About Us

"Spiral Gate" is a name I once came up with because I thought it sounded cool.  Since then, the term has evolved to refer to my belief as an author that all seemingly fictional stories are factual in another universe—that we, as authors and artists, are simply channeling these other worlds, rather than coming up with anything new. 

Take the alternate version of myself, for instance… 

About Me: 

My name is Richard Marksman, amateur at everything, expert on none.  Born in the year 1995, to a middle-class family living in a suburb by the eastern foothills of San Jose, California, I was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Disorder during my early elementary-school years.  A difficult child, I was plagued with a myriad of seemingly fanciful imaginings that to me seemed totally real.  As a "machine" I functioned as a student; as a "flea" I crouched down beneath tables, springing at anyone who passed by.  There were others—less vivid now than they were at the time, but still there at the edges of my memory.

Of course, my schooling suffered during those early years.  Difficulty retaining focus, paired with trouble understanding the behaviors of others, led me down a rabbit-hole of trouble even a saint might have difficulty digging himself out of.  As it was, during my first year of middle-school, the district finally pawned me off to a n independent special-education program.  Specializing in high-functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders in general, and Asperger's Disorder in particular, the Newton Program proved to be every bit as much of a home as the house I had lived in my entire life—if not more so. 

It was here, among peers who I could understand, that I came to learn to network with others.  In this community that the world pretended was a school, I was truly free for the first time in my life.  And it was also here, that I came to know the very people who inspired me to write.

But even with all this friendly influence, I did make at least one potentially ill-fated decision.  In the spring of the year 2010, while visiting the Vallejo Pirate Festival with family and some friends, I encountered a small shop selling bronze medallions of myriad design.  Beautiful items, but not my cup of tea—or so I believed until I saw one medallion that seemed to call to me.  Of course, I promptly bought it on the spot—because why not—and only then tried to figure out what about that medallion fascinated me so.

It was a strange piece.  Clearly worked by hand (with the grooved fingerprint in the rough-cut back to prove it), the medallion depicted some kind of strange mythical bird, with the neck of a snake and a strange, twisted tongue, standing on a tree-branch that seemed to grow from where the bird's tail would otherwise be.  The imagery was unfamiliar, but it was the way its elements seemed to flow that held my interest—this strangely-woven tapestry of swooping and looping fluid lines, hidden behind the carefully-placed imagery.

Over the years that followed, I found myself...obsessed with this medallion.  I wore it everywhere, tucked under my shirt, and held it at my side during the times I could not wear it (such as sleeping or showering).  I took its image as my personal symbol, and ensured it was visible in every school portrait.  Any time I even thought about leaving the medallion behind, a bout of irrational panic would seize my soul.

But in my third year of high-school, I did in fact lose this medallion—and a crushing, ruinous sense of despair over this, nearly gave me suicidal thoughts.  For several days I despaired over the lost medallion, until I observed it sitting on a teacher's desk.  The euphoria I felt over finding my precious medallion again, could probably be compared to any number of drugs with which I am still unfamiliar.

As the leather cord which had held the medallion close to my neck had been broken by age, I could no longer wear the medallion everywhere I went.  Afraid of losing such an important treasure again, I left it at home as I traveled to and from school, silently plotting to replace the cord so I could again wear it as my symbol.

And a few years later, I did eventually replace the cord, and began wearing the medallion again exactly as I once had.  But this time, having had a few years to develop a distance between me and the obsession, I was able to actually observe the strange and myriad changes in my behavior, that wearing the medallion seemed to bring out in me—and these changes were clearly worsening.  Even worse, the medallion almost seemed to...whisper to me—hinting at power only it could grant me.

Sound familiar?  Though I wouldn't exactly call my example "the One Medallion", Tolkien might have actually been onto something with the stories he was writing.

Realizing this, I put even more careful distance between myself and the medallion, carefully studying its effects and behavioral influences, fully intending to toss the blasted thing out to sea once my research was done.

