San Diego

Fanfic Test - Message from Terra (Horus Heresy ficlet, cute)

“Lord Malcador, Primarch Guilliman’s flagship has just arrived in-system,” the voice of one of the control-tower personnel informed the Sigillite through a floating servo-skull.

Malcador paused from his conversation with Primarch Dorn. The elderly First Lord of Terra held a parchment delicately in his bony, blue-veined hands as he frowned in confusion. “Why has Roboute come to Terra? <cut>

Rogal Dorn scowled. This was his usual facial expression, but Malcador had learned to detect subtle differences in the Praetorian’s features. Right now, he too was perplexed.

“Unknown,” the voice from the servo-skull told them. “He says he will only speak to you, Sire, and in person.”

Dorn gave a barely perceptible nod. “I will have the Imperial Fists man the walls.”

Malcador placed the parchment on the table and reached for his Aquila staff. “I think that would be wise. This is very abrupt, and out of character for Roboute. I will meet with him in my reception parlour. Until then, I will look back through my cogitator records and see if there are any clues I may have missed about him.”

Malcador made his way back to his quarters. As he entered the front room that served as his personal office, the lights came on automatically and a servitor set in a wall niche began to prepare a cup of tea for him. The old man placed his staff carefully into an iron bracket on the floor behind his massive oak desk and placed a hand on one of the arms of his chair. An enormous Northwayan Forest Cat lay curled on the sheepskin cushion in the seat of the chair.

“Shoo, Henry,” Malcador said, waving a hand at the animal.

Henry stared with yellow eyes at the Sigillite.

“Get out of my seat, you monster.”

Henry rolled onto his back, showing a grey-tufted belly.

“Oh, all right, I will pay your toll.” Malcador buried his fingertips in the fur of his cat’s abdomen. The cat rolled left and right a few times, then sat up abruptly, grabbed Malcador’s hand with his front paws, and bit his thumb. Malcador pulled his hand away and tapped Henry sharply on top of his head with a forefinger. Henry pulled his head back, then rolled to the side of the chair. Malcador settled in with the cat lying alongside his thigh. They did this several times a day.

A servo-skull brought Malcador his tea. He ignored it as he started going through messages on his cogitator. He actually hadn’t received anything recently from Guilliman beyond…

Lord Malcador, remember always that in all things, I am your most obedient servant.

In the context of Horus’s uprising, Malcador had thought the message was unusually impulsive from Guilliman, but reassuring. Now he wondered if it was only a declaration of loyalty.

When Malcador went to his reception parlour, he took a short time to admire the collection of historical artifacts he kept there. It was also a brilliant day over the Himalayzians, and the sunscreens over the picture windows were working to keep the light from becoming blinding. The view saddened him, as the magnificence of the palace was being covered by the battlements Dorn was erecting to protect them, so he went to his usual armchair. The table in front of it held a decanter of wine and two glasses. 

“Lord Guilliman approaching,” said a voice from another servo-skull. “Adeptus Custodes are deployed as honour guards. Shall they remain in the parlour with you?”

“Yes, have them remain,” he ordered.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, the doors to the parlour opened. Human servants stood to each side of them as two Custodians entered, helmeted with power staves ready. Roboute Guilliman entered, followed by two more. Servants and guards flanked the doors as they closed and Guilliman stepped forward.

He was pale. Malcador noticed that first. He was also not in armour, instead wearing an Ultramarine-blue uniform with gold epaulets and a swirling black cape. Guilliman stopped in front of Malcador and went to one knee.

“Lord Malcador,” he said.

“Primarch Guilliman. What brings you to Terra?”

Guilliman lifted his head. Despite kneeling, he still had to look down at the Sigillite. “I have received your proposal. I have come to accept. And yet…I am deeply confused. My respect for you is second only to my respect for the Emperor himself, but Lord Malcador, you are old. I am loyal to you. What purpose would this union serve?”

Malcador tipped his head to the side. “What union?”

Guilliman leaned back on his knee. “Our union. You proposed marriage. I am puzzled as to why.”

Malcador noticed that his mouth was hanging open. He snapped it shut then asked,” In what form did this marriage proposal come to you?”

