Archive for September, 2012

A Little More James Garen

September 21, 2012

Here is a little more of my character James Garen. The world of the game is set far in the future after the human race has been devastated and a portion of the population has developed what basically amounts to superpowers. My character has the ability to heal wounds at will and has super strength and athletic skill. Here’s a little bit of a description of him and four characters.

James Garen has mostly groomed, dark brown hair and determined but friendly brown eyes. He’s built solid at about 5’ 9″.

James was born into the Garen family and that meant he was practically born to be a soldier. His father was a soldier, his grandfather was a soldier and so on. James started his education in the family career path at the age of 10. At that point he spent just as much time practicing combat skills with his father as he did playing with his friends. When his Kei abilities first showed he shipped out and left his family behind. At the Academy, he fit in pretty well and met Luke who he grew to be friends with even though they used each other for punching bags. Straight out of the Academy he worked with his Dad’s old squad, the Star Sabers.

He parted amiably from the Sabers when he was taken on board the Phoenix Bane. He crewed with the Phoenix Bane for a long time. He formed friendships with Jules Meles and Captain Caliver and served well on the Bane until the death of Jules and the Captain. He was stranded on the space station Tsion when he was forced off the ship by former crewmates who teamed up with known criminals.

When James’ internal kei abilities began to manifest he was excited at the new adventure ahead of him but a little sad to leave his tight knit family behind. He writes home often and also to other members of his family who are also abroad. He’s proud to be out and representing a family name that has served on a lot of ships and on the frontlines of many battles. The dufflebag he carries with him has the family name and crest stitched onto it. He’s good at following orders and loyal to whoever hires him, provided they’re not killing babies or anything.

Eileen “Dead Ei” Garen – She was always the most reserved of the Garen siblings. She’s timid around new people but, like her father and brothers, was always good at taking orders like a good soldier. She lacks the Kei abilities of her oldest brother, James, but has superior accuracy with firearms and has found work as a sniper. Working in solitude has only increased her social difficulties. She has the dubious honor of being the first person to shoot James in order to stop him from accidentally harming her other brother Lane.

Lane Garen – The middle child of the three Garen siblings. He was James’ first sparring partner and missed his brother when James was shipped off to the Academy. His arm and collarbone were broken in several places when James’ Kei abilities first surfaced. It would have been worse if James had not been stopped by their sister Ei. He ended up on a security detail working for the GSC. He is one of the few Garens without combat experience.

Jules Meles – Born with an inquisitive mind, Jules was never going to be anything but a scientist. She bonded instantly to computers adn was programming and building them at an early age. In exchange for her computer skills and Nen-I abilities, she gained passage on the Phoenix Bane and exposure to any technology they might encounter. Sadly, she died during the station attack when she was trampled by a crowd frightened by a crazed Kei user. James was rather protective of Jules and it is a great regret that he was not there to prevent her death.

Captain Kaliver – An unassuming, middle-aged Nah-Tem man. He won the Phoenix Bane in a card game and took to mercenary work with a passion. He was adept with the gift of talk and a knack for utilizing resources even when they were scarce. He trusted James as he saw honesty and loyalty which most of the rest of the crew (and Kaliver sometimes) lacked. James put a lot of people in med bays and six feet under in loyal service to Kaliver. Kaliver died at the hands of a crazed external Kei user during a Der’rum station attack.


Top 11 TV Shows On the Air Right Now

September 18, 2012

Why Top 11? I’m blatantly stealing it from the Nostalgia Critic.

1. Doctor Who

I never got into the previous versions of this show as I was unlucky enough to be born into a childhood without Doctor Who. I saw the dude in the scarf on magazines in comic book stores but it was beyond me. I missed it when Eccleston began in 2005 but caught the first bits of David Tennant’s first season. This show always makes me smile and often makes me laugh. It’s hard to explain to you what this show is since each episode can pretty much be about anything. I’ve seen every episode that was aired since it began again in 2005. Matt Smith is rocking the new seasons and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

2 Gravity Falls

The show follows Dipper and Mabel, twin siblings forced to spend the summer working at their Great Uncle (“Gruncle”) Stan’s Mystery Shack which is a tourist trap in Gravity Falls. In each episode they tend to get entangled in supernatural mysteries and/or hijinks.This is a new find for me. I love goofy, crazy humor that is just this side of surreal. Well, I love it if the show isn’t trying too hard. This show effortlessly pulls off throwaway gag after throwaway gag but it also keeps a good foundation of reality and continuity. Each episode has callbacks to earlier episodes but isn’t pushy or intrusive about it. Really though, this show just makes me laugh during every episode and that’s enough to make me love it.

3 Leverage

Nathan Ford is a former insurance investigator who descended into alcoholism after the insurance company he worked for refused to pay for an experimental procedure that could have saved his son from death. He pulls it back together to form a Robin Hood kind of team that punishes the powerful who hurt the powerless. Each member of the team is a specialist in their field which reminds me of character classes in Dungeons and Dragons. We get a fighter, a hacker, a grifter, a thief and Nate who is the mastermind. I love a good ensemble and I like that each of them gets to show off their particular skills and personalities. However, this show has given the characters a lot of room to grow. I can’t wait for the mid-season finale tonight.

4 Alphas

Dr. Lee Rosen is a neurologist and psychiatrist who is an expert in the Alpha phenomenon. Alphas are individuals who have developed superpowers through some quirk in their neurology. He leads a team of his patients in stopping threats from violent or out of control Alphas. This is another great ensemble show with everybody working towards a great show. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that David Straitharn as Dr. Rosen is a huge reason why I love the show. The show kind of reminds me of Heroes but if it was a tad more realistic and didn’t have vast, meandering subplots. Which is less bashing Heroes and more praise of this show.

