Seven Sins Fallout Playthrough

Fallout-Wasteland-Vault-Dweller-Survivor-700x394

It turns out I lied about almost being done with #Fallout4.

I apparently do have one more run-through of the game. Inspired by last run-through’s accidental rise to power and glory as a drug lord, this time I am going to do my best to do what the game doesn’t really entirely support, and be a raider.

Specifically, I am going to try to do all seven sins:

  1. Lust – The game easily supports this, so other than having to temporarily sideline my beloved Dogmeat, this should be a gimmie.
  2. Gluttony – Eating vast amounts of food of every kind is par for the course, but generally I avoid radiated junk food. No more. GET IN MY BELLY. As an addendum, I will, of course, be getting the Cannibalism perk as well. Also, chems. Lots of chems.
  3. Greed – Picking up everything, no matter how minimally useful.
  4. Sloth – Sleeping 24 hours a day in regular shifts is allowed, even rewarded in the game. Should be easy to do. Especially if I can pull off sleeping in strangers’ houses.
  5. Wrath – Melee weapons. Rocket-powered sledgehammer plus the Bloody Mess perk. Raze peaceful settlements. Enough said.
  6. Envy – In my envy for other people’s peaceful lives, I will endeavor to ruin said lives.
  7. Pride – I will select a single settlement, build it up in proper junkyard Mad Max-style and outfit all of my settlers with Raider outfits. Also, there will probably be a throne. Just thinking out loud, here.

Waiting

The sun crawls over a sky full of time
Flaying the day of the grey shadows
Scalps skinned from each pass to sit
Collecting in the dust of my own dread

But like the dusk annihilation cannot
Long be withheld, and whether by short
Or by struggle the thread will be cut and
However far it is will always be wanting

So with hands empty I watch this day die
Red light spilling like innocent blood
With knives carved of both morning and dusk
Their cost the bitten price of my own lingering

ORG Boardgame

boardgame_innerworldsSince my secret side project team is still working on the digital game, I thought you might like a quick side-side project in the form of a boardgame I put together based on the dystopian future of ORG.

ORG: The Boardgame consists of six sets ultimately, with three now available.

Depicting the struggle for influence and dominance of the solar system ranging from the 22nd century through to the end of the 24th century by powerful metanational corporations and organizations – the orgs.

Each player takes command of one of these dominant orgs, maneuvering to control the course of history for entire worlds through varied routes to power spanning commercial, cultural, military, political, and research.

Each set can be played independently or in conjunction with any of the others. All together, the gameboard stretches almost 13 feet long with 20 boards and over 30 worlds. (That may be the best part…)

boardgame_galileanconflictThe central mechanic is, each turn, the players bidding over sets of influence over areas such as Political, Military, Commercial, Cultural, and Research, with secondary events and political influence cards to throw a twist.

The thing is, the players can see all of what is available each turn, and you can see what the other players have, and as your progress down the line of worlds from Mercury on outward, each player’s supply of influence will dwindle, so there’s a great deal of bluff, diplomacy, and tactics in winning your way to dominance.

While print on demand is fairly evolved for books, games are a lot more complicated, so the pricing is a little higher than I’d like (trust me, I’m getting virtually nothing for this – this is just for you guys. Okay, and my own personal entertainment.)

Available here at The Game Crafter’s website:

Trapped

Caught in the familiar shade of
This my historical envy
That bitter truth shadowed by
This memetic lie

Always siezed in the copper light
Of this my collective community
Only an alliance of cold enmities
For my happy reward

And now trapped in these borderlands
Cut by my own circumscribed mind
Silenced by loathed dignity
Captured by pride

Vows

++++ DATE 6.5.2471
++++ TIME 11:02 Solar Standard Time
++++ LOCATION Suihua Community Center, Novy Ushakovskoye, Mercury

Red paper streamers swayed gently from the airflow generated by the old life support systems as they dragged oxygen out of the vast water reservoir tanks with electrolysis.

Vasily stepped through the community center’s entrance with the overtly cautious manner of someone unused to even the relatively moderate gravity of Mercury. Adjusting his shoulderbag, he frowned slightly at the strain of music faintly audible from where he stood. A light step near the doorway, and his frown faded away as soon as it had appeared.

