Friday, December 29, 2006

Ellis is Like Crack...

So I wound up buying a couple of Warren Ellis books since I need my fix of his writing (snort) and all I can say is that this man is an amazing writer. I finally found and bought Desolation Jones and that is a really awesome read. Pick it up if you can find it.
Peace, and Happy Holidays to all...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Something wicked...

Markus had walked into the Four Winds bar looking for Macon Dean. He glanced at the bar and saw the refuse that took up residence there. He heard the click-clack of the pool tables and sniffed the air. He knew where Macon was. He turned on his heel and walked to the back of the bar. Standing against the back wall and holding his cue stick, Macon Dean smiled as he played against the regulars at the Four Winds.
"Macon Dean?" said Markus. He clenched his fists.
Macon looked at the imposing man blocking the entrance to the game room and stopped smiling.
"How can I help you friend?" said Macon. He sipped a beer from a table nearby.
"We have need of your services, and you must come with me now," Markus said.
"I don't think I'll be going anywhere with you tonight, sweetheart," Macon said. He laughed. The people standing around him laughed as well.
"Fine, you want to be flagrant about not coming, you'll have to pay the price," Markus said.
He looked at the man closest to him and the man immediately burst into flames.
Macon sipped his beer again and mumbled something Markus could not hear. The fire was gone and the man was left unharmed.
Markus smiled and nodded.
"Give me five minutes and I'll see you outside," Macon said. He finished his beer and slammed the glass down on the table. "It's gonna be a long night tonight."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Killing Time...

I need to write something interesting during the break. I've got to free my mind from work or I swear I'll wind up going crazy, on the bright side, Wizard World looks promising this year and my wife said I should try going to San Diego Comic Con this year (Mostly because a friend of ours lives in San Diego which would eliminate her from having to be around more fanboys than myself. Besides, she was a good sport and did Wizard World L.A. with me the first year at Long Beach...
Warren Ellis
Joseph Michael Linsner
Neil Gaiman
Paul Pope
Adam Hughes
Allan Heinberg

Monday, December 18, 2006


Saw this movie last night and all I can say is that it was really well done. If you're a fan of Grant Morrison's work, you'll love this movie. Or just a fan of literature in general.

Warren's newest stuff...

Thought you might like to know what Ellis is up to...


A few details, then.

LISTENER is, god help me, a near-future sf novel. An accident at a military loading bay with an illegal biological weapon led to the extermination of almost everyone in America. Some years on, the British government is contacted by a colony of survivors Stateside who claim to have a cure for The Bite. An internet journalist — a man studded with audio implants turning him into an objective “listening post,” the Listener of the title - is engaged to travel with a fact-finding mission to the Seattle colony, where unaffected survivors are living uncomfortably close to a gathering of the Bitten, people in whom the bioweapon became chronic rather than fatal, and in whom the weapon may still be active. The Listener is there to determine what kind of society is emerging in post-Bite America; to separate the myths that have risen around dead American from the truth of what’s happening in the colony called Needle.

I deliver the novel in the summer of ‘07, around the same time CROOKED LITTLE VEIN gets released. My guess would be that LISTENER will therefore be slated for summer 2008.

My book agent is Lydia Wills at Paradigm NY. My film/tv agent is Angela Cheng Caplan of the Cheng Caplan Company. My editor at HarperCollins is Jeremy Cesarec."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Connnected: Chapter 5

