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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Color Run: a story of courage, endurance, and ninjas, part III

Part I | Part II

"It was you!" I told the man who had just saved my life. "I mean, you were the one who took out the ghazis who were planning to hit GGinParis!"

Cernovich had gotten word from his extensive global network of the ghazis' arrival in the 12 Arrondissement, and we'd taken the four-man security team I'd hired with us to neutralize them the night before the meetup, but someone had gotten to them first. And that someone was standing right in front of me.

The little Japanese man shrugged and continued cleaning the blood off his wakizashi, then slipped it into a cunningly concealed back-scabbard that was all but undetectable under his Color Run t-shirt. He looked about as innocuous as a runner could look, if that runner wasn't standing over the dead bodies of two corporate ninjas-for-hire.

"Let us just say you have an angel looking over you, Mr. Day. Certain parties do not deem it in their interest that you be removed from the Great Game at this time." He looked around the forest, then seemed to spot what he was looking for and bent over to retrieve it. It was the kukri I'd dropped, and he handed it to me. "Don't ask me who. Like these two rent-a-shadows, I am but a humble laborer working for his rice bowl."

"A day-laborer, one might say." Hey, give me a break. I'd just barely survived a twin combat ninja assault, and not through any fault of my own.

"No, I take contracts by the job," he said. "Forget what they tell you. They just trying to throw you off. It wasn't Scalzi. It was Rambo."

"Sylvester Stallone?" I said in disbelief. I knew Sly held a grudge about Jennifer, but that was a long time ago, before they were even dating, let alone married. "Come on, he's been over that for decades."

"No, not the Rocky man. Rambo! Cat Rambo, the Iron Lady of SFWA."

"Oh," I said. "Seriously? I always thought she was saner than the rest of those lunatics."

"She stone cold killer. Have the balls that Scalzi and Gould never did. You big threat, they scared you kill Tor, they lose lots of money. No more book contracts, no more dues."

"If she's worried about Tor going under, then she should put out a contract on Scalzi, not me. Or whatever idiot at Barnes & Noble is trying to turn their bookstores into restaurants."

"Not my problem. But good thing she hire these Singapore rent-boys. Cheap, no-good fake shinobis. No respect for tradition. Now come, we must finish the course. I don't think there is more, but I cannot be sure. We must run together now, and you must run fast!"

"Wait, I don't even know your name!"

"Call me Tokei. Tokei Buredo."

The Blade that Watches? I tended to doubt his mother named him that, but it certainly seemed fitting to me.  I bowed to him from the waist. "Domo arigato gozaimasu, Tokei-san."

He bowed back, rather less deeply. "Do itashimashita, Day-san." He clapped his hands. "Now, let us run!"

"Shouldn't we bury the bodies or something?"

"No time! The police will be looking at anyone who take long time to run once they discover the bodies. We must run quickly, for good alibi!"

My heart sank at the prospect of running even faster than before. But before we got going, we went to the lake, where I managed to wash most of the dead ninja's blood off my arms and face. There was nothing to do about the bloodstains on my shirt, but Tokei-san pointed out that we would soon be at the red station, and no one would think anything of a few red stains after that. Fortunately, the paper with the number on it had taken most of the splatter, so I simply unpinned it and threw it in the trash.

Tokei-san set a pace considerably faster than I would have liked, which meant that were were only being passed by severely overweight men and women who were strolling along the course arm-in-arm, talking with each other. I tried to maintain a wary eye, but soon found myself focusing on simply breathing, putting one foot in front of the other, and trying not to collapse. I figured Tokei-san would alert me to any threats that presented themselves.

We managed to make it to the red station without incident, although we did have one nervous moment when a policeman guiding the runners the correct way at a junction seemed to eye the incongruous colors on my shirt a little too closely. But I waved cheerfully to him and he responded to me a thumbs up, so we avoided that potential pitfall.

"Can't we slow down?" I begged Tokei-san, but he was having none of it. He began a rather detailed monologue under his breath, and while I couldn't quite make all of it out, it was fairly clear that most of it was devoted to my various shortcomings of character, genetics, willpower, and general level of fitness. Among others.

