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  cover: I Will Survive performed by Tragedy
Posted by: classicdrogn - 03-17-2023, 01:14 PM - Forum: The Game Everyone Loves To Play - No Replies


What do you say, Bob, increased/reduced effect, or something different entirely?

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  utility (perfect/shared memory): Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce
Posted by: classicdrogn - 03-16-2023, 04:21 AM - Forum: The Game Everyone Loves To Play - No Replies

non embedded

This one's old and well known enough that Doug may well already have a power from it, but I came up with a good one just now... and then I went and over-complicated everything thinking about the rules and exceptions and just RPG nerd things, but basically, Doug was feeling really homesick at some point in the Walk, and/or tried this as a gate song based on the repeated calls to spend time with the singer's loved one(s), but instead what it does is one of two things: First, to allow him to pull up the memory of a single sequence of events in the last 24 hours, up to the full duration, and encapsulate it for perfect recall at any later time; or second, to replay one of these memories for himself and/or someone else.

Not the way he intended to "look around enough" or "have enough time to do all the things you want to do" let alone "save every day and then spend them with you," but at least ten times better than a holiday photo album, and having its own strategic utility for after action reports, incident analysis, and general information gathering. It might interact with a Pensieve in an interesting way, too, or be inspired by them if it only comes in after the HP Step.

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  The history of the nations in one line
Posted by: Dartz - 03-15-2023, 03:11 PM - Forum: General Chatter - No Replies

Not sure if any of these are funny....

British History:
So we just showed up uninvited and made the place our own for a couple of centuries. Savages didn’t even welcome us.

American History:
All men are created equal* (Terms and conditions may apply. See fine print. )

French History:
They call it a revolution. IBecause we wend up right back where we started.

German History:
Once again, Europe is at war.

Austrian History:
Did we start that?

Swiss History:
500 years of peace and brotherly love have given us - a fancy watch.

Belgian History:
Would like you to laugh it off as Germany’s bypass - pay no attention to the Ghost of King Leopold there.

Dutch History:
Never living the tulip thing down

Spanish History:
Arrives in America like the full stop at the end of a sentence.

Portuguese History
Finders Keepers

Irish History:
Right lads, we're leaving - again.

Italian History
Remember when we ruled the known world?

Greek History
Remember who ruled it before Italy?

Iranian History

Russian History:
Take a drink when it gets worse.

Ukrainian History:
Desperately trying not to become Russian History

Polish History:
Desperately trying to remain Polish History

Balkan History:
A Tesla Fire.

Japanese History:
We're special. Nothing ever happened. Lets just keep that quiet. Lets never talk about it.....

Chinese History:
...and then millions died.

Australian History:
A thirty thousand year dream fucked by one British cunt's Endeavour

New Zealand History:
Getting annoyed when mistaken for Aussie history.

Indian History.
The difference between 25% of the world economy, and 7% is the British Empire.

Middle Eastern History:
A 3000 year stew of paternalist foreign intervention and religious fundamentalism.

Arabian History:
Camel-Camel-Camel-Car-Private Jet-America-Camel-Camel

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  2016-11-17: Life Off Mars
Posted by: Bob Schroeck - 03-10-2023, 04:35 PM - Forum: Stories - No Replies

7 Henrietta Street
Dublin, Ireland
November 17, 2016
3:47 PM

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Meg muttered to herself as the pounding at 7 Henrietta's front door obstinately refused to stop. "Hold on, damn you," she growled when she reached door and began to flip all the various latches. The sound of the locks opening apparently satisfied whoever was on the other side of the door, because the pounding abruptly stopped.

Meg swung the door open and stared balefully at the man on the stoop. He had short-cut hair of a shade halfway between brown and dirty blond, atop a sharp-featured face. His head was canted forward slightly and he studied her from under his beetled brows. He wore a long glossy black leather jacket of a vaguely retro cut over a new-looking black T-shirt, along with dark grey slacks and loafers. She looked him over head to toe then said, "Yes?"

