Archive for March, 2011

I’m addicted to this song. Apparently it from a Japanese commercial.

Congratulations marketers!

The Internet is a giant slush pile, and I’m the unpaid intern wading through it. Here’s a bit of pretty dredged from the dreck.

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend everyone.

Frigid and I had a long talk before I wrote this post, and I ran the final draft past her before I put it up. She’s still more than a little irritated with me, but she said there’s enough rumors floating around about why things went down they way they did that an accurate explanation won’t upset her more than the rumors.

We wrapped up Project Cut Flowers last week, and it didn’t end as most of you expected. My apologies for that, but operation security required keeping this one close until I was ready to implement it.

As Suncloud personnel massed to attack our skyship, the Dimension Projector began its final countdown. The Projector is an ugly piece of business. It takes everything in its field of fire, disconnects it from its home universe, and throws it away. At the range we were at, it would take out the entire Suncloud and anything attached to it and turn them into a bit of flotsam bobbing in the reality streams between the universes.

I clapped Pipewrench on the back to get his attention as he gave orders to repulse the Suncloud’s assault. He turned on me in irritation then collapsed as the Incapacity Restraint I had slapped on him coursed through his body. It’s a useful little gadget if you don’t have to worry about your prisoner walking on their own feet or answering questions. With Pipewrench safely out of the command loop, I issued my own orders for Technefarious staff to teleport away, starting with those attending to the Projector and finishing with those holding off the Suncloud’s forces.

I stayed behind, waiting for the countdown to get closer to zero. I wasn’t really expecting anyone from the floating island to get to the command center in time to shut it down, but I also didn’t want to take that chance. We have enough enemies on this planet without squaring away an opportunity to get some of them off of it.

That’s when Pipewrench surprised me by talking. I’m still impressed by that. The Incapacity Restraint is pretty hefty piece of technology, and he had started to work around it in just minutes with no tools handy. He was curious about what I was up to. Well, curious understates his intensity. Sufficient to say, despite the effort it took him to gasp his words, he still took the time to pepper his questions with cursing. He couched his question in the form of an accusation, but I felt he deserved an answer.

I told him I had offered the Positronic Ghost a part in Project Cut Flower in exchange for money. The Ghost declined, citing Pipewrench’s involvement with the project. This struck me as curious. Certainly, Technefarious has its share of bad blood among its former employees, but it’s at rate far lower than most villainous organizations, even after factoring in the number that have personally died by my hands. It seems sometime before I joined the organization, Pipewrench had decided the personal limits of Frigid’s chosen moniker. This was unwise, as Frigid’s powers are well balanced between offense and defense. Pipewrench survived the experience, but there were rumors about it even back then. The Positronic Ghost’s vices include recreational snooping, and he happened to catch the event firsthand. When I asked about his distaste for Pipewrench, he shared this bit of history with me.

Although it was before my time, I still frown strongly on criminal activity practiced on fellow members of Technefarious. I have, in fact, slain henchmen for the inability to get along with their fellows. Nevertheless, I am not a hasty man, so I approached Frigid to discuss the matter. She was not pleased with me for bringing up her past with Pipewrench, but as my second-in-command, she has a significant say in our organization. Unaware of their history, I had agreed to set up Project Cut Flowers for him without consulting her. She saw through my soft selling and told me that if she wanted Pipewrench dead, she would have done herself. Furthermore, she then forbade me to kill Pipewrench on her behalf.

My hands tied, I proceeded with Project Cut Flowers as quickly as I could. Despite how irritating I found working with Pipewrench, he never presented an excuse to dispose of him. His use of Technefarious would even ensure he’d succeed in his efforts to send his former countrymen of the Suncloud adrift in the multiverse. Our contract, however, did not say whether or not Pipewrench would accompany them on the journey. After modifying his designs in our drive to save time, my staff had pointed out to me that if certain safeguards were removed, the Dimension Projector would end up traveling with its target, lost among the worlds. Before we had launched the attack, I had made sure those safeguards were removed.

In pain-filled grunts, Pipewrench told me he’d kill me himself. The countdown was almost complete by then, but I took a moment to answer him with some satisfaction that I certainly hope he tried as I was fairly certain Frigid would forgive me for self-defense. Then I allowed our teleportation teams to rescue me from the doomed vessel.

Satellite imagery indicates the skyship with the Dimension Projector disappeared from the Earth the same time as the Suncloud.

Have a good week everyone. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man

Something for the Americans today to help expand their political horizons: The sheer awesomeness of Dutch politics.

I love a good parliamentary system.
The Internet is a giant slush pile, and I’m the unpaid intern wading through it. Here’s a bit of pretty dredged from the dreck.

