Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan – Part 13 by Dellani Oakes

among-the-shine-clan-coverThey have managed to shut down one cyber-warrior, but their handler seems to be blocking their device. Gathering their wounded together, Deacon and Fiddlestix regroup to come up with a plan.

Deacon sat heavily beside her, covered in blood and cyber fluid. “Now what?” He panted, taking a sip from a bottle of water he’d taken from a cabinet nearby. He handed her the bottle and she took a grateful sip.

“Now that the signal’s jammed, we have to find Livingston, their handler. We have to take him out.”

“Okay, how we gonna do that, Hannah-Belle?” He grinned, his blue eyes sparkling.

“They’ll protect him,” she said half to herself. “If I were a half crazed, cyber handler, where the hell would I go?

“Want to see a schematic of the area?”

“Deacon, I’d love to see that.”

“Cool,” he grinned again, jumping to his feet.

She took his proffered hand, even though she didn’t need it, simply because she wanted him to touch her. He motioned her to follow him to a view screen on the wall. Tapping in a few commands, he showed her a floor plan of the compound. Zooming in the image, he brought it to their position.

“There’s us,” he indicated the green blips representing their small force.

“If we plug in the scanner, can we use this to find Livingston?”

“We can but try.” He whistled sharply. “Jasper.”

His younger brother walked over. Deacon explained what Fiddlestix suggested. “Can you do it?”

“Hell, yeah, Deacon. Piece of cake. Give me fifteen minutes.”

“You have ten.”

“Cool, I only needed five.” Laughing, he went to work.

Deacon led Fiddlestix away from the others, turning off his communicator. Figuring he wanted a chat between leaders, she did so as well.

“You’re a hell of a warrior, Hannah-Belle,” he whispered.

Taking her in his arms, he kissed her. Shocked at first, she pushed away from him, but he held her tightly. After a moment, she realized that she didn’t want to push away and clung to him almost desperately. Warming to his touch, she matched his intensity. Most men would have been intimidated and pulled away, but Deacon wasn’t like most men. Their kiss lasted less than two minutes, but left them both breathless.

“I really didn’t mean for that to happen,” Deacon backed shyly away a few steps.

“Me either,” she admitted awkwardly.

“It was damn good though,” he chuckled.

“Oh, yeah!”

“Hannah, when this is over….”

She put her hand on his lips, stopping him. “When this is over, Deacon, I’ll go back to work.”

“I understand,” he whispered. “But before you do….” He left the invitation unspoken.

“Yeah,” she agreed with a sharp nod. “You better.”

Jasper whistled to get his attention. Suddenly, she and Deacon were back to business.

“It’s done.”

Fiddlestix looked at the schematic. “He’s not here!” She frowned, looking even more carefully. “Am I missing him?”

Deacon and Jasper were looking just as intently. Harmony came up behind them, also gazing at the wall.

“He’s not here,” Fiddlestix grumbled. “He’s not here!”

“We’ll find him, Hannah.”

“He could be anywhere! Oh, God,” she turned wide eyes on Deacon. “The rest of the compound. He’s taken the others to try a frontal attack. This was just a diversion! Dammit!”

Deacon didn’t follow, so she explained. “Look. We found only three of his men. Where are the rest?”

Deacon, Jasper and Harmony gazed at the map that was zoomed in to show their immediate area.

“Where,” she said, unzooming the image. “The hell are the rest?”

Red blips showed up moving slowly around the outside of the compound. One group was headed to the east, the other to the west.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan – Part 12 by Dellani

among-the-shine-clan-coverFiddlestix asks to see the cyber warriors on the video feed. Alarmed, she sees that they are getting updates from their controller. Insisting that she be taken to their location, she wonders why the area wasn’t better protected. Sadly, it was, and all the men are dead.

The cyber warrior was inside, working the consoles quickly. He paid no attention to them. Deacon aimed and fired at the creature’s head. His bullet ricocheted off the skull casing, narrowly missing Fiddlestix. The cyber soldier turned slowly, eyeing him with a bland expression. Smiling cruelly, it bared sharp, metallic teeth, advancing on Deacon slowly, haltingly. It was then that Fiddlestix noticed it was damaged. The dead men had not died without a fight. The creature could hardly move. His legs were damaged. Cyber-hydraulic fluid leaked from a half dozen wounds. A puddle had gathered underneath him.

