Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Tuesday, October 25th, 11:03 A.M.


Tuesday, October 25th, 11:03 A.M.
Reporter's Notes
This entry contains an account of Captain Ushtar Alie telling Hato Shurtleff about the history of Vierdestad in the years after the 2002 Northland Opfer Massacre.  Captain Alie tells about how verbrechers have been squeezed out of Vierdestad and how only opfers families currently live in Vierdestad.  A more detailed account of Vierdestad in the years after the 2002 Northland Opfer Massacre is provided in the Part 4 Introduction.
Vince Fielding, reporter VBNS

Ouch

Ouch
by Hunter Red

  Hi,
how are you,hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health. I went through your profile  and I read it and took interest in it,please if you don't mind I will like you to write me on this ID hope to hear from you soon,and I will be waiting for your mail because I have something VERY important to tell you. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe this would ever happen. I never expected to fall so deeply in love so fast. It all started after reading profile first. Lots of love

I received that message this morning
I have read it several times
There's one line that brings me back
Hooks me
Lures me
Entraps me

Lots of love

I know it's not real
I know it's a scam
But that line
That line
That line hits me
Hits me hard
That line hits me hard in the place where I am most vulnerable
My heart
My heart
That thing I scarcely think functions anymore
My heart
My heart
I can feel myself
I can feel my very essence flowing
Flowing out from the wound
The wound left by that line
The wound that keeps opening
Over and over
As I keep reading the line
Lots of love
Over and over
Lots of love
Over and over
Lots of love
Over and fucking over
Lots of love
Ouch.

Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Tuesday, October 25th, 8:55 A.M.


Tuesday, October 25th, 8:55 A.M.
I stared at the door to the hotel room for a good long time.  As I did so I was coming up with dozens of possible outcomes from my conversation with Rinoa.  The only outcome in my mind that was anywhere close to good was the one where we had crazy animal sex.  At least I think that was good.  When I finally did knock on the door to the hotel room, what unfolded was not any outcome I thought.  Most certainly not crazy animal sex.
When I finally knocked on the door, Rinoa quickly answered it.  She looked beautiful, as she always does.  Rinoa's beauty, combined with me not knowing what to say, left me speechless.  Thankfully Rinoa filled the void.
"I heard you out here, you've been standing here for a while.  Is there something you want?"
There was hostility in what Rinoa said to me but I could also sense a little bit of hope there.  I knew that if I wanted to cultivate some kind of relationship with this woman, or at least take a shower, I needed to take advantage of this hope.  "Captain Ushtar sent me up here to ask you about going clothes shopping."
"Is that it?  You've been standing out here waiting to ask me that?"  If Rinoa's hostility toward me was clear to me from her last statement, her cynicism was just as clear with that one.
"I also need to take a shower."
"How is that a problem?  Don't you have a room of your own to shower in?"
"No.  Captain Ushtar said he tried to find me a room but he wasn't able to do it."
After I said that, Rinoa looked at me, almost as if she was trying to see if I was being sincere or not.  "Okay, you can take a shower, but I'm going to stand in the hall as you do so.  Also, when I'm taking a shower or changing or doing anything in here, you have to stand in the hallway too."
I didn't really want to put up an argument, so all I said was, "Okay."  With that Rinoa stepped into the hallway, allowed me to walk into the hotel room, then pulled the door closed.
I took a shower, or at least I tried to take a shower.  Sure this place is cheap, which explains the postage stamp towels, but come the fuck on.  If they're going to supply us with shampoo, give us more than just a tablespoon size container of it!  I'd have made more progress in cleaning myself with the bottle it came in than I did with the half dollop of gunk that was provided.
When I was done showering and not getting myself clean, I left the hotel room I guess I now "share" with Rinoa.  As I did so, I asked Rinoa about going clothes shopping.  Rinoa said she wasn't up for going but that I should pick something up for her.  When I asked her what she wanted, Rinoa found a pad of paper, a pen, and scribbled something down.  Rinoa folded the paper, placed it in my hand.  "Pick what you want, don't go overboard."
As I was heading back downstairs to Ushtar I looked at what Rinoa wrote.  After reading the paper, I felt a bit better about my prospects with Rinoa.  If she didn't think at least a little bit well about me who would she let me know she's a 34C?
Later.
Hato Shurtleff

Moving In Slow Motion: 46.9% Complete

It's that time again.  Once again payday has come, and time has come to see how much money I've earned, how much of what I've made gets eaten up by bills, and how much money I have to not spend in the pursuit of Project Buy A House.  The calculations are in, and the amount I have to not play around with is...

