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TimeChaser

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About TimeChaser

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  • Birthday 07/28/1981

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    Graduated University, majored in English/Writing
  • theOtaku User Name
    TimeChaser
  1. TimeChaser

    Writing Doctor Who - The Orion Connection

    [quote name='DeLarge'][SIZE=1]I really enjoyed reading this, I'm on something of a Doctor Who trip now the new series has started over here, and this stood up very well. I'm hoping you continue this - I'm quite intrigued to see a description of your Doctor, whether you're writing for an existing incarnation or created your own. Either way, good job and hopefully you'll keep it up. [/SIZE][/QUOTE] Thanks for the comment. :animesmil I was beginning to think no one here had actually bothered reading this. The Doctor in this is my own version, though influenced a bit by Tennant, although personality-wise I'm just going for the way I think the Doctor would act. There'll be a more precise physical description of him later on. Oh, and the end of Chapter 1 has been modified now. Ran into trouble with the narrative and had to go back to add a few things. Here's the next installment. [B]Chapter 2[/B] With great distaste, Hol Fedaren watched his partners sitting down to dinner. Their plates were piled with whatever they could scrounge form the kitchen, mounds that quickly diminished as they literally shoveled the food down to a chorus of loud, lip-smacking chewing. It was enough to put anyone off, especially someone with Hol's sense of propriety. "Wot'sa matter, Hol," asked Kerek around a mouthful of food, "you passing up grub this decent?" "I don't ransack other people's larders without permission, and neither should you." He wiped a stray crumb off his jacket. "We chased that bloody 'Roid all day, s'exhuastin' work. You can't blame a guy for being famished." Hol stared down his nose at them. "Keep eating like that and you might find a new job as a parade balloon. I only work with you because by some miracle you get the job done. In all other ways I find you both quite repugnant. Now I suggest you hurry up before Trager sees you." This sort of abuse was typical. Even after years as a team, he was still vocal about every little thing he despised in the others. Kerek had never seen the man smile, or crack a joke, or relax in any way, but unlike his colleague he never harped on these faults. Kerek's approach to life was much more laid back. As long as he could have a good meal and play with his gadgets, he saw little use in complaining. "Don't be in such a rush. Put up your feet, take it easy. The analysis'll still take some time, and wot's another hour to a man who's been carryin' a grudge for the last twenty years?" "Another hour wasted," said a menacing voice behind him. Kerek choked on a mouthful and shot to his feet, banging his knee against the table and biting back a curse as he tried to regain composure under the baleful gaze of their employer. "Mr. Trager! I was just…" "Abusing my hospitality by stuffing your face, Kerek? As I recall, I'm paying you to do a job, not loaf around like a worthless piece of trash." Trager grabbed the shorter man's face, piercing him with a venomous stare. "And even after twenty years of waiting and planning, the day can't come soon enough when I finally end the war the way it should have ended, by wiping every last Orion from the galaxy. Do you understand?" The hand squeezed like a vice. "Yus… sur. Pufecly…" The tension was palpable. Nordgren was ready to attack until he felt a hand grip his shoulder. A stern look from Hol kept him seated, but every muscle in his body was still primed for launch. At last Trager relented, releasing the other man. Kerek slumped into his chair. Years of life as a criminal, living on the other side of the law, and he had never met anyone as intense. There was madness in those eyes, real bloodlust. Hol was right; it would be in their best interest to avoid his wrath. Gazing at his reflection in a mirror, Trager said, "I hope you will keep your colleagues under better control from now on, Mr. Fedaren." He straightened his tie and smoothed back his salt-and-pepper hair. "Professor Cross has informed me that the analysis is nearly complete, so if there are no further delays I suggest we adjourn to the laboratory." His tone was crisp and matter-of-fact, a testament to his years in the military. Without a second glance he strode out of the dining room. The unspoken command for them to follow hung heavy in the air, which they did without delay. Entering the lab, they could see the hunched form of Professor Cross scurrying from one bank of computers to the next, mumbling and making notes on his datapad, completely oblivious to their arrival. Still simmering from the recent confrontation and unwilling to deal with the scientist's eccentricities, Trager strode into the middle of the room. As the little man turned, he bumped into the solid chest of the ex-soldier. "Ah, Mr. Trager, there you are," he said, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "You said you had some results for us, professor?" "Yes. Well, I'm afraid there were complications. Much of the information was too degraded to be of any practical use." "And why would that be?" Trager's fists clenched. "At a guess, I suspect the android fought back, trying to destroy its own cerebral mechanism in an effort to thwart the extractor." "Oi, I wasn't to know that, was I?" Kerek spluttered. Trager's icy stare cut off any further protest. "So you're saying that after all out effort, we have nothing?" "Hm? Oh, well have a look at this." A few quick commands keyed in and the datapad brought up a holographic projection. Two images floated in the air, phantoms of light and shadow. One was a sphere rimmed by a disc, saturnine in appearance. The other was the face of a girl with wild hair and distinctive yellow eyes. "This is it?" asked Trager. The professor ruefully rubbed his chin. "We're lucky to have anything at all." "Perhaps this young woman knows something," ventured Hol. "It's our only lead now." Trager addressed the three criminals. "Find that girl and bring her here, alive." He stressed the last word particularly. "I want no more mistakes, do you understand?" Hol bowed and ushered his partners from the lab. As he watched them leave, Trager mumbled, "I want to know where the filthy devils hid that stone. And when I find it, they'll rue the day they were created. We made them, we can unmake them. Pinocchio's strings will be cut." [CENTER]* * *[/CENTER] On a well-worn blue sofa in the TARDIS, the body of Dewart Keegan sat limp as a rag doll. His glassy eyes bore unseeing witness to a scene of barely controlled chaos. Spare electronics were scattered about; floor panels were open, spilling forth a tangled mass of cables and wires that coiled around and over the console. In the middle of the disarray, the Doctor was busy wiring up a headset made from bent coat hangers and electrodes. "Now, green goes here. No wait, red. Or was it black? Ow!" He sucked on a singed finger. "Nope, definitely not black." Some fine tuning and few more shocks later, it was finished. He plopped down on the other side of the sofa. "I know, you're probably thinking, 'Oi, what is that anyway? Looks like you bought it for a penny at a jumble sale.' Well, this clever lash-up is going to help the TARDIS scan you for any un-fried bits of memory. Not exactly state-of-the-art, but it does the job. I hope." The Doctor placed the headset on Keegan and plugged him into the console. "Do your stuff, old girl." The lights dimmed, leaving only the soft blue glow from within the glass column of the time rotor, which began to pulse like the beat of an ancient heart. Static filled the scanner screen. "Come on. There has to be something in there." Agonizing minutes crawled by. Was the damage just too extensive? Then, slowly, the veil of static parted, and there it was – the last minutes of Keegan's life playing out like a grainy silent film. The Doctor was looking through the android's eyes, watching the men who'd cornered, tortured, and murdered him. "Definitely not the sort I'd invite round the pub. But this only tells me how, not why. If only I could hear it. I wonder…" Without warning the interface exploded, the console erupting in a shower of sparks. Shielding his face, the Doctor stumbled back. His feet caught in the cables and he landed on the hard wood floor. "Didn't see that one coming," he groaned and rubbed his sore back. [I]"Don't worry about It, Mister. No harm done."[/I] The Doctor's head shot up at the sound of the voice, the pain of the fall momentarily forgotten. He was met by a pair of brilliant yellow eyes set in a soft, open face framed by a wild mane of black hair. And then the screen went blank.
  2. TimeChaser