Tom Fitzgerald drove down La Brea and turned on Sunset. He was going to lunch at a small Indian restaurant well known for its vegetarian meals. He did not expect much in the way of traffic since he had stopped at the restaurant every Friday at the same exact time. He even had his meal ready for him when he walked through the door. One of the perks of being a good cop in a bad city. He parked the car across the street in the small lot and walked to the restaurant. His meal was waiting for him.
A smiling waiter brought him more of the flatbread called Naan for his meal. The smell of curry filled his nostrils and he asked for some water and a Coke. The waiter bowed, still smiling and went to the back of the restaurant.
“How are you my friend?” said an older Indian man.
Tom looked up and smiled. He dabbed at his mouth with his napkin and shook hands with the man in front of him.
“How are you Suresh?” said Tom. He motioned for the man to sit.
“Very good my friend, very good, business is running smoothly. Our karma is good because of you my friend. Please do not ever stop coming,” said Suresh. He laughed.
Tom laughed also. He looked around the small room and saw that it was packed and it was only noon.
“Suresh, is it always this crowded now?” said Tom. He took a swig of Coke.
“Oh yes, always during lunch and dinner times. We make enough to close on Saturdays until dinner time, Sunday too,” Suresh said. He smiled. “All this because you saved us that one day, my friend.”
Tom looked at Suresh and the smile had gone from his face. Suresh was being serious. Suresh looked back and forth then motioned for Tom to come closer.
“You truly are good karma for us Tom. Please do not stop coming. Also, there is a package for you from Chicago. I did not open it, for your eyes only,” said Suresh. He placed a small manila envelope on the red and white tablecloth and pushed it gently towards Tom.
“Thank you Mr. Fitzgerald for all that you have done, as we say in my country, Namaste,” Suresh said. He excused himself to greet other customers.
Tom looked at the envelope and looked around the room. He reached for it and his Coke at the same time. He then casually opened the letter and read its contents.
“This has got to be some kind of joke,” Tom said. He paid for his meal, leaving the cash on the table and running back to his car.
He opened the car door and took out his cell phone. He dialed frantically and waited for the person on the other end to pick up. Two rings, no answer. On the third Tom was going to hang up when he heard a voice say hello.
“What the hell is the meaning of this? I know that, but you shouldn’t have sent me anything at all. You don’t think he’ll find out who it was eventually? I know that, but what do you want me to do about it? You’re in Chicago and I’m in Los Angeles. There’s no way I can be there in ten minutes,” said Tom. His car started shaking and he held onto the steering wheel.
Before him was what looked like a blank canvas roughly six feet high and ten feet long. His cell phone went off again. He looked at the display and hesitated. It ran three more times before he picked it up.
“I see it. Now what? Drive my car through that? Are you crazy? Fine. I’ll see you in a few,” said Tom.
He turned the ignition on and drove straight towards the wall of white. As he approached it quickly changed color and was now a bright golden color. He put his shades on and drove through. The golden glow quickly dissipated as he passed through and no one on Sunset Boulevard noticed an LAPD Detective disappear without a trace.

