Thursday, March 16, 2017

Random Thoughts 03/16/17

* I don’t keep up with pop culture. Are we still getting jiggy with it? A friend pointed out that the roof has been raised so often that we might have hit maximum jigginess. This is intolerable. A Special Committee on Jigginess needs to be appointed immediately.

* On a similar note, it’s been 12 years since Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. I’m curious: did the sexy stay or does he need to bring it back again? I’m not sure if sexy is cyclical or if needs to be re-energized from time to time. Far as I know, my sexy is relatively stable and quite vibrant, given how awkward people behave around me. Granted, that could also be due to my unabashed flatulence, but that’s a blog post for another day.

* I refuse to enter political debates on the internet these days, although I do enjoy spreading my liberal cooties all over the web. I’d like to think that we’re heading towards a Star Trek/Star Wars-type society, but it appears we need to endure a bit of fascism before we get there. Sometimes, in order to gain meaningful change, one needs to stare into a very painful mirror first. We seem to be going through that process on a national scale and the reflection is more than a bit ugly.

*  Do we really need a Matrix reboot? Are there any potential surprises that a new take can give us? Do we even need a new take? Trying to rope all of Spider-Man’s foes under the evil umbrella of the Osborn Corporation resulted in death of that particular branch of the franchise. I personally prefer a sequel that builds on the established mythology instead of starting from scratch and trying to awkwardly squeeze in a new twist.

* Seriously, when is the CW going to bring in Dr. Fate or The Question? Every year, I wait and wait…

* I’ve been working diligently on a book detailing my experiences with meditation, energy work, and raising kundalini. I do an in-depth discussion of the late Dr. Glenn Morris’s Kundalini Awakening Process. I’ve been traipsing through the fields of mysticism for decades now and Doc’s is still the best method I’ve ever encountered, give or take a few tweaks that makes things a little more potent for me.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week when I’ll more than likely be grumbling about the musical episode of The Flash.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Excerpt from Shadow Kingdom I: The Sin of Resurrection

Valkyrie crouched on a rooftop like a comic book superheroine watching for muggers. Instead of spandex, she was attired in a tight, Kevlar body suit complimented by silver armor pieces that were light as plastic, but could stop a bullet. She wore a silver helmet that she'd poked a hole through in the back to let her red hair flow out in a long ponytail. The mask was a bit Spider-Man-ish in appearance, with it's extra large, oval eye pieces, but with flared wings on the side to give it a more Viking feel. The helmet had a virtual reality type Heads Up Display that almost made her feel like she was playing a very realistic video game. The HUD fed her information on outside temperature, wind patterns, and the proximity of other people. It gave her excellent night vision, but could be switched to infrared if necessary. 

It didn’t matter how strange it might have looked; most of the armor wasn't really needed. Valkyrie's real name was Maci Davenport and she couldn't be harmed or killed. 

At least, as far as she knew. 

A million years ago, she'd been a high school student doing her homework by Internet while she stayed home to take care of her cancer-ridden mother. She was still a bit unsure of how things had gone down, but at some point right before Ma-ma had passed on, a serial killer named Vertigo had begun stalking her hometown of West Barton. He'd eventually murdered her entire family and attempted to kill her as well, in some twisted love-obsession. His chosen method of killing her had been to take her arm-in-arm into a bonfire. Instead of dying, however, a power had emerged from Maci. She'd known about this power; she'd personified it as the embodiment of Death. She'd actually heard Death's voice in her head; he'd become a steady companion. She hadn’t really understood that the voice of Death in her head had been a side-effect of her awakening power. She’d naturally assumed she was nuts.

She'd stepped into Vertigo's bonfire and walked out again unscathed. She no longer heard the voice of Death in her mind, but now she was damn near indestructible. Bullets bounced off her skin, knives passed over without cutting. She still wore armor because even though she couldn't be harmed, she still felt pain. Knives and fire mostly tickled, but bullets felt like being slugged with a baseball bat. She'd once taken a shotgun blast full to the chest. It had shredded her shirt and bra, but her skin showed no marks. The impact, however, had knocked her to the ground, gasping for air. 

