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Neon Aliens Stole My Mind

Some stories about people and the games they play.

9/18/06 10:11 am - Familiarity Breeds Coincidence.

Putting the coffee cup down gently and gathering her belongings Milla glanced at one of the other patrons of the coffee shop. she recognized him from somewhere. Maybe just a coincidence, but the fact he was drawing reminded her of someone she knew from over the Internet. Not wanting to appear to weird Milla walked out of the shop and let the bell ring on the door frame behind her.

Ninja glanced across the shop and sipped his coffee. A girl who had been reading a book and was now leaving was staring at him looked familiar. Like a character from a book or a TV show. She was pretty, even if she looked melancholy leaving the café. As the door bell tinkled into silence Ninja started to draw a picture of her.

The Internet, late a night was Millas adopted home. She was also bored and waiting for a reason to sleep.
"Milla dear, go to sleep. You've got lecturers tomorrow," said her mom though Millas door.
"Okay I'll be asleep in an hour. I promise," lied Milla.
Milla clicked op a list of RSS feeds and saw a friend of hers had posted some new art.

It was her.
Well not exactly her.
The artist must have only seen her very quickly, as details had been filled in incorrectly.
But it was her.

- Comment @ 23:30-
That's me!
Right down the poster I was sitting next to while I had coffee after buying some games in town.


- Reply @ 23:37-
No way!
I thought I recognized the person.
If I'd have known it was you I'd have said hello or something.
What games did you buy?


- Reply @ 00:23-
Well at least it wasn't some crazy creep drawing me.
Oh the games I bought. Erm Puyo Puyo and Chrono Trigger.
I was feeling the need for some SNES love earlier.

Ninja decided not to reply further from that.
How could he?
It was an interesting oddity of a coincidence in his mind but nothing more.
Besides Ninja was busy scribbling together the first issue of "Back Hat Cowgirl". He was having difficulty coming up with a sensible dress and poncho combination that didn't look silly or naked blowing in a dust storm.

Fuckup beeped with a new SMS message.
The sound filled the room for a few seconds which where unbearably loud this late at night.
It was from his boss.
"Will you have that art done before the meeting tomorrow?"
"No. I'd like to have had it done. But I need to get some sleep around about now if I'm going to even make the meeting on time," replied Ninja.
"Oh well deadlines are made to be broken. Don't worry too much about being on time. Good night."

9/11/06 01:18 pm - Five Years.

- Subject - Five Years.
- Location - Home home, Silicon City, Silicon Island.
- Date - 09-11-06.

Well here we are five years later.
Five years after the World Trade Center was deleted from the New York skyline. Almost five years since the crusades of Bush started. Lots of people died on that day and people have been dieing since. Conspiracy theories where born on that day as well. Most of them utterly crackpot. All of them of dubious origin.

I came home late that day. Probably because the bus was delayed due to the TV news. Who cares though? I was late home. It just means I only saw what happened because a friend of mine dragged me into his house to show me the TV.
I didn't believe it when she told me.
Until I saw the pictures on the screen a few times.

Then came the big dumb response.
Justified by the atrocity that had hit them they did some good.
Removing the Taliban was a good thing. Even if it was mismanaged after that.
But I think the leap to Iraq and WMDs was to far for the American state to maintain popular sympathy.

Shit they should have got after Saudi Arabia if they wanted to get Al Quad-ia and their supporters.

Although removing Saddam wasn't totally wrong.
Just everything else the Americans and the coalition of the willing did was pretty much messed up and handled by out of paradigm incompetents.
Civil war, religious war or just insurgents causing unrest - they didn't think of that.

Would things be okay if everything was "automagically" fixed tomorrow? I doubt it.

9/11 was a butterfly flapping its destructive wings. It has been the defining event of the decade. Which we are only now, just over half way through.
I don't want to imagine the terrible event that will end up overshadowing 9/11. But something of that magnitude will happened. Time and geo-politics will see that that. So while 9/11 will affect the rest of the century, like World War I influenced the rest of the last century. In 2100, five years will be ninety nine years. And something else will have happened. No doubt influenced by 9/11 in the same way 9/11 was influenced by the events of the prior century.

