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May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

I'm in.


Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Report to Toys

I'm afraid the only shift open for you today is at returns and exchanges

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

I'm in

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
:siren: CAKE IN THE STAFF ROOM :siren:

Employees from every department are invited to convene in the unsurveilled staff lounge, a totally secure place invisible to the all-seeing eye of management. If you want to collaborate, this is a great place to go. Pop by the Thunderdome Discord server and prod me if I haven't already given you access to the Voidmart channel.

Don't do Discord? You can also go to #thunderdome on Synirc and I will help you coordinate from there.

Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.

*does a line of cocaINe*

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

You've been appointed seasonal decorations marshall

Mercedes posted:

*does a line of cocaINe*

Report in to The Golden Bean, there's a Senior Barrista hat waiting for you

Jul 26, 2016

Oh, go on then.


Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

steeltoedsneakers posted:

Oh, go on then.


Your protective footwear may come in handy in your new position in the power tools department.

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

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

Oh, I'm extremely in.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Carl Killer Miller posted:

Oh, I'm extremely in.

You'll be working in the back.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

коммунизм хранится в яичках
VoidMart? In.

Also, can a guy get a Discord invite?

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 22:11 on Oct 22, 2019

Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes

Thunderdome Week 376 - Crits

Rat-born cock

It is super easy to figure out your wordcount. Writing a story under that wordcount is admittedly slightly harder but also one of the main points of TD. As I write this I honestly don’t know whether to disqualify you or not. It’s just so lazy.

Your first sentence is a fairly strong opener. The list killed any interest in me.

See, if you’re going to list a whole load of things about your character and then tell me that they’re more interesting than the fact that the character can walk through walls, well, they need to be interesting. This list just sounds like an early 2000’s lolrandom OC made flesh.

Your use of the walking through walls prompt is actually kind good and interesting. It’s a whole lot of “tell” and not a lot of “show”, though.

You submitted incredibly early. You had time to proofread for things like “i”.

“Studs (heh)” fuckoff

The conversational tone isn’t working for me. Just dropping “motherfucking” and stuff in there isn’t great. Is your protagonist telling this story? To who? When?

Look, I’ll be honest - I skimmed to the end from here. Because I just didn’t care what happened. This whole thing reads like John Kricfalusi dictating their ideas for their next cartoon. The villain is the cat? How ~~~wacky~~~.

Your enthusiasm is duly noted and appreciated. You had some good ideas for engaging with the hellrule (the screaming appendix was not one of them). Next time you enter TD - and I genuinely hope you do enter again, I really do - write your first idea and sit on it for a day or two. Maybe read it out loud to yourself. Then ask yourself if you can’t maybe polish it up a bit.

Weird humour can be great. This isn’t it.

Simply Simon

A bombastic start - I kinda like it. It is bordering very closely on too much, though. “A gift invaluable” is the point at which I start to think maybe you could tone it down a bit. “An invaluable gift” would still sound grandiose and booming, without also starting to sound like a parody of itself.

An example of a sentence that is a bit too extra for its own good: “all of my powers, which I knew I could pass on like the light in space had passed them on to me.”

An example of where you mix it up to good (and by this point, welcome) effect: “Undignified, unearned, unbecoming.”

I’ll chime in at this point to say that nothing has really happened at this point - it’s all narrative and backstory. Fine in a longer story but you’ve only got 1200 words to play with. By my count you’ve spent 360 words - more than a quarter of your limit - just setting the stage. You could have woven this into a little bit of action - even if it’s just the protagonist sneaking into the stadium or passing through the crowd, it would have meant something happened.

As a brief aside, I’m getting a very pulpy Doc Savage vibe from your descriptions. It’s fun to read and I hope it was fun to write.

Seriously though, break these sentences up a bit. The one place the run-on sentence works well here is the “For what feels like years ...” sentence, precisely because it matches the stretched-out nature of that moment.

I like the story you’re trying to tell but there’s not enough development of the son, or even of the father-son relationship. Which, given how much space you devote to backstory, is a bit of a puzzle. Show me father and son together - a flashback, a series of shorter scenes in the run up to the concert, anything to tell me why the son rejects the role, the power, doesn’t even try to save his father.

