Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chat - Vol 3

(10:10:32 AM) Vakarro: nothing really matters west of ontario

(10:10:35 AM) Vakarro: i mean what do you have

(10:10:38 AM) GuardianAnubite: >_>

(10:10:39 AM) Vakarro: 2 provinces of fields

(10:10:43 AM) GuardianAnubite: Alberta has oil.

(10:10:49 AM) Vakarro: a bunch of mountains

(10:11:00 AM) Vakarro: alberta is full of angry warehouse workers and oilmen

(10:11:08 AM) GuardianAnubite: WHAT DO YOU HAVE EAST OF ONTARIO

(10:11:12 AM) GuardianAnubite: QUEBEC AND NEWFOUNDLAND

(10:11:16 AM) GuardianAnubite: GODDAMN, MAN

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Weep

I hear the trumpet play, I see the sun fall, and I weep.
I hear the trumpet play, I see the flag fall, and I weep.
I hear the trumpet play, I hear the guns fire, and I weep.
I hear the trumpet play, I see the casket fall, and I weep.
I hear the echoing scream, I see my friend fall, and I weep.
I hear the blast ring, I see my sergeant calling, and I march on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I Love the Military

So, the military is screwing me around ... again. I guess it's to be expected these days. I mean, they don't have anything other to do than fuck with the troops, so that's what they do. It's a bureaucracy thing this time around, a nifty little loophole in the system designed to screw over the people who weren't prepared. And why would one be prepared as you never find out about this dirty little secret until you decide to release. Or unless you've been in a long enough time to have seen it. What is this loophole, you ask? Well, before I was sent out to Basic, I was sworn in. The time between being sworn in and beginning my Basic course, I was on "leave without pay." It means that I'm not technically in the military at that point. So, when I finish off my contract and I go in to see the Release Clerk about Severance Pay, I'm told that I only get two years instead of the three years I've actually been in. How wonderful!

So, I'm out over a grand in Severance Pay on a technicality.

Well, turns out I can actually do something about this. What? Well, I have to give up a week of my leave time at Christmas and work. You see, leave days can count on a one-for-one basis with these "leave without pay" days that I had before starting Basic. I need eight days in total. I have twelve leave days. That's days off to you civilian folks. I'm giving up time off to work and stashing those days to get me my Severance Pay. So instead of a full three weeks or more I could be getting, I instead get only two weeks. Exactly two weeks. No more. On top of this, I was thrown another little curve ball, just to stir things up a little more. The so-called week off I'd get to go house-hunting up in the city of choice was a complete and utter lie. So, now I have to use my leave time at Christmas to go house hunting instead of spending time with friends and family. Also, job hunting.

The only bit of good news I got was the dates when I get to see the clerks, kit return, full medical, and various other appointments. Oh, yeah, and I will be paid money for going out to the province of choice based on where I first enrolled. And because it's a good distance away, it's a nice little sum of money. Oh, yeah, and supposedly, I'm going to finally get that damned block heater installed in my truck on Saturday. Here's hoping everything goes as planned -- I'm tired of being fucked around.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Memory

Today I wasn't expecting too much. I knew the battalion was holding a memorial service for all those lost, and that the family's of the fallen would be there. It was a closed event, open only to the families and the units that had deployed overseas itself. I thought it would be one of those usual boring events with long speeches and back-patting by high level officers who would each congratulate one another like they always did whenever there was an gathering of them. I was wrong. And I was taken by surprise by something that happened during the event. I met the mother, father and wife of my now deceased platoon commander, Capt. Richard Steve Leary.

The platoon was called forward, and gathered around the couple. Everyone was shaking Mr. Leary's hand, offering up a word here or there. When it came my turn, I gave a blank expression a moment as I found myself standing in front of the old man, who looked much like Capt. Leary only older, and all I could do was say, "I don't know what to say." He looked at me and nodded, as if understanding. It was then that his wife stepped up to me, and she looked me in the eyes. Again, I was at a loss as I took her hand. And I again said "I don't know what to say." Only I continued this time. "I have no words. I can't say anything to make you feel better about the loss, or even to console you. I'm sorry." She, much like her husband before her, nodded, but said to me that it didn't matter and that she understood and was proud of me for my actions regardless of what I could or couldn't offer. I had done what I could, and for that, she had been grateful.

It struck me later how much it had hurt me when I had lost Capt. Leary in Afghanistan. How difficult it was to carry his stretcher out during the firefight. How difficult it was to take in that evening when I was told he had died during the chopper flight into Kandahar Airfield. And I couldn't even begin to imagine how hard it must have been to lose a son or a husband. And I felt somewhat ashamed because I had been so selfish with my thoughts and feelings. And now that I think about it, was I still justified in those feelings? And I don't feel there is an easy answer, because a 'yes' implies I'm callous, and a 'no' says that my feelings don't matter. In the end, it was an eye opener, and a digging up of emotions I had for the most part buried.

