Green Electric FFZERO1 Runs Entirely on Bullshit

Letv have unveiled the revolutionary new FFZERO1, a car powered entirely by Public Relations bullshit.

ffzero1

“This is truly the car of the future” said Smiley Flakman. “Because it doesn’t exist in the present. It harvests the infinite resource of excited tech shills desperate to make their hourly article quota, amplifying our high-performance brand acceleration engine.”

The car is a picture of a 1,000 horsepower all wheel-drive carbon fiber cocoon hypercar, which can also rotate its wheels and fly like the DeLorean in Back to the Future if you close your eyes and just dream hard enough.

“Yes, this physical shell has a top speed of zero, not being a real item or having any technological merit whatsoever,” continued Smiley, “But the spirit of this car can move at the speed of your hope. Other electric cars claim efficiency by merely using less fuel with their actual functioning physical bodies, but we’re efficiently getting a free global PR campaign without any fuel, or engine, or even a passing familiarity with the laws of economics or thermodynamics required to even pretend something is possible!”

“It’s a tablet with wheels!” At this point Smiley visibly froze, loading icons rotating in his pupils as he accessed the latest SEO tables. The assembled reporters held motionless as well, confusing this bizarre action for part of the PR package they were expected to regurgitate precisely. Several excited reports of the event included five pages of blank space which wasn’t removed by a copy-editor, because none of them work for places which have those those, but were rather reduced to a single space by their blog’s CMS.

Smiley suddenly span up again. “It’s a bean to bar car! It’s a four-wheel Force Awakens! It’s a hot single-driver-vehicle in your area ready for action TONIGHT!”

DISCLOSURE: The author is just annoyed that the ridiculous fictional future electro-car FFZERO1 will make it even more impossible to find any news of a sequel to ridiculous fictional future electro-car game F-ZERO.

Space Marines Do It Better: Apex

The Catachans were scared of the jungle. Seven words which threatened the entire Jautjex campaign. The Rolling Iron tankers of Sherman’s world, where cribs were fitted with toy promethium motors so that infants learned to sleep through the rumble and stink, flinched at every noise. The 7th Cuchulains — masters of city clearance despite a tendency to treat bars as primary targets — sang no victory songs and only muttered into their drinks. Sure, it was only in the jungle, went the stories, but anything which could kill a Catachan in the jungle could kill anyone else anywhere. The Death Corps of Krieg 544th company said nothing. They marched into the jungle and were never heard from again.

The Imperium’s relentless advance slowed, and stalled. Even minor operations bogged down and ballooned into costly engagements. The Astra Militarum’s mailed fist weakened as the blood of morale was drained by rumor. And all the while Catachans continued to die in the green. Their new fear should have made them cautious, but the resulting shame made them suicidal. Squads tore into the undergrowth desperate to prove their valor, only to find the still-dripping chunks of their predecessors and one sobbing soldier babbling tales of the jungle itself rising to kill them all.

Karn-Tor hung from the branches thirty meters above the trail. The hunt was beginning to bore her. The prey were plentiful and loud, but had become embarrassingly easy to kill. She’d already proven everything she intended, challenging herself on the hunting ground of a planetary conflict, and had to admit to herself that continuing bordered on gluttony. She’d hoped to draw out the elite of this species and was saddened to imagine that she seemed to have found it. It was probably time to move on.
Movement. Herd approaching through the undergrowth on either side of the trail. Thermal lenses revealed eight, no, ten figures. Much larger before. She smiled behind her mask. Maybe this world would offer one last indulgence. She flexed her hands, rolled her neck, waking the muscles in preparation of flensing to come. Perhaps even a trophy. As they came into view she saw some kind of black armor…
Everything exploded. The world disappeared in fire and concussion.
Thermal lenses overloaded, sheer reflex kicked her off the branch. But hot shrapnel tearing through vines and mosses meant her foot slipped through the mulched vegetation to send her plummeting to the ground. Even as she twisted to catch a vine she saw her intended destination disappear in a blaze of fire.
Accident.
The thought cut her like a poisoned blade leaving a wound which would never heal. Accident. She had survived by accident. These filthy prey would scream to give her atonement before night fell. They would fail, but that is what prey were for.
Her invisibility shroud rippled green and brown to hide her from sight as she vaulted across the canopy. But the explosions followed. She lengthened her leaps, aiming further, faster, but she saw more massive black figures emerging from the trees to her right. She zagged through the massive trees, increasing to sinew-tearing speed, but then the trunks to her left erupted with craters. Yet more of the hard-shelled prey emerging on the right. She cut low, sacrificing vantage for sheer speed, dropping to the ground into a full sprint. How big was this herd?
The explosions never stopped. She outran death with every footfall. Only now did her echolocator compensate for the cacophony to pick out distinctive prey signatures. The waterfall of static along the left of her mask display resolved into distinct detections, triangular glyphs scrolling across the bottom.
Close range: low frequency: machinery/combustion — crude transport rockets. Ten signatures. Ten signatures. These were all the same ten prey, flanking her.
Hunting her.
Sheer suicidal rage almost killed her on the spot, sacrificing her escape and her self to stand and spit on such an affront. Karn-Tor was a hunter. The greatest in her clan. Possibly the greatest in her tribe. She had collected trophies from all this galaxy’s most dangerous prey. An Ork skull so large it was now her trophy cabinet, containing the heads of Necron and Dark Eldar alphas, embellished with carved shards of Zoanthrope scale. Her soul held no doubt she was the greatest hunter alive.
But she was no warrior.

