Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 4

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Part 4: An Emu Goes to The Market

They stood hugging for what felt like a long time. Sophia didn’t know what else to do to comfort him. In their little ship in the middle of an asteroid field that was once his home, all she could do was hug him back. The more she tried to avoid thinking about her body being against his the more she noticed how shapely he was. Under his slightly loose clothing, he was in very good condition.

An alarm pulled her out of her thoughts.

She sat back down at the navigation controls and saw that there was another ship coming towards them. “That ship has its weapons aimed at us.” It was big, at ten times the size of their ship.

“I don’t understand. That’s a royal cruiser,” Phil’s red teary eyes looked at the ship in utter confusion.

“That’s a cruiser? I’d hate to see a battleship.” She hit a few buttons on the control panel and said, “Royal Cruiser. This is the Phillip Two. We are unarmed please advise.” She’d meant to ask why it was the Phillip-Two and what had happened to the first. In the stories she’d read there were ten different ways the first had been destroyed.

“Phillip-Two, you are in a stolen royal yacht. Lower your shields and prepare for boarding.”

Looking up at the Prince, she waited for him to say something. When he didn’t she said, “They think I stole your ship. What do you want to do?”

“Um… I guess we surrender?”

Shaking her head, she said to him, “Are you sure? They could just as easily shoot us when our shields go down.”

He opened his mouth and nothing came out. Before he could say anything the cruiser hailed them again, “In the name of his highness Abernathy First of his name and rightful ruler of the galaxy, lower your shields.”

Without hesitation, she pushed them back into hyperspace. Once again without coordinates but this time she knew she could change them as they travelled.

“We’re running? Why are we running?” Phil’s voice became shrill and his eyes tried their best to imitate a kicked puppy’s.

“Abernathy isn’t one of your siblings and the only Abernathy in the stories was a rich mining tycoon. I had a bad feeling about them.”

His eyes widened and he just stared at her. Finally he yelled, “You just turned us into fugitives!”

“Better than dead!” she yelled back.

“WARK! WARK!” yelled Hagrid.

Both Sophia and Phil jumped and turned to the door. Hagrid was swaying left and right and making choking noises. Eventually he just gagged and spit up a large ball of feathers and something electronic.

“That’s the tracker.” Phil bent down and picked it up wiping it off on his jeans. “We have the tracker. I know someone who can help us. We need to get to The Market.”

She gave him a disdainful look and waited for him to tell her where it was.

“Oh right it’s um… the ship should know.” She searched the database and found that it wasn’t on a planet, it was an entire solar system. Twelve planets, three hundred moons, and several floating ships. It was immense. “Thank you for saving our lives.”

“My pleasure. I like being alive. I hate to be practical when our lives are being threatened ever five minutes but we need fuel and food. Hagrid has eaten most of what was here before and you’ve eaten all the cereal I brought.”

“We’ll be able to get everything we need at The Market.”

* * *

“We need the moon called Shimerman.” The moon was located closest to the sun and the databanks said it was one of the roughest places in The Market.

“Do you have any weapons?” Sophia asked as the were getting ready to go.

“No and if I did, I’d leave them behind. There’s only two laws on Shimerman and the first is that if you want to kill someone you do it with your fists.”

“What’s the second?”

“Don’t piss off Little Sister.”

“Who?”

He reached for the button that opened the airlock and looked at Hagrid. He opened his mouth like he was going to ask a question and then closed it and shook his head. “She runs the place. We’re not going anywhere near her.”

There was something thrilling about stepping off the ship onto an alien moon. She was less thrilled when she noticed the rest of the shoppers. They were human, or at least human looking. They were different shades of brown, pink and beige but they could all be from different places on earth. Where they differed was the style of clothing, tattoo, and piercings.

The entire planet looked like a bad Blade Runner rip off. It was the grimy future that eighties movies loved.

Part way to their destination Hagrid made a strange whistling noise and walked away from them in the wrong direction. Phil looked like he was going to try and stop the bird but didn’t. Sophia wasn’t worried, she’d placed a short-range tracker on him. Hopefully he’d stay out of trouble.

