Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Off-Season Fantasy Football! Oh, and some updates.

With the NFL season already halfway over, I'm becoming ever more wary of what I'll have left to look forward to post football. The universe-shattering hits, games that are determined by mere millimeters, the excitement of a fourth and 1, and above all else, fantasy football. That's why I've taken it upon myself to invent something football fans can look forward to during the off-season:

Off-Season Fantasy Football!

But Chiz, how is it suppose to work?
It's very simple. The draft is composed similar to a regular fantasy draft. You choose players that you believe have the most redeeming qualities. However, instead of tracking their stats in turns of yardage and TDs, you'll track how well your players perform in the real world. Here's a list of examples of how the scoring system will work:

-Player donates to charity (3pts.)
-Player endorces a worthy cause (2pts.)
-Player participates in any variation of Make-A-Wish (2pts.)
-Player appears in a commercial that is actually worth a chuckle (1pt.)
-Player makes a funny guest appearance on a television show (1pt.)

-Player makes an absolutely unlaughable commercial that's so unbearable that it contains the capacity to ruin your entire day (-1pt.)
-Player uses racist/homophobic slur (-1pt.)
-Player sleeps with a pornstar (-1pt.)
-Player goes bankrupt (-2pts.)
-Player appears on a reality television show (-2pts.)
-Player shoots someone in the leg (-3pts.)
-Player shoots himself in the leg (-4pts.)
-Player headbutts his wife (-5pts.)
-Player runs a dogfighting compound in their backyard (-7pts.)
-Player accused of raping someone in a bathroom stall (-20pts.)
-Player appears on Dancing With the Stars (Automatic Loss)

It's a work in progress, but I think with enough dedication, I can actually get this thing off the ground and gain a massive following. If you have any further ideas that may enhance this project, fire away!

In Other News

As most of you know, I’m thinking about starting up a new blog/website (read the last post if you're uninformed). I drew up a few characters for your viewing pleasure (Carl not included, though I have a draft of how he’ll look):

(See if you can match the character to the corresponding Sin)

I drew the characters on Paint.Net which I’m still not all that familiar with so excuse the bumpiness of the drawings. And before you ask, I don't know why they have button eyes.

Anyway, I’m still not exactly sure what it is I want to do. So I’m going to lay out a few option and you guys can vote on which sounds best/most feasible.

Option 1:

Use the blog as Carl’s personal journal where he muses about life and/or current event where the varying 7 deadly sins input their opinions. It’ll essentially be like a verbose comic strip without cool pictures.

Option 2:

Use the blog as Carl’s personal journal, except have only one of the 7 deadly sins features per post. For instance, if Carl is being passive about an aggravating situation, have Wrath evoke some sort of violent response out of him.

Option 3:

Rent out a domain and ditch the Carl idea, essentially making a universal blog. In other words, use each of the 7 deadly sins as links to sections of the catering to certain subjects.
For example,
Gluttony: Food/Dining
Lust: Fashion
Envy: Cool electronics/devices
Greed: Economics
Wrath: Sports
Pride: Self help
Sloth: Video games/Entertainment
(Will require additional writers)

Option 4:

Make it an advice blog where people submit questions and get advice according to the 7 deadly sins. (May require additional writers).

Those are just a few options, and I’m up to any suggestions you may have.

In other other news, somehow Sandy didn’t affect my town all that much. My girlfriend’s car was serial crushed by two trees, and I’m miraculously sitting here with everything still intact.

Also, my offer on a condo was approved today. Woo!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Possibly a New Blog

Are y'all excited for another one of my unfunny posts?!

Anyway, I've been playing around with the idea of starting a new blog because--as much as I hate to admit it--Chiz Chat is getting a bit dull as I'm sure many of you would agree. But don't worry! This is just an idea. As many of you know, ideas have the potential to sprout legs and fly, but they can just as easily drift away like a fart in the wind. Chiz Chat could still be here for the long haul.

Cutting to the chase, I have a new idea for a blog. I was initially playing around with the idea of writing a telescript based on a character named Carl (short for Cardinal [It'll make sense in a moment]). Carl's special in the sense that he is a bit schizophrenic (can't spell schizo without chiz...AMIRITE!). Chiz, that has been done, like, more time than one. I know that, but here's the twist: The personas he encounters are based on the 7 Cardinal Sins (his name makes sense now!). Think of it as a little angel and demon on your shoulder, except there's seven demons all telling you to do bad shit (Chiz, you have such a way with words).

