Monday, September 29, 2014

Let us pray (The Universal Lord's Prayer)

I'm at school, and thus have internet, so I figured I'd post something while I could.  I give you this version of the Lord's Prayer, from the archives.  Also available in Latin.


Our Father, who may be female or generdless or polygendered or just plain multiple and who may or may not have a relationship with us and might not even exist at all, who art in heaven, by which we mean whereever he/she/it/they happens to be, or indeed not be since we've established that he/she/it/they might not exist in the first place.

hallowed be thy name, if you have a name and you're into that sort of thing.

Thy kingdom queendom, monarchy, polyarchy, autocracy, democracy, thalassocracy, communal cooperative of equals, anarchy, whatever come or go, or stay, or stay away, or move in a path that is neither coming nor going, or be entirely hypothetical, or do things that cannot be described by simple verbs of motion.

Thy will be done unless you're evil, or nonexistent, or you don't have a will, or you're good but I'm evil, or your will is contradictory, or you're actually having a bad day and you want things that you wouldn't actually want if you were in a healthy state of mind (do you need a hug?) or maybe you... ok, you know what, we're moving onto the next line whether you will it or not.

on earth or elsewhere, I hear mars is nice this time of year, as it is in heaven for the value of heaven described earlier, assuming things are going well there, if it exists which, as previously established, it might not just as you might not, plus maybe we should get a look at how that worked out in heaven first, are you even in charge in heaven? I'm not sure we can assume that. If in heaven your will is constantly thwarted perhaps we want it to be done on earth as it isn't heaven, unless we don't want your will done in the first place, and ... Moving On:

Give us this day our daily bread, respecting our dietary concerns which might not allow for bread, also not all of us like bread, and maybe you don't have a lot of bread to give and we really don't want to impose, unless we do, and what if you're out of bread, and what if we're fasting today, and what if we're convinced that you have nothing to do with us getting bread, and really I think what we're saying here is that we want food, except when we don't, and that might not really have all that much to do with you who might not care about feeding us and indeed might not exist. Though I hope you're eating well, but that's just me and I don't speak for everyone.

and forgive us our trespasses, unless we don't think we ought to be forgiven or we think that you're not the one to do it, or any number of other things.

as we forgive those who trespass against us, except when we don't,

and lead us not into temptation, unless we want to be tempted, a little temptation might be a good thing now and then, and I'm not convinced that all of us really want to follow where you lead, you might be evil, or mindless, or nonexistent, and some of us have had bad experiences with GPS, and I want to know a little bit more about your track record, are you a good trip leader? do you have references?

but deliver us from evil unless we're into that sort of thing. Perhaps we like peril. Peril can be fun. Plus not all of us are convinced of your delivery prowess or indeed your ability to tell good from evil. And maybe we're not particularly interested in being delivered today regardless. I think that this is probably something to be decided on a case by case basis, so ask first. Unless the person told you not to I mean. You should have a pretty good idea, unless you don't, which you might not, so omit the word "should" from the previous and replace it with "might".

[Parenthetical begins]
For thine is possibly but not necessarily the kingdom, or queendom, or democracy, or ... have we done this before? I think we've done this before. So perhaps you should think back to that, but I will add that it's possible that it's just a [thingy] and not the [thingy] since some of us heard that they come in six packs, if they come at all, there are rumors on the internets that it might not even exist.

and the power, or lack of power, or willful decision not to use power, or state of being overpowered, or whatchamacallit. Probably whatchamacallit but there is a lack of agreement on this point so just go with it, and the glory, or not, it might not be glory, some of us don't think you're all that glorious, others think you're as glorious as can be, and it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out some of us think you're named Gloria

for ever and ever while supplies last, void where prohibited, and all that jazz. Do you like Jazz? Opinions vary. We're really not sure, the point is that the whole "thine is the [thingy] and whatchamacallit and disputed glory," thing is for a certain amount of time, we're not sure what, ranging anywhere from no time at all to all of eternity.

[Parenthetical ends]

Amen Or not. Perhaps not. What does "Amen" even mean? Someone will no doubt pop up to tell me but I think we can be quite sure that not everyone knows.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

No internet

I don't fully understand the way my internet bill works.  I think it might be that I only have to pay every six months.  However it works, I always intend to pay it monthly and always seem to forget to do that meaning that instead of a nicely distributed expense it all hits me at once.

Before now that hasn't been a problem but this month is the month of too many expenses.  So, as I was scrambling to pay the absolutely vital things, internet did not get paid for.  And so they cut my service.

I'm not totally sure what happens now.  I definitely can't pay the bill until next month, but next month isn't that far away.  What concerns me is that looking at the bill makes me think that maybe they cancelled my contract with them when I missed my payment.  If that's the case then I don't just have to pay off the hundreds of dollars I owe.  After I've done that I'll have to get internet service starting from scratch.  That can be slower than one would like, but that's not what bothers me.  It's not uncommon for an internet service provider to want a new customer to pay for the first few months up front.  I won't have enough money to do that next month.  I might not have money to do that the month after.

Right now I'm in a library and covered in sweat because getting online meant walking to another city for free internet.

I can't precisely say what this will mean in terms of the blog, but I assume it will mean that I'll be posting less than normal.


As a last thing, thank you people who sent donations my way.  Things aren't good, but things would be a lot worse without the help that I did get.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kim Possible -- Forgotten Seeds, Chapter 2: Stepping Out

“Well?” Surge asked impatiently.

Kim didn't look up from the console she was using, “The facility is bigger than anything I ever intended, but the basics haven't changed.”

“So, can you get us out?” Ryan asked in a demanding tone.


“How?” Surge asked.

“Can you still generate plasma?” Kim asked Shego.

As a demonstration Shego lit her right hand. She also flipped Kim off.

"Perfect," Kim nodded. Then she moved away from the computer console and said, “Come here.”

Kim knelt and pried a small panel off the wall. Inside was a very orderly, very incomprehensible, array of wires and devices.

“See that blue box,” she pointed. When Shego touched it she said, “Yes, that's it. First I need you to slice that end of the main cable free.”

Shego easily cut it with a glowing finger. Kim then tugged the slack out of some of the interior wires, and stripped the wires on the edge of the open panel. She rewired them and then stepped back.

“Now,” she said to Shego. “Send as much energy as you can through the cable.”

“And this accomplishes what?” Shego asked.

“Power; we need power,” Kim said.

“I believe cooperation is in our best interest,” Drakken said.

“Doctor Dimwit,” Shego said. “I don't care what you believe or that you seem to have gotten a more cheerful disposition. I've got a five hundred year old hangover like you wouldn't believe.” Shego lit her hands regardless. They flared so brightly the others had to turn away.

Kim examined a monitor and said, “You're doing it, Shego. Just a few more ergs.”

“Yay, me,” Shego said flatly. “I'm still holding out for an explanation.”

“We all are, Shego,” Drakken said.

“Speak for yourself,” Surge said. “I just want to make it out alive, I could care less if anyone explains how.”

The chatter devolved into three shouting matches. Through it all Shego kept her plasma going.

Finally Kim said, “That should be enough.”

After a few keystrokes, a door that had formerly been closed, a door that by now they all knew they had to get through if they were ever going to leave, suddenly beeped active.

“Finally,” Ryan said, rushing for the door.

“Wait!” Kim shouted.

Ryan opened the door anyway, there was a flash of light and then he fell back into the room.

The most disconcerting thing wasn't the hole clean through his chest. It wasn't the smell of burnt flesh. It was his eyes. His still open, but very dead, eyes.

Shego pulled the body clear of the door. Drakken vomited. Then he closed Ryan's eyes.

Surge seemed to be trying to stop herself from hyperventillating.

Amy was just standing there in shock.

Hawk and Henry didn't seem to have processed what had happened yet.

Horatio closed the door.

Blok was the first to speak: “There's nothing you could do,” he said to Kim.

“I could have--” Kim started.

“You tried to warn him,” Blok said.

“I could have warned everyone beforehand,” Kim said. “I was just so caught up in solving the problem that I didn't think... And now...”

“Nine people are still alive,” Hawk said. “Focus on that. We have nine people who need a way out.”

“He's right,” Shego said. “The problem isn't solved yet.”

Kim took a deep breath and then said, “Blok, you're up.”

“What do you need?”

“Getting power back on has given us what we need to get out but it's also reactivated the security systems,” Kim said.

“Obviously,” Shego said.

“You're the only one that the security can't stop,” Kim told Blok. “Through that door are more holding areas just like the ones you all came out of and at the end of those is a security room. You can shut down the security systems with the push of a button.”

“I'm not good with electronics,” Blok admitted.

“This will be simple. Press a button, nothing more,” Kim said.

“Ok, which button?”

“When you get to the end of the holding areas you'll be in a small room with a console that looks almost exactly like this.” She gestured to the console she'd been using.

“That has a lot of buttons.”

