Eine kleines Samstagmorgen musik

Yes, you are allowed to speculate on what I’m writing this morning. It’s in the Schrodinger Universe, so really, it could be anything. But yeah, it is a desperate last stand….

171 thoughts on “Eine kleines Samstagmorgen musik

  1. I’ve been known to play this on loop for battle scenes. This and “Seven Days to the Wolves [The Howling].”

  2. I had a whole scene blocked out in my brain for the final episode of CSI, where we’d have a montage scene of all the important characters showing up for just long enough to know how they were and how they could have been.

      1. I’m just praying that we don’t get full-on mask and shutdown madness again, because damn it, I have tickets to see Sabaton (and Judas Priest) at Foxwoods at the end of October.

          1. I still people walking around outside with masks on. At least most of the folks in Walmart today were bare-faced. And it’s usually the very old or the children; I assume their unmasked parents are vaccinated, but the kids are too young, and the parents believe all the lies from Fauci et al.


            But then this is Connecticut.

            1. I saw the opposite at Walmart today in small town GA, unfortunately. They were offering diapers at the door and about 70-80% of people inside were muzzled. After I had such a nice lunchtime conversation with a waitress at a favorite suburban Atlanta restaurant about how she felt like she was the only one who saw the vaccine push as shady until I said something about it, too. *Sigh*

            2. Yeah sadly my native state of Connecticut saw neighboring Massachusetts and said “You think you’re a liberal sh*thole, Hold my Beer…”

          2. Positive sign on Facebook: guy did a long post about how all his friends should watch carefully for two weeks, how he didn’t expect it to happen like this, how he was so sorry but he’d been diagnosed….as extremely sexy and good-looking.
            It’s a very good sign that some folks are ready to do covid jokes.

          3. I’m seeing more people in masks here in Houston though no one’s confronted me about not wearing one.

            1. It’s the getting up at 0500 and driving 3.5 hours on I-40 to get back here in time that spooks me. I’m weighing options.

          1. Yep, just checked. 😦 They were supposed to be playing in MA on the 7th, less than a month before Sabaton is supposed to play the same venue (10/31). They are now scheduled for 7 months later. So it makes me wonder how long before Sabaton/JP have to reschedule their tour. Again.

            1. I see London fell off for now as well, and the South America shows were moved to next October.
              I see the “Secret Show” was almost a Wintersun show, just missing Jari to have the full line up there. Asim Searah did an acoustic set which included a sing-along of Islander.

            2. As capricious as various governments are about letting people out and in, and back in, I’m sort of assuming everything from Europe will be forced to reschedule. Again. Again. Grrrr.

              1. Yeah. That’s my issue with going to Portugal. It’s killing me that I can’t see Dad, but I’m more terrified of being stuck out of the US even if/particularly if the US goes up in flames.

      1. I’ll admit I once had the game menu up while this played in the background at the start of the Collector Base Assault. Didn’t start playing the mission for quite some time while it looped. 😀

        1. It’s one of the highlights of the game for sure and Jack was always my choice for that part of the mission, too. Samara was typically more useful to me in my squad than protecting them in that part with her and Zaeed being my go-to team in my second trilogy run (FemShep Engineer).

          1. Never played a Soldier Shep, so missed out on Adrenaline Rush.

            (I can almost hear Harbinger begin his boasts… and get interrupted.)

            1. I’ve only done two full runs myself with the first being Vanguard/Soldier/Soldier. The change between ME1 and 2’s playstyle was a bit much for me to get used to so I just switched to Soldier in part because of Adrenaline Rush. Engineer I enjoyed in all three games and while I know it’s considered a weak class in ME1 I had no issues with it due to how quickly it enabled me to take down geth and drones. I started an Adept run later to top off my PS3 Trophies but burned out on it and never went back. I would like to do another run, either old-school or Legendary Edition (if I can stomach giving EA more of my hard-earned money) as an Infiltrator and have that as my personal canon. I took a real liking to the tech skills from playing my Engineer and sniper gameplay from my Soldier run so I figure Infiltrator will give me the best of both worlds there.

              1. I’m reluctant to give EA more money, plus am not sure if the ME3 Multiplayer is active on the Legendary edition. Took me about 3 years to max out my manifest on the original game. Not sure I want to grind that again.

                1. Multiplayer isn’t in Legendary Edition but all the DLC aside from Pinnacle Station in 1 is so that’s where your war assets would come from in 3, which is also how latecomers like me got theirs. Not sure how active multiplayer was at the time I picked up the PS3 version of Mass Effect Trilogy but even if it was I have a rather strong aversion to online multiplayer games in any form so it would have been shell out for Omega, Leviathan, and Citadel for me no matter what.

