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Story Introductions
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Thread: Introductions

  1. #81
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    Mar 2002
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    Hooterville, MI
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    793
    Every few seconds, each platform would be enveloped in brilliant blue fire from a huge ignition as the massive triangular railgun would launch another round and explosions would blossom silently in the doomed city.

    For six torturous minutes, the barrage continued and the narrator allowed the record to speak for itself. The target was identified as the city of old San Diego, with a heavily populated residential district and commercial sea port. Preliminary reports indicated that the entire seaport and most of the city proper had been reduced to rubble or consumed by the multiple fires that continued to burn out of control.

    The record slowly darkened to be replaced by the view of a complex control center ringed by multiple tactical displays and staffed by dozens of technicians. In the background, the authoritative voice of a woman called out the phonetic characters of an authorization code and then a deep male voice repeated the code back to her in verification.

    The narrator cut in to explain that as a result of the Strax attack, North American Tactical had synched with Orbital to facilitate a counter-strike as of 1137 hours and unit specific and region specific orders would follow shortly.

    The camera panned back to the female officer dressed in a TVS dress white uniform standing rigidly before the central control console. She was delivering a stream of rapid-fire orders punctuated with animated gestures to a circle of junior officers that would salute smartly and take their leave.

    Lizzy gasped as the camera zoomed in and the screen filled with the calm, confident face of TVS Colonel Temple in her natural element, the senior ranking officer in charge of immense power in a tense and developing situation.

    Lizzy choked out, “Oh my God, Mom,” in disbelief.

    As the record ended and the screen darkened, a single line of text, “Please stand by,” scrolled ominously across the display.

  2. #82
    Wow! You never run out of ways to surprise us!
    Thanks.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    nw mountains
    Posts
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    Like a baseball bat upside the head this was a total surprise! Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SE Louisiana...
    Posts
    627
    Agreed...wasn't expecting that, even with the foreshadowing.

    A new "All in the Family" ...

    I like this one better

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Queensland, Australia.
    Posts
    91
    OK...........

    don't leave us hanging too long please!
    If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

  6. #86
    Thank you!
    I have a huge smile, you got me.
    Now about those strax...

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
    Posts
    793
    (9)


    Bobby walked out of the house carrying a half-eaten bowl of cold cereal in one hand to open the door of the stunning blue exotic sports car. Sitting cross-legged on the ground next to the machine, he swallowed and cleared his throat.

    “Lacy?” he inquired a little hesitantly while looking over his shoulder.

    “Yes, my lord. I am here. What is my pilot’s desire?” purred the machine in her characteristic, throaty French accent.

    “Whew! Nothing Lacy, nothing at all,” Bobby sighed with relief. “I just had to be sure that everything that happened to us last night wasn’t a dream. I had to make sure you were still there. I needed to hear your voice again.”

    “My lord, we are pilot and Cerulean Knight, a bonded pair. We are destined to fight zee Strax to save Earth’s people. I will always be here and I will not allow you to come to harm. Last night was no dream.”

  8. #88
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    “Well that’s a relief, I think,” Bobby grinned.

    "As we speak, we are being directed to recognize a change in TVS command structure because the North American Tactical grid has been synchronized with Orbital. I am receiving an encrypted strategic directive via Orbital. We are instructed to review it immediately and acknowledge receipt.”

    “My lovely Lacy, always so serious,” Bobby smiled up at the brilliant blue machine.
    “Let’s go for a drive and see what is so important that we have to see it now and acknowledge that we have.”

    “My lord, by your command.”

    Within the darkened combat restraint, the main screen flickered and illuminated to reveal the outline of a dark machine in a desert. A Strax red icon appeared over the machine as the view zoomed out to reveal five more identical machines positioned in a huge arc many miles across....

  9. #89
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    Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  10. #90
    FMJ, WOW!!! thank you for more of your fantastic story, Looking forward to more soon.

    Wayne

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
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    793
    (10)


    An older couple sat in a pair of heavy wooden rockers eating fried chicken and potato salad under the pump canopy of an old service station at the close of the day. The sand-blasted sign out by the edge of the asphalt road read, Pop’s Garage.

    “There’s only a leg and a wing left. I’m sure you’ve still got room for that little bit, right?” Mabel said with a grin.

