The farrier accordingly brought a pan of charcoal, a pair of bellows, and some small skewers: when they were red hot, I was placed on the ground flat on my facer, and then, wth great solemnity, my back was seared wth the burning iron, whilst all the bystanders, at every touch, exclaimed, with great earnestness, "Khoda shefa midehed," God gives relief.

At length, when I came to myself, I found myself seated with my head against the wall on the side of the road, surrounded by a crowd gaping a my miserable situation. No one seemed to pity me. My pipes, my jug, and everything that I possessed, had been taken from me, and I was left to crawl to my home as well as I was able. Luckily it was not far off, and I reached it on my hands and knees, making the most piteous moans imaginable.

This story has a bit of history behind it.

And a challenge to myself.

I wrote this in the first person narrative, which is something that I have never done before. I wanted to see if I could pull it off, and I do believe that I did so successfully.

Secondly it was written as a favor to a friend, Col. Oliver S. Cass. He wrote a manual for Skirmisher publishing called USSMC FM 7-22: Space Boarding Operations.

We met and spoke about this book when I was at Comicpalooza in 2015 and he expressed interest in supporting the book with stories or novels.

I wrote this as a test to see if this is what he was looking for, and as it turns out, it is.

So expect to see more stories or possibly a novel in the future.

I hope you enjoy this little futuristic military romp!

I am the son of the Luti Bashi by a celebrated courtezan of the name of Taous, or the Peacock. With such parents, I leave you to imagine the education which I received. My principal associates, during my infancy, were the monkeys and bears that belonged to my father and his friends, and, perhaps, it is to the numerous tricks in which they were instructed, and to the facility with which they learnt them, that I am indebted for the talent of mimicry that has been of so much use to me through life.

My tobacco was of various sorts -- Tabas, Shiraz, Susa, and Damascus. It is true that I was not very scrupulous about giving it pure; for with a very small quantity of the genuine leaf I managed to make a large store, with the assistance of different sorts of dungs. I had a great tact in discovering amongst my customers the real connoisseur, and to him I gave it almost genuine. My whole profits, in fact, depended upon my discrimination of characters.

For the record I do not care for Fan Fiction.

I started writing fan fiction many, many years ago, but quickly learned that I would much rather create my own worlds, my own characters and bring them to life rather than dabble in other people's worlds.

As my skill grew, I moved further and further away from writing fan fiction, until at last I gave up writing that sort of material altogether.

Recently however, I have had a change of heart.

I will be writing the occasional fan fiction. I certainly will not write as much as I did nearly 20 years ago, but I will throw together the occasional tale.

Why?

Well, consider it a tribute to authors I really enjoy, or movies that I like and so on.

After all, 'The Argument' was in fact a cross over fan fiction (albeit one written as a comedy and as a gift!)

This story is written as a tribute to my favorite author, Jonathan Maberry. I had a chance to meet this man in Houston last year at Comicpalooza and if it wasn't for his encouragement, I wouldn't be re-writing my zombie novels in hopes of finding an agent and getting them published.

This story takes place when Joe Ledger was still a cop working for the Baltimore PD, who runs into a young man with issues. It then jumps forward and the story continues with the events that take place in the novel 'Code Zero'.

I certainly hope you enjoy this fan fiction!

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