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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Panzerfrau

PANZERFRAU



Also Known As: the Tank Wife, Armor Woman, Iron Lady, and combinations thereof; the Prussian Princess of Pistons; the Orgone Orgier; the Prussianatrix
Real name: Cybele Rhamnusia (née Rhamnusia Nemesis; named changed upon split with her father)
Occupation: Technofetishist, would-be world conqueror and only recognized heir of Nemesis
Identity: Public
Legal status: Panzerfrau has no legal citizenship, as her country of birth is unknown and no nation is willing to claim her
Place of birth: One of Nemesis’ many secret bases around the world; precise location unknown
Marital status: Single and loving it
Known relatives: Nemesis, the Prussian Prince of Automata (father); Marlene Dietrich (mother, deceased)
Group affiliation: Masters of Mayhem (for as long as it amuses her)
Base of operations: Currently at large in the Rogue Isles
Height: 5’7”
Weight: Unknown. Panzerfrau is sensitive about her weight, and thus scales refuse to give accurate measurements
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red


History:
The woman that would one day be known as Panzerfrau was born in the late 1940s. The actual date is undisclosed, but scholars of such things place her birth after the end of World War II but before Nemesis’ nerve gas attack on Washington, DC.

Born, actually, is not quite correct; “decanted” would be the proper term. It is unknown how Nemesis acquired Marlene Dietrich's genetic material, but DNA testing performed in the 1990s bears out the allegation that Rhamnusia Nemesis is her biological daughter. It is presumed that the male donor is none other than Nemesis himself, and that Panzerfrau is a test-tube baby.

Little is known about her early years, save that she traveled extensively, was given an education befitting a super-genius, and was denied human contact through puberty. This last edict was rescinded following an unfortunate event when she was 16: in an attempt to better conform to what she perceived as her father’s ideal of beauty, she amputated her right arm and replaced it with one from a Nemesis Automaton. Psychologists believe this was her first serious foray into technofetishism (see below).

The 1960s were a turbulent decade for the Nemesis “family”. After attaining her majority and being granted the right of human contact, she quickly fell in with the wrong crowd and committed the unforgivable sin: she began to question her father’s wisdom. In this case, the “wrong crowd” equaled believers in Reich’s theory of Orgone energy. As a biological with machine parts that drew energy from herself, she felt that this nascent technology best represented who she was. Within a year she had refit her Jaeger to run off of bio-energy that she generated and stored within power cells of her own devising.

This simple act of “finding herself” was seen by Nemesis not as simple teenage rebellion, but as rank betrayal of the worst sort. When he commanded her to destroy her prototypes, she refused. When he destroyed her lab, she fled, taking only her notes and personal fortune, and disappeared into the third world.

It is unknown how many brushfire wars were the result of the feud between Nemesis and his daughter, who had renamed herself Cybele, but it is widely believed that the Rhodesian War was one of them. A typical pattern was this: Nemesis would send soldiers to capture, or perhaps kill his daughter; she would evade or destroy them. As reprisal, she would thwart one of his schemes or reveal it to local heroes, then escape (often with Nemesis resources) in the ensuing confusion. Nemesis’ pride would then demand that he not allow this insult to go unanswered, and thus the cycle would begin again, only with greater measures and higher stakes.

It is perhaps this same pride that prevented Nemesis from disowning his daughter. To his way of thinking, only one truly of his blood could thwart his brilliant schemes so thoroughly and still live. However much his anger at her grew, so did his respect of her abilities and, grudgingly, of the technology that she commanded.

The rules of this war changed in the 1980s, following what can only be described as a “summit meeting” in Switzerland. Nemesis swore that he would no longer seek the destruction of his daughter, who had proven worthy of being named his heir. Instead, their war would be one of technological supremacy. In short: whoever takes over the world first, wins.

