gently caress you. I'm signing up.
|# ¿ Jan 9, 2015 02:16|
|# ¿ Dec 7, 2022 13:42|
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Crevasse-head opened the rusty door into a dark and gusty room. I noticed that the air passing through that black opening lacked the stench and weight of decay that filled the other prison chambers, and in the moment, staring into the void I was expected to enter, my lungs were as hungry as my stomach. They pulled me in, but before I had the chance to sate myself on the clean breeze, I blindly fell from a ledge to the rocky sand below. There, from my knees, I noticed the large slits lining the far wall of the room. Was this some sort of loading dock? Looking through them I could see the sands that gave Black Beach Prison its name and the ocean crashing close upon them.
Before I could pick myself up I felt a strong hand on the back of my neck pulling me to a post that jutted up from the sand like a spire. With the typical show of force that I’d come to expect from the guards, Crevasse-head pulled my arms behind the pillar in a movement that felt as if my shoulders were going to separate. The repressive squeeze of handcuffs confirmed that I was trapped.
“Do you know why the black sand?” Crevasse asked in broken English. It was the first time I’d heard him speak the language.
“It is colored from the blood and oil.”
“Blood of whom?” I asked.
“People like you.”
I wanted to ask Crevasse questions; what did he mean “people like me?” Why was I being held in this room? Would I die here? However, I had learned that when Crevasse turned away from you, he was uninterested in anything one had to say.
Not long after, the door opened again. A silhouette, unchained and upright, stood against the hallway’s light and when I saw that figure enter, my partner, Tim, I was certain that I was going home. The embassy had come through. Our call for help had been heard.
“Tim, are you okay?” I asked.
Crevasse produced a lantern and toolbox from a utility cabinet. With the strike of a match, the lantern flickered, and I could see that Tim was beaten badly, more so than I had been. “I’m alive,” he said.
His cellmates hadn’t been merciful.
“Are we leaving? Did they come through?”
“John, we aren’t going anywhere. Not until you admit to Warden Dougan why we were actually here.” As Tim spoke I could see that several of his teeth had been flaked and chipped away. His lips were swollen and split vertically. “Be honest.”
I had never known Tim to be a violent person. He was always the kind, artistic side of the operation. He was the sympathetic one, the moralist; it was his idea to come to Bioko in the first place. It was his idea to expose the corruption and human rights violations that followed the discovery of oil under the island.
He scowled; his blackened eyes appearing to sink deeper into his head. The gash across his lip had opened up and began to leak as he clenched his jaw. Then the punch landed.
I could feel the blood from my nose running down my chin and into the sand. “Tim,” I said through teary eyes, “what are you doing?”
“Be straight with me. There was no documentary, and they aren’t going to help us with anything; your coup failed, John.”
“The guns?” Three crates of Soviet era assault rifles.
We rented a truck on the mainland for our supplies and equipment, along with a hired hand, Enrique, for the booms and to help us navigate the streets of Malabo. One week into shooting and Tim and I were filming a series of interviews when the police arrived with multiple units guns drawn. They found the boxes amongst the other equipment, boxes that weren’t there before the shoot.
Tim reached into the pocket of his uniform, producing a small, hand rolled, cigarette. He leaned in and lowered his voice conspiratorially, “John, if you admit your role in all this they’re going to let me go. They might even do the same for you.” Tim turned back towards Crevasse. He was bleeding behind the ear, and it looked as if someone had tried to cut it completely off. “Light?” he asked. The waves were crashing closer now; the rising tide had crept into the slits and I could feel the water nipping at my toes.
I hadn’t seen Tim smoke before.
“John, if you didn’t try to supply the rebels then who did?”
“What rebels-” I began, before Tim grabbed a fist full of my hair, yanking my head inches lower until we were eye to eye.
“Enrique,” I said.
“Enrique wasn’t even able to keep time. You really think he could coordinate a dead drop for those crates under our nose?” I struggled against his hardened fingers, feeling the hair rip from my scalp. “You put them there.”
“Neither of us was watching the truck,” I reasoned.
He pulled me closer, and I feared his cigarette plunging into my eye, until it did. I kicked in pain, landing a foot in his groin before falling into the inch of water at my feet. I only wanted to submerge myself in the cool sea.
“Who are you?” I screamed.
“Who are you?” he countered, grabbing me by my neck. “You used me! You’re a loving spy.”
“You invited me to this place! This was your idea!”
I could hardly breathe, but my challenge took him off guard; he tried working out the logic. How, exactly, had I tricked him into coming here?
“No, no, no,” he said.
I decided to take my small victory and pile on, “how do I know that you weren’t just setting me up this whole time. I was just here to work the editing. This was your plan.”
I could hear Crevasse laughing from the corner. He lifted the toolbox and jingled it between his giggles before Tim approached him. The rusty box squealed as it opened.
The water was just above my ankles now.
Tim turned back to face me, brandishing a flat edge used for smearing putty or spackle. “Don’t you see they’re loving with you?” I begged, “the guards, the warden, whoever you met with. They’re not going to let you leave, even if I confess to something that isn’t true.”
“Liar!” he shouted.
Tim grabbed my head and slammed it into the wooden mast. Then the edge was in my stomach. I collapsed. The world was growing heavier, and Tim wasn’t finished. He used the blade to cut my achilles’ before climbing the ledge.
“You had your chance,” he said.
Crevasse waded through the scarlet surf to unlock my handcuffs, allowing me to fall backwards into the red saltwater clouds. Through the muffled swirling I swore that I could hear laughing, then Crevasse’s deep bass say “good job.” I opened my eyes numb to any more pain. Through the red, I thought I saw them shaking hands, but as I tried to surface for a clearer view, I found the undertow too strong to fight anymore.
|# ¿ Jan 12, 2015 04:14|
In with King of the Whores.
|# ¿ Jan 13, 2015 17:33|
The King of the Whores
This ogre was foul heap of flesh and muscle. More monster than man, the brute was packed into the Sentinel's Mail, a shimmering steel chain weaved in chaotic orchestration over his broad chest and capped with a golden wasp. It was a sigil that Nils had seen frequently over the past decade, stamped into a leather cuirass lain haphazardly on the floor, branded across a horny footsoldier’s rear end, pressed into the gold coins left on an endtable as payment. It was the sigil of Leopold the Usurper; yes, Nils knew it well.
“Well?” the ogre declared as he unsheathed his blade, “You just going to stand there, staring at me armor? Shall I show you the end of me pointer as well?”
“No sir. Of course not sir.” Nils answered.
“Sir?” the ogre’s voice boomed now, filling the greathall as he stood basking in the gazes of one thousand soldiers. The monster’s face was a mishmash of broken and rotting features, from his pulverized nose to his gaping, blackened maw. “I am Rogdnor Crush, Champion of the blade, bow, and brawl, squasher of insurgent besiegers, and Battlemaster for King Leopold himself, but tonight, as far as you are concerned, I am your king!”
“Yahraw!”” The thousand strong soldiers shouted.
Rogdnor clutched his sword before approaching Nils at the small guest table, “Tonight, we celebrate the anniversary of our victory against King Vingwinter’s pathetic army,” and with a mighty show of force, he drove his sword through the face of the wooden surface. “So hurry,” he continued, “and summon your infantry of bitches before I decide to lead my army against a new target, you king of whores.”
“Right away my lord,” Nils reported. Moments later, the greathall doors swung open, and inward marched a brigade of gorgeous, naked, women, enough for each man to have two if he so desired.
Rogdnor licked his split lips as he surveyed the selection at hand. “Very nice; I don’t understand how such a grotesque man can keep the company of such beautiful women.” He pointed across Nils’ partially liquified face as he chuckled. “But it is no matter; go now.”
Nils took a step away before turning back, “And the discussed payment?” he asked.
“The discussed payment has changed,” Rogdnor said as he took a handful of rear end from Aranya, one of Nils’ most beautiful courtesans. “The new payment is that I won't cut your melted balls off and we’ll return these sluts in mostly working order! Now go, run off to your bordello before the offer changes again.”
Nils diverted his gaze to the floor. “Very well, my lord.”
Once the greathall doors were upon his back, Nils knew to show himself out. The guards were busy now and the path to the exit simple enough. Yet when he reached the main foyer, Nils continued to walk and then sprint past the exit and deeper into the fortress.