                  1. It’s still active on PC. I play somewhat regularly and usually have little trouble finding a pick-up game to play.

            2. ::cackles:: I always seem to end up playing an infiltrator, and I swear it’s largely because I played ME2 first, and took great pleasure in sniping that mouthy bastard. 😀

              1. In ME3 Multiplayer the devs missed an opportunity to have Harbinger start speaking whenever a Collector unit gets into a Possessed state. Plus trash talk whenever someone detonates a Possessed Abomination in the middle of the team.

                1. I swear, Harbinger’s trash talk drove more players to become super-accurate in shooting, just to shut the bastard up… 😀

                  And if I recall right, isn’t he the Reaper between you and the gate to the Citadel at the end of ME3? I’m not remembering, because I’m pretty sure they missed having him trash talk Shepard that time, lol. Maybe they did it that way because they knew if he did, the players would *always* choose the Destroy option just to wipe him out, in spite of Edi and the Geth :p

                  1. More or less. When Shepard closes in on the gate Harbinger gets wind of it and moves to attack, hence how that part unfolds.

      1. That’s one from the trilogy that I listen to sometimes myself. If I wasn’t so backlogged and not sure about getting Legendary Edition I’d consider doing another run myself.

        1. I picked up Legendary Edition. Not very far in, but I do like that the controls in ME1 are no longer so hear-tearingly clunky 😀 And the graphics boost is quite nice as well. (In fact, I’m currently waiting for it to finish an update, sigh.)

          1. I’ve heard that and controller support is definitely a plus for me since I first played it on PS3 and have a hard time adjusting to keyboard/mouse controls (I have an Xbox One controller I use for most gaming). My graphics card can go up to 4K but a 2K monitor was the only thing within my budget. Still better than my old 1080p/60hz one, though! Game updates are such fun, huh? And people wonder why I’m becoming more and more of a cranky old man who likes emulating the classics from when games didn’t need this much patching along the way.

            1. Heh. I stopped with console boxes back when Super Nintendo was still a thing 😀

              I don’t mind patches, unless I’ve got a heavily modded game (which many of mine are), because it’s a real pain in the tuchus to have to wait for updated mods–or worse, find out that some of your favorites aren’t going to be updated.

              I’m quite glad that, for the most part, Bethesda finally stopped updating Fallout 4 so frequently…

              1. It took me longer to get into it. A friend told me about his custom build and how well it ran emulators and how much mods could cut down on grind time, which was a huge plus for me. I don’t have nearly as much time for that now that I’m not a kid anymore. I do need to get into some of those Bethesda games, though, and actually do a Dragon Age run on PC, too. The only reason I’ve put that off is because I can’t decide how I want to end the Orlais ball mission and reading The Masked Empire didn’t help at all.

                1. Yeah, there is no great option for leaving someone in charge of Orlais, so I usually shoot for making all three of them (Briala, Celene, and Gaspard) work together. Because I know they’ll just hate it. 😀

                  1. Nope, not at all, and I wasn’t too impressed by the various endings. I thought reading The Masked Empire would help clear things up but it didn’t work like I said. My takes on the outcomes are like this:

                    Celene alone – I never liked Celene from what I saw of her in the game and the book made me dislike her even more. Her skill as a politician seemed to be more of an informed trait than one she actually displayed in the book or game. Whether she kills her rivals or banishes them the whole thing just felt like a mess all around. Pass.

                    Celene and Briala reunited – That seems to be the happiest ending, at least at first, even if you have to sacrifice perfect mission completion (or use an old exploit or mod) to do it. I went for it in two playthroughs but the narration mentioning that they haven’t quite reconciled all their differences, with potentially unpleasant consequences down the road, leaves me hesitant to go for it in my personal canon.

                    Briala uses Gaspard as a puppet – This seems like the one I should go for based on the book, where I found Briala to be one of the more sympathetic characters (plus her mentor, Felassan, was easily the best part of the book), I’d like her to succeed with something and of course the series pushes most good path (to the extent there is one) players to protect elves whenever possible. But the narration makes it clear she doesn’t know what she’s doing and pushes too hard, too fast so my practical side vetoes this one.

