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Old September 3, 2006, 09:07 AM   #1051
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Location: By the River
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by Correia
NC said that he would be doing an update on Thursday or Friday. I've only got one more, and I need him to go first.
Sounds like we still have one more little chapter left?

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Old September 3, 2006, 09:36 AM   #1052
Join Date: December 25, 2002
Location: Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
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Yes. Correia should be doing a short epilogue to his own part of the story soon.

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Old September 3, 2006, 11:45 AM   #1053
Join Date: April 5, 2006
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Thumbs up

Thank you for a great read, I've enjoyed every post
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Old September 3, 2006, 02:00 PM   #1054
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Thank you both.
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
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Old September 3, 2006, 02:09 PM   #1055
Join Date: May 19, 2006
Location: Kearns, Utah
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Okay, Correia will make his "exit-from-the-story" post and then it's over?

Then what am I supposed to do?

I have been "hooked" on this thread since NC started it.

Now it's OVER?

Someone please help me...<withdrawal>...<withdrawal>

Fantastic read. I have got to have a published hard copy. Congratulations guys, you are very good at this. When you start drawing members from other boards just to read this thread, what more do you need to know to show how good you are?

Can't hardly wait for Correia's book.
If you can read this, thank a teacher - If you are reading it in English, thank a veteran.

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Old September 3, 2006, 02:47 PM   #1056
Join Date: May 13, 2003
Location: Next to a Dillon
Posts: 114
Nightcrawler and Corriea,

Darned good work you folks have done. One of the better online reads I've come across.

Has anyone converted this to PDF yet?

Semper Fi
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:00 PM   #1057
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Location: SLC
Posts: 10,648
“It has been over four months since billionaire philanthropist, Edward Montalban, was killed in a tragic plane crash, however questions still remain. The Department of Homeland Security has concluded their investigation and insist that there was no surface to air missile, as many of the eye witnesses insist, but rather that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure,” the anchor woman said. Like most cable news people, she was easy on the eyes, yet hard on the brain.

The screen switched over to a pre-recorded press conference. The caption on the bottom of the shot said Special Agent Robert T. Lorenzo, FBI. Bob looked awkward on camera, enormous behind the podium, and the press spotlights caused a reflection off the top of his bald head. “I can assure you that there is no need to panic. There is no evidence that there are any anti-aircraft missiles in the United States. Air travel is perfectly safe.” My brother lied well. It must run in the family. “The reports of a wild west style gunfight in the nearby desert, and car chases, and missiles, is nothing more than paranoid conspiracy theory. Mr. Montalban’s death was a tragic accident, nothing more. He was a great humanitarian, and he will be missed by all.”

They showed a file photo of Big Eddie waving to the crowd at some big wig charity function, supermodel on one arm, poodle in the other.

Good riddance. Freak.

The picture changed back to the vacuous reporter. “But with the recently revealed secret files concerning Project Heartbreaker, new questions have been raised. According to the files anonymously placed on the internet, Edward Montalban’s older brother, Rafael, was one of the shadow organization’s targets in the middle east. He was assassinated by members of the rouge operation Dead Six. Now members of congress are questioning the ruling of Edward Montalban’s death an accident and demanding that the investigation be reopened.”

The picture changed to footage of several men in suits leaving a courthouse. A mob of reporters screamed questions at the men while mirrored-sunglass wearing security rushed them into black town cars.

“In related news, the Project Heartbreaker hearings have continued. The President has vowed that the perpetrators will be found, and that no secrets will be kept from the American public. The house minority leader has insisted on the appointment of an independent commission and—“

Jill picked up the remote and killed the TV. “That stuff is going to rot your brain.”

She was wearing a simple white dress and had flowers in her hair. Through the window behind her, I could see the pristine beach stretching into the distance, bright green trees rising behind. Brilliant blue waves were washing onto the sand.

“I was hoping to hear something about what happened to Nightcrawler,” I explained. “After he got arrested, he just disappeared into the system. Even Reaper can’t find any information about where they sent him.”

“You don’t even know it was him. They did rule Gordon’s death a suicide.”

“Suicide?” I snorted. “Twenty bucks says the kid killed him.”

“Probably,” she grabbed my hand and pulled me up. “Come on. We’re on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, and you want to watch the news? That’s just wrong.” She dragged me up the stairs and onto the deck. Our yacht rocked gently against the wooden pier. I wasn’t wearing a shirt, and the sun beat down on the mass of burn scar tissue that was my back.

It had been one of Big Eddie’s boats, but it was mine now. In the confusion immediately following his death, we had gone to work embezzling as much of his fortune as was possible. With the contacts that I had made in all of my years of doing Eddie’s dirty work, and with Reaper’s mad skills, we had been able to make an absurd amount of his wealth disappear before news of his demise spread and his accounts had been locked down.

Basically, we were now obscenely wealthy.

