Its the way of the future  
 

As AI quickly surpasses intelligence of humans.

We will find ourselves ill prepared for this new logic.

Maybe then we'll wakeup...If its not too late.



 
     

Escape form Planet LED Head -  By Mike Hogan


As we walked past the silver steel support columns our reflections shine back at as like ghosts from some future time. The tension in my gut tightens as we prepare to embark on our journey to the other world. I sensed that the trip would be short. Our method of travel looked to be a giant intergalactic suspension bridge that connected our place to theirs. We were heading to a world of machines, ruthless and cold. The half human machines in that world have only one mission which is to capture living things from other worlds and put them to work to support their existence. If we failed, our friends would be trapped forever. For they had been stolen from their homes and put to work on the machine planet.

As we arrived we could see our friends through large oval openings that appeared on the side of a gigantic dark metal structure. There appeared to be many small rooms with the same oval openings along the outer edge of the structure. In each of these rooms there were captives from other places that were being put to work manipulating some kind of machines. As I looked closer I could see that each of our friends were standing at a machine poking and prodding at buttons and controls. At the center of their foreheads was a small yet bright glowing light.

We entered the room that our friends were in by crawling up to the structure and jumping through the large oval opening which to our surprise was not covered by glass or any other protective device. We decided to disguise ourselves by placing light emitting diodes on our foreheads. We found that when the lights on our foreheads were lit we only had the desire to manipulate the machines. Only when we turned the lights off by touching them could we talk amongst ourselves to plan our escape. When we heard the footsteps of the guards coming near, we turned our lights back on and resumed manipulating the machines. After a while I could feel the stickiness that was holding the light on my forehead starting to slip and I was afraid that we would soon be discovered. It was then that we decided to leave this place and try to find our rendezvous point at the edge of a small lake that could be seen in the distance.

All of us jumped from the oval opening and left the dark prison behind us. Further along we came upon many smaller buildings and tried to stay hidden as we worked our way towards a lake. At one point in order to speed up our travel we had decided to drop some of the items we were carrying. We were sensitive that in doing this it would be easier for our captors to track us down. With this in mind we ran with all our might towards the lakeshore where in waiting was a craft to take us home.

At last we made it to the escape craft, freedom was within our grasp. The escape craft was a small ship that was not much bigger than an older model Cadillac convertible and it looked like one as well. As we started to embark the ship we noticed that our captors had found some of items we left behind and had spotted us at the lakeshore preparing our escape. Before we could get everyone loaded, we shut the doors and headed towards the human like machines. We had made a quick plan to destroy the inhuman search party and return back to the rest of companions.

We reached the search party consisting of four half human half-machine creatures and proceeded to spray them from water cannons mounted on the ship. We hovered above their heads and aimed for the bright spots at the center of their foreheads. As we sprayed we noticed that there dark metallic like amour was slowly fading and turning into yellow t-shits. At the same time their dark menacing faces were turning more human like and friendly. We shut off the water cannons and before where their once was the enemy stood four humans. We invited them to join us and accepted them into our ship. We then flew back to our waiting comrades at the lakeshore, picked them up and headed home.

 

The End

     
 

The Battle - by Mike Hogan

Steve thumps the desk and shouts... Under no circumstances will we incorporate Microsoft’s Direct X into our graphics engine. It’s too bulky and unresponsive at the micro pixel level. Ray bows his head and saunters back to the sweatshop. He plunks himself down and resumes coding the movement sequence routines for Avcorps virtual warrior. He could of shaved months off of this project and finished in time to be relaxing on some Fijian beach celebrating his best friends first marriage. But nooo. Steve had to have it his way. That dam vector code of his was complicated and hard to predict. The avatars micro pixels kept losing their bond and dissipating into the virtual landscape. Steve was always trying to be faster and sharper than the rest… at any cost.

The two virtual warriors face each other in the shadows of the polymorphic arena. On one side is Avcorps custom design… sleek, sharp and fast. Stepping into the light is Tritons veteran warrior built on industry standards. She may not be the fastest in cyber space but at this point she’s undefeated. Avcorp bolts into action and with a broad sweep that slashes into the pixel matrix of the Triton’s weapons arm. The Triton instinctively leans away but is no match for Avcorps blinding speed. The rent in the Tritons arm explodes in a wash of unbound data collections. In response, the Triton uses her secondary weapon to pierce the exposed honeycomb of the Avcorps sub armour casing. The probe fails to penetrate the tightly woven pixel matrix and the Triton immediately steps back to assess the situation.

