Tangled Tokens

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So my 9th novel is now complete and in the middle of the editing process.  The book, entitled “Tangled Tokens,” will be the first of the series I’m calling “The Adjusters.”  It will tell the story of the rebuilding of civilization after the Cen War, through the eyes of a number of Deryk Shea’s Adjuster’s […]

Starhaven Pt 1

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In between one breath and the next

for me, in this land beyond,

was yet a year passed back home

unknown

My family grew, laughed, and cried

Certain I had died

But I dined and danced beyond the veil

In what seemed 

but a single passing night

Valhalla, Avalon, the Blessed Isles, Paradise, Heaven, the Courts of Faerie.  The dimensional construct now known as Starhaven has been featured in many mythologies, tales thrown down around a campfire, of experiences in a place no mortal could quite comprehend.

Time stands still in a static universe.  Starhaven is a construct so large that no valid estimates of its size actually exist.  Attempts to circumnavigate the colossal structure in spacecraft have come to naught.  Those who have attempted it just loose their way and end up back where they started.  Even computers and mapping devices come up short.

Starhaven is broken up into several sections, each accessible to the others via teleporter pads in each region.  There is no other known way to get from one section to another otherwise.

The regions now seem well designed to serve the function impressed upon them by the Interworld Agencies as a clearing house for equipment, agents, and other resources, as well as several common areas for entertainment and housing.

The Starhaven Bazaar itself takes up one whole section and is, in general, a mercantile free-for all.  If it exists, you’ll likely find it somewhere at the Bazaar.  The Bazaar itself is run by a merchant’s guild, who is in turn represented on the Immortal High Court.

Violence is frowned upon, but generally tolerated as long as intentions don’t run toward the deadly.  These days the law, such as it is, will be enforced by the Phoenix Squad, 50 of the fiercest mortal fighters on Starhaven, backed up by the Immortal Dedra Phoenix.

In case of an outside attack they can shut down the worldgates and remain unmolested for as long as they leave them down.  There is only one rift between Starhaven and the outside universes, and thus that single rift can be taken down.

(This is not strictly true, however certain the Starhaven Agency Manuals might say otherwise.  On more than one occasion an externally activated rift and gate was able to breach the outer defenses.  Each time the interlopers were driven off).

The Sections of Starhaven are as follows:

Agency:  The offices and classrooms of the primary Interworld Agencies, including a good portion of their internal R&D operations.

Housing: Divided by agency.  Family, individual, and co-hab units.

Bazaar.

Entertainment:  Cinemas, concert halls,  Practice yards and shooting ranges.  Swimming pools, museums, virtual zoo, 

Magitech Commercial:  Magitech Bank, the original Magitech Lounge, The Magitech Outlet, Havoc’s Ye Old and New Weapon Shoppe.

Magitech Private:  Housing for members of Magitech and Mirage.  Artificer’s labs.

Medical Section.  Helix Headquarters plus R&D and medical facilities.

High Court:  ArchAngel’s apartments, Phoenix team barracks.  High Court Chambers.  Other immortal apartments/suites.

Worldgate:  The only way on and off Starhaven.

(Note:  Kids are generally raised off Starhaven, at least a good part of the time.  They do not age if they remain within the dimensional rift where Starhaven exists.  It is not unusual for way stations on backwater Earths to be staffed by a whole family.  It provides early training for the young and allows them a chance to actually grow older).

The Infinity Bible Part I

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Loki’s Sin

The immortal Loki released five nano-viruses, two of them by accident.  Meta, Para, and Arcanus viruses, plus the Nosferatu and Lycanthropy viruses.  The last being a mutation of the Nosferatu.  In the wake of this release, humans began developing abilities they’d only dreamed about.  Superhuman individuals began to appear, and in the dark places whispers began of the undead, as well as creatures living in the storm sewers.

Parahumans are simply humans with advanced physical or mental abilities.  Enhanced strength, speed, intelligence, agility, and/or some combination thereof.

Metahumans manifest strange abilities.  They’re generally a little stronger and tougher than an ordinary human, but their power generally lies in some other department, many following standard superhero tropes.  Some 05% of them are turned into ‘trolls,’ freakishly twisted humanoids—usually much larger and stronger than the norm.

Mages are those who were infected by the Arcana virus, the one that reversed what the Cen’s nanviruses did to the humans.  (Little did anyone know that the Ghost Dance only failed because the epidemics that spread through the native population had been designed to strip them of their power).

