I don’t think I posted this one before. If not, enjoy it again for the first time. :p
I’d dearly love to take the time to write a blog post about what the president just said, but I’m too busy writing novels. I’d really like to know who was supposed to be writing all of these novels for me, because they are totally slacking on the job. I hope to get a blog post up about his stupid comments this week, but in the meantime, some of my friends get it:
The events at the volcano known by the Yobanjin as the All Mother were a big deal in our campaign. We destroyed the sword, lost some of our characters.
We were in their base, killing their doodz.
This bit is by Paul Genesse, who plays the mad, terrifying shugeinja, Kuni Magatsu. If you’ve not read Paul’s novels, you really should give them a try. Here’s the first one in his epic fantasy series: http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=monshuntnati-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B006PU7PIE
The Journal of Kuni Magatsu, Crab Clan Shugenja
The earth kami have abandoned me. They are teaching me the error of my shameful ways. I cursed at them when they failed to heed my repeated calls as I lay broken, enraged, and half-mad with pain on the rim of the volcano the barbarian tribes call the All-Mother.
Over and over again I entreated the kami to come and tear the mountain apart. I wanted them to crack the stone down to the roots where the magma waited for release. No less than five times I called to them, but they did not come, for they knew that my request was madness, and a shugenja in my mental state should not be listened to. If they had answered me, a terrible earthquake would have torn through the volcano and wrought devastation in the tunnels below, collapsing them and burying my enemies . . . and also killing the innocent women and children they had taken as hostages and slaves. It would have been a great shame, to kill so many, even though they were barbarians.
In my grand delusion I had seen tens of thousands dying after the volcano erupted. Tribes from all over the north who had gathered at the base of the mountain would have died in their camps. They would have been casualties of the All-Mother’s pent up anger, and would not be able to invade Rokugan.
But the Yobanjin are not the true enemies of Rokugan. They are pawns, manipulated by the servants of the Oracle of Dark Fire. We have met his minions and we shall meet them again. There is one we call the Branded Man, who bears many burn marks on his body and is nigh indestructible. He is our truest enemy now for we have spilled his blood and he has spilled ours. The Branded Man has chased us on the plains and tried to take the Shame Sword Penance from me, but we eluded him, for a time, and defeated his fire magic.
But we have tasted defeat at his hands. The Branded Man and his witches and fire sisters forced us to retreat from a chamber deep in the mountain where they used dark magic to create fire warriors that explode in flames when they die.
I would have died in that burning hot cavern, and perhaps I should have, but my loyal bodyguard, Tamori Fubatsu, made his way to where I lay wounded, and carried me on his shoulders to safety. My hip was shattered and blood pooled inside my thigh until the skin nearly burst. I wanted to call the kami to help heal me, but the injury and the witches lingering madness befuddled my mind. All I could think about was rage and murder.
I never should have gone into the fire chamber below the mountain without Fubatsu, my stalwart friend and bodyguard. Only the brave Fosuta Zuko and I infiltrated through the tunnels, leaving our other companions, Makoto, Fujo, Tsuze, and Fubatsu behind to deal with dozens of Yobanjin warriors, and to help free the hostages, mostly folk from the tribe of the Sky Riders.
Many weeks ago I promised to help the Sky Riders regain their stolen kinfolk if they helped us fight the Oracle of Dark Fire and his minions. They kept their part of the bargain and flew us to the volcano under the cover of darkness, helping us to bypass the camps of tens of thousands of warriors.
Much madness was in me once we entered the tunnels of that mountain. I hungered for slaughter and I crushed the skulls of Yobanjin. I now know that it was partially the Shamesword of Penance that caused me to leave my loyal bodyguard and go off alone with Zuko.
With Fubatsu gone, I could wield the sword with no risk of him killing me, as I had asked him to do if I gave in to temptation and picked it up. In the back of my mind, I must have wanted him not to accompany me.
I will never make that mistake again. What sane shugenja goes into the lair of dark witches and fire sisters without his yojimbo? I thought Zuko and I were to face three or four of them and rescue an important captive, but there were twice as many of the fiendish women, torturing one of the greatest heroes the Crab Clan has ever known: Hiruma Tadori. He lay bound on a stone table in the depths of their vile mountain on a small island surrounded by molten rock. They were branding him and chanting vile incantations when Zuko and I arrived. I fear they were going to turn him into a weapon of the Dark Oracle of Fire, make him into another Branded Man.