“It came through the astropathic choir. My Choirmaster thought it had to be a mistake, but the message came through four more times. He concluded it was very urgent.”

Malcador pointed to a chair. “Sit, Roboute.”

Guilliman did.

Malcador poured two goblets of wine. “I sent no such message. “

“Then how and why did it come to me?”

Malcador considered. Then his eyes widened. “Oh that damnable monster!”

“Konrad Curze? Horus?”

“Worse than that,” Malcador said. “Henry.”

“Who the hell is Henry?”

Malcador returned to his front room at a swift hobble, Roboute Guilliman on his heels. Malcador dispensed with the tummy-scratch part of the ritual, shoved Henry roughly to the side of his chair, and sat down. He went through his “sent messages” folder until he found one that read “MRRRTYUIJ<KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMRRRRRRRRRRRYMMMMMMMMMMMMMEUGIHJKGEEEEEEEE?.”

“My astropathic choir got ‘Marry me’ out of that.” Roboute marveled.

“I suppose the choir had to come up with something,” Malcador said.  “It could have been worse.  I don’t care to imagine how, though.”  

Malcador looked down at his pet.  Henry glared up at him.

“Bad kitty,” Malcador scolded.</cut>


Oh, I almost forgot!

I love these Mochi Things "Better Together" pouches. The smaller one, I've had a little buyer's regret about until now.

A few weeks ago I tried out a Kindle Fire 7', but was disappointed in it. In Sierra Vista, I found that the Samsung 7' E Lite was on clearance at Walmart. My mom had sent me some money, so I got it. It is everything I wanted, because it reads memory cards and I use an app called Prestigio to read books that I don't buy for Kindle. It has a Kindle app of course, and access to a Pandora/Spotify type service called Samsung Milk Music. I've watched Netflix on it. I've given the 10' Samsung tablet back to Sigyn, who is happy to have it returned.

And it fits perfetly in the smaller Better Together pouch.

(Mochi Things are Very cute Korean stationery and bags, but really expensive! I got them both on sale. has a lot of the same items for 1/10th of the price.
Centcom Patch

Last AT

So I was in Ft. Huachuca for what ought to be my last ever Annual Training. My P3 profile says that due to my respiratory problems, I am ineligible for re-enlistment, so even if I get tempted to do the last 8 years, I can't. And sometimes I am tempted.

On Sigyn's recommendation/insistence, I took Chug with me. Candlewood Suites allow pets in the suites for a very small fee, so he came along. He was great; sat in the back seat behind me all the way. He seemed to enjoy being an only cat, and we had lots of hugs and snuggles. I brought some of his toys with us, and he played a lot.

I found that the one and only synagogue in Cochise County is a reform templed called Kol Hamidbar. Only about 15 people attend, and there's no rabbi, but they were so kind and friendly to me. I was amused to find that the calendar on the wall was the one from Temple Emanu-el.

Home again, home again, and time to get ready for Dreya to come visit on her way back to San Diego.

Well that made me sad....

There was a sale and we also had Amazon credit, so I ordered the 7' Kindle Fire. Especially since now it's available in purple (or, as they call it, magenta). It ended up being less than $30.

I like how the packing was minimal; a cardboard sleeve with the item in a plastic bag inside. It was half the weight of my Samsung 10' tablet (inherited from Sigyn) and while the plastic back felt a little cheap, that didn't bother me.

What bothered me was that when I put in my 8 GB SD card, it didn't read a single thing on it. Even the .mobi files. That was the entire reason for me buying it, so even though it felt perfect in my hand and the screen looked great, I decided that it was just going to be another electronic around my house. I already have a Kindle Paperwhite, so having a lightweight device to read with is covered. The Samsung is for PDF books, epubs, and books with colour pictures.

Back to my gigantic tablet, then.

It took decades but...

I finally own a copy of "Star Wars: A New Hope". Or, speaking as a senior citizen, just plain "Star Wars".

We had $40 in credit from Bookman's, the Arizona used-media chain. You get in-store credit for trading in books, music, musical instruments, art, etc. I went to the big one on Speedway Blvd hoping to find a copy, since there were none at the other two locations in town.

