Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Post 20- Film, Theatre and LoL

So, this is dead week for me at college, and we're in the middle of final performances for my directing class. My show goes on Thursday and i'm incredibly excited for it.

It's a directed version of Dr.Fritz, or: The Forces of Light by David Ives. It's a funny, quirky play, and my actors have done a wonderful job with it.

Also due this week (or rather in about 4 hours) is a 6 page paper i'm writing as a comparison between earlier Soviet Montage (Namely Battleship Potemkin) and teh more recent montage film Koyaanisquatsi: Life Out of Balance. Should be an interesting look at the differences between montage then and now, and how they create varying degrees of emotional response.

As for League of Legends i've been kicking ass in the last few days playing an AP built Kog'Maw. The little guy is practically wiping the floor with the ranked 30's i've been playing, as long as i don't get close.

For you guys in college or even life, what has been something recently you've had to master or analyze?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Post 19

It's been 5 days since my last update.

Figured i'd talk about stuff i do, and post the essay i had to write for a class yesterday. In fact, i wrote it in 3 hours. Impressed yet?

Also, i'm a nub at LoL even though i'm good and have been winning games; but what's awesome is that i just found out how to activate abilities on items. So even though i'd been winning a lot, i had never used an items active ability....UNTIL NOW.

Anyway, doubt you guys would be interested in declining birthrates, but the following is an examination of whether it is a social, economic, or political problem (or otherwise).

Declining Birthrate: Social Problem?

Governments across the world have started noticing a big problem regarding their replacement rates following modernization. The demographic transition model, a model for pre-industrialized and post-industrialized nations and their birthrates, has proven true for every nation brought into the graces of modernization. However, at the end of this model, and as we are only just discovering, it appears that at Stage 5, major nations are predicted to decrease in population size slowly over time. Beginning as early as the 50's, this pattern began developing in major nations around the world, and today, is being followed by a frightening number of major powers. But why, exactly, does this keep happening? From Germany, to Japan, the UK, the United States and others, the question is not what is happening, but why. Is the trend of smaller families and fewer children an evolutionary adaptation, a social problem, a response stimulated by economics, or something else?
The Extent and Severity of Declining Birthrate
In Japan, which has the highest population density of any country today, people live in tiny homes, are surrounded by other people, and are allowed only the smallest amount of privacy (Crowded Nation). When Japan's Prime Minister publicly advocated increasing Japan's birthrate, people were shocked. But since the transition following WWII from an agricultural to an industrialized society, Japan's birthrate fell steadily from replacement value. By 1957 Japan's birthrate had taken an unprecedented nosedive by 50 percent in the ten years prior. After an extensive review process, it was determined that by the end of the 21st Century, Japan would have half as many citizens as it does today, worsening current labor shortages by a huge degree; there would be more funerals than births for the first time in its history; and the population's average age would skyrocket (Japan: Men ignore families). This followed the pro-natal policies being taken back by the government in post-war Japan (Crowded Nation).
Across the world in Germany, there was a similar story. There was a decrease in births after 1964, but total population in the territory had tripled between 1871-1974 from 20 million to 60 million (due to in-migration, more births than deaths). But from 1971 onward the death rate has been higher than the birth rate, with in-migration expected to lead to a slight increase in population. Family size has diminished from 6, to 4, then 2, and so on since 1936. In The Population Development in the Federal Republic of Germany, a panel concluded that the decline was due to: secularization, less family planning on a daily basis; an increase in geographical and social mobility and urbanization, including new living and family structures; changes in economic activity, including gainful employment outside the home for women and changes in self-conception; and the spread of birth control influencing number and time of births of their children. Following this, governmental subgroups within population studies were created to help combat the declining rates and discover their root causes. The argument remained that Germany's birthrate would rise from immigration, but with even the best models in the panel, the total population was determined to decrease no matter what, with either increased emigration/immigration or otherwise not being enough to balance the population decrease.
For the newly transitioning industrializing nations known as the Asian Tigers, the long term forecast is even more grim. In The Long Term Forecast of the Demographic Transition in Japan and Asia, the aging of the population predicted in China, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore was to: adversely affect economic growth, voting structures, savings rates, and social security; be faster in Asia major than it had been in Japan, multiplying these negative side effects; lead to a shrinking labor force; a primarily old population withdrawing life savings rather than young people putting in savings affecting capital accumulation following economic growth; and the reversal of the 'demographic bonus' associated with higher birthrates after an industrial revolution and an increase in available resources (cheaper work forces, etc).

