In any city, in any country, go into any mental institution or halfway house you can get into. Do not ask for any Holder, for that is not how this one will be found. Instead, tell the person at the front desk that you need a job. That person will look at you for a moment, then roll their eyes and go back to what they were doing before. Ask again several minutes later, and they will sigh, and direct you to a building down the road. Do not say anything more to the person, head out the door and walk in the direction they indicated.
After walking for a while, you will come upon a call center, that is your destination. Head into it, and tell the security guard that you already have an appointment for an interview. They will let you in, and lead you down a hallway that seemed much larger then the building seemed from the outside, until leading you to a locked door. They will unlock the door for you, but will not enter further, however you don't need the guard anymore. Make sure to thank the guard, and enter the door.
Inside the room will be aisles after aisles of desks, all filled with despondent people with headsets, furiously chatting away to whomever they are talking to with words you do not understand. Along the opposite wall there is a narrow walkway, make your way there, taking care not to bump into anyone, and head away from the door. As you walk the noise of the talking will continue to get louder, the room will get darker, and the words more and more harsh as they appear more and more submitted to endless torture. They will begin to look disfigured, with wounds, burns, and other such things, as if the nightmarish conversations they were holding were dealing physical harm to them. If at any point however should they stop talking and turn to you, QUICKLY tell them "I am here as a potential client." Pray that they believe you and return to their speaking, for if they do not the whole of them will converge upon you, and a quick death would be the best you can hope for under the extreme torture they would put you under.
Eventually you will find the end of the hallway, hopefully before you reach the point where you cannot bear to listen anymore. Go through it, and close the door, and the noise will cease. In the room that you enter, a small office, there will be one man sitting there, shuffling through papers and shaking his head as he reads them. Say nothing to this man yet, or he will lash out, moving faster then your eyes can see and possessing more strength then you could have thought possible, and will throw you out the door into the waiting hands of the hungry masses. Instead just stand there, and he will begin commenting about the discouraging performance reports lying in front of him. At one point he will hand you a paper, dated for the present day, and ask for your opinion. Do not answer him, instead ask "What brings them chills?"
He will look at you strangely for a moment, not seeming to understand his question. Repeat your question, and he will close his eyes and nod, knowing what you are after. He will turn away for a moment, then begin to speak. He will start by speaking of all the atrocities brought upon people in support positions under the veil of anonymity. He will tell you of every incident of anger, hatred, threat, abuse ever done to any person in a position for help, and his words will make you lose all hope of goodness in humanity, if not outright driving you to the goal of their outright destruction for their atrocities.
After he has told you this, he will then tell you of his own tale, of his serving in such a position himself, and his discovery of the Object you seek. He will then show it to you, a simple movie on DVD, but it will have a strange coolness to its touch. He will tell you of its curse, of it's ability to summon cold storms at will, and the dark temptation to use it against such people that have caused him grief. At this moment a phone on his desk will ring, and he will answer it, and then smile. Without saying anything he will hang up, and hand you the movie, and thank you for freeing him from the curse. He will then walk you out of the door, and the room that held the people on the phones will now be empty. He will lock the door behind him, and drop the keys and his work badge down a garbage chute on the wall, and escort you out of the building, whistling all the while.
This DVD is one of the 538 Objects. Will you use it's curse to forward your goal?
The movie in question is my DVD copy of The Day After Tomorrow, which I happen to enjoy a lot. But I kid you not, it has never failed to snow two days after I watch the movie, even in the middle of June while in Denver, Colorado!
I haven't really cared about Halloween this year. I haven't had any good ideas to follow, and I've been arther busy with some other stuff. I haven't come up with any ideas for costumes, and I haven't done any more work on my Halloween story. Oh well, there's always next year.Mon, 27 Oct 2008 15:00:00 -0500
I've been considering getting back into Magic: The Gathering lately. Just for casual play, I wouldn't want to try to do anything more together with how involved I am in the Pokemon trading card game. Just for the nostalgia feel mainly, reconnecting with the past and what I once knew.
