Monday, January 31, 2011

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Three

Day 183: 31 Jan 2011

Black and his guys were on the deck within seconds.

"Everything you've got, boys!" Black yelled.

His men raised their guns -- M4s, M249s, even a rocket launcher. They opened up on the God of the Seas with the last of the obsidian rounds. We could see small chunks flying off, but the rounds weren't hitting deep enough. Even the rocket only managed to kill a tentacle.

Turned out not to be a problem, though. Before Black and his guys could even reload, the God of the Skies appeared in front of us. None of us had heard or seen him approach -- he was suddenly just there. He dove right into the exposed head of the God of the Seas. The noise was awful -- a long, loud screeching wail, and I didn't know which God it was coming from. It hurt our ears powerfully. I clapped my hands over mine, and saw Black and his guys do the same as we watched the two Gods sink below the surface.

Soon after, the water turned red with blood.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Two

Day 182: 30 Jan 2011

Travis floated to the surface today, unconscious and bleeding. Around midnight, the God of the Seas followed. He was neither unconscious nor bleeding. Just huge. And angry.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day One Hundred and Eighty-One

Day 181: 29 Jan 2011

A tentacle here, a fin there, a chunk of what looked like whale blubber every once in a while. It was gross. But chunks of the God of the Seas kept floating to the surface throughout the day and into the night. I thought Travis was winning.

That is, of course, until a human hand popped up on the surface of the water.

"What's going on down there? Any idea?" I asked.

"Nothing good," Jason Black said, shaking his head. "With all this crap floating to the surface, you'd figure your guy's doing OK. But the radar reports we're getting back. . . the God of the Seas isn't getting smaller. It's getting larger."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day One Hundred and Eighty

Day 180: 28 Jan 2011

The fight wasn't going well. And it hadn't been going well for the better part of the last three days.

Cutting was a problem, as I mentioned before. Still, I managed here and there to cut off a fin, a tentacle. No good. They grew back. I was faster, more agile, but the few times the God of the Seas hit me, I thought I would shatter. He hit like a cruise missile.

He'd already broken one of my arms -- and I didn't even know they could break. I was getting tired, and that was a surprise, too. I hadn't been tired since the slug had implanted.

It didn't look good for me at all. But then, I started to hear a familiar voice. It was Jared, and he was in my head.

"You have to get him to surface, even for a fraction of a second," he told me.


Nothing. I was apparently set to receive-only. But I knew what I had to do.

I just didn't have a clue as to how to do it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Nine

Day 179: 27 Jan 2011

Have I mentioned how much I hate the water? I didn't used to, at all. But since this bug got inside me. . . Guh. I feel like a housecat being dangled over a full bathtub out here on this crappy little boat.

I'm not the only one in a bad mood. Black and his Navy buddies are getting bored, restless, angry, or some combination of the three. Radar hits are all over the place. A huge mass will pop up, then go black. And Travis ditching out a couple days back didn't help anyone's mood.

Frustration. Futility. Probably another F-word. These were the feelings on the ship this morning, and I could tell the guys wanted to pack it in. Pull up the anchor or whatever (sue me, I'm not a nautical person), and just haul for shore, hit a bar, and get stupid hammered.

Part of me supported that plan. Part of me was worried about Travis. But that plan got put on hold just past sunrise this morning.

Because that was when the first chunk of the God of the Seas -- a severed piece of tentacle a meter long -- broke the surface.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Eight

Day 178: 26 Jan 2011

Days were passing in a fog. I was dimly aware of the medic, Briggs, checking my condition every so often. Sounds and colors filtered in and out. My eyes responded to my commands to open about half the time, but my vision was sketchy.

But then, suddenly, today -- hyper-awareness. I could see, feel, know everything. I knew what was kicking around in my bloodstream. L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, if you're wondering. I knew the room temperature was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Briggs needed a shower.

More than that -- I could see through Travis' eyes. Knew he was underwater, just barely keeping it together against our father. I could communicate with the Gods of the Seas, Skies, Land.

And I knew Travis wasn't going to survive without help.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Seven

Day 177: 25 Jan 2011

Finding something underwater isn't easy in the best of circumstances. It's dark, cold. Radar can be fooled. And now that my slug was a vegetable, I had no link to the God of the Seas' mind.

Still, my visual memory is pretty decent. I remembered the radar and sonar readings from the not-a-fishing-boat on the surface, so I had a general direction in which to go. My eyes are better underwater than they are even on land, so I figured I'd spot something his size pretty easily.

Didn't happen. Not quickly, anyway. The thing about the Atlantic Ocean -- there's a fucking lot of it, even when you're only going a few miles. There's a whole depth factor we don't have to deal with on land.

