stellarwind: (Default)
I've been on a huge TES kick lately (And it's all HL's fault. XD) and figured I'd give that game another fair try even though the first time I tried playing it it made me either fall asleep or want to punch the NPCs with a chainsaw. Well, the NPCs still look terrible and Skyrim certainly fixed a LOT of the issues the godawful leveling system had, but the game is actually fun.

My three characters from Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim have been rather active in my head lately - to the point that Sirocco n'Atreyium (Argonian Spellsword, Nerevarine, Telvanni Archmagister, Still alive and very snarky) and Amelie Lothaire (Breton Summoner, Heroine of Kvatch, Slightly Mental and Made of Adorable) have been, in my headcanon, joining the voyages of Leandros (Khajiit, Dragonborn Cat who Turns Into A Dog In His Spare Time) through Skyrim at various points. Occasionally, short drabbles happen. THIS, for example, happened as I was playing Oblivion and noticed a certain unusual tendency of an NPC that follows me, at the moment, around...

For Massive Damage

The Heroine of Kvatch sighed.

It may have been that the inability to do anything to protect his city from an Daedric invasion left Martin Septim with a protective streak tempered by guilt - a desire to ensure that he will never be powerless to protect someone ever again - but there was such a thing as being over-protective to a the point of being utterly ridiculous.

When the Priest-Who-Was-To-Be-Emperor suddenly stopped and commenced a bombardment of frost spells across a river, the Heroine of Kvatch had to admit that she was concerned. Readying a spell of summoning to be cast to the other bank of the river, the heroine prepared for battle, keeping an eye on the freezing bolts. Whatever their target was, she could not see it at all. Was it a cloaked assassin of the Mythic Dawn? Were they being followed?

Finally the barrage relented. The Heroine of Kvatch turned an inquisitive gaze to the priest - but she did not even have to ask.

"... I saw a mudcrab on the other bank." Martin explained, almost apologetically. "Loathsome creatures."

The Heroine of Kvatch stared at him for a moment in a stunned silence.

"Martin. It's a mudcrab. A perfectly harmless specimen of Carcinus luteus." she said "They're about as threatening as a pebble."

"That is exactly what they want you to think!" he exclaimed "That mudcrab could have been an agent of the Mythic Dawn and you KNOW IT."

The Heroine of Kvatch rested her hand flat across her face. Stress, she decided, did the strangest things to otherwise rational people.

At least, she hoped it was just the stress. The last thing Tamriel needed was another mad emperor.
stellarwind: (Default)
"I was wrong about you. I thought you've grown past such childish, manipulative behaviour."
"You were wrong about many things."
"You've grown bolder, noble one. But you still have much to learn. You cross the fine line between confidence and arrogance, and wield your new-found sword as if it were a bludgeon."
"You mock me. That is a grave error. You will not live to regret it."
"You've picked the wrong opponent, noble one. A shame, really... But I will not hold back. En garde!"
stellarwind: (Default)
About frigging TIME. >>;

stellarwind: (Default)
Something I wrote a long time ago and felt like translating. Again. Heh.

What Loneliness Does to People...

I met him in some pub on some evening, sitting by the bar in the stool next to mine and downing a large glass of whiskey. He didn’t look particularly impressive – he had faded blond curls, five-o’clock shadows and a pair of sad, blue-grey misty eyes, and was clad in a battered, dusty leather trenchcoat - of the sort detectives used to wear in those black-and-white movies from the thirties - and a matching hat. On one hand, he seemed to really fit the place. On the other hand, it almost seemed as if he didn’t belong in this world, in the 21st century - almost as if time had stopped for him as it rushed forward for everyone else.

He surveyed the room somewhat glumly, at first. Then he turned his eyes to me and said “I remember you. And I thought I really hit the bullseye this time… Seems like I screwed up big-time with you too, eh?”

I suppose I rolled my eyes or something to that effect – just another poor sod that had too much - or too little - to drink.

“And she seemed to be JUST your type, too.” He continued “But I suppose it just didn’t last... Too many changes in both of your attitudes lately. Oh well, I should be getting used to it, I suppose. My accuracy is definitely not what it used to be back when I was a young whippersnapper… A few hours ago, right?”

How the hell did he know that? How the hell did he know that just a few hours ago, one of the most amazing relationships that I have ever had has come to an end, a relationship that gave me back the hope that I may not end up alone forever after all - and that eventually blew up in my face like Hiroshima?

