Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spaceships and Awsome images

The allure of skillfully painted fantastic pieces of a vision of the future or fantasy world has always been incredibly appealing. It started at an early age my dad had a huge sci-fi paperback collection thousands of books. Two awesome books I still have Mechanismo by Harry Harrison, and Views by Rodger dean. I still have those two books and pour over the images still.

Take a look at these books you can just search for the titles or the artists. Recently in my hunt for spaceships came across this collection of space images.

Some Aliens

Have fun and merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As I climbed the outer crater wall of Thasis city; everything changed for me. The world kept turning at 868.22 kilometres per hour but my internal world careened out of control. The steep climb reminded me of the struggle to get here; the many tumbles down the slope mirrored my tumble. With careful method, I had become a monster, and the man who did this with me now stood over me with a predatory gaze. I had tried to do something terrible. I thought it was the right thing to do; like many terrorists before me, here and back on earth in years gone by; I had justified every soul-destroying decision believing I was dragging humanity forward.

Minks, my long time friend and mentor stooped over me, his long, lean form glinting in the Martian sunrise. That the messenger was Minks - my comrade, my brother - hurt the most. Gently, he took my small, personal canister of poison. Meekly, I let him. I feel like a kid whose big brother breaks all his toys; hopelessly crying for my parents. They aren't listening, they stopped listening long ago, or maybe I stopped crying and hadn’t noticed. My work was wasted, the self I had been was lost on an ocean and no one was looking for me.

Remembering my sister’s birthday, the first time I met him. He told me about his plans to change the world; told me I was good at what I did, he encouraged my creative side. Together, as we worked, we felt like gods striding across a new frontier, the work was all we could think about. Nothing else mattered. Slowly I lost all my other friends; then I lost my family. I was arrested, and bailed out; I committed crimes against the state, against people, against anyone and everything. Maybe even against nature. Minks, the others and myself had been Junkers: a new form of revolutionary - we changed ourselves and the world around us. That was our need, and our instinct.

Minks was older than me, wiser and even more screwed up. He picked me for my innocence, my naiveté. I was a hacker of sorts: I adjusted the ‘code’ of living tissue rather than computer programs. There were only a few of us doing it and Minks had picked me for his gang. How the technology worked or what I did is not important, what is important is that we thought, no – we knew it was the new frontier of human civilization. Together we would change humanity. Now, lying on the cusp of this dry, dead crater with Minks gazing down at me, the disappointment of my failure is as barren as the alien, crimson dust of this long-dead planet, which is greedily soaking up my rapidly freezing blood. We were the vanguard of human civilization; on the broken edge of science playing with powers we just had an understanding of…

…The human race was not ready to accept genetic manipulation. There were riots for and riots against. The UN created special economic zones on mars to allow the technology to be researched and tested. The technology was simply abhorrent to many people. Big business had invested trillions in the research but the only items that were accepted were cloned organs to extend life. People just didn't want to change; that's where we fit in.

Junkers took the broken science and used it. We changed ourselves to prove it could be done. To show the world what humanity could be, and in changing, in demonstrating what humans could be, we no longer were. We didn't know that then, and maybe we wouldn't have cared anyway. Junkers were a force; a movement for change: we weren’t just trying to bring change, we wanted to become change.

When heat builds up in a system, steam escapes with a blast, usually a pressure valve is used but sometimes there are leaks and the leaks explode. We were the leaks in the system; people who were living on the edge, and with the nothing we thought we had to lose we were able to show others what was possible. This, I discovered, was our function: to show mankind that genetic manipulation was not only possible in a living being but also Natural Selection.

Mink's had become so charmed by his own existence; that his charm just rubbed off like scales from a butterfly. He sprinkled his fairy dust around and others followed him. People like me, a new and naive kid genius ready for the next big thing. I, we, would follow him around and hang on his every word. I remember once how he got on to some talk show, about troubled teens who were followers of this new "Junker movement" he stated plainly:

"Junker is not only cool, its liberating; imagine being able to fly in space on solar wings, that's where we will be one day and you'll all be dead. Because some Luddites don't understand doesn't mean the UN can pass restrictions. I'm not condoning the attacks on protos like you. I am saying that change has come and you can either embrace it; or get out of our way."

It was not long after this point we became fugitives, attack on protos by Junkers had increased and we felt squeezed into a corner. We never ran from it, we ran into it and fought back, the cops, the army, our parents, our siblings if you didn’t have the scent and look you were walking meat and we never cared. Minks told everyone to take it up a notch and we complied. That charm still so strong, even though he could no longer be recognised as human or even ‘Minks’ anymore. Thousands followed us in the ether, and news casts. Protos wanted to be like us: different from the Protos, they wanted a standard package to get started. Enhanced eyes and ears, better brawns and more smarts. Bands started doing it, brawing out or getting really crazy with scales and feathers. They flocked to the cause and protested in their schools and colleges demanding a lift of the bans. Overnight instead of a ‘movement’ we became fashion, there were labels of clothes and bands, and all the paraphernalia associated with all fashion and fads. Still we kept striving, searching for the waterfall to jump off.

Minks still so charming, was smiling now. I remember him saying “Tommy, those Proto fuckers should give you a noble prize, you’re a fucking genius”. We worked so hard to achieve acceptance, I never realised just how popular our movement would become. It seemed serendipity that bands came out, with music we liked, clothing just as we wanted it to look, and more people to indulge in the change with us. Minks pops something into my pocket a small thing, white with letters on it. “Rest up Tommy, the war is over; I called an ambulance for you, your going to get a nice room, I booked it in this nice clinic by the sea you’ll like the sea we don’t have oceans on Mars. When you’re better; I got a job for you to. Can you still sing Tommy; there is this benefit for the victims of the poison. I said I would bring some Junkers to sing this old song “We are the World”. It’s going to be all over the ether on all the casts. Lots of normals’ will be watching; it’s a big deal. Hey Tommy, do you think before the gig, you can do something about my teeth; I want them to be blue now, you know to go with my eyes.”

He pushes more stuff into my pockets, a data stick labelled songs to learn. I look at the small item in my shirt pocket; it’s a simple white card with his name Michael Minkins director of marketing Sibel and Dawn.

Monday, December 14, 2009

God of War

God of War
by Morgs

I took my coffee and biscotti from the teen age assistant at the deli paying the 50 Euro; I remember when a coffee was 40 Euros. She called me a fascist. I said at least I’m somebody pointing at her pink I’m an Anarchist Hello Kitty T shirt.

I made my way across the floor and watch the sun rise. The atmosphere processors spewed a healthy blend of water vapour and O2 down the steep slope of the crater wall as the sunlight shone through it rainbows appeared and vanished framed with a red and orange halo just below the blackness of space like the God of War himself wishing me good morning.

I said hi to Silvia as I made my way to the elevator, she looked tired and handed me my days work. I work for the United Nations Armed Forces; it’s a good job for a triple Masters Degree death strategist like me. I work long hours, I get good vacation and can retire on a pension that most of the citizens of Mars would wish was their yearly salary.

When I sat down at my desk I frowned looking at the report that had arrived on the overnight print run. It was thick, dense, heavy, bound in plastic. The front page told me it had been carefully constructed with a summary to be handed out to the grunts and an appendix that would make the scientists salivate. It was perfect; United Nations Explorer Service had done their homework. The calibre of the writing was excellent, centuries of practiced Earth bureaucracy had honed the creation of documents of evidence down to a fine blade and all it needed was the stamp of my approval. The machine of Mars would go to war and one million highly trained genetically altered killing machines would board their ships and cross the galaxy to give it to any enemy we told them to. They would ask questions, and they would be answered by the document.

The scientific detail about the Osteo-Chords in the analysis showed clearly how to kill them, how to maim them and how to just slow them down. I imagined the soldiers fighting on the frontlines using weapons of mass death to blow the enemy to pieces. As I thumbed through the scientific analysis I paused. Nervous tissue surrounded with bone, decentralised motor control, brain split up into seven apple sized bundles. They were tough, build for combat; maybe Mars had finally met his match. Maybe Mars was paying a visit to Hades.

As I got to the strategic section, I was having doubts; not doubts that we wouldn’t win doubts about the accounting. The report didn’t speculate how our own people would react as much as I had liked. That made me worried it had happened before; Vietnam, Canada, Titan and Europa. Wars we had gone to and got the leash put on and then lost. Well, they won’t be able to call us back anyway, and after 20 years of mission the troops that are left will probably need to be segregated anyway.

Entry point photos showed herculean buildings on Venus millennia old, surrounded by ice. I frowned more, advanced technology. Nothing a good amount of nuclear ordinance won’t fix I figured. I could imagine all the religious delegates at the UN talking about demons and judgement day and end of all things etcetera. I wouldn’t buy into that, I’m an atheist; science is real there is no room for devils and angels in my world, although I do admit they look kind of like devils. According to the brain boxes, they use those massive wings to fly through the other dimension we call hyperspace. That’s a problem, how do they pop out see page 1400 appendix Xx. Gradual amplification of electromagnetic and gravitic fields generated by a series of ceremonies they perform brings one of them from hyperspace into real space using their brains as amplifiers, during this time they are disorientated. That’s good news maybe we can sucker them all in I wonder. I pull the top of the red ink, get my solid gold stamp of my department seal and slam it down hard. I get the pen my niece gave me for Christmas and sign my name Markus Hawthorn Fleet Admiral of Mars. That was a pretty good day, the next few weeks with the UN would be a suck fest like nothing else.

