A snippet of April 13. Rough and unedited.

After Jeff Singh abruptly left the treaty signing to return to his ship the North American negotiator, Quincy Love, turned to his Hawaiian supplied security and asked to be returned to his hotel rooms. The press immediately started packing up their equipment, and minor officials seeing the principal participants leave, headed for the exits too.

Prime Minister Tanaka was temporarily besieged by his own military and law enforcement demanding what they should do with the nuclear weapon at their feet with which Jeff had gifted them. By the time he made clear he wanted it as far from Honolulu as they could take it and secured with guards in a remote location the hanger was almost cleared. Their security people were standing around the perimeter still but the janitors were there too, looking eager to clean up and close the building.

Tanaka looked around dismayed. His Business Minister Naito was still standing fast by him but even the mayor of Honolulu and his aide were in retreat for the exit. “I had no idea the signatories would just abruptly march off without taking time to issue closing statements to the press. I was going to propose an official luau tomorrow as a grand celebration. That isn’t going to work with the guests of honor gone.”

“That’s pretty hard to top as a closing statement,” Naito said, gesturing at the white cylinder of the weapon resting on the hanger floor. “I suspect the North Americans never thought he’d offer hard evidence of what sort of weapons their ship carried. If they had they would have never issued a flat denial. Other governments would at most offer up photos or video as evidence. It’s an intelligence bonanza few would share once they got a sample of their enemies most advanced weapon.”

Tanaka looked deeply thoughtful. An expression Naito wasn’t used to seeing on his face. “That tells me they see little value in the tech. They must have as good or better. I think you got the key there when you said other governments. Singh and his ladies are not really a traditional government. I don’t get the impression it was ever something to which they aspired. They are just some very strange people who fell into significant powers. There’s no predicting what they may do because they are amateurs.”

Naito had to stifle a smile at the strong disapproval Tanaka put on that word.

The roar of exhaust from Dionysus’ Chariot made them turn their heads and look out the open hanger doors. The dark wedge of the ship was already well off the ground rising on a pencil line of purple flame when it winked out of existence. The roar cut off abruptly a couple of seconds later.

“And North America should be cautious and treat these odd amateurs with all due respect until they can do that,” Naito concluded.

“That’s some seriously spooky stuff,” Tanaka agreed.

“Thank you for your support,” Naito said. “I think this left us looking very good, and the fact North America didn’t contest having the talks here would make arguing against the reality of our independence in the future rather difficult.”

“As if you left me any way to graciously beg off,” Tanaka said. “You got away with it this time, but if you keep pulling this sort of stunt it will eventually blow up in your face. Don’t think for a moment I wouldn’t have put the whole thing on your head if it had turned into a fiasco. You are almost as dangerous and unpredictable as these Spacers.”

“I’ll only take such risks if the potential benefits are worth it,” Naito promised. “I’m pretty sure Singh is going to reward us with regular shuttle service. That puts us on a par with Australia, Tonga, and Japan. That’s an exclusive club to join with economic benefits.”

“Good, because I don’t think the North Americans are going to reward us at all for facilitating this. I’ll be happy if they don’t try to recover their weapon by military action and then try to pretend we never had possession of it.”

“Where are you taking it?” Naito wondered. “Are you going to call in the French as Singh suggested? You had your heads so close together with the brass I couldn’t hear.”

“We’re going to make a great show of loading it up on an aircraft and taking it to the French Frigate Shoals,” Tanaka said. “Where it is really going you have no need to know. The suggestion we share it with the French is an excellent suggestion, but I have no idea if he cleared it with them first. It’s just the sort of thing this amateur might blurt out as an ad hoc thing without worrying about it failing if he hadn’t arranged it behind the scenes. In any case, the French can damn well open an embassy or a consulate here if they expect us to share such advanced technology with them. Hawaii has no need of such space weapons and no ships to carry them. I’m perfectly willing to let it sit unopened until it’s obsolete if they aren’t willing to acknowledge us that much.”

“That seems a small price,” Naito agreed. “I think they will readily agree.”

Tanaka gave him a sharp look. “Don’t try to help me on the sly. I’ll handle the French.”

