Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ABHFGKC: Unicycle Nuns of Syria (S1, E1)

A tall man with a wheel strapped to his back ties up his bicycle and walks into a bar. Another man follows him in. The robed man sits down; orders a drink, with no acknowledgment of the man who followed him. Step by step, the second man walks closer to the man in robes, who gives his name to the bartender - Falolot. Then the club comes down, and for Falolot, the world goes dark.

Falolot, Hebrew from the time of Moses, traveled with Genghis Khan in an attempt to return to his own era. After the Khan's death, he set out on a quest: to reunite the scattered parts of Genghis Khan's bicycle, that he might ride once more upon the steppes. Now, his quest resumes, in:

A Biblical Hebrew From Genghis Khan's Court:
The Unicycle Nuns of Syria

Falolot wakes in a darkened room. As his eyes adjust to the dim light coming through a window above, a woman in robes arrives. She exclaims at seeing him and calls others over. They gather around him. "Oh, thank goodness you woke up!" one says in perfect, unaccented English. "We have to thank you!"

Falolot seems confused.

They explain.

They are of the ancient order of Unicycle Nuns, established a thousand years ago to ward off a plague of fleas. Supposedly. The story has been corrupted somewhat over the last millennium. In any case: they came upon Falolot, stripped of his possessions and left for dead by the side of the road. Sister Hong of course brought him for safety, where they hoped to ask him for information on his attackers; however, Falolot remained sadly unconscious, so they set out without him, leaving Sister Miranda to guard him.

Searching for clues, they came upon the ancient Cactus Sage, who wandered the desert and dispensed wisdom in exchange for candy. After Sister Grizelda traded away a long-hoarded block of chocolate, the Cactus Sage told them the location of the thugs who had assaulted Falolot and stolen everything on him. Following his directions, the Unicycle Nuns traveled to the hilltop stronghold of the local bandits. Sister Feng attempted diplomacy; the bandits shot arrows at her.

This the Unicycle Nuns, as an ancient and honorable order, would not tolerate. Sister Isabella, known for her girth, took the lead in the attack (and, thus, the bulk of the blows), while Sister Grizelda dispensed damage in close quarters with her extending umbrella-pike, Sister Anechka launched her deadly war-discii into the ranks of the bandits and Sister Mary healed the others' wounds. After a long battle, the bandits were defeated; all but their leader, who stood head and shoulders above the others, coated in gold and jewels plundered from his victims. He dealt vicious blows, nearly toppling the nuns from their unicycles; but the nuns rallied and charged, surrounding the bandit leader and at length defeating him. In the bowels of the bandit stronghold, they found the wealth of a hundred raids; including the items stolen from Falolot, and the ancient relic of the Unicycle Nuns, the five-armed Unicyclist of Prague.

"So you see," the nuns explain to Falolot, "We have a great deal to thank you for. Were it not for you, we might never have found our sacred relic!"

Falolot smiles, nods, takes his items and makes a polite departure. As he leaves, the nuns tell him one last thing: the Cactus Sage also told them of the location of a spoke of the front wheel of the Great Khan's war-bicycle, in the city of Thebes, many miles away. Falolot smiles again, nods again, gives the nuns his thanks (which they refuse), and bicycles away.

Once out of sight, Falolot sheds his smile for a troubled frown. He is very troubled. He pauses under the shade of a palm and muses to the air, "That was very strange."

"Indeed it was," the air replies.

[End credits roll!]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

of a womon, who was seen in the hall-way by a passer-by, on an otherwise average tues-day

what happened to long-gone days past by from
the fountains which sprayed water over the populaces
when the light was excreted form the pores
of dayes long past, and the mind was as sharp as the spear
that harpooned the nikolas-creature deep
in the pits of perdition
and now the light is disappeared
now the carrion and worms ethereal materialise out of the crevasses aligning
and alighting the pores upon the orifices
and the skin waxen and sullen, such that a thousand tortoises came and
wrapped them selfes around the nape
and the mandibles
which lay cragged, like a cliff from which many animals jump to their deaths
and scream in a somber melancholy tone
and exude the sentiments of a time long past
whence there were no things to draw from the life force of all things
and destroy the soul from the inside to the out
and leaves a hollow husk,
less a man but a ghost
chasing the power which drives it in the origins
of its existence.

Probability, part two of three

The swamp was dark and ill-lit; little light penetrated the thick, greasy shrubbery above and all around. Trapped in the mud was a small starship, with a robot locked inside. The ship's owner, a young man in simple clothes, stood talking with the ancient and wizened creature that made this place his home.

"Your mentor died," the creature said to the young man, "And I cannot and will not take his place. But I will teach you, as he did, for a time. To manipulate probability, the first and most essential thing that may be known is that belief is the key: you must know, know, that what you are attempting is not only probable, but certain." The creature, without making any gesture or overt sign, follows his own advice, and knows that the starship behind him will spontaneously lift into the air. It does so, to the shock of the young man, who steps back, opening his mouth to speak; only to shut it when the ship immediately falls back into the muck. The creature continues, "Compared to the importance of this knowledge, size matters not. When you have learned this, you will be ready to leave here and take vengeance for your mentor."

The young man asks, curiously, "Were I to know that his death was certain, by chance or bodily, failure, could I-"

The creature cuts him off. "If it were possible to kill the Dark Lord so impersonally, he would have died to any of our order who tried it, when he betrayed us to his new master. He has shielded himself against such things, as any of our order learns to do."

But the young man is thinking of something else now. "He was of our order, once, then? The Dark Lord himself?"

The creature nods, once.

Suddenly enthused, the young man thinks for a moment, then begins to speak rapidly. "If he were once one of us - why - could he not be coaxed back? Redeemed - turning on his false master, who has given him nothing but ashes, and joining us! With him as the wise elder, I as the powerful youth - we could rule the galaxy, like father and son!"

Shaken, aghast, the creature tries to argue against his plan, but the young man will hear none of it. His eyes burn with greed, his fists clench, and behind him, seemingly of its own volition, his starship lifts upwards, pulling itself out of the muck.

