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Topics - Þórgrímr

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I finally had somebody who agreed to do an in depth of the GPI novels. I told Coco to not mince words, if it is good, tell me, also if it is bad tell me that too.

So what I intend to do is to post his initial overall impression and his chapter one review. After that I am going to post one chapter review, and any relevant replies, a day, to allow discussion and questions to be asked.  :)

Cheers, Thor

Coco146 Wrote:
Don't have the first report finished yet, so I'm gonna have to make this thread to give me a kick in the trousers   ;D

I'm going to start with my overall impressions first, I know we discussed this over Skype but it can't hurt to have it here.

Well, I enjoyed the book, as I said, after the technical issues were resolved, it is nice and easy, perfectly simple to understand and doesn't mince words, for someone like me who just can't be bothered to follow the over complicated nonsense that some folks like to write that's a godsend.  It also has a couple of characters who I can sit and read and say to myself "this person is solid gold awesome" (Admiral Denisov in particular is just pure win, he's like Leonidas and Monty all in one.)  The book is quite long, but I never stopped enjoying it, it never got tedious.  The only parts that I didn't like were the parts about what psy-war and the intelligence guys get up to, not that I don't like the writing, I just find reading about espionage difficult, particularly when it involves assassinations and such, weird I know, I'm just a complete **** I guess.

Thorgrimm Wrote:
We all have our likes and dislikes.   ;D

Thank you for your report and look forward to the others.

Cheers, Thor

Haegan Wrote:
It's hard for people to look at the good guys and hear "assassins" but i can see the Terrans doing it based off of how the war is going. Desperate times would call for desperate measures.

Just because the CIA(TIA in the future) is not supposed to do wet work now, does not mean that the ability to do it does not exist in the future after the nation gets reconstituted. It would depend I think on how the other powers would view it. I think I can say that some of them use wet work on a regular basis, at least internally. Those that do, would also have no issues using it on those who are not their citizens as well.

Originally I had thought that the assassin capability was a result of the war, but the guy with the sharpened teeth seemed to have been  around for awhile and Chris Coleman seemed to have a pretty good knowledge of how to do the frame up(ie he seemed practiced).

Thorgrimm Wrote:
One of my goals with my writing is to keep it real, and we all know every intelligence service, of every nation that has ever existed, has 'things' they would like to keep hidden. So, the TIA had to reflect that reality and Ivan is one of those 'things' that is only released in times of dire emergency.    ;D

Just tryin' ta keep it 'real'.   8)

By the way, War is just legalized murder. There is no glory in war. However, it is a dirty and nasty job that, sometimes, must be done.

I will finish up this post with a quote from the best politician ever produced in that sceptered isle of Great Britain, and he says it best:

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” --Winston Churchill

Amen Winston

Cheers, Thor

Coco Wrote:
Right got the first two, sorry they are so short, but I just ain't got much time, and frankly I'm exhausted   :(


Its short but utterly indespensable, not much to say beyond it sets the scene, without the information contained within a lot of the story wouldn't make sense.

Chapter 1:

The opening of this chapter really nicely sets the scene, the whole without hope theme.  The image of the broken fleet drifting above the planet really gets that across.  I will say, reading the book the first time had me a little confused, but now I have a much better understanding of what's going on, I just found the way in which it changed focus on character time and location very quickly a little different.  While there is a bit of a “we're doomed” vibe, the fact that the book starts off with the terrans getting of a successful strike on the Numerians keeps it exciting, shows that, at least from the perspective of the story then the terrans are still in with a chance.  We also meet the first two of those awesome characters that are spread throughouthe story, Carter is plain and simple cool, not in the by the book hero way that Denisov is, he seems to be a maverick, a bit of a Buccaneer.

Chapter 2:

I don't think there is much to say about this chapter aside from the fact that I really don't like the Terran nor the Numerian Political leadership.  Can't explain the Terrans, but the Numerians are just arrogant beyond the pale, honestly, if every single one of the Sanei were brutally assassinated I would not be bothered in the slightest, and you know how much I squirm at that sort of thing.  I don't really have much to add to this chapter, as we already discussed the part involving Psy-War.  I will say though that they seem to be almost as dangerous as the Numerians themselves, they look like they are letting themselves get involved in political games while they're species is on the verge of anihilation.  They acctually sound quite like the KGB or the FBI under Hoover.  Just for clarification, may I ask what the status of the “Blue Berets” mentioned latter is?  Are the a government affiliated group?  Or are they independent?

Thorgrimm Wrote:
The Blue Berets are Psykers not under the control of Psy-War, and as such are independent.

Yep, Carter is a maverick of sorts, why he fits Collinwood's Cutthroats so well. As a raiding group, based on the Long Range Desert Group of North Africa fame, the members have to be independent-minded and able to think on their feet.

Well, to be fair, there is a reason for that arrogance, and why it is not all of the Numie's fault. Something revealed in the Armageddon War Saga.  ;D

Thanks for the report bud. I look forward to the next one.

Cheers, Thor

Haegan Wrote:
The numies are what they are :)

And what they are are intentional, based off of what we thought the psychology of a race that had been at war for millennium and was still here kickin and screamin would be. While they have a reason to be feeling the way they do, I agree it does not make them look good to the standard christian views.

I would say that we achieved what we wanted to achieve in that scene! Thank you for your comments coco!

Beyond the Stars! / A Small Slice of Gunnyverse History
« on: December 03, 2013, 11:25:29 AM »
Back in the 1970's I heard a song by the group Paper Lace called the Night Chicago Died. Ever since then I have always wanted to write up a 'historical' piece that inspired the group to write that song. Up until a couple of years ago I never did anything with the idea.

About 10 years ago I began to write, and one of the things I wrote was that 'historical' piece. So now it is incorporated into the official Gunnyverse canon.

