Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Spoileriffic) Review

Okay, now that we have all had time to digest and digress, let’s get down and dirty with all of the geeky goodness of the newest installment in this beloved franchise.  Plus the fact, I am literally going bonkers holding my tongue, unable to totally go “full on geek beast mode” with my opinions, affections, and criticisms, yes there are those as well, of the movie that cemented my obsession with all things Sci-fi.   So, enough of the pleasantries, I have broken this down into the top ten points of pure geekgasm and surprising disappointments so all may enjoy my self-indulgent, somewhat delusional bloviating.

The force is with us...or the ten reasons this film is as good as or better than the original trilogy:

1) REY!  She has to top the list because it is a rarity that a female character is written and played with such authenticity and defiance against relentlessly regurgitated cinematic stereotypes.   Rey's character is wonderfully complex and yet simplistically genuine, and yes they can exist simultaneously, mixing the right amounts of; the majesty and grace of femininity, tomboy charm and chutzpah, and edgy, intelligent heroics.    Rey redefines what the female hero looks like, acts like, and should be.  Take note Hollyweird, Abrams finally gets it right.  Now whether or not that would have played as well without the astounding intensity and non-verbal emotional potency of Ridley's performance will remain a mystery.  But, there is no doubt, that J.J found the elusive silver, in the idea of the silver screen with his casting and crafting of this incredible role.

2) Wookiepalooza!  He was never a sidekick and Abrams acknowledges that with the ferocity of a rabid nerf herder.  By the way, do any of us really know what that is or even looks like?   He has to be the most adored alien in the Star Wars universe who finally gets his due as the walking carpet takes near center stage adding his trademark, albeit primitively conveyed, sense of humor and undeniable endearment.  Never has a simple grunt, growl, and gurgle said so very much.   And to know he will play an integral part in the upcoming sequels makes me squeal like a fleeing MSE-6 mouse repair droid.   Hats off to Mayhew, who pulled off one of the most emotionally fueled meltdowns, in a full Wookie suit mind you, communicating such genuine pain and anger at the loss of his dearest friend.  Most seasoned actors can't pull that off minus the hundred pounds of fur and fury. 

3) Kylo Ren!  In the beginning, we never truly understood the evolution of one of the most iconic villains of all time, Darth Vader.  Then Lucas attempted to answer that riddle with three inferior prequels, wasting a whole lot of time with commercial nonsense instead of the sincere struggle of a man who wishes to be absolute good but is inevitable corrupted by unyielding evil; remember the kid’s folks, remember the kids.  What an absolute sin to be robbed of the equivalent of an epic interstellar Greek tragedy.  But wait, Abrams has got this one covered too.  However, rather than give us good's enticement to evil, he proverbially bitch slaps us with good's eager submission to darkness in Kylo Ren.  Where Vader's fall was far more allegorical, Ren's choice is deeply and disturbingly psychological.   Fresh and exciting, we bare witness to a man hell bent on diving head first into darkness through a warped sense of authority and purpose.  Anakin was seeking a way to save those he loved, obsessively so.  Kylo Ren, or Ben, desperately wants to embrace evil and release himself from the self-perceived burdens and pains of light.  We are privileged to watch a slow, methodical evolution of Ren, who is far less focused than his predecessor, addicted to the Dark Side like an intermediate meth addict.  Then there is the parallel of "becoming" to young Luke, who seeks to become a Jedi with his fear and insecurity serving as his biggest obstacles.  There are three pivotal moments in Luke's journey that thrust him ahead to his destiny.  Please humor me as I briefly recap them: Ben's death which brings bravery but the conflict of vengeance, Vader's confession which compels Luke to truly find himself among the fear of losing his identity to his father's fate, and finally, Luke's selflessness and sacrifice to persevere his father's life in the face of the overt power of the Dark Side.  An action, so compelling it leads to his Father's complete conversion to good.  Fast forward to Ren, in his first stage of "becoming," but instead of watching his mentor become a martyr he must destroy the one thing he loves most to truly begin his stability with the darkness he is so adamant to serve.  I can only imagine what it will be like if Abrams tries to craft the two final stages to mirror in their own warped and unique way.   So, in this first film we see Ren; rageful, immature, but determined to succeed where his grandfather failed.  For him, Luke's act was a transgression and he means to do whatever it takes, whatever it may cost, to right that wrong.   This is what Anakin's transformation should have looked like and Driver's performance is outstanding, connecting with the audience in a near mystical way.  

4) Retelling without rehashing can it be done?  Apparently so!  Although I have some issues that I will revisit later, for the most part, Abrams gives us an old story in a very new and exciting way.  I know he wanted to recapture the magic of the original trinity, but I want to add another dimension to this review.  So, sit back and allow me to wax philosophical, bordering on theological.  The complaint may be that instead of telling an entirely new story, J.J relied too heavily on mirroring the original concept. Although that may be true, I have a take maybe unconsidered.  My theory; J.J. was trying to give us a deeper glimpse into the practice, principles, and even the organism that is the Force.  Maybe, just maybe, J.J was demonstrating that a sentient, unformed entity follows a cyclic pattern until it finds the balance of its preservation, and thereby the universe.  As Serling would say; consider if you will..that the Force seeks out those individuals that can actually serve its greater purpose and those people share similar facets and characteristics.  The loss of family, the need to find a sense of self, sincere humility, definitive integrity, a willingness to seek good over evil for no other reason than it is what should be done, and an incorruptible spirit proven by finding hope in utter desolation and isolation.  Both Rey and Luke are literal spiritual twins when it comes to these precepts.  One could even argue that Anakin possessed them, possibly even Obi-Wan.  By selecting these individuals, we see the Force wield its will as it continues to cohere the fabric of the cosmos.   Those repetitions are unavoidable as we are all connected under its umbrella.   So this story is simply another chapter in how a sovereign energy works.  I am sure there are a million holes that could be poked in that speculation, but that's my two cents.  Or it could merely be Abrams trying to retell a treasured fable without the infamous aberrations of the clichéd reboot.  Either way, it's a win.