“Just who are you,” I stared at him “And how in oblivion do you know all that?”

He smiled sadly “Amazing, the way people don’t recognize me today. Well, they say that the age of romance has ended, I suppose that they're right. Ah well… As for who I am, you can call me Cue. It would make life a lot easier for both of us. As for the other question… Well, you can say that I am always aware of what happens to the people that I've brought together.”

“I’ve never seen you before in my life, and I've most definitely haven't seen you when I first met her.” I told him. It was quite probable that he was absolutely drunk, or out of his mind… but perhaps not? Something in those mist-colored eyes of his was too clear. Un-naturally lucid.

“I am only visible when I wish to be.” He said, taking another sip of his whiskey “After all, my line of work would have been a lot more difficult if people saw me hanging around in the background all the time. It would have certainly bothered quite a few of them, and I really don’t think that I would enjoy being arrested. It is true that nothing can stand in the way of true love, but bureaucracy always tends to make things more complicated.”

“So, basically you’re some kind of a disgruntled matchmaker?” I asked him, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, I would have defined myself as more of a sharpshooter, but you could say that I am history’s most famous matchmaker - and that I’ve managed to score many classic love stories when I was a young little devil. But, what is one to do? My vision, apparently, is not what it used to be. They don’t say that love is blind for no reason.” He grimaced “Truth is, I’m not really sure that it’s actually my fault, as they say. People are just more dynamic nowadays. They don’t have the patience to overcome their difficulties together. They are ever-changing, you know, and when it doesn’t work out, it’s easier to break the bundle apart, as they say, rather than try and work on keeping it together. My mother figured that out long ago – that’s why she retired and is making a fortune on TV nowadays. Not using her real name of course.” He stopped, taking another swig and chuckled “She wasn’t counting on that side of television if you know what I mean. No, she usually portrays the role of herself in mythology dramas - still looks like she did when she was twenty-two, and she’s a few millions of years old, too. Lucky bastard-ette, that Aphrodite is.”

I stared at him for a few seconds, trying to figure out where the heck has my sanity gone to. Or his sanity. Or both. He noticed the gaze I shot him – but he didn’t look hurt or offended. Only a little more sad.

“So, I grew a couple of years older and left my bow at home, and already people don’t recognize me. Most of them think that I died a long time ago. A few think that I’m an illusion. The few that still believe in me often find themselves alone after all and they stop believing too. It ain’t easy, this line of work.”

Then, he took the last swig of his whiskey, smiled a little, and stood up with grace that his appearance did not betray at first – he moved as if he hasn't touched alcohol at all. Then, he took off his hat, revealing a face that looked exceptionally familiar after all – even though the eternal child-face it was before have clearly matured under the effects of time. He put the hat to his heart and nodded softly in my direction.

“But nevertheless, I try. I am sorry for your loss – No one knows how difficult it is to lose a loved one as I do. Part of the job description, you know. But – something tells me that I will see you again someday. And next time, I hope, I wouldn’t miss too much."

And as he turned and silently walked towards the exit, I’ve noticed the tears at the back of his coat for the first time - and through these tears, only barely, I could see a pair of wings with pearly, pinkish-white feathers wrapped tightly around his body, and a single arrow that was embedded in his belt – red feathers on one side, and a ruby arrowhead on the other – sharp at its tip and curving gracefully at its back.

A red heart.

“I have got to stop going to these places.” I think I heard him mumble before he left – though it may have just been my imagination “It ain't an easy thing for a matchmaker forever destined to loneliness, to see so many unsatisfied customers in one place.”
stellarwind: (Default)

Here's a little something I wrote ages ago, and just felt like translating...

The Natural Look, 100% Synthetic

Everything started out rather small – a bit of color, and gentle stretching of the skin. It continued with complete renovation of cartilage structures, hypodermal insertion of polymeric bags containing some kind of nameless sealant material, advanced through the growing of skin cultures in a lab and their transplantation with high chances of success, newer, more "natural" looking sealants, burning the hair off from its roots, and the hand that holds the innovative, made-in-Japan scalpel or directs the laser beam is still hard at work.

 

At some point, I've reached the conclusion that the human race has came to the conclusion that the way they were born is simply a regretful mistake of nature – an error that they will indubitably be willing to invest much resources in the correction thereof, as part of that inexplicable obsessions of theirs with "feeling better with themselves" (or, in other words, to please other people in a world where a natural appearance was pretty much an obscenity). Either that, or they were just fed up with looking like human beings, and they'd much rather have appeared to be bipedal pieces of plastic. Both of those theories work perfectly well.

