Tuesday Mumbles: Wildfires and Politics

Note: the following is based on my own opinions and not made to offend or agitate anybody. Do not take these personal

Hey everyone, it’s ya boy Chouin here.

It’s not really a good day for California, and I’m not talking about the heat. It’s been hell here due to wildfires. Not only the damage and loss of property and lives, but also the toxic air that makes it pretty hard to breathe. It’s not a good day for Californians, or those in Oregon. However there’s worse things that are going on: those playing politics with this catastrophe..

California is no stranger to wildfires and the causes. Usually typically due to the more common like a cigarette or an unattended fire work. However we got stranger causes, like a hawk hitting a powerline all the way to the more political. The current wildfire started in El Dorado Ranch Park was started by people starting a gender reveal party (and no, it’s not anything transgender related as some right-wing talking heads are claiming). The parents wanted to announce to the world of their baby’s sex through a firework show. Guess what? That was THE most dumbest thing known to the history of man. Who would use fireworks, in an area that’s prone to wildfires?! Because of that stunt, the air quality is shit, people have lost their lives and homes? And for what?! To declare to the world that your baby’s a boy or a girl?!

I sure hope you weren’t planning on sending your child to college, because you’re got a lot of legal fees to pay after this. Not really worth the pain if you tried that crap out when it’s prime weather.

What got me pissed off is that due to some of that evidence (and jumping sparks), there’s a handful of people out there that ignore the actual research and believe stupid garbage. One such theory claims that the wildfires are being started by “Direct Energy weapons”. Which is saying that lasers are being fired and are the causes of this fire. Another theory is that the wildfires are started by political terrorists (some claiming ANTIFA or Proud Boys) when it’s in short it wasn’t revealed by anyone (despite that law enforcement have stated it’s not confirmed about the political motivations of anyone arrested or if any of them were related to this.)
Seriously? People are suffering in a wildfire and we’re going into witch hunts over the cause of this? I mean, as much as I hate assholes who start fires nor am I fond of the political weather at the moment. However, when we have confirmations of stuff that’s started by things like downed lines, fireworks or anything, I’d take the word from fire departments than over some random person on
Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube. I mean, unless our first responders are part of this conspiracy of setting fire alongside with the “enemy” (what is their end goal in this?).

We are still in a pandemic, with wildfires destroying our air and property and we’re still chasing boogeymen and invisible weapons?! We should be focusing on things like helping people get their lives back on track, put aside any political differences and not escalate it like building “Checkpoints” designed to harass journalists.

But hey…I guess when we’re in a panicked stupor, we chase anything that sounds good

TCV’s Top 5 Major tips for Distance Learning and Working

Happy Thursday everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

By now, everyone are getting ready or are already in distance learning classes for primary, high or even college. (Ya boy has and he’s adjusting to this.) But some folks, this may be a shocker having to stay at home to do work or their classes. You may have gotten used to hanging around and doing nothing until now. So what do you do? How are you going to adjust to distance learning? What will one do? So many questions and so many stuff to do and prepare for your Distance Learning or Working. Don’t worry, ya boy’s here got some tips too he’s learned just from his first time (Not an expert, but some tips on how to make your work at home or study at home easy.)

#5. Plan your schedule

For those distance learning, it means you’re inside either doing nothing or sitting at home and such. By now, most of us have been binge watching Netflix, playing video games or doing your hobby like myself. Now that you’re back to school you need to remember that though you’re not in school doesn’t mean you cannot slack off. Remember to plan your priority around your schoolwork and classes. Make sure you plan and prioritize what you need, or you might find yourself rushing around everything. Your class or job comes first, but your home needs like cleaning, shopping or other essentials. Just remember that though you’re at home, doesn’t mean that one slacks off. So do be careful.

#4. Zoom Etiquette

Distance learning, though mandatory, has required people to have classes via zoom. This means that one will be having zoom meetings on some occasions whether they be mandatory or optional. You may be used to walking around in your underwear or boxers and t-shirt all the time since nobody needed to leave. Maybe you haven’t washed your hair or used makeup. So you might not look like someone who would show themselves in public (let alone in front of a camera). One tip my teacher told me is this: treat your Zoom meetings as though you were in the classroom or office. If you look like you’re more ready for bed or vegging out, you don’t look like you’re ready for work. Make sure you keep your hygiene up, brush your hair and wear something decent. You don’t have to overdress (unless it’s required, thus making sure). Also, make sure that if you do are recorded, make sure you’re in a comfortable and noiseless area free of distractions. Nobody wants to hear your cat calling your attention or other random noises. Lastly, make sure you mute your microphone (when needed) as some classes online will be like classes in college. So no chatter or other noises too (Including phones).

#3. Ensuring optimal equipment for distance learning or work.

So you’re ready for distance learning or working, which is great. However, some things may not be in your favor. Maybe you don’t have a camera or microphone for distance work or learning. Maybe you don’t have a decent network since like ever. This is where having optimal equipment is vital in this time more than ever. If your network is not up to snuff, maybe its time to update your network. If you’re using a lot of data due to working online, contact your service provider for any business plans. They may be pricey but they can ensure that you don’t get slowed down if you exceed your network usage. For the other two items like microphone cameras, you got a ton of options. Cameras can be anything you can find online that can connect to a USB port. If you’re like me and don’t have a camera, there are appilcations such as EpocCam or iVcam that can turn your phone into a camera. This can be useful if you want a quick camera without a massive money sink. Additional items such as heaphones (with a microphone option) are viable and helpful in the long end if you want no noise from your computer or outside sources. Lastly, do heavily invest in backup items like a cloud storage, USB thumbsticks and maybe a backup work computer. Should you have some hardware failure or damage, you don’t want to lose your important work documents or schoolwork. This is more common knowledge outside of this pandemic, but something vital regardless outside of this.