It's been almost exactly 10 years at this point since I first started playing Magic. I had originally heard of it in a magazine when Alpha first came out, actually, but couldn't really find anywhere as a kid that sold it and ended up forgetting about it, until it became a popular fad at my school in 8th grade. At that point I wanted to get into it again, and after winning some money from a fund raiser thing, I bought a Stronghold starter. I played for most of that school year, but as a fad it ended up fading, and in the end, after I had amassed most of everyone else's collections, I had nobody else to play. I ended up selling my collection to a friend of mine in exchange for a Gameboy, and I seriously got into the Pokemon series soon after that, switching over to that card game which is where I have been since.
I hadn't left it by the wayside, though, I continued reading the novels for the storyline I was familiar with, up through Apocalypse and the end of Yawgmoth and Phyrexia. I didn't really follow it much after that, because what I had come to know had more or less ended, and the story after that simply isn't relevant in my mind to my legacy. However, Coldsnap had caught my eye, which completed the old Ice Age block which I had played some of from my acquisitions. I wanted to see how they finished that block, but never had the actual chance to purchase anything from Coldsnap, up until I purchased the fat pack for it a couple weeks ago, which is all I can find aside from boosters. I hadn't realized that the set was so far out of print, it had apparently came out before I started working this job, which would be why I didn't have any money to buy starters then. The nice thing is the fat pack came with one of the novels, The Gathering Dark, which was a nice novel. At this point what I need to do is acquire the novels for the storyline I am familiar with. I own The Thran, which is the beginning of it all, next I need to get The Brothers' War, which unfortunately is out of print now so I will have to get a used copy.
I've talked about the Holders series once before, I wanted to touch back on it one more time, as I remembered something while rereading that article.
I wrote some time back about having only vague memories of my elementary school days, due to the significant shift of environment when going into Junior High. Back when I was in elementary school, though, is where a lot of the origins of my creative mind now are rooted. Back then, I would write large amounts of short stories, based mainly on my dreams. Or, more appropriately, I would plan a large amount of them, but never get around to it. I kept a list of them, a list of titles, for everything I was planning, that was lost sometime between elementary school and junior high. I have forgotten most of them, and have no recollection of any of it except for a few fragments from a few. However, that's not to say those memories cannot be recovered.
My second time reading through the Holders series, I started running through a plan in my head, a simple throwaway story that I would be done with. This story involved a girl running as the Seeker of Holders, going after items after being contacted by someone over the internet to seek out the first item, while her internet connection was down. After gaining the first item she ended up meeting the person, who told her to go after items, but she was a college student and didn't really have the means of getting around to the different rehab centers as required in the story. He then said he would set up so that she would have a way. At this point then I came into the storyline, or rather an older version of myself, with a well established game company, hiring her on to my company, and having her travel around for various conferences and shows, which gave her the avenue to collect more items.
In the mean time, her roomate begins having concerns about some odd behavior she has noticed in her. They both live in the same apartment complex, and she comes to me concerning some times being unable to contact her while she is on trips. I try reading the GPS location of some company hardware, only to find it is not registering at all, until it suddenly does register a location. Concerned about this, I, who also am a seeker but have just a few items that help me out, confront her once on the airplane for one conference, triggering her as the Holder of the Silence. (Interestingly enough, the entry on the Holders wiki is changed from the original. The original, as described here, simply states "You are the Holder of Silence. The silence you hear is object 31 of 538. The silence mustn't be broken.") This then causes the airplane to drop to absolute silence, and I take the opportunity to raise my suspicions about the man, since she is unable to speak as the Holder of Silence during it.
The significant point of this entry came from another discussion with her roomate, at a point where she has now learned about the Holders series. I explain to her about it from what I know, and what I knew about the man playing the peices to get the girl into place as the Seeker of Holders. I casually mentioned one last thing to her, as I said I realized the man's identity: I said that he was a GameMaster.
