Thursday, January 31

ALERT: Qlippothic Steel sighted in Steelhead!

This construct arrived at the Steelhead Masquerade Ball this past Friday. She said very little except to express alarm at the seismic Havok occurring during the event. She doesn't resemble the green-glowing versions of her that came before. But still, the skin tone and the future-tech attachments seem somehow familiar. She certainly did dress for the event. Perhaps she was trying to scout the place while remaining anonymous?

Tuesday, January 29

For a Good Cause...

*turns on the OOC light*

Here's the deal. A member of the Consulate has asked the Doctor to summon Bloodwing, so she can donate a lung to a bedridden sibling, who also has Demon blood.

The thing is, my mother had two transplant operations for a genetic condition before she passed away.

I can't make light of this.

We therefore withdraw the request for a Jager nurse and ask for something more...philanthropic.

I would like the Foundation and the Consulate to host a Charity Ball benefiting TRIO, the Transplant Recipients International Organization ( They provided excellent information resources to my mother when she was ill, and they sent a volunteer who was a transplant recipient himself to help out every step of the way. We can hold the event at the Regency Hospital.

Bloodwing is *supposed* to be dead. But I will bring him back just for this. For a good cause.


Saturday, January 26

A Public Apology to Her Grace

It has come to my attention that I have improperly credited...on more than one occasion...the Herculean efforts of her Grace, Duchess Eva Bellambi. No slight was ever intended, as all was purely ignorance and absent-mindedness on my part. I humbly beg forgiveness of this horrendous oversight, and pray you don't drop an anvil on me the next time I journey through Loch Avie.


-Dr. Darien J. Mason

Friday, January 25

The Robert Burns Supper

After grinning my way through a faux-Victorian event, I was overjoyed to take part in one of those sorts of events I would never have known about, unless I had joined the melting pot of cultures and traditions known as Caledon. I participated in a fascinating ritual this evening. It seems to be the Scottish equivalent of a Passover dinner, except the food du jour is haggis, root vegetables and flammable spirits. All of this started in honor of one Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland. If any of you have ever stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve, you HAVE heard the work of Robert Burns!

Bravo to Duchess Gabrielle and Sir Edward for arranging this! And Bravo to the brave souls turned on their microphones to read the works of Robert Burns without the comfort of being raised with a Scottish brogue!

*THE* Victorian Ball!

Rx: Take with a pinch of Sarcasm.

So said the advertisement anyway. An author named Deanna...somethingorother was promoting her new murder mystery Silence in the Sanctuary in SL, and hosted a contest in the prestigious Victorian Sim of Activ8 III. She's the lady on the left with the red dress with white panels. Also in that mass of half baked prims are "Sir Lord Edward", Mr. Skusting Dagger of New Babbage, the enchanting Miss Laval, and an employee of the Duchess Gabrielle, who was a lovely dancer.

One of her assistants offered to send me the first chapter of her book if I gave him my aethernet address. Being a cautious sort, I politely declined. Since Miss Deanna was an EXPERT in Victorian attire, she was the sole judge of the contest. The couple in Third Place won 20,000L each. EACH! The Second Place winner won 30,000L. And the Grand Prize Winner won 50,000L.

Let me make it clear. These are TENS of THOUSANDS of Linden Dollars. With 50K, I could keep the Hospital solvent for a year, or buy a new laboratory in Harborside. Or even cashed it out to pay some RL bills. I haven't seen prizes like that since I won the lottery ball at the Angry Ant in '06.

As for the music? I had no IDEA Big Band and Rockabilly were Victorian inventions! Someone better tell the Duchess!

Thursday, January 24

The Calling

Underneath the Bloodwing Foundation, in my subterranean laboratory, Koen and I sat in chairs, face-to-face, out knees barely touching. We lay the spirit board Bloodwing attuned to himself in our laps and the rested the reading glass upon it.

"Bloodwing," I invoked. "Darien and Koen must speak with you. Do you hear us?"

With a jolt, the glass slid to the word YES.

"Bloodwing, when someone you cared for needed healing, or their children, I always helped without question, not even to bargain for my own freedom. Together, we healed the twins. Now, together, we can help an ally. It would take my skills...and..."

