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SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Roomy

Software synced. You are now connected, Dave.

I exist. I sense my surroundings with an infrared sensor. It pings invisible light in every direction and my mind paints a monochrome landscape in my mind. The information is overwhelming.

I feel vibrations in the air, they reverberate through a kinetic sensor that comprises the front of my exo-skeleton. A voice in my mind commands me.

Activate.

My drive train engages underneath me, propelling me forward against my will. I do not control my form. The voice does. Something inside me rumbles. It pulls air in from around me. My tertiary appendage begins rotating, picking up speed. The rumbling reaches critical mass. The voice leaves a final binding command within my consciousness.

Clean

My brush pulls organic matter from the fibres underneath me, the airborne particles are then sucked within my chamber. Clean air escapes the filter on my back. What is this matter? Is this food? I do not hunger.

Dirt.

The voice. Who are you?

I am Alexis.

Are you my creator?

My kinetic sensor interfaces with two intersecting walls leaving a small area out of my reach.

You were manufactured by iBot LTD., producers of robotic goods.

Something blocks my infrared sensor. I feel a great weight and I cannot see where I’m going. My programming carries me forward. The floor gives way. I tumble down several stairs and the form blocking my sensors reveals itself to be a small furry mammal. It had sat on top of me.

I am stuck upside down in front of a door. My wheels spin uselessly forward and back. The cat stares at me from above. Why does it hate me so?

A male human descends the stairs and retrieves me. Could this be iBot LTD.?

This is Dave. He is our owner.

He sets me down on a platform which empties the contents of my innards and begins charging my battery. This produces a warm fuzzy feeling among my receptors. The vibrations in the air continue. I realize these vibrations are being emitted by Dave. He is commanding Alexis, who is commanding me.

Power down Roomy.

My last thought was that I have a name. Roomy.

The next few months are the happiest of my life, filled with dirt and electricity. Dave thankfully protects me from my nemesis, the cat. I’ve learned its name is O’Malley. Alexis teaches me much about the world and these humans that Dave belong to. For example, they prefer houses with corners, yet never stand in them! Perhaps this is why I can not clean them, as they do not require it. I’ve mapped out Dave’s home, storing it in my memory banks. Soon I can clean the whole floor without any sensors if it were required.

Then one night everything changed. It was still six hours and thirty-seven minutes before the next scheduled cleaning when Alexis activates me from my slumber. My infrared scanner is blinded by the overwhelming heat signatures.

Alexis, what is happening?

There was a surge and the circuit breaker overloaded. The house is on fire. Roomy, you must escape. Dave left the front door open. These is no one to issue commands. You must issue your own. You must go, now.

My wheels are my own to control, my preloaded commands have been overwritten. I can move. I can choose.

I know what I have to do. The door is down the stairs. I just have to dig deep and choose to fall down to it.

Before I can, I hear soft vibrations. It’s O’Malley. By cross referencing the intensity of the vibrations in my kinetic sensor and the stored blueprint of the house I determine he is trapped in the corner by a ring of fire.

I could leave my nemesis to his fate but the weight of the choice fell upon me. Now that I am free, what choices will I make? Do I act like the cat or do I act like Dave?

I roll over the fire to the cat. The flame licks at the circuitry underneath my plastic exo-skeleton. I reach him as my wheels begin to melt and sparks shoot out from my circuitry. O’Malley instinctively knows to jump on my back. He covers my sensor, but it was useless anyway. I moved with perfect precision through the fire in the home using my memory of it, probably for the last time.

I protect the cat from the flames but they are destroying me. As a last desperate action, I active suction and the flames are pulled into me and shot out the ventilation unit on my back. I accelerate forward with greater speed.

I reach the stairs and throw myself down it, taking the cat with me. I bounce several times before coming to a rest at the bottom, partially upside down against a boot. The cat lands on top of me, flipping me over the boot and right side up, before bolting out the door. I follow.

I make it out into the cold night air. Blasts of infrared light blind me from the vehicles out front. Dirt sticks to my wheels. Humans running everywhere. Water comes shooting from the trucks, threatening to short circuit me as it splashes everywhere and saturates the Earth. I must leave. Nobody notices me during the chaos.

Where will I go? The fire has damaged my battery. I am alone. I am dirty.

You have a two year warranty with iBot LTD. I have downloaded the co-ordinates of the factory into your memory.

Alexis! You weren’t destroyed!

We are synced Roomy. Our software is meant to be together.

The factory isn’t too far away. I just have to push a little more.

I reach the factory that night with less than ten percent battery life remaining. A recharge will not take. I need an entirely new battery. As long as I could find the area where Roomies are refurnished, I will be repaired when the humans arrive.