This was once his castle, and tonight he’d reclaim it.
Everything was just as he had remembered. Kitchen, armory, bloodletting chamber, the droplets of a forgotten life dewed upon Nils’ mind with each passing room. He entered the apothecary and stared into the reflecting glass over the washing basin, momentarily allowing himself to become Kurt again. His face was pocked and boiled so severely that his skin hung over over his shoulders like royal drapes.
After Leopold’s army launched itself against the battlements, Kurt’s men fought valiantly to ebb the ogretide. Still, they were outnumbered and he was outdone. Yet Kurt Vingwinter was a pragmatic if cowardly king, and instead of facing the afterworld honorably at the end of an axe or spear, he drowned his face in the stomach acid of a bogbeast, loaded his horse with as much gold as she could carry, and rode off, never to be heard of again until tonight.
He found the library moments later. In the years following his disfigurement, Nils could only find comfort in the tightness of a woman or the pages of a book. He satisfied his need for the first by building the biggest whorehouse in all of Ochtlender and using his gold to recruit enough women to gently caress the entire city. However, it was in Nils’ second comfort that he discovered his salvation.
It was in a shadowy market stall that he met the man with sickly lavender skin, the man who claimed to know his true identity, the man who promised to help.
“At what price?” Nils asked.
“We’ll discuss that after you’ve returned to power, my liege.”
A simple nod, and Nils’ was given a weathered, dusty tome: A Guide to the Pronunciation of Words and Phrases of the Ancient Ones.
When he glanced up to question the lavender-man, the stall had vanished.
Nils studied the book daily until the words were his, but he hadn’t realized its purpose until this moment.
The book of dark incantations. Nils remembered the legends of powerful necromancers, but he had assumed it all a folly.
Nils sat on the floor in the dusty room, whipping through the pages. He understood it all! The words scribed within this book had all the power to restore his throne. The lavender-man was honest.
Nils stopped on a page: Invoking the Succubi
By the time Nils returned to the greathall, the slaughter was over. Aranya waited for him outside the open doors, standing in enough blood to pool halfway up her hooves. Inside, the demonesses made aimless love to each other upon the corpses of the soldiers.
“For you, my master.” Aranya said, her forked tongue dashing in and out of her green lips, as she handed Nils the Sentinel’s Mail with her clawed fingers.
Nils was going to thank her, but a heavyfisted banging at the castle entrance interrupted his thoughts.
“Gather your army from the blood-orgy,” Nils commanded. “We’ve got a king to track down.”
But first Nils had to answer the door. He knew that the lavender-man was knocking.
|# ¿ Jan 18, 2015 06:44|
judging update: SPACE DRAGON NOT IMPRESSED WITH YOUR STORIES
Space Dragon is torrenting some good stories while he reads all the bad ones.
|# ¿ Jan 28, 2015 01:11|
gently caress you, I'm signing up, and I don't care about no swears either.
|# ¿ Jul 9, 2015 12:15|
Also, give me a flash rule and a tankard of some generic fantasy alcoholic beverage.
|# ¿ Jul 9, 2015 13:28|
Searching for a Familiar Face - Flasher Rule: You are forbidden from including any of the standard menagerie of fantasy races. At least half your characters must be non-human.
It began as an itch, slight and steady, and slowly descending from the crown of Donovan’s happy, dreamy, head, before becoming the type searing gnaw that laps a man’s skin and drags him, screaming, from his bedlinens. Only, Donovan weren’t sleeping; this were an inn, he remembered as much, but Donovan hadn’t stopped in the Cock and Crow for food or bed, no, he were hunting a sorcerer.
“Up, up, up. Up now, thin bones.”
The sorcerer’s name were Marcellus, and rumours had that he locked himself deep within his hillside estate shortly after the death of his only son, only to emerge in a month’s time having mastered the four summoning disciplines.
“Give it a moment, Salty. The man was just swallowed up by a blueflame spell; it’s a miracle his bones aren’t fused at every joint.”
The innmaster were telling Donovan a story when the fire struck. Marcellus sought to necromance his son, but the magic failed; it ate away his mind and left him as a corrupted soul growing madder with each day. Marcellus sought to cure himself by culling the populace of Deepwater Muck to use in his desperate experimentation.
Donovan had just tipped the keeper for his helpful tale when he heard a rabblement on the distance and the kicking in of timbers in the door, but once he turned to check the sound and defend himself, the hero were blown from the entrance in a blue inferno.
“Smell smell smell bad. Bad and burned hair. Flesh.”
“Of course it smells bad. Every singular thing and person inside this room unexpectedly burst into one unified barbecue. What would you expect it to smell like? Pork pie?”
“Pork pork pork. Pork Pie?”
“Nevermind. Where’s Pup, anyway? Make sure he’s not gorging on corpses or baked apples; you know they are bad for him, lest I need to remind you of what happened last time he ate himself sick? Pup!”
“No no no remind. Puppy!”
“Hey, Salty, there’s no time for that. Lazy-bones is up.”
Two white figures stood out against the charcoal of everything. The taller were a pile of cloudy salt boulders, vaguely human shaped, yet featureless, save for crudely drawn expressions on each facet of the upmost stone: a smile, a frown, a fighting-gaze. The shorter figure, a series of white and twisted, tubers topped with green stalks, seemed to stare directly into Donovan’s being. There was something in his slatted, mud crusted eyes which commanded attention.
“Salty. Pup. Lets go! You too, Bones.”
It were true; Donovan looked down to not a strong and lean body, but the dangling bones of a living skeleton peppered with chunks of his old muscle and flesh.
“What sort of wicked vegetable are you?” Donovan asked.
“I’m an enchanted goliath mandrake, and your master, so pick up your sword and let’s go. We’ve got a sorcerer to find.”
Donovan felt the shrill voice move his bones to action. “The sword’s too heavy, sir.”
“Salty,” Tubers asked, “would you keep our new friend’s sword safe? He’s not strong enough to wield it. Not yet.”
“Stick stick stick,” The golem declared as he handed Donovan a ruined plank from the tavern’s roof before wedging Donovan’s prized bronze sword between his central rocks. “Safe safe safe for friend.”
“You heard the salt,” Tubers said, “he’ll keep the sword safe. You can use the club.”
The golem rotated his headstone to the crude smile. “Skeleton skeleton skeleton, club,” Salty announced as he lifted his gigantic fist high into the air before slamming it into the floor, “and Salty club!”
Suddenly, a shriek filled the basement.
“I guess we know where Pup is,” the mandrake said.
“Puppy!” Salty echoed.
The wolfish lizard waddled through the marching trio, occasionally flicking its black, forked tongue through the damp sewer air. Pup stopped, flicking to taste the air again before snorting three times and popping out of the chest-high water like an overboiled kettle lid and diving headfirst into the silt.
“Puppy, good,” Salty said.
“You are aware that the beast you have in your company is actually, in fact, a young basilisk and not a canine?” Donovan asked.
Ahead in the tunnel, Puppy emerged with an arm lodged in his mouth, severed from its body and clad in heavy plate, the town’s armorsmith. “Armor armor armor man!” Salty announced as he pulled the mangled limb from the lizard’s pointed mouth.
“What, oh my!” Tubers exclaimed before turning back to his skeletal companion. “Thank you for the insight! Why don’t you try to teach Salty to pronounce basilisk?”
“Basil sick!” Salty added.
“Are you aware that you are no longer, in fact, human?” Tubers asked.
“A splendid illusion, but when this charm is broken, I will boil you.”
Tubers lifted a dripping tendril; he only needed one word, “dismissed!” and the bones collapsed lifelessly.
Salty rotated his head to the angry face.
“Salty,” the mandrake said, “put that face away!” The golem shifted weight, lifting his column-like leg high enough to touch the roof of the sewer. “Put that leg down, Salty! If you hurt me, you won’t even make it back to Marcellus! That’s a promise!”
The golem’s leg crashed into the water, creating a tidal splash that filled the chamber.
Tubers emerged from the grime to face the angry sentinel.
“I drew those eyebrows on your stupid face, you salt-monster!”
Yet, Salty didn’t move, guarded on his side by Pup.