After we reached the final color station and were liberally splashed with purple powder, I was on the verge of collapse.

"You go on," I told him. "Leave me here. I'm only holding you back!"

"You think this is a war movie or something?" Tokei-san spat contemptuously, then reached into his pocket. "Oh well, I didn't want this, but...."

His hand moved swiftly to my neck, and I felt a sting.

"Ouch!" What the Hell was that?" Then, a sudden energy seemed to fill me and I was suffused with an amazing sense of strength and well-being. All the pain and exhaustion vanished, and I felt ready, willing, and able to wrestle a tiger. No, make that two tigers. Two big, angry, Siberian tigers on steroids.

"Old ninja trick. Made from extract of fugu. You feel better now. If you lucky, heart don't explode." As I looked at him in disbelief and clutched at my chest, he shrugged. "Where you think idea of power-ups came from in first place, video game boy? Now Ctrl-Alt-run!"

I tried to feel if my heart was pounding particularly hard or was about to explode, but if it was, I couldn't tell. Well, whatever. I was feeling too good to worry about it now.

"Let's finish this bitch!" I roared, and took off sprinting towards the end of the course.

"Not so fast, fool gaijin!" he shouted, but I was too amped to pay any attention. We ran the last kilometer in record time, zooming past sweating, panting, exhausted runners as if we were on the Autobahn. Tokei-san was breathing hard, but I felt as if I'd just come off the curve of the 200 and shifted into 6th gear to pass up the sprinters in the outer lanes. We rounded the last turn, and when I spotted the colorful arched banners that marked the finish line, I actually managed to pick up the pace. A loud cheer went up as the spectators at the end saw us sprinting to a strong finish. I threw my arms up in triumph as I crossed the line, with Tokei-san right behind me.

Spacebunny was there, along with the rest of our group, all clapping and cheering and dancing to the pounding techno music that was booming out of the huge amplifiers that had been set up nearby. She had gotten her tutu back, and came running up to me with a look of relief on her face, which was quickly replaced by concern when she saw my shirt.

"That's not powder, that's blood!" she declared. "Are you hurt?"

"It's not mine." I kissed her cheerfully, but then the adrenaline boost or whatever it was begin to fade, and I swayed. All the pains and aches of the brutal 5 kilometer run, which I suppose was actually more like 3.5 kilometers due to the shortcut, but whatever, seemed to hit my body at once. I took that as a good sign that my heart wasn't going to explode, although I did wonder if perhaps a little lay-down and a few hours of massage and aromatherapy would be in order. "They had me, but Tokei-san took them out."

"Who?" she said, looking around in bewilderment.

"The little Japanese guy, with the glasses and the headband." I looked back and forth. Tokei-san was nowhere to be found. "He was right there with me a second ago! He ran the whole last half of the course with me! He gave me this injection of pufferfish power-up, and I tell you, it was like crack mixed with Ventolin and Dianabol!"

"Honey, I saw you. You crossed the finish line alone," she said, worry lines creasing her forehead. "Are you sure you're feeling all right?"

"I'm fine," I assured her. And I was. I placed my hands together and made a little bow. I had a feeling that "Tokei Buredo", The Blade that Watches, was watching over us from somewhere from the shadows of the nearby trees. But had my mysterious benefactor really been sent by a powerful corporate "angel" as he'd claimed, or was he, himself, an angel of some kind? And was it just my fugu-addled mind or had he inadvertently given me a clue as to who was actually paying for his services?

I decided that it was a mystery that demanded future contemplation, as I certainly wasn't going to find any answers today. For the time being, I accepted my participation medal with well-merited pride, then joined Spacebunny and the others dancing in celebration behind the finish line. True story. After all, have you not seen the pictures to prove it?



Thanks very much to all of you who donated so generously to the King's College research. Your collective donation to the Color Run is one of the seven largest the anti-Crohn's program has ever received. The second component of the vaccine is presently being manufactured and will soon be in quality control checks. Human trials will begin in December, and the researchers should have some idea of whether the cure is safe or not by August next year, and whether or not it is effective by August 2018.