    Art The Desktop Screenshots/Wallpapers Thread [image heavy]

    New promo image... Gah, when will the season start!? :animestun [URL=http://s245.photobucket.com/albums/gg59/ASfan/?action=view¤t=Vortex.jpg][IMG]http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg59/ASfan/th_Vortex.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
  3. TimeChaser

    Crazy Dreams

    My dreams are always a bizarre mash-up of random stuff floating around in my head. Last dream I remember having included a fancy hot dog joint, a couple of TV chefs (I watch a lot of Food Network) and a UFO invasion... :animestun
  4. TimeChaser

    Music What Are You Listening To?

    Selections from the new Karnivool album while I wait for the CD to come in the mail. [youtube]sDKsosOvVmw&feature=PlayList&p=6E86AD3BA50F2620&index=1[/youtube] [youtube]vHZkhgOyN3g&feature=PlayList&p=6E86AD3BA50F2620&index=3[/youtube] [youtube]WBJ3DQ76XOk&feature=PlayList&p=6E86AD3BA50F2620&index=5[/youtube]
  5. TimeChaser

    Issue trying to post You Tube videos

    [quote name='Boo'][font=lucida fax]Hm. So you just copied the video code at the end of the URL, and put it between YouTube tags like below right? [/font][/QUOTE] Actually I was copy/pasting from the "Embed" section of the video, which I guess is what was causing duplication. I didn't know you just had to take the end of the URL only after the watch?v= part. Such a fiddly process... Thanks for helping sort it out, Boo. :animesmil
  6. Need a bit of help understanding something. Every time I try to post You Tube videos, the end up being duplicated, I get two of the same. Any idea on what's going on and what I can do to stop this happening? Thanks
  7. TimeChaser

    Art The Desktop Screenshots/Wallpapers Thread [image heavy]

    This one's pretty obvious... [URL=http://s245.photobucket.com/albums/gg59/ASfan/?action=view¤t=Eleven.jpg][IMG]http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg59/ASfan/th_Eleven.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
  8. TimeChaser

    Test your Brain

    [quote name='Gavin'][SIZE=1]As far as I remember it comes down to adding the last 10 from 4090, people jump to 5000 when adding it on.[/SIZE][/QUOTE] That's what I've been doing. I just now realized, my brain is tricking itself into moving that 9 up to make it 4900 instead of 4090.
  9. TimeChaser

    Your Latest Music Purchase

    [quote name='Kei'][color=darkblue][size=1]As far Porcupine Tree, that was their The Delirium Years two-disc set. Trippy stuff, some of that. > > [/color][/size][/QUOTE] Ooh, good purchase. ;) Not one I have, but then I have all of their albums anyway. Their early stuff was definitely very atmospheric. As for me, it's been a while since I last bought any music. The last thing I had purchased was the old [B]Rush[/B] album [I]Fly By Night[/I] back in December. But a check of my usual online music store tonight netted me [I]Sound Awake[/I] by [B]Karnivool[/B]. I've been waiting for this album ever since hearing their first back in 2007, and it sounds like they've stepped up their game and come up with something even better. I'm really looking forward to it. Also bought [I]The Days of Grays[/I], the latest by Finnish power metal band [B]Sonata Arctica[/B].
  10. TimeChaser

