Category Archives: Ahern beat the shit out of COVID-19 with his bare hands and thinks y’all are weak

NEw Year, New Chapter

Happy 2021 to everyone who reads my stuff.

2020 was not, as I’ve said elsewhere, the best of years. However, in terms of the fic we did get at least a little accomplished:

  1. First, four chapters of TWCD were completed. That’s very slow, but then again it was about 110,000 words. I had writers block in how to proceed with the story, and since I shifted direction things are now easier to write.
  2. New STG Reports (Vigil Pt 2, P., Rachel Florez, Richard Williams, Yonis Chu) and an additional few chapters to the STG Handbook
  3. The new Bird of Hermes series was launched
  4. The 2020 PV WriteCon was completed and was a smashing success
  5. Xabiar’s completed Citadel document, expanding hugely on the timeline, politics, and capacities of the setting
  6. The launch and development of the PV RPG System and the RP games, which has gone wonderfully so far

There’s also some non-fic related things we’ve done:

  • The creation of a PV Minecraft Server
  • The creation of a place for people to discuss problems and issues in Personal-space on our Discord
  • A staggering 199 members on the Discord
  • A series of music videos and two world-building videos
  • The production of the Uressa T’Shora art and progress on the Shepard Wedding Scene.
  • Expansion of Patreon integration, benefits, and merch

I’d like to take the time to thank some people:

Pallan Minerva/Comma: as always expected from him, Comma continued to provide guidance, moderation, leadership, fic feedback, advice, and contributions to the fic. He did this WHILE both going to college full time (and graduating) in the midst of this COVID bullshit, and while managing his own server community and writing his amazing Fate Stay/Night fic story which has surpassed my own in popularity. Comma is his own harshest critic but he’s accomplished more in a single year than some people do in a decade.

Nimiraj : as always, provides strength and comfort. Her insight into the Sara/Liara rebonding section was critical (as with all the relationship pieces) as well as listening to all my self-pitying bullshit and keeping me cheered up is sometimes the only reason I keep going.

Xabiar: Despite the literally titanic efforts on his own fiction (nine chapters of his main fic, twelve chapters of TITANOMACH, twenty seven chapters of the XCOM Files and God only knows what else), the man managed to somehow take the scattered, disorganized and in some cases self-contradicting lore bits I had to create the Citadel Files, nearly 200k words of lore, expansion, and new ideas and characters — in under a freaking year. Very much appreciated, especially on top of running his own community.

Wele: Not only a driving force in working on art for the PV, Wele has been a key player in the success of the Personal Space in the discord chat. Her creation of the asari Sigils and her work on the Wedding Scene hasn’t slowed down her other efforts, on top of all the issues she has. You are appreciated very much.

The Elder One: I can never thank TEO enough for all he does in the background that no one even sees, from fixing up stupid typos and finding plot holes to keeping an eye on the chat. Again, this is on top of working on all his own projects and dealing with the COVID mess.

EnigmaticOne and Mooloor: These two took strong and energetic leads on the RPG Project, taking the insanely stupid and useless half-ass ruleset I gave them and turning it into a finely tuned product that helped produce what I feel was outstanding gameplay. They have continued to refine and expand the rules and at this point deserve a lot more credit for the Fic-RP’s success than I do. EnigmaticOne also went above and beyond the call of duty to collate and edit the RP logs into a format to be turned into stories.

B.W.: B.W.’s entry into the PV WriteCon was incredibly good, some of the best writing any of us have ever seen! Their work in discussing some aspects of where I’m going with the fic and other contributions have also been of seriously important help!

Jacob: Last but not least, Jacob — despite some personal issues — came back strong in 2020 to throw down both edits to the files he’d already done and an incredible piece on Richard Manswell. Jacob remains one of the few people I trust to handle my lore and build on it without oversight and I am deeply humbled by his contributions.

A few others deserve thanks as well:

Sevoris for managing the SIENCE with his usual deft tough

Bish09 for handling, organizing and managing the Gaming Discord

Kep for some very interesting and useful art that has given me ideas.

Krieg for returning to the chat in a far more productive fashion!

Mrosera for keeping the Warframe Clan organized and expanding it greatly!

DaSkyBurner for taking on the challenge of being our Minecraft Server Admin, out of his own pocket I might add

EternalConcern for adding many much needed (and becursed) emotes

SodiumEnriched/Fperson1 for being the original IsLurk and showing everyone how to go from lurker to key member.

