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Blog Entries posted by sbeaulieu

  1. sbeaulieu
    I think we'd all agree that the American justice system is a tattered one. Laws upon laws the either build and shore up other laws, or undercut others has led our society to lose faith when seeking justice. Celebrities, on most counts, get a slap on the wrist while your run-of-the-mill citizen gets the book thrown at them. This is circumstantial and differs from judge to judge. The levels of impartiality come into question as well.
    This concept came to me while on shift work in Tampa. It starts out with a CEO of a major pharmaceutical and medical supply company (Meditech Industries...just made this up on the spot) who is spirals slowly into depression over the murder of his wife and child. As money usually makes the world go round, his attempts at getting the best investigation (funding police activities out of pocket) team, lawyers, specialists, resulted in zero gain due to a technicality. He lost all faith in the justice system. Jared Mercer takes his fortune and calls it quits, selling off his shares. He cuts all ties with society for several years.
    Judge - Bryce Stefansson. Circuit court judge presiding over a low-profile murder case. All indications look as though the defendant is on the path to accquital, much to his dismay. He's privvy to information that clearly points the defendant as guilty. Years on the bench has made him witness to the guilty walking and the innocent caged. It's the last straw for Bryce. Prior to reconvening, Judge Stefansson secrets a hangun under his bench. He's made his decision and the outcome will be based of the verdict handed down by the jury. The defendant is found not guilty. Bryce pulls the gun and kills the man. He is later found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by the electric chair. Bryce does not appeal the decision.
    Jury - Manford Smith suffers from multiple personality disorder (MPD). At a young age, he suffered physical abuse by the hands of family and strangers alike. Something about him triggered violent reactions. He's rarely known a single day of affection. As a result, his mind has fractured as a coping mechanism. The strange twist is that all his personalities suffer dsyfunction of one sort or another and are all predisposed to violent tendancies. From his perspective, he see others scheming to hurt...and so he one-ups society by striking first and has become known as "Hydra" among the media. He is also one of the most-wanted men in US history having killed dozens in gruesome fashions. As a serial killer, Manford is careful to leave a calling card, but his modus operandi changes each time. The victims are never slain the same way twice, earning him his nickname. Investigations lead authorities to believe this was a cult in action, but only one set of prints were ever found at the scenes. A profiler suggested the killer might have MPD, hence the nickname given. Months later, he is caught and found mentally unfit to stand trial. He is sentenced to a mental hospital.
    Executioner - Jerome Shields had worked timber for as long as he could hold an axe. He would travel the Pacific Northwest taking jobs, supporting a wife and three kids in Georgia. He would visit on occasion or have them visit him whenever there was a break in work. He took a job in Oregon working under the heel of a racist foreman (later to be found out that he had ties to the white supremicists). Jerome was never one prone to violence, but during a visit early in his work, the foreman made threats against his family, working him extra hours for no pay. Jerome persisted despite the negative environment. All others either turned a deaf ear for fear of reprisal. Weeks of unrelenting bigotry made Jerome snap, the straw being a phone call from his wife that their kids were approached by strangers, his eldest son being hospitalized. Jerome drew the conclusion that the foreman was responsible, having contacted connections in Georgia to terrorize his family for nothing more than sport. When police arrived, they were unable to identify the foreman. Due to the vicious nature of the murder, Jerome Shields was put on death row.
    In enters Jared. For the years he was abroad, he whispered in the ears of very influential members of various countries, corporations...all members of an underground society. Jared put forth a project to make a worldly justice that's flawless, seeks out impiracal evidence to substantiate the target's guilt or innocence. The pilot program is to be run under his direction within US territories. Gathering some of the top geneticists, scientists and physicists, he puts a team together to create the ultimate unit together, comprised of three members - Judge, Jury and Executioner. Only thing missing are candidates. After exhaustive efforts, Bryce, Manford and Jerome are selected. They are whisked away to a secret location (details on how will be covered later). Here, they undergo a physical and psychological transformations tailored to the task at hand...hunt down and prosecute some of the most violent and manipulative criminals that often find themselves out of reach from Justice's grasp.
  2. sbeaulieu
    This was a project that I started out with a few friends back home. Again, this story has some heavy influence with my gaming background. Many new platforms have formed this way and my friends and I wanted to capitalize a bit on it. What started out prior to my entering the Air Force has been on the back burner ever since...we've all married, had kids, etc. But we still hold out for a day where we can all collaberate this as a priority. What's even better is that our ideas and ideals for this have not been duplicated anywhere for the past 18 years. That gives me a good measure of optimism with regards to offering a unique tale in a market that's awash with hack & slash varients with varying quality.
