Countdown Part IV

posted Dec 5, 2018, 4:56 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted December 5th, 2018

We were all assigned rooms in the Task Force Headquarters, my door was of course guarded and the interior was absent of windows.  Only one way out. I still couldn’t use my powers unless they allowed it. I am not sure why they still felt the need to do that, because they had made it impossible for me to escape by telling the media who I was, and with their surveillance network, I would be caught within days. I searched the room for cameras or bugs. I checked under everything.  I didn’t find any cameras –though they were easy to disguise as innocuous objects so I may have missed one– which was unfortunate, because it would have been fun to mess with them. I flopped down on my bed, disappointed after my fruitless search, when I remembered the one place I hadn’t checked. I quickly jumped up, pulled the mattress off the frame, and looked around the edge until I saw the small device attached to the corner of the frame.  There, it would fit between the wood and the mattress. I picked it up and set it on the desk before moving the mattress back in place.

I turned to the bug picking it and said, “Do you really think I wouldn’t notice this? Honestly. It wasn’t even hidden that well. Were you even trying? Axel? Jordan? You could have at least made it a challenge. Though, I am not sure what you expected to gain out of this.  It’s not like I would just discuss my supper secret escape plan with myself. Even I am not that arrogant or stupid. I am not going to have a stereotypical villain monologue with no one to monologue to. Also I thought you were supposed to be training us for this mission, the whole team thing -did I mention, I don’t don’t do teams- anyway, I. Am. Bored. I know you’re listening to this, so can you just, I don’t know, respond maybe, or at least do something.”

I sighed, and threw the bug down on my desk, deciding not to dismantle it for now, it might be fun to mess with them later. I resumed my pacing crossing the small space in a few steps, back and forth across the carpet. The room was simple: a bed, desk, dresser, and not much else.  I had my laptop and phone, but I couldn’t contact anyone. They didn’t want anyone to know we were here. I heard a knock at the door and muttered, “Finally,” before saying, “Yes, what is it?”

“You are to report to the training floor Miss Morozov,” a guard replied.

I opened the door and asked, “Why?”

“I am not privy to that information Miss Morozov, you will likely be briefed when you arrive. You must come with me,” he said.

“And if I don’t want to?” I said.

“Then I have been authorized to quote ‘drag her kicking and screaming to get her there on time’  unquote,” he replied.

“Excuse me. I would never be dragged anywhere kicking or screaming. I have more dignity than that, and I am shocked they would think so low of me.” I snapped.

“I am just the messenger, and I have to ask you to stop wasting time,” he replied.

“Where is the other one? You’re new,” I asked.

“Captain Evans has more important things to attend to then babysitting a criminal,” he said.

“Okay first of all, they were already being robbed, I actually stopped a robbery, and the bank’s security was deplorable.  And second are you saying I am unimportant, because I thought I had a rather significant role to play in this mission. If I didn’t they would have arrested me,” I ranted.

“Whatever you say ma’am, you still broke the law, and you are still going to have to work with me not Captain Evans.”

“If I am going to have to work with you I would like to know your name then,” I said.

“Ensign Solis,” he answered.

“Have a good day Ensign Solis,” I said and shut the door in his face. I quickly shoved the chair from my desk under the door knob and laughed.

“Victoria Morozov, you will open this door immediately and come with me or I will remove the door from the wall,” he replied irritated.

“Hmmm no I don’t think I will,” I replied.

“You will come with me whether you like it or not,” he said. After a few minutes he had unscrewed the hinges and removed the door, leaning it up against the wall next to me room.  He shoved the chair out of the way and grabbed my arm dragging me out of the room.

I let him drag me down the hall for a moment before yanking my arm back and saying, “I think that is quite enough.”

“If you will stop acting like a child and report to the training area you won’t have to be led around like one.  Now will you walk with me or do you need me to hold your hand Miss Morozov,” he replied.

