Building a Hard of Hearing Robot…

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This was a combination of two little vehicles. My original idea was to create a virtual University of Mary Washington in the game Minecraft. This however was very ambitious and when I started I quickly found out that it was too big of an undertaking all things considered. We had a guest professor that turned me toward the miniature robot world so I immediately started shopping for a new project. I came across a little vehicle that pushed around and very slowly and a larger vehicle that was clap controlled. It cycled through commands by way of forward, turn right, and turn left. I thought that if I put the two together I could have a small vehicle that was clap controlled. They were both made from the same company so I figured that everything would talk to each other fine. There must have been a problem with the microphone or they didn’t work together perfectly as when I put everything together it wouldn’t respond to clapping but rather screaming at it. Although I turned the microphone sensitivity up all the way it still would only register a loud vocal noise. It made for a bit of humor but was a little frustrating.

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I made a huge mistake when assembling the robot. I followed the wiring schematic but accidentally put three resistors in backwards. Being that the parts were so small and the soldering iron would have burned through the circuit board, I opted to attempt cutting the resistors off the board and reverse them soldering them in the right position on top of the board. Luckily this worked out. I will admit I was very nervous when I turned in on for the first time. In fact, this may even be a contributing factor for the “hard of hearing” the little robot suffers from.

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This was an awesome experience in learning how to wire anything correctly and hugely educational on how to solder. I’ve never considered myself good with a soldering iron but this project absolutely demanded it with the closeness of everything. Connections that were literally the smallest of fractions of an inch away that weren’t supposed to connect. I consider myself lucky that everything was put together correctly.

I hope you enjoyed this little journey to make a little robot that was hard of hearing. I definitely recommend “making” in general but especially making little robots or something similar that requires wiring and soldering. You will learn a lot just by doing and move on to make something from scratch of your own design.

The Empire Strikes Back… In 30 Seconds.

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This was a lot of fun to do. Episode V is my favorite movie in this series. I tried to put the clips together in such a way that they kind of went together even though they were from different parts of the movie. All in all though I feel that it came together quite nicely and under 30 seconds actually. I hope you enjoy it!

Fallout Fun!

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With regrets, Fallout cannot be explained in thirty seconds to a minute. Hell, it can’t even be explained just in this video. As most open world games, Fallout 4 is huge. It’s not the biggest open world sandbox but it’s plenty big and chucked to the gills with all sorts of stuff that’s trying to kill you. The beginning of any story is always the foundation building section. It sets the tone for the rest of the story. For Fallout 4 the beginning is shorter than it’s predecessor but still takes a while for a video game. I was about at an hour before I was set loose on the open world. In Fallout 3 you’re stuck in the vault for a very long time. There’s a couple mission right off the bat since you’re living in a community vault. In Fallout 4 it’s a cryo-stasis facility. Everyone there gets frozen in time. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll leave it at that.

This video is the beginning of the game all the way to the vault and I time lapsed a lot. It’s most definitely worth the wait to get to the open world. It was worth it in Fallout 3 but when I first played it I didn’t get to the surface in my first sitting. I was figuring out the vault for at least another day if memory serves me right. There’s a lot of different things to do and chase after in any Fallout game or open world game for that matter. It’s an attempt to give the player all the power in what happens and when. While I enjoy games that have a set story line and you follow it along, sometimes it feels like you’re chasing a rabbit down it’s hole. with an open world game you can focus on whatever you want to whenever you want to. I’ve gone into Fallout 4 and focused solely on building one of my strongholds and didn’t combat any enemies at all for a couple hours. There’s so much to do it’s possible to focus just on your strongholds (there’s a lot of them) and the people that live there. This wasn’t an option in Fallout 3 and I feel that it’s a huge improvement and adds another layer of depth to the game.

 

Scene Analysis: Django Unchained

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This is one of my favorite scenes from this film. It’s so full of tension and when watched with the brutal scene before it’s really gripping and shows the depravity of Mr. Candy and his interest in Django. DiCaprio portrays Candy as a carnivore circling it’s pray. He is one of the most devious villains that I have ever seen to date. Almost all the shot are wide that way the viewer can see all that is going on in the room. When Candy presses Django however, Django returns with harsh tones. This is when the close ups shine and really suck the viewer into the emotion of the scene. Tarantino even cuts wide twice just for a few seconds to show the reactions of other characters and for Djangos partner attempting to ease the tension and he pulls back into Django and Candy to see if his efforts were successful. I hope you enjoy watching this. Please comment your thoughts!

