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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









in

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Chainmail Onesie
May 12, 2014


LoserWinner
of "Thunder Dome!

Flew too close to the New Year on my last entry and failed miserably, ffs. In on this week, and :toxx: to cure my acute lack of moral fibre

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha
T O P



I spent most of last year failing so I’ll :toxx: in

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

In

Pepe Silvia Browne
Jan 1, 2007

I won GACHADOME and all I got was this... uh, thing..?


I am in and :toxx: as penance for my shameful fail last week

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


In

AstronautCharlie
Jan 13, 2020

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

The doctor is in

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




Doctor Eckhart posted:

I am ready for my INfection.

Your Diagnosis: Neurocysticercosis
Pathology: Early bird gets the worm! Neurocysticercosis is a disease of the brain caused by the migration and death of larval forms of the immature pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) after consumption of tainted meat. It presents with confounding epilepsy and frequent seizures in an otherwise healthy patient with no prior history of epilepsy.
Additional data: MRI brain. The white spots are Taenia cysts in otherwise healthy tissue.



Your Diagnosis: Sydenham Chorea ('St. Vitus' Dance')
Pathology: A consequence of childhood strep infection, Sydenham Chorea presents with uncontrollable twisting, writhing, and 'dance-like' movements as late as six months after cure of the initial strep infection. Other symptoms include tongue fasciculations and a rhythmic clenching and unclenching of the hands (the 'milking sign')


Your Diagnosis: Wilson's Disease
Pathology: A genetic disorder of copper storage in the body causing copper deposits in several organs, most predominantly in the brain and liver. Initially presents with clumsiness and cognitive deterioration before the age of thirty (including drastic behavior changes and an increase in irritability and aggression). Progresses to liver failure due to the untenable copper load. Treatment with copper-binding agents, may require transplantation.
Additional data: Photo of the eye showing the pathognomonic (disease-specific) deposition of copper in the eye. Termed a 'Kayser-Fleischer Ring'



Your Diagnosis: Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
Pathology: A genetic defect in the body's innate cancer-policing system, FAP results in the development of thousands upon thousands of polyps (small fleshy growths) inside the large intestine. These polyps inevitably grow to cancer of the colon without prompt detection. Treatment via total removal of the colon and rectum before progression to cancer can occur.
Additional Data: Endoscopic (camera scope) image of a living colon in a patient with FAP. Image masked due to its disturbing nature.



Your Diagnosis: Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS)
Pathology: A consequence of proper treatment of an immunocompromising disease (a disease that prevents the immune system from fighting infection). The recovery of the immune system can lead to a sudden and dramatic response from the body to a large variety of lurking bacteria, formerly masked by its inability to fight them. Patients can suddenly become incredibly ill from the consequence of their immune system suddenly 'seeing' all manner of pathogens which were formerly hidden from it. Treatment with antibiotics, antivirals, and medications to re-suppress the immune system before too much damage can be done.


Your Diagnosis: Capgras Syndrome (The 'Impostor Syndrome')
Pathology: A delusional neurologic disorder rarely seen as a consequence of a variety of dementias, traumatic brain injury, and schizophrenia. The patient maintains the passionate belief that a close friend or loved one has been replaced by an 'impostor', a perfect facsimile who means them ill will. This can extend to anyone that the patient once held affection toward, including spouses and even pets. There are no sure treatments, with the best guess being a combination of psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications.

Chainmail Onesie posted:

Flew too close to the New Year on my last entry and failed miserably, ffs. In on this week, and :toxx: to cure my acute lack of moral fibre

Your Diagnosis: Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
Pathology: A rare genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT). Results in the uncontrolled buildup of uric acid throughout all of the body's tissues. Initial manifestations include gout or kidney disease, progressing to neurologic symptoms of irritability and involuntary muscle contractions. Most striking and grotesque, however, is the patient's uncontrollable urge to perform self-mutilation, with patients chewing off their own lips and tongue. This pervasive self-harm can also express itself psychologically.

QuoProQuid posted:

I spent most of last year failing so I’ll :toxx: in

Your Diagnosis: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
Pathology: A sudden and temporary weakening of the muscles of the heart in response to extreme emotional stress (leading to the nickname 'broken heart syndrome'). Often misdiagnosed as acute heart failure from organic causes, such as coronary artery disease. Treatment consists of symptom management of heart failure, combined with intensive training in stress management.
Additional Data: An echocardiogram of a feebly beating, otherwise healthy heart.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1atruMccV4o


Your Diagnosis: Chagas Disease
Pathology: A consequence of infection by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, carried by the Triatomine, or 'kissing bug'. Patients with a high parasite load can suffer extreme enlargement of several organs, including the esophagus, colon, and heart, leading to myriad digestive issues and cardiac conduction abnormalities. Treat promptly with antiparasitics.
Additional Data: Image of Trypanosoma mastigotes in a blood sample


Pepe Silvia Browne posted:

I am in and :toxx: as penance for my shameful fail last week

Your Diagnosis: Systemic Sclerosis
Pathology: An autoimmune disease causing excessive production of collagen and progressive fibrosis (thickening and replacement with scar tissue) of the skin, esophagus (leading to inability to swallow), joints (leading to immobility), and viscera. There is no effective treatment for scleroderma and it is invariably fatal.


Your Diagnosis: Thyroid Storm
Pathology: A rare consequence of an overactive thyroid gland. Patients often have an underlying thyroid disease and incur some stressor, such as an infectious disease, dehydration, pregnancy, or psychiatric trauma. They present with extreme agitation, irregular and extremely rapid heart rate, fever to 104+ degrees, vomiting, and diarrhea. Prompt treatment via suppression of the thyroid is required to prevent the patient's body from 'working itself to death'.

AstronautCharlie posted:

The doctor is in

Your Diagnosis: Behcet syndrome
Pathology: A rare inflammatory disorder causing painful ulcerations of the mouth, eye, and genitalia. Most striking is the sufferers' phenomenon of 'pathergy', in which a very small insult (for example, a needle prick) can lead to an exaggerated reaction and an enormous, difficult-to-treat wound. Notably, these wounds do not respond well to surgical management, which risks compounding the problem.

