The Lift

Polly was late for work. Everything had been going wrong. She had slept through her alarm this morning. How could that happen. She felt grimy, because in all the rush she hadn’t hadn’t time to shower. She had laddered her tights, snagged on something on the tube. She had had to stand the whole way from Holborn.

Now she was waiting for the lift at her office building on Canary Wharf. A magnificent building that rose into the sky, floor upon floor, as it dominated this part of the London horizon. She was involved in the bizarrest of conversations.

“Believe me lady, you don’t want to catch this lift.”

“Yes. I do.”

“No Ma’am,” replied the smaller, compactor of the two, “not now, not this lift.”

“But this is my lift, I work here.”

“Not this lift Ma’am, try later, or that one over there.”

Polly wanted to scream, but she was still holding it together.

“Listen to me. This is my lift. I catch it everyday. I am very late. I am catching this lift.”

“Can’t let you do that Ma’am.”

“And stop calling me Ma’am. Are you Americans?” she asked exasperatedly.

“No Ma’am, we are adventurers.”

Polly paused for thought. They were two of the weirdest guys she had seen in a long time. It wasn’t the brightly coloured hair and beards or the alchemical symbols tattooed on their faces. It was their costumes. Like two guys from a SWAT team, but tie dyed instead of camouflage. Perhaps that was their camouflage. Both men carried large holdalls.

“Gentlemen, I am catching this lift.”

“Okay Ma’am,” replied the smaller, who now accepted that the persistent woman was going to share their ride. He had introduced himself as Walter. “And this is André,” he indicated his larger companion.

“Like the giant?”

“Yes, like the giant.”

“Weird,” she muttered to herself, “who are these nutters?”

“Not nutters Ma’am,” said André, in a voice that was decidedly silken for a man of his stature, adventurers.”

“Adventurers with supersonic hearing?” she muttered again embarrassedly.

“Yes Ma’am, it comes in handy.”

“On adventures?”

“Yes Ma’am, on adventures.”

Polly was saved from any more of this whack job conversation by the ding of the bell. The lift doors whispered open.

Standing either side of the door, the two mismatched, but identically dressed men bowed their heads and held out an arm, inviting her to enter first. With a few unexpected butterflies in her stomach, Polly stepped into the lift.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar ©2017/18

 

 

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To get a free eBook of THE LIFT, click on the link          THE LIFT – FREE BOOK

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bubble

The bubble slowly rose to the surface carrying all the hopes and aspirations of a planet. It was the first.

The Boy carried his wooden sword proudly. He had walked many miles away from the area of the devastation. The cities lay in ruins. All vestiges of technology were gone. Hulking wrecks that were once mighty, now collosus collections of smashed steel and concrete. Roaming gangs like packs of rats swarmed the land devouring stragglers and lone travellers and yet still the Boy walked proud.

Corpses, mostly human, scattered the land, filling the air with that sweet smell of putrefaction and occasionally the Boy gagged with the stench of it, but still he carried on.

They stood blocking the road. Five men, faces burnt by radiation. Clothes blackened by filth and flame. What weapons they carried were simple but effective. The boy saw a hammer, some form of club or bat, chains, a rake, even the broken remains of a metal chair.

The threat was more a growl than language but the Boy understood. His sword was smooth, curved and carved from white oak from another land. It shone in the evening light from it’s lovingly polished wood.

It’s first kiss was against the temple of the leader. There was a loud crack as the bone shattered but the Boy was in flight now. Spinning away from the falling body he brought the blade down in a cut on a shoulder, the wooden sword breaking rather than cutting the collar bone. A deflection inwards caught the line of the jaw and another dropped.

A roar behind him, caused him to pivot on the loose ground. A large wrench smashing down at his head. Moving subtly the Boy drifted like a wisp of smoke as the metal club crushed the empty air. Two small cuts of his blade almost like magic broke the descending arm at wrist and elbow and the wrench crashed down harmlessly hitting the ground almost simultaneously as the edge of the Boy’s sword ‘cut’ through the throat, crushing the thorax with it’s polished wooden edge.

