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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm in, for the shame of missing a Thunderdome deadline can only be washed away by either blood or pig poo poo.

ED: Oh and a prompt, please!

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mercedes posted:

For some reason, I didn't see your post.

1500 is max limit. Under no circumstances, should you ever, EVER go over it. I'll make an exception just for you because you're a newbie. Just say you're in, and you're in. Also know, this bears repeating, you will be toxxed to finish. The only way you'll be banned is if you don't submit. Now if you submit a 100 word story, you won't get banned, but I will be pretty upset in your general direction for your lack of effort.

And here I whittled it down a little to save my skin.

Necrosphinx
Coffee Disintegrates the Night

Hecate the Sphinx could smell the mages even when they blinded him with magic. The stink guided his wrist blades. And when he started inhaling blood with every breath, his sight returned. Bloodstained corpses of the twisted magii signified the end of his quest. He could finally let tiredness into his enormous, six limbed body.

The quest had been as long and arduous as any trek through the un-lands of Endless Gorges would be. Slicing through shadowy shapes of void vampires and crushing Maggots of Gor-Kosh to break their maddening subliminal silence, he was a rampage of crimson as he tore realm – and it took its toll. His hands were already trembling when he killed a necromancer and defiled the dark corpses of his flock to feed the agitated hunger of cat-young that made up the Grandiloquent Infinity.
He was wounded, too. As he exited the charnel house that used to be the mage nexus, the sphinx could still feel the embers of Deep Leliath, the Xenophobic Queen of Gorges, burning in his flesh. She screamed at Hecate, even though ‘twas her own rule that bade him to lie with, and it almost ripped his mind apart. Still, he endured. Her fire of lust, fury and hatred tormented him still, and it’s all because of Prince Haubolt.

The sphinx slumped outside, crushing a wayward guardsman. The hall had been erected on a hill, and Hecate could see over the walls. There, on the Plains of Ancient Kings, were the armies of his Lord, and the Lord of his Lord, and many others. A morass of tents, warriors, and oily fires stretching for miles. All that power yearning for entry to the Yellow Cities of Ghish.

Entry that Hecate’s unrelenting rampage had just granted them. In the depth of his black heart (for all sphinx hearts were of blackest obsidian), he felt proud… and for the first time of his life, relieved. He destroyed the magical protections of the city. The quest was over. Now came the time for the night of the armies. From the mountains of Perfidious peaks to the Edge of Splendor, where desert was slowly disintegrating forest, soldiers moved. They carried the torch now.

Hecate was weary and exhausted, but every kill he made in the city would hasten the death of Prince Haubolt – or whatever he was now. Vain as he used to be, the Prince could not bear to live ugly – after a mace to the jaw made him so – thus he stole the Livery of Pains from Marmarak, the unparalleled citadel of dwarves.

That’s why there were two shadows of Hecate’s slumping shoulders. The last rays of the setting sun provided one. Another came from the thing floating above the castle. You do not try to summon the Unbound by bumbling with a jaw crudely set from shattered bone. And you don’t insert your own name into the spell “to give it more power”.

drat princeling – or whatever remained of him, as the thing seemed to mystify any angel or reaper that his Lord cared to summon and question. What was certain is that he was possessed by a hunger that burns, a hunger for mystical power, and dreams of this apocalyptic parasite were… upsetting the Lords.

Hecate absentmindedly sliced a guardsman in half and focused his eyes on lumbering titan in the Plains. Though the evening coloured everything yellow and orange, the shape was unmistakable. Surrounded by an army marched his Lord, the Xanthic Leviathan of Battles. The sight was inspiring – enough to restore a healthy gait to his muscular crimson legs.

It was fortuitous, for Hecate had stumbled upon the Temple of Carmine Stalker. Crimson and obscene, it stood there, the screaming of goats carrying insufferable commandments of the pagan shrine. Carmine Stalker… his pestilence of slavering spawn would enthral the glorious altars of the Leviathan, interrupting his blood-red insanity of battle. A grave insult to Hecate’s Lord!

Lo and behold, a corpulent acolyte of parasites emerged from the profane edifice. A bloated form wracked by the miasma of creation and the leprosy of spawn cells. Even as he turned his last remaining eye on Hecate, he involuntarily vomited or shat out a mewling spawn.

Tired and worn to the core, Hecate still charged him, with his blades a deadly bulwark. The acolyte spasmed and started retching demons: glistening wet humanoids with heavy breasts and endowed as horses. Hecate remained focused, driving his blades deep into the undulating mass of the acolyte. Demons were already feasting on their trampled brethren – fuel for their hyperactive propagation. Eating, breeding, birthing, then running after the sphinx.
Straining his strength, Hecate managed to push the acolyte back into the temple, blades hilt deep in his writhing flesh. Yet the creature would not die – even as they fell into a ritualistic spawning pit. The abomination laughed between gouts of demonic puking.
“You! Murder me! In my masters house! The impudence!”

Yet Hecate’s murderous mind had a plan. It was likely to sap what was left of his strength… but Leviathan’s will be done.

More than any other sphinx, Hecate was a master of slicing flesh and bone. And as the horde of the newly spawned was bearing on him, the sphinx turned into a veritable whirlpool of blades. Unmaking the carnal demons by the dozen, he was flooding the temple with blood. Most importantly, it collected in the spawning pit. Hecate’s bloodshed was drowning the acolyte and the mad bulging eye was the last part to disappear in the rising pool of gore.

The sphinx lurched out into the night, the temple on fire from overturned braziers. Hecate felt spent, body and soul. Yet he still moved, leaving bloody foot prints behind… before he collapsed.

Flowers? A flower stall in a Yellow City? How could that be…

Hecate dreamed of ziggurats back home and temple maidens dancing around the fires in the night. It felt good.

It felt hot in his mouth. The sphinx opened his eyes to see – to see a whore squatting over his chest, pouring something into his mouth.

“What… What is this?”

“Coffee,” the answer came. The massive frame of King of Whores loomed into view. “It will do you good. Drink, so you can join your lord in the feast. I think you should be able to move by the time we slay the prince”.

Coffee felt good. It warmed his insides and drove back the darkness. Another whore came, with another pot to pour in his cavernous mouth. Her ethereal manacles jangled softly – Leviathan had enslaved the King long ago, and the whores were enslaved in turn. Some of them were marching captured Yellow city defenders past the stall. Their shackles were much brighter – shuffling slowly, they were a lethargic army of souls of burning torture.

