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The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part 4 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 1
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The Martian, Earth or Bust, Part 3 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
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The Martian: Earth or Bust: Part 2 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 2
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The Martian: Homeward Bound :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Judy's Recovery: Baker's Mammal
Judy looked down at the slice of warm apple pie on her plate, a scoop of ice cream nestled beside it, and worried her incisors against her lower lip. “Maybe I shouldn’t have this,” she said.
Nick looked up from his own slice of apple pie, mouth already full with a bite, and mumbled around it, “Y’ gonna inshult t’ chef like ‘at?” He nodded towards Gideon Grey, who was whistling happily as he filled a cherry pie with filling behind the counter of his bakery. Judy was sitting with Nick at one of the small tables set near the front window of the shop, for customers coming in for a quick snack. He swallowed and continued, “Besides, you earned this reward.”
She had actually. Judy had jogged the six miles or so from the farm to the edge of town, huffing and sucking on a water bottle as Nick kept pace with her. It had been her furthest sustained run since she’d come back home four months ago. Better still, she’d finished i
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 2 3
Dragon Mom: Sir Simon
The argument between the barbarian and the knight seemed to finally reach a conclusion, with the barbarian walking off grumpily, his paperwork balled up in his first. The knight in the white enameled armor nodded in satisfaction, walking up towards the mouth of the cave, halting about halfway up the slope leading to the entrance. He doffed his helm and Miriam saw that he appeared to be an older man, perhaps in his early sixties, with neatly trimmed grey beard framing a round, grandfatherly face.
“Oh, Great Dragon of the Green Hills,” he bellowed in an impressive baritone, one hand resting on the butt of his sword. “I, Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, call you forth to engage me in single combat, for the life of the innocent maiden you hold in your clutches.”
“Is he serious?” Miriam asked the dragon, finishing the last of her popcorn.
“Yes, but don’t worry. He means well,” the dragon reassured her. She stood up from her relaxed sitting
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 5
Dragon Mom, Part Two
She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.
Another half-century and I can kick him out to find a home of his own, she reminded herself. She loved her son, but she’d be the first to admit that sometimes he didn’t have the sense of a cow, looking up into the rain with its mouth agape and wondering why it was drowning.
She sighed and shook her carriage sized head, trying to shake off her mood. It had been over seven years since someone had offered up a princess for her to kidnap. Seven years of dutifully patrolling the kingdom during
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 6
Dragon Mom, REBOOT
It was getting awfully cold, Gilly thought. Here she was, wearing her best party dress and tiara, standing in the middle of the front lawn, at midnight, chained to a post, and the blasted dragon was late.
She gave the chains desultory tug, then unlatched her right wrist and scratched her nose before resecuring herself. It was midnight under a full moon, and she was a princess. The dragon had to show up, those were the rules.
I’ll give it ten more minutes and then I’m calling it a night, Gilly thought irritably, feeling the chill wind blow against her dress, her silk slippers growing damp and cold in the dew covered grass. She should have brought a shawl just in case, but it had seemed to clash with the whole “Princess Waiting to Be Devoured” thing. It had been hard enough to convince Daddy to mount this ugly pole in the middle of their nice, manicured lawn. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to the Look he’d give he
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 7
Mature content
Judy's Recovery, the Next Morning :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 3 3
Judy's Recovery, the Midnight Hour
The hours between Midnight and the grey predawn light had always been a magic time for Nick. Three quarters of Zootopia would be asleep, leaving it to the nocturnal animals like bats, raccoons and foxes. The street lights would be dimmed, and the shadows would lengthen. Sometimes Nick could walk for hours up and down the streets without seeing another soul, but knowing they were there, watching. It was something no daylight oriented mammal could really understand, that feeling in the air, the knowledge that there was a second Zootopia, occupying the same physical space as the sunlit one but so profoundly different in many ways.
Tonight for example, he’d taken a long walk to the tarmac two-lane road leading into town, only turning around when he’d reached the outskirts of town, listening to the crickets chirp in the grass and the occasional hoot of an owl. Then he turned back, whistling to himself and walked around the house to the back porch to catch a few win
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 5 6
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (2017)
 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (2017)
 By Royce Day
 Dramatis Persona
Santa Claus   (Beloved Mythological Figure)                 John Goodman
Mrs. Claus     (Beloved Wife of Same)                              ?
King Kimar   (the King of Mars)                                        Liam Neeson
Queen Aelita     
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 1
Review: Three by Spoor
Just some quick, slightly spoilery reviews on three novels by Ryk E. Spoor that I’ve been delaying writing while I Dealt With Things.
Spheres of Influence: The second book in Spoor’s <A href=>Grand Central Arena  series finds our heroine Ariane Austin facing with an enemy she is ill equipped to deal with, government bureaucrats. This book expands on the GCA universe quite a bit, showing the reaction back in Earth’s solar system as humanity finds itself in a first contact situation with the Arena’s many races, which range from hostile to nominally friendly, but all with their own agendas. We also get more details on the Hyperion Project, which produced the series’ literally designated antihero Dr. Marc Duquesne. In this novel we’re also introduced to Sun WuKong, another of Hyperion’s attempts to recreate the heroes of literature other media, plus one Hyperio
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Judy's Recovery, Married to the Mob
Judy was sitting on a carved log stump in the backyard, diligently doing her ten (and only ten, on pain of Nick’s snark) forearm curls with a two-pound dumbbell, when her mom came up to her, bearing a pitcher of lemonade and a pair of cups on a tray.
“What’s up, Mom?” she asked, setting the dumbbell down.
Bonnie set the tray on a second nearby stump, then pulled up another to sit beside her. “Oh, just checking up on you. How’s your arm?”
Judy rubbed her shoulder and grimaced. “Weak. I’m working on it.” She looked closer at Bonnie’s troubled expression and lowered ears. “Something on your mind?”
“Judy, how do you know that Mr. Big person?” she asked, her voice serious. She began pouring out a cup lemonade and handed it to Judy.
“Like I told you, he’s a prominent Zootopian businessmammal,” Judy said, taking the cup from her and sipping as she tried to come up with an innocuo
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 2
Starcrash Theme
"Starcrash Theme" (music: "Believe it or Not")
Look at what's happened to me-e,
I couldn't believe it myself.
My agent signed the contract unseen
Wish it were somebody else!
    Believe it or not, I'm not William Katt
    He's got far too much digni-ty-y-y
    Wish I could run, from this dog a film
    Who could it be?
    It's not William Katt, it's just me.

