A bit of flash fiction.  As always, leave comments.
It seems simple enough.  A bronze tube about a foot long.  Some flowing script in a foreign tongue etched in the side.  It looked like it wouldn't be out of place in an import shop selling fair trade bric-a-brac.  Of course, most of their merchandise isn't capable of killing through mystical and arcane means.  Those shops would a lot more popular.

My assistant was preparing the storage box for it to rest.  "The retrieval team showed me video of what happened.  Bainbridge actually melted.  It was right out of Indiana Jones."

I stared at him with disapproval, "While Bainbridge was a dangerous cult leader and a thorn in our side for quite a while, I don't think it's proper to watch his demise with a bag of popcorn."  

"Sorry sir," my assistant mumbled.  He then said, "But why did he did commit suicide?  His followers would have died defending him."

 "I don't understand."

 "Why didn't he use The Wrath of God on the team? I'm glad he didn't, but still…"

 "The Wrath of…"  I was trying to figure out what my assistant was talking about.  A not uncommon experience.  I realize his mistake.  "You use the computer translator again."

 "Well….." my assistant was defensive.

 "You cannot cheat in this line of work.  You must study and learn and think for yourself.  Your brain in your most important tool, not an AK-47, not tana powder, and not a computer."  I despair of this generation.

"So what is it called?"

"Apotheosis.  The computer probably thought 'pain' was meant as the pain of an enemy dying when it fact it is referring to pain as in labor pains."

"Wait.  You mean that," he pointed to the metal tube "can make you a god?"  My assistant eyes lit up.  Oh dear, I know that look. 

"It can and Bainbridge knew it.  He studied.  But his ego failed to see a basic requirement.  Most humans are sheep.  It's not their fault.  Life rarely calls on them to expand their horizons.  Even we can be a bit blinkered.  But Bainbridge thought he was the master of all he surveyed.  He thought all this would do was give him the power of a god.  He never thought it through.  It a shame, he had a good mind once."

My assistant's quizzical expression made me comment, "Much better than yours.  Can't you see the mistake?"


I sighed.  "Let's imagine that a man who has led a sedentary lifestyle, ate all the wrong foods, etc. was called upon to run the New York Marathon.  What would happen?"

"He's dropped dead." The light dawned for my assistant.  "So Bainbridge's mind wasn't ready for the godhead."

"Exactly.  Most people can barely handle being human.  Bainbridge was so bad at it, he thought being becoming a deity was the answer.  It is a shame, he did have potential."  I place the tube in the box and sealed it.


A bit more from The Greatest Army

More from The Greatest Army.  Comments, as always, are welcome


Finally we arrived at the corpse factory.  I was looking for some clue of its evil purpose but it looked like any manufacturing plant.  As the small train continued, I could see several buildings: a power plant, a barracks, and a main building which we were now pulling in.

General Kopfer said "To fully demonstrate our operations, we are following the process where we take the material into the facility for processing."

"The dead bodies," I said.  Kopfer flinched a little and said "Ja."

Kopfer's aide then pulled out several wads of cotton masks with strings attached out a nearby box.  They resembled the masks the hospital personnel wore.  He also grabbed a bottle, opened it, and sprinkled a small amount of liquid on a mask.  He handed the first one to me.  It smelled of lavender.

"As you can imagine, the facility can be somewhat malodorous.  These will help."

The train finally stopped inside the main building.  We stepped off into a large room lit with electric lights.  I could see the floor was stained unusual colors and antiseptic penetrated the lavender.  Several men in medical smocks and similar masks started to take the boxes off the storage car behind us.  "The material is offloaded and taken by the staff to the sorting room," the general indicated with a sweep of his hand.

We stepped into another room with several tables.  Already the staff was beginning their work.  They picked through the bodily remains like rag pickers sorting through trash.  Anything that looked reasonably intact was put on the tables.  A head scored with shrapnel, a torso with the left arm still attached, and a body complete but riddled with machine gun fire.  I was becoming dizzy not only with the offal of war but the businesslike tone the staff had.  When something was pulled for a crate, they made comment about this body needed the bullets removed before continuing, how they needed a right index finger to restore a hand, or that the heart or lungs could be salvaged from a chest.  Other staff members were calmly taking all this chatter down on clip boards and placing numbered tags on these remains.

 The Baron asked, "There are no English in this?"

"Nein," Kopfer answered, "our procurers are quite careful to bring back the sons of the Fatherland so they can serve once more."

The general continued his speech, "These sorters will take the notes and collate them to see what can be reconstructed.  After that, the parts are then taken to the surgery for repair."


The Greatest Army

Finally beginning on my WWI horror piece, "The Greatest Army".  Still rough but I thought I'd put it out there for comment.  Please do comment.
They attacked in the dawn.  Despite the mud, the rats, and the near constant shelling, my men were well trained and were at station.  It didn't matter.  One of the Germans took a five second barrage from one of our guns and he merely got back up and started again. 

I heard Perkins scream, "Franks!  It's bloody Franks!"  I ordered him silent, but he was just stating allowed what we all could see.  No one knew what the German term was for this new soldier.  They were sheathed in rumor: they had the strength of ten men, they ran across No Man's Land quick as lightning, and they were damn near impossible to kill.  And all wore gasmasks making them less like men and more like monsters.  And now they were coming for me and my men.

