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Michael Kusi May 2018
Message stepped off of the Isotrain Mechanism and breathed a sigh of relief. That breath was labored, because of the remains of Vibrate’s destruction of Schmita. “We will rename you Dahomeyia”, she spoke out loud. “You will suffer no more”, she said as her words echoed in the air. She listened for the space to speak back and nodded as if to agree with what she already said. She looked back and saw The Alliance Project gingerly step off of the spacecraft.
Message shouted at him, “You can breathe the air, it is like your oxygen silly”. The Alliance Project looked up and said, “This planet is beautiful it is just like Earth”. “Our Earth”, Message replied. The Alliance Project pointed to Drent, who was directing the construction of the new planet.” I could think of no better man to tell people what to do”, The Alliance Project mused. “I can”, Message  replied smiling, looking into his eyes.
The Alliance Project and Message got to the Rulership Palace in the middle of their new kingdom. It was still being renovated, but the main body was finished. The Alliance Project took off his shoes, grinned and said, “Come here, I want to show you something.”  Message giggled and pulled back and said, Chances are, I already saw it.
He motioned Message over and turned on his laptop. It turned on and The Alliance Project asked, “Did Drent set up the wi-fi yet. I have to watch my movies.” Message pointed,
“The wi-fi is Dahomeyian Rulership and the password is Legate.” She sighed for a second, but The Alliance Project did not notice as he typed.
“Got it!” The Alliance Project yelped as he pulled up their wedding. Message smiled as The Alliance Project pointed out the people of the Federation and his law school who were there.
He then fast-forwarded to the wedding kiss. He teased, “Aww we bumped noses.” “You bumped my nose first!”, Message giggled.
They watched the rest of the wedding until they were in each other’s arms. The Alliance Project whispered to himself, as Message laid asleep next to him. “This is the peace I looked for and that I always wanted. It may be on a different planet, but maybe I needed to come here to find rest.”
“Honey did you say something?” Message questioned as she pushed up on the sofa. “Nope”, The Alliance Project said as he cracked a smile. It was the first smile he had in a while.
Suddenly The Alliance Project’s cell phone rang. “Enjoying the wi-fi?” Drent said laughing.  “It’s like the dial-up in my youth but it would have to do.” The Alliance Project replied.
Message got up and said, I have to go meet with the Peacemonger of Strengthened Weapons, I will be back. They kissed briefly, and Message stepped out of the door. The Alliance Project looked under the bed and pulled out the Abyss Sword.  He held it up in the air and whispered, “Old friend you have been retired.” Then the Alliance Project kissed the Abyss Sword.
“I hope you don’t kiss Message with that mouth!” The Alliance Project rapidly turned about and saw Drent, with a smile that was half-smirk, half-grin. They embraced, former enemies who were now not only friends, but relatives.  Drent sat down on the couch and said, I have to show you something important.
Drent got onto The Alliance Project’s computer and pulled up a Interstellar Map. He pointed to a dot on the Map and said, “See that?” “What, I don’t see anything” The Alliance Project squinted as he looked at a tiny dot moving across the Realmic Span. Drent said, “I think that is Essence and she comes to planets who are in danger of being destroyed. She is headed to our planet.” The Alliance Project questioned, “ But she is so far away, what do we do in the meantime?”
“We wait.”
Michael Kusi Apr 2018
Dragon-Man watched in horror as Vibrate readied her soldiers for war.
Such a force of arms was so formidable Dragon-Man had not seen before.
Suddenly Vibrate sniffed the air and said, I smell the hired gun of Dragon-Power.
Bring him to me alive so I can show him the destruction that is ours.
Dragon-Man prepared to teleport and Dialect grabbed his arm saying, We have to draw them out.
Here come with me, I can set up a perimeter and this is the best route.
They went through the forest, and Dragon-Man was holding his sore arm.
Hoping that Dialect was correct, and that his plan would prevent more harm.
Suddenly Dialect turned and said, Give me your Abyss Sword, it talks to her essence.
We can use it to send Vibrate an unforgivable and unforgettable message.
Dragon-Man stuck the Abyss Sword in the ground, and suddenly they could see through Vibrate’s eyes.
Dragon-Man was shocked at the pure evil coming from Vibrate’s life-force, she wanted only demise.

This is our last stand, Dialect murmured, and Dragon-Man urged, So we should go back to the others.
Dialect nodded and said, We must tell the Covenantial Project because he is Vibrate’s brother.
That thing has a sibling?! Dragon-Man asked in horror, They were a part of the Infinite Order
They were all in charge of the Manifest Blades, which were the Abyss, Templar, and Trifecta Swords.
Tyrus Animus reigned over all as the Chieftain Caesar of the Project Overlord.
The Covenantial Project was supposed to **** Vibrate but he failed so the Abyss Sword rejected him.
The Order broke up, because then the Covenantial Project was unworthy to fight Vibrate then.
Vibrate escaped, and Tyrus Animus told the Covenantial Project there was one way to redeem.
There must be a Federation formed with the Dragon-Power to battle Vibrate’s schemes.
Then the Abyss Sword went down to the Earth and the Dragon-Power examined its contents.
And used the Midas Template to make the Federation Weapons with their last disembodiment.
Dragon-Man was shocked, because this was the origin of the Federation.
But he dare not ask how Vibrate was related to Shark-Devil and Drozen.
Dialect took the Abyss Sword out of the ground and said, You are a part of this Order now.
Because you were not just chosen to be the Alliance Project to take Vibrate’s place, you were endowed.
So kneel before a former Faceless Tongue, and accept your incoming destiny first.
Dragon-Man accepted this sword with gratitude, knowing he would save this universe.