    Writing Doctor Who - The Orion Connection

    [CENTER][B]Chapter 1[/B][/CENTER] It tends to be true that human existence is a constant, no matter what time and place you find yourself in. Life in the slums of a city on another planet in a future century is very much like that on Earth. It's about staying alive, doing what has to be done in order to make it from one day to the next. Tatiana Rhys knew this well. She grew up on the streets, learning the skills of a pickpocket to get by. Even so, there were times when those skills did her no good at all, and this was shaping up to be one of those times. It was a crisp morning, forcing Tati to bundle up as she walked the short distance from her apartment – or 'closet' as she referred to it – to Dahl Pawn, an unassuming little shop nestled in the middle of the most run-down part of the city. Russell Dahl ran his shop with what he called 'quiet efficiency'. He not only dealt in legitimate goods but was also a major fence for the more respectable criminal groups. Respectability was everything to Russell, the foundation of good business. Tati had always found this paradoxical, as the man certainly didn't look or act like a gentleman, but she never questioned it. It was one of those odd quirks in life she'd easily accepted from the day she found herself sitting on Russell's doorstep. As per her usual routine, Tati would drop by the shop to bring in her latest spoils, hoping she had something that Russell would accept in return for some cash. But in the last month he'd accepted very little, and by now it was grating on Tati's nerves. "Come on, Russell! You gotta give me more money than that." "Gotta, eh? Well if you'd brought stuff that was actually worth more than spit then maybe I would." Tati scowled at the man behind his counter. "Some days I think your standards are too high, Russ." She started to play with an item that looked like a cross between a cuckoo clock and model solar system until Russell snatched it away, grinding down on the cigarette between his lips. "That's how I've managed to stay in business for twenty-five years. You know the deal, Tati. Bring back something decent and I'll kick some cash your way. Now scram, I've got a big client coming in soon and he wants privacy. I don't want to see you back here before seven. Spend the day wisely. And don't call me Russ!" Tati stuck her tongue out at Russell, bolting out the door before he could respond. 'Spend the day wisely' was Russell-speak for 'find something valuable'. Despite her annoyance with the man, she knew he was right. If she wanted to make an extra buck, she needed to come up with the goods. Wrapping her jacket tighter around herself in the chill air, Tati set off to see if she could turn her luck around. Morning was peak time, lots of people traveling to work and going about their daily routine. It was one of the first lessons Tati learned: in such a crowded city, people were bound to bump into each other, creating the perfect opportunity to lift valuables then get away fast. Despite her initial optimism, Tati's spirits sank with each passing hour. The few things she'd swiped were just like everything else Russell had rejected, and as morning crawled into afternoon she trudged back to the neighborhood. Whenever she was down, there was always one place she could go. * * * Tati sank into the threadbare sofa, groaning as she rubbed her sore feet. She gazed around the living room just as she had countless times before, but each time gave her that reassuring feeling, that sense of being home. The rattle of dishes drifted out from the kitchen along with a woman's voice. "I swear that man sets his standards way too high. Sure, he fences things for a bunch of the crime families, but you'd think he'd cut you some slack when it came to providing stuff for the pawn shop. Then again, he shouldn't have you running around swiping-" "Gertrude, please don't bring all that up again. I came here to forget about Russell for a while. And it's not like he's forced me or anything, I swipe stuff because that's what I do." Gertrude Kimmler set the tray down carefully on the rickety coffee table, passing a mug of fresh brewed coffee to Tati before she took her own and sat next to the younger woman. Tati had always felt comfortable with Gertrude. She was teacher, older sister, mother, whatever the situation called for, and really the only other female Tati could turn to, and over time they had formed a close bond. "I know you don't like to talk about it, but I wish you'd do something more with your life. Do you think you could still support yourself as a pickpocket in middle age, or old age? It's more of a hobby for you than a living. You depend on Russell for everything, and he can't be around forever." Gertrude sighed. "This is why he and Gabby had so many arguments. He may have seen your need for an education, but he's never encouraged you beyond that." Tati stared into the mug cradled in her hands. "This place, this neighborhood, it's all I've ever known, and it's all I've ever needed. You and Russell, Brent, Simon… even Gabby; you guys have been everything to me." Gertrude could tell Tati was holding in her emotions from the way her forehead scrunched up. "It's just you and Russell now. How can I leave you guys? How can I leave you on your own, raising three kids? Maybe I haven't done anything grand with my life, but I've been here to help you since Brent…" she trailed off, shaking her head. Gertrude nervously thumbed her mug. She knew Tati did her best not to mention Brent's death out loud. The pain was still fresh for both of them. Gertrude carried on for the sake of her children, but she felt afraid for Tati. The girl had been so naive and open and trusting when she first came to the neighborhood. She formed deep attachments to certain people, and their loss cut her deeply, even if she avoided talking about it. She was so very different than the rest of them. Gertrude Kimmler was convinced of one thing: Tatiana Rhys deserved more than this life could offer. A baby's cry stirred them from their thoughts. Tati followed Gertrude to the next room where little Sophia lay in her crib, watching as the mother held and rocked her child back to sleep. The scene was distinctly familiar. Tati remembered when the baby was Gertrude's first child, Ava, and her husband Brent stood over them both. She had experienced the growth of the Kimmler family, watching Ava and her brother Walter grow up. They both adored her like she was a big sister. After Sophia was down again, they went about with the rest of the chores until the kids got out of school. It was run by a few locals for the neighborhood kids. Gertrude and her husband had been among its founders. Afternoon passed into evening. Tati played with Ava and Walter, helped them with homework, and lent a hand with dinner. The sun was low on the horizon by the time Tati made her goodbyes. The old apartments blocked what little light remained, bathing the streets in ever deepening shadow. The few street lamps that worked punctuated the looming darkness at random with their yellow glow. Running her mind over the day's haul, Tati wasn't fast enough to avoid a sudden collision while rounding the corner. The impact sent her stumbling back, but the expected fall never came. She felt suspended in midair, slung securely around her waist. Once she had gathered her wits, her gaze locked on a pair of smoky grey eyes. "Are you all right, Miss?" The voice was a smooth tenor, a very pleasing tone. The man gently pulled her upright, but kept a steadying hand on her. "Yeah… Yes, I'm OK. Sorry about that, head in the clouds, Russell always says." Why was she rambling? Something about this man unnerved