Cheeseburger Gothic

"Clete and the Monster" by Greybeard - Fanfest 2015

Posted March 15, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

One of my favourite aspects of RESISTANCE was the opportunity to play with PoV and voice. It was something I'd always intended to do, but the story wasn't ready for it in EMERGENCE. In Clete and the Monster, Greybeard plays with the same narrative tools to brilliant effect.

Redneck orc gets hisself some fresh chitlins.

Clete Doucet was a happy man and in a good place. Specifically that place was the bed of Louise Janvier, sister of his best bud Ben and long-time object of Clete’s affections. Or something close to that.

But then his papere Henri had always maintained the Doucets were a lucky clan. As a boy Clete asked his grandfather why folks called him Spanner, being that the old man never seemed much inclined to the use of tools - or any other form of work. Henri put the boy’s fingers into the lank blond hair behind his right ear saying “feel that”. Clete’s fingers found a mushy C-shaped indentation a whole half inch deep in the old man’s skull. “That there is a partin’ billay-doo from my first wife Sarah wut ran off with a Yankee. If that spanner’d hit edge-on I’da been dead but we Doucets’ve allus been lucky.” Privately Clete thought it might have been luckier still if his wife hadn’t tried to brain young Henri but smiled and said nothing. Old Henri, with Clete’s mamere Beulah, had raised the boy in a string of carnivals and travelling shows before settling in Lafourche parish by the Gulf, in a shack inherited from her sister. Clete took after his mamere in looks, being big, broad and heavily bearded - Beulah having joined the show on account of being a soupcon more hirsute than was considered fashionable for a young southern lady. Henri had exhibited a selection of oddities, his pride and joy being a ‘mermaid’ stitched up from the back end of a manatee and the upper parts of a shaved monkey. Clete’s mind was definitely of a piece with Henri’s though. That skinny old weasel always had an eye for a lazy dollar and they shared a powerful aversion to honest work.

Not that family history was on Clete’s mind as he lay in the well tossed bed, watching Louise making coffee and listening to WFIX excitedly reporting last night’s battle. “Operation Bayou Storm” some couyon called it. Ben being out with T-Qube’s boys and a for-real battle playing out a couple of miles away, Louise allowed Clete might stay over to her place for the night. “Doucet luck at its best” he thought, until Ben’s heavy boots came pounding up to the stoop and crashed through the front door. Ben took in his bare-ass sister and desperately-not-looking-smug friend and if his face could’ve got any darker, it surely would. Clete pasted on a glassy smile.

“Hey bra, glad you OK. I stayed over to see Louise was too, uh…?”

Louise chipped in with a “good thing someone did Boo, what you was doing over there last night?” Ben looked a touch calmer at that but no doubt there would be words later.

“Glad you here Clete.” And with a glare at his cheerful and unapologetic sister, “Kind of. Now get your sorry ass out of that bed and come with me. You not gonna believe what we been fightin’”.

“Heard some crap on the radio about monsters but that gotta be a cover up, yeah?”

“No way! They was f’sure monsters like some movie shit. They tore up a bunch o’ marines and NOPD and some of us. They had swords, bra! And claws like fuckin Wolverine. Big and tough but not bulletproof, that’s f’sure.” Ben was bouncing his heels off the floor so hard, he looked as if he was about to jump through the ceiling and Clete’s curiosity – and desire to stay in good with Ben – got the better of his natural laziness. Besides, as old Henri said, one man’s disaster was another man’s opportunity.


An hour later they’d slipped past a line of checkpoints with all the ease of local knowledge, long practice and relaxed morals. There were others out in the shadows but just more local boys looking for a dollar and not a monster in sight. Clete’s cynicism was making a solid comeback.

“Don’t see those monsters bra? Army take the bodies away to Roswell maybe?”

Ben glared back and pointed to an ugly black smear on the arm of his jacket. “That how I know they bleed my man. Don’t try tell me they don’t!”

Clete pushed Ben’s arm into a patch of sun to get a better look at the gunk, which looked more like oil than blood. As he looked, the patch started smoking with a coppery stink then burst into flames. Ben ripped off the jacket screaming “fuck fuck fuck!” at the top of his voice, then scooped muddy water out of a puddle and rubbed it on his shirt sleeve. Both men jumped back into the shade and hunkered down to inspect the arm.

“You lucky Ben, just some blisters. But that is some weird shit right there. What kind of blood burns in the sun?”

“Vampires maybe?” Ben said shakily. “But they didn’t look like no Draculas last night.” Both men stiffened as a piece of collapsed roof shifted behind them and pulled their 9 mils from under their shirts. Something moved in the heaviest shadow at the back, under a steel beam. They moved in closer, guns first. Clete held his sideways until he caught a disgusted look from Ben and straightened it up. The thing under the rubble looked like one of old Henri’s monstrosities – a huge hairless baboon-man wearing a leather shirt with metal rings and with white skin that looked like it had scabies, herpes and boils at the same time.

“That is a no-shit monster” said Clete in pure awe. Then it rolled and opened dead-black eyes just like you saw every damn day in Shark Week. Both of them took a backward jump and sprawled in the rubble. Ben was up and scrabbling to shoot but Clete hadn’t lost sight of the Thing – or an opportunity.

“DON’T SHOOT man! It’s stuck there and the side of its head’s got a dint the size of your fist. We can use this Thing!” Clete’s brain spun with images of Henri’s spanner wound and the tidy living the old boy had made from his oddities. “You know what a live one of these would be worth?”

Ben glared back. “You crazy. This is one of the Wolverine claw fuckers. You let it live, it’s gonna pull your head off and suck on your neck like a straw” but at least he didn’t shoot and the thing did look pretty helpless, even to him. “Who you sell it to anyways? These things ate up a whole lot o’ people last night. The guvmint is gonna want them dead or chained up somewhere and they pay you nothin for handin’ it in.”

Ben had a damn good point but Clete was disinclined to cave in yet. “That a he, not a it I reckon. Lookit the junk on that thing! People pay to see that f’sure.”

“Shee-it! That is big and nasty.” Ben looked slightly sick. The Thing’s genitals were larger than anything he’d seen on a human but in no better shape than the rest of its skin. “That’s gotta hurt.”

Clete thought hard. There were places up the river where people still paid for live Raree shows, even if they could get Discovery Channel. And those same people weren’t too fond of any sort of authority either. Old Henri would know the right people to talk to, but they’d have to keep the Thing under control – and alive for that to work out.

“Hey you! Ugly! You hear me?” Clete squatted out of reach of the long claw-tipped arms and poked its chest with a piece of rebar. “You speak American?” It grunted and rolled the squinted up black eyes toward him but showed no signs of understanding. At least it didn’t seem to want to pull his head off for now. Clete tapped his chest and said “Clete! Me Clete!” He pointed at the Thing and said “Who you?” in a loud slow voice like Brits did in movies. The Thing put one paw or claw or hand or whatever it had to the dint in its head. The face wasn’t that much like a human but if he’d had to guess, Clete thought it looked confused. He did the tap and point routine a few more times but it didn’t seem to work like the movies until the Thing actually spoke. “Fugra” or something like it. Ben laughed a little shakily. “He got you there Clete. I reckon he called you Fucker.” But after a second it repeated it, this time tapping its own chest and speaking a little clearer. “Fangra!” It pointed at Clete with a dirty claw he strongly suspected was caked with someone’s blood. “Keet!”

Even Ben, who always found Clete’s schemes as addled as if he’d taken that spanner to the head, was fairly impressed, but as usual he was the practical one.

Ben looked outside and frowned. “if you gonna make nice with that, better you take him somewhere else. NOPD is gonna be all over here any time now.”

Clete knew he was right but if they just hauled it out, chances were it’d catch fire like the blood on Ben’s sleeve – if it didn’t just kill them both first. They looked around until Ben saw the corner of a heavy tarp. He dragged it out and unfolded it. “OK, we roll it in this and we put it in my trunk and we get the hell out of this parish, you hear?” The Thing didn’t fight and didn’t help when they rolled it up and it wasn’t too heavy for two big men to shift. Between them and with a lot more time and trouble than getting in, they slipped back through the lines. The posts were closer by now and the NOPD had been joined by some National Guard boys and a few more professional looking soldiers. As they strained to roll it into the Jacuzzi-sized trunk of Ben’s old Plymouth, they could see other local entrepreneurs dragging souvenirs toward their vans and pickups. “Bet none o’ them got a live monster Bennie-boy”. “Yeah. No one else that stupid “Cletey-boy””.


Two hours later they’d picked up old Henri and parked the Plymouth in a barn he knew of, abandoned since Katrina. It was solid enough and empty but for some rotted hay, a few rusted bits of farm junk and some semi-wild chickens.

“OK boys, what’s your big surprise for me? You ain’t been lootin’ again?” Henri’s sly smile at the sagging trunk didn’t seem as if he was too concerned at that prospect.

“You not believe this papere, but we got a real live monster, sans dout. Like you had in the raree shows, but he alive!”

“Shit Clete! You bring me all the way out here to the Mex station for a joke?”

Ben’s eyes narrowed and he looked more carefully around the barn. Down the back was one of the old wooden doors, far from where it had hung and for no apparent reason. He dragged it a little and saw the top of a set of rough stairs leading down to a shipping container, buried flush with the floor and covered by the dirt, hay and chicken shit.

Ben spat. “Spanner, you old son of a bitch. You been bringing wetbacks in? People who run that game are nasty man. You luck run out quick if you cross them, f’sure.”

“This ain’t the regular game Ben,” Henri whined. “Just a few come in on the boats, they stay here until their relatives get ‘em jobs with rich folk up in DC. None here and none due fer weeks.”

Clete looked at the locks on the container doors and thought Henri might just possibly be lying again, like he always did. But it might be a good spot to hold a sick monster.

“Let’s get him out of the trunk. I want to see papere’s face,” he grinned.

Henri, for once, did not disappoint. When the tarp unrolled he jumped like a Sunday School teacher goosed by the pastor but when the Thing didn’t move, he sidled up beside it. “Man, that is some ugly piece o’ work. Whoever stitched the junk onto that thing is some sick bastard. But you don’t fool me, I done good work mys..” With perfect timing, “Fangra” opened his shark eyes. Henri may have been old, lazy, and slightly addled but his backward jump looked like a ninja’s. Except you could still see him and, after a moment, smell him. “GODDAM you bastards! I done shit myself again.”

Clete and Ben laughed, though each noticed the other had hauled out his piece and drawn a bead on the creature. “He’s one of them monsters tore up the Parish last night papere. You hear all the shootin’?” “Fuck yeah” Henri snarled “and I heard they kill people and EAT THEM. What in hell you bring that out for?”

Fangra didn’t look inclined to kill anyone at the moment, sprawling where they left him, still bleeding from the dent in his head and with bone poking from a busted leg they’d not noticed earlier. As far as you could tell with a thing like that, he looked weaker than before.

Henri scooped up a chicken by the legs. “He puts me in mind of a Geek we had, useta bite the heads offa chickens. Didn’t eat ‘em though.” He tossed the scruffy bird idly towards the Thing which caught it with surprising ease and bit its head off as advertised. But this freak swallowed the head and sucked the blood from the neck with apparent satisfaction. After a bite of chicken, he spat feathers and plucked some from the carcass as well as you could with permanent Wolverine claws, then bit some more. “Well, that be handy” said Henri, snagging a couple more chickens, wringing their necks and starting to pluck. The Thing, Fangra or whatever growled unpleasantly and looked…unhappy, maybe? Henri tossed it the chickens and it sucked the necks half-heartedly and bit into the rest, but less eagerly than before.