Vibrate angrily shook her head and said, Someone is tampering with my sight in my head.
Whoever is so insolent to use tricks to do this, I want him and his world dead.
Dragon-Man took the Abyss Sword, touched it and got back to Message and the rest.
He stood there gasping, as the Intellic Armor covered his being right through to his chest.
The Abyss Sword also transformed, and had a javelin, blade, and fireweapon capability.
It was just the sort of instrument to play Vibrate’s demise and do it readily.
Where is the Chietain Caesar, Dragon-Man asked, and Message asked, We don’t even know he exists.
But if he does we would badly need him for a fight on a godforsaken rock like this.
The Covenantial Project lowered his head, knowing he failed where Dragon-Man had prevailed.
But as a fellow member of Project Overlord, he had to help Dragon-Man in this tale.
Suddenly Dialect said, I hear something, it is the voice of evil that creeps in the shadows.
Message shouted to the Federation behind her, Brave manpeople, get ready for battle!
The Federation readied its Mechanisms for firing on who would dare invade.
The Covenantial Project and the Alliance Project each stepped forward with their blade.
The Covenantial Project wielded the Doctrinian Scythe that was ready made.
Suddenly Vibrate appeared to him in the midst and said, I was brought here by your bloodthirst.
And The Covenantial Project you cannot beat me, because you are cursed.
The Alliance Project shouted, Come down and fight us, or else hold your peace.
Vibrate walked in front of The Alliance Project and said, I have always wanted to see a Project deceased.
Suddenly her footsoldiers arrived, but they were shot down by the Federation Missiles.
Message looked grim in the face, and when Dialect raised his hand it became a crystal.
She raised the Celestial Blade Saber and Winged Fire-Lance to cut it off, as Dialect let out a cry.
He sank to his knees and Vibrate called out, I told you that who was in my head would have to die.
The Alliance Project switched his Abyss Sword to Javelin Mode, and threw it into Vibrate’s eye.
The crystals on Dialect’s hand broke, and he breathed a sigh of relief.
But the Battle of Paldon was upon them, one that they might not be able to leave.
Michael Kusi May 2018
The Alliance Project raised an eyebrow and said, I have heard of him before.
But I thought he was killed by Paris in the mythological Trojan War
They used a bow, and he was hit in the heel and fell down dead and simple.
I remember I hurt my heel once but I survived, so much for him being invincible.
Message looked at him and continued, He was to get the Parisia Bow that slayed.
Lady of the Night and Breastplate-Bearer looked at each other the same time dismayed.
The Covenantial Project chimed in, He is the son of Vibrate, who was also known as Thetis.
Feces? Asked The Alliance Project, No Thetis, the one who got the remains of Achilles
She vowed that any lifeform who would do this was only worthy of death.
And since Troy was gone, Thetis said that no one could survive who had breath.
Message and Lady of the Night stood there were mouths open, astounded.
The Covenantial Project said, She was given the powers of Vibrate by the Founded.
She then set up the Council of the Faceless Tongues, and made an alliance with Drozen.
But watching them do all of this was a supreme entity called the Committee of the Chosen.

Lady of the Night asked, So what do we do now, and The Covenantial Project said.
We must get that bow to shoot Achilles in his heel, so that we can **** him dead.
His heel is his weak spot, but also he is looking for Hepastionite armor to wear.
But this armor causes madness after a while, because the strength is too much to bear.
The Alliance Project said, Then we must split up, and make sure not to confront Achilles until necessary.
Because if we try to take on Achilles without our full strength, he would get the best of we.
Message said, There is one more thing we need to get, and that is the Myrimidon Helmet.
This Helmet gives the wearer war-vision, and makes him invincible in combat.
The Dragon-Power then spoke as a whole, The resources of the Federation are at your disposal.
Because our brethren dinosaurs are not alive to see this because of Vibrate, they are all fossils.
Lady of the Night took her Nike sling and said, I will get the bow and act as the marksman.
You two lovers get the rest of the other stuff, we should start moving and stop talking.
They set out to find the weapons, which were a needle in a needle stack.

Breastplate-Bearer asked Message, do you measure your life by human years or dog ones?
She shot him a look that told him and everyone else in the room that she was the wrong one.
They walked out of the door of the Arurian Tower, and Message and the Alliance Project left.
The Covenantial Project went to communicate with the rest of the Federation with his heft.
The Alliance Project said, It’s getting late, so we can search tomorrow, today we play basketball.
Message jumped up and down and said, Oh goodie! I bet I can put baskets inside of them all.
The Alliance Project suppressed a smile as they came to the court, and gave Message the rock.
Message kept shooting and missing and The Alliance Project called out in his talk
You’re supposed to shoot as if you want to make it, as Message ran after her shot.
Message held the ball out with her hands and said You take it, This basket hates me a lot.
The Alliance Project took the basketball and shot it, all of his shots were swish.
Message looked at him with her mouth open, as The Alliance Project did not miss.
He said, I used to play college basketball, and I still play pick-up games without defeat.
We can play one-on one to 11, and I will school you on how to play basketball in these streets
Message tried to play defense, but her stance was all wrong and one time she got crossed.
The Alliance Project scored 5 baskets in a row, and she looked very lost.
Suddenly she smiled, and then as he got the ball to shoot she got close.
The Alliance Project looked into her eyes, and suddenly he froze.
Message stole the ball and went in for a lay-up and threw the ball in the air.
She raised her hands in frustration and said, You win! I cant make it and I don’t care.
The Alliance Project got the ball and said, It’s ok, we can call it a tie.
We are all good at certain things, you might be good at,,, at,,, Then he sighed.
Good at what?, She demanded, as she approached him like it was a march.
The Alliance Project stepped back and said, Good at having the keys to my heart.
Michael Kusi May 2018
Achilles came out of the ground and quickly shook off the dirt.
He thought to himself, These puny Trojans are in for a world of hurt.
I would have finished the job but I died, and the difference is telling.
Achilles laughed to himself, And their history books say the Trojan War was about Helen.
My son, My son, Achilles heard the voice of Vibrate in his head as he did in the past.
Who are you, asked a soldier holding a gun, as Achilles stood there steadfast.
Are you a Trojan, Achilles asked as he cocked his head to one side.
I am American, the soldier said as he felt uncomfortable as he replied.
Achilles growled, You fought with Troy and left alive, but your time to die is now.
The soldier fired his gun but all the bullets bounced off, and the soldier asked How?
Achilles said, You cannot **** who already died in this war, but I can **** those who cannot survive it.
Achilles pushed their shoulders together so that they touched and crossed. the soldier fell down split.
Achilles then saw a mass of American troops pointing guns and artillery at his face.
He laughed and said in a bellow, Today you will be known both as casualties and a national disgrace.

Message and The Alliance Project came to his condo, and The Alliance Project turned on the T.V
He was glad that Message and him were able to talk and hang out so freely.
Suddenly there was a breaking alert on the news, that a man has killed American servicemen.
He could not be killed by artillery and missiles, so these weapons were all worthless then.
Message said, We have to get him now, and The Alliance Project protested, But we just got here.
Message grabbed him by the arm and said, I have a lot of emotions and all of them is not fear.
The Alliance Project pushed his watch and the Isotrain Mechanism came in front.
Message ran to the Isotrain Mechanism and The Alliance Project called out, Wait for me, ***.
The Isotrain Mechanism was headed to Achilles, because he had forced her hand.
Then Message piped up and said, So there is something that I still do not understand.
There are three projects with three blades, where is the Templarite Project with his blade?
Maxus, the automatic intercom said, His name is Arthur, and he is in Avalon sleeping and laid.
He is to come to protect, when the people need him the most to save their fate.
Because Excalibur is the third blade, but it was taken back by the Lady of the Lake.