I stand up from my chair at the United Nations Assembly Hall on Mars. I like my job, its cold it’s hard it’s factual although at the moment I’m a whore. In my best persuasive voice, I begin to clearly state the facts and my conclusions. I look out at the delegates and I’m immediately disgusted by the fear on their faces.

This report has been approved by the Mars branch of the United Nations Armed Forces. There is a clear and present danger presented by these hostile Aliens at any time. You have read the report and seen the footage; you know what must be done. I sit down, I look calm and collected ready to kick Aliens the out of the sky.

A Sufi by the looks of it stands his frail frame holding up his pointed hat, the man seems to grow as he speaks commanding respect. Obviously a practiced orator probably schooled for a long time in rhetoric. He speaks loudly into the microphone no malice or venom in his voice but the stern resolve I wish my superiors had. The Quran and the Bible has many writings detailing Djjin or Demons. This act will be catastrophic, plunging us into a war against the fallen, if you invite evil in it will come. The Collective will stand apart from the United Nations, Ala have mercy on you if you start this war.

I hear one of the delegates from Mars whisper something like shit maybe it’s a bad idea is it too late to pull out. I just keep thinking back to the report how I had to read that massive tome of knowledge and weigh up the probabilities in my own mind of wining loosing, causing a stalemate. These guys aren’t going to let me go. I’m thinking of my retirement plan to buy a place on earth on the northern tip of Australia. Not much I can do now, it’s coming down to a vote shit.

The delegate from the Anarchist colony on Europer stands up some queer looking guy in a turtleneck. I instantly don’t like him, he’s not the fake Anachist in the deli he’s the real deal born and bred die hard. Although we can’t speak in an official capacity as we have not received sovereign state status from the UN I speak for some of the Anachist movement and state we do not approve of any hostile action toward any alien regardless of how dangerous they appear. This report has no proof that they will attack earth, merely that they have the capacity to do so from their base on Venus.

Shit I say under my breath, for a weirdo from a busted up colony on a shitty moon of Jupiter he has a point. I knew the accounting section was fubr, sassy bastard must have read the whole thing.

Like biscotti dissolving in my coffee, the delegates start to separate and crumble. I see their resolve slipping from sullen faces. With all the pages of evidence and countless plans and re-plans they are going to vote No, I’m sure now. The God of War will have to go home and wait for the call. Instead of marching out and confronting the enemy, Mars will sit silent waiting, soldiers prepared and ready. I change my retirement plans and buy a large apartment in Tharsis Crater just opposite the Mars Military Academy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


By Morgs

Archon performed the final safety checks; the magnetic coils were warmed up, the fusion reactor running at maximum efficiency. He was ready to intercept the skag, this one would be messy he thought. He had been on vector heading for Pluto, his interceptor making a 10,000 kilometer long plume as he accelerated towards the last outpost before the deep cold of interstellar space. The skag was headed for Mars. He had been screaming on the broadcast all day now. Arc stretched out his arms as far as he could in his confined cockpit. Two days he had been on hard burn, taking a minimum of 6 g's for the whole time. Normal humans couldn't take that sort of punishment, but Arc was different. He was one of those young guns from the academy, his blue eyes and movie star looks belied the madness that seethed beneath his calm exterior. His perfect frame, enhanced to the maximum for space travel. After an eventful school life at the United Nations Defense Force academy on Mars, Arc began his tour on the Defense Platform Saratoga. Now he was pushing 40 million Kilometers per hour, and would need to keep his acceleration going for three more hours before he cut the engines.

The broadcaster crackled into life, the quantum communicator was linked with central command on Mars, for all intents and purpose communication was almost instant for Arc and the rest of the Force.

"Archon, come in Archon this is Mars command over."
"Archon receiving, over"
"Perp assailed four officers, this one hurts he stole a Pursuit special, one of the G8s, very toey, he's not enhanced. He's making for Mars. Baxster and JG are in pursuit from Platform 62, they won't catch him it's up to you."
"Message Received and understood Archon out"
"That's bullshit I won't catch him, that skag and his floozy there goner die Baxster out"
"Rip the guts out of her give it the bejezus JG out"

Just as Archon is about to reach for a drink, the receiver unit crackles to life again.
"Baxster coming up on him, he is turning vectors... your goner die skag"

The gravity sensors on all the pursing ships signal a massive burst of gravitons from the Pursuit Special. For anyone within 1 million kilometers of the Pursuit Special the brilliant blue beam of energy looks like a ribbon as it bends and flexes along its 20,000 kilometer length. The ribbon slices through space, igniting the oxygen tank on Baxter's pursuit ship. Crystals of escaping gases sparkle like diamonds against the black silk like sky, Baxster's ship yaws and changes course.
"See that Bronze! Do you see me man."

"This is Baxster, unable to continue pursuit he clipped my O2 tank with the ribbon gun. Better prepare the freezers, Johnny coped a food tray in the throat. Baxster out ... fuck fuck fucker shit"

"I am the nightrider; I'm a plasma injected suicide machine. I'm the chosen one, the mighty hand of vengeance sent to strike down the un-space worthy. I'm laying down a deuterium road to freedom..."

"Mars command, to JG don't get cutup like Baxster you can't lose another ship JG Mars out" Laughter is heard by all on the broad cast.

"I hear you just um lost your ship again Baxster, looks like your heading towards Saturn going for a holiday" More laughter.
"Fuck off!" Screams Baxster.
"Mars command, cut the chatter and get back in the game rescue ships have been dispatched Baxster begin deceleration. Mars command out"

Archon carefully finishes his drink and puts the orange container into the waste capture unit. Flexes in his midnight blue space suit. After checking all his instruments for a final time, he begins his calculations. Archon is poking out his tongue as he muses over his calculations. He knows timing must be to the nano second; any mistake in the math will mean he will miss and the pursuit which almost ended in disaster would be meaningless. After a few short moments, Archon reaches for the receiver.

"Come in Mars command, this is Archon in position."
"Continue Archon, take that skag down."
"The Toe Cutter, he knows who I am, one down two to go! die space cops."

A focused telescope on the dark patch of sky between Jupiter and Mars; sees two majestic comets trailing a bright blue-green flame racing towards each other at 40 million Kilometers per hour; the tail is thousands of Kilometers long; the two fiery streams are moving slowly towards each other over the unimaginable distance. That's how it appears to Roy Jones the telescope operator on the platform Saratoga. Roy relays the image over the broadcast to Archon, just five days ago the two of them had been watching movies in the mess hall with the rest of the crew. The frantic scramble to stations and preparation for the interceptor had left the mess hall, well messy. Roy had had sleep, twice in the five day vigil for four hours; he feels tired, worn out and a bit gritty and dirty. Roy knows it's only a few hours now soon he can sleep in his bunk or chill out to some music; maybe even read a book but not till it's over. Roy carefully checks the calculations the computers have made, adjusted for gravitic distortion. He punches them into the computer on the manual keyboard, and sends them to Archon. He then reaches for the slightly worn plastic receiver.

"Saratoga to Archon Interceptor, vector confirmed collision in 2 hours. Saratoga out"
"Message received Archon out"

A tall, average build man enters he switches of the broadcast signal. His grey and green space suit tells Jones that he is the ships doctor, Winston Harp. "Jones" he sighs in a slow drawl. "I think Archons been doing this to long, we should probably give him some time off."
"He's fine, just a bit lonely probably" Spits Jones, clear stress and impatience on his tense voice.

"You could probably do with some time off too"
"Piss off its about to go down" growls Jones.

Sweat starts pouring down the skags face; his straggly beard is soaking it up like a mop. His girl is asleep and he is pulling some drugs out of her top pocket, and popping them like tick tacks. She stirs. "Hey, Mick what time is it, are we on Mars yet?" Her soft sleepy voice jars him like a sledge hammer. "What am I doing, fuck fuck fuck he screams" "What's wrong" as Sandy says it; with a very sleepy voice long brown hair falls around her face like some primeval lions mane. She is floating, weightless wearing a skin tight space suit she picked up at the travel center on the way to the terminal. The bright Tropicana colors clash wildly with the clean white and grey lines of the police pursuit specials' austere interior. Mick looks at her; remembers why he escaped; why he is going to Mars to get out of his contract by defecting to the Freebird colony on the surface. Space is dangerous, colonies are a little safer, he loves her and wants to live with her to grow small plants in the soil and eat real food. Not the shit they sell you on the asteroid mines, made from piss and peanuts or strange single celled cultures. Food, shelter, warmth, and procreation it's not too much to ask. Mick looks at the scanners, they show the police interceptor on a collision course.

"Shit is that a ship" Sandy's voice trembles as she leans over the telescope monitor.
"He's got to change vector soon, he has to" Mick reassures her and pats her shoulder. Sandy sees he is looking tired, worn out and spaced. His breathing is labored and panic is causing his eyes to dart form side to side.

"Give me the stick for a bit honey" she gently takes the joystick from the second seat.
"Sandy I'm fine, this guy is going to turn any second now" His voice is grating and out of breath.
"Well its fine, I mean it's all on auto right you set the course right" she pleads.
"Just go out back and get me a drink or something" Mick is getting angry now. Like two cats meeting in the night they hiss at each other until Sandy heads out the back crying.
"I'm in control, I'm in control" Micks head is starting to nod as he repeats his mantra.

