Epoch of The Far Dawn: Chapter I

By Richard Barrett

Chapter I

Lawson Fuller’s glinting possessive gaze drank in the dark pitch of night surrounding the Saloon d’Imperium. Here was the last little bit of civilization before the passing of the stars into the vast black unknown of space.

Here and there, shooting billiards at the tables or playing cards in the lounge, were Imperial Union correspondents in dark formal suits, star-pilots and legion officers in their trim blue uniforms, and like-attired civil servants.

A chandelier of crystal cast a low luminescent glow over the posh surroundings carpeted in the rich oranges, reds, and gold inlays with cream walls with dark toffee colored wood. The Big Band’s tunes swung softly.

Lawson Fuller reposed calmly in the corner. His blue eyes glinted magnetic. 

He was fair browed, hard jawed, and crowned with a mass of black hair. A slender dark suit, black tie, and white shirt encased steely sinews covering legs like pistons and shoulders like mountains that ended in fists like sledgehammers. 

A large framed .455 Webley Revolver hung listless in a shoulder holster.

He had come here, where the exotic juices of tart yellow fruits from the distant moon of Xonsha flowed into slender glasses, out of the distant darkness of space, hiding in plain sight…awaiting the arrival of the Longzhu Pirates who sought his head.

A suited orderly, slender, haggard, and trembling, approached him. He was sweating bullets, a cream-colored call card in hand.

“Telephone for you, Mr. Fuller,” he said with the desperate drone of a man wishing to perform his duty and be done with it. “You can take it in the call room.”

Lawson’s gaze narrowed quizzically as he got up and glided like a panther across the carpet to the call room.

There, the assistant directed him to Booth #5 etched in red letters where a shining black rotary phone sat. Lawson picked it up.

“This is Lawson Fuller speaking,” he intoned, every syllable dripping with command. 

“Hello Mr. Fuller,” came an impassioned voice. “Your presence is requested at Government House, #1 Row—”

Suddenly, the line went dead.

Lawson cocked a brow suspiciously. 

He hung up the phone, paid the man the tab, and walked from the call room back toward the bar.

Suddenly his eagle-eyed gaze caught sight of twenty sallow, sulking, degenerates in dingy golden and red and indigo silk robes. Their teeth bristled and their slant-eyed gaze held sadistic murder. Their hands were hidden.

The Longzhu Pirates.

In a fit of rage the Pirate leader shrieked:

“He is our man!” he screamed  “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

Lawson’s blue eyes glittered. 

In a flash his gun was out. 

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! 

His revolver cracked like thunder, firing from the hip as five pirates twisted to their deaths.

The Longzhu scattered left and right, overturning billiards and card tables as from their robes and hidden hands drew PPSH-41 submachine guns.

Automatic fire rattled the room as Lawson leapt behind the bar. The torrent of fire shattered the bottles and glasses above him, sending the bits of glass firing in all directions.

Calmly as if it were nothing Lawson reloaded his gun. In his mind’s eye he pictured the positions of the attackers: two tables were turned over straight in front of him. They had five, maybe six of the scum behind each.

He slammed the loaded cylinder into the revolver’s frame and dashed to his right behind the cover of the bar. Around the corner he crouched, and sprang and fired. 

Bang! Bang! Bang!

The .455 ripped into three of the Longzhu’s bodies as they twisted to their deaths.  

The enemy fusillade continued overhead as Lawson slipped three more cartridges into the revolver’s cylinder. Suddenly he turned, crouching left and facing the next table. 

Bang! Bang! Bang! 

Another three went down when suddenly Lawson leapt upon the bar like a jack rabbit and flung himself from the sky toward his attackers. His blue eyes glittered as his sixgun blasted, ripping into the three pirates behind the left table as they screeched in death terror.

Three more remained, as Lawson landed and let loose a sledgehammer blow from his left fist against one, smashing into the Longzhu’s glass jaw. 

Again he slammed his hulking frame into the next, throwing him across the floor. He spun around leaping toward another Longzhu as he smashed the butt of the empty revolver in his eye with his right. 

With his left fist he grasped the barrel of the pirate’s automatic weapon in an icy vise grip, ripping the submachine gun from the scum’s hand and bashing into his head.

He threw his six gun to the floor and flipped the submachine gun around and turned toward the Longzhu getting up from the floor. 


The submachine gun sang as it pumped lead into the sprawling, contorted bodies of the Longhzu. 

Suddenly from behind Lawson felt a mass smash into him and no sooner was he on the floor. Deftly Lawson rolled over and shoved the barrel of the submachine into the Longhzu’s stomach. 


It sang again as it pumped lead into the attacker. 

Another dashed toward Lawson, this one bigger than the others, with a broad flat face and sallow dead eyes. 


The submachine gun was empty. 

Lawson’s eye’s glinted laconic as he threw the gun to the floor and slammed into the attacker. In a moment they were on the floor in a tangled mass, rolling one on top of the other back and forth. Suddenly the Longzhu was on top, his  stubby grimy fingers clawing at Lawson’s thick, sinewed throat.

Lawson glared in a rage as his steely fist gripped the Longzhu’s wrist like a vise, squeezing and crushing it like a ball of paper. The Longzhu’s head shot as he screeched in pain…his weight had shifted!

That was all Lawson needed, for suddenly with all strength he rolled himself out from beneath, and with his other first grasped the Longzhu’s neck with his icy vise grip of steel! 

 Slowly, slowly, slowly each steely finger of the human noose gripped tighter and tighter as Lawson stood up, carrying the Longzhu’s body with him. 

Stubby feet dangled off the ground as the Longzhu convulsed desperately, his eyes bulging out of his head as he squirmed helplessly. 

Suddenly, the squirming stopped. 

Lawson threw him across the floor. His blue eyes glinted.

The remaining degenerates were apprehended by the Air and Legion Officers, and the whirr of the Imperial Police motor-cars was audible.

Lawson reached down and picked up his spent revolver. A hand was laid upon his shoulder menacingly.

Lawson spun around ready to strike.

Suddenly, all was black.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close