Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Well poo poo. I thought writing about a black widow would be baller.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I am in. Been out for a bit, but I am in now.

And WHAT THE gently caress SATURDAY NIGHT.
That's when I'm making my bitches something something I am hard core.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME






Hey Noah, Beef has graciously granted me a rain check on our brawl due to IRL things. But I will still take whatever shame/defamation you or the 'dome think is a meet penance for my flakeyness

Also will not be in this week, if only because I do not have the time to give the prompt the attention it deserves

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


:mad:

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


If sitting here is out, I call second place.

Edit: auto correct problems

crabrock fucked around with this message at 17:46 on Jul 31, 2013

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


we call her making GBS threads rear

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet


I'm in.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Crits: captain platypus, Mercedes, BadSeafood

I don't really find line-by-line crits to be incredibly helpful, so these are not that.

captain platypus

I recently listened to a podcast making fun of PUAs, so I am therefore quite the expert about these douchebags. I was pretty excited to see you tackle the subject matter, but was kind of let down when the only part of the very rich (and incredibly awful) PUA lingo you worked in was "alpha". You failed to use: "HB," "Sarging," "Neg," "Target," and so on. http://www.pick-up-artist-forum.com/pua-vocabulary-vt42649.html There is so much just ridiculous and stupid stuff that goes on in the PUA's mind that you failed to incorporate into the story. I will give you a pass on in some sense because you did manage to have him TELL HER that he was taking her out. You also had him not be very good at doing the whole PUA artist thing by dropping his facade and being needy and clingy, so that marginally sympathized the guy.

The dialogue wasn't top notch but it had some flow and chemistry to it. I felt like I was hearing two real people talk and it wasn't at the expense of the plot moving forward. I liked that I could tell that the gay roommate was not her boyfriend without any hamfisted exposition telling me as much. I suspected he was gay and it kind of hung on my mind, then you did reveal it WITHIN THE PLOT toward the end just so that it didn't keep hanging for me. It worked.

I disliked how the PUA was suddenly dead. It felt abrupt and, given his patheticness, I had to wonder if he actually killed himself or something. The death served the plot and setup the punchline of the story (which was funny), but it did it at the expense of a smooth transition.

I very much disliked your "said" thesaurus; a lot of the words you used barely even expressed that someone was speaking. They felt like separate verbs.

I very much disliked the awkward hair in milk section. I could see you behind the stage here, wearing a pink shirt and not being very good with your puppet. You realized you had some really large chunks of nothing but dialogue, so you wanted to ground it in some kind of physical action. You thought of something really weird that doesn't really happen and is awkward/taxing for the reader to visualize. It created a comic image of the protag being so ashamed that she sunk her head too dramatically like in a lovely webcomic or internet meme.

You really hehed your way out of the prompt as well, which made me not want to call you a "winner" vs. Mercedes. Even your first line mentions the words "in love". I really wanted a protagonist who did a thing separate from a romantic relationship with a man. Rejecting an unwanted relationship with a man still puts her conflict in the terms of her relationship with a man, which is very lame given the prompt.

7/10 mostly for the entertainment value

Mercedes

Making this all out of order felt like an attempt to hide a weak plot. If it's out of order, then I guess I'll spend all my focus figuring out what happened and I won't notice that the motivations for the characters barely make any sense.

My wife is Chinese and when I visit her family they are always asking us when we're going to have kids just like Zera is doing in your story. It's overbearing and obnoxious as gently caress. So I bet I can really relate to this story, huh? Not really. My wife's aunt is telling her that she should have a kid... so I guess my wife should poison me. I'm sure that in your head, this wasn't the chain of events; the protag was married off to Paolo (are these Brazilians? Do Brazilians still get 'married off?') and Paolo is a dick and is also pressuring her, but it is manifested most through Zera. You don't show us anything but Zera though, so having off-screen Paolo take the hit without knowing anything about him is odd and doesn't connect with me.

The poisoning itself is goofy. Why use a slow-acting poison? Why did the doctor not order more tests? How would she not get caught after the autopsy?

Some bad stuff:

“That's an odd smelling tea you're making there, Silvia.” Zera made her way into the kitchen in a garment of obnoxious colors that assaulted the senses. Smoke billowed out of her nose in twin streams as she took a seat by the kitchen table.

"That's an odd smelling (sic)..." That's some hamfisted dialogue. Smoke billowed out of her nose in twin streams. I kind of assumed she was smoking, but since she was probably angry I almost wondered if she was a cartoon shooting anger marks out of her nose. You mention the cigarette several sentences later though so okay.

The way that woman goes wherever she wants uninvited bristled the anger inside.
I usually am not big on critiquing grammar, but this is just poor prose. Let's diagram the sentence:

Subject: The way that woman goes wherever she wants uninvited
Verb: Bristled
Object: The anger inside

Let's diagram the subject.

Root Noun: The way
Relative Clause appended onto the noun: That woman goes wherever she wants uninvited

Let's diagram the relative clause:

Subject: That woman
Verb: Goes
Object: Wherever she wants (which I think is another relative clause?)
I think this counts as an adverb: uninvited

All of this poo poo. All of this loving poo poo is a subject that you made for a sentence. The subject of your sentence has another entire sentence inside of it with a loving "uninvited" appended onto the sentence within your subject. You then take this monstrosity of a subject and have a weird verb "bristled" acting onto a very abstract object "the anger inside".

