Thursday, September 30, 2010

Part 1, Hold

You are

a puppet.

Are you not?

What control

do you really have?

Do you want

to use


There is


some choice,

some control.

You can drop


Your choice,

but if you want

to use

you must


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Song of the Week 15: 'Battle~Trials of a Cocoon Master' by Another Soundscape


This week I'm apparently doing Song of the Week solo, since Met had really no time to finish his review on this week's song. That means that I have to pretty much cover what he usually puts in his section. Sorry if I don't do this very well, but I'll try to see if I can cover mostly everything. Alright, this snog is from the game/album 'Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu. The song itself is called 'Battle~Trials of a Cocoon Master by AnSo (Another Soundscape). You all can find various comments and reviews of the song here. Okay, after listening to this song, I found it to be pretty cool. The very beginning starts out with an intense bass line, with some percussion mixed in. The beat was well emphasized, and it even made me want to tap my foot for a little while. At 0:21 more of a melody is introduced, and it makes the song sound a little more exotic. The melody at that point sounds almost Egyptian, but the continuing beat and percussion line did an excellent job of supporting it. At 0:40 if you listen closely, the melody has somewhat of a harmony that stood out to me. I think it was nice to add that in there because of the fact that it adds a bit more to the melody, instead of straight, single notes. Of course that really doesn't last very long, and the melody continues. at 1:03 there is a break from the existing part of the song. In this new part of the song there is some pretty awesome mallet percussion, as well as some electronic sounds as a base to support it. The mallet percussion does an excellent job with this melody, as it stands out very much in this section. It follows a similar type of melody as the first that appeared at 0:21, but obviously different sound and note wise. At 1:24 more of an exotic melody is introduced, this time an entirely new rhythm. This has to be one of my favorite melodies in the song; it almost gets me to the point of having goosebumps. It definitely gives me a chill up my spine, and I have to say that it's great. At 1:37 is an awesome crescendo that leads into another new melody at 1:43. This time the melody is even louder than the others that had been playing throughout the track. It gives off more off of an electronic sound, rather than instrumental. The beat is much softer this time around, with the percussion overlapping it a bit. The harmonies work great though with the melody, so it all works out in the end. At 2:35 the mallets are introduced once again, this time with more of a cooler base to back it up. Absolutely awesome. At 2:46 more mallets are added, which is more of a bell/glock sound that overlaps the original mallet melody. There's nothing like some good high notes to add to the mood of the song. At 3:06 there's a new instrument added in for a harmony: the piano. The piano does a great job and really adds more, even if it's just a couple notes. At 3:19 more instruments are added in, including a string line that will gradually get louder as the track continues. The mallets will continue to be played, with some percussion mixed in. They will eventually decrescendo, and the song will come to an end.

Pros: Excellent instrumentation, and a great exotic melody. The mallets were an excellent part of the song, and the combination of electronic and instrumental was excellent throughout the piece. Great dynamics also with the harmonies and melodies, and was definitely a piece I could listen to over and over again.

Cons: The beat in the beginning of the song in my opinion was a little too loud, but other than that I can't really think of very many cons this time around.

Overall: This is a very excellent song. It's intense bass and percussion line were great, as well as the various exotic melodies. The variety of sounds you hear in this song is awesome, and there were so many great harmonies to back the melody up. This is a song worth listening to.

Rating: 9.2/10

Sorry, Met. I never got your input on whether this is good enough to post. But it's Wednesday, so I need to put what I have. Let's just hope that it's good enough.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Darklight, Chapter Two

Everyone has a purpose. Some are Cultivators, some Transporters, some Farmers. And there exist a chosen few who are Called to the Light. -The Illumined Scriptures

