The other piece I've been working on which I allude to yesterday. I'm really very proud of this one; it's the culmination of many hours of work, and a design which I put a lot of thought and work into.
Long story short: This is - once again - a villain in my Werewolf: The apocalypse game which I was fond of enough to create an illustration of. She's a vampire (of the Vampire: The Masquerade variety) of the clan Tzimisce. They have the ability - along with a variety of other standard vampiric abilities - to alter the flesh and bones of themselves and others to suit their needs or aesthetic purposes. This woman has obviously spent a good deal of time adjusting herself to her satisfaction. The mask is sort of a uniform element. The band of vampires she leads all wear similar skull-themed masks, mostly because it's damned creepy looking, but also to foster group identity, which is always useful to a leader who wishes to dehumanize their troops and foster out-group hostility.
Various stories are filtering through to me which have pushed my vague sense of disquiet past the point of inaction. I've been hearing about this more and more, from various sources, these past few weeks, and it's beginning to become deafening in my ears.
First, there were those concentration camps being built in the US by Haliburton for "Immigration Emergencies, or OTHER NEW PROGRAMS". I wrote about it at the time, and though it hasn't received much mainstream media coverage, it has been documented extensively elsewhere, and the construction of these facilities has quietly gone forth.
Next, there was Presidential Directive #51. This directive from George W. Bush states that in the event of anything he personally deems a national emergency, he can dissolve the US government, take control of industry, and then proceed essentially as a dictator. The legality of this document is extremely debatable, but the thing is, if he enacts it, legality becomes a moot point. Only enforcability is an issue. More on that in a bit.
The US religious community is being told to get the population ready for martial law, and to accept absolute government authority as a matter of religious faith. What's more, they've been told to prepare to do so soon.
I sincerely believe the time is coming soon when Bush and his cabal will be entering endgame mode. Everything they've done up to this point has been mere prelude. I believe they will create a global conflict, and tamp down dissent at home by means of the various mechanisms they've put in place for this sort of event. History teaches us that when authorities of any stripe grant themselves - or have granted to them - exceptional powers in a time of crisis, they seldom relinquish these powers when the crisis has passed. I believe this will be the case again here.
The democrats who now control the US congress will make a bit of a stink about it, but they've spent the last six years practicing being pushovers and ineffectual yes-men to the Bush administration. This is going to be like going to the Super-Bowl for them. The big game. The main event. After wowing the crowds at home and in preparation for this, they'll finally be able to show the world just how incapable they REALLY are when it all comes down to it.
I have family down in the States, and I'm terribly concerned for them. I've spoken to them just now and told them "Fucking pack your bags and be ready to go. When you hear that the US has illegally invaded Iran, that's your signal; the countdown to Marshall Law has begun, nad you have THAT LONG to get out of the US."
They agreed, and are currently preparing their bags and such with all they'll need for the trip, and looking into liquidating some assets.
I told them, "This isn't something on the TV we're talking about anymore. This isn't something on the radio, or something we read about on a website. That's not the conversation we're having anymore. We're now talking about what to do in the here and now".