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As huge fan of the books, my love for the original series may have coloured my perceptions. Be Warned.
As a movie, The Lightning Thief is watchable at best and manages to stand alone apart from the books. You don’t need knowledge of the original material to watch the movie.
This is because many things have been changed to fit the different format. Including ommitting several key plot threads that underpin the entire series.
- The agreement between “The Big Three” not to have any children
- The Prophecy that caused this agreement in the first place
All the main character’s are at least 4 years too old in appearance. IIRC Percy himself is meant to be around the age of 12 in the first book as is Annabeth. Several character’s were ommited, the final “battle” changed to take place in a different location involving a different enemy. The entire Ares subplot was ommited.
The tone of the movie was too serious. The books, written in first person, had a quite funny tone to them in places, the main character often poking fun at himself for some of the things he did. This, probably due to the differing format, was absent.
Camp Halfblood is well described in the first book, from its layout and style right down to what the campers wear. I can understand that some people might object to the “summer camp” style but that’s what it was in the book. If you’re going to adapt something then you should at least try to maintain true in the original. Otherwise why not make Hogwarts an inner city comprehensive?
To be honest, I can’t see this getting sequels. Which is a shame, because the Battle of New York in the final book would have been awesome to see on the big screen.
Found something out today that made me feel real depressed. Sent me on what the psychobabblers would probably call a “depression-cycle” at uni. Couldn’t concentrate on my work and really couldn’t my mind on tonights game either. Started having all these thoughts. What if I don’t pass this uni year? This is pretty much my last chance at making something of myself and doing something other than low-paid admin jobs for the rest of my life. If I fail, I’ve not only let myself down, but my family too. I really don’t know what I’d do if I failed, it’d probably be something really stupid.
On the way home I started to think whether I would, you know, “take the cowards way out” and if I did, how I’d go about doing it. That just made me feel even worse.
The worse thing is, I’m not sure if there’s anyone I can talk to about it. I really suck at talking about serious stuff to people, especially people I know. I’d just feel really embarrassed and self-concious about talking about it, and that would be to strangers. I’d find it impossible to talk about stuff like this to people who know me. And I just realised that I don’t know any of my friends well enough to talk about this to them. Or even if I;d want to (but that down to fear I guess). That’s just made me feel even worse.
So here I am, spilling my guts to the anonymous electronic ether. What a wuss.
With a crack, a flash and the smell of burning copper, there goes my old laptop.
It’s faithfully chugged along now for over two years, fullfilling my every need. But now its gone. The adapter blew a few minutes ago. Along with the loose connections behind the LCD (resulting in the odd verticle line or two of coloured pixels), the 2 minutes of battery life, its been on the way out for a while.
Still a shame tho, and an inconvenience. It has all my old documents and my massive video library on its HDD. According to FJS, its going to cost nearly 70 quid +vat to get a new adapter. Not sure if its worth it. though. I could spend the money instead on a Network HDD enclosure, an external optical drive, and cannibalise the ram chips for my advent.
So, I’ve pretty much decided to swap out the 80gig hard drive in my advent for a larger one (probably around 250+) so I can dual boot XP/W7.
Now, I’ve heard about “ghosting” software that allows you to clone hard drives, but I don’t have any. Plus I’m not that comfortable with opening up my advent and removing the wireless card to get at the harddrive during the upgrade. I figured that if I took it to a place to get upgraded, then they might do it for me, even if they charge a bit for it. First place I tried was PCworld. Got my last laptop there and upgraded it there too. They did an alright job so I thought they might be worth the repeat visit.
They flat out denied that it was possible to clone drives. When I pointed out that it would be a little difficult to reinstall XP since the advent (which was bought from them) had no optical drive nor any recovery media, they offered to burn an OEM XP installation disc for £50 with another £30 for an external optical drive. I said I’d have to think about it (80 quid plus the 100 odd I was going to pay for the new hard drive, extra ram and installation seemed a bit pricey). I left the store. I’m not paying for something I already have. I have two legitimate copies of XP, both with valid license keys. I’m not paying for a third just to pad out PCworlds coffers.