Five million kilometers away, Arc has prepared his rail gun for its single shot. His hands are steady, his gaze fixed on the gravitic engines of the other ship. "Looks like you're not going to move out of the way night rider" he mumbles to himself as he adds a damping agent to the cabins fluid. "I know I'm not moving, if we collide it's all over."

"I'm the night rider, the mighty hand of vengeance"

The two blue-green streaks across the night sky, approach. At the last minute, far too late moving at massive speeds Mick pulls the stick up as he does a tiny neuron in his tiny brain is registering his mistake. The ship appears to be fine; it's now heading towards Venus. Archons ship starts to decelerate, his rail gun fired its single shot using a black marker he marks another ship on the bulkhead.

"This is Mars command, looks like intercept is successful. Ships probably recoverable for forensics teams have setup electromagnetic nets all the way to Venus. Good job Archon. Mars command out"

On the pursuit special, two orange and red bags of goo float in their ripped and torn space suits one a simple company suit from a small and insignificant mining company, the other a bright Tropicana tourist suit

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Mayan Incident

The Mayan Incident

"Time travel is difficult for families."

By Morgs

The Winston Weatherlies being of means far larger than most decided their adventures would be fraught with peril and excitement.

Jack had invested heavily in the market, and the company that made the technology; now he was going to test one of the latest models with his family. He admired the sleek lines of the oval vehicle, it fitted nicely in his two door garage. He waxed and washed it every weekend. He took a few small trips, back to the Cambrian Extinction. The seas boiling gave him the idea for lobster at the company BBQ for the developers. They worked hard to get the five seater model on the market. Jack had planned the trip out in minute detail; the destruction of the dinosaurs, the fall of Troy, Pompey and the Yucatan. His morbid desire to know why pushed him to choose destinations of disaster; with the last one still a partial mystery.

The Winston Weatherlies (WW’s) arrived at their final stop over the day before, the cloudless sky beat down mercilessly on their capsule. They had sampled the local food and customs, and then slept it off in their camp. Jack thought as he went to sleep next time, air conditioning units for the trip.

The jungle of the Yucatan steamed like a hot house; the beans and yams of last night’s meal though gritty had been delicious but now had returned in a frightful manner to wreak havoc on his walk to the stone heads. Jack returned to the camp later than he expected and little Judy his eight year old was gone. The WW’s camp was overrun by Mayan warriors. The Mayans were fearful, agitated dangerous; dressed for war in feathers and furs. With his family in trouble, Jack leaped to action. The warriors around Persephone and Dale disintegrated; their molecules ripped apart as the invisible death beam striped their connection to reality. Jack moved the beam in careful strokes, adjusting the frequency so that only humans would be affected. He relied on the safety system, knowing his family would be safe from the beams deadly assault.

With contemptuous precision Jack proceeded to destroy the army of fleeing Mayans, intent on finding his missing daughter.

As the family regrouped to search, they walked along the canals edge to the main city. The dirt was dry, the place like an oven. The grey stone path gave way to painted ocher and blue cobble stones. The city magnificently painted in a hundreds of hues of natural clays and powdered jade. Panic had struck the city as the strange pale gods approached the center of the plaza.

Looking up the Winston Weatherlies gazed on small rivers of blood flowing down the steep steps of the pyramid; a small pale form lay dead on the fearsome alter. The still heart of Judy clenched in the hand of the priest.

“I knew we shouldn’t have come here” cried Persephone.
Jack looked up at the priest and at the Mayans, their faces fearful. He set the beam to maximum angle, and spun in a circle. They died, turned to base components.

Gingerly Persephone approached the alter; then cradled her beloved child in her arms. With tears slowly running down her face she wrapped Judy in a blanket and carried her down the steps.

“We have insurance right” whispered Hugo
“Yes, she will not have remembered the trip; she backed up at Pompey not here so she lost about five days.” Said Jack
“Let’s go home” cried Persephone, this place is now dead as the dust around it.
“Ok” Said Jack

Jack frowned, and took one look at the dead city before calling the capsule to their location. Jack opened the doors for his family and loaded the capsule with their belongings. No one spoke on the way home.

Flash Fiction

After some writing practice under the tutorship Sam, I have decided to focus of the flash fiction format. Flash fiction is shorter than a short story, around 1000 words and fits more easily into a Blog, and takes less time to create. It's also just a step on the long journey to writing full short stories.

I found some sci-fi flash fiction sites, hope there is some good stuff here.

Escape Pod and Psudo Pod also have a flash fiction format that they use from time to time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Junker by Morg

I thought I was a Junker! it was a sham. We started in 2320, tearing up streets like a bunch of wild dogs looking for a scrap. Junkers; because we altered our code and embraced the change. Junk clinics were found in most cities small time doctors playing with anything’s code for a small price and an open source license to the results. In those days the rain came down off the top of the craters on Olympus Mons as a fine mist; before we trashed the atmosphere plants that is.

Looking back on that time I have fond memories, mostly my own or Minks or the rest of my Junker crew. Junkers were a group of miscreants who turned into a movement then slowly faded into obscurity some 200 years ago. They didn't really stand for anything in hindsight, merely a force for change.

I was recruited by the legendary Minks, a long running cyborg with a diamond carbide chassis. He had customized his code so that he didn't need to sleep, needed less nutrients for his organs and enhanced his brain capacity. On Mars, free market meant no guidelines as long as you didn't break the basics of human rights you could do anything. Most of the humans or Protos as we called them were part machine already but no one wanted to go too far; to fuck with their own code I mean.

Brain and body hacking turned into a lucrative small business but when a few virus like the Red Plague broke out that was stopped. The UN put the Kibosh on the small clinics and start-up auto-factories, replacing the grimy dirty world I was used to with the clean white lines of Berkley Genomics clinics. It was a brutal battle, a big corporation out maneuvered by smaller faster companies on the broken edge of science and then the retaking of the science by using the heavy hand of big government. Who knows how many Protos and Nexters lost their savings and lives. When the dust settled, there were no small clinics; the geniuses who created the tech had been swallowed up by a monster; a system spanning conglomerate Berkley Genomics.

Junkers were a particularly violent type of Nexter, or Next human. They prided themselves on being free, being vandals; totally anti corporation, anti government and almost anti Proto. My gang would regularly tear up a street in downtown Berlin district in Olympus Mons just for the fun of it; spraying poison gas into air conditioners then shooting people as they ran out of corporate towers. We were like young gods striding around the terrified Protos, showing our power and smashing anything in our way. Once we even launched our own com sats just to stay ahead of the Police and Interpol.

This is a rags to riches story, with the hero my horrible self. Back then I wore spiked shoulder pads, had servos added to my arms could leap fifty feet into the air and cling to any surface like a gecko. I could see into the ultra violet and infrared spectrum thanks to my custom coded eyes. My weapons, electro mags built into the muscles of buttocks and thighs to take out most machines and cyborgs; who knew that with a bit of tinkering you could give a nasty jolt using an electric eels DNA. Chainsaw was my normal weapon, simple effective noisy. I liked the sound it made as it crunched through bone and flesh. I also could release a powerful toxin in my saliva that would kill most creatures; stopping their heart, dissolving flesh, leaving them with a fatal blood infection and a slow and malignant cancer. Junkers were a rare breed indeed, like so many we eventually became extinct.

Minks was always pushing us hard to do more an more damage, eventually we ended up breaking the terra-forming equipment that kept the creator growing. We distributed a virus through the atmospheric pylons, the viral fungal bacterial Soup thingy we made was so deadly to the plants and microbes of the soil that they never fixed it. We sent the code over to people in Tharsis and they did the same thing. It wasn't about a better weapon, or doing damage it was mainly about the challenge. How to literally hack the planet, our burgeoning red world would become a strange and alien land. We weren't just mad we were furious, mankind had left earth to colonized other stars. We were left here on Mars. Slaves to thousands of corporations, consumers of all the goods of our human systems, never to see an alien sky or swim in the stars. We had missed out, born to late for the colonies, too early for the expansion and too poor to get off world with no wars to fight we fought our fellow man. Junkers were rebels and with a cause, fuck up yourself then fuck everyone else up.

A Junker was usually recruited early around the age of eleven or twelve, usually by an older brother or sister. Most of the Junkers in my gang only had an age difference of about three years. The first time I met Minks was at my older sisters birthday, they were lovers. Minks saw I had a great imagination, and could code in a few programming languages best of all I knew how the Splicers worked, and could program them too. Programming for me was like a hobby I would make little games and little hacks to impress my friends at school. I was so happy when Minks turned up at my parents place with a Crown 2200 starter lab. The first of the small labs that started up a chain hacks for the decade. The thing looked like bar fridge. It had all sorts of components and even came with a subscription to the Crown Geno site, allowing you to buy ready made hacks for your plants, the thing couldn't deal with humans; until I broke its protection software and realized you could do pretty much anything with it. I started by hacking my cat, turning it scaly. Then eager as always hacked my own code turning my skin blue.

When Minks saw what I did he said I should run with his gang. He had big plans, me being a gene hacker one of only about one hundred at the time would fit right in. I started by adding dog DNA to some of the gang, then increased their muscle density by eight times.