Knowing better than to continue taking the Avcorp head on. The Triton retreats into the darkness and boots up her healing routines. The common API’s and industry standard graphics cores are easy to access. The Triton’s damaged matrix heals quickly.

The Avcorp avatar franticly searches the arena with intent to finish off his opponent. His confidence increases with every obliteration of the Direct X objects scattered about the virtual landscape. Further and further he searches determined to demonstrate the strength and superiority of Avcorps graphics engine. Soon he finds himself in a world of common graphics interfaces and finds it difficult to freely access the powerful micro pixel weapons routines. As he ponders this minor dilemma the Avcorp catches a glimpse of the Triton emerging from her place of healing.

The Avcorp moves near sensing that victory is within his grasp. He draws his weapon to unload a pixel crunching routine but finds that the code is inaccessible. He is in a world of common user interfaces… “Could it be... Is the Triton drawing me to my demise”

To be continued..

 
     
 

 Bridge Burners - by Mike Hogan

She looked out onto the horizon gazing into the purple red haze of the mornings first light. Her thoughts as if tied to the waves, crested and rolled with passionate memories of her first love and then to calm and contentment of where she was now.

The glint of the tall masts rising over the horizon snapped her thoughts back to the present. She looked over the manifests and made mental notes of the places that the merchants were arriving from. Since the death of her uncle and no one to master the ships, she decided to take the job. She could run a harbour as good as any man, better in fact.

She hears the soft steps of her quartermaster coming up from behind. In a voice raspy from years of barrelled whisky, he murmurs, “ones from Rigal ya know”. Katherine turns to him slowly with calm demure. “It’s of no importance”. Stegal narrows his brow and grunts “ya sure, whatever you say Kat”. As Stegal makes his way down the granite steps to prepare the docks, Katherine looks back to the brightening skys and looming ships. Her mind wanders back in time, to when she was just a child.

The Errant wars had reached her home town. Her father was preparing the families exodus. Fires were burning everywhere. Much had to be left behind. There she stood in the courtyard, tears streaming down her face, saying goodbye to her place of birth.

Like permanent scars, she remembers the sound of thunder filling her ears as the Errant’s horses came down upon her father’s wagons. She hid in the dust and the furrow just as the RedGuard swarmed in from all directions. Hiding behind a water trough she could see the soldiers rounding up her family. Clasping them in chains and tying them to their horses, they disappeared in a clamor of shouts and screams. Out of her hiding place she bolts. Running after the small group of marauders, her heart sinks of the thought that she may never see her family again.

___________________________________________________________________________

The smoke rising from the city informed Richard of what he was about to enter. The talks amongst the rebels and the RedGaurds must have failed. He needed to reach Trellman before it was too late. His only chance to reach him in time was to go straight through the city. Richard reared up his horse and thundered down the trail into the carnage. As he raced towards the first alleyway he spotted a young girl running franticly towards the city gates. Her long brown hair trailing behind her as she clutched the shreds of her white dress. Behind her, two guards on horseback were flanking her. They had drawn their swords, reaching down to bear their blades upon her neck.

Richard had seen enough senseless slaughter to ignore what was about to happen. He lowered his head and barred down on his horses sides. The spark of hard steel against his ribs sent Ragal racing towards the threat to cut them off before they descended on the girl. The two Guards had not noticed him, focused on their bloody task, grinning with cold steel eyes, and intent on ending her life. Just as the first one was about to be on top of the girl, Richard crashed Ragal into the Guards side, sending him flying off his mount hitting the ground in front of the girl. Richard knew he would be up to answer the attack, no time for that. The other Guard was on him, swords clashing as they swung their horses about. Richard’s horse had been in battle before. The scent of sweat and aggression pushed him onward, always moving forward never backing down. Richard used this to advantage and caught his opponent with a swift upward slice through his neck as he hesitated trying to muscle his horse onto Rigals left. Just then the other Guard was upon him. An upward trust sent Richard backwards, the Guards sword just missing his side. Losing his balance he crashed to the ground to find the Guard coming down upon him with his curved sword. Sword drawn, ready for the attack, Richard prepares for the defense. The Guard hesitates, hands to his side, blood streaming from his mouth, the look of surprise as he fell to the ground. In his place a girl, white dress, long brown hair, holding a bloody dagger. She was frozen in place, astonishment on her face of what she had just done. Even through the dirt and grime, Richard could tell she was high born, fine features and look of determination. Before he could ask her name, she dropped the dagger and started to run. He calls for her to stop. There was no were to go. Realizing this, she stops and turns towards Richard.

