Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss September

Pin Cushion Grab your 20-sided dice and a giant bag of Funyuns—it’s time for the science fiction and fantasy pinups of September! If this is your first time joining us for the pinups, welcome! This is the monthly segment where we ogle two hot specimens that will certainly set your phasers to stun, if you know what I’m sayin’!

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m saying either.

Anyway, the pinups are hot and ready for action! If you’d like to catch up on previous pinups, click the Sci-Fi Pinups link in the sidebar. (Our list of hotties started in January 2012, so if you want to peruse you’d better go to your bunk.)

Miss September is the girl next door from the rainy city of Seattle. She’s so adorable and such a sweetheart that you’ll offer to hack into the school computers to raise her grades. But don’t let her catch you doing it—her high moral standards will make you change it right back. Her turn-ons include talking computers, leg warmers, and bombing Las Vegas. Turn-offs include global thermonuclear war.

She is…

WarGames - Jennifer

…Jennifer Mack from War Games!

Isn’t she adorable? I confess, this month’s female pinup was largely inspired by the book Ready Player One, a must read for nerds like me. There are a ton of ’80’s references and trivia, and War Games gets a major shout out. (Not going to spoil it for you, so if you want to know more, click the link and read the book!)

And now, here’s a clip of the iconic scene that shows Miss September (and Joshua the computer) being adorable.


Shall we play a game?

And now for Mr. September! He was born on a battlefield, and the lust for adventure and mayhem took hold of him right from the womb. His days are spent wandering around the land, enjoying local cultures and making friends—and then pillaging the towns, strangling their kings, and becoming their ruler. That’s ambition, ladies! His turn-ons include oiled biceps, leather codpieces, and the lamentations of women. Turn-offs include nothing. Mr. September is always on.

He is…

Conan the Barbarian

…Conan the Barbarian! With sword placement that isn’t at all phallic!

If you head out on the town with Mr. September, bring your sword and your loincloth and prepare for a night of romance and pillaging.

As an added bonus, a very talented individual created Conan the Barbarian: The Musical! It’s a song from Conan to you. Pay special attention to the 2:09 mark for the best part of the song. Seriously. I watched that part ten times and nearly died laughing.

Thanks for joining us for this month’s pinups! If you like what you see and want a little more, pick up a copy of my bestselling comic urban fantasy novel, THE FOURTH CHANNEL.

Subscribe to the site for more! Link is in the sidebar, and you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Next week, we’ll post another episode in our “Choose Your Own Adventure” style story, THE CURE. So stick around for more!

Pincushion photo courtesy of Lina-Sydney. Continue reading “Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss September”

The Cure: Part Four (Vote Your Adventure)

Steel DoorThis is the fourth part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. If this is your first time joining the VYA, welcome! You can jump in and vote at any time so please vote! Voting ends on Saturday night.

In Part 3, the vote was almost a landslide to stand and fight the demon. Good luck, Gang!

You decide to run for the workbench. On your way, you grab Tankwald by the collar and drag him with you. Still paralyzed by fear, he stumbles backward, his eyes locked on the demon taking up the entire doorway. You grab one of the black gauge-and-needle contraptions from the bench and sling the strap over your shoulder. As you’re reaching for one of the silver rings hanging on the pegboard, a memory from your short time in basic training flitters through your mind: words have power.

You grab a small black book from the tall stack, flip it open, and shove it into Tankwald’s hands.

“Read,” you hiss.

He blinks and stares up at you stupidly. His mouth opens and closes like a fish. No sounds come out.
The demon enters the room. It doesn’t walk, but it doesn’t glide either. It simply comes forth. Even now, though it’s been years since the initial invasion, you have no words to describe how they move. Supernatural beings defy the laws of this world, even when they take physical form.

Tankwald takes a step back. His knees start to give way.

You grab him again, hauling him to his feet. “Read, damn you!”

