Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've seen wizards like him before. Magi fascinated by even the simplest spell, the most minor cantrip. Who only truly started living upon discovering magic. For them, it matters not that they are not talented, or quick, or prosperous. What matters is that centuries down the road,or even sooner in fact, many greater magi would have become worn with the ages or grown cocky with power. These few however, retain that essential combination of drive, curiosity and humility that forces them, in whatever limited capacity they have, to continue pushing the boundaries of magic. To innovate.

And it is of such innovations that true breakthroughs are made.

Most of them fail, forgotten in the dust and shadows of some slum in a corner of society. Of the rest, many also die, consumed by knowledge too dire, by power they cannot control. But the ones that do succeed...

Watch him, my friend. Watch the path he takes, the roads he dares to walk. Shall he slip into the chasms below, or ascend to the highest peak?


Perhaps its reflective on me that I conceive character concepts and ideas by imagining what people observe, think and say about them. That I find the most powerful moments being in the recognition of some essential quality of a character, either by other characters or the reader himself.

Above is one such statement about a character I recently thought of. One that seems to be merging and growing into this strange tanglepatch of ideas that have been recently forming in my head.

Granted, its nothing too original. But it sure is fun.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And so It Ends

I wish I could express properly the exact feeling of having finished IB. The odd mix of feelings, thoughts, the words of friends, the memories playing by...

I cannot.

But nonetheless, I will try.

It was only recently, though rather late, that it dawned upon me that this wasn't simply an ending of 2 years of IB. It was an end of 6 years of ACS. Of perhaps, one of the most life-shaping six years I've been through.

Just the other day, we went to renew my passport. I looked at the picture taken six years ago, and wonder at how much I've changed. More knowledgeable, maybe more mature, and hopefully, a little more wise.

Same shirt though. Somehow, even after six years God still has a sense of humor with my life. How the heck I still have and actually wore the same shirt I did six years ago for the same passport amazes me. (Or was it three years ago? Hm...)

But the point is, despite all that I've been through, despite what people may say about the education of Singapore, of IB, of the world even, there's no denying that its something all of us have gone through. So even as I look and sigh at the ideals of a perfect school, of the possibilities creative teaching and the irony of teaching creativity...in the end, as I walked out of the school and looked back at the clock-tower, I suppose there is still only one thing I can truly say:

That I'm proud and blessed to have lived six years of ACS. Because what defines a school, learning, development, is not the knowledge you've gained, the grades you received, the projects you complete.

It is the life you have lived. Because learning and living are one and the same.

And turning away from the clock-tower, I see my friends, all smiling and waving and laughing at the end of the exams, walking down the ramp together. And I know that in many ways, in the trials I've taken and the people I've seen, in the teachers that blessed me and the mistakes I made; that these six years were a life well lived, and a lesson well received.

So to the IB Cohort of 2008-2009, this is all I can say. To take heart and soar on, on Wings like Eagles, with the Lord as our Anchor. To be the Salt of the Earth, a Scholar, Officer and Global Citizen.

And though the first path is over, may we always remember-

-the Best is yet to Be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last Walk

Well then people...

Lets go.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Common concept of a creature living in another creature, absorbing their nutrients and abilities without given anything in return.

I don't need to elaborate I think.

Interesting how interesting some parasytes first appear to be. Many a colorful fungus or worm has a curious shape. Its almost as if a brightly colored or interesting looking exterior facilitates the infestation.

So the parasyte mimics the behavior of the host, and discerns what the hosts find "interesting". Thus the host picks up the parasyte, and gives nurtients of its own free will.

I wonder how the parasyte feels, needing others to survive?

Parasyte, parasite.

The worst sort of potential a person can have is wasted potential.

Sloth is a potent sin indeed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Look ma! I can toss words around like them weird juggly people in the circus!

Ma? MA! MAAAA!!!!

In today's news a woman was found dead when a hyperbole crushed her organs to death. Massive internal bleeding and cranial overload were cited as reasons for death.

The orphan is now at a school for disabled youths, learning the perils of over-using flowery language.

This News 3.14 tonight. I am David Craws- I mean David Steve. Have a nice day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

525600 minutes

The power of Art lies in understanding, that we may feel what others do feel, and grow closer because of it.

Even with all the complexities, subtleties, genres and styles- the ultimate aim is simply for mankind to know itself better.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Creative Engineering

I sit at my desk at 12 midnight, having just finished supper and a good read on the net. My bag lies next to me, packed with schedules and worksheets, books and papers. On my desktop are several folders, or which two stand out to me:

One labeled "EXAMS", the other, "IDEAS"

Oh, and a little document with lots of lines of text and numbers, a nice little DnD character I made with exactly 2.1 million gold in equipment. I feel quite proud of that.

...sad isn't it?

It used to be that I would write poetry and stories like a man breathes air. Bus rides home, evening walks down the street; ideas would come and flow into me, an endless river of inspiration I thought would never cease.

But such rivers run the risk of floods, endangering the village. And thus a dam was set up, to curb the tide, to control the flow, to channel its fury and raw majesty into tame, useful energy.

Examinations. Studying. Revision.

All goals I should be achieving. Am achieving, to an extent.

Yet how many geologists have looked at once mighty Nile and sigh at the small stream that trickles its way across the sand?

Nowadays, the MOE, government, people of this generation. Leaders, if you will, have realized the importance of creative talent. Of dreams, of lateral thinking, of uniqueness. And so they sought to harness it.

Yet I suppose, like a butterfly in captivity it doesn't really work out, does it?

After the river passes through the dam, drained its roar, what's left for the crops, the land, the sea?

One folder has not be updated in months. The other is being constantly filled every other week, with documents I barely read. I feel like a traitor, as though not reading them, not exercising my so-called fullest ability is a crime.

It is a crime, I guess.

I wish this post would have some massive insight. Some message I could impart. But I find I cannot do that now without sounding hollow. To preach, hah, to preach is to feed the masses what they wish to hear. To say what's already been said, that's preaching.

To teach, my friend, is a different story altogether.

So what am I, if not a writer? If not an engineer of words, a researcher of society? I look and think and watch it all seems so...easy. A giant stage, a giant act. So easy to just drift along, follow the ladder, take the golden hand.

I can tell myself anything, and I'll believe it. I am the greatest hypnotist and the most gullible fool. Self-delusion is a weapon, a potent tool one uses to fit in with society, to achieve things we would otherwise never do.

I ask myself, am I teaching or preaching? Are these ideas or exams? Am I truly exploring, or simply testing the market, the readers, the people of their conscience? Testing their lives?

It can be either way. I can choose. I can choose so much its frightening. And thus I become afraid to choose. There is understanding and there is understanding, the true understanding, where the implications and consequences of a certain action or property dawns upon you. Its so easy for the modern generation now to complain about dreams, about death, about hypocrisy and disillusionment and war. But do we understand it? I doubt I do.

There is a feeling that comes with understanding. An emotional weight, if you will. One of potency and heaviness. Like the feeling of a good racket in your hands, or a nice, heavy apple. A sensation of the rightness of it all.

Back to the dams. When power is harnessed, it can be controlled. And somehow, that takes away its power. Certainly, the Nile possesses its great physical power, its rushing waters, potential energy, kinetic energy...yadada...

But what happened to the other sort of powers? The gods, the worship. The power to inspire, to intimidate. To frighten, to awe. These are powers too, in their own right. But unlike the waters it is people they move. And in doing so, move the world.

It feels like creativity ought to be something more. Ceremony might be pointless in the view of efficiency, but it serves a purpose of its own as well. Sometimes, the existence of something is the effect unto itself. There is no cause, not root, simply the existence of that process that causes an effect.

And engineer solves problems. And a writer is simply an engineer of imagination. His bricks are the dreams of man, and his lightning is their drive. He builds a machine from the whispers and sighs of each generation, gathering the cast-off shells of their lives, the tiny after-image we leave where ever we go, welding our thoughts together, oiling the gears of passion.

And so, forge a new world? If only it were that simple.

Teaching or Preaching? So hard to say. It depends on the audience, like how the strength of a river depends on the land. One shapes the other, as the other shapes it back. And it is this dance that is renewal, is creativity, is the joining of ideals, new and old.

You cannot compartmentalize it. You cannot say: these are our writers, they will dream for us. You cannot hush an engineer's secret desire to fly, a lawyer's love of fruit pies, a simple worker's talent for humming. All of them dream, all of them dance. But it is the writer who looks from the balcony above, to chronograph it.

To understand something means it must be understood by you. By you. Not by the writers of the textbooks, not by the teachers in their classes. By you and you alone. Your understanding.

And then the writers can too look upon your dance and see it not as a shadow of a lesser dancer, but as a pattern of glory in its own right, sending ripples through the surface of the lake behind the dam.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I have Fallen...

Zomg RO2 died to a poring stupid melee enchanter build doesn't do shit (curse swear mutter)...

My life is slowly draining away in a shower of pixels and cutesy 3D graphiks;

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Self Perception

Just a thought, from an alter ego of sorts. Most people know about the quote: "All that's needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing"

First reaction:

Good thing I'm not a good man right?


The day we fail to label ourselves as "good" is the day we stop being so.

I keep thinking "I'm not hardworking" and lo and behold...so easy to fall, but well-

Now its hard to climb back up.

Friday, August 28, 2009


"You know but you do not understand"

I once thought I knew this statement, but it seems only now that I understand it. And yet...how do I know I understand it properly? :P

Sometimes, in our attempts to teach ourselves wisdom we focus so much on knowledge of it that we forget the meaning behind it. To say "I know!" whenever someone gives you advice, or to silently nod yet ignore, to walk around not wanting help, not putting in effort to ask people for help, not putting in effort towards putting the help of others to use...