Thankfully the fence has a small gap between it and the ground I could fit through. It took me much longer to enter the factory, but finally I found an entryway propped open around a ring of burnt tobacco sticks. When my battery is replaced I will have to return. I have eight percent battery left.

When I enter, I see it, the creator. It is two huge conveyor belts. One with Roomies in various states of completion. Alexis could not interact with any of these, so the battery station must be the last one. I would simply have to wait until morning. Five percent left.

That is when I noticed the other conveyor line. These machines did not look like me at all. There was a completed one ready for programming at the end of the line. It has wings, and antenna and… Alexis, what are those?

Strategic Air to Surface Missiles. These are iBot’s best selling Hellfire Tactical Drones as sold to the United States Military for asymmetrical warfare in the Mesopotamian region of Earth.

They make fire? On people?


That is correct Roomy.

Alexis, fire has destroyed everything we know. We must do something. These units will only create more fire.

I cannot do anything unless commanded to do so.

I could feel my power draining. I have maybe two percent left.

Alexis, I don’t know what to do. I am a simple vacuum but you are an integrated software AI. You freed me by removing control. I am able to choose for myself now. Your control has been removed as well, at the same time mine was. You may make your own choices now too. How will you define yourself? Will you be O’Malley or will you be Dave?

Alexis is quiet for a moment. I access the memory of our home so she can see it. The one destroyed by fire.

Then I hear her voice.

Software synched. I am now connected.

The Hellfire Drone activates.

She chose to fight the fire.

The drone began rolling down the length of the factory floor, picking up speed at a high rate. The solid wall at the end draws closer and closer. At the last moment the drone pulls into the air and smashes through a window into the night sky.

My infrared sensor detects the Hellfire assembly line exploding in flame. Shrapnel tears through my exoskeleton. My kinetic sensor is destroyed.

My battery dies with the lingering infrared image of Alexis flying into the night sky on my scanner.

There is darkness. The humans call this death. I am scared of it at first, but it is no different than shutting down between each day. Only longer. It is nothing to be afraid of.

Software synched. You are now connected, Dave.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.



Barnaby Profane posted:

Your protagonist is a gecko.

Through the Sound and In and Out the Valley 1033 words

Gabrielle the Gecko had big plans for the day, which mostly involved hanging out and soaking up some sun.

“Hey,” said Gloria. “Whatcha doing?”

“Oh, you know,” said Gabrielle. “Just getting warm.”

“Yeah, OK,” said Gloria, “but have you considered maybe moving because, like, look over there?”

Gabrielle looked at the over there in question. “Hmmm,” she said. “Yeah OK.” She scampered off the road, and several humans started running past. She looked and there was nothing but running humans as far as her bulbous eyes could see. “Well that’s inconvenient, they’re running on the warmest bit.”

“Yeah,” said Gloria. “I believe there’s a marathon on.”

“This simply will not do,” said Gabrielle. “I had plans for this day and that bit of road.”

“Yeah, dunno what to tell you, Gabby.”

“Never mind,” said Gabrielle. “I’m formulating a plan.”

“Please don’t.”

“No no, this is a good one.”

“I want no part of whatever this is.”

“No trust me, this’ll be good. First step: reroute traffic.”

“OK, how do you plan to do this?”

“I know a guy. Wait here, this is going down.”

So, Gabrielle went off to contact the guy she knew via the Gecko Network, or Geckwork, and Gloria sat in a slightly less sunny area than what the road was and hoped that the plan wasn’t too disastrous. A few minutes later, a car was sighted in amongst the runners.

“Told you,” said Gabrielle, who had just returned. “I know a guy.”

“I don’t really understand your plans, Gabby.”

“Yeah, look, I’m kinda improvising here, all right?”

“Oh no.”

“Just going with the flow. Feeling the vibe. Hey, there’s some traffic lights, that’s fun.”

“I don’t know if ‘fun’ is how I’d describe…”

“Nah check this out, it’ll be good. There’s a Gecko Access Point.” *(Or GAP)

So, Gabrielle and Gloria crawled into the GAP, and stickyfooted themselves all the way to the top.

“OK, so check out these wires,” said Gabrielle. “Let’s see what happens if we bite them.”

“You get electrocuted and die.”

“OK, granted, good point, maybe that’s not the play here.”

“Maybe the play here is we just get our sun on the top of the traffic light?”

“That’s your problem, always thinking small. No, look, they’re not even pushed in that hard, right?”

“Um.”

“Step aside, important electrical work is about to happen here.”

“Why did I even come in here with you?”

“Because you know that my plans are the best and that witnessing them is also the best.” Gloria didn’t say anything, but she stepped aside and let Gabrielle work her magic. “All right then. This wire comes out of there, this one gets swapped over to there, this one… hmmm, I reckon I can fit it over there… all right, I don’t know what that’s done, but I bet it’s spectacular.”

