C'mon in, take yer shoes off, and set yerself down. Here you will find comics, cartoons, musings, rants, . . . whatever strikes my fancy, or "Spins my Plush", so to speak.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

An Unexpected Thought Experiment

So, first off, that disclaimer at the bottom of the page that says all content on this site is trademark and copywrite Larry O'Keefe? Not entirely applicable to this picture. And, yes, that is me . . . sadly.

I'm not going to go into the details of why I'm wearing a crop top and mini-skirt (and, yes, I am covering my navel), but regardless of the why, I learned some interesting things in the act.

It WAS Halloween. A comic-book store Halloween party to be exact (thanks, Strange Adventures--it was lots of fun!). I prepared for the party as anyone would . . . by drinking heavily. Upon arrival with two friends--a coworker and his girlfriend--the bouncers announced, "IDs please", which prompted me to dig in my purse (look at the costume; do you THINK I had a pocket?). I fished out my wallet, opened it to my driver's license, and handed it to the bouncer. Now, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I think I look like a woman, but I SWEAR TO GOD he looked at my ID and glanced up really quickly and said, "Interesting costume."

In his defence, it WAS dark.

Observation #1.

Anyway, after getting into the party and hiding in a corner--and taking my coat off--I was introduced to several people who all had questions about the costume. Several of the women noted that I was pulling it off fairly well, but I digress. Finding a dark corner of the bar, I was shocked to be approached by FIVE DIFFERENT WOMEN asking to take my picture; one, a very cute Silent Hill character, wanted her picture taken WITH ME.

Now, to some who may be reading this, it may not seem like such a big deal. But to clarify: I am a geek. No, scratch that: I am a dork. I have NEVER been approached in a bar by a woman (okay, maybe once in University, but I managed to kill that quite quickly).

Observation #2.

After finishing my first beer--obtained quickly on the way in--I determined that I would require further alcohol. Girding my will, I--after about 20 minutes of fidgeting--made my way to the bar. Now, as I said: I'm a dork. And, as a dork, I have noticed that the one place I can normally rely on obtaining a woman's attention is when ordering a beer, whether by waitress or female bartender. Any male can get a smile and a quick-witted comment when a tip is on the line. So as I stood at the bar, waiting for this treasured interaction, I found myself somewhat shocked when--and this happened every time I went back--the rather attractive bartenders hit me with a polite but entirely businesslike, "What can I get you?" No smile. No nod. No flash of cleavage (okay, that doesn't ALWAYS happen, but sometimes . . .).

Observation #3.

As I said, the party was sponsered by a local comic-book shop. And, as part of the party, they had two photographers--one male and one female. The female, intentionally or not, took my picture seven times. The male caught my leg accidentally once.

Observation #4.

So, what is my point? I'm not sure. But I do know that people definitely treated me differently based on how I was dressed. And this may require further study--not that I have any idea how to further study the issue.

But, all in all, it was a fascinating experience.

And, as it turns out, blondes really DO have more fun!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sooooooo . . . . . .

So I left 10 copies of my first comic book at my LCBS--local comic book shop for the uninitiated. And now, I wait for feedback.
If I get any.
This is REALLY stressful for me.
You know, in the past . . . ooohhh . . . three months or so, I have done three things that I never thought I could do . . . and, no, even though I don't think anyone is reading this, I'm not going to say what those three things were. I will say that the third thing was leaving these comic books open for criticism.
And I will also say that the first two didn't QUITE work out the way I had hoped. They didn't COMPLETELY backfire, but . . .
ANYWAY . . . so now I wait.
And wait.
And wait.
I think I'm gonna plotz.
p.s. They are FREE, if you're interested (and if #2 on my list happens to read this, I'll give YOU a signed copy for free).
p.p.s. If #1 on my list happens to read this, it's nothing personal, but I REALLY want a window.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Day After . . .


