A Grave of Red and Black

The red planet below her filled her entire view. A small fragment of scrap from her ship floated by past her right shoulder. Moving so fast and yet hardly seeming to move at all, they fell together towards the dust.

1400 Zulu Time 16 of Common June of the year 48 HE
After the loss of multiple occupation zones along both fronts, alien fleets are detected en route to the Sol System as well as the Cyrus, Calypso and Elysia colonies.
Border fleets are recalled to the colonies, and garrisoned fleets are mobilized. In Sol the Imperial Guard at Luna is mobilized in full, as well as the fourth fleet which was home for repairs. Martian Defense Force, Home Guard and Outer Planets Defense Force fleets were also mobilized off Mars, Io and Proteus respectively.

For a few seconds he remains within in the warm confines of the network, watching information flow and queries pass him by. Then the main connection breaks and all that remains are the sensor feeds. The cold of space had never bothered him before, it was ever present in his design, but now it seemed to cut him to the core. Feeling left one drifting appendage as it floated beyond transmission range, leaving only the sensation of tumbling in it's wake. Off to one side the red planet mocked him, beckoning him to her rocky embrace.

400 Zulu Time 18 of Common June of the year 48 HE
Calypso and Cyrus are able to achieve 55% and 45% evacuation rates before the surface of the colonies are completely destroyed. Elysia was able to achieve only 3% evacuation before subterranean high yield explosives destroyed the majority of the colony. The majority of Elysia's defense fleet was destroyed while providing relief and evacuation for the remainder of the colony.
In Sol a Human Empire fleet of 400,000 ships engaged one alien fleet of approximately 1.5 million ships in the space surrounding Saturn and it's moons. Battle is still underway but casualties are presently reported at around 220,000 human ships and an estimated 412,000 alien ships.
A second alien fleet of approximately 1 million ships approaching from the opposite end of the system will be passing Mars shortly. 616,000 human ships composed of 398,000 MDF, 170,000 Home Guard and 48,000 Imperial Guard are stationed at Mars to engage the second fleet.

She looks out the small porthole of the compartment. Light reflecting off the surface of the red planet is all that illuminates the small compartment. The cockpit of the passenger shuttle floats across her view, riddled with holes and tears. In the distance she can see small figures, barely larger than ants floating by. Small, frozen testaments to the larger battle, small reminders that nobody would be coming for her. For a moment she thinks she'll cry, but instead she starts to hum a wordless melody half remembered from her childhood. As the red planet stares at her, and the air grows thin, the soft melody continues.

600 Zulu Time 18 of Common June of the year 48 HE
The forces around Mars are reinforced by the unexpected arrival of 32,000 AI ships, thought to have been extinct since the war four decades ago. Meanwhile the forces around Saturn finally crumble, with 40,000 ships remaining the fleet retreats towards Earth. Enemy losses at Saturn are estimated in the range of 700,000 ships.
The engagement around Mars lasts for eight hours. Though the Human Empire forces manage a technical victory, effecting losses of 750,000-800,000 ships on the alien fleet, the badly damaged fleet, 274,000 of their starting 648,000, is forced to retreat towards Earth.



I just figured this out, but if you really want to relive those golden moments of games of yore... it works best to get a copy of the soundtrack and just listen. All the memories come rushing back like it was yesterday.


Stuff that's happening soup.

In local news, we have an arsonist in my town. So far they've kept to empty houses, yay housing market bubble, but who knows how long that will last. Saw a fire last night that was probably one of theirs, was only about a mile away.

The hard drive I had my OS on fried. In order to get my computer back up and running again, I had to install XP on my other drive. Good thing I only had about 200 gigs of data to loose.

In what I've been playing there's Rock Band and Virtua Fighter 5. I make a mean Vanessa, ranked warrior in quest mode, and am having fun with both games purely deterministic natures. Not that I get to play as much as I'd like.


The Authority

A trio of Authority agents entered the back of the theater. A woman flanked by two men, the men wore black trench coats falling to around their ankles over their black uniform of slacks and button up shirts. The woman's trench coat only fell to a bit above her knees, and wore a tanktop. All three had the Authority's distinctive round mirror masks as well as the official armband, white with a single black square in it.