$228.39.  Okay, that is a nice amount, and will make a significant contribution to my goal of buying a house. Now, let's see the things that I could buy with the amount $228.39, which I'm not because I'm trying to be a responsible adult.  Note that I said trying
Coming up within the next two weeks is the annual celebrations of blowing things up, also knows as Independence Day.  This is a day where Americans, in the immortal words of not-Apu, 
celebrate the independence of our country by blowing up a small part of it.  In years past, I would have eagerly driven up to (Redacted to not incriminate the writer) and come back home with (Redacted to not incriminate the writer).  In this time where I am trying to be economically responsible, this expense may seem to be unnecessary.  However, since I am short sighted in addition to being borderline legally blind, I do not see it this way.  There is another reason why buying a big cache of explodables is not something I will do this year.
I have a neighbor who, in the past couple of years, has bought a big supply of illegal fireworks and set them off in a highly spectacular fashion.  This neighbor of mine puts on a better fireworks display than anything I've seen at the community sponsored events.  And, since the West Valley City Police Department is fucking incompetent, I expect this illegal display to continue on this year.  So, $228.39 left to not spend.
The Last Of Us is a recently released video game that I've heard a lot of good things about.  Artist and sexymotherfucker Ted Bracewell said of the game, "I'm only 4 minutes into The Last of Us and it's already my Game of the Year." And you can buy The Last Of Us on Amazon.com for $50. That's right, you can buy it. I'm not going to because of this project I'm currently pursuing, but, for the purposes of this essay, let's say I have. So, $178.39 left to not spend.

Looking over a list of recently released movies on DVD, there's nothing that I feel particularly motivated to buy.  Even if I wasn't trying to save for a house, I would not buy any of these movies.  So, $178.39 left to not spend.
Looking over the Utah DABC Price List, there is currently a special on Aberlour 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.  The alcohol store is selling this scotch at $39.99.  This is a good price on a Scotch Whisky like this, and Aberlour would look great sitting next to my half finished bottle of Johnny Walker Black, and my sixty percent finished bottle of Tanqueray.  If I was to buy this bottle of whiskey, I would also be buying another bottle of Radio From Hell Red As Hell Ale for $3.96.  So, $134.44 left to not spend.

Speaking of Radio From Hell, it was recently announced on that show that the X96 Big Ass Show is going to be held on August 24th at the Gallivan Center.  $134.44 sounds like a good amount to spend on a show that is always fun to go to.  This would be a good amount if I was for sure going to this show.  As it stands, I may have to go through some spectacular financial gymnastics in order to go to this show, but that is what happens when you pursue a goal in a masochistic manner.

So, there you have it.  I took $228.39 of money that I'm not spending and made a list of things that I will not be buying with the money that I'm not spending.  Don't worry, next week I will not have rent to pay, freeing up more of the money that I have earned for me to not spend on things that will make me immediately happy.

Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Tuesday, October 25th, 7:10 A.M.


Tuesday, October 25th, 7:10 A.M.
After a night spent not sleeping in the hallway, I went down to the lobby of The Redford to see if there was a free breakfast in this place.  As I took the elevator down, the thought of seeing Ushtar came to mind.  When this thought came to me, I closed my eyes and prayed that wouldn't happen.  My prayers weren't answered.
When the elevator doors opened at Lobby level, Ushtar was sitting in his full military uniform on a bench directly in front of me.  For a moment, I hoped Ushtar wasn't there to see me.  Those hopes were dashed when he saw me, stood up, and slowly started walking my way.  I was in full apology mode by the time he got to me.  "Look, Ushtar, let me-"
"Hato, you've had a rough couple of days.  Between the plane crash, evading someone you thought was out to kill you, waiting, waiting, and waiting, you were probably way strung out and tired and at the end of your rope.  I get that, I've been there.  Let's just forget that you said what you said yesterday, and just start fresh."
Ushtar extended his hand to me after saying that.  I let out a sigh of relief as I mightily shook it.  "Okay.  Now, what is there to do around here?"
"Commander Lider wanted you to report to him today, but I got him to push it back untill you get more situated."
I thought about asking Ushtar what he meant by report, but instead I decided to be funny.  "Okay.  Now, what is there to do around here?"
Ushtar looked me up and down and said, "You look like you haven't showered in a couple of days."
I shrugged and said, "I haven't."
"Did you not think of it, is Rinoa monopolizing the bathroom, or?"
"I actually haven't been in the room you got us."
"Why not?"
The answer to this was so obvious to me, but it took me a moment to find it and then say it.  "I haven't talked to Rinoa since she shoved us aside and closed the door on us.  I'm kind of afraid to do so because, in my limited experience with her, I've never been able to adequately handle Rinoa when I've pissed her off."
Much like I had no sympathy for his stupidity last night, Ushtar had no sympathy for what I had just said.  "Hato, that is not a good excuse.  You need to go upstairs and talk to Rinoa, now.  I can't arrange another room for you, I just spent the morning trying to do that.  Also, you are not going out with me untill you get showered.  So, go up there, convince Rinoa to at least let you take a shower, ask her about going to get clothes, and be back here in an hour."
I didn't really question what Ushtar was telling me to do, I just turned around and started doing it.  It wasn't untill the elevator doors closed that I realized what I was doing, and questioned why I hadn't done it before.  Yet, I continued doing it.  Maybe that's why Ushtar Alie is a Captain.  He can get people to do what they are absolutely dreading doing.
Later.
Hato Shurtleff

Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Monday, October 24th, 9:22 P.M.


