The State of My Writing Tools

Since this is November and Nanowrimo, I feel like sharing my writing tools because with the recent Apple announcement bugging me, I’m still evaluating what I use to write.

I work on Macs for writing, and within my MacBook is Scrivener. I can’t be without that app to do my job. Just the best document organizer and word processor I could ever find.

I still use Microsoft Word and Pages for story editing, but never draft them, except résumés and cover letters. It’s Track Changes. I love it. Honestly, if anything I want it is to make Track Changes open source and fuse it with Scrivener, but this is not a perfect world and I must live with it. I also use Evernote for story ideas, notes, and articles to reference by, maybe draft a blog entry if I feel like it.

Outside the laptop I have my collection of notebooks. A couple pocket size ones for quick jots during the day, a couple full journals, and some notebooks I haven’t touched yet, like the blank sketchbook covered wrapped in leather from Oberon Designs.

I carry a Lamy Safari fountain pen—with an extra fine steel nib and filled with Noodler’s Black—a G2 gel pen, and a mechanical pencil.

I do have an iPad but it showed its age this year. Sitting on the shelf, collecting dust, and wiped of all my data and apps, I’m still figuring out what to do with it. Selling it is fruitless; it’s engraved with my name and website.

So back to Apple. They released the new MacBook Pros after being ignored from significant updates for years that with the new models, some things I like and some just…unsettle me. I still like the design, the software, surprisingly like the keys after seeing one at an Apple Store, and somewhat yay or nay on the Touch Bar band wagon, but the big pros and cons I have about them is the USB-C ports. Nothing wrong with USB-C; I like it. My phone is USB-C. MacBook Pros were loaded with ports to satisfy professionals, but now it’s a adapter nightmare. It’s smart Apple realized the issue and cut the prices in half but a headache is still a headache. It’s just too early to call it.

As a person that grew up using Macs, I’m torn. It bothers me. The software is great, but the hardware premium is getting higher.

In the future I would love to move to full-time Linux. In my notes I have a conversion chart for alternative apps, most are now web based. But the two big reasons I can’t move just yet is Scrivener and iTunes.

Scrivener for Mac has all the features I need the unofficial Linux version has, not even Revisions. iTunes—oh boy—I still have shows still on DRM, which only work on iTunes or iOS. I did try building a Raspberry Pi iTunes server one time but it never worked. I can find an app to remove the DRM, but not right now.

Or instead of Linux, I go rogue and build a hackintosh, the Frankenstein of Apple users. My brother built his for work and he’s, literally, happy as a clam still. The budget is slowly growing, just nowhere near where I want it.

I don’t know what direction to take right now, but that choice will come. And if USB-C gets into pop culture, I’ll reconsider my opinions. But right now, I’ll stick with my MacBook for my work.

Mana Pool – The Ghost Factor – Chapter 1 Sample

Happy Halloween, folks.

The second novel is still not done. That’s just the hard fact to stomach, and I know it’s taking this long to write it. I figure that since it’s taken this long, I’ll just have to cave and share what I have.

One chapter. Just one. That’s all you will get for now. Hope you enjoy the beginning, I’d love to hear what you think.

Mana Pool Divider

wave_crystal

Magnolia Lane Plantation

Derry, Louisiana

April 14, 2013 10:17 PM ATW

Remember me saying things will get complicated after my sister got home? Well, fuck complicated. Things got ridiculous.

One hour. Just one hour from starting the night’s hunt and everything turned south so fast. My right hand shook my camcorder and flashlight in the other as fear radiated through my body, causing goosebumps on my arms to rise as dense as sandpaper. I experienced poltergeist activity before, but miss, after The Wave, this felt different.

I mouthed curses as I watched a candlestick float several feet away from me in the upstairs hallway. All three candles were lit, orange and yellow flames flickered. It swayed right to left, slow and ominous. It was a cliché, right out of a ghost story, but it was real. It happened.

