The Infamous Navy Seal Copypasta, Re-written as a Shakespearean Monologue

Because apparently this needed to exist. Link to the original, if you’re not familiar.

What didst thou say of me, thou shrinking cur?
Knows’t thou that in my class of Navy Seals
among all men I graduated first,
and in the secret shadows did I wield
my dagger, pressed to Al’Quaeda’s heart,
and have I, in the sight of God and men,
dispatch’d more than fifteen score for my part
‘ere I returned to my home shore again.

Learned I the way of battle of the ape.
Unequaled, I, at killing from afar,
among all those who kill thus for the States.
To me, a target is all that thou art.
Thou shalt, with such precision never seen
before upon the face of God’s green Earth,
be wiped out, shuffled off, wilt cease to be,
and at my hands, mark well my fucking words.

Think that mayhap thou might escape my ire
because we speak upon the Internet?
Thinks’t thou again, thou knave, for I conspire
with spies, who all across the States are set,
and even as we speak, I soon will know
thine precious three four times, thine own IP.
Prepare’st thou then, thou worm, for storm and woe,
for tempest comes, and it doth come for for thee.
Thy thread, it ends, though thou art but a child.
I can be anywhere and anywhen,
and know I seven hundred different ways
with mine bare hands alone to bring thine end.

And not with just my hands can death I bring,
but with all of the arms and armament
of the United States Corps of Marines
and I will use them to their full extent
to from this blessed continent erase
thine base pathetic ass, thou filth-stain’d bit.
If thou didst know thy “wit” would bring thine waste,
then thou mightst not have wasted all thine wit.

But waste thou did, and now, thou God-damn’d fool,
thou see’st that thou must reap what thou didst sow.
My fury forms for thee a drowning pool.
Know now that thou art fucking dead, kiddo.

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The Deep End

Well, here goes. To paraphrase a certain musical: November 20, 2016, 10:54 PM. Here on in, I write without a script. See if anything comes of it, instead of my old… stuff.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mud and Iron is a novel that I’ve tried and failed to finish writing during two separate NaNoWriMos. As a result, I had a little over 50,000 words of the book written before I decided to start editing, expanding, and posting the results online, and while I’ve had to do quite a bit of rewriting, there are multiple passages of the original work copied and pasted directly into the current text.

The latest chapter, though, marks the point at which my second NaNo attempt ended, which means that from here on out every word going into Mud and Iron is coming hot and fresh from my fingers/Ergodox/brain. I’ve got a rough outline, but it’s mostly in my head, and I’ll be refining it as I go. I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so it’ll be an adventure for all of us.

Once again, I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who’s read Mud and Iron so far, and especially those who’ve come back week after week to read the latest chapter. It means a ton to me, seriously. Thank you.

I hate doing the whole self-promotion thing and I’m going to continue writing and posting regardless, but if you want to support Mud and Iron and help it continue to grow, please post a rating or review over on Web Fiction Guide or vote for it on  Top Web Fiction. And post in the comments here or on Mud and Iron to let me know how you’re liking it. Thanks!

Really? That Long?

So, I didn’t notice last week, but the last post on Mud and Iron was the 26th weekly post I’ve made. If there are 52 weeks in a year, that means I’ve been posting Mud and Iron for half a year now, and I’m both surprised and excited to have made it this far.

Mud and Iron started as a NaNoWriMo novel I’ve tried and failed to finish twice. The hardcore sprint of finishing a novel in 30 days is exciting and thrilling, but working slowly and steadily I feel like I’m more able to consistantly put out chapters I’m pleased with. I’m also at much less risk of panicking, throwing up my hands, and walking away without getting to the end; it may be a lot slower to write a book this way, but I’m confident the book will get written, and I’m committed to seeing it through.

Anyway, as a result of Mud and Iron’s origins I have a ton of notes to crib from for the earliest parts of the book, but I’m now getting close to what I’d consider the end of ‘Act 1’, and from there on out there’s a whole lot less draft text and a whole lot more rough outline. It’s going to be a bit more work for me to keep on schedule, but like I said before, I’m committed now, both to keeping up my schedule of posting and to making sure I’m happy with the work before I send it out.

To those who’ve been reading along as I write, thank you so much. You’re awesome, and I hope you’re enjoying the story so far. And the same goes to those who are binging their way through! You’re also awesome. Really, if you’re reading this right now at all, you’re awesome, and amazing, and have impeccable taste. Go you! Go me! And here’s to the next six months!

I hate doing the whole self-promotion thing and I’m going to continue writing and posting regardless, but if you want to support Mud and Iron and help it continue to grow, please post a rating or review over on Web Fiction Guide or vote for it on  Top Web Fiction. Seriously, as few as 3 or 4 votes is all it takes to get Mud and Iron into the top 50 list for fantasy on Top Web Fiction, and all you have to do is click, like, twice.

And hey also, leave me some comments and let me know how you’re liking it! (Or if you found a typo I need to fix!)

Mud and Iron: A Nice Surprise

So, about a month and a half ago, four or five posts into Mud and Iron, I decided I’d submit it for review/inclusion on Web Fiction Guide. I punched in the link and info, and it went into the queue, behind about 30 other things. When I checked in a week or so later, it had only moved up a few spots, so I figured it was going to take a while and then sort of forgot about it.

Today, I remembered it again, and decided to check the queue. It wasn’t there any more, which confused me a little at first. Had it been removed? I took a second look at the list. None of the titles I remembered being just before or after mine were on the list any more either. I checked the date of the latest submission on the list. May 12th. May 12th? I submitted Mud and Iron before that, didn’t I? Does that mean…?

