Friday, November 21, 2008

Loneliness (2)

Rafael woke up in his bed. It was still dark outside what he thought was a good thing. He have been waking up too late for the past weeks and that took his energy out. The thought of how late it was to do anything relevant kept him from executing the most simple tasks. Today was different, it was early. At least early enough for taking a good breakfast and finally clean the apartment and do the laundry.

He stood up, stretching for a minute or two. He felt good, ready. Went to the toilet to wash his face and he looked at his computer. "I'll just check something before I start...". Poor Rafael. He knew that in truth that was weakness. The great escape he always had from doing his chores and thinking about the reality he had placed himself in. He sat by the notebook at the corner of his room and started checking e-mail, virtual communities, forums, cartoons, tv-series, news. Anything was a reason for him to stay a few more minutes on that chair.

He knew about that but... there is always one more small thing to check, to answer, to watch. You don't need a lot of effort to find your dreams coming true on the web. And that dragged him away from anything he actually had to do. At some point his hunger eventually led him to the fridge just to find it empty. One week without buying anything. Maybe more? He didn't know. He didn't care. Went back to the computer to let himself be dragged again.

Another hour or so until he finally took a shower. It was late in the afternoon already when he finally felt like going out to buy food. His stomach hurt. He dressed up and looked on the mirror.
- How long don't you shave? Is it really me? I don't know you anymore... - He said to himself while looking at his image. - What's going with you? How long don't you see someone else? You have been in your room for days now! You gotta do something. I have to do something! That's it! Now it starts a new phase! - He smiled. Not for real but to convince himself of that fragile selfconfidence. He had to hold on to whatever he could.
And with that he set off to the supermarket, into the cold, harsh windy weather that sucked the warmth even from his soul, nullifying all his effort. From the minute he stepped outside, only thing on his mind was to finish the shopping so he could go back into his room.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's wrong?

I received the following text by mail. It said that the source is from a Brazilian advertisement agency called Bullet. The director of the agency wrote it. I decided to translate it and post as we all need some time to think about real problems that sometimes we forget or translate into some distant excuse.


"I'll make you a slide show.
Are you ready? It's common, you have seen these images before.

Perhaps you are even used to them.
It starts with those hungry children in Africa.
Those with the bones visible under their skins.
Those with flies on their eyes.
The slides keep coming.
Exodus of entire populations.
Hungry people.
Poor people.
People with no future.
For decades we've been exposed to these images.
On Discovery Channel, National Geographic, photography contests.
Some turned into art, in books of renown photographers.
It is misery in images that stir.
Images that create government platforms.
They create NGOs.
They create organizations.
The create social movements.
Misery around the world, in Uganda or in Ceará (Brazil), India or Bogotá, stirs.
Year after year it has been discussed what to do.
Years of pressure to bring the attention from a infinity of leaders that succeed in the most powerful nations of the planet.
Some say that US$ 40 billion would be enough to solve the starvation problem worldwide.
To solve, capicce?
There would be not a single little boy terribly skinny and with no future, in no corner of the planet.
I don't know haw they calculate that number.
But let's say it is underestimated.
Let's say it is the double.
Or the triple.
With US$ 120 billion the world would be a fairer place.
If there was no parades, political or philosophical speeches, or pictures to sensitize.
If there was no documentary, NGO, lobby or pressure that would solve.
But in one week, the same leaders, the same powerful nations, took from their sleeves US$ 2.2 trillion (US$ 700 billion from the USA and US$ 1.5 trillion from European nations) to save from starvation those who were already with their stomachs full."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Order of the Red Phoenix (1)

She is a strange figure, that girl. That night she was sitting in the dark corner of the tavern, by herself. Only an almost burnt candle made her company but it was barely enough for the rest of us to see her face. It was a noisy night as you should expect from a tavern in Anthar'Alon. You know, that one right next to the barracks... The usual confusion was taking place. Men shouting, challenging, laughing and bragging out loud about their victories and battles. And of course, ale. I had something to drink as well but I do remember that night.

Yes. She was there, sitting alone in the dark, watching everyone with her usual superiority look. I must say I never liked that girl, Lord. She looks at everyone indifferently, as if we were all pathetic losers, as if we don't know what's going on out there. But I tell you, Lord, we do know what's going on!

Er... I guess you are not interested on that. Ok then, I'll focus on the story about that night.

So it was just another night, nothing special was going on as the hours slipt away. Some of the men got drunk, tried to pick a fight here and there, some were already leaving, others still arriving. And you know it's not common for a girl to stay at a tavern alone so late in the night. Especially one so young and beautiful! I just told you I don't like her but I can't help it if she's stunning! Those green eyes that shines like emeralds and her hair looks like black silk, Lord! I wish I could just... Oh! Ok, Lord. I'm sorry!