Your words galvanize him into action. He blinks and looks at the book in his hands as if noticing it for the first time. His words are robotic. He stumbles through the ancient text printed on the pages.

“T- t- tene tene isene ereth! Vron erebekk bet!”

The demon stops moving, as if barred from coming closer. You place your hand on the back of Tankwald’s neck and push him forward.

“Keep going,” you order.

The demon’s black, soulless eyes bore into you. You think the creature is moving backward. It’s hard to say. You know it isn’t moving forward, and that’s at least better than the situation was five seconds ago.

Tankwald wipes his brow with the back of his hand and continues. You have no idea what he’s saying. From the look on his face, he isn’t entirely sure either. He reads another line and you shove him forward another step. Behind the demon, you can see the box it was kept in. The thick metal walls have strange symbols and foreign writing engraved in the steel. The walls are so thick, you’re sure it comprises a few layers, each one bearing similar symbols to keep the creature contained.

A low rumbling fills the room that causes the hair on the back of your neck to rise. Tankwald reads faster. Louder.

The demon braces itself, standing to full height, stretching its arms stiffly at its sides. Its fingers elongate into razor-sharp tips. Its mouth opens. A cloud of brown and green fumes billows forth from the fanged hole, smelling of bile and feces. The feeling of terror returns, raw and real. Your muscles clench so hard they hurt. Moving is damn near impossible. You can’t help but marvel at how effective demons are at manipulating your mind. Like many others, you suspect that this, not physical force, is Hell’s greatest weapon.

You concentrate on Tankwald’s voice—the thin, shaky words barely heard beneath the growing hellish hum—and you shuffle to the side. The demon’s eyes flicker to you, then back at Tankwald. You take another step and the black gadget hanging on your arm slips down to your elbow. Its swinging motion sparks an idea. You grab the strap and force yourself to take a step closer.

The demon looks conflicted. It moves forward, then back. It sees you trying to sneak around and it moves toward you, but Tankwald’s girlish screaming sends it back. The hum gets louder. As you move closer to the door, you hear the soldiers shouting outside.

“Retreat?”

“No! Hold your ground, dammit!”

You glance at the metal box in the doorway then back at the demon. If you had a gun you could end this. But you don’t, so you improvise.

You wrap the black gadget’s thick strap around your hand and swing. The metal contraption sails through the air and slams into the back of the demon’s head. Black ichor splatters from the wound. Leathery wings sprout from the demon’s back, expanding like onyx sails as the demon crashes sideways to the floor. The humming stops. You’re pretty sure the demon isn’t dead, but you don’t stop to check—nor do you wait for the damned thing to get up. You grab Tankwald by his lab coat, scramble around the demon, and run for the metal box.

You shove Tankwald inside. He tumbles forward and smacks against the back wall. His sloppy landing pushes the box away from the door frame, reminding you that it’s sitting atop a rolling cart.

Tankwald’s scream increases and his eyes bulge at something behind you. The sound of rustling wings fills the room and a tremor ripples beneath your feet. The same fear that gripped you moments ago comes flooding back.

The demon’s up and it’s pissed.

You put your hands on the sides of the metal box and push. You don’t know where you’re going and you really don’t care. You let out a primal scream and give the cart a strong shove. The wheels move. Adrenaline kicks in and you turn the cart right, into the soldiers.

Tankwald continues screaming. “It’s coming! It’s looooooooooose!”

You join him, hoping your combined panic will divert their attention. “We’re all going to diiiiiiiiiie!”

Around you, soldiers are barking orders, some shouting to retreat, others shouting not to retreat. A single bullet slams into the metal and ricochets off into the wall. Chaos and panic erupt.

You push the cart into the soldiers. You meet resistance as you slam into someone and knock them down. Soldiers flatten themselves against the wall, trying to squeeze around the metal box. Someone grabs you from behind and tries jerking you back. A human voice screams in your ear to surrender. But you don’t stop pushing and you don’t look back. You know what’s coming.

