Ammunition and bullets with the MHI Logo

I am reposting this info from November, because it kind of got lost in the shuffle with all the posts around the RPG Kickstarter.

I’m probably the only fantasy novelist who has his own line of ammunition.

The bullets for reloading purposes have been a huge hit. They are still available here: https://rmrbullets.com/…/9mm-124-gr-rmr-fmj-flat-nose-mhi…/…

By popular demand we’ve added loaded ammunition. If you’ve got any technical questions about the ammunition, please ask the manufacturer. I’m just the writer.  😀

And for kicks and giggles, you can get it in a few different boxes. Collect them all.

 

And people kept asking about silver bullets, but that means they haven’t check out silver prices lately. But they’ve done something neat there.

Silver Tungsten Bullets 1
SilverTungstenBullets 2

Here is an explanation from the company:

 Experimental AMMO! These bullet jackets are infused with a dry lubricant compound of 99.99% silver and tungsten disulfide. This ammo is still in testing against creatures with vulnerabilities to silver. If they prove to be less effective against werewolves please let us know!

After the 9mm 124 gr. FMJ FP MHI bullet, with the Monster Hunter International logo on the flat point was introduced, lots of folks have been asking for a .45 caliber version. So “Ask, and ye shall receive”! Larry gave permission to do a limited run of .45 bullets! These are .45’s just like the bullets real Monster Hunters shoot, except, well, they aren’t made of silver. If we offered silver bullets we’d have to increase the price substantially, and only real monster hunters could afford them! They still will work great for your normal, non-magical monsters, though.

You are looking at bullets from a limited run of our 230 grain FMJ Flat Nose line that include the Monster Hunter International logo stamped on it’s face. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Monster Hunter International (MHI), it is a book series written by Larry Correia. We highly recommend reading them if you haven’t already. If you’ve already read the books then you know why it’s such an awesome thing for Larry to allow us to use his logo on our bullet. Also, if you haven’t yet read the MHI books or anything else written by Larry Correia, please consider giving them a try. We love his books and I think you will too.

January Update

2017 was a busy year. Monster Hunter Siege was the biggest release I’ve ever had, and the most successful tour of my career.

The Monster Hunter Files did extremely good. Anthologies don’t sell as well as novels, but this one did fantastic.

I had short stories published in Aliens: Bug Hunt, Predator: If it Bleeds, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Straight Out Of Tombstone, and I think I’m forgetting another one.  EDIT TO ADD, I forgot, I had a story in the Freehold anthology, Forged in Blood.

This is what I’ve got coming out so far in 2018.

On January 23rd, the second episode of The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent comes out on Audible. It is called A Murder of Manatees and is narrated once again by Adam Baldwin.

The mass market paperback for Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners, comes out on January 30th. This is the 2nd book of the memoirs trilogy, by me and John Ringo.

July 3rd is the release date of Saints, the final book of the Monster Hunter Memoirs trilogy.

The mass market paperback for Monster Hunter Siege comes out April 24th.

In September is the release of volume one of my short fiction collection, Target Rich Environment. This one is awesome. It includes some new stuff, as well as some of my favorite short stories I’ve written, which most of my fans have never seen.

Then there is the stuff that I’m working on, that I don’t have release dates for.

I’m almost done with House of Assassins, the sequel to Son of the Black Sword (2nd in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior). It is bad ass. I should have the rough out to Reader Force Alpha this month.

Sarah Hoyt has written the rough draft of Monster Hunter Guardian (the Julie Shackleford novel) which I will be working on as soon as I’m done with House of Assassins. It is awesome and I’m really excited to work on this.

Once I’m done with Guardian, I’ll be going back to the 3rd book in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, which is called Destroyer of Worlds.

Gallant Knight Games is working on the MHI Savage Worlds RPG to fulfill our very successful Kickstarter. (It turns out we were in the top 20 of crowd funded RPGs).

At the same time, I’ve got multiple collaborations going on.

Steve Diamond is working on the rough draft of our Trench Warfare Fantasy.  Think WW1 eastern front, in a world with dark fairy tale magic, and instead of tanks it’s dudes in armor suits made out of dead golems.

John Brown is working on the rough draft of our Sci-Fi, space pirates novel. This is the one where all the plot elements were given to us by my son, and we outlined the whole book live at LTUE.

There is going to be a 2nd Monster Hunter Files anthology, but this time it is going to be made up of five novellas. I’ve reached out to the authors I’m going to use, but I need to get that hammered out with them so they can start work.

I’m also co-editing another anthology for Baen, but I don’t think I can announce that one yet.

There is new stuff coming to the SWAG store, including new patches.

