Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fail at the End of Yoshi Falls

I will be uploading more of my Mario Kart Wii Let's Play later. But decided to get this out now.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki: Love and Leaving 1

The sky was a lovely shade of blue and Yomosa was by my side. The woman that had me change more than my form and love more deeply than I had with Sajoki. Today I was able to walk beside her in my main male human form. While Yomosa accepted me for what I was, I could tell me assuming a human form comforted her.

For many weeks we had been traveling not side by side, but with me in the form of an animal that could be ridden by a human. The form I took differed day by day. Partially to relieve some of my own tensions and partially to amuse Yomosa.

But there was something different and fulfilling about walking side by side with my love. The smells in the air were clearer to me and my hope in the future was a reality.

"How much longer? I'm almost thinking this amuses you, Rig." Yomosa asked with a smile. While she must be more tired than I was, her being a human, she was able to not let her exhaustion show. Her humor was seeming to actually improve through our journey.

"Not much longer." I replied. "Once we reach the harbor things might get rough."

"Your enemies?"

"Or friends of my enemies. Which would be worse."

I put up my hand and Yomosa stopped. Things had gotten very quiet all of a sudden. While nature wasn't always loud, there was always noise. However, when there was danger things could turn silent. Then you'd only have a few seconds to react.

Was a supporter of Hijunaki coming to get me? Had Akumie decided to send something to get me?

Turning to the sound of a slight russel of leaves I saw Jirou. But he didn't look like he once had. Instead there was hunger in his eyes. Not the normal hunger but a deranged kind. My sparring buddy hadn't taken the death of Hijunaki well.

"You can have me, Jirou." I told him. "But let Yomosa leave unharmed. She didn't kill Hijunaki. I did."

A hurt expression took over Jirou's face. He made a show of putting his human, but furry, hand over his heart. "I would never attack you, Rig Katashi, you were a good friend. I didn't understand you the majority of the time, but I still consider you a friend. One of the few that I can call a friend now." He paused. "Even if you did kill our creator I would never think of harming you."

I wanted to let my guard down but didn't. Jirou was part wolf, as his lower half showed, and the hunger in his eyes was a warning that shouldn't be dismissed.

"Then why are you here?" I asked and realized how stupid that must sound. He was hunting, of course.

Jirou pointed a finger to Yomosa. "I would not harm you, Rig, but she is merely a human. I know you must think you've found love but you can find another. You always have in the past." A grin formed on his face as he spoke.

"I won't let you harm her." I said as I moved in front of Yomosa.

The grin on Jirou's face widened. "I know you won't hurt me. It's not in you to harm a friend."

"I killed my maker."

"He wasn't your friend, though."

Yomosa pulled out some wolf meat and stood beside me.

"It's fresh." She said and we both waited to see what my friend would say.
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ALL Links for Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki

Revolution "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" Review

Georgia is...awesome!




The Following "The End is Near" Review

Jacob!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shipping Confessions: Kyle Reese x Star (Terminator Salvation)

Now I am unashamed to admit that I enjoyed Terminator Salvation. Upon leaving the theater I was trying to recover from the downer ending. But that's unrelated to the ship discussed today and Shipping Confessions as a whole. Just let it be known that I highly enjoyed this movie.

One of the things going against the movie was that the script had been heavily revised (the thanks goes to Christian Bale). But I felt it recovered and became a worthy entry into the Terminator movies.

Now this ship isn't canon and yet I feel its use could help the sequel. One of the founding moments of the Terminator series is Kyle Reese impregnating Sarah Connor with a son (John Connor). And with the first movie you can see that Kyle has never loved anyone like Sarah Connor. So him going back in time was a no brainer for him.

But what if all that was changed? That's one of the driving forces behind my love for this ship, but it is supported by the chemistry between Kyle Reese and Star.

Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation has a different age than he did in The Terminator. I'm not merely talking about that he's younger but that his birth date is different. In The Terminator one part of Kyle's character is that he's never seen the world before Skynet started its war against the Resistance.

However, in Terminator Salvation it seems as though Kyle lived at least part of his life before Judgement Day. He likes to act like he's already part of the Resistance (though that doesn't happen until near the end of the movie) and has a companion called Star.

Kyle shows the strength that he will have in his later years. He also shows an obsession with John Connor. Not like he's infatuated but merely that he admires John as a leader. So when both meet up in the final battle scene of the movie, both get something out of it. John gets to finally meet his father and Kyle gets to finally meet one of his idols.

I do want to bring up the fact that Skynet doesn't kill Kyle when it has the chance. Maybe it's something timey-wimey or maybe the plot just had to have Kyle live without reason. Or maybe Skynet sees Kyle and Star getting together which it thinks will make him not interested in having sex with Sarah Connor?

The last one is a long shot, I know, and giving too much credits to the writers. As the mistake was most likely just a plot hole left in the final script.

So what about Star? Star is Kyle Reese's companion and yet not a lot is known about her history. Her ability is to 'sense' Terminators coming. She does this by sensing vibrations in the ground and air. It's almost like a super power and it does help her and Kyle survive.

In Terminator Salvation she uses this ability to also help Marcus Wright when he joins the group.

There is really no reason why Star stays with Kyle but she does. In the movie it seems like she could one day be a valuable member of the Resistance. Imagine having a soldier that can 'sense' the enemies before they came? That soldier would be beyond valuable.

I found something out about the novelization of Terminator Salvation while double checking facts on Star: it seems the novelization hints that Star is actually a Terminator. This would help to explain Star's abilities. Because her ability to 'sense' incoming enemies is just her using her sensors.

Star being a Terminator could help explain why she's with Kyle Reese. It's either because she's a rebellious Terminator (a la Catherine Weaver in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) or she was sent back to protect Kyle.

I don't believe that this is kept in the movie version, but please tell me if I missed a clue of Star being a Terminator in the movie version.

Throughout Terminator Salvation both Star and Kyle Reese seem very close. I'd say brother and sister but they seem to really have a lover vibe going on. They have been traveling with only each other for protection. This would, of course, allow a very strong bond to form. So why, given the proper amount of time, wouldn't they start viewing each other romantically?

Once Star and Kyle became adults what if they finally solidified their love for each other? How would John Connor react? Would this version of Kyle Reese have to be forced to go back in time just so John would continue to exist?

I would love for the next Terminator movie to consider some of these questions. It just seems such an interesting concept to explore. Both because it makes Kyle going back in time suspenseful for long time fans as well as allowing characters with chemistry to be together.

Besides, I never thought Kyle was telling the truth in The Terminator about never having feelings for anyone else but Sarah. Because you're really telling me a kid growing up post-Judgment Day won't form a romantic relationship with anyone?

So that's my take on Kyle and Star's relationship.

So what's up for next Shipping Confessions?

I'm going back, again, to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to look at a ship involving a character that most fans of the show hate.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Terminal Man (Michael Crichton)

Title: The Terminal Man

Author: Michael Crichton

Released: 1972

Rating: 3.5/5

Basic Plot: Harry Benson goes to get an experimental procedure to stop him having seizures.
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Too Predictable
One of my main problems I had with this book wasn't that it was published back in 1972. It was the fact that this book was way too predictable. I'm not talking about one person knowing that the operation will be a failure and the operation being performed anyway. It might be cliche but that's really a way for the book to get going. I don't want to read a novel about a successful operation. Bad shit has to go down or else there is no point in reading. Conflict is a must in fiction. However, you can easily tell where Benson will run to after the operation and then where he is hiding near the end of the book. The level of knowing what is going to happen is just disappointing. Especially since Crichton can do so much better than that.

