Part 22H: The Chase, in Limbo!

OK, so nobody, not even a big tattooed crazy monster Valkyrie trapped in Limbo forever, is going to steal my left arm.

Plus I am not Rachel!

I mean, not really.

So I take off after her, or I try to, because I try to run but I can't because it's Limbo and in Limbo I can only move via my mind.  So I calm myself down because in Limbo you've got to be calm.  You'd think you would be calm there because there's really nothing in Limbo... Limbo is sort of defined by it being nothing but that's not the case.  Especially when you've just had your left arm cut off.

"COME BACK!" I yell at Rionya, but she doesn't, of course, and she's rapidly getting away.  I take a few deep breaths and I bring my heart rate down and I begin to run.

Only I don't.  I still don't move.

"What the ..." I say to myself, and go through it again.




And I don't.

Rionya is almost invisible, a speck off in the blackness, holding my left arm.

"I can do this," I tell myself.


And Rionya is there in front of me, or rather, I am in front of her, and she is running directly at me, her pupil-less eyes glaring over her shoulder until she turns and sees...? ... me just in time to realize what's going to happen but not to stop herself from barreling into me, and she hits me hard, the kind of hard that would knock the wind out of me but I've got no wind, really, in Limbo, even all those breathing exercises were merely mental, but she does tumble into me and we're tangled up, and I can see my left arm but it's in her right hand, so as I try to grab at it I'm using just my stump to grab it, and that doesn't work, plus she's got these giant breasts and they're all in my face which, yeah, exciting, but not right now

And then she's past me, scrambling up again, her centuries-maybe-or-how-long she's been living here giving her quite an edge, and she's off.

I'm laying there, and I have to start this all over.  How'd I do it just now?


And I'm in front of her again.

"RIONYA!" I yell.

She tumbles into me again and I this time grab the arm, using my only remaining hand, and she starts clawing at it trying to get it from me.

Her garbledy voice snarls at me, more growl than words, and her hair is all tangled up in my hands.  I still can't move, really, I haven't figured that out, but I have an idea.

I mentally picture...

AND YES, I am now about a hundred feet away.  Rionya is pummeling the emtpy Limbo-stuff where I was laying.  I'm standing way off to her right, and I keep quiet until she  notices where I am and gets up and comes running at me.

"Rionya, I'm not Rachel! I'm not!" but she's on me, so I have to focus, and bammo I'm somewhere else, a lot farther away, and this time I'm behind her, too.  I see her pause, far away, and stop and drop to her knees.

I hear something then, something that's not the garbled angry squawl she's been giving out.  So I listen.

Aw, crap, I realize: she's crying.

She's sobbing, on her knees, this giant deranged beautiful monster, off in the distance, and as I listen to her crying and calm down a little more I begin to get a picture.

Valkyries are telepaths, after all, and so am I because I grew up on Valhalla.

So I get this picture and this is what I see:

A woman in a chair, standing in front of a Revenant and a man in a trench coat.  They are looking into some sort of Plasma Globe, a device I recognize but haven't ever seen before.  There's only like, three in existence and that's because they require practically an entire universe's worth of power to run, but they can do a lot, including suck the power out of a universe, which is how they work, after all.

And on a view screen by the side of the woman and her cohort is Rionya, staring at them.

"Get me the hand," the woman says, "And I will free you from Limbo."

Aw, crap.

Rionya has turned around and seen me now.  But she doesn't move.

"Look," I say.  I try to broadcast it telepathically,  too, in case she's too mad to understand words anymore.

"I'm not Rachel," I tell her.

But I have an idea.

"So my hand isn't the one she wants," I add, and Rionya starts sobbing again until I say:

"But whoever that was won't know that until it's too late."

Rionya looks up at me, and I realize, crazy insane or not, she's got the gist of this.

Part 22G: The Me Has Company In Limbo.

That Valkyrie, the one who explored Limbo, was named Rionya, and she served as a cautionary tale that parents told their children, and scientists told their clones, as they grew up on Valhalla, a warning that straying from the Valkyrie way could lead to madness and worse.

"Worse?" we would ask, as children, when the older folk would tell us Rionya's story.  "Worse than madness?"

OH YES, they would tell us.  There is much worse than madness, they would say, but would never elaborate.

Most people ended up assuming that Rionya was a myth, a folk tale, one of those things that parents tell their kids to keep them in line, not real like Hell or the Lattice World.

I say all this because it would be only natural to think of Rionya if you are from Valhalla and suddenly end up in Limbo.

And also because Rionya is standing over me as I wake up.

And she is mad -- in both senses of the word.

I can tell she is mad, crazy, insane, and also mad, angry, because she is literally frothing at the mouth, and because her eyes are wild -- wide and bloodshot and lacking any pupils whatsoever-- and her hair, which would have been down to her waist if not longer if combed stuck out in all directions, a bizarre hairscape of three, maybe four dimensions.  She is naked, and covered in strange tattoos that seem like words but aren't in any language I can understand.

She's standing there, probably eight feet tall, pointing a finger down at me.

And speaking in some sort of garbled voice.

I can't understand a word she was saying.

"What?" I say, as quietly and as nonethreatingly as I can.  I can't move -- all the stories about Limbo are true, that it is hard to move there, that physical effort won't move you -- and I am too shocked to be able to gather my thoughts.

