I tried logging into my account from a different computer (completely) and I still can't download any videos, so I'm thinking that the problem is with my account specifically.
Seriously, if I can't watch the goddamn videos...
13 years agoDragunov
13 years agoDragunov
Among the Old Republic's many legends, none endure more than the stories of the Jedi Knights and their incredible lightsabers.
A lightsaber's handgrip is approximately 24 to 30 centimeters long and features a mirrorlike concave metal disk called a blade emitter on one end. Controls include an activation lever, a recharge socket, diagnostic readouts, and in some rare cases, blade length and intensity controls (referred to as dual-phase lightsabers). Opening the small access panel reveals a tiny but very sophisticated power cell as well as at least one--and sometimes several--multifaceted crystals or jewels.
The lightsaber's jewels focus the power cell's energy charge into a tight parallel beam that emerges from the blade emitter as a vibrant blade of pure energy. The blade is a closed energy loop. It's amplitude determines when the energy beam arcs back to the negatively charged high0energy flux aperture that rings the outer edge of the lightsaber's concave disk. The power cell can last for years because it is fed by the energy that enters the flux aperture; the blade only loses energy when it makes contact with another object.
The lightsaber's deadly energy blade can cut through almost any substance. Because the blade itself has no weight and emits no heat, a novice may easily miscalculate its path. A Jedi Knight undertakes years of study to master the weapon, developing the skill that allows him/her to block incoming blaster bolts or fend off as many as a dozen attackers.
Each lightsaber is custom-built, normally by the Jedi student as one of the tests of an apprentice's skills.
Most lightsabers have customized features, such as pressure-sensitive activation levers (so that the blade disappears as soon as the saber is released) and multiple crystals that allow the user to alter the amplitude and length of the blade, The lightsaber's handgrip is as much a work of art as a practical weapon, often featuring a design native to the Jedi's homeworld or built by the student in a style reminiscent of his/her master's lightsaber.
Added by StupidIdiots: The siege lightsaber, operated by a power pack strapped to the Jedi's torso (was) quite a cumbersome tool...before the days of nearly unlimited energy in reduced sizes.
Lord Nyax, a mindless, dark jedi cyborg had six lightsabers actually incorporated into his flesh at the wrists, elbows and knees (See Rebel Stand). Special circuit cutouts kept the blades from cutting his own flesh.
Any other ideas on designs for lightsabers?
13 years agoDragunov
I'm three days away from my sponsorship expiring and it won't let me renew. Do I have to let it expire first? Just keeps telling me that the link I used to make the payment was invalid. I needed to check it and try again...
As an aside, I can't seem to be able to make a connection with any of the video archives. At all. I checked all my settings to see if something changed on my side, but I don't know what might be different. What the fuck is going on here?!
13 years agoDragunov
Read part three first, please...
"You gonna stop mopin', or what?" Scott asked, stepping into Kyle's study. He had his customary cigarette in one hand and an unopened can of beer in the other. "You said yourself, you destroyed the damn knife."
"It's not that simple," Kyle replied, looking up from the book in his lap and pushing his reading glasses down the bridge of his nose, "Three things are still just bugging the shit out of me about this whole scenario."
"Let me guess," Scott looked thoughtful for a moment, "One: The guy you turned into a carrot-"
"I did not turn him into a carrot. I just regressed his thought processes to infancy, and that wears off."
"Whatever," Scott replied, waving away Kyle's interruption, "Two: You're worried she'll call the cops."
"And tell them what?"
"Hmm...good point. OK, three: You want to know where the knife came from."
"Right on that one," Kyle agreed, "What I'm really worried about though is, One: How many people did she use that dagger on, and for how long? It basically corrupts the victims' souls. That is not a good thing."
"Two: That wasn't an ancient artifact, Scott," Kyle closed the book in his lap, "the blade was ebony, but the hilt was plastic. It was thirty, maybe forty years old."
"Wait a sec-"
"Three: What are the chances that an artifact that evil is going to wind up in close proximity to the last wizard on Earth, who just happens to be attending college at a university in the fucking Bible Belt of the United States?"
"You sure you didn't make it?" Scott frowned.
"Pretty sure," Kyle replied. The implications of another true user, and an evil one at that, were staggering.
"I think we might have a problem," Scott said, and cracked open the beer.
13 years agoDragunov
"What are you doing?" the woman screamed back at him, back peddling as fast as her mass would allow. "I knew you were trouble when I first saw you! Now get out of my shop before I call the pol-"
"Shut the fuck up!" Kyle yelled, crouching now, studying the remains of the liquid and powder now spilled across the table top. He almost giggled when he realized what the magic potion's ingredients were.