Crohn's is a brutal and ugly disease. It is less fatal than many diseases which quite rightly receive more attention from the medical community, but it is dangerous, difficult, and demoralizing. I have the utmost respect for those who suffer from it, because it is a battle they have to fight every single day. And I really appreciate what all of you have done to help them fight it, because it gives them strength by helping them understand that they are not alone in their struggle against this insidious opponent.

And more importantly, you have contributed towards bringing their everyday battle to a victorious and healthy end. Spacebunny and I will not forget that.

Labels:

47 Comments:

Anonymous I must have missed it... September 27, 2016 8:12 AM  

What was the funding level that Vox promised to run the race in a tutu while on acid?

Blogger Starbuck September 27, 2016 8:27 AM  

Cool short story, fiction or non-fiction doesn't matter, I enjoyed it. I am glad y'all had fun with it.

At one time I had symptoms just like Crohns Disease. Turned out to be something else and has been getting better with nutrition.(Not the more wheat fiber though. No wheat fiber and more meat and vegetables).

But I do have empathy and respect for people battling Crohn's Disease.

Anonymous WinstonWebb September 27, 2016 8:30 AM  

Can't wait to hear your tale of being in Mexico City on Dia de los Muertos, where your life is saved by the mysterious Taco Burrito, the Beaner that Naps.

Blogger Earl September 27, 2016 8:50 AM  

COLOR RUN the film, in theaters Summer 2017

I can see it now: Tokei Buredo played by Mickey Rooney.

Anonymous WinstonWebb September 27, 2016 8:57 AM  

Tokei Buredo played by Mickey Rooney.
That'd be a neat trick.

Anonymous VFM #6306 September 27, 2016 9:17 AM  

Is this a veiled attempt to blame your personal record on a turkey burrito? If Cernovich was involved, I would have guessed the (((juice))) was behind it all.

Blogger Earl September 27, 2016 9:25 AM  

Ok so we'll have to get Idris Elba to play Mickey Rooney playing as Tokei Buredo. A black man in white face in yellow face.

Blogger Dave September 27, 2016 9:29 AM  

Soooo, it was Cat Rambo the whole time. I knew it!

Blogger pdwalker September 27, 2016 9:34 AM  

I'm expecting a cameo of Tokei-san in your upcoming Sea of Skulls book.

And does your wife know you are posting pictures of random beautiful blonde babes on your blog now?

Anonymous Fred2 September 27, 2016 9:34 AM  

Well done. Funny story. Good Cause. Good Sports, both of you.

Blogger JACIII September 27, 2016 9:48 AM  

Couple of goobers, I swear. Y'all done good though. Keep it up!

Blogger Troy Lee Messer September 27, 2016 9:57 AM  

I'm bummed. This isn't exactly what the leader of an evil legion of evil should look like.

Blogger slarrow September 27, 2016 10:02 AM  

I'm bummed. This isn't exactly what the leader of an evil legion of evil should look like.

Hey, even the Supreme Dark Lord can take a vacation from time to time.

Anonymous Undocumented Civilizationalist September 27, 2016 10:16 AM  

I have a loved one who struggles mightily with IBS. It's really rough. I'm truly sympathetic to people who deal with these types of diseases day in and day out. Glad you guys were able to raise the money.

Dare I say it? Vox doesn't look half bad in a tutu....

Anonymous RomanCandle September 27, 2016 10:24 AM  

Vox took on the globalist assassins and won. Not all heroes wear capes (though some wear tutus).

Blogger rho September 27, 2016 10:26 AM  

You know, I'm starting to think there weren't any ninjas at all.

Good show, Voxii, and thanks.

