Monday, February 8, 2010


THE STORY SO FAR: They called them "nubs", back when there was enough of a populace to acknowledge such things. But once the "nubs" began to appear on the backs of every dog on Earth, those who were witness to their arrival were quickly and visciously eliminated. Now, with the fate of all humanity teetering over the insatiable maw of oblivion, one of the few remaining survivors, Josh Wibler, crawls from the wreckage of civilization to witness a chilling new dawn... a Dawn of The Dogriders.

CENTRE ISLAND, REMAINS OF PARAMILITARY BUNKER: Despite once housing a crew of seasoned warriors, the bunker now appears as but a scar upon the marshy ground. Fresh dirt is strewn wildly among the corpses of men and dogs. Smoke rises from pockets of fire beneath the surface. And out of one such pocket, A HUMAN HAND EMERGES.

JOSH, 27, claws his way into the daylight, a sight resembling some sort of pagan birthing ritual. He is dyed brown with soil, peppered by wounds and bloodshed. His pain is visible across his grimacing visage. He is the only survivor of the violent skirmish which died out only moments earlier.

JOSH: Fuhh...

He sits among the carnage, speechless. His eyes glisten with the arrival of tears. His place in this world has become increasingly ill-defined. As he hangs his head, a low and repetitive thumping begins to fill his ears. Looking up, he notices the wind stirring the scorched trees overhead. Suddenly, A BLACK HELICOPTER IS DIRECTLY OVER HIM. A voice calls down over a loudspeaker.

VOICE: Phoenix. Alpha. Zero.

JOSH: Help! Hey, help me!

VOICE (insistent): Phoenix! Alpha! Zero!

JOSH: Please!

The voice ceases, and the helicopter ascends slightly. Josh's tears have cut streaks of white across his mud-caked face. A ROPE LADDER unfurls from the helicopter, dangling before Josh like Christ arisen.

HELICOPTER, SOON AFTER: Josh is pulled into the massive craft by a SOLDIER in full riot regalia and brandishing a high-caliber rifle. He is tossed briskly to a row of chairs within. His uncertainties compounded, he presses his face in his hands.

JANEK: Quite the turf war you set off down there.

Sitting opposite Josh is HANSMANN JANEK, 50, a silver-haired scientist with questionable military ties.

JANEK: You see, the Dogriders don't like to sacrifice territory they've already claimed. That's why they sent a whole pack for you. Very territorial, these creatures.

JOSH: Who are you. What... what is all this?

JANEK: I suppose some explanation is in order...

JOSH: You "suppose"... I just watched the slaughter of everyone who ever meant shit to me and you "suppose" some explanation is in order?

JANEK: ... I stand by my words, yes.

JOSH: What could you possibly tell me at this point that would make the slightest shred of fucking difference? What could possibly undo the horrors I've had to witness in the past 24 hours?

JANEK: Space.

JOSH: Space?

JANEK: We believe they came from outer space. Their cellular composition, while very similar to the dogs they use as host bodies, is unlike anything we've come into contact with here on Earth. Simply put, it is not DNA. It exists outside the constituents of most known organic life. If anything I'd say it's like a mass of sub-atomic particles that, instead of electrons and whatever ionic components one might normally observe, there are chains of organisms , smaller still, resembling viruses. In essence, a virus made up of many smaller viruses, impossibly small by atomic standards.

JOSH: And I'm supposed to feel better about this?

JANEK: No. I'm merely allowing you to perceive what it is that's killing your entire race. And I do mean entire. If I were you I'd stay out of the Soviet Union for a while, and most of Asia Major for that matter.

JOSH: So... is this it? Is this... the end?

JANEK: For many people, yes. This is a roman tragedy of disaster scenarios, my boy. One in which savior cannot come with a dire price.

JOSH: What are you guys gonna do?

JANEK: We'll fight them, yes, we'll do what can be done. But the true goal now is the preservation of what little humanity remains. We still stand upon a world of human ideals, a world that cannot and will not cease to be, at least not while there are those with a say in the matter.

JOSH (getting angry): Why can't you kill them? Why couldn't you stop them?

The soldier turns from his post, sensing Josh's restlessness. Janek halts him with a raised hand. Returning his attention to his guest, Janek continues.

JANEK: We're returning from an assessment mission, and the assessment of this particular mission was that Long Island is no longer habitable. Similar assessments have been made regarding Manhattan and parts of New Jersey. Myself, I haven't slept in some 40 odd hours, what with all the assessing that needs to be done. I could name a dozen or more men who are currently on less sleep then myself, still, assessing. My point being that everyone, not just the army or the paramilitaries, everyone, is doing everything within their power to stop this from going any further. And should you choose to scoff at our efforts and disregard your own capacity to help... well, you're no better off than the bodies you leave behind.

JOSH: I don't know what's left to live for.

JANEK: Then maybe it's time to think about what's worth dying for.