That's not to say I didn't find him eventually, because I did. After lord knows how many hours of swimming around down there -- it was after the sun had risen and set -- I finally spotted him. He was not exactly hiding, but not exactly out there in plain sight, either, floating below one of North Carolina's barrier islands. I tried to sneak up on him, but here's the thing -- he can see in all directions at once. So that wasn't going to happen, at all.

He charged at me as soon as he saw me, and even my brain-damaged slug could still hear him howling in rage. I brought up the blade.

Blades don't work well in water. Not swords, anyway. It's a physics thing -- too much resistance for them to get up any speed. Without speed, there's almost no slicing power. I didn't know this until just the second I tried to strike at the God of the Seas. It wasn't a good way to get a physics lesson.

I realized I was in a lot of trouble.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Six

Day 176: 24 Jan 2011

Yarg. I hate the sea and everything in it.

Yeah, I watch "The Simpsons." A lot. And that quote. . . Well, it's getting more and more appropriate the longer I hang out on the deck of this damned fishing boat.

Of course, it's not. I mean, not really a fishing boat. Just looks like one. In addition to me, Jason Black, and Cassie, there are five other guys here. One introduced himself as Captain Laporte -- Army, I think. The other four didn't say much, but all of 'em are armed to the teeth. More of Black's Shadow-Person buddies.

They saw the God of the Seas floating out here a couple of days ago, motionless, adrift. Three of the guys who don't talk much -- I think they're Navy -- set up this boat in a hurry, and loaded it with guns and tech. They haven't seen the God of the Seas since, but the radar says he's close by. I guess we're just. . . I don't know. Waiting? For him to surface and start fucking shit up again?

Fuck that.

Around midnight tonight, I decided I'd had enough waiting. I was still armed. The blades the God of the Skies had given Cassie were still in my bag.

When no one was looking, I grabbed both blades. Then, I simply dove into the black Atlantic Ocean. It was time to end this, one way or another.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Five

Day 175: 23 Jan 2011

They must have me on some drugs. Physically, I feel a whole lot better. Mentally is a different story. Everything is hazy, confusing, surreal. Time doesn't seem to be moving in a straight line anymore.

I'm aware of some things. There's a kid named Briggs looking after me. We're in some kind of hospital or infirmary. We're close to the Atlantic Ocean. Travis, Cassie, and the Air Force shadow guy are off on a mission.

I'm very tired. I need sleep.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Four

Day 174: 22 Jan 2011

Portland Airport to Wilmington International Airport. Direct flight on a nearly empty commercial plane. It was just me, Jared, Cassie, Black, Eric Drake, and some young Air Force guy named Briggs.

Turns out Briggs was a medic. That was fortunate, because Jared was looking like shit. Briggs confirmed it -- Jared was poisoned. The slug was probably dead. Jared's thick, gray skin was peeling away, showing new pink skin underneath.

"Will he live?" I asked.

"Don't know," Briggs said. "Not like they cover this in paramedic training. I'll keep an eye on him."

When we landed in Wilmington, I realized I was home. It was strange-- I hadn't thought of this place as home (or,really, at all) since, I don't know, shit started going haywire out in the desert months ago. But here I was. Presumably, I still had an apartment here.

"Come on," Black said to me and Cassie. "We have to meet some people."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Two

Day 172: 20 Jan 2011

We surfaced off the coast of Virginia today, and my cell got a signal as we neared land. I called Cassie. She let me know she and Eric Drake had linked up, and were driving south from Vancouver back to Las Vegas. Black arranged a ride. We'll meet them in Oregon tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-One

Day 171: 19 Jan 2011

Took a couple days, but the God of the Seas lost us in the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic. He was too fast. He dove too deep. There was no way we could follow.

Black and I agree it's pointless to stay out here. He knows we're looking. This is his turf, not ours, and he's proven he can evade us eventually. We'll just have to wait until he pops his head up again.

Now we just have to get close enough to the States to surface and get a cell signal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy

Day 170: 18 Jan 2011

Fear was the first to came back. Cold, directionless, inexplicable terror punched its way through the fog. For a long time -- I don't know how long, but it seemed like weeks -- that was all I was aware of. No sense of self, place, time. Only the fear.

The next sensation to appear wasn't much better: pain. My chest felt like it was full of angry killer bees. Stomach was doing its best to crawl up my esophagus, too. But at least I was aware of my body now.

Then sounds, but not sounds. They were screams, wails inside my head. The slug. He was fighting for his life, and he wasn't winning that battle. Not even close.

Then, today, I opened my eyes. I was in the back of an SUV. The voices and thick haze of cigarette smoke confirmed who had me. The Russians. One of them noticed my eyes were open, and jabbered in that incomprehensible damned language of theirs to his buddies. One of them poked me hard in the ribs, and I tried to raise my arms to stop him. It was way harder than it should have been. Slow. Weak. Apparently the slug wasn't the only one fighting for his life.

