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Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think

Aliens? Invading aliens? What will Earth do? Well...we may have a few more resources than we first thought. Come join a friendly discussion about David Weber's newest Tor series - "Out of the Dark."
Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:32 am

runsforcelery
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As some of you may have noticed, I've . . . been away a while. There were a lot of reasons for that, including some health issues, but I should not have allowed so long to go by without snippets. So I have enlisted Angela Clayton to take over the snippetting duties. I believe that she will be posting as "Graysonlady," and we are going to try to get onto something which at least remotely resembles a regular schedule.

I think we had gotten up through #20 before I went dark, so I am beginning this one with snippet #21.

One reason that this book went off the snippet schedule was that we didn't have a release date for it, and I didn't want to get a whole lot deeper into it until we did. I'm not sure exactly how much more of the book will be going up here, but since this is one that you can't get through the Baen Books earcs, we may go a little farther than we normally would.

_________________________________________

I trained them,” Lohrman said, his voice grim. “They’re better shots than that. Something’s fucked up.” He muttered into his com system, then asked, “Could you switch to Camera Two, please?”

The women reached the gate and three of his men stepped out of the guardhouse just inside it to meet them. The leader—Carlos Melzi, Lohrman's second-in-command—held a pistol on the dark-haired woman in the middle, while the other two aimed Tavor assault rifles at the group. The women walked up to the gate, blurred for a moment, then continued strolling casually forward . . . but now they were inside the chain link fence!

“Shoot them!” Lohrman yelled at the screen. He pushed his microphone button and yelled it again.

The three women reached Melzi before the man could fire, and the middle one reached out, grabbed him by the throat with one hand, and lifted him from his feet.

That broke him out of whatever fog had possessed him, and he shoved his pistol against the side of her head and began squeezing the trigger frantically.

Just like the men with the machine guns, though, he seemed to miss her with every shot. Then her hand twitched, Melzi’s neck snapped to the side at an unnatural angle, and she opened her hand. He hit the pavement like so much dead meat.

That seemed to free the other two men, who blazed away with their assault rifles. The leader frowned at them a second, then the other two women blurred and materialized abruptly next to the sicarios. They grabbed the rifles, reversed them, and shot their previous owners. Lohrman had never seen anyone move that quickly. They didn’t seem to move so much as disappear from one place and appear at the other.

He shook his head, disbelieving, as the .50s started up again. The woman in command flicked a hand at her fellows, then at the machine guns, and both her companions disappeared from the camera’s field of view.

After a second or two, the machine guns fell abruptly silent.

The woman looked up at the camera and blew it a kiss, then pulled out a pistol of her own. She aimed it at the camera and smiled, and the picture dissolved into static.

“Camera Four, please,” Lohrman said.

He didn’t seem quite so confident any more, Cervantes noted, which was totally understandable, since Cervantes was shaking and about to piss his pants. Scared didn’t do his feelings justice; he could barely get his shaking finger to toggle the system to the correct camera. He flipped Five on first—there was nothing going on in the game room—then managed to get Four as the dark-haired woman walked toward the porch of the main building.

A ball-shaped object flew into the picture to land next to her, then she disappeared in a fiery ball of smoke and dirt as the grenade exploded. She walked straight through it, unfazed, then frowned again as the men on the rooftop opened up with automatic weapons. She waved to someone outside the camera's field of view and first one weapon, then the other, went silent. She shook her head and walked up the stairs to the main entrance.

“Where . . . where are the rest of your men?” Cervantes asked. “Sh—shouldn’t we be leaving or . . . or something?”

“It’s too late,” Lohrman muttered, almost to himself. He shook his head as if to clear it, then added, “I have a squad outside the door. I don’t know how the others didn’t do it, but these are my best men. They’ll stop her.”

The woman on the monitor opened the mansion's front door and was met with a torrent of bullets as the two men stationed in the foyer emptied their magazines on full automatic. She blurred and vanished. The rifle fire stopped.

“Who else is between us and . . . her?” Cervantes was afraid he knew the answer, but found he had to ask anyway.

“No one,” Lohrman said grimly as ten rifles fired. They were in the outer office, just beyond the closed door, and the slab of wood did nothing at all to soften the weapons' staccato thunder.

