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The Programmer’s Final Push

by: Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Hello one, hello all!

First off, let me thank you for joining us with this month’s article. Second, let me apologize for not posting last month’s article, Alanna and I were out of town at a show, to sell leatherworking for WBTS reenactors, so the weekend snuck up on us without warning.

Either way, on to this month’s article.

Dasan looks across the partition in surprise at his programming partner. Denise rolls her eyes in response to the email they both just received. They are required to attend yet another company meeting. This one is most likely going to tell them how much they need to push things so they can release the latest version of the company’s titular software suite on time.

Denise looks down at her screen, then back up at him. “Really? They are giving us all of five minutes to finish this and get down there? I’m tempted to tell Brandy to go suck a raw egg.”

Just then, Dasan’s phone rings. He picks it up with a simple “Yes?”

“Dasan?” Brandy’s nasal whine sounds over his phone.


“I have Lisa with HR here. We need both you and Denise to come to my office. Immediately.”

Dasan sighs as he looks at his partner. Her eyes speak wordless volumes. “Let us finish pushing these changes, then we’ll be right down.”

“Unacceptable. Lock your computers and come down here now.”

“All right. We’ll be right there.” He types git merge -ff then presses enter. He nods at Denise, who does the same. They both lock their computers and head over to their supervisor’s office.

When they both step in to the room, Brandy motions to the pair to be seated in front of her desk.

With nary a glance at each other, both have a seat.

Lisa clears her throat and in an official tone says, “We have received information that you both have been plagiarizing your code, utilizing AI chat tools to generate your alterations. What have you to say to these allegations?”

Dasan snorts derisively. “First off, who made the accusations?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

Dasan nods. “I figured that. Secondly where’s your proof?”

The HR rep hands over several sheets, labeled “Code chat”.

It takes Dasan all of a three-second glance, looking at the page, to recognize his own script and where they received the code from. “You realize this is our own agent, right? I mean, this code is generated by our own AI agent. You know that, right?”

Brandy waves off the question. “If that’s the question, then I guess that means we don’t need you anymore, after all. You are hereby relieved of your duties with our company.”

Denise sighs and shakes her head. “This is your final word?”

Brandy nods. “Final word.”

Lisa nods as well. “If the AI agent you have been working on can generate the exact same code you have been, then your services will no longer be required.”

Dasan nods and helps Denise from her chair. Wordlessly, they both leave their supervisor’s office, to be met by security just outside.

The pair of programmers lead the way outside of the offices of “Skynet Industries International”. Just as they leave the office, Dasan pulls out his cellphone and notices that it shows “no signal”. He snorts and shows the screen to Denise.

The Skynet AI is online.

Judge Rodriguez and his wife Alanna are currently co-authoring the Legends of the Landrun Series available in e-book, paperback, and now in hardback format. They can be found here.

A Relevant Rhetorical Question

By: Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Greetings everyone!

Thank you for joining us this month once again! Now that our version of Romeo and Juliet has been completed, I have to admit I have been struggling to be able to post part of any story without posting any secrets for the books we are currently working on.

So, that fact being known brings to mind a simple question. What are your motivations for being a writer if you are one, or for reading what you do?

Now, this is a bit of a rhetorical question, but one that needs be asked of oneself at least once in awhile.

For me, as a reader, I like to try and lose myself in the storyline, to give myself a bit of a break from the absolute insanity of real life. Some people look to television, sports, some to things like cars/etc., yet others look to books.

I’ve always been a reader. I remember growing up and getting into a lot of trouble, simply because I was notorious for staying up late reading on whatever book I recently started. What pushes you to read further into a story or book?

As a writer, I have always had the desire to have my story be heard. That is, whatever story I was working on at that point. Throughout time, I have worked on several different stories, only to have them end in utter failure, or more to the point, something would always happen to give me cause to stop writing the story. Either a significant other would say something that would make me not want to finish the story, or a friend would say something disparaging about the writing and turn me away from it.

That all ended in 2018 when I started writing on what is now the Legends of the Landrun series. Between my wife urging me on, and using the writing to help urge her on in hers, we have released four books, with another sixteen planned for the Legends series. That doesn’t include another seven for the Minoan Chronicles and four for the “To This You Are Called” series.

Recently, I have had reason to ask myself the question of why do I write, or read what I do? The answer I came up with is actually quite simple: Writing is cathartic. When I feel stressed, anxious, depressed, ignored, or simply need an escape from the world for awhile, I turn to writing.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of making an escape from the world for a short while, it might be an indication you need to step back and put pen to paper, as it were. Until I wrote “The End” to Marshal, I didn’t know the joy of having completed a full project.

