Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Change I Can Believe In

Today was a good day.

Not for me. But for the future.

Today, I believe I’ve seen the first proof of something I have been suspecting for several months.

When Obama got elected I believed it was a good day. Even if his presidency was just a placeholder, the simple fact that a black man was elected president was a victory for equality and civil liberty.

But then I started paying very close attention to everything he did, and that congress did, and that the world did. I talked to people on forums, debated his every action and those of the movers and shakers in Washington. I’ve talked to people who have loved him, hated him, thought he was the savior, or the anti-christ. I’ve talked to people who are liberals, progressives, conservatives, right-wing, left-wing, and even fairy-wing.

And I started noticing something that I am not sure many people did.

No matter what you thought about Obama, he was the main topic of the day.

Every Forum had something to say about him. No matter how diverse the main subject was, somehow, Obama always seemed to pop up in the conversation. From local news to such obscure forums as Life extension and UFOology sites, Obama was everywhere.

I’m a Singularitarian, I believe mankind is heading inevitably into a future so radical in nature that we simply cannot predict what life will be like once we have finally gotten there. A future in which mankind will overcome even death itself by reconstructing his very biology to recreate himself as something beyond what we have always called human. If you read many predictions of the future you will find many serious scientists speaking of the Singularity, the boundary beyond which prediction fails because we cannot even begin to conceive of what a human with superhuman intelligence may be capable of. Ray Kurzweil is one of the best known authors who discusses it, in his “The Singularity is Near.”

The reason why I mention this is because very early on in his presidency, Obama convinced me that like a Singularitarian, he is someone with a very firm eye on the future, and very aware of what it going to be needed to get there. I believe he does indeed have an agenda, and one in which I and every American who wishes our Nation to survive can believe in and support fully. His willingness to encourage science and even undo the ban on stem cell research showed me that he was a man who wanted us to move into the future, rather than drag us back into the past.

But then the opposition to him kept growing, and he seemed to be willing to simply let it, while doing little to actually step up and try to force his agenda through Congress. I’ve heard people on every side claim he’s weak, or that he’s as corrupt as the old president, or that he’s on the take, and every other sort of rumor.

Everywhere you looked, on every news station, every forum.

It seemed like corruption was too strong, the special interests too powerful, the raping of America to popular. Money talked too loudly for the voice of the people to be heard. Powerful lobbying groups could fool people into supporting things which would only aid the wealthy at their own expense, Partisanship was so powerful that his opponents could simply sit back and say no as their sole ploy and people would still allow it.

Yes, even when proof was offered that the public was being manipulated against it’s own interests, it seemed that they would never believe they were being played for fools.

The Republican Party started patting itself on the back for a job well done, celebrating Obama’s “Waterloo”.

In August, it seemed to be all over. Wealth had won, the People were screwed, and America would be raped until it died, while those who did the raping would just reap every last penny of profit from its destruction, then simply go elsewhere.

But, as I said, I’m a singularitarian. One thing I am all too aware of is exponential curves. As I stepped back, and looked over everything, I began noticing the exponential curve that Obama had been building.

You won’t notice it unless you CAN step back and look at all of it. Unless you can look at both sides and realize that there is a forest behind all these trees. It’s there, in the blogs, in the news stories, in the details, and most importantly, it’s there in the comments made by ordinary people to all of these.

Special interests were playing the game they always had. But they failed to take into account one very new fact.

America was watching.

For the first time, America was watching like a hawk. Washington wasn’t the back page story. It wasn’t the final filler piece at the end of the news. It wasn’t the obscure opinion piece buried behind which Hollywood star was sleeping with which other.

It was damn near the ONLY news.

Because Obama made sure it was with his constant appearances, speeches, broadcasts, and webcasts.

So as the corruption in Washington and the special interests kept playing their self serving greedy games at the expense of the American public, Obama made sure America kept paying attention, doling out coil after coil of rope.

Biding his time and waiting for the exponential to curve.

That exponential was America’s willingness to allow themselves to continue to be raped for the profit of the few at the expense of the many.

It was easy to miss. With things like Fox News crowing about the rise in their ratings, Congressmen hemming and hawing over healthcare reform, and Banks raking in record profits from taxpayer dollars, it was all too easy to think that the battle for change had already been lost.

But what wasn’t so obvious was that those things were misleading. Fox’s ratings were growing not because more and more people were starting to agree with them, but because more and more people of every political persuasion were turning away from idle pursuits to pay attention to Washington, and the issues which they had begun to realize meant far more to them and their lives than any movie, TV show, or game.

More of America was watching, reading, and participating. America was becoming ENGAGED.

And that is the exponential curve Obama was watching. He knew that the only way to make real change happen would never be from the top alone. Our Government is DESIGNED to be a cooperative effort from all branches. No single branch can work alone.

Alone, Obama could do nothing. No impassioned speeches would ever change a thing. No campaign promises would accomplish his goals, no public appearance turn America away from the rocks. You cannot steer a ship with a thousand rudders unless you can get enough rudders going the same way.

He had to let the games happen, so that America could see them as they were happening. He had to appear weak, because that was the only way to make America realize it’s own strength.

AMERICA had to want change, and they had to want it badly enough to MAKE IT HAPPEN THEMSELVES.

WE had to become engaged. WE had to wake up and wise up, and understand in absolute clarity that we cannot sit back and let change happen.

Yes, the extremes are on the rise, because the CENTER is moving upwards. The American people are beginning to speak out and step up, to push the fringes aside and tell the special interests ENOUGH.

And that is what Obama has been waiting for.

Today, the OFA aimed for 100,000 calls to Washington to ask for reform. They got over 200,000 at last count and still rising.

Today, Obama stood in the heart of the Financial District, and told Wall Street that the games were over. Regulations were going to happen and they could support them and profit, or resist them and be rolled over.

Today, Business as Usual is over.

Not because of Obama.

But because WE THE PEOPLE have spoken. Obama simply helped us find our voice.

The hemming, the non-committal answers, the willingness to seek the middle, these have all been strategies played by a master to make America finally step up, and tell congress, YOU work for US.

And slowly, we have been doing that. From here on out, we’re going to be doing it more and more.

And that agenda I was saying I believe Obama is aiming for? I believe it’s one were every American can truly say that we are a nation in which our government is FOR the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE. The one in which our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor so that it should not perish from this earth.