“Damn if I don’t think he likes ‘em kickin’” said Clete. Henri shrugged and picked up another, plucked the unhappy bird while it squawked furiously. “We see”. Now whether Henri was lulled by the resemblance of Fangra to his sideshow oddities or his apparently crippled status, or it was just the old man’s addled brain in action, he stepped in too close with the naked bird. Fangra hooked his legs out from under him and pulled him up close. Everyone and everything froze. Clete and Ben too panicked to shoot, Henri shit scared and even Fangra looked confused. He opened his mouth close to Henri’s throat but didn’t close it. One clawed hand clamped to the back of Henri’s head and Fangra’s lipless and bloody mouth closed over the spanner-hole instead. The man and the monster stayed like that for a good ten minutes in the kind of perverted embrace only found in the darkest parts of the Internet or a Missouri Community College server. Henri’s eyes fluttered and he relaxed in a way that neither Clete nor Ben ever wanted to see or think about again. Clete staggered over to the barn wall and puked up what little he’d eaten that day and probably the day before as well but then Fangra’s claw loosened and Henri rolled away, eyes closed, head bleeding but still breathing.

Fangra opened his mouth. “SHEE-IT!” he growled. “IF THAT DON’T BEAT ALL.”


Hours later three men and what they now knew was a male Minion named Gynar sat around a fire in the barn, eating KFC and pit-bull respectively and all chugging Abita Amber. Clete and Ben were way beyond surprise at anything at this point and the beer had to be helping. Henri was still dazed and made very little sense but that was pretty normal for him. Gynar seemed woozy too and downright depressed into the bargain. Since he seemed disinclined to actually kill anyone, despite looking a little stronger, Ben had managed to pull his leg straight enough for the bone to slip inside and more or less butt up to the other end. Gynar stayed impossibly calm during the whole process, which was way scarier that if he’d roared or thrashed around some. With Gynar speaking passable American and Henri mumbling in something that sounded like it hurt his throat, they were coming to understand each other’s problems with some mutual sympathy.


Clete took the trash thing in good part, having being called worse by even his nearest and dearest and Ben was quite sympathetic about the whole cruel master thing as well.

“We had a thought to sell you to a raree show or take you on the road ourselves. Reckon we might make a fair livin’ like that. Enough to keep you in dogs and us in beer?” Clete suggested somewhat diffidently.

“No way are we sellin’ anyone Clete,” said Ben flatly. Even if he ain’t entirely a person. No offense.”


Henri roused himself and spat to the side. “I been thinking ‘bout that an’ it won’t fly boys. And Gynar. Radio says there was a straight up invasion down in the Ninth last night and there was hundreds, maybe thousands of people dead. Bobbie Jindal declared another state of emergency and they’s sending in real soldiers in the thousands. This whole state, right down to the back of the back of the last bayou is gonna be crawling with uniforms. And they’re all gonna be looking for anyone like ol’ Gynar here. We don’t have no bloodpots, but I don’t reckon Guantanamo is gonna be a whole lot better.” Oddly it never seemed to occur to Henri to simply turn Gynar in or abandon him. The two seemed to have an odd sympathy for one another since their Vulcan mind-meld or whatever it was.

Clete walked over to the hidden bunker built for the Mexican illegals and kicked some chicken shit down the stairs. He looked back at the impressive height and bulk of Gygar, even considering the splinted leg and rough head bandages that looked like a red and white hood covering the top half of his head. Gygar had taken off his armour earlier and been persuaded to wear a too-tight spare pair of Ben’s pants from the trunk. Mostly that was to cover his junk, though with his diseased looking chest and one leg splinted, he wasn’t about to win any prizes. Suddenly old Henri’s sneaky-gene kicked in and Clete experienced what he would never in a million years have called an Epiphany.


Six months later in San Cristobal de Las Casas, down near the Guatemalan border, a large and well set up RV pulled to a stop outside a local hall. The driver and passenger were two large men, both bearded and oddly alike considering one was black and the other white. Maybe that was down to the chinos and Hawaiian shirts, expensive watches and Ray-Bans. A most attractive woman swung out the side door and Clete called “How they doin’?” “They fine,” she smiled. “Henri just beat Guy at pinochle again.”

“HE CHEATS” something roared, waking a dog which suddenly looked nervous. “I WILL BITE OFF HIS FUCKIN’ HAND AND SUCK THE BLOOD FROM HIS SPURTING ARTERIES.” No one seemed much bothered by this and the two men strolled into the hall. On the walls were posters for the weekly Lucha Libre contest and on the sides of the RV were lurid posters advertising EL URUK-HAI, the biggest, ugliest and by far most successful Luchador on the southern circuit.

21 Responses to ‘"Clete and the Monster" by Greybeard - Fanfest 2015’

Maddoug asserts...

Posted March 15, 2015
Oh, man, that last line I can't stop laughing. Bloody excellent!

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted March 15, 2015
That was great. It also seems that some of the aspects of Resistance get caught in some of the fan fiction, ie sucking on brains and obtaining thinkings. Why is that? Great minds etc etc?

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Spanner puts forth...

Posted March 15, 2015
You'll pay for that Old Man. Oh how you will pay for that.

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GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted March 15, 2015

Golly Darth Greybeard, from one sick puppy to the next ... you sir are in a Cheeseburger league all to yourself.

Clete, Ben and Henri are like a bunch of good ol southern boys from Justified, schemin' and scammin' to make a dishonest buck in a cold, cruel realm ... excellent storytelling, loved the lip-smacking mind-meld transfer ... funny how Henri's IQ didn't go up a few notches.

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Anthony puts forth...

Posted March 15, 2015

I like it - what do we have next? Bloodpit gumbo?

I really can't work out why people are rude to Greybeard.

Spanner has opinions thus...

Posted March 15, 2015
We are rude to him because...because...well basically...oh you'll figure it out.
Oh and don't believe a word he says.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 18, 2015
Anthony. The moment you get down-wind of him you'll understand.

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JG has opinions thus...

Posted March 15, 2015
Brilliant, Greybeard. Gold star. Congrats on a fabulous story. Terrific execution. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted March 15, 2015
Wow Greybeard, I really enjoyed that. And I loved the ending once I googled "Luchador" :D

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted March 16, 2015
So much fun.

If this is really a competition, it will be a hell of a difficult one to judge.

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 16, 2015
Sure will be, PNB. So many great stories and original ideas. All fascinating in their diversity. My two faves to date are this one by Greybeard, and your story, The Favourite.

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted March 16, 2015
Very kind JG, but I haven't seen a bad one yet. Kind of hoping it's not a competition per se because I've really enjoyed doing it.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 16, 2015
So a "competition" would make it less enjoyable?

Nothing feels better than winning, and then laughing at your opponents because you won and they lost.

Well, that isn't entirely true. Lots of things feel better than that - from fairly decent sex to a really good bowel movement. Those definitely feel better. But winning also feels good.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted March 16, 2015
PNB, as the winner of the competition was to be immortalised and/or eaten, one could say you have already won, or was the recent appearance of your namesake just a coinkydink?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted March 16, 2015
No, not a coincidence. I was "immortalized" for suggesting the space based kinetic weapon featured in Stalin's Hammer (a now ancient Pepsi Challenge). But that doesn't mean I don't have a keen interest in seeing Professor X stay alive at least as long as the Rhino did in the Disappearance trilogy. Maybe one day longer than the Rhino. Then I would win.

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Rhino mutters...

Posted March 16, 2015
Fantastic job Greybeard. Very impressive.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted March 16, 2015
Pretty damn good GB!

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted March 16, 2015
Grudging admiration. Well done wrinkly.

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted March 16, 2015
That was awesome; the consistency of the redneck dialogue blew my mind

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted March 16, 2015
Ta muchly. Must confess I cheated by having 2 tabs open with Louisiana dialects and pronunciation, one with a map of the New Orleans area and another one for names etc. Apparently Doucet is quite common in the bayous. The dialects - with occasional reversals of word order and heaps of French loan words - were distractingly interesting.

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damian would have you know...

Posted March 17, 2015
C'est magnifique!

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Respond to '"Clete and the Monster" by Greybeard - Fanfest 2015'

Dave, The Movie, by Ghostswirv. Fanfest 2015

Posted March 13, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

This would look so much cooler if the Burger was set up to publish film scripts in their original formatting. But it's still pretty cool.


Three COBRAS were working the KILL-ZONE enveloping the scattering Horde.

Miniguns, rockets and door gunners churning up the field.

Heath cupped his hand to his ear, listening on his headset.

Dave shoved the last of the energy bars into his mouth, chewed it down then crumpled the wrapper and dropped it in his disgust at the scene before him.

Heath climbed slowly, painfully to his feet.


Chief, round up your squad and Ostermann's if you can. The hostiles have mostly broken and run for it. Back to the ... the ... what did they even come through, Dave?

Heath zeroed in on Dave.


How did they get here?


No idea, and neither do they. But I guess there's some sort of portal thing in that lot.

Gesturing towards the burning mass of human and monster debris.


And under the Longreach. And on the highway up to Area 51. And who the fuck knows where else now?

Heath and Allen both stared at him.

Dave returned the look and then some, tuned out the battle as Heath relayed orders to Allen.

Lucille began to go cold in his hand and Dave tried to stand, but the world titled on its axis and tipped him off into darkness.


The thresh's head appeared tentatively out of the sulfurous pool but was swiftly grabbed by a menacing tattooed arm attached to an equally fearsome HUNN and dragged by its neck up out of gelatinous pool.

Mud oozed slowly from the thresh's eye stalks, frozen with fear and trepidation.

The thresh was spun around and thrust roughly towards BATTLE MASTER URGORR DENOTH UR HUNN.


Tell me little one, where are the others of your Dread Company, I wish to praise them on their valiant assault on the Above.

The thresh knew by the colours of this BattleMaster that he was not a servant of his Low Queen.

Eye stalks peered in all directions, taking in the trio of Grymm Lieutenants standing impatiently nearby, supported by their attending Hunn and a phalanx of slavering Fangr.


I ... I am alone BattleMaster.


You are a deserter then!

At a nod towards the Hunn holding the thresh its claws stroked the length of its belly, talons fully extended.


No m'Lord, I am the last survivor of the expedition ... all have been destroyed.


Destroyed? By what?


By the magicks of the calflings.

A thunderous roar of laughter echoed across the chamber, the Hunn holding the thresh relaxed its grip and it fell to its knees in front of Urgorr Denoth Ur Hunn.

The thresh quivered uncontrollably as thoughts of the conflict that had raged in the Above flooded back into its mind. The blinding light and fire from the sky.

The BattleMaster stopped laughing as his mind delved into the low creatures memories and he saw that thresh spoke the truth and then he saw the opportunity.


Impossible, snap its neck and bring it for the blood pot. Its time we returned to more friendly climes.

The Hunn closest to Grymm Sri-Dow stepped forward and reached for the thresh but Urgorr Denoth Ur Hunn cuffed him upside his head, none too gently.

Fangr growled appreciably.

The third Grymm, bigger than the other two, moved slowly closer to the thresh, studying its eye stalks.

He stared at Urgorr Denoth, then bent down, scooping the thresh gently up into his arms, his eyes gleaming at the BattleMaster.

A nod of understanding passed between them.


No, we will take this survivor back home and we will honor his escape from the magicks of the calflings.


M'Lord? Honor this low thing - I would rath ...

Urgorr's sword slashed across the Hunn's neck and its still talking head landed at the feet of Grymm Sri-Dow.