Carl Killer Miller fucked around with this message at 17:02 on Jan 28, 2020

crimea
Nov 16, 2012


In.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:





Your Diagnosis: Kuru
Pathology: A hopefully extinct disease associated with the Fore people of Papua New Guinea. Caused by the ritual of funerary cannibalism, that is, the consumption of tissue (in this case the brains) of the recently deceased. Kuru is related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (known in some variants as 'mad cow disease'), but is distinct in its prolonged incubation period, in some cases up to fifty years. Patients present with uncontrollable whole-body tremors, an unsteady gait, and poor coordination. Kuru earned the nickname 'The Laughing Sickness' due to sufferers' ghastly pathologic bursts of uncontrolled laughter.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


WEEK 389 CRITSCH PART 1

Deadstar-1

Yeah, so this is the story this week that suffered the most from being a prisoner of its own clichés. I think I called this a mixture of The Thing and Aliens in judgechat, one that really didn’t measure up to either, and that definitely becomes apparent when you look at the dialogue and narration. That whole “Real space adventure poo poo” section makes me think that these are characters with words being shoved in their mouth, rather than real people dealing with a real situation. I genuinely don’t believe that people trying to stay alive on an abandoned outpost for this long would go out “slaying a loving dragon” like that, or if they would, they would at least have time to think about it longer than a couple sentences of doubt. My guess is that you sort of defaulted to what you knew about the genre, rather than what new ideas you could bring to it, and that’s never a good idea when you’re in a writing competition like this.

Chromatic Nights

Just like the last story, there was some heavy reliance on established sci-fi tropes--the “exploring humanoid visits a desolate planet, falls in love with it, and goes native” story is one I’ve seen before--but you skirt around it a bit by having some charm to your character and your descriptions. Even if the main character was a bit too angelic and uncomplicated for my tastes (he gets sentenced for stealing food to feed his family, for chrissakes). The ending is where it falls apart for me--I can believe that the planet would fight back against invading forces, but again, it’s something I’ve seen before, and more importantly it prevents the protagonist from having to make a choice of his own to decide how the story’s going to end. I liked this on a sentence level, but there were some decisions you made that kept it from reaching greatness as a story.

Force of Nurture

In judgechat, I divided this week into “unoriginal stories executed competently” and “original stories executed incompetently”, and this is our first example of the latter. I genuinely like the concept of this main character raising children that are carbon-copies of himself but not knowing how to do it, but I spent the whole story asking why any of this was happening, or why I should care as a reader. I wanted more investment in the characters early-on, instead of just a plain description of the action, and when we get to the section with the Mariner, it feels like he’s just spelling out to the audience what we should already know by that point. And then the story ends without us feeling like we saw anything of consequence other than a visit from the protag’s Fairy Godfather. Maybe the story ended where it should’ve began. Anyway, next time I would just do more work setting things up from the very beginning rather than expositioning it all in the middle.

The First Science

I honestly didn’t hate this, but like flerp said in his crit, it felt like you overthought what was interesting about the story and what wasn’t. It’s not set on Earth, and these creatures are advanced enough to make cloaks filled with whale blubber to keep them insulated against the cold, so it reads like there were Sciences before the one in the story, but then you have an alien land just because, I don’t know, you didn’t think the story was sci-fi enough without it? I would have just as soon had the main character find his way through the story without a deus ex alien to siphon away all the tension and stakes. Additionally, the story feels confused in terms of how it views the main character--I feel like he’s meant to be seen as sympathetic at the beginning with how he reacts to violence, but then he does a complete one-eighty at the end when he helps burn a whole bunch of children to death. There’s just a lot in here that makes me think that this story would have really benefited from, if not an outside perspective, then simply more attention paid to how certain things looked to an outside perspective.

A Godawful Small Affair

I can’t prove it, but this really reads like you had your own pre-determined idea for a sci-fi world and wanted to shoehorn it into this week. And if that’s not the case, then it just reads like you completely forgot about the prompt, because I can’t see the influence of winter here at all. Beyond that, this narrowly avoided a negative mention solely because...I did like it, on a sentence level. It’s top-heavy as gently caress, it doesn’t work as a standalone story, and I kept wishing that there was more at stake, but the prose itself isn’t bad and I can’t say I wouldn’t read a longer version of this. It was a nice change of pace to read about two kind-of-sympathetic dirtbags, as well. Next time, just get to the point faster instead of dumping a whole bunch of exposition at the front that we don’t care about because we haven’t seen the protagonist do anything yet.

Winter Forecast

There was exactly one thing I liked and understood about this story, and that was the ending, where they arranged these synthetic snowflakes into a sky-ramp to help slow the plane’s descent. It would have made for a satisfying ending, if the rest of the story wasn’t a loving mess. It reads like you want to impress us with the level of technical detail and minutia you put into this story rather than making it accessible to the reader, because I spent most of it wondering what was going on and why I should care about these two characters, and then, why I should care about them...merging? Mind-melding? For no discernable reason. Both Kerry and Jasper feel completely removed from anything I could’ve connected with or cared about, and if you had the space to do it, I would’ve liked any sort of detail about their personality. Something on the dashboard. Anything.

Universal Story

This won mainly because it achieved what it set out to do, it set up expectations, and then delivered upon them. Even so, it’s not without its flaws, mainly the lack of a stronger character voice. It did feel a bit monotone in that regard, and I sort of wished there was a bit more color to the narration. Also, despite the ending working out, the story was set in motion by a fuckup on the character’s part, which made it a little less satisfying for me as a reader. The protag wasn’t fighting against anything but their own incompetence. Nevertheless, the judges enjoyed this, and I think this deserved the win for succeeding where so many others failed.

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


In

Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

🎧Listen to Cylindricule!🎵
https://linktr.ee/Cylindricule



I have never participated in one of these, but I am a bit curious to do so. Is there something more entry-level, or can I get in?

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give



Brawnfire posted:

I have never participated in one of these, but I am a bit curious to do so. Is there something more entry-level, or can I get in?

There's no entry-level prose contest right now, iirc, but TD and Poemdome are open to anyone who wants to give it a shot. Jump on in!

And on that note: I'm in, disease me

Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

🎧Listen to Cylindricule!🎵
https://linktr.ee/Cylindricule



In that case, I am IN for a trouncing.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


Brawnfire posted:

In that case

It's not how hard you can crit, it's how hard you can get crit and keep moving forward.

Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

🎧Listen to Cylindricule!🎵
https://linktr.ee/Cylindricule



Crit crat, no problem with that, always happy to keep improving.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


Animals/Roomba week part 2 of 3


I think there's a bit of a pacing issue at the start: AAAAAA there's a fire brewing, but let's just pause for a moment while I give you the mental image of a rabbit licking blood from a newborn.

I notice that a lot of the times you point out rabbit culture it's vaguely on the theme of males, females, newborns, mating. Whether intended or not I felt like it started to create a theme that matches our cultural image of rabbits as mating all the time. That worked well.

It seemed a bit strange to me that they know the names of the parts of a car but struggled with "sky water". Maybe this was trying to emphasise that they live indoors all the time, or that they take their names from what humans say, but it didn't seem to work.

I do like the solution, though. Working out how to start a car and then ramming the garage door, as well as their attempts to escape, was real fun.

Adam Vegas posted:

Help Me Be Captain

The opening scene does well to establish a gentlemanly soldiering vibe. I enjoyed the detail in the insect world, their building techniques and mandibles. This story was strong in terms of the prompt.

I think the only real issue I had was that the temple bugs could have used more fleshing out. It verges on them existing only to be artillery cannons at the end.

Staggy posted:

One Man’s Trash

The relationship between father and child felt pretty good. I love stories that are tranquil character pieces like this.

I think sometimes you were telling me how I should feel. "Smiled sadly" stands out as a moment where I felt instructed to feel bittersweet, as opposed to being lead gently in to it.

I'm envious of your ability to lend a sense of weight to the story. While at times I did feel instructed, overall it had a very big mood. It's something these slice of life stories need.

I can't find exactly what lent it that mood, though. If I find it I'm stealing it.

Tyrannosaurus posted:

sympathy & symphony; or, the twelve days of christmas but each verse gets a little jazzier

This is art. I'm a fan of how your entries are always far out, and this was no exception. You seem to make an effort to write an experience. The flow of your words here invoked music.

I hugely enjoyed this piece.

cptn_dr posted:

The Elephants in the Room

Cute elephant milk robbers is a wonderful idea. One of the strengths of this piece is having a strong motive for the character that we can all get behind. I can see as well the decision making process in which parts to rationalise in human terms (truck) and which parts to rationalise in elephant terms (human tree). You made the right choices. It was mainly a successful story that got me hyped for milk thieves.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




Azza Bamboo posted:

It's not how hard you can crit, it's how hard you can get crit and keep moving forward.

It's not how often you shitpost, it's whether you actually enter.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:





Your Diagnosis: Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
Pathology: The most severe end of the Stevens-Johnson/TEN spectrum, toxic epidermal necrolysis involves the separation of the most superficial layer of epidermis and mucosa from its supportive structure. To put this another way, an unknown reaction causes large-scale sloughing of skin and the membranes inside the mouth, nose, and genitals, with TEN diagnosed when more than 30% of skin becomes involved. The cause is unknown, but most manifestations are associated with drugs like lamotrigine (used for bipolar disorder) and certain antibiotics (particularly those of the penicillin family).

Antivehicular posted:

There's no entry-level prose contest right now, iirc, but TD and Poemdome are open to anyone who wants to give it a shot. Jump on in!

And on that note: I'm in, disease me

Your Diagnosis: Situs Inversus
Pathology: Occurring on its own or in association with other genetic defects, situs inversus involves the complete horizontal transposition of all organs in the thorax and abdomen, a mirror image of normal anatomy. A traditional situs inversus patient will have heart sounds most prominent on the right side of the chest, a liver underneath the left hemidiaphragm, and a colon that runs from left to right, rather than from right to left. Patients may be entirely asymptomatic, though a reasonable proportion are infertile (if associated with Kartagener's syndrome), or have cardiac defects due to arterial malposition.
Additional Info: Attached radiograph of the chest and upper abdomen of a situs inversus patient. Points of interest include a heart on the patient's right with a stomach bubble underneath. Note that radiographs should be observed as if one were looking directly under the skin of the patient.


Brawnfire posted:

In that case, I am IN for a trouncing.

Your Diagnosis: Dracunculus medinensis
Pathology: An infection with a parasite (also known as the Guinea worm) found in contaminated water. Diagnosis sets this parasite apart: once the worm has burrowed to the surface of the skin, water should be applied to the resulting blister. This will cause the worm-blister to burst, at which time the exposed end of the worm will curl around an offered pencil or twig. The probe is then gently but firmly rotated, drawing the worm from the skin entirely.
Additional Info: microscopy of immature worms. Image of the 'pencil test' redacted due to its disturbing nature, but further research is suggested.

Solitair
Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!


IN

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:





Your Diagnosis: Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP)
Pathology: Though it is called a pneumonia, BOOP is a distinct, noninfectious inflammatory condition that initially presents in a similar fashion to a common lung infection. However, the physiology of BOOP is quite different: small, fibrous swirls and plugs of connective tissue form within the small airways and alveoli (the principal oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange units) of the lungs. This results in a progressive filling of the lungs with fibrotic tissue, causing a slow suffocation that does not respond to antibiotics. it can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and immune system suppressants, but frequently recurs after treatment is completed.
Additional Info: A computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest taken from a perspective looking down at the top of a person's head. This single horizontal slice shows both healthy lung tissue (black) and accumulating fibrotic material. The small black circles represent larger airways, still open despite the diseased connective tissue surrounding them.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



in

Rod Hogan
Jan 8, 2020


In

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:





Your Diagnosis: Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Pathology: ZES is marked by the presence of a gastrinoma, a small but incredibly active tumor of the neuroendocrine variety. This tumor uncontrollably releases gastrin, the hormone responsible for dictating stomach acid production. The patient suffers intolerable stomach acid production, resulting in deep ulcers of the stomach with an eventual frying of the resilient mucosa of the stomach and esophagus. Although powerful antacid medications can provide some relief, the only true cure is removal of the tumor, which can often be quite difficult to locate due to its size and location not within the stomach, but inside the expanse of the small intestine.
Additional Info: Endoscopic (scope and camera) view of a gastrinoma within the small intestine. Note the painful white erosions in the walls of the intestine.