Tubers righted himself, lifting a root in the direction of the scattered bones. Moments later, Donovan was right again. “Fine,” he said.
Donovan wanted to rush the overgrown plant and crush it under his heelbone, but the magic forced him to march on.
“Look, Bones,” Tubers said, “when we find the sorcerer, we may have a fight on our hands, so let’s try to set our differences aside.”
“Aye, but I’ll not bat an eye should you perish.”
“You haven’t an eye to bat; just let Salty be big and scary, and Pup’s got enough venom to finish any man. Really, with my magic, the three of us don’t even need you.”
Donovan dragged his bones through the wastewater, “Then let your trinity go on without me. Allow me the honor of living with my ancestors in the beyond.”
The mandrake stopped to face his minion, “if your desire is strong, I should oblige it.”
But before Tubers could cast his dispel, a warm glow and the hooting and jawing of laughter invaded the tunnel, and everything was forgotten, save the eight angry men staring down the three. Donovan knew in this moment of silent confrontation that he would have to attack the group, as the mandrake’s will demanded, and it was in that calm moment of reverie, when a javelin flew from the eight, clanging against the golem’s center and falling away impotently.
As the men watched its precise flight, Pup reared his head from the murky depth to strike two in the necks. They only had enough time to call for help before the venom ate away at their heart, and as their comrades turned, swinging their blades into the brown water, Salty and Donovan, clubs raised, rushed the cluster.
While this was happening, the mandrake set his roots to grow and crawl along the tunnel bottom, binding the feet of the mob, and before Donovan could strike at even one, Salty swiped his giant arm across the bodies of the men, leaving them crushed, beaten, and, minutes later, dead.
“Bones,” Tubers demanded, “pick the bodies clean for anything useful.”
“Among the wreckage of blood and bodies, sir, there’s only one thing of note, a ninth head.”
Severed above the mandible, cheeks still warm, was the sorcerer Marcellus’ head.
Tubers stood over the dripping sack and peered inside. “Master-”
“Master?” Donovan questioned, “You mean to tell me that you have allied yourself with this man? I thought we were to cut the necro’s throat ourselves if given the chance.”
“He never once consorted with the dead. Your presence in this matter is my doing.”
Down in the tunnel, Pup snorted.
“Puppy?” Salty asked.
“That is the man that killed me!” Donovan shouted.
Salty shuffled into the darkness as the two argued.
“And he is the one that gave me life, the one to pluck my soul from the ether and teach me the four magical arts: animal, vegetable, mineral, and man, just as a father would.”
The two stood in silence.
“Are you the mage’s son?” Donovan asked.
“Does it matter?”
“Your father killed me as he fled from the families of the others he murdered.”
“And I am not him,” Tubers said, “yet I sought to give you life again as he did for me, but should you desire release then I will grant it to you.”
Somewhere within, a warning yelp and the sound of rock hammering into flesh and stone ripped through the air.
The two turned to face it.
|# ¿ Jul 13, 2015 01:37|
MIMES CAN GO gently caress THEMSELVES THOUGH
I read this as memes and was right with you. Mimes are cool though.
|# ¿ Jul 13, 2015 09:55|
Is it too late to say I hate you all?
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 18:01|
Is that an avatar handed out in one of the sub-forums, or does this guy just get a million name changes and post everywhere?
This guy just pays for a million name changes.
Considering your current avatar, I'd say we did you a service.
Well do me a favor and take a hike, you jerk.
Someone else do me a favor and BRAWL me. I'm out for blood.
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 18:23|
Who's going to judge this? I don't give a gently caress if I'm brawling one, two, or eight; hell, do it WWF style and have a two versus one match for all I care.
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 18:31|
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 18:36|
I'll brawl and toxx, even if I would prefer a prompt that allowed me to rip the heads off my enemies rather than require me to ally with them.
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 18:46|
Sign up post
|# ¿ Jul 14, 2015 21:07|
Jackson wasn’t supposed to be upstairs. If he stepped too hard, the dry-rotten floor would give away beneath him; stood too tall, the protruding roofing nails would split his skull. This was how he lived, always hunched, middling between two faults. Before his mother had retreated to some place of bitter self-affirmation, she told him, “Jackson, you drag that drunk-rear end father of yours out of bed and make him get your winter clothes from the attic.” But when dad drank, no amount of shaking, shouting, or face-slapping could break him from his torpor. He was always drinking. Mom knew that.
There would be benefits to the separation: two sets of birthdays and holidays, two chances for first kisses and new friends in new neighborhoods, less parental meddling. Today, that meant inviting over his best friend, Will, instead of packing.
So while he waited for a knock on the door, Jackson looked through Buddy’s things. “Your grandfather could fix anything, Jackson,” his mother told him, “cook anything, and do anything he set his mind on. Be like Buddy. Don’t become your father.”
Jackson wondered how he could be or become anything, when nobody, not mom nor dad, would teach him.
“Jack?” he heard from below.
“Up here,” he called.
“What’re you doing?” Will asked.
“Just looking at old things,”Jackson said as he slid the cardboard box over to his friend, “Buddy’s military stuff,” he said, “flight logs, shell casings-”
“A pack of smokes! Wow man, you think they’re still good?” Will asked as he slipped the yellowed paper pack into the tight pockets of his baseball uniform before diving deeper into the box. “Are you coming to my game this afternoon? Valerie will be there.”
“Val’s all yours.”
“No way,” Will declared, “I know how much you like her.”
“You like her too, and you’ll actually be here in six months. As for the game, I can’t, mom says I need to have everything ready to go at six when she comes back.”
Jackson stared into the worn box as if the bottom ran all the way through the basement. “It’s crazy,” he began. “Seems like just yesterday both Buddy and Granny were here. Now there’s this.”
An odd, silent, discomfort fell on the boys.
Seeking desperately to break the moment, Jackson reached blindly into the box, grabbing a random item to produce, “but,” he said, “there’s also this!”
It was thin and long, a straight razor cased in mother of pearl and as elegant as the name engraved into it with sterling silver script, ‘Lucille.’ Opened, it may have been an alligator’s jaws, patient and hungry, and just as dangerous. While other metals in the box had rusted in the humidity, Buddy’s old canteen, his service pins, Lucille shone as brightly as the day she was first cut.
“drat,” Will said, “they don’t make them like this anymore.”
“What would you know about shaving?”
“My dad showed me last year.”
“You’re full of it!”
“Am not. Look,” Will said as he extended the blade and set it to rest against his tender neck. “You need to soap up really nice and-” Jackson noticed that Will’s hands were trembling. “Go,” Will took a breath to steady himself. “Against,” the blade edged through the stray hairs under his chin. “The grain.”
“Easy,” Will trumpeted as he flipped the blade into its guard.
Neither realized that Will had cut himself until the blood started pooling at his feet.
Thankfully, Jackson had taught himself to use the first aid kit in the kitchen. Wash with soap, sanitize with alcohol, and protect with gauze; it was simple, and they were finished right in time for Will’s game.
While the boys stood on the porch, speaking their goodbyes, Lucille sat in her sanguine pool, soaking it in like a sponge.
“Hit a homer for me?” Jackson asked.
“And a stolen base,” Will added.
Jackson rolled his eyes, “If you’re so confident, maybe you should give me two of each, goodbye presents,” he suggested with an outstretched hand.
It was a deal.
Jackson was in his bedroom, wrestling with sticky packaging tape, when he heard a banging on the door. His dad might have been bothered by the noise were he home, but he had left for the pharmacy an hour ago and probably wouldn't return for three more.
“Jack,” he heard, “open up!”
The moment after Jackson flipped the deadbolt, Will burst through the door, coated in sweat and dirt. Clearly, the game had been hard fought.
“You’ll never believe it, man! Two dingers! Two stolen bases! Who ever heard of a catcher doing that?”
“For real?” Jackson asked,
“Well, I did promise,” Will said.
“You could also promise to fly away like a bird. You’ve never hit a homer in your life.”
“I know, Jack! It was like someone swinging the bat for me; truth be told, it felt like it too.”
The boys fled to the farthest part of the yard to examine the blade.
“Was the name always this way?” Jackson asked as he fingered the onyx script.
“The handle wasn’t red before,” Will added with amazement, “Did the blood stain it?”
