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Lamentations

Posted Jul 18, '13 at 12:29am

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

Eck, hope you can be patient for a few days.

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 12:30am

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

Reflections XIV

There has always been a part of me that has always wanted to start a band.

I had all the hard parts down: I bought a guitar that I would teach myself to play (because all great guitarists teach themselves; they do not merely "learn" guitar). I would my decent writing ability to write all the lyrics for the songs. I even followed in the honorable tradition of taking a name from another band's song, and chose Half Moon Street, originally by Pete and The Pirates.

It was going to be great. It would be an indie pop meets synthetic electronica, but more toned down. Something like a cross between Wolf Parade, Grizzly Bear, and The Neighborhood. A dash of Passion Pit, a hint of Vampire Weekend...

I'd be like most indie bands; I'd have that unique funk that made their songs universally appealing, but with that nature of never really hitting it big. Of course, I would hit it big. Way bigger than anyone else. I'd sell millions and millions of records, and yet never lose track of where I started. And I would never sell out.

But then reality set in, much like the painful callouses that come to those who inevitably try to play the guitar. One guitar does not a band make - I'd need some drums, a key board, more vocals, another guitar. And assuming I could get people to join me, there comes all the problems of actually trying to make it in a band.

It's nice to have dreams. They give you something to do when you go to sleep. But as much as you'd like to keep sleeping, and to keep having dreams, you still gotta wake up in the morning and face reality.

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 12:36am

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

I actually just bought a guitar today because I've had a lot of free time. I learned the first chord to Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison and set my guitar down. It's hard stuff, I feel ya.

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 12:48am

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

I KNOW. And I'm having these conflicting emotions, because I dropped $400 on it, but I know that it's a futile effort.

Great song, by the way.

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 1:08am

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

Ouch, $400? My guitar was only $150. I figured it'd be a good hobby that I could just pick up, but man.

And thanks.

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 1:21am

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

Went to a guitar store, and asked for a good beginner one. Took the first thing they offered me. It was very much an impulse buy...

 

Posted Aug 5, '13 at 1:24am

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

I can't say I did anything different...

 

Posted Aug 10, '13 at 11:35pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

The Girl Who Sold Statues of Buddha
Lyrics

I know she plays with fire,
'Cause she's smellin' of smoke.
Don't know why she's scared of meeting,
Since it's my heart she broke.
A hundred grams to the pound, boy, she's dealin' it out!
But don't try to turn her in, lest her friends give a shout.

And slowly... Our eyes find god.
So slowly... Our eyes find god.

 

Posted Aug 13, '13 at 12:45am

Maverick4

Maverick4

6,891 posts

Terrorism

Steven Langley, should you have ever met him on the street, looked like any other white-collar worker in the DC metropolitan area. He had brown hair, neatly cut and parted to the left. A black suit, slightly in need of a pressing, was complimented by a navy tie. A bulge in his front pocket indicated the presence of theatest smart phone on the market. His skin was that unique pasty complexion that comes from sitting inside a window-less office all day, and was made all the more noticeable by his dark attire. A bored, worn down look in his eyes completed the look; though he was still in his twenties, he was beginning to age and they foreshadowed a time in the distant duture when that look would spread to his entire body, and he would be regurgitated by whatever corporate monster he happened to work for.

Of course, this look was shared by the hundreds of thousands of men working in the nation's capitol, so you probably would have never picked him out to begin with. Which, of course, is exactly how it was intended.

Steven Langley worked for the NSA. He was a Cyberspace Security Monitoring Officer, Second Class, with a specialization in Counter-Terrorism. He had never actually stopped a terrorist, or even seen one, but that wasn't really the point. What mattered was that he cluld go home to his wife every evening at 6:45, and when she routinely asked how his day was, he could confidently reply that "It was pleasant," secure in his thoughts that he was somehow making a difference in the grander scheme of things.

Today, like all days, Steven was sitting at his desk in the basement of Sylvester, Papowitz, and Yorokov, PA. It wasn't actually a law firm, but rather a front company owned by some umbrella corporation owned by another umbrella corporation controlled by the government. That's what Steven thought, atleast. He worked in a law office, but he wasn't a lawyer, so it made the most sense for him. And it was probably true, given how it was becoming difficult to distinguish between the government and corporations in the first place...

The basement was small, with two desks occupying it. Steven wasn't sure who actually worked at the other one, just that it was used by whomever worked the nightshift. It sat nudged up against the front of his desk, facing the door. Stev this had his back to the door, but he never really thought much of it. No body ever came down here. Nobody even knew there was a down here. (Except his bosses, but they knew everything.) A security camera was placed directly above the basemen't entrance, so that it had a view of the entire room. This wasn't unusual; all public places were required by law to have security cameras in their property.