Cervantes clapped his hands over his ears to block out the cacophony . . . then pressed even harder to block out the screams. Cervantes had heard plenty of men—and women, too—scream in fear, but these were different. These wrapped every ounce of terror and horror in the screamer's soul— and then some —into one final breath. One by one, they were snuffed out. Something hit the door, and a narrow stream of red oozed under it to puddle on the brilliantly burnished hardwood floor.

The sudden, total silence was even more terrifying than the screams had been.

Cervantes lost control of his bladder and felt the warm fluid running down his leg. He would have run if he’d had control of any of his muscles.

“What . . . what . . . ” he mumbled. He wanted to know what the outcome had been, but he was physically unable to form words.

“I don’t know,” Lohrman said, somehow understanding. He squared his shoulders and exhaled explosively. “But it’s time for me to go find out.”

He drew his pistol as he walked to the door and threw it open. The arm that had been propped against it— no longer attached to its original owner—fell into the room to splash in the puddle. A woman — a rather attractive woman, actually, with dark hair —stood in the middle of a slaughterhouse. She was untouched, although the walls behind her were shredded with bullet holes, and huge patches of plaster had been blasted away, and the floor — what was visible of it, anyway — was littered with spent cartridge cases. Bodies and pieces of bodies filled the room, and the walls were coated in splashes of scarlet. In fact, the only thing not painted in crimson was the woman, who didn’t have a drop on her. The stench of rent bowels wafted into the room, and Cervantes stomach voided itself, too.

“Oops,” the woman said. “I seem to have gotten something on my pants.”

“Don’t. Fucking. Move.”

Despite what he had to be feeling, Lohrman managed to put some steel into his voice as he stepped forward into the outer office. Cervantes looked up to see the Brit still pointing the pistol at the woman, although it was anyone’s guess where the bullet would go, as badly as he was shaking.

“Me? Move?” the woman asked. “I really don’t think I want to, dahling.” She looked around her feet, and her upper lip curled back. She pointed to the floor. “I might slip on some of his guts and ruin this new top.”

“How?” Lohrman asked.

“Could you be a little more forthcoming?” The woman licked her lips. “There are many things I am, but a mind reader isn’t one of them.” She cocked her head. “Not yet, anyway.”

“How . . . how —?” Lohrman waved his free hand at the gore, although he was obviously trying very hard not to look down at the dismembered parts of his squad.

“It’s simple, dahling,” the woman said. “I’m a vampire.”

“Vampires don’t exist.”

“Why do they always have to say that?” a new voice asked. Cervantes’ head twitched, and then he swallowed as one of the other women—the blonde—stepped out of the hallway to join the brunette. “Can’t we just skip through this part and kill them? It’s so boring, and I need to get back for a nail appointment. I seem to have broken one somewhere along the way.” She shrugged. “Or, maybe I didn’t break a nail, and I’m just bored and ready to be done here.”

A redhead walked in to stand by the blonde, but she didn’t say anything. Her silence was even creepier than the blonde’s nonchalance.

“Vampire’s don’t exist,” Lohrman repeated, like a man willing it to be true.

“Boring,” the blonde noted.

“Cecelia,” the dark-haired woman said, “could I trouble you for your pistol?”

The blonde pulled a pistol from a small-of-the-back holster and lobbed it to the dark-haired woman, who put it to her temple and fired. It sounded like a cannon going off, and the bullet slammed into the wall on the other side of her. Another piece of plaster fell.

Lohrman looked back at the woman; there was no visible mark on her. His jaw fell open, but he wasn't quite done yet. As she turned to lob the pistol back to the redhead, he dropped his own pistol, grabbed the broken chair next to him, tore off one of its wooden legs, and dove forward to stab her with it. He slipped in some of the gore, though, and only succeeded in driving it through her stomach.

He jumped back up, covered in blood, and retreated, holding up his fists defensively.

The woman looked down at the chair leg in her stomach and sighed. “Seriously? Bullets didn’t work, so now you’re going to kill me with a chair leg?”

“I thought driving a stake through a vampire killed it,” Lohrman said. “Killed you, I mean.”

“It’s supposed to be through my heart,” the woman replied with a sigh, pulling the chair leg from her stomach. There wasn't a trace of blood on it, a corner of Cervantes brain noticed. “It’s supposed to go here,” she added, pressing against her chest. “Like this!

