Keeping Organized

Well, I have managed to kick the writers block over and have started writing some stuff again. I was about three quarters of the way through Book 2 which is a sequel to “Fall of Dust” before I ran into life and other issues. Luckily I had stopped at a good point, unfortunately I had to figure out some things before I could get back on the horse.

Now, I have run into a couple other issues. Luckily I had some things I had set up previously. Keeping track of characters and personalities is difficult. Especially if you have some minor conflict between a bunch of them. A program I ran across a couple years ago was “Zim Wiki“. Think of it as a wikipedia for your computer. I have several story universes mapped out in mine already. Not to mention plot points, characters, settings and what have you. Which reminds me, I have to update it a bit. Organizing a story bible as you go makes things easier when you are writing into the dark.

Another thing is maps. Do you need maps? Well it depends I guess. Some locations and settings don’t really need much of maps and action and story can cover very little ground. Other times though, where the hell did I leave my characters again? It’s hard when they are lost, it’s even worse when you lose them and try to find them. If you are dealing with a made up world, quick sketches could help out as you flesh things out. Maybe, and probably a good thing. Nothing needs to be concrete or cartographer level approach. Just a basic guideline to track travels.

Luckily for me “FoD” takes place in the real world so I can use online maps. Google Maps has a “My Maps” app that you can create routes, place points of interest, or even set boundaries of where your action is. This is something I did over a year ago. Now I have to go into it and set up routes and locations for actions and plot points. Will I share it to the wild? Most likely not, or if I do, a highly bawlderized version.

Anyway, Fall of Dust is out to the beta readers and I should be hearing back from them soon. After that, publication will happen soon. Now to finish book two and start working on book three. I have that many ideas for the series so far. Will there be more after that? Well, muse willing…..


It’s been a busy year. Especially dealing with work outside of home. Unfortunately I haven’t been writing as much as I need or want to and have to figure out how to squeeze it in between early shifts, pre-schooler tantrums, and other tasks.

That being said, a book I finished last year is off to a few beta readers to find errors and issues before being released. Cover art is done by myself because I can’t really afford semi-professional services. As well I have been learning how to create ebooks with various Linux programs. Learning as I go and I think I have managed to create a clean book that way at least.

Now the fun thing is that the book that is done is a first book of a series. Two books planned currently. Book two is almost done and I know where book three is going to go. The trick is sitting down and cranking out the words. Just need to get to that step again.

I will probably be starting back with some short stories for a bit to get myself in the groove again. I can’t quit now, there’s too much for me to say and do. So until next time.

Here’s the cover I managed to work on for “A Fall of Dust”.  Enjoy.


It’s Over

So, today is December the first and NaNoWriMo is over and done. I failed…in a sense that is. I only achieved forty thousand words in my project. Combinations of early mornings, work, and dealing with life are part of the reason. As well, I started struggling with the manuscript and story near the end. So, I will hang my head in shame that I didn’t write the fifty thousand words.

Is it a total failure? No, not at all. I have now a story that needs to be finished and I will try to work on it going forward. I may have to put it in the drawer until I can figure out where it’s going. It’s going to be a long book when it’s done though, so there’s that. The whole goal with the past month was to kick start my writing again that has languished after I had moved and was dealing with all manner of things.

Where to now? Well, I may look back at a couple of stories that have been poking at me that need finishing as well. I have been failing at Rule #2 of Heinleins rules (You must finish what you write). So, time to go back and finish some things and work my way forward.

Remember everytime you fall down it’s only a disaster if you don’t pick yourself up. So I am standing back up and moving forward. In the meantime a small excerpt from “The Sleeping Kings”. Enjoy.

Norman took the bedraggled looking cigar out of his mouth and tossed it into a nearby garbage can. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small tube and deftly removed another cigar. He bit of the end and popped it into his mouth. From his other pocket he pulled out a zippo and lit it with deep short draws.

“Ah, that’s better. Damn laws saying I can’t smoke in my own store.” He wandered over to a switch panel and pushed a button, activating an overhead exhaust fan. “Now, Mr. Black, you said you wanted my special armor, right?”

