Monday, February 28, 2011

A Silent Affair - Part 2.




Alecto, slowly positioned her back to the wall and rose. She moved, becoming a part of the walls' shadow, hugging it. Gritting her teeth she came to a corner and tilted her head just enough to peer around. Before her lasers of green light traced an area on the wall forming a holographic display. Projected in the air was the all to familiar face of Senator Eulo Tashe.

And he was coming to Haeven.

A vicious wide grin spread across Alecto's face as vengeance illuminated her gaze. She clenched her fists and threw back her head, but no howl sprang to life. No sound at all. Eulo Tashe was a name even now she could not curse.

Not without a tongue.

A tongue he had taken from her.

A honeyed tongue he had accused of attempting to lure him into immorality.

And now there he stood, waving and smiling on this holovid replay of a recent newscast. The senator, it seemed, was going to be meeting a private conference on morality and social reform. Now that was one event Alecto could not pass up. Not with so much to say, and no voice to speak it. But a voice, that was one thing she was sure she could find a way to steal.

Driven with a purpose that burned within her she spun and charged the open window throwing herself out it and into waiting night. Rolling she came to her feet atop a mound of compressed snow. Scanning she saw only one other figure, a young man draped in a worn cloak. He stood next to one of the street lamps, a look of confusion upon his face.

A sly grin spread across Alecto's face, it wouldn't do to be reported at this hour, not with so much to do. A flick of her tail caught his eye, yes; she knew what to do. She rolled her shoulders back and shifted her hips ever so slightly, just enough to look playful. Lowering her head slightly she walked over, doing her best bashful routine.

Completely distracted the young technician wasn't prepared when he found a hand reaching to unclasp his cloak with a quick flick of her fingers. Shock registered on his face, and then something else registered. Five, very sharp, claws were poised ready to pierce fabric and rend his lower self. A single finger glinted in front of his nose ticking from side to side.

Gulping he whispered with eye's closed. "Take it. Just take it and go...Please." In a swirl of the cloak she spun it off and onto her, leaning over to kiss his cheek. Pulling the hood up she turned and winked at the now shivering technician as her feet carrier her off and back into the snowy night. Knowing the cold would make sure he could not spread word or alarm, no he'd be found by the morning snow sweepers, certainly.

Now to locate a private conference. Alecto Nyss just loved moral debate.

A Silent Affair - Part 1.

No sane person with half a brain would be caught dead outside at this hour in Haeven. The wind alone stabbed and teared at anything left exposed to it. Ice and snow could be found piled everywhere, even atop the lofted old building in the Merchants Quarter. Yet on one such roof more than snow was spread out. A figure, barely visible to the casual observer could be seen, if any other dared brave such weather.

Alecto Nyss stretched with a casual yawn, letting fresh snow fall off her. An awkward figure to be sure, she stood atop a snow blanketed roof as dusk deepened around her. A suit of white thermal-wear clinged to her skin, fine fur the hue of winter began where it ended. Pale blue eyes pierced the darkness as she studied her surroundings.

There would be no moon tonigt, Alecto knew. The lights below flickered, threatening to plunge the quarter into shadow. Haeven had often been burdened with a shortage of maintainable tech systems. Sniffing at the air Alecto tilted her head contemplating the scents that greeted her. No one else was about, as expected.

And then the lights flickered one last time before falling dark once again. A victim of worn equipment in sore need of repair. The night however was alive for Alecto, her eyes adjusted quickly to the welcoming twilight. Flexing her clawed fingers she marked her path along the silent rooftops and sprang into a run. She lept and twisted in the air every bit the acrobat, an elegant tail of ivory bouncing behind her. With practiced ease she grasped at eaves swinging aloft only to land and vault once more over empty alleys. Whipping snow the only witness to her performance.

And then suddenly she padded to a stop, grabbed at the roofs edge and lifted herself into a handstand. Carefully Alecto measured her balance and bent over the edge to plant her legs around an outcrop of masonry that once had been some ornamental statue. Feeling a firm hold she let gravity slide her around to hang upside down and twisted. Meeting her gaze was a single sheet of neoglass serving to reduce those dwelling within from dependence on artificial lighting sources. A quick twist and tap and the black disc in her palm removed a section of neoglass. Alecto's ears perked up, her attention focused on detecting any sign of alarm.

Sensing no movement she slid her other arm in and released a catch allowing the neoglass to slide aside. Firmly gripping the frame Alecto pulled herself in and landed in a low crouch. Her tail playfully swaying. Now all she had to do was locate the Byleth Sapphire...

A single click broke the silence. And in an instant Alecto became a form of alabaster stone.

Primer - Ghosts.

Ghosts are the soldiers that don't exist. They are cutting edge
hybrids made of flesh and cybernetic augments. Their minds have been
trained in the use of their new bodies and if their training alone
wasn't enough their ability to manifest a deadly psionic blade at
will that harms not flesh but a victim’s mind itself is truly

No Ghost began as a Ghost. They all began as soldiers for the New
Republic who distinguished themselves for their specialization,
loyalty and drive. Most found themselves on deaths door offered the
chance to return to service but to loose who they were before. Those
who agreed were given new bodies that were hybrid forms of cyberwear
and bioware. They were re-trained and re-focused to wield latent
psionic powers and sent forth to do the New Republics most important

A series of linked implants became the hallmark of a Ghost, primarily
a special socket at the base of the neck. It was discovered early on
that the unique configuration of implanted hardware would allow
Ghosts to record their experiences and memories. Adapting quickly to
the profound discovery it soon become common policy for new Ghosts to
slave in mentor Ghosts' and relive their careers, learning from
entire lives.

Vast libraries of Ghosts cores began to be compiled and before long
they were collected into networked Nodes. This allowed Ghosts to
access a sort "GhostNet" as it came to be known. The pure knowledge
of experience and memory could be accessed by a Ghost for counsel or

But soon the fragmenting New Republic began to fear the resource and
attempted to destroy Core Archives and Nodes. GhostNet was forced to
go underground in order to preserve itself. Even now isolated Nodes
exist hidden in the reaches of the Rim and scattered preserving
everything they can. Some even whisper it is GhostNet itself that
will occasionally leak news events straight from those who
experienced it to public Nodes, ensuring some truths remain unhidden
and unaltered.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cry Oscry - Part 5.

There. There you are. He could feel it, feeding off the gentle
trickle that the ruins still had flowing. The source of these things,
it was a beacon to his senses now. Burning with a stolen glow like
some pathetic leech, fattening itself on the psionic currents of this
sacred place.

Focusing Vael opened himself up, calling on techniques he'd been
taught as a child, overa century ago. His core, opening, spread out
like heated air. A vast collection of these creatures these "oscry."
That's the term, that was the rumored whispers among the ancient
elders. Fragmented lore even to their long reaching memory. They were
just stray stories of orphaned travelers and ruined glyph strewn
walls. Only conjecture and speculation led to the name; Devourers.

And here they were, nested all tight together beneath the earth. With
a thought his course was decided. Any means necessary was the
parameters, the outcome the only measure of his success or failings.
Dinner time.

Balling together almost all his reserves he pushed, hard. Sending his
spar down deep into the waiting pool below. He could feel it splash
down, adding itself to the massive depths. It sank for a moment, and
like a massive stone, he could feel the rising explosion.

With a shudder he could sense the sudden outpouring of pain. This
queen oscry burned and guttered like a candle ignited by a torch. As
the pisonic tide slowly dissipated, Vael returned to take in the view
once more.

Mission accomplished. Artemis set course for retrieval Vael sent to
his ship's AI.

"Burn you worthless soulless trash." And then to the Langian night,
Nailo Vael became just another Ghost, a mere passing memory. Once
more returning to the stars.

Cry Oscry - Part 4.

Reaching out Vael grasped at the rippling psi around him, focusing on
it's flow. It's current ebbed through him, carrying his movements
giving form to his motion. He began a dance, a slow melody of fluid
death. A step and a twisting at the hip swept the blade level before
him, slicing through a pair of attacking forms.

Sharp steel-like tips slammed together with a snap a mere inch behind
the graceful Ghost snaring only air. Another volley of the dead
busted over head, bringing Vael's attention back on the scavenging
cadaver cannon.

