Nearly six months turning big rocks into little rocks. A year of rehabilitation after his incarceration. Finally, after all that time, he was back on the Police Cruiser Apprehension. Albeit under supervision from an officer with an untarnished reputation, but he was back. The sound of his boots clacking on the metal deck was music to his ears. Only one thing was missing, what could that be?
How easily it had been to convince those fools back on Bamda to allow him to ride under the supervision of his son. Did they think he would be on a ship with anyone else? And the GCP Central Office didn’t need to know about the little arrangement. As long as they kept to their system, nothing could go wrong. He would have his position back after another twelve months of probation and everything would be right in the universe once more.
“Boy, how many times do I have to tell you? Don’t call me that. We’re not at a family picnic, are we? Do you see any potato salad anywhere? Blankets? Picnic tables?”
“Then you call me sir! Or you call me Sheriff Justice. You do not call me ‘daddy’. We’re on board an official police vehicle. I know it’s been a while son, but you’ll remember quickly enough.” To emphasize his point, B.T. Justice slapped his riding crop on the side of his freshly pressed uniform.
“Better. Next time just try not to ask like you’re confused as to why you’re even in my presence in the first place, alright?”
B.T. sighed. “Okay? Okay? Didn’t I raise you better than that, boy?”
“I have a little task for you. Do you think you can handle it?”
Finally, Junior stood up tall and looked like he was ready. “I can handle it. What can I do?”
“Junior, bring me a hamburger.”
The boy’s eyes looked up, then looked down, the gears were turning, and finally, his eyes lit up. “Yes, sir!”
“That’s a good boy.”
It impressed Sheriff Justice that his son had been able to take over on the Apprehension. It couldn’t possibly be that the kid had done something outstanding. It had to be the boy’s lineage. The Justice line went back seven generations in the Bamda system and would carry on far into the future. It made him proud that his line would continue. He just needed to find a bride for his idiot son. The boy surely couldn’t find a woman on his own. After their two-week stint around the solar system, he would take some time off with the boy. He deserved at least that.
“No, just wait here. I’ll be back.”
“Junior, who are you talking to?”
“Nobody, sir. Here’s your drink.”
An officer B.T. Justice didn’t recognize stayed in the passageway, a young officer with sandy-blond hair, a small chin, and a scowl on his face. Junior closed the door and handed a glass with clear liquid to B.T.
After a long swig, Justice swirled his finger around the glass. “I think I might need another one of these. And some time alone. I need to plan a little vacation for us. How’s that sound?”
“I…well…if I have some time off, maybe we can do that.”
“I’ve been gone for how long? Now I want to spend a little time with my boy and you’re not sure if you’ll have time off? Do I mean so little to you?” Sheriff Justice poked Junior in the chest. “Maybe you’re getting a little too big for your britches. Remember where you came from, boy. Just go make some calls to make sure you can have a week or two to spend with your old man. I’ll make some calls and set us up on a nice vacation on the Corola Shores.”
Bamda had many fine vacation spots. The Corola Shores was where B.T. had met his wife. Junior might not be so lucky, but at least it’d be a start. All work and no play would make Junior a dull boy.
“I’ll work on that. I’d better get back. I have duties to attend to.” Junior backed toward the door and left the room.
Even though he wasn’t officially the captain of the ship, he’d been given his old quarters. Junior hadn’t felt right in taking his father’s room. Everything was just as he’d left it. Perhaps now was a good time to take a bath. There was ample time and Junior had things under control for the moment.
He sat on the edge of the bed and started to take off his boots. Just as he was about to take off his socks, an alarm went off.
“Junior! What’s happening?”
The intercom crackled and Junior’s voice yelled, “Brace for impact. Collision highly possible.”
“Collision? With what? We’re in the middle of our system.” Justice started to put his boots back on.
“Junior, I want a report. What’s going on? A comet? Stray asteroid?” Without bothering to tie his boots, Sheriff Justice strode out of the room, grabbing his hat and riding crop off the table next to the door as he exited the room.
“Another ship towing something.”
B.T. Justice stomped onto the bridge. He half expected soldiers to sit up and take notice, but he needed to keep in mind that he wasn’t officially in charge. Under his current station, he was just another officer on the ship. He put his hat on his head and walked over to stand behind Junior.
“Did you say a ship towing something? It couldn’t have been moving that fast through our system. Why didn’t we notice it sooner?”
