Thursday, April 26, 2012

Snippet: The Generalist - The Battle at Brownstone

So.  I figured out what my muse wanted me to write.

She wanted me to write this.  And start up on The Generalist.

Interesting, since my Muse inspired me to write it up in the first place, and my muse followed up by throwing a temper tantrum until I wrote this out, looked at the overview and felt her calm down.

Don't ask which is which or who is who.  Don't worry 'bout it, just enjoy it as it flows along.

So, without further adieu, here's my first attempt at writing in such a format since...god, I don't want to think about how long it's been since I've written in an actual story-story like this.

I should warn you, plenty of spoilers ahead.  This is basically the lead up to the ending fight sequence,  and by now it's generally accepted that Dash takes care of the physical troubles, and Frank handles the rest.  The rest happens to usually be the big baddies anyway, so it evens out.

Also I normally don't write at the end of the story as if the reader needs to have certain explanations - I did that for the sake of the snippet, and the intro especially will be somewhat re-written so I don't have to point out what Holy Diver or Benediction is, nor what the Overdrive is by now, things like that.  Not to mention that Karsiel is...and Howard Montenegro...or why...uh...well, shit.  I'm not going to spoil THAT much of the story, this is technically for the second or third book, y'know?

Anyway, please let me know what you think of this snippet from The Generalist - The Battle at Brownstone.


Frank frowned at his leather trench coat, the hood down, as he patted its' various pockets and inner blessed kevlar lining for his favorite knuckle.  Holy Diver was nowhere to be found amongst his calculated arsenal, and that had him nervous - though its' various blessings and divine powers wouldn't do much against an Angel-gened, the basic strength boost of the weapon would do him in good stead.  The elevator filled with the sounds of creaking leather and rattling as both he and Dash continued their pre-fight checks.

Dash looked over at Frank for a moment while checking his own oversized, custom-fitted jacket, unleashing the Big Boy bat and ensuring its' charges of kinetic energy were primed and ready.  His own favored brass knuckle-enhanced Artifact gauntlets were well-fitted and oiled, ready for the beating he was about to deliver.

Frank looked over at Dash while checking his own gear, then both stopped, locked eyes and looked up at the top of the elevator, both of them reacting at the same time at the tinny elevator muzak being piped in.  The Girl from Ipanima.  Dash shook his head with a muttered curse as Frank once again busied himself with his checks, frustrated at having left behind Holy Diver when both looked up again at the elevator speaker, then each other, each one trying to come up with a conversation starter.

"Uh, we're...uh, we're gonna whup some ass, yeah?"  The troll grinned nervously, straightening his gloves for the tenth time, pulling on the high-tension silver thread underlining.

"Yup.  All...once we get...up to fifty floors.  Yeap.  Gonna whup some ass, once we get up there," Frank double-checked his humongous six-shooter, Benediction, was filled and ready with its' special loads of silver bullets filled with blessed oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and silver shavings.

The Girl from Ipanima droned on as the elevator ascended, the two men eventually running out of things to do before the big fight and simply fidget.  From time to time Frank glared at Dash, and other times Dash glared at Frank while the other directed his glare elsewhere.  Eventually the troll coughed into an armored fist.

"Dude, is it me or is it hot in here?!"  Dash frowned at his own question.

"Nope.  It's pretty freakin' hot in here."

"Huh," the troll-man fidgeted as his human partner slipped his fists into his trench coat pockets and jingled the loose items in there about.  Dash wondered at what they were - from the sound of it it could either be loose silver shavings or coins.  For a moment his green eyes began to glow with a reddish glow as he grew increasingly frustrated at not knowing the source of the jingling sounds.

"Hey, dude," Frank, not realizing his friends' growing ire and frustration, spoke without taking his gaze away from the elevator doors, "You sure about this elevator?  I mean, it IS the private one, right?"