Also, don’t forget you can buy ammo with the MHI logo on it! J

In personal news, the Yard Moose Mountain 2 project is on hold until it thaws. In 2017 we cut the road, did the geological survey, got all the permits done, and dug a well. It was a year of infrastructure and paperwork. Once the snow melts we will break ground for the new house.

2017 was an awesome year. I’m looking forward to getting a lot done in 2018.

CHRISTMAS NOUN X: THE GHOSTS OF DIE HARDS PAST

This is our 10th annual Christmas Noun story, inspired by a genre that has Christmas jars, sweaters, boxes, letters, and other assorted nouns.

If you are just joining us, and you’re really confused, here are our previous years of badly written Christmas adventure:

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/the-christmas-noun/ Excerpts from my first epic Christmas novel, only with more Cthulu, zombies, and chainsaws. Young Tim overcomes his hatred of Christmas to defeat the anti-Claus in the Peppermint Thunderdome.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 2: THE NOUNENING http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/the-christmas-noun-2-the-nounening/  The much anticipated sequel to the greatest Christmas story featuring a noun ever. In this episode, Tim fights Stabby the Snowman and uses the Global Warming Power of Love.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 3D: THE GRITTY REBOOT http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/the-christmas-noun-3d-the-gritty-reboot/  Christmas goes hard core as Rudolf leads the Reindeer Separatists in a jihad against Christmas.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 4: OCCUPY CHRISTMAS NOUNhttp://monsterhunternation.com/2011/12/19/christmas-noun-4-occupy-christmas-noun/ Tim and his adult son Tim Jr. have to save Christmas from being occupied by the 99%.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 5: FIFTY SHADES OF NOUN, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE EDITION http://monsterhunternation.com/2012/12/13/chirstmas-noun-5-fifty-shades-of-noun-choose-your-own-adventure-edition/ Okay, that title pretty much explains this one.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 6: YES, WENDELL, THERE REALLY IS A CHRISTMAS NOUN http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/12/23/christmas-noun-6-yes-wendell-there-really-is-a-christmas-noun/ Tim and Wendell the Manatee travel through time to save Christmas from a legion of footy pajama wearing hipster douchebags.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 7: ATTACK OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE NOUN http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/12/18/christmas-noun-7-attack-of-the-social-justice-noun/ Tim has to protect the mall from the reality distorting powers of the nefarious Social Justice Noun.

THE CHRISTMAS NOUN 8: TOO NOUN MUCH ADJECTIVE http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/12/18/christmas-noun-8-too-noun-much-adjective/ Tim is joined by Superfluous Marketing Dog™ and The Rock (Ghost of Christmas Present Tense, Self-Esteem, and Physical Fitness) to defeat the incomprehensible evil of Straw Larry.

The Christmas Noun 9: The Nounchurian Candidate. http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/12/20/christmas-noun-9-the-nounchurian-candidate/  It is an election year for Christmas Ghosts, and only Tim can protect democracy from meddling Russians.

***

And now, kick back with a carton of eggnog and enjoy our feature presentation:

Christmas Noun X: The Ghosts of Die Hards Past

Written by Larry Correia

Directed by Brett Ratner, James Toback, Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, Larry Correia

Produced by Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, David Guillod, Gary Goddard, Andrew Kreisberg, John Lasseter, Roger Ailes, Wendell T. Manatee

Screenplay by Matthew Weiner, Murray Miller, Mark Schwahn, some dude we found on Facebook

Soundtrack by Russell Simmons, Ethan Kath, Nick Carter, pirating stuff off of YouTube

Guest Starring Kevin Spacey, Andy Dick, Jeffrey Tambor, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Steven Seagal, Tom Sizemore, Saddam Hussein, Richard Dreyfuss, Louis CK, and a special appearance by George Takei some random hobos

(Editor’s note: There were an unexpected number of firings, replacement hires, and replacement firings, during the scandal plagued production of Christmas Noun X)

***

Opening narration by Ron Perlman

At least I’m still here. The only thing anyone has ever accused me of is being too awesome. After ten years of this crap my opening narration is a Christmas tradition.

In billions of alternate realities, across a multitude of parallel universes, very few didn’t luck out and get some kind of Christmas. But not all Christmases are created equal, and some, frankly, kind of suck.

But the only thing that some of those poor realities need is just a little global warming power of love to unthaw their frozen holiday hearts. Now it is up to the Christmas Noun and its elite group of Christmas warriors to save the day, in an adventure so intense that it doesn’t get a number. It gets a letter.

CHRISTMAS NOUN X.

(editor’s note, Ron, that’s just a roman numeral for ten because Jack in marketing thought it looked cooler)

Whatever, Larry. You don’t even pay me for this gig. I say it’s a letter. Deal with it.

Because Christmas… Christmas never changes.

***

From the Prologue

Deep beneath a fortified bunker at the North Pole, a secret meeting was being held.

