On Podcasts


There is one particular aspect of the podcast that, after noticing, seems to grate on me, and that is, like radio, the casters have to just keep talking. 

My brother and I have a podcast. The cool part about it is that there’s no really big schedule or time-table that we follow in which we produce new episodes, but we still manage to get the work done. We’ve produced six episodes as of this writing and will certainly write a whole heck of a ton more. 

The reason for me adding this particular entry to the page comes from me listening to bits and pieces of a podcast that my wife has come to really enjoy. The cast is entitled “Guys We F*cked.” The podcast is, as the hosts claim, a podcast related to discussions on sexuality (at least that’s what I have heard in recent listenings). If they haven’t defined it in other terms in the past, I would also like to add that it sounds hugely related to female experiences in sexuality. The hosts base the show out of New York, and discuss all kinds of topics related to women and sex. Expletives are used quite frequently and the girls are very opinionated. And this is not to say that’s a bad thing. Let’s be honest; it’s a podcast. It may be accurate to say that the great majority of podcasts are run by hosts who, on one topic or another, have an opinion. They kind of have to be; don’t they? Anyway, like most casters, they have a goal – to educate or allow people to understand more about a particular subject. They are currently talking about the movie “Kids.” Yeah, I never had a desire to see that movie. I don’t have any experience being a woman, nor to I have a claim to speak about the female experience, sexual or otherwise. It does seem that they are quite strong in their opinions though. But, whatever. That’s fine.

Jer also recommended me to watch the Joe Rogan Experience. That is an interesting podcast; it’s just not my sort of thing. The Joe Rogan Experience is just Joe Rogan talking to these people in the world of Hollywood or the entertainment industry. They are either pretty popular now or they were popular at a certain point, but now they’re out of the spotlight. Joe Rogan was the host of Fear Factor for a stint, and was also one of the announcers with the MMA scene. Then, for a while there I just didn’t see him. And before I know it,  he’s doing this podcast. He has some interesting people on the show – a guy who only eats meat, for example. Another guy who used to be Mr. Olympia several times in a row. He has had Jordan Peterson on the podcast a couple of times. Peterson has been quite the personage who has stirred all kinds of controversy in the world. The American stage, one might say, has really enjoyed having him. There was a point at which Perterson was on a talk show and the hostess of the show (in London – you can tell by the accent) was really gunning for him to give in to her. She tries and tries and tries, but he just remains his own self, which is what the world loves about him.

Jordan Peterson has his own podcast online as well. He is known for his collection of his Youtube videos that he posted up. He has some interesting viewpoints, and a large following. There are those who are just looking to get a rouse out of him. They just want to make their own videos trying to take him down. Funny. Many of them are these so-called “social justice warriors (eyes roll).” He shuts them down rather swiftly. I’ll post the link below to one of his Youtube videos as well as some of his podcasts.

What else is there? Oh yeah, Lore.

Lore is something done by Aaron Manke (not sure if I have the spelling on this correct, but that’s just where I’m going to leave it for the moment. If you want to look up this dude’s name, you can go ahead and do that). When I started out with Lore, I was really into it. My wife got me hooked on it. It’s basically a cast about all kinds of different stories regarding monsters or horror stories all based in the United States. The best one is the one about the doll. I don’t even remember which one that is, but it’s pretty good.

There are several good ones. The cast was even turned into an Amazon Prime show on television. Crazy.

But, in the end I just sort of lost interest. Some people really like it, and I am not attempting to dissuade you from your opinion of the show, but I would say that it would be good to go out there on the Internet and look for others. Oh, there is this one called Spooked, which is much better in my opinion than Lore. Lore is just that; it talks about the story of something in history. Spooked is much shorter and interviews the people who have had interesting mystical or paranormal experiences in their lives. It’s run by one host and just starts off interviewing people. It just goes over two to three stories in an episode, and that’s that. There are several stories about the paranormal, ghosts and interesting creepy experiences. There are stories about aliens, but basically it’s ghosts and wired paranormal stuff. An overall good podcast. Again, I like it because each episode is short.

Another podcast you may want to try out is Serial.

         I’m sure you’ve heard of Serial. It was really popular when the first season came out. It discussed a man in prison, and the whole first season was so popular across the country, that the man in prison was given another look at his case. I don’t think it turned out well, but it did turn out. Season 2 was not something I was in to, but some people were. It should be mentioned that after the second season, the cast sort of went downhill. It just didn’t turn out well. That’s because the season turned out to be not as good as the first one. It was talking about Beau Bergdahl (*SP). Ahh, yeah, I wasn’t very impressed. But that’s my interest, it didn’t suit me, but others were okay with it.