Rionya garbles something back at me and sneers.

"I don't..." I say, a little louder, but she roars and interrupts me, leaning down and grabbing my left arm and lifting me up over her head.

I dangled there, held up off whatever passed for ground here, staring at her crazy face with little wordlike tattoos on it, those insane eyes looking into mine, for no more than a second before I manage to squeak out:

"Don't hurt me, please"

but if she understands it doesn't show.  She looks at me with one eye, then the other, and then with both again.  I can't imagine how she can see without pupils.

Then she puts me down in front of her, and I am standing, somehow, in the middle of a big blank empty nothingness.

She doesn't let go of my arm, though, and looks at me again, more closely, staring right into my eyes from less than an inch away.

Her breath is minty.

She would be quite pretty, actually, if she wasn't so scary and deranged and messy and tattoo-y.

We stand like that for a long time and then she backs up just an inch.

"Rachel" she says, and before I can say anything she pulls out a knife, slashes it down, cuts off my left hand, turns, and takes off running.

Click here to go on to the next part.

Shopping becomes more exciting (and you don't even need to have your own crickets.)

Let's face it: Shopping online needs to be jazzed up and made a LOT more exciting.

Everything you do online, including this blog -- especially including this blog, right? -- is exciting, EXCEPT shopping.

Here is my impression of someone shopping online:

*looks at tiny thumbnail photo of a laptop.*

*crickets chirp*

You should be impressed: I had to import those crickets.  They're from England.  Adds a touch of class, having crickets chirp with British accents.

Anyway, the point is, shopping online sucks and is boring and stupid, because all you do is page through stuff and click on stuff and spend more money than you want to.

But now, there's a way to fix that problem.  A way to make shopping more exciting.  And that way is...


*crickets rise up and cheer, applauding madly.*
See, even the crickets are excited.  But there are those among you who may not get it, yet, and who may be saying, What is DealDash? 

Don't fret: I will tell you.

DealDash is an auction site, but one with a twist, in that it's both fun and RISK FREE. 

DealDash works like this: You sign up (for free) and begin bidding by buying some bids.  Bids go for as low as $0.60, and DealDash is always offering discounts and sales on the bids.

Then you pick out some stuff you want to bid on.  Right now, as I write this, you can bid on things like Gift Cards, Xbox 360 games, handbags, and more.

And the deals people get on these things are incredible.  A 7" Android tablet just sold, just now, for $9.08.  A woman's 26" bike sold for about four bucks.

So you can see how it's like a game.  Let's say you want to get an iPad for someone.  Say, a blogger.  Someone whose blog you are reading right now.


Let's pretend you want to get me a present, okay?  I mean, I am here slaving away, typing up new stories all the time for you, posting pictures of hot women, coming up with phenomenal plot twists, importing crickets

*crickets cheer again*

and you never even thank me, do you?  So the LEAST you can do is buy a hypothetical gift for the purposes of this post.

Anyway, now that you have decided to get me that gift, you want to save money, so you go register, buy your pack of bids, and find the iPad you want on DealDash and begin bidding.  That's where the fun begins: each bid costs you about $0.60 (or less) and you get to compete with others to get the goods you want for the lowest price.  You might get that iPad for as low as $6.76, the sale price of one on DealDash recently.

And, it's RISK FREE, because if you don't win your first auction, you get your bids back, so there's no risk for being new to the game.  Plus, if you don't get the item you bid on, you can go buy it for the price on the site anyway, and if you do THAT you'll get your bids back, too.

It's like you can't lose.  Isn't that great?  Let's hear it for DealDash.

*crickets begin clapping, and a few do the wave before realizing nobody's into it and sitting back down*

 DealDash is for real: just check out this DealDash Customer Review to get another viewpoint on it.

OH! I should've said DealDash is for RealDash.  Dang it.  Missed an opportunity.

Anyway, I love DealDash.  Love it.  You should go check it out, too, and you will love it, as much as I do.  More, maybe.

That's all for now.  I got to go find a place for all these crickets to crash for a while.  Sweetie is not going to be happy if she comes home and they're lounging all over the house, watching soccer on ESPN2 and eating our Lucky Charms.

Part 22F: Harper's back, and some backstory on Limbo!

I spin back around, and see Harper staring at me from behind some kind of mechanical apparatus that she is also aiming at me.

"Um... no," I say, and Harper looks around quickly, taking in me, Target A, Simon the Horse, and the impending collision of Hell and Earth before looking back at me.

"So you're one of the clones," she says, and I nod.

"I'm... " but she moves a hand a little bit, hits some sort of button or trigger and the machine blasts a burst of energy at me, all greenish-yellow, and I black out...

...and wake up, what seems like immediately but I'm not sure it it.  Who can tell how much time has passed when you've been unconscious? Not me, not when I wake up in Limbo.

I know about Limbo.  Lots of people know about Limbo.  Limbo is what keeps the dimensions separate, and it's kind of a dimension on its own and kind of not.  It's the space between all the dimensions and some people, like the Valkyries, think that Limbo is to be avoided at all costs, that once you go into Limbo you cannot ever truly leave it, that part of your soul will always be anchored to Limbo and you will be stuck there forever, not again being able to fully participate in life on any other dimension.

