Friday, December 18, 2009

The Misadventurous Trio - 2

"Hey, Gar?"


"Mind letting me pilot for once? I mean, I did build it."

"Yeah, that's true, you did build the ship. You also crashed it right after you finished it then spent three weeks fixing it back up."

"What's your point?"

"Do I need one."

Kish came up and put a hand on Wolf's shoulder. "It's okay. He's just saying you pilot like a blind man. Actually, I think the blind man might do better."

"Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, Kish. Fuck."


Kish walked up to Wolf while he sat at the table, a cloth spread over it and random parts were placed about. Kish went to reach for one. "Don't touch."

"Why, what harm could it do?"

"Well, the part you were about to reach for can explode if you aren't properly grounded, and unlike you, I'd rather keep living."

"Oh. Well, what about this-"

"-no. Like I said, don't touch."

"What? Not every single one of these parts can explode."

"Yeah, but you seem to gravitate to "stuff that could make life miserable for Wolf", so I thought it best to cut you off."

"I'm not that bad. Gar, am I that bad?"

"Yes, Kish, you are that bad," Gar called from the cockpit.


"Gar, you stay with the ship. I'm taking Kish."

"And why do I stay with the ship."

"Because I fly like a blind man of psychotropic drugs, and Kish flies like a...well, we really don't want to know how he flies."

"Fine. But why take him?"

"Well, more to act as a distraction."

Kish walked up wearing a purple cape. "I'm ready."

"See what I mean?"


"Kish, wait here."


"Just, guh, just do it."


Wolf stalked off further into the interior of the bar, glancing about left and right. He approached a table in the back while Kish made his way to the front.

"Hey," Kish said, his purple, silk cape fluttered. The bartender looked at him, eyes wide a moment before he glared sharply.

"And just who in the fuck are you?"

"Oh, I'm Kish."

"Why the purple cape? What are you, some kind of superhero?"

"Well I am super."

What Do You Get...

So, I'm at work tonight and I'm talking with one of the bakers. We're talking about the gifts we'll be giving loved ones at Christmas. Then she pipes up that she's thinking of getting another coworker a t-shirt, custom job at that. I ask her what about. So she looks at me and says, very seriously, that the caption would be "What do you get a hypochondriac that has everything?" I couldn't stop laughing, because the coworker in question is a hypochondriac and the idea just by itself is hilarious. I told her that if she does get the shirt done up, she should also put an empty bottle of pills fallen over on its side next to, or in the background of the caption. You know, for emphasis.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Misadventurous Trio - 1

"Where's Wolf?"

"Working, Kish."

"On what?"

"Not getting killed."

"Where is he?"

"Not here, obviously."


"Kish,-" Gar put his palms to his face, dragging them downward for a moment, "-it's times like this I wish Wolf would take you with him. Then it'd be a two-way split."

"What? And why wouldn't I get paid."

"Because you lack a skill Wolf has."

"And that is?"

"Not getting killed."

Kish grew quiet. He would have made himself useful had Wolf been there to tell him to make himself useful. Instead, he just sat in the navigation seat waiting, wondering what it was Wolf was doing. The best answer he knew he'd get out of Gar was "working." Working for who? Was this another contract? Who was their contact? He couldn't help but feel he was sometimes treated like a child and kept out of the loop. He was the best guy for dealing with people, surprisingly, despite being the most antisocial of the three. After about an hour of sitting there, waiting, the comm crackled to life.

"Start the ship! Start the ship!" a tinny voice squawked.


"Dammit, Gar! Start the fucking ship!"

"What's wrong?"

A flash of red laser fire splattered in the direction of the ship. Gar watched through the HUD Wolf running back at breakneck speed, hopping over debris and past obstacles. Behind him, trailing but catching up, were a series of guards taking pot shots at him with sidearms.


"So," Kish began, "that's what 'not getting killed' looks like."

Wolf came rushing past as Gar brought the main forward weapons online and began to send furrows of coherent red energy flashing into the oncoming enemy force. Bright explosions of dirt and debris and bodies, whole and otherwise, flung everywhere at once. He held down the trigger until a status light on his console clicked green signaling the hold having been sealed and Wolf now being inside. He rushed up into the cockpit, dressed in a black jumpsuit holding a plasma assault rifle. He had a pair of goggles hanging around his neck from a strap and began doing up his crash restraints, all the while screaming "Go, go go!"

"What the hell did you do down there?" Gar asked.

"Stirred up the hornets nest, that's what! Fuck! I hope they aren't getting any air support, that'd just screw my day over."

Gar grimaced at that remark, lifted the Grinning Jackal up on its anti-grav thrusters before kicking in the main engines and blasting skyward at speed. Wolf began monitoring the tactical console he was sitting at.

"They're sending fighters. Looks like a half squad of 'em," Wolf said. "Kish, get a jump course plotted out of this shitpit."

"Working on it."

The Jackel jerked about as Gar sent the craft through a series of evasive maneuvers. But the larger craft was still taking strikes from the more agile fighters.

"Jump course plotted!" Kish said before bringing up a tactical display. Six fighters, all blasting away, and more incoming. "Uh, more fighters incoming. I'm gonna take the guns."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Despise the Service Industry

Now, let me get one thing straight when I say that I despise the service industry. I do not despise the industry as a whole. It performs a valuable duty by providing services. There are, however, certain areas of the service industry that I do loathe with a fury like that of a thousand suns gone nova. What I hate is a certain sector of the service industry. In a word or two: fast food joints and their ilk.

What I don't like is the whole stigma surrounding them. When you look at it, they are the most profitable sector in the service industry accounting for billions of dollars in revenue. It pains me that so many would rather go to some fast food joint for "comfort food" than do other things. When I worked Thanksgiving, the place was packed. Lots of people. I saw more people coming in to Tim Hortons to get their coffee fix than staying at home with friends and family. And it isn't just that that bothers me. I had a woman come in and order a coffee one time. She tells me she wants sweetener in her coffee, not sugar. Tells me it's because she's trying to watch her weight. Then she orders a donut! I was so incredulous that I outright told her to skip the donut and take the sugar. At least you know the sugar is healthy for you -- sweetener, as I've read in a few articles and studies, is bad for you and the environment. Well, suffice to say, the woman got angry.

Another is people asking for both milk and cream in their coffee, thinking this is somehow a healthier choice. As though they need to justify the fact they're splurging on the most unhealthy things.

It isn't just the way people justify their crappy existence, but the attitudes that come with it. Airy ideas of superiority when they make their orders, or believing that I can somehow read their mind. People who see me working and think I'm a lower lifeform and that I'm some meek creature that won't talk back. Uh, hate to break it to you, but I've got a mind and I use it. And I'm lippy. An example? Well, one night a woman got locked in a stall in the woman's washroom. He screamed for help. I had to lift the door off the hinges to get her out. The lock had broke. I put the door back on and put a sign on the door stating that this particular stall is out of order. Well, not even a half hour later, some other woman comes up to me, bitching to me about how she'd gotten locked in one of the stalls and had to climb under the door to get herself out. The conversation went something along the lines of:

"Uh-huh. So, was there an out of order sign on the door?"

"What? No, there was no sign on the door."

"Really? So, if I go into the woman's washroom, and I see the sign on the door, and you used that stall knowing full well that perhaps that sign is there for a reason, you absolve me of all problems because of your own screw-up."

The woman didn't like the idea that I would so easily catch her in her own little lie. She pretty much gave up trying to be lippy with me since it was a losing battle on her side. As for the job in general, the persons I have that come in there, they just frustrate me to no end. I'm tired of the retarded morons that come in there. I can't wait to move and leave this job in the ditch. I despise the service industry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Price is Wrong, Moron

So, after having worked at my local Tim Hortons for nearly six months now, I can safely say I know a good deal about it. I know a majority of the prices for food and drinks off the top of my head, quoting without difficulty what it is, including the tax. This sometimes even pertains to multiples of said items. I've gotten good at it, and can tell a person without looking at the screen how much their drink is going to cost without having punched it in yet. But, some people, even after being told what they owe don't feel like ponying up the cash to pay for it.

An example would be tonight when I got and order at Drive-Thru for a couple large coffees. Nod a big deal. Off the top of my head I can tell a person without thinking that it'll be three-oh-seven. I then make the drinks and come to the window. The guy hands me three-oh-one for his drinks. At this, I inform him that, no, it's three-oh-seven and he still owes me six cents. He points to the little lighted number box outside the Drive-Thru window which says "three-oh-one." I tell him that that device is broken and has been for months and that I'd already informed him of what he owe for the coffee at the speaker box long before getting to the window. What ensued was an argument that lasted almost a minute where he told me that "the customer is always right," and said customer was getting his information from a broken box.

I humored him, told him that a large coffee, by itself is a buck a buck-fifty-three, and that if you were multiply this by two, you'd get three-oh-six, not three-oh-one. Then I explained to him, due to decimal-point calculations within a computers programming, there is a margin of error, especially when calculating percentiles such as tax on an item, therefore, he had to fork over an extra six cents for his coffee due to that margin of decimal-point error. After gripping a moment, he handed me the extra six cents.

If you think this only happens once in a while, let me tell you, there was another guy sometime later with the same ordeal. Only this time, he knew the price of a single large coffee, did the simple math and came out with three-oh-six. Normally, I'm not such a douchebag and would forget the penny, only he asked me if I had said "three-oh-seven." When I confirmed this, he said to me, "Oh. Well wouldn't it be three-oh-six because two large coffees are a dollar-fifty-three?" Again, my prior argument about programming came into play. He then demanded that it be only three-oh-six and I didn't know what I was talking about. At that point, I decided, no, I'm going to be a douchebag because this guy deserves it. After a moment-or-two or argument, he cussed me out, handed over the extra penny, took his coffee and drove off.

All in all, a wonderful night.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Buzz

(23:39:15) Starry: How was work?

(23:40:11) Wolf: As I snapped to a woman while on Drive-Thru about a wasp buzzing around my head: "If I got stung, it wouldn't be the most painful part of my day."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conversations About Work

(23:24:42) Wolf: So, this guy comes through Drive-Thru tonight, and he says to me: "We were driving along and saw the Tim Horton's sign and thought: awesome! We can get coffee! What do you feel when you see the Timmy's sign." I looked the man in the eye and promptly said, "I feel ashamed when I see a Tim Horton's sign."