her. It was those eyes. They were the color of slate, the tone of an overcast sky heavy with the promise of storms. That was it, they were stormy eyes, emotions flashing through them like lightening, even though the rest of him remained calm and still. "You sure you're all right?" He seemed strangely concerned for such a minor accident. "Don't worry about it, Mister. No harm done," Tati shrugged. But his gaze still roiled with conflict. Tati tried to identify the clashing emotions. Concern was foremost, but it was tinged with something else. It looked strangely like pity. "I'm sorry," he whispered, and then he was gone as suddenly as he'd appeared, leaving Tati to wonder if he'd even been there at all. Shaking it off, she picked up her pace. The cold night air chilled her hands, causing them to ache. When she slipped them into her pockets, the right one brushed against something she knew hadn't been there before. It wasn't one of her grabs from that day; all of that was kept in special pockets she'd sewn into the lining of her coat. She stared at it, now sitting in her open palm. It was a small metal disc with a glassy bubble in the center. What was it, and how did it come to be in her pocket? "That man," she said. "He must've slipped it in." Whoever he was, he had skills. With her own years of experience, Tati knew all the tricks, how easy it would be to bump into someone and use the distraction to pull off a swipe, and it wouldn't be hard to reverse the trick. Her instincts told her this was bad news; she should throw it away, or give it to Russell to deal with. Why get involved in a stranger's problems? Common sense said to head on back to the shop, but the boundless curiosity of that ten year old girl still inside her came storming back. She looked up the street, the sign of Dahl Pawn so close. Down the road, the gloom her mystery man had retreated to. Fidgeting from one foot to the other with indecision as much as cold, Tati shoved the disc back into her pocket, walking away from safety and into unfamiliar territory. Part of her knew this was crazy. It was nearly pitch black, and this wasn't exactly the safest place to be at night. Not to mention she hadn't the first clue where to start looking. And then he was there, illuminated by the murky light of a street lamp. Tati ducked behind a parked auto, uncertain and cautious. For all she knew he could be dangerous, but the memory of their accidental meeting said otherwise. But something wasn't right. His eyes constantly shifted, like a prey animal wary of the predator's attack. He sprinted down an alley, swallowed up by the darkness. After a moment, Tati crossed the street and into the alley, keeping to the wall, aiming for the light at the other end. Slowly, she began to pick up the echo of voices, too far away to make out clearly. Then out of nowhere came a scream, a cry of pain that stopped her in her tracks and made her blood run cold. Every fiber of her being screamed as well, screamed at her to run away now. Yet she pressed on, crawling the last few feet, hiding behind a pile of rusted oil barrels. There were three men surrounding the stranger. One was tall and immaculately dressed; the second was much shorter, fat and scruffy; the third was a giant who appeared to be sculpted from pure muscle. "Please don't insult our intelligence, Mr. Keegan. We've been working at this project for a very long time and our information can't possibly be wrong." Tati tried to make sense of the tall man's words. The one she'd met, Keegan, had apparently taken something, something these other men wanted, but why? When he refused to talk, they shocked him. Tati clamped her eyes shut, trying to stamp down the fear, knowing beyond a doubt that's she'd made the wrong choice but trapped there now at the risk of being discovered. These people were ruthless and wouldn't hesitate to kill her. Even though he was in obvious pain, Keegan refused to give them what they wanted. "And what would happen to me then, huh? I know how you lot operate. My secrets are worth everything to you, but my life is meaningless. I give you what you want and I'm dead anyway." "Oh, I didn't mean we would allow you to live, Mr. Keegan. We'd just make your death that much quicker." The tall man's face was as still as stone. The attack went on until the fat one took out a small metal box and touched it to Keegan's head. He screamed again, such a horrendous sound of torment. Tati covered her ears, trying desperately to silence it, the force causing her head to ache. Once they were finished, they simply tossed him into the dirt and walked away. She sat there for a long time, too stunned to move. When she finally did, it was as if she were on autopilot, her senses overwhelmed by the scream that still echoed in her head. She fell to her knees next to the body. The dead, empty eyes sent a chill up her spine, so she closed them. A sense of panic welled in her chest from the knowledge that she'd stumbled into something terrible. She thumbed the disc in her pocket. Keegan must have known they'd been following him. Had he dumped this to keep it out of their hands? "What the hell is going on?" The distant chime of the old Grace Clock gave her a start. She looked at her watch and swore. "Russell's gonna be pissed for sure." With a final glance at the lifeless form of Dewart Keegan, Tati pelted all the way back to the shop. * * * Billions of miles away, the void of interplanetary space was disturbed as the TARDIS flashed into existence, spinning and tumbling about like a cork in a stream. Inside, the Doctor fought to rein in his temperamental time machine. "Look, I know you've been moody lately with just the two of us, but what's the matter old girl? All I'm asking for is a little cooperation. The crystal storms of Starfall Delta, doesn't that sound exciting? More interesting than…" he checked coordinates, "the Mariczech System. What's so exciting about – Hello, what's this?" A light on the console flashed insistently. The TARDIS was following a signal. "But what kind, eh? Warning, distress, two for one special? Just hope it's worth missing a vacation." The noise of the engines rose to a crescendo as the ship materialized. The Doctor folded his arms and glared at the controls. The ship hummed in reply. "Oh, all right. I'll take a look outside if it'll make you happy." He opened the door a crack, peeking around the edge, greeted by a dingy alley full of garbage and leaking pipes. Steam rose from a sewer grate in the cold air. And then there was the body lying on the ground. "Oh, well that's just marvelous." He rushed over and checked for a pulse, but found none. It looked like the man had taken a serious beating, but the charred skin and clothes suggested massive electric shock as well. "Someone's done a number on you, mate." The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, scanning the body. Without warning, the dead man's eyes flew open. The Time Lord yelped in shock and fell back. When nothing else happened, he resumed the scan. Realization dawned as he checked the readings. "So, you're an android, an Orion model, judging by the time and place. Not to sound insensitive, but no wonder you got clobbered. Your lot isn't looked on kindly by humans. What a waste…" The android's mouth moved. "Couldn't… stop them…" The voice was low and distorted. "Couldn't stop who?" "Couldn't stop…" He stopped moving, his head lolled to the side. There was just too much damage. The Doctor took a moment to think. It wasn't unusual for him to walk into a situation without any sort of clue. He knew about the prejudice humans had for the Orions, but even then that didn't necessarily mean the man in front of him was a saint. But someone attacked him, and for whatever reason the Doctor felt an obligation to investigate. He had to access the android's brain, see if there was any salvageable information, and there was only one way he knew how to do that. "Sorry about this, fella, no offense intended." He picked up the body, slung it over his shoulder and carried the heavy load awkwardly into the TARDIS. "I feel like a bloody grave robber." Once again the alley was quiet, but far from empty. A man emerged from the shadows, his stocky frame wrapped in a leather trench coat. Talor Jax had arrived to find a girl kneeling over Keegan. No sooner had she left than this box appeared from nowhere, and now his friend was inside that box. He walked right up to the TARDIS, laying his palm against the door. Rather than feeling cold wood, his nerves tingled with a faint warmth and vibration. Jax turned all of these revelations over and over in his mind. This was not how things were supposed to be. He was meant to find Keegan and keep him safe, and everything had gone wrong. After a reluctant pause he turned away from the TARDIS, striding off into the murky night.