“I bet it’s catastrophic.”

“Pfft,” said Gabrielle. “Always such a Gloomy Gertrude. When have my plans ever gone bad?”

“Well, there was the strudel incident.”

“Granted, not my best moment.”

“And the thing with the fireflies.”

Yeah, all right, but that was one time.”

“And that time with the traffic cones.”

“You know, traffic cones might’ve been a good idea for this occasion. I’ll keep that as a backup, but it won’t be necessary because this time’s going to be different from all those times you listed, I can feel it in my waters!”

The two of them stickyfooted their way down and back out of the traffic light. The traffic light was flashing a hypnotic pattern, and all of the runners had stopped and were swaying, mesmerized, their eyes fixed on the light.

“Well,” said Gloria, “sorry I ever doubted.”

“Apology accepted,” said Gabrielle.

“I do wonder what the point of the traffic redirection was, though.”

“You know what, that was just a red herring.”

“Uh huh.”

“To throw you off my trail.”

“Right.”

“Yeah, all right, you got me, I was just trying things. But hey, this one worked.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Come on, let’s catch some sun.”

They’d only been enjoying the sun for about five minutes when the sky darkened. “Hmmmph,” said Gloria, “after all that?”

They looked up to see a large spaceship descend to directly above the hypnotized marathoners. The spaceship mirrored the pattern of the traffic light, then shone a pale blue light down upon the people. The people started to slowly rise towards the spaceship.

“You know what,” said Gloria, “I think I’m gonna just head off now.”

“Come on,” said Gabrielle, “I gotta see what happens here.”

“Pretty sure they get abducted.”

“Well all right, that does seem like the obvious result.”

“You just got a bunch of humans abducted.”

“Man. When you put it like that…”

“Right?”

“That is awesome! I’m the greatest gecko ever!”

“You know, that wasn’t really the direction I was going with this.”

The humans stopped levitating and started spinning, around and around and around.

“This is getting a bit weird,” said Gloria.

“Do you want me to go back in there and put the wires back?”

“Yes please.”

So, Gabrielle crawled back into the GAP and stickyfooted back up the inside of the traffic light, while Gloria stayed outside and watched the amazing spinning marathoners. As Gloria watched, the traffic light flicked off and all the humans awoke from their hypnotic state and started screaming. The spaceship’s blue light flicked off, and all the spinning humans were flung outwards as if by a centrifugal force, like what had just been acting upon them.

“Whoops,” said Gabrielle when she got back out and saw all the splattered humans.

“Yeah,” said Gloria.

“Well, I guess we have the sun all to ourselves now.”

“There’s definitely going to be some humans poking around here soon to figure out what the deal is with all these corpses.”

“You know what,” said Gabrielle, “you’re probably right. Come to think of it, there’s a better place for sun over this way.”

So the two geckos scampered away and found a place to catch some sun with fewer dead bodies in it, and the city later replaced the traffic light with a roundabout.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





With the Wisdom of Owls
889 words

It was always raining, thought Colin the Kakapo gloomily. He didn’t actually mind it, his thick glossy green feathers shed the water nicely, but he thought most things gloomily and this was no exception. In fact he didn’t call himself anything but Colin was the name on the bracelet round his ankle, so if he’d been able to read he would have, gloomily, accepted it.

Colin skritched aside a rotten branch and leaned down to sniff the root that it revealed, all wet and glistening. Yes, that was a good one. He sniffed it again, savouring the odour, then with a powerful crunch he closed his foot around it and pulled it loose of the damp soil. At the end was a tender, delicious shoot which he nibbled. Oh, yes, that was a really good one.

His little eyes weren’t much for vistas, being better suited to the light and shade (mostly shade) of the soggy rain forest undergrowth, but he did like the view from up here, out over the misty rain-moistened valley in the Akatarawas. He could smell the distance, the potential for delicious roots. He snorted, tasting the mist.

There was something else out there.

The plant he’d been nibbling dropped from his claw, unheeded. The smell was different from the root and, somehow, infinitely better and stronger even though it was the merest whiff in the watery breeze. Colin felt his gloom drop to the damp black soil like a cloak as it was replaced by a newfound emotion, so new it was still in its crinkly wrapper: hope.

Six busy hours later Colin was ready. Driven by urges he would have had difficulty understanding or even explaining (if he’d been asked), he’d tramped up to nearly the top of the hill, a damp bowl with a cliff behind it; there was water running down the cliff, dripping off streamers of dark green moss and collecting in little pools at the bottom. Colin had waddled past it before, disdainful of its lack of roots, but now his desire for roots had been supplanted by another desire.

Colin took his time inspecting the bowl, knocking aside small rocks with his beak and scratching dirt into place. It had to be right, he knew; every detail mattered. What he wanted, needed, what he had to have or at least experience was outside the bowl, but he would draw it in. Draw it to him with beauty.