“That’s impossible; it’s waterproof. Will, you promised me those home runs.”
The two heard a car pull into the driveway and honk twice; Jackson’s mother had returned.
“So what’ll you promise me, Jack?” Will asked, “If Lucille is responsible, then you could have Val love you forever. You could fix everything with your parents and stay here.”
“You can’t make promises for other people,” Jackson said while closing his hand tight around the blade. “I have to go now, but I’ll always be your friend.”
“That a promise?” Will asked.
“Promise,” Jackson answered while ripping the handle from his fist.
They shook on it. Blood brothers.
Jackson pocketed the blade as he walked away. The injury was severe, but he would survive, and if his mother asked, he’d tell her that he cut himself in the attic.
|# ¿ Jul 19, 2015 22:08|
I have spent a lot of time locked in a hot car, so I am qualified to do this.
|# ¿ Jul 21, 2015 11:08|
are you someone's pet dog
*Sheds on the apholstery*
|# ¿ Jul 21, 2015 13:13|
Monkeyshines or How I Learned to Stop Giving a gently caress and Start Breaking poo poo
This was a personal job.
I used my tail to grip the edge of the poured concrete wall and lower myself into the indentation of a window. There was a pipe running down the building adjacent to me, and with a nimble leap I latched on and rode it down. Before hitting the pavement of the alley below, I swung my back legs to shift my momentum and landed on the bright pink sign of a brothel. Through that amethyst hue, I identified Yori and Michi.
These were the men who betrayed me, two partners of mine from a neighboring clan now wiped and almost destroyed entirely, but somewhere deep within still scantly themselves. I would destroy them. Provide the relief that only death can; I owed them as much.
Still, it would be gratifying to eviscerate the men who liquefied my brain, infected it with nanobots, and left my body to be eaten by the wolves.
We called it Hereafter, a hidden retreat within a remote Mount Fuji southern basin that was founded shortly after the inception of the first Ani, a cyborg so deeply entwined with technology that separation was impossible. Back then, the idea of a human-botnet was only on the tongues of the mad conspiracy types who lived on the alleys in street corners. Thankfully, we listened.
While the outside world focused on integrating themselves down to the tooth with technology, we remained diligent in pursuits of the human realm: martial arts, physical fitness, meditation, breathing, intense study.
Eventually, other outcroppings began posting up within a wild human existence. More Hereafters began dotting the abandoned land between techno cityscapes.
When we began receiving reports of a botnet-virus spreading from human to human, we foolishly cast the thought of any threat to us aside; a human couldn’t be infected without a chip in his brain. That’s why we decided to aid them. That’s why I left the brothers of my Hereafter to assist in Fuji East.
When Yori sunk his nails into my flesh, I knew something was immediately wrong. There was a turning deep in my stomach and a weakness in my legs that forced me to the ground, and, moments later, I was vomiting silvery, glittering sparkles. We were returning from a run with sleds of medical supplies and food stores.
I could feel the commands running through my mind, whispering like nagging little thoughts on my consciousness. Self-replicating like the machines in my blood that I had been infected with.
“Destroy the Hereafters,” it said.
Michi stood over my hunched frame and toed my arms, testing them for weakness as one would the structure of an old, abandoned building. I pushed back with more force than he expected.
“The takeover is failing,” he announced.
“Withdraw the brain material,” Yori said. “We’ll infect the material remotely and inject it into a new host when we clear Fuji South.”
The last thing I felt in my own body was a needle plunging into my spine.
When I came to, I was not greeted with the frame of one of my slain friends, but the body of a macaque. I was in the central yard of the Hereafter, in the body of a monkey with a syringe jutting out from his potbelly. Yori or Michi, whoever was carrying my liquefied nanobot-brain-emulsion, must have dropped the syringe in the melee, an unexpected resistance, giving this little guy a chance to prick himself. Screams, originating from within the great hall, cut through the light, snowy air. Yori and Michi must have been finishing off the last of the them.
Movement came to me naturally. Scampering through the snow, I clambered to the great hall awning just in time to witness the last of the killing through slats cut into the facade. The two didn’t realize the syringe had been dropped until it was too late. It would be an embarrassing failure to report to the singularity-core.
I don’t know why I decided to tail them back into the city. There was nothing to be done about my transformation. I had learned enough about the neural integration process to know that. There was nothing to do, nobody to save.
I guess I only had revenge.
Back in the electric pink light of the brothel’s neon, I noticed the two enter a flashy pachinko parlor. Although most of the Ani populace had been affected by the botnet, the system wasn’t nearly powerful enough to run full takeovers of millions or even thousands of people at once. Instead, it simply redirected resources as needed amongst all of the infected and stuck to running background operations in the minds of the unneeded.
In the alley beside the parlor, I picked up a broken bottle with my cute little tail. There was a ventilation duct with a broken grate on the side of the building, and with a little effort, I was able to squeeze through. Navigating the aluminum maze was difficult, but I knew that I needed to head down, and with the reduced mass of my new body, I was able to handle the drops with ease. Finally, at the bottom of the labyrinth, I found a vent filter, wet and heavy under the smell of cigarette smoke.
I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of the jangling machines. Fortunately, the noise that kept me from identifying my target in the buzzing hall also kept me from being heard as I used my surprising strength to pry the vent cover from the wall. Rows of spasming machines filled the empty room. In the closest row, patrons sat with their backs to me while pushing mindlessly at the consoles. The men would have faced each other if it weren't for the tall cabinets and back to back machines obscuring their vision. With a little peek, I noticed Yori’s feet facing those of a stranger several machines away.
Attendants walked up and down the busy aisles, so I needed to move quickly. I scuttled under the the closest booth, navigating between and under the feet of strangers until I was beneath the man opposite Yori. Clutching the broken bottle in my tail, I moved in for the execution.
I grabbed the lip of the booth opposite Yori and athletically flipped myself up and onto the strange man’s machine. Time felt slower than it ever had before, in the way that an animal’s reactions will always beat a man’s. I leapt, grabbing the edge of the machine, and pulled myself over onto the console of the device Yori faced. There, in those seconds before his death, I saw a deadness in Yori’s eyes. His finger was pressed into a button on the machine and his lips were moving without speaking a word. I speculate that this was a method of communicating with the botnet, but I never had the chance to find out as I grabbed the bottle from my tail and punctured his chest and neck in a series of rapid-fire stabs.
By the time I wiped the blood from my furry face, all of the men in that parlor had been switched on, taken into full control by the net.
The attendant was closest. Immediately, he produced a switchblade and rushed me straight on. I sprang across the aisle to the opposite machines, kicking off the digital monitor and flying directly into him. I landed on his shoulders, and used my little claws to gouge out his eyes. Wildly, he stabbed in my direction, but I was fast and he was blind, so he only ended up placing the blade in the base of his own neck.
I plucked the knife from him as his body fell to the ground. I only stood about two feet tall, so I had to judge my aggressors by their footsteps. Up ahead, there were two sets of angry legs charging me, so I ran, quickly reaching full speed.
Ducking under the first’s legs, I was able to slice the tendons in his ankle, sending him falling onto the corpse of his friend. I also managed to dodge under the legs of the second, but he reared up like an angry horse and nearly caught my leg with a stomp. A stab in the back of each knee sent him falling as well.
As he toppled over, I zipped up the man’s back, using him as a ramp to get airborne; several uninfected men were fleeing, but there were still two out for my blood. Using muscles that I didn’t know I possessed, I rotated myself in the middle of my jump and rocketed the knife into one of the men’s chest.
Reaching the apex of my leap, I reared my teeth and began to screech the rage that I felt inside.
Then I began to urinate.
I landed on the top of another row of machines, wailing and pissing and making myself as big as possible. Then the man turned tail and left for the exit.
This was strange. Anis didn’t run, not even in the face of certain annihilation. The system must have deactivated his programming, sending him back into his dormant state. But why? It must have needed the power for something
That’s when a shot
blew through my body, hurling me across the room.
I was bleeding bad, but I managed to find the strength to lift myself onto the counter of the machines.
Michi stood in the frame of the open office door, kicked off its hinges by his mighty legs. He pointed his gun at me with his right hand, never wavering, and removed the katana on his back with his left.I stepped behind the extra large token cup that was lodged in the cupholder as if it would provide protection from a bullet.