Monday, October 24th, 9:22 P.M.
After Rinoa and I were done with Commander Lider, we spent about fifteen minutes waiting for Captain Ushtar to take us to our hotel room.  We only waited about fifteen minutes but it felt like for-fucking-ever.  At this point, after waiting at the medical facility, waiting for Commander Lider, then waiting in the exact same fucking place for Ushtar, I am done with waiting.  Done.  Fucking done.
I haven't been to a lot of hotels, so I can't say if The Redford is a good one or not.  What I do know is that The Redford is one tall building.  I bet if you dropped something from the roof of this place, I'd be a long time before it hit the ground.
Captain Ushtar drove us to The Redford and took charge of getting us checked in and situated.  Thankfully, that process didn't take long.  That didn't stop Rinoa and I from complaining about stuff.  There was a clear sarcastic element in my voice when I said, "This place looks real nice."
Rinoa continued with the sarcastic conversation.  "Yeah, you can tell the time and effort that was put into making the cracks in the linoleum look realistic."
"And look at that wallpaper.  I haven't seen anything like that since they bulldozed my great-grandma's house."
"And the air here smells like an old person's house.  Either that, or their intake sits next to a chemical waste facility."
After Rinoa's comment I took a quick whiff of myself.  "Actually, I think that's me."
After my comment, Rinoa took a whiff of herself.  "Yeah, our clothes smell pretty rank.  It figures since we've been in plane crashes and the forest of the past two days."
"I could use a shower."
"Yes.  Not only could I use a wash, our clothes could use one too."
"I wonder if they have a laundromat in this decrepit old building."
Rinoa looked at me with a disgusted look on her face.  "It has better be a private facility.  If it's public, no way."
I didn't understand this, and my face showed it.  "How come?"
"Hato, these are the only clothes I have.  In order to wash these clothes, I'd have to take them off, and I am not hanging around in a public place in my underwear."
In hindsight, I should not have asked this question.  "Don't you have to wash your underwear as well?"
In response to that, Rinoa punched me.  Hard.  As I was grimacing in pain, Captain Ushtar came up to us.  "Okay, I have you two checked in.  It'll take a couple of days to arrange actual housing for you, so for now you're staying here."
Rinoa asked, "Do we have to?  I mean, this place might spoil us."
Captain Ushtar didn't take to Rinoa's sarcasm well.  He showed this by not even responding to it.  "Here are your room keys.  I'll show you up, follow me."  Captain Ushtar handed us each a credit card looking thing and started walking away from us.  We followed Ushtar into an old elevator, the state of which matched the linoleum and wallpaper from the lobby.  As if to distract us from thinking of the very real possibility we could fall to our deaths in a tin box older than our parents, Captain Ushtar tried to strike up a conversation with us.  "I heard you two talking about clothes."
Rinoa was appalled.  "You heard us?"
Ushtar seemed to treat this like a matter of fact.  "Yeah.  Say what you want about the hotel lobby, which, from what I heard, you did, the acoustics are phenomenal."
Finding out Ushtar could hear her was embarrassing to Rinoa.  She closed her eyes and withdrew from the situation, leaving me to carry on the conversation.  "So, what about clothes?"
Talking to me, Captain Ushtar said, "If you're interested, my fiancé has a store with plenty of nice clothes for you and your girlfriend."
I was puzzled by what Captain Ushtar had said at the end.  "Girlfriend?"
"You know, Rinoa."
I looked over at Rinoa after Ushtar said that.  She was now turning away from us with her eyes cast straight downward.  I looked back at Ushtar and said, "We don't have that kind of relationship."
A look of embarrassment came over Ushtar's face when I said that.  "Oh.  Sorry, I didn't know.  It's just I heard you talking and bitching about things, and it reminds me of how my fiancĂ© and I talk, so I-"  This is when, mercifully, the elevator doors opened.  With evident relief in his voice, Ushtar said, "Hey, look, we're here," as he quickly exited the elevator.
Rinoa and I followed after Ushtar untill he stopped just in front of a door.  Motioning to the door, Ushtar said, "Here's your room."
Being the one closest to Ushtar, I asked him, "Which one are you talking to?"
Ushtar got that same embarrassed look on his face I had seen in the elevator.  "Uh- Well, both of you.  I thought you two would only need one room."
There's making a series of honest mistakes and being a general dumbass.  I generally assume people are the latter and have no patience for them.  "What the fuck, man?  You get us checked into this glorified rat infested cardboard box without asking us a basic fucking question like how many rooms we'd need?  How did you get to be a Captain?  Are your subordinates dumber than the bedbugs that surely have infested every fucking inch of this fucking place?  You know what?  I bet-"
This is when Rinoa pushed past me, came to the door to our room, shoved Ushtar for no real reason, opened the door just enough for her to get in, then strongly closed it behind her.  After this happened I looked at the door, stunned at what just happened.  Then I looked back at Ushtar.  Before I could say anything, Ushtar said, "Goodnight then.  I'm going to go back home, assuming my stupidity doesn't prevent me from operating the elevator.  By the way, the button that points down means down, right?"
As I watched Captain Ushtar walk away from me, I felt that I had just fucked things up again.  Not only was I standing in a hallway, unsure if it was okay for me to enter the room I was supposed to sleep in, but I was just rude to someone that was nothing but hospitable to me.  Hopefully the rug in this hallway is more comfortable than the wall I'm leaving against as I craft this entry.
Later.
Hato Shurtleff