You wish to venture another opinion?


I wish only to do your bidding M'Lord.

Not another word was spoken as the small company wheeled about and filed back into the darkness of the cavern.

Trampling over the bodies of the Sentries of the Low Queen's Cohort that lay scattered in their way.




Emmerline storms across the tarmac towards the OSPREY TRANSPORT, rotors spinning almost as mad as her temper.

Pushing past the SEAL at the foot of the on-ramp she barges on-board, cock-punching another SEAL who mistakenly planted himself in her way.


Professor stop messing with my boys. They got a job to do and your name is not on the manifest.


You're not leaving here without me again. Chief says you know where he is this time.

Chief Allen swallowed hard under the Captain's glare.


Its a maybe, based on a hunch, born from a flyspeck of intel lifted from an almost dead satellite orbiting a Russian spy-boat. Its probably shit, but that don't matter cos you're not coming.

Professor Emmerline Ashbury clenched and unclenched her fists, the SEALS around her stepped back a notch, each man raising their personal threat levels to ANGRY-ASHBURY.


Like you Cap I've learned some new tricks, one of which is to get me some friends in high places.

Thrusting a piece of paper at him that looked suspiciously like a Flash Traffic Order Message.

Captain Heath took the page and scanned it twice.


Alright, ... you're on the team, observer status only. No lip, no guns, no taser and definitely no more cock-punching.

(switching to his Captain's voice)

Strap yourselves in gentlemen, ... its Dave hunting season.



A pair of CORPORATE AV CONTRACTORS are busy adjusting the images on the CURVED BANK of VIDEO SCREENS beneath the GI-NORMOUS CENTRAL MONITOR.

Each screen displaying multiple images of the activities taking place in the twelve rooms under surveillance.

Up on the big screen A SHORT BALD MAN in a white lab coat, facing away from the camera, makes some adjustments to an object being blocked by his rather rotund body.

Reaching down with both arms he grasps onto something and then pulls with all his might, his neck muscles, such as they are, bunch up above his coat.


(turning up the ambient sound)

Whaddya spose he's up to.

The figure on-screen sheepishly turns around.


(into throat mic.)

Are you recording right now Max?


(suppressing a grin at Stewie)

Every frame Dr. Compton - uhhh you want me to umm erase the last few minutes ... you know, like we did last time.


(into throat mic.)

Nevermind, just set the timers and clear out, like last time. I'm moving to Area 3, let them know I'm coming.


Sure thing Dr. Compton, oh and Pyne wanted me to remind you that you have the show and tell meeting with the very VIP at 2pm.

Max watched Dr. Compton move off-frame, revealing a bloodied SPLITTING MAUL standing upright on the porch of a dilapidated Miami lean-to, resting in the middle of a raised TITANIUM PLATFORM.


Hey Stewie call down to Area 3 and let 'em know that Doc Red's on his way. Oh and pass me that packet of peanuts and hand me a soda - no way I'm missing out on today's session. The way the Doc's been working out, its gonna be bitchin!



Heath and Allen move slowly down the two lines of SEALS in the Cargo Bay, checking weapons and comms.

Heath stops to inspect Professor Ashbury's rig.


Uhh huh, I'm registered as observer status only, you no get to touch the Ashbury!

Heath thought about arguing but there was no point, he smiled and moved in closer, flipping a switch on his comms so he could go up close and personal.


We're 18 minutes away from touch down so I guess its only fair you get to know our destination.


Is this like 20 questions or do you get to tell me outright, and goddammit Cap when do I get my own gun back!

Allen leaned forward and at a nod from Captain Heath handed Emmerline a PEARL-HANDLED, BLACK EAGLE 45 AUTOMATIC HANDGUN.

As he placed it in her outstretched palm he eye-balled the notches on the handle.


You may now have your personal ordnance back, but please don't shoot anything, anything at all until my team opens fire first. And then only the bad guys.

Emmerline's eyes gleamed as she loaded a clip into the handle and racked the slide action into place.

Locking the safety she loaded her weapon into her chest pouch and relaxed back into her well-worn seat.


I'll behave, I promise! Now where the hell are we and where the hell are we going to land?


Tell me Professor Ashbury, have you ever been to Ground Zero?



Blue-black angry clouds smashed into one another then reformed into towering waves of energy. Slicing their way through forests of green and gold stalks of paper-thin glass that burst asunder and rained down like little sparkle-larkles.

PRINCESS LEIA, wearing a POLKA DOT BIKINI was holding a WHITE HELLO KITTY UMBRELLA to deflect the drops.

Except the face of the reclining Princess wasn't that of Carrie Fisher but of Professor Emmerline Ashbury, that morphed into Cindy Crawford, Kim Kardashian, George Clooney's wife with the unpronounceable name, Annie, no, not Annie ... quick back to Emmerline.

Toby and Jack tore past in souped up Hot-Rods doing wheelies around each other, screaming at the top of their lungs, hopped up on Red Bull and Pringles.

A large dark shadowy outline cruised above the cloudline, circling, descending, searching.

Tongues of silver purple lightning slivered across the sky, like puppet-strings drawing back and forth.

Nearby Jabba the Low Queen was feeding Fangr, Grymm and Stormtroopers into a top of the range, kick-ass Thermomix.

Ably assisted by the girls from that Ozzie TV show Hi-5 that Toby and Jack liked to watch, well Dave liked them to watch, following some kooky Horde blood pot recipe.

Urgon and Urspite waited slavishly to lick the bowl, looking very fetching in their complementary aprons.

A voice was softly singing, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", it sounded a lot like how Lucille would sound.

If only she could sing that is.

In the Above the shadowy outline is not circling anymore, its changed direction.

Arrowing down for the kill.



On the Central Monitor Dave is pictured strapped by a lattice work crisscross brace onto a gurney bed.

He is surrounded by every medical monitoring device known to man - all appear to be registering in the lower end of the scales.

The Dave is inert.

A myriad of IV drips run from needles inserted into his arms and legs. Feeding tubes run into his mouth and nose.

TWO ARMED GUARDS stand nearby, one brandishing a FLAME-THROWER, his partner pointing an RPG at the bed.

A MEDIUM SIZED SAFE occupies a STEEL TABLE between them, a notice attached reads: OPEN ONLY IN DIRE EMERGENCY.

Stewie pops a can of Mountain Dew and tosses a bag of peanuts at Max, then he flips a switch and the picture cuts from SECURE BIO-LAB 1 to SECURE BIO-LAB 3.



A row of seven steel gurney beds occupies the centre of the room, each table bolted to the floor.

Strapped to six of them is a Fangr, most of them a little dazed but all alive, hungry and really pissed off.

In the centre of the line is manacled a HUNN, drugged and confused, but anger and duty is slowly supplanting its fear and confusion at the hands of the calflings.

At the head of each gurney is a smaller metal table, upon each one sits an assortment of different SPLITTING MAULS, all tagged to reveal weight, metal composition, handle length, blade tensile strength and price.

Compton, now dressed in combat boots, protective vest and a full-face, clear plastic splatter mask approaches Fangr Contestant No.#1.

The Fangr's eyes bore into Compton as he tries to lift the first Splitting Maul off the table before him.


Test Subject 11A - Transference Implement #32 - weight feels good, balance is right.

With difficulty Compton lifts the Splitting Maul above his head aiming directly for the Fangr's skull.


No guts, no glory.




Woweee, way to go Doc! Stewie didya see that?


Yeah man, looks like we gotta call in the Dex for a blood splatter analysis.



A pair of DRAKONS angled down towards the columns of the calflings far below.

Banking and correcting their flight, twisting their long spiked necks around - searching for prey.

Astride each one rides a Cord of Sliveen, armed for bear, armed for Dave.



The OSPREY spirals in for a landing, SEALS burst from the on-ramp doors, forming a cordon around the plane.

The Freedom Tower stands tall, proud and defiant in the glow of the afternoon sun.

Emmerline looks around her, wondering what the hell they're doing in a park in New York City.


So what now, ... do we start digging?


Nothing says fuck you better to the world at large than hiding the most dangerous covert apparatus of a sinister spy agency inside the most recognisable symbol and beacon of eternal brotherhood, freedom and world peace.

All the team turn towards the tower.


I take it you don't agree?


Shit no, its diabolical. I'm just pissed cos Mordor-Central occupies the five floors above 70! Come on, let's go get our boy!




Roger I have two bogeys in sight, descending to attack, weapons hot. Request permission to engage.



Air order of battle confirmed.

The sky rolls over violently as the pilot descends.




The Splitting Maul smashes through the hapless body of Fangr No.#4 and bounces off the table, flipping past Compton and landing on the chest of the Hunn lying nearby.

Compton grimaces and gingerly collects the weapon, trying hard not to make eye contact with the snarling Hunn.

He puts the bloodied splitting maul down and executes a practiced self administered physical exam.


So far no recorded physical changes on human test subject as a result of controlled encounters with Horde subjects.

Recording his results on a tablet splattered with Fangr juice.


This is proving to be most vexing but I will endeavor to continue my personal sacrifice for the betterment of science and mankind in particular.



Lucille is glowing.

The floorboards upon which it rests are smoking and a faint humming sound appears to be emanating from the maul itself.

It sounds a lot like Smells Like Teen Spirit.



The Lead Sliveen raises his bow and points towards the tallest of the calflings stalactites.

The Drakon heeds his call and swings about just as the Drakon alongside her explodes into flame, tossing the cord of Sliveen aside like burning twigs.

An F22 Raptor roars past as the Drakon aero-brakes in mid-air and shoots a bolt of flame after its attacker.

The Raptor spins about and the Drakon dives towards the blue building.

Twin missiles streak away from their wing pods locked onto the Drakon.

She twists over onto her side and the three Sliveen on her back leap clear and smash into the wall of glass as she dashes past the side of the building.

Certain her mission is accomplished she stops once again and turns to face her enemy.

The missiles explode on impact, showering the Greenway below in a myriad of scorched and barbecued flesh.



RED EMERGENCY LIGHTING has engaged and a WARNING SIREN blares incessantly.


Max, MAX! Do you see this!

On the Central Monitor a Sliveen is smashing and killing its way through the building - seemingly heading towards the BIO-LABs


(into a stalk mic.)

Doc, Dr. Compton sir you better get outta there, umm we have a breach sir. A breach on the 72nd floor ... from the outside!



Compton cleans his reading glasses and puts them back on, peering into the red light always gives him headaches.

The scream of the siren is overpowering everything, he can just hear a human voice through the WALL SPEAKER.



Doc, there's a breach and you've gotta get to the Safe House.


Say again Max, Safe House, breach what are you blathering about? Why wasn't I told about the un-scheduled evacuation alert ... I'm in charge here.

Just then the AUTOMATIC STEEL BLAST DOORS to the corridor are prized apart and a Sliveen ducks its head and slowly enters the room.



Oh and hey Doc your 2 o'clock has arrived. He insists on waiting for you to personally escort him to the Safe House.



HALON GAS blasts across the room like an enveloping shroud - the armed guards, now wearing GAS-MASKS, take up close quarter positions beside Dave.

Their weapons cocked and ready to fire.

The instruments surrounding Dave appear to be still registering on the low side - low but steadily rising from one second to the next.

Dave hasn't batted an eyelid, but the guard with the flame-thrower, alerted to a strange sound, leans in closer to Dave's head.

The Dave appears to be humming.



Compton, covered in Fangr blood cowers on his belly on the floor.

The red light and the odor of the Fangr blood has disguised his presence from the Sliveen which has stopped beside the table holding the Hunn captive.


