22/3/2014

The Picture of Grayson Dorian

"How sad it is!" murmured Grayson Dorian "I shall grow old and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will always remain young. If it were only the other way! For that I would give everything! I would give my soul for that!"

But in a cruel twist of fate, that monstrous moment of pride and passion did not let him keep his unsullied splendor of eternal youth. As each sin of his life still brought its sure swift penalty along with it, but the picture remained exquisitely young and beautiful.

16/3/2014

The Ironing Fairy

"I swear it is true!" – Jessica's look of disbelief didn't help, but Emma pushed on – "I would leave my dirty clothes before leaving for class and when I came back they would be washed, ironed and folded in my closet"

"But it had to be 'the Ironing Fairy'? Wouldn't it make more sense if it was your parents?"

Jessica turned and entered the parking lot.

"Drive all the way from a different state so they could do my laundry and not even say hi?"

"Then your roommate"

"I don't know, I never really got along with her" – the University had a program where you could room with someone with a disability and they would pay for a part of your tuition. Thinking back, Emma couldn't tell what her roommate's disability was, she had always looked normal to her.

They got out of the car and looked for Sean. They hadn't seen each other since college. Emma remembered how they had promised to stay in touch "I won't cry" – she said – "because this is not goodbye" – and then she cried anyway, for dramatic effect. She remembered making the same promise in middle school and high school but now she couldn't even remember her friend's names.

"How are you girls? Long time no see" – Sean waved from the entrance – "Should we get a table?"

They sat and ordered a round of drinks. These reunions have a way of becoming a nostalgic trip to the past. In their retellings, the four pillars of different colors that they used to sit by now represented friendship, the windowless classrooms in the basement with their underpowered computers now seemed like state of the art labs and all the professors had a new-found charisma and insight that they lacked while they were actually giving class.

"Do you remember John from intro to accounting? He was so into Emma" – Jessica had a wide grin

"But he was also super creepy" – Scott added – "they say that he would go into the girl's dorm to steal clothes"

"Unless he wasn't stealing" – Jessica filled Sean in on the Ironing Fairy

"You think that creep was doing my laundry every week?"

"He sure was into you"

"Well, crap"—Emma took a sip from her glass as the table fell silent

"All right, change of subject" – Jessica knew how to keep a conversation going – "Have you seen anyone from school?"

"Yeah! Of all people, I am now working with Cindy, Emma's old roommate" – Sean answered – "she is our floor admin"

"Really? How is she?"

"Not too great, she has really bad dust allergies and with the construction site of our new building so close she has been missing a lot of days. Even before the construction began she would get to her cube and clean everything thoroughly, I think she has a mild obsessive compulsive disorder and wants to have everything tidy"

"That poor girl"

Their conversation sucked the light off the day and they eventually walked to their cars. They agreed they should get together more often. Emma thought back to her nameless friends from middle school.

23/2/2014

Olimpiadas de Invierno

Cuando uno vive en el extranjero, los eventos a los que está acostumbrado se vuelven un poco diferentes. En navidad comes algunas cosas que nunca habías visto, la independencia la celebras borracho en la alberca en lugar de borracho en el Ángel, a la hora de cantar el himno te paras incómodo y mueves la boca como si te supieras las estrofas mientras que... bueno, algunas cosas sí son iguales.

Con las olimpiadas sucede lo mismo, así que mientras en México los noticieros deportivos cubren las apuestas en el hockey y el marcador de Pumas-América en Estados Unidos la narrativa ha sido lo horrible que es el gobierno Ruso porque utiliza los medios para manipular a la gente y por las retrógradas políticas en contra de la homosexualidad, en contraste con los Estados Unidos donde Fox News sólo brinda la información más objetiva con comentaristas pertinentes y sagaces y los gays nos caen de lujo siempre y cuando no se estén casando porque francamente eso de casarte con otro hombre está a un paso de casarte con un perro.

Pero con la clausura el día de hoy ha sido más para recordar los momentos mágicos de las olimpiadas de invierno pasadas. Como parte de la cobertura completamente objetiva de los medios, todos estos momentos mágicos son relacionados a los Estados Unidos y ninguno es más mágico que la historia de Nancy Kerrigan.

