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dairy_entries_2019-05

Hello, my name is…

May 2019

1 - Jack - Peloran - I grew up in a world after Contact. I always knew the Peloran were human. Assuming the expanded definition of the word we use now, at least. Of course they’re stronger than most Earthborn humans. And they’ll heal any wound that doesn’t kill them in a matter of hours or days. Though they’ll have to have been real badly hurt to count out the days. They can hear and see things better, and they are naturals when it comes to combat. Put a weapon in their hand, and they’ll use it like they were born to. Which they pretty much were.

2 - Charles - Peloran - I was there the day the Peloran made Contact with us. I watched them walk on the surface of the Earth and my first thought was to wonder if this was truly the first time for them. That first entourage had just the perfect mix of alien and humanity in their manners. They looked and acted so much like us in so many ways, and yet there was a carefully crafted alien manner to their movements. I say crafted because I never believed they had come to us unprepared. They were too much like us to make that kind of mistake so far from home. They had shown us a human face to make us comfortable. And they showed us alien manners so we could not forget where they came from.

3 - Betty - Peloran - The Peloran were the first aliens to make open Contact with us. Though they were obviously watching Earth for some time. They understood Earth languages and cultures going back for centuries and longer. And many speculate they walked throughout the streets of Earth as they did so. Some of them could pass for an Earthborn human even when under medical examination. Though they would have completely confused a Pre-Contact genetic history test. Short of that, the Peloran that made Contact could have disappeared on Earth and never been discovered.

4 - Jack - Peloran - The Peloran were genetically engineered to fight. They look human, more or less. Some more. Some less. There’s a bit of a big range in their looks. The ones who came to Earth on Day One of Contact could have all passed for Earthborn humans with very little work. If any. Many didn’t even have pointed ears, and those who did could easily mask them with well-groomed hair. Their skin color and eyes could easily pass for Earth normal with little or no makeup. Better than normal, actually. They were beautiful. Every last one of them could have been a model; no body sculpting needed. Or wanted for that matter. They were better than sculpted. They were born with it.

5 - Charles - Peloran - The Peloran who made Contact with us could have passed for Earthborn humanity if they could act like us. If they walked in a less measured way. If they did not control their every action so carefully. They moved in such an alien way that we could never forget what they were, even as they smiled kindly with faces we could not help but relate to. It was unthinkable that they could truly disappear in a crowd. The way they moved would always betray them. That is why I always knew they had done this before. They were so much like us, you know. Their every smiling face always masked a secret they did not wish to tell us. Which should be no surprise to any of us. They are just as human as we are, after all. In every way that matters.

6 - Medron - Super Powereds Year Four I recently discovered Super Powereds by Drew Hayes. It a world where some people have super powers and some of them train to become certified Heroes to defend the United States of America from Supers with less…patriotic and law abiding ideas in mind.

The four books center around five young adults who were Powered. They had no control over their powers until a top secret experimental procedure changed them. The real story starts with them on their first day of a college where Supers go to become Heroes. Yes, it is a story of young people going to school. And it is glorious.

The five young heroes are all competent in their own ways. Sometimes scarily so. And each have fully fleshed out histories that we learn in time. And they are all relevant to the story that unfolds in the four books that follow. The teachers are much the same. They know what they are doing and do it well. These are no bumbling idiot adults while the smart kids do all the work.

In many ways, I find it most similar to Harry Potter, though it concerns college kids rather than grade school children. But it does follow some of the same tropes. A Great Evil was done ten or so years ago. Family ties and conspiracies are discovered. Climactic battles of good versus evil are waged. Named characters we know die. And no matter how powerful the students think they are, when a Teacher enters the fray, bodies will hit the floor.

Year Four encapsulates the story begun in the first three books very well. It is a bit long, as final novels of a series often are. But it is also worth the read, all the way to the very end. Drew Hayes has an amazing talent for mixing humor and drama, and he has access to a very good reader for his audio books who brings them alive. I liked the writing and reading well enough that I’m now reading the Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant and loving and laughing my way through it.

I believe that if you enjoy stories of people doing amazing things in worlds that are a bit more supernatural than our own, Super Powereds may just be a series you will love. I was most satisfied by it from cover to cover. All of the covers.

I give it two fireballs, set to maximum burn.