As the last ranks cleared the view, Hecate gently lifted a whore down from his chest and got back up. He hadn’t gotten far in his stumbling – he could see the blue flames still licking the red ruins of Stalker’s temple, the last brimstone of the tombs of the blistering procreation.

From his position Hecate witnessed Leviathan rearing up, rising high and spewing fire-bile. His Lord’s venomous bitter dragonflame engulfed the prince-thing, extinguishing the light.

The Yellow Cities had fallen.







1219 words, 0 regrets

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm in!

Plus, since I can do anything cute this week, I would ask for a crit, if someone would be up for it.


crabrock posted:


No: Poetry. Reoccurring characters from past stories. Fanfic. Erotica. Excuses. Extended spaceship taking off/landing scenes.


No docking sequences then and space babes shuddering from orgasm like cruisers with overloading reactors?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Ms. Crabrock, can I get a flash rule too?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Two wolves howl at the moon, one a wild animal, the other a holographic decoy for a cyborg mouse

John‘s ship decoupled from the docking station. A screen in the cockpit came alive with the face of a dock attendant. Bleary eyed and with a sagging cigarette at the corner of his lips, he blurted out “all clear” or something to that effect. John had never seen an enthusiastic attendant, and neither had most people on the Big Grandia Great Circular. Rumour had it that they all came from a malfunctioning cloning vat. Having spent most of his life aboard the lumbering vessel, John was not inclined to disagree.

His little ship, the Red Lightning, had to clear away before he could engage the main engines. In the mean time, John watched the surface of Big Grandia float by. Like all circulars, she possessed a spherical design and the side with inset engines was considered “the back“. Grandia used to be round (before several collapses and expansions happened) and probably white (the Imperials where the only ones building golden circulars, because they could). The years had not been kind to her, and John wasn‘t going to be kind, either: judging that he‘s far enough from the ship not to care, he fired the engines. Off to meet Alice!

Red Lightning looked, as one technician described her, “like a World War Two fighter stuck atop a pair of torpedoes” – not that it meant much to John. As a so called “manager”, he didn’t have time for history – he had to do things. Like many other members of this loose caste (Alice included), he didn’t know what those things were or how to do half of them. People said that “manager” was an animal on Old Earth, that looked busy, but was entirely useless and sometimes dangerous, and so the name stuck.

A six legged creature rubbed against John’s leg. The metacat was the reason why John couldn't go with Alice when she left on her expedition a year ago
.
“This is big business, babe,” John told her while she was packing her plasma torches, “everybody knows what a cat is but nobody has seen one in three sectors. We can be rich.”
Since Alice believed that both boyfriends and managers are a lot more pleasant if you’re not criticizing them, she kept her peace. Of all the things one can do after hooking up with some geneticists on the ship, trying to engineer cats was probably the least deadly one.

As Red Lighting was accelerating away from Grandia, leaving behind a tail of flame and a horrid plume of smoke (“gently caress me if I know” was the official explanation of the shipboard scientists), John picked up Moneybags and set him on his lap. The venture to produce metacats was successful-ish. Not having any DNA samples, they had to get creative. Six legs weren’t ideal, but John marketed it as an improvement or, at the very least, a bargain: 20% more cat for the same low, low price!
Bags yawned and his jaw unfolded into a six pronged abomination of a meat flower filled with jagged teeth. John hoped the boys would iron out this kink for the introduction of Metacat X.

“Mroo,” said the critter.

With rendezvous coordinates punched in, the Red Lightning could handle the flight all by herself, leaving John free to mull over his thoughts. The year without Alice had been full of activity, but somewhat... hollow. Her laugh, her breasts, the way she held a knife while approaching a rube – all those little things. Space Rocket Jesus, did John miss her.

Still, love or no love, he had to decline when Alice invited him on an expedition to Alter. “Alterians are filthy creatures“ was one of the gems of wisdom passed down by his father, and John never doubted him, not even after the old man spaced himself while drunk. Plus, with the plague (which may or may not have been of the zombie kind), Alter had to be really filthy. Yet Alice insisted on going – she loved expeditions.

“Looting is like reading a book about new and interesting people,” she insisted, often while rummaging through stuff that didn’t belong to her, “but you get richer both spiritually and financially”. Being a rather curious and adventurous soul, she couldn’t wait to go to Alter – and the plague meant that there was a continent free of Alterians who’d get in the way of her getting to know their culture.

Speak of the sexy devil! Alice’s ship appeared on the radar, a sizeable ping on the radar. It was a tug, a gift from Grandia Security Authority for John and Alice’s help. Without their knowledge of back passages, unused maintenance shafts and tunnels built by crazed engineers, the Third Honourable Republic of Atmosia might have been able to actually hold a deck in their air and water supply based tyranny. Alice called the tug „Venture“... and almost forgot about it, as managers rarely have business outside Grandia.

The tug – the elongated round forms gave it a streamline moderne look – was now closing in quite rapidly. John hoped it was laden with loot (some of which could be invested in Metacat development) – as for Alice, the ship’s on-time appearance meant that she was at least relatively OK. All was right in the void.

Bags jumped in surprise at the first wail of the lock-on alarm. A quick scan revealed that Red Lighting was being chased by two lumpy assailants. Without a doubt, those were hull gulls, the strange people that lived in shanties on the outside of Grandia and dealt in petty thievery, small scale piracy, and minor nuisances. Clearly they were after Red Lighting – or Venture.

John took the ship into an evasive spin, and the g forces were almost as painful as metacat claws sinking into his thigh. The maneuver, combined with the engine smoke, had to confuse the enemy targeting. Checking the weapon systems, he glanced at the live feed trained on Venture. It showed the ship surrounded by two quickly dissipating streams of azure.

“Clever girl,” though John as he watched Alice vent plasma. Her ploy worked – two hull gull pilots broke off to go after her ship, which they considered crippled. Yet one was still giving pursuit, so John had to concentrate on flying. Holding the flight stick in one hand, he flicked out a stun baton and gave Bags a prod. Dropping the “Kitty Napper”, he grabbed the (meta) feline and threw him into a Child Acceleration Box, for safety.

Making a hard turn that squeezed him deep into the pilot chair, John managed to get the hull gull in his sights and fired guns. On screen, green lines connected with the evil red triangle, but the attacker seemed undeterred. The ships passed each other, with one hull gull laser passing through the shields and grazing an engine.

