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Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I'm going to regret this when I get drunk, but I'm in.

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Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER


You're going to need to change the sharing settings on this if you want folks to read it.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Yay, I wrote a story about outlaws.

Needs More Salt (960 words)

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

gently caress this prompt, I have no ideas for it at all. I'm in.

Also submitted last weeks shiznit.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I gotta submit now or I'm never gonna get this novel started.

Little Drummer Girl (995 words)

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

gently caress novel writing month. This Buddha's head is telling me to dig in.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Terrorist with the Tell-Tale Ticker (1189 words)

There was a bomb on the intergalactic council floor. No larger than a coffee table, it thrummed with unspent energy. The glossy black surface was interrupted only by a blinking red timer and three bezeled signature panels, one for each member of the rotating goodwill conference. On the bomb’s side the letters I.G.W.D. were emblazoned in a lacy silver font.

“Intergalactic GoodWill building Device,” junior councilmember Ada Brooks read off her orientation holo. The Council wasn’t in session until tomorrow, but Dale Sumner, the senior councilmember from Earth, had volunteered to give her the tour.

“I wonder if it’s as efficient as they say.” Ada ran her finger along the bomb’s sharp edge. She could feel the tug of the neutronium alloy shielding on her own magnetic replacement heart. It felt a little like guilt.

“Oh it’s real,” Dale assured her. “Those crafty octopus engineers let all the folks in the known galaxies take a real good look at it before they popped that sucker in.” He gave the bomb a good kick. “Course, most of what’s in there is the AI.”

Her holo had mentioned that. A sophisticated, sentient computer to ensure that all signatories were legitimate.

“Well that wraps up the tour.” Dale slapped Ada on the back. “Look, I know this probably wasn’t what a war hero like you envisioned when you ran for office. But the goodwill conference is a good place to get your feet wet. Work hard and maybe Earth will get a bigger slice of that Council pie.”

With that, Dale left for his office. Ada watched him go, a cold smile growing on her face. She didn’t much care for pie. But she’d be damned if anyone else was going to get more than Earth.

#

“Explain!” the senior councilmember from Bessel demanded, flashing her fangs to show anger and waving her paws to show surprise.

Ada’s office was a humming hub of activity. Her skeleton staff rushed back and forth in a futile effort to respond to the overflowing queue of holo messages. She hadn’t even had time to leave her office in a week. Not since she’d announced that she was taking the known galaxies hostage.

“All I require is for you to make a simple cost-benefit analysis,” Ada told the irate alien. “Either Earth will have a permanent seat on the war, research, and law conferences with veto power, or the universe will find out what happens that timer reaches zero. If you have any more questions, take it up with my staff.”

Ada leaned back in her chair, hoping to catch a few minutes of rest, but no sooner was the alien gone than another upset face appeared at her desk.

Red faced and huffing, Dale wasn’t wasting time with pleasantries. “Are you trying to destroy humanity’s reputation? We’ll be lucky if we can get a spot on the peace conference after this! And you’ve ruined your own career. It’s only a matter of time until Earth recalls you.”

Ada winked at him. Dale wouldn’t know an opportunity if it walked up and gnawed on his leg. “You should review your orientation holo. For the first year of her service, a councilmember cannot be recalled. She has complete autonomy.”

“Well I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. Because when you’re done with this bluff-”

“Bluff?” Ada was insulted. “I never bluff.”

That earned her an eye roll. “You don’t believe that.”

“If that’s a chance you want to take then go ahead and get out of my way. Otherwise, start helping. Either way, get out of my office.”

#

It had been a long year. The blinking red display had ticked down the galactic months and then the weeks and the days until finally it now read in hours. Ada’s office was a mess, covered in newsbooks with titles like The Terrorist with the Tell-Tale Ticker, Earth Must Burn and Confessions Of An Octopus Prince: There Is No Bomb.

Pale and tired, Ada looked up to see her senior counterpart stride in with a grin. “Well I don’t know how you did it, but those sons of bitches are running scared. We got it.”

“How much,” Ada asked in a dead voice, fighting to keep her eyes open.

“Everything!” Dale slapped his leg. “We just pulled off a galactic train robbery. The President signed our demands into law a few minutes ago. Come on, let’s end this. We’ve only got six hours. Folks are starting to get a little worried.”

“Yeah.” It was a short walk to the Council Floor, but that minor effort left her breathless. Even her heart felt heavier than normal. The bomb, Ada remembered. It was just the bomb.

“One of these days,” Dale said. “You’ll tell me how you fooled all those folks into thinking you were crazy.”

Fooled. Ada hadn’t fooled anyone. She hadn’t fooled the President’s illegal mindscans or the long range pheromone tests or the six month study conducted by the logicians at the Institute of Truth. No, every word she had uttered since the war had been pure, uncut truth.

