31 October 2010

CUSTOM: Part Ten-Hold Out

Another line was gone; Jamie’s back plate of her Mark VII showed the viscosity of their attack. She kept a look out while one of the medics patched up the hardsuit, and sprayed some painkillers over the gash.

“Try not to get hit here again, okay, Trooper?” She yelled over the burst of gunfire.

“Tell it to them.” The medic moved on to the next one, and Jamie picked up a Reaper and returned to her place on the wall. The attack on the lines had lessened, and that worried Jamie. Most of the time, these things came at full-tilt to kill, but now they were holding back.

She hoped that somehow, they would have been decimated and they would be forced to wait on reinforcements.

But she knew that wasn’t it.

The Nix were up to something…and since they were getting closer to the heart of the base, it was most likely the big final push to finally wiped humanity off of this moon. Jamie ignored that, and helped with the loading boxes of ammunition and first-aid supplies to these new frontlines.

Behind them was the empty settlement city of Vickers. No more civilians lived on this world, when Nix came from unexplored space, they hit Honiara Moon hard. When the military finally showed up, Vickers was empty. The Nix had dined well during those days. Now, the parks, shops, and restaurants were filled with gunfire and fires started to sweep through the urban area and dark thick pillars colored the Honiara sky.

Jamie could still hear screams coming from a fallen defense line...now deep behind enemy lines.

“Damn! Those poor sons-of-bitches!” One of the soldiers removed his helmet, and crossed himself.

“Yeah, save the last one for yourselves, brothers!”

Jamie wanted the screams to stop, for all of the Nix to just fucking die. No matter the years she spend killing them, it was never enough.

“Won’t they just eat them, and be finished with it for Christ’s sake?!”

“They like to take their time.”Jamie uttered above the cries of pain.

“How would you know, troop?” Then he looked at the LRRP patch on her chest.

“Oh, sorry, about that.” He turned his face from her.

“So, you’ve seen these things feed on people, LRRPer?” Another soldier asked.

“Yes…yes I have.” There on the old highway in the middle of Vickers, she recalled that night mission in the heart of the jungle, setting the trap with a fresh body from an Nix outpost raid. The bait had been a Custom soldier like her, but when the trauma care didn’t work, he became Nix food.

Jamie was close, with a 20mm sniper rifle pointed at it. R&D wanted one for their playpen. Her orders were to wound it. So, she had to wait, and from scope, Jamie watched it peel the skin from the body, and nibble on it.

She enjoy it watching it rolling around in pain when she one of its six legs off.

“You Jamie?” The guff hand shocked Jamie back to the grim present .

She looked at the normal human guard. “Yeah, what do you want? Wanna come out of your bubble and play with us?” The soldiers laughed.

“Get your fruit-fly ass in the dome, bitch, the General wants to see ya.” With that Jamie was stripped of her weapons, and hauled into the domed complex.

“Jamie, huh?” The face behind the visor just started at her.

“She’s a LRRP, General.”

“Huh, good…then she’s up the task.”

Jamie flashed a confused face. “Task, sir?”

“Those fuckers have the moon, Jamie, we’re bugging out, but you and yours have to hold the ground here for us to evac to the Bashar.” She watched the human staff drain the computers, running scare to the launch pads, while attempting to don the environmental suits.

A pale white techie handed the general a small box with a number of lights on it. “It’s ready, sir.”

“Quick work, Sparks!” Jamie noticed the swear building in his face and the tremor in his voice. She wondered if had ever pulled the trigger on a Nix before. He slapped the device into her hand, and then tapped it down. “This is a dead hand trigger, soldier. When you flatline, so does the cold fusion reactor under Victors.”

“Sir-” Her tone was of protest. But the general wasn’t playing. He whipped out a shatter and leveled at her helmet.

“Listen to me, fruit-fly, you’re supposed to be here, fighting, we’re moving on. When you die, and you will, you’re going to radiate those bastards. They want this moon, and we’ll give it to them with a fresh mushroom cloud!” He lowered the weapon.

