Friday, July 29, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure part 1

I'm going to try something new. Just for kicks. Since I can't come up with any original ideas that I'd care to put to page (I've been coming up with movie and game ideas more lately ><), maybe I could get you all to help. I'll respond in the story with whatever you want. Suggestions go in the comments, of course. If i get a few, I'll just choose myself. Or if you'd like, you can vote on other peoples' suggestions.

Basically, this is for you guys. I'm just the shell of the core, and you guys have the keyboard. So now I begin.


He woke up to the ringing of his alarm. The buzzing reverberated through the room, bouncing of the walls resonating only the worst frequencies. Every morning he woke up to this. You'd think he would have just chucked it and bought a new one, but alas, laziness wins another battle.

Opening his eyes had never seemed so hard before. The nights activities had rendered him a vegetable, at least for now. Sleep paralysis clung to him like the sticky part of duct-tape that just never seems to wash off, and yet the ringing continued, plaguing him and his poor eardrums.

Finally, he mustered the strength to arise and slam one determined fist down onto the clock, silencing it, for now. 'Meehhhh,' was where he was, mentally, and the ten minutes of snooze-induced silence was nothing short of a godsend. He reached for his glasses, first on the windowsill next to his bed, and then to the office chair immediately next to him. Finally, the desperate groping paid off as his fingers brushed against glass and he heard the metallic clink of the cold, folded arms momentarily touching. He unfolded them tenderly and slid the glasses onto his face and pushed the hair out of his eyes.

Its amazing what one can do out of habit, even deprived of the most basic of senses, and yet every morning, this blind ritual took place without a hitch. Sitting up on his bed, he rested his head in his hand and exhaled deeply. "Fuck," he muttered. He stayed like that for another few minutes and then reached the determination to grab his phone and check for any messages in the night. This, another daily ritual, was performed in the same manner as any other habitual trait: with a sense of laziness and monotony.

To his surprise, there were actually three messages he had missed. Two from Steven, and one from Her. Thats right. He groggily remembered what had transpired last night. The forgotten conversation suddenly seemed so clear and immediate to him. Then a pang of remorse, as he knew that he completely and totally messed up. He just stared at the unopened messages, fearful and apprehensive, until the silent pondering was broken by the intrusion of the alarm.

What happens next? What happened last night? Who is 'He'? Who is 'Her'?
You decide!
Suggestions in the comment box, please!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lack of focus.

I've been noticing that lately i havn't been writing like i'd like to. Maybe cause i'm so focused on getting a job right now. I'm waiting to hear back from an HR guy about whether or not i got the job. I hope i did, i really do. but i cant know. not yet, apparently.

im getting so anxious. Ive been feeling the suspense for days now. Its driving me mad... Arrggghh.

Meanwhile ive been having these crazy star trek fantasies. Not like Kirk era, but Picard era. i want to explore the heavens. But alas, we have to figure out shit out down here before we can tangle with the infinite black.

Im trying to get myself and my friend to collaborate on a screenplay. but hes so busy that i cant really see him, let alone talk to him. whatever. his loss, i guess.

This apprehension is just... killing me. That guy needs to call and just let me know, yes or no. This waiting... Unbearable.
I want my job search to be over. so badly.


This could be the loudest library I've ever been in.. But maybe its just the other parts, the part I'm in is actually pretty quiet, minus the tapping at keyboards and the occasional flip of a page.

I've been here, what, since 1PM? Its getting on towards five now, then I meet up with Osiris. Which I'm really excited for, I haven't seen him since the new years party we helped throw. When I say we, I mean I only helped... By handing out fliers. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Haha. But really, I felt pretty good about it. I got a few friends to help and MM let us in for free. Free parties? Can't complain.

Osiris and I really didn't get much of a chance to just, hang out, you know? He was busy, I was...

And so we didn't see much of each other. But thats okay, I guess. So yeah, today we're hanging out. He's hosting a talk on the Kaballah at his house. A teacher is going to be leading it, his house is just the venue.

I have no idea what the fuck the Kaballah is, but I'm interested to find out. The Mystery School that he's been a part of for ages is going to be there. And I'm just curious about it because, well, it IS a mystery. From how I understand it, they teach and learn about Hermetic philosophies, and metaphysics, and things like that.

I think.

Remember, it IS a mystery school, after all.

Oh man. So I went in for an interview yesterday, lasted around an hour and a half, and now the guy is calling past employers. That wouldn't matter so much if my last official job wasn't a traumatic experience, or if the other person I listed on my resume wasn't my grandfather. I guess the HR guy for the job called Grandpa, so... I guess he wants to talk about that.

I don't know what there is to say, you know? I assume it went well. I TOLD the HR guy that CFJ is my grandpa's studio... For some reason I feel that a world of shit is about to fall on me.

Thirty minutes. I want to pack up, and let the next part of my day begin, but I know that if I get up, that if I go and call grandpa, the conversation will be over in like, five minutes. Then I'll have about 20 minutes to wait and loiter in from of the SPL. I don't want to tempt fate in the big city... Not today.

Whole Foods Market in Seattle is sooo legit. They make the BEST sandwiches. After the interview today at GCS, (which I HOPE went well), I wandered down to Westlake & Denny and had lunch at the Whole Foods there. I had a sandwich: multi-grain bread, peppered turkey, mayo, avocado, and pepper jack cheese. Toasted. Delicious.

I also started making a D&B song, at 190BPM. Its interesting. Huge influence from B-Complex's 'Beautiful Lies'... I'll link it when I post this, which will probably be tomorrow, Thursday, July 14th. But it'll actually be Monday, July 18th.

So yeah. Maybe I should just stop, and listen to This American Life episode 218. my favorite episode. Listen to it. Hell, I'll link that one too. :P why the fuck not?

Peace, all.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Moving Forward

I've spent pretty much all day looking at colleges. Evergreen looks pretty rad, I hear good things about it, and the way they do their majors is totally unique and I like it a lot. I'm still debating with myself whether or not its a good idea to invest in an education in sound engineering... Mainly because from what I hear, its nigh on impossible to make a living with your own studio. Especially in today's economy. Which is really too bad, because i have a passion and skill in that field. But... Do i do what makes me happy, or do i do what makes me money? That's the question I've been grappling with for awhile now. I think I'm starting to realize that I'm really not going to do something if i don't think it'll make me happy. Now, i don't mean that in a selfish way at all. I just mean in terms of money and careers. And if i have a talent and passion for music production, then why in hell shouldn't i go for it? Its not like there aren't jobs out there, in fields that I'd be interested in working in. I mean hell, to name a few big mediums for this trade: film, video games, music, marketing... Sound production and engineering is something that all multimedia productions require, and with the stricter copyright laws, engineers have to work harder (or smarter) to create ORIGINAL content for each and every new game, film, and commercial, in lieu of paying for media rights. So with that in mind, i really see no reason to not hop in feet first all the way, cept, I'm afraid. I'm afraid that once i finish with school, I'll have mounds of debt AND no job prospects.... I guess i could always work at Guitar Center. haha.

And that's not a bad thing, in my mind. I'd love to work there. Really, I just want a job related to music... It says so on my plan.

Oh, yeah. I wrote up a 5 year plan for myself. Its pretty modest. it says "GET FAMOUS"

i kid, but only halfway, as it does say that in bold letters. :P
In five years, i want to be finished with school, have a full-time music related job, i want to live in Seattle independently, and have an active music group. Its all doable, but not from where I'm sitting right now. I need to get the fuck up and get started. and so that's why I've been looking at schools again. This is probably the fourth time I've started applying to Evergreen. But i hope i follow through with it this time. Cause whats going on right now is NOT working out...

Friday, July 1, 2011

At weeks end...

