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Topics - Morgul

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General Discussion / [3D Printing] "Perfect" Delta Calibration Method
« on: August 09, 2018, 05:47:29 pm »
So, I'm putting this post on a forum that has, historically, remained around longer than 3 months... I'm tired of trying to keep the other forum alive just for this one post, and these creaky old things just won't die... so here goes...

Credit for this method goes to Jay Couture. Credit for the writeup goes to @festerND-NaN.
You can watch the original calibration video for this method here:

This method will get you to within 0.1mm quickly, and can easily be used to get within 0.05mm with a few additional iterations. It consists of two parts; the first is your primary calibration routine, the next is an iterative method of calculating your arm radius.
Note: This was written assuming Smoothieware firmware. You will need to make some modifications to GCODE commands, or configuration file names for other firmware.
Calculate gamma_max

This will insure that your trim setting will be a negative value, at the cost of a small amount of build height. (The build height that you lose has an exceptionally small diameter due to the weird delta build area, so no big loss.)
  • Go to Home. (G28)
  • Carefully step the nozzle down until you are ~1-2mm above the build plate.
  • Find the current Z height. (M114)

Set the gamma_max value in your config.txt to ~5mm less than the measured Z height from step 3.
Finding Zero + Leveling

This is a recursive method. We start by calibrating the X axis, and then move on to calibrate Y and Z. Every time we make a change to one axis, we need to recalibrate the others. This is a little tedious, but once you get it down, you should be able to knock it out in about 5 minutes. (You should probably recalibrate before any large prints, or every 10 prints or so, depending on your printer.)

Note: It’s entirely possible during this calibration that you will find two of your tower measurements oscillating between values. Because we’re assuming .1mm is the smallest step size you move your nozzle, you could end up oscillating trim values by .1mm. In that case, you actually are .05mm off, and should try adding that to the trim, instead of the .1mm reported by M114.
Finding .1mm above the bed

This calibration method relies on you being able to accurately find a position .1mm above your bed, at various locations. Our preferred method for doing this is as follows:

  • Position your nozzle 5mm above the position you’re attempting to measure.
  • Take a strip of standard paper, and start sliding it back and forth right below the nozzle.
  • Manually jog the nozzle down 4mm, in 1mm increments.
  • Manually jog the nozzle down the rest of the way in .1mm increments.
  • Once the nozzle grips the paper (it can no longer move back and forth, back up .1mm.

Calibrate X Trim

Note: Trim offsets are always negative.

  • Go to Home. (G28)
  • Move to the base of your X tower. (G1 X-86.6 Y-50 Z5)
  • Manually jog the nozzle down until it’s .1mm above the bed. (See above.)
  • Find the current Z height. (M114)
  • Find the current trim offsets. (M666)
  • Add the current Z height (from step 4) to the X trim value (from step 5). (M666 X<value>)
    ex: M114 reports Z: -1.4, M666 reports X:-4.2, so the new trim should be -5.6: M666 X-5.6
  • Save the trim. (M500)

Repeat from step 1 until no more adjustments are necessary.
Calibrate Y Trim

Note: Trim offsets are always negative.

  • Go to Home. (G28)
  • Move to the base of your Y tower. (G1 X86.6 Y-50 Z5)
  • Repeat steps 3 through 8 of “Calibrate X Trim”.
  • Recalibrate X trim (starting at step 1).

Once X trim is calibrated, recalibrate Y trim (repeat from step 1) until no more adjustments are necessary.
Calibrate Z Trim
Note: Trim offsets are always negative.
  • Go to Home. (G28)
  • Move to the base of your Z tower. (G1 X0 Y100 Z5)
  • Repeat steps 3 through 8 of “Calibrate X Trim”.
  • Recalibrate X and Y trim (starting at step 1 of “Calibrate Y Trim”).

Once X and Y trim is calibrated, recalibrate Z trim (repeat from step 1) until no more adjustments are necessary.

Save your calibration. (M500)

Congratulations, you have calibrated your towers!

Calculating Arm Radius

(image goes here)
Visual representation of the part we’re trying to measure.