It’s a decent enough ending image but the line dropped in about burning the flag threw me for a loop so I can’t really enjoy it. What’s up with that?

Good stuff. Could be better.


You’re leaning all-in on the superhero clichés in a good way. It’s just a little blunt. I get that you’re going for the gritty aftermath of what is, once you strip away the spandex and eye-lasers, a horrific battle, but it’s all just so definitive. It feels a little disconnected from the character who’s recalling all this (in quite a “As you know Jenkins, the D’jaal came from under the earth to terrorise mankind” kinda way). That could be a strong approach, a character struggling to disassociate and distance themselves from horror, but here Captain Spectacular just comes off as a little robotic.

It’s a problem that people seem to be having this week: exposition. Backstory dumps.

And it all feels so utterly disconnected from the last third of your story. Because I don’t need to know about the D’Jaal or the Nazkar or the Watchdog. You chose an excellent “mistake” - something so incredibly human, for a super-human. But there’s no humanity to it.

The reveal that the protagonist is married is a good gut-punch; a broken man is finally feeling some measure of peace and WHAM - he had to betray his wife to achieve it. But you spent so long giving a history lecture, and only showing the protagonist’s emotions and thoughts in a very shallow manner, that the pivot is muffled and not really that effective.

Captain Spectacular felt the most realistic, the most human, to me when he’s lying there with Emily and you just casually drop quick notes about the Battle of London - about escorting the Queen and the like. That’s effective characterisation mixed with effective - and unobtrusive - worldbuilding. If you’re going to write a story about someone struggling to recover from the horrors of war then the big-picture stuff - the infodumps - don’t help. Get small. Tell me what that person, specifically, experienced.

Your ending is overwrought. The whole “woe is me” paragraph (the one that starts “He was a disgrace”) is, again, very robotic and stilted.

Also “For some reason, not only had his powers instantly disappeared” loving hell. If you had established earlier that his powers were tied to his sense of justice, or self-respect or whatever, this might work a bit better.

After that it’s just … dude gives up and decides to die. The “justice” motif (am I using that word correctly? Don’t care) reads as though its echoing back to an earlier reference that you edited out.

There was a story - with theme and action and everything - buried somewhere under all that exposition.

Carl Killer Miller

Ok, this is a fun concept you’re rolling with. Again, you’re leaning on the clichés but you seem to be having a lot of fun doing it and that passes on to the reader. I just really like the team dynamic you’re describing - the bit about The Blur bringing in birthday cakes is really humanising.

In future, though, please don’t bury your quotes in the middle of massive paragraphs like that.

The transition from interviews to “Three days later I arrived at Attica Correctional Facility” is a little jarring. You could maybe have made room for a transitioning sentence or two.

I will be very honest with you - in my head The Eternal is Ben Kingsley’s character from Iron Man 3 (and if that’s too nerdy a reference well just look at this week’s prompt).

I don’t have a lot to say here. This is a well-written story that was fun to read. I liked the last line of dialogue and I like the last line. You did some great characterisation through dialogue - I got a good sense of voice from everyone involved, even the bit-piece cops on the dashcam footage.

On first reading this I thought it was a bit of an obvious absence not having any mention of being immortal re: a fixed term prison sentence and how the one might lessen the other. On second thought, though, I like that The Eternal was just so up their own rear end that it just barreled straight past practical matters like that.

I will say this, though: you are taking a serious character and exposing them as a laughing stock. That’s good! You’re making them pathetic. That’s good! But they also just killed six people in a DUI. That’s really, really jarring for the tone you’ve got going. Swap that out for some pathetic property damage - have The Eternal hit a church or a model village or something - and it becomes far funnier and far more tonally consistent.

I mean you even twist the knife with the whole “coming back from Legoland” thing. Come on.


Your opening dialogue is a bit stilted and that stands out all the more for being the first thing on the page. From Light that’s arguably fine - with a name like Light I have no trouble hearing them as dramatic and a little bit pretentious. It feels less suitable for Elaine, however.

You want to know a line I really like? “His silhouette casted a shadow over Elaine's window in the moonlight.” Typo aside, it gave me a really strong image of Light just hanging there in mid-air outside of the window. Little bit imposing, little bit sinister, all in a short line.