After about a year the gang looked like nothing Mars had ever seen. Some of them were hulking brutes others chameleon skinned ninjas, Minks just got me to hack his brain because that’s all he had left after all the surgery for cybernetics. I'm pretty sure at that point our code was un-recoverable, nothing normal remained everything was tweaked, enhanced or stripped. My own sister now had full-size angel wings; they didn't let her fly she was pretty scary to look at standing eight feet tall wielding a chainsaw. When the cops gunned her down outside our school we made a pact, to stick together, to fight back and fuck everything up. I picked up the chainsaw and with it became second in command. Our goons would steal medical supplies, animals from the zoo, specimens from museums any piece of code we could get our hands on. It wasn’t just genetic manipulation, any piece of tech that furthered our cause, to take revenge for being left on Mars; for my sister for my friends.

The police were a natural enemy, I remember two of our guys busting open an armored car outside Berlin university, blood spraying out like it was fired from a hose. Things really got weird when we cracked the code to share feelings and emotions. Normally links only transmit contextual data as data like a normal computer; there is an interface between the brain and the link chip. You can grab an image from your optic buffer if you have mechanical eyes, or audio from your ears and also transmit text or sometimes speech. What we did was break that wide open, I’m sure the Crown boys who invented it had put it there to stop people doing that. We shared our feelings, our memories reading and writing to each other’s brains like they were drives on pirate servers. After that I think we lost all sense of who we were. We were not one, we were many, and we had a satellite; wherever we went we were never alone.

The movement gained momentum; clinics opened up to help other people join in the revolution it was out with the old and in with the new. They were pretenders who were only skimming the surface, not diving right in. Junker became a fashion label; something the rich kids would do to be cool tearing up a street or causing mayhem while messaging everyone in the area to make sure no one got hurt. It felt like we were being contained, the clinics did a good trade in “enhancements” usually nothing more radical than night vision, or no sleep. Things we have now days, were invented and produced way back then on the slimy and dripping streets of Berlin or Mumbi. This forced acceptance by a society we were rejecting forced the more radical Junkers like us to take it up a notch. That’s when we attacked the very systems that allowed people to live on Mars, the atmosphere plants that filled the craters with fresh air for the last hundred years. We left viruses everywhere, blew things up and killed anyone Proto looking; like we were avenging angels. Our slogan was change or die, and most Protos and other less radically altered Junkers or Nexters were targeted too. When I came up with "The Soup" as I called it; even put it in a can like the Warhol painting; I was really angry. The Flesh Eaters had hit number one in the music charts and bought a palatial home on old earth in Italy! They had practiced cannibalism! I felt abandoned by my own Junkers; I made the soup and poisoned farms. Mars relied on its farms, gravity means you better grow things mostly made of water on Mars otherwise it costs money to import stuff. I knew the cops would be after me. I sent the code everywhere even hacking a billboard for all to see; only few hundred genes and you too can make a "Soup" can.

On Thasis it worked a treat; most other crater colonies had the same effect. The soil was forever tainted my crowning moment, me and Minks toasted on top of the new Reichstag using a Protos skull for a cup drinking expensive real Champagne . I should have suspected then that something was up with Minks, how would a guy who looked like a glittering robot buy Champagne?

What happened next was a ban, article 500 of the United Nations; Genetic alteration is now licensed by the holders of the recombination patents Berkley Genomics and Crown and Wrath. Every shop was forcibly closed down, the sale of home kits banned. These two companies busted the market up, imprisoning anyone who didn’t sell them back anything derived from the master patent. I remember my buddy Red saying “I’m fucking all those Protos”. He told me that a Berkley guy came to his house said, that the home kit you have there is now illegal; we own the patent on recombination, we have caught twenty gang members of yours who have this unique cocktail of enhancements you have been working on for about five years. They offered him a job! Red told them to go fuck themselves then crushed the guys’ spine with his lobster claw.

After the UN passed the bill, being a Junker became unfashionable and most of the pretenders left the movement following the new Peacers Hippy revival. The music got shit all of a sudden and I knew our days were numbered. Red wasn’t going down; together we released the plague on a small facility called freedom station. It was totally effective, insanity and death perfect weapon against the Protos. We were transporting the plague when we got caught; Red took a rail gun to the face I barely made it out losing one of my arms. I limped back to Tharsis, walking on the surface of Mars avoiding the roads and mag trains.

By the time I contacted Minks I was just below the lip of Tharsis crater I couldn’t get up to the atmospheric processor to release the plague, Minks leaned over me and smiled with diamond teeth. "You did good Tomas the Junkers have produced the exact effect that Sibel and Dawn were paid to achieve". It hit me like a bullet, no like train; a train fired out of a giant gun like a bullet, really hard anyway I felt like a kid who had another kid break all his toys.

Minks worked for Sibel and Dawn all along, one of the biggest marketing companies around. Sibel himself had planned the operation and brought Minks in to start the movement; mankind would never hand over their rights to their own code without serious civil unrest; mankind would not accept genetic manipulation on a mass scale for centuries. Sibel had been paid by the two patent holders of recombination; the magical process of splicing genes in a living developed organisms. Not only had they got the rights; they got all the open source code to the myriad of changes that had been made. We had been played from day one, the assholes got us to fight their battle and force the UN to pass a resolution. Public opinion had held the companies as saviors of mankind who would bring genetic manipulation back under control. The slimy streets were cleaned, and no one knew who we were; a revolutionary footnote in Martian history the best marketing plan ever. If you want to sell something that’s totally abhorrent the idea that your own right to alter your own code can only be held by a corporation, you have to make the alternative truly monstrous. In us Sibel and Dawn had found the right monsters for the task; the random violence was small scale in comparison to what would have happened, and the profits of Berkley and Crown soared on angelic public opinion. I thought I was a Junker, I thought I had invented something and was part of something. I sold out after that; hell I was sold out at the age of 11 and didn’t even know it.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Power is a drug, and like any addict I was jonezin' bad by planet side. The world was pretty enough, but I didn't really care about the magenta sky and pale blue mountains covered with soft grass, edible plants and herbs.

The colonists must have given the natives divs of Samurai movies; like all first colonies past the wall this one had probably failed. The natives some form of Bastazi cat derivative approached me with Katana in their black lacquered scabbards. These ones looked almost human, either we could indeed breed with their species or they had become more human like with the colonists.

File note priority 50: Take one of the Gaisha girls back to Mars.

They spoke perfect Japaneses with a large amount of English words, probably the standard of 2104 or when-ever the place was founded.

I responded, the auto-tran forming the words in my brain. Hearing everything in English but the sounds were in language I was speaking. I explained that I was a merchant from a distant family, and I had things they would need. They were never going to get a better deal than mine.

Surveying the traditionally dress party using my ir-las monocle to measure the standard dimensions of their group. About 172cm in height, small build waist, legs and arms barrel chested, thin neck. Standard template pattern 60 colloquially known as the iron waif (Chinese factory magnates gave things weird names back then).

Note to computer: remove the colloquial anecdotes and facts plug-in from the template manager, takes too long to remember the fact, could be working. Wasted too much time filing this note in the first place.

Job added 8974: owner dislikes cultural reference in factory equipment, scrub and rebuild scheduled for 22:00 removing offensive waste ware.

Message to computer: Shut up! I'm working.

I disconnected from the ship, microwaves must be eating my brain I'm sure but I can't really tell. The constant chatter from the ship seemed like a bus of school girls going to a movie after being let out of school early. I was really pissed at the ship, machines shouldn't make snide remarks in coms with their owners.

Jess my ship started fabricating the Levis pattern of Jap fashion from 2450, one of the most successful revivals of nylon. Kimonos festooned with logos from the companies I represented, arranged in patters subtle and beautiful were presented by the dented white and gold chassis of my Marvin.

File note priority 700: Marvin looks pretty bad, should get a new one.

The fabric was addictive, they loved it; the touch the quality, the subtle way the thread felt against their fingers, the perfect precise micro stitching. The fabricator had done a better job than any human hand. The natives were in total awe at the quality.

My mind was cast back to the time before all my implants, my childhood I remembered my father telling me that all those worlds out there that stopped responding must surly be worth something. I felt small and insignificant, that was the turning point from consumer to explorer. I asked were they human. He said no one knows. I was determined to get out there and find out, to cross the void between stars, to trust in alien technology and human ingenuity.

In the time of colonization, we had cast our ships adrift like chaff to the void. Now, the worlds were very different the United Nations was everywhere, thousands of agents, millions of troops all mobilized to keep humanity in. Stopping humanity from diverging, worried about a second Titan or Callisto uprising. Remember Titan had been the words of rhetoric in the day politicians telling people what to think and what to believe. If I knew then what I knew now, corporations lobbying government to stop rampant colonization so that their consumer based companies could remain relevant. Things never change.

Like branches in a tree we had spread out; the trunk was so far that we had changed radically from what we once were. On Titan they were reluctant to adhere to a capital system which would ultimately fail. They thought they were better, more free and more creative. Remember Titan was what the Anarchists said when they died in the millions as the plagues ravaged the colonies and mines.