In fact, this little island had been Eddie’s also. It was mine now. It was just a dot on the map for rich tourists with a single little party town. Jill and I had been holed up here for the last few months of my “retirement”, and with the huge weight lifted from my shoulders, they had been some of the happiest months of my life.

And what we did together during that time was none of your business.

I had left The Prince’s evil case with Bob to turn over the government. I didn’t want the thing, and I didn’t want to sell it to the kind of people who might want to use it. My family was safe, and as far as all of them except Bob knew, I was just the flaky world traveler. Reaper had taken his share and gone his own way. He kept in touch, and always asked if I wanted to go back to work. I always turned him down.

“Want to head into town?” Jill gestured inland. Her arm was darkly tanned. “We haven’t gone dancing for awhile.”

“I need to talk to you about something,” I said. “something serious.”

She stopped smiling, folded her arms, and leaned on the railing. “I’m listening.”

“With all of the information about Project Heartbreaker public, and with Gordon dead, you aren’t in danger anymore.”

“I know,” she said slowly.

“You don’t need to stay hidden. You can be yourself again...”

Jill turned away, scanning across the beach as the wind whipped her dark hair around her shoulders. We had spent a lot of time together over the last few months. Being in hiding tends to do that to people. I was older than her, and wearied and scarred by the world. She was a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her. I was a criminal, wanted in a dozen countries, and wanted dead by hundreds of evil men. She knew that though my life was calm and happy now, there was no guarantee that my past wouldn’t come back to haunt me.

“Jill, what I’m saying is... you can go home.”

Jill continued to watch the surf, and the wheeling seagulls. It wasn’t like she needed to stay with me for the money. She had helped out when we had stolen Eddie’s wealth, and her share had been an absurd amount. The only reason she had to stick around now was me.

“You know what, Lorenzo. I think I am home.” In one smooth move, she pulled her dress over her head, tossed it on the deck, and dove into the perfect blue water.

I grinned stupidly and followed.

My first official act as the island’s new owner was to change the name from Montalban Island to St. Carl.

It had a nice ring to it.


New York Times bestselling author of Monster Hunter International, Monster Hunter Vendetta, The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic ( Monster Hunter Alpha Dead Six (coming October 2011), and The Grimnoir Chronicles: Spellbound (coming November 2011) all from Baen Books.
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:04 PM   #1058
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It is done.

Thanks to Nightcrawler for letting me jump in on his story with him. It was a real pleasure to work together. I had a blast.

This was a real seat of the pants, make it up as you go along, kind of thing. We would shoot each other PM's back and forth with what we wanted to do next. There was very little planning involved, and I'm amazed that we didn't just screw it up!

By some miracle it actually seemed to work.

I'm really glad that so many of you liked this. As a writer, hearing that really makes my day.

Thanks to those of you who sent paypal. That just blows me away, seriously. Thank you.

I'll post more information when Monster Hunter International is published. Thanks for the interest on that.
New York Times bestselling author of Monster Hunter International, Monster Hunter Vendetta, The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic ( Monster Hunter Alpha Dead Six (coming October 2011), and The Grimnoir Chronicles: Spellbound (coming November 2011) all from Baen Books.
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:13 PM   #1059
Join Date: February 21, 2003
Posts: 269
Excellent. Both of you. You've created something worthwhile.

I hope this collaboration will continue in the future.

Edited to add: Has someone compiled all this story in a "one fell swoop" file that I can use to send to a few friends to read?
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:14 PM   #1060
Join Date: December 23, 2002
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:33 PM   #1061
Join Date: December 20, 2005
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Posts: 3,594

Y'all did a great job on this. Thank you so much for a great read, something actually worth looking for on the internet (a rare thing!)

I will not be a victim!

..."what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."---Justice Antonin Scalia, D.C. et al v. Heller, 2008

I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Don't fire the gun while you're talking!---Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:43 PM   #1062
Join Date: February 26, 2006
Location: Illinois,by St. Louis MO
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Wow! Great story! Count me first in line for an autographed copy when the book comes out!
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Old September 3, 2006, 03:43 PM   #1063
Join Date: August 1, 2006
Location: Republik of Washington
Posts: 23
Thanks guys for a great read. It was far and away the best story I have read in quite a while. While it totally sucked having to wait for the updates, waiting made each piece just that much better. I hope you guys will team up again in the future and allow us the pleasure of enjoying your works.
300 Spartans
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Old September 3, 2006, 04:30 PM   #1064
Join Date: January 7, 2003
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Corriea, Bravo to you, as well

I've already thanked NC, and now I'm thanking you.

So now it is done, -- it was done off the cuff -- it was done to perfection. It ended perfectly and yet the opening for a sequel is in place, too.

I know you guys need a break, but I do hope (with Oleg's permission -- BTW thanks to you, Oleg) we will see more from you two in the future. You make a great team.


When you heed the call to battle, let your witness be as steel.
The 642 Club part 1 The 642 Club part 2
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Old September 3, 2006, 04:44 PM   #1065
Join Date: May 19, 2006
Location: Kearns, Utah
Posts: 410
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler
Originally Posted by Correia
Oh, No. It really is OVER!

