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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

jane eyre is good i read it a couple years ago for the first time. i have a friend who was always obsessed with it and she convinced me to read the first chapter, then i finished it

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EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


it is indeed very good, and reading P&P as an adult has been rewarding as well. For both books since it was so long ago and I was so young I remember only the general plot beats and not much more, so it's like reading them for the first time again sorta.

t a s t e
Sep 6, 2010


POSTING
Champion
of
Something Awful


New York trilogy is great good choices

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

i guess only 2 people in this game about writing are reading books? ? ?


here is the next part

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




The car door shut after Lin with a muted thud, and the quiet, stale interior of Saul’s Mercedes somehow made her think of the padded walls of an expensive coffin. She snapped on her seatbelt and already regretted resisting the urge to slip out the mirror before putting her bags in the trunk. How long, she wondered, would she have to wait for a picture of Sha Sha to materialize on that strange surface.

The driver-side door opened and Saul slid into the leather seat. He thumbed the ignition switch, input the address of the airport, and the car pulled onto the road, crunching over fallen leaves on the frosty pavement.

They rode in silence for several minutes. Lin looked out the window, watching the neighborhood streets slip behind her and into her past, wondering how much of it would still be familiar when she returned.

“Shanette looked healthy.” Saul broke the silence, peering at her through his singular black lens.

Lin looked away. “Can you brief me on this now, or what?”

“Not yet,” said Saul, turning to look at the road again. “When we reach the training facility. They have high hopes for this one. They aren’t letting any hints out.”

That was the way with Pearson and Pyle. Ever obtuse, even with their own employees. It wasn’t enough for them to keep their formulas hidden, they had to keep even the idea of what they might be working on next a secret. So that left even Lin--who was not a chemist and had no way of knowing what they’d do with the information she gathered--completely in the dark until they had her satisfactorily isolated from the rest of the populace.

This upcoming expedition would be her eight planetfall, and her third for Pearson and Pyle. The company had been shockingly aggressive in their bid to steal her away from EdCorp, her previous employer, and once they had her, they made sure she never wanted to leave. The diverse and seemingly contradictory set of skills it took to be a field exo-biologist were hard to come by in a single person, and Lin and Saul were two of the best alive.

There were only several hundred field exo-biologists employed by private companies in existence. The job was dangerous, and required years of education--the kind which didn’t usually coexist with combat and survival expertise. For Lin, that drive for adventure had always been there. It wasn’t enough for her to know about the inner workings of alien life--she wanted to hold it in her hands, cut it open herself and be there observing how it experienced life and death. This kind of hands-on attitude was a requirement for being a field exo-biologist. Dropping into a hostile, unexplored world and surviving in the wild was par for the course. And she enjoyed it--not for whatever results her research produced, but for the adventure and the discovery. Whatever kind of drugs or other products Pearson and Pyle made with the data she collected, she’d never cared enough to consider. She did it for herself, and for the money. And now, for Sha Sha.

They rode in silence for a while. Lin watched the neighborhood outside transition into taller and taller buildings that flashed by faster as they pulled onto the highway. Everything blended into a grey smear, and she turned away.

“So what’s the time lag gunna be on this one?” she said.

“Two years,” said Saul. “You didn’t ask?”

She hadn’t. Maybe she didn’t want it to be harder to say yes, if the number was high. Maybe she just hadn't wanted to think about what that number meant at the time. Two years. Sha Sha would be five. She’d be reading, talking up a storm, and making friends in preschool.

“Not bad,” said Lin. “If the job is quick, we could be back in time to vote out that scam artist Nicholson, get ourselves a democratic president again.”

“Two years each way, Lin.”

The world froze around her for a moment, and her heart struggled to keep beating. Four years, plus however long the job took. She’d be away from her girl for longer than she’d even been alive.

Saul must have seen the look on her face. “Lin? Is something wrong?”