Making another 180 turn, and thankful for those stamina boosting biomods, John decided to take desperate measures. With a few quick stabs at a touchscreen, he opened Mr. Target, the open source missile targeting software used by some of the off brand missile developers. And it didn’t get more offbrand than some crazy Grandian engineer living in a maintenance corridor behind a bar. As far as John knew, “bolted on” might have been a very literal description of the one missile that he had.
Flicking away a pair of nagscreens while trying to keep the ship in an evasive pattern, he finally goaded the program into working. An icon of a bug-eyed robot started circling the dot on the radar, representing target radar lock. The robot managed to cover the dot, transforming into a crude fire belching animation. John let loose.

To everyone’s relief, the missile decoupled without incident and streaked towards the enemy. The hull gull ship tried some evasive manoeuvres, but it was not enough to confuse the piece of ordinance. It struck the target.

Normally, one expects missiles to explode near the target, hoping to catch it in a blast of lasers, flak or other unpleasant things. This particular rocket buried itself in enemy vessel and didn’t even disengage engines for three seconds before going inert. John and, no doubt, the hull gull were both perplexed.

Then the enemy craft blossomed into a crimson ball, something totally different from a normal plasma explosion. Nevertheless, it killed the pursuer. In fact, it killed it so well, there was no salvage to collect. Breathing a sigh of relief, John turned his attention (and radar) to Alice.

Where there were two enemies and one friendly signature, only the tug remained. Careful optical analysis showed that the tug was, for lack of a better world, tugging one (much reduced) hull gull vessel. The other was caught in two mismatched actuators that were quickly gutting it for parts and precious metals. Stubby cannons were sliding back into their hidey holes.

John signaled for docking and got a positive answer.

Ordering the ship on an automated approach, he took Moneybags out of the box. The metacat was a little dazed, but still in good enough shape to be presented to Alice as subtle sign of at least partial success.

John straightened out his clothes and ran fingers through his hair. His heart swelled with anticipation of seeing her again. When the ships clanged in the embrace of docking, he was so giddy that it all felt unreal.

The airlock synched and opened with a hiss. There she stood. The haircut was a little shorter than John remembered, and he had not noticed the light plasma scarring on the cheek before, and the bionic arm – yeah, that was definitely new. Still, she had the same sparkly eyes, the same mischievous smile, and the unmistakable posture of someone who had shanked their share of bitches in maintenance tunnels.

Alice was back.

“Mroo?”




1630 words.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Oh, and gosh darn it, a flash rule about a cat inspired creature that was not a cat.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Sitting Here posted:


So good...job…? I didn’t think I’d be typing those words together in this crit, but there you go. Please write something more simple and straightforward next time.


One day I'll write something that's neither terribly complex, not boring. One day, many Thuderdomes away... Thanks for the crit!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Gonna have to sit this week out.

Will take Mr. crabrock's line-by-line. It's amazing how poo poo can one get without a DH. I want to get better so I could purchase an avatar one day and keep it!

Plus, the whole getting better thing.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Well, time to get back into the grind, I'm in!

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

DON'T YOU DARE JUST WRITE A BUNCH OF DESCRIPTIONS AND WORLD BUILDING AND EXPOSITION FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

SONOVA–

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I failed both the thread and my non-writing ancestors. Shame knows no bounds!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Every year I write barely coherent sentences about Eurovision that pass as jokes. I'm in, hit me with a country!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi posted:

Actually gently caress, I'm an idiot and completely forgot I'm going to be away this weekend for a wedding, so I need to back out

Sweden is back up for grabs to anyone who wants it

I'll take it!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Shame of Shamus
1058 words
Shweden

Boom! Explosions! Action! That was the life of Shamus' father! Great with a gun, bad with social grace, he was the hero of his days! Boom! The smell of liquid propellant! The flying bloody shards of bone! Shamus killed, but, unlike his father, he never had to kill men. Times were different, men were different, but the beasts remained! Boom! The beast convulses! The hunter wins! But will Shamus ever be recognized the way his father was?

He knows he won't be! Muscles bulge and dark blood seeps into heavy gloves as Shamus pushes the dead drake on the conveyor belt, and the man knows he won't get praise for his days work! The viscous red fluid coats another layer on the lever as Shamus sends the meat down the line, and he knows that nobody cares but he. The reclamator whirs to life as the city would sprung to life for his father, yet nothing like that will ever happen to Shamus. Not naturally, at any rate.

“Your times will be different, boy,” said his father, a narrow smile stretching the canyons of wrinkles on his windswept face, “You will have my gun and likely my duster, but you won't hunt men and you won't be praised”. This might have not been the thing to say to younger Shamus, but his father was as frank as well known – and that was a great deal ,“It's the culmination of my work and the work of Fellows. Your world is different”.

That's why he left for Parts Unknown and that's why Shamus was making his way quickly down the streets. The people of this new world, Shamus' constituents, eloy given flesh, smiled and waved at him blissfully. Father knew he couldn't live in this world, not with the fire that lived in his heart and consumed so many, yet the hope was that Shamus could. And he did, for most part.

It was the reason why Father's gun was kept under wraps while in the city, a rule Shamus never broke but once. It was the reason why Shamus hid the goggles and the duster. His world didn't need hand-canons that risked shattering wrists and fired with an explosion that drowned out the biggest fight. It needed someone to think, feel and take care of things from time to time. And this was eating Shamus from the inside because he thought about taking care of things and felt bad because nobody cared.

The hololith came to life in his room, a purposefully sparse and archaic place in a city of soft colors, light surfaces and rounded corners. He sat in his drake leather chair and let the computer read the details of Simulation Alpharon.

“...unlikely event of three day long dispenser malfunction would make the constituents be 26% more aware of surroundings. In reaction to the hornbull break in – another unlikely event – they would remain motionless. It is extremely unlikely that this would provoke the hornbull to attack them. Again, an extremely unlikely set of circumstances...”

Unlikely, unlikely, unlikely. The computer couldn't judge intent, it was never meant to. It wouldn't dream of someone making a hornbull break a likely possibility. It wouldn't think that anyone would interfere with natural extremely shallow curve of dispenser failure.

It's not like someone wanted some recognition, for someone else to see the work they do. For someone – even an eloy – to see him as the one man who stood against the beast. A calm source of action against the backdrop of frozen terror. A tall figure in a duster that slew the beast. A hero who strikes with lightning and kills. Carve a name for himself just like his father did with his gun.

Gun.