Next I phoned MicroDirect. One of my friend’s uses them so I thought I’d give them a try. They started off by telling me that it was possible with software like Norton Ghost (a plus for them since PCworld denied that such software existed). When I asked if it was a service they performed if I bought the new HDD from them and paid for them to install it, the man on the phone to his credit admitted he didn’t know. The people he needed to ask were not in on the weekend. He couldn’t see a reason why the wouldn’t but said that he couldn’t give a definite yes or no without asking them first. He suggested I phone back or call in on monday.
First time I’ve ever dealt with MD, so far a very good impression. If they can’t do it, far enough. At least they didn’t try to deceive a customer so that they could sell a service.
Oh, and the reason why I want to clone the drive is simple. Last time I upgraded my laptop’s HDD, I must’ve spend two or three days, installing windows, downloading all the updates. transferring all my data and reinstalling all my software. An ordeal I’m not prepared to do again. So much so, I’m willing to pay money to someone in order to not have to do it again.
Oww. I just bit into a kit kat chunky and my tooth snapped off at the gum line.
I hate dentists. Especially NHS ones which make it impossible to get treated if you’re not a private paitent.
This morning I recieved an automated email from yahoo confirming the change of my accounts password. Imagine my surprise since i never requested the change in password.
I went through the procedures to recover/change my password, only to be informed that it could not be done online.
I have to send a fax/letter to the states containing my:
scan of passport/driving licence/or other state issued photo id
my full address
date of birth
answer to a secret question i gave EIGHT years ago
alternate email address
What the fuck? its just a frigging email account. Its not like I’m applying for a credit card. Why the hell should they need that information to reset the password. This is the 5th time this has happened and they’ve never asked for this level of private information before.
Just received an email from UCAS (The University Central Admissions Service for you non-brits) with some good news. My application to Manchester Metropolitan University was successful. Woot!
This September I’ll be starting a degree course in Multimedia Computing.
On Sunday, my computer got infected by a bunch of Trojans from a drive-by-download. Everytime I tried to open a folder in Windows Explore, it came up with a fake system error message that kindly informed that critical system files were in danger of deletion and instructed me to go to a website to download free antivirus. Whether I clicked yes or no (I assume since I didn’t dare click “yes”) it fired up my browser and went to the website. It also redirected any attempts to contact the Windows Update server to the same website. Bit annoying, but I though nothing my security software couldn’t handle. Right?
I fired up AVG8 (free edition) and after a thorough scan, it found and deleted a dozen Trojans across the file system. Result! However, the annoying nag messages and the redirection remained. Comodo Personal Firewal has a built in malware scanner so I tried that. Didn’t find a thing. So I used System Restore and restored the system state to one a couple of days ago. No change. At this point the system was becoming more unstable and AVG was reporting that CPF had been infected with a Trojan. Arrggh!
Then I did a google search on the website URL and I found a small program (in several locations across the web) that was reported to specifically find and remove the malware. It Worked!!!!
Now, at this point I was pissed off at AVG and CPF for not detecting or combatting the threat. I unistalled CPF and replaced it with PC Tools Firewall and their PC Tools Spyware Remover and their Threatfire supplemental AV program. After I rebooted, I the computer refused to boot into Windows. It would get as far as showing the desktop wallpaper and taskbar but that was it. CPU usage dropped to 4% and Task Manager refused to launch any program.
It took me hours to solve the problem. In the end I had to go into safe mode, uninstall ALL the security software and reboot. Once the system was back up and running I installed Avast!, ZoneAlarm and AdAware 2008. In the middle of a virus scan by Avast and so far so good.
Never going to use and PC Tools software ever again.
A few hours before dawn, Madraday the 10th of Tanot, 674 AG (After Godswar)
Several miles east of Sandown
Kiba scrambled to his feet and began to back away from Dace. “What’s going on? What the fuck are you?” He asked in a shaky voice as Dace got up and faced him. The small boy began to grow in size as he fixed a disturbing grin upon his face. His hair grew longer and wilder, like Kiba’s and he slowly filled out the shirt that Kiba had given him until he resembled Kiba in both size and appearance. For all purposes, he was a mirror image of Kiba, albeit with the additional monstrous features of fangs, claws, pointed ears and a row of spikes down his spine.
