Ketla Tr’n Five – Recovering the Truth

The Chaos ship slipped undetected through the darkness of space – closing in on its target like a silent eagle in the wind.

Infidius Fang was an experimental escort class ship, it’s usual blistering array of armament had been stripped, as had most of its defense and life support systems. It was left as a fragile hulk, carrying only one crucial cargo system. Its cargo, that took up a significant portion of the lower decks, was a new weapons system; untested and vastly incomprehensible to even the greatest Chaos minds. Technology, stolen by chance, without question or thought of consequence, from the clutches of an Eldar lunar research station.

As it closed in on its target, the elite skeleton crew of Chaos marines fought to keep the weapons temperature constant, while also bringing the craft to a full halt. The moon, Tasurn Cah, lay some 450,000KM straight ahead, in partial shadow of its host planet. It was classed category D4, almost as primitive as you could get. The humanoid populous didn’t even have the technology or sciences of flight, let alone stellar craft detection or deterrents.

Data and planetary readings started pouring into the ‘Demon’s Gate’, the affectionate name the crew had given the weapon. The system was calibrating itself, preparing itself, teaching itself about every contour and fluctuation of Tasurn Cah’s terrain. No, not just the terrain; it had moved onto the atmosphere composition, the electromagnetic planetary shell, the heat signatures, the periodic elements.

It was learning everything in preparation for delivering its payload. A single blast.

Half the marines on board were kept busy keeping the weapon systems cooled, venting heat into the void of space while drawing on thermal sumps to generate super cooled gases. The remaining crew were rerouting the ships inferior power to the datacore, insuring the vital calculations the weapon needed and recorded wouldn’t go offline. The system had been some 50 years in development, the Chaos empire couldn’t afford to miss out on the opportunity of testing the platform. The Demon’s Gate blast was rumored to disrupt organic material at a cellular level, meaning a loss of coherence between neighboring biological cells. All biological systems, planet wide, would instantaneously perish as its inhabitants were liquefied.

All plants. All animals. All life forms.


In a heartbeat.

That was the rumor.

That was today’s goal for the Fang. That was the fate of the peaceful primitive moon in the distance.

Had the crew been on the bridge their remaining systems could have alerted them to the detection of an inbound object on a collision course. It could have magnified the now-missing visual array system to show them the Tau plasma torpedo, glowing silently as it escaped the moons gravitational field. In fact if they had understood the power requirements of the Demon’s Gate, their minuscule remaining ship defenses would still be online and could have attempted to deploy the ships pulse countermeasures.

The torpedo was tracking a perfect arc from the shadows of Tasurn Cah to the starboard engine casing.

With the scanners of the Fang now picking up close to a dozen inbound torpedoes, the Tau cruiser finally punched clear of the moons shadowy region. Cloaked from spectrum sensors and hidden from visual arrays, the experimental craft had no chance of detecting Sha’an’ill until the deadly salvos were already on route.

The Demon’s Gate was now drawing every bit of power from Infidius Fang; it would have continued to draw many times over its limited supply if it could. The ship, now plunged into darkness, sat perfectly silent in the coldness of space. As it sat their, with its crew unaware of the closing Tau weapons, a deep crimson hue was building on the ships crescent shaped firing array.

The Tau commander now watched on her sensor panel; confused as to the nature of the enemy ship that now sat stationary, dark and defenseless out in the void.

However she knew that one less Chaos ship, no matter how small, acting even as bizarrely as this one, was one less for the empire to encounter later.

It was for the Greater Good those torpedoes had been launched.

Destruction of the Chaos will also be for the Greater Good of the Tau empire.

As she watched the square glyphs counting down, measuring the immanent arrival of the plasma to its target, her digital codex finally de-scrambled the low-range energy signature coming from Infidius Fang firing array. The Tau empire had come across this before; but not near here; not in those hands either. As the codex instantly uploaded the information to her helmet, she immediately ordered the self-destruction of the torpedoes.

The Shas’vre weapons operator hesitated as he heard the instruction. The visual read out on his helmet relayed the order perfectly however; the command stood as valid, the unknown reason for the order was irrelevant to him. The order would be followed.