The Alliance Project and Message got there and a general said, Stand down we can handle him.
Message yelled, All those dead bodies beg to differ, just imagine all those flags needed to bury them!
The general shook his head and said, In all my years of combat, I have never seen anyone this strong.
The Alliance Project replied, Step aside General, you will not have to see him for long.
The soldiers parted ways, and The Alliance Project and Message approached Achilles.
Message turned up her nose at him and said disdainfully, You smell filthy.
Achilles roared and replied, You smell like a concubine that use to be in my palace.
Message got goosebumps at the way he said it with such malice.
The Alliance Project said, Your reign of terror is over, and Achilles said I bring no rain.
Just misery and destruction, and those who survive will know nothing but pain.

The Alliance Project and Achilles fought, and The Alliance Project was forced back.
Message said, Lay your hands off of him, and put the Winged Fire Lance for her attack.
Achilles stepped back and said, That is my spear I used to **** Trojans, give it to me.
Message retorted, Well it’s mine now, and if you want it, come fight me.
Achilles fought Message, and she did worse than the Alliance Project.
Defeat looked to be inevitable because victory was not a prospect.
Message used the Celestial saber to stab Achilles in the chest, he just grinned.
Message stepped back and wondered what kind of fight they were in.
Suddenly an arrow traveled through the air, and hit Achilles in his heel.
The Alliance Project and Message looked up at who could aim with such skill.
It was Lady of the Night on the hill, seated in a wheelchair with a bow.
The only problem was, Achilles did not fall down dead down below.
He laughed and said, It’s painful, but I’ll live, Do you really think this would make me die.
The Alliance Project, Message, and Lady of the Night did not know how to reply.
The Achilles heel story is for children, you should know that my demise is more than a foot wound.
Nothing did **** me but betrayal, but you fools listened to fairytales and you assumed.
Lady of the Night retracted the wheelchair into her back and stood up, ready for war.
Against an enemy who might just be unstoppable, such power has never been seen before.
Michael Kusi May 2018
Message drew out her Celestial Blade Saber and prepared for The Conflict.
But she felt the energy of Nihilist, and knew she was the strongest warrior she tangled with.
Message spoke to The Alliance Project and said, I’ve never encountered a woman who has basically goddess power.
The Alliance Project said on the watch, Stand down and we’ll get you out of there, this fight isn’t yours.
Nihilist, Tell that loved one of yours good-bye, because this is now your end and doom.
The Alliance Project turned on the Isotrain Mechanism and said, We must rescue Message soon.
Breastplate-Bearer ram their ship, and the Projects will go in and help Message fight.
Message is too good a warrior to lose to this type of power, because we have The Insight.
Message knew that her best chances were at long-range, because up close she would have died.
She touched her Celestial Blade Saber all the way up to the end, to fuel the Acidier flames inside.
She then pulled a button on the handle of the Saber, and fired it as Nihilist charged.
Nihilist kept coming as each missile from the Blade Saber hit its mark.
Nihilist grabbed Message by the waist with her hands and held her up, all the time mocking.
She shouted, No enemy can see me and live, and Message taunted, The Federation is coming, keep talking.
Nihilist pushed on both of Message’s sides, and Message felt her hips and ribs go out of alignment.
She started to black out and wondered if it was wise to get this assignment.
Suddenly Message had an idea, and put the Celestial Blade Saber through’ Nihilist’s foot to the ground.
And used the Death-Touch to **** Nihilist’s leg, so it was lifeless, and Nihilist roared with a raging sound.
Nihilists tried to pull the Blade Saber out but it would not come out, it was attracted to the Death Touch.
Message knew that she did not have time so she had to go to the cockpit because she was in a rush.

She ran to the cockpit, and she saw activity all around the ship as they prepared for the fight.
But Message remembered that on spacecraft like this, the cockpit was to the right.
She entered the cockpit, and used the Death-Touch on both of the pilots.
Message then told The Alliance Project, I will join the Isotrain Mechanism by flying into it.
The Alliance Project responded incredulously, You will crash our ship? Message giggled, You was going to do it first.
She started to fly Vibrate’s spacecraft into the Isotrain Mechanism, but made sure to crash into its side.
That way the Projects could get out and fight, and no one on the Mechanism could have died.
The Celestial Blade Saber suddenly snapped into Message’s hand, and she thought Nihilist is free.
And with all that pent-up energy and anger, she is surely coming after me.
The Covenantial Project said, We are on Vibrate’s ship, and are headed to link up with you.
Suddenly Nihilist burst in and said, Tell me, what would it feel like to see your insides on the outside too.
Message wrestled with Nihilist, and although Nihilist was stronger, Message was skilled in hand combating.
Soon Message was on the floor with Nihilist’s foot on her chest, and Message wondered if this was the end.
Nihilist said, You will die by the blade you used so badly, and pulled out a blade to strike her neck
She ****** down but the blade was stopped short, by the Excalibur of the Templarist Project.

Arthur pushed Nihilist off of Message and they soon began to fight with respective blades anew.
Message was so engrossed with Arthur’s blade skill she forgot she had a mission to do.
Meanwhile the Covenantial Project and the Alliance Project were fighting Achilles, and doing well.
So well that Vibrate was aggravated, and she was holding a scepter and muttering about hell.
Message knew that that scepter was the key to something and she resolved to steal.
So she put the Concealment Garment on a Netherbeast, and turned him into Message to be killed.
Message then kicked him to Vibrate, who utterly disposed of this Netherbeast in disguise.
But as Vibrate was doing so, she momentarily turned her eyes.