 My name is Lyna Gwendolyn-Zimri. I am many things. I am a Glint, of the town of Spark. I have lived there all my life, never seeing another village. Within the town itself, I only frequented my family's fields and the Lepidopterium. If I ever commited a crime, it was but the theft of Glow Moths from Lepidoptrian Tyr, a Faint Gleam. I didn't like stealing, and I paid whenever I could. If he had but charged a reasonable rate, we wouldn't have had to take them.
My family Cultivates, you see; I am a Cultivator. Not the Lacy Fungus for the Brilliances and the Radiances, nor the Bulbous Fungus of the Shining, nor any of the fungi of any even half-bright. We Cultivate Twisted Fungus for the other Glints who are too poor to afford real food. If such a rank existed, I'd think we wouldn't even be classed as full Glints, but as Fading Glints.
I am a sister. I am a twin. My brother Luke was born minutes before me, and I never knew a world without him. He was my teacher, my student, and my friend. He helped me control my fear of the shade, and I helped him control his fear of the Glow Moths. We helped each other cope when Mother died. We hid each other when Father raged.
My name is Lyna Gwendolyn-Zimri. I am many things. I am a Glint. I am a citizen of Spark. I am a Cultivator, a sister, and daughter, a friend. I am scared.
I am many things, Brilliance, but I am not a murderer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pokémon: The Golden Apocalypse, Chapter Twenty-Five

Somehow, the trees were less forbidding and the forest less horrific in Red's mind than it had been when he first walked it. Perhaps it was simply being free from the cliff that so calmed him, or perhaps he was more comfortable now that he had safely traversed the forest before, but whatever the reason, Red found a small grin creeping onto his face.
As his mood lightened, so too did the fog. It occurred to Red that he was striding farther into the forest, which blocked the fog with its trees. Even so, he didn't turn from his path, thinking himself able to return if the haze dissipated.
Something began to paw slowly at his attention, and a vague disquiet settled over him. It was not until he heard a particularly old twig snap underfoot that Red realized what it was. Sound! Without the fog as dense, he was beginning to hear the faint static that fills everyday life again. Every step resulted in the faintest footstep rising from the ground; Nyoromo's faint twitching rustled wetly against fabric. In the distance he could hear a faint chirping.
Suddenly a new sound came to his attention. Wing beats. He turned to his right, and there in the air was a small pidgey, too young to fly properly, hopping from branch to branch in a tall sycamore. Turning to a maple some yards away, it tensed, then leapt, wings thrashing about in an attempt to stay aloft.. The bird made it, but lost a few feet of height in the process.
Red watched the bird progress for a few more trees before he realized how hungry he was. Looking back at the pokémon, who was not but a little higher than he could reach, he knew where his supper would come from. Making sure Nyoromo was carefully secured in his makeshift pack, Red crept after the fluttering fowl.
His progress was slow, for he knew that if he moved quickly enough to frighten his prey, it might find some reserve of strength and fly far enough that Red would lose it. His speed increased as the bird continued moving, though, because the farther it moved, the lower it went, and the more time Red would have to catch it. As he walked, he picked a large, mossy rock to use as a bludgeon.
Finally, after what seemed an hour of stalking, the pidgey flapped to the ground. Red froze for a while, watching it. The pokémon hopped forward, into a slight depression on the ground, then promptly placed its head beneath its wing. Red remained still for thirty breaths then, hoping the bird was soundly asleep, he crept forward and struck at its head with all his might.
The bird gave a single sharp squawk before falling, its neck twisted unnaturally. Red took it by the feet, and was beginning to rise when a curious chirp sounded from right beside him. He turned to see a large intelligent eye staring back at him. It turned to the corpse in his hand, recoiled, and made a trilling noise.
All at once, the fog vanished in a gust of wind, revealing a score of angry pidgeotto,

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Why is death so frightening?

What fear is there in the unknown? 

Michael didn't know. He knew a lot of things - understood a lot - but this one instinct puzzled him. He certainly never feared death. He thought about it more often than most, yes. He dreamed of it, spoke of it, searched for it. He had seen a thousand people go, and every time there was fear. He had heard a man beg for his life, sobs wracking his body. He had seen the glimmer of uncertainty in the old deacon's fading eyes.
He had watched his own hands choke the hope from a child.
Michael didn't simply wonder about death; he obsessed over it. The reason, of course was simple. He was an Angel of Death. No one had ever told him this, and he wasn't actually certain.
But it would explain the wings.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Posting Issues

Posting issues? What posting issues?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Song of the Week 14: 'Rare Respite' by Patrick Burns

7/5/2011 Met:
This is essentially the rebirth of Song of the Week, so in a sense this could be considered the first legitimate review/writeup. My links on OCR will only point to these "rebirth" SotW writeups.


