Archives by Category: Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

Book 1, Chapter 1

Ean sat on the couch before his TV, beating Space Shooter on his gaming console for the umpteenth time. He was alone in the room – well, except [..]

Book 1, Chapter 2

After introducing himself, Ean sat back down and picked up his controller, like the sub-par host that he was. “What?” he protested, putting the console peripheral aside. “What [..]

Book 1, Chapter 3

“This apartment complex used to be part of a college dorm,” E said as he walked around the couch. “When the institution went under, the dorms got converted [..]

Book 1, Chapter 4

In the overgrown quad outside, some of that very gang violence Ean had mentioned was going down. The perpetrator was short, scrawny, and armed with a crowbar. He [..]

Book 1, Chapter 5

“And this is my house plant,” E was saying, “Which pretty much wraps up our tour of the living room.” He put the small potted plant back down [..]

Book 1, Chapter 6

“Hiya, wuss!” Little followed his greeting with a punch to the gut. Ean doubled over as the blow landed. “Hi,” he managed to wheeze as Little sauntered past [..]

Book 1, Chapter 7

Ean scrambled to his feet as The Gang bore down on him. “Did you seriously just call us stupid?” Little snapped. “I think saying crap like that where [..]

Book 1, Chapter 8

“Uh,” continued E, “I said I’m sorry and I think you got what I said wrong. See, I didn’t call you stupid: I said you’re not that bright. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 9

Although The Gang was gone, their presence was still felt. Ean winced as he pushed off from the wall and stood. “So, that was The Gang,” he said. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 10

“This is my kitchen,” E said as he walked into a room that had the same size and dimensions as his living room. “As you can see, it’s [..]

Book 1, Chapter 11

Once the refrigerator regained its composure, it changed tactics. “SO, MORTAL: HAVE A GLASS OF MILK.” “Sour milk?” E asked. “Ew, no thanks.” “ER…CHEESE? WOULD YOU GO FOR [..]

Book 1, Chapter 12

“So,” E said as he crossed the living room. “That was my refrigerator. It and I are engaged in an epic battle of wills.” Ean struck an heroic [..]

Book 1, Chapter 13

E’s bedroom was nothing much to speak of. He had a single-sized bed, surplus from the apartment’s dorm days. There was a battered dresser, and an old wooden [..]

Book 1, Chapter 14

“That’s right, run!” Ean shouted as he chased Fifi into the kitchen. Unfortunately, the dog had disappeared by the time E entered the room. “MORTAL!” The fridge roared. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 15

“…Yip Yip Yip Yip…” Fifi continued incessantly from the foot of Ean’s bed. He was well on his way to earning his eighth treat. Ean groaned inarticulately and [..]

Book 1, Chapter 16

An hour or so later, Ean approached a squat brick building. “This is where I work,” he explained as he walked up to the door. “It’s a software [..]

Book 1, Chapter 17

Ean’s “office” was in the break room. It consisted of a stool, a counter with a sink and coffee machine, a trolley cart for delivering his coworkers’ mail [..]

Book 1, Chapter 18

A few hours later, Doom hunted Ean down while he was doing his rounds. Doom was a scrawny, geeky man who was going prematurely bald. His three scalp [..]

Book 1, Chapter 19

Ean’s boss was a short man with shaggy hair and thick glasses. He sat behind the kind of desk people get when they’re demanding to be taken seriously. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 20

The rest of Ean’s workday passed without event, other than another encounter with Doom. Naturally, this ended with another cup of cold coffee tossed in E’s face while [..]

Book 1, Chapter 21

Ean walked home after work like he did every evening, but today he was far more disgruntled than normal – perhaps because today he’d had The Audience as [..]

Book 1, Chapter 22

I’m willing to admit that under the best of circumstances, Ean isn’t a coward. These, of course, weren’t the best – and they hadn’t been for a long [..]