I wonder what was the first act of aggression or hate to start this causal chain?

But then I think it might just be best to move on.
Or at least find something hopeful to run this century on.

- M. -

9/5/06 06:37 pm - Old School Alex.

-Yash- AOL isn't that bad. There is a crappy connection program.
-M- And the dumb users. Idiots that pay for a substandard service. Most of those users got AOL because that's what the advert told them they wanted.
-Yash- Elitist.
-M- And proud. =)
* Alex has joined the room.
-Alex- Hello.
-Ninja- Rawr!.
-XWN- Salute.
-M- Besides it isn't elitism if most people agree. Just intellectual bigotry. =P
-Yash- omg its Alex!

Alex chewed on a mint and put a mug of coffee down on his desk in the tiny gap between his keyboard and his ancient and large monitor.

-RJ- I think my monitor is on the fritz.
-Yash- What is wrong with it?
-RJ- It's flickering. More then a monitor should.
-Yash- Your phone isn't near it is it?
-RJ- No! Why would that affect anything? Who uses crts now anyway?
-Alex- I do!
-RJ- You do? How come?
-Alex- It was cheap. And environmentally friendly.
-Yash- Always a good thing.
-RJ- Ah you had a hippy moment.
-Alex- Among the many I have everyday.
-M- That would explain the haircut.
-Alex- Cheeky monkey.
-M- Among other things.
-Alex- Well LCD monitors hurt my eyes and lots of companies throw perfectly working crt monitors away. It's a shame to let them go to waste.
-RJ- Yeah. I'm always trying to grab discarded shit from work. The Hole is hosted on reclaimed bits.
-Yash- The Hole?
-Alex- The web sever that hosts S-Hub. Or a fictional news feed. No it's the first one.
-Yash- Oh. Why the Hole?
-RJ- Because until I offered some bitz and bandwidth. S-Hub burned a hole in Alex's pocket.
-Alex- It still does burn a hole in my pocket.
-RJ- Well it is kind of hard to self host and keep it old school and not have to pay an electricity bill.
-Alex- I'll get round that someday.
-M- Sure you will.

8/7/06 03:52 pm - TokyoJack Null - Asking Questions and Answering Questions.

"So you are Irish?" Asked a school girl who tried to match Jacks pace as he walked down the crowded Tokyo street.
Jack carried on walking.
"No," he said.
"I bloody hope not!" Jack said putting a cigar between his lips.
"Scottish?" The school girl had ran out of places the name O'Mally might have come from.
"Ach nien I'm not from anywhere," said Jack.
"Really with a name like that you must be from one of those places. How come?" Asked the girl as Jack stopped to observe the 'don't walk' sign.
"It is just how it is," Jack O'Mally said.

"Just put the damn Dictaphone on the table," Jack shouted at the journalist.
Carl threw the black plastic Dictaphone on the table and watched it slide into the center of the table artistically.
"That thing on?" Jack wondered out loud.
"Of course it is. It's been on since I left the car," Carl answered.
"Yeah your not stupid. Hear anything good on the way in?" Jack said.
"Only that the whole top floor has been rented out. A floor which consists of five other suites like this. All rented to the Mothra Foundation."
"Mothra, is that the bug?"
"Yeah", said Carl. "Its the giant fucking bug."

Jack laughed.
"Good front name for when we are in town. I mean we are a giant fucking bug of organization. No matter how hard people try you can't kill us and you hear and see us all the fucking time," Jack observed. "Plus we've destroyed a few cities in our time."
"Really! Which ones has the United Nations Special Scenario Service destroyed?"
"I can't say. I shouldn't have said anything," Jack said, wishing he could just kill the journalist and dump the body behind some sea front fish gutting factory.
"Oh go on," Carl pushed.
"Well it was going to leak in a few days anyway. So lets see. Tokyo twice. Plus one in an alternate reality. But that kind of also destroyed that universe. Geneva in Switzerland once. A bad computer virus and some weird science caused that one. Geneva in Wisconsin three times. There is a really bad zombie and demon problem in that area. At the office we all have some pet theories about why. I reckon it is Gygex and that damn hypersigil of his. I can't say much more. My boss will be madder at me and this is really quite embarrassing."

