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Author Topic: Some sort of gophering I guess  (Read 6500 times)
Dios GX
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2010, 10:26:15 AM »

I'm a posting machine now, whatever.

@Tooker: Sorry for the late response. What you said actually struck a very interesting chord with me. In fact, one of the primary reasons I began writing was I was told that my methods wouldn't work in literature. I wanted not to prove those people wrong, but to challenge myself to do what was considered improbable by the "experts."

Anyway, after speaking to a good friend of mine who shall remain named Jonio, I wanted to expand on something important.

Whenever I create a story, it begins very small, always. I do this because I want the characters, when first making their appearances, to seem like believable people. Never in a million years would I START a story with a manner of demon slaying, or anything epic on that scale. It cheapens the work by beginning with such an experience, IMO. For reference, War Chronicles does have a bit of a dark and epic outburst of demonism in the second chapter. However, it pulls a Jin-Roh at that point for a long while and introduces the world itself. However, the demon slaying in itself is part of the story, so in that case, I felt it worked very well. In almost any other case, it should never be done.

That said, the beginning of this book is going to entail a band tour to Florida, and involve law enforcement corruption in the Underworld of Earth. In this world, there's the lower class "surface" world where the poor––who don't or can't afford flying cars––live out rather meager lives. It isn't until a lucky Chinese Lottery ticket falls down to the surface world does the story's motley crew gain the ability of traveling in the floating continents of the new world technocracy.

Conflict arises when a local woman of this upperclass über-rich world demands that the car be turned over to her as the rightful owner, using her birthday as the winning ticket numbers.

Following this, the government corruption will begin to take a bit of a front forward seat, with the intention of having a pearlescent armor-clad dragon exploding out of a rock stage, with the audience believing it part of the act. In the outburst's aftermath, however, the protagonist––whom is a large between-the-lines narrative of the Fifth Dimension and human's cognitive ability to create the future via perception of otherwise random probability wavelengths.

Thus, he picks up his sister in his hand and proclaims her the savior of mankind, despite being a normal, everyday human being. As the story progresses and the Earth is inevitably broken apart, and restructured into a planetary-system-sized gyroscope being held by golden claws being forged out of hell, it falls upon this normal everyday girl to become President of humankind.

Following the destruction of Earth, most of the story will take place aboard a space cruiser aimlessly drifting through space to flee from the threat of an evergrowing Sun, which is turned into a prison for the story's love interest, she herself a Dragon Queen. Though as the colony drifts away, the story will take a bit of a focus to the other 3,000 remaining humans still on a fractured sliver of Earth that remains.

These two remnants of humanity will cause a bit of a rift in the story, creating two that eventually tie together on one of Saturn's moons, Titan.

But, as I said, it will begin small, giving characters real-life scenarios and obstacles that are solved via real-world means. This is to ensure that characters have a basis of believability to them, and also that readers can feel a bit more attuned to someone that isn't presented off-the-bat as over-the-top.

That's probably more than some literary agents are comfortable with me panning out, but they can suck my dick. I'd rather this story be one today's audience can get into and enjoy. And thus far, I'm confident it will do exactly that.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 10:31:12 AM by Dios GX » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2010, 04:09:05 PM »

I find Hidoshi's comments slightly out-of-line considering what he's read of my work. Unless he's gone through my recent work, his comments are based on old work when I was still learning, and thus, most of what he says is highly presumptuous on his part. I also have to look at what he commented on what he's read, etc. It's like someone grading your ability at a skill or talent when you were a neophyte, paying no heed to current capacity.

...

Also as a final mention, I'd like to point out that Mark and I are essentially polar opposites in nearly every single regard. I won't get further into it, as it would constitute no real discussion. I'll simply say that his artistic tastes and mine do not see eye-to-eye, nor do our lifestyles or essentially anything else.

Now see, the first part of this is fair enough. I haven't read your stuff in the last six months, and in that it may have changed entirely. That is not the fair attitude you reacted with earlier. Not until Tooker called you out on it. Being vehemently insulting towards a critique is pretty much the worst way to go about it. I didn't insult you, nor did I make light of your ability. I pointed out weaknesses I had seen in your writing prior to six months, and if you've worked them out, great. I will look at your new stuff. However, based on what you started this thread with? Those weaknesses still exist.

I'm pointing this out for your benefit, not to be mean or hostile.

As to the second part, this isn't true at all. I've never discussed my artistic background or preferences with you, nor my lifestyle past three or four years ago. Do I agree with your habits? Not necessarily. Do I agree with your attitude? Very rarely. But do I disagree with your artistic preferences? No. I've just been in this longer than you have, and I've developed a more concise set of values regarding what is "good" and what is just "okay". It happens with exposure and diversity. That isn't to say I'm better than you, but I do have more experience with art, its worlds, and their breadths. It will happen for you too, I'm sure of that.

I do enjoy surrealism, but I'm choosy about what exactly the message or background is. I do prefer character-driven stories as opposed to overarching plots. That's always, even as far back as my childhood, been a thing with me. I've always felt that a cliche plot can be saved by its characters. For example, Terry Prachett's Discworld has a fascinating world, and he does create interesting stories, but they're largely charming because of the characters involved. Thief of Time is a great book precisely because of its characters like Nanny Ogg.

Basically, our tastes are not apples and oranges. That kind of dichotomy doesn't exist. What I have said about your writing isn't to be mean or to spit on your abilities. It never has been, and it never will. I'm sick of defending myself against you in light of this, and I do wish the best for your story and its publication.
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Dios GX
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2010, 11:18:38 PM »

I do enjoy surrealism, but I'm choosy about what exactly the message or background is. I do prefer character-driven stories as opposed to overarching plots. That's always, even as far back as my childhood, been a thing with me. I've always felt that a cliche plot can be saved by its characters. For example, Terry Prachett's Discworld has a fascinating world, and he does create interesting stories, but they're largely charming because of the characters involved. Thief of Time is a great book precisely because of its characters like Nanny Ogg.

I recall this quite easily. There was a time you said I "shouldn't make a flat world without explaining it," in what is a straight fantasy setting meant to have its world be enigmatic. Sorry, I'm sure you're trying to be of help. However, I don't know CPR, and I'd probably kill someone trying to bring them back. Likewise, I've no doubt you were trying to help me with this, but it certainly did not come off like that one bit.

Those weaknesses still exist.

Sorry, but you seriously just have no idea what you're talking about.
The initial sentence I wrote in this topic I wrote while I was beyond intoxicated, and spent about 15 seconds on its construction as a place to start feeling the waters out. You took one look at a single thing and judged my abilities.

I got to hand it to you. Instead of critiquing something I wrote many, many years ago, now you've moved onto something I spent 15 seconds on. I suppose I should explain to you with about 5-6 paragraphs how to draw a single line properly, yes?

Tell me, what other books do you judge without even seeing the covers? You must have an amazing life, being psychic and shit.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 11:30:35 PM by Dios GX » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 01:33:52 AM »

You didn't explain any of that when it was first posted. For all I know, you spent hours trying to summarise something down to its root points. That's pretty much what marketing is: boiling a concept down and making it understandable and important to its audience. You wrote something which was, from the tone of your initial post, meant to sell your product. You asked what people thought. Kyle said it sounded pulpy, and it does. Neal, a bit more explanatorily, said it was weak without the actual idea of the back cover. Now, Neal is a whole lot easier to please than I am, and I imagine Kyle is less easy to please, but also less verbose about it. It's critique, not a personal attack.

Relax dude, I'm not out to get you, or whatever you think it is I'm doing. You're inventing vitriol where it most certainly does not exist.

If I intended to cut you apart as an author, as well as your work, it would be a far sharper, more biting affair. But hey, go ahead and post something. Let's see how strong it is so I can give you a fair critique on your terms, if that is the point of all this now.
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Dios GX
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2010, 01:54:03 AM »

You didn't explain any of that when it was first posted. For all I know, you spent hours trying to summarise something down to its root points. That's pretty much what marketing is: boiling a concept down and making it understandable and important to its audience. You wrote something which was, from the tone of your initial post, meant to sell your product.


If I intended to cut you apart as an author, as well as your work, it would be a far sharper, more biting affair. But hey, go ahead and post something. Let's see how strong it is so I can give you a fair critique on your terms, if that is the point of all this now.

Fairness be spoken, I hate marketing and suck at it pretty hard, I will admit. As for posting something here, I see little point in it, seeing is you have no imagination, which is a prerequisite to enjoy books that are more intended toward a "fun" audience, rather than what you seem to be interested in. I've little interest in the manner of critique you give, which is more structural and editorial, which I've no care or knowledge of. I dunno what kind of psychotic fake world you live in where authors apparently don't have editors, but that's not how it works.

JK Rowling doesn't have one, but that's more like to keep themselves from readers' wrath, figuring any word she writes is pure brilliant gold. Also as stated before, she's openly admitted to continuing her work for the sake of money. She's fake.

Don't get me wrong, I feel I've included enough of a foundation of a story to put a story atop it, but I choose to break it up with what was called pulp nonsense earlier. Frankly, I feel that humor is something of a necessity in story-telling. If you try to take Gurren Lagann apart, for example, it's really just a lot of giant robotic heads and drills continually growing larger and blowing shit up. That didn't stop the show from being enjoyable, and conveying a worthwhile point or story, however.