Here I am again doing Song of the Week and this time Marim is tagging along. I'll break this up into two sections: first my review, then her review. This week we've got another OCR track (I love those guys) from the Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business album. I really enjoy the variety of tracks OCR displays for a single source tune. It is enlightening musically to be able to grasp a melody and harmony so many different ways. The track in question is Rare Respite by Patrick Burns (download here). Burns delivers a very solid outing with this track and right off the bat I like it already. The opening piano is almost a lullaby and more intimate then I would expect. The brief piano interlude transitions into a lofty percussion section with some good harp going on. If I have to dislike one part of this song it's the sudden high pitched flute that comes in at 0:50. It definitely establishes the music as Celtic, but to me it seems the low sounds just dropped out of the piece and now we're running on euphoria. I am a pessimist so this part might not resonate with me, but that's my take. The flute is well supported though and it surges through some excellently composed joyous melody. The expansion is excellent at 1:09 and it does a great job of moving the track forward. The brief pause would usually make for somewhat of an awkward transition in my opinion, but this one was executed perfectly with percussion. Now we're led into somewhat of a piano interlude that transitions very well into the guitar. I absolutely dig the guitar and piano part. The piano does a great job in its supporting role as base and the relaxing picture of rocking on a boat is conveyed perfectly with the sound effects coming in at 1:52. The next sound that comes in really puts the picture of a ship in my head. This part definitely tends to be the most visual. The flute feel completely natural coming in this time at 2:14 and there are some great supporting parts going on in the background. The picture is painted perfectly and I definitely understand the artist at this point. The transition from relaxing into this part (2:52) almost makes me laugh because it sounds mischievous when it first comes in. It's supported well by the brief stamps of base chords and it kicks us right into a fuller picture of the song then we had before as more stuff happens in the base before we jump back into relaxing. There is definitely an undercurrent of joyfulness to the relaxing as more percussion brings us along. 3:30 is definitely Celtic and the percussion does a great job of setting the mood, but no overtly so. It's not over doing the happiness in relaxation; this is absolutely nailing the feeling. Suddenly we're atmospheric at 3:48 and all that's left is the gentle tide and the intimate piano. This part just about makes me cry because it really hammers the feeling of a good day's work home. It's the perfect conclusion, and the only other problem I have with this track is the odd ending that sends the percussion out on a limb. It's not a horrible ending, but it could've been better. Overall, this is a fantastic piece and well worth the listen.

Pros: Excellent melodies with fantastic support and a knack for pulling off transitions perfectly. This song really does ebb and flow like the tide while making it feel natural.

Cons: 0:50 to 1:08 is almost too much of a jump to happiness and it stands out as euphoria. The ending is also a little confusing as it changes the mood for less then 5 seconds before promptly ending the song.

Overall: Fantastic piece that really pulls off some very difficult tricks when you're writing music. Transitions and feeling are conveyed with near perfection throughout the song along with some very strong visuals that add to the feeling. It stands out as a relaxing yet intimate piece that nearly every individual can relate to after a good day has ended.