But, hopefully, I never forget. I cannot allow myself to forget his sacrifice to me and the platoon I was in, or to his country. To do so would be to dishonor him, his family, and everything he had done.

In Memory of Capt. Richard Steve Leary.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All I Wanted was a Block Heater

There are books out there written about people being stupid, incompetent, retarded, and other words to describe these people and their actions. I have been dealing with a company that seems to be bathing in incompetence. No, more like they ooze it from their pores. It's a stench, an oder -- I am a dissatisfied, disgruntled and otherwise angry customer. Why? Because the persons I have entrusted to do a job for my money have otherwise made excuses and failed to follow suit on their promises. Now, I'm a simple man. While I might complain, I generally keep it to myself as long as the job gets done. But the complete and utter failure to do so, well, that in and of itself warrants a lot of frustration on my part, doesn't it?

A week ago, I called Canadian Tire about the possibility of getting a block heater installed in my truck so as to keep it running, and have the ability to start the damn thing when the temperature drops below forty degrees centigrade. They informed me, after I provided a little information about myself and my vehicle, that they would have to order in the part. I scheduled a time for installation, that being Monday. I was looking forward to finally getting this nuance out of the way. Now, some might be thinking that that was my own mistake, asking Canadian Tire to do it, and you know, you're right, it was a mistake. I should've gone someplace else, but I don't know of any other places, which is why I'm sticking to my guns on this one.

Anyway, Monday roles around and I get a phone call. It's Canadian Tire, and they're telling me they don't have the block heater at all. When I inquire as to why they don't have it, they tell me that it wasn't ordered. Yet the previous week I had been assured that it was ordered. Checks in the mail, you know the deal. Well, that didn't happen. So, while blinking for a moment as I process this supreme fuck up on their part, I ask them when the soonest they can get the part in. They tell me Wednesday. I then say, call me back when the part is ordered. I hang up. Fifteen minuets later, they call back. The part has been ordered. When should I come by for installation? They suggest Thursday. I tell them no, as I have previous engagements thanks to my job. Friday. Again, no, same thing. Saturday? Again, no, for the same reasons. And they don't work Sunday's, leaving today, Wednesday, as my only opportunity to get this over and done with.

So I take my truck in. Suffice to say, they didn't have the part. Their supplier won't answer their calls. No word. I sat there for a couple hours waiting, and nothing was done. Finally, one of the attendants decides that it might be in her better interest to inform me of all these "hiccups" that are keeping them from completing the job. Finally, it came down to them saying they would call me when they have the part and take it from there. Here's hoping the third time is the charm. Fuck.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

WPCA - Depths

The Technicolor verb of the pastel holograms blasted past on the periphery of her vision. Giant cascading mono-graphic entities displaying the latest and greatest in consumer items. Things for the home. Things for the family. The brand new hoverbike, the Yukazi Samurai. The horn of a slow-moving garbage disposal vehicle bellowed causing a number of pedestrians to jump back. Dressed in their singlesuits, most. Some, the hookers, the prostitutes, wore dual suits, clothes that covered in a strip around the waist and around the chest, covering and revealing at the same time. Built in microchips and holographic displays turned the clothes into their own advertisements. Sex shops and toys flashed flamboyantly along in a mismatched circle about the womans frame as they cantered about. A halo like that of an angel seduced by the darker side.

Madeleine rushed, skirting through the crowds on the edges and through gaps and openings. She could hear the ruffled people behind her squawking and flapping their arms in mid-stride as she rumbled past. Her heart was pounding. She saw in the corner of her vision, where her neural and cellular wetwiring interacted with her vision kept throwing up a word in bold, red typeface: INFECTED. Infected. A lie. It was the program again. She had dived into some nether region of the NETs. The mainframes where the arrays were undefined. Where there was data, but you couldn't see or understand it. Her avatar had drifted in the black sea, beyond the interpreted glow of the digital world. And when she had come back to her analog self, she had a new gift. A change, a morphing, a shift. Dizzying, she had unlocked things. A great many things were cast off, but never truly forgotten or lost. The NETs held everything, and things thought hidden could be found. Things thought buried could be unburied. And Madeleine had found just that -- a something.

And now it was overwriting the programming of her implants.

Military grade. It had to be that. She was rushing because she didn't know how much time she had until it overtook her. Until this virus, this computerized digital artifact overtook her analog self and overwrote her entire being. So much of the analog and digital were amalgamated into one. She was scared. She didn't want to lose herself. But...was it even possible? She was hoping the Advanced Neuroscience & Wetwiring Department of the St. Patrick's Hospital could help her.

Her vision crackled. White snow. White noise. It was like standing in a snowglobe. Someone was shaking her world and filling it up with dazzling sparkles.

"GO AWAY!" she screamed.

The crowd about her stopped. Jerked a moment. Eyes, weary, watchful, fearful, annoyed -- every spectrum of the emotional rainbow -- turned upon her. Then like a stop-motion camera jolting onto the next scene, they moved again. The stop in the automation of the human walking on the sidewalk ended, and they resumed their conveyor belt motion in their given direction to be deposited like varied and packaged goods. A bubble formed around Madeleine. She was given wide berth now. Nobody wanted near this young woman on the verge of tears who cradled her head in her hands, who got to her feet, who stumbled forward into a mad dash with brazen brunette hair blazing a broken and shaky path through the air and crowd alike.