5) Finn!  Is he comic relief or another poignantly significant physiological symbol?   Again, there will be some opposing opining later but, for now, we will focus on the positives.   Avoiding stereotypes, Finn is the every man, the reluctant hero who doesn't want to fight but is unable to resist the urge to protect.   He perfectly represents the unwitting draftee, firmly believing, at one time, he is on the side of right, and once that idealistic deception is exposed, he is torn as to what to do next.  Finn was trained from birth to hate, to serve, without question, a regime that indoctrinated him into their ways.  It is the only life he knows and yet, conscious and conviction proves, once again, they trump conditioning, no matter how deep or severe it may go.  There are any number of controversial parallels we can draw here throughout the tragic archives of history, but let's stick with a lighter tone for now.  Finn is us, trying to find his place in this world.  He is not special or different, but full of life and desperate to find purpose; not a Jedi, endearing bad boy, suave hero, or invincible soldier. Instead, he is a man gradually finding his own way while discovering the strength of his character existed the whole time.  He is what we aspire to be; the guy who stands in the gap, faces danger without hesitation, well most of the time, and is willing to stand while others kneel.   Add in a solid dose of authentic humor and unquestionable kinship with the audience and Finn becomes a serious presence in every scene.  Boyega's acting prowess instantly makes Finn a welcomed addition to the Star Wars legacy of loved characters.  

6) Battle sequences that don't look like glorified toy commercials!   Elaborate masterfully choreographed, and beautifully intense, each action filled act whether by land, sea, or space is absolute magic.  This is what Lucas' perfected even when the technology wasn't there to truly support his vision; effects that enhance the story and its cast not to carry or eclipse them.   J.J returns to his FX roots to craft a masterpiece that is both visually and intellectually captivating.  Oh and let's not forget, Stormtroopers that can actually aim and hit things; pretty brutally in some case.  Wow, have we come a long way in the galaxy.

7) Just the right mix of nostalgia!  Wink, wink, nod, nod to everything we loved about the originals without overloading us with simple reruns of favorite characters, scenes, and one-liners.  Not to mention, the near perfect melding of the treasured and tested with creative and exciting risks.

8) Old Friends!   Han Solo...enough said really, but allow me to elaborate just a bit more.  Ford once again, delivers one of the greatest cinematic heroes of all time.  He may have aged, but so does the finest of wines.   As far as I am concerned, Ford is one of the best actors of the century, in the exclusive company of such greats as Stewart, Brando, Grant, and Dean.  Just Google them and you'll get the gist.  He owns this character and no one; no one can breathe life into the scruffy smuggler like Harrison.  One of the few times, hype meets reality.   Leia...Fisher never lost it, but she faded for a long while way before her time.  Her performance is more subdued but just as poignant ensuring her legacy remains fully intact, every scene with Han is subtly powerful and perfectly timed.  

9) Rey's Force trip!   From her mental tug of war with Rey to that crazy cool moment with Daniel Craig's Stormtrooper, yes you read right, and finally, her battle with Kylo as powers begin to blossom, all were indescribable Jedi awesomeness.  As for the coolest scene in the movie, dubbed by a tale of two Bens; McGregor and Guinness was the re-imagining of Luke's Dagobah's mind freak with glimpses into a deeper, more meaningful Rey story.  It gave us just enough to squeal like a Tauntaun while wetting our cerebral appetites for more.  Way to tease, J.J!  

10) Shocks and surprises that make sense!  Ren revealed as Solo and Leia's son.  I have to admit, totally didn't expect that.  Ren was once Luke's Padawan, that one I kinda saw coming.  Ren's real name is Ben, too cool!  But the shock heard around the universe was Han's death at the hands of his only son.  I too felt the saber's pierce as it sliced through our hero's heart like so much warm butter.  I knew Ford wanted out, even expected the possibility of Solo's death, but nothing, nothing could prepare me for witnessing his gut-wrenching demise on screen.  He seemingly allows his son to impale him, only able to gently, lovingly touch his face before he plunges down the unfathomable depths.  Abrams even imploded a planet around him to add an exclamation point; like pouring sour Bantha Milk on an open wound.  Did he see it coming; I mean his character of course?  Did Han honestly believe he could save his son?  We may never know.  It was a masterpiece of a scene, constructed with care and pure emotion and unspoiled by excess dialogue or unnecessary prolonging.   Still,  his death will be one of the most heart-crushing scenes in movie history. 

We have covered the awesome, now let' take a moment to review some of the “head scratchers” that we will, of course, forgive, but I must address them to maintain my own integrity.

Slipping over to The Dark Side...or the ten things that made us do a double take:

1) Enough of the planet size, planet destroying space stations!  What is the Empire/First Order's R&D department a one trick pony?  Seriously, a little less attention to the Resistance and a little more HR insight might help your cause; maybe a few quick employee evaluations.  Remember, let's retell without rehashing.  Besides, how is the Empire/First Order scoring all of the money to build these things over and over again with a galaxy inhabited by; worlds of nothing but ice, tree planets plagued with retired care bears, desolate third world desert trading stations, and swampy moons....just saying.  

2) Finn again!  I know I gave him a lot of love earlier but explain to me again how an individual trained in combat since birth is; afraid of everything, sucks at fighting, and has all of the coordination of a young Jerry Lewis. I have to admit, I kinda got a whole Will Smith in Independence Day vibe for a while, 

3) Captain Phasma!   Apparently hype is a bit stronger than the Force.  Talk about the biggest letdown, and I mean even more so than the Luke on film for five minutes thing,   Can it be true?  Is the Star Wars universe only capable of containing one significant female lead at a time?  We reduced the most anticipated new villain in the legacy to 15 minutes of voice-overs...nice.

4) Missed moments!  Too many important scenes were rushed or not explored enough.  Ridley's Rey emotionally owned every scene she was in with little to no dialogue required.  But there were several scenes that robbed us of full nerd impact.  Two, especially, come to mind.   One, is when Han leaves Leia to face Ren.  What J.J we couldn't even get a Solo/Leia kiss...really!  How about the line that would have caused uncontrolled geekgasm; Solo tells Leia, “I love you."  To which, Leia answers, "I know."  C'mon Abrams that would have been indescribably epic.  Second, when Han dies, a little more time spent on Leia's grieving would have been nice.   Even when Rey leaves to find Luke, a few extra seconds of interaction would have amplified an already touching moment. 

5) Poe!  First, I was literally getting ready to start a drinking game...take a shot every time someone says, "Poe is the greatest pilot in the resistance."  Second to Phasma, he is the most underused, one-dimensional character in the new lineup.  What a shame, because the few precious moments when his role shined in both humor and heroics were diluted by his absolute lack of depth.  Maybe we will get more in the sequels but he should have had a more significant presence and story.  And how again did he get back to the resistance after being thrown from the crashing Tie Fighter on Jakku?  Why didn't he try to find Finn and BB8?  Seems we have another Phantom Menace of a storyline on our hands.

