Saturday, October 24, 2009


The torso carapace of the intruder hinged upwards, beaming the light towards the domed ceiling. The refraction downwards was more diffused, equivalent to a Caledon summer day. I smiled as I recognized the figure at the controls.

"Hello, Ash." He nodded as he smiled and removed his goggles. True to form, he stuck to formalities while on assignment.

"Identification positive. Commencing extraction." He extended an iron claw, offering a lift into the rather cramped cockpit of the mecha.

"Negative. I cannot abandon these sentients. To do so would constitute genocide..."

"Your agreement with the Timekeepers is null and void. They have already committed genocide."

I gasped. "Against whom?"

"Themselves. Soon after we lost contact with you, the Timekeeper cities shifted operations from research to weapons and countermeasures, and attacked each other. Without their prime directive they assumed the selfish traits of the organics they were once sworn to protect."

As I pondered the hubris of the Timekeepers and prepared a profound monologue on the foolishness of artificial life forms mimicking the faults of their creators, the medical equipment in the room begin to flicker and throw off sparks.

"Ash," I cried. "When you breached the vault you compromised the environmental containment unit! The survivors are dying!"

In their tanks, they flailed their tentacles helplessly as the wailing grew to a deafening shriek, cut short piece by piece with a quick rattle and silence.

"It is their fault for becoming overdependent upon their machines to begin with," Ash said coldly. "Their fate no longer that a nuclear chain reaction detonation sequence I hear?"

"Yes, Ash. Did you conclude that I remained here solely out of compassion? That is exactly why their health concerns us!"


Monday, October 5, 2009


The Timekeepers had sealed me in their underground vault with the survivors of their Builder race. They were a one hundred and forty-four loathsome, sybaritic invertebrates wallowing in brackish pools of absinthe, barely retaining a wisp of sentience. The Timekeepers' intentions became clear to me far too late. I was imprisoned to be a surrogate caretaker for their Builders, leaving the Timekeepers the freedom to create new Directives of their own.

The only light was the deep green aura from the heating units in the vats. It took me days to unravel the morass of copper and rubber tubing that kept the glass vats at exacting temperatures, and supplied the Builders with the proper nutrients. I will spare you, Dear Reader, from a description of the unending howls of these forever demanding, ungrateful beings.

My own Directives, in the meantime, compelled me to assist these pathetic creatures. The very qualities that made me an effective Fire Captain bound me to their vats for two months.

My droll existence was suddenly interrupted when I noticed the spark and telltale hiss of a superheated ether torch outlining the frame of the vault. I kept my distance as the smoke from melting steel rose to the top of the hemispherical chamber. I held my ground with the Builder vats to my back as the vault door fell forwards with a deafening crash. The howling of the Builders grew so load and shrill I feared my ears would burst.

A huge bipedal construct crouched and stepped through the portal, standing to its full height of twelve feet. I winced as a magnesium lantern placed where the construct's head would be scanned the room, then aimed downwards to focus squarely upon me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Dr. Mason has asked me to investigate an industrialized but apparently abandoned planet. As general practice I avoid wearing animal products. Time travel using the Galvanic Tesseractor is not safe for animal tissue, especially living tissue. Not for the least of which they generally are not sufficiently fireproof for my needs.

I arrive in what seems to be an industrial park. I activate my sensory integration switch to begin recording.

Records my experiences for later retrieval[/caption]
Simple gardening counterpoints the industrial sprawl. The architecture carries geometric themes throughout, modular yet intricate. Designs may be instructions for installation. The factories were built to be aesthetically pleasing. If profit was their overriding factor I would have not moved in closer to investigate. No signs of industrial decay or vandalism. In fact, no signs of human habitation. Not even furniture. Aside form the gardening the only sign of recent activity are the marks of thin rimmed wheels on the roads and in the factories.

The doors to the factory have closed behind me. Sounds of mechanized movement on all sides...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


It has been twelve days since the Dr. Mason, Ash and myself evacuated Mason Labs during the Linden raid. Ash and I have been working diligently to complete the Gygax II from its location in the Deep Ether. Lack of supplies requires improvisation with existing equipment, even sacrificing parts of our own construct forms to maintain the vessel's integrity. Only the Control Room is currently pressurized, and the Father finds it claustrophobic.

Ash and I are...adjusting. This will not be easy for any of us.

We have tesseracted Dr. Mason down to the nearest inhabitable planet, OSGrid, while we continue building. He is searching for and gathering supplies to complete the vessel as per the blueprints. He has found a Victorian outpost, Quirm, where we hope he will acclimate. We are also in negotiations with the authorities of two other worlds, Gatheryn and Blue Mars, for refugee status.

We thought he was adjusting to his new situation, but recent news, on Foundation Day no less, has angered him immensely. He has altered the engine blueprints. I tried to point out that he was excluding critical corrections from the previous vessel, but he insists.