Connected: Chapter 4

The world was burned to a crisp. Cities had been reduced to rubble and life had resumed, only below ground instead of above. The inhabitants of Sloan, California had not seen daylight for over ten years. But that was the way things had been in the 8th Parallel. No light for ten years, then too much light for another ten. Hogarth had been away for the ten years of light. He had found the city of Los Angeles in a parallel earth to be quite pleasing. His family was not happy to find out where he had been.
He told them of the man named Zev and how he had somehow known of the 8th Parallel and had spent some time here before the sun began to die. None of his family believed him. They told him he was a fool for believing the strange shirtless man. Even Hogarth had begun to believe the man was made up. No one they knew in the city of Sloan had been alive for more than fifty years, and if what the man named Zev had said was true he’d have to be at least a hundred years old or older to have witnessed the glory of the city prior to its destruction.
Hogarth had combed through piles and piles of logs and photos trying to find anything that could link Zev to his world. Unfortunately all that the local library had was extinguished in about a week. He needed someone who had archives that went further back. He needed someone who was supposed to be a keeper of arcane knowledge. He needed to talk to Macon Dean, the oldest person living in the city.
Hogarth had made his way to the enormous spired tenement building built deep beneath the mountain ranges of Southern California. He had come alone and bearing gifts from earth to entreat Macon. The asbestos suit-wearing doormen opened the great glass doors and led him to the only working elevator in the complex. They walked back outside but before they did they put on their oxygen masks as a firestorm was coming toward them. Despite being underground, the massive hive city lay beneath the San Andreas Fault line and the fissure that had opened months ago let in the flames that seared the surface of the planet once every week.
The men were covered in flames and then they seemed to have disappeared in a wall of flame. The doors shut and Hogarth traveled farther up the building. He was able to look out of a small viewing slat and saw the guards below him in flames. They walked around as if they were not even on fire. Their suits were protecting them from the intense heat outside. He breathed in and exhaled slowly. The elevator had started to slow and he looked at the floor key. He was on the twelfth floor. The doors slid open with a short ping and Hogarth stepped out into the hallway.
He did not breathe. Everywhere he looked was a sight that he could not believe. Marble covered the floor, walls and ceiling. Hogarth stepped closer to the gilded pillars and saw that they were gold. Frescoes hung on the wall, freshly painted. A red headed woman stepped towards Hogarth with a leather book in one hand and a pen in the other.
“Name, sir?” said the red head.
“Hogarth? Is that a first name or a last name?”
“First name.”
“Your last name, sir?” the red head said again.
“Brennan, Hogarth Brennan,” Hogarth said.
“Very well, have a seat over there by my desk and I’ll go speak with Mr. Dean,” the red head said. She slammed the book shut and walked to some frosted glass doors.
Hogarth could make out the outline of a man and the red head’s shape but could not see anything else. He sat down on the plush leather couch and placed his back against it. He sighed in comfort and closed his eyes.
“So you’re the one who met Zev?” said a blonde haired man with matching muttonchops.
Hogarth opened his eyes and slid down. He was surprised to see the man known as Macon Dean several inches from his face.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, force of habit, I was an interrogator for the Army,” Macon said. He snapped his suspenders.
Hogarth took in the man that stood before him. Clean shaven, muttonchops, a whites shirt with blue pinstripes, brown pants and matching suspenders and some well-shined brown shoes. He smiled at Hogarth, which was a little odd since no one he had ever met in the 8th Parallel ever had a reason to smile.
“Yes, I’ve met the man called Zev. Do you know him?” said Hogarth.
“He’s my cousin,” said Macon. “Please, step into my office.” Hogarth slid up and walked with Macon. The frosted glass closed softly behind them.

