Monday, March 31

OOC: Who says this is a waste of time?

Those of you who use Gmail may or may not notice those adlinks placed at the top of your conversation lists. Well, I noticed one called Semper. They claim to be the first IT staffing firm with an office in SL. They specialize in the field of Graphic Arts, which is a perfect fit for SL with all the prim builders and sculpie artisans. I'm a Technical Writer by trade, as anyone who reads my First Life tab will know. I sent them a resume last week, and a local representative sent me a friend invite this morning!

Even if this opportunity doesn't follow through, I still have to give them props!

www.semperllc.com

I'll let you know how it goes.

-The Puppet Master*

*Sir JJ and Lunar-san have both called me this on seperate occasions. While the Deva is my preferred IC term, this one is very accurate for my sorytelling style!

Saturday, March 29

With Much Regret

I have spoken with many of my fellow Citizens on this decision, and I believe it is my best option.

Dr. Figaro has been offworld for months due to First Life difficulties. I pray she overcomes them and finds herself in a state of wellness and happiness. Through generous donations I have been able to sustain the Hospital without her contributions as Co-Owner. But I shouldl not be forever dependent on contributions. It has reached the point where I must choose between managing the Hospital or maintaining my home in Steelhead.

I will not be renewing my lease on the Bloodwing Foundation.

I assume I will be ineligible to keep my Council seat as a non-landowner. I accept this. My Hippocratic Oath must come before my duties as a statesman. Saving the Grid from aliens and demons on a regular basis comes as a close second.

The Gygax will return from its mission to orbit over another parcel. The Founation structure is Lumina's build. What comes of it is between her and the Council. I think it would make an excellent museum...visitors keep mistaking it for one.

Since the Hospital is paid in my name, I see no reason why I shouldn't take up residence in the top floor with my son Ash. Qli-2 has two firestations where she can recharge I'm told. Koen's always taken care of himself rather well. Qli-3 can manage affairs herself in the Dark Future.

The Steelhead Clinic is a branch of the CRC. If the management wishes to keep it I will still help my fellow Steelheaders there.

I wish Steelhead the greatest success as always, especially in its expansion. I am proud to have supported it along the way in the many roles I have played.

~Dr. Mason

Thursday, March 27

Of Recent Events...

I have seen my Father's transmission. I have tried to unscramble the aether static, but to no avail. The fact that we do not know precisely what his demands are, nor do we know the full nature of the threats he intimidates us with, complicates things further.

We must intercept his aethership as quickly as possible. The Gygax will receive a boost from the local management to acheive orbit. We will then use the Earth's rotation to slingshot into the Aether far enough to GT the entire ship safely.

While I am gone, my servant construct will conduct affairs on my behalf. I estimate we will reach the target by April the 4th. While Qli-2 may GT back and forth for supplies or even reinforcements, do not expect to hear from Qli-3 or myself again until April the 7th. If we are successful in averting this threat, you will here from us afterwards. Should we fail...prepare your aerial forces for the invasion.

In other news, Frau Lowey has an important message concerning the Steelhead ball for Donate Life month on April the 21st.

Also, now that the honoraria for updating the Caledon Wiki have been awarded, It is with much gratitude that I thank Miss Vi Paravane and the esteemed Archivists of Caledon for recognizing my contributions to the fields of Occult History and Anthropology - specifically my summation on the Founder himself, as well my concise articles on anthropomorphic sentient bipeds, (aka Furries) and the Neko species.

And lest we forget there are still lots available for Steelhead Boomtown. Contact TotalLunar Eclipse for details.

~Dr. Darien Mason

Tuesday, March 25

*aether.transmission.interruption*


Residents of the Grid...I*hsss*Dr. Jerim*hsss*Mason of the Blood*hssss*dation. I have amassed an army of*hsssssss*constructs which are more than*hsssssssssss*conquer all of you. If you do not acquiesce to my demands, your *hssssssss*
*connection.lost*
*re-establishing*
*aether.transmission.reconnected*

As you see I have harnessed*hsssssssssssssss*Vortex to generate*hsssssss*anti*hsssssssssss*nihlate you all. You will surrender the Realm*hssssss*Roses*hssssssssss*tons of cavorite. Furthermore you will surrender to me the following*hsss*Governor*hsssssss*Shang...Darien Mason...Qlippoth*hssssssssss*demon*hssssssssssssss*the Bloodtail. You shall respond in*hssss*days*hssssssssssss*required, or face my wrath!