Then a whistle and beep from the robot inside distracts the young man for one moment - his fists relax - and the ship falls once more into the mud, for his ambitions will not be realized quite yet.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Biblical Hebrew In Genghis Khan's Court

Freak coincidence. The Hebrews - fleeing from the wrath of Pharoah, lost in the desert, holding their matzo high above the handlebars as they pedal across the sands. The Mongol Horde - whipped through time in a tachyon gust, momentarily whipped (bicycles and all) into Biblical times. They meet. Tensions are high: but one Hebrew steps forward and breaks bread with a Mongol outrider, and everyone sighs in relief. Moshe, wisest of the Hebrews, shakes hands with Genghis Khan, in a historical event tragically uncaptured by press photographers. The Khan, unaware of the temporal shift, welcomes the Hebrews into his growing empire. They send an emissary with him as an ambassador; he will return in one year's time. (They have high hopes of turning Genghis Khan from his heathen ways; his tolerance for all religions is easily observed.) Bread is broken, they set tents together for a night, and then the Mongols and Hebrews part ways, swearing to forever be brothers. The tachyon winds rise again; and as the Hebrew emissary eats the last of his matzo, crumbs falling to the sand beneath, he is invisibly transported from his own time alongside the Mongols, severed from everyone he knows and loves by four thousand years of ancient history.

When he figures out what happened, he's not too happy.

But Falolot Aaron Ben-Gurion, Hebrew ambassador, is perpetually troubled in his new role as:

A Biblical Hebrew in Genghis Khan's Court

(intro credits roll)

Falolot spends a year in Genghis Khan's court. It's a pretty interesting time, but he's really confused about the strange nationalities he meets. Eventually, he goes home. Oh no! No-one's there!

Eventually he figures it out. He's pretty upset, but he figures that if he goes back to Genghis Khan, maybe the Khan will be able to find him some way home. He doesn't really have any better ideas.

Falolot goes back to the Khan's court and petitions the Khan for help in traveling back four thousand years. The Khan says he'll think about it. Falolot spends his time for the next few years observing the strange cultures he passes through, trying to convert everyone he encounters (with decreasing enthusiasm), and maintaining his bike. It's really hard, all the parts are out of stock. (Because it's four thousand years old.) He gets to be very good friends with specialty bike part merchants all across the empire of the Khan.

Then the Khan goes to his deathbed! He whispers to Falolot, near the end, that he's figured out how to transport Falolot back to biblical times - he'll deal with it as soon as he regains his strength. Falolot leaves the tent. Moments later, everyone else runs out of the tent, shouting "The Khan is dead! The Khan is dead!"

Falolot pouts.

The empire falls into chaos.

Falolot decides to go traveling. He sees many strange lands and makes friends across the world. He even befriends a small monkey who converts to Judaism! Falolot, being filled with angst, and trauma, and unhappiness, and woe, and sadness (because he's not in his native time), dismisses the monkey's company. The monkey follows him anyway. Falolot's attempts at turning him into a burnt offering are unsuccessful.

Not everyone's happy with Falolot. Some don't like him because he's a Jew. Others don't like him because he's from the court of the Khan. And a few dislike him because he punches out monsters with his firm right Jew-hook!

Mostly that's the monsters, admittedly.

Eventually Falolot stops his wanderings. A century has passed, but he doesn't seem to have aged any. He figures it's the matzo he ate - very healthy, that stuff.

Anyway, he travels to the Sinai Desert, where his people wandered and where he entered the future. (Left the past. Something.) He bicycles up Mount Sinai itself and finds a hermit, who tells him of the legend of the Bicycle of the Khan: his great war bicycle, spiked and horned with the bone of the Khan's own kills, shattered and spread across the lands after his death, that if reassembled would resurrect Genghis Khan himself.

Falolot is transfixed. He must find this - then he can finally return home! He goes to all of his usual bike parts merchants. They don't know anything! Then he goes to one in Syria - and finds success. There's a rumour that a wheel of an ancient power-bicycle is in the possession of the Shah of Neo-Persia.

Falolot doesn't know, but he figures it's worth investigating. So he bikes off to Neo-Persia, filled with clanking automatons and mecha. In the Shah's floating palace, Falolot finds the rear wheel of the war-bicycle of the Khan. Falolot holds it in the air, feeling the power within it. Then guards arrive. Whoops! Falolot probably shouldn't have been poking around the Shah's treasure chamber.

Falolot makes a fighting retreat, punching out guards left and right, using their three-pointed hats as projectile weapons. On the balcony of the Shah's vast bedroom, Falolot confronts and fights the Shah himself, battling him mano-e-mano. Eventually he kicks the Shah over the railing and escapes, pursued by the wail of the Shah's son, who promptly swears vengeance upon Falolot.

Falolot, victorious, bicycles into the sunset. Holding the wheel into the air, he swears that this will be his new quest - he will not rest until he reassembles the Bicycle of the Khan, and finds his way home! Strapping the wheel onto his back, he poses dramatically before the sunset.

End credits roll!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Te Kronigeklerele of Desmeonte

In the Beginninge, there was a Nikolaus, and a Kessler, and a Choppe-Barre, and they did do many goode Thynges with them.

Yea, behold, in the Morninge, when there were Birdes, and they did chirpe violentlie, for they were in Heate, and they did copulate onover the Populace, yea, they were greatly perturb'd, and vex'd, and bemus'd, and shell-shock'd, and the Nikolous saw that it was goode, and he did laugh at them, and he did point, in a mannere that does not befitte a Gentelman, and it was goode. And yea, he did provide his Bear-Hole, whereupon it was warme, and full of Lighte, and he did say unto Men, "Lo, ye shall come unto my Bear-Hole, and occupie it, and utilise it, and suffere in it, and performe the Studie of the Chymistry in it, and entertaine ye self in it, with Games of elecktronicke, and they did come, and they did do all of the the Thynges that were mentioned by the Nikolous, and it was goode.

And it came to pass, that when the Sunne did descende into the Abysse, and it becayme the Mid-Daye, then the Nikolous, being voraciousse, and hungrie, did say unto Men, "Lo, ye shall come unto the Choppe-Barre, and feast on the Foodes of the Worlde, and Crabbes, and Egges, and Goates, and Vegetabels, and Tuberes, and Legumes, and Herbes, and Beries, and Spyces, and then ye shall retire to the Beare-Hole of the Nikolous, and thereupon ye shall compete in elecktronick Games, and it shall be goode", and it was goode.

