Imusholtar: Journal 8

March 10, 2010

Rutskarn’s Journal

Hmph, wretched creatures kobold. Not tall enough to be a human, not pansy enough to be an elf and nowhere near mighty enough to be a dwarf. I’d pity them if it weren’t for the fact they just tried to steal my journal.
I must make a quick note now of the tunnels and channels being built to further this moat project. In one of his few smart ideas Jibar and I going to chase after the kobold.

My, what an adventure. As Jibar and I crested the hill we could see the kobold running from us towards the horizon, chanting to himself ‘Gankis win again! Gankis win again! Gankis am win! Gankis am the best!’
And that’s when saw Atheist.
We’re not entirely sure why he was out there, but Jibar quickly took command. ‘Atheist! You have a pick! Fight the beast!’ When Atheist merely stared, dumbfounded at us, Jibar truly proved himself. Never before have I seen this side of us. ‘As your High Awesomer, Jibar Pewdersmitsch, I hereby order you, Atheist, to become the first member of the Brozed Hall Guard! Now take whatever you can get and beat that kobold into a bloody pulp!”
And, in a moment I shall not forget again, he did. Atheist gave a quick salute and as the kobold came running past he swung the pickaxe with all his might. In a bloody miracle, not only did it hit the beast but it pierced straight through the kobold’s hand. The kobold screeched, and slash at Atheist before making a retreat directly towards us. This was not enough for Atheist however and he quickly gave persuit, carving chunks of kobold everytime he was close enough. Finally at the base of a hill, Jibar and I following close behind, the kobold gave up all pretense of outrunning us and turned to fight. He managed to punch Atheist quite hard in the head before Atheist once more plunged his pick into the kobold’s brain. And then I looked behind us to view the bloody road that led to this battle.
I think I need a rest now, I’m hopped up on blood lust which is never a good path for a dwarf.

The channels are dreadfully deadly right: first Balthasar, now Ceruton. And we had just finished blocking them up so we could have a decent moat in the future. As grand as his schemes are, Jibar does have a horrible habit of not thinking them through.

Oh dear. Oh very, very dear. Migrants spotted over the hills. I need to do a census, and there’s a lot of them apparently. I’ll take Dis with me, as he has little to do these days. I would recruit Jibar, but he’s been cursing at the camels again. Off to do my single duty in this fortress.

I’ll write the census in a moment. Jibar won’t stop shouting about racoons stealing things. Best calm him down first.

Here’s the latest migrants:
Onasuma, a soaper. This seems very useless all things considered.
Blackfox, your everydwarf. She could be put to use carrying things.
Trog, a brewer. A very very welcome addition to Dikegild.
Serp, another animal trainer. She brought a dog with her.
Curly, a potash maker. I’m not entirely sure what that is.
Dragonrider, a gem cutter. I have no records of any gems here, so we’ll have to find some other use for her.
Sir ~ Sir Mario the Second apparently. Says his brother came out this way looking for a home. I’ll leave Jibar to I won’t leave Jibar to tell him anything. Jibar cannot be trusted with that kind of sensibility.
Two miners, Player Zero and Nameless. I’m still not sure if that was just a joke or not, but I’ll leave it as is for now.
Giant dolphin, a stone worker? IS this a joke too? I’m sure Jibar is behind all this.
Another hunter named ElfLad wait~

Hmph. Another group of migrants just came wandering in, I’d best hunt them down.

Oh no. Our second death. The miner, Djinn, has died of thirst. I was wondering why people were complaining of a lack of buckets.

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New Sigs!

March 10, 2010


New sigs! Look *Points to end of post*
In other news, my short story is coming along… Although not really. I’ve still got the first third done, just need some inspiration and an idea where to go next. But rest assured it will be finished and will be posted, at some point, eventually…

Ooh rah.

Alice in Underland?

March 10, 2010

Warning: Spoilers ensue.

So I saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland recently.
This is important for a multitude of reasons. One is that I saw a film. In a cinema. For the first time in three months. As a self confessed film nut, this is ridiculous. I’ve gone three months without being in a cinema? How did that happen?