“You best hide it, Shamus, for they will be taught to fear it,” said the man who had a five score of spectres to his name yet never woke up screaming. Those were good words, yet sons don't always learn before it's too late. Three weeks did it take for the constituents to stop running away or worse, freezing in the street. Who knew they had such long memories? One even died trying to climb a tree to get away. And from what? From his father gun, holstered in the open while Shamus walked down the street.

And the hololiths gentle glow, that was the truth of it: it didn't matter what if he slew a hornbull – his flock would just see him as an another monster. Even is he wore his working whites, he would still be the beast with the gun. Hell, the crash of the one shot he'd need would probably stop a heart or two. The others... the others would spread terrified rumours, talk about it for weeks and months, hide till they starve, climb trees till they fall... Shamus' wards are really conditioned against violence.

Even if they weren't, his people aren't suited for praise. One of them paints a happy mural – all bright colors, tree, rabbits – and they congratulate him. Hooray, he painted a mural, it makes us happy, and being happy is good! So they smile little wider and hug a little longer, but it all stops in two weeks. Everyone returns to he status quo of playing in the streets, lounging in the pools and being happy. Such were the short lived heroics of their world, and the mural would be eventually cleaned up when Shamus got around to sending a robot.

At least they recognized Shamus when he went about his work, they were basically programmed to. Shamus meant that something that is wrong will be made right, and the eloys liked it when things were right. A clogged dispenser, missing paint, skipping music records – everything would be made better by Shamus' touch. It wasn't heaping praise and adoration, though he did get a rare amateurishly baked cupcake.

A gentle blip woke Shamus from his thoughts: some small things was amis with flock. His father made a name killing drakes, and hornbulls, and rip-reavers, and rift-raiders. Shamus' world was different and his fights were different. For now he was to wrestle a kite from a tree.

Sighing, Shamus stood up, wrapped himself in his work whites and turned to leave. A flick of the hand turned off the hololith, and computer saved the three-hundred-fifteenth iteration of the simulation.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'll take SH's crit if it's free. As for me criting... well, there's a reason I have this avatar.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


In light of recent events I will be giving a crit in return for SH crit. So, you know, line up, start begging and groveling, etc.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm in. Let's manufacture some conflict following the best guidelines of writing as established by 90's wargame rulebooks and sci-fi books with nonsensical covers.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Untitled Opening
494 words

“He does smell quite bad, doesn't he?”
Those were the words that Clavius had heart the most often in the past few days. They weren't directed at him, no, but that didn't help much. He motioned for his slave to follow him, something he had done so often he could swear his wrist couldn't take it anymore. And as Clavius and Vicengo stepped outside the trader's mansion, the smell didn't stay far behind.

Clavius took a look another look at his bipedal property and saw those wide, watery bovine eyes staring back at him. While it could be argued that cows made for better company and were possessed with better fragrance, the eyes were what spared Vicengo beatings. Can't really stay mad at the that clump of oily hair, skin and bones staring at you, not with those peepers of his.

Can't sell really sell him, either.

The slave market, mostly quiet in the light afternoon rain, was full living proof Vicengo. All of them smelled better, a good part had the physique of born workers, and others were learned – all qualities that seemed to have evaded Clavius' walking wares.

As they walked down the market of flesh, Clavius' mind raced the streets back to a room in an inn. The relatively clean place contained all of his property – everything wasn't on his back or following behind. Namely, there was a good quality helmet, an fearsome looking suit of armor, a short sword in an unremarkable sheath, four throwing spears (Calvius got a discount) and a bundle of miscellaneous gear. Notably missing was a shield, something he desperately needed to join the legion.

“Join the legion, boys, and I'll make sure you get the same tent. I know a good decanus in need of men” Publius' uncle had said and later that night, in a somewhat sour smelling alley under full, ten somewhat tipsy friends swore to join the legion. All they needed was to buy their gear.

That was three days ago.

All Clavius needed was to get a shield. Unfortunately, that was where his money ran short with only one piece of property left to sell. Vicengo.

Vicengo was left to him by an uncle and a nuisance for most part, but still better than having no slaves. Calvius' friends, however, were much more important. The band was collected over the years, but the core started young, running in the streets, playing with toy swords, annoying traders, gawking at nobles' palanquins. Such childish pursuits were later replaced with running after girls, drinking young wine, throwing dice... Publius was the first one to get into any adventure, so he was, unsurprisingly, the one who initiated the whole legion idea. And then there was Marcus, who was rarely bested in any scrap, and Severus who was popular with the girls and actually good at writing...

Yet all those friends would march to glory without Clavius; thus he'd fail both his mates and himself both.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I'm not good at reading the thread or charging up laptops so they wouldn't die at the wrong time, so here I post.

Skwid, I still owe you a crit. I'm halfway through the last week's offering, but I can switch to your new stuff if you want.

What A Twist
998 words

Gord drove his brother-in-law's Challenger up I-70 at a steady seventy miles per hour, trying hard not to think about the contents of the trunk. It didn't work; that kind of thing never works. Try not to think about a sexually aroused saber-toothed cat. You can't, you just had that image flash into your minds eye and can't unsee it. It was the same was with Gord and the twenty thousand dollars, the bloody hedge trimmers, and cousin Carol's left hand.

Still, what did he have to worry about. He was moving at the speed of traffic in a well-maintained vehicle and lily-white skin. No way he was going to get profiled or speed-trapped or stopped on any bullshit traffic violation, not so long as he didn't drive like a maniac or like a drunk or pothead trying drive all stoned-careful. It wasn't easy. He was coming down off of the initial panic and adrenaline, and that state wasn't too far off from any of those other kinds of funk.

The highway traffic started slowing down to single digit speeds. Some kind of accident up ahead? That was just what Gord needed now, thanks Jesus, thanks Obama, thanks whatever rear end in a top hat couldn't manage to drive their car properly without screwing it all up for everyone else. But Gord couldn't be sure that was what it was. What if it was some kind of checkpoint? Then Gord might well be screwed. He wasn't the smoothest talker in the best of times.

He began to rehearse conversations out loud. The traffic had ground to a complete stop and the people around him were starting to lay on their horns, as if that would do any kind of good. “Good evening, officer. What seems to be the problem?” No, that wasn't right. “What can I do for you?” Better. “Going home after a weekend seeing my sister's family.”

Over the horns, he heard loud engine noises. He looked up and saw a motorcycle, moving straight down the median line at what had to be more than fifty miles an hour in the wrong direction. Neither the driver nor the woman sitting behind him holding on around his waist were wearing helmets, and had looks of terror on their ugly faces. They sped past him and Gord watched them go. Then he turned around, and saw what they were running from.