What pity I felt for this esteemed hero, brought so low. For many days we had searched for Hiruma Tadori on the plains north of Pale Oak Castle. He had been captured by the Branded Man and his followers. I wish we had searched for Tadori so we could simply free him, but this was not the case. We searched for him because he had to die.
Not for a crime, but for the salvation of the Emerald Empire. According to Togashi Satsu, the Champion of the Dragon Clan, Hiruma Tadori had to perish if the Shamesword of Penance was to be destroyed. Tadori was the last man to wield this Shamesword, and half of his soul was within the blade. Only when his soul was whole again inside the sword, would the metal become breakable. And if it fell into the hands of the Dark Oracle of Fire, it would doom the Empire. The sword had to be destroyed.
We had only one choice. Find Hiruma Tadori and ask him to commit seppuku. He himself had to wield the blade and take his own life. That was the only way for his soul to join with the sword and make it vulnerable to destruction. If one of us had used it to kill him, our own soul might fragment and render the sword indestructible yet again. With heavy hearts we began our search for a righteous and stalwart hero.
Weeks after we had begun our journey, Fosuto Zuko and I made our way to the place where Tadori was being tortured and branded by the fire witches. We launched our surprise attack, though we faced twice as many opponents as I thought were present. Boulders struck three of them and Zuko leaped across the pool of magma with strong magic the kami had provided to him through me. After a fight with a fire sister he was able to leap back with Tadori in his arms.
There was little time to explain, and I am forever saddened by this simple truth. The witches and fire sisters were coming for us and they would take the sword and Tadori back if we did not act. Even worse, Tadori was in terrible pain, as if removing him from the stone table was causing him to die before our wide eyes.
I put the Shamesword in his hands and aimed the blade at his solar plexus. I told him what he had to do. To save the empire he had to commit seppuku. He did not want to touch Penance again, and the sword resisted mightily this act, but Hiruma Tadori proved his quality and honored the Crab Clan, the way of Bushido, and all his ancestors. He plunged the sword into himself, and though I helped, as he was weak from his torture, he embraced death and jerked the blade into his abdomen making the ritual motions. He died knowing that the sword would be destroyed, his honor regained, and the Emerald Empire saved.
When Tadori’s spirit left his body the sword was afraid, but our task was not done. Zuko held off the witches and fire sisters singlehandedly. I did not know what to do. Smash the sword with my tetsubo as Hida Makoto was going to do? No, it was as if I had seen this before in a half-remembered dream, and I could hear the honorable leader of the Paper Lanterns, Ide Todo telling me to drop it in the lake of molten hot rock. Todo was correct, as he had read the histories of distant lands across the sea, and he knew the proper method for destroying objects of great power.
The Shame Sword had to return to the earth from whence it came.
I lifted Tadori’s body and the sword piercing him with a block of levitating stone and sent them both into the pool of lava. Penance and Tadori sank beneath the molten rock. The sword whispered to me for help and I taunted it one last time before it melted and was destroyed forever. I thought our contest of wills had come to an end. It was gone, and the Oracle of Dark Fire would not have this powerful nemuranai weapon. Rokugan would be saved.
Do I wish I had held Penance in my hand and wielded its power just once before it was destroyed?
Some rude samurai will ask me the answer to that question, and when I am hobbled by old age and too many battle injuries, I will write about my thoughts on wielding Penance; but let it be known to all that I am a Kuni of the Crab Clan. My ancestors have guarded the Kaiu Wall for centuries and we raid the Shadowlands to prove our worth. We enjoy carrying the tetsubo into battle, but we do not need weapons in our hands to kill our enemies.
I know that I will be asked why I have a limp, and in the likely event that I do not live to be an old man, I shall record that detail here and now. After the body of the Hiruma Tadori and the Shamesword slipped into the lava, our enemies came for revenge.
Zuko and I were outnumbered. They attacked his mind, and he fell prey to their spells, as I soon would as well. I thought Zuko and I were escaping our enemies together, our task done, but Zuko struck me down from behind as the witch’s rage spell controlled his mind.
