Friday, October 31

The Loose Mask [Midas Adventure Aftermath]

[IC'ly private]

When the veil between worlds is thinnest, magic frays at the edges. I worry that the enchantment on Darien's talisman may waiver. What will he do when he finds out he has been deceived? That his quest is but a ruse? Will he cast away the one thing that may save him?

I only knew his Firstbuilt from the encounter onboard the aethership, from Blood Doll to heroine. How do I explain to the ones she cared for that she may be gone...forever?

[There may be a way...but would she still be Qlippothic? Gematria? Or something greater? More dangerous than I was?]

Even while attending to duties in Regency Hospital and Port Novem, people are asking why I am not on the journey to Fusang. How do I explain that I am in two places at once? The Baron seems wary, he has just had to deal with a doppleganger of his own. Darien's friends say I seem distant. I was not raised to know affection. Darien had his Sumalee to teach him love. My first lesson was the gift of his own conscience.

[I want to live my own life, but I've never had the chance...must I return to what I was to save him?]

I must speak with the rest of the family. Even the ones with severed ties. Even the enemies.


Thursday, October 30

He Blinded Me with...ECONOMICS!

Thank you, Lunar-san, for a down-to-earth interpretation of Linden Labs' latest blunder (with additional SCIENCE!) by Miss Hilra.

Tuesday, October 28

Linden Labs: Trick, not Treat

All of the islands are abuzz about the latest outrage of Linden Labs. At the beginning of the new year, the price for purchase and maintenance of Open Sims will be increased 66%. This puts many of the themed communities at risk. Even if there weren't a global financial crisis outside the Grid, this would still be a horrendous development! Doctor Obolensky may lose Skull Island. The Seneschelf broods over the fate of Winterfell. Not even the greenspaces of Caledon are immune. (Don't even ask me how this affects the Belhaven project!)

People were abusing the Open Sims and using them as Normal Sims. This is to be expected and dealt with accordingly, but it should not be a reason to put all of the conscientious sim owners into hardship!

The unrolling of the the Nautilus Continent at the same time is insult to injury. Already LL was starting to be seen as competition to the themed sims before this shocker! This may be the best thing to happen for the OpenSource Grid...

I am not a sim owner, and far from a place where I am in the position to become one, but I do rent from the Guvna. If anything, I'll have to put my plans to re-establish myself in Steelhead on hold and prepare for the inevitable rent increase on Regency Hospital to help preserve the greater holdings of the Independent State.

If I were a Spark of a more malevolent nature...and not the slightest bit concerned about that lost explorer Magellan, I'd build a device to sink Nautilus back into the sea!

*fidgets with the pentacle amulet in his hand*


Monday, October 27

Scary Music Week at Novem

Tonight at 8 - DJ Magdalena Kamenev plays Gothic

Wednesday at 7 - DJ Dybbuk plays Glam Rock

Thursday at 7 - DJ Kiralette Kelley plays Gothic

Friday at 7 - DJ Nova Sakigake plays Industrial

Tuesday, October 21

Enter the Gamesmaster

A new villain, or a new guise of an old one, planted a bomb in the Steeltopian embassy in Steelhead. I was the first to arrive at the scene. Like most twisted masterminds, he lorded his megalomania over us by throwing a clue at us:

From the beginning of eternity
To the end of time and space
To the beginning of every end
And the end of every place.
What am I?

In a heartbeat I knew the answer. But the devil was in the details. The exact phrasing could mean the difference between life and death. The answer was the letter "E", but the phrasing, the pitch, the tone...

Soon the room was filled with people shouting at the bomb, trying to match the syntax to defuse it.

Finally it was the new Gargoyle in town, Shalindo Glineux, who simply blurted out "Letter E" and defused it. Emperor SteelCobra acknowledged the stubbornness of the Baron and myself and offered us both rewards as well.

I should have known better than to taunt this Gamesmaster psychopath, for soon another incendiary device went off in the embassy, and I ran straight for the front door and escaped into the fresh Steelhead air.

Monday, October 20

Journey to Fusang - Surgeon's Log

[Journal Entry written onboard Captain GlitterRoch's vessel]

It was a pleasure to see Captain GlitterRoch again. Time has faded the green tint of his curly locks to a more unassuming gray. Sideman looks as fit as ever, and still prefers to dress in burgundy.

Speaking of henchmen, my apprentice Oahu is curled up at my feet, sleeping soundly. He and Dogg had some interesting discussions. Between the two of them I'm certain this ship will be rodent-free by the time we reach Fusang. I stocked up on harvest cakes (double-yolk) at a bakery in Chinatown before we left, as well as a a bushel of green apples, root vegetables and various citrus. If there's one thing I learned on long trips like these, a lack of good nutrition will impair one's judgment in times of crisis.

I also visited an "antique" dealer in Chinatown as well, and purchased some choice items that may prove useful against the Dark Ocean.

Koen and Purdie will join with us later. For now it's best that my Firstborn and I keep some distance. While Ash is preoccupied with a xeno hunt in Steeltopia, that leaves Lumina in charge of Foundation affairs. What's left of them, anyway.

I picked up a copy of this month's Paradigma before I departed and read of Doctor Obolensky's new "synister ray" which reverses the moral compass of its victims. In fact he tested it on himself and turned into a philanthropist for a short period of time! That explains why he was wearing white at the Babbage Masquerade. I won a prize for my "costume", but after the tribulations in Babbage before (not just the Hand zombie epidemic...) I thought it best to recover the armor of the B_____W____ Knight. I shudder to think of what might have happened if I was struck by such a public...without mystic protection! Dancing in it was good practice before using it in future missions.