The officer with the sandy-blond hair that had been with Junior pointed at the screen. “They were jumping in spurts. They only made small jumps. It appears they’ve got a planetoid orbiting their ship. That’s what almost hit us.”
“Any idea what could possibly be traveling through our system? No one should be going through our system like that without proper approval.”
“Well, officer Justice, I’m trying to get the ship’s call sign. I should have it in a few moments.”
“Junior, did you hail the ship? Try to get them to stop?”
“Daddy, sir, there wasn’t time. I barely had time to make the announcement.”
Good enough excuse. “So why are you still standing here? Do I need to do it myself?”
“I’m on it.” Junior ran across the bridge to the communication station.
“Do you have that call sign yet? Are we in pursuit? Is anyone doing anything?”
“I’ve got the ship’s identification. Looks like it was the SS Acid Rat.”
Justice dropped his riding crop. “Tell me you didn’t just say that.”
“Looks like it, sir. Their ship has taken some minor damage. Perhaps that threw them off course.”
Junior came back over from the communication station. “There’s no response. I think they might be in trouble. We should…”
“We should catch them and arrest them. That’s what we should do.” Justice pushed past his son. “Set in a course to intercept. Follow that ship! Apprehend them!”
A couple of officers jumped, a few just looked at him blankly.
“Did I stutter? Let’s go.”
“Don’t you call me that while we’re on the bridge.”
“Sir, they’ve already left our system, we can’t go after them.”
“Don’t tell me what we can and what we can’t do. They broke the law. They almost crashed into an official police vehicle. We will take pursuit and we will arrest them. Junior, contact the home planet that we’re going to…”
He needed to play this one right. He was still under probation. If he took pursuit again, he might never be allowed to wear a badge again. If he were to provide the ship with assistance, that was a different story.
“Junior, contact the home planet. We’re going to help the ship.” Justice pointed at the communication officer. “You, contact that ship, let them know we’re en route to help them. Do not tell them who we are no matter how many times they may ask. Junior, contact GCP and let them know we’re leaving our system to assist a ship in distress. Let them know what ship we’re in pursuit of and that we do not need any assistance. We will handle it.”
Justice walked away from everyone and toward the monitor. He looked out at the stars in front of the ship. A second chance. That’s what he’d been given. Finally, he’d be able to extract justice on the crew of the SS Acid Rat. He would not have this opportunity taken away from him. It took long enough, but finally, the ship made a turn, and the stars blurred.
“Here I come.”
“What the hell was that?”
All he wanted to do was get a little more sleep. It was like having a party of ten-year-olds. All the banging and crashing and he’d only been asleep for a few minutes. He knew Muffin had given him something to keep him from getting a hangover because it always gave him a worse headache if it hadn’t taken full effect.
“Victor, B.O.B. was trying to clean the lounge. I’ve told him numerous times not to do that. He broke the glass on the beer dispenser. I’m afraid we’ll have to figure out how to keep your beer at the proper temperature.”
“Fine, so B.O.B. is doing his best. What else is banging around? That last one didn’t sound like it came from the lounge.”
Vic liked B.O.B. The robot tried so hard and was just so darned polite. Besides, they needed an artificial life form on board. It was almost an unwritten rule. SPX-39 had been scared of its own shadow, but still did some things they needed from time to time. B.O.B. was the same even if it proved to be the clumsiest bot in the galaxy. At least it was mostly harmless.
“The last impact was on the outside of the ship toward the aft section.”
“Okay, and what hit us?”
“I’m calculating that, Victor. Once I know I will let you know.”
Vic fought his way off his water bed, the best improvement he could have possibly asked for on this ship, and up the ladder to the navigation level. The new crew quarters that gave each person their own room was much bigger and a whole level down from the navigation, galley, and lounge. Sure it was a little more difficult if you had to get from your bed to the storage area, but everyone having their own room made life so much better on the ship.
After getting to the top of the ladder, he saw B.O.B. standing in the passageway between the galley and the lounge. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Vic. I was just trying to clean as quickly as I could and, well, you know how I get nervous sometimes when I’m in a hurry and trying to do a good job and my arms just go all wonky on me…”
Vic put a hand on the robot’s shoulder. “I understand B.O.B. Now please try to relax and just go sit down. We’ll figure everything out.”