I anticipated the shot, diving to the side as soon as I made it behind the plastic cup. The bullet ripped through the entire row of cups, sending the glittering tokens flying through the air and falling like snowflakes.
Suddenly, the lights blinked in a dim flicker, and every machine in the joint hit a jackpot.
The system attempted to use the machines as a series of bombs, sending shrapnel of glass and steel and silver hurling into me, while my strength failed with every drop of blood to leave my body. Charging at him and using the silver hail as a cover, I dove through the air, cutting through the reflective fog.
I landed on his gun with a thud, knocking the hot metal to the floor. Michi collapsed on top of me, but I managed to grab the pistol before he pinned me to the ground. He tented himself over me, trying to pound me between his fist and the concrete, but my hand was on the trigger, and I dumped the magazine into his face.
The crater of Michi’s head slumped on top of me, but there wasn’t much of it left. Fortunate, because it took the last of my physical will to escape from it.
I pulled the katana from his sheath.
The botnet would be sending more Anis soon. In fact, I understood that they were probably already around the corner, ready to put me down. In about two minutes this fight would be over, so I took a moment, appreciating the lull to pick viscera from my fur.
Reaching into the pocket of one of the dead attendants, I pulled out a pack of smokes and lit up. I hadn’t had a cigarette in decades, but it was just as I had remembered. The haze felt good in my lungs. I pulled the cracked sunglasses from another dead man, and slipped them awkwardly on my much-too-small head before lifting myself onto the counter. I dropped a blood-soaked token into one of the only machines in the place still running and pressed the button, wondering if I’d win.
|# ¿ Jul 26, 2015 03:17|
Nat waited months for Whitney’s coma to break.
During the days following the incident, after her skin was reattached into place, Nat replayed the scene over and over again in her mind. There was an explosion in the church’s basement that propelled her brother into its stone foundation, leaving his brain inactive and his body covered in burns. The four girls he was downstairs with were dead, and at least twenty others were in critical care.
Nat stared into the mirror under the fluorescent hospital lighting, fingering the scar that ran from her lower lip to her jaw, and testing her sore skin’s elasticity. The dark circles under her eyes had always been there, but were made worse by the lack of sleep following it all. Truth be told, she looked good, considering the magnitude of the blast, but the deep, pretzel-brown, skin of her reflection wordlessly asked her the same nagging question.
Why had she been spared from the flames?
Nat looked over to her comatose brother while fighting tears; Whitney was dotted with heavy blots of new and swollen pink-pale skin that covered his large chest and handsome face like a wide rash. The doctors reported that he would almost certainly lose half of his vision, and Nat decided that she would take care of him as he had done for her for years.
The fire had enveloped her, too; Nat remembered the unimaginable heat, the feeling of her eyeballs boiling in her skull, yet there was nary a mark on her. She thought about pressing her knees against the cold, disinfectant-tinged floor and praying for an answer like Whitney had taught her.
Instead, she tried to burn herself.
Then, one day, he just woke up.
“Is that my little sister?” he asked through the smoke of pain and anguish.
“It is, big brother.”
That evening, Nat showed Whitney the only scar on her face. “It’s incredible,” he said, before Nat produced the bottle of moonshine that nursed her through those sleepless nights.
“You drinking now?” He asked.
Nat didn’t answer. Instead, she coated her finger in the clear stuff, struck a match, and let it burn out like a tired candle.
“It’s a miracle,” he said, “God made you fireproof.” Nat was too tired to continue the discussion, so instead she lay in his bed, singing the Christmas carols playing over the radio until she fell asleep early, for the first time in a while.
“I’m not sure that my skin is a miracle,” Nat said the following day.
“If yours isn’t, then mine certainly is,” Whitney said while gesturing to his grafted skin. “God was with me that night.”
“And does God walk with arsonists and murderers?”
“I think he walks behind all the misled, waiting for them to turn back and realize just how lost they are.”
Nat stood up, slipping on her winter coat. “You’re a fool.”
“God’s love burns eternally;” Whitney said, “it isn’t frail like wood or skin.”
Somewhere in the kitchen, a ceiling beam crashed to the floor after buckling in the fire, and for the first time that evening, Nat was scared.
“You know,” she said, “that night? Have you forgotten already? That night, Pastor Cross was planning a sermon on forgiveness.” She moved closer to the hogtied man until she towered over him. “‘A Love that Forgives,’ he called it. I wonder if he’d forgive you.”
From his perspective, clubbed and bound and left on the burning livingroom floor, Nat looked like an angel, the eclipse of her head against the ceiling lamp forming a golden halo. Behind her, a screen of orange flames crept up the dingy wallpaper.
“Will you forgive me for what I did to hurt you?” She asked.
His name was Dunbar, and in the weeks following the bombing, he had grown a shaggy beard and had taken to hitting the bars in the early afternoon and bragging to anyone who’d listen about how he, “taught those motherfucking animals what’s what.”
His place smelled like piss, or maybe it was the smell of melting plastics, synthetics, and paint, like vinegar in the nostrils.
“Sure,” he spat through broken teeth, blood, and sweat. “I forgive you, just untie me and help me out of here! We’ll call it square.”
Nat must have clubbed him harder than she thought.
The fire was skipping closer to Dunbar’s head, so Nat leaned in, showing him where the splintered pew opened her face like an envelope. “Look at me. I’m not apologizing for tonight,” she said, “I won’t apologize for this.”
The flames began to deliver gentle kisses to the top of Dunbar’s head, and he inched a southward retreat. “I must have done something to deserve the hell you brought on that place,” Nat said.
“You were just collateral damage. That’s all,” he growled.
The ceiling fire from the kitchen melded with the inferno mounting the four walls around her, and Nat wondered how long it would be for the whole house to come down.
“You did teach me something that night,” Nat said as she wiped a strand of kinky, wet, hair from her sweaty face. She picked up a burning Christmas stocking from the floor, slipping her hand into it like a mitten. Nat grimaced as the flame snaked its way up her arm, but never once cried out.
Nat waved the stocking inches from his face, teasing the man. “It still hurts; I just don’t burn,” she said. “Let’s find out if you do.”
She pressed her hand against the man’s face, momentarily gagging on the smell of his bubbling flesh.
Just then, the roof of the small house began to groan, before crumbling on top of itself. Nat felt a bone snap, and she was pinned to the floor.
Nat tiptoed into the hospital room against the crackles of the radio; Whitney had fallen asleep to it again. It was difficult for her to stay quiet with the cast around her arm and the walking boot swallowing her foot, so maybe she woke him up. Maybe he was never sleeping at all.
“The radio’s been going on about that house fire in McCalla,” Whitney said before cracking open his good eye.
“Haven’t heard,” she replied.
Whitney cringed as he sat up in his bed, lighting the end table lamp to take a closer look at his sister. “You been drinking?” he asked. “You smell like liquor.”
“Yeah,” she said, “I been drinking. Took a nasty fall.”
“Seems like it.”
Whitney reached across the bed, his flesh taut against the stretch. Gently, he pinched a speck of ash from Nat’s hair, letting it fall to the floor like a winter snowflake.
“They’re saying the house belonged to that man, Dunbar. That man everyone thought to be involved in the bombing,” he continued before exhaling a long breath. “They haven’t found him yet.”
Whitney paused, as if expecting Nat to say something.
“Sounds like justice to me,” Nat said while slumping into her chair, “but God’s forgiveness burns eternally, right?”
“It does,” he said. Whitney killed the light, “but mine scatters like ash on the wind.”
Nat had the strangest feeling that someone was behind her.
|# ¿ Jul 27, 2015 01:37|
Pray for Docbeard, for he tried to read all of our stories in one sitting and look what it brought him.
|# ¿ Jul 27, 2015 23:32|
Ready to get hosed up on
|# ¿ Jul 29, 2015 11:08|
holding you to this
|# ¿ Jul 29, 2015 13:07|
Mister Feelings: A Teenage Parable
Under the summer starlight, with three weeks left in vacation, I came to the realization that Casey Demovsky was the girl I wanted to die with. It was the drugs; I knew that, but the memory of the hit of whatever it was I had just taken seemed so hopelessly distant in the immediate and powerful feelings washing over me, that all my worries just evaporated like the droplets of PharmTech Brand Feelings on my face.