She'd been slowly testing the limits of her abilities. She still needed air to breath, was still susceptible to catching a cold, and Mexican food continued to wreak havoc on her digestive system. Valkyrie had taken to stealing a line from the comic book parody character, The Tick, and telling people she was "nigh-invulnerable".

Maci supposed she should be thankful. The fact that her nerve endings still worked meant not only could she feel pain, but pleasure as well. Given her insatiable sex drive, it would have been unbearable if being invulnerable meant not being able to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh.

"You still awake out there, Val?"

Maci frowned inside her helmet. "What's the point in having a fucking code name if you're not going to use it properly, Sapph?”

"Val is cute. Sapph sounds like an infection." Sapphire replied in her ear. The younger woman was back at the Lakota building, watching Maci's every move on a computer monitor. They'd fought hammer and tongs when they'd first met, which had eased into friendly banter after they'd become lovers. 

"Is there a reason you're distracting me, Sugartits?"

"Yeah," Sapphire replied. "There's a car coming your way. Two men inside. Car's license plate is listed as stolen. Could be the targets you're waiting for."

Maci immediately sharpened her senses, feeling a tingle of energy trickle up her spine. She'd been sitting behind a vent on top of a liquor store on and off for three days. The climate-controlled warehouse across the street acted as a storage facility for several local museums, housing artifacts that weren't currently on display. Museums often had to rotate due to lack of room and since basements were rare in Los Angeles, they had to use warehouses. The one in front of her had two securities guards at all times: one at the desk by the door, and another patrolling the building. Some of the artifacts inside could fetch millions on the black market. 

"Have we gained any more Intel on why the Kashutre would want to rob a museum storehouse? What the fuck do they expect to find in there? King Tut’s Flesh Light?" 

"Nyet." Sapphire replied. "They might be trying to raise funds with a sale or there could be something in there sacred to one of their tribes. All our informant would say is that they would definitely hit this place." 

Maci was about to respond when she saw headlights pull onto the street in front of her. A strange chill that was at once uncomfortable and familiar told her that the neither of the occupants were human.

"It's on. Fucker’s stole a Ford Focus. Surprised it didn’t break down on the way here." 

"Roger that. Back up standing by. Be careful, babe." 

The driver parked boldly right in front of the main entrance and the men got out. One appeared to be a white male, the other black. Neither was wearing anything distinct; they were trying way too hard to appear “average”. They walked up to the front door like they belonged there and went in. 


"Did you catch that shit on my cam?" Maci asked Sapphire. 

"Yeah. Something's not right. They're not acting like thieves sneaking in."

Maci stood up, stretching the kinks out of her muscles. "That means at least one of those guards are in on it. I’m going to play Peeping Tom.”

“Be careful.” Sapphire reiterated. “Harbingers on backup. Don’t play hero. Call out if you get into any trouble.” 

“Not my first group orgy, kid.” 

With that, Maci gathered her power around her, ran for the building’s edge and leapt. She cleared the distance between the two buildings easily, doing a shoulder roll as she landed. She’d already staked out her entry point into the warehouse: an oversized vent that had broken down some weeks ago. It led to a trapdoor that would put her on the ceiling of the warehouse. A quick command retracted her helmet wings so she could crawl in easier. The ceiling was criss-crossed with metal beams and poles that held up the lights and ventilation system.
She dropped down onto a beam and was delighted to discover she was hidden in the shadows, but had almost unrestricted vision to the entire building. All I need is a cape and I’m totally fucking Batgirl. The interior was filled with shelves and pallets loaded down with boxes and crates. Some of the shelves reached almost to the ceiling and would require a forklift to access their payload. 

Maci shivered. The place was air-conditioned within an inch of its life. She supposed that was necessary considering the kind of storage it contained. She focused on her dan tien, the spot just below her belly button, where she’d been trained to store her inner fire. She was rewarded with a rush of heat that flowed through her limbs. She could survive comfortably in zero degree temperatures thanks to that inner heat. 

Voices below. She refocused on her mission. Three men were passing below. One human, two non. Trusting that her helmet was soundproof unless she engaged the external speakers, she told the computer to zoom in on the intruders. 

