Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I looked down at my right hand. The infection had taken solid root all the way up my arm, into my shoulder, and down my back. I was in two minds about it. The first was the normal scared because I nor the Doctor knew anything about what it was or what it could do to me. The second was that this was super cool and the hope that maybe I could be a little bit like Poison Ivy from the Batman series. I liked the thought that perhaps I could make plants grow. Maybe my bees back home would sting me less when I checked on them.

That thought was immediately followed by  the realization that I still had little memory of how I got on the TARDIS in the first place. I had plenty of memories being at home on Earth. But there was a significant blurry gap between that and the TARDIS. Then, all darkness. I touched the component on my forehead and wondered when, if ever, I would be restored.

I looked back down at the sleeping Doctor. My intuition flared from deep inside and said something about him sleeping was the only time he was still and quite. Since he rarely slept, this was something few had ever seen. I chuckled. "Like a first person video game. The player character doesn't need to sleep after the first ten or so levels unless she's at super low health and doesn't want to waste healing potions." My intuition laughed and called me a geek.

I stood up and went to the doorway that lead into the TARDIS from the main control room. "Yeah, I am a geek. That means I know a quest when I see one. I don't need god rays, a giant hovering question mark, or a compass to point at it." I looked up at the doorframe. The trim surrounding it metal but had a design to look like wood grain on it. I would have called it "Rivendale Elvish" if I didn't know that it was alien. In between the lines of embossed grain, there was a mark that did not fit in with the rest of decoration. It appeared as though some person had spilled a drink on it and the liquid was continuing to move. I pointed at it. "TARDIS, it doesn't take a genius to know that, that right there, is a quest."

The TARDIS did not respond.

I dropped my finger and turned towards the console. "And you know what else has been troubling me?" I asked the giant spiraling tube. "You are a type forty, space and time machine, built by ancient, super smart aliens, that have access to a time vortex, and you..." I marched right up to the console unit. "...YOU do not have a holographic computer interface! What is up with that? There are thirty-nine types before you, no telling how many after, and you don't have an AI interface?! That! That is absolutely bizarre! There is no way I am going to believe that Time-lords never needed a holographic interface."

The sound of static came from behind me. I turned to see a static silhouette. As it flashed and buzzed, I would swear I saw some weird humanoid, with a glass skull dressed in 17th century clothing. It clicked and wheezed. "We do not have the parts." It said before blipping out. A second silhouette appeared in the same static manner as the one before it. This one, however, looked like a metal man wearing old fashioned headphones. "You will be upgraded." It said in a computer voice before, it too, blipped out.

I was gobsmacked. I looked at the Doctor and got mad. Mad like I have never gotten mad before. It wasn't me who had felt angry at the Doctor for forgetting. It wasn't me who had a deep feeling of betrayal. It wasn't me who was becoming bitter at the sight of him. Those were not my feelings.

I put my hands on the console. "I am sorry. I got confused. But I understand now. I promise I will help you. I swear I will do what ever I can do to make him listen. He can't run anymore." I sighed and I felt tears coming from my eyes. "Listen. I might have to get crazy. I might have to become the biggest, baddest, most horrible person to get him to co operate. Being nice, being kind, won't do it. I have no doubts that you have already tried that."

At that moment another voice came from behind. I turned my head and clearly saw a blond woman with a sonic screwdriver in her hand. "No," she said. "Ten over fourteen. The math doesn't lie. It will take woman."

I took my hands off the console and turned to face the hologram. The instant I did, the hologram fuzzed and blipped out. "I do not understand that," I said.

It didn't matter. At that moment, the Doctor woke up.

previous                                    The Restroom on the TARDIS

next                                           Just a Toy

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Day I hurt the Doctor

The Doctor and I were arguing. It doesn't matter what we were arguing about. It's only important to know that we were arguing, heatedly.

The Doctor has a way with words. He can inspire and motivate beings into fantastic things. The other side of that is the Doctor, when he is angry, can say hurtful and enraging things that a person can find hard to forget. It is in this way, he demonstrates he is less like a god and more like an average human male. The Doctor, like some men I know, when he feels he is losing an argument that he really feels he needs to "win," brings up gender or species.

"What would you know about it?" My static-shadow Doctor yelled. "You are a young, human, woman! I am old..."

"Oh! I know! You seem to keep saying that," I interrupted. "Just because you are old doesn't mean you know everything about the universe and what is in it. To whit, you also keep remarking! You have told me time and time again that you run to things yet unknown and undiscovered. And then, when confronted by a confusing thing, you are the first to yell the words of a little boy!"

"And what would that be? I don't yell..."

"Yes, you do! You are the first to yell the equivalent of "Mommy!" I said. "Only Mommy is spelled differently for you!"

"Spelled differently?"

"You spell "Mommy" T.A.R.D.I.S.!"

Okay. So I may have taken that argument too far. But it was made worse by the TARDIS making a funny whizzing sound from the console. And even from my point of view, it sounded like the TARDIS was laughing. Which, made the Doctor feel outnumbered by women. I also freely admit, that I played right into his age, species, and gender thing with a worse age and gender response. This of course, emasculated him. I was sorry after I said it. But I couldn't take it back in the heat of the argument.

"That's it!" yelled the Doctor. His body static began to shift through a number of faces before settling on one I had not seen before. It was an older gentleman with a very English nose. "You are going to stay right here, in the TARDIS!"

"And do what?" I asked. "Wait for you like a good little girl?"

"Yes! Good Idea!" he replied and walked to the TARDIS doors. "There's a kitchen on level 33 that hasn't been touched in 400 years! Get to it!" He went through the doors and slammed them shut behind him.

I took a deep breath and placed my hand on the console. "TARDIS, I should not have said all that. It so frustrating when he doesn't listen. And I just don't know how to handle it properly." The TARDIS seemed to respond with a sighing wheezing sound.

"I'll bet you have had you frustrations too in that matter. How do you handle it?" I asked the console.

Now, let me be clear. I wasn't expecting a response from the TARDIS. And I didn't get one in the traditional way. The TARDIS doesn't work that way. However, if you are quite and still, she does speak. Which is why the Doctor can rarely communicate with her. When is the Doctor ever quite and still?

So, my best description of this event falls under the category of how the Jedi communicate with The Force. By setting aside my anger, and letting my intuition do the talking. Which is easier said than done.

 The response from the TARDIS was very simple, "Don't argue. Give him what he wants." I swear I could feel her smile.

"How?" I asked. I looked around the main control room. The room was huge.

The TARDIS responded by releasing a lever, followed by a whooshing sound.

I laughed.

For me, it was quite sometime before I saw the Doctor again. I don't know how long it was for him. When the TARDIS returned to the same spot, it didn't take very long for the Doctor to burst through the doors, out of breath, and singed. Little wisps of smoke trailed off of him. He didn't take any time to notice the interior of the TARDIS. He had twirled back around and was looking out of the little windows of the doors.

"You were part right, Jessica. That didn't go as planned," said my static-shadow Doctor. "Although, when does it ever?" He turned around and froze. As he stood there, through the little window in the doors, I could see explosions and flaming chaos outside.

I could not see his face, as usual. But I got the impression that he noticed the clean and sparkling interior of the control room. More than that, his shock was typified by the fact I was standing in front of the console unit in full regalia. Which means, I was dressed in a knee length, pink poodle skirt, a button up blouse and sweater, featuring  my initials embroidered on the left shoulder. My hair was brushed back and neatened by a beaded hair band. I was wearing pearl jewelry, sporting high heels, and had a high ball in my hand. "Tough day at work dear?" I asked. "Hot toddy? Or would you like your slippers first?" I lifted up the glass.

I don't know what was more shocking for him. Me dressed as a 1957 Earth  house-wife or the explosion that rocked the TARDIS from the outside.  Or perhaps that his TARDIS was clean enough to be featured in Good  Housekeeping, alien spaceship edition. Whatever it was, he didn't say and simply stood there, without words, whilst the TARDIS was rocked by yet another explosion.

I walked forward and put the beverage into his hand and took the sonic from the other. "You put your feet up, I'll be right back." I walked out the doors.

An hour later, I returned to the TARDIS. My clothes were a bit singed but I was in piece. My shadow Doctor was standing at the console looking at the monitor. He smacked it away and turned towards me. "How did you know?" he asked.

"Well, the whole wardrobe smelled of soldiers and muscle cars! Have you ever had your clothes laundered? Ever?" I replied.

"Not that." he said.

"Well, you do drink a lot of tea. I thought that you would like a hot toddy better than a sidecar. It actually has tea in it," I said.


"Ah, the Trebutons. How I could get them to stop when you couldn't."


I sighed and walked over to him. "Doctor, you are old and you are very clever. But sometimes, you miss the subtleties. The Trebutons culture value the females of the species, but for some reason don't give them rights to speak in a political forum. They revere a Goddess. There was a 20 meter statue of her in the temple. You stood right beside it, for Pete's sake. Did it not occur to you that a female, a strong female, a female who didn't adhere to traditions or worry about the culture's minutia, resembling that Goddess would smooth things over and help both sides to negotiate rather than fight it out?" I shook my head. "No, the looks they were giving me were worry and reverence. I appeared out of a mysterious blue box with a magic man brandishing a wand! I scared the daylights out of every single one of those toads," I said. "You misunderstood their looks of fear. They didn't want to kidnap me or hurt me. They were afraid that I was divine and would not approve of their little 'disagreement.' And they were correct! Had you not scuttled me off into the TARDIS for my 'safety,' I would have been able to help you. But it had to be about you and only you that could help them. When I argued with you and said I could help, you disagreed! The reason you gave was that you are old and know everything. Which you are but you don't."