I'm also reluctant to post any actual text from a manuscript here due to its current copyrighted state, and also because this forum is not set to allow for easy literary structure. As a result, it seems laughable to attempt. Though, at the risk of looking like a complete douchebag, I guess I'll try this money-in-mouth thing and see what happens.

---

War Chronicles: Act 46
Kingdom Of


   "Cammy." Valesti's hand was upon her cheek, fearfully feeling the rising temperature of her body.
   "Daddy..." A light and long sigh escaped from young Camiselle's mouth, as a thin mask of perspiration began to swelter upon her brow. "I don't feel good..."
   "It's okay sweetheart." Winter whispered softly, while an errant river of her white hair brushed along her daughter's arm. "We're here for you honey."
   "What happened to her?" John, away from the two of them, turned toward Katrina and Rosa at the top of her throne.
   "Might be the same as Val." Katrina said. "Remember, when he had pneumonia?"
   "Yeah, but that was to stop him." John whispered, though a height of daft anger was blatant in his tone. "Cammy's just a little girl."
   "I know. It's to get back at him, probably." Katrina sighed and returned to the instrument panel before her.
   "Val." Curtis' hand tapped against Valesti's shoulder, offering out a small bottle to him. "It should help bring her fever down for now."
   "Thanks." Valesti said, taking the small measuring cup from the lid and beginning to pour a dosage within.
   "It's not that yucky cherry is it?" Camiselle asked, barely able to keep the lids of her eyes aloft.
   "Afraid so honey." Valesti's voice returned to a quieter tone, relinquishing the cup into his daughter's care as she held it with both hands.
   "It'll help you get better sweetheart." Winter said, with her arms affixing to cradle her daughter as she stood beside Valesti.
   "Okay..." Reluctantly, Camiselle put the cup to her lips, and began to consume its contents.
   "Dios." John said at a loud tone. "Think we might need you up here."
   "Valesti." Dios said.
   "It's okay." Valesti said. "Go."
   "What is it, sir Jonathan?" Dios asked, walking through the air toward Katrina's perch.
   "We're starting to get transmissions from The Pillar." Rosa said. "But we can't understand any of it."
   "It is because they are not speaking a tongue the Esperion can decipher." Dios said, waving his hand once across Katrina's instrument panel.
   "How'd you do that?" Katrina asked, staring toward her screen with a blank expression as the words began to transpose to English.
   "Primary language index confirmed." Rosa said. "They're asking us to dock."
   "Dock?" John asked puzzled. "Can––can we do that? On that thing?"
   "You will be surprised how much is possible in such a place." Dios said, pointing a finger toward the cobalt moon they soared beside. "There, upon its starboard side, as it were. The city of Jericho. We shall dock there."
   "Jericho?" John said. "Is that just a coincidence, or..."
   "No." Dios said.
   "Right." John said, nodding his head.
   "The Jericho Cannon's weapon systems were created in this city." Dios said. "Capitol city of the seventh world's operations construct, and the supply prefecture of neo-magnetic electrical operations flow of the Yggdrasilian World Sword's dominion; Jericho. We will be permitted docking access within moments. Set a course to land."
   "Ma'am?" Rosa said, making no action without direct authorization of her captain.
   "Uh, yeah, do it." Katrina said, rubbing her fingers across her brow. "I was just realizing something. You know the last verse in The Book?"
   "What about it?" John said.
   "It ended, talking about the dragons and the stars of the sky." Katrina said. "But then you go from the eleventh hour to the twelfth. And it goes to the beginning."
   "At The Tower, and of its creation and its device to place a blight upon man." Dios said. "So then, it would seem this is the both the Genesis and the Revelations of Dmitri's Bible."
   "So like, the end of the beginning, type of deal?" John said.
   "That is long since past, sir Jonathan." Dios said as he looked out toward the pearly city of Jericho cast in the eternal amber light of a false sun. "To cast myself in something of a redundancy, the end of our beginning was created the moment The Tower was ever conceived. For now, in this place we now stand; it is the beginning of our end."
   The Esperion came to dock at the city limits near the cobalt moon at the end of one of its nine protruding world arms. Nine such worldly protrusions extended out of The Pillar's central structure, and this one would be the seventh world's control station. Seeming at first as something of absurdity, it then became more apparent exactly what relationship their own vessel and The Pillar once had in a past life as it came to fit cleanly into a docking bay as the final piece of a puzzle of intricacy––though in short moments, it would become more discombobulatingly apparent that if anything, it was but the first piece to be placed into the recesses of a world's enigmatic origins soon to be cast in a light of clarity.
   "Valesti." Dios spoke as they, together with the rest of their group, began to approach an exit hatch of their vessel.
   "I already know." Valesti said, his brow narrowing subtly as he vainly attempted to facade a sigh. "He's still not dead."
   "Indeed." Dios said, his head turning straight ahead as the airlock on the hatch began to squelch in a decompressing hiss.
   "We gonna be all right in this place?" John asked. "I mean, who––what lives here?"
   "Whence I left it," said Dios, "they were a people who had not been contaminated by the Trigger's malformation. Yet still, I must wonder..." A blinding amber light pierced through the hatch doors as they began to open, and Dios only spoke the remnants of his question in his own mind. "Do they remember me...?"
   A sparkling snow of purest golds rained from on high toward the Kingdom of Heaven's graces, cluttering through the skies and horizons that any of tens-of-millions could be seen at any given second––yet they would only remain upon the beige steel walkways and boardwalks for mere seconds before seemingly vanishing from sight, obfuscated by their own brethren in an incessantly unrelenting downpour of festivus cheer.
   In a world of humans, the skyrise building structures would have found their way clear out of the stratosphere and beyond such a height they would no longer be visible to the eye of man. Yet in this place, unbound by laws and physics that such mortals who beheld it had come to know, their minds would almost begin to ache in trying to fathom the structural integrity and origin of a single of them, much less the vast multitudinous millions that rose from the world arm's extenuation toward them, even still, continuing for hundreds of miles behind them to encase the bio-mechanical moon locked in the soothing clutches of The Pillar's veiny platinum fingers as they sparkled with a fervent silvery luminosity.
   Circular courtyards that gleamed with the caressing light of a nighttime sky's starscape world shone cylindrical pillars of oscillating light toward the infinite reaches of another world arm at the eight-thousandth mile mark above them, yet even in that it was but a quarter of the total length, and none of the grand stature and majesty The Pillar both embodied and represented.
   And within the courtyards, branching off onto amphitheaters and high-rises of terraced tan and beige mountains of steel that would encase the perimeter reaches of Jericho and the world arm's other three-hundred-and-fifty-thousand cities of Heaven on the seventh arm of The Pillar, the song of a people's praise and unrelenting exuberance radiated from within their hearts, and sang a million songs, in a million different voices, in a million melodies love, respect, honor, courage and unyielding valorous determination; that which has existed since the dawn of infinite ages past and defined the endless generations to come within The Pillar's populace––at such a number that the human tongue could not speak not comprehend the multitude of their existence in the stars and universes they have traversed. And all of this due in part to a single entity; the creator of origin that which their songs were sung in praise toward.
   "Dios... is that...?" Valesti's eyebrow cocked, and his lip began to partially upturn.      "Dude..." John's mouth became agape.
   Upon the utmost zenith of the world arm, thousands of miles in distance from their locale where the horizon vanished and became absorbed into the black and silver platinum armor of The Pillar's mainstay structural core, there was a lone figure that towered above a people's song, and the central figure of admiration affixed upon them. Carved of stone and painted in metal, grafted in the feathers of angel's souls and forged from the steel of fallen warriors in the great conflict of a once proud Tower's life, the integrity, valor, respect and strength of their holy savior was cast in the fallen snow of gold as it held its sword true to the heavens, and his shield guarding the breastplate of honor bound to his heart––the gleaming visage of Dios stood above the city of Jericho that all may eternally behold his benevolence, mercy, and courage.
   "You...?" Valesti's words would fall deafly even upon himself as the city's song and praise roared into a heightening infinity when they began to step toward the love and admiration raining upon them.
   "It would seem..." Dios turned his gaze over his shoulder to look upon those following in his steps, "that they remember me." Marching slowly with a nonchalant pace in his step, it would seem as though he was entirely unaffected by the lavish adoring songs sung in honor of his return.
   If anything was as brazen and unnatural that presented itself so vehemently of this world, it would indeed be the mere physical appearance of its denizens parading and dancing through the streets of faux-golden light. All women bore hair of great lengths, some spanning long beyond their own ankles, requiring that their hair be tied three times over itself in the visage of flowers and gardens in their hair––an image further enhanced by the long and airy feathers, three placed upon a single side of their golden tiaras reaching long above their cerulean, sapphire and cobalt hair that shone in a prism of pastel violets and lavish cyan hues even against the sterling amber and crimson lights of their artificial skyscape's sun.
   The women's irises were deep reds and soft blues, with not a single blemish nor mole, nor wrinkle nor scratch nor scar upon their milk and cream-colored skin––and no cosmetic apparel was drawn upon their complexions; blessed with the natural graces and beauty of spiritual elegance. Arms were frail as a newborn tree's, yet their bodies possessed the spirit of joyous celebration, and their muscles were unrelenting as they carried their ornate dresses and gowns in their hands to swing, sway and cradle them with the steps of their dance. Fabrics of a faint tan were lined with colored bands, where two rows of zig-zagging triangles of reds and blues were trapped in the thick bands wrapping endlessly across their gowns, mimicking the decorative principles of both tinsel and garland.
   Their wrists, forearms, ankles and calves were laced in black silken straps that would crisscross beneath the folding layers of clothing on their shoulders and knees. Their breasts were hidden beneath their clothing, yet the utmost of their chests was visible beyond their necklaces of petals; of roses and lilacs, and a single bulb of an orchid hung at the center above their gowns.
   Yet now something would appear to draw nearer to them, and the song's roar seemed to become stifled somewhere on an unseen horizon. As they traipsed the streets and began to see the bowing and kneeling throughout the courtyards, and gowns fanning outwards across the ground, the song would become muffled and displaced in the wake of a single individual approaching toward them.
   Just a single man clad in a white coat with the buttons undone down the middle. His hair was silver, glistening and contrasting––quite unlike the matte white tone of Winter's own; yet identical to that of Dmitri's. More so similar to the antithesis of heaven's angels, the man's eyes at first appeared a cold and icy white, yet as he drew nearer, they seemed to shift off to a calm and serene jade. Nothing but an optical illusion of the golden radiance of the skies in their midsts. His arm reached out, his hand opened, and he began to speak.
   "Well if there wasn't anything more unexpected than this." He said with both a grin and smile.
   "I could not speak such a truth better myself." Dios' own arm reached out, and both of their hands met with a firm grip. "It is good to see you again, sir Luminous."
   "Indeed. Though I obviously would have to ask––" He cut himself off as he looked back to those standing behind Dios, and began to walk with a hastened step toward them. "Oh my. The young girl, what has happened to her?"
   "'Twas the vile excretion of Dmitri's blade that hath stricken her ill." Dios said.
   "My word..." Luminous looked over her briefly, and his mouth fell agape upon hearing the mere name. "I thought––but how?"
   "Hey." Valesti said, catching his attention as he began to reach his hand forward. "Hands off."
   "Oh yes, I am most sorry." His white coat grazed the ground as he knelt forward. "I apologize, I ought introduce myself."
   "We heard your name." Valesti said. "What is this place?"
   "This... why, the grand capitol of Jericho, of course?" Luminous said, somewhat inquisitively.
   "Of course." Valesti said, turning his eyes toward Dios.
   "Sir Luminous, are you aware what has transpired upon the surface of the Earth world?" Dios asked.
   "Man this is weird." John whispered to the others he stood with.
   "No, we are unaware of any changes." Luminous said. "Whatever has transpired, I believe it should be taken up with Grand Duke Armas."
   "Grand Duke, now?" Dios said.
   "And that's who?" Raia asked.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 02:05:05 AM by Dios GX » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2010, 02:05:46 AM »

