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Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope


I'm in


Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Unfulfilled Crit Exchange!
Thunderdome presents: Two Guys and a Pencil, a play by Entenzahn
I believe another TD goon commented on this, but the opening dialogue felt a bit awkward. I don’t think it’s unnecessary, but it was a weird place to start, like the conversation had already been going and you walked in at a strange part of it that makes things more confusing than clear. I’d either preface the conversation with that explanatory follow up, start the conversation earlier or remove it altogether and just jump to the explanation. Could just be me /shrug.

The narrator has a distinct voice that almost seems like it’s one of these guys, or another fool succumbed to the pencil. At times the narrator pulls me away from the story with character judgments, insights and analysis that feels like it should be coming from the character’s themselves, but is clearly a cheeky observer’s? It’s a deliberate move on your part, and it’s not at all bad, but I feel like the narrator’s voice shifts from personal to more explanatory and story like. It’s like watching found footage of shmucks loving up, and the person showing it to you is also giving you a funny, but low-key terrifying play by play.


He looked at his hand, dumbfounded. His five meaty hand tentacles looked back at him, equally confused. They had done everything their master had told them to. And yet, the pencil was missing from betwixt them.
I personally enjoy this bit, but it comes off a bit goofier than I think you intended when it felt like you meant to convey utter weirdness. I feel like you pick up on that, but it also comes across a bit kitsch.


There was silence between them. Silence, and a pencil. Silence, a pencil, and stale, musty air ripe with the exhausted breaths from one-hundred-and-fourteen failures. Come to think of it, maybe there were even more things between them, but let’s move on for now. It was ten in the evening. Time flies when you’re having fun.
This section is one of many where the kind of quirky humor of the situation makes for a good contrast of the horror therein, but something about it personally came across a bit jarring or clunky when I first read it.

All in all, I don’t know what I’m doing when I’m critting, but I enjoyed this story. I feel like there is the occasional clash of competing tones, but what do I know? I probably would have given this an HM because it speaks to stuff that I like personally and I think was fairly competently arranged, written and told.

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 22:45 on Jan 3, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Butane in my veins and I'm out to cut the junkie

An Extra Bounty
1,284 Words

The low light and lax security of the Kukku docking bays made it a nesting ground for beggars and hopeful off-worlders. Jaleera sighed as a group of vagrants ambled about the front of her ship looking for work or a hand-out. She had neither.

“A few chits for a meal?” A beggar asked gripping at her arm as she walked past.

He was caked in grime from living on the streets, and his skin was tinged blue from a life spent clearing fuel lines.

“Bother someone else,” Jaleera said snatching her arm back.

She approached the entry kiosk and a bored looking security guard who had watched her dock waved her in.

“We’ve already cleared your ship, Captain Jaleera. You’re free to enter, just try and stay out of trouble this time.”

She smirked and entered a neon-traced marketplace. Spacers, slummers and gang bangers comingled for the Universe’s favorite pastime; shopping.

Jaleera pushed her way past a row of busy stalls and entered an obelisk-like high rise that loomed over the district.

The broker’s office stood apart from the rest of the marketplace. Filigreed panels cut from precious metals adorned the inner walls and floating points of plasma light cast radiant reflections throughout. A person in an immaculate suit and silvery mask that obscured their face appeared from a projector and walked over to a desk centered in the room.

“Excellent work with the Ipuna Brothers, Jaleera. Time and again, you prove yourself reliable. I’ve got some work lined up for you on Tartarus – nothing out of the ordinary, of course.”

“So, who needs killing now?”

“A diplomat that took hospitality to mean eloping with the consul’s wife.”

“Sending a contractor seems like overkill for an affair, I’ll pass.”

“Fair enough… hmmm… well it looks like you couldn’t take the job anyhow. What with your nav pass currently being used to secure passage to Irkalla.”

Jaleera let out a confused grunt, then grimaced as she recalled the blue-tinged beggar grabbing her arm.

“Find me another job, I’ll get my travel situation sorted out before the next rotation.”

The broker politely waved Jaleera towards the door and nodded in acknowledgement of her request. “Be seeing you, Captain.”


Jaleera left the Broker’s with hell trailing behind her. She made her way back over to the docks first and found a congregation of beggars who were indifferent to her presence until she slammed a kinetic fist into the deck upending anyone standing within five feet.

“You there,” Jaleera said pointing out to a particularly blue beggar, “I’m looking for someone who’s a little less blue than you. Also stays around these docks, you see him?”

The beggars laughed.