(23:24:56) Starry: ROFL.

(23:24:58) Starry: Ashamed, eh?

(23:25:25) Wolf: I had the manager ask me what "due diligence" meant tonight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WPCA - Excerpt from 'All Good Things' 02

"What is this place?" Chrysanthemum asked.

"What place?"


"Oh, well, as you can see, it is a maze. Actually, it's a labyrinth."

"But what is it called?"

"The labyrinth."

Chrysanthemum made a face.

"Well, I know that. I mean, where is it?"

"You should have asked that from the start."

She made another face.

"It isn't anywhere, and it's everywhere. It branches into all the states of life and reality wherever they may be. To every world and every time and every memory, all linked together."

"But, what are those Tigermen? And why do I always feel like this place doesn't want me here?"

"Because the labyrinth wants to preserve itself. A last bastion for all things."


"Yes, a fort. Memories I often see in here, winged as it is, searching and seeking."

"Memories? You say that like it is...a person."

"An insect, actually. It has never seen me before, though."

"So, you can go anywhere from here?"

"Well, almost anywhere. Some places have been shut off, kept aside and away. Much harder for Memories to go there."

"Why are they shut off?"

"Because some things don't want to be remembered, or its better not remembering, or most of all, some things are just hiding."

"Then how do you get there if they're hiding?"

"Between the cracks, my dear."

"Does the memory thing know how to get between the cracks?"

"Not really; if it knew where to look it could, but its relying on memories of mortals, not...ascendants. In this case it cannot know. And it's Memories."

"You said Memories hasn't seen you before."

"That's right."

"Why is that?"

"Because it can't see me."


"I don't exist to Memories. In fact, the labyrinth isn't even a labyrinth to Memories."

"What is it then?"

"A library."

"Then how come its a labyrinth now?"

"Memories wants it a library, to make it easier to find things. If it was a labyrinth, Memories would spent far too much time searching for memories. So, it's a library."

"I'm confused. Memories searching for memories?"

"The bug looking for a book."

"Oh. Well, can I make it a library, too?"

"Where's the fun in that?"

Chrysanthemum was quiet a moment, pondering this.

"How can you not exist to Memories?" she said.

"How can you exist to Memories, my dear?" Vadel Mayr Veldrosky said.

"You aren't answering my question."

"If I answered all your questions, then you would have more questions. Questions beget questions, not answers, my sweet. Answers are found with pain, not talk."

Chrysanthemum glared at Vadel Mayr Veldrosky. The enigmatic creature in its pajamas walked, seeming to be going no place in particular. He seemed to be playing a game with her and enjoying it, liking how she didn't understand or know anything about this place, or any place. Daddy had never told her about this place.

"Could daddy come here?"

"Oh, dear, no. His life would snuff like a flame in the wind; it would die out so fast if he wandered here. No mortal can survive here; existence itself makes it so."


"Look for your answers instead of asking for them."

She made a face like a petulant child, crossing her arms for emphasis in the cliche. She wanted to throw a tantrum. Part of her mind was screaming, in a very adult voice, I'm a seven year old girl. I shouldn't even be having these kinds of conversations yet, let alone thinking what I'm thinking. Why can't I be simple like before? Why can't everything be simple like before?

"But everything is simple," Vadel Mayr Veldrosky said. Chrysanthemum jumped as she was jarred from her thoughts, turning a glaring, surprised face on the figure. How could he read her thoughts? Before she could even ask another question on that regard he simple held up a finger to his lips and made a shushing sound. She scowled.


It was in the blackness of reality, a reality where even a Before God feared to tread. It was a kind of non-reality, a non-existence, an enigma where time and space had no rule, where Memories turned to ash and forgetfulness overrode the norm.


Kee Drovnich stormed through the halls of the Defense Forces Central Command, weaving his way through the wake of disturbed subordinates and NCOs that seemed flustered at the High Admiral and Intelligence Devision Head Chief. Doors parted for him as me moved, his neural implant sending access codes ahead of him and keeping him aware of specific data as it came in. He was in a sour mood.

He entered the conference room and slid along the wall in the darkness like some kind of snake before assuming his seat. Several other high level Vadasian and Galandrian were here, either physically or projected over the Gatekeeper system, the MaskNet hierarchy of defense systems all around the Dalaquen system.

"What's this all about, Drovnich?"

"You remember that errant fool of ours, brilliant, but a fool nonetheless."

"I'm only looking at one fool, Drovnich. Cut the crap."

"Fleet Commander Visarett, and his taskforce that was following the Hagasian extra-dimensional threat has vanished."

"What do you mean, vanished?"

"What other way can I say that it has disappeared? Would you like me to grab five foreign language dictionaries and find new ways to say that there's no evidence of the taskforce whatsoever?"

"Don't be a jyrakeit Vadas, Drovnich."

"Our scoutships have reported of the complete annihilation of the enemy Hagasian extra-dimensional force. At least our taskforce succeeded in something before going AWOL."

"What do you think the Fleet Commander's reasons were for that?"

"Nyrock sent in a report about fifteen standard units before their disappearance, just prior to dimensional slipspace travel. The Fleet Commander had been killed in the engagement."

"So who was in charge?"

"Oh, High Admiral Lypsing Nyrock decided to play tag-along. So, if he were here, we could ask him why it is five ships disappeared," Kee Drovnich said.

"What are we doing to fix this problem?"

"We've alerted the LDE and Jyollener Federation, among others. I figure that whatever makes our ships go boom should be as equally feared by them as it is us."

"And why would you want to release such information?"

"Mutual reassurance."

"Reassurance? Of what?"

"Of coopreration."


Chrysanthemum starred at Vadel Mayr Veldrosky with petulance. He talked in riddles, made fun of her for not understanding. Well if nobody answered her questions, how would she learn? Vadel Mayr Veldrosky talked of the penetrating blackness like it was something to be feared. She took a step toward it.

"I wouldn't do that, child. The jaws of fate laugh at your ignorance and would gladly swallow you whole if you go there."

Chrysanthemum thought about it a moment, turned to Vadel Mayr Veldrosky and stuck out her tongue before stepping forward into the great deepness. And then felt like her life was being stripped away. At first her flesh was being torn apart, deep gouges appearing. Her skin became the tattered ruins of some strange clothing, looking flayed and ancient. The black carapace came off her in scabs, her blood swelling up in bulbous droplets before bursting in strange implosions with popping noises. She felt her eyes implode then, her organs turning to mush before being torn apart by the epicenter of some massive wrenching wind.

And then as her body fell into the blackness and disappeared, consumed, Vadel Mayr Veldrosky blinked.

"What has she done," he started. "What cruel fate is this?"

Then, louder, "Why do you mock me with the idea of hope for a new start and take it away?"

He threw a fist against the labyrinth, screaming and pounding. "What cruel game are you playing at? Why do this?"

And from the darkness, laughter ensued.

And for the first time in perhaps his entire memory, Vadel Mayr Veldrosky cried.


It floated as it always did, the cylindrical object. It had a light on either end, red, that flashed back in forth like a pair of eyes constantly blinking. About the center-most portion of the cylinder, a band of yellow and black set in slashes, with compartmentalized openings and entrances set about the thing. It was two meters long, and although it floated, twisted, the solar winds that kicked up about it couldn't do anything. It just stat there, winking at the nebulae surrounded by the Auktaurian asteroid belt in the Velvandi system. There were several such devices, warning buoys, and beyond them, set just inside the belt was a monstrous object of ancient origin and design.

--- The blackness was intransigent, but even so, the girl-turned-woman-turned-ascendant felt a rising feeling of vertigo. The feeling that she were falling was hard to shake, the sudden pitches of free-fall playing havoc with her quickly maturing mind -- and even so, her feet, some corner speculated, were firmly planted on the ground. What was more, even for all the darkness about her, she could see the light, burning so brightly. She waved a hand in front of her face to shield it from the darkness, never once moving her arms in the motion. Something kept whispering that whatever she did, it would occur and not occur.

Two halves of her mind warred with one another. One said she was standing, the other insisted she were falling. So much gravity, the standing one said, that its knees were buckling from the strain of carrying the world and more upon her shoulders. But the free fall was puking away, nauseated. Still there were other forms of herself, arms strung outward attempting to feel in the darkness that was so fully illuminated. And then there were the walls that pushed in. Chrysanthemum had never been claustrophobic in all her life, but at the moment, a part of her was straining against the walls pushing against her while another form of herself pointed and laughed because there really wasn't any walls nearly turning her into a compact cube.

She screamed, the sound echoing forever and ever and ever and ever. The noise rang toneless until it returned to her own ears, and in fact, she hadn't screamed at all. She hadn't even opened her mouth, but she was certain that the part of herself trapped in the light was watching herself quizzically as she wailed again and again in lost confusion.

Land of confusion...

She was stumbling, a part of her saw, and as she stumbled, she was kicking at the ground like a petulant child with something in her eyes. So very blind, I am, she thought offhandedly.

But she wasn't walking in this world of blinding light or overbearing darkness. She walked worlds, planets, and saw wonders and horrors and felt herself awed and disturbed. Until finally everything stopped, something snapping into focus, twisting just so, like a camera lens clicking into place and everything made sense.

Land of understanding...

But she found that she didn't understand, standing as she was surrounded by faucets of herself in this twilit realm with a purple sky and orange trees with diamond leaves. The blue grass waved about in a wind that refused to blow because the pink sun was scolding it on the parapet of a rock overlooking a lake of pure brown muck. But she was certain a coolness was there.

She spoke.

But no sound came, only an echo of her intent to speak, echoing in the thousands of ears she possessed. She looked in at herself, billions of pairs of eyes intent, mocking, pleading that she absolve herself of whatever sin she had committed so that she might return to being the innocence she once lay claim to. But the woman-turned ascendant with a leathery-tan-hide for skin accentuated by leaf-like black carapace and dotted more by strange, swirling orange and yellow carapace markers turned in a slow circle.

