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captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


LASER LEMON

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captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Can we just ask for flash rules? If so, me me me.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


The Unfortunate Incident on Catalaxes III
Crayola Color: "laser lemon"
:words:: 1192

The pale yellow glow of Catalaxes III cast underlights against the cold gunmetal of the Valkyria like sunlight in January, doing nothing to warm the bite—indulging in the kind of empty gesture of which only a massive, life-sustaining celestial body could be guilty.

Jane Castleton spat. This time it was a tooth.

Life-sustaining was an odd term to use to describe Catalaxes III. The third rock in the binary system Catalaxes hadn’t sustained a gods-damned thing since its core unexpectedly collapsed, turning the land into a muddy hellscape and the clouds into a yellow holocaust, scattering the few survivors to die a much slower death in the planet’s atmosphere.

Jane heard a roar, a crash, a scream, and then silence. Barry Dalbrek, the refugee who had very recently made himself captain of the Valkyria—a merchant vessel-cum-lifeboat whose actual captain was swallowed in a gurgling death throe on the way out—had been awash in delusions of grandeur as they boarded the ship. “We’ll be out of here soon,” he told the mothers, the toddlers, the babes, the families, the workers, the merchants, and the sailors. Most members of the former categories had since died in spacesuits filled with their own pus and bile. Harder folk like Jane and the Captain had outlasted them, but for how much longer?

Jane walked onto the bridge softly, but she did not knock. Dalbrek was no captain at all, and had he been, the chain of command broke with the crew’s fevers. Captain Dalbrek—designated so by the gold stripes on his gray armor—hunched over the console, his back to Jane, shaking so bad that she could see it through his suit. On the other side of the room, the till was resting up against a limp pile of armor—cylindrical tin mask on top of a tin torso, tin gauntlets and boots, all Jane had seen for months—whose face mask had been shattered, apparently by the till, which had apparently been thrown at its victim. Through the shard gaps of the visor, she could make out the face. She looked back at Dalbrek huddling by the console. It appeared as though the till had been ripped off.

The finality of the situation had come upon Jane slowly. It was entirely absent for the hurried run across the Shieldport of Catalaxes III as the refugees played hopscotch while the planet swallowed their squares. Her brother had turned his eyes away from the Valkyria to make sure she was okay. “It’s just up ahead, se—” and the unfinished ee had turned into a scream as the platform gave way under him and a burst of mud and rock replaced him on the spaceport. Jane hadn’t even cried. The run to the lifeboat had been a fog, and it had not been until her mother was the first to die that the crack in Jane’s windshield began to expand.

Jane couldn’t see her mother through her suit, and the darkness of her visor spared Jane, at the time, from the sight of the swelling of her pallid face. “I love you,” she had managed through twenty-three bloody teeth.

Until that moment, Jane, like the Captain, had been confident they would make it out alive. Jane was so important, she had reasoned, and Jane had so much left to do. How could she die, only six years old, without her mom and without her brother and with only an angry captain and a bunch of dying people that got killed when the captain was angry and and and—

Jane spent the next month or so sullen and angry with the prospect, but one advantage to children is that they bore easily, so she had taken later to putting her ill-gained freedom to good use. There was no one aboard the Valkyria to tell her not to go here or to stay out of there, and no mother to tell her it was time for bed or a shower.

Jane left the captain on the bridge and walked back out onto the deck. Instead of returning to the edge of the port side, looking over Catalaxes III as she had been before she heard the scream, she walked over to a staircase on the starboard side. In the darkness between floors, as she descended below the deck, the double-edged sword of her new freedom cut her. A convulsion took her. Jane tumbled down a few steps, shaking uncontrollably and crying with no one there to hold her close and lie to her and tell her that it would all be alright. Jane heard a scream above her.