"You Meg Deckard?" he asked a bit gruffly. He had a Mancunian accent, out of place in Dublin.

"I am," she allowed. "And you are?"

He took a deep breath, as if to steady himself, then drew a worn black ID case from his right jacket pocket. "I'm Inspector Sam Tyler, with the Garda," he said, displaying an ID that agreed that this was the case. "Except I'm not."

"Oh?" Meg raised an eyebrow, silently thanking Data for the snippet of biomimetic programming that let her do so.

He growled and scrubbed his face with one hand as he slid the ID back in his pocket with the other. "I'm screwing this up. Let me start again. My name is Sam Tyler. In 2006 I was a DCI with the Greater Manchester Police. After I was hit by a car, I woke up in 1973 as a DC in the Manchester and Salford Police. I was stuck in the 1970s for three years, then I got shot while trying to take down a suspect." He drew a deep sigh and scrubbed his face again. "I woke up an hour ago on a park bench here in Dublin. In one pocket I had an ID that says I'm an Inspector in the Garda, and in the other I found a piece of paper with your name, this address, and 'She'll understand' all written on it." The glowering expression on his face broke, replaced by confusion and near panic. "The newspapers I saw on my way here say it's 2016." He shook his head. "I've got to know -- am I mad, in a coma, or traveling in time?"

Meg took this all in, then slowly nodded. She stepped back and opened the door wide. "I think you'd better come on in," she said.

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  New video from Doki Doki Productions!
Posted by: robkelk - 03-08-2023, 12:09 PM - Forum: Anime Music Videos - Replies (2)

Yes, after a dozen years, Tim Park has created a new AMV. "A Space Pirate Scorned", featuring (as you may have guessed from the title) the characters from Tenchi Muyo!

I'm going to have to hang a NSFW tag on this one for the lyrics. The visuals are fine.


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  2016-09-29: The Eyes in Her Fire
Posted by: robkelk - 03-06-2023, 08:13 AM - Forum: Stories - No Replies

Blossom Apartments, Ottawa, ON, Canada
September 17, 2016
6:00 AM

Rei was worried. She wasn't in Japan any more, which meant that she was nowhere near any of the 280 Hikawa Shrines. How was she supposed to carry out the rites on her own, without a kannushi in charge? But she was Sailor Mars, and in that role she was – politically – the most senior shaman of the Silver Millennium, she reminded herself yet again. There was no organized Shinto presence in Ottawa; her personal status would have to be enough.

She still feared the wrath of the kami if she was wrong – not for herself, but for her friends, both the other Sailor Senshi and the people she had met here in this refuge they'd found in Ottawa. And the kami enshrined at the Hikawa Shrines was known to be very wrathful on occasion.

No, she realized, that attitude was incorrect for a miko of the Hikawa Shrines. Follow the example set by the kami enshrined at the Hikawa Shrines, she told herself; it was better to take decisive action than to worry.

Her decision reached, Rei quickly made her way to the residence manager's office.

September 29, 2016
1:37 PM

"Thank you, Mii-san," Rei said as the professionals who had just finished installing a fireplace in her apartment packed up and prepared to leave.

"This is important to you," she replied as she signed the professionals' invoice. "And we made sure that you could use the fireplace to heat your apartment, too. Are you good with the firewood being stored on your balcony?"

"I'm not using the balcony for anything else," Rei replied.

"Do you need help with the firewood?"

"Bringing it in, and building the fire? No, that is a duty that I must perform myself. Thank you for offering, though."

Mii nodded in understanding; sometimes the person in charge just had to do it herself. "Will we see you at dinner?"

"I don't know. That depends on whether the wood cooperates with me."

4:05 PM

She had blessed the wood as she built the fire on the hearthstone, being careful not to dirty her miko robes. Now all that was left to do was to light it.

