Fritz Lang’s Destiny [Serial]

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The beginning of a potentially never-ending web serial.

Follow the chapters below as they’re posted here on the blog, or go to the menu page to find the complete list.

Updates every Monday [or the next day if I get sick].

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SYNOPSIS

Dared by a Professor or Dark Light to find and kill him in a cabinet [allegedly], Sila sets himself on a path to do exactly that.

His weapon? A green dagger.

Obstacles? A lost Chinese woman luring pervs up to Ljubljana castle at way past midnight, out of phase Krsnik, a Danish child demon that never stops coming, an Italian racist, other racists, a Pakistani siren on an overnight ferry, up and down responses to constant failure, the Sad Count of Innsbruck, stuffed Romulan dummies, vague ennui, and other mythology I haven’t made up yet.

Theme? Family. Sacrifice?

Infinite Cantonese Box

5 Stephen Chow movies that made him Hong Kong's king of comedy | South  China Morning Post | LINE TODAY

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This week there was a family dinner [limited Cantonese from me, some new food vocab, ho mei this, ho mei that etc.]

A trip to the post office [smooth cos I led the convo]

Chapter 2 of Horrorlandia

Cowboy Bebop vocab

Buying veg at the market

Couple of infinite boxes

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There’s a point in language learning when you start to regress.

Either fatigue about saying the same thing over and over or a cascading loss of confidence.

Suddenly, your sentences are short and you’re unsure of half of them. Am I saying it right? Is the sentence structure natural?

This could all be in my head.

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Here are my notes from one of my exchanges this week [a guy from a city in Guangdong that I always forget the name of…on the south-western side…]

I’ll pick out the bits I think are interesting:

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[Destiny] Chapter 2: Green Background Art

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Back on Trnovska ulica, in his dead mother’s house, behind the door and the cage, which was supposed to keep out not only thieves and drunks and drunk neighbours looking for sex, but also Professors of Dark Light [as long as they didn’t have the power to conjure up a key].

But maybe this one did.

Maybe he had an ultimo key, like the one in Krvic Draclo.

Maybe he wasn’t a he.

Maybe he wasn’t a she either.

Maybe it was two thirds she and one tenth he and the rest of it something else, some gender that even gender enthusiasts would run in terror from.

Sila didn’t know, and

as soon as he sat down on his old couch, and stared at the TV he hadn’t watched in seven years, and the collection of Petr Grenzic films his mum had adored [minus the three he’d sold] he realised two things, one, he didn’t care and two, that sitting down was for giver uppers and always had been and there was a whole city out there, a small, parochial one granted, but still a city and who knew what the people were doing out there this late at night.

Painting rats?

Sleeping on water fountains?

Carving doors into trees?

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Cantonese Bebop

Cowboy Bebop (TV Series 1998-1999) - Backdrops — The Movie Database (TMDB)

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I’m not exactly Uhura but I thought it might be a good idea to go through my Cantonese notes from my exchanges and my own slow progress through whatever book I happen to be reading.

In this case, it’s Goosebumps ‘Horrorlandia.’

Caveats/warnings:

  • My Chinese reading level is around that of a 9 year old, with a few discrepancies e.g. adult interest vocab like politics, history, science etc. that a 9 year old probably wouldn’t know, or basic Kindergarten nouns like animals, buildings, toys etc. that I don’t know.
  • I sometimes use the Cantonese written word, not the traditional Chinese one.
  • My handwriting is erratic.
  • There’s a chance I might be wrong in my explanations.
  • Also a chance I may be right.

If anyone’s a beginner or has half an interest in learning Cantonese then this post might be both useful and/or confusing for you.

Maybe I’ll turn it into a whole series…add in my experience with other languages, like Japanese and Portuguese…though Cantonese is by far my best one. Can’t say I’m fluent, but solid intermediate is a fair appraisal, I think.

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Okay, let’s start with my notes from today’s exchange.

Usually, I’ll write in a mix of Chinese and Yute Ping [Romanized Chinese], but mostly the latter as I don’t want to slow down the exchange and make the other guy bored.

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[Destiny] Chapter 1: Cabinet Standoff

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‘The ship accelerates, no visuals…they only had £50 per series…but we know the ship accelerates cos Su Lin says so, and Dayna says, Dr Plakson, she’s dead, and Avon says, who, and then…then the video cuts off, I don’t know why. Upload limit maybe. But it’s so cold, so un star trek.’