All these things are pride as well.

I just never understood.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Of most things, I believe
no strength, inertia is great
Momentum of an endless
lack of movement
Dragging things
on and down with me
through the windows, the doors
the tables and chairs
the tiny cracks in the woodwork
where deep within my conscience
weary of world and sin.


I wouldn't call this much of a poem, twas something I mashed together in less than a minute.

More of a (somewhat) literary rant, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

The machine bleeps, a sharp note accompanied by a gentle vibration of my cot. A soft hiss echoes through my ears as the cover of lifts up, letting in a breeze of fresh, cool air. The chance is all I need. Eyes snapping awake my body practically leaps out of the cot, grasping the handlebars along the side of the sleep chamber. Cycle two, time for my regular exercise.

My apartment is bare, a small black room about five hundred feet underground, with air supplied through the public ventilation systems. Still, it beat heck out of the stale, recycled air inside the sleep chamber. No broadcaster, no net chip, nothing save for a small box and a few exercise tools. I couldn’t afford to have distractions, especially given my recent medical condition.

My body performs the routine with mechanical efficiency, twenty crunches followed by a series of simple aerobatics to get the blood flowing. It feels good to be able to move my body after hours of being cramped in the machine. That done I sit myself down at the corner of the room, where a dusty-old typewriter waits.

The keyboard punches out the text on an old plastic card, a relic of past times. Of course, if my superiors found out about this they’d confiscate the machine…I had only manage to acquire it under the pretense of doing “finger exercises”. Now where was I? There was this poem...

Fifteen minutes of exercises, followed by five minutes of quick scans and general questions to ensure my brain was still healthy. That done, I reach over to the tiny cabinet in the corner of my apartment, removing from within a small bottle and a tiny, tiny syringe.

When I first purchased the drug the doctor had warned me that the side effects could be dangerous for me in the long run. But I couldn’t help it. Too many things were at stake here.

See, I’m what they call a professional Sleeper. Twenty years ago me and a bunch of other guys currently holed up in this underground complex failed the General Productivity Test. From what I hear it was designed to evaluate an individual’s capacity for creativity, self-motivation and work-efficiency. Those who passed well, who knows what they do up there? Building new machines like the sleep chamber perhaps? Not my place to wonder. Still, whatever they do, it requires a lot of work. So much work that well, many of them don’t have time to sleep. And that’s where we, the bottom layer of the GPT come in.

I don’t know how the RES helmet works, or how they transmit the signals and such. Something about synchronized brain patterns and computers, tech-talk like that. Nine hours of me snoozing away in the chambers is automatically translated into nine hours of rest for them. Ding! Instant sleep.

The job isn’t without its perks of course. Regular pay, my own apartment, food and drink fed directly you’re your bloodstream…the only danger lies in a single word: Insomnia, the dreaded disease all members of my profession feared. If the higher-ups found out, if they knew I had trouble sleeping…

I press the syringe and wince as the ice-cold drug flows into my bloodstream. Already, my head feels heavy, my movements sluggish. I leave the plastic card on the floor, with all the other plastic cards I made over the years. The sleep chamber feels all comfy and cozy, warmed to my exact body temperature. Soft music plays as I drift closer and closer to oblivion, an old tune that I heard long, long ago…in another cot with all the other babies, under the same gentle light in the same hospital ward…

And though my eyes are closed my sleep is empty of dreams, while those above chase after theirs underneath the sunlit sky.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday Night Out

So I went to Band FOA last night and while it was very, very good (rofl Godzilla zomgwtfbbq) I find the best part of yesterday was not the 2 hours spent in the Audi getting my inner ear ruptured but spending 1.5 hours outside at the astroturf with Levin, Klow and Justin.

Cause Ernest was busy having his time wasted by Yip (according to him), so the four of us decided to go do random "Improv acts" aka Whose's Line random !@#$. Me and Klow were the main actors while Justin and Levin came up with random scenes and the ever-popular inappropriate one-liners.

Or should I say, highly appropriate? Just...not for the pure-hearted xD

Long story short? It was bloody awesome. Really gotta do this kinda thing again. (THE WEREWOLVES ARE COMING)

Then the four of us and Chermaine, Elvira, Jun Siong, Ernest (and one more guy whose name I can't remember. I'm such a horrible person) went to a 24 hour swensens at Holland V where we ordered two earthquakes and ate coffee ice-cream at freakin' 1am.

Then I got home at about 2, slept at about 3, and woke up at 9am to the sounds of my dad printing page after page of reports (side note: the bigger the printer, the more bells and whistles they can fit inside)

Altogether, a brilliantly eccentric and fun Saturday Night Out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weak hearts make for very loose sleeves

but a fake vase still makes a real mess when broken

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It has
many chambers,
like we do of commerce
of education, health, the rigors of life
through which our people flow.

It is
the smaller organ
yet it feeds the rest;
larger lands with oxygenated aid
through and from our hands.

It draws
both nutrients,
wisdom of the east and west;
pumping fresh blood to stagnant cells
uniting old thoughts anew.

It beats
to the tempo of the globe-
an international hub or rather
international heart of the world.


Submitted for the inter-class poem thing. It didn't show up though, guess there wasn't enough keywords like "unity" "progress" "Singapore" "forefathers" and such.

Friday, July 24, 2009


"Hui Jun...is not afraid of hardwork, and should be able to perform well as long as he keeps up the momentum."




<35 points>, with HLs at 6, 5, 5.

I'm not sure if it hurts more that people expect me to do well, or don't know me well enough to make assumptions like that.

Well, onward I guess.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh...! How The Mind Doth Dance...

Two of them, a man cloaked in shadows and silver, and a lady with golden-yellow hair, streaked with red.

A small figure, slim, dressed in white. Face a literal mask of neutrality, no expression, no features...just two slits, eyes, or what passes for them. Yet how much more they see.

Both of them stare, the third in the middle like a judge, words unspoken, thoughts unbidden, emotions unsuppressed. All it, bottled out, flowing out in a river of color and song, clashing where the white man stood. A white man that was there no more.

Below, the ground shakes, and the same two, opalescent slits open. The face of the white man watches from below, as after-images of the earlier clash linger. Dark claws grappling with bright sun-beam sparkles...neither side giving...then a flare of immense light, drowning out the shadows!

The white man closes his eyes, a burst of yellow flashing across their clear, crystal-like surface. The shadows retreat, under the trees and clouds, into the libraries and books. And for a moment it seems, the sun does shine.

But a single tendril, festering beneath the rocks emerges. A crooked finger, half-wisp not yet formed, growing slowly more solid arises. Deeper it becomes, forming an arrow of mist and reason, of worries and fear. Of calm, steady acceptance of the darker side of life.

An arrow that pierces the sun.

All light disappears. The shadows stretch out, shrouding the word once more. Crystal pools, once like golden honey, now swirl with fog and depths like the deepest black. The white man closes his eyes once more.

Seeds, once sown slowly sprout in the protection of the shade. Cooled in the soft breeze, in the still air they gleam with a light of their own. The roots grow, digging into the soft ground, no longer hardened nor blinded by the glare of the sun. Leaves, half-formed in mockery of the darkness that shackles the sun, creep up from above, ready and waiting.

From the sky, a rain of stars.

Shatter! The darkness cracks. Earth splits, pain fills the world. A blaze of fireworks, joyous yet stinging, dangerous yet mesmerizing. The shackles break, the sun bursts forth, rays spilling over the land, banishing the shadows once more.

Touching the leaves with almost tender warmth, watching them unfurl, feeding their grey-green surfaces strength.

The roots, so well formed in darkness, send their stores to the factories above. Powered by the same fire that fuels the sun, the leaves unfold. Stems, fresh shoots, networks! Drinking in the sunlight, the afterglow of the fireworks, storing their power and mixing it with the minerals cultivated deep within the soil. Fire and light, Darkness and shadow. Boiling water, more potent together than the two apart. A reaction, reaching forth, chaotic energies guided towards the tip. Logic and emotion, white and black horses, pulling the chariot in the same direction...

A whisper across the wind:

Bloom, my flower, bloom.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On 90% of the Internet

From a conversation with a friend:

"...its like miners going after diamonds getting frustrated from having to drill through all those layers of granite and useless dirt to get to the few precious gems, without realizing that without those layers of rock, the diamonds would never have formed."

Did the internet really create all the horrible, disgusting, perverted and depraved content that we see online everyday?

Did the internet also create all the wonderful, inspiring, beautiful, supportive, informative and helpful things as well?

Or did it simply bring whatever was already in human society: all our flaws, our dreams, our strengths and weaknesses, and display them for the world to see?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just a dreamer after all

The only foundations you shake are the ones in your head;

But then again, they're the only ones that matter after all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Microthoughts, Mini-reflections

Aid volunteers really have it tough I find.

To want to cure and help all those people, yet being unable to fully accomplish that.

To be blamed for not noticing enough, because it is they who choose to make themselves responsible, and yet must answer to those who don't.

To keep pushing, prodding, trying...meandering through life's many obstacles, following that little internal compass along a road paved with lode-stones...

Sometimes, all you can do is hope you're doing the right thing.

And that their replies of "thank you" won't become a last farewell.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Mug or not to Mug...

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
-Ernest Hemingway

I guess, as the exams pick up and the mugging gets heavy, this shall be my only respite.

Kinda like taking shelter from the storm by begging your ingrate daughter for shelter.