Below is that effort. Comments are welcome.  :)


From July 27 to August 2, 1932, a Major gang push to take and rule Chicago began in that hot July night. When it was over one hundred and eight police officers and 250 mobsters were dead, 537 injured and about 1000 rendered homeless. The incident which sparked the 'war' was the shooting of a Capone hitter after he had drifted into a neighborhood controlled by a rival gang, on a hot, 96 degree day. The reasons for the 'war', however, lie solely with the greed and ambition of one Alphonse Capone, a vicious gangster, who controlled and organized the activities of the southside gangs, many of which were sponsored by Chicago's political machine. Most of the killing, murder, and arson was concentrated on the east side where Capone had staked out his new turf.

The 'war' was characterized by plenty of action on the part of gangs of hoodlums, and the clashes developed from sudden and spontaneous assaults into organized raids against life and property.

As part of the background of the Chicago gang war, the activities of gangs of hoodlums should be cited. There had been friction for years, especially along the western boundary of the area in which the southside gangs had tried to establish control in the spring just preceding the gang war. They reached a climax on the night of June 21, 1932, five weeks before the war, when two east-side mobsters were murdered. Each was alone at the time and was the victim of an unprovoked and particularly brutal attack.

As the raids began, clashes between the gangs stepped up. Further to the west, as darkness came on, Capone's mobster's became more active. Eastside mobsters caught in Capone's districts suffered severely at their hands. From 9:00pm until 3:00am twenty-seven Eastside mobsters were beaten, seven were stabbed, and four were shot.

The mobsters went back their territory to work the next day without incident, but a street strike forced workers to walk, creating opportunities for mayhem. But as the afternoon wore on, Capone and his boys sought malicious amusement in directing civilian mob violence against any eastside mobster they could find

Eastside mobs began to retaliate against the Capone mobsters. As the violence increased, police fired into a crowd of meleeing mobsters, killing four. the mobsters became emboldened and began to kill the police as well as each other, finally Capone began taking the offensive in raids through territory that he wanted to 'conquer'. Capone even began to use the boys of his men between sixteen and twenty-two to help with the 'conquest.'

Then it escalated even further, the drive-by shootings began: Automobile raids were added to the warring on Monday night. Cars from which Tommy guns and revolver shots were fired were driven at great speed through sections inhabited by the eastsiders. The Capone raiders were never arrested and eastsiders began 'sniping' at the police in retaliation for not stopping the raids. Chicago's Police Chief admitted to the Commission afterwards:
"There is no doubt that a great many police officers were grossly unfair in making arrests. They shut their eyes to offenses committed by Capone's men while they were very vigorous in getting all the eastsiders they could get.". Twice as many eastsiders were arrested than Capone men.

The next day gang violence grew worse; A gang of Capone's soldiers, augmented by civilians, raid the 'Loop' or downtown section of Chicago, early Tuesday, killing two eastside mobsters and beating and robbing several others. Capone and his allied gangs began raiding down as far south as Sixty-third Street in Englewood and in the section west of Wentworth Avenue near Forty-seventh Street. Pre-meditated depredations were the order of the night. Many homes in the districts were attacked, and several of them were burned. Lasalle Street railroad station was invaded twice, with Capone's gangs hunting for eastside hitters.

Rain seemed to calm the raids for a few hours and fires in the stockyards left 948 people, mainly Lithuanians, homeless. While eastside gangs were blamed for the fires, the Grand Jury suspected they were started in back of the yards by Capone and his gangs for the purpose of inciting feelings of anger by blaming it on the eastside mobs, in whose territory the stockyards were. However, by then, the war began to escalate.

The police began to intervene in the raids and so Capone then turned his Tommy guns on the police. In a running battle that even had a police station sacked and destroyed, Capone began an effort to so weaken the police that he would be essentially king, for they would be too weak to interfere with his plans for Chicago.

What actually happened was a 18 hour Gun battle where the eastside gangs were forgotten in the combat between Capone and the police. When it was over the police had finally stormed Capone's fortified hideout in Cicero and he was in custody,with a body count of 108 Police Officers dead to his credit.

Capone and his gangs, along with their activities, were an important factor throughout the raids. If not for them it is doubtful if the raids would have gone beyond the first clash. Both organized gangs, and those that sprang into existence because of the opportunity afforded, seized upon the excuse of the first conflict to engage in lawless acts.

Many of Capone's gangs came from the westside in and around Cicero, and even the police said they could get little information from residents about the activities of their gangs. The report later made about the raids singles out two of the worst of Capone's allies "Canaryville bunch" and "Hamburgs" as particularly tough and involved in the raids. Richard J. Daley, later mayor of Chicago, was a member of the gang at the time and was its president in 1924. The Hamburgs were sponsored by Bridgeport Alderman Joseph McDonough. Daley always refused to comment on whether he was involved in the raiding.

The worst of the gangs were Capone's killer's, a gang whose turf extended from Cicero to Oak Lawn and from Roosevelt Road to one hundred and eleventh Street. The gang was sponsored by Cook County Commissioner Frank Ragen. Gang members boasted that they were 'protected' and 'tipped off' by police. The Killers even broke into a police station at 47th and Halstead where they killed 12 Police Officers and stole evidence, along with some firearms.

Capone's Killers and other gangs were targeted by the Grand Jury, whose report stated:
"The authorities employed to enforce the law should thoroughly investigate clubs and other organizations posing as athletic and social clubs which really are organizations of hoodlums and criminals formed for the purpose of furthering the interest of local politics. These gangs have apparently taken an active part in the raiding, and no arrests of their members have been made as far as this jury is aware."

Other Gangs:

The Commission found that the gangs were mainly made up of boys 17-22 year old, and that many murders were committed by hitters as young as 14. Members of The Lorraine gang also terrorized residents and drove them out of areas around Wentworth and 47th. Our Flags gang, a gang located on 47th near Union participated in the raids, as did the Sparklers, were responsible for a fire on 5919 Wentworth which burned down a house. The Aylward gang also beat to death eastside mobsters in the Stockyards as a handy dumping grounds. Other gangs who participated in the raids included the Pine Club, Hamburgers, the Emeralds, the White Club, Favis Grays', and the Mayflower.