Rating: 9.1/10


Alright, since this is my first post on this blog that actually isn't a comment, I suppose I should do a pretty decent job on this. In my opinion, I find this song to be pretty unique. The piano introduction in the beginning part of the song brings off a pretty calm mood, and how it displays a classical feel already makes me like this song. I find the transition at about twenty-seven seconds into the song to be almost awkward, since it's just a pause lasting about 5 seconds. At 0:32 a harp line and some percussion is added. The harp is pretty decent, and the percussion adds somewhat of a tropical feel to the song. As I listen to this section of the track, the melody creates some sort of feel that reminds me of the morning, where people are just starting to get up to be ready for their day. I agree with Met here on how the flute unexpectedly arrives at 0:50, as well as the Celtic feel. Celtic is just what I was thinking of as that section kept playing. At 1:21 I like how the piano takes over the melody, which thankfully isn't as loud as the flute section that was playing the melody until then. At 1:34 the piano ceases the melody and now takes the role as more of a base line. The melody is then taken over by the guitar. The guitar section is awesome in my opinion, and the piano does a great job playing in the background. The sound of a creaking boat at 1:54 is pretty cool, as it almost made me feel like I was actually on a ship. The strings introduced at that same spot do a good job with the melody, and it intertwines well with the ship noises. At 2:02 I thought that the new melody introduced was just a little bit too loud in my opinion, so I think it would sound better if it's volume was decreased slightly. At 2:14 the flute comes back in, but this time it sounds completely natural. I like the melody that arrives at 2:52, and the bass that comes from the low strings placed in the background is a great touch to it, as well as the percussion that will occasionally be heard. I think the artist did a great job with the percussion line in this track, as well as the other background effects such as the various harmonies, and even a little bit of harpsichord included at around 3:15. Starting at 3:46 is the feeling of waves crashing on a beach. Usually when I hear that sort of sound I get the relaxing feeling of having the sun set on a beach. At 3:50 the original piano interlude returns, and the song will then come to a close. That's not the only thing that does come to a close, however. The song painted a picture in my head, and it feels like the day had started when the beginning was playing. The melodies that were being played throughout the song represented the day, when the people were off doing work or whatever they were doing. And finally the end of the song represents the end of day, as things begin to quiet down. The waves sounding in the background, as well as the sound of a ship's bell adds to this feel. The very end however, I disliked, because at 4:22 it suddenly goes right back into that upbeat mood with more percussion added in. I didn't like how it suddenly transitions just at the last 2 seconds of the song; it would be much better off if it ended with that last relaxing mood that it gave me. This is a great song to listen to, despite its few cons that is displayed.

Pros: This song has some pretty great melodies, with some great support added in to make these melodies stand out even more. There was hardly anything choppy, and the song would continue to flow until the end. It has a great array of effects, including the ship noise, and the waves. It really paints a picture in your head very clearly, and it is definitely a piece worth listening to.

Cons: The transition in the beginning to the first Celtic melody was a little bit empty; it could have used a little more sound in that 5 second pause. The melody was a little bit loud at some times, and I thought that it had a bad ending right at the last second. If the ending didn't go back to that happy mood, it would have been just fine without it.

Overall: This is an excellent song, and it is something I could listen to over and over again. Like Met had said, it brings about some great visuals. The feel of the song is great, with different melodies being intertwined throughout. It gives the listener a relaxing feeling, with some upbeat melodies mixed in. Overall it was an impressive piece.

Rating: 8.9/10

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sonnet XVII "Choice"

The future plagues the present mind
As, like the past, it snatches thought,
Convinced that if we try to find
The maybes we can. We cannot.
For, of the past, our hands are stained
And nothing can be changed into
Whatever meaning we abstained
To place where'er else was in lieu.
Yet what has yet is also stone,
For what will be will be in time.
No matter how we shriek and groan
We will or won't commit new crime.
Our paths are fixed; our wills are free
Your hope in you, and mine in me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

And There Were Those Who Thought...


"Every single time..."

"Want to play again?"


"Your silence leaves me hanging."

"Can we try Poker or something?"

"Gambling isn't healthy."

"Hey, let's be honest. I'd have a shot at winning some of my pride back, along with some money."

"Okay, I suppose, but 25 cents is max bet."

"Fair enough."


"Have you thought about improving quality control for your published writing?"


"What's the general consensus?"

"Some voices demand it while others vehemently oppose it."

"Time and place for everything, huh?"

"Yep. We'll probably have to kill a few filler features if we're doing quality control."

"So that's what we're headed towards."

"Most likely. As long as I have my own place for ravings."

"What features do you think will have to go?"

"Well obviously we need entertainment."

"You're the one with all the ideas."

"Yep, and we're going to take the next step. Conversations has to go."

"And there were those who thought..."
* sigh *

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Posting Schedule

In theory this is the new posting schedule.