“Gentlemen!” Santa Claus welcomed his Christmas Ghosts to their new War Room. “This is the North Polar Special Operations Christmas Operator Ghosts Command Center, or NOPOSPECOPCOGCOM for short. Harambe is otherwise occupied, so I will personally conduct this briefing.”

Harambe the Gorilla, who had been elected last year to be the supreme commander of Christmas Ghosting, was taking a well-deserved nap in the tire swing that served as his command chair. He’d had a very busy day tweeting, and had eaten several penguins for lunch, so Harambe was full, content, and sleepy.

As usual, Chesty Puller, Ghost of Christmas Future Butt Kicking and Name Taking, got right down to business. “What’s the situation, Santa? Who needs killin’?”

“Ho Ho Hopefully no one, Chesty. For once, thanks to you guys and Tim, Christmas is pretty much locked down this year and doesn’t need any last minute saving. Your aggressive policy of preemptive strikes against the worst of the Naughty List has been very effective.”

Chesty Puller high fived the Ghost of Christmas Aerial Superiority and Carpet Bombing, Curtis Lemay.

“But we can’t just rest on our laurels. We’ve got a perfectly good Christmas Noun just sitting there, and we can’t leave Tim, our heroic Christmas saving action hero protagonist, doing nothing but playing Xbox over the holidays. Plus, this is the tenth anniversary, which is a pretty big deal, and Larry Correia fans will become very upset if they don’t get their annual Christmas Noun story. So I got to thinking, what if we used the Christmas Noun to send Tim through and space to help a less fortunate alternate universe? And I’ve got the perfect candidate right here.”

Santa gestured for one of his elves to start the PowerPoint slide show.

“As you can see, this reality is much like ours, but their timeline diverged in the 1980s. Because of the misguided actions of their less militant Christmas Ghosts, they were deprived of the greatest Christmas movie ever made.”

“The Firefly Christmas Special?” asked the elf running the computer.

“Oh no, very few lucky universes got that.” Santa chuckled, as he thought about the heartwarming scene where Jayne’s mom had knitted him a Santa hat, which he’d later used to strangle a reaver. “Besides, that was a two hour TV special that aired during Firefly’s fifth season. I’m talking about how this world was deprived of the greatest Christmas movie ever made… Die Hard.

There were gasps around the conference table. That was inconceivable. And only boring losers and communists didn’t think of Die Hard as a Christmas movie.

“I know, right? Christmas there is dull and lame now. So we’re going to use the Christmas Noun to send Tim back to 1988, so he can make sure Die Hard actually happens like it’s supposed to.”

“I don’t know, Santa… Since this crosses into another alternate universe’s jurisdiction, isn’t this a job for Tom Stranger?”

Santa shook his head sadly. “Unfortunately, since Larry Correia first started writing the Christmas Noun stories, Audible.com came along and offered him large sums of money to write Tom Stranger stories exclusively for them, so I doubt Tom will show up here. This is up to us and Tim and any other characters who we still own the rights for!”

***

“Save Die Hard?” Tim couldn’t believe his ears. He’d done all sorts of things to save Christmas over the years, but this was the greatest thing he’d ever been asked to do. “Are you kidding, Santa? I friggin’ love Die Hard! I’m a professional action hero. John McClane is like the god father of my career field.”

“Good, Tim. I knew I could count on you.”

“Oh man… Oh man…” Tim’s mind was reeling. Santa had said that in that reality, a major character hadn’t shown up, so the siege at Nakatomi Plaza had never happened. “I get to go back in time and take on the role of John McClane! I was going to say that I get to walk a mile in his shoes, but he didn’t even have shoes! Just a Beretta 92 and guts! This is the best Christmas ever!”

There was a long silence over the phone. “Ho Ho Whoa there, Tim. I think there’s been a little misunderstanding. It’s not John McClane who didn’t show up. It couldn’t be a Christmas story if someone wasn’t reunited with their family over the holidays. He’ll be there.”

“Wait. What? Who then?”

“Well, Tim, in a misguided attempt to get him off the Naughty List, their Christmas Ghosts visited Hans Gruber one night. Instead of joining the radical West German Volksfrei movement, Hans discovered the true meaning of Christmas, and became a small animal veterinarian instead.”

“Their Hans Gruber saves kittens?” Tim was incredibly disappointed.

“Indeed, Tim. He saves tiny, adorable, orphan, kittens… You’re not really the nefarious mastermind type, so we have someone else in mind to fill in for Hans Gruber. For such a challenging assignment the Christmas Ghosts and I decided we need someone with eloquence, charisma, gravitas, cunning, and leadership skills. There is only manatee for this job.”

***

“Oh, come on, Wendell! Christmas needs you.”

“Meeeeeeee,” Wendell replied.