"Come to me," the intent echoed.

And then, she walked into herself, feeling all at once a child and a woman and a goddess. She saw what each of her former selves had seen, knew what they knew, understood and puzzled over what they had understood and puzzled over. And in the midst of it, she saw another man.

He had the burnished skin of bruises that looked weeks old. Purple, and his face was misshapen, with strange bulges here and there. He had no nose except for slits, no lips and no eyelashes or eyebrows. Completely hairless and naked, the creature was anorexic, or looked it. Skeletal, with a lankiness that belied its strength. Bipedal, it moved on two legs, only it had three toes with a fourth thumb-like one at its heal. Its hands also had three fingers with a thumb. it wielded no weapon, although Chrysanthemum was certain the claws on its feet and hands were sharp enough.

"Hello," her intent echoed, ringing off the walls.

The creature ignored her.

As she looked more closely at it, she saw it was playing with several toys in a sandbox. It was playing a game, its own intent making strange sound effects like lasers going off. It make explosive noises, too, holding its action figures and smashing them into one another.

Chrysanthemum glided toward the creature before hunching over and looking closely at the creature and its toys. There were things that looked like spaceships and things that looked like dolls and things that looked like chess pieces and still more toys arrayed around it. She went to pick one up, only the creature snatched the toy up quickly. She looked at it and found a pair of blazing yellow eyes glaring at her, cat-eyes that held no love for her.

"Mine," it hissed.

"Can't I play too?" her intent echoed once more. it didn't seem to hear her, but only looked at her with the same distrust. Chrysanthemum moved her jaw slowly, hinging it open and closed experimentally, trying to make some kind of noise. She squawked.

Again she tried to ask if she could play to. Still only the intent of a sound ringing off the inside of her skull, and still the creature staring at her coldly.

Finally: "I lost some of my toys. If you find them, I'll give you one."

Chrysanthemum regarded this statement, then tried to ask where the creature had lost its toys. And for the first time, she spoke. She sounded as she expected herself to sound, were she back to being a child. Gone was her usually sultry voice that she had somehow picked up somewhere.

The creature pointed to a pile of weeds that were black instead of blue with thorns. She walked toward it slowly, and thought the thorns were alive. She looked for a while, feeling bored. She turned her head and saw the creature looking at her. A feeling that she knew who it was played at the back of her mind, but when she attempted to grasp it, she felt confused, and turned back.

After what seemed hours, she spotted what had to be the silver glint of one of the ships she had seen the creature playing with. She reached in to grasp it. The grass wrapped itself around her arm, thorns biting deep. She bled strange orange colored blood and felt weak. The ships were there, five of them, and thousands of the action figures. So many toys. And yet she couldn't reach them. She put her other arm forward to grab them, but the grass wrapped around her other arm. It was pulling her in, biting at her, sapping her strength. She felt dizzy, woozy, the world was spinning.

And then Chrysanthemum fell into the grass.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I've now made 78 weapons for my little Create-a-Weapon thing. Still going strong after how many years? Wonder if I can make the 100 mark. Maybe.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Everyone Else Except Me

So, a while back I posted a generalized blanket statement made by a person about the state of affairs in forum role play and dueling. And it is a generalized statement that covers a lot of ground in a very pretentious know-it-all way. Well, I recently posted the statement on the Veteran's board on GameFAQs just to see what I could get out of it. Open a dialog, see what peoples thoughts were. I didn't get much, except this: "I'd say he's right about everyone except us."

A very profound statement, and a completely ignorant one at that.

"Everyone else is bad, except us. Everyone else sucks, except us." A completely close-minded, ignorant, cut-off from reality statement. Truthfully, everyone cribs off existing tropes. That's just media, and by extention, writing in general. Fresh, witty, original stuff will always fall back on existing tropes whether intended or not. Not a bad thing, either. It just happens. I understand this very well, even if the person who originally made the statement probably didn't. However, what bothers me most is that instead of properly analyzing the statement and disproving or proving it, people have instead just either agreed (not saying why they agreed), or calling the originator of the statement a pretentious hack. Nothing has become of the actual statement beyond that. But I digress.

Going back to the statement that "he's right about everyone except us," and looking at it, it assumes that the close-minded individual believes that there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the group he participates with. It's a rather simple fallacy, that everyone else would be in error except him and his group of friends. I've found myself to be wrong more times than I can count, and even in my own articles, especially ones past, as things change they lose their relavence. To err is human. But to believe outright that there couldn't be anything wrong with his own writing... Well, I'll leave it all up to you.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

WPCA - Excerpt from "All Good Things"

All Good Things was a bit of writing a friend and I put together. Absolutely massive. We did it back in 2007. This year, in 2009, we hope to put something together that's a bit more -- how do you say -- refined. I'll probably post excerpts from that somewhere along the line. In the meantime, here's a random part from All Good Things.


Chrysanthemum wandered. The labyrinth was playing games with her, she knew. Every time she saw a gate that led to a new area and attempted to get there, the way would turn severe. The ground would rise up, become smooth to the point where she couldn't scale it. Trees would block the path or scrubby grass with thorns and strange poisons that bit into her skin and forced her to lie for hours as her body regained whatever strange health she had. What was more, packs of roving tigermen things with spinning, cutting blades chased her now and again, following her, hunting her.

It was at those times she began to discover her own powers. At first afraid, tentative, like a baby taking its first steps in wonder and fear. She could distort her reality if she concentrated hard enough, and it was in those moments she could cause the most damage. A darkness that crept from the shadows to dismember and consume the tigermen that sought her. At first, they didn't seem afraid of her and her newfound abilities, but then, she began leaving one alive after every attack, a messenger to go back and tell the others of her power.

Some gates looked twisted when she passed them, with strange worlds beyond it. It was like looking through a mirror; mirror worlds abounded, each with their own style. Some seemed sunny, beautiful, wondrous; others were dark, sinister. She wandered pathways that had no walls, areas that had no light, areas that had no floors and she floated in space. She wondered in an off-handed way if this was what it must be like to be an addict.

She slumped against a wall, one of the few she had seen. This area was a plains clouded over in twilight; the tigermen roved here frequently, but had left her alone thus far. Why was she here, she asked herself. She groaned in annoyance. Everything was just getting so messed up and she felt she was somewhere in the middle of it all. And why couldn't daddy do something? But what could he do?

As these thoughts swam through her brain, a feeling of utter terror filled her. She opened her eyes and saw a woman lying on the ground, weeping, beaten and bruised. She sobbed for such a long time, and Chrysanthemum simply felt terrified of this woman. I know her, she thought. But who had done this to her, and why? Why would they hurt her so? What had she done to deserve this? And then a wave of anger and hatred washed over her as the phantom righted itself and stalked off into the abyss of nothingness, dissipating in a wake of fury. Chrysanthemum stared, feeling hollow for a moment.

"Why?" she said. "Why is it like this?"

"Because, child," a voice whispered, "those who have are envied, and those that have not desire to have and covet what their neighbor has. The concept of shared life, of union and charity is dead. Find those who have nothing and you will find those who have everything."

Chrysanthemum turned and found a strange man in a pair of pajamas staring down at her. He seemed different. His skin looked like water, his eyes were the color of empty jade. Hair that looked like space flecked with stars hung about his head in a wizened way about a balding spot and he shared a smile of crooked, black teeth with her. She suddenly wanted to poke him and see if it would cause a ripple.

"Vadel Mayr Veldrosky," he said, extending a watery looking hand, "attorney at law." The smile broadened. "Come to present my closing arguments to the jury, but they're out and the witnesses were all killed. I'm afraid this mob boss just might get away. Sad thing, too; the racket he's running is hurting a lot of people."

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Echoes

The Echo, she calls
With voices soft and languid;
Your mind, it falls
With thoughts morbid and sanguine;

Your heart, if flutters
With fearful beats and thrashings;
The words, you mutter
With teeth gnawing and gnashing;

The vocals, they rise
Returned from craggy heights;
The power, it lies
In whispers soft and light;

The wind, it blusters
With frigid hands grasping;
The thoughts you muster
Worsening with moments passing;

A scream, it echoes
Across the highest crown;
Your throat, it bellows
With lips compressed in frown;

It comes, this night
A darkness from the sky;
A suit, of might
For in this time you die;

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Rules of the Road

Me and the road. It's something. Every time I get behind the wheel of my truck I turn into some nice little ball of road rage, resplendent with middle finger action and verbose use of language. I don't know quite why, but I hate so many of the idiots I find driving around. It isn't so bad during the winter, because at least then the people in question driving have a somewhat better understanding of how to drive, especially in the snow. It's just during the summer that we get morons from other provinces who cringe at the sight of a corner and slow down -- for massive damage! The speed limit is a solid ninety kilometers an hour, but the persons in question are moving at a speed far below that. Sometimes fifty or sixty.

There is a law in place that if you are holding up traffic, to pull over and let them pass. To bad nobody actually adheres to this law, so you get these massive trains of vehicles with some family from the prairies trying to navigate through a winding mountain pass road with all the grace and aptitude of a three year old banging on a piano. It's like me with Christmas songs at that jolly time of year. I feel myself filled to the explosion point with anger at the sheer stupidity my fellow man possesses.

So, I was thinking, what with all my road rage, maybe I should weld some spikes onto the front and back of my truck and just ram people who are shitty drivers. It would certainly act as a means of diffusing my stress. And it would let the persons in front of me know just how much of a fuck up they are. That is if they aren't impaled through the back of the head by a spike. And then I'd end up in jail... But honestly, why are there so many bad drivers out there? Do the speed limit, stop being a little jerkwad, and learn to drive properly. Is it too much to ask?

Obviously yes.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Who Does Writing Anymore?

I find myself saying often that I need to write more. I used to write all the time, out of habit. Sentences, paragraphs, whole stories that could be massive arcs in and of themselves. But since returned from Afghanistan last year, it's like the desire to write has been stricken from me. I still love the endeavor of doing it, of creating and forming, of each thought transcribed into action and prose, but I can't seem to do it anymore. Much as I make the attempt to write, it's like the words that would normally have flowed from my mind to my fingers to the keyboard to the text editor have been replaced by nothingness. Ideas that were once like the fruit in a bountiful field has become fallow, empty. A feeling that someone has salted the earth of my mind weighs heavily on me.