They sit in silence as the helicopter cuts a clean path through the clouds.

PILOT (O.S.): Hang on, we're coming up on the Orange Zone.

JANEK (into radio headset): Any word from Cutter or his men?

PILOT (O.S): Negative. All comms have ceased as of fifteen-hundred hours.

JANEK: Damn.

PILOT (O.S.): Sir. Permission to EVAC to Hyperion Alpha?

JANEK: Negative, soldier, I want an eyeline on the Orange Zone before we even think of leaving.

PILOT (O.S.): But sir, we've only got twenty minutes...

JANEK: That's a direct order, Pilot. We're not going to lose those nukes!

JOSH: Woah woah, nukes? What the fuck are you guys doing?

JANEK: Exactly what you've surmised we're doing, my boy.

JOSH: You're gonna nuke Long Island?

JANEK: No no.... just Manhattan.

JOSH: What!?

JANEK: There's a nest of them in the subways. Biggest we've seen. We've got men on the ground delivering the payload as we speak.

Janek turns to look out the window as a smoke-streaked Manhattan skyline comes into view.

JOSH: Why can't we just drop it from a plane?

JANEK: It's essential the payload is delivered to the same depth as its target. A surface impact would only harm them; it wouldn't kill them. Every Dogrider must die.

PILOT (O.S.): Oh my god. The Orange Zone is compromised! Repeat, Orange Zone compromised! We have multiple CBP's inbound!

JANEK: Good Lord, is there no stopping them!?


Makeshift military compounds stand in tatters along the major streets, entire fleets of armory left idle among throngs of vicious canines. The nubs cry out in unison, their tiny mouths screeching skyward as the helicopter closes in...

INSIDE THE HELICOPTER, everyone is scanning the streets below for survivors.

PILOT: I've got eyes on their landing craft. Looks like they made it off the boat.

JANEK: Wait a minute, takes us a block to the north.

The helicopter leans forward and cuts deeper into Manhattan. Janek spies the one item he did not want to see: THE NUCLEAR PAYLOAD CASE, A HUGE YELLOW CRATE MARKED WITH RADIATION SYMBOLOGY, COMPLETELY SURROUNDED BY DOGS.

JANEK: There's the device. (to the soldier) Scatter them, but don't detonate the weapon.

The soldier nods, tossing a gas grenade to the streets below.

The grenade explodes against the back of a large husky, spewing gas in every direction.

IN THE COCKPIT, the pilot eases the helicopter away so as not to dissipate the gas.

JANEK (O.S.): Now take us down there.

PILOT: Are you kidding me? We can't land in this!




The dogflyer slams an overripe paw effortlessly through the glass, pushing the pilot against his seat.

IN THE BACK OF THE HELICOPTER, everyone reacts as the craft veers sharply upwards.

JANEK (into radio headset): What the hell's going on up there!?

PILOT (O.S.): Huuhh... aughh...

The helicopter continues to ascend at full speed.

JANEK: Take us down, that is a direct-


JANEK: Hahhhh!

JOSH: Woah, shit!

Janek is brutally pulled through the opening in the window, gone in an instant.


The soldier leaps across the helicopter, sticking his rifle through the broken window and firing wildly.

OUTSIDE, the helicopter begins to spin out of control as more dogflyers cling to any available footholds in the metal.

The soldier screams, switching his rifle to fully automatic and emptying every shell.

SOLDIER: Get some! Get some! Get some! Get some! Get some! Get some!

A huge wolflike paw slashes the soldier's throat wide open. Josh is splashed with hot blood.

JOSH: Guah!

The soldier collapses, staring dead-eyed at Josh. Understandably terrified, Josh cowers against his seat. The engine begins to sputter, and a quick glance out the window reveals they are far above the city now.

Any number of thoughts flash through Josh's head. Time slows as sunlight changes directions across the shards of glass lining the floor.

Dogflyers flap eagerly outside, sensing their prey defeated.

In a move fueled by adrenaline and bloodlust, Josh charges forward over the soldier's corpse, sliding open the cockpit door. The pilot's body lies bloodsoaked in his seat. Outside, a dogflyer clings to the jagged opening in the windshield. Josh impulsively grabs the pilot's handgun from its holster.


He opens fire on the dogflyer, thrusting it backwards into the powerful helicopter blades.

Josh drags the pilot out of his seat and plants himself uncertainly before the controls. He eases the handle forward and the damaged craft points its nose to the urban sprawl below. The engine stammers, trying to recover. The city below is closing in at an alarming rate.

JOSH: Ahh.

He sees the nuclear payload below, its sickly shade of yellow like a beacon among the scruffy dogs. He adjusts the path of the falling craft, trying in vain to line up his crash course.

JOSH: Come on, you son of a bitch. Fuck you, you son of a bitch.