“Fifteen years,” Dace said quietly, menacingly, “for fifteen damned years I’ve been stuck here, watching you play happy families with that old man.”
“Just stay back, whatever you are,” cried Kiba was he picked up a branch and tried to ward off the thing in front of him. Dace swiped at the branch with an open claw, splintering the wood into fragments. Kiba stumbled back from the splintering branch and backed into the trunk of a large tree. As he tried to dodge around the tree, Dace darted forward and slashed at Kiba’s bare chest with his other claw, slicing the flesh. Before Kiba had a chance to respond, Dace gave a him a powerful two-handed shove that sent him to the floor.
“Shut it,” Dace spat as he picked Kiba up by the neck, holding him against tree, “if it wasn’t for me, we’d be dead right now. You’re just a pathetic weakling and without me, those soldiers would have butchered you like a farm animal.”
“What are you talking about?” Kiba croaked as he struggled for breath. Dace was gently squeezing his throat in a calculated show of strength and dominance, restricting the flow of air into his lungs but not cutting it off entirely as Kiba beat ineffectually at his arms. Dace leaned forward until their faces were just a few inches apart.
“Let me refresh that memory of yours blackout boy. Remember back at the farm when you tried to take on those soldiers by yourself? Remember how they kicked your arse and how one of them sliced open your gut while the other stabbed you in the back?”
Kiba did remember, he remembered passing out from the wounds only to wake up to find them miraculously healed and the three surviving soldiers dead. Although he had been more concerned about his father at the time, afterwards the incident had bothered him more than he had cared to admit. None of it made any sense and by rights, it should have been him who was dead, not the soldiers. However, as Dace spoke, he started to recall things that he hadn’t remembered before. The look of sheer terror on the soldiers faces, their screams as they were torn apart and the nauseating taste of their blood. “It was you,” Kiba whispered, “you killed them. The soldiers, somehow you tore them apart like some sort of animal.”
Dace laughed sharply grinning a fanged smile. “You really have no idea what you are, do you?” He lifted Kiba off the floor with both hands and began to strangle the boy. “Not that it matters anyway, you’ll be dead in a couple of minutes and then I’ll be free. I guess the first thing I’ll do is do some finger painting with Jiro’s intestines. Of course,” Dace giggled, “removing them is liable to be a little painful. For him at least.” As Dace gloated, Kiba’s vision began to fade but as Dace made his threat towards Jiro Kiba’s eyes snapped back into sharp focus. Red mist began to creep into the edges of his vision and his stare at Dace was so intense that Dace’s speech faltered.
“You. Stay. Away. From. Him.” Kiba growled and the pupils in his eyes starting to glow. He grabbed Dace’s arms with a pair of clawed hands and slowly pushed them apart, forcing Dace to release his grip on Kiba’s neck. Dace’s smug, confident demeanour began to crack in the face of Kiba’s unexpected resistance. He strained against Kiba’s grip but the boy’s hands were locked tight and Dace could not move his arms even an inch from where Kiba wanted them. Suddenly Kiba’s head lunged forward, his forehead smashing into Dace’s nose. With a crunch, the nose broke spraying blood everywhere. Dace staggered backwards clutching his nose and tripped over a tree root landing unceremoniously on his arse.
“Bastard,” he cursed, “you broke my fucking nose!”
“I don’t care what the fuck you are any more,” Kiba yelled as the kicked Dace in the head knocking him onto his side where Kiba continued to repeatedly kick his side, “I’m gonna kill you!” As Dace lay on the floor Kiba picked up a rock and prepared to bring it smashing down on to Dace’s head.
Dace laughed painfully, coughing up blood. “You can’t kill me, not here anyway. When you were nine and you fought back against that bully despite the fact that he was twice your age and nearly twice your size, I’m the part of you that broke both his arms and continued to beat on him even after he begged for mercy. That little runt that followed you around the village all the time? Busa or something? I’m the part that would have readily wrung his scrawny neck to make him stop bugging you. When those soldiers caught up with him, I would have happily sat there and listened to his screams. Every dark impulse, every violent thought, that’s me. I’m the part of you that you inherited from your true father, not that weak human whore of a mother. I’m part of you and I always will be.” As Dace spoke, Kiba’s resolve wavered, he started to lower the rock, his claws retracted, and his eyes stopped glowing. “The funny thing is, if it wasn’t for the farm, we’d never have met. In that moment when you were dying, all your hate and anger, all that frustration at being unable to save Ren, it opened a doorway. And for a short while, I was free in the waking world. But the thing about that doorway is, once opened, it’s impossible to close all the way again. Eventually, you’ll let your guard down, you’ll slip up. When that happens, next time I’ll make sure my stay is permanent. I’ll even let you watch from in here as I destroy everything you hold dear starting with that bastard Jiro.”