And after 200 plus years… it’s about time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a girl of style and grace…
Well, not really, but it seems so appropriate considering the rest of this little missive, and I won’t even make you guess my name. Valkyrie Ice, or just Val for short.
No that’s not the name my parents gave me, but it is far more comfortable most of the time than that other one, which is why it has been my name on the internet from almost the very first time I signed onto a BBS. Val feels more like the real me than that endless succession of masks I have to wear everyday. When I’m online, I usually feel like I’ve taken off this massive coat of lead armor, and like I’m a real person, instead of a mindless automaton going through the motions. What you see when you meet me in the flesh may be what the world thinks of as me right now, but Val’s the one looking at you behind these blue eyes.
I have been asked many times before why I consider myself to be an entirely different creature than what I see in a mirror, and I would usually smile and give some off the cuff answer and make it seem like some sort of joke, but the truth is, I have come to this conclusion because of a place I visit frequently in a reoccurring vision. It’s not a vision like a hallucination, or something delusional, but more like a memory of someplace that I was at five minutes ago. Fresh, and sharp, and as real as if I had just stepped out of that place into wherever I am. I can close my eyes and even as I write this it is so clear it is like I am there now.
 I could not tell you when the first time I came here was. Sometimes it seems I am always here, other times months may pass between visits. Even when I have not visited in a very long time, the details of this place form in my head with more clarity than most of my memories of other places I have been. I do not know why I return here over and over, but I know this place has a meaning to me that I do not yet fathom.
I visit here in the afterimages of eye blinks, in the false color shadows of fading sight when I close my eyes. Occasionally, I even find myself here in dreams, and it is at these times I have been able to examine this place, and myself closely. I don’t know if this is a vision, a mirage created wholly in my mind, or if it is a memory of some real place that I do not believe exists on this planet. All I truly know for sure is that in this place, I am something else.
I call it The Shattered Plain. The ground is volcanic rock, but its surface is too regular, not polished but far smoother than you would expect to be natural. This smoothness is marred by a web work of fissures like shattered glass. It is as if a massive still lake of molten rock cooled so rapidly as to cause contraction breaks, leaving this crazy quilt work of fissures. The breaks in the rock are very deep, too dark to peer into in the pale sourceless blue light, like a night under a full moon, though no such orb is in the sky above. Here and there, small fragments of rock break the flatness of the ground, but no vegetation or soil. Yet, strangely, I have a feeling that it was once an ancient forest. I have no evidence that any life has ever existed here, yet at the same time, I have dim misty images of a green wood that was old and full of sunlight – faded memories of walking through the woods bedecked in only ribbons and flowers while fairies danced and fluttered around me… and a flash of the trees lifeless and dead under a darkened autumn sky. That these two vastly different landscapes could be related is mere speculation, the faint memories of a woodland hold no recognizable landmark that could be matched to the vista before me.
The featureless Plain lies in a tremendous valley, encircled on all sides by steep mountains. These mountains form a circle completely surrounding the Plain, creating, as best I can tell, an unbroken barrier separating the Plain from whatever lies behind their lofty peaks. They are rugged grey rock without a trace of vegetation, and while their height is considerable, they do not have snow on their peaks. Their very regularity is unnatural. I have no impressions of what might lie beyond, but I can see an orange glow that resembles the last rays of a setting sun, only it circles the horizon in all directions. The dome of the sky above this glow is dark and scattered with stars. They are a bright profusion in the sky, clear and vivid with the intensity reserved for a sky unpolluted by ambient light. I cannot tell you if there are any recognizable constellations, nor have I ever seen a moon. Besides myself, only two other objects break the absolute flatness of the Plain.
In the opposite direction from the nearest mountains, I can see the true heart of the Plain: The Tower. If I had to make a guess, I would say The Tower stands more than thirty miles or more from me (though distance is deceptive and it could be just a few miles or hundreds), yet its dimensions are so vast that I can make out distinct details. If I look at it directly, it is so wide that it seems to occupy nearly a third of my total visual field from side to side, and completely exceeds it vertically. I would judge it’s height to be twenty or so miles from base to top. Even at the distance I stand from it, it looms above me to where I have to look sharply upwards to see the top. Huge buttresses support the miles wide base, rising out of a redly glowing crevasse at its foot. At least I think they are buttresses, though they are not as regular as I would think something man-made would be, so it is entirely possible they could be massive roots. The distance and the red glow make vision deceptive. I believe that the Tower sits untouched in a lake of still molten lava. Indeed, I strongly suspect the entire plain rests in the throat of a vast volcano, or an enormous impact crater, yet there is no heat from the stone and the air is pleasant and cool. Then again, there is always a possibility that something about the tower itself keeps the rock at its base molten. I have occasionally speculated that perhaps the Tower is the reason the Plain exists to begin with.
Above the many buttresses, the tower sprouts a profusion of turrets, rising in a spiral around the central trunk like a DNA helix. I can see them clearly, which from this distance means that each must be the size of a massive skyscraper, but like the buttresses, they are not regular but vary in size and dimensions. They appear to be capped with peaked roofs that terminate in sharp spikes. They continue, gradually getting smaller as the towers diameter shrinks towards the top. Like the turrets, the tower also has a sharply peaked roof, and its central spike rises so high that I lose track of it, yet I know it points like an arrow at the central star in the sky above me.
I have never in my dreams set foot in this tower, nor has it ever been day, yet like the forest I dimly think I recall, I have fleeting images of it’s grey walls under a sunlit sky, pennons streaming in the wind, as I watch the clouds pass by beneath the balcony on which I stand.
Now, there is only the night, and silence.
There is another hint of a memory that goes with the Tower as well, I cannot explain why beyond a fleeting impression, but I think the tower might also be a weapon. Just a brief flash of a memory of brilliant shafts of light streaking upwards from all of the thousands of turrets to merge with a massive beam from the main spike. Nothing else. (And yes, I have had it suggested that the whole thing is very phallic in imagery. I’m not discounting it, but it doesn’t feel exactly right.)
I will be honest, here. I don’t know if the Tower is built of stone, I just know that under this light it seems to match the grey basalt around me. I have occasionally speculated as to the possibility that it is an immense spacecraft, and that the red glow around its base might be due to some sort of exhaust for its power plant. I don’t know, and the hints and flashes I have do not truly clarify anything.
Many nights I have sought to go to The Tower, yet despite the obvious guide it presents, I always seem to lose sight of it, and circle back to where I entered this place. Face to face with The Wall.
This structure is a wall that I would say is easily a few hundred feet high, and on occasion I have scaled it only to find myself dropping down on the other side exactly where I started. It is a massive affair, built of giant stones cut in irregular angles, each stone seemingly cut at random, but precisely fitting without any signs of mortar. They offer easy hand holds, but no clues as to how they came to be here, or what was used to carve them. The oddest thing about them is that they appear very similar to some ancient walls in Peru, though they are far taller. I was shocked the first time I saw a pic of those walls at the similarity between them and the one in my memories.
Like the mountains, The Wall makes a complete circuit of The Plain. Oddly, the cracks in the rock beneath me end in a continuous fissure that doesn’t quite touch The Wall. It appears that the wall emerges from the depths, and it is not made of the same rock as the Plain. The floor of the Plain is a smooth even grey, like basalt, where the rock of the Wall is grainy, more like granite. As best as I can place it, I believe the Wall marks the mid point between the Tower at the center of the Plain, and the mountains, and forms a perfect circle. What the land is like between the Wall and the mountains I cannot say as I have never seen it. Indeed I cannot truly even say that the mountains may not have break in them in that section I cannot see behind the Wall. For all I know, that ancient wood may still exist, unseen behind the unyielding granite.
It is on this wall that the Mirror rests. It is a glass oval surrounded by an ornate golden frame, a magnificent sunburst of ivy vines curling around themselves in a weave reminiscent of Celtic knots. The vines grow ever smaller as they expand from the Mirror, a fractal pattern that finally grows too small to see. Even in this blue lit world, the metal shines with a faint hint of yellow. As the years have passed, it seems to me that the frame has grown more complex and extends further, but for the life of me, I have no idea what this means, or if it is just my memory playing tricks on me. Like so many other details, it may have meaning, it may not.
I do not know what the mirror is composed of, but it is dark, and does not reflect the plain. Only the body I wear in this place is visible, and I know it is mine. In the beginning, it was misty and indistinct, but at the same time, it has always been crystal clear. I can only think that I would not allow myself to remember what I saw in the mirror at first, but as time has brought me here repeatedly, I have gradually accepted what I see, and as I have, more and more knowledge of exactly who and what I am here has come to me, like memories working to the surface. I know that the image I see is me, because when I am here, I can look down and see that my form is the same, and I can feel the differences from the body I wear in my waking life.
It is the sheer depths of information I know about this form that finally made me conclude that this is my true form. I knew things about it that I had no concepts to put into words for the longest time. I even tried writing a book where the main character was just like me, yet never did I really get anywhere in writing it. It has been a twenty-five year dance of description, a literary coming to terms with what I see in this vision. In my teens, I clumsily tried to draw what I saw, and describe what I recalled, and it gradually coalesced into a clearer, and more sharply defined body of knowledge. As I read into science books, and learned more about biology, and other sciences, my clumsy first attempts to describe myself grew into a truer understanding of what my dreams were apparently saying.
I know this. What I am in the mirror was not evolved - it was created. I was engineered, possibly as a weapon of war, yet one that was created to be pleasing to the eye, and appealing to the senses. And I was created with free will. Despite the purpose of my form, I do not think I was a slave. I may have been designed for a purpose, but it was always up to me if I pursued that purpose. Perhaps my purpose was simply to be able to defend myself if needed, yet some of what I know of myself seems extravagant for simple self defense. Who or what might have created me I cannot say. While I have no faith in a “supreme” being, I do believe that beings that would be considered “gods” are possible.  Lack of evidence does not count as evidence against, and I feel certain that humanity is not the most advanced intelligence in the universe. Nor am I a hundred percent certain humanity is even native to this planet. Like so much else, only time and an increase in our knowledge will tell.
 What follows may seem like science fiction, a fact that has made me wonder at times if the vision is a foretelling - an image from my future - but there are no clues that tell me one way or another, only knowledge of things I only gradually came to understand.
In this place I am a humanoid female, an Amazon over seven feet tall. I have the same overall build I have now, but in perfected physical form, what I would be if I were in the sort of shape a gymnast is in. I am proportional to my size, with wide hips and a bust that seems enormous unless you take into account that my size makes my chest nearly 40 inches if you just measure my ribcage.  I would say I’m still a bit on the large size, bigger than a DD cup, but despite this, even in the absence of clothes, I have little sag. I’ll get into the particulars of why shortly.  In essence, I would say that I have an exaggerated hourglass figure, one that was sculpted to attract desire.
My face is nearly identical to the one I see in the mirror, the same high cheeks, and strong chin, but my eyes are a bit wider and larger, or perhaps merely seem so due to the thinness of my face in this form, and my chin is narrower, and my cheek bones slightly more prominent. In life, I seem to have never lost the baby fat in my cheeks which give me a rounded look that hides the actual contours of my face. In all, I can look at that face and see what I could be if I ever win my battle against my bulge.
The biggest difference in the face is that my eyes are a vivid violet, nearly royal purple in hue. It is a far more intense purple than I have ever seen occur without the aid of contacts. Also, the intense red of my lips and the lavender eye shadow are not the result of makeup, but seem to be part of my natural coloration, like my extremely pale skin and snow white hair.
It is on my temples, really, that the true differences begin to manifest themselves. I have had a sharp widows peak my entire life, and at the point where my temples, forehead and skull meet, I have two small horns. I would estimate them to be about one and a half inches in diameter and about four inches long. They make a sharp curve that tapers to a needle sharp tip.