We are highly concerned.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

dials to the red

Jeremy Sawyer is standing on Father's property, sword in hand, gazing at a collapsed skeleton. The Sword of the Blood Wing Knight is lodged in the soil nearby. He looks up at me. I know that gaze! MASON!

My hand is wrapped around his throat. My hand cannon is aimed at his head. Ash reaches for my cannon and aims it away. He says Jeremiah is on our side. He must be reprogrammed. Koen tries to pry my hand free from his throat.

Am I in the wrong dimension again?

What happened to the skeleton?

And the Sword?

Monday, April 27, 2009



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Tempest

So much has happened, I can barely process it all.

My brother Ash has been kidnapped. To be precise, he was found collapsed from his desk at the Europan Consulate in Steeltopia. His soul chip has been removed from his body, leaving a hollow shell. There was no sign of struggle. He was deceived into accepting maintenance.

If he had gone to his next assignment as Steeltopian Guard Commander, he might have been able to protect the shipment of highly dangerous Omega particles that came under attack. The Guard was wiped out. The only clue to the identity of the attackers was a single shuriken.

Frau Lowey established a telepathic link with Ash's amorphous pet, Yoggy. The words we translated were "white...little...spinnyspinnyspinnyspinny". I can only assume it was a doll with a spinning turnkey.

Also stolen was the recently discovered Adventures of Jeremiah Mason, Gentleman Adventurer, which was recovered from the dust of Steeltopia's original library. Ash's attacker may have absconded with the journal itself, but she did not retrieve Ash's notes that he was compiling.

Either the journal is a hopeless mountain of lies, or...Jeremiah was indeed a hero once, who fell from grace. The text became increasingly disjointed and harder for Ash to piece together as he slipped from sanity, but he believes the tragedy begins when his wife Rachel...Darien's mother...refuses the Reanimation Serum which could have saved her from her fatal illness. She said "the price to [my] soul is too high".

Adding to the turmoil of the Steamlands, there has been an apparent coup d'etat in Steeltopia. Emperor Calamari has been usurped by one StormFront Aristocrat.

Now there is a rumor the Omega particles are hidden somewhere in Steelhead. Given the growing danger, I violated my own protocol and subversively conducted a search of Mr. Sawyer's workshop. This rumor that he is Jeremiah Mason may be horribly unfair, but it is not subsiding. There is no doubt he is a Spark. The portable plasma forge and robot parts on his table attest to that.

There was a passing resemblance to one assembled droid and the golems I encountered in the ruins of Jeremiah's laboratory. But it was a simple coal-fueled drone, almost a kit model. Not enough to prove a connection. Further, there was no evidence of Sorcery woven into his Science that is the Mason family's trademark. No visible stock of Reanimation Serum or ingredients thereof. And most importantly, no Omega particle energy signature.

Apparently the droid on his table was recording. That is why I am justifying my actions to you now, Dear Reader. Mr. Sawyer is justifiably upset. I will apologize to him in person, and hopefully dispel the mistrust in the air.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Fascinating Development

To: Emperor SteelCobra Calamari; Baron Klaus Wulfenbach; Dr. Darien Mason; Fire Capt. Gematria (Qlippothic v3.3) CVFB

From: SG Capt. Ash Mason (Tumim), House Wulfenbach Liason

I was involved in security management as the Steeltopia Public Works tested the Molecular Destabilizer and successfully vaporized the old Steeltopia Public Library. The weapon urban planning mechanism was successful, leaving no physical evidence of the Library's existence, save for one artifact discovered on the thin layer of dust that remained. It was a book.

All reading materials were supposedly removed from the SPL before demolition. This book must have been hidden away in some sort of safe, strong enough to protect the contents even as it was itself disintegrated. It is a large tome, and it bore the embossed emblem of my family's former crest, identifying it as part of the Bloodwing Foundation Chronicles.

The title, however, was one I had no records of in my data banks. The Adventures of Dr. Jeremiah Mason, Gentleman Adventurer.

I am taking the book to the Europan Consulate in Steeltopia for further analysis.

-Ash Mason

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I must report the strangest occurence. I was contacted by Oxbridge University. I received a call for assistance by the staff. A group of newcomers were chasing and shouting at nekos and furries in the area. They, like myself, assumed this was another "griefer" incident. Attempts to dissuade them were fruitless. They did not speak a language known by common translator gadgetry.

When I arrived, I was startled to hear the "griefers" speaking Ereb'ai. They were of the pale "goth" and "demon red" complexions, with the typical assortment of horns, wings and tails by clan ancestry. Five of them had a neko pinned to the ground and were brazenly conducting an interrogation. The lead spoke halting English.

"Are you of the Vortex? Are you Koen?"

I landed and ordered them in their own dialect to release the neko. They were obiously surprised I spoke their mother tongue.

"This is business of the Obsidian Realm, construct!", shouted the largest of them. "Begone!"