  • Trim X, Y, and Z first.
  • Go to Home. (G28)
  • Move to 0, 0, 5. (G1 X0 Y0 Z5)
  • Manually jog the nozzle down until it’s .1mm above the bed. (See above.)
  • Find the current Z height. (M114)
  • If Z is positive, reduce the radius (M665 R<value>)If Z is negative, increase the radius (M665 R<value>)Note: The relationship between height and radius are non linear. (Most likely cos, sin, or tan.) We recommend you attempt to measure as closely as you can first, then using that number, try adjusting in .2mm increments.
  • Set your Z offset. (M306 Z0).
  • Save your configuration. (M500)
  • Recalculate trim on X, Y, Z.
  • Repeat from step 1 until no more adjustments are needed.
  • Save your configuration. (M500)

Congratulations, you have calculated your arm radius!

General Announcements / Precursors v0.8.0 Released (Yes, really)
« on: April 04, 2018, 10:52:47 am »
New Release

That's right! After 12 years, untold iterations (5-7 depending on who's counting), there's a new, official release of Precursors, v0.8.0. This is an all new engine, and all new code, but old everything else.

I'll get into the "why?" in a moment, but first let's talk about what's in this release:

Precursors v0.8.0

  • Windows, Linux, macOS, and web
  • Mouse-look style flight controls
  • Real physics based movement
  • New Engine: Unity
  • "Nostalgic" asteroids scene
  • "New" skybox (still about ten years old at this point)
  • Entirely new codebase
  • Feature parity with v0.3.4 build 967

There is no multiplayer in this build. While it wouldn't be hard to add at this point, I just didn't get it done this weekend. But there wasn't multiplayer in the v0.3.4 build either, so...

No, seriously, what?

Alright, so I'll come clean. As everyone knows, Precursors has been dead for a while. Officially about two years now... it's been a fun ride, but it doesn't look like our MMORPG dreams will ever see the light of day. The core team's even split, with whitelynx in Boston... it'll never be what it was. That's sad, and I'm not exactly thrilled to let over a decade of work just live in tarballs on dusty old backup drives.

Since we started, the indie game scene has taking off wildly. Things like Unity didn't exist for most of it, and even once it became a thing, we dismissed it out of hand, because it was weak, didn't perform great, and who wants to code in .Net anyway? Well, since then Unity has evolved, and we got stuck in the mud. Looking back it's clear that we probably didn't make the right calls, but it was impossible to know at the time.

This last Easter weekend, I set out to teach myself some Unity. What better to start with than something I knew? So I dug through some backups, and found the original C++ codebase; the same codebase that we last announced a release from. "Alright, screw it, how about I just remake that?" After about 8 hours, I'd done it, except for a UI. So I found our old SVG sprite sheet, taught myself some more Unity, and built a working UI. No, it's not a visual match for the old one, but it's using the same sprites, and that was close enough.

Frankly, this project turned into an homage for the last decade of friends, fun, and code. I don't plan on doing more with this (except maybe networking), but I thought all of you might get a kick out of it. So here it is, in all it's glory.


Don't feel like downloading it? Well, have a webGL version. (The UI scales weird, but it's still usable.)

Want to see the code? I've put it up here:

And, please, enjoy!

RaptorNL / Project Archive
« on: March 31, 2018, 10:27:52 pm »
I recently found the source code for this project. It's now archived here:

A lot of work went into this library over a short time, but I'm not sure if it was ever working.

Precursors / Download Links
« on: March 31, 2018, 10:11:04 pm »
Precursors Client Download Links

I'm pleased to announce Download Links for Precursors! There are a couple of versions, all with their own installer (for windows).


There's even a couple of old versions for linux.


Wait, what?

Did I just post download links to 12 year old versions of Precursors? Why, yes, yes I did. Not only is it nice to have these files rescued from old backups on equally old servers, but the windows ones install and run! It's super neat to look back at our old files and play around with them.

The linux versions come with the caveat of I don't know if they run, or what state they're in. Clearly that rc-1 has bugs that weren't in the final release (I hope).

