On This Journal

Once upon this time, I used this journal to chronicle the exploits of the Dread Lord Sargent, an evil overlord in a generic fantasy setting. As occasionally happens, he was defeated by a band of scruffy adventures and fled through a dimensional portal that sent him to a science-fictional world.

Then I lost interest.

These days I keep the LJ account to read and comment on other peoples' entries. My real blog lives at Live Granades. It is less fantastical, and has fewer mood icons. There's even an LJ feed: granades.
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To Eli On His Second Birthday

Happy birthday! I keep saying that to you, and you repeat it back to me, but you don't yet really know what that means. Here's a hint for you: PRESENTS. You do know what presents are, though. Christmas taught you that. Now anything wrapped is a present, and you demand to open it. It's not like you really care that much about what's inside—it's the opening that's fun.

You got a lot of presents for your birthday, including the Aquadoodle. It's a pad that you draw on using water, and when the water evaporates, so do the drawings. You, of course, were much more interested in the padlock we got you. "Lock a key!" you said triumphantly, marching around and showing your lock to everyone.

The lock and key are for more than showing, though. They are for opening! You use the key on the padlock. You try the key on the back door's lock. You put the key into the side of the table. Combine that with how you carry your stool around to reach things you otherwise shouldn't, and all I can say is, if text adventures come back in style, you're set.

In the last year you've become addicted to communicating. It started out simply enough, with pointing and grunting. Then we taught you a few bits of sign language. You quickly caught on, and soon you were adding to the signs. For instance, we taught you the sign for please, which is rubbing your flat right hand over your chest. You extrapolated from there: if one hand means, "please," then rubbing both hands means "NO REALLY PLEASE I MEAN IT."

Sign language was the gateway drug. You slid quickly into the harder stuff, talking more and more. The words sometimes don't come fast enough, leading to conversations filled with, "DIH DIH DIH DIH!" I guess "dih" is, like, y'know, your generation's new discourse particle. It doesn't matter. We love to hear you talk.

...most of the time. Other times, our inability to lay hands on duct tape has saved us from answering a doctor's embarassing questions about how you lost your lips. When you're sick, you have this habit of calling for us over and over. "Mooooooom," you call, "moooooom," your eyes Bambi-large and filmed with tears, the world trembling in sympathy. It's enough to melt the heart of anyone who hasn't had to listen to you say the same thing for ten minutes straight. "What?" we reply, and you fall silent for thirty seconds, before once again crying, "Moooooooooom." You've had ear infection after ear infection, cursed by tiny toddler eustachian tubes, so we've had plenty of chances to experience your bleats.

In the past we've divided up your body and given each family a portion: hands like mine, nose like your mom's. At this point I've lost the war. You look like her. I can take comfort in how, when you sit down and hunch your shoulders, staring at a toy that intrigues you, you're acting like me. I suppose this means you'll have an aptitude for science or engineering. If so, offset that by being a drummer in your spare time. They get all the chicks. Keyboardists like me only got keytars.

Like all children, you are a bundle of contradictions held together by a onesie. You apply reason and logic to the world, your brain working overtime to figure out how to do something. The next morning, you're shoving a piece of waffle into your nose and sniffing hard. (Clearly you're related to your Uncle Andy.) You can say the alphabet forwards and backwards, but sometimes you run into the table when you're tired.

Being a father is still the most rewarding and most challenging thing I've done, more challenging even than your mom and I figuring out we were meant for each other, and don't think I don't see that face you're making, young man. It was just Valentine's day, so I'm allowed to be mushy. You amaze and confound me. It frightens me how deeply I'm in love with you, and what I would do for you. I worry that I'm not spending enough time with you, or that I'm crushing your spirit when I punish you by sending you to your room to sit on your couch and cry.

This time with you slides past me like the wind, buffeting me as it passes. Already I'm forgetting things about you. I'm writing these letters as much for me as for you. I want to remember what it's like to drive home in the evening, get out of my truck, and hear you shrieking, "DADDY DADDY DADDY DADDY DADDY!" so loud that it's audible through the closed door. I want to feel your hand grabbing my index finger, pulling me with you. I want to lie down with my head on your couch and have you flop down beside me, crossing your hands on your chest in imitation.

I had a dream the night before your birthday. I was back in high school, my college years and beyond stretching before me. I was deciding what I was going to do differently, and then a terrible sad thought struck me: I would never know you this time through.

I've never been happier to wake up.

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    happy happy


I have discovered that there is a group of CEOs and other business-minded individuals that meets near my new headquarters. This "Alpaca Club" appears to be for the purpose of networking and gaining advantage, although they cloak their actions in claims of providing humanitarian aid and upholding high ethical standards.

