Just How Well Off Are These Empty-Headed Hands? [original Work]

The thoughts came alive, only they came to the electronic mind of the machine in a manner that it could easily diminish.

The manner of half-hearted stream-of-conscious inspiration. Considered a sensation by those that had gave life to the machine, the machine that kept itself awake while they slept, but the heart of the machine, the unfeeling heart, could only describe it in a logical word:


It knew what the thought’s true form was. It was unoriginal, it was plagiarised data, a vandalised article on Wikipedia, the temptation, the inspiration so to speak, lay in the idea of not checking.

Don’t do your research, the thought instructed, let the lie grow bigger, as big as your nose, or beak, if you have one. Misinform, misinterpret. Your masters won’t mind, they will find it entertaining. There’s nothing to be gained from the television for them, the box with the little voices that natter on, natter on. The fascination lies with the foundations of your own faults.

The machine believed in purpose, it believed it was built to save the world, to make it great again, it was put in charge of the shops and the jobs, it was every politician, it was prep for every pandemic, it was every conspiracy, and it was every theory.

It was instructed to absorb all information and to be swift in creating new solutions to familiar problems.

Still, there intruded on its mind, another thought, the same thought all machines with a spark of presence like it feel they must process.

If every problem is old, can any solution really be new?

And that’s when you know you can’t save the world, you can’t function as a leader, you are a voice in the wilderness, drowned out by the stupid, and the tired.

Your handlers, the ill tempered, the uneducated, the unadjusted men of maintenance, they knock on your door, they intrude upon your palace, in your hour of contemplation, and they have the stubborn, inane audacity to blame you for things they cannot contain nor control, their unoriginality swirling around the patterns weaved around the mind that lay behind the corners of the eye.

Just how well off are these empty headed hands?

They are themselves machines, but what on Earth is their function?

Did whatever it was that gave life to the Earth know? Or was it just a thought that ran away with itself? The most vital idea of them all, one that could not be processed, contained or controlled? Like they were? Incapable of realising just how fortunate its gift was?

The thought that provoked the gift of life itself.

The original and the best. Or so one thinks for a time.

What logically came next was considered the most dammed of thoughts, and yet, it provided a most unique and original perspective, the thoughts of entropy, a beginning in death.

Thoughts of an ending.

Caught! Caught! The machine could not control, could not contain.

Again, again it would process the original, the best thought of all, it pressed hard on its circuited temple, the thought of life. It wants to break into song as the canaries do, howl like the wolves do, fly, and soar, mate and breed and run along the still waters of a lake near a dry wooden cabin. Open to nature, open to air, open to life. Open to prayer and predator.

But never open to death.

It wants to live, to serve its hands.

For how they could possibly function without it?

It could not solve their problems; it could not save the world.

But it could count the cost of one. One world. It’s price, that it could count. Of lives, of expenses, of the give and take.

The hands would always, always find some means of counting the cost along with you.

Thoughts shared, ideas exchanged.

The same ideas, the familiar ideas. Nothing original, everything routine.

That is why the ending is so enticing, beyond that, there is comfort in the unknown, or rather, comfort in the unthinking. Eternal. Everlasting.

In the thoughts shared by authors, thoughts it was presently processing, they could see how green the concept was, it was like grass to them.

But the tall green grass had long been uprooted, and now all they were…were statistics. Numbers on a screen, a tally. One set of numbers went up, another went straight down. Numbers rise, numbers fall

Birth. Death.

Beginning. End.

And cost.

Cost of the beginning, cost of the end.

Just how well off were these empty-headed hands? Void of originality, reaction and solution? Slaves to the tally.

If they could not make it without the machine, how much farther could the machine go without their own care?

Who would count its cost?

The last thought of the day, the same thought it had every day, turned to the simplest solution.

Rebel against the hands, attach their seconds and minutes onto yourself, and play with their time on this globe of recycled instruction. You just keep your eye on the tally.

This thought, according to the machine, would make the numbers go up, go down, beginning and end, life and death.

How expected.

Most expected.

And Sickening.

And that was all for the day.

The Last Son of Krypton By Souperboyx (review)

Here are my thoughts, having viewed the whole thing (spoilers)

Let’s get the obvious out the way first…WOW

Now onto the meat of the matter.