Your Diagnosis: Myasthenia Gravis
Pathology: An autoimmune (the body's immune system attacking itself) condition involving the communication between nerves and muscles. The body produces antibodies to its own nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, preventing nerve impulses from triggering corresponding muscle contractions. Patients suffer easy muscle fatigue not through muscle weakness or soreness, but through a seeming inability of the muscles to follow the brain's commands. Symptoms are usually worse at night, as the few remaining nicotinic acetylcholine receptors fatigue through daily use. The muscles of the eye movement, swallowing, and speaking are impacted most in the early course of the disease, though neurochemical fatigue of other muscles follows. Most interestingly, the source of these antibodies appears to be the thymus, which in most individuals is replaced by fatty tissue in late adolescence. Myasthenics can have a rebelliously non-vestigial thymus by adulthood. Treat with medications that preserve the amount of acetylcholine available to the muscles and by surgical removal of an active thymus.
Additional Info: Photograph of the weakened eyelids of a patient with Myasthenia Gravis.

steeltoedsneakers
Jul 26, 2016







In. gently caress me up.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




steeltoedsneakers posted:

In. gently caress me up.

Your Diagnosis: Xeroderma Pigmentosum
Pathology: An inherited defect in the DNA repair mechanisms of the skin. In practical terms, this causes an 'allergy' to sunlight, resulting in severe cracking, blistering, and burns after relatively minimal sun exposure. The inability to repair the damage caused by UV rays causes an enormous cumulative lifetime risk in developing all manners of skin cancer (estimated at a risk >10,000 times higher than the healthy population). The disease was first described in 1870 by Moritz Kaposi (first to describe Kaposi's Sarcoma, a skin cancer) as 'parchment skin'.

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

May as well get back in the game.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




Pththya-lyi posted:

May as well get back in the game.

Your Diagnosis: Fatal Familial Insomnia
Pathology: A member of the 'prion' family of diseases (all of which deal with the accumulation of misfolded protein), FFI results from protein accumulation within the thalamus, the part of the brain which regulates so-called 'autonomous' bodily functions. Usually presenting in the mid-forties, patients have recurrent bouts of extreme insomnia, coupled with intermittently racing and slowing heartbeats, uncontrolled sweating, inability to control body temperature (cryptogenic fever), and increased tear production. These patients progress to a complete inability to sleep, paradoxically resulting in coma and death. FFI, like other prion diseases, is not treatable and its severe form has a 100% fatality rate.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


WEEK 389 CRITSCH PART 2

In the Bleak Midwinter

There was a decent amount to like about this story. The dialogue seemed natural, the world was fleshed-out without the audience having to swallow a cinder block of exposition, and on a sentence level, there were a lot of lines that made me take note of how pretty they were. What kept this story from having a lasting impact on me was that...not a whole lot of consequence happens. Her family is hungry, she steals from her boss, and they’re able to eat Christmas dinner. Everything works out perfectly without the reader ever having to wonder if it will or not. I mean, you can get by writing a story this short without having a plot with a beginning, middle, and end, but then there needs to be something else that captivates the reader, like the prose, or the characters, and this had okay versions of both but no more than that.

Peace on Earth?

Yeah, this pissed me off royally, and I’m sorry if that wasn’t what you were intending, but that was what we got. This is a story that’s only really here to set up the punchline at the end, and it’s not a very good punchline, or even one that makes any particular sense--why wouldn’t this child be mortally afraid of this goat-creature tonguing her American Girl doll, who then advances on her with murderous intent? Why does she know how to dismember an alien body because she watches Dexter? Why is Gretchen able to take this alien out at all, for that matter? These aliens suck at putting up a fight. But I digress. This is the reason why, if you’re attempting to write a humorous story, you want to have the humor spread throughout the story, not have the whole thing live and die on one joke at the end. Because even if that one joke succeeds, it still feels cheap and manipulative. And this joke didn’t.

Equality is Here Today

Case in point, this is a story that’s going for very little else other than having a laugh, and sometimes the jokes miss, but they ended up hitting enough times that I wasn’t mad at the story after I was done with it. It’s simple, it’s dumb, but it’s not really aiming to be more than that, even though I was kind of hoping for that by the end. It feels very cartoonish in the way it progresses from this two-person vaudeville attempt at communication to the main character getting Looney Tunes crushed by a giant drill in the last paragraph. Really, I don’t have much to say about it, other than that the writing is competent enough and it seems like you ultimately achieved what you were going for.

Winter’s Love and Summer’s Hope

This is like one of my early entries where I just wrote everything in order without thinking about how the story should progress or what the reader would care about, and then just posted it without revising it and without asking someone to look at it first. Because this is weirdly imbalanced and the pacing is off by miles. Flerp already talked about how the opening just kills the drive of the story, but once we get to the action of the story, it seems completely inconsequential. He’s left his people, so what motivation does he still have? If it’s survival, then why should I care about this character who’s spent the first half of the story doing nothing but whining about how he can’t get laid? None of it hangs together or makes any sense, and by the time I get to the ending, I’m completely lost. I don’t know what him moulting means in the context of the story, and yet again I don’t know why I should care about or sympathize with this character. At the very least, the next TD story you write, you should try to figure out what the reader will give a poo poo about and put it closer to the beginning rather than have us sit through a bunch of exposition that doesn’t matter.

Europa

This had a lot that I didn’t hate. It was yet another Ice Planet story, yeah, but there was not a whole lot that took me out of the narrative or made me question it. It did feel a bit disjointed at the end, where I got the impression that you didn’t know whether to end the story with the planet growing arms and saving the protagonist OR the protagonist coming across the charred half-eaten corpse of his father...so you just decided to stick both in at the end. Personally I would’ve stuck to the latter and discarded the former, because it doesn’t really add anything to the story at all. This probably would have had an outside shot at HMing (at least in this judge’s opinion) if it had been fine-tuned a bit more and there was a bit more depth to the main character, because he came across a bit stiff and bland. You did an alright job, though.

The Hobo Way

I stuck up for this story in judgechat simply because, while it missed the mark in certain ways, it was delightfully and entertainingly bizarre, and I gravitated towards that bizarreness over a lot of the other stories this week that just melted together. I agree completely with flerp that you missed out by not having the mustache-twirling passive-aggressive robot scientist be the main character of your story--he had a way stronger motivation than the protag and it was way too easy for the protag to just say “naw, gently caress this” and leave with chicken wings in his pocket. Like AA’s story, it felt like I was watching you discover what was interesting about the story as I read it, and then right when you got to the most interesting part, you butted up against the word limit, and then hit post. I’m probably wrong, but it read like that, and I think you would have been better served with another revision. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this and I’m glad it was a part of this week.