Sunday: Admins (usually Reogan with The Golden Apocalypse)
Monday: Admins (usually Reogan with Darklight or whatever his current short story project is)
Tuesday: Admins (usually Met with Story Zero)
Wednesday: Admins/Song of the Week (usually Marim and Met with Song of the Week)
Thursday: Admins (usually Thursday Thoughts)
Friday: Elphaba (usually with quote stories)
Saturday: Xanthurian (usually with untitled story 1 or a game review)

We're pretty flexible, but we're hoping to employ this to better maintain our blog with a post each day. Reader feedback is always welcome.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Song of the Week Returns

I've been working with the authors at RPS and we're reviving Song of the Week in force. However, this time around we're going to change things up a bit. There will be no more odd .5 editions. Not every track will focus on OverClocked ReMix. I will not hyperlink every word. We will finish each "review/showcase" with a brief summary of the track's pros and cons (in our opinion) along with a rating on a scale of 0 to 10. Keep in mind that we have little review experience and are unable to produce music of this caliber by ourselves. Therefore, please do not be offended by any of our reviews. We're keeping them honest, but we are by no means qualified. This is strictly the opinion of the author of the posts. In order to shake things up author wise, we'll have everyone at RPS post at least two SotWs each year (assuming it lasts that long consistently). The majority of SotW will be me with newcomer Marim. I'll edit the final draft of our reviews and then we'll post them every Wednesday they're assigned to us. I'm hoping this new feature will bring the blog together in setting an actual posting schedule for the variety of authors we have. Comment feedback is welcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010


"Ugh!" Erica grunted as she smacked her keyboard and buried her head in her hands. "Why? Why can't I think of anything? My editor wants an idea by tomorrow and I have nothing. Nothing."

"You're trying too hard," her cousin (and biggest fan) Josh replied. "Just look around. Randomly open a dictionary or something. You're a good writer; you'll figure something out."

Erica sighed. She had published her first book six months ago, to fantastic reviews and books flying off the shelves. Her editor, Susan, had loved Land of the Free? from the beginning, and was expecting an idea of the same caliber for Erica's next book.

Unfortunately, her creative process seemed to be on strike.

"If I'm such a great writer, why am I having such difficulty with this?" she mumbled into her palms. "I should be able to get inspiration from all kinds of different things. Life in general. Orange highlighters, zebras, an insurance commercial, whatever."

"Just take a break," Josh advised. "It's not tomorrow for another four hours."

"Break. Hmm." The wheels of Erica's mind started to turn, gaining speed quickly. She started typing like a madwoman, smiling slightly to herself as she whispered her new idea into the air.

"Is it good or bad that the only story idea I can come up with is my utter lack of ideas right now?" Elphaba.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

They Know

"They know." I say.

"Who?" They ask me.

I turn.

They're always


"They're watching." I say.

"Who?" They ask me.

I can't

tell them


I don't know

what they


I want them

to know,

that I know,

that they know,

even if I still don't know.

"Why do they know?" They ask.

"I don't know." I say.

They're finally gone,

for once.

"Who are they?" They ask.

I don't know

what they know,

but I do know

they know

what the bees know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Game Review: Minecraft

Game review day! I don't think I'm supposed to say that this is my first time and I don't know what I'm doing, but there it is. Today I am reviewing Minecraft, which can be found here. Minecraft is a rather simple sandbox game where the goal is to mine ores (hence the name) and survive the monsters that come out at night. The game is still in Alpha, and as such is rather glitchy, but it works fine for the most part. The graphics are made up of 16x16x16 "pixel" cubes. Your character is two cubes tall and can jump one cube directly up. You can destroy, collect and place blocks to create anything from a river to a castle, and then use them to either survive or show off.
Game features include (these are not all of them):
1 Classic mode in which you have unlimited and instantaneous destroy create powers over individual blocks
2 Survival mode in which you make a house and survive from the monsters that spawn in darkness, crafting is introduced as a way to make tools and weapons to help you survive
2 Multiplayer is not well developed yet, in Alpha and you need to use your own computer as the server using your IP as the "password" and finding mechanism, however, classic mode multiplayer is completely finished (no longer receives development since Alpha)and works fine. You need to pay to unlock most of the features of Minecraft, such as multiplayer and Alpha, but you can use the single player Classic, and Alpha's test run of survival (found here)

More information can be found at the wiki, the forums, and the World of Minecraft community site.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pokémon: The Golden Apocalypse, Chapter Twenty-Four