"Well that was easy wasn't it," Carl said.
"Spilling secrets normally is once in a while when you spend all your time keeping them,"

Jack pointed out.
"True I guess. So is being an international super star hard then?" Asked Carl.
"Only when you have to answer awkward questions. Which you do all the time. Of course the perks are really rewarding," said Jack.
"Like what? House in Silicon City. Sports cars and a high credit limit. The Miami Vice lifestyle without the shitty hair, music, clothes." Carl listed the things he wanted, he liked Miami Vice a lot as a kid.
"Well I'd rather use James Bond as a metaphor. Except without the sexism, imperialism and union flags," Jack said.
"Gideon Stargrave might be a better example," said Carl.
"The Invisibles. Well before that comic he was in another Grant Morrison comic. But appeared in that series as well," Carl explained.
"I don't follow. I've not read a comic since I was reading Judge Dredd in between masturbating to Madonna as a fourteen year old," Jack said.
"Too much information man," Carl said.
"I know. I'm hoping that will be the headline of whatever news rag you write for. Not the U.N.S.S.S. destroying three cities on multiple occasions plus a whole universe," said Jack."

A mobile phone buzzed on the table top.
It rotated a little on its central axis a little and then stopped.
"That's my call to leave you Carl. Don't publish the story until we say so and nothing will happen. Remember the U.N. cares as an organization. As the monkeys that have to stop the serious shit from happening we don't care," Jack said as he left the hotel suite.

8/3/06 11:21 am - I'm In Switzerland Without a Dining Table. 28/07/06

I'd like to think I am getting quite good at writing these “oh I'm so sorry for not posting” updates. Be it for [Insert Name] which has finally disappeared off the Internet (except for possibly archive.org) or just generally apologizing to the few people who care enough about my writings that I'm not writing enough. Oh well my excuse this time is far better.
Now to explain this I'm going to have to describe a place.
Normally I don't feel very comfortable doing this.
I'm big on details being hidden in a few words. But in this instance I can't really rely on that.

Where am I living?
Basel, Switzerland. It's a really cool, nice and generally amicable place. It has an old city, graffiti and trams. In fact I'd be really quite happy here if the bars I visited with friends didn't consist of Irish and English expat bars. Well apart from the fact I don't speak Swiss German, high German or French which all in all make everyday life a bit difficult. Although interesting. In my apartment – which is really more like a hotel room I have a toilet, sink and shower en suite. I'll miss them. Mostly because it is nice to wake up in the morning when you want and take a crap when you need it. I also have a fridge and cupboard that is warmer then is really healthy for storing food in. Oh and a kettle and a plate and basic eating irons. A TV also with lots of channels in German and French.

I've been watching Cartoon Network in German and French.
Somehow it doesn't work.
But there is sex on the Smerfs on the telly here, so that is all right!

Oh yeah there is a bed, no Internet connection and what is really a bench that sort of acts as a desk.

These aren't ideal conditions for writing fiction in.
It's too isolated from the other students I work with, and am living with.
I don't write in isolation from other people.
I can pretend to be an anti-social jerk all I want.
But I am really “pseudo-stranger” 'cos I'm not really that weird.
Not compared to the variation that exists in the world.
Although I do enjoy looking for that variation. Celebrating it and studying it as I go.

So I promise I'll start writing when I move into Muttenz on the 18th of August.
Well not immediately!
Okay, immediately!
Even before I've unpacked and just after I've paid for the taxi ride.
Am I allowed to make my self a cup of coffee first?
No, I guess I can't that would involve preparing coffee which would involve going into Basel to buy a French press.
Delaying the whole endeavor of me sitting down immediately and writing an issue of Neon Aliens somewhat.

Do you know what the difference between writing and drawing is?
Writers don't have to write to practice at their craft.
Drawing is a motor skill. Writing see, I reckon that is a state of mind and not a skill
Thinking about writing is something I do it all the time see.
I reckon it is more fun then writing.
And it isn't like thinking about a drawing is it?
The words in my head are just as valid as the words on the page or screen.
It's just you can't read them from my head.