Anyway, I realized the probability of this telescript ever being picked up by anyone anywhere is slim to none; therefore, I decided I'd make a blog out of it. It'll be like Carl's journal where the 7 different characters would sometimes take over (I'm still wrestling with schizophrenia vs. multiple personality disorder).

So, since this is still just an idea, I thought I throw this question out there: Who's in? That's right! If you want to be included in this horrible idea, you have the chance. It'dbe wonderful.

I was thinking that the blog could have multiple categories ranging from Carl and his demons covering recent news, pop culture, opinions, advice columns, etc. I'm trying to be original here. If you're not interested in joining, that's completely fine. I'll just ban you from my blog and spread rumors that you are a dinosaur. Nah, but just throwing it out there for any of your who'd be interested and already don't have a million and one things on the table.

I know none of this makes sense, but I'll try to explain it more in-depth once/if I ever get the ball rolling.

Sorry for any errors, my work computer doesn't have spell czech.


Or... the demons could represent categories.
Gluttony = Recipes/Food
Pride = Politics
Lust = Fashion or porn or something

You get the picture.

Monday, October 15, 2012

In Case You Missed It

Addman over at Muppets for Justice has been gracious enough to include me in a brilliant collaborative post organized by none other than... well, Addman. Venture on over to view the commentary of Addman and yours truly as we rip on some of the finest, upstanding citizens of the world.

Synopsis: It's essentially Addman and I making fun of Embarrassing Nightclub Photos.

And in case you overlooked the previous:

And here's a third.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Best Costume in the Whole World

The light fabric felt like a mesh of mushy babies between his chubby fingers. He was nearing the completion of what was to be his magnum opus.

Three years in a row he has lost his high school’s Halloween costume competition. Billy was convinced it was politics, but he was prepared to make a lasting impression, a display of radiance and originality that not even the popular student-judges could ignore.

2011 Halloween Costume Competition
(Billy wasn't in the photo album)

He used a stone to sharpen the scissors. Not even Death’s scythe had an edge so razor-sharp. He carefully approached the cloth with extreme precision. A bead of sweat funneled into his eye, but his concentration was as frozen as a mesh of frozen mushy babies. The blade so much as glanced the delicate fabric when— KNOCK! KNOCK! “Billy?! Are you okay?” his mother inquired in the voice of a thousand screeching harpies.

“I’m FINE!” His voice shook the foundation as a few lit candles spilled to the crusty carpet.

“You’ve been up here for 14 hours. How ‘bout you come down stairs. I’ve cooked up some Spaghetti-Ohs,” his mother relentlessly continued… forever.

Billy tried to restrain himself, but the words forced their way up like a fire from the belly of a dragon-bitch. “Go AWAY from this place, you wretched serpent-lady!”

Silence followed his rapturous outburst. He let out an exasperated sigh much like an equally exasperated dog who was also sighing. Billy resumed his work.

The scissors cut through the cloth as the freed threads fell to the floor like jellybeans. The measurements were exact and he gazed upon his work with implausible delight. He cut the same exact dimensions in his next incision.

Four more hours had past and he was finally complete. He shed a tear… and then another tear. This went on for another hour before he decided to don the impeccable attire. He slowly turned toward the mirror. He was forced to squint or otherwise be taken hold by the incredible vivacity of the costume. It was perfect. There was no doubt in Billy’s mind that he’d win this year’s Halloween costume competition.

Yes, I'm getting lazy with titles.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clowning Around

I opened up my wallet only to mistakenly unleash the fiery wrath of Mothra. It was vengeance that the beast sought, and luckily for me, his rival resided on the other side of the Earth. So, off the gargantuan moth flew weaving a path of destruction toward Godzilla’s domain in Japan. Above all the chaos and devastation, this shocking event made me realize one very important thing: I needed another job.
 Not drawn to scale.
I scanned Monster and want-ads, Indeed and doo-dads, yet nothing catered to my limited skill set. It wasn’t until I perused the darkest corners of Craig’s List that I found a job even I was capable of doing (No, not “waterworks” or prostitution).  It was a listing by a local mother seeking a clown to perform at her son’s birthday party!

So, I shot her an email the next day to let her know I was interested:

Dear Margaret,

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Chiz who?
No, thanks. I have already have a chizzoo.
As you can tell, I’m already a pretty funny guy, but enough with the silly antics. I’m writing to you to inquire about your listing on Craig’s List. I’ve already done you the favor of finding out where you live to save you from telling me your address. I’ve been doing some research, as well. While you were out, I took the liberty of perusing your house to find out what things Billy finds most enjoyable. I see that he likes animals, matchbox cars, and IMing his best friend Alex.
If it’s all the same to you, I’ll show up to your home at precisely 1pm tomorrow. I’ll be the guy dressed as a clown (Teehee, but you already know that). See you then!