  11. [I]Here is the first official story of my Doctor Who universe. This is the tale of how the Doctor and Tati meet and end up traveling together. I'd like to thank Katana for her help and ideas, because although the story is mainly my own in the end, it wouldn't be happening without her contributions. [/I] [I]You don't really need to be familiar with Doctor Who in order to read this story. The basics will be revealed as it unfolds and in future stories.[/I] [I]Doctor Who belongs to the BBC. I'm just borrowing it for a while for my own amusement.[/I] [CENTER]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/CENTER] [B][CENTER]Prologue[/CENTER][/B] It has been said that if the past is forgotten, history is doomed to repeat. When tyranny is overthrown and long-fought-for rights are achieved, the cry ?Never Again? goes up as testament to the ages, in the hope future generations will remember. But as is often the case, humanity fails to live up to it?s potential, the old fears and paranoia reemerge down the line causing more misery, suffering, and in the worst cases? war. Dewart Keegan knew this all too well. He had fought in war, seen and done horrible things, all in the name of freedom; not just his freedom, but that of millions. The enemy was tenacious, but so was he. No matter what weapons he had, Dewart knew the only thing that kept him alive through the constant battles was his wits and his will to survive. He?d seen fields covered in smoke, fire and gore; ships ripped apart, the corpses of their crew scattered in the freezing void of space; whole planets ravaged by weapons of horrendous power. And there were many things Dewart thought he?d be better off not knowing, secrets he?d discovered during his time with the black ops units, the lengths either side was willing to go to for victory. When the war ended, he?d often wonder if he knew too much, if his knowledge had left him a marked man, living every day looking over his shoulder. As the years stretched on, Dewart thought maybe he could finally leave it all in the past, just a horrible nightmare he?d finally woken from. Except the nightmare was back now, shoving an electro-prod into his gut. As he fell heavily to the cold pavement, a big man spat at him. ?Where is it, freak?? Palms scraped and stinging, Dewart overcame the pain, glancing up at his assailants. They numbered three, one slim and tall, another on the portly side, and then the large muscular one who?d shocked him. The vast differences in their appearance would have caused Dewart to laugh in any other circumstance. ?I don?t know what you?re talking about.? Dewart?s voice was tight, his arm clutched over his stomach. ?Please don?t insult our intelligence, Mr. Keegan.? This came from the thin one. He spoke in a cultured tone, his voice and manner very matter-of-fact. ?We?ve been working at this project for a very long time and our information can?t possibly be wrong. You were with the Omega Veritas team on Caldor Prime, and we know the object we?ve been searching for was taken from there at the end of the war. You would be doing yourself a favor by telling us what we want to know.? Eyes narrowed, Dewart held the gaze of the tall thin man. ?And what would happen to me then, huh? I know how you lot operate. My secrets are worth everything to you, but my life is meaningless. I give you what you want and I?m dead anyway.? ?Oh, I didn?t mean we would allow you to live, Mr. Keegan.? He casually straightened the kerchief sticking out of his breast pocket. ?We?d just make your death that much quicker.? With a click of the fingers, the large man grabbed Dewart by the front of his shirt, hauling him up and off his feet, dangling ineffectually in mid air. The prod was jabbed into his stomach again, crackling waves of electricity tearing a pained cry from his throat. It seemed to last forever, and even when it ended he wasn?t sure it had. His ears had burst and his limbs twitched. As his senses swam back into focus, he caught the eyes of the tall man again. ?I?ll ask you politely one last time. Where is the jewel?? Dewart had only three words. ?Go to hell.? ?At least I have a soul. I?m not entirely sure what you have. Kerek!? The portly man, who hadn?t moved or said anything the entire time, stepped forward, drawing a small metal object from his pocket. ?Since you?re so reticent to talk, we?ll just have to take the knowledge from you. Kerek, if you would do the honors.? The metal box gleamed even in the dim light of the alley as Kerek approached. ??Ere, Nordgren, lower him a bit, will ya? S?not as if my arms are made of rubber.? Nordgren, the giant, lowered Dewart until he was face to face with Kerek. The portly man chuckled as he brought the object closer to Dewart?s head. ?People usually say ?this won?t hurt a bit,? but I?d be lying if I didn?t tell ya this?ll hurt like bloody awful.? It touched Dewart?s temple and his mind exploded, blinding fire coursed through every nerve and overwhelmed him, so intense he couldn?t even scream, but in what was left of his shredded consciousness the cry echoed around the world and out into the rest of the universe. In less than a minute it was over; smoke curled up from Dewart?s body. Kerek stepped back and giggled, clutching the box to his chest and dancing from foot to foot. ?I hope that means you were successful?? The tall man brushed some dust from his lapel. ??Course it was successful, Hol. My little extractor works a treat every time. All we need to do is take it back and analyze the data.? A beeping came from the pocket of Hol?s neatly pressed jacket. He reached in for his comm unit and answered the call. ?Perfect timing, sir? Yes, we found him? Yes, he put up a bit of a struggle, but that?s why we had Nordgren with us? Kerek says the data is extracted? Yes, considering Mr. Keegan is, well, deceased now, we certainly hope it was? We?ll return presently. Goodbye, sir.? ?That the boss?? asked Nordgren. ?Of course it was. Who else would be calling? Time we were moving on, gents. Nordgren, you can dispose of that now.? Nordgren tossed Dewart aside like a rag doll and lumbered off after Hol and Kerek. He was looking forward to tucking into a hot meal now that the job was done. Minutes passed before a solitary figure moved cautiously out of the shadows, a young woman with a head of bushy black hair. She glanced in the direction Hol and his companions had departed then down at the body, kneeling next to him and closing his eyes. From her pocket she produced a small metallic disc, turning it over and over in her hand. "What the hell is going on?"
  12. TimeChaser