And it came to pass, that, the Nikolous, thought having assembell'd a syzeable Partie, with which to go the Choppe-Barre, could not finde the Kessler, who, in his possesion, contayned a greate Crystalle, which could take them to the Choppe-Barre faste, in a magick Waye, and the Nikolous, befuddel'd, went to the Halle of the Mathematickes, and he found the Kessler, and he did saye unto him, "Lo, ye shall give your Crystalle unto our Partie, otherwise, you shall be executed swiftlie, and the Kessler, fearinge for his own Lyfe, did come unto the Partie of the Nikolous, and he did depart swiftly, and in the course of severalle Houres, they did come unto the Choppe-Barre, and it was goode.

And yea, behold, they did feaste on many Foodes, and they did become engorgede, and they did decide to battel in a civilised Fashione to relieve them selfes, and they did retyre to the Nikolous-House, and they played some Games, and they did have a Jollie Tyme, and it was goode.

Friday, March 21, 2008

nikolas the chauvinist

nikolaus was a rampant chauvinistic
he loved to ogle
the womons
of the streets
and the hallwayes
and the corridores, and the lecture halles
the gymnasium
and sometimes
when he saw a womon
who was hot
he would go
up to her
and accost her
he said her hotness
was blinding him
and prevent him
form accomplish
anything usefull
and then because of this he went to a cool place
and he had sex
and then he told the kessler about it
and the kessler called him a sexist
and the nikolas was hurt
because all he did
was have sex
99 times
and then the nikolas killed the kessler
and it was good
and one day he decided to post all this hot womon
spotting on the interwobbes
and the polis-men found out
and they arrested him
and then he died
in prison
he caught
the sickness was not unto death
and the revived
and he continued to love
and womon
love him
and it was gode.

Probability, part one of three.

The room was made of metal. Dozens of aides and adjutants hurried through it or sat placidly in desks, working on the everyday minutia of the military bureaucracy. Two men stood in the center: one of them, the High Consul and honorary commander of the ship in which he stood. But it was the other upon whom all eyes were fixed: the Dark Lord, right hand of the Empire, last and greatest of an ancient order.

There was some dispute.

The High Consul Wilhuff slammed his hand down flat on a desk. "You are the last of your kind - the last of an ancient, outmoded religion," he hissed. "Your master has let you run wild, but I am not he. Aboard this ship, I command!"

The Dark Lord curled his fist.

Within Wilhuff's throat, by some inexplicable, freak chance, air molecules ceased to travel.

Wilhuff seemed momentarily unchanged; then his face contorted, and he crumpled. He clawed at the Dark Lord's boots, gasping desperately. His face gained a blue tinge.

The Dark Lord waited; then, as the High Consul rested on the edge of consciousness, he opened his fist. Air flowed into the Consul's lungs, and he began to breathe unsteadily.

The Dark Lord's expression was impossible to see - the truth of whether he was wearied by effort, or saddened by necessity, was trapped beneath the black mask he ever wore.

The High Consul ceded command shortly thereafter.


Loiosh gestured carefully with his right hand. Metal rods rose out of the meter-square table before him, seeming to evoke a surface by their slope. Before him, hundreds of feet away, a tower rose out of the earth in the same shape. Loiosh smiled tightly and began to remove the metal caps on the ends of his fingers.

"Very crude," a voice behind Loiosh declared. Loiosh gritted his teeth as the speaker continued, "In my city, it would take half the operations and a quarter the power to construct such a simple structure. Of course, it's quite impressive for out here in the boonies. Why, you've managed to do quite... respectable things, with your initially limited resources."

Loiosh was becoming increasingly sick of his whining and backhanded compliments. An envoy from the Homeland had every right to supervise and evaluate the progress of a newborn city, but a barrage of backhanded compliments was far from their job description. As the envoy continued talking, Loiosh finished taking off the metal control-tips on his fingers and turned to the envoy. His fists began to clench. It was about time, he had decided, to break discipline.

Then a scent wafted into Loiosh's nose - a scent somehow evoking a strange, peaceful nostalgia. Loiosh breathed deeply, feeling relaxation set in. He could resist - but he did not. The warmth of the sun warmed his skin, the air lifted a hundred pleasant scents into his nose, and a new lethargy filled Loiosh - not of despair, but of contentment.

Ignoring the now-flustered envoy, who had begun to complain of Loiosh's inattention, Loiosh turned to the drawing board on the ground beside him, beginning to lazily sketch out the next construction for the growing city. He didn't notice when the envoy disgruntledly left, so rapt was he in concentration his design.

Loiosh knew that his present, spontaneous contentment wouldn't last. And when it did, he wanted to have this design finished.

After all, how could he greet the envoy again without a proper death chamber to house him in?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Explosive Plan


Are you hungry?

If so, this is my plan.

My SCIENCE plan. (Do not do this, at home or otherwise.)

First, purchase some magnesium vitamins. They should be available in your local drug-store - they were when I looked. This will be the magnesium component of the concoction.

Don't eat them! That is very counterproductive. Do not do it.

Instead, set up an electrolysis mechanism. Two tanks of solution, magnesium oxide in one, current applied, etc., etc.. Bam! Pure magnesium - just what the doctor ordered. Treat it carefully - it burns hot!

The other two main components needed are iron oxide, e.g., rust - which shouldn't be hard to find - and powdered aluminium, which might be trickier. You want a small bowl full of the mixture. Equal molarity, please, and mix well.

This bit's sort of tricky. Set up a stand. Below it, put your bowl of thermite. On the stand, put a large pot full of water and ramen. There should be rather a lot of it. Make sure that the pot has handles! Also, don't use one you value particularly.

You may need to repeat the next several steps - they are somewhat unreliable. Lay a short magnesium "fuse" to the rust. BE VERY CAREFUL. Do not set off sparks! Put a lighter at the other end of the "fuse", and tape that to the ground. Attach a wire to the trigger and stand well back.

This would be a good time to set up a video camera.

Put on protective goggles, close your eyes, and pull the wire.

Whoomph! If all goes well, you've just ignited your the magnesium fuse, which, in turn, shortly ignited the thermite, causing the water to superheat and cooking the ramen. Bam! Now that's fast.