*end.aether.transmission*

Saturday, March 22

More scenes from the Gygax

Colonel O'Toole inspects the shield crystal in his aether suit...



...and we experience a small glitch in the graviton actuator unit.

Wednesday, March 19

Onboard the Gygax


Baron Wulfenbach monitors the engine power fluctuations.

Qlippothic Projects (Qli-2) agrees to handle Communications while QliSteel Gears (Qli-3) Navigates us through the Void to where Koen is held captive.

Tuesday, March 18

It's not easy being green...

St. Patrick's Day is a blur of green. One party after another, then hosting at Tera...then the Lindens broke their cash register so I couldn't get paid. I woke up with Ash dabbing green paint off my face with a rag of rubbing alcohol and lab pockets full up tins of "I Can't Believe It's Not Soylent Green!" My head feels like it's been clobbered by a shillealegh. (I can barely spell French, let alone Gaelic.) My psiatic nerve is stinging me fierce...a sign I've been doing too much Riverdancing.

And Purim is tomorrow...Manischevitz...*urp!*

At least I got another award for contributing to the Caledon Wiki. I'd pat myself on the back if Ash weren't doing it for me.

Ash? Put down the syringe please... ASH??

ASH!!!!

Sunday, March 16

The New Kids on the Block (no, not the band)

Well, I took a short hop to Whippersnapper. You know, that new sim just northwest of Harborside that's blocking our plans for Manifest Destiny? Now I know why it's called what it is.

Club Vortex has moved there. No, it's not owned by my neko son. It's the first and biggest club for child avatars.

Now I have nothing against that club. My former daughter Artificial Robotic Intelligence (A.R.I.), aka Arianna Pinkerton, DJ's there regularly. And I have nothing against child avatars. I host regularly at Club Tera, an all-sizes club. It's one of the best gigs I've ever had (next to hosting here in Steelhead of course!)

But now I know with all those kids next door raising a ruckus all night I'm never going to get any sleep!

~Dr. Mason

Wednesday, March 12

Progress

A few days ago the patient sank into a deep depression when he learned he had been exiled. I had him return to the Hospital immediately and put under constant watch.

That night we had a visitor. The nurse said the air turned cold and the windows frosted over. A towering figure in a black cloak appeared, frightening the nurse to the point of paralysis. It said something as it loomed over the patient. Judging from the dread the nurse held of the way the syllables were spoken I must assume it was a dialect of the Demonic. Some sort of dark magic occurred...my mystic skills confirmed that much. As the figure vanished the nurse was finally able to scream.

The patient sank into a coma overnight, and awoke the next day with no memories of being Bloodwing.

Ash's face has healed superbly. He bears a startling resemblance to myself when I had first joined the Capper Brigade, and he is just as brash as I was then. This may be due to the comparative youthfullness of the tisssues I transplanted into him.

He is restless, readin everything in sight, especially the Heterodyne novels. He's definitely in the adventuring mood.

I've given him some of my inventions to keep him occupied. But no rayguns and certainly no Tesseractors! I did give him a pair of Heat Conduction Gloves and a vial of Instant Plant Growth formula to play with (an experiment on my Instant Hair Growth Elixir but the results are a bit...explosive.)

The crate is stored in the Gygax engine room for jettisoning as we reach deep space. I swore I felt something move inside as I carried it...

QliSteel Gears arrived at the Foundation and shut down the RetCon device as promised. She also provided the coordinates to where Koen materialized in the Void. But she seemed to be profoundly shaken by what she saw when manipulating the Fate Lines. It is a credit to her that she did not try to alter History, otherwise we would not remember this event at all!

I hope to blast off in the Gygax Monday evening. Shipmates, please be ready!

~Dr. Mason

Sunday, March 9

The Prognosis

I sat down with in the Hospital reception room for my afternoon tea. A bit of warmth to shake of the draftiness of the Spring rains that made themselves home with each opening and closing of the doors. My patient was welcomed by the nurse as he entered the front door. He was dressed in brown leather pilot's gear, and wore a winged jetpack on his back. He had already folded the wings down and inward with a switch in the back. He removed the straps and methodically folded and detached parts of the device so it could fit snugly in a canvas backpack he had kept dry under his coat. I was impressed by how well he had adapted to using such technology. He must have read the manual.