With a flick of her thumb, Fiddlestix’ communicator went back on. “Kaz,” she spoke sharply. “Initiate Shut Down Code Three Three Alpha.”

There was no response. The warrior continued to advance. “Dammit! Kaz!” It was then she heard the gunfire outside.

The thump of a heavy shoulder mounted cyber cannon was distinctive. She heard screaming over her headpiece and knew the others were in trouble. A wet ripping sound filled her ears. Turning toward the sound, she felt sick.

“Master Sergeant!” It was Harmony. “Kaz is down.”

“Coming! Deacon!” She motioned for him to follow her.

The cyber soldier couldn’t maneuver easily. It slipped in its own fluid, moving at less than half its normal speed.

“He’ll keep. We need that computer!”

She slid to a halt at the corner, glancing around to see what lay beyond. One cyber warrior was down, obviously disabled. The other stood over Kaz’ limp form, firing on the rest of the group. Pocked with bullet holes, he kept fighting as if nothing troubled him.

Fiddlestix ran up to him while he was turned the other direction, distracted by one of Deacon’s men. Sliding the cyber blade out of her arm, she stabbed up and under the metal casing that surrounded his chest.

“Harmony, activate the code!”

Harmony held Kaz’ computer in both hands. He didn’t hesitate, but looked at her in surprise. “I’m not coded to it, Master Sergeant.”

“I lied,” she replied tersely.

The cyber warrior had drawn a bead on Deacon’s man, lowering his heavy shoulder thumper to fire. His movement slowed to a stop. He shut down, falling face first to the ground.

The warrior who had been following Deacon stumbled around the corner. He didn’t fire his weapons as he searched for the best target. Without being told, Harmony pointed the computer at him and pressed he initiation code. It didn’t work.

“Stix!” his voice caught as the warrior looked his way.

“Initiate Shut Down Code Three Two Delta.” Nothing happened.

“Shit! It’s being jammed.” Taking the scanner from Harmony’s limp fingers, she jumped over the downed warrior, landing nearly at the feet of the other one. He was bleeding out his cyber fluid slowly. She decided to see if she could speed it up. Her cyber blade slid neatly into his knee joint, severing the plastic artery. His left knee collapsed and he went down.

Fiddlestix tried the code again, but it did no good. This called for good old fashioned brute force. Raising her cyber arm, she hammered the face plate of the downed warrior. He tried to fight her, but by this time, half of Deacon’s force had him surrounded. All of them were armed with brutal knives, stabbing at unprotected areas of his body.

Deacon took up a heavy gun from one of the other cyber soldiers. With all his strength and body weight, he swung at the cyber man’s head, smashing the face plate with one brutal blow. Jasper fired at point blank range into the creature’s face, blowing its head off. With a cry like a wounded animal, it fell to the floor. Blood and blue cyber fluid flowed out of his body, pooling into dark, murky purple puddles.

“Fall back,” Fiddlestix bellowed.

Dragging Kaz and the other wounded with them, they regrouped in the computer room, barricading the door.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Easter Memories from Dellani

049
My boys have a weird sense of humor

I shared this somewhere a year or so ago, but it’s always fun to share it again.

I have many outstanding Easter memories. Of course, pictures my mother took help to remind me of this very special day. When I was four, we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We have a picture of my sister and me dressed in our Easter dresses, complete with straw hats and white gloves. Of course, the gloves weren’t very white by the time we got back from church. The picture my mother has of us that year, had to have been taken before we left for church that morning, because we are both still clean. We were good on the way to church, but coming home, we always cut through Longfellow Park. It was a favorite haunt of ours. My sister and I used to pick every dandelion we could find, and take bouquets of them home. The gooey juice from them stained our gloves, forever discoloring them. The next year, I notice in the picture, my mother didn’t buy gloves for either of us.

