in Blue

Sometimes I’m taken aback by the beauty in a thing.

U.S.S. Telesto – Gamma Quadrant

Conflict with the Hur’q pushed us into the Gamma Quadrant, through the wormhole. It was inspiring to see such glamour while we pursued darker secrets.


Shocklord was born one sleepy morning in ’06 when concept met opportunity. A blaster then he went through the normal character cycles of adventure and development until a series of ugly encounters pummeled hope and ransomed my dreams.

I had trashed the character then, given up the name to a friend who had a great deal more success than I did. Now on Homecoming I’m back in the saddle and while I’ve revisited some of my old ‘blaster curse’ it’s not as bad as it was. For one, I’ve had a fair bit more success than before.

We were running down some plans for a giant robot when I stopped to admire the beauty on Striga Isle.

I’m what the FBSA classifies a Sentinel:

“The Sentinel is a powerful ranged combatant with moderate protective powers and protection against control powers. Sturdier than a Blaster, it also has the ability to distract enemies to avoid being overwhelmed.

The clinical declaration of Blaster frailty is understated in my mind.


Vos was a cute town. The houses were neatly arranged, the tavern had ample variety in drink to keep one amused and the local magistrate wasn’t completely unreasonable. Or so I thought.

..I was summoned..

She’d sent goons to collect me, her Mouth, who I didn’t immediately find offensive, and some well armored guards. I complied, if only because I had yet to work up to burning down another village. Yet.

Dratha was everything you would expect of a Telvanni. An air of superiority, well-dressed, ample living quarters. What surprised me was her detached management of the village. Something about ‘treating people like adults’ or some such. I could really grow to like it here.

It remained to be seen just how insane Dratha was. A close brush with death had set her determination in achieving Immortality.

This is normally where I bow out of conversations. I’ll pay my tab, pack my bags and leave, promptly. Quests for immortality usually involve a lot of blood and a great deal of screaming. I would have done just that and left but guards at the door didn’t have the look of complacency and visions of a nice safe bed hundreds of miles away vanished as quickly as it arrived.

So I listened. Something about Daedric ruins, a handful of magic stones and a dark prince. Yup. I should never have left Murkmire. At least the locals were more rational.

I never advise bargains with Daedra. In the book of bad ideas, all chapters start or stop with Daedra. And I was being asked to fetch some magic rocks all so some witch could wrangle madness long enough to stave off her twilight years.


I plundered a number of ruins, some more ruined than others. I was shocked to see a handful of very reasonable cultists and scholars gathered in Ramimilk. My sense of foreboding went off the proverbial charts so I grabbed what I needed and left. But not before stealing a look at the flow of lava within a stones throw of the chamber.

Vos and beyond

Vos was quaint. Little more than two houses and a sad excuse for a tavern. Sadly, I was lost and waiting for daylight only encouraged the local problems from harassing me.

Half a dozen brigands later I was still a touch lost. A local, ever thankful for my help, directed me to a nearby tower. Not even on the path, or in the town. More like it was looming over the village from just around the corner.

Seems the local magistrate had problems of their own and I was ‘instructed’ how I could help. I was beginning to hate Morrowind. Small people with small problems.

Another day, another village..

Everywhere I turn trouble abounds. Plague, daedra, war. I can’t think of the last village that had nothing wrong and were just happy to see a traveller.

Vos, outskirts

Vos was looking no different. An Argonian on the road approaching town told me of how one magister was ill and another was a tyrant.

“Mondas, you old fool..”

Stormhold was a familiar site as I rode into town. The swamp had neither consumed the meager docks nor allowed them to expand beyond their limited numbers. The townsfolk walked by on their way to push back enough swamp to keep the vines from overtaking the village walls yet not far enough to encourage more people to take resident.

I think that’s why I liked it here. Not enough shelter to allow for complacence or comfort. When the rains came, you could seek shelter in the Inn, drown your misery while the skies tried to drown the village. Or you could suffer through the deluge.

a brief prayer to Meridia for good health

But when the rains clear you’re often greeted by the gentle glow of sunlight cutting through swampy gloom.

A gentle cough rolled into heavy wracking. “Mondas, you old fool.. this swamp will be the death of you..” I chided myself.

“Hostiles inbound..”

Gliese 452.3 – Fragile Thunder
Teamed with Rakanoez we dove into the fray with abandon and a hunger known to anti-pirate mercenaries like ourselves. Not for the money, no.. we had a more basal inclination. “Red is Dead” as they say.

We engaged targets in the waves they arrived in, some packing serious danger that between the two of us was quite manageable. Some arrived in scattered wings that were picked apart like common belt rats.

It was on the third sortie that we encountered serious danger and sufficient numbers arrived with sufficient intent. Seems someone in the enemy command structure decided two Pythons were getting the better of them and upped the ante. “13 targets, are we engaging?”
I nodded, mostly to myself “Pull them away from the tanker if you can.”

They had other plans, multiple hostiles lit my radar, angry blinking ensued as laser and cannon fire pelted my shields. It wasn’t long, the Fragile Thunder can’t normally sustain fire of that intensity, and my armor started to peel away from the focus.

I evaded but the damage was done, I limped to range to let power restore some semblance of a protective bubble. But the transport was in danger and I bit at the chance to win this.

I bit too hard, too long. As I dove into their number trying to thin the swarm they fought back. For every laser on my ship I was met by three more. Before I could regret my choice integrity failed and I was left in a smoldering hulk for rescue services to pick up.

“You might be dying..”

Which in and of itself was a curious thing to say. But we had been talking about my Kheldian and how little it spoke to me.

I continue to think about those words. I dwell on the idea daily, nights are lost in contemplation. I don’t know when I slept last, or when I ate. I know it’s been months since I was bonded.

She called it Synchronization. That I wasn’t in sync.

Meanwhile the Saints of Liberty welcomed me to their halls. I was rapidly promoted for my actions, words of encouragement and the leadership I could provide. This garrison would be my new family.

I wouldn’t think anything of it but some kind of battle fugue had begun to take hold. More than once I found myself with strong memories where none were before. Of armor so thick I could resist the pull of dwarf stars. So robust I could shrug off rockets.

Am I dying.. or something else.