A spattered response as a siren wailed for attention. Authoritative, it demanded respect. Whizzing past on invisible jets of plume, hot backwash assaulting the pedestrians below who made rude gestures at the passing so close to the ground. The vehicle dropped, a rock caught in gravity, before stopping dozens of centimeters above the ground. An officer stepped out, blue singlesuit with blastplates inserted. Pockets full of gear and a belt filled to near bursting. He was clutching his compact-slug thrower to his chest, black visored face scanning behind a veil of anonymity. His attention caught itself on the wayward child and he began to approach.

"Citizen," a voice barked out, loud, using not only his own audio enhancement but the speakers wired into the lampposts. Everyone halted, machines programmed by their masters. "Citizen Madeleine Young: halt."

She found herself turning, tear-flecked eyes seeing a monster. She screamed. Everyone near backed away. The officer began walking toward her, and she looked upon the faces of those around her. Dead, gone, lost -- lost within the NETs, uploading and downloading, showing what was happening to this girl now, soon, at what would be the hands of the government agents ready to sweep her up into their squadcar and into the night air.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

WPCA - The Silent War

In the year 2025, the world governments collapsed. With the world economic repression having started late in 2008 and continuing onward, it forced many businesses and corporations to amalgamate into much larger entities to survive in the economic downturn and the following depression. And when, in 2025, the governments did finally collapse, a shifting of powers happened. No longer were there countries as people had once known them. No one swore allegiance to the flags of their fathers and birth countries, but to the corporate logos that soon became the new countries, the places of their loyalty. Massive identities that held massive quantities of land and resources. But with only large corporations left, mergers weren't to be.

The companies became power hungry, and launched several wars in an attempt to seize and hold more resources, more material. In 2085, in a research lab near Shanghai, the first Dark Matter bomb was detonated. The resulting explosion destroyed the entire coastline and surrounding area and all the research. It also bled a large amount of oxygen into space, a giant irradiated plume -- a gash in the skin of the planet.

It was also the beginning of a massive ecological shift, the death of the planet as man had known it.

With the detonation came droughts and strange disease -- the dying off of plants and animals and the catastrophic morphing of the worlds ecologies. No longer verdant green vegetation but massive wastelands and deserts. The planet was dying and at an astounding rate. The world company leaders met, deciding that by working together they could live, or at least postpone the inevitable. So, the Arkship Programme was begun, and a race to leave the planet before it became their tomb. And it was a race, a race to leave their tomb before the door was sealed shut behind them.

By 2109 the first Arkship, the AMI 01 as built by the Apple-Microsoft-Intel Conglomerate, was launched. This was the beginning of mans new era unhinged from his dependency of earth as his lifeblood, the oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere that had nurtured him for so long, bled out into space. By 2115, the earth had been abandoned, leaving more than 5 billion persons behind to die and suffocate on the barren rock mankind had once called home -- the wasteland of his birth.

As it happened, in 2144, the Arkship Bosch AMG Universal after traveling for 32 years at .8 C came across a star system. Surveys found the seven planets to be uninhabitable, with atmospheres containing toxic gases or barren wastelands. Beginning to run low on resources, the leaders of Bosch Universal decided to found their first asteroid colony in the systems belt in what would later be known as the Stuttgarian System. But this wasn't the abnormal. Asteroid settlement after asteroid settlement began to crop into existence, and by 2224, they were all aware of each other and the systems they existed in. There were some, however, that thought they could go on and find a habitable planet. None did, and these ever hopefuls were the first to die out.

But, it didn't take long for old tensions to come about again, and in 2245, the first intergalactic war was fought by the survivors of earth in what would be called the First Asteroid War. It was resolved 15 years later, but it wouldn't be the last...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Needs Doing

Well, the definitive answer is that there, of course, is no answer. I've been brooding away, biding my time. Wondering, as I often do, about my lack of motivation and initiative on certain subjects. So much is necessary, but I cannot find it within myself to commit to what must be done. This needs to be done. That needs to be done. And while the this and the that are arbitrarily needed in the "getting done" category, all things considered, I just procrastinate. Or I "forget," which is to say I suffer a common lapse of memory for a short while while engaged with other things. Things that, of course, distract me from my hitherto unmentioned obligations. Unmitigated, I berate myself for these little lapses in my attention span, creating derogatory comments as if to spur myself into action. But failing that, I return to my morbidly innate state of motionlessness where motion is the obligatory method.

So, I need a means to conduct myself into a fruitful labor that will bear forth much. To create a habit of the things that must needs doing. I wish with a hope toward the bottomless pit I call the depths of my soul that I can see these things through. Because if I cannot, well, the results could be disastrous. Drastic measures are indeed needed.