29 May 2010

Extra Credit Paper: Linux - GNU GPL FSF


Extra Credit Paper
GNU GPL by the FSF

Matthew J. Banks

CINT 201: Linux Fundamentals
May, 2010

Extra Credit Paper: GNU GPL by the FSF

What is free software?

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) describes ‘free software’, as a source of computer liberation by allowing productive accessibility, without restrictions. To have and use software for any purpose at the discretion of the user, the inherent ability to change said software to suit one self’s needs to conduct a desired outcome, and most importantly the inhibited ability to openly share altered and original software without aversion with anyone possible.

The freedom describes the ability to do so for any purpose, educational or scientific, a permanent availability of source code, and redistribution rights of original and modified content. Changes made in private use not intended designed or actually redistributed, is allowable in any environment, without repercussion from copyright infringement. Open source operability is scalable for any intention without requirement of status notices communicated with original developers with any and every protection therein applicable to any recipient without imposition. (GNU.ORG, 2010)

To be included are the “binary or executable forms of the program, as well as source code, for both modified and unmodified versions.” if applicable within the confines of a specific programming language. (GNU.ORG, 2010)

What does the term 'copy-left' mean?

Software that is under copyright, is protected by a means of alteration rights, privileges and specific actions of distribution as to allow credit where it is deserved in the instance of kernel alterations, adversely protecting the rights of the user to maintain the open source architecture in the way restriction protects unalterable programs, allowing freedom to alter source code.

Programs modified, extended and altered in any fashion are successively free for distribution, without copyrights existing in public domain allowing shared improvement, just as equally giving the right to saboteurs or competitive individuals to revamp a program until creating proprietary software. In such the case of proprietary software, users have a legal inability to alter the software under the protection of copyright.

The intention of a ‘copy-left’ is to share the liberty of code alteration, of GNU software, in the instances of educational and security development, as well as the lesser application of proprietary software developed for case specific scenarios. Though the heritage of a code may change with changes made by developers, the lineage remains the same, the freedom to continue replications and alterations for each generation of a code.

Contributed improvements provide an incentive for continued development, often primarily because the improved software distribution is free of proprietary copyright in accordance with the GPL. An employer usually chooses to publish the new and improved software rather than throwing it away, giving the vendor the opportunity to profit from technical support and earn a reputation as productive contributors to successful programming, such as with a multitude of Linux distributions.

What is the purpose of the GPL?

The GPL serves the purpose to maintain a proactive defense of users’ ‘copy-left’, maintaining an aversion to detrimental deconstruction or compartmentalization of the rights of source code developers from Tivoization, legal software distribution prohibitions and unfair and discriminatory patent deal that would monopolize any aspect pertinent to user access and a programs progress and development. Overall, the GPL acts as protection of user rights from hardware, litigious and legacy monopolies.

How does the GPL make sure software stays 'free software'?

The GNU General Public License (GPL) ensures the continuation of the ‘free software’ cycle by making it so that “Developers who write software can release it under the terms of the GNU GPL. When they do, it will be free software and stay free software, no matter who changes or distributes the program.” (GNU.ORG, 2010)

What is 'Tivoization' and how does it relate to 'free software'?

Tivoization is a discriminatory act by vendors often in tandem with large software companies to monopolize a market by using vendor specific hardware designed to allow only the hardware manufacturers to change software in current systems as well as inevitably run third-party privacy invasion that thwarts a user from fully utilizing a workstation at their own discretion.

What are some differences between the GPLv2 and the GPLv3?

Improvements that have come with the new GPLv3 slightly differ. Most readily addressable is a newer and more concise license made for a wider audience to understand the intentions, purpose and restrictions, or lack thereof, of GNU GPLv3, in the aspect of utilization by users and developers. Specifically GPLv3 allows scripting of any variation of code. Digital restrictions code can be openly developed and distributed by GPL, to protect distribution effects, but if code is developed to circumvent protections, then no legal actions can be taken against the writer of that code, not stifling innovation of scripting, just allowing the diversion of current restrictions. It also maintains a mandate that procedures to adjust and install firmware be openly available to the public, through a haze of cryptographic barriers and the availability of a current GPL code in need of alteration. Version 3 also requires that GPL code be verified GPL or be vulnerable to copyright. (GNU.ORG, 2010)