Week 9: Summary

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This week I ran over a lot of new things for my character. There’s new characters, new places, and a lot of history for humanity. I’m not a big fan of aliens and feel that it takes some special consideration to add aliens into a story and have it be believable and compelling. I know for myself when I read a book that has aliens it’s simpler for my brain to imagine them as humanoid regardless of the books description unless it’s an alien with a consciousness without form and creates drones to command because then I can imagine myself doing something similar even though stuff like that is totally science fiction. Regardless of all that though, this story forgoes aliens. I think humans can be diabolical enough for any type of story. Additionally with all these augmentations that I’m putting on these people they’re just as alien.

I created a couple more characters. As I stated before there were no characters that would fit into this universe and I didn’t feel comfortable using someone else’s character and work and bending it into my universe. All the characters that I saw were great but didn’t fit into my unconventional way of approaching the character assignments. So I created a couple new characters and really went into ones story particularly but look forward to delving into the other and creating even more characters to exist in this universe.

Donnie Rejj: Locked and Found

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-Locked and Found-

“Commander Washburn, Triton signature detected in the Aries system calling all clear for material assimilation.”

Commander Adrian Washburn expected the Triton asset to acquire the mining station in a day or two not a mere eight hours. What kind of man was this? Was he even a man at all? Washburn had seen soldiers with the Triton augmentations carry out missions before but nothing like this. How was he supposed to respond to this?

“Set course for the mining station and prepare cargo holds for direct envelopment of the target.”

“Aye Sir.”

There was no mistaking the commanders tone for one of no surprise even though in fact he was just that. He had never dealt with or even heard of this Triton soldier. He had just showed up on the command deck this morning and requested the use a confiscated shuttle from the resistance that was just overtaken a week ago. He knew Tritons chose their own missions but he didn’t even know how this phantom made it on board. All Tritons that he ever had on his ship were stated on the manifest at a given point of harbor. Being that he didn’t know about this one made him wonder how many of these abominations had made his vessel a waypoint for their missions.

Even when this Triton had made himself known his identity scan showed a clearance higher than Washburn’s and no name. There were only orders embedded into his identification that demanded all Origin personnel comply with all requests and demands from the corresponding individual. There was no rank or name only the Triton symbol that Washburn had become familiar with before. Never had he been a part of any Triton mission. He certainly wanted a few words with this character. He didn’t want him on board any longer than he needed to be.

“Navigation, how far away is the nearest reclamation outpost?”

“Seven point one two light years Sir. There is a wormhole generator two point eight three light years away. Should I set course after target envelopment?”

It didn’t seem that Washburn was hiding his feelings entirely from everyone.

“Yes. Helm, full sub-light burn to the target. Let’s get this over with.”

Washburn quickly left the command deck and made his way down to the cargo hold.

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Donnie Rejj, deep in meditation, sat motionless on the floor of the generator room that had become a make shift prison for him. Without a doubt he could spend the time to make his escape from his confines but there was no point in doing so other than that of concealing the fact that he had been out smarted. Pride was something that didn’t interest him. There was no face to save from the crew of the Origin ship he contacted. He imagined that they had already suspected he was not the typical Triton operative.

Commander Washburn looked quite surprised to see him show up on the command deck. Washburn did his best to conceal his reaction but Rejj could see it in his eyes. His pulse quickened and his body temperature increased as well.

It would take three days for a ship the size of the ONF Brigand to reach the nearest reclamation outpost. He imagined that Washburn wouldn’t enjoy the three days journey knowing that one of the deadliest weapons Origin had was on board.

“I’m sure the stories are flying through the ship right now.” He thought.

Folk would say that Tritons could make a person decay from within just by using their mind. The victims would bleed from every orifice till they shriveled up like a prune. It wasn’t impossible he supposed. He had seen other Tritons that were more machine than man and some that had immense power from their synthetic augmentations. It wouldn’t surprise him if there was one that could kill with a thought.

