Saturday, October 31, 2015

Life Update - October 31st, 2015

So, life's been busy these last few months, as expected.  Nothing's any farther off track than it was before, but I haven't gained much ground, either.  I'm not expecting to get back to Minecraft before 2016, and the great webcomic catch-up is only becoming a bigger obstacle, but there's not much that I can do about that at the moment.  Oh well. 

Also:  Happy Halloween! 

Sudden Short Story 97

"Are you sure about this?" asked the leader, shouting over the din of the wind on the planetoid that they'd managed to hold together. 
"Absolutely not," replied the scientist, "but it's this or nothing.  Worst case scenario, our brains get sprayed across a few universes.  If we don't, then we get crushed into the singularity with the rest of the universe.  Everyone!" he said to everyone that was left, "If you're up for the gamble, put on your helmets.  Either way, we're in for a bumpy ride.  I hope to see you all on the other side." 
They were already putting on their helmets when the scientist put on his. 
"CALIBRATION: COMPLETE" intoned the central computer.  He hadn't bothered with any fancy voice programs, what with the universe's ending at hand.  With the Planck time units counting down faster than his eyes could see, and even faster than the screen's refresh rate, he confirmed that, the specified duration before the end of the universe, the conversion should happen to anyone linked in.  They were mere moments away, their magnetosphere's being held together by another device at the core, which would, itself, succumb soon enough. 
Theirs was the last civilization to ever develop in the universe, barely old enough to know what was happening in time to do anything about it. 
A few seconds before the end of the universe, the brains of a billion citizens on a planet that does not yet exist were penetrated by a hundred needles each.  Two Planck time units before the end of the universe, their fate was decided. 

Sudden Short Story 96

He put the crystal into an empty jar.  "That's enough for this month.  Better get started on the next," he said to himself.  He had to take advantage of the abundance of ghosts tonight.  With the veil between worlds as thin as it was, he could capture enough souls to satisfy his next two contracts.  Then, surely, he would have enough to retire, right? 
Then again, it would be nice to have a safety net.  He could keep at this for a while longer.  After all, he was the best at what he did.  He could find ghosts better than anyone, and he could capture the easy ones without breaking a sweat.  There were always more soulless clients, who needed souls, and they'd easily hire him, so he'd have enough money soon, right? 
He looked again at his jars, and he suddenly wondered why he felt that he needed them, too. 

Sudden Short Story 95

The army of the frozen kingdom stood aside, as the man in the bronze armor approached the king, who sat upon his icy throne. 
"You have destroyed much of the beauty of my kingdom," said the king.  "What is it that you seek?" 
"I seek to restore warmth to the world," replied the man. 
"But why?" asked the king.  "What do you want from us?  I can grant many things in exchange for your departure." 
"The warmth that I bring is not meant as a weapon.  Your kingdom is merely a casualty in my process of restoring warmth to the world.  For the sake of the world as it was before your eternal kingdom rose, I channel heat itself.  I am sorry." 
"Do not think my army a trifle," said the king, and his knights began to lead an approach on the bronze one, but it was too late.  He had already begun to glow his yellow light, and their swords melted away, and then the throne, and then their shields, and then their armor.  The castle itself began to liquefy and recede, and the army fell. 
"You were willing to negotiate," said the man with the untold heat in him.  "I will remember that, and plant a leafy tree in your honor." 
And with that, the king melted.