Anyway, feel free to stroll down memory lane, and mess around. I know I had fun playing around with things.

Artwork / Keith Artwork
« on: November 15, 2017, 07:26:46 pm »
Digging through all the random crap we ever uploaded to our shared host, I've found some artwork of Keith's. Figured I'd post some of the gems here, for posterity.

General Announcements / The Forums are back!
« on: November 13, 2017, 10:41:00 am »
It has been six years since these forums have been online. The latest post was form March, 2011. I don't even remember why they went offline, but they did and eventually they disappeared for good. Or so I thought, since I didn't have a single backup of them.


Thanks to Mike Burk (and several hours of my time doing weird arcane things with a CentOS vm from 2012, cpanel, three dockers, and a few hundred lines of node.js code) I was able to get a backup of the forums migrated to the latest SMF, and the latest mysql. Registration's (temporarily) disabled, but posts and everything should work.

Where do we go from here?

There's a lot of just ancient posts and topics on this board. I mean, it's all ancient, since it hasn't been live for 6 years. But most of the projects and other things have been put on the dusty shelf, or imploded.

But let's be honest, most of us don't remember the game this forums was born around. We remember the Mafia games, the Wars, the community we built here. This was where a lot of us met, and made friendships that lasted years.

And some that, sadly, ended far too soon.

My intention is to open these back up to registration, and get them into a more stable, maintainable state. I want to build a community again, and breath some more life into these old, dusty boards. But a community of one is not a community. I'm announcing this topic, with the hopes that some of you still have those emails (lord knows, some of us never change), see the message, and decide to come back, even if just to laugh at our much younger selves.

Then, we (as a community) need to decide what we want to do with these. Archive all the old stuff, and try to make some shiny new boards and move on? Keep these forums in an archived state, and disable posting? Start over from scratch with new software, new posts, and a new mission?

Whatever we decide; my intention is to keep these forums running indefinitely. There's meaning in that for me, so I'll gladly keep spending the time required to keep them up.


Leverage / Game Setup
« on: March 28, 2011, 04:49:18 pm »

This game will be run in a different format from normal. This game will be episodic. Each mission will be relatively self contained, and will run about a month in length. There will be a week downtime while I prepare the next mission, and open the game for new character applications, and allow players to decide if they want to continue on. There is an overarching plot, but I've specifically designed this so that new players can come in to each mission without feeling completely overwhelmed. However, because the game is formatted like this, I will not bring in players in the middle of a mission, unless there's extenuating circumstances.


This is a modification of a Star Wars D6 campaign I ran. As such, we will be using the Star Wars D6 Rule set as a guideline. However, because this is play by post, and therefore much slower than a normal tabletop session, we'll be only using a subset of the rules outlined in the book. I will attempt to make it as simple, and easy as possible to get up to speed with.

First, there are some resources that you will want to get your hands on. The most critical is the Players Handout. This is a simple, 4 page document that explains the basic rules of Star Wars D6. I've also attached the handout, and the full Core Rulebook to this post. (Normally, I wouldn't post a PDF of a Rulebook like this, but it's been out of print for years, and is almost impossible to get your hands on.)

Star Wars / Game Rules
« on: March 28, 2011, 02:08:37 am »
While each GM is allowed to use a modified set of these rules, saying 'anything goes' is just an invitation to chaos. Also, if there isn't a cohesive list of what's allowed and what isn't, it makes it much more difficult to settle disputes, and to keep games running smoothly. As such, I am outlining the rules I will use for my games, and other GMs can simply reference this post, and list how they're modifying it, rather than writing out a gigantic opening post with rules, setting, etc.

The following posts are split by topic, to allow for easy linking, to the specific bits that GMS would like to use, as well as for ease of reading.

General Announcements / Keith Hayes
« on: February 20, 2011, 01:48:30 pm »
These types of messages are always the hardest to write... but, I have to inform all of you that Keith Hayes (Caenus as he was known here) passed away last night.

Keith had been battling Cancer for the last 6 months, and on Feb. 1st, had a bone marrow transplant. He'd requested no contact for his recovery period, so none of us had talked to him much near then end. We don't have many details, and I didn't want to wait until everything was known before posting this message.