I was scared, but the greatest feeling was excitement.

“K-Keep recording, this stuff is great,” I said to Alex.

“How about breathing? You’ll jerk that camera off your hand,” Alex said, more scared than me. I failed to make a comeback.

What we witnessed and captured was as much as movie and TV special effects. Now, before The Wave, those effects did not exists in the real world. Actual poltergeist activity like objects moving on their own were rare. Common activities were EMP spikes on detectors, disembodied voices in white noise recordings, and unexplained white orbs on video. Capturing the rare events is a hunter’s goldmine to prove the afterlife’s existence.

It’s as if The Wave shook the ghost world too. But from my knowledge, people refuse to acknowledge it’s a big deal.

“Poke it,” Alex said.

“Poke a candlestick?” I said back. “Alex, knock off the jokes.”

“Who’s the leader? You are. You convinced us to come here and you’re the most needy to get evidence. It’s your hunt. Check for wires. It has to be wires.”

My former investigation partner was this stuck up skeptic of the supernatural. We knew each other since college. He covered the equipment issues like batteries, memory cards, replacements, and some repairs since his film degree didn’t go anywhere. He needed a side job anyway. Yeah, it took some convincing to join me on this hobby of mine, but the travel aspect was the seller. He kept his stubbornness and skepticism, but since The Wave, it lowered to being anti-terran. He was scared of magic as the rest, even checking whims for tattoos every day, anticipating the day he’ll be what my sister is.

“Knock it off with the wire jokes, Alex. If you think so, check yourself,” I said.

“Nah uh. Not me. You-“

The candlestick darted away and into the master bedroom before Alex finished. I cursed loud and my skin prickled.

“What’s going on up there?” Frank yelled from downstairs, another former tech. He was in freelance audio for recording studios, the one that made a living on his degree.

“Don’t come up, we got this! Stick with Tabitha and Sassel,” I said and ran to the bedroom, fearing just about anything to go wrong.

Luckily the curtains were only on fire. Good thing it wasn’t the bed. “Shit! Alex, help me with this!”

The plantation-era antiques had been preserved by the owners for years. They’d kill me if I let anything else turn to ash. The candlestick was out and on the floor. I kicked it away as I and Alex tore the half-burning curtains down and stomp them out. The floor was scorched a little but better than a burning building, right?

Alex’s voice jittered as he talked. “Oh man, this is getting too real, Robert. Too fucking real. We need to leave.”

I made several more stomps before saying, “This is small, Alex. It’s the best footage. Tabitha hasn’t even started yet.”

“Small? Listen to yourself! You’re being obsessive. We’ll die if we stay long enough.”

He had his own reasons, but I was the leader. I waited too long to find and capture my evidence and that small poltergeist act would not scare me away.

“We will not die. Stop thinking so overboard about—“

“Fuck this theory. I’m out,” he exclaimed.

I restrained myself from socking him in the jaw. “Alex! This evidence is important. I can’t stress this enough,” I argued. “I’m not backing out and neither is Tabitha.”

“Bringing her was a mistake!” That prejudice tone was there like bad cabernet, strong enough to can’t be drinkable.

“Hey, feel free to leave for all I care. This is the third strike from you about her. Go, but I will not leave until I get my—“

A high pitched scream from downstairs cut me off, and a familiar one to make me forget Alex’s judgement. Frank’s voice came next. “Whoa, whoa, Tabitha, stop! Holy shit!”

Her scream got louder and higher in pitch just like that monk voice during The Wave, but raw fear was mixed to make me feel it within my skin. Magic had a play I’m sure. Blue light shone from the hall, along with the sound of a power generator, lasting for several seconds. Frank screamed again. Then a heavy thud hit the ground floor along with Tabitha’s terror filled voice.

“No,” I whispered.

“She didn’t!” Alex yelled then turned to me. “Nice job getting us killed, dickwad!”