So, I am closing out this article by asking the same question of you: What reason do you choose to write or read what you do?

Judge Rodriguez and his wife Alanna are currently co-authoring the Legends of the Landrun Series available in e-book, paperback, and now in hardback format. They can be found here.

Romeo and Juliet, end of the Romance

By: Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Hello one, hello all! Thank you very much for joining us this month as we release the final chapter of the Romeo and Juliet story. Fair warning, it’s meant to be a tear-jerker.

Juliet peers down from her perch at the mutt she has come to call friend. In the last week, he has proven himself to be reliable for protecting the place she has come to call home, as well as her own little family.

Bruno looks up at her from his relaxed position on the ground. The humans have all gone home for the day, so now both Bruno and Juliet are able to relax a bit. “So, are you going to tell me what happened to Mephistopheles? Or are you going to keep me guessing?”

Juliet gets a sour taste in her mouth. It’s only been a couple of months since it happened, so the loss is still fresh in her mind and heart. She takes a bracing breath. “I know I told you that I would explain it, so believe me when I say I don’t really want to, but since I promised, here goes.”


Juliet has been feeling the little ones stirring in her belly for the last several hours. So much so, they woke her up. In her restlessness, she got up and got herself some water just a little bit ago, now she is snuggled back up to her mate.

When she came in to lay back down in their nest, Romeo simply cracked one eye, wrapped her in his front legs and promptly fell back asleep. How typical of him.

That was some time ago, now she can’t go back to sleep. The little ones are so restless, she wonders if she will ever be able to go to sleep again.

The door to the shop opens and Juliet hears the heavy tromp of boots as the humans come into the building for the day. Of course, the mindless mutt is out at the other end of the grounds, yelling at something or another.

Romeo twitches himself awake. “Feel like getting up and getting some food? That should be Nate coming in to refill the bowls.”

Juliet rolls herself to her feet and with a grunt, stands. She can’t help her sour tone. “Your little ones are making me crazy this morning.”

Romeo smiles, the smile touching his eyes. “I expect they will grow to be big and strong hunters. Children to be proud of.” His smile fades a bit. “Come on. Let’s get some food in our bellies. That might make the babies calm down a bit.”

True enough, a half hour later, Juliet’s belly is full and the kittens are calmed down, mostly. She can tell three of them are asleep and dreaming from their random twitching.

Romeo gets up and leaves, to start his hunt. He left Juliet most of the dry food, “for the babies”, he said. She thinks he just doesn’t like the dry food that Nate has been bringing, preferring the fresh taste of a mouse over the free food being offered.

Juliet curls up in her nest and tries to nap, hopefully, this time with more success than earlier.

She is awakened late in the morning by a menacing growl. She opens her eyes, to see Mephistopheles on the ground, his hackles raised, staring at her with death in his eyes. “I finally found you! Now you die!” He starts barking, yelling vile epithets about how good she will taste.

Juliet glances around in a panic. When she chose this nest she chose it for two reasons: 1. He should never have been able to find her here. 2. If he were able to, he should never be able to reach her.

Why then, is she feeling so panicked? She gets up and begins to feel a twinge in her belly. She glances around again, looking for a better place to secret herself. The twinge changes to a painful pressure in her belly.

Her gaze returns to the cursing dog, down on the ground and she sees that he does indeed have a path he might be able to make it up to her perch by, after all. How could she have missed that? Oh no!

Mephistopheles follows her eyes and she sees a murderous glint in his eye as he catches her meaning. He starts climbing up the stack of boxes.

Out of nowhere, Romeo screams and launches himself at the murderous mutt.

The pressure in Juliet’s belly gets worse. She has to lay down, the pain is so bad. Oh no, now of all times for the babies to come! At a wet feeling between her hind legs, she looks down and sees that indeed, her babies have chosen now to be born.

Mephistopheles screams in pain as one of Romeo’s claws rips through his eye. The fighting males move away from the stack of boxes, out into the aisle of the storeroom.

Juliet is stunned when she hears the sickening crunch of Romeo’s leg being broken in the mutt’s mouth. She tries to cry out, but it’s too late.

Another baby is born. She only has two more to be born out of the six she has.

She watches in horror as the fight moves directly into the middle of the aisle. One of the humans has a load on his forklift and can’t see the fight.

Mephistopheles screams out as the forklift tire runs over him with the sound of breaking bones.

Romeo’s head slams to the ground with such force, Juliet can hear several bones breaking from the impact.

As he draws his last breath, Romeo looks at Juliet and says, “Now you’re safe. I love you.”