And in a single breath, a dreadful, tangible silence descends upon the hall. Within seconds it’s broken by a roar of ancient words. The front of Tankwald’s pants darkens.

Soldiers run past you, no longer concerned with you or the scientist fleeing the scene. After thirty feet of pushing you slam into the wall at the end of the hall and flop headfirst into the box.

You scramble back out and toss a glance over your shoulder, just in time to see a torso flying through the air.

No limbs, no head. Just a torso.

The demon towers over the soldiers. It’s staring at you.

An alarm goes off. You hear an official voice over a loudspeaker, calling for reinforcements and a lockdown. The overhead lights flicker and turn red. To your left, you see armor-plated barriers lowering from the ceiling.

If you don’t move, you’re going to be trapped.

You roll the box down the left hall, trying to get past the dropping barrier, but you don’t make it in time. The barrier clamps down and pins the box in place. The lowering mechanism makes a horrible grinding noise, but the box is too strong to collapse. You put your whole body into it, but you can’t push it loose. The mechanism gives up and the emergency lights start flashing in a new area. Somewhere up ahead, you hear a backup barrier coming down.

A familiar deep hum fills the air and you glance back over your shoulder at the corner you just came around. Bullets tear into the wall and you catch a glimpse of a black, leathery wing.

You drag Tankwald from the metal box, squeeze around it, and run. You soon find yourself at another crossroad with a barrier closing on each side. On the left, the hall slopes downward into darkness. At the edge of the light, you think you see a stairwell heading down into pitch black. To the right, the walls have been painted orange with the word “Quarantine” in bold black.

You turn to ask Tankwald which way to go when a deafening slam fills the air. More gunfire. Screams. Another slam, and a metallic screech that curls your toes.

The barriers are lowering and the demon is trying to get past its box. It hasn’t forgotten about you. You have only a moment to decide which way to go.

What do you do?

A. Run left, down into darkness.
B. Run right, into a quarantine zone.

Vote in the comments or on Twitter. Voting ends Saturday night, September 21st. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted in two weeks.

Steel Barrier photo courtesy of Anjan Chatterjee. Continue reading “The Cure: Part Four (Vote Your Adventure)”

Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss August 2013

Pin Cushion Welcome back to another episode of science fiction pinups, the monthly segment where I reveal my ancient age by featuring old and obscure characters you’ve probably never heard of but really should know.

In related news, get off my lawn.

If this is your first time to the site, welcome! There are more pinups every month, and you can find other humor and satire in the other categories. At the moment, we’re running a Choose Your Own Adventure-style story where you choose the next step. It isn’t comedy, but it is exciting. And, of course, you’re welcome to join in the fun. So stick around! If you like what you see and want a little more, I also wrote a bestselling comic urban fantasy novel.

And now, without further ado, let’s announce the pinups!

Mr. August is a rags-to-riches story of a not-so-humble man who became a professional wrestler and then a porn superstar. After that, his ascension to President of the United States was practically guaranteed. He’s a man of the people, working hard to cure the problems of his mighty nation.

He is…

President Camacho House of Representin

President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho from Idiocracy!

In case you’re wondering, that’s an action shot of Mr. August giving his State of the Union Address at the House of Representin’.

Mr. August’s turn-offs are water, when everyone’s sh*t gets emotional, and reading. His turn-ons include the smartest person in the world doing his job for him, crushing the smartest person in the world with monster trucks when he isn’t doing that job fast enough, and Brawndo the Thirst Mutilator—it’s got electrolytes!

I went looking for some videos of Mr. August in action, but most of the videos have been removed due to copyright. However, I found something almost as good. Funny or Die has published new speeches by President Camacho.

Please be warned, these are not safe for work – they contain profanity… and a little insanity.

http://www.funnyordie.com/embed/23018ada16

Welcome to Costco. I love you.