Psytrance (or progressive trance, i guess... nitpick) (this mix)... Oh man. Almost makes me fall asleep. Which prolly isn't a good thing, cause I am really tired... Woke up at 5 to head into the city to go see a live taping of this radio show I listen to. It's like, Seattle's news, and makes me feel connected, even though I live pretty far from it. It's like the one thing that makes me constantly remember that in the next year, I'm going to be living there, if shit starts working out.

So I'm on the ferry right now, typing this all out on my iPod. Later, when I get home, I'll email this to myself and upload it..

Mm, Costco muffins. Picked one up a the local coffee shop, Angel has the best stuff. I mean, yeah, it's Costco, but right next to it she has cookies and granola bars from the bakery down by the docks, and I gotta give her credit for that. I wish I went there more often than I do now. Like I used to. When I had a job and could afford it.

Yoshi is still there every time I go. It's hard to talk to him now that I've worked for him (albeit the short, two day stint). He never called me back, and being the kind of person I am, took it to mean that I wasn't good enough or something. And to he fair, he's right: landscaping isn't my thing.. Never was, never will be. I'm okay with mowing lawns, but weeding is a war I can never win... Every time you pull them the keep coming back: the perfect enemy. Knowing them, I've come to love them. Their persistence, their constant struggle to survive. So close to Raman, so close to Varelse. So I just don't want to do it anymore. Not because I'll never win, no, but because the struggle itself is pointless. Nature should take its own course. I wish plant-life had the chance to run free.

I was listening to NPR this morning. They were talking about this festival in New Hampshire called porcupine festival or something. Sort of an anarchist/libertarian burning man. Sounds really cool, they've basically created a community for one week a year, with it's own currency and what not, as free from the government as possible. I made a deal with myself that along with burning man, someday I'll go to the porcupine festival.


So Weekday was really good. Got a free copy of Visqueem's album (they were the music act), got to speak with Sherman Alexie (for those of you who don't know him, he's the guy who wrote The Absolutely True Diaries of a Part-Time Indian) and I shook his hand. God I hate being the starstruck type, but I can't lie, it was pretty awesome.

Some ska band was playing at the steps, while we had lunch. Goddamn, food does not sound good right now anymore.

There is such a large amount of just absolutely stunning girls in Seattle. It's driving me mad, being totally separate from that life. Not just hit girls, but I mean the whole city-life thing. It's a bit of an enigma for me, cause I've lived in small towns all my life, and I'm sure that the second I spend my first night in m own place in Seattle, the novelty will wear off, and I'll miss the quiet monotony of the country. But KTown is hardly country, where I am. It's just heavily wooded, ghetto almost suburbs. God, I so want to leave. But I need a job first. Or some other form of income. Maybe I should blow the last 20$ in my checking account on lotto tickets. That might be more fruitful than a job search in Seattle, while I live so far away.

So that's what's up, I guess. I plan on putting more effort into this, because why the fuck not? Anyway... Yeah. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Post fathers day business.

Sorry I haven't been on in while. Its been a pretty crazy week, to be honest. I spent a lot of Monday writing and stuff, then went over to K's house and played the new system of HoE with him and J. Got a lot done, did some absolutely crazy shit that we didn't really see coming. We stayed there all night, and just stayed up playing Settlers of Catan with K, J, T, and W. It was ridiculous.

And that night really defined my week. I was pretty god damned tired for the rest of it... Found out about a job opportunity. Kind of a school/work hybrid at the shipyard. I didn't realize how fucking huge that place is till Saturday. Like I didn't realize that the whole county I live it is/was based around that place. Learn somethin' new, right?

Anyway, it seems like a really good program. Four years of school and work, for an associates degree and a journeyman grade in whatever trade I choose. I'll prolly choose electrical engineering or something to that regard, mainly cause I know I have interest in that. Its exciting. As soon as my fucking internet works I'll apply.

So back to writing. I am going to take a bit of a rest on HoE stuff for a bit, half because I am still trying to explain away some game mechanics that don't lend well to a narrative, and half because I don't really know if its okay to do. So instead I've been brainstorming and playing around with a sci-fi setting, near future kind of thing. I have a setting worked out, and the rest I'm just making up as I go along.

Fathers day... God. Its ironic how busy it was for me, especially seeing as I don't even KNOW my father. But I still had a good time with my grandparents and uncle... We sat around and smoked some meats and cheeses for three hours and talked about random crap. It was nice. Didn't end up eating any of it though... I think it's funny that we spent three or more hours trying to figure this fucking smoke-box out, and got some really rad smelling food out of it, and then we went to a Mexican restaurant in downtown. My hands still smell like fucking burning alder. Worth it.

The day before my other grandparents and I went to B-town, down by the waterfront. A new place opened up, this bar & grill type place. It wasn't bad, I heard, but my meal was... Not the best thing ever. I don't know about you guys but I LOVE eggs benedict. Hands down my favorite breakfast. And this place had, like, three kinds. There was traditional, like... some mushroom one, and a salmon one. And I sat there like, 'God, when am I EVER going to be able to try salmon eggs benedict again?' so I ordered it. It... It would have been better smoked. Like, it was good salmon, good everything, but the salmon's flavor didn't add to or contrast the rest of the dish. It was just another texture. And I hate 'just another texture'. So it had very little flavor... Which is too bad, but at least I can say I had it.

Heavy Rain: I picked that shit up on Friday, beat the hell out of it by like 11pm Saturday night. I got a good 9 or 10 hours out of it, and believe you me this: it was totally amazing. I was freaking out. The fight scenes just drove me to the edge of my seat, I was constantly afraid I was gonna miss the next button press and my dude was gonna die. And the voice acting and character animations were top notch, which is good, because the game depends on good storytelling and good, believable characters to get its point across, which it did well. I don't cry much, but this game almost made me at a few points. Maybe cause I'm more sensitive to the whole 'father son relationship' cause I never had one, but still. It's moving. If you have a PS3 and like $30 (thats about how much it is at GameStop right now, new), I highly suggest getting it.

713 words. I'll make a poem to finish this off using three lines, 7 syllables, 1 syllable, 3 syllables.
Fizzing Diet Pepsi is

Monday, June 13, 2011

For simplicity:

I've moved all of the Heroes of Eden and The Withering posts to a seperate blog. This one will still have writing, but it will also be just my blog, where I rant about crap. The seperate blog is for The Withering, I've already moved everything there so check it out.

That being said, this blog is still going to be active, as well as that one, so follow both if you're interested.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dem Buccaneers Be Broadsidin' Mah Sales! (6/10/10)

Piracy is growing rapidly amongst our culture. No, I don't mean like pirates on ships with cannons, looting and pillaging. I'm talking about media pirates and filesharing. The definition of piracy is “the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patented material.” Before the Internet, this was much harder to do, and most people would sell counterfeit product, like burned CDs, and sell them off for cash. With more mainstream use of the Internet, this counterfeiting became more usable to the wider population in the form of Peer To Peer (or P2P) filesharing. This was a simple process that even the most inexperienced computer user could become a part of, and put media on the net. This was not limited to music and movies, but also included books, video games, comics, and many other media mediums (see what I did there?). With media so accessible for free, what's to stop today's entertainment seekers from downloading and sharing to their friends? It has grown from a few peddlers of counterfeit goods to a global population of filesharers. The media conglomerates took notice and since then has waged a massive war against pirates and, ultimately, their customers. The legal battles, lobbying, and ad campaigns have cost them millions, if not billions. Their plan is to change copyright law in their favor, and their claim is that illegal downloading has cost the industry billions in losses. There are two sides to any argument, and this is no exception. In one corner, we have the media industry, vying for their copyrights, lost profits and lost revenue. In the other corner, the challenger: the pirates, also known as Average Joe, the normal guy who works a 9 to 5 like the rest of us (minus you, I suppose. I know how teachers live, you guys deserve some compensation or overtime or something. Just saying... but I guess that's another paper). Who will win? This is a war that will, unfortunately, never end, as it is a war that started with the VCRs and cassette tapes, and continued with our more widespread connectivity: the global market. The push and pull between the two sides will spur on change, yes. But it will also spark advancement in our systems: in our media. It will provoke change, but not in a way either side expects.