Moving In Slow-Motion: Premise

 
Over the past year, or so, I've been trying to put myself in a position to buy a house.  This has been a long exhaustive process that I expect to continue going through for a very, VERY, long time.  As a consequence of this process, my writing has suffered due to a drop in the amount of things I can write about due to the drop in the amount of things I can buy, do, and experience due to the sacrifices that I've chosen to make in order to buy a house, which I have to keep on telling myself will pay off someday.  This drop in the amount of content I have written for my blog weighs heavily on my mind.  As I was thinking about this burden that I have put on myself, I came up with a solution that will allow me to write more while also putting myself through the masochistic-like torture that is trying to buy a house.
I have decided to go forward with a series of blog posts where I compile a list of things that I could have bought if I wasn't saving for a house.  This will be a series put out once ever other week, due to the fact that I only get paid once every other week.  If you want this series to occur more frequently, I suggest buying my books so that I can actually start getting paid for doing that shit.  As a part of this I will not be factoring in things like taxes, shipping and handling charges, and other incidentals because, in the world in which I am writing this series, bad things do not happen, everything goes smoothly, and bright, shiny rainbows fly out of my butt.
Several products will be seen on a frequent basis on this new series.  Those products are alcohol, video games, movies, TV shows on DVD, music, or books.  Other products may make an appearance, but in the world where this series takes place, I get drunk often and play video games while also drunk drunk drunk druknak drukndku drunk druknk drunk.
This series will fall under the title "Moving In Slow Motion".  The phrase "Moving In Slow Motion" comes from a line in the Ben Fold Five song Regrets.  Regrets is how I mostly feel about putting myself through the process of attempting to buy a house, regret that I will feel untill I finally succeed in my goal, or fail in a spectacular fashion.  And by spectacular, I mean tragic and sad and other synonyms for bad.  Enjoy!
Project Buy A House: Saving For A Down Payment: 46.9% Complete

Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Monday, October 24th, 7:37 P.M.


