They Came, They Saw, We ConqueredThe Vandor are a humanoid race, and in many respects are not dissimilar to humans in most respects. Their internal organs baffle terrestrial biology but their external functions are broadly recognisable. They originate from a desert planet, scarce in many resources we take for granted, and their star was much brighter and emitted much more UV. While the Vandor themselves acknowledge the existence of many different Vandor races, unlike humans, they don't distinguish by skin colour. Most Vandor except for those originating from the polar extremities have extremely dark, almost irridescent skin which absorbs UV harmless. Their skin is very thick, the outer layers being hardened and compressed dead skin. Baby Vandor are pale and grublike, and they have a pupal stage in which their skin hardens.
The Vandor came to Earth in the 1990s. It wasn't our 90s, but it was very similar. The Cold War had come to an end, but History Hadn't Ended. Fukuyama wrote a different book about America's destiny.
Alternate Religions of a Crazy EarthSince the Great Wars of the last century, and the colossal religious schisms and radical new faith movements during that time, recent days seem calm by comparison. A balance of power has emerged, and none of the Great Powers have much interest in rocking the boat. But instabilities remain, faith makes it difficult to see past our differences, ethnic shifts and immigration trouble governments and peoples, and a few isolated states shift grumpily and consider their options.More Like This
Europe is divided between three major powers. The Holy Roman Empire (which fits Voltaire's description far more aptly these days), the Swedish-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Tsardom of all the Russias and her vassals. The HRE is constitutionally maddening, but the system of electing an Emperor has settled into something resembling republicanism, and indeed democracy has suited the Empire well. They managed to organise themselves as Russia increased in power and the SPLC united and militarised. The complex, fe
Pluto? A Dwarf Planet?We are not alone. That much became clear in the 1970s at the height of American exploration of the Moon. Kept secret at the time, astronauts found a device called The Veil. Essentially, it extended a bubble of space-time around the Earth and Moon, creating a porous pocket universe. Taking The Veil back to Earth, not a lot could actually be done with it, there being the problem of needing the tools to make the tools to make the tools to access The Veil. But while 'top men' struggled with the ancient device, our interference had been noted, and for the first time in millennia, something entered our space-time.More Like This
In 1979, an Ellarim probe entered Earth space-time, having noted the fluctuations in local physics caused by our interference. The planets had remained insular and closed off for centuries, ignorant of outsiders. Entering Terran space, the Ellarim were shocked and disturbed by what they found. For centuries, they had observed Earth. But from outside The Veil's bubble, ignorant of i
Finnish mythology: Tuoni and TuonelaTuoni was the ancient Finns' death god. He commanded Tuonela, the Land of the Dead, with his wife Tuonetar.More Like This
Tuonela was far in the north behind a dangerous black river. Tuoni's maid took the dead over the river where they started a new life as ghosts. Before the Christianity came Tuonela's master didn't segregate people but both good and bad had the same fate. Life in the Underworld was very similar to the life of the living so it was necessary to take some things with you, like clothes, food, jewellery etc.
It was also possible to the living to visit Tuonela to see one's relatives or to get some important spells. But, the journey there was extremely dangerous and you had to get back, too, unless you didn't want to die before your time.
The Twenty Rules Of Being An Internet Activist1. You are always right, never at any moment reflect on yourself in a critical way. You are a super smart special snowflake and the sheeple better recognize.More Like This
2. Your opinions are the only good opinions always and forever. Smart people always belittle and dismiss any remotely different worldview because they already have the right opinions, so what the fuck are they going to do with knowledge that doesn't reinforce preconceived notions? Also, reading books is obsolete, get all your book-learning from blogs, they're quick, free, and have absolutely no fact-checkers or peer review!
3. Make an echo chamber. Do not allow critical comments on your art (read: demotivators and google image search photos with pithy quotes photoshopped on) Surround yourself with like minded people and keep 'em close, don't be afraid to block and delete comments from the heathens. The one true sign of a free-thinking, brilliantly intellectual individual is that he endlessly parrots talking points from his fellow
It HurtsIt hurts.More Like This
As a child I was told that any conflict and war would be fought briefly and then ended with diplomacy. Pretty big lie there.