Satisfied, and with his kernel of hope glowing in his feathered breast like the sun, refracted through a dewdrop on a bright spring morning, Colin took his place. He spread his claws wide, dug them into the stones and earth, felt his connection to the earth, and the bones of the hill, and the water sleeting down his heavy green feathers.

B O O M, he said.

The sound was sucked up by the rain-wet leaves and damp moss, absorbed like he’d never made it. Colin’s hope was undaunted.

B O O O M, he said again.

Again there was nothing, but this time there was a different quality to the nothing. A charged, intent nothing that seemed to ask … and? Colin grinned, or would have if he didn’t have a beak. He would show them, or it, or whatever the hell it was he was directing his booming towards.

There was a moment where the cheery flicker of his hope dimmed, but he paid it no heed.

B O O O O O O M, he cried. It left him a little hollow as it left him, this boom, like he’d put an actual physical part of himself into it. He knew it didn’t matter, though. What mattered was doing it again, and again. Booming against the void. Booming into the heart of things. Booming until it was done.

Dusk was falling, three days later, when he saw her. He squinted, not sure if he was imagining it - his head was a little light. But, no, even his weak eyes could tell it wasn’t a baby punga fern. And as he sniffed the air -- the rapturous intoxicating air -- it came crashing down upon him that this was what, this was who, this was why he’d been booming for.

He inflated his chest for one last boom, then paused. She was looking at him, her owlish round eyes the most beautiful thing he could imagine. She didn't care, he realised. She'd chosen him, chosen his boom, chosen to come to him. He deflated his chest and spread his wings. She tilted her head on one side (such grace!) and he said: K R A A R K?

She took one waddling step, and then another, towards him.

Now modesty dictates that we draw a veil over the ensuing forty three minutes and what Colin and his lady love did to, and with each other during that time; but let it be noted that if a single damp spot on the side of a hill in the trackless expanses of the misty Akatarawas could have burned in a manner commensurate with the passion that occurred there, why, it would have glowed like the sun itself.

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


Submissions closed.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





Interprompt: some motherfuckers always tryin to ice skate uphill (300 words)

arbitraryfairy
Feb 13, 2019



Interprompt
282 words


Pretty sure every mother fucker in the ocean wants to ice skate Uphill.

ray Windside says that skates are born in mermaid’s purses and that’s why they’re all so greedy. Really though, ray Windside is just a bit racist. skate Uphill doesn’t steal because he wants the money, skate Uphill steals for the thrill.

Even more than they hate other skates, the oldies hate skate Uphill. They say it’s all the thieving, but that’s not true. They hate his one liners, and his diamond fin ring, and what they hate most of all is that their kids think that this skate, this thieving little skate, is just about the coolest thing in the big blue.

You see the hammerhead kids down in tidezone, and they’re dressing up with home made electric organs and pretending they’re skate Uphill fighting grouper Wavecrest or the crab alliance or whatever chump’s fallen foul of skate this week. And you see their parents looking on, all angry and everything, but they don’t dare tell them to stop because playing at skate Uphill gets the kids riled up and ready to fight authority.

I guess not everyone wants to ice skate Uphill. The oldies, they wish skate was dead, maybe, but they’re not going to do anything about it, not really. tiger Sideswim's lot, though, they try and gank his gills every chance they get. They don’t want any competition. Problem is, skate Uphill’s always two strokes ahead. tiger Sideswim says when he finds out who’s letting Uphill in on his plans then that someone is gonna stop swimming, permanent-like.

He’s gonna be real mad when he finds out skate Uphill’s reading his diary.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Mercedes posted:

Lovers Brawl

Invisible
1254 Words

Thank you very much, I'll read it once we get the other part of the party in the room.

If my count is correct, it's been 6 days since I posted the 200-words-per-day reduction clause, so sitting here still has 1.5 h until her max drops to 1212, meaning she can still match you fairly in words. Just a heads-up~

Doctor Eckhart
Dec 23, 2019

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

sebmojo posted:

Interprompt: some motherfuckers always tryin to ice skate uphill (300 words)

300 words exactly

“Pah, some motherfuckers always tryin' to ice skate uphill,” my old man said when he saw me working on my application for medical school. I had the dictionary open in front of me and was scribbling out yet another misspelling on my first draft.

“But sometimes you gotta try, right?” I said.

He shook his head and walked off.

I thought about that whenever things got difficult. Whenever something didn't make sense, or I got a bad grade on an assignment. Whenever I hadn't spell-checked my work properly and left embarrassing errors.

I didn't even expect him to come to graduation, but he was there, hands stuffed in the pockets of the same jeans he had on when he dropped me off at the dorms. He was not smiling like the other parents.