‘See, Dr Plakson dies and Avon doesn’t care. He even makes a joke of it.’

‘Avon, the show’s hero. The sociopath.’

‘No reaction?’

Sila rapped his knuckles on the cabinet door, trying to play the ‘Blake’s 7’ theme but getting stuck after the first three bars.

‘No music, professor?’

‘No sci-fi?’

He switched to the paintings on the wall, portraits of long ago Slovene men, stern faces, either poets or dictators, definitely not builders, definitely not Ugresic or Ivana Kobilca.

Was this it?

The best Slovenia could do?

Turning back to the cabinet, he tried another jibe, calling out the whole room for its blandness, its lack of technicolour and stern female poets.

‘Professor…really…you should be embarrassed to be here.’

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-EK- [PART 3]

C090 Robots of Death - Who Back When | A Doctor Who Podcast

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Stasi iconography was fresh as fuck

‘til the fax machine broke

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EK detached from the white board, the Algerian Foreign Minister’s plan to open Assia Djebar Institutes in 82 countries, and focused on the frozen ray of light coming in from Proxima b.

Within that light was a novel idea.

If he could just extract it and edit himself to pass as its creator then-

A noise from somewhere.

EK eyes stretched to 82% exposure and looked right.

The door was opening.

An industrial door.

This wasn’t Triton, it was YAK DESIGN LTD.

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brain mode recovery level high idea in still ATION

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Despite presenting as a 94% approximation of a human, EK went unnoticed by the owner of YAK DESIGN LTD. As did the broken lock. Strange.

In fact, the work the guy did was so loud that EK was able to open up his phone, check the opening time of the gallery next door, wait forty-five minutes then stand up, walk out and ask Maneka if he could use her computer for half an hour.

‘Do you live near here?’

‘Very close.’

‘You don’t want to go back and-…’

‘My computer is broken.’

‘Oh.’

‘And my four guardians are abusive.’

Maneka tried to process ‘abusive’ and ‘four guardians’ but had no idea what to say beyond ‘sorry’ so she went with sorry and told EK he could use the computer as long as he liked.

EK sat down with his back to a blue circle surrounded by half open doors and loaded up LIFE SHIP.

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Horrorlandia

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Got a good feeling about this one.

Synopsis on the back, maybe three words I don’t know, the rest fully comprehensible.

Either the translator is slumming at my level or those three back to back exchanges chatting about Halloween are about to pay off. Hopefully they go easy on the idioms. Or I can probably just skim over them now. Long as I recognise they’re idioms then things should work out.

Goosebumps itself?

The beauty of reading Chinese is that I have no standards, no gauge of the actual quality of the writing. Though I suspect Goosebumps is pretty basic in all languages. Best-selling series in history? Maybe cos there’s about seven hundreds books in said series.

Probably too harsh, I’m sure it’s decent.

Anything with a horror element is okay for me.

Bonus Spanish on the cover too.

I’ll let you know if I make it past page 5.

-EK- [Part 2]

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No one coddled the workers quite like Eichmann

up against the darts board

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It was a faint blip on the engrams now, but EK vaguely remembered Scientist 3, 1 and 2 talking about Fo Tan once, saying it was a place locals used to shoot everyman porn, but when he checked the map outside the MTR all he saw was industrial units.

Picking one near the edge of the slope leading up to the mansions of the infamous spectral tycoons, EK walked past the security uncle without hassle and took the stairs to the 16th floor. There were twelve units along one corridor, lots of crates and tubing lying around outside, and two of the doors were open.

One was Redder Rum Post-Future Gallery, which shut at 9pm, and the other was YAK DESIGN LTD.

EK tried the gallery first, looking for sockets and places to conceal himself, but there was nothing concrete, only a few loose cushions and a green “winners” podium placed in the centre of the room. A tall, foreign woman, possibly Kenyan, stood by the far wall, back turned, touching the edges of a painting. By her feet, a laptop with a cable running behind a taped-up box…wah, a socket. Had to be. And the woman still hadn’t noticed him.

Creeping up behind the woman, EK positioned his hands an inch away from both sides of her neck and initiated ‘twist’ mode…but, as soon as he rehearsed the killing, a shock of green hit, lighting up his forehead and forcing his arms back down to the side.

