“Henchman” – Randy the Tech #1A

Right. This is part one of a two part chapter about Randy the Tech. This is still a bit rough, but hopefully not too rough. Don’t worry, all of these stories go through an editor before being published. I just like to give away pretty much every chapter for free now before actually publishing.

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Henchman – Author’s Note
Henchman – The Day Dave Subbed
Henchman – Randy the Tech #1A

Randy the Tech Tests Out A Mind Control Unit

 “Hey, dude,” Washington said to me from his side of the doorway.

I looked over at my co-worker, a huge, scary, pipe-hittin’ brother who towered over me by a good six inches, and could snap me in half as if I were dry spaghetti. He looked distressed, yet his voice was casual, calm. Maybe he looked distressed. When he gets all crazy, his eyes get real big, and it makes me begin to shake inside because I start getting little movies playing in my head that feature Washington on a rampage, picking me up, and literally pile-driving me through the concrete floor like we were in a cartoon. But he didn’t look like enraged Washington. He looked like he might have had an accident in his fatigues.

The fact that he sounded casual and called me “dude” made me possibly more frightened of him. Washington didn’t talk much, but when he did, it always seemed like he was a drill instructor and you were some lowly piece of shit new recruit that just caused the entire platoon to lose out on a three day weekend where they’d all planned to hit Tijuana for some female company. I’d never heard him say a single casual thing to anyone but the Vils, and that was maybe three times in the eight years I’d known him. All three times, he looked like he was strategizing just how quickly he could kill everyone in the room and escape.

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“Search Terms” – Chapter 15

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

Chapter 15 – A Change of Plans

 March 9, 2016

“Do you really think this is a good idea?” Kassi asked me, straightening my tie one last time.

“I don’t know,” I said, refusing to look into her eyes.

“You’ve said ‘I don’t know’ at least ten thousand times since we met.” Her smile made me go a little queasy inside, the good kind that meant she was still the woman I couldn’t imagine ever spending a day of the rest of my life without.

“I don’t know,” I said, ducking a swipe, “I don’t think it has been ten thousand times. Eight or nine for sure, but ten is stretching it a bit.”

Her face changed into Business Kassandra. “I’m scared. Really scared. What if this turns out to be the worst thing we could have done? You’re not a politician, Tyler. You’re good enough at it, like, you’re all grown up inside, but all they’ll see you as is a twenty-three year old kid with a lot of money. Money that you’re willing to throw at them so they’ll make promises that they can’t possibly keep once they get ground under the Capitol Hill machine.”

I was proud of her in that moment more than I could ever remember. She was, as far as I was concerned, far more mature than me. Even as goofy and weird as she could be, she was a woman, not a girl. A woman with a playful side, but a woman that was a lot sharper than me in almost everything. She’d gone from a college girl who couldn’t even figure out why a Democrat president and a Republican vice-president was too unbelievable, to what could be mistaken for a Poly Science major.

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“Search Terms” – Chapter 14

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

Chapter 14 – Future News Is Bad News

 January 23, 2016

I was seven years old when 9/11 happened. I don’t really remember much about it other than being scared to the point I’d cried while my mom held me. I cried because she spent three days crying. My father was a bit more stoic, but even at seven years old, I saw worry in his face for the next few months. As I grew up, 9/11 became some kind of strange hot-button topic that could get your face pounded in by someone at school if you said something they didn’t agree with.

Muslims were evil, it was an inside job, hell, even a race of lizard aliens got the blame and backlash. A ton of videos, both regular DVD and bootleg, homemade stuff that found its way to YouTube and a million other conspiracy sites were produced. In my early teenage years, I barely paid attention to such things. By my later, brooding teenage years, I went through a phase where I spent an entire summer reading and watching every ounce of information I could about 9/11.

I wouldn’t say I was a believer in the conspiracies. I really don’t know what I would say I felt about the things I learned. The deeper I got in it, the more confusing it became, the harder it was to separate truth from nonsense. Some people might call me an unpatriotic piece of shit because of some of the things I thought I believed, while others would call me a tool of the New World Order secret government, brainwashed by the consumerism shoved down my throat to disguise the real world going on in the background.