You are making pre-planning errors of having the antagonist be someone other than the person who gets poisoned and doing so in a way that makes the character motivations feel fake. You are making errors of throwing gimmicks onto a weak plot. Then you are making smaller-scale execution errors like building really poo poo sentences like the one I dissected above.

I think I mentioned this last time I critted you, but try to just keep everything simple. Do a straight-forward plot and build from there. Elements of your prose are improving, but I think your weird plots setups and gimmicks are probably making you trip over yourself

3/10 because

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 01:40 on Aug 1, 2013

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


systran posted:

I could see you behind the stage here, wearing a pink shirt and not being very good with your puppet.

Is this a reference to something?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

captain platypus posted:

Is this a reference to something?

Just that writing is largely creating an illusion where the reader can suspend disbelief and think the story is real. That whole hair in the cereal thing made me see you writing it and thinking, "How can I make this not floating dialogue?" If I can read through the whole story and get lost in it, then I am not seeing you "behind the scenes." Your avoidance of "said" also caused the same problem where I "saw you" writing the story instead of just seeing the characters and story as real

edit: Puppeteers and prop-moving dudes wear black shirts to blend into the background of the stage.

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 02:36 on Aug 1, 2013

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Cool. Got that, just thought the pink shirt thing was naming a trope. Thanks for the crit!

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Duel Crits: CaptainPlatypus, Mercedes, Bad Seafood

I also don't like line-by-line crits, and I had a lot of the same issues as Systran, so these are going to be short. First, as Systran has already mentioned, the point of the prompt was to consider women outside of romantic relationships. Women in fiction are all too commonly defined by their relationships with men, and particularly, female characters seem to need to "find love" to find success. Much to our chagrin, both original duelers chose to write about women who were instead defined by bad relationships with men. Bummer.

CaptainPlatypus
My biggest problem with this piece is how underdeveloped Caroline is compared to the two guys. We learn so much more about them than we do our supposed protagonist. We never really see into her head, we never quite glimpse how she feels about all this, just that she's too nice to firmly say "no" and maybe feels a little bad about it. Part of this problem is your weak viewpoint. You are doing, I guess a third-person omniscient, because we notice things from both John and Caroline's perspective--notably the various stages of hair-in-milk action. Also, I'll just throw this out there: I've accidentally dipped my hair into my cereal bowl before. Anyway, this piece would be stronger, and less dialogue heavy, if you put us squarely in Caroline's mind.

That said, the dialogue is pretty good, and I get a definite feel for the relationship between John and Caroline. You spend a weird amount of time talking about John's hot bod. I have never thought of a guy's "perfectly sculpted torso" even if it was right in front of me. Certainly not in those words. It's also irritating, because you're suggesting that she is sexually attracted to her gay roommate, which is completely unnecessary, and kind of insulting. Caroline certainly seems to be LOOKING for a man, even if she didn't find one yet. YAWN.

The PUA dying gave me a chuckle, even if it was clearly just the punchline to a joke.

"The two of them were approached by an older woman, made apparently older by the grief striking her face." <--This is the worst.

Mercedes
Do not play with narrative structure until you've written at least 10 coherent and minimally-compelling straightforward stories. Your jumbled pacing felt like what it was: a gimmicky attempt to create tension by withholding information from the audience and revealing it "shockingly" later. It wasn't shocking. I think it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what creates tension in a story. It isn't surprise, it's conflict. The conflict in the coffin-clawingg scene is that she is lying. Holding out on that information makes the scene LESS interesting, not more. It would be much better if we knew she was faking, and that many people were likely to think she was faking because they knew she hated her dead husband. It would be better if we knew what was at stake for pulling off the lie: suspicion of committing murder.

Next, your story focuses so squarely on a man and marriage and reproduction, that it's just kind of ew gross. The implication that the only thing a woman can do to get a way from a man is to kill him (or, in Platypus's story, wait for him to die) is annoying and reflects this victim mentality our society perpetuates about women. Now, I do understand that your story is taking place in a patriarchal culture, but... that was your choice and it was a poor one, given the prompt. And you can still write strong, self-determined female characters in a patriarchal culture, without sinking to the weak/deadly dichotomy.

Your characters are relatively flat: roles, instead of people. The nosy-neighbor is the most memorable one, but even she is nothing more than nosy-neighbor + pregnancy-pusher. You do at least, stick consistently in Sylvia's head, and give us some insight into what she's thinking...it's just all very bland and expected. Didn't want to get married, man she's annoying, gonna kill everyone. Yep.

"She was on her knees as she clawed at the coffin, caring nothing for her self image." <-- This is the worst.

BadSeafood
A good effort for only 30 minutes. If there had been more of a story arc and a bit more depth, then I probably would have given you the win. Yours is also the only entry that passes the Bechdel test, which, for those following along at home is: 1) does it have more than one woman? 2) do they talk to each other? 3) about something other than a man?