A second reason is this is the first film I saw in 3D. Let me be petty for a moment and say that the film industry is inconveniencing me and thus no one should have this fancy technology. It’s pretty, sure but uh… actually it’s really pretty. But I spent 15 minutes straining my eyes, felt incredibly goofy and had a really sore nose for ages afterwards. You see, I’m pretty much blind so my glasses are already pretty thick and now to watch this film I have to wear a second pair? It was painful to settle in to them, no exaggeration, and I’m failing to see how a technology that inconveniences such a common disability is really the way of the future. No 3D, go 2D, waiting for 4D.
A third reason is I really like Tim Burton, as in he’s pretty much one of the biggest influences on my creative endeavours and I can and will see every film he produces simply because his name is behind it. That’s context for when I say this film isn’t that good.
All right, let’s break it down here. In this film Alice travels back to a darker Wonderland to escape from the troubles in her life. No, back down American McGee, this isn’t plagiarism, it’s just the exact same idea as so many other authors and fan fiction writers have had over the years. This isn’t bad however, as it does allow for some psychological depth to the otherwise absurd and surreal Wonderland and Burton does a good job of it by not featuring any one great tragedy in Alice’s life but instead plays upon the culture and sensibilities of Victorian England.
Okay, all well and good, escapism ahoy. The Garden Party goes on that little bit too long really, but is otherwise manageable and we’re quickly reintroduced to Wonderland in all its odd glory. Except it’s Underland. And Alice doesn’t remember it at all.