A principios de los años 90s el equipo de patinaje de los Estados Unidos tenía a varias de las mejores patinadoras del mundo, entre ellas Nancy Kerrigan y Tonya Harding. Acercándose las olimpiadas de invierno de 1994, Harding comenzó a preocuparse de que ella no tenía oportunidad de ir a las olimpiadas, por lo que comenzó a planear una manera de deshacerse de Kerrigan.

Meses después, durante un viaje de entrenamiento a Tarsonis, Harding comenzó su plan. Primero plantó un emisor psi para atraer a los Zerg, mientras que un golpeador a sueldo le rompía las rodillas a Kerrigan y la dejaba abandonada a la voluntad del enjambre Zerg. Videos de ese día muestran a Kerrigan preguntando "¿por qué?" mientras es arrastrada hacia el Overmind.

Kerrigan, impulsada por la rabia, se curó rápidamente de la herida y volvió a practicar con la misma intensidad que antes, por lo que durante las olimpiadas de 1994 tuvo lo que muchos consideran la mejor actuación de su vida. Los jueces, asombrados con su participación y aterrados por los Hydralisks que los tenían clavados a su asiento le dieron la medalla de oro, plata y bronce.

Kerrigan durante las Olimpiadas de '94

9/2/2014

DTS

William had been in places like this before. The air felt heavier, the lights seemed dimmer and people wore dark colors to match their humor. People who worked in the DTS would always be "between jobs". Will checked the computer connection, checked his Approved and Denied stamps and opened the small window where a man in a suit was awaiting eagerly. William mustered some patience to get him through the day and said "Papers, please".

After his shift ended, William left for the living quarters. The accommodation was adequate, but a far cry from the luxurious apartment where he stayed during college. He thought back to those days. He could see a younger version of himself walking back from school. He recognized that jump in his step, that care-free smile, both of which were lost to him now. Young Will sat down to watch TV. Like a motorist slowing down for an accident, William couldn't take his eyes off his younger self. Young Will realized it was late, he had lost track of time again. He stood up and realized that he was no longer home. He turned around hoping to find his house, but instead he only found the entrance to the Department of Timeline Security.

The first few weeks after arrival are spent in training. "Welcome to the DTS" – said a voice that Will could only describe as patriotic – "Time Travel, as you all know, is a very serious matter. It is the responsibility of the Department of Timeline Security to insure that the timeline is safe, secure and resilient against terrorism and other hazards. It is our duty to secure and manage the different time periods through enforcement of our immigration laws. For the next weeks you will be trained on all the processes and checks that are necessary to keep our timelines safe."

Will learned that it is fairly common for people to lose track of time and end up in a temporary limbo. The DTS will sometimes drag those people back into the timeline. These people, like Will, are then required to work for a number of years verifying documents and making sure nobody smuggles illegal technology.

The last day of training Will was taken to the time portal. Once a person has legally obtained a visa, undergone a background check and gone through migratory control they would be brought here. William saw a girl in front of the portal getting ready to jump. The girl owned a camera and a mirror and brought both when she dived. Will wondered if she even kept the camera around her neck when she bathed or changed. Most people would think it is weird to imagine a girl bathing the first time you see her, but Will thought it was fairly normal. Then the girl disappeared and the portal turned off. Will looked at the portal with a pinch of hope. One day, if he worked hard, a new group of kids would be watching from the rafters as Will stood in front of the portal.

1/1/2014

Crazy Enough

The helicopter was flying over the drop zone. Agent Hunter Strength felt adrenaline pumping through his veins as his grip tightened on the handle bar. Some people might confuse his hesitation to jump with fear; in reality, he was just trying to think of the most badass way to jump. He decided to go with a manly dive.



Weeks earlier, Hunter entered the room. His eyes had trouble adjusting to the darkness as he closed the door behind him. He could see suited men sitting around a table, their expensive suits illuminated by small lights installed in the table’s side, but their faces covered in shadows. Hunter took his place at the table and made a mental note to get facilities to fix the lighting in this place.

“We suspect a terrorist organization has been using the Jackson building to plan an attack.” – The chief said – “We need an agent to extract a group of sensitive documents from the building. Doctor, please take it from here”

A screen turned on with a map full of annotations, green wires covering the background in an expansive grid.

