Sunday, September 30

beneath the stars

Due to RL demands, I have been quite exhausted as of late..some nights not venturing from my mansion at all. But I have been out and about..

I set up a sukkah on my land. I put a few pieces of fruit on it..a meager attempt. Perhaps next year I can get some help in decorating.

I abstained from my research and slept under that wooden structure for a week. It reminds me of my of the few weeks where sleeping under the stars I..and Sumalee..felt safe. I swear I almost felt the carress of her paw against my face as I slept there the final night..even with Jeremiah's wherabouts unknown, it's something I felt compelled to dom

I attended the Steelhad Demo dance. Bloodwing thought it was a DEMON dance and ran away screaming. I'll abstain from posting pictures to protect the fashion victims.

I was only able to catch the tail end of RegencyFest. Ah well, there will be another rave in a few hours I'm sure.

I certainly wish to set up another dance at Lady Amber's pavillion, perhaps Wednesday? Nurse Christensen's eclectic mix is always a crowd pleaser!

~Dr. M

Monday, September 24

Caledon Regency Festival September 29th

My friend Strolling Reporter friend, Miss Eladrienne Laval, has the scoop:

I would also like to publicly thank Miss Laval for her donation to keep the Hospital running. The Hospital will be on the Open House Tour, though I will not be free to participate in the festivities until the Rooftop Party.

~Dr. Mason

Saturday, September 22

Beneath the Mason Ruins, Part VI

Koen and I extricated ourselves from the magical trap that Koen's mother, Sumalee, had escaped from not long before. We continued down the twisting labyrinth, dug into the bayside cliffs of the cursed plantation that our father, Dr. Darien Mason, had been raised. All around us we saw evidence of what sort of monster Darien's father, Dr. Jeremiah Mason, had become.

Like our father, Jeremiah was clearly a carrier of the Spark. Everywhere we saw diagrams and remnants of the same unorthodox fusion of magic and technology that Darien Mason compulsively builds. The Mason of this house had animated small golems that were still following orders given long ago. They were walking furnaces built along the same principles as myself. But unlike Darien, Jeremiah conducted his experiments on subjects that were very much alive and unwilling. The remains of various bipedal creatures littered the hallways, pushed towards the sides only by the programmed wanderings of the automatons.

And then there was the creature, the Floating Heart. That is the easiest way to describe that horror. A pulsating, levitating mass the size of a horse pocked with eyes and maws, inhaling and regurgitating one-celled drones large enough to engulf a small animal and dissolve it, carrying the nutrients back to the living hive.

The pulsing of its tissues echoed to our ears, and the heat it radiated permeated the stone passageways as we descended deeper. As the cells raced towards us with increasing frequency, we would dexterously disrupt them with our blades. The fire of my furnace lit our way. We spied the beast from the edge of a doorway, and quickly flattened ourselves against the walls to avoid detection.

Koen and I only looked at each other. I removed a compact mirror from my sachel. I often use it glance at the back of my engine, but now I used it as a periscope, angling it to peek at the monster.

"It seems to be inactive..asleep perhaps, or lethargic." I whispered, "How many of those cells did we destroy?"

I multiplied the amount by the volume organic material we had seen them consume on a sortie. I factored in the frequency that they had charged us. I estimated the mass of the heartbeast.

"I think we've destroyed all of its cells. It's not getting enough food to move." I muttered.

Koen drew his metal claws with a tensing of his forearms.

"No. Not yet." I moved into the doorway and peered at the beast. I saw its outerlayer undulating from the new cells it was forming underneath.

Koen sniffed. "So if we damage it, the cells burst open and eat us, right?"

I nodded. "I have a plan."

I guided Koen in flipping some switches on my engine and reconnecting some copper tubing. I had detached my arm with the extinguisher attachment, propping it against the wall by the elbow, the hollow shoulder open to the grease that poured down through the copper tube.

"Qli? What is this stuff? Oil?"

"'s fat from the human meals I consume. It gets collected in a chamber below my furnace."

"It goes straight to your hips, huh?" He chuckled.

"You'd be amazed at how unhealthy these Caledonian meals are. Why, the fat from a single Scotch Egg.."

We froze as the beast rumbled in its stupor. I pulled the tube and reattached my arm. I cautiously advanced into the chamber where the creature rotated slowly, still undulating. As I aimed, it suddenly opened its eyes and opened a toothy maw, roaring at me. I propelled a jet of boiling grease straight into its orifice.

It shuddered. It gurgled. It expanded, and with a sudden "POP!" it ruptured from within and collapsed to the ground.