#2. Don’t get burned out.

Working or studying, as great as it is, you’re not an invincible superman who can do everything all at once. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so remember to take some days off and relax after work. Give yourself a one or two hour break, then get yourself back to work when the chance comes to. If it’s late, don’t push it and get some rest. It is better to do your work while fresh the next day than burning out. Also, bringing us back to number five on our list, planning your schedule is vital for this and can minimize rushing and said burnout…..

#1. Don’t panic

I know this sounds silly and annoying, but remember not to panic and keep a cool head. This may be a bit tough to adjust but you’ll make it. It may be a pain, but it’s something you might find enjoyable to study at home with some freedom or adjusting to working at home. If you’re a college student, keep in touch with your professor so you can get some help if you need. Work? Same thing, get in touch with your boss if you have to.
Being locked up doesn’t mean you have to struggle adjusting to the new norms.

Friday Fan-Work: The Mystery of Optimo

Happy Friday everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

Today’s story is another return to World of Warcraft as a mini xenologue during an event being part of a roleplaying event. To fill you in, it was the last part of a campaign called “The Raven’s War” in which players worked together in helping securing an artifact. In the RP, I had a robotic critter named Optimo help out with securing the artifact. Sadly, the result led to Optimo pulling a FLUDD…

But for this story, it gives a brief discussion about saving a friend and discovering a secret of Optimo.

With that, sit back, relax and enjoy this story.

The Mystery of Optimo (Alternate title: Saving a Friend)

Written by TheChoujinVirus

The night the artifact was secured….

Chala Nightshadow returned back to her workshop home in Boralus. Not stopping or anything as she placed her badly damaged companion onto a table. Not caring about space but more worried about the extensive damage he went through. Jeeves and Reaves, who heard the commotion checked on the whole ordeal. The small Legion machine had a hint of surprise on his face (as best as a machine could) as he noticed Optimo’s damaged body.

“By Sargeras’ Breath, what happened to him?!” Reaves asked
Chala paid no attention as she replied, “Welding Torch.”

“What?” Reaves asked

“I said welding torch! NOW!” the night elf yelled
 Jeeves hands Chala a Welding Torch. He watches Chala open a part of Optimo’s damaged chassis and noticed some significant damage. Most of it was fried wires and components.

“Query: is Optimo alright?” Jeeves asked

“The power core is intact..but the wiring’s fried. I’m worried about his personality core,” Chala said. She then extends her hand, asking her machines, “Saw.”

“Saw?” Reaves looked quizzically
“your arm!” Chala said, grabbing his arm and making him convert it into a saw. Jeeves stood by and watched as Chala began to open the back part of Optimo’s robotic head. Once the casing was removed, she saw what she was hoping to find: Optimo’s personality core. The good news was that the core is intact and undamaged. The bad news is the power in Optimo’s body triggered the auxiliary system for his memory, which usually has a maximum of half an hour of emergency power. What made it worse is that whoever created Optimo’s personality core needed a lot of energy to function, which meant putting in her Portable Pocket Computer wouldn’t work like with Reaves.
“damnit…seems a bit too complex to pull the primary. We need a plan B and fast.” She looked at Jeeves before asking him,  “Can you open your chest plate, Jeeves? I need access to your power core.”

“Query: Are you planning on using me for Optimo’s new body?” He asked
“No, Jeeves, I think I got an alternative that can work,” Chala said

“and what is that?” Reaves asked

Chala looked at Reaves, “The Kiryu Version 3,” The Night elf returns to Optimo, then turning back to Jeeves. “Chestplate!”

“Apology: Sorry, Mistress Nightshadow,” Jeeves said as he opened his chest. Exposing his power supply and a pair of jumper cables underneath. Chala quietly thanked the mechagnome as she took the two cables. Gently hooking the wires into Optimo’s Personality Core, so that Jeeves would serve as the backup power supply. The process took a few hours into the night as Chala, Reaves, and Jeeves did everything to their power as they worked quickly. Hours pass as the trio finish with hooking up Optimo’s brain into the Steamscale Incinerator, which will serve as Optimo’s new body. Chala then pulled out her Dalaran Hearthstone as she told the two, “I need to head back to Dalaran to check up on the artifact. Keep an eye on Optimo and see if he reacts.”

“Acknowledged Command: Sure thing, Madame Nightshadow,” Jeeves said with a nod.
“I’ll do the same as well,” Reaves replied.
Chala gave the two a nod as she used her Hearthstone to return back to Dalaran. When Chala left, Jeeves turned toward Reaves as he looked at the Fel Machine.

“Confused Query: Did you just want to help keep an eye on Optimo?” Jeeves asked

“What? I actually like Optimo.” Reaves said to Jeeves, “He’s a bit of an odd thing. A robot that thinks he’s alive? What kind of machine wants to be that?”

“Statement: Optimo’s personality matrix is strange, even stranger than ours.” The Mechagnome looks at the robot dragon. Though power was going into its brain, the machine didn’t move or anything.
“Regretful Probability: Though there may be a chance that the damage Optimo went through may have done some severe damage to his Personality Core.”

The Fel Machine looked at Jeeves, “That’s a load of Fel sludge! Optimo can’t cease function. I’ve seen him take damage..and I was able to survive.”
“Statement: True, you survived your core overloading and exploding, your system wasn’t too hard to fix. Optimo is not some machine made by the Gnomes. Something feels strange about him..”
The two watched while conversing on the question: Who made Optimo and why did he behave like that.