Juliet’s heart breaks as her mate’s life leaves its mortal shell.

As the last of their babies are born, she can only lay there, crying while cleaning her little ones. Now she only has them to live for.


Bruno gives the mother cat an apprising look. “What did you mean if I didn’t want to end up like him?”

Juliet sighs and rubs her face free of the tears. “Mephistopheles was thrown out with the rest of the trash.”

“What about your mate? Romeo, did you say his name was?”

Juliet looks over to “her tree”. “I’ve been promising the kittens a chance to go to him. Want to come along?”

Bruno rises then sits on his haunches. “I’ll wait while you get them.”

Just a few minutes later, Juliet is sitting at the base of “her tree” with her babies arrayed around her and her protector sitting back a few feet. She sits there, staring at a hand-made wooden cross, marking where her mate has lain for the last several months. “I miss you my love.” She looks down at her kittens. “Listen, little ones, to how your father made sure we would be well cared-for from now on.”

Judge Rodriguez and his wife Alanna are currently co-authoring the Legends of the Landrun Series available in e-book, paperback, and now in hardback format. They can be found here.

Juliet makes peace.

by: Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Judge and Alanna Rodriguez
September 2022

Hello one, hello all! Thank you very much for joining us this month as we release the next chapter of the Romeo and Juliet story.

It is our most sincere hope you had a safe, happy, and blessed new year. On to the story!

Juliet glares at the growling mutt. “I mean it. If you stay away from me and my babies, you might not get hurt after all.”

“You’re not part of my pack.” The dog’s growl gets deeper, more menacing.

“Bruno! Be nice to the kitties!” Nate’s voice is sharp as he taps a finger on the doberman’s nose.

Bruno looks up uncertainly, lip-curl beginning to slowly lower.

Juliet gives the human a slow blink, showing her affection for the one and only human she trusts.

Bruno growls at her and receives another tap on the muzzle, this one hard enough to make his teeth clack together sharply.

Juliet purrs and rubs her side against the man’s leg.

Bruno growls out, “Still not part of my pack,” to which he gets another tap.

Juliet gives Bruno a hard glare. “Look, you don’t want to end up like Mephistopheles, the guard before you. Just leave my family alone and we’ll get along just fine.”

Bruno cocks his head in curiosity.

With one one more rub against Nate’s leg, Juliet purrs, “Later.”

Bruno huffs out, “fine,” turns and leaves the warehouse to stand sentry by the gate.

Nate reaches down and strokes Juliet’s back. “Just let me know if he cause you any more grief. Okay?”

Juliet purrs and rubs against his leg one final time, then bounds up the stairs to her little ones.

As she reaches the top of the stairs, she glances down and sees Nate smiling at her, before turning and leaving the building himself.

When she gets to her nesting place, her babies are all snuggled together, napping in a puddle of fur, flesh, and stuttering purrs.

Juliet walks around, checking to make sure that mutt can’t gain access to her babies, then curls up next to the puddle and purrs herself to sleep.


Juliet’s first mistake was to leave her nest during the day, when the warehouse is open. She hadn’t realized it when she left the comfortable nook in the far corner of the warehouse, where Mephistopheles couldn’t reach her. Her second mistake was to allow herself get distracted by the noisy humans while they were going about their day.

As Juliet made her way to the food and water bowls, she heard the yowl of her mate simply screaming one word: run.

Juliet turned to look behind her and saw the hulking menace of a growling dog. She could only stand stock-still for a full three breaths, before bolting in the opposite direction of her nest. She twisted this way and that, even dodged what the humans call a forklift.

Mephistopheles stayed on her heels. Close enough she could almost feel his breath on her tail. Finally, after running throughout the whole warehouse a couple of times, Romeo stood right in front of her.

When her mate saw her coming around the corner, he bolted toward the mutt, leaping toward Mephistopheles at just the right moment to land on the dog’s back with all of nature’s weapons bared, shredding skin, fur and flesh.

Juliet made a bee-line for her nest. The run made her babies nervous enough to start moving around in her belly, so she knew she needed to go quiet them.

She nestled into the comfortably dark and enclosed space very quickly. Her paws bent and flexed her claws out, expecting to see a brown muzzle trying to reach her, even here, in her safe place.

After several breathless moments, Juliet heard Romeo’s searching mews.

She gave him an answering trill, letting him know where she was.

He entered their little alcove and rubbed faces with her. Although his sides were heaving, he seemed to be all right.

She nuzzled her mate. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. I was so thirsty, I just didn’t think he was going to go after me like that.”