They were going was a little shop called Buck’s. The owner, who she assumed was called Buck, sat in the back of a large room that looked vaguely like a trash yard, if everything in the yard had a little tag with a price.

“You, My Friend are supposed to be dead!”

Buck and Phil hugged a quickly and awkwardly. The hug of people who’d once been close but now didn’t know what was acceptable.

“Not yet but someone is trying hard. I took this tracker off my hull it was laced with explosives.” When Buck gave him a sceptical look he added, “Ok well… she took it off. Can you tell me who’s tech this is?”

Buck took the tracker and looked at if for a little before getting an eyepiece that looked like the ones jewelers used. After what felt like years he said, “You really don’t know?”

“No I don’t. Who’s tech is it?”

“It’s Galactic Royal Tech.” Buck paused frowning. “This has your sisters royal signature all over it. Your sister was trying to kill you.”


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 3

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2

Part 3: An Emu Takes a Nap

“At least your emu’s suit is still tethered to the ship,” Phil said, running a hand through his hair.

Sometimes when odd things happened to Sophia, she tried not to think about them until her brain, like a browser with too many tabs open, crashed. She’d managed to accept and push back that they were in space going faster than the speed of light. She’d even managed to accept that she was on this ship with the dreamy character from the ship’s stories.

Seeing Hagrid floating outside of the ship, wearing a spacesuit, and flopping around, was just a little to far for her. She sat down on the ground and said, “Gah!” a little too loudly.

The Prince jumped up and alternated his gaze from her to the space walking emu. His wide eyes and head movements meant he was having the same sort of mental freeze or he was replaying a particularly traumatic ping-pong game.

The two of them contemplated the farce that had become their day when Prince Phil looked out the window and said, “What the hell is that? That’s not part of my ship.” Then looking at Sophia he asked, “Did you put that there?”

She stood up shook her head clear and looked out the portal. Ignoring Hagrid flopping around, she looked for what Phil was pointing at. It was a small grayish box with a blinking purple light. “No, what is it?”

“I don’t know but your bird is going straight for it.”

Hagrid’s flailing turned to flouncing and suddenly he moved with purpose. He reached the place where the box was and started trying to peck at it. Since his head was in a spacesuit helmet it just looked like he was headbutting the ship. His head hit the ship, but the momentum of the hit pushed his entire body away from it.

His mask stuck onto the device and the rest of him just floated there like a disturbing and misshapen space accident.

“He’s still tethered,” she said, reaching for the controls to reel him in.

“I already said that.”

“Sorry, I have breakdown.”

Reeling him in was much easier than she’d expected. He just stayed there and didn’t move.

Once the emu was in the airlock and the air had been pumped back in, Phil opened the hatch and took a tentative step inside before turning to her and saying, “You may want to be the one to come in first… it’s a very large bird.”

Hagrid, however, offered no resistance to them taking the suit off. Once it was off, he gave a happy chirp and wobbled out of the airlock.

“It’s a good thing I have spare suits… this one is completely ruined.” His eyes widened as he picked up the helmet. “Holy nebulas! The thing is in the mask.”

The small box had embedded itself in the mask. It took her a little work and the right tools to take it out. “So engineering girl, what is it?”

She was about to tell him she didn’t know, but decided to see if there was some sort of transmission coming from it. It did. “It’s a tracking beacon!” she exclaimed in English.

“What barbaric language is that?” The Prince asked his mouth frowning as if he’d eaten something disgusting.

“English. The box is sending signal. Someone following us.” She grabbed a hammer and was about to smash it, but he picked it up and looked at it.

“I’ve never seen this tech… Can you tell where it’s sending information?”

“It send everywhere.”

“Oh… can you disable it without destroying it?”

Nodding she took the box and started studying it. The ship had sensors that let her see inside the box and she took her time trying to understand how it worked. Phil was right that it didn’t look like it was made by the same people as his ship.

Her study and tinkering took several hours. Eventually she figured out how to sever a small wire to stop it from transmitting.