Monday, October 24th, 7:37 P.M.
Rinoa's checkup got done just after I finished my last entry.  They put some bandages on the cuts on her back, but other than that Rinoa's fine.  Kind of an understatement on the doctor's part.
After we were done in the medical facility, Captain Alie ushered us over to a centralized command office.  They wanted to ask us who we were, what we were doing, and how we came to be in Vierdestad.  So we went from a sterile medical facility with a small number of military troops to a concrete block-shaped office building with a great many number of military troops in it.  Wahoo.
As much as I disliked waiting in the medical facility waiting room, I disliked waiting at the command office more.  The many secretaries, each sitting at a desk, endlessly and loudly typing away, made the experience even more unbearable.  At least this time I had someone I could talk to sitting next to me, although the look on Rinoa's face did not put me at ease.  As I studied Rinoa's face, I asked her the most obvious question I've ever asked anyone.  "Rinoa, are you okay?"
Rinoa's expression didn't change, she just started looking around the room.  "No, I don't- Not really.  Are you okay?"
I wanted to say something upbeat and positive.  Instead, I said, "No, me neither."  There was a long pause while we both looked aimlessly around the room before I said, "And this room isn't making me feel any better."
Rinoa looked at me and said, "What do you mean?"
"I mean we went from a waiting room in a medical facility, which is an unnerving environment, even without the people with guns, to this waiting room with just a fuckton of people carrying guns."
My statement seemed to brighten Rinoa's spirits.  "Yeah.  Not only are we in a room filled with people carrying guns, but we are in a room with people carrying many different kinds of guns.  I mean, right now I can see a guy carrying a pistol on his hip, an assault rifle on his back, and a sniper rifle leaning against the wall behind him."
"And they stick us in this room with no one talking to us, not even giving us some water or something to nibble on, to wait for someone we've never met with and no timeframe as to when we're going to meet them."
It was just after I finished my gripe that the secretary who's desk we were sitting near looked up from her work and said, "You know, if you'd have said something, I'd have gotten you something to eat."  As she was making this comment, the phone on this secretary's desk began to ring.  After picking it up, the secretary turned to us and said, "Commander Lider will see you now."
From the tone in her voice, I'm betting a woman being indignant toward Rinoa doesn't set well with her.  "We don't know where Commander Lider is, missy."
The secretary pointed toward a door and Rinoa started walking over to it.  The attitude that Rinoa exhibited with her walk was intoxicating.  We entered the door and was met by an older opfer gentleman wearing a uniform that made it clear that either he or his wife knew how to use an iron.  After greeting us an inviting us to sit, the man said, "My name is Captain Jonathan Lider.  I am the lead commander of the Vierdestad Opfer Military."  The Commander then glanced up from his desk and looked at me.  "Are you okay, son?"
Rinoa took the initiative to answer the question directed toward me.  "He's feeling a bit uneasy about the uniform you're wearing.  Also, we haven't eaten since Friday night."
Like a reporter doing a serious interview, Commander Lider asked Rinoa, "Why is that?"
"Because we took off sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning."
"What do you mean took off?"
"We took off in Gin's plane in the middle of the night Saturday."
"So you two were in the plane that crashed into the Cooper Forest on Saturday."
"Yes, we were."
"Was that your intended destination?"
It was clear that this question annoyed Rinoa.  "Why the fuck would we crash land into a forest?"
Maintaining his reporter's composure, Commander Lider replied, "So, where were you going?"
"Amcan."
"In Velas?"
"Are there any other Amcans?"
"Yes, there is an Amcan in the Jansch province in the country of Nash."
"Oh.  Then yes, we were heading toward Amcan in Velas."
"Was it just the two of you?"
"No, we had a pilot."
"Who was it?"
"It was Gin something.  I can't quite remember what his last name was.  Hato, do you-"
This was when Commander Lider broke his reporter's composure.  "Was it Gin Ayah?"
Rinoa didn't seem to know the answer to that question, so he looked to me.  After a second, I started rambling through an answer.  "I remember Gin was desperately looking for his father in Dha Chathair, and the person he was describing seemed like The Father to me, who's real name is Eugene Ayah.  So it stands to reason that-"
"Why was Gin looking for his father?"  The scared look on Commander Lider's face as he asked that question only increased my anxiety.
The anxiety I was feeling paralyzed my speech, so Rinoa took over answer questions.  "When we left Dha Chathair, the city was being overrun with a mob of members of The Church Of The Lord.  These people were looking to ransack, ravage, and destroy anything and anybody having to do with the Church of the Holy God.  The church that The Father runs, or ran, was among the things targeted.  We don't know if The Father is okay or not."
I could see that as our conversation was progressing Commander Lider was slowly unraveling.  "Okay.  Okay.  Okay, you said Gin was with you."
"Yeah, it was his plane and he was flying it."
"I haven't seen him, I mean Gin, with you.  Is he, Gin, okay?"
Rinoa looked at me, before she said, "No, no he's not."
Commander Lider was unraveling further.  “By he, you mean Gin?"
"Yeah."
"You're sure?"
"Yes."
"Well, where is he, Gin?  Is Gin, he, hurt?  Is he crawling around, Gin, in the forest, the one you and he, Gin, and he, the other he next to you, crashed into?"  The early evening light filtering in from the window in Commander Lider's office made the sweat on Lider's forehead glisten.