"Heeeey, man!"  Dash frowned at him, resisting the urge to bury his own oversized, inhuman hands in his jacket pockets, "My source is good, and we're in here aren't we?  I'd say my end of the bargain is good, yah?"

"Yeah, yeah, no doubt m'man," Frank chuckled, patting his afro with one hand while jangling whatever it was that was in his pockets.  What WAS that making that jangling sound?!  "And even better, we'll bypass most of the security.  With you handling the goons, I'll make the first strike against Karsiel and you can follow-up if I fail to do enough damage while he's still in human mode.  A good plan, bruddah, a good plan."

"'S just..." Hopkins glared at Frank's free hand as it once again buried itself into his trench coat pocket, the jingling-jangling sound doubled once again as the troll continued to talk, "Y'know...I think we're just too tensed up for this kind of thing.  I mean, this is a slow-assed elevator; shouldn't we be on the thirtieth floor by now?!"

"Naw, these kinda things are meant to make you relaxed and shit.  Presidential elevator onry, y'know?  The ambiance of the thing, all the red velvet and gold, and that song-"

"Okay, that does it.  That DOES it!"  Dash jabbed his finger into the emergency open button, his patience at an end and his desire to yell at Frank about the jangling too great, "I'm callin' it.  I'm takin' my damned ball and going home."

"Wait, you're going to what?"  Frank blinked, honestly puzzled at his friends' sudden change of heart.

As soon as the elevator doors opened, Dash immediately stepped off and turned around smartly, flipping Frank off, "Fuck this, I'm taking the stairs!  I've only got, what, ten more flights LEFT until the end, meet you there man."

As the doors closed, Frank groaned and pawed weakly at the air, "But...but...take me with you~!"

Kicking the door to the forty-eighth floor open, Dash blinked in surprise as a hallway full of guns bore down on him, his entire armored body covered in lights by the equally surprised guards and goons, all kitted and armored out with full riot gear.  To either side the hallway led into the rest of the forty-eighth floor, filled with what Dash could only see were bodies and cubicles.

Getting down onto one knee, he clasped his hands before him and looked up with beatific glory in his dark green eyes, he intoned loudly, "Oh, OH lord!  Thank you for this BOUNTIFUL feast I am about to receive!"

The guards, about to rush the troll-gened man instead fell back as Dash became a blur of motion, immediately springing into their midst with a crouching shoulder-rush, dropping one guard before grabbing a goon in a headlock, his arms and legs whirling and lashing out at all directions.  The guardsmen, packed as they were in the hallway, began to fall back but to no avail - Dash kept wading into the midst of a particular group to his left, keeping bodies between him and the other guardsmen who had succeeded in putting space between them.  Cackling with laughter, he slammed his elbow into his captive before whipping his fist into a nearby photo-copier, sending it flying after another target before hurtling his dazed prisoner at the second group, hounding at his heels as they were in the hopes of getting a clear shot.

"Yes, YES!  Gimme more, someone gimme someone to-GAH!" Dash roared as several men piled onto him from behind, their weight bringing him to one knee and forcing him to once again concentrate on the fight rather than merely enjoying it.  Growling, he considered activating the Girdle of Troll Strength as two more men sought to bring him down.

At the last moment he gave way completely before the brunt of the guardsmen, curling within himself, utilizing his greater flexibility and inhuman physique to gain purchase within the squirming mass of men before flicking fists and feet out, drawing them back into the troll ball he had made of himself, the super-close-range nature of the dogpile ensuring that his targets had no way to block or escape.

Rising from the mass of unconscious bodies, Hopkins felt the maglights of nightstick-bearing guards and laserlights of useless tranquilizer rifles pick him out of the darkened hallway, his eyes glowing with a reddened bloodlust made all the more terrifying by the moans of the bodies already piling up about him.

"Oh, oh YES!  The appetizers done...time for a bit o' that main course!"

Roaring, he rushed forward from a complete standstill, his trollish muscles catapulting him into the other group of guardsmen even as his hearing picked up the sounds of bootsteps on the stairs beyond.