The mode of exchange in modern media piracy is through Peer To Peer (hence-forth P2P) filesharing. There are many programs, each with their own ways of doing it, but each remain the same in two ways: they all gather information or data from other computers that have the same files, and they all send files requested from your computer. That may sound extremely dangerous, the thought of millions of computers having access to your personal files, but there are several steps to ensure this doesn't happen through P2P (however, your computer can be vulnerable from other attacks, so it is always advisable to have some good antivirus software). One of the things certain P2P clients (client is the general term for a program that connects the users system to a network of systems) do is create a separate folder for all of the files you will allow others to see and download. Another way to control what files are touched are through torrents.

Torrents are another breed of P2P, similar to basic P2P through programs like Limewire. Torrents are, to put it in basic terms, maps for computers to find specific files from one or more computers. The user who creates the torrent selects all the files to be housed within the torrent and sends it to a torrent hosting site (such as, where people end up downloading the torrent file and then download the data through their torrent client. It all sounds very complicated, because it is. Torrents are widely regarded as the best form of P2P for two reasons: it quicker to download because of more users and connections, and it is less likely to house a virus.

What makes filesharing so potent of a tool is the fact that multiple people can connect together to procure a file. This is a process that divides users into two classes: Seeders and Leechers. A Seeders, in P2P language, is someone who is hosting a file for people to download. It is good etiquette in P2P to “seed” (or host the file) for an extended amount of time after completing the download, so more people can enjoy the music or film. Leechers are the people who are downloading the file from the Seeders. Leechers are interesting because they can connect to both Seeders (who have all of the information) and other Leechers (who have some of the information). This is useful to the process of downloading because one Leecher may have data that you don't have. Basically the more connections you can make, the higher your download speeds will be. A “healthy” torrent is one that has a good amount of Seeders to connect to, as well as a decent amount of Leechers to keep demand up. Torrents live and die, just like a living thing. They depend on people's interest to survive. “Dead” torrents (torrents without Seeders) are quickly deleted to free up room on torrent hosting sites so active torrents can take their place. Because of the deletion of dead torrents, it is hard to find a healthy virus torrent.

Viruses are very rare in torrents, simply for one reason, and one reason only: nobody likes viruses. Filesharers are regular people, who hate having their computer crash from the latest scam virus. Who's going to seed a virus torrent? Nobody normal. Virus torrents get killed fast by the community because they are flagged by people who are just like you and me and don't like viruses and don't want to give them to other people. Torrents are, quite literally, a community of people sharing a common purpose: to get the latest flicks and tunes, and they look out for each other. However, they are still getting these flicks and tunes for free. With the widespread growth of P2P, the big names in media business were starting to take notice, and were even take part in it.

Yes, big business took part in filesharing. Very recently, as in May 2010, Nokia launched an advertising campaign. This wasn't just any advertising, this was viral advertising. Viral advertising is taking advantage of the memetic (self-replicating units of culture, a.k.a. memes) psychology of human social groups to produce an advertising scheme that implants itself into our everyday word of mouth and culture. Recently this has been done through the use of the Internet, as with this example. The Nokia campaign was a series of videos now nicknamed the Blackwell & Briggs videos. The story was that they were leaked government videos that were lobbying videos promoting a security surveillance system in the UK. Shortly after, a group called the Conspiracy For Good began campaigning against Blackwell Briggs. It was quickly found by the Internet community to be a fraud and a marketing scheme, but to anybody else it would have seemed real. Even I was fooled until I did research on it. To think that a corporation could use filesharing to promote these videos for a fake group against corporations is just an interesting thought. Work the system, I suppose. But not every business is as quick to figure that out.

This is an email directed at a torrent hosting site from software giant Microsoft. “Dear Sir or Madam, This letter serves as notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512, or equivalent notice provisions of your local law, that content currently residing within your computer system infringes on the copyrights of Microsoft Corporation. Moreover, the source code contains proprietary trade secret information belonging to Microsoft. I am authorized to act on behalf of Microsoft in this matter.” This is a very common occurrence for this particular torrent host, also known as The Pirate Bay, and they enjoy giving these lawyers and companies some advice: “please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.” They have very little care for American law, because they are in Sweden, where torrent hosting is legal. In America it is not, so most, if not all, torrent hosting is done overseas. This causes many problems for the Motion Picture Association of America and they had this to say in a 2008 statement: “Piracy remains a profound global problem that affects not only the motion picture industry, but consumers, the overall U.S. economy and American workers generally. American workers miss out on thousands of new jobs each year and billions of dollars in earnings, in addition to the cities and towns that lose millions of dollars in tax revenue - all due to piracy.” They enjoy saying this, and have been on many occasions over the past 10 or more years. However, the film industry is one of the most wealthy entertainment industries in the world, and despite the complaints of profit drops, the industries profits went up 9% in 2007, and movie ticket prices went up 21%. They claim that piracy of movies makes it more expensive. However, recent Government Accountability Office reports stated that piracy might not be as widespread and devastating as the media might like us to think. "Three widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying studies," the GAO said. "Each method (of measuring) has limitations, and most experts observed that it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts." They have also said that, "some experts we interviewed and literature we reviewed identified potential positive economic effects of counterfeiting and piracy.” Even Jeff Raikes, the head of Microsoft's business group, admits that piracy could be beneficial. He stated that people who pirate Microsoft's products are more likely to purchase Microsoft products in the future. Another point that was made was that people who download movies, music and software wouldn't have bought those products anyways.

That is one of the main arguments that the pro-piracy people are fronting: that we, the pirates, don't have the money to be spending on $11 movie tickets or $20 albums. Their alternative is to illegally download. It is something we can all relate to, as it is very hard to find that spare cash for an album or movie. But at the same time, as some media executives and publishers would say, if we, the consumers, just didn't buy the product, and didn't pirate it as well, then this would force the businesses to lower prices. This is how the free market works, if you want to survive, lower your prices to people's standards until they buy. With piracy, the companies have a scapegoat to blame for the decrease in sales, and increase in prices. It is in this regard that this war will never end, and that it is and forever will be a stalemate. This is the way its been since the cassette tape.

Back in the 1920s, with the invention of the vinyl record, music piracy was non-existent. It was impossible to make a legitimate copy of a record unless you ran a record factory, and even then it was made from a press that came from... You get the picture. It was incredibly hard to do. Until the blank cassette came out. It changed everything for piracy, because now you could copy your records by using reel-to-reel tape recording, or cassette to cassette recording. It created piracy, in effect. The same with VCRs and video cassettes, they made it possible to copy videos and TV shows for home use or to sell them off for cheap. In the end, media companies made it so that a percentage of a blank medium's purchase price (mediums as in cassette tapes or video tapes) would go back to the corresponding industry (like film for the videos, music for the cassettes). This was the only way that could somehow get money back from counterfeiting. But the piracy continued and in order to combat this they created CDs for music, and DVDs for film. We all know how this plays out, where we have burned CDs of music and pirated videos on DVDs. There are still levies for blank media purchases, left over from the government taxes on the blank media. This hardly seems fair to some, as CDs are also used for data and other legitimate reasons, and yet the media industries are the ones getting the money from the tax.

Either way, this didn't stop pirates. They continued to burn and counterfeit products, and to the media corporations this wouldn't do. They came out with multiple anti-piracy technologies to try and subvert the pirates. Of course, the pirates broke through and continued. This war moved to the Internet, where we are today, and continues to be a battle of technologies: the media industries continue to come up with new ways to crack the pirates, and be totally free from them. However, the pirates have crossed them at every turn.