I bent down to take of the high heels. "I am sorry for what I said. Especially how I said it. I did not mean to emasculate you and call you a child. It happened in the heat of argument. Much of what we say in those situations are not meant to be taken seriously. And for that, I will take the blame. I am also apologizing for my way of taking it out on you."

"Cleaning the TARDIS was how you got back at me for the argument?" he asked, confused.

"Oh no," I said. "I am apologizing for ORGANIZING your TARDIS."

His response was low and quite. "What?" He said it like I had punched him in the parts that really hurt.

"Yes. The TARDIS and I called in a favor. It took six years and an army of cleaning people. But the TARDIS is not only clean, but it is organized, labeled, categorized, and placed. You will find a database of items and locations uploaded into the main computer, ready to be downloaded into your sonic. That way when you want something, all you do is point and click. The sonic will tell you which room it is in, and the locator beacon will lead you to the correct spot.

The Doctor, the lonely god, in all his frozen glory, fainted.

As he lay there, I was really sorry, super sorry for what I had done. After all he had been through, wars, Daleks, sacrifice, bloodshed, and tears, nothing could hurt the Doctor on that level. I felt like a monster, an invading evil demon, that had crashed his unchanging, comfortable world and burned it to cinders. At that moment, I was afraid of him. Genuinely, piss myself scared, of what he would do when he woke back up. I knew he wouldn't kill me or physically hurt me. But there are so many things worse than death or maiming that he could do to me to punish me. The one thing that came to mind right away was that he would just drop me off and forget me. A cold, wordless good-bye for all eternity.

What was done, could not be undone. I sighed and retrieved a blanket. I covered him up and sat down beside him. Perhaps, it was best for him to sleep it off. I was in no hurry to face the raven.

previous                           The Restroom on the TARDIS

next                                   Parts

Friday, November 24, 2017

The restroom on the TARDIS

Well, I say "restroom" but I am American. Is it more British to say toilet? I can't say "bathroom" because it has no bathtub or shower in it. It has a toilet, a sink, a mirror cabinet, and a cabinet under the sink. The room is also a mess.

Not a mess as in dirty, just regular mess. I imagine the Doctor is not much on organization. That is just a theory. One would think that a restroom is not very interesting. Usually that kind of thing goes unspoken for obvious reasons. And, let's be honest, nothing really interesting happens in a restroom. Or at least nothing we like to talk about.

Obviously, I am not going to talk about that either. But the Restroom on the TRADIS is an interesting room because of what is contained in it. Not the sink or the toilet, the other really strange things inside used for first aid or grooming that I have never seen before or things that should have been put away ages ago.

I walk into the room and close the door. Then, I look around. Human looking toilet, sink, and mirror; nothing unusual there. Surrounding the sink is a plethora of stuff! Human toothpaste is there, yes. But the tube is ancient. The brand I have never seen before. Human looking toothbrushes are there too, but one that looks like a paint brush with harder, courser bristles with a wooden handle. I recognize a melted bar of soap,  bottle of half used liquid soap that smelled like...well...it smelled floral but I didn't recognize the scent to be honest. And another bottle, barley used of soap that smelled of metal and cheese (sorry, that was the best description I could do) Sitting on the counter near the sink, is a container of metal files, from rough to smooth. There is another metal thing that looks like a tooth scraper? I am not sure really.

The mirror opens up, so I open it. There are four shelves inside. There are tubes of ointment, one of which has mercury in it. I don't touch that one. Zinc oxide, sunscreen, contact solution, and a contacts case missing one lid. Hair brushes and combs still holding bits of hair. Those are pretty normal looking. But there are also soft brushes with bits of dandruff or scales in it? There was a section of shelf that had tools on it, like hammers, screwdrivers, and some sort of scanner? Human looking nail clippers but also dog claw clippers and sandpaper. I closed the cabinet. There was weird stuff in there.

I bent down to look under the sink. I opened the little door and saw one roll of human toilet paper, a spray bottle of brackish liquid, and small device with plunger/sucker things. Two stacked boxes of pellets, no label or instructions, and a jug of thick-looking red liquid with a picture of a red monster covered in suckers. I couldn't read the markings on it. Most of the things in the restroom I couldn't read anyway. Here's what I figured, if the TARDIS did not translate it, I did not need to know what it was. Maybe it's a polite setting? Or Privacy setting? Who knows?

The toilet. It looked plain enough. It did have some buttons on it. But nothing I could understand. It had sensors on it, that was clear enough. I have seen those high tech Japanese toilets before, so the settings and buttons didn't scare me. What scared me was not knowing what they were for. I did expect to sit down and have the thing give me a clean over from head to foot and everything in between. I'll admit it. I was on the TARDIS and I was afraid to...well..do my thing.

I vocalized my frustration. "What's wrong with a bit of "Room of Requirement?!"

My heart leaped into my throat when a robotic female voice interrupted my visit. "21st Century Human settings engaged. Please exit the room and re-enter."

I went to the door, stepped out, closed it. Then, opened it and re-entered. The room had changed to what I would recognize as a toilet room. I laughed so hard!

previous                                   Stop Rabbit Stop

next                                             The Day I Hurt the Doctor

Friday, September 22, 2017

Warface part 4

Mary is sleeping hard. She doesn't know that Chirs has gotten out of bed. He is downstairs outside. He is having another episode, in his sleep. The vision have changed dramatically. His visions have shifted from a combination of Afghanistan and a battle in the Early 1800s to fully in the 1800s. His "platoon" is now wearing old uniforms. They are in a forest. They appear to be fighting Natives.

In the house, Orion has fallen asleep at his laptop. He has a camera pointed towards the hallway. The hallway goes dark as a black mass fades into it. There is the sound of flapping bats wings and chattering teeth. The black mass passes into the girl's room.

Birdy's baseball bat has fallen to the floor as she was sleeping. The crystal on her nightstand glows and pulses. Sunny is also asleep. The black mass "breaks up" into smaller "clouds" and surrounds the beds. The "clouds" circle the beds. Then, one breaks off from the group and flies at Sunny. She jerks her leg and groans. Then, all the little clouds begin to fly at the girls. As the "clouds" hit, it leaves behind teeth marks. The girl's jerk in bed. This attack makes them wake up. And they see all these little black clouds coming at them and leaving marks. Both girls yell in pain.

This wakes up Orion. He hears them yelling. He gets up and runs into their room. He sees the little clouds attack. Mary has also awoken. She sits up, notices that Chris is gone. She jumps up and runs into the hallway towards Orion. She looks into the girl's room.  Then the little clouds gather into a larger mass and "blow" out the window.

Orion and Mary run into the room. The girls are shocked and upset. The girls look and show off their arms.

To Mary "This is not being bored! This is real! Those are teeth marks! Human! Human teeth marks! Explain it!"

She shakes her head and tears up. "I can't. I can't." She shrugs it off, sniffs, and shakes her head. "And I can't do this, Orion." She stands up and paces back and forth between the beds. "What do the stories say? The movies? What do the family's usually do? What's the pattern?" She looks at Orion.

He nods. "Okay. Uh, well, when things get physical, it is very common for the family to leave. Like on vacation or for the weekend. A kind of regrouping thing. Stuff usually doesn't follow the family's out of the house. Or the family leaves everything and moves out." He looks away.

"We can't move."

"Yeah, I know. That is also in the pattern. The family has spent all their money buying the house and moving in the first place. That's why we don't get a lot of stories from people who rent houses. They just wait for their leases to come up and then move again."
 The other three are quiet and think about that statement.
"Nobody ever thinks of that. In the movies and the documentaries. You know what would really be cool?"
  All three are still quiet.
"Paranormal home insurance. I bet I could make money on that."

laughs and cries at the same time. "An insurance company that employs paranormal investigators to help a family who moves into active homes. Collect evidence to validate the story, hire appropriate cleansing practitioners, and in the event of a worst-case scenario, help families move out of the house." She nods her head and cries harder. "If you ever give me crap about being a geek again..."

He hugs his sister, but it's more like a side hug thing. Sunny doesn't do side hugs. She grabs him and gives him a real hug, and he struggles.

"You guys are so weird." She picks her ball bat from the floor.

Remembers that Chris is not in bed. "Oh, my..!" She covers her mouth. "Your Dad. Your Dad's not in bed. We need to find him." She runs out of the room.
The kids follow her.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Warface Part 2

This will have to do for now
"What about an Indian Burial ground?"

Rolls her eyes. "Don't be ridiculous, Birdy. The entire United States of America is an Indian Burial ground. If that were the problem, everyone would have paranormal activity."

Shakes head. "That's not entirely true. It's more likely to be a white settler burial ground. Savannah and Denver are the most famous cases."

Farmer Joe
"Well, there ain't no burial ground, white or otherwise. Not 'round here. But there was a battle here. Weren't uncommon though. Early settlers and gov'ment soldiers was always battlin' natives here. There's a reason why it's called 'Indiana.'"

"Maybe ol' Mrs. Stiener wasn't as much of a 'bag'o'hammers' as you thought. She may have seen something. Like a ghost battle."

"Sunny, don't be so macabre."