“None of them matter,” Kim said. “The buttons that do matter will be here,” Kim pointed to an empty spot above the keyboard. “There will be a blue one, a green one, a yellow one, and a red one. All you have to do is press the blue one.”

“Just press the blue button?” Blok said uncertainly.

“It's just that simple,” Kim said. “The hard part is getting to it. Any of the rest of us would probably die, you should be able to take any punishment the security system can dish out.”

“Should?” Shego asked suspiciously.

“Should,” Kim said. Then, turning her attention from everyone but Blok, added, “So don't take your time. It's a straight line, just keep on running through the holding areas and going through the doors at the ends until you find yourself in a room that isn't a holding area.”

“And then hit the blue button?” Blok asked.

“Yes,” Kim said.

Blok stood in front of the door, transformed to his stone form and said, “I'm ready.”

Hawk hit the button to open the door while carefully avoiding putting himself in the path of the defenses in the next room.

Block disappeared through the door, which Hawk quickly closed behind him.

“What now?” Amy asked.

“Now we wait,” Kim said, returning to her console.

“Princess, I've been out for a day and haven't eaten. I'm cranky, I'm pissed off, and I'm not in the mood to wait,” Shego said.

“I'm happy you made it,” Kim said.

“Yay,” Shego said in a voice that indicated anything but joy.

“We can monitor his progress from here,” Kim said, indicating the console. “He's making good time.”

“In lunar gravity his stone form probably weighs about as much as the average human,” Drakken said. “He's still got as much mass to move to fight inertia, but when it comes to gravity he's never had it so easy before.”

“Fascinating,” Shego said, again in a voice that indicated her feelings didn't match her words.

“Is he holding up?” Surge asked.

“Impossible to tell,” Kim said, “but he's not slowing down.”

“So how did they get you, Princess?” Shego asked.

“They stabbed me in the back,” Kim said. “Literally and figuratively.”

“I know the feeling,” Shego said.

“I tried to give you a way out,” Kim said. “You wouldn't take it.”

“You're blaming this on me?” Shego shouted.

“No,” Kim told her, looking down. “And I'm happy to see you again.”

“And we wouldn't have gotten this far without you, Shego,” Amy added.

“Hooray for me,” Shego huffed.

“Let's remember we're all here together now,” Drakken suggested.

“What did they do to him?” Shego asked.

“What?” Kim responded, confused.

“Since when is Dr. D all for making nice with Kim Possible?” Shego asked.

Kim returned to her console. She quickly pulled up Drakken's file, read it over, and said, “Nothing.”

Shego just gave her a look.

“Well, nothing they didn't do to the rest of us,” Kim said. “It looks like they had some ham handed attempts at mind control but the cryo beds hardwired programming stopped any of them from working. He just got the equivalent of therapy sessions.”

“Five hundred years of them,” Hawk said.

“Well they don't seem to have affected the rest of us much,” Kim said.

“You do know I'm standing here while you talk about me, right?” Drakken asked.

“Sorry, Drakken,” Kim said.

“Actually I find it fascinating,” Drakken said, “and I do confess that I care much less about the people who laughed at me at university.”

“Yay, therapy,” Shego said with much sarcasm.

There was a beep on the console.

“The security system should be off,” Kim said, then she looked around for something to throw into the next room to trip the motion sensors.

Shego realized what Kim was doing and casually cut a piece of metal from the wall with a plasma encased finger.

Kim opened the door and Shego tossed it in. Nothing happened.

“So...” Surge said.

“Dr. D, why don't you go in there and check?” Shego said.

“Not funny, Shego,” Kim said. Then she walked into the room herself. Nothing happened. “It's safe.”

The eight of them made their way through the holding areas, trying not to look at the cry beds and their deceased occupants, until they reached Blok.

“Good work,” Kim said.

“It was nothing,” Blok said.

“How long until we're free?” Surge asked.

“Now is when we find out,” Kim said. Approaching the console. “This is a guard station so we have more control from here.”

After a few silent moments she showed the others a map of the lunar surface.

“We're here,” Kim pointed to one of two structures on the map. “There's not much here. Cryo beds, a few storage closets, and a tapped out power plant. We need to get here,” she pointed at another point on the map.

“That's a long way through a vacuum,” Hawk said.

“It's the only way,” Kim said. “This facility is just a prison, that one is an actual base. A base for people who would travel back to earth.”

“So... transportation?” Surge asked.

“Hopefully, but we have to get there first,” Kim said. The map zoomed in to show just the prison, “This is a warehouse of all the possessions they took from prisoners,” she pointed at one room back the way they had come, “we'll stop there first.”

“Kimmie, that door doesn't open,” Shego said. “I don't think it's locked; it just doesn't open.”

“It will now that it has power,” Kim responded. Shego shrugged. Kim continued, “Once we've got our stuff back, we'll head out,” she pointed to an exit in the section none had been in yet. “There are space suits here,” she pointed at a storage locker. “If we're lucky there will be a vehicle.”

“And if we're not?” Surge asked, unable to keep the fear from her voice.

“If not then we'll have to walk.”

“It's over two miles to the other facility,” Hawk said.

“There's no other choice,” Kim said. “Unless you wait here and die of hypoxia we need to reach the other facility.”

“You always were a ray of sunshine,” Shego said flatly.

The group headed back the way they had come. Someone gasped as they passed Ryan's body, but no one, not even the one who had done it, was sure who.

The door to the “Personal Effects Vault” was made of thick and heavy metal. Drakken shuddered to think what it must have cost to move it to the moon. Shego looked ruefully at melted sections where she'd tried to force her way through earlier, before she decided to conserve her plasma.

Kim just smiled.

It was Horatio who tapped in the code to open the door.


The vault again drove home how many had been left to die on Luna-1. It seemed to stretch on forever. Nothing but numbered boxes on shelves.

“Dehumanizing, isn't it?” Shego said.

“What?” Blok asked.

“They couldn't even be bothered to use our names,” Shego said. “Just … cell numbers.” She pulled a box off the shelf and opened it. “This is me. Zero-Zero-One-A. That's all I was to them. A serial number.”

“I'm used to being a specimen number,” Hawk said.

“Things got a lot worse after you guys left the scene,” Henry added. “In the end we were worth less than nothing.”

“That explains why they'd rather see us die than be released,” Shego said as she rummaged through the box.

When everyone started to look for their own belongings, Kim said, “You don't have to limit yourselves to just your things. No one else is going to be using this stuff.”

“I daresay most of them would appreciate their things being used to help those who opposed putting them into this death trap,” Drakken said.

Kim collapsed.

Shego was the first to her side, “You ok?” she asked while helping the young woman up. Soon everyone was around her.

Kim mumbled something too softly for it to be heard.

“What was that, Red?” Blok asked.

“It was never supposed to be a death trap!” Kim shouted. Then she started sobbing. “It was supposed to be a more humane solution than current prisons. No abuse, no gangs, no violence. Everyone kept safe and the only side effect would be people working out their issues in their sleep.” The sobbing turned to dry heaves. “Everyone was supposed to win.”

“Kim,” Shego said, a hard edge in her voice, “You didn't do this. Cyclops did. She overrode your fail safes to kill all those people. None of this is on you.” Shego paused for a moment. “If you give up on us now, though, that will be on you.”

Kim looked up at Shego and said, “Sorry.”

“Everyone's stressed,” Shego said.

“I'm sorry for everything.”

“Get us back to earth alive and you can consider yourself forgiven,” Shego said in a softer voice.

Amy had already started looking through her box, and Kim pulled the next box in line off the shelf without even looking at the number. She figured the numbering scheme was simple. The first prisoner, put in cryo before the prison even existed, was Shego. The second was Amy. Kim herself was the third. She'd be 003-A.

When she opened the box all that was in it was her wristwatch.

“Too bad, Kimmie, looks like you're stuck with that fashion disaster,” Shego said, gesturing at Kim's all white clothing. The expected sarcasm was there, but possibly also a bit of sympathy.

“Actually, I may have found some help,” Kim said, hope returning to her voice.

“We've been here for centuries, what do you think that little--” Shego started.

The device chirped.

Kim hit one of the buttons and for a moment very small writing appeared on the watchface. “Spankin',” Kim said, then she hit one button twice.

“So what did you just do, princess?” Shego asked.

“I found out that my car is still online, and the AI is booting up. I told her to come here once all systems are online.”

“You told you car to come to the moon?” Surge asked.

“I've seen it,” Blok said. “It does fly.”

“And it could reach us on Mars if it needed to,” Kim said.

“Except no one gassed it up in a very long time,” Shego said.

“Jade doesn't run on gas,” Kim said, “and she's been in a kind of mechanical stasis since GJ turned on me.” Kim's voice turned dark, “Telling her to go into it and wait for me was the last thing I managed to do before GJ took me down.” Then her voice returned to a more matter of fact tone: “Unless something very heavy fell on her Jade can get to us without difficulty.”

“That's your plan?” Shego asked.

