Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Little More Writin'.

A little more writin'.

* * * * *


     “What the hell do you mean, 'it's all gone?'”

     “I mean, Mr. President, that the D.F.W. area is no longer there. Gone. We've confirmed it. We've even moved one of our new recon satellites over the area. The whole place is wiped off the map. From Denton to Waco, everything is gone, or burning.”

      The tall man from Colorado was incredulous. It was only his fourth month on the job, and the new streaks of gray in his hair were a testament to the burden of the presidency.

     “You mean, like scooped out? Like a giant crater?”

     “No, Mr. President. The new particle supercollider in Waxahachie was going to come online today and run its first series of experiments. Your office was going to issue a statement congratulating them on the start-up effort--”
The President bolted up in his chair. “Well, Jesus, Sherman, we haven't put that out, yet, have we?”

     “No, Mr. President. I'm on it,” the president's chief of staff said, his hand brushing his mustache as he looked over the preliminary reports coming from Texas. “As I was saying, sir, the greater part of the Dallas area is burned away to nothing. Everything around the supercollider is a charred cinder for miles in every direction, except for an anomalous area in the center of the blast. We're looking into that now.”

      The president held his head in his hands. “Jesus Christ, Sherman...Dallas is gone. Just...gone. Gone? Really?”

      “Really, Mr. President. I've called the National Security Council. They're assembling downstairs in the secure conference room,” said Sherman Portsmouth.

“Any leads as to the cause? Anyone claiming responsibility?”

      “None at this time, sir. This is all just coming in now, so the picture isn't exactly complete, yet. The scheduled start of the experiment was slated for about 35 minutes ago. I've issued orders on your behalf to immediately stop work at the other particle accelerators at our national labs and others at private and state universities. We should also get our science folks to talk to the CERN supercollider people about shutting down.”

      The president took a hard swallow from the glass of water on his desk, and said, “That sounds like a good plan, Sherman. Good job. Let's go with that.”

      “Yes, sir. Now, we should be heading to the ready room.”

      The president held up his hand for a moment, and said, “Wait, Sherm, you said there was something strange in the middle of the burn area. What's there now?”

      “Perhaps we should move to the ready room, Mr. President. We'll have a clearer assessment of the situation there.”

      The leader of the free world blinked, nodded his head, and straightened his tie as he walked out of the executive office.
The president and his chief of staff made their way though the winding office mazes and wide public hallways of the White House. An agent was on every corner, looking towards the next guarded intersection or corridor for clearance, then bidding them come forward. 
      His normal security detail was double in number, and the hallways were clear of their normal governmental bustle. After they entered the conference room, the small cloud of Marines and Secret Service agents, all armored, all wearing rifles or submachineguns, closed the doors behind them, weapons pointed towards the sealed-off elevators.

* * * * *

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hawken Coming To X-Box One and PS4!

Looks like one of my favorite mecha games, Hawken, is coming to the console of your choice (as long as your choice is the X-Box One or the Playstation 4).

Very cool.

I spent a lot of time on that game.  Probably more than I should.  Now I get to steal the X Box away from my son.  Yay!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Little Writing Snippet. A Taste Of Things To Come.

Here's a little taste of what I'll be working on over the summer.  Hopefully, it will get the voices out of my head.  This particular set, anyway.

Paragraph spacing is to keep you from going blind due to the massive wall of text.
Oh, and my most sincere apologies to my friends in the DFW area for killing you.  ;)

* * * * *


There was a glow in the air, a widespread feeling of giddiness and hope, in the crowded supercollider control room. Years of construction gaffes, monstrous budget overruns, and endless regulatory hearings melted away, leaving only this final symbol of scientific victory over the bureaucratic and political process.
It finally came down to this: the throwing of “The Big Switch.” As the administrators and politicians looked on with glee, the test director pulled the oversize electrical connector to the “on” setting, like Igor pulling the lever on one of Dr. Frankenstein's mad experiments.

     The switch was only a prop, though, a gift from the prototype shop of the huge supercollider's electrical contractor. The final particle collision sequence was really started by the click of a mouse to a button on the master control computer's interface screen.
As the ceremonial switch was thrown, the test director nodded to her assistant, who gently tapped the shoulder of the particle physicist manning the real initiation button.

      Lights danced on the display screens. The control room's three main walls were dominated by racetrack-like representation maps, oval arrays of lights surrounded by status screens for the six main experiments strewn along the collider's miles of superconducting magnets and conduit. Relays opened and closed in a carefully-orchestrated sequence, dumping a significant portion of the state of Texas' power supply into the supercollider. A deep, almost insubstantial hum filled the ears of everyone in the control room.
Light applause filtered in from the small stadium-style gallery of seats adjoining the control room as the racetrack display's lights all turned to green. Behind the plexiglass separation, the media representatives turned to address their cameras and audiences. Selected family members and other VIPs took pictures on their phones of the assembly.