 

As a person of my type – a type that believes that Mother Nature was right about a thing or two regarding the production notes for Mankind, and that arguing with her over nonsense such as a tendency for asymmetry of the left ear or some psychological problem with the size of the chest, or the hips, or body shape (Just who in hell was the person that came to the conclusion that women, for instance, have to look like some skinny hourglass with strange basketball-sized bumps on its upper segment) or only the devil knows what is just a teensy-weensy-bit petty (not to say downright arrogant), I've never understood why it was that in the time when I grew up, plastic surgery was such a common phenomenon that Frankenstein's Monster could have made one hell of a great sex symbol.

 

But, as years went by, it was becoming slowly evident that things are only getting complicated – that no matter how skilled the surgeons were, in the end of the day, if you weren't born with it, it was quite obvious you weren't - and that much was easily noticeable. And that was when the greater medical complications began. From year to year, more and more problems following old cosmetic procedures surfaced, and the health system was in danger of complete system breakdown as a result of overload of complaints and lawsuits over medical negligence. Back then, I was a student of Biotechnology – A field that, at that time, was blooming at an amazing pace – especially interested in technologies of cloning and growth acceleration, especially for medical purposes. Think about it – taking a cluster of stem cells from a person that is in desperate need of a liver transplantation and growing them into a new, completely healthy liver, that can be immediately transplanted – no more awaiting for a donor, no more tissue matching, simply grow and transplant, with no unnecessary complications.

 

… It's not that there were never talks about the cloning of humans for stem cell production purposes before. But the ethics of the whole thing were very complicated – when does a fetus stop being a lump of cells that has no greater biological meaning than a simple segment of skin tissue and becomes a living organism? One with a soul? One that the killing of which would be considered murder? What the hell IS a soul, anyhow, and what creates it?

 

This is what led me to leave that field of research and start researching the biology of  the soul. That is, what turns a person to the person that he is, biologically. Just about everyone in the faculty wondered just what planet have I come from, but I was patient. I started out small and advanced onward until finally, I found it. And when I found it, I also found a way to preserve it. And soon enough, I found out how to transplant it. I shan't tire you with the technicalities – It is a complicated process that has to do with a thorough, systematic mapping of the brain and miscellaneous biological functions within a few phases of scanning and compiling the whole thing into one greater whole – and the reverse process in order to 'burn' that map of the soul pattern into a new body.

 

Imagine the computing and scanning power needed to map a human. But, as I said, I've started out small – and even the frogs I started out with required a LOT of processing power and a lot of computer time. But, the first experiment in soul transplantation with a success. And if that experimental process would have worked on human beings as well…

 

The idea struck me like lightning on a midsummer day – why not, actually, scan the DNA map of a person, correct minor DNA corruptions, regrow the body to its primal state and then perform an artificial transplantation of that person's soul within the new body?

 

 Imagine for a moment, a terminally ill patient suffering from AIDS. Imagine, for a moment that you could map his DNA, correct it from within (removing any traces, even the most minute, of the viral DNA), regrow the body without the disease and then transfer his consciousness from the old body to the new one. Or for instance, imagine a baby born with a severe genetic defect that would not allow it to survive to the age of two. Imagine that baby growing up and having his own happy, healthy babies with not a single trace of such a genetic defect. Back then, it sounded like science fiction. But then, the revolution came that has finally allowed the cloning of humans without severe moral implication – a biological formula has been discovered, one which allowed the acceleration of a body's growth processes while leaving it completely devoid of awareness until its operation is stopped via a matching antibody serum – the brain, simple as that, functions only in the mechanical level needed to keep the body alive, without allowing it to grow into a living, sentient being. In a way, the brain is not 'alive', and the body's growth is accelerated in a way that allows monitoring and control. More developments have eliminated the need for 'host' mothers for cloned embryos, and accelerated computers to levels that made soul transplantations, finally, a possibility.

 

And then, along came the people who decided that they could harness these innovations to make money – genome cleaning, alteration of developmental elements and exposure to hormones during accelerated growing of the body – to a younger age than the original. A potential fountain of youth. More and more powerful computers entered the transplantation market, and rather quickly, soul transplantation became a phenomenon even more widespread than the plastic surgeries that were just about everywhere when I grew up. Authentic Mind, Synthetic Body.

 

Just bloody great.