So one of the men finally approached Elthyn with ale and sat down next to her. She looked a bit surprised at first but she didn't move. I don't know what they talked about for I was too far to hear them. But for some reason that scene caught my attention. There was something odd there... First is the fact that no one never approaches that girl; and also... there was something there that looked familiar, even though I didn't recognize at first.

They talked for a brief moment, stood up and left together. On their way out I payed more attention to the man. He had just arrived for I don't remember him before his approach to Elthyn. And as he passed by me on their way out, someone opened the door and a cool night breeze blew into the tavern, lifting the man's hooded cloak for an eye blink. For that short period of time I could see the man's pale hand and on his wrist the Red Phoenix! I swear to the gods, Lord! I saw it! I saw it!
- Have you told this to anybody?
Of course I did, Lord! But everyone thought I was drunk, that they were gone forever, and aaaahhhh!!!
- Get rid of his body before someone sees it...

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Nightfolk (1)

His eyes were getting used to the light out there. However, he could already see the silhouettes of a dozen men walking towards the east. Strange looking men, he thought for a while, searching in his memory for he never saw any like those. Very short men, perhaps half of his height, most of them heavily bearded with shiny pieces of metal around their bodies. Most of them carried weapons he never saw before. A long stave – perhaps too long for their height, he thought – with a metal piece that resembled a woodcraft tool, although these seemed capable of splitting a man’s head so big they were.

It was a bright day out there. Sky was blue as far as his eyes could see. Only a few white clouds here and there. It was close to midday for the short men shadow was small. And he thought those men must be tough for they were carrying too much weight at that warm day. And not a sign of weakness those men showed. They were talking in a language he could not understand. They were laughing loud, and he thought that even the Goddess would hear that from her sanctuary in the sky. But they kept moving east, faster then he expected for men with such short legs.

He followed them for as far as he could along the border of his homeland, but a few hours later they turned north, away from him. For a moment he thought of stepping out, but the protection of the darkness would be gone, and he would not dare go anywhere without it. He waited for two days expecting them to come back. In vain. And so he decided to go back, and report to the others what he have seen. Perhaps the Oracles could bring some clearance of who those men were. And what were they doing so close to their homeland.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hide and Seak

Why do you write?
Release, freedom.
Or is it hiding? Both.

Is it right?

Forget about write,
Read! It's not your gift.

Not my words,
How can I hide?
Got a ride.

Far, far away
Summon myself:
Where am I?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love (1)

He closed the book and rested it on the table. Rested his hands crossing them over his stomach, that received the weight of his thin arms with ease. He stretched and crossed his legs on a second chair in front of him, before releasing his head on the chair's backrest. Then he closed his eyes and suddenly he was lying down on soft and bright white sand, listening to the ocean as it was in front of him. A cool breeze blew from the northeast, feeding his memories of home, beach, laughter and friends.

He didn't noticed and he couldn't help but smile at those memories. His smile grew as he felt a soft, delicate touch on his face. First with the back of her hand on his right cheek, and then a finger following the shape of his smile. He opened his eyes, still lying at the beach, and saw a clear face, framed by dark hair, hiding the bright autumn sun behind her.

Her brown eyes shined when they met his and she gave him a sweet smile, almost inocent, that still conquered his heart. Even after years spending their lives together. He reliased then how happy he was and brought his hands to meet hers, holding them tight, celebrating that moment with her. He repeated the gesture he had just received on his face on hers.
- I love you... - He said in a low, lifeless voice.
- I love you too! - She replied smiling, even though a tear rolled down her face.
He opened his eyes and found himself on his study room, where he was reading his book. He brought his legs back to the floor, sitting straight again on the chair. He took the book into his backpack, to where he also returned the pen and the notebook in which he wrote references of technicalities a few moments ago.

"She will be mine. And all this will be senseless" he thought while reading his book's cover again. He left the room heading to the canteen with his dreams still echoing in his mind. His heart was beating fast now, his breath losing its natural rythm while his world suddenly became only one person. Everything else had vanished and the only thing he could see was her dark hair, her brown eyes so light that almost turned green, exactly like he had seen minutes ago in his dream. Joy. So much joy that he could barely hide it.
- So, shall we? - She said with her sweet voice, in a different but enchanting accent. - Everyone is already here, just waiting for you.
- Sure! Sorry I'm late. - He said letting his tension go.
- Don't worry, it's nothing. - She replied with a smile that he couldnt escape, before joinning their friends.