Blogger Brian S September 27, 2016 10:26 AM  

needs a "new hope" awards ceremony at the end, where you are bestowed with this shirt...

https://guideimg.alibaba.com/images/shop/105/02/11/1/0-0-because-running-sucks-long-sleeve-t-shirt_693031.jpg

Blogger Vi M September 27, 2016 10:26 AM  

It looks like you all had a crazy fun time. Spacebunny is gorgeous, btw, but you knew that.

FYI, a short post on your Twitter excommunication on my blog
http://www.bookhorde.org/2016/09/vox-day-twitter-and-banned-books-week.html

Anonymous Alexander, #10 September 27, 2016 10:43 AM  

Woah, I am literally shaking.

Vox Day ran only 3 kilometers out of 5? I guess you could say he made a three-fifths compromise.

And in addition to making a 'fun' story about institutional racism in states that didn't see noble Africans as being more than 60% human beings, all these Europeans made themselves 'colorful', as if being a Person of Colour is as easy as dancing in a bit of snail-smelling powder.

Seriously triggered right now.

Blogger buzzardist September 27, 2016 10:53 AM  

That, Vox, was truly terrible. Next time Mr. Clock Blade appears to you, please have him teach you some better Japanese. In particular, some puns that actually make sense in Japanese would be nice.

At the very least, some Japanese that impresses beyond the obviously bad Japanese still rolling around in Vox's head would help avoid the dead giveaway that this whole story is merely the fantasy of your oxygen-deprived brain from one kilometer into the race onward.

Anonymous Galactic Starfleets of Deplorable Spartacus September 27, 2016 11:05 AM  

Alright. Ok. You win. Wasn't going to publicly shame myself by admitting to reading this stuff, let alone viewing the pix. Yes we are entertained.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 27, 2016 11:21 AM  

I must have missed it... wrote:What was the funding level that Vox promised to run the race in a tutu while on acid?

I think that was assumed. He never would have agreed to do it sober.

Godspeed to the dudes at King's College.

Anonymous MEC September 27, 2016 11:29 AM  

Really enjoyed the short story, I was tearing up from laughter pains. Highly creative, Supreme Dark Lord. I can't wait for the movie, who will play Vox? I'm guessing Jeremy Renner, Nah too much hair.

Blogger Salt September 27, 2016 11:30 AM  

Vox, all your tutu needed was razor tipped ends and fast pirouettes. Excellent for Kings College and the program.

Anonymous MendoScot September 27, 2016 12:22 PM  

OT but not sure where to put this for the Ilk, who will be happy to know that the mountain that writes is prepping a Christmas pressie for us.

http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/09/27/updates-2/

Blogger Thucydides September 27, 2016 12:36 PM  

The only thing that would have made the story better would be a guest appearance by Babymetal!

Insanely funny, and totally made my day. Many thanks

Blogger Russell Fryman September 27, 2016 12:45 PM  

Well played. And well done.

Blogger The Kurgan September 27, 2016 1:31 PM  

EXCELLENT.
The ilk note your aggressive alpha male, arms raised, tip-toe standing, ballet dancer pose clearly establishes dominance, unlike the low arms, low energy, gamma pose of Scalzi wearing a dress on his lawn.

Blogger James Dixon September 27, 2016 1:42 PM  

> OT but not sure where to put this for the Ilk, who will be happy to know that the mountain that writes is prepping a Christmas pressie for us.

I'm wondering if he isn't the one who's behind Tokei.

You know Vox, the only thing I find unbelievable in the story is that you actually finished the run on your feet, rather than having to be helped across the finish line the way Hillary had to be helped offstage last night. :)

Blogger freddy September 27, 2016 2:38 PM  

Well done!

Blogger Revelation Means Hope September 27, 2016 3:58 PM  

The color runs here in the San Francisco area are a tidal wave of Shoggoths, obese children, and people who could afford to lose about 30% or more of their body weight just to look semi-fit.

I don't really see ANY overweight people in the background of your pictures.

Amerika, land of the landwhales.

Anonymous Psychedelic Cat Harir September 27, 2016 5:05 PM  

"Old ninja trick. Made from extract of fugu. You feel better now. If you lucky, heart don't explode." As I looked at him in disbelief and clutched at my chest, he shrugged. "Where you think idea of power-ups came from in first place, video game boy? Now Ctrl-Alt-run!"