continuing post

---


   The song of the people's celebration was only within the vast horizons now, entirely displaced in their present locale at the arrival of a man clad in dark armor and a royal purple mantle draping across the streets. At either side of him marched a regal guard, adorned in a platinum and dark-toned steel armor. Though devoid of wings, proper shoulder plating or his armaments, their form and design was identical to that of the Spirit Armor, Dios. And in their hands was the immense shaft of a large lance, with a single red jeweled blade at the far end of the pike.
   "Him, I guess." John said, turning quick glances as all within visible eyesight keeled to bow in his presence.
   "Dios." The Duke said, raising his arms out in the air as they came out from the metallic folds of his tabard. "It is good to see you again, yet may I ask why you have returned?"
   "There are matters with which to discuss." Dios said.
   "Indeed, and the most predominant of all––" One of his fingers pointed toward Valesti and his companions. "Is why your soldiers do not bow before me."
   "Excuse me...?" Valesti's eyes narrowed, and one of his canines was bared beyond an upturning lip.
   "I asked why it is you do not bow in my presence." Armas said.
   "I bow to one king." Valesti said, halting sternly in front of him as the crucifix upon his chest fell flatly against his clothing. "And you are not him."
   "Ah yes, of course." Armas said. "If I may ask, how is it you know that the Christ existed, and that you would pledge your life to him?"
   "Whether he existed or not isn't something anyone can contest." Valesti said. "True faith isn't deterrable, and whether he lived or not, despite the inability to prove or disprove it does not matter. My life belongs to his teachings and his principles; I bow to one king, and it isn't you."
   "I see." Armas chortled faintly. "And what if I could tell you that here, we could disprove the existence of your God?"
   "I'd still hold true to his teachings. True faith is unyielding, if even ignorant; it does not bend to adversity." Valesti said.
   "Have you merely come to contest everything I say?" Armas asked.
   "No." Valesti said. "Just everything you've said so far."
   Both stood before one another, only a margin of ten feet between them as Luminous still remained upon the ground bowing toward the Duke. He looked up toward Valesti, whose eyes remained firmly affixed on his adversary, wondering to himself in his unfortunate ignorance how or why anyone would speak so disastrously to their Grand Duke.
   "You speak rather prudently." The Duke said, scratching his fingers across his chin as he looked off toward the sky. "Though I must wonder, would you feel so brave without the Spirit Armor by your side?" His head remained stationary, and his eyes looked back toward Valesti.
   "I don't know." Valesti said, immediately taking large and quick strides toward him, with his teeth gritting against themselves. "Tell me, do I look scared to you?" His eyes were mere inches from the Duke's own, and his guards looked toward Dios, who in turn was glaring at both of them.
   "S-sire." Luminous said, raising one hand as he kept his sights fixated upon the ground. "They have a young girl in their company."
   "And what of it?" The Duke asked.
   "She is ill, sire." Luminous' head raised up. "She has been stricken by the blade of Dmitri."
   "By God..." Armas said, unintentionally revealing his own faith in the process of fear stricken over him by hearing such a name. "Dios, is it true?"
   "Yes." Dios said. "There is more, I fear."
   "More fearful than the return of Lucifer himself!?" Armas shouted.
   "Dios, you don't mean...?" Luminous said.
   "The Tower has returned." Dios said. "I wish to convene the Grand Council. There are matters that which require immediate action."
   "The Tower... has, has it been––"
   "Infected by the Trigger." Concluding Luminous' fears, Dios moved to tap Valesti upon the shoulder. "Yet another matter that requires prominent attention is this man, my Warrior's daughter."
   "This man... a human––your Warrior?" Luminous asked, turning his head toward Valesti.
   "His heart reigns with a purity superior to that of any being I have beheld." Dios said, turning Valesti to stand with his family. "Yet simply understand; I am not merely asking that care be given to them. I am commanding it."
   "Yes, of course." Luminous said. "My liege?"
   "Stand, Luminous." Duke Armas said. "I will convene the Grand Council. Until such time, see that they receive proper hospitality."
   "Of course." Though already standing, Luminous bowed toward the ground as he saw his king off from whence he came.
   "I don't like him." John said.
   "Same." Raia said.
   "Yup." Curtis said.
   "Pompous ass." Rosa said, glancing around as others turned toward her with a somewhat blank expressions.
   "Right then." Katrina said, pressing a hand against Winter's shoulder as they began to follow Dios and Luminous through the now-singing streets of Jericho.
   "Dios, I'm afraid this place has changed since you were last here." Luminous said. "The people... well, they're more excited than they have been in many, many millennia. But the Grand Council won't see you as anything but a returning soldier. They'll slap a medal on you and that'll be the end of it."
   "Wait, I thought Dios was responsible for this place even being around." Raia piped up from the back ranks.
   "Yeah, didn't he lead the defenses against Dmitri and allow this place to retreat during the conflict?" John added.
   "Yes, that is true." Looking over his shoulder, Luminous slowed his pace to march nearer to them. "But you see, Dios is but a symbol of prosperity. The Spirit Armor itself is a concept and an idea, it isn't the individual itself that receives credit."
   "And do you think that's the way it should be?" Valesti said without looking toward him.
   "Well, it doesn't matter what I––"
   "Do you think it's okay?" Valesti asked.
   "No." Luminous said. "I have seen Dios since the dawn of his creation, and know all there is to know about him. I know of the souls in his psyche and consciousness, and all that he's been through. And Dios, I have to ask..."
   "How I have returned?" Dios asked. "By walking through darkest nights, and by following it into the end of eternity that I may enter the light, at the end of the tunnel created by mine own hands. For as fate is preordained to us, an end by which we are unable to change; destiny is created by the one, and it is made by the hand of the individual."
   "He means he blew everything up." John said, causing everyone to immediately stop in their pace and look toward him with a silent expression. "It was basically badass." John seemed entirely oblivious to the disruptive nature of his speech, though everyone essentially agreed with the entirety of his words.
   "Katt." Valesti's head turned back toward her.
   "Got'cha." Katrina said with a smile, pulling John by the hair and locking her lips into his own.
   "Dios, your friends." Luminous chuckled slightly.
   "They are the best I shall have ever had." Dios said.
   "So what is it you were saying?" Valesti asked, looking only straight ahead while the others in his midsts were enamored and awe-stricken by the heavenly prospect of constructs and ambience in the air––heightened only by the warm and un-biting scent of a sweet potpourri.
   "Ah yes, well you see, I'm afraid I may be a bit biased in my opinion." Luminous said. "Not only to the Spirit Armor Guardians of the worlds, but in specific to Dios."
   "Why him?" Valesti asked.
   "Because Luminous is the one who created me." Dios said.
   "Heh. Well, I did some of the work." Luminous said with a large grin. "Honestly, if you ask me, the concept of Dios was something that's always existed. I just put it into words––to be put on paper. Dios essentially created himself."
   "How can... what?" John asked.
   "After a core of a Spirit Armor has been created, it will come to embody what it wishes to represent." Luminous said, making gross exaggerated gestures with his hands that pertained little to no relevance of what he spoke. "All I did was transpose the meta-physical elements of valor into a subspace, devoid of a time-space vacuum and––what?" He seemed somewhat perturbed at the displaced complexion of others he spoke to.
   "Rosa." Katrina said with a nudge of her shoulder.
   "Dios exists because he wanted to." Rosa said with a smile. "That's essentially it, correct?"
   "Yes, though a bit dumbed down." Luminous said.
   "I think I'm more confused now." John said.
   "Sir Luminous, do you remember on the ninth year of the conflict," Dios said, "the day in which you gave me Malys' soul after you had sealed it within me?"
   "Yes, I––my word, do you mean that...?"
   "Yes." Dios nodded. "Through the ages, Malys remained sealed with The Tower, and returned to the land of men. I have returned his soul in the year prior."
   "Fantastic!" Luminous exclaimed. "And what of Kain, and Lilith?"
   "Lost to the ages, I fear." Dios said. "Their souls were rejected by their consciousness as extrapolation foresaw their destinies."
   "Guys, I'm sorry but... English, maybe, please?" John said.
   "Well you see, in creating a Spirit Armor, it is somewhat akin to the conception and birthing of an organism." Luminous explained. "You simply take the principle by which a soul may possess, and it is allowed to be forged from there. However, like all life, free will is allowed––and some simply do not walk the path of virtue."
   "Malys and I were responsible for their demise." Dios said. "'Twas the only mercy by which we could grant them. For as they were our enemies, they were of the same lifeblood as Malys and I. No wrath nor anger was had in the taking of their lives."
   "You sound a lot different, Dios." Luminous said. "A lot better, at that."
   "It is due in part to many influences." Dios said. "Most notable, that whom of which stands just beside you."
   "Hi. Valesti Reinhart." He said extending his hand out.
   "Greetings. Luminious, uh––" Their hands came to shake firmly. "No last name I'm afraid. We don't really have those here. Ah, here we are."
   "What's in here?" Katrina asked as they came to stand near a door to a miniscule building.
   "Oh, it isn't what's in here that matters." Luminous said as he began to turn the handle    "Just that there's a door here."
   "And that––" John paused as he looked. "What the... hell?"
   "Well, that's certainly interesting." Katrina said with one on her hip, and her head cocked off to one shoulder.
   The door was small, and the building was equivalent with that which it was attached to. Yet the path within was that of a palace's grand courtyard. Pearled tiles and warm red drapes hung above windows that bloomed with an amber halo of light through their panes. Tremendous furniture of overstuffed couches in the shapes of crescents decorated around a fountain in the lower section of the guest room's quarters. Chandeliers of crystalline glimmers hung from the ceiling, and their chains were of purest golds, and their adornments of pristine and flawless diamonds in the shape of tears––the size of a baseball. Silken transparent tapestries swayed in an invisible breeze that had no temperature or corporeal existence, yet ethereally cradled the fabrics through the air of a whimsical song.
   "I hope this is acceptable for you." Luminous said.
   "Man, I call couch." John said.
   "Got any booze?" Curtis asked. "Kind of need some right now."
   "Same." Raia said.
   "But of course. Just on the other side of the hot springs." Luminous said.
   "I think I dig this place." John said, leaping over the backside of the couch.
   "Dios, the council will likely convene shortly." Luminous said, as all came to enter the palace hall. "Would you like anyone to join you?"
   "Valesti." Dios said.
   "I'd go even if you told me not to." Valesti said, rocking his arms slowly to both sides as he sat on a chair, holding a sleeping Camiselle against his chest.
   "Excuse me." Rosa said. "How is it that... we came here?"
   "Well, 'here' is simply a relative term to the location of a point in time of existence." Luminous said. "The 'here' of now could be a different point in time were we to––"
   "Guys." Katrina said, waving her hand between the two of them. "Other people here, hi?"
   "Apologies, young miss." Luminous smiled and bowed toward her slightly. "I suppose to metaphor it slightly, a door is merely a barricade to a doorway; and a doorway is a gateway. Unlike the world of humans, a doorway leads wherever you wish to lead yourself."
   "So where are we exactly, then?" Katrina asked, as she was motioned with one finger to look out of a window.
   "Woah." Raia said, lifting up her glass and raising one eyebrow. "You guys must'a put some strong stuff in here or what?"
   Katrina, Curtis and Raia stood before the window to gaze upon the spectacle of impossible design. As the world arms would branch out of The Pillar, three levels of them with three upon each level, they gazed out from on high above all nine at the utmost peak of The Pillar, in its supposed first world's control structure at its apex––the region once governed by the Esperion in the days of the planet's beginning. Four of the world arms could be seen, one barely visible at a distance estimated by Rosa to be fifteen-thousand-miles in distance below, two more branching out to obscene distances also estimated to be ten-thousand miles in length of the moons to The Pillar, and the final one just beneath them off to one side, reaching far into obscurity as the cities became invisible, and only the control sphere was left to be visible beyond the vanishing point. Such distances and devices never meant for human eyes to perceive much less fathom were but an enigma wrapped in a mystery, locked in a pandora's box and evidently sealed within a comet to wander a galaxy. Yet here it was for them to behold, and whatever lie in wait would now be, as Dios had so eloquently stated; ordained by destiny, and forged by the hand of the one.
   "He has gone early, to stop them of listening––to that, of of what I wish to ask." Dios said. "No doubt be had on my part, of such treachery on his."
   "You mean Armas?" Raia asked. "Man Rosa's right, guy's a pompous ass y'know?"
   "He's... certainly more haughty than he once was." Luminous said, dejection evident on his complexion.
   "He will seek to belittle, and to demean us––and make our world seem as a place of lost endeavors." Dios said. "But he will meet no such success."
   "He's got a strong pull in the council Dios. Like I said, this place has changed." Luminous said with a shrug of his shoulders.
   "Then they will have their peace to speak, and so shall I. For my world has changed as this one has, and so has my world become what it once was in ages past––" Dios looked toward him. "So too, shall this world; become what it once was."
   "So who else is coming?" Valesti asked.
   "Uh, all the same to you, think I'll just stay here." Curtis said while pouring another shot into his glass.
   "Yeah, same." Taking a seat beside him, Raia placed her empty alcohol parcel on a dark wooden table.
   "Fair enough." Valesti said.
   "It's just... I mean honestly, what can we do right now?" Raia asked.
   "The same as me I'd guess." Valesti said.
   "No, Valesti." Luminous' hands began to gesture. "You are far different from others. There is much that you are capable."
   "What makes you so sure?" Valesti asked.
   "For one, I'm suspect that Dios would not choose just any to be his Warrior." Luminous said. "And secondly, I've not seen anyone speak in such a way to Grand Duke Armas before. I'd have to admit, it was quite... entertaining, to say the least."
   "Men don't hold dominion over other men." Valesti said, allowing Winter to take his chair and hold their daughter.
   "And such is a time it will be made known to him." Dios said. "Come, let us be off then."
   "Yo uh, I'll join you man." Springing off from his couch, John incidentally began moving away from the doorway, and stood beside Katrina.
   "You gonna be okay?" Valesti, now kneeling beside the chair, brushed his thumb across the back of Winter's palm.
   "Yeah." Winter said, feigning a smile to the best of her ability.
   "Oh, yes!" Luminous said, pointing one finger off behind a corner. "There are medicinal compounds just beside the lavatory over there."
   "I'll look through them. Thank you." Rosa said, already beginning to make her way toward them.
   "Let us go. I've no doubt that Armas' propaganda has already begun." Dios said.
   "We'll need to discuss some etiquette while you guys are here first." Luminous said, beginning to open the door that had entered from. "We'll enter into the Conveyance Foyer. It won't be too far." They moved through the doorway, and eventually it would close behind them.
   A faint light began to flitter into the palace, and the grand visage of the very such "Foyer" presented itself as serenely as a sack of bricks landing on a saltine cracker. The horizon existed somewhere off in the sky, a distance unable to be conceived from the depth and magnitude of a series of golden-yellow meadow spanning infinitely toward an inverse world. Where a planet's surface would bend around a horizon, here, it became the very opposite as though gravity was pressing outwards from an unknown central origin, and the ground at their feet gradually would bend upwards and away.
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2010, 02:06:08 AM »