5 White Collar

Neal Caffrey is a world-class conman and forger who is caught by Special Agent Peter Burke. He makes a deal with the FBI to work with Burke as a consultant to the white collar crime division where they use his larcenous gifts to catch criminals. What instantly stole the show for me was the fast talking, smooth Neal Caffrey but the supporting cast really has grown on me. Each character has become a little more rounded with each episode and I’ve come to appreciate the complicated relationships between the cast of characters. It also has a conspiracy theorist who often spouts famous quotes.

6 Flashpoint

Team 1 of the Strategic Response Unit in Toronto responds to crimes and tense situations where normal police are less equipped to act. The team heads into life or death situations which usually involve gunplay and usually at least one of the team on sniper duty but there is also a strong emphasis on negotiation. This is another ensemble show so I hope you’re sensing a pattern. I like that the show focuses a lot on tactics and the human element of each and every situation they face. I also like that those same situations are rarely black and white and the solution almost always leaves you and the characters wondering if they did the right thing.

7 Warehouse 13

Warehouse 13 is where an untold amount of magical and potentially dangerous artifacts are stored. These artifacts usually bestow some special ability to the user but often have a terrible downside. The agents go out into the world to track these artifacts down so they can be safely stored in the warehouse. Artifacts may range from Sylvia Plath’s typewriter which sucks the will to live from people all the way to Anne Bonny’s cutlass which makes you act like a pirate. The show is fun to watch but sometimes even more fun to research as all of the artifacts are connected to real life historical figures and events. While the show doesn’t make me laugh, I can appreciate it’s low key sense of humor.

8 Young Justice

A group of superhero sidekicks forms their own team which takes on more covert missions as back up to the more flashy Justice League of America. The founding members of the team are Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Artemis, Superboy and Miss Martian. They are the sidekicks of Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Superman and Martian Manhunter. The cast has since majorly expanded so the episodes have a rotating cast of crimefighters. I am a huge fan of the Young Justice and Teen Titans comic book series so I was excited when this premiered. It doesn’t disappoint as they stick pretty close to the source material while also doing their own thing.

9 Community

Jeff Winger is a shark of a lawyer who is suspended from practicing law because it is discovered that he faked his undergraduate degree. He attends Greendale Community College as a way to get a quick degree so he can get back to his career. The show follows Jeff and the study group that he inadvertently forms in the first episode. They are a mismatched group of characters with surprisingly realistic personality flaws considering the off the wall humor of the series. The show is very “meta” and the more episodes that you’ve seen, the more you’re rewarded. The show begins it’s fourth season soon after firing their showrunner who also created the show. I hope it keeps the same spirit that it’s had since day one.

10 Lost Girl

Bo is a succubus, which in the world of the show is a kind of faery but is pretty much how a succubus is explained elsewhere. She teams up with a human named Kenzi to act as a private invesitgator amongst the fae and the supernatural world. Basically an urban fantasy show with a tough female protagonist. I like its take on supernatural creatures and how they fit in or don’t fit in to modern society. The low production values and clever dialogue remind me of another show called Sanctuary. I just discovered this show as it was recently imported from Canada.

11 Psych

Shawn Spencer has a photographic memory and a razor sharp attention for detail which he uses to convince the Santa Barbara police that he is a psychic detective. With the help of his friend Gus and two police detectives, he solves murders. I was obsessed with this show for a while and I am still a big fan. Shawn’s tendency to spout pop culture references is a big plus for me as I’m a sucker for pop culture references. The show is often over the top but usually doesn’t go too far. The show also has a kicking theme song.

Hail of Arrows

September 12, 2012

In the interest of continuing to update this thing, I’m posting something I wrote on a lunch break. You’re welcome.

* * *

When Mia cleared the trees she saw the little house had been thoroughly riddled with arrows. It was an absolutely chilling sight to see. Her gaze flitted to and fro as she pushed her emotions down into a box. It was not time to be emotional. She would act first and break down when she was sure she was safe. Still, it was hard to control her heartbeat when she counted twelve arrows embedded in the walls and roof of the house. If that many were outside, how many had gotten through?

She pulled a dagger and crept into the tall grass, silent and stealthy. She heard no footfalls, no birds, no movement at all. Every bone in her body told her this was going to be bad. She wanted to run, to flee but there might still be people out there and she did not want to be shot in the back.

She got to the front door and tried to push it open. It would not budge. She glanced around and tried to make sure that she was still safe. She felt so exposed after leaving the tall grass but there was no movement in the field. There was no sound but the gentle sound of a breeze making the grass sway slightly. There had always been birdsong here and the lack of it did not help the tension she felt.

She briefly throught about trying to pick the lock but did not want to linger outside any longer than she had to. The archers might come back and there was no cover to save her.

She quickly reached up and grabbed a hold of the lowest arrow sticking into the wall and pulled herself up, quickly grabbing another arrow for support. She could feel the arrows move in her hands and knew they probably wouldn’t support her weight for long. She climbed the arrows toward the shingled roof. Her heart beat hard in her chest as she tried not to imagine getting shot during this desperate climb.

When she reached the roof, Mia scrambled over the ridge on the opposite side from the embedded arrows. She breathed deep and tried to calm down. Hopefully that would provide a small bit of protection. Still, she felt so exposed up on the roof. There was no reason the attackers couldn’t come back, circle around and spot her climbing around.

Mia counted shingles as she crept across the roof as lightly as she could. She knelt down and slid one of her daggers between two shingles and pried upward. The trapdoor hinges squealed and shrieked as they moved and she could feel her pulse pound through her brain as she nearly had a heart attack. She could not even bring herself to look around to see if she had been spotted. She just ducked into the trapdoor and closed it behind her.

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