Thursday, September 4, 2008
Also, heat induces royalty, thus...
Real people. Let's see if I can actually articulate what this means to me.
Back to Mark. It is a fairly common name, insofar as there are a lot of people named Mark. A lot of other people. A lot of real people.
One time, I was on a bus with a guy named Mark. Circumstances allowed that Mark's mother (or, mom) was also going to be on this bus. When the passengers were informed of this, one of them shouted, both appropriately (for choice of meaning) and inappropriately (for tone and choice of time to speak up) that "Mark has a mom!"
This of course makes sense. I even knew Mark's mom prior to this event, at the very least at the acquaintance level.
So far, how unremarkable (no pun intended, really).
Then I got to thinking. I was on the north-west side of the road with one of the things I will probably never forget. I was listening to Seeking The Wise by P.O.D.. That is irrelevant. Really.
Sure, Mark has a mom. Indeed, I also have a mom. Through no experience, though through logic and firm belief I maintain that Mark's mom also has a mom. This, I think, is the second biggest leap in faith in this mind boggling journey.
'Mom' is a noun and is used to refer to a person. (A real person - but we're still getting to that part).
I also am a person. Let me tell you about myself. I'm sure you will relate to a lot of the following.
I was born, experienced a childhood I can remember only through stories and videos. I went to school, was disoriented, learned things eventually.
When I was really young I got separated from my parents at an outdoor fair event thing. I found a place to sit down and cry until my mom found me (this I actually remember without stories or videos). I had emotions then. I grew older, had fights with my siblings, moved to a different city. Made and lost new friends until a few people learned they could tolerate me.
I was a teenager, had raging hormones, did stupid things without realising how stupid they were. I aced classes, I've failed classes, I've not cared either way. I've had painful relationships, financial trouble, too much candy at Hallowe'en. I've disliked people, I've loved people, I've been happy, sad, rueful, depressed, exuberant, fun, boring, etc. etc.
I have a mother, and brothers and sisters, and friends, and people I barely know, even people I don't know at all.
I experience life in a wonderful way. My eyes can view things with immense detail - I have never seen a pixelated image on account of the resolution of my eyes! I can remember things and forget things, be intuitive, feel something on my back that I cannot see, hear someone coming from a distance, imagine, hallucinate, be in pain and quell it with drugs.
The range of things I do and can experience are endless! Endless! (and yet...)
By des Cartes, I am a real person.
Through some sort of belief that I claim is based partially on my faith, and partially on idle speculation and paritally on fear, I do believe that other people are similar to me in the above regards. They were also born, have families and hatreds and loves and pet peeves, annoying co-workers, etc. etc. This is also the case of their moms. These moms also were born, have moms, weird friends, loose acquaintances, and also physically see with such impossible detail, having a massive range of emotions and potential experiences. Ad nauseum, all people who have ever lived are as real, intricate, astounding and impossible as I am these things and more!
I went to the Glenbow museum for the Greek, Rome and Egypt exhibit. I got to stand very near a carving which was over four thousand years old. The neat thing? The guy who carved it was a real person. He may have cut himself while carving it, and cursed or something. He may have been tired, or hungry, or well fed, or migrating or wealthy... but he was a real person. His mom was also a real person in the same way.
The essence of real people, then, is that as I have a lifetime of experiences, memories, associations to people and breadth of experience, I believe through inexplicable faith that you are the same way. That everybody is the same way.
This gets a little more weird when I start thinking about size and perspectives, and focus, but I hope this at least gives a little insight into my thoughts.
So, if you ever want to get an odd reaction out of me, mention real people.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Here is another story I've though of, just the beginning. I have big plans for this, lots of fantastic twists, but as I said, I probably wont get around to writing it all out.
Six small sets of blue eyes gazed out as the patin'Talis held his arms up. The young girls would come once a week to the temple to learn about their history and their people.
"and Talis spread wide her glimmering sapphire arms, allowing her heart and being to pour out into the hard land formed by Rang." At this, the Patin likewise outstretched his arms, and the blue light filtering through the ceiling of the temple suffused him with an ethereal glow. The eyes of the children were wide with wonder.
"The being of Talis is the spirit and the law of the land. Under her heartfelt touch the lands cooled, the oceans rose and shade was cast down from the mountains. Order was put into place to govern the life that would come, for the goddesses had all planned this world's creation and each devoted the nature of their beings to infuse their new world.
"After Talis gave her gift to the land, the emerald goddess joined the goddesses of sapphire and ruby. From her being poured forth all that lives in the land. The greenery of the forests, plains and brushland, the animals and fish in the oceans and birds of the skies. Creatures to live under the law of Talis and on the red lands of Rang."