The 18 hour gun battle was later immortalized as a song by Paper Lace Called The Night Chicago Died

Cheers, Thor

Beyond the Stars! / Map Style
« on: February 05, 2013, 07:31:54 PM »
With the new Stellar Coordinate System BTS! can use one of two methods, Hex, and Cartesian. Attached are examples of both map styles. I will be using Cosmographer 3 to create the 'historical' Canon BTS! Maps. These two maps were also made with Cos 3.

One note, the Cartesian Map is using parsecs instead of LY. The official maps will be using LY.

Please vote for the map you like best. If you have any comments, please share them with us. :AH

Cheers, Thor

I will be posting the game events from our current game here in this thread.

The current line up is as follows:

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - Backstab
The United Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Wales - Haegan 2005
The Republic of Japan - Mavikfelna
The Republic of France - Tssha
The People's Republic of China - MrAnderson
The United States of America - Þórgrímr

Cheers, Þórgrímr

Beyond the Stars! / Beyond the Stars!: Dawn of the Space Age
« on: December 19, 2011, 09:06:22 AM »
Throughout the creation and development of BTS! one thing has stood out. Many gamers were scared off by the percieved complexity. Due to that perception, and my love of the space race, I have created an introductory game in the BTS! series called Beyond the Stars: Dawn of the Space Age.

The is an introductory level game and will introduce the gamer to BTS! and its universe. Below is the introduction in the rules.


In Beyond the Stars!: Dawn of the Space Age, you are placed in command of your country’s space program. As the Director, you will purchase and develop space hardware, recruit and assign your astronauts, and plan your nation’s missions into space. The first country to successfully complete a manned lunar outpost Wins the game.

With BTS!: DSA the player will need to develop his short and long-term planning skills. The player will need those skills to determine what hardware is required to complete his/her objectives. While it is certainly not required, it is heartily suggested that you read some of the historical material on the real space race. The American and Soviet strategies were quite insightful on what it would take to reach the moon, planets, and eventually, the stars. But for a few accidents the Soviets could have beaten the US to the moon.

In both the historical and non-historical scenarios all of the major hardware, including the alternative proposals, the US and USSR kicked around in their respective design bureaus are available. This gives the players the same flexibility that their real world personas had. In the game, as in real life, the programs are man-rated after an extensive R&D and flight testing program. It is a very thin line between safety and failure. The dilemma of when a rocket or capsule is ready to carry humans is one of the player’s major decision points. Shortcuts may be necessary, as they were in real life, if the player wishes to garner the prestige of a first before his opponents can do so.

In the historical scenario most of the real world rocket boosters are available for game play, their playload capacity equaling their real world counterpart. While in the non-historical scenario the payload capacity of the various rockets are greatly simplified. In both scenarios the payloads were converted to match the standard BTS! Cargo Capacity (CC’s), while the unit weight is denoted with Cargo Points (CP’s). Each CP equals 100 lbs in weight. Each CC can carry one CP. Determining which rockets are to be used for the various payloads is a very important factor in the game.

In the non-historical scenario capsule design features were also simplified, while in the historical scenario their real life capabilities are kept. For example the Soviets brought the Soyuz capsule through three major design phases and quite a few minor variations. In the historical scenario these programs are available, but in the non-historical game there is only the one main program. In the historical scenario the real life design features of the various spacecraft are included in the game. While in the non-historical scenario there are only generic types of equipment that all Directors will use.

Most of the astronauts and cosmonauts that participated in the real life space race are available for the Soviet and American players, while the other nations will have their astronaut corps generated by the game. The Soviet and American astronauts’ skills are strictly subjective. They are not meant to reflect any real life individual’s strengths or weaknesses.

Welcome to the Dawn of the Space Age and may your nation reign supreme in the eyes of Humanity!

In the current playtest both Mavikfelna and Backstab from this board are participating in this round.

As an introductory game my intention is to make DSA free to anyone who wishes to DL it. My hope is that this game will lead to a greater interest in the BTS! 'verse and games.

Once this game is completed next on the rotation is Beyond the Stars!: The Race for Mars!  8) This game will up the complexity some, but at the same time give the Directors much more flexibility in their planning.

If there is enough interest I will move the playtesting to this board.  :)

@Erik, my email has changed. I will change it ASAP in my profile.

Cheers, Thor

Beyond the Stars! / Pre-Game INN News Feed for Playtest Game Four
« on: August 13, 2011, 05:39:47 PM »
Attached is the pre-game version of the INN News Feed for our upcoming Playtest Game four.  :)

Haegan and I will keep you all updated on the progress of the game.

Cheers, Thor

Beyond the Stars! / Frequently Asked Questions
« on: August 04, 2011, 08:40:31 PM »
Frequently Asked Question

1. How should I start a game of Beyond the Stars!?

When you are ready to build your nation you will have three main tasks. The first thing to do is to purchase your starting infrastructure. As a side note, unhoused population do not provide any production contribution, but do require maintenance. Also, at TL  6 and above you need Energy Production to power your nation or you will be facing a really 'dark' future! This will include the purchase of factories, mines, a Transport network, Housing, etc. Sounds hard, but only in figuring out where you wish to focus on. I would recommend roughly 50 Wv and, if you do not choose Untapped Fuel Reserves, roughly 50 or more FP as well.

If you have the opportunity, use the terrain spreadsheet to fine tune your infrastructure so that it is self supporting and you do not have a negative in energy and food production. The spreadsheet will do many of your calculations for you, so you don't need to do the math with a calculator, but if you want a free headache...

2. What type of terrain should I choose?

I would recommend at least one Super Terrain as it doubles food production from that region. If you have enough TP (Terrain Points) you can build your own world. I would also recommend a mountainous terrain as well as the RM(raw materials) infrastructure limit is higher there. Any region slot not filled in by you will be filled in by the Game Master.