The appointed time came far sooner than 387 had hoped. For his failure to apprehend the rebels, and the death of 1, he was to face punishment in Drakon's name. Two guards came to his barracks as the sun rose over what were once the Himalayan Mountains, although they had long since lost the majesty that had once made them seem unconquerable.

As he stood and went out into the courtyard to honour his master, 387's thoughts drifted back to that moment in the sewer when his eyes gazed upon the child. He had only seen one female genie before--although several of the female rebels were rumoured to have physical prowess thought to be beyond natural achievement--when, as a child, he had glimpsed a girl in the academy across the street from his own. Although against the rules, he had snuck through an opening in the front gate. The guard likely would have noticed him if not for a sudden commotion in the yard across the lane. A female, apparently about his age, actually used a bio-blast, similar to his own, to blow an opening in her gate that mirrored his own exactly. But while he was quite comfortable with his ability, she seemed almost . . . frightened by it. She stumbled out into the street, screaming in pain and terror. Immediately the guards at both gates fired their own blasts. The girl was reduced to ashes, and the image burned into 387’s mind. It wasn't the first death he had witnessed, but he had never seen such terror in the object of the kill.

"How sad," he had thought; not that she had died, but that she did not believe that her life energy would live on, empowering Drakon.

So why had he been unable to stop the rebels once he had seen the child?

He stepped in front of a row of his fellow officers, Drakon's Jury, and realized that now his turn had finally come to honour and empower Drakon.

Drakon's Jury consisted of 24 "predator" genies. Each of them had one mangled claw for a hand, and rather than for a bio-blast consisting of electromagnetic energy, the nails of the claw could actually be fired from their natural position. Covered in toxins, the target of the claws was drained of life relatively slowly and painfully, so as to insure that the victim knew that this was punishment for failure--a penance to Drakon, not a gift.

387 watched as 24 misshapen hands rose towards him. The jury formed a semi-circle about him and took up his entire range of view.

"All goodness comes from Drakon," the courtyard prayed in unison.

"All goodness comes from Drakon," 387 repeated aloud.

An officer standing on a deck overlooking the proceedings extended his right arm upwards, "Aim . . ."

387 looked upon the jury, willing to accept his fate as a true soldier of Drakon. Strangely, images from his past flooded into his mind; he remembered his days as a youth, training in a courtyard much like this one, pairing off with other future soldiers to battle one another hand-to-hand. How many times had he imagined facing a terrifying alien or reprehensible rebel, and taking the evil to hell with him for the greatness of Drakon. He remembered when his bio-blast first emerged. How only the markings on his hands had indicated his future potential until his seventh year, when the energy erupted from his hands. It startled him at first. And the pain! But soon his friends had surrounded him, and so many cheers made the pain fade quickly. If they hadn't been there, though, he might have been just as frightened as that young female in the street. And he saw the angel's eyes again. He looked out on his assassins and saw those eyes on the young girl from the street as she stood between him and death.


120 talons flew from their gauntlets only to meet the concrete wall surrounding the courtyard. It was a simple back flip for 387 to clear the wall. He had not been restrained, for no one was foolish enough to run. One bio-blast ripped through the outer fence surrounding the installation. Sirens and alarms echoed across the open field that was home to the structure, and the officers responded as quickly as could be expected, but they all knew 387; knew that his love for Drakon made his death something that he greeted not only willingly, but joyously. And so it was that only a few flesh wounds managed to draw the runner's blood as he dove into a rocky chasm at the edge of the field.

Gasping for breath, one thought raced through his mind. That was his daughter, and he would not let her die like that girl in the street. Not with the terror that he had seen. And more, he just had to see those eyes again. Because in those eyes was goodness--a goodness beyond even Drakon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Age Unknown--It is with an indeterminate amount of sadness today that we announce the passing of nobody. While almost certainly Nobody had a name, no record could be found of it. Nobody accomplished nothing in his life. Professionally, his name appears on no published documents, replaced by more important individuals who read his work, possibly. Nobody, while determined to be of above-average intelligence, has no educational records, as all the schools Nobody attended no longer exist. Nobody can, however, claim the honour of having been called an idiot in at least nine languages.