JimHero, Eggnogui, DevilNero, Kinnix, Nolan, Neprau, Samael, and Seras for being Bro-Tier

Spicy for being the true and undisputed Lord of Cursed

Of course, I appreciate each and every person who reads, comments, reviews, or shows up in chat.

What does 2021 hold? Ideally, things will improve. COVID vaccines and perhaps a return of more conventional normalcy would help a great deal. As for the fic…

The Editing Gang has indicated — and repeatedly — that this shit is beginning to drag. I will endeavor to wrap things up in a way that does not take too long, but this is where people start dying and actually staying dead.

As for my personal condition… still have knee, back and wrist issues. Due to some medical complications, my finances are shit, and work remains hectic. Purportedly sometime this year we are moving to a new platform, so I expect a great deal of trouble with that since we are adding many new clients. The 2021 Death March is likely to be hellish.

However, I’m still alive, still in good health, and still trolling. I hope you all had a happy holiday season and have a wonderful new year, and that things get better, and not…

Well, you know, not like the Days of Iron. <voncern.jpg>

Merry Christmas (and status update)

First of all, have a happy holidays, and the usual Mythos-themed carol:

Second, I’d like to thank Wele for my Christmas card, which is the nicest surprise I’ve had all year.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i-u7EUdBOvp71p2TnFzhFAibZHW9cmjl/view

Third, I was hoping I’d be able to get one more chapter out by Christmas, but work has been pretty crazy during the Death March, culminating in me working last night past 10 PM. I do have the weekend off, so I’ll try to get some writing done, but I don’t know if I can get it out or not.

2020 was not a good year for a lot of people. It was a year filled with losses and pain, a year where a lot of good people died and we have had to deal with Corona, as well as a host of related issues. I’ve lost family members and friends.

But there were also good things that happened, and we cannot lose track of the good in the morass of the bad. That’s the path to despair. Some of my readers are struggling — with their own pasts, mental issues, financial issues, deaths, health issues.

But if this holiday and the celebration of the birth of Jesus has any meaning beyond commercialism, it is to remind us that we can all depend on one another. That we are not alone, that no matter how bad things get we can get through it.

I appreciate each and every reader, and I hope you all have a happy holiday and a happy new year.

Safe and Healthy, Relatively speaking

So, before I talk about the fan-fic stuff, the ‘real news’:

  1. Thus far, my immediate family is health and safe. Fort Worth is continuing to climb in COVID-19 cases, but I am still working from home.
  2. There have also been protests in Fort Worth and Dallas, but rioting so far has not impacted me and is limited to more public venues.
  3. XPO (my employer) has not had to layoff any more people so my job should be secure. Finances are still shit but stable.
  4. I’ve had a couple of friends get COVID (one died) and several family members in California and Virginia are in jail due to protesting.

Other than the above, things haven’t been so hot. Ankle and knee are slowly getting worse and I can’t do any therapy with the curfew and COVID lock-downs, so I have to manage with ice packs and grit.

I got one chapter of TWCD out, as well as an entirely new work, the Bird of Hermes. Set in between ATTWN and TWCD, Bird of Hermes is a sci-fi horror tale of the System’s Alliance exploration and evacuation of a pre-Inusannon colony world code named Rho-19. It ties in with a planned RPG segment I will be doing with some of my Discord participants, and will end in a series of reports on pre-Inusannon races to further out the backstory.

I’ve also updated Xabiar’s magnificent Citadel document he writes for me, so make sure to check all of that out.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13582864/1/OSABC-The-Bird-of-Hermes

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13384854/1/Broker-Report-on-the-Citadel-Internal-Structure-and-Organization

Also, for those of you who are just finding out about my writing, I finally got around to creating a document to map out the best and recommended reading order for all of this stuff. Check out A (barely) annotated guide to the PremiseVerse:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NrYO5x8huRm1mpK32V96VdE2tIn9vBag1aZr1z_1BOU/edit?usp=sharing

Finally (and most hilariously) I finally decided to take a stab at recording an actual video. I warn you now that this is a low-quality web-cam and in my ignorance I forgot the mic pickup was right next to the A/C vent so the sound quality is absolute garbage.