“Of course, nothing but the best for my employees. Especially if they are going to be put in potential harms way.”

“Mighty considerate of you,” Norman said between puffs of smoke. “How much does your ’employee’ know?”

“At the moment, not much. I am figuring that will change soon enough. He’s pretty sharp considering your initial view of him.”

“Alright, I won’t go into details then,” Norman wandered over to a bench and pulled a roughed out vest that looked a little thicker then a fleece vest. Although it had a bit more heft and looked smoother. “Right, one of my specials here. Guaranteed to stop anything up to a .45, maybe even a 5.56mm. Won’t do nothing over anything larger in rifle cartridges though.”

Chuck looked at it with a critical eye, “Little thin for that much protection isn’t it?”

Norman grinned around the cigar in the corner of his mouth, “Like I said, one of my specials. These suckers take time and special materials to make. Would be worth a king’s ransom back in the day. Still might be if you could ransom a king. Don’t sell them to just anybody. Takes a good year or so to make enough material for just one vest.”

“A year,” Chuck exclaimed. “What’s it made of? Diamond fiber?”

“What do you know about diamond fiber,” Norman said glaring at Chuck.

“Ummm, nothing really. Just something that popped into my head is all. Might have read about it somewhere maybe?”

“Well, anyway a good guess, but no. Not diamond fiber. I won’t go into details because it’s a personal process that I am not going to try getting a patent on. Here, try it on for size.” Norman threw the incomplete vest at Chuck who managed to catch it.

The vest was heavier than it looked. Yet not too heavy. He pulled it on and looked for a way to fasten it. No fasteners yet it seemed. It just hung on his shoulders loosely at the moment. Chuck moved around a bit trying to get a sense of it and was impressed.

“Not bad, and it’s as good as you say?”

“Not just as good, probably better. I try to under sell the bloody things so the people wearing it don’t think their invincible. Now come over here so I can get an idea of what I need to do to get it to fit properly.”

Chuck braved the cloud of cigar smoke swirling around Norman who went to work pulling and tightening and making marks on the vest with a piece of chalk.

“Right, I need you to take the vest off and the shirt you’re wearing. I am not remiss to thinking that this will be going under a shirt or suit,” Norman said to Mr. Black.

“You wouldn’t be. As well I need it to be metal free if possible. Just in case we need to go through metal detectors.”

“Shit, that’s a given. Got just the fasteners for that too. Right. You said you expect this tub of lard to lose weight?”

“I do, and he should if he follows through with my directions I have already given him.”

“Okay tub, what was your battle weight when you left the army.”

Chuck kept his thoughts to himself over the insults and answered coldly, “two hundred pounds. Had a thirty six inch waist if that helps.”

“Expect to get that low and small again? Don’t be shy, this is fucking important for the fight and sizing adjustments.”

“Yeah, I can do it. If not in a month maybe two months depending on what I do.”

Norman grunted, “Good I can work with that. Okay you can take it off and put it on the bench. Do you need it right away? Cause if you do it ain’t happening.”

Mr. Black sighed deeply, “No we don’t need it immediately, and I am aware of what you do. How soon do you think?”

Norman took the cigar out of his mouth and used it as pen and did some sketching in the air and muttering under his breath. To Chuck, it seemed as if there was numbers and letters forming in the air in front of Norman. He shook his head and all he saw was eddies of smoke. He narrowed his eyes as if trying to see better on a bright day and briefly caught another glimpse. His head started to hurt so he stopped trying.

“Right,” Norman said, taking another draw on his cigar, “going to be two weeks to get it fully formed and together. That good?”

“Perfectly acceptable,” Mr. Black answered. “Now do you need anything else?”

“Nah, I will send you the bill. Usual payment method and delivery. Now get your asses out of here. I got work to do. You know the way out.” Norman turned back to the bench and stared at the vest. Effectively dismissing Chuck and Mr. Black. Black grabbed Chucks attention silently with a tilt of his head and proceeded back to the door to the shop. Chuck followed behind him closing the door between the store front and the shop after he went through it.