6) Admiral Ackbar never said, "It's a Trap!"  Okay, got it out of my system...moving on.

7) Where the hell is Boba Fett?  The number one selling character and you couldn't even give him a cameo!  Maybe a quick nod in the back of the bar, a fuzzy glimpse of a junked Slave 1 on Jakku...something.

8) Everyone apparently can use a lightsaber, some very well with zero training! Suddenly, doesn't feel as special anymore.

9) The Empire/First Order sucks at holding people hostage!  Underestimating your enemy, need to work on that just a bit.

10) Rey escapes exploding planet miles away from a viable ship....cause sequels.

With all that said, this is one of my favorite movies, bringing back all of the childhood joy and wonder that had been sorely lacking in my cinematic experiences.   Absolutely a 4 out of 5 Kernels: The Force is strong with this one...you know I had to do it...just go with it!



First #WickedWabbit synopsis

Our first #WickedWabbit synopsis...

Wicked Wabbit was once the humble pet of the witch Undora; an evil mystic who brought such trouble to the small superstitious town of Salem that it spawned the infamous Witch Trials costing many a mage, as well as, innocent folks their lives in the most horrendous of ways.  That is until a powerful and ancient wizard named Falston intervened before the massacre reached unimaginable proportions.  Through a powerful incantation, he transformed Undora into a helpless and hapless rabbit, thereby, ceasing her vile mischief.

However, in the process of his magical intercession, the spell inexplicably affected Undora's humble pet, inversely changing the gentle creature into an enchanted humanoid, tortured by strange and unfamiliar memories.  Realizing his error too late; Falston was unable to reverse the powerful spell.

With his disoriented and unstable creation in tow, he quickly returned to his domain to research any possibility to rectify both of their misfortunes.  Sadly, he found only one.  To go back to her lowly but desired state, she would have to defeat the seven evils of the world throughout time; released, in vengeance, by the dark warlock Sage.  If, and when, the very last incarnation of evil was to fall she would be granted the power to return to her time, home, and the common form she so deeply pines for.  But to fail would result in a living hell; forced to roam the earth eternally as a hopeless specter, tortured by time and her missteps.

Now, blessed with a host of incredible otherworldly abilities, she doesn’t quite yet understand; including the power to travel back and forth through time, and incessantly haunted by the recollections of a foreign identity; the aptly named Wicked Wabbit will attempt to thwart the most potent forces of malice this world has ever known and those yet to be revealed.

If she succeeds, will everything she accomplishes and all the ways she evolves alter her original goal?  And who is the ominous shadow being who pursues her; all the while trying to discover a method to free Undora from her own frightful predicament?

Written by: Ronald J Rossmann Jr.
Illustrator: Lance Footer

Thursday, December 17, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (completely spoiler free) Review

Abrams is a true miracle worker, bringing back all of the magic, humanity, and joy of the original trilogy while advancing it in a thoroughly engaging and entertaining way, with just the right amount of nostalgia.   I can honestly say I experienced all of the unbridled excitement of my youth, riveted to my seat as each scene magnificently unfolded.  Now, there are some deficiencies, but, fortunately, they are massively overshadowed by the totality of this well written and expertly produced addition to the treasured franchise.   First, there is a slight bit of predictability and rehashing.  Second, most of the allegorical elements are vacant although they are creatively and capably replaced with a sincere psychological feel that was genuine and intriguing.  Third, some of the more significant and emotional sequences are a bit rushed diluting their full impact.  Finally, as noted in other reviews, one character, in particular, which was well hyped, was greatly underused, which I am sure will be rectified in the upcoming sequels.   Besides those deficits, this is as good as or better than Lucas' original vision.    The cast is superb and, much like their predecessors, feel authentic and easy to relate to.  Extra kudos goes to Ridley, who literally steals the movie with her intensity.  And Driver's villain is the right amount of complexity and simplicity (and yes, that is possible) giving him dimensions and edges that cut to the core.   The original entourage is outstanding and with each entry onto the screen generate a Death Star sized explosion of smiles and applause.   This is what Star Wars was always supposed to be.  It is a beautiful tapestry woven with in-depth and original characters, astounding effects, stunning cinematography, a straightforward but excellently crafted story, and a clear message of hope and heroics.  It is a testament to the films that launched science fiction into the mainstream and created an indisputably beloved legacy and devoted fan culture.  4 out of 5 Kernels: The force and its fans have indeed been awakened!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Introducing #WickedWabbit

I am VERY excited to announce my first collaboration with the extremely talented Lance Footer​ as we bring his amazing character, #WickedWabbit, to life.  It is sure to be something #wickedlyawesome!  

In the next few days, I will be posting a brief bio of this new and unique anti-hero who is sure to become a strong and complex female icon among the comic community and culture. 

In the meantime, allow me to briefly introduce you to a truly gifted artist with one of the most inspiring stories of overcoming adversity to follow and achieve your dreams and #beyourownhero!

Lance Footer was born with low vision which left him legally blind.  That, however, did not damper his deep desire and unmistakable talent to draw.  Through sheer will and determination, he became an advanced art student and right out of high school began designing t-shirts that were used during Desert Storm in Iraq and Kuwait.  After battling a serious stint of depression, Lance decided to take up cycling to lose weight, better his health and refocus his life.  His passion for cycling led him to race for Team USA, winning three national championships, and a world championship victory earning him a ranking of 9th in the world.  Now, he has rededicated himself to his first love, illustrating, and, in 2015, began working on several projects including his favorite, Wicked Wabbit; a rabbit magically transformed into a powerful and beautiful mystic.  To learn more about Lance visit his Facebook page...the Art of Lance Footer. 

That's just a small glimpse into this incredible man's life and below is a quick taste of the very Wabbit of the Hour!  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter #CharlotteComiCon 2015 pics

Another great con with some amazing friends, new and old...

‪#‎CharlotteComiCon‬ ‪#‎TheCrux‬ ‪#‎Sciencefiction‬ you deserve and something ‪#‎wickedkyawesome‬ ‪#‎BuccaneerBatman‬ a.k.a‪#‎TheLakeWylieBatman‬ & #Dolly

Check out the new website @ www.ronaldrossmannjr.com for info. on all my books and future signings and appearances.