This continued until Chala returned and began to keep watch on Optimo. By morning, she leaned back first into a barrel, watching the unmoving machine after everything was operational. She dozed a bit, closing her eyes to sleep for a few moments. Unaware that the unmoving machine began to twitch its tail. Reaves and Jeeves were ready to prepare for today’s work, looking that the non-moving dragon. The two machines looked at each other until Reaves saw the tail move.
“Hey, it moved!” Reaves shouted.

“Shocking Query: It moved? Does that mean..?”

The machine turned its head before staring at the two machines, speaking in the same tone as their friend.

“Hello”

The two panicked, running around like scared chickens that would attract the attention of some of the dockworkers from below as they would stop to look up at what was going on. Though the noise was enough to get Chala up and stammering back awake. She toppled over, yelping out loud, “No, I got those parts legally!” she turned at the two panicked robots.

“What in Elune got into you two?!” As she wondered what the ruckus was, Chala said, “I keep telling you the rats won’t bother you if you don’t corner them.”

“Rebuttal: Mistress Chala, it wasn’t a rat. Optimo made some sound”, Jeeves said.

“Wait? He responded?!” Chala looked surprised as she got to her feet and ran toward the mechanical dragon. Reaves watched and muttered to himself, “It’s not my fault those rodents are annoying and want to chew on me…”

She checked on the unmoving object as she then taps it gently, “Optimo? Are you alright?”

The night elf paused for a few moments as she heard the familiar voice of Optimo.
“I am okay, Chala.” He said as he tilted his head, “What happened to my body? I feel…huge..”

Chala gently gives Optimo a pat, “I had to move your brain into this machine to preserve your Personality Core.”

The now sentient mechanical dragon began to, only to fumble and wobble a bit like a newborn kitten trying to walk for the first time.
“whoa, careful Optimo,” Chala said

“This body feels too big..” Optimo said as he inspected his body, “Too many moving parts…”
“I’m sorry, Optimo,” Chala apologized to her mechanical friend, “I had to save your personality core, or else you would have ceased to be. But the good news is that now I can work on your body.”

Optimo staggered, limbs and legs splayed like a deer on ice, “that’s good..so how long will it take for my body to be fully repaired?”

“Depends on the whole thing, Optimo. You best get yourself rested and maybe readjusted to your new body.” Chala said, reassuring her companion with a gentle head pat before heading back into her workshop inside. To be honest, she had no clue on how to repair Optimo’s body. For starters, whoever made Optimo’s frame seemed to make it of specific components and replace the fried circuitry just trying to get the artifact? It took her a while just to fit the Titan core inside. She would be there all night or all month if she has to get Optimo’s body repaired.

As she began to work on Optimo’s damaged body, she noticed a black box inside. Something she glanced over when she was repairing Optimo all these times. Her curiosity beckoned her to pull out the black box and inspect it. She’s never seen a black box being put inside of a Mechanostrider. Still, she had to remind herself that Optimo is no ordinary Mechanostrider. The night elf inspected the box and realized that it could be opened, so it wasn’t just the machine’s recording box. Inside the box contained a well-preserved film reel with the words “Project: Optimo” written on the film case.

“ ‘Project Optimo’?” Chala said to herself, “Who or what made you?”
 She looked outside to see her mechanical companions helping Optimo. He began to extend and inspect his robotic wings.

Chala thought on the reel.

“This is something big, real big.” Chala said to herself, “Very well, I guess we got a mystery on who Optimo is..and who made them..”

Tuesday Mumbles: Gatekeeping in fandoms (Late)

Note: This is based on my opinion, so do not take it too personal if it rubs you the wrong way.

Happy Tuesday everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here!

Everybody is or has been a part of fandom. From Star Wars to Star Trek and so forth and so on. People have been enjoying the communities created. Though what I’ve experienced and heard of are some people who think of themselves as the bastion of fandom purity and protection. These folks are known as “gatekeepers”.
What’s a gatekeeper or gate-keeping you ask? Gate-keeping, as oxford defines it, is the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something. In the case of fandom, it usually involves controlling who is considered a true fan or not. Ranging from things like what things they watch or knowledge of their series. It’s an annoying thing that makes people not bastions but more come off as just outright jerks.

One example of gate-keeping i’ve seen is the old “you’re not playing this right” or “True players do this” form of gate-keeping. They’re the kind of person who will claim some really dumb stuff like “You’re not playing Pokemon right if you’re not breeding them” or “Fire Emblem players don’t play with Casual Mode on”. It’s a common form of gate-keeping that gets me annoyed over certain things. So what if someone wants to play Fire Emblem on an easier difficulty or whether or not a person doesn’t competitively breed or uses cheating devices for non-tournament play by berating them for not playing the way they view as “the true way of playing.” If one plays that way, that’s them. There’s no need to berate a player for playing how they want to be. Though I’ve seen other forms where one berates others because they play mobile games and not PC or console games, or my personal annoyance the whole “X is better” gatekeepers. There’s billions of gatekeepers that I could talk about but we’d be here till next week. All I have to say so far is that the first gatekeepers are the kind who dictate what is considered “fun” or “normal”. However, there are other gatekeepers too.