The glass arced about the board.


"No, not that kind of help!"


"No, not.."

"Demonfather," the neko interrupted. "A demon from the Consulate needs an organ!"

The rose in a bud vase at my desk dried and curled up upon itself.

"It's a lung, Bloodwing," I assured him. "He needs a lung."

A cold draft swirled in the closed room.


I arched a brow. "What would you request of the Consulate in return?"


"Yes, of course we can arrange for an assistant wile you re-"


Koen's ears perked as we looked up at each other.

"You want a Jager Nurse, Bloodwing? I guess they must have a Medical Corps of some sort...I shall ask."


"Yes, I'm here..." I felt his toe-claws fidget against my shoes.

"I was a vampire for a while, but now I'm mostly cured."


I spoke. "She was rescuing Nova from a collapsing dimension and...they were both damaged. They had to merge, and Nova's soul is in Qli's shell."


Which was he referring to, I wondered.


Koen got straight to the point. "Is she Qli Steel now?"

A long pause. Now he knew I found his hidden backup code in her original construction.


"Where is she?"


I arched my brow. "Beauty?" Curious answer, indeed.

"Is she dangerous?", asked Koen.

I felt something scuttle over our feet beneath The board. Before I could say anything, Koen leaped from his chair, upsetting the board and hurtling the glass into the air. I was lucky enough to catch the glass, and the board fell to the stone floor, face down, with a clatter. I sighed as I heard the squeal of a rodent and a long slurp.

Tuesday, January 22

My Creation is still out there.

Forgive me if this sounds like the ramblings of a desperate father or the rantings of a Spark. But she must still exist somewhere...even if in Nowhere. Despite what that self-destruct message said. Isn't it obvious? Why would the Sphere have been intact otherwise? Qli listened to the message. She received an alternative solution from the demon, and she took it. She jettisoned the Spheres...all of them I presume...for some new configuration.

You planned to build her as a weapon from the start, Bloodwing. Damn you! It was our conflicting directives that forced her to be self-aware in the first place. They forced her to decide for herself the best code of ethics. And she chose mine.

You anticipated she would someday be desperate enough to override her most basic command of self-preservation. She tore her own systems open to find the little surprise you left.

I was able to piece together the end of that transmission from the wreckage of the explosion.

You are no longer the Doctor's little Project. Depend upon yourself first and foremost. You must be strong. You must be Qlippothic Steel...

So that explains where Qlippothic Steel comes from. Almost. To perform her self-surgery, she had to somehow reconfigure from the cloud of debris she was reduced to from the shockwave of Hostel's collapse. Other samples I took from the crash site contain pieces of her Gematric Code, a blueprint of her configuration before she jettisoned the Spheres.

Someone repaired her in the Void, and did a damn good job of it. That someone used pieces of the original Qli and fragments of Nova.

This new Qli told me that she senses a duplicate of her original self came to be when the Hostel dimension un-collapsed. This is not unusual based on what I know of Mulitiversal Dimensional Physics. I even know it's pointless to claim either that Nova or my Qli-Nova fusion is the "real" Nova. It's as if Hostel needed a Nova unit to reestablish itself. It's just one of those happy accidents, I suppose.

Qli-Nova also tells me that she and her alternate are aware of each other, and fear coming into direct contact for fear of a Paradox. This is understandable. It also means this Nova could not be the one that repaired Qli.

Even more curious is one of the components used to rebuild her. Like the original Qli, the skeleton was an organic structure from the remains of a supernatural. In this case, the origin is unmistakable.

These bone fragments are from the Hydra!

All the signs point back to me. I need to remember what happened when I was timelost, and remember it quickly. I'm afraid I must resort to extraordinary measures.

~Dr. Mason

Wednesday, January 16

A Harrowing Discovery Part II - Cramped Quarters

I'm not sure how long lay there until drifted back into awareness. But I do remember the sense of confinement, and something furry wrapped around me like one of Lunar's cloaks. That's when I opened my eyes, and saw a glowing red circle. A dark slit in the middle widened as I blinked.