“I wouldn’t think of it,” Naito said, showing his palms in surrender. He was already thinking who might be a conduit to the French but dropped that thought reluctantly. “I’m going home up the hill with my neighbor to celebrate privately and leave it all to you now.”

Tanaka nodded a goodbye without scolding him any further. Naito took his leave before he issued any more restrictive orders. Diana was visible waiting for him by the exit. One of only a handful of people who hadn’t vacated the hanger. There were armed soldiers circled around the weapon already. Naito figured they would bring in some sort of a lift as soon as the place was empty and they had some privacy. He didn’t think it was a rational fear, but he’d just as soon be several kilometers away when they started handling it.

31 Responses to A snippet of April 13. Rough and unedited.

  1. JimH November 1, 2020 at 4:02 pm #

    Bless you, Mac! Thanks for the lovely snippet! Anxiously awaiting full stories to come. Trying hard not to gush “Are we there yet?!” every week.

  2. Thorsten November 2, 2020 at 1:53 am #

    Nice snippet. Looking forward to both April 13 and Family Law 6.

  3. Joyce November 2, 2020 at 7:42 am #

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading anything you publish!

  4. Aimee November 3, 2020 at 8:56 pm #

    Me to

  5. Cheryl November 3, 2020 at 10:53 pm #

    Me three

  6. Jim November 4, 2020 at 12:46 pm #

    Wonderful escape from present reality. Thank you!

  7. Harry November 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm #

    Excellent! Looking forward to next installments of both FL & April.

  8. Benny November 9, 2020 at 12:52 am #

    I really enjoy your world building, the characters, everything about the April/Family Law stories. I have re-read them all several times and look forward to buying your future books in these great series.

  9. Natt November 10, 2020 at 3:59 pm #

    Really enjoy your stories. Thanks for all your work. I have also sampled those giant cinnamon rolls at the top of the hill it has been a long time ago though.

    • Mac November 10, 2020 at 4:06 pm #

      Haven’t thought about the Hilltop in ages. I eat low carb now – that would put me in a carb coma overnight. We once bought a couple and drove down the road to a park. After eating our fill we ripped of pieces and threw them to the chipmunks. After some time even they couldn’t absorb any more. They were standing there with their cheeks full and we’d toss a piece and they’d just look at it.

  10. Natt November 13, 2020 at 8:12 am #

    The image of those chipmunks cracks me up. You may have altered the entire tribe. sugar addicted wild eyed creatures might still inhabit that park.

  11. Michael November 15, 2020 at 7:51 pm #

    I’m assuming at some point Jeff somehow winds up back with a casino. In Family Law he makes a specific point of commenting about it. Even though he sold it off in April 12. Given his relationship with China they may of cursed him the Casino and it comes back to him against his will.

    • Mac November 15, 2020 at 8:05 pm #

      No I just screwed up and removed I think three sentences to fix it. If you go in you Amazon account content and devices it will show what books have updates you can load. Sorry but this many books in I get some conflicts. A Wiki would be huge.

  12. Michael November 15, 2020 at 8:00 pm #

    Do we have a ETA for April 13?

    • Mac November 15, 2020 at 8:02 pm #

      Well into next year. Doing Family Law 6 first – at 24k words.

  13. ld November 16, 2020 at 6:11 pm #

    Is there any reason that the rovers, mining bots and tunneling machines would not work on Mars?? Would mining mars have the same opportunities as that of the moon?? Only reason I ask is that I could see Jeff do to mars what heather has done to the moon

  14. Leo Hale November 17, 2020 at 6:16 am #

    Jones’ing for more! Will I get to reread Family Law (with every new book) before Christmas? I will attempt to wait with patients.

  15. Glen A Fletcher November 25, 2020 at 7:58 pm #

    Hi Mac

    I was thinking about how they were saying they can’t have a park on the stations, while they couldn’t do a real park I thought they could probably build a cafeteria as a garden cafe if they were to allocate 50% more cubic, this could be an idea for the new stations their building.