    One day in my friend Shaun's house, his brother, Allen, and Allen's best friend, Tim, and I were playing a D&D boardgame. During a break, Allen and Tim were showing us some of their artwork. Allen is very good at detailed drawings whereas Tim is very good at doing shadow work. His art style focuses on the shadows in such a way that you can see faces. I'm not certain of the name of that particular style, but it's very cool shit! We all got to talking how it would be cool for us to do some sort of comic work. Back in the early 90s, Marvel Comics was running a series of 2099 timeline stories for their heros...Spiderman comes to mind first. As we continued our conversation, Allen and Tim got to thinking about what they could draw. Shaun, who's a pagan (not sure if he still practices) had brought out some books regarding the five elements. My best friend, Jay, was brought into the mix as our fifth member. We decided that our binding component would be those five elements, with each one of us being an ambassador of sorts for an elemement. Given our personalities, it lended perfectly to the elements.
    As the days passed, Shaun laid it out best...
    Shaun - Metal
    Allen - Water
    Shane - Wood
    Tim - Fire
    Jay - Earth
    A week after our first foray into this project, Allen and Tim came back with some sketches. In the flavor of the 2099 comics, we started going sci-fi, but then opted for a fantasy setting. Here's the basic outline for our efforts...
    Present day Earth. Five men from different parts of the globe are visited in their dreams by a being from a parallel universe (unknown to us at the's a dream after all). Our dreams are different in appearance, but similar in context...we are to journey to a meeting place. The dreams are rather compelling and come frequently. Each dream is tailored as though this being was able to read our thoughts and use them to tailor the outcomes of what we visualized.
    When we all arrive to our locations, we are transported to various times in our history. The focus is on receiving training from masters in martial applications...from weapons, hand-to-hand, strategy. We're being groomed for battle on many aspects, from foot soldier to commander. This will likely be a separate book similar to an origin-style novel. The details detract from the main story, but is significant enough to warrant its own manuscript. What does matter is once complete, we are put through a gambit of tests as a rite of passage.
    During the test, we find out that others similar in quality and capabilities are pitted against one another. However, in the end, it's us five that make the cut.
    We are given time to tie up loose ends. We're all bachelors and have little to no family and no one to really miss our absence.
    Our first taste of the new world puts us in similar surroundings that suit us. To this point, we have still not met. On Dividia (given name, so far), we are instructed to integrate with the populace. Learn everything that we can about the lay of the land and its people. Become friends, build will take time. I can only offer up my portion of this story. Anyway, I end up in a place known as Snowkeep...forever locked in winter's grasp. It's amazing beautiful. Gigantic conifers blanket the landscape, creased with mountain ranges and covered in snow. I make my home and come to befriend a big cat similar to a snow leopard. I become familiar with a large portion of the area, doing trading, learning routes and some of the key players. I'm given the name Tamarak, derived from the tree tamarack.
    After our settling in period, we are instructed by the being (who introduces himself as the high father...similar to Zeus?) to attend a gathering. This ends up giving us a sense of direction, as no specific place of meeting is given. Now, when we arrive in Dividia, there's still a bit of disagreement as to how we appear. The process of going through our Earthly timeline did age us so that we're in our midlife ages. I asserted that we should show up at our present ages, and then use a "growing younger" approach as part of the storyline as roadsign that we're getting closer to each other. That is, the closer we get to each other, the closer we get to our original ages.
    When we finally meet, the high father tells us why we're here. The balance of good and evil has always been like a pendulum. There are ages of good and evil, but never balance. We are here to set that balance. And the main reason we were brought is that the pendulum has somehow stuck and the age of evil has long since held control. Whatever is causing it to stick, our job is to undo it.
    There's more, but I think this is more than enough for the day...
  3. sbeaulieu
    This was my very first story idea as a sophomore in HS. Our regular English teacher had to take a leave of absence to care for her sick daughter. She was out for the full year (a blessing in disguise as her and I did not see eye to eye on how I should write). Ms. Lind was our substitute and stayed with us the entire year. She was a blessing.
    A couple months into the class, after completing a few writing exercises, she assigned us the task of writing a short story. A fault of mine is being wordy. Not so much from trying to fill pages, but I really like detail. It's hard enough when writers don't give you enough to go on. Some of it is by design and I understand this. But there are those that leave gaps and leaves the story longer allowing the reader to follow along.
    On the due date, I apologized and handed in one chapter. I was pleasantly surprised to get high marks. She pulled me aside as the period ended and told me to keep writing. From that day forth, I spent most of my study halls in the library, writing and jotting notes all the way through senior year.
    The setting is Washington D.C. on 4th of July. A ship of enormous size is in high orbit above Earth. Fireworks are going off in the hundreds around the capital. A shuttle is sent down to investigate, and it touches down on the roof of the Museum of Natural History. Guards are killed by high-explosive rounds and data is stolen from the archives. Police surround the building, not knowing who or what they face. Two of the aliens engage the authorities, wrecking vehicles and structures surrounding the museum. A second fight ensues as the aliens try to get back on the rooftop to make their way back to the mother ship. The climb aboard and escape.