“No.” Kim said. “That's my backup plan. The primary plan remains the same. We take whatever is useful from this room, get to the exit, and make our way to the lunar base.”

The group again separated, everyone searching for their own belongings. Shego and Amy found spots to change into their own clothes. Kim randomly opened boxes and looked inside to see if she could find anything useful.


They could have searched the vault for ages, but none of them wanted to stay longer than they had to. It quickly became apparent that weapons and advanced technology had not been stored with other personal effects so the only truly useful items they found were things that had been overlooked, like Kim's watch.

When they left Surge was dressed in her own clothes, the t-shirt and jeans typical of a woman in her early twenties in 2018, and a long coat: a duster enhanced with nanotechnology to heat or cool its occupant and change color and texture. Currently she had it in pink suede.

Drakken was in his usual blue suit.

Amy was in her standard getup, this turtleneck two tone purple, but instead of her own glasses she'd found a pair that could shift to match her prescription, zoom, and show various non-visible spectra.

Shego hadn't located anything of particular use in any of the other boxes, but she surprised everyone but not changing into her jumpsuit but instead a simple tank top with green slacks.

Hawk took none of his own clothes, they were just what he had thrown on while fleeing
Global Justice. He'd found a dress shirt and trousers that he deemed “passable”.

Blok was wearing beat up jeans, a black tank top, and a red leather vest that honored his favorite fictional gang.

Horatio and Henry both wore unremarkable t-shirts and jeans, though Horatio's t-shirt seemed like it might be fitted for a woman. Henry had found a navigational wristband. It had a compass, had a GPS receiver, contained maps of the entire planet, and promised to be able to preform celestial navigation via stored star charts. All of it was useless when one wasn't on the earth, of course.

Newly equipped they all headed back to the guard station.

Kim returned to the console and started typing in commands, “I'm trying to channel oxygen out of the areas we're leaving and into the ones we'll be traveling through,” she explained. “But there's not a lot to work with.”

The trip to the airlock was uneventful. The space suits were in the locker like Kim had said. There were more than they needed and Shego scavenged extra oxygen canisters from the unnecessary ones.

“Once we're in the suits we need to keep our breathing even and take it slow,” Kim said. “If there isn't transportation outside we'll need to walk two miles.”

“Hop.” Hawk said.

“What?” Kim asked.

“The low gravity combined with the loose regolith on the lunar surface makes walking difficult at best,” Hawk said.

“It's hard enough to walk in here,” Surge complained. They all knew it was true, not one of them hadn't had difficulty with pushing off the ground too hard.

“Astronauts found that the best way to move around is to hop,” Hawk told everyone.

“Ok, if there's no transportation we'll need to hop a long way,” Kim said. “It's important that we conserve our air if we're going to make it. Once the suits are on I recommend the only talking we do is to confirm that the suits are working. After that: silence.”

When they were in the spacesuits and could hear each other only through the built in raidos Kim said, “Kim; suit secure.”

“It works,” Shego said.

“Drakken. Suit is working.”

“Surge. I'm still breathing.”

“Blok. I'm good.”

“Hawk. I'm cool.”

"Oh, the air tickles my nose," Amy said.

Shego rolled her eyes.

“Horatio; suit intact.”

"Henry. I'm fine."

Shego looked at Kim then said, "Okay, we did roll call. Can we go now?"

"Everyone grab a spare tank," Kim said, then opened walked to the airlock.

The computer in the airlock had information the internal computers didn't.

“Damn, no transportation,” Kim said. "Don't forget. Stay calm, breathe evenly, and we should be fine."

When everyone was piled into the airlock, Kim shut the interior door and opened the exterior door. It was their first glimpse of where they truly were.

The barren gray moonscape stretched in all directions. Kim oriented herself toward the other facility, but couldn't see anything but more moon.

She knew, intellectually, that it was because the horizon on the moon was closer, making the facility a half mile over the horizon instead of nearly a mile closer than the horizon as it would be on earth. She knew that. But it still felt hopeless to step out onto the moon's surface when she couldn't even see where she was going.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

I feel hopeless

I think it's mostly finances, which I'm sick of talking about.  Yesterday I had to try to figure out whether it was better to overdraw my account, and thus piss off the bank, or better to be late with a payment, and thus piss off the credit card company.

Cold times are coming, it's already a lot cooler, and you can't survive without heating oil.  So it wasn't a mistake to get it, but good god did it fuck up everything money-wise.  It's just not cheap.  And that has messed up everything else.

Anyway, whether it is finances, or it's just a coincidence that I feel hopeless at the same time money shit is going down, I definitely feel emotionally-not-well and that fucks up everything.  I can't think, I can't write, I can't accomplish shit.  Everything just ... stops.

Things don't happen.

I really, truly, want to be writing things for here.  I want to be doing something rather than nothing in general.  But I fail.

It's not fun.


I have another chapter of Forgotten Seeds that's been written for a while and just needs a final proofread.  I'll see if I can get that up by tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I tend to spend a long time not really thinking about Sinfest, and then I'll decide to take another look, at which point there'll be a lot for me to catch up on, and I'll read through everything that's new, then I'll be sad that there isn't more to read, and then I start that long time not really thinking about it and thus restarting the cycle.

I had one of those catch up sessions, in which I read every comic published this year, today.

So that has me thinking about what I like about the comic.

The first thing to note is that it has a habit of starting with something I don't like, and then moving from there to something I do.  Some of that ordinary is improvement over time; some of is much more in terms of stylistic choices instead of quality.

The Sisterhood is a good example of something that has improved since its introduction and reintroduction.  When first showed up isn't really worth spending too much time on.  It was part of a silly seven strip arc and when the arc was over it wasn't heard from again for over four years.  It was a throw away.

When it was reintroduced it was more serious and there was definitely good there.  Sinfest's The Patriarchy, which is shown as being like the "raining code" from The Matrix, is a really effective way to show the messages that, while they're being sent, often slip under your conscious radar.  Also how patriarchal messages are everywhere you look.  That said, while The Patriarchy introduced at that point in the comic was good, The Sisterhood wasn't so much.  Xanthe's first action upon showing back up was to shame 'Nique for how she dressed that's... not exactly good feminism.  That's just one example but there was a fair amount of straw feminism mixed in with actual feminism in their portrayal.  That's improved a lot.

For a long time I read Sinfest mostly for the relationship between Crim and Fuchsia.  I liked it because it was cute, and sweet, and many nice things.  But when it started Fuchsia was basically stalking Crim.  I'm definitely not interested in stories about stalkers.

The other really important thing I've noticed has to do with how capable the characters are.  The Sisterhood (fighting patriarchy through the power of sustained awesome) and the devil (the devil) are both well suited for whatever happens to be thrown their way.  Blue is good at what she does, but she follows the devil's lead, and some non-main characters are pretty unflappable (see: Buddha) but for the most part everyone else is pretty much always in over their heads.

But they're not in over their heads in an awkward, insecure, groan-inducing, cringe-worthy, facepalm-summoning, "Oh my god, this hurts to watch" kind of way.

A recent (and major) arc does a good job of illustrating what I'm talking about.  It also shows what I mean about starting in places that I don't like.

It was when Lily (Lil' E = Little Evil = the devil's son) and Tange (Angie who likes tangerines ) went in search of the robot girl with boom (MODEL PX1-F600 SERIAL NUMBER FBXC-44-020-718-184-63-661-90-542 with a shotgun.)

None of these characters started out in a place that'd I'd normally like to go in my fiction.  Little E forgot who he was and it still hasn't come back.  He forgot who he was in a strip that appeared on September 23, 2011.  Sinfest updates daily.

Forgetting everything about himself is how he ended up with the name Lily.  He was told that he was "Lil' E" and Tange misheard it as "Lily".

Tange was originally a normal human being but the devil turned her into a devil-girl.  It's not precisely mind control, more of personality control.  Others tried to change her back but succeeded only in inflicting their personalities upon her.  She never got returned to normal, but she did end up a free agent as opposed to a carbon copy of someone else's personality.

That's ... deeply disturbing.  Don't take my word for it, listen to Hawkeye talk about the same sort of thing in The Avengers:
You don't understand. Have you ever had someone take your brain and play? Take you out and stuff something else in? You know what it's like to be unmade?
So they're both coming from a place where they've lost their identities, and that's something I shy away from.

As for the robot girl with boom, she tried to commit suicide.  Tange met her before before that, but not long before.  Lily first met her when she was suicidal.  That's something I really shy away from.

I like my fiction fun and light.  Real life is bad enough, and I want fiction to be better than it.  A character in Sinfest, upon learning that a game is one in which "victory is neither certain nor even likely, just like real life", shouts, "I don't want real life. I wanna win!"  I'm like that with my fiction.

But that's where this starts.  Three characters in positions that I don't really want to read about people being in.  There's plenty of good fiction that doesn't have identity loss or suicidal characters.  As I said, Sinfest has a habit of starting in places that I never want my fiction to go in the first place, and then changing into stories that I do like.