The helicopter goes into a freefall, dead set on the yellow rectangle below. The dogs swarm as the craft falls alongside skyscrapers and financial institutions. As the unavoidable impact reaches out to claim Josh's life, he blocks the view with his arms.

PURE WHITE fills the air. As Josh lowers his arms, he realizes he is now standing still, alone in an endless white void.

JOSH: Uhh.

A booming voice fills his head: it is DOGIRA, an entity that speaks on behalf of all Dogriders.

DOGIRA (O.S.): Do not alarm yourself, human. You are within our care.

JOSH: What is this place?

DOGIRA (O.S.): We have contained you between strings of time, where you shall remain until we allow your release.

JOSH: Are you... Dogriders?

DOGIRA (O.S.): We are called Dogira. We speak for our people. Your word is nothing more than that: a word. We are a reality.

JOSH: You killed my friends. Took everyone I know from me. What now, you'll kill me too?

DOGIRA (O.S.): You find yourself here because in your time you were about to commit a Dogubus: a mass death of grave consequence. We foresaw this, foresaw the great many deaths of our people. A Dogubus cannot occur. Not in this eventuality; not in any string we inhabit. So we must enact a Doxodus. We are leaving your world, but for a small reminder.

JOSH: So that's it? You're just gonna-


NEW YORK, A SUNNY DAY: Light particles flutter and retreat into a perfect blue sky. Josh's eyes adjust to the blinding glare of the sun.

JOSH (cont.): - Leave me here?

Josh catches his breath. He's seated on a park bench in SoHo, his sweater warm and smelling of fresh laundry. A basketball game is taking place beyond a lane of gridlocked traffic. A woman in a blue dress walks by with a slew of shopping bags.


Josh looks around, pale as a ghost. A BROWN PUPPY, no older than 2, scampers out from a line of taxis. It runs straight up to Josh and stops a few feet away, staring up at him.


--- THE END ---


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Call me a diddler, folks. I like to sit around and diddle with things. Videogames, corn chips, art, you name it; chances are I've diddled with it. So anyways, the other night I'm sitting in my room diddlin' away like always, and this particular time I'm diddling with line drawings. I spent high school and college creating a lot of line drawings in my notebooks (this existed separate from my coursework) so that has become a bit of a style for me. So I'm drawing this epic scene from the Sci Fi Novel I've got stored in my brain, The Crimson Star Saga, and it gets me thinking about the things we as a people create.

My drawing that night was of a space battle, in the moment when both sides of the war are face to face in outer space and nobody's opened fire yet but hot damn somebody will any second now. The perspective of the drawing was from the front lines of the Gedo (antagonist) army ships, staring straight ahead at this massive fucking phalanx of MSO (good guys) army ships. All the ships are different and unique because these guys literally flew everything they had out there on this specific occasion just to be like "Yo, don't FUCK". And as I began to look over all the different ships I was drawing on the paper, the big science frigates and the bombing cruisers and the massive "diplomatic" ships, I reflected on how I had gone about creating this tableau in my mind.

As fucking crazy and schizoid this all may sound, it's actually culled from a fictional history I've been creating in my head and in various drawings/writings since about 1999. As dense as it is, The Crimson Star Saga basically focuses on a main cast of characters involved in this conflict some thousand-or-so years in the future, wherein Earth is totally restructured as a Multinational Oligarchy and as such has created this expansive Space Military in order to fight this New Mutant Enemy that's started attacking from somewhere out in space. Our cast of heroes is a platoon of 8 men sent to a Military Boot Camp and Base of Operations on the planet Mercury, which has in the past hundred years been knocked away from the sun by a comet and since been deemed colonizable.

That's the setup, don't wanna spoil the ending for you, but suffice to say a lot of warring ensues. And my drawing is basically a depiction of one of these massive, history changing battles. So as I'm drawing and reflecting on this iteration of our solar system I've created, I consider where the fuck any of this is going.

After all, I'm not really doing this out of a desire for some award or a contract to make an epic film trilogy out of this immediately marketable story although I would... I just make this because it's there in my head and I want to get it out on paper, and on screens, and in text, and basically anywhere I can create something from this alternate reality. And this specific desire, which I guess a lot of artists share, gets me thinking about: To what extent am I actually CREATING this alternate reality?

Humor me for a second, and let's assume I can use any number of artistic tools in building the Crimson Star Saga from scratch. Let's say that I have my own army of CG designers and production people and writers and everybody's intent on creating these characters and this world they inhabit, and let's even go so far as to say the computer people put Artificial Intelligence into the characters (c'mon, we'll have it soon enough). Technologically, it's already possible to build a To-scale version of this imagined Solar System in the digital realm, so long as the right super-computers are at the helm. Is it such a stretch to imagine this universe inhabited by advanced artificially-intelligent 3-dimensional characters, each one preprogrammed with their emotional and cognitive range relative to that point in the story's timeline? Could be doable in a few years, right? Well then, if such a creation is possible, how are it's creators distinguishable from God (whatever you take God to be). Have the people not created life there, as long as the electricity feeds it? If that world is changeable, malleable in its own precoded way, is it so different from our own? Sure, its core constituents exist in a complete different form, but the rules and the chaos of both start to look strikingly similar.

