Monday, May 30, 2005

Late arrivals

Four late competitors - there may be four more, but then we close.

9. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - the only woman in the tournament has laid the smack down on many a vampire. Her skills have also allowed her to take on demons and all manner of scumbags, however, and Kilngons, Jedi, and Wizards should be nothing out of the ordinary for her. Second: Angel.

10. Wolverine (X-men) - His claws and fast healing will make him a force to be reckoned with. Wolverine shows very little mercy to his opponents. All around badass. Second: Beast.

11. Julian "Bean" Delphiki (Ender's Shadow series) - Not only is he the smartest person in the world, Bean is also Seven feet tall. Not to be underestimated by any means. Second: Petra Arkanian.

12. Spider-man (Spiderman) - Does whatever a Spider can. Spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies. Lookout, here comes the Spider-man! Second: The Incredible Hulk (don't try to make it make sense.)

I'm also changing how the bracketing will work. I will draw randomly from a hat.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Tournament of Champions

I realize this has been done before, but this time there's a catch- no high-tech weapons, no characters with insurmountable or god-like abilities. Only weapons that would have been possible with medievil technology are allowed. Use of Magic and the Force is to be limited(we'll explain that later). The way in which I intend to determine the winner will be complicated and time consuming, so don't expect updates to be frequent. The seconds will likely not be used, but are required as a precaution. (Plus I thought it would be fun to list them).
The Competitors, in alphabetical order by last name (if they have last names) are:

1. Aragorn (Lord of the Rings) - The rightful King of Gondor is clearly the best trained with medievil weaponry. He will need this to overcome his lack of special powers. He is part Elf, and his Sword, Narsil, has some magic in it, but it's of a very subtle type. He's still very tough. His second is Gimli.

2. Marcus Cole (Babylon 5) - Marcus knows a lot about his Mimbari force pike, and his martial arts training is unparralleled. He is looking forward to proving that the Rangers, not the Jedi, are the leading force of peace in the galaxy. Though his show be obscure, his heart is pure. His second is Lennier.

3. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter) - The only wizard Voldemort fears will be a tough act to beat - luckily, his spells will be limited. Still, I have a feeling he knows a thing or two about the blade. His second is Sirius Black.

4. Dylan Hunt (Andromeda) - Both the Last of the Paradigm and the Last Great Captain of the Commonwealth, Dylan's innate badassness is surpassed only by Kevin Sorbo's arrogance. He also used to be Hercules. In short, he will be quite the competitor. His second is Telemachus Rhade.

5. Teal'c (Stargate SG-1) - The Goa'uld's most wanted, Teal'c the Sha'vaa is a force to be reckoned with. Even deprived of his trusty staff weapon, he should be able to deal with anyone by quick reflexes and brute strength. His scond is Bre'tak.

6. Darth Vader (Star Wars IV-VI) - Vader killed more Jedi than any one else. He is the chosen one, and even when not actively using the force has heightened senses and reflexes associated with it. If he had not felt sorry for Luke, he likel would have killed the Emperor, ruled the Galaxy, and never been defeated. His second is Mara Jade.

7. Worf, son of Mogh (Star Trek)- The only main character to serve on two seperate Star Trek serieses, Worf comes from the warrior race of Klingons, and successfully bested 31 others in a Bat'leth tournament in at least two universes. Very skilled with Klingon bladed weapons, especially his Mak'leth. His second is General Martok.

8.Master Yoda (Star Wars, Episodes I-III)- The little green leader of the Jedi, Yoda will be able to use the force as much as he wants to augment his small stature, and a limited number of times for offensive purposes. Powers are limited to those seen in the movies. His second is Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The first match will be up eventually. If you wish to place bets, I think that would make this more entertaining. Quark will be happy to serve as our bookie. We accept republic credits, Latinum, Melange, Knuts, and Root Beer. The Altaran dollar and the Pu will not be accepted. Thank you.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Shortest attempt at deadlines ever

I can't do this. I can't write on a schedule. I tried to force an update out of myself today, and it was crap. Like crappier than previous examples of my crap. This is supposed to be my stress reliever, so I'm not going to turn it into a source of additional stress. No deadlines, no schedules- quality over quantity. Sorry.