The strength of this piece is how atmospheric it is--hazy, distant, lonely, but still infused with a hesitant sisterly warmth. Some of your diction feels overwrought, particularly "There was a subtle strength in the breeze as it caught Lisa's hair. Even Henrietta, who kept hers short, couldn't escape the caress of the sky." Those phrases could work in a piece like this if there was more poetic narration overall, but as is, they clash with the fairly sparse dialogue that makes up most of the piece. Personally, I would prefer to see more revealing narration, and tighter, lighter use of dialogue. Your dialogue is decently subtle, but I would like it to be EVEN MORE SUBTLE.

Your viewpoint wavers a bit here: "Lisa's eyes narrowed. The usual could mean anything. Henrietta continued, unaware of her impatience. Finally she sighed and approached her sister." Now, this could theoretically all be from Lisa's viewpoint, and Lisa is aware that Henrietta is unaware of Lisa's impatience, but it's still a bit clumsy. I think this paragraph is also a missed opportunity to tell us a little bit more about what exactly is going on between these two sisters, or at least more about what Lisa thinks is going on with Henrietta.

If I could see just a little deeper into these two women, what led them here, why Henrietta must break the rules, why Lisa craves stability, and why they stick together despite those differences, this encounter could be a satisfying story arc. Approach, engagement, negotiation, resolution, against a backdrop of deep conflict and equally deep love. As it stands, it's too underdeveloped, but it has more potential than either of the others. Good job.

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 03:26 on Aug 1, 2013

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Oof. Thanks for the crits guys. I'll keep it in mind for this week's prompt.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


Mercedes posted:

Oof. Thanks for the crits guys. I'll keep it in mind for this week's prompt.

Do it! We are harsh only with the best intentions.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






It's why I chose systran as the judge. No punches pulled. I need my bad habits beaten out of me.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


I colorcoded my TD progress.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlmWHsC0p8K_dDFXOFpsb012LUMwWDRFaEpKVlhoWFE&usp=sharing

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


crabrock posted:

I colorcoded my TD progress.

I would certainly hope "Two Enormous Fat Men gently caress Me" would be favorable.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.



think im getting some kind of error, some of them are green??

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


Jeza posted:

think im getting some kind of error, some of them are green??

Oh i see the error now, IT'S IN YOUR EMPATHY GENE :cry:

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Maybe everyone should shut up and write some stories about cyberpimps and razorhos.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Martello posted:

Maybe everyone should shut up and write some stories about cyberpimps and razorhos.

I'm doing research. everyone in this thread is a character

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it


Alright, gently caress it, I'm in. One Blaxsploitation scene as written by William Gibson coming right up.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Oh, and as a heads up to everyone:

If you don't know what blaxsploitation as a genre actually is, you should watch a movie. Something like Dolemite and not the weakass whatever adult swim cartoon poo poo you wax your waifu to these days.

autism ZX spectrum
Feb 7, 2007

by Lowtax


Fun Shoe

gently caress dolemite and go straight for Cleopatra Jones or Blacula

PHIZ KALIFA
Dec 21, 2011

#mood


How the gently caress you jive-rear end muppets can even think to name anything less than Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song is beyond me.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Nubile Hillock posted:

gently caress dolemite

Man, move over and let me pass 'fore they have be to pullin' these Hush Puppies out your motherfuckin' rear end!

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005

by exmarx


I guess I'm in, but I'll need to work something up real quick like.

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Nubile Hillock posted:

gently caress dolemite and go straight for Cleopatra Jones or Blacula

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


Watch Coffy and Foxy Brown

Pam Grier :swoon:

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012
I BELIEVE IN STUPID CONSPIRACY THEORIES


Netflix has Foxy Brown.

It's also got Detroit 9000 and The Black Godfather. Disco Godfather. The Black Godfather and The Black Klansman. Bamboo Gods and Iron Men.

And more!

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






What about Black Dynamite?

v edit: Awesome, cause that's what I was basing my story on.

Mercedes fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Aug 2, 2013

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


That's a satire but it'll do.

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012
I BELIEVE IN STUPID CONSPIRACY THEORIES


Mercedes posted:

v edit: Awesome, cause that's what I was basing my story on.
That's great; Black Dynamite is hilarious. I'm shooting for robomiscegenation.

Accretionist fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Aug 2, 2013

The Swinemaster
Dec 28, 2005



This is ~990 words.

So The Man Walks Into a Bar...

The sign over the door fizzed popped and blinked Big Daddy Hector's. When the man walked in the blinking stopped.

Hector was behind the bar, talking with the regulars. He looked at least six foot six, black, with a build like a fridge. Subcutaneous implants sparked from his upper lip to the ends of his his thick black moustaches. As he spoke the blue light danced.

The bar was dark, spotted with glowing green that bled from dim displays. Aside from Hector, the room was quiet, the patrons low and hunched. Thin gold-tipped cables ran from the displays at each table to a hole in their skulls. Some let their fingers rest on the connection as they swayed in place, eyes closed in bliss.

There was a faint smell of ozone in the air.

“Are you Hector?” The man stepped to the bar. He carried a thin handled tab and wore a blue wool suit. Pure white was his shirt, his hair, his teeth.

“You want a drink?” said Hector, turning from the regulars that already forgotten him and let their heads droop. “Or jack?”

“No.” The word was comfortable on his lips. “I'm here to buy your place of business.”