Reaching within he called on his psi and channeled it into his legs.
Bursting with speed he raced over the snapping of claw and teeth to
close the gap between the bother-some corpse slinger. His blade held
before him it slid into the slothful tower with a wet crackle. A
shadow of living tissue now he turned back to face the remaining
forces marshaled against him.

In a matter of moments the creatures were little more than empty
husks, adding to the littered ground. Centering himself once more
Vael released his minds focus on the formed blade and felt at his
surroundings. Concentration yielded the quiet pulse of psionic power
wasn't completely asleep, but instead distorted hum. It's energies
dampened and altered somehow.

He listened to it, sending a small spar of himself, like a pebble
into a waiting pool. It's ripples were ancient and slow, but it was
deep. By the elders was it deep, and vast. Slowly he traced it's
path, feeling his way along.

Not much further he thought. And then one way or another he would
cleanse this hallowed place.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cry Oscry - Part 3.

Smooth stone greeted the solitary explorer. It's feel cool and yet at
once a tremor of old not yet silent pulse flowed through it.
Recollection hummed like an aged elder to whisper in Vael's mind. Lore
suggests ancient Langians established places of psionic power,
tapping to create places of sanctuary. If true, these ruins might
still harbor a pale shadow of it's former connection. It had been a
few years since curiosity had found it's way into the adventurous

Descending down a strange presence slowly became aware to Vael, one
he couldn't quite identify. The ruins began to alter as he went.
Strange markings began to appear, along the walls and floors. Even
the ceiling seemed to be beyond alterations. And then he saw the
cause; small insect like creatures. No bigger than an Alterian cat
they scuttled about barely 18 inches tall. They moved in rhythmic
unison, each one's 8 legs creating a steady pulse of activity. Sharp
pairs of pincers scraped at their surroundings as they chewed up
earth and stone only to join little trains of it's kind in some kind
of circuit.

Vael approached the closest specimen and willed a psionic blade to
life. It burned bright in the dark confines, it's light a flickering
reflection on the creatures chitin exterior. A single fluid motion
drove the weapon home, moving through air an flesh without difference
to burn at the creatures mind.

Surprisingly Vael felt no surge of pain as life fled the target of
his experiment. None of it's fellows even halted in their endless
labors, their rhythm consistent. Puzzled he expanded his impact on
the lifeforms before him. A few quick swipes with his blade of
burning psi produced only more unmoving corpses. Determined to be
thorough, Vael decided to dispatch everything before him still

Disturbed that nothing happened, Nailo Vael stood considering his
next course of action. Had this truly been all that awaited him? In
answer to his mental quandary a new sound reached out from beyond. A
sound that quickly introduced a different creature. Clearly larger
these now stood a good 3 feet tall, their pincers easily the size of
a terran arm. Vael counted at least 6 beasts when he also noticed
behind them a larger bulk moved. Slithering from their flank a mass
slowly advanced pausing every few seconds as it passed over the dead
Vael had carpeted the ground with.

With a lurch the creeping mass emmited a wet sound and a head like
forward portion of it's formed raised up. Vael was unprepared when
fragmented portions of the dead exploded through the air at him like
shrapnel. Reaching within Vael gripped the compressed ball his own
energies had formed and dodged the gore formed assault. Sweeping his
arm to his side he entered a crouching sprint aiming for the
advancing threat.

Like a whirling wind Vael spun and struck, as pincers snapped at his
blurred form. Missiles of gore continued to explode around him, shards
of chitin shattering against stone. Rolling back to a defensive
stance Vael thrusted the point of psi between his opponents pincers
and struck it's central body. Like before it merely ceased to move.
Shifting his focus Vael concentrated on his blade, bringing both his
hands together. It's light grew, lengthening into a beam of near
white psi. His eyes burned as if they truly had become fiery

Threat discovered his mind reported through his psicomm. Pulling his
fists to his side the blade of psi now reached above his head.

Beginning second parameter.

Cry Oscry - Part 2.

The final rays of Langian daylight faltered on it's serene waters as
Nailo Vael closed his eyes.

Mission Parameters, he formed the query with his mind, feeling it
being transmitted into orbit where his ship's systems received it.
The ships AI Artemis fed him a stream of data flowing back down.
Translating his psicomm converted the encrypted transmission allowing
hos brain to process it.

Parameter one; Locate and determine the nature of the threat. Two;
Eliminate that threat by any means necessary. Business as usual
thought Vael. He'd often been deployed on such missions, anytime an
undetermined threat was detected by sensors in a system. Which
considering the scope of New Republic space and Vael's case load was
quite often.

Focusing Vael centered himself, drawing his psionic energies into his
core. After decades of training his body didn't even require mental
command; his skin the shade of misty fog shifted slightly as a
measure of psi infused it, making it far more reliant than anyone
would observe. Raising a slender loosely closed fist he cold feel the
flow of mind and spirit, willing it into form. A rose-pink energy
flowered into life from his hand taking the shape of a short blade
that his mind commanded.

Without sound his hand rolled open and the blade extinguished, it's
light winking out. Time to get to work. Vael turned and reached out
with his mind, feeling the subtle flow of things around him.
Immediately the ruins in the distance caught his attention. Langia
was well known for it's ancient sights and sanctuaries, but this
one's flow was distorted. It's glow wrong somehow.

Nailo Vael approached the ruins entrance and transmitted a single
thought to his ship's log. Subterranean, engaging. Artemis acknowledged
and with that the lone Ghost vanished into rocky ruin.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cry Oscry - Part 1.

Langia; a predominantly aquatic paradise with rich seas of icy-blue
and scattered clusters of islands marked by gleaming silver capped
peaks. Brightly colored creatures glided through the air riding wind
currents so effortlessly they appeared to be permanent living miniature
rainbows and stars. A moments glance beneath those majestic and
honest waters revealed further wonders. Sleek and graceful wildlife
moved about like living rays of light. Some clearly more vast than
the shuttles that landed and others so tiny they were mere twinkling

Standing alone on a rocky expanse a single figure was poised taking
it all in for his first time. His face was an expressionless mask,
save for eyes of amber that burned like living lanterns. At a glance
any observer might have thought this slight figure just some tourist
out seeing sights, not even marked by gear or weapons. But subtle
clues betrayed him, a tell-tale exo-skeletal frame encompassed his
body. And a small socket at the base of his skull glistened heralding
him as a Ghost, something only rumors whispered of, his appearance
could only hold a single certain fact. Something was about to die at
the hands of Nailo Vael.

No matter the appreciation for the paradise moon's natural beauty,
this was a matter of business, not pleasure. It always was business
for a Ghost, and now it was time to get to it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A post of whimsy.

I found myself considering what to stir up into my next tale and watch what pops out tonight when a thought of sheer whimsy struck me. While looking over a detailed write up I did on one of the races that populate Requiem I discovered there was quite a bit of detail just sitting there. Now, while it was structured, and still is, for being included into a d20 role-playing game I couldn't resist an urge to share. Bear in mind this may not be a regular kind of post, and one I may or may not repeat for obvious reasons.

But here now, just because it feels right, I present the Gael-Noir, rules and fluff and all. Enjoy, and please, let me know what you think. If your familiar with the d20 system, this should be perfectly understandable. I guess in a way this is a sample or glimpse into something I've tinkered with since I was around 9 or 10. Be kind and please, if nothing else respect my intellectual rights.

Stern and disciplined the Gael-Noir have upheld their ancient traditions for ages. They have become symbols of intelligence tempered through deep faith, however even they are not without mirth or frivolity. When threatened these frail and demure beings show their true worth wielding uncanny psionic abilities and cunning technology with deadly precision and grace.

The Gael-Noir are a mature and long lived race. They often take time to weight the importance of events with patient indifference before rash judgment or action. Gifted with a keen mind many Gael-Noir spend their youth satisfying their curiosity rather then filling their pockets with riches. A skilled and well versed Gael-Noir is often seen as being wealthier in their society than any Kry-Santhian merchant. Dedicated and loyal a Gael-Noir is slow to befriend but true to one made. And woe to anything that strives to stand between a Gael-Noir and something they set out to accomplish.

