The annual Suvudu Science Fiction and Fantasy character cagematch is live and voting is now open.
In round one, our intrepid, semi-divine, shade priest, assassin, and all around bald embodiment of badassery, Erevis Cale (of my Erevis Cale novels) brings his magic-absorbing sword, Weaveshear, to bear against a worthy adversary.
Juan, “Johnny,” Rico, from Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, is an elite soldier who rose through the ranks of the renowned Mobile Infantry to command his own unit, Rico’s Roughnecks. Like all MI soldiers, he drops onto hostile worlds clad in the powered armor of the MI, hoping to survive long enough for a dropship pickup.
So, how do I think this showdown will go? Well, Suvudu has posted my account of this meeting, but I’ll post the opening bit here (told at the opening from Johnny’s POV).
Then please follow the link on over to Suvudu and vote. I’d love to see Cale continue on for a round or three. Writing these cagematch showdowns is serious fun.
A retrieval mission. That’s what the brass called it.
A dimensional vortex. That’s what the eggheads in Strategic Studies called it.
Lover’s Leap. That’s what the MI grunts called it, after some ancient Terran legend about a cliff from which people jumped to their deaths, hand in hand.
I didn’t much care for that last, but Mobile Infantry troopers had a peculiar sense of humor.
I’d seen images of the rift in the command briefings—a twenty klick slit in the universe that breathed clouds of shadow into space. Probes showed breathable air on the other side, the hint of a landmass, but invariably the probes lasted only a short time before going silent.
Same with the squad that had gone through two weeks ago.
Command had asked for volunteers. I’d stepped up, of course, and so had five of my men. Warm or cold, our fellow troopers were coming back. MI left none behind, not ever.
Besides, the energy readings on the other side of the rift…even the eggheads couldn’t make sense of them. There was something in the air on the other side, something dangerous, something WeapDev could use against the bugs, if it could be harnessed.
Continue reading over at Suvudu and don’t forget to vote.