Instantly, I had a huge set of memories come back to me, which is what I had forgotten from the very beginning. The list I mentioned above, with titles of stories I was going to write, started out with a dream I had in third grade about a group called the GameMasters. They were a group that existed in another plane, that were responsible for giving the ideas for the best selling video games, who uses holographic technology in their plane to simulate and create the ideas for the games. I had been brought there to test out some new game idea. I had also revisitied it later, the 8th entry on the list, where I had a sequel dream a year later where their facility was attacked by some other group, and they recalled me to help defend it. A concept I had long forgotten the details of, however, once single word mentioning them, dropped unsuspectingly in a conversation in my mind, unlocked an entire lost fragment of my memory.
So that wraps up everything for the Ties to Infinity story. When PivotX final is released I'll put up some of the written portions I have in my two documents on here, but for now, after this entry is posted, I will post links to all 9 of the entries in the story topic, and then close the thread on my forum, leaving the legacy behind for the future.
A lot of the real use I got out of this were fleshing out some concepts I use in the storylines for my games, and some other things. It was the source of the poem that started a series that I have posted a couple under as entries titled "Something Different", being a quote of the poem by The Anaconda to Chii after the funeral for the death of Hideki. The Oni Mode concept will be introduced near the end of Spiral Island, and the Spirit weapon idea exists but isn't really explored in the Spiral Island Trilogy, but is gone into much further in the story of 13th Light. I reuse the characters of Orion and Xedre, reassigning them as names of AI programs. I even crossed directly into the Spiral Island universe at one point, making a small post referring to another part of that storyline not covered in the Spiral Island Trilogy.
The end of an era, then end of Infinity. Time rolls on, and a new Infinity is formed. But will the new infinite be the same as the old, or will it something nobody had imagined?
I was also playing around with the idea for one more chapter, brining it together with GU, though I hadn't planned this one out very much. As it was to go, several years later they got the full games from the zone in destiNATION, and so they decided to run through it with Harvester to reassign the player characters to new people who had those personalities, since everyone was now much older then the gap between QUARRANTINE and GU. At this point the Matrix was now run by a committe, and Morganna and Aura were heads of The World. They update it to follow the R:2 storyline, and watch as it plays through. While waiting between 2 and 3, Morganna is looking through a guide book, and notices there was some inconsistencies between the original English translation of the first games, which is what the Harvester used to build originally, and some of the information for the series, but whenever she went to compare it in the actual information, someone had already corrected it. An area of the Matrix then suddenly stops responding, and The Anaconda goes to investigate it, to discover it is the hospital where Alkaid was checked into in her coma. Corbenik is there, and he then destroys Alkaid's RSI. He scrambles Zion to make a quick rescue of her body, they recover her but aren't able reconnect her to the Matrix. They decide to try and merge her Alkaid character data into her mind, replacing her RSI data for the Matrix with her character.
In the mean time more and more discrepancies come up, and they try tracking down what happened to the original people Harvester had profiled as fitting in the roles. They find everyone but one, Sora, who completely vanished from the Matrix shortly after being freed from Skeith's wand. Skeith, Haseo in Avatar Skeith form, and Atoli in Avatar Innis form go to try and fight Corbenik, and during the battle they trace the ID's and discover that Harvester didn't reassign the role to another person, but had instead given it back to the same character. In the battle, Corbenik reveals this to Haseo, and he goes into shock comparing who he was before, and what he had done when integrated with Skeith originally, to who he was now.
That was pretty much all I had covered for that storyline. I didn't have any plan on who Corbenik was working for, or how this would end. I planned on bringing Morganna into play by giving her a Spirit weapon as well, and some other interactions between primarily Haseo, Atoli, Skeith, and Innis.
I am a prototype junkie. I love work in progress. I love demo tapes for music, early shots of movies or TV shows, and test builds and betas of video games and other software. I love seeing things progress, and what they have looked like during their progress. It's one of the things I like to collect.
I have saved copies of the early teaser site for "Project GU", before the actual .hack GU was first announced. I have copies of every video released for it, and the prototype trailer for that as well, which was their pitch for the game to the investors. I also love that they created a novel series based on the storyline from the prototype, which ended up being different then where the games ended up. I followed versions of Vista from early in 2004 through PDC and WinHEC builds running on our test machines at my work at that time, as well as participating in all of the betas, and watched it progress from the Longhorn of back then to the Vista we all know now. I've seen sites dedicated to the collecting of test builds and prototypes of video games, with the grandest of that being the release earlier this year of a massive dump from the Sega USA QA archives, releasing a ton of progress builds of a ton of games from that time. I have other miscellaneous game trailers lying around in my folders, which show a difference between some aspects of an original game trailer and the final game we came to know.