Do not despatch me yet Sliveen for the sin of my capture. I know why you're here. I've felt his presence too.

The Sliveen considers this request, slowly lowering his blade and returning it to its sheath.


You bring much disgrace upon the Horde Hunn, but so too did BattleMaster Urspite Scaroth. This day you may redeem yourself.

Raising his BATTLE AXE the Sliveen slices through the restraints holding the Hunn to the table.

It takes a moment to gather his strength then the Hunn reaches out and grabs the largest Splitting Maul off a table and swings its clawed feet over the edge.


Guide me to The Dave ur Hunn and you shall have your true reward.



The Lobby is well furnished in retro-Republican chic, but the red alert lighting and the lack of personnel give it a distinctly bridge of a sinking ship feel.

An elderly man sits patiently by the WATER COOLER.

Smartly dressed in an elegant suit and designer glasses he smoothes down his thinning hair.

Reaching into his inside jacket pocket he produces a SMARTPHONE and accesses his personal Twitter account.


Writers like @JohnBirmingham continue to bang on about Neocons ruining democracy - just wait till barbarians at the gates.

The bank of three Elevator Lights pop on, each one accompanied by the obligatory dings.

The elderly man chuckles to himself then hits POST.

The three doors open simultaneously and a small black canister exits each car in a spiraling arc before exploding into shattering bursts of SMOKE AND LIGHT.

SEALS Teams swoop into the Lobby and fan out.


Hey I gotta live one here.

Helping the elderly gentleman to his feet and smoothing down his thinning hair.


Bag him, check him for weapons and oh ... Mr Murdoch, sorry we ahh didn't see there sir.

Emmerline brushes past Heath and Allen and gets up all close and personal to Rupert Murdoch herself.


Is this your piece of real estate, something to do with you Murrr-dock!


Chief, little help here.

Allen guides Rupert Murdoch away from the Professor. Spies the open screen on his phone.


I'll take this if you don't mind sir. Too much angry bird squawking going on of late if you ask me.

Gently prising the phone away and tossing it to Igor who pockets it in his vest.


(gesturing to his right)

Schematics say we gotta go this way. Igor, Greybeard take the point.

The teams move out in standard hostile territory formation.


What'll we do with Fox news here? We can't leave him unattended.


I'll have you know I'm very much more than just Fox News, I'm ...


Put him in Couch and you bring up the rear. Maybe we can use him for a prisoner exchange?


Prisoner? Exchange?


You're really bad, you know that sir.


No Chief, what's really bad is that Rupert here was the only member of the reception committee. Where is everybody else?



Dave's humming has become really loud now, and really annoying.

The guards are freaking, not just because of Dave's humming but because something or someone is trying to hammer their way through the HEAVY DUTY ANTI-DAVE REINFORCED BLAST DOORS.



Princess Emmerline is playing Beach Volleyball against Princess Annie, on a checkerboard beach made of licorice.

Toby and Urgon and Jack and Urspite are watching from the sidelines, all ploughing through a tree-trunk of COTTON CANDY.


I could do this all day - but what I really want to do is get me some roasted Sliveen livers, on a bed of ground minion.


You know the Food and Drug Administration won't approve that for general consumption.

On a RAISED LIFESAVERS TOWER sits Dave watching the match, wearing only a pair of LITTLE RED SPEEDOS.


Will you guys shut up, I'm trying to concentrate on the game. Now I've gone and lost the score.


(in stereo)

I'll win for you Dave!


What you really ought to do Dave is get your ass off that tower and get back down to business, the Low Queen is coming.


He's right Dave - I could die for some Sliveen right about now, I surely could.


(in stereo)

Time to wake up Dave - its way past time.



Dave's eyes flicker open, then he shuts them quick as a JET of FLAME tears across in front of his head.

The Guard with the RPG fumbles with the safety as the Hunn rages towards him, Splitting Maul arcing on high.

TWOCK - A seven foot long arrow pins Flame-Thrower Guard to the Daily Bulletin Board.

Monitors surrounding Dave all shoot straight to 11 on the Spinal Tap Dial.

The Sliveen appears above Dave's head, grinning at his prey's condition.

RPG Guard is engulfed by the Hunn, but not before firing his weapon which explodes against the ceiling, throwing Drann Ur Hunn and Sliveen Tor cartwheeling across the room.

Dave's arms break free of his restraints, next his legs.

He tries to sit up but his body is still trapped by the lattice crisscross brace, he turns his head as far as he can.

The Sliveen is coming to its senses.

Grabbing hold of the table Dave begins to rock it from side to side. Floor bolts buckle and scream and the table tilts over, landing in front of the safe.

The Sliveen spins the table around and slashes down with his battle Axe slicing into the lattice.

Dave wrenches the handle from the Sliveen's grasp, the lattice brace tears away from the table top and Dave shoves the axe back into the Sliveen's torso.


Gee thanks mister.



Doctor Compton slithers quickly along the darkened corridor, mindful of every shadow and intersection.


Must get to the roof, must get to the roof, evacuate all important personnel, I'm important personnel, must get to the roof.

Captain Heath's party steps into his path.


Hi doc, remember me, or maybe you remember Professor Ashbury ... we both got a few pressing questions we'd like to ask you.

Emmerline steps out the shadows, her Black Eagle 45 cocked and aimed at the spot right above Compton's little button nose.


But first things first. Take us to Dave.



The Sliveen lies trapped by the neck beneath its own bow weighed down by Dave's left foot as he fumbles with combination of the safe, written on the bottom of the OPEN ONLY IN DIRE EMERGENCY card.

His stomach begins to growl menacingly, his newly found strength fast evaporating, his fingers keep slipping and the Sliveen doesn't like to be pinned down.

The safe door cracks open just a little and Dave wrenches it off its hinges and smashes it down into the face of the Sliveen, giving it a hideous Joker grin.


Why so serious.

Reaching into the safe Dave extracts a fistful of CLIF bars and a six-pack of Gatorade.

Tearing through the packaging he crushes the bars into his maw, squeezing bottle after bottle of Gatorade into the slight gap at the side of his mouth.

His body begins to settle down and he starts to feel like his old new self again.

Movement at the broken blast doors catches his attention.

Emmerline, Heath and Chief Allen step into the room.

Dave looks down in despair, suddenly realising he's only wearing old guy continence underpants.


Some party eh Dave, sorry we missed it.

Compton and Rupert Murdoch push past the SEALS and enter the room, gobsmacked.


You'll be paying for the damage Hooper.

Before anyone could lay a hand on Compton, Drann Ur Hunn rose up from the floor and hurled his Splitting Maul across the room at the good Doctor.

Dave didn't hesitate, didn't even blink - he just strolled across the room - shoved Compton a tad with his little finger and plucked the Splitting Maul out the air an inch in front of Rupert's designer goggles.

With a flourish he hurled it back into the left shoulder of the Hunn, severing his arm and half of his chest.

He stopped and the others registered him magically appearing in front of the Head of News International.

Compton banged into the far corner, not sure how he got there but certain it had something to do with Dave.


Wow Dave, you just saved Rupert Murdoch's life?


Well what can I say, I like Fox News and those female presenters are pretty hot.

Emmerline holstered her weapon and stared hard at Dave before turning her lens onto Heath.


So what's been happening - say Emma, I've been thinking about you, a lot.

Emmerline moves to step back out the room.


Oh please - spare me.

Dave steps in front of Emmerline, blocking her path.

Professor Emmerline Ashbury begins to clench and unclench her fists, Heath, Allen and the SEAL team all step back a notch, each man raising their personal threat levels once again to ANGRY-ASHBURY.

The professor seeks approval from Captain Heath.


Be my guest.



PLANET X glides slowly in Low-Emission Mimic Orbit out beyond the path of PLUTO.

This far out from SOL there is almost no light, and yet Planet X begins to gleam from its own internal heat source.


Rising from a glowing staircase, that descended into darkness the ACOLYTE moved purposefully across the cavernous plain and waited the requisite 27 seconds.

27 seconds later.


M'Lord, we have a situation developing.

Floating high above, his WINGS slowly beating in the RT-ficial GEE, the WATCHER angled his head downwards.


Sensors indicate that the Capstone on Terra has been breached and the portal re-opened. The Lattice Field is collapsing in a randomized fashion allowing expeditionary forces of the Low Queen to enter the Above Realm, apparently on Seek and Eat Missions.


And what of the calflings?


They are resisting M'Lord? Open conflict between the Realms is now highly likely.

A lascivious smile bleeds across the SKY LORD'S exterior visage.


Excellent - inform the High Council and re-integrate the Drive.

A flash of his eyes and the interior wall of the cavern turned TRANSLUCENT, revealing the SOL SYSTEM on one side and the deep blackness of The Edge on the other.


Begin preparations for a cloaked insertion into the remains of the orbit of Juno, between Jupiter and Mars.


Make sure there is a slight inclination towards Jupiter, always loved that view.


Yes M'Lord, by your command.


Wait! From this day forth you may call me ... Klaatu


Um, ooookayy, ... M'Lord?


No really, from now on I want to be known as Klaatu. Enter it in the Log.


By your command Mah ... ah Klaatu.

The Acolyte retreats cautiously back down the stairs.

Klaatu has already dismissed him from his thoughts as he scans the depth of space before him. A lone METEOR streaks past.


Yes my Brethren, I think its time once again that we dropped a few stones back into the ancient gene pool.


The Low Queen relaxed back into her throne upon the Bone Dais, a sweet smile caressing her bejeweled jaws.

A single Grymm was attending to a small figure laying crumpled on the floor beneath her.


Can it be revived?


It is a faint Majesty, nothing more. These creatures are as weak as we remember them. No match for a Grand Legion assault.


And yet, they do resist, have they not. Not so much as we remember them then. As do you Chi-Ramm?

The Grymm flinched at the barbed retort, she is always most dangerous when she's up to some devious planning.


The magicks of the calflings have proven to be of concern Majesty but sheer force of Horde numbers would undoubtedly overwhelm the Above, even with their greatest hero in the van.


Ah, you speak of The Dave, I detect fear in your tone Chi-Ramm. Already he has bested two of my BattleMasters, I would not like to lose many more. Grymm I could spare a few, BattleMasters not so much.

Chi-Ramm bowed low, considering his next move carefully.

The creature on the ground moaned piteously.

He wanted to crush it and rend its flesh, but that honour would fall to his Mistress, to give in to his desires now would mean certain death.

Reaching down Chi-Ramm plucked the whimpering creature off the floor, holding it up before the Low Queen.


It is ready Majesty.

OSTERMANN stopped whimpering and began screaming as the mind-fangs of the Low Queen began caressing his senses.


Calfling, show me more about the magicks you possess. The weapons you have acquired, the energies more powerful than the sun, even more so than the Sky Lords.

Ostermann's head began vibrating violently, his eyes bulging, his lips quivering as garbled sounds, words maybe began to spill out.

The Low Queen took Ostermann to her bosoms rocking him gently to and fro as the Grymm bore a silent witness.


Ffffootballl, fffootballll, thhhee Ppppresident's ... fffoot-ball!

9 Responses to ‘Dave, The Movie, by Ghostswirv. Fanfest 2015’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 13, 2015
You had me at "I could die for some Sliveen right about now, I surely could." I bet they taste like lobster. If you cook 'em right.

Klaatu barada nikto, mate.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 14, 2015
And don't think we didn't notice that, like the daemons, the Sky Lords refer to humans as cattle - "calflings" - i.e., as prey.

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JG puts forth...