We have to turn back, she wanted to say. I can’t be away for this long. But even if she declined this job, there would be another. She’d already put Sha Sha and Tabitha through the pains of goodbye, what good was it for her to return now only to leave them again in a few weeks?

“I’m fine,” she said.

She felt the opportunity to stay shrinking behind her, receding further from reach with each breath until it was gone, somewhere behind the grey, towering skyline that enveloped her.


~


An hour later the acceleration of takeoff pressed Lin and Saul back into their seats. Lin watched out the window of the rising plane as the city shrank to dollhouses beneath them. She held the mirror in her lap, having slipped it from the side pouch before checking her bags. The surface still displayed the last image she and Sha Sha had taken together: the face of Sha Sha’s iDoll. It’s empty eyes and plastic skin seemed to mock Lin with their simulated humanity every time she looked.

“Give her time,” said Saul, noticing Lin’s anxiety. “She has probably cried herself to sleep. You will hear from her eventually.”

Lin nodded at what she knew Saul meant to be comforting, but the image of her little girl crying for her mother only made Lin more desperate to see a smile. Now, she could not picture Sha Sha’s face in any way other than tearful.

Time passed grudgingly as the plane crawled across the sky. The iDoll’s sterile forgery of a child’s face did not leave the mirror’s surface.


~


Tires screeching at touchdown. A girl sneezing on her in baggage claim. Outside, the impossible pyramid of Space Elevator Three rose to a needlepoint that pierced the clouds, continuing up--Lin knew--out of the atmosphere to Space Station Three above, where her transport awaited.

Four retina scans and a DNA check later, she stepped inside the Pearson and Pyle facility at the base of the space elevator.

Her assigned room, to be used during the briefing and training before the jump, was small and simple. It contained a single bed, and a locking trunk for personal items. There was one wallscreen for announcements--she somehow doubted it had access to any entertainment--and a toilet and cubicle shower.

The sterility of the room was interrupted by a single object hanging on the wall opposite the bed, like a lone ship lost in a sea of frozen white. It was a small, wooden crucifix, and its incongruence seemed to draw everything in the room toward it, like a vanishing point. It pulled at her eyes as she tried to unpack, until she gave in and walked over to look at it.

The wood was dark and smooth from years of being touched--caressed in thankfulness, rubbed in anxiety. The tortured figure on the cross seemed to have a questioning look, his head tilted up at her as if to say “Well? What are you going to do with the life I afforded you?”

It made her uneasy. Not for what it symbolized, but what it meant that it was hanging there on the wall at all. This was not an object that one left behind by mistake. It seemed likely that whoever owned the cross was not returning, and would never return. The look on the figure’s face then seemed to ask a different question: “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

Did she? Lin ran a hand over the rippling scars on her arm. She’d been close to death before. Being at what you perceived to be the very end gave one a perspective that not many gained so early in life. Your time in this world was short, so short, and every minute of it was a literal gift--from God, the universe, chance--and not to be taken for granted. In that moment, with her skin melting like butter, pouring onto her boots and pants in sizzling drops, she felt the void hurtling toward her, and thought of her daughter. She’d sworn if she somehow made it out alive, she’d never go on another expedition--never put herself in such danger again--and risk leaving Sha Sha without a mother.

But she was doing it now. Somehow that urgency was gone. Or, not gone, but pushed aside--ignored, in favor of the bigger picture. There is no reward without risk.

“I know what I’m doing,” she said aloud. Lin lifted the cross from the wall and put it in the bottom of the trunk, out of mind.

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


terrible ##vote derp

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



Sorry derp I was reading Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age most recently, probably going to go back to Wolf Hall after that

Ernie.
Aug 31, 2012



EccoRaven posted:

I finished Pride and Prejudice a few days ago and started Jane Eyre a day later. I also got roped into a Moby Dick book club but I'm very behind so I'm probably not going to participate at all.

e: I've read both these books before but not since I was a Wee Child so I was curious to see if they hold up (and they do so it's great).

pride and prejudice does not hold up. no i refuse. i am sorry.

it is the love actually of books!

