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Messages - JMack

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General Discussion / Re: What's your jersey?
« on: July 08, 2018, 01:08:27 AM »
It all went my way today. Russia out; UK in. I’m a happy guy.

Well. After several long years and many long nights, today I finally graduated from university. I somehow managed to get a First, and now officially hold an MA in Creative Writing.

Suffice to say I am a happy Alex.

Really great news, Alex. Very happy you are moving from success to your next success.

General Discussion / Re: What's your jersey?
« on: July 07, 2018, 12:27:00 AM »
Well, the Fantasy-Faction sweepstakes, I mean, the World Cup, rumbles on.

It unrealistic, but now I want Henry Dale vs. Overlord et al in the final.

@D_Bates, thanks for the positives on “Apollo Landing” (I.e. Han Solo)

And, yes, I was absolutely aware that my flip of the theme would cost me any hope of a win; but it was where the creativity took me so I had to roll with it. Absolutely silly, and so much fun to write.

I’ll try to add my comments latter today/tomorrow for others.

Took a break from Fantasy and read Lee Child's The Midnight Line. Love those Jack Reacher books.

I was gifted a Mitch Rapp (character name) book, and I also found a “Grey Man” book for cheap. With the addition of a Jesse Stone (character name) novel, I’ve been on quite an excursion from fantasy into the world of macho modern heroes. And I love the Lee Child books, too.

[JUL 2018] Games / Re: [Jul 2018] - Games - Discussion Thread
« on: July 05, 2018, 04:29:23 PM »
Does it have to be about the game itself, event happening within the game... a la a hunger game fight, or

Is a game theme permissible, like a story set in a stadium in midst of a football game. The game is the main theme setting, but the events happen outside the game.

Rules: 2. The story has to be about a game.
Not: The story's setting is in a game.

Though as long as rule 2 is satisfied, of course the setting can be in a game.

General Discussion / Re: What's your jersey?
« on: July 04, 2018, 01:55:43 AM »
As an occasional football fan, I struggle with the penalty-seeking, overly dramatic, and sometimes truly violent mean-spirited shite. Love the core of the game; hate that crap.

Was I watching with clarity when I say that Colombia just seemed meaner? I’d prefer being an educated viewer. Thoughts?

[JUL 2018] Games / Re: [Jul 2018] - Games - Discussion Thread
« on: July 02, 2018, 10:04:11 PM »
Another great topic! Soooooooo many possibilities.

Well, @OnlyOneHighlander, you got my vote anyway.  8)
I also voted for @The Gem Cutter.
My challenge with Bradley’s story was only that I didn’t feel it fit the theme exactly. I’m still quite happy with it as the winner. A really nice story with great atmosphere.

Woot! Woot!
Congratulations, @Bradley Darewood!
A nice, nice win against great competition.

I started to watch the George Lucas production “Willow”, and it was just as terrible as I remembered. A few interesting ideas, but overall goddawful. DNF.

Then I watched “Mythica”, and it was entertaining if pretty lightweight. Basically (and intentionally) a RPG tale, with a solid performance from the MC, a young necromancer discovering her powers. Tried to watch the second (there are 5), but couldn’t muster the interest.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a few movies from a Greatest list: Vertigo, Tokyo Story, The Searchers, Bartleship Potemkin. I have Rules of the Game queued up on Amazon, and maybe after that Fellini’s 8 1/2.

General Discussion / Re: What's your jersey?
« on: July 01, 2018, 06:01:38 PM »
I usually root for the underdog, but I wasnt this time. Still, what a win for Russia.

I guess the favorites now are France and Brazil, but who knows?

General Discussion / Re: What's your jersey?
« on: July 01, 2018, 01:34:00 AM »
Prediction for France and Uruguay? France would seem the easy bet, but U. certainly did the job on Portugal.

[JUN 2018] Fire / Re: [Jun 2018] - Fire - Submission Thread
« on: July 01, 2018, 12:32:17 AM »
Got it done today. But not edited. So, let’s see how it goes.   :)

1,146 words.


Spoiler for Hiden:

“Don't touch me!” Johann raised his hands to ward off Kyoko, to protect her from himself. Heavy, so heavy. In all his years as the hero Inferno, he’d never felt so heavy. It was all he could do not to collapse. He knelt, wobbling, on the heat-fused earth at the bottom of the great crater he’d blown out of Trilennial City’s central square. Kyoko, his partner Winter Witch, knelt just feet from him, her ice ramp melting almost as fast as she could refreeze it.

Between them, like an evil god’s discarded toy, lay the smoking metal mask of the man Johann had destroyed at long last. He could hardly comprehend that he’d summoned the power to do it.

“I won’t touch you, Johann,” Kyoko promised in that Japanese-accented German he loved.

Johann sensed more than felt the lure deep in his mind. Fire, flare, energy, power, destruction; he knew he could call on it again. It was right there, just behind a tissue thin wall, his for the asking. Exhausted as he was, it had never felt this easy to reach for it.

