Friday, November 28, 2008

Wal-Mart worker crushed to death in Black Friday customer stampede!

Wal-Mart Employee Killed In Black Friday Shopping Stampede.

I usually don't post twice a day, but this made me so sick to my stomach I had to say my piece.

A 34-year old clerk was crushed by a crowd outside a Long-Island Wal-Mart early this morning. He was doing his job making sure nobody got in and the mob BROKE DOWN THE FUCKING DOORS AND TRAMPLED HIM TO DEATH! Another clerk and a pregnant mother were also trampled, which resulted in a miscarriage for the poor lady.

We don't have Black Friday in Canada, but I've experienced this first-hand. I used to work at Canadian Tire as a child and was nearly trampled by a mob looking to get some cheap fucking drills that were $10 or something. They could not wait 5 minutes until the top of the hour. They had to shove each other around like starving animals. I even had to pull an elderly lady out of the fray, who would have surely been injured. She admonished me for it, as I had cost her a crappy drill at sale price.

I'm physically getting more ill as I write this...

I hate going to Wal-Mart because of how lowly they treat their employees, but it's common in large companies like that. The problem isn't the store, because this could have happened anywhere. The problem is us. We need to re-examine what's important to us, and...

You know what. Fuck it. If this doesn't make you sad for our civilization, stop read and go kill yourself right now, because if you're so devoid of a soul that THIS does not effect you, the rest of us don't need or want you on this planet. I'm pissed and disgusted. I don't want to go to the mall or big store tomorrow or at all for a very long time. I'll get Fable 2 well after the holidays because I fear if I see another crowd of mindless shoppers ready to throw their baby at someone who wants the last fucking meaningless bobble, I'm going on a killing spree. I'll go to Million (where people are civilized), chill with Barry for a bit and then go help an old friend move (which Carl just told me about).

There better be backlash for this.

I'm gonna go puke now...

My life in Eve - Part 8

just before bed I asked my wife if she read my blog today. She constantly and needlessly hesitates leaving comments (no matter how much I poke and prod) so I have to ask. She had not, and I played surprised.

"Really?" I said, looking shocked, "I made a big announcement today." That peaked her interest. I climbed into bed to indicate that I was not about to spoil it for her and she went to read it. 10 minutes later she climbs into bed and pokes me to check if I was still away. "Well? I didn't hear any typing so I know you didn't comment."

"I'm just shocked. I didn't know what to say to that. It sounds like a huge project. Are you sure you can handle it?" She said, cuddling in.

"Yes, but I won't be alone. I know the community has my back." I said. I explained to her about all the great writers and other talents in the EVE community that constantly ban together to accomplish huge projects. EVEers are extremely closely-knit. If I had to do this alone, I don't think I could.

I think I'll try to brainstorm some names for the project. Mynxee suggested "Stories from New Eden", which definitely makes the short-list. Suggest some if anything comes to mind. I use the poll to help me sort through some possibilities... so VOTE!

Minmatar Industrial IV finishes this afternoon. so tonight I'll be moving all my holdings to Abudban (pronounced by humming while vibrating your index finger between your lips) and beginning another lengthy stint in mission running for the Brutor at lvl.3-4.

I want to talk about ship names for a second. CCP does a great job of naming their ship models along certain themes, and I'm sad when I see people not taking advantage of their ability to give their ship its own name. Some corps even ask you to add a prefix acronym to signify your allegiance. Thinking up a name for my coming Maelstrom made me think about how I've named my ships in the past and how I'll do it in the future. So far I've named:

Stabber - CTF Lawn Dart (I mean... look at the thing...)
Hurricane - CTF Hyboria (it looks like a hyborian barge)
Mammoth - CTF Convoy (The nippon name for Optimus Prime)

CTF stands for COGNet Tactical Forces. I should be COGTF, but I'm not in a position to argue.

I think I'll be naming my Maelstrom Ryūmon Hōzukimaru (龍紋鬼灯丸; Dragon Crest Demon Light). To those who know Bleach it sort of fits, and the Maelstrom screams Katana to me. I could conceivably carry the Bleach Zanpakutou and Kidou theme to many other ships, and I very well may.

What have you named your ships and why?

The weekend holds an outing with my boss (Barry) and my friend (Carl). Carl needs to get his mind of his father's passing, and Barry a lonely pathetic prick with no friends and no gaming skillz. Completely devoid of 1337, uber and micro. And yes, he reads this blog. To his credit, he's an experienced chef who's giving a hobbyist foody like me lessons and tips, which I'm grateful for, so I guess that makes him pro at cooking. He warns me he's a real drill-Sargent when it comes to serious lessons, but I'm cool with that. he says his specialty is soup, so I'm going to push for lunch at the Original Soup Man and see what he thinks. Personally I think it's great stuff.

Sunday I'll be getting cozy in Abudban and using some of my newly-acquired skillbooks. probably run some missions and take stock of my standings and skills training plans. I'll probably jump on Gears 2 and see if this new patch works as well as it's supposed to. I'll find something interesting to post about. Of course I may not get the chance, since I'm purchasing Fable 2 for the wife (And Fallout 3 if I can find a used copy). I was going to buy Mirror's Edge, but I think I'll wait for the price to drop, which I'm betting it will considerably in 6 months.

Last thing: I know I promised a new look for the blog, but the wife has been busy looking for better job and that needs to take priority. I'll see what the near future holds. I'm not going with an EVE theme, since there's more to this blog than that. Right now we're mulling over a Shirow Masamune-inspired design.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wave 50 and bringing sound to the EVE void.

Found quite a few good Gears 2 players online in my friends list so I joined them in horde. They brought me into a private match and we started from wave 47 and ended up beating 50. This was a big moment for me, not because I got the achievement (because I didn't) but it made me think that the players showing off on YouTube are mostly posers.

Going into my unlocked waves, I noticed 47-50 were unlocked but 35-46 were not. The reason being that I have not beaten those waves yet. I intend to soon though. I could post a vid online showing me beating wave 50, but I was able to just because a friend of mine had it unlocked an passed it on to his friends. Wave 50 disseminated in this fashion quite quickly, I'd imagine. Want to spot them, when a vid states its difficulty level, it's phony. Any Gear worth his ammo knows Horde from wave 1 sets its own difficulty levels from casual to insane.

When Dude Huge openly challenged players to beat all 50 waves of Horde, he could not have meant for it to be done in this fashion.

Want to show your worth? Post a vid of you beating ALL 50 WAVES IN A ROW. If I had my comp hooked up to my TV I'd do it myself, recording every time I played just in case. Maybe that's something I need to look into.

The quest continues...

EVE breeds bloggers, and EVE bloggers breeds fanfiction writers. It's a harsh gauntlet to conquer, much like the agoge of ancient Sparda. We comprise as a group - arguably - the best fanfiction writers the world has to offer. We are so skilled that our work is prominently displayed both electronically and in print. The EVE player however, is a fickle creature, often making its nest out of veldspar and frozen corpses. They often do not have the time to enjoy the richer literary entries, and because of that the writer often withers and dies due to malnutrition, its foodstuffs being that of critical and vital feedback. On the other hand, engaging sound in space is rare thing for a capsuleer, and it's in this niche that the writer may yet thrive.

To this effect, I've decided to look into creating a podcast. In effect taking EVE fanfictions and making them into audio dramas, much like what you can still find on the radio here on Terra. I will need equipment (both hardware and software), a small staff for a necessary variety of voicework. and time. I think the best way to go about it is to wait for the latest interconnectivity initiatives to take hold, as a central forum from which to base operations and procure works is critical. EVE-Bloggers would be perfect, if it ever gets off the ground.

I'm not saying I'm going to do this tomorrow or even next month. It will be something I'm planning for during the next 6 months at least. If you have any interest in helping me in this noble and challenging endeavor, drop me an e-mail explaining what you want to help with, why you want to help (remember fame and fortune may await you) and your qualifications (if any).

If you're wondering what my qualifications are, I have radio and voicework training via Humber College and high school drama, as well as audio directing and editing experience. I have passion for the written word and the spoken word. I have a growing desire to be a voice in the dark, like CK and YoMma and the other podcasters, but I want to bring something unique to the table from which we all gorge ourselves. One voice to represent the writing community and lead them into the spotlight.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

EVE Blog Banter #2: All I Ever Wanted To Be Was A Capsuleer.

This month's EVE Blog Banter comes to us from Brinelan over at The Shard ( He asks: What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game and what brought us back if we've ever left?

I was 4 years old when my mom and I went to visit my grandparents. I was bored out of my head as usual and was channel-surfing. My mom came to sit beside me and grabbed the remote. She'd heard of a show called Star Trek: The Next Generation and thought I should give it a look. She found it for me and left after a bit to take care of something, but that one hour changed my life forever, and I can NEVER thank her enough (Love you mommy!).

From that point on I absorbed any sci-fi I could get my hands on. Books, TV, movies, games, comics, anime... all stemmed from that mediocre first ep of TNG. Even my love of writing was conceived that day.

Fast forward to 2005 and gaming was feeling a little shallow for me. I'd played Earth and Beyond for a bit but was unimpressed. I was weary of getting into another MMO because I didn't want to spend 6 months grinding towards an imposed goal like a level cap. Research became key, and months of it led me to a trial of EVE. The tutorial filled me with fear and loathing, but once I was in open space I started to really enjoy it. After a few months I looked for a corporation and found myself in the "PvP Training Corp" of the ASCN. Turns out it was a big scam to turn noobs into disposable slave labour, and I got shafted for opening my mouth. Disappointed, I quit EVE and refocused on comics and shooters.