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


except love actually is good too??? I don't understand.

Look Under The Rock
Oct 20, 2007

you can't take the sky from me


uranus posted:

hey so whats everyone reading? i just finished hyperion and am now reading (listening to) the new york trilogy by paul auster, who i'd never heard of until now, but sometimes i just buy books randomly without knowing anything about them or the author on a single recommendation from a friend. its v strange, and i like strange.

tell me what you're reading! ! !

Everything and More: a Compact History of Infinity by dfw
Reamde by Neal Stephenson but I've tried that one twice and I just get bogged down in the endless ACTION and end up reading other things
I started The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell this morning on the bus and I'm really enjoying that.

I have heard really good stuff about Hyperion, you will have to tell me how you like it.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Gonna fail this round, but I'll be back to judge.

Keep writing, ya'll. Stay strong.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

hyperion was pretty great. lots of interesting ideas, and i loved the structure of the story--a bunch of travelers on a ship all taking turns telling their story of where they are and why they are going to this one weird planet together. but, it ends in a frustrating way, which doesnt answer any of the major questions. at least now i know its possible to write an award winning novel without actually finishing the story!

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!



When is deadline? Tomorrow?

George Kansas
Sep 1, 2008

preface all my posts with this


Tomorrow, just tomorrow.

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!



Perfect because I ain't getting to this today by anymeans~

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

lol bk love the av

George Kansas
Sep 1, 2008

preface all my posts with this


I decided to put some rolls in my mouth.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Yeah, I'm not going to make the deadline. Good luck everyone!

George Kansas
Sep 1, 2008

preface all my posts with this


You all get an extension to Thursday.

Chic Trombone
Jul 25, 2010



oh good. thank you bottleknight

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!



Awesome, I wasn't going to make it either

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



My first major screenplay shall be about the modern day saint known as BottleKnight

Chic Trombone
Jul 25, 2010



I'm gonna be honest and admit I haven't written a thing yet, it's the week before finals for me and I've been alternating between ignoring every responsibility ever and studying like the worlds gonna end

I'll try to have something by tonight but idk if it's gonna happen

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Chic Trombone posted:

I'm gonna be honest and admit I haven't written a thing yet, it's the week before finals for me and I've been alternating between ignoring every responsibility ever and studying like the worlds gonna end

I'll try to have something by tonight but idk if it's gonna happen

I also haven't written anything yet, and I also hope to get something up tonight. It'll probably be ungreat, but c'est la vie.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

you can do it! type for 30 minutes and get 500 ish words then post!

Look Under The Rock
Oct 20, 2007

you can't take the sky from me


I feel that finals pain, spent most of this afternoon doing aural comprehension training with a piece of software I've nicknamed "MacDammit" -- if you've ever used it before, you know which one I'm talking about. It was especially hard because I spent this morning trying to learn yet another Warren Zevon song by ear, so I was trying to notate intervals and kept hearing SOMEONE CALLED PIANO FIGHTER I'M A HOLY ROLLER I'M A REAL LOWRIDER ring through my head on repeat.

Working on the thing now, but BLORP.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


I'm leaving to go see Neil deGrasse Tyson in like fifteen minutes, but I've finished my rough draft. When I get back, I'm going to edit and then I will post. It will be up before midnight Hawaii time!

Also, I got my blog done for this week and I'm going to actually have time this weekend to build up a backlog!

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Meinberg posted:

I'm leaving to go see Neil deGrasse Tyson

i'm jelly

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


uranus posted:

i'm jelly

I'm pretty hyped, despite not liking going out that much. Neil deGrasse Tyson is worth it.