3. What sort of non-military units should I have?

I would sincerely recommend freighters as they can be put into trade routes and generate additional monthly income for you. This can compensate for having few Wv facilities (Wealth).  Freighters can also be used for fishing fleets in order to create additional food sources.

You may want 2 or more explorer units as well. They cost 0.8 NP each. If you have lots of ocean, put the explorers on some navy ships or freighters for that matter and use them to explore the water terrain for new sources of fuel for FP. Otherwise focus on the land until it is all surveyed. Multiple Explorer units will map out terrain faster then only one unit will and don't be afraid to make more Explorers. They don't have a shelf life!

4. What good are unit templates?

Use up all your unit templates. A unit that has not had a template made for it must have that template researched first! Go ahead and create what interests you. Let your imagination roam free. Your race is limited only by your imagination and available Species Points (abbreviated sp) but it is your race and how their society works is up to you. The point of this game is to have fun!

5. What military units would you recommend?

Unless you have next to no water, you will need to create several basic naval units. I would recommend a destroyer class, a sub, and at least an escort carrier. If you have chosen one of the Neighbors disadvantages then heavier naval units are a must. If nothing else, use up all your ship templates, even if you don't actually buy the units they represent. You may be able to sell the design at a later date.

I would recommend several specialties for aircraft templates. You will want an interceptor design for air superiority, a basic ground attack variant, an AWACs type with a communications cap and maybe a sensors cap, and a ground to orbit shuttle though rockets are cheaper and quicker to build, but they are not resusable. If you have carriers, you will want a navalized version using the carrier launched cap.
Your army is a bit tougher as there are many ideas on what should be a good army. But at a minimum, you will want a basic infantry unit, a mechanized infantry, a MBT unit (armored), a unit with the Engineers cap for defensive bonuses, an artillary unit (with a mobility cap), and at least one headquarters unit. Headquarters units have no AR or DR and must be pared with another unit in order to defend itself. They are required for battlefield control. You may find out that you need additional templates to round your army out. Just remember that additional templates can be purchased with Species Points (SP) during species creation.

6.  How does Low Tech match up against High Tech?

Don't. Not unless you really understand mob tactics and can draw your opponent into strategic dispersion so you can beat him up by using defeat in detail. Think Swarms. REALLY big swarms. The exception is if your victim, er, evil opponent has next to no military at all. However, this is unlikely. Most races will not reveal their true military strengths except to blood allies.

You have a fair chance against an opponent who is above you in the same tech level. So two TL 8 powers (one at 820 and the other at 880) are roughly in the same  capability range, the lower will still not want to fight one on one. He will lose, just not as badly.

7.  How do Ground Forces fare against Space Forces?

Badly is the simple answer. There are artillery units that can be capped to strike successfully at orbital targets, but it is better to just not let the 36 legged Centipedes of Doom to get into orbit in the first place.

8.  How do I make an Ueber Power?

Put the word Ueber in front of its name. Seriously, though, what you do in the beginning will determine your strengths and weaknesses for a long time into the game. Generally, because of the versitility of BTS!, most nations that are created to be very powerful in one area will be weak in another area. A way to build your nation is to take disadavantages to get additional NP to buy infrastructure, technology levels, etc. These disadvantages can cripple you in the later game. For instance, two nations with the Patent Office disadvantage cannot trade technologies. It is possible to get a lot of NP from these disadvantages, but it will create a very narrow path for you to trod to success and that first step can be a real owie. Many of the disadvantages can be minimized with good planning, but many simply do not have good workarounds. So be careful in your choices.

9. 3.1.8 uses six digits for the Homeworld description, but 3.1.2 only lists five variables (size, temp., water, air, tectonic).  What is the sixth variable?

The 6th digit is the maximum amount of a planet usable by a player. Its basic number is determined by the Water amount. Say for example you have 60% water coverage (P-Dat water coverage number 6) you will have 40% of the planets surface covered in usable land terrain. The last P-Dat number would be a 4. That amount is further modified by Colonization costs.

10. How do I create a race?

Racial construction is relatively easy in BTS!. You start off by immediately spending NP (Nation Points) on your Biology tech level. This creates the number of SP (Species Points) that you have to spend on your races creation.

The next step is to define your races homeworld. If you do not choose to spend any SP here you still have a good deal of choices to choose from. While you are doing this it is good to keep in mind the characteristics of the race you want to build. A fish race will not do well on a lava world witth no oceans. Though they may go well with a lemon pepper rub and ketchup.

The planetary creation permits Edens to airless rocks to be created for your homeworld so put some thought into it. The planetary size will also determine the number of regions available for you to use, however filling those regions in will happen after you actually create your race.

Your race can be almost anything but intelligent bacteria. Its hard to get bacteria that can be tool manipulaters! They can be avians, ursine, humanoid, fish with arms, insect like, well, you get the idea.

11. How do I generate Wealth for my Power?

There are three main paths to generating wealth and several ways that normally do not happen every turn.

A. Assign merchant ships to trade routes, along with Internal Trade.
B. Build Wealth generating infrastructure.
C.Build up your Transport Network. From my experience with the playtesters this is the one area players tend to to ignore and in doing so they cut down their potential Wealth generation.

Building up your transport Network is expensive and time consuming. But over time, and in the long run, it will significantly boost your Wealth Generation.
D.You may sell your various resources, IUUs, Food, Fuel, Energy, and Raw Materials to gain Wealth. This is limited by what you have in your reserves and you need to be careful to not deplete your stockpiles too badly.
E. You can sell ships and other unit equipment using the export rules to other powers as well.

Note: The sale of weapons and ships does not prevent the other power from using these units on you...

F. Trade goods of various types can be manufactured to sell to other Powers.

It is highly recommended that you should expand your Wealth generation EVERY turn, either by Transport Network investment, Trade, or Wealth generating Infrastructure purchases. The best is to do all three, if possible.