One of the girls wrinkled her nose and stuck her hand in the air with a question. "Yes, little one?" inquired the Patin.
"Who was the emerald goddess? Did she have a name?"
"I was just getting to that" winked the Patin, "the three goddesses joined their hands and descended down to their new world. When they landed, they scattered through all the realms, leaving their legacy stones buried deep in the ground, and infused the peoples with purpose, drawing them to the goddesses' chosen sites. At these sites, the people gathered together to find large piles of stone, and the cry of a newborn infant. The people used the stone to build temples to the goddesses, and lived around them, raising the infant as their Patin, since each child wore a necklace with the purest of stones in it, resembling the goddesses." At this, the Patin smiled as he touched the sapphire through his robe. It had been passed down through the Patins, and he now wore it, to teach the people of their goddess.
"The first word each child spoke was the name given to the child, and to the goddess who gave it as a gift. Here," the Patin, arms once again extended, looked up and motioned to the building they were in "is where Talis came to rest many years ago. The people of Talis built this very temple and constructed this great roof from the abundance of sapphire stones in the ground."
The temple was a small structure when seen from outside, but on the inside, it seemed massive. The lofty sapphire ceiling cast blue light through the whole place when the sun shone. The planes and angles of the roof were built just so that as long as the sun was above the horizon, the light was caught and reflected down.
"The temple of Rang was built to the north, in arc'Rang, right next to the mountains. And the temple of the emerald goddess was built far to the east, across the vast oceans. The first people of Talis remembered that they saw green streaking towards the oceans even as Talis struck the ground here. The people of the emerald goddess have never travelled across the oceans to arc'Talis, and the name of their goddess has never reached our ears."
At the mention of the people of the emerald goddess, the Patin caught movement to his right. He looked to see Elena emerge from their quarters below. He couldn't help but smile at seeing her, and remember that day so long ago when he first found her, bundled in a rich cloth matching the grass at his feet. The man who brought her was quite odd. He didn't speak a word, and left the child with the Patin. What was most odd was that there was no colour to this man. Whether in his clothes or skin or eyes, he was all shades of gray. The Patin adopted the girl as his daughter. She was an infant, just shy of a year past her birth, and while he was thinking of a name to call her, she looked up at him and squealed "Elena," pronouncing it with odd clarity for one so young, but she kept repeating the word, so the Patin gave it to her for her name.
She was a delightful child and grew over the past sixteen years to be a wonderful young woman. She was one of the few in the tribe without the pure blue eyes of Talis. Instead, hers were emerald in colour. . .
A City Torn Asunder
A crunch beneath my feet, this soil is too black to be rich.
Rich, though, is the air, with a hesitance to call it such.
Rich not with oxygen, but with a blackness to mar the city at my feet.
With a tainted sharpness, the gloomy light glances off the freshly scored stone pillars,
they, in turn, chafe the sky, a stubborn rebuttal against the carnage around them,
all that is left of this place; my home.
The sun's light is dim, though not from Earth rolling over in sleep.
From Earth rolling over in the pain of shattered hills and firestrewn plains.
From the war that wracked this city; my home.
This devastation, pounding in my head, resonant with the blood in my veins,
speaks of such a great loss, that all I had built is now torn asunder.
That all I have ever been lies broken, beneath my feet.
A tattered garment here, there a broken, headless porcelain doll,
these memories, of a child wearing a new dress, carrying a new doll,
are as broken as the promises made to protect from this.
As broken as my heart, as I gaze upon this.
These, deception's daggers, a misleading false-heart,
Have taken a toll on the city entrusted; my home.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Today the peasants of Littleport Coast find the Benevolent Mastermind doing what he does best. Strolling the streets and being beneficial to them! In very clever ways no less.
He knows all the people of Littleport Coast, the children, the elderly, and everybody in between. While walking alongside Tommy Of The Eastern Half, the Mastermind saw the Taco Scorpion slinking along an alleyway, peering out with that creepy fourth eye of his. He had no third eye, just the normal two of everybody else, and a fourth one off to the side.
The Taco Scorpion. Arguably the least intelligent villian ever to claim the title. The Benevolent Mastermind, the kind of guy to give prestige to the intelligent, disdained the Taco Scorpion. His villiany was ever simple to see through and overcome. He was barely worth the glance down the alleyway to acknowledge him.