The Valkyries even have a legend, about a Valkyrie who wanted to explore Limbo, who as a little girl listened to the stories of the haunted souls who went to Limbo and came back with vacant eyes and dessicated minds, women who had lost their legendary love of battle and sex and honor and instead took to sitting in the forests of Valhalla, keening in sorrow over what they had lost -- a piece of themselves, people said -- a vital one.  People talk about that Valkyrie and how she set out to determine what Limbo was, really, and why it did that to Valkyries, whether Limbo could be conquered and if so how.

That Valkyrie, they said, wasn't like the others.  She was different from the rest of them, a Valkyrie more in name than in spirit.  She'd never had a horse, never really had a lover, and when the Valkyrie would ride to battle, that one would hang back, avoiding the bloodlust of the battlefield, the carnage that made other Valkyrie feel alive.

At home, on Valhalla, the woman who'd wanted to explore Limbo hadn't spent her time furthering scientific research, the chosen hobby for most of the residents of that dimension.  She hadn't been interested in the forests, with their peaceful quiet solitude under the mile-high trees.  She had spent her time alone, in her rooms, staring up at the sky, as if she could look into Limbo from her bedroom window itself.

And then, they say, one day, she did -- she had announced excitedly at dinner that she had found a way to see into Limbo and her parents, leery of this development in their strange little girl had said to her that she should show them.

So they went to the window.  Valkyrie can travel the dimensions, but the young are not allowed to do it, and the parents suspected that this girl had simply, precociously, opened a portal between the dimensions without knowing it.  When the Valkyrie do that, they know how to tunnel through Limbo so they never touch its ether, but the girl may not have done that.

So they thought.

They got to her room and saw no portals, saw no dimensional rifts.

"Show us," they told their daughter -- the two women holding hands as they watched their little girl go to the window and stare, intently, up at the sky.

"Look," the girl had whispered.

Her mothers walked to the window and looked into the sky, and saw Limbo -- a great gash in their own beautiful, blue sky over Valhalla where Limbo was clearly visible, its eerie blackness dangerously close to them even up in the sky, and they shuddered.

"How did you do that?" the mothers had asked.

The girl had shrugged.

"I just looked," she said.

The mothers were afraid, though, because this wasn't looking at Limbo: this was an opening into Limbo, and a large one, into the dimension the Valkyrie feared most of all.

Part 22E: Worlds Collide!

So I rush outside, elbowing Target A out of the way, his smelly, saggy belly giving to my arm, and the horse backs up as I head up the stairs from this basement hellhole.

The air outside isn't very much nicer than it was down in the parts room. The street is grimy and dark and the buildings are tall and gloomy.  Raised on Valhalla -- clean, forested Valhalla with its few sparse towers that gleam like pearls made of platinum -- I'm pretty hard on every other place, but there's not many places that would suffer by comparison to New York City.  I felt bad for Rachel having to live here, but only for a moment because I remembered that she'd only lived her for about a day before Target A had taken her body, dismembered it, reassembling her with bits and pieces of others and trying to animate her.

Then I felt bad for Rachel for all different reasons.

The horse points up into the sky. 

There are flying saucers all over the sky, and the sky itself is ugly in a way that I don't like to describe.  It's... boiling, is possibly the only word I can use.  As these flying saucers are spreading over the sky, their cool, dull gray undersides lit by tiny blue running lights, the atmosphere above them is turning liquid and gurgling and churning, like molten lava which in a second was what I realized it was.

"Hell..." I said.

"What?" Target A next to me is barely holding it together.

"It's Hell," I say to him.  "The dimensions must be coming together."

We watch for a second the broiling of the atmosphere.  I wonder if the flying saucers are related to the sky or not.

"We should go," the horse says.

"Go where?" I ask.

We all stare again for a second.  The red glow from the sky is illuminating the street now, but not in a good way.  It's making it uglier, if anything, like everything has a thin sheen of blood on it.  But people have started noticing. I'm not sure what time it is or whether people in a neighborhood like this care much about business hours but whether they do or not, the commotion and light are starting to rouse people, who lean out of windows looking up or walk down the front steps of their tenements.

I hear a sound I'm unfamiliar with, a kind of snurffling followed by a whooosh and then a high-pitched whine that gets higher and higher until it can't be heard, falling right out of the top of the scale.

Above us, tiny missiles appear: someone is fighting the saucers, which are spread in (so far as I can tell) an even pattern above the city.  As the missiles near them, the saucers change their stance a little: I can see one drop below the others, and that one shoots out multiple blue beams, beams that freeze the missiles in their tracks.

The other saucers, above that one, are starting to glow on top, a blue light that is emanating outwards from the domes we can barely see.

"We should get under cover," I say to the horse.

"I'd rather leave."

"We can't cross the dimensions on our own."

"You need to cross dimensions?" Target A says.

I eye him distastefully.  He's important to the plans, in some way -- I was never told what -- but that doesn't change the fact that he's dirty, and out of shape, and that he spent his life cutting up women to make them into slaves.

He's also crying.

Dammit.  Can't the bad guys just be bad?

"Yes," I tell him.

"I know someone who can do that," he says.

"Of course you do.  The people you work for."

He shook his head.  "I don't want to work for them anymore."