    “Nope, everything came out even. I couldn’t eat another bite,” Pop replied as he tossed the last bit of gravy soaked roll from his plate into his mouth.

    “Make yourself comfortable then while I do the dishes,” Mabel chuckled as she dropped everything back in the sack. Do you want another grape soda?”

    “Please, but..., Mabel?” Pop asked suddenly.

    “Yes?” Mabel turned back to face him.

    “Do you ever wonder where Lizzy is? What she’s doing? If she’s alright?” Pop said in a rush.

    “There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t ask myself those same questions and more,” Mabel could only slump her shoulders in resignation. “I worry most that she’s hungry and I’m afraid she’s lonely with only Magnus to talk to.”

    “I haven’t heard from Steve, the TVS delivery guy in a couple months either. I’m worried that something has gone wrong,” Pop muttered, chin in hand, as he gazed into the sunset.

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    “Technically, if TVS did break off contact with us, it could be they are trying to protect us, Pete. Did you ever think of that?” Mabel asked with a lop-sided grin.

    “I suppose that’s true, but it’s just that, for a long time, it felt like we were involved. We were dedicated to a higher purpose. We were part of an organization so advanced that it could easily field technology twenty, maybe fifty years ahead of our own. An organization so big that it spans worlds,” Pop explained gesturing with both hands.

    Mabel cocked her head to one side before crossing her arms and eyeing him steadily, “Pete McCready, if I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were feeling left out. You got caught up in all the mystery and power; you talked to an advanced intelligent machine and you wanted more, didn’t you?”

    “You know me too well, Mabel. To be honest, yes, I’m afraid I did. But it has just been so strangely quiet for a while. I can’t get over the feeling that something has happened or is happening out there right now and we’re being kept in the dark about it.”

    “Pete, I think you’re getting yourself worked up over nothing. Tell you what, I’ll get us both another soda and we’ll just sit and rock for a while. Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see another big shooting star like we saw last week. Besides, I’m sure Lizzy would find a way to tell us if something was really wrong, don’t you think?”

    “Yeah, you’re probably right. But I sure wish I could figure out why I’ve been feeling so antsy.” Pete shook his head in confusion, “Mabel, I’ve been around big engines and heavy equipment most of my life, but lately, for some strange reason, when I hear the big equipment up there on the interstate, I get chills up and down my spine. Now what do you make of that?”

    “Pete, after what we’ve both been through, it’s really hard to put an unusual label on anything. That is a little strange coming from you though,” Mabel grinned. “I’m afraid I don’t know what it means.”

  13. #93
    great...........better and better

  14. #94
    FMJ Thank you, every page is more enticing than the last ,again thank you!!!!!!.

    Wayne

  15. #95
    Thank you FMJ

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SE Louisiana...
    Posts
    627
    Hmmm...maybe TVS will see it fit to equip Pops with his own unit...

    Many thanks!

  17. #97
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    Did they give Pops an implant? Or does he have a natural sixth sense that picks up on the Strax? Don't know but thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  18. #98
    Join Date
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    Location
    Hooterville, MI
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    (11)


    “When did this start?” the Colonel asked thoughtfully.

    “We’re not a hundred percent sure about the other five ma’am,” the watch officer explained.
    “We tracked Strax heavy number four until it stopped at its current position at 0540 hours.
    We then submitted targeting coordinates for its position to Orbital. They questioned the data because the firing solution wasn’t constant and we determined that the firing solution was changing because the apparent cross section of the target was decreasing.
    From a purely mathematical point of view, the target appears to be moving away from the coordinates.”

    “When is sunrise, local time?” asked the Colonel.

    “Um, that would be..., 0612 hours, ma’am. Why?” the watch officer inquired curiously.

    Pausing for a moment, the Colonel answered, “I’ve got a hunch. Did you observe anything else?”

    Examination of the rest of the Strax heavy units showed somewhat similar changes and high magnification showed mounds of debris and, in two cases, a dust plume.”

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
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    793
    “A huge jet-black machine would attract a lot of attention in daylight. I think they are burying themselves to avoid detection. They’re digging,” concluded the Colonel.

    “Like, intentionally digging, ma’am?” inquired the watch officer incredulously. “A two hundred ton gun platform?”

    “Yes. Verify all your coordinates and resubmit your firing solution to Orbital targeting on my authorization. This will be a deep surgical strike and I want minimum collateral damage.”

