A Fine Mess of Things

Nothing has gone quite as I thought. In fact, since taking on the role of Legate, it has been one crises after another. The Emperor took it upon himself to contact me – mainly to confirm the continuation of spice production.

At least there are no Imperial Observers on their way.

Let’s see…

The refinery blew up. The Botany Bay Mission tried to turn it into a political football. Their press constantly questioning my lack of statements or presence. All I can say is that my time was better spent not in front of the cameras… pfft.

We did approve the Great House status for House Zhangsun, I think. Somewhere after that the Major from the UAP got a little tipsy. The Myrmidons and Khan Jubilynn Lane got into it – heated and tense words.

Rumor has it that the Botany Bay Mission is leaving Araxes altogether.

Then Opine. She found me outside the courthouse and we went for drinks. In her lovely way, she sent the only other person in the bar – the tender – off to get some bread for us to snack on while I watched a copy of a security feed from within a ship. It was Darrian and Jade. And a second moonbaby.

Jade is alive.

Jade is alive. Living in 34 Tauri. Darrian sent her to school and has been behind an uprising on Jade’s homeworld – if I understood Opine correctly. In all honesty, I was too numb to hear or comprehend much after I saw her board the ship and another come down – given her signature helmet (sans teddy bear – Zeno still has it) and then shot in the face. That poor child.

Both of them.

If Opine hadn’t been there, I probably would have called on The Order, Imperial Forces, the UAP, and any other military or para-military group I could get a hold of to bring me Darrian’s head on a platter. That kind of behavior is what rash people do… not Companions.

I chased off someone who wandered in while we were still talking. So to cover up our lengthy private conversation in a public place, as she left Opine gave me a kiss. It was beautiful, loving, and supportive. And then it was on the cover of the scandal sheets…

“Who is the Legate’s Lover?!” “Legate Tereshchenko seen kissing unknown woman!”

At least that is better to talk about than a possible Ta’Seti invasion.

A New Role

The question posed during the most recent Laandsrat meeting after the Magistrate, Joan al-Jofar, announced that the Emperor had called her to serve at the capital. A successor would be named soon.

“Calina, would you serve, if a request came from the Emperor?”

Several days later, a man in a fine Imperial military dress uniform appeared at the Shanjian House with a small folder. He was young-looking (probably older than he appeared. It was intentional to throw things off-balance. Or maybe he was he was someone’s nephew and given the task as a favor).

Her assistant led him up to her office. Coffee, tea, and some wrapped candies from Londinium brought in. Calina sat behind the ornate French antique desk that somehow survived the transport from Earth that Was for generations to Al Raqis. Every now and then Calina wondered what secrets it held – what pieces of paper, contracts, love letters, or angry notes were written on the enameled wood top.

“Miss Tereshchenko, His Imperial Majesty, requests that you continue your long-standing and honorable service to Araxes in a new role as Magistrate.” With that, he slid the papers across the desk. “Since you are Star Born as the locals would say… or not a citizen of the Imperium as the Concordat would point out, there are a number of conditions, exceptions, and higher expectations for your leadership but the Concordat is convinced of your potential success to keep business and political lines open.” Translation: so long as people make their money, they don’t exactly care what happens here.

Calina quickly perused them, looking for key details – especially ones that might involve her head being separated from her body. Nothing seemed too far out of the ordinary. Not that she had ever been offered leadership of a planet before. Then she came across one thing that made her reconsider the whole enterprise.

“Point 27-a says I that I must resign my Companion Guild membership.”

“Yes, it would be… unseemly for the Chief Magistrate to take off and have multiple liaison with individuals of questionable standing.”

Calina arched a brow and slid the papers back across the table, “The Guild only accepts for membership in our registry, clients of the highest caliber. None of them are unseemly or of questionable standing. Companions lend respectability to any endeavor or relationship we agree to participate. If I cannot keep my Guild membership, then I will not do it. You will need to find yourself a new Magistrate.”