A more newer one I’ve encountered (and experienced) are the old “you’re the problem” gate-keeping. I’ve seen this from reactions due to certain issues with some media. One such example is Star Wars. I’m a fan of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, but some people seem to get upset about this by arguing about how those who like those series and the direction the franchise is going as “part of the problem.” that somehow they view those who like this changing direction or something the gatekeeper hates as the fault of people being complacent to them. Is it? In ya boy’s opinion, no no..nobody’s at fault for these changes. Other types that annoy me are the ones that think that if you don’t know the lore of a franchise, you can’t be a true fan.
So does that mean if I can’t know the stats of a Mobile Suit from Gundam means I’m not a true fan of Gundam? Does not knowing about a Stand’s power level mean that I’m not Jojo fan? I’d say no. Just because one is a loremaster of a fandom doesn’t mean that they are the bastion on who is considered a true fan or not.

The only good news with gatekeepers is that they seem to be very small. Very small, but very loud to boot. So the odds of running into gatekeepers can be non-existent for some people and luckily some of the communities themselves do not want these people to gatekeep future fans. Gatekeeping is viewed as some to keep things pure, but the result leads to simply making the fanbase of certain things become a bit stagnant and their people viewed as elitists. However, that’s my opinion and nothing much.

Friday Fan-Work: Slayer of Foultongues Chapter 5

Happy Friday everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin.

Finally, I’m sure you’ve been all waiting for Chapter 5. Good!
For those who need a catch-up, here’s the archive to help you look where to pick each chapter to catch up. Until then, sit back and enjoy the story

In the previous chapter
Bit and Finley’s plan has a hitch as they find Maria has stowed aboard. After ambushing an Acheronite security detail, Bit and Maria infiltrated a Security post wearing Acheronite armor while Finley and the rest leave the area to avoid any suspicion. Maria and Bit, with easy effort, managed to enter the facility and send a message to Finely and prepare a plan….

And now, the continuation….

Slayer of Foultongues: Chapter 5

Written By TheChoujinVirus

Orda walked in to notice the security team on their break and was puzzled over what was going on.
“Excuse me,” She said, “Who gave you the order to leave the security room?”

“Londor 9 and 13 stated Zeltla that our shift was over, so we took a break,” One of the security civilians stated.

Orda’s faced looked even more puzzled, “Zeltla told the Londor security detail I sent to the quartermaster? Hold up..I’ll  straighten this out.”

She and a few security soldiers began to head toward the security room. Meanwhile, Bit and Maria were going over the plans with Finley through the security camera. Bit gave his own opinion as he explained, “The city seems huge, I don’t know where we could rally that would be viable.”
“Oh, we’ll manage. We may have to hide out in some warehouse they don’t know of and report back to the group back at Smuggler’s Gorge.” Finley stated, “Otherwise, we’re sitting ducks in this area.”

“Do that then, we’ll-“

Maria’s last words were interrupted by Orda, “Hold it! You’re not supposed to be here!”

One of the guards noticed they weren’t Achronites, “Blast them!”
 Bit kicked over a table to create some makeshift cover as Maria dove behind it as the troops began to open fire. Bit still had his magnum as he shot at the guards, requiring some to find new cover as Bit switched to the Mjolnir’s armor-piercing mode. One Acheronite guard tried to flank them from Bit’s left side and was going to kill the Kiralin. Luckily, Maria caught him from behind and killed the ambushing Acheronite with a well placed shot through the torso with a Fang pistol. Bit noticed that the table’s starting to get damaged as the pockmarks on the table started to become holes.

“We need a way out Maria, our cover’s not going to hold any longer.” Said Bit.

“Hold your horses, Bit!” She cursed at the Kiralin, nearly getting grazed by a Fang round. She then spotted a nearby fire extinguisher at the doorway. This was their only way in or out of place, and they needed something to get the doorway cleared before more Acheronites arrived.

“Hey! That fire extinguisher looks good enough. Can you make the shot?”

Bit replied, “I bet I can, but why a fire extinguisher-“

“Just do it!” yelled Maria
 Bit agreed to Maria’s statement and took a shot at the fire extinguisher near the door. Though it was a flame retardant, it exploded near the door, spreading flame-retardant gas and giving them some ringing ears from the loud blast as they try to see what’s going on. Bit and Maria took their chance as they bolted out of their ramshackle cover toward the door. Shooting at some Acheronites either escaping for better vantage or straight in front of them. Orda saw some shape running toward them until she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen. It seemed Bit shot her in the torso as she felt his body ramming her to the side. In one moment, they bolted from the office and had to make an escape through the hallways, as their prior entrance was now swarming with Acheronites shooting at them. This wasn’t good for Bit or Maria as they now must find a new route out of the security station. The two ran into the break room of the place, which luckily didn’t have any Acheronites in the area. Once in the room, the duo barricaded the front door and busted the door’s code terminal to lock the Acheronites out.
“So, what now? We can’t just stay here forever. They’ll break through that barricade?” Bit said, “and I’m running out of ammo.”

Maria agreed as she turned toward the window looking outside, “Hey Bit, mind we take the ten-second escape route?”
“Ten-second escape route?”

Bit’s question was answered immediately as Maria shot out the large mirror then told the Kiralin, “just follow me.”
 The two jumped through the damaged window, the fall wasn’t too high for them to pose any injury, but they did endure some slight cuts and bruises from the fall. Bit and the augment landed on the ground and out of the area. By the time the Acheronites broke through the barricade and noticed the busted window, the two ran from the bushes while watching out from being shot. Orda looked angry at the group as they were stunned.
“Are you all blind?! AFTER THEM!” She barked at the group as they scattered. She looked out for a moment, watching the two flee. She could shoot them, but for some reason, she knew they wouldn’t get far.

***************************************************
Bit and Maria managed to lose the group, looking around the empty town for the time being. It was audibly quiet, save creaking posts and silence. It was an eerie level of silence as the sound of vehicles moving in the distance reminded them that the Acheronites are still out there. Once they were somewhere out of the way, the two caught their breath. Maria looked at Bit and noticed that he was wincing a bit as he held his right arm.