It hurts, it's hard to breathe.
But as a child I believed that, I believed in the simple and narrow concepts of good versus evil and that the good would always win. I was naïve.
It hurts, the few medical supplies I can reach are running out.
That naivety stayed with me as I became an adult. I saw only the black and white of a very black and white lie, I didn't see the truth.
That naivety led me to joining the army in the silly notion of doing something to protect my country and my family against the threat of others.
It hurts. And no one can help me, they're all dead.
As a soldier I followed my orders, I did my duty. If I was ordered to kill the enemy then I killed them without remorse.
I killed many. I fought in a war that was to be the pre-cu
Turtledove Award Letter [NON-CANON]Supreme Director ComptonMore Like This
101 Imperial Way
Columbia Prime, Columbia
May 15th, 2780
The Inhabitants of
Vacuity Pocket 15442AD
A little birdie told me that, somewhere out there in the multiverse, there is an election of supreme importance to myself and my colleagues. Now my views on democratic process are far from amicable, but if there is anything my colleagues and myself like it is the sweet taste of victory. We would be willing to set aside much in order to attain it, no matter how small. So you fine gentlemen can expect that the governments of the Coalition of Western Republics, Conseil of Workers’ Systems and United Technocracies of Man will be taking this matter very, very seriously.
I have conducted some research on your local universe. I understand that you have just entered the year 2012. I also understand that the year 2011 was quite hectic for you, what with democratic revolutions, the death of tyrants, and the potential unlocking of the secrets o
Space Cadet CuisineMore differences are seen with regard to cuisine based on planet than on culture. An agriworlder would eat what he grew, often wheat, corn, or potatoes. A cityworlder, if he is poor, would eat fungi and algae scraped from vats and reprocessed into something edible, but his diet can be supplemented with food shipped in from agri worlds. A spacer normally eats dried or preserved rations, but the largest ships will have their own hydroponic farms where a diet similar to that of a cityworlder is available.More Like This
The rich in any civilization have access to whatever food they please, often from the least technologically enhanced and genetically modified plants and animals there are in the galaxy. The rarest foods - beef, cow's milk, goose, whale, tuna, chocolate, coffee, watermelon, mangos, honey - originate from species that are almost extinct, each living in perhaps several thousand planets in the entire galaxy. These are considered delicacies throughout the Milky Way, and reserved only for the
Bite of 87 ControverseyThere's virtually no evidence in the game that supports this theory. When the Phone Guy mentions the bite of 87, he doesn't say anything about that being Mike, and it seems rather unbelievable that Fazbear Entertainment would hire the very person who caused them such a huge PR problem.More Like This
We could all speculate why Mike keeps coming back to the Pizzeria each night, but, really, the simple answer is that, if he didn't, we wouldn't have a GAME to play.
Also, realistically, nobody would survive the Bite of 87 anyway. Having your skull smashed open, your frontal lobe bitten and sheared off would be way too traumatic for your body to even hope of surviving. And even if you did survive, I think you'd be a vegetable. Cause we're not talking about an injury to the frontal lobe, we're talking a forceful removal of it, in which a person's skull was broken, flesh riped, and brain bitten.
I think the damage would be worse than just simple "decisions impairments" Personally...
"But then there was The
Defunct FuturesSo, what's it like in the year 2012 in the...More Like This
2012 in 50's-world, everyone in the US wears hats. Men wear suits, women wear dresses or cute pantsuits. T-shirts and jeans or sweats are something nobody older than a teenager would be caught wearing. There are a lot of uniforms. Everything is very clean and often metallic or gleaming.
