Star Dancer Free Preview from Dell Sweet


STAR DANCER

Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.


This material is copyright protected and is used with permission


FOUR

Mars prison colony 27:

Earth date 2197 315 -08:14:

Main bubble: Cargo-trap 4e: C.O.  Tom Richards.

The com-link buzzed and Tom Richards answered. Part of the job required the com-link implant. It had bothered him more when he had initially heard about it than it ever had in the last twenty-eight years that it had been in.

The link consisted of a visual implant along with an aural implant. No one else could hear the low buzz and it wasn’t excessively noisy to him.

The vid-link materialized in the corner of his right side vision. Perfectly visible, but not blocking any of the screens.

“Richards,” Sims said. “I have an Intra freighter coming in about 15…  Star Dancer. Captain Michael Watson: Navigator Petra Stanovich… Fed crew with their own security…  Robert Baylor, likes to be called Bob… I trained with him: A by the book kind of guy, a little tight laced.” Boris Sims was the newest flight controller for the main docks at Twenty Seven. He and Richards had instantly disliked each other.

Richards wrote while he spoke. He took a lot of heat for using the write-screen instead of just typing or voice filing. Old fashioned. When he had looked into it he had been shocked to learn that very few of the new generation of C.O.’s could write. It was an old skill.

“You getting this? Uh, writing this down?” Sims chuckled.

“Uh huh, Bob Baylor… Straight laced, by the book,” Richards said deadpan. He knew that pissed Sims off and he lived to piss off Boris Simms.

“You know, you have no sense of humor,” Sims complained.

“Uh huh. Had it removed and I’ve never missed it. They popped it right out when they implanted the com link.”

“No sense of humor, but a real smart ass… Isn’t that humor?”

“Ship will be here before you are done at this rate, Boris.”

He cleared his throat. “Just making sure you’re on your game is all, Tom.”

“Well I knew about Star Dancer six months ago. You know I track it too. I have dealt with Michael Watson for nearly twenty years and every one of those trips was secured by Bob Baylor, good man; and we have Mary Ann and Julius tracking too.”

“It’s my job.” He sounded a little tight…

“Uh huh, I’m good with that… What else do I need to know? Obviously you’re routing it to my bubble or you wouldn’t be calling…. I’m locked onto it… Navigation beam is on… And … I’ve assumed control. Navigation shot it over to us… We’re good, Boris she’s coming in.”

“Maybe I’ll come down and look around,” he said.

“Clear it with the union reps,” Richards answered.

Management, and Boris was on the low end of the management scale, was never allowed to be directly involved with operations crews.

“… If you need me.” Before Richards could answer Sims broke the link.

Richards sighed. This was year twenty-eight, he had two years to go until mandatory retirement: Fifty-eight. The feds kept saying they would raise the limit to forty or even fifty years, but so far they weren’t too anxious to raise it. With the human life span hovering around one hundred and thirty years and steadily growing it didn’t make much sense to leave it so low. He keyed his com-link, selected the band and spoke.

“Star Dancer this is main cargo security chief C. O. Thomas Richards. I’ve got you locked in. Sit tight, enjoy the ride. I make it thirteen twenty-seven.” He keyed off.

“Navigation officer Petra Stanovich; Captain Michael Watson is present… Copy.”

“Uh, first time in?” Richards asked. “I know Mike’s been here about three million times.

She laughed. “Yes.”

“Never fear, Petra you’re in good hands. Let me run this down. I’m sure Mike has told you, but it’s what they pay me to do… Okay… We’re a max prison colony. That means all the hard cases; the permanents. On most colonies the inmates are used as workers, not here; except a small staff of worker inmates we shipped in to deal with the inmates directly. There is no contact at all with outsiders. It only means that you won’t have to ever wonder if the guy you are talking to is an inmate or an officer. It will always be an officer. At other colonies, max b and down that won’t be the case.

“So because of that you’ll be somewhat restricted. Mike usually hangs out with me. I don’t get many civilized visitors so if Mike hasn’t made you uncivilized by now you’re invited too. I’ll give you the ten cent tour and we have real beef. Real beer!

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, I knew that would get you. We raise the cows on the prison farm and I brew the beer myself.”

“Mike says the beer is good,” she laughed again. “Beef? He told me only synth beef.”

“Mike never lies,” He told her in a serious tone. “The beef is brand new. They decided to cut us in. Synth beef? No. I got real steaks waiting for both of you.”