Quick Update

So, it’s one more week to go for the end of NaNoWriMo. Currently I am sitting at over 30,000 words. and I have been upping my writing output when I can. Work has still been busy and I am juggling all the things. Except there’s a small problem.

Problem you say? Well, I am that far into the “novel” and the way things are progressing even if I do manage the 50k words for the month, it won’t be finished. Yeah, there’s lots of stuff going on in the story and it appears that it’s dragging while I am trying to get the main character kicked in the pants. Trouble is I don’t know what the main bad guy is planning. He’s keeping his cards far too close to his chest for my liking. Professional paranoid I guess.

The good guys are scrambling as well because they know there’s something big coming down and poor Chuck… Caught in the middle and no clue at all. Well, maybe a few clues that something isn’t right… Stay tuned and I may post a snippet or something later today.

It’s a day off work and I have other things to do besides write. If I am lucky I will get over 2k words done. Back soon maybe.



Yet Another Update

I am slowly grinding away at NaNoWriMo. Really slowly grinding. As I noted before I have started a new job and the hours have been rather more than I expected. Not to mention the shift timings. Then there’s the requirements of taking care of the Squire, my son, household duties and other responsibilities.

I am currently sitting at over nineteen thousand words and struggling to get a decent daily word count going now. If I am lucky I am now getting a maximum of a thousand words a day. The past week has been averaging under that though. I am finding too many things to distract me which is my fault really.

Anyway, enough procrastination. Have to be at work later this afternoon, and I will probably be exhausted by the time I get home. Perhaps I can get a decent word count done before I have to go.

Haven’t given up just yet.

NaNoWriMo Update

So, here we are at the 7 day mark or one week into the challenge. I am feeling good about the process so far and have made great strides into this project. At the moment I am sitting at 14k words written. Averaging around 2k or more per day while I have been off from working.

My concept that I started from has been fleshed out better than I imagined and I am pleased with the turns things have taken. It’s still struggling in places and I don’t know where things are going just yet. All I know is the main character is in for a rough ride. Side characters don’t know what exactly is going on just yet either. The main villain is still mysterious and showing some nasty and slick tendencies. Yep, things are going according to the pantsing tradition. Going to be a surprise to me as well how things wind up or turn out.

Alpha reader has been really enjoying how things are going and always looking forward to the day’s progress. Caught her today before breakfast sneaking a peek at what I had written yesterday when I had walked away to check on something else. This is a good sign in my books.

So until next time. Who knows, I may post a snippet here when I get a chance. I just hope the new job I start today won’t impeded too much with the writing progress I have made.



Getting Back in the Saddle

This hasn’t been a good year for me for writing. Life intruded and other priorities have seemed to get in the way of things. I moved, had to deal with legal issues, and got back to work as a productive member of society. Needless to say writing took a back seat if at all.

Then there was the feedback on my short story challenge from the beginning of the year. Having your work critiqued brutally tends to put a dent in your ego. Let’s just say that I was making a lot of errors. Errors in formatting and errors in story telling. One thing I learned was that some story ideas and executions are off the table until I can learn how to do them properly.

I am lucky in one sense. I have a partner that is pushing and prodding and supporting my dream and goal. So I decided that I needed to step up and put some of the things I learned to good practice and use. I have entered into NaNoWriMo and see if I can punch out a new novel this month.

The month is still young and I have managed to get off to a good start. I am recycling an old story idea I had about a year and a half ago and ended up putting into the drawer. I realized that there were a lot of problems with the beginning and other things. I haven’t copied it exactly, just taking a couple premises and went from there. The idea is good and sound in my mind so it shouldn’t be a total waste. As well, I didn’t open it up and do any cut and paste. Just took two characters, reworked them and started totally fresh in the writing. There will be no comparison at all to the original manuscript.

So, if you are also participating, you can find me over on the NaNoWriMo site as paladinphil3000. Cheer me on and challenge me. The month is fresh and it’s a long way to the end.