Slightly Agitated. "Everybody knows about Gettysburg.  And yes, it is a dark piece of history. Can we not talk about it?"

Farmer Joe
"Well, I best be headin' back. If ya'll need anythin', well, me and the missus are the closest neighbors."

Act 1, Scene 3
Night. Chris and Mary have called it an early night. The kids are still up. Orion is in his room listening to music on his earbuds and reading a book. Sunny and Birdy are in their room with the window open. The sounds of the summer night. Sunny is watching a geek flick on her laptop. Birdy is rearranging her collection of rocks and stuff. The table is near the window.

The sound of flapping bat wings and chattering teeth quickly cross the window. Birdy stops what she is doing and looks out the window. She gasps and looks surprised. Birdy looks over at Sunny, who is ignoring her. Birdy looks back at the window. Birdy side steps to her bed and picks up "Monster Tamer" She hides it behind her back. Then, she nonchalantly turns, moves the bat to her front, and walks out the bedroom door.

Sunny hears running footsteps going down the stairs/hallway. She looks around the room and doesn't see Birdy. She shrugs and goes back to her laptop. But then looks up again as she hears the front door downstairs/down the hall creak open a little bit and then shut again. As she looks up she sees an old woman ghost at the doorway. The ghost points out the window and fades away. Sunny jumps in shock. Then, she jumps out of the bed and looks out the window.

whispers as she looks out the window. "Oh no! By the nine! She doesn't know!"

**Camera turns and pans into a shot looking out of the window. Birdy is dashing across the street towards a red ball of fire that is leading her into the wooded 11 acre lot across the street.

Sunny sticks her head out the window. "Birdy!" tries not to yell but tries to get her attention. Which doesn't work. "Damn it Birdy! This isn't Brave!" She turns around and runs out of the room while saying. "Will'o'Wisps should not be fooled with!"
Sunny goes to Orion's room.

Orion is sitting and reading with his earbuds in. Sunny runs up to him and pulls out one of the earbuds. Orion objects.

"Shut up. Red Alert. Birdy followed a Will'o'Wisp across the road."


Cut the scene to Orion and Sunny running out of the house as quietly as possible. Orion whispers as loud as possible. "Doesn't she remember what we said about those freakin things?" He turns on a flashlight as they go away from the house.

Turns her flashlight on at the same time. "Did it occur to you that she didn't care? She still believes in that whole "change your fate" crap. Stupid Disney. Will'o'Wisps are real and dangerous."

"The Legend of Wooley Swamp lives on, right? I always did like that one better than Devil in Georgia."

"You would."

They both disappear into the wooded area looking for Birdy.

Birdy has followed the floating red light deep into the woods.

Birdy has not caught up with the light but she can see it through the trees. It hovers for a moment and then it seems to disappear. She waits hoping it will reappear.

Flashlights shine on Birdy. She is startled and looks towards the lights. Then complains that they are in her eyes.

"What the hell were you thinking, Birdy?"

"I want to know for myself. I don't have experience."

"This is something you don't want experience on. Beleive me. All the stories say the same thing."

"Oh yeah? Well, I think they are lying. You know why?"


"Becuase if they all met their doom, how is that the story got out? How is it that all those people in those stories knew what happened? One is that they are lying and making it up. Or two, they survived but don't want everyone to go looking for Will'o'Wisps to make their lives better. Cause if everyone could change their fate, more people would do it. And not everyone likes that idea."

"Birdy, that is not how it works."

"Like you would know."

"Yes, actually, I would know. Life really is an adventure. If you want the loot, you gotta face the dragon."

"Sunny! For Pete's sake not now!"

"Yes now! Orion, come on. That is how it works. If you want great things, you gotta face great danger. This is real. That means the danger is real." She looks over at Birdy. "And not everyone makes it, Birdy. Not everyone survives. Sometimes characters die and don't come back. The survivors tell the tales and make up the bits in between to make it interesting for little pests like you who want to go poking around in the woods at night. That's why fairy tales are not supposed to be nice! Otherwise, dumb ass kids like you will go into places they should not be!"

"Geez, Sunny. Morbid much?"

"Okay, so it's not like she is heading to be a floater, but the danger part is real."

"What's a floater?"

He does a pfft thing. "A floater. You know, Pennywise? 'We all float down here.' A floater. Sunny means that Pennywise is not going to drown you, but you could fall in the creek and actually drown. It's dark. You could trip, hit your head, knock yourself out, and then bam! A floater. And Pennywise didn't have to do anything."

"Oh." She pauses. "Hey wait a minute. What creek?"

She points her flash light towards the spot where the will-o'-wisp disappeared. "The creek right there, dummy. Can't you smell the water?"

"I should have noticed that." She feels embarrassed. "I'm the ranger!"

"You were also overexcited. The chase made you forget where you were. Let's be honest here. By the way you were traveling, I do not doubt a single bit that you saw what you claim. And since Sunny also saw it, I have no doubts that it happened. But I didn't see anything. And it would have been cool to see it." He takes out a piece of equipment from his pocket and turns it on.

She points at the equipment. "And you were giving me the business about being a geek! Come on, son!"

"You brought your meter with you? That's great! You got any readings?"

He is grinning and pleased with himself. "You better believe it."

She gets excited too. "Point it that way. That's where it disappeared."

Sunny looks at Orion. Orion looks back at her and shrugs. "Well, we are already here and there's three of us. That makes us, as of right now, an adventuring party."

"Fine. But we play by the rules. Do not split up. Stay together. And walk carefully. Birdy, since you are the ranger, you lead.  Do the nature thing." She looks at Orion. "Wizard, give directions. I''ll...well...I guess I'm support."

They follow the meter readings down into a creek bed. There is some water, but not alot. Like it should be a full creek. They follow along until they get to an old downed tree. By the light of the flashlight the roots of the tree are covering up a small cave.

"Well, the readings point there. And since I am reading at 128.2, we should be careful." He holds up the meter.

"Orion, I am not stupid. I know a reading of 128 has to be wrong. There's no way it can be that high."

Shakes his head and points his flashlight down. "Sunny, water and limestone creek bed. 128 is an amazing reading. Something is brewing here without a doubt." He walks closer to the cave entrance. "It's a small cave. I doubt that any of us can fit in there."

 immediately before Birdy gets out a sound. "Birdy don't even think about it. A downed tree, A small cave. In the dark. There could be a cave in and you'd be killed. Forget it." Birdy hefts her baseball bat over her shoulder and huffs. "I got my eye on you, chick!"

"We can at least look around the cave. That won't hurt."

"Nah. Shouldn't be too dangerous as long as we don't step on the top of it."

They approach the cave opening slowly and cautiously.

"Looks like some strange markings just on the inside. Looks like a snake."

"Oh wow! That totally looks like Native American markings! This is...so freakin cool! We have got to come back in the day."

Birdy has maneuvered herself over towards Sunny. Birdy "accidentally" bumps into Sunny and drops her bat. Sunny drops her light. Before Sunny can pick up the light, Birdy gets it and moves towards to opening too quickly for Sunny to stop her.

"Birdy, if that cave doesn't kill I will! You little..." Sunny picks up the bat.

LAughs at Sunny from just inside the cave. "You'll have to wait till I come back out!"

"Birdy! For Fuck's sake. Get out of there, you idiot!"

No sound from Birdy.

Orion and Sunny are standing outside the cave entrance. They are getting upset as the second's pass.

She points the bat at the cave. "If you don't talk to us right now, I am going to go get Dad."

 From inside the hole. "Just a sec. There's something..."

Flapping bat wings. Chattering teeth. Rustling in the trees. Footsteps. Drumming.

His meter starts flipping out. "Red Alert." He holds up the meter at Sunny. "We gotta fuckin book it, Sunny."

"Birdy, please! The meter is going bonkers! We gotta...."

The ground rumbles.

Orion and Sunny
"Birdy! NOW!"

Birdy slips out of the cave. The kids grab her and they book it. Which is difficult in the dark. The ground rumbles again and the cave begins to spurt water.

"You gotta be kidding me! Goonies?!"

"I love that movie. Pirates!"

"Up the creek bank, Birdy! Where?"

Uses the flashlight she didn't give back to Sunny to point the way. "Up ahead! There!"

The ground rumbles again. And the cave opening busts out a geyser of water like it has been stopped up for 100 years. The water comes gushing down the bank like a wall.

At the same time, the sounds of flapping bat wings, chattering teeth, Native American battle cries, sounds of gunshots, drumming, soldiers shouting, horses running, thunder cracks, and a roar of a monster fill the air. The kids run up the creek bank as the water fills in behind them.

They sit on the bank and breath.

Warface Part 3

Friday, September 8, 2017

Warface Segment 1

This will have to do for now.

Standard horror ghost story begins. Old worn out farmhouse in the middle of a cornfield, in the middle of Indiana, which is in the middle of a mobile dead zone. Yuppies from west coast bought farm, sight unseen. Wanted to live "off grid" and get "closer to nature" Nature is exactly what they get, not that nature can be friendly.

Father: Chris Wellington, retired military, suffers from severe anxiety and PTSD. His goal is to focus on family. He wants to restore and build an off grid farm setting to help recover from military service.

Mother: Mary Wellington, non-profit volunteer worker. She found work in town as a pet groomer.  She is a strong, loving woman, who now has the pressure of making money for the family.

Daughter, Oldest child: Sunshine "Sunny" Wellington, geek girl, gamer, can tell you everything about D&D, comics, pop culture, movie lover, all around geek chick.