After Serial busted we got into another podcast called S-Town (or Sh*ttown) if you’re not into the whole abbreviation thing. That was a cool one. It was about this town in the south of Alabama and there was this guy who was quite intelligent. Anyway, it’s sort of about his life and how he goes around and how he has dealt with things in life. Very interesting. I highly recommend it. Well, I recommend it it if you’re up for something new and are not going to simply judge people and how they believe.

That’s sort of where I see the whole podcast thing. I ‘m not sure about how to go about it in the future. Well, I’ll say this. I think I used to be more heavily into podcasts.I thought it would be cool to be known for your voice. Maybe it is. But, I don’t ever want to really do something just because I’ll be famous.

What does being famous get you? Nothing. There is nothing that I could say that would make being famous amazing. Yes, you get a lot of attention, but why? What’s the point? That’s just not what I’m into anymore. The more I listen to this podcast, the less I want to do a podcast as a major part of my life. Well, let me back up. The difference is that with the podcast that Jer and I do it’s something that we talk about and something that we enjoy (**aren’t they all?). We can go at our own pace because we’re not hired to talk and talk and talk. Actually, we’re not hired. There is something that we just love about the things which we talk about.

Jer and I talk about fantasy and sci-fi stuff. We talk about nerd stuff, about books (we love books). We talk about movies occasionally. We talk about video games – both gamers, though the frequency of our gaming has dropped considerably since we’ve grown up and gotten jobs. That’s just the way things are when the world develops as human being. WE grow and we observe our own growing in the way that we provide our own observations. So, we like to talk about the things that interest us.

Our current podcasts focus on the Wheel of Time – a 14-book series by the late Robert Jordan. It’s something that we grew up with, something which provided a huge fantasy jump, a mind-bending change in our formative years. It’s something that neither of us have finished. But, it’s something that we feel that we havfe to finish as it’s been a part of our lives, an important par tof our lives for so long. So, we are currently on Book 6. That’s six books of the main story line including the prequel. Here’s how this works.

Jer and I live in different parts of the nation. Each of us have a copy of the book. We read about 100 pages, and then on our blog, each of us provide our thoughts on those 100 pages. Then, after several bouts of that, we finally finish the book, at which point we get online and talk about what we just read and exchange opinions. Again, we have done six. This book that we are currently on (Book 6), is taking a really long time for us to finish. But there is the fact that we both have full-time jobs and home relationships we have to work with. And that’s that. We’ll finish this at some point, but when that point will be, who knows.

Here’s the link to our cast, Across The Wheel.

One thing I do know is that this podcast that’s on right now, GWF* (*above), is not something I’m into. It may be because I’m not a girl and the girls who listen are the girls who understand. Regardless, Not something I’m into.

Oh, there is another thing that I’d like to bring up here regarding audio entertainment – audio books. If you’ve never shared the love of an audiobook, I would say that you may be missing out. Yes, agreed, they are for some people and not for others, but I still think it’s a convenient way to get some stuff done. It doesn’t have to be a book you listen to, it could be a movie, or other things. Those “other things,” I’ll have you know can be a wide variety, but most of the day we’re using our ears. It’s not that they don’t pick up the audio book, but to really enjoy an audio book you really have to be into the story and into the genre. Oh yeah, and they are there for a long time. Hours.

Another great thing is that there are professional audiobook readers that read the story to you. They do the voices, the accents, and the narration. It’s fantastic.

That’s about it regarding audiobooks and podcasts. If you’re up for it, you can go to over to Audible.com to start your free account. They let you have one free book, just for signing up. If you don’t like it and don’t want to start after 30 days, you’re all set. No obligations on your part.

But, if you haven’t done it, taken the leap in audio entertainment. Now’s the time. Find something that interests you and look for a podcast or an audiobook.

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Decisions


by

L.P. Stribling

       Her face was no longer something she could feel; the wind, the ice had made sure of that. Carla still pushed through the biting slices of nature’s army toward the wooden structure on the hilltop, one high step at a time. The snow reached well past her knees, and beyond that with the ground dipped. On the inside, her legs began to ache.