Six hellish minutes later, the convulsion had passed. Jane sat on the stairs in the darkness, catching her breath, recuperating. She wished that she could wipe the blood from the inside of her visor without compromising her suit and, well, dying, but everyone aboard the Valkyria had told Jane to never ever open her suit, ill-fitting as it was, for any reason. So the blood stayed. She could see past it alright.

The crew’s quarters was illuminated by hazy fluorescent tubes on the walls and ceiling. The quarters were seldom used now. As Jane walked down the corridor, she could see the lifeless spacesuits of the dead slumped up against beds, sinks, and toilets. Some of the early to die had their suits removed by the surviving: those lay on the beds, swollen and yellow. Jane didn’t like to look at them. One of them had been her mother.

Jane continued down the corridor, past the atrium and the meal hall into the interesting room. As she closed the door to the engine room, she heard a sound that may have just been the squeal of the door, or may have been the squeal of another person. She thought it best to stay below.

With two decks, the bottom of which led into the merchant vessel’s cargo hold, the scaffolding overlooked the beat and hum of the Valkyria’s nuclear core. Jane liked to walk in and out of the contraption, admiring the pretty lights within while taking care to avoid the moving parts. From beyond the door to the crew’s chambers, she could hear muffled voices.

“Come one more step, Barry—”

“I’m your captain, Lucy. I’m going to save you.”

Lucy had been a science officer in the service to the Valkyria when it land on Catalaxes III. She had shown the refugees around the ship and helped with their diseases before the same disease took her. She sounded tired.

“I swear to th—”

He grunted. She screamed. Jane scrambled out of the engine, on her way to hide in the cargo hold, when another convulsion started in. No, no, no, she thought, sobbing, as blood spilled from her gums up against the inside of her suit. She heard the door to the engine room open from the atrium. No, no, no. She tumbled down the steps to the cargo hold and, coughing so much blood and bile that she couldn’t see the door, slapped a metal hand against it.

The last thing Jane heard was a shuffling on steel, against the hum of the engine.

captain platypus fucked around with this message at 18:52 on Jul 21, 2013

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Mercedes posted:

Since I'm going to be gone this weekend I'm going to post my prose now.

Crayola Color: Black
Word Count 1189

:words:
I was hoping they were at a funeral the whole time :smith:

I like it, though. What are the italics from?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Besesoth posted:

I'm not sure what my internet is going to look like for the rest of the weekend, so I'm posting now to avoid missing the deadline!

Crayola color: Key Lime Pearl
This is excellent. How much did you know about Korean culture before you got your flash rule?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


systran posted:

You don't chat in the Thunderdome. You can discuss stuff in the Fiction Advice thread or join IRC.
Sorry, I'll do that.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Sitting Here posted:

Sebmojo has a point about posting story context. Your purpose here is to create a complete story that speaks for itself. The judges aren't going to look any more kindly on your story because of the spoilered block of explanation at the end.
Good point. I'll remove my "context" (it's not really but) and make the point later if need be.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


:emo:

oh well, bring on the next one

e: and lol, sorry about the avatars. first was from 2009 when I registered and I hated the second one.

captain platypus fucked around with this message at 22:45 on Jul 23, 2013

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Mercedes posted:

Are you going to go cry quietly into the night, captain platypus? Or are you going to fight back and prove you got the tenacity to stand in the Thunderdome. If you think you have the cojones to have a Thunderduel will me, accept the challenge.

I accept. If the gods decide that my death is necessary to atone for my, uh you know, whatever it was I did so badly in that story, that then so be it.

systran posted:

Mercedes vs. captain platypus

Prompt: Write a story with a female protagonist that is not in love or does not fall in love. Any genre or style. 1500 words maximum.

so like could I just resubmit The Unfortunate Incident, or...?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


it was a Rubik's cube that, when completed, opened to reveal a yellow poo poo-monster that eats your face

Thanks for the criticism! I'll keep all that in mind for my THUNDERDUEL

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


In. Can't wait to write something inadvertently racist.

(thunderduel story forthcoming today)

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Hey! Watch me not give a gently caress about that.