Tim had flown down to sunny Florida, where he’d found Wendell loafing in a warm river, sipping a mojito, hanging out with several lady manatees, enjoying the good life.

“Just because you costarred in Tom Stranger 2: a Murder of Manatees, narrated by Adam Baldwin, coming out on January 23rd, 2018, and available for preorder now at Audible.com, you think you’re too big and important to appear in a Christmas Noun story?”

Wendell shrugged.

“I know you’ve served your court mandated community service hours as a Christmas Ghost already, but this time its personal. There’s a world out there without Die Hard. Who do the aspiring wise cracking action heroes of that world have to look up to? Lethal Weapon?” Tim snorted. “Riggs is a terrible role model for young action heroes. The brooding suicidal ones drive the rest of us nuts at action hero get-togethers.” Tim made his voice all high pitched and whiney. “My wife got murdered so I’m all brooding and crazy. Come on, Wendell, do this for me, please. Only you can recruit an international team of crooks and storm Nakitomi Plaza.”

“Flooo?”

“What am I and the Christmas warrior team doing during all this? Well, our job is to stay behind the scenes, to keep John McClane from actually killing you. No, dude, trust me on this, as an action hero, John McClane is a friggin’ bad ass. He walks on broken glass.”

The manatee held up one flipper. He’d heard enough about Tim’s man crush. Personally, Wendell wasn’t worried. How scary could one land mammal be? Wendell sighed. “Fleeerp.” He’d do this for Christmas, but Santa owed him.

“You’re the best!”

Wendell finished his mojito. He’d better start packing. “Moooo?”

“I know you want to look classy, but how should I know where you left your John Phillips of London suit or your Heckler & Koch P7 squeeze cocker? I’m not your maid.”

***

From Chapter 1

Tim sat next to his idol, John McClane, on the flight from New York to LA. It took everything in his manly Christmas warrior nature to keep from letting out a fan boy squee. Instead, Tim tried to play it super casual.

“How you doing? I’m Tim. I’d like to make innocuous small talk. Where you headed?”

John McClane was just too cool. He practically exuded cool. “A Christmas party at someplace called Nakitomi Plaza.”

“Oh yeah, I heard about that building. It holds the world’s record for having the sturdiest and most spacious air ducts.”

“Good to know.” Even though smoking was already prohibited on airplanes by the 1980s, John McClane pulled out a cigarette and smoked anyway.

“Damn, you’re cool.” They were about to land. “Oh crap. I almost forgot. How about that jet lag? This is very important. Very important. You’ve got to take your shoes off and make little fists with your toes to cure jet lag. No shoes. No socks. Toe fists. Got it?”

“Sure, buddy, whatever you say. Little toe fists.”

Their plane landed and John McClane got up to get his stuff from the overhead bin, so action hero cool he didn’t even give a damn if the contents had shifted during transit. Tim saw John McClane’s holster.

“80’s style shoulder holsters were so stylish. Nowadays gun culture is all Crossfit, appendix carry, and Instagram pocket dumps.”

Even John McClane’s perplexed expression was cool. “It’s okay. I’m a cop. Trust me. I’ve been doing this for eleven years.”

“Neat. I’m totally not a seasonal action hero from the future for ten.”

“What?”

“Nothing. Have a Merry Christmas!”

***

From Chapter 2

The elevator door slid open on the 30th floor, revealing a sharply dressed manatee and his henchmen. Wendell was impressed. There was a lot of cocaine being done, even by 80s standards.

“Hoooon!”

Sadly, even though the evil henchmen he’d recruited were German, Italian, French, American, and Chinese none of them could speak manatee worth a darn. So Wendell had to gesture dramatically with his flippers for them to take everyone hostage.

***

Luckily, Mr. Takagi was an educated man, and thus fluent in high manatee. To the poor befuddled evil henchmen, it just sounded like the Japanese businessman was making a bunch of long vowel sounds at their boss.

Mr. Takagi said “Oooooooorn.” Which basically meant, “Okay, I get that it is a long and complicated story, and you are here from the future to double cross the bad guys—who are actual bad guys who would’ve done this anyway so nobody feels bad when they get brutally killed during this Christmas story—here to rob us and then blow everyone up, but you’re really the part time Ghost of Christmas Future Past, so you need to fake my death in order to make you look more menacing to inspire an action hero to save Christmas?”

Wendell nodded as he screwed the suppressor onto the end of his HK P7. That was pretty much the gist of it. Manatee was a very nuanced yet efficient language.

***

From Chapter 3

Tim was hiding in an abnormally spacious air duct, keeping an eye on things. So far everything was going according to Santa’s master plan. Then he received an emergency call from NOPOSPECOPCOGCOM.

“Ho Ho Hello, Tim.”

“Hey, Santa. I just got to watch the super awesome conference table gun fight. Man, I’ve always wanted to shoot a dude up through a table. Anyways, things are going swell here.”