Are we then not Gods of all we create, as we are the ones who have willed it to be? (I guess this argument is nulled for people who believe that God ordains everything you do). I think that as long as we create these worlds and stories within our heads, we are basically confirming their existence. By knowing that such a place CAN exist, we are opening to the possibility of infinite alternate realities, and thanks to the concept of Infinity, there is a reality set aside for each and every story we dream.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wrathodous - Way of the Dragon God BY DAYLON QUENNING

as my fingers stroke the keyboard, it is 11:27 pm, a friday, january the first, 2010. a decade has just rolled off the earth and cast its historical light into the ocean of energy that binds our universe. it was the un-nicknameable decade, one i occasionally and sadly called the Naughts, and in the haze of its having just recently passed, i find it difficult to reflect on what's been accomplished in the past ten years.

personally, i'm ok. i'm growing up and my cells are maturing and there's more ball starch and i moved to a new apt. in the ghetto. in two months i'll be 25 years old, having myself absorbed the past two decades of Earth in their entirety. but worldwide, i can't really say how things have progressed. from a number of perspectives, it would seem things have digressed actually. my country of america has retained its status as a worldwide superpower and in doing so has cast an ominous shadow over the rest of the planet. every day we warmonger and pillage, doing so under a number of auspices and symbolic goals, none of which bear any strong connection to reality. our majority is one that detests any and all minorities, we are a people that claim to love while secretly hating everything that isn't Us. we are ironic and removed and ill-prepared for life beyond the glowing rectangles. we pollute with reckless abandon, attempting to recover a situation that worsens with every drawn breath. and there's the very real possibility that at some point we'll be so fucked that the planet will do something crazy like disintegrate into space.

culturally and spiritually, we try to escape this downward spiral by retaining our Humanity: music, art, food, wine, dance parties, neon fuck castles. to an extent, it worked. we blew up a lot of people as usual but mostly everyone turned out ok. i'm here. i've spoken to most of my closest friends today; they're all here. and we're all still participating in this shared idea of what A Life should be, even though our opinions and needs clash so fucking much. so this ongoing system of birth happy sad death perpetuates, and in the face of overwhelming calamity we continue onward into the oh-tens, where any number of bizarre and exciting destinies await. already we've become self-referential to the Nth degree, and technologically we're just pole-vaulting upward with no end in sight. i cannot say what the past decade has accomplished, whether all that's been wrought is good or the eventual cause of our Undoing, probably a bit of both, but i can say that as a Planet and a Species we've progressed and evolved, and with an ever-increasing speed (that still manages to amaze me).

As of the 2nd decade of the 2nd milennium of the latest version of history recording psychos, we're still here, goddammit, and we're gonna get a hummus wrap and listen to a mashup album and drink a forty and say fuck you man should you piss us off and whats up if you're alright. and the sun will continue to radiate the light that will etch our bodies across the milky way, just like the Dragon Gods intended.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Crimson Stars I: Deployment Module


translated from Gedo dronespeak:

Glory to the dark savior, resurrector of the seven, protector of the


the transmission terminates here. the originator of the transmission perished in a suicide dive while operating a small Gedan link craft.

* * *


GEN PROFILE: Kesai, Xeve
AGE: 22
BIRTH: 06/03/3007 3Sol:08:15:26 - Fort Wharton, NEDCH
COMMENTS: Subject demonstrates a strong willingness to serve and die in duty of MSO. Cites enlistment of as motivation, despite having been raised by foster parents. Father was KIA during routine sweep on Janshee-118. Uncle is MIA, last recorded prior to space skirmish with Gedo heavy interception, Vector 268-339-006. M. Kesai's foster parents reside in munics outside Fort Wharton, though both have tested negative for neural transfers with New Grey Earth Frontists. Despite a questionable mental background, Kesai is neuro-transfer negative, and psychologically fit for ground and air combat.
PSYCH OFFR.: K. Layton
CONFIRM: *******

- ASS'S ASS'S ASS'S 8 8 8 8 8 8 8. L-Chroma Ready, and Ready 4 U!!! Not too be missed, myfriend. homegrown. good stuff indian/eurasian call me anyti--

BiLLYChannel4: "HOLDING THE TONGUE OF THE SPEECHLESS" - What's the latest buguptheass of the Terracrats these days? Are we going back to the days of First Amendmence? And does anybody REALLY care what FuBiTAah wore to the Cinema Torch's last night? The answers and more from Rick Carton.