Nobody had no athletic ability at all, and was unable to locate a single geocache in his single short-lived hobby. Nobody was unable to ever ask out a woman, and, in fact, was lucky to even be able to dial a phone. As such, Nobody has no family outside of his extended family, who would rather not acknowledge Nobody's existence. Nobody died of a self-inflicted blow to the head believed to be a combination of blood-alcohol content, abnormal temperatures, and the constant pacing of Nobody's upstairs neighbours. Nobody is survived by nobody. Donations may be made to the Conservative Party of Canada since Nobody could care less.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Day After . . .

5-A Chance Meeting

"386 . . . 387! You're with me!"
The order barked by his commander startled Special Forces Officer 21-387. It had been close to a year since he had participated in the birthing ritual, but occasionally his mind still drifted back to the angel in the white room. It seemed worse whenever he was taking part in a civil action. The burning buildings and screaming citizens had never bothered him before, but now, standing on an abandoned street corner bordered on all sides by the ruins of tenements, still smouldering from the electromagnetic blasts that had all but levelled them, his whole being yearned for his little piece of heaven in the white room.
Not that he didn't understand why he had to take part in creating this personal hell. Central Intelligence reported that those damn revolutionaries were sighted in the area. He couldn't understand why those stupid women would not just accept Drakon's rule. After all, all goodness comes from Drakon, so without Drakon's goodness, why live?
"387, cover us. We're going to check the sewer. 386, you've got point. Go!"
Number 1 was a good soldier. He had lead countless legions of genies into battle against the enemies of Drakon, even after spending ten years in Routine Forces, policing the general populace. With most positions determined at birth, it was almost unheard of that a genie would be promoted to a higher battalion, but 1 had excelled to such a degree that it was determined wasting such a talent on common criminals--of which few remained--when the revolutionaries were such an ongoing threat, was a crime in itself. And so, the soon to be number 1 was there at the battle of New Jordan, when the old number 1 was slaughtered by the woman "Viper." The new number 1 stepped into the leadership role with ease, and lead squadron 21 to victory. Even now, only a week from his thirtieth birthday, when the ascension would take place, 1 actively led his squadron yet again to glorious victory in Drakon's name.
An energy blast from beneath the manhole cover snapped 387 to attention. "Resistance met! Officers under fire in sewer below manhole 12," 387 barked over his satphone." Drakon be with me, . . ." he trailed off as, with a gasp he dove into the hole. UV glasses kicked in quickly enabling him to see, but the tears from the fetid stench that invaded his nostrils still distracted him momentarily. The cold splash of water and who-knows-what-else that hit him as he landed at the bottom of the sewer snapped 387 back to his senses--just in time for a foot to send him reeling backwards into a hard concrete-and-steel wall. Neither blow being enough to stop a true soldier of Drakon, 387 dove behind the limp charred body lying in the cesspool before him.
A loud bang echoed through the cavernous sewer as 387 shot his natural energy back at the female attacking him. His hands tingled as they began to recharge, even as his ears tingled from the sound of the blast, amplified by the closed quarters.
Before him, a woman dressed in what appeared to be discarded bones, had lunged into the sewer water to avoid his blast.
"Wings?" 387 was a bit startled by the large body appendages apparently growing from the woman's back. So much so that he almost did not see number 1, chained and gagged, fall backwards behind the wings, his charred corpse now the only hostage the women surrounded him would have to torture.
"This is 387--1 has been caught in my crossfire . . . 386 down . . . require assistance NOW!"
387 knew that his fellow officers--the ones that remained--were on the next street, and would not be able to assist him for at least the next few seconds. He would likely follow 1 and 386 as martyrs, but if only he could hold on so that the females could not escape . . .
A soft touch on his shoulder spun 387 around in the muck, prepared to fire a second bio-blast. Unfortunately, he slipped on some feces and fell backwards, inhaling toilet water as his next breath. Choking on equal portions of water, vomit, and pride, 387 nonetheless shoved his body upward with arm outstretched to fire a killing blast.
"Wait . . .," a voice called out, a delicate, gentle hush, determined but not fearful.
His eyes, blinking to clear the cobwebs focused on brown-red waterfalls filling deep green pools.
"You . . .," his exasperated voice came, gasping for breath. But no sooner had he said this than he realized it was not. Although hauntingly similar, this was not the face of his angel.
This false angel then continued, "You said 387, and your uniforms are squadron 21. You're my sister's repro-partner!"
Startled by this revelation, 387 cursed the few words the angel had coaxed out of him. Words were not permitted during the ritual, but he could not refuse her whispered request during a moment of respite. He had said who he was, hoping that someday they may meet again, perhaps when the alien threat had been appeased.
"I . . ," he struggled for words.
"Soldiers above! We have to go!" A high-pitched voice cried out from somewhere behind or above him. It was hard to tell while lying in a pool of human/genie waste.
"This is the daughter she . . . my sister . . . died protecting," the woman standing over him lowered her gaze, opening her arms slightly. Clasped to her breast, a small child somehow familiar to him.
The child’s hands flailed and he saw the birthmarks of a genie on her hands--the same birthmarks that ran across his own knuckles. But this was a female! And she had an angel's eyes . . .

