Thursday, July 9, 2009


The Grass is tall, green and yellow, and reminds HK-42 of something - long ago and far away. The late afternoon sky overhead is still blue, but the horizon is flecked in purple and yellow - hinting at the glorious sunset to come. HK-42 has never stopped to watch a sunset. It spends 3.583 nanoseconds thinking about the fact that it has never once watched the sun set over the horizon.
It is holding a sniper rifle. A DC-15x with a modified scope designed to reduce glare and a higher tuned plasma injector designed to cause more damage upon a successful impact. It has also been modified to become collapsable.
Where the hell am I? HK-42 thinks to itself. It looks through the site of the DC-15x. In the distance, just within range of the rifle, an infant Twi-lek cradles in its mother's arms. As it rocks, back and forth, soothed no doubt by its mother's heartbeat or the sound of her voice, microgyros in HK-42's Action Appendages compensate almost "subconsciously," his aim correcting itself and maintaining sight of the child.

She - she thinks of herself as a her, and she is built to reflect this, which seems convenient - stands over the cowering human. The small but sinister vibroblade hums quietly to itself in her clenched hand. Suddenly, she is aware of its thirst for the human's blood. It is a thing made for killing. A thing to be feared. She wonders why she has not put it down yet.
The human whimpers, "p-please don't do it."
"Excuse me, Mistress," the droid leans a little to better present herself to the quivering sentient, "I seem to have forgotten why I am here."
In the eternity it seems to take the human to respond, BD-3108 first imagines to itself that this must be what waking from a memory wipe feels like. Then she wonders what it is to imagine, and why she appears to be doing it.
A strange and wonderful spark flickers through her KRSTA-Line X4 Heuristic Processor and she realizes that there is a humanoid standing in the next room. A 1.91 meter tall humanoid of the species Zabrak. He is going to enter the room in .8 seconds; but already she feels the anger hanging on him like the cloud of smoke produced by the deathstick in his hand.
"Blasted droid," he curses, flicking the deathstick at the bound and cowering human on the floor, "I told you to take care of this, now do it." He kicks the crying woman and storms out of the room.
"And clean up the mess when you're done," he calls behind him when he reaches the apartment door, "I'll be out."
BD-3108 contemplates its situation for a moment, then leans in to the human again, "I apologize for my ignorance. Would you mind telling me just what it is he wishes me to do?"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Butterfly in the sky....

I hung out with some friends today. We ate some decent Chinese Food and reveled in the mediocrity that is Paul Blart: Mall Cop - a movie so stupid, and so horribly put together, that I just couldn't help myself from saying, "this movie is GREAT!"

It really was not, though. The love-intrest was cute; and there were a handful of gags that made me laugh - but not nearly so many as didn't. And most of what made me laugh was unintentional (like these total ninja badasses deciding to pull off a mall heist instead of - oh, I don't know - something that would actually make them some money?)

It's not an avoid at all costs kind of movie; but it was by no means any good.

Back home, and reading - taking a break for you, my semi-interested fans; because I needed to take a break; and I promised myself I would.

Total Recall (important link) is on in the background. It's so f'n crazy how good this movie isn't. I don't know why I can't not watch it every frickin' time it's on.

What I'm reading right now.

Well, maybe not right now; but right now in the general sense of approximately at this time, but maybe a little while ago, or in a few minutes. And not all at once. Holy crap would that get confusing.

Amanda K. Campbell is my buddy's wife. Aside from being a smoking hottie (um... wait - watch what you say, her husband hangs out here sometimes) - she's quite an entertaining writer. I was looking at her LiveJournal today. I love her tags organization.

Dead Until Dark is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse books - the Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 1, to be exact. Since the True Blood series is so much more fun than that Twilight Abortion (seriously, what do you people see in that shit?), I thought these would be a better read than whatever literary swill Stephenie Meyer managed to vomit out onto the page.

That's unfair. I have a massive ego; and I get really touchy when people that ego makes me believe couldn't hold a candle, are doing so much better than I am primarily because I haven't got off my ass and done it yet. Really, despite what it says about people on the whole, I wish her all the best.

Should I be striving to attain mediocrity so that I'll make the money?

Unlimited Power - Anthony Robbins. It's amazing to me how much of his stuff consists of things we already know, but just haven't acted on. And I'm noticing - the more I act on these things, the more useful they seem, even if they're not going to make my life a fairy tale.