Sibel brought me in his lithe form and pinstriped suite made him look like some predatory fish or eel. Glasses because he was myopic even though he could get new eyes. He told me that the only way I would get past the wall or UN interdiction was to join with the corporations. His marketing company Sibel and Dawn had a plan, they had begun lobbing the UN for licenses to travel beyond the wall to the further stars of the galaxy. They would send ships, capable of fabricating goods from their clients, the genius was that they would make the goods in orbit and sell all the old and unfashionable items to the natives of those worlds made from their very own resources. All you have to do is get them to sign this United Nations Sanctioned contract. Your time is your own!

It seemed then like the opportunity of a lifetime. I like many others of my generation was raised to work, to buy and live for the corporations or take them down in my case. The ideals of humanity, liberty and egalitarianism were shammed and rammed into a pseudo rebellious fashion known as Junker. They sold an image, a belief and way of life I like many bought it. Bands, Movies, Books, Games people sold it and added fries on the side. Cyborgs tore up streets only to have some council order a new one a few days later. After some senator was killed Levis changed the label to Peace; they bought it, Bands and Movies followed. This made me sick, I thought I was a Junker! When Sibel showed me the plan, some 20 years in the making I couldn't believe the scale of sham. "We make the rules Dean, join us". And with that I signed on as a partner, got the money off my dad for my license.

My augmentations were standard issue to most corporate sales men. It took me ten years to get my license, five years to get my education, twenty years to get my ship. Everything had been bet on the single roll of the dice, humanity was out there and they were cut off from humanity and humanity would bring them home to buy and prosper.

I would have them signing over their ore by lunch time. This was what I did, the black streaks through my soul would never come clean in 20 years this place would be another client world beholden for hundreds of years to companies on Mars and Earth. Like all good addicts, I knew full well the rewards and described in graphic detail the effect this brand new laser rifle was going to have on the Shogun on the other side of the mountain, his internal organs exploding as flesh turned to charcoal and steam in an instant. I recalled tales of worlds I had saved, from barbarism, from civil war uniting them under their one government. The progress which would make all their lives better, from fast cars to fast food. The Holos of ads showed the true allure of all that was decadent and stale on earth which would be reborn and re-licensed to a new crowd of people who would cherish and love the movies, music and culture of our past.

I basked in the glory of the natives needing to acquire everything from me. In so doing choosing my version of civilization over theirs. All their pseudo Japan culture would be washed away in a sea of skin products, medicines, pop music, pop vids, computer games, fast food and fine dining. All ready to swarm over the world like a plague of locus fabricated in the ship in high orbit.

It was a good day.

Monday, August 31, 2009

House of Cards

This story is inspired from a dream I had. Please feel free comment in the comments section. I intend to write some more chapters for this story and get it to about 5000 words.

House of Cards
By Morgan Lean

Admiral Dirk Grombru gazed out on the lilac ocean, his mind in turmoil as he watched the mirror-calm waters on the southern side of his castle. Thoughts of his ancient lineage bore ponderously on his mind, and its coming collapse left a bitter taste of loss in his mouth. He felt elated at the idea of freedom from rules of court and kind, yet terrified at the prospect of becoming an un-augmented species. After two centuries of life and service to the anachronistic rules and regimes, his line would end where it had began, merely human.

A short walk along the gantry between the shore and the island which was the ancient spire of the pre-flood castle would take him to the chamber of voices, he knew he would commune with the great and noble line of his family for the last time before he sent his poor and wretched, though antique and proper gift to the new patron of house Grey-Star, who resided orbiting distant start Tau Ceti. His vision took hold of what must be a small holographic recorder, placed at an odd angle by its owners agents. Grombru pondered his fate and let the words form in his head for his formal greeting.

Chimes in castle Grey-Star rang out as servant and master bustled along the metal and glass corridors, which appeared to be strung along the sea bed like abandoned jewels on a chain. Outside, great luminescent fish swam in the warm equatorial waters of the surelian ocean. The castle was once an old colony, founded millennia ago by the ancestral people of terra. They had been a mixed colony of all the genotypes of Terra and give rise to a people who spread out among the stars in ships that broke a hole through space and time and appeared orbiting distant gravity wells. That time was long passed mused the young lord Grey-Star. I have trained all my life for this day; my first meeting with a founding house, he thought as his servant busily pinned roses to his tunic. Today I meet The Admiral Grombru of the house S-kali, today will be a great day in the long history of our house.

Grombru stood statue like, his fine cloth waving in the wind ever so slightly the replication from the holographic projector was superb they don’t make them like they used to he snorted, not since the nano wars. Grombru looked up as the young lord of house Grey-Star entered, he was wearing the traditional garb of his house a tunic with trousers and a rose pinned in the tunic. The boy looked no older than fourteen his facial hair had been trimmed recently and his checks looked flush from probably his first shave.

“My lord Grey-Star”, the speaker boomed in ancient commanding voice that smacked of all the authority of a commander ships and armies. The boy, was startled perhaps not expecting such volume and force from the walls of the chamber. “My name is Lord Admiral Grombru Harker S-kali, patriarch of house S-kali and ruler of the cloud of Magellan. I humbly must decline the invitation to the funeral of my great friend your father, and so must send a gift in my absence”. Grombru held up two simple rings of gold, and placed them in a box of ebony. "Antique rings from distant Terra, hopefully they may bring you some comfort in the long years of your reign as they did myself in mine."

“I accept this most excellent gift, Lord Grombru, I’m sure in the long years ahead I will call on you for your wise council as my father did” The boy spoke softly, jarred into saying something of the proper etiquette his lips and mind moved and said the words as a gracious host should.

“Thank you my Lord, I bid you farewell”. Grumbore spoke into the microphone and removed the deck of cards from the console. In castle Grey-Star the boy saw the splendid holographic projection of Lord Admiral Grumbore, wearing the military uniform of his houses Navy shimmer and flicker as the Admiral moved out of view.

Richard Harkrek Vompire stood in his viewing chamber, and addressed the ancient cameras and microphones. They looked like a spiders web with droplets of crystal spun in odd places. The red and green and blue dots from the crystals scanned his form before the transmissions. Buffering the tri video image and sending it in advance, so only a 32 bit audio transmission and the negligible vector transformation information was sent real-time.

Richard has chosen to appear in a diaphanous gown with many tiny lights and micro crystal reflectors. He was the consummate showman, always trying to display his wealth on his person regardless of who he was speaking too.

Today, he was to address the newly appointed Baron of Tau Ceti, an ancient family of a superb bloodline. He was so excited that his aids were having a difficult time adjusting the equipment of the tri recorder, as he jittered and flashed the loud “Ding” of the machine started to get on his nerves. “What’s the meaning of that infernal machine!” he shouted in a raucous voice like waves smashing into a rocky headland. “Please sire, stop moving the machine is having difficulty acquiring your image” sniveled the assistant. “Well of course it does, it can’t possibly capture the spender of the Duke of the Crab nebular! Make it work! Do it now I don’t have time to do this, I must transfer my credits and pack my gifts for the Baron just past.” The Duke continued to jigger and vibrated as if he was shivering in a cold wind or trying to keep his balance on a tight rope.

Sir please sit still the image is recording now. “Oh it will be fine, I will be captured for all to see in my sledded robes of gold and white."

At the other end, the tri video projector fired into life and image was downloaded, to castle Grey-Star of Lord Richard, Duke of the crab nebular.

Young Jasper Grey-Star waited as the image arrived, this took a lot longer than Grumbore he thought.

Raucous laughter and shouts cracked out of the speakers and a strange polygonal star emerged in the projector with sections of clothing, coloured lights and pale almost luminous skin coming into view. The image was garbled, strange textured triangles jutted out showing black or grey spaces in-between as the three dimensional shape of Duke came into view.

Jasper stood perfectly still knowing that on the far side his image would appear in front of the Duke.

“Nice flower my boy,” yelled the red and green triangle in front of Jasper. “Sad about the old man" shifting two dimensional three eye head roared.

“Welcome to house Grey-Star, my Duke I hope to see you soon at my fathers funeral."

“Yes, about that! I decided that as the old man was a dear friend of mine, that I will pay for the funeral and the broadcast across the network a paltry sum of 4 trillion credits.”

“Your highness is too kind indeed.”
“Not at all, I have these gifts for you too.”
Still pictures appeared as if frantically spliced in by the technicians on the other side, two dimensional pictures of a book bound in leather bearing the words Applied Politics 2031. A small case with two silver rings, and two full decks of transactor cards.

“Thank you sir, these are indeed fine gifts, and thank you for the gift of money.”
“No problem my boy” Said the 3 dimensional star with shooting jagged lightning flashes across its stretched and distorted face. “Welcome to the Nova Court, call me Dicky and call any time I’m always here.”

The room went quite as the technical difficulties on the other end must have finally caused the recorder to crash.

Jasper day dreamed about the great man on the other side shouting at his subordinates. To be a noble meant you must communicate, and make strategic decisions concerning whole worlds.

Since the collapse of the wormhole technology which allowed man kind to travel to a myriad of distant stars nobles had held the empires of Terra together in peace through a system of etiquette, communication and the network.

The warp ships that remained in service were so slow that to contact all aspects of the empire was so expensive and daunting that most elected to simply stay home and send gifts on the fast postal ships rather than travel. Of these gifts chief among them were the Decks, cards that recorded thoughts and feelings from their owners’ weather they handled them or not. Nobles initially could purchase many hundreds of decks at a time, however now the cards had become scarce, as their method of manufacture was lost in antiquity.

