jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 The Complete Red Vixen Adventures is now available for pre-order in both Kindle ($5.99) and trade paperback ($19.99) for a June 1st. 2017 release.

Since 2011 readers have enjoyed the adventures of the Darktail family and their entanglements with the vivacious space pirate, the Red Vixen. Now this brand new collection gathers all the major stories in the series Captive of the Red Vixen, Shadow of the Red Vixen, Shadow of Her Sins, Shadow of Doubt, The Red Vixen at Sea and I Fought the Claw and the Claw Won, plus two never before published short stories "Solstice Gifts" and "The Parable of the Glassblower" along with an appendix featuring fun world building notes.
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Love on the beach... and the rocks.

Lady Melanie Lovejoy's former life as the vivacious space pirate the Red Vixen is over. Escaping the consequences of her criminal career proves more difficult, as her husband, Rolas, is seeming to reconsider the wisdom of marrying a vixen with such a checkered past. But he proves to have his own secrets, as a lover from his troubled youth returns to the scene.

Trying to reconcile their past lives, Melanie and Rolas leave on a sailing trip to work things out. However, after an unexpected storm strands their boat and leaves Rolas critically injured, Melanie must fight for both their lives. For there is a monster here, and it needs the two shipwrecked foxen for its own plans, in the final exciting entry of the
Red Vixen Adventures!

The Red Vixen at Sea is available for $2.99 exclusively through Amazon.com, and will release on May 26th, 2017.

(sorry about the crap cover art. I'll fix it when the opportunity presents itself.)
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)

Just attempting to codify some of the worldbuilding I've done over the years, starting with the tech.

* * *

Tech Level
: In general the G:RVA tech level is TL9-11, following the Safe-Tech path (p. UT10), with some gravity related superscience additions.


Cut for the RPG disinterested )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
 Note: This is my third or fourth attempt to write this story. Hopefully this time it'll work.

* * *

She woke up from the nightmare of blood, to find herself in a nightmare of pain.

It had been the usual dream, the pile of bodies, smoking and smelling of burnt flesh. She would cough and choke on the horrible smoke, claws scratching at the steel walls of the room, desperate to find a way out. But the walls were solid. There were no doors to allow her to escape. Eventually the smoke thickened and she tripped over the bodies, falling into them, dead arms and legs tangling with her own, trapping her, choking her, until she woke up again in the Relentless’ bunkroom, trying not to scream and earn another beating.

She blinked, realized she was awake. A brief bout of panic overcame her as she felt the harsh florescent light shine in her face. Was she late for duty call? She tried to roll out of bed to her feet, only then discovering the heavy nylon straps holding her naked to an examination table in an unfamiliar sickbay.

Captured and rescued )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Wrote a up prologue to The Visitors, which I want to try and finish before beating my head against a potential For Your Safety novel.


***


“You know, vacations are usually for relaxation,” Melanie observed dryly. Rolas’ wife was dressed in Commoner culottes and a crop top shirt, sitting in half-lotus atop a workbench in the car barn, one leg dangling idly over the edge. The wooden barn held a small steam tender Rolas had been puttering over for the past week, the large doors propped open to let a breeze into the un-air conditioned space.

Rolas was finishing lowering a superheater tube into the boiler of the small, colorfully painted narrow-gauge steam engine, his shirt off, dressed only in his shorts and a pair of heavy leather foot protectors to save his toes from being sliced off by errant bits of iron.

“This is relaxing,” he said, biceps straining under his brown pelt, paws holding on tight to the chain running through the block and tackle. He lowered the tube down the last few centimeters into its waiting slot, and then secured the loose end of the chain to a bolt set in a nearby pillar.

“It’d be more relaxing if you used a proper tractor-pressor unit to save you from all of that work,” she pointed out.

“I’m trying to use original materials and techniques while I restore this,” he replied proudly, slipping the foot protectors off and setting them on the workbench.