Connected: Chapter 3

3 Zev had been shot. Zev had been shot 42 times. The EMT that worked on his dying body was covered with Zev’s blood. The ambulance blared its siren and then abruptly cut it off when it came towards the hospital’s ramp. The ramp lead up to the Emergency Department of County General Hospital where Zev had worked two years earlier. Now he watched as the EMT blurred in and out of focus. He saw a flashlight, heard his own breath come out in ragged gasps and felt the bullets being pushed out of his body. Then his heart gave out and he felt the defibrillator paddles on his skin.
The EMT put a white cloth over Zev’s lifeless body and banged on the barrier wall so the driver didn’t have to rush anymore. The EMT removed her gloves and tossed them into the red plastic container with the bio-hazard warning on it. She sighed and put her face in her hands and let her muscles relax. Then Zev sat up.
The EMT screamed and then passed out. Zev looked at his chest and both saw and felt the bullets being pushed back out of his body. Several clanged onto the metal floor of the ambulance and Zev made his way to the door. He opened it and nimbly hopped out since the truck was moving so slowly. He jumped a foot high railing and landed in some bushes. He removed the tatters that had been his shirt and left it hidden in the bushes. He waited for some people to walk by and then casually stepped out of the bushes and followed the small crowd towards the front of the hospital. He reached into his back pocket and removed a five dollar bill.
Zev spotted a lunch truck and walked towards it. He pulled an ice-cold bottled water out of the drink area and paid the woman that operated the lunch truck, letting her keep the change. He saw the Dash bus and paid twenty-five cents to go to Chinatown. From Chinatown he hopped aboard the light rail towards Union Station. Zev conversed with a homeless man named Hogarth for about an hour and then bought him a bagel sandwich. They talked about the 8th Parallel destroying our eco-system and the breaking down of barriers between our world and the ones right next door to earth. An hour after lunch Zev bid Hogarth farewell and headed for the Red Line, which was underground. He rode without incident. He had even bought himself a new t-shirt for twenty dollars. It was an I ♥ Los Angeles t-shirt.
He got off at Sunset and Vermont then caught a bus to La Brea. Waiting at the bus stop right on schedule was Selma. She had her arms crossed.
“Hiya doll face,” Zev said. He hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a slap on the ass.
“Zev Petrovich Sigmally. Where the hell have you been?” Selma said. She tossed him the keys to her car.
“I would have been here sooner had your dear brother and his boys not shot me forty-two times Selma. That boy has got violence issues,” Zev said. He smiled at Selma and his gray eyes flashed in the sunlight.
“Forty-two times? What did you do to him this time?” Selma said. She sat in the passenger’s seat.
“Nothing sweetie, he barged into my house, kicked down my bedroom door while I was sleeping and proceeded to shoot me dead. Then an ambulance came, picked me up and I wound up getting paddled and scared the EMT when I came back,” Zev said.
“Did you meet someone from the 8th Parallel today?” Selma said. “You smell like you did, it’s that sulfurous stench they have about them.”
Zev put the keys in the ignition and started driving. He was going to tell Selma about Hogarth and then decided against it. She never liked anyone he had ever met from the 8th Parallel anyway.
“Where’s your brother going tonight?” Zev said. He turned into a Carl’s Jr. drive-thru and waited in line.
“Sergei told me he was trying to get into Midnight’s, you know that club downtown. Said he had a proposition for the owner about the restaurant Daylight, which is what the club is during the daytime up until ten at night. It’s actually a pretty good restaurant. We should make reservations. Anybody can go, it’s not like it’s for VIPs only, Zev,” said Selma. She played with a red Bic lighter she had found on the dashboard.
“Maybe for our anniversary hun, for now, let’s get something to eat. Being shot that way takes a lot out of a man. Your brother will find out soon enough,” Zev said.
“Order me a salad too yeah?” Selma said. She tossed the lighter in the back of the car. “Sure thing sweets,” Zev said. He ordered for the both of them.