Quickly forgetting the encounter, the Mastermind and Tommy Of The Eastern Half walked along the cobbled roadway towards the Eye Doc. He lived on the shoreline, right by the dock. Long ago he had painted an eye on the dock, and jested about his "Peering Pier" because he was the "Eye Dock" he told people. What a clever man.
Tommy Of The Eastern Half needed glasses. He loved to read, and he read at night. "Of course," cautioned his mother, "reading in the dark can lead to eye strain which develops over time, leaving the reader short sighted."
After explaining the young boy's plight to the Dock, the Benevolent Mastermind bid him a good night and molded the residual temporal medium around his consciousness, so he could sleep for a few hours without time actually passing.
The next day, the Mastermind woke up to a very strong distress signal, coming from the bowels of the nineth floor of the local Best Western hotel. In less than 2.71828 seconds, the Mastermind was there, in the dank cell, with the cold dripping noises, and with the Taco Scorpion. He wasn't dressed in his usual shabby attire, but rather in a Spiderman costume that a child might wear on halowe'en.
Sighing, the Mastermind addressed the Taco Scorpion, "What is it you want, eh? I can see through your every ploy. There is no hope for you. Why do you persist?"
"Not so fast, oh master of minds." sneered the Taco Scorpion, "This time, not even you, a man of honour and intelligence will overcome me!" and he proceeded to press a series of buttons on the wall nearest to him. The ceiling opened up and a cage descended! Inside was a maiden! Trapped by the wiles of the Taco Scorpion.
"Here is the deal, Mastermind. I will ask you a question..." At this, the Mastermind sniffed haughtily, and accepted the challenge, but the Taco Scorpion hadn't finished his sentence "... I will ask you a question, and you have to give me the WRONG answer, and I'll let the girl go. If you answer wrongly, by which you say the correct answer, she's mine, and there is nothing you can do!"
At this, the Mastermind remained confident. All he has to do is find the right answer, which is the correct answer, not the one to use as the wrong answer thus making him right... he needs to find this answer and answer anything else!
But it wasn't such a simple task.
"Ok then," said the Mastermind, "ask your question. If I give you the correct answer, by answering wrongly, you can take the girl and go."
But what did the Taco Scorpion have in mind?
"Here is the question, oh smart one: If I were you and you were me, am I me, or you?"
This indeed was not an easy question. But our Mastermind is not so easily stumped! He sits down to ponder, his thoughts connecting every which way.
Past tensively, he reverses the identity of self and the second person. "If I were you" means his identity is equivalent to my own, in the past. Wherefore mine is his, and neither of use is exclusively the other, or the self. In the present though, the identities have elapsed, and I am not me anymore, but I am him. He is me, and the identities have become exclusive. So at this point, the verdict is I am him, AND he is me. Both conditions are true. But now neither of us is both, we are exclusively the other and self has become obsolete.The argument becomes a cycle, where each is the other, and both and self are meaningless. So, the question of whether he is I or I am him, is both paradoxical and and nonsensical...
Oh no! What has become of our hero? He sits, entirely befuddled! Confounded! Mysitified! Perplexed! Vexed and chagrined! He is unable to come up with an answer, so he does nothing but think, as the Taco Scorpion cackles maniacally and runs away with the maiden!
Oh no! What will become of her? What will happen before she is found again?
The Taco Scorpion is on the loose, and we can only hope that there are some other superheroes close by who can save the day!
In the not so temporally awkward present, in a location not too distant from here, the people were roaming the streets, when unbeknownst to them an evil to rival the goodness of the superheroes put the final threads into place on his Tapestry Of Maleficent Deeds (TM). Soon the world would know peril! Soon! What pitiful deeds the people abhorred would seem luxurious.
From the bowels of the earth this sickly plot unfolds. The rotting odour of death permeated the fog which rose in the streets this morning. The tails of mist seemed to snag the clothes of the unwary as they walked the roadside. Soon the public learned that the safest place was home. Inside their nice comfortable abodes, while the fog was outside.
But this is exactly what the yet unnamed evil guy wanted.
By midday, the sun was blackened out of sight. The people were afraid, huddled in their basements and attics, seeing their loved ones waste away in the pale light of energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. Who could save them? So they would lament. But indeed, who?
Oh so little did they know though! So little! Things were only starting to get bad...
They would feel, first. Feel the vibrations in the boards beneath their hands as they sat, squeezing fearful fingers to stillness underneath their bottoms. The tremors of notes emanating from somewhere underground. A dirge rose throughout the city, undertones of loathing, the darkest music imagineable. Perhaps the wails of otherworldly beings, perhaps the cackle of evil as the harbingers of doom were finally released. The scent of decay slips, now, through the slightest of cracks, filling the homes of the not so safe.
