Saturday, December 11, 2010

The end of the Pick...

Okay, so... I'm two weeks into December, and have had no picks. Why? Well, I'm discontinuing the product, as it were. Do to the lack of feedback, and the fact that I'm a bit bored with it, I shall do no more picks. That's not to say they won't come back (especially if I get feedback!), but right now, I'm going to focus on other things. I'll probably have a November vote sometime next week, and that'll be the end...

In the meantime: The novel is under way again! I've finished writing an extensive draft of notes and plot details, and will now start actually writing again! Also: as soon as get my birthday/christmas camera (a Canon Rebel T2i!), I'm going to take some good pictures of my own customs and upload those. Finally, Those who read Pockett will notice a real, live, legitimate update! An update that promises... reruns. Yes, ten strips in, and reruns. But there will be some new content, and I'm also working my way towards finishing the digital models for all new stuff, so look for great things to come from Pockett!

Thanks now, and see y'all later!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pick of the Week, Nov 4/4

Okay, November draws to a close, and I'm late again. Phoo sticks.
So yeah... Thanksgiving was good, black friday was skipped entirely, and I'm in my last week of fall semester; shots all around. To check out two of my final projects, head over to I think you'll like what you see... If I ever actually update the comics...

Now, onto the Pick. This week we have WWII 101st Screaming Eagles by lance858a. While the 101st was a real unit, these characters are not: they are Duke, Hawk, and Flint from the joeverse. However, the costumes are very well done and historically accurate, and feature parts from multiple toy lines, as well as original sculpted parts. Add in the detailed paint job, and you have a trio of very good figures.

And as for the October Pick of the Month: the winner is Kamakura by kingphilbert. Congratulations, kingphilbert!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pick of the Week, Nov 3/4

And this week's pick is... late. Again. But enough about my lack of time management skills. Today we welcome back an old Pick alumnus, and creator of the September pick, Mythic, with Updated/PoC Cobra Viper. For those of you who've been following the Picks, we had a Viper in the first month, but this one is a little different. Stylistically, this one is an almost straight carryover of design from the original costume. However, there are still some changes. Its sort of like the difference between Movie Spider-man and Comic Spider-man; it's the same, just... different. And of course its got a pimpin' paint job... So, congratulations a=once again to Mythic; keep up the good work! View the figure at:

Also, please remember to vote! Options explained in the last post. (And thanks to everyone who voted...)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

October Pick of the Month-- Voting

Okay, so here it is-- voting for October Pick of the month! Just like last month, Pick one option on the poll box to the right and say which figure is your favorite! The candidates are, in chronological order:

GI JOE LETHAL Shockwave by IIIzoeIII
Mary Blaine by stocos28
Supreme Class Blackout by UltraMagnus2008
Kamakura by kingphilbert

Please remember to vote, and have a good week! Hez out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pick of the Week, Nov 2/4

A day late and a dollar short, but here's this weeks Pick: Quick Kick by daremo. I honestly don't know much about this character, but the recent figures of him have been... disappointing. This version, however, is quite groovy, and he really looks like a modern martial-arts commando. The parts and paint are good, and overall, I like it. Check it out at

As for last month's picks... Voting will happen this week. Seriously this time. I got caught up in my church's fast last week, and didn't have time to post it. As for other updates...

Pockett is still technically on hiatus, but, by the grace of God, I've set up a pimpin' new site for it! Head on over to NOW. Please do so on Safari or Opera however, as it currently looks weird on other browsers. Fixes will be coming.

And finally, career news... Last night our church played host to worship leader Kelanie Gloeckler, and I got to run the lyrics display. Not only that, but we keyed all the words, so I got to be a full-on technical director, with my brother on hand to physically push the switcher buttons. If you're in the Tulsa area, stop by Open Bible Fellowship and ask for the KG 11/13 DVD. It looks great!

And now... Hez out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pick of the Week, Nov 1/4

Mkay, another pick of the week! But first, the news.
- In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, E.H.U.D. is progressing.
-Pockett has updated, of a sort. The site itself has been updated, and a 'comic' appeared... saying that there would be no comic...
-Pick of the Month voting for October will begin next week.

And onto this week's pick!

This week, we have a battle damaged Cobra B.A.T. created by TTT, one of the moderators at Hisstank! There are actually three figures made, with the designations BD BAT 019, 020, and 021. The one shown in the image above is 020. All the figures are well done, but the spliced in terminator parts and the real wires really caused this one to stand out. Now, it may be hard to believe, but good battle damage is hard to do. TTT has pulled these off quire nicely, and, even though I generally don't like B.A.T.s, I really like these figures.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pick of the Week, Oct 4/4

Okay, here it is: the final pick of the week for October! Yes, yes, there should be five; so sue me. (Not really) Anyhoo, this week's pick is Kamakura by kingphilbert. Yes, that's right, another Kamakura. This one, however, is quite different than last month's reigning champ: kingphilbert decided to go with a completely different style, going for a more utilitarian, light-traveling commando look. The only thing that really screams Kamakura out of all of this is the green color and mask. Still though, it's an interesting new take on a... okay, he's still a new character, but you get where I'm going. Of special note on this figure though is the skin tone: it is a custom mix, not store bought. Quite impressive. You can check out the figure at

Other incidental update: Pockett is currently floundering, but I should be updating it again sometime in late November. Also, I've started actively writing E.H.U.D. again, so expect updates soon TTFN, Hez out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pick of the Week, Oct 3/4

Okay, so I missed last week... I was still stoned; I'm sorry. Besides, its not like anyone actually reads this, right? So anyway, I'm bumping October down to only four Picks. And here's this week's: Supreme Class Blackout, by UltraMagnus2008. One of my long-term Transformer fantasies has been to have figures that are in scale with G.I. Joes. After all, they both come from the same company, both have a strong shared history, and Joes constantly use vehicles. Perfect right? Well UM08 obviously thought so, so he brought us Blackout, done in a movie styling, in scale with Joes (although I have to admit, he still looks a little to small...) Unfortunately, it doesn't transform, but it still looks cool. Very imposing, well constructed... And UM08 even says that a better paint job is forthcoming! So, Kudos to UM 08 for a job well done! Check out the figure at:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sooo Stoned...

Dude, 'm like so stoned today.... Had my first dental appointment in about a decade yesterday, found four cavities... went in today and manged to get m' wisdom teeth surgically removed... the bottom ones were coming in sideways... All four, one day... Currently tripping on Hydrocodone... Not fun...

Um, updates... More changes happening on E.H.U.D..... 'll be a while before more chapters... Pockett i momentarily hiatusized, will hopefully start soon... Hez out.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pick of the Week, Oct 2/5

Okay, this is a little late, but here is Pick #2 for October: Mary Blaine, by stocos28. Mary's an origional charachter, but fits in well with the rest of the more rationaly designed Joes. This figure, while clearly femenine, has limbs containing parts from masculine figures, making her just a tad more bulky, thereby more real and far less fragile looking. A good design choice, in my eyes. Also, they dry brushing adds a lot of depth to the figure. (I likes me some dry brushin'!) So congratulations to stocos28 on a job well done!

On a related note: thanks to all seven of you who participated in the Pick of the Month poll last week. The winner was *drumroll* Kamakura by Mythic. Yay!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pick of the Week, Oct 1/5

Okay, the first pick of October goes to GI JOE LETHAL Shockwave by IIIzoeIII. To be honest, I don't know much about Shockwave other than the fact that he's an urban commando type dude. And to be honest; I don't know what this figure is made out of; I can identify a few parts (head, accessorries) but not the whole thing. That's becasue this figure has a full fabric outfit. Yeah, it's that awesome. At this scale, not too many people try fabric, or have it look good even if they do try. Heck, Hasbro still has a hard time getting it right. But IIIzoeIII has managed to pull off something that looks right, that looks perfectly blended into the sculpted details, looks right at home on this figure. If this figure were upsized to a twelve-inch doll, it would still be pretty impressive. So at this size... well... In addition, the paintwork (including, I assume, the fabric camo) looks good, the figure is recognizably Shockwave, and it just has an all around good presentation. Kudos to you, IIIzoeIII.

To see more of this figure, as well as to find other figures in the GI JOE LETHAL series, head on over to
Also, don't forget to vote for the September Pick of the Month to your right.
Hez out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Pick of the Month

Okay, so it's that time again, for the first time: Vote for pick of the month! It's simple, a box will appear somewhere on the right of the screen, and you just pick what figure you want to win; voting closes on the eighth.
Options are:
Sideshow Firefly, by GI Guppy the third
Cobra Viper by Wry1
Snake Eyes by Hrothmeir
Kamakura by Mythic
So vote fast, please vote just once, and have a good week.
Hez out...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pick of the Week-- Sept 4/4

Okay, final figure of September... This week was another tough choice; I had it down to four really good competitors. But in the end, I chose Kamakura by Mythic I've looked at some pictures of the real Kammy figures, and I have to say that Mythic's iteration very nicely takes the best elements of the real figures and merges them easily with the RoC styling, making this figure perfect in design. It is also perfect in execution, sporting an excellent paint job, good parts mix, and excellent accessories. Kudos, Mythic, Kudos...

Sometime next week I will be putting up a poll so you, yes you, can pick the Pick of the Month for September. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pick of the Week-- Sept 3/4

Okay, time yet again for a Pick of the Week...

This one was a hard one. I really liked this figure. I thought the paint was good, the parts were good, it was a good rendition of the character... heck, it even had sculpted thighs to differentiate its parts from other figures with the same parts...