This war of technology advances continues today and can be seen in the new 3D films and TVs that have recently come onto the market. Think about it (I actually just made this connection as I wrote this): with media pirating at an all time high, where can the media industries go from there? Create a new media form that cannot be pirated, exactly like what they tried with the CD and DVD. They had made HD DVDs and BLURAYS but those got cracked and pirated. The next venture they hope to get out there is 3D, and to be honest, they seem to be winning. Avatar alone was the most successful box office movie ever, mainly because of the fact that it was in 3D, a novelty at the time for such a high budget film. Millions of people went to see it in 3D Imax and were blown away. I was to be sure. But look at it now, with almost every movie coming out in 3D. The media industry is evolving. What will be next is 3D TVs and 3D computers, and then the pirates will crack those too.

See? Piracy is the means for all of this. It would have definitely happen someday, but not nearly this soon. Piracy motivated the industry to continue to advance, to continue to make it worth our while to pay the money to buy the products legitimately. Since the invention of the blank tape cassette, the pirates have become a part of the media industry, a sick sort of check and balance to make sure that the industry is still making quality products. Yes, it is still illegal. But that has never stopped them before. They keep the media industry on their toes, they don't give them breaks.

However, at the same time, the media corporations don't give them a break either. In 2006, the Swedish police raided the headquarters of the torrent hosting site, The Pirate Bay, and seized over 250 servers from them. This was politically motivated by the USA and MPAA, and they claimed the raid “highly successful.” In all reality, however, it was not. Three days later, The Pirate Bay was back online, and had boosted its membership dramatically due to media exposure. As well as making it more public, it sparked the piracy debate in Sweden and prompted the creation of the Pirate Party, a political party in Sweden that supported filesharing among other things. Winston, an administrator of The Pirate Bay had said, “We got raided once due the american (sic) government going to bed with the swedish (sic) gov and some pillowtalking into an agreement about shutting us down. We were down for 3 days. Not as much of a problem comparing to how long it took us to get online when a former admin went on a drunk rampage and was nowhere to be found (down for 5 days. some million in fines, 4 dead sheep and a story never to be told, without level 4 clearance.)” Clearly, they were un-phased by the event. They just continued hosting. Unfortunately for the former administrators of The Pirate Bay, the Swedish government went farther and charged the four men with, “promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws.” The court case went from February 19th, 2009 and went until April 11th, 2009. It was a highly publicized case, and there were protests and demonstrations every day outside of the courthouse. There were many other demonstrations as well throughout the case, as well as a few hacks of websites and other, more legitimate, Internet demonstrations. In the end, the defendants were found guilty as accessories to a crime, however no crime was acknowledged. They were sentenced to pay approximately $3,500,000 each and were sentenced to one year in jail. Their defense lawyers appealed their sentence on the grounds that the judge was biased in favor of the corporations, which is entirely possible. Every man has his price. Due to Swedish law, the sentence cannot be carried out, and the appeal is scheduled for sometime this year. In light of this, The Pirate Bay has been under new administration, and these events have been documented in the films Steal This Film Parts 1 and 2.

Even with these high-profile cases, piracy is still predominant in modern culture. It is wishful thinking to assume that piracy will ever go away. It will always be there. As long as there is a will, there is a way, and there is always a will for free things. However, this ongoing fight has sparked some food for thought: is piracy necessary? Is it a healthy part of our economy? Who can hold the big media companies accountable, and keep them from decreasing the quality of their product? Only the consumers can assure that Hollywood and the likes keep creating good movies and music. Pirates help keep them from slacking off. I'm not saying that piracy is right. I know that stealing is wrong. I know that piracy is another form of stealing. But as a musician, I know full well what businesses are capable of; and shouldn't art be about the art, and not about the money being made off of it? Sean Stubblefield said “I firmly believe that, first and foremost, our primary motivation should be creating for ourselves, because we are motivated to create.” This is a true statement. Maybe piracy will motivate modern musicians to move away from studio recording and move back towards performance art, like the way it used to be. As for the film industry, maybe this will lead to more productions of theater, and more productions of live shows. This will push us away from the grips of excessive consumerism, and piracy will remind us that if we work together, we can and will succeed. It is an interesting way to think about it, to be sure. It is something that pushes community spanning from one side of the globe to the other, in a way that only the Internet can. Maybe that's reason enough to accept this as a part of our lives and our culture. Another interesting thing to ponder: Youtube, the massive video hosting site, has pirated songs and trailers on it. So knowing that, you realize that just about anybody could be a pirate for listening to that music. Almost the entire student body at (insert high school here) is a pirate, and some of them don't even know it, they just thought they were Buccaneers. Yaar. How could we possibly hold the whole human race accountable? Knowing this is what makes me realize that piracy is mainstream, now more than ever before. Blackbeard would be proud.

That sentence isn't as conclusive as I'd like, but really there is no way to conclude this in any way besides to say that there is no end, there will never be an end, and if we ever want to keep our technology advancing, we can't let it end, not in this mega-corporate economy. But, even with that, I'd still like to end this paper with a pirate reference. In a paper all about copying, I'll copy myself and I WON'T PAY A CENT! Maybe that'll churn more quality work outta me. Work the system, you know? Blackbeard would be proud.

 Ironically, much of my research was on the web, and the two documentaries I watched were procured via torrents. This was legal, however, as the producers of the films set the torrents up and are seeding them as we speak. I suggest watching those for more info, or following up on some of the topics I touched upon. I'm sure there are many more out there who can word this better than I can, or organize it better, or go into more depth. But I'm a high school senior suffering from Senioritis and this is actually the best paper I think I've ever written. So that right there is an accomplishment.

I really hope you learned something, or maybe have a much more broad view of piracy, and see that it is more than just illegal trading of art. It is that, but it is communities sharing knowledge and connecting across the globe. It is bringing people together through moral debates and helps us come together for a common cause. I think that issues like this are going to bring more people together for more legitimate reasons than war or religion could ever do. And yes, stealing is wrong. But Big Business steals from us everyday. It's really our job to keep them accountable and honest, and this is one of the many ways to do this. They can't stop all of us, we have power in numbers. Thank you.

“A people should not be afraid of their government, a government should be afraid of its people.”
^(Quote from V For Vendetta... am I a toolbag or what)^


Bibliography (but its really just a list of sources right now... I'll fix it later) 

A lil bit overboard

All this fucking noise. All of it. Its pointless. I mean, here we are in this life, this time. Its all we have. In God's eyes its a blink. So I wonder all the time, what can he do in a blink? If our lives are a blink, thats tens of thousands of days. He created the world in 7 days, 7 of our days.

So much doesn't add up, and so I begin to wonder: is he real and humans are just full of shit, or is he not real, and humans are still full of shit? Either way you've got a race dominant of the food chain, ruling the earth, and they can't even be honest to themselves. So how can we trust anyone? I can't even trust myself and yet others trust me. Does this make sense? No. Not in the slightest.

Trust. Its a strong word, with an even more powerful meaning. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. How do we come to this? How can we feel this with a human being? We let our guard down and lie to ourselves, thats how. Trust is often broken. It is a common theme in movies and books. A trust is broken, a bond is tested. These are things we soak up like sponges, revel in, and relate to, because these are things that happen in our daily lives. We are not creatures of honesty, yet we are creatures of society. This is fact. We are not meant to be alone, and yet we are destined to loneliness if we struggle with being honest, especially to ourselves.

We all lie to ourselves. Anyone who claims they don't are full of shit. I lie to myself all the time, it keeps the smile on my face, however some days it does not work. The point is, however, that nobody is fully true to themselves and nobody really knows who they are on the inside. The outside doesn't even matter, its a shell, a casing. What matters is in our heads, in our brain, and in our heart and soul.

I lie to myself all the time. I like to believe I'm open-minded and a good person. I am neither of these things. I lie to people. A lot. To people who mean a lot to me, such as my mother. Its become such a common occurrence in my life that its become somewhat normal. I hate admitting it. She deserves a better son. I'm not open-minded. Not like I preach, anyway. I am a racist. Through thought and self reflection, I have accepted this and I really do think that everyone is a racist. Not from choice, but it is a survival instinct. It is, think about it: we see on the news black people shooting each-other, Asians building the coolest robots and shit, Europeans being snotty faggots. Russians being hackers and communists. We are bred to be scared and from this fear comes out racism.

