Friday, December 20, 2019

Things I have learned since joining AO3

*I should not give kudos if I haven't read the whole story; there's no way to revoke it. (I do not mean to rec or associate with Persephone's Waltz, but I'd already clicked the kudos tag by the time I found the sex scene.)
*Tag search doesn't help very much if you're looking for things without commonly known terminology, e.g. goudere characters.
--Gouderes in particular, despite being absolutely hilarious in my (very limited) experience, seem to be nearly-unknown as an archetype. This really ought to be rectified.
*Despite having rather a lot of neat features, Archive Of Our Own does not appear to support personal bios/profile posts. Hence why I'm writing this here.
A great deal of the learning curve would've been simplified I'd actually seen the instructions earlier.
*The 'Mark for Later' feature is extremely convenient, particularly for tab management.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Cenotaph Blade

Hi. This might be from the Binding Universe, but perhaps not. I'm not entirely sure it fits.

On a high cliff, in a faraway country, there is a monument. It is a long slab of metal, upon which are engraved many words, in many languages, and it is capped with a short pole.

There is a legend, in that country, that the monument was once a sword, that each word on it's surface is one of the names of it's victims, and that it swelled to include the new one whenever it took a life. There is but one exception; an old, old inscription on the hilt, reading: "Wonders Cease".

The legend says that the sword has been taken up many times, by many wielders, but not once lost or stolen, and that the last great hero of the land, weary of it's weight, planted it in a cliff near where it was first forged. He went his way, and never took up arms again.

Perhaps it is true.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kurlin Fubukinov (Observed Universe)

Kurlin Fubukinov has been several things, including freelance spy, professional dance instructor, handyman, and most recently, soldier. He has been a soldier for a very long time.
A blond immigrant, raised by loving but sickly parents, he had to support himself from a fairly early age and grew quite good at it. Unfortunately, he was just barely old enough to get caught in the last major military draft, and was forced into military service.
There, his build and stature would normally have gotten him a position as a heavy weapons specialist, if he hadn’t abruptly shown enough talent as a Connector before his final placement to justify retraining.

When he debuted in the field he attracted several Observers, and upon confirmation that he was the source of their interest, he was immediately promoted to Advanced Forces, where he served for nearly a decade before assignment to Akabane's experimental commando squad, alongside Vanka.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thousand Hand School (Prismatic Universe)

Hi. The author doesn't even know why he didn't post this earlier. Except that apparently, he did. He's edited it's replacement, so it is now a second draft, at least.

The Thousand Hand School of Darkshaping is a somewhat obscure school of martial arts. It was developed in the eleventh century as an offshoot of prosthetics research, and focuses on duplicating one’s limbs both on their body and in their environment.
Much of the reason for its obscurity is its difficulty, as it requires both precise casting of Darkness to mold one’s own limbs, and then a measured release that preserves the form both during release and in transit. Another reason is it is usually found to be unnerving, partly because Lightwielding is used to move the generated limbs.
The main reason it's survived is its speed. By relying so heavily on self-lensing their constructs (a technique where Light or Darkness is filtered through the caster's body before casting, greatly speeding formation at the cost of having a fixed point of origin and, in the case of Lightwielding, considerable risk), Thousand Hand techniques are extremely fast - and by using minimal amounts of Light to move one's constructs without actually reshaping them, it stays that way, while remaining surprisingly versatile.
More advanced Thousand Hand techniques involve varying the shape, size, and to a limited degree the materials of the generated limbs, and eventually grew to include modifying one's regular limbs on a temporary or permanent basis. As body-modification disciplines go it's quite limited, but remarkably safe.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Vaccine Williams

Hi. The author said it would be a later time zone, didn't he?
Kindly ignore the fact that on no time zone on Earth is it still Thursday.

Veronica Williams is one of the most widely known and feared mages on the planet. She was a medic, one of the first mages of the Fourth Timeline to truly attempt to test the boundaries of what magic could be used to heal, and was reasonably good at it, but she is far more widely known as Vaccine Williams, first Plaguemonger and creator of Windblight.