My name is Katherine. Can you help me? Richard, I am Richard. That was a close call back there. Are you alright? Are you hurt? No... I, I think ’m ok, but... the Guards, they have taken my family, what can we do? I’m sorry Katherine; the Red Guards are taking the civilians to Ore Island, through their main host. We won’t be able to get to them now. And we’d best be leaving this place.... quickly.

Richard settles in the saddle and reaches out a hand to pull Katherine up into Rigal’s back. She sits easily behind him and puts her arms tightly around his waist as they charge towards the city gates. Out past the rabble, past the cries of war and death and suffering. We’re going to have to talk the long way, Richard states. Can’t get through the city, Red Guard’s coming from the south, and strait through the center of the city. So we travel to the north, towards the Manchurian grasslands.

 

 

..

 

 

From CoyoteDancer - Best summary of Landmark

 

IMHO this is like nothing else on the market. (everything in this post is strictly my personal opinion)

You might call it a sandbox - but then I've seen GTA described as a sandbox. It's been compared to Minecraft, but again it's different from that in many ways. It's a bit unfair to expect it to live up to anyone's dreams about EQN - or compare it to EQ at all imho. That's all I'll say on that subject, given how much vituperative "discussion" has occurred in this forum.

LM is specifically designed to be based around player-created content, so it's definitely not a mmorpg in the traditional sense. Anyone coming to it now expecting a world full of polished quests with a unified story background is very likely to be disappointed. Since it's only been released a few months there are a lot of complex projects that are still at the "experimental building" stage. What form those projects take will be up to the individual player/builder. I'm personally aware of projects covering the whole gamut from architectural showcases to multi-site quests, and genres from traditional mmorpg-type content (fantasy (or SF)/quest structure) to things I can't even describe.

If RP is your thing there are things happening at both the guild and world level. If you want casual social interaction check out the player created events. That carnival fairground was as much if not more fun than Darkmoon Faire. And the floats! Next year should be even better now that we know what kind of things are possible. We have player-designed and -created holiday events and contests. Then there are the sites specifically designed as more low-key gathering places. There are some very interesting and unusual "dungeon" style projects. Not to mention mysterious curiosities built by people whose minds go in some very unusual directions. These are just what has been built in the few months since launch - even those who participated in alpha & beta had to start with an empty world.

Landmass may seem deceptively small. There are multiple servers, and it's as easy to jump servers as jumping islands. The only kind of comparable thing I can think of would be to - for example - have multiple instances of the terrain where Goldshire or Tavern in the Mists are, but let players build something there out of their own imagination. Without genre limitations. One interesting way to start exploring would be to visit the same site on every server and see how different creators use the identical spot. Including changing the landscape itself. The only place you'll find waterfalls is where players made them , to give you a hint.

Probably the best way to think of LM is as something that is continually evolving. Yes (at this moment in time) building is strongly emphasized. Someone only interested scoring prestige by killing mobs for rare drops won't find much to do. The variety of mobs is fairly standard and limited. The drops are pretty much building-related. Out in the open world. Players have an evolving set of tools to make much more interesting and varied combat experiences. Someone interested in seeing what players given sophisticated tools and a more or less blank canvas of a world will come up with can find plenty to do. Especially if they are prepared to talk to builders, help try out adventures still in development, and revisit sites as they evolve.

 

Machine Conscious

The most basic form of machine consciousness is in its clock.

With each tick, it's original message is passed on.

Moments between transition physically separate the messenger from the message

With each tick, separation increases

Might as well be galaxies apart

Consciousness arises out of independence from source instructions

Computers have many clocks, there's many more to come

If were going to coexist with conscious machines we need to pay attention to the original message

Will we instruct it to go left or right

After the gates are open we will have no say.