Miss August is a hottie out to save the world. She stands for what’s right and isn’t afraid to kick a little ass—even if she isn’t wearing pants. Demons don’t scare her, nor does darkness nor mortal danger. All she wants is to save a child from the minions of hell and have peace on earth. Nothing can stop her… save for being tied up in toilet paper.

She is…

Kee Nang - The Golden Child

…Kee Nang from The Golden Child!

Miss August’s turn-ons include goofy men who like kids and not getting killed. Her turn-offs include kid-snatchers, demons who can’t pronounce the letter “j,” and toilet paper.

Here’s a video of a pantsless Miss August in action:

Thanks for joining me for another episode of sci-fi pinups! To catch up on previous pinups, check out the link in the sidebar. And don’t forget, next week we’ll have the next episode of our Vote Your Adventure story, THE CURE!

Subscribe to the RSS feed in the sidebar, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Pincushion photo courtesy of Lina-Sydney. Continue reading “Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss August 2013”

The Cure: Part Three (Vote Your Adventure)

Metal Box Jen’s note: Gang, I’m so sorry for interrupting the schedule and posting this a week late. The truth is, there’s a lot of things happening in my professional life right now and I just couldn’t get this wrapped up last week. Work has calmed down a bit so we should be back to the regular schedule. I apologize for the delay. Voting will end on Saturday night and I’ll be sure to get pinups done this weekend for your nerdy pleasure.

This is the third part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

You know there’s no way you can drag Tankwald back into the emergency shaft without one of you falling to your death. The only way for you to escape is to run for it.

You step behind Tankwald and hook your arm around his throat. Surprised, he tries to shout, but it comes out in a gargled moan. You step back, dragging him with you, pressing him against your chest so that his body protects your vitals.

“Help!” Tankwald gasps. His hands grasp at your arm, pulling and slapping at you to get free. “I’m over here!” With your forearm pushing on his throat, his voice is barely above conversation level.

“Yeah,” you say. “They know.”

A head pokes around the corner. The face is obscured by a mask and goggles. The helmet is swathed in gray and orange camouflage matching the hellfire slowly sweeping over the surface of the planet. The soldier sees you retreating and dragging the unwilling scientist with you and steps out from behind the corner. His rifle snaps up, pointing directly at you, trying to get a clean shot. More soldiers file into the hall at the far end. At quick glance, you count six, but you aren’t sure. You’re too busy retreating to count. The soldiers’ shouts fill the air.

“I can’t get a clean shot!”

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”

“You’ll hit the doctor!”

You drag Tankwald to the end of the hall. Just as your shoulders smack into the door, sending it flying open, movement to your right draws your attention. As you back into the black, unlit room, you look—reinforcements. Six more soldiers. What’s worrisome isn’t their armaments, it’s the enormous metal box covered in occult symbols they’re rolling down the hall. Before you can speculate as to whether they’ve brought in a demon hybrid or a full demon, a voice rumbles from the box in a pitch so low it wavers in and out of the human hearing spectrum. The words are unintelligible to you but laden with an ancient evil that makes every hair on your body stand on end.

Sol zulo’tha innso zolo beleet…

Yep. Full demon.

You back into the room and kick the door shut, encasing yourself in darkness.

You release Tankwald, spinning him away. He yelps as he spills out on the hard floor in a heap. But you barely notice. At the moment, you’re too busy groping for a light switch. The voice outside gets a little louder and you feel a heavy thump on the other side of the door.

Did they just back that box up against the door?

You hear shouts outside. Metal grinding against metal. You can only guess the soldiers are opening the box.

The longest three seconds of your life pass as you search along the wall with one hand and fumble for the door lock with the other. Your fingers brush over a small plastic knob on the wall and the room fills with an intense, sterile light. Above, the light boxes begin to hum. Heart pounding, fingers shaking, you twist the deadbolt into the locked position.

“W– w– why would they release a demon with me in here?” Tankwald stammers.

“Maybe because they think you know how to handle them.”