                    Gaspard alone – This is the one I’m leaning towards admittedly. Even though you know he’s putting on an act Gaspard came off as much more personable than Celene in the game and while he could be a pompous ass in the books he still had a sense of honor guiding his actions. I liked his ending best, too, and my nastier side does think that Orlais could use a military man like him to straighten things out. Then again, he’s quite the player of the Game himself, so maybe not, and despite the peace treaty war table mission I’d feel bad sticking my bro Alistair with the threat of Emperor Gaspard later down the road.

                    Force all three to cooperate – It’s definitely satisfying knowing you were able to outplay all three of them at the Orlesian Game, especially when you lay out to all three of them how they screwed up. Of course it ends up being a kick the can situation but it’s still not a bad option all things considered.

                    Thanks for giving me a chance to ramble about this! I don’t know many people who have gone through all three games that I can talk about these things with. Shame that, assuming they actually finish DA4, it’s probably going to be insufferably woke on top of all the usual EA garbage that goes with these games…

  3. Ah, themes.

    I turn to the 5 season openers for “Babylon 5.”

    We are Season 3. And I don’t think we’ll make it to Season 4 or 5.

    I can recall no other show before or since that set the mood for the season in just one an d a half minutes.

    1. ‘Main Title: 1st Season (Extended)’ and ‘Voices Of Authority’ on the ‘Messages From Earth’ CD.

          1. I’ve had the PS4 version of this game sitting there for a while and I really need to get around to playing it and the first one on PS3… Shame Squeenix is big on Denuvo DRM, which is a major turn-off for me as a primarily PC gamer.

            1. Just to add to the fun, a mobile Nier game just got released. It’s an original game and story.

  4. And thank those Scots who came to America after Culloden. Their sons and grandsons were among our Revolutionary armies, still carrying their thirst for English blood.
    And Oh Hell Yes thanks for the videos.

        1. aye but ye should remember that the Romans just walled off Scotland rather than deal with em

      1. You cannot reason with tyrants, you cannot negotiate with them in good faith.
        When all is said and done it comes down to either bending the knee or a question of just how many of them can we make die.
        Make no mistake, they are running scared, terrified that their lies and frauds are so obvious. And so chilled to their evil bones by a bumbling protest, instigated by agents provocateurs, resulting in a bit of trespass and the execution of a civilian for no justifiably reason by an unnamed law enforcement officer.
        Their constant thought is damn it all we won, why does this unwashed uncultured rabble not submit?
        In my most humble opinion, they ain’t seen nothing yet!
        And nice selection of tunes Portagee.

  5. Gah, I was planning on getting some gaming done this afternoon but it looks like I’m going to be listening to all of this music for the rest of the day instead! Not that I mind, though, and I’ll be sure to throw in a few myself. Like this one, from the series I got my black smoke and Balinese mix floof’s names from… I actually use this one as my ringtone.

    1. And you can’t do Trails/Kiseki epic battle music without throwing in this one… “I am Steel, she who cuts through all! This is your end!”

      1. Took a bit of machine translation to figure it out but it sounds like the Portuguese Marines have something good to march off to! Also, forgot to mention in the other comments, good choice of Queen song up there. Highlander is one of my all-time favorite movies and a big influence on my creative works if you and the others couldn’t tell by the amount of katana-wielding Western characters I have… >_>

      1. Queen’s 1986 Wembley show is one of the best live performances ever by a band. Period.,

  6. If the battle goes south, maybe this one from the latest Guilty Gear will fit?

  7. I figure this one’s appropriate for this audience: taking on the God of Control…

    1. Heh, you beat me to it! You can’t have this kind of thread without that one or One-Winged Angel.

  8. While I’m not a fan of anime or the abomination Disney and the wokerati have done to the Avengers/Justice League, I understand the intent of these videos.

    I offer this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOVrOuKVBuY

    The USA is only a representation of who we are. And who we want to be. We can yet make it great; but we need to work on ourselves first–and there is very little time.

    I am 4 years cancer-free from a soft-tissue sarcoma in my cheek that took away all my family’s savings and two careers (not counting what the chemo, radiation, and surgeries took away). But our God is bigger than ANYTHING the enemy throws at us. In my 60s, after a lifetime of going to church, I learned to trust only Him.

    You can fully trust Him. Read Psalm 16. Understand the metamorphosis David went through while writing that. Read Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 8:1, and 10:13. Reach out to others with the hope and promise of a bright future with The God Who Sees–and provides what we need…

          1. Same, until the very end of Endgame.

            The deus ex Captain Marvel and the completely unnecessary women-in-armor “we got this” bits were a sour note, but didn’t ruin the overall arc.