As the pulsing sound ceased, I turned to Koen. I gasped. He lay unconscious in the doorway. The echoeing throbs of the heartbeast was silenced, but now the sound of hissing serpents replaced it. I recognized the two red and black slithering appendages that stretched into my vision. It..they..were the Hydra, a curse of Bloodwing's father Hades that inhabited my demon-father like a parasite..tormenting Bloodwing even as the demon possessed my human co-creator. But Bloodwing had shed the serpents when he and Dr. Mason rose from the Underworld as a rejoined entity, "Dr. Bloodwing", cradling the infant they had just cured of vampirism! I drew my weapon as the massive shape they were attached to stepped from the shadows.

"Father? What is going on!"

The barrel trembled as my finger refused to flip off the safety. My programming recognized the Hydra as one of Bloodwing's forms. Unlike my neko brother, loyalty was ingrained in my being. Protect Your Creator. Not even self-defense would warrant. I could only flee..but even if I was willing to abandon my brother, The only passages we had mapped were blocked by this new threat.

A booted foot kicked Koen over on his back. The bite marks on his shoulder had torn through his alchemist's cloak, and the red fabric grew dark as he bled. A scratchy voice with a spiteful tone and a very familiar accent assaulted my ears.

"Nekos..people evolved from cats. Surely, Mankind should have realized it was doomed when the rest of the Animal Kingdom started cathing up to it?"

I took a few steps back as the vaguely human form stepped over my brother's body. My senses reeled. The serpents and their wings I recognized. The human they were attached to looked familiar, but mangled in its clearly undead state. Had I a human stomach it would have turned from seeing the torn cavity in his chest. The heart was conspicuously missing."

" can't be..does not compute!"

"It will make sense, you marvelous little toy, as I make sense of you in my workshop."

"I am Doctor Jeremiah Wilhelm have trespassed on my property, damaged my equipment and, quite literally, broke my heart! And now you, that bastard kitten of my runaway servant, and most of all my useless excuse for a son that sent you..shall PAY!

To Be Continued..

Thursday, September 13

Happy Rez-Day to Me

*scrubs skull out with steel wool to forget Hotspur's gift*

Ah, much better. Now where was I? Oh yes. The Rezday party. At first I was worried no one would show. There were a coupe other Caledon events in progress, and Dr. Figaro had fallen ill and was unable to DJ at Baroness Amber's ballroom. (I wish you a rapid recovery, Doctor!) However, my dear friend Nurse Annastina Christensen graciously offered to play her uniquely uplifting mix of music, and brought her friend Reyna along.

I received Rezday gifts from all sides. I received a balloon, a bear, a bed, two buoyant battleships (!!) and a dashing outfit from Anna. Bloodwing's sister Lumina danced with me (sister by blood or ceremonially through Steelwolf? No one seems to have an answer to that), as did Annastina and the Baroness herself. The Steelhead managers, Tensai and Lunar, took some time to dance with us. Countess Christine Pearse stopped by to share in the revelry. My daughter Qli's construct friends, Cornelia Rothschild and Midnight Bohemia, also paid a visit. Captain Midnight offered me two unusually sized eggs she had collected on her sea voyages..they certainly demand further study.

All in all my spirits were greatly uplifted! Annastina and I ( Bloodwing anyway) have made a great DJ/Host team in the past and it certainly showed last night for two wonderful hours! Since the Baroness gave me carte blance to use her Ballroom except on the Esbats, I think this could easily become a weekly event!

~Dr. Mason

Apologies for missing the Rez Day, Dr.

It was late, I was tired and not feeling well.

However, I do believe I found the perfect present..

The Archie McPhee Chest Toupee...

A good reanimator need be always prepared...


Monday, September 10

Medical Advances

I took the initiative and invited Aurelius Draken to join the Caledon Red Cross. He is the creator if the fantastic medical equipment I had mentioned earlier. We struck a simple bargain, he supplies us with equipment, and we allow him a kiosk in the lobby.

And while not quite a medical device, but certainly a device for preventative care, Miss Laura Flintlock demonstrated her new design for an old concept, the chastity belt. Note my avoidance of the multibarrel array.

Miss Flintlock has a knack for redesigning household items in ways that they could double as military ordnance. The Chimney Sweep and Pie Democratizer are prime examples. And let us not forget the horseless carriage that uses soup as a fuel source. (Plans for a Chicken Soup Ambulance are still on the drawing board.) She would be a fascinating subject for psychological analysis, if not for the risk involved.

