The NorEastern Empire spent much of its six year war against Crowndon getting its posterior kicked. Though masters of subterfuge and intelligence gathering, the NorEastern empire had neither the resources nor the military prowess to endure a long standing war, and by the time of the battle of the Divide, they were all but broken.
Well, Game of Thrones took the week off, something I didn’t know was going to happen. So you can imagine my surprise as I sat down with a bowl of popcorn in my lap, eagerly awaiting to see the S hit the F, and another movie came on in its place. No matter, because I had just gotten back from seeing the new Fast and the Furious movie a couple of hours before.
Today’s post is an excerpt from the novella “Where, No One Knows”, which I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year. In it, Pixie Sinclaire is tasked with infiltrating Where, No One Knows, a floating prison made out of three enormous interconnected ironclad warships. Her task: find and extract her former lover, Rigel Rinkenbach, before he unlocks the secret to creating Blackwood and gives it to the NorEastern Empire’s enemies.
Things don’t go as planned, however. For no sooner than Pixie arrives on the ship does a woman named Dougherty lead a mutiny, throwing the ship into chaos. She also wants Rinkenbach, for very different reasons. Pixie and Dougherty forge a fragile alliance, and come up with a plan to get Pixie onto the command ship where Rinkenbach is being held.
This week’s episode being the third to last the season, it’s no surprise that its main purpose is to set up what’s going to happen in the final two episodes of the season.
The episode begins with Arya waking up, still alive and unharmed after being dragged into the woods by the Hound last week. Thinking that he is asleep, she tries to bash his head in with a rock, but he’s already awake. He tells her he’ll give her one free shot, and if he lives, he’ll break her hands. Arya backs down, and they hit the road.
Yeah…so with Person of Interest done for the season, I find myself at an impasse for content. I guess I got a bit too dependent on having something given to write that I let it sneak up and bite me in ass.
What shall I do? I know! I’ll come up with another semi alliterative faux-column title and use it to riff on whatever the hell I’ve got on my mind.
I just saw this story on the local news about a guy who broke into a Walgreens, dressed like a ninja. I don’t know how to feel about this. Houston apparently has a ninja problem now, and that can’t be good. On the other hand, Houston has a ninja problem now, and NINJAS ARE AWESOME.
Okay, so he’s not really a ninja. For one thing, a ninja would have left no trace. This guy left a huge hole in the ceiling. They had to call the fire department to find the hole, but the hole was found.
Also, I doubt ninjas are in business of stealing painkillers from local drug stores.
Naughty Dog’s Last of Us is on track for release next month. I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series, but like many others, I found the disconnect between the Everyman Nathan Drake was supposed to be versus the unstoppable Murder Machine he turned into during game play to be quite jarring. Last of Us will no doubt be brutal (It’s garnered an ‘M’ rating versus Uncharted’s ‘T’), but the previews are saying that violence is rare, and often avoidable. I like to play non-lethally whenever I can (recently completed pacifist runs in Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and did the same in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, once upon a time); not because I have an aversion to violence, I just find it more rewarding.
I recently discovered a science fiction and fantasy bookclub/ podcast called Sword and Laser. I picked up the book they’re reading now, called Wool, by Hugh Howey. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the middle of Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, which despite being quite enjoyable, doesn’t seem to want to die. I swear to god, I’ve been at the half way point for a month now. It’s like two pages take the place of every one I read.
I started it about a year ago, read half-way through it, and then stopped because of school/waning interest/wanted to finish Storm of Swords (another book I put down at the halfway point, but found much easier to get back into).
In the meantime, I’ve been listening to older episodes of the Podcast that deal with books I’ve already read (like Neuromancer), or don’t care about. They talk about quite a bit more than just their selection for the month, so check it out if you’ve never heard of it, or are looking for something interesting to read.
The Doomsday Toad
A Tale of the Blackwood Empire by RB Pierce
Lots of weird things go through a man’s mind when he hasn’t moved in twenty four hours. He begins to question things. It starts with “what am I doing here”, in regards to the task he is currently performing. That then leads to the same question, only in regards to existence. Eli had gone past both points and back again.
Arufina Villanova is a member of a society of assassins known as the Scarlett Circle, an organization trumped in mystery and cloak-and-dagger-ness by only the Ephemeral Cartographers. Her older sister was a Cartographer before the war, and Aru might have been as well. Something else happened, however, and Arufina’s sister disappeared, putting Arufina on the run.
Every great season of TV has at least ONE. One episode that just doesn’t quite live up to the rest. Season 3 of Game of Thrones has been fantastic, possibly even uniformly the best, given how much the people behind the scenes have to juggle. So it’s a bit ironic, I think, that the most uneven episode of the season was written by George R.R. Martin himself.
Season two of Person of Interest ends with an action packed and revelatory episode that felt about half as long as it was and left the future of the show in a somewhat nebulous state. Not all was perfect, of course, as the breakneck pace of the episode left some plots feeling undeveloped.
The episode earns its title. In fact, while watching the scene where Reese and Shaw come across a hidden safe and are given the combination by the machine, I thought to myself, ‘it’s like they’re using God Mode’. Imagine my satisfaction when I went online afterwards to research the title and found out that it was indeed ‘God Mode’.