Son, Second Child: Orion Wellington, reads about the occult, ghost stories, Wicca, and other spiritualist subjects, he is an anti-goth which means he wears all white, bleaches his hair, and listens to electronica and trance.

Daughter, Youngest child: Birdsong "Birdy" Wellington, "tom boy" climbs trees, scrapes knees, collects rocks and frogs

Act 1, Scene one
As the newbies drive through "town" they get multiple looks from the long time inhabitants that the newbs can't identify.

"What's wrong with those people? Why are they giving us funny looks?"

"It's a small town, Birdy. And we are new. "

"Yeah, Birdy. Don't you know?"

"Know what?"

Sings terribly. "People are strange when you're a stranger"

Orion rolls his eyes and groans. Sunny giggles.

Joins Chris singing. "When you're strange, Faces come out in the rain, when you're Strange!"

Sarcastically. "Maybe we'll get lucky and they are all vampires."

Laughing. "Looking for a new boyfriend already, Orion?"

Irritated. "Sunny stop stereotyping me!"

Shrugs. "I could be gender typing you instead."


"Stop yelling, Orion. Sunny stop it, don't tease him about his lifestyle choices."

"Hey! I demand equality"

"Shut up, Birdy!"

"Thank you!"

 The car drives onto the property. It's an old, run down farmhouse. Cornfield.

"What the deuce, Dad? Is that our house?"

"We are going to live in that?"

"It looks like the set from Children of the Corn!"

"How can kids live in corn? That's stupid."

"No, it's not. The corn mother lives in corn."

"The corn mother is a spirit."

"And mothers usually have children. So why couldn't there be children in the corn."

"Becuase they come out of the corn to kill you."

Parks the car and turns to face the backseat. "That's it. I do not want to hear any more about typing, corn children, or vampires. This house was an amazing find. It isn't often you can 15 acres of land with a house for 65 thousand dollars, even on Ebay. We are going off the grid. And that is it. So stop trying to cast me into an episode of PTSD and you, season 3." Orion tries to say something, but Chris holds up his finger. "No! You will deal."

The family quiets down and gets out of the car. Birdy gets out and starts to explore the yard around the car. She picks up a rock and inspects it carefully. She looks pleased with it.

Sees Birdy not helping with luggage, enters Dad mode. "Birdy, stop collecting rocks and get your bags from the car." He begins to unpack the car.

Birdy rolls her eyes and stuffs the rock in her pocket. She walks around the car to her mother.

Sunny pulls out her phone and tries to find a signal. When she can't, she walks over to Orion. She shows him her phone.

"Are you getting anything, because I got nothing."

Orion pulls out his phone and tries to get a signal. He looks at Sunny and shakes his head no.
Mary has walked around the back of the car to empty the trunk of their luggage. Sunny and Orion, with phones out approach Mary. She sees them coming.

Shakes her head no."Sorry, kids. This is a mobile dead zone. We are stuck with landlines until the satellite company gets out here to install the internet." Sunny and Orion are crushed. Mary Shrugs. "Welcome to 1993." She smiles, picks up luggage and goes into the house.

Four weeks later.
The family has settled into the house. Chris has begun to renovate. Mary is working in town.

Night. Girls are sleeping in their room.

Inaudible whispers heard in the hallway. The sound of flapping bat wings. Soft drumming in the background. The handle of the door to the room turns slowly. The door squeaks open slowly.  A gust of wind and the sound of flapping bat wings towards Birdy's bed. The blanket rustles softly and then gets pulled down to the foot of the bed.

Birdy moves. She gives a little groan. Sits up, opens her eyes a little, and pulls the blanket back up over her. She lays back down.

There is a growl at the foot of the bed. Inaudible whispers get louder. Drumming keeps up. Native American War cries and sounds of battle faintly. The blanket gets pulled down again. The sound of chattering teeth.

Birdy wakes up. She hears another growl and chattering teeth from under the bed. 

Loud Whisper. "You got the wrong chick, monster." Birdy slowly pulls out a baseball bat that reads 'MosterTamer' on it in large black sharpie.

A chuckle comes from under the bed. Rush of wind and flapping bat wings towards the door making it slam shut.

Bolts upright in bed. "What was that?"

"Nothing I couldn't handle. Go to sleep." She lays back down in bed and hugs her baseball bat.
Lays back down. "Millenials rule" goes back to sleep.

Important: Camera needs to move in on a close up of Birdy's baseball bat. Inset in the bottom of the handle is a St. Michael the Archangel medallion.

The next day Sunny, Birdy, and Orion are sitting at breakfast discussing Birdy's encounter. Chris has already excused himself to go outside to do some construction on whatever.

"It always happens a couple weeks later."

 Curious. "Why?"

"Don't scare her, Orion."

"I'm not scared."

Raises his brow. "Sunny, do you want me to talk to her like she's five years old?"

"No. You better not." Sunny huffs and rolls her eyes. 

"Look there are things in this world that no one can explain. Stuff like footsteps, banging, and whispers. It always happens around two to four weeks because that's how long it takes new residents to settle in, and most begin renovations on an old house. Cleaning up and tearing out walls can kick up paranormal activity. It always happens like that. Like a pattern."

"Knowing that stuff and capturing two EVP's doesn't make you an expert, Orion. I can tell you all the stats of a beholder, doesn't mean my character can."

The other two look at Sunny in an awkward silence.

 Frustrated. "How many times is it going to take before you get it in your head that I don't speak geek!"

Gives Sunny a look of exasperation. Sunny shrugs. Orion huffs. "What she means is that I can say anything that comes out of a book, what I lack is experience. And she is right, but" He turns to face Sunny directly. "The ranger would be stupid not to listen to the wizard before entering the Mines of Moria."

Pauses. "Was that a ..." Looks impressed. "Touche, padawan. Plus five to diplomacy. Level up Achieved" She tries to give Orion a high five.

Doesn't respond to the high five. 

"Okay, so you want us to...what? Be careful? Watch out? Since this is an old house and Dad is doing a major renovation? A bit late on your warning, don't you think?"

" Yes but since it has already started I was thinking we could record and document any more activity. What else are we going to use our phones for? They don't get a signal but the camera still works. I still have my laptop and other equipment. School doesn't start for another couple of weeks. And we don't have any neighbors. What else is there to do?" Orion smiles. "Plus there are a few experimental things I would like to try. Test some theories."

"But we still haven't explored the property. Dad said there was fifteen acres. I am done unpacking. I don't even want to look at another box."

face brightens. "Hey, let's make a map!"

shakes his head. "I do not want to play one your lame LARP adventures. Life is not a game."

"That is where you are wrong, brother. Life is an adventure."

rolls his eyes. "Sunny, I hope you roll a one."

for a gamer, this is a bad thing. Rolling a one means epic fail. Sunny gets upset about this. Becuase Orion said in such a way that she couldn't tell if he was teasing or cursing her. She doesn't say anything but the look on her face should clearly indicate that this was a bad thing to say.

"Bad form!" She grabs the cereal box, reaches in and takes a handful of fruity pebbles. Then, she throws them all over Orion. "Think Happy thoughts, bitch!" Then, she runs out of the kitchen through the back door. Laughing as she goes.

Sunny nearly dies of laughter, while Orion brushes the cereal off his body and hair. But he ends up laughing too. 

Chris is in the house getting a bottle of water from the fridge. He is grubby, sweaty, covered in sawdust and dirt from renovations. He is exhausted. Chris has been overworking himself. He has been using the renovations as an excuse to keep his mind off of his trauma from Afghanistan. 
But in this moment, he relaxes, lets his guard down, and his exhaustion takes advantage of him. He has a flashback of his unit under fire. Chris watches three of his soldiers die in front of him. The PTSD episode begins to switch back and forth from the past and the present.

In the present, Mary has come home from an early day. She is kneeling in front of Chris, not close. About four feet away from him. He is freaking out. And she is repeating trigger words to help bring him out of his episode. 

"Chris Wellington, I am your wife, Mary Wellington. The year is 2017. You are safe. You are home." She repeats, using a calm and steady voice. She is careful not to touch him.

Chris flashes back and forth until he calms down and returns to reality.

"I'm so sorry." He reaches out to take Mary's  hand. He is tearing up.

She takes his hand and kisses it. "You have nothing to be sorry for. You fought for them. You gave your all for them.  But don't let them take everything. Live for them.  We will do it together. Together, Chris." They hug. Mary gets up to get him a new water bottle. She hands him the bottle. "Where are the kids?" 

Meanwhile, outside, the kids are exploring what they think is their property. They are running along the border of the farmhouse lawn and the adjacent cornfield. They are running in and out of the cornfield trying to scare each other. The running sequence ends with them out of breath and standing together just inside the cornfield.

The corn rustles not too far from them. They hear a cracking of a stick. More rustling. The kids look around at each other, realizing they are standing together. The moment is tense. The wind rushes over them, chattering teeth, Flapping bats wings, they are distracted by the rush of breeze. They hear rustling in the opposite direction, They look over and see a guy in overalls and a baseball cap. He grins. The kids scream, turn and run.

Mary and Chris coming running out of the house and calling for the kids. The kids coming running towards the parents. And the guy comes walking out the cornfield, laughing. The parents and kids hug each other.

Farmer Joe:
"Howdy, ya must be the new neighbors. Meh name's Joe. I live next door. Sorry teh scare ya like that." Joe is an older guy, looks in his late 50's or early 60's. He walks with a slight limp.