There is also a fair chance that 1) the water instantly boiled and sent gouts of scalding steam out and/or 2) the bottom of the pot melted, dropping water and ramen onto the burning thermite and boiled the water instantly, etc, etc.

Again: don't do this.

Also, if I ever have a free-choice chemistry project, this would undeniably be it. I don't even like ramen! But it is too cool an opportunity to waste.

( do have to heat ramen, right? If not, substitute anything that requires boiling/microwaving in its place. Should have just as excellent results.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Roboland, USA - Part Three

Lo, on this day, the last of the days, lo, those days which were assigned, to compete, and battle, and strive for supremacy, it was again the intent to travel of this author with his brother, the protagonist of this tale. But lo, it was not to be! That fellow's slumbering, which did delay in the past, was too severe to-day; indeed, it did persist well after noon-tide! So did this author depart without him, traveling unto the lands of the north without him. Therein did he see the end of the battle.

We lost.

Lo, though a first-year entry, we had ascended even unto the semi-finals, remarkable indeed. In the first battle this author witnessed, we triumphed, gloriously traveling around the track, moving the ball in elliptical, irregular shapes. Lo, the robot did perform even autonomously, in functionality magnificent, surpassing all others.

But twice more we struggled, and twice more lost; penalized, yea, penalized! for collision and improper movement. O bitter fate! how that it should turn so against us? This, this, was the sorrow that this author did write of even as he began, some four posts ago! O, o, o!

Seriously, though, we did pretty well. Also, we were out of money anyway; so it's just as well we didn't proceed to regionals. We couldn't afford it!

And that is the end of the great contest of the automata.

John Edward, Ace Patent Attorney For Hire

"Done!" the judge announced, slamming his gavel. "This is my verdict: guilty. The plaintiff shall be awarded five hundred million dollars. The end!"

John Edward, Ace Patent Attorney For Hire left the room, beaming in triumph. The moneys from this would keep him in business for months. And, more importantly, it would fund his... secret project. John Edward, APAFH was the highest paid lawyer on the market; but he didn't spend the money on mansions or yachts or trophy wives. (Well, not more than one or two, tops.) No, John Edwards had an agenda: and for that, he needed all the money he could get.

Minutes later, he slid into his law office, still beaming. "Judy, tell the others I'll be out for the rest of the day," Mr. Edward told his secretary, who nodded absentmindedly. Walking into the back room, Mr. Edwards put his case down, and picked up the mouthpiece of an unusually bulky-looking telephone. "Over here, it's broad daylight," he said to himself, "But in Cape Town, it's midnight." A soft humming began, and the dial on the telephone began to spin on its own. "The witching hour." The humming intensified as the dial spun faster and faster; Mr. Edwards seemed fade in and out of vision. "The Justice Hour!"

Mr. Edwards had left the office.

John Edwards was not only an excellent lawyer; he was also a phenomal inventor. Using a device of his own design, the "modulator-demodulator", or "modem," he was able to "digitize" himself and travel at the speed of telephone. Once he created it, he knew he could not just sit by - he had to use it for justice! So Mr. Edwards became Johnny E., and traveled to the darkest corners of the earth, to bring the Light of Justice and Copyright Protection to the most afflicted regions, providing they had telephone service. Today: South Africa.

Johnny E. faded in to existence in an unused hotel room. He looked out the windows, then took off his tie. This was no place for a tie. He could sense it.

He found trouble in no time. A gang of street thugs were attacking an innocent waif, trying to wrestle something away from her. Johnny E. would never tolerate such behaviour! Shouting, he cried out, "Get away from her, villains!"

They pulled knives. Johnny E. had no time for that, either - "And neither does my roundhouse kick!" he shouted as he unleashed a devastating blow, sending thugs cascading into one-another like dominoes. They quickly fled.

Johnny E. stooped down, looking at the item the thugs had been trying to steal from the girl. "That's a Walkman," he commented, looking at the girl. "Is it legit?"

She shook her head, still trembling with fear, and held out her hand.

Johnny E. tucked it away in his coat. "Another victory for law and justice!" he declared.

Another victory for law and justice! This is the good that one man, acting alone, may do for the world. Try it yourself!

Roboland, USA - Part Two

Lo, it was again the time of the morning that the event, and the action, and the actions did begin; but again, this author was not there. For though he had recieved special dispensation for the sin of not being elsewhere, and instead being there, he could not go, for his Brother, the protagonist of this tale, did slumber, and lie in repose, and generally sleep, all through the hours, until he did awaken, at which point he did delay, and pause, and refuse to make haste, until at last he made ready to go, and he and this author did depart, at last, for the land of the Machine Men.

(Not these machine men. They're cooler. But one makes do with what one has.)

Lo, it is true that in that land, there was again a Shrub, which was photo-graphed, for on that day this author had a picture-box, powered by harnessed lightning, which could be used to create electrical engravings of things of interest, a feature which was taken full advantage of. Automatons were photographed vigorously; as they sat in place, raised and lowered their telescoping components, and even as they mistakenly collided with walls and/or each-other. Yea, even the hapless machine that did try, for a full minute of a two-minute competition, to dislodge a ball from a rail, only to lodge itself in place until it freed itself in the last moments; yea, that was photographed, of a certainty. The ranking of the team to which our protagonist and his brother belonged was photographed, as it was high, and not low; so too were the pins they acquired, which did flash, and blink; so too was their own machine, which no longer possessed the rods, and beams, and rails upon which this author could safely say was his main contribution to the effort, (justly) deemed useless in practice. So go the ways of man.

Much success was had, and our hero was wreathed in flowers, and presented with medals, and treasure, and mead, and women, and itte wasse goode. And on his return from that place, he did see a squirrel which lagged, likely due to zone transition slowdown (as textures and other assets were loaded into memory), and also was barraged by rain, and then not, and then again, and then not, in a five-minute span, as the autobahn carried him home, away from that place he called, the MACHINE REALM. The final contest was yet to come; all men stood in readiness, brandishing sword and spear, musket and rifle, willing to risk no disaster before the morrow came.

Coyote - The Board Game

(context, context, context.)