I would have died but for a small piece of obsidian that I carried in a pouch on my hip. The kami told me I should carry it into the volcano and it saved my life. Zuko’s tremendous blow would have hit me in the back of my spine, but instead, he struck me and broke my right hip. The bones shattered into splinters, but I was alive, barely, as the Fates had other plans for me, and so did the witches. I had resisted them many times, and the Shamesword too, but as I lay hurt they broke through my defenses and if I could have, I would have killed Zuko right there.
Thankfully, I was too weak and collapsed. I was in agony and angry at Zuko until we escaped that terrible place. The injury kept me from summoning the kami as I had planned and destroying the mountain with an earthquake. A hundred thousand people may have died if I had been successful and caused an eruption of the mountain. Instead, the tribe of Skyriders led by the barbarian chief, Naraan carried me and my friends to safety. So filled with rage, I did not want to go, but the kami were not listening to me, and for this I am thankful.
I would have carried the shame of what I had done into the next life and beyond. My karmic debt would have set me back a thousand lifetimes had Zuko not struck me. He feels guilty for what he did, but what is a limp in one life compared to paying penance in a thousand more? That vile sword did not win, but I shall feel its bite for the rest of my days.
I know what I must do now. I must be cleansed at the mountain shrine behind Pale Oak Castle. I must pray for five days, fasting and asking the earth kami for forgiveness. If they will return to me, I will become an earth shugenja once again. If not, it will be time to begin my new life. My only hope is that when I am reborn, I will be born as a Crab.
To be continued next week, when we begin the epic battle to defend Pale Oak Castle. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/the-burning-throne-episode-37-magatsu-redeemed/
It is time to play everyone’s favorite game, SPOT THE RACIST! I’m your host, Keith Olberman. Today we are going to play Minor Celebrity Edition Spot the Racist. Our contestant today is wretched Neo-Con and alleged bestselling author, Larry F. Correia.
Camera pans to contestant – “Hey, Keith. Glad to see you got a new job.”
I was a victim of the Bush economy. Here is our first scenario, Mitt Romney recently gave a speech at the NAACP convention. One of the heads of the NAACP had this to say afterward: “I believe his vested interests are in white Americans,” said Charlette Stoker Manning, chair of Women in NAACP. “You cannot possibly talk about jobs for black people at the level he’s coming from. He’s talking about entrepreneurship, savings accounts — black people can barely find a way to get back and forth from work.”
So, SPOT THE RACIST!
Is the racist:
- The lady who generalizes that black people are too ignorant to comprehend things like savings accounts?
- The Republican that says everybody should have the opportunity to work and better themselves through their own efforts?
“I’m going to have to go with A, Keith. Because that’s pretty freaking stupid. I mean, savings accounts are hard to understand? What does race even have to do with that? Entrepreneurship is how you improve yourself, regardless of where you come from. You see an opportunity to provide a service people want and they give you money, that’s pretty straight forward.”
I’m sorry, but you’re incorrect! The correct answer is B. The racist is always the republican.
“Well, that’s freaking stupid.”
Uh oh! – SIRENS SOUND AND LIGHTS FLASH – That was starting to sound like dangerous hate speech!
“Seriously? You can’t tell me black culture doesn’t understand entrepreneurship. I used to live in north Birmingham. There are plenty of black people who start their own businesses. You can’t even play the black culture card on this issue. It doesn’t matter how poor you are or how crappy the neighborhood you grew up in is, everybody is capable of understanding capitalism. Hell, watch Get Rich or Die Trying.”
I’m sorry, Mr.Correia, but saying that African Americans are capable of taking care of themselves without the government holding their hand is racist. It says so on my cue card.
Let’s try again. This time it is a visual spot the racist. Look at the following political cartoon and spot the racist.
Is the racist:
- The cartoonist who insinuates that minorities are too stupid, lazy, or apathetic to get some form of ID (like you need to function in the actual world)?
- The republicans, for not wanting illegal aliens and felons to vote, or for anybody to vote a whole bunch of times fraudulently?
“I think this might be a trick question, Keith… But I’m going to have to go with A. Isn’t generalizing about entire groups with negative and ignorant stereotypes the definition of racism?”