7 - Betty - Peloran - The Peloran who made Contact with humanity were nearly indistinguishable from Earthborn humans. But they were only a small minority of the total Peloran population, picked for that mission because of their appearance. The majority of the Peloran race look a bit more alien, or sometimes a lot more alien. They’re still undeniably human, though they look more like some of the traditional cheap aliens of Pre-Contact science fiction stories. Back when makeup artists painted up the actors in different colors and maybe added some minor facial prosthetics to give them an alien appearance. Little did those artists know just how close to the truth they really were.

8 - Jack - Peloran - Most Peloran look a little bit different from those of us born on Earth. Pointy ears and a slightly alien tint to their skin. More elegant bone structure that often reminds people of the elves from classic fantasy stories. Which often came from other worlds. Funny that. The elegant bone structure is a surprise in many ways. They’re so tough, you’d expect them to look like human tanks, but their bones are so much denser that they actually take up less space. Hence the slim looks on most of them. Just don’t try to pick one of those dainty little bitties up while you’re dancing. Trust me on that one. Even those of us with Ageless strength feel that weight. The bit that always got me as a kid was just how…different their skin was. Truly…just a bit alien.

9 - Charles - Peloran - The Peloran are a far more diverse race than we guessed upon initially meeting them. Most of those we met were fair-skinned, fine-boned, and paragons of beauty that would have made them the stars of fantasy or science fiction movies. They are amazing in our eyes. But in the eyes of the of the Peloran, they are genetic defects. Outcasts from proper Peloran society. Proof that even the genetic wizardry that created their race can break down in time. Or be diluted. The true Peloran that inhabit their homeworlds are stronger, hardier, and far less likely to be ensnared in unwanted violence. Which is any violence at all. They are hard hard-wired to seek peaceful resolutions of nearly any situation, after all.

10 - Betty - Peloran - The Peloran are far stronger than most Earthborn humans. They were genetically engineered with stronger muscles, denser bones, and better immune systems. They almost never get sick. And they heal far more rapidly than Earthborn humanity. Scratches and cuts usually heal in seconds to minutes. Cracked bones can take a few hours. Broken bones can heal within hours or days depending on how extensive the damage was. They can even regrow limbs if they are completely amputated, though it can take up to weeks depending on how much of the limb was lost. Basically, any wound that doesn’t kill them on the spot will heal in time and leave no physical hint that it ever happened. That’s a powerful ability for a soldier.

11 - Jack - Peloran - The Peloran that made Contact with us get cut and bleed just as easily as most humans. They just heal really quick. But most Peloran have thicker skin than that. Literally. Well…maybe denser is the better word. Definitely stronger. Firmer as well. Peloran skin actually acts as a kind of low-grade armor, you see. It’ll shrug off the kind of things that normal humans live in fear of. Low-caliber bullets. Paper cuts. Legos. That’s one of the reasons so many of them look just a little bit different than us. They were designed for war, and didn’t disappoint one bit by the time they were ready to field. I still remember the day I first saw a battalion of them march unto the landing field at Sunnydale. God that was an amazing sight.

12 - Charles - Peloran - The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with one of the classic homeworlds Peloran is that they will do nearly anything to avoid violence. They are courteous, careful, and observant of every cultural custom they are aware of. They are quick to apologize if they have accidentally given offense, and giving purposeful offense is unthinkable. That is how the Albion designed their supersoldiers. To avoid violence at nearly all costs. They do not play football or box with each other. Instead their most famous sports include mild-mannered Peloran dueling with their minds in games akin to Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. They particularly love trivia games that can challenge their near-eidetic memory, and they congregate in a yearly Knowledge Bowl where they compete in teams for the honor of being the most advanced collection of minds in the known galaxy.

13 - Medron - Mothers Day -

14 - Betty - Spaceborn Peloran - Most Peloran are the slightly-alien but obviously human beings that most of us have contact with. Stronger. Faster. Harder to kill. But still indefinably human. The Albion wanted to build something better though. More specialized. Capable of surviving in environments that would kill humans. Low temperatures. Low air pressures. Environments where mere sunlight became a weapon. So they created specialized Peloran who could live in sub-zero temperatures without any insulation. Who could walk in vacuum as easily as we walk to the store. And with special eyes designed to filter out sunlight glinting off white snow. Or could look straight into a sun from an airless hunk of rock.