The Cold War is of course going on, and China, the Soviet Union, indeed everything from East Germany to Vietnam is the Red World, a unified entity which includes some parts of Africa, including the Red Congo. (Cuba, on the other side, is Capitalist and more-or-less democratic, if corrupt). Everyone in the Red World dresses the same, drives the same standard car, and reports for interrogation four times a year. (Except for the Inner Committee. But to get to that position on must have taken the interrogation drugs dozens of times). Although a "standardized" Socialist culture is promoted, the Chinese are still Chinese, and the increasing tendency of
Ad Astra Per Aspera Setting BibleI have been informed that the original link to the file is broken, so I have reposted it here for everyone to see.More Like This
The Ad Astra Per Aspera setting is not the happiest one. Trueline is run by several dystopian regimes and everything outside of it is much worse. When writing, keep Orwellian and Lovecraftian themes in mind. The individual is an insignificant insect in the middle of a cold, dark universe that is apathetic at best and actively malicious at worst. If someone’s tyrannical government doesn’t kill him, the unspeakable monstrosity beyond the void will. Life is, as Thomas Hobbs put it, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
However, your story doesn’t have to be this depressing. You can break away from the mold and write a story set in Ad Astra Per Aspera but not really of it. It could be a happy slice of life piece about one of the luckier residents of the Milky Way. It could be a darkly humorous take on the state of affairs (I encourage th
Lost Vigil - David - Prologue 1A beautiful Sunday afternoon, and David was walking home from his shift at work. He worked the copy center over at the local Staples, and it was a couple blocks to walk home, but he liked being outside, liked to walk or run home, crash for a few hours, and wake up in time to investigate the basement clubs across the city, see who was playing where.More Like This
He walked passed mainstream stores, on the perpetual incline of San Francisco. Such a change from Jersey. Such a delightful change of hills instead of flood plains. And there were so many interesting people around, he was never without entertainment.
He had his headphones in as he walked, so he might have missed it if it hadn't happened right in front of him. Some middle-aged bastard ran into a little old lady, knocked her clean to the sidewalk, and ran off with her purse. Asshole. David hurried over to the older woman, just as someone else was coming from up the st
The Many Nationalities of the World - SSSS fanpoemTruly the Gods of North ensured our survival,More Like This
while others suffered a fate far worse than death,
and now our society is going through a revival
of ancient traditions we learned to accept.
Icelanders, so great, were all of them spared,
by will of the Gods, who safe them declared,
their knowledge is great, they are so advanced,
and rejection of history their faith much enhanced.
Norwegians so brave, seafarers so proud,
to monsters and giants they never once bowed.
Proud warriors are they, and company sweet,
at our great table they'll always have a seat.
The Danes of old lore and misfortune so great,
always refused to accept their sealed fate.
Their homeland they dream, the world they would fight,
warriors so stubborn, yet people so bright.
Them Swedes with their fire, the weapons in hand,
fight with courage to cleanse the banned land.
The Gods they refuse, and why shouldn't they?
Such a thriving culture was never seen in our day!
