It could also be the heat, I guess. While my body's built to take the heat, I find sleeping in it just as difficult as I do in conditions that're too cold, if not harder. (Conditions that're too cold passively mess with me but actively don't trouble me; conditions that are too warm make me toss and turn to find relief, actively messing with me.)
Any way you put it, though, I'm feeling the effects of it, and I'll do what I can to cope. So without further ado, the image I've been wanting to post:
I'm going to see if I can get an art critique on this, since while I have ideas on how to fix it, they could just end up making it muddier than it already is. (I've done a ton of erasing, and the more I do, the less effective it becomes, so I'm trying to keep the changes from here-on out as small as possible.)
In other Rubyverse news, I decided on a fun piece of trivia. Basically, superheroes relying on tech exist and are becoming more and more advanced, with some of them beginning to advance the sciences forward with the occasional help from more magical-powered superheroes. What this means is that humanity is beginning to go places where it has never gone before: there's plans to terraform Mars within the next 20 years. (Some celestial bodies can be terraformed like Mars, others like the moon can't; it depends on their composition and to some extent, location.)
There's also plans to begin inhabiting (via bubble-like colonies) the moon within the next ten years, and to expand that within the next 50 years to other celestial bodies: asteroids, moons, other planets, and such. Those plans are, incidentally, directly tied to the efforts of people working in the deep-sea city of Atlantis, a bubble-city founded on the bottom of the ocean as a science experiment.
Incidentally, as you might expect, Atlantis at one point got transported accidentally back in time, creating a stable time loop (refer to my previous blog on that) where it took them 20 years to get back home, in which time the legend of their city was born, which caused the name to exist in the future and idea be formed. This bumps up the above figures: thanks to the advancements made in those 20 years (which, thanks to the timing, makes them come back a mere 2 hours after they vanished), the project for the moon colonization is bumped up to being within three years, and plans to expand the program are down to a conservative estimate of 30, maybe as early as 15.
I'm pretty sure I did a ramble covering the magic handle, about how Magic A is Magic A, Magic B is Magic B, Magic C might have elements of A and B but is still C, Magic D is magic D, the whole works about Alpha-magic and Beta-magic, compared to systematic (named) magic which elemental magic is a type of.
So howsabouts some religion, now?
Well, I've already basically told you that some myths/legends/folklore are real superheroes that got immortalized in time, so it goes to figure that at least some religions have basis in fact. In this case, I'm tackling a big one, potentially with controversy in regards to the Rubyverse: the Abrahamic religions, and how they work.
The easiest place to start is by talking about their champion on earth: Lucy the Lightbringer, a magical girl with extraordinarily-powerful light powers, extremely good control over darkness, some temperature control on the side (heat/cold), and an incredibly strong spirit, free willed, charismatic superhero, who inspires those she meets to become better, to become heroes, themselves. She's a lot like Ruby, in fact, falling under the same type of classification if not for Lucy not having a transformation trinket (which is needed to be defined as a Rider--even Amy has one, via contact lenses to hide her vampire eyes). The main difference is that while both keep a low-profile, Lucy wanders across the world, traveling from location to location on her whims, whereas Ruby is stationary.
As you might have guessed...Lucy is in fact Lucifer. The Lucifer, holding shapeshifting powers but currently incarnated in a female form because Lucy prefers a female form. (As an Angel, Lucifer is technically neither male nor female, and similar to Death, can take on whatever form she pleases...which she currently prefers as female.) As a champion for God.
The logic behind this being that while Lucy had been a fallen angel of God, the fallen angel in fact, that they've had basically an eternity to make it up, especially since the concept of time works in entirely alien ways with entities such as themselves. (Years for us can be days for them, days for them can be years for us, it really depends on how much they're involved in humanity, really. But while stories of them have only existed for a few thousand years, they've had, by their standards, much, much longer to duel it out.)
An important factor here to consider is that Lucy is a child of God, and God loves all his children, even though he has a slight bias towards humanity. The whole corruption thing was a cause of much strife, but ultimately, they're still family, and God was willing to forgive Lucy. It was mainly on Lucy's end that kept Lucy as the guardian of hell. Basically, being sent to hell was God effectively grounding Lucy, telling Lucy "go to your room", with instructions not to come out until he-at-the-time had thought of his-at-the-time's actions. And when she finally decided to mull it over, they had a long, long talk, and were able to make peace with themselves.
After which, she basically took off where she was originally, as God's #1 archangel. She remains a bit of a minor deity herself, worshiped under a number of different names, some as evil, some as good, some as neither evil nor good, but in the modern times, she mostly walks among us as one of us.
For what it's worth...her father, what people of Abrahamic religions call God, is not what the Rubyverse would call an ultimate God. He's a being on near-equal footing with Death, but contrary to the stories of the Bible, is not the creator of everything, nor the absolute ruler of heaven and hell. He does, however, hold so much influence over all of them that he is, effectively, the God of gods: other divine beings consider Him to be their ruler.
He has the power to match it, too. (Note: like others, He is technically not actually a he. As a force of nature on near-equal strength to Death itself, He is technically better defined as an 'it'. However, because the vast majority of humans consider Him to be a wise man, that is how He usually manifests. It helps that He once decided to incarnate Himself in human form as the superhero Jesus to feel what it's like--and for clarity, His relationship in there was that He wasn't Jesus, but was inside of Jesus as the force driving him, essentially similar to a spirit totem except with more influence; Jesus and Him separated after Jesus's death, with Jesus inheriting many of the duties of God, forever linked to Him. So basically, in the Rubyverse, it's equally as confusing as it is in ours: Jesus was God, and still is, yet wasn't God, and still isn't. He was, however, a direct divine instrument of God, like Lucy is in the modern day.)
He might not have created the universe, and He is bound to follow the rules of it...but He can manipulate circumstances pretty heavily. Think of Him as being a bit of a reality warper--in fact, the ultimate reality warper. He can see every possible timeline, and while He can't control which ones happen, He can exert his influence to make certain generally more favorable timelines more likely to exist, thus His benevolence. He can also make some contrived coincidences come to reality, when need be.
But for the most part, nowadays, He leaves things be, in part because He lets lesser entities do most of the work, and in part because He doesn't wish to interfere. That's one thing He used to do more with a heavy-hand, and which Lucy talked Him out of, ultimately convincing Him that while He can see every timeline possible, that humanity should ultimately have the choice to choose their path, even if the path they walk is not nearly as good a one as He sees possible for them. Thus, He mostly makes only the slightest, subtle changes, mostly in answer to prayers. He typically tries to make it so that someone can find a way to bring a wish to life, creating happiness.
He also helps souls with the afterlife. Bad souls go to hell, good souls go to heaven, but He tends to try and get as many souls upside as possible, even though hell is usually not nearly as much of the punishment as it should be (again in large part thanks to His influence), because heaven's just better.
For the record, because He recognizes that He is not, truly, an absolute God, he prefers to go by names. Throughout the millennia, He's had different names, but for the most part, the names He prefers are Han and Ivan. (Han because of an interpretation I heard where YHWH would be the last sound a person makes, a 'hah' type sound, and turning it into a common name. Ivan by similar logic, except with the Y becoming tangible. I-han-->Ivan. Made sense to me.)
This actually has some storyline relevance, by the way. Not God. He doesn't even appear. Nor Lucy. If she appears at all, it'd be as a cameo. But it's knowledge directly tied to the above that's really, really plot-significant. And also very, very much spoilerz, so no talkey. Not even here.
That's about all I had, soyeah, off to work again.