Book 1, Chapter 23

A few minutes later Ean reached the “safety” of his apartment and slammed the door shut behind himself. “Thanks,” he gasped, “for skipping the running.” It was no [..]

Book 1, Chapter 24

A few minutes later found Ean tied to a chair while The Gang ransacked his apartment. “Hey,” he protested feebly when Big started rummaging through his gaming consoles. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 25

After a brief scuffle, Big took Little’s knife – and then took Little into the hallway for a “discussion.” When they came back two hours later, Ean still [..]

Book 1, Chapter 26

Ean gaped, momentarily speechless from outrage. But only momentarily. “You’ve tormented me for years,” he growled. “You invade my home, extort money out of me, beat me up [..]

Book 1, Chapter 27

Meanwhile, in the hallway outside the guest I’d mentioned had arrived. JD was tall, broad shouldered and lean. He wore red-tinted goggles in the place of sunglasses despite [..]

Book 1, Chapter 28

Ean was not being destroyed by a demon. Big had slammed the fridge door shut almost as soon as he’d opened it. In their panic The Gang had [..]

Book 1, Chapter 29

Four hours later, JD popped open Ean’s living room window and stepped out onto the narrow brick ledge that ran decoratively around the building. “We are totally gonna [..]

Book 1, Chapter 30

The next morning found Ean running into work an hour late. “I hate to admit it,” he confessed, “but as bad as some aspects of my job are, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 31

Ean groaned and blinked blearily. “What just happened,” he asked no one in particular while his vision cleared. The stranger was kneeling over him, and now that Ean [..]

Book 1, Chapter 32

The beautiful woman frowned at Ean. She even had an enticing frown: the curve of her lips begged to be reversed; the fact of her lips hinted – [..]

Book 1, Chapter 33

For a long moment, Ean stared at Rachel. In silence. He’d applied for that position months ago, without hearing anything since despite checking in with The Boss periodically. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 34

At that very moment, Doom was walking the company’s halls. He’d barely paid Rachel any attention when she came by with a pot of coffee earlier: he had [..]

Book 1, Chapter 35

“What the hell is going on here?” Doom snarled. Rachel looked up. “Oh, good!” she said. “He slipped and hit his head. I didn’t want to leave him [..]

Book 1, Chapter 36

Rachel had caught Ean when he started to fall, and when his dizziness passed her hands were braced against his arms. She started to say something in response [..]

Book 1, Chapter 37

“Like hell!” Doom yelled, interrupting whatever Rachel had been about to say. Ean swiveled toward Doom and cursed – for a moment he’d been too flustered to remember [..]

Book 1, Chapter 38

After a long walk and a lot of yelling at me later (even though my descriptions of Rachel – though slightly gratuitous – had not been inaccurate) Ean stomped [..]

Book 1, Chapter 39

Two hours and a trip to the store later, and JD was hooking up his new computer in Ean’s living room. “I can’t believe you only have one [..]

Book 1, Chapter 40

Once the computer booted up, JD inserted his CD and started the game installing. Ean frowned. “I think a better question is: how can you afford a new [..]

Book 1, Chapter 41

The game, once it started, was over almost as quick. Ean went for the offensive rush: From JD’s computer came three staccato bursts of machine gun fire, then [..]

Book 1, Chapter 42

After two firefights in which two fictional sci-fi soldiers slaughtered hundreds of fictional aliens, JD seemed much cheered. He was busy mashing his controller and spraying explosive needles [..]

Book 1, Chapter 43

Ean swallowed nervously. “Sure,” he said. Bad news was always bad news, in his experience, no matter what news came after it. “Good,” The Boss said. “I’m afraid [..]

Book 1, Chapter 44

For a moment, Ean sat in shocked silence, trying to figure out how exactly the Ex-Boss had turned getting fired into good news. Then, from the living room, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 45

When Ean reached the kitchen doorway, JD had stumbled back against a wall. Fifi was in the middle of the room, yipping madly. The refrigerator door was open, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 46

The silence stretched on long enough to be considered a moment of such before Ean turned to face JD. “Thanks,” E said, “But did you have to boot [..]