IDDQD 4 EVAH!
Okay, nerdgasm over. Back on track. My favorite points from the episode had to be Reese and Shaw’s continued partnership as they tracked Finch and Root, getting into all kinds of fun side-adventures along the way. One highlights was the opening sequence where the machine gives Reese and Shaw the directions of approaching attackers, allowing them to get the drop on them.
Another great scene has the machine send Reese to help a man about to be executed in a cargo container full of handy dandy weapons and a yellow Ferrari that Shaw takes a liking to. She throws Reese an assault shotgun and he asks, ‘What’s this for?”
Her reply: ‘To make you feel less inadequate while I drive this thing.’
Some of if was a bit silly, like Reese’s little drive by on a jilted man holding up his ex-girlfriend’s wedding party (while still in the bright yellow Ferrari, no less), but it was all fun.
My other favorite plot dealt with Finch in a flashback to 2010, where we learn how he came to be estranged from his fiance and how he injured his back. This 2010 arc also gave us a bit of background into the Northern Lights assassin tracking Root and Finch.
The Root and Finch story was strong as well, and had them infiltrating what is believed to be a nuclear facility, but is actually where the Machine used to be physically located. I say used to be because it moved itself.
How did it do that? Apparently by placing an order to do so and then posing as the director of the government agency that controls the Machine to prevent any red flags from going up. Not even Finch knows where the actual physical component of the Machine is anymore, and apparently no one is controlling it. It’s making its own choices about who to send numbers to, and the episode ends with it finally calling Reese and Finch with another number. One caveat, however…it also calls Root, who appears to end the episode in what I’m guessing is a psychiatric hospital.
The one weak link in all of this is Carter’s story, and I attribute that mainly to the fact that there was so much else going on that needed to be covered. It’s not bad, it’s just rushed. As the last couple of episodes have dealt more with the meta-narrative on the history and nature of the machine and those who seek to control it (another criticism I’ll get to in a minute), the story of our intrepid LAPD detectives and the HR conspiracy have taken a back seat. Hell, Fusco, who was such a central figure in ‘In Extremis’, has been missing completely the past two weeks for no other reason than the writers couldn’t find anything for him to do (which, I suppose, is better than them trying to shoe horn him in).
Carter does make a pretty interesting decision, however. When she learns that’s she’s being set up by the detective she thought she could trust last week, and that he’s planning to do away with Elias, one of the show’s recurring baddies, she takes a page from Reese’s book, disguises herself, and interferes in an unofficial capacity. The story ends with Carter and Elias in a car together, their futures unsure for now. It’s a bit abrupt, but should be an interesting thread to pick up next year.
Person of Interest hit its stride this year, building up the mythology while also giving us intriguing number of the week cases that informed each other in interesting ways. The mythology is a bit confusing, however, and so many names are thrown around, (Research, Northern Lights, HR, Decima) that it can be a bit hard to keep track of everything. I was also a bit disappointed that the Julian Sands character introduced earlier in the season didn’t make a comeback at some point, but I’m sure he’ll pop up someplace down the line.
The season also gave us plenty of cameos from Zoe Morgan, and who could forget Bear? If you’d have told me last year that Person of Interest would have an animal side kick, I would have rolled my eyes. Instead they waited a year and gave us one in such a spontaneous and entertaining manner that it was easy to accept. Luckily, the show never became about an ex-CIA spy and his K-9 sidekick that only responds to Dutch commands. Bear was just another recurring character on a show full awesome recurring characters.
The best addition of the season though had to be Shaw. Not only did she show us the government side of the machine, she also gave us one of the best episodes of the show thus far. I’ll have to retroactively review it, once the season releases on Blu-Ray.
But I don’t have new picture, or a new video (at least not one that I’m willing to show just yet without some major overhauls). I do have a story, but it needs some polishing, and I want to do a few illustrations for it, so maybe next week, or the week after.
I’m currently beleaguered by a 3D modeling assignment and 3DS Max is being a pain in the posterior. It has little to do with technical limitations or bugs, however. I’m just having a hard time molding the little dots and lines into something worth showing people.
So, having nothing to show for the moment, I dug out this cheesy looking mock movie poster I did for a class I took on film production. It was a pretty interesting class that took us through the steps of conceptualizing a movie, writing a treatment, working out a budget, and pitching it to a studio. Here:
That’s so 1990’s direct to video, right? Yeah? Damn, I was fishing for compliments by being self deprecating. That backfired, didn’t it? Now I’m being all meta and shit.
Anyway, I decided to do mine as an adaptation of a video game I like called, “The Longest Journey.” It’s one of those properties that’s half a movie anyway, and seems like a no-brainer to translate to the screen. And while the game itself isn’t really aimed at the YA crowd, you could easily market it that way, which is pretty much a license to print money. Unless you’re Lemony Snickett. Or Spiderwick. Or that one movie that had Al Swearengen in it as a kind of Obi Wan, mentor type figure. Or…damn. It seems I’ve underestimated the YA crowd.
Of course, taking that route would likely alienate fans of the game. All twenty of us. Just kidding. I’m sure we’re in the hundreds or something.