This is one of the biggest flaws with the film – the not remembering, not the Underland thing. Alice maintains until the last ten minutes or so that the whole thing is a dream and is quite insistent that it plays by her rules. It’s just unbearable really, as she seems at times to be accepting of this world and fully willing to go along with things as they are and then suddenly pinches herself to wake up. Then one quick expo talk about ten minutes from the end and she perfectly accepts everything. And that acceptance leads to the other big problem.
The Frabjous Day. Anytime someone wants to get the film back on plot they mention the Frabjous Day, when Destiny Says that Alice will kill the Jabberwock. Which results in Alice armoured and armed in action. My God, the stupid, it hits me hard and won’t relent. How is this relevant at all, how is this intelligent at all. Why is this necessary. Why must you do this. It makes me want to cry. Alice is an observer and an accidental instigator, not a warrior woman for fate.
It ruins other sections of the film with its insipid nonsense, namely the insipid nonsense. The Red Queen has taken over ‘Underland’ and rules as a tyrant while the White Queen gathers her forces to fight back. The film approaches Wonderland from a serious enough perspective that they could pull this off if they wanted to, but it’s a plot that should not include Alice. Forcing Alice with her Destiny into this destroys what dramatic potential it could have had as a pale faced stick of a girl suddenly takes up arms to fight a giant monster which sounds suspiciously like an anime.
What else is wrong, well let’s see I oh yes THE HATTER. Good Gravy God I hated the Hatter. This is no fault of Depp’s, his Hatter performance is just generic really with no great advantages or flaws to the portrayal, but its the incredibly important role Burton gave him for some reason. No only does Hatter appear everywhere somehow, he also gains a tragic past and there’s some creepy romantic tension between him and Alice that never ceased the wig the crap out of me.
And there’s this side of Hatter I find really, truly weird, this Scottish half that appears every now and then. I’m guessing it’s some kind of reference to the English suppression of the Scots for many years with the Red Queen representing England maybe or something I don’t know it’s frankly batpoop. Hatter just slips into an accent, starts prattling on for a bit in a dark tone of voice and then oh look he’s whimsical and silly again hats how wonderful. And then he gets a claymore. Yeah. Depp, whoever taught you how to wield a claymore should be shot. It’s a big, big sword. Use more than one hand.
Oh, and don’t dance Hatter. Don’t dance.
So what was good? Well, I just thought of another bad thing so that can wait. What happened to the Dodo? When Alice takes her first proper steps into Wonderland she’s greeted by a group of animals and the Tweedles who all go on to play an important role in the story. Except the Dodo. He just kind of disappears. I think the most he appears later is handing a flamingo to the Red Queen and then he’s gone for the rest of the film. The dog gets more screentime, the dog!
No, it’s time to talk about the good things. Because there are good things to this film. What it does bad is bad, but what it does good it does very very good. For example, Alice. Mia Wasikowska and her incredible last name is a fantastic Alice, perfectly portraying an elder Alice in all our oddness. She floats through the film whenever not called upon to be wildly out of character for an odd heroic scene and kind of tumbles through conversation. She’s really quite the joy to watch act and makes Alice very fun.
Also, shockingly, Helena Bonham Carter is a great Red Queen. No, I mean this. She’s great. She goes completely over the top and really goes for the extremes the character. She’s petty, self indulgent and has an ego bigger than her CGI head. She’s scary when she has to be and silly at all other times. Carter just threw herself at the role and let go and it really shows.
As her counterpart, Anne Hathaway also does a great White Queen and invests much more character into the role than the film allows. She’s flouncy and pretty with an air of nobility, then suddenly she’s spitting into a bowl she’s just mashed fingers into. I’d like to imagine she’s a fairy princess who happens to burn down houses occasionally and listens to Marilyn Manson. I could happily watch a film that is just Hathaway and Carter as these characters, serious or not.
The Cat as well is simply amazing. I love the Cheshire Cat, and everything adaptation tends to produce their own interpretations and wonderful versions of the Cat. Here, with the voice of Stephen Fry and some truly hilarious deadpan snarking, the Cat is a force all unto his own. He’s not nearly on screen enough and even when he is he’s probably invisible or just a set of eyes and some teeth. The Cat was simply put my favourite part of the film and every moment with him on screen was pure joy to my bleeding eyes.
Hmmm, oh yes, what else was good…
Let me see…
The visuals.
The visuals.
This is flat out the most beautiful film I have ever seen. Wonderland is brought to life as it should be. Save for the Hatter, all the designs look like they’ve come straight out of the book. Horseflies dart around, the Tweedles kind of roll to all their destinations, the White Pieces all have Chess Piece heads while the Cards are made from living scale armour. The Red Queen is followed around by a group of fawning sycophants with other enlarged features in her pointy Red Castle and its river of heads. The White Queen lives in a glorious sterile White Caslte surrounded by Georgian nobility with her black lipstick hinting towards that darker side of her personality.
I really cannot do the look of this film justice with my words, its just… amazing, simply amazing. Beautiful landscapes, brilliant character designs, amazing sets, amazing amazing amazing how much can I say it amazing amazing amazing.
The Jabberwocky sent chills all down my spine. He was perfect.

If you can put up with the appalling story and Hatter focus, then you’re in for a real treat for your eyes folks. This is not the greatest film you’ll ever see and frankly there’s much better films out there, but if you’re going to see a film right now this is worth a watch, even if its just for the pretty sights and the Cat. Always for the Cat.

A Poem

March 9, 2010

All the sky was white as land and sea,
Cloud and ice and snow cloaked the world,
The air was cold and the metal colder
As I stood upon the brow of that vessel,
The Nautilus.

Through porthole eyes the crew saw land,
A sight long missing from their half-lives,
No animal or man was there to greet them
Just as there were no stars to guide us.

It was strange for her to be thus grounded,
The treacherous ice having ensnared us
In the night during our haunted sleep,
Dreams and memories of monsters past.

I remember the silent terror in us all,
Fears of a cold tomb and silent grave,
But nothing could freeze our hearts
Like Nemo’s ascension to the deck.

Eyes blazed
Heart raged
His voice thundered
And he ordered

“Never shall my lady be dominated
By laws of Man or weapons of Nature,
Do not fear the elements, if you must fear,
Instead fear Nemo and Nemo’s wrath!
Free the Nautilus!”