So Many Missed Opportunities
During the course of the novel there seemed to be clues that something bigger is going on. That Benson having the operation isn't just something that happened but had actually been planned for awhile. So I kept waiting for the bigger picture to finally be revealed and to be amazed. Sadly this didn't happen. I could forgive some of the predictability if there was something deeper going on. But, nope, it is only what it appeared to be on the surface and nothing else.

Mind Control: What Is It
Despite all its faults, this novel has a pretty good discussion about mind control. Now I think, from what other people have said, is that this book advocates not going forward in the mind control department. I, however, took one points of the book to be about our upbringing being a form of mind control. Society and our parents try to mold us into what is the status quo of the time. Our schooling is furthering that end goal as we have to interact with other people (never mind the curriculum). The juxtaposition of that kind of mind control with the operation performed on Benson are the best parts of the novel.

Final Thoughts
I think the reason I don't like this book that much is because I know Michael Crichton can write so much better. I am aware that this was written in a different time but I've read both The Andromeda Strain (1969) and A Case of Need (1968) and enjoyed both immensely. Never mind Westworld (1973) is a movie I have loved both times I have watched it (possibly even three times). So it isn't just that the times were different. If you are looking for your first Crichton book to read, don't read this one (or Pirate Latitudes).


Friday, April 19, 2013

Inbetween: Death of the Five

About the Inbetween Series:
I have some ideas for stories that I don’t usually write because my four main series take up so much time (that and other blog work). So I decided that between writing sections of my main series, to write short little fanfics.

These fanfics will be HIGHLY self-indulgent. Because I work so hard on my other series that I deserve a little break.

Sometimes some of these “Inbetween Fics” might be samples of later works (that might turn out to be either a fanfic series OR original series).


About "Death of Five":
An idea has been going through my head for awhile about a character that I'm calling Rinn (at least for the moment). I have partially (not fully, since that'd mean I'd have outlined the series already) thought up the story I'd tell about her. From her beginnings all the way to where she's basically all alone in the universe. If I ever do get to writing Rinn's entire story (which might not be for a number of years) "Death of the Five" will probably take place near the end of it. I decided this part would be the best to tell for Inbetween since it'd be the easiest to shorten and has a clear cut beginning and end to it.


Where It Takes Place in the Star Wars Timeline:
While this is an AU fic, I have decided on a rough outline where this could take place. It'd be before Episode I and before Qui-Gon Jinn took Obi-Wan Kenobi as his apprentice.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Spending any amount of time on a space station made you lose sense of reality. Reality, of course, being the sense of the wind on your face. Even if that wind would kill you if you took the air in with your lungs. But living on a space station also allowed me to be a drifter. Because, really, who would look at a simple human pilot? Especially if the pilot could take care of her own ship.

No doubt people would ask questions behind my back, but it would never get to the point where I'd be under any form of investigation.

But any opinions that were thrown about the young, at least that's how my body appeared, drifter Rinn wasn't any concern of mine now. This was due to me being part of a two person team that would search for something ancient. Something so ancient that many didn't believe it really existed. And even those that believed it existed didn't want to find it due to its supposed ties to the Sith Order.

At least one was willing to find out if it really existed and then go to it. I finished making myself presentable for the Jedi Master and then went over to my computer. I did a brief overview of the top stories on the holonet, but nothing seemed interesting to me. Of course, once someone lived as long as I did, not much could stimulate my interest.

There were only so many times I could hear about a civil war, famine, or the like before I became disinterested. This isn't to say they weren't important, but I saw a bigger picture. A never ending portrait of pain. So worrying about one problem, no matter how important, was useless since it would always be eclipsed by a future one.

So checking the holonet didn't take long and I went to check on something vastly more important. Something that was one problem that I actually gave a damn about. Mainly because if the Five were found out they could be awakened and then all hell would be let lose.

I started to make sure the Five's location was still safe and secret. My memories of them started to flood my mind. They crashed over me. While things could go wrong if they were discovered, I hadn't been able to kill them. I had decided shortly after the Sith became a children's bedtime story, to cryogenically freeze them instead of ending their lives.

While they had been a plague onto anything good, and strong in what this galaxy's inhabitants called the Dark Side of the Force, they had still been my comrades a long time ago in another galaxy. When the Massacre had happened we had been all that was left of the Navigators.

It had been...I shook my head and shut down my computer as soon as I was assured that the Five's location was still secret. That's all that mattered. I left my cabin and walked to where I was supposed to meet this Jedi Master.

I waited by the door until it opened and he walked through it. He was a tall human male. He seemed to be in his late 50's or early 60's. His hair was long and he had a small little beard. All in all, a very impressive build. His physique radiated power, though I sensed calmness in him that would temper any rage. At least rage that would lead to the Dark Side.

"Welcome, Master Qui-Gon Jinn." I said and felt something that I hadn't felt in some time. Being a Navigator, even though I had used The Cure, meant certain emotions had become foreign to me. Or at least I only felt them on rare occasions. "I am here to help you on your mission. Whatever that might be."

I tried to keep silent that I knew his mission. Because I wasn't ranked high enough, at least not now at this point in time, to have the information.

"You are Rinn?" He asked and I nodded. "I am continuing my mission to find the Heart of the Darkness."

"You mean the ship that holds something that even the Sith were afraid of?" I asked. Pretending to only know the common myth that was told about it. Pretending not to know what the ship really held.

Qui-Gon gave a subtle smile to reassure me as he mistook any sign of nervousness as a fear of him. I thought I was hiding my secrets from him and so it couldn't be that. But maybe he was sensing my confusion about what I was feeling.

And with Qui-Gon's reassuring smile it hit me. I was feeling what a normal human would describe as being attracted to him.

**********************************
For many years I had been living alone. And why would I want to be with anyone? Anyone I would travel with, or form any kind of attachment to, I would have to keep in the dark. I couldn't tell anyone the true version of events. If I did, then there would be a chance my secrets could be found out.

While this went through my mind I looked over at the Jedi Master. Helped with the Force, he was able to use his powers in minor ways to speed the process along. If I had wanted to I could've told Qui-Gon where the Heart of the Darkness was located. But then I'd be giving up the lives of my friends. Not good friends, but friends nonetheless.

"You having better luck than me, Master Jedi?" I asked after feeling the silence getting to me. Silence when there was no one around was one thing. But when a person was a few feet away from you and there was no conversation, that was different.

"I think we're doing the same amount of work." He replied, sighed, and then turned to look at me. "Such an ancient ship, full of dark side energy, is impossible to find. I don't know why I continue to seek it. Even when the Council gave me the mission, they knew there was a possibility I wouldn't be able to find it. They gave me a way out if I wanted."

I sensed something and pretended not to notice. Instead I started looking through a new batch of files. "Maybe you have something to prove?" I said casually.

"I'm a Jedi, we don't let our personal lives affect us on missions."

"You're also a living and feeling being." I said as I turned to him. "I think even Jedi are affected by emotions like the rest of us."

Qui-Gon was quiet and slight signs showed his composure starting to falter. After a few seconds he gained full control of himself and replied, "You are right. I failed to train my former Padawan Xanatos."

"Did he die?" I asked.

"No, he turned to the dark side and left the Jedi Order."

"So you trying to find the Heart of the Darkness is you trying to redeem yourself?"

Qui-Gon turned back to looking through the files and didn't answer my question. Many more minutes of silence filled the time we both spent looking through even more files. Even though my attention was focused on the task at hand, I found myself glancing at the Jedi Master from time to time.

I had felt a small amount of attraction towards him when we first met, but I didn't feel anything strong. I couldn't feel emotions like a normal human anymore, so I didn't know for certain that attraction is what I was feeling or how it would affect me.

"Do you know anymore about the Heart of the Darkness other than the Sith are afraid what it contains?" Qui-Gon finally asked.