“Do you think,” Ada asked as Dale handed her a pen. “That we could ask for more?”

“More?” Dale grinned in horror. “Ada, we took them for all they had.”

She paused, squinting as she tried to focus on the timer. Her heart was tight with pain, it was making it hard to concentrate. Finally, she managed puzzle out the numbers. “We’ve got another five hours to work with. You know, I’ve always wanted my own planet. Something-”

Dale grabbed her wrist. “They gave us everything, Ada. Everything. Earth will rule the stars for generations.”

“It’s just…” The timer was huge now, bigger than the chamber. “We could have...” Suddenly, the ground was rushing up to meet her.

Dale caught her by the arm. “Ada!”

The world was turning white. Worse, the tug on her heart was becoming unbearable, like it might rip out of her chest at any moment. Pain was everywhere.

“You have to sign it!”

“No!” She knew what she wanted now. “Tell them... I won’t sign it until they give it back. Until they fix it! Tell them I want to be like I was before.”

“You know they can’t do that.”

“Then the universe can burn for all I care!”

As she said the words, the pain in her chest disappeared. A moment ago, Ada had been sure she was dying, but now she felt fine. She looked at the timer, it was frozen.

“What happened?” Ada asked, her head spinning.

“Oh, the test ended,” Dale said in a relaxed tone.

“Test?”

“Yours. The year long test for new councilmembers.”

“Oh.” Too late, pieces clicked into place. The year of autonomy. The bomb. The newsbooks. It was all fake, part of some kind of elaborate morality test. And she’d flunked every question. It all made a kind of twisted, horrible sense. There was only one question left to ask.

“When can I go home?”

“Home?” Dale slapped her back. “You aren’t going home. Welcome to the Council, Ada. I think you’ll like it here.”

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Word Bounty (134 words)

I knew his name was Trouble from the moment I walked into my office. Tall, dark, and handsome, he smouldered like a cheap cigar. I spotted the revolver under his leather jacket and drew mine first.

“Lady, I just killed a woman,” he said, raising his hands.

“That’s United States District Attorney Lady to you,” I replied. “And you’ve got the wrong office.”

“She was a black and white.”

“Then she had it coming. And so do you.”

“I know,” Trouble said. “I’ve got my confession in my jacket pocket.”

I cocked the hammer on my revolver. “Slowly.”

It was a cool pair of clevelands, enough to keep Boss Henry from knocking on my door for a few months at least. I should of known better, but I never could say no to trouble.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

In.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Year Hapful Turned Utah Blue (992 words)

I first met Hapful back in Cedar City. Of course I’d seen her before, but you can’t feel a terror in your boots worse than the fear of the valley of the shadow of death through a television. Six feet of hate and two feet of steel was Hapful Hillary in the flesh.

I notified her very politely that she’d just put a stake right through the heart of my friend and neighbor, Jenny Lee. Then I told her that I didn’t want no trouble, but I was going to have to call Sheriff Jainey. Now Sheriff of Cedar City probably don’t sound like much, but Jam--that’s what we called the old man--was a little bit of a big deal. It hadn’t been much more than a year since nothing but spite had driven him to trade his pulse for a chance to watch Iraq burn from a lawn chair.

Hapful just laughed and laughed when I mentioned the sheriff. Before we get too far into the story, you oughta know that since then I’ve had the pleasure to know quite a few folk of questionable persuasion. From the burning hellways of Detroit to the shitspeckled offices of the White House and every godblessed pit in between. But in all my years, I ain’t never heard a more evil sound than when Hapful lets loose her granite cackle.

Now my mother didn’t raise a liar, so I went and got the sheriff. Sheriff, I told him, Hapful Hillary’s in town and she just staked Jenny Lee.

“Well, poo poo,” he said. And far as I’m concerned, truer words ain’t never been spoken outside a whorehouse since.

It took till nightfall for the sheriff to get his posse together. His little black book was thick as a testament and filled end to end with bad news. My heart quivered in righteous terror as I sat and listened to him call what seemed to be every friend he had on earth with two hands, a gun, and a grudge.

There must of been thirty or forty of us who headed back out to Jenny’s house once the sun set. Some folks on the street caught a glimpse and ran home to start boarding up their windows, afearing that a second Civil War was coming to Utah.

When we got there, Hapful wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Jenny, I asked, where’s Hapful? Being deader than a coffin didn’t stop Jenny from answering. A pale finger was pointing right down the lane toward Cornerstone Worship.

Hapful was in for quite a surprise if she thought that was going to save her. To be truthful, destroying a house of god weighed on my soul a bit, but Jam couldn’t hardly lean on that trigger fast enough. We all joined in of course, and all I can say is I hope I never have to hear that awful sound twice. There ain’t never been such a legendary cacophony of firepower since one them Dresden fires.

