Saturday, July 27, 2013

Skyline Extended Universe Part Two

I seriously considered pulling some 1984 level shit and going back to Wednesdays post and changing the promised date to today (Saturday) but this one is over twice the size of most of my posts so I don't feel all that bad about being a little late. Here it is.

Lifening crackled through the recelerators, the stink of ozone and sulfur filled the air, and the threads of reality were taught and humming. The brains of three Wise Ones sat on a table, they had obviously been modified but Rhea was unsure as to exactly what purpose they served, copper rods jutted from multiple points on each brain and one had large crystal accumulators grafted to it. She had never felt so conflicted in her life, horror and disgust at what they were about to do, honoured that they had asked her to help keep the massive quantities of energy in check and to help stave off and mend the inevitable rifts in existence that energy created, and amazed at seeing the symptoms of a rift form before the rift itself did. If she was being honest it was mostly disgust, but the Wise Ones had made up their minds and as powerful as she was there was no way she could stop them all, at least not without doing so much more damage to the universe that the point would have been moot. All she could do was be on hand to try and keep things as safe as possible and, when things inevitably fell apart, stitch them together as best she could.

One With Unorthodox Ideas floated into the lab “Are we prepared?” He asked no one in particular. His three underlings all hummed affirmative with the lead assistant replying.

“Yes Great One, we are prepared. As is your... security...”

“Ah, yes, Rhea, so glad you could join us on this momentous occasion.”  He replied as if he hadn't noticed her till that moment.

Rhea was puzzled for a second before she realized that the five of them totaled the entirety of the party that would be present for this ‘momentous occasion’. Cowards, you all know that even if things go as planned the whan rifts could easily kill us all. No wonder they offered me the ‘honour’ of securing the laboratory. No matter, it just means none of those fumbling brain sacks will get in my way as I try to secure any rifts.

“As am I” she replied. Glad might not be the exact word but it is close enough. “I am ready whenever you are.”

“Excellent, as you know what we are about to do here has never before been attempted on a scale such as this, the earlier trials were all performed on the brains of primitives, and lobotomized ones at that. This will be far grander.”

She wasn't sure what upset her more, the eagerness in his voice to perform this abomination, or the fact that the ‘primitives’ he spoke of were members of her race unfortunate enough to not be strong enough to whan. But she said nothing; she had come to terms with the arrogance of the Wise Ones long ago.

Unorthodox Ideas continued “It should take less than a minute to recelerate the constructs, once the lifening has charged them it will be a simple matter of giving them their orders, orders which they will follow without doubt, hesitation, or fear. However during that minute more whan energy will flow through this room than the last hundred years combined, my assistants will channel and shape it, you must deal with the side effects.”

“I understand my role in this,” Rhea replied coolly. “Concern yourself with your own.”

“Very well, then let us begin.” 

And with no further ado the recelerators flared and crackled. The effect was immediate, reality began to bubble, Rhea knew from past experience that most of the bubbles were nothing to be concerned about, they would swell and deflate without any lasting damage, but not all would. Ten seconds in and already there were two swellings ready to pop like particularly nasty zits, instead of oil and pus these would spew forth filth and corruption, anger and pain made solid and given form by raw energy and the shadow of what was being done here. There was no easy way to describe what she did, the closest she had ever come to putting words to it was that she flexed the part of her mind that knew what was real and true, backed it will her will, and pushed. There were far too many, forty seconds in and she had prevented eighteen bubbles from rupturing but one had and would be a full blown rift in moments. As she pinched it closed with a thought she felt three grimlins slip through from whatever hell the tear opened up on and grinned, you don’t spend three hundred years studying rifts and their effects without picking up a few tricks. Being beings of pure energy made the grimlins powerful and dangerous to the untrained, but to her they were barely the mental equivalent of a wasp, actually better, because you couldn't psychically eat a wasp for a boost in whan energy, grimlins you could. The boost they gave her carried her through the next thirty seconds, or fifteen bubbles and two tears, but there were limits to her power and she had already spent three times as much energy as she had on Hosswell, meanwhile the recelerators were still pumping out lifening, causing even more, progressively larger, bubbles to appear.  The three biggest disturbances she had felt so far all started concurrently and even as she reinforced one she felt the other two split open, tentacles and claws immediately springing forth and she knew she would die if she attempted closing them, if the creature that those claws belonged to takes control of the power surging through this lab we are all dead. She braced herself and began grappling with the larger of the two when suddenly she felt a new presence in the whan, it felt like frozen steel covered in slime in her mind and she fought the urge to scream, cry, and vomit simultaneously but that frozen steel will also reached out and snapped both rifts shut effortlessly, even though lifening still crackled throughout the room not a single bubble did more than flex slightly, ten seconds later the recelerators shut down. Rhea, having barely even twitched let alone moved since it all started dropped to one knee, breathing heavily as waves of heat radiated from her now red-hot scales. She looked to her left at the three newly recelerated brains, hovering as they assessed the situation. 