            1. I didn’t see the CM movie, but I didn’t mind the way she showed up at the end, and they didn’t make the mistake of having her beat Thanos. Quite the reverse actually: brains beats raw power.

              #*&#$ at the wamen power scene, but aside from that and a few other (normal) flaws here and there Endgame stuck a 17 year long landing that shouldn’t have even been possible. While also tying up a loose end I didn’t know I needed to be tied up until I found out about it.

              1. Yeah, the “we be womenz” thing was totally unnecessary. Especially since if they wanted to show “Strong Women” they… already did. Wanda was totally kicking Thanos’s ass and was pretty close to killing him, and Thanos had to carpet-bomb the battlefield to get away from her.

          1. And Bi– er, Miss Marvel has a LOT of idiot to make up for if anybody forgot theirs!

            (Folks cheered when she showed up to “save the day”– and got punted. Seldom have I seen such a lovely job of setting it up so NOBODY will be sad when Rogue ends up killing her.)

            1. Well, as I understand it that character’s powerset is basically “be a freight train”. So a logical one to take out the ship — which notably wasn’t being a serious threat, merely a complication.

              Then freight train tries to go head to head with freight train + brains, and gets promptly pasted to the far wall.

    1. Good song for doing that. This has been my drive back the darkness music for the past few weeks now on that note, Hard to beat the Thunder King himself, Ky Kiske, for this. Ride the Lightning!

  9. I suspect many if not most of us first encountered “Men of Harlech” from the movie Zulu.

    What always struck me about that scene is not “civilized men vs. savages” or god forbid “whites against blacks”. It’s the common humanity of men — no matter how different their cultures — singing to raise their morale and to defy the enemy before battle. To defy Death itself.

    1. I probably ran into Men of Harlech there first, but I now always associate it with Rick Rescorla, heading back up the stairs of the South Tower to check for stragglers in the evacuation…

      1. I don’t watch movies, so yes, to me this is Rick Rescorla’s song.
        I first heard about him in my Austen fandom chat board on 9/11, from a woman he’d saved.

    2. I first heard it as a folk tune from the British Isles, and played it (piano) out of one of Alan Lomax’s collections. Then the movie version, then other versions.

        1. “Check your headspace, shoot a commie in the face, all I wanna see are bodies, bodies, bodies…”

  10. Well, I sense a theme, here. 😉 indeed!
    (Note: Wee Jamie went to sleep over the video of “I vow to thee my country”. Which is set to music by Gustav Holst – it’s from his “Planets” composition.)
    The very best use of “Men of Harlech” is in the movie “Zulu” of course.

    1. Speaking of Holst and The Planets, I can’t believe nobody has posted Mars, Bringer of War yet. The best battle music ever written — heavy metal before anyone even knew what it was. If the brass part at 4 minutes and the dramatic finish don’t get your blood pumping….

        1. While I first heard an arrange of it through, surprise, a video game. Atlus’ odd block puzzle/sim life game Catherine used arranges of classical music for the nightmare/block puzzle sequences and Mars was used for one of the earlier nightmare areas. The most memorable of those for me was the orchestral rock arrange of Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Second Suite Farandole from the final nightmare area, though!

        2. Have to take a look at my LPs. I know I have ELP(owell), but haven’t listened to it in forever.

          I dubbed all my CDs to MP3 and the relevant thumb drives are in vehicles, but that’s only half the music I have. LPs and this house aren’t a good mix, but I can bring up the turntable in the cleanish workroom in the shop. Solid bench, slab floor. Barring an earthquake, I’m in good shape to dub LP to MP3.

          OTOH, I have to look at that table. It was packed in 2003, and the belt might need changing. That and I need to integrate the audio to MP3 interface.

  11. The Pogues version of Eamonn an Chnoic, Ned of the Hill always gets me fired up.

    Have you ever walked the lonesome hills and heard the curlews cry?
    Or seen the raven black as night upon a windswept sky?
    To walk the purple heather and hear the westwind cry
    To know that’s where the rapparee must die

    Since Cromwell pushed us westward to live our lowly lives
    Some of us have deemed to fight from Tipperary mountains high
    Noble men with wills of iron who are not afraid to die
    And who’ll fight with Gaelic honor held on high

    A curse upon you Oliver Cromwell, you who raped our Motherland
    I hope you’re rotting down in hell for the horrors that you sent
    To our misfortunate forefathers whom you robbed of their birthright
    “To hell or Connaught” may you burn in hell tonight

    Of one such man I’d like to speak a rapparee by name and deed
    His family dispossessed and slaughtered they put a price upon his head
    His name is known in song and story and his deeds are legends still
    And murdered for blood money was young Ned of the hill

    And you’ve robbed our homes and fortunes, even drove us from the land
    You tried to break our spirit but you’ll never understand
    The love of dear old Ireland that will forge an iron will
    As long as there are gallant men like young Ned of the hill

    A curse upon you Oliver Cromwell, you who raped our Motherland
    I hope you’re rotting down in hell for the horrors that you sent
    To our misfortunate forefathers whom you robbed of their birthright
    “To hell or Connaught” may you burn in hell tonight

    1. Haven’t seen the anime, though I have seen a few scenes and a catchphrase seems fitting:

      Plus some cool final battle music.