When she was done, she looked up to see that both Phil and Hagrid had left her in the engine room. She found them in the small kitchen where Phil was eating something that looked like cereal and Hagrid was asleep in the corner, his head under his wing.

“Did you do it?” Phil asked, almost knocking over the bowl of cereal.

“Yes. It is disabled.” She gave it to him and went to the food replicator and ordered a muffin. When she turned around, Phil was gone and Hagrid was snoring.

Phil was on the bridge and looked really upset. “Why aren’t we there yet?”

Looking at the instruments she replied, “We are. We circle coordinates until we have exit coordinates.” Without a safe place to exit they could appear next to a ship or inside a planet.

Pulling up the map, Phil pointed at a place slightly out of the way of this solar systems fourth planet. She punched in the coordinates and they dropped out of hyperspace.

Scanning around she looked back at Phil and asked, “Are you sure this home? No radio signals or signs of life.”

She looked back at the large view screen in time too see that the planet was surrounded by a halo of metal debris. A large asteroid flew by them and the proximity alarms started going nuts.

“We are in an asteroid field,” she told Phil.

“That’s not possible. Where are the stations? Where are the ships? Where’s Innas?”

“There is too much things. We must go back to hyperspace.” She pushed a few buttons and lacking any idea where to go, she headed back to Earth.

They said nothing for a little while and finally Phil said, “There should have been people… how could this happen? My home is destroyed. My family is gone…”

She could think of nothing else to say, so she stood up and gave him a hug.


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 2

2017-serial-story

Part 1

Part 2: An Emu in SPACE!

“What you’ve done is launch us into hyperspace with no exit coordinates.” The Prince sat up from his glass coffin and shook his head. “Now who the hell are you and what are you doing on my ship?”

Sophia just stared at him. He was just as handsome as the stories had described. His black hair contrasted with his pale skin and he had a lopsided grin that made her feel weak. His words made sense to her, but he spoke much faster than the computer had when she’d been learning his language.

“I Sophia. You Prince. Me fix ship.”

“You speak galactic standard? But I landed on Sol-oh-three. There’s never been contact with that disturbing branch of humanity.” He looked scared and angry, and he awkwardly hopped out of the coffin almost falling on his face. “Who the hell are you and where are you taking me?”

There was an arm lengths distance between them but somehow Hagrid managed to stuff his girth between them. He squawked at the Prince, his head bobbing in every possible direction, like a helium balloon in a storm.

Jumping back, the Prince said a string of words that she didn’t understand but were obviously curses. “What is that thing?” His hands raised up in an awkward defensive posture.

“Hagrid. Down boy,” she told her Emu sternly. To her great surprise, he listened to her. Possibly for the first time. “This Hagrid, he’s an Emu.”

Apparently happy that she was safe, Hagrid, the picture of poise, bobbed towards the exit and slipped, falling to his side, and then jumping back up with a low, “Wark!”

“Is he your protector? I’ve never encountered an Emu but he looks a lot like a Manu.” When she didn’t say anything, he added, “Large flightless bird body guards. Hyper intelligent and ridiculously graceful.”

Laughing she replied, “Hyper? Yes. Intelligent; graceful? No.”

“Yeah.” He joined in with the laughter before adding, “Sorry for coming off so harshly. Before I went into cryosleep I was being chased by someone bent on killing me.”

Blushing despite herself, she said, “It’s okay. How long you sleep?”

Shrugging he walked over to a computer terminal and looked at the screen. She was about to interrupt him when he turned and said, “Twenty of your years.” He paused and asked, “Where are you taking me?”

“I accidentally pressed buttons. You tell me.” She was doing her best to match his wording and structure. The language was simple but had a few quirks that confused her. She was proud at the progress she was already making.

“How would I know? I just press where I want to go. This is only giving me coordinates and that means nothing to me.”

She shook her head; he sounded just like her father. He couldn’t figure out where he was without the GPS on his phone. “Coordinates are based off galaxy centre and the galaxy as seen from above. Using four digits representing; Quadrant, Depth, Horizontal axis, and Vertical axis.” She said it exactly the way the computer had pronounced it. Going to the navigation computer she added, “Combine with the map, we go to planet called Centuras Prime.”