Your exposition is not the biggest sin this week but Elaine still comes across as a bit of a talking encyclopedia. “As you know, Light, you are upset that you hit reply-all …”

Also if everyone on the planet now knows his civilian identity I’m not sure how dumping Elaine keeps her safe. If she’s linked to his civilian identity … she still is? And if she’s linked only to his superhero identity, what’s changed?

This is a very dialogue heavy piece. Unfortunately that stilted dialogue from the beginning never really stops. And while a conversation can be active, can shift back and forth and capture and hold a reader’s attention, this one didn’t. It’s two people breaking up in a fairly dull way.

Another line I like: “Elaine,” he said, “Somebody died in the time it took you to say that to me.” In a different story, that would be a hell of a parting shot.

I think your main problem here (apart from the stilted dialogue) was that I don’t care about Light/John or Elaine. You needed to make me care - show me a little of the good times, a bit of interaction where there was some emotion behind it. I think choosing a point of view character and getting inside their head would have helped, rather than the vaguely omniscient narrator.

You chose some good themes/questions here - being selfless as an excuse to be selfish, can a superhero ever take time off, etc. - but didn’t really develop them far enough.


Man, I was hoping someone would go the supervillain route. And even better: a gadget-based supervillain pulling off a heist. Everything in your first scene is based around people being competent and reacting logically in-world. The Grinning Robot feels grounded and real thanks to people reacting to its presence in the world through preparation. People took the steps that you would expect them to.

I love how you’re using the prompt and your hellrule. I also love how you’re weaving shorter scenes together. To anyone who I’ve said needed to break up big infodumps or blocks of backstory - this is how you do it.

Some stories, I end up getting to the end having barely written anything. Usually it’s because not a lot happens. Here it’s because it’s just fun to read and there’s very little to criticise. I like that you manage to portray the goons as incredibly competent, thus making the robot seem terrifying by comparison. It’s the old horror movie rule - your characters do everything right and it’s still not enough.

You do need to proofread a little more. There are some tense errors (“Those red eyes narrow with doubt and disdain”) and a couple of things like missing spaces after commas. Your last sentence is a bit too run-on - should that last comma be a period?

All in all, though, you’ve twisted some very different hellrules together into a coherent, fun story. Good, impactful action scenes and a satisfying narrative arc.

I liked this one.

Terre packet

Describing a flower garden as “bad-rear end” feels out of place in that opening paragraph. That could be a good way to build character and voice if you ran with it, but on its own it just feels jarring.

“Comes the call through the car window” - it should be a lower-case “c” following on from the dialogue.

Ok, so you do a good job setting up that there’s something off right off the bat, with the talk about fitting it. That leads nicely into the scene in the vault. The talk of “release” still comes out of nowhere, however, because there’s nothing to suggest that the character needs it - no tension, no pressure, no stress, etc.

“That’s why started working” - guess there should have been an “I” in there?
“I’m a have to disappear” - guessing you weren’t going for a bad Italian accent here. Typos are small but they stand out.
“The Broken Man will will see you” - see what I mean?

I like what you’re doing with the Broken Man. You’re hinting at just enough there that he feels dangerous. The “null zone” thing, by contrast, just feels confusing. Whatever it is, you don’t need it - a witness protection scheme is something just about everyone is going to be familiar with and doesn’t take anything away from what you’re doing here. Just call it that.

Plus, hundreds of people died and it’s just a throwaway line. I’m not expecting a tearful vow of vengeance but some sort of reaction - from a superhero - would have been good.

I’m conflicted. I like the small fake-out you have going on. I thought that the mistake was that she saw the Broken Man, or even that she ran, but really the mistake is her use of her powers. It feels realistic and human and compelling. It’s just a shame that the story then just fizzles out. I get what you were going for - end on a note of inevitability and dread - but it falls a bit flat.

I’m also not sure how well the idea of the protagonist having to “release” ties into the rest of the story. I think if it had tied into her eventual discovery - if it was a use more clearly stemming from frustration and tiredness and a momentary lack of control - it would feel more relevant. Which is a shame, because it works well as an image of being boxed in and confined. But you could also take it all out and the story would still work.

Could use some work. I think your prose - which can be a tad confusing - drags down a passable story.