“You got me, soldier?”

Jamie took a moment to digest what was in her hand. “Yessir.” He holstered his weapon, and forked over Jamie’s confiscated Reaper.

“Good luck, Jamie, I shall remember you.” The personal escorts of the general kept their weapons trained on Jamie until the airlock cycled, and the command staff and slimy company reps board one of the last shuttles. She watched them, in their suits trying to move around and suddenly she was grateful for her new customized body.

“Fuck you very much, General.”

She sat down in the soft leather chair in the general’s office. She took out the bottle of Scotch in his lower desk drawer. Fished out a glass and several ice cubes, and processed to drink with one hand, while the other held the key to doomsday.

She drank until she was numb, and didn’t even feel the violent vibration of the shuttles taking off.

24 October 2010

Custom-Part 9: Mad Minute

The last of the Custom defenders were packed behind hastily constructed defense walls, while black crab-like monsters swept through the last human outpost. Anyone unlucky enough to not escape their charge was being consumed; Jamie tried not to hear their screams reverberate through the empty buildings.

Jamie slumped down from the line, racked with fresh pain from her previous injury, but she was washed in thick dark depression as the pain pills wore off.

Nothing mattered anymore; she thought in that dark moment of her life…Wireless Ridge had fallen.

They had been pushed back to the command staff’s complex, and while they fought, the Terrans that ran the war from their hermetically sealed domes. They were soft rear-echelon Terrans could not breathe the air, and cowered as they dictated the war from their domes.

In all of Jamie’s years of duty on this moon, she had never seen a Terran outside of their domes. But now, she could clearly see that Terrans were trying to make their escape to the warship in low-orbit. The shuttles were being raised onto the launch pads, and then attached to booster rockets. Those great machines that would lift them to safety, leaving the people like Jamie here in the shit.

The Customs had once been Terran, Jamie thought as she examined her camouflaged skin. But, when the draft collectors came around at eighteen, she didn’t have a choice, when they altered her DNA to the point where Earth was now foreign soil. What disturbed her more was the news feeds about former colonies being transformed into armed camps, each a barrier to the Nix incisions into human space and manning these militarized colonies were the former colonial civilians of military service age. The colonists were shipped up from their colony, surgically customized and implanted with training then send back to the front. All while their families were hauled back to Sol, never to see each other again.

Such was the price of protecting the human race, Jamie scoured.

“Where the hell are they?” Someone asked, breaking Jamie’s dark thoughts.

“Maybe they got fattened up on our friends, and they’re taking a siesta!” Another one joked.

“You’re a sick fuck, Rojas.”

“No, someone planted screamers in the gap over there.” Jamie piped up. “They’re finding a way around them.”

“How do you know, troop?”

“I saw them doing it, they bought us time.”

“Yeah, like we’re buying time for them” He point back to the dome complex.

“My respect to the combat engineers.” Said another soldier.

“We need some more tanks.” Jamie turned to see the remains of the Wattman tanks that were now being picked over by the Nix. Sniper took out a few of them, but the streets of Vickers were covered in a black moving carpet of homicidal crabs.

Only the small screen of screamer cones kept them at bay from the Customs’ lines.

“How long on the batteries?” One of the soldiers asked Jamie.

“About six more minutes.”

Everyone heard the exchange, then checked their weapons, because there that was the only thing they could do. Jamie set her HUD to flash a countdown. When the number burned down to zero, she cocked her Reaper and pointed down range.

It only took a few minutes for the Nix to overwhelm the line; Jamie fired her Reaper until the barrel was red. One damn fool, pulling the pin off a grenade and trying to toss it, a Nix claw plunged into his chest rolled a live grenade into the line of soldiers.


She leaped from the grenade, trying to clear the explosive radius.

It was stupid move.

The concussive forced threw hard into the street hard, and the Nix were merciless in their pursuit. Before her feet were under her, the Nix swung, connecting with the back armor plate. It ripped off with some flesh. She rolled to keep the wound from the excited monster.