A Draenei Death Knight (2)

I spent the first days as a silent rebel. I needed the secrecy of my true purposes to be kept aside so I could get answers and freedom to research the madness that fell upon the orcs. While my days were spent among the scholars or doing their field work, my nights I spent outside our hidden city in Zangamarsh. I found a cave where I could practice my skills with weapons. It was not common for a young Anchorite like me to do that. So I hid it so no suspicions could arise.

After some time I finally learned that what caused the orcs’ sudden bloodlust was our enemy of old, Kil’jaeden. He had corrupted the orcs through one of their own, Gul’dan was his name. I now had someone to look for.

The Death Knight raised his eyes as if looking for some lost memory. I could finally glance his skin under the plate mail he wore. It was dark, pale as if he was dead. Perhaps he is. But then again, I do not know what sort of dark magic works within them. I’m no magic expert.

It is strange to look back in the past now. Everything seems so clear as if those first steps I took were already leading me to the Lich King, but I doubt it. My path was a path that many walked before. The hunger for power above all things. And as far as I have heard the stories, the one thing we all have in common is that hunger. The voice that drives us mad, that rids us of our humanity, of our values. The very same cold voice that pierced my dreams and hopes years before, day after day, night after night…

But enough with the babbling. I had to reach Gul’dan and so I started observing the orcs. I no longer had duties as a researcher. I quited it after I found what I wanted and now I needed time to learn how to reach the orc chief. I spent my time with traders that worked their way among his race before the bloodthirsty that befell them. And I learned that Gul’dan was always searching for more power. I was right to seek for him. But I wanted his source of power, not his leadership.

I do not recall how many nights I spent watching the orcs, planning a way to approach them. I know many years passed and I was called mad by my kinsmen. I wondered around watching the orcs that now looked like demons. I recognized the work of Kil’jaeden among them. And I desired that Velen had not had his damn vision. I cursed my ancestors; I vowed to revenge, I delivered myself to my deepest desire of murder. But I never cried. I twisted my feelings so I had a use for all that was burning inside me.

So long I waited, I wondered around Draenor, hiding from the orcs just enough so I could watch them. I learned a little of their language, enough to hear the whereabouts of Gul’dan. And to my surprise, I heard the word, “death”. Gul’dan was dead!? All those long years waiting for the right time were wasted. Anger, fear, madness, despair, all at once ran wild in my head, and I put my sword skill to use for the first time. I must admit I got those three orcs by surprise so only one of them had time to reach his axe. The other two were slain before they realized where I came from. The third one was scared. I could see his fear and it fed me. I liked it. “Death” they said…

I went back to Zangamarsh defeated. But somehow I had found joy again. That short burst of death that invaded me kept me going. I did not pray anymore. I was a lost soul among the Draenei, even though the High Anchorites tried to guide me back to the their path of light. However, I knew my path, if any, would have to be different. So the days dragged long and lonely, cold and bitter, where I could only hear despair, revenge, and death.

And so it came the day of our escape from Draenor for Ner’zhul opened the portal to Azeroth again and Draenor collapsed and became what is now known as Outland. I was brought to Exodar even though I didn’t care. I did not care if the world was been torn apart. But I went on that ship and when I woke up, I was alone. Laying on a beach where rocks lay all around and in front of me a dark, thick forest raised from a few steps after the bright sand. And as I sat there for the first time I heard an answer to my deepest desire.

It sounded like two voices speaking at the same time. One filled with the same hunger as mine, the other was deep, cold, powerful. I felt power in those voices. And for some reason it gave me hope to finally have the revenge I craved for. The voices seem to know about my pledge, and it encouraged me: “Find me, Raskkar, and you will have your revenge. For your enemy is my enemy. Your revenge will bring glory to us both. Deliver to me your wishes and all shall be yours!”

I walked north. I didn’t felt cold as I thought I should in that icy hell. I felt warm. More and more I felt my burning desires growing with the proximity of my King. I felt like I would overcome any orc with my bare hands and an army of them with a sword. It felt great for once again and my when I finally reached the Frozen Throne, I collapsed to the Lich King’s will. And there was no more Raskkar.