Connected: Chapter 2

Daniel Porter had been blind. It was a simple fact and one that was never taken lightly by Mrs. Porter, Daniel’s mother. Mrs. Porter had made the rounds of the neighborhood to visit mothers of boys that had picked on Daniel.
“They jus’ don’t understand you Daniel,” said Mrs. Porter. She always cooked when she talked to Daniel.
But time marched on and the day came when Mrs. Porter passed on to the next life. Her son had grown into a man that everyone in their neighborhood in Chicago had known. Everyone knew if they had a problem, go see Mr. Porter on Sticks Road, Number 25. Being blind had meant that other talents had emanated inside him. As people would say, he had a real knack for helping them down the right path.
At the age of fifty-four Daniel was able to move freely in the community and had his assistant Jennings oversee his business. Daniel Porter was a multimillionaire and no one in the world knew but Jennings. They worked day in and day out. Seeing people, scheduling meetings with the most prominent and powerful people in the world, and all completely free from any danger that someone would recognize the aging African-American man from Chicago.
A rainstorm had set in early one November night and preparations had been made for a visitor Porter had told Jennings about earlier in the day. At six o’clock the doorbell rang and Jennings answered it. A man with short-cropped hair and a thin scar beneath his right eye stood in the doorway with a military bag in his hands.
“Come in, Mr. Porter has been expecting you,” Jennings said.
The man entered and was soaking wet. Jennings reached behind the door and handed him a warm towel that had been prepared for the visitor. He took it and began to dry off his head, face, and neck. His waterlogged army jacket was immediately taken from him by Jennings. The assistant pointed at a doorway and the man entered.
“How ya’ doing there sunshine?” Porter said. His black shades were on despite the rain. “I know you don’t talk much so this should be a real hoot. All I need to do is have you set there and give me your hand,” Porter said. He pointed to a chair directly across from his.
The man sat down and noticed the small table between them had the newspaper opened to the section about the trial going on in Chicago about the Evolutionary Process and the dying planet they called home.
“Sad isn’t it? We only come together when things are practically falling apart,” Porter said. He shook his head in disgust. “Makes you wonder if we should even be given another chance don’t it?”
The man did not speak. He sat and looked at Porter. The elder man smiled and removed his shades. His eyes were opened and completely opaque.
“My momma said they were once the most beautiful brown she’d ever seen. Can’t say I believe her, never seen them myself. But you, you have eyes that I can see. Deep blue, like the ones that came before you, the other warriors of your line, I guess you could call them,” Porter said. He laughed.
The man still did not speak.
“I know you can talk and I know that you don’t want to. But in this place, my home, you don’t have to worry about that because I can still hear you in here,” Porter said. He tapped his forehead with a gnarled knuckle.
I can hear what you’re thinking and know what you’re gonna say before you even say it son, the man heard Porter’s voice say in his head. Don’t be alarmed, I know you’re scared and just want to go home, but now’s not the time to be scared. We all need you, and you know what I mean by that, the voice said. The man knit his eyebrows together and sighed deeply. He nodded to Porter.
“Let’s begin then,” said Porter. He nodded to Jennings, who closed the double doors behind him and walked down the hallway.
Both men waited until the assistant’s footsteps could no longer be heard on the hard wood floor. The man held out his hand to Porter and waited for the old man to take it in his gnarled hands. Silence filled the room. Then Porter grabbed the man’s hand in both of his and looked him directly in the eyes. Gone were Porter’s opaque irises. What the man saw made huge drops of perspiration drop from his forehead. Porter’s eyes were as blue as the man’s were and they had an unearthly glow to them.