This marked the first appearance of Panzerfrau on the supervillain scene, and life has not been easy for her. In addition to vying with her father for world supremacy, she must now contend with other villain groups and that most annoying of all x-factors, superheroes. Following the loss of much of her resources after a disastrous defeat at the hands of Kenku (herself a legacy hero, daughter of The Raven, hero of Baltimore), she was remanded to Ziggursky Penitentiary for rehabilitation. Having managed to escape, she must now rebuild her financial and criminal empire, and to that end has allied herself with the Masters of Mayhem, a loose alliance of megalomaniacs and would-be world conquerors, whose general mission statement seems to be "First we defeat all the heroes, and then we fight each other to determine who rules the world."




Powers and Equipment:
Panzerfrau possesses no known superhuman abilities. However, her human abilities are more than sufficient to make her a force to be reckoned with. Genetically engineered and raised from birth to be the successor of the most brilliant and twisted mind of the 19th and 20th centuries, she is a Machiavellian supergenius whose command of the sciences is not hindered by such petty things as ethics or morality.

An inspired inventor, Panzerfrau is constantly inventing new technologies in her never-ending quest for world domination, and as such, her capabilities are likely to change on a case-by-case basis. However, there are three pieces of equipment she is never without:
  1. An orgone gun, which stores and fires bolts of bio-energy. These discharges can knock a hole in a bank vault at full strength, or they can stun a target through over-stimulation of its pleasure centers.
  2. A suit of body armor designed not only to protect, but also to flatter and enhance her already formidable figure. This suit has the ability to fly and project force fields (technology stolen and extrapolated from her father) and also has built-in life support.
  3. Her Panzers:
    • Wild Weasel, Double Tap, and Jackrabbit, disposable drones armed with rapid-fire orgone guns;
    • Sturm and Drang, shield-generating robots that repair the other Panzers and serve as her personal bodyguards;
    • and Umlaut, a ten-foot tall Assault Panzer equipped with rocket pods, heavy orgone cannons and a flamethrower.



Technofetishism
:
Imagine if, from birth, you were surrounded by machinery. Your nanny was an automaton, as were all your teachers. Your first puppy was really a Jaeger. Your father was locked into a suit of armor and, to this day, you have never seen his face. If all this transpired, two things would be certain to occur:

1) You’d transfer feelings of affection normally reserved for other human beings onto machinery.
2) You’d be very, very screwed up psychosexually.

Panzerfrau doesn’t just love machines; she loves them carnally. You might look at a sports car, or a jet fighter, or a sleek piece of technology and think, “I love the way that looks.” She looks at the same thing and thinks, “What a sexy piece of technology. I’d like to fuck it.”

For her, an armored chassis equals six-pack abs. Decorative filigree is lingerie. A long, powerful cannon is a penis, and the breech of that same weapon is a vagina. It’s all sexual, and it’s all for her pleasure. And yes, she generates the orgone that powers her equipment in exactly the manner you think she does. Not for nothing is she called the "Tank Wife"...

However, for all of this, she’s not a slut. Quality is quality, after all! A simple gun won’t do it for her, in the same way that a cheeseburger won’t satisfy a gourmet. No, it has to be elegant, it has to have craftsmanship, it has to have that certain je ne sais quoi that separates the fashionable from the jejune.

A checklist:
  • Is it big?
  • Is it powerful?
  • Is it sublime or ridiculous in scope?
  • Is it, in some way, artistic?
If the answers to the above are "yes", then it turns her on.




Motivation and Personality:
Panzerfrau engages in schemes of conquest and dominion because, quite frankly, it’s the family business. She was raised to believe that not only is she better than everyone else, but that it’s her destiny to rule. Her educational curriculum resembled that of a military aristocrat in Borgia Italy or Czarist Russia: History, philosophy, tactics, literature, politics, war, economics, science, and etiquette. Oh, and assassination.

Think of a classic Bond villain, like Dr. No, and you’re not far off. She doesn’t kill unless pressed, because it’s far better to have living subjects who can serve and worship her. Her ego is monolithic, her confidence unshakable, and this is not unwarranted; remember that during the decades she was feuding with her father, she survived the numerous assassination attempts he threw at her, while managing to thwart enough of his schemes to prevent him from dismissing her.

