Wednesday, October 31

Best. Town Meeting. EVER.

My recovery from the recent serial RP adventure I haven't finished writing yet wasn't complete, so I took the skeleton jokes in stride.

First: October 30th is now Steelhead Flag Day. Our manager, TotalLunar Eclipse, announced that we would adopt one of Baron Wulfenbach's versions of the Steelhead Flag I had originally drafted. The choice was between the original blue stripe at the bottom or a vibrant violet stripe.

"Is our lake blue or violet?"
"Right now it's RED!"

Second: Lunar unveiled the 3-D map of the Steelhead Harbor District which will border the current sim's Northern edge. Rustic, mountainous, and beautiful rivers. Even better: I convinced Miss Laval to take a prime spot there between two rivers. Two more sims are on the drawing board..soon we will be an analogue to the North Pacific Coast!

Third: Caledon has running trains. We'll have running ferries.

Fourth: In recognition of my (sometimes misguided) attempts to promote the town for the past six Grid-years (one year Real Time) I was tapped on the shoulder to be a Steelhead Councilor. I will represent the Foundation, and all my fellow Steelheaders, at those super-secret community planning meetings where we are required to where silly hats and greet each other in elaborate handshakes.

All in all I was so happy that I would have cried, if I still had tear ducts.

I have a lot more on my plate. Our Deva is getting angry and is drafting a schedule of which family members can mischief where and when. Qli is conflicted over the most recent spat of drama with the Muses. Koen's tongue-bathing in preparation for Neko Night at Kokopelli on Friday. And I have to explain how Qli and I escaped that haunted house with just my bones on.

But in the meantime I have pumpkins to carve and trick-or-treaters to scare.

Happy Hallowe'en and a Blessed Samhain

~Dr. Mason and the Bloodwing Foundation

Tuesday, October 30

Dia de los Muertos Exhibit @ the Tanglewood Bunneh Hutch, Caledon

Blood-draining vampires, brain-eating zombies, body-snatching ghosts..why can't the undead be more like the calaveras? They just want to come back to enjoy the good things in life for one holiday..drink, smoke, dance, decorate..

An interesting fact: archaeologists have found murals in Aztec temples that may explain the origin of the calavera.. Not only did the Aztec priests make live human sacrifices, but they apparently turned the skeletons into marionettes that beat drums and shook gourds and bells for ceremonial plays!

o/~ Juan Calavera! Tequila Juan Calavera! Juan Calaveeera! Tequila Juan! o/~

The Haunted Tea Party Part III

So there I was, sitting in a haunted house, having hemlock tea with a three-headed reptilian demon, being served by a clockwork doll. And this was a family gathering. The serpents held their cups surprisingly well with the vestigial wings that adorned their host body..which belonged to that of my undead father, Dr. Jeremiah Mason.

I looked down at the pungent brew. A hairline crack in the teacup allowed the infusion to slowly seep into the saucer. Did Qli plan this as well? When I finally took my required sip there was less poison to consume. On the other hand if it overflowed the saucer the swirling ghosts would claim me as punishment for breaking their rules.

I grinned as I raised my cup in unison with the Hydra's cups. I spoke as I brought the porcelain to my lips. "Tell me, Mr. Dexter was your trip from the Underworld after Mr. Bloodwing and I dropped you off?"

The eyes of the serpent I adressed grew wide. Now I waited. It could hold a cup of tea. It could whisper evil thoughts to its host. But none of my research ever indicated a Hydra's head could speak. "HISSSSS.."

The house shook as wisps of screaming dead wrapped around its neck and inveaded its throat, searching for a soul to steal. It retreated into the host body as it released its cup with a tiny crash. The other serpent, and the middle head that held my father's brain, stood deathly still to avoid a chain reaction.

"Oh dear! Mr. Hydra! Is your companion alright?"

The remaining serpent looked down at its host. They gazed at each other and nodded. I heard horrible ripping noises as something twisted my father's neck from inside. I saw a bulge travel up the serpents neck from where he joined the human trunk.
Jeremiah's lips moved silently his voice strained raspily from an inhuman throat.