The above graphs are of the trends of population decrease in various industrialized Asian nations and of the changes in age and the dependency ratio in these nations. What the Long Term Forecast determined was that these trends would lead to a higher old voter population than young, and would encourage stagnant policies and right wing voting tendencies, and that their pay-as-you-go social security was to suffer. Additionally, rising tax revenues during population growth would be reversed, and that this would happen “strikingly fast”.
Socio-Economics/Politics and Their Relation to Birthrate
The cause of the falling birthrate can be attributed to many different contributing factors. In Visions of the Volk: German Women and The Far Right, feminist politics in Kaissereich through the Third Reich in Germany were examined. While not directly related, it was a unique case where prior to WWII, pro Nazi feminists advocated the power of women as 'carriers of the blood' in the hopes of having powerful Aryan children. While not causative, it is important to realize that following the fall of the Third Reich, these policies were completely eradicated and birthrates fell drastically.
China, a nation that contains roughly 22 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of its arable land, only recently had its population growth increased 3 percent in a single year (1986-1987). It attempted a one-child policy to help alleviate the exponential growth (Prosperity in China Raises Birthrate). But even with the demographic bonus associated with the increase, families everywhere were paying the fines to have more than one child, and the government, realizing this, abolished the policy.
In In Praise of Good Breeding: Pro-Natalism and Race in the British Media, Jessica Brown discussed the slew of policies the British government was considering for implementation after it was found that every nation in the European Union was below replacement rate. These included increasing the influx of migrant/immigrant workers, increasing the retirement age, and reconsidering the types of benefits associated with childbirth. The low-fertility rates have raised fears among the populace, perpetuated by the media (or at least talked about) that question what will become of British identity, the labor force, state pension plans and more. The point Brown made was that the role women and their reproductive labors played in nationalist policy was significant, deserving of central roles in government projects, because the work they performed in the home was “integrally tied to the economic, military, and moral strength of the collective.” This served to tie socio-economics more tightly to the changes in female reproductivity, a counter-intuitive but logical discovery. It is generally assumed by many that the falling birthrate was due to various socio-economic pressures, but seeing the political and media scene being affected by it was an interesting find.
It is obvious, however, that families are growing smaller in industrialized nations, that men and women both are working longer hours, from Japan (Men Ignore Families) to Germany (German Women). This has effected people on the conscious and unconscious level, causing viewpoints to conflict and smolder. One woman in Germany discussed her dismay at being sneered at when she enrolled her son in afternoon classes, something only becoming popular today after more than 200 years of schools letting out by 1 pm (German Women). This change is freeing women to have a full-time job and not require a sitter, but in the article, it was evident there were negative sentiments to this change. Some German women viewed this as a cop out of sorts, because a mother should stay home to take care of her children, as is tradition. What was increasingly obvious were the social changes regarding the positions women held in German society. German policies, following the birthrate crisis, encourage them. These policies to support parental cohesiveness include paying 67 percent of salary for men, bridging the traditionally accepted gender roles, on family leave during the first 14 months after childbirth. In fact, many men opt to return to work after a much shorter period (2 months), showing a value for the job than for the family. Additionally, more women were being given higher positions within companies, and the article brought up the point that conflicting interests in population policy and the freedom of choice could arise if companies begin requiring women to take maternity leave, where they would be paid less money for not working but instead raising their child, a deal to some and a gross violation to others. The prevalence of salary as a concern for starting a family isn't just isolated to Germany, with many socio-economists viewing it as a factor in causing smaller families around the world.
On the other hand, some sociologists believe that social norms that influence reproduction have varied from culture to culture throughout history. Following industrialization population increased with resources, but birthrate declined sharply in many isolated communities simultaneously following the French Revolution (Why are Modern Families So Small?). The family size decrease matched family size discrepancies (less variability/diversity in family size) and seemed related to the expanding of modern social networks and less communication with relatives. While prestige influence (behaviors associated with increased social power, i.e. better jobs requiring more time for work and less for family) correlated with the decline in births, it seemed unlikely to have preceded declines in fertility rates, as many of these 'modern' jobs were created after the problem began to arise. These social influences are described in Modern Families as the 'group control' hypothesis, with economics and individual choice being viewed as 'individual control'. In Modern Families the evidence tended toward group dynamics and communication as the likely source for why the population decline occurred in lieu of economic and resource-related prosperity in nations around the world. 

Effects of Reform and Plans for the Future
In the United States welfare reform caused a massive ripple in 1996 when it was decided that states would govern themselves concerning the availability of welfare to families, especially those single mothers who had children after already having welfare. With The Family 'Cap' told the story of one mom who after having multiple children and being subjected to the policy changes, she survived off charity and part-time jobs to feed her four children. This reform bill seemed to be a complete contradiction to the almost universal trend for governments to encourage mothers to give birth when they were below replacement value. This 1996 welfare reform bill allowed states control over their own welfare checks; 22 followed New Jersey in saving money and in their words teaching 'personal responsibility' by capping the size of welfare families, a policy eerily akin to the one child policy in China. But the reforms got results. Following their introduction, a Rutgers University Study revealed that abortions rose by 14 percent in New Jersey and birthrate among welfare recipients dropped by 12 percent, with abortions higher among black women than hispanic or white women. It raised the question that child birth and having a larger family are both socially and economically motivated, but more importantly, showed that government reforms in relation to population policy could have a measurable effect, something many policies elsewhere found difficult to overcome.
But back to Japan. Robo Sapiens Japanicus, a witty title for an otherwise mainly academic article, examined the changes to be expected for the nation in the world that has 52 percent of the its robotics. It looked at how the central role of household robotics/technological devices could offset Japan's aging population. It postulated specifically that the declining birthrate in recent years could be attributed in large part to shrinking family budgets, the high costs of education for children, the death of public childcare facilities, long working hours for adults as well as unpaid overtime, and the replacement of regular working employees with 'just-in-time' workers. But in Japan's factories robotics have already replaced much of the cheap labor force, and introduction of the bill passed by Japan's government allocating $36 Billion to robotics development seems to support the idea that robotics are being seen as a solution for many of the problems associated with decreasing population. The introduction of this new technology could be seen as a possible solution to issues with child rearing in traditional Japanese family units; it is adaptable to their long hour lifestyle and convenient for the average 'nuclear' family in Japan, which already includes members that aren't necessarily related biologically. While fears were expressed, ranging from the loss of family direction to spiritual and intellectual cultural stagnation, the possibility to compensate for the gradually aging populace was presented as an appealing alternative to other, more extreme birthrate solutions.
It remains to be seen if the decline in populations for post-industrial nations will continue. Its relation to social viewpoints, economic trends, political policies and even biology are so varied that it is hard to form an ell encompassing theory. It can be said, however, that the declining birthrate is most assuredly a social problem in some respect, either fueled by or contributing to social problems around the world. In Japan, the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere, the approaching storm of cheap labor reduction, empty homes, lower capital and increasing out migration seem a certainty and pose tremendous problems for not only the everyday citizen but also the human race as a whole. In a world where emigration to low-fertility nations accounts for 80 percent of their growth (Longing for the Good Life), what will happen when those migrations stop? While not a problem to mull over during our lifetime, it is important to consider the ramifications modern socialization, communication and prosperity will have in ages to come.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Post 18-Shakespeare, Sociology and...Smoke and Ash Part 3

I'm an undergrad at a decent University and man, can i tell you, things are stacking up.

Imagine having to look forward to over 25 pages of writing due in 2 weeks' time...and tell me if you enjoy the thought.

Honestly, as much as i love writing, all of this 'schedule' stuff and the rush to pump out papers kind of takes away from the enjoyment, doesn't it?

ANYWAY. Time for a big post.