I ordered the men to deploy bayonets and moved to the phone to inform HQ and one of their grenades hit.  I should of anticipated that their supposed strength would increase the distance of the thrown grenades but even I was a bit panicked by the Franks.  I was instantly buried under dirt and wooden planking.  Half dazed and half buried, I could do nothing to watch my men be butchered.  In my concussed state, it seems like a nightmare, but I knew it was real.  I saw the Franks pour over the lip of the trench.  They didn't even bother to use small arms or bayonets.  They tore Perkins' arm clean off.  Young McGregor who had lied about his age to serve was decapitated by a Frank's bare hands.  I will never forget the sounds of bones breaking with the screams.  None of my men's bayonets and even rifles at point blank range could stop these demons.

Because of my buried state, the Franks thought I was already dead.  So they allowed their true nature to come out.  They removed the gasmasks.  In all the reports and rumors, none had ever seen one of the Frank's faces, looked his enemy in the eye.  At first, they would too far away from me to see any detail, but I could see that their skin was sallow and looked more akin to a corpse than a healthy soldier.  Could they have been administered some from of opium or morphine can produced their enhanced state but at the cost of their general health.  But then they started… to eat the flesh of my men.  I felt my sanity start to slip.  The Franks grunted with pleasure as they gnawed on arms, legs, and torsos. 

One of them came close to me to retrieve an arm and I saw his… its face.  It was wrong.  One eye was a normal brown but the other was blue with a milky cataract over it.  The jaw was too big for the rest of his face.  One side looked as if it was missing its cheek bones.  The face had several stitches running across it, seemingly holding the amalgam together.  But it what was behind those mismatched eyes that scared me the most.  I could sense intelligence but it was not human.  Only then did I truly wonder if the men were set upon by demons.  They retreated after getting their fill and I receded into black bliss.


I'm alive

I figure this would be quicker than email so... I've been sick.  Only with fever though.  Now I had chills and sweats and associated stuff with it but no chest or head congestion.  I been able to do little things like wash all the sheets and pajamas I sweated through.  But I have been mostly laying on the couch watching bad TV.  God help me, I want to be well.

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    sick sick

(no subject)

Brilliant idea from porphyre

What with the Washington State Supreme Court handing down its anti-gay-marriage decision several weeks ago and the ever-hearing more about attacks on reproductive rights down south, I'm feeling that the States is tripping a bit too merrily down the Handmaid's path.

This week, I found a way to strike back.

Focus on the Family, the horrid anti-gay evangelical church based in Colorado Springs that wields too much power for anyone's good, has a store on their website that will give you books, CDs, and DVDs absolutely free of charge. Usually people pay for their items by donation, raising millions of dollars to help Focus on the Family produce more hate-propaganda featuring "experts" on homosexuality who claim it's a curable "sickness". (They're practically defined by their book A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Course, there's no mention of having less kids, which is the only proven method. No, no, you shouldn't use birth control, that would be wrong. They need more worshippers, how dare you prevent god's will.)

It's a little bit time-consuming, but not enough to deter me. (Nor should it you). The chance to take money out of their pockets is too useful, not to mention satisfying.

Here's how to do it in 10 steps:

1. Go to www.family.org and look for the "Resources" link in the blue bar on the left-hand side, right above the "Search" box, and click it.

2. Under the "Resource Category" menu on the left-hand side, you'll notice categories such as "Homosexuality" under "Resource Category." Me, I went straight to the CD's and DVD's under "Resource Format."

3. Go through, find something you like, such as the recently released movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Chronicles of Narnia Radio Theatre Complete Set, suggested donation US $79.00, or the three disc Les Misérables soundtrack. It's not a very wide range of products, but there's bound to be something either you like or you could use as a sweet gift for someone else. Click the "Add to Cart" button.

They won't send more than $100 worth of materials for free in any given shopping trip, so be sure to go through a few times, until you're sure you've dinged them.

4. Select "Add New Shipping Address," decide to send it yourself or someone else, and once you're done picking up to $100, click "Proceed to Checkout." Some people have been sending items to themselves to sell later on eBay, some have been ordering the more controversial items as conversation pieces or educational props, (as anti-anti-propaganda), but I plan on using mine as gifts, mostly. I've found no reports on receiving Focus on the Family junk mail after inputting an address, so I figure it's fairly safe.

5. The next screen asks you to sign-up for an account and give your information. Fill it out with fictitious information, enter whatever name and address you like. You might want to make up a phone number too and an e-mail account too. After filling out all the required fields, click "Proceed to Checkout" one more time.

6. This will take you to the "Here is Your Cart" page. You may have to re-enter your data again after this part to actually confirm your account. Eventually, you'll get to the "How Much Would You Like to Donate?" page.

7. Select "Enter other total amount" and enter 0.00 as the amount you would like to pay. (Don't put in a dollar sign or it will ask you for credit-card information.) Don't be fooled by the field in the lower-right-hand corner that shows you the suggested donation amounts, simply Proceed to Checkout.

8. The next screen is a guilt screen, to make you feel bad about how little you donated. ignore it. Ignore it utterly. Think of how many people they're persecuted and had in their "gay kids can be cured" camps. Just proceed to checkout again.

9. Click "Checkout Now."

10. Finally, pass this information on to all your friends. They've got money to back them, we have word of mouth, let's see if we can win.
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    devious devious

(no subject)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5578249 - NPR's Fresh Air talks to the authors of One Party Country.  (audio)

I know, I know I keep harping on this but this shit is bad.  The government is not suppose to be a part of the Republican Party. Or any party. And nothing substantitive is being done to stop it. The Democrats are still a mess and the netroots are powerful enough. Is it going to take another Great Depression or even a complete metldown like the Soviet Union for people to figure out this that isn't a good idea.

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    enraged enraged

Things are better

I can't really go into detail but let's just say I took the bull by the horns on part of my situation. If you're really curious, email me.
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    mischievous mischievous

I am...

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

Please repost this if you believe that homophobia is wrong.
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    determined determined