A system of etiquette had formed around the Nova court, just after the destruction of Terra. They would send the cards as gifts to truly convey their feelings and emotions to distant nobles orbiting distant stars. A gift of money, was considered crass as anyone can send goods of value or money but only the nobles of the Nova court had the cards, sending a gift of cards meant that you were sending yourself your inner most thoughts and desires and this had brought ever lasting peace for no one would dare send a gift to an enemy and everyone would quickly find out about such strife and put a quick stop to it.

This made the nobles supreme rulers of the stars, no one could challenge their power and many tried over the thousands of years they had held the empire together. If a noble had no more cards, he had no purpose within the court, as sometimes cards were lost the court shrank ever so slightly over time.

Jasper was started by the arrival of his first gift, two simple gold rings, and a simple deck of cards. He saw the distant lilac oceans and the pelicans of blue and gold and the warm and determined feeling of a man who would no longer hold the responsibility of court and the fate of worlds. Jaspers' own feelings flooded in, the sorrow and loneliness of long century or two of service without the truly great man, the Admiral of the Imperial Navy Grombru. How he wished, the Admiral would remain at court, and so his first gift meant more to him that the bawdy and brash state funeral supplied by the Duke of Crab nebular. His first gift was the last the Admiral had to give. He knew why his father had lived for so long and respected the man from the distant star.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Always Tomorrow

Very draft, but wrote this while I was deploying the server. Criticism is always welcome.

This story deals with the absurd idea that Anarchists need to have a seat with the UN. I always wonder what smaller countries do in the UN, they probably get pushed around or ignored equally.

Always Tomorrow an Anarchist tale by Morg

Wilson smiled at the sandy haired woman sitting opposite him, a sort of smile only an accomplished bureaucrat with centuries of genetic inbreeding could accomplish. No malice or emotion of any kind; the news would not be well received; it was his duty as Under Sectary to the United Nations Department of Special Concessions.

I’m sorry to tell you this, Cynthia but I have to once again reject this motion. I won’t be able to put this for a vote. This time though you did manage to get this far… you should be proud of yourself and your people.

Figures she said, with an angry tang in her voice.
So they sent you to Jupiter to tell me that?

Yes indeed, I always wanted to come here, ever since I was in school. Coffee he said real African Starbucks blend 407. No thanks she said, I don’t drink coffee.

Both of them were surprised by the loud explosion outside, the door the siren rang out as the air pressure dropped in the main thoroughfare of the Jovian Regency.

Hmmm looks like another bombing Cynthia scowled, guess they knew you were coming.
Who? He looked around fearfully, a rapidly expanding puddle forming on the floor.

The other Anarchists’ who else would have a reason for blowing up a UN delegate from Special Concessions?

Well, guess I better be gone; now that were done she said with a glistening smile her black teeth; of which she was so proud.

Wilson struggled to pull himself along the rail, the gravity had gone and his uncoordinated form lurched and leered its way down the promenade he panicked as he launched himself accidentally down the escalator.

Fucking Anarchists, they must have planned this all along he muttered to himself.

Micro rockets slammed into the office he had just vacated as he plunged down the second set of escalators using the handrail to pull himself along.

Wilson wondered why the Anarchists insisted on applying every year, just as the security office for the Virgin Aeronautics shuttle faced him.

Quick sir, better hop aboard who knows how long it will take them to fix this free dock up.
As Wilson sat in his chair, aboard the five star shuttle he gazed back at the orbiting station and watched as numerous ships escaped.

Rescue balls cascading towards bigger ships in all directions. A literal fleet of the most badly maintained, obsolete and downright dangerous space ships started scooping up all the inhabitants of the decrepit space station. Somehow, it worked; somehow their society was performing the rescue of more than one hundred thousand people simultaneously, last time the UN tried to rescue anyone half of them had died because the effort took to long the resulting legal actions had meant that private companies could never be contracted to perform rescues even though they were probably the best qualified.

Wilson smiled, maybe next time we will give them what they want; a seat in the UN a voice to make a point with. There’s always tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gentic Chimira Collective creature flavour story

This story takes a really humorous approach especially like the swearing dog, sounds like me when I'm tired or Damien when he is coding on the poo phone.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Play Test results of Blood of Sol

The GM managed to run a Blood of Sol Scenario for 3 players with Pre-generated characters. One of the players had never played before and he loved the settings gritty noir feel.

Most of the systems are well defined now, however we are reworking the way weapons are constructed to allow players to add customization.

The game went for 6 hours, longer than we expected but we had pizza while we played. The system works, so I guess its now a lot of editing and then some more content.

The world was well defined and the players felt comfortable with it, because it was familiar yet futuristic.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flava for fav

This is an awesome story, check it out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Interstellar Anarchists Movement (IAM)

In my sci-fi setting Blood of Sol, I have a group of counter culture called the Interstellar Anarchists Movement, they don’t have a strict hierarchy of government but more of a society and way of life. They move around human space by wake riding (thanks Arryn don’t know where that came from), their small shuttles hide behind larger ships jump envelopes and use the larger ships energy to propel their sub light shuttles through warp space.

IAM have a delegation to the united nations, and constantly try to get their “Nation” ratified as a sovereign state, however this is always difficult as they are merely a society of vagrants and drifters and have no borders, laws, money, economy etc.

This raises some questions, how do you deal with a state that has no bounds and simply drifts along from place to place, how do you tax it, control it use it. I find myself sometimes wondering why I'm in Australia, why not anywhere else why do I need a national identity when I spend so much time on the internet.

Most of the members of IAM are located in habitats orbiting Mars, Jupiter, Earth or on mining colonies that have depleted all their resources. A few of them are remnants from the collapse of the first colonization bubble when the bubble burst it left them stranded all over the solar system. When the UN returned it had been 20 years since the collapse and corporate wars, they simply assumed that the colonies now belonged to the people living there. This has lead to a huge influx of "crime" during times when the Anarchists colonies are having problems, anarchists simply take what they need believing that they can do a favor for it later.

The anarchists provide a vehicle for subversive types, criminals crazies and wackos, they also provide a fantastic comedic potential for crazies, conspiracy theorists and nut jobs.

In my next short story, Sovereign for You, happy IAM, Wendy Miller is tasked by the UN to asses the current case for the IAM sovereignty proposal in the story she meets with several anarchists who want the UN to name the movement as a sovereign nation.

In the previous posts I described the Collective as a free market, when asked I thought about how the free market would be affected by morals. So with enough monitoring and transparency, I postulated that this would happen in the setting.

Moral Market, how to sell to those who are so jaded about every product that they literally live like hermits.

The Collective is a truly free market. The level of transparency is such that not just mere components but the raw materials and video footage of manufacture is displayed for all to see. This means that overtime the level of moral production reached substantial levels where produces such as cars, hamburgers, toilet paper etc were produced with a measurable impact level, zero impact is the goal where products are so clean that they literally make people feel good about buying them.

The moral choice has become a market force that drives everyone towards that goal. I think that is only possible with laws in place, and those that break them are committing a crime worse that murder, information violations is the term used for company s that lie about their products. The first instance is a fine and the second all assets are seized by the state and the assets of the directors are liquidated to pay for the class action that follows.

Visualise your way out of global warming fuckers or how to bullshit yourself up your own arse

Last one I promise next post will be happy!

Relevance to space game, I got a comment from my flatmate that the previous post didn’t link too well to space game. That may be true but he still didn’t use the comment thingy which infuriates me more than the lack of salt and vinegar chips in America. Space game has two powers, which are important, the collective represent a command economy free market (which can turn to a non free market in the blink of an eye) the UN represent a company driven free market.

Both options sort of work, however I did get side tracked on the boomers selling me down the river for some lattes and supposed rising temperatures so they can get me to buy their totally shit solar panels, yogurt, free trade coffee and some shit house free trade itchy clothing. Hmm free market to rip me off you 60 something bitches. Give me my friggen space age pants that curse the environment never break down and will last longer than David Letterman (I hate that guy). This same group of people are telling us to imagine, that we can be successful, imagine this rip off your kids and you too can be successful! I got emailed this blog about the problem with positive thinking, and I thought there may be some more juice in my spleen to vent.

The chaser did a great “The Secret” segment, really funny. Maybe they can imagine that the global warming will provide them with a magical land of mangoes honey, bananas and lattes.

Now imagine your head going up your own arse so far that you think that buying someones free trade coffee is good and that you have truly made a difference.

Humans screw people over all the time, if the Boomers can screw their kids, then they have no problem about screwing the third world. Now imagine that the power of positive thinking can make it all go away. That’s how I see the UN they have edicts rules, laws, proposals, sanctions etc but what they should really do, is do what I would do fuck all those guys and buy a coffee because it’s not my fault it’s my parents who changed the world and gave me a steamer.

They knew in the 50’s about global warming, the same people are now calling it climate change. Just because they can’t get the math right doesn’t mean it won’t happen does it? Think positively global warming will make our kids scared and buy our shitty itchy shirts and shithouse coffee. Global temperatures have been falling since 1998; sun spot activity is at its lowest in recorded history. Sun spots matter more than carbon dioxide suspected of causing the medieval warm period where green land was colonized; so what’s the truth? the model, the science, certainly not, we haven't moved to a law from a theroy yet, all the expirments are not done so why impose a new market? Truth is irrelevant, it’s all about selling. If there’s a problem then we will solve it with technology, in the immortal words of Dave Chappelle "Mars Bitches, the united states of Space" lets just build a friggen colony there or some super sun blocker technology or fusion.