The Lost Story

It’s gone, and probably will never be re-written or dragged out from the depths of my memory. A story I wrote years ago and in changing computers, floods, and other calamities it’s gone. Mind you, I do remember enough of it to resurrect it if needed. That’s not my focus currently and if needed it may return like a phoenix.

It began about eighteen years ago. Had a dream where a halfling was arguing with a bard and he was extolling his father’s virtues to her. I won’t go into details about that argument, let’s just say it stuck with me for a long while.

Finally I sat down at a keyboard and started writing. Not about the halfing, but about the bard and a warrior. I slaved over it and worked at it until it was done. Went back and edited for spelling and other formatting and figured it was done.

At the time I was seeing an English major and talked her into editing and reviewing my story. Bad mistake on all levels. She trashed it and told me that she had to stop marking it up because it was so bad and she didn’t know where to start or end. It didn’t help that I had referred to it as my “baby” and she understood what she was doing. She was very forthright and honest and I took it to heart. Partially.

You see, I had rubbed in my face all the mistakes I had made. I didn’t hate her for that, I took it as a learning experience. I put that manuscript aside and started looking at improving the story by exploring other aspects of the world I was trying to create.

The halfling became a northern barbarian, the bard was doing her own thing, and the old warrior? Well I know what he was looking for and I know what the whole purpose of his new quest was for. I had to stop writing that story for other reasons.

You see, I got part way through the barbarians introduction when I realized something. I was letting some of my biases get in the way of the story. Certain institutions weren’t even covered with a good coating of a veneer and I sat back and looked at what I was doing. I couldn’t with good conscience go on with that story at that time.

The purpose of writing is to tell a good story and not preach at your audience. I found that I was preaching and wasn’t ready to tell that story with the proper skill and art that it needed. The program was closed and the file saved only to disappear in the electronic ether never to be seen again.

So here I sit, mourning a lost story. One day, when I get everything else back under control it will rise up and I will finally do it the justice it deserves. The Dragon’s Teeth are waiting across the far deserts for those who dare, and need to, scale it’s deadly peaks….

On Research

Things are quiet today. Didn’t sleep well last night due to a variety of reasons. The Squire not being one of them thank goodness. He’s at his mom’s for the weekend. I had planned on doing writing and have done my weekly vignette at According to Hoyt finally. Past few weeks have been hectic so I have skipped them. So with lack of sleep and feeling a little listless I decided to do some research for my current work in progress. No, not that little snippet I posted a few weeks ago, for the current novel I am working on.

You see, I have taken a premise and gone running with it. Leave it aside for the moment. Near future present day, no big tech type stuff going on. I had thought I was finished it last year and started book two. Realized that it was the wrong book, labeled it number three and THEN started book two. Things were going great got about 30,000 words into it when I realized that I had some HUGE plot holes in book one. So, saved, closed and pulled up book one to go back over it.

I ripped out about seven thousand words that didn’t feel right. No worries, saved them for something else later. After I rework that short story or novella, depending on how much working needs to be done with it I may release it as a tease or something else. I re-examined my assumptions and started writing more words to fill in the holes.

This is about research again right? Yeah, that’s right finding the information you need in order not to trip up your readers. In this case I had to go read a few government documents. The Emergency Measures Act (Canadian law on what the federal government can and can not do from public welfare to actual declaration of war). Long boring reading for most part, a little back tracking and checking other acts referenced in the EMA. So why do I need it? Well, there used to be a government document called the “War Measures” Act, last used in the 1970’s during the FLQ crisis in Quebec. It was finally updated and brought into alignment with the Canadian Charter of Rights. Big deal actually. Stipulates what the government can and can’t do for how long. Reason why I had to look this up was because I am a bit of a fossil and only remembered it from history as the “War Measures Act”. Of course the new Act can into effect after I had almost graduated high school.