“Katya! Bozhe moi, but you are almost as tall as your mother,” Vasily exclaimed with delight as he swept up the younger woman into a rough hug.

“Careful. You don’t know your own strength,” Katya demured. “Also, I should point out that I am taller than my mother,” Katya noted after Vasily had at last released her.

“Ah, Katya. It is good to see you. I am not late?”

Katya shook her head. “The wedding is still over an hour away. There is plenty of time. Cassie is so besotted with Temuder that the rest of the wedding party has simply acceded that this is, really, her day, so no one will notice when one of the other bridegrooms and brides are missing for half an hour or so.”

Vasily’s face fell. “Der’mo. You know, then. You were not to have been told.”

Katya shrugged. “I am neither blind nor stupid. I have known for over a year now, and guessed for far longer. But enough crying, we don’t really have all that much time, and the others are very eager to hear your report.” She held out her arm. “Shall we?”

Vasily gave her a sour look, but took her arm as Katya led him through the minor labyrinth that was the community center. They moved past the large central hall where crowds of people were gathering through a small service door, down a maintenance corridor, exposed power conduits seeming quite out of place, Vasily thought, at his cousin’s wedding. At the ceramic door at the very end Katya rapped lightly. After a moment, the door opened with the bare minimum of protest, and the two were ushered inside.

The room beyond was tiny, barely three meters on a side. Four folding chairs had already been laid out, a respectable pile of bulbs whiffing of vodka crowded one corner.

The man who had led them in closed the door, swinging the bar lock on it as soon as they were clear. He took a deep breath, then dropped back down into one of the chairs, grabbing another bulb of vodka which he upended, squeezing down his throat.

Katya took one of the chairs, while Vasily made his greetings to the other two. “You are sure no one will miss you two?”

Fedir snorted. Sonya shook her head. “No one will question where one of the brides and grooms are. Everyone will simply assume we are cloistered doing who-knows-what.”

“It isn’t like we haven’t done this before,” Fedir remarked dryly. He glanced at Sonya. “What is this, our fourth marriage?”

“Fifth,” Sonya said. “You are forgetting, well.” Her lips pressed into a tight line.

Fedir grunted. “Right. Sorry.” He glanced up at Vasily. “One of the benefits of a line marriage is you get to be old hat at these kinds of things.”

“Or in your case, just old,” Katya remarked.

“Enough,” Sonya interrupted. “Can we begin? Is there news from Uncle?”

Vasily accepted gratefully one of the bulbs of vodka from Fedir. “I hear there has been some labor unrest here?”

Sonya glanced at Fedir, then back at Vasily. She nodded. “Of course. This is a hard enough life as it is without some fool from Beijing who knows only Earth geology coming here and trying to tell us how we must change our mining procedures. This makes people angry, yes? Angry people make talk. So far, it has just been talk. Mostly.”

Vasily shook his head. “Uncle was very specific. You must put a clamp on the unrest before it gets out of hand. This isn’t the right time.”

“Well, when will it be the right time?” Fedir snapped. “While you’re sunning yourself in Vladivostok, we are slowly dying up here.”

“That is probably the first time anyone has used the word ‘sunning’ and ‘Vladivostok’ in the same sentence,” Vasily said, lips twitching into the semblence of a smile.

“Whatever,” Fedir said. “The point is, it’s been delay after delay. When will you be ready? We can’t keep a lid on here forever. Eventually it will blow, and if we aren’t careful, we won’t be in any kind of position to affect the result.”

Vasily took a deep breath. “I understand your frustration. Truly. But if a labor rising is to be successful, there must be certain other conditions in place. My nephew is a sociodynamicist and ran several simulations. We need time.” He changed tacts. “The current administrator is rumored to be looking to retire at the end of the solar year. We are working on seeing if we can get someone inclined to overreact to replace her,” he said evasively.

Katya was nodding. “So when the gasket blows up here, the reaction from the Authority is distinctly non-proportional, which will bring more of the miners and geologists to our side.”

Vasily took a long, appraising look at Katya, finally nodding. “Da. Yes. Exactly.”