And last with their culture, al least in our ages,
AMERICA, FUCK YEAHThe Cold War is won, the United States is triumphant over the world. They have won every major conflict they have participated in since the Second World War handily and in style. Truly, this is the End of History as the strength of American arms and its economy seem insurmountable. American triumphalism is loud enough to make even its closest allies feel uncomfortable and tired, but theres not much they can do it as it all seems fairly well justified. The Organisation of American States is the economic heart of the world, with American friendly 'governments' produce the cheap products that keep the US' massive maunfacturing economy going. Their growing middle classes also fuel the production of the luxury goods the US excels in. Via NATO and SEATO, they have powerful military alliances over most of Europe, the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Various dictatorships or democracies here and there enjoy the benificence of the US. The rest of the world draws ever closer to the Empire of Liberty,More Like This
Sane Science: Dr Dafydd RossKnown to his colleagues as Daff-Ross, he was born in England to the Welsh and Scottish parents. Born young and healthy in the early 1960s, he was soon recognised as a genius intellect, surpassing many of the most famous scientists in history. However, he was an angry young man and rather than pursue scientific studies, he joined the Army. In the early 80s, he was in Germany when the Hanover Incursion occurred, an rogue East German attempt to conquer West Germany. The Socialist Unity party had been infiltrated by Neo-Nazi entryists, and while the USSR co-operated with NATO in defeating the rogue fascist state, it left large parts of Europe ravaged by war, particularly Poland, Czechoslovakia but especially West Germany and Austria. Daff-Ross was caught in an East German attack on Frankfurt. He was caught in a gas attack, a victim of an experimental nerve gas and mustard gas synthesis. Miraculously, he survived. But his body was ravaged and mutilated. Blinded and crippled, some proposed iMore Like This
Hedonic Engines and the Grand CogitatorThe hedonic engine, otherwise known as the pleasure engine, the paradise machine, and other similar terms, was a form of highly advanced virtual reality that dominated the Second Empire of Man from its height up until the War of the Cog Lords. Hedonic engines inspire both awe and dread among the galactic populace, as they are rightly considered both the pinnacle of human technological development and the key to the Second Empire's downfall and the resulting chaos and barbarism that made up the Dark Ages. Hedonic engines are therefore banned throughout the entire galaxy, and the edict banning them is of such paramount importance that the destruction of a discovered hedonic engine can stop wars.More Like This
Hedonic engines began as medical tools for the disabled and the infirm, individuals whose bodies could no longer support their minds even with cybernetic augmentation. A full transfer to a robotic body was possible, but typically expensive and required constant maintenance. The first hedonic engi
The Tale of AgapiosIn the town of Thria to the west of Athens lived a man named Agapios. He lived a small life with a loving wife and five strong sons on a plot of land much fertile that always provided him with his daily bread. His days passed in leisure with nary a concern to weigh on his mind. Those around would look on his life and become envious wishing themselves to have a life so easy and comfortable. The gods took notice as well listening with keen ears to the musings of mortals.More Like This
Agapios' first son was a man of around twenty and eager to prove himself in martial skill. Ever persistent the first son pleaded with his father to let him leave home to seek out a mentor in Thebes or Thessaly. One who could train the boy to properly hold a spear and hoplon, to ride a horse and wrestle even a Spartan and come out the victor. The harvest that year had already surpassed the last and a spare pair of hands could easily be found so with small hesitance Agapios granted his son the wish knowing that a go
My Very own AphroditeHe ran a hand through his thick goatee and looked out the window. His neighbors were fighting again. From the looks of things, this was a serious fight. Not one a relationship could come back from. A young Mexican couple, sometimes pretty nice the man thought, was the subject of his viewing. The woman was arguing and screaming in Spanish, sometimes in English, about her lover’s infidelity. Raising his hands in defeat, the guy seemed not to defend himself. She threw things at him, smashed others and threw most of it away. Such a waste, the man with the goatee thought. He meant both the relationship and the TV she had just smashed.More Like This
“Sam, what are you looking at?” Laura asked from the table a piece of paper in her hands, one taken from a much stamped envelope that had been sitting on the table. The pile had been what made Sam, the man with the goatee, stand up and walk to the window. There’s only so much debt and hopelessness a man take before it becomes too much.
Murder Hound“What should we call the thing?” Sven’s voice is calm despite the presence of the monster in front of him, an entirely alien thing standing on six broad legs and twice the size of himself both in height and width. Shaped like a dog with a long and jagged tail ending in a razor point, a pronounced snout and rows of violent teeth colored dark red. Whether the teeth were always that color or it was a new thing the two men standing before the passed out creature could not say. They both hoped the teeth were always red. Something this large and violent in appearance could only be trouble if it consumed meat and drank blood.More Like This
“Vampire dog sounds about right for this thing.” Max says while kicking the creature as it lies passed out in front of the two men.