Still going

---

   Tapestries of unfathomable size and length wavered from large-bore hooks embedded within their sides. Ten upon each side of the world, many multiple miles apart from one another that all were visible across the inverted lands. Upon each was a story of a mortal coil's strife, from birth unto death; the leftmost regions bore each a story of the Ten Commandments of God. And upon the rightmost region was a tale of each of The Tower's ten worlds, from the dawn of their conception to the end of their existence––embroidered in gold and silver threads, each bore a repeating series of Dios and the warring battles he engaged in within The Tower's downfall.
   The path they would tread was laden with flora of a bejeweled nature. Where petals did not touch stem nor bud––and their buds glistened with the gemstone of the month of their birth, of those whose body had been laid to rest in the land. The continued outwards into the meadows to decorate the mountains and brandish their light upon outstanding trees, whose towering trunks rose far above forests, and the shade of their branches cast peace of both serenity and tranquility on those who rested beneath.
   And upon the end of the trails was the hall of the Grand Council, a single building whose stature and structure would rival that of the architects of both Roman and Greek renaissance, multiplied by the Victorian era on a nuclear LSD-laced adrenaline compound. Its courtyards were vast and expansive, more so furiously enhanced by their numbers––further by the fact they hovered in midair around the hall, and endlessly rotated amidst it in a slow and gradual orbit.
   Yet that orbit was large and expansive in itself, as the hall was elongated and spanned vastly into the world's curvature. The mainstay of its structure was that of a cross laid flat upon the ground. Miles in distance it spanned above, with dark pillars spanning above its utmost peaks, and the pillars would become into ivory monoliths where angels made their songs of love.
   The deeper the structure moved backwards, the taller and more pronounced its roofing would become. Yet to sustain such an upper realm of itself, repeating support arches were aimed against it, and their colors alternated as if they were a celestial piano's keys to be played upon by the might of the hand of God. The paneling of the cross, at the center of the hall were of rich cerulean and jade, failing to the golden light of their locale; they would shift their hues in according compliance.
   Finally upon the far extremity of it from their current location, two towers rose high above all else, and upon each corner of the towers were four ivory plinths––and upon each was a crucifix bearing a depiction of The Christ, where a single dove sat perched with its wings spread apart, and its heart, like the Christ's own, was opened and exposed that their love would endlessly bathe the land in their forgiveness and mercy.
   "There's something you need to know Valesti." Luminous said. "For the most part, your world and ours, well, they're really polar opposites."
   "In what way?" Valesti asked.
   "Yours is a world of darkness, strife, pain and loss." Luminous spoke toward him, though Valesti's eyes and his own would not meet. "It must be shameful to admit for you, but at the same time, it is why I revere you so highly that you have survived in such a world."
   "Well, you're wrong, but I can't fault you for thinking that." Valesti said.
   "Well, it is what we have learned from observation." Luminous said.
   "It's one thing to observe." Valesti said, finally looking toward him. "It's another to actually experience it. I'll explain it to you later."
   "I would most enjoy and appreciate that." Luminous smiled, looking out toward the council's hall ahead. "Right then, as far as proper behavior..." Luminous continued to speak, as the path toward the hall was as expansive as the words that need be said.
   Many men and women sat upon the rows and platforms and terraces of the grand hall of gold and ivory. A stained glass visage of a dragon whose tail swept away the stars of the sky of Heaven flew above a cross as it lie planted in the center of an ancient Israeli city. A single judge sat atop a throne at the apex of a podium, and in the elongated and circular halls, the Grand Council's convene had long since already begun. And within that hall, the suspicions of Dios were accurate to a fault, as Grand Duke Armas was already addressing the council on the matters by which he wished to speak. A preemptive strike against a dire and urgent matter would be left to fall on deafened ears in the aftermath of one such preaching.
   "For us to so easily beseech those we do not even know, and cast aside our way of life to outsiders who bring us nothing but ill-begotten fortune that would destroy us at the core. There is not to be had in such ideals we have left behind us but certainty of death, and the end by which all we have created on our own––the Spirit Armor played no part in what we have created!"
   "Funny." Dios' voice echoed into the hall as he entered. "Then pray tell, 'Grand Duke,' exactly how you escaped The Tower during our conflict."
   "It is unknown to any that we would not have left unharmed with or without your actions!" Armas' finger was pointed toward them, and his mantle waved in the air at the behest of his arm.
   "That is blasphemy against our protector!" A voice echoed from the crowds.
   "He is responsible for our safety today!" A feminine voice shouted.
   "That has never been proven!"
   "Correct!" Armas shouted. "Unproven! You were not the sole cause of our safeguard!"
   "Then I may be the sole cause of your undoing." Dios' hand immediately began to grasp the hilt of his blade.
   "Is that it then!?" Armas shouted. "To resort to violence is what his actions scribe! His is not the way of peace that we strive for!" His fist was raised in the air, clutching an invisible virtue.
   "Peace?" Dios said. "What would you know of peace? To live without conflict is to know ignorance without its opposite affinity. You know nothing of hardship nor of sufferage. By what manner do you preach to me, to know of peace?"
   "I believe we would be content in our so-called ignorance than to suffer the loss of life by your command." Armas said.
   "Do you not even remember why," Dios said, moving closer toward the center of the hall, "have you forgotten the principle by which our Tower, and this Pillar were forged by the ancestry?"
   "Original intentions and what we have become are––"
   "Do you not remember!?" Dios' voice quaked within the hall, and a crackling fissure broke out across the ground.
   "Woah." John silently thought to himself.
   "The Pillar, and The Tower were created to make a forge of Heaven for a people who needed guidance." Dios began to speak upon the masses who had gathered before him. "For the hearts of men are astray, yet they carry virtue, and whence they are guided, can lead us to a land unfathomable even to our own cities."
   "And what have they––"
   "You have said your peace!" Dios' anger surged in his voice, and the ground shook as the shock of fearful attention was cast into those who looked on. "Now be silent!"
   "Very well." Armas muttered under his breath, popping a joint in his neck as his head cocked to both sides.
   "I have beheld the darkness in the hearts of men. But also have I beheld the good they carry in them." Dios turned, and offered out his hand toward John and Valesti standing silently. "For they too have suffered long, and though they have fallen to depravity, here they yet stand before you unscathed by evils, and their hearts bear the virtue of our Christ. For to turn our backs upon them, the very nature and principle by which we stand in this sanctum, created for the sole purpose to guide the stray toward peace––I ask of you; is it not ordained by the fates and destinies, that we have the capacity to return the favor unto them, as they have so fought to protect the world you have forsaken, that we shall bestow upon them mercy as they have held true to your own ideals? The very same ideals that you have cast aside––ones that we were created to teach them, that they have retained and you have forgotten? So I ask you, to ask yourselves; who is it, truly, that is of the lesser being, and who among you has the audacity to say yours is a world of peace, and not of ignorance––that only allows strife to exist among others, and not carry the burden by which you are capable?"
   "This is so stupid." Armas muttered.
   "Dude." John said, staring as Armas turned his head to him. "Shut up."
   "Do not stand and listen to this such propagated ignorance, preached by this fool." Dios' armored finger pointed squarely toward Armas. "Stand upon your own feet given to you by our Lord, sing with your own voice the songs of love and of compassionary virtue, and fight the evils that stand to demean your way of life. For as I am sure he has not said unto you, there is a threat that would permeate even this land, as the enemy of the humans and us alike has risen to blight us in the shadow of his death––Dmitri has wrought The Tower and the plague of the Trigger back unto mankind."
   Armas' lips were pronounced and pressed together, his eyes wandering and his ears hearing the whispers and fervent uprising fear of anxiety in those he had spoken with. Valesti stood between Luminous and John, and his eyes only looked eternally toward the cross within the glass at the back of the hall. Dios turned and his wake his mantle waved through the air, and his eyes pierced into Armas' soul with the truth of his voice and the virtue in his heart. But he turned again to hear the voices of a people who had been swayed by his words.