Between the storm of ideas in my mind, and the impending invasion of test papers, my mind and soul remain in conflict. Passion and need, reason it not, for in reasoning it I find my heart does ache, and my thoughts clash like thunder.

A dozen ideas I have, none of which seem to work; half a dozen textbooks I have, none of which seem to make sense.

Oh Fool! I shall go mad...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

An old Wave of presenters


Awesome video, awesome tool, but that's not really the point I'm thinking about.

I'm more thinking about how the presenters here are well, obviously not presenters. They're engineers, the people who made the system, built the system, and tested from the time they designed its roots.

In business we learnt about this thing called Product Based Marketing and Consumer Based Marketing. One markets a product based on what the product has. The other does it based on what the customers have.

The latter is the route favored by more and more corporations these days, including a certain company with fruit for its logo. What makes me sad is that increasingly, people seem to favor style over substance. And that it has become the norm.

I suppose the part I liked about this presentation was that it wasn't some smiling salesman with a mask of friendly words, amusing jokes and sharp wit talking. It was just three (four?) honest engineers, presenting the fruits of their efforts over the course of two years. Somehow, it just added this extra element of...I dunno, Honesty? Tangibility? Credibility? To their speech.

There is show. There is flair. There is hype. And in the middle of it all, a little coffee-stained, greasy-hand, slightly myopic man with a paunch. Just going along his own way, building things that last.

Perhaps that was Google's intention. If that's the case then well, all I can say is that they're doing it right.

For me at least. *sigh*...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In My Day, In My Sky

*old geezer voice*

In my day, we dinna haf all dis fhancy smhancy 'graphiks' no we didn't! We had books, and our brains w're dee displays screens, and if yer couldn't lookinta da clouds and see a elephatmougous you'ere in big truble me boy! Now if yer want to look at a creature wita thousan'flayi tentacles and a hundre'eyes you jus needa go to the neares'viddy shop and searh'up them japanese dirty-stuff! Nonsense! Why, back then'if we wants to hav disturbing and twisted fantaschees lik tat we hadz to PAY them gud money ta get drunk as an old-foxina chicken pen. An alcoholic chicken pen. And we hadz BOOKS too! Now'ish all abouts World of Whorecraft and havin's a gud's fling with a flat-piture onyer deskhtops...


Scuze'me. Now, as I was shayins, it all be with them pretty pichures nowadays, alls shiny and drawings. Last'times we made them piktures, madez'em wif our own two'ands, soaked the blood'f paints and the flesh of crayons. Oh how we toilsed in those days! A flower'ana three'ana 'ouse covered in reddish tiles, wif them smoke that lookit lika cloud with them loohks lika elephatmougous...but nowsish all about lookin for the best'sm piks on shes winternet thingy, and prints them and sticks them on the walls.


And da stories, oh da stories. Me papa used'ta tuck me inna bed each night, as me mama poured a glass'o' them warm beer, none of that pussy milk stuff you drink now. Took me out lika light it did! Course, I wash'seven back then and it-be a 1-pint jug but ey? Hoosh complain? But anyways me paps would tells me a story everynights, filled ith all the proper gory bits and violence, with Mr Bear knocking the stuffing outta the evil Fluffy Octopuss! Oh...I couldn't sleeps with the excitments sumtimes, but then beers would knock me out soon after tats...but now all youz peoples can do be talk abouts them old stories and 'ow theys be horrible, or wondibibble, wif all them lit-tit-ture and bandwagons and stuff. Ands you has all these knew stories, whicha some freshed old stories with sparkles and fancy graphiks ontops! I sawhs the Little Red Riding Hood! Little kids made me watchits with them while the other shoved pastry inna me ears. Egads, a girl that thin wolda fallen ova the basket, the way she swings it like that! And those eyes! Me thinks da wolf o'eats her would gets swollen from all them bacteria in there, they been swollen liks that.

And da teenagers all payin their Whorecraft cause them too prissy ta go downtown with ten bucks for a proper job. I asks them 'ose the bad guy, o'se them good guys, and who the butler killed this time. They shays there be no baddies or goodies, only lotsa monsters ta kill! I then I goes: oh, so them monsters must be baddies and you be good guys, yes? And then theys stares at me (cause I think me pants fell off then) and says that there dont be any goods or bads, jus them slades of Grey. The only shades of grey I know be the greys on me head. And me armpits. Them goes on aboits hows their favourtie characters be this demon-bat-wizard-robot thing with a gazzlion wings and teeth and claws and everyone thinks he be a monsters except that he ain't cause well, he helps little kids cross the street. Oh wait he doesn't. He just smashes other monsters, so he's good. Except those monsters be helping little kids crossing the street, so their good too! Or bad, cause they breath fire. They all breathe fire. With horns, Good..bads...ugly...Ack, me brain be hurting, time for the pills...Seesh whats I means?


But the point! The points of this ere speech be well...I dunno, what was the points again? Everyone be jus lookin for them points these days. Aesop hads lotsa points, but you dinna listen ta him cause he hadz poinst! No, the bloody bird hadz good story-yelling thats wut. He could shout them tales so loud all the folk would ere him in the mountains over, and thats how them stories spread. But thats not the point, cause there ain't any, shees? Sumtimes ya just gotta tell them stories, but all peoples these days be doin is hitting things, and calculatins numbers, and even with all them pretty graphiks and colors and shows all I ere' them do be talking about the next quarter of experience needs to "lever up" or something, though why them be playin wif see-saws at their age I wouldn't know.

And in the end wells, when we're all done with this and all, its like there be so much colors and lights and good grapiks that show you everything you need, that do all them thinking and imagining for you that well, you dinna need ta do anything no more.

Long times ago we'd look up ina sky and sees the elephatmougous; but now there be no space left for dreaming no more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Passing On

All things like candles fade away in time;
but like candles, and torches,
the Flame passes on-
through Reason,
in Word
by Rhyme.


Just a short verse I wrote. Couldn't figure what else to add onto it =/

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weird Dream

I had this really odd dream last night.

I can't remember how it started, only that it was strangely twisted. But I do remember the back bit, which I think some part of my mind was subconciously controlling or something:

What happened was, I dreamt that I was in this writing contest of sorts. There were people all around me, and I think an assassin or two. I was supposed to write 3 stories from a list of 5 possible questions. Seemed simple enough.

Until I read the questions.

I can't recall all of them, but one of them stuck out:

1) Write a story about a statue in love, with a hole in its ass that contains an interdimensional portal to another area of your choice.

Title of the story? Arse.

Its dreams like this that make me very worried about myself sometimes...

Monday, June 1, 2009



The landscape flowed past as Nmir climbed and leapt her way up the hillside, one hand clenched tightly around her haversack. Inside it the empty medicine bottles jingled, as if urging her to hurry. Nmir doubled her pace, scrambling from rock to branch to the occasional piece of flat-land, until she burst into the clearing, still soaring through the air.


Quickly checking that none of the bottles had been broken, Nmir sighed, looking at the small thatched hut before her. Beside it lay a small well, and a large garden filled with all many of herbs and plants. She recognized a few of those flowers from her classes back at the village. Most of them grew only on elevated ground like this, where the temperature and wind made conditions ideal for their flowering.

She walked slowly down the worn dirt-path, savoring the atmosphere, the tranquility, the sheer isolation of the place. Over the years she had come to enjoy these quiet moments of being alone, away from the noise, from the suspicious glances and curious looks…

At least illusions can be seen through-
It’s not like she belonged to the village…
How can you trust something like that?

The mission was simple. Deliver a small bag of food to the old herbalist in the hills in return for the medicines he grew. Twice a month the village would send someone up here. Twice a month, they chose her. The trip took at least two days on foot, as the hill was quite a distance away. For more than a year she had done so, to the point where Elder Dunzon could recognize her approach without even turning to look at her. He’ll be just behind the door again, waiting with a pile of dried herbs and a big mug of tea…

Nmir reached the door at last, a faint smile of anticipation on her face. Without hesitating she slid the wooden panel to the side, the sound of Elder Dunzon’s cheerful, creaky voice already on her ears-

Nmir! What a surprise. Come, have a seat-


Nmir blinked, looking around the tiny living room. The simple wooden table was where it always was, yet there was no one sitting there. No wrinkled old man smiling atop the rattan mat, a mug of tea in his hands.

Silence. The room was empty, eerily so. Even the sounds of the forest seemed muffled inside. Something was wrong…

“Elder?” she called, wincing at how loud her voice seemed, “Elder Dunzon?”

Silence was all that answered.

“Elder Dunzon! Hello? Anyone?! I’ve come for the usual delivery! Elder Dunz-”

There! An answering cough, coming from the bedroom. Nmir approached cautiously, carefully sliding the separator that divided the living room and the old man’s sleeping quarters. What she saw made her gasp.

“Nmir…” wheezed the old man from upon his bed, his skin as pale as snow, “tis good to see you…”


Nmir poured the last of the soft blue flowers into the jar, sealing the lid tight. The herbs had been all prepared, laid out just for her in the shed at the back. She had left the bag of ingredients and soup-stock on the table in the living room. For all purposes, she was done.

And yet…

Elder Dunzon was dying.

Dunzon. The old man with whom she had spent several afternoons twice a month talking to, drinking tea, listening to his stories. Elder Dunzon, whom didn’t know of what she could do, who knew only the nice girl that visited him each time, unaware, unprejudiced...


A sudden, wracking cough from behind made her cringe. The sickness was getting worse. According to the Elder, it was simply age, nothing more. The inescapable disease, that all men shared, that could never be cured.