Message snatched the scepter out of her moving hands, and suddenly she heard a voice.
It was the words of her father the Legate, who said, You were my one and only choice.
To hold the Dahomeyian Rulership and lead the Federation to victory,
This power is now yours, and you wield the Dahomeyian Kingfather Scepter.
Vibrate knew with horror that the scepter was out of her hands.
And was now in the reach of someone who was purposed to command.
Message said to Vibrate, This is your end, you will die here on this ship.
Your reign of terror across the universe is over, because of what I grip.
Message and Vibrate charged, and soon much blood was shed.
But Vibrate saw to her horror that all of it was hers, and that she had bled.
Suddenly Message pushed the Kingfather Scepter into Vibrate’s chest.
Her chest collapsed into her backbone, and she fell dead and lifeless.
Achilles looked up and said, Mother! as he sank to one knee in respect.
The Alliance Project said grimly, You’ll join her, and he put the Abyss Sword between shoulder and neck.
The Alliance Project then held up Achilles and screamed, This **** was made by this face!
This was the weak spot of anyone, The Alliance Project pushed Achilles off the ship into space.
Message took the Kingfather Scepter and roared, Where is Nihilist, I have unfinished business.
A Netherbeast was speaking to Nihilist from afar and said, It is better to retreat than die in this.
Nihilist went into a Beacon Pod that detached from the cockpit, after warding off Arthur’s blow.
She could not believe that someone so righteous could be so strong, so she knew she had to go.
Nihilist said, I will take the place of Vibrate, and Achilles only wanted to conquer a kingdom not there.
Then all will know the name of Nihilist, and when people hear it, they will tremble with The Fear!
Michael Kusi May 2018
Message cocked her head as if to understand what Arthur had just said. She pulled a lock of hair back and questioned, “All of them? How?!” Arthur sighed and said, “When time was not, Mythology
was. He is made up of twelve force-beings who many people in the past had to worship. They were joined by the strength of the Five Arguments, Power, Dominion, Acceleration, Presence, and Existence. There is this legend that an Argument called the Thirteenth was supposed to join and did not. If one of these
arguments are missing, they will not exist, or cease to exist the way Mythology is as a composite being. But these force-beings were always in disharmony, and as a result chaos and calamity was in the world.
The only beacon of hope in the world was Troy.”
Message nodded and said, “So that was how the Trojan War began?” Arthur said, “ Yes. Forget that Helen and most the beautiful woman nonsense, it was only a façade. What Mythology really wanted was to destroy the world, just as he wants to destroy this one. When the Trojans scattered all over the world his mission was deterred at every turn by their descendants throughout time. ” Message gripped her chair so hard that she thought that her veins would pop. Message inquired, “But what can I do about this threat? The Assembly of the Many voted me down and if I try to take action, those fools can take away my Rulership, as they did my father’s.” Arthur grinned slyly and said, “You can’t do
anything, but me and the other Projects can. We serve the Dahomeyian Rulership but are independent, and we don’t answer to the Assembly of the Many. That way, if anything happens….Message and Arthur yelled out together, “The Dahomeyian Rulership is not responsible!”
Message pursed her lips as she said, “ Whatever you need, I can give it to you.” Arthur said, “We first need to go on a reconnaissance mission before we can take further steps to combat Mythology. We need to know the enemy.You can stay back so if we need anything we can contact you and you can
forward it to us by Galvatar watches. I will also give you Lady of the Night’s hook-up so all of the Federation can be on stand-by. “ Message nodded, relieved that something was finally going to be done. Arthur stood up and as his walked out he said, “ Tell The Alliance Project I have a mission for him so his
days as a house husband are over.” Message laughed.
When the Alliance Project came home, he was startled to see Message crouched over the laptop with a familiar look on her face. He thought, “This is the face she has when she is determined to
fight…..””Honey!” Message said as she ran to The Alliance Project and gave him a kiss. “ Don’t honey me, what are you up to?” Message smiling seductively at him and said, “ Just a little Battlefare. I was going to send the Projects to fight Mythology.” The Alliance Project sighed and replied, “ What did the Assembly of the Many say?” Message’s smile turned into a snarl and she snapped, “The Projects are under the Federation and I am their head. It was an executive decision.” She also turned around and
said, “Need I remind you I am your head as well?” The Alliance Project sat down and pondered this decision. He got up and said, “Ok, where is Arthur and the Covenantial Project. We can bring some Scouts from Earth and go. “ “But” The Alliance Project said, waving his hands around, “This is only reconnaissance, not a combat mission.” “Right” Message, agreed, but her fingers were crossed behind her back.” “ Why are you winking” The Alliance Project demanded. “I had something in my eye,”
Message laughed.
Message, Arthur, The Covenantial Project, and The Alliance Project were in the Dahomeyian Arsenal preparing for the mission against Mythology. The Covenantial Project said, “ Mythology can
sense courage, so we need Strength Suppressors to be put on the side of the Isotrain Mechanism. Arthur and the Alliance Project nodded in agreement. The Covenantial Project then said, “I will pilot and Arthur will wield the Lifeforce Seeking Missiles. We have to see who Mythology interacts with on Dahomeyia,
because I am sure he has spies. Then we will disengage, go back up, and Message you try to convince the Assembly of the Many that Mythology is the biggest threat there is. I will send out communications to Essence because we need her in this fight.” Everyone nodded.
Far off in the distance, in a place measured not by light-years but by light-timelines, there should a woman warrior with a wicked recurved bow in her hand. She sighed as she thought of how she was not able to get to Troy, Camelot and Dahomeyia in time. Someone tapped her on the shoulder and asked, “Essence?”
She turned around.
“Dahomeyia needs you now more than ever and  sooner rather than later.”
Michael Kusi May 2018
Message and Lady of the Night brought Arthur back, and he looked at the place.
It is not Camelot but it would have to do, mused Arthur with a smile on his face.
The Covenantial Project walked in and Arthur yelled, Merlin, I thought you were gone!
Merlin?! Said Message and Lady of the Night at the same time, and their surprise was strong.
Yes, I was Merlin to the Britons, but I was there to guard the Excalibur until Arthur was done
The Covenantial Project explained, then when Arthur pulled sword from stone, I knew he was The One.
The second Project in our order, I left you with the Lady of the Lake while I went to gather the Federation.
I also came back to your island as Detective Sherlock Holmes, because I knew that I could not be patient.
What your time called mysticism that time called deduction and investigation, it worked for me either way.
So here I am as the Covenantial Project, defender of the Scythe Sword, standing by you today.
Arthur asked, So where is my Round Table, and should not a man with Excalibur have a throne.
Breastplate-Bearer snorted and said, The only throne you have is porcelain, and you sit on it alone.
Arthur said, I don’t know what you mean, and The Covenantial Project said, Camelot was destroyed.
The Saxons were men sent by Vibrate to ruin the new Troy, Briton, such evilness they deployed.
But instead of annihilating Briton they lived there, so Vibrate now sought to ruin everything.
She knew that you were asleep, but she never could fathom that you could awake my king.
I took on the persona of Detective Sherlock Holmes in the past century, I knew she would be back.
And there were clues left by the Saxons in the past years, as to the nature of her attack.
The people called the Whisperers fought me at every turn, killing and committing crime.
But I knew that if I did not give up, the knowledge I sought would soon be mine.
But what about Watson, Lady of the Night asked, her curiosity heighted by this news.
The Covenantial Project answered, He was one of the first Cloaked Scouts of the Federation, so good.
He is buried in a masoleum, that lies outside the London neighborhood.

Message asked, So what do we do now, we will need the entire Federation for war.
Cloaked Scouts, The Knighthood Ways, and the Projects need to be assembled before….
She stopped short, because she dare not think what would happen if Achilles could rampage.
The Alliance Project sat up and said, Now we can go out and go against Achilles in a campaign start!
To attack him now is futile, because we need to gather the entire forces so he does not tear us apart.
We have to misdirect him, so that he goes off in the wrong direction and it takes him longer.
Because the more time it takes for him to get to us, a greater chance we have because we are stronger.
The Covenantial Project said, I will go, and with my Merlinic powers combined with Detection.
I will throw him off balance so that he is confused and heads in the wrong direction.
I don’t have to engage with him directly, although I have enough power for that son.
Arthur and Message come with me, Two Projects are always better than one.
Lady of the Night stay here, and keep surveillance on Vibrate.
I will put on the Eclipse visor, so that I can open up the eye-gate.
You guys can call the Federation together, so we can attack Achilles when he is frustrated.
To win the ultimate victory against this Son of Banishment, and finally have him defeated.
All of them nodded, and Message asked, But what about Vibrate who is coming.
The Covenantial Project answered grimly, She can share in the fate of her dead son.
The Federation would be formed and reinforcements are coming, we would leave to attack.
And until Vibrate is destroyed there will be no peace, because we will not come back.
The Alliance Project you should heal from the last fight with Achilles, we will need you for this trouble.
Because this fight is more than a battle, it is a universal struggle.