Approaches Joe and hold out his hand to shake Joe's hand. "Hello, Joe. I'm Chris Wellington. This is my wife, Mary. My daughters Sunshine, and Birdsong. And my son, Orion. Mary nods at Joe. The kids are recovering from the scare.

Farmer Joe:
"came over teh introduce mehself an' say hello, butta found yur kids in meh corn." He gives a chuckle. "Kids dun know it's not polite teh play in some'un else's cornfield."

"I am so sorry Joe. We didn't.." she looks at Chris, Chris shakes his head and shrugs. Mary facepalms. "We didn't tell them about the funny property layout."

"Mom? Don't you think that was a little important?"

Nods. "Yes. I don't know what I was thinking..."

"The move has been very stressful. I didn't think of it either."

Farmer Joe:
"Hey, not teh worry an' no harm dun. It's a big move from military teh civilain life. I can certainly understan' that."

"How do you know that?"

Farmer Joe:
"That yur a military family?" He grins. "Ran inteh David. David sold ya the property, right?"  Chris and Mary nod at Joe. "Well, David came teh pick up some stuff an' clear it out. He said a retired vet and his family were movin' in. An' round here, that's big news. Yur gonna find that this community respects those who serve. Yu'll fit right in."

"Did you serve?"

Farmer Joe
"Nah, not me. Got a gimpy leg. Meh brother. Went teh Korea, then Veitnam. Didn't come home the same. But war has a way of makin' injuries not seen by the naked eye. But no less scarrin'." Chris goes quite. "Here, lemme show ya. I knew the owner an' the family from way back.." He starts to walk towards the house. "Yur house and shed are on four acres, on this side of the road. But the rest of yur 11 acres are on the other side." He points past the house, down the drive, and towards the road. "It used teh be all one property back in the day."

"You said you knew the owner's family? How long have you lived here?" He and the rest of the family follow Joe to the road.

Farmer Joe:
"All meh life, and four generations back. I did know David and his family. A bit sad that. David's mother,  knew her too.  Oh, you betch'cha! Known'er all meh life. Nicest lady ya ever did met, sweet as candy...til 'er kids moved out an' 'er husband died." Joe stopped and turned to face them. "That woman went bonafide..." He spins his finger around the temple of his head, making a whistling sound, then he makes a popping sound, and points his finger to the sky. "The poor woman couldn't handle the quiet." He sighs and puts his hands in his pockets. "Everybody has their breakin' point. An' I suppose Ol' Mrs. Steiner' s point was when 'er husband passed."

"That's so sad. Empty nest is hard enough. But the loss of her children and her husband...I can't imagine."

Farmer Joe:
"She slowly sold off parts of the farm til 15 acres and the farmhouse was left. Our family bought everythin' surrounin'. But boy howdy, she would not part with the wooded lot 'cross the road. She said, "Engines wouldn't be too happy if'n she did."

"Engines? Is there a railroad here?"

Joe chuckles. Chris and Mary look surprised and offended.

Farmer Joe:
"Ya must be city kids, if'n ya ain't never heard that word. Engines is an old word for Indians. Whatcha call it...not politically correct?" Joe pauses. "That was a different time, kids. Most people don't use that word no more. I usually don't. Ol' Mrs. Steiner, she didn't mean no offense by it either. But she used to talk about the Engines and soldiers in the woods and drumming all night long. Flappin' wings, chatterin' teeth, blazin' fires, yup, that lady went all bag'o'hammers. "

fascinated. "Really?"

Farmer Joe:
Mistakes Orions fascination with being frightened. "Well, now don'cha worry 'bout that. Been here all meh life. I ain't never heard no flappin', seen no fire, and the Natives 'round here are the ones identified by genealogy reports. Hasn't been a full blood in these parts since 1932. I remember Pappy tellin' me 'bout 'er. "

"What about an Indian Burial ground?"

Rolls her eyes. "Don't be ridiculous, Birdy. The entire United States of America is an Indian Burial ground. If that was the problem, everyone would have paranormal activity."

"Sunny, don't be so macabre."

"Historically speaking, and as a blanket statement, Sunny is correct. And yes, it is a dark piece of history. Can we not talk about it?"

Farmer Joe:
"Well, best be headin' back. If ya'll need anythin', well, me and the missus are the closest neighbors." 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Monks of Rayism

Here is another secret about Rayism. The monks of Rayism are in direct conflict with OP and Min/max characters. They are neutral and about balance. OP and Min/Max characters can POTENTIALLY be a determent to WORLD BUILDS. Especially, if you are a homebrew!

As a budding DM, you will eventually experience a player who wants to have a huge metal dragon, with world-destroying fire breath and a staff of doom +15 of Thor. They will argue with the DM until they are blue in the face, three hours have gone by, and your players have left for to go out for a long dinner. It is easy for everyone involved if you AGREE TO GIVE THEM EVERYTHING THEY WANT!

A quick story:

Once upon a time, there was a new player that I will call Toby. Toby wanted to draw up his first character. He decided that he wanted to be a very special first level character. Toby wanted his human fighter to have super human strength and over-powered weapons. Toby argued and whined with the Dm. The Dm got mad. The DM said, "Your wish list is unlimited! You can't have all that! You are a first level character!"

"Why not?" asked Toby. "I can have unlimited wishing if I want."

As the Dm geared up to continue yelling, there was a moment of inspiration. Toby was correct. There was no reason why that first level character could not have unlimited wishes. There was no reason his character could not have everything the player wanted.

The Dm smiled. "Alright, Toby. You get it all. Everything you want. Draw up your character. You get whatever you want in addition your character has been granted the gift of unlimited wishes."

Toby about pooped his pants from glee!

Now, from the viewpoint of the Dm. Here's the secret. Toby got what he THOUGHT was powerful weapons. But Toby's character was cursed from the start. His character only BELIEVED he was powerful. Any time this character tried to fight, I rolled the dice to make a show, then relayed that his character failed, every hit, every saves throw, every spell, Everything this character did was a failure...except for the power of wishing. Everything this character wished for he received. Only not in the way he wanted.

The player eventually figured out that he couldn't really do anything successfully, except make wishes. He stopped trying to use weapons or spells and tried to use wishing for every battle. Then one day, he made a wish to get out of a boss battle. It was an outside battle. The character wished and anvils rained from the sky. So, his allies and his enemies were fighting each other and dodging anvils. Many did not survive that day. Toby did. But then, nobody wanted to travel with his character anymore. Toby, eventually, stopped playing that character and rolled up a new one without complaint.

Look, you are the DM. This is YOUR world. What the DM giveth, the DM may take away, inhibit, curse, prevent, and destroy. It is up to you to get smart and creative to find ways to balance out the ego of the character and thus, the player. Rayism is one of those ways.

For example, a player has drawn up a Super Saiyan barbarian. This Supersayan has managed to get a hold of Mjollnir. You didn't mean for it happen...it just did. How on earth are you, the DM, going to balance out the character and teach a lesson to deflate the ego of the player? Well, a monk of Ray comes along. He successfully touch attacks the correct chakra, now the Super Saiyan no longer has the ability to go Super Saiyan because the Ki is blocked. Problem solved.

Now, imagine that the character and the player regret some action and agrees to work together? Not only can the monk of Ray unblock the Super Saiyan but also now can do a friendly touch attack to instantly power up the Super Saiyan. 0 to 9,000 in a simple touch attack that took one free action game time. KA-fricken-boom!

The thing about the monks is that they will not become involved with something like that unless it goes out of balance. Conversely, the monks will create conflict on purpose if the balance goes in the opposite direction as well. A world with no conflict is a world that is in stagnation, which is unhealthy to the proper flow of the cosmic mythos.

This is why the monks are in constant conflict with Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, and Chaotic Evil alignments. And yet, when the world is unbalanced, these are the same alignment orders who seek out the help of the monks. Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil for obvious reasons. Lawful Evil becuase that alignment relies on the manipulation of an order, codes, or law. If these laws or codes change, many Lawful Evil characters run the risk of losing power and/or wealth. Lawful Evil characters do not want things to change as much as a Lawful Good character does not. (Becuase in the opinion of an LG character the system may be flawed but it's a good system...wow that kinda sounds familiar doesn't it?)

So whether I am talking about a player manipulating the codes and loopholes of the game or a politician seeking power and/or wealth in a  real life government, doesn't really make much of a difference. We don't want these things to change, even when it becomes unbalanced because we ALL run the risk of losing something that is an advantage or beneficial (in our opinion) Even if that benefit or advantage doesn't exist. This action is a removal of hope.

In reality, most people cannot tell the difference between hope and false hope. Mostly because Hope is both true and false at the same time. The Monks discovered a long time ago, that Coin's Edge relies on the removal of Hope, both true and false. Coin's Edge requires the caster of the coin not to care either way about the result of the outcome and that either result is acceptable without doubt or question.

This is called "Absurd Existentialism" because this makes every person, a god-like character without the ability to use the godlike power. This makes the Monks of Rayism "the Absurd Hero." The Absurd Hero understands that there is no meaning to the universe and is content about it. He knows that he will fail. But eventually, he will succeed at something. It won't usually be the thing he wanted, but it is something, we just don't know what.