In my early days I wouldn't know how to answer him without giving away the truth. But I was much older now.

I replied, "Yes, I do. The Sith built a ship to contain the Dark Side. Well, at least a high density of the Dark Side. This feat was done better than expected. Five of the Sith were chosen to fly the Heart of the Darkness, but they never arrived at their destination. Some say those Sith repented and destroyed the ship. Yet others say that the dark side overtook them and decided to take the ship into hiding until a later point in time."

"At which point the Dark Side will attempt to take over the Republic." Qui-Gon finished. "You know your history."

"I know legends." I said and realized I had fooled a Jedi Master. It wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last, but something felt different this time. Something felt wrong about fooling such a strong and wise being. He should've been just another human Jedi, but he wasn't. Not to me.

I realized the feeling of attraction and noticed that they were stronger than they had been in a long time. I also realized that I didn't know how to resist them. Most likely because I didn't want to. I wanted to feel a real emotion again.

"But that history is a lie." I finally said. "I planted it and let it flourish."

Qui-Gon Jinn was silent for awhile. He didn't react. I knew that it was his way of coping, I had seen him doing the same thing earlier. Knowing his silence would end soon, I was wondering how to react. Should I tell him the truth? Some part of me thought he had the right to know, while the rational part of my mind was telling me I had made a mistake. The rational part of my mind was pointing out that I had made a mistake that could've just jeopardized myself and those I wished to protect.

"The history of the Heart of the Darkness is well known by the Jedi Order," Qui-Gon replied. "And even if what you say is true, you weren't alive back when the Heart of Darkness was lost."

I paused and tried to calm myself before continuing. I wanted to tell this man my story. But, at the same time, it might not be the best thing. I could say it was a joke and let it blow over. But I couldn't do that to Qui-Gon. Not to him.

"I was born a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. The time was one where space travel was a new thing. We didn't know who our neighbors in space were and yet we wanted to conquer it all. It had been a week since my soon to be husband died and I was lost." I said. "I didn't know what to do since each morning I was reminded of him. No matter where I went on my home world, I was reminded of him. It was then that I decided to join the Navigators."

I looked to see how the Jedi Master was reacting. He hardly moved, intent on hearing me out. Never mind that he would think I was insane until I could prove it to him.

"Navigators are genetically altered humans used to pilot large ships. Usually containing colonists that were put in stasis. Since space travel was new, voyages could last longer than intended due to unforeseen consequences." I paused remembering the early days of my existence. "Many of these consequences you don't think about anymore because your galaxy has been mapped out and dangers to us then are inconveniences to you now."

"What are the abilities of these Navigators?" Qui-Gon asked. I took note that he didn't refer to me as one. Showing he didn't yet believe my story.

"We have unlimited life spans, powers that can be compared to your Jedi abilities, and the ability to teleport ourselves and things around us." I said. "It is our long life spans and the ability to teleport that made us so useful. The Jedi-like powers were merely to give us means to protect ourselves, ship, and cargo from a very dangerous and unknowable galaxy."

Qui-Gon merely nodded, which I took to mean to continue my story. "However, becoming a Navigator came with two great costs. The first was an ever increasing inability to feel like a human. The other was an extreme rage that could overtake us at any moment. For the majority of the time Navigators were many, this rage never accounted to much. Until the Massacre which only left six Navigators still alive." I paused as memories of that day overtook me. The bloodshed, everything. I was finally able to calm myself down after a few minutes. "I left the other five to search for a cure. Since I left them I became The Rogue and they The Five. I managed to find a cure that defeated the rage but I still can't feel like I did before I became a Navigator."

"So the Five are the Sith of the legend?" Qui-Gon asked. "And you created the legend with five Sith Lords in case the Heart of the Darkness was ever found?"

I nodded. "Yes, so in case the ship was ever found, the legend would not be questioned." There was a moment of silence and then Qui-Gon signaled for me to continue. "After I became the Rogue and found the Cure, the Five's hate against me had increased like never before. I ended up running to this galaxy and found a home on the planet Atlan. I first arrived on it before the dominant lifeforms had completely matured. As such I was a kind of god in their eyes and helped them build their civilization. Once space travel was starting to become normal in this galaxy, the Five had managed to track me down."

I took a moment to figure out how to explain this next part to him. "The Five came to great power around the Sith War and so I was finally forced to act. Previously I had managed to hide while they didn't cause any great act of chaos. But I had to act. While we didn't have any friendship by the end, they were still the only things reminiscent of the time of my youth. Back when I was naive. So I put them into cyrogenic sleep and hid the Heart of the Darkness, moving it when people got too close to it."

Qui-Gon leaned back and crossed his arms. I could see the thoughts of whether or not to believe me going through his head. And, really, what proof did I have to give him? The word of a human female he had just met? I decided to help him out.

I teleported around the room long enough for him to know, through his Force Senses, that I was really teleporting. That my teleporting was not just a cheap trick.

"Can you actually teleport another person?" He finally asked.

I nodded. "But the feeling of cold most experience sometimes leads to a coma or even death. Though in most cases it just leaves you knocked out and when you come to you have a migraine."

Qui-Gon's arms were uncrossed and he looked lost. What I told him was a lot to take in. But he believed it. A simple use of my abilities and he knew what I had said was true. When he looked into my eyes I saw awe and longing. I had expected the awe part, not because I thought I was important, but because my story changed what people thought. Especially my ability to destroy a long held belief as something I had made up to cover my own tracks.

The longing I hadn't expected. Not from a Jedi Master, even though I knew they had faults just like everyone else. There had been signs he had interest in me. The main one being the subtle one of him telling me something he didn't seem apt to share with others. But I didn't expect anything like infatuation to come from it.

The look of longing in his eyes quickly went away, as he realized what he had felt and shared, and he said, "I believe you, Rinn."
**************************
It had been a few hours since I had come clean to Qui-Gon. For the first time in a long time, I felt nervous. For many years I had merely been hiding beneath a mask so I could be who I wanted. I could have any past I chose. Well, as long as my fake identifications were good enough. And they had worked for the most part.

We had both moved to the Jedi Master's cabin. I had an odd suspicion that he was trying to make me comfortable. Making it so that I would give the location of the Heart of the Darkness to him and reveal more about myself. Sadly, it was having the intended effect on me.

Qui-Gon sat on his bed while I sat on a chair. We didn't sit side by side. We were comrades at the moment and our positions reminded us of that fact.

"So you're a-" He started.

"Less evolved human than you are. Yes." I said. "It doesn't insult me. It happens to be true."

"But you are from a different galaxy." He looked over my body thoroughly. I didn't get the sense there was anything sexual in his glance, more so the look someone gives a new discovery.

"It's an odd coincidence." I replied, some part of me enjoying his gaze on me. Even if it wasn't an invitation. "Sometimes creatures evolve similarly to others. Though I might not be a stage of your evolution. I prefer to keep things simple and call myself something less evolved."

"Though your abilities would suggest otherwise."

I shook my head. "My abilities were given to me by science. As I was before, I would be more similar to another human in this galaxy."

"I doubt that." There was a slight pause. "You are from a different galaxy. I doubt you'd be too similar."

If I hadn't been a Navigator a small smile might've formed on my face. As it was I looked into his eyes and shook my head.

"Me being a Navigator is what makes me different from others. Not because of my powers, but in terms of my long life span." I replied. "There is no one I knew from before that I can talk to. While others can understand and connect with me, they can't ever fully understand me."

Qui-Gon looked down as if in contemplation. It looked as though he wanted to argue that he was different. That I viewed him differently. I wanted to assume that would be because he needed to complete his mission.

"How do you relate to people now?" He finally asked. "You are right that you've lived longer than any human should have to live."