“It’s okay Dwight, you’ll be safe. I promise,” Porter said.
Dwight’s vision blurred and he felt as if he had fallen face first into the soft carpet of Porter’s home. The reality was he was sitting up and holding onto the black sage’s hand and not breathing. All time had stopped around the two.
Porter looked up and was thrown backwards in his seat. The shockwave that had been released made Dwight suck in air. His eyes stung and he gasped for the breath that had been wrung from his lungs. Once his breathing was back to normal he moved towards Porter. The older man lay flat on his back, convulsing. Dwight tried to reach for him and Porter yelled at Dwight to stay away from him for a moment longer.
Porter stopped shaking and his eyes went from blue to brown to opaque in no time at all. Dwight rubbed his eyes to make sure he had seen the eye color change. Porter laughed heartily.
“Dwight Anders is your name. And you came here because Ms. Sharposhnikadinov sent you after she saw what happened to your family in Vegas. That’s right isn’t it?” said Porter.
Jennings came back into the room holding Dwight’s bag and jacket.
“Jennings, take Mr. Dwight Anders here upstairs and show him his room. Run a bath for him as well,” Porter said.
“Yes sir, as you wish,” said Jennings.
“A shower, a nice hot shower,” Dwight said.
Both men looked at him with eyes opened wide. They looked at each other slowly and then Porter Laughed. Jennings cracked a smile.
“Hot damn, boy, you can talk, what made do it now?” said Porter.
“I don’t like baths, but I love showers and it’s been a while,” said Dwight.
“Bright and early tomorrow morning Dwight,” Porter said. He plopped down onto his seat again.
Dwight looked at the rain pouring down in large chunks of hail and he laughed.
“Sure Mr. Porter, bright and early tomorrow morning.
Jennings showed Dwight the way up to his room and closed the door once Dwight was inside comfortably. He walked back to the living room and sat across the table from his employer and his friend.
“He good upstairs?” said Porter.
“Yes sir, he’s good. Why have him do this though, and why now?” said Jennings. He cracked his knuckles.
Porter stood up and walked over to a large oak cabinet that was between two of his bookcases. He removed a silver key in the shape of a heart from about his neck and opened the cabinet door. He then used the key again to open a small obsidian case inside the cabinet. Jennings stood beside his friend and looked on as Porter opened the case.
“Is that what I think it is?” said Jennings. His eyes moved over the pearl handle of the .45 caliber pistol that lay on a crimson pillow.
Porter’s hands easily found the handle and lifted the gun to Jennings.
“You see the scrollwork on the barrel? That was custom made for that particular job. The man who shot Dwight’s family knew what he was doing and knew exactly whom he would kill. What he didn’t know was that I’d get the gun in the end and that I’d help Mr. Anders find him,” Porter said.
Jennings checked the slide action and the clip. There was one bullet left in the clip. Jennings was about to speak when Porter did.
“Yeah Mike, one bullet, and you know who it’s for,” said Porter. He smiled but did not laugh.
Dwight stepped out of the shower and stood in front of the mirror in the small bathroom. He wiped the condensation from the mirror and looked at his reflection. He then wiped away the rest of the condensation to see the upper half of his body. He traced the scar that slashed across his torso, a grim reminder of what had happened to him in Las Vegas. He then looked at the thick black tattoo of the broken and jagged heart that was positioned exactly over his own heart. He rubbed it and began to cry. His body shook with his crying and he remained in front of the mirror for several minutes.
He wrapped a towel about him and fell asleep on the bed. He did not dream.

