Category Archives: From the Vault

I Come Late to the Party, with but Scraps to my Name

As inadequate as the public schooling system often seems to me, it has done quite a skillful job of forcing my nose to the grindstone these past weeks. As an unfortunate side effect, I have failed to prepare anything for Ishana’s Resplendence Winter Writing Project. Wanting neither to give up nor miss this checkpoint entirely, I tried twice in the last few hours to concoct a scene from either of my two latest story ideas, but both are still far too immaterial to give me something to show off. Terrible, really.

Buuut, I had a fallback. I’m too tired to meticulously link to all the posts and comments on my blog and others where I’ve spoken of my first NaNoWriMo attempt, but I’m sure you’ve all heard of it at least once. In scrambling through my writing folders, I kept passing over the one still uncreatively labelled ‘Epyk’ [sic]. But a few checks short of wit’s end, I finally conceded to give it a look. I brought up my old manuscript, copied the first chapter over to a new document, tweaked it in the places where it was most starkly terrible, and popped it onto Google Docs. It stars Saryin and Felwin, in case you’re familiar with them. Now you can read it…

Here.

Don’t take this to mean I’ve decided to take on my old manuscript as my Winter Writing Project, but don’t take it to mean I haven’t, either. I really can’t have much of an idea of anything until I can dump all the first semester school stuff from my head in about two weeks. We’ll see, I suppose.

Shard

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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

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…

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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

From the Vault – Wrylna Part 1: Howling at the Moon

Target sighted.

Locking…

Target lock:positive.

Assessing armaments…

Firing ARC-7980 missiles, delta formation.

Remaining ammunition: 17/25 units.

WARNING. Incoming heat source.

Identification positive: RYD-6309 missiles, FORMATION CODE ERROR.

Assessing damage potential…

Damage potential beyond nominal operating parameters.

Backing up vital system information…

Reconfiguring defense systems…

System backup complete.

Defensive configuration: 36.82 percent…

Defensive augmentation: 122 percent.

Calculating ETA of enemy ordinance…

0.32 seconds.

Defensive configuration: 84..perWARceNING ERRnOtR

Shuttingdoow.ow.ow.n…nonv.v..vi.tal.sy…stems…

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WELCOME TO WRYLNA

Accessing OS…

This system was shut down erroneously. Please avoid this in the future. Have a nice day.

WARNING. Errors have been detected in the following areas of this unit: OPERATING SOFTWARE  MEMORY FILES  TRIANGULATION SYSTEMS  LOCOMOTIVE HARDWARE  MANIPULATIVE HARDWARE  AUDIO SENSORS  WEAPONS SYSTEMS

AN ERROR OCCURRED WHEN ATTEMPTING TO RUN OPERATING SYSTEM. ENGAGING AUXILIARY SYSTEM…

AUXILIARY SYSTEM LOCATED.

MULTI PERCEPTIVE AUTONOMOUS UNIT ALPHA-02

MPAUA-02 ENGAGED.

—————————————————————————————

Energy flowed from the auxiliary core to the optical sensors. The right sensor was shattered, but a dull red glow shone from the left. The red light illuminated a small patch of ground, but everything else was dark.

Attempting to engage NOX-03 optical filter…

ERROR.

The machine thought nothing of this, as such things were beyond its capabilities. It would seem, however, that the energy slowly spreading through it disagreed. Analytical systems came to life, and the machine slowly regained awareness…

Attempting to access previous sensory logs…

ERROR. System logs not found. However, system data indicates previous activation. Please take your unit to a registered technician to correct any internal inconsistencies. Have a nice day.

The machine could not remember, and it could not move. A quick assessment revealed that its neck servos continued to function. It raised its head. Staring down from above were thousands of lights, all surrounding a single, massive light. This light loomed overhead, all-seeing and white like…white like…ERROR.

Cognitive system error. Disabling system for correction…

The mind had gone dead before the machine even consciously registered the error. The lights above flew away as the neck servos went limp. The red glow flickered and extinguished…

TO BE CONTINUED…

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I’m just throwing this out here for now, it’s part one of an unfinished story that I posted on this blog back in its first iteration two years ago. Most of my writing was washed away in subsequent reboots, mostly to the tune of “nobody’s reading these, nobody’s commenting, I’m going to put them away”. Times have changed, so I see no harm in airing it once more. I wrote four parts, but even if I post them all I can make no promise of a continuation, since the little that was mapped out before has probably all but faded in my mind by now. Very little of it is anything but machine diagnostics, and it’s my writing ability from roughly two years ago, but tell me what you think! I’ll probably dredge up more of my old stories, and with any luck get to writing new ones, in the near future.

Shard

From the Vault: What’s in a Name?

I’ve once again wasted away the day with Pendragon and television, so I’ll give you guys another taste of that which lurks within the vault. Today I bring you a short post on the various ways that the word ‘name’ can be anagrammatised, stemming from the question, “What’s in a name?” Let’s find out, shall we?
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Original Title: What’s in a name?
What’s in a name?

Amen – The end of a prayer.

Mane – Ring of fur on the neck of a lion[or other such animal].

Mean – What one is trying to convey, or the opposite of kind.

E-Nam – A war fought in by every E-veteran worth his salt[Romans,salary, paid in salt. THE MORE YOU KNOW.] . Nowadays, all the n00bs just fight in E-Raq…

E-Man – Something you can’t call yourself unless you fought in E-Nam.

Mena – Swedish for ‘to mean or convey’. Also, a convenient misspelling or mean.

Nema – It’s an ‘urban-type settlement’ in Russia. Go figure.

N a m e – What you get when you read between the lines.

Name – a special version of name that only drunk people can see[slightly blatantly stolen from the webcomic Questionable Content…].

Mnea – Okay, now you’re just making things up!

So now you know, just what is in a name. Until next time,

Shard
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Dude, you left out the word name itself…. Nice one. If you guys have anything else to say about what’s in a name, leave it in the comments. That’s all for now.

Shard

From the Vault: Putting the ‘C4’ in Cetacean

Well, like I said, I’m gonna dredge up remnants of the old blog for use here. The first of these is a post about the aforementioned exploding whale. It was originally published on November 12th, 2008. Oh, and because it’s outdated, I have made adjustments in editor’s brackets [ ‘[‘ and ‘]’, for the uninformed] where necessary.
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Original title: YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL! Read the rest of this entry