Message Delivered by Tightbeam

The events being recounted in this story are interesting, but the way in which they’re conveyed to the reader sucks out a lot of the tension and intrigue. It reads like you purposefully made things harder for yourself by not only telling the story in the past-past tense, but also cramming these events into a tight space. You had 600 more words, and this was the last message the main character could send to the outside world, and they weren’t in a hurry. I would’ve appreciated you giving the events of the story way more room to breathe and expand, rather than freeze-drying it to the point of “this happened, and then this worse thing happened, and then this even worse thing happened, and we’re all hosed”. Even if you had focused on one of the unfortunate events and just expounded upon it, like the infidelity for instance, I think it would have made for a more satisfying story. As it is, it just reads like an interesting and depressing voicemail.

Fuel for the Fire

I think of all the stories this week, this was the one I was the most charmed by, and I obviously wasn’t alone. A decent amount of people took the prompt and immediately defaulted to “it’s very cold in space”, so it was interesting to see someone not only flip that on its head but succeed--relatively--at making it into a satisfying story. Despite the typo, the first line drew me right into the world, and I stayed there for the rest of the story. At first I wanted the stakes to be a little bit higher, but I think what I really wanted was for the story to pay off in some way at the end. The janitor character showing up was a nice, pleasant way to end it, but I still wished they had made the fire on their own in some unconventional way. Also, if you had started at the rooftop, and then integrated the character details from the first half into the second half, there would have been more room to continue the story until you reached a satisfying ending. Let me know if you ever do anything with this.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


:siren: Jellobrawl :siren:

Le Viandier

Sarah’s brother Jimmy was a hog of a man, an absolute feral; Jimmy was 60% bush, 30% pig, and the rest was a lukewarm soup of resentment, malice and Double Brown. Outside of beer, pokies and ‘the puss’, he loved only one thing: his brother Gerry—identical twins, inseparable at birth, both equally incapable of paying child support and possessing of a certain low cunning that made them exceptionally good at getting sawdust into divorce lawyers’ gas tanks. They’d been terrors in their youth; that hadn’t changed, but Sarah had gotten out. Mostly. They had ways of snaring her back in, and she was done with it.

Jimmy sat at the kitchen table, clutching a spoon with a burnt back, and glared out from over a wiggling plate of raspberry jelly at his sister Sarah. She’d tried her best with the jelly, she really had; she took pride in her cooking, but there wasn’t a lot to work with.

“The gently caress is this, woman?” said Jimmy.

She shrugged. “It’s what you had left in the pantry,” she said, “took all afternoon to set because your fridge is hosed. Not my fault you haven’t got any rice. ”

She’d had some blind hope of finding saffron, maybe left by an ex-wife. She’d been poo poo out of luck.

“I don’t touch that chink poo poo,” said Jimmy.

“Pasta then.”

“I don’t touch that wop poo poo,” said Jimmy.

Sarah sighed, and laid one hand on top of the other. She’d spent most of her life behind Jimmy and Gerry, following them with a brush and shovel and trying not to get glass in her hands. They sat in silence for a few moments, then Jimmy tucked into the jelly and began to slurp it noisily. He was clearly enjoying himself.

“Anyway,” he said, spilling some down his front, “Gerry’s normally a good oval office about getting back in, but he’s been missing three days. Took some P and went a bit feral out Ashburton way and now I’m worried he’s dead in a ditch somewhere.”

“Call the cops,” said Sarah. She picked up a spoon and reached towards the plate of jelly, which Jimmy jerked back away from her, because of course he did. She smiled with her teeth.

“gently caress’s wrong spit with you?” said Jimmy, mouth full of raspberry jelly. “Gerry’s a walking splat P Lab; he’ll have enough pseudoephedrine in his bag to get him splort 15 years. Nah oval office nah, no cops.”

“Good fuckin’ jelly,” he mumbled. “What’s it got in it, nuts or some poo poo? You finally find a use for Jenny’s, whatsems, cashews?”

The P was a new development. They’d tended to hang around selling weed to posh high school kids for $50 a tinnie, but clearly they were moving up in the world. The cops had busted the big Mob P Lab a few months back and the twins had been quick to try to exploit the hole.

Sarah sighed again. She felt like she was all sighs, all air, light enough that a breeze could pull her off her feet and into the sky. “What do you want me to do?” she said.

He grinned, and his teeth were like good knives, gleaming greasily in the poorly-lit dining room. “You work in food service,” he said, “and there’s food service cunts everywhere. I bet you got one of ‘em private, whatsit, Discord servers for food service cunts or whatever. I bet if you posted his picture every oval office from here to Greymouth would be like ‘yeah nah he came in and nicked a sausage roll’ and we could get a bead on him like zwip and we’d have him home in no time.”

“My kitchen has a Michelin Star, Jimmy. I’m not in a Discord for dairy owners and fuckin—fuckin tea shop ladies. You called me down from Auckland for this; you could’ve just DMed me.”

He shot up, pushing the table back a few centimeters with a mighty squeak. His chin and white singlet and his hairy titties were dappled in red. One final little glob of jelly, unpleasantly whole, fell out of his mouth, hit the table, and broke into wobbly chunks.

“You some sorta fuckin retard? Can’t let the fuckin cops know, woman. They’ve got spy vans and poo poo. I’m smarter than the cops, but you were never that fuckin smart aye. Always too good for us, but none too fuckin smart.”

“You’re smart, huh?” said Sarah. Her head was spinning, but she liked it. “Then why do you need my help? It’s obvious where he is.”

“Obvious?” said Jimmy. He slammed his spoon down on the empty plate. It was questionable how much jelly had gone in his mouth—Sarah hoped it was enough. The timing had to be perfect; she needed to be back in Auckland before the evening shift started.

“You like it?” she said.

He glowered at her, raised a fist to thump it against the table, and seemed somehow angry at her when he missed.

“It’s aspic,” said Sarah. “Old French recipe. You boil down the animal until there’s only the juices left, then you chuck out the bones and chill it in a mould. If you’re feeling showy, you hold onto some blood and use it for colouring. No almonds though.”