In the past, I have stated they were made of an unknown metallic purple substance, but in truth, I know exactly what they are made of. Originally, I would have told you that they were crystalline, and as strong as diamond, but that was merely because back then, I didn’t have the concept to explain what they are truly made of. They are diamond, and at the same time, they’re not, because they are composed of carbon nanofibers embedded in a diamond lattice. The tips are so sharp because they come to a nearly atomic point. The fact they are a metallic purple has to do with what frequencies of light the lattice reflects but I couldn’t tell you precisely why.
But, it’s not something that I can see actually evolving. Nothing we know of biologically grows either carbon nanotubes or diamond, yet I do know I’m organic and that nothing in my biology is “magical” or uses unknown elements or whatever. It’s the same basic carbon based biology that I have now, but far more…evolved? Efficient? In some ways, it’s far simpler than my present body, in others, far more complex, and as we proceed, you’ll see why I think I was designed by someone or something far more technologically advanced than we are at present.
But back to my horns. I know that this short form is merely a matter of convenience, because I have also seen them as large curling ram’s horns. In this form, they have a more complex structure, nearly three inches at the base, and growing in segments. And the actual shape changes from a completely round form to a triangular pattern, where the outer two sides bow outwards and join at a rounded apex, while the inner side bows inward slightly and has a definite “edge” where it meets the other side. (This is much clearer in drawings.) I admit, this is a detail that had always confused me, since typically, at least in most earth based species, only males would have the large horns. I have had some interesting conversations recently that may have shed some light on this, but I’ll get to this later.
My hair is also not typical. As I said, it appears white with bluish undertones, but I can change its color at will. I usually wear it in either a long pageboy, or pulled back into a crest, and I can vary its length. I’m most comfortable with it around derriere length, but it can range from nearly to the floor to a short pixie cut, and from straight to wild to curly. Again, this has nothing to do with “magic”, but much to do with engineering. My hair has small tubes running down their length that change their refraction value depending on the chemical signals my follicles give them. Additionally more carbon fibers run the length of the strands, and depending on the torque applied by my follicles, affect whether my hair is straight or curly. It mimics the same structures that determine hair curliness, but allows them to be tuned at whim. Additionally, my follicles can make, as well as unmake, the strands far faster than they can now, allowing the length to change in just a few minutes. And since my hair is essentially sheathed in a single complex molecule, split ends and breaks are nearly impossible.
The next major difference about my head is my ears, which are upswept to a fairly sharp point ala Mr. Spock. Honestly, I suspect this is merely cosmetic for looks rather than due to any special function.
The last major difference is hidden in my mouth. My canines, both upper and lower, are extended and very sharp. They also have small tubes running just below the interior surface, and act like fangs. Both sets of canines attach to modified saliva glands that produce fast acting neurotoxins. In small doses, they are not deadly, but in high enough doses they can kill and combined are more lethal than Black Mamba venom. The upper set in small doses affects the brain’s inhibition and pleasure centers, creating a potent aphrodisiac, which at high enough doses creates an unquenchable need to have sex, and which in full strength will force its victim to basically copulate until their heart gives out, or a embolism occurs. The bottom set acts similarly by shutting down some of the higher reasoning centers. At low doses, it acts like a truth drug, at higher, can turn someone into a mindless zombie, and at full, it will shut down autonomic functions, like breathing and a heart beat. Full dose with both will lead to a convulsing, thrashing fit as the brain essentially overloads and the body shuts down. Death is in less than 30 seconds. (Nasty huh? Can’t think of any reason something this complex would evolve.) And, I am completely immune to my own toxins. Only the aphrodisiac has any effect, as it keeps me in a constant mild state of arousal. (I also have a third toxin, but we’ll cover that later.) When my jaws are closed, my lower canines are flush with my gum line inside my upper jaw, while my upper canines extend quite a bit below the gum line outside my lower teeth. They also have enough length that I can have them showing outside my lips without any discomfort but I cannot close my jaw fully with them showing. Mainly the only reason I show them is because it tends to make my lower lip appear fuller and more pouty. I do not seem to have much difficulty chewing, since in a chewing action the tips of my upper canines do not actually come above my lower teeth, but biting my tongue does occasionally still happen. (And yes, I can actually inject myself accidentally, but as I said only the aphrodisiac has any effect and that is extremely muted.)
Moving lower, we now come to my wings and in general, my skeletal and muscle structure. To begin, my wings are much like long skinny arms and fingers with webbing. If I were able to hang them straight down, my wing knuckles would be nearly touching the floor. I would say they are nearly six foot from socket to wrist, with my wing-palms being nearly the same size as my normal hands. A stretch of webbing runs along the top of my arm, acting sort of like a guy wire that limits my maximum extension. Stretching my wing out fully requires an effort and it will lock into place rigidly when I do. I can’t tell you the exact mechanism, but it is apparently necessary for me to fly well. If I don’t lock them into place, I’m unstable, and have to exert far more effort to stay airborne. I suspect that locking in place is needed to keep me from having a keel bone, since I do not have the musculature needed to be an active wing flapper. Essentially, I’m more hang glider than bird.  My wings are not attached to a second shoulder blade, but fit into a secondary socket that is formed along the inner edge of my shoulder blades, and the actual range of motion is some what limited. I have the ability to move them vertically through a range of about 140 degrees and horizontally through a range of about 120. At rest, I am most comfortable with them in an upright position, like I’m raising my hand, and just short of full extension, so the webbing along the top is taking up most of the stress of keeping my arm raised. I can fold them closer to my body, more like a bird would, but doing so is uncomfortable, as my wingtips drag the ground and I feel like I’m trying to hunch myself up. (There is another reason to their needing to stay partially extended like this that I will cover in just a bit.) I couldn’t tell you exactly how the muscles attach, beyond an impression that my wing muscles and arm muscles are somewhat interwoven, allowing them to both attach to the same points. (I’ll cover this in just a little bit too.)
 Moving on to my wing-hands, like I said, they are nearly the same size as my normal hands, and my thumb is separate from the webbing. Unlike a bat’s wing, my first two fingers are fused into a single thick digit and form the long front of my wing, while the much shorter ring and pinkie fingers effectively brace the extended webbing and allow me to warp the airfoil effect for steering. Over all, the front of my wing is nearly eight feet long and my full wing span is just shy of thirty foot. I can grab things with my thumb, and move my wings just like my hands, but the long fingers and the webbing do preclude fine manipulation. (Though I could type two fingers with practice) Oddly, my main fingers in my wings do not end in nails, just rounded tips. (That’s something that just occurred to me. Wouldn’t evolution have left the nails like it did on my thumb?)
The actual webbing looks and feels like normal skin, and I can feel it just as well as any other part of my body, but it is extremely tough and puncture resistant and made of muscle fiber. It can be pierced with enough force, but little short of a large caliber bullet can do so. The webbing joins my back from just above my pelvis up to the wing socket, then up to about the top of my shoulder blade, but under the skin, the muscle fibers continue until they are anchored to my spine. Blood vessels in my wings help control my body temperature and basically replace the functions my sweat glands fill now. (We’ll get to those shortly too.)
In flight, I do not move like a bird. My center of gravity is just behind my wings, so I fly with my body at about a 30 degree angle to the ground. During landings this is closer to 45 degrees, and depending on what I’m landing on, I absorb most of the shock with my legs. To actually get airborne, I need about a hundred foot of drop, and hopefully, a good thermal if I wish to actually stay in the air for distances of longer than a mile. Fortunately, I can also see infrared and somewhat into the ultraviolet, and have enormously better night vision than even most animals. A night with only stars is brighter than a typical moonlit night with my current vision, and with a full moon, I can even see colors. This makes it easy to find thermals, and is also what makes me suspect the tower is setting in lava. I can see the heat plumes. My eyes also seem to be able to focus somewhat telescopically as well as microscopically allowing me to see far better than I can now. I can’t describe exactly how I see the extended spectrum but it is nothing like a forward looking infrared. I don’t see colors per se so much as simply a kind of shimmer that I know is heat.
Now, we get to the skeletal structure, which I’m sure you guessed, is not normal calcium. In fact, most of my body uses carbon nanotubes in place of other structural materials. In my skeleton, the calcium has been replaced with long carbon tube fibers. I don’t know exactly how the fibers are joined into a matrix, but I do know it is far lighter than bone, and can be bent nearly double. It is nearly impossible to break. I do know that it is kind of a glossy grey in color, like pencil lead, so it may be that it is a combination of carbon fiber and graphite. Other than the differences of the added or modified limbs, the biggest difference is in the ribcage. My ribs do not form the typical open cage, instead, my ribs are much wider than normal, and form an overlapping structure, each rib partially overlaying the one beneath it, leaving no openings between. It is just as flexible as a normal set, but it is nearly impenetrable to conventional weaponry. An armor piercing anti-tank round could probably get through it, but that’s about it. Everything vital to my biology is hidden behind this shield. (More on that later.) Additionally, my extremely long finger nails, made of the same substance as my horns, attach directly to the bone, making them highly effective weapons. (Kind of like Lady Deathstrike from X2, or Freddy Kruger.) Like my hair and horns, I can extend and shrink my nails from normal length to about five inch needle tipped talons.
This light skeleton is moved by a musculature that makes use of the same carbon nanotubes. Like normal muscle fiber, my muscle cells use bundles of fibers internally, but these bundles are nanotubes. Additionally, individual cells are longer than they are in a normal human’s, and can extend and contract farther. Also, as I said, the actual muscle bundles in my wings and shoulders are interwoven so that they can share the shoulder blades. Basically, my muscles have a strength many times greater than they do now, and can contract far more strongly. I can easily pick up weights that would strain an Olympic weight lifter, or toss a car, so long as I was willing to slice up my feet when the weight shoves my hooves through the pavement. It also allows me far more flexibility than most gymnasts.
Attached to my spine, where my coccyx currently is, is my tail. It is approximately three to four inches thick at the base, and like most animals, my anus is nestled just under it. It is nearly eight feet in length, and tapers smoothly to a diameter of about an inch before it merges into a spaded tip about eighteen inches long and six inches from side to side at its widest. It is a three pointed spade, the smaller two points sweeping back from my tail to form a delta vee. It is in the very tip of my tail that a third venom weapon is found. A small needle-like retractable spike can be extended, and used to inject a sedative. Its effect is instantaneous and lasts for several hours. The only way it would be lethal is if it was injected directly into the brain. (Curiously enough, this venom also seems to be able to neutralize the other two poisons I have, though not both at once. The victim passes out, and wakes up with little more than a headache.) Normally, this spine is retracted, and the tip of my tail is like a finger. In flight, its main purpose is to provide a stabilizing drag, and it is extremely flexible and prehensile. I can wrap the spade around a cup and use it to drink, and even have precise enough control to type with it. (I have had this form in so many dreams where I am doing mundane things like working on my computer and such. You have no idea how handy it is to control the mouse with a tail while typing away with both hands.)
And finally, we come to my hooves. I do have digitigrade legs like a goat’s rear legs, but my ankle is structured so that I stand with a foot that is nearly vertical, allowing my legs to remain much straighter, more human normal than typically illustrated. My foot is narrower and elongated, terminating in a rather delicate set of cloven hooves. These are shaped like a deer’s or goat’s, but are somewhat larger, though smaller than a cow’s. They are made of the same substance as my horns and nails, and I leave footprints that look like mirror teardrops. I am also covered from knee down with a fine soft fur of the same white as my hair.
That is essentially my outer appearance, but there are other things about my body that seem like combat modifications as well. Most of these are internal so I will get to them a little later. For now, I’m going to cover a few items that make me think I was also made specifically for sex as much as war. And a warning, some of this may start to sound a little weird. It was for me when I first started realizing some of these details. For those of you who cannot deal with graphic talk about sex, or sexually oriented material, I suggest you skip ahead.

