Fan Fiction: Dragon Age II

I don’t really have postings for my Sanity story this week, but I have one for my fan-fiction only because it was pretty much pre-written.

Today’s picture is a screen shot is what was Jeven’s office from the game but I got it from http://guides.gamepressure.com/dragonageii/guide.asp?ID=11508

I will be making cosmetic changes to this like I did to my Savior posts, but not today, spent lots of time on that and I need a break.

Enjoy!


A Friend in the Guard

The afternoon lunch crowd died down, the noise level resumed as the Kirkwall citizens resumed their daily tasks. As Varric related his tale, the afternoon waned into evening. It was sunset when Small Fry interrupted again.

“Did Mother ever hear about how you met Hawke?” He asked as he rose and walked into the kitchen area to grab their dinners.

Varric, meanwhile, busied himself with getting their goblets refilled. “I’m sure she did, although I don’t recall if it was by me, Hawke or someone else. Why do you ask?”

The elf was quiet for a moment. Varric stopped pouring the wine and looked over at the doorway when he didn’t hear a response. “Small Fry?”

The elf re-entered the dining area with two plates and set each on the table at their respective seats. “That person you … saved Hawke from.”

“What about him? Just another nobody trying to survive going about it the wrong way. I don’t think we ever saw him again.” He paused and looked at his companion momentarily before returning to his seat and siting down. “That’s the same look your mother wore when she wanted to say something but couldn’t. Anyway, we decided to make our way to the Viscount’s Keep to see Aveline who was now a member of the city guard.”

“Mother saw him, the … thief, from time to time.”

“She did?”

The elf nodded. “At times she would point him out to me, other times I would let her know. It was almost like a game.”

“Hmm. I wonder why she took an interest in a nobody like him. At any rate, we decided to make our way to the Viscount’s Keep to see Aveline who was now a member of the city guard. Junior was in better spirits now, but sadly wouldn’t keep quiet the entire time we traveled.”

“I wonder what it was Mother saw in him.”

“We wondered that too, many times. I offered advice once:

“You know, Junior, you’re looking at this all wrong.” Varric piped up.
“Whatever it is you’re about to say, I’m not interested.” Carver snapped.
Varric chuckled. “I’m a professional younger brother. Trust me, the center of attention’s the worst place to be. When things go wrong, and they always do, that’s where all the fingers point. Look at any kingdom in Thedas: you’ve got people who warm thrones and people nobody sees who do the real work.”
“So my brother is a king now? Just what he needed.”
“Point, missing it. Ah well.”
“Maker, I hate you dwarf.”

The elf laughed. “He had such a sour disposition.”

“Except when it came to your mother.”

He nodded and continued in between bites. “He was protective of her, according to Father. So much so that Father grew nervous whenever he was around. So you went to see Aveline – who I’m surprised you never had a nickname for.”

“Well, she had a tendency of scaring the piss out of me and she knew it – I said it often enough. She did ask me about it once:

“Blondie, Bright Eyes, Daisy, Rivaini, what am I?”
“Beg your pardon?”
“You don’t call anyone by name except for me. Where’s my nickname?”
“That’s not true. There’s Hawke. And Bianca.”
“Hawke is a family name, and Bianca is a crossbow. Don’t change the subject!”
“I haven’t thought of a good one yet. What do you think of Red?”
“Too common.”
“Well, when you think of one, let me know”

The elf smirked and shook his head.

“Anyway, yes, we did go see her and got more than what we bargained for out of it.”

“I find it … more than a coincidence that the corruption was found so soon after you met up with Hawke.”

“You mean Jeven and the ambush.”

“Wasn’t there …?”

“When Hawke and Junior first arrived, Ewald was Captain of the Guard; but for whatever reason, he stepped down.”

“Maybe due to the influx of refugees.”

“Maybe. But there were other rumors.”

“It took us four days to go out to and come back from Sundermount with what little evidence we had. I remembered well what happened. The morning of the fourth day we made our way back to the barracks and waited close to the captain’s office while Aveline entered and proceeded to explain the situation. It took a bit, a little longer than was comfortable, but when the shouting started, we all knew that this was a failed venture.”