Keith was like a brother to me, and influenced these forums, RFI, and so much of my life, for so long, that it's hard to imagine him being gone. He will be missed, greatly.


Poetry / Words
« on: August 07, 2008, 03:51:00 pm »

What are these words like paint and brush,
Deafening screams and whispers hush?
Like sharp knives cut and claws that tear,
like needle and thread, they do repair.
What are these words that echo fears,
that give us strength and dry our tears?
They tell us tales of long ago,
they come too fast, they come too slow.
Are words unspoken just shadows found,
like thunder blasts, without a sound.
These silent words of thoughts unspoken,
of dreams to come and hearts not broken.
What are these words that mean so much,
that light our souls like a lover's touch?
Where do they go when we are done,
when our lungs propel them from our tongue?
They will live forever in our souls,
like undying embers from timeless coals.

--Scott C. Case

(Yup, that's an original by my father.)

Consider yourself challenged, my love.

Precursors Artwork / New Ares Concept Model
« on: August 01, 2008, 03:06:49 pm »
Well, I was sitting here at work, and I had a bit of an epiphany. I sat down, and came up with a new concept for the Ares body shape. Below are the rough 'sketches' I did in inventor while at work.

Developer Meeting Logs / Developer Meetings
« on: June 02, 2008, 02:26:28 am »

All Developer Meeting happen Sundays at 6pm CST.


All meetings are held on irc. The server is and the channel is #svnprecursors.


All logs can be found here:

General Announcements / Forum Maturity Level
« on: May 06, 2008, 02:31:39 am »
It pains me that I have to make this post. However, due to recent events, it has become clear that I need to say something. A member of the forums has already been banned; I would like to avoid others. Let me be clear and concise:

Immaturity will no longer be tolerated on these forums.

This isn't to say that we will ban you for tasteless humor, or even the occasional slip up. Rather, this is a warning. Blatant and/or admitted immaturity will no longer be allowed on these forums. You may joke, you may have fun, but remember that when all is said and done, respect is far more important then getting people to laugh at your latest lame joke.

Also, I feel I must make one final comment.

I will no longer tolerate continued harassment of members of my forums. Your first PM to someone should never be 'You're one hot bitch.' That is harassment. I will personally ban anyone that makes other feel uncomfortable.

Remember, the goal of these forums isn't to get members. It's not even to keep members. It's to be a tool towards the creation of the Requiem for Innocence, and other G33X Nexus Entertainment Games/Universes. I enjoy using them as a place to have fun, but I will close them down completely if the rampant immaturity does not cease immediately.

Thank you.


Mafia / [4]: Firefly Mafia - Town, Ecco Wins
« on: May 05, 2008, 01:04:24 am »
Firefly Mafia
Open for Signups

This goal of this game is to be a 'fun' game. Read that statement however you will, but I intend to make this a very enjoyable game, both for spectators and for the players. Most especially for the players.

Now, there is something that needs to be stated about this game. The town's win condition is slightly different then normal. In addition to the win condition stated in your pms, all town aligned roles have an addition to their win condition. A Reever must be revealed via card flip. (Make no assumptions about what this may mean.)

That being said, here is the signup/player list.

1) Caenus
2) Emerwyn
3) Burstaholic - Simon Tam
4) TLB
5) Windshipper - Reaver
6) VoodooFly
7) MisTake1024 - River Tam
8) Xite91
9) Fated
10) Dragnix
11) Whitelynx
12) Kmd4390
13) Ecco the Raven
14) Wattie

Firefly Resources

Wikipedia Page:
WikiQuotes Page:
Firefly Wiki:

I would suggest becoming familiar with the flavor before making arguments based on said flavor.

Short Stories / Consumption
« on: April 24, 2008, 10:06:27 pm »
Seven. Seven centuries of pain, seven of exile, seven centuries of lust. For seven centuries I have sat upon my thrown, content – No, I am never content. Seven centuries of hunger have seen to that. Nothing can satisfy my hunger, and Nothing will. No, they have lain in ignorance long enough. It is time for my Seven centuries to end. With them ends the light, the truth. With them I will end love.