"What's your problem, man?" the other guy asked, his tears conspicuously dry. "What do you think you're doing?" He stood up to grab Kyle, but the young wizard only pointed and said...
And the guy sat, suddenly unable to do little more than breathe and enjoy the stream of drool that spilled out his lower lip. Kyle turned on the shop owner. "Do you have any idea what you were doing?"
"Who are you?" The woman stammered, backing away from the table and raising her flabby hands in a sign to ward away evil. "What do you want?" Kyle ignored her for a second and turned his sight on the dagger.
Intricately carved ebony, with a single onyx stone, the knife might very well have ended up as a rich man's letter opener. The black radiance shown darkly from the onyx gem. "You will answer my questions," Kyle said softly, breathing hard and trying to ignore the pain in his newly re-injured shoulder. "Where did you get that?" he asked, pointing at the dagger (which continued to point back).
"It's just a letter opener I stole from one of my bosses when I was maid," she replied, nearing the point of total hysteria. "What did you do to him?" she asked, pointing at the young man sitting across the table, who was now well into what appeared to be a recitation of the vowels.
Good, Kyle thought, She's scared. Stupid bitch should be scared. He extended his good hand and barked out a single, sharp sound. The dagger rose slowly and floated across the room, coming to rest in Kyle's outstretched palm. He studied it a moment and looked up at Madame Blazinski, who sat down heavily in a chair and urinated.
"You stupid bitch," Kyle seethed, "you don't even believe do you?"
"You bring these poor slobs back here, mix up some cigarette ashes and corn syrup into what they think is a potion and then you wave this over them for a minute or two." He slapped the mortar and pestle off the table, extinguishing the flame of the candle. "You don't even realize what you're doing. This fucking thing doesn't make potions!"
"I know," the woman cried, "I know!"
"This thing sucks the life out of your customers."
"What?" Madame Blazinski blubbered, wringing her fat hands together. "What do you mean?"
"'These are not powers to be trifled with'. Isn't that what you said?" Kyle shook the dagger at her. "This thing's no more a letter opener than you are a witch. It draws the life out of anyone that it is used on. In return, it offers the user a portion of the life-force. You use it once, you feel real good. Makes you want to use it again and again," Kyle stepped down off the table. "All the while, some fucking mountain of tar in what is probably the best description of Hell you can think of uses you to gain more power!" he stopped yelling, his voice hoarse, and looked at her clearly, without his Sight.
"You're a junkie," Kyle said, "Not for what little power you gain from this, but for the money you make off people who actually, and God only knows why, look to you for guidance. You're worse than a damned evangelist. At least they offer some hope.
Kyle once again used his Sight to search the room, this time filtering out the darkness of the dagger. Finding nothing else of value in the room, he looked back at the woman. "Keep selling your books, I don't care." He was tired now, the throb in his shoulder back down to the steady ache he was used to. He turned his gaze on the remains of the potion and jabbed a finger at it, "but your days of making potions are over. If you do it again, I'll know, and I'll make it so you can't sell books anymore either. It's your choice."
"Before I leave, though," he stopped and turned to face Madame Blazinski once again, who was now little more than a quivering mass of whimpers and moans, "I'll show you what the true witches and wizards of our world died to protect so that their children would one day have these gifts."
The woman watched in horror as Kyle held the dagger out at arm's length. White-hot fire ignited in his eyes and the dagger burst into a liquid flame. The ebony of the blade shattered, then poured down over his hand, solidifying as it dripped onto the table with the sound of crushed glass. Eventually, all that was left was the simple onyx gem which had, inexplicably, turned milky white. This he set on the table in front of her. Her eyes brightened as he pulled his hand away.
"So you remember the price of your greed," Kyle said, and the stone, probably the only White Onyx in existence, vaporized itself into a small puff of smoke.
"Don't worry about Captain Slappy here,"Kyle said, walking out, "he'll probably find the color pink real interesting for about an hour, then he'll come around. When he does, tell him to get a life, 'cuz he's waaaay too stupid to think any girl is going to fall for that old magic potion gag."
In the back room of Madame Blazinski's Realm's of Magic and The Occult Bookstore, Madame Blazinski sat in her soiled dress, watching the young man in front of her go through the various stages of child development. When she heard the quiet electronic chime that signaled the wizard's departure, she simply poured her face into her hands and sobbed quietly.
13 years agoDragunov
"What do you know of the creatures of the Abyss, young man?" She was smiling now, the smile of a teacher who talks down to the slower students. The condescending smile of a parent.
Only that they're a race of intelligent killing machines who dwell in a place called the Plane of Black, use magic like we throw away Styrofoam, and were responsible for destroying the campus three weeks ago, he thought. Instead he replied, "Not very much, I'm afraid. Only through the books in the campus library."