Well I hope you can't read them.
That would be spooky.
And you'd be a voyeuristic pervert.
And I'd want to study you.
And probably celebrate the fact you're reading my filthy mind.

- Will.

7/4/06 12:57 am - Heat wave.

Ninja walked out onto the sidewalk and felt the heat roll over him immediately.
Turning around on his heels he went back inside and put his coat back in his apartment.
Walking back out onto the street sans coat Ninja stomped off in the stifling heat humidity towards the subway station half a block away.

Climbing down the dirty steps into the station Ninja waved his wallet over the security barrier and walked through towards the platform.
After paying for a drink from a vending machine Ninja took a seat on a plastic bench molded into the concave walls of the platform wall. A digital clock showed the time till the next train. And people, not a lot of people milled around on the platform waiting quietly annoyed with their lives.
Making a game of it Ninja decided to count the sweat patches on the people trying to look serious.

He counted seven people.

The train a single grey carriage arrived and the people annoyed with the heat stepped onto the train. Inside the train Ninja was forced to stand next to an overweight business man who smelt bad.

Lots of stops later and still standing next to the smelly man Ninja came to the end of his book and looked at the station the train was just leaving.
"Oh shit!" Ninja cried when he saw he'd missed his stop.

The doors to Silicon City Comics opened. A hot and sweaty Ninja stepped through them.
"You're late," said Steve Odone, owner of the company.
"Heat. Distracted by book. Missed station. Had to backtrack," Ninja spluttered out before collapsing into a sofa next to him.
"Get this kid some water will you Dawn," Steve said.
"Yes sir," said Dawn who stood up from behind the reception desk.

"Thanks," Ninja said weakly accepting the paper cup.
"I've seen your drawings. They're good," said Dawn.
"Oh," Ninja muttered as he took a drink.
"I think you have gotten a good thing working with France."
"I've never met him," Ninja said.
"She's in the next room with Mr Odone."
"I should go in shouldn't I?" Ninja said as he pulled him self from the sofa.
"Yeah Charles you should."

6/27/06 01:34 am - Out with the old. In with the new.

"I'm done with college mum," said Ninja.
"But Charlie why?" his mum implored for a reason.
"I'm bored mom. I know how to draw. I draw to learn so I get better. All collage is teaching me is that people hate art," Ninja tried to explain.
"But why not just change your degree? Why don't you become an accountant like dad?" Charlie's mum tried to offer as a compromise.
"I just don't like college mum. The people are boring wastes. I want to draw. So I'm going to draw. Silicon City Comics have already given me a job penciling based on my portfolio. It's not like I'm becoming unemployed," Ninja lied about not liking collage.
"Well if you've already got a job. I guess me and your father will be proud of you whatever you do," said his mum, not agreeing with her sons choice.

Ninja waved as his mum silently left the flat and turned over to his drawing board.

The phone rang again.
"Yeah this is Ninja," Ninja said.
"Sure I can come into the office. Do you mind if I finish the panel I'm working on first?"
"Oh okay. That is quite important," said Ninja pausing to find his next question.
"That's great! Who am I working with?"
"Well he's a good artist but I didn't know he was any good at writing."
"Of course I'll draw his comic. I'll be in right away. Moose Sausage is an odd name for a series. Well it'll be fun to draw. Thank you sir. I'll be over right away," Ninja said before putting the phone down.

Putting his pencil to one side Ninja grabbed an old tatty paperback and his coat.

6/21/06 01:33 am - Community Not Leaders.

[Nut] So that's why I'd kick your ass. I have a gun and you don't.
[XWN] Well I'm too young to own one. But I don't see the point you having one. I peeked a glance at the crime statistics for your area and there is hardly any crime.
[Nut] That is because we all own guns here.
[Milla] Or you're rich enough to live in a good idea.
[Nut] That isn't the point. Everyone who can carry a gun, should carry a gun. Except if you are some kind of commie or criminal.
[Milla] But the Red Army is Soviet Russia had lots of guns.
* Nut was kicked by Soap (Go make your dinner).
[Soap] XWN go to school.
* XWN was kicked by Soap (And grow up).
* Milla kicked by Soap (stfu).