Physical Description
Gael-Noir are on average between 4 and 5 feet in height with a rare few rumored to be juct under 6 feet. Their often found weighing between 80 to 130 pounds. However all Gael-Noir possess a natural grace and frailty. Their skin is pale, often with subtle shades of gray, purple or blue. Their eyes are large, with solid irises that can vary from blue, gray, orange or even purple. All Gael-Noir are completely hairless, devoid even of facial and body hair. They tend to prefer simple garments and forms of dress that are functional and comfortable. Even jewelry is little seen in Gael-Noir society save as symbols of office, authority or as signs of self mastery of psionic ability. Many races tend to view Gael-Noir as pinnacles of aesthetic beauty, admiring their angular features and humble looks. Gael-Noir reach maturity around 150 years of age and can live to be upwards of 900.

The Gael-Noir do not, however, require sleep as some species do. They instead enter a 4 to 6 hour meditative state, granting them the benefits of a nights sleep. During this period they allow their minds to review history lessons from their youth, learned accounts of ancestors, as well as mental exercises and self training. The Gael-Noir may also forgo even this need by tapping into their innate psionic reserve and may draw sustenance and renewed vitality from their own psionic energies enabling them to go for 24 hours without food, water or even rest once they have tapped their inner reserves.

Gael-Noir often view Terrans on the whole as trusted friends and allies, having proved themselves so over the years of friendly coexistence. They do however still find them to be somewhat less than enlightened. The Krynean Tribes, though, have earned respect from the Gael-Noir for their deep sense of honor and committal to free their home-world, and others from the onslaught of the Uraor. Even at the cost of their own civil peace. They see in the mighty Pathenians a seemingly intellectual brother they can meet on equal terms while they find the Vel-Teh to be somewhat misguided. The Kry-Santhians however seem to a point of contention among the Gael-Noir as they appear as trivial and petty, concerned too much by things made or money gained. However it is a point of pride among the Gael-Noir that no lesser being is ever treated with anything less than the polite and civil etiquette of the Gael-Noir.

The Gael-Noir as a whole care greatly for the safety and security of others, causing them to lean towards Good more than not. Focused and dedicated towards their ancient traditions the Gael-Noir lean strongly towards law. However, some still harbor strong ties to the freedom and self expression of the gentler side of chaos.

Gael-Noir Worlds
Gael-Noir often inhabit worlds of simple natural beauty, going to great lengths to exist there without harm or damage to their environment. Gael-Noir cities are often carved from living crystal and stone, or interwoven in majestic living wood. They have developed effective methods over the ages of growing food and herding livestock in almost any terrain. They do rarely exist in large numbers though, instead choosing to exist in small clans of no more than 150 to 175 members. Needing little due to self reliance very few outsiders have routine dealings with the Gael-Noir.

As a race, the Gael-Noir have no central religion. Instead they practice a monastic dedication to their unique racial understanding of psionics. They spend years dedicating themselves to the art of focusing mind and spirit into a singular force that keeps them in harmony and unison.

The Language of the Gael-Noir is actually a hybrid form of communication. They speak their fluid common tongue of Norian, with it's complex grammar in public and use it for the basis of their commonly circulated literature. But they reserve their deeply intoned and chant like Gael for songs, poems and recitals of their traditions.Many other races have taken to using both Gael and Norian in their own art and literature due to it's old roots and deeply intoned meanings.


A Gael-Noir, when coming of age, selects their own unique name. Their name is usually a combination of Gael or Norian words they use to identify themselves. This sometimes is done by selecting an ancestors name and adding another word or modifying it slightly to show connection as well as difference. They also take on the name of their clan which they always use before their own name.

Male Names include; Aramil, Aust, Eni, Hei, Ivellion, Sesh, Sevaris, Therimor, and Vael
Female Names include; Anavaris, Corinale, Delinia, Eidoru, Ielenia, Layne, Valanthe, Zorshea

Clan names(Common Translation); Anaril(Starlight), Caelimbar(Wind Wind), Galenoden(Moon Whisper), Liadon(Silver vein), Nailo(Nightbreeze)


Gael-Noir often take up adventuring out of wanderlust or a desire to appease their curiosity, often in their youth finding the constant exposure to new experiences appealing. Often finding themselves to be less rash as Terrans Gael-Noir often take up roles that grant them more care and judgment in their actions as well as freedom to travel. Gael-Noir often find themselves as curiosities while traveling through use of their psionic training, often enabling them to locate new techniques and constantly hone themselves.

Racial Traits

- Gael-Noir are medium sized creatures
- Base speed of 30 feet
- Gael-Noir receive a +2 to Charisma and Wisdom, but suffer a -2 to Constitution and Strength. Their wisdom and inner will drives them but their bodies have suffered at the cost of their mental disciple.
- All Gael-Noir begin with 2 power points in addition to any gained by feats or class. This is due to their natural psionic ability.
- All Gael-Noir begin knowing 3 simple psionic abilities;
  - Resiliance - As an immediate action a Gael-Noir may expend a power point to gain a +4 on her next saving throw.
  - Resistance, by focusing their psionic auras around themselves a Gael-Noir may lower damage taken by 2 points per power point spent.
  - Repletion - A Gael-Noir may forgo the need for food or water for 24 hours at the cost of 1 power point. 
- Psyche Strain (Ex) – A Gael-Noir’s psyche is abnormally strained by cybernetic implants. Each such implant causes undo stress on the Gael-Noir’s mind and spirit causing them a cumulative -2 penalty on all manifester level checks and costs the Gael-Noir 10% of the implants cost in XP (This is in addition to any other XP costs of the implant).
- Gael-Noir gain Autohypnosis and psicraft as class skills.
- Gael-Noir begin with both Common and Gael-Noir Languages
- Gael-Noir treat Psionic Steel as a martial weapon instead of exotic and are automatically proficient with a Longblade.
- Favored Class; Ghost for Males and Nomad for Females

Primer - A.D.U.

The advent of new technology has historically always lead, inevitably, to it's exploitation. No matter the intended purpose or the desire technology is always twisted by criminals to suit their own needs. New Republic civil defense and police forces knew this, and once they began incorporating things like powered armor, hard suits, and mecha they began preparing.

A special unit was formed under the direct control of the New Republic's police forces. Charged with being a rapid deployment strike force capable of engaging armored threats, be they personnel or mecha. Trained and equipped the Advanced Defense Unit, or ADU, quickly saw action throughout New Republic space on countless worlds combating situations local forces weren't equipped to handle.

Unfortunately as things deteriorated politically funding for the ADU was withdrawn, and requests for ADU interventions skyrocketed. Suddenly without support to maintain equipment and freedom from a political leash, the ADU turned autonomous. Declaring itself it's own independent faction the ADU began contracting itself to worlds and systems who could manage to pay their fees. The once proud arm of New Republic police forces, was now forced to become mere mercenaries. However, ADU discretion still determines where and when they act. No political or economical influence holds final sway over their involvement in any situation. Much to the dismay of criminals everywhere.

The standard ADU powered armor, the P-1a "Law-maker" has been in use for over 20 years due to it's robust frame and it's ability for long term deployment. Designed for patrol and general purpose duty Law-makers are equipped with personnel restraint and riot control in mind limiting their combat role.

As a counterpoint to the Law-maker the ADU developed the P-3e "Enforcer" a heavier armor equipped almost solely as a swat or heavy weapons capable frame. Armed with formidable weapons like Hybrid Type I pulse particle guns, riot grenade launchers and a pair of assault blaster to name a few the enforcer excels in most fire fights.

However without flexibility or endurance of it's predecessor the Enforcer didn't provide the ADU with a complete strategic package. For some time Enforcers were only brought to bear when needed and Law-makers were used to mop up and as support.

In an attempt to fill a gap in their tactical capabilities the ADU developed the P-2d "Inquisitor" powered armor for their detectives. The Inquisitor was designed to be a more armored Law-maker, with added equipment allowing detectives in the field to coordinate with other officers and have more intelligence on hand. With few on board weapons however detectives often had to rely on side arms and the tactical edge on board databases and intelligence could provide. To further give Inquisitors added flexibility and range internal thrust stabilizers were built into the armor allowing them better functionality in low and zero g environments and enhanced combat maneuvering short term.

Utilizing all three armor packages has allowed the ADU to adapt their squads to almost any situation or threat.

A rusty geek is a sad geek.