Dancing Easter Bunny
Dancing Easter Bunny. We adults liked it better than the children did

Probably my most cherished memory was immortalized on film. When we were living in Lubbock, Texas, we spent Easter one year with my mother’s friend. She had a huge, extended family. Lots of brothers and sisters, one of whom had eleven girls and one boy. Six of the girls were theirs, the rest were foster children.

Anyway, her brother-in-law had just bought an 8mm camera and was determined to film every moment of Easter Sunday. Featured in the events were a barbecue on a huge grill, and an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs full of candy. I was the youngest one there, so several of his daughters helped me find eggs. I had an enormous basket full of every color you can imagine. I ran around all over the place with that basket, miraculously not dropping any eggs until I got inside.

Somewhere in the house, probably through the back door, there was a recessed area of floor. I’m not sure why the house was built like this, but I think it was a mud room that had a drain in the concrete floor. In any case, I found this area fascinating. Every time I visited, I jumped across the recessed part. It was just far enough to be exciting ,and not so far that I fell.

I remember running in the house to show them all my eggs, when I got to that spot. Leaping as usual, I flew across the section of concrete with a huge arc of eggs cascading from my basket. A shining, shimmering rainbow of plastic eggs followed me across. It must have been an amazing sight!

Little did I know that the man of the house had captured me on film! At the next visit to their home, he had the film in the projector to show us. He had carefully cut and spliced it himself, showing us a panoramic view of the day, complete with his commentary – delivered much like Howard Cossell.

As the finale, you guessed it! Dellani’s famous acrobatic event! He ran it first in regular time. Then he ran the film backwards. We all laughed as the eggs one by one leaped back into my basket. Next, he ran the movie in slow motion and we watched as each plastic projectile launched itself from the wicker confines, scattering on the floor. Then he ran it in fast motion. Between each showing, he backed it up, and we laughed hysterically as the eggs picked themselves up, leaping back into my basket.

I wonder what became of that film. I like to hope that the family kept it, laughing at it for years to come. It was over forty years ago, but I still remember like it was yesterday.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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071
Our Granddaughter Who Looks A Lot Like Me at That Age

Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Room 103 by Dellani

room 103 front cover“Have we met? You look really familiar. I have this feeling of déjà-vu, like I knew you long ago.”

I cleared my throat, shaking back my hair. I could hardly breathe when those blue eyes focused fully on me. “I—uh—I was in school here. Seems like ages ago.”

“College?”

“Yes. Go Rillas!” I giggled, sounding like a little girl. Suddenly, I’d reverted to the breathless, silly co-ed of nearly 15 years ago.

He chuckled. “I know I’ve seen you before. A face like yours… I couldn’t forget.”

My fingers fluttered to my burning cheeks. His scrutiny was too much for a woman like me. I never did well with male attention. Even though I carry a gun and badge, a handsome, confident man can still make me revert to the shrinking violet.

“I hope that’s a good thing.”

He handed me my key card with a gentle smile, his blue eyes caressing my face. “It’s a very good thing. It will come to me. Enjoy your stay, Ms. Houston.”

“Thank you.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Alton & Velda by Dellani

alton cropped“My lass,” Alton said quietly. “Man or stallion, I fear we’re all the same in some respects. Some behave a wee bit better than others, but we’re all wild and lusty at heart. Though I’m sure he’s a good man—when he’s a man—the chances are that he’s had his share of sport.”

“While I saved myself, waiting for you?” Astrid shoved the horse’s head away. “Don’t even try all that prettiness on me now,” she fussed. “Thank you, milord Alton, for opening my eyes.”

Alton sighed. “Lady Astrid, he’s just being a man. Find forgiveness in your heart, I beg you. I don’t want him stabbing me in my sleep when he retakes his own form.”

Velda giggled. “It’s not the end of the world,” Velda assured Astrid. “Why, VeldaAlton has had many women since we’ve known one another.”

“Are you married or engaged?”

Velda smirked. “Engaged, of sorts.”

“Though how we’re engaged is—”

Velda punched him again. “No one’s business.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Double Trouble by Dellani

character-quotes-image“I think I’m being stalked. I got this picture on my phone.” She handed it to Trey, who was closest.

He examined it carefully before handing it to his twin.

“Has he spoken to you? Approached you in any way?” Chay asked.