The Monks of Rayism understand that the idea of power and/or wealth means success is a twisted perception. It isn't a lie. Currency only has the value another person or group puts in it. Power only exists if it is given by another person or group. The Monks reject power and wealth to stay in the knowledge that these are, literally, priceless things. A million gold means nothing to a wealthy and powerful person. Whereas, a single copper piece to a beggar can change the world.

In the Brief History of the Temple of Rayism, I discussed how Rayism came to be. The Brotherhood of Balance became arrogant in their dealings with other orders and societies. When the Temple of Rayism came about, the elders did not forget their past. The elders understood that their followers are at daily risk of becoming arrogant, over confident, and assholes in general. In order to combat this idea, monks and followers are challenged to travel, network, and generally, explore their world. They are expected to face rejection and fail as equally as they are to find success and acceptance. In the end, neither of these things should change the core of the individual.

Speaking on a smaller scale, the monks of Rayism are much like nurse practitioners/Reiki masters. Monks will realign chakras for healing. They will also administer first aid and minor ailments and injuries that most major temples won't handle. For example, simple fevers, constipation/diarrhea, appetite issues, headaches/migraines, mild skin conditions, and other minor afflictions that plague the peasants who can't afford expensive clerics or healing potions.

In addition, because of their neutral alignments, they are often called to be independent witnesses to marriages, business and political negotiations, and many other legal or spiritual matters that require a witness of some kind.  The monk's impartial nature is a blessing and a curse to rich and/or powerful figures. The Monks do not care about the status of a particular person or persons. The monks can't be bribed or coerced with money or influence. So, it is not common for wealthy and/or powerful community figures to frequent the Temple, unless they want or need something. The monks are very aware of this. They do not care.

The Temple of Ray doesn't hold currency. Most Temples are, in reality, very poor. They take donations of resources rather than gold. And they are adept at trading for what they need. In the event of large currency donations, the elder monks will disperse that between buying supplies or using the funds for public welfare efforts.

To clarify, Monks of Rayism do not perform marriages, write contracts, or do baptisms. They will arbitrate. Monks of Rayism are often called to be Arbitrators for many reasons for many cultures and peoples. The Monks take this function very seriously.

The Temple of Ray likes to break the stereotype that true neutral characters or organizations do not get involved or care.  It is possible and necessary for True Neutral characters and organizations to be involved with the world, albeit in a mostly indirect way.

Some unknown Gods of Tarkazia

Here is a list of unique gods of Tarkazia.

The God of Hangovers: His head hurts and doesn't remember his name. Most people just call him, "Oh, God" Or "Sonovabeetch!" If his head cleared up he would go find the God of Wine and kick his ass. His true form is an Aztec Rabbit,  Macuil Tochtli  (Five Rabbit)

The Fashion Gods: Twins. Asuli [ah-sue-lee] (brother) and Astarte [as-tar-teh] (sister). very rarely seen outside of each other's company, but always with an entourage, called the Goon Squad. They enter rooms like walking the runway. And when making an entrance, they are alway preceded by the same theme song, Fashion, by David Bowie. In Tarkazia, there are the actual fashion police. But they don't resort to physical violence. They usually resort to social pressure. If that doesn't work, the clerics will pray for you so as to receive a better sense of fashion. They know that fashion sense is a matter of taste and are usually quite flexible.  Being a derelict is a legitimate sense of fashion as much as grunge, battlefield, or hawt culture. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that is exactly what will happen to those who critically fail their diplomacy checks if dealing with the twins. The twins will summon 1d6 beholders to devour you.

The God of Dreams: Kaz the God of dreams. Pretty self-explanatory. Some things to consider: Time Travel is always possible in dreams. Kaz will often send dream visions and messages to followers of many faiths from many other gods. They use him as a divine telephone service. Kaz doesn't "appear" to anyone and if he did, you wouldn't know it. IF he appears, he often changes his form to fit the dreamer. (It's so that they will listen.)

The God of Sex: Samson. He is an orc with an extremely large...well. His myth is that was cursed by an old girlfriend. She happened to be an efficient black witch. Dramatic story short: He says they were broke up. She says they were taking a break, but not broken up. He was seeing a bunch of other girls. And well, instead of killing or maiming Samson, because she still loved him, She endowed him with the biggest organ she could muster. She thought that no person their right mind would ever lay with him again. However, she was wrong. Another curious god came along and experimented with Samson. Being pleased with her encounter, she granted the Orc a higher Charisma score. It became way too easy to convince the ladies that he was awesome in the sack. After a week of binging, He discovered a burning sensation when urinating. Seeing a cleric, he was told that he had contracted a few STD's. Samson went forth to find a cure. He found one. And is now immune to everything. His epic tale is a little too risky for this Blog.

The Raven: The only other divine physical presence on Tarkazia (aside from Clara) The only thing known about the Raven is that she is a powerful Vampire, who was as good as the alignment tree could offer. Before her, no one had considered that Vampires could be beneficial to the world (if they could find some control over the hunger that drives them) Her realm is a safe zone for those who seek sanctuary from the zealots of the Lawful Good gods. She is one of the last remnants of the Final Cataclysm and is a hero who helped save Tarkazia from the World Eater.

Delbin The God of Madness: This Person is Sheograth type madness including the blood thirsty parts. He is a Kender who contracted vampirism. He is very dangerous. Delbin has a jacket of infinite pockets. Delbin has control of interdimensional pocket space. This is why when a character tries to pull anything from a bag of holding, a flat box, or portable hole, there is no guarantee what will come out even if that character has owned the pockets space and put things inside that space. (Okay, so kind of like the wizard character in the D&D cartoon from the 80s. He never pulled anything "useful" from his hat. Which is a running gag, making that character almost completely useless in the cartoon)  Ray is the only character in the Tarkazian universe that did not complain or curse when Delbin threw him a stuffed Snoopy doll. Instead, Ray got excited and used the "useless" item in a creative way. This excited Delbin, who was used to laughing at characters that didn't get what they wanted and reacted badly. Delbin has since blessed Ray with some weird version of creative and chaotic luck, that no person has yet been able to explain. Delbin, when combined with the purple, can be a very dangerous and epic thing to introduce into a quest line or campaign.

That's all I can think of at the moment. I am sure there are some that are missing. The list grows over time.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Brief History of the Temple of Ray

In time long past, there was a sect of Monks called The Brotherhood of Balance. These monks rejected the worship deities. They claimed that "deities" were not of divine power or origin. Instead, they were great heroes and villains whose deeds were exaggerated to the point of worship. The monks did not believe that the worship of gods was an illusion. They spoke that it was a twisted perception.

As time went on, the order became arrogant; treating the worship of gods as common, low-class, a bad habit of the ill-educated. Persons who were not associated with the order or the temple were ignored or not helped. The monks stopped helping others without conditions.

As the order spread, there were many who did not share the monk's views. Namely, those who followed the Chaotic Evil and Lawful Good deities. The most fanatic of these religious orders decided to take it upon themselves to eliminate the Brotherhood by all means necessary.

After several attacks, the survivors fled. Disguised, most found refuge with the Sankarjin. The Brotherhood discovered that their philosophy and the Sankarjin religion has similar beliefs. And as time went on and they moved with the caravan's, the philosophy of the Brotherhood and the way of Atamarue combined.

The revenants of the Brotherhood for reasons unknown began to gather in Khemair. In Khemair, the tales of Ray the Messiah had taken root. Over more time, the Brotherhood adopted Ray as the main hero representative in the place of Atamarue. This helped shape the Philosophy of what we know as Rayism in Tarkazia.

This is also why The Temple of Ray have monks rather than priests or clerics. The Temples of Ray help train people in Exotic Weaponery. The Temple is where one would find the strange and unusual characters that appear in Tarkazia. The Brotherhood helped to bring concepts of "Oriental Arts" into East Tarkazia.

It took five hundred years to develop Rayism. The Temples of Ray have scattered all over Tarkazia.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Stop, Rabbit, Stop

The Doctor and I ran through Rabbit Run all the way to engineering. There were many obstacles and challenges. It was crazy and frightening. This part, the running part, wasn't important.

If you want to know a secret about the running part, then know that that the running is rarely important. It doesn't matter if the Doctor is running towards or away from danger. That part is about time. When the Doctor is running away, he is buying time to think. Well, I say think. Most times the running is to clear his head so he can think when he stops. The scary monsters or savage aliens are an excuse to run. No companion would question him if he told them to run from danger. The Doctor never runs from danger. Nor is he running into it. He is running around it in an attempt to confuse it and buy time to find a resolution for it. And it doesn't matter if the resolution is his plan or something that has presented itself as a resolution. The important thing to know is that he needs to look for it and that is what the running is all about.

So, by the time we did get to the engineering section, he had a good idea of what was happening and what to do. What was happening is that the entire spaceport had been pushed out of its orbit by a wave. Much like a tsunami pushes buildings off their foundations and further inland, Rabbit Run was being flung into space. We were moving too fast. Pieces of the port were being ripped off. Rabbit Run was in danger of being split apart and torn to shreds. In addition, Rabbit Run was being thrown towards a star system.

I'm not an expert but I am fairly certain that space is big. The Doctor told me that Rabbit Run was special because it orbited a rogue planet that behaved like a star.  Rogue planets are usually pretty far away from other star systems, that is why they are called 'rogue planets.' There can be billions of light years between celestial bodies. Hence, I made a comment about not being worried about falling into a star or slamming into a planet. The Doctor's response was short and rude. The point of his response was that I didn't know anything about this part of space so I should shut up.