A pause.

"It's someone else."

There is more whooshing and high-pitched whines.  I look up at the sky again.  The red, boiling pestilence of Hell's atmosphere is closer, and it's getting hotter, in fact.  Everything around us including us has a red tinge to it.  I can smell sulfur.  From the tops of the saucers, the blue glows are getting bigger and brighter, pressing back against the Hell-sky, almost, like holding the blanket up over your head.

"Who is it?" I ask Target A.

He rubs his hands together.  "I don't know..."

I sigh in exasperation.  "Horse, can you take us someplace more safe than this?  Fly low?"

The man interrupts as the Horse says his name is Simon and yes he can: The man says: "I don't know if we should call her."

"Her who?" I say.  Now, in the sky, there are more missiles bursting against blue force shields.  I can see bits of shrapnel raining down.  The blue saucers are holding steady but the red sky of Hell is looming even closer.  I can hear now a distant hissing sound that I know is a roar that is too far away to register as such.  Hell is crashing onto Earth and I am arguing with a fat vivisectionist in a dark alley.

"I don't know her name." Target A says.  "But I don't think she's very nice."

The protecting flying saucer takes a hit and explodes.  The sky is full of missiles now and I can hear, from farther away, some rumbling that sounds militaryish.  There are darkening circles in the Hell Sky that do not bode well.  We are caught in a battle that is forming in the intersection between two dimensions and one of those dimensions happens to be the one that every other dimension uses as a place of punishment and prison.

"Call her," I say.

The man gets wide-eyed and says "Don't say I didn't warn you," and pulls out a little pennywhistle, which he blows into.

I don't hear anything from that.

The sky is starting to fall:  there are large blobs of actual magma, fist-sized, dropping down onto buildings and another flying saucer has been exploded and people are starting to run and scream now.  We stand there, motionless for a second, staring at the man, who is blowing with all his might into the tiny whistle.

"Let's go," I whisper to Simon the Horse.

"Mom?!" I hear behind me.

Part 22D: You know what this story needs? ANOTHER RACHEL.

Things like is Rachel okay and let's get the hell outta here and back to Valhalla go right out of my mind and I stare at the Mosaic, as do the Valkyries and Target A, who has this gray, pale look about him but I don't notice much because seriously, this Mosaic thing talked.

"Free me," it says now, and we all look at each other, Czaranya and me and the other Valkyrie, but Target A is just shaking and drooling and Rachel is lying there woozily.

"From... um... from what?" I ask, taking the lead.

There is a shimmer in the golden squares that make up the Mosaic and it sort of ripples and shudders a little.

"From this wall," it says.

I have been looking more closely at it and I've realized it's made up of little squares and that the squares are chips, like the kind that are put in people.  Not even like the kind that are put in people. They are the kind that are put in people, on Earth, to let them Share, which is sort of like telepathy but not, as I understand it.

"Who are you?" I ask the Mosaic.

"I'm Rachel," it says.

I look down at Rachel, and think another one?  That's kind of a natural thought, maybe, when you are one of perhaps thousands of clones of one woman, and your whole life has been geared towards proving you are the best of those thousands and then the one that you are the clone of shows up suddenly and not only do you not mind that she's there and you might just have become totally irrelevant but you also fall in love with her.

There's a lot of Rachel's, is my point.

"You are not," Czaranya says, and her frown tells me she's been trying to communicate with the thing telepathically but had to speak. Valkyries hate talking.  Czaranya points to the Rachel on the ground, the one I'm kneeling over.  "That is Rachel."

"I am Rachel," the Mosaic says.  Then a shimmery thing happens and it says "I am Sonja."  The shimmer, again, and "I am Darlene."  Shimmer: "Angela." Shimmer: "Doris."

Now I'm backing away a little as the shimmers get faster and the names get faster, each one said in a different voice, each one clearly a different person:  "LisaJenniferRebeccaAlisonBreeAshleyKellyGretchenAlyssaKaren" it is going on and then there is a flash of light from all of them and it says

"I am Rachel" and things seem to calm down.

For the moment.

"What are you?" I ask.

"I am Rachel," it says.

Target A suddenly wails "It's true! They were all trapped and it's true!" and he goes even more pale and makes a gurgle sound and lunges at the cabinet, trying to I think close it up but Czaranya elbows into him and he falls to the side, clutching at the cabinet door.  The cabinet itself starts to fall forward towards Czaranya and she pulls back but it falls down onto her, trapping her halfway underneath it.  It's nothing for her, I'm not worried about her because the cabinet is really light and the fact that it fell on Czaranya means that it didn't fall directly on Rachel, who was just starting to sit up.

Then a bunch of things happen.  Czaranya starts to lift the cabinet off of her, but Target A is trying to get at it, too, and there's a glow of light from underneath it as Czaranya lifts it up and as I start to try to see if Rachel is okay, she's rolling away from the cabinet and towards Czaranya.  Before I realize what's happened, Rachel has grabbed Czaranya's spear and has pulled it towards her, the spear crackling with the energy that's supposed to kill anyone who's not a Valkyrie but dares to touch it, and the energy is dancing all over Rachel's body and making this fierce acrid smoke. 

"Rachel!" I yell.  "Let it go!"