    The Padded Room Party: Random Thoughts

    [quote name='Stephanie'][size=1]So I have a bruise the size of a quarter on the side of my foot and I have no idea how I got it.[/size][/QUOTE] I have the same issue with a very sensitive knot under the skin on my right hip. Don't know how it got there, and it's been there for years now. I also wake up with scratches on my legs sometimes, but I figure I must be moving my legs in my sleep in such a way that my toenails scrape the skin.
  13. TimeChaser

    TV [The New] Doctor Who

    Just checking the Wiki to see if any new information was added, found this new tidbit on the Eleventh Doctor page: In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat revealed that the Eleventh Doctor had an entirely different costume until close to the start of filming. The original look had a piratical feel which Benjamin Cook described as "a little like something Captain Jack Sparrow wears in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies". However Matt Smith was unhappy with the costume as he felt it reflected how someone else would dress the Doctor, rather than how the Doctor would dress himself. The eventual costume, in particular the bow-tie, was influenced by Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor, after Matt Smith fell in love with the Troughton story The Tomb of the Cybermen. This certainly confirms my belief that they were going for a Troughton feel with the new outfit, and it makes me glad they chose that when I think about how it could have been. Piratical? Jack Sparrow? That would have really been a nightmare. :animestun
  14. TimeChaser