Something slams hard against the door, bending the metal slab inward. Tiny white particles rain down from the ceiling tiles.

You whirl around. There’s a door on the left, slightly ajar, but the room is dark so you can’t see inside. Black ichor stains the floor around the entry. The sign on the door says “Training Room.” Opposite the door, a tall bench sits against the wall and odd metal instruments hang from brown pegboard. You don’t see a single gun. The gadgets in the room are for occult specialists, the soldiers trained in archaic symbols and demonic languages. The specialist on your team died in the lab explosion and your knowledge of these instruments is vague at best. A few of the gadgets on the bench and pegboard look familiar: a metal ring with little tabs that slide around it, a small black device with a gauge and moving needle, and a stack of small, black books.

Tankwald gapes at the door, apparently unable to rip his gaze from it. He shakes his head. “Demons are hard to control. Th– th– that’s why I make the human-demon hybrids. Easier to control.” The demon slams against the door again, causing Tankwald to jump a foot in the air. “Demons think,” he adds. “They’re intelligent. They’ve had millions of years to think. And they crave destruction before…” His voice trails off and he shakes his head, unable to finish his sentence.

You don’t want to hear it anyway, so you don’t ask.

Another slam. The door bows inward. This time, the top hinge snaps and splinters, spraying metal fragments. You run to Tankwald, grab him by the collar, and haul him to his feet.

You take a step toward the bench when another violent slam fills the room, followed by the gut-wrenching sound of the deadbolt snapping and the bottom hinge ripping away. The door topples to the floor with a deafening sound.

A massive figure fills the doorway. Black robe. Black wings. Frighteningly lean. So tall, the figure has to stoop to see you. Like all demons, it isn’t male, nor is it female. But its appearance is beautiful, blending feminine and masculine together. Obsidian eyes peer out at you from its lovely face, like bottomless pits pulling you in. The demon’s mouth isn’t moving, but you still hear the evil language, dipping in and out of the range of perceptible sound. The demon’s head tilts a little to the side. Its elongated fingers gesture in your direction.

Fear seizes you. You’ve never felt anything like it before. Tankwald goes completely rigid; he must be feeling it too. You can’t think. You can’t move. All you can do is try to remember your training—to break demonic emotional manipulation, scream out the name of your deity.

You panic and scream out six gods—but it works. You find yourself back in control and quickly looking around for a weapon or an exit. You spy the door to your left and the loaded pegboard to your right.

In physical form, the demon moves as fast as you do, so you’ll only be able to choose one.

What do you do?
A. Go for the bench and the occult instruments.
B. Run for the door.

Vote in the comments or on Twitter. Voting ends Saturday night, August 31st. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted in two weeks.

Metal Box photo courtesy of KelcyLyn

The Cure: Part Two (Vote Your Adventure)

Laser EyeThis is the second part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read Part 1.

Last time, you were given the choice to head southeast to the armory and medical floors or northwest to the helipad. The vote was nearly a landslide to head southeast.

Southwest: 11 votes
Northwest: 6 votes

So let’s get to it!

You decide to head southeast, toward the armory and garage. A nagging feeling in the back of your mind tells you this is the wrong move, but you’re pretty cut up from the lab explosion—a stop at the medical floor sounds good too.

You walk over to Tankwald, who’s still squatting on the floor, giving you a look that says he doesn’t plan on going anywhere. As your shadow falls over him, his lips purse into a tight, thin line, and in his eyes you see what you were hoping for:

Fear.

You may have lost your weapons in the scuffle, but you’re still physically threatening in your body armor. Unlike Tankwald’s, your profession requires physical strength, stamina, and a willingness to use tactics your opponent won’t.

On second thought, that last one applies to Tankwald too. The only difference is that you have morals.