Suddenly, the whole house shook under my feet. The walls groaned like a tired old man. The antiques on the shelves and tables in their place, even some fell and crashed to the floor. I stood strong against it, but Tabitha’s safety was all I concerned about.

I ran out of the bedroom ignoring Alex’s warnings and pocketed my camcorder. I grasped my flashlight tight in my right hand. Alex yelled to wait up but a thud and an “oof” made me turn back. Alex was flat on his chest. An ottoman was under his legs. I never saw that near us but on the other side of the room during the initial house scope an hour ago. Just like other stories. “Alex, you okay?”

He waved me away after groaning. Hi looked up with hateful eyes at me. “I’m fine, but this is all on you. Stop that terran before she kills us!”

“She’s not a killer!” I did not help Alex. Not all terrans are killers. I know it all too well. Screw Alex.

I was almost to the stairs when a table from the wall suddenly moved to block my path. Yep, poltergeist activity was doubling in strength. It had to be terran magic pulling another surprise on me, yet others will argue as always. I dodged it without clipping my hip on its edge. Then a couple of paintings flew at my face as I ran down the staircase, but I avoided each one without hesitation and got to the ground floor.

Frank ran past me in a blur before I stopped him. That guy looked scared to hell, running out the door screaming, “I quit!.” He ran past the Jeep, through the long driveway, dropping his equipment in every direction so to run faster. It felt pointless to stop him.

“Robert, come! Tabitha’s out cold!” Blared a shrill, female Southern voice.

Instead of the voice’s owner, my eyes fell on the living room’s highest poltergeist activity. My flashlight fell from my relaxed hand. Older antiques floated and circled in a vortex of charged mana near Tabitha’s unconscious body. The voodoo priestess-turned-terran was on her back, her white turban was knocked off. She wore her traditional white dress and modified it a while ago to accommodate her terran tail to sway free, but it was pinned under her back. Her pointed ears stood out from her shaved head. On her chest, her black cat totem was performing CPR and swatting Tabitha’s face with no change.

“Dammit, Tabitha, now’s not the time to cat nap!” The cat yelled again with another swat to Tabitha’s cheek, its glowing blue eyes showed much concern.

I called out her name before kneeling beside her avoiding the chaos overhead. She still breathed, shallow, like in a deep sleep, but her mouth moved to quiet mumbles of her ancestral African language, without her deep, sweet Southern motherly accent.

“Sassel, please tell me Tabitha did it intentionally,” I said.

“On purpose? No, she bloody did not! Separate to cover more ground. What a brilliant idea!”

“Never mind that.” I dodged a heavy book that narrowly clipped my head. “What happened?”

She shook her head then said, “She. Got. Scared. She got defensive, charged her mana, and it all got sucked out of her. Happy!?”

I wasn’t. “All of it?”

“Every last drop. Don’t you dare question a totem’s words.”

A gaping hole in my stomach opened. If I knew one thing about totems, they know their masters, all their lives. They are their physical subconscious after all. I had no say to argue against Sassel, but it proved part of my theory. If only I wasn’t so nearsighted to stay with her. Sometimes I hate my bad choices.

“Shit. We need to leave before Hell breaks. Alex, get your ass down here!” I started pulling Tabitha from under her armpits. Man she was heavy. She still mumbled. I then noticed the lack of terran tattoos. Was she really drained of mana?

Alex was already at the bottom of the stairs. He saw the vortex, dropped his camcorder, and bolted out the front door. “Fuck this shit!” He screamed. Jerk.

Before I was five feet from the door, still dragging Tabitha, the floorboards rattled as piano keys to stop me. Each space gave off the familiar blue light. A booming voice of someone—or something—overcame me, as if whaling in bone-splitting pain. Fear overcame me.

Wind from nowhere blew around me, then toward the vortex. I spotted charged mana seeping from the floor board cracks, adding to the growing torrent of energy.