Almost there, Carla. Push through.

She tried putting her mind elsewhere again. That seemed to work at the bottom of the hill, at least for the first half mile, until the frost winds began to howl. One of the thoughts she found was more of a memory – one from when she was six. It was the first time she recalled hearing the howl of the wind. Her sister, Dari, had run back to the bedroom after the power had gone out to jump under the covers with her.

“What’s that?” she remembered her sister saying. The pause lasted for seconds, until the low curling of the wind’s howl came through the windows. Dari disappeared under the blanket and gripped on to her sister, preferring clearly to be inside her twin’s body.

 

“Chill out, girl. It’s just the wind,” she had told her.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Dari said. “Just the wind.”

 

The words ran through her mind with each slow step up the hillside. “Yeah,” she echoed her sister’s voice. “Just the wind.”

The snow depth shortened and the steps became easier. The last few she pushed into a stride of three as she tried to make hasty cover behind the walls of the wooden building.

“Dari!” she screamed at the door as she pounded on the cheap wood. “Let me in!”

Sounds came from beyond the wood. Tapping and shifting. The door fell open and Dari’s hand reached out and pulled her sister in. “I thought you said one o’clock?” Dari said. Her short frame was covered in a parka and ski pants over heavy green socks. “ I’ve been waiting for two hours!” She pulled Carla inside and shook the snow from her back. “Sit,” she said. “I have tea.”

Carla walked to the table in the living room where two steaming mugs of tea sat waiting. A small dish of cookies was at the table’s center, and a fire burned in the gated fireplace. Carla sat.

“Now,” Dari said, sitting and raising a tea mug. “Why don’t we talk about how badly they want you, and how much we stand to gain with the right decisions.”

Carla held the mug between her freezing palms and inhaled the scent deeply. She clinked her mug against Dari’s and took a small sip. Jasmine. It went down warm. She cleared her throat and reached inside her pant pocket, removing a thin vile of neon orange fluid. A solitary air bubble dipped back and forth as she tilted it. “Here’s to making our first decision right.”

Decisions


      by

L.P. Stribling

 

Her face was no longer something she could feel; the wind, the ice had made sure of that. Carla still pushed through the biting slices of nature’s army toward the wooden structure on the hilltop, one high step at a time. The snow reached well past her knees, and beyond that with the ground dipped. On the inside, her legs began to ache.

Almost there, Carla. Push through.

She tried putting her mind elsewhere again. That seemed to work at the bottom of the hill, at least for the first half mile, until the frost winds began to howl. One of the thoughts she found was more of a memory – one from when she was six. It was the first time she recalled hearing the howl of the wind. Her sister, Dari, had run back to the bedroom after the power had gone out to jump under the covers with her.

“What’s that?” she remembered her sister saying. The pause lasted for seconds, until the low curling of the wind’s howl came through the windows. Dari disappeared under the blanket and gripped on to her sister, preferring clearly to be inside her twin’s body.

“Chill out, girl. It’s just the wind,” she had told her.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Dari said. “Just the wind.”

The words ran through her mind with each slow step up the hillside. “Yeah,” she echoed her sister’s voice. “Just the wind.”

The snow depth shortened and the steps became easier. The last few she pushed into a stride of three as she tried to make hasty cover behind the walls of the wooden building.

“Dari!” she screamed at the door as she pounded on the cheap wood. “Let me in!”

Sounds came from beyond the wood. Tapping and shifting. The door fell open and Dari’s hand reached out and pulled her sister in. “I thought you said one o’clock?” Dari said. Her short frame was covered in a parka and ski pants over heavy green socks. “ I’ve been waiting for two hours!” She pulled Carla inside and shook the snow from her back. “Sit,” she said. “I have tea.”

Carla walked to the table in the living room where two steaming mugs of tea sat waiting. A small dish of cookies was at the table’s center, and a fire burned in the gated fireplace. Carla sat.

“Now,” Dari said, sitting and raising a tea mug. “Why don’t we talk about how badly they want you, and how much we stand to gain with the right decisions.”

Carla held the mug between her freezing palms and inhaled the scent deeply. She clinked her mug against Dari’s and took a small sip. Jasmine. It went down warm. She cleared her throat and reached inside her pant pocket, removing a thin vile of neon orange fluid. A solitary air bubble dipped back and forth as she tilted it. “Here’s to making our first decision right.”