But she doesn't, and she turns the spear head towards the Mosaic, touches it, and the energy leaps through the gridwork pattern and crackles around it and there is an explosion.  The cabinet is gone, and standing before us is an identical copy of Rachel, only instead of Rachel, or even me, she's basically this woman that looks like us, exactly, only she's made entirely of gold, and her skin is patterned in a tiny grid of golden squares, all over, making her look like a golden mirror ball that has been stretched into a beautiful woman's shape, and her eyes are dark and hollow, and her hair, somehow, is both golden and flowing and slinky and also made of tiny little squares, too.

"I am Rachel," she says again.

We're all just sort of staring there, and Rachel's still holding the spear, which is going nuts, there are blue and gold bolts of energy just arcing around the entire room, and Target A has to duck for it and crawl away, and the horse is backing out and Czaranya, I see, reaches for the spear but then Rachel-Mosaic raises her hands and says


and they are gone:



the spear,

and Czaranya, and the other Valkyrie who I didn't even know her name.

It's just me and Target A.

We stare at each other in the dim light of the workshop for a second, the stench of dead bodies and energy and fighting clouding our senses.

Then, the horse sticks his head in the door and says "I think you better see this."


 THIS IS TECHNICALLY BOOK TWO of the hit series Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World!

Book One, parts of which are still up on this blog if you hunt around, is being prepped for publication and will be available as an ebook and hard copy soon.

In the meantime, as a recap:  Rachel woke up one day wondering who or what she was; she wandered out of the diner where she was a waitress, and on the advice of her Octopus walked south.  There, she met Brigitte and realized that she was a "Lesbian Zombie," a construct made by a man working for a shadowy organization that is holding God hostage in Tampa as part of a plan to rule the 73 dimensions.  With the help of revenants, a fuzzy bird, her clones, and her own daughter, Rachel worked her way through Valhalla, the Bubble world, and several other dimensions before being kidnapped by Bubble.

Now, Book Two is being told by "The Me," a clone of Rachel made by the Valkyries, who with the help of Target A -- the man who made Rachel and all the lesbian zombies -- has to find Rachel and bring her back before all the dimensions collapse.

Exciting!  You bet!

Part 22:  The Me Starts Telling The Story:

22D: You know what this story needs? ANOTHER RACHEL.

22E:  Worlds Collide!

22F: Some backstory on Limbo.

22G: The Me has some company in Limbo.

22H: The Chase, in Limbo.

Josh and Presley wander in the desert, alone with just their horses and those specks on the horizon. Josh is slowly going crazy, and Presley's not talking. That's Buzzards Loop, one of the brilliant stories you'll find in Just Exactly How Life Looks, the new collection of short stories I've published:

You can read Buzzards Loop for free on Scribd (click here). Purchase Just Exactly How Life Looks on (click here) or on your Kindle, starting at 99 cents.

Meanwhile, In Tampa... War Breaks Out Part 3!

“Where did you lose her?” God asked.

“Lose who?” Samson said, but he’d already guessed by the time he said it. Who else, he thought to himself, and then had to focus on the now-rising Valkyrie that had been knocked down by Fuzzy Bird’s arrival. He held up his ray gun, but the redhead was faster than he’d thought. He’d assumed she’d been stunned but it seemed she hadn’t, judging by how quickly she got up and had the spear up and was slashing it towards Fuzzy Bird. Samson head a yell and in his mind he felt her say:

You stole her from us after we’d finally found her! And in his mind he saw, as he’d surmised, Rachel, this time being lifted out of a hole in the tower on Valhalla, in the clutches of this… bird-thing.

Fuzzy Bird spun his head and saw the spear coming and even as Samson saw the spear end glow with a flash of energy, he was being lifted up and so was God, each of them clutched in one of Fuzzy Bird’s talon-paws and rising higher and faster than Samson would have thought possible. Definitely, he thought faster than anything I’ve ever been in and I’ve been in rockets and battle saucers. The battle was already tiny below them, flashed of color from spears mixed with bursts of flame where ray guns hit their marks. Horses lay on their side around the perimeter, many of them dead. Samson knew that wouldn’t especially bother the Valkyries or the horses. That was the horse’s role in life, after all, and Samson knew that the Valkyries were advanced enough to this point that they just kept cloning the horses and then imprinting their prior self’s memories on the new horse using the telepathy they were famed for; Samson was aware of all that because the military had tried it, two wars ago, in an effort to avoid the cost of retraining soldiers. But the humans had minded remembering their deaths, minded it terribly, which was when that project had been scrapped, as so many others had been scrapped by the military simply because of ethical considerations.

Speaking of which, he thought now and began looking for the man he’d brought with him. They were too high up to spot; the entire compound was just a tiny dot now and Samson tried calling up to the bird-thing.

“Hey,” he yelled. “We’ve got to go back.” He looked down again.

Fuzzy Bird kept climbing higher. It appeared not to have heard.

“HEY!” Samson tried again, a little louder. A hand reached over and touched his shoulder.

Try thinking it, God told him through Sharing, and Samson wondered again how it was that this incarnation of God had come equipped with a chip. He must have known, which only made sense, Samson supposed, but when creating an earthly human body for himself, why bother to include the chip and the nerve-wiring that went with it? Wouldn’t He have been able to communicate with all His charges anyway, even absent the chip? Or had He known, suspected, that He was going to be locked out.