Objective: Trick foes, achieve Coyote Goals.
Goals can be:
- Engage in intercourse
- Enrich yourself at others' expense, then kill them
- Kill a specific target for an imagined slight
- Interfere with everyone else

Each player begins with a certain number of resources: magic ball, deadly flatulence, ears, etc. Players move forward together on a track, each space possessing a listed encounter. Encounters may include a man-eating monster, or pretty girls, or a giant, rolling, talking meatball. The player whose turn it is uses their resources to try to use the encounter to move towards their goal. For instance, a player who wished to engage in intercourse might attempt to woo the encounter with their shiny jewelry (for instance), or might attempt to gain their desire through stealth and cunning instead. Then other players take turns using their own items or abilities to either manipulate the encounter or previous players to their advantage; for instance, the player with the shiny jewelry might have it stolen away by a Coyote with a knack for theft, or that same Coyote might roll rocks down onto the others and kill them both - if, of course, a later player doesn't muck it up. (Which they have every reason to do.) Items, abilties, and encounters have listed interactions, but if players find a creative, amusing interaction, they are encouraged to allow it.

Eventually, all great adventures come to an end; the Coyote board game ends suddenly and inexplicably. Every turn after the fifth, there is a chance it will end; certainly it ends by the tenth. There is no warning. Player may tack on a moral lesson to the end, if they so desire, and then points are tallied. One point is awarded per kill; 3 per useful item or ability retained by the end; and 10 per successful incident of intercourse. The victor points and laughs at his or her opponents, and then it is all over.


Roboland, USA - Part One


Lo, all was begun on the morn of the first day, two days before this author sorrowfully sets his pen to paper; the men of metal had made their journey, and began the work to ready them for the Great Conflict ahead. But in the morn our protagonist, the Brother, did not go; rather, he did slumber, even unto the time after noon, whereunto he did awaken, to the surprise of all, and travel to the north, wherein lay the lands of the Mechanical.

Lo, there were many strange things in that place, including a Shrubbery, marked as unto those in wheeled-chairs (that is, the disabled), in paint of blue; it guarded the entrance, but allowed us passage. Inside we did find noise, and people, and goggles, which it behooved us to wear. This accomplished, we did see the automata: and there were many. One came from Hawaii; another from Mexico, to our surprise; and a third, our neighbour, from far Boston, of the tribe known as "WPI". They had a suction cup. It sucked and did not suck, referring to each meaning of that word respectively.

Lo, the robots did race to, and also fro, and back, and also forth, so as to test them, and ready them for the battles ahead. And lo, there was the Orange Bot, known by the number 100, which did possess the rollers, and the telescoping mechanism, such that it was able to grab, and hold, in a manner that appeared as magic. And they did wear Seussian hats. And it was goode.

Lo, did the brother (and this author) have little purpose in the affair; and did they help in the manner of the bumper-men, who do watch and hold the bumpers; and it was goode.

And then they returned home; for them, the day was over. But the struggle would continue long into the evening, as silent assassins and saboteurs struck, trying to turn the tide of the competition before it had truly begun. The men of the law patrolled, the braver among them acting against the ninja, at risk of their own lives. It was a time of heroes and cowards; but we were not there. Also, that was all a lie. For us, the true tale would resume to-morrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

David Dialogues

"He didn't want to accept the cross because Christians don't have sex."

"I don't think that's true."

"Then how do you explain why almost none of them are alive any-more?"

The Kel and the Ruckus

One, day, a kel was a-jollipin' through the wilderness.
He hoppined upon a rock-barrow!
He looked inside it.
He looked outside it.
It had no contents and no identification!
He resolved to bring it back home to investigate—it seemed an important artifact.
But he couldn't budge the thing!
He grunted and bunted and bustled and rustled, but all he succeeded in doing was making a ruckus.
The ruckus was apparently of a suitable size for a womon to notice!
"Are you the one bedazzled and baffled by my rock-barrow?" she asked, after popping out of a nearby mammaribush.
"Dextrous Darwinabilia!" the kel deplored!
"You oughtn't leave rock-barrows out in the open where happenin' archaeometrists such as myself could happen upon them!"
"I offer my contrition for the happenstance," compuncted the womon, "but your blathering can't compensate for your resistance to noting the pictograms!"
Indeed, she pointed at a nearby sign… a crop-sign!
The kel lamented his chance.
He was standing in the midst of a rock-barrow field!
He petulantly pranced apart from the person, a-planting his pocket-pastilles in potsoil before reaching the periphery.
Before his departure, he found that his toddling was being impersonated!
"Do my pips not stop the topping of your soil?" the kel delvt.
"Pocket pastille pips keep the sprouting to a high and the doubting to nigh naught!" the womon replied, as she eyed, then flied to a trying shrub, so as to tend to its bends (around the wheel of a growing rock-barrow).
The kel complied with the advice and decried his vice (for in these times, cultivated cultivating knowhow was a necessary virtue), then tried to leave thrice before finding the reason he hadn't.
"Are there coordinate-strings to plot or digit-strings to dial that I may disseminate to my rock-barrow-lacking friends?" the kel posed.
The womon was left agape.
Her mental model of a kel had not previously included its tendency to support small businesses!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Return of the Guru

The guru, having consulted the aliments and many maladies of young, virile men everywhere, now sat facing his greatest challenge yet.

"Master, you must help me! You see, it is a problem of"

"Yes, child, I know, I see all. I can see that you have had, shall we say 'problems' in that particular area all your life...unfortunately..."

"Yes, but what does that mean, Master?"

"I truly regret to tell you this but..."

"No! But there must be something I can do!"

"Yes. To overcome your natural ineptness, you shall need a preparation of powerful herbes, mixed such that their alchemy, and the chymistry, shall empower you, and fortify your body, and your bones, and your mind, such that you will be at least ten times the man you were. And you shall become..."

"...and then?"

"Your new powers are not infinite, like that of a true master, fast and strong. They must be renewed, periodicly every so often with the rising of the moon. This renewal must take place at the font of all that is good, and magic. And this font shall be located in a building that is vast, whose rafters will shake with your arrival, trembling at your might."

"Where might such a bizarre and wondrous place be located?"

"Come, I shall show you the way."