  12. Don’t have a link. Am listening to Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite while I revise the story of Sleeping Beauty’s cousin.

  13. As an aside, if this nonsense means I don’t get to hear Saboton’s Ballad of Taffy 3 I am going to be pissed.

    1. They’ve already put off the shows once, and given that Nightwish has indeed pushed their October tour dates back to May of next year, I’m rather expecting that to happen to the Sabaton/JP tour too. Though pushing a 50th anniversary tour off to the 52nd year would seem to be tempting fate.

  14. Thought I was too out of it to participate. Turns out not quite that much, but probably unwise, in hindsight.

        1. I was tempted to do ‘Rise of Evil’, ‘Final Solution’, Shiroyama, or I think Last Stand for my Sabaton selection this list.

          1. Saw the preview frame for the first link, and my immediate assumption was that it was the OP from the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

            Needless to say, that’s not correct.

  15. Schrodinger and a desperate last stand?

    The cat must *really* not want to get into the box…

      1. That’s the one with the Red Baron, right?

        ….wait, am I confusing it with something else, because pre-coffee brain is saying girl red baron, so the anime sorts here are going to go “Sarah is doing Fate/Stay?”

        1. No. It’s. Hold on, it’s explained in one of the novels I’m working on:
          One of my instructors at the Academy said that the 21st was a struggle between globalism and localism, communalism and individualism. And then he had to explain one of the ideas on Earth at that time was world government.
          Some of the boneheads in the class had thought that was a good idea, but I ask you! I mean, this was some six or seven billion people – billion with b. The fact they didn’t and couldn’t know precisely how many is a complex issue tied in to other dysfunction – belonging to hundreds of cultures with different languages and histories going back thousands of years on a particular place. Who can govern all of that that closely? Or even understand it?
          Sure, the Star Empire has many worlds that are under a single government. My mother’s domain, for instance. But that world was a single colony, started less than two thousand years ago – by the colony’s timing – and if we toped five hundred million people I’d be very surprised. Not that I’d looked at stats recently, or indeed at all.
          And in fact, though yeah, the star Empire is an Empire on paper, commanding over many different worlds, it’s more of a commonwealth with some hard and fast rules considered absolutely necessary to civilization, and the rest held very loosely indeed.
          Trying to govern a world – or an empire – with a hundred different cultures and make them all fall the same rules, and– Well, it’s kind of like the Nirians and it all ends in slavery repression and shit, while you have to take over more and more worlds into your dysfunctional tyranny just so you can plunder them and minimally feed the worlds you already have.
          This wasn’t available to the Earth at the time because that they knew – they were obviously wrong – there were no polities outside Earth they could plunder to feed their one-Earth-polity should they ever achieve that. Which they fortunately didn’t. The people who wanted it just turned the entire world into “sack stuffed with rabid rats” instead meaning the areas of calm and sanity were rare and far between.
          So you take the Earth of the 21st century, and we probably shouldn’t be surprised that people packed into the colony ships as soon as they became available.
          Even though the ships quickly became nicknamed “Schrodingers” because half of them just disappeared mid-translation.
          Men and women by the hundreds of thousands packed into ships that had a reputation for reaching their intended destination about 50% of the time.
          My instructors said it was because the entire period was psychotic.
          I thought it was because sometimes you just have to get away. Or perhaps you want to try your really whacky idea.
          My ancestors’s whacky idea was perhaps not insane. They had collected a population that wanted to live in an anglophonic world, ruled – to some extent and loosely – by a constitutional monarchy which harked back to some idealized version of the culture of Great Britain – a nation on Earth for those outside the Star Empire – somewhere between what my father judged as be the Tudor age and the Victorian age.
          We had a constitutional monarchy, a strong common law that protected individual freedoms – at least on paper – and a culture of exploration and alliance-making. Or at least that’s what the instructors said.
          Anyway, it took almost a thousand years – Earth time keeping, because this is where things become complicated – for people to realize all those colonies that had gone to Earth orbit and entered the Bardell-Vicari-Broz gate were not only effecting a translation in space – virtually instantaneous as a highly sophisticated AI simply relocated the mass from one point to the other, — and don’t ask me how, I never understood the physics but they had something to do with a holographic theory of the universe – but also translating the ship in time what appeared to be a random number of years. Or hundreds of years. Or thousands of years. Or possibly even millions, though we never found one of those, even if some ruins we found seem suggestive.
          I don’t want to give the impression all these time-transitions were to the past. It wasn’t common, but it is not unheard of, to discover a newly arrived colony, aghast and upset at the idea that they’d jumped – Earth Time – five thousand years into the future. Or confused at the profusion of humanity all over the inhabitable worlds.
          What might not be readily understood, at least if you didn’t study history, is that for the free worlds, of which the Empire was one of the main alliances – the other being Earth’s Commonwealth – the most important resource were people. Oh, habitable worlds, too. But particularly people.
          You see, a lot of the strange ideas that had gone to space and been lost for thousands of years had evolved into totalitarian horrors, reaching ever outward to subjugate more and more worlds. The Quan Empire, for instance, was rumored to not even be composed of people anymore, having replaced all their wretched subjects with cyborgs: brains inhabiting specially designed machines. And the Nirians started out with the idea that they’d all be closely bonded and equal together and–
          Father said the estimated number of people in mass graves there were around a million over three hundred years, and that was not counting chronic starvation and death from overwork.
          So to anyone ethical or anyone who wants human freedom to survive, finding the smaller lost colonies and bringing them into the sphere of the Empire is absolutely necessary. As fast as possible. And also they might help us out, because—
          Okay, so when I said our greatest resource was people…. It wasn’t precisely a metaphor. What we’ve found is that many colonies had developed…. Special abilities, like that place in Proxima where they had taken gen-geniering to the next level. Or the people themselves had evolved changed.
          Like the fact that the natives of Valhalla were the only ones capable – granted with the use of a powerful drug — of mind-linking the schrodinger machines and forcing them to recognize time as a variable. Apparently it takes a human brain to “see” time. And unlike the Qan we don’t take the brains out of the humans before attaching them to the machine.