Posted March 13, 2015
Epic action, Ghostswirv. Your film script is imaginative, humorous, and has fascinating scene transitions. I laughed at Dave's zonked out dreams (crraaazy!), along with your take on Compton's odious, self-serving nature. Haha. Always the attention seeker. Great fun.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 13, 2015
I'm impressed by the ground you've covered. Good read.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted March 14, 2015
Damn, that was good stuff. Great job!

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 14, 2015
Again with the door gunner in a cobra. Tidy, very tidy. Congratulations.

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted March 14, 2015
I'll have some of what the Ghost was on. Another sick puppy - who'd have thought you'd find so many around here?

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted March 14, 2015
Oh I enjoyed that immensely! I could see so easily how it would cut together in film. Well done :)

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GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted March 15, 2015

Thanks for the kind words gang - sorry for the clunky formatting though, tried to be too clever by half and submit my story written with scriptwriting software - didn't translate too well.

Extreme cudos to JB for translating my piece into something you could all read, musta been a busy week.

Also this adventure is supposed to be an unauthorised account of events between Emergence and Resistance - but I mistakenly called New Orleans Miami and forgot to fix it before submission.

I loved what happens to Compton in Resistance and I wanted to also give us more of a reason to despise him before something gruesome happens.

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Respond to 'Dave, The Movie, by Ghostswirv. Fanfest 2015'

A Place of Angels - Part 2, by ShaneAlpha. Fanfest 2015

Posted March 11, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Our first sequel. And the third, count it, the THIRD entry from Mr Alpha.

Friar Matthew Condon’s head swivelled toward the door as it opened and Father Fabris entered. “Brothers,” Fabris said, “The Holy Father has led to Horatii to his private chapel to pray. We, however, have further duties to perform.”

Father Thiebault nodded solemnly “I know Brother, but I fear that the heaviest portion of our burden will fall on Brother Matthew.”

Matthew felt his face go slack with surprise. “But…But, we have performed our duties! What more do we need to do?”

Father Fabris eased into the third wooden chair in the otherwise empty room, and then leaned forward and stared at the floor. After a few moments in thought he began to speak as he continued to stare at the plain boards. “Brother, what has happened is unprecedented in the records of the Church and even in the tales of antiquity. In the ancient tales men only battled one or two monsters. In our records it is the same. The relics we hold in trust came alive only singly, and even then, only if another had not been created before the Terminatus was performed. But now, NOW they have all come alive, as you and we witnessed. A new hero and his weapon have been created and an army of demons has invaded. We are traveling a path in blackest night, with nothing to guide our way. We need knowledge and I fear that the burden of obtaining it falls upon you, as both Father Thiebault and I are too old and weak to do what must be done.”

Matthew straightened in his chair. “Of course Brother, I will do whatever the Holy Mother Church needs me to do.”

Father Thiebault smiled grimly, “You should remember the old soldiers’ creed Brother, ‘Never volunteer for anything.’”

Father Fabris nodded slowly “Wise words Brother, but we must ask our younger brother to ignore them this time.” Straightening, he looked into Matthews face. “Have you ever wondered Brother why, of all the objects in the reliquary, it is a small handful of pebbles that occupies the middle?”

Matthew felt his breathing speed up slightly. “Yes Brother. But I assumed that I would be granted that knowledge when it was time.”

“That time has come. Brother Thiebault, you have studied those relics and the records relating to them in much greater depth then myself. Please tell us both what we know of them and what must be done next.”

Thiebault rose to his feet and began pacing. “Brothers, these have been kept by the Church because it was from these that we were given the knowledge how to perform the Terminatus. Only one man ever used them to obtain that knowledge and he left dire warnings about the dangers of using them further and the horrendous cost of that use. I am not sure that our “modern” formulation that avoids that cost will work. We can but try. I have contacted the papal doctor to arrange for the materials we will require and will instruct Brother Matthew in the ritual.”

“Ritual?” asked Matthew.

“Yes Brother. These stones come from the demons and their use requires a magical ritual. They are called Seer Stones and the ancient who found them,” and here Thiebaut’s mouth quirked into a wry grin “you may have heard of. Myrddin, or the modern version of his name, Merlin.” His grin grew wider at Matthews’s start of surprise. “Yes, Brother. Excalibur was not the only relic to come to us from him.” The grin suddenly dropped from his face. “He must have been a genius to discover what he did. But the cost to him! I prayed for his poor soul for a full day after I read his writings. You see Brothers, the ritual requires massive amounts of blood.”

Matthews face went pale as the implications of that slammed into his brain.

14 Responses to ‘A Place of Angels - Part 2, by ShaneAlpha. Fanfest 2015’

Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted March 11, 2015
Yeah, I'm the first to respond again. That has nothing to do with being a gout-ridden grumpy ancient, sitting at his steam-powered computamatron half the day. But damn this is good stuff. I'm moving it - ShaneAlpha, your task, nay duty, is to take time off your job (if any), ignore the demands of your family (if applicable) and the siren song of alcoholic beverages (just kidding) while you turn out more of this for our continued entertainment. Is there a seconder?

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WarDog would have you know...

Posted March 11, 2015
I'll second that. I'm finding this thread in particular quite fascinating.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted March 12, 2015
Cool to begin with. Even cooler now.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted March 12, 2015
Yeah, I'm digging this deeply. Keep going.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2015
LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. While you are now officially the Burger's Fanfic Overachiever(tm) please keep going. I'm totally hooked.

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GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted March 12, 2015

"... Ah Shane, there's a Professor X Boylan on the line ... he claims he's your lawyer, or at least should be and he says you should join him for a long lunch with Ronnie, Steven and Chris, Hemsworth, not Pine to discuss monetising your idea ... should I cancel your pilates?"

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 12, 2015
Yes. You should cancel his pilaties - and he should consider taking up hot yoga with cool jazz accompaniment. Pilaties is so yesterday.

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Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted March 12, 2015
Nicely tying your first two stories together...

ShaneAlpha puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2015
That was the plan.

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JG puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2015
Clever, Shane, and a nice nod to Brisbane writer, the wonderful Matt Condon. I never envisaged him as a friar.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted March 12, 2015
Keep it going

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2015
I agree.

Although I still adamantly feel my story was funnier.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 12, 2015
Funny has to count for something in this wicked, cruel, doomed world.

Therbs would have you know...

Posted March 13, 2015
Funny counts for most of the important things. Harpo Marx never used to watch anything but comedy because he thought it would be a waste of time.

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Respond to 'A Place of Angels - Part 2, by ShaneAlpha. Fanfest 2015'

"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015

Posted March 10, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Well, you asked for more. So he's given you more. ShaneAlpha's second bite of the cherry. And he has one more in the slipway.

The itinerant holy man sat hunched over in the small house, his face hidden in the darkness of his still raised cowl as the rain splattered on the mud outside. The noise was far louder than it would have been in normal circumstances due to the large hole in the wall caused by the cooling body, its back against a nearby boulder and its head slumped to its chest.

The man slowly rolled several smooth stones in one hand meditatively. His hand clutched suddenly and thrust the stones into a pouch worn on his waist as a soft cough and groan sounded from near the warm fireplace. He quickly rose and walked over to the small form laying under a woollen blanket. Another quiet groan rose from the blanket. “Easy, my son.” The man said in the local tongue. “You’re safe now but have been asleep for a day.” Bright blue eyes suddenly opened convulsively. The man spoke softly, “You must be thirsty, have some small sips of this until you can talk.” As he pressed a small cured leather drinking pouch to the mouth of the small boy attempting to rise from under the blanket. The boy did as he was told, slowly sipping the honey Mead, the colour returning to his face as the liquid flowed to his belly.

Eventually the boy stopped drinking. He suddenly looked wildly around the room, his eyes widening as he spotted the rent in the wall. He face looked pleadingly into the face of the man, tears starting to form in his eyes and roll down his cheeks. The man, voice still low and soft gently spoke “Yes, they’re dead. I buried them and consecrated the ground. They are with God now.”

The boy started sobbing, buried his head into the chest of the man and tried to speak, his words coming explosively through his heaving sobs. “I..I…I.. was.. bringing.. the.. sheep.. in…Mother screamed… I..I.. ran.. to help..the..the..deamon..was..was..eating Papa! Mama…it laughed… ..father’s sword. It laughed louder! I ran at it with the sword. I..I.. don’t remember any more.

“Can you stand?” the man asked. The boy nodded and rose to his feet. The man guided him outside until they were both standing over the body of the Scolari Grymm. The man looked down at the boy “You have killed a demon and been touched by God, my son. I wanted to bury this spawn of Satan but could not remove the sword. Can you try?” The boy nodded and reaching out his small hand grasped the grip of the blade. He smoothly pulled the blade free of the body and the boulder it was pinned to and effortlessly raised it toward the sky. Myrddin looked in awe as the boy spoke in a newly strong voice “I am Arthur and I name this, my father’s sword, Excalibur!”

9 Responses to ‘"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015’

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted March 10, 2015
Oh ShaneAlpha, you have a twisted and imaginative brain there. I like that a lot. So now we have a "rationale" for heroes and their magic weapons? (Dashes off to write a Siegfried and Fafnir story before someone else grabs it.)

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Bunyip mutters...

Posted March 10, 2015
Cool.I've got a Welsh mate that uses the handle of Myrddin when gaming. I'll share this with him.

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JG asserts...

Posted March 10, 2015
Intriguing and atmospheric. You set the mood well, Shane. Darth Greybeard reminds me of your itinerant holy man, what with his foreboding pic. Tread thee warily in timewarp. One of my superheroes as a child (I had many) was Astro Boy, but your boy Arthur has potential. Excalibur - but, of course. Arthur be like Robin to Dave's Batman. Or a king.

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Maddoug ducks in to say...

Posted March 10, 2015
If Myrddin's in awe now, just wait until he sees Arthur eat the entire flock of sheep...

Dave W puts forth...

Posted March 11, 2015
Geez, I was skim reading, misread flock of sheep, so glad that I re-read it. We all know what TheDave is capable of...

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted March 10, 2015
Oh. My. God. Inspired! Thanks Shane. I love your work and wish to subscribe to your pamphlet.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 11, 2015
I thought that was fucking great.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 11, 2015

The following bit of dialogue (reliably recorded by historians of the time in primary and corroborated documents) shows that Arthur is a bit odd.

Guard: Who goes there?

King Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon from the castle of Camelot, King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!
Guard: Pull the other one!

King Arthur: I am, and this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.

Guard: What, ridden on a horse?

King Arthur: Yes.
Guard: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?

Guard: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.
King Arthur: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land, through the kingdom of Mercia, through ...

Guard: Where'd you get the coconuts?
King Arthur: We found them.
Guard: Found them? In Mercia? The cocnut's tropical!
King Arthur: What do you mean?

Guard: Well, this is a temperate zone.
King Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?

Guard: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

From: Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

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ShaneAlpha mumbles...

Posted March 11, 2015
Glad you guys liked it. I'll comment a bit more after the third story appears.

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Respond to '"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015'

"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015

Posted March 9, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

This is the first story story that's really embraced the full cray-cray comedic potential of Dave's, er, special powers. But then some critics might argue the whole series is one long dick joke.

"Hellooooo ladies."


Dave Hooper stirred from his sleep, woken by stray pine needles sticking into his ribs. The chaise lounge on which he slept was an untidy affair of scavenged detritus. A heady scent of longleaf pine, cypress, and bayou trees filled the forest air.