BUUUZZZZZZ. I’m sorry. You’re wrong. The actual definition of racism is anything that that goes against the interests of democrats. The answer is B. Republicans are always racist regardless of whatever the issue is.
“Wow… I can see why you keep getting fired from increasingly shitty jobs.”
DING DING DING – That sound means we have entered our speed round! You will have one second to hit the right button and then we will tally up your score.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren falsely claims to be Cherokee in order to take advantage of Equal Opportunity and milk the system. – NOT RACIST.
Young and stoned Barack Obama berates and humiliates Latino cleaning ladies. – NOT RACIST.
Republicans question AG Eric Holder for Fast & Furious, which was partially responsible in the deaths of 300 Mexicans. – RACIST! (the republicans obviously, because Eric Holder is a democrat and therefore NOT RACIST!)
Democrat Harry Reid refers to Obama as a clean well-spoken negro. – NOT RACIST.
Democrat Joe Biden does a bad Indian accent and infers that all Indians work at 7-11. – NOT RACIST.
Wanting to repeal Obamacare, because it is a giant, bloated, stupid tax, which doesn’t actually help anything and which will only serve to bankrupt America – TOTALLY RACIST.
And that concludes our speed round… Let’s tally up your points so far… And you have zero.
“I’m thinking my buzzer might be broken.”
That’s what all of you white contestants say.
“Actually, according to the federal government’s definition, I’m Latino.”
But you’re right wing… And compared to these Home Depot paint chips, Warm Beige at best.
“I know, right? My mom was born in Africa, but she’s so white she turns purple in the sun. Luckily, when my dad is taking his gout medicine he is two shades darker than Barack Obama, so it evens out. My dad’s side of the family is Azorean by way of Terceira.”
Those are very foreign sounding words, so we’ll just make up some new term like White Hispanic so we can safely dismiss any divergent opinion you have.
And now we come to Final Spot the Racist, the most difficult, most horrible, hardest challenge of all time ever. Our contestant will have one minute to name any minority that agrees with the racist hatemongery of the GOP. – CUE RIP OFF OF JEOPARDY THEME – and go.
“Off the top of my head Allen West, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, and locally our one democrat congressman is about to get his ass handed to him by an awesome black, female, Mormon, Tea Party conservative named Mia Love. And here, let me check on my iPhone on Wikipedia for big lists like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_Republicans or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_National_Hispanic_Assembly ”
I’m sorry. Wrong answer. This was a trick question. Minorities can’t be republican, because the second a minority breaks from the accepted monolithic liberal groupthink they are kicked out of their race and become Uncle Tom sellouts.
“But isn’t the idea that everybody who is the same color automatically thinks the same way in itself a racist concept?”
I’m sorry, that doesn’t compute, you filthy chuwero. You have zero points. So we’ve got a new loser on SPOT THE RACIST!
“I think America loses when we play Spot the Racist.”
Wait… What’s this? I just got fired again… Damn it. And my replacement is Al Sharpton? Stupid affirmative action.
EDIT 2: Okay, I just heard from one of my gun industry contacts (i.e. my buddy that makes awesome guns for aliving :) ) that this is still on the table and legit. Here is a brand new news link:
EDIT: D’oh! I’m a freaking idiot. This was sent to me this morning and I skimmed it. I didn’t realize that it was from June 2011, not June 2012. I’m leaving this up as evidence of my dumbness. :)
And before you go thinking that this is all just a bunch of hyperbole, here it is from Forbes:
So for last week’s Concern Troll that was telling us how silly sounded saying that Obama was anti-gun because there was zero evidence… Uh huh…
I’m swamped right now so don’t have time to comment much, but this treaty is bad news, and don’t underestimate the stupidity of our Senate.
This week’s episode was written by Steve Diamond of Elitist Book Reviews: http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Steve normally plays Ide Todo, the group’s peaceful, diplomatic leader. Kakita Fujo was his B Team night character, and Fujo is a Daidoji Iron Warrior honorable face wrecker of destruction, so it was a chance for Steve to mix it up. Fujo is a Crane that was considered too big and burly to be a duelist, so they gave him a club and sent him off to war. When we did the epic session culminating in the destruction of the Shame Sword (see last week’s episode) Steve was able to use Fujo to great effect.