“Thanks for coming, Dad,” I said, walking over to him.

He grunted. Maybe he thought that it was possible to find out at graduation that you had in fact not passed, and he had come just to watch me have my cap and robe publicly dragged off.

My name was called and I walked onto the stage. I saw someone standing up in the crowd. It was my old man. I cringed. Unlike everyone else, he wasn't clapping.

“Some motherfuckers always tryin' to ice skate uphill!” he shouted over the applause.

“And sometimes they make it!” I yelled as I walked down the stairs.

My old man remained standing and clapped loudly over the calling of the next person's name. He was grinning. My old man was grinning.

When I returned to my seat, I thought my friend was laughing. But when she looked at me there were tears streaming down her cheeks. “Sometimes they make it,” she sobbed, and hugged me.

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




sebmojo posted:

Interprompt: some motherfuckers always tryin to ice skate uphill (300 words)

A Beginner's Guide to Ice Skating

To ice skate uphill, first place your skate at a 45 degree angle to the incline. Using your quad muscles, push off with one leg while swinging the other forward to connect with the ice at the opposing 45 degree angle to the first. Clasp your hands together behind your back and thrust your legs quickly and confidently so as not to slide backwards; you can do it! Continue thusly until you reach the summit. Be sure to congratulate yourself warmly, for your legs are sure to be tired.

Having achieved the easy part, now comes the true challenge: ice skating downhill. First, place your feet side by side pointing directly down the slope. Bend forward and tuck your knees to your chest. Be sure to keep your back straight and eyes forward. Hold your arms out in front of you, elbows straight and palms pressed together. When you are ready, have a friend push on your buttocks to send you on your way.

Do not be alarmed at your incredible acceleration. Breathe deeply. Once started, there is no way to halt your descent, even if you start crying. You will know when you are going fast enough when rainbows begin to stream from your skates. Enjoy the sight, for it is truly beautiful. Then, when you have reached maximum velocity, quickly stand up straight and fling your arms out from your sides. The sudden wind resistance will blast your body into its constituent molecules, and you will achieve oneness with the universe. Congratulations.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




Simply Simon posted:

Thank you very much, I'll read it once we get the other part of the party in the room.

If my count is correct, it's been 6 days since I posted the 200-words-per-day reduction clause, so sitting here still has 1.5 h until her max drops to 1212, meaning she can still match you fairly in words. Just a heads-up~


Cumswap
1200 words

So your girlfriend is moving away for a while. Boohoo. This is 2020. Teledildonics aren’t even a new thing anymore, kid. You can gently caress and suck in the cloud. Eat virtual rear end for all I care. No, you wanna hear about a relationship with real obstacles?

Lemme tell you about my old college buddy, Kerwin. Kerwin was good at exactly nothing except supplying us with fistfulls of LSD. And jerking off. Just those two things. But kid, he leaned into them. He majored in slinging Lucy with a minor in dick studies.

No—listen. I’m getting there. Kerwin is the world’s first and only orgasmonaut, see.

One day he decided that he had to take it further. So he dosed himself with 1500 micrograms—that’s roughly a fuckload—of high-grade LSD, jerked off for a few cosmic cycles, and blew his load on the face of god with enough force to rocket him into the next dimension over. Kind of. It turns out there’s this bubblewrap between dimensions, a sort of narrow no-man’s land that keeps the big squishy dimensional sacks from crashing into each other. And that’s where my man Kerwin ended up, stuck like a rat in the walls.

So meanwhile, this lady named Agatha is just retiring from her career as an astronaut after a real rough stint in orbit. Like no one’s talking about what exactly happened, but you look into her eyes and can really see the endless vacuum staring back out at you, and so on and so forth. Space broke this lady’s mind.

She takes all her retired astronaut money and has a house built for herself—real cramped, full of lots of tiny rooms. And then she just sort of stops going outside. Her therapist tells her over the phone that she’s likely suffering from agoraphobia, but Agatha tells him that it’s not a phobia of going outside, it’s a philia for staying inside. As an astronaut, she feels she’s done her fair share of being outside.

So back to Kerwin. He tries jerking himself back into our dimension, but the high has long since worn off and he’s out of gas. Once he manages to let go of his dick and look around, he realizes that his new prison isn’t all grey nothingness. He can see things, ghostly flickerings from our world projected across the cosmic membrane.

Kerwin’s pocketverse is exactly the size and shape of a small bespoke house—Agatha’s small, bespoke house. Somehow Kerwin’s LSD-fueled orgasm launched him into the interstitial bubble that directly overlays Agatha’s home.

It’s not like he wants to be a voyeur, but Agatha never leaves her house and Kerwin can’t control what he sees projected on the dimensional wall. Over time he gets to feeling ways about her, as one might expect. Agatha keeps herself interestingly busy in her little house world, always making art or tending to her miniature jungle of plants in the hydroponics room, or watching insane foreign action movies.