Rei transformed to Sailor Mars, selected a long taper, and whispered, "Fire Soul." A small flame appeared on the tip of her finger, and she lit the taper with it. She transformed back to her unpowered form and used the taper to light the tinder. The tinder lit the kindling before it burned out, and the kindling in turn lit the seasoned wood.

She watched as the fire took hold. Simply watching the flames gave her a measure of peace; this was something familiar in an unfamiliar world.

Then she heard... no, sensed... a voice. A gruff, angry voice. "Who calls upon me?"

"Miko of the Hikawa Shrines, Hino Rei."

"For what purpose dost thou summon my attention?" The voice was still gruff, but it was no longer angry.

"I am in a strange, unfamiliar land. I seek to be allowed to perform the sacred rituals that call upon your favour, in order to bless this place and the people who live here."

"A mere miko dares to call upon Susanoo for such an important task?"

This was the moment that Rei had been worried about. If she said or did anything wrong, the consequences could be dire. "Just as you dared to take up arms against Yamata no Orochi in order to protect Kushinada-hime, I dare to seek your blessing for the people who live here."

"Ha-ha! You know me well, young miko. But, no, you are not simply a young miko, are you?"

She hoped that his switch from archaic speech to modern speech was a good sign. "You see clearly, kami-sama. I am also known to some as Sailor Mars."

"So this is where you ended up in this refuge," Susanoo-no-Mikoto mused. "I would have expected to find you in Tokyo, or at the least in San Francisco; my sister Amaterasu tells me that I will need to turn my attention there at some time before the next solstice. Very well, young miko who is the reincarnation of one of my favourites. By the sacred pact between the mortals and the kami, forged in water and wood and fire and earth and metal many millennia long past, you may call upon me for as long as this sacred fire burns."

"You do me great honour, Susanoo-sama," Rei replied. She most carefully did not smile in relief, even though the crisis point had been passed; doing so could be taken as an insult to the kami.

"However, you must not expect my constant attention. This place of refuge has been claimed by another, one of Three to whom even the mihashira no uzu no miko must bow."

Rei was amazed to learn that there were kami even more powerful than the Three Precious Children of the primordial creator god Izanagi... but she did not doubt the word of her patron kami. "May I ask who this kami is?"

"It is dangerous to seek such knowledge, young miko."

"You have taught us by your example to face danger with resolve."

"Ha-ha! Again, you speak truth! She has many names; the one she uses in this place and at this time is Skuld."

"A Norse kami has dominion over you?"

"The triune kami of destiny, sometimes called Norns or Fates, have dominion over all including reality itself. Or so I've been led to believe." Rei felt a sensation of Susanoo-no-Mikoto moving closer and leaning in to tell her a secret. "Me, I'm not so sure, because of the current situation, but Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi say that it's better to humour them just in case. And I always listen to my siblings."

"You do?" Rei was horrified by her own question as soon as it slipped out of her mouth.

"Yes, I do. I don't always obey them, but I do listen. And if you were not one of my favourites, you would be punished for doubting me. Do not do so again." The sensation of Susanoo's closeness faded away, and she could once again sense him only in the sacred fire. "I forbid you from attempting to contact her directly through mystic means. If she chooses to manifest in this world, you may speak with her as you would speak with another mortal or with a kami, but you must not seek her out. At this time, in this place, that privilege is reserved for your landlord unless he grants that privilege to another."

"I understand, and I thank you for your guidance." Rei could think of nothing else to say to such a pronouncement.

"Now, do not speak of this conversation to anyone other than another miko, a kannushi, or a kami. Especially do not inform your landlord that you have spoken with me directly, for he would inform Skuld and then we would both be in trouble. I have remained here for too long as it is; I must be about my business elsewhere. Go join your friends here and tell them that you have successfully lit the sacred fire."

"I will, and I thank you..." Rei's voice trailed off as she realized that Susanoo-no-Mikoto was no longer paying attention to her.

