Works In Progress

The Palace of Virtual Reality  is a work in progress and is expected to be completed in 2016.

 

The Palace of Virtual Reality is about a weird science professor who brings holograms to life, starting with Merlin the Magician and then Aphrodite, the goddess of love, followed by other Greek Gods.

It is a Young through Mature Adult Adventure. The complex and tangled twists will capture minds with the mystery and murder that surround collisions of college geeks and Greek Gods.

Prologue

Somewhere in Ancient Britannia

Oh God, hear my words. Let me die now and not suffer for eternity. I do not deserve to languish in this hell of darkness and solitude. I have prayed for even the smallest spark of light to postpone the insanity that has befallen me. This blanket of blackest night has stopped time. I know not if my confinement has been days, weeks, months, years or centuries.  My powers have dwindled to nothing. I feel I am nothing more than a memory of a memory.

I was Merlin the Great. I had planned to create a world of peace and happiness, and now I am less then a grain of sand. How could have I been so foolish to let Niviane, the Lady of the Lake, trap and imprison me in this inescapable black vault of rock? She was more beguiling than the sweetest flower until she learned all that I knew. How could have I known what her ulterior motives were, before my sudden betrayal suffered at her hands. Her sinister actions turned my heart cold.

Even now, knowing what I do, with my demise imminent, I feel my actions, my mistakes leading to my present confinement, would only be repeated. As I feel my remaining essence, from the smallest part of my being, slip away, I know that I will be no more. My only consolation is that my manuscript, holding the records of I and that of all the ancient gods will someday be discovered. Everything about the gods and I, all the physical descriptions and details of mental psyche and design, recorded for the inheritors of the world to view. Maybe than, just maybe, our deeds and thoughts will again enlighten the world.

I am tired of my cruelly imposed existence, and must now relinquish myself to the eternal sleep. I…

Chapter 1

In a secluded rural New England mansion, an old man leans over an electronic control panel, his white hair long and unruly, talking to himself. His jerky body motions coordinate with a spastic speech pattern. High-pitched giggles and half spoken words heighten the scene of a mad doctor in a futuristic science laboratory. A tattered old leather bound book lay open, pages yellowed with age on the flat platform before the wild looking venerable man. A twisted sinewy finger follows scripted coded lines of information, while data is entered on a keyboard embedded in a soft-lit control panel.

His eyes pan over the room with proud satisfaction. The equipment resembles giant vacuum tubes ten foot tall, and glass drums fifteen-foot long rest horizontally on massive cradles.  Humming control panels, computers, monitors, a row of wired containers that resembles old fashion caskets stand upright, and everything looking like it came out of a sci-fi museum.

Dials are turned and numbers keyed in on an array of panel buttons. Banks of digital readouts and sine waves on oscilloscope displays are monitored. A larger, more prominent button, marked Review is slowly pressed. A turbulent mist forms in an upright tube. Miniature jagged streaks of lightning crackle and pop through the cloudy mass.

From the misty cloud in a large upright cylindrical glass container, a hologram takes the form of an elderly man, with stately features, intelligence and knowledge reflected in his face. “Yes. Yes,” screams the bizarre looking man standing at the control panel. He throws levers, and pushes more buttons with an uncontrollable excitement. Then with hesitation, the button marked Finish is pressed. The mist slowly swirls, and then clears. In another horizontal glass tube, a more substantial image forms. Cloudy gas boils around the core matter reposed on a surface bed of white marble. A jagged leap of electricity arcs through the chamber, illuminating the room with a stark bright flash. A liquid mist gently washes away the cloudy mist, revealing the elderly man as a solid, humanly fleshed being. A light breeze blows from head to toe, drying the man. His forehead wrinkles and lips twitch. Thick black hair waves in the circulating air. A quiet release of pressure emanates from the tube as a circular end cap, the door, opens near his feet. The platform bed slowly and quietly slides out on rails, exposing the naked man to the electrically charged atmosphere of the room.

The man at the control panel becomes ecstatic. Leaping to his feet he shouts out. “I did it, I did it. I knew it would work.” Running to the prone man, he softly says. “Merlin, can you hear me? Open your eyes.”

Merlin slowly opens his eyes and looks up at this wild looking man hovering over him. “Where am I? Who are you?”

“Get up. Stand. Let me look at you.”

I must not be dead. God is punishing me with this nightmare. I am still imprisoned.  He looks at his surroundings, trying to gather his senses, to orientate himself to this new challenge.

The insane looking man grabs Merlin by the wrists, yanks him up to a sitting position, then to his feet. “Look at you. You are perfect.”

“Where am I? Who are you?” asks Merlin again. “What is this language I speak and how do I know it.”