B.O.B. started to say something, but Vic held up a hand and pointed to the lounge. The bot lowered its head and sulked into the lounge. It didn’t sit, it didn’t turn around, it didn’t even move once it had found a spot to stand. It was like scolding a child when all it wanted to do was help you do the dishes.
“June, Joey, where are you two?”
“We’re in here.”
Vic followed June’s voice into the galley. Joey still looked scared, or tired, but at least he wasn’t catatonic anymore. June stood with her hands on the table leaning down as if she were talking to Joey.
“Any idea what hit us?” Vic asked as he sat across from Joey.
“We’re still waiting for Muffin to tell us what happened.”
“It’s probably that black hole engine we’ve got. It’s sucking in debris from the planet we’re towing.”
June smacked Joey on the back of the head. “Stop that. I told you already we have that under control.”
Joey crossed his arms on the table and put his head down. “Fine.”
“Vic, why did you have to show him the drive while we’re out in the middle of space?”
“How was I supposed to know the kid was going to freak out? I mean he’s been all googly-eyed at everything else he’s seen since he got here. I thought he’d be all excited to see it. It’s not like I’ve been able to spend much time showing him things while we’re in port. The two of you keep taking off and usually take Dexter with you.”
“What, now you feel like Joey and I are abandoning you?”
This wasn’t the time or place for a discussion like this. Vic rubbed his head. Hopefully, this headache would go away soon. Why did Muffin need to keep spritzing him with that stuff?
“Okay, look. We’ll all have a nice sit-down soon enough. But right now we need to figure out what hit the ship and if there’s anything else that’s going to hit the ship. I’d like to make this delivery and have the ship still in one piece.”
Something banged loudly on the hull. The dampers on the ship kept them from feeling the vibration, but Vic could swear he felt the ship lurch sideways a little bit.
“Muffin! What’s going on?”
“I’m trying to calculate the trajectory of the objects coming in, Victor. Please be patient.”
“We don’t have time for patience. Is there any damage to the exterior?”
Muffin beeped. “To check the damage to the hull, I’ll need to spend less time calculating the trajectory of what hit us and take time to investigate the exterior of the ship. I’m already spending time talking to you which is taking away from my calculations. What would you like to do, Victor?”
What he wouldn’t do to have Tootsie back. At least that one knew how to take an order. This replacement only served to aggravate him. It was as if June had programmed it.
“Eep. Eep. Eep.”
“We’re trying to figure that out, Dexter.” June sat down next to Joey and bumped him so the kid sat up.
“Dexter, suit up. We need to go look at the outside of the ship. Muffin is busy trying to figure out what hit us and where it’s coming from. I’m not going to have anything happen to this ship while we’re out in the middle of nowhere.”
“Eep. Eep. Eep.”
“Joey, you up for a spacewalk? Maybe the fresh air will do you some good.” Vic thought the joke would go over well.
June glared at Vic. The joke hadn’t gone over well with her.
“Sure. Let’s go.” Joey looked pale and on the verge of being sick, but he was the first one to leave the room.
“Seriously? You’re going to take him on a spacewalk in this condition?”
“Hey, look. He needs to do something to get his mind off whatever his problem is with the black hole drive. This is just the thing he needs. Let’s go Dex.”
“I was about to make breakfast. At least you can wait until Muffin has analyzed whatever hit us.”
Another boom echoed throughout the ship. “We don’t have time and she’s busy enough as it is.”
“I thought we had other sensors to monitor what’s happening on the outside of the ship. Why don’t we just turn on the cameras and watch?”
“That sounds like a lovely idea, but we can get out there with blasters and shoot away whatever is hitting the ship. Whatever is hitting us, it’s too big for the standard deflectors to fend off. We need to get out there, do a little walking around, check the damage, and hopefully figure out what’s going on. We’ll be alright. Just cool your little head.”
Vic decided to leave the room before June’s glare burned a hole through his skull. It wasn’t like they’d be in that much danger anyway. The ship was pretty big and anything hitting the ship would likely miss them. Even if they did get hit by something, the hard suits would protect them. They just needed to make sure to stay tied off so they didn’t drift away. June worried too much. Maybe that’s what had gotten Joey all worked up over the black hole drive.
Dexter, Joey, and B.O.B. were all in the weapons locker. Dexter and Joey were getting suited up. B.O.B. appeared to be helping them, but Vic had told the bot to stay in the lounge.