And that is why we were often wont to go to the Chop-Bar, to delight in many pleasured spectacles and delicacies from the far-reaches of the Earth, and to renew our soul, and to experience the world anew.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Of Yester-Day

Lo, a Nikolas, being possessed of a sudden fever, yea, a thorough knowledge of his future course, did arise at four and thirty past the mid-night arise from his slumbers. In the dark of night, the Nikolas did venture onto the tar-mac, that he might be given wings, and soar unto the heavens, to arrive in the land of the Saint Jacob, or "Diego", as he is known in the South. And in the air, his thoughts turned to Isselande, and he devised many plans and mechanisms by which it might be improved; and itte wasse goode.

And the Nikolas did arrive in the Jacobtown, and ventured north, into a great Ball-Room. There was a Performance there, of Rigour, but Scant Technical Aptitude, so that the Nikolaus was distracted, and also by the Mechanism with which he was provided, which did both Extend and Retract, so as to drive him to Distraction. But the News was Delivered, that He, and All Other Present, might attend the Halls of Learning, with Honour and Dignity, as befits a Gentleman; and the Nikolas was much pleased. But being an evil gremlin, the Nikolaus's thoughts at once turned to his good friend, who was Elsewhere, and yet invited; so the Nikolaus knew that he was admitted, and plotted and schemed to use that knowledge against him. Such is the way of a Nikolas.

And the Nikolas did Travel, yea, unto the lands of the Engine-Seers, that he might learn of their Dark Arts. And they did show him, yea, of the Intern-Ships (which sail the seas of Marmelade and Puddle (with their Rocket-Steam-Engines (powered by Fusion Coils (coiling around the spleen of the serpent (of Eden) whose scales are as hearts) which do not explode) capable of exerting one jigajoule per picosecond) not unlike Sofya and Sonia and so forth - actually wait, that's nasty, never mind), which are Teamed, and also there was the Four-K, which was the Future; and the Nikolas devised more mechanisms of Isselande, and took Notes, with that Pen which doth Retract and Extend; and itte wasse goode.

And there were Computerized Lips, which were Unfinished for Want of Time; and it was sad.

Then was the Nikolas lost, in the wilderness, and the forest, and the woods, and the wastes; but lo, he did find his way, though at every turn he was both deceived and deluded and diluted. So was he taken unto the College, of the Justice-Avatar Warren, who pervades all that land. There he was Fed, and did feel Guilt, and acquired a Banana, for his luck was strong, and the food was free. There also at the table at which the Nikolas did sit was a Girl, who had a Quest, for though she was interested in the Tennis, the game of Raquet and Sphere, none others knew of it, or its state at the College of Mr. Warren; and she was dismayed.

Then did the Persons of the College Tour the Lands, and the Residences, and the Apart-Ments. And there was confusion, for the Guides were Much Bemused, first at the sight of (in the early days of March) a Student Suntanning in a Bathing Suit on a Public Lawn, which did Divert, and Attract the Eye. Then did they go unto the Residences; but they were Perplexed, and Misled, and did venture unto the Wrong Residence. Upon complaint, they informed the occupants of the Authority they Carried, that of Matt, who had granted them Permission; and lo, twelve Persons (the Nikolas among them) did Enter; and there was much confusion. All was Revealed, and a Swift Departure Ensued; but the Damage was Done.

The other residence had a dude playing Guitar Hero. I'd never actually seen it played! Just seen videos. The "fret bar" is pretty loud.

Also there was an Apartment, with a Game-Cube, and a Door behind a Couch, which did Heat Water; and there was a Roommate, and a Girlfriend, the First (being male) noting that he was not the Second. All were Jolly and did Chuckle Greatly.

Then came a time of Questions, and Answers, and Prizes; and the Girl of the Tennis Quest did Find the Answers she Sought, and win a Prize, which was a Sticker of Bumps; and for this she was praised, and congratulated, and saluted, by the Nikolas.

And then came the Time, and the Nikolas did turn into a Gas, and a Vapour, and a Mist, and he did Transubstantiate, and Return, unto the lands of the North; and he did Decieve his Friend, for he was Evil, and possibly a Vampire; and so the tale ends, of a Nikolas's Journey to the Universal-Collegium of Saint "Diego".

Friday, March 07, 2008

In Lieu of a Post regarding my Voyage To-Day

A preview:

Nikolas-goat MIA. Kelsey, I'd like one, please.

Also, the creatures in the center are land-narwhals. Thus the horns.

Nikolaus Chronicle XVIII MCMXVIII

Yea, Frigg's day, yea, the blood moon, yea, eighth year our lord reborn, yea, Nikolaus Chronicle.

The beginning:

Nikolaus did arisse earlie from banyan bed, and yea, hee took a winter's stride towaerds the gymnasium, and he did carry many pounds of cabbage upon his backe, and he did have holes in his shooes, and it was goode.

Of the Chymistry:

And it came to pass, that Mr. Nikolaus came into the warme roome and the grand lecture halle for the chymistry, and there were many peoples there of ill demeanour, and Mr. Nikoulas, fearing them, for his liver was sensitive that morninge, he did sit next to Mr. Professor Suresh, from the Indian subcontinent, and who was known for his brain, which was ten times the density of a normal man's, such that he had to place metals about his head from destroying the minds of passersby with his mindewaves, and it wasse goode.

Yea, a buffer solution was made, such that it resisted the wayes of acides, and basses, and it did not flinche in their presence, for it was blessed by the lord, and it would also resiste the forces of evile, and yea, the divel, and his articles, and his minions, and they did measure it, and performe obscene actes upon it, and it wasse goode.

Of the Economy:

And then it came to pass, that Mr. Nikolaus, being a gentle-man, and being in the company of many a youngge ladie, did come to the lecture halle of the governmente, and he did absorbe many goode vibrations, and he learned many theorems, such that he did not rememberre any of them, for it was un eventfulle, and his livere was manifesting many unusual symptomes, and it wasse goode.

Of the Englisshe:

Mr Nikolaus, fearing the presence of large ground-wormes that had nested in his usual seate, did come upon and encroach the seate of many youngge ladies, and they did proteste vocally and viciouslie, such that his liver was shattered into many pieces, however, he being a greate man, did regenerate it, and he did retain his seat, and the class did observe a cinematographie, for the professor had taken ill, and was invilid, and they did compare the fylme to a booke that was in recent memorie, and it wasse goode.

Thursday, March 06, 2008



Hvordan går det?


Ikke godt?

Ja! God.

Behagelig at træffe dig.

Ah... hvad hedder de?