Red huddled against a tree, shivering. Even though he was on solid ground, he could still feel his hand slipping from the wet surface of the rock. He could still feel his body swing dangerously. He could imagine his broken body on the outskirts of Viridian being gnawed on by rattata and other pokémon.
His climb had been uneventful, and he knew there was no reason to withdraw so, but the fog made idle thought dream, and dream reality. It enveloped what was, leaving a void that imagination could fill and fear could rule. Red was left bereft of an anchor. He felt more alone than he ever had.
Except. Nyoromo was there in his pack. Bubbly, happy Nyoromo. Red removed his little pokémon and held it in his hands. The poliwag looked back at him with its large eyes, squirming gleefully. Its presence brought Red back from the nightmare he had believed.
"No point in wasting the day, is there?" Red mused.
"Poli!" exclaimed Nyoromo. Thus agreed, Red rose with his pokémon cradled in his arms, and walked a bit away from the Forest. He turned left and began the journey around the Fallen Viridian. The shroud across his vision slowed him as he worked to avoid the cliff, but he still moved at a reasonable walk.
He met the mountain within the hour. The Tojo range, it seemed, cut across the land even here, forming a wall to the west of the city. Red could only turn and try the other way, or scale the cliff once more and walk across the city.
He chose to retrace his path. Not only were the cliffs treacherous and full of bad memories, but the city could still be harboring any of the feral horde that had chased him away. Even so, he knew the city would be a much shorter path, and his inability to traverse it brought anger into his step. He moved foolishly, and didn't feel the ground crumbling until almost too late.
He leapt to his right just as a large portion of the earth broke free and fell into the city with a roar. The noise woke Nyoromo, who Red had kept safely with him. The pokémon uttered a bleary "Wag?" before returning to its slumber.
Red, however, was considerably more unnerved. The fear rose in him again, and he sat trembling. He had endangered himself and Nyoromo without cause. He cursed at himself under his breath, and then worked on steadying his pounding heart.
After a minute, his head began to clear and he saw the best course of action would be to walk closer to the Forest. This he did for some time, but his apprehension pulled him steadily closer to the trees until he had to duck branches with frequency. Still uneasy from the near-disaster, he chose the lesser of two terrors, and entered the Forest proper.
Had he waited but a moment longer, he might have seen a flame slowly descending into Viridian in the east.

Sonnet XVI "Cages"

We num'rous few are trapped alone,
Each prisn'er with a chain unique,
By ancient laws on dated stone
That withhold from us what we seek.
The one allowed is bound himself,
For what is freedom when but sole?
The next is caught and loses self
Assuming now a forcèd role.
And yet one more sees horrors pass,
And stilled by fear lives out a lie,
Lest he too become second class
For reasons none can fathom why.
When one can neither fight nor flee,
The pain is forged to poetry.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Horror!

Courtney gasped for breath, fighting off the stitch in her side. She chanced a look backward, and regretted it--her pursuer had gained on her. I will fight, I will fight! she screamed in her head, and tried desperately to put on a burst of speed.

It was to no avail. She wasn't going anywhere, even though she was running at top speed. Her father ran ever closer, until he grabbed her around the waist. "Eat it!"

"No!" Never would she do the evil act again!

"Eat the sauerkraut, Courtney!"

"I won't!" She knew that the sauerkraut was evil! It was causing a beeping noise in the back of her brain! It became louder and louder, taking over her entire being...

"Courntey, wake up! We have to get to the potluck!"

"Huh?" She opened her eyes and looked around, suddenly relieved. "Oh. Yeah. Um, sorry."

"Didn't you hear your alarm?" her mom asked.

"Well, sorta..." That explains the beeping.

"Get going. We have to be at church in 15 minutes. Don't forget, you promised to try Mrs. Koepp's sauerkraut today."


"Come to me in my dreams, and by day I will be well again." Matthew Arnold.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Lost in Transition

I can't explain,

I know somehow.

I can't find

what I should.

It's there somewhere.

Or is it?