“What’s going on?”
“Eep. Eep. Eep.”
“Not you, Dex. B.O.B., what are you doing down here? We’re about to take a walk on the hull. You need to stay inside. I thought you were going to stay in the lounge.”
“Vic, please let me go with you. I’m sure I can be of help and if anything goes wrong, well, I don’t need air. I’ve got magnetic feet so I won’t fly away. I just want to be there to help you. I’ve got great eyesight and it’s easy for me to see anything that’s moving. You can count on me to stay out of your way unless you need me…”
“Thank you, but please stay inside. I don’t know what’s going on out there yet, and we just need to assess the damage. Muffin is busy, so the three of us are going to go out there. Do you think you can stay by the airlock in case we need emergency help once we come back?”
“Oh! Certainly, I can do that, Vic. I’ll go get the medical kit and I’ll wait right next to the airlock waiting…” B.O.B. kept on talking as it exited the room in search of the medical kit that Vic doubted they would need.
“Are you two almost ready?” Vic asked as he started putting his suit on. He hadn’t worn the hard suit in a long time. June and Dexter were in charge of making sure the gear was always in ready condition so there was no doubt in his mind it would be safe.
“What is it we’re going to be doing out there?”
“Kid, I thought you were listening. We need to go out and check the hull for damage. If there was a hull breach, we’d be hearing all kinds of alarms, but I want to know what we’re dealing with so we’re going to go out and take a quick look around.”
“Eep. Eep. Eep.” Dexter’s eyes blinked out of unison as he cocked his head to the side.
“Yes, you can take the lead.”
They finished donning their suits and made their way to the airlock. B.O.B.’s mouth grill glowed showing he was talking and Vic just nodded as the airlock door opened. B.O.B. continued to talk even after the airlock door had been closed. Vic waved and smiled.
“June, can you hear me?”
“Got you, Vic. You guys be careful out there.”
“Let me know if you hear anything else hit the hull.”
“Hey, kid! Look up there.”
Joey turned around and followed Vic’s hand. The planet blocked out the stars allowing them to see its progress. Vic watched Joey and the kid smiled.
“Looks like fresh air was just what the doctor ordered, eh?” That got a laugh out of the kid.
It didn’t take long to get to the top of the SS Acid Rat and check out the top. The first spot they came across looked as if whatever hit them had deflected off nicely. No major damage.
“June, can you see a visual? This one doesn’t look too bad. If you grab my coordinates you can check to see if there’s any interior damage we’re not seeing from this point.”
“I’m checking, just hold that position for a minute.”
“Vic!” Joey pointed at something. Vic looked, but at first, couldn’t make out just what it was. Stars blinked on and off. Was this thing moving toward them?
“What is that?”
“Eep. Eep. Eep!” Dexter hopped, but the tether attached to Joey pulled the tri-ped to a stop. Why would Dexter be trying to…
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The beer tasted so good as Vic finished off the last bit left in his can. He stopped by the break room to grab another. Vic had asked Joey on many occasions if the beer on Earth had ever gotten any better, but apparently, the drinking age had changed and Joey wasn’t even old enough to drink.
“You sure you don’t want to grab something kid?”
Not only had the break room been completely remodeled and provided them more space to spread out and relax as a crew, but it had also been fully stocked with part of the shipment that had been intended for Almo Petrino. Almo had good taste when it came to beer. Too bad it was illegal in some parts of the galaxy.
Joey got himself a soft beverage. Someday Vic would get the kid to graduate to something stronger. If Joey wanted to avoid the good stuff, he wasn’t going to push him.
“So I’ve done some reading on the SS Acid Rat’s propulsion system, but nothing I’m reading makes any sense.”
“It’s not like your Star Trek engine kid. Those things were close to magic.”
“Actually, on subsequent versions of the show, they explained pretty well how a warp core worked with the matter and anti-matter streams…”
“Kid, I’m sure those things were well-thought-out and someone thought they would provide a lot of power. Tell me a little about what you read about this ship. This one works. The ones on TV were just that, spaceships on TV.”
Joey had done a good job learning as much as he had about the ship, but he had some big shoes to fill. Mike had been a great engineer on the ship even though in the end he’d become psychotic. Vic blamed all that on his father, not on Mike. Heck, it had been Joey that saved the crew from Mike. The kid was smart and had proved himself in a fight. What else could you ask for in a crew member?