What could grip their minds but dread? Could they suspect anything worse? No, they thought. Death himself would have to knock on the door to instill more fear. Little did they suspect, this was the next chapter in their plight. Screeches, scratches, pounding, a chaotic rhythm that could only harmonize with the dirge of the unknown. Something wanted in.
Luckily for the townspeople, this day happened to coincide with the birth of the Benevolent Mastermind. He who values the public, saves the afflicted, rescues the scared and astonishes all who see him. How does he do it? Well, if he were to explain it, it would involve you needing a calculator, and me (the narrator) needing a scientific dictionary just so I spell everything right. Basically, he retains the unprecented ability to exceed relativistic speeds, morphing the very fabric of the space-time continuum to his whim, placing mesons, tacheons, electrons, positrons, other bosons and fermions into place to produce superviscous antidotes to unheard of ails.
If, for some reason one of those tactics doesn't work, he can usually get away with confusing the bad guy to no end. It's quite stupefying to see him in action.
So, back to our story, the Benevolent Mastermind, albeit a newborn, is proportionate to a grown man and striding purposely through the fog of death we have come to be acquainted with.
"What is this?" he exclaims "an aggregation of dihydrogen monoxide particles precipated around ambient dust particles forming a mostly opaque substance slightly more dense than atmospheric air and having the odour of ozone and decaying loam? What a simple problem to solve!"
Momentarily, he constructed a device, not unlike a bug catching net, with a very fine mesh. The handle itself was an air freshener, with remote traces of chlorofluorocarbons. In his right hand he wielded this. In his left he held high-impact short-blast-radius electromagnetic pulse grenades, for surely this uncouth sound was merely the audible byproduct of vibrating diaphragms present in craftily placed cassette players.
Off he travelled through the city, swinging the net, capturing the moisture in the fine mesh, taking it out of the air, and the chlorofluorocarbons present reacting with the ozone particles, reducing the odour and toxicity of the air, for the air freshener also compensated for the smell of plant decay.
Oft he came across such craftily placed cassette players as he predicted, and a flick of the wrist, tossing an electromagnetic pulse grenade, silenced them.
Suffice it to say, in short order the city was returned to normal. At his behest the public gained the confidence to once again leave their homes, and they all beheld in wonder this new superhero. Dazzled mainly by his great looks, they cheered for the Benevolent Mastermind.
The city was safe!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
(This isn't too well thought out. It was written on the fly, so I may go back and edit it)
Through the grogginess of just having woken, I had the feeling something wasn't right. It was warm, no, hot. Unnaturally hot. It was spring, and in spring you should be waking up to frost crisped grass and misty breath.
The black shirt on my back spoke of no such cool though.
My first instinct was to reach out to the Power, draw Saidin into me to highten my senses. But I didn't. Who knew what could be going on in the Black Tower? Better to be safe than, well, dead.
So I was laying on my pallet, eyes closed, listening. I heard no unordinary sounds. Just the rustle of a breeze against the outside wall, the snoring of the other Dedicated and the faint crackle of fire. Who would have a fire lit at this hour though? It was none of my concern. I slowly opened my eyes to my surroundings. I saw the familiar wooden cabin I had been living in for 2 years. Thick timber walls painted black, a dirt floor littered with humped shaped; those would be the other Dedicated, sleeping on thin straw mats. There was a glow illuminating the small room though. The glow of a fire that must have been right above me. The source of the heat, the thing that caused me to wake up.
Realising there no immediate danger, I shifted to look up. Sure enough, there was a small fire burning near the ceiling. I had no idea how it got there, but there it was. I drew on Saidin and wove Earth to snuff the fire. What happened next was very much unexpected. As soon as the weave hit the heat of the flame, it erupted. The weave snapped back at me and the fire started to grow. Very quickly. The paint on the wood began to peel as tongues of flame snaked down the wall and across the ceiling, popping and throwing sparks when it hit the waterproofing pitch. So I wove Water and Air to suffocate and extinguish the growing flame. Again the weaves snapped back and the fire grew faster.
My mind started to panic, so I summoned the Void, reducing my mind to a cold processor, untouched by feeling or circumstances. I gave a shout and rolled to my feet, shaking the other Dedicated awake. None of them would wake. It was as if they were dead. The fire had covered half of the sloping ceilieng and the enitre wall by my pallet, it was bright as day. I had to leave my friends, to save my own life. That's what they had taught me in 3 years here. Rule number one: protect the Dragon Reborn at all costs. To do this, you must be alive, so protect yourself at all costs as well.