“I’ll walk.” I said, “And just for the record, that is not how you led a child around.” He sighed in response and picked up the pace. I followed behind him slightly slower. We went down a staircase and around a corner before he stopped at a door and waved his ID card in front of a scanner. I expected it to be more secure than that. It would be easy to pickpocket him and open the door, though there was not much of importance in a training room, the lock was likely a formality as even Solis had access. I bumped into him as I walked in the door, taking his ID at the same time. The training room was massive; it had holo projectors along the walls for mission simulations.  There was gym equipment and mats in the last third of the room, kept away from the sim so that people couldn’t trip over them. I sauntered across the floor to where the rest of the group stood. Jordan sighed at my entrance.

Axel glared at me and said, “You’re late Morozov.”

“Really? Well no one told me what time I was supposed to be here just that I was supposed to be here so it’s really not my fault,” I replied.

“We sent Solis to get you way before the others so that you would get here on time and you are still late. How?” he said exasperated.

“Fashionably late?” I said.

“Stop acting so immature, and do you job,” Jackson snapped.

“Ooo immature, that is three syllables that must be a big word for you,” I mocked.

“Enough Morozov! We have work to do,” Jordan commanded. “Now, Jackson, Victoria, you have to be able to work together so stop insulting each other every time you speak. Ash, Quinn thank you for not getting involved.”

“What about every other time we speak?” I asked.

“Victoria, do you want to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell?” she threatened.

“Not particularly,” I replied nonchalantly.

“Then shut up.”

“And if-” I started, before she silenced me with a glare.

“Now, if we could continue without any further interruptions, that would make this go much faster,” she said.

I opened my mouth to say something, when Jackson yelled, “Morozov, don’t even think about it. I would like to get through this without you wasting more of my time.”

“Now who is interrupting who, Jordan?”

The girl with the purple hair looked up and said, “Can you two just shut up, Victoria you aren’t half as funny as you think you are. And Jackson, she is clearly baiting you, and you continue to fall for it every time.”

“Thank you Ash, now we are going to start off running simulations, then work on your individual power,” Jordan said. The lights dimmed and the holograms came up, suddenly we were in a factory. An image materialized in front of us accompanied by Jordan’s voice, “This is the weapon you are looking for now bring it back.”

Be among the machines in Daniel H. Wilson’s book, “The Clockwork Dynasty” (Book Review)

posted Dec 4, 2018, 4:59 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 5:01 AM ]

By: Kelsey Alder, Staff Writer

Posted December 4th, 2018

"The Clockwork Dynasty” by Daniel H. Wilson is a book about ancient machines that look and function more or less like humans and live around us, but are fighting a war between each other.  Overall, the story was pretty unique; however, it didn’t have many surprises either. Throughout the story, June and Peter are both trying to fight in the millenia-old war being waged between the automatons, but Peter is also dealing with an internal conflict.  He doesn’t know who he is. All of the automatons have a word that they must follow unconditionally, but he doesn’t feel like he is living up to that word in anything he does. Also, June is trying to be a part of this new world made of clockwork, but the automatons are so much stronger than her.  She is trying to understand how she can make a difference when she barely survived her first encounter with an automaton. One thing I didn’t like was that it took quite a while before the book picked up and got interesting. The beginning was very slow, but after they finished the lengthy exposition the book got quite interesting. With that said, the book was good, and an interesting read.  The story and ideas behind it were new and the author definitely knew a lot about the subject. I definitely enjoyed reading the book, and would recommend it to people who like more complex books and are patient with an author's storytelling.

My Top Five Favorite Television Shows

posted Dec 4, 2018, 4:51 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Chloe Schmidt, Co Editor-in-Chief

Posted December 4th, 2018

I always struggle finding a good TV show that I can watch all of. Usually I always watch ⅔ of the series and then I lose interest and struggle to find a new TV show to love. This is why I created a list of my top five favorite TV shows, to help if you’re in the struggle bus like I am!

  1. My all time favorite TV show is New Girl! This show is absolutely hilarious to me. Jess is the main character, and she moves in with three males after catching her boyfriend cheating on her. Jess is awkward and unique, but the writers portray that in a hilarious way that makes you laugh instead of cringe every time something funny happens. I finished it in about two weeks! It’s available on Netflix.

  1. My second favorite TV show is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This show is also a comedy and it revolves around Brooklyn police’s ninety-ninth precinct.  This show has a variety of character personalities and you’ll have a hard time picking a favorite. The way the characters interact and go about their work will have you cracking up and binge watching this series. I finished it in about two weeks as well. It’s available on Hulu.

