Archive for » December 29th, 2007 «

"Spawn"

I am not going to go through and explain all of the phrases that non-players (and non Forgotten Realms players) may not understand right now. Maybe later I will come back and add in definitions. This is the beginning of a large base of writing I would like to do for Arion (Sir’ra would be here common name; Sr’tar’an Ka’tor’al Antu would be her true name). This is the beginning to her history which I have in my mind, visit this but do not have the skill to put eloquently to paper. I do not like that way the demon lord is portrayed here and will need to go back and repair that some day. I wrote this a long time ago during the second edition days.

The Story

Gently she padded dry the bath water from her milk white skin. Her vibrant green eyes glanced over the strong, more about handsome, shop half-elven male lying fast asleep in the bed near-by. Smugly she noted how easy it is to tempt them. The same routine every time.

“Brin” she called softly. “Brin” her delicate elven voice lilted quietly. Fast asleep from a night of passion that only she could induce. She carefully glanced about the room ensuring all was in order. She picked up her bloodpearl and ruby bracelet from the worn nightstand and gently closed the clasp. She pointed her finger at Brin and a green ray lashed forth and engulfed the sleeping noble and then disappeared.

Saer’ren placed her finishing kiss lightly upon his cheek as her innocent yet demure beauty shifted to her natural form. Vibrant green eyes became milky white. Short, golden brown hair became a coarse, long, and dark brown. Vestigial horns and large bat like wings burst forth. She unfolded and flexed her bat like wings while letting out a smug chuckle. How she loved her job. The sleeping Waterdehavian noble roused as Saer’ren shifted back to the Abyss where her master awaits.

As one of the most practiced and successful succubus’ in Esrutar’s harem, Saer’ren had the privilege of arriving in the center of the courtroom vice the outskirts of his onyx citadel. When the dark red, purple and sickly brown mists typical of her shifting dissipated she approached the throne. Her approach caused the 6 lumbering polearm wielding guards to part revealing the massive winged lord sitting upon his onyx and bone throne, scepter at side and Prissian on shoulder. Prissian was a chaos imp, the favored one. Their presence always made her uncomfortable, especially when dealing with the tempermental mortals. Upon reaching the top step leading to Lord Esrutar’s throne she bowed low and before she could say anything He spoke.

“Prissan tells me all went well”. His deep, resonant and layered voice echoed throughout the cavernous throne room seeming to come from everywhere. His pitch black, almost iridescent, eyes leveled to her. His crimson skin rippled as his corded muscles shifted to a more comfortable position.

“You expected less” she teased. The imp quietly cackled. Saer’ren snarled at Prissian baring her fangs. Prissian promptly scampered away fearing her wrath. Saer’ren’s temper towards the imps had cost Esrutar many of his best spies. If any other had even looked at his imp’s wrong they would immediately be chained down and thrown into the larva pits to be devoured alive.

“My plan is in motion” he stated to no one in particular. “Go, my love, to the Pit of Despair and touch one or a hundred if you like.” Sar’ren new what that meant. ‘Leave me. I have work to do.’ That was the only time she was not at his side. She left feeling insulted as usual at not being involved. The sound of a mortal scream followed by cruel laughter washed it all away.

Esrutar waved and Car’thran, an Arcanoloth, came forth dispelling his seclusion magic. Esrutar was anxious for this meeting to end for he did not trust Car’thran or any of his kind. They are the vultures of the Blood War, playing whatever side will give them the most profit. They had their uses, however limited.

“Her spawn is marked. You divine well Arcanoloth. She will bear it within the week and then you shall have all of what is yours. Half now – half later” “As was agreed”, Car’thran rasped, “a marked half breed for your part of Lord Sh’thracs True Name. A small price don’t you think.” Weary of Sh’Thrac’s antics and continuous disobedience, Esrutar was happy to give ‘them’ what ‘they’ desired hoping ‘they’ would deal with him so he did not have to. You never know who the Loths will deal with. It may be a demi-god or a lowly goblin. It will be whoever has the best price.

“of course!” Esrutar handed the Arcanonloth a sealed scroll case. Car’thran barely touched it and it disappeared. If it could smile, Esrutar could feel the Loth was. Car’thran, trusting in their pact, bowed low and vanished. Some how after dealing with the Loth’s he felt tainted, dirty – as if a Paladin had been in his midst.

A large cast iron vat was lowered from the upper chambers and set before the scheming lord. “Ahh! Snack time. ” he said to himself. Lemures, the unfortunate souls of those who made it here, writhed an squirmed in the vat. They were not tasty by any means, kind of like crunchy gruel if you could imagine that, but they always cheered him up. He grasped 2 of the 4′ lemures and paused a moment before tossing them in his mouth. He snickered. The mindless lemure knew not what was about to befall. He tossed them casually into his mouth and began munching. Their energy surged through his very being; he reveled as the flashes of every step of their short pathetic lives washed by. Every step that led them to come here. Every evil or slightly malign action they had ever done ran vividly through his mind. This was one of the redeeming factors being the lord of your own realm. He sighed and mused “I’m a soul man!”