But then there was another figure. As a figure, it was... okay. It sufficed. It was not spectacular, nor was it particularly bad. But it didn't stand out. EXCEPT... oh, except: it had THE most amazing accessories. I'll go ahead and give credit where credit is do on it, check it out here: But I could not in good conscience Pick it for the week. According to my personal standards of custom excellence... It was just sorta lacking. Except the accessories.

So instead the award goes to the figure featured in the photo above: Snake Eyes V2, by Hrothmeir... Wait, Hrothmeir... where have I heard that name before?


Yeah. You see my problem. I really can't select this figure, because, well... Nepotism of the first degree. On the other hand, this award is meant to honor what I see as great customs, based on the merits of the actual work, not on any personal connection to the creator. So... If I picked someone's custom based on the person of the artist, that would be wrong. If I didn't pick a custom based on the person of the artist, that would also be wrong. So in the end, I let objectivism (as well as advice from family and eventually the randomness of a coin toss [best three out of five, coin pre-tossed each time to determine final starting side]) decide, and based my pick solely on the qualities of the figure. Well, and a little on the accessories. Sometimes you can't separates a figure from its accessories (coats, helmets), but when all that a figure has going for it is the accessories, well...

So, that's it. My controversial little Pick of the Week. May God bless us all....

And I really expect some discussion on this one...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pick of the Week-- Sept 2/4

Okay, Pick of the Week # 2. This week the award goes to Viper, by Wry1. The Viper is an important part of the G.I. Joe universe, and past versions have been... iffy, at best. The original (and re-releases, updates) was one of the best real-world style troop-builders, but recent versions *Cough* Rise of Cobra! *Cough* have been lacking.

Wry1's version, however, is a nice compromise. With the helmet, goggles, color scheme, and armored pads, it is reminiscent of the original figure, but it manages to update the design, and bring the figure straight into urban warfare. in addition to that, the paint is clean and detailed, the use of parts is good, and it just has an all around good presentation. The only nit-pick is that, from certain angles, the chest pouches look rather... moob-ish...

To view the figure, visit

And remember, please leave comment! Hez Out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rosh Hashanah

It's that time of year again! Getyur Rosh on!

Okay, so happy 5771!

And that's about it...

Oh, no wait, I have something else to tell you about: My new Brush! So, I was working on a custom, and I just couldn't get they eyes right, so today I went to a local model/hobby shop ( and purchased a Brush; a magical $15 brush. I've named her Gwendolyn. Yes, I named it. For that price, I had to.

Yeah, that's really all; if you have something to say, please post. That is all :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SWM Seeking Flip Cam...

Hey, little update, telling a personal anecdote and then BAM! leveraging that pathos for personal gain!

Okay, so I was all driving around on Sunday, going out to help set up our church picnic way out in the middle of nowhere (read: Bixby, Oklahoma). So anyway, I'm driving along and I see this thing flying out of the grass in a ditch off to the right. At first I thought it was a duck with a leash (yes, it look weird); but as it passed in front of the van, I saw that it was a hawk, carrying a snake. It was going slow, and I very easily could have hit it, but it dropped the snake and flew higher, just missing the car. Trippiest thing I ever did see. My mom, my brother, and I all believe that it had some DEEP PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE. What that was, well.... We're praying about that.

Well, now that I have you held firmly by your emotions, allow me to say this: I'm looking to expand my video-making capabilities, and I need some things to really get me started. Namely: a Flip Cam, and some sort audio recording device. Estimated budget for this is about.... Oh, $300 dollars. Now, I'm not asking for donations. Donations would be nice, but I'll take anything: Actual goods, money, job offers, people purchasing art prints. Heck, I'll even do Action-Figure commissions. I just need the camera and audio recorder. If you can help, please just leave a comment!

And as for other updates: No Pockett tomorrow. I know, I know, you're all anticipating it... Well, I haven't had time to scan in and process a comic as of late (yet I can write this... Weird), so it'll have to wait until next week.

So yeah, that's it for today. Remember to come back on Friday to see the new PotW! TTFN

Hez Out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pick of the Week-- Sept 1/4

Nnnnnnneeeeewwwwwwwww feature time! That's right folks, time for a new, weekly feature! The Realms of Neldak Pick of the Week! Every Friday, I will go out to my favorite custom site,, and pick a custom action-figure/diorama/vehicle to be that weeks pick! The month's picks will then fight against each other for who is the monthly pick, and then the yearly pick!
The rules for being selected are simple: any finished customs within the first two pages on the forums, and that are not already winners, are eligible. Judging will be based on creativity, professionalism, sculpt work, paint, etc, etc, etc... The winner will receive the Official PotW Seal in their comment forum, and be featured here on the realms. And without further ado, let me present this week's winner...

Sideshow Firefly, by GI Guppy the third. The figure is done in the G.I. Joe 25th anniversary/ modern style, and is based on the upcoming 6th scale Firefly figure from Sideshow Collectibles. The figure was chosen because it has clean paints, excellent sculpt (the head is all new!), and very closely matches the source material. It is a superb figure, and worthy of the PotW Seal.

To view the figure, please visit You may need an account too see it, however.

The image of the figure is presumed copyright 2010 GI Guppy the third, used without permission, although permission was sought, but has not been granted yet, but hey, I have a deadline, so...

If you feel this figure is not worthy, or if you have another pick you think is better, please feel free to comment. Thanks, and congratulations to GI Gup!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Strangers With Toys

Okay, where was I? Ah, yes, informal transactions.

So, Anthony and I made a deal, swapping figures for a nominal fee. Well, the other week I was on Hisstank and I saw someone do something I had never had the courage to do: effectively get on to someone for customizing a rare figure that many would pay good money to get. Now, this telling-off was done kindly (and maybe I was only reading too much into it), and this poster offered a hypothetical solution: trading the unaltered original figure for comparable parts. Thus Poster one could have the parts to make the custom, and Poster 2 could have his holy grail.

Well, this sentiment was something I could agree with and as it happened, I was just about to destroy another copy of the same figure for custom purposes. You can probably tell were this is going...

Now, the last time I did a (semi-) informal transaction was around 2003ish on eBay, trading $20 for a box of X-Men figures. $20 bucks was a lot for me back then, and, well, the figures never came, and there was no way to recoup my investment.

So seven years later, I get to reach out and trust somebody... And I end up with two new figures, one of which had a part I needed a duplicate of for a custom!

So why am I telling y'all all this? Mostly, it's to finish up what I started on the other post. But, it's also for a much deeper reason...

You see, today I was at a Social Media seminar, and the big lesson I took away from that was that the best way to drive traffic to your blog is to create content. So I'm manipulating personal anecdotes for personal gain. No, I don't feel guilty at all.

And that ends that little section of today's post! As for other updates: Pockett is up, and I'm hoping to move back to the old update schedule (time to draw one strip: 1 1/2 lectures, or one lecture and a lab). Also, I'm looking into doing some reviews of old video games I've played, along with accompanying cute cartoons.

Well, that's really all I have to say today, so if any of what I've posted interests you, or you want to argue about the relative moral issues involved in manipulating pathos for gain, please leave comments below. That means you, Nancy; I know you're there...

Okay, so, um... Hez out. Bye now...

It's over.


Oh. If anyone knows how to add a Digg button to this, please comment. Kthnxbye.

And if you happen to have any old X-Men movie toys laying around, especially Mystique, just contact me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Retraction.... The Musical!

SO yeah, I make a big deal about posting more and then.... Nope. Two weeks, nothing. But I have a note from my mom this time, really I do! You see, I have started college. Yup. Good ol' Oral Roberts University, right here in Tulsa. Which I have to get back to in less than half an hour to get to my gym class...

I'll make this quick. Those of you who read Pockett (someone? Anyone?) will not that Obamanation did not, in fact, start. That's because I came home the next day and got a sudden urge to draw, which led to the delightful comic #6. And, being in college, I now have a lot of doodling on my hand, not to mention access to CS 4, so... It looks like Pockett may stay on for a while, although not in the way I planned it to. Oh, well...

Okay, now for one of those 'extra's' I talked about last time.

When I was in, say, fourth grade, I made a transaction with my friend Anthony. He had a lot of Star Wars figures that he didn't really want, and sold them to me for 25 cents each. Not a major gain for him, but that wasn't really the point. The point was that we were two people, both action-figure nerds, who entered into an informal transaction, bartering for simple things. This is, of course, as opposed to a strict retail transaction. Well, this past week, I've done something like this again...

But I've run out of time, so I promise I'll tell you about it soon! Bye!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Long Time, No Update

Okay, over a month with no updates... Wow, a lot to talk about. Personal-life wise: I had some relatives from Florida come visit, and my little cousin Jacob stayed after the others left and is living with us for the next week or so. Also, we went camping; I got horribly sunburned. We visited the action-figure museum in Paul's Valley-- that was really a disappointment for me. I was expecting an actual, you know, museum. Instead it was just a huge gallery. It was cool and all, but I don't think I actually learned anything. What else, what else.... Oh! My dad got a job! Every day he has a 120 mile round-trip commute, but he appears to be having fun! Also, I will be attending Oral Roberts University this fall; lots of fun...