Tange and Lily save the fembot, who totally needs a shorter name, from her suicide attempt.  They take her in.  They give her a bed to sleep in and plug her in so she gets a charge.  But, after she sees a commercial for fembots (they're created to be slaves; she is not amused) and stumbles across Lily's armory, she takes a shotgun and runs off alone.

When Tange and Lily realize that she's gone, and she has a gun, they run off to save her.  They think she needs saving because they remember that she was suicidal, in fact she needs saving because she's going to take on the amalgamated forces of Hell in a quest for vengeance.  She can't pull that off.  (She's impressive, but not that impressive.)  Without help she would die.

The point here is that Tange and Lily are running off on a mission that will take them into the heart of Hell's manufacturing and R&D center and will pit them against Hell's robotic hordes.  They have no idea what they're getting into and are in no way prepared for the task.

They're awesome at it.

People being in over their heads and somehow succeeding is a plot that will always be with us, but a lot of times it carries with it the idea that you have to suffer through it.  The characters make faux pas left and right, they do things that make you cringe and want to turn away from the screen, the fact that they're not, objectively, well suited to the task becomes emotional insecurities, it's a bog of awkward and uncomfortable that the story slogs through.

This is not a story like that.

There is no possible way that Tange and Lily should be able to pull off their rescue attempt.  What I really love is not that they do it, though that is necessary, but the way that they do it.  The have a goal: find and help robot girl with boom.  They pursue that goal with determination and only the occasional distraction by angel-themed clothing and vice soda.  They don't let the fact that they're in way over their head get to them at all.

In fact, they're inordinately proud of themselves.  Not in a, "Shut the fuck up, Bruce Wayne," kind of way but in a, "Yes, you are awesome," kind of way.  Which is to say that when they show pride your impulse is not to think they're full of themselves but to want to cheer them on.

As an example, there's a strip that goes like this:
Tange: Have you seen a robot girl with boom?
Lily: Boom.
Scarf guy*: As a matter of fact I have.
Tange: Where she go?
Scarf guy: Um ... she said she was looking for ... Devil Tech.
*Tange and Lily turn to each other with hands in celebratory gestures*
Tange: Woo!  We are excellent detectives!
Objectively, no.  They were lucky that they asked someone who knew that "boom" meant "shotgun" they were even more lucky that the person they asked was the one person who found out where the fembot was going.  Getting lucky when you ask a question, badly, does not make you an excellent detective.

THAT SAID, reading the comic doesn't make you want to point any of that out.  It makes you want to encourage Tange and tell her that, yes, they are excellent detectives.

They do save the fembot's life, but it would be short lived if not for the fact that the rescue party is itself rescued by The Sisterhood.

When they get to the place where they'll be hiding out Tange asks, "We are excellent fugitives, yeah?"

Yes, Tange.  Yes, you are.

And I very much like that.  I like that even when the characters are completely out of their depths and outclassed in every way they don't descend into angst and awkwardness.  Sometimes they have fun and they are fun.  Other times they're just plain determined.

The story of the person who is in over their head and somehow pulls through speaks to a certain fantasy: that you can overcome things, that you can succeed even when the problems seem insurmountable.

Sinfest delivers on that, but it also delivers on a second fantasy: that you can do the above without having to suffer through the experience.

Characters often deal with what's in front of them without letting the overwhelming nature of the overall situation get to them.

Which is not to say that they can always deal with their problems.  The fembot would have died if not for Tange and Lily, all of them would have been caught soon after if not for The Sisterhood.  There have been multiple plots where someone was just plain broken and wouldn't have made it through without a friend doing the hard work of helping them.

One memorable plot was when Crim dug a hole to Hell.  Fuchsia had a breakdown, she thought that she didn't belong anywhere but Hell and didn't deserve to be happy.  So she returned there and cut herself off from the outside world.  Crim started digging.

When he got there Blue assumed that he'd come to save Fuchsia, but when Fuchsia asked he admitted that he hadn't; he'd simply come to be with her.  Crim had no illusions about what he could pull off.  He couldn't liberate Fuchsia from Hell (she had to do that herself) but he could do something, and so he did that something.

People who were just visitors to Hell, on the other hand, could get out with help from their friends.  Slick and Lily both ended up so depressed they were in Hell and their friends had to go in there and help them back out both physically (Hell is a literal place, otherwise Crim could never have gotten there by digging a hole) and mentally (helping them get over the depression by being good friends.)

And I think I sort of lost the thread of what I was saying, but the big thing is:

Someone who is in over their head but wins in the end without taking a detour into angst, awkward, or assorted other things that make you groan/cringe/facepalm is a plot that I like a lot.

Links to various things:

Introverts Assemble!

The subjunctive mood

Characters I have mentioned in this post:
To my knowledge we never see a trans* character.  I'd like to know if the "Women Only Space" is a space for all women or just cis women.

For that matter I'm not sure that any bisexual characters appear in the strip, and the identification of characters as lesbians is questionable at best.  (Because we're talking about devil girls whose job it was to put on a show.)  I'm not remembering anyone who is queer in any way except for the two male gay characters (Francis and his unnamed boyfriend.)  So even though LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion is something that The Sisterhood says they're for, we never get a chance to see if they live up to it.

But, mostly, I really like the webcomic.


* His name is not "scarf guy".  That's what Tange knows him as.  His name is Francis Sebastian.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


So I've got various posts I want to write and it was never my intention to leave two posts about money as the most recent things for any length of time.  It was never my intention to have two posts about money in a row.

Although I do need money, if I promised to write if you paid me, would you pay me?

Not that it matters; if I could make myself write posts on command, I'd do it without getting paid.

Random dump of things I've been meaning to do:

Any of that particularly interest anyone?

(That list is in no particular order, by the way.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monthly Donation Reminder

So it's time for my monthly post reminding people that I do have a donate button.  If you want to know more about where the money is going, or what parasites are trying to suck my blood this week, do look at the previous post.

There's not all that much to say about September.  It's one of the number months which means that since January and February were added to the front of the calendar it has been two months off (the name suggests that it's the seventh month but it's actually the ninth.)  It's a short month, which means that it originally had 30 days, then the number of days was dropped to 29, then raised back to 30 with the Julian calendar (which is where it remains today.)

As a short month September has its ides on the 13th making today two days after the ides, but since the Romans counted backward from fixed dates instead of forward today would be marked from the Kalends of October, thus XVII Kal. Oct. or ante diem septimum decimum Kalendas Octobres.

Friday, September 12, 2014

School, oil, money, food, stuff

So I'm back at school, this semester the only thing I'm doing is retaking classes I failed when the depression was really bad.  Cost $3,671 (though I think there's a mistake which if corrected could save me a lot, specifically dropping it to $2,729.)

Before the cost of heating oil shoots up I filled the tank,  $553.

Do I have money for this?  No.

I ran out of food before I got more food money.  Spent too weeks without a decent meal (I have food money as of today.)

While the fleas are, in theory, on the verge of being eradicated, I probably picked up lice today.  Lived 29 years and 40 days without ever getting the vermin, if that streak didn't end today it will in the next two.

I'm not exactly happy with my finances right now, and so long as there is a blood sucking vermin situation in my life I will not be happy with the blood sucking vermin situation.

And that's where things stand at the moment.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kim Possible -- Forgotten Seeds, Chapter 1: Awakening

[I found about 30 pages of this on my computer, comprising the first 2.something chapters.  It's inspired by the fanfic "Fallen Heroes" though it starts at about where Chapter 4 of that starts and should start diverging pretty significantly after a few chapters.  If I have world enough and time, I was thinking this would actually be the middle story of a 5 story arc.]

Shego woke up and, as she usually did, tried to go back to sleep.

Then she realized three things:
1 The last thing she remembered was Kimmie injecting her with something
2 She was completely naked,
3 She was vertical instead of horizontal.

Upon opening her eyes she found that she seemed to be in a glass tube, and beyond it she saw a plain metal hallway that was too generic to place. She pushed on the glass in front of her and found that it gave easily. It moved out of her way lightly on hinges she hadn't noticed were there.

When she stepped free she found that things were very, very wrong.

She was too light. Much too light. Her first thought was to wonder what Kim had done to her but a quick look showed that she hadn't been starved and there was no way that that could account for how light she was anyway.

Almost all of her weight was gone. Walking was … odd. She fell on her face more than once before she got the hang of it.

In spite of what people thought, Shego did pay attention and she did study. She knew she was too light to be on the surface of any planet. There were, however, multiple moons she might be on. Just what the hell had Kimmie done after injecting her?

Examining her surroundings was very, very unpleasant.

The glass tube was the front of the contraption she'd been in, the back was a near vertical “bed” built into a strange metal machine. Next to it was a similar device, this one closed and frost evident on the surface. Inside of it was a very still DNAmy, recognizable in spite of being somewhat obscured by the frost build-up on the glass.