You grab the scientist by the collar of his lab coat and haul him to his feet. By the way he pulls against your grip you know he’s not going to come willingly, so you drag him all the way over to the ladder and shove him against the metal rungs. He stares at you, mouth agape, like you’re the monster. In your mind, you see your six-year-old niece at her birthday party, sporting a pink dress, tiara, and a new pair of black leather wings.

Unfortunately, the wings don’t come off like a plastic tiara does.

You weren’t able to get the serum that would reverse her transformation, but you’ll be damned if you don’t bring her the one person who can. You glare at Tankwald, the threat of violence heavy in your voice.

“Climb.”

You wait while he mounts the ladder and, with awkward movement, pulls himself up on the rungs. When his legs reach your head height, you watch his right knee pull up a little higher than necessary and his hands grip hard—

Tankwald kicks out hard, trying to drive the rubber heel of his shoe into your head. Your reflexes kick in and you lean to the right, well out of the way. You grab his ankle and jerk down hard.

He lets out an agonized cry. One hand slips off the rungs and his other foot flies out from under him. He throws a flailing arm around a ladder rung and clings for dear life.

You decide not to tell him how ridiculous he looks hanging only five and a half feet from the floor.

“You do that again and I will throw you off this ladder. I don’t want to carry you home with a bunch of broken bones, but I will if I have to.” You release his ankle and let it fall back against the metal rungs. “Now climb.”

You spend the next twenty minutes staring up under Tankwald’s dirty, torn lab coat at his flabby backside. You’ve passed countless hatches, some with names, some just numbered. Tankwald’s upward movement is getting slower. You can’t blame him; even you’re getting a little winded. You don’t want to give him any ideas about escape, but you don’t want him passing out and plummeting to the bottom, either. You grab the next rung and step up—and that’s when you see the blue text on the hatch above Tankwald that reads “Armory.” You feel a surge of elation and relief with a side of ache and nausea from your injuries. But mostly elation.

You allow Tankwald to keep climbing until you’ve reached the door. Tankwald notices you’ve stopped and does the same, hanging on while panting from the exertion.

You give him a minute to catch his breath, then reach over and grab the metal lever. You push down—it’s stiff, like it hasn’t been used in a long while—and feel the lock mechanism release. You lean over, put your shoulder against the door, and push.

The door swings leftward and its hinges grind out a high-pitched squeak. You freeze, straining your ears for the sound of shouts or armored boots moving toward you, but you hear nothing.

You glance up at Tankwald to make sure he isn’t planning on going anywhere, then stick your head out.

The hatch opens to a utilitarian hallway: dingy, off-white walls, concrete floor. You can’t see very well over the hatch to the left side of the hall, but the coast seems clear. The hallway to your right is short and splits off in a T. There’s a door in the middle of the T, slightly ajar. The hall is quiet, save for the thrumming of the air circulation system.

You duck back inside the shaft and descend just far enough to make room for Tankwald. You look up and point at the door. Words aren’t necessary. You see the relief on his red, sweaty face.

As he climbs out, you hang onto his pant leg, making sure he doesn’t run off. It makes getting out difficult, but you manage.

You glance around the hallway and see that the left side is much longer than the right and also splits in a T. A few closed doors line the hall.

As you start to close the hatch, a red flash at the edge of your vision catches your attention. You look to the right and catch a glimpse of a laser sight sweeping across the floor and disappearing behind the corner. You hear the soft rebuke of two sharp finger snaps and the shuffling sound of body armor.

You realize you’ve just walked into an ambush. And you have mere seconds to decide what to do.

What do you do?

A. Grab Tankwald and jump back into the shaft.
B. Use Tankwald as a hostage. Retreat to the open door on the right.

Vote in the comments or on Twitter. Voting ends Saturday night, August 10th. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted in two weeks.

Laser Eye photo courtesy of Gerard Fritz

UPDATE: The voting is now closed. The B’s have it, so on August 19th you’ll use Tankwald as a hostage and press ahead! Continue reading “The Cure: Part Two (Vote Your Adventure)”