Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Last Bastions Fall, and I begin my Descent into Madness

As I write this, the last hour of October is already half gone. I can feel the ominous chill foretelling the midnight dawn of November. Soon, the insanity will wake before I even lay to rest. For the next month I will reside in a dark place, a place governed solely by words. Scribbled on the walls, the floors, the tables, everywhere.

For those who haven’t gathered yet, I’m talking about NaNoWriMo! Yes, it is thither that I will reside for the next month. If by some strange happenstance I appear here, rest assured that it will be in the form of some irrecognizable monstrosity. But as my last vestiges of sanity abandon me, I’ll wish good luck to my comrades-at-arms, some of whom are already lost in the Novembrance, Ishana, Thaumaturgist, and Ralph/Emitar. Good luck, friends, and safe passage! But now the sands tick away, and the darkness calls to me. Down, downward I fly. Down, downward I fall.

Shard

Advertisements

CreateSpace Dangles the Carrot Yet Again, and by Carrot I mean Novel

That’s right, CreateSpace is offering once again to give succesful NaNovelists a proof copy of their novel for free. Gratis! This is so exciting. I’m excited. The incentive was so strong last year, I was almost tempted to fill in 30 000 words of lorem ipsum after my novel failed after 20 000 words. But I didn’t, and I’m glad. A hollow victory is no fun, and I’d hate to spoil my first novel with those sorts of soured memories.

But that’s last year. This year, this year will be different, I say! I’m gonna finish my novel, and get that proof copy. For sure, this time*.

Shard

*surety subject to change without notice. But I hope not.

Ghost Squirrels, Apparently!

The Squirrels are back...:O)))

Image by law_keven via Flickr

Taking a break from my recent spree of inactivity, I decided to take up the writing prompt from Ishana’s latest post. The end result turned out a little poetic, maybe.
————————-

The beast wakes to its usual surroundings. Darkness, not even much of an inconvenience. The night is quiet, its serenity broken only occasionally by traffic outside. But that scent…The scent beckons once again. The beast ventures forth, insubstantial paws pattering noiselessly across the tiles and up the walls.

It passes in front of the window, gleaming silver in the moonlight. Not an Earthly silver, but the ethereal silver of transient whispers of existance. But no one is watching, and the beast is certainly not inclined to vanity, even in its prior life.

Inside the box, the smell grows exponentially in both magnitude and sweetness. It lies just ahead, masked by some tasteless shell. A deterrent for simpler creatures, perhaps. But the beast scurries forward, well-versed in its tricks.

But tonight is different. Tonight the beast slammed against a barrier where none before had impeded it. There was a sound, like laughter, and suddenly the beast was falling. Falling, falling, as if from a height too high for it to comprehend. Falling, falling…

By morning there was nothing left, save for a few vapors diffusing into the dawn.

Shard

Their, They’re, Everything is Alright

Stephen Fry is awesome, and I figured you guys could appreciate the message of this video:

For the record, I did not know the difference between disinterested and uninterested. NOW I KNOW, and knowing is half the battle.

Shard

Wrylna PSYCHE-OUT

I was going to hurry and post the fourth part of Wrylna before I went to bed, but looking at it I realized that it needs actual work, unlike the minor tweaking I gave to the other parts. I’ll overhaul it over the next day or so, and then roll it out.

Shard

Saryin and Felwin – An Excercise in Characterization

Like a promised, tonight I’m posting my alternate take on this post sans machina. Not quite, though, as I guess I kept the van? I cut Wrylna out, in any case. I like to think that this piece is better than the other one, since I wrote it from memory, which included tweaking it, instead of transcribing the original. But enough of my prattling, on with the story! Read the rest of this entry

RSS Alert!

Just a quick note to anyone who might be subscribed to the site’s RSS feed: apparently, due to me unpublishing and then republishing them, none out of the three Wrylna chapters has appeared in the RSS. If you’ve been missing out up until now, get caught up!

That is all, good night.

Shard

From the Vault – Wrylna 3: Mistaken Identity

Saryin stared up at the ceiling lazily, counting the fading stars through tiny holes. Sharamancy truly changed the world, he reflected, but nothing ever came with a manual. The light slowly starting to creep across the floor told him that dawn had come once more.