Joint Special Operations Command had set up a base camp in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest. The old growth forest provided shelter and food aplenty and, as yet, the monsters hadn’t picked up their scent, repelled by the ring of anti-monster spray that had been airdropped on the outskirts of the bivouac’s perimeters. It had been one of many scientific breakthroughs created since monsters created havoc around the world. The UV-ray gun had been another innovation.

Dave scratched his flat, hardened belly, grateful that his spare tire, Blubber Eel, had long since departed. He glanced down in annoyance at his latest share of body fat, The Old Persuader. The one-eyed snake was awake.

‘Oh, for fuck’s sake! Pack up your tent,’ Dave muttered to the uncouth erection. The Old Persuader was a source of annoyance, despite having conquered a gluttonous share of orgies. Dave’s Old Persuader was about as useful as flat beer, but good for a man’s sexual appetite. Trouble with his penis was that it nagged him; always on the lookout for further adventure and fresh loins to conquer. Not easy with boners the size of rhino horns big enough to scare off the bravest of women silly enough to dally across Ol’ Percy’s well-worn path. Dave wondered if his Blubber Eel had morphed down into his nether regions and taken up residence in his crotch. You wandering dog. The Old Persuader jerked in his cargo pants as if listening to Dave’s thoughts. Bugger off.

It had gotten to the point where Old Persuader lore had spread beyond the confines of the roving bivouac and the military forces that surrounded the command ops base. The tales of his super penis had grown more outrageous as the days grew longer. Dave had heard stories of how he’d supposedly killed two Hunn with Ol’ Percy; of how he’d clubbed, or speared (those details weren’t clear) bream and bass with his Percy Gun. The story of four elderly bridge-playing women who’d conked it when they’d caught sight of The Old Persuader straining inside Dave’s cargo pants. Heart attacks. Then there was the sorry tale of how he’d serenaded the SEALs with soft rock that drunken karaoke night – singing into his Old Persuader mike – ancient 70s and 80s hits like Katrina and the Waves’ Walking On Sunshine and ABBA’s Chiquitita. Dave cringed. As if! The cruel lies and gibberish of goddamn mongrel munters. No point getting an Old Persuader Complex in this mad world. Dave stood up, unwilling to let his personal demons get the better of him. Can’t keep a good man down.

He dreaded the day when Old Persuader paraphernalia hit the black markets. He imagined Old Persuader blow up dolls and erectile dysfunction pills, Old Persuader beer, Old Persuader pillows, and Old Persuader helium balloons. Then there’d be an Old Persuader Totem Pole erected in his memory. Dave envisaged his epitaph:

Dave Hooper, oil rig safety officer, fought against monsters that invaded Earth in the twenty-first century. Dave was renowned for superpowers that gave him boners of huge proportions. Dave, the Giant Penis, also known as Dave, The Old Persuader, left no stone unturned. Indeed, no man, woman, or monster was safe when The Dave approached.

No, that wasn’t going to happen. Dave’s imagination was getting the better of him. He was Dave, not his penis. He was a dick at times, but he wasn’t The Cock Who Walked. Nobody had the time or money to capitalize on Old Persuader lore in a world gone mad. Not since the Hunn ur Horde had breached the capstone and emerged from the UnderRealms.

Dave was about to let Old Persuader have his way and relieve himself of his erection, when he caught a glimpse of his watch. Scooby Gang time: the regular moonlight meeting of Heath, Allen, Emmeline, Compton, and himself. Dave heard voices in the camp. Sounded like Compton and Emmeline. No time for a wank.

Compton and Emmeline argued in the distance; two professors at war. Emmeline’s voice sounded unusually shrill tonight. The Old Persuader throbbed as Dave pondered his encounter with Emmeline the previous night. Dave swung his legs off the chaise lounge. He stood up and stretched lazily. He’d stood close to Emmeline. He’d been inches away from embracing her when Compton appeared. Bloody Compton. An instant dampener.

The Old Persuader battled inside his cargo pants. Emmeline wanted him. There was chemistry there, no doubt about it. Dave’s pants strained further in protest. Don’t think of her. If it hadn’t been for Compton appearing . . . the kiss that woulda if it coulda. Too late. Pop, pop, pop. The buttons fell onto the grass and Dave’s trousers unleashed their contents – one helluva persuasive snake. Dave needed a dress with all these improper boners. Buttons would not do. Damn you, Old Persuader! He couldn’t deal with all these erections. His buttons had popped four times that month; all erection casualties of Horny Dave. The Old Persuader was a double-edged sword of lust and loathing.

There were, Dave knew, four sides to him: Asshole Dave, Ur Dave aka The Dave, Horny Dave, and Contrite Dave. Asshole Dave was an unkempt, filthy, no-good, womanising, hookers and blow, piss-guzzling, drug-besotted excuse of an ex-husband and father. The Dave was all hero, endowed with useful superpowers after killing Urgon Htoth Ur Hunn, BattleMaster of the Fourth Legion. Horny Dave wasn’t far removed from The Dave and Asshole Dave, but The Dave didn’t heed Old Persuader’s superman boners when he was busy flying around killing monsters and saving the world with his splitting maul, Lucille. Ah, Lucille. Beautiful singing Lucille and her thrumming vibrations. Dave secretly fantasized that Lucille would one day transform into a woman. She’d be a fine, fine lover. A classy bit of Magick. Stop, cock! There he was, being a horny, sexist dick again. That was Contrite Dave; remorseful Dave.

Compton and Emmeline had stopped moving beside the bald cypress grove. Good. Dave needed time to resolve his Old Persuader problem. A sheet would do. No time for sewing on buttons. This was not a good way to start an outing with the Scooby Gang. Dave heard a rustling nearby.

‘Rise and shine!’ Crap! Don’t panic. Chief Zach Allen had emerged from his humpy beside a bayou tree and approached Dave’s boudoir, or chaise lounge, such as it was.

‘Coming out to the Doobie Tree? Scooby Gang Moon time. Oh . . . Sorry.’ How astute of the Chief Petty Officer to note his erectile dilemma.

‘Dude, I’d like buttons and a chocolate bar first,’ Dave said, placing his hands over The Old Persuader, although they didn’t conceal the entire dimensions of his glory. Allen smiled slyly. Allen was a commanding, but laidback man; a chilled ex-surfer and lifeguard Olympian. He’d proved a good friend throughout these past seven months of craziness – since the daemon monsters had breached the capstone.

Allen was a reliable source of chocolate bars, Dave’s quality food of choice. He stowed chocolate and protein bars like other men carried coins or cigarettes.

‘Here. Get this into you,’ Allen grinned, handing him a chocolate Rice Krispie from his cargo pants. ‘Keep the snake beast at bay.’ Dave reluctantly moved a hand from The Old Persuader to retrieve the chewy goodness.

‘Thanks. My trouser buttons blew again. Yes, they’re made battle ready, but this here shlong beats the pants off me. I gotta wear something loose.’ He gestured towards Old Persuader. ‘Like a sheet. Something a man can swing his boner in.’

‘Not a problem. One sheet coming up. Wait here,’ Allen said. Dave wasn’t heading anywhere with his erection fired up like dar Drakon. Allen slipped off to his makeshift humpy to get a sheet and, hopefully, an Eat Smart Choc Peanut Caramel Crunch. They were Dave’s favorite bars.

Allen was a damn candy man. He had a mega stash of chocolate, protein bars and energy gels, paid for courtesy of US taxpayers. It couldn’t last forever, though, not with the rapid encroachment of the monsters. Dave focused again on the problem at hand: his inappropriate boner.

‘Be gone! Diminish, you unseemly cock!’ Dave directed The Old Persuader as Compton’s and Emmeline’s voices grew louder. He decided not to tune in on their argument. Dave had his own worries. He looked around to make sure no one was in his immediate vicinity, before taking his penis to task. He drew his mighty claymore, Old Persuader, unsheathed as it was from his trousers, and in nine quick yanks came with a satisfied grunt, unyielding his hefty load of semen beneath the bayou behind his chaise lounge. Hmm, hmm. Thank you, sir. Damn, that had been a nice quickie. Dave loved the intensity and pleasure of orgasm that replenished his body, mind, and spirit. He sighed in relief, breathing in the forest air, and stared down at The Old Persuader who had retreated like a happy puppy with a bone.

Allen was taking his time, Compton and Emmeline knackered on, and sleepiness again overcame Dave. He considered giving tonight’s meetup a miss. No, best go. It was good for networking, not that there was much networking going on between Heath, Allen, Compton (the prick), Emmeline, and himself. Still, for appearances.

Dave sighed. A one-man wonder band, he was. Ur Dave had conquered daemons aplenty, but they kept coming. There were too many of them. Dave had seen news reports of the Hunn ur Horde devouring people atop the Story Bridge in Brisbane, on Circular Quay in Sydney, and even in the quiets of Civic Square in Canberra. Poor souls. But what if he used his powers to conquer all monsters?

It was too much for one superhero and JCOC, and the UN wasn’t going to nuke the entire planet to be rid of the Grand Horde. The UnderRealms had to be recapped or destroyed. The monsters were killing and eating thousands of people. Dave needed a superhuman army and super technology. He imagined an army of baby Super Daves. They’d sprout up in no time, given their super powers. They’d be physically strong enough by age two. An army of superboys and supergirls. Dave dismissed the thought at once. Idiot. There wasn’t time and it was unethical. Besides, he had his own boys, Jack and Toby. His ex-wife, Annie, had hitched up with her goofball lawyer, Vietch, so she wouldn’t be putting her hand up for further baby breeding duties. Too old. Sexist pig. Yeah, yeah. Dave stretched again on his chaise lounge, giving in to melancholy. No, Ur Dave wouldn’t be a superfucker or a superbreeder.

Dave heard Allen returning with Heath, captain of Joint Special Operations Command. Heath had barked that out clearly on meeting Dave. He’d changed these past few weeks. Conditions, Dave reasoned. That, and monsters. Lord knows, a few of the best had snapped since the emergence of the Hunn ur Horde. Heath commanded the force, per se, but Dave wasn’t sure how long that would last. Heath walked, uniformed, and strangely smiling in the moonlight. He’d barely smiled before. He was all a-good feelin’ happy dude. Scary indeed.

‘Evening, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘I trust your snake is in order.’ His eyes darted around, up and down Dave, over to Allen, and out to Compton and Emmeline. The man carried a good supply of joints, hash, snacks, and the stinky plastic bottle bong.

‘Ah, yes, all good, sir.’ Dave said grabbing the sheet Allen proffered. ‘Thanks.’ The Old Persuader was at rest, mercifully, and Dave donned the sheet around his waist.

‘Jeez,’ Dave said. ‘May as well do this right. Please avert your eyes for a moment.’ He took off his black t-shirt and buttonless cargo pants and draped the sheet around his body, finally satisfied with the self-styled toga.

‘Stylish,’ Allen smirked. ‘Togas are cool.’

‘Survival wear,’ Dave said. ‘Boner proof. I can breathe now.’

Emmeline was blowing a fuse in the distance.

‘I don’t think this is such a good idea, Heath,’ he said, nodding towards Emmeline and Compton. ‘Not a happy camp that-a-way.’

‘Nonsense. All will be set right with the passing of the spliff,’ Heath said. Nope, Heath wasn’t his old self at all.

Dave focused on Heath’s unshaven face, saddened for the man before him. Compton and Emmeline’s argument, it seemed, had abated as they finally reached Dave, Heath, and Allen. Emmeline looked annoyed, but she cut a striking figure, even while frowning in the full moonlight.

‘Evening all. We’ve been discussing our thresh specimens. It’s critical we start the thresh cell study as soon as possible.’ Compton addressed all present as if the matter were closed.