    “Colonel, units two through five are in remote areas, but unit one’s position lies less than four hundred yards from an occupied residence and unit six is only a hundred yards from the edge of route 375.”

    “Acceptable..., barely. When tactical verifies the firing solution clear, request to fire on my mark,” ordered the Colonel. Dominic?” the Colonel sub vocalized to her TVS communicator.

    “Yes. Jenny. I am here.”

    “Dominic, is any strategic advantage lost by killing these six machines now? If we tip our hand here and show the Strax we can not only detect, but destroy their latest weapon, are we gaining ground by limiting the Strax advance or losing it by revealing our capabilities?
    Can we exploit the Strax mistaken belief that they have attacked one of our cities and then managed to evade us and escape?”

    “Jenny, attempting to assign the nuances of human emotion to an alien organism that has none will be unsuccessful. The Strax are a goal oriented hive mind committed to the conquest of Earth. They suffer no remorse, feel no fear or grief. We believe that the closest Strax parallel to the human emotion of joy is in goal accomplishment. They do learn, however, so no strategic advantage will be gained by failing to destroy them now while their locations are known and your firing solutions are verified.”

    “Thank you, Dominic. I agree, but I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to gain some advantage if I reacted solely on reflex.
    I still prefer to explore all my options, Mark!

  20. #100
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    nw mountains
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    Bu-by Strax, Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  21. #101
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SE Louisiana...
    Posts
    627
    Boom boom...out go the lights!

  22. #102
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    eastern West Tennessee
    Posts
    301
    Time for a kinetic energy attack concealed as a meteor shower. Hit the Strax and a few other spots nearby.
    The difference between being smart and being wise:
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes.
    Being wise is learning from the mistakes of others.
    My life has given others many opportunities to be wise.

  23. #103
    Thanks. This is one of the best I've read in quite a while.

  24. #104
    Thank you FMJ, great story hoping for more soon.

    Wayne

  25. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
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    Six massive vertical railgun emplacements in a battery of twenty-four swiveled minutely to a fresh firing solution before the gimbals locked closing another permissive in the ignition sequence.

    Magazine elevators lowered six huge exotic rounds into their breeches and retracted as the rounds spun up.

    The safety interlocks on banks of solid state switches retracted as the firing permissive sequence smoothly progressed.

    Alarms sounded as blast shields rose to protect exposed observation ports and the rising whine of fiercely spinning exotics shrieked outside the walls of Ignition Control.

    As the final permissive interlock in the sequence closed, a “READY” light illuminated in Ignition Control of Orbital and its identical twin illuminated down in North American Tactical with a blood-red glow.

    At the fire control console, Colonel Temple bared her teeth in a snarl as the “READY” light signaled the Orbital weapon’s availability.

    Fire,” she said with grim satisfaction as the officer of the watch lifted the guard and pressed the red palm button under it.

    “Set impact timer for sixty seconds on my mark and..., mark!”

  26. #106
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    As the ignition commences on Orbital, a vast torrent of energy pours from banks of fusion engines through a network of icy cold super conducting channels to each of the six massive weapons.

    Tens of millions of amperes at high voltage flash through the giant rails slamming into the madly spinning exotic rounds instantly accelerating them above Mach 17; almost twice the speed attainable in the air density at sea level.

    The brilliant flash of energy envelopes the entire Orbital gun platform as the seething pulse propels the exotic rounds down towards their intended targets.
    In flight, the hypervelocity rounds create a conductive plasma channel through which a tremendous static charge accumulated by Orbital returns to Earth in the form of a giant lightning bolt.

    In Ignition Control, the air reeks of ozone from stray electrical discharges that always appear in a concerted railgun volley as energy technicians dressed in arc flash suits with gold faceplates engage safety interlocks and close railgun safety grounding circuits.

    A deep resonant metallic clang shakes the walls like the peal of an immense bell as the recoil of the railguns is shunted away from the emplacements and dissipated in hydraulic dampeners.

    Down on the surface, the officer of the watch nervously calls out the countdown on the impact timer.

    “Impact minus five, four, three, two, one, zero...., and impact plus one, two, three..., the officer’s breath caught as all displays in the facility unexpectedly flicker, going dark when pulse interrupters open to prevent them from being blinded by the false dawn as orchid fire rains down from heaven.

