New turret - needs better textures.

I think I've finished the major modelling, leaving probably only little tweaks. Now I need to do materials and textures, which are really not my strong-suit.
I've tried to add a little wear to the parts of the barrel that will slide back with recoil, but it doesn't quite work, yet.
I'm not too sure about the sensor turret at the back. I may rebuild much of it, or even go for a completely different sort of thing, if I decide I don't like it.
I look forward to hearing what anyone thinks of any aspect of this, and would love to answer any questions, particularly technical.


The blue box.

I had a particularly narrative dream last might. it was actually related to the episode of doctor who I watched last night, which was the first of a two parter, I dreamed a second part to it, though there was a radical change of tak to it, so I think I can quite easily tell this story without giving any spoilers.
Unfortunately the dream is slipping from my mind as I type, so I won't be able to tell you the whole thing, more a series of scenes that don't really link up.

Something has been hijacking the tardis, and making it not do what it's supposed to. The Doctor has tried many technobabbley solutions, none of which have worked. This leaves the only solution he can think of being that the tardis is cursed. At this point I saw the tardis with an entirely white door (like the colour had been drained from it, the handle to the door was a scary looking skull. the doctor goes outside to see how it looks from there, leaving Rory (one of the current companions) alone inside. The door closes, which is some how ominous. The doctor opens it and finds Rory trapped in a wooden box which appears to have been built around him. only his face is showing through a gap between planks. The wooden box he is in fills the entire internal space of the tardis, which has become considerably smaller on the inside (than the outside) (this alludes to the Mat Smith doctor's liking for people using the phrase 'it's bigger on the inside', which no one has so far this series.)
The doctor pulls Rory's box out and it lands face first on the ground. Before helping him, the doctor looks at the now tiny inside of the tardis.
He looks away to Rory's box, but then back to the tardis, it is now, suddenly heavily damaged, looking like it has been smashed to pieces with a pole, which is now left impaled through the door by the skull handle.

The Doctor ignores this for a moment, and turns to the box in which Rory is trapped. he turns it over and finds that Rory's face is no longer at the hole. He rippes off the planks nailed to the front, revealing that it is entirely full of grass cuttings (this is a dream, remember). He assumes Rory is still in there, and reaches an arm inside to save him. He grabs something cylindrical, hoping it's a leg, but he pulls it out and it is a bike pump (the same sort I own, to be precise), he tries again and gets another one. Then he looks at the box, it is now far too small to have ever fitted a person in it.

A woman is there (you know the way tend to appear unquestioned in dreams) she is the woman from the episode I watched last night. She has the feeling of the villain about her, like she is an alien pretending to be human. She reveals that she has been doing the weird stuff that's been going on. setting the doctor off on one of his rants.

He talks about how it can't be done by someone simply moving faster than can bee seen, because he would have felt the air disruption from the really fast movement of boxes. (I realise now that couldn't possibly have done the changing to the tardis) He eventually works out that she must have been using other dimensions, and hasn't been changing the tardis at all, just swapping the real one for something almost identical, just with a something changed. I don't think I ever knew how he did it, but the doctor, knowing what's been going on, can now solve the whole thing.

The woman tries to stop him by hitting him with a metal box lid through the axis of another dimension. knowing to look out for other dimensional attacks, he stops her and hits her with the thing in a more normal way (right in the face, which is really not his style). I think it was maybe incapacitating her that made everything reappear in this dimension. There is a row with the real tardis at one end, next to it the one with the white door and the skull handle, then the one that's tiny on the inside, with the original box Rory was stuck in, finally the one that's been smashed up was at the end.

That's where the doctor who portion of the dream ended. But for the story, presumably the doctor gave a final speech, worked out what this woman wanted with him, and found Rory, before departing in the tardis.

The rest of the dream was even more odd. thee were two parts. In the first I was with my mother in a place where I used to live. there was a gas fire on the wall that was filthy, I showed her through to the next room where there was an identical gas fire which was gleaming clean, though disassembled. I told her that this one I had cleaned, but forgot to but back together. She seemed very impressed.

In the final part of my dream, I was still with my mum, walking beside a river. Cars passed us, and it was obvious that they were fleeing from reavers (Firefly). the reavers' cars passed us a moment later, chasing the first lot. They crossed a bridge to the other side of the River. I watched them go down that side, chasing the other cars, but one of them veered to the left, jumping over the river to come after us. That was the end of this bit.

I would love to see what a... whatever you call someone who analyses dreams... thinks of this, it would probably show that I'm actually mad in a certifiable sense of the word.


About me

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hi i started checking you out after seeing the xenos explorer ship post.
could you do an about me post, are you working in design, where you a from, what software you use, even some tips on how you get your inspiration."

And so by popular demand (I have so few people who actually read my blog that any demand is popular) here is a post about me.