In the end, the Doctor turned off the power and engines of the station. Then, he rerouted the power and created a gravity field. He narrowed and concentrated the field to a point at the front of the ship, which made the ship ten times heavier than it was supposed to be. This made the Rabbit Run faster. I thought he was positively insane to do something so reckless. But it was exactly what was necessary. The Doctor turned Rabbit Run into, well basically, a rope. The port grabbed hold of the first high massed celestial body it found, flung around the backside of it, and came to a halt. The rest of the wave hit the face of the body and protected us from additional waves that followed. Plus, the pieces that we had lost up to the point of his gravity solution followed the spaceport and stopped in the same orbit.

The Doctor turned everything back on and made sure there was enough oxygen and artificial gravity for survivors. Before I could begin to calm down and process the events that took place, the Doctor and I were back on the TARDIS. I stared down at him from my perch and watched him dance around the console, congratulating himself on being clever.

I said nothing to him. I turned and went to the chair next to the bookcase and sat down. All the running and yelling had taken so much out of me. I remembered T'Lennah, Joseph, and the Spineless Witch. I remembered the theft. I felt lucky. That even if he takes me home right now, I was able to experience all that I had. And every moment was worth it.

previous                                              Run Rabbit Run

next                                                      The Restroom on the TARDIS

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Dyersburg Dupe

I have a neighbor that I will Mrs. C. Mrs. C is an older lady, in her 80's. She is a nice, modern southern belle kind of gal. But don't let that fool you, she is a spit fire. Doesn't take 'no' for an answer and has a great sense of business. Mrs. C is kind, polite, and caring. Her retirement is lonely and boring for her. She used to live a life of activity. She has a problem getting around and can't do the things she used too.

I told her about my buckwheat problem awhile back. She told me that she would help by hiring me to do cleaning jobs around her house. I got enough money for the buckwheat. And she discovered how helpful I could be. So, after my buckwheat seeds were paid for she asked how much I would charge to help her around the house more often.

Now, I am not the kind of person that would charge my grandmother to work. Seriously, I told her that I would not take any money from her unless I needed it. And I would never take more than I needed. Since the buckwheat thing, I haven't really needed anything anyway. I prize other things more important, like friendship. Plus, it gets me out of the house when I need too. The quiet and the stillness of her house is more precious than gold to me.

We have become friends over the last few months. She will call me over to help her dust or vacuum. And a few times, she asked me over to hem up some pants for her. A week or two ago, she told me that she wanted to help me in return. She drives me places and introduces me to people. It is very handy having a well connected southern belle showing me around Tennesse. And because she has lived here her whole life and owned her own business here for many years, there is not a city, town, or local business that doesn't have someone she knows, someone who knows her, or someone who isn't related to someone she knows. That is the nature of the southern culture. Which is direct opposition to the culture of the north, where I grew up. And honestly, I don't mind the change.

On this particular morning, I had no plans on going anywhere. I was dressed in old shorts and a tank top, outside mowing the lawn. I was covered in grass and dirt. I needed a shower. But I wasn't going to do that later, after the mowing. My son ran out of the house with the phone in his hand. I turned off the mower and took the phone. It was Mrs. C. Would I go with her to Dyersburg for a cigarette run?

She lived right next door. I got off the phone and went to her door. She opened the door and said, "Oh! You are out in the yard today. But will you go to Dyersburg with me for cigarettes?"

"Will it be quick?" I asked.

"It is just for cigarettes," said Mrs. C. And she gives me puppy eyes.

Oh boy. "Fine, as long as it is quick," I said. "I have to mow."

"Well," says Mrs. C. "Go put on some clothes."

I run home and thrown on a shirt over my tank top. I take off my nasty shoes and socks and throw on some slip-on shoes.  I keep my shorts on because I think this is going to be a quick trip. I don't even grab my purse. I have my phone and that is it. I walk out of my house and jump in the car with her.

As we pull out of the driveway, she says, "You didn't change."

"It's just a quick trip. I didn't think I needed to change to come back and mow."

She says nothing. We are on our way to Dyersburg for cigarettes.

Halfway to Jackson, she gets a phone call. It is her sister I will call Mrs. G. When she gets off the phone Mrs. C says, "We are going to meet my sister in Dyersburg."

"Okay," I said. Thinking that we are going to meet for lunch or something. "But I didn't know so I did not bring my purse."

"Oh don't worry about that," says Mrs. C.

As we get into Jackson, she says, "I am going to stop at Ima's to pay on my bill."

"Okay," I said. Not thinking too much about it.

Ima's is a clothing store in Jackson on Vann Drive. It has beautiful things in it, but far too expensive for my taste. I would never spend that much on a blouse made in China. I would rather spend my eighty dollars on fabric at Joann's and make my clothes. But that is just me. And as I said earlier, Mrs. C is a modern southern belle and if given the choice she will dress like one.

And as for that, I figured I should just consider myself a modern "lady's maid." Which is mainly, waiting in the background and doing little things for her. Like retrieving the phone she left in the car and holding clothes that she decided at the last minute to shop for. Which is exactly what happened.

Five pairs of pants later, we are standing at the counter to pay. She does indeed pay her bill, purchases pants. And in the meantime, has a 40-minute conversation with the counter gal. It seems that the counter lady is related to her. Her daddy was a preacher who was married to an aunt of a cousin. (I think. I could be getting that wrong.) And yes, it did go something like that.

One hour and 10 minutes later, we are back in the car on the way to Dyersburg. But as She is driving on Highway 412, she says to me. "Keep your eye out for a vegetable stand. I want to get some tomatoes for Mr. B and my brother. We like garden tomatoes better than store bought ones. The garden tastes better."

So, ten minutes later, we are at the vegetable stand. She takes her time and picks through the tomatoes and picks up a watermelon too. About 30 minutes after that, we are back int he car driving.

At this point, it is getting close to 3:00 pm. She says, "I want Joe to do my hair when we get to Dyersburg. But I think I might have missed him. Could you dial this number on my phone?" She gives me the number and I dial. We tried three times to get through but Joe doesn't answer.

Now, Mrs. C didn't say anything about getting her hair done. And I am thinking "Thank goodness. Now, we can just get cigarettes and go home." But no, because at this point I remember that Mrs. C sister, Mrs. G, was supposed to meet us in Dyersburg. When we do get to Dyersburg, we are going to go into a restaurant (I think)and eat. But I look like crap! I sigh and just roll with it.

Yeah, no. We go into Dyersburg and pull into a house. I can see Mrs. G in the driveway. And just as Mrs. C pulls all the way on the property she says "This is my brother's house, Mr. D."

"I thought we were going to get cigarettes in Dyersburg," I said confused.

"No, we are going to pick up Mrs. G and driving to Caruthersville for cigarettes. We had to stop here first."

"But Caruthersville is in Missouri," I said.

"Yes," she says. "They are cheaper in Missouri."

"How far is Caruthersville from Dyersburg?" I asked. Becuase I haven't made the trip in ages and I had forgotten how long it was.

"An hour," she says.

I keep my mouth shut. Listen, she wants to help me. She must have thought it was a good idea to get me out of the house. And she probably wanted to get out of the house too. I don't want to be rude or appear ungrateful. I do not want to discourage her help or her friendship. But it was also clear I wasn't just going to Dyersburg for cigarettes. And now, I was stuck on whatever adventure she had cooked up for me.

Mrs. C gets out of the car and looks onto the back of the property where there are a few vehicles. She laughs and says, "Shit, Mr. T is here."

We go to the porch where everyone is sitting and she makes introductions. There is Mrs. G, her sister. Mr. D, her brother. Mr. T, the long-time family friend. I bring out the watermelon and the tomatoes and stand there looking stupid in my crappy clothes and horrible hair do.

"Well, if that ain't a bonafide country girl!" says Mr. T.

"What?" I say.

"You must be a bonafide country girl! You're standing on the lawn holding a watermelon and tomatoes." He says to me.

"Well if those parameters also include fresh of the tractor then yes. I suppose I am a bit of a country girl." Becuase all that is true. I had been on the tractor with the mowing implement just hours before with the intent of plowing afterward.

Mr. T chuckles and Mr. D said, "You can put that watermelon and tomatoes on that table over there."

So, I did and sat down at the little chair next to it. Everyone piles in on the porch. Mrs. C, Mrs. G, Mr. D, and Mr. T sit down around the front porch, southern style. And begin to chit chat. Which includes this back and forth between Mr. T and Mrs. G.

"I'll put in my teeth if you put on your hearing aid!" Said Mrs. G, defensively.

"I would wear the damn thing if it worked properly," said Mr. T.

"You should have kept your appt with the doctor. It's your own fault you don't have a new one that works," says Mrs. G.

"Well, I guess I am just a lazy old man," said Mr. T chuckling. "I'd rather sleep in than go to an early appt."

"Well, that's own fault and until then, I ain't wearing my teeth!" Said Mrs. G. "They hurt anyway."

At this point, I may or may not need to mention that I am the youngest person there...by a few decades. Everyone on this porch is in their late 70s. So the conversation falls into stereotypical old folks topics. Who hurts more, who is showing off surgery scars, how many meds they are taking, and who is dead today. Now, that last bit isn't surprising for people their age. However, for me, it is a topic of conversation that doesn't come up too often. And honestly, it was new for me. Not about the whole being dead part, but the way in which they talked about it. Casual. The topic of death is so casual. Crying about death at their age, well, it is so normal that if they did show emotion about it, they would be crying all the time. And that isn't any way to live. Most of these people they were talking about were very old or very sick. So, death is a relief that has come after a long and active life. It wasn't sad but it wasn't happy. It just was. And that made the topic casual.