Howard Montenegro's body floated in a graceful dance about the expansive office, taking up the entire fiftieth floor of the Brownstone Skyscraper.  He performed every dance he could think of that one with a human body could do, and throwing his body about, his limbs jangling in a vulgar display of celebration was all he could come up with.

He had won!  Against all odds, and in the name of God, had he won.

Karsiel smiled with Montenegros' face, panting as he reached out to touch a window, his eyes gazing out upon the blazing red horizon of Los Angeles.

"El Ciudad De Los's all mine.  Mine.  The prophecy of God, the foresight of has all led to this."

Karsiel turned and once again capered about, throwing himself this way and that, pouring his Angel-gened soul into his dance, heedless of the furniture he flung aside carelessly, knocking over an expensive vase as he made his way to the center of the office.

And stopped, cold, his entire being caught off guard for the first time since the dawn of his creation.

Frank Todd looked up from where he crouched in a runner's start, his fingertips pressed against the floor of the private elevator as the doors opened, murmuring aloud, "Time...stand still!"

For indeed, in the space between seconds time stood stock still, the angel's shocked expression frozen on Howard's face.  Todd's muscles bunched as he entered the first phase of the Overdrive, knowing he'd have to push it further than he'd ever done before.  The air shimmered about him from the exertion of his barely-held kinetic energy before he flung himself forward, the air pudding-thick as he struggled against it.  Leaving behind multiple after-images of himself, he continued to hurtle himself in a full-throttle run, putting every ounce of willpower, strength, and stamina behind it.

He had only one shot, and he HAD to make it count!

His after-images trailing behind him, Frank leapt over furnishings, the air growing heavier and his body already entering into the first state of both physical and psychic shock as he pushed the Overdrive further, getting closer to his target.  With a strange, delicate precision he hunkered down once he got within the angel's personal space, his arms forcing themselves forward to catch him as soon as his senses once again slowed down to normal time.

Outside the Brownstone Skyscraper a sonic boom rocked the fiftieth floor, exploding out from within and causing the entire glass wall to shatter and fragment, two forms hurtling out from within it to begin their deadly free-fall.  For a strange moment, Frank saw things as if from an outside perspective: the glass shattering, the tiny shards falling like rain to the ground as the two men careened out of the exploding skyscraper floor, heavy furniture and more flying in the wake of Frank's Overdrive-empowered suicide run.  He could see quite clearly Karsiel's look of supreme shock and fear, of defeat striking while one reveled in victory.  Frank himself was used to the feeling of failure, and it felt damned good to see it in the face of the angel, even if he WAS being manipulated.

Karsiel's eyes widened into saucers as he twisted this way and that as he fell, the power of gravity aided by Frank's kamikaze cannonball already taking hold.  Closing his eyes in order to force metamorphosis, he never had a chance to counter Frank's whip suddenly snaking around his ankle.

Frank snarled through his pain, feeding on his hatred of Karsiel's manipulation and Montenegro's imprisonment, his empathy amplified as it was by the Overdrive.  His biceps tearing through his trench coat, he reigned Karsiel in, keeping one hand on the pommel of his whip as he reached out with a gloved hand, grabbing Montenegro's hair before slamming the pommel of the whip into his face several times.

"IN THE NAME OF THE ANCIENT COVENANT AND BY THE WORD OF JEHOVAH, I ORDER YOU TO-OOF!"  Frank curled in on himself slightly as Karsiel brought a knee up sharply into his midsection, roaring back at Frank mindlessly as he sought to tear away from the whip, intent on activating his Monster Form.