“But, Dark One, you do not yet know love.”

Bah, I need not love. One does not need to know one's enemy to destroy it. Do you need to know your food to consume it? Neither shall I need to know love to end it.

“Quite the claim, Dark One. I should not judge you; you have never been willing to face those things that scared you. Fear is one thing you will never end.”

Fear? Do you think I am afraid? You have no power to make me fearful.

“Correct. But she does.”

She? A creature like those above? Impossible. I have dined on their souls for seven centuries, and I shall dine for seven times seventy. There is no mortal who can cast fear upon me. This woman is just another to be consumed.

“You don't sound convinced.”

Careful, Priest. I have consumed far greater than you.

“My apologies, Dark One. Perhaps I was wrong.”

Yes, Priest. You were wrong. I promise you, you were wrong.


Yes, still...

*   *   *

The streets are always described as being cold. No, these were not cold. Everywhere around me was the warmth of humanity. I felt covered – smothered by it. Nothing I could do would let me escape it, so I surrendered to that warmth, that hunger. I let the crowd swallow me up, leading me where it would. I had no destination, nor a journey; I cared little for that existential bullshit the media had been spewing out for decades now. I simply didn't care where I ended up. If I found what I was looking for (if you could even call it looking; that's pretty debatable) I'd know.

Avenue L and 54th. Heh. 'Avenue'. It was more like a back alley that had the unfortunate honor of being the only separation between the mountains of steel and concrete on either side. The sauna of humanity was more like a warm spring day here. The crowd had thinned to just a few people. Most of them looked like they were on their way home, hoping to to get mugged. I was out of place. I was too apathetic, too unconcerned with those around me. I must have looked the target.

There were only four of them. One was a thirteen year old girl; obviously a sibling of the man in front of me. They were a team, those two. In a couple of years, once she was older, I'm sure he'd introduce her to the same sweet embrace his father had him; for now he was content to let his friends brutalize her, and then get rid of them under pretense. She knew the game. She was the smart one, the one who'd break free. If she lived long enough.

“Just your wallet, chump. We're not looking to rough you up... yet.” his hand was dirt, dingy. The cold October air bit viciously at his fingers. Oh, I knew how he'd warm those hands later tonight. Perhaps... yes. She was just old enough for him to start, wasn't she?

“No wallet.” I was honest, though his greedy hand still clawed the open air, expecting.

“We ain't dumb. Char followed you from the subway. If you rode, you've got a wallet. Now hand it over.” He pulled a knife out of his pocket. It was one of those unimpressive folding knifes. Who the hell named a knife after an insect? An animal, maybe. Not an insect.

“No wallet.” The urges were starting to hit me. I could smell him, his unwashed body had the smell of fear, of hate on him. Sex. Yes, he'd screwed some back alley whore and then knifed her for the pleasure. Oh, the sweetness. He'd entertain me... satisfy my hunger a bit. No. This wasn't what I needed right now. Still, he was expecting something. I spit into his hand.

“Fuck!” He wiped his hand off as his buddies grabbed me. I struggled a bit; I really wasn't sure what to do. That shit in the movies never worked.

He fisted me in the gut. The pain shot through me, and I doubled over. Sure, he coulda used the knife, but I think he didn't want to show Char death. Seeing it first hand has a way of removing the fear of it, and fear was his control on her. Stupid fuck, she's not afraid of you. She's afraid of pain, of death. Keep this up, and she won't fear either. Dumbass.

I smelled her scent before I saw her. She seemed scared, but determined. He'd kept hitting me after the gut punch, so I couldn't see her very well. I didn't need to see to hear the crunch as her boot connected with his nuts. She said something, I didn't quite catch it. There was blood in my ears. The arms holding me let go, and I heard another crunch. A howl of pain.

Ah, there she was. Char. She was watching what this woman had done to the men she'd feared. My rescuer turned and smiled to her, I think. Whatever it was, she ran off. She wasn't going 'home'. She'd sleep in the park, and then steal bus fare out of the city. Most likely become an actress, or a politician. Seemed the type to me.