I did, in fact, successfully reverse-engineer the "magic" of the medallion, that eerie hypnotic flow that had first drawn me to it.  I even recorded an algebraic formula to summarize its function.  This understanding made me realize that I could use the influence of the medallion for my own purposes, rather than be a victim to it—and a quick experiment over the next couple of weeks confirmed most of my theories on the subject.

But, realizing how dangerous the formula I had uncovered actually was, I immediately buried most of my research, put the medallion under lock-and-key, and held onto it in preparation for a trip to the seashore.

The trip itself happened a few months later, to the area around Fort Bragg and Mendocino.  By pre-arrangement, I alone made the journey to the cliff I had chosen as the best spot to ensure the medallion would be lost forever—or at least long enough to be rendered inert.  There, in the silence of the wind and the crash of the waves against the precariously narrow peninsula of ten-foot cliffs on whose edge I stood, I meditated a moment, at the crossroads between one life and another.  Briefly, I spent some effort grinding away at the edges of the medallion, giving the weathering process a hand, should my gambit fail—then finally, after working as much out of the clean lines of the medallion as I possibly could with the rocks that were lying around, I tossed each rock I had used to damage the medallion over the cliff, followed at last by the medallion itself.  And just like that, the medallion that had wormed its way into my heart lost all hold over me.

And then, I went back to my regular life, knowing, despite the circumstances, the choice I had made was the right one.

About Him: 

In an alternate universe very similar to our own, another manwho would one day be called Titan Lamprey—was born.  

His early years were identical to my own.  Born in the year 1995 to a middle class family that lived in the northeastern corner of San Jose, California, and diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Disorder, he had schooling every bit as rough as my own.  After being sent off to a school just like the Newton Program, he encountered a medallion, just like my own, which seemed to influence his thoughts and emotions.  

The path he led through life, until that very moment he stood on that precarious cliff near the seashore of Fort Bragg, was in fact exactly and precisely identical to my own.  

But at that strange, suspended moment where I took a leap of faith to sacrifice power for freedom, the man who would one day be called Titan turned his back, picked up the medallion, and secreted it away on his person.

Using the medallion and his own ambition, he managed to arrange world domination by the year 2025, and over the following decades, pioneered research that led to the discovery of both immortality and alien life.  Things that would once have been considered mythical were revealed as fact, and through careful public manipulations, these discoveries, among others, were used to manipulate the general populace into a state of relative docility.

But when an actual invasion by an alien society resulted in the complete loss of energy from Earth's sun, nothing could be done but attempt to avenge the inevitable death of all life on the human homeworld.

Forging himself a body made of an alien metal that breaks the boundaries of time and space, the man who had brought ruin to his own world, hunted down the leader of the force that had invaded—an ancient female android who he himself had had a hand in breaking.

But by the time the man made of metal caught up with the woman made of energy, it was far too late for him to stop her.  She had already reached the core of the multiverse, that neighbored the Earth they had together destroyed—and begun the process of twisting its state. 

But even so, the metal man did stop her—by destroying the heart of the multiverse itself, and thereby sundering the boundaries of time and space. 

In shame, the man slunk off to lick his wounds, changing his name to dissociate his present from his past.  Winding up in a magic-fueled world, he found it being slowly eaten away by the very magic that sustained it.  In response to this, the man calling himself Titan decided to use his medallion one last time—to cleanse the world of the taint that would kill it.  Knowing, as he did so, that the only way he could cleanse such living power, would be by sealing it into another living vessel.  

The medallion, of course, was destroyed in this process, having never been designed to channel so much living power at once.  But Titan, who by all rights should have suffered the same fate, instead found himself fused with the godlike being he had meant to destroy. 

After leaving the now-dead world which he had tried to cleanse, the man changed his name to Titan Lamprey, the Ruin of Worlds, in mockery of his own ill-fated journey through life—and slipped between the cracks of space and time, to find a new world to terrorize.