Cats. Big cats. Not just lions or tigers, but bigger than that, and with monster-big teeth. Smilodons, saber-toothed cats, at least a dozen of them running down the highway, some giving up the chase to see if they could get at what's in one of the cars.
“gently caress oh gently caress oh gently caress,” Gord hated cats, and these were even worse than aunt Gertrude's malnourished mongrels. He was positively sure he wasn't high as he backed up the Challenger to side of the road. Can't just drive backwards, there's already a jam of station wagons, lovely Japanese hybrids and other automotive crap.
Nearly scraping one side of the Challenger on the wall and taking the occasional side mirror with the other, Gord started getting the hell out of this new dodge. Looking over his shoulder, he could see the monster cats leap and bound on the roofs of the cars.
Swivelling his head back to the front, Gord managed to get back on the road with no more bumps and brushes than a regular rush hour in LA would give. Couldn't get back to 70mph, there was still some traffic that didn't know they were heading for #killercats. And there was much beeping and flashing of lights, but Gord, all high on adrenalin, was swerving like crazy.

Dodge an SUV. Dodge a soccer mom that's gonna end as cat food. gently caress, a truck! Nearly pancaked against the wall by a pick-up...

And just like that, he was out in the clear, and this was almost as odd as the brown dots in his rear view mirror. An Interstate suddenly running out of cars was a junkie refusing a hit: loving suspicious. Then again, it made escape from smilodons easier, so who was Gord to question his good luck.

Especially since it promptly ran out. Taking a bend on the mysteriously empty road, he saw a dark line cutting the road ahead. A mile or two and it revealed itself to be the National Guard.

“Oh you son of a bitch,” blurted out Gord, who was somewhat weary of authorities at the best of times. And in his mind, weekend soldiers were almost five-oh, and five-oh was one popped trunk away from giving him twenty five to life.

The Challenger skid to a halt. What to do, what to do? The green fat hand of the Law in front, primordial murder Garfields to the back. What the gently caress is he to do? Gord slammed the steering wheel.

Then came a faint roar from the back – the saber-tooths were closing in! Probably filled with fat kids and soccer moms, but still closing in! And one thing that Gord understood was that animals don't let you call up a lawyer.

So he revved up the engine and drove straight to the guard line. There were jeeps, soldier, machineguns and boxy... probably tank thinks, Gord never really bothered to know those things apart. But he knew opportunity when he saw it, and what he saw was a gap in the line, probably for daring escapes like that.

He came to in a ditch, with faint recollection of smashing through the cordon, seeing the ugly bike couple on a tank, turning over. There was intense firing behind him.

And opening the smashed trunk, he heard faint growling. Turning his head, he saw a sabertooth, all entry wounds and sticky with own blood crawling towards him.

Holding the trimmers in his right and throwing the dismembered palm to the cat with his right, Gord thought:

“Well, Carol, you got to be real handy.”

And charged the hosed up sabertooth.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Sitting Here posted:

Week 146: The Ones You Hate to Love

I'm in. Have been thinking about evil over lord list related tales for a looong time.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I appreciate Kaishai's crit. Wish I had read it before I wrote this week's offer, but, oh well. There goes something (in 10 to 12 hours or so)

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I had my poo poo written, but <excuses>. Posting it anyways, because I'm an rear end like that. Also in for the brawl.

An Autobiography
1161 words

“Heave!” shouted Teak Mangain and the table, borne on the hands of some of the best novelists in the world, crashed into the battered door once more. Plaster flew about and dust fell from the ceiling, and the portal to the domicile finally gave way. They had already cut internet access; now they only had to destroy the physical copies of that which must not be published.

Olaf Moor, a great fantasy writer was the first through the door.

“Once more, dear friends, once more onto...poo poo!” he yelped as he toppled over a stack of instant ramen boxes, thus blocking the small hallway. The writers, good at untangling words and sentences but not human traffic jams, were shoving and pushing to get their way.

“There he is!” the shrill voice of Petunia Saint-Jones cut through the general hubbub and grunting, for the roundish face of Chad “PhD In Shitposting” Inverness appeared at the end of hallway. The abominable graphomaniac quickly disappeared as he had to dodge a shoe that Petunia launched in a fit of righteous madness.

Petunia managed to scramble over Moor while he was trying to get up, and rushed to the room where Chad “Monster Of Fanfic” Inverness had taken refuge. Teal went after her, seeing how he was lanky enough to squeeze between Olaf and the wall.

Dashing into the room, Teal was surprised by the loud CRACK under his foot. Looking down, he saw the shattered remains of Magical Girl Uretaria figurine which must have toppled off the shelf during the whole door ramming thing. Only when he lifted his gaunt face did he notice Chad “Facebook Restraining Order” Inverness disappearing down the fire ladder, and the fetal shape of Petunia surrounded by a few loose sheets of paper.

Her hair had turned gray.

Crouching to check on her vitals, Teal's eyes, always hungry for literature, slid over the scattered pages and his mind went blank for what seemed to be eons.

“The Passionate Penumbra. Epilogue. Kalista Fairbanks...subconscious dancing...dark beloved,” it was a rant of a madman, derivative drivel of the worst kind. “Beautiful...so love has blinded you...eye like obsidian...” Someone started shaking him by the shoulders.

“Snap out of it, good man. You've read worse!” The voice of one friend on the other cut through the mist, delivering lie that was all the more painful since it was so close to the truth.

“You’ve read worse”. Fans continuously sent inept, boring pieces of literary trash that sometimes only ran for three mercifully short pages. However, Chester's work was complete and horrible in the way that it was produced by a dark intelligence pulling all of the cheap tricks. It was the incestuous child of Twilight and Fifty Shades, born in the unhallowed bowels of the Internet.

“Where could he go, now that he is denied Amazon self publishing?” asked Olaf who reportedly reinforced his bribes to Amazon with occult spells and threats at gunpoint.

“Well, my eyes catch the corner of this small envelope; green paper, plastic window, not unlike a gas bill,” said Tom Farskythe, noted writer of hard-boiled military thriller. “It reads ‘Lifetime Frontiers: Quality Publishing’”.

Everyone froze. Ayn dropped the Dagan Rompa alarm clock she was about to throw out the window. This was Armageddon clock striking five to midnight. Lifetime was good at riding the lighting, only it was the lightning of the lowest common denominator. They'd publish Chester “Woody Got Wood” Inverness. They'd literally stop the presses to get “Passionate Penumbra” on the shelves tomorrow.

