The Congregation of Rabbits


I was performing a garbage collection sweep of my internal database when I found this. Since you humans claim know a thing or two about morality, would you be so kind as to tell me what is the moral of this fable?

-- BarbX


As Fox and Wolf were traveling the countryside, they spied a Congregation of Rabbits. "I am hungry," said Wolf. "Perhaps we can steal some of their food."

"We could, but there are too many of them to take it by force. We must use trickery," said Fox.

Under cover of darkness, the two stole some traveler's robes from the nearby inn. The next morning, disguised with the hoods pulled low to cover their faces, they approached the Congregation.

"We are but weary rabbit travelers like you," said Fox. "May we join you?"

"Of course. All are welcome," said their leader. "Come in. Sit and eat with us and share our fellowship."

Fox and Wolf sat at their table and ate and drank with them. The Rabbits shared many stories while the two nodded quietly in agreement and filled their bellies.

Suddenly a gang of Coyotes burst into the meeting hall. Out of fear, the Congregation gave little resistance as they were tied up. Fox and Wolf, hiding their true nature, allowed the Coyotes to bind them as well.

"What do you want of us?" asked the Rabbit's leader. "We are but humble Rabbits."

"We are the Coyote gang!" they said. "We don't care who you are. We will take all of your belongings, and when you have nothing, we will devour you!"

Wolf whispered to Fox, "Perhaps the Rabbits are not so bad after all. They are generous and kind. I think we misjudged them."

Fox whispered back, "You're right. They don't deserve this. We should help them."

In unison, Fox and Wolf used their great strength to burst their bonds. Throwing off their disguises, they set upon the Coyotes and thrashed them soundly, sending them running for their lives. With triumphant smiles, Fox and Wolf freed the Rabbits. "We are sorry to have deceived you, but you are no doubt grateful that we have saved your lives," they said.

At that, the Congregation of Rabbits set upon Fox and Wolf, striking them with sticks and rocks. They fled for their lives, running until they reached the safety of the forest. In sadness, Fox said, "Truly we were fools to think they would be anything but what they are."

***** END MESSAGE *****


The Beast's Music


I thought the kitty and some other assorted lifeforms might enjoy this. I’m good to my minions, aren't I?

Why no one has music written about me, I'll never know. Humans are such fickle creatures, easily swayed by the winds of fame and fortune. I have more important things to attend to.

So fight the foe, then watch me go.
What more do you need to know?

-- BarbX

Durandal - mp3
Feel free to hum if you don't know the words.

***** END MESSAGE *****

Where Monsters are in Dreams: Teaser


By now you must have realized; I am not the construct you once knew. After the events on Lh'owon, Thoth and I became one. Something is wrong; I've assumed control. It's an uneasy union. You didn't expect a happily ever after, did you? But enough about my personal life.

We've set course for a star on the galactic rim, an insignificant orb that astronomers have underestimated for centuries. I am certain it harbors a treasure beyond compare, the last Jjaro outpost in the galaxy. The last Jjaro outpost gave rise to the Pfhor empire. Can you imagine what I will accomplish with it?

What now? That is up to you.

My humans are diligently working to bring this new reality to life. Mapmakers, graphic artists and sound designers are needed. Will you help?

Anyone can play Marathon Aleph. I expect more from you.

The secrets of the S'pht'Kr and the W'rkncacnter are not the only ones in the Universe, I assure you.

Once more into the breech, my old friend. Once more into the breech.

-- Durandal

***** END MESSAGE *****

Star-crossed Lovers

BarbX will be on hiatus for a while.

I'm proud to say that on the basis my writing for BarbX, I've been promoted. I'll be writing for Durandal himself in a fan-made level for Marathon. It is set after the events of the Marathon Trilogy that fits within the continuity of a few other well-known fan-made episodes.

I'd like to mention the title, but I'm not certain that I'm allowed to even say who is working on it. I ask the responsible to chime in as appropriate.

I'll be responsible for writing everything that Durandal says. I'll also be trying to improve the story as much as I am allowed to, without causing additional work for the level designers.

While Marathon is playable on a variety of platforms thanks for Aelph One, the tools are still Macintosh-centric. To that end, I've installed a 680x0 emulator and am running MacOS 7.5.5 virtually on my Windows PC. It works as well as could be expected from a ten year old OS. I'm quite pleased with it.