“The original Mr. Puff is sitting in a museum back in town. The one you’re working on is a replica that was built two hundred years ago using modern techniques,” Melanie said, hopping off the bench and pressing up against him. Rolas smelled very male today, sweating from the work and summer’s heat, with a perfume of machine oil.

“Principle’s the same,” he replied, voice a bit muffled as he nuzzled her neck. She let out a pleased purr, her tail waving happily as he pushed her back against the workbench, feeling his paw reach under her shirt to stroke her back. Yes, with just the two of them here, without even servants at this small country estate in the deep woods, well away from the nearest town, this was the most privacy they’d had since their children had gone to visit their aunts on Greenholme.

Mmmm, hmm. Less engineering, more sex,” Melanie advised, nibbling his ear tip.

Rolas snorted a laugh into her pelt. “Not even advanced hydraulics?”

“Well that I could get into…”

We interrupt this scene for a bit of family history. )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
“The Mother Goddess bless Her children on this day. On this darkest day, Winter begins. On this coldest day the sun hangs low. In the Cold and Dark we tremble, and in the Cold and Dark we see the Mother Goddess’ warming fire, and know that She and it preserve us.” the Countess Matri Darktail intoned, as Melanie watched with her husband Rolas, from the circle of witness standing around her, in Darktail Manor’s holy arbor. As was traditional, the ceremony was held in the pre-dawn twilight, witnesses from the Houses of vassal lords, from the various professions of the Service caste, and Commoners both notable and chosen at random, all watching as the Countess conducted the ceremony in nothing more than the fur she was born with, demonstrating both her piety and that they all appeared the same in the Mother Goddess’ eyes. It made Melanie grateful for the heavy coat she wore, over the curve of her gravid belly.

A time to forgive. )
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Bellwether blinked, as the black cloth bag was pulled off her head. After she'd been grabbed, coughing and crying, out of the van by that huge wolf, she'd been stuffed, still pawcuffed, into the trunk of a sedan and driven around the city for almost an hour. Then the car had stopped and she'd been pulled out into a totally dark room, had the bag plopped over her head and moved up several flights of stairs to wherever she was now. She could smell comforting scent of old, dusty books, driving out the lingering smell of tear gas in her wool.

The world came into focus. She was in a library, or at least secure book depository, the shelves around her surrounded by a chain link cage. Standing in front of her on the other side of the cage was the tall wolf, mask removed, revealing penetrating gray eyes. Next to him was a shorter Persian leopardess and on his other side a small bespectacled marten leaning on a cane, and looming behind them a tall, furry bear. The leopard had a soy steak, or least Bellwether hoped it was soy, speared on a wicked looking combat knife, and was chewing on it idly. The bear, by contrast, seemed to be happily munching on a paperback copy of I, Robot.

You are being stalked... er, watched. )
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
“Dispatch, Van Three is 10-76 to Zootopia Penitentiary,” Judy said crisply into the mike in the seat beside Nick, as he guided the van out of the police lot and into Zootopia's early morning traffic. “ETA ten minutes.”

10-4, Van Three, Clauhauser replied back at Precinct One. Have fun!

“Oh, oodles,” Nick said, once Judy had clicked off. “Can't wait to see Smellwether's face when she finds out the chief chose us to transfer her over to the feds.” The fox grinned over to his bunny partner.

This fun won't last )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
The sun was falling into the sea when rescue finally arrived. Rolas remained face down in the sand, exhausted from his ordeal, the remains of the ardalian’s tentacle hanging from his spine like an obscene second tail. Melanie left him briefly to grab the first aid kit and walk up the stairs for the fifth bloody time to check on the wazagan. It was still shuddering and otherwise unresponsive, though it had stopped crying and muttering to herself. Melanie gave it a shot of a universal anti-shock medication, and the poor creature finally fell into an exhausted sleep.