The brain with the accumulators grafted to it turned to her and said in a slow methodical voice made of stone and rusted iron. “We are the Weaver. Thank you for your assistance in our assigned task, Mender.”

It took Rhea a moment to realize that they were talking to her. “Umm, you’re welcome?” she was thoroughly rattled and fighting to not show it. “My name is Rhea.”

The Weaver replied “we care not what you are called, Mender is what you are.” One of the other brains copper rods flared and crackled. “We are needed elsewhere, Mender Rhea.” With that the three of them flickered once and vanished.

She stood up and looked around the fairly intact lab. One With Unorthodox Ideas and his head assistant were both missing; the other two assistants were huddling, as well as a sack of brains can huddle, in a corner of the lab. Well that went about as well as could be hoped. Now as long as the zombie monster brains from hell, programmed by a race of arrogant, self important, cowards, hold up their end we'll all be fine...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not Dead

Not yet anyway.

I've always said/believed that the more entertained you are,the less creative you will be, at least in the short term (which is why so many school kids are so creative and why many artists tend to close themselves off when they go on creative binges). Recently I have been a little too entertained. Let’s just say it’s no coincidence that my last post was on July 7th and the new Civilization 5 expansion came out on the 8th (to a certain kind of gamer the Civilization franchise does a decent job of simulating a crippling addiction. My name is Demkuis Maximus and I am that gamer). That's not an excuse, it’s just what happened. Then there's the awkward moment when you realize it’s been over two weeks since you updated, and at least one since you've even put ink to paper (or electron to hard drive, or whatever), well this ends now, and by now I mean on Friday with a brand new update to my Skyline story. I won't promise (we've all seen what those are worth), but it will happen, you have my word as a Captain.

Demkius Maximus, Proud member of Gamers Anonymous and Civilization free for almost 24 hours now.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Muggle Born: Down in the Mud

Just a note; This is a first draft and in this case not where the story starts but just where I wanted to start writing, this is the first Death Eater encounter, where they thought they were just out to kill a couple muggles and a mudblood for sport. Thankfully Mr. Riley believes in being well prepared and has at this point made a few friends in the wizarding world, including a certain eccentric headmaster and a couple of very creative and very dangerous Goblins who have little love for wizards, and even less for Death Eaters.

His entire world was pain, but that was okay, Cameron Riley was no stranger to pain. Ten years in the Special Air Service had seen to it, and if not that then losing his wife two years ago had definitely made him and agony old buddies. The important part was that his mind was still his own. The very important part was they thought it wasn't, they called themselves Death Eaters but he knew better, They were bullies and fanatics, arrogant and full of pride, and as everyone knows, pride comes before the fall. The big one they called Shmitt was still talking. 
"Now muggle filth, watch as we hunt down and execute your precious little mudblood princess." He nodded to the other three and they left the room to search but the big dumb bastard just kept going, "you filth think you can just come into our world and usurp our heritage and we will do nothing? My blood goes back centuries, my ancestors were some of Slytherin's first pupils and you think - " He turned back around just in time to see the Glock 9mm come level with his face, then his head exploded.
"I think you talk too much, and now your blood goes all the way back to the bookshelf at the end of the room." Thank God for the Goblins, those crafty little buggers have more gadgets than Special Projects Division, and for fairer price too. Who would have guessed that they had a way to resist the Imperious curse? Certainly none of the wizards he'd met... maybe Dumbledore, but he plays it pretty close to the vest. He could hear a commotion down the hall as the other three rushed back to the front parlor where he had been. Riley however had begun to move the second he pulled the trigger, but not before leaving a present for them by Shmitt's suddenly much more pleasant to be around body.