“So what you’re saying is I should just throw all those ideas out?” Joey took a drink from his beverage. It smelled like some kind of juice.
Vic took a long swig off his beer to give him a minute to figure out how to answer that. “No, I’m not saying throw everything out. Just don’t take it as gospel. A lot of what is in those shows is based on science. What I’m saying is that you’re looking at a technology that no one back on Earth ever dreamed of.”
“That much I’ve noticed. I’m still not even sure what powers the ship.”
“Really? After a year and you haven’t even gotten that far?”
Joey shrugged. “I mean, I’ve read a lot about the systems on the ship. Things I was able to understand and piece together, but the propulsion is something way beyond me. I don’t even know where to start.”
“I’m glad you said that. Let’s see if we can educate you.”
The two took the ladder down to the storage area of the ship. This was one of the only parts of the ship that hadn’t been changed. The top of the ship, the living quarters, had been destroyed in the crash. This part of the ship had remained mostly intact. Vic often wondered why Verbiddi had decided to repair the ship rather than just scrap it and buy them a new one. Not that it mattered. Vic might have likely fought to keep the SS Acid Rat flying. It was the first ship he’d flown into space and he hoped it would be the only one.
As they made their way across the storage area, only a few crates locked down in the middle and the Iron Butterfly off in the far corner, Vic knew he had to go mess with Dexter. The tri-ped was the only one that slept down in the hangar. Sometimes the little guy would sleep standing up. It was times like that Vic would play a little joke on the fellow.
“Hey, one sec. We need to have us a little fun first.”
“Vic, my arm is still sore from the last time.”
“You just need to hold on tighter. That’s all. Come on, this’ll be fun. Trust me.”
“That’s what got me into trouble the last time. I couldn’t move my arm for a week.”
It had been funny seeing Dexter hop around with Joey in tow. The kid had let go at the wrong moment and fell about fifteen feet. The dislocated shoulder had been easy to put back, but Joey took a while to heal. That was almost two weeks ago. Surely the kid could handle another go. Vic put his arm around Joey’s shoulder and pulled him toward the weapons locker.
It was more of a weapons room. They each had gear in there, but only Dexter and June ever suited up. Joey had tried once to help with keeping a shipment secured. That hadn’t ended well and the scar on Joey’s wrist was a testament to how poorly it had gone. At least he hadn’t been as stubborn about getting an artificial hand to replace it, unlike Argmon.
When they got to the open doorway, Vic could see Dexter standing in the corner. “Maybe if we belt you to him this time…’
“No! You go mess with him. I’ll wait over here. Dexter already hates me enough as it is.” Vic set his beer down next to the weapons room doorway.
“He doesn’t hate you, kid. He likes this little game we play.”
“How do you know that if June is the only one that can talk to him?”
“I just know. If you don’t want in on this, then just wait over there. Better yet, grab that cargo net and hold it over the doorway. This will be so funny.”
Even though the kid complained, he set his drink down next to Vic’s, got the cargo net, and stood next to the doorway. Vic reached inside and turned the lights off. Dexter was a strong sleeper on trips like this. Something in his body just shut down until he needed to wake up. Vic had made sure that Dexter woke up on more than on occasion.
He nodded to Joey. The kid shrugged.
“Muffin, Fire Drill! In the weapons room!” This was how Vic had gotten Muffin to help with his plan.
There was a pause. “No Victor, there isn’t a fire in the weapons room.”
“Muffin, now! Fire Drill!”
Again a pause. “Victor, I do not detect a fire in the weapons room. The last time I didn’t detect a fire in the weapons room.”
“I can see it.” She was starting to get on his nerves. Why wouldn’t she just release a stream of water like she’d done the last time?
“I have no visual detection of a fire either.” Muffin beeped.
This wasn’t going to work. All he wanted to do was give Dexter a little wake-up shower and watch him bounce around a little bit. There was something funny and beautiful the way Dexter bounced all over like that. June said that Dexter didn’t like getting wet, but it was just too funny not to pull this joke on him again. If everything worked out right, Joey would toss the cargo net over the little tri-ped and they could ride him as he ran around the room. It wasn’t like they were hurting the little guy or anything like that. Why is everyone trying to ruin my good time?