It was what was next to that that was the problem. Another “bed” whose occupant was dead. And another one just like it next to it. And another, and another, and another. The chamber Shego was in was very large and had multiple levels, it was full of the devices each of which had someone in it, and it seemed that everyone was dead.

Everyone save herself and Amy.

Shego found an unlocked supply closet, it didn't contain much of interest but it did, mercifully, contain clothing--plain white clothing that she deemed a fashion disaster--but clothing she put on none the less.

She found a computer and was able to look up a map of the facility.

The devices were called “cryo beds” and it seemed that most of them had gone offline. She didn't bother finding out how many there were, she didn't want to know. She instead found out how many other survivors there were: nine.

Hers was the only one that had opened.

The computer gave brief descriptions of each:

Alias: DNAmy
Reason for Suspension: Deemed a threat to global security
Notes: Rouge geneticist
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Shego laughed at 'Rouge' instead of 'Rogue'.

Alias: Doctor Drakken
Reason for Suspension: Multiple attempts at world domination
--Deemed a threat to global security
Notes: Brilliant inventor; inept in all other areas
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Again Shego got a giggle out of the notes.

Alias: Surge
Reason for Suspension: Member of Sonique's organization.
Notes: Able psychically manipulate electronics
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

This gave Shego pause. She quickly cross-referenced “Reason for Suspension” with dates. There were too many records to read them all and Shego didn't want to read about any of the dead people anyway. She didn't want to know their names.

Regardless it seemed that between Drakken's “Suspension” in 2013 and Surge's in 2018 the reason necessary had gone from “threat to global security” to simply being a lackey. Digging deeper into Surge's file than the surface summary mentioned something called the Sander's Act.

Quick glances at other records seemed to show that it was invoked every time someone had been put into cryo-statis for no defensible reason.

Shego didn't know what the Sander's Act was, or why it mattered, but she was guessing it wasn't good. She returned to looking at records of survivors.

Alias: None
Reason for Suspension: Espionage
Notes: It has never been determined how he accomplishes his spying.
Suspected mutant
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Alias: Hawk
Reason for Suspension: Sheltering Sander's Act fugitives
Notes: Able to form viable wings at will
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Alias: None
Reason for Suspension: Deemed a threat to global security
Notes: Prefers targeting civilian populations with explosives.
Authorization for Suspension: Dr Elizabeth Director

That was the first of the incarcerations Shego agreed with. “If the 'Notes' section is accurate,” she mentally amended.

Alias: Blok
Reason for Suspension: Gang activity.
Notes: Can turn into “stone”
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Alias: Janus
Reason for suspension: Impersonating World Leader
Notes: Limited shape shifting ability
Authorization for suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

The last survivor seemed to be separated from the others, when Shego found out who it was she gasped.

Alias: Kim, KP
Reason for Suspension: Deemed a threat to global security
Notes: Former Hero
--Nascent villain
--High risk of attempted rescue; removed from gen-pop
--Designed cryogenic bed; hers can only be opened manually as a precaution
Authorization for Suspension: Dr. Elizabeth Director

Shego attempted to access Kim's file but found it highly encrypted, far beyond her own skill to crack.

Six hours later she had discovered several distressing things.

She wasn't all that surprised by the lack of guards. If people had been left to die when their cryo bed went offline then she figured this wasn't really a prison, it was a method of execution that allowed those who implemented it to tell themselves they weren't actually executing people. She was surprised by the state of repair.

The facility was immaculate, but low on power. Heavy doors wouldn't open, light ones did so lethargically. The security systems to prevent escape, the very things that should be stopping her from having free reign, were entirely useless. State of the art lasers couldn't fire and could only manage to twitch when they should have tracked her every move. Force fields didn't operate. Half of the computers running the place had recently fried when their cooling system lost power. The heat was gone but the smell lingered. The other half didn't look like they'd last long.

From what she could access on the computer terminals that were working, she found that she couldn't open the cryo beds. Hers had opened as a safety precaution when it ran out of power. The ones that hadn't opened when they lost power, more than ten thousand of them, had been prevented from opening by some override system that had been running on the now fried computer banks.

There was no food.

The water that there was she had to collect from anti-condensation chambers designed to keep the electronics from getting wet by removing moisture from the air.

The air itself wasn't going to last long, at least it wouldn't if she wanted to get out. Environmental systems were keeping the CO2 levels safe, but the oxygen wasn't being replenished. Something, the computer wasn't sure what, had used up most of it long before Shego had woken up. What there was had been collected into the chambers with living prisoners. If that air was shared with the places she needed to use to reach the nearest exit the O2 would be too thin to breathe for long.

She had no idea where she was. While a map of the interior was available and easy to access, information on the outside was in a computer that had powered down. It was, fortunately, not on one of the ones that had melted, but there wasn't enough power to turn it back on. If she tried to boot it up the power drain would short the system and knock out all the computers.

When looking into this she happened to notice the date displayed on the computer she was using: 6/22/2529. Checking various other things confirmed that it wasn't a mistake. The last time a human being had interacted with the computers of the prison was almost five hundred years earlier. The last entries were fairly routine and then centuries of nothing but automated log updates.

They'd been abandoned. All of the prisoners, thousands of them, had simply been abandoned. They'd been left to die when the power ran out without so much as a note saying why.

No guard had set foot in the facility for centuries. Apart from the “centuries” part she had assumed as much, but somehow it finally hit home for her. No one had been there to witness the passing of most of her fellow prisoners. No one had cared enough to save them. No one was there now.

She was completely alone.

There was one person she could wake. Kim's cryo bed had been set to manual. Shego was pacing back and forth outside of it when the intercom tried to announce something. It did very little other than crackle and spurt, but it was enough to send Shego running to a computer terminal.


The last thing Amy Hall remembered was trying to force a Ninja school into releasing her beloved Monty.

Now she was naked in some sort of tube.

She got out of it and found white clothing laid out for her. She was putting it on when a door lurched open.

“Oh god; I wish I hadn't seen that,” Shego said as she backed out of the room she'd just entered.


“Welcome to the prison of the future,” Shego said in a sarcastic imitation of a tour guide. “No guards, thinning air, way more nudity than you'd ever want, and … oh yeah, almost all of the inmates are dead.”

“What's going on?”

“Finish dressing, then we have to meet Dr. D.”

“I'm finished,” Amy said. “Now, what's going on?”

“Apparently Kimmie designed cryogenic stasis technology, then she was interred here herself.”

“Where is here?”

“Here is where Global Justice sticks everyone they don't like,” Shego said. “Stuck,” She she amended. “They stuck us here, then left.”


“A long time ago.”

“How long?” Amy asked.

“Five hundred years give or take. My last memory is from 2010. Yours?”

“Early 2011.”

“They nabbed Drakken in 2013. Surge in 2018. I didn't recognize the rest of the survivor's names, didn't check the dates either.”

“You said they had Possible.”

“She's got her own room. Apparently she's a 'nascent villain'.”

“Always thought she had it in her.”

“I have my doubts,” Shego said. “Anyway, let's find Drakken before he blows something up.” Shego led the way.


Drakken had put on the white clothing that had been laid out in front of his cryo bed.

He'd also managed to stop his utter panic that had commenced when he noticed that he was surrounded by dead bodies.

He recognized the technology immediately, it was Kim Possible's tech. Supposedly abandoned shortly before the retired hero's untimely demise, it had obviously been taken and mass produced.

He had little doubt as to who was responsible. Global Justice stepped up their efforts after Possible died. In truth they'd been cracking down since her retirement and his short lived pardon. Possible's death just accelerated things. The five years between her retirement and death didn't see anything like the downward spiral he witnessed in the two years after her death.

When he was finally captured it was almost a relief. That meant he wouldn't be killed. Sure, GJ never abandoned the taser as their primary weapon, but there had been more than a few 'accidents'. Accidents that were never subject to inquiry, explanation, or reprimand.

Now. looking at what was so obviously Possible's stolen technology, he was confused. The cryo beds were a marvel of technology, one that he totally understood GJ's desire to steal, and they should never have failed. The ones around his had obviously failed.

When Possible had turned from famous hero to reclusive inventor he followed her career with interest. When Shego disappeared he made the mistake of trying to force the reason out of Possible. When he heard the news of her cryo beds he had a feeling that that was what had become of Shego. No prison could hold her, but if she had been asleep the whole time...

But Possible's technology was better than this. She had failsafes on her failsafes. There was no way that she'd make the death chambers that he was now surrounded by.

He had to find a computer terminal, he was missing something.


Shego and Amy found Drakken in front of a computer screen, studying.

He noticed them enter the room and said, “Ah, Shego,” absently.

“Doc,” Shego said, “do you realize that--”

“Five hundred sixteen years have passed while we've been in cryostasis and we're being held in a failing Global Justice facility on the moon? Yes.”

“Do you know which moon?” Amy asked him.

“The moon,” he said. “Earth's moon.”