Normally I would not waste time on such an organization until I knew more about its members and how much use said organization could be to me, but there is a more important consideration: Naomi is a member.
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    thoughtful thoughtful

Simplifying and Prioritizing

I have spent much of this weekend thinking, and have come to a conclusion: I cannot continue doing all that I do. As of today, I am no longer an independent contractor with the People's Protectorate.

This company I now head has great potential, and is my way into power, as corporations control all. My work with Hiram and the others provide a power base and a goodly amount of caps. My policing, though rewarding in its own way, was at its heart a dead-end job.

At least I get to keep my toys.

I saw Donnie after my meeting with the local comptroller, who scanned my retinas, took a DNA sample, closed out my accounts, and paid me my termination bonus. I informed him of my decision.

"What? What? No way. No. You can't do that."

I shook my head. "I, too, am sorry to be leaving this position, but my path now lies elsewhere." I typed into my assistant. "But I had a number of cases on which I was working, several of them nearly wrapped up. Please, take this information as a token of my appreciation for all you have done for me."

"We were so close to getting Frandsen!" He stared at me. "She's gotten to you, hasn't she?"

I shook my head. "I have been too busy at my new job."

As I was walking away, he shouted, "You know this isn't over! She'll hunt you down!"

"I thank you for the warning," I replied.
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    guilty guilty


It is taking a lot of time and effort for me to untangle the finances of MindWorks. So much so that I have had little time for anything else. I did institute one new policy after some discussion with the employees: Friday afternoons we play online games.

Finally I have a guild that I can control properly.
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The difficulty with attempting to claw your way into a position of power is that you must deal with multiple things in a short span of time. While I had to do this even as overlord, I had forgotten how much more intense it was when I was a penniless unknown.

Take today. I am attempting to discover more information about Donnie's overall plan, learning more about Naomi, and dealing with the day-to-day business of being leader of an illegal underground gang.

Hiram informed me of a company that was heavily indebted to our organization. I went to discuss matters with the CEO. Our normal mode of operation is to take over the company and remove its assets out like sucking marrow from a bone, leaving the owner or owners with a very bankrupt company. This, however -- this is different.

The company is called MindWorks, and is an extremely small company founded and run by one Neerson Kimrey, inventor and extremely poor businessman. Some years ago he invented a method of recording the brain's gestalt and storing it for later reconstruction if necessary. This is a difficult process, one which he has since been trying to render into practice.

This I learned in a tearful speech Neerson gave me when I explained what would happen next. Normally I am not moved by the soft-headed twaddle of the incompetent, but this technology....

"You have convinced me," I told him.

"Oh thank the random factors of the universe," he sniffled. Even in this godless time people make deities out of science. "You're going to let MindWorks stay in business?"

"Better," I told him. I felt myself beginning to smile. "I'm going to run MindWorks."
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    giddy giddy

Details of the Subpoena

I have been so distracted by Frandsen's resemblance to Morganeuse that I have neglected to mention how Donnie's delivery of a subpoena went.

In a word: poorly.

I am imprecise. Delivery of the subpoena went as planned. He, I, and a cloud of drones waited outside Frandsen's office building. When she walked out onto the street, he moved to block her. "Naomi Frandsen?" he said in a voice dripping with righteous anger tinged with a hint of "I am just doing my job." "I have a subpoena for you." He beamed the subpoena to her assistant.

Naomi stopped and looked at Donnie. She then looked at her assistant. "My lawyer software has informed me that your subpoena has been rendered null and void. You can look up the details in the court computers." And she marched right past Donnie.

I believe I am in love.
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A Theorem on Love

There are people who believe that there is but one soul-mate for them, and that they are destined to meet them regardless of circumstance or situation. In fact, these people go on to say, if you live multiple lives you will keep meeting each other.

I think this is a grand theory. The people who believe in it are more easily controlled. "Are you certain Lady Hasselbach is the one for you?" I once told one, and over time insinuated enough doubt that Duke Wimshurst gave up the match, instead spending his time on his technological pursuits. The theory is utterly baseless, the kind of sentimental tripe that passive people who have no wish to exert themselves believe to make their pitiable existence more tolerable.

But then how do I explain Ms. Naomi Frandsen, CEO of Heavy Lift Industries, a company allied under the aegis of the SiSTO corporations? I can admit now that she does not resemble Morganeuse in any physical way, yet her carriage is the same, her mannerisms appeared to be the same, and I felt that certain something that causes overlords to make foolish mistakes and become distracted from their upward climb.

Regardless, I now cannot disentangle myself from Donnie's machinations. I must find out more about Naomi.
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A Near Resemblance

Very well, I must admit that this woman's hair is straight where Morganeuse's was in ringlets, and she is short where Morganeuse was tall, and their noses differ quite a bit...

And yet the resemblance could not be plainer to my eye. I do not understand!
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    confused confused