"You mean like how I relate to you?" I thought about this for a good minute. I didn't know how to accurately explain how I didn't. Or at least I liked to think I didn't and our interactions were purely for his mission. "I know you are a living, thinking being. That you have hopes and dreams. That, being a Jedi, you have encountered loses. That's really the way I relate to you."

But that wasn't really accurate. If that was the only way I related to him, I wouldn't have told him about Navigators. Wouldn't have admitted that I knew where the ship he was searching for was located.

"That's a bleak way to view the universe." Qui-Gon replied.

It was as though he knew I was lying. But if I was lying, so was he.

"And how do you relate to me?" I asked and there was a pause. Being the Jedi Master he was, he allowed no look of shock or confusion to stay on his face very long. But I could sense it. I could sense it like someone could smell a strong perfume.

"I'm a Jedi. My connection to the Force is all I need." He replied and I knew arguing would get me nowhere. He hadn't replied to the question I asked, but he had replied to the question I meant.

"The way I view the universe is also because of what I am." I said. "What I was made to be. Even after using the Cure, somethings about me being a Navigator has not changed."

"I'm sure you will be able to feel like you did before." His annoyance at my question seemed to be forgotten. And if not forgotten, at least he felt sympathy more than anger. Probably his Jedi training helped him in that respect.

"I won't be holding my breath for it. It's been too long to expect something like that to change."

Qui-Gon nodded. "But you can still lead me to the Heart of the Darkness. I know you want to help me. I doubt revealing your past is something you'd do if you didn't intend to help me."

I looked at him and then looked away.

The silence began to unnerve me more than the Massacre ever did. Senseless violence and losing myself in hate was much preferable to this silence between myself and the Jedi Master. At least in the Massacre there was some clear goal. It wasn't a good or noble goal, but it was a goal nonetheless.

"I'm not holding back because I want to stop you from completing your mission." I said and leaned back in my chair. It wasn't my chair but sitting on it gave me some form of ownership, if only in my mind. "It's just that I don't betray friends. I have a sense of loyalty that not many have. Not just in the present, but also in the past. Hell, my own friends didn't have the same loyalty as I do."

"But then are they really friends if they don't respect you?" Qui-Gon asked.

"When you have friends sometimes you and them don't see eye to eye. Doesn't mean you and them aren't friends."

"Rinn, friends don't always see eye to eye. But they don't try and kill each other." Qui-Gon said and looked at me. It seemed as though he looked into me and was pushing me to also look into myself. But I didn't want to. I didn't have to.

"Sometimes there are misunderstandings." I replied. "Qui-Gon, they weren't in control of themselves. They didn't know what they were doing."

"Are you talking about friends or abusers?"

Finally my feelings for the Jedi Master made me tell  him. I could've found someone else to tell within a week or year, but I had to tell Qui-Gon. Some strange, forgotten urge was making me tell him the truth.

"You know how I told you that I have few real human emotions left?" I asked and Qui-Gon nodded. "What I feel towards the Five is one of the few human emotions I still have. The feeling of loyalty I have towards them is one of the few things I have left to cling onto. If I lose the Five what do I have left? If I kill them, will I become less than I already am?"

Qui-Gon touched my arm and gave me the same type of look he had given me before. But instead of a penetrating gaze, it was a look of comfort. It said that even if I had no one else, I had him. That what I was starting to feel now for the Jedi Master would be reciprocated by him. That I had nothing to worry about.

"I need to hear you say it." I finally said and touched his hand that was on me.

"You still have m-you still have Atlan." Qui-Gon said. I don't know what had made him make the slip. It might've been my touch or it might've been too hard for him not to say it at one point. I wasn't a fellow Jedi and he had no certainty of seeing me when he woke up in the morning. "Whatever you lose when killing the Five, you still have Atlan to hold onto."

I thought for a moment before speaking. "You are right, Master Jinn, I do have Atlan to hold onto." I replied. "I will show you where the Heart of the Darkness is so you can get back to more important matters."

But it wasn't because of Atlan that I had agree to show Qui-Gon where the Heart of the Darkness was located. It was because of Qui-Gon himself.
**************************
Today was the day. Or night. Depending on where you were at the moment. Me I was on a cliff on Atlan during the daytime. The stormy sea below me raged its never ending war on the cliff face. I should've been on the space station, but I needed to mediate alone. Alone with no chance of anyone interrupting me.

This place on Atlan was one not many came to. And, when those beings did come to this area, they never talked to strangers. All anyone did was mediate. Yes, there were a few Younglings that came here to party, but they wouldn't talk to me. They'd either party or have sex. Very rarely did they try to communicate with strangers.

Where I was standing now was where I had originally landed when the planet was still very young. I hadn't interfered with how the planet grew, but I was still glad of how it had turned out.

The Five would die soon. The Five, the only remaining survivors of my people, would die soon. The salty sea air and crashing waves could only calm me so much. I could stay here or go somewhere else and leave the Jedi Master right where he had started. He'd know who and what I was, but he would find that it wouldn't be worth trying to track me down.

Qui-Gon Jinn had admitted his feelings for me and I had the same feelings for him. If the Five had been better friends I wouldn't give them up for a man I had just met. However, their continued existence could spell doom for this galaxy. It would be wiser to finally kill them than let them live.

I stretched out my mind to my cabin on the space station and teleported back to there. The cool rush of teleportation filled my every piece of being and then went away when I arrived. I heard a gentle knocking and turned my attention to the door.

I opened the door and the Jedi Master was there.

"I tried contacting you, Rinn," He said. "I couldn't find you anywhere."

"Come in." I said and he came in. I shut the door behind him. "I had to go somewhere to meditate. I didn't want to be disturbed."

"Are you thinking about going back on your word?"

"If I was I wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Besides, I was meditating to make my resolve of showing you the Heart of the Darkness stronger."

Qui-Gon paused a moment. "Did you go to the ship?"

I shook my head. "No, I went somewhere that reminded me of who I was and that the Five are dangerous."

"Atlan."

I nodded. "Atlan." There were a precious few moments of silence before I next spoke. "I assume you have been making preparations of your own."

A smirk came onto Qui-Gon's face. He had decided on doing that instead of questioning me about how I had convinced myself. After a few seconds his face returned to its serious look. "You can just give me the co-ordinates. You don't need to come with me." He said. "Whatever happens on the Heart of Darkness doesn't need to concern you."

"Even if I took you up on your offer I would still be responsible for what happens." I replied. "If the Five die then I killed them. Not with my hands, but with yours. If you die then I will have lead you to your death. I don't know which one would be worse."

"But you wouldn't need to see them in their last few moments of life." The Jedi Master said. "You don't need to encounter the pain yourself."

"Qui-Gon, I am not a coward." I replied. "I have faced darkness and I am not afraid to do so again. And with something so important it would not be fit for me to be in the background. I need to be part of this. Whether it fills me with joy or sorrow."

Qui-Gon nodded his understanding and we walked to the small ship we would use to take us to the Heart of the Darkness. While walking I felt Master Jinn's pity for me. He knew what I was risking and yet wasn't afraid of the fact that I could go back on my promise.
***************************
 It had been awhile since I had done something important with someone else. I didn't turn to Qui-Gon but felt his mind and tried to ease the tension there. I who had been to the Heart of the Darkness many times had become used to the Dark Side energy there. This Jedi Master had never been there before and his anticipation might kill him.

He gave a gentle push back with his own mind and I went back to only myself plus my surroundings.

"You need to focus on what you'll have to do." He said kindly.

"And you need to be relaxed." I replied and didn't dwell on the fact that I hadn't told him everything.

Qui-Gon took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I felt his mind relax but not by much.

"I guess that will have to do." I said with what could barely be called sarcasm.