The faint ‘grah’ sound EK emitted got the woman’s attention and, when she realised how close he was, instinct threw out a claw.

EK dodged, thanks to his LIV-LET reflexes, and took five steps back, almost tripping over the ‘third place’ block of the podium.

‘Waaa…’ said the woman, dropping the claw and quickly reclaiming it.

‘Sorry, I walk very quietly.’

‘How…’

‘I don’t intend to hurt you.’

The woman said something in an unrecognised language a few times, possibly fuck, then hurried over and half-offered a hand.

‘Are you okay?’

‘I did not fall.’

‘You startled me, coming in like that…’

‘That was unintended.’

‘…but it’s my fault too…’

‘Partly.’

‘…I left the door open and had my back turned.’

‘Yes.’

‘Just…try to make louder footstep sounds next time.’

‘I will.’

The claw in her hand wasn’t a weapon as EK had suspected, it was actually some kind of artisan tool, and she returned to the canvas with it.

‘Is this painting yours?’ EK asked, delaying his real questions.

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-EK- [PART 1]

CHOPPING MALL is Getting a Remake... Sort of

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Credit to the cameraman

for diving into Neptune

 face first

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Scientist 4 sat on the highest stool, in a lab that looked more like a Varo exhibition, studying the EK-BOT in front of him.

The maintenance crew had done a decent job repairing it – refilling the cheeks, adding more eyelashes, growing out the fringe – but the greyish tint was still there, as if someone had underlaid a steel sheet in the planning stage and then been cremated before having the chance to take it out again.

‘Hello EK.’

‘Am I here?’

‘Yes.’

‘My face feels different.’

‘It’s been repaired.’

EK nodded, looking at the files on the desk. ‘Am I ready to liquidate the Algerian Foreign Minister?’

‘That’s been re-assigned.’

‘Understand.’

‘You don’t have to say understand.’

‘Understand.’

‘You can try alternatives.’

EK paused, tilted its head left. ‘Comprehend.’

Scientist 4 smirked, realised he was smirking and stopped. Comprehend was close to understand. Not necessarily humour. Could be EK only knew those two words.

‘You look like you are thinking,’ said EK, increasing eyeball exposure by seven percent.

‘Correct.’

‘Are you thinking about the Algerian Foreign Minister?’

‘No.’

‘Are you thinking about Scientist 2?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Scientist 3 told one of the maintenance crew that the two of you were visiting hotels.’

‘You heard her say that?’

‘Last night, during the fifth of my seven semi-alert phases of repair. Neither of them were aware that I was receiving.’

‘I see.’

EK stared at Scientist 4’s forehead, something they’d programmed him to do after reading Metal Rising: Intimidation in the Age of High Self-Esteem by Chu Tsin Suet.

‘What is it, EK?’

‘Are you visiting hotels with Scientist 2?’

‘Of course not. He’s married.’

‘That is not a physical obstacle.’

‘No, but it’s-…’ Scientist 4 turned the next word quickly into a cough and tried not to look left; a classic sign of guilt. Instead, he looked down, at the files he’d brought in for this exact kind of moment. ‘I think we should get back to your mission.’

‘Comprehend.’

‘The four of us have decided that you are potentially capable of genius. Or at the very least, creativity.’

‘On what basis?’

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福爾摩斯 [HOLMES]

The Great Mouse Detective - Fidget traps Olivia HD – Видео Dailymotion

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福爾摩斯

in lieu of novelty

drips cocaine shoots the wall shoots the curtains the wall the cocaine never Watson shoots the violin plays it with holes sucks the holes shoots the strings shoots the sighs from tea lady lips the groans too the knees the artifice of what they’ve come to what they were what they originally tried to

“Watson, you slab, what’s this?”

Foregoing spit

population control or bust 的 Holmes

picks up the periodical

spies a new movement

ah, Tzara, the man with the tan

Dada something dada, the revelation of psyche, raw as can be

very nice

I hope it’s structured

formulaic

cos without structure there’s no eyes

no receptive sponge

they’ll say they like it but they’ll never read it

trust me

I stand in line with these wretches

I smoke at them

Watson, look at this, read this, put your ossified fucking thought dungeon on this

doctor of no patients

lump of Afghan bullshit

shot by who?

Lord Calendar in blackface?

Get over here, read this, put your face five cm from this shit

my dear friend

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[INSERT DIFFICULT POEM]

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