“What?” God thought at him and said, aloud, too, and His hand pulled away, sharply as Samson realized that he’d been thinking those things while God had been touching him. He wondered how much had come across, but that was a stupid thing to ponder; the whole point of Sharing was that all of it came across.

All of it.

He thought for a moment and tried to decide what to say. He looked over at God, who looked stricken and confused and angry, all at once.

He was spared answering immediately because Fuzzy Bird stopped, and stopped so abruptly that it made Samson’s stomach lurch.

“How does he do that, so quickly”” Samson wondered aloud.

Then he looked around.

“Why’d we stop?”

They weren’t motionless, entirely. Fuzzy Bird’s wings were a blur as he hovered and Samson imagined he could see the strain on the animal-thing’s face as it worked and worked to hold position.

We are near the edge of the atmosphere, He felt the Bird think to him.

“You can share!” Samson said, like most people forgetting to think it out of his surprise. Even two generations in, Sharing didn’t come naturally to many, so new of an innovation it was in human communication.

Of course I can, Fuzzy Bird said, and then aloud said ***And I can talk, too.***

“We have to go back,” Samson said. He pictured the Compound, and the man, and tried to send a sense of peril, of helping this man.

***You don’t want to help him*** Fuzzy Bird said. His wings were buzzing and whirring. God was still glaring at Samson. ***You just need him***

Yes, that’s true, Samson Shared. But I want to help him because of that, and we DO need him.

“Tell me what you meant,” God said, suddenly. “About Me.”

Samson looked over at him. He couldn’t think what to say and just kept his mouth shut. All the times he and The General had talked about this, and he couldn’t for the life of him think of what they’d strategized about the moment God found out what was going on and who He really was.

Samson suddenly realized that God was reaching out to him and tried to block his thoughts.

“Don’t, Sir, please,” he said, and tried to have his voice echo with the authority of all his commands in all the past situations. If he could urge 3,000 men to charge across a field of molten lava simply for the greater glory of a petroleum company, he should be able to slow down the Hand of God.

As he watched, God pulled his hand back.

I can’t believe that worked, Samson thought, a feeling of immense pride and power flooding into him. I commanded God.

But God was looking over Samson’s shoulder, not at him, and so Samson looked over his shoulder, too, where he saw what God was looking at..

There was a hole in the air, a gaping wide hole that seemed at first to be looking into nothing, and then seemed to be glowing red. As they watched, the hole widened up, and a finger poked through. Then two. Then a whole hand, which reached out for them “We’re going to Hell,” Samson said, with a sigh of relief. “It’s the Grabber!” The troops had won!

He watched as the hand approached and thought to himself that as soon as they landed, he’d have them grab the man, too, to help get to the bottom of things about why God had ordered Rachel and this whole deal about the left hand, which was not supposed to have been on there.

But the hand got to them, and somehow bypassed Samson entirely. It grabbed God, pulling him away from Fuzzy Bird’s clawpaw, and God and the hand disappeared.

Meanwhile, In Tampa... War Breaks Out Part 2

Samson didn’t hesitate. He hadn’t been hiding because he was a coward. He’d hid because he was a veteran of four different wars, counting this one that the world didn’t even know was going on yet (or most of the world, which was the same thing as far as he was concerned, but, then, the last two previous wars hadn’t been general public knowledge, either. The fact that a war was secret, or that it now involved probably 16 different dimensions, didn’t make it any less fatal.) He’d hid because he had to assess the situation, and now, having assessed it with a combative intelligence that had been honed through those three prior wars and the early skirmishes here in Armageddon (for we might as well call it that, he thought to himself as he ran faster and faster towards the Valkyrie) he acted to save God by running directly at the giant naked woman whose sword was plunging directly towards God’s face.

Samson plowed into her with all the force he could muster, holding his ray gun in his right hand. He wasn’t particularly large but had unexpected amounts of strength that he attributed to the time he’d spent in Hell, time that was supposed to have been only a couple of weeks, at most, but the way time differed between the dimensions, he couldn’t tell how long, anymore, he’d been there. Decades, maybe, most of it still haunting the back of his mind no matter what else he thought about. He drove into the Valkyrie with all of that pent up might and rage, and… it did nothing.

Or almost nothing. He shook her enough that the sword missed its mark, didn’t slash through God’s face but narrowly avoided it. Samson didn’t fall back or drop off the Valkyrie, who at first did not seem to have noticed him. He pushed into her and wrapped his arms around her – grabbing around the slim-but-strong waist and pushing more, his right hand still clutching the ray gun. The Valkyrie faltered a little then and looked down at him, still holding God in the air with her other hand.

Samson fired, his right hand swiveling to shoot the ray gun up towards the woman, regretting even as he did it that it would damage her beauty. His finger pulled the trigger down and held it down and he heard the familiar sizzling sound, saw the results as the Valkyrie’s face and hair became burnt, the hair bursting into flame and her face scorching and twisting in agony.

She dropped God as in his mind he felt a burst of images and horrific pain. He was still in contact with her and tried to pull away before Sharing killed him, too. That was one of the first things one learned about hand-to-hand combat: let go before they die. He jumped up, still firing at her with the ray gun, the close range making it all the more effective, as God dropped to his hands and knees nearby.