The following week passed by uneventfully as Sar’ren’s stomach grew and grew from the alu-demon growing within. ‘The heat, the pressure!! Why can’t I move. I, I can’t see…..”, silent scream. The demonling began to shift and Saer’ren became uncomfortable. The thought of having a mortal thing within her did not make her happy either. “Get it out!!” Saer’ren screamed as the demonling moved. Her now seemingly frail 5’9″ body heaved with the pain of carrying a nearly fully formed alu-demon. Saer’ren appeared like a mortal women with an extra 200 lbs of fleshy stuff added to her stomach. A bloated unmoving women thing that spawns evil. The thought made Esrutar smile with pleasure. “Very well!” Esrutar chuckled sinisterly. When his iron corded fist hit her above her massively bloated stomach she flew across the room. Her scream was abrupt as she hit the floor. The pain blinded her to the instant the child hit the floor with a sickening wet smack. Amniotic ichor coated the entire floor making every step Esrutar took evident by the distinct sound of crunch-suck.

Saer’ren hated the next part. It was the same every time. It happened every time and there was nothing she could do about it. She crawled near the alu-demon and then it started. “Sr’tar’an Ka’tor’al Antu” she whispered. The true name of the child was carried wordlessly away by The Wind of Souls to be heard by none, yet deeply ingrained in the psyche of the newborn. “Sir’ra, I shall call her.” It was the same every time. True Name, Name, and then the four words. It was different for all sucubbi. But this was her birth ritual.

The sticky lump of alu-demon in fetal position lay unmoving on the floor seeming almost encased in a shell of her bat like wings. It reeked of rancid ichor. Saer’ren telepathically sensed for life and found that Sir’ra was alive. Esrutar roughly picked up Saer’ren and handed her to his guards. “Get her cleaned up.” Saer’ren, exhausted, stayed limp and said nothing. “Take the half-breed to the lemure pits until she recovers. Bring a pack of lemures to get this cleaned up”

A deluge of senses struck Sir’ra at once. The heat, the stench of sulpher and brimstone, death and decay, and the dull warmth of the rock she lay upon. The sounds of screams and cruel laughter, bubbling lava, and roaring, sputtering flames. The unintelligent lemures scattered as Sir’ra heaved up for her first breath of the dry, hot and acrid abyssal air. Gasp after gasp she clutched her head as she tried to sort it all out. After a while her breathing settled as each sight, sound, taste, scent and feeling became distinct and coherent. She lay rocking slightly on the ground in a pit with one entrance. She tried to get up but the pain searing though the left side of her body soon halted any movement. The dizziness set in and then the world began to swirl. She tried to focus to stop the world from spinning around and around and around. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, helping to clear her mind and to reduce the pain to a dull yet powerful throbbing through her entire body eyes and all. She knew something bad was about to happen but she did not know how or why, but she did.

She slowly stood up, careful to not make it any more painful than necessary. She warily stood up to face it what ever it was. A pack of pudgy doughboy looking things lumbered towards her hands extended from the only opening in the pit. “Let me be” she sent knowing she could not beat the two score of lemure. “Friends!” she sent, hands extended, desperate for a response. The lemure seemed to not notice as they pressed their ominous advance. Determined to not go down with out a fight she lunged at one hitting it twice solidly. The lemure was dead before it hit the ground, dull phosphorescent eyes glowing no more. The sudden surge of energy that coursed though her body from each hit startled her but served to accentuate their revitalizing energies. That moment allowed the rest of the pack to tackle her and bludgeon her unhindered. Her last conscious thought was wishing to be on the ledge of the pit that she could so clearly see in her mind.

"Of Books and Blades"

This little short story is written as part of a background for a character I played while I was in the Navy (~1995), epidemic named Jaerle Blackmaine. He was a Human Male Paladin dedicated to the St. George in the DM’s game world where Mages very commonly summon demons and other vile creatures to do their bidding. For those of you who are not familiar with D&D I will provide a brief summary of the things that you may not be familiar with at then end of the story. This was a Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition game. I have not really touched this up since then. It definitely needs work but there it is.

Chapter I – Prologue

There have been many a warrior to impart to me their wisdom on the subject of books. They have said “Books are useless! Books are for girls and cowardly wizards! When will a book deflect a steel blade! How did book smarts protect that merchant last week?” There was a time when my studies gave me a split second and saved my life.

Every week I delve further and further into the Cannon of St. George. Every week I find myself needing a library to research references made, points that were unclear or vague, or conclusions that interested me. My studies at the time brought me to an interesting point. Demons warp, if ever so imperceptibly, the area around them. A telltale shift in temperature, a slight distorting or slowing of senses, or uneasiness in animals, that feeling that you are being watched or are not alone. These are all things that if you are not looking for or actively monitoring for you will most definitely miss. Woe unto you my friend.

I had just finished my little venture into Kilaran’s Tomb. Worn and ragged from my battle with the undead thing formerly known as Kilaran. Charred by his spell flames, bludgeoned and lanced by his force spells, I was finally victorious. I fought until his lifeless body twitched no more. Exhausted from my climb down from his mountain aerie and stumbling through the treacherous Steel Spire mountains. Tired and hungered from lack of sleep and food. After three days of travel I finally emerged from the mountains to greet a deep red sunset and a cool breeze of the fast approaching night. The mountain trail I followed led me to the main road between the border-towns of Belgian and Melodeon. I dropped what I was left of my charred pack and sat down for a moment to celebrate leaving the mountains.