And then I encountered a zombie is Victoria City. I offered to reanimate him, but he refused treatment. He said his ghoulfriend wouldn't approve.

Yes, I had the same reaction.

~Dr. Mason

Saturday, September 8

Bloodwing Foundation @ Club Mechanoid

I actually need to thank Koen for finding the club. He was looking at neko stores and wandered off to find the place just before it opened. Miss nebel hired Koen, Bloodwing and myself as hosts and dancers! (Dr. Mason declined...he said he prefers to stay in his own century and keep his mail free of the deluge of messages.) The decor is inspired by H. R. Giger's art..dark and industrial, just like the music. Perfect!

I think I'm enjoying it the most..I haven't had this much fun dancing since Toxia! They hired Midnight as well, and we have a very entertaining routine going..brass and chrome electroplating *smile*.

My Replicator form is perfect for this venue. The Lava Demon would fit in as well. Emilly, Kiralette and Darkling gave the place an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and I hope you will too. Come see us some evening!


Monday, September 3

Apology Accepted?

Immediately after I received my pink slip, Baroness Amber approached me and invited me to host events at her Ballroom. I was given nearly carte blanche..any time except the Wiccan Sabbats, any theme as long as it's PG-13 (none of those scandalous Raves!) My fellow Doctor of the Caledon Red Cross, Mitsu Figaro, has volunteered to DJ on September the 12th for my Rez Day Celebration. (Maybe I'll finally get a Duchess sandwich?)

Much to my surprise, Miss Katt asked Qli to host the Wizard of Oz event on September the 14th, and she enthusiastically accepted. I was also asked to host a Fast Food themed event on September the 21st, but since I will be celebrating Yom Kippur (fasting!) that night I respectfully declined.

~Dr. Mason

Sunday, September 2

OOC: An Apology

The only constant is change, and I have been too slow to adapt. The duties of Steelhead Host widened, and I did my best to keep up. The economics changed, and my goal of keeping my avatars self-sufficient quickly slipped from very easy to very difficult, just as I was expanding my holdings. I said words in frustration that should not have been said. I asked for assistance in venues where I should have avoided such pleas. There were multiple gaffes in arranging sponsorships. All of these compounded were too much for the Management to ignore. As of yesterday, I have been divested of the title of Steelhead Host.

I spoke at length with Miss Kattrynn afterwards, and received the full explanation of why she and her Committee came to their decision. We had differing interpretations of certain events, but I accepted her decision, and she accepted my apology. Now, I apologize to the rest of Steelhead.

This is not the first time my attempts to help my virtual community have gone awry. Nor is this the first time I have accepted punishment for it. I still remember how crushed I felt when the man I called my Brother stripped me of the responsibilities of Sheriff. I walked downstairs, saw the cages griefers set up in the Town Hall, and could only sigh.

This is just as painful, The decision was made by a committee, and I do not know the names of everyone in this committee. But I know they are my fellow Citizens.

Directly and indirectly I have received the "It's Just a Game" speech. I contend it is more than that. This is not Warcraft. SL is a medium of communication like the World Wide Web or the telephone. It is the medium through which I have been blessed with many, many friends. Some of you I know by voice and face, others only in pixel. A couple of you, I know, live close enough to meet at a restaurant if it were ever desired. Some of you live on the opposite coast, or the other side of the planet from me. No matter which timezone you are typing from, you mean as much to me as those friends I grew up with. What I regret the most from my actions is disappointing my friends.

I assume they are reminding me of the Game because they are worried about my mental health. Let me assure you, RL comes first in my life. When an emergency pops up IRL, SL gets put on hold. Let me assure you that just because I use "We" when referring to the actions of the characters I portray that I do not have a dissociative disorder. I have been roleplaying through tabletop games, LARPs and MUDs since middle school, and this is the technique I have found works best for me. If you have something OOC to tell me I will put aside the role I am playing and speak to you OOC.

I have lost my dependable source of in-world income. Will I be upset if I lose parcels as a result? Yes. Will I take out my frustrations on people in-game? I promise you not. Will I go drain the liquor cabinet and try to fly off a bridge? Absolutely not. I can still enjoy SL if I don't have a place to tune the radio stream.

When the position of Steelhead Host comes up for recompete, I will reapply as I have been invited to. In the meantime I will flip through my Rolodex and the Search tab to see who needs a host for the 7-10 timeslot. I will keep RPing the public service roles I enjoy so much. I sincerely hope there will be a way I can contribute to the Steelhead community again by doing what I love best -- entertaining.

Respectfully Yours,

A Player in Steelhead