I am a nerd. I think I should get that down first of all, as everything else kid of revolves around it. Secondly, (though not actually being related to me being a nerd) I am a human male who has travelled around an uninteresting star roughly 20 and a half times since I was born.
For anyone who want's to see me, here is a picture of me desperately trying to look cool:

It's not actually very good for seeing what I look like, I just really like my coat, and my hat.
Which brings me to one interesting thing about me, if there's a room full of people, and you know I'm there, I'm probably the one in the hat. Unless it's a very swanky indoors do, in which case I'm probably outside, so I can wear my hat.

Maybe I should do something chronological...
A few billion years ago a large amount of energy suddenly decided it wanted to explode, and BOOM! shiny new universe. It was all a bit hot for a while, and I mean way past nice sauna temperature, then things started to cool down and become proper things made of atoms and such. and then, a few billion years later there was an unassuming little planet, orbiting the afore mentioned unassuming star in an unassuming galaxy. Some chemicals bonded together in a way that let them make more of themselves, and suddenly there was life. Evolution took hold and one thing led to another, and eventually there were things that called themselves people. They weren't actually that different to anything else that had been around for a few million years prior, but they thought they were. And it was this ability to think in a useful, constructive and self deluding way that really made the species take off...
So what does this have to do with me, I hear you ask... Well go on then ask it...
The answer, I am one of these little self deluded creatures which presumes to think itself more important than it could ever really be - I am a human, as I've mentioned before, I think.
The life cycle of a human is generally 50 to 100 years and is mostly pretty dull. That's why this post won't take as long to read as it did to gather data for it (20 years so far).
The life cycle of these animals starts with infancy. Babies are small, smelly, pathetic, fragile creatures, and don't greatly differ from their adult forms. When I was one I wasn't sure how much I wanted to be one. In fact I wasn't sure I really wanted to be one of anything, so I tended to stop breathing. Which led to two very scared parents, some cost to the tax payer through the NHS and me having one extra interesting anecdote. Besides that, there were no permanent affects.
Things continued for me in a fairly ordinary fashion for several years. I slowly learned to walk, talk, read, and most importantly, in my opinion to think.
In my early schooling it was often thought that I would amount to nothing. I would spend hours on end staring into space and thinking. I can remember my teacher showing my mum an exercise book with the date scrawled (well half of it) on one line, and below it was written something like "This was an entire afternoon's work".
I did get better at the whole 'school' thing. I eventually became very good at science, allays wanting to know more than the teacher would tell me (sometimes more than the teacher could tell me). I remember in the last year of junior school, at the age of maybe 10 or 11. We'd just started learning about forces, and I was already demanding that the teacher explain how a desk could apply a different force when it was sat on to when it wasn't without the desk itself actually changing. I don't think the teacher was prepared to be grilled on the fundamentals of science by a 10 year old.
My love of science has only grown since then. Jumping back a little, the shows I really remember from my childhood aren't those intended for children, which kept me happy while I was watching them, but formed no real memories, It is Star Trek that I remember. I had to go to bed before Voyager was on, but I would often stay up listening to it from my bed room.
So, I passed through the rest of school, always loving science, hating English, and mildly disliking maths. Whenever I had the chance to choose a subject it was almost always science. except at GCSE, where you couldn't do all science, and I ended up doing Art and Drama. Art I didn't really like, it was too much research and reference, I just wanted to build stuff with clay and do drawings. Drama I did enjoy, though I don't feel it was particularly useful to me.
Then at A level when the subjects get distilled down to just four, I chose Physics, Chemistry, Electronics and Geology. I loved and excelled at physics and Electronics, in fact in electronics the teacher would occasionally have me check his answers. Chemistry wasn't so fun, it was too much remembering facts and names. I think one reason I didn't like it as much as physics is because so much of it is just what humans have done, not what is really there in nature. Geology came out of no where. I believe I was the first student at my school to take the A-level in Geology without having taken the GCSE, so I think it was of some surprise that I did well in the subject passing with an A. It is usual to drop one subject after the first year, but I chose not to. after both years with 4 subjects, I got three As and a B, the second best grades in my entire year. (The B was in Chemistry.)

I decided to go on to university and study Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE). but first I took a year out in which my brother and I travelled around Europe, staying with various people we know. this trip was insightful, exciting, interesting, scary, long and expensive. And generally a brilliant experience. I have yet to fully write up my experiences, which I may do one day, so watch this space.

I started university very nearly two academic years ago. I had to do a foundation year as I didn't do Maths at A-level. This year was generally aimed below A-level standard, so I found it all quite easy, especially the electronics we did. The most interesting thing we learned was quantum physics, which is both fascinating and confusing. Probably the best thing I got from this year was a very good friend, though, alas, he chose not to continue with the course and now lives in America.