Chapter 2 – Entrance

Off in the distance I heard horses and wagons over the hill. Hoping at every moment for something friendly, anything friendly. Bandits in this area were cunning and very present. With my hand resting on the hilt of my sheathed sword, body poised to hide in the mountain pass, I waited as the first wagon cleared the hill. Strange looking wagon. Almost boxlike. Then I hear the music and singing. Happy and lilting voices that sounded strangely familiar. By the glory of St. George!! Gypsies!! Thankfully the gypsy’s patron was Kyrie – She who holds knowledge in the darkness of a night sky. Those who worship her hope to pierce the darkness to see the light. So they say. They are a harmless, eccentric lot. Anxiously I shouldered my pack and walked slowly towards the small, now 3 wagon, gypsy train. Fortunately, as I have read, gypsies tend to be very friendly and welcome travelers to their camp to share in the food and fun.

As I drew near, the wagon pulled off to the side of the road, probably to set camp seeming as it was dusk. The three stocky wagons pulled into a circle and upon arriving I found they had a fire burning. An older gentleman came out to greet me as I approached. A bright red scarf adorned his balding head. A loose silk shirt and baggy pant draped on his robust lean frame. A few rings and a golden necklace glinted in the falling sun’s dying rays. I was met with a firm handshake and a very thick accented “Vvelcome – you enjoy camp vith us?” I smiled, and with a sigh of relief, I nodded yes. He chuckled heartily, clapped me on the back, and escorted me into camp. He barked some words in their gypsy tongue and a lean young boy and two voluptuous ladies came over to relieve me of my burden. They fed me, mended my equipment, cleaned my clothes and bathed me.

Long flowing black tresses of hair cascaded down their backs and long eyelashes teased as they tended to me. Sliva and Avriel had the voluptuous curves that only young women can. The kind that beckoned you to bed , but yet kept you at your distance. Their bright green eyes had a mischievous sparkle in the moonlight that spoke of a naive, playful innocence. Silva’s low cut halter and split skirt did not leave much to the imagination. Avriel was a bit more conservative. She wore a form fitting tunic and pant. Both wore an assortment of necklaces, bracelets and rings. Silva wore gold that would attract attention to her. Gold grabs you attention and invites you to gaze. Avriel wore less and more conservative jewelry. They were definitely sisters. Some one is most definitely watching over me tonight.

The boy was young and restless, full of questions about my adventures and equipment. He was young maybe 12 or 13. Avriel and Silva, while kneading out my shoulders, shooed the boy away several times to let me relax. He always came back stick in hand fighting off imagined hordes of demons, undead and mages. The fathers music and the kneading of my aching shoulders, drowned out the boy. Kari, I think, he said his name was.

In the morning, refreshed from a restful and much needed night of sleep, I roused from my slumber to see Kari sitting there, my breakfast in hand. “You’ll make someone a good squire someday.” I said. His face lit up and he ran to his sisters and father jabbering away. They all smiled, chuckled, and sent him on his away. I now noticed two other wagons had joined our camp and filled in the circle. Next to me I found my equipment repaired and cleaned. I began to dress and gather my things wondering how wonderful it would be to live their happy carefree life. Free of worries and fear just day to day contentment.

I asked if they would mind if I escorted them to the next town. They accepted happily and rather relieved. Gypsies tend to be easy targets for bandits and any protection is welcome. The two new wagons had several horses tied to it as well as various trinkets. Several of the men were struggling with one of the horses. This black horse was well muscled and had a wild eyes. The gypsies are renown for horse taming. They seem to have some sort of bond, or empathy with horses. After about 10 minutes they quieted the animal down. In the process the horse nearly trampled them but their agile movements saved them. I was going to ask if they would like help but they asked me to keep back. After all they did this for a living. As I watched I noticed something in the animal’s eyes – an intense desire to unleash a hidden rage, something primal – not fear, it seemed too proud for that.

Chapter 3 – Clash

That’s when I noticed it. That feeling that something was watching and ready to pounce. I snapped ‘Reaver’ from it’s sheath. The blade thrummed with lust for the impending battle. I could feel the sword begging for the taste of demon’s blood. Before I had a chance to have ‘Reaver’ search for the creature I was batted aside by an unseen assailant. A demon appeared from no where – clawed, ugly and wingless. Damn mages!! The creature reached out and slashed Silva to rivens. Blood spilling forth like a fountain. splattering the ground with a crimson pool. Her lifeless body slumped to the ground. The carefree beauty drained from her body like a fly sucked dry from a spider. I strode forward, ‘Reaver’ in hand, and slashed at the creature with all my strength. That’s when the fire erupted all around engulfing half of the campsite. The charred remnants of the gypsies and their wagons smoked in the wake of the spell flames. The air stunk of burned flesh and smoke tinged with sulfur. Damned Mages!! Where you find demons you find mages. Never fails. I’m not sure which is more dangerous spell hurling buffoons or the vile creatures they summon.