“You may be right,” Kiba said quietly, “I might not be able to kill. But that won’t stop me from doing this.” He raised the rock above him and smashed it down onto Dace’s head. It took three strikes for Dace to stop twitching. When he was done, he dropped the rock and looked at Dace’s body for a few seconds without emotion before turning and walking off towards the trees.
Dace cracked upon an eye and coughed up a glob of blood. “You think this changes anything spawn breath?” Kiba paused without turning as Dace spoke.
“What did you call me?” Kiba asked, speaking barely above a whisper.
“You heard me. You’re a daemon, an abomination, a creature of pure evil, a plague on mankind, a Titan Spawn. Half human, half titan, on your father’s side. You’re blood father that is.” Dace laughed coughing up a bit more blood as Kiba clenched his fists and hunched his shoulders. “Oops, I guess it looks like Daddy never told you who your parents were did he … no wait, that’s not it is it? Ren didn’t just not tell you, he lied to you didn’t he?” Unable and unwilling to hear any more, Kiba ran off into the trees, Dace’s pained laughter ringing in his ears.
As soon as Kiba was out of sight, a figure stepped out from the opposite direction. He was the same age as Kiba and like Dace, resembled him physically except unlike Dace he appeared completely human and had short black hair and piercing blue eyes. Around his neck hung a small blue crystal on a steel chain, identical to Kiba’s.
“Dace,” the newcomer admonished, “you are such a jerk sometimes.”
“Yeah,” Dace retorted as he slowly picked himself up off the floor, “what you gonna do about it normal boy.” The newcomer backed away as Dace approached. “Yeah, thought so. Now piss off before I drop kick you to the face again.”
Jiro looked over at Kiba’s sleeping form, the boy had tossed and turned throughout the night. Occasionally mumbling or groaning in his sleep. Bad dreams, Jiro mused, but who could blame him. The day had been rough for everyone but thankfully, the night had been quiet.
As the first vestiges of light began to show on the eastern horizon, it Kiba’s turn to be on watch. Jiro got up, walked around the smouldering remains of the campfire, knelt over the boy, and began to gently shake him awake. Kiba’s eyes snapped open and as quick as a blur, he reached under his pack that he was using as a pillow and grasped the handle of the hunting knife. Faster than he Jiro’s eyes could follow, Kiba brought the knife slashing upward, stopping just less than an inch from Jiro’s throat.
“Whoa, easy! It’s just me,” said Jiro as he gently moved the knife away.
With a sheepish grin, and now fully awake, Kiba sheathed the knife. “Sorry, bad dream.”
“Ah-huh,” nodded Jiro, “remind me never to wake you in the morning without putting armour on first. Anyway, time to get up squirt it’s your turn on watch.” Jiro was weary from exhaustion and as he picked up a blanket and turned to make part of the ground comfortable to sleep on, he didn’t notice that Kiba watched him closely, intently. With his back turned he didn’t see the boy silently pick up a heavy and unburned piece of firewood. Stealthily, Kiba crept up behind Jiro and brought the makeshift club smashing down hard onto the back of Jiro’s head. The man’s eyes rolled upwards and he crumpled to the floor unconscious. Kiba stood over the defenceless form for several seconds holding his breath before dropping the makeshift club and kneeling down next to Jiro. He gingerly felt for a pulse and having found one, released a relieved gasp of breath. Kiba silently thanked the gods that the blow had only stunned him as he had intended as he quickly attempted to make Jiro comfortable.