In the sci-fi setting, its important to know why things work even if all the players don't it adds the realism.

In my sci-fi settings, selling is just as important as it is now, unless you are going to have a Utopian society which has surpassed the need for individual wealth;

I see that oneday humans work together for the good of all, these are lofty ideals and good goals but in the short term unachievable. This however is the dream of the Tau Ceti Collective; at the moment in the setting they are in their honeymoon period, they have created their world, their cities and their economy is booming primarily because they are selling to the less fortunate Earth economies.

They can out-compete them because resources are cheap, labor is cheap, and who are they ripping off? They create robots, infants that reach sentience after 5 years. During this 5 year period the robot is property; sold for a low cost to people who want to use it. So the collective the beacon of hope and light for mankind, is really the master of slaves what game masters and designers do with this is up to them but it provides a huge number of story hooks. Robots that start waking up earlier what to do, what are the legal ramifications, illegally keeping the robots indentured by wiping their minds, robots burn their programs (like the burning bras) and decide to strike out on their own and discover that it’s an unforgiving unfriendly world, come up against glass ceilings etc. Its nice to have everything balance up and everything has a cost, their prosperity is at the expense of their children the robot brains that they create.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Collective Vs the Free Market and fuck those boomers

This is a bit of a rant, mainly because I talked to my dad about the moon landing and sputnik and how he tuned his radio to hear it.

In relation to space game, this is the crux of how the collective works, and how the united nations works in the setting. The collective is a free market economy with a large command directive for defense and social services. The UN directs companies through grants to develop certain technologies and certain services they pay for this by taxing companies and individuals, they do provide a basic social safety to some planets particularly the nice ones.

Now onto the rant.

It's interesting to note that experiment of the free economy is still running, it has lead the the biggest recession since the great depression. We have sacrificed stability and long term equality for short term spiky gains for some ideas and some people. Which is better for the survival of our species?

The developments in free markets seems to lead to some rapid innovations, in some places particularly low cost and rapid market innovation. We see great speculation companies like Google, Facebook, My Space, Enron, Time Warner etc.

Maybe this issue of control vs free has made the very large corporations of the US and Europe and Japan uncompetitive because they are effectively directed according to a plan. GM as far as I'm concerned is not an innovative company, they must have known years ago that they were not competitive yet they still continued to stay the course; This has lead to their reliance on the US tax payer to bail them out.

If GM behaved more like a free market, say more like Google with separate competing islands (correct me if I'm wrong in the comments) they may have been more flexible and more adaptive, however they would not have developed costly innovations like say clean car technology; somehow it seems that GM didn't innovate at all in the last 20 years, so the innovation must have been in making cars cheaper rather than improving the technology. GM is now suffering, because they had no plan and yet were run like a company that did have a plan.

Software companies probably can adhere to a free market economic model better than car companies; this is because the cost of development is less in both time and money. We see that software companies and companies like Nintendo can turn themselves around fast. Could you make a large company that that can behave as a collective economy, the answer is probably no because any long term innovation cycle is going to be viewed negatively if it takes longer than 2 years to get to market its not worth doing. The anarchist Kevin Carson pointed out that in a truly free market you wouldn't have companies, so the entire idea of globalization is false, because companies become less necessary in a free market, I make engine parts in my workshop and sell them as parts to people who assemble cars.

With that in mind the economy of the future should indeed be a command economy because if you do have a government run company even though its inefficient the vast economics of scale will outweigh the disadvantages. In my country Australia we have sold out our massive companies like our energy company for short term gain, most not for the country but individuals.

Those baby boomers and the generation before them sold us out, they got their moon landing on a command economy where is my moon landing dammit! shit we sold it for some houses at Noosa! They took all those gains, and divided the spoils between a few people. They took away free university and make us pay hex.

We are also being sold clean tech, Eco tech save the planet tech. This tech is old, and the very people who decided not do anything are going to profit from it. So, as a member of gen X or Y whatever, I'm not going to do anything and I encourage all the gen X and Y to do the same. Essentially screw those boomers don't buy into their bull shit and their crap let them sort it out in their walking frames. This has also created a new speculation market carbon trading so they can make more money, what a joke.

So being not any smarter and just a little further ahead and far greedier than us they managed to put our generation in a nasty place. The unwillingness of those people to change means that we will not see a man on mars, not see fusion, and be left with a stinking ball of rock with 8.9 billion people on it. But hey its ok, they can retire to the golf course at Noosa on the rent that we have to pay because they bought all the houses.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Awesome Sci-FI videos

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vehicles in the setting, lots of choice or little

I was working on vehicles for the game, and the fictional setting, and I started thinking about how many choices people have for the same thing. I thought in the dark future the there is large amounts of manufacturing, and some commodities are sold purely on brand perception because the item is simply designed to the point of perfection. So you don't get a Golf GT you get a Martian Mirage GT3 manufactured by the Jupiter Car company. Your buying much more than a car with a name, your buying an identity.

Marketers always talk about a special sauce or value proposition, but is there? We see that there is a lot of consolidation in the spaces that stop making profit because they cannot grow, cars, air travel etc. No one is making money in cars, because they can only proposition the customer by giving more for less.

If we have a look at vehicles now, it seems there is a lot of consumer choice. People not only focus on the function but brand perception, social perception, price etc. I don't think there is more than 5 choices of car. And if you think there is more, your naive and you believe the spin.

In the real world we are already genericising the car, check these two cars out.

An example Honda City, whats this brand saying? Well you are a city living person with an Ipod or Iphone, and you want a car that's not too large nice for the environment/cheap to run and cheap own.

An example Clio, this car is basically the same thing. Why by a Renault? well its the brand not the vehicle. The Honda city is better, and the Renault has a bigger price tag. You buy it to say your sophisticated, this small one is cheaper than the other Renault's.

Why can't this just be called, slightly expensive car that's red and gives good fuel economy (apart from the bad name) call it the Jupiter CarCompany City model?

In a future setting, how important are all these things? In the world of Star Trek there are credits people don't fuel multi-national companies. People must be happier, they get what ever they want from a replicator etc. I don't know if we can evolve to this state, if the technology was available would it be commercialized? Well if it was expensive to make, no way! too much money is at stake.

In my setting, we have a high population of humans that never leave their planets. This culture is really the bulk of the setting normal lower middle class people who work for some company doing X task for the almighty dollar. I think its easier to write stories where you can draw on all the flaws of human society than to write stories where you can't like Star Trek.

I like my humans flawed, jealous, belligerent, racist and thoroughly greedy because I can have them screw each other over for X number of reasons.

In my opinion, people are fairly easy to manipulate even when they know they are being manipulated. There is a chord in every person that resonates with the idea of belonging and branding and marketing is focused on resonating chords of people to associate themselves subconsciously with a brand.

In our world, we see immense levels of brand loyalty Coke, Nike, Pepsi etc. In the game setting we see brands which have been created, Berkley Genomics is the medical Juggernaut that most people have membership cards with to get anything from a detox, to a complete genetic alteration. Their logo is a white circle with a BG in the middle, this brand is all about security after all its medical you want your body to be safe while they put you under.

Virgin Aeronautics is the company that runs all the space stations and many of the inter system services. Their brand is always about quality, quality in the sense of you get what you paid for. They choose red and blue very standard retail colors.

Cars, I haven't come up with a ground and air car brand yet but I think, as I have to create all the standard vehicles I was wondering if we are going to see shortly in the real world a consolidation of the cars like we have in other areas which are not making much profit (airlines etc).

So ill have Jupiter Car company City car that's red but this may be badged the Martian Mirage GT3 (they even don't know what GT means anymore in my setting, its been used to sell cars for so long its now bereft of meaning)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Darken World, abound the storm

His long, dog like alien jaws opened, and he began to address the assembled members of the united nations, and the members of the committee, his body was a shiny obsidian and his eyes sparkled like gems. His long white and yellow robes seemed to be made from some cotton like substance. He wore simple jewelery which we had been informed earlier by MI5 was in-fact a graviton field generator capable of either projecting or deflecting forces, including bending light. He was for all intents and purpose invulnerable to us, and due to recent events where one of his species was tortured to death for information. I could understand his concern. Never the less the ambassador to Sirius had alerted the UN that their ambassador would be attending the conference and presenting information regarding a threat to all human kind.

The alien then spoke softly into the microphone, in English his presentation, began accompanied by very simple graphics as if he expected us to unintelligent thugs.

My name is Raheil, but that is unimportant to your species and your survival. Even though you have attacked us, and been soundly defeated my leader has decided that I should inform you of dangers close to your systems.

In ancient times, during the second war we discovered something new in the galaxy, a rare thing indeed for our knowledgeable and traveled race. I was a young warrior at time piloting a scouting ship looking for the light bringers near the arm of Sagittarius. Our leader, Osiris had given us strict instruction to find the colony world, confine the wormhole and slay all inhabitants of the breeding world, a simple task for warriors such as ourselves.

We found them there, already among the dark matter world a place where we could only detect their presence for at the time we had not learned how to transcend this universe of light matter to the universe of dark matter which exists in this same space and time. Somewhere within the cluster the world existed bending light from a nova behind them making their presence know.