“What is that, Doc?” – Hunter asked

“My screensaver.” – The doctor moved the mouse around to reveal a Power Point™ presentation with the plan of attack – “We will approach the building by sub, within a few miles of it we will launch a Swimming Delivery Vehicle which is similar to a torpedo except it has no propulsion of its own. As it gets close to the sewage system you will have to dispose of it and swim”

“You want me to swim in a sewer?” – Hunter’s voice betrayed incredulity

“Well, it’s the safest way. As you can see in the documents I gave you...”

Hunter couldn't read the documents in the dim light (why did they schedule meetings here?), but he didn't need to – “I have a better plan, Doc, I will take a chopper and use the squirrel suit to fly to the top of the building, take the main elevator to the floor with the plans and jump through the window to exit in a dramatic fashion.”

“That is insane! The building has sonar capabilities, they will detect the helicopter from miles away and windows in a skyscraper cannot be broken by jumping through them!”

“But they will never expect a front-on attack. Do you have a better plan?”

“Well, as I was jus...”

“I like this plan, Hunter” – The tone in the Chief’s voice was final – “It is crazy enough to work”



Hunter spread his arms to slow down his descent. The building’s defense systems sounded an alarm and dozens of armed soldiers marched to the top of the building. Hunter could not return fire while flying. Fortunately, terrorist organizations have terrible target practice programs. Unfortunately, one of the bullets hit Hunter in the leg, which made him lose his balance. His altitude was now much lower than needed, he would not make the ceiling, but he had another crazy idea and he started diving. As Hunter’s body sped towards the window he pictured the translucent disembodied heads of his friends making speeches about the power of love and friendship. This made him feel invincible, certain in his victory. When he crashed into the building the window creaked slightly, with hardly a crack.



Hunter realized that his plan had failed; he was falling fast. He cursed at a universe so unfair that it would not let the good guys win no matter how preposterous their plans were. He probably would never realize the irony of what he was thinking.

19/12/2013

Power Rangers

Quizás los Power Rangers en realidad se trataban de una invasión alienígena que le daba robots gigantes a un grupo de adolescentes para que ellos mismos destruyeran nuestras ciudades. Después de todo, los robots causaban muchísimo daño colateral pero los malos siempre aparecían a la mitad del desierto.


9/12/2013

Spy vs. Spy

Entre atentados terroristas y bombas a veces es difícil poner las cosas en perspectiva y recordar que un grupo de héroes trabaja todos los días, poniendo en riesgo su vida, para que nosotros podamos vivir tranquilos. Es por esto que hoy mientras comía, al ver que un grupo de agentes de la CIA están jugando videojuegos por nuestra seguridad, siento un nudo en la garganta que es parte orgullo y parte que me estoy ahogando con la comida.

Este grupo de valientes héroes espían a otros jugadores para asegurarse de que no estén planeando un ataque terrorista, por ejemplo: cuando un Psycho llama a sus amigos para ir a matar a Voracidous The Invincible la CIA rápidamente arma un escuadrón de protección para ir a proteger a Elba Esther Gordillo. 

Por otra parte, tira buen loot y Seraph Crystals

Por supuesto que este nivel de seguridad tiene sus complicaciones; tantos fueron los valientes hombres y mujeres que decidieron arriesgar su vida jugando todo el día que la CIA tuvo que poner en marcha un plan especial para asegurarse que sus espías no estén espiándose a si mismos (digamos, en el raid semanal de 20 agentes de la CIA).

Teniendo presente mi responsabilidad de informar a mi público lector decidí arriesgarme yo también, y logré conseguir una exclusiva con el agente Bloomsbury (nombre ficticio para proteger la identidad de mi fuente).

De izquierda a derecha: Blackhand, Garona y Bloomsbury

Al dar las 8 de la mañana, Bloomsbury inicia su día loggeandose a un servidor de Norte América, donde pasará las próximas 6 horas granjeando quilboars para poder comprar pociones y reparar su armadura. A estas horas es cuando se junta con su equipo para intentar terminar un raid. Este día están intentando luchar contra C'Thun, pero después de varios intentos fallidos deciden que tendrán que matarlo hasta el día siguiente. Bloomsbury, furioso porque su tanque tenía más DPS que sus magos, me pide que lo deje de seguir -- "¡No soy agente de la CIA!" -- escribe, frase que, como todos sabemos, es típica de los agentes de la CIA.