After about 40 minutes of chitty-chat, Mrs. C looks over at Mr. T and says, "Mr. T, take us to Caruthersville in your truck."

"Well, I ain't doing anything anyway, why not."

So like a bunch of teenagers, they pile into the truck with me in the back and in the middle. Mr. T has a very fancy truck. All leather seats with embroidery and scroll work on the dashboard. I had never seen such a fancy truck before in my life. And it was comfy!

But the whole way there, the conversation was..well...when someone said something, there was a question from the front. "What?! What did you say?!"

Repeat statement.


Repeat statement.



"Oh, yeah..."

So, imagine a bunch of teenagers with horrible hearing problems, minus the load music but with all the yelling, packed into a truck, joy-riding at top speed, down a country road towards Caruthersville for cigarettes..and alcohol. Becuase Mr. D wants some booze now. In addition, I have been demoted to "tag along little sister, Mrs. C  was forced to bring because her parents made her" kind of a thing.

Some things never change, even when you are old.

We finally get to Caruthersville. We pull into the tobacco and alcohol store. Mrs. G and Mrs. C get out and go inside.

I think they will only be a few minutes. I will wait in the truck with the fellas.

Big mistake.

Mrs. G comes back out and syas to Mr. T, who is in the drivers seat, "Mrs. C wants to play the slot machine here."

"Well, we will wait here. We ain't got anything better to do."

Then, both men turn to me and here ist comes. The pervert jokes. Becuase for some reason men think, 'Hey, what's the best way to flirt? I know! Pervert jokes!"

I am trying to be polite. I am trying to be a good guest. But the onslaught of pervert jokes just keeps on coming. Then, of course, the teasing. Oh my god! Why do men think that teasing is flirting and women like it? Yeah, the best way to a woman's heart is teasing the crap out of her for things she can't control, like hair and face and things her grandmother said. Yeah, great. Make me feel bad. I will laugh it off. Thanks.

At the first opportunity, I cut and run to inside the building where Mrs. G and Mrs. C is in the back playing slots. I am not a slots player. I don't like gambling good money away. Lottery, sure. It's only a couple bucks. But slots? I would rather spend that money on a good book or a trip to comic con. I would rather spend my time gardening or writing. Slot machines and casinos are not my ideas of a good time. But I went inside to hang out with the ladies, rather than the old men and their pervert jokes.

Boy howdy! We were in there for hours! Mr. D came inside for a bottle of wine. Mrs. G tried to get Mrs. C off the machine. Finally putting her foot down and begging the lady for a cashout. We got into the truck once again It was 6:58 pm when we pulled out, and it was raining.

Did we have time to go to the boat? Asked Mrs. C. She wanted to go to the boat.

Mrs. G rolled her eyes. No. No boat. For pete's sake no boat!






Did we go stright back to Mr. D's house? Hell no!

We diverted onto a lonely old country raod somewhere near Pictsweet farms. The Missippi River was very high. We had to check it out. Then, all along the rest of the way back to Dyersburg, I had to listen to them point out all the places of old freinds and family used to live. Do you remember this, Do you remember that, do you remeber that person? And in between the guided tour statements, yelling from the front, "WHAT?!" And a repeated yelling response.

Finally, we got into Dyersburg again. But did we go back to Mr. D's house? NO! Not yet. We have one more stop. We need bologna. So we stopped at a shop. Everyone piled out to go in, except me. I stayed in the truck and tried..tried so hard not to lose my freakin mind. She is my friend. I love my friend. I have to keep my mouth shut. For the love, I need to keep my mouth shut. I don't want to be rude or ungrateful or impolite. Because that leads to bad places. Just take a deep breath, calm down, push through. It will be over soon.

They get thier food and pile back into the truck. And fianlly..FINALLY! We get back to Mr. D's house. We make our own sandwhiches and sit in the dining room to eat them.

Then, it happens...

"So, Jennifer.."

"Her name is Jessica."



"Well, she looks like a Jennifer to me." He turns back to me. "So, Jessica, you got a boyfreind?"

How can I possibly describe my feeling at this point? I just can't. "NO." I said firmly. "No. Absolutely not. NO."

"Awe, you just need a man to take care of you," He says. And Mr. D nods at me.

I let my reflex take a hold of me. And I laugh my ass off! I put my sandwhich down on my plate. "That's the funniest thing I have ever heard!" I said. "Men do NOT "take care" of women. Women take care of men! That is how it always is! And don't you dare try to tell me otherwise!"

The ladies in the room are smiling and holding back thier giggles. The men in the room look like I just punched them in the face. "Who the hell were you married to, Jessica?"

"A Career Army man," I said.

"Oh" says the whole room and nods. "Well that explains it," says Mr. D. "Well, what do you do for a living?" he askes.

Personally, I don't want to answer this question. So I repsond with, "Nothing. I have bees, I garden. I read. I don't do anything."

"Oh that's it, you got too much time on your hands," he says. "All you need is a man to take care of."

So now it has gone from, I need a man to care of me to I need to take care of a man. Like I need a pet or something. I find this statement just as offensive as the first. This is one of my biggest triggers. And I try..oh LORD did I try..to keep my tongue. But sadly, I did not.

"I do not need a man. I don't need a man to take care of me, nor do I need a man to take of. Becuase in the end, most men want a woman around to do thier laundry and thier dishes, only to bitch about that they aren't doing anything at all. Then when thier woman leaves they figure out how important she was in the first place. Like hell, I am going to invest my time and effort into a man who will not appraicate me for me and all things I do for him. Never agian. I will however, put my investment into a man who will take care of himself. And I will take care of myself, then in the between times, we will spend time together as companions. I will not be picking up and cleaning up after men agian. Those days are done!"

The ladies laugh hard. The men stare blinking at me. The topic gets diverted and I finish my sandwhich.

Finally, Mrs. C wants to go. But first, we have to take Mrs. G home...in Martin. Which is an hour away. (OMG! KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!)

So, we get in the car to drive mrs. G home. And halfway there, Mrs. C turns to look at me from the front passenger seat and says...OMG! Here it is!...."What do you think of Mr. T? Would you want him as a boyfreind?"

Inside my head, I scream. Long and loud. Inside my head, mind you. INside! Was this whole trip her trying to hook me up with Mr. T?!

"No." I said firmly and definitively.

"He's rich," says Mrs. G. "Like really rich."

"I do not care about that. The answer is no. Period. No. Never."

Inside screaming. What they hell was she thinking? OKay, maybe that works for Anna Nichole Smith. She loved her gross old man, fine. But that is not me. There is no amount of money in the entire world that would make me want to sell myself out to a an old, fat, deaf, three times divorced, rich man. I do not care. I'd rather live under a bridge in L.A.!

And look, I am sure he is nice..or is he? Now that I think of it, I don't think he was really. Pervert jokes and didn't even get my name right. Look, if you are going to ask a woman out on a date, the first thing you should get right is her fucking name! At least know her name! And no, that is NOT unreasonable. And I am not being a "bitch" about that. Fuck anyone who doesn't think so!

"I don't blame you," says Mrs. G. "I have truned him down too. He wants to marry me so badly and I keep saying no."

The conversation drops. We get to Martin. Do we go to Mrs. G's house?


Mrs. C wants to stop and visit someone while she is here.

By the NINE! When will this end?

We pull up into a a very, very fancy house. The huge mansion kind in the posh side of the town. Posh! Posh! Posh!

We pull into the long driveway and park near a solarium as an outbuilding. Not a gazebo, a brick foundation Solarium. Like the fancy kind you can only see in the old Granda Sherlock Holmes Adventures featuring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock. I wondered what the difference was between this house and a full on, full blown English estate?! Because honestly, I could not tell the difference!

And let me tell you when they got out of the car  to knock on the door, I wanted to cry. I was dressed like SHIT! How embaressing that I came to this house looking like a homeless waif?! I am not exagrating when I say I could feel my ancestors cringe in thier graves from embaressment.

The interior did not disappoint. It was so nice. And I felt so out of place. But the occupants were very kind and understanding. Apparently, this was normal behavior for Mrs. C. I told them about "the trip to Dyersburg for ciggerettes" and they laughed. "Yup, that's our Mrs. C." They said.

We finally left after about 40 minutes. And we arrived at Mrs. G's house. We stayed enough for a potty break, but...Mrs. C says, "We might have to stay here for the night. It's late."

NO. I put my foot down at this point. "I can't. I Have contacts in my eyes and I can'r sleep in them. I need to go hiome and take my meds, I am already late in taking them. The Balonga and white bread is bad for me. If I don't take them my meds things will get worse."

"It will be after 1:00 am when we get home," she says.

"Then we better get going now," I said.

So we did. It was 1:10 in the morning when we pulled into my driveway. I thanked for her a fun time.

And for the most part it was fun. I do enjoy her company and I like hanging out with Mrs. G too. But I also learned something.

Some things never change, no matter how old you get.

It is okay to act like a teenager if you're retired.

Hearing aids are valuable for conversations when you are old.

It doesn't matter how late it is, in the south, guest are always welcome.

Being old can be fun.

And a trip to Dyersburg for cigarettes is never a quick trip.