I am not at the end of the first real year of my EEE course, and the jump in difficulty has really caught me off guard. I've been struggling to pass some modules, as I actually need to revise, which I didn't last year, or at A level as I could think my way out of most problems.

Well, that became an academic section, I hope it wasn't too boring. I guess I'll go for a categorical approach instead of a chronological approach, as that seems to be what's happening anyway.

So this section will be about design.

As I said, I grew up watching sci-fi. This meant that the things I would draw in my lunch breaks were of three types; Starships, aliens, and dragons. Dragons because everyone loves dragons.
As well as my abilities with a pencil, my knowledge of and attention to science improved with time. in high school I mainly designed ships for my brother's science fiction (he has no skill at drawing, but this is more than made up for by his story telling ability). We wanted to make these ships exceed startrek in the logic of their design, and their scientific accuracy. Recently we have decided on two scientific concessions; FLT, to get us to the aliens, and translators, so most of the storey isn't spent saying hello. Besides these the drives, the gravity, the power systems and the weapons are all done in a logical manner and can be explained with real science.

I found My ideas outstripped my abilities to draw them, so I turned to my computer, Sparky (sparky 1). I tried to draw using the gimp, but found it too hard to make ships look good, so I started to draw them as blueprints - orthographic side, front, top and bottom views that showed the designs of the ships. this allowed for an accuracy I had long desired.

It was at this stage in my scifi career, as you might call it, that my brother and I took our trip around Europe. In Berlin, I believe it was, I started to write my novel. this was done in pencil in an A8 notebook which I never plan to show to anybody. When I returned to Wales, I started to write it up onto Sparky, editing its content as I went along.

A while after we'd settled back in I started to learn to use Blender to build ships in 3D.
It is a complicated and versatile program, which makes it quite overwhelming to new users.
I was determined to learn on my own, and didn't even look at tutorials until I had some competence with it. my first attempts were dire, a random squiggle, which doesn't even look much like a shape. eventually I understood the buttons and modes and started to make things that looked like I wanted them to.
Eventually I had to concede, and look up tutorials on the internet, filling in the gaps I had left in my knowledge by my solitary approach.
I don't think I will ever be able to use the program to the best of its ability.

While learning Blender, I continued to write my novel in secret. Originally it was a rather cruel story where I tried to torture my main characters as much as possible. as I continued, I found I grew to care about my characters, and I stopped being pointlessly cruel to them and the story took shape as a science fiction rather than a pointless gore-fest. This is why anyone who wants to read my novel will see book two, first, and probably never book one.
I deliberately let my parents know that I was writing, as the story became more prominent. My mum wanted to read my novel, despite (and possibly because of) numerous warnings about it's content. I edited each chapter before I let her read them, reigning back the worst bits, and bringing the earlier craziness in line with the later, lesser craziness. I think I may have actually permanently changed my mother's opinion of me with this book.

In some ways I think it would have been better to keep my book a secret until it was finished. I found it easier to write when it was just me and the characters, though this would have made me lack the restraint that comes from knowing that someone will see it, so It may have continued to be unpalatable gory torture (for both reader and characters).

After well over 200,000 words and more than 100 chapters, I still don't know where my novel will finish, but I do know where it's going at the moment, which I didn't for a while (my mum used the phrase treading water quite aptly). Several people have suggested I try to get something published, but I know that it all needs a lot of work before it's fit for public consumption. one person I sent it to (and this is the almost reasonable second book) hasn't spoken to me since.

Well, that pretty much brings this up to the present, and I think anyone who's read all the way through this horrendous (and unedited) block of text, now knows me quite well, if only by the way I write. Of course I don't actually expect anyone to get this far before gnawing their own arms off.

For over a year (I think) I made sure I wrote 500 words or more every day. this was very good for getting my novel out, but I think it's made me overly verbose, I'll have to word count this when I'm finished. I've been sat here writing this for nearly two hours! So I think I'll leave it here. I have to revise tomorrow for an exam the day after; Power engineering... I actually have no idea what might come up in that one as I missed most of the lectures. Wish me luck, please.

So goodnight all. And to the anonymous who asked me for this I expect you will have learned to regret asking me questions, I always give far too much in my answer and bore people to insanity. I sincerely hope you will ask me more questions, but I would ask that you make them specific, for the well being of my fingers, your eyes, and both of our sanities... you might want to ignore that, I'm rambling... I could say more, but it would still be rambling...
Oh, and then there's... no, must stop rambling now...

bye :D

P.S. Kiml42 comes from Kiml - a few random characters I punched into a game one, and 42 - which is, of course, the answer to the ultimate question.

p.p.s. I should probably include my name in an about me post. It is Richard.



