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Messages - Heath C Ackley

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General / Re: droids you've forgotten
« on: 06 September, 2018, 08:31:03 pm »
Thank you Sheridan. I have few more in the works including something special for the Armistice Day issues.

General / Re: droids you've forgotten
« on: 06 September, 2018, 02:33:24 pm »
Martin Griffiths. He illustrated a couple of future shocks - including mine - as well as doing the DVD cover art for the X-Men animated series from way back. I met him at MCM Birmingham a few years ago. A decent bloke.

News / Re: Get Well Soon, Carlos.
« on: 05 September, 2018, 02:25:29 pm »
Get Well Soon Carlos!

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 04 September, 2018, 02:07:47 pm »
Sad to hear about the passing of Jacqueline Pearce. A teenage tv crush gone! It's strange that for all of her 'glamorous menace' there has never been a character quite like Servalan in science fiction or elsewhere before or since.

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 18 August, 2018, 07:22:58 pm »
You are all terrible, terrible people... :)

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 16 August, 2018, 11:00:00 pm »
The world has lost one of its greatest and sweetest voices.

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 08 July, 2018, 10:42:09 am »
Like Jack Kirby, Ditko was a legend not just in comics but in the medium as a whole. Respect due and paid.

General / Re: SHORT STORY RESULTS! - Out of This World
« on: 21 June, 2018, 04:13:26 pm »
Well done once again Lord Shark!

1) Steven Denton
2) The Most Legendary Shark
3) Eamonn Clarke

General / Re: SPRING Short Story Comp - OUT OF THIS WORLD
« on: 28 May, 2018, 08:59:29 pm »

Sam hated space-walking. There was no room inside his helmet to smoke and weightlessness always made him ill. The airlock doors slid silently open. He hit the jets and the pod propelled him into the floating mass of debris and the deceased. His crew were safely aboard the salvage tug, watching from the bridge.

'Hello Mr Spade.'

The voice crackled over the helmet com. Sam grinned. The XM11 had just saved him from several hours scouring the the cruiser's wreckage. The fact that the unit had known his name did not alarm him. Mechs and AI chatter and share information all the time, just like humes. He traced the voice to a white rectangular box - one of the ship's refrigerator units. Sam set the pod on hold and unzipped the work-belt around his  padded waist.

Instead of recording the accident that tore the cruiser apart, the XM11 black box recorder actually caused it. After jacking the navigator, the XM11 sent the ship on a collision course with an asteroid. The recorder had been fitted with an adaptive power coupling, which allowed it to attach leech-like to any mechanism and feed off the host's power cells. The company wanted the XM11 disabled before it took control of something far more dangerous than a damn wine cooler.

'I have been studying forms of human entertainment throughout history.'

Sam did not engage the unit in conversation. Talk would either be a diversionary tactic or just bullshit spilled from corroded circuits. He could have blasted the refrigerator to pieces but then the valuable XM11 would be lost forever. Sam began to unscrew the back-plate to the refrigerator.

'I have researched singers, tumblers and magicians.'

Out of the corner of his eye, Sam spotted one of the cruiser's plasma engines slowly revolving nearby. If the XM11 got a hold on that baby, then they were totally screwed.

'I like clowns. Do you?'


Sam released the back-plate and it slowly drifted away. He peered into the exposed interior of the refrigerator droid. The recorder unit was only the size of a thumbnail and came in the standard black finish.

'Do you have a favourite act Mr Slade?' The refrigerator's digital readout flickered with each word. 'I have. I like jugglers and -'

Beyond the floating refrigerator and the remnants of starflight 01070, plasma engine alpha's ignition light began to flash.

'- and ventriloquists.'

Creative Common / Re: Does my Art look big in this?
« on: 22 March, 2018, 04:10:19 pm »
Andy - that is one outstanding piece of art there brother!

News / Re: Michael Fleisher
« on: 15 March, 2018, 04:51:38 pm »
Sad news indeed.

« on: 13 March, 2018, 05:11:04 pm »
Congratulations BCB!

« on: 08 March, 2018, 08:30:31 pm »
1) Eamonn Clarke
2) James C
3) BCB


The howling increased behind him. His boots hammered the dry desert floor. Sergio Wan stumbled. Pain exploded in his knee but the instinct for survival drove him on. The faulty respirator clung to his sweat soaked features.

Sergio had always been a runner. He had fled the Big Meg for the Cursed Earth five years ago. A bad debt to the wrong people had forced him out. Faking his own demise, Sergio took to a life amongst the ruins and mutants.

The mutie witch had been right after all. She had told him and Benni that the dead would rise again and that those already committed to dust would return as bitter storms of pain and rage. They had just laughed and sipped their vokka juice.

Voices whistled from the turbulence. They sang songs of suffering, past sins and remorse. The billowing mass seemed to suck the oxygen from the cold night atmosphere. The weak glow of oil lanterns came like a heavenly intervention. Sergio sobbed with relief. Benni had an underground shelter with steel doors, a shuggy table and a faded print of Ju C Bea.

'You left us.'

The voice was so close he almost felt the dead lips on the flesh of his neck. His legs buckled and he tumbled to the ground. There would be no more running. The safety of Benni's place was beyond him. Sergio screamed and raised his hands. The force of the whirlwind lifted him up off his feet. Dirt and ash struck like hail. The rags were torn from his wasted body. The maelstrom snatched the respirator away. Sergio  screwed his eyes shut as the voices became a strident chorus around him. And then -


Whatever held Sergio released him. Opening his eyes, he found himself in a clearing in the turbulence, in the eye of the storm. The long deceased prowled the outside of the circle. A familiar face emerged from the shifting forms. Recognition pierced his heart like a spear. Sergio slowly shook his head. The face extended on a tendril of vapour. It hovered closer until he felt dust on his lips.

She kissed him. Dust seeped into his mouth and hissed into his thoughts. Flashes of a past he never knew - of what he had left behind - filled his mind. Sergio saw tears and muzzle flashes. The stench of decay clogged his nostrils. He witnessed in horror bodies thrown from a transport. Sergio watched as those he loved rotted in the heat of the wasteland.

'You left us to them.'

Sergio opened his mouth to speak but his words were drowned in a torrent of dirt. He choked on dust and ash. The cloud invaded his ears and nostrils, prising open his eyelids to consume the tears hiding there. The storm hollowed Sergio. The restless souls burrowed and scoured, reducing his insides to desiccated waste.

With another voice accompanying the choir, the howling cloud drifted on.

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