Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Speed Writing for Speed Painting

Hey all, I've slowed down the rate of posting recently as most of my attention is focused on finishing up a larger writing project (hopefully I'll be able to post about it here soon). So it was a pleasant surprise when Ioan dropped by to tell me that we was going to crank out a series of speed paintings this week (all done in under 90 minutes). Here's a set of speedy writings I put together to match them. I hope you all enjoy!


Marshall watched with grim satisfaction as the ULIK pulse drive rose slowly up out of the jagged ruins of the space station, the squat booster wending its way through the torn belly of the storage bay on tiny bursts of pressurized air. The two guidance cables that wound from the control unit to the ULIK floated as well, snaking around him in coils as they rose up into cold space.

With a soft kick, Marshall floated up to join the ULIK, squinting as the shimmering outline of the blue planet to come into view. Hasson and the others didn't know yet that he was still alive, but that was about to change. He pushed the ULIK gently, pointing the tip of the booster down towards the shimmering planet. Marshall didn't really care where on the surface the booster crash-landed, as long as it hit the atmosphere the rocket's fuel cell would go up in a multi-kiloton explosion. He could almost imagine the looks on their faces when the fireball lit up their little preserve. He had twenty more of these things in the storage bay, and aiming could wait for later.

Marshall entered in the ignition code and unhooked the ancient guidance cables. Dropping back down into the chamber below he paused for a second to look up and see a gout of white hot flames erupt out of the ULIK's backside as it hurtled away from the station and into a collission orbit with the planet below.

He smiled. Merry Christmas you bastards.  


Carla eased the safety off the hunter gun as she continued to move across the obsidian black skin of the processing station. Above her, past the jutting solar barriers, she could see the inflamed glow of the star, throwing waves of fire against the blackened hulk. Even sticking as close as she was to the barriers, Carla could almost feel the solar radiation slice through the suit and into her body.

Forget it sister, she told herself, after this is done you'll have more than enough money to pay for cancer treatment.

In front of her, past the tips of the grinder array, she could see the cool, glowing blue of the intersep arrays beaming threads of data into the folds of hyperspace. Jamming herself up tight against the solar barriers, Carla raised the gun up to her visor, sighting in the pale blue dots, and fired.  

Ahura brought the hoverbike to a stop on the waterfront next to the hovering husk of the Beetle. Taking his helmet off, Ahura took in a deep breath, enjoying the sensation as the salty air flowed into his lungs. The dark blue waters lapped around his boots, the edges of the waves lit in a foamy silver by the low-hanging binary star. To his right, the smooth curves of the Beetle hung wordlessly, lit by the same opalescent glow.

Closing his eyes, Ahura slipped out of his human avatar, each of its five senses fading away one by one as his ephemeral white form phased out and over to the waiting Beetle.

Ahura stretched as he felt himself merge into the Beetle, the servos and memory cores come to life as his essence poured into this new shell. Ahura turned his still wakening scanner banks over to his human avatar, standing immobile next to the hoverbike. He wished he'd be able to take it with him after this wall all over.

Ahura's essence continued to stretch and flex into the Beetle, reactors humming back to life as Ahura slowly pushed off from the waterfront, moving back up towards space. The humans had responded and now it was time to see what the rest of his people were going to do about it.


Meacham drummed his fingers idly on the flightboard as the small gauge on the fuel readout inched slowly upwards. Looking out past segmented planes of cockpit glass, he took in what looked like an absolutely beautiful summers day, with a pale blue sky peaking out from behind strands of rolling clouds.

The view was deceptive of course; the clouds were laced with a hydrochloric acid that was even now slowly eating away at the hull of his shuttle. Nobody stopped off on Krianos if they could avoid it, and nobody stayed longer than they had to. All the equipment hooked up to his ship was covered in a thick layer of rubberized plastic, even the refueling bot stomping about outside was wrapped in the stuff.

Nasty place, Meacham thought as he flicked his gaze back to the fuel gauge.

Frank rocked back on the balls of his feet, the tips of his bare toes sticking out over the black abyss of the elevator shaft. A noose of braided plastic lay wrapped around his neck, his hands tightly bound behind his back.

From behind him, Frank heard the clacking of high heels, and tasted the lavendar scent of Jasmine’s perfume wafting into his nostrils. “I’m sorry Frank, I really am.” Frank almost felt that the tinge of regret in her voice might be real, but he bit his tongue, saying nothing. He continued doing what he had done through the whole process of being trussed up for execution. Rolling his shoulders, listening to their quiet popping as he flexed against his bonds.

With a sigh Jasmine stepped back and a large hand grabbed his shoulder, shoving hard and toppling him into the shaft. The wind whipped past him as he hurtled downwards, the cord around his neck hissing as it unwound.

Not even bothering to think, Frank jerked his arms downwards, almost wrenching them out of their sockets as he pulled them up under his legs and up in front of his chest. He clawed at the unspooling cord, wrapping it around his forearms as it reached the end of its length. The rope snapped tight, cutting into his arms before unwinding and jerking him back upwards in a macabre bounce. He gurgled, feeling the noose tighten around his throat as he grabbed onto the rope with all his strength. He bounced once more before coming to a stop, swinging slowly in the inky blackness of elevator shaft.

Gulping in a ragged breath, he rolled his head up to see Jasmine’s silhouette peering down into the dark pit, it stayed for a second and turned away. Did she know he was still alive? Frank hung there, the rope wrapped around his hands and elbows, swaying slowly in the dead air of the shaft. The subtle creaks and groans of the rope were his only companion as he waited for his attempted killers to leave him for dead.

Tenzig settled into a cross-legged position and looked out over the monastery courtyard. The warmth of the summer day lay heavy in the air, but pale shadows cast by the pagoda held the heat at bay, gracing his skin with a soft gentleness. The small, round leaves of the carefully trimmed trees shimmered as the sunlight played against them, dancing furtively in the breeze.

He closed his eyes. For a moment the world was replaced with an afterimage of sensations. The whispering of the wind, the scraping of leaves dancing across the courtyard, the babbling of the river flowing, the chirping of a solitary bird. One by one these faded away, replaced by nothingness, the peace of Nirvana.

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