As for creative updates...
1. Sorry! the movie has had some pick-up shots done, and is nearing completion. After over a year of work. And its only about six minutes long. Progress, real progress...
2. Pockett. After only 5 strips, it's going on hiatus. As you can see in the picture above, I'm converting it to a digital strip, but what all with college and relatives, I need more time. So, I'll be running a long-term filler strip: 'Obamanation.' This will be a wacky little series done with action figures. It will post on the Pockett website ( for all y'all newbies out there) and theoretically update every Wednesday, put probably more realistically every other Wednesday.
3. E.H.U.D. Progress, progress, progress. I might have mentioned this earlier, but after writing the detailed plot synopsis, I am going through and detailing it further. Much like an artist sets up the composition of a piece and roughs in volumes, then goes in and roughs out shapes, so I am doing. Every conversation has its twists and terns explored, every action sequence gets the blow-by-blow. After this synopsis, I should be able to start writing the actual book, and chapters will again be added, though this time with more find-able post names. And for those who don't want to read it because the already-posted synopsis has given away the story, fear not: A few major plot twists have entered in. As an interesting side note, when completed this new synopsis will be around the same length as the first draft, which was a full, rather long novella in its own right.
4. Customs. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but the last week or so of June were consumed with working on a figure for a contest on Hisstank. It didn't win, but it certainly was good practise, pushing me beyond the normal swap'n'paint that I've been doing. I haven't posted it elsewhere yet, but that's because I need better pictures. Also, I'm thinking about repainting it, as it is something of a signature custom for me, and I want it to be perfect. Other than that, I have another figure done that I'm going to put up on the tank as soon as I get better pictures, and I have two or three long-term customs nearing completion. Really, I need to be working faster on these. Even the simple ones are taking me months to do. Oh, well...

Okay, and I thinks that's about it. If anyone has questions or comments, please post. To see my customs, either check out my profiles on or, both under the user name Hrothmeir. Until next time, Hez out...

P.S. I have a lot of free time at work, and tend to fill that time by drafting virtual articles and treatises in my head, so in the coming weeks I will actually make an effort to get those thoughts down here in the real world. After all, the Internet hungers for content, and it must always be fed...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Wow, three in one month...

So anyway, details as events warrant: POCKETT is now live! at the following site: It's technically been up for a week now, but I wanted to make sure at least two comics were up before posting. So go and check it out! Updates Wednesday.

And as for the picture above: That is the unpainted version of my Cobra Commander custom. The painted version is available on Check it out today!

Hrothmeir out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Okay, this doesn't happen very often-- two updates in one month. Wow! And I got a new background layout, one which shows the video I put up last time which... appears... to be blank... but oh well, let's move on then.
Big news! Long time readers (I know you're out there!) will remember the Duke custom I put up in April '09. Well... He's back! Almost completely repainted, and better than ever, you can find pictures here:
Look around and have fun!
Oh, as for the image at top: That is a partial mesh for a character of the forthcoming Pockett! Get ready!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teh Snake Eyes!

Okay, long time, no update! First off, a welcome to any new viewers from Hiss Tank! As promised, here's the exclusive Snake Eyes picture I promised! For this custom, I took my photos outside, and the first couple had some issues with overexposure. Well, I thought they looked rather interesting, so I kept one, and here it is...

As for other updates... Um... Oh, yes, the missions trip! It went very well; we went down to a small town outside of Antlers, Oklahoma, which itself is a small town, and got into deliverance and other freaky stuff with the locals. What I didn't expect was all the deliverance I got. To quote Larry the Cucumber: "I laughed, I cried; it moved me, Bob." We went into rejection issues, and did a little prayer thing which is fairly common in my church, where we ask God to show us memories of where our hurts come from. Yes, it sounds weird; bear with me. Anyhoo, I've done that before, and it's never worked. Not once. Needless to say, I didn't expect it to work. o I closed my eyes and asked God to show me the origins of REJECTION (the night's topic) in my life and BAM! (r.i.p., Billy Mays) I had a memory of me in an incubator in the ICU in my birth hospital. Trippy, yes? Well, I won't go into too much further detail (ask if you want to know more!) but I got a bunch of deliverance, and am getting much closer to God. WooT! Also, we went to Paris for lunch and the second day, and got lost for about two hours. Fun!

Other updates, Other updates... Oh! Yes, my little tutorial of DOOM! Almost done on that! I've finished modeling, texturing, rigging, et. all. I still haven't done lip syncing, nor do I have enough facial keyes for full animation, but I do have a DEMO VIDEO! This is based on a slightly older version of Sperry; the yawning... thingy... was done before his lower body was rigged, and before I had any mouth keyes; the walk cycle is... adequate, but I'm not happy with the arms. I plan to reanimate the walk-cycle later. And yes, It's a bit pixely; not sure why. I ran it through Avid, so that may be the problem... UPDATE: VIDEO DOES NOT WORK ON BLOG! PLEASE GO TO:¤t=SperryDemo.mp4

And last but not least, my Duke is almost done! Long time readers (no, that's a lie... there are none...) will remember the Duke figure I posted well over a year ago. Well, he's back, and better than ever, almost entirely repainted and looking swell! Be prepared for pictures soon. Last but not least, the book. Oh, the book... I've been working on it, really I have. What I'm doing this time is going through and fleshing out the synopsis a bit at a time, so I actual know what's going on before I add dialogue, which was a big problem with the last draft: I just started writing with only a general goal in mind, so it could get quite long and meandering. But no more!

Ooooh, wait, one last thing: POCKETT!!! Soon, very soon, I will be launching POCKETT, my first webcomic! more details as events warrant!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

E.H.U.D.: The Entire Book In One Big Flumph...

Okay, as promised, the new E.H.U.D. Super Synopsis! The entire book, laid out in one easy refernce sheet, so I actually know what the heck is happening as I write! Please note, there are spoilers ahead, so read with caution. Also, there may be a few vaugenesses and internal inconsistencies but hey, I wrote this for me, not you, so just deal with it.

Now for teh updates... I'm going on a missions trip today! Woot! More when I get back.

And of course the picture above is a continuation of that super tutorial I mentioned: THe modeling is done! Yay!!!!!

As always, please comment. Kthnxbye...

Prelude to Apocalypse
By Hez Bennetts

30 Years From Now

Part I: Resurrection

Chapter 1

John Donalson awakens in a hospital. He’s not sure how he got there, because the last thing he remembers is going to sleep. But his body is withered and his family, who are there when he awakens, are much older. A councilor comes in and explains that he was injured in a car accident with a military officer, their identities were switched, and he has been in Walter Reed, in a coma, for the last ten years. After coming out a bit from the coma, they found out his true identity, and contacted his family. All the while, he hears a strange humming noise around him.
While recuperating and learning about the last decade’s events (controversial president, war), he is visited by the Secretary of Defense and a general. They apologize for the interruption in John’s life and promise to make reparations in the form of a paid apartment at Sky Crest Towers and a job at Cohen & Associates, a premier architecture firm. Sometime after they leave, John’s brother, Reggie, visits from Philadelphia with his daughter, Rachel. John tries to get to know her, but she’s distant. After a few more days, John is ready, with doctor’s orders to exercise more, to head to his knew home in Philadelphia. Just as they are heading to the car, an explosion rocks them, but the hospital staff tells them not to worry.

Chapter 2

In the White House, the president is heading to his daily staff meeting. He gets a little lost due to the internal changes to the white House, but eventually makes it to the cabinet room. There, he asks his press secretary about the explosion felt earlier in the day. The PS says that it was a gas main blowing in the Metro, the sign of an aging system that needs to be replaced. The president sends him out to spread the word on this, then asks his secretary of defense the same question. The secretary says that it was a member of a top secret government super-soldier operation that killed herself in explosive self-defense. The president is concerned by this, as the soldiers were not supposed to be active yet. He sends the SecDef to talk to the head general about this.
The secDef goes to the Pentagon, gets slightly lost, and is interrupted by a phone call from his wife. He is late to his son’s music recital. He says he’s busy, and heads off once more into the maze. He finds the general who reveals that the self-destruction of the super-soldier, while not specifically known about, was anticipated, and that the soldiers will discover what happens to them and likely rebel. He says it is all a plan to bring about lasting world peace. The SecDef is horrified at this, and says he will take this info to the president, but the general, Mistlethwakey, promises the SecDef, Edgar, that if keeps helps him in his plan to subvert the program, and bring about world peace, within three months the president, Edgar’s uncle, will be dead, and Edgar will be president. Edgar is wary about this, but promises to keep silent for three months.

Chapter 3

Now in Philadelphia, Reggie takes John to Sky Crest, gets him settled in, and takes him to their parent’s house for Sabbath dinner. While there, Rachel’s boyfriend shows up, and Reggie gets mad. During conversation, John finds out that he had a fiancĂ©, Lucy, but can’t remember anything about her. Intrigued by this, he resolves to call her as soon as he is healthy enough to drive on his own. In a few days, after exercising a lot to build up his desiccated body at the apartment gym, he calls her, she is stunned that he is alive, and invites him to her house. At her house, they talk, and it is obvious that she still loves him, but he has no feelings for her, as he doesn’t know her. Oddly enough, he keeps getting flashes of a woman at the edge of his awareness.
In the middle of their conversation, a man arrives, revealed to be Lucy’s new fiancĂ©e, Shaun. He is mistrustful of John, And John soon leaves, parting by saying that he won’t interfere in their lives, and he’s sorry he has. Unbeknownst to him, Shaun tells Lucy his misgivings about John, and asks that she not try to contact him again. Lucy is confused by all this, and doesn’t know if she should stick with Shaun or go back to John…

Chapter 4

As John is feeling ambulatory, John goes to work at Cohen and associates. He meets with his old college roommate, Walter Schmendrik, who’s an architect there. Walter shows him around, then sets him up with his first project, working on a museum. Before getting started, John decides to familiarize himself with Cohen, and looks through files of old projects. One is a military bunker near Tulsa. A bit weird. Next he finds Sky Crest, and finds out that an electrician died in his apartment, and that before that the electrician was involved in a freak accident in a sub basement. John plays around with the Sky Crest building files a bit, then gets to work. Later that day, he goes into the sub basement and looks around, and is caught in a freak electrical storm, where he experiences a vision of a man getting caught in a beam of light and becoming a monster. Then the vision shifts to him and a woman in a weird dark plain, and then a man, calling himself Allen, coming to them and offering them world peace, but then John becoming overwhelmed by horde of stomping behemoths. He comes out of this vision and finds himself in his apartment, groggy and confused.