Black Griffon

See, this is what I like about giving out flash rules/hellrules - people get creative with them. You took “setting fires” and ran with it in a direction I never would have thought of.

The use of a nickname is a nice touch. It’s humanising and builds a backstory.

I’m liking what you’re writing so far and I want to draw particular attention to the “Four years before the moon hits” scene. The dialogue feels natural and the silence at the end has a good punch to it. Maybe it’s because I watched Bladerunner 2049 the other week but I can see this scene very clearly.

“The consequences of a choice would be reveled “ - typo.

My one major problem with this story is motivation. For a consequence as big as crashing the moon into the earth, there needs to be a pretty strongly established motive. Apathy and despair and nihilism can be that motivation. Maybe I’m missing something, though, because all we get is “a guarantee that a fatalistic eco-cult would see the world as he did. Worthy of euthanasia. Rather a cretaceous end than a slow, automated suicide.” It comes too late and too softly to justify anything or to provide a new context for the story so far.

So yeah. A well-told story with some good visual description that just falters at that crucial point.

Anomalous Amalgam

I do so love thinly-veiled copies of existing superheroes and teams (not sarcasm - I think it’s fun). “Manacle’s” doesn’t need an apostrophe, though. I’m not sure “Nefarious’s” needs a second “s” either, although I’ll admit that one always trips me up.

So I’m up to the paragraph that starts “Six months had passed” and there’s something about your writing style that’s been bugging me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s the voice - this is being written as a story told to us by the (so far) unnamed narrator. It should be conversational, it should sound as though someone is actually speaking. That can mean vocal tics (“umm,” “like”, “so anyway”, etc), it can mean adding in asides or opinions. Right now, though, it sounds like a guy reading a newspaper article verbatim or someone reading out a book report. You’re trapped between in-character narration and omniscient narration.

Anyway, moving on.

“It’s something escaped from the fundamental plane. An idea, a high concept. Not a life form or a monster. Things that low aren’t flesh and blood, but they aren’t abstract like the metaphysical beings of the fifth dimension.

More binary in function, and instinctual in thought, Nefarious was the indirect answer to a rhetorical question.”

Superhero stories love anthropomorphising abstract concepts and the like, so this isn’t out of place. It is, however, unnecessary. So far it hasn’t added anything except stressing that Nefarious is incredibly dangerous - but we already know that because he took down not-Superman, not-Batman and not-Wonder Woman. It’s a bit much.

Well, you worked in your hellrule. I just have no idea what the hell happened. And not in a fun way. You just crammed way too much in and not all of it matched up. I have no idea what the protagonist was trying to do, whether or not it worked, why it didn’t work (if it wasn’t supposed to end up like that), etc. …

Ambitious, but definitely in need of a fresh pair of eyes reading it (even if it’s just you after a good night’s sleep) before posting.


I’m not sure whether the rather laid-back attitude in the opening scene works or not. On the one hand, it does diminish the tension and danger of the situation. On the other hand, the protagonist seems rather relaxed and confident.

Halfway through and I like the theme of relatively rubbish heroes and villains that is emerging - although I would watch at least the first three episodes of Lieutenant Otherkin: Canine Cop.

Seriously, dude has dials on his wrist. That’s a great low-grade hero right there. Dials.

I’m not sure how I feel about the attempted suicide scene. In a world of Madam Bonepile and the Prosthetic Avenger and people being chained to fire hydrants, it feels out of place.

… and then the poo poo about the orphan massacre. I don’t know, it feels like you’re swerving all over the place tone-wise. Former villain? Great. But either keep it light-hearted, Scooby Doo-esque villainy or go all-in on a darker tone from the start.

This started off as a fun, fairly light-hearted romp and then shifted gears, hard. It also doesn’t really feel like the protagonist does anything - yes, they surrender peacefully but there’s nothing to suggest that they would have done anything else. It feels rushed.

Definitely an interesting idea, perhaps in need of a couple of revisions.


Your opening paragraph could stand to be a little clearer. Your framing device - opening line, flashback, then back to the opening line for the finish - works but could also stand to be a little clearer. By the time I got to “I smile at the memory …” I had forgotten that this was a flashback at all.

Way to work in the hellrule, though. This is a good example of how six hundred tight, focused words and a good idea can be far more engaging than 1200 words of ramble.