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend everyone.

We’re running Operation Cloudburst as I write this. This is the final stage of Project Cut Flowers, where Pipewrench pursues his revenge against his fellow countrymen of the Suncloud by firing his Dimension Projector at their sky-flying island. We didn’t dig too much into the reasons he wants revenge, but he is a villain and this is his response, so I’m guessing it isn’t actually proportional to severity of the harm he received.

Pipewrench is giving the orders to the Technefarious personnel onboard his skyship while I act as the admiral to his captain. As an admiral with only one ship, I’m mostly tracking reports and waiting for my special talents to be needed. So far I’ve plenty of time to type this and have a nice cup of tea.

We got pretty close before we were detected. The invisibility mist cloaking our skyship worked flawlessly right until one of the natives of the Suncloud out on a Sunday flight slammed into us. Unfortunately, she was the fairly sturdy sort, so the collision didn’t knock her out of the sky, nor did the gunfire from our machine/laser/plasma guns.

Our craft is a fairly ugly thing if you could actually see it. It’s basically a big floating platform the size of three warehouses with the Dimension Projector and defensive structures strapped to it. It’s not pretty and takes more people to run than it would have otherwise, but we were hurrying to get this done with. Throw in the Assault teams on board to repel borders, and it’s pretty crowded. We’re basically going to have to moor ourselves to the Suncloud to ensure the Dimension Projector catches it all, so it’s not like we could leave them behind. Teleporting everyone out if something happens to our skyship could get dicey. Good thing we have all those Transportation teams standing by, isn’t it?

Initial contact with the Suncloud’s defenses was fun. They couldn’t see us, so they covered our part of the sky with flak. Theoretically, it either should have hit us or revealed our location by the lack of explosions. Except our force fields shrugged off their shots, and our magicians cast illusions of fake explosions to match the rest of the sky. I’m so glad Dr. Occultomancer built a decent Occult department for Technefarious before I took over.

It’s been easier for the Suncloud’s forces to find us since we’ve made physical contact with the island. Their laser-shooting spider automatons were pretty much useless. Lasers go right through invisible things. We probably would have ignored them, but they started coming onto our skyship. Pipewrench had the Assault teams use them for target practice, which attracted the attention of the Suncloud’s catapults. Catapults are not something I would normally consider a threat, but they’re using grey-goo nanobot shots sheathed in a counter-force field field. Remind me to have the science department steal the latter technology and come up with a better name for it. The goo eats about two feet of material before it burns out. It’s been messy, but with their personal force fields only direct hits are dangerous to our personnel. If the Suncloud keeps it up for much longer, the entire front deck will nothing but dead goo, which the Assault teams are already starting to shovel into foxholes. Remember kids, don’t fire weapons at your enemies that they can build a defense out of.

The human troops from the Suncloud are beginning to assemble behind the automatons now. I expect we’ll see them in direct combat soon.

And there’s a matter that requires my personal attention. Hitting send!

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway

The Killing Man

Bully fills us in on the entire history of the Marvel comics universe.

Eventually he contracted ninjavitus. It was all downhill from there.
The Internet is a giant slush pile, and I’m the unpaid intern wading through it. Here’s a bit of pretty dredged from the dreck.

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back from your weekend to everyone.

This week we’re doing a test run on Pipewrench’s Dimension Projector. We’ve had to modify it from his original design. The destruction of his earlier build and my desire to wrap up this project means we’ve reduced the amount of automation needed to run the machine. However, that also means we’ll need more personnel to run the equipment. Throw in the assault and extraction teams I intend to bring along, and that calls for making a few shakedown flights before our attack.

I also want to take a moment to remind everyone that although this is Pipewrench’s project, I’m the one in charge. I would also like to remind Pipewrench that while I don’t arbitrarily kill my staff, I still find myself having to execute individual Technefarious employees on a regular basis.

Its overeager creator aside, the Dimension Projector is a slick piece of work. At its core is a Galaticguard Wrist Armory wired to the cutting from the Suncloud’s floating vine and enough Travel Apples to filled a garbage can. Flowing through that unnatural heart are arteries flowing with Cosmic Kinetic Fluid and Essence of the Southern Lights. It should have quite a kick when fired. I certainly wouldn’t want to be standing in front of it when it goes off. Once we have it in the air, we’re going to fire it on its lowest charge to see what happens.

We’ll also be testing the cloaking capabilities of the invisibility mist we collected. If it works against Technefarious sensors, it should hold up against those our target deploys.

For those of you not involved in Project Cut Flower, Frigid is going around this week collecting updates on the progress of some of our other projects. When we have this wrapped up, I have to make a decision on what we’re going to concentrate on next.