It's an Italian Star Wars clone,
With none of the budget or skill
I'm playing a smug, stuck-up  Obi-Wan
With a curly blond perm that could kill.
I'm co-stars with a robot from Tex-as,
And Caroline Munro's massive chest
Hasslehoff's got top billing on screen
For just the fifteen minutes he's seen!
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
GURPS Red Vixen Adventures: Technologies
Tech Level: In general the G:RVA tech level is TL9-11, following the Safe-Tech path (p. UT10), with some gravity related superscience additions.
Power: Fusion reactors are the most common large scale power generators. Large ground vehicles, ocean going ships, or anti-gravity skimmers use the Semi-Portable Fusion Reactor (p. UT20) for power. Smaller or slower vehicles use battery power or hydrogen fuel cells. Almost every home is hooked into the local fusion power grid, with supplemental solar cells on the roof for backup.
Computers: The most common computer PC’s will use is the “palm comp” a Small, Complexity 5 computer the size of a modern smartphone. Commonly it comes with a holographic projection system that can project a man sized moving image that users can interact with to a limited degree, though the resolution is not high enough to usually fool observers that an image is a solid object (+2 to Perception checks).
True creative AI’s do
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 2 0
Terinu: Mother's Day, Prologue
SCENE: We start in medias res inside Lord Dark’s Air Fortress. The animation style looks to be the height of mid-1980’s syndicated cartoons.
Assuming it was done by Filmation.
Towards the end of the season.
When the budget was getting a bit tight.
Two WAZAGANS, NEZ the TECHNOMAGE and CHEEKO the PIRATE-NINJA, run down the hallway, pursued by SIR ANIMOSITY and several ROBO-CRUSADERS. The two wazagans skid to a halt as they reach a dead end.
SIR ANIMOSITY: Halt! There’s no escape for you now!
The Robo-Crusaders begin firing their LASER LANCES. Nez slaps her palms together and an ENERGY SHIELD manifests from her left bracelet.
NEZ: [Silver Shield, protect!]
Note: Dialog in [brackets] indicates it’s in unsubtitled Arabic.
NEZ: [Great! Now
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 2

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Journal History


There's a trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 up! 