Garfield Minus Garfield is one of the best web comics out there. It's on my daily check for an update list along with XKCD, Penny Arcade, Dinosaur Comics, The Adventures of Dr McNinja, VG Cats, Sinfest (quite possibly the greatest comic of all evers), The Perry Bible Fellowship (which doesn't really update, but hit the Random link), 6 or 7 Popes, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Alien Loves Predator, and Russell's Teapot (which hasn't updated in Years; but is well worth the read unless you're a christian).

The Equinox, Volume 1 Number 1. I'm actually re-reading this... again. You cannot comprehend how difficult it is to kneel (or even sit) perfectly still for an hour or more until you've actually tried it. I am regularly tempted of late to say it's just impossible. But The Magic Glasses is really good story.

Okay... I'm done now. Gaming calls - and I am it's bitch. I'm also reading the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition. I wonder if the guys would be interested in playing a party of droids. How about a Hard-Wired Heroes Campaign? Droid Pirates? I really think I've got a good beginning, middle & end for that idea. Hey now! Gotsta go-

Sunday, July 5, 2009

05:14 - The Saint George Tavern

Continued from 00:01 - From the Journal of Simon Mercy.

The two men who entered through the back door seemed right at home among the early evening crowd of the St. George Tavern. The first was thin, wearing blue jeans and a faded black t-shirt - on the front, two skeletons screw against an atomic blast backdrop. This charming image was encircled with the epithet "Born to Kill, Not to Care." Despite his long, black hair, he was clean shaven - if not for the color of his skin, pale and dusty, he might have been Native American.

Behind him came the shorter of the two men. Dirty and disheveled, and dressed in layers of tattered clothing with a long, scraggly beard and wild, unkempt hair; this man wore a great big smile on his face, showing half a dozen missing teeth. He chuckled at odd, inappropriate moments.

"Tha's a good'un, newfish," he said at the first's back. "I been stutterin' about in the seventies for four or five years now."

The first man turned around for a moment. "The name's Simon," he replied, "Simon Mercy."

"That's what I thought," the older man snorted, staring for a moment at the bowling game in the corner. Simon continued on up to the bar.

"What're you drinking, old man," he asked; but his companion was still watching the video game. He turned back to the bartender. "Give me two scotches - Black Label, on the rocks," he glanced back at the old man, "better make them doubles - and follow 'em up with two more when we're done. I don't know when we're leaving, so I'll settle up for all four right now."

The bartender gave him his first two drinks, which he carried to a booth right near where -
dammit, he thought at the old man, straining his will, what is your name?

The old man closed his eyes for a moment, he pinched the bridge of his nose as if he had a headache. Then he straightened and sat down with Simon.

"You don't gotta' do that," he said. "It hurts my eyes when you do that. And the name's Roland Southwick, by the way. What are we drinking?" He took a deep swig of the scotch and smiled wide. "A man after my own heart."

"I've never met -" Simon started, "what I mean is -"

"What you mean is, you seen me shining like a beacon back there on the Rue duh sandjack and didn't know what to make o' me, huh?"

"Basically, yeah."

Roland leaned in close to the wide-eyed Simon, "You ain't never met another one then, huh?"

Simon sipped his scotch, "I haven't. I thought maybe I was the only one. The first maybe."

Roland stifled a snort, "well," he replied, "you might be at that. How - uh - how long you figure you've been at it," he waved a hand in the air, "
extending I mean?"

Extending, huh?" Simon took out his iPhone and looked through his notes. "Eight months."

"You're just a baby! You even get out of your lifeline yet? Nevermind, don't answer that - and don't ask me about - you'll figure it out or you won't.

"This is too much," he continued, draining the rest of his scotch as he went, "I only called ya' a newbie to rile yer' goat. I didn't think you really was one. Shit, boy? You stutter yet?"


"Aw, fuck me sideways," the bartender interrupted Roland's exclamation with the second round, clearing the first glasses as he did so.

"Shit, Simon," Roland rubbed at his beard, scratched his neck and took a quick glance around the bar, "let's go somewhere quiet. Gimme' your hand and pick out a nice lonely spot where we can talk like men."

Simon took the old man's hand and the two of them vanished.