“Not exactly. But I get these creepy calls sometimes. The number’s blocked, but there’s someone there, breathing….

“Then they hang up?” Trey concluded.

“Sometimes they whisper something. It sounds like a name. But it’s not something I ever heard before.”

“Not Rosebud?” Trey supplied.

The young woman cut her eyes at him. “Yeah, could be,” she replied sarcastically. “The closest I can make out, they say Katrinka. But I can’t be sure.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Web of Lies by Dellani

character-quotes-image“Thanks, Maggie. Hey, how about a coupon?” She reached for the stack by the cash register. “That’s weird. I keep a stack of them right here. They’re missing.”

“You’re sure you didn’t move them? Take them with you?”

“No, I’m positive. No one can use them without my signature and each one is carefully listed in a ledger. It’s not like anyone can cash them in. Who would take a bunch of useless paper?”

“Same person who breaks in and cleans,” Maggie suggested with a shrug.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Bad Medicine – A Frank & Marka Mystery by Dellani

character-quotes-image“Lemme get the laptop.” Matthew scurried over to Kenny’s office and retrieved the computer. “More room in here,” he said as he came back.

Sutherland closed the door behind Matthew. He pulled up a chair from Marka’s adjoining office and set the laptop on the corner of Frank’s huge desk. He tapped a few keys and got back to the page he wanted.

“Okay, so we had Covington, Clineborn, and Opacity. They weren’t just dicking with old folks’ brains here in Ohio. They had government contracts.” His gaze met Kenny’s. “How much did you tell her?”

“She’s heard about It,” he replied. “Frank says it’s not a good idea to call it by name too often,” he explained to Sutherland. “We usually just call it the project.”

“No problem. I think he’s probably right.”

“Opacity was into some bad shit,” Matthew continued. “Not just the project, but all kinds of hokey dokey, hoodoo voodoo crap.”

Sutherland couldn’t follow his speaking style. Even Kenny, who was used to Matthew’s bizarre mode of self-expression, was confused.

“Seriously Hoodoo Voodoo?” Sutherland asked. “Or are you just being funny.”

“I just mean really crazy stuff, ma’am. Spooky shit. Like I wouldn’t even be surprised if they had a thirteenth floor reserved for human sacrifice kinda creepy.”

“Where’s the building located?”

“Canton. Opacity still owns it. It’s not called Covington or Clineborn anymore. In fact, no name appears on the marquee. I found pictures.” He turned the computer for them to see. A large office building, with silver windows, looked imposing even on the screen. “The building is occupied, but no one goes in or out by the doors. The only entrance is through the subterranean parking garage that is more heavily guarded than Levenworth.”

Sutherland made some noise of disbelief. Matthew turned his gaze on her. Steel blue eyes bored into her dark brown ones. He didn’t blink.

“You’re serious.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from For Love of Katie B. by Dellani

character-quotes-imageI vaguely heard the door open and someone burst in. “Hey, Katie! Oh, shit!”

“Bing, dammit!” Li hopped up, fists clenched, pants open, boxers half down.

“Sorry, dude. Didn’t know you were here. I’m so sorry.” He backed out the door.

The mood was broken. The lust I’d felt moments ago had diminished to a hot glow deep inside.

“I’m sorry,” Li said softly, hanging his head. “I was taking advantage of the fact we’re both drunk. And you’re in a dark place, Katie.”

I took his hand, tugging on him to sit once more. “Yes, it’s dark here, but you know what? There’s this blazing bright light over there.” I pointed toward the far corner of the room. “It seems kinda far away right now, but when you kissed me, it got closer.” I held my fingers an inch or so apart. “Little bit.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Spy on Love by Dellani

character-quotes-imageHow did you not know that Stony’s dead?” Brick asked.

What?” Colleen stopped talking mid-sentence.

He works for you. How did you not know?”

Colleen’s eyes softened. She put a hand over Brick’s. Pressing her lips together, she tried to smile.

Because I got a text an hour before you logged onto his computer saying he needed extraction. Nothing more.”

Extraction?”

It means—” the man began.

I know what it f**king means,” Brick snapped. “I just buried my brother yesterday—or thought I did. Forgive me for not being on the same page.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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