Fujo’s Stand, Penance’s Fall
A Letter from Kakita Fujo to his brother
If you are reading this, brother, then I am gone. I have entrusted my final thoughts in this letter to the esteemed Ide Todo, whom I have been following for the past few months. I’ve put my words to paper as quickly as possible, for I leave shortly to enter into the heart of a volcano on a rescue mission.
I was visited in a dream by our parents a month ago. They looked well, and I am not ashamed to admit shedding tears for them as they embraced me. I know you miss them as terribly as I do, but they seem to be well in the heavens. What more can we ask for than that?
In my dream, I stood at the foot of a large mountain. The land immediately surrounding it was blasted and desolate. The ground beneath my feet rumbled intermittently, the source of which obviously came from within the bowels of the mountain above me. Our parents appeared before me, eyes filled both with sadness and pride. It was a dream, I was sure.
They told me they were proud of what I had made of myself in this life, and that they looked forward to being with me again shortly. They said my time was coming to prove to the Fortunes beyond all doubt that I had given my all. My destiny or my doom was at hand. They gestured at the volcano and I felt the rumbling at my feet increase. I did not fear. The top of the mountain exploded into a column of ash and fire, and that fire cascaded down the slopes. As it flowed closer, I saw in the fire figures—Yobanjin and demons both—riding the tide. At the head was a man made of brands. His glowing eyes sought me out, and he extended a hand to point at me. I could hear his words as if he were standing next to me, and he told me flee. To abandon the quest I was set on to destroy a Shamesword of Penance. I roared my defiance, and I heard our parents’ voices join mine as we stood in the way of the unturnable torrent of flame.
But I do not back down. From anything. I am like the forged katana. Unyielding.
My dream ended and I awoke feeling more calm than ever before. I admit I doubted that it was anything more than a dream. Nothing more than my ancestors reminding me of what I had been taught.
And then we arrived at the foot of a volcano far to the north in Yobanjin lands. It was surrounded by an endless seething mass of the honorless dogs. It was the mountain from my dream, and at that moment I knew that my time upon these lands was coming to a close.
Destiny is a funny thing, brother. So many samurai believe that it binds them like a prisoner, but that is not the case at all. Destiny gives us a chance to make the most of our life. It eases our minds so we can focus all our efforts on the glory of the Empire and in doing our ancestors proud. I know that my death is coming at the hands of the Branded Man whom I have already seen and fought. But I will not back down. I will stem the tide of evil so that others greater than I can save the world from utter destruction.
Honor guide my heart
I can but choose to protect
Death brings life to all
Kakita Fujo swung his tetsubo again. The spikes drove deep into the face of the closest Yobanjin, then the force of the blow caved in the side of the dog’s head. He ducked low and swept the feet out from another charging barbarian then rose and brought down his weapon onto the back of that man’s neck. Fujo could barely hear the crack over the blood pounding in his ears.
For the moment the cavern was empty of the living aside from Fujo, Makoto, Tsuze and Fubatsu. Dozens upon dozens of Yobanjin bodies littered the ground.
“You fight with the force of the kami behind you,” Makoto said clapping Fujo on the shoulder. “We will stack the bodies high this night.”
Fujo felt his mouth split into a smile. This was glory. This was his last day, and it was exactly how he wished it—protecting friends and the Empire in the frenzy of battle. “None shall pass us, Gunso. I will not allow it. The Paper Lanterns will succeed.”
“How much more time do we give Zuko and Magatsu?” Fubatsu asked.
“Just a few more minutes,” Makoto replied. “They need time to destroy the sword and –“
A scrape on rock behind them. Fujo spun and was confronted with the Branded Man. He was alone, but Fujo knew the evil barbarian needed no help. Fujo stepped forward, blocking the path to the cavern below where his fellow Lanterns did their part. Makoto and Fubatsu joined him at either shoulder.
The Branded Man laughed and began to glow like molten rock. Cracks of it spread along the man’s exposed flesh, then consumed him in a roar of flame and smoke. The Branded Man vanished, and a gush of hot wind blasted past the Lanterns into the tunnel behind them. Fujo turned in time to catch a glimpse of the scarred barbarian rematerializing in a bloom of flame. There was nothing between the Branded Man and the other Lanterns with the Shamesword.