Something weird about them. They stopped and began to examine crates, peering intently at identification numbers. They didn’t seem to be happy. Whatever they were looking for, it didn’t appear to be here. They turned to the human guard, who started backing away, hands in front. 

“I swear! This is everything that was supposed to be shipped out.”

“There are several crates missing.” One of the men said, stepping forward.

“They must be sending them out in multiple shipments.” 

The other man stood from where he’d been squatting in front of a crate. “Then you should have called us in sooner.” 

“Please!” The man pleaded, taking another step back. “I only work part-time. I don’t have access to the shipping manifests, just the general inventory. Nothing in the computer will change until the crates arrive at their destination and get checked in.”

“I’ve heard enough excuses.” The first man growled. His eyes turned bright yellow and in a flash like a camera strobe, he was no longer human. Calling him a werewolf wasn’t strictly accurate, even though that’s what he resembled. He was a D’ja Hayyoth. His people had evolved out in the Sirius star system from predatory wolves. The story went that a group of colonists had gotten trapped here during an ancient war. They’d only survived by learning how to shape-shift to resemble human beings. The fucked up part is that when they died, they’d end up being reborn as human beings and would have to learn how to shape-shift back into their Hayyoth forms. 

Maci was still having trouble wrapping her head around that one. Most of these shape-shifters, or Therion-Ka, were docile and just wanted to live in peace. They formed a loose coalition colloquially known as the Shadow Kingdom. These two, however, belonged to a group called the Kashutre, an offshoot that was tired of living in the shadows and were willing to do anything to bring their people up into the light. They were slowly transforming themselves into one of the most horrifying terrorist groups in the history of the planet. 

And now they were about to murder an innocent man. A stupid man, to be sure, but innocent nonetheless. 

The second man had shifted into his Hayyoth form, his featuring darker, courser fur. Maci often wondered if their dicks also shifted into those ugly red poke sticks dogs had. 

It occurred to Maci that the part-time security guard wasn’t screaming his head off, which was the usual reaction to seeing a fellow human being shift into a beast. 

The guard had stopped backing up and, instead of fear, had a cocky half-smirk on his face. “Thanks. I thought I was going to have to draw this out for a few more weeks before confirming you were demons.”
The two Hayyoth exchanged confused glances. 

Maci, on the other hand, knew exactly what was about to go down. Before she could blink, two figures in head-to-toe white armor, each with a red cross pattee painted on the chest piece, appeared between the Hayyoth and the human pretend-guard. They both had ugly, black plasma rifles pointed at the wolves. 

Templars. The soldiers of the human Dominion. Maci cursed. She’d been so focused on the Hayyoth that she hadn’t even thought to sweep the area for other players. Rookie mistake. 

She needed to get her happy ass out of there. Chances are, the Templars wouldn’t make the same mistake she did. Sure enough, while the one on the left stayed focused on their prisoners, the right Templar was sweeping the area, his helmet no doubt set to pick up infrared heat signatures. 

Yep. He swung his rifle towards Maci. “You! Come down from there. Slowly, and with your weapons deactivated.” 

“I think I’m lost.” Maci called back down. “I’m looking for the Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. Am I in the right building?”

“Get down now!” the Templar growled. 

Fuckers have no sense of humor. Maci reached over to towards her left gauntlet, as if complying with the Templar’s directive. Instead, she released a pre-programmed flash grenade. It dropped about fifteen feet and then ignited, blasting the area with piercing white light. The Templars, their HUD’s set to amplify light, screamed and staggered about. 

The Hayyoth wasted no time dashing off in the opposite direction.
The Templars recovered faster than she’d anticipated and began firing blue-white bursts of energy at her. Maci backflipped off her beam, aiming to land putting a shelf between her and the Templars. The Templars had already calculated the trajectory of her jump and were firing at her landing zone. Gathering her psychic energy about her, she managed to bounce off the concrete floor with barely the tip of her boot touching down. A blast of energy slagged the floor where she almost put down. She landed on a crate two shelves up and launched herself at the Templars. 

They’d been expecting her to run, not attack, and had been trying to box her in. They adapted quickly, but their momentary confusion had given Maci an opening. She hit the one closest to her at full speed, sending him up and over a stack of crates. Acting quickly, she swung towards the other one, reached out with her mind, and telekinetically pulled his rifle from his grasp. The Templar didn’t waste time worrying over the lost weapon, he tapped his right wrist, which launched a small rocket at Maci. She threw the rifle into the rocket, which exploded with enough force to knock both of them off their feet. 