“Sorry,” he said quietly as he picked up his pack, a few supplies and his weapons, “I wish there was another way, but I hope you take the hint. Where I’m going, you can’t follow.” He checked Jiro one last time, tenderly placing both blankets over him. “Goodbye, uncle.” Kiba avoided looking back as he left, running through the woods in the early dawn light holding back tears. If he had, he might have had second thoughts about what he was doing but for Jiro’s sake, he needed to put as much distance between the two of them. He had no destination in mind; Kiba hadn’t thought that far ahead, he just knew that he had to get away.
When Jiro regained consciousness some time later, he groaned and clutched the back of his head, cursing in several colourful languages. It took him a few minutes to realise what had happened and when he looked around and saw that Kiba was gone, his cursing reached new levels of vulgarity. The sun had just begun to climb into the sky, Jiro saw as he quickly packed up his gear, he couldn’t be more than an hour or two behind the boy, whatever that idiot was thinking. Whatever Kiba’s reason for attacking him, Jiro thought as he set off in pursuit, it had better be good.
Kiba had been running through the woods for a couple of hours when he finally had to rest. He stopped at the bottom of a wooded scar-like ravine. A brook cascaded over the steep sides forming a waterfall that plunged into a pool of crystalline waters before continuing down the ravine. Shrugging off his pack, Kiba cupped his hands in the water, splashing some of it onto his face before refilling his canteen and taking a long drink of the cold water. When he stretched out over the water again to refill the canteen a second time, he winced in pain, his hand moving to his chest. Kiba put the canteen down gently on the grass and proceeded to take his shirt off. When he did so, he could clearly see four ragged and red tears across the skin of his abdomen. A wound identical to one that Dace had inflicted on him last night. Although that had only been a dream, Kiba was sure that somehow, it wasn’t just an identical wound, it was the exact same wound.
Whatever its origin it was starting to sting like sin and the skin around the cuts was beginning to turn an angry shade of red. He reached behind him for his pack pulled out a small vial and a bundle of cloth strips. Kiba held his breath as he applied the yellow ointment to the cuts, he didn’t know exactly what it was made of but it smelt of cow urine and he suspected that that might be its chief ingredient. Gently he placed cloth strips along the length of the cuts and the ointments adhesive properties held them firm against the skin.
When he placed the vial back into his pack, his hand brushed against a small leather pouch. Hesitating slightly, he pulled it out, opened it and looked at the contents. It contained the gold coins and the envelope that he had retrieved from the box under Ren’s bed. Also inside was the small silver disc with Ren’s name inscribed upon it. As he held the disc in his hand, it was warm to the touch and the metal felt slick and wet even though it was dry. Kiba held the disc up to the morning sun, letting the soft light play across the gold etched symbol on one side. He had seen that symbol before, he would swear to it but for the life of him, he could not remember where. It was the only thing that he had left that belonged to his father, Ren and as the wind gently rustled the leaves on the trees around him; Kiba undid the chain he wore around his neck. He threaded the steel chain through the eye and let the disk slide down the chain and chink gently against the blue crystal.
Apart from the gold coins, the only thing left in the pouch now was the letter. Since leaving the farm yesterday, Kiba had not had a chance to open and read it. Since he needed to rest for a few minutes to catch his breath, he decided that now was a good time. However, he was hesitant to open it. Regardless of what Dace had said, Ren was the only father he had ever known even if he wasn’t his blood father. All the same, Ren had literally used the last moments of his life trying to tell Kiba the truth about them. With that in mind, Kiba broke the seal and opened the envelope. He was about to take out the letter, when he heard the sound of singing drifting in on the wind.
Quickly he stuffed the envelope back into the pouch, picked up his pack, donned his shirt and slung his quiver and scabbard. Scrambling up the steep side of the ravine, he stopped and turned towards the source of the singing. The voice was gentle and soft, most likely that of a woman. Although Kiba couldn’t understand the words, the singing itself was beautiful and extremely soothing. Against his better judgement, Kiba climbed back down the slope and began to creep downstream towards the voice. The brook followed the course of the ravine, bending around a blind corner before tumbling down into a small sinkhole before descending further into the depths. Almost as if he was stalking some game animal, Kiba slowly crawled on his belly towards the edge of the 30ft drop into the sinkhole. Hiding behind and amongst a group of bushes, he peeked over the edge.
