Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentines Blah

Valentines Day approaches. The time of year where the single rise up in a furious frothing fracas of fermented flirtations and stay home eating themselves to an early coronary.

If anyone cares the IG coupon code for PizzaHut.com works for 20 percent off your first online order, just swap email addresses each time you order and poof! 20 percent off every order. Its good times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ars Magna #7 - "Take A Bow"

This one is an independent release as I believe I've come to the conclusion of my short time with Artifice Comics. I'll see about posting the finale to Wicked Game at the rec.arts.comics.creative or RACC for the one or two people who were following the story.


Abducted by an unseen force, forced to pilot a warship that has the ability to reconfigure itself into a massive humanoid form, Schezerade now finds herself confronted by the creator of the vessel. The architect, a former Imperial Officer gilded from head to toe in a halcyon colored skinsuit, was allowed entry into the Seraphim Wing's cockpit by the ship's Navigational Computer, or what Rade thought was the Navicomp.

The artificial intelligence guided the woman all the way to the control cabin against Rade's wishes and now she hovered about an inch off the cockpit's equally golden interior in complete silence. Wisps of bright energy wafted about like miniature tongues from the very surface of her skinsuit, dancing to an unheard rhythm.

And all Rade could think was, 'I'M GONNA DIE...'

Ars Magna #7
"Take A Bow"
(Wicked Game Act III)
By Ashley Corgan

12 year old Sheila Torrance came into possession of a pair of creatures called Talismans. In the span of a year her entire life was turned upside down by different events: mentored by Johann Weisz, a young American practitioner of magic; the revelation that a childhood history of abuse stemmed from her Father's secret affair with her Mother; the deaths of all she loved; and marriage to a dark being named British Rule, the Lord of Shadows. Now 18 years old, she is thrust into a position of power in a pocket dimension populated by creatures both deadly and fantastic.

A young woman named Schezerade Pucelle, born into a lower class on a world that served under the banner of the Imperial Magistrate, found herself in exile. Forced to fend for herself she began a solo salvage expedition to recover a pair of mechanical suits. On the brink of a watery death she was forced into the role of Pilot to a powerful weapon called 'The Seraphim Wing', a vessel able to take the form of the angelic visage of the Imperial Magistrate herself.

Former child bride of the creature calling itself British Rule, Cheryl was given to the Imperial Magistrate to lead a secret cabal to oversee the development of a powerful new star-ship to lead the forces of the Imperial Navy. With The Seraphim Wing's mysterious disappearance after its initial launch, Cheryl was inexplicably stripped of her powers as the Lady of Shadows. Coupled with the news of the Death of the Imperial Magistrate and the quick dissolution of the Empire, Cheryl bound herself to a Talisman creation of her design and left the Imperial home-world in search of the wayward weapon.


It was very much an out of body experience for Sheila, the cold of the Arctic winds that rent the dark swirling miasma that shielded her contrasted to the cool touch of the shadows she commanded. Her feet never touching the piling banks of snow and ice, cushioned by dark forces given physical form. Vapors danced in her vision with every breath. She had no idea why she ventured out of the facility that once housed her for several years.Curiosity of a morbid sort? She found it surprising that the darkened, icy environment that raged about her seemed more at peace than the sterile, white laboratory walls she only recently left behind.

Deep beneath the snow drifts, below the icy tundra her feet dared not tread upon awaited the creature Enoch or rather Liebowitz.

Liebowitz drew the facial structure of his newborn body into a sneer.

"She's here."

Dr. Christmas looked up from the workbench and spied a monitor bank on the south wall, "Yes, yes my little girl has returned."

"She's not like you is she?"

"None at all, more like Mother, and thus all the more reason for you to bring her home to me."

"Her presence reeks of - 'Them'."

"Exactly, she was meant to infiltrate that rabble," Christmas pulled a silvery pistol from his pocket.

"Ah, thats more like my style, Doc."

Gregor handed the bruise-fleshed creature the weapon.

"Yes, take it. Works almost the same way as it looks-"

"Wait, wait, 2 things. One, its bleedin' cold to the touch and two, no trigger," the Liebowitz creature stated matter of factly.

Gregor nodded his head before ushering his creation onto an elevated platform.

"Just aim it and squeeze the grip, I assure you it works, too well."

"Right, get on with it."

Dr. Gregor Christmas gave the creature a knowing nod before mashing the platform's lift button.

What was left of the Sun's rays faded from the sky. Sheila was alone in the dark, cold wasteland. This was her world now.

"Tut, tut little Christmas..."

She spun around on a heel of shadow.

"A there we are," Liebowitz bowed and the ocher-skin flexed and pulled across the bony internal structure of the creature's body.

"Whoever-whatever you are keep back," the young woman eyed the invader while she stepped back into a fighting posture.

"Your Father sent me," and with that he aimed the strange weapon at her and squeezed.



Cheryl blared into Rade's ear as she gestured at the holographic display with an exploded view of the North American continent floated in the air before the duo.

"Ow, dammit", Rade cried aloud, her newly arrived cabin-mate equally scared and now very much irritated her.

"Hold our position here", the former Imperial Officer commanded, ignoring Schezerade's retort.

"Wha- what is it?"

"My son... he's there. I swear it."

The Omnipresent Navicomp's voice quietly intoned, "Occupant Transmission Activated."

Quietly Rade's luminescent captor faded from sight.


Sheila stared at the creature as it shook and banged on the smooth device it clutched.

"You're seriously wasting my time here, I suggest leaving now."

Liebowitz cast the weapon into the snow drifts, spat ichor from its maw in disgust.

"Make me."

He lunged.