It was like they stopped being there. As though they'd never been. The glasses were gone, the water spots from their drinks were gone, the seats weren't even warm. The only remnant of their visit was a little less scotch in the bottle, a little more cash in the till, and two missing rocks glasses that might've been broken the night before.

I Wanna...

I want to live in New Zealand for at least a year.
Ever since I saw the first behind the scenes special about Xena (it might have been Hercules); I've wanted to travel to New Zealand. And after all that extra crap on the Super-Awesome-Extra-Long Lord of the Rings DVDs (You know - the one with about 3 years worth of special features) - forget about it.
I want to go there and eat the food and jump off the cliffs and swim in the water and skydive and hang-glide and meet a half-dozen hot Kiwi babes (or just one perfect one).

Even though it probably means you have to go through this long, looong period of obscurity or whatever, that must be - just - wow. What kind of dance do you suppose Charlaine Harris did when she found out her books were being optioned by HBO?

I want to use my brain to surf the internet (but I don't want to be paralyzed to do it).
Just... I mean - with those contact lenses that have little displays on them (like overlays on your vision) and bluetooth-like advances, coupled with this technology - we're all going to be wired all the time and it's going to be awesome. I can't wait. We're all going to be neuromancers in a post-whatever cyberpunk dystopia. Or utopia if you happen to be a sci-fi geek with enough money for the wetware. :P

My ideal mate is a gamer, she's fit (or trying to be), she's a little bit goofy, much smarter than me (okay, that's not too difficult), she's a vegan (or at least a veggie), as easy-going spiritually & religiously as I am, and not too hung up on the fact that my primary aspiration in life is to be a writer (which probably means I will be broke for a good long while). She also shouldn't mind my horrible taste in movies.

I want to keep going, but I have to go to work.

(also, Lucy Lawless was rockin' that leather bikini, wasn't she?)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

00:01 - From the Journal of Simon Mercy

[I can't get this out of my system, so I'm going to try again. First few posts may be repetitive for some of you.]

I don't know why I'm writing this. It's not like the first Traveler who stumbles across it isn't going to erase it. If that's you, whoever you are - I know the rules; but I had to do something. I had to say something. I couldn't just let... well. You know what I'm talking about.

[Edit: In point of fact, I do know what the author - who's name, by the way is Simon Mercy - is talking about. Also, I've decided not to erase this work - though it will mean my death, just as surely as it does for Mercy.]

The most difficult thing I ever had to do was accept the fact that I am no longer human.

No. That's not right. That was the first hurdle, really. What I had to do was accept the fact that I am not human. At least - not human, the way most people think human.

It's harder than it looks. These hands - they are not me. This breath - is not me. I am not the sights and sounds and smells and tastes and feelings that come in at me from the universe. I am neither the receiver of these impulses, nor the reactions they elicit. I am not this bag of flesh and bone and water; hell - I am not the molecules and atoms and smaller particles that form around me and force me to see the through this so-limiting filter.

I can't articulate this very well. Like I said, it took me almost a decade to figure it out. All that time, I wondered, "why isn't there a manual for this? Why isn't there - even just a flow-chart or something to show me how to get there? Because you just can't do it. If you understand it, then you will understand it when you see it. If you do not understand it, it - well - it cannot be explained.

Sad truth is, movie-maker George Lucas came closest with the line in his film,
The Empire Strikes Back when the old Jedi Master, Yoda said, "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

That comes close - but then, of course - misses the mark by miles. I feel bad for even trying to explain it. I guess the reason for the ban on teaching is this confusion. The depression that threatens to set upon me and give me

Let me change gears.

The first time I knowingly crossed paths with another Traveler was in 1978. Shortly before I managed to break what I call "the 8th Barrier." His name was Roland. He was an odd kinda' guy with a long, scraggly beard and wild Einstein hair.

I was at a small cafe in Paris, France - enjoying the company of a beautiful, young
fille, whose name escapes me now. I just looked up for a moment, and saw him, he looked like a homeless man, begging for liquer money - it was like looking at the sun, he was so brilliant. He was looking at me and smiling.

Christ, I thought, is that what I look like?

Madeleine. The girl's name was Madeleine. I excused myself, telling her again how mind-boggling beautiful she was, and I'd be right back, and I walked away from her forever. Oh, sure, I could go back. I may get drunk enough, or lonely enough to do it still; but right now she is this perfect, beautiful, young goddess - and nothing can tarnish that truth. If... shit - when I go back to her, she becomes something new. She becomes human. Limited. Flawed. Real. I'll hold on to the goddess a while longer. But I'm off-track again.