“You are in America, a country that was unknown in your time. It is the year 2012. I am Professor Ambrose Hamlock. What you are speaking is modern English that was programmed into your memory, as you were being re-created. Come look at yourself. Look at what I have done. Look, look.” He pulls Merlin onto a rotating turntable that is surrounded with tall mirrors.

Merlin stares at himself. This wild man, this Professor Hamlock must also be a magician. These reflections are perfect. Then Merlin inspects his reflection closer. He looks younger than when he was imprisoned. I am truly free. Slowly rotating in the center of the mirrors Merlin realized that this is the first time he has viewed his own image with such clarity. His head turns and eyes lock onto Professor Hamlock, to study him. “You are a great magician. You have rescued me from my prison.”

“No, not rescued, re-created. I have re-created you. Come, now we must clothe and feed you. Come with me.” Professor Hamlock leads a confused Merlin toward a large wardrobe.

Walking past the working platform, Merlin recognized his book on the gods and he from long ago, the script is faded on the yellowed pages. He carefully dresses himself with the oversized clothes provided, while keeping a suspicious eye on the old man.

“I did not know your desire for fit and size, so I went big for comfort.”

“It is suitable,” replied Merlin, then let himself be led to a large dining area where a table was piled with foods he did not recognize. Servers stood by, waiting to accommodate the needs of the new guest.

“We have many things to talk about, but that can wait until after we eat and you have rested,” said Professor Hamlock.

“I would think I have rested enough. How many years have I been sleeping, waiting for my rescue?”

“Not rescued, re-created. Merlin, I have not rescued you. I re-created you from out of thin air. You are the first of many. All the gods described in your book will soon follow you to the present. You will advise me on what attributes of the gods to enhance and what negative aspects need to be diminished. You will be my right hand.”

Merlin did not like being referred to as an assistant or a secondary to an authority, even to one who did not rescue him, but re-created him. Yes, I must patronize this powerful magician.  “Yes, I can see I have much to learn from you, and I will assist in your endeavors.”

“Merlin you cannot realize how your words stimulate me. With our joined minds, we can accomplish anything.”

 

Elixir Of The Gods,

Make Homemade Wine And Spirits Better Than Bought,

is a work in progress and is expected to be completed in 2016.

 

Elixir Of The Gods.

The purpose of this reference manual is to enable the reader to successfully make a good quality wine, to their liking, with basic equipment. To improve their wine- making skills, and to blend, bottle, age, share and enjoy the fruits of their creativity. Anyone can make his or her own wine and cordials that will rival anything that can be bought.

 

First, you must decide if you want to make what you like, or what others say you should like. Then you must set yourself a standard or a goal of what the end product will be.

 

History

Early wine making was a hit and miss operation, and still is for undisciplined wine makers. Initially, wine was a bad water substitute, something to wash down the food and sometimes made the drinker feel good or just make the world spin around.  In the beginning, what made a wine good or bad was unknown. Yeast, as an ingredient, was still unknown. Fermentation was from natural yeast growing on the outside of the grape peeling. If tainted feral yeast attached itself to the fruit skin, clever remedies were needed, if possible, to salvage the time and labor invested. Gradually wine maker learned to save yeast from wine must with good outcomes, to use on subsequent wine making attempts. Later it was found that heating the fruit juice killed the feral yeast. Porous vassals were coated and openings sealed with bees wax and rags to diminish the effects of oxidation and gradually replaced animal skins, stomachs and leathers. The discovery of glass blowing and molding further improved the finished wine.

 

As wines improved, the palates became more refined. Different regions of the world began to specialize on the local fruits. Honey or grapes were still the main ingredients of choice. Must yeast from the best grape productions were used to ferment fruits that did not have natural yeast.

 

Wine making became a noble craft with improvements discovered from accident and experimentation. As the wine making craft improved, the grape vines were elevated to size and taste, disease resistance and seasonal tolerance. Propagation methods improved to grow the large vineyards needed for massive wine production. Production was always lagging behind demand as people turned from beers and ales to a more sophisticated beverage.

 

Today, wine is the king of alcoholic beverages. There is a wine for everyone’s taste. As the world shrank, exotic drinks became readily available. Premium wines are now available at bargain basement prices. Volume sales rule supreme, but high end labeled bottles are still expensive and targeted to the socially conscious clientele.

 

To the wine consumer of today I have two comments. “Drink the wine you like, not what someone else likes, or believe they like.” And, “Make the wine you like to drink, not something out of a book that recommends a pairing with a particular food or occasion.

 

If you can follow a simple recipe, you can produce a wine or cordial that matches or exceeds the quality of any bottle out of a retail store.

 

 

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