‘Impractical,’ Emmeline snapped.

‘Nonsense,’ Compton said. ‘There are numerous tests to carry out.’

‘I’ve told you. We don’t have the resources, Compton. This is about survival – surviving a fucking monster invasion.’

‘Balderdash, woman. You know nothing of the potential research at stake. Our stem cell research has barely begun. Think of the grants, the markets for this. If you are unable to cooperate, why don’t you stand down as my assistant?’

‘Assistant! How dare you. And grants?! You just don’t get it, do you? Get with reality, Compton. You wouldn’t have survived one day in this hellhole without me. Go fuck yourself, dickbrain.’ Compton was stunned silent. He fidgeted nervously with his red neckbeard. Dave was impressed with Emmeline’s cussing and felt a twinge of compassion for Compton. The short, fat, bald man looked decidedly shaken by Emmeline’s outburst.

Heath broke the silence. ‘Alright, everyone. Let’s take a breather, people. We need to stay focused as a team.’ Great. Let’s have a pow wow, scout leader.

Emmeline had changed of late. She’d loosened up; no longer the serious woman Dave had first encountered. She was sexy, even if unhinged. Dammit. Dave knew he was being an asshole, but The Old Persuader didn’t care. The penis was alive once more. Dave nonchalantly propped up a leg on a nearby bayou, hoping his pose would diminish the size of his boner. As if. Nice try, Dave. Compton was on to him already.

‘Wind’s up. Blowing hard. Should change direction soon,’ he said, glaring at Horny Dave through the moonlight. So much for feeling sorry for the beady-eyed git. Dave considered whipping out Old Persuader and whacking Compton over his bald head with it. Emmeline averted her eyes from Dave, although he knew she’d caught a glimpse, nay, an in-your-face gawk at Dave’s monstrosity that rose pointedly from beneath the toga. Jeez. Should be used to it. His leg-on-bayou-tree ploy had not worked. Doggone penile crap! Dave wanted a new penis, fast.

Emmeline laughed, anger fizzled. Dave blushed, certain all noted his crimson-faced hue in the full moon’s gaze. Unholy sword, confounded sperm whale. The Old Persuader mocked him. But Emmeline . . . was she hormonal, or what? Arguing, cussing like a sailor, laughing, arguing, laughing, laughing again. Why would Dave the Ur, Dave The Dave, be turned on by such a loopy, emotional . . . but look at those perky breasts, and her white teeth, and her strong, feline body. Man, she moved that booty smoothly. The Old Persuader listened to lust over reason. I gotta get a handle on this bad boy.

‘Back to the thresh business,’ Heath said. ‘It’s not going to happen, Compton. Simple as that. Emmeline is right. The research will have to wait because we’re resuming our journey towards Houston tomorrow. Matter closed.’ Compton scowled but said nothing.

Dave’s stomach rumbled loudly as hunger pangs started. They all looked at him. His stomach rumbled again like an approaching train. It broke the tension in the air.

‘Hungry again?’ Allen asked. Dave nodded.

‘Starving.’ Allen handed him an OhYeah! peanut-and-caramel flavored bar. Dave nodded his gratitude as the sugar surge hit his brain.

‘Genius. Thanks, buddy.’

‘To the tree,’ Emmeline said, grabbing a chocolate bar off Allen.

‘Scooby doobie, let’s go,’ Heath said, leading them to the old pine a short walk upstream from their campsite. He sorted his array of goodies on the ground. ‘Pity we don’t have a picnic blanket.’

‘No smoke for me, not tonight,’ Dave said. ‘I have a headache.’

‘A headache? That’s not all you’ve got,’ Compton said, eyeing Dave’s outspoken boner profile with malice. Give a man a break! Dave scowled. Compton’s jokes inevitably flopped like wilted celery stalks.

‘My mind is on purer matters,’ Dave deadpanned, ‘like how the fuck we’re gonna get to Houston before the Hunn ur Horde get there. NASA are expecting us, although God knows why.’

‘Not getting there any time soon,’ Compton said. ‘Not with all the choppers down. And no hornets. No air power to speak of.’ He continued to gaze at Dave’s erection. ‘I think you should call your friendly fellow Pinocchio.’ Weirdo.

‘Shut up, will you? Anyone would think you wanted a piece of the action. What is it with you and Dave’s penis? You wanna fuck it?’ Emmeline, Emmeline, still testy. Dave took a deep breath. Count, two, three, four. He would remain patient with Compton. Allen, the ever reliable candy man, came to Dave’s aid.

‘Eat this,’ he said, offering Dave another chocolate bar. ‘Keep your strength up, man, and save your breath.’ Dave thanked Allen and devoured the bar within seconds. Dave was relieved that all sided with him against Compton’s constant petty penile taunts, not that they were worth worrying about. Nobody liked Compton.

‘I’m simply curious as to how Dave deals with his enlarged handicap.’ Compton pointed at Dave’s superboner. ‘It’s obviously a scientific curiosity. I mean, look at it!’ All gazed at the monstrosity beneath Dave’s toga. Fine. Let’s get this over and done with. The Old Persuader was obviously a topic of renown. Dave would confront their issues with the Ol’ Percy head on. The only way out is through.

‘Yup, The Old Persuader, eh?’ Dave said. ‘My cock is big alright, Compton. It’s fucking hu-uuuge. Humongous. A fucking cannon ball. A monster shlong. An almighty weapon of mass destruction. It has inappropriate boners and inappropriate ejaculations. It’s a whacking nuisance at times. What do you want me to do about it? What ya gonna do?’ Silence. Dave sighed loudly. That had been cathartic.

‘Chop it off,’ Compton said. ‘Donate it to science.’ Another attempt at a joke. Lord, spare me.

‘For the love of . . . Shut it, Compton.’

‘C’mon, Dave, he’s not worth it,’ Emmeline said.

‘Let’s chill under this here tree. Get a little stoned and unwind.’ Heath said. ‘We’ll all relax and forget our troubles for the moment. No talk of monsters.’ The man made sense for a captain who’d flipped. Heath was sounding more reasonable by the minute. Perhaps he wasn’t mad, and had undergone a Greenified Transformation. Or not. They sat beneath the pine tree and Dave calmed down.

Doobies passed hands and they all relaxed under the clouds of white smoke. Heath packed the water bottle bong and passed it around. Dave joined in, eager to forget his worries for a night. Toke by toke, cone by cone, they got quietly stoned. Dave lay down and gazed up at the stars. That big beautiful sky. Who’da thunk there were monsters tearing around, eating people? Who’da thunk the world had gone to ape shit? Emmeline lay down next to him and they stargazed in silence. Allen and Heath joined them, then Compton, all lying down under the pine, eyes to the sky. Thank God, peace prevails. Dave closed his eyes, when the stillness was pervaded by a strange sound like bleating crippled sheep. Baa-baa-baa. Bwa-bwa-bwaaa. Compton was crying.

‘I’m sorry, brother. Dave. I miss . . . I can’t get hard ons, not anymore,’ Compton gasped between sobs, pointing to Dave’s now deflated Old Persuader. ‘I wish I got boners. Doesn’t have to be big. Just one boner would do. It’s been two years. Not since Lily, my darling, departed wife. She died in a car crash. Horribly.’ Great. Nothing like a party downer.

‘Forget it,’ Dave said. He wondered why Compton hadn’t tried erectile dysfunction pills. Maybe he had. Dave couldn’t be bothered asking. He didn’t want to hear Compton’s hard luck stories.

‘There’ll be a drug out there for you, Compton,’ Emmeline said, as if reading Dave’s mind. ‘Think of poor Dave. His problem is pressing. Dave has a problem akin to the Man Flu. It’s like his manhood goes into overdrive with his superpowers.’ Stoned Emmeline elaborated.

‘It’s entirely probable that Dave’s penile erection dysfunction is caused by a surplus of testosterone. I’d like to take a few samples, Dave. You may have a case of tritium atoms gone awry.’

‘Terrific.’ Dave smiled to himself. ‘You reckon it’s a case of atomic penis?’ Emmeline moved closer.

‘It’d be a go-ood idea to sample you,’ Emmeline said. Dave’s ears pricked up. What had Emmeline said? Go-ood.

‘Samples?’ he asked. ‘What for?’

‘To determine the likelihood of reducing the unfortunate side effects of having such an active penile organ.’ The Old Persuader perked up afresh.

‘Is that necessary? I mean, I can live with it . . .’

‘Really?’ Emmeline said, ‘I don’t think that’s practical. We’ll find a solution that keeps the best of you, yet diminishes the size, inconvenience, and frequency of these unwanted erections.’

‘You bear your affliction with great forbearance,’ Compton said. He’d stopped sobbing.

‘A heavy burden, I’d imagine,’ Allen said, throwing Dave an energy gel. ‘Here, take this.’ Allen was useful and practical, even stoned.

‘Thanks,’ Dave said, sitting up and swallowing the PowerBar Gel Double Latte in one mouthful.

‘Yes, I’d say you have a sizeable battle on your hands, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘Your old fella isn’t one I’d want to be logging around. I’d take Emmeline’s advice. This research wouldn’t be as troublesome for us as thresh cell research. It’s not like you’re a heavy carcass. You can move around. It’s not like we’d have to freeze you on route.’ Great. They were all in on the act.

‘Down the track, we may find your specimen useful for eugenics research.’ Emmeline said. ‘If we found desirable qualities for breeding.’ What?! Slow down, woman!

‘Ah, I’m not really the kinda fella who’s suitable breeding stock. And I don’t want Ol’ Percy removed, if it’s all the same to you.’

‘Absolutely not,’ Emmeline said. ‘But I’ll reduce the ill effects of your penis overdrive.’ Dave smirked. The lady was forthright. ‘I mean, fuck, how can you live with it?’ Emmeline was on all fours gawking over his erect Old Persuader. Dave wished he could shift his massive boner out of the glare of the moonlight and the stares of the Scooby Gang. The Old Persuader protruded under his toga like a Scooby Gang flagpole.

‘Aha. Well, your research sounds advantageous.’

‘We can start tonight,’ Emmeline said. Dave coughed in surprise, while Allen, Compton, and Heath exchanged knowing glances between themselves. OK . . . Dave noted that Allen and Heath were adjusting their crotches. Even Compton was looking down at his pants.

‘I’m stoned,’ Dave said. He pondered the options: remain toga man and have this raging superboner upsetting his daily life, or manage the penis issue with the hot lady professor. The Old Persuader steered his decision.

‘Stoned? We can work with that,’ Emmeline said. She was persistent.

‘Alrighty, let’s give it a whirl. Couldn’t hurt,’ Dave said. ‘But I’m not fuckin’ dishing out under the Scooby Tree.’

‘No, naturally,’ Emmeline laughed. ‘Not here. We’ll walk and talk and fuck. I mean, we’ll pursue the issue further over a whiskey.’ Dave saw Allan, Heath, and Compton’s jaws drop.

‘A glass of water is fine by me,’ Dave said. Dork. Emmeline smiled a slow, easy smile. Dave’s heart raced. Brave woman. Or the effect of ganja. Dave didn’t care in his own stoned world. Emmeline got up off the ground like a languid cat, and stepped towards Dave, her eyes shining and intense. Compton, Heath, and Allen sat up in anticipation. What was the woman going to do next? Emmeline dragged Dave to his feet. He shifted around and looked down at the superboner that stood between himself and the ground. Emmeline with Old Persuader and Dave. Old Persuader was on task.