"SINNER!  MORTAL!  KARSIEL DOES GODS' BIDDING, BLASPHEMER!  IN THE NAME OF GOD, I'LL DESTROY YOU!"  Frank screamed unashamedly as Karsiel grabbed him by the temple, emphasizing his psychic strike with physical touch as well.  The cutting waves of psionic energy, as sharp as any surgical knife, tore through most of Frank's defenses with the first surge itself.  He brought his knee up sharply into Karsiel's crotch, making a mental note to apologize to Howard later on even as he slashed out with his elbow in a close-range rap at his temple, breaking the hold and kicking him away only to reel him back in from another angle, the skyscraper speeding by at ever increasing velocity.

Twisting in mid-air despite the unbearable pain, with the skyscraper whizzing by Frank reeled Karsiel in close once again, bringing the ridge of his hammer-like fist down upon the angel-genes' collarbone, breaking it with a crunching noise lost in the wind.  Screaming, Karsiel writhed and tried to kick away only to be reeled in once again, the exorcist intent on keeping the battle as close as possible.

"Can't let him access his wings!  Can't let him get into Monster Form," Frank thought frantically as the angel-gened clawed at him.  Holding Karsiel at arm's length and using the advantage of his greater armspan, Frank began to hammer at the other man's face and neck, counting on the incredible regenerative capabilities of the activated Angel Genes to keep Montenegro's body living despite the lethality of his attacks.  Karsiel, for all that he was able to survive the various esophagus-crushing blows and bone-shattering hammer strikes, focused only on getting away, scratching and striking at Frank's arms, the very idea of calling upon his own empowered strength completely forgotten in the frenzy of the moment and the absurdity of the mid-air fight.  Frank, more sensing then seeing how far they had fallen by then, delivered his favorite attack and headbutted Karsiel directly in the middle of his face, stunning the angel completely limp.

Howard's head lolled slightly as Frank dragged him under himself, willing the Overdrive to activate to a new level, reinforcing the flexibility and suppleness of his body as he kicked off of Karsiel's chest, drawing his knees under himself and willing himself to only focus on his inner space, the street below already coming up at them with unbelievable speed.


Karsiel groaned as he got up and clutched at his already healing head, unwilling to believe that Frank had risked such a gambit to get to this point.  He glanced about the dim area and realized he was in one of the new underground subways that Brownstone had built under Los Angeles.  Gazing up at the massive, torn hole in the ceiling he realized that this was part of Frank's plan, using both the ground and Montenegro's body as a buffer in order to not only do an ungodly, amazing amount of damage but also to possibly survive.

If so, he apparently had not planned for his own death.  Karsiel chuckled weakly and staggered out of the rubble that lay strewn about him, seeking Frank's body for visual confirmation.  A man like that wasn't one to die so easily, and Karsiel wanted the pleasure of seeing his soul burn for this blasphemous trespass.

Frowning, he looked about once again, noting the tasteful chrome columns and the cleanliness of the area (despite the newly-made rubble and hole) with a small amount of pride before turning swiftly in reaction, the oncoming train's horn sounding clear enough to surprise him.

He then grunted in pain as a pair of booted feet slammed into the back of his head, sending him staggering onto the rails.  He looked up for a split second and saw Frank getting up from the missile drop-kick he had just landed, then all went black as the train hit him at full force.

Dash panted, as happy as he ever had since becoming a troll.  The entire forty-eighth level, a series of interlocking cubicles and offices, now lay in ruin, bodies strewn about in various poses of unconsciousness, concussion, or wracked with pain, clutching at broken limbs or limping and crawling to get away from the carnage.  Dash patted the Big Boy bat, its' charges already expended, against his leg and caught his breath for a moment after the wonderful exertion.

The troll-gened creature cast a baleful, red-glowing eye at his work and chuckled wickedly.

Oh.  Oh baby.  Was it GOOD!

"So what, no more?" He growled at a nearby guard, still conscious despite having both his arms shattered in the trolls' cruel grip, "Is 1that really all ya got?  I mean...are you this bad, or am I just THAT good?!"

He began to race towards the hallway that would take him back to the stairs and the elevator, only to hear more bootsteps echoing in the stairwell.  Growling at himself, he decided to head upstairs and check on the fiftieth level first, wondering at the battle between Frank and the powerful Karsiel.