  1. My third favorite TV show is Dark Tourist. This is a reality TV show about a New Zealand journalist, David Farrier, traveling around the world to visit creepy and controversial destinations. In fact, he flew to Milwaukee to take a Jeffrey Dahmer tour and meet with Dahmer’s defender. This show is not for the faint of heart- there are some really messed up and sensitive things that he digs into, including the Holocaust and African rituals. I finished this show in about two days, since there’s only one season. It’s available on Netflix.

  1. My fourth favorite TV show is The Voice. I just started watching this season, because usually singing shows make me cringe, but I’m surprised by how much I like it. The coaches are iconic singers, and they have such great chemistry with each other. Their experiences help guide their team through the show, and it’s great to watch the contestants grow and learn. I’m currently caught up on this season that’s still occurring, but it took me about three days to catch up. It’s available on Hulu.

  1. My fifth favorite TV show is Family Guy. Family Guy is a classic and always a reliable show when there’s nothing else to watch. This show revolves around the life of Peter and his wife, kids, and dog. It’s nice to watch because the plotlines aren’t really connected together, so you can watch one episode, wait a month, then watch the next episode. I don’t really have a timeline for this show since, like I said before, I watch it when there’s nothing else on. It’s available on Hulu.

Have fun watching!

Twenty One Pilots are back with Trench (Music Review)

posted Nov 19, 2018, 12:34 PM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 4:58 AM ]

By: Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted November 19th, 2018

Hello Slinger High, Today I will review the latest album by Twenty One Pilots called Trench. The band Twenty One pilots is a two person band formed in Columbus Ohio by Tyler Joseph as the lead singer and Josh Dun as the drummer. The genre of their music is commonly known as alternative rock. The Trench album has a total of 14 songs: Jumpsuit, Nico and the Niners, Levitate, Chlorine, Pet Cheetah, Neon Gravestones, Leave the City, Cut my Lip, My Blood, Legend, The Hype, Smithereens, Bandito, and Morph.  Tyler had Paul Meany co-produce several of the songs.


There is a fictional story that Tyler Joseph has culminated.  It is set in the city of Dema, and controlled by The Bishops.  The lead Bishop is known as Nicolas Bourbaki or ‘Nico’.  Dema is a representation of the insecurities in society. Clancy, the main protagonist of the Trench Storyline, is apart of the Banditos.  The Banditos is the protagonist group responsible for liberating those under the control of The Bishops.  The vulture on the cover is an allusion to the religion of Zoroastrianism.  The city of Dema,“Tower of Silence,” is where they have vultures consume the remains of the dead.  The “Trench” is the land surrounding Dema.


There are multiple themes that are intertwined with the songs in this album. The common ones death, mental health, suicide, loyalty, and escaping and countering Dema.  Jumpsuit is about making the leap from insecurity into confidence. Nico and the Niners is about the struggle of the abstaining from The Bishops.  My Blood plays on the concept of dedicating your loyalty to a friend.  Cut My Lip is about seeing something through no matter how much pain and suffering induced.  It’s about staying strong to what you believe in. Chlorine is a song based on the toxic double edged sword that is songwriting.  Pet Cheetah is a metaphor about songwriting and writer’s block. The Hype is about not giving into peer pressure by realizing that you don’t have to change to be happy. Bandito is about joining the Banditos.  Legend is a tribute to Robert Joseph, Tyler’s grandfather, who passed away March 17, 2018.  Smithereens is a tribute to Tyler’s wife, Jenna Black. Morph is about life after death. Leave the City is about being unfaithful in terms of religion - Tyler Joseph is Christian.  Finally, Neon Gravestones is based on the concept of suicide in modern society. In Tyler’s view, he believes that suicide is over-glorified by the public. He believes that we should celebrate those that have made it this far.  As Tyler said, ”find your grandparents or someone of age… to life they were dedicated, now that should be celebrated.”