*****

Now, one thing that has made me suspect I am at least partly a succubus was my aphrodisiac toxin. The fact that it had such a specifically sexual effect on both me and anyone I used it on has made me wonder. Incidentally, I do not have to bite to use it. It is constantly being released in small amounts into my saliva, so a kiss is sufficient to deliver a small to medium intensity dose. A full dose, or to use the other venom requires a bite, and I can unhinge my jaw to a small extent and open my mouth wide enough to do this effectively on anything up to the diameter of an average human neck. Incidentally, I do not need to bite deeply, just enough to penetrate skin, and my canines are as sharp as needles.
But that alone is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I also do not sweat. My wings control my body temperature so my sweat glands produce pheromones. In this form, I can raise temperatures just by entering a room because I am surrounded by a small cloud of non gender or species specific pheromones. It doesn’t matter if they’re male, female, or even human, most mammals will show some response, though humans, horses and dogs seem to be the most strongly affected. (And no, I’m not going to detail how I know that.) I can’t tell if cats are actually turned on or not, but at the very least, they respond like I’m made out of catnip.
I can vary the intensity of these pheromones, but never shut them completely off, as they seem to correspond to how aroused I am. At full strength I think I could get a reaction from a rock, while at minimum they are merely distracting. Additionally, they seem to lower inhibitions in those around me over a long term. They build up a tolerance for the pheromones, so that an individual dose affects them less, but they tend to get much more sexually active overall as time passes.
Technically speaking, I suppose this could also be a weapon, as it certainly could be distracting in a confrontation, but it mainly seems to amplify arousal, not force it like my kisses do. If I cut loose in a crowd they’d probably all head for someplace private as opposed to starting an orgy right there, which would be the result of, say, spiking the punch with my aphrodisiac venom.
Now, externally, beyond the exaggerated figure and the pheromones, the only other obvious sexual modifications are the pierced nipples and clit. But those are pretty standard for some crowds. It’s the internal modifications that really make me think I was designed for some rather extreme kinds of sex, and lots of it.
To begin, while I am not Linda Lovelace, the little epiglottis at the back of my throat is rather sensitive in a sexual manner. This of course brings new meanings to culinary orgasm, as anything rubbing against it is akin having my clitoris rubbed, though it is not quite as sensitive, but that’s just a start. I do not have a digestive tract. My esophagus extends in a straight line down through my body to my anus in a continuous tube. It does branch off in the center of my rib cage to my lungs as well as a stomach, but the muscles along this tube work both ways, allowing travel both up and down. Essentially, I could impale myself on my tail, threading it all the way thorough my body to come out my mouth. Weird as this sounds there are some other details that indicate that this is exactly the reason for the way it was designed. My nasal cavities do not connect solely to my esophagus, but have an additional tube that surrounds it that connects only to my lungs. Even if my throat is blocked, I can still breathe without effort, though my vocal cords are attached to the main tube. And my stomach does not function in any sense like the one I have now. It is little more than a holding area for a specialized digestive organ. (More on this later)
But even this isn’t the end of it. My anus is essentially a secondary vagina, not a waste removal system. I do not seem to need it for any other function. It has lubrication ducts, and is every bit as sensitive as my vagina, and only the sphincter differentiates it. (And strange as it sounds, if both my nose and throat are blocked it can function as an additional airway for breathing, but that’s a bit embarrassing, and requires me to keep my tail lifted rather high.) As for my reproductive organs, even further weirdness begins. The top of my uterus joins into the central tube in a normally closed Y junction, and though it also has the normal connections to the fallopian tubes, these are also normally closed by a sphincter type valve. As best I can tell, I do not have a period unless I consciously choose to become pregnant, at which time, my ovaries release an egg and the fallopian tubes open. Until then, the reproductive cycle is on permanent hold and the valves prevent accidents.  
Further, my entire womb is formed of consciously controllable muscle tissue, with a separate flexible muscle along the back that for all intents and purposes is identical to a tongue, but thicker and rounder, nor is it quite as flexible. It even can be extended out through my cervix and vagina to a length of several inches, long enough to be able to use it as a phallus or to lick my own clit. (My extreme flexibility allows me to do that with my normal tongue as well.) Nor is my cervix just a valve; I can control it every bit as well as my mouth. Strange as it may sound, I can give a blowjob with my vagina, and the connection to my esophagus at the top of my womb allows me to swallow, or to be penetrated by a penis of extraordinary proportions.
Add all of this to the external items, and there can be little doubt I was designed for sex with a wide variety of partners of many different sizes and possibly species. I am durable enough to survive being raped by an elephant, and walk away with a smile. (That’s a joke, BTW)
Oh, and just a side note. My pubic hair grows only in a neat little patch directly on my pubic mound and has all the same features as that on my head. I can make it ungrow at will and be completely bare in less than fifteen minutes.
Recently, an interesting thing was pointed out to me, though. In a fairly real sense, this form is female in appearance only. In practice, it can perform equally well in a male role as well. The internal “tongue” in my uterus can act as a phallus, and to be blunt, when it is extended, my vagina is not accessible. The only thing I am not certain of is whether it produces sperm, as I have never had a dream that proceeds fully to climax. For many years, I have been so fixated on the femaleness of my external form that it never occurred to me the strong hermaphroditical overtones it has. In a sense, this form is both, and neither, since nothing quite like it exists today, not even true hermaphrodites. It is yet another element to the puzzle, but perhaps one that is very important. I don’t know yet.