They loved the smell of their enemy’s blood.

With a few shells left in her Atchisson, she put down a Nix in mid-leap. More rushed over the undefended barrier, killing anyone that stood their ground, like waves of flood water. When the shotgun clicked dry, Jamie pushed the stubby barrier of her pistol to her temple, realizing that it was over for her

Jamie had made a promise to herself; she would never be eaten by one of those fuckers.

Before her watering eyes, 40mm grenades landed along the wall, driving back the monsters in a burst of high explosive salvation.

“MOVE DUMBASS!” She didn’t know who it was, put she got up and ran into the next defense line.

While a hail of lead covering her, she leaped over the wall and into another group of soldiers, picked up a weapon, re-cocked and took her place on the yet another wall.

It looked, to Jamie, while peering over the wall, like the end of the world…

17 October 2010

Military Science Fiction News Feed

FWS is always googling to stay on top of the latest in MSF. Here is what is going on:

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

       Ron Moore is working his frakking magic again, and making a web-series of the 1st Cylon War...similar to the web series that ran with Razor. Moore as said that if SyFy channel likes that then the possibility of a full-TV series. From the Razor scenes of the 1st Cylon War, B&C will incorporate more elements of the classic BSG 1970's series. The world does need more BSG!
Earth Defense Force

 Sam Raimi is in development of a big budget alien invasion movie tentative titled: "Earth Defense Force". The barebones plot as Earth suffering a massive defeat at the hands of an alien strike force, and Earth as 10 months to ready for a full scale invasion. It seems that alien invasion stories are all the rage, and this one as some elements of the Xend storyline from Star Trek: Enterprise and Space Cruiser Yamato

ALIEN Prequel(s)

The Great God of film (AKA Ridley Scott) is in deep development for either one or two ALIEN prequel movies. LOST writer Damon Lindelof has turned in a script that will make a PG-13 film that is 35 years before the events in ALIEN. Rumors have Natalie Portman up for a role as a Colonial Marine General. The real issue with this film is what could it be about? Will this movie finally answer the question of the Space Jockey ship on LV-426? Is this about the Company originally learning of the ALIENS species?


The Great God, Mr. Scott, is involved in bring the Forever War book to the silver screen in 3D. The rumors say sometime in 2012-2013, but problems with the script have put a delay on it...Blade Runner writer David Peoples wrote the first major script that followed up by three more by different writers. Reportedly, Mr. Scott as had trouble figuring out how to bring the passage of time at different rates into a workable script. Once again, God needs to look at the 1990's graphic novels... 

The AVATAR Three Disc set

On November 16th, the second Avatar DVD will be released on a box-set of three discs with three versions of the film, plus all kinds of extras. This includes the longer 16 minute verison with the opening on polluted Earth, showing Jake drunk at a bar and the conditions on Earth. The regular DVD set will feature less than the Blu-Ray version...I expect this to be packed with extras in a way similar to the Blade Runner five-disc version. Note that Mr. Cameron will be releasing the regular threater cut, the eight-extra minute verison that was see on a limited release in August, and the sixteen minute verison that the Earth portions. I loved Avatar and plan for this to be on my Xmas list...but three verisons of the film seems wasteful.


Sharpnel is a line of MSF comic books from Radical. The story of a pan-solar system civil war over Venus  adds some Gattaca-type genetic racisim thrown in along with very cool armored power suits to boot. The series have met with great reviews and enough success to warrent another comic series. The story is being made into a video game by Zombie Studios, with  movie in development with Len Wiseman. If done right, this could be a sega of MSF excellence!

The Starblazers/Space Cruiser Yamato Movie

The 1970's anime epic space opera known as Space Cruiser Yamato or Starblazers is getting the big screen treatment...in Japan. Several trailers have been released allowing us, American Yamato fans to see a new Battlestar Galactica-type movie with very good SFX and some dead-on set design. I am very happy that the Japanese did this one...and rumor as it that it will be release in the USA. Oddly, the Gamilion aliens of the series are missing from any of the trailers. Will the Gamilions be the blue-skinned human like aliens or something else...

