It was a busy and successful day selling "Dying Embers" at the Alien Daze parade in McMinnville, OR!
It is that time of year again! The aliens and the cosplayers are descending on McMinnville, OR to wreck havoc and have fun!
Show up on historic 3rd street to do some shopping (the deals are out of this world), make some strange friends, and sample the local food!
Author signed copies of "Dying Embers" will be avaliable at NW Food & Gifts for a %30 discount off the usual $15 price for as long as the festival is going!;
Animal Conversations - Secretary Bird
“…and this is the early education wing of the campus.” The sparrow waved a wing towards a corridor where a cluster of teen girls were crouched over a stuttering robot. “Please turn this way. Good, good. Now this lab is where the Gormen organization is currently working on cutting edge electronic filters. And here we are at your door.”
The sparrow fluttered up to the wooden desk in the middle of the room and bobbed his head at the cluster of two-legs clustered around the door.
“Here is your ten o’clock meeting Sir,” the sparrow nodded to the middle aged two-leg sitting behind another desk and fluttered off to her next task.
“Did that bird just lead us to a meeting?” The lawyer asked, one eyebrow twitching.
“I think it did,” the investor said slowly. “It was almost as if it was talking to us…”
“Shall we get started?” asked the man behind the desk with a smile that steadfastly ignored the tension in the situation.
“Bird?” the investor pointed at the door it had left through.
The man behind the desk blinked and then shrugged. “I think you will be pleased with our newest project.” He said briskly. “This is really ground breaking.”
The lawyer and the investor exchanged a glance and then shrugged.
“Let’s get started then,” the lawyer said.
Unobtainium: Noun, a plot critical substance that is shockingly quite difficult to obtain.
Unobtainium is the exotic material that is needed to make the Applied Phlebotinum of a story work. Without it, all your nifty machines and plot-enabling gadgets quit functioning.
This author kids you not. A friend (think serious, no nonsense, business type) used the word unobtainium in conversation with me, perfectly un-ironically recently.
Humans are Weird – Snow Play
“So it turns out that while I was gone my kid sister saved up her money from sitting and bought me this sweet snowboard,” Human Friend Jameson said, his voice full of eagerness.
Human Friend Jameson was leaning over the cafeteria table eagerly, seemingly heedless of the food on his tray as he gestured at his friend with his fork. The other human seemed completely nonplused by this despite the seven inches of carbon infused steel being quite capable of being a deadly weapon in the hands of Jameson. Indeed, Kixxitac’ll had once seen his friend slay a decently sized predator with a similar implement.
Kixxitac’ll shifted the six limbs he was currently ambulating on in the direction of Jameson and his audience. A tray identical to the ones in front of the humans was suspended lightly between his too foremost legs and on it was balanced his usual liquid nutrients along with a packet of the human delicacy known as flavored gelatin. The cafeteria had produced a new flavor today and Kizzitac’ll was eager to try it. What better conditions than with Human Friend Jameson who also had selected a (much larger) portion of the food?
“Hey Kixx have a seat,” Jameson greeted him before resuming his presentation to his friends.
“Thank you Human Friend Jameson,” Kixxitac’ll replied as he set his tray to the left of Jameson’s, giving the human maneuvering room.
“Anyway,” Jameson continued. “She wants to take me out on Mount Bachelor as soon as I am out of quarantine and Mom says that I should bring friends. Any takers?”
There was the usual chorus of disappointed refusals. Most of which seemed to center on the fact that the majority of the marines around him also had plans with their families during that time frame. Two however assured Jameson that they were eager to accompany him on his excursion and they confirmed dates and times of meeting. A few dispersed and Kixxitac’ll finished his nutrients.
“Human Friend Jameson,” he greeted his companion who was now eagerly spooning the gelatin into his mouth. “Do you find the new flavor pleasant.”
“It’s okay,” Jameson said dipping his shoulders in a way that indicated either a lack of knowledge or strong emotion. “One kind is pretty much like another.”
“I would have to disagree,” Kixxitac’ll objected. “I much prefer the blue flavor.”
“Well maybe you can get some on leave,” Jameson offered.
“Perhaps,” Kixxitac’ll considered his next words carefully. “Do they have such things at this Mount Bachelor place you spoke of?”
“I think so,” Jameson said. “Why do you ask? Oh.”
Kixxitac’ll prided himself on his ability to read the incredibly flexible human face and noted precisely when Jameson divined his meaning.
“Do you not wish me to come?” Kixxitac’ll asked. “Please remember we have pledged honesty to each other.”
“No, no,” Jameson hurriedly assured him. “I would love for you to come. It is just that the facilities are not set up for you yet and the climates is fairly extreme.”
Kixxitac’ll tilted his body to the side curiously and Jameson activated the wrist mounted holoprojector all of the humans wore. The skin on his wrist lit up first of a blindingly reflective surface that made Kixxitac’ll flinch back and then switched to a rather cozy looking interior that indeed was fitted for the massive bodies of humans and not for his own smaller frame.
“What is the climate?” He asked, shuddering at the image of the white crystal ground cover.
“Well here is this week’s weather data,” Jameson said scrolling through a few more pages.
Kixxitac’ll stared blankly at the display for a moment before turning fully to Jameson’s face.
“There must be some mistake in that data,” Kixxitac’ll said firmly. “Otherwise you are telling me you are knowing exposing your beloved nestmate to prolonged temperatures below the freezing point of water.”
Jameson laughed. “She loves it bud! You should see her pull the halfpipe!”
Convincing a Cat
“Okay,” Ebony sighed. “One more time. What is the best meat?”
“The stuff in my bowl!” Killer stated firmly, his tail fanning back and forth over his back.
Ebony groaned and turned to clean her gleaming coat. This was not really any harder than she had expected. Granted most of the other barn cats had given up on Killer. They were content to avoid him, leaving him to his strange delusion. Some were friendly enough with him. Miss Kitty and Queenie both enjoyed a good romp but Ebony was determined to connect him with his inner lion.
“Cats appreciate what the two-legs do for us,” Ebony began again once she was calm enough. “Their cat skill are non-existent but they somehow bring home food for the non-hunters, but we are not dependant on them.”
“Yes, I know that,” Killer interrupted, jumping up and pacing around her. “But that doesn’t factor in.”
“Of course it factors in!” Ebony snapped.
“But I’m a dog!” Killer said.
Ebony groaned and gave him a half affectionate head butt. “Have you ever seen a grown dog as small as you?” She demanded.
“Look,” Killer said a bit irritably. “I herd the chickens, I herd the goats, and I watch out for raccoons and coyotes.” He sat and puffed out his chest. “I even sit on the hill with Sputnik.” He leaned forward and grinned at her. “I run with the big dogs.”
“Calicoie sits with Sputnik,” Ebony pointed out dryly. “Look, the answer is bird. The best meat is bird.”
“Well I wouldn’t know,” Killer said dismissively as he bent over to chew his leg.
“How about I bring you a fresh one next time I catch one,” Ebony suggested. Noting inspired cattiness like live prey.
“Sure, sure,” Killer answered.
This was going to be harder than she thought.
From The Scottish Bard
"I caught up a blanket from the cradle,--I am not going to throw away that good old word for the ugly outlandish name they give it now, reminding one only of a helmet,--I caught up a blanket from the cradle, I say, wrapped it round the treasure, which was shooting its arms and legs in every direction like a polypus feeling after its food,--and rushed down stairs, and down the precipice into the study. ..."
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.