  27. #107
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    nw mountains
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    Thank you, very interesting!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  28. #108
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SE Okieland
    Posts
    3,435
    FMJ,

    You still spin the words to make your story come to life and keep your fans enthralled....

    Got to read several chapters....

    Have been busy for the last months in 2017 and has carried over into 2018....

    Working 12 and 14 hour days is getting old for this semi-retired engineer....

    But the work helps to acquire more stuff which the DW has mastered after 40 years of marriage as of last October 1st....

    Finished one project last week....

    And will finish one this week....

    Then will send out 2 more proposals....

    FMJ, keep up the great work to give all of us the opportunity to realize what could be....

    Regards,

    Texican....

  29. #109
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hooterville, MI
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    793
    (12)


    No sooner had the dust settled and the echoes faded than the police department desk was swamped with calls reporting everything from sonic booms and earthquakes to lightning bolts out of a clear sky.

    The desk sergeant handled most of those calls efficiently by asking for specifics about the nature of the complaint and promising to send an officer out to investigate.

    He also knew the people that made some of those complaints and performed a sort of triage to assign them a relative priority based on past history. What troubled him most though was the fact that all the calls started coming in suddenly at a couple of minutes to six and they came from several widely separated places in the county.

    The desk sergeant knew that until they actually had something concrete to work with, all they could do was investigate. The last call he received from a frightened motorist significantly altered the tone of the incident.

    “Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Johnson speaking. How can I help you?”

    “Hello, hello! Is this the police?” a man asked breathlessly.

    “This is the sheriff’s office. What’s the problem?”

    “Thank God! I couldn’t get through! A chunk of 375 is gone just past Rachel! They couldn’t see it in the dark and they went over the edge! We need help out here right away!”

  30. #110
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    “What do you mean, a chunk of 375 is gone, sir? Do you mean that the road is blocked and people are going around on the shoulder?”

    “NO! The road is gone! Just south of Rachel, 375 just falls into a hole and cars are still going over the edge in the dark! We need help now!”

    “I’m dispatching the closest units now, sir. Please stay on the line. What is your name, sir?”

    “Uh, Stevens..., Mike Stevens, I’m a long haul trucker, but look, you need to hurry before....”

    “Can you tell me about how far from Rachel you are, Mike?”

    “Only a couple miles, you need to get out here..., oh no! There’s another one! They can’t see it! Oh Lord, they’re going to..., they..., oh no, another one just went over the edge!”

    “One moment, sir. All available units respond 10-39 two miles south of Rachel. 10-50 and possible 11-80 major accident with serious injuries reported with roadway blocked or damaged. Possibly multiple vehicles involved. Approach with caution. Motorist reported the roadway hazard is not readily visible. Repeat, approach with caution.”

    “Dispatch, unit 16, 10-76, ETA ten minutes.”

    “Dispatch, unit 4, 10-76, ETA twenty-five minutes.”

    “You still with me, Mike?”

    “Oh..., yeah, I’m still here. I could hear you talking on the radio. Thanks.”

    “Is there anything else you can tell me about what’s going on down there, Mike? Anything that would help the officers when they arrive on the scene?”

    “Yeah, more and more of the road keeps caving in. I’ve already backed my rig up twice.”

    “Mike, are we talking about water undercutting the roadway, like in an arroyo? Can you tell me about how big of a chunk of 375 is gone?”

  31. #111
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    “No, there’s no arroyo here, this is flat open desert. I’m outside now walking towards the edge and there’s a lot of smoke. I’m almost to the edge and I can see a little better now..., oh, oh my God!”

    “What is it, Mike? What do you see?”

    “The..., the hole, it’s so deep! It must be a hundred feet down there, and the bottom..., it’s..., it’s a boiling liquid pool, like lava or something! All those poor people went into that! I..., I think I hear sirens now. I’m heading back to my truck. I don’t feel so good.”

    “Take care, Mike. Your call has saved a lot of lives today. We’ll take it from here.”

    “Okay, and thanks again.”

  32. #112
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    nw mountains
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    Thank you, said so earlier but I guess I hit the button for the main forum instead of post reply.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  33. #113
    =better and better

  34. #114
    Great story FMJ, thank you !!!.