CARTON [in yello]: You know what I love about this town? If you're ever gettin' mugged, let's say a guy's comin' at ya, trying to mug ya, you can just scream "GEDO!" and there'll be an officer along real quick ta help ya [lagh]. D'ya ever find yourself, you know, like, making love to a fem, and the thought just oohp! Pops right into your head? [pantomimes knocking on door] "Sorry honey, we have to stop, the cops are here." [lagh] "Yup, my fault again. Sorry, beb."


AudioRoomDAT//MSO Enlistment Frigate GEORGIA 11//Transfer Pod Bay:
K>TENNION- Oh, man. Oh, god.
T>JONNEL- What is it? What's going on?
D>REAGAN- [We're] coming in for a landing.
H>HABER- Is that her? Is that-
K>TENNION- That's it.
G>LART- My god. It's-
K>TENNION- It's fucking beautiful.
D>REAGAN- Wait until you see the temple.
T>JONNEL- Temple? What temple? The Gedo have temples around here?
D>REAGAN- No, you idiot, it's one of ours. Merc City.
K>TENNION- Look, there it is!
H>HABER- I can't see.
D>REAGAN- [lagh] Damn, these things are fast!

* * * * *
Raynon-Pillenger Defense Contracts & Aeronautics

At Raynon-Pillenger, we conduct our business by the time-honored belief that beauty is bound up in symmetry. That's why, in each product component, in every elemental variant, you can find HELIX cells re-enforcing each individual molecule*. These lycro-carbon moleculites create a hardened casing around every applied surface, with the added bonus of aerodynamic texturing. Studies conducted using a Halite Spraystar Vac to Ground Missile continuously yield a fifty percent increase in target accuracy on an average launch of six kilotons per payload.

*standard metalloids only.
* * * * *

sigmetc cc cccccccccccc
nmet ... .... cc . c . c . c . cc


TARG001- Cold cloak red throat,
TARG002- Lotheode.
TARG001- What? You so brazenly speak my name outside the enclave.
TARG002- The Master's eyes don't watch here.
TARG001- How can we be sure?
TARG002- I serve directly under him.
TARG001- Your tongue moves more than you speak.
TARG002- Does this convince you?
TARG001- That blade, where did you get that?
TARG002- First some answers from you, brother.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Bicycle Lost

I know that the bloggings have been sparse, but believe you me, I hate this fucking blog. Since there have been many appreciative posts concerning my mountain bike and mountain-biking in general (early silent footage of me biking - I feel it is my duty to report to you loyal readers that my mountain bike was recently stolen on the corner of 3rd and Brown in Philadelphia. It happened around 1:30 in the morning while I was drinking in a bar across the street. The bike was tied to a traffic sign with a steel cable lock, which the thieves cut in half and left lying prone on the ground. I drunkenly approached the former parking spot of my bike and began to process what had happened. Several years and countless hundreds of miles of biking flashed before my eyes like a life that was about to end. In many ways that bike was a close friend to me, and there are more than a few times in my life where I would've been shit up a creek if I didn't have that vehicle on my person. It is sad to lose a good bike and I wish painful death upon the thieves and that is all I will ruminate about the matter.

Things are going great, blog, but I don't think I have enough time for you right now.

*reveals silenced gun from beneath jacket and fires point-blank at computer monitor*

Friday, July 31, 2009

53 Miles... Uphill.

On the 28th of June in the year of America 2009, myself and a rambunctious team of rowdy rapscallions embarked on one of the single most strenuous days of biking in my ongoing career of hobbyist cycling. It was the 2009 Long Island Harbors Ride, hosted by some ambiguous cycling group known only as "Bike New York". There were 4 ride options, ranging from 27 to 105 miles, each blazing their own trail through the hills and harbors of Long Island's northern shore. My friends (the eponymous Greg and Bill) and I decided to do the 53 mile course, a challenging but ultimately doable ride.

I was up by 6 that morning, sequestering an egg sandwich (no bacon) before traveling to the starting line with my fellow riders. Our crew arrived under cool grey clouds, thankfully spared the rains that had hitherto been plaguing the northeast. We were all pseudo-ready for the trip, each having done some amount of riding to prepare for the day's riding. But despite numerous training miles logged, we were each dealt a debilitating blow by the sheer scale of the journey ahead.

Since it was a ride and not a race, we departed at our leisure from the starting point at Brentwood, Long Island. From what is basically the middle of the island (north-south-wise), we headed north on a highway service road, bound for the coast. Long, broad roads gave way to forested side streets, and we made our way deep into the hills and valleys that comprise the great north shore.

We were warned of hills well before we set out that morning. The frequent elevation change was a challenge to even the most seasoned of riders, and just a glance at our group proved we were not the most seasoned of riders. Nevertheless, we pushed up those inclines, shifting gears and flexing calves like it was going out of style. Within a few big crests and troughs we found ourselves in familiar territory, for after all our ride was known as "The Huntington Loop" (and duhh that's where i'm from). We faced some local terrain with which we were grudgingly familiar, including the dreaded Snake Hill, a winding ascent that more than lives up to its name. We swilled water from insulated bottles and wiped sweat from our brows, cutting a path from familiar isles into eastern mysteries.

