Archive for January, 2015


The Curse of Hyrkania has been cursed! Never again will she be able to grant forgiveness to anyone, not even for the most insignificant of slights. Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal does it? And maybe it’s not…until it is. This new arc showed a whole lot of potential in its opening salvo last month, but can Gail Simone and Team Red Sonja build on that potential this month?


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Red Sonja #14.



There has been a lot of Symbiote-related chaos surrounding the Guardians of the Galaxy over the past few months, but with the “Planet of the Symbiotes” arc coming to an end this time around, what new information is about to be revealed? More importantly, what changes might this new information bring to our favorite team of galactic heroes?


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Guardians of the Galaxy #23.


It’s official. Robin has risen. Damian Wayne is back in action in the red, yellow and green. I’d say spoiler alert, but you can tell that much from the cover. With the Boy Wonder in possession of a shiny new set of superpowers, what does the future hold for the fabled Dynamic Duo?


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Batman and Robin #38.


Oh Batgirl, my…no, I’m not going to start that way again this month. It does still apply however. I’m still left to wonder as to exactly what Batgirl has become over the past four months. I may be coming around to the big idea here though. So, just what did Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher do this month to start changing my thinking?


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Batgirl #38.


Conan and Red Sonja together! This is an interesting one. A four-part limited series from both Dark Horse Comics (publishers of Conan comics since 2003) and Dynamite Entertainment (publishers of Red Sonja comics since 2005). It’s a team-up of two major characters (and apparently spans their lives) with two writers and put out by two publishers. Can such a project possibly carry its own weight through four issues.


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Conan/Red Sonja #1.


It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! The latest prong in new Star Wars canon (post-rebranding of the Expanded Universe as Legends) as the venerated franchise makes its return to Marvel Comics where it was born (in comic book format) 38 years ago. With that kind of buildup, I’m sure there was no pressure on Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Laura Martin and Chris Eliopoulos to bring something special. Were they able to step up, or is this new title doomed to be exiled to the Unknown Regions?


Originally posted on Nerds Unchained. Click here for the full review of Star Wars #1.

Negotiations – A Scene

Posted: January 14, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Just something I wrote yesterday morning. Set vaguely in John Norman’s world of Gor, the only context you really need here is that the protagonist, Vidar, is seeking to purchase a slave he met and spent time with upon his arrival on Gor. In order to make this happen, he must meet with the Kennel Master (who houses, feeds and trains the slaves without their own master), Kar-Fan. The meeting probably could have gone better.

Amusement tugs at the corners of Vidar’s mouth as he steps casually through the courtyard. He can feel the eyes of the Free Men and Women around him touching on his cloak and quickly darting away with no intent to return. Such is the benefit of donning the black, those who lay eyes on you would as soon forget they did rather than risk incurring the ire of an assassin. Indeed, Vidar could get used to his new lot in life.

The screams and cries of pain emanating from the chambers beyond confirm that this is the gate he seeks. One look at him is all it takes for the guard to open the gate for him and let him pass, another benefit of his new colors, unless you are somewhere you obviously aren’t supposed to be, you aren’t subject to very many questions. The guard opens his mouth to announce the new customer to his master but Vidar raises a finger to lips shadowed under his hood. The guard immediately freezes and closes his mouth. Vidar steps deeper into the kennels, moving as silently as he is able.

Vidar comes to a stop without a sound behind the Kennel master, Kar-Fan. “I would make inquiries after your wares Kennel Master.”

Kar-Fan halts his whip swing before it begins and lowers his arm. The girl under his attentions flinches regardless, the cuts and bruises marring her flesh telling the tale of her punishment. The Kennel Master glances back over his shoulder at Vidar then turns back, spitting on the girl’s back before striking her again. “To purchase, punish or put to use?”


“Have your eye on one already, or you need a tour of the cages.”

Vidar considers the question. He came here specifically for Maeve, but there is a thought that taking the time to talk and perhaps even bond with this man may make the process go a bit easier. He quickly dismisses this idea however. The Kennel Master is clearly more interested in dealing with the girl at his feet than talking to customers, and Vidar himself would much prefer to be out of his company. He lowers his hood. “I’ve made my choice already. She was assigned to my Orientation Chamber.”