Book 1, Chapter 47

Ean rushed into the living room and looked around hurriedly. From the kitchen he could hear the thunk thunk thump of the fridge rattling. On the floor was [..]

Book 1, Chapter 48

Ean spun around again. “Who the-” he started to say when Rachel knocked again. “Oh hell, Rachel?” he said – and didn’t even yell at me for letting [..]

Book 1, Chapter 49

Rachel straightened. Ean was uncomfortably aware that stepping into the hallway had also put him very much inside her personal space – but really, wasn’t it better to [..]

Book 1, Chapter 50

In Ean’s kitchen, the fridge rocked hard enough that JD lurched despite leaning against it. “Ean?” JD shouted. “Hurry up, man, get weapons.” Ean didn’t answer. “There’s some [..]

Book 1, Chapter 51

Since Ean’s primary mode of transportation was a bike – and its tires were slashed – Rachel drove. The atmosphere in her little blue car was tense, until [..]

Book 1, Chapter 52

Lunch took place at a Sandwich Place not far from Ean’s apartment, in a much nicer part of town. It was a popular place, and crowded. Nonetheless, Ean [..]

Book 1, Chapter 53

For a minute Ean fumbled with words. It wasn’t often that he was put on the spot by a gorgeous, intelligent woman. Rachel waited on him – not [..]

Book 1, Chapter 54

While Ean struggled with the realization that he’d somehow gotten a date with Rachel out of the day’s events, one of the Sandwich Place’s other patrons – another [..]

Book 1, Chapter 55

Rachel and Ean spent the rest of lunch conversing about as much as you’d expect of two individuals with the social prowess of life-long geeks. As a result, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 56

Ean slipped into his apartment backwards because he was watching to make certain Rachel didn’t see anything. As such, he couldn’t see the fight behind him – but [..]

Book 1, Chapter 57

“So…” Ean said after taking in the scene in his living room. “You possessed Fifi?” “I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH CORPOREAL PRESENCE TO ACTUALLY CRUSH HIM,” the demon-possessed Fifi [..]

Book 1, Chapter 58

After losing again JD gave up his controller and left to finally get his sandwich. Fifi continued to cackle as Ean started the next game. The demon’s amusement swiftly [..]

Book 1, Chapter 59

When JD got back from lunch he found Fifi playing alone against computer players. Then he found Ean in the kitchen. Ean was standing in front of the [..]

Book 1, Chapter 60

JD stared at Ean incredulously. “Dude,” he said, “I’ve been mailing you top-secret weapons schematics for, like, the past three years. I figured you would’ve at least made [..]

Book 1, Chapter 61

Ean stalked out into the living room. JD followed him. “You’re right,” Ean said. “We need to get those documents. Wait here a minute.” “Hey,” said JD, “If [..]

Book 1, Chapter 62

Ean made his way to the fourth floor with a grim expression. In 4C was the only resident other than E who had stayed after The Gang claimed [..]

Book 1, Chapter 63

4C’s living room belonged to a bachelor. It was obvious from the piles of empty pizza boxes, old laundry, and empty beer bottles. There were a lot of empty [..]

Book 1, Chapter 64

When Ean got back downstairs he found JD practicing Fantasy Fighter on the console while Fifi growled at his computer, apparently trying his paw at Army FPS. Given [..]

Book 1, Chapter 65

“Are you really okay leaving that guy to Fifi’s mercy?” JD asked Ean as they walked to his car. “Yeah,” Ean said. “Lieutz is a lush…I don’t think [..]

Book 1, Chapter 66

I didn’t want to contradict Ean to his face – he gets so touchy about “out of character information” – and I’d already let slip what was on [..]

Book 1, Chapter 67

After feeding the cat and microwaving some lasagna for herself, Rachel settled down at her computer. She ate while booting up, then pulled on her headset and entered [..]