“Oh thank goodness. We’re going home. Centuras Prime is the seat of the Galactic Queen. My sister.”

Nodding was the only thing Sophia could think of doing. The two looked at each other in an awkward silence that was thankfully interrupted by the ship’s alarm.

“Warning! Explosives detected on outer hull,” the voice of the computer said with the calm of someone who stopped caring a long time ago.

The Prince’s face went paler then normal and he slumped in the chair he was sitting in.

“Prince. Stay here. I go fix.” She knew this ship back and forth. She knew that in case of something getting stuck to the hull, the ship had small drones that could clear it off.

Part way to the engineering room, Sophia noticed that the Prince was following her. When she turned to him he shrugged and said, “I’d rather not be alone right now.”

“You the Prince,” She replied without turning.

“Please stop calling me that. My name is Phillip. Call me Phil.”

The ship was right and there was a bomb placed on the outside of the hull. It was just over the nacelles of the ship. If the bomb went off, it would create a reaction in the nacelles and then the engine that would not only blow up the ship, but cause an explosion that half the quadrant would see.

“Do you know anything about bombs?” Sophia asked.

“They explode?” Phil replied. This was the suave heartthrob from the stories she’d read so much about? He wasn’t living up to her expectations.

Picking up a drone that looked like it had a large shovel on the front of it she put it on a work table and started making changes. After twenty minutes of work, Phil asked, “What are you doing?”

“Changing drone.”

“Is it really a great time to be tinkering?”

Picking up the drone, she brought it to the airlock and prepared to open the outer doors. When she was comfortably sitting at the control panel she explained, “Drone is going to take bomb off ship.”

“But–”

She cut him off with a hand gesture. “Ship is inside Hyperspace bubble. Inside bubble ship moving slow. Outside bubble moving fast. If we can take bomb off ship and out of bubble, it blow up too far to hurt us.”

“What if it blow up right after you touch it with that thing?”

“We use drone like spatula. It have thrusters that push away from ship and scoop bomb. At worst it might redirect blast.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” He asked his eyes wide in either fear or admiration. Sophia wasn’t sure. She gave him a look that she hoped was universal in saying, “Duh!” and continued to maneuver the drone.

Both of them held their breath as her hands flew over the controls. A small screen on the panel showed a video from the drone. Her plan worked perfectly and she lost contact with the drone.

They both waited, and after a few seconds sighed as the ship said, “Detonation at eight light years aft of the ship.”

“That was brilliant,” Phil said, his hands shaking.

She was debating giving him a victory hug when a loud boom echoed through the room. Running to the porthole, they looked out to see Hagrid flapping his useless wings inside the floppy arms of a humanoid shaped space suit.

“How did he get out there?” Sophia asked.

“How did he get into a spacesuit?” asked Phil.


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 1

2017-serial-story

Part 1: An Emu in the Cold

“For the last time, no! You’re not going away to any fancy school. You’re staying here!” Sophia’s father’s words rang in her ears as she chased Hagrid through the snow-covered fields.

“Emus are supposed to hate the cold!” she yelled at the idiot bird. The snow was up to her knees and was falling fast enough that the emu’s tracks were getting harder and harder to follow.

Of course, her father was right. Without her, who would fix the farm’s equipment and computers? They’d have to start paying for replacements and the new school, and that was ridiculous.

She was so concentrated on Hagrid’s tracks and her own thoughts that she had gotten completely lost. It wasn’t hard getting lost in a snowstorm when you couldn’t see your hands in front of your face. I wasn’t snowing that hard but the wind was strong, blowing the snow everywhere and biting through her coat.

“Fine! Freeze out here, you stupid bird!” she yelled and turned to head back the way she’d come. At least, she hoped it was the way she’d come; her tracks were gone. The world was a constantly shifting curtain of white in every direction.

