The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jump Start - or Jump Starting a Dying Game

One of the things a good GM has to be able to do is jump start a game when it's stuck or dying. Sometimes that comes from snippet or mood fiction within a setting book. Other times from a bestiary or a Legends book, depending on the type of game.

For a science fiction game a mysterious signal, wrecked craft, or an SOS can be enough. Paranormal - a series of murders that fall outside of the normal rules of behavior, spells gone wrong, books turning up in the wrong hands.

Unusual NPC's are also a way of kick-starting games.

But as many turn to the setting books one of my 'tasks' for some of the upcoming books is to write mood or snippet fiction, which I've already done for [i]Mission Little Rock[/i]. In the coming weeks I'll be able to post parts of the fiction snippets and give a small taster of the settings, games and challenges we're hoping to provide for players and I thought it might be an idea to put up a small teaser for [i]Mission Little Rock[/i].

Due to the setting there is some adult language in this opening - and this is a pre-final edit version.

“Here, hold m’beer son, I’m gonna try something.”

The beer can was shoved into Private First Class Mike Johnson’s hand before he had a chance to protest. The truck swerved violently to the left, beer slopping over his lap before he’d had a chance to brace himself. Not that the move did any good, the truck still hit the large rut and jolted the rest of the team almost out of their seats.

Shit his pants were going to smell like beer for the rest of the day. Just what he needed. The others were going to assume he’d had a quick swig and the platoon leader would read him the riot act for drinking on duty.

Swearing filtered in through the partially open sliding window behind him, but the driver just swore and continued driving down the pitted road. Each fresh hole jerked him around the seat that little bit more and he knew that his ass would be black and blue by the time they arrived.

Fucking wonderful. And he’d actually thought that sitting up front would be better than being crammed into the back of the truck with the others.

Just what in hells name had he signed himself up for this time?

Guts, glory and a quick promotion - if he lived through this. Shit, he should have known better, what was the first rule – never volunteer for anything, and he’d well and truly broken that one. Now look at him. He was stuck in a truck with a farmer who smelled as though he hadn’t bathed in a month and obviously had some sort of allergy to razors as his graying beard reached down into the man’s lap.

At least he now understood why the platoon leader hadn’t made any attempt to grab the shotgun seat. He’d be able to smell the man two days from now, and his stomach now rolled and the constitution he’d assumed was strong enough to handle anything now threatened to spill its contents out of the window. If he could find a way to open it, he’d tried on and off since clambering into the cabin and it was jammed tight.

He peered out of the window. Strange cloud formations drifted across the sky in interesting, stomach churning, shades of green and purple. Abandoned farm houses and barns had been overgrown by bright orange vines that he could have sworn turned, and half lifted off the buildings, waving their tentacles at the truck as they drove past.

More than once they’d already past the bleached remains of a human skeleton.

So much for an easy ride. If he could have got his hands on the Lieutenant he’d have strangled the man – or locked him in the front of the truck with the farmer for an entire day. Without a gas mask.

Fucking desk officers.

He knew better than to ever trust them. What risks did they face? He was sat safe, dry and away from the stink behind his desk shuffling papers and trying to find more idiots to send off on missions.

But he’d broken the first rule, never volunteer, so no matter how he silently ranted it didn’t change the fact that he’d signed up for the mission of his own free will.


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