Works Cited:


Merlin - 17 Smoke and Mirrors

Merlin - 17 Smoke and Mirrors

The trees are tired and slant and weave, lying across others heavily abused, the storm has caused the trees to lash the ground, tearing open large trenches and whip lashes of black and fertile earth. Nickolas the advocate of his own accident, like many things in the cyclone's detriment, has been thrown many times over, unable to maneuver the ferocious wind, fatefully and fatally thrown carelessly to the ground by the sweeping torrent that had thrown everything in its path. Merlin however was wind washed, fresh and avid, checking himself for wound, while at the edge of the wood behind the broken trees, stand two vampires long in the tooth, betwixt a fading storm and the bowing arbor, their eyes squinting with Merlin far in the distance, staring presumably at the deceased Nickolas. To one side, a fair woman with bright flaxen and dandelion hair, to the other, another pale soul with hair as dark as night, cautiously staring at the twisted, mangled, skewered knave on the ground ahead of them. As they sneak out of the trees, searching for a sign as it were, as Merlin moves forward with a progressive sense of guile and servility, noticing them before they he, because of Nickolas coming together again they do not immediately notice, the untouched wizard walking in the wake of the disaster, in the land below the hillside sanctuary.

Blond: “We had thought he was dead.”
“Ugh,” let Nickolas in an exasperated sound of disgust.
Merlin: “He handles well.”

Beyond them into the distance Nickolas slowly raises to his feet to a grimaced arduous candor, stretching as if he had recently woke.

Blond: “We had thought he was dead.”
Brunet: “We needed his life to make our journey, scavenging only.”
Merlin: “Were you the ones in the cabin?”
Brunet: “No, the old man who lived there let us drink but passed many moons ago.”
Blond: “Our abode was the many stones strewn about in this lost forest.”
Brunet: “We pass the days secluded, drinking but not killing.”
Blond: “We apologize…we did not intend to feign the moonstruck, wanderer.”
Brunet: “Please do not harm us master of the storms.”
Merlin: “I had only come to carry along my friend there...”

They have vanished instantaneously, without trace of wind or whisper to anon, behind the trees they abolished.

The propitious two brag and boast in complicit revelations of the finished event and harmless yet benevolent encounter. Back at the cabin, they return with spoils of victory and volition. The phoenix is audible trying to speak with a voiceless stammer as they approach, as if it were shouting at the leaves. It walks before them and pauses and then leans its shoulder into Nickolas, only than briefly and walks away to scratch the ground behind itself with its claws a couple of times, lowers its head and flies to the roof, which begins to buckle under its weight.

Troy: “Get off the roof!”

A palm rock hit it presented with lofted muster, flustered and embarrassed the bird flies towards the trees, like a stammering bull with a buzzard’s grace. The small shack jostles, as once in air the yellowed red bird sweeps downhill, gliding as swift as stealth low to the ground, into the lowland.

Merlin: “You'll have to keep it indoors in barns and corals.”
Troy: “As you wish my liege.”

With a very subtle sigh of discomfort, Merlin looks hardly at Troy and says, “It will take some doing, go fetch it and return please.”

Keenly so with the order Troy rushes off into the pummeled landscape. The advocate magus and the comely so pair affectionate stand in wait, watching to the verily carnage swathed basin. Later that afternoon, as the candle burns to the pace of a dote wind and investigative Phoenix made for flight, so does the hours of the day, beneath the rolling clouds and bathing glory of a sunny morrow.

A crudely fashioned table made of half a tree and smoothed with stumped legs holds Ana who rests upon it with a pillow of gathered cloth, with Nickolas sitting on a bench of similar fashion behind it, holding hands and parsing the time with jokes between humble flattery and glinted moments. Merlin sitting in a chair carved into a log on its end with a tall supportive back and a plank sticking from the backside to keep the chair’s patron from falling behind themselves, and Troy as much the same, whittling explicable pass, with the Phoenix laying faintly like an old dog, its wings spread retrieving the shadow on the sun.

