The year is 3032 and mankind has expanded far beyond Earth’s galaxy. Matilda Dulac is a member of the Galactic Mining Guild. With her lover, Marc Slatterly, she works in a small mining ship in deep space. Their well ordered life if suddenly thrown into chaos when one miner arrives with a load of Trimagnite, a highly toxic liquid ore. Enter the Lone Wolf. Wil VanLipsig, known as the Lone Wolf, arrives to take the Trigmagnite off their hands. Is it a coincidence for him to show up on Marc’s ship years after Marc thought he’d killed Wil? Or is this the beginning of something far more insidious? Lone Wolf is the first book in a new science fiction series by Dellani Oakes.
Bertram: What is your story?
VanLipsig: What makes you think there is one?
Bertram: Who are you?
VanLipsig: Colonel Wilhelm VanLipsig, Galactic Marines, retired.
Bertram: Where do you live?
VanLipsig: On my ship, the Loup Garou.
Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?
VanLipsig: I’m the hero of every story.
Bertram: What is your problem in the story?
VanLipsig: Some psycho son-of-a-bitch wants me dead and then he wants to take over the universe. The usual.
Bertram: Do you have a problem the wasn’t mentioned in the story?
VanLipsig: Yeah, I’m 86 years old, look like I’m 26 and I’ve been changed so much by the Marine doctors, I don’t think I’m even quite human anymore.
Bertram: Do you embrace or run from conflict?
VanLipsig: I embrace and make love to conflict. It is the pattern of my life to live in and tame chaos. I never run from conflict. I look it in the eye and roar until it backs the hell down.
Bertram: How do you see yourself?
VanLipsig: I am death, pure and simple. If you see me coming, then you’ve got about 10 seconds to say your prayers.
Bertram: How do your friends see you?
VanLipsig: I don’t really have any friends.
Bertram: How do your enemies see you?
VanLipsig: My enemies don’t see me. I kill them before they know I’m there.
Bertram: How does your author, Dellani Oakes, see you?
VanLipsig: The author thinks I’m dead sexy, smoking hot, seriously jacked and dangerously seductive. And she’s right.
Bertram: What do you think of yourself?
VanLipsig: I’m the coldest hearted bastard this side of the galaxy.
Bertram: Do you have a goal?
VanLipsig: Get the other bastards before they get me.
Bertram: Do you keep your achievements to yourself?
VanLipsig: I don’t talk about them, most are classified. The only ones who know what I’ve done are the others who were there with me — that’s if they lived through it. Most of them are dead.
Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?
VanLipsig: My battle plans have made the textbooks and are required reading at the officer’s academy. One general said, “VanLipsig’s battle plans are a symphony of destruction with each movement bathed in the blood of the enemy.” I have to admit, I’m proud of that.
Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?
VanLipsig: I can’t carry a tune.
Bertram: What do you want to be?
VanLipsig: You mean when I grow up? Honey, I’m so old now, no one knows what to do with me. I’m making this up as I go along.
Bertram: What do you believe?
VanLipsig: I believe in honor and I adhere to it. Not everyone agrees with my code of ethics though.
Bertram: What makes you happy?
VanLipsig: Matilda makes me happy.
Bertram: What are you afraid of?
VanLipsig: Losing Matilda. She’s the only thing that’s important to me.
Bertram: Who is Matilda?
VanLipsig: Matilda Dulac. My true love.
Bertram: What makes you angry?
VanLipsig: John Riley makes me angry. The rat-faced bastard is making me look bad.
Bertram: What do you regret?
VanLipsig: I regret that I wasn’t there for the people who needed me.
Bertram: What, if anything, haunts you?
VanLipsig: The faces of everyone I’ve ever had to kill.
Bertram: Are you lucky?
VanLipsig: For now. Eventually that luck will play out.
Bertram: Has anyone ever betrayed you?
VanLipsig: Yeah. And I killed her for it.
Bertram: Have you ever betrayed anyone?
VanLipsig: Never. That would be dishonorable.
Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?
VanLipsig: Pretty much every day, I imagine.
Bertram: Do you keep your promises?
VanLipsig: I don’t make promises. I’ve found they are impossible to keep.
Bertram: Do you have any distinguishing marks?
VanLipsig: My left eye is a cyber eye and I have a deep scar on my left cheek. I also wear an eyepatch.
Bertram: What was your childhood like?
VanLipsig: My father was a sadistic bastard who beat me for every possible infringement of his authority. Eventually, I opposed him in everything, because I refused to believe he could ever be right.
Bertram: Did anything newsworthy happen on the day you were born?
VanLipsig: According to my old man, hell opened its doors and spit me forth.
Bertram: Did you get along with your parents?
VanLipsig: I cared about my mother, she was a great lady. I hope I see my old man in hell.
Bertram: Who was your first love?
VanLipsig: A girl I knew back home, Cherise Layfette.
Bertram: What is the most important thing that ever happened to you?
VanLipsig: That’s a tough one. Probably the most important thing was when the Marine doctors did their enhancements. I haven’t been the same ever since.
Bertram: Was there ever a defining moment of your life?
VanLipsig: Meeting Matilda. She has made me become the man I wanted to be and couldn’t seem to find on my own.
Bertram: What is your most closely guarded secret?
VanLipsig: If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret now, would it?
Bertram: Do you have any hobbies?
VanLipsig: Who has time for hobbies? Well, wait a minute, does sex count?
Bertram: What is your favorite music?
VanLipsig: “The 1812 Overture”, it reminds me of a simpler time.
Bertram: What is your favorite item of clothing?
VanLipsig: I don’t really care what I wear as long as it doesn’t bind in the crotch or itch. But I always have my gun belt, even if I’m otherwise naked.
Bertram: Name five items in your pockets.
VanLipsig: Pocket humidor full of cheroots, lighter and my gun. I don’t carry anything else. Too much stuff slows you down and can identify you when you’re dead.
Bertram: If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?
VanLipsig: What the hell good would another man on an island be? A woman, preferably a brunette with lots of stamina and a killer figure. It would be nice if she was intelligent too, but that’s not a requirement.
January 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm
I can very much relate to this VanLipsig character. Well done. Ever notice that effective people are often mean people? It takes a cold soul to strip away human distraction and focus on the bottom line. We could all be more successful if willing to walk over others to get ahead. That’s no good. On the other hand, you’ll get nowhere without a singular, self-centered, relentless persistence. One of the lessons of our art is that balance.
Again, well done.