Check out the trailer @ www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCBfyC8ofok

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: What We Do in the Shadows Review

A unique concept whose dark, deadpan humor loses its bite quick.  Although the talented cast embraces their undead dysfunction with monstrous passion; the joke of this mockumentary doesn't fare as beastly with jokes that become predictable and stale by the first thirty minute's end.   As original as this indie tongue and cheek vampire flick is the mixture of a loose script and overtly obvious ad-libbing just doesn't blend well and, instead, feels forced and almost precocious.  Far be it for me to judge directing choices, but including the man behind the Green Lantern debacle as a partner might be well regretted in hindsight. I was truly disappointed in a film that could have been so much more and wasted far too much potential.  2 out of 5 Kernels: a movie that is it own worst enemy, or to put it more apropos; I liken it to a self-inflicted proverbial stake through the heart.       

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Terminator Genisys Review

Is the fifth time a charm?  Alan Taylor, director of Thor; The Dark World, was hoping so with this latest installment of the Terminator franchise.   Arnold is back, as promised ad nauseam, this time playing the T800 version of his infamously iconic incarnation; and yes they have a rationale for his obvious aging.  In fact, Taylor manages to explain almost every nuance and anomaly of his rebooted timeline with some degree of credibility.  So, as far as sequels go, or pentequals, and yes, I just made that up, he is able to take a done to death idea, which seemed utterly inflexible in its cemented mythology, and create a semi-unique take revisiting many of the quirks that made the first two so awesome while fabricating a new canon of his own.   But that is where the good ends and the bad begins its T1000 style pursuit.   The acting is stale and tiresome with any attempt at recapturing the humanity of T2 an epic fail.   Arnold tries to duplicate the charm of his T2 persona but never remotely delivers and, in the end, merely becomes a three-dimensional caricature of himself.  And although the effects are visually stunning and imaginative, the absolute ludicrousness of some of the action sequences makes it feel more like a well financed Wylie E Coyote cartoon.  I mean, I need at least hint of science in my science fiction.  Finally, despite a rather impressive twist, which was revealed before the movie's release on its poster, smooth move Hollywood, the story does drag and become weighty with the overabundance of theoretic possibilities regarding time travel.  It is complex as it answers some questions while leaving some rather large, important ones confusingly untouched.  Then again, I guess we have to leave something for Terminator 6: Arnold's Third House Payment.  2 out of 5 Kernels: Even Skynet has to be bored with the whole thing by now seeing how every facet of any entertainment value has now been effectively terminated.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Jessica Jones Review

The goal to make comic book movies more gritty and realistic, as if that is even possible, was unattainable up to the point of Netflix's first Marvel outing, Daredevil.  Before that, DC tried unsuccessfully with its underwhelming Dark Knight Trilogy and miserably disappointing Superman reboot, The Man of Steel.   But DC never could get the equation right; unable to mix the right amounts of edgy authenticity with its canon's fantasy.   That has not been a problem for Marvel as they score big with its second Netflix installment, Jessica Jones.  Unbelievably, creator Melissa Rosenberg, of Twilight shame, brings us the best female hero story that I have seen in my limited lifespan on this wonderful planet of ours.  Another area where DC loses marks as their Supergirl series reduces all of its females leads to a high school special level of maturity and interaction.  Instead, Rosenberg presents us with powerful female performances that reflect an actuality that’s difficult to dismiss.  She takes some significant risks running the gambit of several archetypes with enormous rewards thanks to some inspired writing and skilled performances from a stellar cast.  Marvel also respects its source material with near dogma at times, unlike DC, who seems to feel the established mythology is as flexible as Gumby in the heat wave;    Ritter brings the bitter, jaded, alcoholic Jones to illustriously depressing and cynical life. Her portrayal is immediately convincing and you find yourself deeply conflicted at times as whether to curse her imperfections or root for her determination.  Her hero role is complimented by a villain, played terrifyingly well, by Dr. Who alumni, Tennant; a hellish Ying to her damaged Yang.   Daredevil was the first comic production to provide us with a carefully and effectively humanized baddie in D'Onofrio's ominously entertaining Kingpin.  Jones ups the ante with a disturbingly endearing, outright demonic malefactor in Kilgrave; the most frightening Marvelesque evil doer to date, in my earnest opinion.   Never have I been so conflicted in my observations of an individual who possess such definitive charm and yet exemplifies horrific abilities and absolute malice for life and others; the quintessential narcissistic sociopath.   And why are his powers so viscerally frightening?  Other deviants use brute force, technology, or magical ruses.  Kilgrave's ability to strip any person of free will with a simple statement or command, possessing utter control over their actions and persona, most times leading to an abominable demise, is possibly the most distressing and destructive weapon that could be conceived.  And Kilgrave revels in that dominance without remorse or hesitation.  The remaining cast is just as masterful leaving permanent visual and emotional imprints with each of their scenes.  Far darker and more intense than Daredevil; this is a brutal, in your face incarnation of the reluctant heroine paints its story in violence, gore, and an undeniable genuineness that can be tough to watch at times.   It is laden with mature themes, so if you intend to have the younger set view it with you, which I highly recommend against, be prepared to field a myriad of questions you will be totally unprepared to answer.   My only complaints; first it’s the gratuitous sex which adds nothing to the story and feels as clumsy and forced as a teenager who just found his daddy's stack of Playboys.   Second; I am not a fan of the whole gray hero bit, where defenders are neither good nor evil but conflicted messes forced to justify every thought and action, even when it is clear to the audience that their methods and purposes serve a complete sense of logic.   Finally; the whole idea that evil is more of a perception than actuality is tiresome and, with that rampant ideology seemingly contaminating every film of this type, it feels more like indoctrination than perspective.  With all of that said, this is an extremely well-crafted series that features a totality of original and dynamic performances.   4 out of 5 Kernels: Where DC fails, Marvel once again succeeds.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

#TheLostGuardian #NaNoWriMo Update

#NaNoWriMo...just finished 8600 words, way behind my goal of 50K by month's end but I am spent. The Prologue, Chapters 1 and 2 are complete, even did a quick edit. My overall goal is to keep this one under 200k words when finished. But knowing me, that ain't gonna happen. #TheLostGuardian #Nomoreheroes

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans' Day 2015

A red cup, an outdated flag, a dead lion...what do all of these have in common?

They are unimportant and trivial distractions.

The baby who cries in her crib at night while her dad tirelessly patrols in a foreign land. The wife who grieves at the coffin of a husband who died to protect the freedoms of complete strangers. The son who will never grow up with a father because his dad chose to sacrifice himself for a stranger's child caught in harm's eye. The boyfriend who stays by the bedside of the woman he loves shattered and torn by shrapnel from a carefully planted roadside bomb. He misshapes his lips so he can kiss her fractured demeanor.