            1. Well…. It’s a gay male character. And he came with his own voice from moment 1.
              He’s in many ways a complete lunatic.
              So, sorry for wall of text, but here a couple of commenters get sort of tuckerized:
              It has made Valhalla—started as a lost colony, and therefore very inbred, besides being in a world with very few resources – the most disputed world humans ever colonized. Both the Star Empire and the Earth Alliance have tried to lock them into exclusive contracts, which would make the rest of us subject to the other for forever. Even for free humans that’s bad. But then consider what would happen if the Qan Empire captured Valhalla…. Millions of cloned brains serving in machines
              So we desperately want others with the same capacities, or others who can find a way around the problem with the schrodingers. Bonus if they don’t need the drug that allows the interface, but which kills most Valhallian men who do this in their mid thirties.
              The problem is that many colonies started out strange, and evolved weirder.
              So that motto of You Can Never Know Enough is actually true. But you can know close to enough. Particularly with the help of various technologies.
              It starts with linguistic nano translators. Don’t ask me how it works, I have no idea. As far as I’m concerned they’re virus-sized computers that contain within them the entirety of human linguistic knowledge from the time humans recorded languages – and some shrewd guesses before that – which colonize your brain and allow you to understand and speak everything after being exposed to it for a few minutes. But I am science-illiterate, and when I explained it this way to an acquaintance of Father’s who was a scientist, he’d looked at me with wide open eyes, and then laughed so hard he turned purple and Mother wanted to call the medtechs.
              Whatever they are and whatever they do, it’s like having a linguistic computer between your ears that scans everything you hear, and can assemble a linguistic model within a few minutes, and start feeding it to your lips without your even being aware of it, so that you answer in the language you’re spoken to.
              I imagine what it was like to be a diplomat in old Earth. Or rather I don’t. A lot of them – from the rare bio that survived – seemed to go from country to country. How did they learn all those languages so well? Or did they make egregious mistakes? None of this was revealed in our lessons, and a lot of things we know from the 20th and 21st century are fragmentary.
              After the language, there are tomes and recordings, and virtual training sessions, so you know the history and cultural touch points, and be trained so your body language doesn’t present weird.
              You can learn enough to prevent having to run out of rooms with people on your heels.
              My first assignment was to Novo Mundo, an amazing place which had been re-discovered after being lost for what for them was about five hundred years. But honestly they hadn’t made much of an effort to be found, and hadn’t cared much about it. They came from a place called Brazil in old Earth had had devoted those five hundred years to developing newer and stranger foods, and much much more interesting dances than I’d ever seen. Other than an incident where I’d drunk some liquor distilled from algie which they assured me was non-alcoholic and– The mission went well. I was only junior observer, anyway, and I got top marks.
              The second one, and the graduating determinant was more serious. I was sent to Valhalla to persuade them not to sign on an exclusive treaty with Earth, which would require them to send their sons possessed of the ability to communicate with the schrodingers to earth only.
              I wondered at the time what they were doing sending a barely minted diplomat, on a provisional license — since I had to accomplish the objective to graduate — to Valhalla to secure a vital treaty.
              Failure had such strong implications for the Star Empire’s ability to travel at all.
              And it was hard. Really hard. It took me two weeks of listening to and responding cogently to official speeches and objections; being polite when I wanted to tell them to take a hike and eating a lot of feigleire. I understand the translation of this from the weird native language means “mud chicken.” It was neither chicken nor… Well, I guess it is a mamal of some sort which borrows into the muds of swamps in a world where most of dry land was either swamps or deserts, since they had a single continent and a vast one. I’m told that there should not be nothing particularly objectionable about the feigleire, except for looking like a hairless six legged rabbit. But in fact there was a lot objectionable about the feigleire. As in, the Valhallians processed the meat by a process which worlds of more civilized Scandinavian ancestry reserve for fish and which produces Lutefisk.
              Let’s say I never want to see or smell with feigleire or Lutefisk again, if I live to be a thousand. And I cursed whatever accident of parallel evolution made every alien creature so far discovered have the same DNA structure as Earth life and be compatible enough to be eaten.
              So while in Valhalla I was in danger of starving through being served Feigleire until the mere smell of it made me want to vomit. I was also in danger of starving because, well, before letting us eat at all, the family that was hosting me made us sit through a recital of all their dead in Hel who were invited to partake the…. Ah spirit of the Feigleire we were about to eat. One of the names of that list by the way, for the family hosting me was Rhyatt Nyheizor. Yes, the lost prince of Denarcia. Which led me to wonder whether the natives were a lot more cosmopolite and clued in than they appeared to be.