    Best/Favorite Music of 2009

    What were your favorite music releases of the last year? What came out that you either liked or consider significant? Here's my picks (in no particular order): Porcupine Tree - The Incident Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition Beardfish - Destined Solitaire Gungfly - Please Be Quiet Umphrey's McGee - Mantis Odd Logic - Legends of Monta, Part II OSI - Blood Epica - Design Your Universe [B]Porcupine Tree[/B] - [I]The Incident[/I] Another excellent release from Steven Wilson and co. To me, this band can hardly do any wrong, and they really succeeded with this album. The original concept for the title track began as a 35-minute song that continued to evolve, eventually becoming a 55-minute multi-track suite that occupied the entire album. Another four stand-alone songs were included on a second EP-length disc. The album really runs the gamut of the band's various styles, from light to heavy as well as electronic and experimental. My pick for album of the year. [B]Dream Theater[/B] - [I]Black Clouds & Silver Linings[/I] The band's previous effort, Systematic Chaos was a bit hit and miss, but this newest release has a feel that reminds me more of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and Train of Thought, which are two of my favorite DT albums. An excellent entry into the Dream Theater catalog. [B]Riverside[/B] - [I]Anno Domini High Definition[/I] This band has definitely evolved over the course of their four studio albums, starting off more atmospheric and slowly incorporating heavier sounds. This latest album is their heaviest yet, and the new aggression displayed here perfectly fits the theme of the album, a commentary on our fast-pace technological society where 'the next big thing' can be obsolete in no time at all. [B]Beardfish[/B] - [I]Destined Solitaire[/I] A wonderfully quirky Swedish band that has always produced great music. Their sound harks back to a more retro-rock period, but they also have a modern energy and sensibility. This is their third album in as many years and it amazes me that they can come up with so much good stuff so quickly. [B]Gungfly[/B] - [I]Please Be Quiet[/I] Solo release from Beardfish frontman Rikard 'Gungfly' Sjoblom. Has the same quirky feel as Beardfish but with shorter, simplified songs. If this is "commercial", all commercial albums should be like this. [B]Umphrey's McGee[/B] - [I]Mantis[/I] I first saw this band perform on an episode of Soundstage and they captured me immediately. Part of the improvisation/jam band scene, they are heavily influenced by progressive rock acts, and release as many live albums as studio albums. They have a nice jazzy, funky style and after hearing this album I definitely intend to check out their older stuff. [B]Odd Logic[/B] - [I]Legends of Monta, Part II[/I] Long-awaited conclusion to the Monta saga. To me, Odd Logic is the prime example of great independent music: amazing stuff done by one man (with the help of family and friends) and released by himself. Great epic progressive metal with a wonderfully pulp-scifi storyline. [B]OSI[/B] - [I]Blood[/I] Third and undoubtedly best release by this project from Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore. I've always enjoyed OSI's combination of prog rock/metal with electronica and the perfect fit of Moore's monotone scratch vocals. Their music has gotten heavier and heavier with each release, and this one dips a lot more to the metal side. They are also joined this time by Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. [B]Epica[/B] - [I]Design Your Universe[/I] While they had a few other albums under their belt, I didn't really get into Epica until the previous album The Divine Conspiracy, which was a stellar example of gothic symphonic power metal. Design Your Universe continues the trend. Great atmospheric gothic power metal complemented by the beautiful vocals of Simone Simmons.
  15. TimeChaser