It was close…

That feeling of “Get the hell out!” and “See it before it disappears!” fought within me, but the ladder won. I watched the charged mana morph. It was the same as the other stories, and some video on the internet. Nothing to stop it, yet I had to see see the result for good reason. The thing was near completion when Sassel hissed at it. As it faced us, Sassel screamed and ran out. I stayed, seeing, almost losing my grip on Tabitha. She can summon that?

Some places were fully manifested, some yet to be complete. I could see inside its chest cavity; organs, intestines and ribs expanded with each hoarse breath. Its arms and legs were on different places on the semi-merged torso. Like a headless body drove neck-first into the other’s lower back. It’s stretched head stared down at me with four empty eye sockets. It struggled for air and gurgled fluids, desperate to be alive.

To put it in perspective, that damn thing was a Picasso/John Carpenter stitching of a Confederate soldier and a slave woman.

It’s only a ghost it’s only a ghost, I thought.

It opened their mouths of crooked teeth, unhinged. It gurgled, then screamed to vibrate the whole house and my body.

“BATS TOIIIIIII!”

I snapped myself out of it and found the urge to carry Tabitha on my shoulder and ran out. Frank being long gone, me, Alex (somehow waiting for me), Sassel and Tabitha got into the rental Jeep. I took the driver seat, fired up the engine, and sped on  the driveway screaming as my throat turned dry. Looking in the rear view mirror, the damn ghost was out, running after us, still screaming that word.

“Drive faster!” Alex yelled.

“I am, I am.”

Once I drove passed the gate and looked back, the ghost was already dissolving away.

Told you things got ridiculous!

What Do We Know – Containment Protocol and After

On New Year’s Day morning, the White House was still under lockdown since the nation-wide massacre. Bodies were still being picked up across the capitol by the truckload, cars and infrastructure damaged to untold sums of repair costs, and people had their faces to the live news of the Oval Office.

Sarah Winchester, Secretary of the Interior who worked and educated herself out of Los Angeles’ Skid Row when she was a child, survived the massacre in Capitol Hill after hiding in a closet with three others with a fire axe in her hand. Scores of red-eyed humans that were employees and civilians slaughtered people, each one chanting, “Witnesses must die!” Five of them were outside, bashing at the closet door just to rip the woman’s and the other’s heads off.

She was sure she had no secrets to hide. Holes were made in the wood, bleeding fingers coming closer to them. Winchester raised the axe. Just a few fingers, that’ll hopefully scare them away. Then they withdrew as the red eyes screamed for mercy. Looking through the blood-soaked holes, Sarah saw them holding their heads, then their brains popping out from the side. No gunfire caused it. The halls went silent, as did the whole city in the largest death toll ever recorded.

Winchester remembered that night as she placed her left hand on the Bible and raised her right. “I do solemnly swear…”

The Former President resigned a couple days after the attacks when his daughter got her tattoo and transformed. So with the Cabinet all but obliterated from either being red eye or a victim, Winchester and the Secretary of State were left. When the State secretary was approached for the presidential seat, he refused as he was recovering in a hospital with a dislocated shoulder, and probably torn ligaments, when a red tied tried taking his arm to use as a club. It came down to Winchester, and people where ambivalent about the idea,

“I inherited a disaster,” quoted Winchester in her unprepared acceptance speech, “and I swore to fix it. Right now, don’t look at the formalities. Don’t put whatever is happening to us diminish your lives. Right now, this nation is traumatized, and it’s me and our citizens to make it bounce back.”

Whether it was the Black Death in Middle-Age Europe, the Holocaust, tribal wars over land, and two world wars, the few days after the Wave were confusing, fearful, and coated in blood that daunts the imagination. Humans hostile to terrans; terran sympathizers; anti-terran gangs; terrans fighting back—it was a biohazard witch-hunt across the world.

Governments without warning unanimously agreed to amass all military forces to do one thing: locate terrans, subdue them, and contain them in designated facilities. How to go about it had no limitations. Civilian, citizen, no matter on race, religion, age, class, wealth, cast, or circumstance—people with the tattoo or terrans were branded as enemies, low class beings, terrorists, even demons and aliens.