5.4.U Always


SW

I didn’t know this was a thing until today, actually. I do consider myself a fan. I’m not the fan that some of my friends are out there (胡婕), but a fan nonetheless. I saw the first three movies….(ahem) excuse me, 4, 5, and 6 when they were released back in the ’80s and have held them dear as canon since then. I have never seen Episodes 1 – 3 (thank the gods) because I wanted my Star Wars world to be untainted, I guess. Just the fact that they were released so far after the fact made me leery. Different story, different time. I never watched them, so I consider myself safe.
But this new movie – The Force Awakens; haven’t seen it yet. I know; I’ve already heard (almost felt) the gasps from some of my friends and colleagues.

areyoukiddinglogo2

Friend/Colleague: You haven’t seen it yet!? 

Me: No. No I haven’t. 

I haven’t seen it because, well, different reasons. I thought, first off, that it had simply become too much of a ploy to make money. Disney buying it from LucasFilms seemed hokey to me (Disney? Seriously??).  Then, when I heard that some of the originals (Solo, Leia, Skywalker) were going to be in the new film, I didn’t know what to think. I thought it just wasn’t going to be the same. The technology’s different, the actors are older (they’re going to look all old and deathly, and I don’t want to watch something that shows them as old.), there’s going to be a passing of the torch, because those actors can’t be in film much more (because they’re OLD! – and this sucks because we remember them in their heydays, when they were invincible, and impenetrable…and it’s hard to see them any other way).

In a way I think I also didn’t want to see it because I didn’t want there to be a voice inside me while I was watching that was looking for a reason to not like it. And then the fact that Disney’s making more of them, it just seems like they’re turning one of my favorite childhood fantastical worlds into a money machine, and that hurts. And why would I want to see something which may damage the beautiful soul of those first three?

Anyway, bummin’ around the Net today and find out that today’s May 4th. I can see why it’s “Star Wars Day,” but I’m not going to tell you something as ridiculous as May the Fourth Be With You…

..that’s just plain dumb.

I still haven’t seen it, but who knows, maybe one day.

Remember them fondly.

Overwatch, Destiny, and why the hell not.


Overwatch – new game coming out. I’ve spent the past couple of hours watching (actively or inactively) JP play the game on Twitch and it’s looking pretty good. It’s another FPSs, but it looks a bit different than some of the other ones that have come out recently. It looks similar to Destiny in the fact that it’s sci-fi, but it also has huge animated elements to it. Looks good though.

The game play seems to be fast and there are a lot of mechanics that are involved which can help or hinder, it seems. Just like any other FPS, the guns change as the levels increase and you can play co-op, which is an attractive feature for many gamers out there. The only thing that I watched had to do with lots of players going out and going against each other in an all-out kill mode. It reminded me of something analogous to the Crucible in Destiny.

Speaking of which, I’m still playing.

I have been playing Destiny since day one and, like many of the fans out there, I’m not really sure why I’m still playing. I finished the story a long time ago, and now it’s all just about upgrading my character. It’s been about upgrading my character since….well since that first year. Bungie keeps increasing the maximum possible level as well as the kinds of “stuff” you can get. It’s insane how that right there keeps us going. We just get caught up in these traps of “oh, more stuff!” and, well if there aren’t any other games that are going to keep our fancy, then we stay the course.

Anyway, Overwatch comes out for the PS4 at the end of May; check it out when you get a chance. I hope you all had a delightful Tuesday.

Be good.

-lp

Point of Shadow


hunter

(**The following tale takes place in the world of Destiny.)

Omil leaped from behind the Cryptarch and landed into a form near invisible behind the warlock who had been at the vault for the past twenty minutes.

“You’re late,”  Trenton said, not bothering to look back.

“I know,” she said, standing and regaining her visible form. She smirked at how ever entertaining a species she found the humans to be. Their sarcasm always seemed to click in their stating the obvious. She turned to look out over the mild mango glow of the horizon behind the Traveler.

Destiny First Look Alpha_20140616143425

“What’s the point?” Trenton asked from out of view.

“Of what?”

“Of looking at it – the scene, the Traveler, Earth. Your kind has no concept of beauty, am I right? I mean, human beauty, I guess.” He held up another hand at the vault and sealed it with a satisfying hum.

“My kind?” Omil asked.