Looking back, it was a good thing and bad thing to quit. Bad because I would be BAD-FUCKING-ASS right now if I'd kept at it since '05, but good because it let me step back and grasp the depth of the game and how I would approach it long-term. I kept and eagle-eye on all developments and almost 8 months ago decided exactly how I'd jump back in. I was much better prepared to handle the challenges a capsuleer faces all the time.

EVE grabbed me by the brass because of its sandbox design and single-server universe, but what really drew me and kept me was the fiction. All that pseudo-science is an irresistible draw to someone like me, who tries endlessly to explain super-robot science in hard science terms. There was just too much to EVE to let it go... or for it to let go of me, depending on how you look at it. CCP never fails to impress me as a game company with vision and drive. Even through hard times and mistakes they've always done right by the gamers IMHO.

I knew I wanted to roleplay, and I joined the Ushra'Khan because that's what was promised. I'm a little underwhelmed with the RPing being done at the moment, but there's always room for improvement and I've made a lot of great friends.

The EVE-meets are a unique creature. I've been to conventions but this was a 15-20 person affair. Much more intimate then 40000 split-second faces passing you by. In the end I'd recommend EVE-meets to anyone passionate about the game and community. They're great fun and add yet another dimension to the EVE experience.

For those who want an EVE-meet on boosters, +5 faction implants and beer, there's EVE Fanfest. The party at the top of the world. It's a great event that rivals any single-game event I've ever heard of. They even have the Sisters of EVE program for those unsung heroes of EVE, the friends and family who train our skills when we're not home.

EVE has become a great source of blogging fodder because it's so vast and there's so many experiences to be had. EVE may not have the largest playerbase, but every hardcore capsuleer is with 100 WOWtards. I predict by next Fanfest the EVE blogosphere will get some major recognition.

Now almost 8 months down the road, I'm just finishing up my first major EVE fanfiction to (apparently) good reviews, I've been from 1.0 (missioning) to 0.0 (PvP) and back again, starting lvl.4 missions soon, eye-balling my first battleship and jump-clone, constantly drooling over headlines and expansions, a (hopefully) good member of the wonderful EVE blogging community.

Who knows what I'll be up to by the one year mark. I may have a capital ship, I may have my own corp within the U'K or tried my hand at Factional Warfare. I may have (finally) managed to build up my miner alt and pass control of it on to my wife. My future in EVE is as bright as the stars. Maybe I'll have upgraded my comp so I could use the premium graphics.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Last Son of Prano - Chapter 7.

Chapter 7.

24 hours Later.

Gigaer was led by two guards out of the medbay. He'd spent the night receiving medical attention for the injuries he sustained when the Thukker attacked him. According to the old man, The Thukker kept constant watch on him since the first day he had entered the Wildlands. Their orders were to stay close, hidden and passive. The Elders wanted him to wander and survive battle after battle until he was at his limit, then if he continued his search, they were to disable him and take him in. That last battle had damaged his pod and resulted in moderate injury. The medics made sure he could hold under the strain of interrogation before they brought him before the Elder.

The guards, who had been with Gigaer constantly since his interrogation, led him down a long hallway filled with activity. There were plenty of people and equipment rushing around, though none made eye-contact with him, and they almost seemed to give him as wide a birth as possible. Even the two guards had not spoken a word to him, and seemed to be weary of him. The only thing he could get out of them were their names, Rogi and Vani. Two of the biggest Brutor Gigaer had even seen and they were armed not only with sidearms, but surprisingly also kandjals.

They led him into the same viewing room that he had been interrogated in, which set Gigaer on edge, until he noticed that instead of a chair in the middle of the room, there was a long meeting table with 12 chairs. It looked to be make of real wood and oufitted with holographic displays. Gigaer stood at one end, winged by his keepers, while on the opposite head of the table sat the Elder he'd met the day before. It occurred to Gigaer that the old man had never given his name. He mearly handed Gigaer off to the guards, who seemed to have been instructed beforehand to tend to him.

Rogi pulled the chair out while Vani motioned formally for Gigaer to sit. Gigaer had locked eyes with the old man as soon as he'd entered the room, and didn't break the connection as he sat, trying to put out an air of confidence to offset the Elder's aura of power and control. The Elder was dressed in robes similar to what he wore last time, and Gigaer noticed the ancient Matari symbols that adorned it. Nobody else he saw wore anything like it, so they must be specific to his status. Gigaer noticed some of the people he passed in the halls wore Thukker markings, proving to him the Elders were working with the Thukker. The old man gave the guards leave and rose from his seat.

At the centre of the table sat a bottle of mead on a silver platter, along with several small crystal glasses. Smiling, the old man uncorked the bottle and poured two glasses, then walked over to Gigaer and handed him one, before returning to his seat. The old man raised his glass in a toast, but said nothing. Gigaer returned the gesture as they both drank, never breaking eye-contact. The old man set his glass down and pressed a button on the small holographic control pad to his side. The door behind the old man opened and the man Gigaer knew only as Eyes entered. Eyes shot Gigaer a smile and a reverse-nod while heading straight for the mead, poured himself a glass and took a seat at the right hand of the old man.

“OK. Let me see if I can guess what's going on here.” Gigaer said as he calmly rose from his seat and moved towards the window, breaking eyes with the old man for the first time, and now looking out over the shipyards. “You learned about me and about my Prano legacy, and decided to test me. The first test was mental. I had to deduce that Eyes was not leading me into a trap on little-to-no solid information. The second test was physical. I had to survive in the Wildlands and push my limits to resist against the local pirates. The third test was spiritual. I had to show you that I could tap into my so-called powers and sense the greater reality.” Gigaer turned back towards the table and casually poured himself another drink, raising it slightly towards the old man and Eyes before drinking the whole glass in one gulp. “So we inevitably come to the part of the story where the reason behind the tests is revealed, and believe me when I say I'm all ears.” Gigaer let the smallest amount of frustration escape his voice, letting his keepers know he was ready to be an ungracious guest if answers were not forthcoming.

“I'll tell you anything you want to know, and if you wish to leave after hearing us out we'll give you a ship and escort out of the Wildlands.” said the old man.

“First, Who are you?”

“My name is Vakor. I am an Elder of the Minmatar tribes. My associate here, Eyes, is an agent of mine and acts on my behalf.” the old man said calmly, acting as if this were a gathering of friends.

“Why did you bring me here?”

Vakor took a deep breath before answering. “ The Prano legacy has been a key part of Matari lore since the first records of our people. Your line played a vital role in shaping the thoughts and values of our civilization. The Amarr took that away from us, forcing we Elders to flee and our people to lose our way of life. The Prano name slipped away into the night, along with much of our heritage. While your clan was forced to submit like many others, we became keepers of the ancient knowledge that sustained us as a people. Now the last son of Prano has risen from the ashes of enslavement. You've proven you have the gift. A connection to the spirits and entities of our world and others. A link that surpasses all others. You are the last true Planswalker, yet you are alone. Sent out into the void of space with little training or knowledge of your birthright. We are dedicated to revitalizing true Matari culture, and we therefore had a duty to seek you out and prepare you for the duty you carry in your blood.”

Gigaer took a few seconds to absorb Vakor's words. It did gel with what little he'd managed to learn about his clan so far, but after wandering with no direction for so long, to suddenly be presented with all the answers was a little shocking. Still, Gigaer had to take this one step at a time. “So what do you propose? You'll give me the information in exchange for what? That I be your pawn in whatever bloody affair you're planning? And don't tell me you're not planning something big. All those ships you're building out there are not for show.”

Vakor rose from his seat and moved towards the window, smiling as he took in the site of hundreds of ships being built. “There is a storm coming. The Republic thinks it's free and honourable. In reality they've become stagnant and corrupt. The Amarr still enslave our people and our vaunted Republic fleet does nothing but putter around in circles. A storm comes. A storm furious enough to burn away the darkness on the path our people walk. When it comes we must all be ready to meet the call of destiny that rings out from our blood.” Vakor turned to Gigaer and placed his hands on his shoulders. For some reason this didn't put Gigaer on guard. There was an undeniable ringing of truth to Vakor's words. “We will train you as your family would have trained you, and then you will go and find your path. When you are ready and the time is right, you will know what to do.”

The look in Vakor's eyes reminded Gigaer of the look in his mother's eyes when she recorded her message to the child she would never know, and the look in his father's eyes when they decided that Gigaer should become a capsuleer. Eyes rose from his seat and walked over to the two by the window. He held a wooden case and handed it to Vakor, who opened it and revealed Gigaer's kandjal. It had been repaired and cleaned to a flawless state. Gigaer took his kandjal, thankful to be reunited with what he often thought was the other piece of himself. “The foremost masters of the art of the kandjal will be training you as part of your studies.” said Vakor. “We will be building you from the ground up. Strategy, tactics, politics, philosophy, body, mind and soul. You will represent the best of what it means to be Minmatar, if – by some miracle - you survive.”

Gigaer turned and walked slowly around to the other side of the table, taking in the moment. He turned to Vakor and Eyes and opened up with his kandjal, sending it into a masterful whistling fury, extending and retracting it over and over, performing his favorite combinations and forms. His kandjal was in top form and so was he, and he had no doubt he would have to be even better to make it out of this place alive. The thought greatly excited him. Finishing his demonstration and bowing before the Elder as a pupil to his master, Gigaer spoke once more with the grin of a adrenaline junkie.

“I just have one last question. When do we begin?”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Did I step on a butterfly or something?

My karma's been in the dumps for the past few days.