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“Henchman” – The Day Dave Subbed

So… here’s some more of this ‘Henchman’ book from my uh… buddy… Mike Williams. It’s probably really rough, as I… er, I mean HE just wrote it, so if you notice errors, rest assured that HE will get around to squashing them before HE actually charges money for this nonsense. More to come!

Henchman – Author’s Note
Henchman – The Day Dave Subbed
Henchman – Randy the Tech #1A

The Day Dave Subbed

I watched Dave hustle down the hallway toward me, still tucking in his dark red shirt into his jet black fatigues. He grinned when he came to a stop on his side of the doorway. I nodded toward his crotch to let him know that he’d missed something. He looked down, back up at me with a sheepish grin, then back to his zipper, giving it a light tug.

“Why are you checking out my package, anyway?” he asked after finishing his task and turning to look straight ahead, standing at attention like me.

“It’s obvious with your tighty-whiteys and showing up half-naked,” I replied without looking at him. “What the hell are you doing here, anyway?” I asked, finally glancing over at him. “This is still Washington’s gig for the next eight weeks.”

“What’s the matter, I’m not black enough for you?” he asked, doing his best to stifle a laugh.

“It’s not funny,” I said in a low voice. “The dude scares the bejesus out of me.”

Washington, that’s the only name we’ve ever gotten from him, is a fellow henchman. He’s six and a half feet tall, chiseled like that guy on the Old Spice commercial, and about ten times more frightening than when the Old Spice guy gets all crazy-looking like he’s about to rip a car door off and hurl it into the sun. If he wasn’t so scary, it would be funny how militant he is about everything, not just white people. It’s like the guy is always on, his inner amplifier cranked to eleven.

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“Search Terms” – Chapter 13

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

Chapter 13 – Two Attacks, One Fear

January 1, 2016

Mom brought another tray of little wraps and sandwiches from the kitchen, Kassandra right behind her with more beers. My father and I had become beer snobs over the last few weeks after trying some house beer at one of the bar-breweries downtown. Whatever Flat Canyon Strawberry Ale was made of, it tasted like it was made of angels and honey. I’d never been a huge beer fan, but the mug served to us downtown had kickstarted something in both of us, and we’d spent the last few weeks ordering just about everything we could from small-time crafters that were allowed to ship to us.

“Don’t get wasted,” my mother lectured as my father and I, and even Kass, clinked our bottles together before taking a drink.

“Yes, Mom,” I said, receiving a light swat as she walked by me to go back into the kitchen. “Why haven’t you hired a maid or something yet?” I called after her.

“Tyler Gallagher!” she shouted at me from the kitchen.

“I wanted a French one,” my father said with a mouth full of turkey wrap.

“I heard that!”

“Maybe we’ll get a Ukranian one,” Kassi said, giving my leg a light rub with her foot.

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“Diabolus” update

Yay! I just finished “Diabolus” tonight, which means in a week I can finally go back through it and edit it into something readable. A lot of people have been waiting for this story for a long time, and I’ve sort of been putting off finishing it while waiting for the artist to finish the covers.

Well, it looks like I’m going to be finding a new artist, as I’ve not heard from the guy who was doing my artwork for a couple of months. It has been six months total since I first came to an agreement with him, and six months later, I still haven’t received an invoice or anything close to a finalized drawing. So… back to the drawing board (literally).

Anyway, if you haven’t been paying attention (which is everyone but my wife), Diabolus is about two Vatican priests who are tasked with ‘exorcising’ a nuclear forces AI that claims to be Satan incarnate. It’s a cross between Skynet – The Exorcist – The Matrix. Good stuff.

I also have a couple more stories that are with editors, but those editors… are like the artist. I’ve not heard anything from them in almost two weeks, so looks like it is time to find new editors as well. Whatever. I’mma keep writin’.

“Search Terms” – Chapter 12

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

CHAPTER 12 – A War On Two Fronts

October 31, 2015

“Hi, Mom,” Kass said to my mother when we walked into the kitchen. She gave my mom a quick hug then went to hang her jacket up in our bedroom.

“Everything okay?” Mom asked me, her eyes shifting toward my room.

“Yeah, why?” I asked.

“She just seems more friendly than normal.”