I had a dream a few nights ago. I lay in bed for a while thinking about it, arranging the things that happened into a proper story. Then I had to write it, so I did, three thousand words straight off with barely a break. I have since edited it slightly for spelling grammar and punctuation, but this is still pretty much what crawled out of brain that morning.
I hope you enjoy it, I look forward to reading any comments you may have.

By Kim L.

Jack pushed open the door. A machine beeped alerting the girl at reception of his presence. She smiled as she looked up and saw Jack and Peter enter.
“You here for the allnighter?” she asked as they approached.
Before answering. Jack lent over her desk and planted a kiss on her cheek.
She placed her hand where he had just kissed her. “If you're looking for a discount because you're my boyfriend, I'm afraid I can't do that.”
“Aww come on, Alice,” said Peter.
“Or my brother.”
“Okay,” said Jack, feeling like he was surrendering, “How much is it?”
“A tenner.” Seeing their uncertain looks she added, “It is allnight, and we do a discount on snacks after 11.”
“You know we're going to do it anyway.” The boys each passed her a crumpled note. “Thank you. Don't we get a receipt? To prove that we've paid?”
“I'm staying here allnight, and I think I can remember you two. So, did your lecture finish early?”
“A little. Calculus is so dull, each minute should count for half an hour.”
“You only say that because you're freakishly good at it.”
Jack looked into her eyes, Peter rolled his. They both walked off into the large darkened room.
“I don't think I'll ever understand you two,” said Peter.
“Hey, she's hot, nice, and we share so many interests.”
“You mean like shooting terrorists?”
“And breaking bedsprings.”
Peter winced. “Dude, That's my sister!”
Strait faced, Jack said, “lol.”
Their conversation attracted the attention of the others they all waved and said 'hi' or sometimes even a verbose 'Hey there.' Jack and peter too their seats, and pushed the on buttons at each of their stations.
As they waited for the computers to boot, they leaned back to talk around the dividers between the stations.
“What do you want to start with?” asked Peter.
“I feel there are too many zombies in this world, do you want to do something about that?”
They both turned to their now active computers and logged themselves in. in a few more minutes of loading an navigating menus, they were finally ready to play.

After playing for a couple of hours there still seemed to be no end to the zombie haord. Jack, Peter and a couple of the others shot, kicked, axed and crowbarred their way through, achieving various minor objectives on the way to safety. The hoard proved to be to numerous, and the difficulty too hard. The small group were backed into a corner, with no hope of rescue, and their other friends dropping like flies, they were ready for a last stand, shotguns at the ready they blew away the ones that came faster than the slow plodding crowd.
As their predicament seemed truly hopeless, a box in the corner notified them of another player logging in. What seemed like several minutes of zombie splatting panic later, a black cloaked figure dropped from the rooftops, with a sword and a gun, the zombies seemed to fall to pieces.
After the last of that hoard turned and ran, it receiving a single piece of lead into the back of its mouldy brain, Alice realised that she wasn't just being watched on the game, there was a face at the side of her station.
“You saved us again, honey.” said Jack.
“Yeah, you two are such babies. Why are you looking at my screen, I'm sure neither of you died.”
“You're just too awesome, it has to be seen to be believed.”
She sniffed a laugh, then leant back to kiss her boyfriend.
“Come on guys,” called Peter from the far station. “There's more coming.”
Jack and Alice snapped away from each other, going straight back to their own computers. Ready to fight through yet more zombies.