A rough timeline:
  1. Veronica secures government research grant to develop cures for cancer, among other things. Veronica has early success towards developing a spell that can manipulate biology.
  2. Other branch of government threatens to have her grant revoked unless she shares her work with their supersoldier project.
  3. Veronica refuses, other branch of government sends mage team to apprehend her and recover her notes.
  4. Veronica completes Windblight and uses it to kill retrieval team. Veronica decides that her work on biological manipulators is too dangerous to make public, destroys her notes, and flees.
  5. Veronica is labeled a terrorist, adopts the nickname Vaccine.
  6. Some time passes. Attempts to kill or apprehend her slowly peter out. Vaccine discovers that the supersoldier project that attempted to co-opt her research has used her blood as the base for several Artificial Nephilim.
  7. She attacks the project’s main facility, and decides to adopt her infant clones, Sorcery, Alchemy, and Larceny. There’s a fourth, seemingly empty growth tank, which she destroys with the others. Somewhere near this point she appears to have made the acquaintance of the being known as Trigger, and they have become friends.
  8. The failed fourth clone, little more than a piece of spine, is used as the basis for Ivory.

Sorcery, Alchemy, and Larceny are magically altered clones of Vaccine, technically classifying them as Artificial Nephilim. Alchemy’s modifications were based Omnicrafter Rings, but the other two’s origins are unknown. Sorcery’s powers seem to be based on complex effects, mostly blessings and curses, and Larceny’s powers appear to involve portals. Sorcery’s official name is Canum, and Alchemy’s is Solen. Larceny’s is unknown.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

First Episode Death Scene

As the author actually forgot to update last week, he's also finally updated the Links page. He's quite proud of this snippet, as well; it's the beginning to a Choose your Own Adventure-style story, that shall probably involve alchemy. And violence, lots of violence.

Ugh. I think there’s more shrapnel in my gut than intestine, at this point. The blood’s mostly stopped, that’s probably a bad sign.
The pillar behind me is hard, but not cold anymore. I should hope so, I’ve bled over it long enough. How long has it been, anyway? A minute? An hour? Not long enough for that guy to stop singing, at least. I keep hearing snatches, but it’s so hard to make out. “You are my sunshine… when thou art near me… thy Light has brought me… to~o this place...”
What is he singing? Why is he there? Does he know I’m alive?
Was he the one who tried to kill me?
Ow. I feel sick.

The viewpoint of a woman, running from some other figures. Blue uniforms? But blurry, I - she’s? running. Surrounded. She stops. She’s holding something. Stabs it into her wrist. Laughs. Her features start to change, hair grows longer, fanned out by gunfire. Gunfire? Hair fanned out by the gunfire, as it riddles her body.
My body. I’m standing, laughing. My clothes are shredded, but the blood’s obscuring that. I’m in a clearing - alleyway? Plaza? Somewhere small and circular, in the city. Around me, there are a bunch of people on the ground, riddled with bullets. There’s a lot of blood here. I’m still laughing. My mind is hazy, but laughing feels good. I feel good. Euphoric. Weirdly so, like there’s also nausea, or maybe hints of pain. Would those be bad? It seems like it, but I can’t tell.

[ ] Start investigating the people on the ground.
--[ ] You need clothes. You think you ought to feel cold.
--[ ] Make sure they don't get up again.
--[ ] They might need help.
--[ ] They’re just interesting. (Default)
[ ] Run. You might not be safe here. You remember being chased.
--[ ] There’s a path just a little to the right of where you’re facing. Were you going that direction?
--[ ] Up one of the walls. Could you do that, before? It feels obvious.
--[ ] Out the alley behind you. They won’t be expecting that.
[ ] Examine yourself.
--[ ] Start playing with your hair. Partway down, it changes color! Where it's not bloodstained, that is.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Boss List (Binding Universe)

Hello. The author was quite sure it was still Thursday, but apparently he was an hour off. The most likely culprit is Daylight Savings Time.
In any case, this is a list of bosses in a videogame the author had been scripting, but considering it's age, likely incomplete.

Bunkerbuster: A heavy assault, antiarmor, and anti emplacement unit. Early model, fed enough weapons that it’s grown beyond the original size and firepower specifications, at the cost of gaining enough independence to be a potential hazard if allowed to develop further. The project was shelved due to lack of subtlety, precision, or low cost per unit compared to the newly developed Wraith units, and the only working prototype was kept at the main storage facility as a guard dog/building specific mascot that rarely saw combat. (But was still pleasantly intimidating, and could destroy anything else stored in that warehouse if it escaped.) Vant crossed paths with it fairly early in his rampage, and the guards only started getting really serious after he destroyed it in three minutes and consumed the remains. It was four legged, had six rocket launchers, two to each arm, one each for the shoulders, and its four claw legs had the dual purpose of allowing it to brace itself and dig through almost all materials. A head-mounted cutting laser was intended for later designs, but never implemented.