Chiz the Silly Clown

P.S. I really like the color of your bedroom walls.

Margaret never got back to me, so I figured she was fine with me performing at her son’s birthday.

That night, I went out to grab the essentials.

The first thing I picked up was this silly little squirt gun at the thrift store. Billy likes action movies, so he’d definitely go for a squirt gun of this caliber:

Next, I put together a costume that would have the kids clutching their bellies in laughter. As soon as I took one look in the mirror, I immediately started laughing my socks off. What do you guys think?
Silly, huh? 
I picked up a few more items before I knew I was ready for the big day.

That night, I barely got any sleep I was so excited. I hopped out of bed in the morning, and jetted off in my brown van with the tinted windows and rushed to Billy’s birthday party.

I arrived at their luxurious colonial home and knocked in a silly rhythm on the front door. Before Margaret answered, I thought it’d be funny to point the squirt gun at her face as she opened the door. So, I did precisely that.

It was apparent Margaret was quite surprised. As soon as she opened the door, she saw the squirt gun and immediately threw her hands up and bolted out the back. I assumed that she just didn’t want to get wet. With a simple shrug of my shoulders, I headed for the living room where the children were all at play.

“Hey, everybody!” I shouted in a silly voice as I waved the squirt gun in the air. However, their reaction was not one I would’ve guessed. The room erupted in chaos as the kids screamed and fluttered about. I assumed it was because I was a little late, but there was no need to throw a tantrum just because I was 4 minutes behind schedule. I decided to lighten the mood by running after the kids while cheerfully yelling, “I’m going to get you! Chiz is going to put a smile on that silly face of yours!”

Somehow my plan wasn’t working, so I quickly whipped out the balloons. “Who likes balloon animals?” I asked. No one answered; they just kept screaming and crying. So, I proceeded to make a balloon animal. Unfortunately, the only balloon animal I was capable of making was an exposed barnacle:
 Barnacles are truly fascinating creatures.
I’m assuming the children were looking for something more exotic like a giraffe or an alligator because the children were still not pleased.

At that point I was just so overwhelmed by the tough, uncontrollable audience that I decided that maybe being a clown did require some skills that I didn’t possess. It was then that I swallowed my pride and left the party. Perhaps there’s another job out there that’s suitable for me, but at least I know that being a clown is not one of them.

This is a submission to DudeWrite 18! Head on over to discover many more fantastically brilliant bloggers... Not to say that I'm a fantastic blogger or anything... Ah whatever, you know the drill.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What if Children's Movies Had Different Directors?

Have you recently watched one of your favorite childhood movies and wondered how different the ending would have been if the script were handed over to another director? No? Well, perhaps I may be a little psychotic. Anyway, below are a few examples of how I believe particular children's movies would have ended if given to well-known, "revolutionary" directors.

The Lion King
directed by M. Night Shyamalan (pronounced 'sha-mla-na-lam-lim-lah-23-n')
After Simba prevails over his nefarious uncle, Scar, the plumes of smoke from the raging fire subside and provide a clear shot of the sky. The clouds once more make out the figure of his father, Mufasa, as he begins to speak these works, "Seembah, as you look upon the my face, know this: I am not your father but rather the last of a dying alien race. Open your eyes, Seembah, and see that the world is not as you would have it." At this point, Simba opens his eyes, and he's within an office building. He frantically surveys the area before stopping at an office window. The window does not reflect the image of a ferocious lion; rather, a businessman in a Armani  suit stares back. It is then that Simba realizes that lions had gone extinct decades before, and the world has succumb to the damaging effects of massive sun flares. His whole life was an alternate reality he conjured up to mask the death of his family.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest
by Christopher Nolan
Crysta and Zak Young confront Hexxus, the ancient spirit of destruction. After a short-live, yet epic, battle, heavy dialogue follows:
Hexxus: It's a funny thing, isn't it?
Zak: What's that?
Hexxus: Humans, they were given the world to thrive upon, yet they deem it disposible. Here, the rainforest still saves those who mean to destroy it.
Crysta: But, that's precisely what you intended to do.
Hexxus: Was that my true intent? Am I not just a replica of mankind. I seize the control of an unstoppable machine and weave a path of destruction where ever I so choose. Perhaps you should take a good long look at your friend there. Beyond appearance, is there anything that really sets us two apart?
Crysta focuses intently on Zak. She warily reachs for the nearest sharp object.
Crysta: He's right, y'know.
Zak: Listen, Crysta. He's deceiving you. She raises the sharp object over her head. Wh-What are you doing?
Suddenly, Batman swoops it and punches Crysta in the mouth and dropkicks Hexxus into oblivion.
Zak: There's the hero I was looking for.
The two of them then go out for tea and Fig Newtons.