Battle: Los Angeles

War of the Worlds reboot with Mr. Cruise in it is one of my favorite alien invasions films, and it nice to see one being developed through a MSF lense where US Marines fight an alien invasion on the streets of LA. Only several seconds of footage have been released along with gritty set photos. It looks to be a great movie for 2011!

Terra Nova

Steven Spielburg will be producing a TV series on FOX of Earth in  2149 AD where temporal colonization of Earth's past to deal with massive ecology collapse. The colony comes under attack from Dinosaurs with rumors of soldiers fighting the dinos (Turok anyone?!)....I do not know about this one...reminds me of NBC's 1994 failed series Earth-2.

New Orphan books

Robert Buettner's excellent MSF Orphan series will have three more books coming out in March of 2011 from Baen Books. I am, at present, reading this series, and finding it to be a great MSF book series. Orphanage is not to be missed!


To most people, the HALO series ended with HALO-3 and HALO: REACH, and Bungie Studios has gotten out of the HALO business. The future of the series is being handled by 343 Industries. Rumors of job posting from 343 on level designers for a new HALO game are all over the web. While Tor books have a sequel to the Ghosts of Onyx,along with a Forerunner trilogy coming out. Marvel Comics is coming out with a HALO: Reach comic book adaptation. Will there be a HALO:4? Soon, FWS will be presenting a HALO flash fiction series, with a possible storyline for the future of the Chief and Cortana.  

Falling Skies
TNT as picked up the alien invasion series Falling Skies starring Noah Wyle and produced by Steven Spielberg. This is a post-invasion story about a resistance movement to the alien overlords...coming out in summer of 2011. The series has some serious talent and set photos remind me of CBS Jericho.

Starship Troopers 4? Mini-Series?

Recently, rumors hav been running around the Internet say that SyFy is going to make a Starship Trooper miniseries based on the 1958 book. While other rumors say that a fourth movie is coming that will be a continue the Marauder storyline. Time will tell.

Warhammer 40K-the CGI Movie!

The 70 minute official produce of Games Workshop movie based on the Ultramarines chapter of the Imperium of Man Space Marines. This will be all in CGI supported by some big voice talent, and appears to retain the dark air of the WH:40K universe. The film will be released on Nov.29th of this year...but from the trailer it seems like a 70 minutes game trailer. We shall see though...  

The FOX network is developing a sci-fi series about people "exterminating" aliens in deep space from the POV of a film crew documenting it. Okay, FOX cancelled Firefly and Space: Above and Beyond...and this looks a blink-and-miss-it sci-fi show...I see FOX making the series either a dark comedy (like Firefly) or dead serious series.

HALO: Operation Chastity

This is British Fan HALO made movie that as a budget of $60,000 and features a Warthog built on a Land Rover! The plot centers on a mission by marines on Earth against a crashed Covenant cruiser. For the work on the Warthog and the gun props, Operation: Chastity could be the movie that Bungie would not make, but should have!

15 October 2010

What the Frak is up with FWS?!

Wondering what Nigel and I are doing lately? We are preparing many lists of our favorites, writing more flash-fiction, and of course, playing HALO: REACH...but , the new Battlestar Galactica is the big news around the FWS office....yep...I finally had to do it...I recently bought the entire new Battlestar Galactica series on DVD, and we are working our way through it.

I watched the original 1970's series when it was new on TV, then every couple of years, I would see again, being run on a local TV station on a Saturday afternoon. Each time, I liked the BSG-TOS a little less...while the concept was a nice mix of Ancient Astronaut theory and Star Wars, the episode never lived up to the concept...most of the time, the TOS seemed to be going no where.

But then came the juggernaut that is the newly imagined series...oh my!