A loud clank rang throughout the station followed by a strong vibration. The Brigand was here. No doubt the tractor beam was being used for a total envelopment. He had hoped for such an outcome. Explaining every detail of the ideal mission outcome wasn’t possible due to operation security and truly Rejj wanted to size up the intelligence of the ships commander. More frequently than he’d care to admit many ship commanders were relieved of their command after a visit from a Triton. There was no training on how to handle a Triton commandeering your vessel for their own means. It often shows the true colors of an individual and there is no way of hiding it as the memory transfer and wipe that all Tritons go through reveals all.

The whole station shook along with a loud clash of metals. Donnie opened his eyes and waited for blast doors just paces in front of him opened. He wondered what kind of greeting to expect. Would there be armed soldiers? He knew that they would read only one life form. Surely they would take every precaution though in not assuming it was friendly. He was not.

The blast door slowly opened and to Donnie’s surprise Washburn stood there alone.

“Fancy to find you here.” Washburn stated plainly.

“There’s nothing fancy about it. The station is yours. Take care it’s safely transferred to the right place.”

“And where exactly would that be?” Washburn inquired.

“I’m sure you’ve already figured that out or soon will. I have no use for it. Funny that you should come aboard yourself and alone. Why so careless?”

“Should I be fearful of Origins finest?”

“It might not have been so if the Resistance had their way. This could’ve been an ambush with a false life form signature on top of one of those dirty bombs the Resistance likes to use.”

“This outpost didn’t have a chance against a Triton operative. We both know that. What’s a surprise to me is that there’s so few bodies. I’m being told only one. Did you spare the rest?”

“A target of opportunity is best shows its value with fewer bullet holes.”

“In your case none.” Washburn fired back promptly.

“Did you wish to see what horrors I can unleash?”

Rejj saw Washburn’s pulse quicken.

“Do you fear me or simply lust for the carnage you wish to produce? Why don’t you volunteer for the Triton augments? I hear they make you immortal?”

Rejj knew no one wished to be a Triton. It was a death sentence. The pain of one augmentation was known to all as most Origin military had computing holograms installed directly on their occipital lobe. Multiple augmentations would kill most but some Triton operatives were rumored to have hundreds. Rejj held thirty-two augmentations that focused on espionage and combat. There was little to no sign that Donnie Rejj was only a third human consisting of mostly synthetic augmentations.

He knew Washburn was afraid. He merely wished to show his crew that he wasn’t. Noble but misplaced.

“I doubt we’ll meet again commander.” Rejj said dismissively as he walked past Washburn.

“You’ll be on my ship for three days. How am I supposed to ignore that?”

Donnie turned and grinned knowing that this headstrong commander might be more than meets the eye. Washburn might not like it but he could just the man that Donnie had been searching for a long time.

“The same as you did before you knew I existed.”

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As I expand the Donnie Rejj universe I want to add different characters from both sides of the spectrum. Here I created two new characters though our protagonist only interacts with one. There weren’t really any characters from other people that fit into my crazy world plus I really didn’t want to put words into someone else’s character. It didn’t feel right.

There’s a lot more story to tell as this world that started out small is starting to grow. There’s so many different areas that I can expand on. It’s exciting to put two different perspectives together and see what happens. I hope you enjoyed it.

Donnie Rejj: Humanity Lost

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-Humanity Lost-

Colonel Daemon Fitz stood on the command deck of the INF Nautilus upright as if he were a permanent fixture upon the vessel that was commissioned to his command. His left hand was affixed behind the small of his back while he held a cup of mess hall coffee in his right. His thick black and gray hair was highly cropped and stood upright perfectly sculpted to compliment his disciplined demeanor.

Twenty-six years he had served in the Independent Naval Force and eight years of the Resistance Militia before that. After the Galactic Civil War factions were organized into proper branches and divisions forming the Independent Armada with designated military units consisting of infantry, intelligence, support, and many other essential personnel. They grew exponentially as system after system renounced the claim that the Origin Hierarchy Counsel had on them. Galactic civilization imploded on itself and the long arms of the Origin government began to break.

The Resistance was winning. Their numbers grew but nothing could have prepared them for what Origin was about to unleash on the Galaxy.