Look Under The Rock
Oct 20, 2007

you can't take the sky from me


ALISON: Say oooooooo…(leads singing again, leading into--)



ALISON:
I know my heart and how it changes constantly
I give up, surrender to it completely
I’ll fall in love forever with a look from you
And take my distance at the time you tell me to

DAMIEN:
Don’t need a promise that you’re here for good
For the moment, just let me be understood
Please don’t run away, I wanna see your face
Goodbye is not the problem, and it has its place

ALISON & DAMIEN:
So love me in this instant, you won’t ever have to stay
Tell me when it’s over and I’ll let you walk away
I won’t cry and beg for you when you decide it’s done
There’s beauty in the pain and I know I’m not the only one
ALISON:
And there’s one thing that I have never understood --
DAMIEN:
Why something has got to last forever to be good
ALISON & DAMIEN:
Cuz nothing lasts forever, and nothing ever should
So go ahead, take my heart, love me for today
Lead me on

ALISON:
I’m not the type who wants to own you selfishly
DAMIEN:
I wanna know your soul so please just promise me
ALISON & DAMIEN
You won’t hold back
ALISON:
And most would want to keep your heart in chains
But I’m the type of girl who wants the world to know your name

ALISON & DAMIEN:
So love me in this instant, you won’t ever have to stay
Tell me when it’s over and I’ll let you walk away
I won’t cry and beg for you when you decide it’s done
There’s beauty in the pain and I know I’m not the only one
ALISON:
And there’s one thing that I have never understood --
DAMIEN:
Why something has got to last forever to be good
ALISON & DAMIEN:
Cuz nothing lasts forever, and nothing ever should
So go ahead, take my heart, love me for today
Lead me on

ALISON:
There are so many others who deserve to see your smile
I only want the memories, so stay here for a while
And when you’ve found someone else you’d like to know
You’ll plant the seed of goodbye and I’ll stand to watch it grow

ALISON & DAMIEN:
So love me in this instant, you won’t ever have to stay
Tell me when it’s over and I’ll let you walk away
I won’t cry and beg for you when you decide it’s done
There’s beauty in the pain and I know I’m not the only one
ALISON:
And there’s one thing that I have never understood --
DAMIEN:
Why something has got to last forever to be good
ALISON & DAMIEN:
Cuz nothing lasts forever, and nothing ever should
So go ahead, take my heart, love me for today
Lead me on
DAMIEN: (to Alison) That was the first song we wrote together.
ALISON: Good ol’ days and all that. I always liked singing it.
SCRAP: I always liked it too.
ALISON: Okay okay. (to audience) There’s this really lovely story, something that happened just before Damien and I started dating...we’d only been hanging out for like a month and I went on this crazy trip with my best friend from high school. We flew out to Seattle for six weeks and it was like, the first time I’d ever been on my own before. Like super sheltered childhood and stuff, I didn’t do poo poo while I was in high school. So we were in Seattle staying in this tiny house full of weird hippies and basically living on tuna salad and saltines so we could spend our money on band merch, and we got up to all sorts of embarrassing shenanigans...like I remember one day we went to the mall and stole a bunch of makeup and t-shirts, just useless poo poo, just because we felt like it. We smoked a lot, I’d just started smoking, we sat out on the back porch and she taught me to blow smoke rings, watching them kind of hang themselves on these foggy wet tree branches. So one night we went to this party and everyone was getting stoned, and I’d never gotten stoned before, so I was like “what the hell, why not?” but I didn’t know how much it would take to get me stoned, so I took a bunch of hits really fast and ate a lot of guacamole and chips and then all of a sudden I could hear music from the kitchen and it sounded like it was in 3-D...you know how music sounds when you’re baked? And I freaked out. So my friend shoved me into a bedroom with a cell phone and told me to call someone and just talk for a while, and I didn’t know who to call, so I called Damien.
DAMIEN: Yeah, and it was 3 AM.
ALISON: You were awake.
DAMIEN: It was Christmas eve, I was playing Risk with my family.
ALISON: And you’d just lost.
DAMIEN: Yeah...that wasn’t actually true. I’d been winning.
ALISON: You’re making this story way less sweet right now.
DAMIEN: Go ahead, tell it your way.
ALISON: So, Damien was awake and not busy because he’s a lovely Risk player. And he just like, stood out in his driveway--
DAMIEN: In the snow--
ALISON: --for three hours while I sobered up. He was really nice about the whole thing even though I was just like stoned blubbering at him for most of it and talking about how good guacamole tastes when you’re high.
DAMIEN: To be fair, guacamole is the best thing.
ALISON: I know, right? Anyway, after the trip was over, he drove like four hours to pick me and my friend up from the airport. (distantly) All that for someone he wasn’t really even close with yet.
SMITTY: Is there a point to this, because it’s been going on for a really long time.
ALISON: (jarred back to the present) I...guess not. I’ve just always liked that story. Maybe you had to be there.
SMITTY: You guys were the only ones there for it, though.
DAMIEN: Maybe you have to actually have had a relationship to get it.
ALISON: Smitty’s been in relationships. He’s just not like, ooey-gooey sentimental like we are.
DAMIEN: Speak for yourself.
SCRAP: Aw Dames, you’re a total softie. I mean come on, you’re a poet.
DAMIEN: A poem is a house built with bricks made of blood and broken glass.
SMITTY: Oh my GOD.
ALISON: Speaking of broken glass, this song is called Barefoot Highway!