 

A few years have passed since then already – and there are still more people in the world who went through the procedure to look 20 at the age of 200, and less people who went through the procedure to cure some incurable disease. It turns out that there were complications in this field too – The body isn't always capable of accepting the soul pattern, and sometimes, even in spite of all efforts, the new body begins developing consciousness – at least in its initial stage – and then we find ourselves dealing with patients with split personalities. And sometimes, there are people which find themselves, due to (heaven forbid) an incorrect translation of the soul map, with gaps in their memories, or with changes to personality structure that they themselves don't notice, but those around them definitely do.

 

I think the greatest question now is – If we've managed to entirely fix the body… What next? Surgeries for the correction of the soul?

 

… I personally hope I won't live long enough to see something like that happen. But on the other hand, if I DO live that long and someone decides to run me through something like that… Would I ever really know that anyone did anything to me?

stellarwind: (Default)
Again and again I awaken into the same dream...

A round room with enormous crystal walls. Every wall is a mirror, window, prism - depending on which angle you look at it through.

The walls stretch on up and down and sideways in a way that seems almost infinite. I hover in midair between these walls, observing the hypnotizing play of colors formed by passage of light through them - lights refracting, reflecting, creating vague images of color and shape. I look outside. Through every wall an entirely different view is seen - in one color and yet in all colors. At every point I see myself, and yet not myself. How long have I been trapped within this illusion already? Doesn't seem like time has meaning here... Doesn't seem like anything has meaning here. Mirrors within mirrors, reflections within reflections. What the hell are they trying to tell me?

A brilliant panorama of memories covers the walls, lights and shadows coalescing into clearer forms. And I see. I see myself as I see myself in my best dreams - free as the wind, wings spread, happier than anything else... Like before, or like what may happen at some point. And yet, simultaneously, I see myself the way I am today - suffereing from mental and emotional overload, without inspiration, drained of internal energies, trapped within a seemingly endless loop. Broken wings, attempting to heal without much success. The dreams. A sillhouette of someone that has been and gone, and still her presense lurks there and refuses to let go of its grip on my head - which is something that isn't particuarily helpful for the accursed loneliness that is gradually consuming me for almost two months now, ever since she dramatically walked out of my life and left me in this state.

When I'm not busy with something better, the smallest thing spark memories within me. Those wonderful memories that became unbearable - memories, which the endless presence of in my head makes me miss things that shall never happen again even more. I am surrounded by shadows of things that have been, things that haven't been, and things that may yet to come.

The memories charge at me. A play of light and colour again, light so beautiful, so bright that it burns me. And there is no escape. Light reflects and refracts all over. Doubts, anxieties, dark undertones shattering the illusion of bright light, fading into gray...

Too much for me.

I lunge at the walls, attempting to break them - shatter them to fragments, clear out my brain and begin anew. But the walls aren't truly there. I don't collide against anything real. Nothing that may cause pain as a result of collision. Yet the walls quiver as if they were made out of Jell-O, and the game of colors changes - relaxing, for the time being. I curl up in a thin layer of vague dream-reality that has emerged from the mist, surrounding myself in things that make me feel better, until, at least, the next outburst.

I awaken, wondering when will this blasted bubble burst already - when will I be able to completely release myself from these memories that drain me so much so I could find the balance yet again and find a source for newer, better memories.

And also, what will happen to me when it does burst. Because I truly am weary of chasing dreams.
stellarwind: (Default)
Might as well post it somewhere before it runs away. o_O

I've closed my eyes
Lost in my own head
Again, I have rushed in
Where angels fear to tread

Seeking out the words
Thinking what to say
But unfortunately for me
I couldn't find a way

To put what's on my mind
In accurate detail
Into written form
... What a pain in the tail.

So instead of calling off
Yet another failed attempt
I decided to write randomly
And now i'm quite content

It's not much of a poem
It's rather bad, I know
But when you're out of inspiration
Heck, anything will go!

So if it's pretty lousy
In rhyme, or form,
Or all the rest...
Please forgive this silly lifeform
He really, really tried his best.
stellarwind: (Default)
I've written this thing to explain what I pretty much believe in at this point of my life. It's pretty freaking long, but it covers about everything. ^^;

Ack, didn't realize it was THAT long. O_O I decided to put it in an lj-cut tag just so I won't have to run seven miles back in order to find last entry...

StellarWind Elsydeon's Guide to the Planet Earth. Open Mind Required. :P )

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StellarWind Elsydeon

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