De er

Nej, nej. De er ikke
æble! De er æble, jeg spiser de. Nej, nej, nej. De er ikke æble.

De er øl?

Nej, nej. De er ikke øl! De er øl, jeg drikke de. Nej, nej, nej. De er ikke øl.

De er toilette?

Ja! De er toilette!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Something, cont.

"As of 2200 one week ago, a fleet of Gith warships jumped insystem," the admiral declared, gesturing with the pointer he held in his hand. The map circled the corresponding area, around the outermost planet of the system, a gas giant. "Our analysts have calculated their most probable route: a slingshot manuever around Five to build an sunward velocity, a close approach with Three to resupply and modify their vector, and then straight to Four. Here."

"If they make it to the colony on Four, they will have the capability to destroy every human being there from orbit, even without defeating our forces. We will have no choice but to surrender. So we must intercept them."

"Our plan is to send the fleet to Three and engage them at close range; less than a light-second. The engagement will continue until the enemy is destroyed."

"We have no information on enemy force composition: our only warning was the jumpflash. Local orbit telescopes will hunt for more information as you travel, but for the moment, you'll be going out blind. Any more information we gain will be sent by laser."

"Good luck. I'll see you again in two years, if all goes well."

Twenty-four colonial warships left Four's orbit, each laden with two huge solid-fuel tanks. These they jettisoned en route, looping in a lazy, six-month-long arc toward Three. The crewmen were kept quite busy - in drills, training, and hunting, scouring the stars along the enemy's projected trajectory for any sign of the foe. None came; but space was vast, and ships were tiny. The colonials were content to wait - though increasingly nervous, as the time came nearer for battle.

Messages came from the colony. Some were routine - mail, sporting events, politics. Others were not.

The first news of import came some days after the ships left. A titanic burst of light had been observed from behind one of Five's moons. It seemed likely that it was either the result of tremendous incompetence, or designed to hurl some-thing directly at the colony. A few days later, the conclusion came: the latter. Multiple asteroids had been spotted inbound for the main colony, propelled by the blast. More were projected; the telescopes that had been hunting for the enemy fleet were reassigned. The colonial fleet would have to find its foes on its own.

More news came through some months later, most of the way through the colonial fleet's voyage. An amateur astronomer had, through blind luck and extreme determination, found sign of enemy warvessels on the projected course. No more than a speck - but it was a speck where it shouldn't have been, and on multiple observations. The Gith were coming on the projected vector - which meant the colonial warfleet was in the right place. Preparations redoubled.

The battle began with the sighting of a Gith warship by a colonial vessel, at a light-second and a half out. Fleetcom was notified; in complex synchronization, the warfleet turned to present its side to the sighted Githship, burning it apart with forty-eight laser beams. It was a good omen.

Then two colonial warships blew up within seconds of each-other. Passive sensors suggested that they'd been hit by homing warheads. The Gith had not taken their losses passively.

With any element of surprise lost, both sides went to active radar. The vast volume around the two fleets was filled with radar waves bouncing and interfering, requiring the colonial fleet to dedicate most of its onboard computers to sorting the mess. Ships moved in sudden, jerky bursts, trying to evade shots aimed at a three-second old vector. But while the colonials' lasers either missed or hit (and far more likely hit), the Gith missiles compensated on the fly. The colonials had far the worst of the exchange; and, after a long, painful four hours that had seen a quarter of the colonial fleet turned into scrap, the fleet commander ordered a closer approach.

At half a light-second - a distance far larger than the diameter of the Earth - the battle intensified. A colonial vessel took a close hit, losing the front half of its hull. Compartmentalization, as designed, kept it from losing the rest. Another Gith vessel was crippled by laser-fire, dodging not quite far enough.

Inexplicably, another Githship burst apart in a shower of silent flames, without being fired on by a colonial vessel. The fleet admiral turned to his aide, who was already checking the comm logs. "Orbital lasers have started firing," the aide told him a moment later. "They're working off our telemetry."

"They're light-hours away," the fleet admiral said. "Pure luck that they hit even once. This battle isn't over yet."

Though vastly further away, the beam defenses around Four were tremendously more powerful than the colonial war-fleet, allowing them to fire more frequently and in a larger area, somewhat compensating for the distance. Over the next four hours, another five Gith ships were shattered by the colonial lasers, two of them by those around Four. The Gith took their toll on the colonials, damaging or destroying two colonial warships for every one the Gith lost. But their lasers were less powerful, and the colonials grew better and better at detecting and destroying the Gith missiles. Eight and a half hours into the battle, the fleet admiral summarized to his aide: "We've taken terrible losses, but unless we have very bad luck, or a Gith fleet drops out of stealth and attacks in the next two hours, we've won."

Apparently the Gith fleet commander felt similarly. Less than five minutes later, the colonial fleet saw rifts in space open ahead of the enemy fleet. "They're fleeing!" the admiral barked. "Close with the enemy, track them and fire as they enter the rifts!" The colonial fleet closed in, burning fuel recklessly to get the best shots possible. The Admiral's ship, foregoing defensive maneuvering to close more quickly, was hit by a well-aimed Gith laser; annihilating the bridge, it miraculously spared most of the ship. The Gith took the worst of the exchange; half their fleet failed to escape through the rifts. And as the rifts closed behind the last Gith escapees, a colonial ship, without orders, followed, darting through on full thrust less than a minute before the rift closed.

Theirs is a story to remember: but here, as the colonial fleet (beheaded in a stroke at the moment of victory), half in ruins, recoalesces ten hours out of Three, that we end our tale: in triumph.

(You may, or may not, recall this post. It was an illustration of a Gith warvessel; the blue ring is a combination fueling mechanism/laser array.)

(Also, the new image was made using no less than three image-editing programs.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008



Hvordan går det?


Ikke god?

Ja! God.

å treffe deg.

Ah... hva heter de?

De er

Nei, nei. De er ikke
æble! De er æble, jeg spiser de. Nei, nei, nei. De er ikke æble.

De er øl?

Nei, nei. De er ikke øl! De er øl, jeg drikke de. Nei, nei, nei. De er ikke øl.

De er toalette?

Ja! De er toalette!


