Archive for June, 2017

Do you even lift?

The gloves are dead, long live the gloves!

After the old ones were tearing apart I told myself that enough was enough. So I got some new ones. 


Then here are my dumbbells, with 11kg each (2x 5kg weight +1kg the actual bar). It’s a far cry from my previous setting of 16kg each, but I have half an hour each workday morning for my workout, so I need to place an emphasis on efficiency as much as on lifting: I simply lack the time to push for 150 repeats at 16kg every workday morning. But with patience I will get there eventually. 😉

So, at this time I’m doing 150 repeats for pushups, situps, bicep curls and tricep routines.

Until such time,
take care,
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE5 – Horizon – DEHumans III (pt.3)

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After he had left the others Solomon had wandered around the ship aimlessly, found himself in a cab going to subalpha. The zero G bit was his favorite. 

For a few brief moments he didn’t feel the chronic pain in his joints. When I die, I hope it is in zero G. No worries here. Closer to the universe that gave birth to me. A faint smile was still on his lips as he entered Hylias quarters. 

Gérard had left, his shift had ended, some other man sat there monitoring her condition, he saluted as he saw the former Admiral, but soon continued to work in silence. 

“Johannes is dead, we just had his memorial service.” There was no apparent reaction from Hylia. “One day, you have to tell me what you do with your dead.” Not speaking another word Solomon stayed in front of the glass wall, he wept in silence, undisturbed by partying friends of Johannes, or the technician.

“We incinerate them. Mourn them. Mammal or not, we are more alike than some would like.” 
It was a painstakingly effort to hold the conversation with Hylia, but it was worth it. She had recorded the message he intended to send to the harpys. Even if the Admiral was against using the program he hoped to procure from them, it was good to have it, in case they ever needed it. 

Hylia also provided him with information on how best to contact them, concerning frequency and modulation. 

Slowly he walked through the hallways, weary that at any time he could be ambushed by one of the linkers. Surely not all had gathered in beta, paranoid that Gérard’s replacement might be one of them, he took detours and stayed away from others. If it couldn’t be avoided to be in close proximity of other people, he tried to have a multitude of others around him. 

There were four people in the corridor outside the tube. 

He felt safer, but still haunted by his paranoid fear that one or all of them might be linked. 

The two deck ride to the command centre should be short, there he was sure to find Frederick, or in his den, only a one minute walk from the command centre. 

With one ear he listened to their chattering, about some mundane stuff they were interested in. An infirmary based TV show from Destiny if he wasn’t mistaken. 

“You can’t take us down.” One of the four, a young woman, turned around to him once thendoors shut. He, as well as the three others were surprised. 

A moment later he felt a sharp stinging pain in his abdomen. His muscles twitched, the world grew dark, as he also felt an indistinguishable pain in his chest. 
Quickly private Thompson got disarmed, she grew unresponsive the same moment the former Admiral hit the deck.

“Alter heading: infirmary!” Private Jane Mulgrew barked at the computer. “Get her to a cell!” The two men holding Thompson saluted. 

“Medical emergency,” Jane had meanwhile raised the infirmary on her glasses. “have medics at the tube access!” 

A shaky hand rose from Solomon, he grabbed her by the shoulder. “Bring, my tablet, to the Admiral!” His voice was more a whisper than a tone, once the doors opened medics streamed in an heaved the former Admiral on a stretcher, hurried off with him. Her two fellow colleagues left, heading to the brig a few corridors down, leaving Jane clutching the tablet. 

“Command centre.” She ordered the cab. Doors closed, during the ride she began drafting her report on the incident on her glasses, typing with eye movement and blinks. 

All the while clutching the tablet with her hands. 
“They have powered up weapons.” Were the first words Jane head as she entered the command centre. “Brace for fire.” 

“We’re not the target!” In horror Jane saw the ship move off, heading towards the Harpy vessel, on the way there the DEHumans eliminated the whiskers. “Harpys left.” A flash lit up the screen, the hHarpy vessel had abandoned them.

For now at least.