As we exited hyperspace a cold feeling ran through my veins and I could see the Jedi Master shiver, though he had it mostly under control. I was used to this cold that had nothing to do with temperature and my body made no sign that I was affected.

Upon exiting hyperspace the Heart of the Darkness came into view. It seemed to be a little smaller than the average moon. It had five points jutting out of it and a sphere for the center. The five points jutting out of it were five Navigator ships. They had originally been ships that Navigators, like myself, had both piloted and taken care of.

I didn't immediately fly towards the Heart of the Darkness but instead took note of Qui-Gon. I held his left hand in my right hand. He looked into my eyes and I could feel the terror in them. The Massacre had left me with such a fear, especially when it was over and I had realized what I had done. What I had been capable of.

Qui-Gon nodded and I touched his mind with my own. Where I felt horror I left calmness. I didn't fully calm him as he wouldn't have been able to do what he'd need to when he entered. After a few minutes I felt that he was calm enough and left his mind.

"Thank you." He said.

"You're welcome." I replied and flew towards one of the entrances of the Heart of the Darkness. I went towards one of the five points and was afraid that I'd need to calm Qui-Gon again. Luckily that wasn't the case.

Landing the small craft in one of the cargo bays wasn't hard to do. But I didn't take that as a sign that this mission would be easy.

I got up and walked to the door that would allow me to set foot onto the Heart of the Darkness.

Turning around I said, "Ready when you are."

Qui-Gon paused a moment before he followed me out of our small ship and into a much larger one. I stretched out with my mind and other senses to look at the cargo bay. So much had happened here and soon there would be no need of it anymore. Except for nostalgia.

"It used to be much nicer." I told the Jedi Master. "What it it has become is not what it began as. It began as a way to explore the universe not a way to help end it."

He was about to reply when a loud alarm went off. We both took off running with me in the lead. I took out a small blaster and he took out his lightsaber. The plan was for this to go as quickly as possible. Showing him around could wait for later.

As we exited the cargo bay and into one of the main hallways lasers started firing at us. I dodged them while Qui-Gon used his weapon to have the blasts hit the lasers that fired them. The alarm system had turned on because Qui-Gon was an alien that had not been entered into the system. The Five had entered Navigators to be the only things allowed in. Which was why I had never had a problem with the ship.

I fired my blaster at a droid that had appeared in the hallway. It dodged it and when I fired my next shot it became paralyzed. A third shot finally brought it down. The spider-like droid was down and yet another of the model appeared behind it.

Qui-Gon was able to spare a moment to redirect a laser blast to distract it and I put it down.

More spider-like droids came after us and the laser firing system continued to function. This went on until we reached a door that would allow us into the sphere of the Heart of the Darkness. That would allow us to enter the control center of the whole ship. Well, space station really.

I teleported behind the door and updated the system to allow Qui-Gon in. After a few seconds the security system deactivated. I opened the door and was given a view of Qui-Gon deactivating his lightsaber and putting it back on his belt.

"Couldn't you have just teleported there in the first place?" The Jedi Master asked as he walked into the sphere.

"I had to make sure you survived." I replied.

He just looked at me and I turned away.

"Besides, a lot of things about this are illogical." Were the only words that came out to counteract Qui-Gon's look.

He nodded. "That they are. You can still go back."

"No," I said. "I wouldn't have come this far if I didn't plan to end this."

With this new man by my side I walked to the center of the ship. Upon arrival I walked into the center of the room and allowed Qui-Gon to take in the sight. All five were in cryogenic chambers around the room. I had made sure to keep track of how each one was doing. If each one was dying or surviving.

"We'll have to unplug them." I told him. "Basically just make the cryogenic chambers kill each of them. I made it as a safe guard if anyone tried to unfreeze them. The normal way to do so kills them, it takes prior knowledge to remove them safely."

I saw the emotions overtake his face. He finally realized that killing the Five wasn't about fighting an enemy, but killing that enemy in their sleep. Killing the enemy when they couldn't fight back. An dishonorable way to kill, especially for a Jedi.

"There has to be another way." He managed to say but I shook my head.

"Unless you want to unfreeze them and fight them. Even if partially woken up they will fight as strong as Master Yoda. You won't be able to fight them easily, even with me by your side." I paused. "You probably won't survive and I don't know if I can kill them in a fair fight. And if they are released they will tear this galaxy apart."

Qui-Gon walked slowly over to a cryogenic chamber and did the actions to unfreeze one of the Five, which did the opposite. I felt him go through many emotions as he did the actions. He was feeling if he was betraying his order and yet doing good for that same order.

"I couldn't kill them when I had the chance." I told him as I killed another of the five. "If I had I wouldn't have put you into this situation."

"It's hurting you more, isn't it?" He asked as he went onto the next one. "I shouldn't have put you in this situation."

"If I hadn't become a Navigator I wouldn't be in any of these scenarios."

"I'm glad you did decide to become one." He said with a little too much affection.

Finally I came to the final member of the Five. I knew his name without looking at the tag on his cryogenic chamber. His name was Carver and I smiled at the good times. But when the bad memories came to me I felt no regret as I killed him.

Qui-Gon put his hand on my shoulder and I leaned into him. They were gone now. I was now the only Navigator left. I had no comfort to find except the man beside me. And one day he'd be gone or dead.
***********************************
It had been a good three standard days since my last connections to my origins had been destroyed. I had expected to be crying and starting to feel the anger that I thought was in the past. But none of that happened. I was in the shower for the fifth time that day. I felt dirty and yet no amount of water would wash me clean.

I had not only killed friends but had done so while they were asleep. My crimes included dragging a Jedi Master to help me. An image of Qui-Gon came into my mind and I imagined him waiting outside the shower. I didn't just see an image but remembered his mind. Focusing on the mirage of Qui-Gon I felt its nonexistence and finished washing myself.

I got out and began to dry myself. I thought I should check on Qui-Gon one last time. As this galaxy was big and he was a Jedi, I figured this would be my last chance. I didn't dress fancy but put on my normal outfit. After making sure that my cabin would be safe I walked over to his door. I could've teleported but wanted to be polite. Wanted to comfort him and not scare him away.

While I had lost my friends, he had killed enemies that were in no position to fight back. I believed we were equal in the pain we felt about the events aboard the Heart of the Darkness.

I knocked on Qui-Gon's door and he opened.

"I just wanted to check on you." I said. "Before we said our good-byes."

I sensed something strange and the Jedi Master appeared nervous but he let me in anyways.

"You had me kill people that were defenseless." He reprimanded and then sighed. "But I see why you had me help you. It was hard enough for you to kill your fellow Navigators. You couldn't do it on your own."

"You don't think you could kill a fellow Jedi." I said and put an arm around his shoulder. "Not even one that betrayed you personally."

Qui-Gon winced but nodded. He had told me all about Xanatos the previous day and I had listened. He had told me plainly that he wouldn't know what would happen if he had to kill his former Padawan.

"And I thank you for helping to keep my secret about a fragment of my past." I said and saw him smile back. For a brief moment he seemed to forget about the pains encountered on the Heart of the Darkness. I was a little proud that I could provide him even a brief glimpse at happiness.

"The true danger is no longer a threat." Qui-Gon said and he touched my hand that was on his on his arm. "I will say I battled the Sith in there and that once I left the ship it was no longer in the same location."

"And what will you say about me?"

"That you helped me track it down."

I then asked the question that was on my mind but that I was afraid to get out of my mouth. "When will you be leaving?"

Qui-Gon appeared nervous again and replied, "In around five hours."

"Then you'll be gone."

"I will answer any call you send me." He said. "You more than deserve that."

"I put you through more pain than being killed by a black hole, you shouldn't feel that you owe me anything."

"But I do." He said and I shook his hand.

