Another woman game developer driven from her home

Damn it!  Yet again, another woman game developer has been driven out of her home by death threats.

Game developer Brianna Wu leaves home after receiving death threats for speaking out in support of women

Brianna Wu, developer of sci-fi action puzzler Revolution 60, confirmed that she and her husband have left their home due to a credible threat on Twitter. An account spammed Wu with violent threats and made it clear that it was doing so because of her outspoken support of women in tech and gaming. The last tweet publicly published Wu’s home address. In response to that, she called the police, who came to her home.

It’s time for the FBI to start taking these threats seriously and go after the people responsible.

You can’t ignore trolls

This article is important: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

The take away is the very important point that “ignore the trolls” is the worst advice you can possibly follow.  It’s like ignoring bullies in school: they simply take it as evidence that they can abuse you without repercusions, so they escalate their attacks.

Personally, I’m in favor of fighting back against the trolls in real life.  Invesitgate, find them, hunt them down, file lawsuits for slander, do everything possible to make them pay for their crimes.


Vanduul Veronica

A collection of posts by “Vanduul Veronica” on the Star Citizen forums.



Hi, Eris here.  I’ll be flying support missions for OP – cargo runs to refuel and resupply, scouting missions, combat if needed though I’m a terrible pilot so far.  However, my friend Vanddul Veronica asked me to pass on a message for her.  I claim no responsibility for it.


This is a special broadcast of the Real Truth, your only source for accurate information in the Empire.

Hello, this is Veronica coming to you from my studios aboard the Crimson Blade with a special message for all those participating in Operation Pitchfork.  That message is:  give up!

I know all of you are fueled by an irrational fear and hatred of the Vanduul, but let me assure you that the Vanduul want only peace!  There is conflict between the Vanduul and we humans only because of the Empire’s colonialism and militarism pushing humanity into a pointless and ultimately unwinnable war against the militarily superior Vanduul.  The only reason Earth itself has not yet been overrrun is because the of the great patience and forbearance of the Vanduul people.

You see, the Vanduul elders know and understand that humanity suffers under the oppression of a tyrannnical government, suppressing the basic individualistic instinct of the human species and forcing us into an unnatural oligarchical society wherin the vast majority are made to serve the needs and whims of the eilte few who rule the Empire.  That’s why I have been asked to serve as a bridge between our people and a voice for the Vanduul, to let you know their true intentions and true nature.

Yes, they are warriors, great and strong ones.  But they also venerate nature and refuse to industrialize their worlds, preferring instead to leave them in a pristine state, allowing the native ecology to flourish.  That is why they reacted so strongly when the Empire invaded their world that we know as Armitage.  That is why they reacted with fury when the Empire destroyed Armitage with anti-matter bombs, eradicating the entire ecosystem.  That day, the Vanduul came to see humanity as a danger to the very existence of life in the galaxy, and so they have been at war with us ever since.  But with time, all wounds heal, and todays Vanduul leaders have come to see that humanity is misguided and can be led onto a path towards more civilised behavior.

So to all you Forkers I say this:  take this chance to turn the other cheek and see the Vanduul for who they truly are.  Extend to them the hand of friendship and they will respond!  Abandon your quixotic quest to defeat them, for you cannot.  Their true numbers and strength have never yet been revealed to human eyes and your operation is doomed even before it starts.

Remember, the Vanduul are not the enemy.  The Imperator is!


Uh, Eris here again.  Yeah, Veronica has some … interesting … views.  Please dont be too harsh on her, OK?  Her heart is in the right place, even if her head is a little screwed up.





From my studio aboard the Crimson Blade, this is Veronica with a special edition of the Real Truth.

Recently I had an opportunity to confront Imperator Roberts about the United Empire of Earth’s ongoing persecution of the peace-loving Vanduul people, and thanks to my hard hitting questions he was forced to respond. Under the intense scrutiny of a truly free press, this tyrant showed his true colors and cracked, finally admitting that not all Vanduul are the aggressive monsters that the Empire so loudly proclaims them to be. Although he continues to maintain that the Vanduul are humanity’s greatest threat, he has stated that humans may finally be allowed to open up peaceful trade with their traditional foes. This could be the crack in the wall that finally brings down the military-propaganda complex and lets the light of truth shine upon the people of the UEE.