Desdemona Blackburn stormed into the room she had just heard an explosion in, only to stop with shock to see Avery Shmitt's headless corpse lying on the floor. "What sorcery is this?" She demanded to an empty room "How did this come to pass!?" A crackle of static drew her attention to a small black box on the ground beside his body, the other two gathered around as the strange box began to speak.
"It's not sorcery, it's called tech-nol-o-gy. And if you ignorant fucks weren't so busy inbreeding and beating off about how much better you are than us muggles this wouldn't be such a surprise."
The way he spoke set off every alarm possible in her mind. "Protego Totalu-"
The claymores detonated. Stevens and Nigel both disintegrated, the only thing that saved Desdemona from annihilation was dumb luck, her barely completed shield spell would not have kept her from the full fiery wrath of that room but she was standing almost atop of one of the mines, the blast wave hit her shield and flung her clear before the shrapnel and fire could wear it down. She was still charred, scarred, and wounded, but she was alive.

Well I wouldn't want to live long term in a house wired with eight separate explosive kill-zones, but it does have its uses. Cameron Riley thought to himself as he made his way to the panic room in the basement where his daughter had holed up. He could already hear sirens in the distance and he didn't want to be here when they showed up.

Well that's it for tonight, a little short I know, but I promise much more to come. Leave a comment as to which of the three you like so far and why, or why not, just follow the golden rule, constructive criticism is always appreciated; trolling, bitching and general douche baggery is not.

Captain Maximus.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ork in the City

Emma Gunnar fidgeted nervously as she waited. If you asked an average person which they would rather do, charge into a burning building or go on a date, even a blind date, the vast majority would choose the date and probably wonder at how messed up you must be for comparing the two. But Emma, having spent most of her life either dreaming of, training for, or, relatively recently, finally actually doing the former, would have gladly sprinted into a wildfire than be where she was right now. Which was a perfectly nice (perhaps a little too nice) restaurant waiting for a, by all accounts, perfectly nice Internal Operations Manager (whatever the hell that was). But appearances had to be maintained, and being a firefighter just over five feet with the build of a gymnast and the face of a model (both of which were career paths her high school guidance counselor had tried to encourage over firefighting) invited enough attention without being the cute blonde firefighter who didn't date. So here she was, finally agreeing to one of the endless stream of offers of set ups with buddies, brothers, cousins, or whatever, of the people she worked with just to appear normal. Because as much as she might have wished otherwise (and most days she did wish otherwise) Emma Gunnar was not normal. She'd agreed to dinner with a guy that she could tell Mikey barely knew. So, when it inevitably went nowhere (or to hell whichever came first) her working relationship with Mikey wouldn't be affected much if at all.

As she fidgeted her hand brushed the cutlery and an unpleasant tingle swept up her arm. She swore to herself, Damn, of course a place like this would still use actual silver silverware. Don't panic you can easily sort this out. Hopefully before Dan gets here. Luckily the waiter was just returning with her wine. "Excuse me; do you have any non silver silverware?" He looked at her slightly baffled. "Steve wasn't it? I have an allergy."
"To silver?"
"Yeah, to silver." 
He thought about it for a moment. "I think we have something that will work, I’ll be just a moment." He gathered the cutlery and started to leave then paused and turned back to her "Our chef has a fondness for garlic, that won't be a problem, will it?"
'Funny, never heard that one before." she replied sarcastically but with a slight grin. "No, garlic is just fine, so are steaks."
It was Steve's turn to grin at a bad joke "Like I said, I'll be back in a moment."
It was a fun bit of idle banter, too bad it was the highlight of the night.


It's not like he was a bad guy. Emma sat reflecting on the previous night. It was Saturday morning and she was trying to meditate, but clearing her mind was next to impossible. No, in order for him to be a bad guy he'd have to have an opinion on something, generally speaking a functioning brain helped too. He had been completely bland, it had become obvious quickly that working as a cog in the corporate machine had stripped him of an alarming amount of personality, good or bad, and left him as some sort of pseudo zombie. Not actually dead but no longer truly alive, walking around trying to spread the disease to others, not through bites but through long winded, buzzword filled, rambles about nothing. Okay, he wasn't that bad. She scolded herself, he was just a little "flavorless" and you really didn't want to be there in the first place. He did offer to walk you home, even after you made it abundantly clear that nothing was gonna happen. But he lived only four blocks from the restaurant, she lived almost twenty, he had freaked when she had told him she planned to walk home near midnight and very little she had said had calmed him down till she finally agreed to take a taxi. 
She shook her head, focus! You're never going to clear your mind like this.
Someone knocked on the door. Fuck it. I'm not expecting anyone, besides I'm trying to find my inner peace, whatever they're selling probably won't help with that.
They knocked again, more forcefully. Whatever, inner peace is overrated anyway. She got up and made her way to the door. On the other side she was somewhat alarmed to find two men who were obviously detectives even before they said anything or flashed their badges. "Good morning officers, is there something I can help you with?"
If they were surprised at her IDing them before they said anything they hid it well "I'm afraid there is ma'am. I'm Detective Neal Barboza, this is my partner Detective Ben Anderson and we have a couple of questions for Ms. Gunner, is that you?"
"Excuse me?"
"Its pronounced Gunn-are not er." She wasn't sure why she felt the need to correct him except she suddenly felt quite vulnerable and needed to control something.
"Sorry, Ms Gunn-ar." He replied with emphasis "you are her though?"
"Yes, Why?"
"We have a few questions to ask you about Dan Mitchells."
It took her a second to realize they were talking about her date from last night. "Let me guess, he's dead and you want to know if the date went so bad I killed him?" she quipped sarcastically. "If I had had to listen to one more word about corporate re-dynamification or whatever I might have." It took her about two seconds of them staring at her stone faced for her to realize the truth.
Well Fuck.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Obviously I'm not that great at this. I'm working on it, 28 years in and I swear I've almost got it. Anyway I've cooked up a couple stories to compensate, the first will be up Saturday, the next Sunday. Monday will be back to Skyline with updates continuing Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for which ever story feels best at the moment from here on out.