Vampires are infected by the Nosferatu virus, which was created when Loki tried to recreate the (for them) rather fortunate accident that turned him and his 200 some companions into immortals rather than simply killing them outright along with most of the rest of the population of their homeworld.

The first lycanthrope came to be when the fledgling later known as Raven drank his first blood from a wolf and became the Lord of Dogs, prompting him to leave the wolf alive but weakened.  Even as the wolf fought the virus it savaged Ben Dalmas in defense of its new alpha.

The virus changed him, creating an amalgamation of wolf and primate, capable of shifting forms but not having any of the pure cellular fluidity that marks a vampire.  Any cell in a vampire’s body is capable of mimicking or becoming any other cell.  Which makes them very hard to kill.  But a lycanthrope is so physically dense that knives and bullets and small air to surface missiles barely leave a mark.  Yes, both new vampires and new lycanthropes have to “eat” a lot in order to help their new bodies adapt to their change in circumstance.

Vampires aren’t human.  They’re a human brain atop a colony of active biosculpted cells that can mimic any cell in the human body at will, requiring only the simplest nourishment, oxygenated blood, in order to survive.  And even that fades in time as the nosferatu virus gets better at being a vampire.  Only destruction of the brain or brain stem can kill a vampire.  Same goes for a lycanthrope.  This

Some vampires acquire special powers.  All are stronger and faster than humans, but some can perform great tricks of mind or body.  Raven can remain undetected from anything he chooses, from human eyes to a dog’s tracking abilities to technology to psychic powers and magic.   He is one of the initial few and might have acquired  a great deal more power than subsequent generations.

It took a few years for people to catch on to what had happened to their world, but when superpowers and preternatural beings began showing up, it became clear that something had gone wonky.

At this point the other immortals start getting involved.  Deryk Shea, a well-known industrialist—as well as the Captain of the ship that initially carried the immortals between universes—offers to help the government fund a special agency dedicated to policing the preternatural and superhuman community.

The Paranormal Affairs Commission creates two subdivisions.  MAD (The Magical Activities Division), colloquially known as the MAD Squad, and the Law Enforcement Officers of the Preternatural Action Response Division. “LEOPARDs,” as they’re also known.

Tacoma, Washington becomes the center of superhuman and preternatural activity.  (Why?  Because I live there, it’s a port, and it’s a good out of the way city to place something important like that).  It’s also known as Freak City.

We recognize some of these names.  Thor, Athena, Sif, Thanatos, Hecate, Gabriel, Loki.  Hermes, Odin, Nemesis.  Hades.  Kali.  Others you will come to recognize.  Raven, Jasmine Tashae, Nyx Deathweb, Artificer, Bonedance.

Maybe you’d like to create your own.  Feel free.  I would love to see others’ interpretation of how my world might look in their environs.  Australia, Europe, Japan, S. America?  How would the war and the aftermath effect your region of the world?

Infinity Timeline

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25,000 BCE (give or take)  The immortals arrive, begin spreading out over the face of the globe and taking up the mantle of gods in the various pantheons, discovering as they do so that the collective beliefs of mankind can bestow great power upon those who can wield the hammer and javelins of godhood.

4000 BCE (or thereabouts)  Gabriel assumes the role of Moses, begins the creation of the the bible with the intention of stealing assumed god power from the other immortals.

0 (Approximately) Gabriel takes on the guise of Joshua son of Joseph, eventually to be known as Jesus Christ.

600 CE  Gabriel creates Islam.

1338  Cen agents release the most powerful of their nanoviruses designed to strip humanity of its innate ability to perceive and manipulate magical forces.

1492 Official discovery of the New World

1500 to 2004 Loki gathers evidence that the ancient enemy has tracked them down.

2004 Hades creates the first goblins.

2005  “Loki’s Sin.”

2006 “Of Man and Monster”

“Fear Itself”

2007 Creation of the Paranormal Affairs Commission

2008 “Freak City”

“The President and the Predator”

2008-2010 “Lady of Blades.”

2020- “Wolf Born.”

2020- 2050 The Cen War “Breaking of the World.”

2055-2100 Unification Wars

2060  First Wave Immortal Migration to Starhaven.

2105  Signing of the First Unification Treaty, bringing the Americas under one government.  Deryk Shea’s government.

2120 Creation of the first mage ship.

2215 “Nyx and Jaz”

2255 Sword and Shadow

2260 Death of Heroes

2262 Tales from the Magitech Lounge