Men sweat and bled for Nemo,
Men worked and died for Nemo,
Three days toil it took
And three sleepless nights,

We struck at ice with pick and shovel,
We thawed the world with kerosene,
The Gods sought to trap us for our hubris
But nothing could freeze the flame of Nemo.

We escaped and sailed once more
Across and beneath the ocean’s surface,
Each man here would gladly die
In the name of Nemo and his lady,
The Nautilus.

Imusholtar: Journal 7

March 9, 2010

Rutskarn’s Journal

One of the newcomers, Potato, has named the animals who seem to lurk within Dikegild. Normally this would be of no consequence to me, but Jibar has taken to marching around cursing the name Ducim loudly. Apparently this is the mule. I dread the day when I learn what insipid reason Jibar has found to loathe a mule of all creatures.
As I recall actually, Jibar has found himself making enemies of various animals. Thus far there has been the raccoon and the mule, and the wolf that slew Sir Mario has escaped from him.

Truly, a day for celebration is upon us and a day I can in fact record with good reason: Spring has arrived. We have successfully lasted a full year. Jibar has commissioned more statues to commemorate the occasion. I am reluctant to say this, but perhaps this was not such a terrible idea. A full year survived, with food to spare and a mine other fortresses might envy. Perhaps I should hold Jibar in some higher regard. Yes, I shall.

I regret every nice thing I said. Jibar has begun what he calls the Great Channel, and is digging all the hills into blank vertical walls. This is, in his own words, meant to ‘make us untouchable’. The channel would eventually be filled with water, with a bridge built for traders. The plans seem sane enough in truth, save for the fact that they run right through the tunnel.

We’ve started a second level to our mines, and immediately struck Jet. I’m not sure why have this second mine however. Jibar tells me we’re running low on stone to work with, yet my records show we still have several score of stone in the store.
Oh Gods, alliteration. How horrid.

Jibar has started cursing camels now. Says they’re getting in the way. I fear I am losing my mind.

And already disaster has struck. The channel designs are having to be rapidly rethought after Balthasar fell in. They’re digging him out via the tunnel as I write, but it does mean there’s now a connection between this soon to be moat and our very important dwarf filled mine. Can this day go worse?

Oh, someone’s just sighted elves.

The elves just wandered straight across the top of our fortress and made their way down through the fortress to the trade depot. Apparently Jibar did not consider that someone might come from the south, where he has not ripped away the ramps.

I had planned to spend some time with Phase, going over the plans for our farm plots, yet when I came to the barracks to find him I instead found half our population fawning over new born puppies. The little things are insufferable, making a mess wherever they go, yet I seem to be the only one not affected with this mad affliction.

With everyone focused on the puppies, it was left to me to go and deal with the elves. Useless creatures, they refused to take out platinum and carried nothing useful at all. So we still have not made a successful trade. They left without a word just as they arrived. Miserable things really.

I feel a touch paranoid right now. I swear I saw a kobold inside the fortress moments ago, yet no one else has seen scale nor tail. I’l keep an eye ou~

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Imusholtar: Journal 6

March 8, 2010

Rutskarn’s Journal

I cannot bear it any longer. A few days ago Jibar happened to lose his own journal somewhere within the fortress. Since then the fool has been flapping around like a wounded bird, squarking his life away should he continue this annoyance.
Speaking of the withering of life and my patience, winter has arrived upon us all. We have shockingly lasted three seasons now, against all odds, and have a healthy and moderately wealthy life here. Of course these rich resources and strong labour is being wasted upon frivolous aboveground structures to act as monuments to a leader’s misguided belief in himself. It waits to be seen how things develop further from here.

Apparently roads are required to guide the various merchants and migrants towards the entrance of our mighty fortress. To that end, Jibar has ordered us to clear out the boulders and stone that impedes the construction of a paved road. He has also seen fit to order me into assisting; in his mind a skill with engraving and masonry go hand in hand. I’ll likely slip away when he’s distracted once more by those loathsome camels.

