Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Short fiction: The Secret of Fire

The Secret of Fire

It sits in the air. A fountain of light so pure the very blindness that poisons my sight vanishes. I see the flames. Out of the hole from which the brightness dances in the very air the strings that entangled the event horizon rise from the heart of the flower of life and death and back in to the hole they loop.
I want to wake my brother. He lies on the ground, sleeping or dead. I want him to see that which gives us warmth. That which ends us. That which burns like a signal for those searching for us. Why create a black hole in the minds of men if not to anihilate their capacity to understand? The limit where there is no limit. To set their past and future ablaze. To see where the secret of fire burns that they may be seen, for out in the darkness predators dwell. Hungry and savage and monstrous and they desire all that is. They desire the warmth of a fire not ignited by their own sacrifice. They desire kindling for a fire where only life burns. They desire so they will come.

The fountain of eternal youth. The fire that lights the cave forever. The inferno that burns back the world jungle until the world you knew is ash and stone and broken Bone and pillars of glass and steel created by others from the iron in your blood, the carbon in your flesh.
I know what it is the instant I lay eyes on it. A black hole. Its obviously man made. Three Polyhedrons, long shattered and open like coloured petals of a lotus lily floating at the edge of the fountain, pointing out into the universe. And I know somewhere in there, within the source of the fountain, are pieces of a puzzle, merging, ceasing, becoming other.

I contemplate walking away. The problem is I'm tired. If I go, the fire will sit alone and unattended, burning uncontrolled, and I may not even return. The diameter of a black hole increases the further you are from the moment of its singularity.
I regard the strings, thinking I might stretch them out and under and back into the black hole or play with them as a child with a cat's cradle. Inquisitiveness versus uncertainty. What secret do I know? What threat do I pose to the murderous and monstrous?
They want the secret of fire. Once they have it the victim can be blamed.

If I stayed with the fire would they tear down the crumbling house around me and build a ziggurat beneath me and the worst of them climb the steps to claim he alone is chosen by god with the secret of fire just to take it from me. Over and over they come for the secret of fire, climbing the steps of their pyramids looking to claim what is theirs by the divine right of vanity. The iron in every brick their victim. And the victim to be blamed as they climb that pyramid of corpses.
And where every pyramid is built a city of our future was created only to be gutted, and the victims blamed and the secret of fire claimed anew. Tearing down all and watching their victims build pyramids from their own blood and bone and climb the steps to claim the poisoned prize and all the while down there in the darkness of that cave, forgotton, the fire would provide light for eternity to the one tending it. The secret of fire would need tending forever.
 I will sit awhile, contemplating the nature of the flames. The fire that burns with light and not heat. The Inferno where the future burns.
Perhaps they will build their ziggurats on other worlds and climb the steps to claim the secret of fire as their own. Forever onward, upward, and outward until the fire deep down in that distant cave is long forgotten. Their humanity long ripped from their DNA having never existed, their future found huddled, extinct in a cave with its exit sealed where they dream by the fire.
Dream of kilometre long starships of a million tons accelerating from inside the planetary atmosphere from a hundred metres per second to a hundred thousand metres per second driven forward by the sound of the big bang, and gravity equals mass multiplied by acceleration so it sucks the very sea, and earth, and atmosphere from the world and the atmosphere rises from the planet like a spear of ice and mud to chase it across the vastness of the dark. And out there an infinity of sheltering fires about which huddles life.
Dream of great gates where ships create black holes to pull open space and time itself closing the distance between an infinity of gates seeded across the universe.
Dream of seeding the very stars that shelter life with crystals of darkmatter that the great fire cools and becomes a spawning ground for some genetically engineered star kraken as we extinguish life not of our own making.
Dream of rising to superposition where all life is the same life to become the god of life and death that the worst of us desire to be, climbing out of the fire that burns in front of me.

I can only wonder with curiosity.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Kill Bargle: Encumbrance and Saving Aleena

The Death of Aleena
You are confronted with the death of Aleena after your collective plan to murder Bargle without a trial goes horribly wrong, and try as you might, you fail to return her to town in time for a raise dead. This is because you took too long to get there. This is due to encumbrance.

Encumbrance?
Things you carry have an effect on your movement rate. Apart from the weight of a human body you were burdened by the weight of your armour and equipment and Aleena's armor. Forget all the equipment in your hands...because that suit of chainmail is heavy (40lb). The Warrior (your character) wears one and Aleena wears one. Thats eight hundred cnc of encumbrance right there. A human body also has weight. If we assume Aleena is five feet six she will weigh 1,600cnc.

Enc (cn) 400, 401-800, 801-1,200, 1,201-1,600, 1,601-2,400
Speed(ft/turn) 120', 90', 60', 30', 15'

That means carrying Aleena, her chainmail, and your chainmail is an encumbrance of 2,400cnc. reducing you to fifteen feet per turn. Eliminating both chainmail reduces your encumbrance to 1,600cnc. With a speed of thirty feet per turn.

Having stripped yourself and Aleena naked you make double time back to town and are able to get here there in time for a raise dead. The locals will be talking about that one for years to come...

Map of the Week: Tenkar's Tavern

Tenkar's Tavern is the first place you have been able to get an Ale. Hope you dont burn it down like that Inn.

Map of the Week: The Pale Gate

The Pale gate is a mountain pass guarded by the first sign of civilized folks. This guy on the palisade is insisting you dont have entry papers.

Map of the Week: The Black Gates

Your journey to freedom takes you through the black gates...