There was no thought of remaining in the current cavern. If they didn’t stop the Branded Man, everything would be lost. Fujo charged into the cavern in pursuit with the others behind him. How far down the winding tunnel were his companions? How much time did he have?
Fujo could hear the steps of the Branded Man just ahead. Just around every turn. The sounds of fighting grew louder ahead. Adrenaline flooded his senses and he willed his legs to pump faster. Suddenly he was on his knees clutching at his ears as a scream seared his mind.
The scream cut off abruptly. His ears were ringing, but Fujo forced himself to his feet. He was needed. The Lanterns ahead needed him, he could feel it in his bones. His feet were moving. Faster and faster they took down the corridor until it opened into a slightly wider space. Fujo took in the whole scene in a glance. Magatsu lay broken at Zuko’s feet. From the room beyond were approaching a few crones who waved their hands and chanted in blood-chilling unison. Women armed with knives assaulted Zuko with deadly precision. The Branded Man vanished again and reappeared only a few steps from the fallen and besieged Lanterns.
“As you destroyed the sword, I likewise will destroy you all,” the Branded Man promised. His eyes glowed brighter—two small suns of wicked intent. Fire began to gather around his hands.
Fujo threw himself in front of his companions as the Branded Man threw a ball of flame. It splashed harmlessly off his warded armor. Fujo heard triumphant laughter echo in the caverns around him and realized it came from his own throat.
“Lantern’s withdraw!” Makoto bellowed.
From the corner of his eye he saw Makoto hoist Magatsu over his shoulder. The Crab would leave no samurai behind if given any choice. It would be the group’s undoing. It was all clear in Fujo’s mind. He saw the scene in the space of half a heart-beat. One by one the Branded Man would hunt them down in the winding paths of the volcano. The Shamesword was but part of the Lantern’s destiny. If they died, chaos would rule the Emerald Empire.
So I will make sure they live.
Fujo gathered the moisture in his mouth and spat it into the face of the Branded Man. The Yobanjin flinched as it struck him in the eye. Behind the Branded Man the crones and knife wielding sisters howled at the insult. Fujo put on his best mocking smile and gestured them forward.
The Branded Man snapped his fingers, and a wall of flame appeared behind Fujo, cutting him off from the group.
Every second he stalled the Yobanjin was one more second the Lanterns had to escape. One more second closer to ultimately fulfilling their destinies. They were honorable men and women. They would understand his sacrifice.
Fujo had no regrets. He had fought demons and lived. He had been part of the group to destroy a Shamesword. He had done his family name proud…
As that thought crossed his mind, he glimpsed the hazy figures of his parents behind the oncoming Branded Man. They nodded their approval. Fujo was content. Calm.
Calm like the heart of a storm.
The Branded Man pointed at Fujo and said, “You should have fled with the others. I will end you and then your friends. We will wash over the land and burn it to ash.”
Fujo felt sweat slide down the side of his face. The heat of the wall of flame behind him grew more and more intense. The ward on his armor was dwindling. With a shriek the crones threw spell after spell at him. The knife-wielding sisters leapt forward, spinning in a dance that paled in comparison to the dance Chiyoko could spin with her katana.
These barbarian women were nothing.
Fujo flowed to the side letting two of the knives pass inches from his face. He grabbed the approaching wrist of the second woman and squeezed as he twisted. He felt the bones grind together and shatter in his grip. Fujo punched out with his hand wielding the tetsubo and felt his fist connect with the now screaming Yobanjin woman’s mouth. Teeth gave with no resistance, then the jaw. He punched again, hard this time, and the woman’s skull caved in beneath the iron of his glove. Her screaming cut off as she collapsed, a soulless animal.
A knife plunged into a gap in his armor at his left shoulder. It bit deep, so Fujo wrenched his arm forward and to the right. The knife stuck, ripping it out of the hand of the remaining Yobanjin fighter. He used the momentum of his movement and spun, bringing the tetsubo around with added force into the frightened visage of the woman. Her head exploded under the strike.
Numbness began flowing down his left arm. The blade protruding there was poisoned. These barbarians had no honor.
One spell of fire splashed harmlessly off his armor, but another caught his tetsubo, engulfing it in flame. He threw it at a crone and caught her with a glancing blow. Not hard enough to kill, but enough to stall. Fujo drew his katana.