I don’t want to second-guess every choice of words but it feels like there are a few spots where words were forgotten. “... it could take so many people …” - only so many people?

Plus the odd typo here and there - “their can dreams live in me”, etc.

At the end of the day, this is a good, short story. You don’t drown the reader in exposition, you don’t have terrible names and you worked in a tricky hellrule. I just don’t know that I’m going to remember it for very long.


As a meta-crit, I know you wrote this in a very short period of time. You did good. Now, to the text.

“What he had wrought”, I think.
“Sought injured and trapped and guided rescuers” - I get what you were going for but if you read it back, it’s a little muddled. “Sought the injured and the trapped and guided rescuers” might be a little clearer.

I like that you’ve matched the tone and pace of your story to the tone and pace of events going on in the story - sounds obvious but it can be easy to forget. Everything has this rushed, frantic tone, this panicked urgency, this continuous developing dread that stokes tension and, and -

It’s good, is what I’m getting at. It’s the same with your repetition of “do more”. Not every fragment works - I think, like a lot of the issues here, you would have caught it on a re-read, had you the time.

The punctuation needs tightening up a little though. “Ignore the worming creeping itching like feathers …” would benefit from a comma between “itching” and “like”, if nothing else, to differentiate between the sensations themselves and the simile.

Having said the above, though, the rushed run-on sentences don’t always work. Take “So did an army of beaked feathered shattered corpses”, for example. That sort of image shouldn’t be rushed - it should be deadly calm and still. There’s no action. As such, “beaked feathered shattered” corpses doesn’t read as a pacing device, just as an inability to choose one description. Cut out “beaked” and “shattered” and you’ll be fine.

And regardless of reason, you didn’t drag this out any longer than it needed to be. Short and to the point. It’s just unpolished.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

We have a position available in the fitting room

May 21, 2001


Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

That's strange. I didn't realize we had an open req for an exorcist

Profane Accessory
Feb 23, 2012


Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

I believe we need another pair of hands in Pets

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

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

Can I have a link to the thunderdome discord?

Please and thank you

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007
everyone who's asked for a discord link has been PMed one.

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

Sitting Here posted:

everyone who's asked for a discord link has been PMed one.

Me too please.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
Here a few more detailed job descriptions, mostly from the Voidmart Archive...(Not all of these have yet been assigned). Use as inspiration rather than binding Voidmart Canon, of course.


Your character works in The Back, taking in freight and stocking shelves. Sidenote, customers have an annoying habit of thinking anything, even out-of-stock items, can be found in The Back. Usually, they're wrong. Occasionally, they're not...

Your character works in The Meat Department. The blood the blood the bloo
(No refunds on mystery meat)

Your character is on Restroom Duty! If it's yellow, they're mellow, if it's brown, they frown. God knows what they've seen and heard.

Your character works in Returns and Exchanges. Store policy states that all animals must still be alive to be eligible for return.

Congratulations on your character's promotion to Quality Assurance. They walk the floor and tidy racks, call in spills and injuries, and generally hang around giving the impression that someone gives a drat about customers' experiences.

Your character is in Loss Prevention. They get to go into the super secret control room with all the cameras, and sometimes even tackle senile old grandmas who try to wander out of the store without paying for their merchandise.

Your character got their dream job of working in Remote Control Toys. That's right, Voidmart carries an extensive line of RC vehicles, drones, and robots. So many they needed their own entire section. Sweet.

Quit getting high on your own supply cause your character is a Pharmacist. Voidmart carries an extensive range of generic and irregular medications, for under-the-weather customers who aren't fussy about what's in their pills.

Your character is the Beastmaster. Okay, they work in the Pet Department. But keeping a bunch of cooped up animals happy in an environment of depressing artificial light and weird-smelling shoppers isn't easy.

Your character works in Guns, Ammo, and Liquor. One stop shopping!

Your character is a Cart Pusher! Envied by their coworkers because they get to spend all day in natural light and real air, your character knows that the parking lot is actually a battleground where cars and carts dance the endless waltz of war.

Most people think working in the Produce Section would be boring. And, on good days, it is...

