Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Nine, Part Two

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

“We did it!” Neare dropped his end on the ground as a large piece of shrapnel whizzed by overhead. Adar shrunk to the cobblestones and felt it whip over him too and collide with the ship behind him. When he looked up, he saw Neare sprawling beside the blaster. He thought Neare might have been hit by another piece of shrapnel until he saw Neare had a big stupid grin on his face.

Within a few minutes, it was all over, and they could get to their feet again.

“Good thinking there at the last,” Neare said, clapping Adar on the back. “I’d have been blind for sure.”

“Don’t mention it.”

“I thought you’d lost your mind, wanting to bring down a ship! I ran off, figuring you for dead. I’m still not sure why I came back.”

“I’m just glad you did.” He didn’t want to think about what would have happened if Neare hadn’t returned.

“If somebody would have told me that there was a man that could fight the Hunwei. I would have doubted it. If they had said it was you, I would have been even less likely to believe them.” Neare pounded Adar on the shoulder again. “Do you realize what this means? We can fight them! We can save my family and Ka—”

He stopped short, but Adar already knew what he had been about to say. Karany. Or whatever the name of Polaer’s wife had been.

“I’m going to form an army,” Adar said. “I need a second in command. You interested?”

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Nine, Part One

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Adar felt a chill run down his spine as he examined the town square, the rough edges of the hole he’d made in the ship’s door were just overhead. The Hunwei and turncoats that had been around the tower were gone.

How long had it been since he’d last looked outside? Five minutes, maybe ten? It was probably less than he thought.

The town hall was quiet. A lone stream of smoke wafted up into the sky from the once burning inferno that had been a squad of Hunwei. The mass no longer had flames, but he could still see heat waves distorting the air above it.

He could also make out part of the governor’s mansion and the rubble pile it had become.

There wasn’t a Hunwei or turncoat in sight. The door of the other ship was up as if it was preparing for departure.

Adar had expected they had little time left to live, assuming the Hunwei would attack them once their comrades hadn’t secured the ship. He and the others would have been trapped with little they could do other than continue to fight.

Whoever is in command on the other side will know that, he thought, remembering how the Hunwei bombs had flattened buildings in a blink of an eye. This ship is damaged. They’re not going to waste resources sending others to come after us. Why do that when they can just drop a bomb? While the ship is armored well enough to protect against a blaster, I’m sure they have bombs that would turn us all into a twisting mess of metal and flesh just as fast as they leveled the governor’s mansion.

The thought came with a feeling of certainty. He knew that was what they were going to do because it was what he would have done if their roles had been reversed.

 

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Eight

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

The morning light blinded Soret as it reflected off the still pool outside of the arch, causing her to stumble as she stepped out onto the small grassy knoll.

She pushed a hand to the side and clawed at the air as she toppled over. Luckily, she was able to twist so she could avoid landing on a large boulder that would have at least bruised a rib, if not worse.

She landed with an oomph and to her satisfaction managed to avoid crying out. It was difficult to make less sound than that as her forearm had struck a small rock. It stung, but she was going to shrug it off if she could.

The ground had little in the way of vegetation or grass that broke her fall, but it was a great deal more forgiving than the boulder would have been. She felt a little foolish when she realized Jorad had just said something to her about needing to watch her step when coming out of the arch.

He was several steps ahead of her but hadn’t turned, he seemed to be focused on looking around. There was that to be grateful for she supposed.

It wasn’t going to be easy to increase his esteem of her, but at least he hadn’t witnessed yet another action that would further cement his need to protect and care for her. She was doubly glad now she hadn’t cried out.

But that doesn’t mean I need to do everything the hard way, she thought as she ground her teeth. Even though I’m trying to be more independent, I still must heed well-meaning advice, regardless of the source. It’s my own stupid fault for not listening.

Perhaps it had been her subconscious that had caused her to tune out Jorad or maybe she had just become too distracted by her own thoughts again.

Either way, she had to pay better attention to what was going on around her. Xarda might be able to give her a few pointers on that.

Snickering came from behind as she righted herself into a sitting position. She avoided looking back to see who was laughing but it sounded like it was either Leron or Wes. It grated on her, but she would overcome.

With time.

She sighed. It wasn’t even that bad. Everybody lost control and fell at some point or another. She was just frustrated at the way everybody already treated her. To them, she was somebody that either needed protection or scolding. In some cases, derision.

She didn’t know how long it would take to make others see her differently, but she was now trying to change things. That was a start. It would be hard to be patient while she progressed, but she hoped to avoid the misstep of lashing out at people that treated her as though she was daft or soft. That would do nothing but confirm their already low opinion of her.

“Here.” Tere held out a hand. “We all take a spill at one time or another.” If the older man found Soret’s stumble funny, he didn’t let it touch his face or even his eyes.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Seven

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Adar rolled to his feet and kicked away the turncoat’s blaster from where the man’s body had fallen. It skidded across the floor until it came to a stop.

Why had the weapon worked for the turncoat but not for him?

Adar had pulled the trigger and felt it stop at the point where it should have fired, yet nothing had happened.