Ok, a bit of a wrench has been thrown in my "finish by June 20th" plan - apparently, I'm getting my wisdom teeth out on Tuesday, which means the next day I will not be nearly coherent enough to post. However, expect some kind of update tonight and the next two nights, hopefully resuming on Wednesday, and I may try to double-up to make up for this inconvenience.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Chapter 29: Back to Reality

As he stepped into the light, I got a better look at him. Slender, of about average height, he had dark skin, curly black hair, and was wearing a long, black leather coat. His hand was extended.
"Skyler Woods Brimmer the sixth," I answered, shaking his hand.
"Bad move," answered the vampire hunter. "You had no way of knowing I was telling the truth. I could have been another dragon hunter, and you would have just held up a 'please kill me' sign. We gotta work out some kinda code or something, cause that ain't gonna work,"
"Umm..." I started, "You saw me turn into a dragon. Shouldn't that have tipped you off?"
He looked embarrassed. "Well, probably," He said, "But you never know. These dragon hunters aren't always so smart,"
"So, uh, reverend, you work for the MLA?" I asked him.
"Please, call me Bobby," he answered, "Cause I think we're gonna be pretty tight. Technically, I only worked for H.O.U.N.D. and the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. But right now I'm apprenticed to Quentin, who works very closely with the Northern Alliance, and he assigned me to keep an eye on you,"
"Nice job," I said sarcastically.
"Hey, don't blame me," he answered, "I saw you head off into the words with a lady friend and figured I could give you two a little privacy. Speaking of which, I think she's coming to,"
I turned around. Zhong had opened her eyes and was slowly trying to sit up. She looked very confused.
"And I suppose I have you to thank for taking out those two vamps?" Bobby asked her as he helped her up.
"What?" she said, looking around, "No. Who are you?"
"He's a friend," I said before he could answer, "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I think so," She said, "But I was supposed to be home hours ago. My parents are gonna kill me,"
"Wait a minute," said Bobby, "So if you didn't take out those vamps, who did?"
"I told you," I said, "A bright flash of light turned them to dust,"
"Yeah," he answered, "But somethin' had to have caused it. Never mind. Lets get back to the parking lot,"
We followed Bobby back to the parking lot. When we got there, we saw a police car parked outside, along with my mothers car and Zhong's family van. Someone gave a yell as we approached, and both our parents' ran out to greet us.
"Where were you?" asked my mother, smothering me with a hug. "We were so worried! It's not like you to be an hour late when you say to pick you up at a certain time! We were about to send out a search party and everything!"
Next to us Zhong's mother was telling her what I can only assume was something similar in Chinese.
"We got lost," I said. "Then it was really dark and Zhong fell and got knocked out. Luckily, Bobby found us, and - "
I looked around for the Vampire hunter, but he was gone.
"Yes?" asked my mother.
"Where'd he go?" I asked.
"I don't know, Skyler," she answered,"I'm just glad your safe," As she turned around to hug me, she noticed the damage to my clothes. Then looking at me more closely, she noticed the lack of rollerblades and the helmet with the broken strap.
"What happened to your clothes?" she asked.
I didn't have a lie thought up. I tried to buy myself some time.
"It's a long story," I said. "Can we please get on home? I'm really hungry,"
That was true. Since I'd changed back to a human, I'd been starving.
"What happened to your rollerblades?" my mother asked.
"Wheels broke off them," I lied.
"All of them?" she asked.
"One from each, I answered, "But I figured they were useless now anyway. I'll explain it all when I get home. Can we just go please?"
"Alright," she said, "You've had a long night, and I'm sure you'll tell me all about it tomorrow. It's just you'd only had those things, what, a month? You have to be more careful with your stuff,"
We bickered and argued all the way home, but I think I got through it without giving anything away. When I got home, I ate a banana, climbed in my bed, and slept a solid ten hours.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I am doing something I've never done with a story before - I'm setting a deadline for myself. I'm not sure how it's going to work, since most people who set deadlines know how many chapters are left, and I have no clue. I know what still has to happen, but not how long it will take to happen. So this might not happen at all, but here is my goal: to finish part one of the Dragon story by June 18th. I will also try to update daily until then from when school is out, but this is not an official goal.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Chapter 28: An Unorthodox Rescue