directed by Michael Bay
As Aladdin, Genie, and the magic carpet battle against the limitless powers of Jafar. Aladdin all of a sudden grabs a bazooka and KAPURRRGH. Then, Genie launches a grenade and PWWWWAAAAWWW. After, the magic carpet reloads Aladdin's bazooka so he can shoot it at Jafar once more. Once it hits, it goes all KAPLOWIE. Then a separate EXPLOSION distracts the crew and Jasmine rides in on the back of Rajah with an AK-47 that's going all TSH, TSH, TSH all over Jafar. Then, Jafar trips a landmine and BOOOM! That's when Jafar has finally had enough and decides to implode rather than admit defeat. CRRABLAWWW! Just when the audience thinks everyone's dead. Aladdin, Genie, the magic carpet, Rajah, and Jasmine walk away from the raging fire and billowing smoke with ACDC blaring in the background.

I am incredibly childish.

This post is a submission to Dude Write 17. Head on over to check out an array of equally awesome blogs.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chapter 1 of Untitled Novel

Hey, everyone. Today's post is a little special, as in you probably won't want to read it (being 2,158 words and all). Anyway, the following is the first chapter of the novel I've been working on. It's taken a while to find my voice, but I think I'm beginning to get the gist of it. I rewrote this numerous times (even so far as getting 15k words into the story before starting again). Now that I've got a firm grasp of the plot, I figured I'd share this confusing first chapter with you. If you'd be kind enough, tell me how you truly feel about it. Seriously, be as mean and hateful as you want. I take criticism quite well, and I don't hold grudges. It's probably going to be confusing to you, also. Did I already mention that?

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to let you guys know that I'm not being lazy; I'm being somewhat productive. Also, it's not a final product obviously, just something I decided to occupy a post with.

Funny post to come later this week.

Sand assaulted Micah Fort’s hive-appointed goggles. He stretched his makeshift mask fashioned from a torn t-shirt sleeve over his stubbled cheeks. As he rigidly ran his fingers through his hair, a flurry of sand caught wind and flew off.

“Watch it, Fort!” Corson cried, spitting out what sand had flooded his mouth.

“Maybe you should try standing up front,” Micah said. “Or better yet, make yourself one of these,” he continued, pointing to the crude mask covering his face.

The pickup truck took a violent nosedive sending the five crew members crashing against the cab.

“Alright back there?” Redlick let out a boisterous laugh and continued, “A crater from a mortar strike. That means we’re close!” Micah knew the stunt was on purpose. Redlick always found delight in rattling his crew.

Prinley bolted to the edge of the truck bed as his eyes began to well up. “You think he’d be used to it by now,” Corson grumbled as Prinley let loose a steady stream of vomit. Kora shouldered Corson as she approached Prinley. She used one hand to brush back his loose, blonde bangs and the other to grip the back of his waistband to ensure the next bump wouldn’t send him over the edge. “Best make sure your lover boy don’t end up road kill,” Corson continued.

Kora balled her hand into a fist, but before she could deliver a quick blow to Corson, the truck took a slight dip, forcing Kora to refocus her attention. Fortunately for her, Prinley was too preoccupied to mull over the remark. Kora had made it clear that she wanted to let him know herself, and Corson had come uncomfortably close to crossing that line. It was obvious to everyone but Prinley, the newbie, of Kora’s infatuation with vulnerable boys.

After realizing that Prinley had been reduced to dry heaving, Kora dragged his weakened body back over the rail and sat him down. “Kora,” shouted Bailey. She turned in time to catch the canteen he’d just tossed her way.

Kora looked at Bailey huddled in the corner of the truck bed, his dark skin glistening in the merciless sun. “Thanks. You sure you got enough?” she inquired as she unscrewed the cap.

Bailey grinned, reaching into his pocket to reveal the tip of a flask. “Oh, I think I’ll make it.”