Smoke and Ash, Part 3

Perhaps the walk to the bus stop and consequent wait had been worth it, because once Michael was on it headed to the nearest fast food restaurant, he felt totally fine. The entire night there had been this shadow over everything; the doubt sewed into Hunter's expressions, the anger in Kate's eyes, even the complacency in Jack's hands. They had all been caricatures, like little marionettes on a string all reaffirming to himself who he was and who he should be.
The sunlight on the bus had been a bit blinding at first, his eyes trying to cope with the combined assault from lack of sleep and the urge to close, and the rising sun. The people sitting around him were odd too, some carrying too many bags, some standing when a seat was available next to them. More than one person had forgotten their change and not been allowed on the bus, and at least one had paid in a large bill because it was urgent. Michael sat in his preferred seat, at the back end of the lower section, in a corner that allowed him to lean back and rest his head as he watched the cars and power lines fly by. He didn't even know where he was going, just that he was hungry and would get off as soon as he saw somewhere he wanted to eat breakfast, brunch, or hell, even a dinner at.
He was just that hungry.
The bus took a fairly sharp turn, too sharp in fact, and nearly hit a kid riding a bicycle as it weaved it's way through the crass streets leading to the city. Michael felt bad for the kid, knowing he'd be terrified of buses for a while, probably staying back several more feet from the curb just out of habit after some time; maybe for the rest of his life. Would Michael always be afraid of whatever nightmarish creations his mind dreamt up? No, he decided, and pulled the cord when he saw a burger joint down the road.

For Michael, food was something he could always come back to for pleasure. No matter how bad life got, he could always sit down and have a nice bite to eat of some fatty, greasy delicious food and remember that life was better not too long ago. Today was one of those days for him, as he shuffled his way inside past the ringing door and the cars in the drive thru.
The meal was delicious...in fact, you could say scintillating. With so much hunger from the extended hours he'd been awake, the fries and burger seemed like the best meal he'd ever had. It was always moments like these that he cherished, where the simplest things cheered him up. Thinking back, Michael had to consider that maybe he was making too much of it all. There'd been days before, too, where stuff just seemed too coincidental. Where the complex way it was lined up could have come from a movie. Was there an audience out there, he thought, one that could watch us and inquire as to what would happen next? The only answer Michael got was the soft crunch of french fries, the cool taste of soda, and the warm entrails of smoke coming from his freshly made burger.
Today was going to be a good day, Michael thought.
Sure enough, it was uneventful. After getting his fill and taking the return route home (nearly falling asleep on it and missing his stop), he shambled through his door. His roommates were gone, and Michael went to his room right away, tossing his weary body onto the bed. He fell asleep almost immediately, his loss of the dream the night before allowing him some solace.
Hunter wasn't happy with Kate. In fact, he was kinda pissed off. Sure, it was her right to be unhappy or uncomfortable that Michael's fits in bed had led to him spitting in her face; he could even understand her disbelief that he had been fully asleep. But even he knew that you couldn't stay mad at Michael. He was a nice guy, and he'd already apologized, and shit, they all lived together and arguing over this crap was pointless. Michael was passed out. He was in his bed, and had been sleeping when Hunter woke up at around 3:30 in the afternoon. It was a Saturday, so none of them had anything to do but drink and go out, and yet Kate and Jack hadn't been home all day. Now it was after 10, and while Hunter wasn't worried, he had the sinking feeling they were out joy-riding or complaining about the night before.
Maybe he was just a bit paranoid.
“Dammit, Kate.” He said aloud, as he thought to himself about what the hell kind of mischief she must be up to. Are you mad at Michael? Mad at me? Just trying to forget? Hunter's thoughts were scrambled and he couldn't stop thinking about it. It was annoying him more than anything else that he didn't know what they were doing.
Hunter picked up the phone and ordered a pizza, then sat down with a nice, quiet book and read. He gave the driver a big tip even though he delivered it after he was supposed to, and continued to read. It was some bullshit book about witchcraft and the protagonist was just some seedy teen with cling issues. But Hunter had to get his mind off of things and this was the only book he hadn't read in the house, and their TV hadn't worked in ages. The big box for it sat in the corner under some dirty plates and the TV itself was dark and dusty.
He was bored out of his good for nothing mind, and he could have none of that.
The pizza tasted like a gift from god, Hunter thought, as he bit down into it. “Even makes this book better.” He laughed. The girl in the book was crying about her lost cat. She was nearly 20, and the ridiculous nature of it made Hunter scowl. It only reminded him of how he had lost track of his day, sitting around doing nothing but wanking in his room and reading up on some mysterious news. At least that was more entertaining. He pondered for a moment, and threw the book about a witch who'd lost her putty tat in the trash. Turning on the heat for the night and grabbing the pizza box with a lot left over, he went to try and find something fun to do online. Sure enough, when he went to the news page, there'd been more accidents in the city.
There were always accidents.
Sometimes industrial workers had fallen from skyscrapers after being hit by birds; others had been run over by cars or mugged, killed, raped et cetera at gunpoint. The obituaries were by far the most popular section of the paper here. Safety codes hadn't been followed in a while and the twisted individuals that lived in the apartment skyscrapers liked reading them, so the local paper had divided its sections up unevenly. A whole quarter of the news was on death, suicide, bad weather as always, and then the last 10 pages were filled top to bottom with the accounts of these 'passings'. Passing was too nice a word; most of them had died terrible deaths. They were ripped from this world, torn out like the very slices of pizza Hunter was eating, and devoured by the papers for the public's enjoyment. It was all too depressing, but there wasn't any work to do, and Kate had taken the car. So Hunter read it all, read from cover to cover in the online version. He actually started to note a pattern, too. A lot recently had died of seemingly crazy, unlikely deaths. One guy had been pinned by a painters overhang when the ropes snapped and sent the painter tumbling down as well, who hit a car. Thankfully the car was parked and no one was hurt, but Hunter could imagine the fear of the people walking to work who'd see not only a man get crushed by a wooden platform, likely sending blood everywhere, but also the split second freeze in shock as they stood there stunned, only to be splattered with more blood as the painter hit the car parked next to them. It was like they had all been a work of art, freshly made, Hunter thought, and chosen to be painted with blood. This is just morbid as hell, he thought to himself.
The rest were weird, but none as....romantic as the painter and his blood. After a while Hunter heard Michael stir in his room and come out his door. He quickly got up, thankful to have SOMEONE to talk to, because honestly, he was afraid that if he sat here alone reading this shit he might just get killed by the roof collapsing in on itself. “That'd be something...” he murmured, turning off his monitor, standing up and walking back to the dull living room from whence he had come, carrying his deliciously greasy pizza with him.
“Oh, hey Hunter. Didn't know you were home. Figured everyone'd gone out or something.” Michael said.
“Wish I was; Kate took the car and Jack is gone too. I think they went out drinking without me. Dunno what they did earlier tho; they were gone when I woke up.” he replied, straightforward.
“When was that?”
Hunter smirked a bit, and said “Three thirty. You believe that? My sleep cycle's so fucked for Monday.”
“Yeah...mine too. Sorry about, well, all that last night.” A momentary silence, then, “Is that pizza?” He gestured to the box Hunter had carried out of the room with him.
“You want some?” He held it out so Michael could take a piece, and they both sat down.
“Wanna...you know.”
“I have no idea what you're talking about.” Hunter smiled at this.
“Oh get off it. It's boring as hell in here. Let's drink, or, something.” Michael was having one of his awkward moments.
“Alright, alright. At least now I have a drinking partner. You wanna hit Jimmy's again?” Hunter was careful with this suggestion. He knew Michael didn't like going out to drink, much less come back home again, but seeing the fire in his eyes tonight he knew he'd have to get him out of the house somehow.
“Fuck it, let's go. I can't just sit around on a Saturday night!”
They both laughed, got dressed, and walked outside. It was bitterly cold.
“Is it winter already?” Hunter asked, trying to break the silence. He watched as the heat of his body poured out of him with his words.
“Nope, still fall. It hasn't even been cold enough to snow.” Michael purposefully breathed in deeply and watched the vaporous breath expand and turn to ice in front of his face. It was beautiful.