She’d take two steps when she heard the tell tale grunting of Hagrid. She didn’t have many choices and decided to follow him. She caught up to him and he bobbed side to side, his head going in the opposite direction of his body. He gave another grunt and pecked at her playfully before turning around and running away again.

When she lost sight of him again he would grunt and come back to her, like he was leading her somewhere. “It better be home,” she mumbled.

It wasn’t home; it was a small cave entrance that barely fit a full-grown emu and a twelve year old girl. The cave itself wasn’t much bigger and offered so little protection from the wind that she tried to leave. Hagrid wouldn’t have any of it and pecked.

In trying to avoid another emu bruise, she fell back and hit the wall. She landed with a thump but it was followed by an odd swishing noise and a smell like old books.

Looking at the wall, Sophia found that it had opened into a doorway. There was no inner struggle; her curiosity pushed her through the door metaphorically, while Hagrid pushed her literally.

Dim lights turned on and the door closed. The smell of dust being heated came with blissfully warm air. “Where are we?” she asked Hagrid. He responded by bobbing his head excitedly and shaking his feathers.

The walls seemed to glow on their own and several colours flashed over another door. The flashes were accompanied by weird symbols. Sounds came from all around them and Hagrid ducked his head looking around.

The voice was calm and monotone, reminding Sophia of the pre-recorded voices on the subway in Toronto. She assumed the voice was giving her some sort of information and she walked towards the door. It slid into the wall with a hiss the way doors in Star Trek, or at the Timmins Square, did.

One door led to another and she walked for a good twenty minutes following the lights and unknown language. She tried a few times to enter doors that didn’t have the lights and they never opened for her. She saw plenty of corridors, but she knew she was at her destination when she walked into a room that had all sorts of knobs, buttons, and a computer screen.

The screen showed symbols, colours, and patterns she didn’t recognize. One of the screens had the solar system, another had dots that looked like her math homework, and another had shapes.

When the storm cleared, she brought Hagrid home, but every day she found her way back to the cave. Slowly over time, with the help of the computer, she learned its language. When she’d mastered the basics, she found a folder of stories. Slowly she learned to read them. They were all stories about a Prince. They described him as tall, strong, handsome, and a little awkward. Each story was different and often they contradicted themselves. Some had the Prince in intimate situations.

When she graduated high school, she was fluent in the language and had re-read the stories multiple times. She also used it to teach herself about the ship, because that’s what it was; a starship from a distant world.

As she attended the local college for automotive and computer repair, she learned about star drives and how to repair the ship. By the time she was twenty-two she was certain she’d repaired the ship to almost new. She’d had to invent or manufacture several parts, but she’d managed to fix it.

Despite her ten years of work and exploration, there was one room the ship had never let her see; the bridge. When she was confident she’d finished repairs, she forced the computer to open the door.

The bridge looked like the cockpit of a plane but was the size of a small meeting room. There were four workstations and lots of computer screens, including a view screen. She’d studied the plans before going in but there was something extra that hadn’t been in the plans.

A flat table was at the back of the room. The tablecloth on it had the Prince’s seal which made her heart beat a little faster. She went over to the table to get a better look and saw that it wasn’t a table at all, but some sort of coffin. Inside, the beautiful face of the prince looked like it was sleeping.

Putting a hand on the coffin, she wondered what had happened. A grunt and squawk from behind her made her jump, pushing on the coffin.

“Hagrid, what are you doing here?” she asked the now old, but still troublesome, emu.

Recovering from her shock, she turned back to the coffin and found the cover open and the prince sitting up. He stared at her with unseeing eyes and she did the only sensible thing and screamed. As she fell backwards onto one of the workstations, she heard the engines start.

“Oh no,” she said in the alien language she’d taught herself, “what have I done?”

Results: 2017 Serial Story – You Vote, I Write

2017-serial-story

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last month I announced that this year’s serial story would be decided by your votes. I received 14 different voters and this year’s serial story will be:

A Science-Fiction Romance combined with a Comedy Fantasy. It will be told in the third person, will have 2 or 3 main characters who are human, must overcome some sort of Person VS Nature conflict, and there will be no time travel.