“Well… yeah… That’s why we called. There’s been a bit of a complication. I’m gonna go ahead and put you on speaker phone so one of my Science Elves can explain it.”

Tim sighed. It wouldn’t be a Christmas Noun story without some sort of needless complication. “Go for it.” The Science Elf egg head started out using a bunch of big words about spatial de-evolution and proto-destructive anti-matter time streams, so Tim cut him off. “Dude, come on. I dropped out of high school. Don’t be a dick. Put Santa back on.”

“Okay, Tim, simplifying that down, holes have appeared in the fabric of space and time. Our calculations indicate that other 1980s action franchises may suddenly begin appearing at Nakitomi Plaza to try and prevent the saving of Christmas. This could cause ripples which might destroy the whole multiverse.”

“How’d that happen?”

“No one really understands it, but the Huffington Post is blaming it all on the end of Net Neutrality, and people are very upset.”

This was serious. The 80s were when all the really cool action movies came out. “Don’t worry, Santa, I’ll warn my team to keep an eye out.”

***

Sally Love-Interest was outside, dressed as a SWAT team commander. She didn’t really know what she was doing, but Tim had said that they needed the most inept SWAT team commander ever, and Sally knew from experience she could pull off inept like nobody’s business.

“How about we have four of our guys just go up to the big glass doors in the open to try and break in the slowest way possible?”

“That’s a great idea, Commander Sally,” said Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson. “I was just about to suggest that myself.”

“That’s a terrible idea!” shouted Sergeant Al Powell.

“You’re so negative, Al! Have another Twinkie. Do we have tanks? My husband loves World of Tanks.”

“We have an armored car, ma’am.”

“Sweet! Thanks, Dwayne.” Then her phone rang, which confused the people from the ancient past, because their cell phones were the size of shoe boxes, and Tim had gotten her an iPhone last Christmas. She didn’t really understand what all the little aps did, but she loved to play Candy Crush. “Hang on. I’ve got to take this. Commander Sally speaking, how can I help you?”

“Sally, its Tim. Listen carefully. There’s—“

“Hey, Tim, I was just telling the police guys about you.”  

“That’s great, Hon, but other action movie characters from the 80s might start showing up. Keep your head on a swivel.”

“But my head goes on my neck.”

Tim sighed. “It’s a figure of speech. Just be careful.”

“Okay. Bye, honey.” Sally put away her phone. Then she tried to make her voice all low and menacing. “Send in the car. Send in the car.

***

Meanwhile, in the parking garage, Argyle the chauffer was in his limo listening to his Grandmaster Flash tape, and his only companion was John McClane’s stuffed Superfluous Marketing DogTM plushie. Since Argyle couldn’t hear all the explosions, he didn’t notice the sudden sphere of pure crackling electricity that formed in the garage twenty feet away.

The time travel bubble melted a dent in the concrete, and when it vanished, crouched there was a really buffed naked dude.

RESUMING WINDOWS

And once we switched to the naked dude’s point of view, everything was red, and words appeared on the screen.

MUST TERMINATE (buffering buffering buffering) CHRISTMAS

 

***

From Chapter 4

Wendell had to admit he was getting a little freaked out. First John McClane had snapped Tony’s neck and written Ho Ho Ho Now I have a machinegun on him and sent him down the elevator. Then he’d shot Heinrich and tossed Marco out the window onto a police car. He was even accurate throwing bodies! Then he’d blown up James and Alexander and his precision timer had been made out of a computer monitor and an office chair.

For the bad guys, this was no Christmas movie, it was Survival Horror. The terrorists were basically teenagers at summer camp and John McClane was Jason Voorhees, picking them off one by one.

Wendell picked up his radio. “Floooo?”

“Yeah, I’m still here. Unless you want to open the front door for me.”

This human was terrifying! “Meeeeen.”

“I was always partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really liked those sequined shirts.”

“Hoooooooon.”

“Yippie-ki-yay, manatee****er.”

Shaken, Wendell put down the radio. He’d done some crazy things to save Christmas, but this took the cake. Santa owed him big time.

 

***

“The terrorist leader has been identified as Hoons Gruber, of the militant West Floridian Volksfreeeeep movement. We are joined in the station by Dr. Hassledorf, author of Hostage Terrorist, Terrorist Hostage: A Study in Duality. Tell us, Dr. Hassledorf, what can we expect in the next few hours?”

“Well, Gail, I assume that the terrorists will demand a great deal of lettuce.”

***

From Chapter 5

Tim was thrown violently through the wall by the Terminator.

He got up and dusted himself off. Santa hadn’t been kidding. Things had gotten really weird up in here.  In proper action hero faction, Tim cracked his knuckles, and went to go kick some cyborg ass, but then he realized this complication was distracting him from his actual mission. So he called Wendell first.