“No. It’s too on the nose, you know. I was thinking murder hound.” Sven takes a cigarette out from a pack in his pocket, lights it and inhales a long drag only exhaling after casting his gaze t
The Battle of the Sunken PlainThe sound of battle was overwhelming my senses. The clash of steel, the shouts in so many languages, the cracks of the rifles behind us and the chanting of the ghillie shamans was absolutely deafening and impossible to decipher in its madness. In front of my battle line, over the line of shields held close together came the sound of a renewed charge from the warriors of the north. They howled like wolves out for blood and came charging again with swords, axes and claws held high. A few even had what looked to be fire held in hand and would fling it at our lines. The crackling red would slam into a shield and burst into nothing more than smoke, a trick meant to inspire fear.More Like This
“Women of the south, hold your shields high! Beat back these barbarians and show them your strength!” Sergeant Theresa shouts above the din of battle and raises her own shield high in cheer. Gripping our shields tighter, our fingers aching from the hold we have on our swords the enemy comes closer and cl
Arrogance of a CannonMy eyes followed the cannonball as it fell some yards in front of us, the shape crashing into a clustered group of men and exploding a little time after. Bodies were sent flying, a few in a number of pieces. The damn fuse was too long. The thing should have gone off on contact.More Like This
“Urbain, the fuse is too long, cut it a little shorter this time.” Speaking to one of my crewman I peer through the spyglass and scan the battlefield. The enemy forces clad in gray and with their unbelievably silly spiked helmets are holding steady. They continually shrink however, moving to the center and opening their lines. I smile knowing my comrades and I are responsible for the shrinking lines. The humble and oft spat upon infantry man might hold the line and take the brunt of the attack but it us, the spectacular artillery man, who does all the work. Least it seems that way with these new guns. My father and his father would tell me stories about marching with the Emperor and in the Republican
Sir Braxton"Braxton!"More Like This
The knight turned just in time to see a sword pommel crash into the nose guard of his helmet. His chainmail clacked in the mud and manure as he fell; he rolled onto his palms as his opponent sped away on a large, brown horse.
Cheat, Braxton thought. William was exactly that, among other things. William pushed aside the dishonor in the blow and unsheathed his sword, bringing the crowd in the stands to their feet in a tremendous howl of approval. The sword was unconventional--a specialty Braxton had developed in two previous wars.
Known to the public as the Old Gentleman, Braxton was ten years older than any man in the competitions. Where others his age would be on their deathbeds, Braxton had displayed a vitality of a man half his years. William was one of the youngest, a brat at seventeen. His father's money paid for the ornate armor he wore.
Money doesn't buy guts, kid.
Braxton charged toward the end of the arena, his sword raised to strike. William ducked low
What to Name Your Plane“What’d you name her?” The pilot asks after exhaling some smoke, the mint flavor calming his nerves. He had to repeat himself when another plane took off the platform and drowned out his friend’s answer.More Like This
“Stephanie. It was the name of my first girlfriend, good girl until she ran away to the other part of the country. She was beautiful too with a great body.” The other runs his hands in the air outlining a rather fully featured female form. The two laugh at it and continue smoking for a minute. “What are you gonna name your plane? This is your first one, right?”
The first pilot takes another drag on his cigarette and sits silent for a brief moment. “It is my first plane, haven’t thought of a name though. Thought of calling her Marie after my mother, Janice after my sister, those don’t really work though.”
“Come one, James, think of a good one. This bird’ll be with you for a while, make it a good on
A Soldier's Night at HomeThe fire was crackling as the wood was devoured by the flame. The dark reds and yellows moved atop and between the logs effortlessly. A spark would jump from one to the other and die, but a dozen more would soon appear only to be replaced by many more. My eyes were constantly drawn to the small fireplace in front of me. It kept me distracted from my own mind. That place was never quiet these days. Taking a sip from the glass in my hand I enjoyed the comfort the liquor provided me as it traveled down.More Like This
A sound like metal clanging came from outside and drew my attention for a brief moment. That damn neighbor of mine was out there working on something. His voice yelled and raged for brief intervals complaining about his horse’s inability to stay still. Dumb bastard was drunker than a boy at a wedding. Must have been trying to put a shoe on the beast that the horse didn’t much care for. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect to see him tomorrow morning either with hi