*****

For those of you rejoining me after skipping the above section, the essential details are that I do not have a digestive tract, merely a continuous tube that connects my mouth and anus, with branches off to my lungs and a stomach. In the upper part of this tract, the tube is surrounded by a secondary tract that connects my sinuses to my lungs so that I cannot choke to death in the event my esophagus is blocked. In most other respects it is perfectly normal. The secondary tract is normally closed and I breathe through my esophagus, which is connected normally to my voice box.
It is at this point that all similarity ends, because the stomach and lungs they connect to, as well as all my other internal organs are radically different. For example, my stomach is little more than a holding tank for a digestive organ that does not function at all like an intestine. Nor is it off to the left in my chest. It is situated in the lower portion of my chest below and between the lungs. My heart is also centralized, located directly behind the breastbone in the most armored part of the enclosed cage formed by the overlapping ribs I described earlier.
It is at this point that many of you will look at what I’m about to describe and say that it must be cybernetics and not really biological, and I wont argue with you. Cybernetics was my first thought as well, but whether it is or not, it is at least organic, and my body treats it like any other organic structure in me, including healing it. But this is the primary reason I say I was designed. Nothing in what we know of as evolution has created anything like what I’m about to describe.
I’m going to start with my digestive organ, because to be honest, it’s not really a single organ at all, but a whole set of them. The primary organ attached to my stomach has one single purpose, to break down matter into individual atoms, sort and store them, and deliver the required atoms to the other organs in the system. And make a note that this breaks everything down. I could drink a gallon of alcohol and it would never hit my bloodstream, nor would any ingested poisons have any effect. It means I can survive on almost any diet that includes the proper elements, and also that I do not need to eat anywhere near as often, though I do enjoy a good meal. My lungs are also part of this organ, as they are capable of extracting oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen from any atmosphere that contains them, enabling me to breathe even liquids. Efficiency is near a hundred percent, and the excess of any unused material eventually will be disposed of in one of three ways. Much of the excess is disposed of through the lungs, released in small amounts continuously with each exhale. It is unnoticeable as it is usually in very small non aromatic molecules or trace gases. The second system of waste disposal is through my skin. As skin cells are about to die and eventually flake or be washed away, they are packed with the excesses of material that my body does not need. Last, a large percentage is disposed of through my urine in the form of various chemical compounds suspended in solution. I would not suggest trying to drug test me in my other form, as it would probably test positive for things that don’t even exist.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly how the digestive organ works. I do know it needs more power than my biology generally generates, but this is taken care of by another organ that sits higher in my chest cavity, directly behind my heart. Despite the controversy over whether or not cold fusion actually exists, I think it is a cold fusion power cell, drawing hydrogen from my lungs and releasing helium back. If not, it is a very small and very high output fuel cell based generator. (I did say this sounds very cybernetic, no?) All I really have to go on is that I know it requires hydrogen, and produces an enormous amount of power for such a small device, while producing very little heat. (It is this very low heat output that makes me think that it is unlikely to be a hot fusion cell. I cannot see a several thousand degree fusion reaction contained inside a device that only reaches at most 115-120 degrees)
Now, once a food source is broken down into its constituent atoms, these raw materials are transported to what I can only describe as highly modified marrow. Where normal marrow manufactures blood cells, mine is much more generalized. It manufactures not only blood cells, but creates the various nutrients needed by my cells and acts as a combination organ that fulfills the functions of just about every organ and gland in a human body. Nor are my blood cells exactly like those of a typical human. While I don’t think they are quite the same as the various cells described in “Nanomedicine” I do know that my red blood cells are much more efficient than a normal humans and carry far more oxygen per cell, and that my blood tends to clot almost instantly if I am cut. I also have a different type of blood cell that I have decided to call Shepard cells. These cells are probably the most unlikely things to ever evolve by chance that it’s almost certainly proof of Bioengineering. Like white blood cells, they can alter themselves to become other cells and assume the same functions as the cell they are replacing, but their abilities go far beyond this. They are actually responsible for my ability to heal almost instantly, as they will replace the damaged cells caused by wounds within minutes, and can rebuild lost or damaged tissue in a matter of hours. Because of these cells, I can even regrow lost limbs, and I believe only a wound which causes brain death would be fatal. They also seem to be able to sample the DNA of any cell or virus they encounter and if it is not mine, or if the cell is damaged, they will absorb the cell and transport it to the digestive organ for disposal. But it is their last function that is almost unbelievable. They respond to conscious control. It is the Shepard cells that give me the ability to shape shift. Again, I’ll detail how in a bit, because there are other factors involved that need to be explained first.
If you’ve paid attention, you’ve realized by now that I have all this space that was used by intestines that I do not have. It’s not empty though. A large portion of my “brain” resides there.
Now, I do have a brain in my skull, and I would say that it is the seat of my consciousness, but it is tied to what I can only describe as a massively parallel organic computer system that fills the cavity where my intestines would be. This organ is composed of billions of small BB sized spheres that reside in a conductive fluid and as best as I can tell form a massively parallel computer that is interfaced directly with my brain. Each sphere is a separate node containing several thousand processors and a massive amount of memory encased in an electrically neutral shell that acts as a Faraday cage, and communicates with the other nodes in a manner I’m assuming is much like the internet though I’m not sure whether the communications system is light or electrically based. It is designed this way so that if a weapon penetrates the cavity, the individual units will merely be pushed out of the way and thus remain completely unharmed. All my vital organs are shielded behind my armored ribcage, or buried inside solid bone. And this network is very decentralized and massively redundant, so even if part of the physical network is lost, the data is not, and individual units can be rebuilt and replaced. The organ has thousands of node builder sites, and as the spheres are large diamond-like cages around the internal nanostructures, they are very resilient. Likewise the outer surface of this organ is a weave of carbon nanotubes that makes it very difficult for puncture wounds to occur and also seems to insulate against electrical currents. Even heat based weapons seem to be anticipated as the conductive fluid seems to actively act as a heat sink, and has millions of direct connections directly to the heat radiation system in my wings (more on that in a moment). I don’t know if this is due to the organ generating heat or for defensive purposes, but I do know that it seems likely that I was designed to be extremely resilient against kenetic impact and some low energy heat based weapons
Nor can I be disemboweled. Where most women have a subcutaneous layer of fat, I have a woven layer of muscle. It performs the same functions of insulation, but unlike my motive muscles, and like the computing organs outer surface, it also contains continuous strands of carbon nanotubes. This layer is just as soft as the fat it replaced, but it is nearly impossible to cut due to its molecular structure. However, like Kevlar, it can be pierced, though it is extremely resistant. It is this muscle layer that I have to thank for my bouncy breasts and flat abdomen, since it also basically acts like an internal bra and corset.
For those of you who are thinking that all of this generates an enormous amount of heat, you’re right, that’s why my wings regulate my body temperature. I have an internal temp that is slightly higher than a human’s, but it is not that excessive, around a hundred degrees F, and I am comfortable in a range of temperatures from pretty far below freezing to near boiling point heat. Nor does relative humidity bother me, as I seem to be able to draw adequate water from the air to stay hydrated and since I don’t sweat, even in desert conditions I don’t lose as much water to evaporation. However, I dream most often of being in pretty cold conditions and not feeling it at all. Basically my internal temperature stays pretty constant regardless of environment by an involuntary regulation system.
So, now you’re probably asking yourself what the computer is for, and to be honest, I don’t know entirely. What I do know is that it interfaces with and controls the Shepard cells, and aids in the regulation of the complex network of systems that make up my body. Most of its functions are a black box to me. I don’t know how it works, I just know it does. And I know it’s mostly being used to control autonomous functions and as a massive database. It’s what actually controls my abilities to shape shift, change my hair and such. I simply visualize what I want done, and it proceeds to carry it out.
There are limits - for example I can’t change my mass, but beyond that, most of my body can be shaped to some extent. I can shrink my wings down to little more than vestigial appendages, and reshape my hooves into human feet, but major changes take time, and I have to resume my default form, or one with wings, before my body really overheats. I can hold a wingless form for a few days at most before I start in with a bad case of heat exhaustion. And I can not do a major change faster than about six hours. I know that my Shepard cells basically herd my cells from one position to another, restructuring my form under the control of the computer, but I wouldn’t even begin to hazard a guess as to how they know what to do. Nor does my internal biology change. My bones may stretch and shift, but the rest of my body merely accommodates the changes in form. This was another aspect that I overlooked for a long time. I can change to “appear” male, and it is the internal “tongue” described in the internal section that assumes the duties of male genitalia. Also, from the dreams where I have been “male” it seems it does not require anywhere near the effort to change between sexes as it does to change most other things. I can shift in just a few minutes. Basically, as best I can figure, I have the ability to be as beautiful as I wish with minimal effort but changing “species” takes considerably more effort.
Oh, and feathers take almost a day to grow, itch like crazy, and interfere with my wings heat regulation functions.
And finally, we come to the actual brain and nervous system. As I mentioned, the computer in my abdomen is interfaced directly into my nervous system, so it should be rather obvious that even that is somewhat different. For one thing, I require, among all the other various trace elements my body uses, gold. I can’t begin to tell you exactly how it is used, only that I know that it is occasionally required, especially if I have to regrow a limb. From this I am inferring that my nervous system utilizes gold, most likely to enhance conductivity and reaction times, as well as to interface my nervous system with the computer.
It’s really hard to explain the interface, as it is so transparent that it’s just thinking normally, but I do know that a lot of the data I have presented here comes from the memories of what I have done in various dreams. It’s not like having computer graphics overlaid on my vision, yet I seem to know to a precise degree where someone’s fist will swing, or exactly how far or how large something is, or comprehensive details about things. Indeed, that’s part of what makes being on the Plain so frustrating, since so many details I think should be sharp and precise are so fuzzy and limited. It’s even worse waking from a dream when I am in this state, as it is almost like going from a state of wide awake intense concentration to a feeling of exhaustion so strong all I want to do is pass out and it takes quite awhile to actually be functional, and I will still feel like I got no sleep all day.
This computer system is to a large degree so interwoven into my brain that it is essentially the same thing. When I spoke earlier of something causing complete brain death being needed to kill me, I include this abdominal computer as well. It seems to be capable of not only storing a complete backup of my “self”, but to actually be able to take over if my head is damaged with no loss of function or consciousness. The interface between the two systems is so extremely interconnected that there is no essential separation between them. Additionally there is a third backup that is built into the upper spinal column that is primarily emergency data storage and an automatic system that can direct the chest organs and initiate my body’s self repair systems. This means I can survive massive traumatic injury, even decapitation, so long as at least my chest survives, as the stores of available trace elements in the rib cage can supplement the abilities of my lungs to extract carbon directly from the atmosphere and regrow enough of my body to allow me to scavenge for additional material. While this emergency system is insufficient to retain awake consciousness, I would merely be unconscious, and wake up once sufficient repairs to my body had been made. While I know this sounds extreme, I think that it is the ability of organic systems to self repair using basic elements that dictated my being engineered to utilize carbon to such an extent rather than possibly stronger, more “cybernetic” materials such as metals. Since I am carbon based, I am practically guaranteed that sufficient raw material for self repair will be available so long as enough of my body remains intact.
Indeed it occurs to me as I write this that by utilizing organics in this manner, as opposed to a more machine based system as often shown in sci fi shows and novels, my designers effectively negated the need of a high tech society and it’s sophisticated technology. As a biological organism I am nearly autonomous, needing aid for survival only in space and toxic environments. As sophisticated as the organics in my body seem to be, I had often wondered why, with the obvious knowledge any culture capable of designing my biology would have to posses, a biological system was chosen as opposed to a machine based nanotechnology cybernetic system. Now I can see that it represents a pretty sound concept, and possibly even tells me what I may have been designed, in part, to be. If I assume a possible occupation for which I might be ideally designed for, the concept of long range scout comes to mind. Able to operate in nearly any environment found on a earth like planet (including, with a small amount of body modification, under water, by creating what would basically be gills in my lower rib cage, so that I could breath water from my mouth and nose, then pump it out through the gills at the bottom of my lungs, enabling me to immediately remove the water from my lungs upon emerging into air), equipped with formidable natural weapons for defense, and independent of a technological base, I would make an almost perfect first exploration scout for a newly discovered world.
