Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well, reading week and the craziness of the First Week Back are now done with, and then next entry is half-way written. Patience, gentle reader.

Act 1 Scene 4: Forteen Cannibal Kings

The elephant sat exactly where it wanted too, a minor miracle, in the curving angled office. His suit was of a military cut, with silver piping, and more gold braid than was common on modern uniforms. He had eased his bulk onto an aging bench, where it noticeably sagged on its degraded plastic legs. He was drinking tea, the tea cup held delicately in his massive... well, the could only rationally be described as hands. He looked young, in his mid-thirties at most.
Across the desk, Virgil Tracy sat with his elbows propped up on the table, holding his head up. A smiled kept playing across his lips as he chatted with his guest.
"Monsieur Tracy, I can assure you, I have spent hours with the Ministre de Intérieur, poring over customs records." The elephant's English was spoken with a heavy French accent. He paused to take a sip of his tea. "Madame Bizet hasn't entered our borders in over two years."
"But she did perform some services for you in the past, yes? I remember an INTERPOL record we received some years back mentioning her work with you." The elephant chuckled.
"That was was a private family matter, of interest to no one but the House of Loxo."
"Really? As I recall, the decapitated body of deposed President Isabelle Loxo was found in her suite in Côte d'Ivoire. Her head was apparently... stolen."
"As I said, it was a private matter."
"But your own family member?"
Remise-à-Neuf was a difficult time. This was merely the last mess to clean up." The elephant finished off his tea. "But as to your matter of this ring, it never entered the Kingdom. If you'll excuse me, Monsieur, I have a long flight back to Africa." The elephant heaved his bulk off the bench, and shook hands. "It was good to see you, Virgil." Virgil pressed a button on his desk. An aide entered.
"It was good to see you too, Zephir. Anna, see His Highness out, and would you see Mister Matrix in." The elephant managed to squeeze himself through the door, and a minute later was replaced by a bemused Enzo Matrix.
"Who in the name of the User was that?"
"That was his Highness Prince Zephir-Roland de Pachyderm-Loxo, from the court of Queen Flora of Equatorial Celesia, and he was here to lie to me in an open and friendly matter." Virgil pointed for Enzo to have a seat.
"Equatorial Celesia. It's the Elephant Kingdom, and tends to operate as a tax haven for old colonial exiles. Anyways, Sandiego bought a house there some years ago, and visited fairly often. We know she spent some time there after she stole the Ring. The Prince was here to tell me otherwise, as we both knew he would."
"But if you knew he would lie, and he knew that, why...?"
"It's polite diplomacy. If she was there for any length of time, it means she was doing work for them. There was a palace coup back in the early sixties that created a Republic for about thirty years before the monarchy was restored. During that time, many of the art treasures were looted or sold by the republican government for funds, and the palace itself was left a half-burnt ruin. After the Restoration, the elephants attempted to return their cultural treasures. When ever their attempts to do it legally failed to work, they turned to people like Carmen to help them out. Maybe forty to forty five percent of the total returned items have been due to her. To make a long story short, Zephir presence was a way of informing me that whatever Carmen was doing in Celesia, it had nothing to do with our search. Which means another dead end." A muffled roar interrupted Virgil. He glanced out the window and watched as a flash of red, silver and fire burned screaming towards the heavens. "God speed, Valentina." he murmured to himself, before he pored more tea. "How's Ecureuil?"
"He's fine. His legs are being checked by the MDs. He didn't tell them anything- not that it would matter much. You've been the Southern Hemisphere's worst kept secret for years.I didn't think it would be so easy to pull him out, though."
"Whiplash was never good at hiring goons that were sociopathic enough to really be decent guards."
"But this was far too easy. If I didn't know better, I'd..."Enzo trailed off.
"You'd what?"
"Well, it seems cliche to say it, but if I didn't know better, I'd say he was allowed to escape. I mean, its not as though-" Enzo was suddenly interrupted by the harsh ringing of the telephone. Virgil answered it.
"Island Actual, go ahead."
"Mister Tracy, this is Tin-Tin. We've had an unidentified bogey heading our way for the last seven minuets."
"What's its speed?"
"Pretty slow, sir. If it maintains present course and speed, it won't reach us for over an hour or two at minimum. I th-" there was a pause "Sir, they appear to be transmitting their registry code now... its... it is SIA Airship 144525-L..." Still holding the receiver to his ear, Virgil turned behind him to pull a book off the shelf, where he began to flip through the pages.
"SIA... SIA.... oh, there... Sovereign Illiopian Airshi-"
"Sir? Please advise, sir, do we let them enter our airspace or not? Mr. Tracy?" But Virgil wasn't paying any more attention to the phone. He was starring out the window, his skin pale, scanning the horizons for something he had thought to be impossible.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Guffin War, Act 1 Scene 3: Unkind as any, and the wrath of many. (Even the vegetables don't like him)