It was a beautiful weapon. A work of art. His father had presented it to him a week before sickness had taken both him and Fujo’s mother. A series of cranes flying were etched into the blade. He looked again past the Branded Man and saw the spirits of his mother and father drawn to him and his drawn blade.
“You will die now,” the Branded Man said.
“And should the Paper Lanterns not kill you in vengeance, I will beg the Fortunes to send me back to rip your head from your body,” Fujo replied with a smile.
The Branded Man flowed forward like a flickering flame. Fujo roared his defiance, and heard the spirit roars of his parent accompany his own.
Fujo stepped forward and embraced his destiny with katana swinging.
Ide Todo read Fujo’s letter one last time. This was the eleventh time he had read its contents. The Lantern’s he had sent into the volcano had yet to return, though they had set free hundreds of captive Yobanjin women and children.
Fujo’s letter to his brother was heart wrenching and pride inducing. Had he just sent one of his best to his death? Had he sent them all into the next life?
The last few hours had been unnerving. Ide Todo had passed the time memorizing terms and speech in the Yobanjin language. He would never be an expert unless he spent weeks with them—weeks he would never likely have. But at least he could understand the basics. The language was rough, but simple. Like that of foreign island peoples he had met in his travels.
A beating of wings drew his attention. Todo put the letter into a pocket in his rode and walked towards the sound. In the darkness from the east came a small group of eagles. They carried his Lanterns. Most of them.
Fujo was not amongst them. Todo reached up and touched the letter in his pocket.
Makoto was the first off the eagles. His eyes sought out his Lord, and Ide Todo raised a hand to motion him over.
“Ide Todo-sama,” Makoto said bowing low. “Magatsu destroyed the Shamesword. The Dark Oracle is deprived a tool. But…”
Makoto’s armor was scorched. His posture was one of failure despite having succeeded in the impossible mission tasked to his group. “But what, Makoto?”
“We lost Kakita Fujo.”
“He guarded our retreat and faced the Branded Man on his own.”
Ide Todo felt emotion swell in his chest. The Crane had been right in his words to his brother.
“I think he knew we could not escape without it,” Makoto said quietly. The other Lanterns had gathered behind him. Bruised, broken, burned. They all had heads bowed. “He fought though he knew he would lose, I think.”
“He had a vision,” Ide Todo said, forcing his voice to remain steady. Now was not the time to show any weakness. It could break them. “He knew it was his destiny to meet his end here.”
“He met it bravely then. Honorably. Gloriously,” Makoto said. His voice was stronger. Ide Todo noticed for the first time that Makoto held a bag.
“What is in the bag, Hida Makoto?”
“The only remains of Kakita Fujo we have,” Makoto replied. “His head. The Branded Man threw it at me to gloat. I vow to you, Ide Todo-sama, I will see the Branded Man’s head mounted on a spike and his body fed to oni beyond the Wall.”
Ide Todo put his hand on Makoto’s shoulder and looked at his Paper Lanterns. “The Branded Man thought to insult us, but he knows not our ways. We will take strength from this. We will take the remains of a hero to Pale Oak Castle and cremate them there in a way befitting those most honorable and glorious. We will rally around it and fight Army of Fire. They will not succeed.”
“They will not succeed!” The others said in unison.
To be continued next week, with Kuni Magatsu being very depressed that he was not able to commit genocide. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/the-burning-throne-episode-36-magatsu-at-the-all-mother/
Okay, so I asked about Ft. Belvoir, but I also need to add Ft. Meade to that. I’ll be doing events at the base exchange during the day, but many of you won’t be able to make it, so I’d like to do something in the evenings in that same general area.
So, folks that live close to Ft. Belvoir or Ft. Meade, are there bookstores in that neck of the woods that you think I should contact?
Right now it is looking like:
Sep 4 – Layton UT
Sep 5 – Albany NY
Sep 6 – Burlington, MA
Sep 7 – (waiting for confirmation)
Sep 8 – Hicksville, NY
Sep 9 – Calre Place NY
Sep 10 – personal touristy business.