Chapter 5

Edgar is at home with his wife, Amanda, getting ready to attend a white house banquet. Their son is not happy about being abandoned for the night, and Edgar snaps at him. Amanda is not happy about this, and begins questioning her marriage.
When they get to the banquet, Edgar is approached by Mistlethwakey, and they talk for a while. Edgar says he wants no part of the plan, and that he’s going to rat out Mistlethwakey, but Mistlethwakey tells him it’s too late. At that point a homeless man, Merv, unnoticed by the guests, enters the White House, makes a brief speech about how he’s the result of an illegal government experiment, and proceeds to unleash psychic powers upon all present, in an attempt to kill the president. Traditional security attempts to stop Merv are useless. After a brief consultation between Edgar, the president, and Mistlethwakey, three plans are created: Starve him out of his powers, bring in heavier artillery, or use Scramblers to neutralize his powers. The president knows that if he uses the scramblers, there will be questions of his compliance with Merv’s accusations, but he has no choice. Merv is killed, and Edgar leaves the White House to find his wife in an emergency clinic on the lawn. She wants to go home and see their son immediately, but Edgar is called to an emergency cabinet meeting. Having to decide between work and family, he chooses to go to the meeting, and Amanda is forced to go home alone.
In the cabinet meeting, the president is more than a bit disturbed and angry at Mistlethwakey, who sidesteps the issue by pointing out how unstable the E.H.U.D.s are. While they’re still working on damage control, it is revealed that Merv sent detailed information on his accusations to several important people, and that copies of official documents are included therein. The president is now on the verge of Impeachment. Edgar considers reveling Mistlethwakey right then and there, but decides to do nothing.

Chapter 6

John is at his office, continuing work on the Hemmermim building project. As he works, he wonders if there are any updates on the shocking assassination attempt that happened the previous night. When he is done with the project, he checks for updates, but there are none. So he opens the Sky Crest file, which he has been playing around with and built part of a city. Walter comes in and comments on the city, then says that the White House has made a statement. They go online and see the statement and the accompanying video, then discuss the implications of it. The statement mentions that the scramblers were a previously unused sonic weapon design, that they thought could incapacitate Merv. Its lunch time, so John decides to go out.
Outside the building, he is accosted by a bag lady, Cyd, who claims to know him, and who claims they were both E.H.U.D.s. This is interrupted by the arrival of another woman, Naomi, who was the wife of the officer who died in John’s accident, and she thought John was her husband for the ten years of his coma. They talk, and decide to go out for lunch.
While eating, they are joined by Lucy and Shaun. Naomi and Shaun seem to know each other, and are both mistrustful. While they eat, they hear a news report, anchored by new anchorwoman Maria Tumpuelo, about a violent riot in the capitol brought on by Merv’s accusations. Men in armor are brought in to stop the rioters, and John thinks they look familiar. Shaun explains they are soldiers wearing E.H.U.D. armor, anti-terrorism troops, stationed in every major city, and that he is one for Philadelphia. Naomi excuses herself and leaves, and Shaun gets a phone call from the hud head in Philly, leaving John and Lucy alone. Lucy confides that she still loves John, kisses him, and leaves. Unbeknownst to them, Shaun sees this.

Chapter 7

A few weeks later, John goes to have dinner at his parent’s house. He talks about running into a demonstration in the streets of Philly, and his family discuss the impeachment process and all of the bad things going on: riots, protests, Latterndale being impeached. Also, the Vice President has resigned, and Terstein is pushing for governmental overhaul; if the administration does nothing to account for the actions involved in the E.H.U.D. scandal, he and several other senators will pull out, and urge their constituents and militia to fight the Union. And of course, there is the fact that the president has the scramblers. John gets to know Rachel, and realizes she is interested in politics. Reggie brings up belief that John may be an E.H.U.D. After an argument, John leaves.

Chapter 8

The president is in the white House, having just finished consultation with his advisors. He’s going to bed when suddenly Mistlethwakey arrives, telling him he has information regarding the issues with the E.H.U.D. program. The president stays to listen, and Mistlethwakey shoots him, then walks out without anyone noticing or caring.
The next day, Edgar is at his son’s music recital, and is not liking it. Then, a motorcade arrives, and takes him away just as his son is about to perform. He is taken to a hidden location in Maryland, and is sworn into office as the new president, because others are disqualified, dead, resigned, or otherwise incapable of assuming the office.
Edgar realizes that it has been exactly three months since his first meeting with Mistlethwakey. Then Mistlethwakey arrives, claiming that Edgar called him and set him up as interim Secretary of Defense. He suggests that Edgar be open and honest with the American people about the E.H.U.D. situation, but the other cabinet members are nervous about this, as they were all involved in the program. Mistlethwakey then reveals that the Vice President came forward with more details on the program, and lists of personnel involved, which didn’t list the cabinet members. Edgar decides to come forward with the information, and prepares a speech.

Chapter 9

John and his coworkers are having lunch in the break room and discussing the impact Merv and The E.H.U.D.s will have on the economy. At the same time, one of them, an intern, believes that the huds are a sign of the apocalypse.
They are interrupted by a news report about an emergency speech from the president. Edgar comes on, explains who he is, what’s going on, and then goes into details of E.H.U.D. plot: fifty civilians, made to disappear in such a way that no one would come looking for them but that they could come back, were genetically modified and trained as soldiers, then somehow had their memories of the event released and were released into the world. They would also have a compulsion to join the military at some point, at which time their latent abilities would be discovered, and they would use their abilities for American supremacy, all with no ties back to the government in terms of experimentation. Edgar promises that if the E.H.U.D.s come forward, or are identified in some way, they would be taken into protective custody, but would be allowed freedom and would not be prisoners. If you suspect an E.H.U.D., please call.
After this speech, D.C. correspondent Maria Tumpuelo reveals that she is an E.H.U.D., that she killed the last president, and she urges everyone to rise up against the government. Soldiers then come and arrest her.
Some of John’s coworkers suspect him of being an E.H.U.D., but he denies this.

Chapter 10

Edgar’s handlers want to take him someplace secret, but he insists on the White House. They compromise by settling on Camp Eglon, a semi-secret facility in southern Pennsylvania. He and his family are taken there, and despite the chaos in the country and his uncle’s (Maybe second cousin’s) death, he celebrates.
Later that night, he gets to thinking, suspects he may be being used by Mistlethwakey, and goes walking. He notices that no one seems to be moving, everyone is frozen, and he sees a strange light coming from one room. He investigates, and finds a ghost light, and a room filled with ghosts. Mistlethwakey is there, and he does something to Edgar, who begins to hear a buzzing sound, and is attacked by the ghosts. He then bursts into flame, and in the morning is found by his wife and security, naked and new, younger and stronger. The staff Physician, Dr. Frease, is called in, and he declares Edgar to be physically around twenty-five ish. Amanda is very concerned about all of this, but Edgar blows it off, and Amanda begins to plan a divorce, thinking to only stay until the next election.

Chapter 11

John is back for another Saturday night dinner with his family. They discuss more politics, and about how the E.H.U.D.s are affecting society. Rachel talks about the post-ehud government she created for school, and they all point out issues with it. Dinner is interrupted by Lucy calling and telling John she is concerned For Shaun’s safety, as he’s a law officer. John tries to comfort her, but eventually gives up.

Part II: Entropy

Chapter 12

John is working out in the Sky Crest fitness center, as he is want to do, and Mistlethwakey shows up. John finds out that not only does Mistlethwakey live in Sky Crest, he owns it. As they jog on treadmills, they get to know each other better, and strike up a friendship. The next day, this continues, and Mistlethwakey shares his Roaring Mouse hypothesis. As they talk about the possibility of an internal war, precipitated by Terstein, John mentions Rachel’s government plan. Mistlethwakey finds it interesting, and says that they can discuss it more when he returns from Washington next week; he has important business there. But, he says, he will be back for Thanksgiving, as he always spends major holidays at home, as a memento to his dead wife.

Chapter 13

Mistlethwakey is in Washington, going deep inside the Pentagon, apparently on business from the president. He eventually arrives at a special, Scrambler lined cell containing Maria. She is slightly out of her mind, but she sees Mistlethwakey. He tells her that he wants Edgar dead, and that he will release her, equip her, and tell her the president’s location, as long as she will kill him. Maria is of course distrustful, but Mistlethwakey convinces her that this is part of his master-plan to become president. She promises to kill him as she knows that he was the head of the E.H.U.D. program, and in fact remembers him from her time there, but he convinces her to wait until the president is dead. He then heads back to Philadelphia, taking her with him. As in the white house, no one seems to notice.
The next day, thanksgiving, at Camp Eglon, the president and his wife are having a fight. Amanda wants their son, Ethan, to join them for dinner, but Edgar insists that this is a state dinner, and that Ethan isn’t welcome. Amanda finally explodes and says that she wants a divorce. Edgar tells her that he never really loved her and that he only married her for political gain. He also says that if she leaves him now, he will use every power at his disposal to make sure she never sees Ethan again. Amanda Agrees to stay, but only if Edgar explain why he hasn’t learned to love her over the years. He agrees.
Later, as they are having dinner, he rises to give a toast, and suddenly starts to choke. This goes on for about two minutes, as no effort to clear his airways seems to work. Finally, Edgar gives some kind of push, which sends a literal tremor through the room and clears his airway. He starts yelling that Maria is there, somewhere, and to find her. As security heads out on the hunt, he jumps up and gives pursuit, eventually finding Maria and killing her with his bare bands.
The guests are suitably shocked by this, and security insists that the first family be moved to an even more secure location in Oklahoma. Amanda refuses to go, and in a show of decency, Edgar allows Ethan to stay with Amanda. He also tells her why he despises her: that she will die for a cause, but that he will kill for a cause. He then leaves via helicopter, and Mistlethwakey, via phone, says that Amanda and son can stay in Sky Crest.

