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Why I shouldn't Think while Half-Asleep

OR Be Glad I don't Update Much

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When Hotaru was born, the timer on her wrist displayed naught but a mess of ever-shifting lines. No one thought anything of it, as such was common when one's soulmate had yet to be born. As the years passed with no change, however, concern grew that perhaps she didn't have a soulmate.


When Hotaru was eight, her timer became the last thing on anyone's mind.


When Hotaru was eleven, one stray glance at her wrist demanded a second; her wrist now displayed a countdown to a date one year and some months away. Hotaru grimaced; it seemed not only that her soulmate was very young, but that she would meet them as such.


After a year, for approximately seven seconds, the time on her wrist changed to a date one millenium in the future, provoking a pained and concerned stare; it was all too possible her timer was broken.


As the Timer wound down to twenty minutes, Hotaru seated herself on a park bench to read. As it reached the five-minute mark, she lost track of time. As it hit thirty seconds, the wind picked up, taking a wide-brimmed hat with it. At five seconds, she pinned the hat.

As the Timer blinked zero, Hotaru's gaze turned to meet guileless red eyes.

First Ministrations Chapter Two
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( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )

First Ministrations Chapter One
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( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )

Labor Day is not Good for Me
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(To clarify the title of this post, while I was not half-asleep when I came up with this, and was, in fact, fully conscious, I'd just gotten back from a weekend of too much food, too much alcohol, and not enough sleep, so I was in an odd place, mentally)

So, those of you who are familiar with the Sailor Moon manga may be aware of the fact that one Tomoe Hotaru is genetically modified. Those of you who are not, surprise! Turns out, I'd misremembered something, badly, and this was never stated anywhere. But, dammit, I can't imagine the Professor neglecting to at least look into genetic engineering, because it just meshes so well with the eventual goal of his life's work. Anyway, I am one of those people who looks at a situation like that, and eventually asks myself, "Self, if we were a mad scientist, specializing in super-lifeforms by way of gene therapy, with a willing and constantly available guinea pig in whom we could install whatever we wanted, and the ethical brakes had come off, what would we do?"

Self's answer was as follows: "Well Kintatsu, the first thing we'd think of doing would be to install a tapetum lucidum*, thus granting our specimen superior night vision. You know what? While we're working on the eyes, let's get more rods and cones in the retina, and pack 'em tighter, granting superior visual definition. This kid'll be able to read a colorful flyer at night from 50 meters, yes, yes, good. And manga!Hotaru says she prefers dimmer light, y'say? Anime!Hotaru's eyes are noticeably brighter than everyone elses' during eye-focused pans? Perfect.

While we're focused on senses, let's improve on hearing. Hmmm, we can't really decrease the lowest detectable magnitude without radically altering the ear shape, which could be socially disadvantageous. Let's work on range, instead, get some ultra- and infrasonic frequencies in there. We'll be able to call her with a dog-whistle! Hee! Oh, wait, the highest frequencies tend to go first, we'll have to make her healing factor a bit more aggressive to keep that (not too aggressive, though, that's how cancer happens). Oooh, and she'll be able to detect imminent explosions a good 20 seconds before they happen! We'll be able to avoid a repeat of the last time!

Hm, while we're still on senses, let's improve smell, probably can't get it dog-good, but maybe horse? Yes, that seems plausible, let's do that, and maybe eliminate some of those blind-spots, I want her able to detect cyanide and asparagus scented urine! Okay, maybe not asparagus urine, but definitely cyanide. And rohypnol. And ecstasy. You know what? Just all the drugs. Yes. Wait, I can't get that much variety without sacrificing clarity. Fine, all the harmful and unconsciousness inducing drugs, then. No, wait! Of course! Let's just give her the ability to detect sleaze-bags, yes! Scent-based emotional detection is a GO!!! And, of course, where scent goes, taste follows, so I won't even have to improve on that, yes, good.

Alright, let's do touch now, hm, we want to increase tactile acuity, while reducing pain severity, shouldn't be too hard, reduce the number and spread density of pain receptors by a quarter, let the other three types fill in the gaps, easy enough. Except, eh, tell you later. Though now that we're on neurology...

Hmm, we want to keep grey matter, maybe increase it and make it denser, but we need a way to increase sensory integration capacity, soooo, ah, yes! Let's slightly increase the length of the myelin sheaths in the white matter! Before you start on about making the neurons too inflexible, or making the sheaths too long to maintain a charge, each individual increase will be insignificant, but they'll stack, speeding up her sensory processing rate by at least a half-second, maybe more! You know what, put some sheaths on the periphery nerves, in the least mobile locations, maybe one every centimeter on the torso? Should increase her reaction time somewhat. Wait, maybe there's already sheaths on the periphery nerves, best check that out. While we're on periphery structures...