Peter was woken in a massive fiery explosion. He screamed, flailed and his chair fell over backwards. He staggered to his feet rubbing the back of his head. He looked up and found Jack and his sister staring at him.
“I was wondering when you were going to do that,” said Alice.
“You make it sound like I did it deliberately.”
“Didn't you?”
Peter set his chair back on its wheels, now just holding the back of his head.
“You're acting this a lot more than I'd expected.”
“What are you on about?” Peter asked, taking his hands off his head to gesticulate.
Alice rubbed his head. “I told you you wouldn't get me with your silly games, brother. Wait.” she looked down at her hand, there was blood on it. “You're really hurt, aren't you.”
“What else would I be?”
“I'll get the first aid kit.” Alice ran off.
“What the hell was she on about?”
“I don't know either,” said Jack.
“She always has been a bit crazy.”
“Yeah.” Jack smiled, looking at Alice as she ran back.
Alice started employing her first aid training and wrapped a bandage round her brother's head. “We need to check you aren't concussed.”
“I think we need to see if you're concussed.”
“You're starting to worry me now. You're really acting like you didn't come in earlier.”
“We didn't!”
“You did, you told me something about having to avoid your doctor, that he was a monster or something.”
“My Doctor?” asked Peter.
“No, Jack's doctor.”
“We have the same doctor!”
“Oh, yeah. Well, you said he was actually a monster, and we would need to run from him. You even had a bandage on your head, and told me that you were going to fall off your chair, and that I would put one on you. I didn't believe you, of course, time travel's impossible. So I was expecting you to pretend to fall off your chair and get hurt. But I don't think anyone would do this deliberately. Not even you.”
Jack laughed. “That's crazy even if there were a time machine, why would we be its pilots?”
“There isn't a time machine, it's the doctor, you said he makes me cease to exist, and that you need to run from him to find a way to save me.”
“Cease to exist?”
“Like, pop, gone you said.”
“what else did we tell you.” asked Peter, sounding amused by the idea.
“You said I said there was something you had to do, but he got me before I could tell you, so you'd have to work it out again.”
“And what was this thing?”
“You didn't know, because I hadn't told you.”
“But if you don't know to tell us now,” said Jack, “Then we can't know to tell you then.”
“Don't act like you actually believe her,” said Peter. “Jack? Jack? What are yo looking at?”
“Doctor Pankhurst?”
Peter looked up and saw a figure dressed in white, with a stethoscope round his neck.
“This is far too elaborate for her just messing around.”
Before she could turn, the doctor reached out a hand and placed it on Alice's shoulder. A moment later, she was gone. Jack and Paul screamed together, looking up at the doctor's face. He had a contented expression like he'd just saved a life or something. He seemed dazed for a moment, giving the boys an opportunity to slip past him and run out of the front door.
“What the fuck!” exclaimed Jack. “Where the hell did she go?”
“Language young man!” an elderly lady said as she passed by on the street.
“Sorry mrs T.”
“That's okay, Jack. What's wrong anyway? You look like you've seen a ghost.”
“Uh, I don't think I could explain it.”
“Okay deer. I'll see you tomorrow.” She walked on down the street.
“What's she doing out at four thirty in the morning?” asked Peter.
“She always was a bit mad, mrs Tanner.”
The heard the beep of the door behind them. The doctor was once again towering over them.
“Run!” shouted Peter, not waiting for Jack to start running.
“Where are we going?!” asked Jack.
“I don't know! I'm just running. That think killed my sister!”
“Lets get to the train, we'll be able to get away much faster.”
“Okay. Good plan.”

The pair stopped, panting, at the station. The next train home was in two minutes, they bought tickets from the machine, and stood on the platform waiting impatiently.
“She just disappeared, Jack, Vanished into thin air. Do you think he's going to do that to us?”
“No,” Jack said trying to sound more certain than he was. “And he won't do it to her either.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know the stories, if we find a way to defeat this guy, everything will be back as it was.”
“That's just stories, wishful thinking. What if she's gone forever?”
“She can't be. She said there was a way to save her, all we have to do is find it.”
“Okay. I suppose that's better than just running away.”
“I think I hear the train.”
“That doesn't sound like the train should.”
“I know, it's different.”
The train engine passed them as it decelerated into the station. Steam billowed out of the top of it. Jack and Peter looked at each other, then back at the train. They saw their reflections appear and disappear as the windows passed them. They also saw a tall white figure behind them. Fear kept them looking at the train, begging it to stop and the doors to open. As each window passed the doctor's reflection grew closer. Enveloped in a final puff of steam, the train stopped, and a man in old fashioned cloths opened the door. Peter and Jack squeezed in before the people waiting started coming out. Every one looked at them for a moment with expressions of surprise. But they looked away again almost instantly, as if they'd never seen them. The boys slipped into a compartment and went straight up to the window looking out at the platform. The doctor was standing in the exodus of people, being avoided by them, but otherwise ignored.
They heard the door open, and a few more people came in, taking seats, and ignoring the two at the window. They looked back out, and found the doctor gone.
“He must be on the train!” exclaimed Peter.
“We need to get off before he catches us.”
The left the compartment. The occupants looked up when the door opened, but didn't seem to find anything amiss. The boys pushed past people to get towards the door. The reached a break in the crowd, where the corridor was clear at the far end the doctor stood looking down at them hungrily.
They turned and fled the other way, passing through the crowd without apparently disturbing anyone. The train started moving. The corridors emptied into the compartments, making it easier for the boys to run, but soon they ran out of space, reaching the front of the train. They ducked into the vacant foremost cabin, and waited for what felt inevitable.
“What the hell is going on!” exclaimed Peter. “What's with this old train, and all the outfits.”
“We really are travelling in time, we're in the past.”
“Creiky.” so we could change stuff, make sure that man never meets my sister.
“I don't think we can, you know how it is, we mustn't change things, do you know what happens if we cause a paradox?”
“Well neither do I, but it is always really really bad.”
“Okay, so no paradoxes.”
“I think we should get off at the next stop.”
“No shit Sherlock, with him on the train, we can't get off soon enough.”
“I think it's stopping.”
“Bit soon isn't it? But yes, look at the trees.”
“Well good, the sooner the better.”
They went to the nearest door and watched as a station came into view. There was a diesel train on the opposite side, which seemed fine at first, then they realised what sort of train they were on. The disembarked quickly, and stood for a moment on the station.
“Wait a second,” said Peter. “We're back where we started.”
“Indeed, and the train's gone.”
“Yeah. Where's that doctor thing, then?”
“No idea, for now. But I expect we need to find out what time it is.”
“And what date it is.”
“Yes, that too.”
“Ah, it's quarter past one.” said Peter, looking up at the big clock over the platform.
“And it's today,” said Jack, seeing the date on the clock, “so this must be our chance to warn Alice.”
“So we go back to the games lounge.”
“Yes, her shift starts at one, so we'll probably meet her.”
“We know we meet her.”
“Good point.”