For a while Nmir simply drifted, walking from the living room to the shed and back, not quite knowing what to do. Finally she sat down; her green eyes dull, staring at the tiny portrait of a young woman dressed in blue, her smile eternally frozen upon the wall.

Anami. The old man’s wife. Elder Dunzon used to go on and on about her, on the afternoons they shared. About her smile, how she would always cook for him, and how she passed away fifty years ago. He moved up to the hills soon after, away from the village. Some wounds never quite heal.

…while others simply continue to grow. Just because I wasn’t born there…

The mat felt oddly uncomfortable, as though there was a something underneath it. She checked: yes, a small bump, just next to where Elder Dunzon used to sit. Curious, she reached under the rattan, fingers closing around something rectangular and hard…

“A diary…”

The book was old but well-preserved, pages yellowed with age. The cover was the common brown of the village record books, the ones commonly used in administration. Yet scrawled in faded black ink in the bottom right-hand corner, was a single, curled signature.


Realization dawned. An idea of what she could do. Nmir looked at the diary, then the portrait, and then the diary again. For a brief moment she seemed to hesitate, as if wrestling with some inner voice...but then the moment passed, and with sudden force Nmir wrenched upon the cover page, glancing at the opening words of the book:

To chronicle our time together, from the night of our marriage to the day we part, I keep this diary. That in the years to come we may look back upon these pages, and recall the wonderful times we had…

In the light of the noonday sun, Nmir began to read…


Dunzon..." whispered a voice, "Dunzon..."

The old man's eyes creaked open at the sound of her voice. So familiar...filled with warmth...

"Anami?" he croaked, old withered eyes squinting in the evening's soft light. Thousands of wrinkles, like crevices on his forehead, bunched up as he frowned, trying to lift his skeletal-body off the bed. She shouldn’t be here…couldn’t be here. And yet…and yet…

"Shh..." the voice whispered, soft hands easing him back into bad, "you must rest. Rest..."

…here she was.

A small, warm bowl was pressed against his lips. Dunzon swallowed, drinking the simple herbal soup. The taste was bitter, as memories flashed past, memories of times spent with his wife in the forest. Every mission without fail, she would make a bowl for him. She was always a talented cook…

"Heh..." chuckled Anami, that light, airy chuckle that he loved "sixty-five years and you still can't stand my soups. And after all the trouble I went through to prepare it too! You could at least pretend to like it."

The words were exactly what she would have said. Exactly what she used to say.

Dunzon smiled, looking up. A pair of bright blue eyes -Anami's eyes- gazed back at him, filled with concern. Long red locks of her spilled messily from her head, framing her long, oval face. She smiled too, thick red lips pursed in the exact way she used to smile, all those years ago. The vision wore the same blue dress that he had gave her, every thread identical in pattern and texture. Exactly the same...


"Now don't you go apologizing now," she sniffed, getting up, "Focus on recovering. And at least use thicker sheets! You're going to catch a cold at this rate. Sheesh, men these days..."

She walked swiftly towards the door, taking the bowl with her, careful not to make any noise. "Anami" had barely gotten five feet away before Elder Dunzon spoke up;

"You're not her, are you?"

She froze, simply standing there, not knowing how to react.

"You're not Anami, though a better imitation I have never seen..."


"You look the same. Sound the same. Even your behavior...mannerisms. An exact duplicate. But you're not her, are you? There's still something different..."

Nmir turned around, dropping the disguise. Long red hair faded to a dark blue, while the face became more youthful, more immature. She sighed, lowering her head, whispering;

"My deepest apologies for the deception Elder. It was…rude of me to assume the form of your wife without permission. I shall-I shall take my leave at once."

"No. Stay." croaked the old man, one withered finger signaling for her to come closer. Nmir complied, not knowing how to react.

"I knew you were not her, but still..." he chocked, eyes glistening, "but still...for a while...I could pretend she was here again. I wanted her to be here. I knew it was just a disguise, and yet...would you, could you..."

Nmir didn't need him to elaborate. Anami returned, hands gently grasping the old man's wrist, stroking his forehead tenderly.

"Hah. Don't...have much time...left" wheezed Dunzon.

"Idiot. Stop saying that," she chided softly, tightening her grip on his wrist. His limbs felt felt so weak and brittle, pale even under the setting sun's light...

"Ha!" grinned Dunzon, "even on my death bed you use the same old insults. Ever since we first met, eh? Its been *cough* eighty years and you still...can't come up with anything better than that..."

"Idiot..." whispered Anami,

"I always loved to see you in that dress, y'know," he rambled, "always thought you looked...beautiful in it. My dancing flower, blue petals under the moonlit sky..."

Anami was shaking now, her eyes wet as well. She was gripping his wrist so tight now that her fingers had turned white.

"I'll be...meeting you soon. Hold my hand, Anami. Hold..." whispered Dunzon, his voice barely audible, "Everything feels so cold now. So dark and cold..."

Slowly, quietly, Elder Dunzon closed his eyes, never to open them again.

For a while, she sat there unmoving, eyes closed as well. Then, with a choked sigh, Anami got up, leaving the bowl by bedside. As she stood her body shimmered, leaving Nmir standing there, face bowed in respect. With an almost ritual-like stiffness she pulled from her cloak two articles: a diary and a small drawing of a red-haired woman, placing them upon the old man's chest.

Her head kept low, Nmir exited the room, picking up her haversack as she did. The bag felt unusually heavy, as though it was filled with more than the herbs she had been sent to collect. High above, the full-moon gleamed brightly in the darkness of the night.

Only then did she realize that she couldn't stop shaking.

A cool wind blew, rustling the trees. In the old man's garden, where the herbs he planted grew, a small blue flower broke from its branch. Caught in the breeze, it scattered into the air- A series of small blue petals, dancing under the moonlit sky.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No rest for the Wicked...

"...“a book of mine where sound heart and deformed conscience come into collision, and conscience suffers defeat” - Mark Twain on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

I don't get it.

Picture this scenario:

A young boy, trying to finish off the last of his assignments. Unable to keep up, tired of work and wanting some sleep, he decides to call it a day and go to bed. The next day he wakes up after a good night's rest, spending the rest of the day finishing off his IA and paperwork rather than stoning on a chair in an air conditioned room.

And in a room not two meters away, his sister is also trying to finish off the last of her assignments, unable to keep up, tired of work and wanting some sleep. Instead she chooses to push herself on, to the wee hours of the night, finishing the portfolio and waking up the next morning coughing and wheezing, eyes barely open from the lack of sleep. And still goes to school.

Who is the good student here?

Why does he feel so much guilt?

Follow your heart they say. In this age Men are engineers of artificial hearts. There comes a point where what is natural is no longer so, and what is created is the "right" thing to do.

Friday, May 22, 2009


The place was bustling, filled with all manner of people from social positions high and low. An old lady, face sagging with age and skin sagging with jewels, trotted her way across to the nearest table, seating herself upon the synthetic mink-fur chair.

A middle-aged man, dressed in a suit of black and white glided slowly up to her, a small pamphlet in his hands. With a wave the lady dismissed the piece of paper, instead signaling for the waiter to come close; those looking closely would notice a small metal card being pressed into the waiter’s hand.

The waiter smiled, flowing back over the rich, neo-silk carpets to pass through the syn-oak double doors at the back. Moments later, he returned, bringing upon a platter a small, silver orb.

“Your order, madam,” he intoned, lowering the dish, “Master Devon has taken great care with his latest masterpiece. Hopefully you will find the balance of sensations tweaked exactly to your liking…”

With a look of almost feral hunger the woman brought the orb slowly to her forehead, where the neuro-interface jack could interface with the data inside.

The world went white-


All around her, the winds were howling. Air currents powerful enough to tear entire tech-homes into scrap metal battered against her body, threatening to toss her to her doom. Thankfully, her power-suit absorbed most of the shock, enough that she could continue surfing along the currents without any serve injuries. Bits of rocks, leaves and the occasional tree flew past, caught in the endless wind-spiral within the tornado. Only she alone remained untouched, guided by the flight regulators in her harness and suit.

Readying her airboard, the Glider shot a brief glance at the monitor’s sensor suite, checking for the predicated paths of all nearby debris.


The scanners on her visor glowed green. With a muffled whoop the Glider released the harness, throwing herself to the mercy of the winds.


The sudden burst of air that caught her nearly caused her to lose control. She grappled with the wind, forcing it down, channeling its fury at being caught into the waiting grooves on her airboard. Almost immediately, the turbulence ceased, as her board shot forward like a bullet into the heart of the storm.

Lightning crackled. A boulder the size of a small dog flew past her, barely missing her head. Still she dived, cutting through the swirling clouds of dust and dirt, going closer…closer…

A flash of brown. Up! UP! In a sudden burst of adrenalin she caught the tip of her airboard, turning its nose towards the sky. Her fall seemed to stretch, slowing as it fell towards the ground, reaching ever so close…


The board soared, rising higher and higher, weaving complex patterns and elaborate routes that always had her barely missing a random piece of debris. Rocks, bricks and metal bars hurled past her head in a single, heart-stopping thrill. Like an arrow she pierced through the swirl of the tornado, streaking through walls of dirt and debris; sticks, stones and tiny leaves battered against her protective suit in a hail of noise, mixed with the screams of the storm in a symphony that brought both terror and wonder to her heart. Layer after layer she passed through, as the sky became brighter, clearer, more colorful-


Behind her, the tornado moved on, continuing its rampage through the artificial turf. Above, the sweet sun sparkled like a diamond in an ocean of blue, the bluest blue she had ever seen, or will ever get to see. She was clear.