My friend's dad dropped dead Friday night, and there's a lot of unresolved issues with that relationship. I don't even know the specifics, but the family isn't exactly capable of supporting itself and once the shock subsides there's going to be hell to pay, literally and figuratively. Please take a second to send a good wave their way.

it makes me think a lot about my grandmother's death a few years ago. She was taken from us by pancreatic cancer and it was very painful for everyone. Now things are very strained between my grandfather and the rest of the family. He's always angry and pushes everyone away, even when he's seemingly asking for attention. Apparently he was always this way but my grandmother held him in check. Now she's gone and nobody knows what to do. I guess after 51 years of marriage he has a right to be angry, but it's not healthy for him to be at the grave almost every day for 3 years, and nobody wants to do anything to stop him.

On my way in to work this morning I hear on the radio that my old high school nearly burned down. and once I start my shift I find out that my staff (of which I'm allotted no control but responsible for and paid the same as they are) royally fucked up on the weekend. We're talking PROPERTY DAMAGE due to security's negligence. I'm a security guard/concierge at a downtown condo in Toronto, and I'm about to pull my hair out over $10/hour.

I've gotta counter these bad vibes. Gaming might work but not looking for any death and destruction at my own hands. Presense IV finishes tonight at 7ish, which officially finishes my Learning skill training. My next bit of business is to get my Minmatar Industrial up to III so I can use a Mammoth to move myself to Abudban. Then it's all about mission running got isk and standings while fixing up my skills in every other category.

Maybe a movie would be better. I'm sure I have something uplifting somewhere.

It's a bad thing to start a week this depressed, so if I don't act on it now I'll ruin everything up to Friday, and maybe beyond.

Tomorrow is the next chapter of Last Son of Prano. I'm running into a bit of writing block on the final chapter, but I've really got to jump on it and work through it.

Maybe I need a good wave sent my way as well. It's important for me to be happy for my wife's sake. She's easily depressed and I can't let her get down on our situations. I have to bare it. She was not able to work on the blog's look last week because her job at the bakery was finally giving her some decent hours, which is a good thing. The blog will change when she has the time.

26th brings us to the next Blog Banter, brought to us by CrazyKinux. I'll be giving my thoughts on the king of the EVE blogosphere this week. The Banter blog entry will be out in the evening, so no entry in the morning like usual for that day.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mass Effect 2: How would I make the sequel better?

While I really love the ME, I do have a few suggestions for the sequel.

1) Garrus returns as your Spectre apprentice. He said he was going to go back to C-Sec and re-apply for Spectre training, so let's see where that goes.

2) I'm pretty sure the Asari Consort is a Shadow Broker, so have a nice long side-quest for that.

3) Shepard should split from the alliance to more fully embrace his Spectre duties. He should be given an honourary C-Sec rank (Executor sounds nice) and the crew of the Normandy should be made up of plenty of other races.

4) Now that Shepard isn't with the Alliance anymore (assuming you go with suggestion #3) and probably doesn't have to look so polished, you could probably have a lot more variation in the character creator/modify an existing model with new options. One could conceivably go nuts with colours of eyes and hair (consider cosmetic genetic manipulation would make thinks like red eyes and silver hair possible, or even heterochromia iridium).

5) Ditch the Mako. Instead have some small mecha (Arm-slaves from Full Metal Panic come to mind as a good starting point because their "lambda driver" could give the thought of biotics an a mecha scale and the tech is definitely not beyond what is present in the ME universe). Three small mecha could slide out of the Normandy's doors just like the Mako does now. There are plenty of customization options there.

6) We need an A.I. party member to add another dimension to what should definitely be happening with the Geth, just like Wrex added something to Virmire. How about a ship-board A.I. named Aegis. She could also have an engineer avatar robot for missions. It's a good character to pivot some stories on concerning the Geth. I'll have to outline my thoughts on this option later in more detail, but there's a logic to it.

7) Biotics should have a little more offensive capability. Warp should evolve into some sort of projectile pulse, maybe like a Hadouken or a quigong strike from the manga Tenjhou Tenge.

8 ) Limit the amount of returning characters. Liara should commit her life to researching everything on Ilos. Tali should go back to the Quarian fleet and spend the next few years decoding those files you gave her. Wrex should only be around if you have a cure for the genophage, which he can use to unite his people. I doubt Kaiden or Ashley really have much more story to tell, so we can brush them aside easily. Priesly should go, but Chakwas and Joker should stay. All that said, it would be cool to have the old removed characters get nice cameos. Bring in one of those Salarian commandos to replace Ashley, and a HOT freelancer human from the Terminus to round out the attitude spectrum on the Normandy. I've actually come up with some good stories for these new characters.

9) A quest to cure the genophage should be an option at some point. Also, keep running with the Cerberus story.

10) The look of armours and weapons should be more varied. Nothing crazy, just cool. Bungie had a nice design thing going with their Halo 3 multiplayer armour permutations, but I'm sure you guys could blow them out of the water.

11) A higher level cap then 60. Ideally (but it's probably not really doable), have the chance to have every skill on one character and max them all out.

12) Spectres should have access to some cool (but not wierd) genetic mods/cybernetic enhancements. I'm thinking a little Ghost in The Shell here. I'm aware there are laws prohibiting certain genetic augmentations, but since Spectres are above the law...

13) My wife wanted this really badly, but female Shepards should be able to romance Garrus. Don't ask me why, but she thinks Turians are super-hot!

14) I'd like to see some good examples of design differences in the technology of different races. At some point I should be able to clearly differentiate design doctrines, look at a random piece or tech and instantly know who made it.

15) Squad control should allow you to command members separately, as well as together.

16) All the issues with graphics, A.I., sound and everything else are fixable. Make us drool for it while you really polish your work. Keep us occupied with podcasts, pics, vids, blogs and everything else you can think of to make a fan squeal, but don't rush on our account. We will appreciate you all the more that way. Make sure to use the HDD install ability of the NXE.

17) More mini-games with more variety. There's an old Star Trek FPS that had a cool system bypass mini-game, so maybe something like that.

18) Grenades were odd. I'd like them to have different settings. The standard setting would be the same as it is now, but you could also set it to sticky proximity and maybe add a very slight homing option to the primary option. Bend it like you would a frisbee or soccerball.

19) I'm not screaming "brink back lightsaber melee combat!" like some deranged Star Wars fan (no hate brothers, its all love), but maybe a re-examination of the melee options in ME is advisable. Military vibro-knives, bayonets and some martial arts action COULD be pretty cool.

20) The Codex should have vids connected to some of its entries, and there should be a master codex viewable from the game selection screen (in extras maybe), because even though each time I start a new character it clears the in-game codex, I'd still like access to the entries I've already unlocked.

21) Seth Green could be asked to colour a little of the more humourous script. Not that the current team isn't doing a fantastic job (because they ARE), but Seth is a master of comedy and might be able to add one or two things. He's already on as Joker (wonderful job on all the voice acting BTW), why not.

22) Normandy should get an overhaul. Change it a little in 2 and again a little in 3.

I took these from a post I made on the Mass Effect offical boards. Check the link for other suggestions and responses from other players. I managed to get 4 pages of good discussion going. I did remove some of my suggestions and change a few others slightly for this post becaause I've had quite some time to think them over. Let me know what you all think!


Friday, November 21, 2008

WAVE 35!

I'm not one to get excited easily when playing online. I get more easily excited when playing a game with a good story-telling, and when I say excited I mean screaming and jumping and humping my monitor. EVE gets me focused, but rarely have I gone wacko in my signature way that sacre the cat and makes the wife want me (don't deny it babe).

Last night on Gears 2 Horde was a definite exception.

I played 2 rounds. The first took 10 minutes to find a game and I ended up with a bunch of noob losers. I almost went to bed afterwards because I was so pissed but I tried one more time. Quickly connected and we voted on the Day One map. Anyone who's familiar with it during a Horde game knows what the deal is. It's an intersection on a ruined street with a huge crater in the center. Locust can come from all 4 directions, there's 2 ammo boxes near the north and south sides of the crater, 2 outcroppings to snipe from, and a Hammer of Dawn in one of them.

The key is for two players with good skills with the Hammer and mortars to hold the outcroppings and support the rest of the squad as the run fast and coordinated at ground level. Support means good communication and direction, as well as covering fire. Communication is always key in multiplayer, and horde is no different. Silent squads who don't work together, die divided.

So, I say hi at the beginning, no response, Damn. Someone gets killed on wave 2, double-damn. I see one Wretch left being chased by everyone and I say "Whoever kills the Wretch gets a gold star!" Laughs all around. We rip a bit into the slacker who died in wave 2 and almost every wave after that, "Slim Tugger" being clearly out of his element. Suddenly we come together as a squad. I mean MAN UP! BUCKLE DOWN! BALLS TO THE WALLS! I lay out my plans and they come together like a real squad should.

There were are few waves were it was one guy left going Rambo and saving the match, and we'd shower him with praise. Wave 17 comes around, which was my previous limit. I pipe up with, "If we make it past this wave, you all make my friends list!" which prompted yays and laughs all around. In the end we made it to wave 35, and would have gotten further if Slim Tugger was not such a waste of virtual space. Sure enough I sent friend requests to everyone (expect ST). These guys are exactly the type of player you want to play with again. Guaranteed good times.

I really wanted to keep going with these guys, but I was already cutting into some much-needed sleep-time. I was so pumped that it took me a while to come down.

Will I ever get that wave 50 achievement? I don't know. I think it'll be a real rarity among the playerbase. Only held by real pros. It'll be something I and many others aspire to.

My weekend? I'll blow through the rest of the Gears book and give you my impressions on Monday. Hopefully I'll be able to work on Prano and hopefully my friend will come through with that copy of R6V2. Other then that, Empathy V finishes @8ish and presense IV will be the last Learning skill to train for me. Finally I can get back to skills that have a direct effect on my abilities. My post on the weekend will be about another near-perfect 360 game: Mass Effect.