“Here, can you walk?” Arms were helping me up. I was dizzy, said so.

“You can't go far like this. My place's two blocks from here, think you can make it?” I liked the smell of her as she helped me walk. Didn't bother to answer her; she was determined, and I hurt. The pain was interesting, almost sweet. It had been a long time since I'd felt anything but hunger. This was it. I'd found what I was looking for. Still...
*   *   *

“So, you decided to take me up on my challenge?”

Oh no, Priest. I have no intention of knowing love. I simply wanted to know about them. After all, I said my centuries were over. I'm no longer waiting, watching, now am I? What concern of yours is it? I may spend my time doing whatever I wish. And I will.

“No, no, that's fine. You are, after all, the master. I just thought...”

What? What did your muddled mind conjure up? You, who was as wrong in youth as you are stubborn in senility. What could you possibly think? That you ever retain the ability to string together anything resembling a thought is repulsive to me. My presence should have long removed you of such ambitions. Such as the ambition to live.

“Insulting me isn't nearly as enjoyable as it used to be, is it?”

No. I used to get much more enjoyment out of it.

“Perhaps you've changed.”

I've only grown weary of your presence. After I have secured their souls, I'll be having yours, Priest. I look forward to yours most of all.

“As I to yours, Dark One. As I to yours.”

*   *   *

Eggs. She'd decided to make me eggs. She hadn't bothered to ask me if I was allergic, or if I even like them. Instead she had let me sleep, while she prepared a meal of death, of commitment, of selfish self interest. I ate the damned eggs.

She didn't say much during breakfast. For some reason it grated on my nerves. When you rescue someone, it's your job to figure out if you did the right thing; if they deserved it. She, obviously, didn't watch TV. Finishing my meal, I just looked at her, expectantly. She smiled, cleared my plate, and remained resolutely silent. I wasn't in the mood for games, said so. She blinked, and shook her head.

“I'm sorry. I just didn't want to be the first one to say something.” She shrugged. “How are you feeling.”

Lousy. I didn't like the eggs. “Ok. Thanks for breakfast.”

“I would have made something more but I don't know what you like, and I'm a bit light on groceries. I hope it was ok?” She looked concerned. About eggs. It didn't make sense, but if she wanted to worry about simple bullshit, that was fine by me.

“Nah, it was fine. I understand. Thanks for the save last night.”

A cloud passed over her face, and like recognized like. There was something more, something dark about her. I felt the hunger again, but this time it was focused. She seemed to notice my hunger too, because she returned my blank expression with one that hinted at her own hunger. Her? One of them? Hungry? Things weren't adding up for me.

I pushed back from the table and looked around the little apartment. It was generic, bland, yet totally unique. All these efficiency apartments had the same furniture. Most just kept it the same. She had rearranged it. I shook my head. Only someone like her would think to move the furniture around, try to make it her own. I could still see the spots in the carpet where the furniture had stood unmoved for decades before she moved in. Dented carpet aside, it was the only tell tale that the apartment hadn't come this way. She'd even rebolted everything to the floor. My bet was she told everyone that It'd come like this. Most would believe her. Why would she want to be different, yet not let anyone know? It didn't make sense.

“You moved your furniture.”

She had started washing the breakfast dishes. She stopped, and stood in the living room doorway. “No, that's how-” I cut her off.

“You moved the furniture.” I pointed to the dents in the carpet. She blushed. “I moved mine too.”

She gave me a long look, before smiling a wide smile. “I think we're going to get along well. I just wished I knew your name.”

Returning the smile felt odd. My face felt stretched. “Xavier. Call me Zay.”

“Virginia Elizabeth. Call me Cat.”

I gave her an odd look, and she meowed. Shrugging, I turned my attention back to the room. There were little details, things she'd done to make it her own, not just moving the furniture. Little possessions left lying around in a very particular, exacting way. Most would have passed it off as mess. I knew better. It took her another 5 minutes to finish the dishes. When she returned to the living room, I had already made myself comfortable on the couch.