“You’re the most suspicious mother in the world,” I said, getting a quick guffaw from my father, who was seated at the dining room table, browsing the net on his laptop.

“I am not,” my mother argued. Dad let out an exaggerated cough from behind her. She turned and gave him a look that she’d mastered over twenty years, one that still made me nervous even when it was directed at my father. “Well, I’m not,” she said in a huff, turning away from me to warm the oven up.

“Every time I hug you, you ask me what’s wrong,” I said. “Every time I kiss you on the cheek you ask me what I want. That sounds pretty suspicious to me.”

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“Search Terms” – Chapter 11

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

CHAPTER 11 – Rules Is Rules

October 1, 2015

We sat up through the night, waiting for all of the west coast lottery numbers to be drawn, all of the California sports teams to finish their games. I’d suggested Kassi put a check mark next to each accurate prediction in the notebook, and an X next to all that were wrong. By the time she’d marked the last one in the notebook off, the tally was all checks, no X’s.

“We could have won almost five million dollars tonight just from those lotteries,” Kassandra said as we sat at the dining room table, drinking coffee at three in the morning. She looked dazed, her eyes glassy and outlined with dark circles.

“Yeah. We could have. But we don’t need to.”

“How many have you won, Tyler?” she asked.

“Just the one. I picked one that was a decent amount if you took the lump sum, and had no winners to share it with. No winners at all.”

“So no one was supposed to win the lottery you won?”

“Nope.”

“Doesn’t that screw up the flow of time, or something?”

I looked at her to see if she was mocking me and my love of science fiction. She looked scared.

“I don’t know, to be honest,” I answered.

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“Search Terms” – Chapter 10

Chapter 1 – Unboxing

CHAPTER 10 – Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

 September 30, 2015

“Are you sure this is what you want to do?” Kassi asked her cousin over the video link.

“It’s a little too late for that, isn’t it?” Nico smiled, but we both could see the nervousness about him.

“Just be careful,” she said, looking away so she could hide the fact that she was about to cry.

“Take care of your buddies,” I said, hoping I was being helpful.

What did you say to a man who was about to invade a foreign country? Half of America had already told him to stay home, calling it an illegal war, that we were getting too involved in the Middle East. We’d barely extricated ourselves from Iraq, were still in Afghanistan, and had been lobbing hellfire missiles at the Revolutionary Guard in Iran for three months to let them know that their nuclear program was going to stop, or be stopped by force. The ground invasion had been pushed back by almost a month, and for a while there was hope it would be completely avoided, but that hope crumbled after another WMD attack on rebels and civilians, this time a deadly chemical nerve agent.

“Take care of my cousin,” he said with a grin.

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“Henchman” – a new series of stories

Right. So. Carly and I talked about this idea, and I sort of just went with it. We hear all about the superheroes and supervillains, but we never really hear from the henchmen, the guys who make all of the magic happen (well, for anyone who doesn’t have a superpower).

Henchman – Author’s Note
Henchman – The Day Dave Subbed
Henchman – Randy the Tech #1A

Henchmanby Mike Williams
Author’s Note & Introduction

I bet you’re wondering why anyone would write a book about henchmen. Actually, I bet you’re looking at the cover of this book again and asking yourself “who the hell is ‘Mike Williams?’. There’s all kinds of books and TV shows and movies and comics and novels and action figures and pop culture when it comes to superheroes and supervillains. But let’s be honest and admit that you know nothing about how this semi-hidden culture actually operates.

For instance, did you know that superheroes have almost no henchmen? And yes, I’m counting the fact that the good guys (I call bullshit on this, by the way, but that’s for later) don’t call their helpers “henchmen.” So let’s say that Jake Donovan, the famous superhero detective, has his bombshell secretary Lila Donovan, and his two junior detective sniffers, Kyle & Donna. To you, they’re sidekicks, but to everyone in the business, they’re henchmen. Just because they work for superheros instead of supervillains doesn’t change the fact that they’re lackeys, grunts, handlers, and any number of things that all of the henchmen that work for supervillains are.

Anyway, superheroes rarely rely on henchmen to do their jobs, yet supervillains employ armies of men and women like me. Literally, in some cases, armies. Why? See? You’re already partially hooked.

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