It had to be the armor, somehow the weapon was reloaded or reactivated when the turncoat had picked it up. The last moments before Adar had killed the turncoat played again in his mind, his heart still pounding in his chest as he thought it through. The turncoat hadn’t done anything special. All he’d done was pick up the blaster, point, and shoot.

Adar thought of the flash of light he’d seen yesterday when a turncoat had picked up a blaster.

The same thing might have occurred here, but Adar had been too busy to notice it. The turncoat had even had a smirk on his face as if he knew something Adar didn’t.

That was true, Adar thought. I’m sure he knew a lot of things that I don’t. He winced, trying to ignore the searing pain on the back of his head from the shot that had almost killed him earlier. He touched it and wasn’t surprised to discover that most of his hair back there was gone. He had never thought of himself as handsome, so if it never grew back, he would survive.

Adar examined the turncoat’s wound as he knelt beside the body with his own smaller blaster pointed at the turncoat’s head just in case.

Just like the Hunwei corpse he’d looked at earlier, there was a ring of the silver metal around the outside of the wound. It had not moved to cover it up.

When he touched the metal, he was surprised it was cool to the touch. That was strange, he would have expected it to at least be warm as it was right up against the body of the man that had just died.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Six

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Kura wanted to stab Adar with a dagger as he took off. Stay? Look captive? His actions had unfortunately caught her off guard, and she had no choice but to do as he said. She closed her eyes until they were slits, so she looked asleep but could still make out what was happening above her.

It gave her a great view of the starry sky and not much else. A lazy trail of smoke danced above. She could make it out as it twisted and turned, almost looking playful. It was in stark contrast to everything else around it.

Adar’s boots crunched against the cobblestones as the much heavier boots of the Hunwei ran towards her. Biting down on her teeth and imagining Adar with a knife sticking out of his eye, she held her breath and counted to thirty. Her heart beat three times for every count. The heavier footsteps slowed to as stop as the monster came and stood over her.

Through the slits of her eyes, she recognized a human face that looked down at her. It took an effort to keep still as her chest began to hurt. Surely, this man could see the sweat beading up on her forehead?

She let out a breath as if she were asleep and after a pause took in another.

The human Hunwei chased after Adar. She waited until the count of five before opening her eyes and turning to her side to see if the way was clear.

I’m going to be killed, she thought, as she sat up and reached for the rope at her feet. She hadn’t made much progress before Adar had pushed her down and told her not to move. Her shoulder blade had landed wrong and twinged with pain as she worked on the knots. No doubt, a bruise was forming to go with all the others she had picked up today.

After the events of last night, she was surprised she’d come through it all so easily. She was just shrugging off the rope when Adar called out. His yell was followed by blaster fire.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Five

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

It was still dark when Adar awoke with a start. Stars were overhead, and a slight breeze caressed his forehead. He could tell by the height of the moons that dawn was approaching. The sky was already starting to lighten or was that just his imagination?

He discovered his hands had been bound together when he reached to rub the back of his sore head. He took a deep breath while he carefully shifted his feet and discovered they were bound as well. His first instinct was to sit up, but he repressed it, not wanting to move until he had a chance to get a bearing on his surroundings.

Helda would be nearby.

Rocky ground dug into his elbows and back. He moved his head in a small motion and discovered the rock was quite smooth. Cobblestones?

How long had he been out? When he had gone into the ship, it had been the later part of the afternoon. He hadn’t had a way to track time while he’d been clearing the ship and trying to find a way to open the door.

Surely, that hadn’t taken all night.

The more likely explanation was he’d been unconscious or sleeping for much of that time.

He sniffed the air. The stench of burned Hunwei flesh still hung heavy. That didn’t tell him much since the whole confounded town stank of the stuff.

He could hear voices nearby, but they spoke softly. He was unable to make out any words, or even if they were men or women.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Four

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Neare came to with a start. It was dark outside, and the fire had died down, only the glow from the embers giving him light to see. Thon’s chest continued to move, despite the lack of proper medical attention. It was surprising the man hadn’t long since died.

I wouldn’t be stuck in this mess if I had killed him when I had the chance, Neare thought. The other men and I would be miles away by now. Instead, here he was waiting for Thon to die. And the bloody fool was taking forever to do it.

It was the only option at this point. He and Erro had spent a considerable amount of time giving Thon additional attention after their efforts to find a local healer had failed. Erro would notice if Thon had any new or enlarged wounds.

Neare closed his eyes, willing himself to go back to the sleep, but they popped open, and he sat up.

Where’s Erro? He was supposed to have awoken me by now. Erro had offered to take the first shift, but Neare had refused and made the boy rest.

Neare had hesitated for a long time before waking his son. It had gotten to the point that Neare was barely able to keep his eyes open anyway and he’d been forced to take the risk of leaving his son on guard duty.

He arose and stepped outside the doorway, hoping that Erro had just gone to relieve himself. They had been lucky so far that the former occupants of the home hadn’t returned, but he didn’t know how much longer that would hold.