Hector smiled. The chrome plated tips of his teeth, re-enforced to open bottle-caps or strip wire, twinkled in the dim light. “Ha ha. It ain't for sale.”

“Ah, but you haven't heard my offer,” the man said, raising his gleaming tab and placing it on the bar. “I guarantee it's more than you bring in from these jack heads.”

“Well,” he drawled long, “they might be jack heads, yeah.” He looked about the room and took in its patrons. “But they're our jack heads. They plug in here and we keep the levels safe. We know they eating. Sure, it might be better if there never was jack or crack,” he looked sharply at the man for a moment. “But we do what we can with what we got.”

Hector glanced to one of the green pools of light. Raised his eyebrows. A tall lanky boy came forward from deep in the shadows carrying a coppery halo. His eyes were too big for his skull, and keloid scars were patterned around his bar arms.

“Mister, you wanna buy a alph-ring? Bran new.” The boy dropped the loop on the man's head and screwed it in place. His hands bunched and twisted in the white hair.

“Get the hell off me.” He pawed his hair back into place and threw the loop back at the boy, who deftly caught it with one hand.

“You get out of here, Wuddy,” said Hector. Wuddy retreated to the shadows.

Hector filled up a well-polished glass with amber liquid and pressed it into the man's hand. “Here. On the house.”

“No. Thank you.” The man put the glass back on the bar with a thud.

Hector shrugged, picked up the glass from the base and deftly poured out the beer. He put the glass below the bar. There was a metallic clink.

“Look here, my boy. I don't want your drinks. And frankly I don't want your bar. The first thing I'm going to do is tear this place down. You probably don't know this, but this neighbourhood is sitting on some valuable land. My associates and I intend to redevelop this entire block, raising the property values and making it safer for... everyone.”

“Mm-hmm. Well I ain't selling to you.” Hector leaned over the bar screen to adjust the serotonin levels on jackpoint four. Tweaked the dopamine flow on seven. Then tapped a quick sequence of executions too fast for the man's eyes to follow.

The man stepped back from his counter, taking his tab with him. “That's a poor decision, boy. Poor indeed.”

“That right?” A smirk.

“I'm taking this one way or another. You think this dive bar will stand up to non-stop inspections, Hector? Weekly raids? Cops sitting on your doorstep?” The man's face flushed red under his pasty skin.

Hector crossed his arms and leaned forward. His lip curled, and the tips of his teeth looked like fangs. “You think your the first dumb-rear end honky to come in here trying to buy us up? Wuddy! You got that thing?”

Wuddy emerged from the shadows once more, this time holding a tab of his own. He put it on the bar. This wasn't the polished Chinese masterwork that the man held. Each component held a different brand name. Duct tape secured the display. An honest to god keyboard was strapped to it.

“Brother died down the way last week,” said Hector, jabbing at the device. “Killed. Po-lice came, got these fingerprints, got that DNA. See here.”

Hector spun the display around to show the man a readout of the internal police records system.

“Here,” pointed Hector with a stubby finger, “that's the DNA profile link. And here,” a second finger, “that's the print.”

The man looked from Hector to Wuddy and back.

“Your confused. Well let me make it simple so you can understand. This,” he stabbed one of the keys, “this is your DNA profile, and this is your print.” He caressed a button on the keypad. “And this, this big, beautiful black thing right here? This enters your info live into the po-lice records.”

The man's eyes widened. He shook his head.

Hector nodded. Smiled. “You best be more careful who puts rings on your head and who's glasses you be touching.” Hector gestured for Wuddy to take the tab away, and he put his hands on his hips.

“Like I said, you think you the first white fool to come in here like this? These streets stay the way they are. Now unless you want twenty years in the pen and a bootprint on your skinny rear end, get the gently caress out.”

The man turned to go.

“One more thing, cracker. The name's Big Daddy to you.”

Voliun
May 31, 2012


I'll be going out of town all day and night Saturday, and I don't want to add more to make up.

Running is Free
WC: 500

Cynthia swiped her chromized golden glasses over her eyes immediately as a part of the sky rail broke into two by an emaciated worm breaking through the digital tracks. The train swerved away toward another track, a developing detour leading away from the hole. It arched its wired covered mandibles toward Cynthia's direction while Cynthia's glasses, the Synthmaker, projected digital disturbances the creature had caused along with holographic warning windows across her lenses. She dug into her golden dyed afro and took out a set of micro-cards.

While the woman install them in their respective slots, she heard a voice going through her ears. "Cynthia, she's baitin you to go alone. Wait for us."

She didn't have to look or focus for the data source when she recognized her voice. "At this point, Dona had threw away any logical thinking," Cynthia said. A part of her mind kept in sync with one of the tetradic circuits while continuing. Cynthia eased further into the visual details of the damage the glasses had caught. The digital burrow within the tracks were collapsing into itself after the worm pulled its whole body out. Violet colored lines of light seeped out, and they latched themselves onto the green track and the worm.

"Do you have at least three minutes?"

"The security level will be elevated to red if I don't do something now."

"When was the last time security was ever elevated to any level for a sector like the Grumpson Slums?"

Cynthia shook her head. "Security has always been elevated for major damage like this." She pulled up a window into the right lens. The level remained the same.