The progress of history is just as important as any one point, having a look at what led up to something can give even more insight then the item itself. This is why I love resources such as the Internet Archive, and other things that enable the progress of history. And I will use them as well, using the resources at hand to document and exemplify progress, the current item in question being Spiral Island. I have two videos on YouTube so far showing off the map editor, one for the early work, and one for the current state, and I will start showing off actual Spiral Island stuff soon. Not much, because I don't want to spoil things, but enough that progress can be documented, and I can release a much larger demonstration of progress once the development is finished.
As a side note, for some reason it didn't automatically activate one of my timed entries for the post mortem, and after I manually activated it it wouldn't go into the right order, so I had to delete the last few entries and repost them. That is why they all are dated today.
After the fight, Reone regains all of her memory from before the Second Reniassance, everything that happened from the beginning of the Chobits series to where she was taken offline trying to destroy the last remaining X-PUN chip in the former Piffle Princess assets before the Machines could get a hold of it. The Anaconda then recovers his RSI and reconnects, regaining all his memories, and the memory of a program he had written to fully use the hacking chip, and decides to put his human body back into cryogenic stasis and return to his Persocom form, so he has access to his X-PUN chip.
In the mean time, at this point the Architect has now fully declared war against the rebels and intent to return the Matrix to the state it was before Neo initiated the truce, and the revolution is brought into full swing. The setting moves to internal structures of the Source, to Server Prime, which is where the office of the Architect is located. He begins sending out Agents discretely to kill the dissenting programs, and they respond with a media blitz bringing it all to light. It culminates to a storming of Server Prime by persecuted Persocoms, the dissenting programs, and humans, and The Anaconda, Reone, and Freya storm the Architect's office, who had been waiting. He calls in the tour guide Lain, which was a disguise for the recreation of Chitose Hibiya, who uses her logins to disable all three of them. A backup system for The Anaconda activates, and shuts off the login protocols, allowing him to come back, where destroys the protocols for the other two as well. In the mean time, the ship had been moving to the machine city, and in the real world The Anaconda goes to the machine holding the Architect himself, and plugs into it and completely destroys the program with X-PUN, using a vulnerability he had coded into the Machine protocols years before, well before the Second Reniassance. He then releases the full details of this vulnerability out over the Matrix and destiNATION, and a new, much more mutualist symbiosis forms between the humans and the Machines.
A movie came out last Friday called Blindness, which is about a virus spreading to cause people to go blind. I had only seen about it from the TV commercials, which were talking about some government coverup for this, hinting that this was caused on purpose, possibly against people that found out information that they should not have known, but there was one person who could still see. I went and saw the movie under this premise. However, the movie didn't use this premise, instead the virus just spread, the only government involvment was a failed attempt at quarrantine to try and keep it from spreading. Every scene they used for the "government coverup" in what they showed in the TV spot was related to the quarrantine efforts, and research by the CDC trying to find a solution to the disease.
It really makes me wonder what the TV spot director was thinking. The other trailers I watched for it afterwards didn't seem to have that left field plot, just the TV spot. Did they think just an epidmeic movie would not do well? Did they think it needed more suspense for the draw? The cut for the commercial ended up with a completely different storyline then the movie, and it doesn't really make sense to me. I thought the movie was just fine, and I enjoyed it, the just general breakdown it actually portrays was more interesting to me then the spun version from the TV spot.
Interestingly enough, I had actually come up with the idea for the arena Root Town before details on the new Omega server in .hack//GU were revealed, showing that world's purpose as such.