“Yes, your kind. Were my words not strong enough for you? I thought every Awoken had within them a data base of every human language of Earth’s history.” Trent turned and stepped toward her. The Awoken’s arm was too swift. In a blurred moment, he was was off his feet and looking up at her. She was holding him down, her wild fiery orange eyes staring out beyond the Tower. In his mind, it was humiliating – a human dropped by an Awoken in public. Nothing illegal, but a clear and direct cut into his pride. His instant desire to rage back showed on his face, yet her strength seemed to hold him in place like a flailing newborn. Just as he was going to make a reach for her face, she released and reached for her automatic rifle, her hunter’s eyes narrowing in on her some aspect of her gaze outward.

She ducked back down, slamming the warlock off balance and tossing him to the floor, positioning herself over him as gunfire upturned the granite square of the Tower grounds.

Trenton jolted, turning his face away from the exploding bricks.

“This way,” Omil said. She had removed herself from her position of superiority above him and was already ahead of him when she spoke. “The Speaker – he’s in danger. We need to get there. Now.”

Biggs scrambled up and snatched the Monte Carlo off his back as he stuck close to the hunter as they dashed toward the Speaker’s wing. “And how the hell do you know this again?”

“It’s an Awoken thing,” she yelled back over her back. “Don’t try and understand it.”

The two sprinted while the tower erupted into vigilance and panic. Guardians all around them were sent into a frenzy. Weapons were drawn and the footsteps quickened. Omil turned back just before ducking into the hallway to find Trenton firing into the air, joining other gunfire already from kicking off from the Cryptarch’s tent on the other side. Two large shadows passed above.

“Not now, Biggs!” she grabbed his shoulder and moved him along.

Biggs followed, annoyed. “These cocksuckers are gonna end up in a different kind of hell.”

Omil yanked him onward toward the Speaker’s chambers, and when the sky came into view on the other side of the winding corridor, there was further smoke polluting the scene. Guardians fired into the sky with every sized cannon they could muster. Members of each of the Tower’s guilds raced through its halls and across its vast squares. Omil and Trenton crouched  behind several pillars and hallway walls as another wave of giant ship shadows rolled overhead raining another onslaught of gunfire upon the the Last City.

Omil reached behind her and retrieved a sleek red-barreled rifle and looked adroitly through the cubed scope atop it.

Hereafter, you’ll be no more,” she whispered to herself. She squeezed and the thin barrel pulled slowly into her with a hollow release. Biggs turned back to the sky and watched as one of the grey ships screamed a dark smoke and jerked out of its position in the sky. It lost it’s place in midair and toppled planetward. He smirked as it zipped past the balcony of the Tower’s walls and looked back at the hunter. She was resetting the rifle on her back.

“One cocksucker down,” she said. “Let’s move.”

They took cover as they moved, keeping low and protected as often as they could. When the entered the covered walls of the Speaker’s den, they peeked first around the corner and drew their weapons, Biggs on one side, the hunter on the other.

“Speaker!?” Biggs yelled from the outside walls. No answer came. He looked at the hunter and nodded her in.

Both turned the corner guns drawn – Omil’s auto rifle, came smoothly into sight of the stairs leading up to the Speaker’s chambers, Biggs’s Monte Carlo scanning the room for anything dumb enough to be there at that moment. He sidestepped across the doorway, covering her crouched form as she ascended the staircase silently.

speaker

The ceremonial purity of the Speaker’s robe was stained by several spatters of his own blood. He was still standing, though, resting on the brick-like shoulders of Lord Shaxx, the headmaster of the Crucible training grounds, the most formidable of Guardian training experiences.

Biggs topped the staircase several steps after the hunter, still scanning the room from top to bottom as he made his steps.

“Grazed,” Shaxx said. His voice was the same cold whisper the Tower rumored it to be. He almost never spoke, and rarely was he seen this much in the open of the grounds. He repeated the words both to the Hunter and the Warlock.

“Grazed, but he’s fine. He needs safety.”

“Yeah, not sure if you’re privy, but the Tower’s not in a good place, Shaxx,” Biggs said, looking at the Speaker and back out into the open room that was the Speaker’s office. He flashed his barrel back down the steps to the opening of the Speaker’s Chambers.

“That’s the attitude that got us here in the first place, warlock.” the lord said. “Now’s not the time for a heavier dose. We need release, and the first thing we need to do is get the Speaker to safety.”