The Human Hybrid Collective (HHC) was never meant to be used as a weapons manufacturing entity but when the ranks were falling and defecting to the Resistance Militia the Origin government knew that step would have to be made to secure the best and what was left of their galactic military force.

All personnel were quarantined based on the belief that the Resistance had used biological weapons against all the Origin central worlds meaning that supplies to all vessels and planetary colonies were infected with an unknown pathogen. This was in fact true but it was not the Resistance that carried out this deed but rather Origin itself.

The pathogen made all remaining citizens compliant and passive to the remaining Origin loyalists. Within a matter of weeks, the HHC had successfully modified a third their own military and civilian populations into a hybrid and programmable fighting force. Human modifications that were originally meant for the betterment of human kind and the experience and longevity of life were transformed into weapons that would have the most devastating effects on the Resistance fighters.

Women and children were modified exhale toxic gases making them silent and unknowing killers. They would be transported by Resistance shuttles moving defecting citizens and military from the inner galactic systems to the outer colonies. Millions died.

The Resistance had few personnel that knew how to medically treat and reverse the horrors done to these innocent and unknowingly lethal weapons. Many took their own lives as within the space of a month they were the only people left living on a vessel or station. Some were lucky enough to have the effects reversed by way of a lung transplant from an uninfected individual that died of natural causes. Few received that luxury.

This was only the beginning of Origins grand plan for galactic war. Many candidates meeting the molecular requirements were put through a longer process of metamorphosis. The Innocent Genocide, as it came to be called, bought just enough time for Origin to create these abominations. Monsters of all kinds were set loose on the Resistance. Hull penetrating crafts would punch into the densely populated areas of every Resistance vessel and Origins hell spawn would be unleashed.

The early versions of the hybrid fighting forces would only last a few battles. The metabolism of the Origin fighters was pushed to the limit to support the organic weapons implanted internally and externally. Men and women in their twenties and thirties would have scarcely a month to live without the removal of the implants. These people were merely husks for the atrocities that were done to them and demanded of them to do. Out of 44 million subjects of this cruel weaponization only a few hundred thousand were ever able to get their implants removed. Even with the implants removed they were left horribly disfigured left to live a life of guilt and ridicule by those that had saved their lives in the Resistance.

The two years that transpired during this time would come to be known as the Husk Conflicts. Most remaining husk survivors were transported to the abandoned colony world of Pneumena that was ravaged by the Innocent Genocide. Sending them to this world was meant to keep them safe from those in the Resistance that still looked at them as enemies regardless of their lack of free will in the Husk Conflicts. Many were driven mad by being surrounded by death on this planet and being former instruments of death themselves. Little is known now about their fate as neither Origin or the INF will travel to that system.

As time progressed after the Husk Conflicts however, the HHC was able to extend the life of the hybrid husks and make them less obvious to detect without deliberate examination by a well trained eye. As Origins human reserves grew smaller and smaller they put selective and controlled breeding into place. Entire stations were dedicated to the growing of human livestock to be transformed into walking weapons.

The next program the HHC was commissioned to undertake was the enhancement of some of their very best military forces reserved in a cryo-stasis for the past 3 years. They were all told different stories. Most believed that they were deploying to peace keeping missions to outer colony worlds but instead were placed in long term cryo-stasis. Their families were informed that they all died in the fight against the Resistance some time before the rest of the Origin civilian and military populations were quarantined and then subsequently weaponized.

Project Triton was to be the most advanced form of human weaponization that the HHC had implemented their unwilling subjects. With these military elite however, the story was spun in a different direction.

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So this is kind of a beginning story for a new character that leads into a history of the universe that he and our protagonist, Donnie Rejj, are a part of. It’s quick introduction to Colonel Fitz and then the explination of a fraction of the past 30 years of humanity falling apart by the means of a self destructing galactic government that’s on the outs but has a few nasty tricks up it’s sleeve to through at a freedom seeking society known as the Resistance. This is more or less a crash course into this universe. I try to explain enough so the general story is conveyed but there’s lots left for me to go into later. It’s a summary of events that lead only to the point where the Resistance becomes the Independent Naval Force and the free people of the Resistance set up their own galactic government. That’s not laid out in it’s entirety but the elements in this section bring together the two fighting forces that are at opposition. And our hero (anti-hero) is on the wrong side. I look to explore if he’s able to break away from Origin or if he’s able to play a more active role in saving life where he can when taking on his missions from Origin. For the better part of the twenty-six years after the Husk Conflicts There’s been nothing but small skirmishes while both sides have had ample time to muster vast military forces that stand ready to deploy but no major conflict has broken out due to violent aggression brought on by the Innocent Genocide and the Husk Conflicts. I hope to bring tensions to a head and see what happens.

