---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Leigh Wood <leighwood881@...
Date: Jan 1, 2008 8:08 PM
Subject: [kristinbattestella] On The Way to New Isosceles, Chapter 1
To: kristinbattestella <email@example.com
Hey peeps! I've finished On The Way To New Isosceles! All 75,000 words
of us rang in the new year and we are ready to submit. Here's a taste!
Check out http://leighwood.blogspot.com
for more! (Especially since YaBooHoo
is not my formatting friend!)
*This excerpt contains language that is not suitable for all audiences. *One
The Way to New Isosceles* is not intended for readers under 18.*
Chapter 1 It was Iowa, twenty years ago. The wheat fields were golden,
the sky aqua- but JJ knew it was just a dream again. Every night
Earth-luscious with life, vegetation, water-returned to JJ as it once was.
The powerful atmosphere blew an ever so gentle breeze through JJ's astral
red hair. Her younger self walked knee deep in the swaying grains. It was
hot; the sun shone its mid day summer brightest. Her little dress
billowed-she was bare foot, and the seeds itched yet tickled her soles and
bare arms. That morning it had rained, and beads of water still trickled
from the budding grain and dropped between little JJ's toes. Her feet would
get dirty, and her mother would send her to the hose before JJ was allowed
to enter the house.
Just as it had then, a shadow slid over the glistening grains. Not simple
wisps of clouds, but a sudden, massive blanket of darkness. The golden
sunlight vanished from view. A red glow lit up the afternoon, the horizon
streaked with the colors of sunset and wildfires, and a fiery red meteor
smoked across the sky. Hot coals rained down on the twelve year old, and JJ
ducked below the equally defenseless grains. Lava like fire smothered the
ground, and sulfur filled JJ's lungs. The girl tried to turn and crawl
home, but the ground was hot and quaked. It was dark, and the burning
grains cast the dim flickering light of a thousand little candles. Iowa
submerged into Hell. The comet fell to earth, and all that humanity knew of
Gaia was gone.
JJ sat up in her bunk and hit her head on the solid deck plating. There
was little room to breath on the Mother Ship, but better inside the hearty
old ship's cramped walls, then out in cold, black, oxygen-free space. Of
course, JJ *had* chosen the top bunk.
"Another nightmare?" Her bunkmate's concerned feminine call came from
beneath the top bed.
JJ pulled her hair from its messy bun and wiped the sweat from her chest.
Her heavy breathing calmed. Her hair was still red, but shorter and
darker. She wasn't flat chested, but her boobs weren't as big as she would
have liked. And of course, earth was still unable to sustain life. Well,
it had been when what was left of humanity left ten years ago. How her home
planet had faired since JJ hadn't heard.
"As you were, Private," JJ finally acknowledged. She laid back down and
listened to their spaceship rumble. She was a Lieutenant in the Combatant
Brigade, she needn't give explanations when she wasn't ordered to by her
Captain. Ten years of space faring and fighting their rival human factions
didn't give time to go soft. Not that JJ was ever soft. She would,
however, drift off to sleep again if she was left alone. Sleep was
necessary to her business, but alarms stirred JJ again.
"Combat Teams to your drop ships," The intercom echoed. "All Combat Teams
to your drop ships."
"That's us!" JJ's bunkmate jumped up and pulled on her gear. Her perfect
uniform was on and her backpack ready before JJ slid off her bunk and
carelessly tossed away her sleep shirt. The tall, fit Korean was a proper
soldier, and as strict as JJ was, sometimes Ina Wu's no nonsense attitude
irked her. But JJ had little time to be irked, especially now. Her uniform
was on and in tip top shape. Gear? Check. Backpack-JJ halted at the sight
of a third, empty bunk. Their quarters were small for one, inconvenient for
two, but their third roommate was not interested in bunking with other
"Wu, where is Kimmie?"
"I believe its been Private Lucas for awhile," Ina informed.
JJ buttoned her top and locked her gear into place. "If she's not at the
drop ship, Captain Westmayer better not chew my ass."
The women jogged down the shaking corridor with other combat specialists in
rustling dark spacesuits, helmets, backpacks, and jiggling space gear. The
team had been to the weapons lock up and took up their spacesuits with their
rifles. The hefty doors of the Mother Ship beeped its warnings and opened
"Let's move it!" JJ rushed into the Lift Off Zone. Shuttles and drop ships
waited for their personnel as the Mother Ship shook and echoed.
"Zone Doors Opening in two minutes. All Combatants to your drop ships."
Combatants marched onto their drop ships, and Ina climbed up the rumbling
ramp of Drop Ship 69. The swift Asian strapped into her designated seat,
but a tall shadow prevented JJ from entering the transport.
"Lieutenant Johnson, I've told you before about the need for timely
"I know, Captain."
Where Ina's severe stature and jaw line deceived about her dry wit and
sometimes impish personality, Captain Scott Westmayer meant to look
menacing, even if he was warm at heart. Although JJ had known Westmayer on
earth, so maybe his warmness was for her and her alone. Not that there was
time to really *know* people while hurling through space.