Things aren't

the same


I feel

I should've known

that this would be

lost in transition.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Untitled Story 1 :: Chapter 1 :: Part 1

It all seems like a half remembered dream, what happened before. The work was coming along beautifully. We were about half way done when the accident happened. A beam fell from somewhere above, and all I managed to do, after the shout, was not be crushed vertically.
I should have died from that, seing as it crushed most of my stomach and upper thighs, but the Central Galactic Coalition fixed me up and subsequently "volunteered" me for the the star navy.
My father's last words to me, when he was arrested for illegal product trafficking, were: "Look after your sister for me. I love you, son." I have never forgotten that day or his words, and have taken care of my sister, just as he asked. So I guess she also took care of me, in the only way she could, at that time, even knowing the consequences. As it was, she came with me into the navy.
My sister has always had an affinity for machines, so we managed to get her a job as a mechanic. Amazingly, one of the captains took enough of a liking to us to get on the same ship, which happened to be his.I guess his superiors wanted any trouble we caused to be confined to our benefactors.
I managed Star Marine, because they fixed me up and "upgraded" me. Thermal vision, limited zero-oxygen operation, a scope link to our eyes, a laser cutter/welder that folds out of one arm and a katana that folds out of the other. We also have "cybernetic musculature enhancement" and armor implants. They also gave us rocket "bikes", nicknamed "crotch rockets". We get all the glamour and fame and all the high tech weaponry, but really, they treat us like starman rookies, maybe even worse...


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Darklight, Chapter One

The world is darkness, and darkness is death. -High Brilliance Ebenezer of Hearth

The Laws are simple. Harm no one. Fulfill thy role. Diminish not the Light. Keep ye from the Darkness. We learned these at a young age, before even reading the Scriptures. Four simple rules, and every one was obeyed. Mostly.
All have violated the First, to varying degrees. The punishments have always been as the act. When one strikes his brother, his brother strikes back, and the Law is restored. If a crime is too severe for retribution- if one must die many deaths- he is sent off the Paths. Within the Darkness, life is the worst punishment of all.
The Second Law is rarely broken. Failure to tend one's Light brings its own Darkness. I've known only two who forsook their assigned roles. Mortimer, the drunk, and Father. Father was drunk oftentimes too, but we took cares to keep him from the public eye. Mortimer was not so lucky. He was often known to rave in the square before the Darkness took him.
The Third is stronger than the first two; it is the greatest of the Laws. I've never seen it broken, though there was a rumor some time ago about a madman in Hearth. They say he was throwing his tools at the Glowlamps in the market. A legion of Luminators is said to have removed him. He was never seen again.
The Fourth Law is never punished. The Fourth Law is never broken. None stray from the Paths unless forced. None choose Darkness.
Death is safer.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Jacques Cousteau faced the open doorway of the zeppelin, feeling the wind in his beard. Behind him, the werezombie crew was beginning to stir from their slumber. If he was still in the vessel when they regained their limited faculties, he would be torn to pieces in their unending search for polysaturated fats.
Jacques spat a clot of phlegm to test the zeppelin's speed. Fast, but not fast enough.
Jacques ran into the depths of the dirigible, leaping over the twitching bodies and dodging their already-grasping limbs. He hopped down an open hatch to the boiler room. He found the case on the wall, and he removed a bicuspid to work the lock open.
It was hot in the boiler room, and the exhausting work of fine motor movements was taking its toll on Jacques. May the Pinguen people forgive me he thought as he removed his +5 Parka of Uncomfortable Temperature Increase. It disintegrated in the air, and from the ash came a wisp of steam that looked suspiciously like an omen to warn him that things of a primarily negative nature would befall him at some unspecified point in the future because of his rash action rose from it.
Cooler now, Jacques was able  to concentrate his thoughts on the task at hand, and soon popped the case open. Inside were but two things. A collapsed hang-glider, which he quickly set up, and a plasma whip. This he secreted in his bicuspid's previous slot, and so prepared, he readied for flight.
By the time the lycanthropic undead arrived, the only evidence Jacques had ever been there was the gaping hole in the wall.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


 Their hands linked, they fought against the flow of people. So what if it was dangerous up there? It was dangerous everywhere. In minutes, it wouldn't matter. The crowd thinned after a few flights, and by the time they had reached the top floor, the building was deserted. Giving her hand a squeeze, he opened the door. The sirens were louder now, and the meteor's harsh red glow cast everything into a hellish light. Ignoring it all, they walked to the edge and sat, legs dangling. Arms around each other, they waited for the end. She smiled at him. A tear fell.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Eli stared out the door of the closet, hate pounding through his blood like poison. There was only one word in his mind, and such a hypnotizing word it was:


The man had taken Eli's wife Sarah, children, home, possessions... everything. The last time Eli saw Rabbi Solomon, he had told both Eli and Sarah about forgiveness. They had been fighting for months--years, even--and were thinking about divorce. God forgave you to set an example, the man had said. He forgives so that you may forgive each other, and others.