"Bah! Lies! All of them!" the woman cried out in disgust. "These are the true denizens, here, in these books." She cast her arms around the room, as if trying to hug all the clutter to her more than ample bosom.
Bullshit, lady, Kyle thought, and closed his eyes slowly, calling upon the gift that had been given to him.
The power to wield true magic.
When he opened his eyes again, Kyle cast his gaze around the room, searching for any signs that would mark a book of true magic. Nothing stood out in the front of the store, but he did notice a faint glow irradiating from the corridor leading to the back room. Not a good sign, Kyle thought, startled.
All of a sudden, this game Kyle was playing with this woman had turned very serious. For one thing Kyle had learned in the past six months was that all items of magic and all mystical tomes produced an aura of color, or some other property, that marked their origin. One only had to know how to look for it.
The back room of the bookstore was illuminated in shadow, an eerie half-light that drew the eye to the darkness rather than the radiance. Somewhere in that back room was an item that was created for, or by, a denizen of The Black. Not a good sign at all, Kyle thought, frowning, Now I just have to get invited back there.
Kyle continued to scan the front room, taking sudden interest in this woman, and her little shop. If she was somehow using the artifact and was not aware of it, then she was only a mild distraction. If she knew of its power, even in the slightest, then she was...more than a distraction.
Before Kyle could ask any other questions, the door to the shop slammed open and another young man, possibly a freshman, rushed into the shop. Upon seeing Madame Blazinski, he burst into tears, oblivious to Kyle's presence.
"She's going to leave me!" he cried out, "You have to make her stop!"
Through Kyle's sight, he could see every aspect of this newcomer's life-force, a shimmering blue that was slowly being corrupted be a gray/black haze. Kyle stopped himself and turned back to the shop's owner, startled, once again, by what he saw.
She was slowly taking on the same shimmering blue glow of the young man who had just entered and who was now clutching at her gelatinous arm. Her own pale yellow aura seemed to swirl around with the blue, joining, but not quite mixing.
"Come with me now," she said, and took the guy to the back room. Kyle stood motionless, the throb of his shoulder the only thing keeping his head from reeling at this newest revelation.
He had been reading peoples' life-forces since he gained his gift, but had never witnessed anything like this. He thought back to when he had first entered the shop. Certainly he had been preoccupied with studying the books, but why hadn't he thought to read the Madame Blazinski's aura.
He extended his senses through the shop, taking in every sight, every sound. The same black aura emanated from the back room, true, but a deeper sense of darkness surrounded the entire building, pushing slightly at his sight, trying, not to force him, but to convince him not to use his magic.
Another aspect of the artifact? he asked himself, Or the owner?
Then the shockwave hit him. So totally attuned to the emanations of magic was he that he had no defense for the sudden blackness that overwhelmed him, the sickening acid stench and taste of blood that filled his nose and throat. Black-hot fire roared across his body, searing his flesh, burning his clothing, but all of these were drowned out by the deafening silence that pounded his very spirit.
Kyle fought to pull away from the magic, to cast it aside, for only the mundane senses of a man could hope to stop the madness that surrounded him. He succeeded, coming to his dulled senses on hand and knees, his bandaged arm clutching at his stomach.
"Holy shit," he whispered weakly. He took deep, gasping breaths to avoid succumbing to the urge to vomit that now filled his throat. "What - the fuck - was that?"
Kyle could now hear the deep, ritual chanting from the back room, and though he could not understand what Madame Blazinski was saying, he knew it did not matter. It was not always the words that invoked the spell, but the intent of the person speaking them. She might just as well been reciting the ingredients on a ketchup bottle and gotten the same results.
Kyle charged into the back room, screaming at the top of his lungs, trying to break the woman's concentration. "STOP!" He threw aside the cheap colored beads that covered the doorway and vaulted onto the table.
She had prepared a mortar, pestle, and crucible. A fine gray powder lined the bottom of the pestle and a sickly colored liquid steadily brought itself to a thick boil over a candle in front of the freshman. Madame Blazinski stood across the table, pointing a onyx dagger at the crucible, waving the knife over the liquid. This was the source of blackness Kyle had seen.
13 years agoDragunov
A) Until I saw my new avatar, I was seriously considering either quitting my job or just shooting myself in the face. Erica brightened my day, so I guess I'll hang around for a little bit longer.
B) I should probably get serious about this writing thing. Anyone who knows of a publisher who is willing to help me (read: pay me) to develop any of my stories into novels will receive a finders fee from any advances paid. I believe its normally something like 10%. As I have no idea where to look for a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts, I'm asking for everyone's help.
C) Right now, even though you guys and gals are the coolest people on Earth, I hate people and everything about them. Fortunately, this is only a temporary thing and once I calm down I'll fill you in on the rest. Short story: I almost got fired last night, but didn't find out about it until I was driving home this evening (apparently, management discipline issues are common subjects among everyone in the shop except the employee involved). Shorter story: I'm really, really, lividly pissed. I don't care if that isn't a word.
13 years agoDragunov
Ordinary little place, Kyle thought, pushing open the door to the shop. The sign outside the building declared this place Madame Blazinski's: Realm's of Magic and the Occult. His roommate, Scott, had told him of the place last week but today was the first chance the college sophomore had been able to visit. Not that I need anymore books.
Dusty, hard bound tomes lined the shelves of the shop. Smaller racks of worn paperbacks were placed haphazardly across the small room's wooden floor, giving the place more a look of a dime store maze than a place of business. Kyle walked easily around the numerous cardboard boxes, absently adjusting the sling that held his right arm motionless against his chest. Memories of that night on campus welled up in his mind, marking him in ways that the bruises on his face and chest could not.
He ran his fingers through his dark brown hair, scratching absently at his scalp and wishing he could have taken the time to shower this morning. He paused only momentarily to shake out the ponytail that extended well down the middle of his back and caught his reflection in the shop window. Standing just under six feet tall, straight-backed, and slight of build, Kyle was hardly what could be termed as a "leading man". In fact, if not for his long hair and the haunted expression he normally wore, Kyle believed that most people would ignore him completely (which would have suited him just fine, thank you very much).
A muffled "May I help you?" from the back of the store brought Kyle out of his daze and he scanned the room quickly, looking for any bells or chimes that would have announced his presence in the bookstore. Finding none, he turned his attention to the worn, pine counter at the back of the shop.
"Just looking!" he called back, taking in the numerous titles and tomes. The paperbacks he ignored, thinking it very unlikely that he would find any spell books in mass publication. Kyle swung his gaze to the left side of the room, hoping that he would find some source of information that would be worthy of his rather extensive - to say the least - book collection. He heard a shuffle and turned to watch the approach of what could only be Madame Blazinski herself. There was no one else she could be.
I think I just stepped into a really bad movie, Kyle thought, and ran his fingers through his hair again, happy now that he had taken no measures this morning to make himself look anything near what could even be closely considered to be attractive. I guess there are times when it's good to look like a scumbag.
"Gypsy" was a word that sprung easily into his mind. Actually, "lumbered into his mind" would be a more appropriate description. She had to weigh four-hundred to four-hundred and fifty pounds, though it was hard to tell how much mass the owner carried under the black, gauzy dress the woman wore. Kyle often tried to ignore a person's physical appearance as a basis for forming an opinion of their personality, but he found himself whispering, "You've got to be kidding," under his breath. Then he put on his best "I'm only a patron of your fine establishment who has no idea you weigh a thousand pounds" smile and approached the counter the woman stood behind. If she speaks with an accent, I'm going to lose it.
"Anything I can help you with, young man?" she asked. Her voice had a strangely liquid sound to it and Kyle found himself wondering if it was possible for a person to have fat vocal cords. He almost slapped himself for thinking such a horrible thought about this woman, but there was something decidedly odd about her - other than her size, dress, and speech.
"Actually, I'm looking for any books you might have that put forth any radical ideas on the subject of demonology. I have a report due in one of my Occult Lore classes and a friend of mine said you were the best place to look."
"Well," Madame Blazinski began, looking as if she was mulling over every title in the store, "your friend certainly sent you to the right place." Then she laughed thickly and stepped around the corner of the counter. Kyle noticed the groaning whimper of the wooden slats under her feet and thought, Given the choice, I don't suppose I'd want to carry her either.
"Any title in particular? I have one that the author claims demons are actually aliens from another planet-"
"No," Kyle replied, trying not to be repulsed by every aspect of this woman. She had to have some redeeming quality. Somewhere. "I don't think that's quite what I was looking for. Actually, I was just curious."
"That is the worst thing to be when dealing with the denizens of the underworld, young man! Some of these books contain spells of great power and are not to be trifled with." Kyle could not believe this woman would actually be taking this business seriously.
Who are you to talk, Kyle? he admonished himself. You just got done fighting a whole shitload of them the other day. Or have you forgotten about your shoulder? Or Andrew? He ignored his inner voice, deciding that he should at least try to have some fun here. He had already looked over the books and knew he would find nothing of value to him in this shop. Casting a look out the corner of his eye, Kyle began to understand the look on the woman's face and the "enthusiasm" in her voice. She thinks she can sucker me. Scott has that same "If I just talk some more I can have you buried up to your neck in bullshit" look.
cont'd first comment
No questions have been answered yet