“So it could be worse,” Shego said.

“It could also be better,” Drakken said. “I see no records of food being stored anywhere within this facility and most of it isn't functioning regardless. We're trapped here.”

“I was hoping you could come up with some kind of a plan to get us out,” Shego said.


Drakken was surprised at Shego's lack of abuse. He did notice that his long rest seemed to have calmed himself, perhaps the same had happened to her. He hoped that was it, because if things were really so hopeless that Shego had lost her sarcasm he knew there was a very real chance they were going to die.

Only parts of the schematics were open to him, not enough to form a plan, and of what he could see there wasn't enough power to accomplish anything.

The intercom system tried to say something and he saw a flashing on the monitor. Two more cryo beds would open because of imminent power loss.

Drakken told Shego and Amy and the three headed toward hold seven, where the two waking prisoners were located.


Sarah woke up and decided that if they were going to treat her like a criminal regardless of what she did she'd damn well start acting like one. Her attempts to put “Surge” behind her had obviously failed, so she would be Surge.

She'd take vengeance on those sanctimonious jerks who--

And that was when she fell --agonizingly slowly-- on her face, learning the hard way that attempting to move in the lunar gravity they way one would on earth simply did not work.

She bounced, something she hadn’t expected, and thanked whatever gods may be for the railing that stopped her from tumbling into empty air. As she slowly got on her feet she realized that the room she was in was four stories tall and she was on the third story of it.

She clung to the railing for fear of falling, still not quite realizing why she was having trouble moving around.

When she turned around she was so surprised she collapsed to the metal walkway again.

There were bodies. Seemingly endless bodies. All dead.


Horatio pushed open his cryo bed, smelled the stale air, and closed his eyes for a moment.

Then he picked up the white clothes laid out in front of his cry bed, carefully unfolded them, and put them on.

He made his way to a ladder that gave access to all four levels of the room her was in, climbed down from his place on level four to level three, and walked to Sarah, still huddled in shock.

He picked up the clothes that had been left in front of her cryo bed and handed them to her. Then he returned to the ladder and climbed to the ground level.


Drakken, Shego, and Amy waited expectantly for the door to hold seven to open enough to walk through. When it didn't do so quickly Shego helped the door along with brute force.

They found two people dressed in the clothes Shego had laid out for them when she had surveyed the facility alone earlier.

“Surge,” Shego said nodding to the pink-haired woman. “Horatio, I presume,” she said to the man with wild brown hair. The man nodded.

“We're in a deteriorating Global Justice facility on the moon,” Drakken said. “We don't have access to the full systems and we don't have enough power to use most of the systems we do have access to. Can either of you help?”

Horatio shook his head.

Surge gestured to the bodies in the cryo beds and asked, “What about them?”

“There's nothing we can do for them,” Drakken said.

“Right now we need to think about the people who are still alive,” Amy told Surge.

“There are ten of us, we're,” Shego gestured to the entire group, “the first five wake up.”

“Why are we alive if the others died?” Surge asked.

“The cryo bed's original designer--” Shego started

“Kim Possible,” Drakken added.

“The original designer,” Shego said, obviously annoyed, “made fail safes so that a power failure would never injure, much less kill, the occupant. The ones who actually used them decided they'd rather see us die. Their override system was clunky at best and apparently required some computers that recently failed. Now we're waking up as the power runs out.”

“It's running out fast,” Drakken said. “All of the survivors will be awake within 24 hours. We just have to hope that at least one of them can help us.”

“Which brings us back to the original question,” Amy said. “Is there anything you can do to help?”

“Well...” Surge said, “I could use my power to interface with the compu--”

“No!” Drakken and Shego shouted in unison.

“We've met,” Surge sheepishly explained to a befuddled Amy.

“Though you were younger then,” Shego said, “Have your powers improved?”

“I've been retired,” Surge admitted. “I haven't had a lot of practice.”

“So, what now?” Amy asked.

“We wait for the next batch to wake up,” Drakken said.

“I hate waiting,” Shego said.


Drakken had been able to predict that the prisoner in Holding Area Thirteen would be the next to awaken and so they'd been waiting there for Nolan Roberts to wake up. The five sat in a circle, all angled at least slightly away from Robert's cryo bed to give him some modesty when he woke up.

Shego and Amy knew the least about the state of the world, Drakken's knowledge only got them two years closer to understanding. Surge was able to share what happened all the way into 2018. Horatio never said a word.


Hawk blinked awake and found himself in some kind of glass tube. It wasn't the first time. The ability to spontaneously generate limbs was reason enough for people to want to poke and prod him. That those limbs were ones that no mammal had any right to have in the first place was even more. The fact that he was able to fly on the wings, and even able to carry other people, when the wings were too small to provide the necessary lift was just the icing on the cake.

More than once he'd escaped only because the people planning to vivisect him couldn't agree on who got first cut.

He'd never seen the ones who captured him this time, but he had a good guess. He'd finally annoyed the big dogs. There had been warning that Global Justice was on to him, but there was only so much he could do. Marcella's Free Zone was nearly impossible to locate and travel to Japan was restricted. Trapped within GJ allied countries there was simply no secure hiding place.

That hadn't even been the worst part. The worst part was that he was supposed to be a criminal, he was supposed to be as far from altruistic as possible, but he'd somehow found himself guardian of a growing flock of genetic outcasts.

Some had been subjected to the same kind of experimentation as him. Some had seen worse. Some were lucky in that they only lived in fear of it. He was their protector, their guardian, the one who promised, against every impulse, to keep them safe.

Even if he could find a way out for himself, they were not so easy to move in a hurry.

So he'd held back. He'd slowly gone in one direction leaving a trail of bread crumbs that was just a little too obvious to ignore but not conspicuous enough to be an obvious false trail. Meanwhile his charges had fled in a different direction as fast as they could without leaving a trail.

Sure enough someone caught up with him. The last thing he remembered was a pain in his back.

Surveying the room beyond the glass was … odd. It was an empty room. Not a lab like he expected. The occupants were wearing matching white clothes, which could indicate a “science” team, but rather than examining him or readouts they were sitting in a circle talking to each other.

He tested the glass in front of him and was surprised to find it freely gave.


At the sound of the cryo bed opening Amy said, “Mind the low gravity,” without turning.

“Put on the clothes and tell us when you're dressed,” Shego added.

Soon they explained the situation to him and it turned out he had nothing new to contribute to an escape attempt.

Sprouting wings and flying, while impressive, wouldn't help them much while trapped indoors.

For the first time Shego raised the possibility of waking Kim Possible.


Smith woke up and immediately started a threat assessment. Glass in front of him, a protective railing beyond that. No matter how clean it was he recognized a prison when he saw one.

The glass was different, it implied the small chamber he occupied was a cryo bed. A cell. That might be a good thing. He was awake and there were no armed guards. Probably a glitch.

The benefit of a cryo prison was that it didn't need guards. Sleeping convicts couldn't attempt to escape. No prison violence, no riots, no escape attempts. Keep the location a secret and there would be no outsiders trying to break the incarcerated out. That meant a skeleton crew at most. With the exception of moving prisoners, prisons like this didn't actually need anyone working at them. The guards were purely there for public relations reasons. It made the tax payers feel safer knowing there was someone with a gun around their con-sicles.

When there wasn't a press visit, which itself was very rare considering that cryo prisons were uniformly secret prisons, the actual guard posted at the facility would be almost non-existent.

Automated defenses, on the other hand, could be expected in droves.

Still, he knew what to expect.

Testing the weight of his arms and legs he knew exactly where he was. Luna-1. The first and largest cryo-prison, Global Justice's favorite place to stick the undesirables of the world, and never officially acknowledged to exist.

The handful of earthbound cryo-prisons had their locations kept secret, but Luna-1 had its entire existence firmly and repeatedly denied. There was never a press presence here. There was never a need to station guards for show.

There would probably be almost no one to stop him.

He pushed the glass in front of him and smiled as his cryo-bed opened. He was definitely right, some kind of glitch had set him free.

He was sure he could catch the guards off guard and be out of here in a hurry.

When he saw the white clothing neatly laid out in front of his cryo bed, his and no other in sight, he was forced to reevaluate everything.


The first thing Blok noticed was his mass. It was way too low. He was much more used to changes in mass than most people. In his stone form he weighed more than half a ton. In human form he weighed almost exactly two hundred pounds. Changing between the two forms repeatedly left him intimately familiar with what it felt like for his body to have a different mass.

What he wasn't used to was weighing less than his human form. Much less.

He estimated he weighed about thirty pounds, give or take.

When he opened his eyes and saw his surroundings he had some idea of what was going on.

Years ago Kim Possible had reentered the public eye to propose the use of cryogenic technology in prisoner storage. He'd only paid enough attention to note that she wasn't returning to the hero business. Later that month she apparently died.