A mere hunter operates on their own terms. They understand that they might die, but they never willingly offer themselves for death. Faced with unexpected reversals their first instinct is to flee, to lick their wounds. Then return to base re-arm and restore the total advantage over their targets they enjoy so much.
Karn-Tor angled towards the preparations she’d made only as a matter of excellent hunting technique, with no thought to actually using them. She dove into a gully cut in the jungle by one of countless waterways, through false netting of expertly cut vine and fronds. As she crawled down the narrow channel, far too small for the bulky giants behind her, the plasma cannon on her shoulder rotated to spit an actinic globe backwards, collapsing the entrance.

Karn-Tor’s ship was buried deep in a narrow ravine in the rock with snares set on the only approach. She ducked through the hatch, sealing it behind her, and swung across to the pilot console. She settled into the single pilot throne. She would take fine trophies from these new prey to slake her shame. And if they were still alive as the flayed them, well, that would only…
Cold metal at her throat.
Shadow Captain Kyre appeared behind her. There was no other word for it. The heavy gauntlet which was suddenly holding the knife was painted black. Another slowly turned her chair, that she might see him. No. That he might inspect his catch. The same hand raised and tore the tribal mask for her face, revealing her blotched skin and fanged mandibles. She could feel disgust pulsing even through the glowing lenses of his armor. Harsh blare thundered through a crude vox-grille.
“It is right that you hide your vileness from the Emperor’s sight. But none can hide from His justice. Even the darkest shadow cannot save you.”
The blade did not cut sideways but pushed forwards, servos shoving pushing the metal blade clean through flesh and bone.
“For the Raven Guard are already there.”


More glory to the Space Marines in

 

Bonuses Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Behold the Bonus Material! I wrote a complete military history of Call of Duty for the cool folk over at Den of Geek, and when they pushed their plate away after only the main series entries, full of fantastic faux-fighting fun, that meant more material for you!

THE ABSOLUTE WORST: Black Ops: Declassified

Military history is littered with new inventions which just didn’t work and the corpses of those who tried to use them. Black Op: Declassified was released on the PS Vita, and worked about as well releasing the pin from a grenade. Inside a tank. That’s been filled with napalm for no adequately explained reason, but would still be more potentially useful than this disaster of a game.

You could finish the single-player campaign faster than you could field-strip and reassemble a rifle, and you’d be better off throwing the dismantled parts at an enemy than trying to use the touch controls on this unstable multiplayer network. And the AI enemies were so stupid that would work, because they wouldn’t know which part of the gun was actually the bullets and would assume they were dead. Either that, or they’d just got stuck against one of the walls again.

Strike Team

Strike Team was the iOS and Android entry in the series, and just like the little portable screens it was released on it turned out to be surprisingly useful. A drone’s-eye view lets you tap and swipe commands to your elite military unit, like a tactical tinder, and if they’d developed the whole game around that it would be higher on the list. Unfortunately it also insisted it was a “real” Call of Duty game with a first-person shooter mode controlled by touchscreen-thumbsticks. Which work about as well as touchscreen-dentistry, and are even more painful. Like any computer-expert geek trying to prove they could fight combat by jumping into real combat, it was crippled and just slowed everything else down.

Finest Hour

Finest Hour happened when Activision asked “What if we try releasing Call of Duty on consoles?”, and it’s still the closest anyone has come to programming a money volcano. This wasn’t a simple port of the original but an entirely new title, back when developers made an effort to convert titles instead of throwing the code at a new compiler and making their coders work overtime until it fit. Finest Hour featured an interleaving multi-fronted story with more understanding of the World War than most of the people who fought in it. It wasn’t so much a new release as a revelation.

Now go read the real article!