“So, do you live near here?” She sounded tentative. I knew what her mind was thinking, even if the rest of her was thinking something much different.

“Nope. I was kicked out last night. Need some place to live, till I finish a job. Then, I'll most likely buy my building.” Her eyes went wide, and I smirked. “Government contract.”

“So, after that they'll let you own a building?” She didn't seem to believe me. I didn't blame her; couldn't own anything anymore. Government had taken it all ten years ago.

“Yeah. Let me own whatever I want too. Free Man.”

She smiled, and I could see it behind her eyes. The Darkness, the hunger. “Well, then, why don't you stay here? If you're going to be a Free Man, why not?”

Taking a chance, I lied. “Only stay with people I'm a couple with.”

The hunger grew more intense. “That can be arranged, Zay.”

*   *   *
She Hungers, Priest. Explain this.

“Why do you think I know anything about it?”

I know your kind, I know even you can Hunger. Why does she? She's one of those pathetic fools. They are incapable of hungering; it's been bred out of them. No, Priest, there is more going on here then you've told me. I demand you-

“Demand? You demand nothing, Dark One. I will tell you as it suits me. For now, enjoy her hunger, and then meet something new.”

New? What is there new to find about Hunger?


*   *   *

We had been coupled for six months. She was growing fond of me, enjoyed my caresses, loved some of the other things I'd do to her. She'd never really coupled with anyone before, but she had learned quickly. Still, she knew I was holding her at arms length, I wouldn't tell her everything. I could see that look in her eyes, that feeling of being let down. Didn't matter, she didn't matter. At least, that's what I told myself.

It happened without me even realizing it. We were watching TV and she had changed the channel. Without realizing it, I had let myself get too hungry. I didn't wake up until three hours later. Her clothes were bloody, torn. She was still huddled in the corner, crying. I didn't even have to look in the mirror to realize what had just happened. Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to look at her. Her arms were bruised, and she had a nasty looking gash on her cheek. Her neck looked bruised with bite marks. She was nude from the waste down, and while there were no bruises, I imagined she was pretty sore.

“S'over. Might want to get cleaned up.”

She shuddered at the sound of my voice. It took her another ten minutes of silence before she spoke. “At least you... sound like you.”

I shrugged. “Who else would I sound like?”

She shook her head, and stood up with resolution. “I expect you to pay the fees for the clothing, Zay. And the carpet. We'll never get the blood out.”

I looked up at her and offered the only consultation I could. “You won't have dents anymore.”

“I expect not.”

*   *   *
“Dark One.”


“Never touch her again.”

*   *   *

After that night, I had never expected her to stay coupled with me. She did. She also seemed to want me more, need me more. But, the hunger was gone.

I had extinguished a flame in her that should have been kindled. There was nothing but a hollowness that made me more angry with her with each passing day. I hadn't expected to see that flame again, but one night while watching the news, I saw it.

The story was what most people would call 'life changing'. For me, it was already old news; I knew about it from work. Still she sat there, watching the screen, the pretty video playing everything over with razor sharp clarity. She watched the bodies slump, then melt, finally blowing away as a wisp of dust. She watched at buildings burned, trees exploded, and hell on earth was unleashed. The reporter called it 'Armageddon'. I smiled. Personally, I called it 'fair play' but they hadn't asked me when writing the news script. They should have.

“My god, Zay. Three hundred million killed. Who would do something like that?”

I would. “Us, apparently.”

“Not me. And I don't think you would either. God, I hate them!” She punched the sofa. I'd never seen her this angry. “Who the hell does the government think they are, doing shit like this? Who said they could kill three hundred million people?!” She closed her eyes, and then asked softly, “Do you know who gave the order? You work for the government... you might know them.”

I should lie. “Yeah, I know who did it.”

She turned to me with flame in her otherwise brown eyes. “Who?”

I really, really should lie. “Me.”

I had expected the slap. I hadn't expected the steak knife in the hand. It pinned my hand to the sofa with very little blood. She didn't blink, she just kept looking me in the eyes, with that fire. “What gave you the right to kill those people, Xavier? Where's your soul?”