"Missster..Hydra..isss..well..thhhank you."

Of all the things I'd seen and done, seeing a zombie rip out its own voice box and shift it inside...
My hand trembled in terror, droplets rose and fell in the cup, one arced to the tablecloth..

Monday, October 29

The Haunted Tea Party Part II

My eyes shifted back to the teapot. I could smell the hemlock. Being undead, Jeremiah wouldn't flinch from the poison. But half of that infusion would certainly kill me.

Qli's porcelain hand rose slowly to lift the pot. Against her will she decanted the brew. She filled less than half a cup before moving on to the next.

"Miss Qlippothic?" My father grinned, hoping to trap my daughter in the haunting by alerting the spectres to an apparent breach of decorum. "Have you forgotten.."

Qli continued to partially fill a third cup, then a fourth, and the final fifth cup. (The last cup was shattered and unusable..and one of the ghosts encircling the table was surely the remains of the terrified guest that did so.)

"Dr. Jeramiah Mason? Dr. Darien Mason? Mr. Sinister Hydra? Mr. Dexter Hydra? Your tea is served."

Ah, smart girl, my Qli. She knew the names of the serpents and addressed them as guests. She also poured a drink for herself, even though her doll form doesn't absorb nutrients..or poison..from what she consumes. Instead of a full cup of poison I was served less tha half a dose..which I might possibly survive..and Jeremiah received more than half. And since my teapot was for a toy set, there was not a drop left to spare.

The elder Mason carefully accepted the tea. She then offered a cup the serpent to Jeremiah's right. I smiled. How will this creature possibly accept the cup?

I blinked as one of the massive skeletal dragon wings on Father's back slolwy extended to delicately curl a digit around the cup. And all this time I thought those wings were vestigial! The other serpent accepted a cup with the other wing, and they buth nodded their spined heads in a semblance of decorum. Qli then offered me one of the teacups, delicate, chipped, Qli finally poured a cup for herself.

Sunday, October 28

The Haunted Tea Party Part I

I entered the hive of child-ghosts slowly with a faint smile. It's always best to pretend there's nothing unusual. After all, they still think they're living children..holding each other on to this reality by re-enacting their tea-party play over and over..and drawing others in to strengthen their prison.

Jeremiah knew all of this. He smiled devilishly at me as he politely bade me to sit with him. Qli was sat beside him, pouring imaginary tea in an endless loop. The poor girl was reprogrammed.

We both knew the rules. As long as we pretended this game the ghosts would be placid.Break the rules..or at the worst try to leave..our souls would be trapped forever.

I brought my own teapot, which I handed to Qli. She looked up at me with silent pleading eyes that betrayed her measured smile.

Father brought his own tea box, a selection of deadly herbs. I chose the the hemlock. Not so bad-tasting as Socrates said. Qli dropped the herbs into the steaming pot. During the conversation that followed I watched the poison steep from the corner of my eye.

He asked about my friends..intimating he knew enough to capture any them, as he had with Lumina. He let slip something that almost made me dive across the table to wring his neck and spell my doom. He told me my first reanimation was a test to see if his clone was a Seventh Son. The poisoned shed was his first laboratory. Had I failed in the projected time he would have let me die with Sumalee. I asked if he had revived two lives at the same time when he was but sixteen, including an heir to the Mason Legacy and estate. He nearly crushed his teacup in his hand. Clearly, that factor was never anticipated in his experiment. That I could conceivably surpass him in skill and power on any chronological chart made me a threat to his plans for true immortality. We traded more barbs between our pleasantries. It was as much a test for him as me with his anger..and the serpents he willed to be deathly still.

"Doctors? The tea is ready.."

To Be Continued..

Wednesday, October 24

Please allow me to introduce myself...

As my Seventh Son has requested, I now have my own roost from which to crow. I have been flying low as of late, but since my Legacy seems in greater danger now than it has in millenia, I have once again seen fit to intrude in Mortal affairs...and make a tidy profit off of the charms I have cultivated through the profession of Host. I have also modeled in the past...since most of my clothes only fit my previous body (Dr. Mason's) I am willing to discuss a barter of services.