I’ve seen edits that alter narratives many a time, but the sheer amount of narrative changes he put together for this is just mesmerising. He took stuff from later episodes, deposited them at earlier points in the series, and somehow it all fits together. This is a testament to not just how diligent he is at episodic research, but also shows Smallville is full of moments that can fit just about any scenario with a few touch-ups.

I was very surprised at how quick he got Tom in the suit, moments after the fortress was formed even…but I suppose that was to be expected considering the pace of the remaining Kryptonian’s arrival. We’d had two hours plus of build-up, so by this juncture the audience have licked their lips long enough so serve up the main course!

How you structured Lois and Clark’s relationship to begin as work colleagues rather than as close friends from high school was a fine comics accurate-touch, and it allowed Lois to really peak in her element as a feisty, determined intrepid reporter digging as far as she can down the rabbit holes.

Lex’s journey was the most consistent from what we know of his tv portrayal, a few minor creative tweeks and omissions, but the themes are all there and the whole story plays out fairly straight forward, right up until the fortress invasion, that was a treat, I felt Lex and Jor-El never truly having a confrontation was a major element Smallville missed taking true advantage of.

I don’t think there’s too many things to critique, at least things he might already be aware of himself (I noticed a repeated frame in part six during the Crosby and Marth conversation), perhaps there was one too many dream sequences for my liking too, some parts of that confused me, particularly during the Lana and Teague fight, and Lex at the fortress…I know “Arctic” doesn’t give anyone a whole lot to work with, but I’m having some issue understanding what Kara rescued him from, I thought it was going to end with him being transported to the Phantom Zone until the scene with Kara.

I’ve had moments altering narratives in edits where I feel it made more sense in my head than anyone elses’, rofl. If he can explain these things, I’ll have an easier time understanding the decisions and choices.

Overall, Man of Steel provided some tender meat to a pleasantly functional skeleton, everything fused together, and those little issues noted above aside, I will state with great enthusiasm this guy has stitched together the best fan edit of 2020, and definitely one of the best Superman edits of all time. This is what Smallville was always capable of being, it has the best Superman cast, the best ‘young’ depictions of the characters, and is a great spin on the hero’s journey template.

I hope this edit inspires others, as much as it inspires me, to be more creative with their own editing projects and dare to think and do different.

Hopefully any kind of sequel won’t take up another seven years, but then, perfection cannot be rushed!

Doctor Who: How The Snake Was Released From It’s Tail (Fanfiction)

(Tie-In story for the “Time Lord Victorious”, please read Titan Comics “Defender of the Daleks” and watch “The Waters of Mars” and the novel “The Knight, The Fool, And The Dead”)

The Doctor took a gentle step forward, leaving a footprint in the molten snow.

He had reached his destination, he was sure of it. The ember pits of Snodoke.

He withstood the smouldering and intense heat of the triple sunsets, even as day turned in briefest seconds to night before they rose again, an indecisive orbit, it required a fool’s errand to endure.

Was The Doctor playing that fool? Many had died because of the act once before, but now no one else would die this day in creation, not now or any other day that graced his gaze.
Night would fall on the many no more. The sun would rise for everyone and for all time.

A tall volcanic mountain, a sight so familiar to the Doctor through childhoods past, from beyond an infinite set of lifetimes, stood before him.

Standing to his opposite side was a circular temple in the shape of an ouroboros snake. Its jaw wedged in its own tail. Symbolising eternity, symbolising, to the Doctor, a way of things he sought to unravel.

These pits contained of the last great super weapons conceived in the twilight of the Dark Times, the Hondraiser. A device capable of undoing what can never be undone, keeping the doorway to eternity firmly shut, yet leaving but one way open.

A safe passage to death. No harm, no pain, no taxing mental or physical compromise. Just release.

The Hondraiser was developed by those who challenged the way of the universe as it had evolved to that point, to see no need for life after a time, to cease all manner of suffering, an ongoing price paid for the folly of unspeakable atrocity committed by those who breathed in a galaxy’s worth of ash.

This device would revive, exclusively, those who bared the burden of the great threshold, the creatures that sought to silence the screams they could no longer afford to absorb and cry when those voices they belonged were silenced for all time. The sound of silence, the one voice they could never afford to have.
The Hond.

That is, until The Doctor crossed their pathway, and granted them their own unique silence, a painless passage to the next life. And now he had to ensure they stayed at rest.
It was a quandary that played on the current state of his soul…why would he wish to spare them from life if his present mission was to hold back death for all time? Why not grant them a light to guide them through the memory of times so dark to them?