2017-serial-story

Database of the Ageless Kings

On a small emu farm in Northern-Ontario, Sophia, a twelve year old emu farmer, dreams of seeing the world. When she chases the escaped Hagrid (a particularly bad tempered emu) through a snowstorm, she gets lost and must seek shelter in a cave. However, this isn’t a normal cave but the crashed starship of the last Prince of the Galaxy.

She spends the next ten years visiting the ship, reading the royal fanfictions about the Prince, and slowly repairing the ship.

Things get interesting when, startled from finding the Prince in cryostasis, she accidentally launches the ship into hyperspace.

Look for Part 1: An Emu in the Cold, on January 17th.

Thank you for all your help,
Éric

Cait Gordon

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Cait (pronounced Cat) Gordon (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. She is a science fiction/fantasy author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and she seriously loves desserts! She’s a fantastic person to talk to, and has a great Irish accent that gets more pronounced when she’s excited. You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Melissa Yi

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity the meet some incredible people. Melissa Yi (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is an M.D. and author, and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Derek Newman-Stille

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity to meet some incredible people. Derek Newman-Stille (Twitter) is one of those. On top of being a bad-ass secret monster, a PhD candidate, reviewer, editor, and artist, he runs the five-time Aurora Award winning website Speculating Canada!

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Can-Con (No Dragon Sightings)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Dragon is taking her time so I’m back at work this week (until I get the call, text, etc.) That means the super awesome story I have planned for you will have to wait for Thursday. It will hopefully not be postponed again.

This past weekend, despite being Dragon’s due date, we decided to get a table at Can-Con. It’s our favourite convention and is totally awesome.

Can-Con

One of the highlights of my weekend was selling coffee to authors I respect. It makes me feel all fan-boyish. The other was seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Can-Con people rock.

Not wanting to be too far away from Dragon, or the table, I only got to see one panel and give my first reading.

The panel I went to was about antagonists, it was incredibly interesting. The panelists were great (as usual).

Next year I plan on being on more panels. (I was asked but didn’t want to risk the chance of a Dragon hatching pulling me away).

THANK YOU!

To all the organizers, panelists, volunteers, vendors, and visitors to Can-Con; thank you so much for making it another great convention. I look forward to doing it again next year!

We’d both like to thank everyone who made sure Jen was ok and checked in on her throughout the weekend. You made her and I feel extremely loved and cared for!

My Reading

Taken by Madona Skaff
Taken by Madona Skaff

The reading was a lot of fun. Cait Gordon is a spectacular performer, Madona Skaff was fantastic, and Caroline Fréchette gave an impressive reading despite having bronchitis.

I learnt an important lesson about reading. Double check the passage before you read it. I just chose a random one and went for it, but didn’t account for how much extra set-up I needed. Seriously, I think I chose the part with the most characters in the entire book. I was sweaty, mumbling, and awkward, but people said I did okay. Next time I’ll prepare a little more.

Speaking of next time…

Mega-Multi-Author Launch!

This October 29th, Jen, I, and 6 other fantastic authors will be launching books and a game. It’ll be amazing. There are prizes, readings, food, and costumes!

There will probably be a baby Dragon there, in an adorable costume. (She’ll hatch by then right?)

This is the best place to get my book and some of my favourite reads from the past few years.

That’s it for now.

 

I’ll either be writing a new post on Thursday or you’ll get a story as I cuddle a Dragon.

Later Days!

Éric

 

Reading Bites

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Somehow I missed posting the pictures from Can-Con 2015! This is one of our absolute favourite conventions of the year, which is kinda obvious if you know that our due date coincides with their convention THIS year. (Sept 9-11) Seriously, go check them out and then buy a ticket. The writing community of Ottawa is incredible.

A red shirt, author Éric Desmarais (Follow him on Facebook, his blog, sign up for his newsletter through his website, and buy his book here) is about to get bitten by a vampire, author S. M. Carrière (Follow her on Facebook, her blog, sign up for her newsletter through her website, and buy her books here) and is pleading for the Doctor to help!

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