The Kronitlker of Desmond: the adventures of Mr. Nikolaus (part I)

One daye, whan the srpynge was fulle, and the blossomes of the trees came uppe and ensnared smalle animales in their mawes, and they did digestte them, and the rivers gush'd with the lyfes of ten-thousand fishes, and shrymps, and coddes, and hallibutte, and the air was warme, and supple, and stronge wyndes blew from the north-easte, and it was sunnie, and it rain'd oftene, whan this occured, then it was the tyme for manie peoples in the faire provincie of Desmondforde for come uppe, out of their grass-hutts, and do many jigs, and gabols, and pagan rituales, and they did so with muche enjoymente, for it was a magickal tyme, and it was goode.

And one fine daye in this seasone, a younge man, who was in the earnestness of gentle men not a young as one ought thought, yea, he was at least 30 winteres wither'd, and he wore a dignified bearde, and a fine hat from bavaria, and fine woolen trousers, and garters, and coulettes, and buckel'd shooes, and was in all wayes educatèd in the chymistry, and the physick, and the astronomie, and the philosophie, and he was a good oratore, and diligente in his scriptures, and a goode person, and kinde-heartèd, and it was goode.

And it came to pass, that this manne, Mr. Nikolaus, of Dunkirke, professoré, Lord Bingley, came upon one daye, in his goode stroll through his country manner, and he look'd forlorn, and solemn, and swollen, and stern, for he was beplaguèd, for he had recently encountered the peasantes, whom he envied most wickelie, for thought they were poore, and destitute, and fylthie, they had much goode love, and families, and sexual relations, and they copulated wildlie, and it was goode.

And then it came to pass, that Mr Nikolaus, in his madnesse, came and decided to love a womon, from the toune, and to go and have a wonderfulle castel of them, and to be a geat man.

Monday, March 03, 2008

nikolas symbole

The Ancients

"Damn it!" Laramie cursed. He kicked his car. "First you give out, on a full tank of gas, while I'm driving on this damn back-country route. Then my cell phone gives out. What the hell?"

A creature appeared, floating in the air. Green, winged, hideous. A gremlin. It told Laramie, "Oh, you'll find that'll be happening a lot from now on."

Laramie stared. "What?" he asked, incredulous.

"We've gotten sick of the whole "modernity" business," it told Laramie. "Businesses, technology, people dying of a ripe old age... boring! So we decided to get rid of it. From now on, if anyone travels to a place they've not been to before, they'll be transported to a land of magic and enchantment - where anything more sophisticated than a wheel won't work, and where creatures of myth and legend are real."

"But that will destroy civilization!" Laramie cried out, aghast.

"Well, that is the point, really," the gremlin said, giggling. "Can't you think of any advantages?"

Laramie thought about it for a moment, then whirled his finger. A tiny fireball shot off it, detonating a hundred feet above. "Hmm," he said. "Perhaps I can, after all."


Koth darted back, swinging his mace. A skeleton collapsed into shattered ruin, and the others were knocked back long enough for Koth to escape the circle they'd formed around him. A half-minute's run, and he was there: in his sanctum, the place he'd been born, the only place he was safe from magic. Only one other person had been there - his wife, long ago, as part of their wedding ceremony. For now, he could take a breather, rest and heal before attacking the Dark One's minions once more.

Laramie appeared.

"What!?" cried Koth. "Who are you - how did you get here? This is my sanctum!"

Laramie looked about, contemptuously. "The old Westhall shopping centre? Pah. I can't be the only one of the old crew still walking who visited this place before the Enchantment struck. There aren't that many of us left, sure - it's been a damn hard forty years - but this ain't no fortress, kid."

Koth's face turned white. "Then... you're an Ancient," he whispered.

"Yep," Laramie agreed, walking toward Koth. "All of sixty-two, I am. And, more to the point, I'm the Ancient whose army you were just wreaking havoc in."

Koth scuttled backwards on hands and knees. He didn't even think of raising a weapon in his own defense. Frantically, he asked, "Why do you even need an army?"

Laramie stopped. "To deal with my contemporaries, of course," he told Koth. "Why, otherwise, they'd just walk right over me... ah." He began walking forward again. "Trying to distract me, buy time. Hell, I tried the same trick on my teachers when I was your age." Koth looked blank. "How old are you, boy?"

"Fif-fifteen," Koth gasped, at the edge of his sanctum. As Laramie reached out and scooped him up by the collar, Koth cried, "No! I have a wife - a daughter! Don't kill me!"

Laramie looked at him. "You know, I believe you," he said. Then he walked forward, carrying Koth out of his sanctum and into the midst of Koth's army. "But eternal life doesn't come cheap, and if I spared every fifteen-year-old with children, I'd be a husk before the week was out." Laramie's arm began to glow red, as Koth's life was sucked away.

Struggling, with the last of his strength, Koth gasped out, "Damn you! I hope you choke on me, and rot to death, you... monster!"

Laramie dropped Koth's corpse. He verily glowed - shining with the light of life he'd ripped away from Koth.

He coughed, but thought nothing of it.

Und Hea Did Win

Beige Electronic Teacup v.1.0
"Your reality, our concern."


17:11:40 Small_Green_Lump: give lemon
17:11:47 (BET): done
17:12:07 Small_Green_Lump: observe surroundings
17:12:19 (BET): You see a cat.
17:12:29 Small_Green_Lump: throw lemon at
17:12:32 Small_Green_Lump: cat
17:12:37 (BET): You lose.
17:12:49 (BET): Your score is 1 out of a possible 1337, giving you a rank of meizlizard.
17:12:54 Small_Green_Lump: Load game
17:13:02 (BET): I don't understand that command.
17:13:12 Small_Green_Lump: load "save 1"
17:13:18 (BET): I don't understand "load".
17:13:32 Small_Green_Lump: select timber
17:13:46 (BET): The wolf howls.
17:13:49 Small_Green_Lump: build lemon cannon
17:14:04 (BET): You win.
17:14:18 (BET): Your score is 1336 out of a possible 1337, giving you the rank of "Lemon."
17:14:28 Small_Green_Lump: Equip guitar
17:14:46 (BET): Done.
17:14:48 Small_Green_Lump: Use guitar
17:15:23 (BET): Done.
17:16:09 Small_Green_Lump: Play: macintosh hd/users/gavin/desktop/sweetjams.mp3
17:16:28 (BET): na na, na na na, naaaaaaaaaa