The remaining gypsies through rocks at the wizard which now showed himself. He wore black robes adorned with crimson runes of the Ithar, the elder tongue of scholars. He bore a goatee and a golden circlet peeked from underneath the hood of his cloak. The wizards spell was fortunately disrupted by the rocks the gypsies were throwing. Arrogance shall be his downfall. He is definitely too close for his own good. The demon roared as ‘Reaver’ tore into it’s flesh. The slash went straight across its chest down to the bone. A brackish black ichor oozed from the wounds. I immediately gained it’s full attention. We brawled around for several moment knocking over one of the two remaining wagons and spilling equipment everywhere. I dodged the creatures powerful claws and slashed to no avail. The demon made a wild swing knocking ‘Reaver’ from my hand. I grew very pale at that moment. My spear, ‘Soul Seeker’, was nowhere in sight. The demon sneered in confidence, knowing that it could tear me apart now that I am unarmed.

It went to finish me off when Kari jumped in front of me brandishing a pitchfork and snarling like a pregnant owlbear. I cringed at the grating sound. Kari poked at the creature once. Three rivulets of ichor meandered down it’s scaly brown-red skin. It looked down at the pathetic morsel named Kari, chuckled, and raised to it’s full height. It’s unholy and inhuman roar crescendoed as its noticed the the child drew blood. It readied to decimate the child. With the creatures attention shifted in search for a weapon of some sort – anything. Several horses bolted this way and that as another explosion erupted. I could feel the pressure wave blow past me. One lone horse trotted through the smoke and skidded to a halt kicking up equipment. In the shards of equipment scattered I found ‘Soul Seeker’ at my feet.

I shoved Kari out of the way, picked up the spear and set it butt first to the ground. The demon blindly brought its claws down. It stopped abruptly as ‘Seeker’ slid into its head from underneath it’s jaw stopping as it hit the creatures skull. The demons massive claws raked both of my arms sending pain coursing through them. Ichor oozed quickly down the length of the spear shaft coating it in a sulfurous black ooze. The demon didn’t move after that. Bless St. George.!!

I dove, tumbled, and pick up my crossbow as an arrow of roiling acid whizzed by burning a lock of hair. The acrid scent of acid and burnt hair nearly knocked me to the ground. Adrenalin pumping I popped up to one knee and searched for where I thought the arrow came from. Wizards have a knack for being not seen. An annoyance I have tried to learned to deal with. I fired where I thought the acid arrow came from and missed. Damn!!! I ran over to remove ‘Soul Seeker’ from it’s resting place. It’s shaft was hot and slick with demon ichor. I fumbled and dropped it to the ground. The demon body dropped to the ground. AAhhh!!! I yelped. I heard the acid splash and sizzle, and I smelled it burning through my armor. I dropped to the ground clenching my shoulder from the searing pain. I, again, dove for my spear, popped up and carefully aimed for where I thought the wizard was. Thud!! Thud!! Thud!! Magical waves of energy plowed into me nearly taking my balance. I staggered underneath the force of the spell. I spotted the wizard for a moment as he disappeared again. I launched ‘Seeker’ and it found it’s target. The wizard screamed and, in an invisible death throw, dropped slowly to the ground.

Chapter 4 – New Beginnings….

All is still. I hear only the sound of my breathing and the burning of the wagons and gear. I take a moment and survey the carnage that magic has wrought. The only survivors of this massacre are me, Kari, and a horse, the proud horse. The burning contorted bodies of the gypsies stood out of the from the charred remnants of the wagons and equipment. A happy, harmless gypsy band slaughtered for what reason?? Probably for the wizards amusement or maybe he needed slaves. You never can tell.

Exhausted and severely wounded I plopped to the ground. Kari walked over and bore a look of shock, fear, and disbelief. Eyes wide and mouth open he look around. He looked to the carnage, back to me and back to the remnants of his life and family. Tears started to flow down his face. I felt sorry for and pitied the boy. I understood how he was feeling. I lost my family to battle as well. I looked around and back to Kari who was now looking at me. Now more tears fell. His face was calm and had a look of understanding. Like he knew what has just happened and understood that his life will never be the same.

His voice crackled “Need a squire?” I do not need an extra person hanging around to protect. I can barely keep my self alive. An extra mouth to feed and then I will need to train him. Besides…..I looked back to him and I saw a little of myself in him. I then remembered my word to him “Some day you will make someone a great squire.” I broke and I nodded yes. He smiled and settled the the ground sobbing.

If someone tries to tell you that studying will never help you. Only a trusty blade will give you respect and allow you to survive. Recount this tale and laugh at them. If I would not have recognized the signs I may have been crushed by the demons first attack as readily as the beautiful and innocent Silva was. Fortunately I was prepared and knew what to look for. Arm your self not only in steel but also in knowledge.

Definitions

Demons
As you would expect – foul creatures from another evil plane of existence.
Owlbear
A large creature with and ursine (bear like) body and an owls head and fore claws. These creatures have a nasty temperament and generally attack things on sight. They are thought to have been the byproduct of magical experimentation.
Paladin
A warrior dedicated to specific divine patron. Paladins are generally the elite military arm of a religion.
‘Reaver’
A magical bastard sword that was forged to hunt and destroy demons.
Undead
Creatures such as zombies, ghouls, and skeletons that are unliving.
‘Soul Seeker’
A magical and very accurate spear.