If she chooses to gloat over a defeated hero instead of delivering the coup de grace; if she throws said hero into a deathtrap and then leaves to attend to “more pressing matters”; if she painstakingly explains her master plan just so that someone – someone – will be able to appreciate its breathtaking scope and cunning depth…

… well, that’s just how things are done, you see. Well-bred villains understand these things. Etiquette must always be observed.


----------------
Now playing: And One - Panzer Mensch
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WNW: Almost got 'im

In continuation of Villain Week, I present one of the best episodes of the already great Batman: the Animated Series.







Where's the wackiness, you say?

Well, the reveal at 3:30 cracks me up...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A More Horrible Ending

Fair warning: I'm going to assume that anyone who wanted to watch Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has already done so. If you haven't, you're too late, since it only ran for a week and it's since been pulled. If you want to see it, then buy it on iTunes or wait for the DVD to come out or torrent it.

Which is a longwinded way of saying "Here there be spoilers."

Now, I think the vast majority of us will agree that, as a whole, the DHSAB project was excellent. (Who knew Neil Patrick Harris could sing? Not I.) I believe we are also in similar agreement that Acts 1 and 2 were near-perfect.

The problem, however, comes with Act 3.

Really, at this point anyone who is surprised by Joss brutally slaughtering an innocent, beloved character has only themselves to blame. And yet, the interblogwebosphere is aglow with thousands of flames, as if an oilfield of fandom was ablaze with thick, viscous clouds of "OMG HOW COULD YOU JOSS" or "Her death totally undermines her status as a strong feminist character" or "Blah blah blah rattle pootie tootie" rising into the sky, their acrid odor choking all observers.

As you may have guessed, I too have some problems with the execution of Act 3. I also think Joss fumbled a critical scene -- but not in the way you think I think he did. My thoughts, let me show you them:

Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is, fundamentally, about loss of innocence. Some salient points, below, and then my rewrite of the scene.


Act 1

  • Our protagonist is named Billy -- not Bill, not William, but Billy, a child's name.
  • His alternate persona, Doctor Horrible, dresses entirely in white, the color of purity. (If you wanted to get really fancy, you could mention that while he has black goggles, they sit, unused, on his forehead instead of being worn properly. This is indicative of the dark future which looms over him but has yet to claim him.)
  • Captain Hammer, however, is dressed in blacks and browns, shades associated with corruption.
  • Based on all of this, and the way both interact with Penny, it could be reasonably inferred that Billy is a virgin, and Captain Hammer clearly isn't. Billy = white gloves = innocent; Captain Hammer = black gloves = not at all innocent. In fact, it's hard to find a single redeeming quality about ol' Hammer.

Act 2
  • At this point we can see the beginning of Billy's change to "true" evil. The man who in the first act refused to fight someone in Dooley Park "because there's kids there" is now opening wondering, in song, if "throwing poison in the water main" would change anything in the way the human race behaves. He even states outright that "It's plain to see/ evil inside of me/ is on the rise."
  • Instead of objecting to murder on moral grounds, his arguments turn toward style. "Killing's not elegant or creative." He's already on the slippery slope.
  • And then, during the confrontation with Hammer in the laundromat, you can practically see the change come over him as he decides that, yes, murder is his style after all:
    It's a brand new day
    And the sun is high
    All the birds are singing
    That you're gonna die
    How I hesitated
    Now I wonder why
    It's a brand new day
  • This is also the first time that Billy self-identifies as "evil".

Act 3

Given all that has transpired in the previous acts, two things are clear: One, Billy fully intends to kill Captain Hammer; and Two, he has to psych himself up to do it. Billy is not at all cool and calculating when it comes to murder, which is possibly the entire point of the "Slipping" song -- he's getting into character, as it were, working up the necessary rage toward his enemy -- otherwise, he'd just kill him and have done with it all.

But then there's that scene where shrapnel from the exploding death ray kills Penny, and while it's powerful, it doesn't organically complete the arc of character development we've been evolving throughout the previous acts. No, Billy is all set to kill his nemesis, the freeze ray malfunctions, and suddenly this story about loss of innocence and the conscious embrace of evil has its biggest moment subverted by malfunctioning equipment.