“I’ll have to write that down,” Mike said.

“Richards laughed. “See you in about ten, buddy.”

“Get the beer cold too,” Mike told him.

Star Dancer

03-15 08:27:01

“Don’t sweat it you’ll love Tom. He’s a good guy. I keep expecting him to be gone one of these times. It amazes me that someone of his quality would stick it out in this place,” Mike said.

“It looks stark,” Petra said.

“It is… Most of it anyhow.”

“I read about it,” Petra added after a short pause.

Mike raised his eyes.

“Before now,” she said. “I mean before I met you or knew I would someday come here. It was one of the places where they sent some twenty thousand inmates to build the infrastructure.” She looked at the stark steel panels that rose from the red dirt up the side of a rocky cliff. “Most of them died during the early stages of construction.”

Mike nodded. “I’ve read it; Tom can tell you a lot more. He was here right after stabilization. He’s one of the guys that blew the whistle.”

“That’s surprising,” Petra said. “I mean, he works for the Feds.”

“So do we,” Mike said.

“Yeah, I guess we do.”

“Hey,” Mike stepped forward and pulled her close. “Don’t worry about, Tom. Tom isn’t going to take offence at your viewpoint. He thinks the same way in many respects. Criminals have to be locked up… Some anyway: Locked up not abused.”

“It’s kind of creepy looking,” Petra said after a moment. Her eyes swept from the main screen across the huge viewing bubble.

“Tom’s area looks pretty good. We’ll skip the socialization with the rest of the base, but Tom will still give you the tour… You the tour: I’ll tag along, but I’ve had it… You’ll like it. You see the outside, but inside it isn’t close to what you would think. They have the farms. They grow all of their own food. They have hybrid animals: Cows, chickens, pigs. I can’t wait to see your face when you see them.”

“They look weird? Five eyes or something?”

“No. No five eyes. They have the right parts, but they were raised in low gravity. They are bigger than any earth counterpart you have ever seen. They have cows that stand ten foot at the shoulder. They can carry that weight easily because of the low gravity. It’s part adaption, part genetic engineering.”

She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. “Should I… You know, act proper, military in front of Tom?”

“Act like you. Tom’s not stupid. Relationships happen. I think he’d be surprised if we weren’t together.

A slight vibration ran through the ship: Petra kissed Mike once more.

“I better get back to work.” She sat down at her console, thumbed her com switch and began signing off on the security slips deck by deck as they came up. She then turned the decks and the two small shuttle transports over to security chief Baylor. She locked the com switch, reactivated the controls on her wrist implant and followed Mike from the bridge.


Star Dancer and her crew set their sights on the stars: Kindle Free Previews! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XTXBBZ



Turkeys trying to eat my Fred cat

Posted by Dell 08-05-17 3:21 A.M.

Turkeys trying to eat my Fred cat.

I know it sounds funny but it isn’t. As you probably didn’t know we’re out here in the boondocks, well, the lesser boondocks, okay, the suburbs of the boondocks. There are some woods here, okay? The turkeys live in the woods, and that’s fine. That’s fine because Fred lives in the house. No problem, except Fred was converted from a do whatever she wanted to cat to a live in the house cat and that means that sometimes Fred gets the urge to go out into the wilds of the back yard and look around. That brings Fred into conflict with the turkeys.

When Fred and I were just getting to know each other she decided to impress me. So, every day for about three weeks Fred would bring me a semi dead something. Bird, Squirrel, mouse, you get the idea. Then Fred decided to teach me to hunt, at least I think that was the intention. Fred probably thought I was a soft cat. Hanging out in the house all day, never hunting in the backyard, and I suppose Fred figured that if she had to be seen with me that she should make me a little more presentable. So, she went from dead and semi dead to live gifts. In other words down the Chimney Fred would come with a live bird, squirrel, mouse, bring it right to my desk, look at me, probably thinking. … “Okay, Stupid. I’m gonna let this go and you’re going to catch it. I can’t keep feeding you. You have to learn to hunt” … or something like that. And then, Surprise! Fred let the bird, squirrel, mouse go.

Oh what fun, what joy, tearing around the house trying to catch the bird, squirrel, mouse. I’m not making this up, so I found it amusing when Fred began her turkey troubles. Seemed like pay back to me, like the little birds had called up their bigger cousins.