When I say racism, I merely mean it as another form of stereotype. Its quite simply our brains categorizing people, places, things and colors into groups so they can be quickly identifiable. Its a survival technique and one of the most important, and it is a testament to our remarkable will to adapt and evolve. Yes, evolve. Chill the fuck out. Its real, it happens. Thats another topic though. We see these things and they trigger our brain to associate people and ethnic groups to things like violence or smarts. So when a small white woman walks down a dark street and two black men are walking by, her fear stems from the gang-bangers she saw on TV, who bear the same skin color as said gang-bangers. Its natural, we shouldn't look down on her for being scared. It's not her fault, it's a survival instinct, like our instinct to fuck. So really, the only people we have to blame are ourselves. It's true. If, as a people, we grow to be better, safer, and moral, we can avoid this kind of thing. If black people were less widely shown to be bad people, we wouldn't have these kinds of situations.

Open-mindedness is a constant battle we have within our minds. And its a losing battle as we grow older. I know this, I am losing myself while gaining more individuality. That may sound like an oxymoron, and it is. But I am an oxymoron. I am a good person and a racist. I am a good person, in my own right. I try my best, and thats all humanity can do.

So God can fuck himself with all this talk of being perfect, of being free from sin. It's impossible. But like the 12 Steps say, admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it.

Dark Over Drowen 1

 The night was still. Aeyou birds flew over the barren desert. The twin moons shone on the valley, illuminating the white sand , making it glitter. The valley people call this the Crystal Valley, for the way it looked in light. The valley was normally a peaceful area, had never known bloodshed nor violence, beyond tat of a small skirmish as a hound finds its prey. Tonight was a bad night, as a dark cloud hung over the sky. slowly a wave of darkness fell over the crystal sands, and it became apparent to the small village located on the outskirts that something terrible was coming.

"Contact Cyillik immediatly. We need the PDF here ASAP." The elder said to his aid. The edler, a tall, once strong man, was not frail from age. However his mind as a general was still sharp, even after his dismissal. Ex-General Furion gripped his cloak and hurried back to the village. The troops wouldn't be mobilized in time. Fortunatly the village of Gorrst, build on the wall of the valley, was bless by the God-Emperor and given weapons for defense. He had also taken the liberty of training all of the male villagers in the ways of war. In all raelity, he had a small army tucked away in the valley isolated from society.

His boots sank slightly in the sand. The darkness was less than two miles away. Time was short, and he knew it. Furion pushed aside the cloth obscuring the entrance to the command hut. He walked with purpose into the hut to be greeted by his aid. "Let the people know it's time." The aid nodded and hurried to his console. "Were you able to contact Cyillik?"

The aid looked up. "Sir, they deem us expendable. However The Lord General himself promised help would be on the way. Apparently they've been tracking this thing for a year. Also, it appears to be a Kabal."

"Fuck," muttered Furion. The aid turned back to his console and let the silent alarm sound. Movement came from all over the village, sillouettes dacing inside homes, flashlights dacing in homes. Furion watched the console as all twelve families lights turned on. The village was armed and ready. Furion grabbed his modified las-carbine, that he had carried across the battlefield in the 3rd Rebellion. His aid took his as well and looked at the General.

"Sir... Will we make it out alive?"

Furion turned around, his gray eyes misty. "That does not matter so long as we die for the Imperium. For the Emporer we rise, for the Emperor we kneel, for the Emperor we fall."

"So that's a no." The aid turned away and looked out the bunker window. "I can't do it for the Imperium, sir. I do it for the planet. My home."

"Son, we all have our reasons, and your's is as good as any."

"It was a pleasure to serve with you, sir." Tyron said, and turned towards the window again, watching the crystals for the last time.

Furion looked at Tyron for a second. The boy had much to learn in the ways of war and life for he was only 23. He still couldn't even grow a full beard. He was not a man, he was a boy, not too different from his departed father. They had the same height as light brown hair. He had scars across his face, and was blind in one eye. Shrapnel from a grenade that had been thrown too close. He had learned since then that cover is his friend. Furion remembered the good times, teaching him and training him. Tyron was like a son to him, closer than his real son had ever been to him. It was a pity they would go out like this.

"Sir... I see it." Furion rushed to the windows. The black smoke and crazy torn metal that distiguised the sick and twisted space pirates filled the sky. The raiders drew ever closer. "Should i call the Karh's and tell them to set up their lascannon?"

"It'll be no use, there are too many of them. The best strategey would be to wait them out until they are in the village, so as we can ambush them." Furion explained. He stood down from the window. "I advise you to get out of sight." He said that not a moment too soon. Tyron dropped down just as a hail of splinters came at the huts. Few actually made it inside, but the ones that did stabbed into tables and random equipment, causing sparks to fly into the air. The screech of the raider's vehicles pierced their eardrums. Furion knew that they were at their door.
He pulled the neck of Tyron's cloak and dragged him to the door frame, and they waited for their attackers.

They saw dust come up from under the cloth, and then the cloth fluttered up and in as the raiders landed. The pirates, dressed in all black armor, looked just like the Eldar, Furion noted. “They are not Eldar...” He muttered. He readied his carbine, and Tyron did the same. He made a motion representing 'on my mark,' and Tyron nodded. Gorrst and it's people had a hand signal language different from the common tongue of Drowen, that they used to signal to each other on the battlefield or when hunting so as not to alert their prey. It was universally useful to them, as they were a civil culture, but a culture of their own none the less.

There were at least 60 of the pirates. They spread out to all of the huts, five to a hut. Furion counted his chances. He knew he and Tyron could handle five. But he wasn't sure of some of the other families. Some had just had children, and were not ready for an assault. But he knew enough of the families were trained well enough to handle this. This is nothing, he thought. The pirates grew closer to them, but some groups had already reached their huts, and had forced their way inside. They were not wasting time. Almost immediately shots were fired, lasguns and splinter rifles. Screams filled the air as well, human screams. Furion held his ground though, he knew well enough not to bend to such a thing.

When the pirates were close enough he shouted “Now!” Tyron jumped out, just as he had and they each got off two shots before the pirates could so anything at all. Three of them dropped, their armor and flesh shattering. Another one fell to the ground, knocked over by the force of the shot. The last one brought his rifle to bear and fired, but not before they ducked back into the house. There were blades all over the armor they wore, for reasons unknown to Furion.

One of the pirates burst through the cloth, ripping it on his blades, and was shot almost immediately, his head exploding in a red mist. They waited for the last one, but he did not appear. Tyron creped out to see where he was, curiosity was a problem he had, Furion reprimanded him millions of times about it. Almost as soon as he did so, splinters shot at him and into him, throwing him violently to the ground. Blood was spilled on the floor.

Furion looked down to see his son bleeding on the ground. A deep anger overcame him at the sight of this. His breathing grew heavier and his blood began to pound. He let out a roar that shocked the pirate who had just entered the hut. Furion leaped at the Dark Eldar and pushed him to the ground, cutting himself on the blades of him armor. 

Drawing his knife, Furion gripped the elf's throat. "You will pay for your sins, Pirate!" He brought the knife up and over his head, and before the Eldar could recover from the stunning of being tackled, the knife was thrust through the light armor and into its skull, between the eyes.


Blood gushed from Tyron onto the dusty ground, mist swirling around him. He cried out as his vision began to fade. Through the fog of dust, he saw his mentor's face come closer to him, the words unheard through the screams surrounding them. He felt a calm wash over him as his life began to leave his body.


"No! I will not lose another son, not today!" Furion picked up Tyron, ignoring his wounds, and began carrying him off to the hills. "This is not the end!" He screamed, muffled again by the shrieks and death-howls of his friends and family. In the chaos of battle he managed to escape to the hills. Over the horizon, the sky was blood red, the plains before him stained with the color of the sky. The horror overtook him, and he blacked out.


