E.Y. 2743-11-12

This, she thought to herself, was becoming a problem.

Look for no trouble and you won’t find it here, was her policy, and it had served her and her customers well for a long time. Besides the occasional troublemaker looking to prove something, there was little out here in the way of fighting. God knew how even the most gung-ho and bloodthirsty of mercs tired of conflict from time to time, and her establishment was meant to be a place away from all of that.

There had been some unrest, lately, when a foreign peacekeeping unit decided to hunker down in their small port town. Ostensibly, they’d only been passing through, but as the days stretched on with no signs of their leaving, their week-long stay at the inn north of the city center said otherwise—they were here on the hunt. But nobody knew what they were hunting, so everyone who had a working brain (or brain-adjacent) between their ears had been on edge (well, more than usual, that is); a low-level thrum of tension colored every conversation, hands never straying far from concealed weaponry.

On this particular day, she discovered an unpleasant gift: trouble had arrived at her doorstep. As always, the troubles of men had inevitably spilled over like slow-moving molasses oozing city streets, leaving not even this sector unsullied, a shadow darkening the brow of an otherwise unremarkable and sunny afternoon.

This particular problem took the shape of a factory-standard sim slumped against the tavern’s disposal bin, near the back entrance. It was alive—for a given definition of the word—but with no signs of consciousness—also for a given definition of the word—returning anytime soon, battered as it was. This particular problem’s markings suggested prison break, or illegal indentureship, or one of many other nasty insinuations. She’d bet a lot of money that the peacekeepers were looking for this particular problem, and that spelled trouble for her.

As if just to prove her right, her portable comm unit crackled, and the tinny voices of the peacekeepers filtered through: they were on the move. And as if just to prove her wrong, the sim also chose this moment to stir, something that should have been nigh impossible for a sim this damaged. Even if it blocked all sensory input, self-preservation protocols should have shunted its systems into recovery shutdown. Nevertheless, it was definitely awake now, and dully staring at her, though it made no attempt to prop itself up or speak. Probably couldn’t, anyway, given its limbs and the lack thereof. And the concerningly dented cranial casing. It blinked at her.

“Oh, bother,” she said, and holstered her gun. If she handed them over to the peacekeepers, there was a good chance they’d implicate her anyway, and that would mean a definite end to the fragile peace she’d carved out for herself out here. There wasn’t a real decision to be made. She was not in the habit of picking up strays, she told herself firmly as she hauled them up. Her bleeding heart wouldn’t let her do anything less, and the annoying thing she picked up called morals would nag her about it to no end. In an unwelcome wash of déjà vu, she dragged the thing in behind her, kicked closed the back door, and set it on a stool in the storage room. It blinked at her again, and remained mum. Right. She’ll just keep the sim out of the way until the danger’s passed, and then send them on their merry way, somewhere preferably far from this sector. 

(In the back of her mind, a soundless voice laughed at her.)

The Kingdom of Tokavask, Session 24: A Diary Entry from Lord Azhan, Advisor to the King

It all burns this wick. Waiting for an answer and finding none, seeking an escape and discovering nothing. A long, lonely road of emptiness and guilt. I didn’t do anything, don’t know who did. They asked me what my impression of Lord Eskyil was, and I said he was a great advisor whom I admired.

What I said was wrong.

Tashka said there was no way he was asleep that night. He can feel it in his bones when a turn for the negative is inevitable. He would have been awake grimacing and rubbing his knees. Tashka also said she went to check on him as per her duties and he wasn’t there. Elshir said something similar. The Lord could not have been caught unawares.

I do not know what to believe. One of our own could have killed Lord –. It would be treasonous to think in hypotheticals, but the mind cannot help but wonder. After all, we were made to contemplate the world. I know I have brushed hands with the one who did this, have settled my gaze on their guilty form. I know there is no gain in wondering who it is. When the time is right, the evildoer will be made known. And I will no longer have to hide what I saw.

Wolverine Stew: Arboretum in Autumn

Shining dried leaves of gold coins

Cool but not cold, crisp but not desiccating

Sky painted over with light, pale strokes

Sanguine ivy creeping through bark skin

Nestled past the graveyard encircled by hawks

As the last of the bees gather 

Wooden fairy house staged from sticks and latched with leaves

Hushed hill of degrading green

The sun still hangs above, yet the crickets chirp

Wilting daisies and remnants of Black-eyed Susans

Squirrel waits by the amphitheater for a concert I suppose

Dry lake of reeds and towering Queen Anne’s lace 

Brush your hand over them to hear the waves

Or wait for Eurus to kindly produce them

Snapdragons swim in shallower parts

Sandy coasts of stampedes surround the waters

I can hear mechanical echoes on the empty railroads

I wonder what their destination is

Never have I found a stiller willow

The Spanish graffiti says “you are my world”

Is it rustling leaves or something else beneath this creaking bridge?