Your character is a Shift Supervisor. Everything is terrible. Life is suffering. They're not even salaried. Holidays no longer exist. Why do they keep showing up day after day? Could they stop if they wanted to? No. Voidmart needs them. Voidmart loves them. Voidmart will never let them go.

Your character is the chief engineer, aka Maintenance Guy. They're not exactly sure how Voidmart works or why, but it's their job to keep it that way.

Your character knows that any complex machine runs at least in part on human pathos and misery. You are Voidmart's Branch Therapist, and it's your job to minimize employee turnover.

Your character is a Fitting Room Attendant. Their job is sort of a mix between running the pet department and maintaining the bathrooms, only they have to give fashion advice, too.

Your character is the Bean Inspector for the Golden Bean Cafe and Coffee shop. Only patented Voidmart Beans are allowed in Voidmart Golden Bean Coffee. Their job is to keep competitor's beans from infiltrating your customer's cups. Voidmart Golden Bean Coffee make the happiest customers

Beep boop. Your character is in Electronics. They're an expert in all mainstream games, consoles, and gadgets plus the many Voidmart Licensed alternatives, though customers often complain the latter don't usually work as expected...

Your character works in Plants and Gardening Supplies. Their green thumb probably comes from the questionable chemicals they spray on the plants every day.

Your character works in the Baby Supply Department. Everything a parent needs to raise another cherished Voidmart customer.

A store like Voidmart is nearly a city unto itself. And cities need trash cans. Lots of trash cans. And those cans need people to empty them. You work in Garbage Disposal, an elite team of garbage-movers who specialize in taking Voidmart's diverse non-fecal waste from small receptacles and putting it in bigger receptacles.

Your character works in Construction Supplies and Heavy Machinery. Hard hats required.

Your character works in Nutrition Supplements and Organic Body Products. Voidmart knows our customers' chakras are misaligned, which is why we created a wide selection of products to keep their aura swole and their DNA redacted.

You are the Lobby Attendant at the Golden Bean Cafe and Coffee Shop. The Golden Bean's guest seating area is a culture unto itself. It's Voidmart's watering hole. Customers are happy to tell you their suggestions for "improving" the store, and you frequently have to shoo away feral shoppers who creep in to try and pilfer pastries.

---(new positions follow)---

Your character works in the main Toy department. Remember, there are far more restrictions on what you can do to children than there are on what they can do to you.

Your character works in Power Tools. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that none of your co-workers have exactly ten fingers.

In the camping supplies department your character might get lost,but won't run out of trail mix or citronella candles.

You're a Secret Shopper, don't tell anyone.

As a seasonal decorations marshall it's your character's job to make sure that the seasonal decorations are appropriately deployed.

Your character's role in labor relations and enhanced interrogation is usually friendly, as long as nobody goes and drops the u-word.

A Voidmart cashier gets to interact with each paying customer. And just who picked those impulse items anyhow?

Somebody high up wanted an exorcist on staff, which is odd, since clearly no part of Voidmart is haunted, possessed, or cursed.

Ever since the last round of software upgrades the tech support and robot wrangling division has been...fully engaged.

Be prepared. That's the motto of a fire and emergency marshall. There's a drill for everything

Jun 29, 2013

Sign me up to work for Voidmart! (In).

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Maigius posted:

Sign me up to work for Voidmart! (In).

It seems as if we're having difficulty retaining Cart Pushers, so we'll start you there.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.
in! :toxx:

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Great; garbage disposal looks like a strong subculture fit.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.

Thranguy posted:

Great; garbage disposal looks like a strong subculture fit.

I would be offended, were I not so SEEN.

rat-born cock
Apr 3, 2017

"Garbage! Trash! Offal! Debris! Come and get it! Nothing whole or undamaged! Crap, tripe, and useless piles of shit. You know you want it."
I appreciate the Judge's feedback. As it seems my intent was not fully understood, I have done a reading of my story to hopefully emphasize what I was trying to do.

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


rat-born cock posted:

I appreciate the Judge's feedback. As it seems my intent was not fully understood, I have done a reading of my story to hopefully emphasize what I was trying to do.