(watches with increasing dismay)

...and it has enough f-bombs to sink a battlecruiser. Thanks for f--- messing up a classic, Ubisoft. :(
Lost my emergency backup cover artist. But given her situation I understood.

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Okay, I broke down and asked Beck. Turns out Johanssen and Lewis both had IUD’s installed that are good for at least five years, a couple of months before launch. So neither of them need to worry about getting pregnant or having periods until we get back. Unless we get sucked into a wormhole and visit the Planet of the Apes, the Series for at least three seasons.

They had some seriously fucking weird shows in the 70’s. I mean, a bunch of guys in rubber ape masks instead of CGI? Sheesh. On the plus side, I now know why my parents thought Professor Bobo on MST3K was so hilarious.

On a more serious subject, I have been reminded by the mission psychology team that I have been dancing around talking about something. Mostly because I didn’t feel like talking about it at all. The question being: “Did I have suicidal thoughts at any point during my period on Mars?”

Gee, ya think?

Look, re-reading my log entries from my time on Mars, you might get the impression that I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. I was writing down my thoughts more or less stream of consciousness, but I’ll admit to doing some editing in my brain before typing it all in. Yeah, I thought about it. That first evening when I started taking inventory of everything I’d have to do to stay alive, my side aching from the self-surgery was one low point. The worst though was right after losing the potato farm. I had worked so damned hard on that thing, and I knew then that any attempt by NASA to build a resupply probe would now be a desperate rush job, and might not make it. Honestly, when Venkat broke down and told me the probe had a launch failure, that was just the icing on the cake. By that point I wasn’t so much suicidal as numb.

But that was it really. Part of it is that I’m an engineer. I fix problems. So long as I had something occupy my brain, and I always had something, even if it was just routine Hab maintenance, I could keep going, one problem at a time. Hell, even killing myself was an engineering problem, but one I was more than willing to put off until I faced some other problem I just couldn’t fix.

So long as I had some hope, be it meeting the Ares 4 crew at Schiaparelli, getting a resupply probe to my location, or even that loony launch in the remains of the Ares 4 MAV, I could keep going. If the MAV’s engines had failed to ignite, or the Hermes missed the rendezvous for some reason, yeah, then I would have done something really permanent to myself. But until then I was determined to keep going, if for no other reason than I really didn’t want to put my parents through the same pain that they’d experienced once already.

Enough about that. I lived through it, and I’m sure as fuck never going to go back to Mars to experience it again. I intend to live to a ripe old age so I can bitch to my descendants how easy they’ve got it compared to the old days.


I am so fucking furious right now I’m having a hard time typing it all in. I wanna punch my fist into a wall, but I know if I did that I’d just make more work for Beck, I gotta get all of this on the page though, so I can look at it, in case I forget to be mad for some reason.

Deep breath.

Okay, the day actually started out great. After yet another exam, Dr. Bossy Beck finally gave me permission to me move around the rest of Hermes. As soon as he gave me the word, I climbed up the ladder and did a happy little dance in the zero-g section of the hub. Then immediately regretted it as my inner ear started bouncing like a fucking pinball. Once I was sure my lunch was going to stay put I went over to the control room just because I could.

Commander Lewis was there, typing up the daily mission status report, correlating items concerning the ship’s health that NASA couldn’t monitor directly, and also attaching all the results from the science experiments that the crew had run the day before. Once it was all together she’d send it in the daily data dump over to Mission Control, same as they’d send us our marching orders for the next day around the same time. I hung around near the hatch until she saved the file, and she waved me over.

“How are you feeling, Watney?” she asked.

“Beck is letting me move around and use the ladders,” I replied. “I’m glad. I was starting to go stir crazy in my room. Did you know Martinez farts in his sleep? I think he was saving up beans in his colon before we left Earth, just in case he needed to really gross us out.”

“I’ll make a note of it,” Lewis said, chuckling a little. Despite the weird obsession with 70’s sitcoms, Lewis is probably the most low-key member of our team, and a hard one to make laugh. She’s always taken her responsibilities as mission commander incredibly seriously, and does her best to treat everyone with an even hand. Even her resident class clown, me. I guess I’m the Horshack to her Mr. Kotter or something.

Oh, God I’ve got to watch more 21st century videos.