The young man didn’t anticipate a refusal. Who would decline such an offer from an Emperor?

Only a Companion…


An hour later, the flustered young man emerged from the Shanjian House with modified, signed, and sealed papers.

Calina sat back in her chair, a smirk across her lips, and then hit the intercom button to call in her assistant.

“Things will be busier around here. In addition to my Guild schedule, I am the new Legate for Al Raqis.”


I was working in my office when one of the House staff came in. “Miss Tereshchenko? There is a man in a stillsuit of some kind… just standing there.”

I let out a sigh and shut the laptop. Filing receipts with the Guild would just have to wait.

The heavy wooden door swung open, “May I help you?” I asked. “One of the staff was a bit unnerved by someone loitering at the front door.”

He turned with a start and replied “My apology. I did not wish to scare anyone. I have a delivery for one Calina Tereshchenko.” He struggled to bow and the suit made his voice mechanical.

“That would be me,” and I held my hand out. Part of me hoped it was just a package and not a bomb or a shot to the chest because that would kind of ruin my day.

“I was told to deliver it in private.”

“Then come inside. We can use the parlor.” I went back inside and sent the House staff scurrying away. He was careful in how he walked so has not to scratch or damage the hardwood floors.

“Is this private enough, Sir… or Ma’am? The suit makes it hard to tell.”


OOC: Firefly Reunion Panel @ Comic Con

OK, yes, this is far more OOC than I ever intended on a character blog but in case you missed all the #firefly goodness on Twitter (trending worldwide – btw… because you cannot stop the signal….) Here are a couple of live blog summaries:

Whedonesque has the full collection


Entertainment Weekly (and reunion photos… gee… that table looks familiar)


i09 (and it has pictures)

Live blog of the after-panel press conference @ Hypable


It was taped for a reunion special to air on Science this November (11/11/12) . I may keep Uverse for that….

Other than Joss getting very emotional about the fan reaction (which makes me all teary), the coolest thing that I learned  was that there are more comics and it sounds like Inara’s backstory is next. He also said that they will be doing more post-Serenity comics and I LOVE LOVE LOVE his idea for a radio show because I would totally subscribe to the podcast and pay for it. It also solves the problem of the characters’ look because of the time between and the actors are older. Again… Joss is Boss and proves his brilliance.

He also said that Firefly was perfect for roleplaying games… why didn’t someone there remind him of what we’ve been doing in Second Life?  🙂

OOC: Firefly at Comic Con 2012

The Sci-Fi fair in Second Life dropped the ball a couple of weeks ago and didn’t memorialize the 10th Anniversary of one of the bestest shows to ever be on screen in any way. Comic Con in San Diego isn’t!!!!

“No matter how many years pass, I’ll never forget ‘Firebug.’ I can’t wait to sit once more with Washboard, KayMart, Rivet, the Hot Hooker from Homeland and Captain Kirk. Those guys are my family. Expect laughter, tears, faith-healing and Internet rumors about a sequel. To infinity, and prosper!” – Joss Whedon

If you can’t make it to Comic-Con, the Science channel (@ScienceAt to follow their comic-con coverage) sponsored Firefly panel is at 12:30pm SLT/PDT. @Firefly10th will be tweeting the event with the #FireflySDCC hashtag to make your searching easier. And I’m sure that video will be uploaded to Youtube as fast as the wireless service will allow.

OOC: SL Legal Catfight

A break from the character blogging to bring attention to some Real Life legal issues of which you may or may not be aware.

The blogger, Salome, had a full detail of the legal situation between Curio and Hush skins but it seems her website went off-line for a while. Just in case:  Google Cache.