"Jess, you're the best hand to hand combatant in the unit, but you're lead
by example attitude only goes so far."
JJ wasn't a leader. She was a fighter, but the Combatants needed leaders,
and she didn't argue with her superior. At least, not when there was a
mission to be had.
"I know, Captain."
"You've got to show more authority, Lieutenant."
A disheveled private approached the ramp, and both her superiors glared.
Her uniform was mis-buttoned over her lacey bosom, and what gear she did
have was tangled around her shoulders. JJ was a bit jealous of her friend's
lust and carefree attitude, but sex doesn't last. Combatants were fighting
for their very existence, and this private was not doing her share. It
wasn't her fault. Everyone on earth had to choose a side. Kimmie couldn't
fly a spaceship, and she didn't build nuclear weapons-she hadn't the brains
"Kimmie Dejonaire." The Captain sighed with slight bemusement at the messy
blonde, but he entered the drop ship. "Let's go, Private!"
The Mother Ship was old-scorched on its hull, and rather clunky as
spaceships go. The Combatants didn't exactly get first choice in spacecraft,
but this Mother Ship had been JJ's home since she left earth. It was easy
to personalize the old broad. Still chugging after all these years in her
routine. The girl's belly opened smoothly, and the Mother Ship's doors
released the drop ships one by one. JJ looked out the tiny window beside
her seat. Cramped rows of jury rigged chairs carried the Combatants as the
smaller crafts fell into space. Captain Westmayer stood by the controls in
the drop ship and braved the descent. Never seemingly disturbed by
anything, Ina smoothed her cropped dark hair and snapped on her helmet.
"Who is it Captain, Shitters or Nukes?" The man next to her asked.
"We've seen no signs of the *Shippers*," The Captain stressed the proper
nickname, and several of the boys laughed. Westmayer remained business.
"We've learned the Nukes may be building more weapons on Asteroid 891X726."
Westmayer put the information on the ship's small display screens. The
images shook and jumped with the jittery ship. Maps and pictures of the
asteroid rotated before the team. All business as well, JJ studied the
"That's a pretty big asteroid," She cut in. "Still, all our drop ships
won't make the landing."
"It will be tricky, but we have to land as many as possible." Westmayer
focused on the material, not his personnel, as was his usual custom.
"You're objective when we land is to take their weapons facility by any
The Captain pointed to the proposed facility's location, but the drop
ship's screens flickered.
"*If* we land." Kimmie found her headgear and held onto her jiggling
helmet. Their tiny ship shook more as it descended nearer the asteroid.
"When we land," the Captain repeated. "If it cannot be taken, we will abort
for an aerial assault."
JJ frowned. "Why not an air raid first? Our lasers were up to 87 percent.
The Mother Ship could be done before we�"
"Those are my orders, Lieutenant." Westmayer turned away from JJ and fiddled
with the controls.
A hearty Latino man looked squashed in the locked chair beside Kimmie.
"What's going to stop the Nukes from releasing those pretty little bio
hazards they like?"
"Shut it, Miguel." Ina snickered. "You're always afraid a biological weapon
is going to ruin your libido."
"The Sergeant has a point," JJ intervened, still perplexed at their
unnecessary risk. "The asteroid could be flooded now. What guarantee do he
"None." Westmayer was grim. "They've used chemicals against us in the
past. You all have your current inoculations."
"We're five years behind them!" Kimmie grumbled to Miguel.
If Westmayer heard, he did not let on. "Take them by surprise and get to
that facility before the Nukes can push any buttons. Good luck."
"Don't lay it on all at once." Miguel crossed himself.
The drop ships fired their thrusters and descended slowly and evenly toward
the asteroid. JJ felt the rumbles and quakes, but she was used to it. When
they first took to spaceflight, they all became ill and nauseous ascending,
descending-every time a ship shook. JJ turned from the tiny window and
looked up and down her team. This was old hat now. Some of them even
slept, but no one turned green.
"Check your comms," JJ ordered as she adjusted her headset. Already there
was ships' chatter.
"Drop Ship 73 your coming in too fast!"
A drop ship zoomed passed the others and skidded over the rocky terrain.
It deflected off a rough peak and crashed onto the asteroid's abysmal
surface. JJ blinked at the brief flashes outside her window. Pieces of hot
metal slammed against the other drop ships, and Kimmie jumped at the echoes
and clangs. More drop ships overshot the asteroid.
"57 shorten your thrusts."
"Drop Ship 34, we're trying to circle back for another go."
"Negative," Captain Westmayer ordered. He looked at the fritzing monitors
and sensors. "Stay off as reinforcements. 41, 83, you're on call as well."
"What number are we again?" Miguel turned to Kimmie.
"Drop Ship 69."
*Get your FREE copy of **Cracked: A True Story of An American Family's
Battle With Addiction **by visiting Leigh Wood's
Leigh Wood. Author.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, Truth.<http://jsnouff.com/kristin/leighwood
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