    See the following for ideas:
    Just Some General Pictures

    Garden Kitchen Layout

    Garden Courtyard with seating

    Compact stepped garden (could go along a wall)

    Water Feature to go along a wall

    Some Garden Seat at real restaurants, some of these could work

    • Mac November 26, 2020 at 2:18 am #

      Pretty. I haven’t mentioned in awhile that people do keep plants, and one lady a planter on the corridor. It’s hard to build the full picture back up in a new book.

      • Bill January 24, 2021 at 1:42 pm #

        Better cover for April or Jeff during gunfight

  16. nathan December 2, 2020 at 2:08 am #

    Your story’s tend to drive home to me how powerless even people in we would consider in power to be compared to April and the gang who more or less act with complete free will and have the ships and nukes to back it up 99.99% of the rest of humanity will never be that free or have a social dynamic set up to allow it with out everyone dyeing screaming.

  17. William H. Stoddard December 17, 2020 at 5:31 pm #

    An idea I played with years ago was that of a world where superbeings (not necessarily “heroes” or “villains”) had powers equivalent to those of national governments, and were treated diplomatically as sovereign entities—so, for example, Superman’s apartment would have the legal status of the Kryptonian embassy. Obviously you don’t have such legal arrangements in your fictional world. But Jeff, Heather, and April are functionally something close to sovereign individuals, and a key question they raise is how to have a meaningful legal order where some individuals have that level of power and others don’t. It’s an interesting fictional topic and I’m glad to see it explored.

    • Mac December 17, 2020 at 7:11 pm #

      Keeping in mind it is fiction – I think it depends on having moral people. We have some billionaires today that might as well be regarded as sovereigns – but even when they try to do good it doesn’t always work that way. I think put not your trust in princes still rings true.

  18. Robert baker December 21, 2020 at 9:10 am #

    thank you.
    I am awaiting the completed books April and family law
    please hurry. I could be dead soon and I don’t want to have to haunt you…. just kidding

    • Mac December 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm #

      I’m 73. What if I die first?

  19. Mike Rhodes December 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm #

    I have been reading sci-fi since I was 11 back in 1958. I am 73 too and I am going to keep just to read your books.

    • Mac December 22, 2020 at 4:23 pm #

      I think I started with a Heinlein book from the New Bern NC public library in ’60 or ’61.

  20. James J Davis December 26, 2020 at 6:15 pm #

    I read Heinlein early but think I started with several of the Tom Swift books. Also remember reading a lot of the Ace double paperbacks later.

    • Bill January 24, 2021 at 1:46 pm #

      Satelite E1 in 1962 school library … Never went back to anything else

  21. Audeojude January 4, 2021 at 4:07 pm #

    I started with Black beauty the black stallion Big red And other animal stories. And then found Tom Corbett space cadet Rick Brant electric boy Tom swift by Appleton And then God help me I found Heinlein Andrew Norton asthma of hand all the other old Sci-fi masters Period

    Sadly up until about 10 years ago I was really being disappointed in the quality of the writing in the most part or let’s just say the stuff that publishers were willing to publish. Then the Then self publishing craze took off with Amazon and other online publishers And all these books crazy good books more books than I can read left in my lifetime ate now available

  22. Brent January 19, 2021 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Mac,
    I’m posting on an old thread, so not sure if you’ll notice this…
    In re-reading Friends in the Stars prior to the release of your next book, I noticed a conversation between Heather and Jeff regarding the Claims Commission.

    “It’s been ninety years since we agreed to allow exploration ships with limited arms passage beyond L1. It’s been seventy years since they found the Elves world and at least knew they would find some living worlds, even if the first was occupied. “That’s what really triggered them to form the Commission,” Jeff said.

    It looks like you may get into trouble keeping these timelines consistent with Love proposing the formation of a claims commission (from April 12, referenced in the snippet you posted here). It appears that there is a lag of twenty years from this agreement (end of April 12 book) and the actual formation of the commission.

    My apologies if you already have a plan to sort that out. Just wanted to give you a heads-up to avoid any conflicts as you tell the story. I know it’s difficult to keep everything straight without a team of editors helping you get things published!

    Lookin forward to the upcoming Family Law and this new April.


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