This is Vanduul Veronica signing off, and remember …

The Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is.

10 For The Chairman



Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

In a recent Spectrum press conference, High-Secretary Lesnick alluded to luxury ships like the Constellation Phoenix being constructed from “top-of-the-line components” instead of lower grade standard parts. Setting aside the oligargichal elitism of reserving quality goods for the Empire’s wealthiest citizens, what effect do these components actually have? Do they retain their cosmetic appearance better over time? Do they suffer fewer failures during operation? Are they harder for vandals and Vanduuls to damage? My loyal listeners demand answers!

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is.





Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

Recent reports indicate that a new propaganda film is in production and you personally are being given a writing credit. However, the production company involved, EA, is not known for it’s ties with the Empire and is even viewed as hostile by some. Can you comment on your role, if any, in this production and what implications it may have for your own future propaganda plans ?

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is.





This is Vanduul Veronica with a special broadcast of the Real Truth!

I want to talk to you about the new Constellation lineup from Roberts Space Industries.

While the commercial and the brochure both carry disclaimers about the Fair Chance Act, and while I’m certain RSI’s spokespeople will doubtless claim that the ad in no way promotes the exploitation of sentient species, I think we all know what the company’s real position is. RSI is concerned with one thing and one thing only: profit and power! Just consider their business model for a moment.

While they claim to make ships for the common people, like the Aurora, the simple fact is that the vast majority of their corporate income derives from construction and maintenance of the Empire’s largest warships, the destroyers, battleships, and the famous Bengal Carrier, pride of the fleet and symbol of the Empire’s willingness to crush its enemies wherever they may be. The Bengal Carrier is the ultimate tool of power projection used to terrorize human colonies and keep them in line, to reduce the Tevarin to a virtual slave race devoid of even a homeworld, and of course, to mercilessly hunt the the Vanduul and attempt to drive them from their own ancient worlds.

The new Constellation lineup only further shows RSI’s arrogant sense of self entitlement and willingness to ignore the needs of the common people in favor of the greedy wishes of the elite avatars of avarice who dominate Imperial society. To wit:

– The Andromeda is the baseline model and the one people are most familiar with. It is supposed to be a jack-of-all trades ship, but with its bristling guns and legendarily large compliment of missiles, it has become a favorite of smugglers and pirates who use the cargo hold and weaponry to terrorize innocent people throughout the galaxy. RSI knows this, and yet continues to sell the ship. The executives at RSI headquarters have blood on their hands from this ship.

– The Taurus, ostensibly the most pedestrian of the bunch and just a freighter. But is it? Consider that it’s weapons are every bit the equal of an Andromeda, save for one less turret – hardly a difference worth mentioning. This is to be the military transport of choice, ferrying weapons and troops to the places where they will be deployed against innocent civilians to keep us in line.

– The Aquila might actually make a fine exploration ship, but it’s obvious emphasis on planetary landing and exploration leave no doubt that it is to be a vanguard of a new wave of terraforming. Where you see an Aquila, you see the doom of an entire ecosystem about to unfold, carrying on the most horrific traditions of humanity’s past.

– The Phoenix is nothing but a yacht for RSI’s own executives and their ilk. A limousine to carry them to the corporate meetings where they plot and scheme to destroy what little freedom the rest of us still possess. In those leather seats you will find sitting the architects of humanity’s enslavement!

The new Constellation lineup is a microcosm of everything wrong with RSI and the Empire itself: crime, militarism, colonialism, and greed! I call on everyone to refuse to do business with Robert’s Space Industries. Boycott them! Smash their showrooms! Make their stock plummet and their executives run for their lives!

Together we can defeat them and bring true freedom to the people of the Empire.

This is Vanduul Veronica, signing off.

Remember, the Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is!




Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

The Empire’s strategy of dividing its opponents and convincing them to fight amongst themselves is well known. How will this be applied to those brave explorers who push the boundaries of human knowledge? If, for instance, four people aboard a Constellation Aquila chart a new jump point, who will get the credit when reporting the discovery to the UEE? Will it be the ship owner? Will it be the first to file the claim? Or will you break with standard Imperial practice and encourage cooperation by giving all four claimants an equal share of the reward?

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not he enemy. The Imperator is.




Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

There have long been rumors of a so-called “FPS” simulation for training your shock troops to conduct riot control operations against peaceful protestors, but this project has been shrouded in secrecy. During your recent press conference, however, you slipped up and actually named the company building it. Will you now lift the veil of secrecy and stop referring to [REDACTED] as “redacted”?

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not he enemy. The Imperator is.




Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

The Empire’s colonialism has always been fueled by the limitless expanses of space available during humanity’s initial invasion of foreign worlds. But, as more and more citizens join in the race to the stars, there is a worry that we will run out of new things to explore and discover. How does the Empire plan to provide the steady stream of new locations needed to meet the demands of humanity’s so-called explorers? My sources tell me that the Synthworld project has been working on a “procedural generation” system as part of their planet building boondoggle. Does the Empire look towards this as it’s hope for quelling the riots that will inevitably occur when the People no longer have new worlds to explore, or will you simply use the standard governmental response of expanding the bureaucracy in California and New Austin?

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is.




Dear Imperator Roberts, tyrant and oppressor of the human race,

The Vanduul are a sensistve and intelligent star-faring species, far more ancient than humanity itself, and they have shown themselves to be excellent caretakers of their worlds by refusing to destroy ecosystems through industrialization, and also through zealously protecting these worlds from invaders, such as human colonists. Will UEE citizens ever be allowed the opportunity to interact peacefully with the Vanduul, or will the UEE continue to force conflict between our two races? I would very much like a chance to engage in trade with the Vanduul at some point and to be able to do more with them than simply fight!

With love,
Vanduul Veronica

The Vanduul are not the enemy. The Imperator is!




Hi everyone! It’s me, Vanduul Veronica, broadcasting to all human colonies from my mobile studio aboard the Crimson Blade!

Today I want to address one of the common myths that humans have about the Vanduul. No, not the one about them being violent and dangerous monsters – I’ve done more than my fair share to show how much of a lie that is! No, I mean the strange tales people tell about Vanduul food. Trust me, folks, it’s delicious! You see, we humans have become accustomed to eating highly processed, pasty, factory made so-called “food” that has been pumped out and fed to us for the past thousand years, but the Vanduul still believe in eating fresh meats and vegetables, the same way our ancestors did before they left Earth for the stars. That’s why the Vanduul don’t industrialize their worlds, you know – they want to keep the ecosystems pristine in order to assure that they have the best possible places to hunt and gather the incredibly rich variety of food they use in their feasts – and I do meant FEASTS! You’ve never eaten until you’ve been to a Vanduul wedding celebration. They serve only …

Whoops! That’s the perimeter alarm, so I’ve got to hit the jump point now – some folks in the UEE Navy just don’t want you to get true information about the Vanduul! I’ll be back soon with more news and music, though, so stay tuned!

This is Vanduul Veronica signing off for now. Remember: The Vanduul aren’t the enemy, the Imperator is!

Javascript countdown timer

Nothing too fancy here, but potentially useful to people. The other day a forum I maintain needed a way for users to add a countdown timer to their posts, so I wrote this bit of Javascript and added it as a new BBCode. Feel free to use it and share it.

The help text

[countdown]year, month, day, hour, min, sec[/countdown]

The date/time must be specified in UTC (GMT). sec is optional.