I'll give you a basic outline just to get you going. Saturday will be entirely original content entitled Ork in the City. It may sound ridiculous, it may be ridiculous, but I'm doing it. I really enjoy stories where supernatural creatures are portrayed as just somewhat abnormal people in the modern world looking to survive and maybe make a buck or two (preferably without sparkling) so when a random story idea generator spit out: A female firefighter with a terrible secret goes on a blind date, one of the first "terrible" secrets that popped into my head was "she's a half ork" (luckily she takes after her mother, as far as appearances go at least ).

Sunday will be one of the most badass Harry Potter fanfics you'll ever read. Note: none of the main characters in  Harry Potter will be present, with the exception of Dumbledore. It's set in the HP universe during the first reign of Voldemort, i.e. at least eleven years before Harry was even born. It's working title is Muggle Born: Down in the Mud and it chronicles a former British SAS Commandos struggle to keep his magically talented, muggle born daughter safe from the Death Eaters during the very worst of Voldemorts purges.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Story (Finally) Begins

31795 ADT (Approx 57,000 BCE)
Planet Belsequs, Outside the Hall of Wisdom.

Rhea Hasthen sat seething in the main corridor outside of the Hall of Wisdom while the Wise Ones decided the fate of the universe. "The matters at hand are too important for the extended deliberations inherent with involving the young ones", their catch all term for every being who wasn't one of them. As a Rackthern that included her, even though she could best most of them in Whan-shu, the battle of wills, and had done more to restitch the bonds than any three of them combined and without burning her mind out either. No, they were the first and so far only to discover how to bend their will across the star sea and bring others with them and for that they ruled this corner of the galaxy, even if it was unraveling at the seams. Rhea took a deep breath to calm herself, as long as they don't release that abomination all will be well.

Inside the Hall of Wisdom.

There were a hundred ornate pedestals encircling the hall, which, made of precious metals, rare gems, and expert stonework was only as opulent as their status deserved. More than twice that number of the enlightened filled it however. They all wanted news of what had transpired on the planet Hosswell and why so few of the response team had returned. One Who Considers Both Sides was the one with that news, terrible as it may be. And it was terrible. "Superior Beings of the Assembly, I have the knowledge that you desire if you would listen". His voice reverberated throughout the hall, seemingly emerging from the center of the ring, as he willed it. A hundred conversations ceased at once and, eyeless though they were, One Who Considers Both Sides could feel the attention of his fellows focus on him. "Brothers, it is far worse than we could have foreseen. Hosswell's Plain of Dreams has been rent asunder and seven of us gave their minds to stem the flow. Clearly the unrestrained shaping of reality by the countless unevolved has weakened the fabric far faster than was considered possible."

Sure of the ten Wise sent all but two of us fled from the horde of terrors made real, but seeing how it ended for the two that stayed I stand by my actions. Even of those of us who fled most still fell. Only that accursed Rackthern managed to not only hold her ground and survive but fix the tear. Whatever twisted art she had used to seal the rift he knew it was only luck on here part she survived. There's simply no way she could have just out performed ten members of the Great Ones. Members of the race who even standing perfectly still sent more ripples dancing through the weaves of reality than whole communities of her simple people. Simple people who's unrestrained distortion of reality threatened its very fabric. He failed to notice the contradictions in his own thoughts as he observed the crowd. There would have only been slightly more panic in the great hall if a tear had opened right then and there.