Kora lifted the canteen to Prinley’s lips and gently poured. Though Prinley was only able to swallow the contents through intermittent sips, he eventually regained enough strength to regain his composure. “Thanks, guys,” he said glancing between Kora and Bailey.

Two towers of smoke appeared in the distance. Micah looked back at the crew. “You guys ready? I can see the aftermath up ahead.” His muffled inquiry was met with nothing more than slight nods and subdued shrugs. Not that Micah was expecting much. He nodded in confirmation as he turned forward.

“Pushed them farther back than expected,” said Bailey. “The first mortar strike was about half a mile back.”

“That or they were luring them into a trap. Either way, it’s obvious we lost this one,” added Corson.  

There was a brief silence before Redlick interjected. “Highway ahead!”

Micah readjusted his mask to no avail. Despite the numerous excursions to sites of previous days’ battles, he could not adjust to the thick, heavy stench of fermenting blood.

The crew peered over the truck cab in time to see a rusted green sign race by. Micah mouthed the text, I95. He had learned to read at an elementary level from his father before he died in the war. He had been twelve, nearly an adult, when his father returned home in a body bag. His mother died while giving birth to him, yet his father never showed any signs of contempt.

Without warning, the truck abruptly stopped as Redlick hollered, “Free rides over! Les’ move!” With that, the crew exited the rear of the truck and reported to the front. There were two destroyed recon tanks on either side of the road. Smoke billowed from between the shredded, smoldering metal. What was left of an overpass lay beyond the tanks.

Redlick limped before the line. He was put out of action from the army after a piece of shrapnel made its home in his leg, but he never lost his sergeant mentality. Having worked under him for nearly four years, Micah no longer felt intimidated by his downward glare. In fact, Micah was left wondering why he’d ever feared Redlick at all given his portly physique and scraggily, unkempt beard. His army beret bearing Delta’s sigil, a feathered dog, balanced awkwardly atop his bald, bulbous head. He cleared his throat and wiped the sweat from his brow, he removed a small, crumpled piece of paper from his breast pocket. He unraveled it and read aloud, “The charge was accompanied by twenty Delta members. As proclaimed by the Return Home Act, your Battle Aftermath Sanitation Crew is required to account for all members of your designated hive’s party. Any fallen soldier unaccounted for must be reported to the respected hive leader. Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. You know the drill.” When Redlick was finished, he returned the wrinkly note to his pocket. “You hear that, BASC-holes? We’re lookin’ for twenty Delta soldiers. Bailey, you’re on bed duty. The rest oh ya’ will be working the field.”

Despite sifting through mangled and bloodied bodies, BASC had its benefits. Free room and board at the hive barracks and three square meals a day; it was an orphan’s only option beyond scavenging the Souk or tilling the fields.

Bailey raced to the truck, gathered an armful of open-ended sacks, and dropped them on the rusty, decaying hood. Somehow the truck had braved the elements and survived for as long as Micah had been part of BASC. Redlick liked to boast that the corroded metal helped with ventilation. It was better to keep a positive outlook as Delta hive was more concerned with funding the Coalition than providing a new meat wagon to a bunch of orphans and a delusional sergeant.

“Micah, you’re with Prinley, again. I figure you might as well fill his tiny head with whatever knowledge you got in that equally slender head of yours before you’re shipped the vanguard.” That word twisted Micah’s stomach into a knot. In a month, he would be sixteen. The army would come for him and relocate him north to the Coalition headquarters, the Churchyard as some would call it. He had no family to vouch for him and not a nickel to his name. There wasn’t anything to prevent the army from tossing him to the vanguard. Many wondered whether you went to the Churchyard to learn how to fight or learn how to die.

“Corson and Kora, you’re together. Play nice,” Redlick jested. Kora let out an exasperated sigh. Corson furrowed his brow, but quickly shot Kora a sly, sarcastic grin. It wasn’t clear to anyone where Corson inherited his cockiness. Presumably he learned it from his older brother who joined the army three years ago. The only time Micah remembered feeling sorry for Corson was roughly a year ago when he was informed of his brother’s death. Corson quickly extinguished that feeling when he swiftly recovered from his bout of depression, reverting back to his old, arrogant ways.

Micah spotted Prinley timidly approaching him with one of the open-ended sacks. “Thanks, Cronk,” said Micah. It was one of the less humiliating nicknames he could derive from Prinley Cronkly. “Alright, I’m assuming you’ve got the gist of things. So this should be a piece of cake.” Micah pointed to a wooden makeshift sign marked with a scribbled ‘Z’ off to the side of the road. “We must’ve just missed Zeta’s crew,” mumbled Micah. Micah enjoyed the company of other aftermath crews; it made the job a lot quicker when there were twice as many people searching for fallen soldiers. Though, it’s better to have arrived after at least one crew since it left that much less bodies to sift through. “Alright, let’s get going.”