This week our propaganda department has decided to inflict culture on us. There will be a performance by some opera singers in Auditorium A on Wednesday if you’re interested. I’m not sure why they’re bothering. There hasn’t been a decent opera riot in ages.

Listen, nobody tell Green Needle about the opera singers, all right? She’d probably make me wear a tux.

In any event, I thought you all might like to know that another package arrived from our enemies at the Golden Web. It was an electronic pocket calculator from the 1970’s. It is still in its original packaging. Nine-volt battery sold separately. I’m going to have to consider our response.

Have a good week everyone. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway

The Killing Man

A couple of games to look at today. Here’s a taste of the second one first.

I’m getting too old for dungeon crawling.

The first is an iPhone/iPad game called Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. Superbrothers is apparently the name of the developers. I have no idea what the EP is about. It isn’t out yet, but just look at it.

I love pretty.

Who are you calling pretty?

The second game, Desktop Dungeons, isn’t pretty, but it is fun. Even better, it’s already out and free for Windows and Macs.


A roguelike, it takes maybe twenties minutes to play a complete game. Pick your race and class and fight your way through a single level. There’s just enough resources on the map to kill the final boss, assuming you’re smart and lucky.

Muscle Man!

Me, I die a lot.

You unlock new classes and new monsters as you play, so lots of replayability.

Did I say it wasn’t pretty? I lied. The default graphics aren’t as pretty as S:S&S EP, but they look great. Except for the Barbarian. He looks like a baby.

Give me my bottle!

There you go. Something to play, and something to look forward to you. What else could you want?

The Internet is a giant slush pile, and I’m the unpaid intern wading through it. Here’s a bit of pretty dredged from the dreck.

From the Desk of the Dictator:

Welcome back to the base for everyone that attended Operation Invisible Distillation and a welcome back from your weekend to everyone else.

I’m writing this with tissues stuffed up my nostrils to deal with my bloody nose. I suppose I could go the medical department for something more dignified, but this is hardly the first time I’ve leaked the red stuff. It will stop soon enough.

This particular op took us to the mythical Caves of Oblivion, which aren’t as unappealing as they sound. Somewhere in prehistory, one of the lost pantheons of gods got into a fight with giant centipedes that were carved out of a mountain range. The Mountain Centipedes turned out to be terribly hard to kill but wouldn’t attack anything they couldn’t see. The gods dealt with them by filling a set of caverns with a mist that turned everything it touched invisible, tricking the bugs in the caves, and sealing the entrance behind them. Since no one else seems to have ever said, “Let’s go to that place where all those invisible monsters are stomping around. That seems like a good idea,” they’ve remained there unmolested for millennium.

We have no particular interest in the Mountain Centipedes, but that invisible mist they live in turns out to be perfect for part of Project Cut Flowers. Working together, the science and occult departments cobbled together some mist collectors, and I teleported into the caves with two of the extraction teams to deploy them.

I was going to have Frigid lead the teams, but Pipewrench insisted on coming along. Since he’s paying the bills on this one, I asked Frigid to mind the store while I kept him from getting killed. Upon reflection, this may have been a mistake, since we could have just stolen all of his stuff if he’d died. Oh well. Live and learn.

The deployment was a delicate business, since we couldn’t actually see anything inside the caves. Oh, we brought our sonar display goggles, but they turned invisible in the mist, seriously hampering their effectiveness. The caves are pretty big, but the bugs are still stomping around down there. Unfortunately, we lost Henchman 41L-9I (Sid) when he got stepped on. The occult department was unable to recover his soul. The divine nature of the Mountain Centipedes should have just destroyed it outright when they killed him, but the occult department tells me the enhancements of the soul catchers kept his intact. However, they could not reel it in before one of Death’s guides escorted him to the afterlife.

I earned the bloody nose at the end of the operation. We had siphoned off enough of the mist that contents of the cave were starting to emerge as faint shadows. I’d love to be able to blame Pipewrench for the injury, but it wasn’t his fault. In addition to our sonar goggles, we were also wearing personal cloaks so we would stay invisible as the mist faded. Unfortunately, the cloak for Henchman 38E-5J (Yuri) failed. One of the giant bugs noticed him within moments. I got smacked in the face knocking him out of the way of the bug’s strike. Once we were clear, a heavy weapons team pumped rockets into the Mountain Centipede, crippling it. Apparently, the problem they had with the bugs in the past was a lack of firepower.

By then we were teleporting collectors and personnel out of the caves, so I came back to my office to tend to my bloody nose and type up this memo. I think I’m going to goof off for a while now. Try not to tear down our organization for the next couple of hours. Remember, the world is already ours – it just doesn’t realize it yet.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway

The Killing Man