“Bit, your arm!” Maria said in shock.

“It’s nothing! Guess one of the Acheronites nailed when we were in that fight,” Bit said, “It hurts like hell..but at least it’s not another-“ He saw some movement and pushed Maria aside.

“Hey, what’s your problem?!” she protested. “I saw something..” Bit replied, “Stay down.”

The Kiralin pulled his magnum out as he got up and headed toward the area. He got closer and pulled his pistol out only to find himself having five guns aimed at him. Though he heard the sound of a Hispanic voice speaking, ” wait! Hold your fire! He’s not one of those things.”

Bit moved his pistol down as he looked at the group of misfits, puzzled over who they were.
“You’re not part of the main group?”
The Hispanic male looked at the guy. His appearance made him a blue collar with a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, though his appearance made him in his 30s.
“The main group?” he quizzically asked, “We’re mostly the locals trying to put up a resistance.” He began to put two and two together, “Wait, .so, you were the guys who made some noise on the comlinks.”

Maria was moving closer and overheard them talking about the commlink, while Bit tilted his head at the group, “commlinks? You managed to slice into their network?”

“Sliced?” the Hispanic man stated, “Mira a este tonto! The Alien thinks we had to slice into a terminal!”

The other guys laughed along with him. He smiled and introduced himself. “Name’s Perez, Chief Perez.”

Bit cocked his eyebrow in confusion, “Chief Perez?”

“Damn, man, are you extraterrestres really this clueless?!” Perez said, trying not to laugh at Bit, “I’m law enforcement..or used to. Come..we’ll talk somewhere where we won’t be spotted. Oh, and bring tu mujercita with you.”

Bit turned around and said out loud, “You don’t need to skulk around, Maria. He knows.”

Maria simply muttered an inaudible “Fuck!” before following Bit. The group moved through the alleyway until they reached what a closed-up vehicle repair shop was.
Maria looked at the shop before asking him, “Makes you think you managed to remain under the radar.”
Perez looked at Maria, “It’s simple muchacha; most of everyone in this part of New Austin is either underground like ourselves, locking down or have been forcefully detained on the west side of the city. In fact, most of the group here is a small group holding the docking security outpost and another outpost east of here.”

“You must have had to risk your lives to get this info..” Bit said

“Naw, the Acheronites are clueless on using frequencies that can’t be tapped or sliced into. Usually, they sometimes will use our radio frequencies for fishing out any live signals..hence why we have to be careful. Though They’ve never seen how ingenious we human can be.”

The group entered the repair place, the interior was rigged up to look like a makeshift command center. There were up to five other people inside, some keeping equipment in check while others were waiting or monitoring radio chatter. The way it felt made it feel like it was a small bar than a ready room.

“Hey Ivan, anything on the chatter?” Perez asked
The man at the radio, a bearded old fellow no older than sixty and dressed like a military vehicle mechanic, turned toward Perez and replied, “Just routine chatter. Though they’re still looking for the folks causing a mess at their station…”
 Perez laughed and turned toward Bit and Maria, “Well, well, it seems you two became popular with the Acheronites…”

“Not the kind of fan following I want,” Maria boasted, “But it’s nice to see those Acheronites look fearful.”

Bit looked at Maria, “But what about Finley and the rest? They’re trying to meet us at your spot..”

Maria turned toward Bit, realizing what that meant.
“and if the Acheronites are searching for us, that means…oh, no..”

Perez cocked an eyebrow, “something up, muchacha?”
“Finley and the group were supposed to meet us at New Alamo Park before we got sidetracked. We need to meet up with them before the Acheronites get to them.” Maria said

“Oh? Your friends need help?” Perez said. He turned toward his crew and states, “Yo, Muchachos, we’re moving out!”

The crew nodded as they began to load up an APC. It looked similar to the one that attacked Bit when he first arrived but looked newer.

“Moving out?” Bit asked.

“You want to get your fellows?” Perez asked, “Unless you want to sit by here, let’s go assist your friends.”
 Bit nods as he gets inside the ATV, alongside Maria. Perez looked at the Kiralin for the moment. The ATV revved up as the garage slowly opens to the outside world, then departing like an animal leaving its den for food.

Maria hunkered down in one of the seats, looking at Bit. The Kiralin was inspecting his injured arm. He began to inspect it, as he winced at the pain.
“You’re really going to get that checked unless you want to get it infected,” Maria said

Bit looked at her, “it’s just a flesh wound..nothing serious..”

“Still..it doesn’t look too good, even if you’re an alien.” The lizard replied.

****************************************** Finley and his group arrived at the abandoned New Alamo Park. The place would have been filled with the local colonists enjoying their time, but now it’s as abandoned as a water park.

The large group of seven troops looked around for any sign of Bit and Maria.

“Where the hell is that girl and her friend?” Finley said, “It’s not too much of them to be this late..”

“Maybe they missed the wrong park?” one of the soldiers said.
Another soldier turned his head toward his left as he saw a group of vehicles heading their way.

“Hey Finnley, what’s that group over there?”

Thursday Media Review: BNA: Brand New Animal

Review written by TheChoujinVirus
Note: The following review contains spoilers to to the anime. If you don’t want to be spoiled, do not read the review.