Samson’s mind whirled with the brief blast of agonizing pain and torture he’d felt and he struggled to regain his composure, but only for a second. He leaned down and put his hand on God’s shoulder.

“Let’s go,” he said. God looked up at him.

“Did you have to do that?”

“She was going to kill you.”


Samson helped hoist him up to his feet. “We have to go,” he said, and he heard that sound again, the bird-thing, coming down, the buzz of its wings like a giant hummingbird, or maybe a helicopter (who’d seen one of those for centuries, he thought, absurdly) and he looked around for the source of the sound. His mind clouded, too, with more images and words as the Valkyries’ telepathy grew more dominant. He realized they were regrouping, forming up a defensive front against the bird and the compound’s guards.

Right around him, he realized with a chagrined feeling. They were enclosing him in a circle where he stood next to the Valkyrie he’d just killed with his ray gun, with God at his side. Words and yells and strategies flitted through his mind, a montage almost too fast and blurry to follow as the squawing sound got louder. He could feel the sound waves pummeling him and he braced himself, as he saw the Valkyries doing.

The squawing, the buzzing, grew louder, overwhelming the sound of the rest of the battle. A Valkyrie backed up, staggering before it, and bumped into him. She turned around. He looked into eyes that were impossibly large, and soft, and bright, surrounded by curly reddish hair underneath a battle helmet. This Valkyrie was only about 3 inches taller than him but still stronger-looking. She had her spear and she looked down at the dead, burnt woman at his feet, then scowled.

He lifted his ray gun as she whirled her spear around to point at him but they were both flattened and pushed back as Fuzzy Bird suddenly landed between them, the squawing stopping, as Fuzzy Bird looked at God.

“Fuzzy Bird!” God said. “You came back!”

“I found her,” Fuzzy Bird said. “But then I lost her.”

Want to find good, inexpensive Nevada Health Insurance? Check out by clicking the link. You'll get quotes from carriers like United Health One, Anthem Blue Cross, and more.

Meanwhile, In Tampa...

Meanwhile, In Tampa:

Samson rolled down and over and came up with water pouring down on him and something heavy and squealing falling on his shoulders. Sputtering and gasping, he clawed at his face and gasped for breath, smelling oily fish scales and hearing nothing but roars and screams. It took a second for him to realize, as his vision cleared, that he’d been right next to the aquarium-wall and that the explosion, whatever it was, must have shattered that.

He stayed down, though, and pulled at the eel-like thing that had fallen on his head and flapped around, squawking and honking as it tried to get back into the water. He was soaked and breathless and needed to get this thing off of his head. In front of him, as the eel flapped, he saw:

Eel: red and yellow and finny and scalyh.

Then the man from the deli looking around blankly, his shoulder on fire.

Then more eel, as a fin drooped over his face and he continued pulling at it, thinking this thing must weigh 300 pounds. He was hampered in moving it because his other hand was digging in his coat.

As the fin lifted he saw one of the armed guards shoving the deli man out of the way and holding a rifle up only to have his head explode and the fin dropped down again.

Samson had grabbed what he needed and now pulled the small ray gun out of his coat where it had been hidden away. He also had shoved the eel off enough that he could try to sit up, only to have the fins flap up and block his view again, just as he’d seen what he thought was a horse flying down.

“Shit,” he said, as he processed that, and, thinking quickly, he ducked back down behind the eel, which continued to squeak and honk and flap, sliming him and blocking his view much of the time. But if it was what he thought it was…

It was. In between flipper-flaps, he saw the horse land and more horses land, with the Valkyries forming a protective circle, horses and spears facing outwards, shooting blasts of energy from their spears at the guards who were coming up the drive and across the forest and out of the house.

But where was God?

And how did they get here?

Samson sat below the eel and thought those things.

Two valkyries took shots from ray guns and went down, their horses moving forwards to cover them. Samson tried to blank his mind out. They would not be able to talk, here, he knew, and so would be using nothing but telepathy. And if they were looking for hostile thoughts, he would not be mask his mind from them. He doughted he could block his thoughts at all, anyway. Not with that many, and not with how his mind was racing. And not with his chip and wiring making it easy for them.

Where is God?

He watched from behind the now-slowing eel’s fins, the fluttering thick leathery substance more weakly moving up and down now as the eel suffocated, and he saw the Valkyries reorienting to take on the bulk of the guards. He saw the deli man come over to him, crawling. His shoulder was still on fire.

“Don’t you feel anything?” Samson hissed as the man got close enough for Samson to reach out and grab his collar. He pulled him closer and beat out the fire, which the man for the first time seemed to notice. “Where’s God?” Samson said, as the man was about to speak. Samson said it and shared it, the question coursing through the tiny filaments that doubled as nerve fibers, his chip picking it up and communicating it to the man’s chip. The image of God, in his sandals and sporty shirt, was transmitted, too.

The man didn’t respond but his mind was a blank and Samson got that. He also got a mixture of emotions back, a blast of confusion and fear and adrenaline and also, he noted, some anger and fear that was hidden in the background – a different kind of anger and fear than the other anger and fear, like tasting the pineapple in a pineapple-orange daiquiri.