Ironically, if a soldier gets a tattoo, they are discharged from duty and treated as such, despite the obvious logic and even months into it let alone listen to reason from their new Commander in Chief.

The whole reason for containment was muddled. Religion? Safety? Superstition? God’s power in mortal hands? Finding a cure? You be the judge.

After terrans were seen and people scrambled for answers to hard questions, Russia and North Korea went silent. Communications and trade were cut, borders were locked down. Any chance to gather intelligence was silenced.

After the Pope shared his speech at The Vatican, damaged from embedded Wave crystals and confused Catholics, they closed their gates from Rome, leaving only the Pope, Cardinals, and security staff to contemplate if this event is a gift from God or a curse. It would be months before they opened up with perplexed emotions. Talking to a subconscious representation can question a new terran’s life, especially when several Cardinals became terrans.

The ones who demonized terrans carried out vengeful acts. Demons took over their loved ones bodies. They will never be the same. Too many excuses to count. Even though terrans were stronger and had magic in their hands, they faced humiliation, degradation, torture, even death. They just had no time to study their new gifts, not even a defense spell.

Even authorities joined in the conquest, with high-powered rifles and riot gear.

December 23rd was the start of military control. Soldiers were regimented in every country, in every city, town, farmland, and private land, looking for terrans. The tactics were too good to fowl up; they were so organized. Nothing stopped them from obtaining terrans. If they couldn’t capture the protected ones, everybody got bullets to their chests and heads then move on to the next. Capturing them ranged from smoke bombs, tear gas, tasers, and tranquilizers, then placed in trucks to be hauled away by armed guards.

Groom Lake. Area 51. Known to the public as the military test facility for secret aircraft designs, from the Lockheed U-2 to the F-117 stealth fighter, and the massive security detail surrounding the airfield. As far as pop culture goes, the airbase down to harbor extraterrestrial beings and their UFOs, but that’s up for debate. Yet this base became one of several terran concentration camps in the U.S..

Everyone was fed, but they were also studied. Some were dissected while still alive, harvesting the mana heart, killing their totem over and over to find a breaking point, and if a terran changed up to attack, they were killed instantly and their bodies burned where they lie.

Marshal Law was enacted. The news was blacked out and the Internet became white noise of confusion.

When 8PM Pacific Time rolled, and when Nova Company’s Endeavour entered over Groom Lake restricted airspace, things went from bad to worse.

Soldier’s and people’s behaviors became less rational and more animalistic. Primal even. Most of the humans showed blood coming out of their sockets as they fought, at the same time, across the globe. From children to the elderly, no terran or humans was safe from the red eye’s murderous rage. Some called them mad, deranged, their lust made their blood vessels pop, hyped up on bath salts version two, the Wave crystals way of punishing humans, and also zombies. The symptom was too much to comprehend.

Unsettling as their killings, all of them chanted, “Witnesses must die!” Kind of the most useless information to think over. It could mean anything. The aliens? The transformation? That mystery is still debated to today.

That slaughter, to what Scott and Katie survived, Winchester survived, and all others in the world, lasted for ten minutes.

Groom Lake survivors, all terrans, told of the alien attack, or rescue once the ships captain, Brill Secambre, formally apologized at the White House the day after on the loss of lives. Terrans were ignored by the aliens, as if they were one of them, but finding out the truth drew up confusion with the aliens too. While they escaped the fight between red eyed humans and heavily armed aliens, guns and knifes and magic and fists, they all came under a massive explosion; a blue mushroom cloud over the runway. Soon enough, the side of the red eye’s heads exploded out and the fight ended.

This cascaded across the entire United States. The same moment, same behavior, same ending. No other country had the same scaled of red eye death but all red eyes stopped their killings and their eyes stopped bleeding. Nobody had no memory of their deeds, yet most that were red eyes were seen as suspicious.