The first thing I did when I managed to get up was check to see if Zhong was okay. I couldn't find a pulse, but I've never been able to, and when I got closer I could hear her breathing - she was alive. I shook her, but she didn't stir.
I heard rustling in the leaves, and I looked up. The man who had been with the vampires was standing over me. He was a grisly, muscular man with with hair all over his face and arms, but none on the top of his head. He was wearing a wife beater, cargo pants with a utility belt, and an enormous sinister grin. He was holding a bizarre sort of gun, with an enormous barrel, and leveling Zhong.
"Git up," he said, in a gruff voice. "Do as I say and nobody gets hurt. Make one wrong move and the girl gets it,"
I wasn't sure what to do - I knew I couldn't take this guy down in human form, but my dragon form was stronger. If I transformed, he might be to startled to react, or maybe my scales could protect me from the blast. It seemed as good a plan as any to me, so as I stood up and raised my hands, I focused hard on what it felt like to be a dragon, just like Teresa had told me. It wasn't working. I closed my eyes and focused as hard as I could.
"Don't even think about it," said my captor, "This thing's designed to take out Dracons, I'd have you before you were done changing. Save your strength,"
I stopped trying to transform. He'd ruled out both my reasons for thinking it would work.
"You Skyler Woods Brimmer?" he asked
I didn't say anything. I didn't think giving him my name would be a good idea.
"I asked you a question, boy! Answer me!"
On the other hand, not doing what he said seemed like an even worse idea. So I decided to lie. Unfortunately, I'm very bad at lying.
"No," I said, "Never heard of him. My name is Ted Chambers,"
Why exactly my U.S. History teachers name had come to mind I have no idea, but it had an unusual effect. The man immediately started laughing.
"Ted Chambers," he chortled, "Ha! Ted has been-"
Unfortunately, I never got to hear what Ted had been, as the man was interrupted. Specifically, by a blow to the head. He whirled around to face his assailant. The two grappled. All I could make out were silhouettes, but I saw the attacker pull a knife. My captor threw off his oversized weapon, since it was only impeding him in the struggle.
I ran for it. I picked it up and looked for the trigger. While I while examining the weapon, I heard a cry as my would be rescuer was thrown into a tree.
"Ok," he said, strangely calmly, "Now you're makin' me angry,"
As he ran back towards the other man, my fingers felt what seemed to be a trigger. I pointed it at my attacker and fired.
It veered off to the left and landed harmlessly in a tree trunk. The mysterious man jumped on the slightly-less mysterious man, trying to stab him in the chest.
I focused on changing forms again, and for some reason, this time it came naturally. I felt again the tail, the wings, and the powerful claws. It felt better outside. I ran towards the man and grabbed him.
"Now that's what I'm talkin' bout!" exclaimed my ally. As I restrained the man, he stabbed him through the heart. I let go of him as he fell to the ground. I'd never really seen a dead person before, and for some reason I hadn't expected to kill the guy. Apparently the other guy hadn't either.
"What the Hell?" he said. "shit! This ain't no vampire!"
"No," I tried to answer, but of course it came out "Ruur,"
"Hey man," he said, "I don't speak none of that draconic shit yet. Turn human again, then we'll talk,"
After some concentration, I managed to. I realized that the tail had ripped a whole in my pants, and my rollerblades, pads, and helmet were all ruined. How was I going to explain this to the parents.
"Man," said my rescuer, "I wasn't expecting to kill that guy- I mean, I was, but I didn't think it was no guy, you know- thought it was one a them vamps,"
"No," I said, trying to hold my pants together in the back, "They both turned to dust in a big flash of light,"
"Really?" he said, "So that's what that was all about. Well don't that just kill ya. Show up to do your job, and somebody else does it for ya," he thought for a minute.
"Oh I'm sorry," he said, "I never introduced myself. The Reverand Robert Freelander, Vampire hunter extraordinaire, at your service,"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


This Poem has no title. I wrote it for Interdisc. It is dedicated to the Memory of Glenn Snyder.

From the Sands of Iwo Jima,
To Bloody Anzio,
You fought to serve our country
So many years ago

From Pearl Harbor to Midway
And to the Coral Sea
Over the skies of France you fought
To keep our country free

Whether soldiers, sailors, medics,
Or our daring aviators
The cause of Freedom drew you on
Our bold and brave crusaders

And in the darkest twilight
Your courage never failed
You held the line all through the fight
As through the night you sailed

We owe you so much, so much more
Than I have words to say
So we thank you for your service
That we never can repay

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Chapter 27: Obligatory Chase scene

