Guest Author: Angel Martinez
Aug 15, 2012 Filed under: guest blogger, m/m, sci fi
I’m welcome the lovely Angel Martinez to my humble abode this morning! Grab some coffee or tea and settle in to learn more about her upcoming release, Sub Zero
Those Creeping Fingers of Memory…
When I was little, televisions were pieces of furniture. They often came in wood and cloth consoles, reception was through antennae, and one changed the channel by (gasp!) getting up and turning the knob. There were perhaps four of them, or possibly five, depending on the signal.
The arrival of cable in our house was a cause of much excitement (on our part) and trepidation (on my mother’s.) Suddenly, there were several more choices. Cartoons! Movies! Really bad commercials! With this sudden invasion came Channel 17 out of Philadelphia and, on Saturdays, Wee Willy Webber’s show. For those of you not from back East, Mr. Webber was a radio personality and then TV host of several shows on many channels over the years – one of those voices that was soothing, friendly and entertaining all at once. The show in question was a Saturday Matinee sort of affair where he showed old Science Fiction and Horror movies – a little intro, sometimes a little serial short (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers) – and then the MOVIE!
A friend recently asked me if classic SF movies had influenced my writing. Yes and no. Obviously, I’m interested in more advanced science than 1950’s cinema, but the fact is that these movies from childhood seeped into my brain. I know that. The images, the feel, the atmosphere all stayed with me, consciously or not. Sure I loved classic horror. The Boris Karloff Frankenstein, (“It’s alive!”) Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, adored them all. But I loved best the weeks when Mr. Webber’s movies were about space and radiation, mutants and time travel.
Early influences are inescapable, whether we acknowledge them or not. Some of the underground scenes from my novel, Gravitational Attraction, owe a great deal to Forbidden Planet, to that sense of awe and wonder I felt at finally seeing the alien underground installation. Visions of cityscapes in Vassily the Beautiful have much to do with those early futuristic city skylines in Metropolis and The Shape of Things to Come.
And my need to return to cold landscapes, in the case of my latest, Sub Zero, even Arctic? Ah, there are echoes of The Thing there, not so much the terror of it but the isolation and eerie beauty.
I don’t consciously channel those old movies I love so dearly, but they’re in there, the images curled around my gray matter. And it wonderful.
M/M Science Fiction Mystery
Launching 8/19 at Amber Allure!
Always send the right man for the job – even if he’s been dead for a hundred years.
Major Aren Dalsgaard’s newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between Treaty settlers and natives have deteriorated. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be ideal for the assignment. The problem? It’s where he died, a century ago.
Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung faces a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a man who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. The man could be crazy or lying. But the sincerity in those spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else in the foreigners’ city.
Thuds and muffled screams came from the lab up ahead, only serving to underscore the sergeant’s anxiety. Aren bulled through the door and skidded to a stop, speechless in shock. Nyachung lay on his back on the gurney, stripped to the waist, arms stretched out to either side and strapped down to extensions. The staff had shoved something soft between his teeth, either to keep him from breaking them or to keep him from screaming too loud, and they had electro-pulse leads attached to his forearms, directly over the venom sacs and spur pads. The shocks from the hookup came in pairs, the first forcibly extending his arm spurs and the second zapping the sac in an attempt to force the venom out.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Aren bellowed.
The tech stared at him, nonplussed. “Getting your venom sample, sir.”
“By torturing him?”
“It’s standard operating procedure, sir.”
“Since when is physical abuse standard procedure in any branch of the service?”
Sergeant Wickstrom gave him a little nudge. “Sir, use of force in the obtaining of information or cooperation is up to the discretion of the facility commander. It’s in the manuals.”
“In the—you must be joking.”
“Afraid not, sir.”
Aren rubbed both hands over his face. “God. Barbaric century.” Then he stalked over to the tech. “Unhook him, please. Not only is this inefficient, it’s inhumane. Do you have any idea, Corporal, how sensitive those venom sacs are?”
The hapless corporal gulped a breath. “I…don’t know, sir.”
“Imagine hooking one of those damn things up to your testicles and then shoving another up your urethra. That should give you some idea.”
The poor tech had turned green. Aren patted his shoulder, not wanting the boy to pass out. “Just turn it off. Unhook him. There’s a better way to do this. Several, actually. You could have just asked him for a sample, but now that he’s a shuddering mess, he’ll need some help.”
While the tech unhooked the leads, Aren went around the gurney undoing straps.
“Sir, you know he’s a murder suspect, right?”
“Oh, yes. Terribly dangerous, I’m sure. Maybe you should stand back. Safety first.” Aren perched hipshot on the edge of the gurney and gathered Nyachung into his arms as he switched to dangpo. “Are you with me, little one?”
“Why are they doing this?” Nyachung tangled both fists in the front of Aren’s jacket, shaking uncontrollably.
“Sh, sh, they want some of your venom. To compare it to the venom in the woman you found. If it’s not your venom, then you didn’t kill her.”
A hoarse sound, more sob than laugh came from the little tale-singer. “They could have said so.”
“Yes, they should have.” Aren held up a collection tube. “Can you do it on your own?”
Nyachung held out one shaking arm, well away from Aren. He curled his fingers, forearm muscles contracting. “I can’t,” he gasped out.
Gently, Aren placed his hand under Nyachung’s elbow. “Will you let me help you? I know we’re strangers and this is in front of others, but it would be better than their way.”
Black eyes gazed up at him, wet with unshed tears of pain. “All right. Do you… Have you done this?”
“I have.” Aren massaged his thumb over the tense forearm muscles a moment. Then he reached around, encircling Nyachung with his arms, partially hiding him from prying eyes. He pressed gently on the pad with his thumb, pushing the arm spur out as one would a cat’s claw. Keeping the pressure constant and the collection tube held over the spur in two fingers, he turned his attention to the venom sac. Besides the obvious places, this was the most sensitive spot on a dangpo male’s body.
He caressed the tender, abused skin, barely holding back the urge to curl forward and kiss the spot where the electro-pulse had been. Nyachung made a sweet, whimpering sound that shot straight to his balls and Aren hoped he was holding the stone-faced expression he was trying for. He began to massage the sac, his thumb describing slow, gentle circles. Nyachung twitched in his arms.
“Easy, little one, easy. As soon as you’re able.”
With a soft cry, Nyachung hid his face against Aren’s chest, his body shuddering with pain as he released his venom. His poor sacs would most likely be tender for days but he had managed enough to fill the tube…