Letting go of old pain. )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Fourth time's the charm, Melanie thought to herself, looking at the stairs again with distaste. But there were four tentacles in the sand, curving around the bay where the ardalian had to be hiding, leading up the stairs to the altar. She had to wonder at that. Surely there was no real reason why attaching a puppeteer tentacle to a victim had to be done at the highest point of the island. Perhaps it was a tradition. The presence of the stone altar slab certainly pointed to that.

She decided to worry about it later. For now, Melanie had a task. Even better, she could do it at the bottom of the stairs instead of climbing all the way to the top to confront the ardalian’s puppets. So she set her improvised spear into the sand, and drew out her real weapon from her pocket.

Any tool can be a weapon, in the right hands. )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
The worst was the bit with the reef. The lifejacket’s little AI was bound and determined to keep her facing tail towards the the water, snout in the air, which made it difficult to watch and time the waves, and start kicking in a one armed backstroke as they crested the reef. She only barely managed it, feeling her tail catch in the sharp coral as she swam clear, managing to avoid by some miracle of the Mother Goddess ripping her back open on it. The retreating waves threatened to carry past the boat itself, but she managed to tangle her arms with the sail’s lines, then wrapped her arms and legs around the mast itself.

And now for the really stupid part. Feeling her fingers already growing stiff in the cold surf, she yanked at the manual release catches for the lifejacket. It let out an electronic wail of protest as she slipped off, its complaints soon carried with it away in the waves.

Diving for Chekov's Gun )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Sheer terror propelled Melanie back the way they had come, running away from the bay, past the dock, and back around again to Windskimmer’s next to the last resting place. She stopped there, falling to her knees by the tree with the boat’s anchor rope still wrapped around it, dislocated shoulder aching in pain.

They had captured Rolas. He was going to be turned into one of the ardalian’s puppets, unable to control his own body, his mind free to watch in horror as the creature used it. She had a horrible vision of him coming towards her, tentacle leash dragging behind him, arms outstretched, only his eyes betraying his terror as he was used to hunt her down.

No plan, no tools, no hope. )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Well that’s completely non-reassuring, she thought, stifling a sudden urge to giggle in hysteria. The only saving grace they had at the moment was that they were still hidden, and their opponents were both unarmed and sickly looking. Still, it’s two to one, neither of us are in full health either, and even a half-dead wazagan has a significant advantage in strength over either of us. Mother Goddess she wished she still Alinadar. Even unarmed the little bodyguard would have made short work of all these creatures.

She backed up further, rising to a crouch with Rolas as they went deeper into the trees and brush. Melanie gripped his paw tightly, listening as the quartet called out again for their surrender.

“What do we do?” Rolas asked softly, when they were perhaps ten meters distant.

Good question )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
With a mutual yelp of surprise, they both hopped back away from the… Yes indeed, it was a tentacle, rising up out of the sand to form a curved, rubbery bar about a meter in the air in front of them, one end still leading into the ocean, the other into the trees, with lots of noisy rustling as it pushed aside more sand, leaves and fallen branches.

Melanie was the first to act, her fatigue suddenly banished in sheer terror. Grabbing Rolas by the wrist, she started dragging him into the trees, well clear of the tentacle, as the sound of something crashing through the undergrowth reached their ears. She dropped flat to the ground, Rolas beside her, as a figure emerged.

From bad to worse )
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Melanie and Rolas, lacking food, water, and options, start hunting for their mysterious watchers.

Note: After some consideration, I've revised the main manuscript to reinstate Rolas' memory loss, which will be Plot Important later.

* * *

The night wore on interminably. Melanie spent it trading naps with Rolas, though he stayed up far longer than she did. When she did sleep she used Rolas’ lap as a pillow, his tail curling over her chest to ward off  the chill. Even so she still felt exhausted as dawn finally broke, her pelt itching as the seawater dried off from her afternoon swim.

“So do we stay or explore?” Rolas wondered out loud. He grimaced in embarrassment as his stomach let out a loud grumble.

“Explore,” she said reluctantly, probing her lips with her tongue, feeling the dried and cracked surface. “We have to find food and water, especially water, before we’re unable to move.”