We stopped some time later. Minutes? Hours? I couldn't tell. I tried to struggle, but again -- too slow and weak. I wasn't putting up much of a fight.

The Russians kicked me to the ground. I was there on my knees, struggling to look around, when a man in a black suit walked into view. He blocked the sun from my eyes. I could make out his face -- Chinese. Something in my brain tried to recognize him, but the thoughts wouldn't connect. I knew him. I just couldn't place him.

He said something in Russian to my escorts. Money in briefcases changed hands. The Russians took off. The Chinese guy I couldn't recognize knelt down to face me, his face splitting into a wide grin.

"Hello, Mr. Jared," he purred. "You look as if you might die. Please don't do that, at least for a little while. We have much payment to extract from you, you see. And we do want our money's worth -- you weren't cheap."

Two of his men -- I didn't even see them coming -- hauled me to my feet. They hustled me to the backseat of another SUV, but one of them suddenly screamed. His yell only made it halfway out of his throat. A quick gurgling sound, and I heard him hit the ground behind me.

There were more screams. Gunfire. The SUV's windshield broke. Then I was being dragged out of the SUV, back into the light.

It was Cassie and another guy I knew I should recognize but didn't. Small guy, white, crazy hair, covered in tattoos.

"He looks like hammered shit," the white guy said, holstering a large handgun.

"Jared! You still with us?" Cassie asked.

All I could do was nod.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Nine

Day 169: 17 Jan 2011

The Russians have had Jared in the car for two days now, traveling slowly northeast from Nevada. They don't seem to be in any particular rush.

They've stopped a few times, but not at anywhere interesting -- gas stations, hotels. If we didn't know about their formerly human cargo, we might just assume it was a couple of dudes on a long-ass road trip somewhere.

So they meander north, and Eric Drake and I follow. It's almost painfully boring.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Eight

Day 168: 16 Jan 2011

Shit. He's sped up. I had no idea he could do that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Seven

Day 167: 15 Jan 2011

Still on the chase, and not gaining any ground. Or gaining any sea, I guess. Whatever. We're stationary. Once we get to open water, though, away from the coast, Black and I have a plan that just might change the game.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Six

Day 166: 14 Jan 2011

We staked out the Russians all day yesterday and most of today. Their security was extremely tight.

Finally, late tonight, we saw them move Jared. They wrre dragging him by his arms, but he didn't put up a fight. He looked horrible.

"Come on," Drake said. "They move, we follow."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Five

Day 165: 13 Jan 2011

We caught up to the God of the Seas off the coast of Spain this morning. He's moving pretty damn fast. We're in a nuclear-powered submarine and barely keeping up. Unless he slows down, we won't be able to fire our weapons at all. I'd hate to be stuck out here, just on his tail, forever. We need a new tactic.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Four

Day 164: 12 Jan 2011

We were starting to think Eric was jerking us around. Midnight came and went, but Drake was a no-show. Finally, around 1:30, we said "Fuck it" and left.

Briggs had to check in at Nellis, so I was on my own. I headed for my apartment. When I got there, Eric Drake was sitting on my couch.

"Good," he said. "You lost the spook. Now we can talk like normal folks."

I wanted to explain that Briggs wasn't a spook, he was Air Force, but Drake didn't give me a chance.

"Ready to go?" he asked.


"Out North. To where the Russians have your boy."

"Lead on," I said.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Three

Day 163: 11 Jan 2011

It looked like a normal commercial flight at Louis Armstrong, but Briggs and I were the only passengers. We landed in Las Vegas at 10 p.m., and were met by an unmarked black Dodge Charger. We didn't go through Security at either airport.

"Where are we supposed to meet your guy?" Briggs asked, accepting a small gun -- an MP5 -- from the Charger's driver.

"Bellagio," I said. "Midnight."

"You heard the lady," Briggs told the driver, and the Charger burned rubber out onto the Strip.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Two

Day 162: 10 Jan 2011

The Air Force dropped me off at Pope Air Force base in North Carolina yesterday and set me up with a ride. A nice young Airman named Briggs was assigned to drive me to New Orleans. The kid was all of about 12, but he was pleasant enough. We rode in one of the military's bone-stock unmarked Dodge Chargers, making pleasant small talk on the 15-hour drive to Louisiana.

That is, until my phone rang. I checked the caller ID -- it said "Unknown," but I answered it anyway.


"Cassie. Eric Drake. Remember me?"

"Sure. What's up, Eric?"

"I'm back in Vegas. Business is getting underway again here. There's talk. The Russians are saying they've seen your guy Jared around."

"How solid is your intel?"