Taking a momentary break from writing this morning I thought I would create a Facebook fan page for my blog. I know, I know, maybe now my annoying status spam might lessen it's assault on your feeds... Or will it?

Anyways, it was supposed to be a quick anybody can do task, or so I assumed. Even armed with a knowledge of programming and HTML familiarity this sad geek soon realized he was horribly rusty and out of his depth. I engaged the wisdom of sage-like geeks whose levels reached epic, and still I sat confounded. Try as I might incorporating something so mundane as a Facebook like box was beyond me. The realization i was over-complicating matters didn't even help.

With great despair I must concede this geek is way too rusty. I did manage it though, and wanted to smack myself when I did figure it out. So if your on Facebook you can like the new fan page, and please do. It should, I hope, turn out to be a great way to keep up with the blog.

Let this be a lesson to all geeks, I had taught myself HTML all the way back in 1994-5, before entering High School even. And yes, I have used it since, I used to use it quite a bit. But unfortunately even us geeks can become rusty in some of the very things people claim make us geeky. So practice, review, you don't wanna loose any levels like me, much less suffer a -4 when attempting to use tech.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Valiant, Detective Valiant - Part 5.

*Voomf Voomf Voomf*

Vicks and Mason's Hybrid type I's roared to life, engulfing the wounded snake in a blanket of pinkish-red energy. "Yeah, get some!" Vicks bellowed. "Take it all, baby!" Mason added. Both squad-mates eagerly kept firing. "Get clear Vincent" Gryph exclaimed.

Val pivoted, knowing the Rattlers light armor had to be near spent from the barrage. Feeling as he did the sudden rush of movement sweep over his head and a tidal wave of absolute dread gripped him. Adrenaline flooded through him, thought was lost to him, only impulse and primal reflex remained.

In an instant, as a volley of dozens of Wasp rockets took to the air in a swarm, Valiant surged into motion. Dumping all his internal thrust propellant his armor rocket towards the horde of projectiles, landing hard against a wall with a crash.

Rockets raced at him, debris began to rain down from the building that had halted his advance. With a howl Valiant growled, "Must. Not. Fail." Keying his Reliant system to life, a green sphere of pure force sprang to life, deflecting stone and rippling from countless explosions. The Reliant system was standard issue among ADU powered armors, capable of activating in an emergency to save from a fall or sudden massive onslaught.

Moments passed, and Gryph and the rest of the squad raced up, ready to dig out their squad leader. When the dust cleared they stood amazed, to their surprise Valiant stood unharmed, as he shrugged off a segment of mortar and stone. Beneath him, still trembling were a pair of small figures. Children, caught in the cross fire of a conflict that never should have been seen on these streets.

A quiet sniffle escaped Valiant, and only for a second could his voice be heard to crack. "Vicks, Mason, get these kids to safety and make sure they get a full trauma check. Gryph," Valiant turned to look right into her.

"Find me Arlan Drek. Now." Valiant's tone had become cold and certain. Like the looming promise of death itself.

Valiant, Detective Valiant - Part 4.

His glossy blue armored exterior reflected the bright lights of Taral
VII as he thudded along the course I-O had highlighted before him.
Each step a surreal yellow dot marking another degree closer to a
danger he now raced towards.

But detective Lewis's eyes told a different story as ghosts swam in a
sea of memory to haunt him. Trying to force them back down, to lock
them away he focused himself on the Rattler. The eminent threat it
presented, promising aloud; "Not again. Never, again." Without even
realising his thoughts had managed to find their way into being
voiced Val kept moving.

Referencing his overlay, the target should be straight ahead. With a
sigh of relief, he registered the armor's black and grey mottled
exterior. Valiant readied his sidearm in one and hand and drew a
grenade in the other.

"Gryph, I'm engaging the target. Vicks, Mason; Hold your fire until I
give the order. Position yourselves to flank and overlap your fields
of fire, I'll keep him occupied while you take position. I'm counting
on you Gryph, keep an eye out, we don't want this turning into a
surprise party."

With a grim resolve Valiant charged the Rattler, activating the
grenade as he did. Taking aim he gave the grenade a good throw
delivering it near hid foe's feet. In mid stride it detonated
throwing it's in-experienced wearer off balance. Valiant gave his
quarry no time to react, quickly his namesake sidearm roared to life.
Iridium slugs ripped into the light plating that made up the
Rattlers' armor.


Struggling to stand, the Rattler raised an arm and Assault Blasters
roared to life. Small caliber rounds sprayed at Val as he triggered
his internal thrust stabilizers. Tiny jets of compressed gas sprang
to life adding to his own momentum, and threw him out of the line of

*Bam Bam Bam Bam*

Four more slugs struck the Rattler's light armored frame, the impact
distracting it's victim from Valiant's next move. Confused and in
shock the Rattler had no time to react, much less for it to register
as another riot grenade bounced off it's chest and detonated in the
air before it. This time the concussion and discharged ions rippled
over the scout frame. electricity crackled as many of it's systems
ceased to respond.

"Open fire." Val's voice was cold and harsh, with only a modest hint
of urgency. His gun still trained on what appeared to be a now
helpless foe.

"You got him, sir." Vicks attempted to point out. "Yeah, he's toast
Val," Mason joined in.

"I gave an order; fire, before his systems..." Valiant fell to silence
as his armor's sensors alarmed. A targeting lock had been

On him.

Primer - Type II

Primer - Type II

The New Republic has never been perfect, still isn't. But in 3033
R.E., 7 years before the New Republic was torn apart, a project was
initiated in secret. Research had become available that led
scientists to believe artificially constructed beings might be
capable of sentience. It was approved and split in two, each branch
of the project was ignorant of the other.

One branch was charged with attempting to create a sentient synthetic
biological android. The other, a new, or second type of cybernetic-
robot construct, with sentience.

Withing a year Gael-Noir research had already discovered methods,
from the study of Uraor tissue samples, for creating and maintaining
flesh-like coverings. By 3035, the first fully functional Type II
frame was produced. Unfortunately, it lacked personality and
sentience. Work continued on the project but it wasn't until 3037
that a major breakthrough occurred.

A small envoy, sent by the Vel-Teh, was accidental exposed to notes
on the projects research. Intrigued the Vel-Teh requested to take
part in the project, asking only for a single blank construct and all
current data. It is now believed that this was also the same time
frame that knowledge pf the project began to leak and the Purgists
Party began to form.

In a private display, in 3038, the Vel-Teh and New Republic joined
together in announcing the birth of a new Race; The Type II. But
reactions were mixed, and political factions formed. Small scale
conflicts began popping up all over the New Republic.

By 3039 it became clear things were becoming unstable. Factions began
creating Type II's to emulate various officials, swaying votes and

causing wide spread political chaos. Purgist Party propaganda began to
reach the public and panic starts spreading like wild fire.

And in 3040 R.E., what is now known as 00 A.R., The New Republic as
everyone knew it, shattered. Ashamed, the Vel-Teh left the New
Republic. News soon added to the terror as the Bioid project came to
life. Technology to defend against Type II emulators was soon
obsolete against biological creations like Bioids. Political factions
began to scramble in the confusion to seize any territory or power
they could. Trying to deal with secession and public opinion the New
Republic barely managed to stay afloat, albeit a mere shadow of it's
former self.

Left adrift like orphans were the Type II and Bioid races. The Type
II, now forever bear the stigma of propaganda and distrust. While
they often look and sound like an average Terran, they often bear the
naivety of social inexperience. Some even lack the disguise of a
living outer covering and are un-mistakable as a cybernetic being. To
make matters worse on them Purgist Party propaganda has found a new
tool; The Virus "Grim."

The virus Grim's origin as well as it's mechanics still remain a mystery but what has been discovered is it's terrible effect. It
manages to strip a Type II of what it holds most dear; it's free-
will. Any Type II infected by Grim becomes a empty construct,
losing all self awareness. The only thing left is the drive to
survive, by destroying any non-infected being. Type II fear this new
plague as much as they fear the public image that now depicts them
as ticking time bombs or soulless monsters.

However there is hope for the new race. One faction has formed
calling itself Endless Dawn, their mission is to spread awareness and
equal rights to all sentient beings. They actively oppose the
hostility the Purgist Party pursue and strive to protect Type II's.
To further matters a safe haven has been created on the world of
Glorien. It has become a sanctuary and a beacon to all Type II and
those sympathetic to their cause.