The last chapter is where everything finally comes together. This is where the bulk of the backstory document was going to come into light, and the rebellion comes into full swing. It actually starts off with a breather after the destruction of Bob Gorilla, with The Anaconda finishing up his "Ties to Infinity" novel with the end of the previous chapter and publishing it. Then the grand opening of the new Kappa server, with a one-vs-one single elimination tournament to start it off. The Anaconda and Joe Monkey enter it, and they end up fighting each other in the final round. The Anaconda narrowly wins, and goes on to a mystery challenger, who ends up being Tri-Edge. Not having actually seen how he fights, other then from the one trailer, The Anaconda ends up being quickly worn down, but Tri-Edge leaves before the match is over so The Anaconda ends up being the winner.
Some further information comes up about the past, so The Anaconda tries to filter through his memory to discover what he needs. He uses a unique core to break up his residual self image into six fragmets, each one working independently, and watches them from outside of the Matrix. Each of the fragments takes on a different aspect of his character, and the other 5 end up being destroyed. The last fragment is the first that the rest of them discover, and they don't notice it at all, because the fragment is a Persocom working in a book store, and the entire block of area for that is the sixth fragment, a recreation of the past before the Second Reniassance. Reone ends up being pulled into another part of the Matrix, where she meets up with Orion, who is revealed to actually be the AI that The Anaconda designed to run the scan of his brain to allow him to live as a Persocom before the Second Reniassance. The information regarding that had been lost because of heavy file corruption, and he had been working on restoring it. In the mean time another AI he designed, named Xedre, had been living inside the PDA, and didn't want him to recover the memories because then her own functionality would be no longer necesssary. Orion gives her a special weapon and Reone enters Infinity Mode to fight off against Xedre.
The next chapter starts off with them trying to find there way into destiNATION following Bob Gorilla, utilizing the Kilroy virus that was build to bridge the interface. They discover the downloader app used to send stuff into the Matrix does not function properly in destiNATION, so have to come up with a diffrent way of sending items there for support. They meet up with one of the tour guides in Otherland by the name of Lain, who shows them around.
This one I really didn't have any structure to, just a few things I wanted to throw in. The main concept here follows a mysterious controversy, a series of murders that had started since they had come into destiNATION, but were not by Bob Gorilla. The groups split up into different configurations exploring the place trying to find Bob, and at one point The Anaconda and Aura go into the .hack copy MMO that exists there, and helps out a player named Exelia to fight Skeith. The Anaconda then goes back later and learns from the actor playing Skeith that Exelia was running a friend of hers through the Skeith mission, when suddenly the muderer showed up and killed Exelia. The murderer was Kite.
In the mean time Aura goes to a world based off the OS-tan concept, where she is attacked by someone with Agent access that had leeched onto Vista-tan. She discovers this person was a program originally built to manage the bandwidth issues, but was scrapped in favor of The World. After draining that person, she meets up with a man filling the role of Windows Update in this world, who is one of the main designers of destiNATION and was using that zone as his own private hideout. After getting back with The Anaconda, trying to figure out about this Kite that was clearly from the .hack//GU E3 trailer, the man reveals he has Harvester data of CyberConnect 2 at the end of that iteration of the Matrix, which he was storing away to eventually process and get that full series. They set up a zone to run it at high speed.
Eventually they find Bob Gorilla, and drag him back to the Matrix. They hold him in The World in a new Root Town that was under construction, Kappa Server, which was to be an arena root town built in a dormant volcano crater. On their way out The Anaconda gets information from the CC2 zone about another trailer, which called this zombie Kite "Tri-Edge", but getting little more info. He speaks with Morganna when he gets back, who says she had seen that one sneaking around for a while, and the player Kite had quit the game some time ago. She suspects the Kite was built by the Architect. Joe Monkey ends up having a final battle with Bob Gorilla, and finally defeats him for good.
I had a number of supplemental topics building up to the next chapter, which focuses on destiNATION, so I'll cover this concept before detailing the next chapter of the story. I had built destiNATION as an alternative network to the Matrix. One underlying thing that was going on through this story is what ends up escalating to a Machine Civil War, with several of the programs not happy with the policies of the Matrix administration. They ended up creating an alternate network as a haven for those that would not become part of the Process, a network which, while designed to be interactive between the two, caused the Matrix administrators to constantly rotate login policies so people couldn't go from destiNATION to the Matrix or vice versa.
