Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who Are You?

“Who are you?”

The long sequence of long and shorts vibrated in my ear; that standard answer to the question I had asked a hundred times.  It’s designation and a question in return, Why do you want to know?

“Because I’m the curious type,” I said in a whisper. 

I got enough looks for just having it on; I didn’t need anymore for talking to it.  My fellow Tram riders tried to ignore me, but their sideways glances from time to time were not lost on me.  It replied after a half-second, longer than usual.  Didn’t curiosity kill the cat?

I smiled; it and I had been together for too long, we were like old women during the downtimes.  It spoke again in the archaic language reserved for die-hard amateur radio operators, conspiracy theorists, and Conductors.  We are nine minutes from our destination.

I could now translate Morse Code at a rate of fifty words per minute; blazing fast speeds compared to when I was first recruited.  My mind no longer built the words a letter at a time, rather our conversation became like any other language you might pick up – like Spanish or Creole.

“Review target.”

Target is male, 43 years old, 5 foot 6 inches, occupation writer.  Last know address is 4508 Pleasance Ave, Apt. 5.  Walks with a limp, balding with blonde hair, and a scar on his left cheek.  Non-violent?

“You don’t sound sure,” I whispered with a grin.

The data is inconclusive.  No previous record of violence.  All of which means little when it describes humans.

“How specieist of you.”  I must have said it too loud, because the purple hairs across from me looked at me with disgust.

The data does not lie.

“True enough,” I said quietly this time.  It shifted a little to connect with my wrist computer.  Getting use to the Morse Code was easy compared to getting use to the slimy tendrils It moved and attached to different parts of my body.  It, was biological construct ACv-5b-I7, a data analyzation unit used exclusively by Federal Agents to record, analyze, and comput information agents used in the field.  The official nickname was “Parrot”, but the more common unofficial name was “Inky”.  My “Inky” I had never given a name to, simply had referred to it as It.  I had tried to not get too attached (pun intended) but It had grown on me (pun intended again).

Five minutes from target.

It had always bothered me.  The comps that I had learned Code from had all typed in the same way – very structured, very concise, very predictable.  It didn’t “speak” the same way as them; It had it own voice, its own pattern of speaking.  So whenever I had a free moment I would ask, “Who are you?”

I honestly wondered.  The biological constructs were still too new to be fully understood and their existence had driven religious leaders the world over into hissy fits.  There was even a group that wanted the Inky’s freed and allowed to live in the wild – frolicking and creeping through the tulips I guess.

The target was potentially one of them, or at least knew who had killed Agent Marlow and stolen his Inky.  The tram disgorged its riders onto the station platform and then mindlessly continued on its way.  I took the stairs down to street level, took a moment to get my bearing, and then started east down Pleasance Ave.  The streets weren’t full, but there was a steady stream of workers filtering their way back toward the Tram station and home.  A woman in a brown coat and red dress bumped into me at some speeds, nearly knocking us both over.  She kept her balanced, offered her forgiveness, and then ran off.

I checked my pockets and my holster, just in case.

Content that I was still in possession of all my possessions, I continued on.

Three minutes.

I could see 4508 written across the doorway of the brownstone; three minutes seemed a little much, “And if I take the back door?”

Nine minutes.


You’re out of shape.

“Silent mode.”  It’s tendril in my ear slinked down my neck and under my collar.  I huffed my way up to the third floor, a small bead of sweat on my forehead.  Apartment 5 was the entirety of the floor it seemed; there were no doors in the hallway save for one at the very end emblazoned with the number 5.  That was… odd.

I knocked on the door, the raps echoing down the hall.  I waited thirty seconds and then knocked again, harder.  The door swung open on my last pound.

“Corbin Ouillet?  I’m a Federal Agent, the door is open and I am coming in.”

It’s tendril was quickly back in my ear… Windows.

The single word was as immediately translated as the individual dits and dahs from the code were in my mind – there were no windows in the room.  The door had swung out into a large great room the remaining length of the building.  The wall beyond once had three bay windows, now bricked over.  Florescent lighting took over where natural lighting was denied, casting the whole room in a pale green light.

I stepped over the threshold.  The room was spartan even by spartan standards; a decorist would have probably called it Cantonese.  A single end table and chair swam alone in the emptiness of the room.  The next room of the apartment was down an open doorway and dark hallway.

I called the man’s name again, still no answer.  Cautiously down the hall I went until I reached a second great room.  The lights came on as soon as I entered and there was my target.  The room was just as spartan as the last, only a few extra amenities like a bed, a sink, a toilet, and a writing desk were additions.  Ouillet was sitting in his chair, back to me.


I stepped closer.

No. No.

I ignored It and reached out to shake the man.  As I made contact It sent jolt into my ear that knocked me down.  In all our years together It had never hindered or harmed me.  The jolt stopped and I could move again.

“What the hell was that?”


“Who are you,” came a whisper from the man in the chair.  From my perch on the floor, thanks to my “partner”, I could see the front of the man.  He was a man in his 40’s, balding blond, and scarred on his left cheek; Ouillet sure enough.  The inky black goo seeping from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth on the other hand…

“Who are you,” the man whispered to no one, neither seeing nor hearing me.

ACv-3b-07.  Agent Marlow’s construct.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The final Game Off Article...