I'd like to point out the poll is up but hasn't been getting much attention. It's a pretty simple question: What are you? Also, feel free to send me a friend request on Live, but be sure you identify yourself in the request and be ready to play online at least occasionally. I've added the Gamertag gadget to make me easily findable.

One last thing. I found this link that gives you a transparent .png of you Live avatar. Here's me and the wife.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Experiencing the New Experience.

I got home and dashed right for the 360. Turned it on and got to building my avatar and playing around with the interface.

BUT FIRST! I asked the wife to write me an e-mail about her thoughts on the NXE. What I didn't tell her was I'd be posting that e-mail here. She's a little shy, and I like to mess around with her like this once in a while. Shocks to the system can be healthy. I found the e-mail sitting on my comp's screen at home, and I realized she's ranted and lost her nerve. I pressed the send button for her. Yeah, I'm an asshole. So she wrote:

And so xbox has jumped onto the avatar bandwagon..

I've seen many systems of avatar creation over the net, and I have to say that my 30 or so minutes of fiddling with the new xbox avatars, I was not impressed. Ok, so at least they're a step up from the Nintendo's Miis, but I still think they're ugly IMHO.

I understand that being the first release, there was a limit to what they could release. But I was a bit disappointed with a few things, like couldn't they at least include 1 long hairstyle? It seems like all female styles are reduced to the same hair length, while they have several patterns for balding men. Also the clothing selection consists of various t-shirts and shorts, with a few exceptions. But my biggest grievance is with the chin and nose features. Do people really look like that?

On the good side, the amount of colors for things like skin, eyes and makeup were nice, as well as eye and lip styles. Also a plus for me is the inclusion of the elven ears and vampire teeth.. lol.

In the end I managed to get my fairly decent avatar to look somewhat like me. And no I didn't end up keeping the elven ears or vampire teeth.. :P

As for the new interface.. I'm not really a big fan of the cascading tiles.. For certain sections of it I think it works really well, like the achievements section. It's much easier to just flip through, especially if you have a lot of games. As well as the market place, showing the top adds, and the friends list, although I can see it being a problem when you just want to see who's online quickly. I just hope they find a way to re-integrate our theme packs. And the party system sounds like a good idea, but I don't have that many people on my friend's list.

What point is there to these avatars anyways? Sure some games will incorporate them, but most of the games we play use they're own characters in online play. But would you really want to use your avatar to play horde on Gears of War 2? Although being able to equip the golden lancer to your avatar would be awesome!

Hopefully they'll take some lessons from the great avatar site out there like IMVU, Meez, There, or Second Life. Being able to change emotions, or the 'smile and wave' action, more customization, and cooler items, and maybe a reason to use it, like a good chat interface, and then it wouldn't be so bad.. maybe..

I'll give it a chance for now, but I think I'll stick to Gaia.


Second Life

Good thoughts hun. I'm sure in 6 months most of those issues will be fixed, or at least more to your liking.

Honestly I'm a little unimpressed with the avatar creation system. i wanted to mess around with body types a little more then what they allowed, and the clothing selection could have been better.

The interface had a good layout and most things were easy to access. Cascading tiles are OK for me, though by pressing the player button you can bring up something resembling the old blades. I ended up clearing out my friends list, going from 49 to 26. I added CrazyKinux, and I'm hoping more EVEers interested in playing over Live with me send me their gamertags. During the mass exodus of friends, I actually had to restart my system a handful of times due to freezing.

I learned why two of my friends could not play with their 360s online. Apparently the Live service Rogers wireless routers don't like each other. Rogers position on it after 45 minutes on the phone is that it's a Microsoft issue. I hope someone is looking into fixing this.

Didn't play anything really last night, as playing around with the NXE took up most of my evening. Looking to get some Horde in tonight. I'm getting through the Gears of War novel quickly, and I'm finding it very enjoyable. I need to make sure I make my Amazon purchase soon so I can still have something to read on the bus.

On EVE, Empathy V and Presense III finish tomorrow. That only leaves Presense IV and I'm done with learning skills! I was thinking about the possibility of skill queuing last night, and the idea came to me of a skill continuing to train automatically past levels reached. For example, if I were to leave Weapon Upgrades III training, it would go to IV and automatically start training V. What do you think? What is the best way to possibly implement skill-queuing?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Xbox Experience about to be experienced.

First off, had an AWESOME time on horde last night. ran into a few fun guys and we ran a few waves. Highest wave we made it to was about 17, which makes me wonder if I'll ever get that wave 50 achievement. I gotta start clearing out my friends list. Also gotta post a link to this blog in my bio.

Anywho. Woke up. Shit. Shower. Shave. Checked BOINC. Checked skills. Turned on my 360 and installed the New Xbox Experience. Turned it off and went to work.

No time to mess around with it yet. I've done all the reading and know mostly what to expect, but I'll give my impressions tomorrow. Today I want to talk about what I'm expecting.

1) Fun with Avatars. I want this to be fun enough to lure the wife away from Gaia, which is a lot to ask, but I'm asking it. I want lots of variation and stuff to mess around with.

2) Easier interface. The first 360 UI was pretty cool, but it was a little unwieldy and I'm hoping for better.

3) Faster loading. Now that you can install games on to the HDD, I'm hoping some of my bigger games will benefit from it. Too Human and Mass Effect come to mind. This is obviously one more reason for me to get the Elite, as it has a larger HDD.

4) Canadian fairness. Content on Live is NOT the same as that in the U.S. We can not DL a lot of the same content as our friends to the south and we can not view TV while the box is on, using the interface to pal around and set up group gaming. I want my 360 to be a PVR. On-demand and streaming and parties and all that stuff.

I'll give it a good go tonight and let you know what I think tomorrow.

Friday's post will be my impressions of the ambulation and Tech-3 Fanfest vids. I'll try and give as detailed an impression as I can.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Son of Prano - Chapter 6.

Chapter 6.

3 Days Later.

Gigaer never really thought about the afterlife. Different groups had different ideas, and they all seemed equally plausible, but when you spend so much time with the metaphysical aspects of one reality, you tend to not want to deal with others. One thing that Gigaer didn't expect was the pain. Being dead was surprisingly painful, and that blinding light shining in his face was annoying.

Gigaer's eyes rolled grudgingly to the front, straining against the fog in his mind to focus back on reality. There was a single bright light blasting in his face, and his head was slacked limply backwards. Gigaer used the pain screaming from every part of his body, moving his head forward and taking slow stock of his situation. Firstly, he was definitely alive. His head was pounding, which meant he probably had a minor concussion, and the rest of his body was aching, which meant the rest of him was equally pummeled. There was an odd numbness to the pain, as if it where echoing down a long corridor.

As he tried to move sharp pangs called out from his right bicep, his wrists and ankles. Slowly turning his head and bringing his eyes back into focus, he noticed not only were his hands and feet bound with metal handcuffs, and an I.V. was embedded in his arm, feeding a sinister-looking black liquid straight into his veins from a nearby stand. The light came from overhead, so bright that he could not identify the source. He was strapped to a simple metal chair. Beyond his cone of light was nothingness. An empty black void that he could not see through no matter how focused his gaze.

Calling upon his simple mental and breathing exercises, Gigaer brought the rest of himself back into the here and now. He fought against what he could only assume was an anesthetic feeding into his arm, but its hold was powerful and the fog was still thick.

“We see you have learned a thing or two about the power of your will. That drug would keep an Amarr xenophobe sedated in a room full of Matari politicians.” Said a booming voice from the darkness. It seemed to come from every direction and was heavily distorted. It was low and godlike, booming through his body and making his head pound. Gigaer felt nausea creep from his bowels but managed to speak.

“Who are you? Where am I”

“Questions. The beginning of wisdom.” The voice chuckled softly. “ Understand you are but a baby among a pack of wolves. We sniff at you because we are curious, but do not try our patience. We will ask questions and you will answer them.”

Gigaer tried not to show weakness, but the drug made that impossible. “I don't understand. Who are you?” A sharp and explosive pain raked through his body, causing him to let out a small scream in surprise. The surge only lasted a second, and it was unlike anything he'd ever experienced. It was as if all if his body's pain receptors were switched on for a moment, then turned off. A blinding, nameless pain that he didn't care to experience again. However his captors did it, Gigaer did not wish to provoke that action again.

“ WE will ask, and you will answer. Now, what is your name?" Boomed the voice, commanding Gigaer to obey. There was no malevolence in the voice as far as Gigaer could tell. Whoever it was took no pleasure in causing pain.

“My name is Gigaer.”

“What is your clan?”

That one question spoke volumes to Gigaer. He came into the Wildlands because someone knew more about his legacy than he did. Whoever that was hired Eyes to track him down and send him into nullsec, screaming a code over and over into the void, attracting nothing but trouble. Pirates didn't take capsuleers prisoner, and neither did slavers. Too much trouble. The pieces of memory began to drag back into place. The last attack was by the Thukker tribe, and the Thukker were not known for operating in the Wildlands. Every attack prior to that was by the Angel Cartel. Were his captors Thukker? Were the Thukker the ones who hired Eyes to bring Gigaer into the Wildlands? His gut told him this interrogation was not what it seemed. “Prano.”

“No deception?”

“No point. If what your agent said it true, you know more about me then I do.” Gigaer said with as much confidence as he could muster. Even the captive could learn about his captors if he was clever and observant. “You wanted me here, so here I am.” Another wave of agony hit him, this time lasting a little longer. The drug feeding into him amazingly didn't numb the pain at all and he hid it as well as he could, only letting out a small grunt. Gigaer's head felt like it was about to explode, and his heart was racing. He figured another jolt like that could cause an aneurysm.