The tears shed over the graves of the fallen. The blood saturating the soil of a battlefield. The pain that haunts the wounds of war both of flesh and soul. The soldier who fights to the edge of death when there is little strength or hope left. The warrior who finds no peace, even in the sanctuary of his own home.

These are the things to be considered when we waste our freedoms on the trivial and asinine. These are the people we should remember when we allow the media to lead us, like starving dogs, to our own filth to feast, as if it was prime rib. Is their blood and selflessness worth that waste? Is the loss and loneliness of their families worth disgracing with our nonsensical ramblings and causes?

To the heroes in uniform, I say, thank you. My family, my freedom, and even my life are granted because of your honor and service. I will never know your hardship both during and after the battle. I will never understand your reasoning for laying your life down for those you will never know. But I extend my deepest gratitude for what you have done and will do. I pray that God protects you with each and every step. That he brings your family peace that passes all understanding. Thank you, for every second that you have blessed this nation with. May never a moment be forgotten!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: The Last Witch Hunter Review

Let's only hope the title is a definitive as to the future of this franchise.  It is stale, poorly acted, predictable fare that is sorely lacking in any thrills and far less frightening than the actual money spent for ticket and concessions to watch this newest Vin Diesel vehicle crash and burn.    Even when the so-called twists are revealed, they are met with only ho-hums and yawns.  The action sequences are so badly filmed and abruptly edited that most of the elaborate effects are lost in translation.  And does Caine owe some massive back taxes or something, as it seems he has been co-starring in too many features, of late, that are well below his caliber.  Also, as unfortunate as it may be, poor Wood will not be able to appear in any film without me pining for happier days spent in the Shire.  The only magic in this flick is how effectively it made my interest and any and all entertainment value disappear.  0 out of 5 Kernels: as far as Vin Diesel's acting prowess is concerned, better stick to lines that truly express his true range, like "I am Groot."

Friday, November 6, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Pixels Review

Iconic 80's director Chris Columbus, who launched some of the most endearing and infamous careers of that unique decade, tries to wax nostalgic with this latest Sandler outing but finds his attempt at arcade parody not only loses "life" quickly but is "Game Over" before it ever gets started.   Sandler, the man behind one of the best homage comedies of our time, The Wedding Singer, fails epically with this overtly simplistic, rarely funny, and poorly acted farce that possessed the originality and potential to be a new classic had anyone else, but he had been involved in its production.  The remaining cast fares no better but not because of a lack of talent.  Rather, it is solely due to a defective script filled with elementary level humor and dumbed down plot points that are repeated far too often and conclude without any effectiveness.   The predictability is so obvious that by credits end the only surprise is that you decided to sit through all 106 minutes.   Again, this could have been a fantastic concept, too bad it was so miserably wasted.  0 out of 5 Kernels: in lieu of any further comments, just think of the sound Pac-Man makes when he dies and you have a general idea.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Crux: A Novel by Ronald J Rossmann Jr.

‪#‎TheCrux‬ ‪#‎Sciencefiction‬ you deserve! Something ‪#‎wickedlyawesome‬ ‪#‎rjhenfilms‬  This is the extended trailer for my newest novel; The Crux.  A 30 second version will be shown prior to every PG-13 and R rated movie from Nov. 6th, 2015 until Jan. 1, 2016 at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas(9110 Kings Parade Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273) and AMC Pavilion 21 (Carolina Pavilion Shopping Center, 9541 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28273).  It will play twice before every movie.  I want to thank Reginald Hen of RJ Hen Films (www.rjhenfilms.com) and all the talented people who made this a possibility; Cassie Kelson, Yair Guevara, Jerome Greene, Thomas Perser, Todd Brown, Jessy Miličević, Courtney Anne Meeker, Chelsea Sofia, Gwen Mauney, Anneliese Cadena, Troy Conn, Michelle Schosser, & Melissa Schosser Edwards.  For more information and a full synopsis of the novel, please check out my website www.ronaldrossmannjr.com.  Like my author page @ www.facebook.com/lostroadtohope, Follow me on Twitter @LostRoadtoHope, and visit my blog @ www.ronsnovelidea.blogspot.com.  A story 27 years in the making; forged from a love of comics, Cosplay, and all things Science Fiction.  Mankind's greatest fears will become its only hope!

Monday, October 19, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: San Andreas Review

The guy who brought you the critically acclaimed Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore brings you his first attempt at a big-budget disaster film; further proving those Hollywood execs really know what they are doing, don't they.  In the plus category, this is a very entertaining film; if you care not for things like scientific plausibility, with epic, sometimes brutal special effects. But that is where all of the pluses end and the 9.5 scale minuses begin and continue until the last nonsensical aftershock.  Poorly acted, overly predictable, with ridiculously impossible action and survival sequences absolutely apropos for a Shakespearean thespian the likes of this movie's headliner; Dwayne Johnson.   Please note the deep and intense tremors of sarcasm.  This film is a true disaster flick in regards to the sheer wake of devastation left by its ridiculously unbelievable script and stereotypical characters.  If you are looking for a mindless cinematic joy ride; this is your film.  But doesn't that pretty much sum up the majority of what Tinsel Town is spewing out these days.  2 out of 5 Kernels: with the lack of reality all they needed were a couple of Graboids to show up and then we would really have a movie.      

Saturday, October 3, 2015

#TheCrux #Sciencefiction you deserve! A sneak peak into something #wickedlyawesome.

‪#‎TheCrux‬ ‪#‎Sciencefiction‬ you deserve! Something ‪#‎wickedlyawesome‬ with‪#‎rjhenfilms‬ has wrapped initial filming. Now the daunting task of post production work begins. It was an amazing shoot and RJ Hen and his crew are a phenomenally talented bunch. His team made the whole process a tremendous education and performed with the utmost in professionalism. 

Here is a complete list of this phenomenal crew:

Reginald Henderson: Director/Producer
I can't thank him enough for taking a chance on an up and coming author.  He brought The Crux to horrifyingly beautiful life.

Cassie Kelson: Assistant Director
One of my best friends and an astonishingly gifted craftswoman who turns ideas to visions and visions into inspired art. 

Jerome Greene: Writer
Completely got the story and characters and produced a screenplay that simply awed me.

Yair Guevara: Director of Photography:
Talk about an eye for detail and a creativity that knows no limits.

Thomas Perser: Editor
Can't wait to see what he accomplishes in post production; I have a feeling it will lead me to geektopia.

Michele Schosser: Makeup
Her makeup was outstanding; she truly captured both the beauty and horror of all of my main characters. 