The Alliance Project nodded and lay down, as Breastplate-Bearer and Lady of the Night toiled on him.
Arthur, Message, and the Covenantal Project went out, and boarded the Isotrain Mechanism.
As it took off Arthur said, This does not feel like Llamei, and Message giggled, That is a weird name for a woman.
Arthur shot daggers at her and said, Llamei was the War-horse for a High King, watch your tone.
Suddenly the Isotrain Mechanism was going down, and Message said, I think someone is on it.
Arthur took out Excalibur and said, Hand me the Galvatar Scabbard, a lot of blood is going to be shed.
None of it should be mine, and at the end of all of this, our problem will be stabbed dead.
Message gave him the scabbard and went behind Arthur as the Covenantal Project tried to land.
She kept on shaking her head and said, I thought they were about chivalry, but I don’t understand.
Achilles was standing on top of the Isotrain Mechanism and yelled, You will die, you Trojan
Arthur pulled out Excalibur and calmly said, You must be ended, you menace who is The Unspoken.
Message took out her Celestial Blade Saber and tip-toed saying, This is a wobbly place to yield.
She spoke to The Covenantial Project on her watch, Make sure to land in the next available field.
Achilles and Arthur ran towards each other, two ancient warriors preparing to fight.
Suddenly the Isotrain Mechanism tipped over, and all three of them fell because of that flight.
But Excalibur acted like a parachute, and brought Message and Arthur safe to the grass.
And Achilles was basically undead anyway, so he landed not far past.
Message and Arthur landed together, and Arthur had a strange ****** smile indeed.
What is wrong, asked Message,Arthur replied, I lost the healing scabbard, so I will see if I can bleed.
Michael Kusi Mar 2018
The Covenantial Project then stepped back to work-examine
A figure rode forward on a Centaur-Raptor and asked what is our canon?
The Covenantial Project responded- You will form the Armored Trilogy.
With Dragon-Man and Drent, you Chrysatium will head the Helion Knighthood Way to make three.
Chrysatium urged, We must go now, and The Covenantial Project said, Patience is a virtue.
You must let the humans and Dahomeyians make peace with themselves, before they hurt you.
Chrysatium then questioned, so what do we do now, The Covenantial Project said we lie low.
The Legate is coming and they will be allied with us faster than any of them know.
There is a fish minion called Shark-Devil, he is minor but an inconvenient insight.
I will **** him, said Chrysatium, and The Covenantial Project said, Hush this is Dragon-Man’s fight.
Then what is my fight, Chrysatium asked, Your mission now is not to fight but to reinforce.
Because when his fight goes bad you Chrysatium will be the one to set it on the right course.

Chrysatium grumbled but went back to work on some Centaur-Raptor wings.
He wished that the Covenantial Project was not such an expert on everything.
Because battlefare was his specialty, why did the Covenantial Project know more than he did.
The Covenantial Project went back to sit down on the Podium Grid.
Chrysatium come here, and Chyrsatium ran to the Covenantial Project leader.
See this seat with a chair, Chrysatium nodded, This is for the one who is the Deciperment reader.
One by one they had died, or were destroyed in Battlefare by dark powers.
But I know for a fact there is one person out there with abilities like ours.
Can you tell me her name, Chysatium asked, and The Covenantial Project answered Lady of the Night.
Chrysatium protested, But that is impossible she does not know how to Decipherment write.
She knows more than she reveals, Chrysatium revealed with a wry smile improper.
How do you know her so well, Chrisatium demanded and the Covenantial Project said, She is my daughter.
Michael Kusi May 2018
The Netherbeasts all lined up on Planet Earth and Message roared, Now fall!
I am not a Project who will have mercy, I will take this Scepter and **** you all!
The Netherbeasts stood there all with smirks, they thought Message was bluffing.
But soon they were vaporized, because Message fired her scepter and turned them into nothing.
Message! The Alliance Project called out as he suppressed a smile
Play nice with the Netherbeasts, they just lost a war so let them live a while.
Message then turned and walked and Lady of the Night said, It is good to have peace.
Message nodded and replied, Some of us aren’t alive to see it, others died because they wouldn’t fall on their knees!
Lady of the Night laughed and said, Stop being dramatic, as they went to the Arurian Tower.
To meet on how to organize the Federation with the rest of the Dragon Power.

The Dragon Power said, We will be the advisory council to the Projects, and the Federation.
Also to the Dahomeyian Rulership, congratulations to Message on her elevation.
Message bowed her head and said, I am a ruler without a people, a queen without subjects.
So the Dahomeyian Rulership is awesome but it has no more substance.
The Alliance Project spoke up and said, People had been tried to find another home planet.
The people of Schmita were displaced, so you can be their ruler on Schmita and manage it.
We can even rename it Dahomeyia, if you are willing to take on that task.
Message jumped up and down saying, This is what I dreamed of, I am free at last.
She then asked, One more thing, before I leave and rule this kingdom to be.
The Alliance Project, will you come and govern this people with me.
Everyone smiled as The Alliance Project said, I thought I was supposed to propose.
Very well, I accept, because every new planet need a Project for it to grow.

The Covenantial Project said, You will be the Defender for this new Dahomeyia planet.
So no Drozen, no Vibrate can come around to destroy, because of your might.
Arthur, you will be the Templarist Project for Earth with you Excalibur.
There is no warrior in earth or in the stars above with your sword skill and caliber.
Message, as Dahomeyian Ruler you will be the head of the Federation.
And I will be the Commandant Project who overseas the entire organization.
All of them nodded and Message had tears in her eyes because of the joyous news.
After all of this time, she finally have her own new planet to view.
Message and The Alliance Project went home, each one of them proud.
Because they had to prepare for the Coronation, when Message would be crowned.



MAY, 2014


I, the undersigned, declare that this project is my original work and that it has not been presented in any other university or institution for academic credit.

Signature...............................................­..... Date...................................

This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as university supervisor
Signature..................................................­.. Date....................................

I dedicate this work to my Dad, Mom, my sister Lydia and my lovely brother Dun who contributed in one way or another to make this project to be successful.

I would like to thank all individuals who contributed and sacrificed their time towards completion of this project.
To my supervisor, for the guidance and support in the development of this research project, His advice and criticism made this project what it is.
Thanks to colleagues and friends for their suggestions, advice and encouragement. To all of you may God bless you abundantly for your tireless effort.