“And what do you suggest? A hidden room, a secret chamber? Are you gonna whisper a password into the air and just make the Speaker vanish?” Biggs prided himself on knowing it better, understanding it more clearly, seeing before it was visible. Biggs wanted to know the situation with more color than the enemy. He wanted to be the surpriser, not the surprised. Biggs was at this moment not happy with where he was.

One of the nine lords of Guardian history, Lord Shaxx was as calm now as if he were meditating somewhere, controlling the silence around him, directing the quiet at his will. At Biggs lack of control, he simply tilted his helmet slightly and walked slowly with the Speaker to an area just behind the Speaker’s desk. He opened his metal gloved hand and placed it upon the silvery surface of the wall and leaned in, speaking something in a low tone. The words were spoken sotto voce and were unknown to Biggs. A quick clamping sound shifted behind the wall and two strong creases formed in the wall – one horizontal and one vertical. The segment of wall pulled away and shifted inward. The door pulled away.

Omil watched on casually, assessing it all with her glowing sorbet eyes. She turned to Biggs and shook her head.

Lord Shaxx handed the Speaker off to the warlock. “Here; this leads to Lord Saladin’s private chambers, unlisted on any public Tower map. He’ll meet you there and help escort the Speaker to safety. The path is plain and well lighted. Make haste.” He stuffed the warlock and the hunter into the space before sending them off.

“What about you?” Biggs asked, turning back to the legendary Guardian. His voice sounded more docile now, more apologetic somehow.

“As far as anyone else is concerned, warlock, the Speaker has vanished.”

The door closed and reset from the inside and, from where they stood, lights, blue, hazel, and gold lit a long corridor down and away. Omil took the lead and hurried her human baggage along.

The Speaker hung from the warlock’s shoulder, steadily walking alongside, saying very little other than several groans of laborious movement. When looked at closely, Trenton could see the Protector’s shoulder had been grazed with either a full shot from one of the attacking ships or shrapnel from something the round hit. He was breathing fine, thankfully, and that was good enough for Biggs.

Omil kept watch through the corridor, understanding the bad guys would likely be fewer down here than outside the walls.

The corridor ended at a wall, deep red and metallic, and as they got closer, levers moved and locks turned on the other side. The sheen of Lord Saladin’s armor bust through from the other side.

“This way,” he said, motioning them through. Biggs and Omil stepped through the gate.

“You’ll keep that drawn, hunter,” Saladin said to Omil gesturing to her firearm. “At this stage we should assume the safety of the Tower is compromised on all levels.”

There was a general room in which they stepped, before Saladin closed another wall which seemed to them camouflaged at first. They recognized then to be standing in Saladin’s private chamber, just inside his honorary position of commendation during the rare periods of Iron Banner competition. The walls held various trophies, plaques, and all manner of weapon – ranged and blunt. A long hafted battle ax, polished to an unspeakable sheen, rested upon two hooks above them. Three words engraved in smooth italics within.

Iron Banner

“The Light never rests,” Omil read. 

Lord Saladin looked at the hunter and nodded. Out in the square of the Tower, gunfire, explosions, and mayhem continued to fill the air.

“It’s too late for plans of quick reprisal,” Saladin said, his voice calm and unhurried. “And we cannot waste our precious time with ‘why’ after ‘why.’ There is a ship waiting on the back side, across from FTC. The Speaker needs to be on it.” Saladin reached up and unhooked the great ax. “Follow me,” he said.

Trenton Biggs carried many questions within his pent up arrogant warlock frame, though he knew it wasn’t the time to ask. Omil strafed off to one side, keeping the preferred Dead Orbit auto rifle held at the ready. Biggs walked with one hand around the Speaker’s waste and the other holding steady onto his light-but-giddy Monte Carlo. In the front Lord Saladin walked through the Tower’s Iron Banner courtyard and into the central square itself. When he got to the steps, he held his ax at chest height, and began to run. Amid the gunfire, the Guardians of the Tower turned, and the pace of the moment shifted.

Now with new eyes on the state of things, Biggs’s upper lip curled to see myriad Fallen, Vex, and Taken now walking the hallowed tiles of the last city on Earth. Not only was there a hailstorm from above, but the sickness was now walking below.

But Saladin’s speed was gifted, and Biggs knew he didn’t have the time to sit back and blow ammo across the concrete.

“Human!” Omil shouted, waking the warlock out of his pained inner dialogue. “Follow!” She pointed at Saladin before looking into her scope and firing off several spurts of lead into the air. Across the square, a handful of Fallen grabbed their necks and dropped screeching.