The sun roared out of the clouds just as the true nature of our ride revealed itself: this was not so much a harbor ride as much as a steady uphill climb through monotonous residential lanes. At some point the elevation gain began to lose sync with reality, and the amount of uphill in no way matched the meager downhills that dotted our course. The promise of scenic harbor views was ill kept, replaced instead by tree-enclosed stretches into infinity. A quarter mile uphill ended in a sharp curve only to reveal another mile and a half uphill. A gentle downward slope was but a prelude to a vicious ascending angle. Entire neighborhoods unfurled against brutal hillsides, baking in the hot noon sun like a heathen feast. As our water supply dwindled, our might as cyclists was put to the test.

Long gone were the peaceful inclines of highway service roads. Now was the meat, the true mettle of our journey. We each faltered at times, stopping increasingly frequently for whatever solace we could render on a humid sidewalk. Numerous sojourns found us splayed out wildly as corpses on the roadside, so that yellow-vested ride officials were forced to inquire after our well being. A kind of anguished frustration set in; the sense that this path was deliberately chosen for its maddening uphill stretches. We began cursing our route in between catching breaths. Often I stumbled upon Bill at the side of the road, his head against his handlebars in defeated repose. Even one of the official rest stops was perched far back on a hillock, one that had to be traversed entirely upwards and off course to reach (a sort of deranged cherry to this unhappy sundae was the fact that this was the worst of the rest stops that day, featuring little in the way of nourishment and plenty of Bob Marley's "Legend" on repeat)

As the afternoon sun lilted in the sky, talk of the finish line grew among our fellow riders. "8 miles left." "6 miles to go, you can do it." "You're almost there, why is your face so red?" We had come so far, yet one final stretch lay before us. As if to fully discredit the designation of "harbor ride", the final leg of our journey entered into a vast wash of industrial zoning. Endless fields of fresh cut grass outlined boxy business complexes, places of boring work where real life was muted in the interest of profit and faxes. It was here that we faced our final uphill attack, a shallow yet prolonged ascent past repeating examples of mankind's basest architectural creations. A security company gave way to a storage company, which preceded a corrugated metal tubing company, their monotony matched only by the steady pounding heat of the sun. But we were not there to report to some mind-numbing version of employment. No. On shimmering steel frames we glided through the Long Island afternoon, intent on the accomplishment we knew lay just ahead. It was then that we knew no amount of uphill could conquer us. We were The Riders. We were there to progress onward despite the most trying of conditions. And with that final determination, we coasted back onto the familiar streets of Brentwood, NY. The sound of Rush on echoey speakers was our fanfare; we had arrived. In that handful of hours we had put 53 miles of asphalt behind us, having done so solely with the manpower exerted upon our vehicles. To the more skilled rider this is all in a day's work. To us it was an achievement of strength and willpower. We had faced a great many uphills and taken each of them on with force and precision, never once dismounting to walk our bicycles to the top. It was a full day's ride, and as far as we were concerned it was a masterful accomplishment on par with summiting a mountain or strangling a freshwater catfish. A peaceful exhaustion setting in, we loaded up our bikes and headed for Carvel. Whatever the question was, a root beer float would be the answer.

P.S. I don't know any of the people in that photograph.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


THE STORY SO FAR: They just looked like harmless little nubs. Grey knotted lumps that began to sprout from the back of each and every living dog on the planet. So quick and unprecedented was the event that none were prepared when these same nubs gained consciousness; a collective hive-mind that willed the dogs into an Assault on the whole of humanity. And when man met his attackers, vicious and bloodthirsty as they were, he named them Dogriders. There are many tales of calamity and loss surrounding these frightening events, but this particular story is that of Josh, a 27-year-old data entry clerk from Long Island, witness to the eradication of each of his friends, having last been seen swimming into the stormy waters of the Long Island Sound...

CENTRE ISLAND: A grey shoreline. Waters lapping at pale sand. JOSH, 27, lies motionless near the high tide line. His hair is wet and flecked with sand. His clothes are tattered and soaked through. He stirs.

JOSH: Hunhh...

Dizzy from too many hours at sea, he rolls his head around. Sand, trees, and sea, as far as the eye can see. He sits up, regaining his senses. A low growl issues from behind him. He braces for the inevitable, slowly turning to face his fate. A LARGE BROWN DOGRIDER snarls at him.


The beast paces forward, crouching as if ready to pounce.

JOSH: No no NO!




The Dogrider, dead, lands merciful feet away from a stunned Josh.

SHELMAN (OS): You injured?

JOSH: What?

FRANK SHELMAN, 32, emerges from the brush, a sniper rifle slung behind his back. His gruff exterior belies a love of adventure and a sardonic outlook on life.