I have been generously informed that limestone and platinum has been mined out below. I then informed them that I was already well aware of this, as we’d been building with limestone for two seasons now. The poor dwarf was a little shocked by my hostility to say the least. Not his fault really, he was one of those mysterious new migrants, had no clue. Jibar has just been working on my nerves. He still hasn’t found that journal. I may seek solace with Phase.

It is a strange occurrence when I am humbled by another, but here I am. Perhaps it was my unfortunate history with Jibar that led me to consider the underhanded duplicity and subliminal suggestions necessary to get through his shield of stupidity as a norm, but never would I think to simply ask him a question. No other motives.
That’s precisely what the armourer Dis did, when he asked why we were still sleeping in those miserable barracks. Struck with inspiration, Jibar now has the miners digging out a set of rooms down below. I am a mite confused however, as from the plans he showed me there were only 5 rooms while we number 15 now.

Minor disaster, part of Jibar’s Tower collapsed. Apparently they were making modifications to the final floor and didn’t disassemble it correctly. No one was harmed, which is truly a miracle.

I’m not sure what Jibar is rattling on about, which is not really any great change in normal affairs. This is perhaps a new level of peculiarity. He claims ‘it’s stealing his clothes’ and assure me he will ‘wreak havoc upon the raccoon’. Truly a new level in incomprehensibility.

Jibar is outside right now, waving that axe of his around and screaming bloody murder, or at least that his intentions are bloody murder. I just finished a meeting with the trade liaison in his place, who had to leave soon and thus there was no time to collect and calm him to negotiate the trade negotiations. I don’t know what Jibar would have wanted had he been here, so instead I was useful and asked the liaison to bring a selection of goods my records show to be lacking.

In a surprise act of kindness, Jibar has had an office for me to conduct my affairs in built in secret. I shall go investigate further.

Further investigation shows the office is in fact a chair in a soil room.

Winter is taking its toll upon us all currently. Jibar’s infernal tower is nearing completion, and it is hard work getting water to the exhausted labourers. The lakes are frozen over and we have no buckets with which to transport the water anyway. Jibar assures me it will all pay out soon, which I find frankly unbelievable.

Oh Gods, the Tower is completed and Jibar has already moved himself into the room at the top, citing the excellent view he has off the land around us. Yes Jibar, yes, the barren, featureless land which you can see from your windowless room, of course.

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Imusholtar: Summary 1

March 7, 2010

So, how are things going?
Stupidly well actually. This is one of the better fortresses I’ve ever run with only one death, no insanities and nobody hoarding dead marmots in their room for nefarious purposes.
The Tower is probably a big waste of time, but I thought it was a good way to get the Fortress started and a sign of what my rule will be like. I do a lot of these big projects like the Tunnel and the Tower, solving one minuscule problem with as much havoc as possible, and this is only really the beginning.
We’ve got food and drink to spare, which bodes well with the steadily increasing population, and the farm plots and still ensure we’ll at the least be able to support our dwarfs should anything go terribly wrong.
Speaking of terribly wrong, I’ve no idea what happened with Mario though. He was a trained hunter and wrestler, so I think the Wolf got in a couple good blows there. When I saw he was fighting, he was winning, then next I know there’s an announcement he’s dead. I feel bad he only appeared briefly, so expect a Mario II at some point.
My big worry is defensive measures i.e. we have none. Goblins appear they could probably kill half the fortress before they stumble across someone strong like Voidseraph. With no metalworks we can’t make weapons either, so we’re going to have to get creative with how we defend the fortress.
So stay tuned for more updates across the week.

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Imusholtar: Journal 5

March 5, 2010

Jibar’s Journal

Holy Rums of Dwarf Heaven, there’s a group of migrants here! InksGuy spotted them off in the distance! Rutskarn is panicking everywhere, shouting about his records and a census or something or other. I’m going to try and calm him down so we can go meet and greet. Migrants. Migrants! This is so exciting!

We’re in luck! These new guys are actually useful. I’ve not had the chance to talk to them all properly yet but they’ve already gotten to work, earning their keep. I’ll do a list of them now so I can remember their names.