Troy: “Can I look through the book?”
Merlin: “If you are careful. This book may fetch a good meal.”

Merlin reaches into the back of his cloak, stretching the chair to draw the tome from his kept shadows, and passes it to Troy who looks through the book as to move each printed window tedious, with pages each turned, and locked in fascination by the intricate if not arcane cryptic cipher. Merlin stares at the fire within everything else thinking of the end as the evening grows.

Nickolas: “Where do we travel next, to the kings at sea, or the depths of hell?”
Ana: “Hell is far from here.”

As Nickolas looks confused, Merlin stares at the fire with an even greater apparent confounded contempt, anger and miserable wrath.

Ana: “What is wrong fellow of the sage?”
Merlin: “I have not seen that book in ages.”

Merlin rises and walks to Ana, taking the book from Troy along the way, handing it to her with the front open to read the patent moniker written within the cover.

Ana: “Ambrosius, it must be near here.”
Troy: “What?” he shouted.
Merlin: “It will be only a small investigation.”
Ana: “Another of your lies and alibis I presume...?”

The Phoenix has risen to pile broken branches like a dam out of water and lies against the rubbish. The others sleep, after gathering broken trees, taken from the phoenix’ labor for a fire, but eventually they all rest, Merlin in the chair, Ana and Nickolas on the pile, and Troy against the floor in front of the fireplace having fallen asleep reading within the shelter.

He lay asleep; a steam begins to rise from his skin as if he had just run in the rain and of the fever. It waves and gathers eventually filling the air, unspoken dancing on the windowsills from across the floor, until he smells smoke, awakening himself. The smoke expands with an onerous silence across the cabin and Troy leaping to his feet he wakes everyone, "A fire! We must run!”

Outside Ana notices his smoking jacket and points to his back for Merlin to notice as Nickolas rummages the shelter trying to decode the cause of the fire with his paramour outside waiting in the dusk. The fog fills the lowlands and the cold whisks the hilltop coppice, it wakes the bird who stammers to the aging fire and snarls while chewing dying embers, a rustle with noise from within and Nickolas exits to stand in the building’s doorway.

Nickolas: “There is no fire?”
Ana pushes Merlin on his arm.
Merlin: “Perhaps it was the candles...”

Merlin spoke as a steam still glints from Troy, but relentless with tireless aspiration to slumber they file once again into the cottage.

Ana: “Open the window let the air, rid the smoke.”
Merlin: “And let us try to not burn the house during slumber.”

The bird peeks over the window ledge once opened, sneaking to and from the sides of the window in passing, peering over only to explore briefly the intrigue caused by the commotion. An additional coquet with the dreamland shone by silver moon shines and a wandering prominence, waves of waning dale, swaying to the edge of the night wall, as they settle to sleep.

In the morning, the duly songster sparrow sing, the air collects as a mooring sunrise in the distant long grass and the dew ridden horizon. A hawk chases a crow through air, the prey so frantic it nearly flies into Troy’s hair, raising his hand to avoid collision the chase swerves and leads into the trees, to return with roles altered. The hawk now the shunned intrusion to a murder of crows that seem dare not let it leave, the aviated battle takes deep into the trees, as the cawing army pursues to punish.

Merlin: “A good defense is as good as an attack. Nickolas!”
Nickolas: “What have you good sir?”
Merlin: “Show Troy, some of your skill, some well deserved fighting skills.”
Troy: “What does he mean, well deserved?”
Ana: “There is other danger notwithstanding.”
Nickolas: “Of course, a boy should always know how to defend, if you will excuse me.”

Old Nick slips his enchantment and stands before Troy with one arm behind his back.
Nickolas: “Choose your weapon young sire.”

Nickolas then bows spreading his free arm as to display the landscape. Troy picks an ordinary stave and begins into him, spreading his attack hastily with an unguarded frame, stagnate wide and small clumsy steps as tiring faulty paces as they begin, training what could be between vanity deception and motivated chance luck, a novice and an authority of professional combat.

Ana: “So he has started smoking. He is so young.”
Merlin: “Some...irascible tenet during his sleep, it would be many moons before actuated reaction.”
Ana: “When will you tell him what is happening?”