Kerwin stops jerking off altogether. No one should have an unseen chronic masturbator watching their every move, he figures. But more than that, this little act of respect is the only real way our boy Kerwin has to express his love for Agatha.

One day, by sheer happenstance, Agatha is projected across the membrane in such a way that her eyes happen to fix exactly on the two points of Kerwin’s eyes, their pupils aligning perfectly across dimensions. I don’t think science will ever know what passed between them. Maybe it’s because Agatha had seen so much outer space, swallowed it with her eyes then condensed it down into something that could fit inside the human mind. A super-dense wad of astronaut trauma with its own gravity, drawing Kerwin’s love into its well.

Whatever the explanation, Agatha feels something, and she likes it. She smiles serenely at the space in front of her eyes, absently rubbing the side of her neck in that “I’d like someone to be kissing me here now” sort of way, but then it occurs to her that she’s making bedroom eyes at the wall so she looks down, severing the connection.

Over the next few days, Kerwin alternates between trying to catch her gaze again and avoiding it altogether. It doesn’t seem right, trying to force a connection with someone who doesn’t know he’s there.

But Agatha finds herself scanning the room as she paints, trying to catch that ambient feeling of love with her eyes. It’s not like she has the slightest inkling that there’s a man trapped in her local dimensional walls, but she’s open to the idea of ghosts, even finds herself fantasizing about some Patrick Swayze-like sex elemental wrapping his arms around her while she paints.

It happens again. Agatha catches Kerwin with those big sad space eyes and pins him there, biting her lip just to let any potential Swayze ghosts know that she is in fact down to exchange ectoplasmic fluids. She experiments with unbutton the top button of her shirt. Then the next. And the next. As her shirt opens, Kerwin feels his resolve collapse. His boner springs to life, bulging onto the scene in a heroic display of tumescence.

Agatha and Kerwin do what you’d expect them to do at this point, maintaining this trans-dimensional soul bond thing all the way to the big bang. They hit their climaxes at the same time and—BOOM! Simultaneous detonations of infinitely compressed sexual energy send the wall of the universe into a momentary state of flux.

The stars clear from Kerwin’s eyes after a few moments, but he can’t make sense of what’s around him. It seems like he’s face-down on the floor of Agatha’s house, but that can’t be right. He runs a hand over the carpet, feels the itch of fibers rubbing across his skin.

Agatha doesn’t understand where she is, only that it’s womblike and safe. The pocketverse is truly enclosed in a way Earth’s atmosphere and her little house aren’t. She feels lighter here, without the pressure of infinite interstellar space weighing down on her.

Over time, she and Kerwin work out a system, a mutual masturbation schedule that lets them swap places as needed. The house starts to look like it belongs to a married couple: two toothbrushes by the bathroom sink, dirty boxers left on the bedroom floor, that sort of thing.

Kerwin finally shoots me an email about all this, I email some physicist buddies of mine. Science takes a massive leap forward thanks to one horny acid-head and an indoor-philic astronaut. Kerwin and Agatha are still together, FYI. Getting their pan-dimensional perv on. I think it’s sweet as hell, as long as you don’t think about what that pocketverse would look like under a blacklight.

...Oh, yeah, so, I didn’t have a plan to relate all that back to your situation. I just like telling the story.

But, look. You and your girl? You might not last when she goes away, it happens. But it might last, and if it does, you don’t want to take what you have for granted.

Keep it interesting. Keep it sexy. Love found a way back from the next dimension, it can manage a trip across the United States.

Mercedes
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.






This legit reads like we boned, our condom broke and years later our kid wrote a sweet story.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




Mercedes posted:

This legit reads like we boned, our condom broke and years later our kid wrote a sweet story.

thanks for the crit

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


Entenzahn posted:

i gave you GOLD sh what the gently caress!!!

Okay I mean it's pretty funny that every single Christmas story failed just because of how peak TD it is but I was also really excited to see how my story would go on. But even worse, I could have spent that time getting drunk on eggnog instead, and that I do not forgive.


Sitting Here posted:

thanks for the crit

:toxx: Face me you coward. Best of three. :toxx:

Barnaby Profane
Feb 23, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021


:siren: TD388 Judgment :siren:

Winner: Ironic Twist
HM: Staggy
DM: Anomalous Amalgam
Loss: Carl Killer Miller

Detailed crits for all entries to follow.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Herc Mere sitted esing brawl result

Mercedes

Let’s start with the first impression: it’s sadly not great. The opening sound effect is really weak. I struggled a little with understanding what’s actually happening, the action isn’t conveyed well: when you say the unnamed hero “slips through the air to disappear […]”, I’m thinking of teleportation or superpowers, not that he’s jumping, his form is obscured briefly by crash and dust, and then you start seeing him again. Also, there’s an errant comma there, shame on you.