Djinn. He’s a miner, which is truly a blessing from the Gods. Brought his own pick and everything. Voidseraph really needed someone else down there who knew what they were doing. Oh. I hope Void doesn’t start rattling on about all that Simon stuff.
YoSaff and Emlyn are two regular dwarfs, no particular job. I told them to go and help out with whatever needs doing and they set about happy as can be. They’re going to be really useful, I can tell.
There’s a planter called Shadow who says he knows all about different herbs and plants. I don’t know if Phase will like having somebody else hanging around his crops, but the extra hand will certainly increase our productivity.
Ceruton said he was an engraver. Not much for art really, but that does mean he knows how to work with stone. Considering how much limestone we have right now, anyone else who can make something useful from it is greatly appreciated.
The armourer said his name was Dis and was greatly dissappointed when I told him we had no metal works. I’m not sure what I’ll get him to yet, but maybe we could get some kind of forge running for him? I don’t know, I’ll have to look into it.
There’s a hunter and warrior here called Sir Mario. Said his fortress was recently demolished by goblins and the guard all split. I sent him off to hunt some camel straight away. Oh, I should tell Voidseraph he can stop pretending to hunt now, we’ve got a real woodsdwarf here!
Finally there’s Potato, who says he trains animals. Considering the lot round here that are doing nothing, this is only a good thing. I’ll get a kennels built straight away so he can start turning these pups into proper hunting dogs.
That’s everyone. Best go and get back to fortress running.

Wow, I have no idea what’s going on now. I think someone is digging more mine routes, the Tower is still being built, someone said something about more platinum. It’s so busy round here these days. Oh, I should be out cutting wood! We need more beds now we’ve got more dwarfs to account for.

Oh no. It’s a very sad day, journal. No sooner had he got here than he left here. Sir Mario was jumped by a wolf just now. Mario wounded the creatures hind legs, but it still managed to kill him. The wolf and his pack are hanging round the body now, so there’s nothing we can do.
Wait, we don’t have anywhere to bury him! Damn it!

Everyone’s real mopey now. They’re all too scared to leave the fortress because the wolves are out there. I tried to calm them down but they’re petrified.
At the least, we’ve started work on the final floor of the Tower. Considering how long it has taken us thus far, I decided three floors was enough. Best finish it quick before anything else goes wrong.

I caught a couple of the new dwarfs whispering in a corner. They were saying ‘Sanrebneshast’ over and over again to themselves. I asked Rutskarn about it, and apparently it’s what the new dwarfs have named the wolf that killed Mario. They felt something that could fell a darf like Sir Mario should be named. I find it all really creepy.

There’s a lot more wolves out there than I remember…

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Imusholtar: Journal 4

March 4, 2010

Jibar’s Journal

Now that was a good nights sleep. We finally got a barracks built, with beds for us all. Nice not to be wrenching my back propped against a tunnel wall every night. This has put everybody in much higher spirits.
To commemorate this event, I told InksGuy to make us some statues to decorate the fortress entrance. He’s good with stone, I’m sure he’ll make something fantastic.

InksGuy finished the statues, but then called for me to show me something. Apparently we’ve been trying to stick all this furniture we’re building into one tiny cavern. It was pretty full by that point. I’ve had to mark out an area outside just to keep all this stuff. Nobody around to steal anything, so it should be fine.

Well, time marches on and if Home knows we’re here other dwarfs must too. Hopefully someone will be sending some trading our way soon. We’ll build a trade depot just outside the main gates and start a road loading right up to the fortress entrance. Maybe in future we can better fortify the depot with some walls or something.

Atheist is friendly with that damned mule. Says it’s a stubborn beast, just like dwarfs. Weird if you ask me.

We’re starting work on the first floor of the tower today, so I told Atheist and Balthasar to lend a hand with the masonry. Neither are particularly great with a hammer and chisel, but every little helps on the Tower Project.