Anyway, I went on, “Any word on when I’ll be put back to work with ship’s maintenance and my science schedule? I don’t want Beck screwing around any more with my poor plants.”

“If you can move around now to the science labs, I don’t see any reason why you can’t take up your experiment schedule again,” Lewis said. “As for maintenance, I want your ribs fully healed up before you start work on that. Interior duties only. Beck and Vogel can handle any required EVA’s. NASA and I both want you to avoid any unnecessary risks during the trip back to Earth.”

“Fine by me,” I said. “I’ll be happy to stay inside, just so long as we get back home in one piece. I don’t want to ever wear a spacesuit again in my life if I can help it. I did enough EVA’s on Mars that I’m probably going to hold the Guinness World Record until the Sun burns out.”

That got another chuckle out of her. “What do you think you’ll do when you get back?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Eat food that isn’t potatoes or protein bars. Maybe get a job as a teacher. Mom and Dad were contacted by the University of Chicago. They said I can name whatever professorship I want, and I can have it.”

“So you’re done with NASA?” Lewis asked.

“I’m done with space period,” I said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that NASA worked so hard to rescue me, but my ass is going to stay on a nice, safe planet with normal gravity, food I can eat, and air that won’t kill me if I walk outside.”

“Maybe you can write a book,” she suggested. “I was reading your logs. You actually went into a lot of detail about your efforts to survive. People would be interested in reading about that.”

“Yeah, maybe,” I said, thinking about how many fucks I’d written down in those logs. “I’d have to do a lot of editing before I’d send it to a publisher though.”

“Keep it as it is,” Lewis said. “It’s very you, Mark.”

“What, a foul mouthed asshole?”

“An honest asshole,” she said. “Yes, you’ve got a dirty mouth, Mark. Sometimes it’s made me uncomfortable, but I always knew you were completely upfront with me about anything we discussed.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled. Talk about a backhanded compliment! To change the subject, I asked, “So what are you going to do? I mean after you’ve had some downtime. Kinda hard to top any kind of mission after this one.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “I’m like you. I’m done with space, and the military. I’ll probably get a job as a consultant, or maybe a teacher like you’re considering.”

“Wait, what?” I asked. “You’re going to resign your commission?” I felt my stomach knot up. Lewis loved being an astronaut, but she was even prouder of being a Navy commander. For her to resign just because of one lousy accident was just fucking wrong. “You can’t do that,” I exclaimed. “Jesus Christ, what happened to me on Mars was an accident. You weren’t responsible for it, I told you that already!”

“I’m not resigning because of that, Mark,” she replied. “I’ve got other reasons.”

“What other reasons?” I demanded. “Christ, you’re a hero. You pulled off the greatest rescue mission in NASA history. Once Teddy Saunders retires you could be made head of the agency!”

“NASA isn’t going to make me the head of anything,” Lewis said. She rubbed her forehead briefly, as if she was in pain. “I was going to drop this on you after we got back to Earth and you had some time to recuperate, but I guess I should tell you now.”

“Tell me what?” I said.

“Mark, the original mission for Hermes was to just come home, while JPL built a second supply mission for you, to be sent on the Taiyang Shen booster. It would have been a last-ditch effort. The Iris 2 wouldn’t even have had a landing system. They were hoping enough supplies would survive a crash landing that you could make it until the Ares 4 crew arrived,” she explained to me. “NASA decided it was better to for one astronaut to be placed at high risk, rather than place all of us at a lower risk with the extended mission to swing back towards Mars to pick you up.”

“I guess that makes sense,” I said. “What changed their minds?”

“They didn’t. We forced their hand. Someone managed to slip Rich Purnell’s course into an email sent to Vogel, with all the details of the maneuver and also the reasons why NASA decided against it. This person thought we should have the right to decide whether to place our own lives at risk, in order to give you a better chance to survive.”

Right then Lewis looked grimmer than I’d ever seen her. “Vogel brought it to my attention. I knew it had a much better chance at rescuing you successfully than depending on the Iris 2 reaching you. So I discussed it with the rest of the crew, and we made the decision together that we would execute the Rich Purnell maneuver. That forced NASA to change the Iris 2 mission to be a resupply probe for Hermes. Publically they claimed the decision was from NASA’s leadership. In truth we committed mutiny. However we’re praised when we get back, no one on this crew is going into space ever again.” She smiled sadly. “The best I can hope for is some desk job with an impressive title and no responsibilities. Given my actions, I also wouldn’t be comfortable in a Navy command. I think the private sector is the best place for me.”

“Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” I said slowly. “You, and everyone on this crew, willingly trashed their futures with NASA for the sake of my sorry ass? Goddamnit Lewis, I know how much your Navy career meant to you. You just threw it all away on some half-baked hope that you’d be able to pick me up?”

“Not half-baked,” she replied, frowning. “If I’d thought the maneuver wouldn’t work, or that the second probe had a better chance to reach you, I would have never brought it to the others’ attention. As it was, I thought it had much higher chance of success than crash landing Iris into Mars.”

“What the hell would you have done if Iris had missed the Hermes?” I demanded. “What the fuck would have happened if you lost life support, or the reactor, or the water reclaimer while you were on your way to pick me up?”

“We would have died,” Lewis said flatly. “And we would have died knowing that we did everything we could to save you, rather than just come home with our tails between our legs, hoping that Ares 4 would reach you in time.”

I was so angry I pushed myself back and forth across the tiny control room as I talked, literally bouncing off the walls. “You guys are heroes. You should be looking forward to fucking parades. Instead Director Saunders is going slam the door in your faces even while he’s telling the world what a great job you did, the prick.”

“You’re right,” Lewis said, her tone growing hard. “But we all made this decision with our eyes wide open, Watney. Respect that.”

Those last words stopped me short. Respect is a really important word for Commander Lewis. She gave it to us, working with a bunch of quirky PhD’s wearing astronaut uniforms, that didn’t always follow the military protocol she was used to. In turn we gave it to her, trusting that when she made a decision that affected the whole crew,  it would be the right one. It was at the core of what made her Commander Lewis, USN and not just Melissa Lewis, NASA Astronaut.

“All right,” I said, trying to calm down. “You, all of you, made this decision to rescue me. I’ll respect that. But I’m sure as fuck not going to respect NASA if they sink your careers. And I’m going to tell Teddy Saunders what an asshole he is to his face, even if I have to do it behind a closed door.”

“Fair enough,” Lewis replied, her tone returning to normal. “Thank you, Mark.”

I knew a dismissal when I heard it, so I kinda ducked my head and headed back down to my bunkroom. I’ve been in here ever since, stewing.

Okay, fine. If the crew wanted to toss their careers at NASA into the airlock for the sake of one nerdy botanist, that’s okay. But goddamn it burns me. Look, it’s not like I’d rather be dead, but I’m going to have to go on with the rest of my life knowing what they did for me, and knowing there’s nothing in whole entire fucking world I could possibly do to pay them back.

Fuck. I gotta think about this.
The Complete Red Vixen Adventures is now available for pre-order in both Kindle ($5.99) and trade paperback ($19.99) for a June 1st. 2017 release.

Since 2011 readers have enjoyed the adventures of the Darktail family and their entanglements with the vivacious space pirate, the Red Vixen. Now this brand new collection gathers all the major stories in the series Captive of the Red Vixen, Shadow of the Red Vixen, Shadow of Her Sins, Shadow of Doubt, The Red Vixen at Sea and I Fought the Claw and the Claw Won, plus two never before published short stories "Solstice Gifts" and "The Parable of the Glassblower" along with an appendix featuring fun world building notes.


Sir-Talen's Profile Picture
Royce Day
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a 40 something amateur writer with a half dozen original stories and collections available at Amazon… and Smashwords… and entirely too much fanfic based on Peta Hewitt's Terinu webcomic.

FYI Llama badges shall be ignored.

Current Residence: Columbia, MD
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Large
Favourite genre of music: Rock & Roll
Operating System: Windows XL
MP3 player of choice: Phillips
Skin of choice: The one keeping all my organs inside my body
Personal Quote: "Do we have any idea what to do for dinner?"


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Marine2622 Featured By Owner May 25, 2017
What do foxen think of earth foxes?
rubbervixen Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Happy Birthday!
Fail-Seeker Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Happy Birthday! Try everything:…
Connor18 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday!
Chibi-Bony Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016
Thanks for the watch and Welcome to Chibi's World!
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Thanks for watching
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Thanks for watching! :-)
oboroten Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2016
Happy birthday!
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Happy Birthday!
Sir-Talen Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, dear!
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