However, it is a video message that is, according to the people who’ve watched it, worth listening to, so in the immortal words of our Queen Senzawa, ‘here we fucking go’:

I hope everyone is staying safe. You’ll forgive me if I don’t include some kind of pithy statement about the protests and the death of George Floyd, but as you can see from the video I’m tired of almost everything right now, and there’s nothing you can put on the net that will fix what is wrong with the world right now.

However, I will say this. The problem isn’t the ‘police’ or the ‘government’ or ‘hoodlums’. The problem isn’t solved by laws, or by guns, or by protests. The problem is fucking humans not giving a shit about each other, and lots of people are guilty of that regardless of skin color or profession.

Until humans all learn to love one another — white or black, Hispanic or Latinx, American or Chinese, CIS or trans, gay/les/bi or straight, rich or poor — we will all continue by ruled by hate.

Be safe. You are cherished. You are appreciated. You are trolled.

Vigil says hello.

FIRE ON FIRE: FIRE EDITION

Haven’t been on much. Two friends are in critical care with COVID and my uncle passed away due to it last week. Several friends are out of work and with mounting bills, medical issues and no relief in sight, especially in Florida where the unemployment system is… unoptimal.

My place of work laid off more than 500 people in IT and support and more in operations. Critical people, senior devs, code writers who knew the legacy systems. This is going to lag things at work and pile more mess on me and my bosses. Schedule is even more chaotic and I am the on-call this week.

Not exactly happy with the home-schooling options presented by my nieces’ school, went through a social studies section claiming the cause of WWI was ‘economic anxieties’ and a Common Core math section that actually said 6 x 6 x 6 x 6 and 12 * 12 are the same. So now I have to go over that.

Anyway… I have gotten another few pages done on the next chapter of TWCD and may put out a tech guide. Not sure. Haven’t been on Discord lately so please obey admins or there will be more punishment for Susan handed out.

So far, I am not sick and neither is my mom or nieces. Given the asthma both nieces have, my smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure and mom’s issues, none of us will be going out in public for anything. I have no problems with re-openings; there are no good options for the people out of work who are going to be evicted without income.

That being said… God gave you common sense for a reason and I certainly won’t be interacting with anyone who thinks a bar crawl is a good idea at this time.

Still alive : coronavirus edition

So, the world has gone to shit.

The coronavirus shares several frightening characteristics with a theoretical flu variant call the Wheeze I came up with for the backstory of PV Earth, a virus that killed tens of millions of people and was one of the key factors in shattering world civilization into the mess that became the Days of Iron. As several other factors in my work have also come to pass, I begin to grow worried.

That being said, I am a paranoiac and disaster prepper anyway, so this outbreak hasn’t affected me much IRL. I already have high quality filters for my air, lots of toilet paper, MRE’s, canned goods, and the like. And I had a stack of N95 masks and surgical gloves after the SARS outbreak that are still here. I am able to work from home and my company is deeply involved in shipping medical supplies and food. Given the importance we have I am unlikely to lose my job.

I haven’t gotten much writing done, mainly because I’m having some blocks on the next main chapter, but also because my work schedule is chaotic. Our company lost our disaster response team so I’m part of a rotating on-call 24/7 response group. Yesterday, I worked from 5 AM to 2 PM, got 3 hours sleep, worked from 5 PM to 9 PM, got three hours sleep, and then again from 9 to almost 6 AM today. This erratic pattern doesn’t allow for good introspection.

I do have some updates, however. Thanks to the efforts of the Patreon donators, we have new art of Shepard — specifically, her attire at her wedding and a close up of the Star of Terra.

Sara Shepard, dress white formals.
SoT by Wele.

Right now, the current plan for the fic is as follows:

  1. Side Piece work — tech guide on battle suits, finish refurbishing the Order of Battle Document, and rework a few things in the Biotic Encyclopedia
  2. Finish next main chapter of TWCD
  3. Put out chapter of Lions
  4. Put out chapter of Alliance News Network interviews — Anderson

Beyond that… I dunno. This virus is a scary thing, but so is what it is doing to society, to economy, and to the lives of the poor and without resources. My work at my company is literally saving lives so for the moment I am more focused on that. On the other hand, with everyone shut in and isolating, I know a distraction is valuable, and I have certainly not forgotten any of you.

Feel free to email (viley@att.net), PM in FFN, DM on Discord or comment here if you need to discuss anything, need advice or want to ask a question. Please stay safe. Please self-isolate and don’t take stupid chances, this thing is containable if we just all act intelligently.