I have already mentioned my current appearances at Club Overdose. The female to male ratio there is quite high; I do hope it stays that way. Normally I am not the type to gossip...but one devotee at that hideaway wants to drag me to a priminated version of the Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem to purify make me an Angel. Such naivety is priceless!

The Hydra that once slithered through me is entangled in my Sixth Son, and though he is an unworthy vessel he seeks to draw me into his twisted soul as well. I shall not allow this to happen. As much of a danger as he presents to me, I will still put a stop to him and the machinations this possessed Spark-Mage uses to assail my family.

Or any other threat to my kin..


Saturday, October 20

The Riddle Solved

With much trepidation, I have returned from the Congo after exhausting the innoculation supplies. When I came home I learned that my son Koen did indeed solve the Hydra's riddle, which unraveled Jeremiah's spell imprisoning Miss Elvejhem.

"Where Castles collapse in tears"

Tears are made of salt water..just like the ocean. And what sort of castles collapse in the tides? Sandcastles. So the hideout was by a shore.

"and Facts guarded by unfinished Thought and half Truth"

The last four words are like a rebus.

Unfinished THOUGHT - T H O ...

Half TRUTH - Jeremiah divided the word by morphemes. T R U / T H


So the answer to the last phrase of the riddle is Thoth, Egyptian god of knowledge, the Cosmic Librarian, the Guardian of Facts.

And where are tablets and papyrus stored and guarded in his least on the Grid?

The Temple of Thoth, on a sandy corner of a lightly traveled sim, by the water's edge.

With my father vanquished..for now..I took some time to recuperate after stopping by Miss Burton's rezday party long enough to send my well wishes.

I tried to explain what happened to my youngest daughter, who I had just finished upgrading for the third time. She started as ARI, then rebuilt as Kohine, but now named Casey (short for Constructed AEtheric Self-Expressing Youth).

She asked me how someone can like Jeremiah could live without a conscience. I told her I wasn't sure..but that may be why he's always stooping to conquer..because he's missing something vital, but doesn't realize what it is he truly needs.

I tried to explain to her how a simple cylinder of glass and metal recovered from my father's lab is more horrifying to me than any abomination he could grow..because I am one of of Him.

After he attacked me in the mansion I scoured the lab looking for clues to his entry. How could he have so effortlessly bypassed all my security systems? I opened the crates of items recovered from Mason estate immediately after it burned to the ground. I found my father's ivory pipe. He never let me touch it as a child. So I analyzed the cells found on the pipe. They were identical to my own. The cylinders in my father's hidden lair contained the remains of..failed experiments. Except for the one labeled D, with the added line CONTROL, and dated with his scrawl: Completed and Released The the date I always celebrated as my birthday.

The traces of life contained therein..were also identical. I am now faced with the existential horror of knowing that I am a clone of the monster who created me!

Thursday, October 18

Too Much of a Good Thing - Club Overdose, and What Horrors Revealed?

Would I make a name like *that* up? It seems some remnants of Club Mechanoid found an alley in a very questionable part of the Grid to form a new club. Just as I think the Deva is ready to put me out to pasture, I get pulled in with this Jeremiah business, then I get offered a job hosting in this patch of squalor any night I please. The decor makes Sleazywood look like the Grande Ballroom. The roaches are so big they have their own sploder. But they *do* know how to have fun! I would encourage my Caledonian friends to come in disguise up lest you risk your reputations.

I should be hosting around 7-9 except on nights with Steelhead meetings and events, in deference to my neighbors.

Maybe I *can* make this Hell a Heaven..


P.S. The name of the GROUP was Methadone Clinic but the CLUB is called Overdose. An understandable error now corrected.

Also, just before Darien left and Jeremiah appeared, our Dr. Mason left suddenly in the middle of an experiment. He even left a Bunsen burner on. He NEVER does that. Nor does her ever FLEE. But that is what it looks like.