“You mean, Layton? You must be the idiot he filched that nav pass from.”

Jaleera thought about crushing the man’s head into his torso but eased her grip off the activation plate of her gauntlet and instead pulled in close to the man, looming over him in her Aratech Mk. II exoskeleton.

“I’d choose your next words carefully. Where is Layton?”

The man shrunk in place and offered up the other beggar’s whereabouts easily.

Security, who had been watching from a safe distance, kept their distance.


A short trek to the entertainment district saw Jaleera in a nightclub. Apparently, Layton hadn’t been able to keep his mouth shut about a big payout. He was supposed to be meeting a buyer for Jaleera’s nav pass.

“Welcome to the Garden of the God’s, Kukku’s own slice of heaven.” An attractive mutate told Jaleera waving her towards the pulsating darkness of a dance floor with two right arms. One left hand played with long flowing locks of hair, while the other left hand rested on the mutate’s hip.

It didn’t take Jaleera long to find Layton and the buyer. Jaleera’s HUD lit up with informational displays as the buyer was identified in the Broker’s network as Lam Urtugsk, a wanted ecoterrorist and chem-distributor.

She walked up to their table casually, sliding a palmed tracker onto the Lam’s shoulder. She smiled at Layton and Lam who stared at her confused.

Lam looked towards Layton, and then fled from the table.

Layton started to flee himself but didn’t make it far. A self-constricting net from Jaleera’s wrist launcher binds him into a neatly curled bundle awaiting retrieval.

“I’ll be back for you. I’d recommend you be still unless you want the net to cut off your circulation.”

Lam, whom had cut across the dance floor towards the rear exit, was already out of sight.

Jaleera pulled up her HUD and followed the buyer’s movements through the station.


Jaleera stalked after her prey slowly. His every movement was revealed to her by the tracker she had placed. When Lam stopped running, she started, tearing through alleys and over ducts until she had him cornered back near the docks.

“You should just give me back my pass, Lam.” Jaleera called out unseen from somewhere overhead.

Lam looked around nervously. “Like it would just end with that, I know what you are, who you work for.”

“Well, then you should also know, things will end up very poorly for you if you don’t comply.”

“Heh, we’ll see about that.” Lam said reaching for a strange canister on his belt. Jaleera swooped down from above him too late. He had already inhaled most of a green mist expelled from the canister.

Lam fell onto his knees and Jaleera backed away as the ridges of his spine burst out from his tunic, and his arms swelled up with bestial mass.

Jaleera rolled into a crouched position, and unholstered a durasteel stun baton.

The mutated Lam leapt at her with extended talons where fingers once were. She rolled to the side and struck him in the protruded spine with the stun baton.

His talons left pitted grooves in the metal deck of the station, and Jaleera knew her own armor probably wouldn’t fare much better.

The arcs of electricity coursing into Lam from the stun baton seemed to have little to no effect as the mutate knocked the baton somewhere out of reach.

Jaleera pressed the activation plate of her kinetic gauntlet and rammed her fist into the mutate’s ribcage as it bore down on her.

The reworked bone shattered from the impact causing Lam to howl out in pain, but he managed to get his hand on Jaleera’s head and slammed it into the deck beneath them.

She saw stars and was running out of options quick. She fumbled at Lam’s still attached belt and grabbed a canister like the one she saw him inhale only moments before.

She shoved it into his mouth, and crushed it open with her gauntlet.

The chemicals within reacted violently from the forced combustion and strange pustules and malformed tissues covered up Lam’s head as he struggled futilely against the continued transformation.

Climbing back to her feet, Jaleera slammed her gauntleted fist onto the back of the mutate’s head and he fell prone into unconsciousness.

She blasted him with a constricting net like the one she bound Layton in and plucked out her Nav Pass from his pocket.

Then slinging him over his shoulder she returned to the Garden of the God’s to claim Layton.


She dragged the two down to security.

“This one stole from me, and this one’s a wanted criminal. So how much will you give me for doing your job?”

The security officer sighed, producing a data tablet for Jaleera to fill out.

“You know the routine. Fill out the incident report, we’ll get em’ booked, and you get out of my hair.”

“And I get paid, don’t forget the most important part.” Jaleera grinned.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Fine, :toxx: and flash please

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Divine Providence & Infernal Wisdom
1,399 Words
Protag is a Seagull

Nearly all-white except for where the feather tips touched void, their asymmetrical spearhead remiges carved currents in the unrelenting oceanic winds as Gabriel, Michael and Rafaela landed on an excrement covered shingled roof. One of their many homes this side of Heaven.