They had one copy of the DVD, so I snagged it. It's not the two-disc "limited edition" that contains the CGI-desecrated version as well as the original as it was shown in theaters in 1977. But even the CGI-desecrated version is better than no copy at all. It restores one of the scenes with Luke's friend Biggs, at least.

Such a wonderful movie. People may argue with me, but I do think "The Force Awakens" was a worthy sequel to "Episodes 4-6", and seeing this reminded me of why. Both films definitely have the same "gosh-wow" spirit and theme of the accidental hero. (I prefer to pretend the prequels don't exist.)

I also got something else I'd been wanting forever, namely a hardcover one-volume Lord of the Rings. It's not the edition I most covet, which is the red faux leather edition, but it was $8, so it has pride of place on my nightstand.

Today things were a bit tense at home, so I took off again for Bookmans with a huge bag of DVDs to trade in. Bookmans took everything and gave me about $30 of credit, $7.50 of which I used to buy two more volumes in the Kevin Hearnes "Iron Druid" series. Since I'm going to Huachuca for two weeks starting next Sunday, I figured it'd be a good time to read them, although I'm bringing my Kindle with me too, of course. Then I went next door to Beyond Bread and wrote fanfic and had a scone and tea until it was time for my conversion group meeting over at the synagogue.

I came home and put Chug on his harness and seatbelt so I could drive around a little bit to see how he dealt with it. He complained of course, but not very loudly once we were off the dirt roads. He's coming with me to Ft. Huachuca since Candlewood Suites allows pets in the rooms. This is probably my last Army Reserve Annual Training, so I'm making it as comfortable as possible.

Oh, I got my application to the Veteran's Administration in for a Disability rating. I filed through Disabled American Veterans, who said if I get denied or given an insultingly low rating to come right back to them and file the appeal. We'll see what happens.
night, dreams

Weird Dream Network, the triumphant return!

It was in England, in a lakeside village. It had some kind of ghost problem, so this bunch of teenage paranormal investigators (in the dream they reminded me of the Scooby-Doo gang, though no one said it in the dream) came to see what was going on.

There was Old (village name), which was flooded. All that was left was the cross from the steeple of the church. The gang went out to investigate, and the village god started appearing. He was a lake god, who was a bearded man in a heavy hooded robe, who would be seen standing in the shallows of the lake, looking but never saying anything.

When the gang rowed out in a boat to the cross, they discovered it wasn’t actually a cross. It was just a T-shape or cross shape of metal. It kept changing forms, starting as a cross of rebar, then a T of pipes, and finally an antenna with a smaller dish-shaped antenna on it.
They went back to the village, and one of the teens went running in order to get in touch with the ghosts. This was in the neighbourhood where I grew up.

I/he passed a pile of stuffed animals on the sidewalk that was connected to an earlier dream (?) where there had been an abused child. The teen thought the stuffed animals had been rained on, and would be moldy, so he didn’t take any. At the end he was running through a paneled hall, and came out to say that the ghosts wanted all the sports the local high school played incorporated into the school cheer, not just football. He was told that he’d been gone for six weeks. The lake god was looking at him.
Santa Muerte

The End Draws Nigh

I received an unexpected but VERY welcome phone call today from a nurse/case manager at Army Reserve Health Readiness. Long story short, I now have a P3 profile, which means I can't run anymore, and must do the 2.5 mile walk for PT tests. This automatically raises the question, "Do you want to stay in the Army, or do you want a Medical Evaluation Board?"

"The MEB, please," I said.

The reason is this. If I argue at the MEB that all my injuries and my COPD are service-related (which they are), I can be medically *retired* rather than just medically discharged. A medical retirement means I keep all my military benefits until I die. I also get to take all that paperwork to the V.A. and say, "Give my my pension."

So it's official. I am too broken to be in the Army. My Annual Training next month will be my last hurrah. I'll go to drill except for when I don't want to.

Get me out of this.
astrology, sun

Kindle Fire recommendation

I know bothwombat_socho and bork have advised me away from the $49.99 Kindle Fire 7'. What about the next step up, the 6'? I'm perfectly fine with special offers; I have those on my paperwhite.

The 10 inch Samsung tablet we have is nice and functional but it's too big for my hands. I don't think the iPad is anything special, and it's expensive. The Fire is the most economical tablet out there, and I did love my first-generation one.