the screen. A blue humanoid, his torso and head covered in feathers, his legs lost the feathers to hard scales and webbed feet. “I knew it wasn’t make-up!”
“What? You have seen him?”
“Last night on my porch. He killed the Millers.”
“He must be a serial killer to feel the need to kill right after crashing here. I kept telling the cops it wasn’t a mask or make-up.” She looked away when the figure turned his orange eyes away.
“I must see the crime scene. Thestern may have left clues.”
“Lots of luck, it’s still roped off. That and our front porch. Even though forensics finished last night. I didn’t even get to see them work, so busy trying to make me change my statement.” Cyndia uncrossed her arms. “How about becoming a house plant or something?”
The brow ridge over Murdock’s eye hollows lifted. “I can create the shape. Provided it is the same mass. But I cannot change my coloration.”
“Well so much for the sneak you in idea.”
“Is it possible to sneak in?”
“I happen to know that the locks on the Millers’ kitchen window are broken. I just boosted Harry through it last week when he got locked out.” She stared at the revolving blue figure. “He was only ten.”
Murdock didn’t turn his head; the facial features slid across it to look at Thestern’s revolving image and back up to her face. “Is this who you saw?”
“Sit down. Tell me what happened.” He turned off the laptop.
The chair in front of the desk was surprisingly comfortable. He settled behind the desk and listened as she went over last night one more time. How she had just gotten up and saw Thestern through the window. How she and the cops found the blood, the footprint, and the Millers. How the cops and Mr. Gregory had to pry Mrs. Gregory off of her. He only interrupted to ask what a certain word she had used really meant. Completely different from the grilling last night, and she appreciated that.
“You have an excellent grasp of essential details and a concise recall of them.”
“Thanks. This is only the five hundredth time going over it. And I haven’t even been interviewed by the press yet.”
“Reporters, journalists.”
“I understand.” He had a really good disgusted expression for a mass of orange. “You speak very knowledgably about these crimes. Are you in law enforcement?”
“No, I’m too young. I’m a mystery junkie. It’s something special, to be the detective, to be able to see what nobody else can. They’re the only ones who want to help people these days. Sure, they get paid—‘cause they got to eat too—but it ain’t compensation for the trouble they go through.” She glanced at his expression and suddenly felt warm all over. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to give you my whole treatise on the subject.”
“On the converse, it is very illuminating. You may be the best qualified person to help me. Thestern will kill again just as he did on Odricha 4.” Murdock moved from the desk. His bottom half hadn’t made legs and he moved across the room like a slug.
“Wait a minute,” Cyndia followed him to the door. “I’m qualified ‘cause I like mysteries?”
“And you stayed and talked rather than running and screaming.”
“Oh. So what do you want me to do?”
The door led to a curving hallway. The first door on the right opened into a small storage room.
“I have to see the crime scene. Since I cannot go personally, I need you to deliver my robot eyes.” He reached into a bin on a chest-high shelf and pulled out a cylinder as long as her arm. “All I need you to do is put this in the house and press this button.” It was the only button on the top of the cylinder. “Let it back out and it will return to the saucer.”
“Kind of big for a flying camera, isn’t it?”
“It has scanning capabilities as well. Not as advanced as a coronerbot, but it will suffice. Will you do this?”
“Yeah, no problem. I’ll be Archie Goodwin to your Nero Wolfe.” Cyndia took the cylinder.
“Who are you talking about?”
“More fiction, Nero Wolfe is a detective who never left his house so he hired Archie to do all the leg work. Works for us, right?”
“I submit to your superior knowledge of the stories. You best go now.”
Cyndia left the hidden spaceship. She hugged the cylinder to her chest. Aliens and alien cops, and she was helping in a real investigation! The house was dark; no crisis in the subdivision was going to interrupt Mrs. Baton’s regular routine. Good thing, Cyndia didn’t want to deal with her.
A peek through the front door window revealed nothing amiss in the neighborhood, and more importantly, no cops at the Millers. She skirted around the end of the fence that didn’t reach the bank of the lake, and was in the Millers’ back yard. The rope ladder up to Harry and Frank’s tree house swayed. Margaret was too little to climb up it. Cyndia swallowed hard, and trotted up to the smallest window facing the back yard.
The sink right under the window inside was dry. She set the cylinder in it, and pressed the button. Lights flashed along the sides. It lifted up and bobbed through the kitchen, heading toward their living room. Cyndia wiggled loose from the window sill and dropped to the ground. Her knee banged against the siding.
She sat down with her back against the house and rubbed her knee. Robots might be a way to go with forensics. You could program them to be impartial, but could you program them to think of everything?
“Hey!” The shout jerked Cyndia to the present.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Zy's Novel Post One

I was going to post what chapters I have done, but formatting turned into something ungainly. So here is the link for Chapter One - Three in a PDF file.