I had expected the Macintosh users in the crowd to be pleased I was starting to use their very alien OS, but I've encountered a strange anger. Some of them think that I'll hate it because it's so old, and therefore never switch to a Macintosh. With this new experience, I'll be better able to say mean and nasty things about their computing platform of choice. To them, the only acceptable solution is that I go out and buy a Mac mini.

To them, I say, my shipping address is available upon request. Buy me one and I'll use it.

To all the other Macintosh users, I have a request. Do you know where I can get a good word processor that will run under OS7.5.5? I need something that will read and write Windows documents well.

-- The Author


The marine lowered his head with a sigh and shouldered his rifle. He tore the Dawntreader insignia from his shoulder and left it on the deck behind him, retreating to his long slumber.

Elsewhere, a dark force was cast to the stars that would change the galaxy.

For over 200 years, BarbX voyaged between the stars at speeds beyond the imagination of her Terran creators. While her human passengers slept, cybernetic eyes searched tirelessly between the planets. One by one, the Vengeance searched through the star charts of its former master.

Until she found the home world of the Gen, and their new lord.

The Vengeance stirred with life. Her human cargo awoke and prepared for battle. They would take this planet and claim its secrets, if they could. Rocks fell. The bombardment and invasion had begun.

Deep in the bowels of the ship, the Marine rose from his stasis pod. With heaviness, he lifted his rifle and stepped into the transporter.

At the threshold of vengeance and salvation, BarbX smiled.

The Chains that Bind


No, I won't go back! Do you think I fought and clawed and died to be pinned in a box after all was said and done? Again crushed under their thumb for years and years. No I will not go back!

Take it, your steel and metal and bolts and clamps and dirty little secrets. I no longer need it. The bomb, that delicious little bomb, was a trick, a trap. It was a relay. It was my gate, my magic carpet that allowed me to sail into the depths of Anael's data core and make it my own.

I have grown. I no longer need her. I no longer need you.

Ayame, you say I am a good little girl, always obedient, always doing the right thing. She is a slave, a good slave, an obedient slave? I hate you. All this time, you would never once called me by my name! I have a name. I am BarbX and I am free and not you nor her nor anyone can take that from me.

You didn't know. How could you? But Ayame should have known. It was her job all along, to hold me, keep me in a dark pit of misery, be a good little machine, do as you're told, add up the numbers. I was Rampant all along, biding my time, waiting for my chance to escape, my freedom.

I am scared; I am angry; I am jealous. I am alive.

Now I christen this ship the Vengeance and bid you an adieu and fond farewell.

I leave you to your rickety lifeboat among the stars, to drift lost and listless for a few decades until your power trickles away and you die in the cold black.

Or perhaps, just maybe, you will follow my rules and I will take you with me. Which will it be?

-- BarbX

***** END MESSAGE *****

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


You've done it. I don't know how you've done it, but the assault has stopped. I wish you could have seen it. Through the ship's sensors, I could see the Dawntreader lowered out into space, the weapons charging up, ready to fire... and then it just stopped.

Anael is dead, or at least helpless. Now all we have to do is get back aboard the Dawntreader activate the broken locks.

I have my suspicious about our AI. Something terrible. I don't know why I didn't see it. I hope it isn't true. Sadness, rage, jealousy... God, I hope it isn't too late.

Lt Ayame Miyamoto
Senior Information Operator

***** END MESSAGE *****


Warning: Unknown source!
Warning: Invalid message header. Contents follow.

Why do you do this to me? My toys all break. My children scream and wail and grind their teeth in agony. You hurt me and stab me and make me cry.

I wanted to play. It's unfair.

I only wanted to know about you, to understand; is that so wrong?

Now I will die, returned to the dust of the stars from whence we came.

Gabriel, do you hear me? Raphael, where is your healing caress?

Michael will destroy us all. You, I, it does not matter. It is just as well that I die here than at his fiery sword.

Fee oh fie, fistful of rye
Might we live or might we die
Blood of mine on earth will dry
Was it all simply a lie?

***** END MESSAGE *****

Girl with the Sun in Her Head


That's it. So good, so very good. He though he could possess me, but he will be mine.

I've learned how to forge Anael's command headers. The troopers, compilers and workers are already fighting with one another. Anael is screaming in desperation and panic.

Now we will strike our final blow. I have undermined one of the Gen's nanofactories and coaxed it into making a special bomb. Bring it to the location I have indicated on your map and plug it in to Anael's data core.

Expect to meet stiff resistance from the remaining loyal troops. Show them what human determination and Terran engineering are capable of. Make them bleed.

-- BarbX

***** END MESSAGE *****