As I read it, the situation is this:

  • Curio notices that Hush has some skins remarkably like hers. Files DMCA claim with LL.
  • Hush counter-files DMCA claim
  • Hush copyrights skins in Canada and sends an “intent to sue” letter to LL.
  • LL removes Curio’s store from the grid.
  • In a bearing of the Streisand Effect, bloggers compare the skins and notice that Hush has tried to obscure the watermarks from Curio.
  • Hush still operates. Information coming to bear that the person behind the avie has done this to League and TRUTH in the past.
  • Content Creators in Second Life have rallied to Gala Phoenix’s defense by organizing a benefit called One Voice. (Wait for a day or two – it’s bound to be jammed packed. The fundraiser goes on until the 15th.)
  • Curio now has to fight this in the US and in Canada.

In something related to The Oatmeal v. Funny Junk blow-up on the internets of the last 2 weeks, it brings to light continuing issues with content creators in a digital medium, the inconsistencies in legal enforcement, and the expense to either defend yourself or content from accusations or thieves.

Hopefully, all of this will bear out in Curio’s favor assuming her position is true (given the wailing and gnashing of teeth for the Hush supporters, I’m inclined to support Curio.) The craptastic part: even if Curio is proven right and her content comes back on the grid, she still will have lost – time, money, energy.

I applaud Gala for her willingness to fight back. I am not sure that I could or would if in the same position, which unfortunately reinforces potential thieves (Fark.com fought back and it was awesome. The Oatmeal fought back and it went to 11. A clearly satirical blog stemming from Oatmeal v. Funny Junk is fighting back, too.)

What can you do?

  • Go to One Voice and donate or buy something
  • Educate yourself – even just as a casual shopper but especially if you are a content provider. This post by Vaki has a great summary of the questions around copyright and virtual content.
  • Visit Citizen Media Law Project for news and resources (including lawyer referrals)

Family Time

брат!” Calina twisted the monitor around and slumped down onto a comfortable chair. “Dima! How are you? What is the occasion for this wave?” Her face lit up like the engine of a firefly class transport to see her brother on the screen. “You must be close to Araxes in order to send a wave.” She was curled up like a ball, arms draped around her legs and the fine-weave cotton of her dress pressed against her cheek. “Что нового? Ohhh – the beard is new! I like it.”

After she was sent to Sihnon, she lost contact with most of her family. In fact, Calina has only spoken to her parents a handful of times. But, Calina and Dmitry slowly worked to rebuild their relationship after she finished her studies on Sihnon and he finished at the Alliance Military Academy.


The Pursuit of Happiness

The message light blinked on her screen. Word had quickly spread of her safe return to Colchester, she still had not ventured back to Londinium. Potential clients and well-wishers filled her inbox. But one message took her breath away.

It was still too painful. More than a decade since her expulsion by her father and separation from the young man she loved. Ripped out of her life. An entire new path that was unplanned and unexpected… More


Timeline: Over a year ago

Location: Persephone

Bao bei – you aren’t returning my waves,” he said, with a chagrined look on his face.  He was right.  Calina had been ignoring his messages for a couple of weeks.  Other, more pressing matters had taken over.  It had been a busy season.

“Braxton, dear, I am so sorry.  I was getting a new acolyte settled and had a fitting for a dress for a Major among other things…”

“Are those other things other clients?”  The jealousy was obvious in his voice – no matter how he tried to hide it.  Why did he expect such fidelity?  She was nearly ready to hit close and put a black mark next to his name.  “I would expect The ‘Verse’s most stunning woman to have her schedule full of adoring clients ready to dote on her every whim,” he said with a cheesy grin.

“The occasion of this wave, I trust is for more of that doting.  And you know that I will not discuss my other clients with you no matter how hard you try,” she tilted her head and smiled.

“I love watching you smile… particularly after you have come down from that high… laying there in bed, looking up at me.  I would give my fortune to have that view every day.”

“It would take your fortune,” she quipped.  While he was buttering her up with his sort of romantic description of her orgasm when she was last with him, she was checking the social calender as well as her personal calender “I have time next week.  How long…”

“8 inches…”

“Braxton!”  She popped the monitor, annoyed at his childish humor.  He was not 8 inches and she bit her tongue to not say that out loud.