Here is the complete main cast list:

Todd Brown...#Ronin

Actor/writer: Blue Sunday
An amazing and humble talent

Jessica Milicevic...#Penance
Freelance Journalist
Talent, beauty, and absolute fierceness.

Chelsea Sophia...#Dolly
A trusted friend and remarkable woman.

Gwen Mauney...#Feast
A dear friend who possess a one of a kind grace and strength.

Courtney Meeker...Victim 2
A rising star who exudes energy and passion.

A tremendous talent in both acting and makeup.

Anneliese Cadena...Victim 1
She gave me goosebumps...literal goosebumps, she was so good!

Filmed at the Haunted Mill...http://thehauntedmillnc.com/

The pictures I have posted are intentionally grainy and slightly ambiguous as not to give away too much about the promo.  I can't convey enough how awesome it is to see your work as an author come alive in such terrifyingly vivid detail. It was a long night but worth every single moment. 

We will be premiering the promo to a private audience on October 29th and it will hit the theaters November 6th playing at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas in Charlotte and AMC Pavilion in Pineville.  There will be two versions, the 30 second spot and the full trailer.  I will relay the link to the full trailer by November 6th.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Is it just me, or are these titles getting longer and longer; as if anyone who hasn't lived under a rock for the last decade wouldn't know that this is the third installment of this ridiculous YA dystopian franchise.   Because if we called it The Hunger Games 3, or simply Mockingjay, it would be inconceivable that anyone would know that this next entry in Ms. Everdeen’s seemingly unending escapades.   If this is the trend, then why not at least be honest in titling fare such as this.  In that case; The Hunger Games Part 1: An Absolutely Depressing Sippy Cup of Turd Juice would indeed suffice to provide the potential audience member with enough "heads up," to know what this next to the last travesty is all about.  Moreover, since we are on topic Hollyweird; this habit of unnecessarily turning trilogies into quadrilogies has to end.  I have yet to see an example of when this asinine practice has worked out.   Most result in an ambiguous and nonsensically drawn out first half; focusing on uninteresting minutia to spread thinner and already frail plot.  And then, a disappointingly trivial second that either tries too hard but never truly reaches its potential or definitively proves any lack of it at all.   Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let’s focus on this film shall we...hmm.   The only plus is the quite effective and genuine method this series utilizes to provide a vivid portrayal of the pitfalls of socialism and progressive mentalities similar, but not as refined, as such classics as Animal Farm.  Now, based on what I have read, that may be entirely accidental; but it is undeniably apparent unless one enjoys partaking in the refreshingly numbing nectar of ounces and ounces of liberal Kool-Aid.  Other than that unintended analogy, this is a dark, dank, stale, and tiresome prolonging of this world-renowned dribble.  The acting is so somber its cinematic Sominex.  The action, when it comes in incoherently short spurts, is lackluster and offers no remedy for this cure for chronic insomnia.  Moreover, finally, the plot, which largely focuses on fighting propaganda with propaganda, is simplistic but uninteresting.  I presume there is some symbolism in that concept, but this feature is so bad, it is hard to muster any care by credits roll.  0 out of 5 Kernels; from their own script, and I paraphrase, "fire can either ignite a room or suck all of the oxygen out of it."  With that; the boredom this picture generates is suffocating!    

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Horrible Bosses 2 Review

You know there are those movies that are so stupid they are funny.  This is not one of them.  There is no doubt that it is heavy on the stupid but totally void of any identifiable humor.  A prepubescent twelve-year-old could have written a more mature and effective script than whoever penned this cinematic atrocity.  That is unless you are the type who enjoys a glut of juvenile antics, a deluge of f-bombs, and a tsunami of unfunny carnal comedy.  Of course, what would one expect from the likes of sexually obsessed director Anders; whose theatrical short list is filled with uber perverted, irritatingly silly, silver screen disasters?   The so-called A-List comedic ensemble must owe some huge student loans or monumental back taxes to have signed on to ride this train wreck.  Either that or they just wanted to commit career suicide in the most brutal and gruesome way possible.   In fact, I feel like I am wasting mine and everyone else's time in bothering to review this travesty.  That is; on top of the hour and a half I will never get back sitting though this cinema sin.  0 out of 5 Kernels:  I need to start implementing a negative rating denomination for infamy such as this.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Mission:Impossible-Rogue Nation Review

Director Christopher McQuarrie and; comeback story of the decade, actor Tom Cruise, join forces again to bring us this 4th installment of the TV reboot that now has become a cinematic cash cow or abused dead horse depending on your opinion of this latest outing.   I have to give McQuarrie some leeway here as there aren't too many new or creative directions to take this apparently immortal concept.  Although he voluntarily took the job and obscene paycheck, so any slack must be reduced by those indisputable facts.   However, I will give him kudos for trying to infuse this series with a contemporary Sherlock versus Moriarty look and feel to Hunt's conflict with villain Lane.   But that is where the reserved accolades end and the, please stop the insanity begins.  It is predictable, at some points stale, and way, way too long.  Also, any attempts at humor are just that, attempts at best with a total and inexcusable waste of Pegg's unique and biting wit.   Cruise gives us his best effort, but nothing, short of an impossibility, can make this series feel fresh and energized.  Yes, it has cool stunts, but they are overtly stereotypical for action fare.  Inundated with motorcycle battles traveling at ridiculous speeds, car chases and crashes that defy all the laws of physics, and injuries that would kill the Hulk but have no effect on a Scientologist, apparently.   But, in all fairness, the movie title deliberately excuses all logic, so if you don't leave reality at home, you have no one to blame but yourself for any disappointments.   And hey, good news, Alec Baldwin is still alive, so there's that.  2 out of 5 Kernels; money can't buy happiness, but it sure can keep crap floating; impossibly so!