    Writing Tati's Gift

    [I]I wrote this story back in December as a submission for theOtaku's Winter Writing Challenge. As with all my story ideas, it's based on the Doctor Who series, but set in my own alternative universe with my own Doctor. Tatiana Rhys is a character created by Katana, who ended up becoming a companion to my version of the Doctor. This story is set early in their travels together.[/I] [I]Once this was done, I was amazed I could write something so... sweet.[/I] :animesmil [CENTER]* * *[/CENTER] "What do you mean you've never had a Christmas present?" The Doctor looked from the TARDIS console at his young companion, Tatiana Rhys. She'd only been traveling with him for a few weeks, taking the opportunity he'd given her to escape her life on the streets as a pickpocket. Although it seemed to Tati as if most of their time was taken up by adventures and almost constant running from killer alien monsters, there were the quiet times when they took the opportunity to chat and get to know each other better. This was one of those times. Tati had been telling the Doctor more about her life, her ersatz 'family' and the times when they would actually celebrate special occasions, like Christmas. It was then she had admitted she'd never actually received a gift. The Doctor was now looking at her with a mixture of surprise, curiosity... and a bit of sadness. "Just like I said," Tati shrugged. "We celebrated Christmas, but there wasn't really any gift-giving going on." "I would have thought you'd have loads of trinkets, being a pickpocket." She raised an eyebrow at him. "Sorry." He grimaced and returned to fiddling with the controls. "We didn't really keep much of the stuff we stole. If you lifted something other than money, you'd usually take it to a fence and exchange it for money. We were more concerned about survival than anything." The Doctor sighed, his hand hovering over some switches. He turned back to face Tati, leaning against the console. "I'm sorry. So tell me... what did you do to celebrate the season?" A faraway look came over Tati's face as her mind wandered back to those days. "Back home we - my family - would all save up and buy food. Russell would cook and we'd all cram into his apartment above the shop and eat and watch televids. And he'd always make a peanut butter pie, like, from scratch. That was the best present ever." The Doctor grinned, enjoying the warm smile on Tati's face as she reminisced. But still, to never receive a personal present? It was nagging at him, and as usual when things nagged at him he just had to throw himself straight into the problem. "Right!" His sudden outburst and flurry of movement as he danced around the console startled Tati out of her reverie. "I'm sure your family gatherings were all warm and fuzzy, but not ever getting a present? It's just not on, is all! Not being able to creep downstairs on Christmas morning, to see the gifts all piled under that tree covered in colorful lights and tacky ornaments, the enthusiasm of ripping off all that gaudy wrapping paper... Everyone should know what that feels like, and it's high time you should." With the last few buttons pressed, the central column groaned into life, accompanied by the familiar wheeze of the time ship's ancient engines. Tati jumped out of her seat and joined the Doctor at the console. "So, where are we headed to now?" Her eyes lit up as she watched strings of numbers scrolling down a screen, not understanding any of it but knowing it meant they were on their way to another world in another time. The Doctor smiled as he saw the look in Tati's eyes. Despite the harshness of her former life, she still exuded a boundless enthusiasm and excitement which the Doctor loved to see, since it matched his own passion for travel and adventure and exploration. "You'll see. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise." He winked and tapped the side of his nose. * * * The minute she stepped through the door of the TARDIS, Tati's eyes widened and her jaw went slack. Stretched before her was a massive cityscape, all gleaming spires reaching for the clouds, walkways and flying cars weaving their way between the buildings. "Year 5 Billion, the Earth gets roasted when the sun goes nova - not a very cheery thought. But by this time the human race is all over the universe, and they decide to make this planet the new official home for mankind: New Earth. And we're right smack dab in the middle of it's capital city, New New York." "It's absolutely incredible," Tati whispered. "I knew the city I grew up in was like this, but I never saw any of it outside the slums. The upper levels were for the rich fat-cats." "Everyone's equal, despite their lot in life. It's a shame more people don't recognize that." The Doctor wandered over to an information kiosk, mumbling to himself. "Just hope I got the timing right..." With a little wave of his sonic screwdriver, the screen came to life. Tati tore herself away from the view and joined the Doctor. A woman appeared on the screen, her smile showed gleaming white teeth as she talked in a very saccharine tone. "And with another Christmas behind us, the citizens of New New York eagerly look forward to tonight's New Year celebration. We'll be airing live coverage from New Times Square all night long, so be sure to keep it tuned to this station." "Oh, we missed Christmas!" The Doctor's shoulders slumped, his lips all pouted like a disappointed child. It always amused Tati to see the Doctor like this. Despite being an adult, especially considering he was an alien hundreds of years old, he could still act so childish at times. Even when she was a kid, Tati had never whined and complained like that. "You do have a time machine, you know. We could always hop in and try again?" As long as they were someplace new and exciting, it didn't really matter to Tati whether they'd missed their intended target or not. "Nah! Why bother? New Year is just as good, and who says I still can't buy you a Christmas present?" He flashed her a cheeky grin. * * * Once the Doctor used the terminal to find directions, they made their way through the city to the shopping district. The trip itself was a never-ending parade of sights and sounds, from the tube lifts, monorails and flying cars to the multitudes of beings who called the city home. Not just humans, but all manner of exotic alien life forms. Even though it was already New Year's Eve, Christmas decorations were still all over the place - "Gotta wring out all the shopping opportunities before the season ends," said the Doctor - so the Time Lord was confident he'd be able to find a gift for Tati. Hand in hand, they walked along, peering into shop windows, occasionally going into a few if something caught the Doctor's eye. Half the time it appeared to Tati as if he was more interested in various trinkets and gadgets for himself, running about like a kid in a candy store. Other times he remembered what they were really there for, and he looked at many different items, either talking directly to her about them or mumbling to himself. "Chocolate? Hm, but then what do you have left after you've eaten it all?" "Perfume? No, you aren't really the type to wear scent. And you never know when we might run into some aliens with a keen sense of smell, where would we be then if we had to leg it quick?" "Ooh, this sonic lance would... No wait, I'm thinking of myself again. Bugger." "I suppose I could always get a new switchblade to replace that one you lost when we met..." Time passed and the sky darkened. They took a break and had a bit of dinner, sitting at a table outside a little cafe. A calm silence passed between them as they watched the people pass by, Christmas songs from the billions of years of human history playing from speakers along the avenue. Eventually they went back to prowling through the shops, but as it got late Tati noticed most people were heading off in one direction. As the the Doctor wandered off, Tati stopped in front of a home entertainment store, watching the newswoman on a televid. "It's mere minutes to midnight now, and it seems as if every citizen of New New York is crammed in and around the square, waiting for the annual Ball Drop to celebrate the arrival of the new year. This will be one for the record books." For a few moments, Tati stood there as the camera panned over the square, showing the throngs of people in it, and more standing in windows and on the walkways above. A smile slowly spread over her face, and she rushed off to find the Doctor. After a couple minutes' search, she spotted him gazing through another shop window. He noticed her out of the corner of his eye and began to speak. "There you are. What do you think of this knife here? As far as I can tell it looks exactly like yo- hey, w-wait, where are we going?" Tati grabbed the Doctor's hand and pelted down the street, dragging him along behind her. A corner turned here, a stairway climbed there, and at last she spotted a small, out of the way balcony. Just as they made it to the edge, overlooking New Times Square, they could hear the chanting, thousands of voices rising up in the air, as if the city itself were speaking. "Ten... nine... eight... seven.. six... five... four... three... two... one... Happy New Year!" The ball dropped, the crowd cheered and whooped with joy, glitter and streamers floated through the air, while fireworks burst overhead, casting a myriad flashing color patterns over everything. "Happy New Year, Doc!" Tati turned a million watt smile on the Doctor. "Traveling with you, having the chance to explore the whole universe, seeing all these amazing things, hell even running from killer aliens... All of that is the best present I could ever get." Taking a moment to digest her words, the Doctor gave her a warm smile in return. "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Tati." They stood together watching the celebration. Tati glanced to her right, spying people on the balcony just below them. Seeing what some of the couples were doing gave her an idea. "Although," she said loudly, "there is something I wouldn't mind having." The Doctor turned to her and sputtered, "B-but... you just said..." He was cut off as Tati pulled herself up on tiptoe and planted a kiss right on his lips. She broke contact after a few seconds, trying desperately to look anywhere but in his face. There came a tap on her shoulder, and she turned hesitantly, caught off-guard when he pulled her into a firm, warm hug. "I'm glad you chose to travel with me." His breath tickled her ear, her cheeks tinged with color as she returned the hug. Even if a moment like this never came again, Tati knew she would treasure it for the rest of her life. "So," she said with a chuckle, "tell me about that knife you found."
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