The captain commanded us to investigate the presence of strange radiation, emanating from the worlds, he was detecting your species know this radiation as Bekenstein-Hawking radiation, the evaporation radiation from a black hole. Impossible we thought, why would this be emanating from the area?

Our navigator observed that there were three gravity signatures equality distant masking the source of the radiation, curiously they were orbiting quite quickly around the black hole. However, the worlds weren’t feeding the hole merely orbiting it.

The ship sailed into the subspace in the general region of the cluster to try to see if we could detect anything there. Our computers registered the presence of a great mass below our ship, about the equivalent of one of your suns. We observed nothing however other than a gravity signature. We then detected fluctuations in space time, in pockets in subspace and in our slip engines.

It was conceivable that there were dark matter ships nearby investigating our signature unable to interact but able to detect the graviton disturbance of our engines.

We recorded data for a few minutes, then re-entered real space and proceeded with our mission.

The breeders were primitive the way the watches liked it superstitious, terrified and wholly dominated by their priests, they had only a few watchers who posed a minor threat to our five warriors. We dispatched the watchers and the moved onto the breeders, none of them had developed any ability however we did discover some strange mutations, and they presented information, which had never before been seen in the genome. We deduced that, the mutations may indeed alter their species away from their original form and on the world we found the same mutations in all the plants and animals. Deep in the oceans, we found semi sentient colony creatures, which seemed to storing the Bekenstein-Hawking radiation within crystals that they grew in their cells. We had no theories at the time, so we proceeded with the cleansing slaying all the breeders quickly first using our neural stunners then severing the spinal chord, in the article prescribed manner.

We returned to our world, and handed the data to our scientists, who came after a few short months to an interesting hypothesis. This world, was indeed intended to be a breeder world, however the mutations had forced the watchers to abandon this world because the genetic differences interfered with the retro virus used to change the breeders into warriors. The light bringers had abandoned the world, because of this problem, but they had remained to study it. Had they been more through in their investigations, they may have studied the native life and seen the pattern repeated in every species on the world. The simple plants and animals that had evolved there had changed, some growing crystals to collect Hawking radiation, why? What purpose did this radiation serve? Our scientists deduced then from our subspace recordings that the radiation emanating from the black hole, pulsed and formed a wave a constant stream of information slowly and methodically adjusting the genetic sequence over centuries of live, slowly adjusting every living thing on the cluster light worlds to a new form, a new life.

This proved that there was a highly likely hood that the black hole and its three dark matter worlds orbiting were placed with deliberate intent. The inhabitants could not travel to our universe the universe of light matter but could arrive by slowly adjusting the DNA of creatures living in the light universe. The invasion had begun millennia ago this represented a potential threat, which we had not foreseen, nor had our allies.

I have told you this information human, because my time has come and the time of my people. We must go, to continue our fight against the light bringers, and follow those who have gone before to ensure a future for this all. All I can offer is my advice and this information formatted to your primitive computer systems so you may be vigilant and watch the clusters, we have marked all the dark matter clusters and you should have enough resources to deal with only a few hundred worlds.

And now, onto your very foolish invasion of Sirius two you attacked us and we have defeated you, in compensation I ask that you arm yourselves. We will make our caterpillar engine technology available to you, but in return you must create several dreadnought class ships and attack this world you can call it Ishtar, and you will find it on the other side of the galaxy…

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Game update Questions?


This is a short blog update, space game has been edited some more. I'm writing a few short stories to add some flav. What types of sci-fi stories work best for gamers, do gamers prefer the personal stories of people moving through a gray, Dystopian society where they struggle and against all odds sometimes come out on top; E.G: Anarchistic stories about the struggle against big companies and big government.

Or do game players prefer a space opera which is more epic on scale with ships and particle cannons, black hole bombs and wide spread panic. Or do players like a focus on the ideas that make the setting work, the meta physics of a sci-fi setting sometimes lead to stories of their own.

You decide!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is it time for fiction to be fiction and life to be life...

This post is a little different... so if your offended don't read just kidding Fuk U.

Basically my friend Ad who works for a large games company that basically owns everything as far as pen an paper RPG's astutely pointed out that even if I were to publish this game and the related materials for free, the content of the setting is offensive to "Americans" however I have found humor in several political aspects of all countries, history, religion etc not strictly American.

I find that if your designing games and settings its best to have some themes and undertones through out the entire setting. My setting has themes of alienation, poverty, depression (we call them recessions now), corporate dominance, human failing, and religion. In the setting all religions are as real to the people as they are to people now, the texts are based on real events in the setting, that are known by the aliens, the demons are real, the exist and inhabit a different section of reality the religions are based on events or reinterpretation of events that occurred long ago. I used some of those ancient texts of the Bible, the Khabala, the Enuma Elesh, the Kybalion, the Qur'an along with the archaeological musings of Egyptology from all different eras. These texts have some great tales and are the basis for much of our literature, culture and world.
As far as countries I have made some jibes at Great Briton, France, The Middle East, China, Russia, South Africa, Nazi Germany, The Roman empire, etc all in what I thought were compelling story elements and I used them to tell stories like the "Votreckers" (thanks for the name Ad) who are South African and Australian colonists of the furthest reaches of space who stuck using 200 year old technology and have a very racist attitude to everything. Its not real its a setting, its funny! Now I know some people get offended, if they do don't read it but getting sued over jokes is not really very cool at all.

So to conclude, should I alter the setting to make it less offensive? Does anyone know any Christians or Jews that I can discuss my setting with so I don't get pwnd by some religious dudes?

PS, I'm still going to make fun of South Africa, New Zealand, America, China, Russia, India, Middle East, etc. Everyone else does.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Martian Sunrise

This is a section of text which I'm writing as background for Space Game. If you have suggestions or comments please leave them. I want to improve my writing skills.

Sunlight shone on the steel platform. Henry made his move. In a cascade of crimson dust he leaped to the impact zone. This time the experiment would be a success, the doors would open, and knowledge of untold histories and times would be unleashed into his mind.

Henry had prepared for this day; he had feed and purified his body and mind.
I wonder how different I will be? Will anyone recognize me after I return?

The virus was in him, nourishing his DNA with new information, rearranging his cellular structure and calling forth programming from long ago. Henry thought back to the time spent in the laboratory, the endless tests the endless injections taken from just one pure sample of the virus found in a speck of ice 400 million years old. How could human DNA have existed, back in the forgotten times? Was this the memories of a once proud and great race cast down by their oppressive enemies?

It took time for the virus to take hold; its work was much slower than standard RNA recombination and vectored based assertion. It worked more slowly deliberately every cell had to be perfect, prepared and ready to accept new instructions in the form of forgotten proteins and amino acids.

The Barkley scientists had assured Henry that he would retain himself he would remain in control during the experiment. He would become so much more than he is. No human hands had ever undone the knot of human DNA, stored and forgotten, labelled as junk in the early days of genetic research those memories now began to flood back into his mind.

A forlorn swampy land, foxfire in the sky, a lunar eclipse and a sunrise on a green and pleasant land. Yes long ago, we did indeed tread these ancient shores and built spires of glass to the heavens.

We found our new home in this moist and pleasant country. The stark beauty of the red sand, reminded us of our communion. We brought our slaves here, and we lay them to rest in stone beneath the earth.

What had happened, if only Henry could remember more about the past? His mind searched for reasons. Why did this place mean so much?

Falling, into darkness his mind swam with equations and formula he accessed places of the past, a swamp, a black wolf that padded through the turpentine. It howled at the moons and ate the crass and disgusting creatures of the swamp. The acrid stench and the stifling heat disturbed the beast not as it stalked its prey.

He saw the spires again, glass and shining in the sunlight, the faces pallid their lips damp with the feast they had had a day of celebration a victory against mighty Osiris. They would rule the universe; their light would be the light to behold. As the sunlight broke over Lucifer, a chill wind began to blow and a raw and bitter taste was there for all to behold. Others had come, unknown to them, immune to the powers of persuasion and trickery of space-time. They rearranged the universe around them, bringing an order locking of the doors and gates and keeping keys secret. Made of metal, they appeared striking first at the slaves with the one weapon that would hurt the masters the most, change.

The end came in a feeding frenzy, brother devoured brother, and father devoured son only the strongest would remain, and then they all were gone. The ancient empire of glass and light, had fallen to darkness and their god Lucifer had proved imperfect after all. They all became dust, and now they travel, in storms across a dry and desolate landscape.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Quantum Surgen

I have decided that I have to create some more fiction, not just for my games but to get better at writing in general. Sam Jensen is one of my friends and he has helped inspire me, he is a fifteen billion times better writer than I but I still want to give it a go.

This is an idea I have for a Sci-fi story, I'm not really sure what form it will take but the basic premise is that if we followed quantum theory or string theory or any of the modern unification theory we would get to a point of engineering, we could then alter lives, ignore space time, and completely shape reality.

This story is set at the cusp of the technology, a old professor has just perfected a technique of enhancing peoples lives by quantum manipulation and he is out seeking funding from a venture capitalist. The story is probably not hard Sci-fi but more comedic as this doctor gets involved the capitalist try's the machines out and gets richer and richer to the point that he is a dominating power in the world. He owes it all to the Quantum Surgeon but rather than reward the doctor he takes the machine and enhances his life and removes the Surgeon from reality, and the resulting paradox is is interesting to say the least.