Huh, Autumn has snuck up on us. The trees outside are withering, and the ground is covered in leaves. Kinda pretty really. It’ll make the trees easier for me to cut down, but I don’t know if the wood will be any good. Phase says now’s the time to grab herbs and plants as most will be dead in Winter. At this point, I’m not entirely sure why he tells me these things. He knows what he’s doing and does his job whether I tell him to or not.

Awww, one of the dogs had puppies. Little things are just plodding around, happy as can be. Adorable things. Hope someone decides to take care of them.
I’ve been making little wooden knick knacks lately. Just sitting in my workshop, whittling away in-between lumberjacking. InksGuy says he could make some decent traps from what I’ve made, but I don’t think we want to be endangering everyone else just yet.
Voidseraph says we’re done with mining for now, but I wasn’t so sure. Regardless, he said he wanted to do something else for a while. Fair enough I guess, he’s on the lower levels all day as it is. I told him to take one of the dogs and go hunting.

Oh sweet ale Gods on high, merchants are here! Dwarfs with wagons loaded with goods! And everybody is downstairs gathering stone for the new quarry! Agh! I just sent Atheist to collect Balthasar as fast as possible whilst I talk to the trade liaison. Balthasar said he knew how to haggle, once, he’s the only one who can do this!
Wait, did we ever finish the trade depot?


The caravan just left. We finished the depot and shifted some platinum to trade, but by the time this was all done they were packing up their goods again and Balthasar was still downstairs.
Maybe next season, eh?

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March 3, 2010

You’re a journalist, aren’t you? It’s the notepad, typing away in a place like this. No Captain does his dealings that open. Eyes on me girl, eyes on me. Don’t look around. Nobody looks around here. Listen to me and you get to buy me a drink and leave here with all your blood. Elysium Rum, I drink it in pints.
Don’t know what I am do you? Eye piece not a tip? Alright, I’ll humour you. Unlike the Captains and the crew in here I’m used to dealing with you Uppers. I’m a bit more polite when I’m on the higher levels, granted, but I’ll put on a fairer disposition if you’re going to supply me with liquor. First though, what is an Upper doing at the landing stations?
Oh really. You’re not the first to come down here looking for that exposition on the shadier side of the stars. You’re young though girl, very young. Unless those youth treatments got better than I last heard. I’m teasing, just fun. Fresh out of university, got yourself a job your father paid for and you’re feeling like you want to write yourself a nail biting story of crime and blood and drama. I weren’t around you’d be meat by now.
Don’t worry, I’m known here. Got me a reputation. Nobody will mess with me and my associates. I usually go to the upper levels to do my business, but occasionally we meet down here. Escort them from the elevator to the bar and back again. Always with my hand on my knife. Nine inch blade, serrated, many a kill behind it.
Heh, I was wondering when you’d ask. I’m a Runner, girl. I take information, drugs, weapons, letters, gold, fuel, people, anything, from one place to another. Level to level, city to city, planet to planet. Once did a run from one side of the galaxy to the next, a bomb that could level a whole colony stowed in my bag. People pay me to move things that they can’t through legal methods, and they pay me well.
Oh I’ve got no ship. No, I’m not a Captain, Captains are the folk who do regular smuggling. Things planet officials look over and confiscate should they find it. I move stuff police shoot on sight for, soldiers close off entire cities to obtain, There’s this whole little economy of Runners and Hunters, folk who get paid to obtain what Runners get paid to move.
See this, the little eye thing. Runner Eye. One of the smartest communication devices in all the known universe. Gives me all kinds of info from the client in case there is change of plans, special information, bonuses to be earned. Only way to send stuff to it is via a unique little notepad like yours. Inconspicuous, yet very useful. Also worms its way into all local uninet connections so I can look up anything I need. Wired direct into the brain. Twenty years of training and body mods to do this job.
Here, tell you what. I’m in a good mood and between jobs. I’ll drain this one, we’ll go somewhere more reputable and I’ll give you a couple stories. That ought to buy you a bucket load of respect. Good one to start with, my trip across Mars…