    When the aliens look at the data they realized, with great joy, that it contains information regarding the animal kingdom. Their primary directive is to seek out food sources and here, they've hit the motherlode. Among the aliens, they have a caste of members that are genetically altered to change shape to suit the environment they hunt in. They begin studying their prey, and hunting parties are coordinated.
    Rough draft of what I have so far.
  4. sbeaulieu
    Since as long as I can remember, I've abhored,to a certain degree, jotting down ideas. This relates to a feeling or notion I have that if it's written down and lost, then it's lost for good. I've never been a good note taker, a deficiency of my time management skills. But having been a member here for quite some time, I feel things are in order from a server backup perspective. I can relax a bit knowing there's a good chance my work here won't be "lost" after jotting down ideas. So here goes...
    Souldier Saga is a name I've given this series of works that intend on penning in my lifetime. My approach to this storyline was accidental. When I was stationed in Tampa, FL, back in '95/'96, I was friends with an avid musician named Rob (co-worker). He got me interested further in music as I had dabbled in shortcutting guitar through use of tablature. I had really enjoyed it. So much so that I thought I might try my hand a song-writing. It was a way of conveying a story in a much smaller manner than, say, a book. One night at work, I started to write some lyrics...a battle hymn (I was very much into D&D back in those days). I had picture two mighty warriors, champions of opposing causes, charging headlong to each other on the backs of veteran warhorses. Armored to the teeth, Adros and Krishaka braced themselves for impact. Taking a break pondering how to proceed, I started brainstorming a bit. I don't remember the exact thought, but I scrapped the lyrics in favor of a new book. Over the course of a few days, I started fleshing it out a bit. I conceived a concept of the ultimate universal game played by two entities, one of good and one of evil. A bit cliche, but it's all in the presentation.
    As my story goes, two life forces are bound together, destined to influence worlds and galaxies. When times dictate that a world must be played, both forces are combined as one. A special individual, known as a legatee (inheritor of a legacy) will be imbued with both entities...a possession of sorts. They do not control him, but become separate consciences within him. One whispers reason, while the other whispers passion. The legatee, from the onset of "the game" becomes the most powerful force on that planet. It comes at a price...his sanity, as he is forever locked in his mind with the company of Adros and Krishaka, never to be alone with his thoughts.
    The vehicle of the story involves the changing of hosts throughout the course of the stories. Upon the Legatee's death, Adros and Krishaka are unshackled from each other, immediately seeking new and separate hosts. Their motto in the gaming evirons is "In death, seek life" (though each hold differing opinions as to what signifies life). The catch and the spontaneity of these sequences is that each host is random, the determination made by moments of death, and births that follow from the moment the lifeforms leave their previous hosts. One such story will be the endgame, where each enter hosts that are twin princes.
    There is also a metamorphosis of sorts once the forces enter a host. At birth, Adros and Krishaka hybernate until puberty. At puberty, their emergence into the hosts' awareness is minimal, inhabiting the subconcious regions of the mind, and providing a small trickle of power. Once the host enters adulthood, they become fully aware...the life forces now inhabiting the conscious mind. Adros and Krishaka bring with them the memories of previous hosts as far back as the Legatee of that world. As any evolution of offensive and defensive tactics, the memories allow for previous mistakes (or gamemanship) to be avoided. With new tactics, the host is able to assert their strengths in finding ways to defeat his opponent. The game pits Adros in Krishaka in battles of wit and arms, their hosts as a means to accomplish this. Random hosts ensures fair play, where manipulation or proper teaching by the lifeforms is part of the strategy.
    The setting of the world is one thing I'm still not certain mind's changed several times. As the universe is undoubtedly populated by vast numbers of beings with differing levels of evolution/technology, I'm still trying to peg down a place. One thing I'm certain of is that this world is caught in a figure-eight orbit between a binary star system. It's something I'd like to invest in as I think it would add to the complexity of the world's enviornment...seasons, landscapes, flora and fauna, etc. I was also thinking of something in the dystopic sense. I find that in the darkest of places, the smallest of lights shine brightest (alluding to the hero types in the story). The level of technology might either be post-apocolyptic (which would fit a dystopic setting), or a flourishing global society, underpinned by malevolence at the highest reaches of influential power (another setting fit for a dystopia). This would also intertwine with which life force lost the previous game, Adros being good and Krishaka being evil (i.e., loser chooses the next board on which they play).
    In all, the first book "Legatee" will follow how one individual, influential in his community as a protector and advisor, comes to find Adros and Krishaka in a harshly austere desert plateau. It shows how he copes and does their bidding to set the stage for when his time comes to pass. It samples the conflict he endures in his brainpan with two others (Three's Company anyone?). It witnesses choices and consequences, both good and bad. It comes down to balance in the end. There can be no good without evil, since one is countered at turns in life by the varying degrees.
    ~ Shane