“What do you want?” Harshly emphasising the “you” Frederick turned around with his seat. “Admiral Grienberg got shot by a linker, Private Thompson, he tasked me to deliver this to you, before medics took him to the infirmary.” Keeping her disciplined demeanour and posture Jane handed the tablet over. 

Equally shocked by the news and curious what his predecessor had him delivered Frederick took the tablet. “Have the technician currently in Hylias quarters arrested if I don’t deliver this personally.” Solomon’s voice came from the tablet. By his tone and the background noise it was easy to deduct he rcorded that message in a narrow hallway. 

With a nod to his chief of security Frederick confirmed the order of the old Admiral. 

In silence he read through the transcript of the conversation with Hylia including the details of the Harpy communication frequency. 

“Helm! As soon as you so much as catch a glimpse of the Harpies, contact them on this frequency.” With a few simple commands he sent the information to the console of the navigation officer, currently also doubling as communication officer. 

After reading through the rest of the transcript he turned back to Jane. “Private?”

“Mulgrew, sir.”

“Right, excellent work. Now return to the infirmary and keep me apprised of Admiral Grienberg’s condition. You’ll also double as his security guard.” 

Jane saluted, containing her surprise until she was out of the door again. Displaying an excited smile she hurried off.
“Looks like they’re chasing after the Harpies.” Bettina Fohler on the navigation post observed the Ark1 disappearing. 

“They’ll be back. I suspect they’re lacking the power to mount a full scale chase.” Frederick seldom voiced his fears, even though the linkers had the capacity to destroy the Harpy vessel, he feared that they lacked the engine power or scientific advancement necessary to chase them through space. 

“Registering them, they entered range of our sensors again, moving towards us.” Here we go. Pinching the base of his nose Frederick sat up straight. 

“They’re demanding the release of the linkers aboard Horizon. Now.” Dismissing the urgent call Frederick left the room, in the adjacent room, formerly the bunk room for command centre staff, he went to a chair in which Joleen was sitting. 

Strapped in.

“Are you still in there Joleen?” Empty eyes stared back at him. With a grim expression he reached into his pocket. “Your friends are currently out of range, for a few moments at least.” He activated the cellphone like device he had fixed by an engineering junior. 

Disturbed, almost angry Joleen snapped back to reality. 

“Do you want to join them?” Knowing that he probably had only moments before the device was fried again, he didn’t waste any time on pleasantries. “Oh, sir, you have no idea. All my life I felt out of place, out of touch with the rest of humanity.” She sat up a bit more comfortably, as much as the straps allowed her to.

“In the link, I was one with all. No longer was I the freak, the misfit, the highly intelligent but socially awkward one. I am one of many. So yes, I want to. I belong there.” Almost on que the device in his hand got hot and he dropped it. 

“So be it then.” He stood up straight. “I am keeping Private Thompson, she has committed a crime and must be punished accordingly to our laws. The rest of you can leave.” Two guards in the room with them stepped to his side as he waved them over. 

They helped Joleen to her feet, once she was unstrapped. 

Rain.

In evening’s dim light, 

silent raindrops like diamonds glitter, 

voiceless whisperings unheard, 

brief existence of utter beauty, 

sailing on – rolling – into the night, 

sweet dreams…

Crappy Birthday in June

Know a smoker? Hate the living crap out of that fucker? Want to gift him/her with the worst curse from Pandora’s box – false hope?


Lucky you! 

This cigarette case, with the hopeful message of survival, whilst containing suicide in small doses, is the perfect gift for this occasion. 
Crappy birthday,

A.

Rings of Fate S2xE5 – Horizon – DEHumans III (pt.2)

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Eyes squinted into small slits, the jaw clenched close. 

Her entire body tensed up. 

Almost unrecognisable to Solomon. He found Hylia sitting in her quarters. “It costs her a lot of effort to keep her implant offline.” Gérard Maiziere monitored the frequency of the implant, he sat next to the glass wall behind which Hylia sat. 

Hylia had been drifting in and out of responsive phases, during which she had told Gérard of similar events in Harpy history. Keeping his attention on the instruments Gérard handed the former Admiral a tablet, with the words that he needed it back. 