Fuzz collapsed earlier, claiming he was struck by a vision of Hotspur in distress. I wear an amulet to protect myself from such things, but I do know Hotspur is a jack of all trades. He may well have dabbled in the mystic arts.

I am keeping Gematria's chip close to my person at all times. Even in her...broken state I cannot let her fall into the wrong hands! Aleister sent me a polite letter asking for it back. Oh, I'm sure he would "fix" her, but my Firstbuilt was never meant to be a vampiric doll!

After we rescue Hotspur, Oahu and I will continue onwards to retrieve the Malkuth Sphere. I hope Koen can put his anger aside by then and join us.


Friday, October 17

I shall not lose her again

I hold in my hands Qlippothic...Gematria's soul-chip. When I built it, it was the the greatest accomplishment of my life, the effort made twice the challenge due to the Founder's possession of my body. Only my Spark could overtake him. Designing and building her meant a taste of my own freedom.

The chip is inert. Broken. No magic or science at my disposal can reanimate her spirit. To do that, I must find the Spheres I built her with. Even when she used coal or a turnkey to power her body, the Sephiroth - the Spheres - powered her spirit, even after the Spheres were scattered and lost in the Void between Space and Time

Drawing energy from the universe into a solid manifestation of an esoteric truth was the hardest part. Compared to that magical process, the physical creation was effortless.

Even if the Founder were here to power the distillation of the Spheres again, it would be for naught. The Spheres are unique. I have to find all ten of them, scattered as they are through the infinite. That is why I built a Time Cabinet into the traveling cart. My Galvanic Tesseractor technology may be disabled, but Gallifreyan technology will still work for me.

The first Sphere I must find is Malkuth - the Earth Sphere. It is tied to this plane, and surely phased back into this world after the accident. Each Sphere will lead me to the next. If others do not find them first and harness their powers for diabolical purposes!

I will bring you back, my First Daughter, or I will die trying.

Wednesday, October 15

Tuesday, October 14

there is no pain you are receding

I stopped by the sukkah to grab a snack. The building party last night was a wonderful little affair. Nix Sands graciously offered his property. The Baron and Frau Lowey provided the wood and a veritable banquet...I brought popcorn, banana bread, watermelon slices and tea. It was my chance to introduce my new apprentice Oahu to polite society.

[He won't wear shoes? Fine. But he does need to sew up those pants...]

[Dear Dad, I'm not wasting another life hunting down ancestors. I'm not Vortex anymore. Just plain old Koen. I hope your new apprentice knows what he's getting into. Let me know when you fix Gem. Have a nice life.]

I visited young nichus Bermann in Steelhead, a gifted child who had finished building my new traveling cart, fully stocked with pharmaceuticals.

...and complete with interior Ethereal Time Cabinet.

As Tensai took the podium for her spiel on the latest advances in particle science, the medication for my shoulder wound kicked in.

[Jobias cheated. He had a HUD. But Tensai wasn't wounded. I risked my life for...]

At the edge of my senses I felt Qlippothic nudging me. "Father? Are you alright?"

[I didn't even have a syringe on me! Had he been a few inches closer...]

Annechen's mindtouch, felt but unresponsive.

[I meant to tell Qli. I meant to tell Ash. I meant to tell the Regent. But I just can't bring myself...]

My Spark within danced to its own joyous memories.

[Electricity is the force of Life itself! With the right conditions there is no organism that cannot be regenerated! Such is the Triumph of Science over Death and Nature that...]

["Bring us back to life, Doctor!" They always beg and plead. "Is it that time of year again already? I told you I can't bring you all back! You don't even have bodies left to..."]

I woke up to the clucking of chickens and the smell of feathers. I smiled to myself. Some things never change.

Friday, October 10

Sukkot Party Rescheduled for Monday 7SLT

My neighbor Mr. Nix Sands has offered his undeveloped field next to the Hospital for building the sukkah.

[How can I look my friends and family in the eye after what happened? It's all my fault. I know Koen will be back, but will he forgive me again? And Gem...I don't know where to start...]

Steelhead is expanding again with a new port, perfect for Sparks. Contact TotalLunar Eclipse for pre-booking. As much as I'd love to have a home in Steelhead again, finances prevent me...

[The situation in the City has become untenable, even for the innocents. There are enough train tickets in this envelope for all your Urchin friends, Master Oahu. They will be safe in long as they stay clear of the Mansion.]

The training of my new apprentice has begun. There's even more...remedial training than with Koen, but the Bloodline is there...

[Dare I try again to train what is wild at heart?]

Baron Wulfenbach has creating a bulletin board on Ning for the Emigres of Europa. Plase contact him for details.

Tuesday, October 7

The Feast of Booths

In honor of Sukkot, I will be continuing a tradition I began in Steelhead and build a sukkah on my property. In layman's terms, it will be a thatched hut with wooden supports and an open wall, with a loosely woven (transparent) roof through which one may gaze at the stars. It will be on the side of Caledon Regency Hospital facing the pond.

Anyone who wishes to help and join in the festivities can meet me on Sunday at 7SLT. I encourage you to bring fruits and vegetables with which to decorate the hut. I hope the swans in the creek will show some restraint, but anyone who is hungry is welcome to feast on some prims as they pass.

As for sleeping in such a structure? Possibly. Depends on if the swans cooperate.

Thursday, October 2

not quite burnout

Changes. New job. New medications. New sleep patterns.

A pleasant dinner with an old friend turns into an intervention.

This first night of "normal" sleep...nightmares of zombies and a rocket fired at my thoat. I liked the virtual dreams better. It did get better. And I feel better. I'm not struggling to think during the day.

Things do need to change. The Foundation continues to crumble.

I'll still weave the stories. But I can't control all the characters anymore.

More sit-down discussions. Another friend asked to take on a new role.