Over the next few years information came out implicating Global Justice in her demise. Then political hell broke loose when Ron Stoppable went public with information indicating that Global Justice had stolen Kim's cryo technology, built a secret lunar prison, and made her the first inmate.

The lunar prison was never located, which meant that rescue was impossible. It was beyond all jurisdictions so no national agency could bring Global Justice to task for what it did there. All that could be done was withdrawing from the UN and Global Justice's power.

Japan had done so before Stoppable even went public. In theory it should have meant nothing more than Global Justice no longer operating in Japan. In practice it looked like Global Justice was preparing for war with Japan, but that never came to pass.

Once there was proof more nations left the fold while Global Justice became closer and closer to the Dark UN Enforcers of the nightmares of people who thought in capital letters.

They cracked down on every country they still had a foothold in. Not that they hadn't been doing that before, but once the truth was out they did it openly. Before people disappeared without any proof as to who did it; after GJ started operating in broad daylight in the streets and didn't care who knew.

That's when he was nabbed.

The Lunar cryo prison had never been found.

Everyone assumed that it was where the disappeared people were sent.

It's where he must have been sent. It wasn't his mass that was off, it was gravity. He wasn't less massive, as he had originally assumed, he weighed less.

He phased into stone form and then felt silly. His transformation destroyed the cryobed, but the glass cover that served as the door had apparently been unlocked. He phased back into human form and surveyed his surroundings. A pile of white clothes was in front of his cryo tube and he heard movement above him.

He quickly got dressed. A few minutes after he'd finished a voice called out, “Ryan! Blok! Get down here; we have an escape to plan.”


They'd decided to sleep, there was nothing else to do. It would be a while before new prisoners were released. Holding Area 23 would lose power next. Two new prisoners, but not for more than eight hours.

Hawk, having just woken up, didn't need sleep just then. Surge said she hadn't been awake long enough. Horatio curled up in a ball, covered his eyes with an arm, and seemed to go to sleep immediately.

By the time eight hours had passed they'd all been sleeping. Some simply because it was better than boredom.

That was why they were late for the opening of the cryo beds in Holding Area 23.

When they arrived Shego noted two figures in white on the upper levels. She shouted, “Ryan! Blok! Get down here; we have an escape to plan.”

The one on the second level hurdled over the railing and transformed to a bulkier figure made of stone as he fell. The landing was too light for Shego's taste. A hard reminder that even if they found a way out of this prison they were still on the moon.

The stone creature, which looked like a caricature of a large man that had been carved out of granite, transformed back into a dark haired man in white clothes.

“Blok, at your service,” he said.

Ryan Smith took longer to reach the ground floor.

“What's the situation?” he asked.

“This facility has been abandoned,” Hawk said. “We're lucky that the fail safes finally kicked in otherwise we'd be like them,” he gestured to all of the cryo beds in the room that didn't open.

Apparently Ryan and Blok hadn't looked back before. They both had a moment of shock, but Ryan's moment was much shorter.

“The functioning cryo beds are opening as the power failure becomes too much for them to keep running,” Drakken said. “That power failure is also stopping us from moving the larger doors and providing annoyances left and right.”

“Most of the still functioning computers are open to us,” Surge said. “But some parts we haven't been able to get to because none of us are good enough hackers.”

“The people who built this place didn't expect prisoners to be awake and accessing the computers.” Amy said. “They were lazy with them, but not completely stupid. There's a chance that the parts they were afraid we might access are parts that would help us get out.”

“We're on the moon,” Nolan said.

“I know,” Ryan snapped.

“I'd guessed as much,” Blok added.

“And that pretty much covers it,” Shego said. “Other than the fact that we've all been asleep around five hundred years.”

That shocked Ryan and Blok.

Once it became clear that neither of them had much to contribute to an escape attempt Shego brought up Possible again.

“The same person who designed these cages,” she gestured to the cryo beds, “Is a prisoner here too. Except her cryo bed will only open manually.”

“Leave Possible to rot,” Ryan said.

“She'd do just that,” Shego spat back. “Not only can hers be opened manually, it can only be opened manually. She'll end up like one of them,” Shego gestured to the dead bodies who had never been released from their cryo beds, “if we do nothing.”

“So what?” Ryan asked.

“That would be murder,” Surge said. “We'd be no better than the ones who left us to die.”

“I'm not in favor of leaving her to die,” Hawk said, “but I'd rather wait on letting a hero loose in here. She was on GJ's side.”

“And betrayed by that side,” Blok said.

“Do you know what happened to her?” Amy asked.

“It doesn't matter,” Ryan spat.

“What does matter,” Shego said, “is that if she worked on the cryo beds she may have also worked on the prison itself. She might be able to get us out of here.”

“It'll be another hour, two at most, before the last prisoner is freed,” Drakken said. “Why don't we wait on decisions about Kim Possible until we see if he can help us?”


Henry knew where he was when he woke. After what he tried there was only one place they might send him. Luna-1. The 'secret' prison on the moon. It had never been located or officially admitted to, but everyone knew about it. In fact, it had become so famous that whenever someone disappeared there would be whispers about Luna-1. Usually the whispers meant nothing, but in his case he must have been sent there.

What he didn't understand was why he woke up. In spite of Luna-1 being a cryo prison, something that was never intended for life sentences, no one had ever returned from Luna-1.

Stranger still was the lack of guards. Henry had never been a physical threat to anyone, but it wasn't like Global Justice to leave anyone without armed guards. Especially considering how much he had annoyed them.

Try to change the world, end up being turned into a popsicle.

That was the price of trying to be a hero, he decided. Pranks and small time crimes were much safer.

He cautiously pushed the cryo bed open. It was only when he saw the clothing laid out in front of it that he realized he was naked. He put it on and then turned back toward his prison.


“Oh my god!” came a shout from above the eight survivors.

“He's awake,” Ryan said.

“He's awake,” Shego repeated. Then she shouted in Henry's direction, “Get over here. We need to find out if you're useful.”


Henry quickly confirmed what Shego had feared and suspected. He was no more help in escaping the dying Lunar prison than any of the others.

“That settles it,” Shego said. “We have to wake Kimmie.”

“I thought you said you couldn't--” Henry said.

“We couldn't open anyone else's,” Shego said. “It seems that Global Justice never really understood the technology. They could duplicate it, but a lot of the programming was hardwired into the circuits themselves. They weren't able to isolate the parts they didn't like, and were always afraid that Kim had hidden a feature to save herself in it. They made sure that hers could only be opened manually.”

“That doesn't change the fact that we should leave her to die,” Ryan said, “or kill her ourselves.”

“Ok,” Shego said while green plasma erupted from her hands. “You don't get to talk anymore.”

“Releasing her would be a risk,” Amy said.

“Red is always a risk,” Blok said, “But having her on our side would be something to behold.”

“We're out of options,” Hawk said. “We let her out.”

“I'd like to see her save me instead of stop me for a change,” Drakken said, quickly adding, “even if she was downright scary toward the end. If we want to live we have to let her out.”

“I want to live,” Surge said.

“Then let's let her out,” Henry said.


Given that Kim's last memory was a taser in the back while Will Du and Elizabeth Director lectured her about how her taking the law into her own hands was a threat to the world while them doing the same was totally peachy she had a pretty good idea where she was.

What she didn't expect was who she saw.

Nine people all wearing white clothing. Shego, DNAmy, Drakken and Blok she recognized. The five others not so much.

Shego opened her cryo bed and said, “Princess, you had better have a plan.”

“What's the sitch?” Kim asked.

“Well first off you're naked. Put on clothes.” Shego shoved a bundle of white clothes that matched her own into Kim's arms. The eight others turned away to give her a least a modicum of privacy. Shego simply stared.

“Do you mind?” Kim asked as she pulled on pants.

“Well I figure you saw me naked enough, now it's my turn.”

“It's not like I had much of a choice,” Kim snapped. “They were going to kill you if I didn't come up with another solution.”

“And that makes everything better,” Shego sneered.

“If it makes you happy, you're part of the reason I was locked up here.” Kim said.

“She's decent,” Shego announced. “How was I a part of it?”

“You, Amy, and Dementor were the stated reasons for locking me up.”


“You and Amy were thrown in my lap by Ron who wanted to find a way to deal with you without killing you.”

“How is what you did different from killing?

“Because I was going to let you out,” Kim said. “You weren't frozen, just in a deep, deep sleep. I developed a way to have the equivalent of therapy going on and was hoping for rehabilitation.”

“Mind control,” Shego spat.

“No!” Kim shouted. “Why does everyone assume mind control? It's no more mind control than a court order to see a therapist.”

“And Dementor?”

“He attacked one of my students. I lost my temper but his injuries shouldn't have been fatal.”


“Instead of getting medical help he ran for eleven blocks. The stress made the injuries much worse and the police were more interested in stopping me than helping him. By the time anyone actually bothered to look for him they found that he'd decided hiding in a subway tunnel was better than getting help. That decision cost him his life.”

“Damn,” Shego said.

