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Jorm Arcturus
July 28th, 2014, 01:44 AM
Greetings all! For those that had suggestions for Bootknives and Blasters: a Short Story, I have clarified and revised, as well as extended. Enjoy. -Jorm

“You don’t have the plates to try,” Harvink spat, his lazy eye gazing thoughtfully off in the distance, his good eye glaring, fixed on me. His teeth were off-set and scummy, and his breath could probably be used as a bug spray. He was caressing his 687 REM Carabine, shoved in an outdated holster that obviously wasn’t made for it. A sweet piece, way too classy for such a lowlife.
I was tempted to ask if he was talking to me, or someone off that way. But instead I just shrugged, leaning against the counter of the bar. It sagged uncomfortably, but I kept at it. Either it would collapse and provide a worthy distraction, or it wouldn’t and I could continue to rest my arms. I glanced up towards the ceiling, begging to be spared the idiocy of the dregs that flow sluggishly in and out of the Fine, a bar that could have passed as a sweat shop if it wasn’t for the very counter I was leaning on. Just let me do my job and get out of dodge.
“Did you hear what I said?” Harvink spat again. He took a firmer grip on his piece, a threatening grip. He stood with his feet apart, a grimace on his face. But his eyes- or I should say, eye, told me what I needed to know.
“You listenin’, punk?” He pushed my drink aside (which was fine by me, didn’t want to drink it anyway) and slammed his hand down in front of me.
I sighed. This lowlife toughs always wanted to do it the same way. “Actually, I’m barely coherent, on account of your breath. How about a mint?”
Harvink scowled, and the 687 cleared the holster. I was waiting for that.
I stomped hard on my heel, activating the hidden knife that came out the front of my boot. A quick kick to the ankle joint ensured he wouldn’t run. From my coat I whipped out my daddy’s knife, all glorious eight inches of it, and ‘secured’ Harvinks hand to the counter. With the other, I grabbed the Carabine before it could fully clear, and thus activate its auto-aim. Then, Harvink howled. That’s right. I’m that fast.
“You know, Harvink,” I said, casually catching his half-hearted jab and twisting his arm up behind him, “You shouldn’t take other people’s things. It’s rude.”
I quickly slid my de-icer into Harvink’s holster, deactivating it and releasing the weapon without any nasty consequences. I dangled the weapon in front of him, illustrating my point. The de-icer is really just slang for some law enforcement device used to power down perp’s blasters, but it works just fine for me too, and de-icer sounds better than “localized disarmament tool”.
I slid the Carabine into a spare holster next to my Ugly Pug, but didn’t activate it. I’ve got my own guns, and don’t need more. Besides, the Carabine happened to be what I was here for in the first place, and the take on this job was the highest in a long while. It was too flashy for me anyway.
I glanced around the Fine, on the lookout for any goons that wanted to throw their lot in with Harvink. Unsurprisingly, they all stayed in the shadows, backs turned, trying really hard to look like their drinks were the most interesting thing they’d seen tonight.
I released Harvinks arm, waiting for him to make a move. Instead, he just sagged against the counter, whimpering. I stomped on the heel of my boot, retracting the short blade. I’d have to clean it later.
“Come on, Harvink, its not all bad,” I said, as I yanked my daddy’s knife out of his hand.
A howl ensued, and I said loudly over it, “Now now, its not all that bad. I didn’t sever any tendons or ligaments. You’ll be good as new before you know it.” I nonchalantly wiped the blade on Harvinks bowed back, and turned to leave.
“The ankle is a different story, I’m afraid,” I said, without turning around. “Call it a price for playing the game.” I walked out of the Fine. The sound of a collapsing bar behind me made me smile.