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Two Days in Paradise

. . . to be continued . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Day After . . .

4-The Eye of the Beholder

All male genies on the planet were drafted into Drakon's police force at birth, each raised as perfect soldiers in the perfect war, since they were the only army. Human females were left behind to run the planet on all levels, from manual labour to business to scientific applications. Once a year, a lottery was held to determine which two inhabitants would generate society's next soldier or worker. The pairings lasted only until conception and only as many pairings were allowed as criminal cases had been processed in the previous year. The results were then given to a communal raising centre, if they were fortunate enough to not be a male human or female genie.

Special Forces Officer 21-387 was one of the fortunate, placed in military care upon birth and raised into the Special Forces, assuming active duty upon his thirteenth birthday. Over the succeeding years, he served Drakon admirably in squadron 21. He obeyed orders, spoke when he was spoken to and thought what he was told to think. As was the assignment of all Special Forces officers, his duty was to enforce the laws. Any insurrection could mean defeat at the hands of the Alien Threat, destined to return, was to be immediately--and permanently--exterminated. He did this diligently, knowing that after the aliens had been defeated he would be well rewarded by the gentle Drakon.

Then, on the third day of the third month of his twentieth year, the call came that he had been chosen in the lottery. This was considered a great honour by all--the call to procreate the mighty Earthrace. He was brought to the Crucible, where the act was to take place. As one of approximately 175 men, he entered into a large stone chamber. Inside along the far wall were a series of doors seemingly leading nowhere in particular. Upon all four walls were painted large murals of females depicted in strange poses and dress. He had never seen anything quite like these women, but somehow the pictures pleased him in a strange way. Below the portraits were females much closer to those he was accustomed to. These were undressing each man and burning his clothes in a pyre at the centre of the room. Then before each man entered one of the doors at the far end, the women would perform the ritual of cleansing, pouring steaming water from the pot above the pyre over the man's head and reciting some type of prayer that he couldn't quite make out.

When his turn had come, Special Forces Officer 21-387 was stripped and led to a door. As the scalding stream poured over his head, he struggled to hear," All goodness comes from Drakon," over the sizzle of water boiling off his skin. He stepped forward and placed his hand before him to prevent himself from walking into the door ahead of him. As it was about to open he paused, slightly apprehensive about what may lie on the other side. In that instant it struck him that he had heard the women's prayer before, but, like something partially seen through a thick fog only to disappear as if it never existed, the thought passed, and he was inside a much smaller room. This room was all in white. The brightness of the colour blinded him as he struggled to make out any objects that might break its monotony. To his left he found a bed, but could barely make out its white sheets in the white room. Hoping to regain some semblance of reality he reached out for the bed only to fall into a seated position upon it. He clasped his sweaty hands over his closed eyes and savoured the precious blackness.