Monday, August 17, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Mortdecai Review

It's official; Depp has lost his mind.  This film should be used as a replacement for water torture as it would be a far more effective tool in tormenting the wicked; but that same proposal would be unacceptable as it is far less humane.  Director Koepp, who has worked with Johnny before but with a much darker fare, now attempts a Clouseau meets MOD Squad look and feel with this outing.   I stress the word, attempt, as the humor, script, and performances are mostly stale only briefly venturing into absolutely precociousness as a changeup.  It's stellar cast is abruptly eclipsed by the utter silliness of a predictable and tired whodunit with zero thrills and even less charm and entertainment value.   My heart breaks, as one of the brightest stars of the last two decades and the man who brought us one of the most iconic characters of our time, seems to be quickly turning into a depressing caricature of himself.   It may be true; stay a hero long enough, you become a villain, at least to your fans.  0 out of 5 Kernels; sorry Jack, there isn't enough rum to make me to find this funny and that volume would kill me before it could, as if there were any hope of it in the first place.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#JustaQuickiePlease: Chappie Review

Neil Blomkamp is quickly becoming a one-trick pony in the scope and feel of his movies, as each one too closely resembles the next; which is a worrisome thing for me, as he helms the newest Alien installment despite all of its hype and its leaked sleek, exciting concept art.  In addition, the idea of a robot finding sentience is not a new idea by any stretch of even the most strained imagination.  To best describe this latest incarnation, one must consider it in this overtly simplistic comparison; Short Circuit meets Robocop within District 9.   The acting is peculiar, not bad, somewhere between annoying and downright precocious.  And kudos to anyone who can take such a larger than life, definitive talent like Jackman and force him to play a ridiculously stereotypical and irritatingly overreaching character; which I type with stinging sarcasm.   The effects are remarkable, as in all of Blomkamp's outings, and the script inundated with creative perspectives regarding life's meanings and purposes and the blessings and trappings of humanity.  But, as I mentioned before, its environments and filming are so identical to his family of preceding works, that sibs appear to be twins, rather than finding their true identities.  It is as if we are watching a running series of separate ideas locked in-discernibly within the same fragmented universe, rather than truly independent features able to equally share the same space.  But maybe, just maybe, that is his purpose; only Neil knows for sure.  Whether that is true or not, unfortunately, for the audience, it becomes a film you watch once, over analyze, and then never really care to watch again.  What a shame for such a uniquely talented director.  1 out of 5 Kernels; at least it's better than Elysium, but can that be interpreted as a real compliment.

#JustaQuickiePlease: Interstellar Review

As cinematic culture evolves, certain genres split into very distinctive categories.   Never is that idea truer than in the classification of science fiction.   You either have ultra cheesy, effects laden, star-driven, action filled orgies or Uber cerebral, effects laden, star-driven, deliberately complex, mega geek fare.  I would add the designation of well written, thought provoking, emotionally charged, meticulously crafted, indie treats, but the mainstream largely ignores them with their pocketbooks, so we won't include them and revisit the travesty of that reality another time.  This feature is unique in that it is the second of the two choices and yet possesses a great deal of the "unmentionable" in its performances, theme, and remarkably constructed, slight convoluted, but genuinely imaginative plot.    Now I detest, Nolan; he has done more damage to the Batman franchise than the Joker could have imagined in his most psychotic riddled wet dream.  And the only one I loathe more that good ole' Chris, is McConaughey, whose acting can only be likened to Catwoman's nails on a chalkboard for me.  But I have to reluctantly admit both have surprised me, creating and acting in one of the best films of their respective careers.  This is The Andromeda Strain and 2001 for the next generation with effects, script, and portrayals working in perfect sync to dictate the most amazing love note to science fiction filmmaking.  I remind, this is for those who have a true adoration for the genre; so if you are looking for non-stop thrills with snappy one-liners and an overzealous glut of CGI talking robots and alien invasions, you will be sorely disappointed and overtly irritated with its two hour and forty-nine minute run time.  But in the rare cases of quality, it takes time to tell a good story.   4 out of 5 Kernels: accept for its aggressively preachy pro-environmental message, this is one of the best in its field within the last decade. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#TheCrux #5Star #Sciencefiction you deserve! Complete Prologue

The Crux

Mankind’s greatest fears will become its only hope!
A novel by
Ronald J Rossmann Jr


It is where the crossroads of magic, science, time, and space meet that the Crux exists and the greatest fears of men reside.

   Put simply, the Crux is the nerve center of the infinitesimal dimensions the vast and immeasurable cosmos houses.   It is the only dimension that parallels the Fleshworld, known throughout the cosmos as the one true residence of humanity.   The Crux has no birth date, its legacy defies the finite understanding we possess regarding the concepts of time and legacy.    It was formed by entities known only as Elders and monitored by the Controller.  He is a being who appears to have neither beginning nor end bound by Fate and her undeniable, unavoidable, and irreversible dominion.  For reasons shrouded in deep mystery, he dogmatically obeys her predominance without reservation or hesitation.

   The residents of the Crux called Citizens are created from the most powerful emotions humanity emanates, those that drive its race to both the brinks of self-discovery and ultimate destruction.  They are emotions, defined only by the language and ideology of their mortal hosts as; fear, hate, rage, and love, with love being the weakest of all the architects.

   The Construct is the life force that shapes and supports every inhabitant, without it the very fabric of the Crux would tear under the stress and burden of even the slightest anomaly.   It binds their existence together, connecting them for all eternity in a majestic web of life and pain, joy and hopelessness, strength and weakness, and all manner in between.

   The Crux is the place where all that man fears fellowships and travels together, where fantasy and fact mix together so effortless, fluidly, that their borders are deeply blurred.    When science is left unexplained, it is called magic and here that magic is as sincere as the most reliable empirical evidence.  It is the guardian of Time, holding all accountable to it, but itself.  The never-ending corridor of history, constantly reinventing events and results as the fickle temperament of Fate so decides.   It exists in a state impossible to define by any lesser than the Controller and his allegedly infinite mind.

   Without the Fleshworld, the Crux would dissolve like tissue in water.  Likewise, without the Crux the Fleshworld would be left completely vulnerable, naked and defenseless against the whims of the myriad of celestial neighbors seeking to persecute, dominate, and obliterate its naïve and hapless denizens.   But there is a cost to this shared existence.  As emotional of a species as humans are, every excess ounce of negative energy, relentlessly expelled on a moment by moment basis, is cast into the Construct becoming a permanent part of its matrix.  Thereby, spawning more Citizens each one more violent, frightening, and lost as the next.   They are tortured souls hungry to quench their newly conceived insatiable guile, starving to find purpose as the nightmares and agonies of the Fleshworld mold their personas.  It is up to the Navigator and her Marshalls to ensure these dark and tormented creatures find usefulness, captivity, or expiration for there are no other options.