“Your mind is quick, and so is your mouth. We may just be Thukker pirates, and if we are, then you're no use to us. So, why are you still alive?”

Gigaer had nothing to go on. Who would know about him? He thought about it for days with no clue, and now if he didn't answer the question right, he would probably die. Panic poked at the edges of his mind and his body was past the breaking point. The only thing he could think about was the image of his mother, and the odd expression on her face that Gigaer could never identify... until now.

Trust. She trusted her son to do what needed to be done. His father trusted him to find his way, and Eyes and his benefactors trusted him to survive. Now, Gigaer had to trust himself. He called upon all his training and exercises, reaching past his physical self and out into the darkness.

“Because you're not Thukker. Because like me you're something the world has either forgotten about or believes is dead and gone.”

The I.V. beeped and the flow of drugs changed from black to white and the fog in Gigaer's head quickly began to diminish. The blinding light above him calmed and other soothing lights came on in the room, fully illuminating what looked like a small and empty viewing room. Shutters on the wall opened, revealing space, and a vast shipyard. In front of him a metal door slid open and an ancient Matari man walked in, wearing robes that could almost be called regal. The old man walked up to Gigaer and waved his hand through the air, signaling to a wall-mounted camera Gigaer had not noticed before. The restraints and I.V. disengaged and Gigaer stood slowly to meet the old man's gaze. “You're not Thukker. You are The Elders.”

A grin formed on the old man's face that could almost be called sinister.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back by popular demand!

Someone actually liked my gallery a few weeks ago, and I promised more of the same. It seems like I'm going for a Highlander deal, but I was aiming for Agent 47. I took these 2 years ago as me and the wife were heading out to my parents' 25 year anniversary. Everything was in the middle of the room because we were painting and I was messing around with my sword and toy gun. I asked Alicia to take some pics and we really liked how they came out.


That's all of them, along with the ones I posted in the previous gallery. Let me know which ones you like, don't like, and why (Here's that question thing Mynxee told me to include to get more comments). If your suggestions give me the urge, I'll do more.

Also posting my first poll. Not exactly timely or anything, but it's a start.

I'm also going to try adding more links into my blog. Hopefully those I'm linking to will reciprocate.

The page will be undergoing a revamp this week, assuming the wife gets around to it. Not sure how it will look, but I'm expecting something close to the new Nero colour theme off EVE, and a cool banner. I could not do an EVE theme, but that opens up a whole mess of choices that I'd rather not have to deal with yet, considering all the anime I watch and comics I read. Perhaps later on I'll do something different. Perhaps there's a way to have a few preset themes I can switch between. If I can work that I may be able to work in seasonal stuff...

Thanks to CK's Speedlinking, I found out I had a link via! I wish I had my view counter up to see what that did for my numbers.

Woke up sick. I'll just have to sweat it out tonight.

Awesome fictional-tech article here. I love this sort of thing.

I'm really enjoying Horde on Gears 2. My problem is that Live is still struggling with it. I think I found out how to get my Golden Lancer to work. We'll see if a fix Kurtis told me about works tonight. In other games, I'm taking a little break from Dead Space to stretch out the awesome story experience and I'll get around the Ninja Gaiden 2 at some point. Major steps forward made with learning skill training this weekend. Empathy V should be done Friday morning, then all I have left is to train Presence II-IV.

I wish there was a way to easily track how much isk you pay in taxes via your wallet. I would think that would be an easy little add-on.

Tomorrow's the next chapter of last Son of Prano. Hope everyone is enjoying it. I wasn't able to work on the final chapter last weekend, but I did get some critical info and feedback at the meet.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not exactly according to plan.

So I jet off home after work, shower and change, then brave the traffic back out downtown. I just reach Lone Star when I run into Drestin waving me over outside. Apparently there was no reservation, contradicting the info on the boards. I go double-check with the hostess, and Dres and I end up getting ourselves a table by the bar. 10 minutes of shooting the shit with him and we run into another small group of confused EVEers. We make ourselves a reservation and eventually get a table. Slowly, almost everyone showed.

It was a great time with great people great stories and great conversation. Too bad the food was horrible and it upset my stomach so much I could only manage a single beer. Oh well. One of the best stories I heard was a guy who was mining with a carrier. WTF!

I took a few pics with my phone. Next time I'm bringing a camera.

(The gang.)
2. (Great couple. I need to introduce them to my wife. We should hang or something.)
3. (Drestin. Scared me the first time I met him because I was such a noob and he was talking in EVE short-hand. Nice guy.)
4. (Would you believe I've taken a photography course?)
5. (Candid shots are fun...)
6. (Came to the rescue of the mining carrier. Regrets it. Great story though.)

We gotta do these meets more often than twice a year, and at better venues. Big shout-out to everyone who came.

Anywho, weekend hasn't gone like I planned. Yesterday I ran down to Million to pick up my comics, and grab DVD 3 of Black Lagoon: Second barrage and the Special Edition box of Gurren-Lagann. It came with a Core Drill with a green LED that lights it up. This sort of thing fills me with geeky glee, and makes my wife fear for me mental health. Today I'm visiting the folks up in Woodbridge. My mom makes the most awesome roast. I've decided to stretch my Dead Space experience with online Gears 2 play, since I'm blowing through it a little too fast. I still have GTA4 and Assassin's Creed to finish up as well. I'll be getting my copy of R6V2 next weekend.

Picked up the Gears of War prequel novel, which I'll blow through this week. Gonna buy Hardcovers of the Dune series and the EVE novel over Amazon (which will save me shipping if I buy tthem at once). Also getting this awesome Nerdcore 2009 calander.

Went to see Quantum of Solace. People who think they're just trying to copy Bourne need to try paying attention to a little thing called Nuance. Great movie, though it's not as good as Casino Royale. Shortest Bond movie ever, though it didn't feel contracted. Best opening Bond theme ever. Jack White ROCKS. Barry needs to learn what a theatre voice is, which is basically whispering straight into someone's ear by their shoulder. He was yelling over the explosions, which was a little embarrassing, though I hope I didn't hurt his feelings by giving him the finger-to-the-lips. He'll comment on how ugly or hot a girl is at full volume so she can hear, which he did a lot at Yorkdale mall.

One BIG disappointment was the absent Star Trek trialer. I was really looking forward to that and I ended up having to rely on a bad bootleg on YouTube. Tomorrow I'll be able to see it tomorrow here, but from what I've already seen it's really gonna be a great movie.

This week? Not planning much EVE. Empathy V finishes Friday morning. Probably spend a good amount of time on Gears, and some simgle-player breaks on Dead Space and Ninja Gaiden 2. Probably finishing up reading Watchmen and go through the Gears novel.

See you all Monday.


Friday, November 14, 2008

My weekend starts @1600.

I work from 0800-1600, Monday to Friday. At 1600 today, I either move fast and true, or my entire weekend is FUCKED.

The plan is:


1600 - Off-duty. Get on the subway as quickly as possible. hope I get lucky with the bus and traffic at Lawrence station, which I head to from Finch.

1730 - Arrive at home (hopefully), change my skill training so it doesn't finish at 2309 tonight. Shower, throw on as much geek swag as possible and dash to the bus stop headed back to the subway. Make for Union station.

1930 - Exit union station and cross the street to Lone Star Bar & Grill. EVE-meet starts @1900, just in time for the EVE-meet. Order some food and start drinking heavily. Try and take pictures to be posted in a weekend post. Stay until 0100 or the place closes, but I have to make sure I don't get stuck taking the Blue Nite bus home.


1000 - Wake up, Clean myself up and run some hangover repping (damage taken all depends on my active buffing protocols, A.K.A. water before bed and advil in the morning). Maintain skill training, eat something and head out to Million.

1200 - Arrive at OMC, buy the Gurren-Lagann box they are being kind enough to hold on to for me, grab my comics and head home.

1540 - Barry will be picking me up (and Alicia if she can make it back from work quick enough) and we'll be going to see Quantum of Solace @ SilverCity Yorkdale for this time.

1800 - Arrive home. Fix dinner. Play Dead Space until bed time. Get layed.


1100 - Sleep in. Check EVE and RSS feeds. Fix some brunch. Work on last chapter of LSoP. Hopefully finish it. Take breaks reading comics and watching Gurren-Lagann. Run some laundry and do some dishes to please (see: placate) the wife/goddess/demon.

1900 - Feed myself and creature described above.

2100 - Get layed.

2200 - Go to sleep.

Sound like a plan? Hopefully none of the guys and girls at the meet have a problem with getting their picture taken. I'll probably not remember their names, but I'll ask them to comment on the blog and identify themselves if they want.

Hope everyone has a good weekend, and thanks to everyone for their best wishes for me and the wifey-wife. Ahnog has posted about his own over at Dense Veldspar.

The wife said she'd pimp my blog next week. I have HTML experience but she's much better at it. We'll probably go through a few iterations over a few weeks.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The wife.

Some small blogging notes off the top. I've enabled the mature content warning. This frees me up to talk about things like sex, but also offers me the use of "blue" language. I don't plan to use it a lot, but it will be used. Take it or leave it. I'll also be asking more questions of my readers in my blogs and making use of the poll gadget, both starting next week. Please comment and vote often.

On to the topic at hand. My better half.

I actually met Alicia over an Internet dating site specifically for anime fans in '01. The site was small and doesn't exist anymore, but a former friend and I were trying it out. My friend got lucky and it turned out his girl had a very shy friend who they could hook up with me as a laugh. Their relationship crashed hard but ours went pretty well from the get-go.