This other network works a lot like the way The World works, with a gate system in a central hub leading to other, smaller areas. It is a distributed network, much as the way I have structured the Matrix, but whereas the Matrix is seamless between servers, each server or cluster in destiNATION is isolated and operates independently. The actual root hub I made for it is based on a misinterpretation of the Otherland novels, by a program called Harvester. There's other locations as well in destiNATION built with this utility.
Harvester is a program I intended on referencing numerous times, I might have already referenced it already in the story but I don't recall. The Harvester program was written as a tool to assist in building the Matrix, by processing all the human's information from the internet before the Second Reniassance and process it into a usable, world-building format. The program was used for the initial building of the Matrix, for minor things since then, then again in a major use for processing all the .hack media to build The World section of the Matrix. The destiNATION founders have a pirate copy of Harvester, as the program is tightly controlled by the Matrix administration.
I had a title for each of the chapters that would be in this story, but I can't remember the one for the next one at this point. It wasn't even originally going to be it's own chapter, except that there ended up being too much to do between this chapter and the next one after that that it would have made one way too massive chapter.
After Morganna made off in Reone's body, The Anaconda was going to then get everyone together to reveal what his new memories had contained, certain key memories that he had lost after being defeated at the end of chapter 1. This information revealed that he had originally lived before the Second Reniassance, and for some reason was put into cryogenic stasis and copied into a Persocom. He didn't have any of the memories as to why this was, however. He also revealed informationt that The World as they know it was an expansion to the Matrix due to space problems, based on the actual .hack series which had existed in the previous iteration in the form that we know it, including brief flashes of .hack//GU, as the previous iteration had reset just 3 days after the E3 where the initial trailer aired. They decide at this point the best plan would be to use the data gathered by the black box program to form a body for Morganna as well, since she is formless currently.
In the mean time, Fidchell had joined up with Morganna, who was going around and causing mostly mischief while loosely cooperating with Bob Gorilla. At this point all of the Phases have had the Drain Lock upgrade applied to them, which has had the additional effect of giving them all human forms. 5 of the forms have taken on their GU look, Skeith (who dresses like a Wavemaster rather than Haseo's Adept Rogue looks), Innis (who also can turn herself into other forms), Magus, Fidhell (who dresses more like Wiseman then Yata when he's not dressed as Organization XIII), and Corbenik. The remaining three got other forms, Gorre's modeled after the twins, Macha (being still Mia at this point) transformed into much more human, but having an outfit similar to Endrance's, and Tarvos being Jum Bansyoya.
The rest of this I pretty much left open. Aura realizes early on, from the spirit weapon The Anaconda is now using, that she in fact never had met Orion and it was The Anaconda that she thought was Orion, so now the trail trying to find Orion had gone cold. They go to find Albiero, who had left the Matrix with Hokuto, trying to find the location of the black box, while in the mean time Corbenik, since there were no details in the E3 video as to what was actually inside the locked compartment on Ovan's arm, Corbeniks is instead a giant MaGun, which he uses to summon The One Sin in the middle of the city. Corbenik is acting on someone elses accord, not on Bob Gorilla's side. The Anaconda gets his Oni Form at one point in the story, and they work at gathering unique cores and breaking the Drain Lock encryption. After they do that, with the assistance of the Agents, they trap Morganna and drain her out of Reone, then force her into her new body. She finds that satisfactory and gives up, while in the mean time Bob Gorilla forces open the barrier and escapes into destiNATION.
I don't really like XML. But not because of any dislike of the formatting itself or the purpose or anything, it's at a different level, just a general unnerve with the the language. I don't know if I can really explain it, I just am so accustom to the rigid setting of HTML, where everything has an exact purpose and meaning, that the openness of XML is just rather disconcerting. It's like sitting down and speaking, but you can't be sure that the words you use will mean the same thing to someone else. I could say duck, and someone would think it was soap, and someone else would think I meant lightbulb.
Plus it's freaking hard to parse.