They finish sparring and wrestling, a single combat, a dueling conflict, when Nickolas takes a wound on his face, embarrassed to the touch. Troy looks to Merlin to witness an inveterate stare passed a troubled Ana walking towards him. Nickolas holds his hand on his face and the other palm to Troy who drops his weapon as she passes he treads to Merlin.

Troy: “What does that word mean?”
Merlin: “You could hear that?”
Troy: “I can.”

Merlin: "Have you heard the expression, where there is smoke, there is fire?"
Troy: “Yes I have.”

Merlin: "You have bond to that Phoenix, when it fuels its fire; it also stokes your flame."
Troy: “So I began to fume our evening passed?”
Merlin: “Forthcoming you will have the use of fire in combat.”

Troy's head slightly bowed, tilted and twisted, as in stern contemplation lost to a daydream looking over the fields, Nickolas walks by and punches him in the arm as he holds a rag to the slice on his face. Ana sits on the picnic table and welcomes Nickolas with open arms.

Nickolas: “And a dry sense to your humor.”
Ana: “Keep taunting him and it'll be a dry death.”
Ana looks over the wound and through his hair for any remainders of the skirmish. Merlin picks up a stave from the ground nearly the size of a wrist, and points it to Nickolas.

Merlin: “, Care you to quarrel with an older adversary?”
Nickolas: “A rotund proposal from someone who should know I ascribe to new battle.”

Ana pushes Troy as he near vacantly stares at the Phoenix in the distance. Merlin takes the staff with one hand and with the other, holding the stick within his thumb and forefinger in the cusp of his hand with a calm handle he paints the staff with fire. Nickolas stands in momentary amazement; only briefly, before dashing in discordant battle, strike and foil, with lunge and parry, whirling flamed staff verse birch barricade, perpetual stalemate the two are formidable and prodigal. Each subsequence a lifting of impenetrable scale of heavily armored contention, the sort of infernal confinement that sheds light on the dark shadows of the mind, during chance and brief glimpses of grudging soul sight. Landing contused, scratched and bruised, fear unhinged to burn and singe, tolerant to form and exasperate power, and as ashes fall evenly so, as Nickolas falls to the ground like a stone, balancing control and forgiveness, Merlin holds the torch downward then into the air behind him and insistently pervasive offers his open hand to help him to his feet.

Merlin: “He is good to us. You are a king among men.”
Nickolas: “You are as well.”
Merlin: “I will show you something in appreciation.”

Merlin takes the torch and slowly waves it immediately above the surface of a patch of the grass; the moisture boils and wafts upward into the air. Merlin moves the torch aside and stands holding out his hand. With his power, he gathers the moisture and ash in the air and it gathers around his hand like a liquid mirror. He drops the torch and with his other hand, he fans the air around the camouflaging mist, revealing the flawed impermanence of the deception.

Merlin: “With enough fog and ash, hunting becomes more of a sport.”
Ana: “The flame is bond.”
Merlin: “Yes, the ash collects the mist, rather than let the vapor gather as water.”

He lets the materials fall onto the torch, putting out most of the flame with a drop and a simple hissing sound.

Troy: “Subdue that fire.”
Nickolas: “Look into the field.”

In the field a hunter walks, laden with nomadic pelts and a long hastily fashioned spear, skewering skins. Once the lance is full, he turns about and heads into the wilderness. By the afternoon, a nearby audaciously impudent tribe discovers and explores the aftermath for meat and pelts, gathering lumber in fair numbers on sturdy wagons in the sullen valley. Merlin and the others, leave in the night into solitude and the outer darkness.

16 May 2010

Merlin - 16 Eye of the Storm

Merlin - 16 Eye of the Storm

In the waking dawn, the light waits. Oblique to a tired morning and craven skies, a ceiling of rolling firmaments and tolling rains passes overhead with a breaking between the lands to the east, just enough for a creature to slip beneath the overcast.