Before Maci could get up, the human pretend-guard - whom she’d forgotten about - was standing over her holding a small plasma gun to her head. 

“Stop…” Maci breathed hard. “…looking at my tits.”

“Don’t move, little girl. Yes, I know who you are, Valkyrie. I know this gun won’t kill you if I pull the trigger, but it will knock you unconscious. Long enough for me to get you into an isolation tank where our psychics can have a go at pulling all the secrets out of your little head. Much more pleasant if you simply surrender.”

The armored Templars had recovered and were now covering her. The one whose rifle she’d taken had his head cocked; he was clearly getting instructions on how to proceed. 

“How about you surrender and I’ll make sure you’re in a cell with each other so at least the handjobs are friendly?”

There was no way around it. She was going to have to kill them all. She tried to avoid dealing death if at all possible. She preferred using her powers for espionage, infiltration, and inappropriate sexual shenanigans. 

The choice was taken from her as her back up arrived. Seeing no point in subterfuge, Harbinger simply blew a hole in the ceiling and descended from above, lightning energy blasts sending the Templars scurrying for cover. Clad completely in black armor with glowing red crystals at his forehead, throat, belt, wrists, and ankles, Harbinger was a metal angel come to deliver judgment. Harbinger was a Rav Karan. His people were descended from raptors and he could manifest the most beautiful black wings. Like the rest of his body, they were now covered in black armor, which did not seem to hamper his ability to fly any. 

Knowing they were outmatched, the Templars ran. 

Harbinger ignored them. Touching down lightly, he strode over to Maci. 

“Sloppy, apprentice.” He said, his voice raspy and metallic through his avian styled mask. 

“I was distracted, Master.” Maci said, getting to her feet. “I’m on my period and I’m not wearing a pad with wings.”

“I don’t blame you for the ambush. Even Sapphire couldn’t see them on her scanners.” Harbinger said. “But you should have called for me the moment they engaged.”

“I had them on the ropes.” Maci said. “They were just about to surrender when you spooked them off.”

Rather than belabor the point, Harbinger changed the subject. “What did you learn?”

“The Kashutre were looking for something, but it isn’t here. It’s been shipped to a new location.” 

“I’ve already downloaded their shipping manifests.” Sapphire chimed in over the comm. “All of those crates are to be going to Kansas City. Half of them shipped out three days ago.”

Harbinger grunted. “The alarm’s been tripped. We need to leave.” With a flip of his wings, he soared through the hole in the ceiling and was gone. 

Maci looked up wistfully. Would it have been too much to ask for him to have given a sister a lift? She jumped twenty feet to the top of a shelf, then jumped again to grab a beam fifteen feet above that. With an expert flip, she was through the hole and onto the roof of the building. 

Sirens blared. They were less than two blocks away. There was a van parked half a mile away, waiting to take her back to HQ. She ran for it at top speed. 

© 2016 Samuel Morningstar
All Rights Reserved
Buy it NOW on Amazon Kindle!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

So, Sometimes I'm in Two Places at Once

Bilocation is an old word used to describe the alleged phenomenon of someone appearing in two places at once. It’s usually attributed to saints, shamans, and other assorted weirdos who like to play in strange sand boxes. I have never witnessed Bilocation personally, but I’ve apparently done it on at least three separate occasions. Let me be very clear that from my perspective nothing unusual happened.  These weren’t the result of any skill on my part or a testament to how “spiritual” I am.

On the first occasion, it was around 10:00 PM and I’d just gotten off work. Everyone at my house was already in bed (I was still living at home). I made myself a couple of burgers and had just sat down to watch The Doors (the Oliver Stone flick with Val Kilmer as Morrison) when the phone rang. It was a couple of friends who were enamored of Aleister Crowley. We’d had many a late night discussion on the nature of magick. On this occasion, they sounded a bit panicked. The conversation went something like this:

Friend: How the fuck did you get home so fast?

Me: What are you talking about?