Rafaela dropped a dirty, gnawed Mackerel onto the roof and prepared to split into thirds when Gabriel clamped hard on Michael’s bill.

Michael shrieked.

“What are you doing?” Rafaela demanded.

Michael snatched away and shrieked ready to launch at Gabriel.

“It’s his fault this is all we got, and we had to bully an old crow just to get this.” Gabriel said as Michael lunged at him.

Michael’s wings closed in tight and rose like crooked columns that ended in wicked arches. Stiff feathers bristled with eager energy, ready to facilitate cruel and insidious retribution…

Then Gabriel clamped down hard on his bill again, flapping backwards from the momentum of Michael’s lunge.

“Y’-cant-hol’-me-fer-ever” Michael managed through muted squawks. Would that he could pull his neck free and tear into Michael’s breast. He’d give him the thrashing he deserved, but he was stuck in Gabriel’s unyielding vise-like jaws.

“Can’t-I?” Gabriel struggled to say as his bill slid over Michael’s. Their webbed feet clattered over the slick tiles as they fought for leverage. Gabriel found Michael to be an impertinent fool who took his being like God to mean that he was in fact God. Were it not for Rafaela he would have killed the disgraced wretch several centuries ago.

“Must you two fight over every little thing?” Rafaela said breaking open the not quite desiccated corpse of the Mackerel. “It’s scraps, but there’s more than enough for all of us.”

Gabriel and Michael ignored her pleas however. They locked the one eye they could see each other with. Small, beads of crystalline sulfur with cold, burning obsidian at their centers. The two stared death into one another.

“Your-grp-WILL-Slllpp” Michael said seizing a brief opportunity to take flight and snatch back his bill from Gabriel’s maw. It was a short lived retreat, as Gabriel hopped over, diving through Michael’s winged rebuke, to clamp down once more on his bill.

Captive once again Michael managed to shriek a curse. “drat you, Gabriel. drat you to hell!”

The two circled the rooftop tiles, as they struggled to find footing hopping and fluttering over the ridges.

Gabriel’s strength, despite his namesake’s reputation, began to wane and he struggled to pursue the Godlike Michael with aggravated tenacity.

Michael’s wings glinted like daggers, as he whipped his neck and pulled his bill free. He brought the wing crashing down on Gabriel, flinging him from the rooftop into the air.

“Stop!” Rafaela shouted moving away from the mackerel.

Gabriel crashed back into Michael, tackling him onto the tiles and once again clamped down on his bill, tugging and pulling at his head.

“Stop! Just stop already!” Rafaela continued to protest.

Just then, as Rafaela neared the Gabriel and Michael, an old one-eyed crow smoking a cigarette landed near the mackerel.

“I’ll be taking my lunch back now.” The crow said looking at Rafaela who thought to dart at him, when he gestured towards a rooftop lined with a full murder of crows.

“It’s clear you three ain’t from around here, but this here, this is my lunch.”

“I know what you are,” Rafaela said, “you’re just a daemon, stuck here until doomsday like the rest of us.”

“Ring-ding-a-ling, get the sweetheart a prize.”

“What do you want?”

“Well, I told you… my lunch, but outside of that… I don’t see why we can’t get along. We enjoy watching you so called watchers, so we’ll let it go this time, but the rules here are different than they were behind your little pearly gates. Enjoy your stay in OUR territory. Maybe find you some new friends.”

Rafaela leaped at the crow, and it flew away with the mackerel snatched up in one of its wings.
She shrieked and charged Michael and Gabriel who still circled one another snapping at each other’s bills and clawing at each other with their feet.

“You god damned idiots!”

Gabriel and Michael looked at Rafaela shocked as she gestured to the missing mackerel and the uproarious laughter of the nearby crows.

“That language is blasphemous!” Michael and Gabriel said in unison before turning towards each other in annoyance and resuming their fighting.

Rafaela darted into Gabriel knocking him on his back and used a firm wing to smack Michael into the air.
“If you two didn’t have to have a bill measuring contest over every trial and tribulation that came our way, we might actually get some-loving-where.”

Michael smoothed his feathers and offered up a smug dismissal. “You’re just not seeing things clearly. I tried explaining to our brutish companion, that being the vessel chosen by god to work his likeliness in the world, that my judgment is most keen. He need only follow my guidance, and you as well, Rafaela. You’re just a healer and keeper of the peace, what do you know about the Lord’s vision, hmm?”