Valiant, Detective Valiant - Part 3.

"Keep an eye on that Rattler, Gryph." Val's voice had become a sharp edge of command. "They often employ a sensor mask, might not show up on our sensors, probably why we didn't see it before." The Rattler turned scanning the debris that moments before had been an alley and then started it's stumbling stride away, this time, towards a main street.

"Vicks, reporting as ordered, sir." A blue dot now appeared on the overlay marking the arrival of the young and impulsive squad member.

"Mason, here." A dot of crimson now lit up the overlay beside Vicks. Although a little older, Val had learned long ago separating the two was near impossible.

"Ready to slam-dance your troubles, boss man. We're locked, cocked and ready to," they began in unison. Testosterone driven bull was all that Val's mind screamed, and cut them off instantly. "Shut it. We've a Rattler on the loose, possibly fully stocked and looking to strike. You two, I want your Hybrid's primed and ready. Gryph, keep your eyes on that Rattler, don't let him wander off, and make sure more don't wander in. I'll cut around to try and intercept and draw his fire. Vicks, Mason; you two are to take up flanking positions and when I have his attention, level him. I want that Rattler buried and inoperable, no civilians are gonna die from this. Not on my watch." As he spoke his squad began to notice a cold fury rising in his voice. Their squad leader had begun casually reloading his side arm, and checked an under arm retractable storage slot. One they rarely saw him ever even open. Within they spotted a series of Riot grenades, explosive charges capable of delivering enough concussive shock and dispersed electrical/ionic discharge to take the fight, and subsequent consciousness, out of small mobs. Valiant hated using indirect fire whenever possible. The threat of the Rattler in an urban setting filled with tourists and civilians like Taral VII had to be eating away at him.

"You have your orders." Valiant confirmed, with the resolve of a titanic mountain.

"Yeah, Val." Gryph responded, taking up position to track the slow gait of her target, keeping her shotgun trained. Both Vicks and Mason pulled up the hefty weapons mounted to their backs so they rested over their shoulders and primed them. The Hybrid Type I was devastating rapid fire weapon well known for it's ability to deliver pulsed bursts of accelerated particles. Powered by external capacitor cells, though, meant limited fire power.

"Hammer and anvil, Vicks?" Mason asked as he readied his Enforcer for the fight. "I'll hit 'em high, you hit 'em low, Mason." Vicks muttered, activating his targeting coordinator.

"Just make sure you hit that thing." Valiant turned, grim and determined towards a nearby side street. "I-O, give me a intercept course on that Rattler's projected path. Use the data feeds from our armors', I am already sure it has a mask active."

I-O's voice was shakier than usual, with a quiver all he managed was a mousy: "Yes sir."

Reserved, Gryph watched as Val loped off while Vicks and Mason eagerly took aim.

"Not one of your better plans, Vincent." She told his lengthening shadow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Valiant, Detective Valiant - Part 2.


A deadly rain pounded into the walls across from Val, delivering something much more uncomfortable than rain drops. Reflexes kicked in and the lone detective quickly pressed his back to a wall behind him and scanned his surroundings. "Gryph," he whispered, "would you be so kind as to tell me who is shooting at me?"

"I'll do you one better," Gryph replied. She was probably one of the toughest detectives Val had ever known, and the most dependable. Whatever he asked of her she always managed to provide him with it, even the occasional miracle. A series of markers begin to dot the overlay I-O had managed to upload into their helmets. Gryph quickly tagged the markers as she relayed her observations to Val. "We've got at least one guy around the corner, armed. Three more down an alley to our left  and I am sure just out of my range we'll have a handful more arming up against these guys. My best guess is we got ourselves a street war."

"I'm going to try diplomacy, Gryph, cover me." Val crouched down and started to pivot around a corner. "Throw down your weapons and spread your arms in the air. This is the ADU, and we are intervening in this armed conflict." Val shouted as he rolled out. Immediately shots were fired, whizzing by him to thump the ground beside him.

*Bam Bam Bam*

His Valiant delivered three high density mass slugs into a young man knocking him backwards. Another figure rose with gun in hand to take aim and was met by a single shot to the head. It's impact removing his face from his head in a flash. Gryph now stood by Val, clambering another round into her Starburst shotgun. "Tsk Tsk, diplomacy Val? Really?" Gryph remarked.

"Diplomacy may not work, but making them think we'll talk gives us the edge, even if for a second. Makes them think we'll try to talk, and that they have the drop on us." Gryph nodded, "Makes sense."

"Um... Guys," I-O's voice dropped a few degrees as he interupted. "We've got incoming, I'm detecting a Spyder missile inbound."

"Cover!" Roared Val. The pair of armored detectives dove for nearby buildings as an explosion rocked the streets and an alleyway collapsed. Checking the overlay as he rose from a cloud of dust, Val noted the position of the missile's target coordinated with that of the other assailants they'd detected. "Spyder Missles! That settles it. We have to find Drek and who is armed with Spyder's before they level this whole area." Val spat.

"I don't think it'll be too hard, Val," Gryph's hushed whisper plucked a chord. Turning to follow her gaze he noticed the same thing. Zooming in, they both beheld the unmistakable gait of someone without experience trying to walk in powered armor. "If I'm not mistaken, Val..." Authority and experience hammered down on Val and despite effort found it's way into his voice. "That is a Rattler, rapid deploy scout armor. They excel at hit and run, and unless someone was cheap, pack a hefty payload of rockets as well as about a dozen Spyder's. I-O, I want you to maintain a safe distance and keep yourself hid. Mason, Vicks, get over here yesterday."

Mason and Vicks were both ex-swat, and as such trained in the use of P-3e Enforcer powered armor. A shiver slipped up Val's spine. A P-2d Inquisitor didn't pack the fire-power for this. Military grade armor on the streets. This was bad. Real bad.

"We gotta take this Rattler out before they figure out what it can do."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heave Ho, Away Let's Go!

I've been watching the new Disney Junior programming with my kids over the last week, checking out all the changes they've added to their already extensive repertoire. And I gotta concede, overall it is a winning strategy. They are providing kids with a healthy dose of engaging and immersible content while subtly giving them cues towards being more active and taking responsibility. Little things like between show jingles and clips of situations where kids have made a mess and now must clean it up, as well as Mickey Mouse showing preschoolers that exercise is good for you. Disney has even go so far as to add programing to enlighten and broaden cultural awareness with shows that introduce elements of African culture as well as other world cultures, unlike some kids programing these days that want to over focus on trying to make Spanish a mainstream element everyone needs to be fluent in. But that is another rant for another day. 

Of all their new offerings though I have found myself, crewing up with my kids to join "Jake and the Neverland Pirates!" The show details a band of 3 young Pirates and their Parrot "Skully" and their adventures dealing with the cranky and curmudgeonly Captain Hook and always well meaning side-kick Smee. At every turn these young pirates are always good and up-standing characters even being nice and attempting to help Hook even if he himself wouldn't help them or has, as he ofter does, already done something nefarious to them.

And as an added bonus to the wonderfully fun and catchy tunes the show employs every episode ends with the entertaining pirate rock shanties of a pair of live action pirates. If you ever get the chance, watch this fun new little look at Neverland. I guarantee you'll have a fun time singing along and adding gold doubloons to the team treasure chest.  Disney even offers to keep your fix available online at their website. So anchors away mates, heave ho and away let's go!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valiant, Detective Valiant.

A fluff piece at first but I hope to develop it into more of a character piece about Detective Vincent Alexander Lewis. Here is the first piece, more to come as it develops. Hope it's as enjoyable as Blood and Scrap. Figured I'd try to give another venue or change of scope, broaden everyone's view of Requiem. So without further adieu;

Personal log
Vincent Alexander Lewis, Detective stationed on Taral VII

Seems like forever since me and my patrol were stationed here on Taral VII, and it's a nice enough world, very urban, and very civilized, at least when regarding modern conveniences. Taral VII is a never ending workload for us. It's known for both it's night life and the near constant tourism traffic; that means crime, and lots of it. When the local gangs aren't engaged in some dispute over turf or tech the off-world pirates are making envoys to lay claim to their own "piece of the action."