They kept talking the entire way, walking past houses and apartment complexes full of other people who lived their lives on the edge in one way or another. The windows of the cars were fogged, but not iced. Trees swayed in the biting wind, and they could feel the cold nipping at the openings in their warm clothes. Leaves sat still on the ground despite the breeze, locked in place by moisture, or perhaps, Michael thought, they were simply too cold to move. It wasn't a very long walk, but the cold didn't help, and Michael and Hunter couldn't stop themselves from complaining. About the only thing they had going for the argument of whether to go back already was the sting of boredom, the fact they'd made it over halfway, and the promise of warm alcohol filling their bellies. Maybe even a little action, if they were lucky.
So that's what they focused on, as they made their way to a place of raucous abandon, talking about the girls they'd see, the things they'd drink, and, most importantly, the thought that they'd get out of this damn cold and into someplace warm.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Post 17- LoL

Yep. Figured i'd talk about my time so far in the game...

I'm the type of player who picks up either Caitlyn, Kog'Maw, Tristana or Kayle. And i'm leaning more and more toward Caitlyn cause i like her style as i get used to it.

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If you play, what's your favorite character?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Post 16-General/Glare of the Moon

DANG. League of Legends is awesome. And Minecraft? Addicting.

Hence why i haven't posted the last few days, in addition too being an usher for 12 hours on saturday and doing stuff on sunday. So yea, i was busy. ANYWAY.

More stuff to come later this week. For now, enjoy Glare of The Moon, a story that was fun to write but that still needs improvement :P (as they all do)

Glare of The Moon

The wind washed through Michael's hair as he gasped for air. It was stifling. Not like the kind of heavy, particle filled air in a factory...no...it was laden with fear, held down by human emotion.
Michael was running for his life.
Behind him he could hear the cracking of branches, the sound of undergrowth being brushed aside as something large followed. Out of the corner of his eye, shapes, amalgamous and shifting, lurched forward to follow him.
While he ran with every inch of his body, they were barely loping along. He knew he was going to die.
Earlier he had sat in a tent, drug along on another of Rob's stupid ideas. They had trekked for a few hours along a crumbling trail of leaf matter to find a small campsite, where they would spend the weekend 'reflecting'.
“It'll be good for us, Mike. Getting out...away from the city for a little while,” Rob reassured him.
Michael had been less than eager, even after Rob offered to carry the gear. As per the idea of being close to the wild they had only packed the most basic things they would need.
Tent, fire, fork, talk, relaxation. It was actually going better than he imagined, Michael had thought.
Then the oddest thing happened, as they sat there talking about the lives they lived, how detatched it had all been. As Michael looked out across the leaves that laid upon the ground, past the bright glare of the moon, he saw two lights. He was transfixed to them, drawn to them, and Rob noticed.
“...I suppose it's all for the best.” said Rob, polishing off a cigarette. He glanced to Michael, and saw his intensity. “What're you looking at? You see something out there?” he asked, a hint of concern lining the question.
“Two lights, out there past the trees. You see them?” Mike asked.
Rob looked, but saw nothing. He stared for several long moments, choking down his words.
“No...” There was an unnatural whine to the tip of his response.
“It's probably nothing, forget I said anything.” Mike replied, waving it off with a careless gesture and resuming the normalcy of the evening. Rob continued to talk, determined to bring the conversation back, but Mike didn't forget.
After Rob had grown weary of talking, after he slipped into the tent, the moment forgotten, Michael stayed outside and dowsed the fire. The smoke and sizzle of a dieing flame conquered his senses as he felt it. In the instant it was the taste of the air as it raced down to his lungs that had caught his attention; the dampness and flavor of something wild dousing the smoke's hold in his chest. The hairs of his neck, chest, thighs, and forearms rose up, perking to catch a glimpse at what was there. Something watching him.
Paranoid, Mike looked around, but the quiet breeze passing through the trees confirmed the suspicion he was just hearing things. A deep breath calmed his body, the mind overpowering the nervousness of his being. Leaning over and picking up a can of SPAM he had been snacking on he heard a loud crack. He jumped instinctively thinking it was a gunshot; far worse than the twig it likely was.
Michael looked up and saw two orbs of blue flame much closer than they had been before. They were staring at him, unblinking globes, pupil-less. The still air and the glare of the moon encapsulated his sense of being alone, lost in the eyes of something he didn't understand and as such, feared. Perhaps only a second passed as Michael contemplated what to do, allowing his body to take over for his slow mind.
Michael dropped what he was holding and ran. He wasn't able to wake Rob, his legs wouldn't let him as the large wolfish eyes came bearing down.
Now there were more, all around him, slant gazes through the brush, watching him run. The shadows of wolves jogging alongside him. He ran for hours, as they kept pace. He ran all the way down the trail, past the cracked ground, over creeks of water, his lungs, his legs, his entire body burning with a fiery, fearful passion.
Days later Michael sat in a clinic. As he peered past the Doctor who was asking him uncomfortable questions, as he played with the edges of the sheet he now wore for clothing and held Rob's hand for support, he saw the doors of the ward swinging back and forth to the ticking of a clock.
The glare of the lights cast a shadow across the carts being wheeled in and out, and far off, unclear at first, a glint, a lowly speck of light graced the windows of the doors leading outside.
Michael looked closer, forcing himself to stare down the hallway, causing everyone in the room to look as well. As Rob firmly and lovingly gripped his hand, Michael's vision kept tunneling forward, straight to the window, then through it. And there, looking through the still night air outside, sat two orbs of light.
And they were looking right back at him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


This will benefit those who read the Dracula books or know the story involving Bram Stoker's characters the most. But still, enjoy.