Enzo tried to wriggle out of the shaft. His legs had cramped from sitting crunched up, and his foot was asleep. He finally flumped out onto the floor, landing painfully on the grate. He proceeded crept down the shiny corridors in a rough approximation of 'stealthy'. His movements were perhaps too furtive, too imbued with pantomime to be be take seriously, but fortunately, his path was unimpeded by even a janitor.

The basement cellblock was patrolled fairly regularly, but its general disuse meant that the average guard would simply avoid it on his rounds. The one prisoner was hardly in any position to escape. Enzo discovered that he could just stroll into the cells, which irked his inner sense of theatrics. At least the security was decent. A multi-variable Tyrell code, virtually unbreakable to anything but a super-computer.

It took Enzo eighteen minuets.

Jean "Cache" Ecureuil was in remarkably good spirits when Enzo found him. His leg had been mangled by the delicate ministrations of the PWI torturers. He smiled wryly when Enzo entered his cell. He even attempted a joke.

"You're kind of short for a.. a..." however the metaphor escaped him "... person here to... rescue me" he ended lamely. "I don't suppose you have a change of clothes on you?"

""Can you walk?" Enzo asked, checking out Ecureuil's leg. "And you're covered in fur, why does it matter?"

"Well, I feel naked without my coat. And yes, I can hobble, if I must"

"Hell, I can carry you out" Enzo gave a boyish grin.

"Please, spare me the indigni- oh, well guess not." Ecureuil was picked up, albeit gently, and Enzo sauntered back the way he came.


"Now, that's just not fair!"

Angelica did not look up from filing her nails. "What's not fair, dear?" she asked in a neutral tone.

"That cursed boy just walked out, see? How dare he! In my cells, too! How dare he foil my scheme for information!"

Angelica had long ago learned to deal with her husband's melodramatic posturing. She continued to stare at her nails. Each one just had to be.... perfect. She could and had spent hours working on a single finger. She simply replied, laconically "You have a lousy security staff, Lee."

"But it's just not fair, I tell you. Oh, I am so alone in my plans." Snidely Joanna Whiplash turned dejectedly away from the screen, where he had spent that last few hours morbidly viewing the security tapes. He flung himself backwards onto his desk, nearly knocking over his wife's platinum inlaid nail kit. Her only response was to roll her chair back an inch or so and to exchange her file for cuticle scissors.

"Lee, you know you weren't going to break him, not with the goons you employ. Ecureuil has been around for years, he wasn't going to open up over a mangled leg."

"But I was going to the Council. I was going to present them with information! The location of International Rescue! The member rolls of the Rescue Heroes! Where Dick Tracy gets his great hair!" Again, he flung himself back on the desk, his hat falling to the floor. There was a long pause, as Angelica was displeased by the curve on the nail of her left pinky, not that she showed it. Finally, she merely said "They wouldn't have listened anyways. They never do. Not to you."

"Oh, it''s so true!" He sat up unexpectedly "You've got to help, me, darling, you've just got to! You know I can't do these things on my own!" There was more silence, as Angelica moved on to her right thumb.

"Go home, Lee. I will make things all better."

"You promise, darling? You'll do that for old me?" Snidley was on his knees, starring pathetically with puppy-dog eyes, his moustache drooping. More time passed. His wife did not look at him. It would be false to say that theirs was a relationship devoid of passion. It had plenty of passion, but it was supplied entirely by Snidely. His wife, in the words of Dickens, was as hard and sharp as a flint, secretive and self contained. As solitary as an oyster.

