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This is another companion piece to a story I am writing. The NPC being interviewed is much like Abba Svenska. A combatant in a war in virtual space. Fighting for survival and dignity. The third interview with GoSpeed Racer is already incorporated into the story line. I may also include these interviews in an abridged version if they help the flow of the story.


War Story (Ravishal)

A Dispatch from Altis

 

Private Message : Capt Ravishal Bentham

DTG : 15:57 May 05, 2540 LST (Local Simulation Time)

SUBJ : War Correspondent Interview

 

Captain Bentham, You are hereby directed to cooperate with civilian war correspondent Dexter Desmoines (A User). He will arrive at your encampment at 1730 LST. He has been instructed to not ask questions about your mission. If he does you are to not answer them and you will inform me. You are cleared to answer any question about your past. This includes aspects of your unique origins. My commanders feel that our cause is under such a severe threat that publicizing our existence in the real world may offer us some hope for the future. (Or a decent obituary.) He will also interview SGT Svenska and civilian GoSpeed Racer. If he requests to speak to other combatants he may, but they to must only answer non mission related questions.

 

I know you are tired and exhausted but this shouldn’t be too taxing. I also want to add that if Mr Desmoines show’s any indication of being affiliated with the enemy you are free to dispatch him with extreme prejudice.

 

Colonel Drumheiser

901st

 

Ravishal re-read the message again while he was waiting for Dexter to finish his interview with Abba. He was immediately leery of the man for his odd appearance and his easy access to his fellow soldiers. The biggest strike against him was his position in popular media. Dexter did not deal in facts, he crafted stories. Stories can be wholly subjective and drift away from the truth. Ravishal knew the outside world was driven by facts. A story could possibly produce negative results. He had to trust Sergio and all his allies though. They lived out there in the real world and knew it better than he. He shrugged and then decided to clean his pistol while he waited on Dexter.

 

Looking up he noticed GoSpeed’s dog, Spazz rush into camp barking excitedly. A medic bent down to pet him and they spoke. They casually walked out of sight towards the shore. He was relieved the medic wasn’t running so no one was in immediate danger. It bothered him that GoSpeed was upset with him. He made a mistake that cost a life and she held it against him. He made many mistakes in his life, some even worse than this but he eventually prevailed and made up for it somehow. Sergio told him that the three of them, Abba, GoSpeed, and himself shared a similar origin so several centuries ago. This was the first time that all three of us were together again and he hoped it would not be the last. A sense of family was something to be desired. He had that with Abba who he felt love for. Ravishal hoped to form a connection with GoSpeed but he somehow bungled that up. I’ll do what I can get back into her good graces, he thought. He reassembled his pistol in time to see Dexter leave the building module where he interviewed Abba.

 

Ravishal holstered his weapon and crossed his arms as he remained seated.  As Dexter approached He spoke, ”Have a seat.” He did not offer to shake Dexter’s hand.

 

“I am familiar with who you are and why you’re here. Let’s just get to the questions to save time.”

 

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This short story is set within the current story I am writing featuring Ravishal, GoSpeed, and Abba. The conflict is between an AI that rules the world and the people and NPCS in the virtual world who are fighting for some form of independence. This interview takes place during a brief lull in the fighting. (NPCs ,Non Player Characters are the avatars in the virtual worlds who are not controlled by users and have a form of Artificial Intelligence, an AI).

War Story

A Dispatch from Altis

 

Private Message : SGT Abba Svenska

DTG : 16:00 May 05, 2540 LST (Local Simulation Time)

SUBJ : War Correspondent Interview

Sergeant Svenska, You are hereby directed to cooperate with civilian war correspondent Dexter Desmoines (A User). He will arrive at your encampment at 1730 LST. He has been instructed to not ask questions about your mission. If he does you are to not answer them and you will inform me. You are cleared to answer any question about your past. This includes aspects of your unique origins. My commanders feel that our cause is under such a severe threat that publicizing our existence in the real world may offer us some hope for the future. (Or a decent obituary.) If he requests to speak to other combatants he may, but they to must only answer non mission related questions.

I know you are tired and exhausted but this shouldn’t be too taxing. I also want to add that if Mr Desmoines show’s any indication of being affiliated with the enemy you are free to dispatch him with extreme prejudice.