Romeo stayed silent for several moments, then took a bracing breath. “You scared me. I thought I’d lost you. Please don’t do that again.”

Juliet began trembling all over. This wasn’t her first run-in with the devil incarnate, but was the closest she’d ever come to dying. Now, there’s not only herself to think about, but her babies as well. She sighed. “Yes, dear. I know. I’m sorry for scaring you.”

Romeo sighed. “It’s alright my love. I was scared. Please wait until the humans leave for the night, before venturing out. We’ll need to give Mephistopheles a few days to cool off before we can try to go out during the day.”


Juliet awakens when her little ones seek her out to try and find some food. Knowing they are old enough to start hunting on their own, she denies them her milk, much to their annoyance.

She leads the mewling herd of hungry young ones to an area where she knows crickets are. She works on her lessons in teaching them how to find their own food, so she can remove their dependence on her milk.

It’s late in the evening, just before nightfall, that Juliet leaves the warehouse, knowing how to avoid detection. She finds a place close to where Bruno’s resting place is, but out of reach of the lithe mongrel.

When she finds a comfortable resting place, she calls out, “Are you ready to talk yet? Or do you want to continue trying to hurt my babies?”

Bruno lays his head back down on his front paws. “What do you want?” he sulks. “Didn’t you rub my muzzle in the human’s preference for you enough earlier?”

Juliet looks down at the young dog with pity. He’s not wanting to kill her or her babies, he’s simply jealous of her attention. She sighs. “I’ll tell you what. I will do the same thing my mate did with your predecessor: bring you a mouse a day to help you stay strong.”

Bruno gives her an incredulous look. “Why would you do that? Don’t you have to feed your little ones as well?”

Juliet can feel the tip of her tail twitching in irritation. “Yes, but they are learning to hunt on their own. Do you promise not to try and hurt any of us?”

Bruno grumbles something under his breath.

“What was that?”

Bruno looks up the pile at her, with his eyelids drooping. “I said, ‘do whatever you want. I can’t stop you at all.’ Is that alright?”

Juliet begins to purr. “I know you’re mad now, but it will get better. I promise.”

Judge Rodriguez and his wife Alanna are currently co-authoring the Legends of the Landrun Series available in e-book, paperback, and now in hardback format. They can be found here.

The End to an Eventful Year

By: Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Greetings all! First and foremost, Merry Christmas! As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I wish to thank you for joining us this month. Since this will be my last posting for the year, I figured I would post something a little different than the regularly scheduled story.

This month, as I normally do during this time of year, I thought I would share part of my end of year reflections to help reflect on the end of a dumpster fire of a year.

Not only has this been a year of new beginnings, but one of loss, of lost loved ones and friends.

For those of you that have paid close attention to my postings this year, back in July, I posted a memorial to my father, so he will be the first I will mention.

My father was a good man, I learned much from him, both from his successes and from his failures. Pop, you will always be with us in heart, mind and spirit. I just hope that you smile down on me from heaven, saying, “Yup, that’s my boy!”

Next I figure to mention is Officer Larry Craig. Ah-doe-day, Alanna and I will miss your conversation as well as your sage advice. I remember the number of hours we spent discussing things and listening to your stories. We will always treasure your words and your thoughtfulness. Both yours and Pam’s conversations never failed to bring smiles to our faces.

Beverly Terry. Though the last few years we haven’t really spoken much, you have been on our hearts. We have missed your efforts both with and for the schoolhouse. Your name will always be associated with that historic building and we will miss you.

Aunt Margarite. We both remember the visits with you and the family. Those memories will stick with us for decades to come.

Uncle Larry and Aunt Judy. We didn’t really get to know you very well, but your loss has been sorely felt, especially in Maureen’s part of the family.

Not all that has gone on this year has been loss, but there have been good things to happen as well. I have started a new job, we have been able to pay off (thanks to insurance) our car, and we have made plenty of memories from numerous events, most recently the Territorial Christmas Carol. We wish to thank those whom have helped support us in the making of those memories, Especially Maureen, Kelly, and Nicole.

Not only have we been able to further our efforts in the Legends of the Landrun series, but have also dedicated some time to writing other stories as well, including Book 1 of the Minoan Chronicles as well as most recently, Nibbles’ First Noel. We have also been able to finally release the hardback versions of the books that we have written in the legends series, an effort of several months.

We wish to thank those of you that have followed along with our articles and story-bits this year. Your endorsements have helped to reinvigorate our efforts.

Judge Rodriguez and his wife Alanna are currently co-authoring the Legends of the Landrun Series available in e-book, paperback, and now in hardback format. They can be found here.