A few feet away, Felwin sat at the controls, attempting with futility to safely navigate past the bumps in the road. Sharamancy truly changed the world, he reflected, but nothing was ever that easy. The oh so familiar shade of blue in the sky told him that it was his brother’s turn to drive.
“Saryin. Drive.”
“Can I get some food first?”
“No. You’ve been awake for almost an hour, I could tell from your breathing.”
“If I didn’t know you better, I’d swear you just made that up.”
“Hilarious. Drive.”
“Okay, okay. I’m going. You don’t need to remind me what happened last time…” Read the rest of this entry

Tweaks to the Sidebar, Evidence of Evolution?

wrench

Image via Wikipedia

[Feel free to panic, this is post about the site itself instead of something interesting! The nerve of me. Stay tuned for the next chapter of Wrylna later tonight, though.]

Several months ago, I put forth the statement that “Things ain’t never always happening all up in this business“. That statement is even more true than it was back then, and my blog has spontaneously evolved to suit this new environment. Am I talking about yet another new theme? Not quite, that’s still under construction. But in the meantime, I fixed up the sidebar! Read the rest of this entry

From the Vault – Wrylna Part 2: Perceptive Malfunction

Re-initializing cognitive systems…

WARNING. Unauthorized hardware modifications detected. Please contact a registered technician for hardware modifications.  Have a nice day.

This warning flashed in the corner of its view. Hardware modifications. Had someone repaired him?

>Inquiry – hardware specifications.

Processing…

Design schematic: WRYLNA Unit type 0 prototype

Torso: Aegis type S variable form armor

Locomotive systems: Unknown design. Type: Bipedal UNAUTHORIZED MODIFICATION

Manipulative systems: Unknown design. Type: Humanoid standard UNAUTHORIZED MODIFICATION

Armament systems: Not found UNAUTHORIZED MODIFICATION

Sensory systems: Argus type A multi-sensory package, Hermes type C surveillance unit

Primary power source: Zeus electric generator, status: 24.31% DAMAGED

Secondary power source: Apollo type A solar generator, status: 100% INOPERATIVE

Tertiary power source: Unknown design. Type:ERROR, status:Unknown UNAUTHORIZED MODIFICATION

>Inquiry – operational assessment: Locomotive systems, manipulative systems

Processing…

WARNING. Requested systems are operational. However, these systems are unauthorized modifications of this WRYLNA unit. We are not responsible for any damages or injury incurred through the use of unauthorized modifications. Continue? Y/N

He considered attempting to stand, but thought better of it. He had a better idea.

>Inquiry – Operational assessment: Surveillance unit

Processing…

Hermes type C surveillance unit

Manufacturer: CLASSIFIED

Propulsion: Rotary-based

Armaments: 3.6 CM Cernwennan dagger x1

White phosphorus grenade x1

Additional equipment:Argus type B audiovisual sensory package

Aeolus type D tracking device

Icarus Type B auto-incendiary device

Power source: Apollo type B small device solar generator, Status: 98.26%

Additional notes: Programmed to self-detonate upon capture.

>Launch surveillance unit, manual operation.

Processing…

Preparing to launch…

Hermes type C unit, launched.

His vision went dark, and then fuzzy as his viewing switched from the full type A sensor package in his head to the inferior type B package in the surveillance unit. The unit was neutrally buoyant in the air, but he wasn’t sure how to move.

>Inquiry – Locate information. Search parameters: Hermes, C, Manual, Operation

Processing…

ERROR. The directories for the requested information link to corrupted sectors. Please see a registered technician for a hard drive defragmentation immediately. Have a nice day.

All he could do was float helplessly in the air. The Hermes type C was a standard issue, mass-production unit. An angular ovaloid shape adorned with two wings, housing the propellers and plated with solar panels. The main body contained the sensory package, a switchblade-esque mechanism for the Cernwennan, the power core, and a chamber for the WP grenade. The AI, who had begun to think of himself as Wrylna, was searching through files for operation data. It wasn’t long before he stumbled across something.