The blackness was cut by a click. The noise startled him, and his hands fell to his lap. Again blinded by the sudden whiteness, his eyes struggled, darting furtively around the room for whatever had stolen them from the dark. Almost instinctively, he found himself looking at a female closing a second door behind her. This one, however, was much more like one of those in the murals of the last room. Red-brown waterfalls cascaded down a face of softest ivory into two shimmering green pools below. His gaze followed the cascade to strawberry lips that called to his own without saying a word, and further to delicate curves that he wanted more than anything to reach out and touch, but would surely shatter if he did. More beauty than he had ever known sat upon pillars more beautiful than the ancient redwoods yet more delicate than a rare tropical flower. At once he knew that he was dead, and this was heaven, as the most precious of all the angels reached out to him with a hand much like his own, but so much more in its perfect form, like a exquisite ruby-tipped crystal. A foreign object moved to block his view. At first angered, he realized it was his own hand reaching for hers. When they touched, a calm rushed through his whole body even as a wave of passion struck him. They were suddenly together, and he and she ceased to exist, becoming one. As their union began, one final thought reached out to his mind: ". . . all goodness comes from Drakon . . .."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taking up Space . . .

So I says to myself, "Joe, . . .", that's what I calls myself, Joe, "Joe," I says, (and, no, Joe isn't my name, but that's what I calls myself), "Joe, I'm bored."

"Well, what do you want me to do about it, Joe?" I answer.

"I dunno, Joe, . . . maybe we can start posting that webcomic?"

I shoot back, "But it's too late on a worknight to start drawing it.

"Maybe we could just Tweet something?"

"I'm feeling chattier than 140 characters, " said Joe. "What about just typing something on our blog?"

"But you promised me that you wouldn't post anything without a picture to go with it!" Joe shouted, not really angry so much as tired and a little annoyed.

I replied, "Well, what if we linked to one of our pictures at www.artwanted.com/l_okeefe?"

"But, Joe," I retorted, "the line at the bottom says the all the content on this page is copywrited to you and me--or me and you, I always forget--and www.artwanted.com/l_okeefe is all fan art!"

"Yeah," I said dejectedly, "I guess that won't work.

"What if we just post that old sketch of our character Morning Star? You know, the one in front of the Toronto skyline?"

"Oh, yeah!" I jumped back to life at the suggestion, "That could work!"

"Now let's get out of here before myself shows up, . . . I can't stand that guy!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Day After . . .

3-How We Got Where We Are

In days past, Earth had seen its share of good times and bad. After five world wars and near desolation due to a poisoned environment, not to mention the struggles first between humans and their renegade computers and then humans and their own genetic offspring, Earth weighed the minuses against the pluses of a supposed golden age, and eventual utopia, and determined that the humans had to go. Massive geological upheavals, flooding, electrical storms, radioactive clouds, and global warming forced civilization into the stars. Finally, it was as aliens that humanity reached its longed for greatness, even amongst countless other races it eventually encountered and befriended or destroyed.

Colonizing most of the known Milky Way Galaxy, humans established a new planet, Jordan, in the Misagi-Ho III System, as home. Much like their former home, many of those unhappy about their eviction remained there creating a population of ten billion in a three-hundred-billion- member family.

Having gone so far as to make the leap to the next nearest galaxy, Andromeda, humanity decided that their alternate name of "Earthlings" must once more be proven, and the old homeworld was reinhabited, as technology eventually triumphed over hardship. Now, however, Earth was reserved for very few humans and became a refuge for genies and A.I.s, the genetically and technologically advanced. In spite of this, the population grew to rival that of Jordan.