Seeing Commander Lider unravel was finally getting to Rinoa.  "Well-  Um-  I"
The anxiety I was feeling prevented me from stopping myself from saying something really blunt.  "Gin is dead.  He did in the plane crash."
You could tell that statement was the last straw for Commander Lider.  "Oh God.  Oh God no."
I continued with my bluntness.  "What's wrong?  Why are you reacting like that?"
Commander Lider started digging around in the drawers in his desk, untill he produced a pair of binoculars.  "Look out that window, will you son?"
I got up, took the binoculars, and started looking out the window.  "What am I looking for?"
"Look far off in the distance."
"Is that why you gave me these things?"
"Be serious, son.  There's a line of vehicles about ten miles outside of Vierdestad.  You see it?"
It took me a minute, but finally, "I see it."
"Can you describe what you see?"
"Tanks and cars and a couple of trucks with giant guns in the back."
Rinoa came over to the window to take a look for herself.  She took the binoculars from me as Commander Lider kept on speaking.  "Those vehicles have been sitting there since September.  Around the eighteenth is when we noticed it."
Rinoa started focusing in on the vehicles.  "They don't look very organized or uniform."
Commander Lider continued.  "No, they're organized.  They've made a ring around this city, a ring that has prevented anything from getting in or out over the ground."
I asked, "Like a blockade?"
"Yep," the Commander replied.  "Exactly like a blockade.  Factor in Vierdestad being a relatively poor city, the result is that after a month of being blockaded, we're about out of food and clean water."
Rinoa lowered the binoculars and said, "Why don't you just call or email or message somebody somehow?"
Commander Lider answered Rinoa's question, but it was clear he was slightly annoyed by it.  "We tried that.  However, the lines that supplied our phone and internet service here have been severed, we presume by them.  Also, cellphone coverage is gone  Even satellite communications are being jammed."
I followed up with, "What about radio?"
Commander Lider seemed less annoyed by this question.  "We tried that, and they've managed to jam that communication method as well."
As Rinoa began using the binoculars to look at the line again, I asked, "So, what's the plan?  What's our next move?"
Commander Lider looked at me dead in the eyes.  "We don't have one.  We don't really have a plan, we don't know what we're going to do about the blockade.  The next move is theirs."
That statement offended me.  "What the fuck do you mean you're not going to do anything?  You can't wait for them to move.  If you do that, they're going to slaughter us!"
Commander Lider rose to defend himself.  "That's absurd.  Who in their right mind would think they would do that?"
In an attempt to elevate my point, I elevated my voice.  "I've seen it happen.  You say the blockade was setup in mid-September.  Mid-September is when this verbrecher led slaughter started.  They hit Moenia Prima on September 22nd, Dha Chathair on October 8th, and Trebyer on October 22nd."
"I haven't heard anything about this."
"Of course not!  This city has been cut off from the world since September eighteenth."
"But why would they do this?"
"I don't know why, I just know they are.  They have been doing this, and I know they're about to slaughter people again."
"How can you say that?  What would make you think that would happen?"
I turned toward Rinoa, who was still looking out the window.  "Rinoa, look at the people roaming the blockade.  Tell me, what race are they."
Rinoa took a long, hard look through the binoculars.  After slowly scanning the line of vehicles, back and forth and back again, Rinoa said, "Verbrecher.  The people there are verbrechers."
I needed verification of my suspicion.  "Are they all verbrechers?  All of them?  Is there even one opfer among them?"
Rinoa took another look them came back.  "They are all verbrechers.  All of them."
After getting my verification, I turned back toward Commander Lider.  “All of them are verbrechers.  All of the people that are poised to attack are verbrecher.  In Moenia Prima, it was a verbrecher led slaughter against the opfers.  In Trebyer, it was the verbrechers in the middle of the night sneak attaching opfers.  In Dha Chathair, it was thinly veiled under a religious context, but it was still verbrechers attacking and slaughtering opfers.  They've done it before.  They've done it recently.  I've seen them do it.  They have killed my friends and family.  I found my friend's mangled, bloody corpse in the tatter remains of her apartment.  They will do it again and they will do it here."
Commander Lider watched me as I laid out my point.  The look on his face was one of pure fright.  He was stunned and slow to speak when he started responding to me.  "Son, you've laid out a nice argument.  However, I can't go on your word alone.  We've sent a team out to the blockade to talk to the people in charge.  Untill they report back, we don't have a plan.  The next move is theirs."
Now Rinoa was offended.  "What the fuck is-"
Commander Lider interrupted Rinoa mid-curse.  "As far as you two kids, we need to get your situated."  The Commander picked up the phone on his desk and started talking to his secretary.  "Emily, arrange for Mr. Shurtleff and Miss Ann to be taken to The Redford untill we can find a more permanent living arrangement for them."
My annoyance with Commander Lider was evident when I said, "What about Rinoa."
Rinoa looked at me and said, "My last name is Ann."
The embarrassment I felt at that moment prevented me from objecting as Rinoa and I were shuttled back into the waiting room we were previously in.  So, we're here again, waiting for someone to bother to do something with us that we're not that interesting in doing.  Hurray.
Later.
Hato Shurtleff