Happy Thursday, everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

Netflix has been a good day for new shows to take a peek. I recalled during the start of this pandemic I watched and reviewed Cells at Work!, the anime that was infotainment. However, I heard of two animes that perked my interest that got me watching: Beastars and BNA. Beastars is a fun anime, as seen as an adult version of Zootopia. Still, we got something that everyone’s been talking about and is pretty recent. Created by Studio Trigger and released on Netflix Japan on March 21st of 2020, then worldwide two months later, BNA: Brand New Animal is a pretty exciting anime that became a talk of the town. Does this series have a good point? Let’s find out with my review of BNA.

Story

BNA takes place in a world where humans live alongside a group of humanoid animals called beastmen. Such hostilities between the two eventually led to the founding of a sanctuary city for the beastmen called Anima-City. Our main focus and protagonist, Michiru Kagemori, flees to Anima-City after she transforms into a tanuki beastmen. Once she makes it to Anima-City, she meets  Shirou Ogami, a wolf beastkin and private investigator that works directly for the mayor of Anima-City, Barnaby Rose. She reveals that she was human and not beastkin, which confused Shirou and Mayor Rose as they wonder how a human can become a beastkin. Our tanuki girl has the unique power to alter parts of her body, Such as longer arms, using her tail as a protective cushion, and turning her arms into birdwings for flight. All while she sees the problems and plight going on in Anima-City. They are showing her that the Garden of Eden is not as glorious as its put due to hatred. Things start to change by the sixth episode when we are introduced to Michiru’s friend, Nazuna Hiwatashi. She was a close friend and schoolmate of Michiru, who transformed into a beastkin as well (a fox beastkin). Now under the name Déesse Louve, a guru of the Church of the Silver Wolf. Michiru is glad about seeing her old friend after all these years but is shocked to see her manipulating the beastmen (and Michiru herself.) While this is going on, a medical company is known as Sylvasta Pharmaceutics. Their president, Alan Sylvasta, shows interest in the two girls for their unique traits of transforming their bodies.

During one incident where Michiru and Shirou stop a rampaging beastkin, Shirou is revealed to be the real silver wolf, leading Baraby Rose to explain the story to Michiru. She reveals that Shirou’s real name is Ginrou and that he was the survivor of the mass genocide of 1,000 years ago in the village of Nirvasyl. His powers were given to him when he absorbed the blood of 2,000 wolfkin corpses slaughtered. Also, while attempting to rescue her friend Nazuna but learning she wasn’t in danger, Michiru learns directly from Alan that the condition that affected the two girls resulted from them getting beastkin blood during their recovery from an accident years ago. He also reveals more about the incident leading to Shirou’s village and what happened. It wasn’t wonton slaughter, but the result of beastmen in-fighting and slaughtering each other brought on when beastkin of different species are pushed together into one area. This disorder is called Nirvasyl Syndrome. What’s worse is that Alan is covertly using the research data from Michiru and Nazuna to create a solution to the Beastkin problem. However, it’s revealed by Shirou that his plan involves turning beastmen into humans through genetic alterations and that Alan is using the Church of the White Wolf and Nazuna. Michiru learns that Nazuna will reveal that she is human. She reassures Michiru that it’ll help calm the beastmen; however, it’s learned that it will end up enraging the beastmen further. Michiru was able to convince Nazuna (though a subtle concert that would claim to “Help the beastkin”) not reveal the truth about her. This works (but is thwarted when another beastkin ousts her).

The whole town goes into a frenzied spree, and even Shirou succumbs to the syndrome. Though when he bites into Michiru, he suddenly is calmed down. They discover that Michiru and Nazuna, being human turned Beastkin, have an antibody in their blood that can cure Nirvasyl Syndrome. Shirou, now cured, heads out to stop the rampaging beastkin. At the same time, Michiru and Nazuna try to stop Alan’s plan of using his machines to use the anti-beastmen formula. During the fight,  Alan is revealed to be a beastman (a pureblood one) and declares that he was purging the “halfbreed beastmen.” To make things worse, he’s got the same regenerative powers that Shirou has as well. Two immortal beastmen fight while Michiru and her friends fight to stop and save the beastkin from extermination. Michiru finds where Alan and Shirou are fighting, and during the fight, Alan starts to show symptoms of Nirvasyl Syndrome. Shirou mocks him for saying that purebloods were immune to the disease. Though in a twist, instead of killing Alan, Shirou lets Alan bite him. Shirou explains that because he bit Michiru, he’s produced antibodies that allowed him to cure Nirvasyl Syndrome. Alan feels confused at why Shirou spared him after all he did to him and his kin. Before the fight, Michiru discovered that Shirou’s howl could calm down the beastkin and, with Shirou’s help, calmed the rampaging beastkin and thus prevented the beastmen extermination.

In the aftermath, the city was now remending. Rampaging beastmen are being treated of Nirvasyl Syndrome, the Church of the Silver Wolf is dismantled, Alain has gone into hiding after resigning the CEO position of Sylvasta Pharmaceuticals. Best of all, Michiru and Nazuna have returned their friendship and now enjoying their new lives in Anma-City, all friendships mended and everything fixed.

Howling Good: What made the anime great

BNA has some wonderful art style for its animation, which reminds me of FLCL or Gurren Lagan. This is no surprise as Trigger made Gurren Lagaan and Kill la Kill, which makes it a pretty good series and stylish. Another that makes the series great is the characters themselves. The supporting cast and the stars are likable in their ways. The protagonist Michiru is a likable character and isn’t falling into any open clichés that plague anime in general. Not only that, but her relation to Shirou is less romance and more of a mentor idea (something that again, doesn’t feel cliché’d) and keeps the focus on the world without plaguing the many problems some go through. The episodes are entertaining as they do have a mix of action and suspense that does their best to explain the world of BNA. Finally, the music, oh how that soundtrack is great! Going To and Night Running are songs one would say, “yup, that’s BNA.” The music does fit the setting of the whole series and doesn’t feel out of place.