The machine over the door beeped and Alice looked up at Jack and Peter.
“Hello you two, I wasn't expecting you for another two hours. Didn't you have a lecture.”
“Cancelled.” said Peter, thinking quickly.
“Really?” she asked sceptically, knowing her brothers knack for skipping lectures. “What happened to your head?”
Jack ran up to her and hugged her over the desk. “Oh, I was so worried about you.”
“What? What's going on?”
“You won't believe us now, but later, Peter will fall of his chair, and hit his head, you'll bandage it up, and that will convince you we aren't being messing around.”
“Okay,” she said humouring her somewhat eccentric boyfriend.
“We'll need you to tell us some things, the other us, that is, well, our past, your future. There's a man after us. He looks like my doctor...”
“Our doctor,” corrected Peter.
“The doctor. But he isn't, he's some kind of monster trying to kill us.”
“The doctor is trying to kill you?”
“Well, not kill excatly,” said Peter, “more like Pop!”
“He makes you explode?”
“No,” said Jack, “you just vanish, gone, ceased to exist.”
“Okay? Was there anything else, like men from Mars, or Daleks?”
“I'm afraid, he gets you.”
“You mean he's going to vanish me?”
“Yes, but don't worry, there's still a way to save you and make it like nothing happened.”
“And what is this miracle cure to not existing?”
“We don't know yet. He vanished you before you could tell us,” said Peter.
“Not quite, you told us we told you that he got you before you could tell us, but that might just be because we told you that.”
“It not important, well it is important, but the point is you don't tell us how to solve this, so we still don't know.”
“So I should tell you about this when my brother falls over and hits his head?”
“Okay, but you're right, I don't believe you.”
“Don't worry about that, you will, and I'm sure everything will be fine in the end. We have to go now, I think the past us are coming. Just be natural, don't mention anything until you believe us, there's no way you'll convince us than, if you don't believe us now.”
“Okay, whatever.”
“I'll see you in a little while.”
“There's no need to get all emotional.”
“Of course. Good bye.”
The boys left hastily, ducking into an alley as they saw their past selves coming down the street the other way, followed by the doctor a short distance behind.
“There he is, let's get him,” said Peter.
“But we know we don't, he got to the games lounge in our past, so there's no way we can change that.”
“But he gets there in the small hours of the morning, it's only one thirty now. It can't take that long to walk down the street.”
“Maybe there's some time thing, makes him get there later.”
“I don't think so, he's coming this way.”
Jack turned to look at the tall white figure, reaching out a hand towards them. Peter grabbed a pipe that had been left in the alley. He swung the pole at the tall man. The doctor seemed to slide out of the way, appearing behind the boy, and placing a hand on his shoulder. The pole clattered to the ground, Peter was gone.
“You've killed my two best friends you bastard!” screamed Jack as he backed against the wall.
“I've killed no one. They are simply gone.”
“Who are you?!”
“I would appear to be Doctor Pankhurst.”
“Well, what are you then.”
“There is no way for you to understand fully. I am an alien, I suppose you would say.” the man slowly advanced towards Jack, wearing the same contented expression as when he'd vanished Alice. “Also, I have only taken one of the three of you so far. I will take you second and Alice third.”
“How do you know her name?”
“I've been her doctor for fourteen years.”
“What, so you really are my doctor?”
“What do you want, why are you doing this to us?” Jack stood on a bin to put some more distance between him and the monster.
“My species feed on the temporal energy contained within a paradox.”
“But there hasn't been a paradox, we never met ourselves.”
“That's not the only way to cause one. You did it by telling Alice about me, the information you told her was never invented, you told her in the past what she will tell you in the future, if you had told her nothing, there would have been nothing for her to tell you, and there never would have been a paradox.”
“But what about the time going all screwy?”
“Ah, I do that. My species can sense the possibility for a paradox, and we alter the way time works for a few people to make that happen. Which is in itself paradoxical, which we can also feed off.”
“So what are you going to do to me?”
“Time travel creates realities. If there is a paradox the reality is unstable, it will destroy itself in time, which I suppose won't make sense to you, as you can only view time from the inside. This reality we are in at the moment is such a reality. To avoid causing harm to life, we create a semi-paralell reality. In this reality, most of the people are actually an interrealitational representation of their real selves in another reality, that's why they can only notice you on a very low level, and they aren't capable of making any memories from something that happens here and not there. You, Peter, Alice, and myself are the only ones who are really here, and we are represented similarly in the normal reality, though we are more effected by it than it is of us.”
“So what happens when you touch me?”
“I absorb the temporal energy from you and you are put back into your normal reality. Then after I touch Alice, all four of us will be back to normality, and you can continue to live as if this hasn't happened. In fact several people I've done this to in the past have gone on to write some rather enjoyable novels and screenplays.”
“So we'll all be fine?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then why did you chase us and let us get so scared?”
“Since people started writing time-travel stories, real people are much better at avoiding paradoxes, so I'm afraid I occasionally have to improvise. I'm sorry I scared you.
I wish your friend would fall of his chair sooner, I'm going to have to wait fourteen hours for the paradox to start before I can start putting you all back in the right places. I'm going to send you back now, but I have one final piece of advice, don't stay up all night watching every “Back To The Future” movie, you have lectures tomorrow, and there's plenty of time to watch each of them on separate nights. Trust me, I'm a doctor.” He laid one large hand on the boy's shoulder, leaving him alone in the alley.
“I guess I'll go for the high score on Pacman while I wait. Do these fancy new computers even have those old classics? These humans make time pass so quickly.”