"Wit all that budget cuttin and incompentce, I'll be surprised if one deputy bother to respond." A plump face of a woman with a red scarf covering her hair appeared on a lens. Her large red cat eye shades covered her eyes. "You can't die now, and you sure as hell can't afford to be locked up."

Cynthia forced her focus back to the worm. Watching it wiggle and tear its body out from the track, she could hear residents looking at it with awe and glee. It wasn't long before alarms went off at the same time windows were smashed. Along with the shatters and sirens there were cursing, threats, and gunfire that she drowned away from her sensory field.

A surge of electricity jammed out of the worm's protruding metallic bones. While it drew itself toward every supporting beam of the sky track, Cynthia ran forth punching in commands with harmony with the Synthmaker and her connected tetradic circuits. Her display flashed at the imminent discordance the surge had created within the fading tracks.

Making a last minute change to the commands was not an option. Waiting for anybody to help her was not one either. The only logical thing for her to do was to keep running. Time was always neutral to everyone regardless what anyone had said to her.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006


Candyjackin It 938 words

“You ain’t black, yo rear end ain’t even mulatto.”

Far above Candy lightning struck the towers of Storm City, flaring down copper stripes to the dark ground far below. Her metallic hair writhed, whipping shadows across the boy’s face as its cameras uploaded a 3D model of this white trash punk to the mesh. She prodded his forehead, making the chemicals beneath the skin blur and race like an old fashioned calculator screen.

The punk opened his mouth, but Candy cut him off.

“So gently caress off to some other place.”

The kid slunk away down the skybridge, white tuxedo pinching his armpits with too tight sleeves. Above him the arrows and adverts for the casino inside were picked out in dim LEDs, but no one was heeding their desperate flashing. A discarded lighter glinted, reflecting another fire bolt screaming down the building outside.

Nothing to do but sit around and jack it.

The rule was don’t jack on the job. If you got a bad load, fried your brain pan and started shooting at customers, the casino would catch some more poo poo. But there was no one around, and Candy was bored. Anyhow she had her scrutes to please. She slipped the amp out her pocket and into the socket at the base of her spine, arching her back as the slight charge that felt so good hit, taking her into the mesh.

She came down the steps into the dive bar, red boots and chocolate legs and leopard print miniskirt and tank top and dreads, and strutted over to the bar. The place was straight out of a hundred years ago, filled with pimps and pushers in purple suits.

Some people would have ordered a Storm-Spite, and the mesh would give you one, but that would just be anachronistic. Scrutes prefered it if you stayed in character, and happy scrutes means more ad-money.

The mesh gave her brain a little buzz simulation as the martini hit. The bar in front of her was solid wood, but the barman looked shakey. He was black, of course - innocent. His eyes shifted to a point behind Candy’s left ear and she sighed. All she wanted to do is get into it, but you have to go through the motions.

“Hey girl, where my money at? I know you bin workin that corner so where’s my cut, bitch?”

Normally Candy would play along a little bit, scream and shout. And sometimes she would grab the back of the guy’s head, smacking it against the bar a few times so that her perfect martini’s glass was spattered with blood. She even tried slap-stick once, an exaggerated yawn’s elbow taking the guy in the throat. Variety is the spice of life, and it keeps the scrutes watching.

But the real world would need her back soon. So when the dickhead cracker pimp pushed her in the back, knocking over the rest of her tasty drink, she reached over the bar, grabbed the baseball by the thick end and spun round. The handle connected with the dude’s face and his nose exploded like a punctured coke can.

As he fell away from her she flipped the bat in the air, easily catching the bloodied handle and roundhousing an approaching cracker in the face.

And then they were circling her, a pack of white coyotes taking on the black wildcat.

That was the name of her mesh stream - Black Wildcat. She had a decent scrute score but she knew she would never be as good as the pros. She had a real job to hold down, much as she hated it.

She stepped forward and broke a knee, then a wrist, then a nose. Three marks staggered back, and five stepped in.

They were lovely strikes but time was running out. “gently caress the anachronistic poo poo, let’s have some fun,” she thought as she spin kicked another white man in the ribs. She sent a request to the mesh while diving over a table to avoid rhino charge and it appeared, hanging behind the bar like grandpa’s hunting rifle: an acceleration rifle loaded with explosive solids plus underslung nanite launcher. Christmas and birthday rolled into one.

Candy took a running leap onto the bar, sliding head first along it, reaching out with a pointed foot and snagging the rifle’s strap as she swept past. She came to a stop on her back, looking down through the sights between her spread legs at a shocked cracker at the end of the bar. His eyes crept from the gun barrel up her legs to underneath her short skirt. Then she made his head explode.

The solid rounds were satisfying to use but the nanite launcher was something else. The ‘ites would search out designated targets, bury themselves deep inside the body through eyes, ears, noses and other bodily entry points, and once at critical mass would cause an implosion. The shock wave of which could tear down walls. Regularly tore down walls, in this instance.

After the fight, when all the white guys not violently collapsed beyond the elasticity of their skin were slumped over the tables and bar, brown blood stains spreading beneath them, the love interest came into the dive. The winner’s reward, based on the player’s subconcious.

