Kunlun Chapter 6

The red stem glows in the fading light. Crickets & cicadas chirp in the depth of the woods.
One of the many elders trees in the forest angled dangerously on the steep slope. The top of the holy mountain was crowned by a silver grey mist. He looked wearily at the hidden peaks. He had a long way to travel, but little daylight left.
Yet, he could sense the still sacredness of the place. The shaman he had met along the mountain path, & who had accompanied him to the base of the holy mountain, had sensed his apprehension, & had advised him to keep climbing until he ran into one of the immortals.
The Kunluns did not give up their mysterious secrets to the merely curious or half-willing.
The mountain streams now were so cold that he worried his fingers would freeze & break off were he to cup that water in his hands.
His breath came out in plumes of white, sharp exhales accompanying his climb. Each breath was a ragged icy pain in his chest. Nevertheless, he was a strong man, & kept going, unmindful of his discomfort, forcing his mind to keep from wandering to what would happen a few hours from now, once it was dark.
A testament to his simple village upbringing & sincerity, he took the advice of the shaman to heart & kept climbing.
Only once he feared the dark would finally swallow him whole, he felt around in his hide bag & made a small torch from pitch & twisted twine. As soon as it was done, he lit it up & resumed his slow, stubborn march.
As cold as it was, he was pleased to see that the trees did not appear to thin out as he climbed higher. His exhausted brain did not make the realisation that it was a testament to the magical aura of the heights.
The trees provided shelter from the naked wind, & would be able to provide wood for a fire or to make a makeshift shelter for the night.
And yet he kept climbing. Alone, a pinpoint of flame betraying the presence of the only living soul in a vast expansive wilderness.
He started to see eyes & faces leering at him from the shadows, but which would disappear if he happened to turn his eyes towards them. He wondered whether it was a result of the cold & exhaustion or were they primal spirits that had taken up residence here.
His hallucinations got wilder, with snakes slithering in front of his feet, & hungry ghosts dragging their sad sorry selves around with no real aim.
Old, strangely glowing animal spirits accompanied his climb for short distances, always maintaining some distance, saying nothing, rarely even looking at him.
The very last one he remembered was a silver grey silhouette of a wolf, walking at just the edge of his circle of light. He could feel the pure primal aggression & an almost furious white-hot heat radiating from it, making him both glad for such a strong companion & also apprehensive of what it would do to him if it were simply inclined that way.
His village elders had often told the children stories of the ancestral animal spirits. He remembered one

cold winter afternoon

they were curled up in the house with his grandmother & she told them about the elder wolf spirit.

He remembered her admonition to treat ancestral & animal spirits with reverence & respect, with them being prone to anger & aggression, not because they were evil, because they were pure. Both sides of the polarity existed in nature, & these spirits, closely attuned to the energies of the natural world, reflected those attributes.
His mind forced back to the present moment all at once, he didn’t understand what caused it, but he could feel a tingle of apprehensive excitement vibrate through his spine.
He thought he saw a glimpse of dim orange in the woods in front of him. Brushing away the thought, he kept on trudging through the snow. His animal furs, which he had never had the chance to doubt would keep him warm, were starting to falter. Even through the thick layers, icy cold fingers of air crept stealthily in, robbing him of much needed warmth & the confidence that comes with being certain of being safely protected from the elements.
But then he saw it again, a shaky orange light barely visible through the trees.

His pace quickened.

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Kunlun Chapter 3 (excerpt)

He surveyed the magical land. He did not know how long he had lived here, & how long he would live to come.
He had never met another soul, & frankly did not know if there were any like him. All he knew were the plants, birds, insects & small magical animals that lived in the mountains & valleys.
But he did remember, as if the faint traces of a dream the details of which had been long forgotten, his previous life.
He could remember anything he wanted. His concentration was sharpened to a razors edge, his mind powers so concentrated that he could perceive the individual vibrations of an atom with nothing but his mind.
All he needed to do to gain keen insight into the nature of any thing, being, concept or idea was to merely direct his attention to it, & all the universe’s billions of years of data on the object of his attention would be available to him, vast streams of information & energy flowing from his crown down out of his hands & feet, his internal wheel of life pulling infinitely large amounts of energy through him & processing that data at bandwidths unimaginable to the most modern human technologies.
The universal parallel hypercomputer, the one that managed the laws of the universe was available to him now, with everything that entailed. It dealt with matrices with an infinite number of variables, the results stepped down & localised to the perceiving capacity of each individual flame of consciousness.
He was one with the Dao.

Things I Would Do If I Were An Evil Villain

Dr Evil finger

Can I get a hug?

Things I would do if I were an evil villain

Warning: read this list at your own risk. You will not be able to watch a movie and not notice these tropes again.

Trope Definition
Here again, instead of Websters, I’ll use the ever witty & increasing relevant Urban Dictionary. Here’s the UD definition of the word.