It seems some military grade powered armor and weapons have found their way to the streets. Streets that have no need for such tech whose only purpose is bloodshed. Arlan Drek must be involved, a known local arms dealer and peddler in contraband. En-route to track down Drek for questioning, just got meet up with my squad for chow and then begin the hunt.

End Entry

*Boom* An explosion rocked the crowded streets and screams filled the air.

"Gryph" Val spoke firm and crisp into his comm. "Give me a direction, I-O; tactical overlay. I wanna see markers on the squad and  I want to know who's making a war on these streets." A map of faint green lines soon found it's way into Val's field of vision. "I-O," an edge started to creep into Val's tone as he started heading towards directional markers on his display, "Get that PTV moving and position yourself for full Intel support, but maintain cover." Without a thought or break in stride Val reached for his suits' internal holster and drew his Valiant sidearm, bringing it to track targets as he ran.


[To be finished when permitted]

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 5.

Immersing himself to the flow of data streaming out of him, Zener dived down deep within himself. Lost to everything around him he focused hard. Digital representations swam all around him, each Node burning like a little light glittering the virtual landscape the cyberdeck interpreted.  It was as if he was starring out at a night sky, there were little Nodes everywhere. Zener had never even had time to consider in his haste that Nox was not the only source of Nodes within his range.

Arena security Nodes glowed a subtle yellow, ever watchful. Patrons watching the display dotted all around him with a myriad array of multicolor Nodes. Some clearly implants, many seemed personal mini-comms, others Zener wasn't sure of, but he'd already committed himself. Even the realization that purple Nodes glistened in the distance were those of various docked ships wasn't enough for him to abort his last and only course of action.

Surprisingly the cold burning light of ICE didn't greet the driven captive. Clearly either no one present had even considered the threat of a NodeRunner anything worth worrying over or resources in this portion of the Rim were severely limited. Without any ICE to combat Zener's assault his barrage of data overwhelmed Nodes. One by one they their lights flared up and was extinguished as they crashed unable to handle the brunt of what Zener poured into them.

And then all was dark but a single purple light flickering in the distance. The world around Zener slowly faded back into being around him as he shifted his focus back to it. Patrons in the crowd screamed in terror and shock. Some were clutching limbs that refused to function, others had fallen, unmoving, to slump in their seats. Gates and passageways stood open, captives pouring out finding their restraints suddenly less restraining. Automated drones no longer floated about monitoring the arena or feeding video inputs to the crowd.

Chaos had erupted within the arena, and at it's hearts stood a battered and scared NodeRunner standing in shock at what his desperate gamble had done. He watched as dozens of captives made for exits or tried to lash out at patrons. In a daze he stumbled towards an exit thinking only of escape, but a familiar figure greeted him wearing a mask of pure rage.

Leveling a pistol on the would be escapee Cassius snapped at Zener. "YOU are not going anywhere." A superheated mass slammed home into Zener's abdomen that immediately made him stumble and recall the maul he'd been beaten with moments ago. "I told you you'd die," hissed Cassius. "And die you will you freakish mokery." He leveled his weapon at Zener's head and a strange sound escaped the senator. Milliseconds past like an eternity and then a red stain spread across the senator's robes. Cassius slumped before Zener to reveal a gruff and tired lady wielding a bloody knife.

"Ol Bea got worried about Zener," she whispered to the battered Type II. "Heard some rumors a naive young traveler caught a ride with a nasty fellow by the name of Virgil. Didn't I tell you to be careful? Come on kid, let's get you off this scrap heap." Bea reached down and helped Zener stand, supporting his mangled left side. "Did you even fight back hun?" she asked.

"You'd be surprised, apparently, there are all kinds of way to fight back," mused Zener.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 4.

"I need time," Zener thought. A plan of attack began to formulate as he seized the moment Nox was lost in celebration. Desperation seized his core and he sprinted toward the titanic slab of back before him. Layers of data overlaid Zener's vision confirming his best assumptions. The Uraor was a massive network of micro-Nodes of out-dated and jury-rigged implants. So much so that it occurred to Zener that Nox might be even more artificial than himself.

Feigning that he'd lunge right Zener instead rolled left and threw his only weapon hard at Nox's throat. As he saw his gamble was working a realization hit him. Hard. Nox's own implants had whirred to life and sent his reflexes into overdrive. Blood poured down from the hilt embedded in his throat as his hammer slammed into Zener's shoulder. His shoulder exploded from the blow, as fragments of a servo littered the sand and his left arm hung useless. Without thought Zener did the only thing instinct commanded. He grabbed the maul and gripped it with all his strength.

Nox stumbled backward from the awkward change to his weapon's weight. He hefted it aloft as his body fought to heal the wound in his neck, swinging it to the side. Zener's strength couldn't keep him attached to the maul, not with only one arm but timing it right he released and landed a good distance away. Nox ignored his unarmed foe and instead tugged at the thorn piercing his neck in hopes of closing the wound.

The momentary pause was all Zener needed, he latched onto Nox's Node network and with a command began trying to isolate a central hub Node. There had to be one coordinating that much cyberwear with the rest of his body. "I need more time," Zener sighed. He could see no other options around him and Nox had managed to wrest the blade from his throat. With a menace Zener had never before witnessed Nox turned to glare at him.

"Buffer Overrun," shouted Zener, "that;s it!" A current of hope surged through the courageous construct as memory flooded him. Older Nodes had suffered from buffer overruns, they weren't designed to handle complex surges of data. They'd work fine for basic neuro-muscle impulses. But for example if you were to overwhelm them with a massive burst of data like navigational calculations for a planet...

Not knowing which node to attack, and seeing Nox approaching slowly this time, he did the only thing that came to mind. Zener closed his eyes, and with a sigh broadcast a brute force buffer override attack at every node within his range using the calculations for Glorien.

A range of 2000 feet.

To be continued.

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 3.

The ground beneath Zener's feet was fine gritty sand, colored ugly shades of black and brown in places from blood and other things unknown to Zener. Above him a pair of moons reflected the light of a nearby star almost making Zener believe 3 suns were burning above this cruel place. The crowd roared at the site of him, slinging insults and debris as if they wished to encumber him by their hate alone.

Across from him stood a mountainous mix of slate colored flesh and cyberwear. The Uraor, Nox, towered above Zener at 7 feet tall and his bulk had to be around 245 pounds. Blackened tusks protruded from his maw glistening with saliva as he snarled at his fresh opponent. His arms buzzed and whirred as he swung a massive crude maul with casual ease measuring it's balance and feel. Zener quickly calculated probability was not on his side. Especially considering his weapon compared to the hulking brute meant to be his executioner.

With a thunderous shout Nox charged forward maul heaved back to deliver a forceful blow. It happened so suddenly Zener was left in shock, paralyzed, and defenseless. The blow landed squarely on Zener's hip, the impact wrenching him from the grounds embrace and into the arena's wall. Nox paraded in triumph as the crowd cheered and readied for another charge.

Shaken, Zener tried to be ready this time and as Nox closed in he rolled to the side, his size allowing him to narrowly avoid this attack and pulled his blade across his foe's ribs. With confusion he watched as the wound slowly knitted itself back together. Distracted, Zener was once again not on guard as a heavy foot launched up and struck his chest. A loud boom echoed from the blow and once more Zener sailed through the air, only to find the ground waiting to catch him.

Rising once more, with the damage adding up Zener was certain his death would come soon. Musing to himself he thought "Why couldn't I have met my end with at least the comforting feel of being at home, like I used to feel running Nodes." Without meaning to the thought brought the salvaged cyberdeck online, digital overlays springing to life filling his vision with a layer of information and highlighting detected Nodes.

Realization slammed home. Even cybernetic implants would require a neural network of Nodes to function and transmit basic neural impulses. Zener smiled as the equation began to shift. "Nodes," he remarked, "I know Nodes..."

To be continued.

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 2.

Straining Zener's systems slowly came back online. The visual feed from his optics was distorted and several lesser systems didn't seem to be functioning properly. A pair of faint voices could be heard in the distance, just through a doorway. Trying to stand and investigate he found a heavy metal cable fastened to his ankle. Fear gripped his core processor as he recognized debris in the darkened corner behind him; a pile of inopperative Type II frames. What was this place?

