Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 page 2


     The two men stood on the unguarded pipe bridge that crossed the chasm of equipment, metal, and gantries that spiraled down several hundred meters. The large man, a Paxata, huffed hard as he stepped back, clearly not expecting the smaller man to have been this much of a challenge. Blood ran down the side of his face from a split in his brow, and he favored his side. As he stepped back his foot groped for sure footing.

     "Okay, this has been fun," said the smaller man, "but, really, haven't we more than settled this?"

     The crowd had formed up on either side of their side of the bridge, every man hoping to find a good spot to watch the melee unfold. Now a few steps onto the bridge, the big man looked his smaller opponent over, again. Dressed in work clothes and a leather jacket, he had clearly not anticipated he would see his own so well. But now, with his big words in the bar, he was on the spot to deliver on his words after their disagreement had escalated to this point.

     "Fuck you little man. C'mere and I'll show you what for."

     "Alright, then." He took off his leather jacket and held it out. "Justin, come here boy and hold my jacket."

     Justin, a boy of maybe fifteen, came from the crowd and took his father's jacket from him, rolling it up and holding it tight. "Watch his left, dad; it's fast but it's sloppy."

     To the cheer of the growing crowd he stepped out onto the bridge. "So, I don't suppose we had our proper introductions. I'm Jason Bailey - foreman for-"

     "Just come here and get your beating, little man."

     Jason sighed and shook his head. "Alright, then. 'To the death' is what I believe you yelled at the top of this? I mean, that is your people's way, right?"

     In desperation the larger man rushed Jason, swinging wildly. Jason managed a couple of dodges, but the third punch connected, sending him reeling back some. He was quick, however, to recover and countered with a made series of tight jabs and hooks. Within moments his opponent was overwhelmed. The crowd cheered and jeered as the large man tumbled backward; just managing to stay on the bridge.

     Jason gave ground, letting him get back up. He wiped the blood from his eyes and left, again, and Jason. Suddenly there it was, what Jason had been waiting for; that wild and sloppy left hook. Snaring it in a grapple, Jason brought his opponent close into him. His knee launched up, first finding a forearm, then the ribs, and finally manhood. As the large man let out a whispered cry, Jason, using the leverage of the grappled arm, forced his opponent to stand and delivered a devastating blow to his face.

     Stunned, the large man stumbled back. His foot slipped from the unguarded pipe bridge and he began to fall backward, over the side. The crowd fell to a hush as Jason reached out, clutched his shirt, and drew him back to solid footing; the two of them falling to their knees under his enormous weight.

     The large man looked Jason over. "W... why?"

     "Because now you're dead; at least your rep as a tough guy is dead. There's no reason to see the rest of you die, too. Who knows; maybe some day you may do something actually smart with that mouth and those hands of yours.

     Jason rejoined his son as money changed hands with the fight spectators. Justin handed his father back his jacket. "I don't get it," he asked his dad, "he's a Paxata; he claimed his right of fight to the death."

     "Boy, a man should have no beef he can't solve with just his wits and his fists. And killing is just a waste, anyway; you remember that. Besides; mercy is the mark of a good man."

     They both looked back as the Palate man was helped off the pipe bridge, bloodied and unable to stand on his own.

     "Eh; alright's good enough some days, son."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 page 1


     As The Third Space Age of Man opened the United Corporate Commonwealth found it had inherited, from The Great Human Expansion, many tales and legends from the vast array of worlds that had been settled across the stars. Many were tall tales that peoples and societies had rally around; stories of heroes, figureheads, and even rebels who would become icons and symbols; cultural touche stones brought into The UCC.

     Though loosely based on some fact, they were, of course, complete fabrications written by the words and stories passed down through the generations; so ingrained that it would take real effort by The UCC to purge them, helping these worlds to acclimate to a more civilized way of life.

     Well, not all, as it would turn out to be. The one notable exception is the tale of Tia Mara, the Pirate Queen of Thestus.

