M. T. Decker

MT Decker SVW member M.T. (Mary) Decker is the winner of Round 33 and Round 49. Follow her at her blog and on Twitter. Read her first #SixtySeconds interview here and her second one here

Mary says:

I have it on rather good authority that I was indeed born and did not, as some claim, suddenly appear to a fanfare of angelical giggles.  Anything after that it’s all up for grabs.  I am your average computer geek, bass playing historical reenactor which is to say, rather than wishing I was born in another era, I’ve been determined to live in every era and every moment I can, and, having worked on filling up my life with hobbies and crafts and odd skills there was only one thing to do with them: write.

I wrote my first song when I was 5, and I think I’ve managed to hide all traces and recorded versions of it to prevent blackmail attempts from stopping me from writing more (albeit better) songs.  I wrote my first bit of fiction soon after and have been writing ever since.

Being a jack of all trades and master of none, there were only two jobs I qualified for: Software Developer and Writer.  Having never met a decision I didn’t like, I decided to do both.  I develop software to keep my mind sharp (and it’s a great excuse for learning) and to keep bread on the table, I write because… I can’t not write, and it puts the flowers on the table (and the time-matter transducer, and the murder weapon, and the chem set for discovering who the murderer is).

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with my husband and dog where I serve as a Deputy Sheriff’s Reserve and of course, write.  The rest is anybody’s guess.

♦♦♦♦♦

Winner Round 49: Bottleneck

The battle had raged for hours, but the small defensive force had brought the invading army to a halt. For three hours Daniel and his men held their ground. Shoulder to shoulder, they blocked every attempt to take the bridge.

The narrow space had forced the Khan’s men to fight in small groups, rendering their superior numbers useless. There was no going around the bridge and no way of reaching the ravine below other than falling.

Daniel had chosen the defenders’ position well. As the fight continued, the Kahn signaled for his archers. There was more than one way to take out a soldier, no matter whose god was on their side.

One volley was all it took.

The Kahn was about to begin his triumphant march into the city when a booming voice echoed across the chasm.

“Danny, it’s time to put your Legos away and go to bed.”

♦♦♦♦♦

Winner Round 33: Engineering Dream

Alex waited anxiously as the engineering review board studied his request to preserve a derelict spaceship. The fact that the craft was still functional after a century and a half indicated that studying it could give them a better understanding of how to improve their own craft, which rarely lasted thirty years with constant maintenance.

“This is the reactor core and cooling system,” he said, as the images appeared on the overhead display.

Instead of the customary cooling rods and tanks one would expect, the reactor was made up of a series of caverns. Waterfalls of coolant cascaded down the one wall into a flowing pool that surged past the glowing chamber of the reactor itself only to be filtered through the rocks and recirculated in a perpetual, sustained cycle.

“The design of the HTBD drive is amazingly efficient and self-contained,” Alex assured them.

The board nodded, appreciating both the beauty of the design as well as its functionality.

“I see why you want to study this,” the chairman agreed. “But this note is rather confusing…”

‘Not really,” Alex said. “It’s why we call it the HTBD Drive.”

“Here, there be dragons?”

Alex smiled; this was where things got interesting.

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