Ridiculously Sexy Video Game Costumes

vgcostume

Video game fashion would require event the most Parisian catwalk to be transported to the International Space Station, being not so much avante garde but actively anti-gravity. Because video game anatomy is a bizarre biological arms race, except there’s nothing biological about it and they’re aiming exactly between the arms.

We behold some of the most ridiculously sexy video game costumes, the most tragic application of Nintendo Difficulty, and wonder what exactly it is about dreamy dwarven pectorals that so terrifies game developers.

Guns Guns Guns!

gunsgunsguns

The pen is mightier than the sword, and the keyboard lets me write far away from all the guns. Which I did! Behold bonus material cut from the original for length. Eighth and eight-point-fiveth idiotic arguments against gun control:

We’re Going to Get Shot Anyway

When confronted with ludicrous levels of directly gun related death — to the point where the FBI homicide tables are broken by state and type of gun, with only a single column for “other weapons” — some people attempt to sound reasonably by saying there are too many people with guns out there to tackle. Which is the exact opposite of the point of having a government in the first place. If American responded to fires the same way they responded to shootings, they’d legalize flamethrowers and defund the fire department.

It’s a remarkable strategy. Recognizing that you could be shot at any time because of countless lethal weapons floating around without any regulation and thinking  “Well, better get started!” But “we’re fucked anyway, might as well volunteer for ten more shots” only works for a night out drinking, not with lethal weaponry.

A government which doesn’t ban guns shouldn’t be allowed to ban anything. Especially drugs. At least then people are only shooting up themselves, and enjoy the experience.

Target Shooting

Target shooting is just practicing to get better at people shooting. If people truly cared about only the competitive aspect all those billions of dollars would be going into developing paint pellets better balanced than Concorde’s nosecone. If we weren’t still suffering from an obsolete chunk of tribally murderous human brain then pellets and laser tag would be enough for everyone. In fact if guns worked like laser tag, where they could only hit other people wielding the same weapons, then we wouldn’t have a problem. After a few years nobody would have any problems.

Read more gun goodness with

7 Idiotic Arguments Against Gun Control

5 Terrifyingly Hilarious Gun Accessories

5 Reasons Even Gun Owners Should Hate the NRA

Court Declares That Badly Beaten Judge Was “Asking For It”

Two male defendants who violently assaulted Justice Robert Dewar in a Manitoba courtroom were cleared of all charges yesterday, when the court declared that the Justice had dressed provocatively and was “asking for it”.

“Flaunting himself in those red robes and that big wig”, said their defense lawyer. “In my clients’ experience, every man who dresses like that is out to put them in jail. He was just waving it all in their faces. What did he think was going to happen? How did he think they were going to act? He was just inviting this beating.”

The defense also specifically drew attention to how Justice Dewar was not wearing a bra.

“Maybe if he dressed more conservatively,” agreed the court bailiff, who eventually intervened in the savage and sustained beating. “I mean, it’s not like men have any decision making ability or motor control of their own. They just have a simple stimulus-response which strangely absolves them of all responsibility for their actions, but still counts as enough free will that they’re not locked up for their own protection. His robes really were like waving a red flag to a bull.”

Justice Robert Dewar’s current condition is described as “a stupid sexist asshole who shouldn’t be in charge of so much as a street crossing.”

Uses For Separate Hot and Cold Taps

If you’re reading this from the fabled First World of Indoor Plumbing, you may not know that Ireland and the UK still feature separate hot and cold taps. You might then reasonably assume that we also burn dried cow shit in our stoves, burn strangers, and have the local blacksmith to pull rotten teeth with a pair of tongs while we slug whiskey and clutch crudely-cured leather belts. But it’s only our washbasins which have been held in stasis, as if our kingdoms were once cursed by a hydrophobic witch.

  • But as you revel in your unicorns of hygiene, those magical single taps which can caress human skin without flaying or freezing it, you might not know the manifold uses of separated taps:
  • Not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, especially when that thing is screaming in pain.
  • Generating emergency power from an efficient thermocouple which anachronistically exists in a time when people apparently can’t work out how to join two pipes together.
  • Honoring the Thing of the Fantastic Four, who sacrificed his ability to feel almost anything with his rock skin, with one everyday item which might just lend sensation to his solid stone epidermis.
  • Waiting for water to mix provides ample time for thought, and where better to reflect on the realities of life than a room where you’ve just taken a shit?
  • Reminding peons not to take more than the barest moment away from their assigned workstations.
  • Reinforcing the lesson that many systems allegedly built for your comfort and convenience simply do not care, and would rather hurt you every day than make the least effort to change.
  • A reminder that humans cannot be trusted, as many would rather install a brand new cover with the exact same problems than fix the deep systemic flaws affecting the most vital necessities, such as the rotten and unhygienic water systems which first necessitated the use of separate taps.