They first promoted Trench in an acceptance speech in which Josh thanked the public and apologized for Tyler’s absence. He said “he is severing ties with Dema.” On the 21st of April in 2018, a hidden URL was discovered containing cryptic teasers about Dema. Other information found was the journal entries of Clancy about departing from Dema. They also posted GIFs and videos of yellow eyes progressively opening with each post The last posted video contained the muffled intro of Jumpsuit.


Undisputed Fan, Megan Michaelchuck:

“When they teased that a new album was to be released, I was ecstatic! It had been so long since they had been on social media, and I couldn’t wait to hear their new tracks! The night that Trench came out, I went to a friends house and waited until it came out to listen to it in a group. It has been a month since it came out, and I still love every song just as much as I did when I first heard it. My favorite song is Neon Gravestones because the lyrics and music are so enchanting. Overall, I recommend Trench to everyone. Whether you’ve never listened to Twenty One Pilots or even didn’t like their music before, Trench is a new and revolutionary album that has songs that appeals to anyone.”

My Opinion

In my opinion. I believe this album is one of the greatest albums made by Twenty One Pilots. It’s based on an old religion, and yet it remains relative to modern society. It’s Tyler’s story that parallels with the history of others. It is a perfectly crafted album. There is little to no negative aspects of this album. I’d have to say my favorite song was Chlorine because of its tone and message towards relationships.

Cat (Artwork)

posted Nov 14, 2018, 5:01 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Artist
Posted November 14th, 2018

Countdown: Part III

posted Nov 2, 2018, 4:38 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Nov 2, 2018, 4:39 AM ]

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Writer

Posted November 2nd, 2018

After I agreed to the mission, Captain Evans drove me back to my house, where the power dampening cuffs were removed.  I wasn’t allowed to leave my house which was guarded by a team of task force minions, and they kept a power dampener on my house at all times.  I was instructed to wait until they had collected the rest of the team and were ready for us to begin. I closed all my drapes and locked my doors, trying to ignore the constant vigilance of the guards. I listened to the news coverage from the bank incident, the Task Force obviously had something to do with it, because they were naming me specifically, solidifying the idea of my guilt in people’s minds. I change my appearance often so no one had an accurate or consistent description of me, making it hard to identify me.  The Task Force, however, keeps closer tabs on me and generally knows where I live.

“Countdown strikes again,”

“Mutant, time-traveling, villain is back on her path of crime.”

“Was the Task Force wrong to grant her mercy? Her recent actions say yes.”

“Countdown’s second chance blows up in their faces.”

I listened to the description they had of me on one station, “A the bank on Maple Street was robbed yesterday. Two of the three subjects have been arrested. The third suspect is a woman who is considered armed and dangerous. They don’t appear to have been working together. The woman shot and wounded one of the robbers and absconded with the money. She has red hair and brown eyes.  She was approximately 5’9” and 130 pounds with no visible tattoos. She was last seen wearing jeans and a red cardigan.” the news anchor narrated the events from yesterday and gave a description of me.  Apparently the would be thieves forgot I was wearing high heeled boots. Time to reinvent myself.

I washed off my makeup and removed my brown contact lenses.  I put on a pair of glasses with dark hipster frames and rummaged around my bathroom for some hair dye.  I had rather liked the red, but it was time for a change. I found a box of dark brown perfect for blending in.  I considered colorful streaks to go for a more modern style, but I decided against it because colorful hair draws too much attention. I pulled the shower curtain out of the way so I would get dye on it, or rather wouldn’t get more dye on it. The white curtain was speckled with a myriad of different colors of dye. I pulled on a pair of cheap plastic gloves and mixed the two chemicals together, watching as the color in the bottle changed.  I combed it through my hair carefully, to avoid staining my skin. Then I waited. Twenty minutes later my phone started vibrating across the counter startling me slightly and turned it off. I started the water. The gloves made it slightly harder to check the temperature for some reason. The water went from ice to practically boiling after a moment. When I finally got the water to right temperature I rinsed out the dye the water, tinted brown, escaped down the drain.  I plugged in my old hair dryer. I don’t even know why I bothered to use it. It took forever to dry my hair, but once I was done, I started to cut it. I cut off a few inches leaving it just above my shoulders in layers. I quickly changed into a pair of skinny jeans, a white t-shirt and a flannel with the sleeves rolled up to show off the tattoos on my arms. I looked nothing like the description the police had.