Weak and weary quietly they slip into a cabin on a hilltop many leagues from the sacramental battle lodge, with an insatiably despoiled half-respite Nickolas. The breadth of the phoenix’ shoulders two wide to enter the doorway, Ana pushes it outside, tears a handful of grass, and holds it to its beak, demurely it tastes with hesitance and a subtle closing clasping and she enters after them, into a dilapidated cottage of silkworm lines and shadow.

Merlin ignites a candle to read the disorderly dockets and parchments he had swiped from the demon in the nightshade keep. By twisting the wicks as each one catches light, each spouts as if the flame was waiting to escape, the fire quickly consuming the air. Troy kneels and drops his bag with much added relief; Nickolas sluggishly sits as Ana clears an open place of dusty blankets of cobwebs from the area, with Merlin at the other side of the one room cabin, making notes into a very small black book, translating what he gleans in text of his own language. With an appearance of powerful concern, he reads as if looking for a specific point of reference.

Troy: “How does he light those candles?”

Ana sits and begins to get comfortable next to and slightly behind Nickolas and begins to preen and coddle his hair and garb. Whence Troy had asked her, she edged out and put both hands to the sides of a candle on the low table before her, though the top of the candle melts slightly it ignites.

Ana: “You try,” she said. She blows out the candle and sets back into the gathering of old calico quilt blankets and pillows.

Nothing but the candle shaking, as Troy toys with the process, knocking o'er the candle with a rough skill, as his palm reaches against the candle. He looks to Merlin, writing in his small black book, and the book disappears so quickly that he could not discern if he had seen it at all, and Merlin's fingers seem to stretch. He takes another paper, but watches Nickolas foray.

Ana: “This could aid his arrow shot.” she touted.
Merlin: “Yes.” he said not looking up from his papers.

The old house has a collection of books in a dusk ridden wall in the solitary room, putting the parchment into his satchel the strap breaks. He continues to peruse the small library amassed by the previous residents of the countryside domicile, with the thoughts in his mind as loud as the secrets contained in each of the mysterious dustily unkempt and weathered tomes.

Ana: “You should rest.”
Merlin: “I will at the dawn.”
Ana: “Very well, but if you retire we're on the stroll.”
Merlin: “And carry everyone to town?”

Merlin pushes aside the books on the upper shelf and reaches into a niche as wide as the book he pulls from the recession, a grey faded volume with flaking gold embossed label, erstwhile the clerical possession of a wealthy owner, heretofore a discolored remnant of a gossamer spell book.

Ana: “What did you find?”
Merlin: “White Lore…A Light in the Shadow…I'd say that our host studied the craft of the arts.”
Nick: “let us hope that he's dead,”
Troy: “and gone.”
Merlin: “No means give cause in surviving another quandary so soon.”
Phoenix: “Squawk…, screech”

A dark night becomes sullenly cold and eerily dense as the wind lightly knocks the shutters against the panes and lattice. Nickolas looks to Ana sharing an approximate gaze to burgeoning affection; adoration begins to grow between them, broken by Ana looking out of the window unto a new scene.

Ana: “Merlin, you should see the brewing storm.”
Merlin: “I've seen one.”
Troy: “You really should see this one.”

Merlin pauses then walks and turns to look out from the window for what is the cause that accelerates the storm. He exacts a look of harrowed age and lost wisdom, staring with an ancient darkness and silence in his eyes. Each moment of oversight shorter than the last, each thought passing unfettered, he stares unwavering unabashedly, looking out over the cobble stones of the walk from the old abode. They all sit in the house watching the sun strive through the clouds, as the dim light presses the opened draped curtains gathered to the sides of the windows in the dark room, within deciphered moments a dark thunderous wall as tall as mountain summits encroaches, full of lightning and dark stoic rain, an evil dismal and dark barrier.

It rains through the longest day and the water wall comes near, rolling thunder, pouring rain, flashing light across the sky, the shutters flap and the trees sway, and in the valley, a cyclone brews until completion where it arduously ravages any earthly spoils approaching the abandoned hostel where they rest wary and vagabonded.

“A perfect storm,” said Merlin, after giving a sign of acknowledgement. “I will fix that…you fix this.” He tosses the rucksack to Ana; Merlin opens the rickety door of poor construction and little upkeep and turns to Nickolas asking him to join him saying, “Care to battle the rain of the gods?”