A detached part of the Boy’s consciousness remembered his Master and the moment he had presenting him with this beautiful blade that had become a part of him. A symbiotic partner that together weaved a life of love, motion and magic.

“Remember my Son, it is a sword. Whether finest folded steel or gift of the forest the man and the blade become one.

The Boy continued on his journey. Behind him the scavengers remained, broken and quiet, and somewhere the bubble arrived at a surface, where it crossed into the emptiness and so, again, it began.

 

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2017

Original artwork by Faramond Frie

Beano Grigio

Beano Grigio was a confidence trickster. He didn’t really know what he was doing here, because Beano Grigio moved on the edges of the underworld.

He knew enough about his host to know that he was one of the good guys. When he had received the invitation to dinner he had thought it was a joke. There wasn’t a great deal known about Lord Stiletto in the general ‘Verse, but there were all kinds of myths and legends about his fabled tech star, Sunshine, on the edge of the Horse Head Nebula, his incredible team of genius scientists and engineers, and of course his dinner parties. In truth there was virtually nothing known about Lord Stiletto, but in the dark fringes of the ‘Verse where Beano comfortably moved, there were plenty of rumours.

Beano was dying to use the bathroom. That was another one of those rumours. It was said that it was never the same one twice. It was said that when one entered, the room was selected from thousands. It could be an exact replica of a Roman bathroom, replete with senators communally sharing the other pots, a spotless iridium creation from some Nebulan designer, or the famous ceramic urinals from the lavatory of a public house in the centre of Liverpool.

Beano Grigio may be an interesting and questionable character, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t cultured. Still he was bursting. The reason for his reticence was that rumour said that the bathrooms weren’t fascimiles, but the real thing, and worse, anyone rude enough to disturb the harmony of Stiletto’s table, or unwise enough to try to turn the occasion to their advantage, would find themselves exiting their bathroom, and discovering they were in a cafe or a diner somewhere in the middle of nowhere, on the farside of some forgotten planetary system.

Lord Stiletto was observing his guest with interest. Beano needn’t have worried. The only guests at his table were very close friends or in Beano’s case those that were going to be. For Lord Stiletto was a Master of the space time continuum, and Beano Grigio had a very interesting future.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2017

To Read Beano Grigio you can buy the eBook from Amazon. For a link to your nearest Amazon go to my book page.

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The Adventures Of Miss Ann Thrope

The sound of the explosion was deafening. Sanguine, Miss Ann Thrope gently squeezed her trigger and another merk evaporated. She never really understood the technical function of the futuristic weaponry her friend provided, just that they worked.
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Whipping around with a lightning speed that belied her appearance, she casually erased three more. That’s how she saw this space pistol, or ray gun as she told it to her grandchildren at their bedtime stories, like an erasure, rubbing out a smudge on her beautiful pencil drawings.
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Racing ahead at breakneck speed she dived low under a hatch to the left, coming out in a roll as her eraser led before her and sent a volley of precision shots into the troops trying to pin her down with their erratic fire.
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Silently Miss Thrope edged her way down the metallic corridor with the low level lighting. In this future age, security was controlled by the Station which was almost sentient. In the age Miss Thrope chose to make her home, they were just coming to terms with intelligent fridges and central heating that linked into the home computer network.
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In the distant future every surface, space, temperature gradient, any physical existence was controlled and monitored by the Station.
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The only way to possibly be covert was with some very special counter technology, like physical hacking. Miss Thrope walked down the corridor with complete confidence of, in essence, being an invisible undetectable physical virus.
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That was her first mistake.
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The creature that sank it’s huge claws into her shoulder pulled her back off balance. Sentient itself, it paused just a little too confidently before sinking it’s scything savage jaws into it’s victim.
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Having dropped her eraser Miss Thrope was surviving purely on instinct. The long bladed stiletto from her wrist sheath appeared in her hand and was thrust through the soft flesh below the lower jaw and hopefully into it’s tongue. With a roar of pain the great leviathan reared back opening up the wound and nearly tearing Miss Thrope’s arm out of it’s socket. Over-riding the terrible pain in both shoulders she took an incendiary grenade from her harness and activating it via her neural net, threw it down the roaring throat of the beast. Her friend’s grenades were very sophisticated. She picked “bang” on a scale from one to ten, of two.
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“Should have picked one,” she thought to herself as she limped down the metal passageway, completely deafened and covered in ribbons of stinking flesh.
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Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2016 2018
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To enjoy THE ADVENTURES OF MISS ANN THROPE you can buy it via my book page
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The Uppsala Contract