Sonya shook her head. “He’s right, Fedir. Right now we have enough support to do some sabotage, maybe, but anything we could do would be fixed in days, if even that. We need popular support, not just grumblers who will fade into the background the moment Eastern Federation Mercury Authority security starts leaning in on people.” She grimaced, obviously irritated.

“There is, also, another thing,” Vasily said. He reached into his shoulder bag, pulling out a matryoshka nesting doll. He smiled, bowing slightly as he handed it to Sonya. “A wedding gift.”

Sonya took it, narrowing her eyes.

Vasily nodded. “At the very bottom, you will find what looks like a blood stain on the inside of the second-smallest doll. Decrypt the DNA in the usual manner using the key ‘October’, and you will find something I believe you will find very useful.”

“Go on,” Sonya said, an edge creeping into her voice.

“Schematics for biochemical weapons,” Vasily replied. “With a printer that has been accidently left unconnected from the network and a few basic raw materials, you should be able to begin constructing munitions. It will, however, take time.” He held up a finger warningly. “Be very, very careful. We may not get another chance.”

Sonya smiled tightly, glancing at Fedir. “Very well, we will do our best to keep a lid on things here. But do not take too long, Cousin.”

From outside, the music changed in tempo, and Fedir’s eyes looks distant for a moment as someone was obviously sending him a message through his implant. His eyes focused again and he turned to the others. “Time to get married. Again.” He stood, holding out his arm to Sonya. “If this bride would be willing to let this bridegroom escort her to the hall?”

Sonya rose to her feet, kissed Vasily on the cheek. “It is good to see you, Vasily. Truly.” She turned back to Fedir, took his arm. “We shouldn’t keep the others waiting, or they might get married without us.”

“That could be awkward,” Fedir admitted. “Well, let’s get this circus done with. Katya, wait here with Vasily for a few minutes to give us time so we aren’t all seen together. We’re probably just being paranoid, but can’t hurt to be cautious, no?”

“Definitely not,” Vasily agreed.

Fedir and Sonya left the small room, leaving Vasily and Katya alone for the moment.

“Vasily…”

“Yes, Katya?”

“Can we really do this? What about the Eastern Federation’s navy? We have nothing here. Is this hopeless?”

Vasily pocketed two more of the vodka bulbs. “Ah, Katya. Who can know? Perhaps we will all of us die. Very likely. But we will die without being Eastern Federation suki, yes? We will show them that they can all but crush our language from us and try to make us into little bitter shadows of them, but still we will rise and bite them like a whipped dog its master.” He shook his head. “We will probably die, yes. But not today. Tomorrow, perhaps.”

Katya shook her head. “When, Vasily? When?” Vasily sighed, touching her cheek with one finger.

“Not yet, Katya. Not yet.”


Werewolf Sonnets, Vampire Limericks, and Zombie Haiku

51JJiNewfNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_If the perfect poetical metaphor for a zombie is, as is popularly held, the haiku, what are the appropriate metaphors for werewolves and vampires?

Obviously, sonnets and limericks.

At enormous personal risk, I have collected these works from a wide array of supernatural sources, often at considerable danger to my own bodily and spiritual integrity.

(Actually, that last part isn’t true. I’ve been on their side since the beginning.)

Available now from Amazon.com is a (new!) wood pulp collection of my various poetry of this peculiar subgenre. Most of what is enclosed have been previously tweeted, WordPressed, or Facebooked, but there are a couple of new ones in there.

Plus, if you pick up a copy you will be the envy of your friends for having the absolute top tier of bathroom reading among all of your social circle.

Sunset’s Child

I stand and shed this traveled hide
Behind I leave fourteen tines
And when, again, through darkness growls
The Huntsman’s cheerless horn

Here will I rise from salted foam
There shed the black and loam
And from the arms of tempered time
Comes promises drenched in wine

This crest of light that chooses night
Reflects that self-same echo
What favors sun cannot this be
Ambushed in our conjoined plight

For to me you stand like fire pulled loose
From sunset’s red-gold breast
And dusk in obeisance will bow down deep
To descend into an ocean of night