I tried to feel if my heart was pounding particularly hard or was about to explode, but if it was, I couldn't tell. Well, whatever. I was feeling too good to worry about it now.

"Let's finish this bitch!" I roared, and took off sprinting towards the end of the course.


LOL! Dang Vox! You had me almost crying there!

" I accepted my participation medal with well-merited pride"

I didn't know they gave medals out for 227th place!

Blogger Fenris Wulf September 27, 2016 6:16 PM  

Update on the killer robot situation. While I was eating breakfast, five identical robots with U.N. colors appeared in a haze of tachyons, and informed me that the world of 2099 is a radioactive wasteland because I voted for Trump. Fifteen seconds later, seven identical robots with a striking red and black color scheme appeared in a flash of antiprotons, and informed me that the world of 2099 is a fascist dystopia because I didn't vote for Hillary. I concluded that both sets of robots were lying. The magnetic pulse weapon I constructed earlier was ineffective against their superconductive ceramic brains immersed in liquid helium. Thinking quickly, I connected a sweep oscillator to an experimental Soviet loudspeaker, estimated the resonant frequency of their brain cases, and sent them to their maker. Their maker sent them back, along with an angry letter explaining that I had voided the warranty and replacement parts for that model were no longer in stock. This is why you should never buy killer robots from Apple.

Blogger robinintn September 27, 2016 6:25 PM  

So that's why you weren't wearing your number.

Anonymous BGKB September 27, 2016 6:27 PM  

Fortunately, the paper with the number on it had taken most of the splatter, so I simply unpinned it and threw it in the trash.

Wouldn't they look up your number when they searched the area?

But good thing she hire these Singapore rent-boys. Cheap, no-good fake shinobis

Cheap Singapore rent boys? Are you sure it wasn't GRRM? If not cheap you may have made an enemy of Peter Theil

Mexico City on Dia de los Muertos, where your life is saved by the mysterious Taco Burrito, the Beaner that Naps.

That would be all of them.

Anonymous VFM #6306 September 27, 2016 6:27 PM  

Speaking of Apple, there is NO WAY Vox relied on FUGU for Mac for this exchange of secret messages. If Nick Cole did finance this rescue he would have used roosters or a rootkit. All the knife stuff suggested Peter Grant...but that is too on the nose.

The savior isn't Japanese, either. His accent is Chinese. Ghost of Mao?

I say this is the work of the OC.

Anonymous rtp September 27, 2016 7:07 PM  

I love you Vox (no homo) but what a waste of money. No vaccine works. No vaccine can work. Crohn's is not caused by a germ - you will find that all germs are ubiquitous and if they caused disease we would all be dead.

Indeed, the germ theory is a mathematical impossibility (as it requires a stable biological system in the absence of negative feedbacks).

Disease is predominantly a response to biologically meaningful trauma. God did not make a staggering mistake when he created germs. Nor does God play a cruel game of dice when it comes to things like cancer or Crohn's and the like.

Crohn's - like many gastro diseases - is a response to a fear (real or perceived) of starvation due to not being able to digest something. If we get a bone stuck in our digestive tract the body goes into survival mode to ensure that there are enough digestive juices to allow it to pass through.

The healing mode will often involve getting rid of extra unwanted cells (usually diarrhea).

Because we live in a "fallen" world, the bone can be figurative (for example a business deal falling through).

Interestingly, the guy who came up with this theory believes in evolution. But it is the opposite. This theory is as close to definitive proof of intelligent design as one could possibly get. In particular, because it applies to every organ. But that is a digression. The point is that no vaccine will ever prevent a single disease. Never have, never will.

Blogger VD September 27, 2016 7:20 PM  

I love you Vox (no homo) but what a waste of money. No vaccine works. No vaccine can work. Crohn's is not caused by a germ - you will find that all germs are ubiquitous and if they caused disease we would all be dead.