He brushed the mud off his boots and hung his jacket on the coat rack, to let the freshly oiled skins dry. It was a very new look for him to say the least. Only his sheer size and bold strides toward me hinted as to what he was.

"Dr. Mason!" He smiled as he rested his gloved hand on my shoulder, and patted my upper arm. I wasn't used to him showing signs of camaraderie. But seeing as how he was undergoing the most drastic transformation of his existence, I smiled gently. The nurse smiled with the faintest air of nervousness as she slipped upstairs, finishing her break early as I sat down with "a relative from out of town".

"Blood..." I caught myself. "Mr. Mason. Thank you for coming back. There is much to talk about."

He crossed his arms and leaned back, his more somber tone reminiscent of how he would distance himself from his troubles.

"Shall we start with the Edict? Let's get that out of the way first." He pulled off his pilot hat. His total baldness was still taking some getting used to. The unbuckled chinstraps dangled from the edge of the table.

I took a deep breath. I wanted to speak to him as a Doctor, not a City Councilor. But he seemed more concerned with this that whether he lived or died.

"Ash...I was not involved this decision. Even if I was asked I would have recused myself." He dark blue eyes, the very same as my own, looked back in silent disdain as I continued. The sky darkened outside as the sound of the rain grew louder.

"Caesar no longer rules Rome. Pharaoh no longer rules Egypt. And the Age of Steelwolf is over. It's a faded memory on the verge of being forgotten... like Ambertown. Half the residents don't even remember him now. It's only a matter of time before the Titles reflect this."

"A new Mayor..." He leaned forward to pour himself some tea. Another first, I believe.

"I spoke with him not long ago." He looked up. I continued.

"He is well...but he spends most of his time in that other Realm of magic we keep hearing about."

He set down his tea cup with a louder clink on the saucer than one should return it.

"I thought..." He pressed his hands together and rested his head over them in thought. "I thought he would return..."

I shook my head. "It does not seem so."

There was a long pause. Ash grit his teeth as he pressed his hands more tightly. The air grew colder and damp from the deluge outside.

"Then it was all for nothing.." His voice trailed off as his whole body tensed. What could I do to console him as one more piece of his world fell apart? I quickly changed the subject, hoping his new form wasn't proe to the hour-long rants I used to suffer through at the Foundation and still found annoying even when the Spark overtook me. I opened my satchel and presented him with a metal band, imprinted with the caduceus and a row of glass tubes filled with green fluid that streamed tiny bubbles as it was tilted when carried.

"This is for you," He accepted the armband, and examined the vials fitted in the chambers. "the anti-toxins will keep your body from trying to reject your organs...and vice versa. There's enough in there for you to go a month without returning to me, instead of every day." I was disappointed in the results of my heroic measures. I had been certain the demon could accept tissue from the Host. But something had changed in him. We were no longer fully compatible, referring of course to the strictest biological sense of the word.

I helped him cinch the band snugly over his arm, and demonstrated how to operate the device. There was faint hiss of air pressure as he pressed the button, self-injectors delivered another administered dose, one more in a pattern he must continue for the rest of his supposedly "natural" life.

"We need to find our Steel," he was referring to the prodigal Qlippothic that was the cause of his recent fall, "she is the only one who can operate the device now." I nodded. He seemed to have forgiven, or at least set aside, the misunderstanding that brought him here. Would they ever forgive each other, I wondered?

"There's something else, Ash...the remains." He leaned in as I lowered my voice to a whisper. "We know magic and radiation don't mix. But that crate is giving off energies of the like I've never seen before. I'm not even sure if my scanning equipment can handle..." He rested both of his large hands on my shoulders.

"Darien...listen to me. What is forming in that box is too toxic to keep in this Age. The catalyst for it becoming an uncontrollable abomination is for someone to gaze upon it. Even your attempt to make a silhouette of it may awaken it." I nodded faintly as I listened.

"In Erebus we called such things Pandorans. Their existence defies the eternal order of things. The Titans imprisoned below Hades were born of such catastrophes," He looked down and shook his head. "It could be the next Hydra."

That was all the impetus I needed. "I can take it with me on board the Gygax, and project it towards the Sun once I'm in deep space before we warp into the Void." I turned my head slightly, noting the rain was no longer part of the background noise.

"That would work." Ash stood. "Thank you for the tea. I am off to get more supplies..." He looked up as he strapped his pilot's hat back on. "And...thank you."
I took a deep breath. This was the first time he showed me any gratitude for saving his life.