    The hum in the room continued to build. It was no longer just heard, but also felt. Those in the audience with extensive dental work or phone implants in their jaws agonized as deep pains shot through their heads.
     A small, red-rimmed pop-up alarm came up on the main interface screen. The particle physicist frowned at the unexpected trouble signal.

      “Whoa, that's not supposed to happen. Allen, are you seeing this?” he said, looking to another scientist at a separate workstation across the room. He reached to acknowledge and knock down the alarm. His hand passed through the mouse and desktop. A hard white light began to flare from the control room wall closest to the supercollider.

      The rising hum in the room drowned out his cry of surprise. It also masked the murmuring and outbursts coming from the audience as the racetrack's solid green lights turned to flashing red. More and more alerts blanketed the status display screens.

      The room's temperature grew too hot, too fast. Screams were cut short as meat, metal, and all other physical matter shifted from solid to superheated gas in a matter of seconds.

      There was a flash, and everything within a fifty-mile radius of the supercollider, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and its population of millions, boiled away to nothing.

* * * * *

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ah, Gun Parts In The Mail...Vereh Nice.

There's nothing like getting gun parts in the mail box.  It's like Christmas at the end of the driveway.

I recently ordered a Shockwave Blade, a brace to stabilize my AR pistol when it's hanging WAAAAY out there at the end of my arm.

Here's what it looks like.

Here's where I got it.  Skid Tactical.  $60 for the brace and tube, shipped.  Good deal, so I jumped on it.

This, of course, is not a shoulder stock.  It's a stabilizing brace.  It doesn't go against the shoulder.  That would be wrong and evil, of course.

Here are some pics of the AR pistol, pre-new-gun-parts.  I had wrapped 550 cord around a standard carbine stock and taped the hell out of it, so that a normal buttstock could not be added.  That's a regular A2 pistol grip, and a Yankee Hill .338 flash hider up front.

I didn't really like the result, and looked for a better way.  Thus, the Shockwave.

And here's the end result.  My Dissipator carbine with a 16" barrel is shown for scale reference. 

Pistol grip on the pistol has been changed out to a Magpul MIAD. 
.308 A2-style birdcage flash hider up front.
Lancer Mags have been color-coded so I know to just load .300 BLK in them.

The pistol is chambered in .300 Blackout.  I'll probably add a 11.5" 5.56 NATO barrel to the mix this summer, a cheapie red dot, a light, and some back-up iron sights.

Until next time, enjoy. 


Friday, April 29, 2016

£5000 Unlock Breached. Missile Artillery, and 4 Hours Left

The end is nearly upon us, and the Astagar Kickstarter from Critical Mass Games has enjoyed a wonderful uptick of support.

The Missile Artillery vehicles are now unlocked, enabling you to rain destruction upon the heads of your enemies.  Yay!

Both grav and tracked options are available.  The 8-pack pods are big and brutish, guaranteed to keep your opponents' heads down as your infantry slither up to bayonet them in their trenches.

I rendered the recently unlocked MLRS vehicles next to a Zas Vanguard and the Volos Assault Mecha, just for fun.  Waldo is in there, too.

Click on the thumbnails for some nice-sized full images.

Thanks for all your support on the Astagar Kickstarter.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Astagar Infantry and VTOL WIP Pics. 33 Hours Left!

The clock is ticking on the Astagar Kickstarter from Critical Mass Games, and we are surging to the finish.

A new pledge level has been created for those of you who want a composite force of infantry, tanks, powered armour, and drones.  It's a neat cross-section of all we created during this effort, called the Strike Commander Package.

Also, here are some close-in pics of resin master castings, showing the tail lengths.  Beautiful sculpts by Steve 'Coolhand' Tyler.

And, some painted-up examples of the resin masters.  These are going to look so good on the tabletop.

Also, some Work In Progress shots of the Astagar Venom Strike VTOL.  8 hardpoints to mount any menagerie of destruction to unleash on your enemies!  It's unlocked at the £8K funding level, so pour it on!

Well, that's all for now.  The full-court press continues for the next 33 hours.  Keep watching, get your friends or gaming group together to pledge, or throw some money in to jumpstart the next unlock.

Thanks for your efforts alongside us on this ride!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Critical Mass Games at Salute 2016

Craig and Dale are at Salute 2016, the biggest gaming convention in the U.K.

Someday I'll make it.

Until then, you can still see photos from the lads.

 Here are close-up shots of the Astagar infantry, as sculpted by Steve 'Coolhand' Tyler, as well as the delicious Volos mecha, both the assault and support versions.

 Here is the beautiful demonstration board.  Those Kaamados superheavy tanks look monstrous!
Also, in other news, some of the terrain I helped design for Critical Mass Games is coming back to the market.  They should show up in the Accessories section, along with other objective markers and the civilian vehicles I did.

In the meantime, stay posted for updates for the Astagar Kickstarter, which has less than two weeks to go.