Like any good neighbour, humans wished to have a nicer yard than the family next door. And so, in a show of solidarity and strength, Arcana, newly elected Premier of the Human Alliance, the first white human male to hold the post, decided that the Capitol should be returned to Earth. Human race supremacists answered with violent outbursts. Feeling this stinging backlash and taking it to heart, genie and A.I. protectionist groups responded in kind, angering each other in the process. One act of violence led to another. One earthyear later, Arcana declared martial law on one hundred and thirty-three worlds and a state of emergency on the remaining colony planets. Three hours later, he was assassinated. Ragnarok began as Utopia crumbled.

Some planets found their entire populations extinguished, either exterminated or rendered incapable of providing for themselves. These planets were called by some the fortunate ones, as others were simply destroyed along with every organism on them. Some survived, but never intact. The Human Alliance simply ceased to exist, now nothing more than a few splintered planets and empty space junk.

By some standards, Earth fared better. After fifteen earthyears of fighting, Drakon came. Like a dark angel, a force unlike any seen before swept over the planet. It succeeded in uniting the genie forces that had been crushed early in the fighting due to lack of organization. Unlikely allies came in the form of sympathetic and unsympathetic human forces. You see, witnessing the devastation of the Alliance, an earlier defeated alien race attempted to use the opportunity to grab the human homeworld for their own. From this came Earth's "salvation" as the alien, A.I., and remaining human forces were crushed and the planet united; one nation under Drakon.

Sliding into place at the head of all, Drakon's rise was as enshrouded as the being himself - if "himself" indeed is appropriate. A dark heart cloaked in darkness, using myth as deftly as any of the great prophets of the past, and possessing a mind like few dictators before, he - or it - took the rabble from the gutter and gave it purpose. Creating a new army from the discarded, the weak, and the frail, and using abilities termed magical by those not in the know; providing the knowledge and tools necessary for its competition.

The alien armada was first to fall when their electrical systems mysteriously failed. The attack was as immediate as it was deadly. A newly found alliance of all of Earth's forces rushed upon its weakened foe. The mothership was breached first, and the head cut off. Then, like the hydra of Greek myth, the stump was burnt in a nuclear fire to prevent two new ones from growing. The flailing arms and legs then were easily dissected by the humans and A.I.s, who then collapsed from exhaustion, their own systems having caught the "bug" that the aliens had brought. Their carcases were taken in by Drakon who asked only for undying obedience and worship in exchange for the favour.

So now the new god of the planet stands over a beaten people. Drakon's castle sits upon a site in a place once called Manhattan, though it hasn't gone by that name in years. "The 'world's greatest city' for the world's greatest ruler," is how Drakon might put it, if Drakon ever spoke. Oh, don't get me wrong, Drakon does have the power of speech, presumably from a mouth somewhere under his black, jewelled cowl - after all, he does have eyes, which look out on a world only slightly less devoid of life as they themselves, and even horns, just it is usually devoted to speeches and orders and the like. Even were he to engage in conversation, there would be no one to do so with, as friends were a weakness not possessed by the dread king. He had chosen a consort, however, as it seemed most successful rulers needed, but somehow Facade seemed as empty as her name would imply. Such a shame, though, that a fine sense of humour would go to waste. You see, Drakon had chosen his home to be on the exact geographic location that had once been the address of a group known as the United Nations. Fitting yet somewhat ironic.

Here Drakon can now get up in the morning and walk out on his balcony and look over a utopic world where disease and crime have been eliminated - usually at the source, as capital punishment is the preferred method of both surgery and imprisonment. Population growth is strictly regulated - ". . . no worries about famine . . ." I believe were his exact words - as the cloning banks had fallen into disrepair, and the repair technology had been outlawed. The "old-fashioned method" was now necessary. This usually created what Drakon termed "unnecessary attachments" however, so the human male population was virtually exterminated as were all genetically-engineered females. This provided a bond between the remaining races in a mutual need for the other but also insured a distance between the sexes for at least several generations.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Arcadians #1

So this is the cover of my comic book.