   "But there is a problem to be had still!"
   "The Key! There is no longer a Key!"
   "One has never been born to us again!"
   "You lack a Key?" Dios asked, turning toward Luminous.
   "The hell's a Key?" John asked.
   "The Pillar embodies the same functionary principles of a Spirit Armor." Luminous said. "In essence, a Key is a Warrior. It's something that controls The Pillar and allows it in turn to control The Tower."
   "Then without one such Key..." Dios' voice immediately became unto a dejected tone.
   "It is not possible to save your world." Armas said.
   "This cannot be." Dios said. "A Key is always present. What has become of her?"
   "Went down to the world of men, a very long time ago." Armas said. "Said she wanted to go live in––"
   "Atlantis." Dios said.
   "Rosa...?" John muttered inquisitively.
   "But she is no longer capable of being a Key." Dios said. "For she has become the Warrior of the Esperion."
   "The Esperion!" A voice shouted.
   "The Dove of God, returned to us!"
   "So that as well, you had not told them either." Dios glared at Armas. "You have forgotten, Armas!" His voice began to rise, and the clamoring of others began to fade. "You have forgotten the reason by which we exist! You have tainted the virtue of our lives and cast them in the vile pits of lies! You are unfit to continue as the ruler of this Kingdom!"
   "This is my Kingdom, Dios." Armas growled.
   "A Kingdom of Dirt is what you have created!" Dios snarled. "And you are equally the grand visage of no Duke, but the swine who takes pleasure in covering himself in the waste and filth of his own excretion, that by which you have spouted since I have returned!"
   "This, is my––"
   "Silence!" Dios charged toward him, his wings began to scream and his fist began to burn in white cinders. "Govern the tongue of lies that taints your befouled hide or I shall rend it from thou's head with mine own hand!" A volley of fissures broke out against the wall that Armas had been pinned against. Dios' hand was upon his throat, and his fist snapped with the sparkling flames of white fires as it came to rise overhead.
   "Hail Lord Dios!"
   "The force of the Fist of God has returned!"
   "Usurp! Usurpation be had! Lord Dios' reign shall live forever!"
   "Hail the savior, the overlord and our king!"
   "Long, live––" Amidst the clamoring cries raining down upon them, Dios thrust his fist forward and pushed himself from the wall, leaving Armas to behold witness to the voice of a people's wishes, "our glorious king!"
   "And so it has been spoken, and so too shall it be written." Dios said, glaring at Armas as he rubbed one hand against his throat.
   "In such a case..." Armas glanced over Valesti as he came to pass by him, and looked back to Dios only once. "Then let it be done."
   "And so it shall." Dios growled.
   "Thank you. Come again." John shouted to Armas over the outcry of the public, muttering his next words to himself. "You jackass."
   "There is still much to be done." Dios said, approaching those who stood near the now-closed door. "A Key must be found, lest your world fall to The Tower in an immediate time."
   "You got nothing else to say here?" Valesti asked.
   "I will allow them to speak amongst themselves for now. In due time I shall hear their consensus, and I shall guide them from there." Dios moved toward the door, yet stopped short of it as he allowed Luminous to take hold of its handles. "For now, let us go and think on what we ourselves must do."
   The doors began to open, and through their gateway they found themselves standing upon the an courtyard outside of the palace in which the others had found their refuge for the day. Yet now as the doors closed, they would open and the song of a people's love and admiration for their new and once-former King returned to them would sing into the hearts of those who had only recently come to arrive. Curtis and Raia were passed out on the couch, but Rosa, Katrina, Winter and a now awake Camiselle came to look down upon the Kingdom of Gold and the song and dance for their spiritual savior––Grand Overlord Dios; Guardian Protector of The Tower, The Pillar, and of the very world itself.
   "Well, that's more the kind of welcome I was hoping for you." Luminous said.
   "Their praise is welcome, yet not needed." Dios said. "They ought know already that in themselves lies their own salvation."
   "Luminous." Valesti said, running his hand across his daughter's cheek to feel her fever had yet to fully dissipate. "You said our worlds were polar opposites. That ours is one of darkness, strife, death, and sorrow. Then I guess that'd make yours nothing but peace and prosperity."
   "Essentially, yes." Luminous said.
   "I'd like to ask you something." Valesti looked toward him, and leaned against the stone railing in front of them. "There's no right or wrong answer. But I'd like you to answer it."
   "Go right ahead." Luminous said.
   "You're a messenger between two kingdoms. You're an equal distance between both of them, and you're delivering a message to your home nation. En route, a prophet speaks to you, and tells you of a great disaster soon to befall the valley and destroy both kingdoms. The prophet is old and unable to ride your horse, and you only have time to warn one of the kingdoms." Valesti could see he was listening intently, and continued to speak. "In the kingdom to the east, where you're coming from, is your spouse and your child, yet you are often outcast by the kingdom as you once belonged to the kingdom of the west. In that western kingdom lies your mother and your father, and the people you grew up with, yet the king himself is a man devoid of virtue or good will. You only have time to warn one kingdom and lead them to safe passage, and the other will fall victim to disaster, and all will perish. What do you do?"
   "That... well, hum." Luminous placed his chin between his fingers. "In all honesty, I am unsure. I suppose––"
   "What does your gut tell you to do?" Valesti asked.
   "I'd save my home town, because I know the people are good, despite the king." Luminous said. "What would you do?"
   "I just wanted to see how you think. Now I know." Valesti said. "I gave you two choices, and I asked what you would do. Don't you remember what Dios said?"
   "Fate is the end result by which we are bound." Dios said. "But destiny is something we create by our own hand."
   "So, what would you do?" Luminous asked.
   "I gave you two choices, but I didn't say you had to pick one." Valesti looked off into the crowds and festivus cheers in the cities. "I'd do neither. I'd dismount my horse and kneel upon the ground, and I would pray to the Lord that all souls in both kingdoms are allowed the respite, and peace in their souls before their deaths. For in this life we possess materials, but we also possess our souls. In this, we own both riches, but we also own wealth of a different nature. And it is that wealth of the spirit and soul that matters most. It is the essence of the most important trait in all of existence." Valesti pushed away from the railing and ran his fingers through Winter's hair. "There is nothing that can make a man wealthier than the eternal love granted to a virtuous soul."
   "I see." Luminous said, nodding his head with his lips protruding out beneath his nose. "You're certainly right, too."
   "Just saying what I'd do. Nothing more." Valesti said. "But you are also correct, that our worlds are polar opposites. Ours is one of extremities; both of love and hatred. As Dios said, you cannot know the true value of peace or of love without knowing the strife and hardship of war and depravity––something we as humans born of Earth are fully aware of, and have experienced a great deal of. But your world knows nothing of these things, and so, yours is a world of neutrality. Even Dios, created on the virtue of valor was nothing until he came to live in our world."
   "Correct, he is." Dios said, crossing his arms over his chest. "Though I was founded on the principle of unyielding valor, I was naught but a facade until I met and forged a pact with Valesti. For in his life, he experienced great hardship, and fell into the darkness for the vast majority of his life. Yet when he came to learn the love life can bring, and had it infused into his very soul by Winter, he came to understand the full prospect and importance of love. And in these teachings, he brought them to me, and our minds and souls became unto one––on that destined day. I learned of the true depth of the human capacity to fall, and to rise. It was on that day I became complete, and renewed my ancient vows to guard my world from evil."
   "Huh." Luminous chortled. "You taught him something, a human?"
   "I get that a lot lately." Valesti said, essentially uncaring of what others had to say, and only wanting to nurture and care for his daughter as she was nestled against her mother's bosom and cradled in her arms.
   "So what do we do now?" Luminous asked.
   "We must locate a Key." Dios said. "Even if we must scour the entirety of the Earth, there is always one born into the world at any given time. Have you tested all who have been born as of late?"
   "Yes. None have shown any sign of application." Luminous said.
   "Then we must locate our Key elsewhere." Dios said. "I only wonder... where could she be...?"
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2010, 02:09:42 AM »