We got a bit of a head start, but it's amazing how fast those things can glide. Still, you can rollerblade faster than you can run. We seemed to be maintaining our lead. The only problem was we didn't have anywhere to go.
It was dark, and hard to see. Tree branches poking out of the trail seemed to appear just in time for us to dodge them. I ran over a tree branch and stumbled, almost falling down, but I managed to get upright again. I glanced behind me. The vampires were gaining. The non-vampire who was with them was running, but he was falling behind. I couldn't get a good enough look at him to figure out who he was. While I was trying to, I nearly slammed into another tree branch. Zhong called out to me just in time for me to dodge it.
It looked like a straightaway ahead, so I bent low to gain speed. I glanced behind me- they were still gaining.
The straightaway was on a downhill, and at the bottom of the hill the path widened. I was glad - there would be less to dodge - but Zhong had another idea.
"This way!" she yelled, turning into a narrow side passage. It was brilliant- the vampires wouldn't be able to fit through the slim opening in the brambles. I glanced back as we entered to see what they'd do, and for a moment I thought they we'd lost them. Then I spotted them -there were two fearsome black bats flying after us.
My attention was brought sharply forward as my arm slammed against a tree branch. The canopy over the path made it even harder to see, and the twig-strewn ground made roller-blading even harder. I looked back - the bats were almost on us. I looked up just in time to see a branch poking out from the woods next to me. I got an idea. I grabbed the branch as I past, pulling it forward with me. It snapped back and hit one of the bats, knocking it forcefully into the woods.
The other one was now dangerously close to me. As we left the narrow passage for another wider one, I bent down and grabbed a stick. Swinging it around like a baseball bat, I nailed the second bat, and Zhong and I sped down the trail leaving them in the dust.
We slowed down after a while - we were exhausted, when they suddenly appeared from around a curve. We sped up again, heading determinedly back towards the trail.
We passed a figure trudging along the road. As I turned back to see him, I realized it was the same one who had been with the vampires originally - we were going in a circle.
I snapped back to attention as I heard a cry. Zhong had hit a snag and fallen over, an easy thing to do on rollerblades in the dark. I had kept going and I was now ahead of her. As I swerved around to to help her up, I saw the two vampires glide toward us. We had lost our lead.
I turned to face them. There was know point in running. I bent towards the woods and grabbed two sticks, holding them out in front of me like a cross.
The lead vampire reached me. He grabbed the two sticks and pulled them apart, tossing them aside. Then he grabbed me.
Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light. For a few seconds I could see nothing and all I could hear was two horrible, tortured screams. When the light faded and the sunspots finally cleared from my eyes, the Vampires were gone. At my feet was a pile of dust. I turned around. Another pile of dust was in front of Zhong, who was lying motionless on the ground.

Chapter 26: Zhong

After school I hitched a ride with my mother down to the trail. I got there a bit late, at 7:12 instead of 7:00 when I'd told her to meet me, but luckily Zhong was still there. Her mother was also there leaning out of the window of her van and arguing with her in Chinese. Her tone changed as I approached her. She smiled, said something to Zhong, then drove off.
"Hey," said Zhong, as I approached her. It had been a while since I'd last Rollerbladed, and I was still a bit shaky. She glided gracefully towards me, in sharp contrast to my Shaky, disconnected movements, and extended her hand to help stabilize me. This turned out to be a mistake, as I was somewhat heavier than she was, and if I'd really been collapsing I would have pulled her down with me. As it was, I just stumbled a bit, so we stumbled together and found our way back up.
"Hey," I finally answered, as we glided towards the trail. I was getting a feel for it now, and I was no longer feeling quite so embarrassed.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" she asked.
I looked around, and determining that there was no one close enough to listen, started talking.
"I don't know where to begin," I said.
"The beginning," answered Zhong matter-of-factly. She swung her small backpack to her side, unzipped, and pulled out a Bananna. Then she swung the pack back over her shoulder and began peeling it.
I thought for a while, trying to figure out where the beginning was, and finally started my long explanation.
"Ok," I said, "You know that woman who was talking to me online? Well, I met her in person,"
I paused.
"Go on," said Zhong. We both bent low to dodge an oncoming tree branch.
"See," I said, aware of how silly it was going to sound, "After Jason stole Harvey, I was attacked by a Vampire,"
As expected, she gave me a quizzical look. "I thought they were all extinct," She said.
"Me too," I answered, "But I know differently now. Anyway, I was saved by a draconic, who turned into a woman named Teresa..."
I went on to describe everything that had happened to me in the past couple of weeks. It felt good to be able to talk about it. Zhong listened, interjecting comments from time to time, and we glided along down the trail, deeper into the woods. The sun was starting to go down, but somehow I didn't really notice. When I finished, she started asking me questions - what I liked about it, how it felt - as if she was really interested in the whole thing. It felt like she really understood my situation - not the situation of being a draconic, nesscesarily, but the situation of not being able to tell anyone about a large chunk of your life. In time we moved on to other topics. It was starting to get quite dark when we realized we had no idea where we were.
Zhong looked at her watch - she had to be at the parking lot fifteen minutes ago. We had come to a fork in the path, however, and we weren't sure which route would take us home. We were deliberating it when we saw three figures approaching.
"Excuse me," I hailed them as they approached, "Would you happen to know the fastest way back to the-"
I stopped. It was then I realized that only one of them was walking. The other two were gliding speedily toward us. I cursed myself. I had let myself be out, alone, at night, and I hadn't even brought a wooden stake. Not only that, but I'd endangered Zhong. Grabbing her by the hand, I took off down the path away from them, hoping against all hope it was the right one.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Second Blog?