What to do. What to write? No idea, no clue, and no desire. So where's the jumping point? Do I force it like the lid on a jar to get at the contents within, or do I grease the wheels and hope the shrieking stops? Those that do not seek never find -- so maybe it's time to seek out my muse, wherever it could be.

Friday, July 17, 2009

No, I'm NOT Driving

I woke this morning to a phone call. It normally wouldn't strike as so odd if it weren't for the fact that nobody really calls me. Especially not at six-fifty in the morning. I'm blinking at my clock while rays of sunlight slash through the blinds before turning my head at the offensive noise. I hop, literally, from bed and bound up to the phone with a kind of perverse curiosity. I don't really register what the call display says and instead just answer it.

"Hello?" I ask. Surprisingly lucid, awake.

"Hey, do you have today off?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Want to drive to Canmore?"

Wait, what? Canmore? That's a four hours drive away at best, and there's nothing out there, really. Just a resort town in Alberta. Why in the hell would I want to drive there? Turns out it's my mom calling. She wants to know if I'd drive a woman's vehicle to Canmore because she doesn't want to drive through the Rockies. Too scary for her, what with all the winding roads. Woman is from Saskatchewan, where there aren't any corners... I tell my mom that that is crazy. And that even though it's my day off, it is my ONLY day off. It's back to work tomorrow. I want to get errands done, nevermind seeing the latest Harry Potter movie tonight (more on that in a moment). The plan proposed was that I drive the woman's truck, the woman in question takes the bus, and my sister follows behind me in the truck so that we can make a quick turn-around after it's all said and done. Best estimates of time is eight hours there and back. Like I said before, crazy. And definitely not happening. My sister, on the other hand, took up the offer. It paid two hundred dollars. Can't fault her for wanting the money -- unlike me, she's broke. But still, not something I'd do.

As for the Harry Potter movie. It was good. At least, the parts I wasn't making fun of and nearly getting kicked out of the theater for were good.

The Irony

I work at a coffee shop. I'm allergic to caffeine. No, the irony isn't lost on me.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Art of the Internal

Internal monologue is something used in writing to convey the feelings, impressions, and mental state of a character we're reading about. It lets us know more intimately those characters, what their emotional context is given a specific situation, and why they are acting in a given way to that situation. However, in dueling, while internal monologue is a good tool for fleshing out your character, it is a poor tool in a duel. And like any tool, while some are good for specific jobs, this one is not meant truly for the arena of forum dueling. It doesn't convey the action, does not give a sense of what is happening, only what is happening internally in the mind of one character.

Dueling has and always will be a battle of wills. It is both an internal and an external struggle between two fictitious characters. But when internal monologue overshadows the action and combat and the necessary components to describe that, then it has gone too far. While I understand some people's need to constantly reference their own characters, those character's feelings and mental state, it should not interfere with the action itself. Attacks suffer when too little effort is spent to properly flesh them out; the same goes for defenses or even counters to incoming attacks. No attention to detail in regards to the core of dueling, the action, and the duel as a whole suffers for it.

While attention does need to be paid toward the setting, in relation to the area, locale, and local flavor, it should be enough that all persons involved understand just where they are, what is going on, and if there are extra naunces they should be made aware of. The same goes for attacks, defenses and counters; enough information described clearly and concisely to get the point across without seeming redundant. Singular sentences of what is happening can sometimes do it, such as "threw a punch for the face," but not always if the series of actions is far more complex. A complete list of the chain of events needs to take place instead of a Deus Ex Machina-mentality where internal thoughts take precedence followed by a Mormanistic "and then it happened."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's a Zombie Rush!

So, I've equated working in the service industry to being like a zombie movie. Instead of saying "brains" it's "coffee." And, when there's a lull, it's like that point in the movie where the person says it's "too quiet," then a zombie comes around and kills them. Time to reload, boys! The hordes just around the corner ready to come again.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dominion - Go Big or Go Home

A klaxon blared in her ear. Insistent, whispering sweet, sweet promise of extinction. A lovers tongue caressing the earlobe, demanding attention. The sweet sourness of the drolling brought forward nascent attentiveness. White fangs formed the basilica of intent, jagged and imposing cliffs behind the black mask with its singular, dominant red eye. Convoluted iconography fluctuated as a thermal signature unfolded in her minds eye. Images became icons, icons executables, and subroutines became active secondary programs rushing to drown out all conscious thought turning everything to animalistic instinct. The creature -- turned from once biological into a halfling weapon -- glanced in the direction indicated. Computational algorithms informed that it was a flame-like substance with attributing liveliness unheard of, if not altogether strange. Quantum field analysis came up with exotic energy signatures involving extreme manipulation of substance and form.

The blast came on, quickly. Pico-seconds were ticking down as shields glowed bright blue luminescent. The incandescent lightbulb of artificial life fluctuating like the quirky power of an old building. A rock flowing upstream against the current. She moved forward. Her left arm pointed, fingers outstretched. Reality bent a moment as the cannon unfolded itself. Little squares of air turned around as if on spinners before curving into infinite black as the polymorphic metallic alloy bled out of its finite dimensional holding pen. The barrel expanded, elongating. Rotating circlets appeared about the cannon, blue iridescence gaining. She gripped her forearm as the blast went upstream against the fight, exotic energy mass converting the trees and all like it into a supraluminal weapon; the matter stream ran through hyperspace covering the distance in a billionth of a pico-second, warping space and time to devour and wipe her foe from its very existence. But even when the cannon had fired, the klaxon did not cease. Ladar queued up several objects moving in a parabolic arc.


Blinked and mental commands flashed through. Nano-seconds ticked by as heightened reflexes aided by Semi-Conscious AI computed the arc of the projectiles and their originating point. Fluttered wings grew from shoulders, long trails of blue efflux radiating off anti-grav fins launching the creature backwards. Dimensional transceivers activated as a call for true artillery began. The grid coordinates flashed through subspace into a lower dimensional level before disappearing completely. She waited...a second. Two seconds. Three...

The emergence zone was a small cross-section of space only several hundred thousand kilometers square. Tiny, especially given the distances being crossed in the single large span were vast enough that even the most accurate trajectory from point A might be thrown off due to the spin of the galaxy at point B. Also factor in that the object in question was traversing not just a massive gulf, but a gulf between dimensions. It was at the point where space was ripped apart along a single line, shaking visibly before stabilizing into an ovoid shape. Anyone happening to glance at the correct spot would see what empty infinity was, but the chances of that encounter were slim to none. The psudo-fabric structure of the inter-dimensional slipspace gateway was a photonic dead zone, a darkness of such profound unbelievability that it appeared to hemorrhage out and contaminate the real universe. At that moment the object shot out on a gush of flame and the wound snapped shut leaving nothing, not even a scar to indicate the disruption of time-space within the point.

Below was the planet. The ovoid rocketed into the upper atmosphere before fragmenting into dozens upon dozens of long, javelin like lengths. The sky lit up like as the meteorite storm began. Toughened alloy spears with guidance computers and cruciform tails cut through the air extending massive sonic booms behind them as gravity reached up to grip the objects with its mighty, invisible hand and guide them all earthbound. Long iridescent lines lancing through the darkness. New stars born and dying. Then the barrage struck the ground. The resulting kinetic impact began a chain reaction that threw up dirt and foliage alike with little regard for each, all at the point where the projectiles had originated from. The concussive blasts spread out like water-droplets, their ripples knocking down and aside anything in their paths. The sonic booms ended, echoing far outward as the atmosphere stabilized. She glanced about, scanning.

Threat neutralized.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

WPCA - Depths Updated

Added a few paragraphs to WPCA - Depths today. I figure I might turn this into a full-blown story or something. No idea what I really want to do with it. I should start writing again; actually get back into it. I haven't written anything really major in so long.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to the Service Industry

I recently started working at a Tim Horten's. I despise the service industry with a passion. It doesn't help that I'm foul-mouthed at the best of times. So imagine the amount of restrain it takes me to put a smile on my face and greet people like I actually do care for eight hours. You want a large triple-triple coffee and a donut? I'd like the recession bullshit to stop so I can get a real job and not feel backed into a corner when it comes time to pay rent. However, even for all I'm bashing the job, it isn't too, too bad. Time flies when you're constantly being mobbed for more coffee by caffeine addicts. Seriously, this stuff is like crack to some people. Woman came into the store and was shaking, visibly. She wanted not one, but TWO extra-large coffees. Dear Lord, I can't even bring myself to think about drinking one -- that and the allergic reaction to caffeine.

Also, as an aside, I used to like the idea of eating donuts. You know, I like my sweets. Sugar isn't bad or a devil people make it out to be -- it's good for the body, recharges you. But just so you know, I boycott Denny's. I worked at one, once; years ago now, maybe a decade. I refuse to eat at one since -- conditions in back were just atrocious. I don't eat fast food like McDonald's or Burger King. I've heard too many stories from friends of the conditions in back who worked there and the things they did. Now, I don't ever think I'll want to eat another donut again. Once I've seen what's done with food at a joint I work at, I'd rather just make it myself.

So, yeah, got a job. Now I just need to find a better one...with less people. Lord help me.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

No Job Nancy

I got myself ready for work in the same fashion I always do, with the same generalized, apathetic malaise. I make my lunch, assemble the little bits of food I'll eat during break, toss it all into my bag, and wait out the last half hour before I leave for the afternoon/night shift I just got put on. After switching from day's to nights, I can say it's leaving me tired. My body isn't used to this staying up late crap yet, so after doing one shift this week, a second is definitely going to be a task to complete. Eventually, as time winds down, I leave.

Bide my time, flying down the highway at one-ten kilometers an hour, I make it to the plant in a half hour. Park and notice most of the guys who work my shift are standing around outside chatting, which is somewhat unusual. I walk up, say hi, get told there's a meeting at 4:30. I nod, walk inside, drop my bag, go back outside for a few minutes, chat about random, nonessential crap. After a few minutes, back inside. Everyone gets sat down around the table. I already know what's coming, too. We'd gotten a talk last week. I figured this would be my last week of work.