ALISON:
Never felt so right before
Every time I open that door
Never had a chance to breathe my mind
Say we got a history
Locked inside my memory
It’s our future that I’m trying to find

I’m so lonesome, can’t find what I can keep
It’s not so gentle, it won’t let me sleep

And I gotta tell you, tell you, I know that we can’t touch
So I gotta show you, show you that’s not asking much
But you’re so distant, distant, I just gotta say
I’d walk through broken glass
If you said it’d help me pass you on this highway
On this highway

Being gone ain’t good enough
I can smile and act like I’m tough
You said yes, you love me and I broke
Say we got telepathy
Locked inside our memories
That’s our future going up in smoke

I’m so lonesome, can’t bring myself to try
It’s not so gentle, you can’t see me cry

And I gotta tell you, tell you, I know that we can’t touch
So I gotta show you, show you that’s not asking much
But you’re so distant, distant, I just gotta say
I’d walk through broken glass
If you said it’d help me pass you on this highway
On this highway

Not giving up, darlin
You know what I need
Not giving up, darlin
Never had a chance to breathe

And I gotta tell you, tell you, I know that we can’t touch
So I gotta show you, show you that’s not asking much
But you’re so distant, distant, I just gotta say
I’d walk through broken glass
If you said it’d help me pass you on this highway
On this highway

SCRAP: I think that’s the song that’s the closest we’ve had to a hit.
SMITTY: And what a perfect song for it, too. Emblematic, really.
ALISON: What?
SMITTY: Oh, you know. Girl is sad because boy left and she’ll do just aaaaanything to get him back, even though--
ALISON: Smitty.
SMITTY: I mean really, all our best songs are classic cycle of abuse bullshit, right?
SCRAP: What are you talking about?
SMITTY: Heidi, can I get a nice strong rum and coke up here?
DAMIEN: I knew this was a bad idea.
SMITTY: I told you I didn’t want to. I told you I wasn’t gonna be nice about poo poo.
DAMIEN: Smits, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you be nice.
SMITTY: I’m really nice, I’m so loving nice, you have no idea how nice I can be.
DAMIEN: Yeah okay, I take that back. You’re really nice as long as you’re hosed up.
ALISON: Damien, shut up.
SMITTY: No, let’s hear it.
DAMIEN: You really have no idea how bad it tore Alison up, do you?
ALISON: Damien. Shut. Up. Now.
SMITTY: I can take it.
DAMIEN: To be honest, though, I liked you better that way. Less caustic.
SMITTY: Poetry is blood and broken glass, huh? So tough.
ALISON: gently caress both of you. You want to go balls out with the truth, right here, right now? You wanna air our dirty laundry on this stage? Fine. I’ll start.