Unfortunately it went right to voice mail. “Hey, buddy. This is Tim. I’m kinda busy fighting a Terminator on the 28th floor, so you’re going to be on your own for a minute. Just keep your head down, and everything will be fine.”

***

Wendell heard the hammer of a pistol cock behind him. He slowly turned to see the terrifying, blood stained, tank topped, form of John McClane standing there, with his Beretta leveled at Wendell’s magnificent head!

He’d gone up to the roof to shut off the bombs to make sure no hostages would get hurt, but then the deadly land mammal had snuck up on him with ninja like stealth. Wendell was doomed… But they’d only spoken on the radio. Thinking quickly, Wendell changed his accent and pretended to be an escaped hostage!

“Meeeeeewhoooooo.”

His clever ruse worked, and John McClane lowered his gun. “Whoa, pal, I don’t need your whole life story. I didn’t expect to run into a west coast manatee up here. Nice to meet you, Bill. I’m John McClane. Since you’ve got so much paintball experience, here take this.” And he passed over his Beretta.

Wendell took the pizza pistol in his flipper as John McClane began walking away. That had been close! Now that the tables had turned, Wendell pointed the gun at the intimidating land mammal as he keyed his radio. “Meerp.”

“Well, well, well… Hoons. That’s pretty tricky with the accent. You ought to be on TV with that accent. But what do you need with detonators? I used up your explosives? Or did I?”

“Bleeeeerp.”

“Yeah, like you did with Takagi?”

Wendell was stuck. He couldn’t exactly explain that he wasn’t really a bad guy, and that brain splatter had all been done with special effects, because then Christmas would be ruined forever, and he couldn’t shoot the seasonal action hero.  Where was Tim? But then the terrifying human started toward Wendell, and the manatee pulled the trigger, purely in self-defense. Because Christmas or not, John McClane was friggin’ terrifying.

Click. Click.

“Oops. No more bullets. You think I’m stupid, Hoons?” He snatched the gun from Wendell’s flipper. “You’re an endangered species with a limited habitat range. There’s no such thing as a west coast manatee. I watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”

Then the elevator door opened and Wendell’s henchmen started spraying bullets everywhere.

***

From Chapter 6

Sally Love-Interest was having a fine time on the perimeter. It turned out that she and Deputy Chief Robinson shared a love of daytime soap operas. He was really into The Young and The Restless. Personally, Sally’s favorite was The Woke and The Swole, a steamy romance between weight lifters and social justice warriors set at the UC Berkeley fitness gym, but that soap hadn’t been invented yet.

“My gosh, you people are vapid idiots,” said Sgt. Al Powell. “I’m going to go do something useful.”

“Bye, Felica,” Sally said. Being a SWAT commander was awesome.

“Uh oh, the FBI are here.”

“Hello, I’m Special Agent Johnson, and this is my new partner, Special Agent Johnson.” The FBI Agent nodded to his partner who was a dog. “No relation. We’re in charge here.”

It took Sally a minute to realize that the second “Agent Johnson” was really a clever disguise by Superfluous Marketing DogTM.

“What are you doing here?”

“Bork,” he explained.

“Tim is stuck in a well?”

Superfluous Marketing DogTM shook his head. “Bork.”

“Oh, you came to help because without Net Neutrality the world is going to end. Got it.”

Superfluous Marketing DogTM was grim. Little did Sally realize what was at stake this Christmas Eve of 1988. By trying to save Die Hard on this one sad world, every other Christmas across the multiverse had begun to unravel. If Christmas was saved here, it might be destroyed everywhere else. Balance had to be restored. As Tim’s marketing department mandated lovable animal companion, most people did not realize that Superfluous Marketing DogTM also had a dark side, possessing a particular set of skills which made him exceedingly dangerous.  Known only to a select few Christmas Ghosts as “The Cleaner”, Superfluous Marketing DogTM  was sometimes given contracts to tie up loose ends.

If the humans lacked the will to do what was necessary to protect Christmas, then he would. And may God forever be merciful upon them, so that the humans would be spared from knowing the terrible things which had been done to protect them from the hungry evil which dwelled in the dark void between the stars.

The contract was clear. John McClane had to be stopped at all costs.

“Who’s my good boy?” Sally pulled a doggie treat from my pocket. “Who is?”

“Woof.”

Sally gave him the treat. Superfluous Marketing DogTM ate it with grim determination.

For I am the Good Boy.

***

Things had spiraled out of control. Wendell had to get those detonators before the bad guys did to keep them from really blowing up the hostages. Only John McClane had them, and that dude was like some kind of land mammal apex predator killing machine. Fritz had gotten shot in the heart as soon as the elevator opened, and then he’d hamburgered poor Franco’s legs until he’d done a header through a glass wall.