But I still love you, sweetheart <3

Why should he listen to a single thing you say?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

Because I'm loving me and you will.

Ew.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


PHIZ KALIFA posted:

my cyberpunk blaxploitation story will be about a man with no neck defending his ironic racism on reddit.

our future is the dumbest future

Where does he keep his beard?

So do I just post my THUNDERDUEL entry vs. Mercedes here like I would a normal story? Any special formatting?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


captain platypus posted:

So do I just post my THUNDERDUEL entry vs. Mercedes here like I would a normal story? Any special formatting?

alright well I'm just gonna do that

THUNDERDUEL WEEK LI: MERCEDES VS. CAPTAIN PLATYPUS

Mercedes is coming to gently caress me in the butt.

- - -

Caroline, Texting Jupiter (~944)

Caroline was decidedly not in love, but unfortunately Jupiter did not reciprocate the sentiment.

“Christ,” Caroline muttered. “He texted me again.”

“Ooh, let me see.” Caroline’s roommate John, who had some kind of fetish for watching people unsuccessfully court others, snatched up her phone. “It is through the crayon scribbles that we recognize the greatness of the Sistine” or some equivalent drivel is how he had explained this interest to Caroline. “Good morning, beautiful, backwards smiley face,” John read aloud. He turned his gaze from the screen to Caroline, who was hunched at their kitchen island, her bed hair nearly falling into her bowl of cereal. “That’s not so bad.”

“Every morning,” Caroline sulked.

John handed her back the phone. As he walked from their common area into his room, he asked, “What did you do to deserve this one?”

“Well, I was dancing at the Buttercrunch a couple of weeks ago―”

John stuck his undressed frame back into the common room. “Without me?”

Caroline stared steadfastly at his chest unapologetically. “You were out that night.”

“Oh.” John retreated from the doorway. “Well, I shouldn't have been,” he called back.

Caroline continued. “And this guy’s kind of standing by the wall with his friend, right? He just stands there, holding his drink, looking around the club. His friend’s shouting something into his ear, encouragement I guess, so the guy starts slowly sidling up to women to dance with. Y’know that thing where when a woman is getting danced on by a creep, she may shove her friend in front of him?”

By this time, John had emerged from his room, his perfectly-sculpted torso painted over with a sky blue polo. His hair had also been haphazardly brushed during his absence from the room. He laughed―more like cackled―and said, “Yes. I do the same thing.”

“I was the friend.”

“Ouch.”

“So this kid―bless his heart, John, he’s trying―he starts talking to me, while trying some stupid alpha poo poo by brushing my arm. It’d be cute if it weren’t so, I don’t know, awful. His name is Jupiter and he’s new in town. Then he asks for my number.”

“So you gave it to him.”

“So I gave it to him.”

John leaned over the kitchen island, placing his elbows on the marble across from Caroline, who was frosting the tips of her hair with her chocolate puffs. “Then what?”

“Like clockwork, dude waits three days to text me. Then he goes, hey there, sweetheart, lets go out for a movie today, backwards smiley face. Like, what the hell?”

“A movie?”

“A movie. Here's textbook pick-up artist approach: Instead of asking me out, he told me we were going out.”

“So you told him no.”

“Well...”

Caroline.

“He’s new in town, John!”

Caroline.

“John.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him I was busy. Maybe later.”

Caro―”

“Shh.” At this point, Caroline noticed that her hair was dripping with milk. She got up from the kitchen island, took a towel to her hair, and pushed it up.

“That still doesn’t explain how we got from him asking you out to him texting you good morning, beautiful every day.” John turned around to face her as she washed her bowl in the sink.

“Well, last week, he just started texting me out of the blue. And wanting to be nice, I would talk back. We had pretty good conversations when he wasn’t trying to pick me up.”

“And now he thinks that the two of you are dating.”