However, I do not believe I was made incapable of utilizing a highly technological base, as I believe that all of these computer systems are also intended to interface with an external network, like a pc connects to the internet, so in the event of total destruction, from say an atomic bomb explosion, an external backup is available that with the proper systems could build a new body from raw materials and no loss of data from the up-to-point-of-destruction continuous backup of my consciousness. If such a system is part of an exploration vessel used for interplanetary travel, it would take the utter destruction of both it and my body to insure my demise. This is just speculation on my part though, since I cannot say from any of my dreams that I have ever suffered such complete destruction, or been in an extremely high tech environment. Indeed, most of my dreams seem more medieval.   
In truth, these are just the things I can actually explain using what I know of science and the theoretical abilities of nanotech, because in many dreams, I have additional abilities that I can only term as psionics or “magic.” I didn’t know at first if these were things I simply did not know how to explain that were designed into me as well, or if they were mental abilities I had innately. (I do have theories, which I will cover later.) For now, I’m going to move on to another reoccurring theme.
Most of the time, when I look in the mirror I am nude, but occasionally images of various ornate suits of armor and weapons will flash in my mind, or show up in one of my dreams. The armor varies occasionally, but some details seem similar, for instance, regardless of which version appears, it appears completely useless as actual protection, seeming more like metal lingerie than real armor, though I know it actually functions as such. In almost every version, I might as well still be nude as the armor is designed in such a way that none of my sexual characteristics are actually concealed. While it is true that my body seems to have quite a bit of innate armoring built into my biology, making it possible that these serve more decorative functions than protective, they are, despite their anachronistic seeming appearance, very obviously products of advanced manufacturing technology, and may provide far more protection than they appear.
The most common two versions are very distinctive and very different in appearance though they both share many common features.
The first set is the version my avatar pic wears. It consists of a diadem with a large cabochon cut ruby in the center front, and large bird-wing ornaments on either side. The band is made of a lustrous black metal, while the wings are a red the color of fresh blood and like the band, are highly polished. The tiara has a conical piece at the rear that my hair is pulled through, raising it several inches above my head in a crest.
Across my shoulders a small set of upswept pauldrons sits, the edges a rounded bar of the black metal that is about half an inch in diameter, while the metal of the main part is the same blood red as the wings on my tiara, but has black lines swirling across the surface like a crazy spider web. A small chain stretches across the open front, clasped with a medallion, while shoulder guards are attached under the pauldrons in some manner that allows them to move freely with my arms.
Both arms are covered from wrist to elbow with bracers that appear to be solid metal, with no actual laces or any obvious way to put them on, yet they are perfectly fitted, and match the pauldrons in their design with the rounded black metal at the edges and the tangle of black lines across the red metal. On my right arm, a very fine mesh of ¼ inch chainmail extends up my arm from the bracer to a solid metal band around my upper bicep, just below where the shoulder guard hangs. The links are extremely delicate, of a gauge as fine as jewelry wire, but the rings are solid, without joints and seem to be unbreakable. The thinness of the links makes the chainmail about as transparent as black fishnet hose. It also seems to be as light as silk.
The breastplate is harder to describe, as it is rather low-cut, and while it does completely envelop my breasts, the cups are formed of the same fine chainmesh as that on my arms, allowing not only full visibility of my nipples, but also the wearing of nipple rings through the chainmail. A bar of the black metal forms the outer edge of the cups, and a tight fitting panel sits under my breasts and covers down to the edge of my ribcage. This panel is formfitting and made of the same red metal with black markings and centered just under my cleavage is another cabochon ruby. A wide flexible black belt covers my stomach to just under my bellybutton, and from this hangs a loincloth of the same black chain, just as sheer and fine as that across my breasts. It leaves nothing to the imagination, and there is no second cloth in the back, just a narrow band that crosses under my wings.
Added to this is a pair of leather boots dyed black that have attached knee and shin guards. They are pretty form fitting from knee to ankle but are flared above my knee and they have no bottoms. They are cut in a taper from just behind my ankle to a point between my hooves, and like all the rest of the armor, do not have any laces, fasteners, or any obvious way for me to put them on or take them off. The whole suit of armor is so form fitting it seems molded on.
The last item of this outfit is the three sets of rings in my piercings. In my ears there is a large diameter set of hoops. They are about four inches across, and have a smaller hoop that loops just under my ear lobes that fairly large amethysts in a six sided prism cut dangle from. Like the armor, they do not appear to have fasteners but seem a single permanently attached hoop. They are matched by a second set of hoops in my nipples of the same diameter, but these have the amethysts hanging below the hoops. The last piercing is between my legs and is just the amethyst attached to a small loop. All of the amethysts are about three inches long, and taper down from a setting about a ½ inch in diameter down to about ¾ inches at the widest, before tapering to a point on the bottoms. They are the same dark violet as my eyes and perfectly clear.
This is my most common outfit when I’m actually wearing anything, and I’ve come to call it my Valkyrie armor since it is reminiscent of the fantasy armor I’ve seen in many D&D pictures and the winged tiara is typical of a lot of Valkyrie imagery. It is sometimes accompanied by a pair of long curving swords similar to very early Song Dynasty styles of Chinese broadswords though the handles are very long, covered in braided red leather and have a ring pommel. At other times I have a very peculiar form of trident.
This trident has a very large head on one end that is more of a double bladed axe, and its size is closer to an executioners axe than any medieval battle axe. The outer tines are shaped like a shallow s curve, are nearly 18 inches from top to bottom and very sharp. The edge is mirror bright silver but the flats are dead black and have cutouts. As the head is nearly two foot across, I suspect this is not only to save weight, but to minimize wind resistance against the flats in combat. The central tine is a bit harder to describe as it seems made of a violet colored energy. It has a flaring base that is crescent shaped, and the blade follows a traditional Celtic leaf pattern. The shaft is red braided leather around what I believe is metal, and the lower end has a smaller version of the large head with no cutouts and a metal central tine. I could not tell you exactly what metal it is made of, but the whole thing doesn’t seem to weigh more than a few pounds, and I can use it both like an axe and a staff, and I’ve seen it shear through rock without a scratch. At times I have had the ability to make the heads shimmer with a violet energy (similar to what the central tine is made of) that seems to be very cold, and in some dreams, I can actually shoot this in a beam from the central tine.
(In fact, many of my dreams seem to have this element of ice in them. Like I mentioned earlier, I often find myself in dream locales where there is ice and snow all around me, yet I don’t feel the slightest chill. And in many I seem to be able to manipulate ice at will.)
The other suit of armor is much more sinister in appearance, and I call it my Demon Goddess outfit. In this suit I often have my full grown ram’s horns, and it makes my Valkyrie outfit look positively demure.
To begin, a tight fitting silvery skull cap completely covers my hair, which is drawn back through a black tapered cone like in the Valkyrie’s tiara, but this one is close to eight inches long and has three long silver spikes spaced around the end away from my skull. The metal skullcap is shaped around my horns and has a cabochon ruby on my forehead that is approximately three by two inches in oval. It is situated right over my “third eye”. I would say that the cap is solid but at the back it drapes and hangs like cloth, and also clings to my throat, coming to a point under my chin. My ears are the only other part other than my face that is exposed on my head. The silvery metal clings to my skin and seems to trace my collar bone along its lower edge, with another cabochon ruby at the hollow of my throat. The drape from the back of the skullcap hangs down my back in a v to a point about mid shoulder blade.
Over this silver metal a very wide and flaring set of pauldrons sets on my shoulders, extending almost a foot past them and rising to very sharp points. The ends of the flares are very sharp, having a silvery edge like a knife and they curve down into rather wicked points. Unlike the Valkyrie armor, these pauldrons do not have shoulder guards; however, from bicep to wrist, my arms are covered with the same silvery metal as the skullcap. It’s almost like mercury in appearance and the way it moves, and the only interruption is just below my elbows; a band of black metal wraps around my arm and sports a set of long spikes. The metal fits my arm precisely and comes to a point on the back of my hand. Around my waist a double band of metal curves around my back and hips, coming to points just about where my thighs curve into my hips. This “belt” is also spiked, and has a set of black metal beads hanging down from the points to a chainmail loincloth similar to the one on my Valkyrie armor, but the top of this loincloth actually hangs about six inches below my pubic area and covers nothing.
The boots are the same metal as my arm coverings, and cut identically to the boots on my Valkyrie armor, but they have no shin guards, just a black metal knee guard that sports a rather long curved set of “horns”, and a long strip of metal following my shinbone that bears eight small rubies down it. Also, unlike the Valkyrie armor, my tail is covered with the silver metal and has three needlelike spikes right at my spade.
Added to this ensemble is a pair of very long slash earrings, like curved blades, made of the black metal, and nipple rings that are about five inches in diameter and sport spikes in a sunburst around their rim. These have a secondary small ring about a half inch around right where they pierce my nipples and from these a long chain of beads dangles to a 1 inch diameter ruby ball. Another chain dangles between my legs and is likewise attached to a ruby ball. Other than these, I am completely nude.
A very vicious sword also goes with this outfit, one with a blade that is serrated like a set of shark’s teeth. The end is a sharp curve like a scimitar, sharpened on both edges, then at the widest point begins with the tooth like serrations. Like the trident, it is silver on the edges and dead black on the flats with a cut out in the end section where it is not serrated. The hilt of this sword has a hand guard like a saber, but it is also a blade, shaped much like the axe blade on the Trident. And like it, I can make the sword burn with the same purple energy. The Trident that goes with this suit is very similar to the one I have in Valkyrie form, but like the sword, its edges are serrated with the same shark tooth pattern as the sword, and it is completely metal.
The weird thing is that I have a sense that of the two, the Demon Goddess armor is by far the more powerful. When I have this armor on in my dreams it is always accompanied by a feeling of immense power, like I have but to snap my fingers and entire cities could cease to exist. But there is a slight tinge of madness that clings to this armor as well. When I dream I wear this armor, my dreams are often violent and full of anger and blood. And yet, I am also certain that I am bound to it in a way I cannot fully describe. It is by far the oldest seen of the sets though I wear the Valkyrie armor far more often in dreams. An air of immense antiquity surrounds it that I cannot explain, as well as a single flash of an image.
This quick flash seems rather apocalyptic, as it involves me hovering in mid air wearing this armor over what appears to be a battlefield. The low hanging clouds are as red as blood, and the ground is covered with indistinct black figures that all seem to be looking at me as I scream and unleash an explosion of violet energy. That’s all there is. What it means, if it’s another memory or foretelling, I can’t say. I just have an impression of pure rage and a sense that the amount of energy I am unleashing is incalculable. (I have had several people who have suggested that this fragment may be a past life memory of my death. I am uncertain since as I said, I have no clear memories, just a jumble of impressions. If I have lived before, it was during no documented period of earth’s history.)
There is one last outfit I have seen only occasionally, and I don’t even know how to begin to describe it other than it seems to be a combination of black metal that moves like liquid and a shimmering luminescent purple glass that is just as fluid. It has the same basic form as the Demon Goddess armor, with black metal instead of silver, no spikes, glowing amethysts instead of rubies, and the purple glass where I was fully nude before. It also completely covers my wings in the black metal, and as best as I can guess, seems to have small thrusters at various locations, particularly on my wings, feet and tail (at least, there are flares of purple fire in these areas). As the purple glass also forms a smooth faceplate and only my hair is left free, I suspect this version is possibly a spacesuit. It’s only appeared in a few dreams and then only within the last few years. Both sword and trident for this version have energy blades only. 
