What a week.

I meant to post an update several times this week, but by the time I got home from work, I was so wiped out that nothing more strenuous than eating dinner and sitting in front of the TV seemed do-able.

Very rough week at work. Several major assignments, which, naturally, piled up due to various external factors made for constant beginning-to-end marathon work days. Got the jobs finished at around 4 this afternoon, and spent the next hour listening to the knots in my back unclench before heading out the door at 5 on the dot, for the first time in ages.

This weekend will be spent

a) sleeping late

b) working on the new approach to Apollyon Noir

and c) fighter practice on Sunday (this’ll be the first time in about 6 months that I’ve donned the armor, so I’m looking forward to it.)

Now, for something that will FREAK YOU OUT.

The following is an exerpt from pages 203 and 204 of Larry Beinhart’s American Hero…a book written in 1993.

Beagle wrote a note on a yellow pad: “Scenario: The president is kidnapped by terrorists.”

This had a certain appeal. Beagle had learned not to let his imagination be incarcerated by cost or practicality. Still, it seemed to him that with this reality shit, getting the cooperation of a foreign country prepared to enter into a war with the United States, with the United States scripted to win, might be difficult. But having the president participate in, or fake, his own kidnapping would be a piece of cake. How could he refuse? It was all being done for the benefit of his reelection.

Then the waiting. The drama of not knowing. Whip the country into hysteria. Then the ransom demands. Do we bow to ransom? Do we stand on principle? Millions for defense, not one red cent for tribute! The negotiations. Deliberately dragged out. While, secretly, the Delta Force (or Navy Seals, or Vegas Bimbos or even the FBI) is maneuvering to burst in on them and they rescue Bush in a perfectly timed and executed …

What a thought! Have the terrorists execute Bush! Then Dan Quayle becomes president, declares War on Terrorism. Not like the War-on-Drugs war. But real war where we go in and obliterate entire cities. Search and destroy. If they want to hide in Libya, invade Libya. Syria. Anywhere they tried to hide!

Obviously, the client was not going to go for that. Bush had to stay alive. But that’s what he needed — an incident that would kick the whole affair into higher gear. If the Delta Force rescued the president, then what? Then it becomes a police matter. Measured force. Investigations, waiting, arrests, and years later — long after Bush won or lost his reelection — a trial. Probably in Italy, where the terrorists would only get 10 years anyway and then be traded to Libya after 18 months for a boatload of oil and support for the lira. Or would the American public be outraged enough — that is to say, could the American public be whipped up to a sufficient frenzy — that they would be willing to go to war?

What if they took Bush and Quayle? Delta Force rescues Bush, but the terrorists kill Quayle.

That was a happening concept.

Bush, in anger and grief, leads the nation — the nations, plural, of the West — in a Holy Crusade against terrorism. So that no wife need grieve like Madilyn? (Marilyn? he made a note to check). So that no child (he was sure Quayle had children) would be left fatherless, ever again. …

The terrorists would be Muslims. The Backward forces of Superstition and Repression of the East against the Rational, Ethical, Forward-looking West. It tapped into atavistic hatred. Christians against Moslems! There it was — the project title — The Crusades.

Say it with me now: HO-LEE SHE-IT.


Nice weekend. I spent Saturday the 25th acting as herald for the Barony of Settmour Swamp at the King and Queen’s Fencing Champions tournament. Got to dress up, participate in a bit of pageantry, and sit down to a completely documented and absolutely delicious 6-course 15th-century Spanish winter feast.

Sunday, naturally, was the annual Football-and-Commercials-with-Alcohol-and-Junkfood Extravaganza.

Today, it was back to work. Got to brainstorm a bit during my lunch hour on some very interesting developments surrounding Apollyon Noir. I’ll keep those developments under my hat for the time being (I’ll want to check with my co-designer on whether or not he’s comfortable with any disclosure), but to give a hint, the developments are related to ideas that I’ve put forth in my blog. If we can pull this off, I honestly believe that we stand a real chance of changing the way games are presented…or even if they are just considered “games” any more. Mwah-ha-ha, etc.

Have You Seen the Yellow Sign? I heard about this on NPR this evening, and found this link via the Fortean Times. Sounds like something right out of a Tim Powers novel, doesn’t it?