I was living in Toronto with my parents and she was living with hers about 6 hours north in a Town called Astorville, near North Bay. Really a disgusting place filled with French inbreds, so I really managed to find a diamond in the rough. Communication was very difficult at first due to her shyness and the fact that her parents rarely allowed her to make long-distance call or use their dial-up Internet. We went 14 horrible months without hearing each other's voices.

Eventually she moved down to Toronto just as her family was coming apart at the seams. More on her family later. We got a place with the same friend from earlier, who's relationship had already ended so it was the three of us. I'd known my friend for about 8 years and treated him like a brother, but eventually he lost his sense of honour and started to secretively hit on Alicia while pushing me away and making me look foolish at every opportunity. I found out about it after the stress of secretly turning him down daily got the better of her. When I found out he got sick of the whole thing and put us on the street. Can you imagine? A friend of 8 years doing that.

We found a better place in a rougher part of town and have been trying to build an adult life ever since. We're both 25 and we share a lot of hobbies and interests. She is intrigued by EVE but is intimidated by the UI. She often changes my skills when I'm not home so that a minimum of training time is lost, and for that she's earned an honourary member with COGNet SpaceSystems Ltd. and the Ushra'Khan. Teaching her how to play games like first-person shooters has become a duty of mine. I'll talk about her dream of qualifying the moniker "gamer" another day.

I proposed a little over 2 years ago during FanExpo. We were out with friends and they were all in on the plan. I made a reservation with the Hard Rock Cafe and let them in on my intentions, and they went completely out of their way to help out, which was great considering a lot of upper-scale places like the Baton Rouge turned my reservation down for no reason. The plan was I would drop a phrase, everyone would quietly excuse themselves so that Alicia and I would have some time for me to pop the question. They missed the sign and when one of them remembered and got up, they all did at once, including Alicia. I stopped her and said my peace. It was a really bad all-day rainstorm outside, but when I proposed and her tears started flowing, the rain suddenly stopped. I'll take a sign like that any day.

We may not have a lot of money, but we have fun with what little we have. She's trying to increase her gaming time and I'm trying to decrease her time on Gaia. She's currently looking for a new job, as the one she's at now has all kinds of problems. In this current economic climate however, it's been difficult.

I cook, she cleans, we have fun and a lot of (great) sex. We watch some porn and my not-so-modest hentai collection together at times, but it's not like we're looking for any ideas, and often it's just for a giggle. Hentai is usually better for the laughs. We have a black cat approaching 2 years old named Sayaka. She's whiny and bitchy most often but also a suck for attention and cuddles. Alicia's hopeless with most decisions, including what to order at restaurants and what movies to watch. In most cases I choose for her, and I've never been wrong because I know what she wants and needs often before she does.

We both have a good amount of growing up to do, but we're doing it together and with the support of my family. Her family (such as it is), not so much. Her mother is a wreck of a woman. She got scammed by some guy in the states who fed her a load about whisking her off to a life of luxury, but instead was asking for money. He said he was a successful contractor but had no cellphone, no computer and bouts of anxiety that put him in the hospital. My dad is in construction, and all three of these things are antithetic to being in that industry. She sold her house and quit her job and sent him thousands (when she couldn't be bothered to send us money to pay for the tuition mess she dumped on us), and spent the holiday season on my couch waiting for him. Obviously he never came, but she's still waiting for him in while being supported by her parents. The stress this all put on my and Alicia was so much that she actually took ill and I was sworn to keep my mouth shut in front of the woman. Needless to say we're not letting all that happen again.

So that's about it. We're looking to take our first vacation together and her first plane ride (my first since I was 11) to PAX next year. Hopefully our funds materialize properly. After that we look to San Diego Comic-Con, EVE Fanfest and a trip to Cuba with me folks. She's still technically my fiance since we haven't had a formal wedding (she's been eye-balling a Wicca ceremony, while we're sort of Buddhist and I'm officially Roman Catholic like the rest of my family and most Italians), but living together for so many years it's pretty much the same thing to us, and sort of to the law. We've even already chosen the names of our children (One boy and one girl. The boy will be Leonardo Mario Vincenzo Paniccia, and the girl will be Lunamaria Patrizia Cristina Paniccia).

Most importantly, even though she pisses me off often enough and life is a real struggle at times, I love her with every fibre of my being. Whatever happens, we'll do what's needed to make it work. That's marriage, that's our life.

See, hon? That wasn't so bad... was it? (BTW babe, you have a google account so you can post a comment. I'd really like that.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Warning: hazardous thought stream ahead.

I grabbed the patch for my EVE client and started it up to make sure there were no problems. I didn't even say 0/ on the chats because I would only be on for a few seconds. I did check out the certifications briefly and grabbed the ones I could. At a little under 9 million XP I'm not surprised that the vast majority of them were basic.

For the most part I agree with how the requisites are designed and I found the whole interface easy to navigate. I noticed some missing sections, but I'm pretty sure they'll be adding more in the coming months. I made all of them publicly viewable, so feel free to take a look and ridicule my noobness.

The wife seemed impressed and noticed instantly how this would help her plan out her skill training. CCP, you've met your objective.

Keeping myself from playing anything last night was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. I don't have any comics to read and I haven't put in my Amazon order for new novels.

Actually spent the night showing the wife all the porn I'd favorited on PornHub. I feel it's important for a couple to share things like that. If I find certain body characteristic, act or other element "interesting", I let her know. I also want her to do the same for things she likes. If she sees Daniel Craig's perfectly-sculpted abs on the big screen next weekend ans give me that "I want" look, I'll make it a point to work myself towards that. Even if she checks out some guy's ass at the mall, I'd be the opposite of bothered.

It's not about expectations, it's about simple arousal and a partner's desire to be all he can be for the love of his life. Not that sex is THE major cornerstone of our relationship, but it's always going to be important. I think tomorrow will be the rant about my wife. She's been dreading it for weeks, and that fills me with evil glee.

I don't even have any anime to watch lately. I'm really only downloading the second season of Gundam OO, which gives me a good 20-something minutes of mecha goodness for a whole week. Nothing coming out of Nippon this season is really all that interesting. Too many harem series and re-hashed ideas.

Reading scanlations of Bleach, Naruto, Air Gear and Tenjou Tenge (of which I buy when they're released) and waiting my DVDs to be released is what my anime hobby has been reduced to for some time. Black Lagoon: Second Barrage DVD 3 and Code Geass DVD 3 should be out soon, I still need the last DVD for Pani Poni Dash, I'm waiting for the dubbed versions for Gurren Lagann to start coming (not that I'm hard-up for the dubs, but I want the disc extras), the Bleach DVD box 3 should be out early next year I think, and hopefully GaoGaiGar Final will be out sometime next year. All in all I'm going into anime withdrawal.

As for passive A/V entertainment from this continent, I'm keeping track of Battlestar Gallactica and Eureka. I was watching Heroes but the series really messed itself up after the first season. As a comic reader, everything coming out of that show seems so dry to me. Barry keeps telling me to check out Life on Mars, and I keep missing 30 Rock. Carl is very much into the Sarah Conner Chronicles, but it's not doing anything for me.

When did Saturday Morning cartoons start sucking so badly? I remember the days of Carmen Sandiego, X-Men, Batman (the good ones, not this failed abortion of a series), The Tick, Power Rangers, Red Planet, Pirates of Dark Water, Sam and Max, Silver Surfer, Big Guy and Rusty, Avengers, Spider-Man, Beast Wars/Machines, Reboot, Zeta Project, Medabots and others... Good times to be a kid.

BTW, I've been told some people are having issues with blogger's commenting function. If you want to e-mail me I'd be happy to post your comment myself.

It's Wednesday, and that means new comic day. Bad news: I'm broke. Good news: They put my titles aside for me until I can come around. I need to make a point of finding every copy of Ellis' The Authority, the Absolute editions if I can. Looking forward to next year's "Darkest Night" event from DC, which is the only DC event I've ever been interested in. As for the ol' 616, I want them to fold Hellion into the X-Force title. Frost lied to him so that he'd wander a bit and get serious about himself and his future. I think coming back after some training (the way I see it, after Magneto turned him down, he goes to Tokyo, reads a bunch of manga and watches a bunch of anime for 6 months, and tries to replicate certain abilities with his TK, which would give him some serious body training and a lot of creativity) and forces himself into X-Force to protect X-23. We can proceed with that plot as well. Probably won't happen, but I can dream.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A gamer who remembers...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

I'm posting a rare second time today.

To say that too few of us understand the horrors of war is a shining testament to those who do. They fought - and fight on still - so that as many people as possible need not know it.

My coat has many patches on it. The Autobot logo, a Gotham City SWAT patch, but the one I'm most proud to wear is my patch of the Canadian flag. I love this country, and I dearly thank those who have sacrificed for it and continue to sacrifice for it. One could call me a socialist, but I think that the Canadian Armed Forces deserve better from our government. There is no greater peace-making, peace-keeping and emergency humanitarian organization in the world. I don't think I could do that. I'm not sure I have the determination to go half-way around the world to do what they do. The best I can do is become a cop. In that way I hope to protect domestically what they do foreignly.

We play games about war. We make light of it and pride ourselves with FPS ranks and killmails. We don't know, and I pray that you, kind reader, never do. 90 years ago and many times since then, they gave us the freedom to boast and joke and chat while flinging virtual instruments of death at each other. Thank them for that, if nothing else. It's very fitting in a way that the EVE servers and forums have gone dark today. Maybe someone planned that, and if they did I tip my hat to them. Few could offer a more fitting moment of silence on behalf of the EVE community.