15 - Jack - Spaceborn Peloran - I grew up in a world where aliens were real. I studied them in grade school, and they would show up so we could talk to them. I hear they love talking to us kids. The feeling’s mutual, I assure you. They were out of this world. Literally. The time that really nailed that home for me was back in the Blizzard of Eighty Seven. That would be 2287. A freak cold front came in out of Canada on January 27 and didn’t lift for a month. It was so cold even our cars wouldn’t start. Hundreds of families were trapped out there on both sides of the border and we rallied the townsfolk to go out and find them. So picture a bunch of local Northern Minnesotans bundled up at the aid station in our cold weather finest, drinking hot chocolate or coffee because even we were cold. And then a bunch of purple-skinned Peloran walk in out of the cold in t-shirts and shorts to help us out. Not a care in the world. Not even shivering. I’ll tell yah, I was a feeling a bit jealous that day.

16 - Charles - Spaceborn Peloran - The Albion were not a physically imposing branch of humanity. They were small of stature, and would rank low on most tests of aggression we know how to run. What they had was supremely capable minds and a curiosity to match. And they knew that there were those who wished to stop them from pursuing their quest for knowledge. That is why they created the Peloran to protect them. Intimidating warriors strong enough to rip arms out of sockets and beat people to do death with them. But calm and controlled enough to kill swiftly, cleanly, and as painlessly as possible. Smart enough to fly starships, and canny enough to engage in non-standard tactics in any environment. One specialized version of the Peloran is what we call the Spaceborn Peloran. Their purple skin is an adaptation of their ability to operate in extreme cold and vacuum without protective gear. Their eyes are another example of their design features. Though appearing to entirely lack pupils or irises, they can detect frequencies far beyond the visual spectrum of other humans, making them superior at detecting and dealing with threats that could otherwise escape notice.

17 - Betty - Spaceborn Peloran - The Spaceborn Peloran are the greatest population of Peloran outside the Peloran homeworlds. They can’t actually live in space, since they still need to breath air, but they were designed to hold onto their internal air far better than normal humans. They can go as long as ten minutes without breathing without side effects, but need oxygen masks for longer periods of time in vacuum. Science fiction stories would give them telepathy to communicate, since talking in vacuum is impossible, but in real life they were designed with a far more mundane communication system. Fingers. They are born knowing a form of sign language specifically optimized for combat, allowing them to communicate in nearly any environment. So remember that. A silent Peloran is not necessarily a non-communicative Peloran.

18 - Jack - Spaceborn Peloran - The Blizzard of Eighty Seven was the worst storm I remember as a child. 2287. It was so cold our cars wouldn’t start and we couldn’t have flown in that wind even if they did. Half of our cold weather rescue gear froze up as we were trying to find people lost out in that mess. Yeah, it was bad, even for us. It was just a walk in the park for those purple-skinned Peloran though. They wore t-shirts and shorts, and those eyes could see through the driving snow better than any gear we had that still worked. It is a surreal experience to be wearing my best snowmobile suit because I’m freezing cold, while following a girl showing as much skin as I usually see on a beach in summer. And she’s purple. I think I fell a little bit in love that day. We saved a lot of people before the blizzard ended. A lot of them would have died without those purple skins on our side. They’re real handy to have around a place that specializes in cold at least half the year.

19 - Charles - Spaceborn Peloran - The specialized Peloran we call Spaceborn were built to fight in extreme environments that would kill other humans. Even other Peloran. They can survive deadly cold and even walk in vacuum without pressure suits. Though they do still need to breathe, so their standard uniforms include spare oxygen storage and breathing masks. This allows them to remove the internal air from their starships before combat as a tactic to reduce the effects of explosive decompression. Their eyes can see far beyond the standard visual spectrum as well, and they can look directly at a sun without being blinded. Even when in vacuum. The most interesting bit is that these defining traits of the Spaceborn are dominant. After two thousand years of manning the Peloran border patrol with a constant slow trickle of new recruits from the homeworlds, most children of mixed ancestry favor the Spaceborn traits over those of their groundbound brethren. Some may have the disabilities of normal eyes or skin, but they are a distinct minority in the Peloran border patrol that makes up their primary naval forces.

20 - Medron - John Wick - I saw a movie this weekend. I enjoyed it.

Nothing will top the first John Wick in many ways. It was a simple story about a man and his dog, and the rotten piece of trash who killed the dog. And a man named John Wick coming out of retirement to do something about it, all while showing that nobody wanted him to come out of retirement. Not ever. The discovery and mystery of John Wick, stepping just a bit outside the world we know but mostly living within it was amazing.