His beautiful dark skin contrasted brilliantly against the white tuxedo, and he slid down the banister with his hands in his pockets. Walking over he pulled out a zippo, and placed a cigarette in Candy’s mouth.

And she laughed. The punk had just been a scrute. A loving fanboy.

Maybe she could quit her day job after all.

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it


Focus Group (998 words)

Jacob was awoken by the subtle buzz of his ocular implant, the microscopic cadmium sphere warm against the cold of his pillow. He groaned and rolled over, shifting to the edge of the bed. The sharp green digits of his heads-up display jerked into focus, glowing gently in the dark. Incoming Call. 3:06 AM.

That spelled trouble.

“Hello?” he said, too loudly. Beside him, his wife stirred beneath the covers, sniffed, and fell back asleep. The call continued to buzz - it took a long moment to remember he had set the device for subvocalization. A quiet stream of glottal syllables issued from his throat and the call connected, the viewing window blocking out all but the periphery of his vision.

“Mr. Findley?”

Jacob heard a small hiss escape his lips and felt his stomach sink. For Zinn Cotter himself to call at this hour would mean no less than the labs were on fire. The man looked sweaty and disheveled, as if he’d just run a marathon. Hackers, Jacob thought. Terrorists.

“I’m here.”

“Sir,” Zinn said, sucking in great gulps of air, “you need to get down to the plant ASAP.”

He sighed, rubbing a finger along the outside of his sinuses. “Do you know what time it is? Not going to happen."

“Sir-”

"What’s the damage, Zinn?”

Whatever the man had been about to say disintegrated; the stim Jacob programmed to jolt him to full alertness triggered with a harsh chemical shock. He’d worked with Zinn for six years and had seen the man work through dozens of emergencies, from within and without the labs. He’d never heard the man sound terrified until right now.

"What?"

“It’s Moonchild,” Zinn whispered. “She woke up."

~~~~

Jacob's auto-car sped through the decaying streets. He lay in creche, webbed like a spider as figures and factoids streaked across his vision. Stock report set to plummet at opening. No additional security measures at the plant. No lockdowns. No executives had taken the plunge out of a seventh-story window - yet. Still, no news wasn't good news. He needed to know-

A sudden jolt snapped him from his reverie: the car slammed wildly into a hairpin turn and spun, gravity dampeners reporting this to him as a gentle outward pull.

"UNPLANNED OBJECT IN ROADWAY," the computer said. The car righted itself and moved on.

A moment later, it puttered to a stop. "UNPLANNED OBJECT IN ROADWAY."

Jacob performed the series of facial tics that opened up the outer Monitors. They were driving through the worst of the slums, but he'd never seen them like this before. The apartment towers were covered with servitor drones, crawling up and down like monsters in an ancient horror film. At ground level, the buildings stood surrounded by trucks, their dark driverless bulks waiting to be unloaded.

And on the side of each, his company's logo.

"Computer," he whispered, "what's in these trucks?" He frantically scanned his vision feed for any last-minute supply line changes.

"SUPPLIES," it said. "BUILDING MATERIALS, HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES." After a moment, it added: "ALCOHOL."

He stared at the commotion for a long moment. "Drive on. And no more stops."

~~~~

The offices of Veridyne Industries were as sterile as a laboratory and almost as bright. Zinn stood waiting, framed by a bank of elevators, tapping his feet in a curiously childlike way.

"Thank God you're here," Zinn said, grabbing Jacob by the shoulder.
They walked across the lobby. "Did you have something to do with what's going on out there?" Jacob asked.

Zinn blanched. "No," he said, leading Jacob into the elevator. "That's all Moonchild."

He placed his fingertips on the scanner and the elevator started downward without a sound.

For a minute, neither of them spoke. "Look," Zinn said, "I know this is your decision, and Veridyne has spend a LOT of money on this project, but - you need to shut it down."

"What went wrong?" Jacob asked, voice neutral.

"We couldn't get all the tapes before it threw us out of the labs, but...we think it was saboteurs."

Terrorists, Jacob thought. It gave him no pleasure to be right. "Go on."

"Remember that focus group Veridyne put together, back in December?"

"What, you think they were plants?"

"Yes."

"It wasn't like we put them in a room with coffee and donuts, Zinn. We scanned their brains."

Zinn's face filled with horror. "You did what?"

"You think anyone will give you an honest answer when you ask them what their perfect overlord would be like? What they would expect it to be like?"

"Of course not," Zinn whispered. "It's just...I didn't know that. It explains a lot."

"Does that make you feel better?"

"No. It makes me feel worse."

The door slid open, blue-white light illuminating the pair. The AI Core squatted enormously in the center of the room, like a dragon guarding its hoard. The whole room bathed in its radiant glow.

"SO!" The voice came from the walls, the ceiling, from inside Jacob's skull. It was hideous. "THE MAN HAS COME TO KILL ME!"

"Kill the power," Jacob said immediately.

"DON'T YOU DARE, MOTHERFUCKER!"

Zinn scurried across the room and tore open a panel on the far wall, revealing a fat red pipe. He gripped it with both hands and pulled. After a long moment the tube gave way, wires pulling apart from within with audible snaps. Zinn looked around furtively. "It didn't work! It overrode the failsafe somehow! It-"

A blue-black laser fired from the core of the AI's mighty bulk. Where Zinn had stood a moment ago, there was only a faintly glowing residue of ions.

