The original artwork from The Butterfly Dragon: The Two Dragons.

Hi again. Brian Joseph Johns here.

I've been busy working on a variety of different things, including streamlining my pipeline for artwork production, including the use of some AI tools as I stated in the previous post (the post before the two rants I recently posted that is).

On Coding

I've never worked in HLSL (High Level Shader Language) before, but I got a good taste of it writing a Mandelbrot generator in it as part of an Unreal Engine Custom Shader Expression, which allows one to map complex shaders onto geometry or even the viewport widgets. I've worked on similar programs in other languages, but never in HLSL. This once again will be connected to content production here on Shhhh! Digital Media.

I'm also getting my noggin around Python, another language I've never worked in before, which is definitely mandatory if you're getting into working with AI, though I'm far from putting what I know of Python to any good use, besides printing the line: "hello world" to the screen. 

In the near future however that will definitely change as I transfer my skills in other languages to Python. It takes little time to learn a new programming language, but it can take months or even years to learn all the APIs and API wrappers (Application Programming Interface), especially if you're learning specific APIs for the first time. 

Depending upon your workflow, most programming work is actually spent planning and looking up reference material before any actual code is written. Coders  like myself though tend to jump in right away after thinking carefully about the task at hand. Over time, you become familiar with patterns that form up solutions to the various challenges you encounter in producing a solution, and so the skill really involves recognizing where and when a particular pattern applies to a given situation, or where to create a new pattern to accomplish some unfamiliar task.

On The Only Obstacle

The only thing slowing me down at this point, is the abusive harassment cult who operate under the premise that they are somehow remotely controlling me or that I enforce the idea that I don't have my own mind, but that my mind is made up of a collective of people from their cult and I'm just an empty husk that's occupied by their group. 

They've even often implied that I'm an artificial intelligence because it was ruled and made policy in many places legally that artificial intelligence can not be regarded as being the author or creator of any creative or intellectual work. That credit goes to the people who fed it the "prompt", the text that describes what an operator wants the artificial intelligence to create. By labeling a person as an artificial intelligence, they're basically saying that its alright to steal their creative content from and to wear it as their own, while treating them as if they are not real or conscious. Dehumanizing a person.

Essentially that's what drives their motivation to steal my stuff and treat me as being less than human. My timeline for exposing them is working out perfectly thus far, so I'm not really worried about them. They're just aggravating at worst and an annoyance at least. Once people know them truly for what they are, they're not going to have time for collectively abusing people. They'll be too busy dodging scrutiny for actively being involved in such activity.

Be careful though, they're pretty bad in the sense that they'll turn the tables on their victims and steal the identity of a person not associated with their cult, while transferring their responsibility for participation in such abuse to innocent people. That's their most active line of defense. Blurring the very definition of the concept of identity. I don't want to start a Witch hunt, so I believe that information and truth itself is the key to letting people make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions about the problem itself.

Hence, that's why I often at the end of a post spend so much time clarifying who I'm not.

On Writing And New Content

The coming month (February), I'll be spending a lot of time working on the training models for the image production pipeline and that's going to involve a lot of around the clock rendering, and likely won't leave much of a window for writing new content, so I plan to do some writing over the next two weeks. 

As I stated in the last updates post, that will entail The Two Butterflies and Night Boat, which will get first attention. I would have liked to have gotten the next Tales Of The Sanctum (A Lady's Prerogative) story done before February 14, but I don't see how that's going to be possible or realistic. 

Mila would probably be ecstatic over a wedding near that date, while Barris would dread it, but that's an entirely different story altogether as to why that is the case. I think Mila and Barris are planning for a late Spring wedding, but what gets in the way before here and there is where the story itself does lay.

We Who Stand On Guard will continue as well, but it did get a significant amount of attention over the last two months and for good reason. Trish and Halmand are still on the trail of the MindSpice bombers and Stanton's recent break in that case will set the stage for Linda Delmont's arrival on the scene.

Rysalyn and Trent are becoming very familiar with one another, however, Rysalyn's past will come back to haunt her in a way she would have never suspected. Even with her ties to the secretive agency for which she is  an asset, she might be in danger.

Together, they'll have to rely on the help of a person from whom they'd have least expected it.

Then in The Two Butterflies, at Heylyn's dinner party meeting, much was revealed that will lead to conflict that coincide with Mentis and Mutano's effort to do away with West Meet East International entirely. Aikiko and Monique are unknowingly in the clutches of Habus Macill who by chance happens to be Occulo Mentis' old protégé. 

Meanwhile, Walton Norler is about to have the struggle of his life as Jason Michael Santers finds himself caught between the secret of the Cora Hau facility now being in the hands of Tynan And Associates, and his effort to do away with Norler's and Gregory's MediFriend startup. 

Zheng, Briggs, Hidbickle and Bryce are now on the radar of Mentis' followers, but they've got a secret weapon. Will it be ready in time to protect them? Two old friends might be just what they need to save themselves.

Somewhere in time that is no time, and a space that is no space, are the Two Dragons of Eternity, forever intertwined in a battle, as one grows towards the future, and the other grows backwards through time. Its no coincidence that the two will meet at the same time that humanity's greatest challenge has been revealed.

Finally, Braden's connection to the events preceding The Two Dragons will come to light. Can Heylyn, once she becomes aware of his connection to Habus Macill and Oculo Mentis, truly trust him again?

Meanwhile, on a modified Gearing Class Destroyer somewhere in the Pacific Ocean,  south of the South Korea, the Yellow Sea and Japan, Steadman and Zek are engaged in a struggle to gain control over the ship, though the cards are all in Zek's hand as he in his possession at the stern of the ship has the key to stopping The Butterfly Dragon and her allies, and regaining control of the entire world, rebuilding his industrialist blackmail empire once again. However, something tells me that Mentis, Mutano, Steadman and Zek aren't going to see eye to eye on the issue of who should hold the reigns to the world.

Between all of this? A Butterfly, a Dragon and their Gem.

If I get through tomorrow with my peace and sanity intact after doing my grocery shopping and picking up a bottle (or rather cocktails), I'll see you then.

Credits and attribution:

Artwork: Amy WongWendy PuseyGhastly, Brian Joseph Johns, Daz3DUnreal Engine...

Tools: Daz3DCorel PainterAdobe PhotoshopLightwave 3DBlender, Stable Diffusion (Easy Diffusion distribution), Borderline Obsession...