There was a mad scramble for the door and by the time they burst out into the street five floors below, everyone had forgotten any friends left behind. However, they were in the nick of time to see a beat up Civic with duct tape stripes get on the road, Chester “Thus Spoke Jim Theis” Inverness at the wheel.

Panks’ Prius jumped the curb as the literary minds pursued their prey, and the chase was on. Granted, it was in no way a Hollywood production, since neither the fugitive nor the pursuers were that apt in driving. There were some lane changes that would have made a driving instructor cringe, and they sped through several intersections in a way that could be described as “daring”, but all in all, it was on par with the usual horrors of mid-day traffic.

Things were turning dire at 10km/h over the speed limit as the chase was nearing the office of Lifetime. It was the time for action.

“Tom, I know your gun-nut rear end is always strapped,” Ayn shouted from the wheel, “Give me something to work with.”

“Now, if I were to have a gun,” Tom squirmed in his seat, “I would know better than to give it to an untrained person.”

“I really don’t care about your bullshit. Give me the gun, or this steering wheel is going up your rear end”.

Farskythe shifted uncomfortably and a 1911 pistol changed hands. Ayn wasted no time in lowering the window and opening fire on Chester “Could You Read My Manuscript” Inverness’ Civic. The shots were loud and, apparently, wide, as the runaway continued riding forth unabated. More than that, it made a very decent turn into the parking lot of Lifetime Frontiers.

The Prius jumped another curb, swerved and finally stopped gently bending the doors of a Buick. Ayn was the first one out, scanning horizon for an oversized head with greasy hair. And there it was! The prey kept appearing and disappearing between parked cars, making a beeline for the front door, Hunger Games t-shirt a-flapping. Ayn stopped to squeeze off another round, which made Chester “He Who Must Not Be Published” Inverness duck. Unfortunately, the slider remained stuck slid back – there were no more bullets to fire. Farsythe wanted to comment on how Ayn should not have wasted rounds on a church and a Starbucks they passed on their way, but his mouth was held shut by a vision of receiving a 1911 to the face.

Meanwhile, the front doors opened, and a portly shape stepped out. Drawn by the smell of possible litigation, it was a Lifetime editor, a caricature of a loanshark crossed with an actual shark. The offending (and awful) wordsmith saw his chance, and bolted to the man, manuscript in front of him. The writers stood frozen. As vocal critics of everything Lifetime Frontiers ever published, they knew they had no power there.

“Maybe he won’t publish it,” whispered Teal with hope that wasn’t exactly there.

Alas, it was all in vain. Even before his hands touched the manuscript, the eyes of the publisher were involuntary scanning the pages, uploading the horrible prose into the business centers of the mind. The horrible machine ground exceedingly fine, probing the page for potential that can be sold to the masses. No shred of art ever got through those dark gears, only potential for money.

“Mr. Inverness, why don’t you come inside?”

All was lost.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Tyrannosaurus posted:



Week One Forty-Seven; or, the Tragedy of Shakespeare Descending

Can’t ever figure out what you want to write about? Don’t have a creative bone in your body? Just dumb as hell?

I'm in. In the context of this thread, I can answer "yes" to all of those questions.

And while nobody cares, I had to work with the pre-historic cats that I was given two weeks ago

JcDent fucked around with this message at May 27, 2015 around 17:47

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Tyrannosaurus posted:

"A peasant rebellion is incited by a noble house."

Party on!

And, and failurebrawl entry, I guess.

Midsummer Cat's Meow
600 words

Furrgus eyed the Yankee from his perch on the planning room lamp. Neither frog nor kraut had ever made it into the inner sanctum. And Furrgus was going to do his feline best to protect his Scottish master. After all, he wants to restore the Empire, and every British Shorthair gets “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves” with his mother's milk.

“Ya cannae stop me! The sun nevah sets on the British Empire,” Furrgus' master's voice boomed as he, Agyle McIntyre, with one swipe of a claymore cleaved in twain the rifle of the American spy. Chad Slade ducked and rolled to side, avoiding an arcing blade that nearly split his head. Furrgus was pacing on the lamp impatiently: it was a rare pleasure seeing his master fight, yet a good servant of the Empire had to stay vigilant.

A brawl followed, with the two combatants thrashing the room around them. The lamp swayed gently, yet Furrgus held on. And then his cat ears picked up the creak of door opening. A new challenger appeared! Slowly stepping into the room, it was Chad's sidekick, Roy Goodfellow, gun in hand. A worthy foe for Furrgus, and so he pounced.

Roy had barely had time to get his bearings when a hissing whirlwind of claw and fur descended on his head. The world suddenly went red as the feline went to work on his scalp. In vain did he try to swat it away with the gun, only giving himself a concussion. Meanwhile, Furrgus managed to actually claw an eye out, and he wasn't going to stop with just one.

On the other side of the room, Chad was momentarily distracted by screaming and meowing. Only for split second, but it was enough for Argyle to deliver a kick to the stomach.

“Take that, ye bloody rustic! That's fer the Boston tea party!” The Scotsman shouted as he charged Chad and brought them both crashing through the window.

The sound took Furrgus out of his berserk frenzy. Where had the master gone? He had to find him, the fate of the Empire was at stake! Gracefully, he jumped down off Roy, who passed out from the pain and shock of all the tiny lacerations. Furrgus left a neat trail of bloody pawprints all the way to the broken window.

And of course, there was his master, fighting Chad on the walkways over the vats from Project Trafalgar. The walkways were spacious and framed with sturdy railing – cleanliness is next to Godliness, and work safety's a close third – but the situation was still dangerous enough to warrant Furrgus' attention. He jumped down to see if he could help in any way.

The fight was going way too fast for the Shorthair to do anything. Sitting down at a safe distance, he looked just like any other cat watching a fly buzz about. Furrgus tried to summon all of his Glasgow pub brawl experience to help his master.

A step followed a punch and the fight took the men too close to the railing; they toppled over it. A flurry of hands followed, with Chad and Argyle both left hanging on the edge of the walkway. And while the foes were thinking whether they should get up there before resuming the fight, Furrgus found his moment to strike.

“The colonials don't taste that special,” he thought biting the strained fingers of the enemy. The American released the grip, hanging by one hand. Yet Furrgus struck there too. The fingers slipped, slick with blood.