Star Trek: Superior, Series 2

Continuing the adventures of Starfleet’s finest aboard the USS Defiant-B.

(minor edit, “Linear” award makes more sense than original “Ouroborous” award)


More Federation fun with

5 Ways Thunderbirds Beat Star Trek

The Worst Moments from Star Trek Movie History

The Fleet (An Earnest Parody)

Zit Massman’s warpspeed Z-Wing Galactiprise-E soared through the exploding wreckage of the Daleklingon FataliStar (with the masterful strategy of clicking seventeen times, waiting 2.4 seconds, then clicking another five times) and there was only one celebration suitable for the new savior of mankind.
“MOOOOOOOOOM!”
She’d been taking longer and longer to bring him lunch for the last five years, sometimes forgetting altogether — or even worse, arriving when he’d started another mission and couldn’t be interrupted — so he’d started shouting earlier to compensate.

But then the president called.
“You’re the best gamer in the world, and every highly-trained NASA test pilot in the world is just too fit to properly hold a mouse! Help us, Zit Massman, you’re our only hope!”
Zit started to explain that he couldn’t leave his room, but the President understood.
“Don’t worry, we know all about your totally real self-diagnosed problems, and all those doctors have been fired. We can’t risk damaging your finely balanced nerves. We’re sending some people to pick you up for the FLEET.”
Four burly secret service agents burst into the room to lift his bed and carry him down the stairs. He noticed that all of them were popular jocks from back in high school. One accidentally knocked over his Miseinen no Kimiwaruidesu Schoolgirl Swimsuit Inspector Platinum Collector’s Edition figurine, and was docked a year’s pay. They all apologized for bullying him and said they wished they were his friends.

The limousine had a full bar of every flavor of Mountain Dew. Even the Japanese ones.

In the helicarrier every gamer had their own personalized computer rig and a full squad of cheerleaders.
“Men are just better at games, it’s a biological fact,” the medical officer had explained. “And once you consider evolutionary psychology, well, it’s just a law that girls have to like you now.”
Zit told the Zitettes how great he was at games and they listened and “oohed” at all the right bits. He read out whole pages which were nothing but lists of titles of nerdy things — not even with any story, just wikied lists of names and years — and everyone told him it was wonderful and gave him money.
He gripped his joystick. This was going to be great. But first he phoned home.
“Haha, mom, now who’s ashamed of me?”

“It’s not that we’re ashamed of him.”
The old woman fretted beside the Fantasy Ludo-Electro-Encephalo-Tube, a clear vertical cylinder filled with blue fluid around Zit’s comatose body.
“It’s just that since we retired we can barely afford rent, never mind his net subscriptions.”
Zuri tapped her Pip-girl, calibrating the amniotic protocols.
“Don’t worry about it” she said. “Under the new Population Density Act your son’ll be paying your rent and net fees from now on. Honestly, he’ll be happier in there. I’ve seen the program.”
A gaunt man with skin like wrinkled paper patted the old woman’s arm. He cleared his throat.
“He just never found a job that suited him, is all.”
By now the blue fluid had soaked through Zit’s t-shirt and jeans. Not that they could have gotten more stained. Indicator lights along the upper rim: biolink, neurolink, netlink, green, green, green, all good.
“Well, don’t worry, he’s working already. All that untapped neural potential firing for the global computational grid.”
She turned to the two worried faces. Ah, what the hell.
“And, well, look, you CAN’T tell anyone I did this, but…”
She thumbprinted open an access hatch at the base of the FLEET. Her fingers flew over small rubber keys and the cheap touchscreen flashed up “CCC”. She whistled appreciatively.
“Wow, see that? He’s part of the Collective Cancers Computation. He’s helping find new treatments!”
They gasped and clutched each other tighter. Zuri congratulated herself on reading the symptoms right. Now they might even feel proud of him, finally helping in their old age. Who knows, it might even be true, but all “CCC” on the little screen meant was that she’d typed “ECHO CCC” into the little pad.
He was probably rendering the graphics for the next issue of his own favorite game. Ever since psychomarketers had characterized the sequelon, quantum of the smallest possible change before fans would buy a whole new product, most franchises had been releasing at a rate measured in milliHertz. Zuri preferred to tell people the tech was going to the CCC. Maybe it was her own little tribute to mama, ten years gone.
Still, you had to think of other people. You couldn’t just sit around obsessing over the past.