Chapter 14

John is on the treadmill yet again, wondering why Mistlethwakey isn’t there. He suspects it may have something to do with the rumors that Maria has somehow escaped. His cell rings, and he finds a message forwarded from his home system from the front desk, saying there is a young woman there to see him. He goes downstairs and finds Rachel, who wants to talk with him.
They return to his home, and she informs him that her boyfriend, Wayne, has gotten her pregnant. Wayne wants an abortion, but Rachel isn’t so sure about that and turns to her uncle for advice. He suggests they speak to her father, but she becomes distressed, and reveals that she’s been having problems at home and doesn’t really trust her father. After some discussion, John agrees to let her stay the night, and in the morning, he’ll take her home and help her explain the situation to Reggie.
While he’s sleeping that night, John has a vision of nuclear fire descending from the sky and engulfing them all. The woman from his earlier dreams, and the man called Allen, arrive and tell him that he must take Rachel to a safe place, to where the president is in Oklahoma. John argues that the president is in Pennsylvania, but the ghosts are unmoved. When John wakes up in the morning, he is suitably disturbed, not just by the dream, but by the looming threat of violence from Terstein and also the ‘hud riots that have broken out. He offers Rachel five thousand dollars and a ticket to wherever she wants to go. She’s intrigued by the offer, but would rather face her father than the unknown.
They reach Rachel’s house, and speak to Reggie, is quite upset at Rachel’s nightly absence. When he finds out she is pregnant, he kicks her out of the house, and she gets mad at John and runs away. The two ghosts continue to reprimand John for failing to save Rachel.

Chapter 15

Later that day, Rachel goes to her mother’s house, but her mother’s drunk boyfriend answers the door, and Rachel leaves. She then goes to her best friend’s house and stays the night. She tells her friend about John’s offer, and her friend suggests she takes it. Rachel is about to head out early the next morning to head to Sky Crest and ask for a second chance when Wayne arrives and tries to win her back. Rachel almost goes with him, but then decides that she needs to get away from him, and continues with her plan.
When she gets to Sky Crest, Mistlethwakey stops her in the foyer. She of course recognizes him from television, and she speaks to him. He tells her that he will give her ten thousand dollars and a ticket to Tulsa, but she has to work to start a primitive version of the civilization she mentioned previously. Rachel thinks he’s a bit on the crazy side, but Mistlethwakey tells her that the world is about to end and that her civilization can survive. She still doesn’t believe him, so he tells her that as a sign, within a week Terstein’s promised civil war will start, and that John will be held responsible.
Rachel is still a little unsure, but decides to take the money and run.

Chapter 16

John is at work, having finished the design of his modified Sky Crest/tower/huge city of doom. Just as he finishes, Lucy calls him and talks for a bit. Near the end of the conversation, she indicates that they should go and meet somewhere, but John ends the relationship. He tells her that he has no memory of her, that in his mind she never existed and that in her mind he should still be dead, so she should stick with Shaun and leave him be.
After the call, John goes to talk with Walter. Walter is having car trouble, and wonders if John can give him a ride home, as most public transportation services have ceased running due to the current crisis. John agrees, and they head out together. In John’s car, they are starting down the street, when Cyd the bag lady jumps on his car, ranting crazy rants. John gets out and tries to talk her down, but she keeps ranting. Finally, in a fit of anger, John causes Cyd to fly backwards off the hood of the car, without touching her. John is suitably disturbed by this, forces Walter out of the car, and drives home alone.
When he gets home, he naps, and is wakened from the nap by the arrival of a squad of federal agents, led by erstwhile 3rd draft hero Frank Norgent. They explain to John that they suspect him of being an E.H.U.D., and if he proves to be so, they are going to transport him to a relocation camp in Minnesota, or somewhere nice. To test him, they have a small device, which they turn on. John hears a horrible, painful vibrator thing, which causes him to cringe, and interrupts the constant humming he always hears around him. This proves he is an E.H.U.D., and he is given twenty minutes to pack a few belongings, and then is escorted to the helicopter pad on the far end of the roof of the attached mall (I really need to get drawings of all this…)

Chapter 17

Once John reaches the chopper, he recognizes Shaun in hud armor and suddenly has a bunch of memories flood in. The humming around him gets stronger, and he runs. The soldiers turn on scramblers, but are two late. John begins running through Philadelphia, trying to get away from the perusing huds and choppers. He discovers he can run at speeds up to sixty MPH, can leap incredible distances, and can even refocus his eyes so he doesn’t need glasses, although he keeps them for safety reasons. As he runs, he has a flashback of running in a dark room, of a woman who is beaten if he doesn’t run fast enough; he is beaten if she isn’t fast enough, etc. He also gets flashes of training and military tactics. At some point, he crashes into a Starbucks, quickly downs some energy, and sprints off to attack his pursuers directly. He manages to kill several and crashes a chopper into a building. At this point, he comes in range of the scramblers and is rendered powerless. He is being taken into custody by Shaun, when he gets another flashback of the man called Allen telling him there are ways to bypass the scramblers. At this point, the helicopter is burning, and the roof begins to cave.
John suddenly manifests powers again, despite the scramblers, and kills most of the huds, sparing Shaun. Unfortunately, he is weakening from the lack of usable calories, and can’t escape when the roof collapses further.
While John and Shaun are falling down inside the burning building, John unleashes everything he has at Shaun, and finds himself inside Shaun’s mind. He looks around at some memories, and wonders if it would be possible to take over Shaun’s body. He is just about to when he realizes he would have no powers. He pulls his mind back, but faints. Just as he is about to slip into the inferno, some unseen force levitates him and Shaun away…

Chapter 18

The president is in his bunker in Oklahoma when he gets word that there has been an outbreak of E.H.U.D. activity in Philadelphia, and that Terstein, seeing that the administration has done nothing to address the E.H.U.D. program, has declared war on the United states. Unfortunately, international opinion sides with Terstein. Mistlethwakey, via video conference, urges the president to declare martial law in Philadelphia, using the Mall at Sky Crest as a headquarters. Reluctantly, the president agrees, and then orders that Terstein be arrested and the country locked down.

Chapter 19

Rachel is in Tulsa. She’s managed to rent a room with a woman named Abigail and has convinced her that at least Terstein will start off a series of riots, and that the ten thousand dollars should be used to purchase supplies. Abigail and Rachel are going on another supply run when war is declared, and there is a run on the store. Violence breaks out over the lack of supplies, and the two women return home. Rachel then goes door to door around the block, and convinces several people to join her in stockpiling their goods, weapons, and other resources. A few of the houses on either side of Abigail’s join, and Rachel convinces her followers to all move in together in this fortifiable position. Later that night, a group of drunken men go around shooting, looting, and generally causing a disturbance. Police fail to respond, so Rachel’s little militia steps in and forces peace.

Part III: E.H.U.D.

Chapter 19

John wakes up in a residential room, unsure of where he is, lacking nearly all body mass and being fairly well crisped. He fades in and out of consciousness, flashing back on waking up in a big room filled with naked people, and the fear he felt there. He wakes up again as someone feeds him, but he doesn’t have his glasses, and can’t summon the energy to focus his eyes. Cue flashback of being starved, and then of being fed a little. As this flashback continues, he sees the man who identified himself as Allen sitting in the huge room, talking to and comforting a group of people. John decides that he can help out, and goes to sit with a group of people and comfort them. Among the group is the woman he’s been having visions of: Suzanne. John wakes up again and sees Suzanne there. He asks if she is alive; she tells him no, and says that he knows how she died. He then has another flashback, this time of being strapped in a chair facing her, each of them with a button that will kill the other. John finally breaks and kills her. He wakes up crying… Also in his flashbacks are Naomi, Merv, Maria, Cyd, and Edgar’s Dr. Frease.

Chapter 20

Lucy is visiting a hospital, in which Shaun, heavily burned and guarded, lies dying. He has asked to see her and, despite the dangers of going outside, she has come to fulfil his request. When they are alone, he reveals that he was a part of the E.H.U.D. program, one of the guards, and that he knew John. He also reveals that while on leave from the program, he came to Philadelphia for the express purpose of finding Lucy, just to torment John. However, once he met her, he began to fall in love with her, and decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. To this end, he asks the overseers to erase any memory of Lucy from John’s mind, which they do, explaining why John doesn’t remember her. Shaun asks Lucy for forgiveness for this.
As a response, Lucy gags Shaun, pulls him onto the floor where he is unable to call for a nurse, and locks the door. She then retrieves a used syringe from the biohazard can, and injects a full load of air into her carotid artery, and dies in front of Shaun, who is powerless to respond.