"Ash," I said as I stood up, stopping him as he was halfway through the door, "what shall I tell the Council?"

His eyes ran through the range of emotions in a matter of seconds. I saw him relive the shock of the news. I saw anger, but nothing like the Rage he had just embraced on the disastrous path that brought him to my operating theatre. I saw worry. And finally, resignation.

"I accept their decision. To do anything else would risk my Legacy to you and...our children. The sins of the fathers shall not be visited upon the sons." He lifted the winged jetpack out of his backpack and quickly reattached the components he had secret away in the side pockets.

"This is a large world with much to explore. I have only seen it as an itinerary of one warm body after another." I'm sure he was referring to more than the descendants he'd possessed. He slid his arms into the straps of the contraption and pulled the beltloops tight.

"Much can change in a year and a day. By then the Founder may fade to legend, but Ash Mason's reputation will speak proudly for itself." He looked up from the doorway, out towards the sky as the sun's rays finally shone through between clouds. The damp air, now clean of the black smoke from the factory, made the sunlight that struck the engine of his device brightly reflect the images inside.

"To the darkened skies once more, and ever onward..." He was still quoting his favorite poets, even as his sets of mechanical wings turned and locked into place while he made his way down the steps. He secured the goggles over his eyes, and in a plume of white smoke he rose skyward on wings not his own.

Friday, March 7

I have lost my wings...

...and all that is left is ashes. A fitting name for the Human who remains. I never owned a Spark. The fires inside squelch my magic. I may no longer own the might of Bloodwing...but my son...and my home...still need rescue.



And Ash Mason has a job to do!

Wednesday, March 5

Introducing the Gygax

After months of working in secret, my rocketship is almost complete! And right when I needed it the most! I had debated letting my fellow Steelheaders choose a name, but with my luck they would choose...well, you know. Instead I named it after a man whose imagination unlocked new worlds for all of us.


Artist's Conception


Engine Rooom


Navigation and Communications


Observation Deck


Underside of Force Shield Crystal


Current Status, with Tesla Drive

(still looking for more detailed textures, tailfins, gun emplacements etc., but it will do for now)

My thanks to Lumina Elvejhem for her original "genie-bottle" design, Frau Lowey for installing the teleportation tubes, and thanks to my daughter Qli Projects for the welding, hydraulic strength, putting out the plasma fire in the engine room, etc. etc..

Monday, March 3

Buskers in Victoria City

Success!

Things had gone from bad to worse with Bloodwing. When the Head Nurse and myself began to feel ill, I realized something had to be done quickly.



I remembered another radioactive member of Bloodwing's family, the Luminous One. Her aura seemed to have a rejuvenating effect, as noticed by her prolific "green thumb".
I brought her into the Hospital, and immediately the ambient radiation lowered to average levels, according to my equipment. I was able to begin surgery immediately.

The bones in his wings had withered away, requiring amputation of said limbs. I was however able to salvage skin from the wings to reconstruct his face. I connect a brand new pair of eyes to his optic nerve. My own eyes, or rather a cloned pair. I also injected him with samples of my own bone marrow so what was left of his skeleton would regenerate the rest of his body.

Bloodwing and I had once been a merged being, so I knew there was no fear of organ rejection. I no longer keep entire cloned bodies of myself in storage since the Jeremiah incident. But it would have been easier just to transfer his brain to a clone. Instead I painstakingly replaced entire systems.



Qlippothic Projects braved the radiation to speak explain (as best as we can figure out) what had happened to him...



And why he now was Human.



Sunday, March 2

Regarding the Patient in Quarantine

The patient in question is Bloodwing Dragonash, a male of the Demon species. The patient has suffered severe radiation burns to his face and suffers generalized symptoms of radiation exposure.



The patient's eyes have been completely destroyed. The patient's hair was burned away. The patient's horns broke off during transit to the Hospital, indicating the integrity of his skeletal system has been compromised.

Except for some agitation last night, the patient has been unresponsive, save for occasional signs of discomfort, including incoherent speech.


The Sick Ward of Caledon Regency Hospital is under Quarantine until further notice. No visitors shall be accepted. Medical personnel must wear lead-lined aprons when attending to the patient.

Staff: The patient's wings have been carefully folded under his back. I alone will tend to them. Consult the charts for special disposal procedures of instruments and articles used for this patient.

~Dr. Mason