There's a microscope and slides, and some sort of rusted metal and glass container the size of a packing crate marked with "EXPERIMENT D - CONTROL", and an ivory tobacco pipe on his desk..his father's I remember..a distinctive design..and Darien doesn't smoke. I can't make out his notes..except for the results.. "IDENTICAL" in large panicked letters that wrote over the entire page! What in the Nine Hells could it mean?

Wednesday, October 17

"Where Castles Collapse in Tears and Facts are Guarded by Unfinished Thoughts and Half Truth"

This is Bloodwing Dragonash, reporting on my Seventh Son's machine while he is off treating an epidemic in the Congo. The title above is the riddle Jeremiah Mason used to ensorcel my dear step-sister Lumina Elvejhem after the Steelhead Town Meeting. I have until the beginning of the Steelhead Dance on Friday to solve the riddle. Should I fail, I must either surrender my essence to this undead megalomaniac or lose Lumina forver.

I was severely disappointed in the dishonorable way Lunar-san greeted his former Sheriff. Were this not a matter of life and death I would have ripped the dai-sho of his gi and spanked him with the flat of the blade.

More disturbing was the fact that he was ready to capitulate to the Hydra's host and deliver me on a platter. Would he have sold the rest of my kin down the proverbial river? Why not all of Steelhead while he's at it?

I sought clues from the shapeshifter Miss Orr. There are castles in a sim with Tears in the name, but they standing tall and well-guarded.

I beseeched the Chief Librarian for sagely advice. He suggested the Castle may be St. Francis of Assissis. I hovered outside the holy structure, newly reconstructed in this Grid. My demonic nature forbiade me entrance, so barred then would be the Hydra.

Sheriff suggested the second line refers to bureaucratic red tape. An interesting theory. I left an urgent note for Lady Darkling for help in divining an answer . Perhaps Baroness Amber has some mystical insight.

Qli and Koen are both pondering this as well. Koen is convinced the first line refers to sand castles dissolving in the salty tide. He says the riddle seems familiar to him..but not in his current incarnation. The Vortex is Koen as I first knew him from my union with Sekhmet. I only know one way to channel the Vortex . But even if his soul will return as another neko I will NEVER sacrifice one kin to save another!


Monday, October 15


Radio Riel hosted a an event last night where the one with the best collection of costumes wins. I arrived in my brown tweed suit, derby and cane, but soon I was face-dancing faster than you can say "seven-skin shapeshifter".

My Combat Medic uniform in preparation for the Great War to come.

Then I took the guise of one of my robotic servants.

Here I am channeling a Skeletal Witch Doctor with sexy boots and a colonial hat. No, wait..that's Miss Laval dancing behind me partially invisible in boots and a hat.

My Gangster (not Gangsta) attire.

"My's full of prims!"

"Show me! Show you! Kikkoman! Tastes great on gaijinburgers!"

Yes, I know who it looks like. No, it's just me.

Anubis and Isis

"THIS! IS! CARNTAIGH!!" I was wearing this when I was told I won the event. I thanked everyone profusely, except for the Persian Ninjas cowering in the corner.

Finally I donned the garb of a brave hero looking for a dragon to slay. Damned if I could find one. The DJ doesn't count.

Sunday, October 14

Rezdays & Revenants

Dear Reader,

Let be bring you up to speed on my latest goings on. I was able to catch the tail end of Miss Violet Schnabel's Rezday party, where I witnessed the oddest interaction with a huge gelatinous organism. The self-styled Villain, Jobias Barthelmess, expressed to me his disdain, but I chose simply to stay clear of the alien. Jobias dared to invoke my Father's name to me! I say he tempts fate enough hunting Lycans, best he holds his tongue before the Hydra's maws pin him down on Jeremiah's operating table!

Speaking of ghosts of the past, during this time when the veil between the worlds is thinnnest is when the souls who have departed yet not passed on walk through my walls, begging for me to give them life again. I keep telling them..No Brain, No Body, No Service! I even called in the Sheriff to try and shoo them away in his Crinos form. But no..they were too busy stealing each other's ectoplasmic heads and chasing each other around my foyer!