One last detail I nearly forgot. I did not always seem to have them, but for the last several years I also see myself with a set of tattoos. These are a rich red in color, and look mostly like tribal designs. To start, on my forehead, I have a V shaped mark that is slightly bowed outward and thicker at the base of the V than at the upper points. Under both eyes are mirrored V that lay on their sides and have their upper arms curved to follow my eye socket, while the lower arm drops like a set of fangs along my cheeks. On my upper chest I also bear these marks, a wide shallow V centered under the hollow of my throat, framed on either side by a mark that starts at a point at the spot where my collarbones merge into my shoulder, widening to a couple of inches mid way down the bone where it then descends in a straight bar down to the top of my breasts, and finally swoops out in a curve that follows the side of my breast until it reaches a point a little below the midpoint of each. On the upper bicep of each arm a symbol is formed by the tattoo that consists of a long lower diamond shape that has an upper point that is a right angle point, while the lower point is a long tapering triangle that reaches halfway down my arm. On either side of the lower diamond a kind of upside down V forms a pattern reminiscent of wings, sweeping up to a point, then curving down into an arc. Just above these an upper point shaped like a teardrop sits like the stylized head of a bird. This pattern is also repeated on my lower back in a much larger scale, the lower point beginning at the base of my tail and extending down it to about even with my knees, the wings following the upward curve of the small of my back before plunging down to frame my derriere, and the upper point sitting above my tail like a flame. On the front of my hips is another set, consisting of a wide V similar to that just under my throat, but upside down just above my pubic mound. On either side a vaguely S shaped form descends from the top of my hipbones down in a curve to my pubis, then out in a shallow arc that follows the joint of my thighs, before dropping into inward curving points that end midway down my thighs. Nestled into the upper angle of these marks are curved diamonds that arc out and up, like fangs extending to either side. This lower set reminds me of a stylized flower, but I could not clearly tell you why.
 What they signify, I haven’t the slightest notion. But they appear most commonly when I am nude, or wearing the Valkyrie armor, and even occasionally seem to be glowing. As I have grown older, they have appeared far more often to the point that now I almost feel naked when they do not appear. Indeed, with a virtual persona I have online in the virtual world Second Life, I could not be satisfied until I had made my own skin textures that included the tattoos. I felt incomplete without them for no reason I could clearly tell you. I’ve half jokingly called them my goddess marks, after the tattoos adorning the Norns in a Japanese manga called Ah, My Goddess. It does seem possible that based on the regularity of these tattoos that they could be insignias of some kind, possible social or military markings denoting status, and their size and simplicity would suggest that they were meant to be visible from quite some distance.
And now, with everything described, I would like to point out a few details that I think give some minimal insight into the kind of society which it seems I belonged. Based on the degree to which clothing is unnecessary for me to protect myself from the elements and the degree of body ornamentation I posses, it seems likely that the culture has no nudity taboo, indeed given the armor designs, I would suspect that nudity is not only normal, but that it is quite possible that concealment of sexual characteristics is a social taboo. Based on the particulars of my own body, I would be inclined to think that sex for pleasure is seen as primary, with sex for reproduction seeming to be almost an afterthought. The fact that reproduction is possible only by conscious choice appears to indicate that the society feels no need to aggressively grow and expand through increasing its population, which is the origin in our society of almost all sexual customs. With sex for non-reproductive purposes seemingly being engineered into my DNA with such priority, and given the specifically sexually oriented characteristics such as my bite, pheromones, and the additional erogenous zones, I suspect that the society that created me suffered from none of the Hunter/Gatherer tribal mentality that still doggedly dictates our cultures sexual mores.  Additionally it seems readily apparent that this society also shares many of the ideals of physical beauty with our own, as seen in the design of my armor and body jewelry. That this society possessed a highly advanced technological base is also extremely obvious, not only from the sophistication of my biology, but by the necessary fact that to make the various suits of armor, clothing that fits so closely that it is almost a second skin, yet possessing no closures, fastenings or ties, it would require manufacturing abilities beyond those we currently enjoy in our own society. Yet it is also equally obvious that despite it’s possession of such highly advanced technology, this society has gone to great lengths as well to make the trappings of advanced technology as unnecessary as possible. While it is obvious that my internal computer systems are quite capable of interfacing with external computer systems, it is equally obvious that it is independent of them as well, able to function in primitive environments without any external connections needed. Indeed the various suits of armor speak quite eloquently of sophistication hidden in simplicity. It seems likely that such a society values artistic values above simply utilitarian ones.
But beyond this, it seems the culture also must possess a very high emphasis on intelligent life. When the mechanisms of my body are examined, it becomes apparent that survival of individual intelligence is paramount. That my body is capable of surviving unbelievable amounts of damage and recovering fully would suggest that this society has not eliminated all sources of physical danger, but has nonetheless done much to ensure that such dangers are minimized.
It is possible that such massive self repair systems are required due to the possible extreme hazards of new planet exploration, and as such are not typical of the society as a whole, but the level of sophistication needed to create me indicates that the bioengineering of the entire populace is not only feasible but likely. Nor is it likely that my form is the dominant body shape of the society. Indeed considering that my general appearance is human, I believe that it is likely human form is the basic body shape. While my biology requires the wings to maintain my body temperature, it is simply one possible method of cooling and seems more directed at survival in environmental extremes unlikely to be encountered in a normal habitat. Also the massively redundant backups in my body suggests long periods of time disconnected from the networks most likely to exist in the more developed sectors, so it is possible that the general populace may have systems far more sophisticated than mine, or may lack any modifications at all.
It is true that the biology I possess could be an example of a genetically engineered soldier, but what true purpose would the sexual modifications serve in a soldier, and why, with the obvious technical skills involved in manufacturing the armor and weapons I have seen, are they basically so primitive in nature? I would think that a true soldier would be equipped with the best technology, and with the emphasis on defense expressed in my biology, in armor that is far less revealing than my own. This could indicate that either combat has been reduced to ritual forms, or that there is far more to my armor than visually apparent. As I suspect that in order for the various pieces to fit me as they do the armor is composed of nanomechanical structures, it is possible that the armor itself is simply the framework on which energy manipulation devices are embedded and the true armor is composed purely of energy fields.
Regardless, the peekaboo nature of all of my armor indicates that the human form is considered aesthetic, and that an emphasis is placed on display, and the very structure of my body indicates that sex is indulged in frequently, and in a variety of ways. It should also be obvious that survival of the individual intelligence is one of the highest priorities, and perhaps even that practical immortality has been achieved by the culture from which I came.
Pretty thorough knowledge for a fantasy, huh? That’s what finally convinced me that it’s more than just my imagination. How could I have imagined all of this years before nanotechnology was even a word? How could I have known how it all went together before I even had the basis of an idea for framing the concepts? I went through the eighties and nineties with these ideas and no means of expressing them other than your typical superman nonsense. I can fly, I am really strong, I am pretty close to being bullet proof. I knew why I was these things, but I didn’t have the concepts to express it completely until I began researching Nanotechnology and Bioengineering. Hell, Fullerenes weren’t even discovered when I knew my bones were made of single molecule fibers.
So is this a dream of the past, or a vision of my future? I don’t know, but I know it has taught me many things that I would be hard pressed to explain how I knew, and shaped so many of my views of myself and the world that I would have to say it is a defining part of my life, one I have never really shared with anyone before now.
So just how has this vision shaped my views? Let’s start with the most obvious. No matter how you look at it, I have all the classical aspects of a demon in the Christian religion. If I walked into a church in my true form, I would scare most of the people in it into a religious frenzy. Not to mention probably be subjected to an impromptu exorcism. It wouldn’t matter that I’m a real physical entity instead of an evil spirit.
Now think about what a reoccurring vision like this would be like for a child brought up in a strict Southern Baptist home? I was scared out of my wits the first time I realized what the Mirror showed, but I have a brain, and continued exposure showed me first that my fear was utterly unfounded, and eventually, since this vision was so obviously me, and so obviously what it was, and since I wasn’t “evil” or bursting in flames whenever I entered church, then maybe, it was the theology that was wrong.
Oh, it wasn’t that smooth a transition by any stretch of the imagination. For one thing, the vision was not that clear at first, and like I said, I’ve had it since fairly early childhood. It puzzled me, but I can’t say I really thought much about it beyond a vague curiosity about the image in the Mirror. But I’m a reader, and occasionally things I read would make parts of the vision clearer. For example, the day I finally saw my face clearly in the Mirror was as I was reading an Oz novel. In it, Tad, the hero, finally discovers that he is really Princess Ozma, hidden in a boy’s body to conceal her from the Evil Witch by Glinda.
I can remember that scene so very clearly because as I was reading the book, the vision hit like a bolt of lightning and I literally sat dazed for several minutes with the image of my face in the mirror before me. It was so very obvious at that moment that the face was MINE, and it was a GIRL.
I was eight at the time. And I “knew” with every fiber of my being that I had finally put my finger on what had been bugging me my whole life. I knew why I had always felt wrong. And I knew no-one would believe me. To this day, my parents have no idea that I have felt this way, and few of my friends have ever been told. I have been to counseling, and shared with my psychiatrist this vision, but she was a Freudian, and she tried to tell me it was just a phase that I would grow out of if I stopped being depressed and improved my relationship with my mother.
And in some sense, she may have been at least partly right, because in all honesty, I have spent so long thinking of myself as a girl in a mans body that I was unwilling to accept ANY evidence to the contrary. My childhood was one where I was a constant disappointment to my parents because they wanted a jock, and I am anything but despite my size. My mother ruled the home, and my sister always seemed to get everything handed to her. Objectively, my revelation may have been just my twisted way of justifying why I was such a “failure” as a boy in my parent’s eyes. Additionally, I am bisexual, and at eight, I wonder how much of my belief I was really a girl was justification of my attractions to a couple of male friends and cousins. While I am far more female oriented, back in the seventies, bisexuality was unheard of, and even today, you’ll hear such idiocies as “you can’t be just a little queer” from far too many people. Male bisexuality is still far less acceptable than female bisexuality. Regardless, I am far more comfortable thinking of myself as "Female" than anything else. I cannot say that at any point in time I have ever been happy being "male" and experience in Secondlife has shown me how much more normal I feel being female. It one of those things that makes it difficult to explain things. I can objectively see alternate explanations, but they do not "feel right". It feels like rationalization made to make others more comfortable, when the truth feels like the simpler explanation of "I am female." What can I say? Transgenderism is still not well understood.
Anyway, at eight, when this flash of vision hit, it floored me. I felt I knew why I had felt so wrong, but I still couldn’t see the whole of it. (Interesting side note. The image of me in the mirror aged with me until I reached about mid twenties, and then stopped. My little cartoon Avatar of me is actually the way I looked at about fourteen, when I finally started accepting that I had wings and little hoofies.) I knew I was a very peculiar “girl”, but surprisingly, even at eight, I knew to keep my mouth shut. Especially since at the time I was in Evangelical Christian School (yes that is actually the name of it.) Now, I don’t know about most of you, but my education was so skewed by religion, it’s a wonder I came out an Atheist instead of the fire and brimstone bible thumping pastor my mother wanted. We had “sword drills” where we competed to see who could look up a bible verse the fastest, had weekly chapels where we were preached to in school and even had teachers who kept trying to save our souls. Hell, even the math books, A BEKA curriculum, had questions like “If God made the world in seven days, and Adam lived in the Garden for three months before Eve tricked him into eating the apple, how many days was it from creation to the fall of man?” Can you just imagine what would have happened if I had said I wanted to be a member of the sex cursed by God? Or worse- that I had “unnatural” desires for both sexes, and indeed, quite the fetish for lesbianism?
Several times, I was saved, baptized, said all my good little prayers. I tried so hard to be a good little Christian…
But the vision would always come back, every time just a little clearer.
We moved to Texas for a short time, and I was finally exposed to secular education, and art class. Now I have been drawing since I was a kid, and even my second grade yearbook has doodles, but I never tried to draw people. I drew tanks and planes and helicopters, but people just seemed too hard until I had a teacher who showed me how to draw faces.
So guess whose face I drew first?
Oh, I tried to draw other stuff too. I can remember quite clearly sitting under a tree at recess drawing this old house that was across the street, and I remember drawing a Unicorn for one class assignment, but I would always come back to trying to draw the face in the mirror, and eventually, the body attached. I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years, but even my wife seems to disapprove of the pinups that I will inevitably draw. I can’t help it. It’s nearly a compulsion to draw voluptuous females, and while details change and more characters have appeared in them over the years than just myself, that image of me in the mirror underlies them all. I draw pinups because I appear as a pinup in my other form. My art has been an expression of the me I saw in the Mirror. I draw sex because I am a creature of sex. It’s engrained in the deepest part of who I am. I freely admit that if I was in female form, I would most likely wear as little as possible, even in public. And my true form makes some types of clothes just impractical to wear, whether I am male or female.
