Saturday, March 16, 2024

Book Three - Battle For Harbinger

 Here is the exciting chapter 22 for your reading pleasure.

Chapter 22

Reece was certain he’d be going deaf. The roar of the M2 Browning Machine guns mounted to the side of the steamboat left his ears ringing. They had little in the way of ear protection out there. It mattered little because he thought they all might die today.

Spent casings pinged against the wooden deck of the steamboat. The shooter tried to fire one round at a time, or in short-controlled bursts, given how precious ammo was. Regardless, the powerful .50 caliber rounds ripped through multiple bugs, splattering giant arachnid gore and appendages all over the forest and shoreline.

They came out of the trees. The enormous spiders, the creatures with the spikes for arms, the dog-like ones with the bone plates and spikes on their heads. They just charged the river with no sense of self-preservation and seemingly endless numbers to throw at the steamboat and the wharf.

There were so many of them. Had Riverside been overrun? The town was quite a few miles upriver. Reece hoped Riverside hadn’t been hit yet. All he could do was hope. It wasn’t like they could afford to sail out that way and contact them.

Men on the deck fired smooth-bore muskets, cap and ball revolvers, and small cannons firing grapeshot. It wasn’t enough. The rate of fire was too slow, even with the fifty-caliber machine guns mounted to the steamboat. The enormous arachnids scurried out into the river, forming a bridge with their bodies, and reached for the other side and the wharf.

People across the river were firing at them, while others were falling back. The wharf was probably lost, the first in a long line of positions to fall to the onslaught of the bugs. But Reece and his men were going to take as many of them with them as they could.

Reece loaded a fresh bolt into his crossbow, lit the fuse on the bolt, and fired. He had aimed for the bridge of bodies; the bolt hitting one of the spike-armed critters in the eye. It detonated a few seconds later. The thunderous roar of the explosion was as deafening as the machine guns. Its blast tossed water and bug parts into the air and destroyed their bridge before they reached the steamboat.

It didn’t matter. They tried again. The buzz of a thousand bees emanated out of the forest. Then flying insectoid creatures swooped down, grabbing men on the steamboat, and flying off with them before dropping them in the water. They screamed and fruitlessly fought before they plunged into the river. Some drowned while others swam ashore as quickly as possible.

“Dock with the wharf!” Reece shouted. “Fall back to the walls!” He fired another explosive bolt, this time targeting the bugs coming out of the forest. The blast not only eviscerated the enemy but toppled trees, sending them crashing into swarms of bugs and into the water.

The men manning the machine guns couldn’t resist the temptation. The overwhelming swarms motivated them to lose control, spraying rounds as fast as the guns would let them shoot. It barely held the bugs at bay, but it bought them enough time to get to the wharf.

The cargo from Riverside, a recent trade, had to be left behind. If they survived this, maybe it wouldn’t all be for nothing. Reece turned and fired his crossbow again, the blast destroying yet another attempt at a bridge of bodies. Other men with crossbows fired them, the blasts destroying large chunks of the creatures.

The Machine guns ran dry by the time that they docked. One of them jammed, and the shooter didn’t have time to clear it. They sprinted off the steamboat, down the docks, and onto the shoreline, then made a beeline straight for the walls of Tree Home. Some stopped, dropped to one knee, and fired their muskets, revolvers, or crossbows.

It was a vain attempt to cover their retreat. It didn’t buy them much time. The bugs had made it all the way across the river with their bridge of bodies. Thousands or hundreds of thousands scurried across it. Reece ran as fast as his feet would carry him.

Like a ton of bricks, he was blasted with the sudden rush of air. The scream and whoosh of engines followed, as an aircraft hovered above them. Weapons mounted to its wings whined as they fired, bolts of energy and particle beams blasting through hordes of bugs in hot pursuit. One of the great flying machines of Haven had arrived to cover their retreat. At least, Reece thought it was from Haven. Who else was willing to come to their rescue and had machines like that?

Even with the air support, he ran. Reece ran harder than he’d ever run in his entire life. And he’d been born on Harbinger, where monsters hungry for your flesh were commonplace.


They didn’t rush to join those fighting at the wharf. That was the smart play, as bugs soon began pouring out of the forest. Wesson flipped the AR-49 Marauder C’s selector switch to burst, picked his targets, and gunned the bugs down one by one.

The minute the bugs were within range, they were hit with a volley of cannon fire. Huge bolts from ballista's skewered them where they stood, and boom plant bombs lobbed by trebuchets on platforms smashed them and detonated shortly thereafter in thunderous explosions.

Well before they came close to the walls, Jeremiah dropped a lit torch into the fire moat. Flames raced over the dark fluids inside, crackling, popping, and roaring as they created a wall of fire. Thick plumes of smoke began towering into the sky, hindering the visibility of the defenders, though the wall of fire kept the monstrosities at bay. The flames turned the heavily reinforced main gates into a choke point and blocked the creatures from reaching the palisade walls.

A Red Hawk cargo hauler carrying Emily’s Mech appeared over the treetops. It flew over Tree Home’s walls, lowered to the landing zone they’d made for Haven, and dropped the captured UE Mech before ascending and flying off. The Mech’s giant metal feet slammed into the ground with a heavy crash, like some enormous monster stomping.

“Thought I’d join the party!” Emily’s voice boomed over the Mech’s outer comms. It wasn’t long before she activated the Mech’s jump jets, launching the war machine into the air and right over Tree Home’s palisade walls. She landed ahead of the fire moat, right into the swarm of bugs, smashing them as she hit the ground.

Then she sprayed jets of flame into the insectoid hordes. The fires consumed the bugs, racing up their bodies, causing them to screech in pain. It drove large chunks of the creatures back, although more of them kept pouring out of the forest.