Raging Beasts: What the series lacks.

Though the series is good and does its best to tell a story, some of the plotlines and story do feel a bit off. The first part, up until Episode 6, felt like random stories loosely collected. This makes the story feel lost until the arrival of the Church of the Silver Wolf. The sad part is the entire season only consists of 12 episodes, which makes the series pretty short and finishes up with already one villain. Sure, the story mentions crime within the Beastkin world (such as the Family). Still, it feels that it is pushed aside or the “anti-beastmen coalitions” mentioned in the story. Sadly, they’re all ignored and pushed aside. However, knowing the season, the whole thing maybe glanced in a future season if it is done. Lastly, though there are characters that are the main focus, such as Michiru or Shirou, there are some characters that feel a bit glanced or not much action.  Some characters are only given one episode, and that’s it with maybe a few cameos sprinkled in. One character I’ve seen more was Marie the Mink (NOT A  Weasel) and how she’s got more screen appearance than let’s say the don of the Family (a Beluga Whale Beastmen). Heck, I would also like to see more of the side characters and know more about them. For starters, we get a lot of backstory about Barbary Rose and how she and Shirou once traveled the world together, but we don’t know any of the backstories of Gem and Melissa Horner, the married couples who helped Michiru and Shirou with a home of their own? We don’t get to know their backstory? It can become a bit frustrating, but otherwise, it has its charm.

Conclusion

Though the series has its pratfalls; it has its great moments in the series. The story and world building the series has to offer something that makes it stand on its own. Studio Trigger knows how to make more anime. For those interested, BNA: Brand New Animal is on Netflix, so I suggest you take a look and see how you like this anime.

References

Saturday(Friday) Fan Work: Scavengers

Happy Saturday evening, It’s ya boy, Choujin here!

Sometimes when one writes something, it takes a muse to find out in this. While writing the next chapter for Slayers, I found myself distracted by No Man’s Sky, a game I’ve discovered. While doing two Derelict runs, I found my muse on a short story I managed to write since yesterday.

So sit back, grab a cold one, and enjoy this little short story I wrote.

Scavengers

Written by TheChoujinVirus

In the depths of the inky blackness of space, there are treasure troves of rare minerals. One such coveted trove is derelicts, abandoned hulks of former ships. Groups of scavengers explore these derelicts to find lost technology, abandoned treasure, and even rare Xeno technology….

 Three human men got news of a large Relian War Frigate found in the Tobali System that was orbiting a barren planet. Their ship, a small frigate long and lined with cargo blocks, begins to head close toward this large rusted red and sandy green colored ship. Inside the ship’s airlock, all three humans got themselves suited up into heavily bulky spacesuits designed for moving large cargo. Though two of their suits were intended to accompany a human, the third one’s suit had an altered helmet designed to fit something non-humanoid.

“So..how’s the suit fitting, Monty?” One human asked the odd suited human.

“It’s not bad…the helmet actually fits my muzzle. Though isn’t this more designed for canine augments?” The oddly suited human stated.

“Montgomery, you’re a mole augment. A helmet for a llama would fit you-“ The other guy was interrupted by their group leader, “Monty! Chen! Quit your clucking and get your suits sealed up, we’re heading out.”
“yes, boss,” The two said as they finished suiting up and checked their life support functions. The ship docked with the derelict. The Umbilical docking cable connecting the two ships together. Once tethered, the trio headed toward the derelict’s airlock, ready to find out.

“You think we’ll find some weird eggs like in those old 20th-century movies?” Chen asked
“It’s a derelict job, Chen.” Boss said, “We’re going in to see what we can find and hopefully make some cash off this.”
 Monty headed toward the terminal as he started to slice into it. Relian terminals were challenging to master due to the Relian alphabet and language, making it hard to guess what was enter and what was backspace. However, scavengers like Monty have to know how to crack languages. The terminal screen turned green as the airlocked creaked, slowly opening. Their ship’s system closed the airlock, it’s typical of all standard routines.
 “Alright, search the ship, and if you find anything of value, tag ’em,” Boss said. The others nodded as they entered the derelict hulk. The ship’s life support system was fried as some debris like broken metal and glass float about in the darkroom. Monty was quietly nervous as he began to shine his light all around the interior.

“Hey, Boss, I’m a bit curious..what are Relians?” Monty asked

“Relians are big saurian that have this ‘survival of the fittest’ warrior’s code. In short, they’re warmongers that think they’re the big predator in the galaxy. I also heard they had some conflict with the Traggians decades ago…” Boss said

Chen began to check the interior and then the radar on his helmet’s head-up display as he began to scan the ship. He began to narrow down any odd metals. The hud then points him toward a room not too far.
“Hey, boss! The computer’s picking up some metals over in that direction,” Chen said

“Where on the derelict?” Boss asked


“13 feet north and 2 floors below,” Chen explained, “I’ll lead the way.”
“Do that, Chen,” Boss said. He turned toward the Mole Augment, “Hey, Monty? Are there any signals in the area?”
“Nothing biological on the radar, so no worries about picking up anything silicate,” Monty said. He then noticed his hud briefly going crazy for a few moments as it seemed to pick up something 7 floors below them. “Wait..I’m picking up something seven floors below us?”

Boss and Chen check their helmet’s HUD for this anomaly but found nothing out of the ordinary. “It’s probably nothing Monty..c’mon, we’ll head toward the confirmed signature.”
“yes sir..,” Monty said, still looking at why his hud was picking up the anomaly while the others didn’t. The trio slowly waked through the low gravity environment as they reached the first room. Chen sliced the door’s terminal, and their first score was a Relian armory. Chen jumped in shock at the sight.
“oh my god!” he said, “They have slug throwers.”