SHELMAN: Did that thing hurt you at all?

JOSH: No, I'm OK... thanks. thank you.

SHELMAN: What's your name?

JOSH: Josh... Josh Wibler.

SHELMAN: You able to walk, Josh?

JOSH: I think so.

SHELMAN: Then let's go. There'll be more where that came from.

FORESTED PATH, SHORTLY LATER: Shelman leads Josh along an otherwise unmarked woodland trail.

SHELMAN: What were you doing all alone out there?

JOSH: I was in the water. Trying to swim away from those... things.

SHELMAN: On your own?

JOSH: I was with my friends. We were trying to find a way off the island but they... they all...

SHELMAN: Alright, OK. It's OK.

They walk for a while in silence, the sounds of the forest murmuring around them.

JOSH: You're one of those paramilitaries aren't you?

SHELMAN: Used to be. Until all this.

JOSH: What about the others? The guys in your unit?

SHELMAN: Ran off, tried to fend for themselves. Most of 'em KIA. Those of us who did stick together, well, you'll see.

JOSH: Where are you taking me anyway?

SHELMAN: We'll head upriver in the airboat.

JOSH: Airboat?

RIVERSIDE: A marshy stretch of river that feeds into the Sound. A large structure is hidden beneath an olive tarpaulin. Shelman pulls away the tarp to reveal an honest-to-goodness AIRBOAT complete with a giant airplane propellor at the aft.


LAZY RIVER: A winding labyrinth of streams and tributaries. Josh and Shelman whizz along on the airboat, Shelman expertly navigating the maze.

JOSH: Why head North from D.C.? I thought we got hit the worst?

SHELMAN: That's what the media said before lights out. Now it's twice as bad down south. Riders are forming bigger and bigger hunting parties, sometimes hundreds deep. Lucky for us they can't swim as well as when they were, you know, dogs.

JOSH: But why Long Island?

SHELMAN (sarcastic): Always wanted to summer up here.

The airboat cuts a sharp turn into a narrower stream marked by A DOG SKULL ON A PIKE.

MARSHY EXPANSE: The airboat drifts to a stop alongside a GRASSY MOUND. Shelman hops into the knee-deep water as Josh contemplates his disembarkation. Shelman gives him an "are you serious, pussy?" look and then addresses the mound:

SHELMAN: Dader, open up, I got a live one here!

DADER (OS): State the password.

SHELMAN: I told you, we can't have a password in a hi-act area. Strategically, it's bullshit.

DADER (OS): Password, Grunt!

SHELMAN: (exaggerated sigh) Happy Halloween.

A slab of moss opens mouthlike from the mound to reveal DADER, 30's, a lanky gentleman with a sharp face and spiky brown hair.

DADER: Shabat shalom.

SHELMAN: Yeah, OK, hi. Get this guy some water, he's been in the shit.

DADER: What do I look like, the Red Cross?

MAKESHIFT BUNKER: A musty earthen tunnel, peppered with small portholes to the outside world. Spots of sunlight and the orange glow of gas lanterns. Dader and Shelman lead Josh into what looks like a hastily-dug dwelling. 3 or 4 other men are posted along the walls, downtrodden.

DADER: You know I'm not too keen on sharing, rations being what they are.

SHELMAN: Sorry to break your back but he's the first survivor we've seen in a minute. Let's not forget why we signed up for this shit.

DADER: Please show me the part in our contract where wild dogs devour the planet.

SHELMAN: Whatever happened to the overeager piece of shit I followed out of Maryland?

DADER: Look, you wanna babysit Timothy Hutton's balloon sculpture? Be my guest. Matter of fact, put him to work.

Dader tosses A SMALL HATCHET to the ground, which Shelman ignores.

DADER (CONT.): We need more lumber for the south tunnel.

Dader storms off, pushing a clod of dirt off the wall.

JOSH: Who's Timothy Hutton?

SHELMAN: Forget it, kid. Drink this.

He hands Josh a military canteen, of which he drinks deeply.

SHELMAN: You'd think for once people could look beyond their own gripes and try to help each other out.

Josh is silent.

SHELMAN (CONT.): Maybe that's what got us into this. All that hate, greed, selfishness. Maybe it rubbed off on 'em. The dogs. Made 'em change into those things.

JOSH: My dad says it was radiation from space.

SHELMAN: Don't believe everything you hear, kid.


Shelman snaps alert, approaching the soldier.

SHELMAN: Head count.

SOLDIER: Two of 'em. Scouts.

Shelman takes a furtive glance out one of the root-curtained portholes. Across a marshy stretch, two Dogriders dart over an embankment.

SHELMAN: We gotta take them out commission before they report to Momma. Where's Mills?

MILLS (O.S.): Here, sir!

MILLS, 28, a bespectacled schlub with messy facial hair, waddles up.

SHELMAN: How's your shooting eye?