I spammed my back button until it took me back to the main page, and looked down at the New Listings section. Sure enough, right there, between listings entitled Inconsistent Pacing and Babe Ruth: Man-Tank Gladiator, there was Mud and Iron.

Huh, I thought. Cool. Right there on the front page. It doesn’t look like it has any reviews yet, but neither does almost anything else on the new list. I wonder if I’ve gotten any traffic as a result?

Before this week, Mud and Iron had about 50 views (of all pages individually) from about 15 people, about half of whom I know personally and could probably name. In the past 3 days since it went up on Web Fiction Guide, I’ve had 22 visitors and over 100 new individual page views. Every page on the blog has at least 5 new views. Every page.

My mind is mildly boggled right now. Mud and Iron was, at the time this was written, just under 20,000 words long, longer than any work I’ve shared with anyone before. And five different people, from at least two countries, sat down with the prologue and decided to read it all the way through.

Even if this is Mud and Iron‘s most popular week, it’s already surpassed any expectations I had when I started posting it. So to those who’ve given me their time and attention: thank you! I hope you’re enjoying the story so far! And stick around, because there’s a lot more coming!

(Shameless self promotion bit: And if you want to post a review or recommendation on Web Fiction Guide or vote for Mud and Iron on Top Web Fiction, that’d be cool of you! Thanks.)

Game Story: Dark Souls III

I’m playing Dark Souls III, and decide to engage in some “Jolly Cooperation”. I put down my white summon sign, which allows other players to summon me to help them in their games.

I get summoned by a guy named Lord Lutor. I’m wearing a breastplate and carrying a kite shield and spear, he’s in chainmail and has a round shield and a sword.

This is Dark Souls, so we can’t talk, but we can use gestures to communicate. I use the gesture ‘Bow’. He bows back.

We head down from the round tower, get in some fights, stab some guys. I kick an undead soldier off a ladder, and he jumps down and stabs it from the air. One of the baddies turns into a huge black slime monster but Lutor throws fire bombs at it until it goes away. There’s a moment’s pause, and then we’re off again.

We keep heading through the level. He picks up a few items along our path; items in the level don’t respawn when you do in Dark Souls, so that tells me it’s his first time through this part of the game. Me, I’ve been through here a few times, both as a co-op companion and on my own so-far unsuccessful attempts to reach the boss.

We seem to have a pretty good synergy going. He’ll draw an enemy out and I’ll stab it in the back, or vice versa, or he’ll fight the big threat while I keep little guys from coming up behind him. Still, neither of us are perfect and there’s the occasional lag spike besides, so we both still take the occasional hit and have to heal.

We finally get to the mist gate before Vordt of the Boreal Forest, the boss of the High Walls of Lotheric, the first real boss of the game. Jolly Co-op only lasts until you kill a boss, so this is our last fight together, whether we win or lose.

I’m out of estus, so I can’t heal. Lutor’s out of estus, so he can’t heal. I’m on one-half health, Lutor’s on maybe one-eighth. We’ve done good, but we’re out of gas.

Lutor does the gesture ‘Collapse’. He falls to his knees like he can’t go any farther.

I wait a second, then make the gesture ‘Point Forward’. My character points toward the gate, to where the boss lies waiting. We’ve come this far, I figure, we might as well see how long we can last against the big bad.

(Also, while he’ll lose all the souls he’s collected this run if he dies, I won’t, so I have nothing to lose 🙂 )

Lutor stands up, and after a moment’s further hesitation he goes through the mist. I have to wait behind while the cutscene plays. Because he’ll start on the far end of the boss room with the boss between me and him, I’m a little worried that he’s going to die right away and that’ll be that.

He doesn’t die. Instead, when I can finally come through the gate, he’s rushing back toward me, rolling left and right to avoid Vordt’s attacks. Vordt is massive, and scary; he’s man shaped, and he’d be 15 feet tall if he were standing, but he’s rushing forward on all fours like a rabid beast. A beast with a giant mace in one hand.

I dive into action, and for once, unlike most of my playing tonight, I’m on fire. While Vordt’s focused on Lutor, I rush in, stabbing at his butt and legs with my spear until I get his attention. When he turns toward me, my focus shifts to staying alive, diving out of the way as Vordt brings his mace sweeping around or smashing down on the spot where I was just standing an instant before. When Vordt stands up tall and prepares to use his breath weapon, we both rush in, one to each side in a pincer move that looks almost like we planned it, striking until it breaks Vordt’s attack pattern and he staggers. I take only a single hit the whole fight. Lutor is untouched.

And then, with Vordt on his last legs, I run out of stamina at the worst possible moment, and Vordt leaps on top of me, smashing me into the ground with the haft of his mace.

The screen goes from color to black and white, and Dark Souls’ signature red text fades in across my screen: “YOU DIED”.

Lutor runs in in the wake of my death, stabs Vordt one more time, and the monster finally dies, crashing down and dissolving into ash. We’ve won, but it’s too late for me.

Where it’s usually customary to make victory gestures like ‘Joy’ or send your helpers off with a ‘Wave’, Lutor does neither. Instead, he uses ‘Collapse’ again, falling to his knees, as if to mourn my loss, the loss of our brief but hard-won companionship.

A new message appears on my screen, in yellow this time: “VICTORY ACHIEVED” My souls counter goes up, almost doubling, and the game tells me I’ve earned an ember (the standard reward for a successful co-op session).

Not too late for me after all.