In the doorway stood a stranger, dressed in the official robes of a New Republic Senator. With a sneer he spat at Zener, scrutinizing the timid Type II before him. "Hardly worth 250 Regals, honestly." The stranger carried himself with the air of conceit, pacing before Zener. "You, monstrous abomination," he hissed with lips curled, "are to fight to the death in the Arena. My name is Cassius Rudari, and this arena is my own. Your destruction will provide my patrons with amusement, and be a fitting end for scrap like you. But I am not without sympathy. You will have a sporting chance. You have one hour to repair yourself, salvage any parts you can from that trash behind you." Cassius began a slow walk to the doorway, pausing to gesture at a different exit. "Make no mistake, your creation is an atrocity we will rectify. In one hour that door will open,  a blade will be waiting you, and Nox of Uraor awaits you. One will die, and should you survive, you will only live to face the next. Die well, it's what I payed for." With that, Cassius passed through the doorway and it sealed.

The first few minutes seemed an eternity to Zener. Terror raced through his circuits, gripping him. How could he possibly survive? Survive. Without repair his current damage would degrade his systems, and then he'd have no chance at all. With a shudder he resigned himself and turned to begin evaluating the dead lifeless remains behind him. It teared at his insides to dismantle components from what he could only imagine was his kin. Before long he managed to salvage enough parts to repair his optics and most of his other damaged systems.

While making repairs he stumbled upon a non standard component implanted in one of the Type II torsos. He recognized it immediately and found a sense of comfort in the little treasure; a cyberdeck. Zener had used one every day in his job, and the sight of this find lit him up inside. Checking it he quickly found it  functional. If he was to die, he decided, then he was going to die with this piece of his old life inside him.

By the hour's end Zener had managed to complete his repairs and run a few quick system checks. Everything seemed in order. And then he heard the booming amplified voice of Cassius. "My friends and patrons." The crowd's roar was audible even without amplification. "Today I bring before you a sight to behold, from the Core systems comes a criminal abomination, on the run seeking to join those vile betrayers bent on overthrowing our glorious Republic. A villainous creation made to mimic us that as you are all aware seek to replace us, will meet it's execution ad gladeum before you against the Uraor beast Nox!" With the utterance of that name Zener recoiled at the deafening explosion from the crowd. Why did the scream so? 

The cable retracted from Zener's ankle and the door ground open spilling harsh light into the dark chamber. A lone pedestal protruded from the wall behind the door holding a long curved knife. "I don't want to die." Zener muttered to him self. Hesitating he picked up the weapon and awkwardly walked up to the arena. With one look back at the remains of Type II's who had come before him he clutched at his new component. "I'm not scrap, I just run Nodes for Info-Regulation." Desperation filled his voice and he gripped the weapon tighter.

"I give you blood and scrap, gladiators to the arena," Cassius bellowed.

To be continued.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blood and Scrap Revised Part 1.

With a shuddering whoosh the freighter Seraphim's airlock sealed with Coromaur's Outpost. A faint crackle in the ship's speakers preceded a weary female voice. "Alright Zener, I got you as far as Coromaur's Outpost. Ol' Bea has to stop and rest her weary bones and resupply. If your still for Glorien you might find another berth, best of luck to you." Bea had been a kindly soul, as far as Terrans go. Zener recalled her explaining she was a staunch supporter of the Endless Dawn movement, and therefore wanted to help Zener.

As Zener rose to stand up the cargo crates beneath him groaned, with a puzzled glance he wondered why, they were rated to withstand an estimated weight range that should of been sufficient for his own specification. With a shrug he walked over to the freighter's cargo hatch and hit the open command sequence. The sight that met his optic sensors was almost overwhelming to the young Zener. Having worked in an isolated terminal, spending virtually all his life performing Data regulation on the New Republics Nodes he had little experience interacting with, well, anyone. And here before him was a bustling crowd of people, all moving through the Outpost's Dock terminal. The sound of that many feet reverberating off the steel mesh flooring disoriented him.  He marveled at the built in illuminators that shined down from above causing his dull chrome exterior to shimmer and his blue traces to almost glow.

There was so much commotion Zener wasn't sure where to go. He'd wanted to get to Glorien as fast as possible, it was the only safe haven for a Type II. With no job and Purgist Party propaganda blaming him and other Type II's for recent Node corruptions all over the New Republic, leaving seemed his only option. Spotting a public terminal Zener approached it with nervous care. He carefully input his destination criteria and began checking Outpost records for any available ship bound for Glorien, or anything within a few light-hours. His servos almost stuttered as a gruff voice greeted him from behind.

"Name's Virgil, couldn't help but notice you were looking for passage someplace." A puff of smoke escaped Virgil's somewhat toothless mouth. With a pause he craned his neck around Zener and hooted. "Glorien huh, well that is a trip, but it will cost you tin-bits."

Perplexed Zener asked, "Cost, I will gladly pay for the space occupied and any fuel necessary for the voyage. How much do you estimate the expense will be?" Virgil rubbed at a scraggly patch of stubble that was scattered across his chin. "For a nice thing like yourself tin-bits, I figure 150. Regals mind you, I don't take trace-cred crap, hard coin only." Zener calculated the projected figure and figured that seemed reasonable, but with current fuel prices a little low. Virgil was actually surprised when Zener placed in his hand 200 Regals. "This seems more appropriate, fuel rates are on the rise."

"That they are," Virgil added. "That they are." And with a smile and a nod he led Zener to his ship, the Acheron. As it's airlock hissed close, Zener found himself maglocked to the floor. "There seems to be a malfunction in your vessel's systems Virgil," said Zener, already trying to troubleshoot any possible causes he could think of. One look at Virgil, left him confused further, as he held a Riot Cannon. Zener immediately recognized it, a standard issue crowd control weapon used by officials when dealing with rioting mobs and violent criminal gangs, but he was neither, did Virgil mean to try and use it to somehow short out whatever had restricted his movement?

A single inquiry managed to escape Zener, "I don't understand."

"I never expected you to." And Zener's systems crashed into emergency standby.

To be continued.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An interesting notion.

A little bug was planted in my ear today, that really has gotten me to thinking. Kindle sounds like a wonderful opportunity for aspiring authors to have a venue to self publish works. I don't know all the details granted but it has made me consider Requiem once again. Granted it'd require a deal of work organizing and polishing my notes and work to date. And it probably wouldn't have any graphics to speak of, since I have no talent for anything of the sort.

As far as cost, well I will be honest, I can't possibly expect much, but as a means of spreading my pet project in hopes others might enjoy it and generating interest my knee-jerk estimate is very low. Somewhere in the $2 range I think. Most people throw away more than that in the checkout aisle. 

However, nobody is gonna pay for something they aren't sure about the quality of. So I think over the next week(with any luck) I will step by step revise my previous Requiem short story and polish it up and see what kind of work I can make of it. Cause, it's really irritating me. I know it's not my best work and I have to fix that. So if anyone would be interested in my little notion or would care to explain how kindle or any other possible free publishing might work, please, let me know.

If nothing else, never hurts to polish and organize my notes. And, I desperately need the practice.

How we arrived at where we are.

I can only hazard a guess at some recent moments of nostalgia might have lead to this topic, but while wondering about a topic it appeared and flooded out.

Ask anyone who knows me personally and one thing they can probably tell you is that I am somewhat proud of my education, or rather the method by which I was educated. Now, granted, I've met countless others with degrees in technology, and I respect them deeply. I even hold a cousin in very high regard because of his own diligence and a keener mind than I he's been able to exceed my degree and garner a much more detailed understanding in communications and networking. But one thing has always set in the back of my throat, irritating me.