The Drowen 616th

These are a few fables of the men and commanders of the Drowen 616th, men who fought valiantly in many an Imperial war against its foes.


Reddik Malanar was brought up an orphan in the hive-city of Cyillik. His parents were loyalists living in the mid-western hemisphere, slaughtered by rebels in the 3rd Rebellion of Drowen. He was picked up by guardsmen in the charred wreck that was their home at the age of 10, and was brought to Cyillik for training. His intense patriotism for the Imperium of Man followed him all through training, and even in battle. He was quickly promoted to Sergent and was dictated leader of some fresh recruits. His squad was Drowen 527th 4th Squad. Their first battle in the 4th Rebellion of Drowen was a success, at they completed their objective with few casualties. In fact, they performed so well that they were promoted on the spot.

As the intense campaign against the rebels continued, Malanar's squad shined bright and was promoted to 1st Squad of the regiment.

After many battles stretching all across the north-western hemisphere, the regiment came to what was rumored the rebels stronghold, a town recently shelled out by the earthshaker rounds of their basilisks. Ruins were everywhere and the people were forced to leave, but the rebels would not let up. The final battle was to begin.

The regiment marched valiantly into the city, mowing down any rebels they came across. They took few casualties, while mercilessly killing the enemy. 1st Squad was moving through the city when they encountered a group of rebels slaughtering 34th Squad. Malanar let out a battle cry and they joined the fray, lasguns striking many rebels. But 34th Squad had been routed, an the rebels turned to attack Malanar and his men. Malanar and the rebel commander locked eyes and charged towards each other, swords raised. the other men clashed in the bloodiest battle in the rebellion.

Chainswords swung left and right, lasguns were dropped amidst the chaos of hand to hand combat. The standard issue bayonets were finally of use to the men. Malanar and his foe were locked in an intense combat, swords bouncing off each other in a spray of sparks and a roar of chainsaws. The traitor was skillfully blocking and parrying each attempt at a blow, as was Malanar. Finally, after thirty minutes of straight combat, the foe faltered once, and Malanar delivered the finishing blow, cutting through his opponents body, spilling guts onto the pavement. He heard a shout and turned to see a traitor with his lasgun pointed at him.


Within a second, a bayonet was lodged in the neck of the traitor, thrown by Hope. He turned to hope and they nodded at each other, barely aware of the carnage surrounding them. The whole squad was reduced to nothing more than Hope and Malanar. This understanding hit them suddenly when a large blast echoed through the courtyard. Hope was thrown to his back, as a Leman Russ plowed its way into the area. It was splattered with blood and covered with the skins of loyalists. It was a terror to look at, and it was aimed at them. Malanar grabbed hope, whom he was indebted to, and ran for cover inside of a building; not a moment too soon, as the ground where they stood became dust.

“Shit, where the feth did that thing come from?!” Malanar yelled. Hope responded with a shake of his head and some words that were drowned out by a deafening blast. “Hope, we need to get in there.”

“What? Sir, are you out of your mind?”

Malanar shook his head, “No, its logical when you think about it. There is nothing stopping us from walking right up and--” another blast, “--getting inside.”

Hope stared, open-mouthed. He looked at Malanar and realized he was serious. “Alright. Lets do it.”
They waited for another blast to occur, and this one was fired near to them. After the shock left them they sprinted full on at the tank. It barely had time to react, and before the crew could do anything, Malanar was on top of it, wrenching the hatch open, and Hope held his lasgun ready.

The tank moved under them, obviously attempting to shake them off. Malanar held on, however, and finally opened the hatch. The second he did that, Hope opened fire into the tank. Screams escaped the hull. Malanar jumped in, pistol in hand. The inside was even worse than the outside, no doubt due to the fact that Hope had just unleashed hell in there. It was a wonder the thing was still functioning; terminals were full of holes and smoking. The driver was stuck in his seat, held by the belt. Apparently, it was stuck around his body. He was screaming curses at them and the emperor. Hope had come down and discovered this. Hope had no patience for this and executed him.

“You didn't need to do that.” Malanar said.

“He was a traitor. He would have killed us.” Hope replied coolly.

“Right you are. But you have to understand, Hope, that we could have used him.” Malanar turned towards the hatch. “Come on, we don't know how to operate this thing. Best find someplace to be useful.”

“Roger that, sir.”

They climbed out of the hatch and left the crew-less Russ in the middle of the courtyard. They jogged in the direction of their objective, the capital building of the city, where more bloodshed awaited, in the name of the God-Emperor.


 Ledger Hope grew up in the urban hive-city that was Cyillik, the Imperial stronghold on the planet. He was drafted into the Imperial Guard at 18, immediately thrust into a small-scale land war dealing with a rebellion on the western hemisphere of Drowen. The people had begun an uprising in the rural sector of the planet, in a pathetic attempt to shake Imperial rule on the planet. The Lord General Issuld was having none of this, for the rebellion spread father than expected. He sent a detachment of Imperial Guard, filled mostly with fresh recruits. He believed that in giving the trainees combat experience would give them not only a boost in morale, but also give them invaluable training against a feeble enemy.

The Drowen 527th Regiment was shipped out to the north-western hemisphere of the planet, 4 platoons of guardsmen, along with a company of Leman Russ battle tanks, more than enough to overpower the revolting farmers. However, what the Imperial forces were unaware of was the great distaste of the Imperials in this sector. Resistance was extremely strong, and the areas inhabited were well dug in.

Hopes squad, Drowen 527th 4th Squad, was positioned ahead of the others, for the fact that their Sergent, one Reddik Malanar, was highly decorated and well prepared to deal with any combat situation. The squad approached the rural city of Hurdlack, much like a village, with cottages left and right down many streets and alleyways. The target of Squad 4 was to take the Imperial Church at the center of the town, and hold it off against enemy attacks until reinforced at the location.

It was a good, solid plan, for the Church stood at the town center, straight down the road. The hope was that the people would give up, seeing the many tanks and troops approaching. Unfortunately, the people were not giving up that easily.

4th Squad swiftly approached the wall and gate surrounding the town, and carefully slid into the street. Finding Main St. deserted they moved forward cautiously, Sgt. Malanar was no fool. Slowly but surely the moved forward until the gates were far behind them. Hope and his men were getting nervous at the sight of no combatants. Fear was beginning to creep into them. Hope and four other men were moving down the road hugging the left side, while Sgt. Malanar and another four were on the opposite side. This was a bad move, so they realized as all at once shots began to ring out, and before they could react a missile struck the house the Sgt. was in front of. His and his men were engulfed in rubble as the cottage collapsed. Panic hit the men, but Hope stood fast. "In to the building, everybody, move!" Without thinking the guardsmen bolted inside, with Hope quickly following.

The place was deserted, and was nothing more than a humble shack, filled with the inhabitants modest belongings. Shots were still going on outside, lasgun blasts striking cottages. Time was short, and Private Hope knew that. "What are we gonna do?" one guardsman said. "We're gonna keep heading forward to our objective. Those are our orders," One man spoke out against this, saying what could five men, guardsmen of Private rank do? "These are our orders, to take and hold the Church, and thats what i plan to do, no matter what. Imagine if a Commissar was here, you'd be dead already," Hope explained. He moved to the window and looked out.

"It looks like there are Imperial Guardsmen of the 398th out there. What the hell? They are firing on our men!" This changed things, for not only were they fighting the people, but they were fighting fellow Guardsmen. Traitors, but soldiers like themselves. He turned around. "we need to find a back door, and continue to our objective. We're going to have to stick to the alleys if we want to survive." The men agreed, as they had no better ideas. His upbringing in the hostile hive-city was finally coming of use to him.