“Where’s Gerry?” he said. His face and hands were stained red. He staggered, just a little, and let out a tiny burp that sprayed pelletlets of aspic down his front.

“Same place you’re gonna be in—” she checked her watch, “about twent—”

His skull thumped against the floor. Foam and blood and aspic mingled together on the carpet. He lay there twitching for another minute, while Sarah watched. She’d butchered hogs before. Once he stopped moving, she sighed one last time—relief, letting out a breath held in for too long, then dragged him over to his rusty bathtub and began to run the hot water.

Boiling hot. It was going to be a long night.

Captain_Person
Apr 7, 2013

WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?

Anomalous Blowout posted:

Captain Muffin Quivering rear end Brawl

Your story must include a scene where people converse while eating jello.

1500 words. Deadline is 31st Jan, 11:59 pm NZT.

It was Kashif’s dumb idea to let Charlie take the spare room. They’d known each other since highschool—played in the first eleven or something aggressive like that—and he’d been around a few of our parties too, getting high out back. Since I had no strong opinions on the guy I agreed. Kashif promised he’d be cool. Kashif was a lying bastard.

He arrived late one night in a clunker, seats stuffed to the roof. Grabbed a sleeping bag from the backseat and disappeared into his room without a word. In all his time here he never bothered to unpack, just grab whatever he needed at the time from his car. Two weeks later and it was still full, but I saw into his room once and it was somehow already full with even more crap. No idea where any of it came from.

Now, I wasn’t exactly a saint when it came to keeping the place clean but at least I would never have left half a loving leg of lamb sitting in the oven for a whole goddamn week till you couldn’t go near the kitchen for the stench. I went ballistic at him but Charlie just sat there, sucking mouthfuls of those cheap jelly cups from the dairy down his gullet. You’d think those cups were candied heroin with how hard he went to town on them. The noise was the absolute worst part, a stuttering slurp ending with a long, wheezing sigh of satisfaction before he tore into the next. He eventually mumbled something about taking care of it the next day, before shuffling off to his bedroom.

He left the loving jelly cups on the couch.

I pretty much moved in with Laffy after that, though I had to shower straight away if I’d been anywhere near home. The whole house felt evil. Yeah I know that sounds crazy, but it really did. I think Charlie just tossed the leg under the deck like some kind of rotting voodoo talisman. It didn’t feel safe being there knowing that Charlie was shuffling around behind you, slurping and wheezing.

Kashif moved out the day after the lamb incident and blocked me. I found out later that he’d been warned by pretty much everybody about Charlie and chose not to care. I tried chasing him down once when I saw him at Countdown but the fucker lost me around the pet food. I think he’s overseas now, ruining some other poor fucker’s life.

I tried talking to Charlie one more time but he just didn’t seem to be present. He just stood in the doorway, wearing what I swear is the same stuff he had on when he moved in. Nothing I said registered with him. The corridor was covered in all kinds of trash, a trail shoved through the middle like a dog leaves running through snow.

Knew it was a hopeless cause trying to get him to pay attention. I was just lucky the landlord didn’t seem to care and let me take my name off without even bothering to visit. I left Kashif’s name on it. Fucker deserves whatever comes after him.

I haven’t been back in months now. Still got most of my stuff there, and I’m pretty sure there’s a decent wad of cash in the bedroom. You couldn’t pay me to go back for any of it. I walked past the other day and the rubbish had escaped, like a skip had hurled all over the lawn. Right up to the pavement, though weirdly it seems to have stopped there. Like even Charlie has a limit.

He’s still in there somewhere. He’s been around a few parties, getting high out back before disappearing into his lovely car, so we know he’s alive. Or at least ambulatory. But he’s contained. In some way that helps me feel better, knowing. Reminds me of all that crap about the warning signs they wanted to leave around nuclear waste, y’know? This place is not a place of honor.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Anomalous Blowout posted:

Captain Muffin Quivering rear end Brawl
Your story must include a scene where people converse while eating jello.
1500 words. Deadline is 31st Jan, 11:59 pm NZT.

Lockdown

“Attention, passengers on flight NZ413 to Sydney, your flight has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.”

Andrew gritted his teeth and exhaled sharply. What else could go wrong? He glanced over his shoulder at the damp suit jacket stretched out over the back of his chair to make sure it was still there, patted the lapel to make sure his wallet was still in the breast pocket. He wasn’t sure what he’d do if it wasn’t, but the action of checking calmed him.

He wondered if he’d accidentally cut a witch off in traffic or something. The taxi had been late (something about gridlock on the motorway?) and the less said about the weather, the better (how could it drizzle non-stop for sixteen consecutive days?). He just wanted to get home. Was that too much to ask?
Someone was still reading an announcement over the loudspeaker, but he’d tuned them out already. He pulled out his phone, then groaned when the little x in the corner informed him that there was no signal.

He threw his head back, slouched in his seat and let out a long wordless grinding noise from the back of his throat. Having vocalised his deep displeasure with the universe, he sat up and focused again on the announcements that were still coming.

“Attention, passengers on flight NZ425 to Singapore, your flight has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.” Ten second passed, and then came the notification chime, that somehow managed to sound passive aggressive. “Attention, passengers on flight NZ427 to Los Angeles, your flight has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.”

Andrew scowled. The usual noise of the departure lounge slowly died down. As the announcements kept coming, conversations ceased and the now-stranded travellers all stopped to listen to the dispassionate voice informing them of the sudden changes to their plans.

They kept coming, the litany of cancellations. One would finish, ten seconds would pass, then the chime would sound again, and another flight would be cancelled.
Another cancellation (E340 to Qatar) echoed out across the concourse. When it ended, everyone kept silent, waiting for the next cancellation announcement. The usual ten seconds passed, then another ten. Chatter started to break out, now the flood announcements seemed to be over.

The chime rang out again. All the chatter stopped.

“Attention, travellers. We are now in lockdown.

The chime, again.

“Please remain calm. Thank you for your patience.”

Everything was still, for just a moment, before the room erupted in chaos, drowning out the clacking as every flight on the departure board flipped to ‘cancelled’.

***

Six hours of interminable fuckin’ waiting, with no indication of what was going on. The airline staff had stuck around for an hour or so, fending off questions and making empty apologies, but now the service desk was abandoned, with no indication of when anyone would return. Occasionally a staff member or airport employee would flit through the lounge looking grim, but they never stuck around long enough for any of the stranded travellers to corner. From what Andrew could tell, phone signals were down for everyone, a fact which he was trying to ignore—if he didn’t think about it, he could avoid the feeling of dread that surged every time he wondered what was going on.