“While this is all very interesting,” said woman with pink hair who Kim guessed to be a pacific islander in her twenties, “it doesn't really help us.” She turned to Shego. “You said she could help. She doesn't look like much.”

“Kimmie, meet Surge,” Shego said. “You know Drakken and Amy--”

“And Blok,” Kim interjected.

“Right, he mentioned something about knowing you,” Shego said. “The others are Hawk,” she gestured to a lean black man with short black hair, “Horatio,” she gestured to a Caucasian with wild dark hair and, “Ryan,” another Caucasian, this one with well groomed sandy blond hair, “and Henry,” a wiry Hispanic man, his hair of uniform length--about four inches. “We're all that's left. Apparently Global Justice overrode your safety features, but couldn't figure out how to do it in the cryo beds themselves. When some of their computers crashed we started getting let out as the power died. The rest weren't so lucky.”

“The rest?” Kim asked.

“This facility had well over ten thousand prisoners,” Drakken said. “Then ten of us are all that remain.”

“Ten … thousand?” Kim asked in shock.

“Ten,” Hawk said. “Ten people who --right here, right now-- need a way out. The power is dying, the air is stale. We have no information on what might be outside these walls. Some of the computers are dead, some offline, others have security we can't crack. Can you help us?”

“The power's failing?” Kim asked, confused.

Henry was reading the information displayed on her cryo bed. When he finished he said, “It's been five hundred eighteen years since you were captured.”

“That can't be … I mean...” Kim sputtered.

“I'm afraid so sweetie,” Amy told her.

“And the guards?” Kim asked.

“Haven't checked in in centuries,” Shego said.

Kim walked to the nearest computer terminal. “Give me a minute,” she said.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Random thoughts on Kim Possible

As I may have mentioned at some point or other, I have no TV.  This is not something that was unforeseen, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford TV forever and thus built up a video library, mostly of movies, when I did have it.

That said, sometimes one isn't in the mood for a movie.

I know that I mentioned that during a time when I had no properly working computer I ended up reading a lot of fan fiction because text is something that goes really well with intermittent internet connection.  All you need is a connection for the less than a second it takes to load web page with nothing but text and you're set for however long it takes to read, which can be quite long.

That led to me writing Being more than a Simulacrum which currently has three installments (One, Two, Three) and in writing it I found out the very useful fact that Disney has released the series, in its entirety, for free online.

That was really important for writing part two, linked to above, because if I hadn't re-watched the somewhat infamous tower scene the story would have gone completely differently.  (There's seriously dramatic choir music that I tend to associate with religious apocalypses playing while Kim smiles at having electrocuted* and dropped a building on her foe, in the rain, as ominous lightning flashes behind Kim.)

Anyway, I've been watching Kim Possible.  I'm going to be trying to watch more of the show, probably in chronological order though I haven't quite started with that effort, because in addition to Being more than a Simulacrum I've got another thing I recently rediscovered on my computer that already has 30 pages in it and, you know, stuff.

The first Kim Possible episode I ever saw was the first one ever released, for all I know it could have been the first time an episode of Kim Possible was ever shown.  I didn't think much of it, then again I was in pretty deep depression at the time and I didn't think much of anything.

I'm not entirely sure which other ones I caught before sort of stumbling into the middle of the fan fiction.  I know I saw Sink or Swim in which Ron gets to be the hero on the basis of having awesome arts and crafts skills and--RTCs shudder at this--a willingness to lie.  (Which was much better than the eventual series finale in which Ron gets to be the hero on the basis of being the messianic chosen one of mystical magical mojo.)  Beyond having seen that and the first one, Crush, I have no idea what I'd seen previously.  Well, I think I saw at least parts of the first movie.  But other than that no idea.

It's a weird experience to go from being immersed in the fandom to dealing with the source material.  The fandom, of course, has utter crap, but it also has stuff that's much much better than the original.  Also, the parts that I bumped into had a habit of taking themselves more seriously.

Dr. Director is the Kim Possible version of Nick Fury.  That's why she has an eyepatch, for example.  But the fandom tends to make her much more like Nick Fury than the show does.  In the show she's played almost entirely for laughs.  Read a fan fic with her in it and whether she's good or evil she'll almost certainly be formidable.  It can be somewhat jarring to go from that to the show's version where she's uninformed (in her first appearance the "classified" information she's trying to protect was declassified decades prior and is legally available on the web) and downright childish (see her argument with her twin brother.)

The biggest thing that I've noticed, though, is how hostile the show could be to consent.

Two shows end with someone (Ron's cousin in one, the villain in another) being mind-controlled into being good.  One ends with Shego being left unattended in a place where she's completely incapacitated and any command given to her will bypass her senses and go directly to mind control, in that episode a fictional version of Simon Cowell is known to be under mind control and no one makes any attempt to free him.  Still on the subject of Shego, one episode ends with her under the influence of a device that completely controls her emotions and, since it currently has her in a rage and pointed at Kim's arch-foe (Shego's boss) the heroes see it as a matter for mirth.

There's an episode that ends with one of the characters being forced to love someone against his will via a love ray device.  (I think we're meant to feel that it's poetic justice because he used one on someone earlier in the episode.  You know, Poetic Justice: proof that two wrongs do make a right.)

When Kim gets amnesia (because that gets used on every show ever) her dad takes the opportunity to try to condition her into liking his favorite show.  Because when someone gets (temporary in this case) brain damage the appropriate response is totally to try to rebuild their personality the way you want it to be.  And getting her to like a TV show is totally a legitimate reason to try to rewire your daughter (though, it should be remembered, with conditioning rather than invasive techniques.  It's not a moral distinction, you understand, but this is a show where he probably could rewire her in a closer to literal fashion so it's worth being clear.)

It's not just mind control, of course, but I do have one more point before I quickly list some other things and then close on a high note.  The episode where Kim loses her memory is one where there's an attempt to use mind control that ultimately fails.  In it Drakken uses the word "zombie" and that threw me for a bit until I realized that he was going old school.  Specifically Béla Lugosi old.

In 1929 William Seabrook introduced the word "zombie" to US English, in 1932 the film White Zombie starring Béla Lugosi came out.  It's the first zombie film ever and was based on Seabrook's work.  The concept does involve dead people walking around, but it's not brain-eating dead hoards.  It's slaves with no will of their own.

By the time you get into the modern world, the audience to whom Drakken's lines are speaking, that particular form of slavery has become inextricably linked with the ideas of Wade Davis.  Davis' work isn't scientifically supported, and most people have probably never heard of him, but while the specifics don't get around the general idea does.

General idea goes like this: Zombies are not reanimated corpses, in fact there's no magic involved, instead they are people who have been drugged in such a way that they have basically no will of their own and thus are extremely open to suggestion.  The perfect slave labor force.

And this leads to a weird sort of dichotomy.  If you say "zombie" in a setting with monsters it calls to mind the fantastical.  Zombie apocalypses are many things, but they're not really that realistic.  On the other hand if you say the exact same word in a mind control setting it serves to ground things.  Mind control is an idea that's pretty fantastical and it can be a difficult thing to get a mental grip on.

Not caring is a real thing.  In some cases this does lead to people who will do whatever they're told provided that the thing isn't too complex and doesn't require motivation.

Mood altering drugs are a real thing.

Using the second to cause the first in an effort to create a workforce of unskilled laborers who don't demand compensation or good working conditions is much more believable than most forms of sci-fi/fantasy mind control and so it passes the, "Yeah, I guess that could work," test.

If you're dealing with a far fetched concept but you want it to pass suspension of disbelief calling people's attention to a similar thing that passes the, "Yeah, I guess that could work," test is helpful.

Anyway, I was going to give non-mind control related examples of the show not exactly being consent-friendly.  Just examples, not in depth discussions.  Obviously the bad guys do bad things--that's why I didn't have things like the mind control chip or mind controlling people into being evil in the part where I talked about mind control--but the good guys kind of trample consent too.  So we have things like Kim signing up Ron for a job against his stated wishes and without his knowledge, we have Wade a) hacking into Kim's bank account, b) reading her diary, c) putting tracking technology on Ron and presumably Kim as well without their knowledge, d) still doing that after they've talked about the ethical ramifications of it... and I honestly don't know if I can top Wade.  I had other examples but Wade-as-creepy-techno-stalker sort of forced them out of my head.

Anyway, high note:

Shego.  Shego, Shego, Shego.

While some things can't really live up to their fandom-selves when you view the real thing, Shego is fucking awesome.  Better than I remembered her.

Watching Kim Possible makes one wish there were a Shego Show.  It's like having one of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys inside the movie interacting with the characters and generally being awesome.  Shego can never win because she's on the antagonist's team, but good God is she fun.

Nicole Sullivan, Shego's voice actor, deserves enormous credit.


* Pedantically, "electrocuted" is supposed to mean "executed by means of electricity" but a) we don't use the word that way, and, b)what happened to Shego should have ended her life.