Be careful exploring. You might find something. )
jeriendhal: (Marty Greycoat)
Bonnie had fallen asleep, cuddled with Stu on the padded lounge chair one of the nurses had dragged into the hospital room for them. When she awoke the room lights had been dimmed down, and she could see the sun had set, leaving only the light of the streetlights outside. Someone had tossed a blanket over them both, and she found herself not wanting to crawl out from under it just yet.

Glancing over to Judy, she could see that there was no change. She just laid there, the respirator making her chest rise and fall like a well pump. Watching it, Bonnie felt her nose twitch in agitation. The thought occurred to her that it not be Judy there anymore. Maybe it was just her body now, and they were simply biding time before giving into the inevitable and turning off the switch.

No. Judy had believed in being a police officer, had wanted it so hard that she made it happen, despite all the odds against her. If she wouldn’t give up on herself, I’m not going to either.

Things go to hell, but Clawhauser is awesome )
jeriendhal: (Marty Greycoat)
Kevin dropped Nick off back at his new place. One of the advantages of having a steady salary was that he could afford a bit better than “Box under a bridge” these days. One of the disadvantages was that it was the same lousy apartment complex as Judy, because a cop’s salary only went so far, especially when he was still sending half of it to his mom each month.

His call to Chief Bogo had been short, and predictable. Bogo didn’t like the idea of a gang war any more than Nick did, especially with the awkward complication that it might be triggered because one of the city’s most recently decorated officers had family ties to one of the gang’s in question. The chief had hung up muttering, after ordering him to get some sleep finally.

In Which Nick Has Too Much Time to Think )
jeriendhal: (Marty Greycoat)
“Honestly, Stu. Can't you go any faster? People are passing us,” Bonnie said urgently. She grabbed for the oh, carrots strap beside the door as an 18-wheeler zoomed by them in the highway's right lane, setting the old farm truck rocking in its wake.

“I go any faster I'll overheat the engine, you know that. We only bought this one to run produce over to the stand,” Stu said, keeping his eyes on the road. “Told ya we needed a new truck.”

“We needed the tractor repaired more,” she said. Which was true, but what she wouldn't give for one of those fancy SUV's now, instead of this twenty-year old rusty dusty pickup truck. They'd been on the road six hours now, and she couldn't help but think it would have just been faster to take the train, but when Nick's call had come all either of them could think of was getting out the door now.

Time keeps running out. )
jeriendhal: (Marty Greycoat)
Nick had to get some sleep. He knew he had to get some sleep. This shift had started over twenty-four hours ago. He and Judy had just been ready to drive back to the station at the end of their normal twelve hours when he had spotted the Russian polar bear climbing out of an SUV and heading down towards one of the warehouses by the docks. Why the hell hadn't he just let the guy go on his merry way was beyond his ability to reason now. Of course once he had pointed him out to Judy there was no stopping her from following the bear to see what he was up to.

Never get Family involved in Business )
jeriendhal: (Mayhem)
Summary: Nick makes the call no officer ever wants to

I have written Zootopia darkfic. God help me.


***

There were days when Chief Bogo could still feel good about being a cop. When they collared a criminal that the force had been chasing for too long. When a civilian said “Thank you” in the tone that let you know you really had made the world a little better, at least for one person.

Today was not one of those days.

“Sir, I'd like to make the call, if you're willing,” Wilde asked. His tail was limp, his ears were flopped down in exhaustion, but there was no hint in his stance or voice of the need he had to be feeling to either scream or break down sobbing.

“What you need to be doing is reporting to the ZPD counselor, Officer Wilde,” Bogo said. “This part is my job.”

“Chief, they don't know you,” Wilde said, his ears flicking back in challenge. “I've visited that little farm of theirs, played with their kids. They know me. They trust me.” He didn't have to add, They trusted me to keep her safe.

They do not serve for glory )

July 2017

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