Shit. Hanging out with Black too much. I'm starting to sound like one of these Special Operations guys.

"Pretty solid. Russians are piss-scared. West Coast guys, too."

I covered the mouthpiece and turned to Briggs.

"How fast can you get us to Las Vegas?"

"I'll make a call," Briggs told me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty-One

Day 161: 09 Jan 2011

Boredom under the seas, day three. We actually had a sonar contact today, but it turned out to be nothing. Just a big Russian sub crawling along at low speed. It was out of its territory, but so were we, so we both ignored each other.

I'm beginning to think it would be faster if I just launched myself out of a torpedo tube and went looking on my own.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day One Hundred and Sixty

Day 160: 08 Jan 2011

You ever spent a couple of days on a submarine? It's pretty boring, trust me. I read a lot today, and that's it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Nine

Day 159: 7 Jan 2011

Aboard the submarine, Black handed me a uniform and a pack with safety gear in it.

"No thanks," I said. "If this thing gets sunk, I'm in better shape than any of you."

He shrugged and mumbled something.

"So, what do we do here?" I asked. "Just hang out and wait?"

"Pretty much," Black said. "The God of the Seas, he ain't small. He can't hide for very long. The crew is all briefed, so they'll page when they see him."

They didn't. Not today, anyway.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Eight

Day 158: 06 Jan 2011:

The submarine surfaced just off the coast of Iceland today as military cleanup teams landed at the airport. I don't know who this Jason Black guy really is, but he has way too much pull to be just a Captain in the Air Force. Seriously.

Travis and Black are heading out on the submarine, while the God of the Skies is back up in the air somewhere, resting and healing. Me? No one's bothered to tell old Cassie what to do yet, so I think I'll just sleep for a couple of days. Been awake too long.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Seven

Day 157: 05 Jan 2011

Well, that worked like a charm. We managed to take out most of Jared's forces, I think. Plenty of corpses. We'll have to tally them up, but I just know Jared escaped. It's what he does.

But there isn't time. I have to keep fighting. I managed to imitate the God of the Seas to get Jared and his people to come running, but now I need to take him out for good. And I have just the weapon to do it.

A short break. . .

Because this makes me giggle like a giddy little child.

That's some august company, that is.

Hey! If you haven't yet, come over and check out, and the blog at -- the official site and blog, respectively, of my book that's releasing from Carina Press in less than two weeks.

Back to your regularly-scheduled 200 Days action tonight.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Six

Day 156: 04 Jan 2011

My men swam ahead of me -- they would assist our father, and I would hang back and deal with Travis myself. Part of me -- Jared -- screamed and railed against killing him, but that part is so easy to sublimate. Travis was a dead man.

But something was wrong. Far ahead of me, I could see several of my men stop moving. They hung in the water, inactive, stationary. In my mind, I heard their lives slowly ebbing. In the dark water, some of my men collided with the dying ones, and more after that.

Poison, I realized. Get out. . . get out NOW! I screamed into my people's minds. I turned around and sped back to the shore. As I pulled myself onto the land, I began to vomit.

A few hundred of my men staggered out after me, all hitting the ground, too. I could tell many of them were near death, and the rest were quite sick, like me. More than two hundred others were dead, sinking slowly to the sea floor.

And suddenly, Travis was there, a machine gun in one hand, one of the God of the Skies' obsidian swords in the other. He smiled. Then he started shooting.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Five

Day 155: 03 Jan 2010

The attack finally came today, and it was brutal.

First, there were the helicopters, MH-60 Black Hawks. They were fast and agile, and throwing the obsidian-tipped rounds that had already killed scores of my men. We lost hundreds.

But then the helicopters moved off, and I thought we were in the clear. Our troop strength was still at more than a thousand then. But as night fell, the second wave came.

We didn't hear them coming. It was the God of the Skies, with Cassie riding upon him. He swept low through the city, his obsidian wings slicing through a hundred soldiers at a pass. My men cut and slashed at him. I'm sure he was wounded, but not enough to stop him from cleaning out at least half of my remaining men.

But that wasn't all. In fact, it wasn't even the main attack. As my men were dying by the hundreds, I heard a call from our father. A call of distress. Travis was underwater now, off the coast, attacking him.

I took the rest of my men and went in after him as midnight dawned.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Four

Day 154: 02 Jan 2011

I'm starting to worry now. My men didn't find anything at the CIA airstrip. Where the fuck are they?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Three

Day 153: 01 Jan 2011

Just heard back from my men. No sign of Travis and his people. I want to move on, but our father says no. He says we are to stop them here, kill them and their god before travelling onward and fulfilling our mission of conquest.

So I'll speed up the timetable. I've sent two of the men from the advance recon team under order of stealth to the airport to make sure the plane landed there. They should report back within hours.