As Nickolas sits contemplating formatively, Merlin throws his overcoat to the empty pillowed chair for one, dashes out into the rain and Nickolas wasting no time rushes to join him. Running down into the path, they slip into the overcast storm and dancing trees, cold water falling on the ground and torn leaves flying, even in the arrant cracks of lighting and the echoing sky vast they move barely noticed amongst the clamor, advancing through summative hail. They are as small dark figurines, running through the soaked meadow in the distant pasture to the base of the storm from the lightning gods hurling bolts of white fire from hence anon.

The abysmal water wall has become a bleak stoic slanted slated sky of blood and thunder, their fates vaulted they are taken from the ground by the circling gale, lifted into the tumultuous furor. Soon a light begins to glow from the inner realm of the violently vehement whirlwind storm, the fire within rises to the top, the whole spinning cloud's fervor luminous like a fountain of light. The fierce beacon in the vacuous spiral storm’s center shines bright three times, fading between each burst causing absolution in the storm. In latent flare, one brighter than the next as the light descends, shaking and blasting the water from the turmoil of the storm and lightning rage, when the failing light reaches the sparse bottom, the funnel cloud bursts apart, the vaunted stamina of the storm revoked.

04 May 2010

Merlin - 15 Pandora's Box

Merlin - 15 Pandora's Box

Save many things temporary, Pandora’s story is exceptional. On a grand and ornate floor, in a ballroom hall high above the castle entrance, where the light shines in through tall balcony doors, in a city on the highest plateau, the princess dances in the golden sunlight, until she tires.

Having all things her heart desired, she asks the sun “What else is in store?” Loki the trickster waiting in the shadows until this point, enters the scene and offers her the chest of all souls, asking in return “that she sing a song” when she is joyous and nothing more. “Wait,” she shouted, “what is in the box?” “You must never know,” said the trickster in a faint voice as he walks without touching the ground, gliding out of the tall doors on to the balcony, fading in light and spirit as well, a whispering shadow, sliding into the sunset.

In a far away land, in a place where sacrilege, blasphemy and fate doth meet, Loki gave Pandora a box, warning her of the dangers within, when her curiosity overcame her and she opened the box, the souls loosed, attacked her mind and drove her mad. She was lachrymose for much of wanton and wasted hours, not nearly as much as she shouted and lamented at souls that fly about, with traces of shadows, that none, among the strongest of visionaries, could see. Condemned with a curse unanswered, the restless spirits within her, uncontainable the way the charmed case had held tight attacked her soul, and she died as like a phoenix's birth.

Her father, the king of a city that bore her name, ordered the greatest of the kingdom’s sorcerers to seal the box. At every mention of the fair princess’ name, the father hit the floor in anger, eventually deciding to bury the soul chamber far beneath a new city far within the boundaries of the Norse lands.


They stand in the wood, around Merlin, on the ground with a map, with a diamond necklace on it slowly sliding in a path.

Troy: “It’s stopped?”
Ana: “Either they have stopped, or they’ve made camp.”
Merlin, “It’s not far from us at all.”
Troy: “How far are they from here?”
Merlin: “Your bird can probably see him from the canopy.”

Troy shows a sign of apparent confusion, and Ana points to the top of the trees.

Ana: “You should probably stay back on this one.”
Merlin: “Yes, we don’t know how this battle will vex.”

The sun setting, the crows crowding and circling, more and more as the sun begins to pour out of the horizon, as a gold lake below a red edge of a grey sky, lacking as soon as the sun falls, soon becoming black and full of stars. A sunken castle, struggling to stay atop a grassy knoll, moss covered and nesting feather, the large all-black passerine birds jettison immediately when noticing Troy and his phoenix, watching from the forest line far in the distance.

The sun begins to bleed, turning from a sullen orange to a somber red, as they encroach on murky soil. Ana and Merlin move ahead to a pile of boulders and stone rubble in the clearing. Looking back, Ana and Merlin see the phoenix will not come near, nor will Troy with it. The wizard sneaks up to a window, to see a cult of druids and candles, behind a table of scrolls and parchments. The monster who has taken Nickolas, sits forthwith to muse upon things further, dark circles around his eyes. He clenches his hands to the sides of his head, his fingers bent almost ready to claw at his slightly scaly temples, his black hair turning red and his eyes filling bloodshot, before turning full red, the same as his hair, which had turned the blackest red.