I will probably not be playing any games tonight... I don't think it's appropriate. Not that I'd look down on anyone who did. Some may think playing a game like Gears of War 2 or EVE Online is a tribute to those who serve and have served. What is important is that the thought is kept present as you frag. If you do game tonight, be extra courteous to your fellow gamer. Show them respect as a warrior. Stick to team-based matches and give your all to those watching your back. At the end of the round, say good game and Happy Remembrance Day. If you'd be so kind, please tell me about your in-game tales of combat camaraderie. Moments that touched you and linked you to your brothers and sisters in arms.


Last Son of Prano - Chapter 5.

Chapter 5.

10 Days Later.


Why in all the levels of hell did I believe him? He offered no credentials, no proof, no reason to his story. All he had was some slick words and a datacore.

The datacore. Took me 40 hours to sneak into the Great Wildlands with some semblance of safety. Once I was fairly certain I wasn't followed, I plugged it into my comms system as Eyes instructed. Then I sat, stared, scanned and tried not to make too tempting a target of myself. I moved as little as possible and only jumped to another system when I was either evading pirates or bored out of my skull. I've come to rely partly on meditation to keep myself focused, but there's no oppertunity to meditate out here. There's barely time to sleep.

I've done what I could to stay out of the crosshairs, but in the last nine days I've been in over 20 small battles, mostly with the Angel Cartel. Surviving is enough for most because they have a destination, but roaming aimlessly in this gods-forsaken part of the galaxy is asking to die a death of a thousand cuts. Secondary systems started to become a problem 5 days ago, primaries more recently. It's been all I can do to keep nav and comms up. Ammo reserves are pretty dry as well.

Yesterday I noticed the pod-gel was starting to feel odd. Gritty. I ran a check on the life-support systems, half-convinced it was my imagination getting the better of me. Turned out the nanos keeping the synthetic amniotic fluid running properly were starting to malfunction due to extended use. No amount of recirculation, cleaning and filtering can keep this stuff clean forever. It has to be replaced at dock. I've heard of some capsuleers who make a living staying in a pod juiced out of their heads for weeks straight have extended supplies of gel and nanos to keep them going, but I'm not one of them. At this point, the low oxygen and floating in stale filth is probably taking time off my life expectancy. I have food– if that's what you want to call the nutrition drip capsuleers subside on – for a few more days.

I'd hate to think about what I'd be dealing with if I had a crew. Some may say a crew of semi-sentient drones a needless expense, but I prefer to be alone in the void. Living beings don't seem to put out the same spiritual signals as non-sentient machines do. From mecha it's a sort of static that's easy to tune out. Maybe there is something to this Planeswalker thing, this Prano legacy.

I tried to analyze the signal this datacore has been pumping out. If this carrier wave was ever in use it's been so long ago that there's no traffic on it now. I can't even make heads or tails out of the message. It's either the deepest encryption I've ever come across... or it's just noise meant to attract pirates to an easy target.

I could go back right now. I could head back to Hakeri, track that motherless dog down and take my compensation for all this wasted time out of his hide. I could, so why don't I? Well, what if he's right? He was right about me. He was right about me running around in circles, not having a clue or a plan or even a general direction. I've looked high and low as discreetly as I could, but the only things I have been able to turn up on my heritage is dust and trouble. This is my first real clue, and it could very well be the only one I'm going to get. So yeah, I need to risk my life floating here scanning and broadcasting as loud as I can and hope to gods whatever finds me next are not more pirates.

DAMNIT! Spoke too soon. More Angels. No, wait, Thukkers? I didn't know they operated here. Damn there's a lot of them. I count six Rifters, three Ruptures... and a Tempest! Even in perfect shape I wouldn't stand a chance. Opening comms channel. Maybe I can... Huh? They're jamming my comms, along with targeting and nav. I'm completely paralyzed! With the comms jammed at this level I don't even think my clone will be able to activate back in Empire space!

Mother, father, my people. I've failed...


Monday, November 10, 2008

I cheated on EVE.

/me gets up on his soapbox, wearing an old jedi robe and sporting the konami code written in red sharpie ink on his forehead.

Brothers, sisters, I have sinned! I have strayed from the hallowed spaceways and fallen for the gritty gun-battles of Gears of War 2, the bloody goodness of Ninja Gaiden 2 and the freaky awesomeatude of Dead Space. All this time, I did not ONCE log into the blessed void of EVE Online!


OK, so I get off work Friday and headed straight for Yorkdale mall. Took me an hour to traverse a 20 minute journey. Once I got there I made a really bad mistake. I looked at the racks. I had a pre-order for the CE of Gears of War 2, and money is tight, but I looked, thinking my willpower stats high enough. Apparently the employees of EB Games rolled a 20 before I got there.

Hahaha... multiple gaming references.

I bought GoW2, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Dead Space, costing about $202 CDN total. I would have bought R6V2 but I'll have a free copy next weekend.

So, got home, another hour later. REALLY bed traffic. Opened up Gears and got started punching in the codes for free stuff. 48-hour gold account... I'll save that for next year when my current account expires. Flashback map pack, works like a charm. Gold Lancer Rifle, can not download. Huh, try again.. code not valid... WTF?!?!?!?!?!?! I gotta call someone about this.

Got through the single-player missions on normal, just to warm up by shoulders for all the cover I'll be hugging. Active reload is really like riding a bike. You pick it up again really quickly. For everyone who was hoping for a better story mode experience, you got it in spades. Longer, MUCH better acting a story, and the visuals and music really give a lot to the awe-factor. I'm a third way through hardcore, and it's really harder then the first game's Insane difficulty, which fills me with fear of what Insane is like in the sequel.

I tried a bit of multi, but the Live service usually takes a week or so to ease into a game with this large a load. As it is right now there are a lot of connectivity issues, but I'm sure by this weekend they'll be resolved. From what I did manage to try, multiplayer is full-on WIN. Horde is a blast and the other modes are just unique enough to keep things interesting. One word of wisdom though: there's no such thing as a kill-steal when the mode's objectives have nothing to do with kill count. Keep your head in the game and think/communicate/act like a TEAM when it's a TEAM objective.

On to Ninja Gaiden 2. Great game. Brutal in difficulty and in it's bloody ninja glory. There's a demo for anyone interested. I grabbed the Bio-armor and Shadow Walker costume packs. Bio-armor is cool but the Shadow Walker stuff looks like a ninja Power Ranger, and not in a good way.

Dead Space. If you liked Bioshock but wanted more fear factor... get this game. I'm not a fan of horror games and movies because I'm not the type to get afraid easily, but DS had me jumping a few times. It has a good story that's backed up with some good acting and music. Combat is a little unique with odd weapons that mostly resemble industrial tools and non-traditional weak points on enemies. Movement in vacuums and zero-gee works very well. Any HUDs and displays are either on your character's body or projected via holograms within the environment, meaning they illuminate your surroundings realistically and you can rotate around them with the camera. All very interesting.

I did manage to jump on EVE once to check on my sales. Analytical Mind V finished yesterday, so I'm one more big step closer to being done with my learning skills. I kept track of all the news coming out of FanFest, and obviously EVERY PIECE OF NEWS coming out of that wonderful place fills me with geeky wonder and joy. I won't reiterate all the stuff that I'm just scrying from other blogs, as I think that takes credit from wonderful bloggers who actually went and SOMEHOW managed to shake off their hangovers long enough to send goodies over the series of tubes back to we huddled masses. Go check them out.

I think me taking a break from EVE for a while will be good for me. Obviously I'll keep a close eye on my skills, but when I come back with fresh seriousness and vigor, I'll be that much better for it. We're really only talking 2 or 3 weeks at most, and I'll be on to give Quantum Rise a look on Wednesday afternoon. Also have the EVE-meet this Friday, so that counts as EVE time as well.

Comics turned out to be a pretty good batch. I think I'm going to drop Spider-Man from my list though. I appreciate the writing but it's not keeping my interest. The Michael Turner memorial book came out, and it's one of those items that EVERY COMIC READER OR FAN OF VISUAL ART SHOULD HAVE! Wonderful hearts went into this book. The EMPOWERED series by Adam Warren is a great piece of storytelling and art. Sold in B&W TPBs, EMP is funny and sexy and heart-filled. I've always been a Warren fan, and once you give these a look you will be as well.

So that was my weekend. I've got all of $2.64 to my name until Friday, and now you know why. Tomorrow's post will be the next chapter of LSoP. Next weekend I'll looking to set the groundwork for the final chapter. I'll be brainstorming at the meet. Oh, and I'll post pics from the meet (if they don't have a problem with that... A lot of people HATE their pictures being taken)..


Friday, November 7, 2008

My life in Eve - Part 7

Lots of games + lots of comics + sushi dinner and toe-socks to keep the wife happy = a lot of money I really should not be spending. Oh well...

First off I really want to thank all of my followers for...following. I'm always craving feedback and even if nobody is leaving comments it is still comforting to know people are reading. I sent out a few "pokes" yesterday at people I suspected were reading, and it turned out well. If you are reading and like my blog at all please join the list!

Spent about $80 on comics yesterday, and after reading half of them last night I'm pretty happy with my stack. I'll give you comic impressions this weekend.

Logged in to EVE late last night just to put some modules up on the market. I'm trying to move some EMP M ammo, and I might drop the price tonight. I don't feel I should waste my time running missions until I can move to Abudban, where a vastly superior agent resides. This gives me time to play some other titles for a bit while my learning skills get trained. I may move before that happens, but probably not for another week. This also will give me time to finish Last Son of Prano.