June’s voice came over the intercom. “I told you to leave him alone. You’re going to make him angry one of these days and then you’ll be sorry you messed with him.”
Vic leaned down, picked up the drinks. Joey had put the cargo net away. They continued their way to the engineering room.
“Well, that went over like a lead balloon.” Vic drained his beer.
“Don’t you mean a lead zeppelin?”
“What? Like the band? They went over great. Maybe it went over like an Iron Butterfly.”
“That also went over well.” Joey sipped his drink. “Maybe it went over like an Iron Maiden?”
Joey was always saying things like this as if Vic would get the reference. “Let me guess, that’s another band from what, the nineties?”
“Actually, Iron Maiden was still pretty popular after I left. I think they got their start sometime in the eighties. Maybe June knows. I only listened to a little of their stuff.”
“Well, we’re not changing the name of the Iron Butterfly to the Iron Maiden. Butterflies can, well, fly.”
“I wasn’t suggesting that we change the name. I was… whatever. Never mind. Let’s check out the engine. How do you plan to use it to make sure we don’t lose the planet again? Do we have a tractor beam or something?”
“A tractor what? No? We’ll just use the ship’s power source. You don’t have a clue, do you?”
“No, not really.”
The kid looked as if he were about to explode, like a kid on Christmas morning waiting to open his presents. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be disappointed. Vic didn’t think the kid would be disappointed.
“So you understand that the planet we’re about to recapture is orbiting the ship, right?”
The kid nodded. “I’ve got that much down, I just don’t understand how or why. I thought maybe we caught it with some beam or laser or something.”
“Light isn’t gravity, kid. That’s the only way a planet, even a small one, is going to orbit the ship. Therefore we need to generate a huge amount of gravity to keep this thing orbiting. Got it.”
“So how do you think a ship like this is going to generate gravity?”
Joey looked at the ceiling. He did that in a cute way when thinking. “I don’t know. How can we generate gravity? I mean, if we had gravity it would hinder our ability to land on a planet not to mention make flight nearly impossible.”
“Well, not really. See, there is shielding on the ship to contain the gravity when we need to. We move the shielding just right and we can control the orbit of the planet around the ship. That’s why we need to keep a constant watch when we transport a planet like we’re doing. We don’t want it to just fly off into space. Rogue planets are dangerous.”
“Okay, so how do we keep a planet in orbit around us?”
“A black hole.”
Vic thought Joey was either going to laugh or throw up.
“There can’t be a black hole on this ship,” the kid said and started to turn white.
“We’ve got one. It’s a power source that gives off so much radiation that the ship always had power.”
“You mean we’ve got something on board that could destroy us all?” Joey dropped his drink and walked out of the room.
The kid had gone pale. Vic thought the kid would be happy to hear the news of something like that. Maybe even be impressed with the technology used to control it. Instead, the kid looked as if someone had just signed his death warrant.
“Kid, where you going? Don’t you even want to see it?”
Joey spun around. “See it? What, the harbinger of death riding on the tail of the Acid Rat? No thank you. I think I’ll spend as much time as I can far from this side of the ship, thank you.”
“Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little bit? I mean, think of how long this technology has been around. We’re not going to get much safer than we are.”
“I don’t want to hear about this. I need to process this all. Black holes are nothing more than death in every sense of the word. They suck things in, crush them, give off massive amounts of radiation and jets of material. No, I can’t, no… I just…”
The kid walked off, not looking back. Vic tried to get a few more drops out of his beer and decided to follow the kid back up to the break room. Perhaps there’d be a chance to talk some sense into the kid.
Good Morning and Happy Labor Day (in the US). I hope your week is starting out great!
Gracie (aka Abby) has been renamed. I don’t know we’re firm on that as her name yet. She’s still growing into her name. We shall see.
Yesterday we took her to the park to meet Mya and Koda. Mya, being a Blue Heeler and Australian Sheppard mix, saw a new dog from across the park and shot like a silent rocket across the park and scared the pee out of Gracie, literally. When not in an open area, the two got along great because Mya couldn’t rush into Gracie’s face and say hello aggressively.
With Koda being a teacup Yorkie, Gracie spent time getting to know her quietly while watching Mya and avoiding her as much as possible.