Nickolas kneels in wait on a circle in an occult setting, surrounded by many. Clouds of fire above a floor of stone, stands the evil chimera demon. Merlin sends a tiny mortar to Ana’s whereabouts, signaling her.

Chimera: “Fenris go and see what that was.”
Fenris: “As you wish.”

The chimera pushes many a scroll off his table, many into the candles amongst, to find at the bottom a prophecy written, on a white papyrus sheet, in blood. Nickolas the wounded though undead, waits in the center of the circle drawn onto the floor, much like the rings of the coastal palace, yet filled with dried blood, with four diamonds etched into the floor, equally distanced each to the other. Four positions of ceremony, where creatures now stand, four beasts among the small crowd guard him.

Chimera: “The key is in the stars.”
Nickolas: “What you could become.”
Chimera: “I never knew what it meant, for many years. That was until I realized the stars will always shine.”
Nickolas: “What does that have to do with me?”
Chimera: “You’re a descendant.”
Nickolas: “I’ve always been on this plane.”
Chimera: “You are someone's legacy.”
Nickolas: “I am no more than my own.”
Chimera: “Are you young or old?”
Nickolas: “I cannot say.”
Chimera: “None the less, you will be aid to our legacy.”

The chimera stands before him, seven animals in one. He adorns the seven-chakra symbols of the spirit from his forehead to his waist, his serpentine skin of awe visibly warm and radiant. The four door guardians in the sacrificial chamber, are occult followers and with ritual incense poison, kill the occult worshippers in the room, all but they and Nickolas remain, guarding the seals of the summoned.

Troy carefully and cautiously sneaks forth to watch from an opening of an upper glassless window of the dungeons keep. Four ferocious warrior stand around Nickolas and one druid survivor standing close behind one of the four, hells minion, the master of puppets, his skin the color of blood and ash.

Fenris: “I found nothing sir.”
Chimera: “Great, thanks for your service.”

The shape shifter lupine Fenris is the first sacrifice, his heart stabbed with a silver stake. His death opens a lock, and his blood fills the lines and cracks and grooves in the floor, as the room burns bright, the light of the case active, yet unopened as light begins to glow from the seams.

The chimera is performing a ritual over the pooling of blood. The white rider king with bronze bow takes a pouch from his vestment and throws it to the chimera. He fills it with Fenris’ blood than pours the contents on the box, a deluge of smoke and black ash form from the blood and bones, for only moments in which opens a second lock.

The red swordsman summoned a silent oration. The villain drinks Nickolas’ blood like a leech and offers his own over the box by cutting both of his wrists and bleeding as a third seal breaks.

A black rider enters the chimera’s large keep, covered in black crimson armoring scales on vulnerable places between armor, the neck, the forearms, and gives an hourglass full of wheat and it is set before the box. He takes three pieces of gold, holding his hand out the gold in his hand melts and then sets afire. The black one waits and watches the captive, staring with invested madness. Ordered, the black one disturbs the floor around Nickolas by turning over his hand, the flaming gold pours out like sand, the hourglass melts where it rests and the white powder it has become, is drawn into the box, a fourth seal is broken.

A blond beast with clothes draped as an Olympian, has a large hooded cloak of darkly ash grey and matching eyes, filled with smoke, and the sickle weapon of the death reaper. Followed by Hades, shoeless in a red and black suit of fane, with a red cord made of snakes around the collar, when they move passed Nickolas, he dies as if by both plague and famine, and after they pass, he arises. The reaper steps to the side and halts with a knocking of the sickles cane to the ground, and the master of puppets delivers a chalice of blood, which the demon uses to pour an alchemy circle, while walking and encircling Nickolas, the red ring enchants as a fifth lock opens.