"Damn it," cursed Milla under her breath.
She tried to connect to the NeonAliens chat room again but had been banned by Soap.
She shifted her attention to another room on the same server and made an annoyed comment.

A few minutes later after browsing a couple of message boards and checking her mail a few more times then she regarded healthy Milla tried to join the chat room again.
Back in the room she found it dead.
No one was talking and it had probably Milla reckoned been dead for a couple of minutes.

"I hate leaders," Milla typed into another chat room on a different server. She promptly revoked her own leader powers, since the room gave everyone equal powers to remove people from the room.

Thinking to herself Milla decided that the idea of privileged users in a single chat room was counter intuitive. Often the power in this situation led to abuse, often in the form of censor. But reasoned Milla that if chat rooms were meant as a community that issues like who should be removed for being disruptive should be held by all the currently active members of the room. And not just a select few.

This Milla realized would remove the Catch-22 that made it nearly impossible to police the police in chat rooms. But also the one way nature of the policing by making them equally accountable and removing them effectively. Milla who hadn't considered her self disruptive before, since there was very little activity reasoned that if a significant amount people had actually cared enough to remove them that they would have been removed under what she thought was a smarter idea.

Annoyed with even having to endeavor on this line of thought Milla turned off her computer.

6/10/06 10:09 pm - Magic Swords.

"All swords should be magical, " Kirk said.
"Why?" asked Raptor Jedi.
"Because...it's like a staple of the fantasy genre."
"So! What happened to breaking convention? Why are they so important that everything fantastic has to have a magic sword," argued Raptor Jedi.
"Breaking convention became lame when hack writers started to do it. Look the rule in fantasy is that if Tolkin did it. It must be done," said Kirk, speaking out of his ass.
"But Tolkin didn't invent fantasy. He didn't even make it popular. Look all I'm saying is that in a computer game that is designed about realistic parameters, the existence of magic and resurrection non withstanding. Well magic swords are overkill. One hit with a sword would kill you man. Well one decent hit, continued Raptor Jedi.
"So magic is okay on its own, but when the sword becomes magical it suddenly isn't okay," Kirk cried out, frustrated with this argument.
"I'm not saying that. Your the one saying that they should all be magical. I'm just asking what the fucking point of them all being magical is, " shouted Raptor Jedi back across the room.
"Because it is really cool, " Kirk said.
"I don't think it is," said Raptor Jedi.
"Well you're not cool then!"
"This is coming from the person that was the first person to buy a Gameslave on two successive generations," Raptor Jedi pointed out.
"Well okay, I was third in line for the first generation," said Kirk.
"Oh and that makes it so much better, " Raptor Jedi said.
"No. But my point still stands. All swords should be magical."

5/29/06 12:04 am - Long, hot and boring.

It is hot outside and Milla is bored and stuck in front a computer.
"Outside is hell land," typed Milla.
"It sure is," Ninja typed back.
"Yeah I might even open a window," Raptor Jedi responded.
Milla joked, "I've seen photos of your office - it is a cave. You don't have a window."
"So," Raptor Jedi typed, "That isn't my point. Besides I don't think the company would mind if I took a sledge hammer to an outside wall."
"I bet the people under the falling rubble would mind," Ninja typed.
"Fuck em," typed Raptor Jedi.
"Yeah they would have bigger concerns," Milla typed.
"Like a ton of bricks falling on their faces," typed Ninja.

Milla span around in her swivel chair.
"I'm bored," she typed into her computer.
"My air conditioning is none existent and I've got a long summer of nothing to do," Milla ranted.
"Get a job. Get some coffee. Sleep lots and or go outside sometime," Ninja offered as advice.
"Boring. Can't be bothered. Already have and I burn too easily," responded Milla.
"Besides only when you do those things Ninja," added Milla, as an afterthought.
"Well you're going to have a long, hot and boring summer," Raptor Jedi typed.
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