"Yes, Lee. I would do anything for you." She spoke almost without wmotion and continued to focus only on her nail. For a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, Snidley's expression as he gazed at her was relatively inscrutable. If anything, it could be said to be one of longing, if nothing else, but as there was no one there to look at his face, it could have been anything. Finally, mumbling thanks, he rose to his feet and made ready to leave. He paused, awkwardly, next to his wife for a moment before he hesitantly learned down and kissed her on her head. It was treated with as much response as anything he ever did around her. As he reached the door, he paused to look at his wife. She was unimaginably pale. Though once warm, her skin (though flawless) was now almost akin to pure alabaster, with none of the pinkish tones that one might find in an albino. Her hair, once a rich strawberry blond, had also lightened. Some would call it flaxen, but a more correct coloured would be white ash, like one might find in a campfire in amongst the burned wood and marshmallow residue. Her eyes were grey, her lips bloodless. She only ever wore robes de style, in various neutral tones. The only colour on her was what she would paint on her nails after her long hours of maintenance. And what colours they were! Deep royal blues, ebullient reds, vivid robust greens in all manner of valence, tint and hue. But that was the only outward sign of emotion. Everything she spoke was in the same calm, measured tones, and her eyes never betrayed what went on inside her. With an inward sigh, Whiplash adjusted his hat and left. For a while, Angelica continued to work on her digital maintenance. Finally, evidently satisfied with her minutiae of adjustments, she selected from her store the colour of polish she wished to use- a Persian green only commonly found in the paintings of Monet. However, before she began to paint, she paused, and then wheeled herself over to a nearby telephone, an obsolete, though elegant rotary phone. She carefully dialed, and waited for her call to be answered. She spoke as she always did, detached as ever. "Good afternoon, Charles. I need you to get me information. Failure to do so will be perceived by me to be a problem. And like all problems, I will make it go away as quickly and efficiently as possible. Do we have an understanding?" There was a pause.


Friday, February 13, 2009

James' Guide To Relationships ("Happy" Valentine's Day) Pt. 1

People often ask me "James, you magnetic stud-muffin, you, you have such a way with the ladies, what is the secret of your success?" To which I say "How can any fish know the true wisdom of the greater coral, filled as it is with squirrels?". Then the people look at me askance, and I silently pump my fist for successfully pulling off a Wrongboy's History of the Earth reference. So, for you, gentle reader, I have this small guide that should answer every question about relationships ever.

1)What is the most important thing in a relationship?

I want you to take both your hands and grab your hair. Now pull really hard. While you do that, smash your face against the keyboard. Hurts, don't it? That is only a fraction of the pain you will feel if you fail to COMMUNICATE with your significant other(s). Talk, all the time. Don't do what I do which is speak in cryptic babbling before signing out of MSN to go play Psychonauts, no. No, you talk to your lover(s), about everything. Honesty, truth, admitting they need to wear deodorant (that's a toughie), admitting you don't share their pastie fetish- these things are important. Think about it, won't you?


Guys? Gels? Transgenders etc? Please, wear deodorant. There is the pleasant smell of sweat that occurs after vigorous labour, and then there is the sour, unpleasantness that is a partner who has, alas, failed to apply what my mother termed "pong juice". Please, think of the children. Imagine having to say "I remember the night you were conceived. Your mother stunk like a trailer park kegger in July." That's just not a romantic story.

3) Watch the skull.

So, you are passionately kissing somebody, and suddenly, there's this tremendous CRACK. Yes, you have hit the other person head against the floor/bed-post/wall/statue of the Virgin Mary/person behind you. Watch out for that. Do it too many times, and they'll start talking about how true love only ever happens once, or how how important Valentine's Day is and other symptoms of serious brain damage.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I swear, the next Guffin War update is being written!

You know that "your porn-star name" meme where you take your pet's name and the street you grow up on and then combine them? It occurs to me, somewhere, we have such poor candidates as:

Fido Fourth Concession

Kibbles Guelph Line

Water Main

JD Salinger

Humpy Highway Three

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Goodnight Mr and MRs America, and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press.

So regular erratic posting will resume as soon as A)Production week finishes B) The Theatre washrooms stop spilling sewage all over the stage B) I get this damned funeral over and done with.

So for you, gentle reader, this cat picture:

Dune Cat. Don't listen to him, though. He lies. I am the Kwisatz Haderach. The only issue I have with that series is Frank Herbert's amusing approach to the span of years. Much like Assimov's 10000 year Galactic Empire, Herbert does the same thing with impossibly big numbers.