He must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'.
                                                                                               Mina Harker's Journal, 30 September

Such stringent miscreants; lost in degradation. The fools charge, hearty and full of bloody lust.
“Fools! Are you not men of the forest?!” he boomed.
Kamenskoi watched, his rage clearly shown, as the ladder-bearers charged the ramparts. Some fell; the slack was drawn up by those remaining. Taught to be fearless, and managing to survive thus far, they flung the ladder against the walls and began to climb. The last one alive was the first one on the rungs. He was slain by musket rounds to his gut and neck, the blood exploding from many orifices. His legs were caught between the rungs, and they cracked, breaking in two, silencing those below him. He cast a shadow on the red ground as his limp body catapulted from the force of shot, off the wooden beams, and back to the earth.
For hours throughout the night they fought, under lanterns and pyres lit by the Turks, under hails of lead rounds and the smell of gunpowder. The cracks of guns sounded off occasionally as foolish men tried to climb. By morning the retreat was ordered, and while many returned, others rebelled, the need to stay and fight over the bodies of their friends and commanders too strong.
They were taught the lesson of mortality as the Turks exited in the dawning light, cutting the heads off wounded and dead alike. Those still alive screamed until their throats were taken from them. 'Mercy'.
Kamenskoi would have his revenge for the blood of his people spilled today. The Seige of Rustchuck was not yet fully finished.

The Count did not sleep. That was a courtesy of the living. He had no more dreams, only desires. A deeply fulfilling hunger, that when satisfied, left him drooling; his lips bleeding. The days of old came back to plague him in newer times, none more revolting than that day. It seemed so long ago, too terribly long to have ever happened at all. How the world turned.
The Count sensed it was time, and he opened his nightly bed. The slow tilt of the ship was neither disorienting nor unusual. It simply was. He exited in much haste, his needs of something to nourish his wet appetite filling his mind. That mindful fuel gave him solace; his abilities the skills needed to maintain it. Without thought and with the a flick of a wrist he cast the skies into darkness and allowed a storm the room it needed to grow and coalesce into a massive, heaving cloud of electrified air. Quicker than any seaman's tale, the thing overtook the boat and rocked it back and forth solidly. A man fell overboard, and The Count was there to catch him.
His surprise at the change in luck was short lived. The red was washed away; the sins of the man forgotten, his soul drained dry. His life was over, The Count thought, and threw him into the cold water. He looked to the sky, to his wonderful power, to the true sense of living that surged within him, even now.
Dracula let the winds carry his voice; he let the seas roil with his fury; his blue eyes burned red in rage. Harker. Harker, the facilitator of his own ends. Harker needed to die. The winds roared in reply.

Kamenskoi was beset on all sides with problems. In the north Napolean was pushing through Poland, his bastardizing prejudice for other peoples carving its way into the hearts and minds of weaker men. He had little choice. His mouth was dry. The sludge poured into his bowl did little to satiate his thirst. Soon he would be in a bed, this sickness, this lack of action, driving him into a bored slumber. He could do little for the Russian people now; all he had left was the pure violence of war and the love of the gushing blood from his enemies' throats. Today he fought the men who killed his men, tomorrow he would move South to crush their reinforcements, and take away their last hope. He would slaughter them, one by one, until the last man fell to the ground on his knees, his legs removed, begging for a mercy killing.
He would grant them no such wish. Instead he would laugh in their face, and let them die in agony as the hungry dogs ate the tissue off the bone of his limbs, as his tongue would be soldered and then removed, and his eyes salted. He would cause the man enough pain to make twenty die of shock, and he would keep him alive with drugs meant to stave off death. The Danube Devil would revel in it.
But the fates had not been kind to Kamenskoi. No, they had been far too generous. They had gifted him the power of the dark arts; the powerful gift of leadership; a hunger for victory at any cost. He used these to slaughter, to claim land in the name of his people, who had long been the boot heel or the afterthought.
In his sleep one night in late January 1811, Kamenskoi would be visited on the cusp of his major victory at Sliven, on the road to Constantinople. As he slept, a man more brutal than he, a man driven by primal urges, would enter his tent of refuge and rip off the covers. Kamenskoi's eyes would widen, they would be witness to a ghost of a man, strong as 10 others, face as pale as snow. Kamenskoi would be assaulted, his throat bitten, then left to die. Without his guards, he would have. The fool had been careless.
The Count would not be so careless. He would only let who deserved to live, those who suited him, remain as immortals.
Kamenskoi became ill, unable to speak or command. He was replaced, and sent back North, to the land of his birth. There, on the fringe of summer, he was said to have died, a hero of Russia in the city of Otella.
But Kamenskoi did not die. He became a creature of the night, a Nosferatu, and adopted the title he deserved, the name he loved. Count Dracula; the 'Devil'.
The dark swaying oceans allowed little light to escape. The storm took from the ship what it needed, and it needed sustenance. Men disappeared along the journey; the fear amongst the hands and crew growing with each passing day. The Demeter was cursed with death of a foul nature. Dracula noted a change in course one evening as he slept. His eyes popped open, his acute ears listened. He heard picking nearby, betwixt his beloved Transylvanian soils.
From the seas off port and starboard remained the deep fog. It had beset them days earlier, and in it they had lost all but the Captain and a single hand. Each but one had gone in dead silence, no scream, no obvious cause apparent. The Captain gripped the wheel, thinking of plans to cut the sails and make ready to signal for help in the great Northern Seas. He had only the word of a dead man to guide him, that they were somewhere off North Foreland, past the Straits of Dover. How had they come so far...?
Below Dracula sat, eyes open, listening to his homes being torn apart. The man had made his choice. He would die, not by Dracula's hands, but his own.
The Count opened the crate silently and turned to the man, who held the edge of a crate in his hands, attempting to pry it apart. The Count approached him, and grabbed him by the neck, the man's blood curdling scream echoing up the stairs to the top of the ship. He had few words.
“Only the sea may save you. Take your own life, or it shall be mine.”
Dracula turned to fog and settled to the floor, as the man ran out of the below-decks. The Captain had fear in his eyes, and listened to the madness uttered from the man's mouth before he jumped overboard to save his own life.
The Captain, unable to leave his ship, unable to abandon his duties as a true sailor, tied his hands to the helm with a necklace. Hanging on it was his crucifix, his light in even this deepest fog. His feet he tied with rope to the seat behind him. As The Count watched him in the still prominent fog through which not even sunlight could pierce, he wrote the accounts of the ship in his failing sanity. Untouchable, The Count simply waited, and guided the ship with the storm.
He showed his displeasure at the sequence of events to the dockworkers when he arrived, bursting from the holds in the shape of a wolf amidst toiling seas and lightning cracks. Kamenskoi had arrived in England, and he had powerful hunger on his mind.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Post 14-Grad School? lolwut?