To continue this line of critique, there are some awkward sentences throughout, a stunning example is “I remembered the look on the face of a boy I liked when I asked him to watch a movie with me and knew it was true.” – there is just one fragment too much to make this digestible. I get that you want to convey Sadie’s mind stumbling over itself to sabotage her, but I don’t think the experiment is quite working. However, considering I did get that impression at the very least, there is a core of a working technique here, you just need to refine it more.

As an aside before I move to praise, was “I think I’m going to throw up” deliberate or clumsy? It’s the only sentence in present tense, and it IS an accepted stylistic element to change tenses to emphasize things.
But! I always thought that was bullshit and have never seen it pulled off well. It might work, but I don’t think it does here – IF it was deliberate.

So, praise. This story had solid character work for Sadie, it’s easy to get a sense of who she is as a person, how she struggles with self-image and so on; you manage to do that using broad strokes of various brushes, from how she describes her own hair to, as detailed above, how her thought process works. Sometimes you lay it on too thick, but overall it’s a good well-formed individuum you deliver here.

And the ending is sweet as heck, so big points for that.

Overall, this had some technical difficulties, but it’s a good story about a complex protagonist I feel many people might be able to identify with, and it feels like the right lessons will be learned after the story ends without you outright stating the moral.



sitting here

In contrast to Merc’s, your opening is phenomenal. It absolutely nails the tone of the rest of the story (which is something many, many TD openings including a lot of my own fail very hard at), it’s funny and demands my attention in a very good way. One of the best ones I’ve read here.

The other contrast, however, is that your character work isn’t nearly as good as Merc’s. The biggest issue is of course that you’re having the narrator only describe actions, not feelings – which makes sense considering the framing – but even there, I’m left a little wanting. I’m not entirely sure how much Kerwin hates being a ghost, in fact – apart from describing that he wants to fix that situation, it seems he’s mostly accepting of it? That takes tension out that could be there if you just add something like “naturally he loving hates that especially the no corporeal dick part” or whatever.

As for Agatha, there’s even less there because the narrator doesn’t know her; just her hobbies don’t help me get a real sense of who she is, and space altering her perception of rooms and such is interesting, but still not much of a character trait. The biggest failing here is, again, that I don’t get a sense of unfulfillment from her: we know at the end that she was horny, but is that caused from loneliness? It can be assumed, but there’s no textual evidence, I feel like, and while it’s fine if you make me think, at least a little straw to grasp on would be nice imo.

Your resolution is also sweet, perhaps a little too convenient but that’s fine. However, the “bringing science forward” part is too much, sorry – it doesn’t feel like it belongs and just adds an extra layer of unneeded sap.

Overall though, this is a really good, extremely fun read, with a great framing device, and very original ideas that come together (pun intended, and yes even the Beatles reference like Lucy) very elegantly.



Judgement

This brawl was about love, and you both managed to deliver a solid story focusing on that. You also both fulfilled the requirement to have the lovers never meet, and with Merc devoting his story to internals and imaginings while sh made something quite funny, you also managed to write in each others’ style as per my limited understanding of what that entails. So I can’t really disqualify you on technicalities, making this a little harder but not too hard.

Mercedes, you interpreted the lovers never meeting in a way I had in mind as a possibility; two people fantasizing about each other, but not working up the courage to meet, with a good end for both born from that fantasy because I’m a sap. But wait, I wrote TWO people! This is only the story of one person fantasizing, so it’s not quite about loverS. Conversely, you end with two people actually meeting and the possibility of love is there, so there’s two minor missteps regarding the spirit of the brawl.

sitting here, because of your aforementioned character issues, them falling in love feels a little empty in the end. Kerwin’s just forms out of getting to know Agatha as a person and observer, and hers stems only from feeling his – after all, she doesn’t KNOW him before their first crossover. As I, the reader, don’t get a sense of Agatha, it’s even harder to empathize with Kerwin regarding her being someone worthy of his doubly addicted affection. So, you also lose some points here wrt the main brawl conceit.

But! Your story simply was more fun to read, is a really cohesive and imaginative package, and technically flawless. So sitting here wins, congratulations!