Profile: Cassandra Green. Part 1

I like to start a post wit something visual, it's not particularly useful with her being in a space suit, but I've found the imagination paints the bes pictures.

Character profile. This profile details her life before the events of the first of my books, so there aren't any real spoilers.

Name: Cassandra Green
Age: 37 (in book one) 39 (in book two)
Hair colour: Green
Eye colour: Emerald green
Height: 170cm
Adaptation: regeneration, extra senses, precognitive, strong, fast, very clever, can ignore pain,
Temperament: childish, very curious, likes to experiment, silly, show off, likes to cook,always aims to please others.

Three years after River was viable, Helen and Ernest completed their second clone. River spent a lot of time watching her grow and subconsciously communicating with her telepathically. This has led to a very strong connection between these two, and later Anna as well.
Cassandra spent most of her early life playing and learning with her family. She relished all Ernest, her father, could teach her in his field of bionics. Before she was five she was already a great help to him in his lab.
When she was eleven her mother, Helen, was killed by an anti-genetics activist. Cassandra was mortified and fell back on her three remaining family connections with her father and sisters. Even though she was only two years older, River became almost a replacement mother to her.
Cassandra continued to assist her father which helped him to overcome his loss. The murder of her mother made her feel more scared of the world beyond the walls of their house and its extensive grounds. River and her started to teach themselves combat techniques, becoming very adept in unarmed, melee and ranged combat, Anna was more willing to rely on River's protection, but she was encouraged to learn some skills with her two older sisters. Ernest encouraged the girls with their training, as he was afraid for their safety when the wanted to start going out without him.
Around her eighteenth birthday Ernest reluctantly started letting her go out with River. They would often go to pubs and nightclubs, attracting a lot of attention for their appearance as well as the way the liked to dance together. Of course most of the attention was from the men at these places who would often make passes at either or both of the girls, which were either successful or painfully unsuccessful, mostly depending on what River's mood was at the time.
Cassandra became sexually experimental with many partners of both genders. Neither she nor River settled into stable or lasting relationships until later.
Cassandra enjoyed helping people, often going far out of her way to please even a complete stranger. This would occasionally get her into awkward or even dangerous situations, fortunately River's training and help kept her safe from any more harm than she found enjoyable.
In her home life she was the main cook of the family, and enjoyed trying recopies she found on the internet as well as experimenting on her own. Her heightened senses of taste and smell became a great asset in this.
Ernest would often enter various technologies at a major scientific competition funded by the military. Cassandra, River and Anna all helped him with his shows on stage. The three girls became popular amongst this small group of elite scientists.

And that's the set up for her character at the beginning of the story.
I hope you enjoyed watching the video and scrolling past the tedious pros. All comments and questions welcome.


Sting, the robot wasp.