So, apparently i'm graduating next year. A year earlier than i anticipated cause i dropped a degree i won't need once i hit grad school. That being said, i'll be on my way next May/June/July to another school to pursue a Master's

Any of you guys know GREAT English graduate programs in the US/Canada?

Guess i'll write somethin' quick here as an incentive:

There once was a calculator, blue and sticky.
It sat on a desk while its owner had a quicky.
Then the next day he had homework due;
But the calculator said no, no math for you.
 He failed his class and dropped out of college;
The young man no longer looks for knowledge.

The calculator found its way to a bargain bin
And is looking for a home again.

Post 13-The Death Etched Martyr

Wrote something different instead guys. I invite you to: The Death Etched Martyr.

The weapon was etched with diagrams and markings suggestive of its lethality. Yet the surface was soft to the touch and warm from its internal power source. Its butt was contoured perfectly to the soldier's chest and shoulder, and the muzzle extended for more than a yard from his body. It was a powerful death-dealing machine, to put it lightly. Accurate to 3000 yards, fully automatic, and powered by an internal electron pump, it was heavily and auspiciously vicious. When it was raised it glinted in the sunlight and seemed to breathe as it was fired. There was no recoil, and the air sizzled as a horizontal burst of purple light cut a swathe to its target. The shot was practically silent.
The personnel carrier a mile away had only the visual sight of a purple bolt as warning when a second later it was torn apart at the intersection of its cannon and chassis. The horizontal forces sheared the turret from its roots and tossed it hundreds of yards away into an administration building, causing a powerful secondary explosion as its own power core collapsed and imploded. The bolt of heated plasma continued through the next few houses before burying itself into the ground in the basement of a local's home. Everything inside was instantly incinerated, and the rustic building leaned over and crumpled like wet cardboard. The last sensation the foot soldiers inside their vehicle had was of a horrible sunburn before being boiled alive inside the oven-like APC, and anyone nearby was treated to singed hair and the foul stench of cooked human flesh and ozone. You could hear the surprised screams of bystanders even from where the shot was fired.
“Hmph. They spend hundreds of thousands on an APC only to have it ripped to pieces in a moment,” he said, as he vaulted off the concrete cover that had been his home for the past 8 hours and down onto the ground. His boots hissed and an inner set of hydraulics assisted his landing, and almost as quickly as he arrived the mysterious soldier was gone down an alleyway and into the slums that dominate Rio De Janeiro. The favelas were perfectly suited for stealth and recon; in the alleys you could stay easily hidden among the people and their tin homes which were all identical in size, and they provided good vantage points for reconnaissance in any direction. Although he got a few strange looks for his choice of clothing and people left him alone because he carried a weapon, 'AWOL' felt right at home. More than likely they thought he was one of the many gang bangers that roamed the slums rather than a trained soldier, but AWOL didn't care because the locals offered him free food as payment. It was a temporary situation simply working in his favor.
Since his desertion, AWOL had utilized every asset he could find and all of the multi-million dollar training he was given in order to survive. But with the Martyr, it was almost too easy. He could choose where, when and if he wanted to fight, and that was the most valuable tool he had. After excelling in the Marine Corps and doing a few year's service in the Navy Seals, he was assigned to the 'Loud Squad'; it was an opportunity to revel in what he loved most: efficient and brutal murder. After a trial period in Central Europe and several tours in North Korea, the task force was officially sanctioned and given funding. Equipped with hardware and tech that even the Special Forces would salivate over, they were the cutting-edge, with a 100% success rate. They never failed. But 'AWOL' always felt as if he was held back by his teammates; by the laws of war he had to follow and by the incompetency of his fellow soldiers. It didn't help he had long gotten used to the same 10 year old “cutting edge” equipment. After all, military policy was not to change what wasn't broken, and as long as their success rate and efficiency stayed the same, the men in power saw no reason to update the task force.
His personal squad's numbers were the best; they had the most kills and the fewest violations; they had the best mission times and of course they were considered the most adaptable. Dubbed the 'Big Bang' by his squad mates at the time, AWOL was vehemently opposed to any home assignments. So when his men were picked for a research bit back in the States, he thought he'd be back briefly to test out some new toys before being shipped back out better equipped to do the job he loved. He was almost looking forward to it when he was notified while en route that they would be taken off active duty so their 'expertise' could be fully utilized by the lab coats. AWOL, one of the siwmplest men alive, was torn. New toys and lots of cash or a nearly unbridled rampage on some ugly foreigners.
The choice was obvious.
By the time they had landed, AWOL's decision was made. He accepted his new assignment and within a week was on duty at the research facility offering his advice but keeping his eye out for anything of interest. On one particularly overcast and windy day he was called into the lab for a special demonstration.
“Big Bang, you there?” came a voice over his headset. “Affirmative” he stonily replied, waiting for the news that some fuck-up over in engineering had caused more delays.
“I've got something very special for you to see today. We're apparently being given a demonstration of something 'incredibly groundbreaking'. I'll let you be the judge; it's in unit 17. We'll be waiting.” The sound of static over the channel meant that AWOL's 'friend' had already ended the call.
After trudging across the sand-covered base to the designated unit, AWOL was greeted by his friend, a small thin man full of energy. “John,” he said, acknowledging him, “what've we got?” The little man excitedly led him into an indoor weapons range and that was when AWOL first saw it. Sitting on a raised counter was a gleaming rifle that looked incredibly off at the same time. Another little lab-rat walked out and after some muted applause began an informative presentation on its capabilities.
“I'm sure you're all wondering why we've brought in a rifle. While our department focuses more on vehicle and soldier-assist tech, we all know that most of the US's rifles today are produced with little to no testing at all. However, this is no regular rifle. As you can see it measures an impressive five and a half feet in length and features some curious design changes to the gun formula. The barrel is thick and features a horizontal rectangular muzzle tip; that, of course, is because this weapon does not shoot bullets.” The balding, nervous wreck called over 2 volunteers, and with their assistance he raised it. After getting clearance he gave the attendees a brief countdown before pulling the trigger. Light shot from its tip and cut its way to the target. It was the most beautiful thing AWOL had ever seen.