They sneaked out the back door, careful to not draw attention to themselves. From the sounds coming from around them, it was obvious that the other troops had begun advancing. There were no signs of tanks, however. They moved quickly, from building to building. From what they could see, the street was a maze of lasgun fire, and instant deathtrap. They were lucky not to encounter any resistance in the alleys, as the rest of Squad 4 made its way to the Church.

Soon they made it to a clearing.

What they saw at the Church was not promising. Two whole squads of Guardsmen were stationed there, as well as a heavy support squad giving suppressing fire. "Fuck," Hope muttered. Even with their squad at full strength, it would be difficult to successfully complete this mission. He poked his head out from the alley, so as to see the entire area. It seemed that the traitor guardsmen were distracted by the fighting down the road. Maybe they could sneak past... But Hope was not willing to risk it.

Within a matter of seconds, multiple shots rang out from the other side of the road. There was a large amount of suppressing fire coming out from the other houses, and instantly two traitors fell. The others were quick to react and ran to cover. Hope took his chance, told the men to get ready to run. The traitors would be distracted enough by the fire coming towards them that they probably wouldn't notice them moving towards the church. Another four of them fell, leaving one squad broken.

They immediately began falling back, only to get even more lasgun burns. This was beginning to look winnable. The heavy weapons crews abandoned they're weapons in favor of cover. A bad move. The odds were stacking up in their favor, for the last traitor squad took cover with their backs to them. The only worry would be friendly fire. He gave one motion to the men and they bolt out of the alley, guns blazing. Six traitors fell, and the other four, in bewilderment, stood up. The life was instantly stolen from them. The weapons squads quickly surrendered. What else could they do?

The Imperium had no mercy for traitors, and Hope and the men quickly executed them. Out of the alleyway, Sgt. Malanar and two Guardsmen jogged out. "Good job, men. Quick, grab the suppressive weapons. That heavy bolter will do," A few guardsmen carefully lifted the bolter and carried it towards the Church, with the rest closely following. "Where are the other two men?" Hope asked. The Sergent paused, and said "They're under the building." That was the end of that.

The Imperial Church consisted of a tower and hall. The tower, Malanar explained, would be the best place to take the bolter, for 360 degrees of suppressing fire. "Two men will have to man it. Any volunteers?" Two men were selected and sent up the tower with the bolter. "The rest of us will just take places at the windows. We have to hold this structure until reinforcements arrive."

Easier said than done. The traitor forces were aware of the loss of this strategic point and were sending in a re-capturing force. 4th Squad was in a tough place, for they were behind enemy lines. Attack was imminent from both sides. Sgt. Malanar encouraged the men that the Emperor was with them. Yells from the tower were a definite signal that the enemy was approaching. Bolter shots blasted from above, and one guardsman shouted that he had contacts. Hope ran towards the window, ready to fight.

He could see the traitors coming down the road, too many to count. All he saw was filth in front of him, and with that thought he began to fire. Body after body fell and yet the charge continued. lasgun fire came at him like a sea of red. He saw bolter fire come down from the tower above. The streets were red with the blood of fallen traitors. It was a scene that would forever haunt Hope.

More shouts came from the towers, just as multiple explosions rocked the area around them. The Leman Russ battle tanks had moved into the city and were approaching. Their allies had arrived, but so had the oncoming enemy. They had made it into the clearing, and their shots were getting closer and closer to where Hope's head was. He was farced to take cover, along with the other men at the windows. There was banging on the doors that Sgt. Malanar had barricaded, the enemy was at their door.

Unfortunately, the door was not build to withstand the punishment being put on it, and quickly burst inward revealing traitors on the other side. "For the Emperor!" Malanar cried, with his troops responding in chant. The two groups clashed, and the bloodbath began.

Hope was the second into the fray, bursting his lasgun into the bodies of their attackers, and then swung it around, clubbing a traitor. Blood was spilled on the Church floor, with many deaths on the part of the traitors. One of Squad 4 was struck down, but valiantly took down three men with him. Hope had killed six and Malanar at least ten (too many to count) by the time reinforcements arrived to push the traitors back. The bolter was still firing on the roof with its crew shouting with glee as they saw the cowards retreat. 4th Squad, or what was left of it, emerged triumphant from the Church, mission fulfilled. Inquisitor Phlow commended them personally, and Commissar Sevold, overseeing the campaign, promoted them all on the spot. However the war was not won, and this was the first of many battles in 4th Squad of the Drowen 527th.

After many battles alongside Sgt. Malanar, Hope and him formed a strong friendship that lasted to the present day, and Malanar trusts no one more than Hope, and vice-versa. Colonel Malanar personally requested Sgt. Hope to lead the 1st Squad of Drowen 616th, and he graciously accepted, as the first Sergent of the 616th.


Not much is known about Vladmir Trokowski or 2nd Squad. All that is known is that they came from the Romanov hiveworld of Skininski. Rumor has it that they were transferred to Drowen for their ruthlessness in combat. A total of ten squads were stationed in the entire of Drowen, and Col. Malanar opted to take on these hotheads. The men knew nothing of Drowen culture, and often offended the men. But after numerous battles alongside these beasts, respect was soon gained. Drowen's 616th 2nd Squad is one of the most famous squads on the planet, known for their complete victories against ridiculous odds. These battle hardened veterans soon sculpted themselves a place in the Drowen 616th Company.


B Company

In the mist, the men were aware of a strange presence. Something hungry, something unsettled. Sure signs of a bad place to be. The fog hung low over the plains in the early morning. The pungent smell of rotting flesh hung in the air like the chilled white surrounding them, hiding the carnage of the field. The nights battle left them weary and with few numbers. All they held was a small ruin on the outskirts of the valley, and that gray structure was not enough to protect them from the harsh, wet cold outside. They were soaked in water, blood and sweat. None of them had seen true civilization in days, even in the form of a simple camp. Their post was so far out that even scouts and recon had trouble getting to them, let alone other companies. They had been widdled down slowly to this last squad, comprised of the remnants of 616th Drowen's B Company. Colonel Malanar himself had promised the men over the vox that help was coming soon. That was two days ago, and some of the men were beginning to lose hope. Sergent First Class Senn Roshan himself was beginning to lose it too. The Chaos attacks were demoralizing, and the loss of their officer, as well as his entire command platoon, was a huge hit to B Company. Even the great tanks of the Imperium were no match to the overwhelming forces of chaos. Some men even defected in the long battles that took place in the valley.

The valley itself was shaped in such a way that it would be nigh impossible to capture and hold unless one were to capture both ends. It was shaped as a crevice, a large, grassy cut into the earth. Needless to say, the grass that once populated the area is gone, replaced with dead bodies of traitors and guardsmen alike. On each side of the valley was a large hill that sloped on both sides. The side the Imperial Guard held had an even larger crevice on the other side of the hill, and the only way of crossing to the other imperial forces was by bridge, which was destroyed many days ago in a rather successful Chaos assault. 616th Drowen was positioned on the other side, their advance in hope to re-enforce B Company halted by this lack of bridge. Their supplies were ill-equipped to handle such an obstacle, and therefore were waiting for air transport to be provided by this theaters general. This was taking much longer than expected, as there was much fierce fighting in multiple areas of this planet. There was little hope of B Company's survival.

Sgt. Roshan smoked his last lho stick, laying against a wall of the ruin. Scorch was getting a few minutes of sleep in while he could, cradling his flame thrower in his arms. Yissler was keeping watch from the roof of the ruin. Surprisingly enough, this ruin was somewhat intact. It still had three walls, and B Company had created makeshift ramps out of scrap metal to get to its other two levels. The "roof" was really just the third floor, for the roof had literally been ripped off by a stray cannon shot. It was set on the hill, with a block of concrete protruding out of the hill to provide a level surface. The whole area was worse for wear. Bullet holes and craters littered the place, and the bodies of the dead covered the earth. The remnants of B Company had been scattered on all floors of the building, for it was the only true cover in the whole area. They had their duty, and damned if they fail to hold this line.