Book 1, Chapter 68

Rachel’s entry on the field shifted the momentum of the game in her team’s favor. It ended in a very close win, and her squad – thanks to [..]

Book 1, Chapter 69

Once Rachel had drifted off to sleep, Freckles uncurled. He stretched in that way cats do, and then padded across the foot of the bed, stepping carefully over [..]

Book 1, Chapter 70

Rachel’s phone was a hand-me-down from her old home. She was only a year out of college, so a lot of her appliances and furnishings were second hand. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 71

The next morning JD pulled into a long driveway lined with trees – the driveway to the old farmhouse Ean had grown up in. “Okay,” Ean said. “Stop [..]

Book 1, Chapter 72

While Ean snuck around to the back of the house, JD waited by the car. When Ean tossed a grappling hook around the house’s weather vane, JD checked [..]

Book 1, Chapter 73

While JD tucked into a plate of raspberry pie, Ean’s mom sat across from him. “It’s nice of you to visit,” she said. “I never see my Ean [..]

Book 1, Chapter 74

Later that evening, JD bought a stack of empty pie tins over to the kitchen sink. “There, E: wasn’t that easier? We’ve got the schematics, a good meal, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 75

Once the dishes were done, Ean insisted on starting the drive home – despite the late hour. JD reluctantly acquiesced. “Bye, Mrs. E!” JD called from the door. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 76

JD was driving. Night had fallen, and he and Ean were still hours away from the city, on some nameless country back road. The car abruptly screeched to [..]

Book 1, Chapter 77

Ean leaned back in his seat and sighed. “So,” he recapped, “We’re stranded on a back country road because our car stopped, but it’s not out of gas [..]

Book 1, Chapter 78

Zero point two minutes later, JD turned to Ean with a scowl. “Hey, E,” he said, “Remember that ‘aliens’ joke?” “Yeah,” said Ean. “It was zero point two [..]

Book 1, Chapter 79

Still later, in the command room of a cloaked alien mother ship in high earth orbit, a short bulbous headed alien rushed up to its commander. “High one,” [..]

Book 1, Chapter 80

Meanwhile, in holding cell Z-24, JD walked through the open archway leading out of the cell. As he did, a shimmering field of energy flickered into place, throwing [..]

Book 1, Chapter 81

The woman sighed. She was about the same age as Ean, and wore a long robe tied at the waist with a wide sash. She was shorter than [..]

Book 1, Chapter 82

JD groaned again and sat up. This brought him face-to-waist with the stranger. “Uhhh…” JD said. “Ean? Where’d the chick in the bathrobe come from? I know I’m [..]

Book 1, Chapter 83

“Seriously,” JD said, looking back and forth between Ean and the woman. “What’s going on here?” “Oh, hey,” E said. “I should introduce us.” He pointed at JD, [..]

Book 1, Chapter 84

Ean surveyed the cell and frowned. “Right,” he said. “To escape we have to shut down that force field. Now, JD’s demonstrated that we can’t just bull through [..]

Book 1, Chapter 85

Ean gaped at Sakura through the archway that had previously contained a force field. “<How did you get out of here?>” he asked in disbelief. “<Air vent,>” Sakura [..]

Book 1, Chapter 86

Around the corner at the end of the hallway was a lone alien guard. He was short and green skinned, and his skull stretched back in a spiky [..]

Book 1, Chapter 87

The force field and a solitary guard were not the only defenses in place on the cells. Within moments a bulbous-headed alien dedicated to societal studies was rushing [..]

Book 1, Chapter 88

The advanced research specialist – an alien designated Z3thr0, whom I shall refer to as Zethro, gurgled deep in his throat. “High One,” he said, “I ask that [..]

Book 1, Chapter 89

Elroy found himself trapped under the expectant gaze of the Commander and a wall of disapproving senior researchers arrayed behind himself. He swallowed nervously and then pulled images [..]