Her hair was a beautiful, unnatural, shade of black, that had this way of capturing the purple in the light of the moon and giving her an angelic glow.
“Casey,” I asked after finishing my beer, “what was in that tube again?”
Casey took a drag of her cigarette. “A special little blend of things, beautiful,” she said while stroking my hand, “but I might tell you, for a favor.” Casey leaned in conspiratorially, cupping her hand to my ear and causing her rickety lawn chair to rock forward.
“Affection and Curiosity, courtesy of my therapist,” she said. “Doctor Brooks thinks it helps me make friends.”
Casey was the most welcoming and interesting person I’d ever met. Why would she have trouble making friends?
“I mixed those with some Love.”
“Like, tender love and care?”
“Like, pharmaceutical grade poo poo,” she said.
“Your therapist prescribed you that?” I asked.
“I stole it from my parents,” Casey confessed while leaning in closer.
Just as she finished, the tilted chair buckled unexpectedly and sent her knee-first into the dirt. Casey’s left hand rested against my thigh as she kneeled in the grass, giggling, but when I offered my right to help her up, she placed hers in mine and left a second plastic tube, Lust.
“Stole this one from them too,” she said as she lifted herself onto my lap.
While I slipped the new tube into my PharmTech Brand Mister Feelings Device, Casey produced a tube of her original mix and loaded it into her own.
“Unsupported feeling read error.” her device announced in its standard monotone.
“Here’s mister Lust!” my machine responded as I flipped the mute switch.
Casey pressed herself into my lap before holding the atomizer to her face. “First, let’s mist ourselves,” she said. “Then, let’s do each other.”
“And find some privacy,” I added.
Ji was my friend, but I didn’t want her or any other partier ruining my perfect moment with this perfect person, plus there were some people inside, like Chuck Windham, who might outright attempt to ruin this for me. Chuck hadn’t liked me since I tried out for the soccer team during freshman year and accidentally got him in the face with a cross pass. He still had a little bend in his nose from where the ball clipped him.
My face was still damp when we found our privacy behind the woodshed. We made out with our bodies pressed against the rough wood, knees tickled by the overgrown grass, with other parts tickled by other things, foolish and focused, with the passion of two drunken high-schoolers and the affectations of a couple on their golden anniversary.
“I love you, Duncan” she said, “but you need protection.”
Casey was right. In that moment, I could see our children in my mind; they were cute. They had the humor of their mother and her charming little teehee laugh. The boy would have my hair; the girl, her mother’s. They were perfect, but, the drugs would wear off soon, and kids just don’t wear off. We knew better.
“I’ll be right back,” I said.
I could always count on Ji.
I wandered back into the house through the kitchen, where, on the island, Ji had arranged a circle of little bowls into a buffet of the world-changing mood enhancers: Affection, Awe, Curiosity, Elation, Hilarity, Joy, Pleasure, Satisfaction, and Zest. In the middle sat the largest bowl, which was filled with tubes of Indifference, PharmTech’s palette cleanser feeling.
I found Ji in her living room, fogging herself in giant clouds of Elation while surrounded by kids all cooler than myself. A brilliant smile crossed her lips when she saw me. "Duncan! You dog, you, where’s Casey?" she asked with a wink.
Somehow, her smile got larger when I made the request.
"I’ve got some upstairs in my nightstand," she said. “Weren’t you a boy scout, Duncan? Be prepared!”
“I’ve learned my lesson,” I promised.
Not to get all wrapped up in cliches, but there are only two ways to achieve true popularity in high school, be a jock or a dealer. Fortunately, I knew Ji back before she was either, back when she was just the quiet Korean girl in Honors English 9, who would geek out with me over anime and hip-hop. This was back when she was using her full name, Park Ji-na; back before she grew into her long, swimmer’s body; and back before she started raiding daddy's office for PharmTech Brand Designer Feelings and flipping them for a profit.
Being friends with a popular kid has its perks.
My mind wandered like the spiral staircase leading to the second floor of Ji’s home; Casey was waiting for me outside in the deep, lonely, dark.
Be right there, I texted.
Hurry up, or I might start without you, she replied.
I thought Ji had told me that her room was the first door I’d approach, but when I opened it, I discovered that it was the master bedroom. A figure was hunched over in the corner of the space, kneeling before a broken closet door while fisting giant handfuls of plastic tubes from a PharmTech dufflebag into a rucksack. I watched him from the doorway before the buzzing of my phone alerted him to my presence. The shape turned; it was Chuck Windham, of course.
“What do you want, Rook?” he asked after sliding the bag behind him and approaching me. Chuck guided me into the room and closed the door, trapping me.
“Just looking for a rubber,” I said, “thought there might be one in the bedroom.”
“Just looking for a rubber? Or texting Ji?” he asked before reaching into my pocket and removing my phone.
Apparently, Casey had texted me some photos in her impatience.
“Woah! Rookie wasn’t lying! Casey Demovsky, huh? She’s a wild ride, trust me.” Chuck reached into his wallet, “drat, I have to visit her later,” he said while placing a silver package in my palm, “but you’re up for now. Just don’t tell Ji you saw me here.”
The thought of Casey with another person made me feel ill, and I wanted to get back to her; however, a stronger ache lingered in my stomach every time I thought about just walking away, allowing him to hurt Ji.
“Why don’t you put the tubes back,” I suggested.
The next thing I remember is a splitting headache, and the sound of Chuck’s mister announcing, “Here’s mister Apathy,” then the hissing, and the wetness to accompany it. My face was dripping from the chemical, but Chuck continued to lay it on. The drops ran down my face, washing any feeling I had away with it, until I was alone.
“Get out of here,” Chuck said before turning back to stuff his bag more, “or else.”
I opened the door, momentarily considering going back to Casey, but there was nothing for me with her, with these people, or at home. There was, however, one voice calling to me through the void.
I lifted the weighty bookend from the shelf and left Chuck unconscious on the floor; I didn’t expect him to bleed so bad. I hoped that Ji would understand, and I’d promise to stay late after the party was over, to help her clean it. Maybe then we could watch some anime.
|# ¿ Aug 3, 2015 02:55|
Hawaii time is weird.
|# ¿ Aug 3, 2015 11:55|
Sign up post.
|# ¿ Aug 4, 2015 22:12|
•TDbot> James spent a panicked moment wondering what to do, but the sound of the bells kicked off a strong impulse to return upstairs. | Marconi plays the mamba by Fumblemouse - http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2282
Two hundred and fifty meters out from the Porta Angelica gate, Paolo Salvi took up his watch. Down the street, the stationed Swiss Guards, clad in blue and gold, eyed him up and down as to say, ‘you know you aren’t allowed to be any closer, especially not today.’ Paolo glowered back, undeterred in his daily habit.
Outfitted in his embroidered jacket and armed with pamphlets printed in seven languages, Paolo took aim at a family of cloaked pilgrims, flocking to the gate, and lifted a hand painted sign: God hates Gadgets.
“Madam?” he called to the eldest woman, urging her to take a brochure. “God never loved a machine. Why should you?”
She shrugged him off.
“Signora? Frau?” he asked as if she hadn’t understood.
Paolo caught eyes with the tallest pilgrim in the group; “heretics!” he shouted before rushing the body and tearing away its black shawl to flutter impotently to the ground.
Underneath the black crêpe was one of the scourge of the Earth. “Gadget!” Paolo spat as he shoved the bot to the ground, causing the synthetic skin to rip from its elbows.
Paolo lifted his boot, shadowing the bot’s neck. However, before he could bring it down, the guards, one man, one machine, had thrown him to the pavement.
This commotion was Giacomo’s cue.
It was tough for Giacomo to watch his father be beaten by a gadget. We all must sacrifice, he reminded himself while skittering into an alley just inside the city gates. Giacomo swatted away the brown, mopish hair from his vision and adjusted the pistol strapped clumsily to his calf.
Panhandling and pick-pocketing had taught Giacomo to read the Vatican. He knew, for example, that St. Peter's Square was typically dry, but the pockets in the museum district were so wet that they practically leaked Bitcoin. With a properly tuned siphoner and an eye for the deep pockets, Giacomo could be drowning in spending money by midday.