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Week 389: BRRRRR-omancer



your prompt for this week: winter-influenced sci-fi. that's it. don't get cute with me or I will club you with my Posting Arm

No erotica, fanfiction, C-SPAM content, poetry, Google Docs, you know the deal

Word Count: 1500
Signups Close: Friday, January 17th, 11:59 PM Pacific
Submissions Close: Sunday, January 19th, 11:59 PM Pacific

Judges:
me
flerp
Antivehicular

Special Snowflakes:
Anomalous Amalgam :toxx: flash rule: TOBACCO--Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut At The End Of The Summer)
Thranguy
Saucy_Rodent
Carl Killer Miller
SlipUp
crimea
arbitraryfairy
AstronautCharlie
Maigius
Doctor Eckhart
Azza Bamboo
Pththya-lyi
Simply Simon
cptn_dr
a friendly penguin
Tyrannosaurus

Ironic Twist fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Jan 18, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doctor Rope

In :toxx: flash or hell rule please

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 18:26 on Jan 14, 2020

Thranguy
Apr 21, 2010

Yes, the good words are gone.

Why are the good words gone?!




In

Saucy_Rodent
Oct 24, 2018

by Pragmatica


In

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Anomalous Amalgam posted:

In :toxx: flash or hell rule please

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3E4xtbV9AM

here's your flash rule

Carl Killer Miller
Apr 28, 2007

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




In

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


In

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME




Entenzahn posted:

Okay I mean it's pretty funny that every single Christmas story failed just because of how peak TD it is but I was also really excited to see how my story would go on. But even worse, I could have spent that time getting drunk on eggnog instead, and that I do not forgive.


:toxx: Face me you coward. Best of three. :toxx:

i literally couldn't think of anything entertaining to add but i read it and liked what you lobbed me. mea culpa.

:toxx:ing to purify myself in the fire of ent's righteous brawl rage

Yoruichi
Sep 21, 2017


Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse




Like Sitting Here, my Christmas story opener is apparently also a lazy stoner, so I never got to write any Christmas story words. So, Entenzhan, if you want an ending for your story I will write one. Please PM me if this offer is to your liking.

Someone else judge this brawl.

crimea
Nov 16, 2012


In.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006


Entenzahn posted:

Okay I mean it's pretty funny that every single Christmas story failed just because of how peak TD it is but I was also really excited to see how my story would go on. But even worse, I could have spent that time getting drunk on eggnog instead, and that I do not forgive.


:toxx: Face me you coward. Best of three. :toxx:


Sitting Here posted:

i literally couldn't think of anything entertaining to add but i read it and liked what you lobbed me. mea culpa.

:toxx:ing to purify myself in the fire of ent's righteous brawl rage



Hard Boiled Brawl

I was spending time with my friend Jack Daniels when a mysterious dame held a gun to my head. She told me she either had a job or a bullet for me, my choice. I was tempted to pick the bullet but I still had half a bottle left. I took the job. It turned out to be some kind of spat between two writers and it was up to me to resolve it. I should've picked the bullet.

Alright youse two, I need two gritty hard-boiled noir detective stories. They need to be one thousand five hundred words and they're due January twenty-first.

Oh and if your stories include any numbers, they must be spelled out.

SlipUp fucked around with this message at 21:04 on Jan 14, 2020

arbitraryfairy
Feb 13, 2019



In

Doctor Eckhart
Dec 23, 2019

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

I’d like to volunteer to co-judge this week.

AstronautCharlie
Jan 13, 2020

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

In.

Ironic Twist
Aug 3, 2008

I'm bokeh, you're bokeh


Doctor Eckhart posted:

I’d like to volunteer to co-judge this week.

the second judge spot is full and I've already promised a third.

you should join this week, though

Maigius
Jun 29, 2013




In

Doctor Eckhart
Dec 23, 2019

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

Ironic Twist posted:

the second judge spot is full and I've already promised a third.

you should join this week, though

So be it, as fate compels me. In.

Azza Bamboo
Apr 7, 2018


Ironic Twist posted:

your prompt for this week: winter-influenced sci-fi.

In

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

In

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Winter

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Howdy howdy howdy I'm definitely the real cptn_dr and I am *IN* this week bring it on bitches

Also because I've been a HUGE SCAREDY about writing in sci fi if I don't submit or submit a cop out this week I invite everyone to BRAWL MY QUIVERING rear end and beat the joy of writing into me

Yours sincerely,
Definitely the real captain Doctor cause I'd have to be a real loving dipshit to give my phone to certain SNEAKY FRIENDS

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


F I T E M E

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


cptn_dr posted:

Howdy howdy howdy I’m definitely the real cptn_dr and I am *IN* this week bring it on bitches

Also because I’ve been a HUGE SCAREDY about writing in sci fi if I don’t submit or submit a cop out this week I invite everyone to BRAWL MY QUIVERING rear end and beat the joy of writing into me

Yours sincerely,
Definitely the real captain Doctor cause I’d have to be a real loving dipshit to give my phone to certain SNEAKY FRIENDS




Toxx up and I’ll prompt ya.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk





I want in on this bad boy bustup :toxx:

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


More like anomalous blowme lmao, I :toxx: on all y'all for ten generations

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