Contents Page
1.1 Background of the Study 10
1.2 Research Questions 13
1.3 Research Objectives 13
1.4 Justification of the Study 13
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
1.6 Scope of the Study 15
1.6.1Assumptions of the Study 16
2.1 Introduction 17
2.2 Common Forms of Child Abuse 17
2.2.1 Child ****** Abuse 17
2.2.2 Physiological or Emotional Abuse 17
2.2.3 Physical Abuse 18
2.2.4 Child Neglect or Abandonment 18 Physical Neglect 19 Educational Neglect 19 Medical Neglect 19
2.2.5 Child Fatalities 20
2.3 How Child Abuse Affects Academic Performance 20
2.3.1 Child Abuse and Academic Performance 20
2.3.2 Child Abuse and School Image 23
2.3.3 Child Abuse and Dropout Rate 25
2.4 Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 26
2.4.1 Role of Public Regulation 26 Nurturing and Attachment 27 Social Connections 27
2.5 Theoretical Framework 27
2.5.1 Learning Theory 28 Relationship with the Study 28
2.5.2 Family Dysfunction Theory 29 Relationship with the Study 29
3.0 Introduction 30
3.1 Site Description 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3.1 Target Population 30
3.3.2 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure 31
3.4 Description of Research Instruments 32
3.4.1 Research Instrument 32 Questionnaire 32
3.5 Data Collection Procedure 32
3.5.1 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments 33 Reliability of Research Instruments 33 Validity 33
3.6 Data Analysis and Presentation 33
4.0 Introduction 35
4.1 Background Information 35
4.1.1 Age of the Respondents 35
4.1.2 *** of the Respondents 35
4.1.3 Education Level of the Respondents 36
4.1.4 Marital Status 36
4.2 Specific Information 37
4.2.1 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 37
4.2.2 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 38
4.2.3 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 41
5.0 Introduction 43
5.1 Summary of the findings 43
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
5.4 Recommendations 46

Table 3.1 Target population 32
Table 3.1 Sample size 33
Table 4.1 Age of the Respondents 36
Table 4.2 *** of the Respondents 37
Table 4.3 Education Level of the Respondents 37
Table 4.4 Marital Status 38
Table 4.5 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 38
Table 4.6 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 40
Figure 4.1 Views of the Pupils on Abuse 41
Table 4.7 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 42

Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of child abuse on school performance in Primary Schools in Kapyemit ward, Uasin-Gishu County. The objectives of the study were: To assess the impacts of child abuse on academic performance; to determine the effects of child abuse on schools image, to identify the impacts of child abuse on pupil drop out rate, to investigate the effects of child abuse on pupil transition rate. The study employed a survey study design. The study targeted 160 respondents which includes; 5 Head Teachers, 40 Teachers, 70 Pupils and 35 parents of which a sample size of 48 was obtained from using 30%. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the head teachers while simple random sampling technique will be used to select the teachers, Pupils and parents who formed the respondents of the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented in form of tables, percentages and frequency. The study helped in the understanding of the effects of child abuse on the school performance, the realization of the roles parents and teachers play in the curbing of child abuse among pupils and raising awareness on the same.

