Hiatus

Sorry everyone for both missing last month and now this month. My life has been super hectic lately – Over the course of two months, I’ve/I’m going to be visiting my hometown (for the first time since Christmas) while still working via the internet, finishing a Master’s degree, moving to another country, starting a PhD, starting a teaching job and writing (and studying for) qualifying exams. I just haven’t had and likely will continue to not have the mental energy to do this on a regular basis. I know that that’s pathetic when I’m only doing once a month, but at least until October, when my life should hopefully be settled into a new routine, I’m going to have to put The Satchel War on hiatus. Sorry about that.

Explanation

So, apparently I wasn’t just stressed and exhausted. I was at the start of getting quite sick. So, I was out of commission all last week and am now struggling to get caught up on work after missing a week. As such, I really don’t know when I’ll be able to get chapter 5 up. Hopefully by the weekend, but I’m not sure. Sorry again about this.

Update Delay…again

I feel really bad doing this twice in a row, but these last two weeks have been completely exhausting. In the last two weeks, I went to another country to find an apartment to rent and I started a new research project with a new supervisor (basically, starting a new job). Unfortunately, this has left me far too drained of energy and willpower to get a chapter up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it up soonish, but I just don’t know.

Chapter 4: Aftermaths

Previous: Heist, Part 1

Sharp splinters of pain pulsed from Gonzalo’s wound with each step he took. Since this was his second time this day, he had to override his safety restrictions to order a double hit of epinephrine. As it started to hit his system, Gonzalo assessed the situation.

Given his injury, the green-haired girl was running faster than he was, but he had a couple of advantages. “Robin. Intercept, please” he muttered into his mouthpiece. Robin was one advantage. The other was that he looked like a sprinting cop with a drawn gun. People were mostly ignoring his quarry but were clearing out of his way. Continue reading “Chapter 4: Aftermaths”

Chapter 4 Posted and Squad Strikers

Sorry everyone for the delay. Chapter 4 will be up in a couple minutes. This was the hardest chapter so far. It was long and there were a lot of pieces all with quite different strong emotions that needed to be communicated and juxtaposed. I’m not really sure how well it turned out, but here it is.

On another note, I made a prototype for a game. It’s called Squad Striker and is very much proof-of-concept at this point (even that name is subject to change). It’s a turn-based-tactics roguelite. Don’t expect much from it at this point. I do intend to actually make it into something good at some point, but it isn’t there yet and I’m taking a break from it at this point. You can read more, get the source or download the game here.

Update Delay

Sorry everyone. The next chapter will be a day or two late due to some difficulty getting words onto paper. That said, I think it is going to be the longest chapter yet by a reasonable margin. I could probably have split it into two, thrown a little padding in and posted the first half as my chapter today, but I think it works better as one piece. Sorry.

Chapter 3: Heist, Part 1

 Previous: Gonzalo and Robin

Kat stood up as quietly as she could and slipped into her brother’s room. Hopefully, she could watch the intruder through the crack in his door. After a brief period of waiting, a woman came out of her room. What the fuck? The woman was wearing her black tee and jeans. Then Kat noticed that those were also what she was wearing. Fuck! Some sort of disguise based on security footage? Kat could feel her chest contracting in fear. It only got worse when the woman glanced in her direction and she even had Kat’s face. Kat tried meditating, mentally running over a mantra in her head, but she could hardly keep the chant straight. The woman turned around again and noticed Chris’s note on the table. After looking at it for a moment, she took it and a banana, she left Kat’s apartment.

Kat gained control of herself twenty blocks away once her sides started hurting too much to keep sprinting. It appeared she’d grabbed the merchandise out of the safe, which meant the other woman hadn’t. Kat whipped her emergency burner phone out and started dialing Chris’s burner. Continue reading “Chapter 3: Heist, Part 1”

Update Three

Hello again, readers. This chapter was difficult. I originally wrote the middle section in first person as Kat telling the story to Chris, but it kept feeling really strained and awkward. Eventually I realized that this was because Kat and I had very different goals in the storytelling: I wanted to tell a fun mini-heist story, while Kat was giving a panicked sit-rep to her brother and wanted to get him up to date as soon as possible. It turned out that the way that Kat would tell the story was neither fun to read, nor to write. As such, I had to retool the entire middle section and I went with a full flashback instead of an in-character retelling.

Second Chapter Up…Sort of

Update: I did some changes and I’m leaving it alone now. I’m still not entirely happy with it, but the copy that’s up is now the good copy.


 

So, I’ve been really busy with my master’s degree lately and so this chapter isn’t as well proofread as I’d like. I decided that it was important that I stick to the schedule I had posted, though, so here it is. That said, I will probably be going through it this weekend and doing a bit more proofreading. The story points won’t change, but I’ll clean up the writing. I feel somewhat bad for doing this, given that I’d like what I post not to change except when it really needs to, but I felt it was better than the alternatives (leaving it insufficiently proofread permanently or not posting it on time). Sorry about this.

Also worth mentioning is that I just changed the settings to allow anonymous comments. That’ll stay so long as it doesn’t result in a bunch of spam. If it does, that change will be reversed.

Chapter 2: Gonzalo and Robin

 Previous: Katfall

Gonzalo slowed his breathing down to ensure those on the other side of the door couldn’t hear him and settled against the sides of the closet. He calmly watched the glow of the guards searching for him through his infrared goggles, also glancing at the feed through the hacked security cameras. He could see seven guards outside, armed only with handguns. So long as he wasn’t too close, his vest might allow him to survive getting shot.

The situation was this: currently, they couldn’t see him, but he could see them. As they searched, that situation wouldn’t last, so he had to act fast. Gonzalo carefully put down his assault rifle and drew his sidearm. It was more manoeuvrable and fit better in the closet. Hopefully, he would be able to shoot the closest three of them before anyone reacted. Then he’d either have to hope that the rest missed or rely on his suit. Gonzalo took a few moments to act out the sequence of readjustments he’d need to make without pulling the trigger – a practice round. He’d give himself half a second for each target – less and he’d be likely to miss; more and he’d be likely to get shot before he finished.

After all of his preparation, the actual event happened quickly. He replayed his series of actions again, this time pulling the trigger each time. The thundering cacophony of gunfire roared for a few moments and then he took stock of the situation. Gonzalo had been shot once just above his left hip, but according to his HUD, it was non-life-threatening. One of his targets was still standing and getting his gun in line, but several others were groaning and trying to get to their feet. It seemed his opponents were wearing vests as well.

Continue reading “Chapter 2: Gonzalo and Robin”