Sitting down as well Solomon began reading the transcript. 
A few months after large scale deployment of the implants began in ancient Harpy society, a fraction of the population linked together, just like the DEHumans. 

Unlike their human counterparts the ancient Harpy linkers succeed in actively forcing the link upon others. Soon the entire colony of the linkers was conjoined, and they started genetic diversity breeding. 

Solomon had read the recent reports from Explorer that were still on file, the crew of the Orion had just done the same with at least two members of the Explorer away team. 

The rest of the Harpy society looked at this development with unease. Fearing forced assimilation they attacked the linked colony with little success. Until they brought in weaponry to destabilise a large number of asteroids in the solar system. Too many for the colony to handle. Once the defences were down, and the offences largely destoryed the colony was bombarded from space.

To be sure, the entire system was declared uninhabitable, and off limits. Solar powered turrets were left in orbit around the planet, shooting everything that came from it or approached it from space.

“Interesting. There were no attempts of any kind to ever recreate such a collective?” 

“There were, but in our colonies and ships we have routines active to disrupt such linking.” Hylia spoke with a pronounced growl in her voice, the computerised voice did not carry it over, but it was audible through the wall. 

A glimmer of hope rose in Solomon, but he had to ponder on it for a while. If the Harpies shadowing them had such a virtual defense against the linkers, it was a question of getting it from them, and a second one to get it into the DEHuman network. But, was it the right thing to do? 

Doubting that it would be correct to enforce his view on the linkers, born into it or freely chosen to participate alike, Solomon shrugged his thoughts away.

First he had to attend something he had dreaded for the past two days.

Johannes’ memorial. 

Having known him since childhood, and having had a friendship for all of that time, his death had hit him hard. Working, despite his retirement, kept him afloat mentally, emotionally.  

Attending his memorial gave no relieving distraction, he would be forced into his pain, his memories, his loss. 

“I hate this.” He repeatedly mumbled on his way to the alpha ring. 
Clad in black, Sharon met him there. At first the rules of the closed ecosystem seemed weird, but Solomon had gotten used to them. There were no graveyards, or space burials. The nutrients in a human body were valuable to the plant life, and in turn for the following generations. 

“We have gathered here to remember Johannes Falkner. Doctor, husband, father and a close friend of mine.” Solomon had the doubtful honor to lead the ceremony. I hate this even more than just attending. “He will always be in our hearts, in our memory and for those of us that do it, in our prayers.” He looked at the crowd, there was Oleksandra, Johannes’ wife, Karl, his son. Of course Sharon and Solomon’s own children. Solomon jr. and Sara. The latter with her fiancé, and the baby the two had half a year ago. 

Colleagues and friends. It saddened him that Hylia couldn’t attend. Had she not gotten under the influence of the DEHuman link, it would’ve been possible to get her to the ceremony. 

“I once heard an ancient proverb. Sadly I forgot where it originated: Some things live only as long as the last person who remembers it. If that is the case, Johannes hasn’t died. His son will remember. His wife will remember. I shall remember! My children had always liked Uncle Joe, so they will remember. It is my firm hope that he will be a true immortal, never forgotten, meaning never dead. His body has passed on, but he will be always among us.” 

After he had spoken, Karl had his turn, Oleksandra couldn’t bring herself to it. She was too grief striken. 

Once the body of his old friend had been carried off inton the interior of the morgue Solomon stayed in his seat. 

“Distract me.” Oleksandra sat down next to him. Both their sons had led the guests off, including Solomon’s wife. “We face a secession on beta by the linkers. How’s that for a distraction?” 

Answering with a weak and faint smile, Oleksandra stared at the wall behind which her husband’s remains were treated to become fertile soil one day. “I could use his advice on this. He had an understanding of different cultures and cultural ramifications, that I lack. Look how well he got in touch with Hylia.” Solomon couldn’t help but start tearing up again. “And I could just use his company. Our jokes, jests, and old stories. New stupid stories to be added to the anthology of our friendship.” 

“I miss him too already.” Surprisingly stout Oleksandra shook her head. “I guess, I knew it was coming when he had slipped into that comatose state then. It prepared me, more than it prepared you.” Sighing she got up, patting Solomon on the shoulder. “Come on sir, let’s celebrate.” 