My spirits were uplifted (pardon the pun) when I attended the Rezday party of the Sir Edward Pearse, the Earl of Primbroke. Has it really been an entire year since Qlippothic coaxed him from outside the Grid to visit Caledon for the first time?

Even Death took a Holiday to ogle the Raving Duchesses! Or maybe he was there for the kilts at Shirtless O'Clock..Death's gender has always been open to speculation.

Colonel Hotspur shows off the flexibility of his custom made pressure suit.

Afterwards I was tempted to follow Duchess Gabrielle to Winterfell for a Masquerade, but instead I gave new Steelhead resident Eladrienne Laval the grand tour of Steelhead. I introduced her to our "Baroness" Miss Katt and made myself sound much older than I am by beginning every stop with "this is where that used to be.." We chatted with my neighbor, Lumina Elvejhem, who was busy moving her storefront out of her home and into the storefront across the street. For simple yet elegant furniture and exotic silks and jewelry, you simply MUST pay her a visit!

Just before I retired for the night, Qlippothic sat me down and told me something that brought me both joy and guarded concern. When Qli attends the Science Fiction Dance in Steelhead next week, we will see what comes to pass.

~Dr. Mason

Thursday, October 11

My schedule went up in smoke..

Meanwhile at the Gorey House in Babbage..

"If this were my library, your brain would be on a steam-driven Radio Flyer chasing your skeleton down the street. Don't doubt that for a moment!"

"Look, we've been through this before! I can't reanimate Maude, Quentin, Rhoda, Titus, Una, Vicky, Xerxes or Yorick. Now hand over the REST of them!"

"Curses! You've RUINED my quota!"

Tuesday at the last Steelhead town meeting, I convinced Miss Laval to set up shop across from the Town Hall. Steelhead is now a destination for all well-dressed Colonial men!

I was ready to host the Masquerade at Baroness Amber's pavillion, but to my dismay the DJ was nowhere to be found. While we waited, we tried to convince a would-be Vampyre huntress that in Caledon one must ask Vampyres politely if they consent to be hunted. We misdirected the huntress towards a mainlander polluting the Moors on a bicycle with one of those combustion engines.

While we sat over tea instead of dancing I made arrangements with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to restock the Babbage Clinic after the terraforming.

Also my younger daughter Kohine called me, she was returning from her travels in dire need of yet another overhaul. I'll have to rename her as well. How I long for when she was still ARI and her brother ALAN made the lovely pair! Children are such high maintenance!

Then I received an urgent call from Sheriff Rau. There was a hotel fire in Deadwood. I packed my bag and folded space to get there.

Deadwood is a Sleeper zone, so neither my Spark inventions nor my Magick would work there. I was told there was an arsonist on the loose. This was there third fire in two days..immediately followed by a fourth.

Would that Qli were there to organize the bucket brigades faster! But being made of magick and Spark, she simply cannot exist in that realm.

There was an infant trapped in that cabin. No one else could reach her, so I took a risk that my protection amulet would work there, which it did. I emerged from the flames unscathed, but pretended to collapse after I returned the child to her mother's arms. While I "recovered" a precocious little girl slipped into the cabin and rescued a second child! I suspect Paradox may have rewritten the event as it occurred.

As I sat examining the smoke stains on my new hat, I spoke with the schoolmarm, Miss Vita. She is more than what she seems, but as a native of that realm she may not realize it...yet.

Saturday, October 6

A new threat reveals its ugly heads

It was Superhero/Supervillain Night in Steelhead City. At assortment of the heroic and infamous appeared. The Shadow. Superman. Poison Ivy. Lady Rocketeer. Iron Man (steampunk version). Bill Heterodyne. Sonic the Hedgehog.

I hadn't planned on attending. I was preparing for evening prayers when I felt the Hydra sink a set of fangs into my neck. The burning venom stifled my screams,and I collapsed into unconsciousness.

Only later did I learn to my horror that my own father, Dr. Jeremiah Mason, was behind the attack. He floated there in Kokopelli Square, surveying the land and its citizens for weaknesses. He said little, save for a few choice threats, and the interrogation of one friend in particular.