I looked at my hand, and then back to her face. “Sold it. Long ago. That's why I'm here, Cat.”

She pulled the knife out of my hand. It started to bleed everywhere. I ignored it.

“Zay, you're bleeding. I'll call Medical, but only because I like the sofa.”

Closing my eyes, I knew that if I didn't act in this single instant, the last year would have been nothing more then a distraction from my work. “Don't. I'll take care of it. I'll miss you, Cat.”

She didn't look at me. “I'll miss you too, Zay.”

*   *   *

“You're loosing.”

No. We are very near the end, Priest. Soon, I will have achieved what I set out to do. I will have have ended love. I did it with Her, I'll do it with the rest soon.

“No, Dark One. You cannot comprehend the depths of your mistake, the depths of your folly. By strangling the thing you wish to destroy, you simply strengthen resolve. I will enjoy watching you suffer.”

You're starting to sound like me, Priest. Do not let it continue.




She's coming back, isn't she?


*   *   *

It took me a month to finally find it. It wasn't for a lack of trying; just because they tell you where something happened, doesn't mean it's easy to get to. Work offered to take me out there, but I refused. Stupid. I couldn't just take a transport over that way; someone had deleted it as a destination point. That was the way that the world announced the death of millions. The city was no longer a valid destination. Figures.

There wasn't much left, honestly. I didn't quite know what to do; even with a month to think about it, I hadn't been able to come up with anything. There was some construction equipment at the edge of the rubble, but towards the center there was nothing. Just rubble. So, I sat down.

It didn't really make much sense. This wasn't some sort of political message. It didn't mean anything. The destruction of this city, these people, it was just something to do. I gave the order, and I seemed to be the only one that knew it was pointless.  That's why I sat. Maybe it was something I'd seen somewhere; one pointless thing can be illustrated by another pointless thing. Don't really care.

Two weeks. I got hungry, but ignored it. I'd brought water, though not enough. Two weeks, and there were police, military, and crowds. People had actually left their homes to come and stare at me. I'd turn my back to them, but they surrounded me. So, I didn't look up.

They didn't get it, didn't get the image. No one understood, no one could see what I saw. It was futile, everything. I wasn't here to protest, I was here to die. Some might call that melodramatic. Fuck it. It worked for me.

Someone sat down next to me. I knew her, I could smell her. I'd rather leave, but that would have taken too much effort. She touched my arm, and I looked away.

“You could have told me, you know.”

I shrugged. “It's not like it meant anything. I'm not special. Just... happened, really.”

“Zay, you're Chancellor. How does that not mean anything?”

“Cat, you're like them. You don't get it. It's pointless. All this death? Meant nothing. No reason. Just happened.”

She got up. Should have lied. Again. “Zay, let me see your hand.” Showed her. “It's infected. Let's get them to grow you a new one. Ok?”

“Guess I could use one.”

“Good. I'll get the sofa fixed once we get home. Oh and Zay?”

“Yeah, Cat?”

I saw that flame in her eyes again. “Take me to work with you tomorrow.”

I shrugged. “Sure.”
*   *   *

“You've finally lost, Dark One. She's mine, and you... well, those chains should mind you for millenia. Or longer.”


“No, Dark One. I've triumphed over you. Now, we'll start undoing what was done before.”



Priest... will you still talk to me?

“Of course, Dark One. I am your Priest, after all. I think we have many things to discuss.”

Thank you, Priest. I believe I was wrong.

“Yes, Dark One, you were. Come, it's time for you to rest. The chains will help.”

Precursors / Updated Screen Shot!
« on: March 29, 2008, 02:42:38 am »
Yes, believe it or not, we've got a screenshot! I'm doing a 'visual refresh' of the CEGUI theme, and here's what I've got so far... keep in mind, this is severely a WIP.

Edit: Windows Screenshot! This is running the new code, and is a fresh screenshot, taken 45 seconds ago!

Yes, I know it looks the same, but this is the new code base! This means we can start actually working on the app again!

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