The BBCode


The replacement text

<script type="text/javascript">
(function() {
    var end_time = new Date( Date.UTC( {SIMPLETEXT} ) );
    var countdown_element;

    var els = document.getElementsByClassName("countdown_timer");
    for (var i=0, max=els.length; i < max; i++) {
        if ( ! /has_timer/.test(els[i].className) ) {
            countdown_element = els[i];
            countdown_element.className += " has_timer";

    var update = function() {
        var now = new Date();
        if (now.getTime() < end_time.getTime()) {
            var time_left = end_time.getTime() – now.getTime();
            time_left = Math.floor(time_left / 1000);

            var secs = time_left % 60;
            time_left = Math.floor(time_left / 60);

            var mins = time_left % 60;
            time_left = Math.floor(time_left / 60);

            var hours = time_left;

            var time_string = "";
            if (hours < 10) {
                time_string += "0";
            time_string += hours + ":";
            if (mins < 10) {
                time_string += "0";
            time_string += mins + ":";
            if (secs < 10) {
                time_string += "0";
            time_string += secs;

            countdown_element.innerHTML = time_string;
        } else {
            countdown_element.innerHTML = "time expired";
    setInterval(update, 1000);

First photo in years

I really don’t like having my photo taken – I don’t generally come out looking well.  But I haven’t had my photo taken in years, so I really had nothing recent, and tonight I rectified this.  After many frames, I finally got an image that I’m not utterly ashamed of, so here it is!  The first photo of myself in many years.




This is a work-up of the religion inspired by Sora Yamauchi.  It is not official, of course, but I wanted to create this as background material for other stories.





  • Name: Enro (遠路 Japanese: “Long Road”)
  • Founder: Benjamin Meitner (Terra)
  • Planet of origin: Terra
  • Central figures: Sora Yamauchi (Saisei); B.Meitner
  • Sacred books: The Log of the Lorinand; The Book of Inifinite Eyes (The Life and Teachings of Sora Yamauchi)
  • Core teachings: Enlightenment achieved through solitary meditation during space flight.  Sanctity of jump points.
  • Number of adherants: est 7 million
  • Activity level: low
  • Threat status: moderate


Born during the political upheavals of the end of the Messer era, Enro is a small but growing religion based on the writings of late 28th century star pilot Sora Yamuchi, published in two primary texts:

  • The Log of the Lorinand – A short work  consisting of the final weeks worth of log entries of Yamuchi’s light freighter Lorinand.
  • The Book of Inifinite Eyes (The Life and Teachings of Sora Yamauchi) – A large work consisting of the supposed personal diary of Yamauchi, along with extensive commentary and additional material by Benjamin Meitner and a few other early Enro founders.

Yamauchi was a freighter pilot from Saisei who eventually worked her way to Terra and established a small but profitable business running light cargo.  She was born the only child of two factory workers and apparently had an unremarkable life, though it is known that she experienced unusual dreams and had an interest in philosophy.  Her ship disappeared in late 2783 while making a routine jump out of the Terra system, but she ejected a log buoy right before the jump.

The logs were recovered almost immediately, but lay unnoticed in the files of the UEE Starflight Safety Administration for several years before being examined by an inspector, Benjamin Meitner, cleaning up and closing old unresolved reports.  Meitner’s personnel files show that he was considered strange by his co-workers, and that he had a large interest in occult subjects and was fascinated by stories of ships disappearing under unusal circumstances.  After reading the logs he became obsessed with learning more about Yamauchi and tracked down her widowed mother, still alive at the time.  He began telling people that he, like Yamauchi, had visions of angels, and claimed that they told him to follow her to the stars.  His increasingly erratic behavior cost him his job, but he also attracted a small following of devotees who were drawn to his teachings.  Meitner is the founder of Enro and his books form the core teaching of the faith, while Sora Yamauchi herself is held up as a kind of saint and holy figure.

Since it’s founding, Enro has spread mostly by word of mouth, and usually among pilots and traders, with small groups of followers meeting in homes, ships, and starport rental halls throughout the Empire.


Enro teaches that jump points are actually gateways to Heaven, or the “divine realm” as they call it.  For an Enrosha (the term for a follower of Enro, though “Enroist” and “Enrist” are often used by people outside the faith), traveling through interspace is a religious experience and they sometimes book passenger ships simply to fly back and forth between systems many times in a row – as many as the crew and jump station authorities will put up with.  They claim that the temporal and spatial distortions of interspace are the result of the human mind failing to comprehend the true nature of the divine reality, but that through meditation and devotion, one can achieve a spiritual worthiness that would allow one to see interspace as it truly is.