The boss tells us that things aren't going well. He has to do layoffs. I was expecting this already. I've gotten my resume up to date in anticipation of this. Can't say I've even been the optimistic one. But the boss says it's only temporary. He expects to have us all back in a few weeks. After all, we sell water, and things always pick up in the summer. This is true, so there's still the possibility that it could happen. But I know that, being the pessimist that I am, I'm still going to be handing out resumes. Because even though the boss says eventually, I have bills to pay, and I need work. So come Monday, I'll be beating the pavement. And with Summer on the way, certain places will be hiring.

Damn this recession bullshit.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Condensed RP/Dueling Guide

The whole role playing guide scene has a few big names in it, or at least a few big names if you've been around long enough to recognize them, otherwise they're just names, nobodies, has-beens and the forgotten of an age long dead. The guides they wrote are still around, still used and still circulated. However, time passes, and like some buildings, or even people, the guides themselves have not aged well. Dated is the best word for it. Stuck most definitely in a simpler time of role playing, back in the infancy of Forum Role Play and Dueling, even before dueling actually came about! This is a somewhat straight-forward attempt to revise all those guides, amalgamate them into a single entity that can be easily updated from time to time. That's my hope at least; we'll see how it goes.

  • [1.0] Introduction
    • Forum Role Playing is the act of creating and playing as a fictitious, imaginary character through written means; i.e.: you write about your character.
    • Forum Dueling is the use of the aforementioned character to fight someone elses character.
    • Forum Wars are several duels stuffed into a single thread involving many people
  • [1.1.0] Character Creation
    • A character seen to be played most often grows to become a representative of the player in the RP world.
    • It's good to design representative characters well.
    • It's good to know representative characters thoroughly.
    • Is the most important part of any role play or duel.
    • What a character begins as is irrelevant; they generally evolve over time and use into something greater.
  • [1.1.1] Name
    • Names aren't always necessary.
    • Easier for others to address/reference a named character.
  • [1.1.2] Age
    • Age and lifespan can be either realistic or surreal.
    • Most of the time determines abilities or knowledge attained.
  • [1.1.3] Gender
    • Male and female are the norms.
    • There's also hermaphrodites, egg-layers and more. Try something different and new!
  • [1.1.4] Race
    • Race can be anything from human to alien or mythological beings.
    • If your character is described to be an angel or demon your peers may automatically assume it is the typical model with the typical attributes.
    • Heads up: wholly demonic/angelic/etc. characters are often initially regarded by hardliners as tasteless and amateurish; dare to dream/change their mind.
  • [1.1.5] Appearance
    • Anime is usually the typical inspiration in appearance.
    • Gruff, overwrought persons with bad-hair aren't typically done, but are enjoyed.
  • [1.1.6] Personality
    • The emotional spectrum of a human, or something odd and alien if you're into the surreal stuff.
    • The actions, attitudes and peevish (or pet peeves) behavior of your character.
  • [1.1.7] Weaponry
    • Weapons can be any number of types from guns (small, large, energy) to magic to blunt force trauma (clubs, spears, swords and everyones favorite, the katana).
    • Magic is the antithesis to tech and vice versa.
    • Magic drains a user, tech uses gadgets that drain batteries.
    • Guns and missiles travel fast; evasion of them is difficult at the best of times.
  • [1.1.8] Special Abilities
    • Can be any number of things.
    • Consists of elemental control (fire, water, wind, lightning, etc.) if magical.
    • Is any number of tech abilities (lasers, missiles, teleportation devices, etc.) if you have the gadgets.
    • Some abilities are innate, others require a gadget to perform or the knowing of a specific spell/incantation.
  • [1.1.9] Elementals and Antithesis
    • Main elements are: fire, wind, water, earth, holy/light, unholy/darkness, time/space, ice, lightning, gravity.
    • Sci-Fi/Tech are: pyrokinesis, telekinesis, hydrokinesis, geokinesis, photokinesis (for light and dark), telepathy, cryokinesis, eletrokinesis, and telepathy again.
  • [1.1.10] Background
    • Character history; the backbone to any major, fully fleshed out character.
    • Can elaborate on character flaws, if any.
    • Is a method of making a character more noteworthy or interesting; can sometimes backfire.
    • Some character histories will contain great struggles/turmoil in the characters past; is a means of making the character more believable
  • [2.0] What is Dueling?
    • Interactive combat through writing expression; involves the usual attack/counter scenarios, sometimes with more story-oriented plot if so chosen.
    • Is considered an art form of a kind.
    • Does not always have to be action or fighting oriented.
    • Can sometimes be completely story based/driven sans action.
    • Various people advocate different areas of dueling more than others; i.e.: action over storytelling or vice versa.
  • [2.1.1] Description
    • The language/words chosen to convey thoughts and expressions.
    • Main use in creating attacks, setting and mood.
    • Weighs in on the strength of the attack/counter/defense/evasion; is equated to power.
    • Good description is clear, concise description.
  • [2.1.2] Creativity
    • Catch phrase; integral to dueling.
    • The use of ideas to make for original, awe-inducing and inspiring attacks.
    • Enhances the writing and character.
    • Power overwhelming.
  • [2.1.3] Ingenuity
    • Being clever or inventive; using skill over brute force in writing.
    • Not just doing something new, but doing something old and making it new.
    • Using characteristics or weapons your character already has to maximum effect.
    • Not resorting to Dues Ex Machina tactics.
    • Can trump other attacks over being original if done well.
  • [2.1.4] Originality
    • Key to dueling.
    • Doing what isn't the norm or hasn't been seen before.
    • Makes for a more enjoyable read.
  • [2.1.5] Quality
    • More necessary than quantity.
    • Is used to gauge style of writing and use of language/words.
    • Bad writing is bad quality is bad dueling. Vice versa isn't always true.
    • Good writing isn't always quality which isn't always good dueling.
  • [2.1.6] Attention to Detail
    • Ability to read, understand and comprehend all kinds of posts.
  • [2.2.0] Styles
    • [2.2.1] True
      • No allowed auto hits; you do not describe damage inflicted to your opponent at all.
      • When attacked, do not fully avoid or negate enemy attacks.
      • Opponents decide damage done to their characters from your attacks through your writing.
      • No use of your opponents character.
      • Avoid god-modding.
    • [2.2.2] Mix / Semi-True
      • Allows some pre-major attack hits, called auto-hits; auto hits cannot be avoided.
      • Auto-hit damage is described by the attacker; is not to do major damage to opponent character.
      • Must be well described and executed to be enjoyable.
      • Participants agree to rule-set before the match.
      • Avoid god-modding.
    • [2.2.3] Cheez
      • God-modding.
      • Doing anything you want to your opponents.
      • You are immortal and cannot be killed.
      • Designed for more humor-based dueling.
  • [2.3] Duration
    • Length of time in duels is variable.
    • Time flow is set by the players.
    • Can be hours to days to weeks, or even months in the extreme cases; this includes not only time within the duel, but real-life time.
    • Can be an agreed upon post count; i.e.: five posts each, intro, three attacks, outro.
  • [2.4] Advantages
    • Your opponent leaves themselves open to attack all the time; look for these openings and exploit them.
    • Be aware you leave yourself open in your attacks as well.
    • Be decisive, take the initiative.
    • Be aggressive, don't let up attacks.
    • Smack talk is leaving yourself open to attacks because you stand there; in reality, nobody stands and listens to you blather on, they look to hit you in the face.
    • Be flexible, in that a duel is a constantly changing series of events and you must bend and flow with them.
    • Be exploitative, in that you must take advantage of every opening your opponent has.
    • Never jump back when you can sidestep; never sidestep when you can duck; never duck when you can catch your opponents attack and turn it against them.
  • [2.5] Fair is Passé
    • Both sides will agree to rules in a duel.
    • Some rules are unspoken agreements, generally relating to dueling style; usually true is the default.
    • Changes to these unspoken rules must be made in advance and agreed upon before the duel, not during.
    • The expectation is that you will not deviate from these agreements.
  • [2.6] Attack Types
    • Three distinct forms of attack: physical, magical and technological.
    • Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
    • Tech can be seen to be the strongest because it places the least amount of stress on the user (player) as opposed to magical or physical attacks.
  • [3.0] General
    • Extremely short posts with no useful information are annoying.
    • Multiple short posts that could have been consolidated into a single post are even more annoying.
    • Leave your character open to interaction with others.
    • Always seek to improve your writing; by proxy, this should improve your role playing ability.
  • [4.0.1] Coincidences and Knowledge
    • There is a difference from what you know (the player) and what the character knows.
    • You cannot know what another character knows; exceptions would be extrapolating or using conjecture to come up with the answer; this may only be done well if you know of the other character in an RP of some kind previously.
    • As in reality, if the opponent character is a stranger, you know nothing of them or their abilities.
    • You are not omnipotent and cannot know everything.
  • [4.0.2] Out of Bounds
    • You cannot control your opponents characters in duels; same goes for RPs.
    • It is impossible to know what a person would do with their own character in every given situation.
    • Is a reference to cheez.
  • [4.0.3] Common Sense; Not so Common
    • Don't use language not suited to the RP; i.e.: 1337-speak, or slang in a medieval RP.
    • The better you RP, the better your posts will be (in theory!); writing style and ability does play into this as well.
    • You don't always have to be the super-special, amazingly awesome character; try NOT being super-powered and over-done.
    • Being "special" is a bit of an oxymoron; your character is (generally) different from someone elses; this isn't true if your character is tall, has silver hair, carries a katana and goes by the name 'Sephiroth.'
    • Don't limit your creativity; every little bit helps for something more interesting.
    • Unless it's normal for your character, random murder is a no-no.
    • When joining an RP, don't jump in without a clue; either read everything to become familiar with what's going on or ask for a summary.
    • Take into consideration all description; it offers information that could be useful.
    • Stay within the bounds of your character; i.e.: only have your character do what it would NORMALLY do, unless sudden changes are meant for a reason.
    • Know the direction location of all characters in an RP or duel; this is so you can properly correlate the information to your character, such as being a specific distance away from the target, etc.
    • Understand key differences in direction of a person and their incoming attacks.
  • [5.0] Role Plays
    • There are various kinds.
    • Some are more action, others more story, and some fall in between.
    • A moderated RP is driven along its course by a host; host gives problems for players to solve and goals to attain.
    • Planned quest RP is player driven, with a core group mapping out what will happen in the course of the RP.
    • Serious Quest is similar to planned, only with more players; involves only a basic storyline with players making it up as they go along.
    • A battle RP, duel or war, usually quick paced but sometimes happening over a series of days or even weeks until completed; detail sometimes overlooked more in favor of getting action oriented posts out; generally involve two people, but more can join in.
    • There are two main styles of RP, being the fantasy RP and the real-life; second is based on reality.
    • Can be hurt in progression if there are too many people on any one side; i.e.: too many good guys or bad guys.
  • [6.0] Abbreviations
    • OOC: Out of Character
    • IC: In Character
    • FRP: Forum Role Play/Playing
    • FD: Forum Duel/Dueling
    • RPC: Role Playing Character
    • RP: Role Play

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chat - Vol 6

(22:40:38) MasterHIM: How freakish? Would I have been disturbed?