I chose my program, I could have tried for any number of things but I selected one particular program for a variety of reasons, but one in particular. That one prime reason was that through it I would start out at the base of things and learn everything leading up to where we are. Many Computer technicians learn some basic principles in their early classes and move on to accepted current principles, and there is nothing wrong with that, at least at a rudimentary level. However, by learning rudimentary electrical and building up to electronics and then computers I found left me with a profound understanding of things I found many colleagues lacking. For example, I have heard many a instructor proclaim; just roughly figure out what general thing is bad, i.e.- motherboard, hard drive etc, and just swap it out. While this tactic many save time, it doesn't really let you know what precisely failed or how to fix it with stuff on hand. One example of this is while engaged in a class we only had at our disposal junk parts and computers scrounged from old classes and donations. At one point a valued power supply died. Just replacing it with a new one was out of the question, so myself and a fellow student endeavored to find another solution. We managed to isolate a fuse in the power supply's crowbar circuit as my instructor referred to it and was able to solder it out and replace it with another properly rated fuse. The previous fuse had simply failed due to age. And after some careful soldering (too much heat would destroy the new fuse, very touchy) we had the power supply fixed and working. In some professions getting something back up and running no matter what is better than waiting for a new part.

After graduating I found myself more comfortable, and more determined to fix older equipment and re-purpose it. To appreciate what I had and save whatever I could. I've met others with higher end degrees, even those with similar degrees who couldn't even tell me how a PC boots. I am often flabbergasted by such simple theories some technicians are ignorant of. How do they plan on troubleshooting a problem I often wondered only to discover later on the job they don't. Too many go on to find employment as part swapping drones. I myself was even chastised on some jobs for mentioning that we actually repair equipment, or at the very least be able to tell a customer what failed and why. But I guess I fell in love with an outdated practice. Like having a teacher set something before you each day with a new challenge, like; See if you can make it run knoppix off the hard drive and dual boot xp.

It saddens me greatly that as I graduated I was among the last to do so from my program. But I take pride in what many instructors from the higher end programs said of us; "I wish more of our students were trained like you guys." Sadly I guess we no longer need to know how we made it to where we are, only what buttons we should push and what not to.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Blogged About You Naked.

I blogged about you naked.

Ha! Gotcha, made ya look. You were expecting something naughty weren't you? Silly little naughty monkeys.

But in truth some of us are setting on the eve before valentines day, looking about at the way others view the holiday. A good many of us, and I won't lie or deny my primal impulses look on such a holiday with carnal pursuits in mind. And yet for how many of us has it become such a holiday, a celebration of jewelry and flowers. Of fancy cars, expensive dresses and dinners. Of cards and grand gestures whose sole purpose is to be one single moment of the year to celebrate love, or for some baser beings an attempt to get "love."

Granted due to my situation, I have no flowers, no jewelry to adorn my love with. I can gift her with no card or elaborate and lavish gifts. I can't even take her out to a lovely dinner, nor even spend an evening alone with her. But I would like to think, that we celebrate our love in passing moments. When I go to rouse her from a nap, a gentle touch and whispered I love you replaces rose petals. When I preform some little task to ease her workload for the day I add some luster to adorn her magnificent body. The time I spend watching the kids to gift her with a few extra minutes to relax in a bath uninterrupted, well there is a lavish gown the expense of which I cannot measure.

I am far from perfect, I can never truly hope to be. I have countless faults and imperfections, but when I look into her eyes, they all melt and fade. My heart flutters and like a schoolboy I am lost to imaginary fantasy. So I guess in short, I blogged about you naked.

Ich Liebe Dich.

Note - To all readers I issue this one simple challenge; It will cost you nothing and is easy, celebrate those little moments. Enjoy the time you share together, it's free. Go ahead, I dare ya.

Blood and Scrap

As I had recently promised a dear friend, and myself, that I'd try start writing again I decided to pen a little short piece set in my Requiem universe. It's nothing grand, especially since I am horribly out of practice. The piece is perhaps influenced from my recent viewing of the Spartacus Gods of the Arena series. So I thought I might do a short gladiator missive of my own for Requiem. I hope you like it, and please, feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions on it.

Without further adieu;

Glorien, beacon of hope and sanctuary. I'd almost made it. A Type II
isn't always welcome in a lot of places, and I honestly thought I
could make it away from such persecution. I was wrong.

And now here I stand, hearing the roar of a crowd, all thirsting for
blood, or a close facsimile. Everything is becoming clear, even to
me. The Purgists have decided to make a grand display of death. My
sentence to their presumed crimes is one of execution in an arena of
sorts. Not the best odds for me, I'm no fighter, I've always been
more comfortable running the Nodes, a skill sadly to prove me little
aid now.

A dull thud, barely audible over the crowd heralds the opening of my
cell door. Must be time. With reservations I resign myself to my fate
and begin my walk out to meet my fate.

The sudden change in light required my optics to adjust suddenly. I
am now standing upon rough and bloodied dirt, surrounded by a raised
wall of spectators. Across from me stands a grey-skinned brute, at
least 7 feet tall, and my best analytics suggest approximately 245
pounds. A massive adversary to be sure, bristling with implants.
Implants. It would seem variables are beginning to favor me.

Before each of us is a short blade. It would seem both the Uraor
brute and myself had the misfortune to be on the Purgist Party's list
of entertainment today. Hefting the blade in my hand, I found it a
bit awkward, I mean it's nothing like anything I'm used to, but
unfortunately not so for the Uraor. He easily flourishes the blade in
a dazzling display, and almost pierced my outer frame had I not
rolled aside.

The Uraor moved with a fevered purpose. Slashing and thrusting all
the while roaring and dripping saliva from his tusks. My frame was
sturdy but construction alone wasn't going to save me. I tried to
parry a blow only to find my arm reverberating the shock of impact
like a tuning fork. His implants, his surge of attack had caused me
to forget. Those implants would network through rudimentary Nodes to
allow the brute to maintain his systems and if I was variables hadn't
equalized, or changed I might be able to access them.

A risky choice, splitting my attention but I have no skill with a
blade, I'd be scrap if I didn't do something. With desperation
gripping my core I quickly activated my internal cyberdeck and
attempted to isolate the particular Node acting as his central hub
for his implants. It took only a Milli-second, well actually .46 ms to
be exact but it proved enough distraction for the Uraor's blade to
tear open a section of my torso almost exposing a servo. Have to run
the nodes faster I thought, and initiated a brute force attack to
override all nodes within my vicinity.

The attack proved effective, for a split second his blade was poised
to impale my head, and then every single implanted piece of hardware
in that ranging hulk overloaded with a power surge and went dead.
Unfortunately for him he'd been devoted to the Uraor belief of
replacing everything with cybernetic components. Sadly he was more
artificial than even me. I turned to face the crowd, fearing my less
than thrilling, and possibly illegal victory would cost me my own
life. Or perhaps that neither of us would have been granted freedom.
Only to stand awestruck. I almost overloaded my processor trying to
comprehend what had occurred. My desperate tactic had proven a stroke
of, dare I vocalize it, luck.

No one must of ever considered a NodeRunner being among the prisoners
or if they had that one might have an on board deck. Either that or
the arena's location among the Rim had required the facility to use
low cost and quality equipment because apparently I had devastated all
the Nodes withing my signal's range. The force screens were down,
automated sentry cams, drones and even defenses were offline. Members
of the audience were either terrified and trying to flee or clutching
themselves as vital and ornamental implants failed them. The
surviving prisoners like myself were rushing their captors.

I was at a loss, I didn't know what to do. In the rush and confusion
however only one thing became clear; Glorien, beacon of hope and
sanctuary. I'd almost made it and instead found myself fighting for
my life. Now I was determined to get there, no matter what.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blog Genesis

A chorus breaks out every morning now in my house; "It's the Mickey Mouse Club House. Come inside it's fun inside. It's the Mickey Mouse Club House. Roll Call - Donald, Daisey, Goofy, Minnie, Pluto, Mickey!." The raw excitement on Ashes face is priceless, you can't not get excited with her.
There is somehow an inherent pure joy in something as classic as Mickey Mouse and sharing it with your kids. Now I dunno about anyone else but I can't help but enjoy watching such shows with my kids. I also can't help but notice that of all 4 of my kids, not a one, not a single one complains or argues over watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. No small feat I can assure you.  

Well, as this is my new blog, and I am a blog virgin, I suppose I should take a moment to make a plan of sorts. But in truth, all I can say is this will probably grow into a (hopefully) regular blog for my thoughts, random insights/musings etc. And as such I can guarantee no stable structure or topic as I am hopelessly cursed with an endless flood of topics that besiege my noodle at any given time. With that said, I hope you will join me on my little expedition, I dunno where we'll end up, but your welcome to come inside, cause hey, it's fun inside.