The warlock hoisted the Speaker on one shoulder with a grunt and followed the Guardian legend as they made their way past the Gunsmith’s tent to the South Tower.

Saladin’s blade was a force, ripping through bodies of the enemy as his swift silvery boots came within the right reach. Taken minions were slain within the same upper slice as the two Vex bots before them, Short or tall, few or all, the man of legend seemingly walked through them as he made his way through the halls toward the back. Biggs, his arm beginning to shake as he held his weapon at his front, grumbled at the number of bodies he had to step over as he trailed Saladin in wake of his activity.

At the back, the scene was more peaceful. Fallen were still trying to slide through the thick metal covering of the 200 foot tall ceiling, but their progress was minimal, and there were none others who had yet to make it this far. Biggs was also relieved not only to see his fellow Guardians aiming full weaponry at the hallway. They bowed and saluted as Saladin made his arrival.

They slid through the crowd and Saladin slowed, pulling Biggs along with him.

“Here,” he said, pointing to the hovering legendary ship awaiting them. In giant red lettering with purple trip were written the words Armor of Vows with an almost regal script. “The pilot knows where to go – The Reef, meet with the Cryptarch there. Go now, Guardian.” The lord opened a gate in the balcony and the warlock repositioned the Speaker again upon his shoulder and quickstepped down to the ship, hovering miles above the remnants of Earth below.

Once he stepped upon the ship, the entrance door in the body of the great shipped slid back, and the warlock froze as the point of a rifle came out of the dark belly to meet him. It was followed by white gloved hands and a Fallen Captain attached to that.

The creature growled and, from beneath, two wizards screamed into sight the space on either side of the ship. They flew in from the underside of the Tower and began flinging their electrical curses about the vast room, igniting a panicked frenzy. The Guardians fired back.

Biggs turned back to the Fallen Captain. “Catch,” he said, and in one motion tossed the body of the Speaker toward the creature. The body flew so quickly that it bowled it over. Biggs caught the creature on the ground and pulled the unforgiving trigger against its temple.

“My apologies, Speaker; drastic measures,” he said, picking the revered Guardian. He took the Speaker into the craft and placed him softly on the ground before returning to the action.

As he emerged, Biggs found two bolts from the wizards catch Lord Saladin in the chest. The hero dropped to the Tower’s floor across from him. Now fired up, Biggs stood on the top of the hovering ship, in the middle of the action, and let his weapon sing.

He sawed down each jerky Taken minion, sending them out of existence in a cloud of dust. Two neon purple arrows buzzed through the air and the wizards were knocked up against the outer wall before falling from the air and through the clouds back to Earth.

From the hallway, Biggs watched as Omil danced into the room and sent another purple streak from her bow across the room to a Taken beast.

Dark swirls of black and silver fomented in the unoccupied corners of the room amid the chaos and a large form, twice the height of the other minions came into being.

Taken

“A Lieutenant,” Omil yelled to Biggs as she crouched low and made her way to the gate. “Aim for the head!”

From around the room, the few Guardians left fired into the air, trying to dispel the oncoming speed of the dark ominous beast, but it was as though their shots were merely rings into an already too-loud amphitheater.

The beast advanced directly for the ship.

“Human!” Omil shouted. “The head!” She stood in the open making herself fully visible and reachable. She raised her rifle to her eyes, pulled on the trigger, and held.

A flurry of fire jaunted from the the hunter’s weapon and slammed in to the dark beast, causing it to roar and race toward it’s new target.

From the ship, Biggs already had his rocket launcher loaded with two rounds.

The speed with which the creature raced was staggering, and Biggs had to lead his rocket farther than anticipated. The first rocket smoked and burned, but went wide.

Omil’s clip ran out and she made to reload.

Biggs had one more shot before it reached the hunter. He held his breath, focused, and squeezed.

The round struck the beast in the head, which dazed it. But it wasn’t enough. The Taken creature reeled back with both arms above the hunter, ready to claim its prey.

But through the air, a swooping gathered air, and before notice could be made, a large THUNK slammed into the chest of the beast. All eyes focused for the swift moment to see Lord Saladin’s battle ax lodged deep into the muddy black of the Taken evil. The creature screamed an agonizing scream before smoking, and dissipating into the quiet air of a somber South Tower.

