19 June 2008

Would You Read This?

I get a lot of ideas for stories, and between Google Docs, gmail and some scattered papers, I manage to at least write most of them down. I found a treatment for a story in an old e-mail recently, and copied it over to Google Docs. Well, I wrote a prologue for it, and my question is, readers, would you want to read more of this story?

Fires of Babylon - treatment

It's the present day in recently liberated Iraq. Fighting is still
peppering the country and every day can be a struggle. In the midst
of this nation-birthing a group of looters funded by a secretive
conclave are systematically robbing Iraq of her Mesopotamian and
Babylonian treasures that lay dormant in the sand, searching for a
tablet on which legend says holds the formula for Greek Fire. The CIA
catches wind of this and sends an operative in to infiltrate the
group, but he is found out and presumed lost.
Meanwhile, on a quiet farm in Central PA, a phone rings in the dead of
the night. Stirring from sleep CJ Thompson rolls over in her bed and
answers the phone. The voice on the other end asks for The Sarge.
"Honey, one of your cop buddies thinks it's funny to cal you at 3 in
the morning," she says to her also half-awake husband.
"Give me the phone," he replies, seemingly groggy. "Mike, is that
you?" He replies.
The voice on the other end of the line speaks a single word, and the
line goes dead.
"Honey, I have to go," Ron Thompson says to his wife from somewhere
other than his side of the bed. He is alert and ready to go, dressed
befor ethe word 'go' has escaped his lips.
CJ sighs and climbs out of bed to kiss him goodbye. She considers
pleading with him for a moment, wanting to tell him that he's done his
duty to his country, that there has to be someone else, but she knows
As Ron walks quietly past his childrens' rooms a tiny head pokes out
from the doorway. "Daddy?" Young Wallace asks, "Where are you
"I have to go to work, son," the boy's father replies. "Go back to
bed, son. I love you."
"Yes, sir. I love you, too, Daddy."
Thompson stops long enough to grab an extra magazine for his traveling
companion, the .45 caliber Desert Eagle that never leaves the small of
his back, and is out the door.


Something stirred in the jungle. Ron Thompson took notice of it peripherally and immediately prioritized it over the book he'd been reading. He had survived as long as he had because he noticed things. Dropping the book silently to the jungle floor, he slowly moved his left hand up to his hip, where his matte-black Desert Eagle rested. He knew that guns were just tools, like shovels or pencils, but Thompson could have sworn that his .45 pulsed expectantly when his fingers closed around the grip.
He had once owned a flashy chrome Eagle with mother of pearl grip and a ported muzzle. After using it in a firefight in a jungle that was way too similar to that in which he was presently, he sold it as soon as they'd let him out of the hospital. What little sunlight made its way through the canopy had glinted off the chrome, and the muzzle flare had just made him a bigger target. He'd been a lot younger and a lot stupider then.
He released the safety on his pistol and slowly turned himself in one smooth motion in the direction of the movement. He'd also learned - after too many years in jungles - that the only things that moved like that were going to try to kill you. If you were lucky it was the kind that wanted to do it quick because they were hungry. The other kind wanted to find out what you knew first.
Purple Death leaped at him from a nearby tree and he fired. Death howled in pain and ran off into the jungle. Thompson had only wounded the panther, but judging by the trail of blood, it wasn't likely to survive long.
That was nothing like shooting barn cats back on the farm, he thought, quickly followed by Oh shit.
His noisome encounter with the panther had attracted the attention of the guerrillas he'd been trying to stalk, and by the sound of it they'd found the trail of blood.
Running in the direction opposite that the panther had taken, he slowed down and circled carefully around his previous position. He found concealment in the underbrush where he could still see his previous rest spot. Shortly after that the guerrillas he'd been tracking found the end of the blood trail.
End of the road, amigos, he thought as he worked the bolt action on his rifle. Seven reports echoed in the jungle, and seven men lay dead at the head of the blood trail. Thompson waited for an hour and didn't hear anyone else. He left his cover and walked cautiously back to the scene. Already insects crawled over the bodies. He looked around the site and seemed to come to a decision. He quickly rolled over one ant-infested corpse with his boot and found what he was looking for underneath. Careful to avoid the dangerous bugs that had congregated, he rescued his book from the ground, shook it clean, and pocketed it. He checked his watch and grimaced. He only had a few hours to find a new campsite.

That night he slept poorly. The dead guerrillas hadn't phased him, but for some reason that panther had. Something about shooting that cat had flipped on some switch in the parts of his brain that he didn't spend much time visiting. It didn't get any worse after he found the guerrilla camp and took out the leadership, but it didn't get any better when he finally found a bath, a meal, and a bed in his hotel near the coast.
A week of sleepless nights and too many bottles of the local rum guided him to a conclusion: he was going back home.

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