This is an unedited version. This PDF file will also expand once I get further chapters to put in it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Group Script: Rescue of Ashley

Finished this scene today. Should be the only thing I have to do on this episode until we get the editing portion.

Full shot of Karbunkle, focus pull as smoke clears.

Karbunkle is standing on a hydraulic platform in Limburger's office. Smoke is clearing away from the lift - he just came through the floor. He chuckles in an evil tone.

Medium shot.


¾ shot.


Karbunkle takes a few steps forward.

I remember you three, rodents. (Karbunkle looks like he is trying to see how their new
parts are holding up) How is your arm, rodent?

Close-up, zoom out to Medium shot.

Modo’s eye flares red, he growls, and hold up his arm, letting his laser cannon pop up.

The only concern you should have is to know when to run.

Two clicks are heard.

Zoom out to medium shot of mice with Karbunkle in the background.

The three mice have their weapons out.


Full shot of group.

Limburger is waving his hands around in a ‘no, stop what you are doing’ way.

Do not shoot your weapons in here, you vindictive vermin! Take it outside at once!

Guys, we have to get Ashley back. If we do anything else, we could get into some serious trouble.

Smart woman. Now I suggest signing over your deed, abandoning these rodents, and then you can vacate my premises with your precious daughter.

Focus on Charley's distressed face. Pull out to see the furious mice.

No dice, you stinkfish! Modo, let's see what hole he crawled out of!

Modo revs his bike. With squealing tires, he rides toward Karbunkle.

(Yells and jumps out of the way.)

Modo presses a button on his handlebars. Weapons emerge from hiding places on the bike. He blows a hole in the floor where the elevator was. He jumps down the hole. Throttle--now has his helmet back on--and Vinnie with Charley on his bike follow after him.

(Turns to Greasepit seething.)
What are you waiting for, you oleaginous oaf? ERADICATE THEM!

Yes sir, Mr. Limburger, sir!
(Runs out the door.)

(Shaking his head.)
Just look at what they did to the carpet.

Cut to:

A metal room filled with computers and other high-tech gadgets. A laser beam generator as big as the bikes hangs from the ceiling. A row of experiment tables are on the left. Tall cages are lined up against the wall in front of the camera.

The Biker Mice land between the cages and the tables.

(Stares up at the hole.)
Stuck on the same planet with Karbunkle. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.

There is movement in one of the cages. Ashley presses against the bars.


Charley jumps off Vinnie's bike. She cannot unlock the cage, so she grabs the bars and shakes them.


(Gently nudges Charley out of the way.)
Get back, Ashley.

Ashley with wide open eyes ducks into the corner of the cage. Modo blows the lock off with his arm cannon. Charley jerks the door open. Ashley runs out and hugs Charley, who embraces her.

Are you okay? Did those bad men hurt you?

Just scared me. Fred, the talking bear helped me not cry.

Talking bear?

Modo peers into the next cage. FRED swings into the front bars of the cage. He is using his tentacle arm to hang from the ceiling bars.

Shoot me next, please!

(Taken aback.)

He's funny. Can we take him home, Mommy?

The main door behind the group opens and goons rush in lead by Greasepit. They fire red laser pistols at the Biker Mice. Charley and Ashley scream. Vinnie moves his bike in front of them and starts firing back.

Kid on the battlefield! Don't you idiots know anything?

Throttle shoots the closest examining tables uni-leg. While riding his bike, he grabs the table and drags it to the cages. Charley takes Ashley and ducks behind the cover.

(Shooting at the goons now.)
I guess we're just gonna have to teach them.

(Eye glows.)
And trashin' Karbunkle's lab is just a bonus.

Modo shoots the laser equipment free from the ceiling. It lands on five goons taking them out of the fight.

