June 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
The name of the planet was a particularly elaborate sequence of electrical patterns. If you happened to be one of the beings called Taklarsaza by the Harrakar (the word means Not a spider made of metal) you would understand that vague electricity to have special meaning. It indicated the huge birth ocean that had been grown there over the course of thousands of years, a seething pool of chemicals that created the reactions that, in time, could grow a mass of germanium, selenium, and iron which one day could be called a life form.
In the distant past, the Taklarsaza had met other entities. One group of beings even managed to replicate their speech. But for the most part, the Taklarsaza found life offensive, especially when life didn’t look like them. They themselves were alive, as they defined it. Not much else was. To acknowledge a life form was problematic for them. They honestly had a hard time understanding that beings made of a different kind of elements were beings, and moreover, they were often sickened at the idea. Things that moved, brought atmosphere into themselves, secreted complex molecules – these were not things the Taklarsaza wanted to be alive. Imagine being forced to talk to something made up of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen, because they could not.
Above their largest and most populous world – not the home of the first Birth Ocean, from which their distant ancestors had twitched their way forth, but the greatest of their efforts to make more and spread throughout space – they had strung hundreds of artificial constructions, elaborately beautiful lattices of metallic antimony and various silicates that reached out into the local gravity web of the entire solar system surrounding them. With these, they believed they were capable of reading all distortions in space around their world. False stars, they gleamed in the skies above the floating metallic islands that dotted the surface of their liquid methane mother.
Unfortunately for them, they could not detect distortions in space when there were no distortions. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
An idea I had a few years ago. It’s written in RPG supplement form but with no rules as such included, so feel free to adapt it to whatever game you like. If you do use it, a few cents in the PayPal tip jar would be appreciated, but not required. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
The ground exploded into fragments, some barely the size of a grain of rice. Some almost the size of a hand made into a fist.
Kyrian Hallatiris Harrakar directed a will that clawed at the inside of his skull, feral with rage and disgust, and hammered the earth beneath the metallic beings tendril-legs with enough force to crack a mountain. They didn’t even have time to discharge the objects in their grasp. Kyrian could see the ions leaking from them, knew them to likely be electrical discharge weapons. He did not care nor have to care.
He made a completely unnecessary gesture and the fragments of rock and cemented terrain, of ceramic and metal, all halted in their rain from the air. Cast into the sky by his initial attack, the particles and fragments now tumbled in the air but did not descend. In the featureless, spike clad headpiece of his living metal brother, his armor, his friend only his seething green fire eyes were visible. They flashed.
The tumbling debris suddenly lurched forward. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of projectiles, snapped forward at supersonic speeds, accompanied by the noise of the sound barrier breaking thousands upon thousands of times in a second. Fifty seven of the metal spiders, the Taklarsaza, that had managed to avoid the explosion of his initial attack were unable to avoid the rain of bullets created out of it. Their inner fluids crystallized as they were suddenly exposed to air. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
I can’t pretend I wasn’t warned or that I didn’t see what alcohol does to people first hand. There are a lot of heavy drinkers in my family. Both my mother and my father drank, as did many of their relatives. I don’t know if I can be called an alcoholic. I didn’t stop drinking because I hit rock bottom, sought out a higher power, or what have you. I simply stopped. I was about 29 and I stopped, and even today I couldn’t tell you why I stopped.
Before I stopped, however, I consumed. I was consumed, too. In fact, alcohol ate a lot of me before I was through with it.
My memory is rotten and full of holes because of it. Not my short term memory, nor even my memory of facts and dates and so on. Rather, what alcohol ate in my brain was my connection to my life.
I remember my past as if I were looking through a set of old albums left in a moldy attic in a house that burned. Images, snippets, the occasional scene blooms out into view, but even the things I remember I don’t inhabit. My childhood, my teen years, even my twenties are stories told to me by a me that hasn’t any real connection to the person I am now. A gossamer, a filament me, a ghost who wears a face I used to wear and whispers gibberish I almost understand. Alcohol is what I used to cauterize my past away. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
The last time I saw the house I grew up in, the bathroom wasn’t finished.
We, being my father and me, had torn the walls down and the bathtub out as part of the general renovation of the house. I suppose it was also an attempt at a renovation of ourselves, of him and me. Probably my mother’s idea. The fact is, I have never, not once, not in my entire life understood what my father was thinking. I could not read his face, his expressions always carefully closed in even when he was red faced and temple trobbing with a pulse hammering through that bulging vein. Even then, when I could tell anger was there, I could never read his expression and understand.
We managed to finish the kitchen up in a few weeks, laid down a nice black tile floor, put in an island with a countertop surface and a garbage compacter. There was a nice new coffee maker with a whole assortment of buttons I never learned to use. I didn’t drink coffee, so I only learned how to get it to make a pot for my mom, who did.
The house was an assortment of neutral colors. Off white, light brown, beige, sand. Even the couch and love seat were brown. I’m sure someone who understand all of that sort of thing could tell you what it meant. For myself, it just felt like it was designed to render me numb. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t surprised. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
Sime knew that Akivasha had to be told. The difficulty was in escaping to tell her.
It wasn’t that Sime didn’t love Akivasha. They all did, every single one of them. They would die for her, despite being nearly immortal. She demanded it, and they could not refuse her anything. The problem was simple. The man they had tried to lure into their trap was no man at all, and he was slaughtering them.
Twisting in the air Sime barely managed to avoid a fist the size of a normal man’s torso. Seething in his fiery sheath the not a man was now nearly ten feet of angry muscle that glowed with heat from inside and shed flames like most sweated. Sparks were thick in the air, and it was beyond understanding how the room hadn’t burst into flames by now. Perhaps not beyond it. The room didn’t burn because he told it not to.
Sime had died nearly one hundred and fifty years before in an old barn in what had been called Yomana. Sime had died because Akivasha had demanded it, and had risen because Akivasha permitted it. Everything Sime had was hers, and there was no question of obedience, nor any desire to defy her. She had ordered the not a man to die. If it had been remotely possible Sime would have accomplished it.
It was not. A blow so hard and fast the vampire could not even see it coming crashed so hard into the chest that bones cracked and splintered, and then the pallid, smouldering form hurled backwards out the door and into the night. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
In a grubby dive bar near the harbor, smelling of the quahoggers who often stopped there for a beer on their way home, Baldassare Mastrini (his friends had called him Baldy all of his life, and now that he was in his fifties and still not bald, it seemed to irritate them as much as it had him, once) watched things he had never wanted to see unfold. It had all begun if not normally than at least in a manner he could understand. His employer asked him to find someone difficult to find. That was what Baldy did.
A horrible smell of burning flesh and synthetic fabric washed over him from his seat. He’d been unwilling to try and stand before, when the four of them grinned and capered and even killed with insulting casualness. That was before burning death walked in. Now nothing could have moved Baldy an inch, his hands curled into fists, his every joint white. Even for someone like him, who had spent years skirting the difference between legal and illegal, probable and improbable, this was out and out insanity.
He had contacts in various places who knew about the rat people, of course. You couldn’t work for the largest city in Rhode Island without knowing about all sorts of things people didn’t want to know about. Rat people were like bodies turning up in poured foundations or people committing suicide by shooting themselves in the head and then chaining themselves up and throwing themselves in the bay. « Read the rest of this entry »