(22:41:08) Wolf: Probably, especially when I did a Vicky-like squeal of joy.

(22:41:50) MasterHIM: ...

(22:41:59) MasterHIM: I am disturbed right now, if that's any consolation.

(22:42:05) Wolf: Hurrah!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The State of Affairs

I've noticed something about my life: things never quite go over well, and despite how badly it might be going, or even if there are signs pointing to worse weather beyond the horizon, I keep barreling through at a madcap pace regardless of how my mood or life will be affected in the end state. Well, as it so happens, this is exactly what I'm doing once again. All for the sake of getting that blasted, forsaken piece of bullshit real estate: my new apartment. Getting it is an adventure, I'll tell you. It would only have been marginally MORE fun if machetes had actually been involved. Sadly, they weren't. Oh, where to begin, where to begin. Oh, I know, why not at the start of this glorifyingly trite misadventure! So, here how it all goes:

I was looking for a place. I need my own place, and talking with my sister, decided we could get a place together, split costs. Well, my dad got involved, offered to look into a few places for me while I worked. Was a good offer. Well, he managed to secure a hook-up at a pretty decent apartment building with good monthly rent. Only $800 a month; that's really good. I mean, I won't complain a whole lot about that. So, the landlady gives us a tour of the place on Saturday. It looks good. We say we'll come back on Monday to look at another place that's opening up. Monday rolls in: we say we'll take it. She says she'll drop off papers Tuesday so we can get moved in on the first of May. Tuesday rolls around, no papers. Call her up, she says Wednesday. Wednesday rolls around, still no papers. In fact, through the entire week, we didn't get the papers. My sister had to go up to the landlady's house at 7:00 PM at night to get said papers, but only ended up with half of them, on a Saturday. That was last week.

Filled those out. Sunday rolls around. It's the third, and we still have no keys for the apartment. Calling her up, she opens the place up so we can start moving things in, despite not having filled out all the paperwork yet. Spend the entirety of Sunday calling her, asking where she is. On the hour, every hour, all day Sunday, I called this woman demanding to know where the rest of the papers were, were the second set of keys for the apartment were, and how long it would take her to get to MY location to give them to me. Oh, only fifteen minutes. Hour later I call again. Same thing. Finally I track her down and go to where SHE is to get the last bit. But, even with the final bit of paperwork done and money knocked off this months rent because of her retarded shenanigans, still no second set of keys. But, officially, the apartment is now mine. Yay, right? Not so much.

Turns out the cleaning she said the place would get; yeah, it didn't get that. I had to clean up the entire place over the entire week. Vacuuming, washing walls, the works. Filthy. I also took pictures of the damages already in the apartment so this idiot of a woman couldn't turn around and fuck me over for it later. Had them stamped by the developer with the date and the places' stamp. Some small measure of security is had. So, finally after two weeks of retarded idiocy, I'm finally, FINALLY, moving into the apartment. Why I do this crap, I don't even know anymore. It's like I enjoy stressing myself out over other peoples stupid bullshit. But I guess it might be too much to ask that people be punctual and accountable for their actions and do the things they say they will do.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is Awkward...

My friend and I have decided an extremely awkward conversation would follow along these lines:

"Hello, this is Video Express: we're calling you to inform you that The Wrestler is one day over due."

"Um, yeah, well, our son shattered the disc and stabbed himself to death in the stomach with the pieces."

"Oh, uh, um, okay."

"Would you like the pieces back? The mortician says that we could keep them, but if you want them..."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Polo Shirts, I Choose You!

A good friend of mine and I often have interesting conversations. We get to a point where an idea pops into our heads and we run with it. We aren't sure how we got to the final destination, there being a lack of a good roadmap of the conversation, but they prove humorous.

One day said friend and I were walking and talking about the latest Pokemon game. Neither of us is a fan, but we're chatting about it and how they're all basically the same game, re-boxed with a new name, that being the version, or "color". We jokingly went on about all the colors they could possibly come up with until arriving at "Navy." Then my brother who was with us pips in with, "Why not Pokemon: Old Navy?"

"Go, Polar Fleece!"

"It uses price discount, it's super effective!"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chat - Vol 05

(3:40:54 PM) GuardianAnubite: Monkeys.

(3:41:04 PM) Wolf: They're on fire!

(3:41:12 PM) GuardianAnubite: And they dance!

(3:44:02 PM) Wolf: With love and joy!

(3:44:17 PM) GuardianAnubite: No, I think they dance because they're on fire.

(3:44:36 PM) Wolf: I think they dance not just because they're on fire on the outside, but filled with a flame of passion on the inside.

(3:45:16 PM) GuardianAnubite: I don't know about you, but the idea of being immolated alive is slightly more important than whatever emotion you feel at the time.


(5:33:38 PM) Wolf: My feet hurt. So very much.

(5:33:46 PM) GuardianAnubite: I can amputate.

(5:34:24 PM) Wolf: I'd rather you didn't. I still need my feet for tomorrow.

(5:34:51 PM) GuardianAnubite: I can rebuild you. Faster. Stronger. Smarter. I have the technology.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blue Hands!

I recently started working at the local bottling plant. For the most part, even though I'm still learning, it's a boring job. The same things happen. Watch the machinery and wait for it to screw up. Just a lot of automation. Today I was working the Labler. It puts the labels on the bottles, can do something like over a thousand in a few minutes. Fast but not that fast, or whatever. Anyway, we're doing President's Choice, a brand used by the Real Canadian Superstore. All the labels are blue, and after jamming tens of thousands of these little buggers into the machine, the ink has eventually transferred itself onto my hands.

So, I find myself looking at my hands, stained blue after several hours, thinking to myself, "Well, damn, looks like I just spent my entire morning jacking off a Smurf!" At lunch I said as much to some of my co-workers. They laughed, but then the joke took off.

"Is that where you're getting all the glue now that you ran out?"

"Ew! I don't want to touch the bottles coming into the packager now!"

So remember, if you're drinking some President's Choice Natural Spring Water from the Illecillewaet Spring, chances are I put that label on. And had my hands turn a shade of blue like I'd been jerking off Smurfs. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspections Are Never Dull

Sergeant Warawa is moving his down the hall, inspecting the troops, their kit, the layout, everything. His sharp comments rise and fall. Sometimes a soft voice, sometimes hard. Usually he inspects a certain item more than others during an inspection. You don't know which one; completely random. If you're at the end, and out of sight, you could figure out what it was and make it perfect. Or a close approximation of it. Inspections, even good ones, are never "perfect." Being perfect is disallowed.

My thoughts are jarred by a clinking sound and the sharp gasp of surprised. Then:

"DeCarlo! What is this?"

"It looks like pocket change, Sergeant," came the cool reply.

"What's it doing in your underwear, DeCarlo? Is there something about this course I should know? A specific role you're playing in it?"

I nearly break out laughing. I can hear others trying to muffle their giggling. Sergeant Warawa's head pops out of DeCarlo's cubicle to look up and down the hall at the privates lined up along it, trying to find a victim for a moment before his attention is drawn back to DeCarlo.

"You see this, DeCarlo?"

"Yes, Sergeant. It's a nickle."

"It's a 1985 nickle." Sergeant Warawa places the nickle down. "It better be there next inspection, DeCarlo. I'll be checking."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why NOT to Yawn During Drill Class

"Czarnowske! Are you yawning in my drill class!"

It wasn't a question. It was a statement, bellowed at the top of his lungs. Sergeant Warawa was angry again.

"No, Sergeant!" Czarnowske wailed.

"Are you lying to me, Czarnowske?"

"No, Sergeant!"

"I think you're lying to me!"

"No, Sergeant!"

The last was more a plea than anything. Czarnowske knew what as about to happen to him, at least in a sense. So did the rest of the platoon standing at attention on the drill square.

"Czarnowske!" Sergeant Warawa yells, causing the aforementioned private to stiffen a little bit. "I want you to run over there and get me the license plate number of the BLACK car!"

Sergeant Warawa follows this up with a wave of his hand towards a black vehicle resting a half kilometer away from the platoon. Czarnowske doesn't move for a second. The platoon holds its collective breath. Then: "Czarnowske! NOW!" Czarnowske takes off running, slipping off from the platoon and making his way toward the black sedan at speed. After a moment of watching him, Sergeant Warawa spun on his heel, turning to the platoon, a twinkle in his eye, and says with gleeful humor: "Too bad for Czarnowske, I wanted the license plate number of the BLUE car!"

Some giggling erupts, but everyone stays quiet. Nobody wants the same to happen to them.

Eventually, Czarnowske returns. He comes to attention before the irate sergeant and even before he can begin to ramble off the numbers and letters he had memorized, the sergeant cuts him off with a wave of his hand, saying: "Czarnowske! What's the license plate of the BLUE car?"

"But Sergeant! You asked for the black car!"

Sergeant Warawa turns back to the platoon, bellowing: "Platoon! Am I even wrong?"

The coursed reply shrilled up, "No, Sergeant!"