Someone is going to yell or passive aggressively snark at you soon, so to pre-emptively clarify their position, responding to crits within this thread is frowned upon. You can do so in Discord or whatever, and there might be a separate thread or something I dunno.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Chairchucker posted:

Someone is going to yell or passive aggressively snark at you soon, so to pre-emptively clarify their position, responding to crits within this thread is frowned upon. You can do so in Discord or whatever, and there might be a separate thread or something I dunno.

doing story readings is not gonna get you yelled at it is strong td praxis

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


You've gone soft Mojo

rat-born cock
Apr 3, 2017

"Garbage! Trash! Offal! Debris! Come and get it! Nothing whole or undamaged! Crap, tripe, and useless piles of shit. You know you want it."
I am feeling embarrassed in retrospect, I sense the only thing to do in that case is go in this week.

Jan 23, 2004

college kids ain't shit

Fun Shoe

rat-born cock posted:

I am feeling embarrassed in retrospect, I sense the only thing to do in that case is go in this week.

Take comfort in the fact that nobody gives a poo poo.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

rat-born cock posted:

I am feeling embarrassed in retrospect, I sense the only thing to do in that case is go in this week.

The Remote Control toys drones department is Serious Business; let's see if you thrive there.

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.
And that's signups done. Write well, the Void thirsts for your labor.

Some Strange Flea
Apr 9, 2010


Thranguy posted:

Signups close Friday 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Submissions close 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Feb 13, 2006
Grimey Drawer

Sunday. Sunday!

Apr 21, 2010

Deceitful and black-hearted, perhaps we are. But we would never go against the Code. Well, perhaps for good reasons. But mostly never.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.

Weltlich posted:

Sunday. Sunday!


Dec 1, 2004

Bursting with flavor

Can I do loss prevention lol


Aug 16, 2014

by vyelkin
Nap Ghost
A Hard Day's Night
Tech Support and Robot Wrangling
1299 Words

Brandon dreamed of dark highways.

It was an anxiety dream. Tangled knots of ramps and overpasses that looped back on themselves endlessly. A world that only existed in orange pools of light and the liquid amber glare of the instrument panel floating in black space at the bottom of his vision. Angry disembodied headlights of other cars on the road burned his retinas. He felt their impatience with him. They knew he was lost.

The radio squawked to life. The red needle skittered back and forth across the sickly green tuning bar of its own accord. A garble of voices and snippets of yowling music mangled together like the cries of the damned.

“The Australian Aborigines believe the Dreamtime is a place as real as the waking world. Both modes of experience are equally valid,” the radio told him. “Don’t think that just because you’re dreaming there won’t be consequences for loving up.”

“I know I’m late,” said Brandon.

“You are late,” said the radio. “The robots are getting out of hand.”

“I’ll be there soon.”

Over the dark silhouettes of trees he saw the glowing beacon of the Voidmart sign. The exit was imminent.

Brandon swung the wheel over without bothering to signal. Angry honks chased him all the way to the off-ramp.

“I’m here, I’m here,” Brandon doffed his jacket and let it fall to the linoleum with the other discarded coats and hats that piled in drifts around the store entrance. The glare and hum of the fluorescents made him squint. The world outside the sliding glass doors was sable black as if it didn’t exist.

There was a small-scale riot in progress. Two dozen robots of various shapes and sizes clustered around the customer service desk waving their assorted manipulators. All of them shouted for immediate attention.

“My servos hurt!”

“I need oil!”

“The latest update downloaded but won’t install.”

“It’s about time.” His car radio was already sitting on the customer service counter when he walked up. “I’ve got your son with me. If you don’t get this mess sorted out by the end of your shift, I’ll cut his throat.”

Brandon’s supervisor was sitting in a concrete cell, half a pair of scissors pressed to the tender flesh of his son’s neck.

A lump gathered in Brandon’s throat. “I love you, Troy.”

“I love you too, daddy,” Troy’s voice warbled over the radio.

Brandon took his seat behind the counter and put on his customer service smile. “How can I help you today?”

“I can’t taste anything!” A six foot tall plastic cylinder striped near the top with a glowing red band was first in line.

“Your model doesn’t have taste buds,” Brandon informed him.

“I don’t see how that’s my problem,” said the cylinder. “Don’t you even know how to do your job?”

Brandon sighed and pulled the tech support twelve-gauge from under the desk. He sighted on the robot’s red visor band and blew it to smithereens.