My Story Writing

She is also referred to as the ‘The Lady in Gray’ or ‘The Big “E”‘. What follows are what I had written when I had Arion’s Home up way back in the day.

Shipyard/Reactor Training

I reported on board the U.S.S Enterprise on August 26, no rx 1994 after a month of vacation. The Enterprise was moored in Portsmouth, buy Virginia, the shipyards. It was in the yards for a 5 year overhaul to upgrade many of the ships systems and to refuel the reactors as well. The Commanding Officer was Richard Naughton, who will later be known as Dick “The Storm Chaser” Naughton. He was a former A6-E Intruder pilot who did not like us nukes at all.

The ship was strewn with ventilation trunks and thick bundles of wires, and civilian shipyard workers were grinding the decks like there was no tomorrow, or time to sleep. There was dust, dirt and insulation everywhere. There were holes in the deck everywhere to lower various equipment to the bowels of the ship. If you were a neat freak you would have thought you were in hell. For most of us, regardless of the fact, it was our personal hell and was just as clean. If hell on earth was to be given a name it would be U.S.S Enterprise or the U.S.S Evil Rise as we would refer to her affectionately. When people would check on board for the first time we would say “Welcome to Hell. Shipmate. It only gets worse.”

I reported on board to the Reactor Training Division. We had 2 months to complete the pretraining prior to going to our respective divisions. The 2 months consisted of a review of the previous 2 years of school and a complete overview of all of the ships reactor and propulsion systems. I had to memorize many electrical and mechanical drawings. Aarrrgghhhh!! At the time we were still in the shipyards and we spent most of our time cleaning or rehab(ilitating)’ing a space. We were being “bitched” or pimped out to who ever needed help in their rehabbing projects. This made it a little bit difficult to actually do our job of the moment which was learn the ships systems. Needless to say there was a bit of bitterness and discontent in the newbies to the reactor department.

Eventually they kind of trained us and we were shipped to our respective divisions ready or not. I was shipped off to Reactor Controls Division 22 (RC 22). I was very fortunate to be apart of RC 22.

Sea Trials

During my stay onboard the Enterprise I went through 3 Commanding Officers (CO’s).The first CO I had was Captain Richard Naughton. He was CO through the overhaul and then through the initial sea trials of the Enterprise. During my first year on board The Big “E” I saw the roughest seas that I would see in 4 years of sea travel. Captain Naughton had the pleasure of taking the Enterprise out on it’s initial sea trials after having been in the shipyards for 5 years. I’m sure this gave him some form of perverse pleasure. To take the flagship of the US Navy and test it at her limits to ensure it is ready for combat. That is an awesome responsibility. To test the “Lady in gray and not destroy her or her crew. (Is it starting to sound like Star Trek yet!!!) We began sea trials, of course, as luck would have it, during hurricane season.

I could see Captain Naughton standing on the bridge of the Enterprise with a maniacal gleam in his eye; staring intently at the storm front and saying “Ahead flank – Cavitate!!” and then unleashing a laugh that borders on insanity and parallels that of the best villain. I swear every time we went to sea he made a “Bee-line” for the nearest hurricane or storm front. I did not mind the incessant rocking of the ship, it helped rock me to sleep Many other people, however, ended up hurling themselves to sleep, and they weren’t drunk. Your surprised, yes, I know, a sailor puking that is not drunk. Seas sick sailors?? It should be an oxymoron. Sailors puking and not being drunk is not natural. I happened and only Captain “the Storm Chaser” Naughton. I never thought waves would ever wash over the flight deck and the spray topping the Island. I instilled a sense of mortality and awe. It showed how powerful the forces of nature were and how, if anything were to go horribly wrong, how dead we would all be. Swallowed by the lightless depths never top be heard from. Victims of the storm. (Sorry! Flashbacks to my days on the Titanic!)

I was in Damage Control Central getting an oral board from the Reactor Officer, Captain.. There were monitors there that showed camera’s on the flight deck with waves washing over Wow is all I could think. After, that the rest of my sea timed seemed like cake. I had earned my sea legs in the best possible environment (or worst depending on you point of view). Try walking up a ladder with the ship rolling at forward – left side – backward – right side at 20 degree angles. Fun!!!!

Originally posted on August 24, information pills
2002 on my original site.

The day before I leave for the Czech Rep (Aug 24rth, 2002) I have my ten year class reunion. To which I do not know if I will be welcome, because the check that I wrote to be able to attend has not been cashed. I am in the process of finding out whether this is a problem or not.

I was, unfortunately, unable to make it to my five year class reunion. At the time I was in the Navy, stationed on the USS Enterprise out of Norfolk, Virginia, and unbeknown to me, leave should be arranged for well in advance during the summer, because everyone wants time off. Go figure! Silly me! So I was not able to go. Lesson Learned!