The operative theory is that it is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, and the initial animal tests have shown that the vaccine wipes it out.

Let reason be silent when experience gainsays its conclusions.

In other words, stop babbling about systems and evolution, and let the scientists do their thing.

Anonymous Mars Ultor September 27, 2016 8:03 PM  

Cool story. I kinda wish Tokei Buredo had been a nameless ancient Korean in a garish kimono, assisted by a cruel faced white with abnormally thick wrists; but I reckon that mighta been a copyright issue. Plus I figure you'd rather use your own original characters as opposed to paying homage to my favorite book series. Plus those two would've been overkill against a couple run of the mill corporate ninjas.

Anonymous Jill September 27, 2016 8:34 PM  

a. you look you should be in the bee-girl video and
b. congrats on all your (or your wife's) hard work raising money

This and like diseases afflict people in my family. I'm always interested in a new theory, as cutting out food allergies and going on special diets, albeit helpful, have never been enough.

Blogger Fenris Wulf September 27, 2016 8:52 PM  

I have IBS but it's pretty much under control. It caused burning diarrhea, and the cure was to eat as much fiber as possible from a variety of sources. Several different green vegetables, several different whole grains, various bean dishes, etc. Meat doesn't bother me but acidic food does. Digestive issues are different for everyone. Someone else might have different symptoms and require a different diet. Variety is usually a good idea.

Anonymous rtp September 27, 2016 9:28 PM  

The vaccine might be able to wipe out the bacteria but it doesn't follow in any way that it has any impact on the likelihood of having Crohn's.

We do basically the same thing in medicine that we do in economics - with similarly disastrous results. Look for empirical evidence while ignoring the logic. The problem is that it nigh on impossible to set up a study that is oblivious to the prejudices of the researcher in either medicine or economics.

The logic says that germs are ubiquitous therefore if they were one trillionth as dangerous as we are told then we would all be dead. But a researcher can look at a few people and say "Aha! See there is some bacteria concentrated in some tissue and that tissue is sick, ergo bacteria makes tissue sick." Of course, the bacteria is all around the body and is clearly focused in the diseased tissue merely because it is used by the body in healing but that is logic, and empiricism cares not for logic. It sees a correlation and calls it proof.


Nobody ever stops to ask why it is that only one per cent of breast cancer sufferers are men. Logic would tell us that men don't have any emotional attachment to their breasts whereas women do given that their breasts are the source of life and healing. But that is a coherent logical explanation. Empiricism says we instead need to look for vague correlations between breast cancer and living near power lines or smoking or having some bacteria/virus in the vicinity of women's breasts. It is very hard to do quantitative studies on trauma/emotions so logical explanations don't lend themselves to "superior scientific studies" ie empiricism. And if you can't use multi million dollar supercomputers to do high powered statistical analysis then it just isn't sciency enough.

Anonymous VFM #6306 September 27, 2016 10:03 PM  

Logic would tell us that you'd realize how stupid you sound, rtp, and you'd shut up.

Yet here you are...

Anonymous Drummergirl September 27, 2016 10:39 PM  

Interesting theory Vox. My understanding has been that Crohn's is an autoimmune disease and currently many of the treatments are geared toward suppressing the immune system. Who knows though, they used to think stomach ulcers were caused by stress and when the suggestion was made that a bacteria was causing the disease everyone thought those doctors were crazy. Now we know that H. pylori bacteria is one of the major causes of ulcers and can be treated with antibiotics. Crohn's can be a terribly debilitating disease, so it would be wonderful if even some people suffering from it could be cured.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 12:22 AM  

All very interesting, but how'd you persuade that woman to pretend she's your wife?

Anonymous Galactic Starfleets of Deplorable Spartacus September 28, 2016 2:05 AM  

VFM #6306 wrote:Logic would tell us that you'd realize how stupid you sound, rtp, and you'd shut up.

Yet here you are...


rtp had me following along just fine.

Anonymous Euryale September 28, 2016 2:42 AM  

I am reliably informed the Paris crew is highly amused by this piece of writing.

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