"Brothers please! We all knew this could happen once the unenlightened gained widespread access to the whan." The fact that the eight lesser races combined didn't use as much every day as the Wise Ones did entertaining themselves let alone for industry and infrastructure didn't cross a single mind of the beings assembled.

"Thankfully we have contingencies, and thanks to the sacrifices of our brothers we can put them in motion. As you all know, a whan created mind cannot bend reality. Being an aspect of someone else's will, it it has no true will of its own. What all but a few of you don't know is that a reanimated mind, while missing both its spark and its personality, has a will.


Reanimated brains? Tears in reality? What The Hell? Tune in Sunday to find out. Same Bat-Time Same Bat-Channel.

-Captain Maximus

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Universe Building

Technically it's still yesterdays tomorrow. Which is always true, except for that magical millisecond in between each day when its yesterday, today, and tomorrow all at the same time. But specifically for the next twenty minutes or so its still the tomorrow of June 24th 2013, which means if I actually manage to post this in the next twenty minutes I will have kept my promise.

Ok, so Universe building is kinda time consuming, contrary to popular belief six days is probably not enough. Even if you have been percolating the story in the back of your mind for ages, getting it all out and on "paper" coherently and even semi-interestingly takes a lot of time. So in preparation for Thursdays update (in which I will finally have some story. I promise) I am posting some of the first pieces of the universe I'm assembling like cheap IKEA furniture.

Galactic Standard Time; Dates in the Galactic Standard Calendar are recorded as either Before the Dawn of Time (BDT) or After the Dawn of Time (ADT). The Dawn of Time officially being the moment the first Wise One contemplated the concept of time and decided to start recording it (they’re wise not modest). The Galactic Standard Day is broken into ten one hundred minute long sections with each galactic minute being slightly longer than one “earth minute” (.16 longer more or less) making a galactic day 19.33 earth hours long. Each galactic second is actually shorter than an earth second since there are one hundred of them in a galactic minute. There are one hundred days in a galactic year. None of this corresponds  to any particular planets night-day cycle or orbit, the Wise Ones just happened to like base ten and proceeded to apply it to pretty much everything. No one is sure why they picked ten either, they have no fingers and two tentacles and when asked, the most coherent response ever received was “It is a good number”. Most species keep two calendars, one set to Galactic Standard and one set to a calendar that actually makes sense for their planet (one Pirate Point to the first person to notice each time I incorrectly translate between Galactic Standard Time and Earth Time, More on Pirate Points later)

The Wise Ones; The (self titled) Wise Ones are basically oversized floating brains. They are encased in a fairly durable leathery shell and look something like a hovering leather beanbag chair with a fairly small mouth and two tentacles (one on either side of the mouth) at the front. They have only one orifice for waste disposal at their other end and it is often joked by the cruder species that if not for the tentacles no one would be able to tell which end is which. They are extremely capable whan manipulators, which is how they prefer to interact with the world at large, either telepathically or through voice projection for communication and telekinetically for locomotion and manipulating objects. They honestly see themselves as the font from which reason, order, and goodness flow into the universe. It is generally agreed upon by the other races that they are meddlesome self-important pricks, but they are far too powerful to cross and basically do as they please.

Whan; Whan (rhymes with swan {possibly just a placeholder name, I don’t totally love it but I’m not going to waste any more time at the moment trying to come up with something better. Maybe it’ll grow on me}) is the name of the energy field that all sentient beings are capable of generating/manipulating through force of will and through which the manipulation of reality is possible. To the uninitiated it would look like magic and in for all useful distinctions it IS magic, but it is based in reality and does follow generally logical and consistent rules. In galactic society the actual definition of sentience is the ability to whan to some degree or another, regardless of how clever or intelligent a race or being may be. No intelligent, self aware species discovered so far has failed to produce at least a few members capable of whaning, with many species displaying universal ability. No purely synthetic intelligence to date has demonstrated the ability to influence whan whatsoever. The excessive use of whan can have negative effects on the fabric of reality.

Whan lock; Whan Locking is the act of using whan to reinforce reality the point of which being to make the use of whan to change or manipulate reality more difficult if not impossible. This can be done subconsciously or deliberately and can be reinforced by others nearby. It only affects a limited area based on the number of wills involved and their willpower.

There we are, the first few tantalizing pieces and with two minutes to spare. Ha!