Donnie Rejj: Mining Station Job

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-Finishing the Mining Station-

Rejj walked briskly down the stations main corridor heading towards the generator deck. He knew the layout plans of the station but not the hidden nooks and crannies that most likely existed behind loose panels or bulkheads.

He wondered if Danny was a fighter or if he was skulking in some hidden safe haven that he’d carved out for himself. The mining crew would be returning soon if there was no obvious reason to abandon their normal docking procedures. What happened if made it aboard would not be healthy in any manner. Donnie was a weapon there’s no doubt about that but he was not a believer. He never would be.

The death of two innocents was to save the boat load of miners who were minutes from returning. His judgement wouldn’t be in question as the station was already full to the gill with ore and minerals from the asteroids in this system.

Where was Danny? As Rejj reached the generator deck there was no reading on any living signature nearby. So the option to hide must have been taken he supposed. As he approached the entrance to the generator he could feel the vibration of the stations generators through the floor. The thick alloy blast door slowly slid up as he approached cautiously. Entering the room Donnie felt the heat billowing off of the huge machines giving life to the station that he played cancer to. Turning every corner Donnie found nothing but more empty space.

In an instant Donnie’s hologram sensors went a blaze with a life signature outside of the generator room.

“Damn it!”

He bolted toward the outer corridor. As soon as he made sight with his exit he witnessed the blast door begin to close.

“Clever Danny.”

He ran toward the exit but quickly new that his exit would be cut off. Just before the blast door closed he saw a shadow move just in view of the bottom right closure. H quickly pulled up the stations floor plans.

It was the coolant tanks. Danny was hiding inside the coolant tanks.

“Son of a bitch.” Rejj mumbled flippantly.

This couldn’t have worked out better though, he thought to himself. Taking the station with only one death was preferred to the death of dozens. No doubt Danny notified the returning miners of the state of the station and that with an agent of Origin on board she was a total loss.

Rejj knew he would be the only one that felt that way when debriefing took place. But even the best can get fooled sometimes. There would be none to fret. Just a memory wipe and this victorious defeat would be cleaned from his memory.

He knelt down on the floor just behind the blast door. He closed his eyes and began his meditation. The Origin Battle Star Cruiser would soon be there to collect the stations precious cargo. He hoped that the miners and one clever engineer would make it clear of the system by then.

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I look to continue this story and make another character or two. There really isn’t any other sci-fi cowboy bounty hunters out there so I’ll just create my own character that fits in with this weird story I’ve been working on. It’s been fun to put things together page by page. I have a few ideas up my sleeve for this character but the thoughts never really come to fruition till I start typing away. There are a lot of subtle nods to some of my favorite sci-fi flicks. I mean what’s a sci-fi work without little tip of the hat to those that have come before and inspired you?

Weeks 7 and 8 Review Time

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Well here we are at the end of weeks 7 and 8. Spring break broke me and I’m glad to be back in the saddle as it were. Tons of fun doing the radiocast! Being on TombCast with James and Mason was awesome! Two great guys that really outshined these past two weeks and I’d like to thank them for working with me and enjoying the craft of making noise with your mouth then re-mixing it into something cool with sound effects, music, and whatever else we could think of.

I added a bit to my character’s depth and I’ll admit that I really want to start writing more about him as writing is a big part of what I do for work. There’s so much that I want to create for his universe. I just want to write a short story but I would obsess over it like I did on TombCast. Maybe after the semester. It’ll be a summer project for myself.

I’m really stoked for people to listen to it and I am anxious to listen to other peoples to see what they came up with. I had a blast doing it and look to make some creative stuff in week 9. I really want to see if and what the feedback will be. We went a little crazy and had some fun regardless of how it turns out.

I hope everyone had fun with their projects and did well in the rest of their classes if they had any others.  I hope there’s no nail biters out there like me. 🙂

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