Lashings of virtual ginger beer

Not everything in Second Life is about the aircraft biz. While testing somebody’s version of my Stingray, I crashed on this tiny island in Okeanos and found a surprise. The Moles, Second Life’s infrastructure builders, installed a whimsical raft with barrels and mugs labelled “lashings of ginger beer”. So I helped my self to a mug and chilled out for a bit as the sun came up.

A relaxing moment in Second Life
A relaxing moment in Second Life

Fun details like this are why Second Life is so much fun to explore. Around the next corner there could be anything.

A lethal weapon

Just another random writing exercise. Doesn’t mean anything or go anywhere. Except a bar, at the end. Spoiler alert.

Warning: Contains the F-bomb. Sensitive readers should avert their eyes.

George peered to his left, around the corner, slowly, as if moving slowly would make his gigantic pressure suit helmet less visible. Dust spattered from left to right. Once, twice. In a vacuum, he could see the bullets, but their impact was silent. He retreated from the corner. They couldn’t hit him here, and they were unlikely to change position. But then, neither could he.

It wasn’t the first time he’d been shot at since he arrived in Luna City. Nobody liked a P.I. snooping into their business. It was, however, his first firefight outside the dome. Just getting winged could make for a very bad day.

Just then, his sandwich buzzed in his pocket. More jets of dust burst to his left. One. Two. Three. His sandwich buzzed again.

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Victoria’s van

Another writing exercise from a café from when I worked on the Victoria and the Secrets website. All characters and events are purely fictionalized. Caution: This post contains strong language.

Burning VW VanThe summer of ’61 was a long one for Victoria and the Secrets. That was the year that their tour bus — an old VW camper van — caught fire under suspicious circumstances while stopping for gas in San Antonio, Texas. In retrospect, the suspicious circumstances weren’t necessarily suspicious, but highly irregular. While Adrienne and Victoria were inside picking up snacks for the next leg of their trip, Patrick fueled the bus, and somehow completely failed to notice the sudden appearance of several emptied gas cans in the parking lot.

To be fair, gas cans at a gas station aren’t in themselves suspicious, so there was no actual reason why Patrick should have even batted an eye. A nose, though, he should have batted, if it can be said that anyone can bat anything other than an eye, a baseball, or a mobile. Unnoticed as he gripped the nozzle, fighting away the waves of fatigue that blurred his view of the spinning digits on the pump, was a rising smell of gasoline. A smell stronger than usual.

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SL aircraft makers, let’s get back to basics

Warning: What follows is purely for a Second Life audience. All others, flee now while you still can.

I have an idea, but I’d like to introduce it by rewinding back to the start, where virtual flight began in Second Life.

When I first logged into Second Life in 2003, aircraft were rare things in the virtual sky. There was one airport on the grid — Gray Airfield — and it was populated with flight enthusiasts who struggled to create airplanes that flew at all realistically. Borrowing the words of Douglas Adams, they were almost, but not quite entirely, unlike planes.

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Yellow wires

Random writing from a café.

Yellow wiresAll of the wires were yellow. Yellow!

They said to cut the grey wire and definitely not the blue, yellow, or green wires, or there would be dire consequences. Dire, as in he’d be instantly vaporized kind of dire.

Ted leaned back against the cold, damp wall, feeling the confinement of the concrete access tube. His only source of light — a light-emitting tube — flickered its sickly yellow light for a heart-stopping moment. In its tired glow, all colours were yellow.

“Well, fuck,” Ted observed. He glanced at his wrist clock. The countdown showed 126 seconds. Time enough. He could wait. In the last seconds, a random guess and a cut wire would either end it or not. Eight wires. 12.5 percent chance of surviving to be a hero.

And an 87.5 percent chance of instantly turning himself and half the city into a ball of searing plasma.

Ted exhaled heavily, his pressure suit creaking around his ribs.

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