12. How does research work?

Well, there is a tech tree with many techs requiring previously researched techs as well as specialized facilities to begin the research process. Each Project has three stages, Theory, Develpoment, and Practical Application with an assigned number of successes required to be accumulated to advance to the next stage.

The actual research part is performed at IoHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning) that store accumulated research points each turn for a specified Research project. After all, the scientists have to have lunch somewhere.

The research points come from Teams (both Government and Civilian) and named Team Leaders. These Teams and leaders have specializations that add additional RPs if they match what Project is being researched. Aviation specializations just aren't helpful for researching a Boomer sub. Unless its a flying boomer sub....

The RPs are accumulated from turn to turn and the total is compared to a chart that gives a targeted percentage that must be rolled under or equal to to get a success. It is important to note that you can only roll so long as you are continuing to accumulate points. Once the IoHL is full, you will have to either assign more IoHLs to the project, or build more to continue your rolling for successes for your Research project.

It is important to note that new units are required to be researched. This may require researching the Caps that you need for the units as well. A Cap is a way of making your unit more effective by adding more armor, weapons, higher speed, better communictions, etc. You could end up running many Projects just to make a first generation tank for instance.

This thread is to announce that my Roman Story, A Test of Wills: Discovery, the first book in the saga is now available in an E-Book format.  8)

As you all know, A Test of Wills began as a story using Aurora to game it out. Well, it has moved beyond that and has grown into a universe all of it's own. Once I get the printed proof I will approve it and then a printed version will be available.

Below are the e-book links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Printed Version:

Gunny Pubs Webshop

Cheers, Thor

This post is to announce the success of my efforts to get the book, The Gunny: The Saga Begins published has been successful!  :ac  It is available in both an e-book or printed version. Next in line for publishing is A Test of Wills: Discovery.  8)

Below are the links to the pages where they reside. If any of you folks decide to purchase a copy, any reviews you could do would be very helpful.   ;D

E-Book Version:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Printed Edition:

(I get a better royalty percentage for sales here)
My Webshop

Amazon Site

Cheers, Thor

Þórgrímr's Fiction / John DeShane and the Secret of the Lost Ark
« on: December 13, 2010, 07:14:52 PM »

Oakland Army Base, Oakland California
23 July, 2012

It was easy to miss the freeway exit for the Oakland Army Base since it appears immediately after the Bay Bridge toll plaza. So it was not until another fifteen minutes of backtracking had gone by that Lieutenant Colonel Derek Hungerford drove into the bewildering maze of buildings that comprised one of the U.S. Army’s remaining World War II storage and shipping depots.

The assignment to this base had been an accident. Derek had been on track for an assignment to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for another six-month tour at the Joseph McCarthy Special Warfare Center, but at the last moment the funding had not come through.

Instead his management officer at the St. Louis U.S. Army Reserve headquarters had offered him a three-month tour with an Intelligence and Security Battalion headquarters at the Presidio in San Francisco. Although it promised to involve nothing more exciting than routine staff operations, he had accepted. He liked San Francisco and had friends out there. As he observed to his wife Katrina, he knew she would not mind a brief respite from the New York weather.

The INSCOM headquarters building - an aging concrete bunker - appeared at first glance to be both unimpressive and uncomfortable. It did hold the distinction of being ‘the last building before Hawaii’, as the duty Captain who greeted him described it. “Glad to have you here, sir. Sometimes we think we’ve been forgotten, particularly now that PSF is slated for closure in the next year or so. Oh, and I was supposed to give you this when you checked in.”

This proved to be a faxed order reassigning Hungerford to a two-week temporary duty as Classified Storage Control Officer at the Oakland Army Base across the San Francisco Bay. Hungerford scowled, “For this they task a Lieutenant Colonel?”

The Captain looked at him uncomfortably. “I guess they couldn’t find anyone else on such short notice, sir. The way I understand it, there was a CWO over there that had to leave on a family emergency. A replacement’s coming, but until he gets here, someone with TS clearance is needed, and we got tasked, and the CO said…”

Hungerford cut him off with a nod. Give the Reservist the odd job. On the other hand, he mused, it might be a pleasant - and quiet - two weeks. Certainly this mournful concrete block on the seacliff didn't have much going for it. He finished his in-processing, then returned to his rented car and headed for the Bay Bridge.

He had never been to the OARB before, and as he drove slowly through it, he decided that he hadn’t missed much. Perhaps back around the time of World War II the base had been a center of activity. Now it was clearly a neglected installation, ready for the budgetary chopping-block. Its most striking feature was a row of seven very long warehouses, originally designed to store material from the nearby docks. Now the docks were little-used, and the giant warehouses, their paint peeling with age, appeared to be simply utilitarian: places to store furniture, old vehicles, and the like. Except, it seemed, for Warehouse Six.

Warehouse Six had a barbed-wire fence around it. The wire was old and rusty, but still quite serviceable. Metal warning signs, also brown with rust, appeared at regular intervals along its perimeter. Hungerford had seen such secure buildings many times in his career and they no longer held any magic or mystery for him.

He parked the car in a grassy lot with only one other vehicle in it, strolled over to the gate, and pressed the buzzer mounted on one of its side-posts.

After a moment or two a door in the warehouse creaked open and a Sergeant came out, walked over to the fence, saluted, examined Hungerford’s ID card through the wire and opened the gate. Hungerford followed him out of the glare of the sunshine into the building.

Suddenly it was cool and quiet. The only light came from a small, glass-windowed office to the right of the door. The rest of the warehouse, unlit, seemed to stretch off into infinite darkness. The Sergeant motioned him into the office and poured two cups of coffee from a small pot on a hotplate.

“What is this place?” Hungerford asked. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Deep storage, I guess you could call it,” the Sergeant said with a shrug of his shoulders. “I really don’t know what they’ve got in there - just that it’s old classified stuff. There’s an inventory binder over there,” he nodded at the shelf alongside the single desk, “if you’re curious. But it doesn’t say much, just box numbers mostly. And almost everything is in a box which, at least, will make the sign-over easier.” Plainly the Sergeant was not unhappy at the prospect of relinquishing the claustrophobia of the warehouse to someone else.