                Alright, since I failed to whelm you into submission with my last Movie that deserves a Game tie-in, I’m bringing out the big guns.  I’m here to game and chew bubble gum and I just ran out of bubble gum.
                To begin… Pride and Prejudice was written by Jane Austen in 1813 and tells the story of Elizabeth Be… Oh you don’t care!  Suffice to say it’s long, British - and by British I don’t mean Benny Hill or Monty Python - and your mom likes it.  Since neither of you can read, I suggest you watch the BBC version with Colin Firth, who’s more of a man than anyone of us will ever be.  The vision that is Colin Firth will help set the stage for a little game I like to call…
Mr. Darcy
                The goal of the game of Mr. Darcy is to remain aloof from Elizabeth Bennet by playing cards like, “Turn down Elizabeth’s invitation to dance” or “Open the door as if you did it for Elizabeth but then walk through it yourself” and other things that proper Victorian Gentlemen would do.  With each aloof act you will be wooing Elizabeth away from you and into the arms of another player who is also trying to hide their affections for the lovely Ms. Bennet.  With each successful rebuff you earn Victorian Points (get it?  Victorian Points?  Because its… You don’t get it).  Once all the Victorian Points are collected by the potential suitors the two unique Pride and Prejudice cards selected at the beginning of the game are turned over.  If two of your Victorian Points match you win!  If you have only one matching Victorian Point, than the most aloof bachelor wins… because all women love distant men.  Total play time should be somewhere between six to eight hours.
                The atmosphere around the table should be cordial and polite, but biting remarks should be used whenever a play is made against you.  Such remarks should be without vulgarity; rather they should deride the other player’s character or point out a social failing.  Most games should end prematurely with duels.
                And in one fell swoop I just made a game for not just a movie but also a book.  DOUBLE BAM!  Once you’ve picked yourself off of the floor, changed your shorts, and called your mommy I expect your surrender email, post haste.
-Game Off

Please leave a comment if you would like me to write more!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My second Game Off article, I didn't come up with any game mechanics because I was just going to use Battlestar Galactic and just photoshop the cover. 

               I’m disappointed in the two of you… either you are too foolish to realize you have been bested or you’re gluttons for punishment.  If it’s the latter then prepare to get your fill from a Movie that deserves a Game tie-in called…

It’s so good it had to be in bold script. The only thing left for me to do now is sit back in my chair, cigar in my hand, and say, “DANG!  I’m good.”  So, I’ll go do that then…

- Game Off

Friday, May 18, 2012

I wrote this for a Game Website some friends and I were going to make... we didn't, but at least I wrote some funny stuff. 

Alright guys, I’m kicking the door down, spry’n and pray’n right off the bat. You shouldn’t even bother trying to one up me because this movie tie-in game will knock your socks off and darned you new ones.

The movie is Red Dawn; and not the new mamby-pamby remake their coming out with, but the original Patrick Swayze masterpiece. If you haven’t seen Red Dawn or don’t remember what its about here’s a link ( but the long and the short of its is that Red Commies have invaded the heartland of the God-blessed US of A. Our only hope is a ragtag group of highschoolers, armed to the teeth with good old American boomsticks.

To pay homage to such a deserving movie you personally going to need a few things – like two to three friends. To really sell the whole thing two guys need to dress up like our 1980’s heroes, so wear things like faded and torn jeans, a jeans jacket, red head band, and a mullet. Once you’ve dressed the part of a freedom loving Wolverines! you’ll be ready to take back America from the Commies. But what about friend number three you ask, well at least Danny asks because he can count. Well he gets to dress up in olive drab, combat boots, grow a daunting beard, and gets stogie to comp on. Comrade Commie is now ready to stamp out the last vestiges of Democracy.

Now for the game itself, you’ll need a map which you’ll divide into fifteen to twenty sectors in Commie Red (Shaun can use his crayons). On the sides you need to mark off ten boxes, marked 1-5 which will denote a specific hideout for our heroes. Each God-fearing American gets five boxes, marked 1-5, and then a book or something to hide them from the prying eyes of that Commie SOB. For the two Wolverines! players they each get five markers for their freedom fighters; these should be colors like Blue for blue-blooded American or White because it’s not Red. Risk markers work for this. They also each get five markers that indicate weapons. Commie boy get fifty red markers for his troops, he’s to put one on each sector of the map and keep the rest off in reserve, and enough weapons markers to fill each sector of the map plus some extra to spread around. At the top of the board you need a board with ten markers and an American Flag – this represents the forces of freedom, taking the country back one Red corpse at time.

The Wolverines! players roll to see who goes first. Whoever wins get to attack a sector of the map, placing as many weapons markers as they want to use (up to the number of Freedom Fighters they have) in the sector. Ivan Ivanovich rolls a defensive die for each his soldiers in the sector and the Wolverines! rolls an attack die for each weapon used. Whomever has the big number (again have Danny count it or let Shaun use an abacus) wins. If the Wolverines! wins they get to take whatever weapons are in the sector and the Commie soldier dies like the pig-dog that he is. If the Socialist Scumbag wins the weapons used in the attack are taken off the board. The Wolverine! places his freedom fighters or weapons in the hideouts. Wolverines! number two gets to attack and do the same thing.

Now it’s Kremlin Karl’s turn. He gets to put soldiers back onto the board if he wants, but then he gets to attack the hideouts. Placing soldiers on one of the hideout squares for each of the Wolverines! players, two for each player (that makes 4!). If he’s placed soldiers on a square that matches the number of where a Wolverines! has placed weapons or Freedom Fighters then a single weapon or Freedom Fighter is lost. If there is nothing there the American flag at the top of the board moves one spot closer to liberation.

Play ends with the either the unlikely elimination of all the Wolverines! freedom fighters or the cowardly forces of Stalin retreating from the armies of Lady Liberty.

BAM! And that’s how you create a homage to one of Hollywood’s greats.

-Game Off