Increase her muscle density, definitely, this isn't even a question. Bone density, too, they need to be able to keep up, though perhaps we should hollow them out a bit, not much, but a bit, so as not to lose buoyancy, drowning would just be an embarrassing way for our specimen to go. She needs a more effective immune system, too, pity we can't make it work like a crocodile's, nothing gets past a crocodile's immune system. Except maybe prions, but they cheat. Perhaps model it after a horse's? The saying 'healthy as a horse' had to come from somewhere, after all, let's look into that, and it should be similar enough to a standard human system to be compatible, if not, just tailor it to kill the most aggressive/mutable pathogens with extreme prejudice.

And remove the death gene, definitely. Why we didn't evolve away from that thing... ugh. There is no reason we should have to die of old age when starfish don't.

Hmm, presumably, we want to spread super-humanity to the world, but we've been ostracized from academic circles, thus making the acquisition of competent, similarly minded assistants... difficult, and unlike our specimen, we're not immortal, we don't have time to work on every individual human on the planet. So, we're playing the long game, which means strapping a rocket to evolution's ass, so to speak. So, about that idea I almost brought up when discussing the sense of touch (ethical brakes are off, you said?): you know how, as far as neurology's concerned, pain is just pleasure beyond what you can tolerate? I was thinking, while we reduce the pain/pleasure nerves' numbers and density everywhere else, we should increase them in the erogenous zones, and also crank up her libido, greater drive for sex, plus increased pleasure during sex, equals increased likelihood of engaging in sex, equals higher odds of reproducing (multiple times) and introducing her superior genetics into the general population, thus allowing a significant portion of the population to be superhuman in a few... hundred... generations. Hmm, come to think of it, best make sure her reproductive tract is in top working condition, fibrous tumors wreak havoc on fertility. And do we know of any creatures whose females undergo meiosis their entire lives? Because we want that function, to keep the project on track down the line.

Of course, unlike Professor Tomoe, we are not a middle-aged Japanese man in the late '80s/early '90s, and would thus think to ensure our specimen is actually, y'know, heterosexual. Instead of, say, the homoromantic demisexual asexual she appears to be. Woops."

Thank you, Self, for assuring me that the world is safer for the lack of me as a mad scientist. Good gods, that took a disturbing turn near the end.

* The shiny layer on the back of, for example, a cat's eyes that makes them appear to glow in the dark (incidentally, this is a side effect of its main function, namely, exposing the retina to the same sample of light twice).

Okay, my brain decided to spring a fanfic off the implications of that last big paragraph. Here's the version, this is the Livejournal post.

My Dreams are WEIRD
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Surprisingly, this entry will not be Sailor Moon related. Well, not directly. The work in question shared a director, but anyway... this afternoon, I had a Revolutionary Girl Utena dream. In it, Utena was a dragon who was kept human in form and mind by eating a handful of cinnamon mixed with ginger once per day. She'd been adopted from India soon after hatching, and took on a resemblance to the first human(s) she saw upon her shipping crate being opened. The rest of her life proceeded as laid out in the series, until just before the end, when someone stole her spice mix during the night and challenged her to a duel the next day. That's when things got awesome.

Not having eaten her daily dose of spices, nor having had time to get more (because school), Utena starts suffering withdrawal (wow that was fast), complete with irritability and shaking just before the duel. Then her eyes become slitted and her fangs come out, signalling that she's started to turn back to her birth form. The change is not purely physical. She could now no longer regard the spices as merely "that admittedly weird snack I like that turned out to be addictive what the hell," but as "part of my hoard." So despite the shaking hands, she delivered a a brutal beatdown to the thief and challenger, who wanted this to happen, because Akio wouldn't be expecting to face someone who is both prince and dragon, finesse and power. Aaaand, that's when things got strange.

Apparently, the Anthy in my head really likes dragons, because the first thing she did after she and Utena got back to their dorm was seduce Utena (no details for yooouuu). I'd think she was unscrupulously taking advantage of Utena's altered mental state, except it was technically the first time since she'd hatched that Utena had been sober, sooo...

The last duel with Akio was too awesome for my brain to actually show me. Damn (though there was mention of fire. Lots of fire).