Obs: Today there are 2 stories for I couldn't help developing this one further with the today's release of World of Warcraft's next expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Loneliness (1)

It was just another day, in his routine bar of Wednesdays night...
- So where are you from?
- I’m from Paris, and you?
“Why do they always reply like that is the most important place in the world?” he questioned himself.
- I’m from Brazil.
- Oh, really! That’s far away. Why did you come ‘ere? – Said the French with his characteristic poor English.
- To study. I’m a master student here. – He emphasized the H on purpose.
- Oh, me too. What do you istuddi? – Damn! His accent was annoying!
- I’m sorry, will you excuse me? – Replied the Brazilian dismissing the newcomer.
He gave the French a half smile and touched his shoulder while leaving him alone, walking towards the door. He rushed through the crowd to reach someone that was leaving. “Hey, Lukas!” he called out loud after reaching the street. He instantly felt the freezing cold of the north winter coming. His friend turned.
- Are you leaving already?
- Yeah! I gotta wake up early tomorrow. Have an exam!
- Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. Good luck, mate!
- Thanks, mate! Have fun tonight! Cheers!
- Cheers… - he said in a not so cheerful tone.
He went back inside. Looked around for a moment and decided to leave as well. No reason to stay while all your friends are gone. He grabbed his coat, dressed it and left again the bar. On his way out he bumped into a woman.
- I’m sorry! I’m really sorry! I was distracted!
- Hey Rafa!
- Oh! Hi Rachel, I didn’t recognize you.
The woman took her hood back and undressed her thick bright yellow jacket. She looked ugly as always. And that yellow made her look even worse.
- Oh well… – She said smiling and giggling
“Oh, God! No!” He thought while realizing that the giggle was a sign she wanted him. The mere thought of kissing her made him to finish that conversation as fast as possible.
- Anyway, gotta go, Rachel. See you around!
- Oh... ok, then. – She sounded surprise – Anyway, who were you talking to a few moments ago. I saw you come out of the bar and talk to someone…
- Oh, that was Lukas, my german friend. Don’t you know him?
- Lukas? No… but, wait. I mean, I haven’t seen anyone, and you were looking the same direction I came from.
- Well, I don’t know. He might have turned somewhere.
- Rafa, there was no one there. There was nowhere to turn!
- As I said, I don’t know. Gotta go. See ya! – He dismissed her turning around to leave.
He reached the streets again and as he walked home he felt lonely again. As he felt so many other days and nights. It was a dark, cold night. Shadows passed by him, some distant sounds of laughter and cars passing by. He walked home with his chin almost touching his chest, thinking about and repeating those words…
- There was no one there…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Draenei Death Knight (1)

My brothers and sisters... There is no understanding from what I’m going to tell you. You won’t like to hear it. But I do not seek your approval, your compassion, or any of the weak feelings you might have from my story.

I was there. Perhaps the darkest day in our history, when our beloved temple of Karebor was invaded and the holiest among our people were slain by the vicious orcs of the Burning Legion. My spirit is old now. It felt tortures worse than most of you can imagine. But those days are craved into what’s left of my humanity, if there is any.

I was a holy Draenei myself. I was young back then, following the steps of the Naaru, of our leaders and their beautiful words about light, life and peace. All but gone in what seems to me like a few moments, like a heartbeat. Yet I can’t forget the stench of blood coloring red the land and the waters of what once was the beautiful Shadowmoon Valley. I saw the orcs slash, cut, stab, chop and crush with mace, sword, and axe. Their bloodlust was unstoppable. And at each of their swings I saw one our own fall. I was hiding. I couldn’t move. I cowardly stood there, watching the blood run down the stairs of our Temple…

He lowered his voice and his head as he couldn’t hold that thought any longer. It crossed my mind that he was indeed mourning his kin’s death.

Have you ever watched your beloved ones die? Helplessly die in front of you while there is nothing you can do to stop? Have you ever felt your heart being stabbed not once, but over and over again by a cold, dark, merciless blade? There is no way to explain that. Pain is a mere word. Oh no… that was not pain. This feeling is way beyond pain…

He stopped and looked straight into my eyes and with his gaze I felt my spine freeze. His glowing blue eyes were smiling at me. A grim smile. And then I understood that pleasure drove his words.

I was there the first time our leaders renamed our temple to how its now called as I was told. The Black Temple. So that was how our beloved holy light was rewarded? It turned into a shadow, a dark monument to our defeat. I couldn’t sleep. In my head it was a permanent nightmare of flesh, blood, screams and despair. I tried counsel from my superiors, blessings from the Naaru… I prayed. I remember praying for hours, days, months! I prayed a lot back then, asking for forgiveness first. Then I asked for peace. In the end I was praying for a selfish night of sleep. And then one day I prayed for revenge.

The simple fought of revenge woke me from my endless, and foolish, hope of forgiven. I would never be forgiven because I would not forgive myself. Not until I had my revenge. But for that I would need power. More than I had ever seen among my kin. No. I would need more. I would need the kind of power that could turn the Temple of Light into The Black Temple…