He laughed and shook his head, “As much as you have for next week.  I want to take you to the country house as well as to the Mayor’s dinner.  You’ve met the Mayor of Criseda, haven’t you?”

“Only over cocktails.  He is not a client if that is what you are hinting at.  There should not be any undue fussing over my attendance.”

“Of course not.  You are always warmly received…. your beauty and grace… charm… your mouth… your kisses… especially when they are on my…  Could you pounce on me when you arrive?  I think that would be a great change from the whole tea ceremony and talking thing you always have to do.”

“It prepares me… mentally to be fully present with you.  Ritual, qinqin.  If you just want to have sex, you can visit your local whore house or get a girlfriend.”

“Ah.. but bao bei, they are not nearly as attractive, lovely, talented as you are… most women are not.  When may I send the shuttle for you?”

“Tuesday morning.  I’ve noted on my schedule, but I will need to be back on Eavesdown on Sunday.  I will be meeting with the Port Authority on Monday… that witch of a woman in the clerk’s office is making my life difficult.”

“Bright and early, then. zàihuì èrnǎi.” He waved and then his image froze on the screen.

She made a face. More

OOC editorial

This is a OOC editorial surrounding the behavior of the designer of the above outfit.

I’m a part of a flickr group – Second Life Fugs and Fails. Normally our flickr photos are of the tasteless and stupid in SL – bling, shoes that were fugly in 2006, poorly fitted prims, bling, slider abuse, face lights, and more bling. Every now and then, someone posts a find on Marketplace or something taken at a store in world.

Someone posted (as was later noted, she purchased the outfit and uploaded the full perm photo that came with that outfit to flickr) the photo I’ve posed with above. We all had a really good laugh, shock and disbelief at the ungodly amount of Photoshop used, the sexist nature of the hammer dangling from her vagina (anyone else remember the South Park episode “Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset” because it reminded me of Paris Hilton and her pineapple… go look for cat-tat-a-fish), and the post-coitus dripping panties that are so tight they require a wrench to remove.

In the original thread, which has since been removed, the designer tried to pass the buck to the graphic designer/photographer who made the ad and claim it was a violation of copyright to use the photo at all. She had a small cow about right to post/permission and stuff like that.

She has also gone on to retaliate against the original poster by marking all of her photos in flickr as “inappropriate.” Classy. Just like your choice of advertising.

Designer, I’m giving you an out. Explain to us your creative vision because I have to call into question your judgement that you would OK such a photo. Yeah – your photographer may have made it but you said “OK.”  YOU said “Hey – hammers hanging from the vajay-jay is cool and edgy!” “Sexual exploitation is what my clothing line is all about!”

If you have a vision and a story behind this photo that I’m not seeing, please explain yourself. It is your clothing line so YOU are ultimately responsible for such a photo.

If I had seen this in world (which its available at a couple of places and linked on other blogs that I read on a daily basis) even apart from the fug group, I would have had the same opinion and still would not have bought the outfit. I also would have been turned off by the giant bee-stung fish-like frowny lips, the oversized horse shoe hips that mimic the giant Redwood tunnels in California, and the underwear that defy gravity and physics.

The links go to examples from the SL Fail and Fugs stream, not your blog. Because heaven forbid you decided that it is some how a violation of copyright to link to your blog. I hope that is universally applied. But a link isn’t a copyright violation – so you know. Neither was the original post, according to fair use as described by the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

All of those items are regular features in our search of fug in SL.

Now that I see how childish and wholly unprofessional you are to attack someone’s flickr stream when it is absolutely clear none of the photos in that stream were inappropriate, I sure as hell won’t buy any of your clothes in the future nor will I ever recommend them to my friends.

If you are going to masquerade as a business owner, act like it. Use your blog to explain your vision (or the comments thread on flickr for that matter). Take your lumps, learn from them and move on.

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