He tipped his hand: he sought to claim the legacy of the Bloodwing curse that I inherited as his own. That is why the Hydra..the beast inflicted upon Bloodwing as a punishment by Hades..chose another Mason to inhabit. In the chimeric form you see, he is obviously undead. He ripped out his own heart as part of a Faustian bargain.

Even when he was alive, I never knew him to show feelings of love or tenderness..he was as cold-blooded as the snakes that have now seized him. Documents my children retrieved from the remnants of his lab confirm this. I wish I had never cast eyes on the passages relating to my own Mother! The reason he chose her from the multitude of young immigrant ladies, laboring endless days in his Baltimore factory, had nothing to do with infatuation..the truth was laid out in medical charts that only a handful in this Age can understand. It was all too clear to me. I sobbed myself to sleep, loathing my own origins.

Of all things, it was a song that did him in. A lesson learned: when possessed by the Hydra, don't make it angry, especially if you're borrowing the use of its heart to survive.

I fear we haven't seen the last of him. Reanimators are nearly impossible to kill, and the Hydra has an untold number of heads.

The only solace I have is that he seemed as frustrated in his search for Sumalee as his progeny are. The trail has grown cold. We've searched the Colonies, the jungles, the pyramids, the places where nekos prowl..and no trace, no sighting, save for the Ankh she left behind when she slipped through Jeremiah's cold fingers.

I cannot stop looking. I could never look my son in the face again if I gave up. Please, Sumalee..if you can read this..send us a sign. A clue. Something!

Thursday, October 4

Goings on at home, and losing my commission

I've been so busy with one project or another that I haven't had time to explore my own town. I decided to remedy that. Lunar's new saloon is marvelous..reminds me of the Jardin in its opulence.

Baron Wulfenbach asked me to take a look at the flags on his embassy..and lo and behold, he fashioned a NEW Steelhead flag based upon my original crude designs! Trading the blue stripe at the bottom or purple was an intersting brings out the yellow of the scroll much better.

(Bloodwing tells me that the Baron always modifies the flags of the nations he conquers, but I told him that's rubbish. Besides, we just got annexed by the American Empire anyway.)

As for the failed experiment I was ranting about..well, I received a cross-time communication..I was invited by a foreign government to reanimate their recently deceased leader for a handsome sum in gold bars, vodka, fur coats and caviar. The Spark took over my judgment. I eagerly accepted the package from the portal they created, glass case and all!

But I soon realized this would not be a simple case. You can imagine my outrage when I started the procedure and found out the brain was missing! Someone had removed it surreptitiously to foil my goal! Furthermore, what was left of his nervous system was severely damaged by bullet wounds, and there was evidence of damage from venereal disease as well.

Normally I can only resurrect those whose souls have just departed their mortal shells, but with slain leaders, especially the more tenacious types, their ghosts can haunt the palaces in which they were deposed for centuries, and they are more than eager to inhabit a new body in an attempt to regain what they had lost. However, this subject was an avowed atheist..the fastest way to lose your soul after death is to deny that you have one. The late Comrade was a hopeless case.

I began drawing up plans for a mechanical brain to give their former head of state a semblance of life. However, the new ruler of the empire yet to come paid me a visit. Steelman, I think his name was. He was obviously opposed to my project since he barged into my laboratory with a bevy of armed guards, held me at gunpoint, and pulled my subject back through the time portal. "Property of the State", he said.

Qlippothic was highly upset after I told her what happened..he said that mustachioed dictator was the same one that, so her recovered journals from the future tell her, deactivated her and left her languishing in an unmarked crate for a century before waking up in one of the Dark Future of Toxia.

Hmm..Stalin..Steelman..Qlippothic Steele..perhaps another piece of the puzzle.

~Dr. Mason

Monday, October 1

Dance Therapy: Costume Party Wednesday 10 October 7:30pm @ Amber's Pavillion

Come to Caledon Moors for a costume party! 100L for best male and female disguises! Hosted by me, orchestrated by Nurse Annastina Christensen - her uplifting ecclectic mix is UNIQUE to Second Life!

So you soon, boys and ghouls!

~Dr. Mason