That's a cheat. The story of Billy and Penny deserves better than that. Here, then, is how I would have done it:


Billy: (singing) It's gonna be bloody/ Head up Billy buddy/ There’s no time for mercy/ Here goes no mercy...

[Enter stage right Penny, who runs between Billy and Captain Hammer]

Penny: Billy, stop!

Billy:
Penny, what are you.... wait, Billy? How did you... ?

Penny: [indicating the goggles on his face] Well, it's not like you wear a mask.

Billy:
Oh.

Penny: And you have a video blog.

Billy: Right.

Penny: And...

Billy: (interrupting) I get it!

Penny: But even though I knew you were Dr. Horrible, I was still your friend. Because I could see the good inside of you. You have a good heart, Billy, you're just misguided. I hoped that, by being your friend, maybe I could turn your villainous impulses into something more constructive. More... good.
Billy: (speechless)

Penny: But if you kill Captain Hammer -- if you commit murder, Billy -- then I can never, ever be your friend again.
[At this point, Billy goes into another verse of "Slipping". I won't pretend that I can write believable lyrics, but they should convey the mixed emotions he feels. Because, whatever he does, he loses. If he does as Penny asks, then the woman he loves go off with his greatest enemy, and he doesn't get into the E.L.E, and Bad Horse will probably kill him. But if he kills Hammer, then once again he loses Penny, and worse, she hates him for the rest of her life.

So, mad with passion and obsession and regret, he makes the only choice he feels he can make. It isn't a logical choice, of course -- the lyrics and the singer must make this clear -- but it the choice of a man with thwarted desires and a broken heart and more than just a little anger.]
Billy: (resuming his place after the song) I'm sorry, Penny. I'm really sorry it has to end like this. But... I'm Dr. Horrible, after all.

Penny: What do you...

[Billy SHOOTS HER DEAD.]

Billy: ...

[Penny slumps to the floor. Billy takes aim at the still-frozen Captain Hammer. The Freeze Ray shuts down. The scene continues essentially as it did before, just minus the last words with Penny. After Captain Hammer flees the scene, the reality of the situation sinks in, and Billy picks up the lifeless Penny while singing "Everything I Ever."]

With this, the final scenes become more poignant and more relevant:

"Now the nightmare's real." Yes, but whose nightmare?

"Now Dr. Horrible is here." With the death of Penny, Billy is gone... only Dr. Horrible remains. He sheds his virginal white and garbs himself in red and black, the colors of death. For the first time, he puts the goggles over his eyes, covering the traditional "windows to the soul" with opaque black glass.

"And I won't feel...." Because he is a true villain now. Instead of having been granted his wish through comic misadventure, the conscious choice to kill Penny -- even in the heat of the moment, even if it was a decision he would not have made were he thinking clearly -- cleanly and logically closes the character arc. He's no longer pure.

As the chorus intones, he has "Everything he ever [wanted]."

"... a thing." And yet, in that same instant, he's lost everything. Innocence, purity... his soul.



EDIT:

Jesus, people.

I do not need 20+ posts telling me "ZOMG U GOT IT WRONG."

At this point, you're just rehashing the same old points over and over again.

And nothing you say will make me change my mind, either.

I respect your opinions. Kindly respect mine.


SECOND EDIT, MARCH 2011:

Enough is enough. It's been three years, and I'm still getting hate mail about this post. I'm mature enough as a writer to take criticism of my work, but I'm tired of the personal attacks. Therefore, I'm closing comments. If you want to see the kind of abuse I've been getting, go check out Unholy Ram's comment, which has been left as an illustrative example.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Balefire

A Faerie Tale
'Twas Samhain, and come nightfall the fae trooped as one to the lordly mounds of the Daoine Sídhe, the commoners there to pay their yearly tithe to the nobles.

First into the hallowed halls of Aos Sí came the Trolls, stout as trees and nearly as wide, stooped such that their terrible height might cause them not to strike their heads upon the gilt ceilings. They came bearing great casks of ale and sacks of gold, and leading in flocks of sheep, and goats, and cow,s and even the occasional human child. All these were tolls demanded by them for to cross the bridges they claimed as their own, and if passers-by were unable to pay the Troll with gild or with good, victims they became.