Trope: Despite the erroneous definitions already published here, TROPE on the interwebs really refers to an often overused plot device. It can also be described as another variation on the same theme. TV shows, movies, comics, games, anime & books are full of tropes & many rabid fan-sites now name & track said tropes with a self-explanatory title for each one.

1. When I have the hero cornered, I would just shoot him. No long speeches, no lengthy explanations of how he/his family/his friends/his community have hurt my wee li’l feelings, and how I plan on exacting revenge and how much satisfaction I’ll derive from his demise. If I’m feeling particularly verbose, I’ll kill him first, then give him a speech or a spiffy one liner. Essentially, I’ll save the gloating for later.

So many movie plot twists have occurred because of the villain wasting time and words on a hero, who is then rescued just in time or has time to think and figures out a plan of escape.

2. When I have the gun on my arch enemy, I’ll maintain my distance. Guns are meant to shoot at a distance, so I won’t just go up to him and hold it to his head, even though it looks much cooler that way.

At the same time, I’ll keep an eye out for any stuff within arms reach of the hero which he can use as a projectile weapon.

Better yet, if I need him alive, I’ll just shoot his arms and legs so he can’t use them. Alternatively, if I need him to walk or use his hands, then I’ll just shoot his arms or feet respectively.

3. I won’t be so overconfident as to give the hero a fighting chance to save himself. I’ll assume he’s stronger than me, and won’t waste the opportunity on such trivialities such as honour. I am the villain after all. Sportsmanship is for wusses.

4. I won’t leave the hero to fate, or presume he is dead. Two extra shots, one to the head, one to the heart just to make sure. Decapitation will be preferred.

5. I won’t leave an arch enemy on a downward sloping prison that leads to a sheer cliff face, just to make him suffer. Nor will I keep him alive just to make him watch the destruction of his family/love interest/planet. I’m fucking going to be killing him, how much worse can it get for him?

6. If killing him is not enough to satiate me, I’ll go do a course of meditation or something to get over my bloodthirst. Remember, anger hurts ourselves before it hurts others.

7. If I want someone assassinated, I won’t hire a cut rate assassin who’s likely to fail, just to save some money. I’ll get the best of the lot.

8. I’ll make sure there’s no way to stop the countdown on the doomsday device. Better yet I won’t even have a visible countdown so no one knows it’s already underway.

If I’m feeling even more evil I’ll have a clock where the destruction actually happens at 5 hours 45 minutes, but no one knows that but me.

9. As to the matter of hacking into the system, I won’t have it connected to the network/Internet/WAN, and I won’t have a hackable password or security holes that could be exploited.

10. The keypad to open the security doors won’t just open them when it is smashed or shot. That’s the stupidest vulnerability I can think of. Even a ten year old should catch it.

11. Passwords would be atleast 16 digits, and usually a phrase that no one except me would be able to guess. (D0nk3yB@llzB00g3rBr3@thM0nk3y)

12. There won’t be a big Red switch which when pressed aborts the doomsday sequence.

Why have any such switch at the console.
Evil villain level 99 : I’ll have that switch, which will be secretly electrified. If anyone tries to press it, voila! Instant brain roast.

13. I will have multiple secret lairs with the same equipment and high levels of redundancy so that if one is taken out, another will take its place. If money is tight, I’ll try to do as much via software as possible and outsource tech support to the Philippines.

This is a work in progress, as villainy as an art is an iterative process. I’ll add to this list from time to time as I think of more stuff and others share their own insights. Happy hunting!

Love,

Yash

Darkworld Chapter 1 : Insertion

In all his travelling, he had never come to a world anything like this..even close to this. He was quite disoriented and felt a sense of alertness…even fear.

There wasnt any light in this place…was it night? But he had a distinct sense that this was a normal day in this….place.

Looking up, he saw what appeared to be a black sun emitting some sort of light.

But if it was dark, how could he see? How indeed?

‘It’s places like this’, he thought ‘that stretch the limits of our limited language and familiar concepts’.

It seems to be a fact now that the truly alien cannot really be imagined by us.
He surveyed the eerie landscape stretched out before him.

And then he heard it. A strange, musical beeping. Bleep-bloop-bleep….

The ground was smooth as glass, and black like everything else in this mess of quantum weirdness.

Was he even in the same universe, with similar laws of physics and reality? Or had he, this time, slipped through the fabric of space and time altogether  into a parallel reality.

Too twisted to imagine.

He made mental notes as he looked, that he would put into his diary first chance he got, making sure he didn’t miss any details.

‘Right! How do I describe a world where there’s no visible light, but I’m seeing without seeing…’

Was he seeing psychically. Had a part of his sensory system come online that had no use back on earth?

He closed his eyes and everything went black. He couldn’t see with his eyes closed. ‘I’m definitely seeing with my eyes,’ he concluded as he opened them again.

 

-to be continued…