It was the most unusual contract she had taken. The girl in Uppsala, obsessed with a serial killer.

Miss Thrope waited in the London fog. The smell was disgusting. Menthol rub inside her nostrils, an old trick, didn’t seem to help at all. She heard the wheels on the cobbles long before the carriage arrived. She held back, in the shadows. Not long ago she had left Uppsala, wearing a beautiful Victorian dress, much admired by her twenty first century friends for its authenticity. She hadn’t admitted she had just bought it a few hours ago in nineteenth century Harvey Nichols & Co.

The gentleman in the top hat watched the carriage leave and turned towards his club, to be confronted by a beautiful lady with sparkling eyes. Usually an admirer of young women, he was taken by her flawless complexion, and yet, dancing lines at the corner of her eyes.

“Enchanting,” he said, as he bowed.

His heart suddenly started hammering. It was so loud, he thought, they’d hear it in the club.

The lady’s delicate manicured hand was holding a scalpel, that reason told him, was in his jacket pocket.

She stepped towards him, as if in embrace, and speaking in a strange accent, English but not of his experience, she murmured, “I hear they call you Jack,” and sighed inwardly as she ruined yet another wonderful dress.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar ©2017 2018

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To enjoy THE ADVENTURES OF MISS ANN THROPE you can buy it via my book page
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The Student

It was part of her therapy.

Aiasdotter had suffered both psychological and physical torture at the hands of The Hyrm, and although she had been “healed” by Stiletto’s medical technicians there was still the “pain.”

Aiasdotter had been given to “Schripp, and his first act had been both training aid, and bonding technique. He had taken away her vision.

It was only temporary, a blockage of the functioning of the occipital cortex, and she knew that when she earned it, she would get her sight back.

The crack of the shinai against the men grill of the Kendo armour made her head rattle, although in truth it was only a light tap.

“Feel,” ‘Schripp encouraged for the hundredth time. Again, she waited. It wasn’t like being in the dark, there was no light, no vision. All her other senses had become incredibly acute. She could smell ‘Schripp’s sweat in the confines of the room and hear the slow beating of his heart, but the physical senses were not fast enough for what she was trying to do. She had to feel the attack.

Time and again ‘Schripp had told her, “you must feel the intent. Do not think.”

Months had been spent disciplining her mind, that she might learn to lose her thoughts.

There was no noise, no movement, just her own action. The shinai in her hands moved with lightning speed, to be held vertical by her left ear and the crack of the bamboo was deafening.

Her feeling of triumph was short lived as a fraction of a second later the right side of her men was lightly struck, and that patient voice spoke right beside her.

“And again.”

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018
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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Assassination

Lady Bane shed a silent tear as she threw the blue rose into Stiletto’s gaping grave.

The unseasonal mist sent cold fingers around the gravestones in the Oxford cemetery, and glancing over at his companions ringing the graveside, Gregory pulled his overcoat collar up against the drizzling rain and walked away to the waiting cars.

Henrik, a nice young man at heart, had been told to up the ante. The order to assassinate Lord Stiletto had come directly from The Rabbit and Henrik was under a great deal of stress and confusion.

He wasn’t a killer, he knew that in his heart, and basically, he quite liked Gregory and Stiletto when he had met them in the now destroyed Sweden, and that vanished reality of his planet Earth. He realised that he now owed his life to The Rabbit, but deep inside he knew he wasn’t a murderer.