   Since the Crux’s cryptic conception, there has been Navigators, each one hand-selected by the terrifyingly mysterious but ultimately benevolent Controller.  Each Navigator controls the Repository, a behemoth sized data bank containing every moment in history able to reference an infinitesimal horde of lifetimes and memories.  This system contains every path taken and untaken, cause and effect, action and reaction played out to their infinite plausibility.  Every entity of every species, breed, and creed categorized and organized in pure, logistical perfection.  Running eternally, it is continually expanding, with fantastically complex and unimaginable algorithms flowing effortlessly through its data stream.  Used also to monitor and manipulate the Construct, but only under the strict and unceasing eye of the Controller.   No decision or action can be taken or occur without his final approval, any attempt would result in instantaneous rectification.

   The Navigators choose their Marshalls whose primary purpose is to enforce the laws and parameters of the Crux.  There is always one lead Marshall, aptly named the Enforcer.  The Enforcer can then recommend recruits of a certain caliber to join him or her as Marshalls.   There has never been a limit on the number of Marshalls; however, it has never been a highly desired position among the Citizens.  Most consider Marshalls with the same high regard as snitches and traitors.  Marshalls carry weapons that can dispose and dispatch of both mortal and Citizen entities.  However, only the Controller can give permission to use any Crux craft against a Fleshworld inhabitant, and that has not happened in several millennia.

   Once an Enforcer is chosen, he cannot resign his post unless he is deemed unfit, which results in a most undesirable end.  Most Marshalls once existed in the Fleshworld and, through their own mortal deaths, are brought to the Crux and Remade.  To be Remade is to transcend the physical and supernatural, existing on a plane that is inconceivable to mortals.  Most Citizens are born from the Construct while a rare few are Remade.  Citizens are forever confined to the Crux, but there are a select group that have the power to travel, unassisted between their dimension and the Fleshworld.
Those select few are referred to as Level 5 Citizens, the most dangerous residents of the Crux.  These Level 5 Citizens possess extraordinary amounts of psychic and metaphysical energies.   Whether it is to manipulate an opponents’ emotions, invading their minds’ with false memories, assaulting their enemies with an assortment of telekinetic traumas, or performing horrifyingly unimaginable miracles, it is no surprise that this community of malevolent offenders are watched on a ceaseless basis.   If a Level 5 demonstrates even the slightest hint that they will use their abilities for personal gain or agenda, the Marshalls swiftly and mercilessly intervene.  As I said before, they are the only ones equipped to handle such monstrous hazards, and few survive to tell their tale.

  To further befuddle any primitive minded biped, for every Crux Citizen, there is a Didymus existing in the Fleshworld.  A Fleshworld twin, wholly unlike his cosmic counterpart and immortal, although they will never know it.  For if a Didymus were to actually die, his or her Crux counterpart would meet their demise just as promptly.   Instead, Didymus live immortally through Cycles with time and spans decided on by Fate.  A Didymus can live hundreds of these Cycles during its existence, repeating a consistent theme as their singularity is turned out over and over again.  The Navigator tracks every Cycle ensuring that there is no interference or intervention from its Crux reflection.   The population of the Crux directly corresponds with the population in the Fleshworld as the Construct cannot generate a new interdimensional life form unless it can match it up with a flesh and blood parallel counterpart.

  The Didymus has no idea that his or her mirror likeness exists in the Crux, even if the same is not true for Citizens.   Most know of their fleshly copy but are unable to do anything about it because of the Blockade between the two dimensions.   Without that Blockade, many Citizens would travel to the Fleshworld, dispatch of their Didymus, and take control of their former’s life.  You see, for a good deal of Citizens, mortality isn’t a curse or limitation, but an unattainable goal.  It is more desirable than any wealth, pleasure, or power, in this or any dimension known or unknown.   That is why the contingency was established that the death of their Didymus would result in their own termination.  So any hope or dream of freedom is quickly crushed by this irrevocable precept.

  The only reason a Cycle ends is if the mortal occupier follows an increasing course of evil.    Most times a life will exhibit some sort of malice at some point during any given Cycle.  This legacy is usually purified when one Cycle ends and another begins, filtering out the nefarious inclinations.   However, there are times when malevolence transcends the process and intensifies rather than diminishes.   When a mortal exhibits a repetitive nature to commit evil, there is an intervention.   The mortal is expired, meaning his Cycle is disbanded and soul carted off to Oblivion as a final judgment.   In that case, his or her Crux equivalent is also terminated.    Reserve your sympathy, more often than not, their Citizen equivalent is a much greater vulgarity.

  Which brings us to this; every Citizen is forged or born with the right to one Request and one Inquiry.    Both are limited to one each and no more.  The Request is valued far more than the Inquiry as it can include but is not limited to; supplication for assistance, enlightenment, intervention, or, in the rarest cases, an audience with the Controller.   Whereas the Inquiry is nothing more than a singular question of the Controller, primarily used for those who seek personal wisdom and direction.
If you are looking for some semblance of rationale as to this process, you have come to the wrong place.  No one knows why the system is set up the way it is, especially me.  And, as far as I know, no one has had the balls enough to ask.  Now if you think this all reads a lot like stereo instructions or a bloated software manual, you would not be alone in that assessment.    However, if you are going to even attempt to understand anything else I am about to explain to you, these are the bare essentials, and as such, must be imparted.

  It all started with the interruption of my morning cigar and cup of coffee.  Yes, we have those here, don’t question, just go with it.   When another century turns the corner, it immediately translates into another headache for everyone involved.  You see every century, our two dimensions pass so close to each other that they nearly touch, and if they did, let’s just say, it would be a very bad thing.    When they pass a temporary Bridge is formed, but that is only known to the Navigator and her Marshalls.   This Bridge unites the two parallels allowing passage of any Crux Citizen, no matter what level, into the Fleshworld.

I know, sucks right!

  If that were discovered by the general populous, we would have a mass exodus the likes that no one has or ever wanted to see.    Not even the Controller would be able to stop it, or so I have been told.    So for the next cycle, which is two weeks in Fleshworld time, everyone is on high alert ensuring that this little pest of a secret never spawns wings and swarms out of control.  The Marshalls relentlessly patrol while the Navigator becomes obscenely intimate with the Repository’s records and surveillance.   She barks out orders on a second by second basis as potential threats arise no matter how seemingly insignificant.   In turn, the Marshalls investigate every single case with the frenzy of rabid dogs.  Well, a little more focused and controlled than that, but you get the general gist.

   I have been through this before but this one would shape up into the most dangerous and terrifying I would ever face.   One that would shake the entire universe to its proverbial core and forever alter the paths of all those involved, some to the worst of ends.    One single event spawning a web of chaos as it turns two already upside down worlds, inside out, which should have caught no one by surprise.  But it is amazing what you get comfortable with and how quickly the course of common sense is ignored.
And so our little story begins…