Here they are, like I promised...

Chapters 1 NaNoWriMo novel: Connected

Kasumi walked to the computer console and tapped some keys. The digital Dreamcatcher lit up the bay area in the room beyond the control room’s glass. The web-like structure of the digital hoop hung in the center of the room and slowly made its revolution, it moved imperceptively on its axis. Kasumi smiled.
The bay doors opened up to reveal seven chairs attached to a track. The chairs had pivot points and could easily be positioned down into a horizontal setting. Kasumi exited the control room and entered the bay area. Guzman walked in carrying the long heavy stack of fiber optic cables that would be attached to the seven chairs.
“How much time Guzman,” Kasumi asked. She slowly paced between the chairs, letting her freshly painted nails grate on the head rests of the leather seats.
“Sixteen-minutes Kasumi,” said Guzman. He smiled at her and finished plugging in the last of the glowing fiber optic cables to the seats.
Kasumi took a deep breath and exhaled. She nodded to Guzman and he walked toward the entry doors.
“Showtime,” Guzman said. He turned the power switch on, shut off the lights and opened the entry doors to the bay area.
The room was bathed in the white light of the rotating Dreamcatcher on its painfully slow rotation in the center of the bay. The light changed from bright white to an iridescent blue and seven spotlights focused their light on the chairs. Lin Kasumi looked at the sight of the digital Dreamcatcher and the seven chairs and smiled. She sighed once more.
It’ll work out in the end, she had thought to herself, it always works out in the end. Guzman shook hands with the first of the visitors to reach the bay entryway. She was a slender woman, older, and dressed in her finest. In her left hand she carried a martini with an olive. Kasumi smiled and the realization had hit here that Lacrosse was working his magic on the investors. Guzman waved at Kasumi, who in turn waved back to him. He exited the room as more people filtered into the bay area. They all looked at the chairs first then pointed up at the rotating Dreamcatcher. The room filled with whispers. Kasumi smiled broadly. Their plan was coming to fruition.
The investors and the Board had both been invited to witness the first full-fledged test of the digital Dreamcatcher. Henry Lacrosse’s baby project for Sombra Labs had been conceived in the back of the bay area after a failed meeting with the Board. Lacrosse was the Dreamcatcher Project manager and Lin Kasumi was his assistant project manager for each of the fourteen projects the lab was currently implementing. The Dreamcatcher Project, or DCP, as it became known throughout the lab, was Henry Lacrosse’s baby. He only hired seven staff members, which included Lin Kasumi and Antonio Guzman, the technician. There were also the seven volunteers that would occupy the chairs Lin stood beside. After the last of the investors strolled in and surrounded the chairs, the members of the Board arrived, graven faced and filled with food and drink. Henry Lacrosse entered last, a female investor on each arm and a smile on his face. From across the room he shot Lin a knowing nod and she placed the needle thin microphone by the side of her face and fastened it around her right ear. She looked back at the control room and Guzman gave her thumbs up.
“Ladies and gentlemen, members of the board, welcome to Sombra Labs. My name is Lin Kasumi, Assistant Project Manager of the Dreamcatcher Project,” Kasumi said.
Overhead speakers blared out U2’s Miracle Drug. From the open spaces of the Dreamcatcher’s web images of the world flashed on and off. Visions of war, poverty, scientists working on various projects, the first landing on the Moon, the very first space flight, the X-Prize flight, and then the Sombra Labs logo flashed above. There was some clapping as the images faded in and out of the spaces.
“I’ve no doubt that Mr. Lacrosse has shown you all a good time at dinner and taken you through our amazing facility. If you could all please step towards the chairs and form a circle. Tonight you’ll see first hand the miracle of science we’ve created here at Sombra,” Kasumi said.
“As most of you know, our planet is dying, and we are running out of resources to help us sustain life on it for more than thirty years. The Dreamcatcher Project is a means of bridging the gap from our world into worlds that exist parallel to us. You’ve all been there in dreams, the city you can’t quite place, the country you swear you’ve been to and know like the back of your hand. This is the purpose of this project, nothing short of finding a means of traveling to other worlds to save humankind from our inevitable destruction,” Kasumi said.
The spotlights on the chairs dimmed and seven men and women entered from the control room’s doors and weaved through the crowd towards their seats. Each volunteer was wearing a tight fitting gray suit with various plugs and nodes on their garb. They sat down on the plush leather seats and keyed a small pad that positioned their seats perfectly horizontal.
“As you can see our volunteers will now be keyed into each others consciousness through the Touch Suits we’ve created here at Sombra. Without further ado, I give you the Digital Dreamcatcher,” Kasumi said. She stepped out of the circle of chairs and walked over to Lacrosse.
“That was perfect Lin,” whispered Henry. He smiled at Kasumi and handed her a glass of champagne.
The lights turned off and the only illumination came from the rotating Dreamcatcher overhead. It stopped its rotation and moved upward several feet. Then it changed colors once more from blue to green. Everyone in the room was bathed in the glowing green light. The volunteers appeared to fall asleep, due to the sleeping cocktail Henry Lacrosse had devised. Then the long low humming began from the ground and worked its way up towards the hoop of the Dreamcatcher.
