A Weapon’s Journey
by Frank Martin
Living in poverty with his abusive father, Adam Judson never considered himself special. Not even when the authoritative American government abducted him to be part of its secretive weapons program. But becoming a highly-trained child soldier was just the start of Adam’s journey. After being condemned to undergo the program’s most brutal procedure, Adam became a super human of unimaginable power. Now he faces the burden of deciding if his newfound abilities make him a god or just another weapon.
She fired a single shot with her M4 and the bullet pierced straight through the wall as a scream came from the other side. Breaking their tight formation, Wolf kicked in the apartment’s front door and discovered Adam in the living room, leaning against the wall and bleeding from his shoulder. “I see you have new toys.”
“Just for you,” she replied, her weapon trained directly at his head.
The other two soldiers followed her into the room and Colt smiled as he squeezed the trigger. “Too easy.”
Diving over a hail of green gunfire from Colt’s weapon, Adam sprung up and kicked Colt straight back into the wall. The injured super-soldier then raced around the room as Wolf opened fire, her shots trailing just a split second behind his movements.
Aiming at a spot ahead of Adam’s path, Raptor timed his shot and fired his launcher as Adam passed him by. The grenade round connected directly with the super-soldier and exploded in a green burst, blasting him straight through the wall and down to the street below.
Impressed, Raptor held up the lightweight weapon with a smile on his face. “Damn. Can I use this thing all the time?”
Barely paying attention to the question, Wolf answered him while helping Colt up to his feet. “Stay focused. We still have to finish the job.”
Wolf and Colt wasted no time leaving the room, but Raptor trailed behind, confused by her comment. “Finish the job? But I just hit him with a grenade launcher.”
Frank is a comic writer and author that is not as crazy as his work makes him out to be…seriously.
Since his writing career began he’s had multiple short stories published in horror anthologies by both Burning Willow Press and Stitched Smile Publications. Frank has also had comic shorts appear in the “fluff noir” anthology series Torsobear and the all-ages horror anthology Cthulhu is Hard to Spell.
Frank also wrote and produced the comic anthology series Modern Testament, which featured a wide ensemble of artists throughout its four volumes. Frank’s novels include the YA sci-fi thriller Predestiny published by Crossroads Press and the zombie horror Mountain Sickness published by Severed Press.
Frank currently lives in New York with his wife and three kids.
I’ve been thinking lately about what makes a person a writer. What are the inner qualities that drive someone to sit down and flesh out their imagination into words? It’s obviously not for everyone. I’ve met people that were astonished that I’m able to craft a story with characters and worlds from nothing. Like it was impossible for them to just make stuff up. But I’m from the belief that everyone at some point in their life had this ability. I mean, that’s all kids playing make believe are doing. Making stuff up. And what are writers if not grown ups who never stopped playing make believe?
I also believe that fan fiction is the next evolution on this journey. Obviously, every writer’s path is different, but for a kid playing make believe it’s a relatively simple step to take those imaginary adventures you’re having with your favorite TV/comic/movie/video game characters and start writing them down on paper. I used to do that all the time and still have a pretty wide collection of fan fiction stories sitting on my computer.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually publish these stories because you don’t own the characters in them. There are places to share them online. Forums and online communities of fans looking for unofficial tales that expand the adventures of their favorite characters. But fan fiction doesn’t have to stop there. You’d be surprised by how interchangeable plots and characters can be. A few story details tweaked here and a few names changed there and I have myself an original work ready to be submitted to publishers. In fact, I’ve successfully done this with a few of my titles. (Shhh. I’ll never tell which.)
But once again, that’s not where a writer’s relationship with fandom ends. Every writer, all throughout their career, is continually inspired by the stories that came before them. Everywhere you look you can spot little bits and pieces of past characters and plots sprinkled throughout today’s popular tales. Some are blatantly obvious in the form of homages and references. Others are more subtle Easter eggs, only picked up on by the most hardened of fans.
For my latest novel, A Weapon’s Journey, the influences are front and center. I wrote the first draft of this story when I was thirteen and neck deep in teenage geek culture. Without holding back, I jammed as many parts of all my favorite titles as I could into one story. Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Dragonball Z, Final Fantasy, Captain America, Ultimate Spider-Man…The list goes on and on. The book is one hundred percent new and original, but any geek can read it and see where the inspiration came from. It’s been re-written and edited a million times since then, honed into something I was proud of publishing today. But needless to say, I think my thirteen-year-old self would be proud.
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