Painting by midshipman Duke Tatum submitted for contest; original lost
     The common core of the story has checked out through historical records, and the lineage is preserved. Tia Mara was a concubine en route from a settlement off Thestus as part of a harem gift from one of the region lords to their king. During the voyage the envoy was attacked by pirates operating out of the area.

     From here the particular backstories tend to skew from each other to favor local color. Some tales paint her as a heavenly avenging angel who brought a violent and bloody end to the savagery of the monarchy. Other tales tell of reckless abandon and sexual escapades fraught with unrequited and forbidden love.

     But there are facts that have been preserved in the archives of Thestus. Tia Mara was a registered concubine with the royal guild; her origins that of a young girl made into the trade when her nation was conquered. She did, indeed, fall into the hands of pirates, and through a series of  often wildly portrayed events, did come to not only command those pirates, but to unify them into a military force and turn their might against the various royal houses and end the monarchy; establishing a centralized constitutional government that would stand through The Second Space Age until their induction into The UCC.

     Today Thestus is a center of learning and industry in The UCC. And The House of Mara is celebrated, as women born there are proud to trace their lineage back to their sovereign sister and queen. Festivals and celebrations abound, and images of her decorate halls, name plaques, and anywhere it is appropriate to. Of the very small handful of galactic legends, rife with exaggerations, and tall tales of daring, intrigue, and romance, few have had the lasting, positive impact That Tia Mara has had.

Recent Nathena Tour Poster
     She is so integral to the culture that The UCC not only permits the continued festivals in her honor, but has added the curriculum to civics studies, as well as some of its regional fleet studies in regards to how her rag-tad band managed to decimate a superior force to bring about radical change to her world. She is celebrated by the peoples of Thestus wherever they go in the galaxy, and it's not uncommon to find interpretations of her famous portrait in many ships and outposts. One of her most notable dependents, the popular musician Nathena, just recently launched a entire musical experience dedicated to the legends of her ancestor.

     As The United Corporate Commonwealth prides itself on the strength of its diversity, it's the cultural icons like Tia Mara that The UCC looks to in bringing unity and prosperity to its member worlds.

     It's the hope of The United Corporate Commonwealth to spread the best of the its world membership, to promote positive change, and a new, unified identity to grow from.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Galactic Gun: The Adventures of Justin Bailey returns!


THE STORY SO FAR...

     Justin Bailey, notable transportation specialist has just won himself a handful of cash in a card game in a small bar on a remote mining outpost. Naturally, though, not everyone at the table was particularly as excited as he was. During the heated debate certain words were tossed around... as well as bar goers. 

     Joined by a Torrin card dealer named Kali, Justin - along with his robot copilot Jig and faithful neglee Boomer - does some fast and fancy flying to outrace the local patrol and escape into deep space.

     But what about this "cargo" Justin is receiving? Who is Justin working for? Who is this Gerkin B'Kin? And what is Kali really up to? All these answers, and more, in Chapter Two of Pocket Full of Posies - Risky Business. Updating every Wednesday!

EDITOR'S NOTE
     Welcome back to the ongoing and further adventures of Justin Bailey and the crew of The No. 7. We're sorry the story has been on hiatus for so long, but are excited to get you back to all the action and laughs.

     Over the coming months there are going to be some changes happening around here; NTA and its creator are going through some personal rebranding. So look for various new things to be popping up here and there; as well as some things leaving, too.

And, as always, thank you for your readership! 





Saturday, March 17, 2018

Can You See...?




     I'd like to preface this by filling in a little history, here. You see, my preceding two "successful" relationships came about when the woman pursued me; not the other way around. So when we had to be pretty much face-to-face to hear each other over the music at The Hubba Hubba Revue show, well I just kind of went with what I was feeling; albeit nervously, clumsily, and with some hesitation. And then, I guess, so did Yesenia.