Anyhoo, following my exposure in Texas to reality outside of religion, there was no going back. I know Christianity inside and out, and know it is the biggest con job pulled on humanity by people seeking power. I’ve asked Jesus to save me repeatedly, and it certainly never changed me, no matter how much I BELIEVED. (But then, there is a huge difference between what JC was actually saying, and church dogma, but that is completely off topic.)
So, when mom put me back in ECS, I lasted one year before I threatened to get myself expelled if they sent me back.
Funny thing was, it was in ECS that I started drawing wings on the pictures I tried to draw of myself. And they were never angel wings. Oh I excused it at first by claiming batwings were easier to draw, just like I’ve told people large breasts are easier to get shaped right, but the truth was that they just felt right. So did the hooves and the horns and the tail.
Now, during all this time drawing, I was also working on my book, The Darkstarr Chronicles, a sci-fi story where the main heroine is Ruby Darkstarr, who in some ways is my alter ego, but in many others is someone I think exists on her own rights as well. In many pertinent details, mainly external appearance, she is nearly identical to me, but she started human, as well as female, and she really does have cybernetics. Very little of her is the organic technology I described earlier. I say she exists on her own, because I have met her several times in dreams as a completely separate person. We may be counterparts from different realities, I don’t know. What I do know is that the story has never fully formed in my mind like any other of my stories. Try as I might, it just never comes into a focus when I try to write it. But what it has been is a valuable tool that has driven me to research science and technology in an attempt to be able to formulate the information I had in my head. I had to research biotech, and eventually the theoretical sciences like nanotechnology to find the words I needed to describe myself, and that took years of reading all kinds of future forecasts and most of the science section at the local library.
But I was surprised very often by what I found. Remember those other abilities I described? The ones I said might be either psionics or magic? To be blunt, I never really knew what to make of these abilities until I read Michio Kaku’s book Hyperspace. For those of you unfamiliar with hyperspace, it basically is the term for all of the other dimensions that exist, the ones we are usually unaware of because they lie “outside” the four dimensions we are normally aware of. The point of this is that there is something like seventy or more dimensions than just the normal four, and our bodies exist in a large part in these other dimensions. Our physical existence here is just a shadow cast by our real bodies in multidimensional space.
Pretty interesting, no? And rather brain bending at the time, because I suddenly realized how I was doing all those things that for so long I had thought was magic. It wasn’t magic; I just knew how to use MY WHOLE BODY, including that part of myself in hyperspace. I wasn’t levitating things; I was picking them up by their hyperspatial extension using my hyperspatial body. I wasn’t teleporting; I was moving my physical existence through hyperspace. I wasn’t creating ice magically; I was using my hyperspatial self to manipulate the molecules of water vapor in the air to arrange it as I desired. It made me realize at last that what I had dismissed so long as just fantasy might just be one of the most important elements in my vision.
I have been trying for nearly thirty years to understand the vision that has haunted me since my earliest memories. And while I still do not have the full answers, I think I have come to understand some of what I am in the mirror.
As I stated, for most of my life, I was convinced that I had to be female, since in it’s simplest terms, my appearance was female in the mirror, but there is much that I would overlook because I was so sure of this that I refused to look at other possibilities. Yet the most glaringly obvious facts can no longer be denied.
I am a Libra, and I was born with Libra rising. I’m so Libra that I make paradox look normal. My personal sign has been a Yin/Yang for so long I never even think about it. I’ve had it engraved in my class ring, I have two on my keychain, and I even used a Yin/Yin in my logo for my artwork, because I viewed it as an affirmation of both my feminine “self” and my “lesbian” desires. The point is, in real life, I am a study in duality. I am overwhelmingly male in many ways, overwhelmingly female in others. I am incredibly stubborn in some ways, and have no willpower at all in others. And in so many ways, I am a walking bundle of contrasts, with areas where I am an extremist, and others where I am so middle of the road it is infuriating.
I am almost an embodiment of balance, and most of my problems occur from pushing myself out of balance. I’m sure my mate will agree that in a lot of ways, I’m an ALL, or NOTHING type of person, and I’m sure it drives her nuts. So, once I had to admit to myself that I’m not really a girl in a guy’s body, and took a good long look at myself again, I really shouldn’t be shocked to realize that what I would find has elements of both.
Looking at historical legends and myths to further try and identify myself has also helped in small ways. For example there is much in my vision that could point to Norse myth, and some tales that Valkyrie not only chose the slain that were to go to Valhalla, but also served as wenches there, available for sex as well as serving ale, but Norse myth can be very confusing regarding Valkyries. In some tales they are human in form and ride winged horses, in others they are swanmays and can sprout swan wings. In still others, they are virgins. In none of them do they have batwings, horns and hooves. While my most comfortable alternate shapechanged form is a humanoid winged unicorn, I don’t think my form is explainable just as a merged form of Valkyrie and steed. It is possible that legend may have the details wrong, or that I may not exactly be Norse, I can’t say for certain. I just know that I seem to have many impressions of ice and snow, and of feeling perfectly at home in it despite my lack of clothing. I cannot stand actually BEING cold, yet in all my dreams I’ve never felt anything but perfectly comfortable. And there is the Demon Goddess armor. As I said, it makes me think that there is the possibility that I might have once had abilities that would have made anyone today view me as a god. Could my apocalyptic vision on the battlefield be a vision of a past Ragnarok? It has also been suggested that the vast tower on the Shattered Plain could be a representation of Yggdrasil. I don’t know, but there are things in my dreams that make me wonder, and things I have studied that could possibly indicate that the history of this planet may hold things that archeologists are reluctant to admit to.
Then there is the rather obvious fact that my other form has characteristics that Christianity would call demonic. Yet looking deeper into history, I also find many creatures that bear a resemblance to my other form, and many were no more “demonic” than I am. Satyrs come to mind, as well as the original forms of the horned gods such as Pan and Bacchus. Only my wings and tail are obvious differences, and even there, I have a theory. It is obvious that I am a mammal, not a bird, and the only mammal with wings has a very similar wing structure. There are differences, but really, is it so odd that I have bat wings since I have wings at all? Or that my tail performs the exact same function as a pteradons? If I am adapted for cold, the insulating properties of my subcutaneous muscle layer makes sense, as does fur covered legs and hard hooves that can cut through a hard crust of snow. Is it possible I might just be something that is only called demon because of two thousand years of church misinformation?
It is readily apparent that whatever the truth, I am in many ways still a creature that was made for sex, as well as war. Like Ishtar, I have elements of demon and angel, love and lust, light and dark, and peace and war. Some part of me says I am so old that my age is meaningless, yet I know as well that for all my seeming immortality, I was always “mortal.” I want to say these are memories of my past, and that it was so long ago that history has no solid record of anything like me, yet with so many similarities to some mythological creatures, I sense that an element of truth may lie behind the myth.
I don’t see how I could make you think I’m more of a fruitcake than I already have, so I’d like at this point to extend a theory I have as to what I might actually have been, beyond the previously mentioned possibility of interplanetary scout; but I’ll warn you, it’s every bit as controversial as anything else I’ve written in this blog. I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t so sure Cro Magnon Man (i.e. Homo Sapiens Sapiens – US) actually originated on earth.
I have been a student of Atlantology since early childhood, mainly because I live in Florida, and close to the Bermuda triangle. I started out looking up the Triangle, but the book, The Bermuda Triangle, by Charles Berlitz led me to Atlantis. Since then, I’ve read nearly as much on Atlantis as I’ve read on physics and history and nanotechnology, which is to say, a lot. I’ve read kooks and crackpots and just about every attempt to prove it is only a myth, and I have one thing to say. The Atlantis described by Plato may simply be a fiction. I feel it is possible he took various myths and legends and turned them into the Atlantis legend, creating a new myth out of old.
What is not a myth are the many small pieces of evidence around our world of a possible prehistoric civilization that might have been far more advanced than ours. Yes I know that sounds very Battlestar Galactica, but too many little details don’t add up - for example, the precision with which the Pyramids were built, or the real mystery of the Egyptian methods of being able to cut Dolomite (the hardest volcanic stone in existence) to very precise tolerances. There are urns found with narrow mouths where the thickness of the stone is exactly the same no matter where in the vase you take a measurement. For clay, such a thing is simple, you simply put a layer of clay over a wax form, but to carve the interior of a block of very hard stone, especially one where the neck is too small to allow a hand inside, so precisely is not something we could do without a very high level of machining technology. Egyptologists can say they used sand to scour away the interior, but rarely would they give you the estimated time in decades it would take to make ONE vase this way, and they have thousands. I could go on to list a hundred more examples, from ancient batteries to tales of things that sound too much like a modern technology (like the iron thunderbolt from the Indian Vedas that is described as an ultimate weapon capable of destroying cities that produced a flash of light so intense it could kill, and would form a cloud that opened up like an umbrella… sounds like a nuke to me folks, and this is from some of the earliest writings known to us.) But in the end, it really doesn’t matter, you can look into it yourself if you like. What does matter is the evidence does point to the possibility that a very advanced civilization existed on this planet previously.
What the evidence DOESN’T point to is this civilization ORIGINATING here. There would have to be an indication of a previous industrial exploitation of resources of a far greater scale than has been discovered. There is evidence of resources such as iron and minerals that were mined ages before the uses of such resources were supposed to have been invented, but nothing on the scale needed to create a modern civilization. What there is suggests to me that such a civilization came here from somewhere else, but was destroyed before the colony could be decentralized enough to survive whatever disaster befell it.
Looked at from this perspective, it is easier to explain so many of the mysteries of our past, like why so many cultures attribute their origins to teachers who came from nowhere and taught them civilization, or the nearly universal legends of an ancient disaster, be it flood, fire or wrath of god, that nearly destroyed the race of man, leaving only a few survivors. If such a race existed, a race of colonizers who came to Earth to start a new life only to find disaster, would not they have tried to retain their scientific knowledge? Would it not have been corrupted over the millennia?
So what if the colonist had such advanced technology that they could manipulate their own genetic structure? Couldn’t it be that the mythological “races” were in fact small groups of colonists who had assumed such forms from choice, or had been born to them as I was? Could it be that tales of Centaurs and Satyrs and Elves were just survivors of this colony that gradually died out due to having too small a genetic variation to prevent inbreeding, or did they breed themselves out of existence with the local population? Or, given my apocalyptic memory, did a war on an interplanetary scale lead to their destruction?  All that we can say for certain is that Cro-Magnon man appeared around the Atlantic Coasts around 10-12 thousand years ago, and wiped Neanderthal out of existence.
Will I one day find myself called to some remote location by a wisp of memory, only to find my armor and weapons waiting for me to pick them up once more? Whatever may have happened to me if I lived before, I know from my dreams that nothing short of antimatter could have destroyed them. If they ever existed, they exist still, and I do not know if I would be overjoyed at their recovery, or frightened out of my wits. I know only that I feel that they will come to me when I have need of them.
Why does this vision haunt me so? Why does it return to me time and again? I have wondered if it is symbolic. Is the Tower my Palace of Memory? My Astral Home? My Spiritual Center? A Freudian penis image? Or even a fragment of Yggdrasil? Or is it a memory of a place I once knew, or a foretelling of a place I will go? Nothing like my vision has ever existed on Earth. The Tower alone is too vast to be a product of any past civilization we are aware of, yet its design appears so medieval. And the Plain itself is such a mystery. Was it once a forest, or will it be one someday? And what is the glow beyond the mountains? Is it truly sunset, or the lights of a vast city, or the glow of a vast field of lava?
And last, what of the Mirror of my dreams? Why has it only ever shown me in a body other than that I now wear? Why do I feel that it is the heart of the vision? Why is it that everything in me screams that it is a gate to which I must find the key? And why do I feel that the image of myself in the mirror IS the key? What is it telling me? To be honest, part of me is scared of what I might find. So many dreams suggest that in my true form, I am a being of immense power. Indeed, looked at correctly, I could be a combined avatar of the wiccan God and Goddess. What if my apocalyptic vision is a foretelling? Or perhaps worse, a memory of my capabilities to destroy on a vast scale? I feel I am a creature who desires peace and harmony with my fellows, who fights as a last resort, and yet my other self is as much weapon as sex toy. I can’t say, but neither can I set aside the feeling that I must solve this riddle, regardless of the outcome.
I have sat at this wall and cried, screamed at the unhearing stars for an answer, have tried with all my considerable strength to smash the unyielding mirror. I have prayed, and begged and pleaded for answers that have never come. I have tried to walk away, walk into the mirror, even climbed the wall to no avail. I cannot leave this place until the riddle has an answer…and for all I have learned, I am no closer to a solution than I was as a child. All I have is a wealth of knowledge I have no source for, and a certainty that more than just my own destiny hangs on that Wall. And despite the answers I have found, the heart of the riddle still lies buried on the Shattered Plain.