Below him, by a pool that covered half of the base of the sinkhole, was a girl that was roughly Kiba’s age, perhaps a little older. She was lying back on a rock that jutted out into the pool letting her feet dangle lazily into the cool, clear waters. Her voice resonated perfectly with the natural acoustics of the sinkhole creating an almost ethereal quality to the song she was singing. The girls long brown hair was splayed out haphazardly on the surface of the rock. Shimmering in the sunlight, it created a halo-like effect around her head that framed her face. Her clothing, a pair of rough cloth pants and matching shirt was wet and next to her was a collection of small fishes drying on the rock. A small grey wolf cub lounged on her chest, baring its fangs in a lazy yawn as she stroked its back, singing to it.
Kiba lay on his front as he watched the girl below, barely daring to breath. There had been a few girls his age in Benbridge but none of them had been as beautiful as her. The way the sunlight highlighted her hair, her heavenly voice, the way the cub nestled snugly between her … Kiba sighed, as if a girl like her would ever give him the time of day. He lingered for a few moments watching her before realising that he should probably go. Shifting his weight, he began to shuffle back while crouching on all fours. As he did so, the ground beneath him gave way pitching him over the edge into the sinkhole. For a few seconds, he fell through the air his arms flailing as he cried out. Halfway down the cliff was a nest of branches and as he fell through them, one of the thicker branches hooked itself onto the straps of his pack. Kiba’s fall was momentarily arrested but the sudden tug by the branch turned him upside down and tore the pack and quiver from his back. His fall resumed and he struck a slope at the base of the cliff, sliding down the steep gravel slope head first for the final few feet before coming to an unceremonious stop sitting on his head, his shirt flopping down to cover his face.
As the dust settled, Kiba heard a low growl and slowly lifted up the flap of his shirt. From his upside down perspective, he saw the small wolf club crouched and growling in front of him, its fangs bared. It would’ve been cute if it wasn’t standing at the feet of the girl who was now scowling and brandishing a spear whose point was only inches from his neck.
Kiba grinned nervously, his cheeks burning. “Er … Hi?”
If you haven’t already, go to the Downing Street E-Petition Website and register your support for these petitions.
The Ferin are a near human species from the planet Ferin, from which they draw their name. An aboreal world, the low tech Ferin were unable to resist the occupation of their world when Imperial Forces invaded. The Ferin homeworld was rich in natrual resources. Particularly the mineral cerametal, a pseudo-alloy used heavily in the construction of starships. Soon, large scale mining operations were set up alongside massive shipyards, both using Ferin labour to provide the Imperial Navy with a steady stream of new ships.
Whether it was through environmental damage or intentional Imperial manipulation, a plague swept through the Ferin killing millions. It was discovered that the deaths were being caused by genetic damage. The Ferin physiology was no longer producing vital hormones and chemicals necessary to support their autonomic system. The damage was irreversible but it could be controlled by regular injections of the missing hormones (think Diabetes and Insulin injections). Unfortunately this meant that the Ferin now relied on the Empire for their own survival and the Empire now had an invisible means to control them.
The Empire began to use Ferin warriors as disposable shock troops knowing that they would do anything to ensure their families continued to recive the drugs they needed. Although they had no choice, many offworlders were unaware of this and saw the Ferin as collaborators even after their liberation.
The liberation of the Ferin homeworld came at a high price. Its ecosystem already severely damaged, the retreating Imperials used defoliants to kill off the remaining forests and contaminated the lakes and oceans with a lethal cocktail of toxins in a “scorched earth” policy. With their homeworld uninhabitable, the Ferin were scattered across the sector. Hundreds of thousands would die before a substitute of the Imperial drug could be found.
The Ferin are physically distinguishable from humans by the large elongated ears which extend diagonally away from the sides of their head by as much as 15cms. Their large ears provide them with excellent hearing and the ear cartilage is laced with nerves. These nerves are sensitive to magnetic fields and give the Ferin an excellent sense of direction. The Ferin also have a highly developed sixth sense which may or may not be related to The Force. Hair colour is a good indication of a Ferins tribal ancestry. Yellow/green combinations are common oin those descended from the Southern tribes while Red/Orange is common to those from the North.
* See EarthAD2
** Hard][Nova Enhancement Pack
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