Colonel Drumheiser

901st Infantry

 

Abba laid down her C-Tab and sighed. She had nearly fallen to sleep when the tablet was thrust in her face by Ravishal. Desmoines would be here in less than an hour. She retrieved from the Hunter vehicle a sponge and metal bowl which she filled with cold water. She scrubbed her face and arms and removed most of the dirt she could. A quick swab of her armpits was the best she could manage as she had no deodorant. Untying her hair it spilled down past her shoulders a few inches. She then used a simple comb to straighten it out and then tied it back into a ponytail. Venturing to the other side of the camp she found Ravishal and informed him of the message. He of course knew of the interview but she felt it was proper protocol to inform him of all the particulars. They had dinner together and waited for the correspondent’s arrival.

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Pep Talk

So I am sitting here taking a break from writing when I feel a hand on my shoulder.

 

“Oh, it’s you guys, Hi Go, Rav, Abba, oh, and there is Kona behind you.”

 

GoSpeed cross her arms. “So taking a break eh? You will finish the story, right?”

 

“Definitely, I promise. I just have to attend to some real life stuff first. You know, a wedding and visiting family and all that stuff.”

 

“Sure, that’s understandable. We know you’ll get back to it.” , Rav added with a raised eyebrow.

 

Abba cleared her throat and added, “We want more character development. Your story is only 67 pages long. That’s hardly a novella. Of the three of us I still feel like an enigma.”

 

“A lot has been invested in me and Rav over the last 8 or so years. You know us pretty well but I don’t think it’s coming across in print very well. Will you tell the reader what makes us tick? What motivates us, what we feel?”

 

“Honestly guys I am trying. This is the first real story I’ve ever written. I’m learning this as I do it. Just cut me some slack. OK?”

 

Kona steps out front and says, “You made me a dog, a freakin’ dog! Don’t tell me that’s gonna be easy. Also this second story you’ve started, why am I not in it?”

 

“Because it takes place 5,000 years before you were born. But I tell you what. GoSpeed could have a pet dog called Kona.”

 

“Hmmm, I guess that’s OK, what sort of dog?”

 

“A Border Collie of course!”

 

“OK, I’ll let it slide for now.”

 

(Well she was easy to please. I guess I do know her better than I thought.)

 

I can clearly see the skepticism on their collective faces and I try again to allay their fears.

 

“Guys, I promise I will do better by you. I have so many story ideas I want to explore. They always say your first story isn’t your best. MY other stories will be better. You remember Ginger don’t you?”

 

Go and Rav nod yes.

 

“She’s offered to help me. She and her boss will offer constructive criticism. This story will be shared. Period. Capice?”

 

“OK, we’ll trust you. Please don’t let us down.”, said GoSpeed
I smile and turnabout in my seat to face the screen and do a little more writing before bedtime……

10,000 words

So you may be wondering what exactly I happen to be writing about. Well I will tell you to the best of my ability! In a nutshell it’s science fiction in an interstellar setting. The main characters are (which include my avatar) are artificial intelligences that inhabit humanoid bodies. It’s a meta kind of avatar in an avatar deal. The main characters travel the galaxy exploring new things and keeping the peace. The main characters are Ravishal, GoSpeed, Abba, and Kona. Other SL residents will be featured in cameo roles pending their approval. I don’t know if I’ll get around to creating images based on the stories as that would consume a lot of time I am already devoting to writing. I do have a few images I’ve made in Space Engine I can share.
Blue Hell  Erol 4

My inspirations are from various media. Second Life gave me the characters of course. Other games include Eve Online, ARMA, and Star Wars:TOR. Movies include the Matrix, Akira, Star Wars, and Alien. Of course we can’t forget Star Trek in all it’s iterations and media.

The writing is getting a little easier the more I do it. I’m more than half way through my first short story. I think I am at least. I know how it’s going to ends but the path keeps changing as I write it. Then of course when I finish I’ll have to go back and do rewrites, make sure the timeline agrees, and edit my grammar. I think in a month or so I’l have something finished. From there I’ll share it and see if there’s a consensus as to whether my writing is publishable.

10,000 Words!

I’ve been busy writing the past few weeks and have hit the 10,000 word mark. So far the writing has been flowing easily. I do need to go back and rewrite a few sections and verify that my timeline is still intact. Maybe in a month I’ll be finished.

 

Writing my story

Oh, I’m still here

Oh this poor neglected blog! Nothing new has happened nor have I felt particularly motivated to write here the past year or so. However the writing bug is itching me again and I feel the need to write stories. I’ll post more as I progress. for now, enjoy these screenshots:

The three stooges - 1

4th of July 2015

Blue suit for Ravishal - 2

Elf Harbor - 5

Easter 2015 - 1

Web on a prim has been an SL feature since the introduction of Viewer 2. You can do a lot of things with this viewer that you can do with a normal browser. One thing that is exciting is the ability to play media content on flash based players. You may be familiar with Youtube on a prim. Not only can you watch video but you can also stream music via a web based flash player. As you may well now KONA Stream can be accessed in Second Life via the built in FMOD player on your Music channel. The URL in the land setting is what you are forced to listen to. Media playing on a prim comes over the Media channel.