John Wick 2 took that and amped it up a bit with a bit more information on some of the Continentals and the High Table, but still kept the mystery intact. John Wick was fully pulled back into everything by another rotten piece of trash, who would learn that John Wick was not to be underestimated. Again. This time John Wick was fighting for his own life, and in the end he succeeded. And he lost.

John Wick 3 sees him on the run after that, and it opens up the world of the High Table and the Continentals far more than the previous movie. Imagine a world like Assassin’s Creed, sitting aside and apart from the world we know, with rules and history and formalities above the laws of nations. It’s an interesting idea, and one they show us well. Though I have to admit that I come to John Wick because I like the action. And the dogs. Trust me. The dogs are awesome. And so is the action. The sometimes meandering plot and exposition I could actually do without. Sometimes less is more.

But the action? And the dogs? And the horses? Those have me from opening title to the final roll of the credits.

I enjoyed the movie. If you’ve liked any of the John Wick movies, I challenge you to watch it and disagree with me. Heck. I double dog dare you on that point.

PS. If you should ever be put in the position to make the decision, do not, I repeat, DO NOT shoot the dog.

Period.

End of Line.

21 - Betty - Waterborn Peloran - The Albion wanted soldiers that could fight in any environment, from outer space to under the water. Most people know that the Arnam were their preferred soldiers for underwater work, but fewer people know that they were the…final perfected model. Others came before them, and many still exist today, living above the surface of the water with their Peloran brothers and sisters. They can’t live underwater, but they can certainly fight under the surface. We call them Waterborn Peloran because we almost never find them willingly away from some body of water, the larger the better in their mind. They tend to really enjoy water sports, where they’ve made their biggest inroads into the American cultural consciousness. Most people just assume they are Arnam, but the fanatics can spot the differences in seconds, even if they are wearing shades.

22 - Jack - Waterborn Peloran - It’s pretty hard to talk about the blue-skinned Peloran without talking about the Arnam as well. They are cousins, you know, and both pretty much live in the water. The Arnam under it, and the Peloran on top of it. Though they tend to meet in the middle a lot. Which is where I come in. I grew up on the southern shore of Rainy Lake, and I traveled through all the other little lakes, streams, and whatnot on the American-Canadian border. And that’s where a lot of the blue-skins settled down after Contact. There are all kinds of small islands dotting those waterways, and many were remote even for us. Others…well…there were dozens of them within just a few miles of my home. The blue-skins fell in love with them.

23 - Charles - Waterborn Peloran - Waterborn. Tanfor. Peloran. There are many names for them. The blue-skinned Peloran were the Albion’s first successful attempt at gengineering a soldier for underwater fighting. Though later advancements in the concept would far outstrip their capabilities. In some ways. The Arnam are actually too specialized in many ways, to the point that they find normal human environments uncomfortable. The Waterborn Peloran can walk and function in air as easily as any other human, and can survive in most planetary environments. Even desert areas won’t kill them, and they don’t require waterbeds to sleep in. They can maneuver, see, and fight underwater far better than other Peloran, while still being able to fight on land as well as most other Peloran. That was the secret to their success as a core Peloran genetic codex.

24 - Betty - Waterborn Peloran - The Waterborn Peloran sport blue skin, much like their Arnam cousins. Though their eyes are predominantly bright blue rather than sold black orbs. And they can’t breathe underwater. That limits their ability to live beneath the waves, but with breathing masks and oxygen they can swim underwater like they were born to it. Which they basically were. Their bright blue eyes can see underwater without any aid, though they can’t match Arnam eyes in the black depths far below the surface. They are every bit a match for the Arnam in the shallows though, and many times people report seeing the Arnam it is actually one of their Peloran cousins. Remember that the next time you see a blue skin walking down the street. Check their eyes if they aren’t wearing shades. You might be surprised who you are looking at.

25 - Jack - Waterborn Peloran - The thing to know about Northern Minnesota is that it is cold. Temperatures of below zero are the rule, not the exception. We see snows nine months out of the year. The lakes are frozen a couple meters down nearly half the year. Then there are the towns ringing all the small islands up there. The blue-skinned Peloran built their houses on the water so they could go in and out whenever they wanted, and then proceeded to heat the water around their islands for good measure. It’s pretty amazing to see those towns in a January cold snap, with heat fog rising above the water and obscuring entire islands you know are right there. I used to love approaching through that fog until the houses faded into view. Wait for a pretty blue face and shining eyes to open a door and usher me into a warm place to rest and relax. Maybe swim in the warm water. I really loved those days.