‘Fine, I’m all ears,’ Dave said. ‘Anything to be rid of this toga.’ Emmeline turned to Heath, Allen, and Compton with an open smile.

‘Catch you later. Thanks for tonight, Heath,’ Emmeline said. The three men returned bashful smiles.

Dave grinned. Poor munters.

‘Not a problem,’ Heath said. ‘Good luck with your research.’ Emmeline took hold of Dave’s arm and led him away from the safety of the Scooby Gang Moonlight Meetup.

‘I’ll take good care of you, although I may take advantage,’ Emmeline purred. Dave’s eyes almost popped out of his head like thresh eyestalks. Yes please. Emmeline moved her arm from his, and placed it on the back of Dave’s neck, stroking it lightly. His entire body tingled in anticipation.

‘I’m easily persuaded, Emmeline,’ Dave replied. They smiled at each other and The Old Persuader twitched inside Dave’s toga. Mission stations manned.

20 Responses to ‘"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015’

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted March 9, 2015
That is well written, JG. And it is about time that some empathy is shown for the genuine problems faced by the well-endowed priapic male.

Rhino puts forth...

Posted March 9, 2015
Hear, hear, W. I'm sharing this as my next group meeting.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted March 10, 2015
Maybe if you didn't keep sprinkling your own horn shavings on your food?

ShaneAlpha is gonna tell you...

Posted March 10, 2015
You obviously missed this

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Anthony has opinions thus...

Posted March 9, 2015
I knew that Dave was a total dick...

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GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted March 9, 2015

Ballsy JG, really, really ballsy - bravo!

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insomniac asserts...

Posted March 9, 2015
I want more Dave ... Ahh ...I mean less Dave ... Er ...I'm a happily married man.Good work JG

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Sparty puts forth...

Posted March 9, 2015
Very funny. Not surprised it was light on illustrations though!

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 9, 2015
I tried.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted March 10, 2015
"The Cock That Walked". Bwahahahahahahaha! Genius JG

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted March 10, 2015
You had me at "UV ray gun" and I liked the rest very much.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted March 10, 2015
Shoulda guessed Dave would be a toga party guy.

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pitpat asserts...

Posted March 10, 2015
Wow, makes me feel somehow inadequate. Is the next chapter like 50 shades of Dave?

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JG would have you know...

Posted March 10, 2015
Gracias, amigos. I'm glad you liked my story. I suspect that Horny Dave's middle name is Priapus. That, or Burrito.
Thanks for putting it up, JB, and long live Old Persuader. Hombre, hombre.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted March 11, 2015

that was hilarious.

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Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted March 11, 2015
Loved this. I laughed a lot. Thanks JG. I have been avoiding this site because my copy of Resistance only arrived the day before yesterday and I didn't want any spoilers. I'm about 1/3 the way through and have a question. The sexual preference and motives of Prof X seem somewhat ambiguous to me. As the theme is transformation, is there a coming out coming up. Dave and the Prof seem to have had an instant attraction. I think that the scenes where the human family is caged and the scene where the Thresh debrains a human are very powerful.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 11, 2015
That scene with the captive family was interesting to write, because on the face of it thats a terrible, horrifying moment. And yet we see it through Guyuk's point of view, so it's played for dark humour. You remind me I have to write an entry about the importance of PoV to this series. Not now though. I'm full of drugs after having a skin cancer cut off.

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 12, 2015

Good drugs I hope !

Anthony would have you know...

Posted March 12, 2015

See JB - much better for your health to keep away from that nasty outdoors and stay inside and keep writing books that we can keep buying.

Hope it wasn't too nasty a one and that no more pop up.

I have friends who live up there who keep there whose doctors are able to maintain two platinum hovercraft and a villa in Tuscany on the basis of their skin cancers.

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JG mumbles...

Posted March 12, 2015
All the best with your recovery, JB.

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Respond to '"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015'

"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015

Posted March 4, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Professor Boylan has a theory that this whole series is about transformation. Orin retorts that it's about getting kick arse legal advice. Insomniac says its both.

'Just do it'.

The girl's dress slid down slowly, revealing her boobs. Boobs so small they could barely be seen. Dave stared intently. It reminded him of his lame poker joke. 'I see your boobs ... and raise you a doodle'.

'You're making me late for golf'.

Dave stopped staring and pressed down with the lawyer's stripper pen at the bottom of the page. He pressed down a little harder and signed with a flourish.

He tossed the divorce papers back in the general direction of the lawyer. A short man, who clearly overindulged in Portuguese custard tarts, with skin the colour of a decades-old washed out t-shirt, and eyebrows, precisely equalling the number owned by Bert and Ernie, looming in all their bushiness over two tiny squinty eyes, topped off by a prominent sagittal crest running directly back from his forehead and over his balding skull.

'A real lady's man', thought Dave, with the tiniest scintilla of a grin forming around the corners of his mouth.

'What's so funny?' asked the wife-boning lawyer.

Dave suddenly realised that nothing was funny. The wife-boning lawyer was boning his wife, or at least his ex-wife now. If he was a lady's man then Dave was Captain Loser, squared.

'Nothin', he replied, and afterwards mumbled, 'Asshole'.

He sat back and admired the new etching in the glass surface of the lawyer's desk. The added flourish had made his signature a beautiful piece of art, catching the sunlight and breaking into a thousand tiny rainbows. He secretly hoped it would be a real knob softener one day when Veitch saw his name twinkling up at him from between Annie's legs as he tried screwing her, legs akimbo, across the desk. He leaned in again, nostrils flaring, to confirm.

'What have you done to my desk, you little fuc...', Veitch stopped mid sentence.

Dave looked up.

Veitch's eyes were blue, now wide open.

'Hmm', thought Dave. He had only ever seen squinty Veitch before. This was something new.

Veitch's eyes bulged. The whites were clearly visible; a corona of light around blue centres, bright red streaks leading away to the periphery.

A single bead of perspiration drew on the right side of Veitch's brow. Dave followed it as gravity sent it straight down to the bushy monobrow, where it veered right and ran further around the bulging eye and down the beige cheek to drip off Veitch's jaw. Dave's eye returned to the source. That bead now had hundreds of brothers. Sweat was pouring off Veitch now as if he had accidentally strayed into a nude sauna at a gay convention while they were doing lines of rhinoceros horn.

Veitch was attempting to say something, his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish gasping for water, but other than a gurgle, nothing escaped his lips.

He started leaning to his left, almost imperceptibly at first, but accelerating smoothly until he reached his tipping point, crashing to the floor.

Dave could see through the glass desk that his initial assumption regarding horny homosexuals wasn't too far from the actuality of the situation. He caught a glimpse of the eyestalks of a thresh as they disappeared from sight. The thresh wasn't just fucking Veitch; he was completely fucked. Although this was a new development, he had seen that people stayed deader than dead when they tangled with former inhabitants of the Under Realm.

Veitch lay twitching on the carpet, knees drawn up in the foetal position, his violated arse pointing towards Dave, golf pants shredded.

'Couldn't happen to a nicer person', he thought, as he waited for Veitch to die.


Veitch rose up from the carpet, no longer the short, fat, cartoon of a man. What now stood before Dave was synergistically chimeric: more than Veitch, more than thresh, more than both.

This new Veitch was easily eight feet tall, helped by the now extremely pointy crest riding its skull.

'That's some bad hat, Harry', Dave blurted out with a very poor impression, followed by, 'Oh yeah, we are definitely gonna need a bigger boat'.

The eyes were still blue; there were just more than two now, sitting atop an arc of eyestalks. A triplet of eyes were staring at Dave staring right back. The rest were surveying the office.

The skin of the monster was spectacularly unique. On any other day it would have taken on a pinstriped charcoal appearance, light blue-chested with a band of white around the neck highlighted with a tuft of red fur at the midpoint, but this was Wednesday, and Wednesday was golf day.

Veitch, appalling as he was as a person, had an even more appalling fashion sense. 'Name one golfer who doesn't', thought Dave.

The bottom half was straight from the sixties, mostly daffodil yellow with a series of huge psychedelic flowers with black-edged petals in orange and red and grey, each with an eye looking right through you.

Dave's head was already spinning.

An impossible solarscape was plastered across the monster's poorly cut torso. Suns, nebulae and ringed planets sitting adjacent one another on a sea of space black and blue, with two identical large gas giants straddling either side of the centre line of its chest like a pair of well-developed mazoongas.

The more Dave looked at the monster, the more something wasn't quite right. Something obvious, but not immediately so. Then he saw it.

He made a mental note in his newfound lexicon. 'Ur Veitch: Vulnerabilities: Cock punch: n/a'.

22 Responses to ‘"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015 ’

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted March 4, 2015
Um. I've never offended you have I insomniac? Pal? Ouchie.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted March 4, 2015
You offend all right thinking people, sleepy or otherwise, by your continued existence.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 4, 2015
Nice one Noddy.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted March 5, 2015
Okay, so the only apparent physical difference between Veitch and Boylan
is the location of their skull bumps, the apparent fact that Veitch is
a golf enthusiast (whereas Boylan is not) and the equally apparent fact
that Boylan has a better fashion sense (despite the often rumpled
nature of his business suit)? If so, I approve.

And I honestly laughed out loud at the "Bad Hat Harry" reference.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted March 5, 2015
Orc sex. At last.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted March 5, 2015
Tellingly I think, 'orc sex at last' is an anagram for 'costars exalt'.

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted March 5, 2015
I, for one, am loving these fan fics.
Just thought that I'd put that out there.

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JG mumbles...

Posted March 5, 2015
Oww. It's like you had a personal vendetta against Veitch, Sleepless. That's gotta hurt. Veitch: screwed cockless from one planet to the next. Nice psyhedelic reference to his golf pants. Hole in one. I didn't know you could be so cruel, Insomnia.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted March 5, 2015

What is about lawyers, golf fashions, stripper pens and divorce proceedings that brings out the inner monsters in the Cheeseburger Ensemble?

GhostSwirv over and out of mayonnaise

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Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted March 5, 2015
Boobs. I wondered what my boys were giggling at. Teach me to leave it all open. And now they have been googling "boob pens". And I am in trouble with you know who.Worth it though.

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted March 6, 2015
Obviously I have managed to offend some of you, if not many. I have no problem with people being offended. You have that right. I have a right, of sorts, to free speech. It's already been moderated by JB. It's his blog. He gets to decide what gets published. This is no apology, but a recognition that I probably went too hard. I accept your criticism and take it on board. In the event there was another opportunity, I would be more moderate in my approach.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted March 6, 2015
What? Come on, mate. You didn't offend anyone and didn't go "too hard."

I, on the other hand, am offended that you think you might have offended me.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted March 6, 2015
I don't think that

Therbs mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2015
I'd like to be offended but aren't.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
I corrected some spelling and Canon issues. Only a word or two here and there. I didn't think there was anything in it to offend.

NBlob reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
Oh I'm fully offended. I couldn't be more offended if I had an electric offend-o-mator. My dudgeon is stratospheric. I've taken offence & umbrage. I've been un gruntled. My piqué is so fit it is entering the Molokai Tri Athlon. I'm vexed, gruntled & pissed.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 6, 2015
You're always gruntled

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
I don't blame you insomniac. It's Dave.

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 6, 2015
And when I say "It's Dave", I like Dave, but it's clearly all him.

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Dick mumbles...

Posted March 6, 2015
Offended? Hardly. That was brilliant. And JB had to edit it?

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Bedes mutters...

Posted March 12, 2015
Very enjoyable. Good to see 'gruntled' get a run again. Sam Orr lives

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Respond to '"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015 '