Roland is homeless. And he is begging for liquor money. I give him $100, U.S.; and we duck into a tavern half-way around the world.

This may take some explaining.

On Writing & the General Failure of a Man out of his Element

I recently overcame what I considered to be a major obstacle in the writing of the Grimm book; and I was surprised at how easily that allowed me (today) to slide right back into the flow of the story.

Basically, I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and started thinking about all the ways I thought the story was failing, and what I would need to do to get around (or plow through) those shortcomings. It, admittedly, began with a glimmer of an idea I had while working; but once I started, it flowed out of me like - well, that's kind of crass.

It is entirely plausible that I am back on track and the first book (that I'm going to publish) should be ready to farm out to publishers (and agents?) before Halloween. Maybe a lot sooner.

In other news: a recent personality profile I was labeled, The Observer - hit the nail on the head in new (and somewhat sobering) ways:

It's possible that you have tremendous knowledge, gained through the analysis of books, movies, games, and scientific research. You probably know far more than men who are more successful with women, but you can't seem to find opportunities to display your intellect and talent. One of your major obstacles is your inability to take action, which prevents you from accomplishing your social goals.

You can occasionally be found at the back of a social event clutching your drink and perhaps looking busy. You sometimes feel afraid to get out on the dance floor, or even to speak to strangers. You may watch your friends cavort on tables or drink body shots with women while you quietly nurse your drink. Often, you find yourself standing on the sidelines watching others have all the fun.

Maybe there are times when you can't even muster the courage to get out of the house just for the opportunity to meet that special someone. You are generally considered shy. Fear of rejection and validation keep you in your invisible Plexiglas box. You have a strong desire to be liked and accepted by others, but you have a tendency to not put your self on the line, thus closing your self off to the very thing you so desperately seek.

There you are, sitting on a park bench as life passes you by. Your mind races constantly measuring the temperature of the situation to see if it's OK yet to dive in and take a social swim. Meanwhile, as you are sitting there, at least a dozen beautiful opportunities pass you by. At least you get to admire their backsides. As Grace Hopper said, "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." Time to start living your life to the fullest.

I don't feel, now, as cooped-up inside as - say - a year ago; but it's still the starting point. I'm amazed when I evaluate my life how far I went, and how far I've fallen. It would be depressing if I wasn't learning how discomfort causes us to act.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm not writing... but I should be.

There are a half-dozen things I've been letting get ahead of me instead of writing.

I've played this game a few thousand times. I've beat it twice. I have no clue why I keep coming back for more. Because it's there maybe? I don't want to say that, though - I wouldn't want to compare something as stupid as playing a repetitive video game with - say, climbing a mountain.

Right now, though, I'm trying to get all 100 spray tags, 100% on Pimp, Paramedic, Fireman, and Vigilante missions, 100% with girlfriends, and all the little side-quests (including taking over the whole city for Grove Street - GSF for Life!).

I missed about two seasons - right in the middle of this awesome show (I forgot how damn cute Wade was - pic very relevant). I saw how it started & I saw how it ended; but I missed the whole middle part.

Thanks to the devil-aliens at Hulu, I'm up to and through the first third of Season Three. 's pretty great.

In all fairness to the giantest of all gurus; I wouldn't be trying to write a novel (and get it published by the end of the year) if it wasn't for Anthony Robbin's Get the Edge Series. It's probably why I'll be updating this regularly; but I'm like some kind of self-help junkie. I can't stop listening to this stuff, doing the exercises - applying what I'm learning. Getting my shit together - all that.

Your Mom (nsfw - it's just tasteless porn; and not even good porn)
She's nowhere near as hot as Sabrina Lloyd; but she'll do. Do whatever the hell I tell her to get her fix. Oh! That little whore*.

I've got three or four potentially great ideas for five or six games/campaigns. Really neat ideas - basically things I don't have the energy (or conviction) to write; but think the guys would really enjoy. I spend a lot of time writing notes, scenarios & synopsis for these - plus the half-dozen ideas that come to me every few days.

It's kind of late now, but my plan is to put a couple thousand words on the page tomorrow morning.

*Okay, that bit was uncalled for and I apologize.

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