Volumes of strength coursed through his Biorg form, every strike, block, and parry traded with the young woman was effortless. It took him one moment too long before he realized he was striking no actual part of her small frame but rather the dark shroud that covered her. In that spare moment a tendril of darkness bound his wrists together before he could connect with a rather punishing haymaker.

a shriek his body registered multiple barbs piercing his chest, abdomen, and throat. His body's syrupy contents spur free from his fresh wounds discoloring the slow below them. His body lurched as it was held aloft by his wrists and the tendrils that violently drove themselves deep into his newborn flesh. A gurgling laugh issued from the Liebowitz creature.

"You're," he hacked, "-terrible at this."

An arc of light severed the tendrils, his body dropping into the melting snow.

"What the-", Sheila turned and witnessed the newly materialized figure hover before her very eyes.

Cheryl was absolutely radiant, the heat of her very presence turned the powdered landscape in her immediate vicinity to slush.

"Stop this - just stop. You're hurting him."

"Who are you, people? Honestly, this is too much."

"Nothing", the Liebowitz creature spoke as he picked himself up. "She's nothing to me."

"But I swear! I can feel it! You're my child-"

"Again", he paused and spat another dollop, "I"m not your anything. I'm just using this body until I come through with my end of the bargain. After that - this husk - it's all yours. Now step aside and let me bring this girl home."

Taken aback at the creature's words, Cheryl's golden halo blazed with heat and light and the area of vanishing snow expanded at a rapid rate enveloping her small audience, and her eternal cry filled the silence of the Arctic wasteland.


As the light ebbed, the night retook the landscape, and Sheila felt her strength return as the shadows washed over her body. Spots danced before her eyes but she could no longer sense the Liebowitz creature.

Sheila let her words probe the world about her.

"Rule? As in British Rule?"

Silence was the reply she received. Standing before Sheila was a mirror image of herself, except this woman was entirely nude and covered from head to toe in a golden metal material.

"You've never had to watch your sisters - friends - yourself die over and over again. You've never had to witness the light fade from your own eyes, hear yourself sob for a mother's love. I have - dozens upon dozens of times. I watched everything I worked so hard on for the past few years fall apart. Everything that gave my life meaning torn asunder", Cheryl said.

Sheila circled the woman before her, the glint reflecting off the golden skin pained the current Lady of Shadow's eyes.

"Ch-Cheryl?" a scant memory broke free of the darkness of her past.

A sliver of light erupted from Cheryl's gilded form. Sheila screamed as it parted the shadowy armor that once coated her bare flesh. The light seared the pale tissue and ripe red muscle that strained to remain on her bones.

Cheryl watched as the current Lady of Shadows touched the cauterized wound, probing the freshly scarred meat in disbelief.

"That'll smart for a few hours, I'm sure."

Sheila grimaced as she willed dozens of shadowy tendrils to all converge on Cheryl. Each one dissipated as Cheryl's body exploded in a ball of light engulfing the two warriors for a brief moment.

The scream, deafening.

"I knew he'd give you his power, and like you I know its weaknesses. Tungsten. Halogen. Even Magnesium flares can't harm the dark like the power of the Sun."

The current Lady of Shadows stumbled about, trying to maintain a semblance of her battle stance.

"I was there when Rule unlocked the Shadow Wraith's inner darkness. That pitiful excuse for a monster almost finished you're precious Manly, but failed. The Light versus The Dark. Its always the same."

Sheila's knees collapsed inward and her legs splayed open as she fell hard on her bottom to the hard earth. She was now prostrate before an equally nude Cheryl. The Talisman hybrid all but exhausted her own energy reserves temporarily.

"You can't win, Sheila."

"Lady of-"

"No, you're just Sheila Torrance."

Sheila felt cool hands grab her burnt skin, helped her up off the hard ground and lead her to what felt like a snowbank. The soft snow quickly becoming slush beneath her blind, tortured form.
"I'm a twin", Cheryl began speaking again although this time softly, almost motherly.

"Sheila, or what was going to be Sheila was still-born, and I survived. Mother was... despondent. Gave me up to adoption and Rule took me in years later. Convinced me he loved me, wormed his words right into my mind with his dark power. His gift. I thought I was loved and when I proved as fragile as our - my Mother in bearing him a still-born son he gave me to Victoria Burke. The Imperial Magistrate, as you may have come to know her."

More snow soothed her burns, wet sigils drawn in crisp, dead skin flakes further expedited the healing.

"Rule told her about more like me - my sisters - the Variants of her across the multi-verse. The winged-whore made me train some and enslave the rest. Made us her own personal gestapo and workforce in our own little dark corner of the Empire."

"The universal misery of Sheila Torrance is inexorably linked to Mother. I convinced myself this was a better life for you - the others."

Shapes began swimming into Sheila's vision, gilded hands with fingers splayed hovered over her face.

"The Imperial Magistrate died in battle here on your world. I came only because that bastard gave my son's body life somehow. Reanimated its power, its bond to me and that goddamn Lord of Shadows."

"The creature?", Sheila managed to rasp.

"Yes, it was created from Talisman Materia - a hybrid, like myself."


"The joining of Master and Talisman - Siechrung Magie."

Sheila attempted an understanding nod. She knew of Siechrung Magie from her grandmother's lessons of Ars Magna, 'the fusion magic'.

"I created 'Sun Tears', a skinsuit entirely made up of nano-machines infused with Talisman particles that allow me to tap into the Sun's Coronal Energies."

Just the surface of The Sun's power.

"Millennial Girl?", Sheila offered weakly.

Cheryl laughed softly, "No, no delusions of grandeur for me. Those are your dreams and yours alone."

Shadows crept up out of the snow and swaddled Sheila once again only this time in loose robes.
"You love me... don't you?", Sheila asked hesitantly.

"We're family."

And the two hugged for the very first time.