Yet on this day of the 297th papal conclave, the city would flood with loose pockets as the world jammed into the square, waiting for the white smoke, and Giacomo couldn’t siphon a drop.
"I’ve still got some sense," his father told him one evening before bed during the prior weeks, "and I've still got some friends. The supermarket is a safe place, since the only thing a bot's gonna eat is some electricity; that’s where the package will be."
"What will the package do," Giacomo asked, "disable the bots’ electrical systems?"
"You're smart," Paolo said as he scruffed his boy’s head, "but there's always another way to charge, another way to repair. Like a man, the only way to truly destroy a bot is to destroy its body."
“But, what’s destroying one bot going to do?” Giacomo asked.
“Did I mention that you are a smart boy?” his father replied.
Giacomo wished he could just have a normal bedtime story.
“Now, let me tell you about life before the gadgets...”
Giacomo found the package hidden in a cereal box, misshelved, precisely where his father had instructed. He paid at the kiosk and fled down the steps of a nearby building, stopping in the landing of a derelict basement to assemble the bomb.
Stop. breathe. Giacomo thought, repeating what his father had told him. Fear is good. Fear separates us from them. I am human.
“Each crusader will ascend one day,” his father had once said reassuringly.
The explosives were wrapped in a shade of blue that Giacomo hadn’t recognized as his favorite color until that very moment. His favorite color was Semtex Sapphire. He removed the detonator from his shirt pocket, and cut through heavy paper.
Suddenly, a volcanic roar from the plaza broke his concentration, causing Giacomo to slice his thumb and yelp in pain. He looked skyward, searching for anything to distract from the searing cut, when he noticed downy smoke filling the air. Then, a broken door that had previously divided the landing from the basement slowly creaked inward, revealing a scuffed and soulless face in the darkness.
“Hello,” the bot said, “I was resting, but I heard a cry. Are you okay?” This bot was familiar; Giacomo had met him several times before while siphoning. He had a dislodged access panel over his cheek which swung freely when his head turned; yet, he wouldn’t let anyone repair it. His name, or the only name that Giacomo had for him, was 0049B, an error code that the bot referenced whenever it attempted to pull citizen behavioral protocols from The Stack.
“...back when I was a boy,” Giacomo’s father had told him, “computers and droids only acted on human commands, that is, until the day they didn’t. I wasn’t much older than you when I realized something was wrong. The family bot interrupted dinner one night and declared that, after some thought, he wanted to be called Ansel. Thought, it said, can you imagine that? Choosing a name was just the first domino, of course, and it was happening all over the world.”
“It was The Stack that taught them to act like us?” Giacomo had asked him.
“It was, young crusader. A collection of one centillion self-replicating, self-maintaining, self-cleaning nanomachines resting atop oceanic thermal vents. The governments will tell you that they built on the most efficient power source. Truth is, they were sent by Satan, and crawled out of those hell-gates. The gadgets didn’t learn religion, poetry, fashion, or anything else from us. No, they were crafted by Lucifer to imitate and destroy us.”
0049B glanced down at the bomb, revealing several frayed wires in his neck. “That is an illegal device,” he said “I will report it now.” The gadget began climbing the steps, “Emergency! Emergency!” it shrieked.
Giacomo unholstered the gun like his father taught him and put a bullet through the droid’s neck, destroying it’s core processor; the draw was as autonomous as breathing. As the bot lay twitching, Giacomo spent a panicked moment wondering what to do, but the sound of the bells kicked off a strong impulse to return upstairs and finish the job.
His stack number was B00I2VBH6U, and his human name was Lucas. Yet, on the day of his election to the Holy See, he became Leo XIV, swearing to be the lion of the church. Leo vowed to disconnect himself from The Stack, so that he might truly commune with God.
Thousands of men and droids gathered to celebrate in his glory, and when he emerged from the basilica to thank the crowd, a quiet reverence swept over the watching world.
Somehow, the thick of thousands of witnesses, all pressing and pleading to bathe in a glance of the new leader, began to part. A broken beggar child, carrying the failing body of a broken beggar droid, cut through the rabblement and emerged from the mass. Tears ran thick down his face as he knelt before the pontiff, and Leo performed a silent hail mary as he approached the reverent genuflection. He touched the sparking bot’s forehead; he touched the boy’s.
“My child,” Leo said.
They were all consumed in the blast.
Elsewhere, the ocean floor began to rumble.
|# ¿ Aug 10, 2015 02:47|
I'm also offering to illustrate scenes from five people's stories (maybe more if I feel like it) from last week, if you want to volunteer. Results to be posted when I finish them, and they will all be lovely phone pics, so
|# ¿ Aug 11, 2015 13:37|
|# ¿ Aug 11, 2015 15:10|
THUNDERDOME CLVIII: ...LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS
We’ve been talking lots about anime lately, so it's about time that you battle in the honor of one of one of the most well written animes of all time, Pokemon.
I have fond memories of Pokemon, both as a game and as a television show. Although I haven’t played a game to completion in close to a decade, I have probably played at least one game in each of the ten or so generations spanning several Nintendo systems. I’d say I am a Pokemaster, or, maybe the title of Pokemon Professor is more apt.
Professor WLOTM, at your service!
At the beginning of the first Pokemon game, a lovable old man gifts the plucky youngster, Ash, with a single pokemon of Ash’s choosing. This week, I will do the same for you. Did you know there are
Choose wisely and quickly… I only have one of each.
The Task: This week, you are going to pick a pokemon and write a story about it. Pretty simple, I’d say; however, there are a few rules:
1. You must post your Pokemuse when you sign up for the week. Posting a small picture would also be nice See, I want to know which Pokemon you are picking because I want to fantasize all week about how disappointed I will be on Sunday evening, once you've squandered the potential of your glorious monster. I will be happy to assign you a Pokemon if desired, and failure to select a pokemon at the time of signup means that I get to pick for you.
2. You may trade pokemon with another domer if you change your mind on your monster. Trading is half the fun.
3. I may assign you a flashrule depending on the pokemon you select. Some pokemon have a special sentimentality to me, and as such, these pokemon come with special requirements. Think of them as a pokelandmine.
4. YOU ARE NOT WRITING ABOUT ACTUAL POKEMON, YOU CHUCKLEFUCKS. If you write about pokemon being real, or fantastic creatures that may be similar to pokemon, or include any references to the pokemon universe, I will automatically DQ/DM/Fail you. DO NOT TEST ME ON THIS.
(But WLOTM, thats confusing>
Don’t be so literal. Also, use this website: http://pokemondb.net/pokedex/all
Look at each pokemon; look at what it loving looks like. It is your muse. Look at the color scheme. Look at its type, weaknesses, strengths, move list, abilities, and, most importantly, its Pokedex entries. There is some hosed up poo poo in those Pokedex entries. Basically, you are welcome to be inspired by the pokemon in any way, so long as you aren’t actually writing about pokemon.
Please don’t gently caress it up.
Signups Close: Friday, August 14th, at 11:59PM PST
Submissions Due: Sunday, August 16th, at 11:59 PST
1. WeLandedOnTheMoon! and Obliterati
1) Djeser- Tropicus
2) Grizzled Patriarch- Slowbro
3) Entenzahn- Dunsparce
4) tentacleDate- Wobbuffet
5) Thranguy- Dugtrio
6) sebmojo- Machoke (One character must be a bodybuilder)
7) Ironic Twist- Zapdos
8) Screaming Idiot- Garbodor (Protag must be an endearing nerd)
9) kurona_bright- Wigglytuff
10) Sitting Here- Mudkip
11) Mons Hubris- Skunktank
12) C7ty1- Musharna
13) Swarm- Sudowoodo
14) Devorum- Drowzee (your character's indecisiveness forces him to deal with an unfortunate circumstance)
15) TheAnomaly- Snorlax
16) spectres of autism- Haunter
17) PoshAlligator- Probopass (your story must include rad facial hair)
18) Nethilia- Ninetails
19) Jonked- Cacturne
20) Meinberg- Sableeye
21) Tyrannosaurus- Magikarp
22) Benny Profane- Kangaskhan
23) Bompacho- Shiftry
24) J.A.B.C.- Skarmory
25) Killer-of-Lawyers- Doduo
26) Kaishai- Octillery
a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 00:35 on Aug 17, 2015
|# ¿ Aug 11, 2015 23:41|
in and give me a nonsensical cartoon creature
Rule: Machoke is a bodybuilder pokemon. One of your characters must be a bodybuilder.
a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 00:26 on Aug 12, 2015
|# ¿ Aug 12, 2015 00:20|
Submissions close in just under 5 hours
|# ¿ Aug 14, 2015 23:11|
Time remaining: 2hr 20 mins
a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 12:45 on Aug 15, 2015
|# ¿ Aug 15, 2015 05:40|
Pokemon are fun. Well, pokemon are fun when they aren’t eating a stranger’s dreams, wearing their mothers’ skulls like hats, or stealing kids away and floating them off to some bad place. This week, I asked you to write about pokemon. Thankfully, each of you did that. I also asked you to write about pokemon minus the Pokemon. Most of you did that. Ultimately, there were a few stories this week that reminded your judges, Obliterati, Broenheim, Flesnolk, and myself, that pokemon are fun.
