Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A state in which a Shade brings to bear the full power of his or her Artifact.  This usually results in a physical transformation, sometimes into something far-removed from the human form.

Under non-taxing conditions, a Shade can remain Dark indefinitely, benefiting from the full range of powers afforded by his or her Artifact. Prolonged strenuous activity, activity that constantly requires an output up to the Artifact's rank, will temporarily exhaust the Artifact and the Shade will be forced back into his or her depowered state and will require rest.

Some psychics do not physically change when going Dark, but undergo some permanent change when first accepting their Artifacts into their bodies. This usually manifests as an alteration of the skin color.

Monday, May 30, 2011


"Fruit" produced by the Viscain Tree, and thus by the Viscain Emperor, for the express purpose of creating Shades. Artifacts usually undergo some transformation directed by the Emperor before being introduced into the host.  For example, the Seeds of the Coffin Fruit were refined into the Kaiser Bones, the Block 2 prize offered at the 10,688 Artifact Competition.

Though similar varieties exist, this "fruit" is always unique and acts as an inexhaustible power source for the recipient Shade, making him or her effectively immortal. It also augments the Shade mentally and physically by a factor of its rank, enhances the senses, eliminates the need for food, drink, and respiration, and, further, provides the Shade with some additional, signature ability.

Artifact ranks and unique abilities vary widely.  Ranks usually range from 18 to 25, but there are exceptions. The "signature" ability conferred on the host sometimes complements his or her innate abilities, and sometimes adds something altogether new.

A kind of pseudo-telepathic communication between Artifacts is possible up to a range of 2000 meters. This communication is non-invasive, requires consent from both parties, and transmits on some unknown wavelength exclusive to Shades. Perhaps more impressive, though, is the ability of all Artifacts to process spoken language. With sufficient input, any organized system of communication can be rendered intelligible by Artifacts, but aural input is most efficient for the human host and provides a template for reproducing any alien language relying on sounds that fall within sensory range.

After being introduced into their hosts, some Artifacts are still readily visible in their refined form, as an ornament or perhaps a weapon, but most are completely internalized. In either case, Artifacts are always inextricably connected to their hosts. They are very difficult to destroy, in some cases even more difficult to isolate, but the destruction of an Artifact means certain and painful death for its host.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mont Cranden

Height: 182 cm
Weight: 89 kg
Gravity Rank: 10
RPP: 890
RMP: 5,500
Birthdate: 9312.235

Artifact: Gate Crown
Artifact Rank: 20
Dark RPP: 17,800
Dark RMP: 110,000
Artifact Award Date: 9350.001

Category: Psychic
Discipline: Pocket Dimension Creation, Various Minor Powers

Rank: General, 18th Generation, Retired

Residence: Locsard Psychic Academy

Mont Cranden's Gate Crown greatly facilitates his innate ability to create dimensional vaults, enabling him to create up to a total of 11,000 cubic meters of enclosed, sequestered space, to which only he has access. These vaults can remain semi-permanently in place where originally constructed or be mobile, following criteria of Cranden's devising. In either case, his vaults and their contents are invisible to and inaccessible from the outside world. It is possible to tax the boundaries of one of Cranden's vaults from the inside and find escape, but this requires a uniform and substantial display of force directed simultaneously against a large enough portion of the vault's inner surface area to overwhelm Cranden's mental constraints.

Besides his vaults, Cranden possesses a number of other psychic disciplines, most notably true, invasive telepathy and minor telekinetic powers, which are limited to his person and mostly aid in self-defense.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cov Merasec

Height: 192 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Gravity Rank: 24
RPP: 1,920
RMP: 100
Birthdate: 9966.103

Artifact: Fugue Inducer
Artifact Rank: 18
Dark RPP: 34,560
Dark RMP: 1,800
Artifact Award Date: 10011.211

Category: F-Gene Fighter
Discipline: Wind Fission Kama

Rank: Specialist, Triangle Squad, Retired

Residence: Planet 1251

When Dark, Cov Merasec is covered in thin interlocking, matte-black flexible plates, topped with a cubist's crude interpretation of a crow's head. Invoking the Fugue Inducer enables him to supplement his signature Copy Twin technique, developed from Approaching Infinity theory, to unimaginable levels, becoming a one-man army of up to 1,800 strong. Cov suffers no ill effects at the death of any of his Fugue Army, and in fact, can effect a sort of serial immortality, as long as just one, even if not the original, remains alive.

Kimbal Furst

Height: 180 cm
Weight: 76 kg
Gravity Rank: 25
RPP: 1,900
RMP: 100
Birthdate: 9973.127

Artifact: Taikou Quills
Artifact Rank: 22
Dark RPP: 41,800
Dark RMP: 2,200
Artifact Award Date: 10000.001

Category: F-Gene Fighter
Discipline: Rush Hands

Rank: Specialist, Triangle Squad, Retired

Residence: Planet 1305

When Dark, Kimbal Furst becomes a self-sustained nuclear reaction in the form of an anthropomorphic phoenix. His martial training includes Approaching Infinity theory, which he exploits for completely unfettered, free movement.

Laedra Hol

Height: 166 cm
Weight: 50 kg
Gravity Rank: 30
RPP: 1,500
RMP: 100
Birthdate: 9962.302

Artifact: Charging Fork
Artifact Rank: 18 (36)
Dark RPP: 27,000 (54,000)
Dark RMP: 1,800 (3,600)
Artifact Award Date: 10000.001

Category: F-Gene Fighter, Superior Grade
Discipline: 18 Heavenly Claws

Rank: First Specialist, Triangle Squad, Retired

Residence: Planet 1287

The Charging Fork, which sprouts from Laedra Hol's forehead when she goes Dark, enables her to concentrate on discrete characteristics and power them to extraordinary levels.  She typically uses the Fork to substantially increase her grip strength when performing her signature technique, the Sky Fisher Claw, but she can focus the power to enhance her speed, endurance, physical resilience, her Raw Mental Power, etc.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Approaching Infinity!