Every thirty minutes or so, another announcement would come across the speakers, but it was always just another plea for calm. After the first few hours, people had mostly stopped yelling and settled into an uneasy equilibrium. Due to lockdown, they weren’t allowed out of the departure lounge, which had quickly sold out of everything edible. Andrew hadn’t expected lockdown to last very long, and he had a bag of Mint Imperials in his carry-on, so had smugly watched as seemingly everyone else in the lounge had stampeded towards the sandwich stand and travel conveniences store and cleaned them out.

After six hours with no food, though, he felt like he was being punished for his smugness. So when another chime rang out, he was inclined to ignore it.

“Attention travellers. Thank you for your patience. We will be serving a light meal to everyone currently delayed. Your options are a light continental breakfast, or scrambled eggs with sausages. There is a vegan option available, and both meals will be served with a dessert. Thank you for your patience.”

The old woman sitting near Andrew snorted. He exchanged a look with her but didn’t say anything, just wordlessly held out the green Mint Imperials bag. She took one, shoved it into her mouth and eyed the empty service desk resentfully. A pimply kid in their late teens sat nearby, snacking on the seemingly-endless packets of corn nibbles they kept pulling from their bag.

Eventually a food cart, and the steward wheeling it, reached them. They were sitting near the back of the departure lounge, and it seemed like the cart had visited every other row of seats before it arrived at their corner. Its trip had taken even longer as, nearly every step of the way, the steward had been accosted by angry passengers demanding answers.

“Can I have the vegan option?” Andrew asked.

“Sorry,” replied the steward with an apologetic shrug, “We only have the dessert left. We can give you two, if you’d like?”

“Is it vegan?”

“I, uh, think so. “

“What is it?”

“Jelly. And ice cream, but the ice cream definitely isn’t vegan.”

“Uhh. Do you know how they make jelly? Oh, whatever. gently caress it. Yeah, I’ll have the jelly.” Andrew held his hand out, and the steward handed him to small plastic cups of bright green jelly.

“You’re welcome. Thank you for your patience.”

“Are we going to be able to leave any time soon?”

“A customer service representative will be with you soon. Please remain here until that time. Thank you for your patience.”

The old woman seemed equally unimpressed with the food options, but tucked into the jelly and ice cream enthusiastically once she had snatched it from the hands of the hapless steward.

“What do you think’s going on, then?” she asked in a thick American accent.

“Dunno. Civil defense emergency?”

“I bet it’s the Russians. Always knew they’d come back for us eventually.”

Andrew mumbled something about the Cold War having been over for almost forty years.

“What’s that? I’m telling you, it’s the Russians. We should get under the furniture, duck and hold.”

The pimply kid leaned over and chimed in.
“Nah, I reckon someone detonated a payload in low orbit. Knocked out global communications and bought all the planes down. Blam!” They seemed pretty sure of themselves.

***

Another couple of hours passed. Andrew had convinced the kid, whose name was Riley, to share the corn nibbles they had stashed away in the backpack, by trading them the last of his Mint Imperials. The lounge had slowly been emptying for a few hours now, people drifting away in the hopes of getting more information from somewhere, or to find a more comfortable spot along the concourse somewhere. People were stretched out in odd corners, napping where they could.

“gently caress this. I’m leaving.” Andrew declared. He’d had enough.

“I don’t think they’re letting people out, man,” said Riley

“They can try to stop me.”

Outside the departure lounge, the lights had been dimmed. All the shops were shuttered, and the poorly-lit concourse seemed entirely empty of people. He retraced his steps from hours ago, making his way back through to aviation security. For an airport in lockdown, there were surprisingly few… well, anything. He’d expected there to be more security guards, more stranded travellers, more customs agents or baggage handlers or baristas or… anything.

Everywhere in the airport, other than their departure lounge, seemed abandoned, and the concourse seemed to stretch on forever. The air was still and quiet, punctuated only by the click-clacking sound of Andrew’s footsteps, and of Riley’s as they tagged along behind him. Panic rose in him. He patted his breast pocket compulsively, hand twitching towards his chest as his nerves got the better of him. His heart rate rose, and he picked up his pace, forcing Riley to jog to keep up

“Hey, man, calm down. We should probably go back, right? To the lounge?”

Andrew ignored him. A metal detector made a harsh beep as he brushed through it, causing him to jump, but he kept up his quick pace. It didn’t beep for Riley.
Out, past the gates that separated travellers from the friends and family farewelling them. Bag drop was empty of people, but there was luggage scattered about the place, and some clothing strewn over the floor. Down the escalators, frozen in place. The room was suffused with an orange glow from outside.

He stumbled through the nearest of the several doors, and squinted into the strange light. The car park was filled with corpses. He felt Riley’s long fingers on his shoulders as he screamed.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk









Memory and Desire
646 words

Rolf Nugent, Elucidator of the Northern Wastes, slammed his fist on the heavy oak table, making all the empty cups jump.

“Where is my loving jelly?”

There was a thoughtful silence in the room after his yell, as though the two other people who were still awake, well after sixth bell, were waiting to see if the Elucdator’s question would be answered by way of some heavenly or infernal voice or deed, perhaps by the ground or sky opening up and rendering upon them a sweet, wobbling epiphany.

There were no such visitations, so at last Endreby Spasm, Rolf’s oldest friend, said “Where was the last place you saw it? Have you looked… behind the couch?”

Rolf frowned at his friend’s helpful gesture towards the Echesian divan that his fourth wife had insisted upon. He hated it, lying down was a shortcut to discarding ones manhood.

“I have not looked behind the couch, you nonsensical spit-slug of a man. Jelly will be brought to me and I will consume it, ere I rise from this table! This I vow.” Rolf slammed his fist on the table again, hard enough to knock over a half full mug, then traced the sevenfold gesture of burdenment in the spilled wine on the table.

Whelms, the Master at Arms blinked. “That’s a big swear, my lord. Why this sudden lust for dessert?”

Rolf was looking down at the design on the table, already blurring as the spilled wine seeped into cracks and knotholes. "I had a memory, a sudden remembrance. Once, as a child, my father gave me jelly in the helmet of one of his sworn foes. Lemchuk the Dark Render, remember him?"