Evest shouldered his long-las. "Your not gonna see anything, mate. The fog is too thick. Might as well get some sleep while you can, eh?"

Yissler turned to look at him, and had a sidelong glance at the valley. "We don't know when they'll attack. I figure some warning would be better than none."

"Right you are. Listen, get some rest, eh. I'll keep watch for you."

"Thanks, man." Yissler went down to the second floor and tried to find some comfort among the concrete.

There were ten of them, mixed and matched from different worlds under Warmaster Taryl's command. 616th Drowen's B Company was truly the melting pot of Drowen's finest, as they were assembled from at least six different worlds. This was not the norm in a single company; B Company was truly unique. Was, the key word, as ten remained. Lord General Issuld brought them together, and admittedly they did not mix well in the beginning. There were numerous fights between worlds and they quickly became separate. Issuld was not phased by this; he sent them into battle straight-away. The experiences gained three bonded the fighters for the rest of their lives and made them become one of the greatest companies of Drowen.

Then came the Argus Prime Crusade, a holy cleansing in the name of the God-Emperor. This campaign was to cleanse the Argus Prime sector of all Chaos and Xenos. Chaos created a foothold in this sector and began tainting Imperial worlds, and the Xenos were wiping out anything and everything in their path. Quickly the Imperial Guard was assembled in the system, and met tough resistance. The evil spread dangerously close to Drowen, and the Lord General had to act. He led the 616th, the 527th, and the 544th into the war. Warmaster Taryl commissioned the 527th and 544th regiments to other worlds, leaving The Lord General with the 616th under his command. They were sent to the imperial feral world of Solla (sa-la) to work in coordination with 159th Cadian on the surface.

The world the 616th were on was upside down, but this was the norm, as the lands geography was strange in itself. There was no ocean, only deep rifts in the crust, known as "rivers". The land was fertile however even with the lack of ground water. The water was collected into clouds at the top of mountains in large ocean-like lakes. One week of the year, the rifts would be filled with water as these lakes emptied, and then the lakes would refill. Thus was the cycle of a year on Solla.

It was not that time of year, and the rivers were empty. This made it extremely difficult for the Imperial forces to reach them with out air support, which the Lord General was reluctant to give, as this sector was about to fall. The man was truly a coward, and unfit for duty. Roshan always thought so, as well as the entire Drowen army. But his rank had more weight than a simple Guardsmen, or even an entire planet. This was not the way to purge Chaos, and the Inquisition would be here soon enough. Even the Commissirat was getting nosy into 616th's affairs. And right they were, it was almost heresy. The Lord General needed to be replaced, but unfortunately his status completely prevented that. Colonel Malanar would make a good general, Roshan thought. It did not matter what he thought. Not right now. All that mattered was getting B Company out of there, getting them to safety. He was in command now.

Evest shouted from the roof, "Chaos! Brothers, to arms!" Brothers from different worlds. This was the Imperial Guard. Sergent Roshan bolted up and ran to the nearest window, flipping the safety off his lasgun. Scorch got up as well and readied his flamer. The rest of the men ran to windows or cover, guns ready. Roshan looked out, and saw nothing but fog. He heard things, though. That was what did it, the noises. Blood-curdling screams and maniacal laughter. The stomping of feet. They were there all right. A lot of them to finish B Company off. Evest fired into the mist out of nerves. Roshan could see vague shapes now, appearing from the white. Yissler and the others started firing as well, but Scorch held his flame. He knew as well as anyone that his carnage was of no use yet.

The traitors burst from the mist, lines of blood-covered psychos screaming and yelling heresies. Shots rattled the ruin around them but nobody was hurt. Chaos was taking mass casualties but they kept coming, like a swarm of evil. Soon they reached the concrete platform the building rested on and swarmed around that. Scorch started dropping fire on them, and caused a strange retreat back into the mist. Roshan couldn't understand it, the chaos could have wiped them out. Something big must have been on the way. Then he saw them.

Four stalk-tanks were striding towards the ruin, and Roshan knew it was the end. B Company was not giving up, though. Re-enforcements were on the way, they would keep telling themselves. It was on the way, they would survive, for the God-Emperor was with them.

Out of the mist from behind them, four Valkyries swooped out of the mist behind them, guns blazing. They fired mercilessly into the Chaos lines. Blood and dirt were thrown into the air, and the men cheered. 616th's 1st Navy had arrived, bringing hundreds of troops, tanks and artillery. The Stalk-Tanks were blown out of existence, and so were about 500 Chaos cultists. The men exited their transports. Colonel Malanar steed onto the bloody soil of the valley and approached B Company. A hail of salutes followed. Cheers could be heard all through the valley.

"At ease. Is this all thats left?" Malanar asked calmly. "Who's in charge?"

Roshan stepped forward though the rubble. "We're B Company, at your service, sir. I'm of highest rank, Sergent 1st Class Senn Roshan. Colonel Frost was killed in action many days ago. We've been stuck here for a long time. Its a miracle we're still alive, that last attack would have surely done us in if A Company hadn't come." He stared into space for a moment, recalling how close to death they were, and yet, despite all possible odds, they were alive. He realized then that he was not done, this war was not over. "Sir, requesting further orders."

Malanar looked in his eyes. The men were tired, he could tell. Dirt clung to their fatigues and flak armor. Yet even through all of that he could see that they were ready to fight still, to finish this. Their spirit was as alive as ever. Malanar had seen this in men before, and never has he had one falter before him. Commissar Sevold walked towards him.

"Colonel, the chaos is on the run. we should move to attack now, while they are in retreat," he reported. He looked at the men before him. "Well? What are they doing just standing there?"

"I was about to order them to help lead and rally our troops. Commissar, you know what to do. Get them to 2nd Platoon. We move out at 0930." With that, he turned and walked away, to lead A Company.

Commissar Sevold turned to the men. "Well, men? Do you want to live forever?" B Company shouted, and they moved to the front lines, advancing over the edge of the valley to victory.


---begin transmission---
DATE: 11.28.794.M41
FROM: Colonel Reddik Malanar
TO: Lord General Magus Issuld
SUBJECT: Valley Conquest

Lord General, I'm pleased to inform you that we have pushed the arch enemy out of the valley, and are currently pursuing their retreat. Very few casualties in this push, with the kill count astronomical. It is possible that we will make a 6 mile push by the end of the day, securing a good foothold on the plateau. I have commissioned a forward base of operations in the valley, as the nearest HQ is only accessible by air at this point. It is a very good position, on a clear day you can see 2 miles out. I suggest moving more troops to assist here, as this very well be the turning point on Solla. Praise the God Emperor!

On a less happy note, I have been informed that C Company had been completely routed, and B Company had almost been too. All that remains of B Company is ten men who survived alone for a week while we were organizing a way to break the bridge gap. how they did this, I can not imagine. but they still have fighting spirit and are currently at the front lines of the charge.

I also regret to inform you that Colonel Frost was killed in action.

I assess that if we keep our current course of action, we should be able to defeat the chaos on this planet. I hope you agree, as it would be a pity to give up now.

Yours respectfully,
Colonel Reddik Malanar

---end transmission---

The Lord General read the report with his sunken eyes. He sat down onto his chair and thought, with his fist under his chin. "Malanar..." The thought. "Best man I know. I trust him with my life." He stood up. "I can't him lead his men to death." He began writing orders.


"Feth," Malanar swore under his breath.

"The Lord General has gone too far this time. This is cowardice," Sevold said. They rode in an open-topped Chimera, across the plateau. The pursuit was still on. The treads of 616th's 1st Mechanized division were bloody with dead cultists. The men were cutting them down, There was absolutely no stopping them now. Colonel Malanar was going to see this out to the end, even if it meant disobeying a direct order. "Colonel," Sevold said, "I won't stop you. The Commisserat is taking this over. The Lord General is unfit for duty. Carry on."