1.1 Background of the Study
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral). These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death. In extreme cases, child abuse affects the performance of schools in the affected region (Daniel, 1978).
Performance refers to how students deal with their academic studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Performance is also the ability of a school to portray a good image which can influence the public (Decastro, 1978). There are several factors that influence the performance of a school at large, however, there is a critical factor that most researchers have avoided to discuss, and child abuse has been a crucial factor that has contributed to children’s dismal performance. Apart from children’s personal intelligence, child abuse is among then key factors contributing to poor performance of learners. Child abuse can lead to school dropping, emotional trauma or can even be fatal, hence destructing or even terminating the educational ambitions of a child. (Harris, 2005)
Worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year. According to Human Rights Watch (2001) about 30% of all severely disabled children relegated to special homes in the Ukraine died before they reached 18 years of age. UNICEF estimates that two million children died as a result of armed conflict during a recent 10-year period and that another six million were injured or disabled. In Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, over 6.5 million children annually are exposed to unwanted ****** materials over the internet; over 1.7 million of these report distress over exposure to these materials. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Each year, approximately one million children around the world are introduced into commercial ****** exploitation despite this problem; these developed countries have put measures to curb the vice. Rehabilitation schools have been formed and introduction of counseling centers as well. Despite the prevalence of child abuse in this developed nations they narrowly affect the academic performance since there are organizations put in place to curb the situation e.g. child associations, guidance and counseling institutions, and school based counseling programs (Giles, 2001)
Concern for victims of child abuse in Africa expressed by the African network of the International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) which gave five main presentations of child abuse: child labor, street wandering, ****** abuse, child battering and abandonment (Elma, 1977). Child labor according to the international labor organization (ILO), about 10 million children less than 15years in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and are exposed to substantial health hazards. Wandering of children refers to children, usually unkempt and with delinquent propensities, living rough in town. The reasons for children taking to the street remain poorly understood particularly in relation to factors in the child rather than parental hostility and economic (Dubowitz, 2002)
****** abuse is another. For example, arranged under-age marriages are common in some parts of the continent and doubt was often expressed as to whether a young girl fully gave consent to being betrothed (Galdsone, 1965). Prevalence rates in Africa are very difficult to ascertain because of the fear of disclosure by victims and lack of proper documentation. Most of the girls by reasons of shame fear or surprisingly respect for their usually older perpetrators. Physical battering is also eminent. Physical abuse of children is widely claimed to berate in the third world; however, there are anecdotes from east Africa skeletal frame or localized body areas of all first attendees aged 0-12 years at this hospital during the four-year period 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1990 (Garbarino, 1975). Sixty-nine of these reports reveals evidence of multiple bone fractures wither without evidence of rib or skull fracture. Abandonment of children to roam around the streets in what we call street children is also eminent in Africa, though valid and adequate information on abandonment are difficult to obtain due mainly to failure of offending parents to show up out of guilt, shame, judicial repercussions or a combination of these. However, some euro-American missionaries identified inter alia breech birth. (Erickson, 2003)
Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully (Galdstone, 1965). Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available. Additionally, involving stakeholders, especially agencies charged with protection, as well as involving affected children, will highlight the issues and thereby promote adherence to protection policies. Kenyan children, child activists and children organizations are pinning their hopes on the implementation of the Children’s Act to improve the lot of the nation’s youth. The Act, which came into effect on 1 March 2002, puts in place full safeguards for the rights of the child. Its passage was a giant stride in harmonizing the national laws with international agreements which Kenya has signed such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 2002)
There is hope that the new legislation will dramatically change the inattention, neglect and abuse towards child rights. The Act outlaws any form discrimination of children, and forbids Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, and child labor, among other forms of abuse. The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent **** cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government (Erickson, 2005).
Cases of child abuse in Uasin-Gishu region have been so eminent in the recent years ((Kenya Media Report, 2004). In the year 2010 and the year 2011, there was a program started to rehabilitate this behavior. This problem is clearly evident when you first arrive in Eldoret town, it is among the towns in the country with the highest number of abandoned children who keep on moving from one Centre to another seeking help from passersby. Parents have developed behaviors of abandoning their children and deliberately sending them to the town so that they can benefit from their borrowing. So to say this has led to child labor in this region. High profile cases of school dropouts have been recorded regarding the environs of this region. Young school children from different locations in Eldoret converge in town to persuade people to offer them financial assistance. Some attend school in numbered days and decide to spend some good number of days out of school.
The communities and societies around tend to assume this situation and term it as norm. A few who might seem concerned lack cooperation from the rest. This has adversely affected the performance of most of schools, hence leading to poor living standards of the people and a poisoned future of a young citizen. The problem has affected learners in regions like many areas in Uasin-Gishu County. It has really affected child development and affected their attendance and performance in school. Little intervention measures has been taken to advocate the holistic development of the children. It was to this reason that the researcher conducted the research in the named above region
1.2 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;
1) What is the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward?  
2) What are some of the proposed strategies that schools can employ to curb child abuse?
1.3 Research Objectives
The study was guided by the following research objectives;
1) To identify the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward.
2) To identify proposed strategies that can be employed to help curb child abuse.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate child abuse prevention into separate categories. For instance, strategies on the societal level include increasing the “value” of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychological problems and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children.
Very little analysis has been done to estimate the total cost of preventing child abuse and neglect or the long-term social costs of not preventing it. There is now a move to situate child abuse and neglect within the continuum of intervention which addresses multiple aspects of family behaviors. The efficacy of tackling portions of the problem of child abuse apart from broader societal needs is not known. And, perhaps prevention can only come in tandem with efforts to reduce poverty, improve health care and make children’s issues a national priority. However, despite these constraints, evaluations of prevention programs can be improved by coming to terms with definitions of key varia
Michael Kusi May 2018
Lady of the Night came down with the Parisia bow to join the fight.
And kept firing at Achilles, who brushed them off as if they were slight.
Suddenly Achilles grabbed the Alliance Project, and took a knife and dug it into his side.
The Alliance Project refused to cry out, because he had too much pride.
Message took her Fire Lance and aimed it at Achilles head.
Achilles warned, One wrong move and your lover man is dead.
Message pointed the Fire-Lance with her hand shaking at The Alliance Project.
She thought of putting him out of his misery, but she hated that prospect.
Lady of the Night screamed out, Don’t fall for it Message, he mastered psychological warfare.
Message’s mind went back to the days when she and the Alliance Project were together, and she teased him about his grey her.
Achilles cried out, You want to fight me with my own weapon, but do you want your lover to live
Choose life for him for now, and hand over my lance spear as a gift to give
Otherwise I will detach him from himself, and it would be such a tragedy
That the one who loved him watched him die in such wretched agony.
Lady of the Night retorted, If The Alliance Project has to die, he knew what he joined.
Message went down on one knee and whimpered, He does not have to die, otherwise what is the point?
She pointed the Fire Lance at the Alliance Project trembling, then handed it to Achilles too.
Achilles then laughed and threw the Alliance Project at them, who said before fainting I will **** you.
Achilles attached the Nike Sling to the Winged Fire Lance, to make the Demihim Spear.
Message and Lady of the Night looked at each other, and knew they had to leave here.
They picked the Alliance Project off the ground and when they got back, gave him to Breastplate-Bearer
But Message cried out, Who in this universe is strong enough to stop Achilles and his reign of terror?
The Covenantial Project said over the intercom, We must go to Avalon, and wake from slumber Arthur.
Otherwise with Achilles and Vibrate, we will all just be targets for the slaughter.

Breastplate-Bearer was working to heal The Alliance Project while Message and Lady of the Night went to Avalon.
Lady of the Night said to Message, I used to read Camelot as a little girl, and the knights I thought I would marry one.
Message laughed and said, You do not strike me as being a damsel in distress for a knight to save.
You would be the one to fight the monster on the Knight’s behalf, because you are too brave.
Lady of the Night blushed, but then the Isotrain Mechanism stopped the location.
Message pulled out a map and said, If I wanted to bury a king, where would I bury one.
Suddenly they saw a cave, and then they went inside to take a look.
Hoping that Arthur was not just a fiction character in Old English books.
They entered the cave and marveled at all the cave drawings.
Showing men seated around a table, with their names inscribed on chairs therein.
Message tripped over something and Lady of the Night laughed and said, Watch your step.

They both looked down and saw King Arthur, or rather what was left.
Message asked, What does your books say we do now with his body.
Lady of the Night scratched her head and said, I did not get to that part, oddly.
But I think if we bring it to the waters where the Lady of the Lake is she can help.
Message said You can bring his slimy body to these waters, speak for yourself.
So they carried King Arthur’s body on their shoulders, hoping not to be seen.
Across to where the Lady of the Lake was supposed to be, and the waters were serene.
We have your king! Message shouted, and Lady of the Night murmured, That is not the way to call.
We must show that we are worthy to serve King Arthur, or he will not come at all.
Lady of the Night looked down below and said, Woman to Woman, only we can save mankind.
Lady of the Lake rose up with Excalibur from the waters and said, That is what I can stand behind.
Put Excalibur into his hands, and he will soon awake from his slept slumber.
I am glad someone came after all these years, his death was a bad summer.
Message and Lady of the Night tried to put Excalibur into Arthur’s hands, but it would not grab.
Message finally cried out, I have an idea, and placed the blade into his fingers, hoping it would scab.
Arthur came to live and coughed, he looked at his blade and said, Caliburn is forever mine.
Message and Lady of the Night looked at each other smiling because they knew it was time.
They told Arthur he was The Templarist Project, the one who could **** Achilles with Excalibur.
Arthur said, Woe to this Achilles, I will deal with him justly as the one fated to **** him as a challenger.
Rewind this memoir back to my first foster home.   I’m reclining on the couch in the living room watching Superman, a whatever's-on-tv-saturday-afternoon-movie.   "Give A Little Bit" played from the soundtrack.  The Supertramp song reached out from the screen and into my own complicated teen-aged life.  Oh the words of that song blindsided me, hit me hard in the chest with a sad yearning, an emotion I had ignored forever like that elephant in the room too big to push out the door.  Because life was so hard, too hard, and lonely on and on, and the world gives only just enough that you keep breathing, but you wonder why.  Yes, please  someone  give just a little....
But at the time I hadn't known anything else and I just stuffed that overwhelming sad lonely feeling.  Too much need wears out a welcome in someone else's home.  It seemed most everyone else had family, security, some money for perhaps things like a pair of cleats to run in school track if you have the desire. Its called belonging or opportunity and I was acutely aware I wouldn't have it.