I strolled out of the swanky high-rise that my most recent client called home. Mr. Frennigan had been suitably grateful when I delivered the Carabine, and he proceeded to tell me why the gun was so special. I wasn’t there for a history lesson, and I admittedly zoned out halfway through his speech, partly because I already knew all of what he was saying.
The Carabine was one of three of the finest guns ever made. It was worth a fortune. I had researched all that before I even accepted the job, but if gasbag Frennigan wanted to bore me before he paid me a ridiculous sum of money, then that was fine by me.
I couldn’t help pulling up my account info again as I strolled towards my place, the numbers flashing up on the insides of my dimshades. I chuckled, basking in the soft LED glow of my money. A take like this was hard to find, and harder to deliver on. But here was the result. Another few jobs like that, and a quiet island in the Caymans was mine, complete with cooks and an uptight butler. And maids. Especially maids.
My inner dialog was interrupted by a jingle on my pinger. The display read, ‘Merge’. I sighed, punched the answer button with maybe a little more force than necessary.
“Now, before you say anything, I was sure that I had the facts straight on that broad.” The gravelly voice said into my earpiece. I was about to come back with a blazing reply, but Merge interrupted me.
“But that doesn’t matter now. Listen, I just found-”
I cut him short with a sarcastic laugh. “Doesn’t matter? Merge, She turned out to be a master of haedong gumdo. I nearly got sliced in half because you can’t research someone properly-”
“Would you shut up and listen?” Merge shouted. “I’m telling you, I just found the golden goose-”
“Who do you think you’re talking to, Merge?” I growled, my hand twitching towards my Pug before I could stop myself. I wrung my hand quickly, grimacing. Sloppy.
“I’m talking to someone that I owe, big time. And for more than ‘crazy sword broad’.” Merge said quietly. It was quiet on the line.
I sighed again. “How’d you even get my pinger, anyway?” I asked.
Merge chuckled. “You still making up names for things that already have names? What’s wrong with calling it a cell?”
“The lack of class, Merge.” I said, shaking my head. “Now, you were saying something? Make it quick, I’m dropping off radar real soon.”
“You may rethink that plan once you hear this,” Merge said, excitement creeping into his voice. “I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground, seeing if any other jobs would crop up that would be big enough to send your way. Well, I found one.”
I shook my head again. “I’m gonna have to pass, Merge. I just got off a job that bumped me up into the upper class, and I’m taking a well deserved break.”
“Like I said, you’ll rethink that plan. I heard about your last job. Frennigan, right?”
I felt a little of my anger swell up again. “Merge, are you tapping my pinger? Remember what I said I’d do to you if you ever did that again?”
“It involved pain of some kind, I imagine,” Merge said absently, and I could hear him shuffling through some papers. Merge never really caught up with the world when it came to storing info on the cloud, instead of on paper. “But I’ve been careful, don’t worry. Now, I know how much you got paid for that job. I’m telling you, this job I have here,” There was rustling on the line, and I could just see Merge swinging around, looking to see if anyone was listening in, “will pay you ten times that much.”
I choked on my chuckle, coughing as Merge waited patiently. Once I had control of myself again, I couldn’t help glancing around myself before I said quietly, “How much was that again? Don‘t think I heard you right.”
“You heard me right,” Merge said, a note of smugness sneaking into his voice. “and they want you now. You ready for an address?”
I didn’t answer right away. I looked back down the street, not really seeing anything. That size of a paycheck would catapult me right into my dreams. But with that kind of money, what could they possibly be after? Could it be a trap of some kind? Some bigwig hoping to pin something on me? I brushed all that aside. There would be time to figure it out later.
“Hey buddy? You still there?” Merge asked.
“Yeah, I’m ready for that address,” I said. I just hoped I wasn’t lying.

Pishwi
August 5th, 2014, 10:30 AM
Hi Jorm : )
Definite improvement since the first writeup. This flows a lot better, and still retains the humour and intrigue of the original, and the new section tells me this is set out to be a pretty good story. It already reads like a final draft.
Just a couple of errors I thought I'd point out:

"he pushed my drink aside (which was fine by me, didn’t want to drink it anyway) and slamming his hand down in front of me." "he" should have a capital "H" and "slamming" should just be "slammed".
"...complete with cooks, maids, and an uptight butler. And maids. Especially maids" Get rid of the first "maids". Two "maids'" is enough to emphasise his obsession, and three doesn't actually make sense here.
'"but I’ve been careful, don’t worry..."' Again, "but" should have a capital "b".
"That size of paycheck" I think it should read "the paycheck". Also autocorrect is telling me that pay check is two words.

But on the whole, very good. If I were you, I might add in just a little more scene-setting, but it isn't necessary, and if all I'm picking out is typos and grammar errors then you're in a very good position.
Keep up the good work : )

p.s. I apologise for not using the quoting system, but I have absolutely no idea how it works

Jorm Arcturus
August 26th, 2014, 12:37 AM
Thanks for the reply, Pishwi :) sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I implemented the changes you suggested, and if you have any more, I'll be happy to hear them. thanks again

Deafmute
August 29th, 2014, 07:16 AM
Great short, flows brilliantly. Personality is dripping out of every sentence. I like the hook. That first sequence is a great draw to get the audience hooked fast, and leads really well into the part that will eventually develop into the main plot.

Merge is a hard name for me to swallow. I kept reading it Marge and picturing a skinny woman with tall blue hair. If there is a reason for him to have that as like a nickname its fine, but I have a hard time giving a character a name that is already a word, unless that word is symbolic or foreshadowing somehow.

MizzouRam
August 30th, 2014, 02:16 AM
Excellent read. Really enjoyed it. I hope you plan on sending it to a contest or a magazine.

h'aulian scribe
August 31st, 2014, 09:26 PM
I want to start calling a cell phone a pinger now lol. This was great to read. I love seeing other peoples flow styles as they write.

jakegenebarnes
September 6th, 2014, 07:01 PM
Highly readable. Keep up the good work.

Jorm Arcturus
September 28th, 2014, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate them. Glad you enjoyed it :)

Daniel Loreand
October 2nd, 2014, 06:02 PM
I love the dialouge and the settign! I think some of the sentances could be shorted down a little to make it flow better, for example when you say 'I noncholantly wiped the blade' I think noncholantly could be taken out entierly or replaced with something more like 'casually' as for me that bit halted my reading flow. But I have to say it's a very good read!

Jean Bathurst
October 3rd, 2014, 01:54 AM
This is great. I hope you continue. Has a Blade Runner meets Serenity vibe. The tech stuff (pinger, etc.) is there, which I like, but it's not distracting, which I also like. Only suggestion is to add line breaks between paragraphs for easier reading on The Internets.