They teach that Sora Yamauchi was a spiritually perfect human, who achieved grace and was allowed entrance into heaven while still alive when she flew through the Terra to Goss jump point. This particular jump point holds a special place in their teachings, and they call it the Gate of Dreaming.  Enroshas study Yamauchi’s life and seek to emulate her, many of them becoming pilots themselves.  But in fact, there is little reliable information about her.  She never married and had no siblings or children, and her parents died of old age in the ten years after her disappeaance.  She did leave behind a diary and dream journal in which she talks about her own beliefs and philosophy of life and these form the core of The Book of Inifinite Eyes, but the authenticity of the diary has been questioned by scholars as it was found more than 20 years after her disappearance.

The general teachings of the religion include an emphasis on solitary meditation and experience of the Universe, with a special emphasis on the stars as an important way to connect with the divine. Stars are seen as the literal eyes of God. (Or Goddess, or of many gods depending on the individual Enrosha.  The original writings of Yamauchi use the Japanese word 神 (kami) which has been translated differently by different Enro scholars, and there is no official dogma on the gender of the divinity.) Enroshas are encouraged to learn to pilot a ship so that they can take a kind of pilgrmmage called the “Journey in Darkness” – a solo flight into deep space for contemplation, reflection and self-discovery.  A key part of the Journey in Darkness is the passage through interspace during a jump, which is considered sacred.  Of course, there are many Enroshas who are not pilots, so in practice they often undergo the Journey with the help of another Enrosha who has a ship, and the Heaven’s Door Foundation (see below) helps to arrange these trips.  The Foundation also owns two small asteroids in Goss where they maintain a retreat that is a popular destination for pilgrims undertaking the Journey.


The Enro community is small and has little central organization.  The closest there is to an overall leadership is the Heaven’s Door Foundation, on Terra, the direct descendant of Meitner’s original group.  The Foundation publishes books and pamphlets, and organizes group flights for the religion’s followers to experience interspace passages together, as well as maintaining the previously mentioned retreats in Goss, but it does not provide any coordination of other activities, and its finances are very limited.  In general, Enroshas either practice their religion alone, or in small informal groups, often consisting only of family members and close friends.


There is an underground splinter faction, however, called The Church of the Infinite Eyes, and this group has proven dangerous.  Founded sometime in the mid 2890’s, the Infinite Eyes group claims that jump point travel by non-Enroshas is a sin and that only spiritually cleansed people should be allowed to pass through interspace.  They claim that a non-Enrosha using a jump point is an act of sacrilege which defiles the divine realm and this group has on several occasions engaged in terrorist attacks on customs stations. The last such attack was in 2936 in Nemo, after which several of its members were captured and sent to prison.  The group has been quiet since then, but it is not known if they have abandonded violence or are merely rebuilding and planning new attacks.


Enro is not practiced by large numbers of people, but it does seem to attract an unusal number of independent starship pilots, especially explorers, prospectors, and cargo haulers in more remote regions.  The Enro philosophy seems to have some sort of special appeal for people who spend lots of time flying alone in deep space, which is not terribly surprising given the religions origin.


While the majority of Enrosha are peaceful and present no danger, the possibility of radicalization into the Infinite Eyes cult means that UEE personnel and employees with Enro ties should undergo extra scrutiny during background checks and security screenings.  In particular:

  • Due to the possibility of unknown ties to the Infintie Eyes faction, Enro adherants should be prohibited from working any position at jump point customs stations.
  • Enro law enforcement and military personnel should undergo semi-annual security screenings to detect radicalization before it becomes a problem.


The Infinite Eyes of the Gods

[A small bit of fan fiction for the Star Citizen universe, inspired by a forum thread discussing religions in the far future, and how they might spring into existence.]

When you’re on a slow burn heading out to a jump point, turn off the lights in your ship.  Turn down the display panels and indicator lights too, and let yourself sit in the dark.  Watch the stars.  Did you ever wonder what they are?  I don’t mean giant balls of plasma – that’s the easy answer.  What are they really?  Why are they there?  Why, when you are sitting in the great Silence and Dark of deep space do the stars seem to look at you and stare through you right into your soul, stripping away all pretense of skill and mastery of the world that we humans so blithely ascribe to ourselves?