>Inquiry – Define: Proteus system

Processing…

The following is classified information. Please input passcode to access.

>ELEUSIS

Passcode accepted. Retrieving information…

PROTEUS SYSTEM: Prototype adaptive vehicular operation system for use in WRYLNA units. Designed for use in conjunction with pending aggressive AI transferring systems. Testing results show 87.92% success rate with facilitated transfers. Potential for field utilization: Yellow. Do not attempt utilization in high-risk situations.

There was no risk here, and he was a WRYLNA unit…

>Initialize Proteus system

This data is classified. Please input passcode to access.

>ELEUSIS

Passcode accepted. Initializing system…

Wrylna was aware as the Proteus system activated. It scanned the surveillance unit and began to compile the necessary operational data. He slowly gained control over the unit. He drifted slowly upwards, towards the sky. What awaited him was truly bizarre…

It was a field of grass, blue-green blades blowing in the wind, but it had obviously been a battlefield, long ago. Rusted armor showed the forms of humanoids and their quadruped mounts long since turned to dust. Far fewer than these remains were the mechanical remnants, rusted and grown over in places. Some of the units looked as though they had been twisted or changed by some force…

He suddenly became aware of movement within his field of detection. Something large was approaching, its form obscured by the rising sun behind it. >Activate alert mode. Tactical maneuvers, return to core unit, he thought.

He spiraled downwards through the air, carefully zigzagging enough to avoid fire but not so much to attract attention. The Hermes landed in a slot in the main unit’s back, locking in place and engaging the AI transfer. As his perception moved into the main unit, he sensed an approaching rumbling. >Initialize systems: locomotive, manipulative, armament. MAXIMUM OVERRIDE: ELEUSIS.

He sprang forward with his arms, flipped into a standing position, and came to a crouching position next to a leafless tree. At his mental command, the Cernwennan disengaged from its compartment for him to wield. He realized that his new limbs were surprisingly responsive, despite their unclear origins.

>Initiate HMRA-01 optical filter

A dark filter went over his eyes, even though only one eye was functional. With this he could see the approaching form with greater clarity. >Gigantes system, 5x. Under this magnification, he could discern an angular shape, likely a transport vehicle. A number of indiscernible shapes jutted out from it at odd angles, weapons perhaps.

>Inquiry – Operational assessment: Aegis type S armor.

Processing…

Aegis type S variable armor

Standard configuration:100.00%

Defensive configuration:84.07%

Offensive configuration:47.63%

High mobility configuration:08.11%

>Initialize defensive configuration

Reconfiguring defense systems…

Configuration complete

WARNING. A configuration error occurred at point(s): LEFT SHOULDER  Please report to a registered technician immediately to rectify the situation. Have a nice day.

A weak point on what was now his good side was a bad thing. A very bad thing. Looking around, he spotted a rusted pauldron with a scrap of dark fabric trailing from it. As he reached for it, a subconscious magnetic force reached out from his arm and it flew into his hand. The same force activated when he brought the pauldron up to his shoulder. He once again found himself realizing that these limbs were quite useful. With another wielding of this power, he grabbed a helmet to protect his good optic and hide the other. Now looking almost like a knight, he ducked behind the tree and prepared to face the rapidly oncoming form…

WARNING.Energy levels critical. Switching to secondary power source.Projected timeline for continued operation, 387.52 seconds.Please go to the nearest registered charging utility immediately. Have a nice day.

TO BE CONTINUED…

————————————————————————————–

Here’s part two of the story. This section steadily moves more from machine speak to actions. Some strange things also start to become apparent. Who is this robot? Who -or what- modified him from his broken form? And most importantly, what is now rumbling toward his hiding place? You’ll find the answers to one or fewer of these questions in the next chapter of Wrylna. I will note, though, that there are two versions of part 3. The original version, which logically follows this story, and a separate, similar version that I wrote to be completely devoid of Wrylna and the battlefield. I’ll probably end up posting both, so we’ll see. I also wrote a commentary for parts 1 and 2, so I might post that sooner than later. In any case, look forward to it!

Shard