Steven Langley thought nothing of any of this.

His desk was simple. A lap top sat on it, secured to the service. Wired into this was a small metalic device labeled "MONITOR" in large, unfriendly letters. This was what allowed Steven to do his job. It recieved transmissions from a computer doing all sorts of complex equations and algorithms about what people said on the internet and telephone, or what they were caught doing on camera. It would then send an update to the laptop, and if Steven thought it important, he was to go over to the telephone on the wall, and press the "EMERGENCY" button, which was also labeled in large, unfriendly letters.

Steven knew there was a good reason for such labels, but he couldn't actually think of one. May be some time later, when he wasn't doing his job.

Steven was staring at the laptop's screen, waiting for something to appear on it. Nothing ever had, but he was told to remain vigilant, because he was "fighting terrorists, and defensing this nation from enemies at home and abroad." That's what the instruction manual had said, and it pleased Steven Langley to think about it.

Steven was jolted from his thoughts by a beeping noise, and a box suddenly appeared on the screen:

ALERT: KEY WORD DETECTION - RADIO WAVE:// TERRORIST, GUN, KILL:// CAUTION LEVEL ONE:// CONTINUE MONITORING:// NSA, DHS, DOD, CIA, FBI

Steven was concerned. Nothing like this had ever happened before, but the message said to continue monitoring, so that's what he'd do.

As he came to this conclusion, another beep sounded, followed by another box on the screen:

ALERT: KEY PHRASE DETECTION - RADIO WAVE:// TYPE 2 AGGRESSIVE HATE SPEECH:// ALERT LEVEL TWO:// CONTINUE MONITORING:// NSA, DHS, DOD, CIA, FBI

Whoch was very quickly followed by another:

ALERT: IMAGE DATA BASE SCAN:// FIREARM DETECTED:// VIDEO LOG INBOUND:// CONTINUE MONITORING:// NSA, DHS, DOD, CIA, FBI

A second box appeared, this time showing a black and white footage of a man entering into the lobby of a building, it actually looked like the lobby of the "law firm", but this didn't mean anything since all lobbys were required by law to have the same layout, so that secretaries would have decreased anxiety about switching jobs, and new workplace environments.

Steven Langley thought this was awfully considerate of the government, and was glad someone was watching out for all the secretaries.

The man walked towards the lobby desk, and pulled something out of his pocket. Steven thought it was a type of gun called a "pistol," but wasn't sure since the only guns he had ever seen were pictures in his instruction manual. The man shot the secretary, who fell to the floor, and proceded to walk off screen. Another beep, and another message:

ALERT:// IMAGE DATABASE SCAN:// FIREARM DETECTED, HOSTILITIES DETECTED:// VIDEO LOG INBOUND, UPDATES AS APPLICABLE:// CONTINUE MONITORING:// NSA, DHS, DOD, CIA, FBI

Steven watched as the video changed to show the same man descending down a flight of stairs. He was beginning to become nervous, but also a bit exited. Nothing like this had ever happened before. May be the man was a wanted criminal. May be he was even a terrorist! Perhaps if he turned in a terrorist, Steven thought, he could get promoted to Cyberspace Security Monitoring Officer, First Class!

Steven watched again as the video changed. This time it was the man olening a door into a room. There was a moment of glare from some light source in the room, but it diminished as the man's body moved between it and the camera. Steven could just make out someone sitting at a desk, peering at a computer. A beep, and another message:

ALERT:// TERRORISM DETECTION COMMITTEE - DOMESTIC:// TERRORISM DETECTED - DOMESTIC:// ALERT SUPERIORS:// NSA, DHS, DOD, CIA, FBI

Before Stephen Langley could jump up and race to the phone, his brain had just enough time to register something cold and hard being pressed against the back of his head before it was blown out onto the desk and wall before him.

The man began to speak into a radio attached to his lapel.

"This is Crawford. I've successfully infiltrated the building, and have killed the operator I found inside. It looks to be some sort of listening post for the feds."

"Good." Came the response. "Other teams are reporting similar finds. It would seem that our fears were well founded - this seems to indicate an operation far more intricate and sinister than we could have possibly imagined. But this is only the first day, and we have many more before us. Long live the revolution!"

"Long live the revolution!" The man echoed, and left the room.

 

Posted Aug 13, '13 at 3:53pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

The minor typos are annoying, but they're understandable. Otherwise that was a pretty interesting read.

 
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