7:33 PM

"Hey, that's great!" Makoto's voice came from the speakers beside the television in the common room, and both she and Kazari were visible on the screen. It was the last evening that they expected to need to talk by video conference before Makoto returned from her time in the woods. "We're both just about back up to normal for us, aren't we?"

"I suppose we are," Rei replied, confident in the knowledge – that by divine edict she wasn't allowed to share – that at least in one small area she had already surpassed her abilities at home.

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  2016-10-13: Some Uncomfortable Questions
Posted by: Bob Schroeck - 03-01-2023, 09:26 PM - Forum: Stories - Replies (7)

Managers Teleconference
October 13, 2016

Bob: "I've been thinking about that Predator that you said Makoto ran into, Rob."

Brent: "Haven't we all!"

Bob: "And it led me into strange areas of contemplation."

Rob: "Like what?"

Bob: "I've realized that the situation we're in is very Earth-specific. Except for that Predator -- or, rather, those Predators, plural, since at least one more had to be around to leave that tanto for Makoto -- and those Fae you fought off last week, and of course the Mau, almost everyone who's been displaced has been human, and even those that aren't are from human works of fiction."

Raven: "Your point?"

Bob: "My point is, are we the only world in this big wide universe providing refugee services? Are there alien civilizations who are receiving displacees from their own works of fiction, overseen by the gods and demons wearing unrecognizable faces?"


Brent: "That's an... interesting question. Yeah, probably."

Rob: "You've got me thinking that some heroes of Klingon operas are showing up on Qo'noS even as we speak. But does it matter? If there are, we're never going to meet them."

Bob: "Maybe, maybe not. I mean, an infinite universe providing homes to refugees from an even more infinite multiverse... the law of big numbers says that sooner or later we're going to see some kind of overlap, say an alien story where they've managed to come up with something reasonably close to earth humans as their counterpart to extraterrestrials. What happens if they're the equivalent of 1950s B-movie alien invaders? And have the technology to find us? I mean, we already have, what, three starships on earth right now, thanks to the Masakis and their houseguests? There's no reason to expect we're alone in the universe and also that our fiction will be the only works with ultratech galaxy-spanning drives and other near-magic toys."


Rob: "Now I've got a question. All of the exceptions to Bob's rule about no nonhumans happened to my residents or at my residence or both. What's so special about us?"

Raven: "Hey! What are my residents? Chopped liver? I have four nonhumans in The Steeple. Or have you forgotten Zafira and the familiars?"

Rob: "Actually, yeah, sorry. But it just underlines my point. If we aren't special — and I guess we aren't — when are things like that Predator going to happen to everyone else? Is some tentacled monstrosity going to crawl out of the Pacific Ocean and onto Venice Beach, maybe?"

Brent: "Like in Haiyore! Nyarko-san, shonen?"

Bob: "<snrk> What are the odds that somebody is actually running some underwater residence south of Hawaii where Godzilla, Cthulhu, the aliens from Pacific Rim, Reptilicus and the Varga are all hanging out playing pinochle with cards the size of tennis courts? And when they get bored, that's when they show up in Venice?"

Brent: "Don't worry guys, I'm a great pinochle player!"


Bob: "A question."

Rob: "An answer???"

Bob: "Why haven't we seen anyone from fanfiction? I very seriously doubt that the multiverse at large gives a crap about copyrights, trademarks and market share, so logically we should have or should soon see someone recognizable from a fic."

Raven: "Like Doug, maybe?"

Bob: "Well, yeah, or the Girls. But just as much, Twister, Legion, Fenris... any of the godlike Harry Potters or world-jumping Ranmas... Terawatt! Or Chris Angel's Paradox. Hell, Gryphon or just about anyone else from Undocumented Features."

Rob: "Fenspace?"

Bob: "Yeah. Why aren't we seeing displacees from any of them?"

Brent: "Maybe they're getting recruited to help instead of just becoming displacees."