So, the fact that apparently my readership iss incapable of following one of my stories at a time brings up a problem with running multiple ones that I hadn't considered. People might confuse the plots. Or worse, people might confuse the psuedo-science. Magic in the Dragon story and magic in Eriliance don't work even close to the same way, and confusion between the two would damage people's understanding of the stories. Plus each story has multiple plots running congruently, which just adds to the confusion. So I'm wondering: would it help if I started a second blog for my new story? Or would that just mean an extra blog everyone has to check? I want feedback on this idea, please.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Chapter 25: Fact finding

Third period was U.S. History. After class, Jason went up to the teacher, Mr. Chambers, to ask him about the writing. Mr. Chambers was an older, gruff-looking man with an unkempt beard, a long pony-tail, and no hair on the top of his head. This rough appearance was contrasted with a gentle, intellectual personality. Normally gentle, anyway, which is why his response was so unusual.
Jason approached him with a sample of the secret writing from the notecard, and ask him if he knew what kind of writing it was. As Chambers peered at the paper through his half-moon spectacles, what could only be described as a look of recognition crossed his face, which quickly flashed into almost a look of anger.
"Where did you get this?!?" he bellowed.
Jason was too taken aback by this sudden transformation to answer. Luckily, Chambers himself seemed equally suprised.
"Quite sorry," he said, reverting to his usual composed self, "I don't know what came over me. I must have mistaken this writing for something else, honestly I've never seen it before in my life,"
He was clearly lying, and badly too. Jason noticed this as well, but he was scared to push it.
"Thanks anyway," he said. He retrieved the paper, and we headed out of the room.
"He definately knows something," said Jason to me as we walked down the hallway towards lunch.
"I know," I answered, "but how do we find out what? He obviously doesn't want us to know,"
"We could break into his house," suggested Jason. He might have been joking. I've never really been able to tell.
"We'll call that plan B," I answered.
"I can't believe he's covering it up," complained Faye, when we told her what had happened. "It's like this is some sort of conspiracy,"
The word clicked with me, and set something off in my head. I grabbed the writing sample and took off across the cafeteria. A confused Faye followed me.
Outside, I spotted Mora in her usual place, leaning against a wall.
"Hey Mora," I said, slowing down as I approached her.
"Hello, number six," she said, "How goes it?"
"Not bad," I lied, "I need your help,"
"That's unusual," she remarked, "How may I be of service?"
I handed her the writing sample. "Does this mean anything to you?" I asked.
She looked the paper over somewhat quizically. It was not the actual postcard, but a set of characters from one that Jason had copied down. He didn't like the idea of bringing the postcards themselves to school.
"Hmm..." she said, after a while, "Interesting. I suppose this is a 'no questions asked' sort of affair?"
"For now, yes," answered Faye from behind me.
"Can I keep this for a while?" asked Mora, "I know I've seen it somewhere before, but I can't quite put my finger on where. I'll check it out for you, though,"
"Great," said Faye. She'd now pretty much taken over the conversation.
"Of course, I'd be taking the time out from other things," she continued, "I might be more motivated to really dig for an answer if I was being.... compensated somehow,"
"Five dollars enough?" asked Faye.
"Barely covers the gas to the library," Mora replied, "But I'll do it for you Sky, since you're a friend and all,"
"Thanks," I said, "Get back to us when you can,"
"Will do," she replied, pocketing the sample.
The bell rang, and I headed to class.