Winchester had to work extremely hard to get the country to rebuild. She had to work with what was left of Congress and the Senate to appoint new leaders within two weeks, then set strategic goals for transportation, communication, healthcare, emergency services, foreign trade, and law reform. Winchester did not care about the stock market’s flux periods. She did not care about the little things. Getting the country moving was important. She would have to make some serious decisions in her presidency, such as the Utah Massacre and the New York Riots. And for thinking for the terrans and with interest in the new skills, she pushed for the Terran Equality Act.

“I refuse to see segregation come back, not in my nation,” quoted Winchester in an interview. “If we don’t work together, we will all face the consequences.”

Yet people refuse to listen. Four months in and humans still despise terrans. They just see them as living weapons.

Are terrans doing anything about it? Yes. There are small improvements in farming, manufacturing, entertainment, security, medicine, pop culture, politics, but that news exists on the internet and in person. Popular media? Forget it. The bad news brings in more eyeballs than the good.

Four years. That is how long it will take for the human race to convert to terrans as people speculate. The entire human race going extinct, and that scares a lot of people. So, when they do get a tattoo, they are faced against a hard moral choice: accept your new life, fight for it, and understand your new powers, or die. That plays a lot of ethics, morals, religion, and culture on the human species.

But that is the state of things in the winter of 2013. Who knows what will happen in spring, or summer. Terrans are still discovering themselves every day. It will take time for the transition to find balance.

With everything happening on this small backwater planet in the tail of the Milky Way galaxy, what does the rest of the galaxy think about this?

Coming out of the Binge

Right now I moved from watching Stranger Things three times to almost finishing the first season of Supergirl.

Honestly I attempted to write my review of Stranger Things and piece my own theories for Season Two, but it didn’t work out. I was injecting my thoughts to explain the supernatural elements that would muddle what is already good about it.

In short: watch Stranger Things. Get the free trial and binge watch it for six hours. I can’t wait to know what happened with the Upside Down next year. Please let it be a imagination fabrication!

In a twist, this show got me playing Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday afternoon via Roll20. I never played it. No, wait, scratch that. Last year I did attend a D&D demo at SDCC for half an hour and enjoyed it. Back then I did get the starter set, but even the rules of creating a character got confusing without outside help. Even YouTube videos didn’t help. And I didn’t know anybody in my home town that played it.

This group I’m with is with other small writers and geeks. I may not be a good rollplayer or not sure if my spells are ready for the next round, but I know what it means to have a half elf Wild Magic Sorcerer (I named mine Randal) lose control after dishing out Magic Missile and vaporizing a spike demon.

More What Do We Know pieces will be showing up this Saturday. The next one took a while to compile just with the scale of things to cover. Headache inducing really. You’ll like it for you Mana Pool lovers. As far as Ghost Factor is concerned, it’s coming. There is a plan to share it better than before so bear with me.

Back to the writing board I go!

These Eyes Seen Things

2016-08-03 16.45.50.jpg

See these glasses? They were on my face for five years, give or take. What surprised me when I got them, or even found them at the hospital’s optometry department, was that they were made by Converse. The very same company that makes those Converse All-Star shoes. Who da thunk it? I can’t remember what was the model name; it has something to do with Reverse or Rebel or something with the letter R. I think I got them around my ITT Tech years. Yeah, that sounds about right. But why am I blogging about my glasses?

From 2009 until yesterday, I wore those frames. I changed the lenses twice on new prescriptions, and I never once thought about switching to a different brand. I just didn’t have the mindset to do it for obvious reasons. Both pairs had Transitions coatings, meaning that they change to sunglasses when outside. I loved them. They were me.

But if you think about it, all those years wearing them, they seen some horrid moments in my life.

Family loss. Personal embarrassment. The birth of two novels. Tired nights of writing. An uncharted amount of computer screen viewing. Five comic book conventions. So many tears shed.

So much history in one set. Hypothetically if I handed them to a psychic, he or she would break down in tears from the transferred memories and visions.

Right now, the lenses are so scratched up and the Transitions coating is delaminating. Up close there’s enough scratches that match a beach filled with footprints before sunset. You’d be surprised how hard I had to look past them while driving. Perhaps that’s what happens during years of mental torment—you forget to take care of yourself.

So I finally got the eye exam I desperately needed—no eye issues thank goodness—and decided to buy from a startup called Warby Parker. They look reminiscent of my old pair, but with some color if looked up close.

Hopefully this time they will see good things rather than the bad.

What Do We Know – The Wave

This is the first in a series of Mana Pool draft notes—facts, history, characters, species, politics, locations, etc.—and are subject to change for the final result. Enjoy the readings.

*****

One week after popular media became infatuated with Jaruka Teal’s presence, report the damage of the controversial containment protocol, and debate the “terran threat,” a small fishing vessel dubbed the Brigadier docked in Skagway, Alaska. It was not their regular port of call: it was an emergency. It’s hull was dented by a Wave Crystal. Holes were noticed and had to be patched, but the cabin it leaked into had to be pumped hourly. The bridge’s roof was caved in, also by a Wave Crystal, but was embedded in the steel behind the captain’s chair. Their radio equipment was fried, no change to signal the Coast Guard until leaving international waters and signal a ship with lights and flare guns. Three out of the four-man crew were severely dehydrated, malnourished, and had signs of post-shock. The captain disclosed that the fourth crew member went overboard when the Wave passed over them, hit by the crystal. The only remains of him was a severed left leg.

Like many others, the captain didn’t believe Asteroid Helen would crash and thought best to keep on fishing. He was three payments away from being debt free. The collective repairs of his vessel would bring him to bankruptcy, and he refused to accept it. He sold off the boat for scrap, let his crew go, and found work on the docks to one day rebuild his fishing career.

His eyewitness account of the Wave and the crash out at sea was important because his boat was the closest than any other vessel. Any information about it was gold to understand what really happened. There is still a possibility that someone was out there, seeing the crash up close, but that was a pipe dream for theorists.

Once the asteroid entered the atmosphere and flew over the ship, the Brigadier’s equipment suffered an EMP pulse nobody could determine how it was generated. The sound-breaking shockwave almost capsized the Brigadier from an ocean wave. Through his binoculars, the captain watched the asteroid crash over the horizon.

It is still unknown how it prevented a tsunami or not ignite the oxygen in the air or flash boil the water, but the Brigadier’s crew didn’t care once the tower of white light rose.

There are three distinct periods of The Wave: the crystal fall, the infection, and the awakening, each one following the next.

In crystal fall, once the tower reached to roughly 30,000ft, it spread to open a rift through space and time, from where or when is still debated and theorized, even with the Department of Experimental Magicks of the Galactic Republic. Ground Zero was then covered in impenetrable clouds. The rift expanded and when the tower extinguished itself, the ring formed, expanding as fast as people could track it. It was over the Brigadier within minutes. The ship’s first mate – scared to consider going to church for the first time since grade school – saw within the rift. He described it as, “a hellish space of reds and purples. I would not suppose demons lived there.”

Crystals fell, like meteors from space and debris from crumbling skyscrapers. There was minimal coverage on the Brigadier to take.

The rift expanded, blanketing the planet’s surface and ocean depths with Wave Crystals. It didn’t matter if the land had life, but human presence was the Wave’s target. Once the Wave hit the mainland, the crystals grew in size and shape. Some buildings survived, while others crumbled from shattered foundations or ripped support beams. Highways and freeways pot-marked, bridges and overpasses collapsed, gridlocking a city’s major infrastructure. Thinner crystals impaled the less fortunate. Rural areas saw minimal crystal fall. Major electrical grids and communications lines were crippled.

The expected cost of damage across the world was, for lack of the better word, undetermined.

Once the rift left the devastated land and the loss of life was so much to comprehend, the crystals started glowing, from the smallest shards to the towering monoliths. Their glow intensified and so did a sound, much like a merged ohm or ah, low to make human bones shake. The major result came from the larger crystals as the sound and light hit their peak. Light burst from them without shattering the crystals. It separated into individual orbs of white light, not much bigger than softballs, and impossible to count them. Streams of light circled a solid ball of light, bright enough to cause blind spots in people’s eyesight. They hovered in the air, and after a minute, every orb scurried like an agitated ant colony, hunting down and merging with every human being. It didn’t matter if humans were hospital bed-bound, hiding under steel plates, in remote places far from civilization, or have yet to be born: no human was left untouched. On contact, people described it as being plugged into an electrical outlet: their nervous system overloaded, their cells tingled, and the amount of pain no human could combat.

Humans collapsed into a coma where they stood, their bodies still twitching minutes later, then still, breathing slow.

Before the awakening, areas were silent. No cars, trucks, trains, or planes(either grounded or taken down by crystals) operated. The sound of an apocalypse, the very sound of silence the earth never heard before humans invented the internal combustion engine. Humans slumbered for a full hour, and just as the Wave passed, humans opened their eyes, breathing in air, and scared of their changed world. Surveillance footage from backup power was frightening enough as animals walked about, unaffected.

It did not take long for the first humans to get their tattoos, marking them as the first terrans.

People scrambled to check with allied countries and were shocked on the Wave’s simple logic. India and China, the world’s most densely populated lands, was whittled down to rubble, corpses on every corner, and a massive blow to the world’s economy. The relief effort is still ongoing to this day as the bodies are still counted, and many aid organizations gave up due to heartache.

People imagined what the end of the Wave created. Determining the coordinates of the island, 55°41’09.3″S 35°34’30.8″E was the opposite, located between the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. Once military ships arrived, their expectations were short lived. The location was baron. Deep sea radar discovered a crystal cluster, seemingly useless in importance.

The UN urged military personnel in every allied country to gather and contain all crystals not stuck in the ground, stuffed in shipping containers, bunkers, storage buildings, anywhere with unused space. Any time to study them met with government and public opinion: no. Only the terrans and their damage on politics, economy, religion, and military were on everybody’s mind to corral and manage.

Four months later when political ease is nowhere in sight, from terran rights, military collapse, to religious conflicts, people noticed the crystals were growing as fast as ornate succulents. Many discredit the evidence and worry about the end of human life in four years.

Interesting note. When Jaruka Teal heard of the Wave from terrans captured with at Area 51/Groom Lake, he said that the rift acted like a similar spell for colony and refugee relocation. The Her Zunel Wahr. The complex ritual is used for temporary terraforming a planet, moon, or asteroid. The magic lasts for months for food production, rest, trade, repair, then move on. Everything else, Jaruka said, was in theory or illegal practice.

If the theory is sound, does this equate to an artificial creation?

First Post – Coming Back

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Here it is. I told you a new website was coming and I delivered.

For those who don’t know, my original hosted website was hacked by a malicious URL injection. That’s a fancy term for making my website show up on searches that don’t relate to “author” or “writer” or any of my stories. Real nasty. More nasty was the search terms that popped up on my dashboard, some got so adult I felt embarrassed seeing them. Trust me, I did use two different anti-virus programs, delete the SEO that was infected, but the searches kept coming up bad. So bad that one of the terms was in another language that I went “Forget it!”, backed up my pages, and cancel the hosting. Good thing I got my money back.

This time it’s simpler so I can focus on writing rather than fiddling with a server. Whether or not this is temporary, I don’t care: content is important.

If you have followed the old website, be sure to press the FOLLOW button up top to subscribe. If you are part of the WordPress network, even better. Sorry but MailChimp will be disabled.

Stay tuned for more content today.