It didn’t take much less than a minute to reduce that old temple to nothing but sacred ground. Despite the new stain on my black record, I was feeling alright about it, all the way up until Hapful came strolling out of that cloud of smoke and fury like she was on a sunday stroll.

There we were, forty of us and one of her in what was shaping up to be the worst thing to happen to the Mojave Desert since Trinity. It was time for the staredown.

Hapful and the sheriff stood ten feet apart, and I could almost feel the sparks sizzling where their gazes met midair. I knew in my heart of hearts that there wasn’t a creature ever born that could withstand our sheriff’s steely blue eyes. Trouble was, no one rightly could say if Hapful had been born at all or if she’d just willed herself into existence one day.

Afterward I went and looked it up and the record books say the staring contest champion of the world was an old guard Soviet by the name of Vladimir Putin.

I guess Jam and Hapful weren’t on no camera so it ain’t going in the books, but the two of them put that poor Russian to shame. A fat old pigeon came and made a nest in Jam’s hat, even started laying eggs. The sheriff just grabbed that bird and ate it whole, his eyes never twitching once, even made himself a tiny omelet.

Just as I was starting to hanker for a bite of breakfast myself, the sheriff made me a liar and raised in his hand in ignominious defeat.

“I seen all I needed to see,” Jam said.

He hadn’t been looking at much beside Hapful’s baleful eyes, so naturally I asked him what he saw there. He hemmed and hawed, but to this day I swear that a shadow of fear passed over our fearless leader’s face. If I’d wanted to write my own epitaph, I’d have called him yellow.

I didn’t though and no else did neither, so we were all in quiet agreement that we’d been whupped real good. After that, there weren’t nothing left to do but go home with our heads between our legs. The very next month Cedar City held a free and fair election that Hapful won in a landslide.

Our town might be a little place, but I’m proud to say that with the help of Sheriff Jam our votes were enough to swing the county, and the county was enough to swing the state, and the state was enough to swing the nation.

And that’s the story of how Hapful Hillary became the forty fifth President of the United States and signed the death warrant for the electoral college at the same time. What she did once she got there and how we ended up being more formally acquainted, well that’ll have to wait for another Thunderdome.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Obliterati posted:

As a recent offender, I'll bite. What's :toxx:?

Here, enjoy the most confusing explanation possible.

You're banned if you don't submit a story.

Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I don't understand the prompt and I also don't know how to write a good story. But I guess two wrongs make an in.

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Roguelike
Jul 29, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Gods Must Be Lonely (471 words)

“Die for us! Die for us! Die for us!” The crowd’s bloodthirsty chant echoed Urga’s pounding heartbeat as she swung her club high overhead and brought it down with a sickening crunch. Stone met flesh and bone and brain, prevailing over them all with a splatter. Those closest to the stone bars screamed their ecstasy as they tasted blood on their tongues.

Without his head, the human with the silver hide twitched uncontrollably, like a chicken.

Urga lifted her muscular arms above her head in a victory fist, basking in praise before taking the stone stairs back down to her quarters. Here she lived, in the cave darkness beneath the temple, waiting day and night for the portal to open and combat to be joined.

The gods were cruel, Urga reflected as she took a swig of kumis, the fermented horse’s milk that always made her feel better. Why did they send such pathetic magicians to test her. Talltree’s mark had been engraved in stone for three years by her age. Even Dogbreath--failure that he was--was eventually granted an end by a worthy foe.

But not her.

The portal gave her nothing but weaklings. The slow, the old, the sickly, the iron eyed. Sometimes they came already dead or dying. The heavens must be near empty if these cowards were all that was left to send.

The room suddenly began to shake with the beat of a thousand stomping feet. The gods required her again. Once, Urga’s palms had sweated in anticipation at the sound. Today, she wearily slung her club back over her shoulder and headed up.

There were two of them, a mother and a son dressed alike in silver leather. Urga kicked their club over to them, but the woman only wept, clutching her son and babbling in gibberish. Urga pointed to club, gesturing that the woman should pick it up and fight. Instead she increased both her weeping and babbling tenfold.

Urga made it quick. As always, the crowd was unquenchable. They cheered her all the way back to the stairs.

Someday this would end, Urga told herself as she descended the all too familiar passageway, but her hope was as hollow as her heart. How many more times must she wear a path into these stone steps. A hundred? A thousand?

No. Urga clenched her mighty fist. If the gods insisted on sending sour gifts, she would not sit by and let them mock her. Always the portal had sent things, but perhaps it was time it took something back. If the gods were insulted, she would placate them. If they were in trouble, she would help them. And if, like their gifts, they were weak, perhaps it was time for new, better gods.

Urga smiled at that thought. Heaven certainly wouldn’t be expecting her visit.

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