Chapter 21

Back in his room, John is still hallucinating. He sees his body, how frail it is, remembers when it first began to be like this, when he, and the rest of the E.H.U.D.s were being trained by an older man, also with psychic powers, in how to levitate things, reach inside people, manipulate their bodies, control their minds. He remembered Allen discovering the possibility of Telekinesis, spreading amongst the E.H.U.D.s the idea of the Q-bomb doctrine. Then he goes back further, remembering how they became E.H.U.D.s, sitting in a medical room, strapped to beds, after having killed their partners, being infected with a transformative virus. He comes out of the flashback a little, hears a dog barking somewhere, remembers training with dogs, learning advanced healing by being torn apart and having to heal themselves. (insert flashback here). This then leads to combat training memories, and then to the suit, and all it entailed…

Chapter 22

This time, John wakes up a little more lucidly, and hears news reports on TV talking about the war. It seems gang warfare has erupted in LA, students at Berkeley have become violent, gang warfare in south Texas is going badly, various militias all over the country have seized small towns, and the national guard is out in force to keep everyone in check. John then remembers his own time in war, fighting in Gaza and the West bank, various memories and brief descriptions of battles then follow. Eventually, the Huds are recalled from the war and brought back to their main base, where Allen declare that it is time to strike back and become the Q-bomb. However, General Mistlethwakey, the project overseer who has just arrive to decommission the huds for home use, has been monitoring them, is aware of their plans, and kills Allen as way of enforcing his will. The huds still fight back, but are subdued with no further casualties. Something else happens, but John can’t remember what…

Chapter 23

John finally wakes up fully. He finds that he is in a house somewhere on the western edge of Philadelphia, with Naomi, Cyd, and others from his flashback time. It turns out that Naomi has known about her hudness almost from the beginning, even before she met with John, and that Cyd was sent to keep an eye on him and to try to coax out his memories. They didn’t want to force John’s memories, to avoid the kind of situation that just happened: John causing a civil war. It turns out that since they have had their memories returned, the E.H.U.D.s have been trying to find each other and figure out what to do. Two of them, Merv and Maria, decided to ignore the group and go terrorist, killing off political targets. Most of the other E.H.U.D.s want to go forth with the Q-bomb doctrine, but they are evenly split on how to go about doing it. One group, led by Naomi, wants to take down the Government and enforce their will on America and the world at large. Another group, led by a hud named Talan, want to present themselves to the world as an independent entity, belonging to, and helping no country, just being an all around, impartial deterrent to war. Neither side believes they have enough people (about ten each) to go on their own. They want John to be the tie breaker, as he was closest to Allen, their visionary, and they believe he understood the ideas behind the doctrine best. John ponders the situation and comes to a compromise: they will quietly present themselves to the government, weed out corruption (starting with Mistlethwakey), end the war, and then present themselves to the world, with a docile America as proof of what they can do. They agree to send a contingent, led by John, to camp Eglon to settle the matter.

Chapter 24

The president is in his bunker in Tulsa, speaking via teleconference with Mistlethwakey. Edgar informs Bob that may have to skip his traditional trip back to Sky Crest for Christmas because something important has come up. The strategic missile defense network has a strange virus, something the likes of which the techies have never seen before. Ed orders that the system is to be shut down immediately and that all active missiles be taken out of commission. In addition, he wants this to remain secret. And there are other problems: due to American instability, Mexico is massing forces in southern Texas, Canada has sealed its border, and the U.N. is threatening to send in peacekeeping troops. The next item they discuss is the presence of a growing commune on the western edge of town which has not only resisted attacks from looters and gangs and drunken rednecks, but has also helped stabilize the region and keep fighting to a minimum. Edgar thinks it might be a good idea to embrace this sort of Community, and convince people all over the country to adopt this, especially in riotous areas, in exchange for lowered troop levels. This would give the communities the illusion of control, step down government hostilities, strengthen people’s trust in the government, halt the spread of war, and prove to outside observers that not only can America control itself, it is also able to fundamentally change in the quest for peace. This shift from big government to strong community groups would also please Terstein’s followers, who want a change in America. Edgar decides to call the leader of the Commune.
Cut to Rachel, in consultation with representatives of a group of about fifty people who want join her Social Unit. She turns them down, saying they already have about a hundred and fifty people, but suggests these new people start an SU of their own, and extends aid and materials to do so. The representatives leave pleased. Rachel goes out to do her share of gardening work, but is interrupted by a call from the president. Although Edgar is shocked to find that Rachel is John’s niece, he still goes ahead with his plan to recruit her and get her to head the new program to bring change, and to go, with FEMA help, to different cities to start SUs. Rachel is uncertain about this, but their conversation is interrupted by Mistlethwakey, who informs the president that John has just arrived at Camp Eglon.

Chapter 25

John and the Huds arrive at Camp Eglon, to find… Mistlethwakey, and the president via video screen. They present their argument: if the president agrees to turn over Mistlethwakey and any others involved in the program, the huds will not only forgive Edgar’s part in it (he was secdef, after all), they will also help him get the country under control, and bring about world peace. Seeing that he has the SUs, and now the E.H.U.D.s going for him, Edgar realizes he could end the war, become extremely popular, and go down as a great hero. He quickly agrees. However, Mistlethwakey then revels that the president is an E.H.U.D. The huds don’t care, and Ed is still ready to betray M, when Mistlethwakey reveals that he is an E.H.U.D., and, much like John, is able to bypass the scramblers. John then has a final flashback, the end of his time as an E.H.U.D., Mistlethwakey defeating him as he is holed up in a medical wing, and then of Mistlethwakey wiping everyone’s memories. John decides that now is the time to retreat and regroup, leaving the president under M’s sway. M then informs the president that it is time for him to take his leave for Christmas. (This is around December 20th or so.)

Part IV: Apocalypse

Chapter 26

Back at their safe house, the Huds decide to stick to John’s plan, but to go in and take over Mistlethwakey first. John realizes that he could put his mind inside M’s just as he was planning to do with Shaun at one point, and still have powers. This would also give them another inside man in the White House (Dr. Frease being the first). He informs them that M always vacations at home. They decide to strike the next day, but they need supplies first. John sends one group to go to the local National Guard occupation zone and steal some armor, another to go and get some scramblers, and then he and Cyd go to Cohen and Associates to get detailed plans to Sky Crest. While there, John prints off a copy of his tower plans. They quickly study the plans, and find that the access point from the Central Maintenance Core to M’s apartment has been sealed off. (I’ll get a map or diagram, I swear…) Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but John’s plan requires going powerless, so they have to adjust the plan and go in through the front door. As they leave, Walter manages to see them, and informs John that Lucy is dead (He knew Lucy from when he was John’s roommate.) John is even more resolved to kill Mistlethwakey. Back at the safe house, they make final preparations.

Chapter 27

That night, a group of E.H.U.D.s, led by John, go to Sky Crest. While the infiltration team… infiltrates… the rest stay outside in armor, trying to keep prying eyes away. Inside, John has some people secure the building’s security measures. This whole time, several scramblers, pulsing at multiple frequencies to make sure that M can’t sense them or bypass them, are placed around the tower and taken with John as he goes up the elevator to M’s apartment at the top. John is unarmored, so he will be able to kill his body once the mind switch is made. He gets to the apartment, with a few minutes to spare before the scramblers are set to shut off and then reactivate, allowing him to swap minds. But he is ambushed by Mistlethwakey, who seems to know all about the plan. It is then that Mistlethwakey reveals his true identity: Allen leader of the E.H.U.D.s, and a natural born hud who planned the whole program. He also reveals that he knows what John is doing there, and that he has no choice but to kill John and then pretend to be John, to convince the others that John has succeeded. John wants to know why, and Mistlethwakey shows him a vision (which the reader’s can’t see) of his motives. John accepts this, and when the scramblers deactivate and reactivate, he lets Mistlethwakey shoot him, sending him crashing out the window to the building far below (again, I need a diagram). Mistlethwakey then calls Naomi and impersonates John, but informs her that something more important than the Q-bomb doctrine has come up.

Chapter 28

Mistlethwakey calls for an emergency shutdown of the scramblers and a mental meeting. He informs everyone of the virus that has infected the missile system, and that he has ignored the president’s orders, thus leaving the U.S.’s nuclear arsenals in the hands of… himself. Also, using his powers, he has gone in person and introduced the virus into the secure networks of every nuclear power on earth. The missiles will all launch in approximately twelve hours; there is nothing they can do. Some of the Huds are suspicious of this, but they can sense what feels like John in Mistlethwakey’s mind, and can see M’s own memories of all of this, so they believe him. It is decided, based partially on practicality and partially on M’s pre-existing plans (which seem to have predicted everything the huds have done up to this point) that they will wait until a few holiday shoppers come to the mall (diagram) and then barricade them, and many supplies, inside, while using their powers to divert the nuclear forces that are about to rain down upon them. They quickly go out, in armor, to requisition and steal supplies, including food, water, literature, and large, breedable dogs. Don’t ask; sequel.
Mistlethwakey and a few other huds stay behind to prepare things at Sky Crest, and M goes to find Amanda Latterndale, whom he believes will be able to get everyone organized. He also calls Washington and convinces Eli Rosencrantz, secretary of the press and associated media, to send out a camera crew for a press conference.
Soon, the supply bearing huds bring their truck-fulls of supplies back to the mall, and Amanda manages to convince the now trapped shoppers and Sky Crest residents to load food and prepare for the worst. Meanwhile, Mistlethwakey goes on air for a live, emergency press conference.