Ultimately it took the two of them three days to inventory the building’s contents. There were hundreds of crates, conexes, shrouded and banded pallets, along with assorted containers whose only common feature was a size too big to fit into a filing cabinet.

A few of the items were in fresh metal or plastic packaging, but most were in simple wooden boxes whose steel bandings were as rust-covered as the outside fence.

As the Sergeant had said, no contents were identifiable, Hungerford had hoped for at least one UFO tailfin poking through a boxtop. As he leaned back in the chair in what was now his office, he wondered what sort of hidden treasure he now guarded. Certainly nothing of contemporary importance.

This was obviously a repository for things forgotten or near-forgotten, protected from the incinerator or trash-heap only because some minor bureaucrat had once immortalized them with a security classification in the days before automatic downgrading had been instituted. Probably a good many of the container descriptions themselves, wherever they originated from, had long since been destroyed as unnecessary. He grimaced. He had seen a sight like this at the end of the film Secrets of the Lost Ark, but had never expected to encounter it in actuality.

Well, he mused with a chuckle, maybe I’ve got the real Ark in here somewhere. That at least would be something. He recalled idly that in the movie the Ark had been crated and assigned a serial number. He had picked up the paperback version of the story, perhaps the number was cited in there.

On a whim he picked up the phone, requested an outside line, and made a collect call to his home in Syracuse where his wife, Major Katrina Hungerford, would now have arrived home from her office.

Katrina chuckled sympathetically as Derek told her of his surprise assignment, and then asked him to hold on while she went into the next room to rummage in the bookcase. A few minutes later she was back on the line. “Here it is,” she said. “Let’s see ... O.K., here on the last page - Got something to write with?”

Hungerford jotted down what she recited to him: TOP SECRET, ARMY INTEL, 2859301, DO NOT OPEN. “Doesn’t sound very promising,” he commented with a sigh. “MI used to be ‘Army Intelligence and Security’, which was ‘AIS’, not ‘Army Intel’. On the other hand, I do have a number of entries in the log with seven-digit numbers. I will let you know if I come across anything that hums or glows in the dark.”

“If you do,” she remarked, “don’t open it, it’s probably one of the Manhattan Project’s early failures.” He laughed, gave her a telephonic kiss, hung up, and turned to the binder.

The number was there. Next to it, however, was the phrase “Lockheed P-38 components (exp).”

Hungerford looked again, just to be certain. He started to call Katrina back, then hesitated and replaced the receiver on the cradle. Better take a look at the container first before calling her back.

He ran his finger over the chart showing the number sequence breakdown by location, then threw on the light switches for the warehouse and walked out into the central aisle and down the seventh branch aisle to the left. He peered down into the dusty stacks of containers. And there it was: 2859301. It was an aging wooden crate about ten feet long by four feet wide and high.

There was additional stenciling on the crate, partially obscured by the surrounding clutter. Hungerford tugged three other boxes aside, grimacing at the cloud of dust raised in the process. He brushed off the lettering with a hand and read: WARNING-VIBRATION SENSITIVE and, on the top, ONLY THIS SIDE UP.

Hungerford stared at the crate for a few moments then walked back to the office. He made himself a cup of coffee and thought about what he had found. Then he dialed the number of Steven Simonson in Oakland.

Simonson was home. He listened without interruption while Hungerford told him about the crate. “This is weird,” He finally said. “What are you going to do now?”

“Any ideas?”

Simonson thought about it for a moment. “Well... I guess we could try to find out whether there’s anything factual about the Secrets story. Why don’t I do a little research and maybe meet you for lunch somewhere?”

“Treasure Island Officers Club? How about twelve-thirty?”

“You got it.”


By one o’clock Derek Hungerford had dispensed with two Perrier’s and several handfuls of popcorn before Steven Simonson strode into the O-Club’s bar and threw himself into the next chair. “Sorry I’m late,” he said. “I’ve been on the phone, more-or-less, constantly since we spoke.”

Hungerford signaled the waitress and ordered fruit salads for them both. Then he turned back to Simonson. “So… find out anything?”

“Yes and no. Call Kingsfilm and start asking questions about ‘Secrets’ and they quickly decide that you’re just another kooky fan. Then they refer you to fan clubs and such. On the third call I got a different operator and told her that I was a grad student at Berkeley doing research on Hollywood imagery. That got me to another lady who had apparently worked as an assistant to the ‘Secrets’ screenwriter.

“First thing she told me was that ‘Secrets’ was wholly and purely fictional. She said that the basic plot had been brainstormed by Lawrence King and Carl Kaiser in Hawaii in 1987. Then the screenwriter - Carter, I think his name was - made up most of the names and fleshed out the scenes. King had a dog named Johnny, and the character was originally going to be ‘John Smith’. Someone pointed out that was too close to ‘Nevada Smith’, so ‘Smith’ became ‘DeShane’.”

“Did King have a relative named John, or DeShane?”


“So why did he name the dog Johnny?”

Simonson shrugged. Then he took the point. “You think that there might be a real John DeShane somewhere, someone whom King had in mind as a model for the film?”

“Let me think this through. Now... almost certainly there’s not going to be a real person by that name, or the press would have picked up on it at some time during the publicity for the four movies. But let’s suppose that ‘Johnny’ is a nickname. Suppose that there’s an actual professor of archaeology somewhere named ‘DeShane’. Suppose that there’s some truth to the story and that he told it to King at some point and said that it was O.K. to use it as the basis for a film as long as his privacy was preserved.”

“So what now? You can’t very well call every college in the country asking for ‘Johnny DeShane’.”

“I won’t have to. Still have a card for the UC library? Good. They can access the National Technical Information Service database link there. Get them to do a name search by campus for anyone named ‘DeShane’ in an archaeology department.