    Wayne

  35. #115
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Hooterville, MI
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    Officer Jensen keyed the mike in his cruiser, “Dispatch, unit 16, 10-23, two miles south of Rachel. Definite 10-70 close, something is burning big time, 10-73, thick black smoke, smells acrid, metallic. Visibility is down to less than a hundred feet and I still have no visual on the 10-50. There is a lot of loose debris on the road here, odd sparkly black stuff.”

    “Proceed with caution, unit 16. A trucker called in a report of route 375 possibly being undercut and continuing to cave into a hundred-foot-deep hole with a boiling pool in the bottom of it.”

    “…Yeah, right…, okay, I’ve blocked route 375 with emergency lights and strobes running. I’m continuing south on foot. 10-95 on my portable, dispatch?”

    “Unit 16, I read your portable 5 by 5.”

    “10-4 dispatch. I see running lights and reflectors on the right, um, west shoulder. It looks like a tractor-trailer rig from here.”

    “Unit 16, that’s probably Mike Steven’s rig. He’s the trucker that called in the report. Better check on him, he said he wasn’t feeling so good.”

    “10-4 dispatch,” Officer Jensen replied.

    Officer Jensen’s powerful hand-held searchlight was already having increased difficulty penetrating the gloom of the dense smoke in the dark as he approached the tractor truck to check on the driver. Shining the light up at the side window of the truck, he could see movement inside the cab and the truck window rolled down to reveal the tired sooty face of the driver.

    “Your name Stevens?” Officer Jensen inquired. “You called in a report of route 375 falling into a hundred-foot-deep hole?”

    “Yep, that’s me. Its right up there, only about fifty yards away, see for yourself, if you don’t believe it. I’m glad you guys are here, though.”

  36. #116
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    The combination speaker mike of Officer Jensen’s venerable VHF Motorola crackled next to his ear where it was clipped through the shoulder epaulet of his uniform shirt.

    “Unit 16, this is Alvarez in unit 4! Heads-up, you’re about to have company! Some kind of high-powered sports car just blew through our road block and is coming straight at you!”

    “Uh, Alvarez..., what color was that sports car?” Officer Jensen asked as a chill ran up his spine.

    “Blue! A real vibrant blue too, in the light of the strobes. Flag that sucker down, Jensen!”

    “10-4,” Officer Jensen responded taking a hesitant step towards the dashed yellow line in the middle of the road. He paused and glanced over his shoulder at the inviting safety of the space under the heavy tractor-trailer rig as he remembered that fateful night when something passed him on the road so fast that the shock wave blew him and his cruiser into the mesquite beyond the shoulder of the road.

    “There won’t be nothing you can do,” the truck driver’s disembodied voice came from the dark window of the cab. “I’ve seen three go over tonight. My flashlight is dead from trying to warn them off. They never even hit their brakes till they went over the edge.”

  37. #117
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    Gathering his resolve, Officer Jensen stood in the middle of the dark road facing the direction of the on-coming vehicle and raised his searchlight high while straining his ears to hear the tell-tale engine whine that preceded his previous encounter.

    “You hear anything up there, Stevens?” Officer Jensen called as he peered into the gloom beyond the shaft of light from his searchlight. “Cause if you do, I want you to sing out right away, okay?” Officer Jensen added turning to look at the tractor trailer rig.

    The crunch of gravel from behind him caused Officer Jensen to spin and shine his light towards the opposite shoulder of the dark road. Silhouetted there in the powerful beam, a silent, brilliant blue machine moved stealthily down the shoulder passing him within a yard without any lights in the dark.

    Officer Jensen openly gaped at the machine in an outrageous moment of uncertain déjà vu before he snapped back into focus, “Hey, stop! There’s a fire and the road is blocked! You can’t go through there! Halt!” he yelled but the exotic blue machine paid him no heed.

    “Frustrating, ain’t it?” came the disembodied voice from the dark truck cab again as he rolled up the window.

  38. #118
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    nw mountains
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    Now I need more...Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  39. #119
    Thanks again. Waiting for more.,.. I think I like getting these more frequent short chapters better than having to wait until you have time to create a full, longer chapter. But, it's all good!

  40. #120
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    oklahoma
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    FMJ you have given me a reason to live again!!!! I love this story! Keep up the great work!

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