Mills crosses and uncrosses his eyes, both grossly exaggerated by his lenses.

MILLS: Uhhh, good, sir!

SHELMAN: Alright. Stick your neck out there. If it's just those Scouts, put 'em on ice. Any more than that and you call for back up, understood?

MILLS: Sir, Yes, Sir!

Mills runs back down the corridor, dropping a mag of ammunition on his way.

JOSH: Are we safe in here?

SHELMAN: Until they learn how to dig tunnels.

Shelman grabs a rifle from the wall and aims at Mills. Mills makes his way to the entrance hatch and cautiously pushes it up. He stands halfway exposed at the mouth of the hatch, panning his gun over the landscape. He rests his aim on something neither Josh nor Shelman can see.

MILLS: ... shit.



He shoots at the entrance, but the bullet just dings the hatch as it snaps shut.

JOSH: Oh, no.


Pawsteps pad the earthen roof like a violent hailstorm.

SHELMAN: Full auto! We got K9's incoming!

Soldiers hurry along the tunnels, scanning portholes with weaponry at the ready. Barking echoes from every direction. The men take potshots at fleeting shadows on the marsh. Somewhere down the tunnel a man screams. Josh backs against a wall, horrified.

SHELMAN: Where's Dader!? We need everything we've got! More than everything!

Shelman jams his rifle into one of the portholes, unloading round after round into the outside world. Outside, Dogriders swarm amidst the brush. Whatever horde was nearby is now directly upon them.

SOLDIER (O.S.): I'm out! Christ, there's too many!

SHELMAN: Don't let up! We gotta wear 'em down!


SHELMAN: Get some! Get some!

Josh becomes aware of a LOW GROWL emanating from within the tunnel. He looks down a narrow corridor which drops off into darkness. A SHINY SNOUT begins to emerge from the shadows, bearing VICIOUS PINK FANGS. A DOGRIDER IS INSIDE THE BUNKER.

JOSH: Frank!


Shelman spins around just as THE DOGRIDER LUNGES FOR HIM. He holds his rifle sideways as the Dogrider clamps its wicked maw around it, knocking them both to the ground. In the struggle, a gas lantern is knocked to the ground, spreading liquid fuel across the ground. FLAMES RISE UP AROUND THEM AS SHELMAN WRESTLES THE HELLISH CREATURE.


The Dogrider's teeth remain fixed to the rifle as Shelman tries to jar it loose. Josh backs against the wall as flames further separate him from Shelman's struggle.

SHELMAN: Kid! Get outta here! Go!

The Dogrider leans in with the brunt of its strength, its dripping fangs mere inches from Shelman's face. Shelman stares right into its murderous eyes.

SHELMAN: I'll be waiting for you in hell, you son of a-

The rifle SNAPS IN TWINE as the Dogrider chomps through steel and oak. Shelman screams as HIS THROAT AND FACE ARE RIPPED APART. The fire, now somehow raging throughout the corridor, casts nightmarish shadows of the feasting monster. As the Dogrider claims the life of its latest victim, it turns to face Josh... ONLY TO RECEIVE A HATCHET-STRIKE DIRECTLY TO ITS NUB.





The dog twitches as its nub bleeds viscuous black death. By the time he's finished chopping, Josh is splattered with the stuff, completely exasperated.

JOSH: Hahhh... huuhhhh.. hohh.

Shelman coughs through a gurgle of blood.

JOSH: Frank! Can you hear me!?

SHELMAN: Ruh... rock and roll, kid.

Shelman breathes his last and is still. Already separated from his newfound friend, Josh is awash with swirling emotion. All around him, the fire continues to grow, climbing dirt walls that are for some reason highly flammable.

DADER (O.S): You.

Josh whips around to see a bruised and battered Dader carrying A HIGH-CALIBER MACHINE GUN.

DADER (CONT.): You led them right to us.

JOSH: No...

DADER: We were safe here. We had a plan. Shelman. He wasn't supposed to die.

JOSH: I... I tried to save him.


He levels the gun at Josh.

DADER: Oh, but I'm not gonna let you fuck this over any more, no. You think you can waltz in here, kill my men, burn my base to the ground. You have the audacity to-

A GIANT WHITE DOGRIDER (eerily similar to the one that ate Nick in part 2) LEAPS FROM THE SHADOWS, POUNCING DADER.


Josh staggers backwards as Dader and the Dogrider tussle amidst the inferno.

DADER: Hagh! Aeeyagh!

Dader is SLAMMED into a dirt wall. The combined force of the impact and the hungry flames triggers a chain reaction. Massive columns of dirt begin to collapse around them. Dirt and mud fall in sheets along the corridor. Terrified, Josh backs into a corner of the room. As he crouches defensively, THE ENTIRE CEILING COLLAPSES IN A BLANKET OF SUFFOCATING DARKNESS.

(end part 3)