26 - Charles - Waterborn Peloran - The Waterborn Peloran are based on the standard Peloran genetic codex with heavy modifications to operate underwater. Their lungs include the ability to filter out unhealthy levels of nitrogen and other gases, and to keep them from bubbling out in potentially damaging ways. This makes them mostly immune to most pressure ailments and decompression issues. Their skin is designed to blend into and better survive the underwater environment, and their eyes can detect wavelengths only seen far beneath the surface. They do still need to breathe air though, which limits their dive durations to what the air supplies in their armor can support. Despite this limitation, they were deemed fully functional as warriors and the Albion kept their genetic codex in full production until the very end.

27 - Medron - Memorial Day - Numerous members of my family have served the military over the years. We’re farming people, but not everybody wants to be a farmer for ever. So every generation has had members who served in the military. My cousins have served. My parents generation has served. My grandparents. My great uncle went to Europe during World War II, came back and married the girl he was writing letters to the whole time. He grew old with her. Had children and watched them grow up. My uncle went to Iraq in the First Gulf War and came home to a less welcoming wife. He survived the divorce and found a wife who understood good times and bad. He had more children and watched them grow up. And then he lost the Battle of the VA.

On Memorial Day we remember those who died serving our nation. I was just listening to a veteran talk about his walk through Arlington the other day. His reaction when he realized he knew thirty of the men buried there. How it brought home to him what Memorial Day was really about. And that’s it in the end.

Freedom isn’t free. For us or others. Brave men and women will sacrifice their lives for it again and again. We must promise to remember them, and do everything we can to make certain it was not in vain.

28 - Betty - Nightborn Peloran - The Nightborn Peloran proudly number themselves as one of the Albion’s greatest successes and greatest failures. In a race of gengineered warriors, they’re the least likely to seek out combat. And you’re not going to find them in a little home in the forests, retiring after the wars are over. They actually treat most of the gengineered mental controls as mere suggestions rather than rules. It’s one of the reasons other Peloran consider them the most disreputable members of their entire race, you know. And it’s why they get along with Earthborn humanity better than just about any other Peloran out there. They act the most…human…of any of the Peloran. Which is the secret to their success.

29 - Jack - Nightborn Peloran - I met my first openly-Nightborn Peloran during The War. I say it that way because if you don’t pay attention to the exact capabilities of the various Races of Humanity you might have missed what exactly these particular people can do. There’s not a whole lot of them compared to the others. I’m not entirely certain on the reasons for that. I’ve heard people suggest that there are a lot more of them than we never notice. I really can’t say if I went to school with any of them back in the day. I like to think I would have noticed eyes like that at some point in time if I’d known any. They’re pretty unforgettable. Though if I’m being honest, my adolescent eyes didn’t raise as high as the eyes as often as may have been appropriate. Now I can say that nobody I knew went to school wearing coal-black skin, though that’s less of a definitive statement on the matter than many would like considering their capabilities.

30 - Charles - Nightborn Peloran - The Peloran are generally regarded as the best gengineered soldier race in existence. They are certainly the most successful at surviving after the war they were built to fight came to an end. The Albion created the Nightborn as special forces operatives, built to watch from the shadows and strike without warning. Assassins and infiltrators who seamlessly blend into their surrounding environment. The greatest mistake of their plan was in making the Nightborn too cool under fire. To the point that they do not generate an adrenalin rush in combat at all. They simply do not like to fight. They do not want to kill. They do not even want to hurt people if they can avoid it. But outsmarting people? Tricking people? Learning secrets? Those missions they enjoyed above all others, and the chameleon-like skin they were designed with made them exceptional at those.

31 - Betty - Nightborn Peloran - The Nightborn were supposed to be special forces warriors without peer. Deadly assassins and unparalleled infiltration specialists. Well. One out of three ain’t bad. They have no affinity for combat at all, so when given a choice they gravitated towards other pursuits. Information gathering was actually one that they loved so much as a general rule that a race built for war became some of the best natural scouts in the galaxy. Give them a mission to go in and learn things, and they’ll jump to the task like no other. The stimulation of discovering new things is a natural high to them. They just love to learn, and the more people don’t want them to learn something, the more they want to learn it. That makes them really good intelligence gatherers.

dairy_entries_2019-05.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/14 03:09 by medron