Greaspit fires a bazooka. The missle goes over the Biker Mice's heads and hits the wall at the end of the lab. More goons pour in through that opening.

Surround 'em!

Throttle manuevers his bike so he is now between Charley and Ashley and the goons. He starts shooting at them with his purple laser pistol. Charley puts Ashley down and gets closer to him.

Got another gun?

Throttle pulls a smaller gun out and hands it to her. Charley positions herself behind the bike's back tire and starts shooting at the goons.

(Looks impressed.)
Nice shot.

My garage wasn't in a great neighborhood before Limburger started wrecking it.

Greasepit aims the bazooka again at the end of the table not protected by Vinnie, and fires. Modo sees the missile and fires his arm cannon. The laser bolt is just strong enough to deflect the missile, and it hits a floor-to-ceiling computer. Modo stares at Greasepit with a snarl and glowing eye. He vaults over the table and strides toward Greasepit.

Um, Big Fella, where you're going?

I'm calling you out.

Your funeral, mousey.

Greasepit throws the bazooka back to the goon on his right, who catches it. His right fist comes up and fills the screen.





Greasepit and Modo are fist fighting. Goons are surrounding Throttle, Vinnie, Charley, and Ashley, who are sandwiched between the bikes and a table for cover.

Greasepit punches Modo and it throws him across the room. Modo's bike wails. Modo climbs to his feet.

You call that a punch?

Modo charges Greasepit, grabs hold of him, and rams them both into a computer terminal.

Greasepit manages to get his feet up and kicks Modo off him. The grey mouse flies over the heads of a couple of goons who duck. He lands on an examination table. The table creaks and breaks off from the uni-leg. Modo and the table top both land on the floor.

Get him!

Five goons rush to jump on Modo. Modo's bike revs itself. Laser cannons pop out of the hiding holes. It pops a wheelie and chases after the goons, shooting.

That bike's alive!

Goons yell and run as Modo's bike chases them from Modo.

Greasepit climbs out of the wreckage of the computer terminal.

(Staggers toward Modo.)
I'm gonna make me a new seat cushion for my Greasecycle out of your hide.

Modo staggers to his feet and picks up the tabletop.

Bring it on, you walkin' oil slick.

Greasepit runs forward with a growl. Modo brings the tabletop up and slams it in his face. Greasepit's faces dents the metal and he comes to a stop but doesn't fall down. Modo tosses the tabletop aside. He punches Greasepit with a left uppercut. Greasepit sails through the air over the heads of Vinnie, Throttle, and Charley, and lands on the group of goons in the hole in the wall.

Mount up!

Charley scoops up Hannah.

Time to go.

Mommy, what about Fred?

Go with your mommy, Ashley. I like it here.
(Swings in the cage again.)

Modo's bike has the last goons cornered. Modo walks up to his bike.

Wanna a headstart to the door?

The goons run for the door.

Cut to:


Limburger and Karbunkle get out of an elevator.

I'm sure the goons have everything under control.

The lab door slids open and the goons run out yelling. Karbunkle and Limburger press back against a wall so they aren't trampled. The goons continue down the hall.

You were saying, Doctor?

Motorcycles roar coming through the same door. Throttle is in the lead. Modo's bike now has a sidecar and Hannah is riding in that with a too big helmet on her head. Charley sits behind Vinnie again. Throttle stops in front of Limburger.

(Points his finger in Limburger's face.)
Don't expect us to disappear, you Plutarkian scum-bucket.

Get out of my building, vermin.

The guys take off, through the stairwell door.

(Yelling back.)
Bye Fred!

Limburger and Karbunkle stand there surveying the damage as the sound of motorcycles fade.

Karbunkle, I want to rid this city of those rodents.

I don't think that will be a problem, your sharp smelling cheddar-ness. I have an idea.

Cut To:


The group is sitting around Ashley, who is in Charley's arms on the couch.

Blog Maintenance: Sucker for punishment

After this post, there will be no more me chatting to the potential reader. There will just be the daily post of what writing I got done. Starting November 1st, I'll be concentrating exclusively on the unnamed novel I call Zy's Novel for now.

Until November, I'll have various rough drafts in here, so one must pay attention to the post titles. The only thing that will not be shown is tutorials, no sneak peeks of the newsletter.