"Bet he's havin' the time of his life~!"


  1. HOLY FUCKING SHIT, DUDE!!! It's like Hellblazer and Hellboy all rolled into one! Find yourself a comic book artist and you've got yourself a graphic novel! Nice! :) ♥

    1. He already has a friend who draws I am trying to get them to work together on turning it into a Graphic lets see if we can get him to say yes to it :)

    2. @Jeanne - My biggest issue is that The Generalist comes off as the Dresden Files or a Kim Harrison witch novel, only with more "Puts His Fist Through It" than those stories. Of course it follows the real life stuff, and that's pretty much how I dealt with everything back in California.

      Magus chanting something? Put my fist into his gob. Psionic trying to do something that makes your brain itch? Put my fist into his gob. A dark witch (not a Wiccan, naturally) trying to hex me? Find them, put my fist in their gob mid-ritual. The Roscrucians trying something strange? Repel their shit, find them, put my fist in their collective gob.

      When Frank does it though, seems a lot cooler to me. <3

      @Beth - lol we already talked about that. XD I gotta write the series first though...we'll see, we'll see~!

  2. @ Elizabeth - Excellent! You go, girl! Yes, lets ride his sexy ass!

    @ Bazza - "Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal" - Pablo Picasso. "There's nothing new under the sun" - King Solomon.

    My point? Take what's out there and make it yours! Put your fist through its gob, baby! YEAH!!! :)

  3. Uh fucking tizight! Dude, this had me riveted. Usually I get lost or confused on a description and have to reread something and the act become laborious but this, THIS! I was right there with it man. Even when I skipped a bit here and there I was right on the beat.

    1. Thanks bro! Yeah I'm almost done with the reason why I haven't hung out at Shittychat or posted up as much as I usually do since returning to Bellingham - The Generalist, Taboo 0: Cliche of Memories (parts 1-4). I'm already done with parts 1 and 2, almost done with 4 and need to edit the last two parts before I post up.

      Plus I'm doing it all from Frank's point of view, which is hard as fuck for me since what you see here (third party omniscient) is my usual method of writing anything larger than a poem/novella.

      Plus I really REALLY wanted to finish the short story the same way I started it - I start it from Frank's perspective waking up in a bathtub full of blood, and it kinda goes from there. Since I didn't wanna re-do the intro, I just kept it. 'Sides, according to my test readers it's a great way of introducing people to the series.

      As is, there IS some hardcore exposition in the third part (hard. core. exposition.), it's all pretty freakin' shway thus far, y'knowwhatImean?


    2. Dude that shit was sick!! Total V for Vendetta in the last fight scene style of combat with touches for DBZ for good measure. Crazy awesome. Lemme know when I can see a finished product. I wanna know how Howard got his mechanical state.

    3. Mechanical? And bro, I gotta point out - this was a snippet, y'know? Like, Taboo 2 or 3, and right now I'm just doin' Taboo 0 as a short story. >XD

      I still don't know what I really ultimately wanna do with The Generalist...a series of short stories, like I originally thought? An actual full-blown series (only up to a certain point though)? A series of novellas, like a middle-of-the-road compromise?

      I honestly don't know right now.

      DUDE, speakin' about artists (you reminded me), Ace did an amazing shot of Dash in Maximum Troll mode.

      HOOOOREE SHEEEEEEIT, fuckin' awesome gears mang! Once we can get this shit scanned in, you'll see what I mean. :D Just outta the blue...and holy shit, once I pop all four parts of Taboo 0 up, I think the gearheads are REALLY gonna enjoy The Roadbuster, their car.

      Rhonda F. Buster-Hopkins, a.k.a. The Roadbuster. I don't wanna give away too much, but the fact that it's a Mustang will only tell you so much.

      The rest...ohhhhhh boy. I'm not even a car guy, and I want her. Badly.