The Gathering of the Trumps

No-one knows what gathers all the Donald Trumps. A fundamental force of Trumpity tunneling across time and space? A virtual exchange of Trumpons, enabling their existence by some kind of reverse-default credit swap against the energy budget of the universe itself? All they know is that they meet once a year. It happens in a place it pleases them to call the “Trump Tower”, though in truth it has no name, being more of an axis of worlds than an individual location.

They don’t call themselves Donald Trump, of course. For the obvious reason. And because it would get confusing. But they’ve collected new names, middle names, even nicknames among the Trumps who choose to operate at budget levels where human honesty is still possible.

Donald “Bill” Trump talks with Warren and Steve. No time wasted on the tedious details of software, stocks, or stylized consumer products. When you start with as much money as they did it doesn’t matter where your apply it, the capitalist Katamari guarantees you’ll gather more money from those who have less. From such a start only a total fool could even temporarily fail. Now they spend their lives and fortunes trying to reverse some of the ridiculous inequalities which made them possible.

They smile to see Jack Trump grinning in his gloriously tacky golf sweater. He’s not even that good at the game, but investing an inherited fortune in index-linked funds means you can walk the links for the rest of your life, and generous donations to charity tournaments ensuring a modest fame from appearances in sports and society pages. They don’t think anyone else enjoys their life as much.

Well, maybe Jack Trump, who just jived in the door. He scoops four flutes of champagne from the infinite buffet. Three are empty before he’s crossed the ten meters to talk to them. He never does anything but drink and party, but the interest on his estate alone is enough to tip all the wait staff in Manhattan. He boasts that even he couldn’t go bust with that much money.

A buzz, a bass hum, and sharp guitar licks across the room. Johnny Trump has found the stage again. Playing your own hotels and casinos is an outrageous indulgence, but the managers are happy to let him have the stage if they leave the businesses alone. It’s not like a dropped chord ever bankrupted a casino.

Father, Brother, Lama, Elder, Chaplain, Guru, and Imam Trump are having their usual friendly discussion. The only overlaps between all their varied views are thoughtfulness and charity, but that’s more than enough. The assembled Trumps — they’ve been arriving all along, usually a bit big, a bit bald, it’s beginning to look a bit like a Pac-man convention — all straighten a little when Captain Trump marches in. He’s making a determined effort to walk a little less intimidatingly these days, but even that determination makes bystanders want to stand to attention. Years of torture in that awful goddamn mess, he decided no soldier should suffered pointlessly again. His every building, from flophouse to the Hollywood hills, had at least one floor for servicemen with nowhere else to turn. “Hell, the next floor up pays for it!” he’d always say before forcing the interviewer to ask a different question. “I mean, what else am I going to do with it all, print out my bank balance and wave it at people?”

He strides across the room to clasp hands with George Trump. Another real estate mogul — there was a bit of a tendency across the Trumps in that direction, what with their father handing them an empire on a silver platter — his low-income estates had saved countless cities from decay. The gross wasn’t amazing, but it made enough, and it made all the difference to millions of lives. Then Louis Trump, who’d quietly ended a syndrome or two by funneling a few hundred million into underfunded research. Nothing sexy, nothing famous, just a few things no-one need ever suffer again.

Johnny licks out “Born to be Wild”, and they all raise a glass to Bobby Trump. Dead in a speedboat accident ten years ago, and only because the hovercrafts, helicopters, and an extremely short-lived Formula One car had failed. His funeral was the cover gallery of TIME, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy from the previous three years. He’d always said he’d consider spending every cent from the sale of his inheritance to be an impossible goal. He’d made it about halfway before he died, but everyone agreed he’d had a hell of a good time. And at least he’d never ended up squatting in an office.

Conversation dries up at the approach of midnight. It’s been fun, but they know why they’re really here. The lights flick out — every year a few Trumps swear they’ll bring torches next time, but they never do — and the Donald screams into the. An awful bilious thing, flushed, glaring, scorched with false color and screaming with rage. He can’t seem to see them. He can’t seem to see anything, outside himself. He only spews from within, his quivering body a lanced boil which never empties, a meat-portal into the pit of the most awful depths of the unconscious.

He yells, he blames, he hoards countless mansions while demolishing family homes, he fences the countryside for sale then leaves it bankrupt and rusting. He gold-plates toilets and refuses to settle the bill. A nine-figure fortune and he films himself in an office for a few thousand YouTube views. He employs his own children as cheerleaders, he begs and bullies and buys attention, he claims to tell truth to the world when he can’t even face his own hair. And if he could only see the horror in every eye turned to him right now, the Donald Trumps know, he’d take it as a victory over everything they might have been.

More Trumpeting: