These Eyes Seen Things

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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.

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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.

What Do We Know – Asteroid Helen

On December 21, 2012 at 12:37PM PST, asteroid K2-5387 commonly known as Asteroid Helen, crashed into the North Pacific Ocean. It was dubbed Ground Zero afterwards, located under three hundred miles from Alaska’s coastline at location 55°41’08.8″N 144°25’29.2”W, just short of the tectonic shelf, and east of Kodiak, AK. This is never forgotten, even when it changed the earth and its dominant species forever. At least, that’s what we know as of now. Let’s recap on what has happened after the crash.

Before it messed up everybody’s lives, it had been a hot topic of speculation since Dr. Maggie Helen discovered it in Hawaii on October 22, 2010, while conducting imaging data for Project Starscape. Every single human—old, young, intelligent, ignorant, and superstitious—had some thought of what its discovery meant and each one polarized another. But the ideal notion on everybody’s head was the movie industry’s fantasy coming to life, played out until people got sick of it within a week: asteroid found, humans panic, religions clash and outcry in public and gruesome demonstrations, and either blown up by oil drillers, astronauts, or plain old faith. That last part is all fantasy. Many governments discussed sending nuclear missiles to blast it away, despite the implications the science community repeated, but that was soon disbanded once countries fought over who would press that ‘Launch’ button. Astronomers calculated the asteroid’s path, published the results, and made sure to everybody that science will prevail.

K2-5387’s trajectory and velocity, along with Earth’s solar orbit speed of 66,000 MPH, the planet will dodge it on December 21. Coincidence that the date is synonymous to doomsday-preachers and in relation to the Mayan calendar. Yet the ancient calendar worked in cycles, not the end of human life. For two years, the entire planet held their breath, and the earth’s inhabitants waited, and studied it.

Asteroid Helen’s surface was, for the lack of a better term, unforgiving. Terrain was mostly sharp spikes of iron ferrite and silica-made glass, charred black and glistening by starlight, which was blasted and melted back from solar heat, making the metal and glass structures malleable as clay, and frozen by below zero space. Other areas were flat, sooth rock plains that were clear enough from the spikes, but were made of denser rock, which was how Jaruka Teal managed to find his landing spot behind the asteroid and out of view from earth’s satellites. And when the asteroid rotated on its axis, Jaruka increases his ship’s cloaking technology. The asteroid was active also, geysers when exposed to heat spewed toxic fumes and ice crystals into space that some stayed behind by the asteroid’s own gravity, yet trailed behind in a green and purple tail.

Months of study and breath holding, and for a few hours, it did pass earth, until it made a sudden ninety degree turn toward the Pacific Ocean.

It entered the earth’s atmosphere, screaming over South and North America at beyond the speed of sound. The land shook under people’s feet. Glass from cars and buildings shattered from the sonic blast, even buildings that could withstand a 7.0 earthquake along the San Andreas fault line were reduced to rubble.

It crashed into the earth’s crust, the tidal wave or wall of fire was prevented somehow, white light erupted into a column into the sky, and an expanding purple ring that sent an uncountable amount of Wave crystals in its wake across the planet’s surface, varying in size and shape. But even more mysterious, and familiar to all, was that Asteroid Helen was shrouded in a dome-shaped cloud 20 miles high and 40 miles wide. Intense seismic activity was recorded too that it was felt across the American coast, but low and nonthreatening. Scientists worried the asteroid was still “active” and was burrowing through the earth’s crust. Some speculated the constant earthquakes would bring the Alaskan coastline under water. It didn’t, but people feared that thought.

The cloud cover over Ground Zero was pure white, but thick and impenetrable by sonar, radar, or infrared. The clouds rotated counter-clockwise. A mile out from the dome, intense ocean waves and riptides turned the surrounding ocean into a torrential death trap. Political stances played on who wanted to monitor Ground Zero for national security. American, Russian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese navy ships circled the area, running distant tests and surveys to understand what was really happening inside the dome. Many speculated, since terran magic was coming into view in professional and amateur journalism and in some cases in practice, that Ground Zero was shrouded in magic. If terran magic was studied late winter, technicians could determine the amount of energy Ground Zero emanated, levels to turn even the tannest of human bone white.

Probes were floated into it, but were destroyed by the circling rapids, then letting the inward riptides take the pieces through the dome. Days later after Jaruka made camp near Lake Skinner in Temecula, CA, an American battleship was suddenly hit by an electromagnetic pulse from the dome; people speculated from afar. The waves drew the ship in by its stern. Most of the crew evacuated by life raft before it reached the outer ring. The waves slammed and ripped through the hull like paper, and its top disintegrated into sand as the bow grazed the dome. The remaining crew on the ship, unable to escape the ship, suffered intense magical energies that their bodies merged with the steel, or ripped part from the inside. The dome swallowed the ship, never to be seen again.

By sanction of the U.N., no military, civilian, fishing or shipping vessel, or aircraft of any affiliation were permitted in the 60 mile wide restricted zone. Shoot on sight was encouraged. But that did not stop sea creatures circling Ground Zero, even the mighty blue whales singling to it.

So far, from the crash until April, Ground Zero acted the same state, unrelenting in its act. In many ways, it acted just as a terran transformation. Patience passed, and Ground Zero finally settled down.

The area was still under scientific examination and strict restrictive laws, but once the cloud dome dissipated and the waves and riptides turned to calm waters, an island was revealed. Surveillance reports stated the asteroid raised the underwater land 6,000ft as jagged mountains much like the asteroid’s surface in space, then flowed down to a bordering white sand beach. The mountains surrounded the largest Wave Crystal on the planet, towering over 30,000ft, perfectly perpendicular to the planet. Within minutes of being revealed, plants grew along the mountains.

Once people landed on the island for study, they found an intricate tunnel system through the ring mountain, leading toward the center. Nobody found find the remains of the ship still.

Contested for responsibility and restricted to only military personnel, the island is the stark reminder of earth’s change. Who knows what other secrets the monolith crystal contains.