I know where everything except the "spices as mind-altering transformative agent" came from:

1. The Utena series uses fairytale archetypes to criticize the existence of and reliance upon gender roles in society. The dragon occupies a role in fairytales that has never been attributed a gender, thus making it the most "neutral" character in most any given story.

2. Changelings are a thing I know about.

3. Dragons have, over the ages, been associated with most, if not all, of the Seven Deadly Sins. Notice that lust and wrath are on the list.

4. Tell me that Utena and Anthy are not a couple, and I will stare incredulously, and then laugh at you.

[WIW] Serial Experiments Lain Distortion - Layer 05 images
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Black Tribal Mask Thing


[WIW] Serial Experiments Lain Religion - Layer 04 images
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Unidentified Electronic

Dungeon Corridor



I'm Sorry, Tomoe Hotaru...
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... For turning you into the equine equivalent of the Slenderman.  No, no, I admit it, I totally did.  What?  You don't see it?  Allow me to explain:

It looks like them.
There's something off about its appearance.
It can change its face at will.
The way it moves is several varieties of wrong.
If it takes interest in them, it turns them into something like itself, in some manner.
They can't figure out how it chooses its targets.

Now, was I talking about a nightmare and horses, or the Slenderman and humans?  Trick question; the list describes both.  So again, Tomoe Hotaru, you have my apologies.  Mea Culpa.

Yes, I WAS Looking When My Brain Did This
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So, I was daydreaming on my way to Cedar Point, no, I wasn't driving, and hit upon a much rehashed subject, namely, Hotaru/Chibi-Usa shipping (yes, in my weird head-canon where they're all were-horses).  Now, normally, I can't really imagine them going further than second-ward shortstop (making out, hands above clothing).  This time, however, my brain saw fit to throw in some domination/submission play, and... well, things got heated very quickly.  Which certainly says something (whether that something is commentary on how I perceive their relationship, or simply that I've been reading too much Dan Savage, I have no idea).

Things got weird after I threw in some light bondage, because that's when one of Hotaru's senior classmates took several photos with neither the lovers' knowledge, nor consent.  So Hotaru went to school the next day, saw a few copies of these photos, heard the culprit bragging about how she got them, and proceeded to demonstrate how not happy she was with a punch to the face, for starters.

This occurred just in time for a member of the faculty to come around the corner, and be utterly shocked that Hotaru, who is usually no trouble at all, is beating the everloving crap out of her senpai.  Of course, he let her off easy when he found out why she was doing it, because really: unprovoked assault is one thing, assault in light of the revelation that one has unwittingly and involuntarily become a child porn star is another.  Senior classmate was sent to the headmaster's office while the faculty tried to figure out how to handle this.

The senior classmate is advised against pressing charges, because:
1) Stars Spoiler: Hotaru's Setsuna-mama is the best damn lawyer in the history of law.
2) In balance, assault and battery pales in comparison to the shitstorm that is production, possession, and distribution of child pornography.
So, yeah, senior classmate would lose that case.

In light of this incident, the students were alerted to the fact that senior classmate is going to prison for this stunt, keeping those photos is a crime, and that just because dogs can tell that a pile of ash used to be photo paper, doesn't mean they can tell what was on the paper.  Hint hint.

It ended with Chibi-Usa cheering up Hotaru by reminding her that today is Saturday.  The second Saturday of the month.  That means game night.  And we're running Vampire: The Masquerade.

... I blame that last part on Shadowjack.

Reasoning behind Stars Spoiler: Pluto, somehow,  convinced the Japanese government to give herself, and two, at the time, sixteen-year-old open lesbians full legal custody of a little girl.  This, despite:
1) None of them being married.
2) Japan being less than fond of non-traditional family structures (like, say, ones with three parents, all of whom are women).
3) The majority of first world governments being unwilling to trust teenagers with children for longer than a week, and usually not even that.
I'm pretty sure Ami convinced the rest of the Inners to make Pluto their lawyer as soon as she realized this.
/End Reasoning behind Stars Spoiler

Trying Something New
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So, I have taken it upon myself to get off my ass (so to speak) and learn Japanese.  I'm currently going through hiragana.  Observations:
  1. The characters I was warned would be difficult to draw (o, so, tsi, and na) are, thus far, extremely easy to draw.
  2. So looks like the junction between the neck and shoulder of a western dragon, including the last two spines.
  3. Tsi looks like 5.
  4. Ni looks like a tree... next to a shrubbery.

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