The Daoine Sídhe nodded regally, and mayhaps smiled once or twice, for these offerings were good and desirable. The gold would be smelted into crowns and scepters and other trappings of nobility, and the animals would provide fine feasting over the long winter months to come. Even the children would be of use, the plain ones taught to serve and the fairer taught to service, and even the dullards would bring some amusement during the slow times as they were tormented before the court.

Then there was a terrible rustling, rushing, ragged noise of thousands of wings, and as countless crows whirled and gyred and smashed into each other, slowly appeared the representatives of the Sluagh. From beneath coal-black tattered cloaks presented they their homage: human souls. Glowing, bright and pure, the souls of innocent babes stolen afore their baptism; pulsing, dark and foreboding, the souls of the wicked claimed at the moment of their deaths; and whirling, with madness and distress, the souls of foolish wanderers who knew not to avoid the clutches of the Wild Hunt as it rode throughout the land.

The Daoine Sídhe nodded grimly at this, counting each soul at presentation, and at last satisfied with the tally, quietly relieved that again this cycle they could pay the Teind owed to the Devil. The torments of hell would not suit ones such as they.

As passed the hours, so did the commonfae and their tributes, from greatest to least in worthiness. And so, as the night waned and the dawn threatened, so came the Kobolds. Small they were, and hideous, for they were goblins and beasts of the earth, dirty and unkempt and reeking of noxious odors. At the head of this procession was Masse, the great Kobold King himself, and behind him his people strained to bring forth a tribute unlike any they had before.

And the Daoine Sídhe, enervated and bored, took keen notice of this. For eons past the Kobolds had only brought forth ores and rocks -- things useful to the court, certainly, but none especially valuable or pretty or luxurious like gold or diamond; rather, boring and mundane ores like tin and nickel and copper. But today! Today they brought forth a great metal sphere, painted a brilliant deep blue that seemed to glow even in torchlight, and mounted upon a great heavy pedestal of glittering chrome, inlaid with abstract mosaics of bright yellow and green.

"Explain this thing which before us lies," demanded the King of the Daoine Sídhe, for never had they seen an offering such as this. It spoke of hidden artistry possessed by the Kobolds, and unknown talents of commoners distressed the nobility greatly.

"This," rasped the King of the Kobolds, "is the lifetime work of my race. I offer it to you, Gracious Lords," and at this he bowed low, "that Kobold-kind might find favor in your eyes."

First one noble tittered, then another. Who were these things, to think that they might be anything other than earth-grubbers? Soon the entire court was a-howl with mocking laughter, and the King of All Kobolds' cheeks flushed with anger and shame. Bowing, scraping, he retreated from the court, the rest of his kind having long since fled. The hoots and jeers followed him to the very exits of the faerie mound. To ground thence he went, traveling ever deeper into the bowels of the earth, unto the leaden caverns of the Kobold Kingdom.

He summoned then his two trusted advisors, Heymr and Oppe. "The Daoine Sídhe have mocked us for the last time," he growled. "We will show them the extent of Kobold craft." And his advisors nodded and performed arcane acts upon yet more mosaics, the peaceful greens and cheerful yellows turning to angry, virulent reds.

Back in the great mound of Aos Sí , the gift of the Kobolds went ignored as the nobles feasted and debauched. They hardly noticed that the peaceful greens and cheerful yellows adorning the base of the blue glowing sphere had shifted to angry, virulent reds, nor the ominous "clunk" that resounded within.

Then the fucking thing exploded, and the fae were burnt to death in a firestorm and blown apart by the shockwave of a one-kiloton nuclear explosion. However, the slowly blossoming mushroom cloud that replaced the faerie mound of Aos Sí was very pretty.


Moral: Never piss off a people whose race is synonymous with a radioactive element.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jack. Just.... Jack.