Heavy reading and important reading. How much will I use in my current work? That depends on numerous factors. Not much honestly, and only in passing here and there probably. The big important deal is knowing how the government is going to act and react, when it will, how it will escalate, and so on. Reasoning is that it has a lot of powers in what it can do to keep things moving. How effective would it be in practice? Well it depends on numerous factors.

So, research done and I have to rip more words out and get more writing done. After that maybe I will look up something easier like how to build a solar oven and bake beans off the grid.

A Little Pest Control Snippet

A couple weeks ago I did a vignette for a Sunday challenge at According to Hoyt blog. Great practice and sometimes it lets me work out scenes. Unfortunately, the vignette I did kind of spawned. It’s still a work in progress and needs a lot of tidying up as I pants my way towards the end. So here’s a bit of a teaser of the current first third. I will hopefully figure out the ending in the following week as I deal with Squire stuff and other real life things that need taking care of. Enjoy.

A Little Pest Control

“Oh look at the cute kitty. Chris, you didn’t tell me that pets were allowed here. If I had known that….”

Athari opened one eye lazily looking at the young human female and snorted, “I’m not a pet sir.” He deliberately got the gender wrong just because he could. “I am just relaxing awaiting my host to return.”

The female started turning red, either in embarrassment or anger. The spluttering could have been either. “Chris, that cat talked and insulted me! Are you going to do anything about it?” Definitely anger.

The human male tried to hide his smile, “Yes dear, I am going to apologize to the Methorian and then we are leaving.”

The male approached Athari who was sitting up on the cushion in the alcove. He held his hands up in the proper Methorian position of peace and lowered his head. “My apologies for the accidental insult, may your hunts be fruitful and please allow us to leave in peace.”

Athari cocked his head curiously, aside from using human language the forms were mostly correct. At least as correct as one without a tail could manage. He stood from the cushion and restrained the need to stretch. He reached out his hands over the humans and snarled in the proper form, “Apologies accepted, you may leave in peace and may your hunts be blessed in turn.”

The human nodded once and took a step back before turning to the woman and grabbing her by the arm and guiding her away from the Methorian. Athari waited until they were out of sight before stretching sinuously. Proper protocols always trumped ones needs unfortunately. If he had stretched before accepting the apology that would have been far too insulting. Especially when the human male tried to approach him as an equal. Of course they never could be equals. Too much separated them for that to ever happen. At the best their species and his managed to work together without too much bloodshed.

He sat back on the cushion, all thoughts of napping fled. He mentally checked his time chip and twitched his whiskers in annoyance. His host was late and there had been no communication to inform him if or when he would be showing up now. Blasted hairless monkeys, always saying one thing and doing another. Patience was something he had to relearn apparently. Very well, he was where he was supposed to be so he would wait.

It was a few hours later after his meeting with his host that he ran across the Chris human again. He was sitting in the local station bar slurping a drink from his saucer when his solitude was interrupted. Athari looked up and tried not to snarl at being interrupted. The human male was looking appropriately apologetic though so he didn’t challenge him right off the tail tip.

“Apologies, I was directed to find you,” the human started speaking.

With a wave of his hand paw Athari silenced him and put down his saucer, “I take it you were sent here by my host?” Chris nodded. “And for what purpose may I enquire that he selected you?”

Chris looked a little nervous, “I am supposed to be a liaison while you are working off your debt sir. I am one of the station anthropologists and working on my internship while here.”

Athari paused and examined the young man in front of him. Slim, reddish tints to his head hair. Facial skin that looked like it had been depiliated permanently. He sniffed slightly trying to pick up his scent over the aromatic crowd already in the bar and just got a hint of soap or cleanser. He shrugged as a human would, a bad habit he had picked up over the years.

“Well, I guess it could be worse. At least you have studied something of my people and culture. Shame about the lack of the tail,” Athari muttered grudgingly.

“I try to do my best sir,” Chris replied.

“Well neither here nor there, get a drink and inform me why you have to follow me.” Athari waited while Chris consulted the table menu and selected a beverage of his choice and biochemical compatibility. He clicked on the table screen and tapped his wrist communicator on the read pad. He waited for a second confused when his drink didn’t appear immediately.