Red Review: Arrested Development: Season 4

There's a technique that I use as a writer that I question the effectiveness of.  In Random Generation- The Long Version and A Jumbled Perspective On Love, I utilized what I call the Random Approach.  In the Random Approach I write out the piece on full, number each of the sentences in the piece, pull out my random number generator, and start generating random numbers, putting the corresponding sentences in the random order that the random number generator is giving me.  Such an approach forces me to think about how a narrative is put together and how I should approach storytelling in my future projects.  That is the thoughts that I have, my audience may have had different thoughts.  It is my belief that some, if not many, if not all, of the people that read the piece that I put together using the Random Approach looked at the piece and went "What the fuck?"  Such a reaction can happen when a writer uses an approach to narrative storytelling that the audience may not understand or is not used to.  Such a reaction is what many people may be having to the fourth season of Arrested Development, recently released on Netflix.
The fourth season of Arrested Development follows the Bluth family in the time between the end of the third season, set in 2006, and the end of the fourth season, set in 2013.  Each of the episodes follows one of the main characters of the series, most significantly Michael, George Sr., Lindsey, and Tobias.  There are many events that take place in this season, which are told from the perspective of each of the main characters of the series, each adding in their own details and their own various roles to the events that go on.  Often events that occur in one episode play into events that are seen again in a different episode from a different character's point of view.  Often episodes begin from earlier points in the story than where the last episode left off.  Often things that are said or occur in one episode are referenced, and sometimes made more funnier, by things that go on in another episode.  The result is a complex, interconnected, interdependent, narrative web that makes up the entire season, and that is the problem.
Many people watch TV while doing other activities, such as cooking dinner, eating, checking email, working, or drinking large quantities of alcohol.  Such viewing habits can prevent the viewer from being actively engaged in the television show that they are allegedly watching.  It is that active engagement that is needed to fully enjoy the fourth season of Arrested Development.  In order to fully understand and enjoy the fourth season of Arrested Development, viewers need to watch all of the episodes in order and without distractions.  While watching in order may not be such a tall order, undistracted watching may be.  If you do not watch this season of Arrested Development attentively at all times, there may be something, or several things, that you will miss, and thereby not achieve full enjoyment.
That's not to say that the new season of Arrested Development is bad, it's just something you need to devote time to.  You can't just watch this show in the same passive manner as you would other shows.  The narrative web utilized by Mitchell Hurwitz and the other writers on Arrested Development requires you to pay full attention to what's going on at all times, which is not something that the audience may not understand or be used to.  There may be times that, while watching this season of Arrested Development, members of the audience may go, "What the fuck?"
Arrested Development: Season 4: B+

Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Monday, October 24th, 4:37 P.M.