(NOTE: "Lead Me On" is a really really really really REALLY old song, like March 2009 or something. I am reworking it for the purposes of this musical and I'm hoping I figure out my poo poo mic issues because that is a horrific recording from when I was first learning how to record multiple tracks and before I figured out I'm not a soprano. Enjoy my embarrassment!)

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Still failure.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

good song

t a s t e
Sep 6, 2010


POSTING
Champion
of
Something Awful


I've got to take my leave. I haven't been able to put anything together and this game and you all deserve better than that. Please vote me out.

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



the database ate my homework

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



I surprised even myself by threading Stanley up pretty much perfectly on my first try. I suppose it’s like that whole riding a bike thing. I glanced over the whole setup while The Gecko pretended to check my work, wiping an imagined speck of dust off the front of the lens. He raised an eyebrow at me.

“You happy with this?” he asked, and then pulled a white cloth glove out of his back pocket.

“gently caress you, I’m not the one who scratched the poo poo out of that print of Tsotsi, but I am the one who stayed up all Christmas Eve helping you put that print of Django Unchained back together after you dropped it on the floor, rear end in a top hat.”

Chris laughed as he struggled into the glove, finally wiggling his way into it and running his index finger around the edge of the platter. “Hmmmm… seems alright I suppose. Guess it’s time.”

I took a deep breath with my finger poised over the “Start” button and imagined I could feel bit of electricity arcing from the tip of finger into the button and from there into the projector itself, tendrils finding their way into the space between the gears. The clock ticked inexorably towards the top of the hour, the air thick with the smell of popcorn oil and the buzz from the theatre providing a muted background through the port glass. The appointed time arrived and I pushed down on the button. The lamp sparked to life and the motor began to turn over as the picture leaped out of the lens and onto the screen below. I tweaked the framing and tightened the focus and headed down to the theatre, leaving Chris behind to keep an eye on things for the first reel of the film.

In the end I was probably more interested in watching the crowd than the film. It’s not that I don’t like 2001, it’s just that I’ve seen it more than a few times, and quite a few of those were “events” so it’s hard to get up for it, even on what’s ostensibly a pretty special occasion like this. I still perked up for some of my favorite moments, and my critical eye still caught parts where the film itself was degraded from years of use and where little bits were missing because frames had been lost. About the time the Discovery was going into orbit someone a few rows behind me dropped a beer bottle that proceeded to ruin the scene by loudly clattering down the sloped floor, ringing out loudly every time it ran into the metal frame of a seat. Moments later the beer itself made its way past me, threads of suds breaking off into various tributaries that might have been a map of the Nile delta as it worked its way to the front.

As the film wore on I started noticing more and more irregularities in the print. Every five minutes or so there would be a brief audio pop and I started to imagine I could see a distorted image accompanying each sound. Soon my attention was off the “action” (I hesitate to use that word in describing the movie) and I was trying to focus on each of these anomalies. They were too infrequent and brief to get a handle on it before the show was over but I couldn’t seem to get my mind off it. The patrons filtered out, and once again I was treated to snippets of intriguing conversation but I was too lost in my thoughts to really catch what was being said.

The theatre finally emptied, with more than a few people staying all the way through the end of the credits, including a group of six girls that clearly were here as part of a film studies class as they were loudly debating about whether Professor G- was right about the death of film. I tried to flash my most winning smile at them hoping to catch their attention but somehow they all had the willpower to ignore me. I looked around for Chris but he was nowhere to be seen. Finally an usher walked in and began the tedious chore of cleaning up the detritus of the patrons. Feeling nostalgic I started helping, carefully only picking up trash that I didn’t deem too “icky” and stepping carefully around spilled drinks.