Well, issue #1 of my comic book, anyway.

And, as I type this, a stack of the first--or second, depending on how you look at it--printing sits on a cupboard in the next room, waiting to see if I have the guts to try to sell it

Hmm . . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day After . . .

( . . . and thanks for the help, Harv! . . .)

2-The Devil’s Treehouse

Space Station Andromeda-Class XXIII, had been heralded as the greatest advance in space travel at the time of its inception. A fully operational living environment for thousands, a full ten lightyears from the nearest colonized planet, Powell. The most advanced research facilities of the nearest fifty-seven solar systems. Full A.I. operating systems. And most importantly, all of these facilities occupying a structure held in stationary orbit about the crushing pull of black hole 32A, aka the "Bowl."

The space station had taken fifteen years to build - ten years longer than anticipated. Thousands of what the Earth government termed "glitches" were blamed. What was known was that over one hundred men, women, "genies", and A.I.'s died in its construction; more than the space station program had lost since "The Contact," when humans learned that they weren't alone in the universe, as they attempted to convert an inhabited moon into a useable vessel. Even after it had been commissioned, these "glitches" had continued until it had all but been abandoned when it was deemed obsolete.

In spite of the fact that Ragnarok had reduced the Earth Commonwealth to all but a few sparse planets and space stations, including government headquarters on Earth and former headquarters on Jordan, which were now splintered in the devastation of the war, S.S.A.C.XXIII still rises up as a glowing sphere over the lip of the Bowl; so named because, although a fracture in space possessed of no matter, looking down from the space station, it appeared almost like a giant black bowl as objects and even light itself were pulled in, swirling almost like puffs of wheat in a child's cereal, spun round and round by a spoon that would ultimately deliver them to be devoured and destroyed as if they had never existed. A closer inspection of the station reveals an odd site. The oddly purple "gleam" that had been apparent before can now be seen to be only off the upper portions of the large central globe, outer wheel, and the three "spokes" once used as passages between the two. The lower portions seemingly cease to exist, as any light at that point can no longer escape the pull of the Bowl. Even in its heyday, the station always appeared lifeless to all but an A.I. as windows and portals were deemed useless in the pull of a black hole, and the only breaks in the unendingly cold metal surface were odd, plate-like antennas, less easily broken in the stress of an unyielding gravitational pull. One portal provided access through the top of the globe--if such references as top and bottom, up and down matter in such an environment--to boarding scientists and explorers and, later, weary star travellers when the station had become little more than a way station, paradoxically providing life-giving sustenance where life was never meant to exist. Even the sight of approaching ships and far off stars would flicker like ghosts as their images were sucked into the bowl like all other life signs save the odd structure hung unmoving in this, the coldest region of space.

In this hellish environment, Space Station Andromeda Class XXIII gained the appropriate nickname "The Devil's Treehouse," where the gods could merely rent a room - from which they had ultimately been evicted.

If one were to enter this treehouse, they would find, much like in a treehouse he or she had abandoned in youth, the toys of a child: cavernous rooms filled to capacity with rows of keyboarded computers, burned-out lights and signals and buzzers, labs lined with beakers and test-tubes and vials, and probes and scopes that once told of the power of the life now as dead as its toys. Were one to pass through these walls they could but marvel at the darkness that can fill an airless, man-made void; only the low hum of an ancient engine meant to preserve a tenuous, life-giving environment amid the antithesis leaves any trace of that life.

It had once been believed that nothing could resist the irresistible forces found only within a black hole. Imagine, if you will, a collection of matter--the same material from which all we know and do not know is composed, if only a bit less organized and a bit more dense - filling an area millions of times the size of our home, the Earth. From this collection spews light, energy, and warmth, giving life and creating life where none once existed; in essence, a life in itself, herself. Long before humans dared to reach out and touch this heavenly body, they dared to peer at her and her brothers and sisters in the sky, painting them, wishing upon them, singing of them, and naming them: stars. However, in daring to live, they also dared to die. And so each star eventually does die, imploding in upon itself. As a drowning man struggles to survive, clawing and grabbing for life, so to does the dying star, reaching out for life, hoping against hope for salvation. When a life burns as brightly as a star, however, none but a universe may dream to save it, and the black hole is the last child of the star. Heaven becomes hell.