“You did it, my love. You beat him,” said Kyoko. There was triumph in her voice. Pride. But tears leaked from her eyes, freezing, then steaming away. Kyoko, ice to his fire. Winter Witch and Inferno. A super hero team. Always better together than apart. How did he deserve her?

“But we need to go. You need to stand up. And you need to contain your fire again. The authorities will be here any moment. They won’t understand what you had to do.”

Johann looked into her eyes and saw the love he knew, but also a fear that hadn’t been there before. When had that happened? He looked away beyond Kyoko, and took in the sheer scale of the destruction that their battle with the Annihilator had wrought on the city. The crater was the diameter of two football pitches. The jewel-like park in the central square was gone, incinerated by Johann’s blast wave. Surrounding hi-rises leaned drunkenly away from the epicenter. The Annihilator couldn’t have done any better himself.

What do you call a superhero who half-destroys the city he vowed to protect? How many innocent lives did he take? The Annihilator’s iron mask stared mockingly. He could hear the villain’s laugh as he incinerated him.  What do you call a hero who kills his enemy, except, a murderer?

“I don’t deserve to live,” Johann muttered. The mask leered.

A snowball smacked Johann’s face. “Baka! Dummkopf!” Kyoko crafted an ice glove, grabbed his hand in hers, and yanked him to his feet. “We have to go now!” She began to assemble a long, thick frozen ramp from the moisture in the air around them, but heat rose in waves from the crater and the ice broke apart into a thousand sparkling fragments. The recoil knocked Kyoko off her feet. Johann couldn’t muster the strength to help her up. What is wrong with me? he wondered.

You broke down the barriers, said the iron mask. You became, my dear Inferno, what you always could have been.

What is that?


Kyoko stumbled back to her feet. Her hands and knees smoked, the skin bright red. Her usually calm, white face was creased with pain, her cheeks crimson with anger. She jammed her hands on her hips; her face snarling into his. “Get going, Johann. If you don’t, I am! I'm not taking the fall for this, darling. I'm not going to prison because you lost control!”

Johann felt her anger push through the numbness around his mind. “I lost control?”

“Hai! Ja! Yes! What was that?!”  Kyoto spread her arms, encompassing the whole desolation of the crater. Her voice cracked with grief. “What is this?”

You don’t deserve to live, said the mask. Not like this. But there are other possibilities… The power Johann knew was there, just beyond the veil, sang to him.

There was movement at the eastern rim of the crater - uniformed figures, their blue fatigues and white helmets bright in the sunlight. They had guns. A black helicopter roared over their heads and descended toward the two heroes. Johann could incinerate the copter with a wave of his hand. He just had to reach for fire. He could keep Kyoko safe.

“What are you doing?”

Johann looked down at his hands, and shuddered. He’d been gathering power for a blast and hadn’t even noticed.

“Run,” he said.

“What?” Kyoko stared into his eyes.

Johann raised his voice. “I said, run.” Flames curled from his eyes, and flared from his fists. This is how you live, said the mask. “Run!” He melted the ice shield Kyoko had managed to maintain under her feet. Her boots began to smolder. “Run!!”

She ran.

You don’t deserve to live like this, said the mask. There is another way.

Johann sent a tongue of flame skyward and sheared off one of the helicopter’s two engines. The airship spun and fled, but didn’t crash.

You can do better than that.

He crafted a ball of energy blazing on the outside and cold on the inside as easily as thinking. The power was all there. It had always been there. He just hadn’t allowed himself to touch it. He threw the ball at Kyoko, Winter Witch, his lover, his partner, his best friend.

That’s it, laughed the mask. That’s it.

The ball parted, formed around Kyoko, protected her with its cold vacuum interior, and carried her away, out of the crater. It flared away, and the love of Johann’s life tumbled to the city pavement, almost, but not quite lifeless.

That wasn’t what I had in mind, complained the mask.

No, said Johann.

What do you call a man who can touch the power of the sun with a thought? Who destroyed his mortal enemy because he couldn't bring him to justice, because he’d hated him for years, because he was terrified that one day that enemy would finally kill him, who laid waste to city blocks and the people in them, who could have killed his partner with a touch?

Johann thought he knew the answer. If he ever picked up the iron mask, he’d know for certain. He hadn’t killed the Annihilator. Not finally, not completely.

He reached past the barrier, touched a sun, drew it into himself and screamed. The ground melted around him. The iron mask of annihilation sank into the magma like a granite cliff sliding into a molten sea. Johann fell in after it.

It took him a long time to realize he wasn’t dead. Maybe he couldn't die. But he could keep the damned mask trapped in the center of the earth forever.

If it would just stop whispering.

[JUN 2018] Fire / Re: [Jun 2018] - Fire - Discussion Thread
« on: June 30, 2018, 10:41:35 PM »
I have to say this: yay, we got a story from @Rukaio_Alter  :D :D :D

This! ^  :)

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