Now there is my 10 year reunion which I am very much looking forward to attending. To be able to see how the former jocks and beauty queens have fared in the real world; to see how the bullies, and seeming wonderful people have turned out. Life has a strange way of changing people, or not. I am hopefully not sounding trite here but in many cases “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I am curious to see how true this is with my classmates. To see how the journey to find oneself in the seeming vast and incomprehensible reality set before us after graduation has effected them, especially in light of how it has effected me. Some of us have a plan and some do not. For some of us life turned out as we expected, for better or worse. Some are completely held aghast and brought to there knees in surprise and horror at how their life has happened before them, seemingly with out control or the ability to forge it to their will or likeness. I think I have rambled enough….

Edited: 11/06/02

I have recently survived 10 weeks of of traveling abroad. I have had two and a half months wandering about 4 European countries: The Czech Rep, Germany, Belarus, and Russia, and now get the chance to write about my class reunion. Well, it was very interesting. Seeing people that I have not seen for 10 years. Most people were mellowed out versions of their high school selves, which in many cases is a great thing. Many were still the same, but just a bit older – keeping to their clicks and aloofness.

Much to my extreme horror, I felt much as I did in high school, shy, reserved and found it very difficult to start talking to people. I found that very disturbing. I have changed a lot since high school, too much, to allow myself to return to that type of behavior. I believe it was brought on merely by the fact that I will be around the people from high school, possibly having the same subconscious expectations that I had then. UGH! Most of the people were much more approachable, but some kept to the same cliques that they had in high school; but some wandered outside the confines of the clique or social group. That is a good thing! I talked to some people that I would normally have talked to and few that I would not have had the courage to speak to. It was quite the learning experience.

The way I felt during this kind of scared me, especially with my trip coming up. I cannot afford to have this shyness dominate me during my trip overseas. My primary goal in going there is to see friends and to get to know the people. I will not be able to do that if I feel this way. It did not bode well. Fortunately, I did not let it bother me too much. For much of my trip I was, well, rather brazen. That is a story for another page…

I enjoy writing small fantasy stories, healthful
especially of the Dungeons and Dragons sort. Writing is not easy and I struggle with keeping my verb tenses and point of views consistent. For those of you who are not familiar with D&D or its tropes may find it a little hard to follow since most of it is written with the D&D player in mind and so does not go into explaining what an orc or otyugh is as that is common knowledge amongst the players. If you can follow some it great. If you have questions feel free to post them and I will be more than happy to address them.

Should I proof read and spell check more? Definitely. IF you have corrections or suggestions let me know.

Hopefully you will find some enjoyment in it.

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10 Year Class Reunion

She is also referred to as the ‘The Lady in Gray’ or ‘The Big “E”‘. What follows are what I had written when I had Arion’s Home up way back in the day.

Shipyard/Reactor Training

I reported on board the U.S.S Enterprise on August 26, no rx 1994 after a month of vacation. The Enterprise was moored in Portsmouth, buy Virginia, the shipyards. It was in the yards for a 5 year overhaul to upgrade many of the ships systems and to refuel the reactors as well. The Commanding Officer was Richard Naughton, who will later be known as Dick “The Storm Chaser” Naughton. He was a former A6-E Intruder pilot who did not like us nukes at all.

The ship was strewn with ventilation trunks and thick bundles of wires, and civilian shipyard workers were grinding the decks like there was no tomorrow, or time to sleep. There was dust, dirt and insulation everywhere. There were holes in the deck everywhere to lower various equipment to the bowels of the ship. If you were a neat freak you would have thought you were in hell. For most of us, regardless of the fact, it was our personal hell and was just as clean. If hell on earth was to be given a name it would be U.S.S Enterprise or the U.S.S Evil Rise as we would refer to her affectionately. When people would check on board for the first time we would say “Welcome to Hell. Shipmate. It only gets worse.”

I reported on board to the Reactor Training Division. We had 2 months to complete the pretraining prior to going to our respective divisions. The 2 months consisted of a review of the previous 2 years of school and a complete overview of all of the ships reactor and propulsion systems. I had to memorize many electrical and mechanical drawings. Aarrrgghhhh!! At the time we were still in the shipyards and we spent most of our time cleaning or rehab(ilitating)’ing a space. We were being “bitched” or pimped out to who ever needed help in their rehabbing projects. This made it a little bit difficult to actually do our job of the moment which was learn the ships systems. Needless to say there was a bit of bitterness and discontent in the newbies to the reactor department.

Eventually they kind of trained us and we were shipped to our respective divisions ready or not. I was shipped off to Reactor Controls Division 22 (RC 22). I was very fortunate to be apart of RC 22.

Sea Trials

During my stay onboard the Enterprise I went through 3 Commanding Officers (CO’s).The first CO I had was Captain Richard Naughton. He was CO through the overhaul and then through the initial sea trials of the Enterprise. During my first year on board The Big “E” I saw the roughest seas that I would see in 4 years of sea travel. Captain Naughton had the pleasure of taking the Enterprise out on it’s initial sea trials after having been in the shipyards for 5 years. I’m sure this gave him some form of perverse pleasure. To take the flagship of the US Navy and test it at her limits to ensure it is ready for combat. That is an awesome responsibility. To test the “Lady in gray and not destroy her or her crew. (Is it starting to sound like Star Trek yet!!!) We began sea trials, of course, as luck would have it, during hurricane season.