Rafaela rolled her eyes and launched dried excrement and dirt at Michael who bobbed around the gust and perched nearby on the roof.

Gabriel strolled over dramatically to mask his hurt pride. “you’re lucky she interrupted. If it weren’t for her I’d do you in right now, in front of God and anyone else that cared to watch!”

“Oh yeah, you stupid meathead, you think you can? I’d like to see you-“

“ENOUGH!” Rafaela shouted. “You’re both lucky I don’t just leave you here.”

Michael and Gabriel looked at her, but Michael saw an opening in the silence and clamped down on Gabriel’s bill to resume fighting.

Rafaela sighed and flew to the docks and stared out at the sea.

“What was your plan in all this? What are we doing here?” She asked the evershifting expanse.

The old, cigarette smoking, crow landed beside her.

“Loaded questions for a bunch of water.”

Rafaela said nothing.

“We’re not that different you and I.” The crow said.

“How do you figure?” Rafaela turned towards him incredulously.

“Wandering without a plan, with too many questions. Nothing I’m not familiar with.”

“Still don’t see how that makes us alike, daemon. Your kind enjoys damnation and suffering. I just am trying to understand God’s plan in all this.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. We don’t enjoy damnation and suffering, it’s just the job. I didn’t ask for this, you didn’t ask for this, those fishermen netting up all those delicious fish didn’t ask for this. We are here and suffering just so happens to come with the territory.”

“So what are you saying? I turn my back on God, and join up with you daemons and just enjoy being in the moment.”

The crow removes the cigarette from his beak and laughs.

“No, no… angels and daemons, hand in hand, singing hymns and reminiscing about the good ol’ days, I think not, but live your best life kid.” He said gesturing towards Michael and Gabriel who still fought one another over a meal that had long since been lost.

Rafaela was silent as she frustratingly acknowledged her idiot companions on the roof and knew the crow was right.

“You’re looking at one side of the coin right now, and you’re not wrong, it’s grimy, but if you flip it over and wipe away some of the muck, you’ll see there’s a lot of worth being here for. A lot of love in this limited experience.” The crow said coughing on the cigarette.

“Strange words coming from an ageless daemon.”

“Stranger circumstances that see an ageless daemon and an angel sharing cigarettes in the bodies of seagulls and crows, no?” he said turning the cigarette like a log in his beak to give a drag to Rafaela.

She took it in her bill and breathed in deeply.

The crow cawed and quivered his neck, and a moment later a pelican off-loaded fresh fish and crabs onto the dock before them.

“I’ll be watching you, kid. Don’t let those idiots bring you down. There’s more to life than duty. Find your own answers.”

Rafaela took another drag, offered the cigarette back to the crow, and snatched up a fish in her bill.

The crow nodded, and she left then, flying towards the sun, ready to embark on her own journey.

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

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Winter’s Love and Summer’s Hope
1,082 Words

“It’s just not fair.” Heshad said looking at his curved lower legs as they trudged through the accumulated crystal winds. He rubbed the ends of his upper legs together, taking in the small amount of heat generated by the chitinous friction, while the middle legs rested on his too large abdomen, cradling his thorax.

“What’s not fair, Hesh?” Githak asked as he trundled alongside Heshad.

“Yunil and Goron.” Heshad said plainly as he curved a wing in the direction of the lovers.

Yunil was free to take up clutchmates and was even encouraged to do so in preparation for the long winter, the clutches that survived would bolster thinning ranks, and those that didn’t would provide nutrition to the rest as they searched for one of the Arc Emitters. A relic capable of powering an entire city even the most desolate of conditions.

Heshad was not like Yunil however, or even Githak or Goron who both have had opportunities to bear Yunil’s imprint.

Heshad was a scout. When he wasn’t discovering new places in the treacherous ice encrusted desert, he was guiding his people to them.

Githak nodded.

“I know what you mean, but it’s by the order of the elders.”

“It’s not that.” Heshad protested weakly.

“Then what is it?” Githak asked sincerely.

“It just means I was never good enough for Yunil.”

“What are you on about?”

“No, I mean it… before we even received our assignments, I had done everything possible to win Yunil’s affection, when she only had eyes for you, Githak.”

Githak said nothing.

“When you did not reciprocate her feelings, she took solace with Ulen, and do you know what Ulen told me?”

Githak shook his head.

“That inconsiderate chitin brain waited until I failed with Yunil, and he told me he was going to take her. That he was going to take her… I hated him for many years after that.”