As I let go of his hand and went to the door something happened. Something that had been waiting to happen since I had first laid eyes on him. An emotion he had an easier time feeling than me.

Qui-Gon grabbed my face in his hands and kissed me. Deeply and with passion. However, it was also laced with shame for betraying his Order. For a brief second I saw an image of a human woman in his mind that was quickly replaced by my own as I returned his kiss.

The kissing became more heated and both of our hands wandered. Before things could continue to the finish we both yearned for, we stopped.

"I'll remember your offer." I told the Jedi Master and the first real smile in awhile formed on my face. No more shame was on his face as he smiled back. The smile and these feelings gave me hope that one day I could feel like I had before.

I then exited his cabin.

-THE END-

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Inbetween: Death of the Five 8

It had been a good three standard days since my last connections to my origins had been destroyed. I had expected to be crying and starting to feel the anger that I thought was in the past. But none of that happened. I was in the shower for the fifth time that day. I felt dirty and yet no amount of water would wash me clean.

I had not only killed friends but had done so while they were asleep. My crimes included dragging a Jedi Master to help me. An image of Qui-Gon came into my mind and I imagined him waiting outside the shower. I didn't just see an image but remembered his mind. Focusing on the mirage of Qui-Gon I felt its nonexistence and finished washing myself.

I got out and began to dry myself. I thought I should check on Qui-Gon one last time. As this galaxy was big and he was a Jedi, I figured this would be my last chance. I didn't dress fancy but put on my normal outfit. After making sure that my cabin would be safe I walked over to his door. I could've teleported but wanted to be polite. Wanted to comfort him and not scare him away.

While I had lost my friends, he had killed enemies that were in no position to fight back. I believed we were equal in the pain we felt about the events aboard the Heart of the Darkness.

I knocked on Qui-Gon's door and he opened.

"I just wanted to check on you." I said. "Before we said our good-byes."

I sensed something strange and the Jedi Master appeared nervous but he let me in anyways.

"You had me kill people that were defenseless." He reprimanded and then sighed. "But I see why you had me help you. It was hard enough for you to kill your fellow Navigators. You couldn't do it on your own."

"You don't think you could kill a fellow Jedi." I said and put an arm around his shoulder. "Not even one that betrayed you personally."

Qui-Gon winced but nodded. He had told me all about Xanatos the previous day and I had listened. He had told me plainly that he wouldn't know what would happen if he had to kill his former Padawan.

"And I thank you for helping to keep my secret about a fragment of my past." I said and saw him smile back. For a brief moment he seemed to forget about the pains encountered on the Heart of the Darkness. I was a little proud that I could provide him even a brief glimpse at happiness.

"The true danger is no longer a threat." Qui-Gon said and he touched my hand that was on his on his arm. "I will say I battled the Sith in there and that once I left the ship it was no longer in the same location."

"And what will you say about me?"

"That you helped me track it down."

I then asked the question that was on my mind but that I was afraid to get out of my mouth. "When will you be leaving?"

Qui-Gon appeared nervous again and replied, "In around five hours."

"Then you'll be gone."

"I will answer any call you send me." He said. "You more than deserve that."

"I put you through more pain than being killed by a black hole, you shouldn't feel that you owe me anything."

"But I do." He said and I shook his hand.

As I let go of his hand and went to the door something happened. Something that had been waiting to happen since I had first laid eyes on him. An emotion he had an easier time feeling than me.

Qui-Gon grabbed my face in his hands and kissed me. Deeply and with passion. However, it was also laced with shame for betraying his Order. For a brief second I saw an image of a human woman in his mind that was quickly replaced by my own as I returned his kiss.

The kissing became more heated and both of our hands wandered. Before things could continue to the finish we both yearned for, we stopped.

"I'll remember your offer." I told the Jedi Master and the first real smile in awhile formed on my face. No more shame was on his face as he smiled back. The smile and these feelings gave me hope that one day I could feel like I had before.

I then exited his cabin.

-THE END-

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Allegiant (Final Divergent Trilogy Book Named)

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shipping Confessions: Walter x Astrid (Fringe)

Now we are stepping into another series that has been cancelled. Unlike Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe was given notice that it was to be cancelled after its upcoming fifth season. This allowed the team the ability to finish the series on their own terms. Hell, episode nineteen of the previous season was basically a trailer for season five.

Seasons One through Four follow the adventures of a team that deals with weird occurrences (the division of the FBI is called the Fringe Division). The team is made up of FBI agent Olivia Dunham, mad scientist Walter Bishop, the mad scientist's son Peter Bishop, and FBI agent/Walter's caretaker/woman who helps a lot but doesn't get a lot of recognition for it Astrid Farnsworth.

Season Five was about the Fringe Team battling the Invaders (formerly known as Observers) and saving the planet.

All in all a great five seasons and I was sad to see it end. In those five seasons there were canon and non-canon relationships to ship. As Shipping Confessions deals with the non-canon ships (for the most part) I will talk about my favorite non-canon ship in this series. In the Series Finale I was desperately hoping that they would make this ship canon but nothing was for certain by the end. Though one of the character's comments just filled me with feels for the ship.

The ship is Walter Bishop and Astrid Farnsworth. I know that Walter is much older than Astrid. However, they have so much chemistry that it flows into being a romantic relationship.

Walter Bishop is an old scientist who worked on fringe sciences before he got put into a mental institution. It is revealed that Walter's greatest/worst invention was creating a portal to another universe (nicknamed the Red Universe) and brought that universe's Peter over to the Blue Universe (aka "our" universe). Walter did that because his own Peter had died and Walternate (aka the Walter from the Red Universe) hadn't found a cure for the other Peter.

Long story short: Walter ended up keeping Peter and raised him as his own son. Peter, at the start of the series, didn't have a good relationship with Walter and it's only because Peter is needed to get Walter out that he stays.

One of Walter's quirks is that he is a big drug user and doesn't seem to be in reality most of the time. However, his character is very deep and he isn't there just for the laughs. One of the best episodes, and I think only episode, where you go into Walter's mind is the Season Five Episode "Black Blotter". Besides having a very good Monty Python reference, it shows you how Walter views his own troubled mind.

With him being my favorite character it is sad what the Finale did to him. I really had enjoyed seeing him and Peter together (as father and son).

Astrid Farnsworth is the woman who takes care of Walter when he joins the Fringe Division. While this is her reason for being on the team she does so much more. There is so much more to her than merely taking care of Walter.

In numerous instances she helps the Fringe Team with an important piece of evidence for the case of the week and is seen fighting in a few instances (only big time I can recall is near the end of the Fourth Season which is so implanted in my mind because I think it was the first time she fought).

Astrid has a father we see in only one episode and we only hear that her mother died of cancer when Astrid was young. Suffice it to say that Astrid gets very little backstory of her own though, again, she is a very useful and necessary member of the Fringe Team.

Walter constantly says Astrid's name wrong. He's called her Astro, Athos, and Afro among many other names. Most of them starting with the letter 'a' though there have been exceptions. In the Finale Walter admits that he has always remembered Astrid's name and says it's a 'beautiful' name. Implying that he doesn't want to mess it up? Or that he thinks he's too messed up (his actions in his 'early' years did cause a rip in the universe) to be with her?

I think Walter and Astrid belong together. When there was a chance (near the end of the Fourth Season) that Astrid would die, Walter seemed too sad and then too happy when she lives for them to just have been friends. Plus Astrid could've left if she had wanted to, but seems to stick by his side even in the worst of times.

When the Observers invaded Earth (Blue 'Verse) she still worked with Walter. If someone is willing to stay by your side during the end of the world, it means something. Peter and Olivia going separate ways when the Observers invaded was them dealing with the loss of their daughter. I didn't see them as loving each other less but them just dealing with the loss of their daughter in different ways. Plus, it had been shown over four previous seasons that they did truly love each other (plus their relationship is canon).