 

So what exactly does this mean? It means you can listen or watch a stream that is independent of that played over the regular music channel. Let’s say you rent land and have no rights to change the music URL on the parcel. The land settings do not regulate what you can listen to over the media channel. If you wore a HUD or rezzed a prim with a media stream you can bypass that. This is good news if you hate your landlord’s choice of music be it 181.FM, the 80s Channel,  SOMA, or some other generic boring commercial stream.

 

KONA Stream has created and released a pair of devices that will allow you to listen to our stream no matter where you are on the grid. First is the Music HUD that will let you listen to the stream wherever you go.

 

KONA HUD is attached

Simply attach the HUD and click it or the HOME icon that will float above it. A short video ad will play and then music begins.
A KONA HUD in action

The music plays in full stereo with artist information displayed.

 

For your home you can opt for the wall mount display. Visitors will also be able to click it and tune in also.

Wall Mount 2

 

Click both faces to activate both screens.

Wall mount

 

 

Sounds settings

As is the viewer defaults to a sound rolloff range of 5-30 meters. As you move away from the wall mounted device the audio gets weaker. I recommend going into the sound settings and adjust it to at least 128 meters.

 

To get your own HUD go to the Marketplace and get one here:  https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/KONA-Stream-HUD-player/5893608

The Wall mount can be found here:  https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/KONA-Stream-Wall-Panel/5893685

 

Will you accept

Will you accept by ** GoSpeed Racer **
Will you accept, a photo by ** GoSpeed Racer ** on Flickr.

Happy Valentines Day.

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

Some 3 or so years ago I went to visit a friend on an OS Grid called Inworldz. Can’t say I was too impressed at that time as every time I logged in I kept floating upwards in the air!. Flash forward to 2014 and I decided to go back. Why? Mostly boredom with SL and also to see if there were opportunities there. Appearance wise it is much prettier now as the improvements in graphics and rendering has kept up with the SL grid. Plus it helps that a lot of creators have migrated over. The sole welcome area is staffed with genuinely helpful people. There are a fair share off, how can I put it, fetishists also present but they are well behaved and also are very helpful to new arrivals.

At Inworldz

Setting up your Avatar to somewhat resemble your SL one is difficult due to a lack of content, especially if you prefer a darker skin. If you’re white you’ve got lots of options. I was able to find a fairly close tone match for my skin, so I am was satisfied in that regard. Hair was a lot harder for me I’ve yet to find anything remotely similar to my SL style in appearance and quality. Eyes took a bit of searching to find one I liked. Just about every style I found had all those reflections in them, blocking out the much of the color of the iris! Clothing is pretty decent in my opinion. There are a lot of stores offering a wide variety in styles. Like skins and hairs, finding a style of clothing you do want will take a bit of searching to find. There are freebie places, but the pickings are slim compared to SL.

I recommend that you use the Inworldz provided viewer at first. I have been using the OS version of Firestorm, but a few things don;t work well with it like buying currency inworld or search. I use both. IWZ for transactions and Firestorm for general use.  One glitch I have noticed is making changes stick. A few times I have updated my profile, only later to see they didn’t stay. Or I would modify the texture on a freebie hair and the colors would revert back the next time I log in. Eventually if you keep at it, they stay permanent.

Perhaps the biggest negative is the lack of people there. One of SL’s criticisms is that it’s mostly empty. The same can be said of Inworldz. At best there can be up to 1,000 people online at it’s peaks. Once you leave the welcome are it’s hard to find anybody at all. Fortunately there are event boards all over the place with a calendar of events. Click the board and it TPs you to the location. With all that being said I still recommend you visit. Perhaps the best analogy I can come up with is to compare Inworldz to a remote colony of SL. The infrastructure is the same, the builds are familiar, but the economy and social life reflects a low population and a slower pace of life. If you like peace and quiet with less drama, then this is a safe haven. Look me up if you’re ever there!
Codie and Paypaback Writer
Codie and Paypaback are there too!
GoSpeed in Inworldz
My look so far.

Tommy can you hear me?

So, just wondering here. In the past I was syndicated on several SL syndication sites. Judging from my stats it appears my traffic has really bottomed out. I know I don’t blog as much as I used to which may have lead me to being dropped😦 . If you see this post on a feed could you drop me a note and let me know?

Christmas Decorations - 2