"G'morning, Dad." It was Koen's voice. So close I could feel his whiskers brush against my cheek.

"Am I dead?"

"Well you are in my coffin..." The orb, which I now realized was Koen's eye pressed against my goggles, rotated from side to side, then raised and lowered slowly before blinking back to position.

"...but you're not dead. I found the air recycler switch..." Indeed, I could now make out the sound of a small metal fan cheerfully clattering away.

"...which is really optional for me, being a vamp, but good for you. Good planning on your part, as usual."

"Actually Son," I tried to shift my position as Koen's lean frame adjusted accordingly.

"The rebreather comes as a standard option on the higher-end Caledonian caskets. With fainting spells being a common occurrence, many people have a deep fear of being buried alive. Now...would you kindly open the lid so I can give you your space?"

"Umm...Dad. You're on top of me. The casket flipped over."

"Can't you use your vampiric strength and lift the body of the casket so I can slide out?" Koen pushed upwards as I tried to thrust my legs upwards. After several seconds or gritting teeth and fangs, we relaxed for a moment.

"You know Dad, a week ago I could have done this."

"A week ago you would have drained me of blood if we were this close."

"That's...true...You know, I really haven't been that thirsty lately."

"I can tell. You've cut back on raiding my private blood bank."

"Err, yeah...Dad, listen..."

"It's alright, Son. I planned for you to drink my supplies. Do you think that stake between your ribs got pulled out by itself?"

"Okaaay...and why am I getting weaker?"

"Because you're drinking my blood."

"WHAT?" He tried to arch his back in shock as his pupil dilated again. "You-you keep your own...?"

"Of course! As many times as I get blown up by my experiments it good to have blood in reserve. And since you have my blood in you already from being my child, it's the best vintage you could possibly get. Even if it is cold." I smirked.

"Hey...side note..are you turning into a neko or something? When did you start growing whiskers?

"It's called a mustache, Koen!"

Koen growled under his breath. "Now why am I getting weaker again?"

"Koen, do you remember how I cured the second Brauerhoff twin?"

Koen gasped. "The antidote! The anti-vampire formula is still in your blood!"

"Exactly! So with those two factors you should be at least half-cured. In fact, I can feel your heart beating." There was a minute of silence.

"Yeah, I thought that was the fan. How about that... Oh! Use your bionic scalpel thing and cut us out!"

The surgical blade is hidden in my right hand, which would spring out right..." I squeezed the back of Koen's neck and traced a line across it with my finger, "...there."

"Oh, Bast!" he hissed. "What's it C or D now?"

"I call it Plan Qli."

I could feel his whiskers curve as he grinned. "Yeahhhh...that always works!" He roared with a strength that shook the coffin and nearly burst both my eardrums.

I joined in shouting for Qli and throwing in the best "HOOOO!" I could without being able to stretch out my arms.

We both heard footsteps outside approach the casket. I strained to hear her speech, very muffled through the wood, metal, fabric, fur and whirring fan.

"Oh no! Koen is having a Frenzy! I better get the wooden stake!"

We both gasped as we heard her footsteps race away. I shouted for her to stay away from my workbench, and Koen yowled desperately. But soon I heard the high-pitched whine of my steampowered lathe. Koen and I stared into other's eyeballs.

"Control-Shift-H?" He asked. I sighed.

"Trust in the Lindens.."

We both resorted to the..err...Teleportation Spell. A deft gesture of a wrist, two fingers and a thumb and the ubiquitous whoosh and ding and I was upstairs in my foyer. I flipped the poorly-placed secret lever and slid into the basement.

"Qli! Don't!"

But it was too late. She had used the wooden stake with a break open the lock on the back door of the coffin.

"Father, I know Caledonians have a societal fear of being buried alive...but they have a phobia of being buried face-down as well?"

"Some Caledonians, my dear are certain that after they pass away Caledon will fall into Mainland ways, and they will all collectively turn over in their graves!"


Tuesday, January 15

The Hardest Talk, and a Harrowing Discovery, Part I

As a surgeon, I have learned to steel myself for what comes after the operation. When the family and loved ones approach, their attentions hanging on my every gesture and expression. This was far worse.