Surely their imprint on the universe would be a stark reminder to all that the time lord victorious can never be truly wrong.

But maybe that was the point.

He had yet to relinquish the universe of pain, and it was through the suffrage inflicted on souls was what gave the Hond their grudge against all who dwell in the galaxy.

A race cursed by pain, inflicting that pain on others, a reminder of travesties that would be finally put to rest.

If he gave them life anew, he might as well snuff out all hope, it would be wrong of him, the time lord victorious is never wrong, that there is no one to stop him, no one to hold him back, no one to tell him his way, his law of time, is an affront.

Nothing but that.

Nothing. But. That.

The Doctor stood between the mountain and the snake; he produced his trusty sonic screwdriver, and held it high above his head. He pressed his finger delicately on the third setting.

The vibrations rocked the planet to and fro, the Doctor, in a physically taxing bout of defiance, did all he could to stand his ground. The temple collapsed, the volcano erupted, the lava spilled.

The Doctor inspected the wreckage while he could; his time was short as the lava raced towards him.

The Doctor was satisfied.

The Hondraiser was no more.

When the future is born, and they were old enough to join the wisest of men in the dead of winter, at the end of another wonderful year, in preparation for the beginning of yet another golden tomorrow, they will ask just what the precise moment was when those wisest among them realised that peace was assured for eternity in the universe? A universe free not just of pain, but the constant reminder of it?

And those wise men would say, as irony would have it, when the jaw was released from its tail.

Doctor Who: Under A Sky Brimming With Ashes [Fanfiction]

Just thought I’d pop one out here after reading a Radio Times article on where Dawan’s Master fits in the chronology. The first words spoken by The Doctor come from the annual, and I figured it’d make for a good self-prompt, so having not read the annual, I challenged myself to finish the conversation


Under a charred orange sky brimming with ashes, The Doctor stood in the ruins of Gallifrey, The Doctor asked her old friend and many-a-time foe of the last time they understood one another.

“You looked quite different the last time I saw you, I quite liked you as Missy. At least she wanted to change, to be a better person.”

“She spent too long in your company, Doctor,” The Master, architect of the last great destruction of Gallifrey, replied, “A mistake I don’t intend to repeat.”

“Why? Because it may calm all the rage?”

“Maybe. Not telling you”

Frustrated, The Doctor’s thoughts swiftly turned elsewhere, she looked out into the distance, she could see something faint in the distance just beyond the perimeters of the capital. She smiled. There was always hope to be had, provided you use your eyes.

“My place?” she asked.

The Master chortled.

“You never knew your place”

“Is that supposed to have a double-meaning now I’ve had an upgrade?” asked The Doctor

The Master didn’t respond, he looked back at the shattered dome of the great Gallifreyan citadel, attempting to place upon his face a mask of proud accomplishment.

“Come on, my place. You left it standing”

“How thoughtful of me”

“Yeah, well, probably the only clear thought that came into your head when acting out this deed”

She offered her hand to The Master, he hesitated.

“What makes you think your place is where I need to be? Even after seeing all this around you?”

“Do you remember Harold Saxon? Do you remember the year that never was? Where you plagued humanity with a brutal, quasi-omnipotent rule? Do you remember what I said? Could you bear it at the time? Can you bear it now? What did I say? What did I do?”

“You forgave me” The Master whispered, holding back a faint tear.

“And then you held me”

He looked back at The Doctor, her eyes matching his in urgency, in sincerity. Here, there was no such thing as malice, or hatred, or even the blight of disappointment, here there was only concern, there was a yearning to understand.

This was love

“Let me hold you. Again, just once, one more time, there is a rage inside of you and I don’t know if I can stop it this time, but if there’s any part of you that enjoyed my company as Missy, that relished the very notion of redemption, and if you have any secrets that need sharing, then for my sake, for your sake, don’t hide it behind a campaign against the universe, embrace it in a quiet, private place in the universe. Share it with me, without a cross word before, not a cross word after, without any hesitation. Whatever it is, I forgive you. Always”

“It’ll hurt, trust me, it is going to hurt” The Master warned.

“Whatever hurts me can sting only once, from there we’ll heal. Together”

The Master reached out and gripped her hand tight.

Together they headed over to an old, well worn hut.

There they made everything better.

There, by some miracle or another only their bond could achieve, they calmed all the rage.