Souls begin attempts to drift out from the walls of the case, still drawn into the box mid tenuous leaps. Disembodied souls begin to whisper in callous hollow voices that sound like echoes in the winds of dark caves, “Free us - how long we wait - judge them - curse their world.” The great Satan then passes the goblet to the orchestral chimera demon who then pours more blood on the box. The savory blood boils, soaking into the box, appeasing the confined spirits temporarily. The reaper cuts his dark lord at Hades' gesture, holding out a bare arm, the reaper slides the sickle across the wrist and the devil lets the blood pool into the palms of his hands and takes a sacrosanct drink, before spitting putrid black blood over Nickolas. The one called Lucifer closes his eyes and slides back, with fists clenched and tucked close to his sides, as if carrying invisible lumber as a sixth lock opens.

A minimal distraction, something brushing in the rotten earth or the dead leaves outside, and without cause or glory, Hell’s emperor vanishes. The box begins to make the sound of marching armies walking on sleeping helpless groundlings. An earthquake minimal, a black whole sun, and blood red moons, meteors into the sea, each red and yellow, falling into a dark ocean as it nears the black dawn, among a missing sky, newly dead leaves fall as the wind blows, the red moonsets, as the skies fill with smoke and swallow entire mountains. Islands flee the dangerous coast, every creature of earth hides where it may. Nickolas pleas, but without success, a somber rumble like royalty and regiments, wealthy warriors, slaves and free animals, returning with stolen gold and sand, running from the gods which they have offended, fills the scene.

They are four colors with auras, beginning to chant the same mantra, praising Nickolas the undead as a creature of sacrifice. Nickolas has much fear, the four make him to sacrifice, as from the windowsill, Troy prays as he watches while everything in sight becomes a world painted blood as a demented and impugned dreams of a mass murderer.

The last lock opens on Pandora’s Box as they, the chimera and the apocalyptic slayers absorb the spirits floating around the room as they condemn their absent gods. An acidulous hot wind spirals upward from the circle, and the light pulls away, from the walls, drawing into the chimera demon. The box as quickly as began, the souls in clouded forms begin escaping, consumed by the evil creatures in the room.

Ana shreds apart the door with her arches of fire, between her hands, palms upward, shedding shrapnel of the old iron entrance, which easily broke from the aging stone and washed mortar.

“Get her!" cried the leader, as Merlin slips in through the open window above the room. He drifts as if carried by the wind, serenity on fire.

The room slightly tilted gives her a disadvantage as they plod to her, they cannot catch her, though they give her a couple of blasts of fiery malice, she uses the Sun-Flare a few times, then as they get close, the Shield of Dawn, than lastly a bolt of lightning that only proves to be useless. Her commotion is the proper distraction, as the chimera notices the absence of the vital sacrifice Nickolas, Merlin lets fly an ampoule that shatters afore the demon, with a blast a smoke of light bursts to the edges of the confinements, taking Nickolas with him, while breaking his bonds.

Nickolas: “There's one missing,”
Merlin: “Run,”

A lifeless, colorless, grey sheen of stone washes over everything, starting at the chimera’s feet, until it becomes an agonized statue. Noticing Merlin having grabbed the scrolls and Nickolas, and out the window as the room turns to stone, stemming from the chimera, even the flame on the candles turn to stone, as two of the villains are caught in the petrify spell, Ana flees out from where she came.

Into outdoors, to avoid the stone wake, she turns to face her pursuant and summons the fire circle whirl, which throws great smooth boulders, half the size of a man in some cases, toward them, as Merlin and Nickolas quite nearly drag Troy and flee off in the distance behind and just beside the castle. The boulders flung move much from directly where she stands and slightly in the distance, the most dangerous, and crashing into the decrepit castle itself, one into the doorway as the second of the surviving henchmen comes running, making course with massive collision.

Merlin’s magic has turned everything to stone, including the chest, with broken seal a stone lid closes and the box itself reseals. The stone is a prison, a reliquary of temporary confines that begins to fracture and break. The evil accompli of wasted haste are petrified and done, but the chimera is resilient to petrifaction, and begins to escape and molt from his dastardly reliquary, crawling out of his captivity, screaming in horrid anguish as scale and flesh tear from the shell.

Merlin Cover 1