Near the very end of the Finale his scenes with Astrid and Peter are full of the same type of emotion: the possibility of leaving someone he loves.

Walter even rejects when a woman makes advances towards him. I guess people that don't ship Walter x Astrid can just say that it's because he feels guilty about running experiments on her when she was younger. But I really feel that scene shows that Walter is having feelings for Astrid.

In the Fifth Season Astrid asks Walter about going to bed. Now to those with virgin ears and eyes that may seem like no big deal. It's just a friend being concerned about Walter's sleep. However, it also seems to be a go-to line (at least in fiction) for having sex. Walter ends up refusing but it doesn't seem to be that he isn't attracted to Astrid, but that he has other things on his mind. Astrid goes away looking a little disappointed.

I guess then is the question of how far their relationship has gone. If she is comfortable enough in the Fifth Season to make a remark that can easily be taken sexually, it seems like there's some kinkiness there that isn't being shown on screen.

To anybody who finds themselves attracted to an aging scientist who takes a lot of drugs: it's highly doubtful that you're getting into a relationship with a Walter Bishop kind of guy. I don't suggest it.

In my headcanon I have Walter returning to 2015 and living a long and happy life with Astrid and their pet cow Gene. Of course they will visit with Peter, Olivia, and Etta!

What is up next for Shipping Confessions? We go back to the Terminator Universe and look at a ship that might cause problems with John Connor being born!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So You Want to Be a Wizard (Diane Duane)

Title: So You Want to Be a Wizard

Series: Young Wizards

Author: Diane Duane

Released: 1983

Rating: 5/5

Basic Plot: Nita Callahan is a thirteen-year-old girl who discovers a book titled So You Want to Be a Wizard while hiding from bullies in a library. She brings the book home with her and discovers that it is about the art of wizardry.
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The Importance of Words
As a writer I believe that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Word something the wrong way and you'll offend people you didn't mean to. Word it another way and what you really meant will be known to people. It doesn't matter how "sophisticated" your words are, it just matters that people understand them. In this book it's shown that language and belief is what hold the multi-verse together. I really like this aspect of the book. Spells in it are speaking to the Universe to tell it what you want and not just a formula.

Treatment of a Teen Audience
I originally read some of the Young Wizards series while a teenager myself. As a teen I was always happy when I found an author who didn't treat me as a child. Who didn't think of me as dumb. This book treats its audience with respect. The main characters (Nita and Kit) are teenagers but are still able to figure things out. They don't make stupid mistakes and deal with very real problems. I'm not talking about magic or jumping into another universe. I'm talking about deciding who to help and should you give a very evil person a chance at redemption.

Character Growth/Strength
A good story has the characters change from how they were in the beginning to how they are at the end. Nita and Kit are both afraid of the torment from bullies. The combined spell that they perform near the beginning of the book is to make people stay away from Kit and for Nita to find an item that was stolen from her by Joanne (the girl that bullies Nita). By the end of the book, after going through a Hell universe and fighting off the creator of death itself, both have changed. Kit has a presence that makes him appear very strong and Nita gets her pen back. Besides that, Nita faces her fear of Joanne and gives the bully a chance at being her friend. I'd say that is some good character growth there.

Final Thoughts
I found this lovely book at a Goodwill. Once I saw this some of my childhood came back to me. While I had never read this book in the series (even though it's the first one), it still connected me to other books in the series that I had read while younger. I am glad that I still enjoy Duane's writing even though I'm not a teenager anymore (reading Piers Anthony was a disappointment on the other hand). Even though this book was published in 1983 I think children will get something out of it today. Bullying, good and evil, and forgiveness are all topics covered in this book. Just be aware that it is a dark book.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Inbetween: Death of the Five 7

It had been awhile since I had done something important with someone else. I didn't turn to Qui-Gon but felt his mind and tried to ease the tension there. I who had been to the Heart of the Darkness many times had become used to the Dark Side energy there. This Jedi Master had never been there before and his anticipation might kill him.

He gave a gentle push back with his own mind and I went back to only myself plus my surroundings.

"You need to focus on what you'll have to do." He said kindly.

"And you need to be relaxed." I replied and didn't dwell on the fact that I hadn't told him everything.

Qui-Gon took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I felt his mind relax but not by much.

"I guess that will have to do." I said with what could barely be called sarcasm.

As we exited hyperspace a cold feeling ran through my veins and I could see the Jedi Master shiver, though he had it mostly under control. I was used to this cold that had nothing to do with temperature and my body made no sign that I was affected.

Upon exiting hyperspace the Heart of the Darkness came into view. It seemed to be a little smaller than the average moon. It had five points jutting out of it and a sphere for the center. The five points jutting out of it were five Navigator ships. They had originally been ships that Navigators, like myself, had both piloted and taken care of.

I didn't immediately fly towards the Heart of the Darkness but instead took note of Qui-Gon. I held his left hand in my right hand. He looked into my eyes and I could feel the terror in them. The Massacre had left me with such a fear, especially when it was over and I had realized what I had done. What I had been capable of.

Qui-Gon nodded and I touched his mind with my own. Where I felt horror I left calmness. I didn't fully calm him as he wouldn't have been able to do what he'd need to when he entered. After a few minutes I felt that he was calm enough and left his mind.

"Thank you." He said.

"You're welcome." I replied and flew towards one of the entrances of the Heart of the Darkness. I went towards one of the five points and was afraid that I'd need to calm Qui-Gon again. Luckily that wasn't the case.

Landing the small craft in one of the cargo bays wasn't hard to do. But I didn't take that as a sign that this mission would be easy.

I got up and walked to the door that would allow me to set foot onto the Heart of the Darkness.

Turning around I said, "Ready when you are."

Qui-Gon paused a moment before he followed me out of our small ship and into a much larger one. I stretched out with my mind and other senses to look at the cargo bay. So much had happened here and soon there would be no need of it anymore. Except for nostalgia.

"It used to be much nicer." I told the Jedi Master. "What it it has become is not what it began as. It began as a way to explore the universe not a way to help end it."

He was about to reply when a loud alarm went off. We both took off running with me in the lead. I took out a small blaster and he took out his lightsaber. The plan was for this to go as quickly as possible. Showing him around could wait for later.

As we exited the cargo bay and into one of the main hallways lasers started firing at us. I dodged them while Qui-Gon used his weapon to have the blasts hit the lasers that fired them. The alarm system had turned on because Qui-Gon was an alien that had not been entered into the system. The Five had entered Navigators to be the only things allowed in. Which was why I had never had a problem with the ship.

I fired my blaster at a droid that had appeared in the hallway. It dodged it and when I fired my next shot it became paralyzed. A third shot finally brought it down. The spider-like droid was down and yet another of the model appeared behind it.

Qui-Gon was able to spare a moment to redirect a laser blast to distract it and I put it down.

More spider-like droids came after us and the laser firing system continued to function. This went on until we reached a door that would allow us into the sphere of the Heart of the Darkness. That would allow us to enter the control center of the whole ship. Well, space station really.

I teleported behind the door and updated the system to allow Qui-Gon in. After a few seconds the security system deactivated. I opened the door and was given a view of Qui-Gon deactivating his lightsaber and putting it back on his belt.

"Couldn't you have just teleported there in the first place?" The Jedi Master asked as he walked into the sphere.

"I had to make sure you survived." I replied.

He just looked at me and I turned away.

"Besides, a lot of things about this are illogical." Were the only words that came out to counteract Qui-Gon's look.

He nodded. "That they are. You can still go back."

"No," I said. "I wouldn't have come this far if I didn't plan to end this."