Book 1, Chapter 90

Elroy pointed to an image of Ean on the screen. “This terran is subservient to the other two,” he said, “as evidenced by the spiky-haired one telling him [..]

Book 1, Chapter 91

Meanwhile, Ean and his companions pressed on into the alien ship: blissfully unaware that they were under observation by remote sensors and wholly ignorant of the reception being [..]

Book 1, Chapter 92

At that moment, the alien commando squad which had been tasked with recapturing the terrans and delivering them to the commander stormed into view. There were a half [..]

Book 1, Chapter 93

The fight broke out without warning. JD flung himself to the side an instant before eight beams of coherent light slashed through the place he’d been standing. His [..]

Book 1, Chapter 94

“What the hell?” JD yelled. Laser blasts rained down around him, forcing him to stay under cover. Meanwhile, Sakura was forced to bob, weave, and duck around a [..]

Book 1, Chapter 95

In short order the aliens were defeated and things seemed to be going well for the escapees – especially Ean, who was still being held in Sakura’s arms despite [..]

Book 1, Chapter 96

Back on the spaceship, Ean and JD discovered that just as all roads lead to Rome, so to do all corridors lead to the mothership command center. They [..]

Book 1, Chapter 97

“Sweet,” said JD. “It has been ages since I’ve had a good boss fight.” Ean walked up to the door controls and started punching random buttons, confident I’d [..]

Book 1, Chapter 98

The door opened, revealing a long, wide room with only two occupants. One was Elroy, whom the commander had allowed to stay and bear witness to her interaction [..]

Book 1, Chapter 99

Ean stared. “Great idea, JD. Let’s have a boss fight! She’s heavily armed and somehow levitating. We’re screwed!” JD didn’t even blink – and certainly didn’t turn away [..]

Book 1, Chapter 100

“Woah, woah – woah,” Ean said. “What the hell is going on?” “I can answer that,” Elroy said. The commander just frowned: while it was true that she [..]

Book 1, Chapter 101

“All we were waiting for,” the alien commander interrupted, “is proof that human technology had passed the prerequisite threshold – and to identify a representative of humanity to [..]

Book 1, Chapter 102

Ean pointed at JD and yelped “He’s the representative of earth?” At the same time, JD’s brows arched. “I’m the representative of earth?” he asked with a cocky [..]

Book 1, Chapter 103

“So you have to compete against JD,” Ean said. “To prove that being raised by elitist aliens is better than being raised by lower-middle class Americans. What does [..]

Book 1, Chapter 104

“Score!” JD hooted. “I’m awesome at that game.” The commander’s lips curved in a smirk. “Well I was raised by the empire,” she said. “So all my psychic [..]

Book 1, Chapter 105

Ean looked back and forth between the commander and his friend. “You know, we have another problem,” he said. “Tic Tac Toe always ends in a draw – [..]

Book 1, Chapter 106

The game was short but intense. And after her third move, the alien commander looked at the emerging pattern and laughed. JD’s markers were in the bottom left [..]

Book 1, Chapter 107

“I…but..I was winning,” the alien commander continued to protest. JD shrugged with one shoulder – the one that wasn’t attached to the arm that was leveling a gun [..]

Book 1, Chapter 108

They didn’t stop running until they’d all piled into the escape pod. Fortunately, it was designed for ease of use: pressing the large, square button would initiate an [..]

Book 1, Chapter 109

The escape pod set down in the United States, out in the country. “Geez,” muttered Ean, “it is going to be a long walk home.” “<Huh,>” said Sakura. [..]

Book 1, Chapter 110

Back in the mothership’s command room, the alien commander shakily regained her feet. “What happened?” she asked. “The terrans won,” Elroy said. “And then they left. Much of [..]

Book 1, Chapter 111

Moments later, in a secret government facility on Earth, a radar technician rushed up to his supervisor. “<We’ve just detected another alien landing in North America,>” he reported. [..]