Archive for January, 2017

Redcross Pt 7

January 7, 2017

Redcross

Sarah Redcross made her way over to the doctor’s office but the door was closed and locked. Not surprising at this hour but usually, Marion was still up and reading one of her books. Either the newest medical texts she could get her hands on or tales of adventure. There were no lights on in the windows but in the darkness, Sarah saw a note pinned to the door. She walked over there and lit a match near it and smiled to herself. It seemed that the good doctor had visited the undertaker after all.

Sarah headed in that direction of the undertaker. The sound of the rough dirt under her boots seemed extra loud in the chilly night. Even in the middle of the night, she felt vulnerable as if something would jump out of the darkness to tear her to pieces. The skirmish with those men, those things, earlier still had her shaken. She still had no idea what they were but either the other two had dragged the dead one away or, well, she did not want to think of any other possibilities. Gunfire still rang through her imagination and she could not make it stop. It made her touch two fingers to the revolver at her side.

Essex was a quiet town to be sheriff of. Sarah had witnessed her father breaking up fights, accepting or tracking bounties and busting the occasional cattle rustler. He mostly made people feel safe and almost never had to pull his gun from its holster. Even rarer was when he actually fired the thing. Sarah had kept up that tradition in the short time since she took over as sheriff. She was sure her father would have disapproved and would say something about going out and doing something worthwhile with her life. Secretly, he would be thrilled she took after him. Sarah felt that being sheriff of this little town was worthwhile and she could not imagine living anywhere else.

She knocked on the undertaker’s door and waited. She had her sheriff’s star clearly visible even though every single person in town knew who she was. After a moment or two, the door was opened by Raina Chilton, the wife of death himself. Her sunny smile even at a late hour was a welcome sight and Sarah could not help but smile back. The smiling actually made Sarah feel happier.

“I suppose you are here to meet with the academics, Sheriff?” Raina asked. Even after so many years, there was more than a trace of the kind of accent that came from south of the border.

“I suppose I am. It’s not too late is it?” Sarah asked in return.

“Of course it is, but that has yet to stop them. Go on in,” Raina said and stepped aside.

Sarah tipped her hat and then took it off before entering and heading toward the back. She took a deep breath quietly before entering so Raina would not see her nerves. At that moment, she would rather be facing down ten more gunmen than heading back to where the dead bodies were kept. She swallowed and pushed through and into the back room. Marion Schaefer and Warren Chilton looked up from the card table they were sitting at. There were several papers and diagrams in front of them and Sarah was glad to see the body had been covered up.

“Sarah,” Warren said, “It is good of you to visit. Can I get you any tea? I think we still have some coffee as well.” He was the very face of kindness as usual.

“Sheriff, this case you have is a strange one,” Marion said. She preferred to get to the point quickly which Sarah actually really appreciated at the moment.

“Case?” Sarah asked. She had never heard her father use the word before.

“That’s what Mr. Holmes calls them in the books when a mystery is on. It seems appropriate here,” Marion explained.

“This isn’t one of your books, Marion,” Warren said with a disapproving look.

“You are as difficult as this case, Warren. It might as well be. There is so much we still do not know and so much that does and does not make sense,” Marion said with an exasperated look followed by her rolling her eyes.

“Why don’t you two tell me what you’ve found? We can go from there,” Sarah said. She needed the two of them working together rather than sniping at each other. On any other day, she would have been amused by their banter and playful rivalry.

“As we went over earlier, the man was mauled by some sort of animal but was killed by some bladed weapon,” Warren said.

“Like a sword, for example,” Marion said. “I believe it was a sword which, while strange, explains the wounds on the body. However, it does not look like the wounds I saw from a calvary blade or a bayonet from the war.”

“I would agree with that second option. It is not a bayonet. I am not fortunate enough to have experienced a wound from a calvary blade so I trust the doctor in this instance,” Warren said.

Sarah nodded. “I would call that the opposite of fortunate. So we don’t know the exact weapon that killed him or whatever animals did this to the body,” She said.