Boss walked up toward one of these slug throwers. It looked like a very bulky pump actioned rifle. They remained in good condition, save for maybe the dust and probable scoring from not being used for years. Their energy supply was drained once Boss did a closer inspection.
“Energy-based too…never knew those Saurians were that nostalgic,” Boss said in awe. “Monty, use the scanner and get them tagged. The scavenging probes will bring them back to the ship.”
 The mole nods as he remotely activates the probes to come down and pick up the cargo once they cleared the armory. Once they were out, they saw the mono-eyed probes flying into the armory. Their flat, silvery cockroach-like bodies hovered about the room as they grabbed rifles, ammo, and anything. Then when they gathered as much as they could carry, they would leave the room and follow the path back to the scavenger’s ship before departing to pick up more weapons.

The group headed a few rooms out until they reached what was once the mess hall. The place had seen better days as disheveled expired food rations float about, trays and chairs were knocked over and damaged areas with exposed wiring and metal peered about. It looked like this place was hit the hardest. Boss looked around until he found a terminal. It looked similar to the airlock terminal they found outside. The layout of the keyboard and monitor made it more something designed for checking status than opening airlocks.
“Hmm…Chen, can you come over here for a moment?” Boss asked
Chen replied with a “sure,” before heading over toward Boss and the terminal. The two began to discuss slicing the terminal to access the map and possibly access the crew manifests to see what this derelict was carrying. While this was going on, Monty’s HUD still kept pinging that strange anomaly as though it was beckoning him to find it. It didn’t move, nor did it register as organic. Still, it was emanating a radiation bandwidth that was signaling what it was.

“guys..my HUD’s picking up that anomaly again,” He said

Boss looked at the mole, annoyed with him, “Monty, can’t you see that Chen and I are trying to slice this terminal? I have no interest in your bloody search for a fluke anomaly!” Boss turned his attention back to Chen, the two of them more occupied with the terminal than with Monty. The mole augment decided now is a time to discover what this anomaly was, leaving the two with their terminal.  Monty followed the trail through the derelict’s cold hallways, his light being the only solace as his radio was silent from the two. The mole augment passed by several rooms that were either in good condition but abandoned or damaged and exposed to space’s emptiness. Whatever happened to this Relian ship seemed to have been damaged in battle or by something else. All it added up to Monty’s mind was more questions than answers. Still, all he was focused on was that mysterious anomaly. He was already two floors above the anomaly when he found the hallway blocked off by collapsed debris. Finding out the only pathway toward the last two levels blocked off, the mole augment felt beaten.
“Hey, Monty?!” The radio from his helmet blared loudly, startling the mole augment into bumping his butt onto the floor, weakening something below him.

“Yeah..I’m here,” Monty replied on the radio.

The mole realized that it was Boss, who then started to rip into the augment.
“Monty, where the hell is you?! I turn my back for one moment, and you go running off to chase some phantom signature! Chen’s got the crew manifests checked, and most of it is foodstuff and building supplies. Whatever this Relian ship was, it was probably a cargo or colony ship. Meet us back at the airlock..I’ll talk with you about wandering off.”


“yes, sir..” The mole said, feeling like a defeated child who lost an augment with their parent. He was going to call it and leave when the floor below him gave away, sending him falling two stories down into a part of the derelict the radar was pointing toward.

Great…now I have to call boss for a rescue..he’s not going to let me forget this…”This is what you get for leaving”, Monty thought to himself, imitating Boss’s voice as he imagined the reprimand he was gonna get. Though he didn’t notice that he was at the floor, the anomalous reading was at, and when he turned around, he that the other half of the room was filled with glowing purple oval rocks. He remained stunned until the radio blared up again, this time from Chen.

“Monty, what’s taking you so long to get here?!” He asked
“the floor gave, and I’m seven floors below you guys,” Monty said, “when you get here, you’re not going to believe what I found.”

Boss yelled on the radar, “Is your suit damaged?!”
“No, sir, the suit’s okay,” Monty said reassuringly.
“Good, if that suit’s damaged, I’m docking your fee.”, Boss said.

It would take a good fifteen to twenty minutes for the guys to get here, but all he could do was stare at those rocks he found…whatever they were it was something big…

************************************************Once Monty was rescued, and the last of those rocks found, the crew returned to their ship to check the bounty and appraise it. They still remained in their spacesuits, only now with their helmets removed. Boss nodded at the salvaged Relian weapons, as they’d fetch a moderate price. Not much but enough to ensure the crew’s ship had enough fuel for the next operation.

Monty looked at the rocks with curiosity as Chen let the computer, Boss looked over at the dusty grey-furred mole before looking at Chen. When Chen finished the appraisal, his eyes looked shocked at the rocks then back at the two.

“What is it?!” Boss asked Chen.

“Sir, this shit’s Dragonite!” Chen said in a mix of surprise and willingness to cheer, “This shit’s Dragonite!”

Boss nearly coughed in surprise, “Say what?! Dragonite?!”

“yes! Those Relians must have had a cargo of this stuff aboard the ship. The Manifest gave no knowledge about it!”

Boss chuckles as he ponders the situation, “I guess those saurian must have had some precious cargo after all.” He then looked toward Monty, laughing happily. He tells the augment, “not bad..your little anomalous reading gave us a major haul.”
“Yeah, not bad for wandering off,” Chen said.

The mole said nothing, but he couldn’t help smiling with pride.