Triumphant meowing was the last thing Chad ever heard.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Tyrannosaurus posted:

Submissions are closed for real

Ah, well, poo poo. My story had too many details from history of a small country anyways.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Sitting Here posted:

failbrawl results and crits, finally
JcDent

We thank the blood queen.

As blood repentance, I'm offering five crits this week. If you want your Shakespearean crap crit-ed, just say so.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I hate gambling and/or losing. I'm IN. Flash rule, maybe?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I remember the days when "not losing" was a greater challenge than "posting on time".

Pushing luck
1275 words

Shouldering the door, Johnny Two-Dice entered the dive. A pool table in the far corner, a haze of tobacco in the air and a plump bartender at the bar. The familiar trappings of Johnny's work. Roxanne was waiting, nursing a mug.

“The five guys in the conner. You see?” Roxanne wasn't big on greetings. “The one without a flannel shirt. He's the one, I'm sure”.

Trust. One has to trust one's scout, one's runner, one's “nose”, and Roxanne was the best one in a long time. She could sense a mark way before any dice hit the table. Johnny nodded and called for a beer.

“Was he hard to find?”
“No,” Roxanne was busy looking as nonchalant as possible, “The vibe around him is just right. Plus, I asked around”.

There was never a way to be sure, and those of Johnny's kind shall never find their own marks. Maybe Dee-Dee Twenty, but Dee's work centered around university campuses and start ups. For him, educated guesses could be made, plus, the risk of bodily harm was lower.

Johnny took a swing of his beer, turned on the barstool, and got up on his long thin legs. It was time.

“Hello, gentlemen,” Johnny startled the players; they had noticed his entrance, but had lost interest not long after. Black pants and a jacket, white shirt – he didn't look like he came from those parts. “Can I join you for a game craps? The road is boring and I have dollars burning a hole in my pocket”.

Johnny noticed that it took short nod from the shirtless man before he was invited to join. He grabbed a chair, pulled it close, started playing.
It didn't behoove to win outright and win big, so Johnny let the dice land as they may. He won some, he lost some. He drank beer and cracked jokes. Slowly, he started letting one of the oafs win. The dice kept rolling, and the pile of money before the simpleton kept growing. Slipping a sly smile, Johnny started pressing fortune.

Slowly, the pile began draining and going towards Johnny. A trickle, at first, but gently increasing with every other roll. Roll without rhythm, and you won't attract the punch, but Johnny was getting restless. Can't play with luck for too long, and even less with somewhat dangerous men.

The dice rolled and the shirtless man lost. Johnny didn't push it too hard – he needed the luck to escape any sort of beatings – and victory looked legitimate in the eyes of the players. The shirtless man wasn't happy when he stormed outside. With luck, he won't try to get the money back by robbing Johnny, and luck was on Johnny's side, most of the time.

The deed was done and he returned to Roxanne.

“I take it that went well?”
“Aye. Didn't push it too much, but he lost. And as such, the tapestry unravels,” he said sitting down and ordering another beer. Roxanne had a rough understanding of what the likes of Johnny Two-Dice, Dee-Dee Twenty and Cointoss Mac were doing, and that was enough. However, even Mac had to have his own Roxanne, else even he would be wandering aimlessly.

“So we're finished here?”
“Yep, nothing more we need to do.”
“Well then, I want out, Johnny.”

This made the beer mug stop half way up.

“Out? But our run was so good! Well, you're doing so well for a sniffer.”
Roxanne wrinkled her nose, as if the organ had anything to do with her talents.
“Yes, but I can't stand the road anymore. It's always these small towns, and truck stops, and diners. gently caress, Reno and Vegas were the biggest places we've gone to, and you know they're fake.”
Johnny couldn't argue with that, but his work was always a crapshoot, and dice weren't exactly popular these days.
“You know how the dice roll...”
“I know and I don't want to see it anymore. Hell, I don't even get to see “the tapestry unraveling”. I want out. I...”
“...found a man?” Johnny had years and years of experience with sniffers, especially women.
“Yes. Over the Internet. We hit it off quite well... and the runes give good promises”.
Runes. Johnny considered a childish way to get too much certainty out of fate. Then again, it was better than Cointoss Mac forcing life into choosing one out of two. Mac was the most grim and martial of the lot, all thanks to his coin.
Johnny was slowly coming up with a decision he didn't like.
“You know the rules, Roxanne”.
That she did. He bet Roxanne had been going over the rules as of late.
“One game. And you can't bend luck, Johnny.”
“One game, two out of three. No bending or pushing or anything else”. The rules would sense him do something. What's worse, Roxanne would feel it too. And that was almost as bad.

He produced a pair of dice; Johnny Two-dice always had some about him. Roxanne fixed her eyes on them. He gave a small smile.
“Can I go first?”

She nodded, eyes wide, never moving from the die.

He swept then up with a wide swing and felt them press into his palm.

“Let's get it on,” Johnny let it fly. The dice bounced around on the table and stopped.

A four and a one.

“Your turn.”

Roxanne maintained her cool while picking them up. Pressing them close to her chest, she let out a short sigh before rolling.

A three and a four.

“Off to a good start, eh?” The quip made Roxanne smile. Johnny grabbed the two die with his long fingers. He let them roll and the two bone cubes bounced on the table.

A six and five.

“This is getting interes-” Johnny stopped as he noticed Roxanne hold breath and go pale. She reached out for the die, her hand trembling, something he had not seen for what, three to five years now?

The dice roll again. A four and a two.

Johnny Two-Dice exhaled sharply and shied away from Roxanne's gaze. The dice rolled as they may, but that doesn't help resentment. Ah well, have to keep the game going.

The man picked up the dice for the third time and let them fly. He didn't watch them roll, he was fixed on Roxanne. Her eyes were wide and the hands were white in their grip on the table.

A four and a six.

Johnny grabbed the dice and rolled them around in his palms, looking at them like he was trying to make up his mind. There was no joy in what he was about to do, but it was the right thing. Johnny shot a glance at Roxanne before palming her the craps. No smile, he knew better than that.

With a trembling hand Roxanne let them roll, watching it go with a stern face.

A six and a six.

The sigh of relief was loud and she almost collapsed in the chair.

“Well, love, looks like you get to see your Internet paramour. You can catch a bus if you go now. Just leave the keys in the lobby”.

Two-dice wasn't one for long goodbyes, so Roxanne kissed him and ran out through the door. He watched her leave and ordered another beer.

The barman found him rolling the dice, picking up, and rolling again. Two sixes landed concurrently with the mug.
“Better luck with dice than the the missus, eh?”
Johnny smiled as he dropped the dice on the floor.
“Some things can't be left to luck,” and with that, he crushed the two sixes under his boot.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


In. Flash me.