The turkeys believe the back yard and the woods are theirs. These are not little Turkeys these are huge full grown turkeys. Big, and not like the turkeys at the A&P. These suckers still got heads, beady eyes, wings that can fly, feathers, the whole nine yards.

Have you ever seen twenty five or thirty pounds of bird fly? The whirring of their wings sounds unreal. Heavy. Like a chopper is about to land. The first time I heard it I thought it was a helicopter far away. Nope, four huge turkeys dropping out of the sky to land next to the window and eat the bread Mom put out. I jumped about three feet straight up in the air when I saw them.

So, I’m not really sure what started it with Fred and the turkeys. One day they just decided they were going to eat Fred. He probably looked a lot better than the bread, so Mom opens the door, Fred walks out leisurely, like he owns the yard, like he has all day, and then WHIRRRRRR, thirty pound birds dropping from the sky and Fred ran for the Shed.

Mom had shut the door but she yanked it open and sprang into action. Funny? Mom is… Let’s say older and leave it at that… but she is no slouch, and no one eats her cats without her permission. Broom in hand Mom went after the turkeys who pretty much had Fred cornered at the edge of the house, he couldn’t get to the shed and couldn’t get back to the house.

Mom is about this high. (I was holding my hand up, sorry you couldn’t see it, but I am no fool). Do not tell a woman’s true age, and don’t make remarks about her height or lack thereof. Let me just say this; If the turkeys had thought to stand on one another shoulders they may have been able to hold her off, snatch up Fred, and make their getaway. But they didn’t and they could not stand against the broom wielding woman who is my Mom.

I guess the turkeys just looked at it like shopping…

“Heeeey, Billllly, is that a cat down there?” whirrrrrrrrrrr

“Yup. Looks like it Brian.” whirrrrrrrrrr

“I was just going for eggs and cheese, but cat would go good too…” whiiiiiirrrrrr

That was round one. I slept through it. The next day Mom put the bread out again. I said, “But, Mom. The turkeys tried to eat Fred!”

“Honey that was just because I didn’t put enough bread out there for them. We have this half loaf of wheat bread that’s gone bad.”

“We just got that two days ago!”

“Goes bad fast.”

You can’t argue with Mom. I looked at it like a turkey payoff. But she put the bread out and the turkeys didn’t show up. We both wondered about it for awhile but eventually the day went on and we forgot.

Fred get’s in and out on her own most of the time, right into the utility room, up the old chimney and under the roof eves and she’s out. But now that Fred is pregnant she prefers the door. Probably smart since she is about as wide as she is long now. So I let her out about an hour later. The door wasn’t even closed before I heard the whirring and the biggest damn birds I’ve ever seen that close up dropped from the sky. I was no help, I froze like a deer caught in the headlights. The only thing that helped was that I froze and left the door slightly open and Fred darted back in. The turkeys saw me, glared at Fred and then took off. I could have sworn the one turkey called Fred a bitch as he flew away. Gangsta turkeys these were.

I learned a few things though. First, turkeys do make Gobbling sounds. They sound like some fat guy sitting in the brush with a shotgun doing a bad turkey call. Exactly like that. In fact I’m pretty sure the fat guy did a better job than the Turkey did. Second, these turkeys are not kidding. The last two days in a row I’ve gone out and they’ve been camped out in the pines, thirty feet up, waiting for my Fred cat. Where’s the fat guy with the shotgun when you need him? He could probably call those turkeys right to him and BLAM!

Okay, so we have to be careful. We have no fat guy with a shotgun and the turkeys know it. I feel like I’m living in Australia surrounded by dingos and Olivia Newton John. And Fred is so pregnant she can’t run fast, so I have been resorting to turkey raids. I fling open the door run out and rush at the trees with the kitchen broom, but I nearly gave the old lady next door a heart attack and I just couldn’t stand to listen to the turkeys up there in the pines gobbling at me. It sounded like laughter… Anybody know a fat guy with a shotgun I could hire??? There’s a free turkey dinner in it! … Gobble, gobble, gobble….


Check out Star Dancer a new book from Dell Sweet…

Star Dancer #SciFi #iTunes Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser who longs for deep space…

Star Dancer 

Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,250. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Star Dancer is an inner galaxy cruiser, transporting inmates and materials between the penal colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as supplies and people to the bases scattered throughout the Solar System. Her captain, Michael Watson purchased Star Dancer right out of school, but the last few trips have left him longing for more adventure out in the wider expanses of space…

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/star-dancer/id1245409334?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/7235891