“Guess the transmatt is out of order,” Chris said looking around for someone to report it too.

“No, not broken. This is a bar where there’s actual servers. Something about keeping people gainfully employed,” Athari corrected. “Give it a minute or so and a serving sentient will along shortly with your drink.

“Well, that’s rather backwards. Why not use perfectly good tech?”

“Don’t ask me, I am just passing through here eventually. You monkey’s come up with some of the most bizarrest ideas though. Now, while we are awaiting your beverage you can start telling me why I have to put up with you,” Athari flicked an ear signifying annoyance and impatience.

“Well, I don’t know the exact details why I was assigned you,” Chris started slowly. “Part of the reason goes back to Confederation training of anthropologists. Before we are assigned an exploration ship we have to have some of our book learning smoothed out. So after we graduate and complete a small training syllabus, we are assigned to a way point station to interact with other known sentient species.”

“Okay, that’s a good start. Why?”

“Actual experience is better then book smarts, is what we were told. No matter how well documented interactions with other species is done, it doesn’t quiet match the actual interaction with something that’s unscripted.”

Athari picked up his saucer and lapped the liquid in it up. Pondering on this information. He had heard about how stringent the Confederation’s training was. Being part of the training just seemed to be adding insult to his injured pride already. A server swung by and dropped a glass in front of Chris and hurried off. Athari narrowed his eyes and watched the human pick up his glass and sip the bubbling amber gold beverage. He tried to avoid twitching at how a being could drink something containing so much gas infused liquid. Humans, weird.

Chris set down his glass and smacked his lips in satisfaction and waited for Athari to say something. They sat there staring at each other, one being patient and the other waiting for something to be said. Athari chuckled mentally to himself. Monkey’s were always the impatient sort and didn’t have the stamina to wait like the hunters of his species. So he continued lapping at his saucer while the human started to fidget and drink his beer.

Chris ordered another beer after Athari ordered a saucer of his drink. He had to admit that even with all the fidgeting, the human was being rather patient waiting for Athari to speak or do anything besides sit there. It was a waiting game and Athari figured that he would give himself one more drink before letting the human down easy. If the human didn’t breakdown first and started talking. A test of wills and a test of training. No need to make the humans task any easier. The universe was a cold dark and thankless place. Young hunters were always taught this.

Chris broke first, “So, the head of my department never really informed me why you are here. Anything important? Trade mission? Diplomacy? Something important?”

Athari snorted, “Nothing of that sort whatsoever. I’m on probation and fulfilling ‘uplifting community service’ before I can get the stars out of here.”

“Probation? You mean you broke the law or something?”

“Something like that, don’t bother asking. It boils down to none of your business. Besides, if my host wants you to know they will tell you,” Athari peered into his saucer trying not to think about how he ended up here.

“Okay, if I can’t ask what you are being punished for may I ask what your service entails?”

“I guess, nothing really major. No feeding of orphaned litters directly that is. I am hunting. Pest and vermin control actually,” Athari twitched an ear in resignation. “No matter how good pest control measures are on space stations vermin get into the ducts and systems. Rats, vesques, large bugs, you name it. If it’s a breeder and is a problem it will infest stations. Not an issue with starships really since they are routinely vented to vacuum when needed. Much harder to do with a station.”

Chris looked aghast, “They’re using you to hunt rats? Don’t they have robots or anything less sentient for that?”

Athari quirked his whiskers in amusement, “Sure, every now and then though you get a rather particular vicious infestation that needs a sentient to do the job. Real hunters that can out think and out manoeuvre the vicious pests.”

“So, there’s a bad vermin infestation here currently I take it,” Chris muttered. Looking around and under the table as if looking for a rat or bug.

“That’s right. So I got cuffed into this task. I am in charge of a few bots and some hunting creatures that have been trained. Need my expertise though to really get things back under control. Once that’s done I am free to light drives and get out of here.”

“So, how long have you been working on this task,” Chris asked curiously.