Chapter 29

Back in the bunker, the president is on the phone with the Russian prime minister. It would seem that a flight of missiles spontaneously launched, aimed for major western hemisphere cities and geological cites. The prime minister swears it is an accident, that the system was infected with some kind of virus, and Edgar admits that his own system had a virus. It is then that American missles launch, headed for eastern hemisphere targets. Meanwhile, French, Pakistani, Chinese, North Korean, Israeli, and every other type of Missile (including a few secret Canadian ones!) launch. Edgar is stunned and horrified, realizing that Mistlethwakey must have ignored his orders.
One of his aids then enters and informs him that Mistlethwakey is making a statement. They turn on the TV and Mistlethwakey explains that he was the mastermind behind the E.H.U.D. experiment and now the imminent nuclear assault. He tells the people of America, and the world, that he is very sorry. He also tells them of several places that the missiles will not hit, including the central United States, the South Eastern edge of the mediterranian sea, Central Africa, and the Asian Steppes. He then signs off, saying that he leaves the world in the president’s hands, and that if ever tyranny arises, the E.H.U.D.s will be there to protect the world.
Dr. Frease then arrives, and informs the president that he was given post-hypnotic orders that if ever Mistlethwakey were to give a speech like this, he was to send the president down to the subbasement. The president goes, as the world is minutes away from destruction, and finds a hidden genetics lab. As he enters, a computer turns on with a video of Mistlethwakey. He informs Edgar that this was all part of his plan, what he spoke to Edgar about when Edgar first agreed to three months of silence. He then tells Edgar that he should go about with his plan to use Rachel’s government, but that the final results will not happen until after his life time. In order to bypass that, then, he has trained Dr. Frease in the science of cloning, and set up this lab to produce clones of Edgar, which he can psychically transfer his mind into as he nears death. He suggests that Edgar find a new wife to be the womb for these clones. He then tells Edgar that Edgar is now the de facto ruler of humanity, and wishes him the best.
The video ends, and Edgar weeps.

To be continued in Sheol: Place of the Dead

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Memorial Day...

No, its not really memorial day... But for me it is. Today, forty three years ago, my grandfather died while serving in Vietnam. Above is his report of casualty.

Other than that, a few quick updates. I have some new customs online, at and, both under the name Hrothmeir. Also, I've started REALLY re-writing the book, going through and putting in a detailed synopsis of the entire plot. When its done, I'll put it up here. So, that's all. Please comment, and goodbye for now...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Too Little, Too Late...

Okay, so I missed a few things... The one year anniversary, Passover, April fools... Oh, well...

Okay, book update. I'm re-writing (again) starting from the flash back this time, trying to get the mood, and continuity, right. And that's about it. hen I'm done with the flashback and move on to the beginning of the book again, I'll do updates.

In other news, I'm almost done with a few custom action-figures, and hope to have pictures up shortly. And speaking of pictures...

Here are some long overdue photos of me in Israel, July '08. I'm not sure what order Blogger will put them in, so I'll just describe them. The highway with the minaret overlooking it is in Jerusalem, looking to the old city. The people walking are natives and tourists entering the old city in the Armenian quarter, Jaffa Gate. The ocean is the view from the roof of Hotel Gilgal, Tel-Aviv, looking at the Mediterranean. Me with sunglasses is the same rooftop, with hair pulled up to look like forelocks. Me at night is standing in front of the temple. Woot. And yes, that part of chapter three is inspired by my actual experiences.

And now for one final picture: I think the it's now defunct, but 'Infinity on Thirty Credits a Day,' brought to you from the makers of 'Irregular Webcomic' is a freelance web comic, where content is provided by member submission and vote. Follow the link to see my part in the grand space opera, and click around to see if you can find the character designs I based my work on. Infinity on 30 Credits a Day - Comic

So long, and please comment!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The End...

Okay, this is the end... No, not the exciting conclusion (that hasn't been written in draft three yet) nor the final few written chapters I promised. I am sad to announce that those final few chapters are now discontinued. More than likely, they will never, ever see the light of day. Except... Except for this one little snippet I leave, this one final bit of the book. This is a little bit of chapter 26, an in depth explanation of the E.H.U.D. suit and the way it works.

So, why is this the end? Well, as I said in my last update, I believe I have found the central idea of the book, thematically speaking. So, I have taken that idea and crafted it into a short story that encapsulates the whole of the book, thematically speaking, into eleven pages. Yes, I've read it. Yes, I think, unlike the rest of the book, it is actually quite good. No, you can't read it; it's too personal. But what I'm going to do is write draft four now, using this story as a guide, to make what I hope will be the almost-finished version of the book (spllnig grammar need check, last) So, I leave now; physics class is starting. So long!

Chapter 26

Five minutes after Wendelferce’s announced meeting time, John joined his group in a small, brightly-lit dressing room, walled with lockers and floored with a thick spongy material.
“Looks like nature boy finally decided to get with the program.” Wendelferce gestured for John to sit with the rest of his group on a thin bench, ignoring the fact that John was already headed towards them. Once John was seated, Wendelferce walked towards one large locker and pulled out a thick black one-piece suit. he turned it around, showing off its patches of thick quilting, and then tossed it to Allen. “Okay, if each of you will please look in the lockers behind you,” he paused while Vince, Naomi, and John stood and began rooting through lockers, “you will all find one of these suits. Once you have one, put it on.”
John pulled one out and looked at it. The front was slit to allow entry, and had both zippers and buttons to keep it closed. He examined the ends of the legs and the arms, but found that rather than openings, the suit was closed off by thin socks and gloves. He easily slid inside the suit, found to his surprise that it seemed to be an exact fit for him, and closed it up. Next to him, Vince, Naomi, and Allen had gotten their suits on as well. When all four were done, they returned to their seats on the bench and stared up at Wendelferce.
Wendelferce stared back at them, smiling, and carrying a heavy-looking club. “The suits that you are wearing are the underlying layer of the most advanced piece of defensive technology ever created. The Enhanced Human Ultimate Defender is not only proven to effectively protect soldiers against most small arms fire, it has also been proven to protect its wearer from large calibers, traditional armor-piercing rounds, weight loads in excess of half a ton, and high yield explosives. The Defender is the first major piece of hardware that the E.H.U.D. program has developed that will be released in a public manner. While you all remain locked away in this hole, every man woman and child in America will know what a Defender looks like, and will feel totally at ease around anyone wearing one.”
John looked down at the padding that encased his body. It was thick and warm, but it certainly didn’t seem capable of protecting him from a child with a BB gun, much less an armor piercing round.
Almost as if he were the one capable of reading minds, Wendelferce sprang forward and brought his club down on John’s collarbone with bone-crushing force. Other than some mild pressure and the shifting of the fabric on John’s shoulder, he didn’t feel anything.
Was that supposed to hurt?
A snarl passed over Wendelferce’s face, but he was able to suppress any emotions he felt. “As you all felt, this layer, the primary cushioning layer, was able to absorb almost all of the impact of that blow. The main part of the layer is a standard Gortex weave, able to withstand some good wear and tear, with fiber-mesh quilting on the inside. But through the middle of the layer you have packets of a special gel, normally fairly sloshy, which turns tremendously solid when force is applied to it. So when the club his Johnny-boy here, it hit a brick wall, which faded out to gel, blocking and absorbing most of the force, with little impact on the man inside.”
Again he suddenly lunged, this time hitting John in the stomach, the thigh, the crotch, the shoulder. Again, nothing.
Wendelferce circled behind his charges, reached into the lockers, and handed out four skull-caps, each of the same material as the body-suit. “You’ll want these in combat, of course. And yes, there are masks that can be attached to those, but they’re currently attached to the insides of the main helmets.”
He approached another set of lockers and produced from one a complicated tangle of nylon straps and rubber tubing. After a few quick shakes, the tangle unfolded into a complicated harness, with large rubber bags attached where joints and primary muscles would be located on a person, with the tubing connecting all of the bags and criss-crossing the gaps between the harness straps.
“This is the next layer of the suit: the pneumatic sinus system.” As with the last layer of the suit, he tossed the harness to Allen and gestured for the others to get their own. While they struggled to put on their harnesses, he continued to explain the new layer. “In addition to providing protection, the Defender augments your physical abilities. The pneumatic sinus system works with the body’s own movement to pump fluid and build up pressure, which can be stored and released in the normal patterns of moving. For instance, if you bend your knee, you move the fluids in such a way that they are sucked and stored in the bladders on the back of the thigh. When you straighten the knee, an opposite suction is created in the frontal pouch, the fluid is released, and it changes position, providing a significant blast of power to the wearer’s simple, muscle-powered action. In addition to the purely mechanical suction power, the system is equipped with motion sensors that will also create suction and change the internal pressure based on perceived moves, so you don’t have to force movements; the suit works with you. C’mon, hurry, we don’t have all day!”
The E.H.U.D.s didn’t respond. They continued to put on the suits, trying to unravel the twisted material, find the right holes for their limbs, get the suits cinched in place. Finally they gave up and slipped into Wendelferce’s mind. Within a few seconds, they had a two-week training course on the suit, and were able to get it on, tightened, and attached to the inner suit.
“About time. Now take a couple minutes to get used to the movement on those.”
Naomi was the first to respond to the order. She crouched as Wendelferce had been trained to do, and felt the harness building up pressure in her thighs and buttocks. She stood slightly, and the fluid instantly shot around to bladders on the front of her thighs, forcing her legs straight and launching her into a six-foot vertical leap. She made no sound, but her companions could feel her surprise and terror as she came crashing down onto the padded floor.
“See, that’s using the pneumatics as a baseline human; if you also brought in some telekinetic forces, there’s no telling what you’d be able to do.”
Naomi smiled maddeningly and jumped into the air again, sailed towards the ceiling, brought up her arms, bounced off at an angle, flipped, twirled—
The others quickly stepped aside.
As Naomi continued her acrobatic display, Vince looked over the pumping systems on his suit, then glanced up at Wendelferce. “Does the mechanical system work, even if the electronics are offline?”
“In theory. The electronics are just supposed to be there as an additional supplement.”
Vince nodded and slowly moved his arms experimentally, watching as bladders inflated on his shoulders, and then abruptly emptied as his arms swiftly lowered, hitting his thighs with a loud smack. He raised one arm fractionally—it jerked up and his shoulder twisted awkwardly. John had to quickly close his mind to avoid feeling the pain that flooded through Vince.
Allen walked forward and helped to hold back the arm as Vince tried to lower it without further pain.
This isn’t working… we have the minds of being trained with this, but not the bodies…
Naomi stopped bouncing, Vince stopped struggling, and John opened his mind as they all felt Allen focusing on his body, on the muscles that were most affected by the pneumatic system, tweaking them, burning off some parts and rebuilding others, smoothing and altering his muscles until they were like Wendelferce’s, adapted to the shape of the harness, the forces of the suit. Once he was done with himself, Allen turned his mind to Vince’s body and began to reshape it. After only a few seconds, Vince stepped away and carefully raised his injured arm, feeling it rise in time to the patterns of the pneumatics, giving just the right amount of pull to counter the forces of the fluid’s movement, yet not enough to trigger the electronic system’s opposite reaction. Vince smiled, and then went sprawling as something rammed into his back.
From the resulting tangle of limbs, Naomi pulled herself away from Vince and playfully jumped backwards. This is fun! This almost makes all the pain worth it! With these… with these nothing can stop us!
Vince was on his feet in an instant, resting his weight on one leg, extending the other, letting the pneumatics straighten his knee, catch Naomi in the ribs, send her flying. She smashed into a set of lockers, rolled onto the floor, shot herself into the air with a powerful flick of her arm. She righted, got her legs under her, launched at Vince. He grabbed onto her arms as she shot past, jumped up and back, twisted so that his feet hit the ceiling and bounced off, finishing his flip and landing with his knees embedded in Naomi’s back.
This is wonderful! Naomi radiated joy through the room, but John felt that it was aimed specifically at Wendelferce. With these, we can kill you so much easier!
Allen shot Naomi a disapproving glare, but she purposefully ignored him.
Wendelferce sighed heavily and rounded on Naomi. “So, you’re still planning on killing me. You think that since finally got out of that rotten little hole you were in before, you can suddenly make good on your escape.” He shot out a booted heel and caught Naomi squarely in the jaw, then pulled the boot back for another blow. Naomi tried to jerk away, but Vince was still pinning her to the ground.
“You just don’t get, it do you?!” Wendelferce roared. “None of you do! Mistlethwakey has been planning this whole thing out for years! He’s left nothing to chance! The only reason you’re out of the hole and up here is because we know that we can handle you! And if you want to test yourself, go right ahead, we’re ready to shoot you down!” He dropped to one knee and grabbed Naomi’s face, twisting it so she looked up at him. “One way or another, you will all follow Mistlethwakey’s plan. You can either make it unpleasant for everybody, or you can just get with the program and learn the skills we’re trying to teach you. Is that understood?”
Before Naomi had a chance to respond, Allen stepped forward and placed a hand on Wendelferce’s shoulder. “That’s enough.”
Wendelferce glared up at Allen; John was sure that the pistol was about to make another appearance. But to his surprise, Wendelferce merely shrugged away from Allen’s touch, stood, and walked towards the door that led out of the room. “If you want to know how the rest of the suit works,” he said as he left, “figure the **** thing out for yourselves.”