It was aimed at him, he realized, and he looked at the man.

“No time for that,” he said, and sent shared some reassurance. “Trust me,” he said, and sent some more reassurance. At least he hoped he’d sent reassurance. It’d been a while since he’d had to do this. He looked out again at the Valkyrie-Guard battle and noticed that some of the women (and beautiful women they were, sexy and large-breasted and bare-chested in some cases and flowing hair and one of them had no pants on, either. Even in the midst of the battle Samson felt his cock harden a little at that and he tried to focus) some of the women were pointing up.

He looked up.

“What the fuck is that?” he asked.

The eel fin flapped once more and Samson missed the first glimpse. The fin lifted and he saw the second glimpse, a giant curly-haired sheepbird thing diving down at a screamingly fast speed, and screamingly was the right word for it, because the bird-thing was shrieking, squawing, so loud that the sound was like a force itself.

It was, in fact, a force, he saw in a moment, as the bird dove and the squaw got louder and the Valkyries were flattened by the sound – almost literally, as they and their horses were knocked over, falling to the ground and scrambling. The bird-sheep thing swooped low over them and through the area, drawing some ray-gun shots from the guards, too, who were uncertain whose side this thing was on and decided that if they didn’t recognize it, it wasn’t on their side even though it had just helped them.

With the Valkyries momentarily down, about ten of the guards swarmed in and began wrestling hand-to-hand with the Valkyries, who were themselves quick to get to their feet. The horses were slower but in seconds there was a battle between armored guards with electrified billy clubs and horses and six-and-a-half foot tall beautiful women holding short swords.

As Samson laid there, looking at the battle and for God, he saw one of the taller Valkyries square off against two armored guards. This was the one that had no pants – she was naked, entirely, her skin an almost-ivory, creamy white color that contrasted with the jet-black ebony flowing hair that was pulled into a ponytail but which hung to nearly her firm, round, buttocks, which Samson found almost hypnotic as they flexed and readied themselves to attack. The guards both held up their clubs, glowing blue with power, and the Valkyrie crouched, all three motionless for a split-second before she dove at them. Her sword jabbed towards the guard on her left, missing him, and missing him badly. Samson wondered how she could have been so far off but then saw: She’d jabbed but started her sword to the right, deliberately missing the blow, which had been a feint to the guard on the left in order to entice the guard on the right to attack her even as she leaped.

Which he did: the guard on the right, no coward, jumped forward himself as he saw the blade stab away from him. But he was himself a jillionth of a second too late, and the Valkyrie had already plunged her magnificent body forward enough that he missed her entirely with his down-sweeping club blow, hitting the club hard against the ground where a hair-breadth before, the Valkyrie had stood.

She, meanwhile, had moved forward while her sword arm swung back on the seemingly missed blow, and the sword arced around behind her, her right arm guiding it without the Valkyrie watching it at all.

Samson had heard stories of Valkyrie battles and he knew that they, through their telepathy, could link minds so that each Valkyrie saw the entire battlefield from the perspective of every other Valkyrie in the battle. They were impossible to sneak up on, impossible to surprise, impossible to outwit, he’d heard, and he saw why, now, as the Valkyrie’s sword, without being watched by its owner, swept around and sliced through the armor of the right-most guard, nearly cutting him in half. Samson heard the guard moan and cry out as the sword bit into him.

The left-guard, meanwhile, had only a brief moment to react, and his reaction had been one of relief as the sword-jab had missed him. His relief lasted not at all as the Valkyrie’s instantaneous, simultaneous leap had driven her into him – his body relaxed in that moment because he thought he’d been spared the sword-blow that was even now cutting his compatriot in half. His relief ended as the beautiful, sexy, deadly warrior drove into him and knocked him down underneath her powerful legs (and, Samson thought, if I was going to be stabbed in the face by a Valkyrie sword, I’d at least like it be while I had her legs wrapped around my head…).

The Valkyrie knelt there, pulling her sword up, and was about to stab down on the man’s face when the bird thing drew her attention, as it came swooping back through on another superfast, superloud pass, its squaw blowing the Valkyrie off the guard entirely and sending her sprawling again. Again, the Valkyries were knocked prone by the wave of sound as the bird thing made its run, and this time the guards were driven down, too.

Samson watched that, too, and saw, among the bodies struggling to stand and begin fighting again, one man already up, seemingly unaffected by this all but confused. God stood amidst the battle with a puzzled look on his face, staring at the receding shape of Fuzzy Bird as the bird-thing rose up to begin another turn and dive again.

Samson saw God’s mouth working, mumbling to himself, and he knew he had to act.

“Wait here,” he told the deli man, and shoved aside the fin to stand up again, hoping he could get to the middle of the scrum and back before that bird thing came back and before the Valkyries and guards began fighting again. Hoping, but certain that he couldn’t. “Don’t move a muscle,” he said. “I’m going to get God out of here.”

With that, he ran towards the middle of the battle, but was not quick enough, as two guards got up first, to be knocked down by a horse who had made it to his feet and was neighing madly. Before Samson could get there, before any more guards could get there, the naked, black-haired Valkyrie made it to her feet and grabbed God by the throat with one hand, lifting him off the ground and holding him in the air with her left hand.

With her right, she aimed her sword at God’s face.