The next in line shoved the dead robot aside and slammed its claws on the desk. Brandon blasted it through the middle.

Before long there was a sizable pile of mechanical corpses heaped around the desk. Almost done.

“Excuse me,” the next customer stepped up, stumbling a little to find his footing on the pile of debris around the counter.

“Be with you in a moment,” Brandon slipped a pair of fresh shells into the smoking chambers of the twelve-gauge and snapped the breech shut.

“Now, how can I—” Brandon found himself looking down the sights into his own face.

“What the hell is this?” he demanded.

“I’ve got it from here.” The other Brandon had his hands up and leaned away from the twin muzzles’ line of fire. “Sorry I was late. Thanks for covering for me.”

“Excuse me?” Brandon let the shotgun dip slightly.

“You can power down, now.” Other Brandon took off his coat and straightened the nametag on his uniform lapel.

Brandon’s palm went to his own lapel only to find it empty. What was this?

“Very funny, guys,” Brandon turned a suspicious glare on his coworkers sitting to either side. “I suppose one of you set this up?”

The dumb, papier mache faces of his coworkers stared vacantly out into space.

“Garth? Brad? Sheila?” he accused each of them in turn. Each of them sat unmoving in poses of work in progress.

The plaintive tones of a dead line beeped insistently from the handset wedged between Shiela’s paper palm and her ear as she gazed up at the ceiling.

“Hey.” Other Brandon put his hand on Brandon’s shoulder. Brandon’s finger squeezed the trigger in surprise and the shotgun erupted.

Other Brandon yelped in pain and shock. The blast had only grazed him, but red blood bloomed under his arm.

“I-I…” Brandon reeled at the sight of Other Brandon’s blood.


Robots didn’t have blood.

He looked down at the inside of his own wrist. Blue veins faintly visible beneath pale skin. He clenched his fist and tendons shifted beneath his flesh.

Other Brandon made a grab for the gun. Caught off guard, Brandon lost his grip and found himself staring down the business end of his own shotgun.

“Don’t worry, I’ll get you fixed up with a new head,” said Other Brandon. “This is just a little naptime.”

“No!” Brandon ducked as the heat of the blast ruffled his hair.

Other Brandon cursed and popped the spent shells out of the breech. He had to lean across the desk and grope in the drawers on the other side for fresh ammo.

Brandon dropped to all fours and crawled for the exit.

“Sheila, get security over here! Hurry!” he shouted.

Sheila stared blankly up at the ceiling, the phone still beeping urgently in her ear.

The shotgun breech snapped shut behind him.

“poo poo!” Brandon broke out from behind the desk and made a dash for the aisles, keeping his head low.

A robot stepped out from behind a pyramid of spinach cans directly into Brandon’s path. Brandon nearly bowled it over skidding to a halt. He landed roughly on his rear end at the robot’s feet.

“I’ve been waiting a long time and I’d like some service, please.”

The robot’s head exploded in a shower of metal fragments. Brandon screamed and scampered back to his feet, barely clearing the corner of the aisle before getting showered by chunks of spinach from Other Brandon’s second shot.

“Those cans are coming out of your paycheck.” the car radio sat on the shelf next to Brandon’s head where he’d gone to hide.

“Whatever just get me out of here!” Brandon whisper-shouted.

“There’s still one robot left. You’re not going anywhere until it’s taken care of. Did you forget I still have your son?” said the radio.

“Daddy!” Troy’s voice was close to panic.

There was a revolver on the shelf next to Brandon’s head. Only one bullet.

“You know what to do,” said the radio.

Brandon pressed the barrel to his temple, blinking tears out of his eyes.

“This is for Troy,” he said.

His finger stopped just short of the pull. Through his tears he realized he was looking up at his own face staring at him from behind a layer of blister packaging.

“Talking Tech Support Brandon, now with realistic blood!” proclaimed the box.

In small print at the bottom of the box was the disclaimer “Cannot feel love.”

The box next to it was empty.

Other Brandon stepped around the corner.

“Playtime’s over,” said Other Brandon.

“No, my shift is,” Brandon blew the robot’s electric brains out.

He woke with a start, barely recovering his wits in time to avoid striking the roadside barrier and get back in his lane.

Behind him, Troy snoozed in his car seat, dreaming peacefully.

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