Monday, October 24th, 4:37 P.M.
Rinoa and I were making our way to the top of a hill near where Gin's plane had come to stop.  We weren't going too fast, due to the two of us being in a deeply packed forest and Rinoa was concerned about my headwound.  As we were walking, Rinoa heard what she thought were people talking.  Thinking they could help us, Rinoa and I started looking for them.
It didn't take me long to find them.  They were pretty loud and pretty close.  However, once I saw the people I got down and hid amongst the brush.  Rinoa wasn't far behind me, and when she came upon me, I yanked her down beside me.
"Hey!  What's the deal?"  Apparently Rinoa doesn't like being yanked to the ground by her arm.
In a hushed tone I said, "Quiet," and pointed toward the people.  There were three men, all about my age, looking around at the wreckage that is now Gin's plane.  They looked to be opfers carrying assault rifles, but what made me anxious was the uniforms.  I know those uniforms.  I've seen those uniforms before.  The men inspecting the plane were wearing the exact same uniforms as the police in Moenia Prima.
In a normal tone of voice, Rinoa said, "What's going on?"
"Keep it down, they'll hear you."
Now in a hushed tone of voice, Rinoa asked, "What's going on?"
"You see those guys over there?"
Rinoa popped her head up and saw the men by the airplane.  "Oh, I see them.  Maybe they can help us."  When Rinoa raised her hand to wave at the men, I pulled it back down.
"Stay down, I don't want them to see us."
"Why now?"  Rinoa seemed sincerely puzzled by this.
"You see the uniforms they're wearing?"
"Yeah."
"Those are the same uniforms worn by the police officers in Moenia Prima."
Rinoa lifted her head to get a look at the men.  "Are you sure?"
"Yeah."
"Oh."  There was a short pause.  "So?"
"So?"
"Yeah, so what if these men are wearing the same uniforms as the police in Moenia Prima?"
Rinoa's question was a valid one, so I searched my memory to find a reason for me to be so apprehensive about those men.  "There was a story on the news about the Moenia Prima Police Department infiltrating the opfer community center, catching some people doing something slightly illegal, then saying the community center was a central hub for some kind of opfer crime syndicate."
Rinoa lifted her head again to look at the men.  "But their skin, it's dark like ours, like all opfers."
"It's makeup.  When the police officers infiltrated the community center, they wore greasepaint.  They're wearing greasepaint, using blackface to deceive us."
Rinoa thought for a moment and looked up at the sky.  "But it's raining.  Wouldn't the makeup wash off, or start running at least?"
Rinoa's point may have had more sway with me if we were talking about someone that I in any way trusted.  "It's really good makeup.  Come on, we need to get out of here," which is exactly what we did.  I ran about as quick as I could in a direction that was away from the wreckage of Gin's plane.  I couldn't run as fast as I could because I had to make sure Rinoa was still behind me.
After some time and what I thought was a considerable distance, Rinoa and I stopped to catch our breaths, at which point Rinoa asked a critical question.  "Where are we going?"
I didn't have an answer to that question but I wanted to appear like I did.  The map program on my Hipster should have helped me get an answer.  Unfortunately there are no roads in the forest and the GPS coverage was spotty at best.  After looking at my Hipster for a while and trying to not make my lack of knowledge known to Rinoa, I pointed in a direction and said, "North.  The map on my Hipster says there's a town to the north of here," and started walking in that direction.  I took about a step and a half before Rinoa stopped me.
"Hato, given the time of day and the way the shadows are falling, isn't north that way?"  Rinoa may have been right, Rinoa may have been wrong.  All I know is the direction Rinoa pointed to was away from Gin's plane, so we went that way.
We continued running through the lush, green, naturally abundant forest untill we encountered something that was in no way natural.  A fence.  A fifteen foot tall chain like fence with razor wire on the top.  Due to the razor wire, we couldn't scale the fence besides I doubt Rinoa could have done so without making a lot of noise.  Going through or under the fence was obviously not an option, so Rinoa and I had to move along the fence untill we reached the end of it while still remaining under the cover of the forest.  As we followed along the fence line, it became clear to me that Rinoa was beginning to wonder if I really knew where we were going.
"Do you really know where we are going?"  I couldn't say yes to Rinoa's question but I couldn't really say no either.  So, rather than address Rinoa's question, I asked one of my own.
"Have you seen any more of those uniformed men around?"
"No, I haven't seen any since we saw those other ones.  Do you know where we're going?"
"Maybe we should take a break to catch our breath."
"Catch our breath while you figure out where we're going?"  Damn, Rinoa's persistent.  I found a nice large rock where I could sit down and pretend like I was looking up our location on my Hipster.  Rinoa, after several attempts to glance at the Hipster I was protecting, decided to look at something else.  "Hato, look at that building over there."  Rinoa was referring to a building beyond the fence slightly obscured by trees, but still plainly visible from where we were standing.
As I continued to look at this building, I noticed something.  "Are those people over there?"
"Yeah."  Rinoa left the forest and approached the fence to get a better look at the building.  "Those are people."
I joined Rinoa standing by the fence.  "People in normal clothes, not the uniforms we saw on the other men."
"And look."  Rinoa pointed at a group of people.  There were three of them, watching TV, generally enjoying themselves, what most people would identify as a family.  Mom, dad, and young child.  "They're opfers."
I continued looking at the family, trying to see if these people were also wearing greasepaint.  It was when I was straining to study the family when I heard the click.  "Put your hands up and turn around."  Rinoa and I looked at each other before we turned around.  The look of total fear on Rinoa's face was more distressing to me than what I saw when I turned around.
There they were.  Three men.  The three men we saw at Gin's plane.  The three men we were trying to evade.  Three men in uniforms holding assault rifles pointed at us.  Three men, faced covered in rainwater, with clear evenly dark complexions.
There are certain situations that wise that cause you to say things that you would never say otherwise.  A part of me hopes that doesn't explain what Rinoa said to me as she stared at the three men.  "Hato, I'm sorry about what I said.  I didn't really mean to call you a weird slightly obsessed guy.  I was just upset."
Hearing Rinoa's confession made me want to confess something.  I wish what I had to say was more significant than it was.  "Rinoa, I'm sorry but I had no idea where we were going.  We were running around the forest like a chicken with its head cut off."
The uniformed man in the center began addressing us.  "Keep your hands up!"  We did.  The uniformed man addressing us lowered his gun and started walking toward me.  As he did so, the uniformed man started looking at my face oddly.  He looked at it left to right, up and down, then through one eye followed by the other.  Then the uniformed man stuck his hand out and pressed his fingers against my forehead.  He placed two fingers in the middle of my forehead, ran them left and right along my eyebrows, then down the center of my face to the tip of my nose.  The uniformed man then looked at his fingers and started rubbing them with his thumb.  The uniformed man then did the same thing to Rinoa.  She didn't look like she enjoyed the strange man putting his fingers on her face, and who could blame her.  After he was done, the uniformed man stepped back to where the other two uniformed men were standing and asked, "Are you opfers?"
I hesitated a moment before responding.  "Are you?"
"You doubt me?"  The man addressing us was not happy to hear my question.
"Yes."
"Why?"
"Your uniform.  You are wearing the same uniform the police in Moenia Prima wear.  Those police would regularly put on greasepaint and harass opfers.  Many of those police officers killed my parents and many opfers in Moenia Prima."
A knowing look came over the face of the man addressing us.  "Ah, I see."  The man addressing us then motioned to the other uniformed men who put down their weapons.  "I've heard similar reports about uniformed verbrecher men wearing grease paint.  I wouldn't trust us either under those circumstances.  In fact, that thing I did where I rubbed your faces was me checking to see if you were wearing grease paint."  All three of the uniformed man got a laugh out of that.  I didn't feel like laughing and clearly neither did Rinoa.  The man addressing us stepped forward again, extended his hand to us, and said, "Brother, my name is Captain Ushtar Alie.  Behind me on the left is Private Billy Mik, and on the right is Major Robert Dost.  We are members of the Vierdestad Opfer Military, protectors of all those that live in the great city of Vierdestad."
A look of hope came over Rinoa's face.  "Vierdestad!  Where is it?  How far away are we from it?"
Ushtar lifted his arm, pointed, and said, "It's right there behind that fence."  Looking back on it, that was rather funny.
Rinoa continued in her jubilance.  "Is there a hospital where Hato and I can get checked out?"  Rinoa says weird things when she's jubilant.
Ushtar shouldered his rifle and said, "Yes.  If you'll follow me, I'll take you right there," after which Ushtar started marching off with Rinoa following shortly behind him.  I was a bit more hesitant to follow Captain Alie, but Rinoa grabbing me by the arm more or less compelled me to do so.  It's odd staring at the butt of an attractive woman while two men carrying assault rifles are walking behind you.
Rinoa and I are at a medical facility run by the Vierdestad Opfer Military right now.  They checked me out first and diagnosed me as having suffered a concussion in addition to the headwound , which they used twelve stitches to close.  They're checking out Rinoa now as I patiently wait in the waiting room.  I hope she's fine.  I have no reason to believe she isn't, but I hope it nonetheless.
I've never spent a lot of time in a hospital.  I don't like it much.  Not just because of the general feeling of sickness here.  It's also because of the many strong muscular opfer men wearing uniforms I've only seen on verbrechers who had a problem with me.  There's a weird mix of pride and anxiety going through my body right now.  I'd like to leave this place so that feeling could go away.
Later.
Hato Shurtleff