“From what I heard, she had her suspicions for a long while before you got involved.”

“She may have, and it’s possible she used us just to get him taken care of. But whether that’s truth or rumor, in the end she became Captain of the guard.”

They sat there eating in silence. From outside they could hear the ever quieting sound of the people of Kirkwall as they ended their daily routines.

“You had a productive first week it would seem.”

“You don’t know the half of it, Small Fry. I saved the trouble of telling you the mundane things that happened. Plus I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few details in the years since this happened. I’m surprised you don’t know more.”

“How long has it been since you first met Hawke?”

Varric didn’t miss the change in subject, but let it go, stopped and thought for a moment. “Over ten years, more or less.”

“A lot can happen in a decade, so it would seem.”

Varric laughed. “You’re telling me! Look at you! Realistically speaking, you should not look like you’re …”

“Mother tried to explain it to me once, the last time I saw her.”

“And what, pray tell, did she say?”

His facial features soften as the memory of the last time he saw her came to mind. “She said time is a man-made concept that doesn’t actually have much meaning in The Fade. She’s right, to an extent.”

“So your trips into The Fade are what affected you … tell me, have you ever bumped into Feynriel?”

The elf had been focusing on some memories but stopped for a moment and actually thought, slate eyes blankly looking out over the table. After a moment, he blinked and looked over at the dwarf. “I may have. If so, he has nearly mastered his ability.”

“You aren’t sure?”

“Well, The Fade isn’t actually Ferelden where you bump into people on purpose or accident. It could be the person I saw once was him. He wasn’t alone – I believe a spirit was with him.”

“I see. Well Small Fry, I’ll save telling you every single second of things that happened before your mother arrived. Suffice it to say that the Hawke family had a couple of smaller adventures regarding their own lineage in the week before they met Daisy…”

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Opinion: Part Two: Rules of the Road

I’m posting this a day early mainly because I’m going to be busy this weekend but I really want this to be said. I’m also hoping to get a few responses to this because I’d really like to learn something I may not know.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

Also please excuse the formatting. I wrote this in Word and copied it here, but yeah I’m still tinkering with the formatting on WordPress.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!


At the beginning of the month I wrote part one of this article that pretty much dealt with what my pet peeves about driving are, and a mention about the “new” Indiana law that’s taking effect on July 1.

What a lot of people are calling the “left lane law”.

Basically what happened is that someone at the media was told or somehow found out that some genius at the state capital decided that they would amend the current law so that people driving in the left for an extended period of time, who didn’t get out of the way of people coming up fast behind them, would get ticketed.

Please note that I said the media – in that they had a field day with this. Specifically the part that said those driving in the left most lane of a highway or freeway would be punished. That’s the only thing they ever said about this amendment to the current law.

The supposed complaint that prompted this amendment is that it will deter reckless drivers (ie, slow drivers in the left most lane) and possibly prevent road rage.

The other side is that people who are obeying the law – basically the speed limit – are now being punished while speeders are being given the “Get Out Of Jail Free Card”.

Well, that first part’s never going to happen. People are going to go ape-shit on someone no matter what the government does – but the reason for that is an entirely different and debatable topic.

I may touch on that later sometime.

Ok, so, wanting to be more informed about all this before I go spouting my opinion without providing useless facts, I did a little digging.

The following information I found on a government website:

Indiana General Assembly
(http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1305).

Basically, it’s not a new law as many articles have toted it to be. It’s an amendment.

House Bill 1305
Authored by Rep. Jud McMillin
Co-authored by Reps. Matt Pierce, Gregory Porter and Gregory Steuerwald
Sponsored by Sens. R. Michael Young, Brent Steele, Greg Taylor and Karen Tallian.

These names will probably not mean anything to anyone living outside of the state of Indiana. Hell, I’m sure they don’t mean anything to most people living inside the state either.