No one moved for almost a minute, and then Vince climbed off of Naomi. “I… I’m sorry…” he mumbled.
Naomi grunted, her chin stopped bleeding, and skin covered the wound.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” Allen said.
“Do what? Tell him we’re going to kill him?”
“Antagonize him. It’s cruel.”
Naomi tried to speak, but only expressed a blast of intense anger. When she was finally calm enough to find her voice, she yelled, “What they’re doing is cruel! Don’t you think that ******* deserves to sweat a little compared to what we’ve gone through?”
“If your roles were reversed, do you think he’d see it as you see it now?”
“****, yes!”
Allen sadly shook his head. “That’s exactly right. And we don’t want to be like him.”
“Maybe you don’t but—“
“Why did you kill your partner?”
“What the **** does that have to do with—“
Naomi took a deep breath and considered. Beside her, John and Vince paced a little and then sat on the bench. “I killed my partner,” Naomi answered, “because it’s better for her to be dead than to be what we are… to do what we have to do.”
“Wendelferce would have killed his partner, if he had had one. But he would have done it out of some misguided survival instinct, or for the sheer **** of it.”
John felt a sudden pang of guilt. Despite all of his internal struggle, all of his rationalizing, he couldn’t help but wonder if he had killed Suzanne merely because he was to afraid to die.
“The difference between you and Wendelferce,” Allen continued, “is that his motivation is self, while yours is others. He fears for himself, and he knows that, if we really tried, we could kill him, and he would lose that self. So if you prey on his deepest fear, who are you pleasing?”
Naomi didn’t answer.
“And who are you hurting?”
“Others…” she muttered.
“Exactly. You lose your motivation, you lose the little distinction that makes you a victim and him a tormentor. You become him.”
“But he has to know that we’re coming for—“
Allen raised a hand. “He knows. If you listen, you find that that’s almost all he thinks about. We don’t need to rub it in. All we need to do is bide our time.”
“And what do we do while we bide?”
Allen shrugged. “Prepare ourselves.” He gestured to two unopened sets of lockers in the room, and as one the four of them moved to investigate.
One set of lockers contained large plates of grey armor, heavy and rough, with straps on the edges and a few large magnets on the underside. Allen thought that these should be left alone for now, so John and Vince opened the other lockers and found suits similar to the first layer, but thicker and heavier, with short straps and clasps hanging from them. The suits were passed around, put on, tested. They were filled with the same gel as the under-layer, but were reinforced with stiff pads of heavy fabric. Despite this, there was little interference with movement, and the pneumatic system still worked exceptionally well.
Once they were fully dressed and the suits adjusted to fit properly, they returned to the armor plates. Vince and John spent several minutes trying to put them on, and found that attaching them to the suit was relatively easy, but finding the right order was difficult. They finally gave up and looked out through the complex until they found Wendelferce’s mind.
Soon they were back at their task, matching up the pieces against Wendelferce’s memory of them and attaching them to the proper points on the suit. When they had managed to get John completely encased in the armor save for his head, Naomi and Allen came forward and together they all got the armor on.
Then John went back to the lockers. At the top of each one was a small shelf, and on the shelf was a helmet: grey and lifeless, yet curiously human, with mournful eyes and a thick nasal ridge above a vent of some sort shaped, oddly enough, like a grossly oversized toothbrush mustache. John reached up, carefully pulled one down, and looked at it more closely.
It seemed to look back at him, to see into his eyes, behind his eyes, to know him…
A hand rested on John’s shoulder. “This is the face history will remember us by,” Allen said.
John didn’t respond. Reluctantly, he turned the helmet so that the eyes left him, ad he looked inside the helmet. There was padding all around, mostly on the facial portion, like Wendelferce had said. John tried to pull the helmet over his head, but it was too tight. He searched the outside of the helmet and found a series of gaskets which, when opened, allowed the faceplate of the helmet to disconnect and pull out on two strips of fabric. He tried to pull it on again, and this time the helmet slipped on easily. The gaskets couldn’t be easily resealed however, so John reached out with his mind and forced them closed. There was a sharp pop of pressure change, and John was sealed into the helmet.
Now he stared out through those empty eyes, seeing the world around him highlighted with artificial colors, with floating blocks of text labeling things, with a thin crosshairs floating in the center of his vision. No, not quite the center… the crosshairs wasn’t stationary; there had to be controls for it somewhere.
There weren’t any external electronics on the armor, there were no protrusion on the insides of the gloves, no movement seemed to initiate a change in the crosshairs. John experimentally extended his tongue and found a series of pressure-sensitive switches and rotational mushrooms in front of his mouth. The crosshairs moved, the whole view shifted, zoomed in and out, the text moved around wildly. John sighed, focused on the controls, felt them moving… Good, that was better.
Don’t bother touching the helmet controls…
The others put on their helmets, looked around at each other.
I don’t really like the way this looks…
Who cares about looks; if Wendelferce is right, we can do anything now…
We could do anything before…
Yes, but with these on, the scramblers have no power over us…
John blinked as the import of the thought fully dawned on him. Without their powers, they were exceptionally well-trained soldiers, but the scrambler also caused other effects in them, from bouts of pain to simple stupor; all there training was worthless then. But if they were armored like this…
As soon as everyone’s suited up, we can attack… Do it now! Vince, and especially Naomi, exuded a fierce anticipation.
John looked at Allen. Allen looked back, making no response of any kind. Again, he was insisting that the decision was John’s to make.
No… no attack, not yet… A year ago, we couldn’t make the escape, because we didn’t have these… who knows what new toys we may get in the coming years? If we wait, we get more from them…
There was a grudging acceptance from Vince, but Naomi refused to be swayed.
Besides, Mistlethwakey has had years to plan this… he knows what advantages we get from the suits; he would not give us the suits if he thought we could win; isn’t that right?
The question was aimed to Naomi, who even know was faltering… But John was staring at Allen, standing passively in his armor. Allen, who seemed to have everything planned out for the E.H.U.D.s, who trained and led them, who had gained their trust… their hearts…
Allen, who always reminded them that Mistlethwakey had planned out everything perfectly…