I ran out of the open door, barefoot and clad in black trousers and a black shirt. The same as I wore every day and every night. The grass was slippery with dew, but I ran, shouting that there was a fire. It was the dead of night and the sky was very black. It took a while for my eyes to adjust but with Saidin I could soon see every detail as I ran past. My shouts clashed against all the black buildings, but no one came. I kept running, and shouting, towards the M'Hael's house. Surely he would be able to do something.
I was wide awake by now, and I wondered how the fire got there, and why I couldn't put it out. There were no easy answers there. I could have been really tired and messed the weaves up, but that was unlikely. Over the past 3 years, there wasn't a single day, not a single hour even when I hadn't used the Power. The weaves were a part of me and putting out a simple fire was child's play. Unless it was sustained by someone else holding the Power. I had been taught how to invert weaves so they couldn't be detected, so it may have been an inverted weave. But who would do that? Maybe a Soldier who had just been shown inversion, and wanted to pull a prank, but there's no way they could sustain a woven fire in those conditions. There were no easy answers.
The grass thinned to a dirt walkway, and I saw the M'Hael's quarters just up ahead. Then I felt a surge of the Power, a very strong weave from somewhere to my right, Fire, Earth and Spirit. This one wasn't inverted and I saw the ground ahead of me start to tear apart. Heated dirt and rocks began to give off their own light as they were churned up by the weave. Then from my left, another weave exploded into the air, this one Earth and Air. It was the same weave I used to give flight and accuracy to my arrows. The same weave I had never taught anybody. Nonetheless, someone was using this weave to propell rocks towards me very fast.
I couldn't run forward anymore, so I turned around, ignoring the pain as my heel was gouged on the dirt.
I wove strands of Fire to vapourise the rocks, and turned towards the weaver they came from. Suddenly the air thickened and I couldn't run. Pain covered my whole body as my skin heated up. I saw boils start to form along my arms and grow larger and larger. Behind the veil of the Void, pain was meaningless, but I could feel the pressure of it trying to break through. Some of the boils began to pop, spewing boiling liquid onto my clothes. It burned through quickly, revealing a network of boils on my chest as well. Then the liquid ignited, spreading fire across my body. The pain became very intense across the Void, threatening to shatter it.
The ground behind me was still breaking up, the gap widening and getting closer to me. Shards of rock were being shot into my back, and the dirt beneath my feet heated up. The boils, blackened by the fire, stopped growing and began to crumble, oozing molten fluid down my appendages.
I tried to keep my sanity, but the pain finally shattered through the Void and ravaged my mind. I screamed and instinct took over. I lashed out with weaves of Earth and Air, trying to sluice the fluid off my body and trying to kill the weavers to my left and right.
The weight of the air lifted and I slumped to the ground. Hot rocks pierced my skin as I crawled away from the advancing gap. I wove Air to draw the heat away from my skin and I was able to stand up again and summon the Void.
I was tired now, exhausted, but I pressed through it. I released Saidin so the channelers wouldn't know exaclty where I was, and I ran behind one of the buildings beside the path. I felt a tingling on my skin, just then. Saidar. Female channelers. At this point, I realised I didn't have much of a chance of surviving, so I stayed in the cover of the building and slowly retreated, listening for anything.
Nothing changed as I got further and further away.
The sun was finally starting to creep over the horizon and light up the sky. I still held the Void to block the pain of my broken skin as I walked. I followed the path towards the stables by the main gate, hoping to find a horse or something, and get out.
I stepped into the stable doors... and I had stepped into broad daylight. I looked at my arms and the boils were gone! The pain receded immediately and I took in my new surroundings. The house of the M'Hael greeted my eyes, in front of was the M'Hael himself and a couple other Asha'men, noteably Davian Telkeres and Ky. They were looking at me, as were many others standing off to the side.
I walked towards the M'Hael and when I reached him, he opened his right hand, revealing a colourfully inset pin, in the shape of a dragon. He reached up and pinned it on my collar, opposite the silver sword of the Dedicated. "Congratulations, Ralkien Malfouri." he said. Simply and formally.
"Thank you, M'Hael." I replied, "I choose the Dai Madhi'in." The Battle Seekers. I made the choice a long time ago, that my Squad would be the ones on the frontlines of Tarmon Gaidon. The Last Stand of mortals against Shai'tan. Led by the Dragon Reborn himself. And now, I was an Asha'man. Highest ranking male channeler in the land, next to the M'Hael and the Dragon himself.
What an honour!