Wendell hadn’t seen such carnage since the Deep War.

But they had John McClane pinned down in a cubicle. Now was his chance to use his eloquence to try and defuse the situation. He ordered Karl to hold his fire.

“Mooo.”

“Huh?”

Wendell sighed. Karl had great hair, but he was a terrible listener. “Mooo.”

“You heard the boss! Shoot the glass! Shoot the glass!”

***

From Chapter 7

Tim had been hoping to watch the big hand to hand fight between John McClane and Karl, but he’d been attacked by an Alien xenomorph instead. “Aw come on already!” he shouted as it dragged him out of the air vent. Tim punched it in its extra mouth, and it sprayed acid blood everywhere. “This is so not cool!”

“Come in, Tim.” Santa was on the phone.

“I’m a little busy right now!”

“Well, there’s been another complication. This is a little embarrassing. I just found out that Harambe misunderstood the whole mission and has taken out a black ops contract on John McClane. This is what that gorilla gets for napping through briefings.”

“Okay, and?” Tim got the Alien in a headlock, which was a surprisingly bad tactical choice, since it still had razor sharp claws and a stabby tail.

“There’s a burn notice on your team. You’ve been black listed.”

“That’s not an 80’s show!”

“No. I mean a literal burn notice. You’ve been disavowed from Christmas Warrioring. They’ve sent a cleaner to take you all out, blow up the hostages, the terrorists, your manatee, everyone! It’ll be like Die Hard never existed at all.”

Well, that certainly sucked.

“And worse, more temporal rifts are appearing. This story is going to be filled with pop culture references by the end.”

“You don’t say?” Tim shouted as the Alien tried to bite his face off.

***

“This is Agent Johnson… No, not the dog. Send in the gun ships.”

Sally got really excited and clapped with glee. “Like old timey pirate ships with canons?”

“Oooh, that would be rad!” agreed Dwayne.

“No. They’re just helicopters. And we can ride on them, with guns… Okay, I guess the name is a bit of a misnomer. Sorry.”

Superfluous Marketing DogTM retrieved his M60 machinegun. The time of blood-letting had come. His tail wagged, not with joy, but with conviction.

***

As soon as Uli opened the door to the roof, John McClane pumped a bunch of 9mm into his guts. Which had always struck Tim as a wasted opportunity, because Uli was the only bad guy who knew kung-fu. He’d even thrown down with Brandon Lee at the end of Rapid Fire and that had been an awesome fight scene in an otherwise unmemorable flick.

But Tim had more important things to worry about. Like saving Christmas, John McClane, and not getting hosed by a helicopter door gun.

And then a triangle of glowing laser dots appeared on Tim’s chest. “Predators! Seriously?” If it bleeds, Tim could totally kill it, but this was getting ridiculous!

***

“This is just like Saigon!”

“Woof,” agreed Superfluous Marketing DogTM as he laid down machinegun fire across the roof. He was death made furry flesh, an adorable grim reaper whose sickle was made of hot 30 cal full metal jacket, threshing the wicked. Tonight’s slaughter of innocents would haunt his dreams, but it was not his first, nor would it be the last. Such carnage was a small price to pay to save Christmas.

The sheep were fleeing, bleating their terror, chased away by John McClane, who was depriving them of the sweet release of death. They had to reap the whirlwind. Nothing would be allowed to escape the righteous judgment of Superfluous Marketing DogTM.

“Woof.”

“Dang, Agent Johnson, you’re kind of intense.”

And then the roof exploded.

***

“We’re going to need another FBI dog.”

“Don’t worry, Dwayne,” Sally assured her new BFF. “He blows up all the time. He’ll be fine.”

***

Wendell was no stranger to fireballs, and even by his admittedly jaded standards, this was a lot of fireballs. Nakitomi plaza was blowing up all over the place.

He saw a human female in danger, and valiantly tried to help carry her to safety. She had very large hair, and he probably should have recognized her from his repeated viewings of the film beforehand, but frankly, humans all kind of looked the same to him.

Then John McClane came out of nowhere and shattered Kristoff’s skull with the stock of his MP5, spilling their bearer bonds. He was running out of terrorists!

“Hooooon.” Wendell lifted his P7 as he warned the terrifying John McClane not to come any closer.

“Hi, honey.”

And with a shock Wendell realized that the woman he was trying to help was Holly Gennero. Darn these humans and their doughy bland faces! This was all a terrible misunderstanding. Wendell began to apologize for kidnapping John McClane’s mate. “Floo—”

“You’d have made a pretty good cowboy yourself, Hoons.”

John McClane dropped his MP5 and started laughing, and poor Wendell didn’t know what to do. How did Tim deal with this kind of craziness every Christmas? It was all very overwhelming. Then, like John McClane was doing a magic trick, the ultimate murder Beretta came out of nowhere, Tony got drilled right between the eyes, and Wendell was fresh out of terrorists.