Oho~ Reading now.

Also: I never said authors don't have editors. However, it was you who said it was wholesale the editor's job to clean up the author's mess. That just isn't true. Authors are responsible unto themselves to refine their work. An editor can only screw things up if the story is unfortunately messy in some places, and also supposed to be that way in others.
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2010, 02:41:00 AM »

Well, I do have to say your talent for depiction has grown vastly since I last read your work. It's actually genuinely amazing how well you describe certain things. There's a splendour to a large part of your descriptions, and I do like how your characters work by and large.

John, Armas, and Dios all have very distinct personalities. The others, less so, and perhaps that's just because I'm only seeing them in the context of this chapter. Cammy I'm not particularly fond of, if only because right now she fits the stereotype of a helpless child a little too closely. I will say, I'm cautious about liking Dios because he's your author-avatar. Making him intensely heroic and revered seems in bad taste, but that's largely a personal thing.

In terms of description, my first criticism is that occasionally you dip into a real-world comparison which is rather clumsy compared to the rest. For instance:

And upon the end of the trails was the hall of the Grand Council, a single building whose stature and structure would rival that of the architects of both Roman and Greek renaissance, multiplied by the Victorian era on a nuclear LSD-laced adrenaline compound.

It's not that the comparison is wrong, but it's stumbling over itself to make its point. It particularly falls apart at the end where "nuclear" comes into play, which I realise is supposed to add hyperbole, but ends up sounding silly. There's another line in there, about the chandeliers and their ornaments being compared to baseballs, which is similarly awkward because of the sharp contrast.

The Christian mythology you've worked in is really well wrought, overall. I do just wish some of the description wasn't quite so convoluted. Like it or not, that is the one thing I've always had an issue with when it comes to your writing: It's a bit overdone. There's a high degree of intricacy, but it sometimes becomes so dense I just want to read over it. It seems to run contrary to the poetry you've created, which is a shame because in some places, the natural sound of the words reinforces the images well.

Consider:

In a world of humans, the skyrise building structures would have found their way clear out of the stratosphere and beyond such a height they would no longer be visible to the eye of man. Yet in this place, unbound by laws and physics that such mortals who beheld it had come to know, their minds would almost begin to ache in trying to fathom the structural integrity and origin of a single of them, much less the vast multitudinous millions that rose from the world arm's extenuation toward them, even still, continuing for hundreds of miles behind them to encase the bio-mechanical moon locked in the soothing clutches of The Pillar's veiny platinum fingers as they sparkled with a fervent silvery luminosity.

This, in its entirety, describes something very beautiful, but it uses a great too many words to get there, and I don't think an editor so much as a co-writer who shares your penchant for imagery would be able to cope with it properly.

Also:

If anything was as brazen and unnatural that presented itself so vehemently of this world, it would indeed be the mere physical appearance of its denizens parading and dancing through the streets of faux-golden light. All women bore hair of great lengths, some spanning long beyond their own ankles, requiring that their hair be tied three times over itself in the visage of flowers and gardens in their hair––an image further enhanced by the long and airy feathers, three placed upon a single side of their golden tiaras reaching long above their cerulean, sapphire and cobalt hair that shone in a prism of pastel violets and lavish cyan hues even against the sterling amber and crimson lights of their artificial skyscape's sun.

This is a lot better, and could only be improved if it were broken up a little more.