The three men were clearly not prepared for the knock back on it, because a half second burst was enough to throw them and the gun back ten feet against the plexiglass barrier in the range. 10 bullet sized bolts of what appeared to be molten jelly went downrange and melted through the 2 inch armor plating they had placed for the demo. The entrance holes ended up perfectly centered on the target that had been painted on the plating to judge accuracy. That explains his nervousness, AWOL thought to himself, but he couldn't help but smile when he realized the guy was a pretty good shot. Almost immediately he noticed the smell of ozone and the faint glow from the barrel of the gun. He clasped John on his shoulder, and John, mouth agape, looked up to see AWOL smiling for the first time since he had been on-base. It was a smile that made him very, very uncomfortable.
Disabling the security system was a piece of cake because the guard was asleep when AWOL walked in. Undermanned as a home base was, the research facility had an amazing suite of cameras that watched every aspect of the techies' lives. AWOL knew that a total shutdown would sound a silent alarm that would call in the cavalry, so rather than worry himself over the little details he snapped the guard's neck, turned off the lights and locked the door from the inside. With the guards' shifts in mind, AWOL now had plenty of time. Earlier in the day he had observed where they had taken the rifle and now the most difficult part was walking over and picking it up. He waltzed into the armory with his clearance card, scanned his retina, and told the voice recognition software “I'm about to kill a lot of people. Are you going to stop me?” The computer-synthesized voice responded “Authorization complete, have a nice day,” before opening the doors and letting him enter. AWOL smiled from ear to ear as he began gathering equipment and putting on the soldier-assist modules the had been testing. An almost full body suit of hydraulic systems and air pressure valves would serve sufficient for dealing with the knock back, AWOL surmised, and provide additional protection from arms fire.
On the opposite side of the base in the telecommunications suite sat John, thumbing his fingers through his hair as he conversed with the presenter about his project.
“So you're telling me that this...weapon of yours is feasible in the modern military?” John said, unconvinced.
“I promise you it is completely reliable. The built-in power source is self-sufficient, and as long as it has access to our atmosphere it can create its own ammunition, so to speak. You saw the demonstration...it's incredible, to say the least.” the man stated confidently.
“Yes but the issue of weight and size is a problem. We can't afford to equip more than a few soldiers in the entire military, much less a battalion of men. If I'm going to sell this to my superiors, they need to be sure that it is viable for not just a niche program but the entire United States Army. Besides, the cost of one of these units alone is enough to pay and outfit a company of soldiers.” John explained.
“You really should reconsider my proposal. You have all the necessary equipment here already. Your work on soldier-assist platforms is renowned and I'm sure that after some minor refinements we could easily sell the idea,” the man argued.
“I'm sorry but until I see it in a combat situation I can't be certain that it is worth the investment. The United States Military is a lot different these days than it used to be, especially after the introduction of the private weapons development industry. And because that won't happen until we decide to clear it, you'll just have to take your case elsewhere. It's just not cost-effective.” John got up from the table, turned around, and walked over the coffee machine to get himself a cup of coffee. “I'm terribly sorry to hear that. I wish you luck on your future projects,” the presenter said as John heard him shuffling papers and putting on his jacket. As John poured his coffee he realized that he had never heard the old man close and latch his briefcase. In fact, John thought, it was oddly quiet. He could feel a breeze behind him, and realized that the room he was in didn't have any windows at the same time he smelled the burnt ozone. John turned around to see the legs and torso of the balding man's body still standing as its only remaining parts, and a hole from the wall on his right perfectly centered on where he had been bent over the table shuffling his papers. The desk was gone and so was the wall opposite the hole, and John dropped his coffee and fainted. The liquid flowed over the now sloping and melting floor onto the shiny business shoes that had remained perfectly clean as their owner was incinerated.
“So that's how you work, huh?” AWOL said, regarding the weapon in his hands with a twinkle in his eyes and a somewhat childlike glee. “I'm gonna have to name you now, you know.” AWOL looked through the hole he had made in the armory wall across the base in time to see John collapse from shock at the remains of his original target. “That lucky little bastard. Do you think...” AWOL said as he raised the gun and aimed at the now unconscious John. A computerized voice came over the loudspeaker and said “WARNING, WARNING. SECURITY BREACH SECTOR 12. SECURITY BREACH SECTOR 12.” Lights started flashing and AWOL knew that he was losing his window. He slung the gun over his back and exited the armory.
6 months later he was still fighting off the remnants of both his own team mates and the 'Loud Squad' Task Force, who's priority mission was now to find and kill the only man on the planet with a plasma-based weapon. Along the way AWOL had destroyed millions of dollars in military hardware, hijacked his transportation, and enjoyed the life as the most wanted man in the world. A victim had told him before he died that he was “Death itself.” He responded by saying his gun was the instrument of death, not him; it was a Death-Etched Martyr. He had been running for some time when he got to Rio De Janeiro.
AWOL arrived seeking a brief rest while on the run. The Loud Squad followed, and for the first time, had plasma weapons of their own. He was no longer top dog. The first time he witnessed them in action was two days ago. While watching their movements at night he saw them using the locals as 'target practice' through his dynamic vision scope. When he switched to thermal he could see the balls of plasma hurtling through the air, leaving a lukewarm glow of red light in their wake. It seemed that they had decided to start acting like him, or, possibly, they had truly become like him.
AWOL is now, truly, running for his life. Things are catching up to him. The only advantage he has is the Death-Etched Martyr, officially designated the MXT-79. The only plasma weapon with adjustable power levels, and the only chance he has to survive.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Post 12-General/Smoke and Ash

Since you guys liked it so much, i'm going to sit down this weekend (probably Saturday) and work on continuing Derelict. For now, here's part 2 of Smoke and Ash.