Unaware to him as he now entered the termination codes into his console, other consoles began to light up around the bridge as sensors detected the distinct stellar patterns of close ranged plasma explosions. The order to abort the attack had come too late for the first few torpedoes, their payload now burning through the Fang’s fragile skin, tearing it’s delicate decks apart as if they were stacks of paper in a hurricane.

The Tau commander bolted upright out of her chair; daring the next few seconds not to replay themselves in the same way the first encounter of this device had…

In the distance, crimson lightning now flickered wildly from the Fang’s drifting hulk. The crippled and now unregulated Demon’s Gate was raging out of control. Energy was being drawn from the fabric of space, it was drawing light in on itself, distorting and harvesting it. Nothing short of a miracle would now stop the Gate from going super-critical.

The female Tau commander only stood in disbelief a few more seconds before that miracle failed to occur.

With a brilliant flash of crimson light; the lifeless hulk of the Fang, and the entire Sha’an’ill cruiser as well as its crew, ceased to be.

No wreckage, small or large, was ever recovered from those city sized ships.

Until now, nothing has ever been discovered to shed light on what happened above the moon skies of Tasurn Cah.

Until now, neither Chaos or Tau, know what happened to cause both ships to vanish.

Until now, that is.

For the datacore has started broadcasting it’s emergency tracking beacon. Its time for answers. Its time to recover all that data and use it for our own ends.

In case the two opposing empires weren’t confused enough regarding the legendary story of Tasurn Cah, the events in the depth of space occurred over half a millennia ago!

Where has the wreckage been for 500 years – what went wrong with the Demon’s Gate – only the datacore has the answers.

Tomorrow, we recover the datacore from the outposts of Ketla Tr’n Five, and with it we recover the truth….

(This Tau storyline now concludes here)



Rant over Facebook’s New Events

Rant over Facebook’s New Events

More Facebook failingsOur lives are changing again. Why?

Cos’ the Facebook Elves has been tinkering again.

These aren’t even the nice Christmas Elves either, these are the ones that add more useless features to the highly addictive system they’ve built. Features that aren’t needed, are badly implemented, and detract from the fact Facebook used to be useful (and fun).

Today’s rant is about their new promoted upcoming events.

We’re used to being told of upcoming events in the top right corner of our ‘wall’. Those events were the ones we’d been invited to and either hadn’t RSVP’d or had reluctantly accepted. They were borderline useful. They’d remind you that the friends gathering tonight is at Adam’s house and not Pete’s, or that it was at the slightly earlier time of 5pm for example.

However, now we’re being told of upcoming events that our friends are going to. So event’s we specifically haven’t been invited too. Well isn’t that nice.

Well either your friends haven’t told you they’re going (i.e. they’re not overly bothered to ask you to join them) or they know you wont/can’t join them. Or perhaps a 3rd more shocking reason – you’re not actually friends! It’s a shock to suggest such a thing… I do apologise. I’m sure we’re all extremely close to the 100(?), 200(?), or even 500 ‘friends’ we have on Facebook.

Less and less control on Facebook events
Further loss of control on Facebook with their new ‘upcoming events’ posts

Over the last 24 hours I’ve been told of Steak House events in other countries. Oh and a sewing event some 50 miles away! Now I’m seeing a Christmas Carol service 100 miles away.

I guess the Facebook engineers actually think that we’re all really chummy and ready to drop everything to spend a few minutes with any of the 100’s of friends we have on Facebook. In my experience, that’s not what any Facebook user is like.

So how exactly does this latest change enhance my user experience of Facebook? Anyone know?

Option to remove event

At least they give you an option to remove the event.

However again, they have and they haven’t. There seems to be a way, but only if the advert is offensive or explicit it seems. This removal system seems horribly implemented…

Facebook fail options

Unless I’m missing something, where’s the option and freedom to just say this advert is irrelevant to you?

How about the simple option to hide it?

I very much doubt the Christmas Carol service has scenes of a sexual nature (ah the irony as there wasn’t any!) or any songs of hatred. Plus I have no evidence to suggest that Citygate Church in Bournemouth is purposely spamming me or harassing me in any way.

So none of those options are useful.