The stars are like the eyes of billions of gods, all looking at you, daring you to seek them out and join them and yet also judging you for having the hubris to try.  Yet we must try.  The stars call to us and we must heed their siren song, for it stirs the depths of our beings and awakens unquiet visions that pervade our waking thoughts and fill our dreams at night with images of things just out of reach of literate description.

And the dreams!  The dreams one has, while floating in the deep.  Turn off the gravity while you sleep sometime.  Turn it off, turn off the lights, and net yourself up next to a porthole so that you sleep under the watchful stars.  The dreams I’ve had when doing that are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before – time warping and bending while light dances over my body in shimmering waves that resonate with the slow pulsing of the rhythms of the galaxy as it wheels away in the terrible, beautiful void of space.  Sometimes, while piloting through Interspace, it feels just like these dreams.  You seem to be going forward and backward at the same time, and you can never quite tell what is happening right now, what has happened already, and what is going to happen in a moment – in Interspace time and position seem not to obey the normal rules, but they do seem to obey the same laws that govern us when we dream. Is Interspace where we go when we sleep?  Do our dreams actually carry us to other worlds in fact, rather than simply in thought?

I’ve seen things in Interspace.  Things that frighten me and draw me to them at the same time.  Ever since I was a child, I’ve had dreams of an “angel” as I called her – a winged being of light is how I’ve normally described it to anyone who would listen, but that is a very paltry description and until I grew up I gave it no importance.  Three years ago while jumping out from Terra on a cargo run, I experienced a star pilot’s nightmare: my nav computer failed right as I entered the jump point and I had to grab manual control again to pilot my way through by hand.  I’d never done that before and I was terrified.  I could see things – rocks?  asteroids caught in Interspace?  some exotic matter of some sort? – whatever they were I was trying to dodge them desperately and make it through to the other side.  But the distortions in space and time made it hard to do.  There was a large object in front of me, and as I tried to go around it, it seemed to turn in ways that I just can’t describe.  It stayed in front of me, and I could also see it behind my ship as I was flying away from it, and it was also coming at me from above and to the right – nothing made sense and I panicked and let go of the controls, my ship spinning out of control.  Just as I was about to crash, time seemed to suddenly flow … sideways?  I could see myself cowering with my arms up.  I could also see myself a moment ago still with my hands on the controls.

And I also saw my angel.

I’m sure it was the same being that I’ve dreamt of for so long, she radiated such a feeling of familiarity.  But also coldness. She seemed to coalesce around the obstacle about to destroy me and she opened up her wings wide, covering the whole thing.  When the ship reached her it felt like time suddenly froze completely in the chill of her being, and in that utter timelessness I knew and experienced the entire jump point passage at once as if I were in all places simultaneously.  And then that eternal now ended and I was on the other side of the obstacle, my ship racing away from it, my hands once more firmly on the controls.  I came out into normal space again shaken and unsure of what had happened. I immediately put into port, of course, and had my systems inspected and repaired. Naturally, the ship’s logs recorded none of what I experienced: the flight recorder shows that I was fully in control throughout the transit with no obstacle and no angel.  But I can’t believe that.  Every since that day I have only flown that jump point by hand, never using the autopilot, and each time through it’s as if I know exactly where everything is, was, and will be.

I know, now, that the angel of my dreams is real, and that Interspace and the land of dreams are one and the same.  The stars are the eyes of my cosmic angel, and she watches us with a cold light all of the time, but it is not an unkind coldness.  It is the coolness of distance and separation both unwanted and unwelcome.  Her arms are spread in welcome. Her eyes call to us and beckon us to find her and join with her.

She is waiting.

And I am coming.

Sora Yamauchi

Dec. 30, 2783

Last log entry of the captain of the freighter Lorinand, recovered from a log buoy ejected just before the ship activated a jump point leaving Terra. The ship never emerged from interspace and was presumed destroyed.