I could see Captain Naughton standing on the bridge of the Enterprise with a maniacal gleam in his eye; staring intently at the storm front and saying “Ahead flank – Cavitate!!” and then unleashing a laugh that borders on insanity and parallels that of the best villain. I swear every time we went to sea he made a “Bee-line” for the nearest hurricane or storm front. I did not mind the incessant rocking of the ship, it helped rock me to sleep Many other people, however, ended up hurling themselves to sleep, and they weren’t drunk. Your surprised, yes, I know, a sailor puking that is not drunk. Seas sick sailors?? It should be an oxymoron. Sailors puking and not being drunk is not natural. I happened and only Captain “the Storm Chaser” Naughton. I never thought waves would ever wash over the flight deck and the spray topping the Island. I instilled a sense of mortality and awe. It showed how powerful the forces of nature were and how, if anything were to go horribly wrong, how dead we would all be. Swallowed by the lightless depths never top be heard from. Victims of the storm. (Sorry! Flashbacks to my days on the Titanic!)

I was in Damage Control Central getting an oral board from the Reactor Officer, Captain.. There were monitors there that showed camera’s on the flight deck with waves washing over Wow is all I could think. After, that the rest of my sea timed seemed like cake. I had earned my sea legs in the best possible environment (or worst depending on you point of view). Try walking up a ladder with the ship rolling at forward – left side – backward – right side at 20 degree angles. Fun!!!!

Originally posted on August 24, information pills
2002 on my original site.

The day before I leave for the Czech Rep (Aug 24rth, 2002) I have my ten year class reunion. To which I do not know if I will be welcome, because the check that I wrote to be able to attend has not been cashed. I am in the process of finding out whether this is a problem or not.

I was, unfortunately, unable to make it to my five year class reunion. At the time I was in the Navy, stationed on the USS Enterprise out of Norfolk, Virginia, and unbeknown to me, leave should be arranged for well in advance during the summer, because everyone wants time off. Go figure! Silly me! So I was not able to go. Lesson Learned!

Now there is my 10 year reunion which I am very much looking forward to attending. To be able to see how the former jocks and beauty queens have fared in the real world; to see how the bullies, and seeming wonderful people have turned out. Life has a strange way of changing people, or not. I am hopefully not sounding trite here but in many cases “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I am curious to see how true this is with my classmates. To see how the journey to find oneself in the seeming vast and incomprehensible reality set before us after graduation has effected them, especially in light of how it has effected me. Some of us have a plan and some do not. For some of us life turned out as we expected, for better or worse. Some are completely held aghast and brought to there knees in surprise and horror at how their life has happened before them, seemingly with out control or the ability to forge it to their will or likeness. I think I have rambled enough….

Edited: 11/06/02

I have recently survived 10 weeks of of traveling abroad. I have had two and a half months wandering about 4 European countries: The Czech Rep, Germany, Belarus, and Russia, and now get the chance to write about my class reunion. Well, it was very interesting. Seeing people that I have not seen for 10 years. Most people were mellowed out versions of their high school selves, which in many cases is a great thing. Many were still the same, but just a bit older – keeping to their clicks and aloofness.

Much to my extreme horror, I felt much as I did in high school, shy, reserved and found it very difficult to start talking to people. I found that very disturbing. I have changed a lot since high school, too much, to allow myself to return to that type of behavior. I believe it was brought on merely by the fact that I will be around the people from high school, possibly having the same subconscious expectations that I had then. UGH! Most of the people were much more approachable, but some kept to the same cliques that they had in high school; but some wandered outside the confines of the clique or social group. That is a good thing! I talked to some people that I would normally have talked to and few that I would not have had the courage to speak to. It was quite the learning experience.

The way I felt during this kind of scared me, especially with my trip coming up. I cannot afford to have this shyness dominate me during my trip overseas. My primary goal in going there is to see friends and to get to know the people. I will not be able to do that if I feel this way. It did not bode well. Fortunately, I did not let it bother me too much. For much of my trip I was, well, rather brazen. That is a story for another page…

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Some Experiences Aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65)

She is also referred to as the ‘The Lady in Gray’ or ‘The Big “E”‘. What follows are what I had written when I had Arion’s Home up way back in the day.

Shipyard/Reactor Training

I reported on board the U.S.S Enterprise on August 26, no rx 1994 after a month of vacation. The Enterprise was moored in Portsmouth, buy Virginia, the shipyards. It was in the yards for a 5 year overhaul to upgrade many of the ships systems and to refuel the reactors as well. The Commanding Officer was Richard Naughton, who will later be known as Dick “The Storm Chaser” Naughton. He was a former A6-E Intruder pilot who did not like us nukes at all.

The ship was strewn with ventilation trunks and thick bundles of wires, and civilian shipyard workers were grinding the decks like there was no tomorrow, or time to sleep. There was dust, dirt and insulation everywhere. There were holes in the deck everywhere to lower various equipment to the bowels of the ship. If you were a neat freak you would have thought you were in hell. For most of us, regardless of the fact, it was our personal hell and was just as clean. If hell on earth was to be given a name it would be U.S.S Enterprise or the U.S.S Evil Rise as we would refer to her affectionately. When people would check on board for the first time we would say “Welcome to Hell. Shipmate. It only gets worse.”