“Several lunar segments, it’s been a really bad infestation,” Athari lapped up the last dregs of his saucer viciously. “Make yourself useful and order both of us a round. The stipend I earn isn’t that much and besides keeping me in air, kibble, and room, I barely have enough to get properly soused.”

“If you don’t mind, what are you drinking,” Chris pointed at the saucer.

“Traditional drink. Combination of blood, fermented fruit juice, and a few extra herbs to enhance the effects. Don’t bother trying any of it. Definitely not compatible with your species. Look for Fruit blood, I believe the translation is.”

Chris pulled up the table menu and tapped twice with his finger before tapping his wrist comm to pay for the drinks. Athari waited patiently for the server to bring the drinks before saying anything else. Chris seemed to have relaxed a bit and wasn’t fidgeting as much as before. The glass and saucer were placed in front of them and Athari lapped up a bit before putting it back down.

“So, why are you following me around? Actually that’s going to be a little difficult because I can’t see you fitting into a lot of the crawl spaces I have been hanging around lately.”

“Well, I can see how that would be a problem as well. Figured I would be talking with you and hanging around you on your off times then?”

“Great, just what I needed. A monkey tracking my every move and giving me no peace,” Athari plucked at the collar he was wearing. “Bad enough station security knows my every move, now they are putting eyeballs on me as well.”

“Sorry that you feel that way. Would it help if you considered it part of your community service,” Chris asked trying to put a lighter side on the issue.

“So, you mean to say that you are a more onerous task given to me,” Athari threw back at him. “Look , monkey, I don’t like it here. I hate hunting vermin and I can’t wait to get things under enough control that my service is done. We are mostly solitary hunters, if you have read thoroughly in your information sources. Which I am sure you have since you have most of the correct and proper responses down. Only reason that I haven’t tagged you like an errant kitling. Oh, by the way, I am not a good example of a typical Methorian. I am cantankerous, prone to insults, and just a touch xenophobic.”

“So I noticed,” Chris said with a grin. “You have a bad case of ‘get off my lawn’, syndrome if I ever saw it.”

Athari twitched a paw in puzzlement and requesting further information. Chris went on, “Just an old movie from our world. Pre-stellar, old character was what we called back then a racist cantankerous old coot. Just wanted to be left alone. Good story, great high points and redemption tale. If you’re interested I can send you a link to the file in the media archive.”

“Thanks, but no thanks. Monkey shows don’t really interest me. Like that whole ‘get off my lawn’ idea though. Anyway, thanks for the drink.” Athari held up his paw-hand with his wrist communicator, “Guess we should exchange contact info? I need some more rest because tomorrow it’s back in the crawlspaces again. Don’t call me, I’ll call you when I’m done so we can talk. May as well satisfy our lords and masters, right?”

Chris chuckled at that and held his wrist comm next to Athari’s. Green lights blinked on both comm’s and a chirp signalled the exchange of comm codes. Athari stood up out of his chair and walked out. Just his luck that he had been assigned a liaison. Someone it seemed didn’t like him too much, either the powers that be or the higher powers. He prowled back to his assigned space and looked forward to hiding from the made world that he had been thrust into. Tomorrow at least he would hunt. One bright side to his community service was that it had been almost tailored to his skills and proclivities.

The quarters assigned to him was in the temporary living section of the station. Humans called the cubicles “coffins” for some obscure reason that Athari wasn’t curious enough to look up. All he knew was that they were the perfect size for his species. low ceiling, narrow, almost like a den from home. He had a small refresher tailored to his needs and a sleeping pad set up in the back area. The sound proofing was sufficient to keep most station noises to a bare minimum and he was told in a pinch it would be an emergency pod if the station had any emergency that caused it to lose atmosphere. He removed the leather harness that carried anything that was needed and the small “loin cloth” type covering to keep him within the bare minimum required amount of public decency. The temperatures on the station were set to human norms and was hotter then a typical desert from home. Higher humidity as well. He had acclimatized mostly and couldn’t wait to get the stars out of here. Just a quarter arc of orbit until his service was done.