Sep 11 – Willow Grove, PA
Sep 12 – Mercerville, NJ
Sep 13 – Ellicott City, MD
Sep 14- Bethesda, MD
Sep 15 – Ft. Belvoir, VA
Sep 16, Ft.Meade MD
Sep 17 – travel
Sep 18 – Minneapolis, MN
Lots of people have been asking me to do a blog post about the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. However, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. Reading through the news and opinion either John Roberts is a doofus who switched sides and sided with the liberal wing in order to suck up to the president and the media, or he is some sort of evil super genius who is playing chess while the left is playing checkers… I’d surely love for this all to be some sort of smack down of the out of control commerce clause, but it seems like the Robert’s apologists are starting to sound a lot like Prometheus apologists, which if you theory-craft a whole extra movie’s plot onto it, then it is great.
Last night over dinner, my wife and I were talking about Obamacare when my 10 year old daughter said “I don’t really get what’s going on. I’ve heard about this a lot, but I’m confused.” Keep in mind that Correia 2.2 is literally a genius. Her reading scores in 2nd grade met the requirements for graduating high school seniors. She doesn’t have to do standardized testing anymore. She’s one of the smart kids at smart kid school. She plays normal/dumb around other kids because she’s analytical enough to understand social issues and doesn’t want to frighten them with her scary computer brain. If it wasn’t for her love of girly froo-froo pretty pretty pink princess Barbie girly stuff, she’d be Sheldon Cooper.
So 2.2’s not confused because she’s young, she’s confused because it is confusing.
So during dinner I came up with this quick fairy tale to explain Obamacare and the recent Supreme Court decision to my children, ages 12 to 0.5, (complete with me doing voices).
Once there was a kingdom, where the dumb son of a bitch in charge said, “Hey everybody should have cake! Cake is awesome!”
But others answered, “Yes, cake is awesome… I’m fond of mine. What’re you getting at?”
And they said, “It is sad that not everybody can have cake. So let’s mandate cake for everybody!”
“But we can’t afford to give everyone cake. Cake is expensive, and the kingdom is broke.”
“Oh, no. There’s plenty of cake to go around. Magic unicorns will make the cake cheaper for everyone, and then mandate that everybody has to buy our delicious cake.”
“Wait a second… First off I don’t think unicorns are real, and looking through this 2,000 page recipe, this isn’t cake. This is poop. I don’t want to eat poop cake.”
“No. It is delicious. And it is cheap. You’ll just have to pass the recipe to know what’s in it.”
“But the cake is made of poop. And it’s not cheap, it is the most expensive poop ever made.”
“Quit being racist. The cake is moist and wonderful, and it is mandatory that you have to buy it.”
“Well, most of us have cake, and 90% of us are happy with our cake. So just leave us the hell alone.”
“Nope. Can’t do that. We need to change your cake to the new improved recipe so we can all be equal, or we’ll send an IRS SWAT team to your house to kill your entire family. Isn’t cake wonderful?”
So the leaders of the kingdom decided to mandate cake for everyone and the stupid cheered. Yay cake! Since this decision was rushed through in record time, and very few people had actually read the recipe, many people were upset to discover that the recipe was poop. In fact, it was the most expensive poop ever. So the people rose up and cast down record numbers of their leaders that had voted for the poop cake.
Sadly, there were still many stupid people who were expecting the big bucket of shit they’d placed into the oven to come out tasting like fresh strawberries and vanilla frosting in 2014. So the recipe stayed.
Finally the supreme court of the land decided to look at the recipe. The supreme judge read it and said, “This isn’t cake. This is clearly poop. However, you stupid bastards voted for it, which ain’t our problem, so shut up and enjoy your poop cake.”
And they all lived happily ever after, until the kingdom collapsed under the massive debt of their mandatory poop cake, everyone got sick and died. THE END.
So say no to poop cake. Vote Romney, 2012.
Yes, I know, they’re all the same, blah blah friggin’ blah… Look, you guys all know I’m not a big Romney fan, but he’s way better than Obama on, oh, say EVERYTHING. And as much as you bitch about the parties being the same, the Republican congress has already voted to get rid of Obamacare only to be blocked by the Democrat senate. Romney is running on getting rid of this. So despite him being electable in Massachusetts and all the things he’s done which have annoyed me, electing him is now our only realistic chance to kill Obamacare. Period.