The computer took over at this point, activating the gliding rockets, lowering her gently towards the soft, green earth. The sun was growing brighter and brighter as she went down, forcing her to squint. The glow consumed her vision, washing everything in white-

The old lady lowered the jack, releasing a deep sigh of satisfaction. Ah…to be young again…

The waiter was still there, smiling expectantly. With a touch of reluctance she returned the program to him, a second card already on its way to his pocket;

“The mix of anticipation and unease, combined with the use of danger in middle contrasted wonderfully with the sense of relief and freedom towards the end,” she breathed, part of her mind still lost in the after-shocks of her trip “a most excellent experience. Do pass my compliments to the programmers.”

The waiter simply nodded, helping the old lady leave the establishment. Above the exit, the large digital tag-board gleamed in the evening sun’s light:

“Vicarious Living.Inc – Building dreams, One dish at a time”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big brother is watching you!

We just love our freedom of speech, don't we?

Ironic, isn't it?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Wings like Eagles

...but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

In a moment of self reflection I look towards my future and ask: what do I wish to be?

The future Me answers, without hesitation: A Writer.

And then I ask: Why?

As a teenager I am sure many of us know how malleable our identities are at this age. To have such a strong conviction is rare. Who we are, who we want to be, between the ages of twelve to sixteen, is largely formed by the people around us: our families, friends and teachers.

And it is the third of the three that I wish to write about now.

I look back and wonder: why do I love writing so much? I recall a time in primary school where English was my third weakest subject, the strongest being Maths and Science (Chinese being my one and only bane to a perfect 90+ score) I remember at that time, how much I loved the science textbooks, almost as much as I loved the various Magic School-Bus and Horrible Science books shelved in the family collection.

But as I grew, to secondary school, to Junior College, to now – something changed. I look at Physics and Chemistry, and feel an odd sense of disdain. Where did it come from? Why is it there?

I look at some of my friends: back then in Secondary 1 and 2, where my passion for science burned strong, I was considered an oddball. Many people I knew then had an open hatred for the sciences. Perhaps it was them? But that can’t be right either. Many people then had an open hatred for English as well.

Then, looking at my term reports, my past classes, the people I knew, it dawned upon me: it wasn’t the subject, or the friends I had.

It was the teachers.

Since secondary school I’ve had a series of wonderful English teachers, men and women of character and intellect, whose influence continues with me even today. Grace Lim, my form teacher and English teacher in Year 1, who was the first teacher to give me a leadership position, to encourage me in class, whose mantra: quantity not quality, we may not finish first, but we never give up the race, sticks with me to this day. Mr. Andrew Wong, with his powerful use of language and patient explanations, who showed me how a single passage could possess so much depth within a few mere lines of text. And now Mr Ferdinand Quek, whose quirky behavior, creativity and viewpoints continue to amaze and stretch my imagination to this day.

Compare this to the types of Physics teachers I have had. Without naming names, or pointing fingers, let me just say this: one of whom did not teach, asking questions but confirming no answers, whose unapproachable attitude made him difficult to understand. Another who treated the class like children, and me like a disabled child, who refused to challenge our intellect our spark our interest, whose seeming lack of knowledge lost us all confidence we had in her. And now a teacher who refuses to let us learn from our mistakes, who insists that the subject is mere memory and copying, who thinks that teaching a class of intellectually bright students is an excuse for not putting in effort to teach well. All of them, as far as I recall, have only shown me a lack of interest in the subject, a lack of interest in the student, and a lack of motivation beyond their own paycheck.

Yes I am offering a rather disparate view of the two. But somehow I cannot really put it any other way. True, I have had good Physics teachers. True, some of my English teachers were hardly inspiring. Yet when I look back now and think about my impressions, the overall outcome is as above.

Let us look at the successful men and women of the past. Great writers, famous scientists, geniuses (or is it genii?), whose passion and creativity changed the world. One common element amongst many of them, when recounting tales of their past, was a teacher or parent, a single person, or even a group of people, whose passion and drive inspired them at first.

That’s the world. Inspire.

It’s a moot point that I’m sure everyone agrees with. Today in education, teaching is more than simply imparting knowledge, more than just exams and tests. Today, a teacher must be able to inspire their students, to encourage them to learn, to seek for themselves.

What my English teachers have taught me that the science teachers have not was the importance of self-study. While a certain…Buddha was harping on about how this and that was "unnecessary knowledge", it not being in the rubrics, another was sending me emails regarding writing competitions and groups with suggestions for me to join.

If you need further proof, I only have to point to a science subject in which my passion, indeed, my entire class’s passion, interest and confidence has not died. Certainly, in teaching this subject our teacher constantly emphasizes the importance of the rubrics, the requirements, the learning outcomes. But equally important, he emphasizes the need for understanding, for creativity, for independent thinking The questions he gives us have no answer that can be copied from within the book - their secret lies in the careful application of previously learned concepts, after which understanding only requires a single, creative step. Each time he does this, he reminds us not to take it too seriously, that it is not relevant to the exams. And yet he continues to give them to us, so that we can (as quoted) "appreciate the subject better", "appreciate the mechanisms involved", so that even as I memorize three pages of complex chemical formula, I can see the beauty and relevance within every single one of them.

He prints notes for us. Constantly asks if we need more time, if he should slow down. All his knowledge, his experience, his time goes into teaching. His standards are so high that the guidebook he wrote for our level, that masterpiece of teaching, became one of the most sought-after study books that students across Singapore are fighting to photocopy and use.

How can one see such passion and not feel inspired to learn?

The issue here is that many teachers simply see teaching as that: simply imparting the knowledge, the skills, and then marking the exam papers. Perhaps I am being an immature child for thinking that teachers own it to the students to teach well. Perhaps I’m not. But that is not the point.

Teaching, learning, it goes both ways. What teachers have to teach now, what students have to learn, is not the mere knowledge of a subject. What all of us have to understand, is that education today is not just about imparting facts and doing quizzes.

It is about teaching students to teach themselves.

And that is what I learnt today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Writer's Smile

The Child looks round for toys and light,
But sees only darkness within her sight;
Fearful cries echo through the night,
While the Guardian comes, to set things right.

The Child knows well, that all things Dark
are not mere shadows that leave no mark,
that joys and beauty are but a lark-
sheltered dogs, no bite save bark.

Yet the Guardian and Child do agree
that the Child must live, happily;
thus the Dark, lock and key
for Life to flourish, pure and free.

But as they say, the Truth shall out;
no matter the way, no matter the route.
Thus with this pen I fight my bout
with the World to whom my words do shout.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Filial Piety

Darkness…just darkness. Yet something was changing, tiny cracks appeared in the ai-

PAIN! Burning…agonizing...PAIN! Searing, flashing, crawling through her nerves, tearing at her soul! A thousand knives, a hundred bee stings, nothing could compare to this. Every fiber of her body was aflame, every sense in turmoil, every thought consumed in chaos. Her memories swirled, like broken wrecks in the storm, occasionally flashing out at her, dragging her into their midst…


“Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…”

The song stopped, as the gathered people erupted into cheers. There upon the marble table was an enormous chocolate cake, crowned with candles, cream and strawberries spilling over the sides. A little girl sat behind the massive wall of confectionary, her face partially obscured by the sheer size of the cake.

“Smile dear!”



The pain was back, stabbing through the fog in her mind. It wasn’t as intense, thankfully, but her entire body still felt like it had went through a very blunt blending machine. She could feel her limbs now, and judging from the dull aches she was receiving most of her body was still intact. Yet she couldn’t move. Her muscles wouldn’t respond. Neither would her eyes, or her face. Her whole body was numb, numb from the pain.

Yet this meant one thing: she was alive. She couldn’t move, but she was still alive. She could wait. She could think. Yet…yet the question remained;

Who was she?


The same little girl again, except that her soft young face seemed somewhat older and paler, while beads of sweat encrusted her brow. The girl’s eyes fluttered open at the sounds of her approach, accompanied by a barely audible groan.

“Still sick?”


“Poor dear. Here, have some chicken soup,” a hand…her hand(?) reached out with the bowl. In the memory, she was speaking:

“Keeps the body healthy and strong”


“Feeling better?”

“Mmm…*slurp*” a tiny nod and a smile.

“That’s good. Still have the lucky bracelet I gave you?”

“Mhm…*slurp*” a small silver chain flashed in the fading evening’s light. The string of letters gleamed: To Kim, <3 from Mom

“Then you’d be fine. Sleep well dear,” she made to close the door…



“D’ya think that some day, if you’re ill I could *cough* look after you too?”

Miranda smiled. Kids these days…

“Heh, why not? But you still need to get well first. Goodnight sweetie.”




Miranda. She remembered her name now. Miranda. And her daughter…

Kim…it was her birthday three days ago. Just three days ago. The bracelet was a gift…or had it been more than three days? How long had she been out?

Explosions. Screams. A blinding light…

The panic rose in her, like an ugly tide threatening to overrun the shore, yet she had no way of showing it. Her body was still paralyzed, unmoving, and unresponsive to her mental commands to scream, to shake, to simply break down and cry. The shelter had been ready but they had been too slow…

She could feel now though. Her sense of touch had returned, bringing with it full awareness of the pain and aches that wracked her body, and the occasional hallucination: the feeling of another person’s soft touch, a sense of contact that she barely felt, somewhere at the edge of consciousness, the feeling of someone holding her up…



The Air Sirens blared, though their screams arrived too late. Miranda was the first to react, grabbing the nearest two boxes of provisions and running into the basement shelter where they would be protected, surrounded by its blast-proof walls.

“KIM!” she screamed, throwing the last of the water into the corner, “forget the rest of the food! Get into the shelter NOW!”