Without cable, I missed BSG completely, save for the mini-series which NBC aired...then I rented Razor, and I was hooked, however, the series was too expensive for me to rent or own. Then, I made the bold move of buying the entire series when a great Borders coupon came into my email inbox, getting it for 1/2 price!

After just 8 episodes into Season One, I can safely say, that this is great sci-fi...and is most likely the best fraking (military)Sci-Fi series ever on the small screen!

Sorry Space:Above and Beyond. :(

It is great mix of drama, action, military sci-fi, and mythology...and strong addictive (it ought to have a warning label on it!).

I gave Nigel the mini-series, and then he was hooked as well...terrible of me, wasn't it?

08 October 2010

William's Top 5 War Movies

I thought I would post my Top Five war movies. These are strictly war films, not sci-fi, I'll be posting those later. I wanted to post these to allow readers to understand my POV on military sci-fi.


Most war movies were events that happened outside of my lifetime, however the Battle of Mogadishu happened when I was in high school, and the movie did justice to the fallen. Simply put, one of the best war movies, for its stunning visuals and emotions. One thing that was key in the film's success, was that the veterans of October 3rd and 4th 1993, were still alive to act as advisers on the film.

Vietnam was a war that left scars on the American psyche, and it seemed in the mid-1980's, the demons were exoduses via a number of Vietnam-era war movies, but none better than Platoon. This was a war movie that give my writing the hue of bitter war, emotional scars, and brotherhood. Platoon is not an easy film, but it a critical one.


Platoon and Full Metal Jacket overshadowed this film about the May 10th-12th 1969 battle in the A Shau Valley. Once again, like Blackhawk Down, it used veterans of the battle as primary sources. The steer brutality of this battle left an impression that still echos in my writing today.


The first twenty minutes of SOPR are famous among war movies. The raw violence, acting, and brutality made SOPR a hard movie to turn away from or forget. The simple chaos of the steady hand shots and washout colors redefined the look WWII films.


Seem like an odd choice? I admit that the last few minutes of Tears of the Sun, are hammy, but few movies actually showed the SEALs real tactics and missions. Most films on special forces are overdone and terribly embellished. This movie adds a layer of humanity to the SEALs and the final big battle is painfully realistic. I was floored the first time I watched it, and I still think that it is Bruce Willis' finest performance.

William's Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies

Here are my Top Five sci-fi films of all time. I wanted to post these, along with my Top Five war films to allow readers on my POV on military sci-fi


During the era of Star Trek and Star Wars came the sci-fi that gave us a dark retrofitted vision of the future. This movie introduced me to Ridley Scott and what something darker that singlehandly redefined by ideas of the future. I could never fully explain the impact that this, my favorite film of all time, had on me.


THE military sci-fi classic film, and is my most watched film (101 times and counting!). This film is prefect, having everything, from caseless rifles, dropships, and Michael Biehn. Like Blade Runner, Aliens gave a darker more real sci-fi movie that's rarely seen in sci-fi works. I mean, how cool is the scene when Hicks gives the alien warrior a migraine headache?


The only Arnold Schwarzenegger film I own, and the reason I smile every time I hear 'Long Tall Sally' . One my favorite parts of this masterwork is when Poncho and Billy are talking:
"I'm scared Poncho."
"Bullshit, you ain't afraid of no man"
"There's something out there, and ain't no man. We're all going to die"
The last thing I have to say is: "GET TO DA CHOPPA!"
Simply greatness.


If someone would describe the basic plot of The Terminator, then you would be laughed at. But, this movie (due to the skill of the actors, and James Cameron), is more than the sum of its parts. The future war of 2029 haunted me for most of my childhood, and so far, no one has made a good film on the war in 2029...oh, and it has Michael Biehn.

Anime features are hit-or-miss, especially before the Anime/Manga crazy of the last few years. In the 1990's, this was the Citizen Kane of Anime, while Akira reguarded has the first Anime film to cross over to mainsteam, it is a mess at the end, while Ghost in the Shell is hard-edged with gun play, philosophically waxing, and one of the best concepts in cyberpunk. By the way, the original version is still the best over the new 2.0 version on DVD. Be sure to read the Manga Graphic Novel by Dark Horse, it is also greatness.