While the play continued on un-interrupted, the three agents walked deliberately down the center isle towards the stage. A fourth agent stood there, facing them, whatever emotions may have been playing across his face hidden behind the masks mirror. A group of regular police suddenly stormed out from behind the stage, surrounding the actors and dragging a large crate to the very center of the stage.

"Sargeant, please open that, if you would," the woman ordered.

After a few moments with a pry bar, the police break open the side towards the audience. A slurry of clear packages filled with a glowing blue liquid spill out across the stage. The audience let out a great collective gasp as the contents came into view, and then began to whisper amongst themselves.

"Agent number 2453, Vance, Cameron J., you have been found guilty on the charge of captial Graft, as well as accessory to felony smuggling and drug trafficking. As a first time offender you have been granted the right of pennance and shall be detained for the next 48 hours to meditate on your deeds. As it seems you have placed your own gain above your duty to this people, you have shown a clear lack of understanding of the principle of non-identity. Such being the case, you will be delivered to the Authority Medical Center after your detainment to undergoe premanent face removal surgeory. Once you're rehabilitation is complete, you will report to the Authority Training Grounds to requalify for field duty.

If at any point you cannot or will not return to the field, you will face permanent interment at an Authority run prison." The female agent cast judgement on the fourth agent, betraying no emotional inflection at all in her words. The agents that had followed her quickly took the fourth agent into custody, leaving her behind to watch the police lining up the theater's employees and players to take in for questioning.

"Ma'am, I don't doubt that face removal is a terrible punishment, but why would you allow someone like that back into the ranks?" an audience member asked. The female agent did a heel face turn to face the civilian, but found herself frozen in place once the woman was in view. Beautiful, the word hung alone in her mind, all other thoughts blown away by the slim woman's visage. "Ma'am?"

With a start she recalled the question, and her purpose for turning in the first place. "Many agents loose their way at first, the principles of non-identity are difficult for even the best of our ranks to fully master. Thus agents that loose their way are at least given the opportunity of an object lesson. Still, they only get one second chance."

"And have you ever needed that second chance?" The faces of the woman's friends, which had been locked in a permanent state of shock, suddenly changed to silent horror. The agent merely rolled up her left sleeve to reveal the shiny metal of a permanent IV plug.

"Everyone makes a mistake sometime." With that she turned towards the exit and walked out.

Later that night...

She stared at the ceiling through the cameras built in to the mask. With a small bit of fumbling she picked it up and held it looking at her face. The mechanical eyes perfectly recorded the smooth flesh that had once been blue eyes that others had called piercing. It was the first time she'd thought of her own eyes in over three years.

More than her own face though, the face of that woman from the theater haunted her mind this night. Her emotions were causing her body to feel hot, and nerves that had been dormant for years to sing all over her body. The way her stomache was tying itself in knots was what finally convinced her though, it was definitely love, or at least infatuation.

It was a dangerous feeling. Emotions could cause her to be irrational, to change her priorities and objectives. A threat to her non-identity had emerged, and the more she thought of how it might engulf her... the more she wanted it to.


Blogging Deprioritized.

I'm not sure when I'm going to be writing another blog post... or if.

I originally started blogging to drum up interest in projects I was working on. Most of those projects have in their turn fallen by the wayside, and at this point I've rather learned my lesson of just not opening my mouth about things.

The second pattern I eventually fell into for blogging was that of spreading ideas. Lots of long winded examination, as well as a few short but targeted spurts of inspiration. While I certainly feel that I've grown while writing these articles, I've finally come to the conclusion that they aren't really an effective use of my time. I'm not being read by other designers for the most part, and what I have to say really doesn't seem to be penetrating very far into the places I'd most want to read it. In short, it's a lot of effort with no apparent final result.

The final pattern was just as a form of self expression, and I hope to continue that to some degree. I may still throw up short writing bits, and links to music videos or what have you. But even that I'm not going to make any guarantees of.

I pretty well know that I don't have many readers to disappoint with this news. Those that I have, I'm truly sorry. Hopefully, things will change in some way, but for now, I'm just too disillusioned with the industry in general to spend my time continuing to critique it.