"Czarnowske! You better get me the license plate number of the BLUE car! And you better hurry! Looks like it's driving away!"

Czarnowske looks over and sees it's true. His face falls as he takes off running away. The platoon laughs at their compatriots expense again. Yawning was definitely out of the question.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Refill Eraser

So, my brother recently found some ancient box for an eraser in his room while he was cleaning. Neither of us is sure what year it comes from. The styling is certainly retro (retro in my mind. I was born in the eighties). The instructions on the side, since this eraser is meant for a mechanical pencil of a kind, are just hilarious. Definitely some tongue-in-cheek humor to be had. So, without further adieu, here are aforementioned instructions:

How to refill eraser:

  1. 1. Twist barrel to expose eraser stem.
  2. 2. Pull out remaining eraser.
  3. 3. Put tapered end of refill eraser into cup and gently twist to ensure tight fit.
  4. 4. Twist eraser back into barrel.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WPCA - Junkie

The parody of intelligence keeps talking. I watch him blather on and on about something I'm in no way interested in. His mouth is moving, but my ears hear the Charlie Brown "wah wah wah" of "Adultspeak." Testing what little patience I have, I know that much. Doesn't help that he's talking in some badly formed accent that I just couldn't give a damn about -- telling me all sorts of things. Bits of wisdom designed to illuminated the dark recesses of my mind. Give me purpose. I have a purpose, and I don't need some jacked up idiot in a pinstripe to tell me what it is. Gimme the gun, I'll get the job done.

He laughs. His flunkies laugh. I throw up a basilica of deferent contempt, with teeth glaring in a half grimaced-smile of polite hatred. Get on with it. And then, as if the God of all gods answers my prayers and grants a miracle,-

"-so, here-," he says, and I'm paying attention now as a ginger-haired boy tosses up a case on a table and flicks the tabs so the top can flip open. He swivels it in my direction and my eyes gloss over it, drink it in. Yes, I think as my saliva glands begin to equate what's in front of me to a steak. Blabber-mouth continues his little song-and-dance- "-it is. Fine piece of military hardware. But you only get it 'cause we want-"

"-I know what you want," I say cutting him off and flashing the picture of the man on some steps with his wife and two kids. "Family job. Done deal. Just gimme the goods and it's a done deal."

He shrugs, laughs -- the flunkies laugh with him.

"What's a man to do? Okay, it's all yours. Have fun."

He knows when to take his exit. Makes it stage right, taking his bunch of groupies with him. I'm cackling in my head at this point, eying up the hardware. Biotech enhances, top grade. It's like a black mans spinning rims. Pimp your ride? Son, how about we pimp that body of yours and turn it into the kind of lethal weapon that make action movies so good?

It's a bunch of hypodermic needles -- long ones. Stab 'em in all over. Three for my spine alone. Gonna have to find somebody to do that one. Maybe I shouldn't have sent Carl away so fast. Could've gotten one of his floosie puppets to do it, before I broke his neck. Time to get down to business. This is gonna hurt.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Journal Entry 01

While I was in Afghanistan, I made the shoddy attempt to keep a journal. It lasted only so long before my mind wandered to a point where I just didn't care enough to keep one anymore. That and I find I can't organize my thoughts enough when writing on paper or my wrist gives out and I just don't want to write anymore. It's why I love a keyboard -- can write for hours. But, anyway, without further adieu, here is the first entry in my journal.

27 February 2008.

I got into Afghanistan sometime around 2300 on the 26 of February. We were pulled out of the Herc's and piled onto a long stream of buses that wheeled out onto the tarmac to pick us up. Never seen buses done up in gaudy orange or purple until now. Even though it's late, it's hot, like the summer. I can see all our kit being offloaded from the pallets onto trucks that follow us. Eventually we stop. I'm not even sure where we are at the moment. Turns out it's the 'New Canada House.'

There was the usual jug-fuck outside the New Canada House -- people scrambling for their kit as it's tossed off the pallets that were offloaded from the truck or confused or wondering where it was we're going to be sleeping. Briefings followed like they always do, attempting to illuminate the dark recesses of our minds with knowledge, but some French-Canadian is talking. His accent is horrible and I end up tuning out. Didn't matter anyway -- all I ever have to do is play 'Monkey See, Monkey Do' or 'Follow the Leader' and all turns out fine.

The filling out of paperwork follows. Hand in ID cards and passports; make sure PEN forms are up-to-date. The usual dogshit points the average soldier doesn't care about. Eventually, some time about 0200, people finally go to ground. Long few hours and I have to be up for more bullshit tomorrow...

...only my tomorrow is still today.

My sister's birthday. Called home, but she's at work. I leave a message with my mom wishing her well and that I made it over fine. Don't know when I'll get to call again.

What followed that day was the issue of essential (camelbak) and non-essential (TAC vest) kit. I don't know why I'm being issued the exact same crappy vest that I was issued in Canada except in Arid CADPAT. What a waste of money. I now have three issued vest, all of them junk and a fourth rig I bought myself because I know it works.

That night around 1900 or 2000 we do a "zeroing" rage. Shot pretty good with my back-up iron sight. Got an excellent grouping -- no complaints. Go back to the shacks to get some rack time. Sleep is important, and tomorrow is just more problems.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forum Dueling Basics - Judging Focus

There's a lot of talk about where the focus should lie within dueling for the purpose of judging. What criteria should play into it; that is, should it be on the writing or the actual actions -- i.e.: the fighting -- of the match? While I won't dispute that the writing carries those actions forward, molds them into something useful, readable and enjoyable, I think the attacks should be the focus. After all, it is a duel, so in turn, you're judging more in turn the attack, and also the defense, of the post itself. The writing plays a part, but in its essence acts only as a mode of transportation to the attack or defense, a means of getting itself off the ground. It is therefore secondary.

The two, while combined, need to be separated. The attack/defense, built out of words, and while being as flimsy or strong as the words they're constructed from, should be considered their own identity. They are more the bread and butter of a duel than the writing itself is. Basically, I consider the attack/defense to be like a house. The words are the structure that put it together while the attack/defense is the stunning architecture. When a person sees a house, they don't rip down the walls to look at the structure; no, they grade the house on its overall appearance and other little nuances that it has. Its character, if you will. This is how it should be with attack/defense scenarios in duels. Grade the attack/defense of the post first, then look at the structure that makes it up if you felt the whole thing needs a renovation.

Now, while I'm saying that the writing plays a secondary role in dueling, I'm not saying to ignore all the different watchwords when it comes to writing in general, such as creativity, expression, flow, dynamism and the usual bludgeoning tool of grammar and spelling. You should very well pay attention to these as most people will consider your writing quality of higher precedence than that of your attacks. What I am saying is that the focus shouldn't be so hung up on the writing itself for a duel match, and more centralized about the fighting. After all, it's called a duel for a reason. Why not wake up to that reality and judge the actual fight, eh?

Just my two cents.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knowing Your Religious Overtones

So, I went saw a moving last night. What movie? Knowing was the title of it. If you don't want massive spoilers (probably already too late due to the title of this post), then I wouldn't suggest reading onward.

Anyway, the movie opens up in 1959 to the grand opening of an elementary school. A young girl had suggested a time capsule for the class and to open it fifty years later. In a rather disturbing turn of events, the child, Lucinda, begins jotting down numbers after the class had been told to draw pictures to be placed in envelopes that would in turn be placed in the time capsule. Well, before Lucinda can even finish this long string of numbers, the paper is taken from her and placed in the time capsule. She then disappears and is later found in a closet under the gym of the school with bloody fingers after having scratched another bunch of numbers into the door. Very disturbing start to the movie, but it does set it up for what will happen later.

Fast forward fifty years and you find the main protagonist, John, as played by Nicolas Cage. He is a widower after his wife died in a fire in a hotal she was staying at in Phoenix and the father of an only son. As it so happens, John's son also attends the school that Lucinda had, and on the fiftieth anniversary of the school being opened, they open the time capsule and hand out the sealed envelopes to all the children of Calib's (John's son) class. In a very "random" turn of events, Calib obtains the letter full of numbers as done up by Lucinda. I'll fast forward a bit more, but turns out these numbers all depict the dates, number of people, latitude and longitude of a number of disasters that killed numerous people.

Crazy. Little girl predicts tons of deaths at a young age. Certainly brings up a point as argued in the movie about two theories: determinism (which states that everything was already predetermined and happens for a reason) or randomism (in which shit just happens). Well, the movie strikes out to say everything is already predetermined. In fact, there's a point later in the movie where those religious overtones come into play. Lucinda had died, tragic, I know, but in her rickety, old trailer home out in butt-fuck no-where, there is a picture of God descending to earth out of the clouds with heralds coming before him next to spinning orbs. Well, this plays into the end of the movie.

Now, there are a bunch of weird guys, kinda pale, like albinos, following Calib about. Kinda makes the movie seem suspenseful, if not a tad weird and disturbing. Now, I'm just going to jump to the end (mind you I'm omitting enough parts as is). Those strange stalkers? Yeah, they're heralds. Actually they're aliens here to save people. The world is going to end, and a number of people, all children, are chosen to be saved. ET phoned home, and he's bringing friends. Nevermind that John is the son of a paster. At this point the religious overtones start really picking up. The children are whisked away off planet in these glowing objects that resemble spear heads. The children are deposited on a world that has grass that looks like seaweed, and standing in the middle of a plain is a big, sparkling tree. Wow!

Tree of life, chosen taken away at the end of the world. Sound much like the Bible to you? It does me. Aliens as angels, taking the chosen away to a safe place that resembles an idea of what heaven could be straight down to a rendition of the tree of life. Crazy! The movie on the overall was good, I just was not expecting the kind of religious overtones that were in the movie. I can't wait to see what kind of response this movie gets, especially from the heavily religious crowd. The complaints should be real, real good.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dominion - Target

The dense foliage was penetrated by the advanced sensors of the armored exo-suit the reptilian creature wore as it slunk through the underbrush in pursuit of her target. A holographic heads up display was displayed just over the creatures irises giving graphical representations of all functions and programs running. A radar signature was pinging away in a circle with a directional location. Moving west, Southwest. The world became morphing into a Technicolor dreamscape of wire models for a moment while rendering engines showed the body of her target glowing eerily. A half kilometer distant, but five hundred meters wasn't far. The Baajin kept her feet under her as she began to sprint, branches and thick leaves slapping aways the blackened, formfitting exo-suit.