Emily launched missiles, which shot out into the air, and slammed into groups of the bugs. The explosions blew them apart, hurling gore and dirt into the air, and punching holes into their swarms. The fiery blasts rocked the battlefield. Those holes were quickly filled, but it didn’t stop Emily from rampaging through them. She smashed, blasted, and burned her way through, and they couldn’t touch her.

The armor and shielding of the Mech was impervious to their attacks. Defenders on the wall kept the pressure up. They lobbed bombs and fired huge bolts or chunks of rebar with their trebuchets and ballista’s. Others fired their rifles, a mix of smooth-bore muskets, trapdoor rifles, AR-49 Marauders, M-43 Wolverine Machine guns, and lever guns.

The fighters from Haven and the defenders of Tree Home fought side by side. Emily’s Mech got lost in the swarm. She was still alive, and Wesson was getting readouts of her vitals on his TCD-1. There was no way they were destroying that Mech. But there were so many of them they blotted it out from view. She still rampaged among them, missiles occasionally arcing up from the hordes attacking and slamming down into them, their explosions rocking the walls.

After shoving a fresh magazine into his AR-49, Wesson let his rifle hang from its two-point sling. He brought up his TCD-1 and contacted Connor. The former cop was leading the efforts to rescue Joseph Knight. Those efforts were critical to this battle. Getting Alan off their back meant bringing in tanks, possibly with flame throwers equipped. Add Sergeant Pittman in a spider tank, Red Hawk gunship support, and Ensign Rourke in the Wasp starfighter, and they might’ve been able to turn the tide.

Rourke was already here. But Wesson had told him to relieve the wharf, or at least cover the retreat of people fleeing it. That was to their rear. The bugs were hitting them from two directions. Red Hawk drop-ships came in over the treetops, descending to the zone one by one. They were dropping fighters, and ammo, and taking loads of noncombatants.

Griggs had told Wesson there were people at Tree Home who couldn’t fight. Mostly children too young to lift a rifle, pregnant women, and their elderly. They were evacuated on the drop-ships, then taken to Haven where they’d be safe inside the mountain. He wasn’t sure if growing old and having children on Harbinger was a sign of hope or hopelessness.

Seven gargantuan driller forms, as Alice’s data packet had called them, emerged from the forest. Looking like a giant bacteriophage with a drill attached, they towered over the swarms. They were only slightly larger than Emily’s Mech, but from the ground, it was like facing off with giants. Their loud cries competed with the roar of gunfire and explosions as they advanced toward Tree Home’s walls, the ground shaking with every step.

Missiles arced up from somewhere inside the swarm and slammed into the driller closest to the walls. It blew apart and toppled down onto the hordes below, smashing them. Bombs from trebuchets crashed into a second, bringing it down with a blast that rocked the forest and the walls. Two of them then got into position near the walls, and they began drilling into the ground.

Thousands of bugs formed a protective barrier around them, trying desperately to shield them from Tree Home’s defenders. It only stopped small arms fire. Under Wesson’s direction, the drillers became high-priority targets, and so Tree Home concentrated its trebuchet and ballista fire on them. It brought another one down, sending it crashing into the swarm.

The Wasp Star fighter swooped down at that moment, firing two plasma torpedoes. The deafening explosions hurled mounds of gore and dirt into the air and killed hundreds of the bugs. It flipped around high above them, then strafed the monsters with pulse cannon fire and machine guns firing tungsten rounds.

Another driller form crashed into the ground, killed in the Wasp star fighter’s strafing run. Bugs were smashed underneath its massive corpse. Seven more driller forms came out of the forest They had their work cut out for them.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Make this box before it's too late! Were institutional kitchens just war...

Substitute your favorite foods for anything you don't like. Perhaps pay more attention to nutrition and add a reputable multi-vitamin. Just do it while the variety is still available.

Here is another interesting video.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner (Alyona) #tinaturner

My new favorite female singing artist. Check out her YouTube channel for more great music at:

Friday, February 9, 2024

Final Chapters of Volume One

 These are the last chapters, think Bonus Chapters that I had intended to release in the Kindle version of the story.  All the chapters will be disappearing once I publish the Kindle version, so enjoy them while they are free.

Retirement time has arrived for me and I will soon be cutting ties with the corporate world. Once I do I will have more time to do the important things in life. Back in 2018 I bought 12 acres on a mountainside in the American Redoubt. A long drive from anywhere with a large population center. 

Hillsides are challenging to develop but it can be done. The deciding factor was a full time creek running across the bottom (with water rights) and a seasonal watercourse that runs through the property halfway to the top.

There is no improvements, just raw land. It has been partially logged, harvesting the cedar and leaving a mess of downed trees to make into firewood. Moose, Elk, Deer, Bear,Wolves, Coyotes and Cougars roam the area. I have seen the scat and my nearest neighbor has seen the cougar walking on the roadway.

It is mostly South-facing and it's climate mostly reflects the area where I currently live. The Starlink  app shows that I will be able to have internet once I have the means to power it. I have most the components for a solar power system, just needing cables to connect it all. That includes a dual-fuel generator for when the sun don't shine.

Retirement will free me up to finish the excavation work in preparation for building the intended structures, which have yet to be decided.. 

I hope you all have been able to secure your retreat properties, or have fortified where you currently live. The current influx of illegals crossing our border have created a danger for every American citizen. Our leaders in Washington have sold you out for their own personal gain. 

I have a question for those who read this. Where do you get your news? I get a lot of mine from the website Real Americas Voice. Check it out if you don't currently follow it. Steve Bannon's War Room. 

Be Alert!
Stay Safe!
God Bless!