Micah and Prinley began searching behind trees and other concealed areas. After locating two bodies from Gamma and one from Beta, they eventually encountered a soldier from Delta bend over a waist-high boulder. Riga mortis had long since set in. The soldier’s hands gripped tightly around barrel of his rifle. Micah glared down at the body. In a month, that’ll be me, he thought.

“You remember what to do, right?” Micah asked.

“Yeah,” responded Prinley. He reached for the gun’s safety. “I just have to…” Prinley’s voiced trailed off as he focused on the task at hand. Click. “There.”

“Good. Now you may remove the gun,” said Micah.

Prinley nodded and wriggled the rifle from the soldier’s taut grip and knelt down to place it in the dirt.

TCH! TCH! TCH! Gun fire resonated through the air as both Micah and Prinley dove behind the far side of the boulder.

TCH! TCH! TCH! The rifle echoed until it abruptly stopped. Micah opened his eyes and released his palms from his ringing ears. He glanced at Prinley who still had his hands pressed against the side of his head. Micah regained his footing and looked about.

As the ringing in his ear subsided, the laughter in the air became clearer. Micah turned toward the neighboring forest and saw Corson hunched over, clutching his midsection. A rifle lay beside him as a thin trailed of smoke left the barrel.

“I,” choked laughter interrupted his admission of guilt. “I’ve never witnessed anything so damn funny,” he managed to spit out before the laughter resumed.

Micah’s face ignited with rage as he rushed to confront Corson. His knuckles grew pale as he approached, but before he could reach him, a loud crack sounded as a bullet hit the dirt separating the two. Micah and Corson turned toward the road where Redlick held his drawn pistol. Redlick furiously stormed toward Corson, whose face had gone from fire red to a stark white.

Redlick stopped, leaving him no more than a foot from Corson. “You’re lucky that we’re short on volunteers,” Redlick’s voice trembled as he tried to suppress his overwhelming fury. “Otherwise I’d tie you to the bumper and drag you back to the hive.” With that, Redlick delivered a quick jab to Corson’s stomach. “Now get back to work, all of you!” he shouted before returning to the truck.

Corson glanced up at Micah, who had concealed most his anger, and managed an apologetic shrug. Though it wasn’t much, Micah learned that it was about all he was capable of. His repeated antics never truly caused any harm. Though, that’s not to say that they’d ever lose their desired effect.

Micah took a deep breath and returned to Prinley, who was still lying flat on his stomach. Micah reached down and helped him up with ease. “Sorry,” Micah said. “I should’ve warned you that Corson’d tried to pull something. Though, something of that caliber was a first for me as well.” Micah forced a laughed. Prinley still looked perturbed. “No matter. Let’s haul this body back.”

Micah opened one end of the sack as Prinley grab the soldier’s legs and dragged him through the other end. Once secure, the two tightened the rope on either side and heaved him off the ground.

Once they reached the bed of the truck, Bailer dragged the body over the tailgate and stacked him neatly beside the first body secured by Kora and Corson.

This continued for three more hours until nineteen of the twenty bodies were secured. The one missing body was presumed to have been one of the unidentifiable piles of gore caught by a launcher or mine or one of the charred bodies amidst the tanks’ remains.

After inventory, the crew piled in the bed of the truck amongst the stacked bodies and wedged themselves between any available crevasses.

The crack of the truck’s engine broke the silence, and the truck began the five hour trek back to the coastal hive, Delta.

“Does the Hive, the Crown Hive, ever come to collect their soldiers?” asked Prinley to no one in particular. “I mean, I saw a few at this aftermath and the one before, too.”

Bailey, who remained quiet up until this point, replied, “They can’t be bothered to show respect for those who’ve died for their cause. They’re fighting on multiple fronts and are unfortunately winning. What makes you think they’d be willing to make any changes in their game plan? Eta’s defeat is imminent, and pretty soon there’ll be only four remaining free-hives. No, why would they bother coming to collect their dead?”

Prinley could only mumble an incoherent response. Beyond Bailey’s habitual drinking, Micah understood his needless rant. Bailey would be joining the Coalition only a month after him. They’d both stand no chance against the well advanced and over equipped Crown Hive.