I've just put up a new blog dedicated to the Approaching Infinity books. Please take a look here.

Um... that's it.

Lor Kalkin

First Specialist, Plague Squad
Category: Psychic
Discipline: Cancer

Height: 174 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Gravity Rank: 25
RPP: 1,875
RMP: 5,300
Birthdate: 10475.253

Artifact: Contamination Pump
Artifact Rank: 22
Dark RPP: 41,250
Dark RMP: 116,600
Artifact Award Date: 10500.001

Residence: Root Palace, Locsard Psychic Academy

When Dark with the Contamination Pump, Lor Kalkin becomes a giant, sickly-purple walking cancer, increasing to 3 meters in height and 3 meters across at the shoulders. He is surprisingly agile for his bulk, however, and is able to direct his potent psychic power to instill rot through unnatural growth by touch or up to a range of 20 meters. His innate discipline enables him to regenerate tissue at an already fantastic rate, but with the aid of the Contamination Pump, he is, perhaps, physically immortal, able to reconstitute himself even after significant loss of body mass.

Jav Holson

Height: 172 cm 
Weight: 73 kg
Gravity Rank: ?
RPP: ?
RMP: 500
Birthdate: ?????.???

Artifact: Ritual Mask
Artifact Rank: 15 (30)
Dark RPP: ?
Dark RMP: 7,500 (15,000)
Artifact Award Date: 10682.031

Category: F-Gene Fighter, Superior Grade
Discipline: 18 Heavenly Claws

Rank: Specialist, Plague Squad

Residence: Planet 1287

The Ritual Mask, though a non-permanent Artifact, gives Jav a number of notable abilities. Like all Artifacts, it augments Jav physically by a factor equal to its rank.  In addition, the Ritual Mask is capable of initiating the Mikai Curse, which cycles up in intensity, forcibly wrenching blood--spilled and readily available or through the very pores of the skin--from all living things in a 200 meter radius. This blood is drawn directly into the Mask until the Mask is satiated and reaches its maximum, doubled potential. So far, Jav has had little success in controlling himself while Dark with the Ritual Mask.

In addition, as a non-permanent Artifact, the Ritual Mask has a finite amount of power and will ultimately fail, taking Jav along with it when it expires--unless he can win the Artifact Competition to be held in 10,688.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Approaching Infinity

A series of mental exercises included as secondary training in a number of martial arts that enables the practitioner to affect the physical world by manipulating space, in a virtual sense, in the mind.  Only those with the F-Gene are able to effectively use Approaching Infinity, or AI, but some psychics have shown a natural aptitude for what Approaching Infinity theory teaches.

The benefits of AI have been most clearly demonstrated in augmenting physical striking power. At the last millisecond before landing a strike, the practitioner visualizes the space between fist and target halving, then halving again, then halving again, and so on as the fist continues on towards its target, ever increasing in velocity and acquiring more and more mass, but never making contact, until finally the practitioner exceeds infinity and delivers the strike with devastating results.

Other uses for AI include movement, both subtle and on a grand scale, reducing the velocity of objects or projectiles, and even being in two places at the same time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Resuming the Fight

Well, not much to report, except that I have started working again on Approaching Infinity: Book 3 (nearly a year on hiatus for that particular project!).  After two and half months of writing absolutely nothing, I'm totally out of practice.  But I'm hopeful.  Hopeful that it won't take too long to get back into the swing of things and hopeful that I can maintain a consistent pace.  Wish me luck.  Or, on second thought, don't.  It's all me or nothing at all, right?

Anyway...  Onward!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Confession

I'd always intended to post more regularly.  The last couple of months have been fairly eventful with the 3/11 earthquake and work has been... stressful.

I wouldn't be unique, I'm quite sure, in saying (repeating, in fact) that time is always the enemy.  There's never enough of it--or maybe I'm just pisspoor at using it effectively--so towards the end of February, I started to think I should just give it all up.  The writing I mean.  Of course it's a lot of work.  Of course I want to be able to devote adequate attention to it.  Of course I want to produce something that I find valuable.  Of course I want to share the results with others who may also find some inherent value.  But in the end, there's a whole lot of wanting and not much in the way of satisfaction.

I really shouldn't complain.  I have a job (at least I did before Golden Week...), I have a roof over my head and food to eat (could even spare a little of the latter), I have a wonderful wife and daughter, both of whom I love dearly.  So... what?  I don't really need anything. 

But I want.

Writing is to me, I suppose, what religion is to others.  I don't put on special clothes or chant or anything, but it's that unquantifiable thing--the spiritual thing, I guess--that keeps me going.  The stories have a life of their own in the back of my mind and they always make themselves heard.   The stories may not be good, they may have dead ends, but they speak to me.

It took about two months for me to start rising out of the funk that began at the end of February.   What this means, number one, is that, hopefully, there will be more frequent posting here.  What this also means is that I think I'm going to forgo pursuing the traditional publishing route.  I'm not giving up on my desire to be published, not yet, anyway, but am actively considering alternatives.

King Yellow is on hiatus.  All Things Comfortable, too.  I'm not going to make any promises until I can provide concrete, factual details on the project I've just started.  Updates to follow.