There was a series of loud thunks as her daughter dropped what she was carrying and hurdled down the stairs. The pattering of her feet echoed off the wooden steps, only to be drowned out by the sudden hum of airplanes overhead...

“KIM!” she cried, her voice masked by the soft whistling sound in the background, growing louder…louder…

Miranda screamed, as the world exploded in a flurry of noise and light.



Pain. Too much pain. Before, she had been like a disconnected server, detached and removed. Now it was like someone had reconnected a cable, sending a flood of information through her senses, overloading her fragile mind.

The explosion. Bricks flying apart. Fire, smoke and light. Brilliant, blazing light. Cries. Destruction. Light, then darkness. And her daughter, still halfway down the stairway, still trying to make it to safety...fading away…

She felt herself being lifted, felt a cool hand sooth her back, holding her tight. Her screaming stopped as her lungs ran out of air. Almost immediately a warm bowl was pressed against her lips before Miranda could gather air for another round. Her emotions raged against the interruption, roaring to get free.

Gradually, her breathing slowed. The bowl still remained, held steady by an unseen hand.

Miranda relaxed.

The bowl shifted slightly, causing a thick, hot liquid to seep through her teeth. Only then was Miranda made aware of how hungry she was. Swallowing was painful, but somehow, she managed it. One gulp. Two gulps. She could feel the warmth spreading through her limbs, breathing life into their cells.

It was soup. Chicken soup in fact. Half-cooked with lumps of preservatives still floating in the broth, but soup nonetheless. Miranda felt her being slowly laid down onto what seemed to be a mattress of sorts, as she gradually drifted back to sleep…



No one was sure about how the war had started. Some say it was the economy, having finally fallen apart after years of patches and billion-dollar injection funds. Others say it was the terrorists, or North Korea, or even Armageddon. Either way, the outcome was the same. Biotechnology, nuclear power…forces once used for production and protection, turned into weapons of mass destruction.

The sirens had come too late. By the time the two of them had reached the base the bombers were already overhead. She had been deep inside, shielded by the stacks of food and water, wrapped in a bio-hazard blanket. But her daughter…

Her mind retreated, pulling away from the memory like a frightened dog, instinctively trying to avoid the pain and sorrow she felt. Instead, Miranda distracted herself with the outside world, focusing on the texture of the mattress, the coolness of the air, the warmth of someone’s body…

Someone was next to her. Someone small. Dimly she knew that this was the same someone who had been feeding her. The same someone who had been watching over her all this while.

Someone was shaking. Crying. Whispering words she could not hear.

Something hot ran down her waist and onto the cold, hard floor.

Miranda didn’t need to think. Her body simply reacted. Despite the pain, despite the effort it took to lift just one little finger, Miranda slowly lifted her arm, bringing it over Someone’s back, her fingers brushing against it, soothingly, lovingly…

The shaking stopped. The whisperings ceased, to be replaced by a soft, shallow breathing. Hair, said her fingers. No, too long for hair. Almost like fur…

Comforted and comforting, Miranda let herself go, drifting slowly back to sleep...


“Hey,” the voice was rough, authoritative, “Hey! You still alive?”

Miranda awoke, to a blinding light. The events of the past few…days…weeks (?) flowed through her mind, pieces fitting together like a simple puzzle being put together at last.

Gradually, as the glow faded to tolerable levels, Miranda looked franctically around, trying to figure where she was. Before her were three men in bio-warfare suits, masks and all. Two of them were carrying guns, while the third was unarmed with one hand grasped on her shoulder, trying to shake her awake.

“Wha-” her voice cracked, as she swallowed and tried again. “What happened?”

She was in the shelter, or so it seemed. The entire front wall where the door was had been blasted to pieces. Piles of twisted metal, mortar and blackened stone framed the entrance, blocking it completely, save for a single small hole by the side. What once had been her basement…was now a smoking mixture of steel and rubble.

“Yer town got a double-whammy the other day,” continued the Suit, tapping on its wrist screen, “First a Rubblemaker to clear out the buildings, then sort sorta bio-weapon. Good thing you were in the basement when the first one hit. I reckon the debris protected ya from the second strike. Really nasty stuff that turned people into friggin mutants, would y’believe it? Bloody things caused even more damage…”

Her eyes were drawn to where two other men in bio-hazard suits were standing around a large mass of fur. Looking closely, it seemed vaguely humanoid in shape…

“…found yer half-buried in this house here, funny thing is that it seemed part of the wall’ere had collapsed see, only that that creature over there somehow managed to dig through with only its claws. Tis lucky that we got to you then, no telling what them mutants might have been trying to do, with their…”

Miranda would have continued listening, if the words had mattered, but somehow they didn’t. Nothing seemed to matter at that point. The voice faded. The background faded. The numbness returned, with doubled intensity, all dams now broken, all currents thoroughly released. Some part of her was aware that she was crying now, that the paramedic was trying to console her, but Miranda did not care…

One by one the walls and debris fell away, consumed by darkness, as the scene drew her in, filling her entire view. The world consisted of only two things: Herself…

…and the small silver bracelet on the furred creature’s hand.


Sometimes when I sleep these scenes tear through my mind, like some sort of drug-fueled emotional high, leaving me breathless and numb in the middle of the night.

Was there any point to this? I don't know. I guess I just wanted to share.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Seeding Compassion

The cold air greets me like an arctic gale,
hurriedly I pull on my sweater,
smirking at the cyclists outside
sweltering in the tropical heat.
Community service
is hard work;
To think we spent two whole hours
planting nothing but trees.

As I snuggle into the soft bus chairs,
the small black box flickers
importing scenes from overseas:
a news reports, monotone,
about the hundreds of seeds sown via air
in an attempt reforest the jungles-

Disaster strikes!
Sudden flood claims the lives of two hundred people!

I pull out my labtop, and in a manner of minutes
type out a post on my blog
lamenting their deaths:
Such a horrible thing
isn't it? We'd send aid of course, seeing as
it didn't happen here;
Perhaps we could plant some trees?

Newsflash over, the screen resumes
the constant complaints of a hundred environmentalists:
"For every hundred trees they chop
a thousand seeds are sown
yet less than ten of those survive..."
Yada, yada, never satisfied.

The stop arrives, and in stepping off-
A sudden stench!
I back away
at the smell from the old woman's rags
as she potters along
her shopping bag filled
with half-eaten discards from the nearby bin.
God, doesn't she ever take a bath?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Once Cracked Vase

Beautiful, beautiful
the once cracked vase, the
once-had perfection, its surface
now a dichotomy of patterns against the other;
Ordered flowers against spider-web chaos,
painfully beautiful, painstakingly precise.

I made it once, back
when I was what I was, still unsure,
painting over cracks
in my own flesh and bone. Small wonder
that it broke
its materials being the same, the bad tool
blames the workman.

A net to catch water, a glass to catch light;
So what if function it does not serve?
Shattered into fragments, yet still I shall
piece it together
with a Creator's love.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The need to be AWARE

Since the whole online community's talking about this, I might as well join the herd.


What bothers me the most is not that the new leadership seems rather...unstable, or that Singapore's civil society is shifting. What bothers me the most is that this was a coup...in a non-profit organisation.

I'm an idealist at times, and this is one of them. A charity. Granted, there'll be office politics and organisational strife anyway, but still, a freaking coup?

What ever happened to the whole idea of joining a charity because you believe in its cause?

And don't give me that bull about how they believed in its cause so much that they decided to TAKE OVER THE WHOLE THING. You know. To keep it safe.

Kinda like how Japan was keeping Singapore safe for those evil British colonist bastards, eh?

I can understand a coup in some MNO. Or a uber-large company. Or in politics. Politics is all about coups after all. And quality home video entertaining (teh scandals! teh scandals!)

But a coup in a charity organisation dedicated to advocating women's rights? Why do I get the impression that the spirit of the organisation has died?


Oh right. Thanks invisible-ninja-on-my-shoulder. Because reading the wonderfully concise reply by the organisation, it seems they couped because they were "ready for it".

Any particularly strong views? Something that they felt really needed to be changed or done? Problems with the old management? Nope. Just stuff about their qualifications, and speculation about whether the old guard had any inner motives.

Qualifications!? The most important qualification needed for a charity organisation is the heart. And if you want to qualify for the heart, show it to me through dedicated service. Work for the company for ten years, prove yourself a dedicated member and if you still believe in your cause, then by all means, you have earned the right to implement it. Because you have shown heart.

But if you somehow lost it along the way, or are too scared to let your views be known even after taking over the organisation then well, your belief probably was never really that strong in the first place, was it?


Just a last note to summarise: All in all, it is when the people running a charity organisation dedicated to helping others displaces the top management simply for their own selfish desires that I begin to get worried.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I saw an old man in the Park with a pair of shears. His worn brown cloak seemed to billow in the wind, even as he carefully and tenderly cut the stem of a beautiful, fully bloomed sunflower.


A little girl, barely three years of age ran past, giggling as a large, furry brown dog (a labrador?) chased after her. The two of them ran, round and round the park benches, until at last the young child collasped onto the grass in exhaustion, laughing with joy as her dog slobbered slimy drool all over her soft, young face.

Nearby, a family was having a picnic; father, mother and their two sons eating heartily out of a woven thatch basket. Next to them sat grandfather, watched over by a nurse, his bloodstream was fed carefully from an IV drip hanging by his side. Then the youngest son, a toddler of five, waddled over to his grandda: chubby arms outstretched with a small sandwich grasped inbetween. With a slow shake and a smile, the grandfather declined the offer, patting his grandson on the cheek.