My gaming group has just started up a 7th Sea campaign. For those of you who don't know what that means (and shame on you if that's the case!), 7th Sea is a swashbuckling game set during the Age of Exploration on a world that is basically Earth but with the serial numbers filed off.

Oh, and there's magic.

And the European nations are arranged according to coolness factor, rather than chronological accuracy. So you've got Pre-Revolution France butting up against Inquisition Spain, while post-Thirty Years' War Germany exports mercenaries to both sides. Ivan the terrible runs Russia, Vikings plunder Dutch trading guilds and the United Kingdom is made up of Elizabethan England, Robert the Bruce Scotland and Ireland has its own king, which never EVER happened.

In this universe, the Irish are called the Inish, and there are faeries everywhere. And I don't mean Disney fairies, either, I mean terrifying inhuman kind. In fact, Inismore and Avalon and the Highland Marches are called the Glamour Isles, and the place is just drenched with magic and superstition.

My character is Inish, and male (it's easier to play male roles in 7th Sea, in my opinion, especially in a pirate campaign), and... well, see for yourself.

(Apologies to those folks who have no clue what I'm talking about. Lie back, close your eyes, and think of home. I'll be done in a moment.)



The Tale of Jack


He doesn't remember his name any more.

It's been so long, and he's gone by so many aliases, that for the life of him he simply can't recall the name of his birth. When he tries to remember... things... happen. Very bad things. No, it's better just to let the past lie, and ride the madness instead of fighting it.

We can call him Jack. That's a nice name. A good strong Inish name. Because even if he doesn't remember who he is anymore, he knows he's Inish, by Theus. Call him an Avalonian and he'll bash you in the delicates until you stop whimpering and pass out from the pain.

What Jack does remember, though, is being poor. Poor, and cold, and starving, with a family to feed, and the harvest having been so poor on account of the drought. Desperation drove him to do the unthinkable: poaching small game in a forest claimed by a Sidhe lord. And it worked, for a while.

But he was caught, as the heroes in these tales always are. Now, Jack was never a particularly strong man, or fast, or even smart, but what he had in spades was a quick wit honed to a razor edge through desperation. And as the Sidhe lord prepared to slay the filthy poacher, Jack uttered the words that would change his life forever:

"Fancy a game of riddles?"

For Jack knew well the love of games most Sidhe possessed, and this one was no different. "Now just to make this interesting," he continued, "we'll put a wee wager on this game. If you win, then you kill me, and everything that is mine becomes yours." Jack was pleased by this last bit, because even if he failed, his family would fall under the Sidhe's protection, and they'd never starve again. "But if I win.... then I get your magic. It's life for livelihood, you see."

The contest, as the bards would say, was epic. It lasted far into the night and well into the morning. The Sidhe was immeasurably old, and incredibly wise, but rather lacking in imagination, and Jack had nothing BUT imagination. It was a duel for the ages.

Sadly, Jack can't recall the winning riddle. The contest had been going for hours, and he was exhausted, fluttering into and out of the half-sleep that separates our world from the next, and it within those borders that genius and madness meet and have loud, riotous sex. The spawn of their coupling was a riddle that was so complex, so maddening, that the Sidhe was unable to answer.

"So you're admitting defeat?" he asked. No, said the Sidhe, it would prefer to think about it for a while. "Suit yourself," said Jack, who promptly lay down and started snoring.

Come the morning, the Sidhe was still there, looking more perplexed and frustrated than it did before Jack's nap. "Far be it from me to lecture you about the rules of the game," Jack offered, "but I've given you more than enough time to answer, and truth of the matter is I'm more than a bit peckish and rank. So if you don't mind, I'll just be toddling off now..."

NO, said the Sidhe. A BARGAIN IS A BARGAIN. TAKE YOUR WINNINGS, THIEF.

Jack felt the power come upon him, Glamour coursing through his body. And so much more! He was becoming stronger, healthier, handsomer (teeth started to grow back)... he could even recall an education he'd never had. The Sidhe had given him more than just Glamour. But why? Part of him worried about this unexpected generosity, but he was more concerned with returning to his family and sharing with them his good news.