Fast forward 25 years; business for my glass art studio is rewarding.  I live in Cleveland, or what I called Purgatory.  I like the city though; I think the motto should be "Its Not That Bad."  A tough steel town, unpretentious to a fault, tenacious, it inspired the Clean Water Act because the river was so polluted it   caught   on   fire.  People who live there just don't quit, except that the biggest export is young people. The streets are eerily empty, the quiet steel mills are epic sculptures of rust.  But its not that bad.  Now they make a tasty beer called Burning River.  Sometimes they gamble on unconventional ideas because they've reached the end of status-quo.  One can even surf there, when the wind blows a Nor'easter in the fall, just before the lake freezes. The wave break is nicknamed "Sewer Pipe"; one can imagine why.

I biked with a club there; cycling part of my life-blood.  Life was pretty good, blessed with measures of contentment and happiness and family, even through so many challenges.  Except I'm stuck pedaling a trainer in the basement most of the long winter.  It was during an endless, gray February that I was inspired by an idea: a Velodrome.  Its one of those banked tracks people in America only see during the Olympics.  Cover it, and people could have a bicycle park all year-round with palm trees in the winter, in Cleveland.  Its a blast of a sport with serious American heritage.  A velodrome is a place where all a kid has to do is show up and with enough heart he or she can make it to the Olympics.  They wouldn't need money, just 100% heart.  It would be the kind of opportunity I didn't have when I was a kid.

So I decided to take on the responsibility to build one... not to be afraid of the price tag, or how to do it, or let a label like "disabled veteran with a head injury" daunt me.  I figured my role was to get the project started and motivate others to do other parts.  I decided not to discuss my shortcomings, introduce myself with that label, or use it as a disclaimer.   As many times as I wished I had a chalkboard sign around my neck saying, Please excuse the mess, I had to tell myself it was not an excuse.
There would need to be many others; but the fact that I knew only a dozen people on the planet didn't stop me either.  Two people inspired me.  Kyle MacDonald had a dream to barter a paper clip for something better, trading that for something else, anything else, until he had a house.  I thought I could start with an old laptop, a couple thousand dollars, and my idea. I'd work to leverage each bit of progress, not knowing what they were yet.  Thats how anything gets done, right?  Erik Weihenmayer is a blind alpine mountain climber, conquering even Everest.  He didn’t let anyone convince him what he couldn’t do, and didn’t let impairments keep him from his goal.  He didn't let blindness, the fact that he couldn't see the top as well as others, make the goal any less enjoyable for himself.  Also, there’s no way he could have done it without help.

There are no business plans for a Velodrome or someone else would have built more of them already.  I'm good at figuring things out, what with having to relearn things all the time.  I don't quit because that has never seemed to be an option.  Resourcefulness is my middle name, having to put my life back together every year or so.  Certainly the project was eccentric but as an artist I've never really cared about what others thought.  I certainly didn't have a reputation for sanity to maintain.  Professionally, I’ve had experience with so many factors of development: from paperwork at the back end as a Project Assistant, to designing it as a Mechanical Drafter, to constructing it as a Steel Detailer.  I understood this project.

Every time I discovered something needed to be done, I'd figure out how to do it.  I took an online tutorial and put together a website, attended communication seminars for better speaking skills, learned how to recruit a Board of Directors, took classes for fundraising, won a few grants, and started a non-profit.  I had to buy a couple of suits for meetings.  I kept hoping someone who knew what they were doing would take over, but that never seemed to materialize.  What I thought would be a few months turned into several hard years of work, learning new things on the fly like politics, business etiquette, computer programs, how to understand and write financials and business plans for stadiums.

It felt like cramming for finals, taking exams for classes I never attended.  I didn’t just burn my candle on both ends, I was torching it in the middle too.  Every challenge I had ever gone through seemed like it was a preparation for this one.  Many times I wondered if it was all for nothing; so many dead ends and frustrations and years where the project was barely on life-support.  Mistakes and wrong turns making people mad, losing faith in me.  Would it ever really happen?  I kept imagining what my bike wheels would look like under my handlebars as if I was ridiing on the track, listening to the same particular songs on my ipod for motivation.

A small tangent here, a digression back to the fifth grade and my favorite teacher.  He was about as tall as his students.  Mr.A (our nickname for Mr. Anderson) was a barrel-chested little person but I didn't notice it till years later because he was so cool.  He was the first teacher, the first person actually, who encouraged me to be myself.  I was a little kid, a couple years advanced and bright enough to be skipped again.  Tthat would have been ridiculous since I was already too small.  I would get my work done early in class, and he would let me spend time doing whatever, encouraging my creativity.  I distinctly remember making little scale models of parks out of construction paper.  I would start by making a rectangular tray, and then fill it in with ponds, benches, and oval or figure-8 tracks for bicycles, elevated roller-coaster paths for walking.  It was my way of creating a whimsical place that felt good in my difficult life.  No lie, I was building bicycle tracks when I was 9.  That memory faded away until I was several years into the actual Velodrome project, trying create a light-hearted park on the edge of a ghetto.  This was my life's ultimate Art Project; made with wood, steel, and tenacity.  It made me wonder about a life's purpose... still just a what if... but cruel if there wasn't anything to it.

There is a necessary role for the dreamer.  Visionaries help to break status quo, introduce new solutions.  Sorting through the banal with unique perspective, the random is reassembled into intriguing newness.  What is creative nature?  Is it obsession to improve things, the need for approval, resourcefulness within limits, or perspective outside boundaries?   Is it tenacity to the point of obsession, focus to the point of selfishness?  

Thankfully, a few devoted people did take over after a few years and worked hard to raise the serious money.  In 2012, Phase 1 of the Cleveland Velodrome opened to the public.  Presently they are raising funds for Phase 2 to cover it.   By chance I was there the day the track was finished and got a chance to ride it.  All I wanted to do was one thing: listen to those songs on my ipod and see my wheels under the handlebars on the track... in reality.  I didn't want to race or be recognized at some celebration.  I just wanted to ride a few laps, happy just to have a role in building it.  In less than a year there are already training programs, youth cycling classes, and teams competing.  Through community grants and volunteers, its all free to anyone under 18.  

Not to be forgotten, some thanks should go to one supportive teacher who helped a scrappy kid dream.    Schools measure math and science so valuable, for good reason.  But this favors one brain’s side of thinking.  Initiating and working for the construction of an urban renewal project and improving a neighborhood is traceable to the exact same idea assembled with clumsy school scissors, white glue, and construction paper, during 5th grade free time.

I can't wait to hear the news of some tough kid from East Cleveland getting to the Olympics.

— The End —