This is a video of the development process for this little robotic wasp, called Sting. It's sort of a character in the novel I'm writing, along with its cousin Spike and half brother Mr Shrimpsley (Later renamed the VCR - Vacuum Combat Robot)
Here's an excerpt from my novel, feel free to ask any questions that may arise:

A loud cheer emanated from the crowd. Black and the General looked towards the mid-air robot wrestling match. One of the little bugs was limping round with one of its wings hanging by a thread. It was Cassandra's robot, Sting.
“They're vicious,” said Black.
“Fun isn't it,” said an officer floating by them. “I mean, sir.”
“At ease, lieutenant. We're here for the fight, just as you are.”
“Thank you, sir.”
River's robot, Spike, appeared to have the advantage, taking a moment to aim its lasers at its crippled foe. With the rules they were playing by, a sustained hit on one part of the robot's light sensitive skin for two seconds would kill that section. If it was the head, abdomen, or any of the limbs, it would become paralysed, deactivating that section. If the thorax was hit for two seconds, that was game over. Just before Spike fired, Sting jettisoned its damaged wing and pushed itself sideways with the remaining three, dodging all but the first fraction of a second. Spike almost looked disappointed, it dived on Sting, deciding it needed to do more melee damage before it could sit back and laser its way to victory.
“That's a new trick.” said River.
“Yeah, I've got to keep you guessing.”
“But he can't win with three wings. Spike's bound to out-manoeuvre him, and Spike almost always wins when he gets a good grip.”
“I wouldn't be so sure about that.”
Spike chased Sting on a wild course around the open space of the cargo bay. Most people couldn't keep up with their speed and looked at one of the holographic screens which kept them in the centre of the shot and replayed key scenes mid battle at either River or Cassandra's will. Spike managed to force Sting into a corner, still going at ten metres per second. There would be no where to turn around so the only option would be to stop. But Sting didn't stop. It ploughed into the corner at full speed, bouncing off, apparently unscathed. With its velocity maintained, though reversed, it took Sting completely off guard, forcing the point on the tail, for which he was named, straight through the other robot's abdomen. The pair stopped, linked in the air, their momentums having been equal and opposite. They both twisted in the air trying to slash the other's wings while keeping its own safe.
Suddenly the mad, high speed chase around the bay had turned into a battle of strength, as they wrestled while drifting across the cargo bay. Red lines of lasers passed through the air, as they tried in vain to hit the other with their ranged weapons. Spike's strength waned as the electrolyte bled from the batteries in his abdomen. Sting pulled out his stinger, allowing him to move freely across the other robot. With minimal resistance he plunged his sharp mandibles into the soft connective parts at the base of the wings and legs, completely immobilising his opponent. They drifted apart and Sting turned around, took aim, and fired all four lasers into Spike's chest for ten seconds.
A minority in the crowd cheered, but most people had favored Spike as the winner. The holographic barrier vanished, showing it was safe to move forwards and see the combatants up close. Nobody wanted to move first, all of them had learned a little fear for robots in the last few minutes. River and Cassandra pushed away from the far wall directly towards their own robots, with surprising accuracy for what looked like an ordinary launch.
Sting grabbed its jetsome and flew to its master, while Spike could only look forlornly at River, waiting to be repaired.
To the General's surprise Black was the first to step through the now imaginary barrier. His feelings for River must be stronger than his fear of robots.


Xenos explorer and Corvettes

I am delighted to declare that he ship in this video was one of two runners up in a 3dvia competition to build a starship.

Here's my full description of both ships:

The larger of these two is a 3km long xenos explorer ship. The xenos are peaceful herbivores, so they don't like to build ships specifically for combat, but since they were forced into a major war they had to build combat vessels. The smaller ship along side is the corvette you may have seen in isolation as a previous model of mine, it is about 100m long.

The explorer ship is powered by a battery of fusion reactors. The Deuterium and Tritium fuel for the reactors is collected from space by the large dish at the front of the vessel, any excess can be stored in the external tanks clustered near the back of the ship. It is propelled by a single high speed plasma jet with two stage acceleration and energisation. You can think of this as a jet engine with an afterburner.
For defence it is covered with field dishes, these can apply a remote force to enemy and allied projectiles to turn them towards the enemy ships. These take the form of the small dishes, which can be extended on flexible arms, spread around the centrifugal gravity cylinder and on the exoskeleton.
Just aft of the main habitation area are eight bays, each of which is capable of carrying one corvette.

The corvette is powered by a fusion reactor, but cannot use its main field dish to collector so it needs to store all its fuel in the external tanks.
The corvette has a large main engine for straight line acceleration as well as four smaller engine modules for manoeuvring, these are located on arms to give a strong turning moment with relatively low force.
It's main weapon is a forward facing field dish with a single projectile gun aimed through the centre. It also has four smaller field dishes which can be used to manipulated enemy ships and projectiles, they can also be used for propulsion by pushing or pulling against larger ships of celestial bodies.

I look forward to reading any comments or questions you may have, and addressing them if applicable. (If you ask a question make sure you check subscribe to comments, so you'll see my reply.)