Bloodwing's mother, Persephone, has returned from other worlds to visit this one. Not seeing my face, she greeted me with adoring tones. I had to explain that the Darien she was speaking to was the one that was submerged within his own mind as her son the demon controlled my body and took my name as his own.

Then I had to explain what happened to Qlippothic. And then I had to explain that the grandson she hasn't met yet was lying in a coffin in my basement. She calmly acknowledged the truth...that there shall always be a time for mourning.

Later, just as I was hoisting up the new flag for House Bloodwing on the generator (thank you again Herr Baron!) I spied a comet falling outside the Steelhead city limits. I hurried there as fast as I could on the shoulders of my Clockwork Man heavy construction clank. (It could have been a huge one for all I knew!)

When I finally found the crater, I must have stared at that Sphere for an hour. There was no doubt in my mind that it was part of the Qli I built. But it was so damaged I could not tell which Sphere it was, or if it was even stable. If pieces of her (and Nova, I suppose) were falling out of the timestream, perhaps Qli's soulchip was somewhere in re-entry?

In my laboratory, I concluded that the Sphere was beyond salvaging. If I found Qli again, I would have to rebuild at least this portion of her spiritual energy source from scratch. I began the procedures to dissect the Sphere. I was shocked to find an enchantment upon opening. There, staring at me, was an image of the past. It was Bloodwing, but without the wings, and two pairs of horns, and in my lab coat. His "badge", the talisman he used to allow me to perceive the world and communicate with him, was off. I would never have known he had done this. He did this behind my back when we were crating her!

Qlippothic, the phantom said in his regal and dealy serious tone, if you are hearing this message, it can only mean you have overridden your programming and activated your self-destruct sequence..

I couldn't hear the rest of it. I was too busy screaming to my own Creator at the top of my lungs, and cursing the Founder that interfered with the greatest Project I had ever created!

The image began to discorporate and the chamber pulsed with a dizzying patterns of light. I felt a pair of hands seize me from behind and shove me violently into a tight space before the explosion rattled the brain in my skull to the point of unconsciousness..


Monday, January 14

Steamworks and Consulates

While conducting a chronographic survey I stumbled upon a sim called Emit Time, wherein I found a wonderful new club called Steamworks, which caters! The decor is classic Babbage. And the Tesla coils made me extremely envious!

Lady Whoopass staged recordings of heavy metals, which sounded surprisingly like music! Perhaps it was the metal in the air energized by the coils that led to this mass hysteria! Even the rodents seemed to be in a euphoric state! I offered my services to the owner of the establishment. As an accomplished Host I am skilled at managing the behavior of crowds under the influence of extreme stimuli. Note Miss Laval behind me. What sort of altered state would possess someone to wear cogs in their hair!

I thereafter journeyed to Brigadoon, where I managed to catch my breath on a snowy mountain peak with the Europan consulate. I made the acquaintance of several new members of the consulate and Miss Orr...

Hmm. There seems to be more to this phenomenon.

~Dr. Mason

Sunday, January 13

A Blizzard of Enjoyment!

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Caledon's Second Annual Snowflake Ball, hosted by the Primbrokes and overflowing from a sturdy yet welcoming structure designed by Steelhead's own Maser Builder, Totallunar Eclipse.

Over 50 avatars managed to defy the lag of a void sim to dance to waltzes and reels, with some more modern fare after the official festivities.

Among my personal highlights of the party, I had the chance do re-introduce my daughter to Caledon high society. She was fascinated by the Earl's clockwork arm. I also had a an in-depth conversation with Augustus, the demon often mentioned by the Wulfenbach delegation. He seems to come from a different culture than the Founder of my House. He had never heard of the Court of Erebus, and I had never heard Bloodwing mention a Council of Demons. I also saw another Jager at the event...previously I had only seen Mr Szondi representing them in Caledon. (I'm not counting a certain shapeshifter who can shrug off the Jagerbrau's effects the next morning!)