But as we all know, most laws that are passed under the guise of one thing usually has some underwritten, underhanded, underneath stuff that benefits only one particular group and has nothing to do with the actual bill. It just hides there so it’s not found by the general public who don’t read these laws because it’s too much, too crunched together, and has too much legalese in it.

  • Found out that this bill also makes it illegal for a person to possess an Indiana drivers’ license and one from other state – this is considered a Class C infraction.
  • You can get penalized for not slowing down or changing lanes if you come across a vehicle on the side of the road with its flashers on.
  • Your license can be suspended if you don’t show proof of insurance.
  • It’s now a class C misdemeanor if you don’t call 911 or render aid if you come across an accident.
  • If your license is suspended in another state you can’t obtain one in Indiana.

Wow! Seriously?

So yeah everything that was normally considered pretty much common sense is now a law because …

Now states can enforce and ticket and try to get money from these violators through the use of law enforcement officers, some of who already break other laws.

I’ve seen plenty of officers who perform “California rolls” so don’t tell me that they’re off to bust some criminal. He was on his phone at the time and didn’t look like he was in a hurry to get anywhere.

But what really gets me about this new “law” is the following – and these are verbatim (basically I’m copying and pasting here from the website):

  1. Precludes an individual from being adjudicated a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses
  2. Allows individuals to declare habitual traffic violator status by petitioning a court.
  3. Prohibits a driver’s license suspension or lifetime forfeiture for operating a vehicle while driving privileges are suspended or in violation of a license restriction.
  4. Allows holders of commercial driving licenses to seek specialized driving privileges.
  5. Repeals language that applies criminal penalties to an entire chapter.
  6. Removes the felony enhancement for selling a rebuilt vehicle without written notice.
  7. Specifies the conditions under which a person’s driver’s license, permit, or driving privileges may be suspended, the duration of the suspension, and whether the person may receive specialized driving privileges

At close to the end of all of these is the small sentence about changing from the left lane.

But right now I’m reading the rest of these items, the ones I have underlined above, and I’m saying to myself – WTF?

  1. Makes impossible or prevents the existence of an individual from being judged a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses.

What?

  1. Gives the person permission to petition the court and claim they are a habitual traffic violator.

So these two lines mean that they can claim insanity? They can go out and drink and drive multiple times but only be charged once? What happens if they kill someone and then later on kill someone else? Does this law prohibit them from being charged for the second crime?

What’s the deal?

  1. So, now the person who is constantly getting DUIs is safe from having her/his license suspended for life?
  2. Exactly what type of specialization are we talking about here?
  3. What language is being repealed? And why are we needing to repeal it? Who’s benefitting from this?
  4. So, now it’s legal for Torretto to sell his mod street car? (For those who don’t know or have never watched them, he’s a character from the Fast & Furious movies and I’m sure I misspelled his name).
  5. Now, with everything else being said above, there are certain conditions where one can be suspended, so long as it has nothing to do with anything that’s been said above.

Ok, so now we have all these words that to me seem to benefit the criminal. And yet the media said nothing about these. Is it because they thought the left side issue would cause the most drama so get the most sales or the most hits?

Were these other items already law or are they what I think they are – amendments to the already existing law?

But to top this off, our rep, Mr. McMillan, who authored this beauty also co-sponsored SB 101 – which many of you may or may not know is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

You remember that one right? George Takei had an issue with it and people were boycotting Indiana. Or for those not familiar – the one those pizza guys got flack for and then got all that money because they refused to cater a gay wedding.

Co-author Rep. Pierce also co-authored HCR 75: Acknowledging the tragic assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the fact that he “truly belongs to the ages”.

Didn’t he die in 1865? It’s 2015 right? History buff wasting time and state funding? What exactly does this do and who does it do it for? And how much is this costing us?

Co-author Rep. Steuerwald sponsored SB 306 which reads to me that a person can go ahead and trespass on your property provided he/she doesn’t harm you or your child. Anything else is fair game.

Ok, by this time my stomach’s pretty much turning, so the other four yahoos tied to this law are off the hook for now because yeah.

Seriously?