              Which to be fair Mr. Crowe had warned me about before I went to Valhalla.
              He’d met me outside the training facilities, at a little café in a backroad of Imperial city, where mostly working people and locals ate. Over sandwiches and coffee he said, “Look, Skip, the training videos won’t tell you this, because our intelligence sucks, and we tend to take cultures at face value of what they tell us they are, but the first thing you need to be aware of is that Valhalla is not barbaric.”
              I raised my eyebrows at him. Any culture who was willing to sell their superfluous sons – for some reason only men, and not all of them, had the ability to connect to the machines — to a richer culture because during the brief life they’d have after that they would make enough money to make the mother-world rich was barbaric.
              “Yes, I know. You think that their sending their sons to brief, if glorious indenture on other worlds is barbaric. But you’re missing the culture. And that’s what I have to explain to you. Valhalla is also not like other Scandinavian colonies, which were planned and went out and many of which – including the Nirians, by the way, were experiments in egalitarianism.”
              I arched my eyebrows again. I’d come to know Mr. Crowe. Liked him even. But the thing about him is that when he was in lecture mode, and particularly if he thought training had left me without much clue, he could go on with very little interaction on my part.
              He sighed. “The name of the planet should be a clue. We don’t actually know how it ended up that way. We have names of the crew of the ship that got sent not just backward in time, but somehow sideways in coordinates to Valhalla. They were a mixed crew. Not even all Scandinavian in origin. The ship, by the way, was a scientific expedition, not a colonizing ship. They were lucky it was a massive scientific expedition, designed to study several worlds in a row. But you know, they were mostly eggheads from all over Europe and a bit of North America. And they seemed to be normal for 21st century Earth.”
              “Which is to say completely insane.”
              “Well, yes. But part of it, or perhaps the whole of it is that one of the crew – one of the scientists – a physicist — on the crew – was obsessed with … ah…. Not Vikings but the idea of Vikings. What Vikings had become in the literature and culture of the 21st century Earth. And not by reputable historians, more by the mythmakers. This gentleman, David Burkhead, was a neo pagan and interested in Norse Gods. But possibly what he actually did to shape the culture was bring aboard this Role Playing Game—” He stopped abruptly and gave me weather eye. I knew he was sometimes wary of my background which, no doubt, he knew as well as I did or perhaps better, since they did intelligence work on every prospective diplomat before allowing us to graduate. “Not that kind of role playing game.”
              I laughed. “No. RPG. I know. Dice and rules books, and a lot of imagination. I had a group in the Academy.”
              “Ah. Weird, how that particular form of socialization has survived from the 21st.”
              I agreed it was, and he went on. “Anyway, this David Burkhead had a rulebook, which no longer exists but was still there when Valhalla was recovered. It was for a game called The Way of the One Eye, and it was I suppose self conscious, campy fun for the time, because Vikings were not the historical Vikings, but the creatures of myth and legend. Horned helmets and capes, honor in combat, a short glorious life downing flagons of liquor. And being created in the twentieth century it was equal opportunity for the sexes. I think some historian is attempting to recreate it, by the way, and our time would probably enjoy it as much.”
              He shrugged. “The thing is, crashed on the world, once their entertainment systems and mersis stopped working and power was best used for things like making sure they survived and got crops in, while they could have power, The Way of The One Eye became their main form of entertainment and you know what they way, Literature—”
              “Literature when done in a certain way becomes culture and sometimes even religion,” I said. Another of the little aphorisms we were taught. “Yes sir.”
              “So Valhalla is…. RPG Vikings. Or at least that’s its underlying culture developed over the five thousand years they were lost. But they were discovered in the 23rd century. And they have had intensive trade – lucrative trade – with the rest of the human worlds for two hundred years. They’re not primitives. Still, things remain. That thing with indenturing their sons? Well, the culture of honor and familial obligation means they’d have trouble keeping the sons from indenturing themselves. For the glory and prosperity of Valhalla and all that.”
              I gave him a dubious eye. He gave me a collection of syllables that sounded like “Ogshi boshgi babalet!” And grinned. “That’s their drinking oath. It means Valhalla is for heroes.”
              “So you’re telling me the culture is very masculine and full of daring do and sacrifice for the tribe, and that’s not… barbaric.”
              He laughed, “No more than we are, but—” He paused. “Skip, the thing is they present their oddity up front. They would wear horned helmets if they thought you’d buy it for one second. What they’ll present to you is not exactly what they are, remember that. And I don’t think there’s any chance they’ll sign an exclusive with Earth, by the way. By playing Earth and the Star Empire against each other, they get to make the best bargain for the sons they do send away. And, by the way, they’re not nearly as poor as they seem to be. Most space benders send most of their earnings to Valhalla. Over two hundred years that adds up. Don’t go in thinking you’re dealing with hicks.”