It may be merely a matter of reducing the number of words so that the reader can more immediately grasp the image, or refining the rhythm of the words so they read more effectively. Where an editor alone can be of use is sentences like this one:

And within that hall, the suspicions of Dios were accurate to a fault, as Grand Duke Armas was already addressing the council on the matters by which he wished to speak.

Small grammar issues, a bit of clumsy repetition, but that's about it. That's really where an editor can do their work and not ruin your quality control.

Overall? Yeah, there's a lot to like here. It's colourful, inventive, and weaves in its mythology well. It's weakened by its verbosity and complicated means to receiving imagery though. You've certainly come a long way from when I last read your work, and I think I'd actually read this as a book now, but I'd still have a hard time with it because of the density of language.

Please, really do take it to heart: I am trying to help you and not be a dick in any way at all. I think you do need to address your own bias against me, however, because I did catch your pre-edit comment about me not having an imagination. Considering that I know more about your creative process than you do about mine, I'd say you have little justification for any such comment other than your own temperament towards me.

This, by the way, is the best piece of writing in the whole thing:

Tapestries of unfathomable size and length wavered from large-bore hooks embedded within their sides. Ten upon each side of the world, many multiple miles apart from one another that all were visible across the inverted lands. Upon each was a story of a mortal coil's strife, from birth unto death; the leftmost regions bore each a story of the Ten Commandments of God. And upon the rightmost region was a tale of each of The Tower's ten worlds, from the dawn of their conception to the end of their existence––embroidered in gold and silver threads, each bore a repeating series of Dios and the warring battles he engaged in within The Tower's downfall.

It's still long, but in a good way. It doesn't get too overblown, it has a punctuated rhythm, and it rolls around in the mind well. "Warring battles" is redundant, but I'm willing to forgive it because of the quality of the verse. It's good.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 02:51:14 AM by Hidoshi » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2010, 02:46:17 AM »

I have to say, you are being a bit unfair to Hidoshi here, honestly I agree with most of what he's said thus far.  Seems like you're taking the things he's saying as a personal attack, but based on what you've given to be critiqued I would say they are sound critiques.  As a writer myself, I just can't help but feel you're going about this the wrong way.  I think you should just write the story you want to present, whatever it is, and get feedback on it later on.  I'm not attacking your methods, but for me personally I feel as if focus grouping a story kind of cheapens it, especially when from what I gather from your comments, you are firm in the basic structure and foundation of your story to the point of defending it pretty vehemently.  

The other thing is, it sounds less like you are trying to craft a story, and more like you are trying to craft a world.  From what I am reading of your description it sounds like you have ideas for 5 different books.  I know you said you like to write long works (honestly it's not very fair to call a novel 250 page or shorter an instruction manual/novel intended for teens, just look at a novel like Heart of Darkness which doesn't even push 100 pages and is anything but light reading) but I see this being much more manageable and palatable as a group of shorter works than as one insanely huge work.

With all of that said, it all ultimately boils down to whatever story it is you've created in your mind.  The story will ultimately dictate the form the book needs to take in order to properly tell it, but with what you've presented thus far, it is hard to make heads or tails of what that story will end up being.  I agree with Hidoshi when he says you need to simplify it, because it is extremely convoluted and hard to understand what is presented.  That isn't to say the story ultimately will be, and I don't think that is what Hidoshi meant either, just that what you've presented is incredibly hard to follow because they are ultimately tiny, intricate pieces of what looks to be a rather complicated story.

I'd also say you should not worry at all about who your audience will be now.  That is going to change no matter what, especially if you are going to take as much time as you will need to.  And I think you(and really any sort of artist in general) would be mad to try to target a large general audience.  Some stories strike that cord where they do end up being massive sellers and appealing to almost everyone, but I am sure that the artist did not step into that work with that intention, they merely had their vision and set out to create it.  I also think what you have described so far would really appeal to a very niche audience.  

Anyway, I've said my piece (but who the hell am I, right?) and you will do with it as you please.  All I can say is good luck, this is certainly a pretty large project you've set out to take on and hopefully you ultimately achieve the vision you have.
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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2010, 03:43:15 PM »

This will take a long time to address what you've mentioned, and I actually like what you've said. In that, I mean you make valid points, and I should've just posted that up sooner so you could see my work, rather than me talking about it. Heh.

Anyway, you're right that I was out of line in earlier posts. Real life's not really an excuse, though, I ask you to consider that I am used to being, quite cruelly, ripped apart by Hollywood. I had a bit of an instant defensive reaction, which I oft do. There's other factors, but in the end, I'll be concise: I was a dick.

I'll try to address most of your post, though, if I don't, assume it's because I agree with what you've said.

John, Armas, and Dios all have very distinct personalities. The others, less so, and perhaps that's just because I'm only seeing them in the context of this chapter.
It's because of out-of-context, which is a limitation based on what you've read, so that's understandable. As a whole, War Chronicles' cast is in the realm of about 14 in total. Having a large canvas to work with them helped, as I dislike shallow characters.


Cammy I'm not particularly fond of, if only because right now she fits the stereotype of a helpless child a little too closely. I will say, I'm cautious about liking Dios because he's your author-avatar. Making him intensely heroic and revered seems in bad taste, but that's largely a personal thing.
This again is due to out-of-contextual nature, though, again, understandable for the aforementioned reason. As part of the story, Camisille is born mid-way through the story, with her mother being taken captive into Hell during pregnancy. In the story, she has more of a fearless side to her, in the regard that demons are a normal experience for her, and thus do not scare her. At this point in the story however, she's stricken with Pneumonia, and is actually very helpless
Quote
and dies during the apocalypse
.

As for Dios though, I feel I should note he's not the protagonist per se. His back story involves challenging God, his father, and inevitably being exiled from Heaven alongside Lucifer. Living on the Earth thereafter caused him, an Angel, to eventually decay into blaspheme and sin. In the story's canonical text, he is at one point viewed as a demon in the years 3500-3535. Living on the moon for hatred of what humanity has become, he returns to the Earth once per full moon, slaughtering, intentionally, religious individuals to invoke God's wrath––withdrawal symptoms of a Stockholm syndrome-esque need to be rebuked by God––anything to see his home again.

Which eventually involves summoning demons in bloody pentagrams just to get God's attention. After those five-hundred years, his once-pearly armor has grown ten inches think of blackened, seared blood and flesh. He becomes sealed and caged in the depths of the ocean for a thousand years, which to a divine being, feels like a single year.

Returning to a new world, and becoming entirely exiled by any living creature in a planet he once guarded during the creation of the stars and the Heavens, he no longer feels he has a purpose. His character carries a heavy connotation of "Immortality ≠ Invincibility," and thus, is less a 650,000,000,000 year-old war Angel, and more of a lost soul who has been rejected by the God that created him, and the humans he was born to protect.

He chooses to sleep beneath a Fairy Colony in northern Nevada, populated by, yes, fairies and giant psychic wolves.

Valesti, a word which in Italian, means "you are worth––" inevitably comes to find Dios in chains and with his wings wilted and molted. The fires above ground where this occurs rage to the point the charred and blackened blood upon his armor begins to melt upon Valesti's approach. Whereas Valesti and Dios himself do not see entirely eye-to-eye on matters, Dios requires a human to power him, being otherwise an empty shell of armor.

In the story, there are essentially two different ones being told in tandem. I vied to accomplish this via Valesti and Winter, a sex slave rescued from one of Dmitri's Chaos Trigger Nests in the story's opening. It later unfolds into the war of Dios and Dmitri, further fleshing out Winter's uncontrollable addiction to sexual abuse, and Valesti's uncontrollable tendency to let his emotions dictate his life––the very reason Dios requires him to accomplish his own goals.

Anyway, that's a lot of fucking text, stopping there now.

In terms of description, my first criticism is that occasionally you dip into a real-world comparison which is rather clumsy compared to the rest. For instance:

And upon the end of the trails was the hall of the Grand Council, a single building whose stature and structure would rival that of the architects of both Roman and Greek renaissance, multiplied by the Victorian era on a nuclear LSD-laced adrenaline compound.

It's not that the comparison is wrong, but it's stumbling over itself to make its point. It particularly falls apart at the end where "nuclear" comes into play, which I realise is supposed to add hyperbole, but ends up sounding silly. There's another line in there, about the chandeliers and their ornaments being compared to baseballs, which is similarly awkward because of the sharp contrast.

When writing this chapter, I'd actually just gotten done blowing through Neil Stephenson's Snowcrash, and I'm more than positive it influenced a lot of simile and metaphor in this chapter. At the same time, I try to use real-world comparisons for something that may be otherwise difficult to understand or visualize. Pretty sure I fell short there, though. Heh.

The Christian mythology you've worked in is really well wrought, overall. I do just wish some of the description wasn't quite so convoluted. Like it or not, that is the one thing I've always had an issue with when it comes to your writing: It's a bit overdone. There's a high degree of intricacy, but it sometimes becomes so dense I just want to read over it. It seems to run contrary to the poetry you've created, which is a shame because in some places, the natural sound of the words reinforces the images well.
This, I absolutely appreciate in what you've said. One of my larger goals with this story was to, as Shiguma has described to me before, "Xenogears done properly." I put an intense effort into giving things meaning, rather than hurling out obscure buzzwords with near-zero relevance.