“Do you think these people think it’s ok to thrown loving trash everywhere at home or at their jobs?” I asked the usher, who appeared to completely ignore me. I stood staring at him for several seconds with a peevish look on my face until I caught his eye and he reached up and pulled out an earbud that I hadn’t noticed before.

“Sorry yo, did you say something?” he asked.

“Yeah, I said people loving suck” I replied, and just then the bottom of the large popcorn bag I had picked up completely dissolved, disgorging a ghastly slurry of soda and popcorn bits. “Who the gently caress spills an entire soda INTO a bag of popcorn?”

“loving A” he said, putting his headphones back on and tuning me out. I sat down in a seat at the back of the theatre and closed my eyes for a minute, thinking again about the glitches in the film. Glitch of course being a digital term and inappropriate to the analog world of film, but still.

I’d just about decided to not wait for Chris any longer and head up to the booth myself when a cool hand wrapped itself around my eyes and my back tensed up.

“Who’s your favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer character, hotshot?” I felt as much as heard whispered into my ear.

My heart may have actually flipped as I replied “Of course it’s Buffy, bitch. Duh.” I turned around and smiled as I saw someone I hadn’t expected to see, someone who I simultaneously hoped and dreaded to see.

“Oh. My. God. Sophie! SOPHIE!” I exulted, and she grabbed me and hugged me tight, kissed me briefly on the lips and stepped back to look at me appraisingly.

If I were to use a social networking term to describe my relationship with Sophie it would have to be “It’s Complicated”. We’d never officially “gone out” but we’d spent the better part of a year hanging out, planning adventures, finishing each other’s sentences and generally behaving as if we were a couple but constantly performing an intricate dance to keep ourselves just a bit apart. She was one of those girls that other girls probably hated because boys would fall all over themselves for her. She was decent looking, but her real attraction was her bold fearlessness and her sharp wit. She always had a way of interjecting herself into every conversation and then making it feel like she was talking just to you. If you weren’t sure of yourself Sophie would devour you, but she and I had fenced for a bit in our initial meeting and I’d passed whatever test she had and she had let me into her life as one of the few real relationships she’d ever had. Then about six years ago she had left for film school in Austria and left me behind and hadn’t looked back. A year after that I had left too, and that split had led to the last five years of my life from which I was still digging myself out from.

“When did you get here… I thought you were in… well I have no idea where I thought you were but it certainly wasn’t here.” I said.

Sophie hesitated just a second before answering. “I got here two days ago. I was staying with… Merrill. He told me you were going to be here. I had hoped to be here to start the show but I got held up…” she trailed off.

“Ah. Merrill, eh? I guess that’s not a big surprise” I said, sounding a little more annoyed than I meant to. “Is he still working overtime to get into your pants?”

“What makes you think he hasn’t been there already?” she said with a twinkle in her eye.

“I know Merrill well enough to know that if he been there I’d have already known about it.”

A mischievous grin crossed her face “Yeah, I’d be his biggest conquest for sure.” I shrugged and studied the tops of my sneakers. There was a nasty glob of soda-soaked popcorn on my left shoe. Gross.

Sophie broke the awkward silence a moment later. “Listen, I know this is weird but it really is amazing to see you. What do you say we run down the street and get some sushi and sake, you know, old times and all that?”

“You know what Sophie that sounds awesome but there is something weird up with this print and I want to go break it down and take a closer look at it. Something is really not right and it’s killing me. But if you want to stay and help with that I will do anything you want the rest of the night.” I really hoped she would stay. “Have you seen Topher by the way?”

Sophie made a cute little frown/pout. “Topher? Are you still calling him that? He never liked that you know.”

“Whatever, Sophocles”

She giggled “I did see CHRIStopher, he got in Merrill’s truck when he dropped me off and they took off for who knows where. Merrill said to tell you that I was in charge until he got back. Which probably won’t be for quite some time. Now, tell me more of this intrigue you speak of. Could it be a mystery for, say, The Bloodhound Gang?”