    1. Music for combat , especially for defending that which must be defended, makes me very emotional. And the country must be defended now from lies, censorship and a stolen election. Crank the stereo up.

  16. Here’s another. ‘Gurajioru’ by Yui Sakakibara’s band Phantasm, from Chaos; Head.

    1. I enjoyed that series both in book form and the shows. It’s interesting that the original material makes Kazuto out to be a much bigger prick than he is in the tv shows. The shows make him more of a whiner though. And yes, in either case he is a teenager who has been subjected to extremely traumatic events.

    1. and I’ll follow that up with the official unofficial main character’s theme for what i am working on now…

      1. I will neither confirm nor deny having both of those preset to multiple repeat in my “fighting music” folder.

    1. And my productivity! I’m having to make up for lost game time yesterday right now! 🙂

  17. There is just nothing that gets me going like the arrangement that our hostess provided of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. The third verse where it goes four part men in “In the beauty of the Lillies Christ was born across the sea” and stays so until the end of the verse is some of the most beautiful TTBB part writing in the modern (i.e. post 1900) music. I used to sing 1st tenor in my youth (no more) and that part dodges along from e flat to B flat at the culmination, all sung piano to pianissimo technically VERY demanding, but when you pull it off it is part of the most joyous singing I’ve ever done gave me goose bumps and felt like it was rolling from tour toes to your head. Sadly they change the last line to “As He died to make men Holy let us live to make men free” from its original “As He dies to make men Holy let us DIE to make men free”. Also almost no one ever sings my favorite verse (it isn’t in that arrangement)

    I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
    “As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
    Since God is marching on.

    Perhaps those who condemn the “deplorables” ought heed that thought, but of course they will not as they do not believe in any of it. More pity for that.

    1. On a whim once, I launched into the soprano descant once in the little church I attended in the Upper Midwest. After that, I was requested/ordered to do it for veteran’s funerals!

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