Then, because that wasn’t enough trauma on the day, we went to Abuelito’s house. My Favorite Daughter and Hijo were already there with Mya and Koda at the pool. Being on the other side of the fence, Gracie was more brave and sniffed noses with Mya and TJ (Koda can walk through the fence). TJ is much more calm with new dogs. He’s a Boxer and knows Mya well so those two play rough. Alone, TJ did great with Gracie. Mya still needs to learn about personal space and approaching in a less aggressive manner. Gracie did snap at her a few times.
We spent a good deal of time walking all the dogs around the backyard to get them better acquainted. It’ll take time.
Oh, and even Zion showed up. That’s Hijo’s mom’s dog who doesn’t like anyone except for Hijo. Not even other dogs.
Mya and Koda spent time in the pool. Gracie and TJ got along great. Zion spent as much time hiding as possible. It was a good day.
That brings us to the title of this post!
Today, Paradise Palms is only 99 cents. It will be until next Monday. This is my SciFi murder mystery. It’s my only foray into this genre. I never intended to write a sequel, and I’ve seen more than one comment asking if the story continues and wishing the story would continue. Perhaps one day, there will be a Paradise Palms Two.
One a side note, for some reason, the paperback prices for Golden West fluctuate wildly. Book 1 is currently $5.60 and book 2 is $2.80. I have no idea why, but if you want to take advantage and pick up a hard copy of either of those books, have at it! Nothing better than inexpensive print books! From what I can tell, these are new versions, not used. I haven’t seen book 3 drop below the $7.99 price point. Here’s a link if you need it.
I’m off to spend some time with Gracie, who just learned she can go down the stairs on her own. She learned up the stairs yesterday. I don’t think she’s ever been around stairs.
Until Next Time!
Hey Gang! Make sure you read to the end of today’s post for a little surprise. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m no good at keeping surprises to the end. Well, unless it’s a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter. 🙂
I’ve been talking about the book covers I’ve been working on. I’m happy to present them to you here and now. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I’m excited to have these done. Now it’s time to get the interiors done for the books that are written. Once I have that done and scheduled, it’s time to get on the word train and pump out the books I don’t have written! It’s an exciting time. I can hardly put into words how excited I am to get these books out. I’ve had this plan in my head for SO many years and I’m finally putting it into action.
The titles shouldn’t be surprises or spoilers, but rather a natural transition. My goal was to have each series look like a series, but give the impression that they’re all in the same universe. My Favorite Daughter and the Mrs gave me much help and critique. I can’t wait to have a copy of each of these in my hands.
Speaking of books in hand, a friend of mine recently added to his collection and sent me a picture. What better present to give a writer than a copy of you with books in hand!
I don’t know what to say except, Thank you, Mike! You’re awesome and I can’t wait to get more books in your hands.
Finally, let me end this with, “Hey! I’m looking for beta readers. If you need some free Space Opera to read (Heavy on the Fiction, Light on the Science), drop me an email at Jay@OfGnomesAndDwarves.com and let me know if there’s any you’ve read or if you’d like to start from the beginning. I currently have 3 in publication, 4 ready to go, and there will be 5 more coming over the next year. If I keep up the pace I want to get going, I’ll have a total of 15 or 16 books in this series in the next year and a half.
Yes, a LOT of books. I want to make sure they’re the best they can be. If you’re interested, drop me a line.
I’ve a lot more than I said in the video below, if you’re interested.
Until Next Time!
What? Giant Robots? Yes, you heard right. I wrote a book about giant robots. Why? Because GIANT ROBOTS!
It was available for preorder, and now it’ officially up for sale! You can grab a copy right now for my $2.99!
I will apologize now if you don’t do Amazon. If you prefer an ePub version, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you a copy straightaway!
For the rest of you that do Amazon. Hop on over to http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Robot-Planetary-Competition-Entry-ebook/dp/B010F2ON6Y/ and pick up a copy today!
If you help spread the word by posting on your social media (anywhere will do), drop me a line at the above email address letting me know where you posted with a link to your post and I will send you any other book in my catalog FREE! Yes, ANY of the books you see, I will send to you. Don’t have Jack Kane yet? Pick up a copy of GRPC, post about it on Social Media, BAM! Free ebook in your hands. (Oh, and I will be gifting the books to you through Amazon, so it helps if you kindle 🙂 )
If you’ve read the book and love it as much as I loved writing it, drop me a line, leave me a review, post about it on Social Media. Help me spread the word far and wide!
And thank you for being awesome!