The champagne glasses vibrated and sung. People were amazed at this feat and then looked up to see the images before them. The seven volunteers were running in a green world. Lush grass that rose to thigh length and trees that created their own canopy covered the world. There was clean fresh water, clean skies and animals running free. There was some talk in hushed tones from some of the investors and the members of the Board. Henry Lacrosse smiled. Lin whispered in his ear.
“This is it, get ready for it,” she said. She breathed deeply and exhaled slowly.
The images that they had been waiting for never appeared. Instead what appeared was a flash of white light that shot out from between the spaces of the net and landed on the bay floor between the circle of seats. Henry Lacrosse stopped smiling. He walked over to the glowing light that landed and picked it up. He recoiled at first and dropped the light. He looked back at Kasumi.
“It’s cold,” he said. He tried to pick it up again.
Lacrosse held up the frozen piece of light and his eyes opened wide at the sight before him Encapsulated in the light was the image he had fought so long to hide from the Board. He motioned for Kasumi to come to him as everyone else was mesmerized by the images of the seven volunteers running through an empty world.
“What is it Henry?” Kasumi asked.
“Look inside the piece of ice,” said Lacrosse.
Kasumi shook her head after seeing the image she had been afraid of.
“What does that mean? It didn’t work before,” Kasumi said.
“It’s working now though, which means they really are in a world of their own making,” Lacrosse said. “We’ve figured out how to send someone out of this world on their own,” said Lacrosse.
There was a deep grating sound, like tires skidding on the road and a deep vibration began beneath the bay area. Lacrosse looked at the control booth and at Guzman. He shrugged his shoulders and checked the monitors.
“Nothing wrong from this end Kasumi,” Guzman said into her ear through the microphone in the control booth.
“So what the hell was that then?” said Kasumi.
“Don’t know. But everything is clear in there,” Guzman said.
“No, its not,” Kasumi said. She looked up at the Dreamcatcher, which had stopped showing images.
A fog could be seen between each strand of the net Henry Lacrosse dropped his glass of champagne as he saw the outline of the creature trying to break through the net of the Dreamcatcher. It was enormous and had glowing amber eyes. A deep rumble was felt as the thing punched through the netting of the Dreamcatcher. The seven volunteers’ vitals spiked and they all went into cardiac arrest. Guzman ran out of the room and tried to unplug the fiber optic cables from their chairs. As he reached the first chair and pulled the cable he was flung from the floor to the far wall in the bay area. Kasumi ran towards him and saw that he had been burned beyond recognition.
A vortex formed inside the Dreamcatcher as the creature pounded on the net. With one last punch, the Dreamcatcher disappeared in a fizzle of light and the creature moved into reality. A heavy obsidian foot slammed down on the chairs, crushing the volunteers and some of the investors that were unlucky enough to be standing there when the creature broke through. Henry Lacrosse yelled to the visitors to head for the bay doors and out the building. Kasumi ran into the control room.
The power had been cut inside the control booth and Kasumi searched for a panel beneath the control center. She flipped the switch inside the panel and the lights in the booth went red. The bay area was in complete darkness. Lacrosse ran towards the red-lit booth and slammed the door shut behind him. Another earth shaking movement jolted them sideways. The lights inside the bay area flickered on an off and played off the shiny body of the creature that had stepped into their world.
“What the hell is that thing? And how come that never happened before Kasumi?” said Lacrosse.
“I don’t know Henry, I really don’t and the only man that could possibly tell us is fried like charcoal outside this room,” said Kasumi. She worked the control panel back on and then hit several keys sharply on the main switchboard.
“What are you doing?” said Lacrosse.
“I’m trapping that thing in here, so at least it can’t get out,” Kasumi said.
“We’re still in here though, are you crazy?” Lacrosse said. He moved towards the back of the room and waited for Kasumi to finish.
The rumbling stopped. The lights flickered again and Kasumi was staring directly into the iris of the creature outside the control booth. She did not move. The glass fogged as the creature’s breathe was exhaled against the booth’s window. It roared and the glass blew inward, spraying Kasumi in the face. Blood trickled from the shards that had cut her as they flew past her and toward the back of the room.
The creature looked at the vortex and saw that it was closing. It lumbered back toward it and managed to get most of its body free. Its left arm was cut off from the wrist and fell to the bay area’s floor cleanly severed. Thick black colored mucous-like fluid flowed from the severed appendage. The lights flickered back on and stayed on. They shone brightly off of the slick obsidian shell of the appendage.
Kasumi looked down at the detached limb and vomited to her right. Lacrosse moved carefully toward Kasumi and looked down into the bay area’s floor and saw the gleaming arm of the creature that had made its way into his world.
“Magnificent,” said Lacrosse. He ran outside the booth and touched the sleek black surface of it.
Kasumi looked down from the booth and watched as Lacrosse passed out on the clawed hand.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Heeeeeeeere's Johnny...

So I'm back from my amazing wedding and Honeymoon. The wedding went off almost perfectly and the trip to Maui was amazing.
I also celebrated my 27th birthday and received some really cool gifts,
among them is the OGN, Fables: A 1,001 Nights from my wife.

I didn't finish the NaNoWriMo challenge, but did get in 11,ooo+ words so it was as start, and created some characters that I'll have to flesh out some more. Here's a list of the ones I wound up liking the most:
Dwight Anders, Lin Kasumi, Daniel Porter and his assistant Michael Jennings, Henry Lacrosse, Zev Petrovich, Hogarth Brennan and Kino Miranda

I'm still working out the kinks of the story but I'll be posting some chapters soon.