Logs long-covered in lichen

There’s a forest of stinging nettles

I can see gold reach toward the sky

As I exit towards the graveyard 


icwr@t001:~$ cd CC213/AAR/2743/11

icwr@t001:~$ ls

icwr@t001:~$ AAR_5E02-001.log


Report ID:   	 #3039532209
Date Reported:   2743-11-04
Reported By:   	 Richard Brinley RB7830 - CC213

Report Summary
This report details the events and results of Operation 5E02, also known as the Ociys Offensive. The purpose of the operation was to ensure KSA control of interstellar ports within KHEPRI-3 local space. 

KSA control was successfully maintained in the sector, but not without significant losses: three KSA Horizon starships were destroyed or deemed otherwise unsalvageable, and an estimated additional 930 personnel were lost in the subsequent creation of an uncontrolled artificial black hole within local space. HIC forces suffered similar losses: two Horizon starships and an estimated additional 2,300 personnel were lost. 

Observations made by surviving personnel in several post-action reports, debriefs, and individual concerns raised indicated that the black hole appeared to [CORRUPTED]



icwr@t001:~$ AAR_5E02-001-A.jpeg
OPENING FILE AAR_5E02-001-A.jpeg
Fig. A: thermal image transmitted from KSA Station Delta on KHEPRI-3a, shortly before loss of communication and assumed total destruction of the Station.

The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 23: An Entry from the Diary Lord Eskyil

They treated me as though I was a dead ennet or a commoner demanding funds. To accuse me of something so preposterous should be grounds for immediate removal, seeing as I am protected by the King and am His closest ally. The audacity of that captain makes my fingers blacken just writing about it. Those sharp eyes could cut the hardest of gems. A meaty, swollen brute of a man was he, absolutely violating the integrity of my position and the Crown. To accuse me is one step away from accusing the King Himself, treason so great its punishment is not banishment but death. He would be better scraping ice off the hulls of ships or making furbrushes. Someone as hard and cruel as he should not have access to such power. He and his filthy little minions surrounded me, bombarded me with questions, asked how much I knew about the death of Lord [name stricken]. I was afraid, and in my confusion I may have had a minor slip once or thrice. Even greatness is occasionally bound to err. I will not deny that I did not know how to react in such a situation, but I postulate hardly anyone would were they not expecting it. I anticipated the questions about my personal relationship to Lord –, but I never even in fits of ague imagined that I could be so much as suspected of such a thing. How hard I have worked to achieve my position, and they dare challenge me? I shall inform the King of this transgression first thing in the morning. I doubt He will approve of His trusted advisor being besmirched.

Fiber Fridays #3: Tapestry Crochet

Hello everyone!
This week I wanted to focus on tapestry crochet patterns and explain how to read them. These patterns can also be called alpha patterns. Alpha patterns are gridded images (such as pixel art) that can be directly translated into a 1:1 crochet pattern. These crochet patterns are straightforward once you know how to change your colors as you work. I personally choose to use a 5 mm hook for these in generic acrylic cheap scrap yarn that I find. With just a couple rows of single crochet, you can take your piece visually to the next level.

For my example, I crocheted a dinosaur. This was my first attempt at making an alpha pattern, so I believe it came out well! My color changes didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, but those will become cleaner over time and with more practice. I chose to use a single crochet for every square in the pattern. It is best to use tighter tension when crocheting this way. This creates a tighter crocheted image which will keep your lines cleaner. Tapestry patterns can come in any type of image you’d like to create. You can look up pre-made images that have already been turned into pixels, or you can pixelate your own images at home. These are super cute and can be applied to sweaters, bags, blankets, etc to give a little more detail. They can also be used as wall hanging decorations just as they are.

Here I have included more advanced samples if anyone would like a starting point for ideas! Pinterest is a great resource to find different patterns for every genre.
I would personally like to create more of these and use them in my “scrapbooking” sculptural work. I would like to create a bunch of images and sew them together to make a story. I am currently collecting small tapestries , granny squares, and amigurumi figures that I have created over time to hopefully be able to consolidate them all into one great piece. The incorporation of 3D forms could also be really cool to layer amongst the pieces. I also really like sculptural wearables and plan to work more on the human form. Applying these illustrative images to garments could also be really interesting.
I encourage you to try out this method and let me know how it goes for you in the comments!
See you next week,