I reported on board to the Reactor Training Division. We had 2 months to complete the pretraining prior to going to our respective divisions. The 2 months consisted of a review of the previous 2 years of school and a complete overview of all of the ships reactor and propulsion systems. I had to memorize many electrical and mechanical drawings. Aarrrgghhhh!! At the time we were still in the shipyards and we spent most of our time cleaning or rehab(ilitating)’ing a space. We were being “bitched” or pimped out to who ever needed help in their rehabbing projects. This made it a little bit difficult to actually do our job of the moment which was learn the ships systems. Needless to say there was a bit of bitterness and discontent in the newbies to the reactor department.

Eventually they kind of trained us and we were shipped to our respective divisions ready or not. I was shipped off to Reactor Controls Division 22 (RC 22). I was very fortunate to be apart of RC 22.

Sea Trials

During my stay onboard the Enterprise I went through 3 Commanding Officers (CO’s).The first CO I had was Captain Richard Naughton. He was CO through the overhaul and then through the initial sea trials of the Enterprise. During my first year on board The Big “E” I saw the roughest seas that I would see in 4 years of sea travel. Captain Naughton had the pleasure of taking the Enterprise out on it’s initial sea trials after having been in the shipyards for 5 years. I’m sure this gave him some form of perverse pleasure. To take the flagship of the US Navy and test it at her limits to ensure it is ready for combat. That is an awesome responsibility. To test the “Lady in gray and not destroy her or her crew. (Is it starting to sound like Star Trek yet!!!) We began sea trials, of course, as luck would have it, during hurricane season.

I could see Captain Naughton standing on the bridge of the Enterprise with a maniacal gleam in his eye; staring intently at the storm front and saying “Ahead flank – Cavitate!!” and then unleashing a laugh that borders on insanity and parallels that of the best villain. I swear every time we went to sea he made a “Bee-line” for the nearest hurricane or storm front. I did not mind the incessant rocking of the ship, it helped rock me to sleep Many other people, however, ended up hurling themselves to sleep, and they weren’t drunk. Your surprised, yes, I know, a sailor puking that is not drunk. Seas sick sailors?? It should be an oxymoron. Sailors puking and not being drunk is not natural. I happened and only Captain “the Storm Chaser” Naughton. I never thought waves would ever wash over the flight deck and the spray topping the Island. I instilled a sense of mortality and awe. It showed how powerful the forces of nature were and how, if anything were to go horribly wrong, how dead we would all be. Swallowed by the lightless depths never top be heard from. Victims of the storm. (Sorry! Flashbacks to my days on the Titanic!)

I was in Damage Control Central getting an oral board from the Reactor Officer, Captain.. There were monitors there that showed camera’s on the flight deck with waves washing over Wow is all I could think. After, that the rest of my sea timed seemed like cake. I had earned my sea legs in the best possible environment (or worst depending on you point of view). Try walking up a ladder with the ship rolling at forward – left side – backward – right side at 20 degree angles. Fun!!!!

Naval Schools

The summer prior to my senior year (summer of 1991) I enlisted in the Navy via their D.E.P. much to my friends’ and family’s dismay. I have goals in life and in order to reach them I knew that I had to go into the military. My grades in high school were poor and I needed to better prepare myself for life and college. I needed to learn more discipline and who to study.

The Navy experience gave me everything that I wanted to reach my goals.

I enlisted into the Naval Nuclear Power Program as an Electronics Technician/ Reactor Operator. I have never studied so much in my entire life.

The first school, sick Nuclear Field “A” School (NFAS – Orlando, disinfection Florida), concentrated on electronics theory and repair specializing in radar. It was a 2 year Electronics Technician school condensed into 6 months of hell. I studied an average of 65 hours per week to pass.

The second school was Naval Nuclear Power School (NPS – Orlando, Florida) which has been rated as the second hardest school in the nation, second only to M.I.T. in schools with a technology based curriculum (at least that is what we were told). They effectively crammed an associates degree in Nuclear Engineering into 6 months of schooling. Power School had the Light Side for the first half and then we moved over to the Dark Side. Power School taught me nuclear physics, reactor theory, fluid flow, thermal dynamics and chemistry. I studied an average of 75 hours per week to survive, barely survive.

The last school was Prototype (Charleston, South Carolina). It was a 6 month lab. We did shift work on a sub which was moored to a pier. The sub was gutted except for the components required for reactor operation. We spent 6 months learning how to do our various jobs. We had to qualify several jobs; from Reactor Operator and Throttleman, to Electrical Operator and Phone Talker.

The entire process of going through all 3 of the schools is referred to as going through the Pipeline”. All of the tests were essay tests. My head hurts just thinking about it. To qualify each of our jobs, referred to as watches, we had to pass an oral board. The board members consisted of senior civilian trainers and senior Naval Officers and Enlisted personnel, usually totaling 4 – 5 people. Qualifying was high stress and high pressure. the attrition rate for the pipeline is 50% from start to finish and I made it through it. =)

The greatest thing I learned from all of this is how to learn. I learned how to study and what works well for me to learn something and this served me well through my following college years.