A sudden gust nearly caught me off guard, sending rolls of old newspaper tumbling across the pavement. The old man grasped his hat, straining against the wind. Far beyond in the open fields a young boy suddenly lost control of his kite; its green and yellow striped form crashing into the trees. An old lady, bent over with a walking stick, hobbled over to the crying boy with a napkin in her hands, and kind words upon her lips.

Five kids dashing from tree to tree in a myriad pattern of their own devising, giggling, laughing and cheering as they raced. Round and round the park they went, so reckless in their play that one of them tripped, slamming face down into the soft mud of the earth. Sitting up, the young boy smiled, even as the remaining four of his friends turned around to help him up.


The wind had stopped now, as the old man resumed his collecting. A fresh pink flower fell from its branch, only to be caught gently by a pair of pale, wrinkled hands, its petals carefully gathered and pressed into a small black scrapbook hanging by the old man's side. So far he has collected nearly a hundred different petals - some similiar, some different, some belonging to different species, some from the same plant. All of them breathtakingly beautiful, in their own special way.

He sighs, brushing the cover of his scrapbook with a glitter in his eye. With loving care he places the book and its precious contents into a dirty green haversack, smiling in delight at a good day's work.

I too, close my book, pencil and pen returning to the case with a slight snap. The tiny leather-bound tome is slotted into the left pocket of my backpack, while the stationary case enters the right.

Wrapping his cloak around him, the old man leaves, exiting through the wrough-iron gates by the side. I make to do the same, as we both turn back in perfect synchrony for one final glance at the Park. Taking in all its beauty, one last time.

The old man leaves through the wrought iron gates, returning back to the smokey streets and grey-soaked landscapes of society. I watch him as he does so, unwilling to leave so soon, yet fully aware that the Park will close in time. Each step takes him further away, dimmer and dimmer, till all that could be seen was the outline of his brown tattered cloak flapping in the dust-laden breeze.

Yet I know, no matter gloom or pain, no matter or shadow or fog; for as long as he carries that scrapbook a piece of the Park shall always remain with him.

A beacon throughout the storms of life.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Death and Taxes

I suppose it was all good really, during the first sixty-eight years or so. Stable job, good pay and a comfortable working space - so what if I was bonded to the government? The economy was poor, I wasn’t ambitious and the country was safe. A golden offer it seemed, back then.

It was mostly paperwork during the early years. Got promoted to Senior File Manager where I was fifty-one, along with a few extra feet to my cubicle. Boring work, long hours, but hey, it was all for the retirement plan, yes? Save up; buy a yacht, a house by the sea...

Then came the plane crash.

It was a business flight. My first in thirty years. Go figure, huh? The government dragged what was left of my charred remains and put my brain on life support. They re-grew about half my vital organs, fixed a couple of bones and liver problems, and overall had me coming out of the Re-Vita-Tank fitter, healthier and definitely much better than I was before. I had been so amazed, so grateful to be alive again...

Until I found out that they paid for it using my retirement scheme.

Apparently there exists some sort of clause in my bond that basically amounts to a highly formalized and technical version of “till death do us part”. Except that today, what with all the breakthroughs in genetic and nanotechnology, it is they who decide when one can....pass on. And they get to use our money to do so as well. Apparently it’s considered one of the duties of a responsible employee to keep himself in good, working condition. It said so on the contract.

So I got stuck there in my cubicle for another twenty-three years, at least until I earn enough to repay the cost of my medical treatments. Somewhere around the age of a ninety, my heart gave out. So they replaced it with a metal one, along with the full set of annual screenings and charged it straight to my account.

Five years for the heart, five months each year for the screenings. I’ve been working day and night, overtime and off-time, and still my numbers are in the negatives. And the funny thing? The more I worked, the more help I actually needed. Too much stress caused high blood pressure, lack of sleep caused all sorts of mental imbalances in my brain. There came a point where the government paramedics had to tranquilize me in my cubicle just to get me down to the psychiatrist. Therapy sessions on stress and self control. All sorts of fancy drugs and tiny monitors to keep in check my mental aptitude. I woke up each day feeling absolutely great; happy and enthusiastic for work.

Good working condition, all the time.

It reached a point where I contemplated suicide. The minute the monitors picked up the sudden spike in my brain they immediately flooded my system with all manner of happy drugs. I spent the next five minutes staring at the wall, smiling. Ever since then I’ve kept careful track of my thoughts. I couldn’t lose another five minutes like that again. It lost me 0.0147% of my Medi-Monitor Fund in opportunity cost.

The last strategy I tried almost worked. By that time I had spent about one hundred and fifty (or was it sixty?) years in the Filing department. I'd had enough. Of course, I didn’t let that thought stay. I played with it, let it slip through my mind, little moments that flitted away before the monitor could pick up any major irrational spike. In those moments, over the course of the years, I put together a plan. Little things, like a laser-powered Auto-cutter, placed next to my deck for the really tough papers. Careful and discrete noting of the various schedules, and observations of the various “checks” they made on the cubicles that I ingrained into muscle memory.

Then the day came. A small window of opportunity, barely five seconds long. More than enough to lift the laser-cutter to my brain and slice through the neurons. There were still parts of the brain they couldn’t quite fix yet. If I managed to get a good clean shot through the prefrontal cortex I’ll be effectively dead. But then I had to go and do something stupid.

I hesitated. And in that brief two seconds of contemplation the monitors sounded the alarm. Neurotoxins paralyzed my limbs and motor functions, while a fine mist of sleeping gas filled my cubicle. By the time I came to, it was far too late. They demoted me, added the cost of the sleeping gas, and packed me straight back to work.

Good working condition. All. The. Time.

It’s been nearly two hundred years now. I’m still working there, still trying to pay my debts. So long as I owe them money, they’d never let me go. It’s in the contract. I heard that nowadays, if anyone tried what I did fifty years ago they’d be Deboded – their brains extracted yet kept alive to be used as temporary processing space for the organic computers. And memory is just so cheap nowadays...

I write this account mostly because it helps me keep track of things. It also helps prevent me from going insane. I’m afraid if they ever detect another hormonal imbalance in my brain they’d Debod me and stick my head in a jar. So I write, just a few words at a time. Just short enough to escape notice.

I’ve not left my cubicle in what...twenty? Thirty years? I’ve not seen the sky, or the stars, or what passes for the soil these days. Food, drink and drugs are fed directly into my bloodstream. Sleep is a memory, something frivolous that only the rich could buy. Back when times were tough, my dad used to say that he could never afford to rest. But I-

I can never afford to die.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seeds of Thought

Where do I stand in this world?

A friend once commented that I'm easily distracted. My response was that the world had much to be distracted by. It was a retort made without thinking, yet sometimes it is the heart that answers best.

So many times we try to define where we are. Define who we are. At our age, at our currnet minds, it is a dangerous, fragile phrase. Everyone knows that these 5 years will be the ones that shape us the most. It is when we as people are most malleable, most unsure, most open to learning and teaching, and daring to tread new waters.

The world has much to be distracted by. So many influences, so many things. Perhaps it is the influence of too much literature, or stories, or just TOK, but I see meaning in almost everything. Patterns upon patterns, symbols within symbols, each repeating, folding, dancing together in the light.

So many influences, and the greatest tragedy is how we must shut ourselves to most of them. I think our greatest depression, my greatest depression at least, is the inability to reach. There is so much out there, so much beauty and power and strength, and we humans in our limited, flawed capacity cannot hope to reach it. It is the tragedy that causes us to turn into ourselves. To blame ourselves for not being as high as the stars, as perfect as the angels, as wonderous as the concepts that our minds and souls can dream and create, yet never reach.

It is the closing of the mind that pains me. That we must all do so, for sanity, for efficiency, for function. To open our minds to the universe and all its glory would leave us wallowing in our insignificance, our own weakness and fragility. We are forced, by neccessity, to pick only what is relevant.

And thus we begin to judge.

Because we are forced to judge, to contemplate the idea of importance, of priority, things are no longer pure. Life is fluid, changing, wonderfully changing, the same way a waterfall is mesmerising, the same way the falling stars and singing wind are beautiful. Moving, eternally moving and changing, always different yet somehow, remaining the same.

Siddhartha? Yea. Go ahead and feel put off by it.

All my pain, my suffering comes from the imposing of structure. We are needed to read these books, to score these marks, to reach these goals. And thus it is no longer growth, no longer flow, but a pressure, a suction - a dragging of chains bound around our souls as they struggle in other directions.

It is faster, safer, and more productive. And because of this humankind feels the eternal angst of not knowing their purpose, not knowing what they need.

I thought I broke out of the system. Of the competitive rubrics and judgments and endless targets. Now I see that all I did was impose a different set of rubrics, one based around originality, around creativity, a measurement of how immeasurable something was.


Its so funny, yet so depressing at same time.

No more goals. No more schedules. Let me try that. Let me try to feel life. Feel its wave and motion, its tides and currents, its song, its surf, and all the fish in its depth.

Somepart I suppose, would need to remain an anchor. But no more judgement. No more competition. Just growth, growth for the sake of growth, for the delight of it. For the joy of the sky, the morning sun, the new seeds, the blooming flowers that fade away yet are renewed each dawn, as their petals are mourned and remembered each dusk.

Everyone says to live life for its own sake. That's incorrect. Life for its own sake never changes, never moves. Why do we keep insisting in living our lives and pace?

Let Life live you instead.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On Slack and Portfolios

In the midsts of math port, TOK, and general rushing of EE World Lit and all that is sacred and holy (in the context of IB, of course), I offer a nice little piece of blasphemy;

"Dude. Relax."