Lord Saladin walked laboredly into view and bent to retrieve the ax that had fallen with the creature’s disappearance.

“Hunter,” he said, recovering, “I’ve already talked about dithering. You move now. More are coming.” Saladin’s gloved hand motioned the hunter to the ship. Both she and the warlock made their respective motions of thanks and farewell, and closed the hatch.

Within the metal body of the ship, the Speaker’s breathing was labored, but he seemed to be resting fairly. Biggs slid into the pilot’s seat and strapped himself in behind a colorful screen of lights, sound, and meters.

“Okay,” he said aloud, tapping the screen with a series of darts of his finger. “Coords set. We all ready.”

Omil’s hand, from the back of the ship, grabbed Biggs on his shoulder.

“There,” she said, pointing out at a point just at the upper edge of the Traveler’s greyish outline. Biggs looked and squinted. A dark cloud of Taken ships buzzed in their journey forth toward the Tower in the another wave of torment.

“Yeah,” said Biggs. “I know. We’re going.”

She tapped him again, almost lovingly. 

“My point exactly, human,” she said and slid back into a seat next to the Speaker.

The engines fired and the afterburners followed. The ship rocketed its way outside of the Tower’s reach, the earth’s atmosphere, and into the young eve of the solar system. The warlock left angry, the hunter amused.

universe

Binks is the Mark


 

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I’m into video games. Love them.

I love Star Wars too.

And I have an idea.

I’m thinking of a first-person shooter where all you do is hunt Jar-Jar Binks and gun his annoying ass down with different types of ammo.

God, that guy sucks.

Star Wars VII – Kill ’em all



I don’t even know where to start with Star Wars.

<sigh> Deep breath.

No, no, I do know where to start. I started in the 80s when it was the best time to start. Let’s just say this; I saw the newest Star Wars trailer and…<shakes head> No.

I have nothing good to say, really. I’m just sad.

Okay, let’s get it all on the table. I’ve never seen Episodes 1, 2, or 3. I loved 4, 5, and 6, and think that Disney (**of all f*cking companies) making a 7th is absolutely the most ludicrous of ideas.

…and they’re bringing the old crew back?? Han Solo…at 72?

Seriously?

Can it get any worse?

Why?!

Let’s face it. It’s over.

Close the story.

Shut the script down.

Let’s just remember Star Wars the way it was before…..before George Lucas actually started writing.

Spock’s Farewell


Spock

Star Trek, only a few know, is that one series for me that I’d like to watch from beginning to end just to see how long it takes me.

It’s not like I can in good faith call myself a Trekkie or anything. Star Wars just happened to always be my thing; it affects us all differently, I guess. But, looking back on the experiences I did have with ST growing up, and the role it played in my formative years, there was something I clearly enjoyed about it – something that grabbed me, struck me, or pulled me into it.

I didn’t watch it religiously. I didn’t have any ST posters hanging from the ceiling of my bedroom – the one halfway down the hall from the kitchen in which I lay upon four mattresses so I could look upon what my ceiling did have more clearly. But I did like it. All of it. I liked the concept, the journey, the characters, the conflicts, the personal stories. I liked it all.

But, in the original series (TOS), you really have to admit that Spock had the perfect allure for both Sci-Fi enthusiasts and sci-fi laity. It wasn’t just that he was an alien – something foreign from us, but he held a wisdom that we as humans both respected and saw as not unattainable.

Spock was, in most emergency situations, unshaken, able to retain his equanimity. Many of us remember him on screen giving Captain Kirk advice, calm and candid, in the most tempestuous of military situations. That’s just the guy Spock was.

And off screen, Leonard was a writer, a poet, a photographer, and well, as well all know, he was just a hell of a guy. He and Shatner had a friendship that began early and blossomed throughout life. What a treasure that must have been?

Nimoy and Spock began their career and blew up in the Sci-Fi community, and as well all know, it didn’t all blow away with the wind with TOS. Spock was there throughout the series and the world. He was there in body, and voice. And now, as always in our world, Leonard and Spock spend the rest of this time with us in spirit.

So, I write this now to him, from wherever he’s watching. Leonard/Spock, thank you for your time with us on this station. You’re off to a new station, and you’ll no doubt make your new world exceedingly brave and happy. Thank you for your lessons, your words, and the model you gave in yourself to our world. You are family, and you will be missed.

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May you prosper now and always.