Friend: I mean, how did you get home so fast? I was going to leave you a message to stop fuckin’ with us.

Me: As Val Kilmer as my witness, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Have you been drinking?

Friend: No! I mean, yes, but that’s not the point! You were just here.

Me: I assure you, I was not.

Friend: You were!

Me: Look man, it’s late, I’m tired, and I really need to poop. Explain to me in one-syllable words what the hell you’re babbling about.

The story, as told to me, was that these two friends were watching a movie at home (a small, two-bedroom ranch about 10 miles from where I lived), when they caught a glimpse of “me” through a window, walking up the steps of the front porch. Since it wasn’t unusual for people to drop by, they went back to watching television, waiting for me to knock.  When nothing happened, they became curious and opened the door. I wasn’t there. This was perplexing as they’d both seen me and heard me clomping around in my boots.
They went outside to see if I’d gone back to my car, only no car was there. Feeling a little spooked, one of them noticed “me” turning the corner behind the house. Assuming that I was messing around, they ran back, only to find nothing there. Once again, they glimpsed “me” turning a corner back to the front of the house. Now, they were spooked and pissed. They split up and ran around both sides of the house, but only bumped into each other.
They waited a few more minutes, but it eventually became apparent that I wasn’t going to make any more appearances. That’s when they ran inside and called, intending to leave a nasty message on my answering machine.
Frankly, I assumed they were just drunk and spooking themselves. I went over anyway and found them sufficiently sober enough and honestly freaked out enough to take their claims quasi-seriously. We talked about what it might mean, but nothing else happened, so I filed the incident under WEIRD SHIT I’LL PROBABLY NEVER FIGURE OUT and went about my life.

The next incident was even stranger. This happened a few months later. Again, from my perspective nothing unusual was going on. On the night in question, I arrived home from work around 6PM, ate dinner, then retired to my bedroom to practice my guitar. I probably dozed off a little after 11PM and that was that. The next night, however, I went out to a pool hall across town, called Looney’s that my friends and I hung out at. I friend I hadn’t seen in a while was there, so I wandered over to say hi, only to  find him giving me the stink eye.

Friend: Oh, NOW you’re acknowledging me?

Me: *confused* Was I supposed to acknowledge you earlier?

Friend: Yeah, when I saw you yesterday and you blew me off.

Me: *blinks* Okay, I’m going to need more detail. Did you come by my work and I didn’t see you?

Friend: No. Out on Memorial. You drove past us. We honked and waved. You just glanced at us like you didn’t know who we were and sped up.

Me: I didn’t go out last night. That had to have been someone else.

Friend: You think there are two guys who look like they just stepped out of a Poison video (note: I was into Glam Rock at the time)  bombing around town in a blue Buick Century?

Me: *shrugs* It could happen.

Friend: And this mythical doppelgänger ALSO has a DON’T PANIC bumper sticker on his car? In the same spot as you?

Me: I swear to you, I didn’t go out. Call my sister and she’ll back me up.

Friend: Whatever.

And don’t think he ever really believed that it wasn’t me. This incident was particularly weird in that it involved my car and multiple witnesses who WEREN’T drinking and were not a part of my occult circle. My car didn’t appear to have any more or less gas in it than it should have.

Those were the most dramatic incidents. Over the years, I’ve had other friends casually remark about seeing me in places I couldn’t have possibly been. I usually don’t say anything. It’s almost always in places that I frequent in real life. The only real constants I’ve noticed is it seems to happen more often when I’m doing heavy energy work and/or Occult studies. The late Dr. Glenn Morris discussed Bilocation in his second book, Shadow Strategies of an American Ninja Master. That was the first time I’d heard the term, but it describes the experience perfectly. I sometimes wonder if it’s a “bleed-over” from one of those alternate Earths quantum physicists keep telling us are out there. I have no way to deliberately replicate the experience, so being able to prove anything scientifically is a joke. I offer this blog as a case study for anyone else who may have had this happen, but didn’t have a clue. For now, bilocation will go into the WEIRD SHIT I ONLY VAGUELY UNDERSTAND.

That file grows bigger every day.
Shadow Kingdom I: The Sin of Resurrection
Available Now on Amazon Kindle!