Erro had wanted to cover the open space where the door had been, but Neare had kept him from doing it because he hadn’t wanted to advertise their presence.

Neare had also moved an overturned table to the fire to keep the flicker of light from reaching those outside.

Erro wasn’t anywhere to be seen, and after several deep breaths, Neare went back in and walked through all the rooms of the home before going out what would have been the doorway of the back. It was now a much larger opening than it should have been. Much of the brick wall was now on the floor, and the door had been broken in two.

Neare stepped gingerly by the light of the moons to avoid disturbing any of the rubble as he moved outside.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Three

UPDATE: This post originally had the wrong episode link, this has now been fixed. 

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

When the first blast went through the door of the ship, Adar couldn’t help but smile. There is more than one way to slaughter a pig, he thought. He was surprised to see it was dark outside. It had been late afternoon when he’d entered the ship.

He knew he had lost track of time, but now that he thought about it, he realized he’d wasted hours going through the ship. In situations like this, he often found his perception of time became warped.

It wasn’t uncommon after a battle to have thought that only a few minutes had passed but then to realize hours had gone by when he checked the position of the sun.

It had taken a lot of time to take control of the ship. He’d also wasted a bunch of time trying to get the door open.

Melyah! It had been hours. It could be near morning for all he knew. Next time, he couldn’t afford to wait until he was desperate to try a blaster.

He approached and pushed on the door, hoping the blast would have done something to loosen it. It held strong. While he listened, he also peered through the hole from a number of different angles, trying to get an idea of what was going on outside.

He didn’t see any Hunwei or turncoats. The last ship was also gone as well. He wanted to believe Zecarani was now free of the creatures but didn’t let himself get very far down that path in his thoughts. He would assume the enemy was just outside the door until he knew otherwise.

“What are you waiting for?” asked Melynda, her voice a quiet hiss in the silence. “A dozen or more of those and we’ll be able to get out of here.” Her demeanor had changed when Adar had returned with Hucky from the command center. Before she hadn’t been scared by the Hunwei, but since he’d come back with Hucky in tow she mentioned several times how much she hated the Hunwei and had feared for her life. She had also told a harrowing story of her and Hucky’s capture.

Adar hadn’t believed a word of it. Hucky had opened his mouth, a confused look on his face. She had spoken over him while latching onto his arm.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Two

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Adar didn’t have a clue how to make the ship door work again. The ramp he had slid down on his way into the ship was only distinguishable from the rest of the wall of the hold by the rough metal texture that covered it. Otherwise, he was unable to tell where the ramp ended and the wall began.

He ran his hand along the textured area that he was certain became the ramp when it separated from the wall, halfheartedly hoping that it would open merely from his touch.

He snorted. This isn’t the technology of my fathers, he thought. If anything, it might be made so that a human touch keeps it from working.

It was a pity that he’d been in too much of a hurry to watch the ramp as it closed. If only he wouldn’t have been so busy killing Hunwei at the time.

He had scoured the ship, fighting and killing half a dozen Hunwei and several turncoats. He’d also found other human captives in addition to those that had been brought aboard just before he’d rushed into the ship.

They all stood in the back of the hold now, murmuring quietly among themselves.

A clanking sound came from the direction of the ladder. Adar spun, blaster at the ready.

He growled when he saw what was going on. “Get down from there, Hucky.”

The boy flashed him a grin. “I promised to remain still for a couple of minutes. It’s already been waaay longer than that.” The kid continued to climb the ladder towards the next level of the ship.

“Hucky,” Melynda said, covering the distance in a few quick steps. “Down!” The boy continued to climb higher, heedless of his mother.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty One

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

The doors of the three remaining ships were still down, just as they had been earlier when Adar had encouraged the captives to flee right after the tower had killed the Hunwei. That didn’t mean Hunwei hadn’t already gone aboard and were waiting for some of the stragglers to join them. At any moment, another of the doors might shut.

How insane is this little plan of mine? Adar wondered. Waiting until the last ship? All three doors could close at once and where would I be then?

There was hardly a movement on the grounds in front of the town hall other than gusts of wind that moved leaves and grass. The stench of the dead Hunwei was still as strong as ever. Melyah, it could be weeks before it got any better.

He was alarmed when he saw a trail of smoke coming from the ruins of the governor’s mansion but after careful observation realized it was just coming from one of the smaller fires of burning Hunwei armor. The breeze was dragging the smoke, so it looked as though it was coming from the mansion.

“Are we going to do this or what?” Barc asked with a small tremor in his voice. “I’m getting tired of waiting.”

Adar snorted. You were out cold for much of it. “Have patience,” he said instead. “We only need one ship.”

He was uncertain about what to do next. Should they go now? At least five ships had crashed, but more than that had already lifted off. They might be down to one or two groups of Hunwei, but there was no way to know. If they were to wait it out, they could get a ship without any fighting at all.

No, he thought after he mulled it over. That’s wrong. Not only could they not afford to wait much longer because he still had Isak and his men to contend with, he knew there were tactical flaws in his logic.

 

 

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