It took them about a week to finally contact me.  I had nothing to do but think. The more I thought about it the more suspicious the whole thing seemed. The robbery happening the very moment I walked in the bank?  Coincidence perhaps, but they needed me to commit a crime for their plan to function. Though I did break the law somewhat often, I decided to continue on, and go through with the mission, ignoring my suspicions.  The reward outweighed the cost.

After ending the call with Jordan and Axel, I did my make up before I left, more to waste time than anything else. When I finally opened the door, Captain Evans was waiting for me irritatedly. He cuffed me, and pushed me toward the police car, I got in the back seat, while he picked up the power dampener they had pointed at my house for the last week.  He threw it in the trunk and started the car. We drove off in the opposite direction of both Grand-River and Headquarters: the two places I had expected to be going. Once again, I tuned out the conversation between Evans and his partner. Instead I focused on memorizing the route. We pulled into the remnants of the parking lot in a derelict abandoned factory. He parked the car, got out, and led me around the back.  There, Jordan, Axel, and three other people, presumably the team I’d be working with, waited.

“You’re late,” Axel accused.

“Yes well I wouldn’t be if I could use my powers,” I answered.

“We both know you would have tried to run if I had allowed that,” he replied.

“No, actually I wouldn’t have. You made sure I couldn’t do that. Love the news coverage by the way,” I said.

“You shouldn’t have robbed a bank.”

“Oh my god, it was already being robbed. At least I return most of the money. They should have better security,” I defended.

“Than why would you rob them?  You should have helped them,” he scolded.

“I did.  I stopped the other robbers,” I responded.

“It doesn’t help if you stop one set of robbers only to rob them yourself,” he sighed.

“Yeah, but they had guns and were threatening people. Also, they were insufferably stupid.  I think that is the bigger crime,” I replied, then added, “Though an argument can be made for my stupidity due to a lack of forethought that got me into this situation.”

“Do I actually have to work with this criminal? How can I trust her?” A man asked, he had been standing in the original group. I had forgotten they were still standing there.

“Trust me? That would be a mistake,” I replied.

“See!” he exclaimed.

“You need her for the mission or she wouldn’t be here she’d be in a jail cell. You have to work with her or leave, Jackson,” Jordan interjected.

He ran his fingers through his blonde hair and sighed before brusquely saying, “Fine.”

“Now that that is settled, we brought you here to discuss the mission details,” Jordan said.

“When do we start,” I asked.

“If you would let me finish.” She said, then added, “If you are going to succeed you need to work as a team and be able to trust each other.”

“Yeah I don’t do the whole trust thing,” I replied.

She ignored me and continued, “You will have to train together, and practice the mission before we send you out there, and on top of that, you don’t have a lot of time.  We are gathering information and building your fake identities to get you into the weapons dealer, but the rest is up to you. You will fail without teamwork.”

“About that-” I started.

She cut me off, “Am I understood.”

The others all agreed I didn’t respond. Instead I took the time to look at the ‘team.’  There was Jackson, a girl with purple hair cut short, she was taller than me by a few inches, and another guy, he was standing with his arms crossed watching the events unfold.

“Am I understood, Morozov,” she repeated.

“I heard you the first time,” I replied.

She sighed and said, “You will all be staying at the headquarters where you can be supervised.”

“Why are we being supervised? She is the only one who might run off,” Jackson complained, his hands clenched in fists.

“Technically, I am the only one who can’t run away. If I do, they can have me arrested. You are here by choice, so you are the true flight risk,” I pointed out.

Jackson started to respond but Axel stopped him, “Enough you will all be under constant surveillance and no amount of arguing will change this. Now let’s go.”

I mumbled, “Big brother is watching,” under my breath as I walked back to the car.

Halloween 2018 returns with a scare

posted Nov 2, 2018, 4:34 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted November 2nd, 2018

Hey everybody! In this article, I will give a synopsis of the storyline of the new Halloween movie released this year, what was good about the movie, what needs improvement, and my official rating of the movie. DISCLAIMER: This movie is rated R so make sure you don't drink too much soda beforehand.