I've been considering weather or not to talk about who I've decided to cast my CSM vote for. On the one hand I may adversely affect the opinion of others, who should be doing their own research. However, I want to spur discussion, so I'll let the cat out of the bag.

Stephan Pirson.
In short, Stephan Pirson seems to bring the most to the table as far as pushing what the CSM is capable of. If someone of this calibre is shot down at the table, then their very well may be no hope for the CSM at all. I'm voting tonight, and I hope you'll share your opinions of my decision with me, positive or negative. A running conversation in this entry's comments would be amazing.

The first bits of news are coming out of Fanfest, and it's already pretty exciting. Talk of a central bank, stock markets and race-specific currencies are definitely dreams come true for many industrialists. My guess for currencies is that there will be types for all 4 empires, and perhaps for pirate nations, and these will obviously be linked into trade mechanics within the banks and markets. ISK will probably still be around at a main currency though.

Another bit of interest for me was possible "adult" content linked to Ambulation. Personally, I'm not against it. One must expect things like booze, drugs and strippers in a galaxy like EVE. Obviously this will not be critical content and restrictions of underage players (of which I doubt there are many) must be in place.

Gears of War 2 was released today. Toronto and Vancouver had to do without Future Shop midnight parties because of a recent run-away kid named Brandon Crisp turning up dead. He ran away because his parents took away his XBox 360. I have a brother at the same age who plays at a near-professional level, so the issues of gaming's effect on youth and parenting is an important subject to me. Expect a rant on it when the Crisp case is over with.

I suspect I won't be on too much this weekend due to Gears 2 and whatever else I can convince myself to buy (or not un-convince myself, depending on how you look at it) after work. A friend of mine is giving me his 360 copy of R6V2 for free, which is pretty nice of him, even considering his owes me a few hundred and a few favours. I've pulled his formally-fat Irish arse out of the fire a few times.

Also need to drop by another friend's place to see his new digs and buy his copy of Burnout: Paradise off him. Might see if another friend wants me to drop by on Sunday. He's pretty depressed and a little company may brighten him up. Sunday is also his only day off during the week. I'll call him at 1000h (which is when Analytical Mind V finishes) and see if he wants me to make the trek across town and bring Gears 2 with me.

Busy weekend. I may actually lose some sleep.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

My life in Eve - Part 6

My cane is being a pain.

Since I'll be using my Hurricane for mission running until my skills and balances can support my first Battleship (I've settled on the sexy Maelstrom) I decided to upgrade my modules, not having done so in months. I realized only after fitting a shiny new set of 425mm AC IIs that my grid and CPU were going to be SEVERELY restrictive.

After playing around with EFT I could bring my entire loadout to T2 levels, but my cap will end up suffering a bit. Most popular setups for a cane employ shield-tanking, and while I have the skills for it, I usually fly by the rule that if there are more low slots (which there are) then you're better off armour-tanking. This does hamper the weapon-modding options a little, but I've found it works out. In any case I'll keep you updated on it. When I have a final loadout I'll post it here, on my alliance forums and on BattleClinic.

My first point of business after finishing my learning skill training is to get a Mammoth and move myself to Abudban. Looking for it to happen in about 3 weeks. How much EVE I'll get in during those 3 weeks is debatable, since Gears of War 2 is out tomorrow, plus I usually scour EB Games for good used games deals. Still looking for a cheap copy of R6V2.

I find some of the tools in EVEmon and EFT are not very user-friendly. Someone should combine the two apps and let them play off each other. It may solve some inherent usability issues.

Fanfest is underway, and the deluge of geek pr0n should be starting any minute.

I just want to mention one thing, and I'll be posting a more detailed rant on this later. The Ushra'Khan is ALWAYS looking for dedicated capsuleers. RPing is NOT a requisite. We're EXTREMELY PvP ACTIVE in Curse and somewhat in Providence. If you show you have the will to fight and learn and be a team-player, we'll take first-day cadets or 5-year vets. We have corps in every major timezone who are all very active with each other, so you can always expect something to be happening. Of all the alliances out there, we are one of the most renowned in the greater EVE community. If you would like to know more, please contact me in-game (Gigaer) or apply to one of our corps.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Last Son of Prano - Chapter 4.

Chapter 4.

1 year ago.

Gigaer exited the docking area and stepped onto the expansive promenade of Hakeri VII station. All around him were small shops where peddlers bought and sold goods and services in a desperate effort to eek out a living. Shopkeeps yelled at passer's by, announcing that within their modest establishments were the best products at the best price. Food, clothing, baubles and services of every kind lined the expansive maze. Gigaer frequented this place. Watching people live and laugh and swoon were one his simple pleasures. To him it kept him connected. It was far too easy for a capsuleer to detach from the realities beyond money and combat.

Past the more active paths was a simple pub he chose to frequent whenever in the region. The Serpent's Lounge. There was one on many stations that sported large Minmatar populaces. It wasen't exclusive, but if you weren't Matari then you probably avoided it. Rumor had it that many who chose to live on the darker sides on the law frequented these establishments, which made for a solid clientbase and a foreboding reputation. Gigaer entered and reverse-nodded the bouncer. Gigaer had been doing business with a local tribal agent for a few months now and the staff had come to recognize him. Sitting at the bar, Gigaer saw that the barkeep was already preparing his usual lunch order, so he took out his datapad and accessed information on the status of his Rupture (which was relatively new but took a few hits in a small scrap with a pirate convoy this morning), latest news from across the galaxy, his financials, messages and possible jobs he could take next.

His burger and quafe arrived after a few minutes. Gigaer placed the pad beside his plate and took a swig of his drink while still looking at his balances, trying to decide if it was a good idea to upgrade a few tertiery systems, when the pad prompted him to view a new message that had just come in. Opening his inbox, Gigaer noticed the sender's name was restricted and the subject was “From a friend...”. He wondered if it was just a piece of spam that got through his filter until he opened it up.

To whoever you think you are,

I know who you are, who you REALLY are. I've been watching you for some time and I've realized you need what I have. Meet me in the back alley after you have finished your meal.


Gigaer turned quickly towards the door, and swore he saw someone leave and turn towards the alley. Normally he would have ran after the stranger, but the message suggested he eat first, and the prices in these places were a little high to just walk away from. It was also rare for someone to be poisoned in the Lounge (it being the social equivilant to sacred ground), so he ate and returned to his other reading, confident the stranger would wait.

Half an hour later (It was a big burger and Gigaer hated eating fast) Gigaer stood at the entrance to a dead-end alley behind the lounge. Gigaer wore a black leather trenchcoat that covered most of his body, black cargo pants with a gear-laden belt and black combat boots. The coat covered most of his torso, but split open at the collarbone and belt. He also had a few accessories, including a gallente handgun and his Kandjal. The stranger stood at the end on the alley, wearing non-descript clothes and reading the contents of an energybar he was already eating, looking none-too-please with what he had just injested. He was Matari, but Gigaer couldn't really spot anything of interest about his face or appearance. Noticing Gigaer walking towards him, he threw the bar over his shoulder and tried to wipe the caramel-like substance on his shirt. They stood a few feet away from each other, sizing each other up for a few seconds before the stranger smiled and reached into his back pocket. Gigaer assumed he was reaching for a weapon and whipped out his kandjal. Quickly extending it, the bladed tip came to within millimetres of the stranger's throat.

“Name, or your head. I'll have one or the other right now. Your choice which one.” Gigaer said directly. The stranger held his smile but retracted his hand from whatever he was about to grab.

“If you're going to kill me, you should at least tell me your name.” said the stranger wryly.

Gigaer hesitated for a half-second. Everything up to this point hinted to this man knowing about Gigaer's true bloodline. Perhaps this man was too dangerous to leave alive, but Gigaer's quest was at a standstill because of a complete lack of information. The contents of the old Amarr datacore were mostly musings on his lineage and destiny, but few specifics were to be found. A test was in order. Best to let the stranger show his hand first before Gigaer comitted to anything. “Gigaer, of the house Kaliso.”

The stranger began to laugh a little. “Amusing. We both surround ourselves with illusions to protect ourselves. The difference is I know who you really are, while you don't even know who you really are.” The words struck Gigaer slightly harder then he thought they would have. The Kandjal retracted and he placed it slowly back in its sheath. The stranger's hand went again to his back pocket. He slowly retrieved a Minmatar datacore. “I'm known as Eyes. I deal mostly in information. I see everything there is to see. I see you. I've watched you putter around, doing jobs for various organizations, not really having any real direction or cause. Sure, you'll hunt down pirates and slavers and think you're saving lives. You post on chatrooms and think you're saving souls. You know you're really doing neither but you don't know what else to do. I was hired to track you down, and if it looked like you were directionless give you this.”

Gigaer cautiously took the datacore and took stock of it. “And what exactly is this?”

Eyes took stock of Gigaer. “Direction.” Gigaer shot him an angry glance, as he was in no mood to be toyed with. Eyes shot his hands up in resignation. “Hey, that's all I was told when I asked. Your instructions are simple. Fly deep into the Great Wildlands and interface the datacore with your comms system. It's programmed to send an automated and heavily encrypted message on a very specific bandwidth.”

Gigaer humphed, “Sounds like suicide to me.”

Eyes nodded, “Agreed, but I was payed very well to give this to you, and before you even ask, no, I can't tell you who I'm working for. If you want my advice, and this is just personal opinion, you'd be wise to do what these people want you to. They know things about you that you won't be able to learn anywhere else.”

Gigaer looked into Eyes' eyes. Gigaer thought of himself as a good judge of character and has been able to sniff out deception in the past. As best he could figure, Eyes was telling the truth, and there was really nothing left Eyes could tell him. Gigaer nodded and walked with datacore in hand towards to docks.