“I believe the wounds were made very close together as the claw marks did bleed a little bit,” Marion said. “Animals working so closely with man, it makes me think of all of the horrible creatures I have read about. Perhaps even werewolves.” The last was said with a touch of excitement and a touch of fear. The look in Marion’s eyes made Sarah actual consider the possibility for a moment.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Marion,” Warren said. “We are a little frustrated because that is all we know for sure. We are working on a few other things to help you match a weapon or perhaps we could confirm an animal by its claws.”

“I do think the claw marks might be feline. They seem to fall into that pattern,” Marion said.

“Have you found anything else that might help the case? You certainly came over at an odd hour just to check on our progress,” Warren said.

“I was hoping the key was still on the body, somehow,” Sarah said. She had been working on the idea during most of the walk over after she had sent Holly home.

“I can assure you that there is nothing left in or on the body. We checked,” Marion said. “We sewed him back up.” She offered when Sarah made a face.

“I was thinking it might be more metaphorical,” Sarah said.

Media Update 1/5/2017

January 5, 2017


Justice League vs. Teen Titans

I have to admit that I have not really read much of the New 52 (some of which is currently getting half-rebooted?). In fact, it has been a while since I have read any DC Comics because of Man of Steel and the loss of a lot of characters that I really liked. The new grim and gritty direction turned me off but the animated features seem to be based on the New 52 but seem lighter. Maybe it’s the vocal performances. This movie is done in the same animation style as Young Justice and it is really pretty even if the colors seem a bit muted. I had already seen the new 52 Justice League (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg) but I had not seen the Teen Titans yet. This movie surprised me as it was centered around Damian Wayne as Robin. The other big star of the movie is Raven dealing with her father which is a threat big enough to draw in both teams. Most Teen Titans groups have been centered around Dick Grayson or Tim Drake. I am always happy to see Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Raven but I was happiest to see a grown up and not-so-naive Starfire. There was a bit of comedy here and there to lighten the mood which is always needed. The story is a great introduction to the Teen Titans while continuing the Justice League and Damian’s stories from earlier animated features I have seen. There are a lot of moments I did not expect and it was a movie well worth watching. It was like a blend of Young Justice, Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited and the New 52. I recommend watching it as it is a pretty good look at some older characters made new again.


Birds of Prey

This has been on my list for quite some time. The Birds of Prey series was a way to make the best of a bad situation with Barbara Gordon. While The Killing Joke had good artwork and a good story, it discarded Barbara Gordon like a cheap bit of tissue which was unfair to her character. Better writers picked up her character and gave her a new direction, using her mind instead of her body. It still did not really make sense but it was better than letting her die or gather dust. This show is about Barbara Gordon (as Oracle) mentoring Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Along for the ride is Dinah, the daughter of the Black Canary who has psychic powers. They are up against Harleen Quinzel (still a psychiatrist somehow) and a cavalcade of superpowered lackeys. The show has a bit of an interesting feel to it. Since it is an alternate history that deviated from the comics early on, I had little idea what to expect. It has a bit of a Riot Grrrl feel mixed with early 2000 electronica slickness but it is extremely dated. The show was created by the same company that created Smallville but it did not survive after its first season. I can see why as it is a bit clumsy and lacks an iconic character like Superman or Batman but the show had heart. The actors and actresses are really trying their best with less than stellar scripts and there were actually a lot of actors who I love. Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl), Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) are all solid. Aaron Paul even makes a cameo in the first episode. It’s a shame this never really got off the ground but it’s worth a look if you think you might like a combination of Charmed and Smallville.


Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants

This movie was based on a toy line that is available for purchase in toy stores everywhere. Therefore, it has a specific look it is going for which ends up being a pinch of Young Justice mixed in with a bit of Bruce Timm’s Batman the Animated Series and a lot of The Batman. Once again, I was surprised to see Damian Wayne again but he is definitely an interesting Robin. Let us not bury the lead, though. This movie is about Batman using a giant mech to fight giant monsters. As such, it does not pretend to be anything else for even a moment and does not take itself too seriously. It is a story that definitely lends itself to wackiness and a campier tone. It is also definitely a toy commercial, not that this is necessarily bad. I watched both GI Joe and Transformers when I was a kid and that is all those shows really were. We also get appearances by great characters like The Flash, Green Arrow and Nightwing as part of Batman’s team. For villains, we have Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Killer Croc, Bane, Chemo and Clayface. One of the most interesting elements to me, is that Damian is now a teenager (or older?) and has shed a lot of his arrogance. I think my favorite part is The Penguin, voiced by Dana Snyder who plays Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The heroes are kind of white meat but the villains really shine in this as snarky weirdos who made me laugh more than once. It is probably not a series that I will pursue but I did not hate it and I was amused throughout. I would definitely recommend it for younger Batman fans.

Music of the Week:
Jet Black Stare – Ready to Roll

The Soft Moon – Black

Butts Band – Be With Me

The Birthday Massacre – Superstition

Bad Meets Evil – Fast Lane

Weekly Updates:
– I watched more of The Magicians and it’s great
– I started watching Dusk Till Dawn Season 2
– I’m almost done Season 3 of Arrested Development
– I am on Season 5 of The Office
– I am on Season 3 of Parks and Recreation
– I can watch RAW and Smackdown again since my schedule changed!
– This week’s theme is “The Wayne Family Does it Again”

Riddle Corner:

Which was the first planet discovered?

Happy New Year 2017

January 2, 2017

new-year

Welcome to 2017. I have spent New Year’s Eve in a lot of different ways over the years. When I was little, I spent the holiday with my family and did not stay up until midnight. Of course, I probably would not have been able to make it to midnight anyway. When I was able to stay up, I counted down with everybody else and it was fun. Early on in high school, I was working with Mobtown Players in Baltimore and I always attended their fundraisers on New Year’s Eve. It was fun hanging out with those guys. They were all older than me and they did treat me as “the kid” but they also treated me with respect and talked openly with me. When Y2K came around, we went south and spent the night at my uncle’s party with a lot of people we did not know but that was important to my mom. In recent years I have spent a lot of New Year’s Eves alone playing video games. This year, I played board games and drank margaritas with friends. I think I prefer hanging out with friends, given the choice.

This can only be played with friends you want to alienate.

On a personal note, in 2016 I vowed to embrace the power of positivity. Originally it was just a cute phrase that The New Day started but I have found myself happier after using it in my own life. That is why I never embraced the “Fuck 2016” attitude. It was sad that a lot of celebrities died last year but not exactly surprising. They died in 2015 and every year prior and will continue to die in the future. It won’t be just celebrities either but we know that. The election was beyond disappointing but we will soldier on and we will survive. We will be a beautiful nation to spite the ugliness that keeps trying to pull us down. Of course, some people personally had bad years but I know a lot of people who had babies or got married in 2016 and I think it is an insult to them to scream “Good Riddance 2016”. Of course, people can embrace that meme all they want. I’m not the boss of you.

It’s time to move on. We’re going to crush it this year.

I am excited for another year. I will be advancing into the legal field one way or another and that is something I have wanted for over a year now. That desire has grown with each class I have taken, preparing for my new career. I am excited to play Dungeons and Dragons soon. The possibilities when starting a new story with a new character fill me with a lot of joy. I am currently writing a second draft of a play I started early last year. I have a good idea for another play that I can’t wait to start.

If you hadn’t noticed.

This blog will remain a priority for me because it has never stopped being fun and I love the accomplishment of getting each and every post finished and published. The blog also challenges me to grow in my viewing habits and my writing. I know there are people who read this thing. I see you like posts and there are views and visitors almost every day. The statistics for 2016 blew 2015 out of the water. There were 1256 views which means that there were approximately 3.5 views per day and I am only scheduled to post three times a week. I want to say thank you to anybody who ever visited here even once and those who continue to do so. I appreciate it. I never made this thing to get famous but I am glad that other human beings are interested.

If things go well, the archives should be fully updated once again by the time this posts at the usual time (2 AM). Every post can be somebody’s first post so find somewhere to start on the right and have at it.


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