Rob: "Don't tempt fate. With my luck, I'd ask for help from SkyKnight but I'd get Skysaber instead."

Bob: "There's one way to find out about Skysaber, you know."

Brent: "Don't say it."

Bob: "Just pick up a landline phone and make the request for him to the dial tone."

Brent: "And now I can't not think about doing that."

Rob: "If you summon Skysaber, you get to give him a place to live."


Bob: "Another question."

Raven: "Oh god." <chuckles>

Bob: "The Q Continuum. Where are they?"


Bob: "One more. One final question."

Brent: "Enough. Please."

Bob: "What if we're someone's fanfic?"


Raven: "Whose?"


Bob: "Ours."

Bob: "A group project like 'Fenspace', some kind of self-insert megacrossover story. I mean, there are six of us, all from my board, who are managers, five of us writers to one degree or another. What are the odds of that?"

Raven: "Pretty good, considering Funtom used your board to find people with the qualities they needed."

Rob: "And we're just a fraction of the staff, one that's getting smaller with every new residence that opens. Although Epsilon is a writer, too."

Brent: "Not to mention, if this was a self-insert wouldn't you expect us to all get some obscene power-ups with people like Washuu-chan and Usagi around who are willing to help out if asked?"

Raven: "Oh yeah, we'd all be Sailor Alpha Centauri, or Superman, or some hybrid monstrosity with built-in particle beam weapons."

Rob: "Raven's right -- if this was a self-insert, we'd be center stage. At best we're supporting characters. Although we're better off than Rosencrantz and Guildenstern."

Bob: "But what if it was supposed to be some subversive funhouse mirror image of an isekai story? And it would answer a lot of my other questions -- we're writing what we know, so that's why there's no alien displacees, and we wouldn't poach on other fic writers' turf, so that's why that..."

Raven: "Bob, you're over-thinking things. Go get some sleep."

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  Beware of Chicken vol. 2 being taken down
Posted by: Shepherd - 03-01-2023, 07:21 PM - Forum: General Chatter - No Replies

Because of Kindle Unlimited rules, Beware of Chicken's vol. 2 is being taken down on March 8th and vol. 1 is staying down instead of being reposted. If you want a free copy, you have a week to save the chapters.

The author's post on the subject:

Quote:Alright. Theres been a bit of bad news. Originally, I thought that Volume 1 of Beware of Chicken would go up on Kindle Unlimited for a short amount of time, as kind of an extra boost to sales which would then taper off, and Volume one would be returned to free platforms. However, this is no longer the case. Volume one will be remaining on KU for the foreseeable future, with the other books being taken down as they are released.

I must express my apologies for saying something that did not, in the end, come true.

So here comes the second part: by the 8th of march, , Volume 2 up to chapter 58 will be removed to satisfy Kindle Unlimited requirements. This will likely be for until BOC is finished.

Again, I'm sorry to those who were waiting for Volume 1 to go back up.

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  Florida puts a state commission in charge of the Disney World district
Posted by: robkelk - 02-28-2023, 08:50 AM - Forum: Politics and Other Fun - Replies (6)

First, way to slant the story with the headline, CBC: Florida governor signs bill giving state control of Walt Disney World district

On one hand, Florida is resolving an issue that has existed for decades: Disney received a special tax arrangement because they were going to "build a futuristic city that would include a transit system and urban planning innovations", but they built a theme park instead. Now the special tax arrangement is being changed to match.

On the other hand, Florida just picked a fight with one of the largest media corporations on the planet.

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  Edge has been spotted inserting a banner into the Chrome download page on Google.com
Posted by: robkelk - 02-24-2023, 08:27 AM - Forum: General Chatter - Replies (7)

Microsoft hijacks Google's Chrome download page to beg you not to ditch Edge

In this particular case, it's obvious content.

But if the software will change how one or two web pages are displayed, how do we know whether it will change how other pages are displayed?

(Me? I'm still using FireFox...)

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