She closed the distance fast, rounding trees. She attempted silence, but knew that the speed she was moving at would mean he'd hear the thundering roar of snapped branches and detritus from her passing. He might think it local animal life. It wouldn't matter, though, because once she reached fifty meters distance from her target, still behind enough trees and brush as to be invisible to the eye, she whipped off a diskette attached to her right hip. The activation code was sent wirelessly as she flung it like a Frisbee. The anti-grav coils activated, causing the device to accelerate through the forest. At twenty-five meters from target, it activated the gravity-well effect. Combined with a field effect, things were grabbed from one direction and thrown into another. It would draw alongside her opponent, along with tons material in the form of trees and the like, burying her opponent and perforating him with splintered wood.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Winter Wans

Drip, drip, drop. The snow is melting. It cascades in small portions off a blue roof in an almost-spring. A spring that wants to be alive with the warmth of a sun hidden by layers of low overcast. The sky a turmoil of static, like the mishmash of TV white-noise. A slosh-thump is heard as more of the melting monstrosity that has long claimed the hidden vestibules of the blue metal roof collapses under its own slothful weight, slipping away and falling to the ground below. Streets beyond the transparent membrane that shields me from the bitter half-warmth of an almost-spring leads my eyes on. I see lakes draped over the road. Massive pools. A spawning ground for the dirt and filth of an accumulated winter.

Tread softly, young Brave: Winter Chocolate Bars abound in those filthy depths.

All is held by the wanning grip of winter. Thick, masses of snow, wet and vengeful, glare. Some still white, other parts marred by the dirt of rocks that had been left on the road like unwanted trash the entire season. Fog lies low, as in wait, seething, as if it waits for a time to come down the slopes of the mountain and claim the land before it. A chopper can be heard, rotors shuddering through the air. The sound brings with it memories of a place hot and dry, but the image is of cold and wet. They collide like wrestlers, mashing at each other with fists. The cold one wins as the sound fades to nothing.

The sky begins to lighten as the sun breaks through. A moment where light washes through the window. I fly a moment, a second, an instant before it is taken by the foreboding skies as a school bell tolls the end of recess across a yard, a stave of trees and a field of snow. The hope of the light ends with it and I am back where I began, wondering what I have wondered, and thinking: where to next?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mortars -- They're Fun!

I wasn't quite sleeping. I remember we'd been sent down to the leaguer in a LAV III (Light Armored Vehicle) that belonged to four platoon (us being six platoon) while the engineers continued the tear down of COP (Combat Outpost) Talucan. I had lived in that COP for the past three weeks, sometime back in July of 2008. It had been a good home, I suppose, although brought along with it memories of Captain Leary, the man who had died not even two hundred meters away from it. Anyway, the current higher ups felt that they wanted to create some kind of stability box to reinforce the Canadian presence in the Panjwai District, and COP Talucan no longer fit that description, so it was getting shut down. A massive convoy of tanks, LAVs and support vehicles had come up the river to our area. Some Badger's were tearing down the Hesco walls, and like I'd said previously, I and my section had been sent down to the leaguer. We weren't needed for security or anything -- they had tanks up there.

Taking a combat stretcher, I'd set it up and run it between the tires of the LAV about halfway so I could at least snooze in some kind of shade. My legs were sticking out, but I didn't quite care. Not at least right away. We'd been sitting there maybe forty-five minutes when the first mortar hit. We'd kinda expected to get hit, to come under contact. I mean, the area is a Taliban hotspot, which was why COP Talucan was set up in the first place. So it would be safe to assume they'd send us off proper by shooting at us. Well, that first mortar hit dirt maybe thirty feet away from me. Snapped me awake fast. I remember rising and smashing my face against the underside of the LAV before pulling me legs under and giving them a quick pat down, making sure they were okay. I did the same with my junk -- you know, make sure the proper equipment was still there and not a ruined mess from shrapnel.

Using my initiative -- more like common sense and training -- I slid out from under the LAV, yanked the stretcher out while I was at it, folded it back up and stowed it before tossing on my flak jacket, chest rig. Donned my helmet, unstrapped. Was only wearing a t-shirt instead of my combat shirt. Got my rifle and headed around to the back of the LAV. Everyone was there. We crammed inside. When being mortared, you seek cover first. Let the armor fight. So, suddenly instead of being the normal number you'd expect crammed into the back of a LAV, you have the nine of us in the section plus two interpreters and the Doc. Hatches get closed and we can still hear the mortars tolling away. Little whumps with booms outside. The radio traffic is already frantic by this point.

They're calling in for chopper support and some artillery, if not a jet to get on station and start mowing things down. The firefight goes on, the LAV moves to a new position where it can support the fighting. Except it's really only a position to cover the leaguer. It doesn't fire at all. I'm not surprised. Forty-five minutes pass cramped in the back with twelve bodies listening to officers, majors, who don't do this kind of fighting, not like the captains who lead their platoons, call out for support and give sloppy orders. Eventually, the choppers come in, mowing down anything that moves. A jet drops a five-hundred pound bomb on the position identified to be the mortar base point. Finally, after an hour, things return to normal.

The LAV parks, the ramp drops, and we scramble out to stretch legs. A little laugh, a few slaps on the back, and we begin joking about the episode like it was nothing. The interpreters head back to their vehicle, the Doc his. Like nothing happened.

Just another day in Afghanistan.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Reflections of My Service Prt 2

When I arrived at Battalion, I was kept in the dark of what was going on. There was, however, no doubt about me deploying. We were told that from day one of getting into Shilo. I, on the other hand, found myself course-bound that morning. January 7th, 2007. We got into Battalion, formed up three ranks and the Company CQ told us the first rank was 4 Platoon, second 5 and third 6. I was in 6 Platoon, Bravo Company. Then the next question: who had drivers licenses? I did. And everyone else who bothered to show they had them ended up on their air brakes course. I would be vetted into becoming a LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) III driver, as well as a LUVW (Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled) driver. So, while everyone else was off finding out what Batalion life was really like, I was still doing courses. One after another. Air brakes, defensive driving, dangerous goods, LUVW, LAV III and the maintenance of the LAV III. This took me up until March when we finally started the true work-up training.

We started with ranges. C6 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), C7 Service Rifle (basically an M16), C8 (M4A1), C9 LMG (Light Machine gun, basically the M249 SAW, squad automatic weapon), M72, 84mm Carl Gustav Recoiless Rifle SRAAW (Short Range Anti Armor Weapon). There's more, always more. Be we did it all in one long succession. Courses on first aid refreshers. Even for being vetted to be a LAV driver, I ended up an M203 Gunner, essentially a rifleman.

We did small exercises. Little one and two week excursions into the Shilo training area. Live fire exercises with artillery support. Clearing buildings, securing them, personal and material inside. I also discovered that during these exercises, and especially the ranges, I could spend upwards of twelve hours sitting inside a LAV III not doing anything. Just sitting there, waiting. You sleep, wait for your ass to go numb, drift in and out of consciousness, feel your knees aching, feel your bladder fill and you can't leave. And all the while, you're jammed in back with six other guys. Uncomfortable as all hell. And by the time you get to dismount, if you ever actually do, you can't jump out of the vehicle at full force. You need to ease yourself out, using your right as a cane because your body is bent and haggard and your knees are killing you and suddenly you feel as if you're ninety years old.

Reflexive shooting ranges. More courses, more ranges, more exercises. Some good, some bad, and depending on who was running it, a complete and utter joy or pain in the proverbial ass.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Perfect Weapon for Any Occasion

Ultimate role-playing and dueling weapon? According to a buddy of mine: A laser katana that shoots katanas that are also laser katanas. Can't argue with that, unless of course it's a rocket propelled chainsaw.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Yeah, Awesome

I could only ever wish I were as awesome a soldier as these guys, but since I'm out, I doubt I ever could be. Plus the rules for fighting wars have changed a fair bit since those days, but it does little to diminish the awesomeness these soldiers were capable of.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Forum Dueling Basics -- Just Die Already

It gets to me a lot that people don't know how to take damage. Ignoring simple facts like concussive damage caused by shockwaves, blasts, explosions and all the rest, among other things. Too many people feel attached to their characters. I'm not saying we shouldn't be, but when it interferes with dueling, it is obviously causing a problem. No, they don't want a nasty bruise, it might upset their make up or pretty-boy image. I'm sorry, in a fight, you do get messed up. If you can't take damage properly, you're in the wrong. If wanting to hold on to a character and keep them alive means so much, go play in a cheeze duel: mix and true style is out of the question. You are going to get hurt, possibly even die. It's a fight, and generally go to the death. You want to cause as much damage until your opponent surrenders or dies. That's just how it is.

I actually think that maybe it's time for a revolution in dueling. A willingness to accept the death of a character. A bunch of die-cast, carbon-copy throw-away characters is needed. You die, you lose. Take a hit, take some damage. Lose an eye, a hand, an arm and a leg. Your head, maybe? Obviously if you're one of those "attack, dodge, attack, dodge, attack, dodge" types, then you already did. But I wonder how many would accept this? Obviously some people have taken time to craft their characters, spent many hours making them "believable" (if by "believable" they mean the trashy, arrogant, dark and brooding anti-heroes that spew condescending angst into the world) and worthy of a good fight. Well, in a fight, you aren't doing back history, so who the fuck really cares? Just fight, already!

Another thing that gets to me is the whole idea that you have time to have a conversation in a fight. People have this arrogant idea that in their own reality, they have the time to think these long-winded thoughts about the nature of life and everything around them. Or that they can stand back and talk about their grand plans and how worthless the opponent is. If you think this, then you haven't been in a real fight. If you stop and take your mind off what you're doing to chat it up, your opponent isn't going to stop and let you continue. They're going to take advantage of this. But, even for all the points I make, I feel like I'm yelling at nothing sometimes. Nobody listens.