A 9mm hollow point hit Wendell in the blubber and he fell out the window. Desperate, he grabbed onto Holly’s Rolex. Unfortunately, Wendell weighed a lot more than the regularly scheduled Hans Gruber, and yanked her hand right off.

Whoops.

***

“I hope that manatee isn’t one of the hostages.”

Seeing her dugong friend plummeting to certain doom reminded Sally. “I almost forgot. I’m supposed to save the day!”

So she pushed the big red button that activated the Christmas Noun’s time space hole thingy whatever. She didn’t know how none of this stuff worked. Anyways, Wendell disappeared right before impact.

“Yay! I’m the best!”

“Wow, Commander Sally, you’re a SWAT commander and a wizard? That’s pretty neat.”

“This was fun. I feel like we really have a bond, Dwayne. I’m sure going to miss you when I go back to the future.”

“Yep. I have an illegitimate baby daughter who I’ve never met. I sure hope she grows up to be just like you.”

“What a funny coincidence! I was an illegitimate baby back in the 1980s and never knew who my father was.” And obliviously missing out on the touching Christmas Miracle Family Reunited Moment that Santa had thoughtfully provided for her, Sally cluelessly mashed the button so she could go home. “Bye bye.”

***

Tim limped out of the ruins of Nakitomi Plaza just as Sgt. Al Powell dramatically gunned down Carl. Awesome. They’d saved Christmas again. Suck it, Net Neutrality.

He caught up with John McClane and Holly Gennaro just as they were getting into Argyle’s limo. Even though John McClane had multiple gunshot wounds, walked through broken glass, and suffered a great deal of blunt force trauma, he was just going to walk it off. Holly on the other hand, didn’t have an other hand. That sure wasn’t going to look good on his after action report to Santa!

“Hey, John.”

“Hey, guy from the airplane, what are you doing here? And why are you dressed like a ninja commando from the future?”

“Long story. Hey, look, about your wife’s hand. I know a guy who can fix her up with a new one.” Tim handed over Tom Stranger’s business card. “Tell him to put it on Santa’s account.”

“Thanks. It’s like a Christmas miracle.”

“Yeah, about that. You two really should get some marriage counseling, otherwise years from now you’re going to end up divorced. And you’ll have to kill Timothy Olyphant to get back with your estranged daughter, who’s hooked up with that annoying hipster from the Apple commercials. And don’t even get me started on the Grown Son Franchise Replacement Hero plot of the one where you go to Moscow. I’ve gone down the Grown Son plot path myself. Trust me, John, no audience wants that.”

“That’s great.” John McClane had an action hero twinkle in his eye as he got in the limo. “Merry Christmas, pal.”

Christmas music even played during the ending credits, which made Tim pause and wonder what kind of soulless monster could ever deny that Die Hard was a Christmas movie.

***

 

Epilogue narrated by Ron Perlman

Tim and Sally returned to their Black Tiger Kung Fu Dojo and Mall Santa Prep Academy for Disadvantaged Youths. Unfortunately Sally never learned that Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson was her real father. To this day she still secretly believes her father was Elvis Presley. Yes… We know the dates don’t work. Don’t ruin it for her.

Superfluous Marketing DogTM is seeking professional help for his “episodes”.

After creating the greatest Christmas movie ever, John McClane rode off into the sunset. His awesomeness continues to this day.

Hans Gruber retired from being a small animal veterinarian in Stuttgart, and travelled back in time to the 1890s to start an Australian cattle ranch.  

The twelve terrorists who took over Nakitomi Plaza were all brutally massacred. (Editor’s note, I thought there were thirteen terrorists?)

Wendell the Manatee returned to his home in Florida to recuperate, where he just happened to come across three hundred and twenty million dollars in negotiable bearer bonds. Wendell’s new secretary, Theo, could not be reached for comment.

Larry Correia continued to receive angry one star reviews from people who ignorantly believe Ready Player One invented the concept of using pop culture references, and Larry is just ripping that off, even though Tom Stranger and Christmas Noun were written years before RP1 came out.

Because Christmas… Even after TEN FRIGGIN’ YEARS… Christmas never changes.  

Walking on the Sea of Clouds

This isn’t a Book Bomb (I am so far behind on my To Be Read Pile that it is ridiculous) but I want to get in a plug for a book by a friend of mine.


Walking on the Sea of Clouds

by Gray Rinehart

WalkingOnTheSeaOfClouds

Gray is an awesome guy. I’ve known him for about as long as I’ve been writing for Baen. He’s the Slush Master General there, and an all around good dude.  Gray has helped me out a bunch of times. He’s doing a push for his new book this week, so please take a look.