Nightcrawler started this thread June 25th, and I, like so many others on this board, have visited this story as many as eight to twenty times a day aching for a new episode. This has been a great summer for reading; something I should do more often.

Thank you Nightcrawler and Correia for the story. BluesBear, if you are still visiting here, thanks for your funny interludes. Mods, thank you for allowing the story to continue. We all know that you could have overridden Correia and forced the thread to be locked but you didn't. Thank you.

This whole thing has been very fun.

Can we do it again, huh...huh...can we...can we?
If you can read this, thank a teacher - If you are reading it in English, thank a veteran.

Drive no faster than your guardian angel can fly.
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Old September 3, 2006, 04:45 PM   #1066
Join Date: December 12, 2005
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 1,506
Thank You.

Thank you 'Crawler and Correia!!!!!!!!!!!

This Is one of the best stories that I have read in a while (both electronicly or on paper). If you get it published I will buy TWO copies (one to own and one to lend).

Thanks again for sharing this with us.

Stupidity should be painful.
-Dr. Dickie

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." --Thomas Jefferson
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Old September 3, 2006, 04:55 PM   #1067
Join Date: May 18, 2004
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Allow me to add my voice to the growing chorus.....

"...there's always somebody else out there that needs to be whacked"... MajGen James Mattis, to Co G, Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, in Al Kut, Iraq, July 2003

What I do.
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Old September 3, 2006, 08:47 PM   #1068
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Posts: 275
It's not Sci-fi, but...

Plop a copy over on the Baen's Bar slushpile forum. The readers there can come up with some good and constructive stuff, to massage this into publishability. It's definitely better than a lot of the shoot-em-ups I've read.
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Old September 3, 2006, 09:00 PM   #1069
Join Date: December 25, 2002
Location: Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
Posts: 6,950
This rambling isn't fit to publish, folks. It's not that I think it's bad; it's not that I think it isn't better than some novels I've read. It's just that I wouldn't allow anything I wrote on the fly to be published, muchless submit it to a bunch of nitpicky sci-fi geeks for them to pick apart. Not when I just sat down in wrote it with only the roughest story outline in my head and with no proofreading. The spelling errors alone are enough to make me want to hide under my desk!

No, these stories are a treat for THR, and they're fun for me to write, that's all. I'll let you guys know if I ever sit down and write something "for real", though given my schedule that isn't likely to happen.

I happen to be a pretty good article/paper writer, too, as an aside.
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Old September 3, 2006, 09:05 PM   #1070
Join Date: December 25, 2002
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Hey guys, I don't think we need to worry. Look at how NC ended it, definately suggests a sequel with the NC character. So we just need to be patient.
"Except for ending slavery, fascism, Nazism and Communism
War has never solved anything"
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Old September 3, 2006, 09:10 PM   #1071
Join Date: December 25, 2002
Location: Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
Posts: 6,950
I don't want to give it away here, but the next bit I had in mind is actually a prequel. I have no idea when I'm going to actually write it, but it'd make for a nice "trilogy".

I've got to clean up the other two some more and make sure they mesh better first. There are a few plot holes and continuity errors I'd like to cover up.
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Old September 3, 2006, 10:43 PM   #1072
the pistolero
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Location: Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
Posts: 783
NC, Correia -- excellent work, my hat's off to the both of you. Can't believe the thread was started towards the end of June...seems like you two made the time fly by, and that's one of the marks of great storytelling. If you two have more in you, I for one would love to see it.
Now if your computer and printing press means to you what this gun means to me, then I guess we understand each other, and we'll just let it be....but if you still think it's funny, man, you got my back up against the wall, and if you touch my gun, you're gonna have to fight us all...

Live from the (upper) Texas Gulf Coast
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Old September 3, 2006, 10:55 PM   #1073
Join Date: December 15, 2005
Location: Suburb of Milwaukee, WI
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Wow. Just wow. I am awed. Nightcralwer and Correia, thank you very much. It was a great, gripping story.

I'm just mad at myself that I didn't even peek into this thread until yesterday (that's right, I've totally ignored it for the last two months ). Needless to say, I've been pretty much glued to my computer last night and today.

I think a prequel would be very cool. (as well as a sequel, and more stories, etc., etc. )

Again, thanks.
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Old September 3, 2006, 11:13 PM   #1074
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That's ok cosine, I just tapped into it today. I had to see what the hell generated 71,000+ hits. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read it all right now.

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Old September 3, 2006, 11:14 PM   #1075
The Guy
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Location: People's Democratic Republic of Illinois
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You know that in the old days, many stories were published as serials in magagzines and such. Since this is already in serial form, I think it would be easy to pubish a la Stephen King's Green Mile, or as a graphic novel.

Anyway, thanks for the great read, and I hope if your creative jucies get rolling again, that we are treated to a full dose!

Thanks again,
The Guy
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