“Archaeology is a small field; not too many places have a department like that. We can rough out his age bracket as being, um, perhaps 65-80. We might take a chance cross-referencing with ‘Cathy’ as a wife’s name, assuming that he might indeed be married to the Cathy Talley of the film.”

“Not much hope there, if he ever existed he is probably dead by now, from old age,” Simonson said with a sigh. “Kingsfilm said that ‘Cathy Talley’ was the name of Carter’s grandmother-in-law. But I’m going to Berkeley later on today, so I’ll drop by the library and run the other stuff. Call you tomorrow if I get anything.”

They turned their attention to the salads they had waiting.

Þórgrímr's Fiction / The Kingdom of Lycanus Sirri
« on: September 20, 2010, 04:57:05 PM »
EDIT: Post removed.

Þórgrímr's Fiction / John DeShane and the Queen of the Damned
« on: September 11, 2010, 11:47:32 PM »
EDIT: Post removed.

BTS! Fiction / Dark Mirrors of the Soul: An Eagle Eye 28 Story
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:46:24 AM »
"Nice of you to join us, Daniel," Adam said dryly as Daniel came into the room still reading a sheet of paper by the light of his flashlight as he walked through the darkness.

"Adam, I know you're bored, I heard you teaching Joran 'One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall'. I'm... this is important." When Daniel recieved no response from Adam he looked up from his papers, only to see Adam looking patiently indulgent, and Gina was openly grinning. "No, it really is."

The metal walls of the alien lab gleamed dull and cold around the EE-28 team and Gina seemed ghostly pale in the puddle of light given off by her flashlight. She looked down briefly at the partially dissected mechanical object under the flashlight, then back at Daniel. "Well, I've found nothing. What did you come up with Daniel?"

"I couldn't be sure at first, but the notes the aliens left behind indicate that they were reverse-engineering technology... Gomesah technology, as well as others, and they had had some success. What I couldn't be certain of was if, whether or not, they might have been Gomesah thralls, or even a Gomesah faction themselves; it's hard to tell from the projects they were working on, and we don't know how long ago this facility was abandoned. But I did figure out the aliens that worked here were explorers, like us, and were enemies of the Gomesah."

"And you know that how, exactly?" Adam asked.

Daniel flipped through a few of the pages in his notebook. "Because there's a record here of their efforts to remove a Gomesah 'zombie' chip from its slave. They were trying to figure out a way to do it so the chip would remain intact, and not self destruct, which made me think at first that they were Gomesah thralls, maybe trying to get a damaged chip out of a damaged slave. But then I realized it was so they could download its programming... although how you download a zombie chip without the slave's controller for it I have no idea..."

"Daniel, are you saying they had made progress in getting a chip out of a slave?"

"No... I'm saying they did it. They were just perfecting their technique. But there's more," he paused and adjusted his glasses. "Adam, they were reverse-engineering alien technology, just like we do, and running their own experiments like we do. They were working on all the stuff that we're working on, but they were ahead of where we are now. They were experimenting with weapons technologies, defense systems, power sources..." Daniel trailed off, and there was silence in the room. It was Joran who asked the question.

"Is there any indication of where the aliens have relocated?" Joran snarled, the translator turning his Iskarendi snarls into understandable english.

"Well, no... they left to escape the Gomesah, I think, so they didn't leave behind a forwarding address, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't their homeworld. I doubt we'll be able to find them unless the Atheri can tell us something."

Adam snorted at the idea, turned to look at Gina, and gave a gesture that included the room and its countertops filled with engineering detritus. "You find any gizmos like what he's describing, Lucas?"

"No, sir. Unfortunately, there's not much here. They left some of the large equipment, but nothing really extraordinary. I mean, some of it's interesting," she pointed at the 'gizmo' she had been working on when the team had re-grouped. "And some of it's even... a little different. But I haven't seen anything I couldn't wait to get back to my own lab. Of course, I haven't been completely through everything yet."

"Well, Captain, if there's any chance there might be any weaponry or useful gadgets here, I want them taken back with us."

"Yes, sir."

"Daniel, start focusing on gathering up all the notes, and potentially useful bits of paper to take back."


"Yes, I know. I also know that these people are long gone. You can translate the information for Lucas sitting in your far more comfy chair back at the JGC... in the land of overhead lighting. And I can watch the football game that's on tonight. We're not going to gain anything by being here much longer. Make a clean sweep of it, and let's move out."

Daniel nodded in acquiescence, where he and Joran followed the dark maze of hallways back to the offices to gather up notes. Adam returned to the mirrors room and was contemplating a cold beer and the pre-game show when he heard Gina call him over the comm-link.

"Sir? You should come and look at this."

They all answered her call, stepping over the empty boxes piled in the hallways to get to the back room she had gone into. Gina was standing, flashlight in her hand, watching the light bounce off the back wall as though it were... it was, it was a mirror. She turned to see Daniel and Joran following Adam into the room and held up her left hand. "Recognize this, Daniel?"

Daniel recognized it immediately. It was the control device for a multi-dimensional mirror, and the mirror was... the mirror was incredibly large. It didn't take up the entire back wall as he had first thought, but it damn near did.

"Okay, now there's something you don't see every day." Adam said as he gestured towards the mirror. "I'll bet they hated leaving that bad boy behind."

"Maybe they didn't leave it behind, Adam, maybe they went through it. Maybe that's why it had to be so large, so they could transport large equipment. If we could find them..." Daniel trailed off, hoping Adam would pick up what he was laying down.

"Why not take the controller with them, then?" Adam asked, pointing to the controller device Gina held.

Gina shrugged, "maybe they did. Maybe they had more than one and left this one in case somebody got stranded." She gave a small gesture with the device. "Should we take a look?"

Adam made a face at the mirror. "We haven't had very good luck with those things in the past."

"We haven't? If I hadn't gone through the first one, we would all be dead by now. And that one's big enough, sir, to have transported your 'big honkin' space gun'." Gina said as she grinned at the face Adam made.