Eli had agreed with the rabbi then, but scorned the idea now. How could he--anyone--be expected to not only forget what this kidnapper and theif had done, but also care for him? Love him?

Rabbi Solomon had to be out of his mind. He was an old man, unmarried. How on earth could he know what it felt like to lose everything to live for?

Slowly pulling the knife out of its sheath and edging out of the closet door, Eli took aim. Some said that learning how to throw a knife was a waste of time, but they, obviously, were wrong.

As he stared at his brother, now the head of the house--Eli's ex-wife's husband, and his children's stepfather--he laughed inside at the ridiculous idea.

Forgiveness. Yeah, right.

"What the world needs is love, sweet love; that's the only thing there's just too little of." Burt Bacharach.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Seven Cities: Chapter One

Jillian Baker was sitting at her window when the world ended. She had no way of knowing that the apocalypse had begun that morning, little over eight hundred miles away. All she knew was that the squirrel on her bird feeder was staring back at her.
She had been watching it stuff its cheeks with the seed she bought for birds she didn't really care for. If she had guests that evening, she would have made a fuss over the waste. As it was, though, she got a guilty thrill from seeing the rodents scamper around her yard.
The squirrel was still staring. Jillian wondered briefly if it had rabies, but dismissed the idea. Squirrels can't become rabid; they get killed too easily. Besides, how could it see her with the sun shining directly into her yard? She should be shadowed.
Maybe the squirrel saw something on the window itself. Which would be odd, considering Jillian cleaned it only last Thursday, but strange things do happen.
Strange like a squirrel staring at you?
Jillian shook her head. She was imagining it, somehow. Maybe she had taken too much of he medication earlier. That could be it, right? Medication made people crazy sometimes.
She stifled a scream as the timer indicated that her cookies were done. Chuckling nervously, she went to her kitchen and drew them out. They were undercooked she knew, still gooey. Squirrels weren't her only guilty pleasure. As a girl, she had loved cookie dough, but now her fear of disease made her cook the salmonella to death.
She set the pan on the stove top, and set her kitchen timer for five minutes. She knew it would still be burning hot in that short time, but she couldn't wait longer. The flavor was worth a numb tongue. She went back to her living room window.
The squirrel was still there. Jillian considered chasing it off, but what if it was rabid? It would be much safer, she decided, to stay inside.
When the timer beeped again, she went for her snack, pretending to herself that it wasn't relief she felt when leaving the window seat.
The cookie was tasteless, and she found milled around the kitchen for a while before deciding to go to bed. It was nearly six after all.
Yep. After a long day of yard-watching, nothing feels better than a long rest. Six isn't too early. Early to bed and early to rise.
She made sure to spend extra time brushing her teeth, letting it grow a little later. Then, in her favorite nightgown, she crawled into her bed, trying not to think of the squirrel.
It was midnight when she finally fell asleep.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Untitled Story 1 :: Prologue

As I struggle to move along the cold metal corridor, I hear nothing. Nothing at all, but for my faint breathing. No explosions, no destruction, no engine... No life support. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one in reach of any communications. Trying to find the oxygen and will to keep going. Trying to find a shuttle, a suit hookup. Trying to find my sister. Trying to find life. Trying to find anything. I drag myself through a hatch. I seal it and vent the remaining air and heat from the previous corridor. Still not enough. My vision is going. I can almost see the suit hookup. Almost, but it is just out of my grasp. I crawl forward, nearly blind. Something knocks the ship, sending me backwards. Blackness. My vision is gone. I hear what might be footsteps running down the corridor, then that is gone too. I have a strange sensation of floating. Then nothing. Nothing at all... I have failed her. My sister. I have died. I promised to keep her safe, and I died...