And the Bowl is hell.

Then, one day, the day that concerns us, when the story begins, the inexplicable occurs. If anyone remained upon the space station that day, and if they could somehow pierce the untelling darkness below, they would witness a "crack" in the bottom of the Bowl. A crack that would begin to open up, almost as if something were trying to force its way through. Indeed, they would soon learn that something was not only trying, but succeeding in passing from death to life. A hand, clawing and grabbing, would appear. The realization that would occur would be that a long dead star was giving birth one last time. Or perhaps the devil is merely coming from hell to play in his treehouse.

A final sign of life echoes from the station as a forgotten command issues a signal to home, and the devil, deciding his plaything no longer pleases him, tosses it aside. Somehow sensing that the final spark he allowed to issue forth may lead him to more playthings, he catches its scent and chases after it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Day After . . .


Once upon a land, in a time far, far away - but sooner than you would hope - a great war will be fought. As in all good wars, it will have its winners - whom I will call the winners, for expediency's sake - and its losers - whom I shall likewise refer to as the losers. And as in all good wars, there is much good bloodshed and tragedy and revelry and the like. And the end result, of course, is that the winners rejoice and the losers retreat. It is at this point that the tale becomes somewhat alien. For you see, the retreat of the losers is prevented in hopes that further uprising will be prevented. The losers become the vassals, or slaves if you will, of the winners. And this is good. Because history of course is merely the servant of the historian, he or she assuring that the winners are indeed the winners. Of course, as with any vassals, oppression leads to aggression, which leads to revolution, which leads to war, which begets the cycle anew.

But I digress. To tell the full story, one must start at the beginning. Since no story has a true beginning or ending, I will choose my beginning ten years after our war - which shall from hereon be known as Ragnarok - the twilight of the gods, the battle at the end of time, the end of the world.

This story is of humanity's future. Civilization had advanced to the point that humans had taken control of the forces of nature, space, time, reality, life, and death. Even their own minds. In fact, all that stood between them and their ascension to godhood was their own arrogance. Long before, their theologians had come to the realization that the eventual end of evolution would be "God", as surely as the beginning was the lowly amoeba. In their own logic, however, they neglected to consider the soul. They also neglected to suppose that humanity could not achieve the next step in evolution. That it could only create its own successor. Ragnarok thus became a battle to determine who would be God. It became a battle fought on three fronts; between humanity and its son, Technology, and daughter, Genetic Engineering. As in all conflicts, it was the female of the species that proved ultimately dominant. Thus the story begins . . .

Next--The Devil's Treehouse

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A long time ago in a diaper far, far away . . .

So here's my first blog post.

It feels . . .

But then I bore easily. So I guess I'll have to try harder.

See, in my day job, I'm an electrical consulting engineer, and I design electrical power systems for wind farms. Sound interesting? If it does, then you would be wrong.

Okay, so it's not completely uninteresting, but half the public hates you, half the public loves you, they all want to ask you questions, and the people paying your bills think you're an idiot.

So I signed up to create a blog. It was going to brilliantly describe from start to finish how to build a wind farm . . . or just a wind turbine for your home (wind turbine, by the way is the right term, not wind mill . . . because a wind mill implies that something is being milled . . . like wheat) (and thank you to all those who have pointed that out to me . . . repeatedly).

Aaaanyway . . . since I spend months every day working with wind mills . . . excuse me, turbines . . . I want to do something else.

So, now I'm not trying to make money (sorry Bruce & Jeff), I'm not trying to make an impact (sorry Mom), and I'm not even trying to make a point. I'm going to entertain myself.

And if you're reading this, sorry. Or you're welcome. Whatever . . .