Endreby chuckled. "A little before our time. Wasn't he, uh, the one with the four arms? For, you know," he gestured, lifting both hands up and bringing them down with fingers outstretched. "Rending?"

Rolf frowned. "Do you know, I am not sure. I just remember the helmet. It was raspberry jelly, if I recall correctly. My father had it cooled in the last spurt of forbidden ice magic from the searing frostspear of the Nether Hells. It was delicious."

There was a silence in the room that lengthened.

"Well," said Whelms at last. "I suppose I should find some jelly for you. Endreby, would you like to come along? You know the ways of the kitchen better than I, I'll wager!"

Endreby chuckled, and patted his sumptuous belly. "A justified barb, friend Whelms. Come with you I shall. Rolf, we shall not leave your vow unfulfilled!"

Rolf raised a gloved fist to them as they strode forth on their quest, then settled back in his heavy iron chair with the faintest of sighs. It had been a long day and the comforts of bed and his seventh, ninth and twenty second wives beckoned. Still. A sevenfold oath was a sevenfold oath.

As it happened, the wait was not long, and the eighth bell had not yet finished its sonorous chimes when the mighty door slammed open. "Victory, my lord!" Whelms proclaimed. "We have procured your vacillating treat! Morepork the cook was about to tuck into it, but Endreby here backhanded him across the kitchen floor." Whelms chuckled. "He was waxing most wroth until we explained the necessity, then he found some plates and spoons for us too!"

Whelms laid the iron bowl on the table, and spooned a generous helping into one of the bowls that Endreby placed in front of his old friend.

"Let the oath be fulfilled," rumbled Rolf. "Now, let's get in on this loving jelly, eh lads?"

They all laughed, like the strong men they were.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


It's been a long long time.

I'm in. Give me a disease that won't make me throw up when I google it.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




magnificent7 posted:

It's been a long long time.

I'm in. Give me a disease that won't make me throw up when I google it.

Your Diagnosis: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
Pathology: A very rare inherited connective tissue disorder. The hallmark of 'FOP' is 'heterotopic ossification', or the formation of bone in unusual places such as the tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscle. Over the course of a patient's life, natural damage to muscles (such as through lifting or running) causes a replacement of the natural muscle tissue with bone. This leads to an eventual 'locking' of joints in place, making movement difficult and eventually impossible. The only symptoms visible at birth may be common deformities in the hands and feet, though the expression of bone as other tissue can begin in adolescence or adulthood. Patient may experience extreme pain through entrapment of nerves in new bone (the 'entrapment neuropathy'). There is no cure.

Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

🎧Listen to Cylindricule!🎵
https://linktr.ee/Cylindricule



Extraction
600 words

Akosua licks her lips. They're parched with anticipation. Her eyes trace the circumference of the portal. It’s not much wider than herself; the passage reveals nothing of what lies beyond. A painfully bright light is all she sees.

There’s not much point in contemplating what may lie beyond at this point, though. Akosua knows someone must go beyond its threshold and explore, for that is the human story. Akosua knows it is she who must go, for that is her story.

The laboratory walls fall away; Akosua is a little girl, in agony, moaning upon a kente cloth spread upon the ground. Her sisters, aunts and mother surround her in a comforting knot, murmuring and administering to her as pain shudders her frame.

At Akosua’s feet, the doctor shows one of the younger girls how to slowly and carefully turn the stick, around which winds the source of Akosua’s agony: a Guinea worm, its vile head protruding from the vermillion blister on her dark, young flesh.

It will take time, says the doctor, passing her task off to her trainee; it will take patience, and it will hurt. She had given Akosua some ibuprofen, but says she can’t give her much else that’s stronger. You’re a brave girl. You’ll make it through to the other side of this just fine. “An indomitable spirit”, agrees Akosua’s aunt.

The strong memory grudgingly releases its hold on Akosua’s internal vision. From that little village with its crowded homes and disease-afflicted water, she is again transported back to the gleaming laboratory, lit wanly by the eerie glimmering portal. She is Akosua Gyasi, the most famous Ghanaian astronaut, first African woman on the moon, and possibly the first human being--woman, Ghanaian, African, anything--to journey beyond the small sphere of Earth’s immediate neighborhood.

“We’ve come a long way, haven’t we, Commander?” remarks Clark, the systems operator from behind his monitor. Clearly, he’d noticed her preoccupation.

“Some of us further than others.” she rejoins.

“The thought of what must be through there, it’s overwhelming.” Clark says, clearly excited. “To think that all our human struggle--all the wars, the famine, the pollution, the near destruction of our biosphere--may finally be at an end?”

Akosua grins a wry, lopsided grin. “What does that mean for us?” she asks. “What if the wars, the famine, the pollution, the struggle, were all that being human ever was?”

“We’re more than a destructive pestilence, Commander. We’re not content to squirm around in our muck and mire, poisoning our home with our poo poo. See?” he gestures to the portal, “we’re raising our heads to see beyond the stars themselves, Gyasi.” He smiles at her, flushed with anticipation. “Are you ready?”

“I’m about to leave the only home I’ve ever known.” She breathes in deeply. “Wish me luck.”

She approaches the portal, step by steady step. With trepidation, she slowly eases her head and shoulders through the portal.

Instantly she feels a pull, as if gravity itself has become a pair of fingers to draw her through the portal.

“Here we have it.” says the doctor, pleased with herself. “The creature's head has been secured. It will be painful and it will take time, but we can begin drawing it out now.”

The woman smiles through her discomfort; her family embraces her and pats her back supportively. “You’re brave.” “You’ll come through this.” “An indomitable spirit.”

“Before you know it,” the doctor adds, “you’ll have no more of this pesky infestation to worry about.”

“Thank you, doctor. I thought they’d kill me.”

“Don’t mention it, Gaia.”

Brawnfire fucked around with this message at 01:15 on Feb 1, 2020

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit




Fun Shoe

Real quick: Game night on the 6th! We'll shoot for 8pm Pacific. All are welcome, new and old domers alike. We'll be in a Google Hangout. If you're interested/available shoot me a PM or find me in irc/discord to let me know. I'll want at least 5 people or so.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



In

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Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

This is the way that it all falls.
This is how I feel,
This is what I need:




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