Kar-Fan turns laughing from his punishment of the girl on the ground and makes his way to a table at the side of the chamber. Vidar can’t help but be a bit surprised that there actually seems to be actual professionalism and documentation to this process. “Fell for that old trick did you? Fine. I know the girl you’re talking about. Benefit of you being the only new blood in the hold right now.” Kar-Fan plucks a paper from a stack on the table and holds it out to Vidar. “One hundred silver tarsks and your signature at the bottom here then you can be about the collaring ceremony at your leisure.”

Vidar’s eyes narrow and he stares hard at Kar-Fan. “Do I look like I’m in the mood for jests, slaver?”

“Save the posturing, boy. The price is the price. If you cannot or will not pay it, look around, there are plenty of other girls to suit your needs.”

Vidar takes a couple steps towards Kar-Fan, closing the gap between them until they are standing almost nose to nose. “Forget a slave, we both know one hundred would be a fortune even for a Tatrix.” Kar-Fan opens his mouth to respond but Vidar cuts him off. “And don’t pretend the story of a girl selling for even ten was not something the rest passed between them.”

Kar-Fan puffs himself up as much as he can. He still can’t match Vidar’s height, but his girth is not something to be taken lightly. “That’s enough! You do not come into my place of business and threaten me, boy!”

“Threaten you? No. I have no need to threaten those destined to live beneath my feet.”

“And now you insult me!?” Kar-Fan shoulders his way past Vidar and moves to the other side of the table to put it between the two of them. “Get out, boy! You can forget making any purchases here, today or any day.”

Vidar doesn’t move an inch from where he’s standing, nor does he take his eyes off of Kar-Fan. “Our business is not done, slaver.”

“Oh, but it is. I gave you a chance to leave. Now we’ll have to make you, boy.”

Vidar hears the telltale scrape of a blade leaving its sheath as the guard he left at the gate approaches from behind him. Another guard approaches from the far end of the chamber, brandishing an ax. “Don’t be a fool Kar-Fan. Call them off while we can still settle this without bloodying the ground.”

“That’s not how this ends, boy. You’re too full of your own stature and colors for it to be that simple.”

Vidar shakes his head, he had known when he came here that it may come to this, but he really had hoped they could have come to a reasonable agreement. He spares a glance for the girl who was being punished when he entered, noting with both awe and disgust that she hasn’t moved an inch, despite the imminent fight. Instinctively sensing the sword swing coming from behind him, Vidar dodges to the right and twists around towards his attacker, throwing his leg into the guards ribs. As the man doubles over, Vidar pulls his sword arm straight by the wrist and drives a knee into his elbow joint, snapping it and causing his sword to fall to the ground. Swiftly pulling a throwing dagger from under his cloak, Vidar stabs it up under the guards chin, withdraws it, turns, and lets the knife fly into the second guards throat. Recovering from the shock of Vidar’s quick assault on his guards, Kar-Fan lashes out at him with his whip. Prepared for such an attack, Vidar catches the corded leather in his hand and rather than struggle with the slaver for control he kicks the table into Kar-Fan’s ample gut. With the man stunned Vidar has the time to take the Hook knife from his belt and put it to Kar-Fan’s throat. “I am your death, slaver, but it is your greed that killed you. Take that thought with you into whatever follows.” He digs the Hook into Kar-Fan’s neck and pulls, tearing the man’s throat out. Vidar let’s go of his hold on the whip and Kar-Fan falls to the ground, clutching futilely at what’s left of his neck.

Walking to the back of the chamber, Vidar retrieves his throwing knife from the second guard and then makes for the exit. He pauses when he reaches the girl from before, still statue-still on her knees with her face on the floor and her arms at her sides. He drops both knives beside her. “Clean them. Then see the healer.” Without a word the girl hurriedly, but with practiced precision, begins cleaning the blades with her tongue and hair. When she has finished she holds them up to Vidar in her palms with her head bowed. Vidar takes the knives and replaces them on his belt. He crouches down beside the girl. “And if I hear that someone, out of some sense of devotion to their tormentor, attempted to save that man before he bled to death…then I will have to return here in a far less pleasant mood than that which I carried with me today. Understand?” The girl nods frantically and Vidar straightens up. Smiling with satisfaction he raises his hood, pulls his cloak tight around him to conceal his bloodied tunic and walks from the kennels and back to his chambers.