     Long time readers, and close personal friends, are all in the know, here; love is not exactly my strongest suit. As of the publishing of this comic I'm two days from my 44th birthday and only now do I think - after some colossal fuck ups - I have a handle on this whole love thing. You see, I think love boils down to this:


     So, as I told her, the more she's been sharing her life's stories with me, the more my fondness for her - my adoration - and my desires for her have been finding their way to a middle ground. It's not there yet, but it's getting damn close.

     And then came the scare tactics.

     Yeah, I got nuthin'. I thought it was usually the guy who broke out the spooky stories when the girl said she had feelings...? Eh, she's an interesting balance of guy thoughts and girl thoughts; again, why I'm where I am. Which is to say square one, again, I suppose.

     On an aside, yes; we are both burlesque fans. If you are, and if you're ever in the San Francisco area, you should totally check out a show put on by The Hubba Hubba Revue; which usually does shows at The DNA Lounge, or their cabaret shows at The Uptown.

     If Yesi can ever convince herself to get up on stage like she says she wants to, she'd make one heck of a performer. Hell, I offered to make it a sexy ballroom number for the two of us. Yep, thought about getting up there myself, once or twice.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

In The Bag...




     There is a lot to say for the releasing of pent up frustrations and energies.

     There is also a lot to be said for having the correct wearable gear, too. But that's neither here nor there, is it? Perhaps. You see, a couple weeks back, as I was working out, I started getting a little angsty; both at the people squatting at machines using their mobiles and not exercising, as well as with some of the situations that have befallen my life, lately. And there, by the serious free weights, and the serious weight trainers, hung the heavy bag. So, naturally, I found myself cause to go over and introduce myself.

     After getting a feel for the bag I started letting go some, until I was a flurry of punches; some landing ore squarely than others, mind you. And in one single wave of release I caught that bag with a mighty right hook and a triumphant howler... becoming suddenly aware I had attracted a lot of attention.

     It was then that the bag became an agent of karma, and I and my bloody knuckles were clobbered asunder to the floor.

     Lesson learned, for sure. Since then I have gotten me some proper gloves for the bag; better than the simple weight gloves I had first used that offered almost no protection. I've also developed a routine where in I bow in and thank the bag for what I hope is a good fight, and likewise thank the bag after our time is up. Usually it's in five three-minute structured bursts with a one minute rest period that I do in a kneeling pose, calming my head and my heart.

     I'm now in my third month at our local 24 Hour Fitness. I've lost a lot of weight, brought back a lot of strength, and have found some good releases for a lot of the darkness that's been troubling my poor meager mind, as of late. It's been good and healthy. And, yes; I can't help but sing the praises of regular, healthy exercise.

     Now, what will these comics look like next month when I start up martial arts...?
   

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Storytelling...


     I've come to the conclusion that a lot of us sell ourselves short when it comes to who we are, where we've been, and what we've done. And Yesenia, I think, illustrates that really well.

     On our one, and so far only date we ended up missing our movie and crashing a gathering at The Lucky Star Tiki Bar - a private bar run by friends - because we were getting seriously deep into the various topics we delved into during dinner. Between many frosty adult beverages she went from mild manner girl about town to this amazing knot of plot twist and turns that were so layered and colorful that she could make an amazing comic book all by herself.

     And I don't think she once realized it once.

     We are these amazing and complex things that are shaped by the many choices we make, and the many, many actions we take as we trip our way down our own life's road. School? Jobs? Parties? Events? Hard choices and easy, good decisions and not such, we are immersed in our travels so much that we often don't see ourselves doing the epic things we do when we mold our own lives.

     Sometimes having a map would be very, very helpful. But I have to wonder if that would make it better, more interesting, more of an adventure. 

     In case you're curious...

     I totally admit I lost myself in her stories, and let my heart slip. I mean, who couldn't? I'm a sucker for an interesting story, and a unique woman of character; well illustrated by some of my more colorful ex-girlfriends. If you read last week's Stuff, then yes; Yesenia is the 1 of 4. She's funny, intriguing, full of diverse interests. We had a great night. That may be the extent of what we do, but I guess I can be okay with that. She's already been a friend for a while, and now she's just that much cooler.

     Still...