The miles melted away under his feet as he ran home, and threw open the door... to find the Sidhe lord sitting at the table, taking breakfast with them. Jack's family looked up at him with unrecognizing eyes, startled by the strange man who burst into their hovel. And when the Sidhe looked at him, Jack could clearly see the cold malevolence burning in his eyes, and he fully realized the bargain he'd struck.

They had traded lives. The Sidhe now had his family, who all loved him instead of Jack. And Jack, in becoming the Sidhe, not only gained his powers and memories, but also his debts. Sidhe live for a very long time, you see, and acquire many enemies over the course of eternity, and now every single one of them was after Jack to collect what was owed them.

Jack did the only thing he could think to do, which was Go Very Far From Here Very Quickly. He joined the crew of the first ship leaving the first harbor he found, and he has spent the past twenty years at sea, and he hasn't aged a day.

He's done everything, from hunt whales and leviathans in the icy Vendel seas to the lowest forms of piracy imaginable. He's been shipwrecked, marooned, imprisoned, pardoned, and once even mutinied against. He likes to tell stories about being on Berek's crew during the sinking of the Castillian Armada, but the truth of the matter is he was sick as a dog with dysentery the whole battle.

He's an excellent topsman, with a sense of balance that borders on eerie and a thorough grounding in the basics of sailing: rigging, knotwork, and even swabbing the deck. His keen eyes make him an excellent lookout, on the occasions when he's not thoroughly shitfaced on rum. These occasions are rare.

Jack is a functional alcoholic, however, and even when he's utterly smashed he's a competent sailor. But he drinks to keep the madness at bay.

Madness, because over the years he's forgotten nearly everything about his family, or his life before the Gift. His memories have instead been replaced with maddening visions of Bryn Bresail,of living a life he knows isn't his in a world that makes no sense. He has a thousand years of experience crammed into a brain that can barely handle a hundred. His dreams are haunted by a woman, beautiful and blue as ice and green as the sea, and as cold and deep and murderous as either. He's not sure if she's his wife, or his mother, or his sister, or if she wants to help him or kill him.

Theus help him, he thinks it's all of the above.



Extra! I rather imagine Jack looks and sounds like this, only Irish instead of Scottish:


Monday, July 14, 2008

What I've been up to lately

Shut up. It is too Monday if I say it is.

At any rate, I am pleased to announce that I am a member of the Quantum Mechanix Brain Trust. Which is a fancy way of saying "Whitefall makes awesome stuff and I, along with a bunch of other people, nitpick it to pieces in the name of accuracy." Thankfully, he's a good sport about it.

Now, I'd love to tell you all about what I'm working on for QMx -- and believe me, it's gao guhn shiny -- but gorramit, those pesky Alliance types brought along some lawyers and had me sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. So less'n I want to get strung up, I can't tells ya nothin'.

Yet.

However....

How'd you like to earn a million bucks?


Okay, so it's a million in Alliance Credits. Still, wouldn't it be fun to roll around in naked?

Also as prizes: A Mal stunt pistol autographed by Captain Tightpants himself; a Kaylee statuette signed by Jewel Staite; and an original set of Serenity blueprints, signed by the graphic designers of the movie, Geoff Mandel and Tim Earls.

Whole lotta signin' going on, there.

Oh, yes. One more thing: Be sure to check out the Firefly Ship Works blog, where every two days or so you can get an update on not just the forthcoming Serenity model, but other geeky starships such as the NX-01 Enterprise, the Death Star, and... oh yes, wallpapers for the Cerberus, a military gunship variant of the Series 3 Firefly that was used in the War for Independence:


So yeah. Go, look, drool, and join the growing ranks of the Core-Techs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All right, already

I'm back.

First I had a kidney stone (ick) on the 26th, which ruined my weekend and left me feeling generally weak and shitty and not wanting to write.

Then I fell into a depression because I hadn't updated in a week, and no one seemed to notice or care.

Rule #1 of dealing with Palette: When she goes quiet, things aren't well. However, any show of attention is looked upon favorably by her.

Anyway, back to semi-regular updates.

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