Caroline grimaced. “Something like that. I’ve made excuses every time he’s asked me out.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Caroline, on her way to the bathroom, stopped in the hallway. “Uh...wait for him to die?”

* * *

Caroline looked guiltily at the hole in the ground as the undertaker filled it with soil. “I didn’t actually want this to happen,” she felt compelled to say.

“Sure you did,” said John.

Caroline punched him in the arm. The two of them were approached by an older woman, made apparently older by the grief striking her face. Her voice cracked as she spoke. “You must be Caroline.”

“Well, um, yes,” Caroline stammered.

“I’m Jupiter’s mother. I just wanted to say thank you for being there for him. He talked about you all the time. I’m so sorry,” she said, referring, Caroline knew, to the relationship that wasn’t that now wouldn’t be. Caroline wondered for a short moment if she should come clean to this grieving mother and explain that her son was mistaken, or perpetuate the lie one last time for Jupiter’s mother’s sake.

It was a pretty easy choice. “I am too,” Caroline said softly, hugging the woman.

John drove the two of them back to the apartment from the funeral. It had been about a month since Caroline and Jupiter had met, and accidentally true to her word, Caroline had kept up their correspondence until Jupiter’s death. He would text her, they would have a decent conversation, and she wouldn’t tell him about the blind dates John set her up whenever he accidentally met a straight guy. (Both had gone poorly.)

“Y’know,” John said finally, eyes still on the road, “this was all really decent of you.”

“Yeah?” Caroline asked. That absolutely none of this was actually her fault didn't make her feel any better about it.

“Yeah.”

Caroline awoke the next morning to an empty inbox. She walked into the common area to find John in a tank top, eating cereal on their couch. “Good morning, beautiful,” he said without missing a beat.

Caroline called him an rear end in a top hat and poured herself some chocolate puffs.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


sebmojo posted:

Random crit.

Thanks! I agree with the part about blocking and about moving my characters around like game pieces. It was very dialogue-heavy and I was trying to break that up.

However, there are places where you just edited out flavor: John's comment about watching bad courtship, Caroline staring at her roommate's chest. How would you build in character details while still moving along the plot?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Mercedes posted:

Fuckin stalker.

And we both had about five hundred words to spare :iiam:

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


systran posted:

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

Is this a reference to something?

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


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

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


crabrock posted:

I colorcoded my TD progress.

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

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Martello posted:

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

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

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Blackbridge
by captain platypus, age 22
805 words

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know.”

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

“I dig.”

“We doin’ this for Andy.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. Not that, you motherfucker.

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

I promise, I tell her.

I lose my grip. gently caress. I fall.

Did I just land on a ‘69 Judge―?

Everything goes black.

* * *

“Dad.”

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

“Dad.”

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

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

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

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

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

“We?”

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

“This is my man Judge, Dad.”

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

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

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

I'm sure this will surprise you all, but I was butt rear end naked in the forest with a fire axe, scream-laughing maniacally, and breaking trees with my bare hands while women touched one another looking at me.

GBS -> :choco:

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Popular Human posted:

I didn't lose! :krad:

I look forward to having my submission be savaged.

Me neither! Someone buy me a new avatar.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Martello posted:

get a load of this guy

mine is centered and everyone else is left-justified :spergin:

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Out this week and probably the next couple. I've got Real Life Stuff to deal with.

e: ^ this person is going to fit in very well

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


magnificent7 posted:

Wait. So I can just unload this avaturd anytime I want?

:10bux:/2

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Fumblemouse posted:

Flash grumble Grumble grumble gumble History sends me to sleep! To counteract my attention deficit, your Moment, at least so far as it appears in your story, must be no longer than 60 seconds. All bomb no fallout, grumble grumble.

This is a really cool flash rule.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


In.

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captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


crabrock posted:

i hope your baby is born happy and healthy.

:v: Speaking of which, is it more honorable to submit a poor story, or pull out? I did more moving this weekend than I anticipated and haven't had time to write something I don't hate.

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