Celebrate! With a swift motion he wiped his tears away. Why is death celebrated? After someone died there was a sad memorial, and then the reltives and friends gathered for a feast and a party. Solomon didn’t feel like celebrating. 

Never the less, he visited the party, stayed for about an hour, mingled with the other guests. 

People are obnoxiously dumb (n-th part)

Last week we had seen the garden expo. Part of it at least. 

Later my wife wanted to leave a review of the place on their Facebook page. Where she found a review from some woman that had visited the same day. 

Don’t try to find the post, it has since been deleted. (But we have screenshots)

A little context before I paraphrase. Here (as probably all over the northern hemisphere) cottonwood blossoms right about this time of year, releasing their seeds into the wind – hundreds of thousands of little woolly drifters floating with every gust of wind, covering grass, shrubs and playground. My primary school’s yard had these fuckers sitting right behind it, so I am accustomed to this stuff. 

This lady gave a 4 star review, subtracting one star because of these cottonwood floaters. Arguing in the discussion my wife started with her that it is an absolute horror for allergics visiting the garden expo. 

Let that reason sink in for a moment.

Cottonwood floaters are a nightmare for allergics visiting the GARDEN EXPO.

I am an allergic. When I said “Yes, let’s go to the garden expo” I anticipated that I will be suffering.
A lot of the shit on display is BLOOMING. If you are an allergic and you’re surprised that the garden expo, at the end of May, is giving you a hard time without your antihistamines – how are you still alive?

These are the same people who bitch about a sea cruise that when they looked out the window, they only saw the ocean, AND that they got seasick.

Just thought I’d share this little gem of idiocy with you.

Take care,
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE5 – Horizon – DEHumans III (pt.1)

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“Open the frequency.” Admiral Frederick Doherty ordered to his baffled first officer Joleen Jenkins. Next to her was the frail small frame of the elderly Harpy Hylia. 

“They are communicating to my implant.” She mumbled, Hylia too was mesmerised. 

“We are the Digitally Enhanced Humanity. We request you let our brothers and sisters travel peacefully to our ship, as you have seen how we dispatch of those who oppose us.” Her voice was monotonous, but yet filled with the emotions of many people. 

“The woman you are communicating through, is not one of your kind. She was implanted Indirectly by the Harpies!” Frederick jumped from his seat, a little easier than he anticipated, he paid no attention to that in his rage. “The only people on board this ship who carry an enhancement have been implanted by the Harpies! So do not feed me your nonsense!” 

“Fred.” Solomon got up, also easier than thought, he noticed and paused for a moment. There was an awful similarity to the situation. 

A quick glance at Joleen’s console relieved his worries. The shockwave momentarily slowed the roation speed of the ring, he wasn’t going to have to float away from the command centre. 

“What?” 

Still weirded out Solomon had to concentrate to continue the conversation. “They know better than we. I always suspected that we didn’t catch them all back then, there surely are some aboard who still bear the implant. Just now they fried all that dampens or suppresses their frequency.” He pointed at the smoking cellphone object at Joleen’s feet. 

Begrudgingly Frederick agreed with Solomon’s assessment of the situation. “We will not hinder them from leaving, but tell me, where will you go with them?” 

“Our evolutionary paths diverge here Admiral, humanity and DEhumanity will walk separate paths from here on out. Where our kind goes is none of your concern.” 

Anger and rage showed clearly on Frederick’s face, he was infuriated by the choice of words by the other side. A calming old hand laid on his shoulder. 

“The people you are about to take with you, they are our friends, as close as family in many cases. You know the feeling of loss as well as any human. We kindky ask you to tell us where you are going.” 

An empty expression stared back at Solomon. Twitching her facial muscles Joleen showed a hint of compassion. “Bernards star, SF-p15.” 

Thanking her Solomon bowed slightly. Having learned when to accept defeat, Solomon nodded to Frederick. “Let them go.” 

“How? The outter most rim of every ring is a vital buffer against Harpy attacks.” 