Lord Stiletto was out driving in the Oxfordshire countryside in his favourite Bugatti. It was an original car from 1939, one he had picked up from the Milan home of Ettore Bugatti himself, just as the second world war was kicking off. He had driven it down to Sicily where he had shipped it over to Malta using his contacts, and there stored it in a cave on the small adjacent island of Gozo.

Now he was racing along the road to Lechlade, wind buffeting his bowler, goggles firmly in place.

Henrik had gone for an indirect method of murder. His choice, spiked metal sheets, nailed into the tarmac surface of the Lechlade road. Almost immediately behind the caltrops he had parked a traction engine, recently stolen from the neighbouring village’s steam fair. He felt a nascent thrill knowing Stiletto’s love of the arcane and ancient.

Stiletto came around the corner in third, at eightyfive miles per hour, and saw the traction engine stationary in his path. Slamming his right foot on the brakes and taking his foot off the gas, powering fuel in to the super turbo charged engine, he skidded sideways down the narrow Cotswold roadway. When he hit the caltrops, the tyres exploded on the sharp metal spikes, and the beautiful old car began to roll, as it left the ground, and accelerated towards the waiting engine.

Henrik had been having second thoughts about his murderous course, several days before the date with Stiletto, and had taken the opportunity to send a message to Gregory. Stiletto took some persuading to sacrifice his beautiful sports car, but with Haydrift Eaglebeard as a passenger, and some nifty hand jive, the two friends were travelling through an alternate dimension as the classic sports car, almost a national treasure, exploded in a ball of fire as it slammed into the huge steel roller that fronted the traction engine, artfully placed in the Bugatti’s path.

 

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015 2018

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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Tram

Eight Earth weeks earlier….

The image was burnt onto the surface of Gregory’s retinas. The pink manic eyes of The Rabbit in the window of the Belgian tram.

Stiletto had taken a wrong turn, in more than one sense of the word. Now his car was screaming in reverse between medieval buildings as the looming city tram gained on the startled friends.

The day had begun much better. Here in Ghent, to attend the Science Fiction Convention, Gregory, Stiletto and Lady Bane had arrived in good time and made their presence in the great hall. Comic artist legend, Ian Gibson, a well-respected Master of the genre, and well represented in Lord Stiletto’s fabled library, was unexpectedly at the adjacent table. Stiletto was delighted to meet this unsuspecting mentor, and was fortunate to spend quite a lot of time learning from the old Master. Was this why he miscalculated the shenanigans of The Rabbit? Like an avalanche that starts with a single pebble, the origin of Karma is often lost in the mists of events.

Rubber tyres burnt and howled as Stiletto accelerated the reversing car, horn blaring to clear the Saturday evening crowds. Once over the small bridge he applied his handbrake as the car squealed in a tight arc almost about its front axis and shot backwards in a straight line down the narrow side street.

The tram hammered past, stuck on its tracks. It was the Girl with the red hair, commented Lady Bane. A part of Gregory’s mind had noticed her, driving the tram at the retreating car, but most of his horizon had been filled with the piercing pink eyes of The Rabbit.

Gregory was reasonably sure that vampires didn’t exist, at least in the daytime, so he was quite surprised to meet a Steampunk one. He and Sarah were manning the table whilst Stiletto was off wandering the halls. It was the teeth that were so fascinating. Apparently, she paid thousands for the dental work.

Lady Bane had seen some sights in her life. Stiletto coming through the door in his shirt sleeves and waistcoat, but still wearing his bowler hat and goggles, threw the broken and bloody chair leg into the waste paper basket.

“Goddamn vampires,” he spoke calmly as he took his empty pipe from his pocket and nonchalantly put it between his teeth.

“What, not the one talking to Gregory,” she asked in amusement.

“The very same,” he chuckled, taking the pipe out to speak,

“quite besotted!”

 

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015 2018

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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Pain

In the end it was all down to the slime. The slime extracted from the gall bladder of a very angry space cucumber. It was from this special ingredient that was made a neural pathway that allowed the user to explore the secrets of the universe.