Do people read this the same way I am? I mean, click on the link above and it’ll have links to everything else that the representatives have done plus goes into more detail (more or less) about this and other bills and amendments.

If they do, are they not the least bit concerned?

We have traffic laws being made up and passed by these people.

Am I the only one just a bit perturbed by all this? Help me out!

Opinion: Raising Minimum Wage

Some of you may have been anticipating Part Two of my opinion on driving. I’m sorry to disappoint.

This is a hot topic and I anticipate that some of you may not like what I write. That’s fine.

I’m not writing it to try to persuade you, but to give you something to think about and perhaps get more information myself to revise or confirm my belief. All I ask is that you respect it. Thank you!


Well I was originally going to continue my expression of Indiana’s updated “Left Lane Law”, but something came up recently that warranted attention:

Minimum Wage.

Dun! Dun! Dun!

And it’s funny I happen to be doing my English writing assignment, which I’m taking a break from. Not that it has anything to do with this topic, but just the idea of researching for an opinion is intriguing.

But I digress.

There are so many issues tied to this and it’s such a hot and emotional topic that most would try to shy away from it. But I think I want to put up something that will perhaps get people to start thinking, logically more than emotionally, and perhaps help me to see a different side to this issue.

I am personally against raising the minimum wage based solely on the argument that it would help people obtain the lifestyle they feel they deserve.

I am personally against raising the minimum wage based solely on the argument that it would help people obtain the American dream.

What exactly is the American dream? To own your own business? To own your own home? To own your own car? To be married and have a family by the time you’re twenty-five? To have traveled across the country?

What do people deserve? That in itself is mostly intangible, but because we can’t measure that, we fall back to homes, cars, trinkets, etc.

So I’ve been reading and listening to other reports and opinion pages that say this is sorely needed. We need to raise the minimum wage dramatically in order for the standard of living to be balanced – whatever that means.

I picked this specific image for my post because it gave a summary of the information I’ve been hearing and reading about minimum wage. The image is thanks to 9to5.org by the way. It gives a lot of numbers in support of why minimum wage needs to be increased.

And number don’t lie.

But boy can they be manipulated to death. Kind of like the unemployment rate – but that’s another hot topic.

So you raise the minimum wage to $10 or $15 an hour. As of right now that’s an increase of $2.75 or $7.75 depending on which direction you go.

Yay! You’ve provided a way for people just entering the workforce who haven’t the experience needed to just slide by the way most have all their lives. They’ve never worked, never had to be responsible or rely on themselves but they’re making more than a lot of other people who have been working for years or decades.

And what happens with those people? I know people who are barely making $1.50 over the current minimum wage who have been working for over five years. I know people who have been with their current company for over thirty years who are making just 2-1/2 times the current minimum wage. I myself have been working since age 16 and am making almost twice the minimum.

The number of people who will be making under the minimum wage once it changes – and believe me, there is a push here in Indiana for that – will skyrocket. I know a reporter who claimed that once this law passes, the person will be making quite a bit less than minimum wage compared to someone starting at McDonald’s at $15 (which at the time was the rumored amount – I believe it has since gone down to $10 but I’m sure that’s incorrect).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in fairness. I believe that everyone has the right to survive as best they can, but based on my own experience if the minimum wage does increase I also expect an increase of equal or greater value to be bestowed upon me.

Why?

I deserve it. Not because I’m vain or pretentious but because I have a lifetime of experience in a number of fields. I’ve gone and am going to school to better my knowledge in order to obtain positions that allow me greater responsibility and therefore greater income. I am expanding my resources in order to better my standard of living and quality of life.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I’m sure many of you out there feel the same way. Why should someone just starting out with no experience, with or without a degree (aside from a high school diploma) make more than I do?

What about those who obviously cannot?

I could say that it’s a matter of choice – but that’s another hot topic that will be touched another day.

What say you?

Do you agree? If so, why?

Do you not? If not, what am I missing?

Let me know, I appreciate the input and the knowledge, just no name-calling or bashing please.

Thank you!