In this movie, the story resumes 40 years after the previous film with Michael Myers captive in a Smith´s Grove Rehabilitation Hospital. In the process of being transferred to another facility, he escapes the prison bus. Laurie Strode, who suffers from PTSD after the traumatic events that happened on Halloween night, has been preparing for his escape. As the movie progresses, so does the kill count.  It is up to Laurie Strode to purge Haddonfield from the raging demon that has returned home. Will she be able to surpass her fears and face the shape or will she quiver in fear as Michael preys upon the unsuspecting people of Haddonfield?

Overall, this was a good movie. There was a lot of gore, but it was expected. There were a few components that related the movie to the original. The text at the beginning was the same, certain events that occured happened again. They do continue with the same actor for Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The soundtrack combined the old morbid environment with a new twist that makes it more relevant to the modern age.

While the movie did have a lot of good things about it, there is room for improvement. The killers style in the movie showed no similarity to the original movies. When watching Michael Myers hunt, he seemed to act rather swiftly instead of his trademark stalk and kill, which added more suspense.  Another flaw that arose was the scene involving the doctor’s bloodlust in order to further understand the enjoyment Michael takes in killing. It completely deviated from the plot, which confused the audience in more ways than one. At that point, I thought that he would be the predecessor to Michael Myers, which would have seemed lame. There is great horror in a killer that doesn’t communicate.

With the power vested in me, I hereby give this movie a rating of 6.5/10

"Warrior" (Pencil Sketch)

posted Oct 25, 2018, 4:47 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Katherine Alder, Staff Artist

Posted October 25th, 2018

Could Marvel's Venom be a hit on its own? (Movie Review)

posted Oct 16, 2018, 4:45 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Oct 16, 2018, 4:47 AM ]

By: Eddie Inchaurregui, Staff Writer

Posted October 16th, 2018

In the movie Venom, reporter Eddie Brock [Tom Hardy] attempts to uncover the dark injustice behind Life Foundation, a corporation led by Carlton Drake [Riz Ahmed].  Along the way, Eddie’s world is turned upside down, and Eddie is infected by a mysterious symbiote from Drake’s lab. The alien species latches to Brock and creates Venom. Only Venom can put a stop to Carlton Drake’s plans to doom the world.

I thought the movie was excellent. It had a lot of action, humor, and great chemistry between Brock and Venom. In the first part of the film, you have to be patient for the action to pick up, but this serves the purpose of suspense which makes the second part even better. There are a lot of great moments in the film that makes Venom a crowd pleaser.

It’s hard to say that there’s anything wrong with the film given the relationship between Eddie and Venom is more mutual rather than parasitic. In terms of its role with other Marvel movies, this movie is kind of an outlier. It’s clear to see the film’s distinction, as Sony studios was in charge of the film.

Overall, it was a great movie, I guess it would be better had they made the ending fight scene more visually distinguishable. Personally, I had a hard time seeing Venom fight Riot.

I give this film a 8.4/10. I would probably watch it again just for the fun of it.

The "Illuminae Files" defines uniqueness (Book Review)

posted Oct 8, 2018, 3:41 PM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Kelsey Alder, Staff Writer
Posted October 8th, 2018

The “Illuminae Files” book series utilizes several unique writing techniques that create some very thought provoking ideas. First of all, rather than being written like a normal book, it was told through documents, camera logs, emails, etc. At first it just seems like a different method of telling the story, but at the end of the second book the reader begins to realize that it’s actually court documents compiled by the main characters to tell the story of what happened to them. It’s very original for a whole story to be told like this.  The storyline was good and fairly original for the most part. It had quite a few interesting plot twists that kept the reader glued to the page. They also had illustrations of the spaceships involved, which were cool and helped give an idea as to what they looked like. The biggest issue I had with the series was that all of the main characters were teenagers, which I have always found to be an irritating facet all too prevalent in books of today. The other issue I noticed is just that the main characters or the “good guys” always won. No matter how outnumbered they were or how slight their chances they always won, and I feel like it would have been more interesting if the characters had lost a few times. Overall, I would give the series 4/5 stars.

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