She drove the chair leg through her chest, and all three women gasped. The dark-haired one fell to her knees.

Then all three started laughing as she stood again, pulled out the wooden piece, and cast it aside.

“Sorry,” she said, “but that’s just too cliché. And, ah, as you can see, it doesn't work, either.” She shrugged. “As it turns out, neither do crosses, garlic, or anything else along those lines.” She smiled. “I know, because people have tried all of them on me, and I’m still here.”

Lohrman’s mouth moved several times before he could get his voice to work.

“Why . . . why do they say they work then?” he finally asked.

“Probably to give you breathers some hope,” the blonde said. “Unfortunately, there isn't any.” She smiled, and her incisors grew down over her lower lip. “You’re mine.” She blurred, and Lohrman was slammed backward into the wall. A bolt of incredible agony went through his chest, and nothing in his body seemed to work as he slid to the floor. The last thing he saw as his vision grayed out was the blonde, holding his heart. She quirked an eyebrow at him and dropped it to the floor, her hand still a virgin white. There wasn't a drop of his blood on her, he realized almost calmly, and he carried that thought with him down into the darkness.

“Always have to go for the dramatic, eh Cecilia?” the dark-haired woman asked.

The blonde shrugged as she waded back through the ankle-deep shredded bodies, and the brunette turned to look at Cervantes. “There are certain things we’d like to know,” she said. "I don't suppose you'd like to be reasonable about this, would you?"


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by Theemile   » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:47 pm

Theemile
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Posts: 4156
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runsforcelery wrote:As some of you may have noticed, I've . . . been away a while. There were a lot of reasons for that, including some health issues, but I should not have allowed so long to go by without snippets. So I have enlisted Angela Clayton to take over the snippetting duties. I believe that she will be posting as "Graysonlady," and we are going to try to get onto something which at least remotely resembles a regular schedule.

I think we had gotten up through #20 before I went dark, so I am beginning this one with snippet #21.

One reason that this book went off the snippet schedule was that we didn't have a release date for it, and I didn't want to get a whole lot deeper into it until we did. I'm not sure exactly how much more of the book will be going up here, but since this is one that you can't get through the Baen Books earcs, we may go a little farther than we normally would.

_________________________________________



Thank you David - been missing you. It's nice to see you around and I hope the health has improved.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:40 pm

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"I don't suppose you'd like to be reasonable about this, would you?"

Unless he's a real idiot, I think he'll be reasonable.

Of course, there are plenty of real idiots in the world. :twisted:

Oh, nice snippet. :)
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Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by Henry Brown   » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:40 pm

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So vampires are totally impervious to all forms of physical harm in this world. And traditional forms of vampire killing such as holy water, crosses, garlic, or a wooden stake through the heart. This makes me curious exactly what *DOES* hurt a vampire in this world. Cause they seem pretty invincible so far...
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:51 am

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Henry Brown wrote:So vampires are totally impervious to all forms of physical harm in this world. And traditional forms of vampire killing such as holy water, crosses, garlic, or a wooden stake through the heart. This makes me curious exactly what *DOES* hurt a vampire in this world. Cause they seem pretty invincible so far...


From earlier snippets, it is clear that another vampire could kill a vampire. Also, David Weber (at a signing) has stated that Vlad might think he is a vampire, but that doesn't mean that he is actually one. Just what he and the rest are is currently unknown (but a very short and out of order snippet suggests that this book will reveal it).
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Beowulf was bad.
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by phillies   » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:37 am

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"... I need to get back for a nail appointment..."

"OK, now we know their vulnerability. Squad! Put down those KG 84s. Prepare to assault with fingernail scissors and nail clippers!"
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # . . . 21? I think
Post by justdave   » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:53 pm

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
Henry Brown wrote:So vampires are totally impervious to all forms of physical harm in this world. And traditional forms of vampire killing such as holy water, crosses, garlic, or a wooden stake through the heart. This makes me curious exactly what *DOES* hurt a vampire in this world. Cause they seem pretty invincible so far...


From earlier snippets, it is clear that another vampire could kill a vampire. Also, David Weber (at a signing) has stated that Vlad might think he is a vampire, but that doesn't mean that he is actually one. Just what he and the rest are is currently unknown (but a very short and out of order snippet suggests that this book will reveal it).


It does, tum de dum . . .
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