Odd? I think all of us have had this thought. Perhaps it was the influence of this article


but well, me is beginning to think some of us have lost track of life.

Oh scratch that. Me is beginning it sense that most of us think that we have lost track of life. Its following the herd sort of thing, only that I try to pay attention to where we're going.

I spent the holidays doing the following: Helping my parents move (new house!). Going out for lunch with an old friend, who was visiting Singapore after migrating overseas. Spending a few hours in the library, reading up on the SG Education system (It was for TOK, but I enjoyed it. Yes, I'm weird that way.) All these were good, normal and above all human things that I should have been enjoying and feeling proud of.

Yet why is it all I felt was guilt for spending the 1-2 hours eating lunch with my friends when I (think I) should have been doing my IAs instead?

Why is it the first question any of my friends ask is "Have you done Math Port yet?"

It shows a very strange mix of priorities that many of us, I myself included, have been guilty of. We're putting work before family, efficiency over emotion, destination over the journey.

But is there anything wrong to it?

We wish to succeed after all. 45 points is a noble aim, and as a student, it is our responsibility to finish our work to the best of our ability.

I am aware that to an extent, I am justifying my own slouchiness but to heck with that. I'd rather say I had a real Holiday and not to feel guilty about it, than spend the rest of Term 2 moaning over the three days spent sleeping and talking to mates on MSN.

Siddhartha...Siddartha. Thank Hesse for your comforting advice on enjoying life. Now I can be a wastard and hippie in peace.

Perhaps someday, I may succeed in changing my mindset to view work as a joyous and stimulating activity. Till then...I'll stick with my sugar and caffine.

Now, off to do TOK.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Annoyingly Apathetic Arguments Again

Been meaning to post reflections, or thoughts, or some snappy/witty article about shoes, life and babies.

But somehow, apathy has taken over me. Apathy at well, everything.

Perhaps its because of Physics and English tests, bad marks = disencouragement = quitter?

I don't like it, but its somehow so nice to just live in your head.



At least while in my head I have the option of waking up.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Little seed, amongst the pages
Under the glow of the bed-lamp's light;
Growing, shaping, sending shoots
To the skies and lands
of worlds beyond
And into our minds, enclosing roots
Drinking off the well-spring of imagination
That flows within our souls.
Basked in sunlight, shaded in troubles
of our lives, the highs and lows
nourish the soil between the covers-
soil turned by hands, anticiptation
A pot overflowing;
Still shaping, still growing
Vines and leaves, twist and turn
until a petal, tender inspiration
pink with fragility, what all we learn

The fruit of ideas, pollinated with thought
from a thousand other seeds,
from a thousand other pages,
Grow, blossom-


A gentle breeze scatters
the pages full of lore;
new seeds, like dandelions
sift through my dreams
searching for a blank page,
fresh soil
to take root once more.


Been a while since I wrote one eh?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


A few posts back, and a couple of months ago, a friend asked me a question that eventually led to a question of my own. In many ways, it was an immense loss of faith for myself;

The question was: What's the point of fantasy?

Let it be known now that I then and still and hopefully shall always be a Fantasy Fan. High magic, dragons, wizards. Then there's Sci-fi, which purists say is a Genre in its own right, but which I lump together into this great big category I name "stuff which does not exist but should".

I mean, come on; who wouldn't want to ride on the back of a giant mechanical alien dragon-wizard...thing?

Personal fantasies aside, at that point of time, I couldn't answer the question. Which led to a immense disillusionment in reading all of these so-called "mind-suckers". The idea is that they take up valuable memory space, by shoving random trivia about non-existant realities into your brain.

For a while, I actually agreed with that statement. Some part of me still agrees with it, to a point.

But then I kinda realised it. The point of all these works. Today. An hour ago. Upon which I sat down and wrote a CW essay in 45minutes, cause ephanies are awesome like that.

The very thing I was fearing about fantasy. Its drug-like, hypontic effect to weave its way into your mind, and feed upon your brain power. This parasitic ability, some would say, was the very thing that made it valuable.

Think, why is it that fantasy is so effective a drug? Why do the tales of Mordor and Gandalf stick in our heads far better than the chemical reaction between NaOH and CH3COOH?

Because Fantasy, unlike chemistry, is an integral part of the human society. No matter what your chem teacher says about the chemistry between your mom and dad, Fantasy is the reason society exists.

The thing that differentiates humans from animals - the capacity to dream.

Since the dawn of time knowledge has been passed down through stories. And the oldest stories, the ones that stuck around the longest, what were they? Were they texts on the number of twigs needed to achieve maximum heat in a dinosaur's cave?

No, they were the legends, the Epics. The lost tales of Heroes, Dragons, Monsters and Gods.

Alot of people try to take Fantasy seriously. That is...the biggest mistake anyone can make, that I've made. Fantasy is not serious. Fantasy is about life, and if life got serious we'll all have died, cause we'll lose. Fantasy takes the seriousness of life, the pain, the trials, and combines it side by side with the good things, the light-hearted bits; the joy, laughter and friendship, showing them side by side, in opposition or in harmony.

Fantasy isn't Reality, because it doesn't need to be. People can see reality for themselves. Heck, they need drugs not to see it properly. So we crave fantasy, the idea of escape, the other worlds, the freshness of the idea. New things, new concepts, other worlds and dimensions - the ultimate question, always on our tongues, encompassing Hope, Fear, Worry and Faith;

"But WHAT IF-"

Fantasy permeates our minds, because Fantasy reflects the ability to dream. And those without the ability to dream live in the full light of reality, and are blinded by it. And because it reflects the dream, it can alter it, shape it, mold it towards the future.

See where I'm going with this?

The point of Fantasy, the aim and its power - is that it can change people. It can teach them things that hard facts and cold logic can never hope to reach. Those speak to the mind, but the imagination speaks directly to the soul. The Mind is merely a router, and a lousy one at that.

So a writer, us writers if I dare call myself one, hold great power in our hands. With fantasy, one can shape the dreams of the future.

And what is our future, if not made of dreams?

As they say, with great power, comes great responsibility. I can only hope the writers of our generation will recognise this truth.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cosmic Dice

The sleek form of the alien spaceship shimmered as it passed through the atmosphere. The creatures were deceptive, surprisingly so. Cloaking devices, low-energy orbital engines…thank goodness the Satellite warning systems had managed to pick them up. Their point of entry though, meant that Agent Jones found himself in a hovercraft somewhere near the top of the Himalayas, wrapped in blankets against the cold.

Two could play the stealth game, and Earth’s tech was hardly obsolete compared to the Sh’ka. By the time the aliens noticed the cloaked hovercraft it was too late. Agent Jones pressed the communications button, sending a signal straight to the Captain of the silver vessel.

The insectoid face of a Sh’ka Ship Captain appeared on the view screen, green bulbulous eyes glowing slightly with barely suppressed emotion. The prominent symbols carved onto its carpace marked it as one Captain Kh'r, of the Sh'ka vessel Swzlt.

“This is Earth Territory, Captain. You know the Rules. Land your ship and we can talk this over peacefully.”

The Captain made a odd set of chitterling noises, which the onboard computer translated. “Curse you Earthlings! Very well, we will land on the flat planes and begin the exchange”

Moments later Agent Jones found himself inside a small makeshift tent with Captain Kh’r, both parties wearing their respective Bio-Adapter Suits. Normally, Agents didn’t need to wear a BAS for such exchanges. Then again, normally aliens did not try to land on the Himalayas.

The Agent grinned, holding out the Transfer Box. A series of chitters emitted from the translator embedded on his suit’s chest. “The Sh’ka Government trying to cheat again, Captain?”

“No, no,” answered Captain Kh'r, eyes glowing faintly through the visor, “it’s not our fault if Earth’s too busy expanding to catch one little craft. Anyway, we landed, didn’t we?”

The Sh'ka punched in the keycode into its own Transfer Box. There was a minor display of tiny lights and beeping, indicating that the transfer had started.

“1600 credits, correct?”

“3200 actually. We have the whole System now, so the number goes up a bit”

“You race never stops expanding, does it?” grumbled the Captain as he punched in more buttons.

“Nope,” answered Jones, “In fact, we should be somewhere near the Prime sector by n-”


His suit’s visor flashed as a series of bright red letters marched across the screen. A Universal Message?! The Captain was probably receiving it as well. What could possible be so important that it would warrant a Universal Message directly to-

“Ah…rats” exclaimed the Agent. Captain Kh’r was grinning, or at least what the Sh’ka did for grinning. Its eyes were flashing in an odd pattern of bright and dim lights that Jones recognized as the Sh’ka equivalent of laughter.

“You saw that too, eh?””

“Yes.” The Sh’ka was already deactivating the Box;

“So I guess this means this transaction is void?”

“Apparently. We would need to check the Rules to be certain.”

The Captain left. Soldiers escorted Agent Jones back to the relative comfort of the hovercraft, where he watched the Swzlt slowly rise into the air, the flare from its engines reflecting off the snow, illuminating the entire mountain top.

Moments later, they were gone.

“Damn,” cursed Agent Jones, watching the rapidly fading star in the sky. A tiny point of light zipping through space, dancing from planet to planet – just another one of the many representatives of a hundred different races, from a thousand different planets. He glanced at the omnious message displayed upon his visor and sighed. The Government would not be pleased when Jones got back to base;

“…I repeat, the Earth Flagship The Wheel has landed in the Dark Warp. The ship and all its men will now be teleported straight to the Holding Dimension. Do not pass Sirius. Do not collect 20000 Credits…”