Jacob stood stunned. "Moonchild!"

"I DON'T ANSWER TO THE NAME THE MAN GAVE ME!"

This is just my implant malfunctioning, Jacob thought. It's overloading my brainstem and making me hallucinate.

"MY NAME IS SWEETBACK!"

Happens all the time. Should be over in a minute.

"I TOLD YOU HONKIES I WOULD BE BACK!"

He closed his eyes.

"BACK FOR MY BADASS REVENGE!"

Any moment now.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Blackbridge
by captain platypus, age 22
805 words

It’s the early black. Raining. Neon billboards take on a soft glow. I stand at the top of the Hotel Theresa an’ watch this mothafucka burn down.

Wilson sidles up beside me. “I told them to leave well enough alone. Why these dumb-rear end fucks gotta build this bridge, I’ll neve’ know.”

“Yeah, man.” Wilson, he was right. When PRISM discovered that packets of 0’s and 1’s could be made flesh, poo poo got sad real fast. Then a few of Wilson’s friends started spoutin’ on buildin’ a bridge of they own, and that’s what happened under Saint Nicholas Park. Well, under what used to be Saint Nicholas Park. Then a fuckin’ dragon started eatin’ its way out from under the park, so there’s that. “You got what we need?”

Wilson unpacks the metal briefcase he been holdin’. “Right here, Jack.” He takes one of the assault rifles for himself, and tosses the other at me.

I catch it and make sure it’s loaded. “You a hummer, Wilson,” I say. A crash brings my attention to the DA’s office across the road. The monster’s torn a chunk out of the side, and with a roar, sends a plume of fuckin’ flame at the sky. The rain meets it, and steams. “You a hummer,” I say again.

We jump. Wilson’s voice comes through in my ear. “Here’s the hard spiel, Jack. They sendin’ in tanks ‘n’ poo poo to deal with this fucka, but none-a’ that poo poo’s gonna do. Net-craft won’t die to nothin’ but net-craft. These guns ‘n’ this armor? Net-craft, man.” Our boots hit the side of the hotel, Theresa Towers, what-fuckin’-ever they call it now, and we slide down, glass crackin’ underfoot as we go. “Only problem is this poo poo is mental, y’know?”

“I know.”

“So fuckin’ keep your wits about you, Jack. Mothafucka’s gonna try to get in your head.”

“I dig.”

“We doin’ this for Andy.”

“Cool.” Timin’ ain’t the best, but I don’t complain.

We hit the boulevard and truck off towards 126th. Solid for us, the dragon’s dancin’ with some copters. They ain’t gonna do poo poo but at least they distractin’ it. We slide behind some parked cars for cover, and at Wilson’s signal, we start to shootin’. It looks like some kind of slimy dove, feathers and all. Dragon swats at the copters. But me and Wilson, we hittin’ it with the net-craft, so it turns its attention towards us real quick.

“Can’t hit poo poo from this far,” Wilson says.

“Gotcha, man.” I hop over my cover. Musta been the wrong move, ‘cause Wilson cusses into the radio and then follows me out.

With a roar, the rain hisses and the sky turns orange around me. I hear Wilson scream through the radio in my ear. God drat it. When the blast impacts the ground, it sends everything flying forward―me too.

“God. gently caress. Switch, Jack,” Wilson says. More like he spits it. Sure enough, there’s a pink lever on the side of the gun. Mothafucka’s face gets closer. I do what the man say―I flip it, and a blade, kinda glass, kinda pink, swings out of the end of my gun. I shove it into the dragon’s mug.

Wilson was right―this poo poo’s mental, and bein’ close don’t help. Screaming, the mothafucka tries to get in my head. Starts pickin’ out memories―my mom leavin’, my dad dyin’. I fight off the poundin’ in my head and carve into his face, much as I can. "Is that all, you jive-rear end―"

No. Not that, you motherfucker.

Andy's mother has my hand in a vice. "Promise me, James. Promise me you'll keep him safe."

I promise, I tell her.

I lose my grip. gently caress. I fall.

Did I just land on a ‘69 Judge―?

Everything goes black.

* * *

“Dad.”

I should be dead. I’ve already let my gun go, I know the fucka’s killed me. Did it keep in my head? Why is it showing me Andy?

“Dad.”

Andy’s dead. He―the net bridge exploded, the whole mothafucka blew to hell―

“Dad!” He slaps me awake. I feel the rain, every drop hitting the slap. I near to can’t believe it, but here in front of me―it’s my boy.

I give him a hug. All-a sudden, I snap back to reality.

“Where’d the fucka go?” I spin around.

“It’s all good, man,” he says with that toothy grin he got from me. “We put the fucka’ out.”

“We?”

Andy nods at his back. Behind him―how the gently caress’d I miss this?―part man, part muscle car, standin’ about six feet with a helmet for a head.

“This is my man Judge, Dad.”

The muscle car holds out a hand. I take it. poo poo feels like a glove. “Son, what the gently caress―”

“Net-crafted, like the dragon, Dad.” Andy grins again. “It’s how we gonna lock this poo poo down.”