Thranguy posted:

Jcdent: Pushing Luck: I'm happy to have seen one and only one story about people supernaturally manipulating probability, just as I was to see one and only one story featuring the devil himself earlier. There were some proofreading issues and odd phrasings, though. ('game craps' rather than 'game of craps' or 'craps game' was the one that stuck out the most.) A moderately strong story, done in by predictability and technical faults down to the middle group.

So I guess I should feel bad about the supernatural angle, huh?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Sitting Here posted:

hello domers this is a special announcement speaking

I am looking for volunteers. A few people are trying to put together an entertainingly constructive fiction workshop podcast. And we thought, man, we have hundreds of writers and thousands of stories right here in Thunderdome!!! Wow! So, what I need is for people to volunteer their stories to be read and critiqued. It will be especially helpful if we can get b. Thunderdome is a fantastic resource for what we're trying to do, but we don't want to read anything without the permission of the authors! So here I am, holding my hat out to you, goons.

Please, quote this post, PM me, or hop onto #Thunderdome on IRC if you're interested in helping out with a story. We can't do it without your help. Don't be be instead

I qualify! Sure, take them, rip them to shreds, let them burn away in the harsh light of internet criticism!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I suck and I blow and I didn't do a story. Apparently, writing blockbusters is harder than Transformers lead me to believe; it's more than writings ROBOTS and flailing at the keyboard.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


In, in, in!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Wow, now that's a nice story, Jonked.

What A Shame
698 word

What's life without a little of theatric flair? That's why I imagined our meeting arranged in public “to avoid any foul play”. Just like a spy thriller, even if it's just about two former lovers exchanging things. Might have been too generous with the “love” part too.

There she comes. The internet tells you to hate your ex. Well, the relationship advice sections don't, but the comedy and drama sections give a resounding “yes”. So I do. Here she comes and I hate her. Don't know how she feels, but, does it really matter now? They'd say I didn't care about that even before this whole unpleasantness, why should I care now?

Oh, right, the internet. Either you don't care what others think about you at all, or you do. No middle ground. And the self awareness doesn't help.

She looks prettier than I remember. Same short red hair, shaved sides, even the face is the same, but somehow prettier. This sends a pang of longing to my heart, a strange sort of pain. Haven't seen her in a long while. Maybe being out of country did her good. Maybe she's in love.

Does that matter? Yes, if the internet pettiness is to be believed. You have to keep a love-life achievement total, to exceed the score of your ex, and thus prove yourself a superior person, and chalk up the break up as her own fault.

OK, that might be too involved for me. But the drama is still alive, and I already plan on retelling this encounter to my friends. I fancy myself a fun storyteller, they won't have nothing to complain about.

“Hello,” she says with harshness in her words that was totally expected. My actions during the breakup left much to be desired.

“Hello,” It's totally unnecessary, but I add: “Do you have it?”

She does, and produces a small plastic bag. I grab it, and slide a thin plastic box out.

I'm getting goosebumps all over.

The blue face of JC Denton is staring skywards on the blue-and-white box.

Deus Ex Game Of the Year Edition.

The intro music comes back to my mind, and a second wave of goosebumps washes over me. I rip the box open.

The booklet was lost years ago, being an unimportant installation manual for people who are way in over their heads if their first game is Deus Ex. The disc is the most important part.

It's blue with white lettering. An economy release done many years after the launch, yet before digital publishing had really taken. Before I had any girlfriends, ex- or otherwise. Those might not exactly been “the days”, but Deus Ex helped.

I push on the plastic bib in the center of the disc and it pops out. I turn it over to check for scratches. A rainbow crescent slides over the surface, bringing back half-remembered warnings about CD surfaces and eye damage. The disc is still intact, no more than a few scratches I myself might have done handling and mishandling the thing. Satisfied, it put it back in the box, and shut it close.

My attentions return to my ex.
“All seems good,” I say, keeping my voice cool.

“Well, good,” she's better at it than I am. Insurgencies have legitimate grievances at core, so do break ups.

“That's it, then. Goodbye.”

“Bye.”

It's good luck that I came here alone. Had there be a friend nearby, I might have high-fived him, or just pumped my fist in the air. Wouldn't be a good show, that.

***

I return home with half-hearted demons gnawing at my thoughts. To alleviate my condition, I pop the Deus Ex CD in my PC, run the install. Time to see how it goes.

“Your appointment to FEMA will be finalized within a week...” The intro comes and goes.

Then, slowly, over the logos of Eidos and Ion Storm, the intro music starts picking up. I feel the goosebumps return. The music fills my ears, reminding me of the fantastic times long ago, when controlled the coolest nano-enhanced agent to ever grace cyberpunk. I watch the silvery logo turn on the screen and my body shivers.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


In. Give song, please.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


s7indicate3 posted:

HalliburTown

From one loser to another non-winner!

So the story is about a woman running away from the false perfect world of suburbia? Maybe your flash tied into that, but I find it hard to understand how it ties to the prompt.

You named the kid Venn to be cheeky, didn't you? Venn diagram and all that.

I'd say something about playing up Chloe's race, as a risky move there.

The anti-commercialism angle was maybe layed on a little too thick, with the TMs, and the exaggerated ads and Halliburton (it's a contractor, isn't it?).

Also, the words from the ad in Chloe's section are hard to separate from her thoughts due to formatting and placement.

...and the last, nit pickiest part: if you're rich, why don't you have a dishwasher? I certainly would.

For what it's worth, after reading your story, and crits on mine, I feel like you wrote better.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


hey, writer of I.O.U., I just wanted to know: did you imagine an explanation for what the tower is and what is does, or is it a mystery to you as it is to us? I wonder how writing something that mysterious works.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Ironic Twist posted:

Yes, I did imagine an explanation, for the most part.

...

...I will say that it only got there through a whole lot of tweaking and rearranging of things, because it started out as "Small town with Vietnam War-style draft, but for alien abduction". So my advice is to not marry yourself off to the first idea you have.

Thank you!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


He slices, he dices, but he can't finish a story about hunting aliens in a T-64, all based on a song that's constructed around an improbable answering machine tape, so you can say that he sucks and blows, too!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


poo poo Never Happens

No matter how bad the prompt, no matter how good an excuse, you can always fail next week.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Thank ye, theblunderbuss!

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


in

JcDent fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2015 around 04:27

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