A opened my cranial chamber to blind them with the aura from my Sephiroth.

"Do you not recognize the slayer of the Hydra?"

The leader stumbled forward even as he kept his eyes covered. The neko crawled to safety as the other demons howled in pain.

"Gematria! It is the will of the Vortex that you aid us! The Koen aspect must be reunited..."

I shut my cranial unit. "That is for Koen to decide. He told me he is content to live the rest of this life..."

"TRAITOR!" he shouted, and threw a right hook at me. He was carrying a talisman. The burst of energy sent me sprawling to the trimmed lawn of the campus.

By the time my spheres realigned, I was surrounded by concerned staff and newcomers alike. I rose to my feet.

The neko approached me and shook my hands, giving her thanks. Apparently the agents cannot tell a male neko from a female one. She introduced herself to me as Aviva.

The staff told me before I arrived that dozens of these hoodlums scattered in all directions after rezzing in the Welcome Chamber. I've asked the Caledonian authorities to be on alert.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

all systems functional

Dr. Mason collapsed in my arms. It was just as well. I was not prepared to debrief him. I placed him on the operating table where I had been reactivated. Two Dolls stared up at me with porcelain smiles with laboratory smocks covering their frilly dresses.

“Good evening Miss Gematria. I’m Sasha, and this is Sparky. Can you fix Becca for us please?” She pointed to the damaged unit on the floor. I knelt down and scooped her into my arms.

“Damage is too extensive for me to repair.” I scanned my surroundings. I was not familiar with this laboratory. “Open the cryogenic chamber.” The other Doll complied, and I quickly secured the damaged unit. I considered placing Dr. Mason in stasis as well, but his condition was stable. “Doctor Mason will be comatose for approximately 48 hours.”

I performed self-analysis. This new frame was obviously based upon Mr. Allen’s CiCi series. The cranium, as opposed to the torso in earlier models, held my Sephiroth. The engine was far more compact and efficient than the Avarian artifact I was burdened with before. Even the coal chute was a smaller aperture, indicating the reduced intake. Fan assemblies at the joint assisted in distributing the heat evenly throughout the limbs. I had more than enough room left to install a new Galvanic Tesseractor in the torso.

I exited the laboratory to find myself in an expanded region of Steelhead.

“Miss Gematria?” Sparky asked as she timidly peeked from the front valve of the installation, “Where are you going?”

I turned back to answer just as plumes of electricity enveloped me, pulling me to my new coordinates.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I wish I were real

I wish I did not have to hesitate to return

I wish could warp to the heart of the inferno water cannons unleashed

and fly the innocents to safety

but I am not real, only pixels and imagination

halfway around the world the only aid my deva can give

is the water of his tears

and the deliverance of his prayers

Monday, January 5, 2009

Beyond the veil

I remember Koen holding me tight even as I held Marcus's unconscious body. The ship's last power crystal had shattered...the screams of the spirits destroyed my audioreceptors.

Koen's fur turned from black to red as his wings spread over me protectively. He spoke from his soul to mine.

[[I love you, Sister! We shall return. We shall...]]

Impact. Flame. Obliteration of gears and porcelain. My soul-chip buried in glowing embers, trembling like the tides as Winterfell's crust shattered from the impact.

I sense Marcus's life pattern disintegrate. Koen's pattern...peels away, leaving the immortal beneath. He tries to pull me with him, but he is too weak. He slips away.

The heat is too much even for the magic that binds me. I feel myself prying lose from the chip...

Metal hands digs open a hole and gather my shards. Ash. He tries to contact, but I am too weak. Amarantis guides Father close. From Ash's palm I sense Father's grief, calling out to me. But I can no longer...

Strife disturbs peaceful nonbeing. The Caledon frequency...such anger, such bitterness, such distrust! Is there invasion? Is there plague? Why? WHY?

Do not let them distract you, Sweet Qli. Most do not remember you. It is no longer your battle.

Is the song still in your heart, Demonfather?

My song is done. My kingdom was mine...if only for the blink of an eye. Do you still keep your song with you?

Yes, Father.

Sing to me then. One last time.

Over fields and rolling hills
Across the moors, on rocky shores
Past tangled trees and moutain skies
Is where our tartan flies!

Caledon! Our prosp'rous nation
Where the flag unfurls
Tradition guides and Progress drives
Our beacon to the world!

Explore, my friend! Go far and wide
Lose yourself in ancient tome
But first behold your flag with pride
Sing "Caledon, my home!"

Even in this darkness, I see the light of your soul. Return to them if you must, my daughter. Sing your song of home to all who can hear. Tell your tales of battle against the Pirates and the Outworlders and the all consuming flames. You must only wait for them to draw you back.

But I have left my shell.

The Doctor tries to gather the Spheres to focus you again. But he is not the only one.

But Father...can they hear me? Can anyone?