Joran spoke up, his deep rumbling growls and snarls seeming to softly echo in the still lab. "It does indeed seem there is a chance for much useful information, if these people were advanced enough to remove a Gomesah zombie chip from its slave."

"It's certainly worth a look, sir." Gina chipped in.

Adam contemplated the mirror and its possibilities, then motioned for the team to take up better positions in the room. With the ease borne of many years of working together, they spread out and adjusted themselves. When they had settled in Adam gave his second a nod, and Gina activated the controller.

The mirror shimmered with a wave of light, then solidified into a view of another dark lab. Again and again the mirror glowed, and still the labs on the other side of the mirror remained dark, empty, abandoned.

And then... the mirror shimmered and when the new image coalesced, the room EE-28 stood in was bathed in the bright lights of a fully operational lab on the other side of the mirror. The exploration team drew its collective breath.

"That gizmo can get us back home, right, Captain?"

Knowing what he was considering, Gina nodded. "Yes, sir. We would have approximately forty-eight hours before entropic cascade failure begins."

"Would not the entropic cascade failure only affect us if we have counterparts in the other universe?" Joran asked.

"True, but all... well, most of us do tend to exist in the alternate universes we have seen," Gina said with a shrug.

"We shouldn't need the controller unless the mirror gets reset by another controller," Daniel added. "We should leave something here to mark our place, though, in case that happens. All those other labs looked a lot like each other."

Adam stepped forward and set his soft cover on a counter within sight of the mirror. "You can speak that language you were reading, right Daniel?" He waited for Daniel's nod, then added, "Okay, let's give it a try then." Gina slid the controller into her pocket and, as a group, the team stepped forward to touch the mirror.

There was the slight shock Gina remembered, and then her eyes were trying to adjust to the bright glare from the overhead lights in the new lab. The counters were covered with bits and pieces of objects, and some that still looked whole. She recognized a stun gun, a Gomesah hand-held energy projector, and a healing device in the piles of equipment. Being able to see the workspaces more clearly, she was surprised at how familiar the tools looked. Other than the equipment, however, the room was empty.

"Someone exited the room as we arrived," Joran said with a nod towards the door at the other end of the lab.

"Who?" Adam asked, instantly on alert.

"I do not know. I merely saw a leg and arm as he left."

"You know it was a 'he,' though?"

"I believe so."

"Okay, so the natives are restless. Let's go say 'hi'."

The hallway outside the lab was clear. Adam raised his voice and called out, "Hello?" No one responded.

Adam looked pointedly at Daniel, who called an alien word, then another, and then again with a different pronunciation. The corridors stayed empty and quiet. Daniel shrugged. "We could try the shuttle bay?"

The team moved down the hall, passing branching corridors and doorways. The base seemed to be identical in structure to the one they had just left, although brightly lit. They had not yet seen a single figure when the familiar sound of a stun gun filled their ears. The sound came from behind them, and the blast struck Joran squarely in the back. He fell with a surprised sound and a soft thud.

Adam and Gina wheeled in place, raising their weapons, while Daniel drew his pistol. Another blast hit Gina and she fell, but Adam still hadn't seen more than a glimpse of the figure that had fired before he darted back behind the cover of a corner.

Daniel was speaking in the alien tongue, words Adam couldn't understand but was relying on regardless. The section of the corridor where they had been trapped offered no cover; Adam and Daniel both had their backs to the wall, but Daniel was still speaking and had raised his hands in the universal sign of surrender. The gesture failed to have its desired effect, and Daniel cried out Adam's name as a third shot pinned him to the wall, then dropped him to the floor.

The figure reappeared and Adam fired off a three round burst, denting the wall, but missing his target. The fourth shot from the stunner struck him in the leg, and he collapsed. The world faded to a haze of red energy, pain, and the smell of ozone, while Adam struggled to retain consciousness, although his body was refusing all other commands.

Into Adam's vision came a man in a black t-shirt. In the slow-motion world of pain, his brain wondered why the man looked like Daniel, then promptly reminded him of the mirror.

"Daniel?" Adam asked out loud and wondered, silently, Why is Daniel shooting at us? There was no answer from the Daniel swimming in his vision, but Adam's brain answered, Not Daniel. Not-Daniel. He watched the Not-Daniel raise his stunner and aim it squarely at him.

"Move and die," the Not-Daniel said in a voice colder than Adam would have thought possible, then he made a motion and Adam watched men in JGC uniforms come forward and begin to strip his team of their weapons and gear. Adam couldn't raise his weapon; he tried, ineffectually, to tighten his grip upon it, but it was pulled from his grasp. With it he also lost his tentative grip on consciousness, and the world went black.

Announcements / The Opening of Gunny Publications Inc.
« on: March 01, 2010, 09:31:47 PM »
For some time now members of this board have been urging me to get my books published. Well, for the last three years I have tried to do just that. But, alas, no regular book publisher would pick up my works.

So I decided to form my own company and become a book and game publisher. Well I am now here to tell you that Gunny Publications is now an official company! Stock issues and everything corporate-wise.  8)

All of my books and games will eventually be published by this company.

With every book I am going to offer a three chapter preview for free. So that you can get an idea if you will like the book before purchase. So follow the URL below to the foras and DL the preview for our first release, The Gunny: The Saga Begins.

Read the preview, and if you have any comments, good or bad, please post them either on the Gunny Pubs fora, or here. Then if you enjoy the preview head on over to our web shop and support Gunny Pubs by making a purchase.

Then if you really enjoyed what you read, tell your friends about it. Word of mouth advertising is, IMO, the best form of advertising.

URL for the free preview: ... d.php?t=46

URL for the Web Shop:   Just hit the button labeled Web Shop to find our lil' part of the web.

Cheers, Thor

Beyond the Stars! / Species from the BTS! Universe
« on: February 22, 2010, 01:40:54 PM »
I will post small blurbs for the main species found in the BTS! universe that my stories are based on.

First up will be the Graalthak.

Cheers, Thor

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