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.