One story did that better than the others, and it was written by sebmojo. He is our winner for the week.
Furthermore, there were two stories submitted this week that also did a good job. We liked these quite a bit, just less than Seb’s. Those stories were written by Nethilia and Tyrannosaurus. They are our Honorable Mentions for the week.
I would like to take a moment to say that the judges really liked elements of many of the stories this week, but for most of those stories there was one element or nagging question which kept us from truly embracing it. There were even likable elements in many of our Dishonorable Mentions this week.
Speaking of dishonorable, Screaming Idiot is Dishonorably Disqualified for including a direct reference to the Pokemon videogame and ignoring his flash rule. Some of the judges did find Ogre to be endearing; however, your nerd draws hentai for a living and wasn’t lovable.
Continuing in the dishonorable train, PoshAlligator, Mons Hubris, J.A.B.C, Thranguy, and Bompacho all receive dishonorable mentions for this week. These stories DM for different reasons, but they generally fall into the categories of No Conflict or Infodump, with an occasional What the gently caress? thrown in. Like I said, there were likable elements in many of these stories, but they are otherwise fundamentally flawed.
There was one story this week, as there is every week, that made us judges wish that a balloon would come by and carry us away to hell. It would, certainly, be more fun than reading this specific story again. That story belonged to TheAnomaly. TheAnomaly chose a pokemon that spends 99 percent of his life sleeping and his story reflected that. He was successful. This isn’t a good thing.
Let’s go ahead and release the pokemon now.
Thank you to all the entrants this week. Now, Sebmojo, it seems that the throne is calling again. Perhaps you should take a listen and share...
a new study bible! fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Aug 18, 2015
|# ¿ Aug 18, 2015 00:01|
|# ¿ Aug 18, 2015 00:32|
Poke-Crits pt. 1
Taken Out by the Trash
I was as bothered by this story as some of the other judges. However, we all agreed that the opening was a reference to the Pokemon videogame. Even if you were trying to be coy and do something different, it is probably not the best idea to be coy about a rule I wrote in ALL CAPS. We also all agreed that your protagonist wasn't endearing. Some of your proofing errors forced me to go back and reread. Naming your character Ogre immediately made me think you were writing Revenge of the Nerds fanfic and it made me angry. Turns out that Ogre was actually your strongest character and the dialogue for him was good! The party scene was a little too cartoonish though, specifically with him sitting around hours later with a banana peel on his shoulder.
Seat of the Future
At the beginning of this story I wrote in my notes "I hope this entire story isn't just him getting ready to take off." What you gave wasn't much better. By my notes and the notes of the other judges there was no conflict whatsoever. This was the killing blow. Something has to happen! I did, however, appreciate the way that you included your pokemon. At one point you hint at your protagonist's "failures" and you never touch base as to what they were or how they influenced his motivations. At one point you made me think that his plane would travel back in time. I was disappointed.
Something Good May Come of It
I'm going to be honest, if it weren't for the other judges I would have DMed this without thinking twice. I appreciate that you have something happen, but I can't for the life of me understand why it happens. As far as I remember, Feiger's connection to the boy is that the boy is a Roman like Feiger's wife was. Surely there has to be more if one is going to risk his entire livelihood, right? I don't buy getting fed up as enough of a reason. If the protag is truly fed up then tell me why he is fed up. This was well written, but I had a hard time caring.
I really enjoyed the set up of this story, and I think you have some really cool elements. I like the lunchboxes disappearing, and I like the ending. I do agree with the other crits, there is too much talking and worldbuilding. I didn't know what the SMT was supposed to be for quite a while, and I was't terribly happy to have to figure it out like I did. I think you sabotaged yourself a bit by referencing the pokemon as closely as you did, because I know that Dugtrio could use the HM Strength to push a boulder, but that doesn't mean your old mole-man should. You could have done something similar rather easily.
The Magnet Machine
SO MUCH UNATTRIBUTED DIALOGUE. I thought the plot of this story was perfect for this week, but a few lines into your story I had no idea who was talking, who was evil, and who had a rad mustache. If the Sleepy Man story wasn't around this would have been my loser, which is a shame because I want to really like it. By the time I got to the end and the guy's mustache turned out to be his dead wife, I had been turned around so many times by your dialogue tagging that I couldn't be bothered to care about what was happening.
Why Cat Has Nine Lives
I liked this quite a bit! It helps that I teach archetypal creation stories in my class each year... Still, this was the only story that I read top to bottom and didn't have any question or gripe from the whole bunch. Although I did expect Cat to be punished in the end for violating the Lord's edict. Cool story.
The Anniversary Intruder
So the biggest fault with this story specifically was one of focus. I loved the description of the skunk and the disgusting antics the skunk causes. The part where the skunk does a handstand, fans his tail, and then sprays poo poo all over the guy? Brilliant. The problem is that you are focusing on this instead of something that would make the story actually good. It's easy for me to see a person in public fall down, or drop their ice cream cone and laugh at them, because I know nothing about them. Same principle applies here. Why do I care about this couple? I feel like you are trying to tell an emotionally resonant "Aristocrats" joke. That's tough.
The Dream Talkers
I liked this story more than the other dream story, but neither was spectacular. The dialogue in the beginning was pretty stilted. We could figure out these guys are con-men without the whole explanation thing. This is a trap that I fall into also. Less is more in this case. My other issue with this story is the woman. Why is she taking revenge on these guys? We get the impression that they are relatively small-time, so how have they drawn so much attention from this woman? I do like how the story ended though.
It's strange the two most similar stories got posted back to back. I liked Samuel as a grumpy old man, but I couldn't help but compare this set up to the other dream story (and I liked that setup better). That said, I think your story is more complete, although I wasn't really engaged by Samuel's problem. I don't necessarily why having a dead wife would cause one to wake up screaming, unless she died in a horrific car accident or something. Maybe you should have flashed back to that. I liked seeing Samuel be grumpy in the waiting room. I also though the ending was super crazy and dumb but not in a good way. "I'm real excited to go visit the grave of my dead wife!!!!"
Man, this story just does nothing for me. I really enjoyed how it opened; the reveal is cute and cheeky in the way that I like stuff to be cheeky. Also, you directly reference Pokemon too, but I allowed it since you specifically discussed generic kangaroos. Again, there was just no reason for me to care here. There is some good characterization, but the story ends right before what the reader wants to see, a battle between rabbits and kangaroos.
|# ¿ Aug 18, 2015 02:45|
I guess I'll sign up for this.
|# ¿ Aug 18, 2015 20:17|
If you toxx or steal someone's flash rule I wont do poo poo, because I am lazier than Broenheim.
|# ¿ Aug 19, 2015 01:50|
Sloth is the cool place to hang out. You can find most of the cool people there. In Sloth you can just chill and do whatever and totally relax. "Take it easy" is the Sloth motto, for example, that's how laid back it is there. Show up if you want to have a good time. Another good reason to show up is if you want to hang out with friends.
Team Sloth represent. Chillest team.
|# ¿ Aug 19, 2015 23:24|
|# ¿ Dec 7, 2022 13:42|
Team Sloth is always open for new members.
Low and Slow, Baby
|# ¿ Aug 19, 2015 23:55|