02 October 2010


Jamie scrambled up over the top defense wall, with help from extended hands. Once over, she caught her breath, and dared to look below to the trenches.

She gasped.

Fire and smoke engulfed over the lines, only a few reports of gunfire echoed out, and more Nix that she had ever seen before swept over the battlefield below her. From her experience, the aliens were combing the trenches for survivors.

She wished for the survivors to have a quick death. She prayed that her friends were already dead, and not being dined on by those things. In the moment of safety, her mind refocused from pure survival to contemplation of the events that had just transpired. There on the ridge above the battlefield graveyard, Jamie kneed into the ground and breakdown.

“Ani’t no one alive down there, soldier.” The officer tried comfort Jamie as she wept.

“I…left them.” She said quietly.

“Soldier, get up, take your weapon, and move out.” The officer left her there, and only the sounds of Wireless Ridge base was a chaotic sea of running people, and yelling. That was the push that she needed. Jamie picked through ammo boxes, cramming fresh magazines into her chest rig, other soldier darted in and did the same.

“Where the hell are we going?” She asked the nearest soldier.

“Vickers.” He pointed to the abandoned colonial town-site behind them.

“Shit.” She fired out as they hustled to the RV point.

“Trooper!” barked voice from the ground. Jamie turned down to see combat engineers setting up a line of claymores and screamer mines. It was the last of desperation measure.

“Plant these over there and help me seal up this gap up.” She handed Jamie the small cone shaped screamers. While the entire Wireless Ridge camp ran into Vickers, Jamie planted the last attempt at holding this point to hold off the Nix advance.

“Yeah, like that.” They shoved them into the loose dirt, and then nodded to the engineers and booked it to the next line of defense, Vickers itself. The city was the finally point before those things got to the domes, into the very heart of the command staff for the war on this moon.

Jamie was winded from the run into the city streets; she collapsed behind a concrete defense wall.

“MOVE! GET OUT OF THE WAY FOR THE PANZERS! Ordered an officer from one of the heavy MG nests that dotted the defense walls.

The Customs parted like the Red Sea when the tank shook the street, and drive directly to the new frontline in the urban environment.

The Wittman wheeled armored vehicles moved slowly up to the defense walls while its flechette machine gun chattered into the swarms. The great wheeled armored beast stopped and lowered itself. The 90mm anti-personal tank round burst in a fireball, showering the Nix brood with over five thousand flechette. Recoil rocked the tank back and forth.

Jamie watched waves of Nix were cut down like grass. The tanks cycled another round and fired, echoing off of the tall building around them.

It was the best thing she had ever seen.

Over and over, the Wittman tanks pounded the phalanx of black crabs, driving back the horde. It seemed, to Jamie, that the worm had turned for them.

“I’m fucking in love with the tanks now!” Jamie said to the troops next to her.

“Yeah, I’m going to kiss every last of them!”

Another Custom chimed in: “What if they’re a girl, Beckman?”

“Even better.” She winked at him

“I knew I loved you.”

“Troopers!” An officer angry pointed to them. “Get your asses ready! Those tanks don’t have many of these chop-chop shells left!”

“Aw, shit! Just when I was starting to enjoy watching die them, instead of us!” Jamie smiled to him. She was thankful to have a few minutes of the tank’s hailstorm driving them back. With the depletion of the anti-personal shells, legions of aliens jetted out from the nearly by buildings. They engulfed the tanks in a rushing black tide. Jamie realized the outcome, and ran for the next line, as they poured over the walls.

She blocked out the screams, and pushed her legs even faster. Just as it seemed that the grim reaper's blade was on her, the Nix were driven back by some divine moment of salvation.

As she cleared the wall of another defensive position, she thanked the engineers that had bought them a moment with their lives and screamer mines.