Gregory had been metaphorically bashing his head against the walls of reason, trying to come up with a plan to rescue Aiasdotter, when all along what was required was the ability to slip under the surface.

Lady Sarah looked like she had gone several rounds with a Megafraken pit fighter, and that was before Stiletto’s technicians changed her face. It was she who had volunteered to use the slime to penetrate the dark planet of The Hrym.

Like a corrupted Japanese Daimyo listening to the screams of a boiling Dutch cabin boy, The Hrym was carried away by the music coming from Aiasdotter’s cell. He didn’t have to actually be present, as he was aware of everything. He brought a whole new meaning to the oft’ misunderstood concept of multi-tasking.

The Hrym was a connoisseur, and just as the conductor of the Berlin Symphonia could hear the minutest change in the tone of his lead violinist’s E string, so too, The Hrym felt the minutest of fluctuations in the terror and pain experienced by his erstwhile brilliant and efficient private secretary.

Connected to his neural network, The Hrym connected straight to the cell where Aiasdotter was being kept and tortured.

In the Hrym’s future world the dimensional reality of neural communication and entertainment had come a long way from the 3D cinema and TV back at the beginning of the 21st Century Earth. Now it was like he was in the cell, and had brought his presence with him.

Sat there in the chair was Aiasdotter, and yet The Hrym knew it was not her. His supermarket suit and shiny shoes changed to a red colour as the sensitivity of the neural net picked up the subtle shift that his physical presence would never reveal.

The colour change was a step too far. Haydrift Eaglebeard who had been stood silently in the corner lost momentary control. Using an ancient Tibetan meditation technique, he had been holding himself in a stasis of No Thing whilst the switch between Aiasdotter and Lady Sarah had taken place.

Seven and a half seconds were required and to Sarah strapped to the plastic chair, it seemed like an infinite moment of torment.

Suddenly The Hrym was standing before her, face almost catatonic in its banality, and yet his whole presence burning red like Lucifer on a bad day.

And then, that kindly face stepped from the corner and with a few waves of his hand, the pain was gone.

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2014 2018

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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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The Spectacles

The friends had gathered for a dinner at Gregory’s private dining room at the Savoy. Gregory mused that they could be forgiven for being mistaken for a private dining club rather than a close-knit band of cosmic adventurers.

Lord Stiletto had particularly enjoyed the quail although he had some issues with eating them. But what was the difference between them and organic poultry, or estate shot pheasant. Just because they are cute he supposed. Not a thought he would have been too happy sharing with the table. It was good that the seven were all together again. A magical number, although in truth and secret they were nine. He was just settling down to some goats’ cheese when they were disturbed by a knock on the door, and the Maître d’, profusely apologising for the interruption, supervised the wheeling in of a large widescreen TV. He placed a remote control, and an engraved wooden box in front of Gregory, bowed and left the room, silently closing the large double doors behind him.

“What the devil,” growled Eaglebeard.

“I thought there were no interruptions,” commented Magnus.

“Is it a surprise?” asked Lady Sarah.

“Sorry,’’ replied a disturbed Gregory, “I’m as much in the dark as you are.”

“Then you had better press play,” said ‘Schripp, his empty sockets holding them all where his useless eyes had been removed, and skin transplanted from his buttocks had been grafted over to cover them.

Gregory picked up the remote control and meeting the eyes of his friends, carefully pressed play.

Sat in a simple plastic chair, terror etched into the lines around her eyes was the limp and haggard form of Aiasdotter.

Held loosely in her bleeding and bruised hands was a small wax sealed package.

“I think you had better open the box,” said Stiletto calmly.

“It might be a trap,” purred the Lady Susanna.

“I don’t think so,” replied Gregory, and releasing the catch of the beautifully crafted box he took out a pair of ladies round golden spectacles.

“What’s the engraving on the box,” asked Eaglebeard.

“Oh, only a Rabbit.”

 

Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015 2018

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For a FREE eBook of Revenge Of The Hrym visit my Book Page
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