The Lords of Silence: The Twelve Lords of Silence, four of which are reserved for the Queen of Dead Echoes’ honor guard. They are all weaker, weaponless, nonsentient imitations of her. Fought twice, once when the eight deployed as a defense against airstrikes drive Vant back indoors, where they don’t have enough room to maneuver, and the second time shortly after Vant absorbs Bombshell, where he’s actually able to hit them. They get called back shortly after he starts killing them, but he still gets at least three. He is, however, incompatible with their masks and robes, as they’re designed to show absolutely no identity, and conceptually opposed to his nature as a face-stealer variant.

Rook: The leader of the elite squad of security androids native to the facility. Essentially a flying, better armored, ridiculously fast Shock Trooper, it uses rockets placed strategically around it’s body to outpace most targeting systems, including Vant’s, and has an inherent immunity to homing effects. Four working copies have been made, and trained in assistive movement, but mass production was being held off until a solution could be found to the glitch that caused them to pause when they made contact with each other. The four prototypes ambushed Vant soon after the Lords of Silence drove him back inside, but he was (predictably) able to exploit the glitch to defeat and consume them.

Yuuyel: A Machine King commando sent to investigate the facility for completely unrelated reasons, who ended up crossing paths with Vant. Vant presumed he was another guard, Yuuyel decided that the rampaging robotic abomination was probably something he was allowed to shoot, and they dueled. He was also presumed to be working with Vant from approximately the minute he made himself known, and the “shoot first, questions later” attitude of the base security only added to SRF's legal embarrassment after the fact.
Yuuyel is the protagonist of Yuuyel Mode, which follows his misadventures as he attempts to use his Covert Entry Warrant and stealth specialization to discreetly sweep the Sulieman Research Facility for highly illegal weapons, only to be mistaken for an infiltrator working with the Rogue (Vant), and shot at. Uses a rocket launcher with an underslung plasma cutter, and has a grappling hook launcher attached to each limb. The trick to defeating him is to attack his grappling lines with heat or cold, and use explosives when he tries to hide. Electrocuting them also works, but only if he’s not grounded at the time.
(Author's Note: I designed this guy well before I ever played the unfortunately-named Noitu Love series. I attribute any resemblance to Rilo Doppelori solely to the fact that both robots and rocket launchers are cool.)

Bombshell: A research subject, Bombshell was believed to be a conglomeration of severely damaged Bluefire Drone, several Type III Combat Doppelgangers with the basic machinegun loadout, and a recently shot down jet fighter. The working theory was that the Type II Artificial Wraith had attempted to repair itself with nearby materials and accidentally absorbed the not-quite-metal of a mostly dead Combat Doppelganger, which was looking for new parts to copy. It is believed to have either then shot down or merely recovered a previously crashed fighter/bomber, and proceeded to absorb it. It is known to be mostly still loyal to the U.S. military, and capable of flight, transformation between several preset modes, and generating complex ammunition types, all facilitated by the 'Bluefire' matter reorganization phenomenon. It can also apparently make generated projectiles explode into Bluefire on contact, suggesting more innovation than normally expected of a drone, and was being vetted for tampering before it was destroyed by Vant.
(Author's Note: Imagine a robot grim reaper without the scythe, wrapped in blue flames, whose cape is basically a miniature, curved/split-into-four-'petals' Blackbird plane. And the skeleton can vanish as the cape becomes a plane again. That's Bombshell, and he's a Mirror Boss to Vant.)

Tanner Hobson: An optional, hidden boss, she made a segmented whip/chain/club out of pistols, with hinges attached to the bottom of the barrel and the back of the slide. The triggers were also removed, although the trigger guard was kept for the handle. While it was theoretically possible to reload manually, she kept it loaded with magic, and designed the hinges such that they couldn’t end up pointing any of the barrels at herself with any ease. She made it with facility supplies, deducted from her own paycheck, as something of a hobby, and used the working prototype to attack Vant at least partially because she wanted to see how well it worked. Put up a reasonable fight, and ran after being disarmed. Vant was unable or unwilling to follow.

The Queen of Dead Echoes: An attempt to copy the Dead Messengers, with several misconceptions about their actual creation process. As a result, she’s powerful but quite flawed, and her weapon, Piercing Echo, was created for her and bonded to her at birth, unlike a true Dark Nature. Her actual inherent powers allow her to replicate or cancel sounds that occurred in the local area, including shockwaves, and travel at the same speed. This allows her to match velocities with supersonic projectiles, one major distinction from the Lords of Silence, and she can also produce noise rather than simply modulating silence, however they do share in common the inability to move slower than the speed of sound. Her movement abilities are shared with her weapon, which takes the form of a five pointed star that splits into psuedo boomerangs. Freeing her is Vant’s objective, although she is quite possibly the final boss.