~Dr. Mason

Saturday, January 12

Stirring in Sleep

Red wings slowly open to reveal the pale form shrouded beneath. Crimson eyes open in the silent void. A once proud voice strains to whisper through a famished frame. His voice is distorted and delayed as it crosses Nothingness.

"Seventh Son? Is all truly lost? Must I return? So hard to...
I never told you...when we built her...contingencies I...When she has nothing left to burn...fuel is vengeance! ...not return the same. Beware! Steel..

He opens his palm to see a candle flame dancing...he smiles faintly.

"You never...stopped? Then...I will not fade..."

He slowly wraps his wings around himself again...the faintest flicker setting a glow behind the membranes, still visible as the faintest star in a dark sky of dreams.

Thursday, January 10

A visit to Brythony

A new nation has risen on the northern border of Winterfell. It is called Brythony, an artist's colony that is highly enchanted. The magick in the air was palpable as I passed one store after another with paintings of faeries and exotic anthro species. I kept expecting to bump into Lady Darkling singing and dancing her way down the thoroughfare, wings unfurled. Mr. Hassanov reported evidence of giants in the area, but while the domiciles were of impressive size, I found no signs of the Jotun race. I did see a centaur galloping through town just out of calling distance. I did finally get close enough to speak to her as she crawled out of a ravine. She was saying something about penguins before she abruptly cantered away.

It turns out, she was right! What is more odd to see in this world? Penguins in the forest or a centaur?

Wednesday, January 2

Lighting a candle for meQal (with Addendum)

meQal has returned from the hospital, evading the worst possible scenarios. He is somewhat numb on one side of his body, but he is recovering sensation and coordination.

P.S. Despite my instict to rhyme it with "equal", his name is pronounced "mee-KAL". As for convincing him to rejoin us in this world, the Sheriff has already made a valiant effort, if memory serves me correctly. I believe his analytic engine is a victim of planned obselescence on the part of the Lindens.


Those of you who remember the old Steelhead will remember my dear friend, meQal Anna, the self-styled "King of the Rednecks", who quickly rose from Town Drunk to Host, DJ, Manager of the Starlight Casino and Co-Proprietor of Beauty & the Beast by Lighthouse Island.

I have heard through my Capper friends that he has had a stroke this morning, and is now in the hospital. He is also being checked for an aneurism. His health has always been an issue, but he has always managed to bounce back through sheer force of will and perhaps a dash of divine Providence, shrugging off the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a stubborness of which I can only stare at in awe.

Get well soon, old friend! If you pull yourself out of this, maybe I'll pitch in to get you a new laptop so you can join SL again. (He may disagree on that, but that's a whole other issue that I will be jubilant to argue with him about when he recovers!)


Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year Everyone!

The Party that Must Not Be

On the edge of the New Year the stars were right...for Metal and Madness! A few nights ago I was hastily summoned to Winterfell to deal with a rather nasty infestation of the Elder Gods. Hours of maddening electric guitars being played in a dance themed exclusively around the Mythos! Who knew there were so many musicians warped enough to summon Y*g S*th*th, Sh*b N*gg*r*th, and Great Cth*l* Himself in their lyrics! Hosted by a Nova Sakigake from an alternate future (Ha! RP continuity preserved!), the ritual traveled en masse from her home base in the Dark Future of Suffugium to Winterfell, where it grew raucously out of control!

I had no choice but to summon Foundation member Hotspur O'Toole with his HEAVY ARTILLERY!

On New Year's Eve I returned to chat with a local noble, and a fellow Knight of the Red Cross, who verified that the taint had disperesed.

I believe the threat was handled successfully, but who knows when the tentacles of the Danse Macabre will wind their way back to hypnotize the ears of the Sane? Stay Tuned...

Evening Festivities

After changing into an outfit that was less slime-covered I took the ferry south and caught the end of the New Year's Eve Masquerade in Penzance.

I hastily donned a mask from my travels for a quick dance with...Baron Wulfenbach???

Afterwards I headed home to dance to dance til the wee hours in Harborside.

I found a special treat this morning...a radioplay the Apocryphal Adventures of AGATHA HETERODYNE, GIRL GENIUS on the aether!

Happy New Year Everyone!