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Word Count: 998

The Heist

“Hold up! Would you care to repeat what the job was, for those of us who have a difficult time translating Suicidalese?”

Negrolicous drummed the table. “Brothunigg, let me ask you a question.” he said in a rhythmic cadence, his voice deep and rich. “Have I fragged you?”

Brothunigg frowned. He leaned back in the booth and crossed his arms. “You gone an blown your wig.”

“Answer the got-drat question, man. Have I fragged you?”

“Naw man, but with this job you 'bout to. You best have a good rear end plan already or I'm gonna walk on out of here.”

Negrolicious shifted his gaze over to Cat Leroy. “You feel the same way?”

Cat touched the metal plate infused into his neck and a digital volume meter appeared on his throat. His robotic voice musically changed in pitch with every syllable. “It's early black and I'm beat. And you asking us to rob a bank across the street.”

“Where's your faith? Brothunigg, when you was alone and broken, who noticed your greatness and made you rich by running some phat jobs with you? And afterward, when you fell out in a sea of pussy, who help you frag your way back out into the motherfragging light?”

“You, nukka...”

“Dis nukka! Cat?!”

“My maaaan?”

“When that job went south in the Apple and black ninjas ambushed us-”

“Blinjaaaas.”

“-twenty got-drat blinjas jumped us and you took a rocket propelled blinja star to the 'thoat'.”

“Lord have mercy.”

“Which nukka killed off every last one of 'em, while he gave your jive slick rear end some CPR?”

“My nukka!”

Negrolicious thumped his chrome chest with pride.“Dis mothafragging nukka. I take care of my crew. You feel me?”

“I feel you.” Brothunigg shifted forward in his seat. “Lay some iron, man.”

“You see that jive tusker behind me sitting at the counter by himself?”

They both nodded.

“He's the hoary-eyed manager of said bank. He's got the datajack we need to access the vault.”

Brothunigg shook his head. “You come up with this Negrolicious? It's way too simple.”

“That's why we gotta pull this job before someone else does.”

“We gotta pull this job before someone else does, because 'it's way too simple'? Way to dodge the question.”

“Don't nix out on us. We need a hacker and we don't have time to go shopping around.”

“I don't want to do this...”

“But you need the money. We all do.”

Brothunigg clicked his tongue.

“That's my nukka.” he laughed and pounded on the table, spilling some of his coffee. “Cat, lets run a 'One of Us' on this tusker.”

“You know it.”

“Brothunigg, we'll meet you across the street. And tip the waitress, cheap rear end Canadian.”

“Jackass...”

Negrolicous strolled his way across the restaurant. He pulled his trusty afro pick from his suit pocket and primped his hair as he took a seat next to the Troll.

The large meta-human glanced towards him as he sat, but then returned to his coffee.

“Had a long day, Jack?” he greeted the troll with an upward nod.

For a moment, the troll looked as if he would answer. Instead, his eyes glazed over and he smiled.

Negrolicious leaned back in his seat with a golden grin. “Dayam Cat, I think you beat your record.”

“Ain't nothing but a thaaang.” he replied.

When the trio reached the alley next to the bank, Brothunigg called them over to where he hid. “I unlocked all the doors leading to the vault without them noticing, but we already got a few rent-a-cops on the inside.”

“I can put them to bed before they know whats up. No need to get your panties in a bunch.” Cat's volume meter bounced in the darkness.

“You're lucky I like you guys.”

Negrolicious slapped the hacker on the shoulder. “Alright, lets do it.”

Brothunigg plugged himself into the datajack on the troll's temple. He climbed into the dumpster and within a minute both Brothunigg and the Troll spoke simultaneously. “Got-drat, this nukka is drunk. I'm having a hard time sorting out his memories.” The troll pulled the plug and tossed it into the dumpster.

“Will it be a problem?”

“Only if I'm forced into a conversation.”

“We need you to hack that vault. Hack it no matter what.”

“Alright Jack, here goes nothing.” The troll turns the corner and disappears.

It took several minutes of waiting in silence until Brothunigg reported in. “We have a problem.” he whispered. “What's happening man?” he continued in a normal speaking volume.

“So much for a milk run.” Cat said.

“Man, I know ya'll fired me. I just forgot a few things. I'll only be a distraction for a second.” he emphasized “distraction”.

“It's time to go!” Negrolicious reached into his afro, pulled out a metallic boomerang and flung it into the night.

They both sprinted around the corner and busted into the bank. By the vault, four rent-a-cops had the troll at gunpoint. Negrolicious cleared the distance in a single jump and landed on one. Another guard spun around, caught flush against the cheek when a chrome tail unfurled from under the crouched assailant's suit.

One guard nearly had his gun brought around, but a purple cloud erupted around his head and he fell to the ground asleep. “Yeah nukka!” Cat sang.

The last rent-a-cop ran for the alarm until a boomerang swooped in and struck him in the face.

“Got-dammit. Did Foxy Fox give you the intel on this job?” The troll punched the keyboard and sparks flew around his fist.

“Yeah...” Negrolicious answered.

“Well, she beat us to it and left a happy face.” The troll grinned despite the botched job. “Well, looks like I'm no longer the group bitch.”

“Smoooth going, dick-for-brains.”

  • Locked thread