EG: "Central Dogma." Seriously.

Consider:

In a world of humans, the skyrise building structures would have found their way clear out of the stratosphere and beyond such a height they would no longer be visible to the eye of man. Yet in this place, unbound by laws and physics that such mortals who beheld it had come to know, their minds would almost begin to ache in trying to fathom the structural integrity and origin of a single of them, much less the vast multitudinous millions that rose from the world arm's extenuation toward them, even still, continuing for hundreds of miles behind them to encase the bio-mechanical moon locked in the soothing clutches of The Pillar's veiny platinum fingers as they sparkled with a fervent silvery luminosity.

This, in its entirety, describes something very beautiful, but it uses a great too many words to get there, and I don't think an editor so much as a co-writer who shares your penchant for imagery would be able to cope with it properly.
Now that I re-read that, you're entirely right. I have a bad habit of, when something is large, vying to explain its intricacies gets the best of me. It's also nice to know someone was able to visualize what I wrote. I'd say I less pride myself on literary correctness, than I do on attempting to create an immersible world where, at one point or another, a reader may think "I want to go to this place myself."
This is due to a more philosophical belief of mine, in that I feel everybody needs to let go of life sometimes and be someplace else.

Also:

If anything was as brazen and unnatural that presented itself so vehemently of this world, it would indeed be the mere physical appearance of its denizens parading and dancing through the streets of faux-golden light. All women bore hair of great lengths, some spanning long beyond their own ankles, requiring that their hair be tied three times over itself in the visage of flowers and gardens in their hair––an image further enhanced by the long and airy feathers, three placed upon a single side of their golden tiaras reaching long above their cerulean, sapphire and cobalt hair that shone in a prism of pastel violets and lavish cyan hues even against the sterling amber and crimson lights of their artificial skyscape's sun.

This is a lot better, and could only be improved if it were broken up a little more.
I have a bad habit of not breaking up paragraphs at times, I'll admit. I try to keep them a decent length, though as you well know, concision is not my strongest suit. In your opinion though, when broken up, should I simply leave the majority of the text alone, add to it for the paragraphs linking together, or shorten it in the process?

Small grammar issues, a bit of clumsy repetition, but that's about it. That's really where an editor can do their work and not ruin your quality control.

Overall? Yeah, there's a lot to like here. It's colourful, inventive, and weaves in its mythology well. It's weakened by its verbosity and complicated means to receiving imagery though. You've certainly come a long way from when I last read your work, and I think I'd actually read this as a book now, but I'd still have a hard time with it because of the density of language.
In similar vein, I've been likened many times to Tolkien, which is good or bad depending on how you view it. I mean, let's be honest, the guy took six pages to describe a tree. I tried not to come off that way, though at times, I know it does.

Please, really do take it to heart: I am trying to help you and not be a dick in any way at all. I think you do need to address your own bias against me, however, because I did catch your pre-edit comment about me not having an imagination. Considering that I know more about your creative process than you do about mine, I'd say you have little justification for any such comment other than your own temperament towards me.
Truth be told, I thought I left that part in there even after editing it. Don't get me wrong when I say that, though. Picasso also had an imagination, and everybody hated his fucking guts while he was alive. When I say having a low imagination, I mean... well, more than I could really explain. Having boundaries and restrictions allows you to focus all your creative artistry into something, resulting, years later, in a blasphemously-skilled individual. In my case, I branch out a bit too much at times despite knowing my own fortés. If anything, looking back through this thread, understanding where my weaknesses lie is a good thing. I haven't written seriously in about a year, not feeling a challenge from it any longer.

Now I have a better understanding of where to improve, and that is a tremendous help for sure.

This, by the way, is the best piece of writing in the whole thing:

Tapestries of unfathomable size and length wavered from large-bore hooks embedded within their sides. Ten upon each side of the world, many multiple miles apart from one another that all were visible across the inverted lands. Upon each was a story of a mortal coil's strife, from birth unto death; the leftmost regions bore each a story of the Ten Commandments of God. And upon the rightmost region was a tale of each of The Tower's ten worlds, from the dawn of their conception to the end of their existence––embroidered in gold and silver threads, each bore a repeating series of Dios and the warring battles he engaged in within The Tower's downfall.

It's still long, but in a good way. It doesn't get too overblown, it has a punctuated rhythm, and it rolls around in the mind well. "Warring battles" is redundant, but I'm willing to forgive it because of the quality of the verse. It's good.

Humorously, and I say this in all sincerity, that was one of the parts of the chapter I almost wound up deleting because I hated it.

Infer what you will from that. Heh.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 04:15:17 PM by Dios GX » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2010, 03:58:08 PM »

Okay there were a lot of quote tags in the previous post. I dunno how many quotes a single post can handle, but I know it's not infinite. So, next post go.

I have to say, you are being a bit unfair to Hidoshi here, honestly I agree with most of what he's said thus far.  Seems like you're taking the things he's saying as a personal attack, but based on what you've given to be critiqued I would say they are sound critiques.  As a writer myself, I just can't help but feel you're going about this the wrong way.
Good call really. I've completed 13 books to date, and I've done them in a certain fashion. I'm not the type to not try to break something that's already working though, out of wonder if it can be rebuilt better.

I think you should just write the story you want to present, whatever it is, and get feedback on it later on.  I'm not attacking your methods, but for me personally I feel as if focus grouping a story kind of cheapens it, especially when from what I gather from your comments, you are firm in the basic structure and foundation of your story to the point of defending it pretty vehemently.
Couple years back, I was with my mother at her police station, and in the records room, it was run by about 14 different women aged 30-65. Every day my mom would return to work, they would hound her for the next chapter immediately as I'd written it. The book in question was a prequel to War Chronicles, and written in more of a pick-up-and-put-down method, because I knew the odyssey-length one wouldn't be a good "starting place," so to speak.

It wasn't so much a focus group though, as just listening to people's opinions of concepts, presentation and character depth. The story and theme are something I have set-in-stone, as I often write the ending of a story first, knowing where to build up to. In this method, I can continually (mentally) write and improve the ending to ensure a story, no matter how good, doesn't leave a sour taste in someone's mouth.

The other thing is, it sounds less like you are trying to craft a story, and more like you are trying to craft a world.
Guilty as charged. It's a hair's margin for putting in lore and backstory of a world into a story "properly," I'd say. I do my best to keep the reader informed of the world as the story unfolds, otherwise, nobody would know what the hell is going on.

From what I am reading of your description it sounds like you have ideas for 5 different books.  I know you said you like to write long works (honestly it's not very fair to call a novel 250 page or shorter an instruction manual/novel intended for teens, just look at a novel like Heart of Darkness which doesn't even push 100 pages and is anything but light reading) but I see this being much more manageable and palatable as a group of shorter works than as one insanely huge work.
Few points to make here.
As a whole, War Chronicles is 8 books in length, and tells four different stories. However, I wrote the main five that go from pre-apocalypse, into the apocalypse, and its aftermath, before I wrote the others. It was a choice to see what needed further explaining in prequels, and create origins for some of the otherwise more enigmatic aspects of the story.

With all of that said, it all ultimately boils down to whatever story it is you've created in your mind.  The story will ultimately dictate the form the book needs to take in order to properly tell it, but with what you've presented thus far, it is hard to make heads or tails of what that story will end up being.  I agree with Hidoshi when he says you need to simplify it, because it is extremely convoluted and hard to understand what is presented.  That isn't to say the story ultimately will be, and I don't think that is what Hidoshi meant either, just that what you've presented is incredibly hard to follow because they are ultimately tiny, intricate pieces of what looks to be a rather complicated story.
Point well-taken.

I'd also say you should not worry at all about who your audience will be now.  That is going to change no matter what, especially if you are going to take as much time as you will need to.  And I think you(and really any sort of artist in general) would be mad to try to target a large general audience.  Some stories strike that cord where they do end up being massive sellers and appealing to almost everyone, but I am sure that the artist did not step into that work with that intention, they merely had their vision and set out to create it.  I also think what you have described so far would really appeal to a very niche audience.
I've no doubt of that one bit. In fact, I once told someone "I'd rather have my work hated by millions and loved by a few thousand. There's a deeper personal connection with like-minded individuals, than a soulless mass-celebrated ideal."
For me, my goal with what I write isn't to be famous or make money. Similarly, if someone dislikes my work, I'd rather they dislike it with an informed opinion as now has occurred.

Anyway, I've said my piece (but who the hell am I, right?) and you will do with it as you please.  All I can say is good luck, this is certainly a pretty large project you've set out to take on and hopefully you ultimately achieve the vision you have.
One day, perhaps. Who knows? Maybe I'll be hated my whole life, leave my work to my children and 50 years from now they'll be superstars. It's only happened infinitely throughout history.

Anyway, as long as my work has, in some way, intrigued or entertained those who've read it, that's all I need to consider it a success. In that regard, I guess I'm pretty shallow. Irony.
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2010, 08:50:12 PM »

I would liken myself to the 22-year-old, adult, already written a novella and several short stories age range, even though I do like a Pokemon manual now and then.

Now that you've insulted me, what is it you're asking me to do?
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2010, 04:48:04 PM »

I dunno, get off your golden throne and get into the mud pit with the rest of the cool kids?
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2010, 09:03:36 PM »

And soil my crown? I think not.
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