I grabbed her hand and felt the same tingle I did when starting the projector. We chased each other up the stairs and I shouted out “The game is afoot!”

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Anyone ready for some more weird-rear end names?

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


UMAS Chapter 2
Tavy trudged through the snow and the cold, even as more flakes fell from above. Her form was bundled in layer after layer of clothing, to help to keep that cold at bay, but she still shivered as she came to a rest at the door to the pub. Her glove clad fist thudded repeatedly against the door, until it slid open and she stepped into the warmth.

A fire roared in the corner, sending waves of heat throughout the main room and cast its soft light over the polished wood of the furnishings. Despite the comforting environment, few of the chairs were occupied, save for some faces that had grown increasingly familiar. The Trio played some new game of their own invention at the table, while Professors Macidon and Gallowsglass argued heatedly with the bartender, likely over the quality of the local whiskey.

And in the back of the room, Reinborg and Finistre poured over documents splayed over the table. Reinborg looked up at the closing of the door and called out. “Tavinette, how lovely of you to join us, and so punctual.” Despite her Artisan background, Reinborg spoke with the affected tones of an Entrepeneur.

Tavy smirked and removed her overcoat and a couple of her scarves, hanging them up by the door, before sauntering over to the back table. She said, “In case you hadn't noticed, there's something of a blizzard happening.”

Finistre laughed heartily, a smile cracking his oversized beard. “Ah, now, now, no need for such disagreements,” he said. “We have more than enough to worry about is it is.”

“Fine,” Reinborg said. “Sit.” She slid some documents over towards Tavy who swiftly scanned the text.

“Are these numbers right?” Tavy said. Both Reinborg and Finistre nodded in response. Tavy withdrew a coal stick from one of her remaining pockets and quickly began circling items that drew her attention. “This is much more encouraging than I was expecting-”

“So we should proceed!” Finistre said.

“I didn't say that,” Tavy said. She shook her head and pushed the documents back over. “We can get widespread support, that's true. We can rely on the majority of students, staff, and faculty supporting our plan, but what we have in manpower, we lack in firepower.”

“Which is why we stop sending shipments to the Investors,” Reinborg said.

Finistre stiffened instantly, ingrained instincts rebelling against the idea of rebellion, but he slowed nodded. Tavy chewed on her lower lip contemplatively, and leaned forward to look at the numbers once again. “Finistre, how is the special project coming along?” Tavy asked.

Finistre strokes his large beard and fell into a moment of quiet contemplation. “A few months away, at least. And that's assuming that we can get enough people with the proper training.”

“We don't have time to wait,” Reinborg said. “Now is the only opportunity that we have.” Her voice slowly began to rise in volume. “For over a century, we have been under the thumb of these foreign capitalists, forced to bend and bow to the will of these Investors. We have lost the spirit of free and unencumbered research, we have lost the pursuit of academic freedom in the name of their blasted profit. And now with their war grinding both both sides down, we have an unheard of opportunity.”
The few others in the room had all fallen silent and were staring at Reinborg from across the room. Tavy's lips curled into a wry grin. “The snow will keep them away,” Tavy said. “Especially if we don't have make our announcement particularly loud.”

“Plus, we still have conventional arms,” Finistre said.

Reinborg looked over her entire audience, before bowing her head under the weight of the responsibility that had fallen onto her shoulders. She said, “So it is. Tavy, draft me a letter to the Dean. We here officially declare our independence!”

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



Meinberg, Reinborg is you, isn't it?

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Hal Incandenza posted:

Meinberg, Reinborg is you, isn't it?

I really don't know what you're talking about.

EccoRaven
Aug 15, 2004

there is only one hell:
the one we live in now


Erzsa died the end.

But then she got better the real end question mark.

~fin~ best story ever thank you thank you.

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Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004



At least judge me Ecco

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