An amused smile appeared on Joleen’s kips. “We can dock with you.”

Alarmed both of the Admirals turned to her. “An umbilicus, not more.” Suddenly frowning Joleen stepped towards the Admiral in charge. “What’s the matter? Don’t you trust us?”

“No, we don’t.” Solomon pushed his younger successor to the side. “If you don’t like the umbilicus, we can figure out something else.”
“Sit rep!” Feeling as if he was still in charge Solomon entered the meeting room. Two of the governors were present, the third had gathered with other DEHumans in the beta ring. “Governor Thomas Dyson has defected.” Freya Lånden, Governor of the alpha ring grumbled. “He hasn’t defected per se, he didn’t switch loyalties because of a liking of his, he is one of them! Always has been.” Wanda James, gamma ring’s Governor replied in a calm, but somewhat resigned tone. 

Frederick Doherty pressed a button on his tablet, bringing up a detailed list of people transferring from and to beta ring. 

“People leaving beta reported that they are overrun by the linkers, they leave because they feel insecure. Those who flock there are most certainly linkers. And journalists.” In a small inset frame video footage played from beta. 

Worried Solomon squinted his eyes. 

Only minutes ago Frederick had asked him why he was there. After Johannes’ had died Solomon felt the urge to work, not to sit around and contemplate his dear friends death.

Understanding the situation, the current Admiral had invited the way more experienced Admiral to join the action on this one. 

“They are trying to secede.” 

Shocked Frederick jumped from his seat. “What?”

Thoughtful Solomon paced around the table. “Two years before my retirement beta ring had tried to secede. They blocked all traffic going through beta, and had planned to break away, waiting for Destiny to come and pick them up.” With a moaning sigh he sat down. “In light of the current development, perhaps they had been lead by a member of the DEHumans back then as well.” 

Shrugging his shoulders he turned around to face the other members of the meeting. Another image flashed up, it was the Harpy ship. They kept their distance, but followed the Horizon like a foreshadow of ill omen. “As soon as the Ark1 leaves, they surely will come and take us head on.” 

“Unlikely.” Tired, somewhat exhausted, and weighed down by his personal grief, Solomon leaned back in his chair. “They had fourty years and more to come and wipe us from space. Yet they chose to monitor us and always send in a small fighter or two to keep us busy. I don’t understand it, but I doubt that they choose now to destroy us.” 

Agreeing nods came from the Governors, Frederick was alone in his worries. 

“What boggles my mind more is, how are the linkers powering their ship? We can’t read through their shielding. Ideas?” 

A round of silence followed Solomon’s words. No one wanted to say the most obvious probability. 

Antimatter. 

Shrugging Solomon looked to Frederick with a gaze prompting him to speak.

“The real question is, how do we get the linkers off the ship over to the others? Our estimation is, that they’re running out of room, they’ll demand parts from Horizon, if we’re unwilling, they have the power to take what they want. Suggestions?”

Attentively Solomon studied the faces of the Governors. 

They were clueless, frightened and worn out. A mixture of feelings he felt way too familiar with.  

Letting out a tired sigh he turned to the screen. “Disengage the buffer pods, let a series of the landing crafts go, reengage the buffer pods.” 

As he returned his attention to the others he found astonished faces looking at him. Was there a hint of shock in their eyes? Already he knew what they were going to say. Not to take any of the living space away from their rings, where to put the now homeless refugees and so on. 

It was all written out on their faces. 

In all his years as Admiral he had learned to read the faces of the Governors well. Even though they changed, some things always stayed the same. “In absence of the beta ring government, and the obvious intent of their current ruling body, I vote for this plan to be conducted from beta ring.” Freya raised her hand, followed by Wanda. Frederick and Solomon exchanged a knowing glance then agreed. 

The umbilicus was a notion soon dismissed as impossible. Material for it was in abundance, but with all the fragments from the destroyed Harpy vessel it would’ve ripped, or gotten otherwise damaged beyond practicality. Having the DEHuman ship dock with the Horizon was out of the question. Too great was the risk of being hacked by them. With wireless data communication to external sources blocked, both Admirals felt relatively safe.