With this new man by my side I walked to the center of the ship. Upon arrival I walked into the center of the room and allowed Qui-Gon to take in the sight. All five were in cryogenic chambers around the room. I had made sure to keep track of how each one was doing. If each one was dying or surviving.

"We'll have to unplug them." I told him. "Basically just make the cryogenic chambers kill each of them. I made it as a safe guard if anyone tried to unfreeze them. The normal way to do so kills them, it takes prior knowledge to remove them safely."

I saw the emotions overtake his face. He finally realized that killing the Five wasn't about fighting an enemy, but killing that enemy in their sleep. Killing the enemy when they couldn't fight back. An dishonorable way to kill, especially for a Jedi.

"There has to be another way." He managed to say but I shook my head.

"Unless you want to unfreeze them and fight them. Even if partially woken up they will fight as strong as Master Yoda. You won't be able to fight them easily, even with me by your side." I paused. "You probably won't survive and I don't know if I can kill them in a fair fight. And if they are released they will tear this galaxy apart."

Qui-Gon walked slowly over to a cryogenic chamber and did the actions to unfreeze one of the Five, which did the opposite. I felt him go through many emotions as he did the actions. He was feeling if he was betraying his order and yet doing good for that same order.

"I couldn't kill them when I had the chance." I told him as I killed another of the five. "If I had I wouldn't have put you into this situation."

"It's hurting you more, isn't it?" He asked as he went onto the next one. "I shouldn't have put you in this situation."

"If I hadn't become a Navigator I wouldn't be in any of these scenarios."

"I'm glad you did decide to become one." He said with a little too much affection.

Finally I came to the final member of the Five. I knew his name without looking at the tag on his cryogenic chamber. His name was Carver and I smiled at the good times. But when the bad memories came to me I felt no regret as I killed him.

Qui-Gon put his hand on my shoulder and I leaned into him. They were gone now. I was now the only Navigator left. I had no comfort to find except the man beside me. And one day he'd be gone or dead.
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Doctor Who "The Rings of Akhaten" Review

A leaf saves the day!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Walking Dead (Season 3)

Show: The Walking Dead

Season:3

Episodes:16

Created By: Frank Darabont

Released: 2012-2013

Rating: 4/5
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Andrea's Character Arch
Throughout The Walking Dead I have liked Andrea. Is she perfect? No. But I don't think the character deserved so much hate. However, this started to change this season. I can understand why Andrea overlooked the darker side of Woodbury at first. Hell, I would've in her situation. She had the choice between more doom and gloom OR a hot guy and a little bit of paradise. That being said: I think her relationship with The Governor went on too long and made her act dumber than she actually is. I don't like the relationship with the two for the same reason I don't like the one Derek Reese and Jesse Flores had in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Those two relationships work only because one of the characters in the relationship act dumber than they really are. But, by the end of this Season, the Andrea I knew and loved came back.

Let Down of an Ending
I'll try to keep this spoiler free as possible, but as I'm talking about the ending spoilers are probably going to happen. Anyways: this Season's big thing was supposed to be a big show down between The Governor and Rick Grimes. In other words a showdown between Woodbury and Team Prison. At the mid-season finale there seemed to be a little hint of what the Season Finale would be like. But by the end of this Season Finale there had not been a big showdown between the two. Yes, there was a little battle between them but nothing that looked like what us fans were looking for. Was the Finale bad as a whole? There were some VERY good moments but the fact that there was no big showdown was a huge let down.

Merle
I know many people adore Daryl and consider him the highlight of the series. I, on the other hand, prefer Merle over Daryl. Heck, I prefer Merle over any other character on this show. Yes, Daryl is the more moral character but Merle is just so fun to see on screen. There's something about this racist asshole that is nice to see. Maybe it's his dedication to his brother that makes the character redeemable even before the last few episodes of this season aired. I waited three season for Merle to finally appear again and his reappearance was glorious. I liked the exploring of his character for more than part of an episode. You got to see a more complicated character than the one shown in the second episode of Season 1. Scott M. Gimple, leave my beloved characters alone! Bad, Gimple! Bad!

Final Thoughts
While this Season did have some down points, overall it was well put together. The highlight episode being "Clear". Which, besides seeing the return of Morgan, had some excellent character development of Michonne (who previously in the Season was more of a figure than an actual character). Again, I loved seeing the return of Merle but would've so loved to have had the showdown that I was promised. However, we did get to see the total breakdown of The Governor as well as Milton proving himself to be a badass.

Let's Play Mario Kart Wii: Getting Gold (Parts 20 and 21)

Continuing on with racing!





Let's Play Mario Kart Wii: Getting Gold (Parts 17-19)

I continue on with Mario Kart racing!






Monday, April 1, 2013

Inbetween: Death of the Five 6

Today was the day. Or night. Depending on where you were at the moment. Me I was on a cliff on Atlan during the daytime. The stormy sea below me raged its never ending war on the cliff face. I should've been on the space station, but I needed to mediate alone. Alone with no chance of anyone interrupting me.

This place on Atlan was one not many came to. And, when those beings did come to this area, they never talked to strangers. All anyone did was mediate. Yes, there were a few Younglings that came here to party, but they wouldn't talk to me. They'd either party or have sex. Very rarely did they try to communicate with strangers.

Where I was standing now was where I had originally landed when the planet was still very young. I hadn't interfered with how the planet grew, but I was still glad of how it had turned out.

The Five would die soon. The Five, the only remaining survivors of my people, would die soon. The salty sea air and crashing waves could only calm me so much. I could stay here or go somewhere else and leave the Jedi Master right where he had started. He'd know who and what I was, but he would find that it wouldn't be worth trying to track me down.

Qui-Gon Jinn had admitted his feelings for me and I had the same feelings for him. If the Five had been better friends I wouldn't give them up for a man I had just met. However, their continued existence could spell doom for this galaxy. It would be wiser to finally kill them than let them live.

I stretched out my mind to my cabin on the space station and teleported back to there. The cool rush of teleportation filled my every piece of being and then went away when I arrived. I heard a gentle knocking and turned my attention to the door.

I opened the door and the Jedi Master was there.

"I tried contacting you, Rinn," He said. "I couldn't find you anywhere."

"Come in." I said and he came in. I shut the door behind him. "I had to go somewhere to meditate. I didn't want to be disturbed."

"Are you thinking about going back on your word?"

"If I was I wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Besides, I was meditating to make my resolve of showing you the Heart of the Darkness stronger."

Qui-Gon paused a moment. "Did you go to the ship?"

I shook my head. "No, I went somewhere that reminded me of who I was and that the Five are dangerous."

"Atlan."

I nodded. "Atlan." There were a precious few moments of silence before I next spoke. "I assume you have been making preparations of your own."

A smirk came onto Qui-Gon's face. He had decided on doing that instead of questioning me about how I had convinced myself. After a few seconds his face returned to its serious look. "You can just give me the co-ordinates. You don't need to come with me." He said. "Whatever happens on the Heart of Darkness doesn't need to concern you."

"Even if I took you up on your offer I would still be responsible for what happens." I replied. "If the Five die then I killed them. Not with my hands, but with yours. If you die then I will have lead you to your death. I don't know which one would be worse."

"But you wouldn't need to see them in their last few moments of life." The Jedi Master said. "You don't need to encounter the pain yourself."

"Qui-Gon, I am not a coward." I replied. "I have faced darkness and I am not afraid to do so again. And with something so important it would not be fit for me to be in the background. I need to be part of this. Whether it fills me with joy or sorrow."

Qui-Gon nodded his understanding and we walked to the small ship we would use to take us to the Heart of the Darkness. While walking I felt Master Jinn's pity for me. He knew what I was risking and yet wasn't afraid of the fact that I could go back on my promise.
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