So just pick any of the reasons!

Well yes I suppose could select any of the options and the advert is likely to disappear, but that’s a) a horrible user experience, and more importantly, b) detrimental to the real event. Why should that churches event (or any event) be blocked from advertising simply because users had no other option than to make up reasons why they wanted it hidden.

If you mouse over the [?] box near the title of ‘Upcoming Events’ it tells you that these are nearby events. A hundred plus miles away is not nearby Facebook!

Plus I don’t want to be told of events my friends are going to nearby… unless I’m invited to them. You’ve already built that feature, don’t add nonsensical spamming into the mix to.

Perhaps if 20 friends were going to this then it could be excused for appearing, but the 3 events that I’ve mentioned above had ONE friend attending. I don’t need to be informed of that!

Just me ranting?

I have been known to rant about rather frivolous topics, but what do other people think about this? I’m hoping other people have seen these events pop up?

Have any of them been relevant or even vaguely close to you?

Have they enhanced your user experience of Facebook?

I don’t mind if you completely disagree with me, just love to hear your views.

A Modern Day Super Mario Film

A Modern Day Super Mario Film

Bowser invades Mushroom KingdomImagine a film where “Super Mario Brothers meets Blackhawk Down”, a gritty modern-day parody of our favourite Nintendo characters.

That’s what a bunch of guys over on Kickstarter are doing – turning our favourite retro game series into a gun-wielding cinematography experience.

The web series they’re producing is called Mario Warfare.

With Bowser’s men invading the Mushroom Kingdom, the royal family (including the princess) are in grave danger. With only a few familiar faces in the palace, will they be able to survive?

Check out part 1 below, it’s quite the impressive piece for a bunch of DIY film fans.

Hopefully they’ll hit their Kickstarter goal and continue to work on this web series.

I personally think its pretty cool – plus it’s a lot better than the real Mario Brothers film shot back in 1993.

Check out Mario Warfare on Kickstarter, support them, love them, encourage them… or whatever.


007’s ghost island exists!

007’s ghost island exists!

In this years instalment of James Bond, the epic Skyfall, they visit a truly bizarre and quite spectacular place. Without spoiling any of the plot for those one haven’t seen the film yet, they visit an island that is completely deserted and bereft of human life. A ghost island.

Not a single human soul lives there.

Okay… nothing too unusual about that, we see it in plenty of films these days, dreamy tropical islands encircled by rich golden beaches.

The main difference with 007’s deserted island is that it’s a jungle of concrete; a labyrinth of apartments, corridors, cinemas, offices and shops. The only thing that stops it being a fully functional city is the key ingredient – people.

Deserted Hashima island as seen in James Bond

The crazy thing is that the island that James Bond spends some tense moments, isn’t a fictional place. It’s a real town. Well… it was… I suppose. It lays some 10 miles off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, and has a population of zero.

Zippo, nothing, nada, nobody… no one.

James Bond's Deserted Island - Hashima off of Japan's coastBuilt entirely to support an underwater coal mine, it reached a population of nearly 5,500 people in an area of 0.02 square miles. That’s horrendously built up! Not surprisingly it had the highest population density in the world.

Then petrol came along. Suddenly coal became less and less important, the mine closed and the people literally moved back to the mainland over night.

When I saw the island on the screen at the cinema I assumed it must be a wacky creation to maximise the tension and emotions of the scene. How could such an unusual island exist, why would it exist? Us humans have a habit of building stuff and… well… then living in them.

James Bond's Battleship Island
Hashima Island is also known as Battleship Island due to its silhouette
Hashima succumbing back to nature
Large areas of the island look like they’re on an apocalyptic movie set
Scenes of utter desolation
Chaos, with just a hint of the past
Rubble and debris outside the residential parts of Hashima
Rubble and debris outside the residential parts of Hashima
Decaying buildings on Hashima (Japan)
It must be a wonderful and eerie place to take photos

These photos are by random people I found while Googling information about this strange place, credit to those guys.

For some reason I really want to visit this island and experience it for myself. It must conjure up some truly bizarre emotions as you walk among the skeletons of these old buildings.

Anyone want to buy me a ticket to Japan then?