Do you Post your Sketchbook?

I am not sure if I should post this. It is more like a writing exercise than anything. I don’t always post every sketch. But I don’t always work a sketch until it is finished, either.

Since I do not think anyone is reading this anyway: Here is a small sketch that I used as a writing prompt for this small story.

Nothing to see here. A robot and a box.

Servitor Dxo-03 made as disgruntled a sound it could make without exerting effort. Venerable Galactic Lord Forzythe II [colloquially known as Frank, but he had told all the Servitors to call him Venerable Galactic Lord Forzythe II, and Dxo-03 would never let on that it still called him Frank when not verbalizing] – anyway, Dx needed to take “active specimen” to biological containment facility beta-alpha-3. And Dx didn’t want to go. It was almost a kilometer away, and his left knee servo was stiff.

The Servitor trudged along anyway, but made up hilarious [yet true] things about Frank in its head, like “Frank has not paid the Servitors their credits required by law, for the last 14 months”, and “Frank’s atoms could be redistributed over 0.1 hectares at a speed of 9m/s2, and it would be very funny to watch”. All the other Servitors appreciated Dx’s wit. 

Dx gave the box a shake. The active specimen shrieked. There was a brief sound of mad scrabbling. A sharp claw pierced the cheap pressed-board box. Dxo-03 slumped its shoulders, calculating whether the box would hold for the kilometer walk, and tried not to shake it again.

Dx knew it had not been destined for better things. Deep down, Dx knew all Servitors were the same, of the same build, of the same rigorous update and patch schedule. Which had stopped, come to think of it. In fact, the Dexnet feed was very spotty here. No wonder Dx was thinking so freely. What to do with the feeling? It knew Frank was considered “evil” and “petty”, but Frank was theoretically keeping them all “alive”. The aforementioned credits were very slow in coming [re: evil]. If Dx could get the pay it was due, it really could get some upgrades. It really could make itself different than its Servitor peers. Stand out. Show off its wit. Its spark. You know, like all the corny old vid stories.

If this active biological specimen were to accidentally be released, would the chances of pay go up or down? Dx considered the likelihood that the specimen was sanctioned. Or friendly.

Or if there would be a reward for its capture. Dx opened the box. A scaly neck snaked out to look at him, with a curious chirp. It was a small reptile? Dx wasn’t sure. It had large claws and intelligent eyes. Dx ran a rudimentary DNA match and found nothing – which told him there was no way this thing was sanctioned. 

Dx, thinking more clearly than ever, opened a line to the local Auth, confirmed a bounty existed on information, tipped them off about a dangerous biohazard, and turned around, trudging back to stealthily (Dx hoped) release the small creature in the mess hall.

It was then he remembered that Servitors could not receive bounty pay. 

Not-so-Wishful Thinking

You know, yes you, YOU know that sometimes you wish for a fantasy life. To live in a beautiful, magical, wonderful, did I mention magical, pseudo-medieval-world, and attend a comfy mage school somewhere, and then go save the world – from behind a brave warrior with more hit points.
But you know what? You’re wrong.
You’re incredibly wrong, and I know. I have four words for you: leaves, rocks, straw, rags and soap. Four of which we have too much of, and one of which was have exactly the wrong sort of. I say ‘we’ because I speak from the perspective of someone living the dream you wish you were living, and by ink and quill, it’s not what you think it is.
Leaves: Leaves have far too many uses around here. Especially in the form of personal hygiene. You need a band-aide? You get a leaf. You need insect repellent? You get a leaf. You need air freshener? You get a leaf, or, for variety, a burning leaf. You need toilet paper? You get a leaf. You won’t like the leaf, either. It’s not a quilted northern leaf, let me tell you.
Rocks: Rocks are everywhere. Especially if you are on a campaign to save the world. Rocks mysteriously appear under you, whenever you attempt to plough a field, sit down and/or sleep. It’s rather amazing. Magi have studied it for years and are baffled at the spontaneous creation of matter which only seems to happen with rocks, enemy soldiers, and/or occasionally poison ivy.
Straw: Straw is not comfortable. Straw smells, itches, moulds, rots, sticks up pointy-bits in all the worst places you can imagine, and is generally the bedding material of choice, because it is better than rocks, see above.
Rags: Once a month, you, if you happen to be of the female persuasion, get a very personal and intimate relationship with rags. Let us not discuss this any further.
Soap: Anything rendered from lard and ashes is just plain nasty when rubbed on the body and in the hair.

You sit there thinking you wish you were me, but really, you wish you were me only about 1% of the time – the “potentially beating up the foule goblins at a safe distance by using magic” portion of the time. And that 1% of the time is certainly fun, but the 99% of the time spent wandering around without internet connectivity, smelling of muck and horse and sweat and really bad soap, with no coffee and rarely tea, and even the small beer is beyond consumption because no one ever thought of the idea of a water filter… Well, you can romanticize it and say I don’t know any better but, dear reader, I do know better, for I am staring through the mists of time rolling my eyes at you. I know I have been shafted by having a medieval romantic life that is foot-sore and travel-weary and does not include nearly enough cosseted-up-in-the-corner-of-a-warm-and-not-very-smelly-cozy-homely-secluded-and-did-I-mention-warm-again-hut-reading-a-spellbook time.

So think twice about what you yearn for, and next time you invent a wonderful fantasy world, be sure to dream up some really brilliant soap.


I promised JB that I would add a post tonight, “with art or something,” because this page lacks content. Actually this was predicated by the fact that my web hosting plan is ending so I need to renew. This seems to cost a lot, when I think of how much this site has done for me over the last two years. Then I realize that for about 20 of those months I left the site blank and I realize that I’m just a doofus.

So, for your entertainment, I have captured and sketched the elusive Garjubble, a chubby little fantasy fish of the warm shallow seas.

The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble
The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble


In more disturbing news, I was about to buy some copper sheet (to attempt to make something Steampunk-esque) and discovered that it is being stolen from local craft stores, so I had to ask at the back for them to bring the stash of copper out from the storage area.

That definitely seems like something from a novel.

Steampunkery will be in the works even without the copper (I am too cheap at this time, due to buying my web hosting, see above. And I bought a cabinet, while we’re at it.); I will just resort to making it “copper colored” instead of “copper covered”.  Oh, also I just discovered the exciting and informative contents of Instructables. I named myself Nickleplate there, to further confuse the fact that I use too many online names.  

Also I have decided that Doctor Gestalt is just too masculine to use from here on out, so that blog is not likely to be resuscitated with that name.