“Michael! MICHAEL!” He could feel the warm grip of someone shaking him awake, but Michael didn't necessarily want to get up.
“Oh for the love of...,” Michael heard, just before he was slapped across the face and was forced awake.
“Wha-...what...” He stammered. Then: “What the FUCK! You just SLAPPED me?!” The blur in front of him sat back and Michael rubbed his eyes and tried to focus. The person was wearing pajamas and had bags under their eyes, as if they hadn't gotten much sleep. But more-so, they seemed very relieved that Michael was now awake.
“For a second, I thought you'd never wake up, Mike. You were scaring the hell out of all of us.”
It took Michael a few awkward moments to realize that he was home and his roommates were about. Yes, this was Hunter; Kate and Jack must be in the living room. He co-owned a 4 bedroom condo, and they shared the rent. Okay, I'm okay, Michael thought to himself. He leaned back against the warmth of his bed, and asked “What do you mean, scared you?” The second the words left his lips the image of the roiling hand, half burned to death, jumped into his mind and he knew he had had a terrible nightmare.
“Well, for one thing, you were sweating something fierce, man. I mean, GLOBS of water were pouring off your forehead. And, two, you were kicking and screaming, and whenever we tried to hold you down or wake you, it only got worse. You actually SPAT in Kate's face, that's why they gave up.” He looked solemn, and continued. “You going to be okay?” His eyes watered with concern.
Michael wasn't sure whether he wanted to apologize for something he had no control over, but figured it'd be good to get up and have a glass of water anyway if what Hunter had said was true. He sat up in bed and rubbed himself awake with his hands, the image of the creature lost from his memory. His back was soaked, Michael only just realized, and he had definitely been heavily sweating. What's more, his mouth was excessively dry and he was hungry enough to eat just about anything.
“Wow, Hunter. I feel like shit!” he laughed, and Hunter smiled before standing up and helping him get to his feet.
Michael and Hunter shuffled down the eerily quiet hallway. He could hear who must have been Kate and Jack in the living room whispering excitedly to one another, and the sounds of his slippers sliding across the staticly charged carpet. Michael braced himself, but wasn't ready for what he saw as they rounded the corner of the hallway. Kate was leaning onto Jack, who looked up angrily at Michael and looked to Hunter as if to question why he'd brought Michael out of his room. Hunter silently shrugged and let go of Michael, who was shocked that he'd brought Kate of all people to tears. She was whimpering on Jack's shoulder. Kate, the girl who'd probably get in your face for not doing your dishes or leaving the lights on all night. She was a strong woman and it struck Michael that he must have done something terrible to get her in this state.
“Hey Jack...Kate, you okay?” He tried to sound as sincere as possible, but was too tired to really make much of an effort. Kate looked up and sniffled, her eyes red with dehydration and her face lined by streams of tears. She didn't say anything, but instead wiped her sleeve and stood up.
“Woah, c'mon honey, I wouldn't-” Jack started, but Kate interrupted him. “Shut-up! Michael, god dammit...” she choked back a crying fit “you bastard!” She closed the few steps from the couch to Michael quickly, and slapped him across the same cheek. What was up with people slapping him tonight?! He stifled the thought and instead took a deep breath and straightened his back.
“I'm sorry, Kate. I didn't...I didn't mean to scare you or anyone. I was just having a terrible dream. Okay? I was sleeping. Okay?”
Kate looked at him with tired eyes, sat back on her left foot, threw out her hip, and let her surprise show. She must have thought he'd done it purposefully, Michael decided. That's why it shocked her; she wasn't used to people literally spitting in her face when she'd only been trying to help.
“Un-fucking-believable. You seriously expect me to think you spat in my face while you were sleeping? Do you think I'm stupid? Or are you just that crazy, Mike?”
“Maybe I am crazy. It's never happened before. I'm really sorry.” Hunter, always the quiet observer, stepped in to split the two apart. By now Kate was nearly nose to nose with Michael and seething with anger. With him awake, she had found it.
“Kate, he was asleep. I had to hit him pretty hard to wake him up. He was sweating bad too; it wasn't just a normal nightmare. Was it, Michael?” Hunter said as he turned.
“I don't think so, but I've already forgot it. It just...disappeared the second I sat up in bed. It was weird. You'd think something so powerful would keep you awake ya know?” Michael looked worried.
Kate finally seemed to believe what Michael was saying, and dropped her attitude. She mumbled something about going to bed before she walked back to her and Jack's room. Jack finally stood up. What a smart man, Michael thought, to not say a damn thing and just let his girl vent. No wonder they got along so well. Would be the only way to make things work with Kate. Jack touched his Michael's shoulder reassuringly as he walked back to bed, and soon only Hunter and Michael were left in the room.
“WELL. You made quite a show tonight didn't you?” Hunter smiled, but it was obvious he was more tired than anyone and must have been up all night trying to wake Michael. “You still want that glass of water?” It was rhetorical, Michael knew, as Hunter turned and walked to the kitchen.
“To be honest, I'm more hungry than anything Hunter. Think i'll just order something.”
“HA! Nobody delivers at this time of night. Don't be silly!” He replied.
Michael was taken aback. What time WAS it? He turned and looked at the clock: 4:30 AM.
“Jesus. It's 4:30?” He asked.
Hunter only laughed.
Why are you laughing? Why would you laugh at my surprise, Hunter? Wouldn't you just explain? Or is that too much?
Hunter pulled out two glasses and poured water into each. He brought one to Michael and let him take a deep, long draw of the water before he said it.
“You should see Brown again.”
It was an honest suggestion, but Michael was still taken aback. He hadn't seen or heard from the Professor of Psychology in quite some time, not since college in fact. But then Michael remembered something.
“You know what's odd? I actually daydreamed I was back in class listening to his lecture the other day. And he said the oddest thing. In fact I don't even know if he ever said it to begin with.” Michael, being as honest as possible, still caused Hunter to tilt his head in interest.
What, exactly? Or do you not remember?” He asked.
Michael looked Hunter in the eyes, and a fear struck him. Something that stuck out, something so unusual he had to say it.
That's just the thing. I do remember it. I remember it as clear as day, every single word...this is weird man.” Michael was a little shaken from it all; things were happening, being set in motion somewhere, somehow, and he couldn't fathom where it was all headed. Hunter ignored Michael's fears and pressed for the answer. He asked Michael what Brown had said.
And Michael told him everything. Every possible detail he could remember, from the man Jonathan Bridges to the hubcap, from the odd feeling he'd had coming home to the complete hypnosis his vision of Brown had been. Not exactly certain any of it had meaning, Hunter kept calming him down. By the time they'd decide to not call Brown, it was 8 AM, and Michael had to get food. Hunter collapsed on the couch, exhausted, and slept in until late in the day.