“I didn’t know that, I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for? After Ulen, you finally relented, and after you, even that simpleton Eglen shared in her affections, and now Goron. Each of my closest friends, imprinted with the woman I loved and am forbidden to consort with. No need to be sorry, it was not ever meant to be, her and I.”

Yert approached.

“Elder Joren wishes to see you, Heshad.”

“Thank you, Yert. I’ll see to his holiness right away.”

Heshad lifted resentful, hurt filled eyes towards Githak, who just looked away.

Heshad flew towards the Elder’s caravan.

“You needed me, Lord Elder?”

“I’ve seen you in the field, Heshad. You seem distracted.”

“Just weary from travel, Lord Elder.”

“Hmm… Is that so? Well, no matter, we’ve received a lead on the location of the Arc Emitter. Goron can lead us to the next point. I want you in the air by sunbreak.”

“I understand, Elder.” Heshad said turning to leave.

“I’ve not dismissed you yet, Scout.”

Heshad turned back and fell on his knees having forgot his place.

“Be mindful of the mission. I can see that you are burdened, but the survival of our people depends on making it to an Arc Emitter. I believe in you, Heshad.”

“Thank you, Elder. I’ll not let you down.”

“I know you won’t, now make every preparation for flight.”

* * *

The next morning, Yunil was there to send him off. It hurt seeing her.

Her long pearlescent wings layered one over the other creating a mesmerizing illusion that wrapped around the curvature of her thorax gracefully.

“Be safe out there, Heshad. We depend on you too much, but we need you.”

The words stung to hear. She placed her tarsals on one of his upper legs and nuzzled her antennae against his briefly.

His heart sunk, but he managed an awkward smile with his mandibles and took flight springing into the air off his hind legs.

The crystal wind cut against his carapace and melted into streams on an already tear moistened face, only to freeze again as Heshad darted through the bone chilling currents.

He wanted nothing more than to fly away forever. To leave the herd, and the clutches, and the pupae and nymphlings all to their own devices.

There was no home for him among his people.

He flew mad, night and day, only stopping for quick bites of frosted foliage or to leave behind scent markers.

Nearly a week a head of the herd, he finally decided to rest in an iced over cave that retained small traces of heat from fading geysers beneath the surface.

His wings ached from near constant use, and the only thing that kept him going was the thought of letting his people down.

Preparing to fly again after a short rest, the pressure exerted by his hind legs broke the ice beneath him and he went plummeting into the earth fraying his hind wings and cracking his carapace in the process.

He laid there beneath the ground for a day, gnawing on a weed that had clung to life as desperately as Heshad did now, but even as he rested and waited for his body to heal, he couldn’t help but to wonder why?

He struggled to put the thought at the back of his mind and focused on his mission.

* * *

Nearly broken, and on tattered wings, Heshad emerged from the icy cocoon the next day finding that the crystal winds that had battered him for so long had diminished.

He was truly near the Arc Emitter now. The buzz of the ancient machinery rang out in his ears, and he wept at the sound of it. Months of travel, a lifetime of preparation, rumors come true, he was near an Arc Emitter. His people would be saved.

He flew for nearly another full day, even as the storm picked back up, until a faint blue glow in the distance became a pulsating blue beacon of light that signified hope.

He crashed into it, blinded by the raw energy of the beacon and dizzy from flight, and landed nearby on a lush terrace that basked in its light.

He set a scent marker for the herd and decided he would rest for a while. He wouldn’t be here when they got here, but he could rest for a while in the eternal summer heat of the Arc Emitter.

* * *

When the herd did arrive, they found a moulting of Heshad and an empty cocoon next to it.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

The Boy on the Stoop
146 Words

The blistering heat of the sunswept street beat on the brows of every doe-eyed child running down them.

All except little Billy Hayes, who sat on his stoop all day while his father drunk behind him.

The children laughed and played while Billy sat and stayed outside his house, that was not a home.

The stoop was his retreat, the bruises were covered neat and Billy was too scared to speak about them.

Little Sally May, who lived just down the way, was the only one who could see.

While the children laughed and played, and Billy sat all day, Sally May wondered what it might be like if he were free.

The jingle jangle tune of the Ice Cream truck arriving soon, Gave sally quite an idea.

She fished for loose change and bought two cones that day, and told Billy,

“Este es tu día.”

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

in :toxx: flash plz

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Flesnolk posted:

You’ve annoyed me. Let’s brawl.

Azza Bamboo posted:

If the other judges aren't going to tell me what you all what then I'll happily let you show me. I have to warn you that I'm not going to go down in this rigged bullshit contest without a fight, though.

Prompt: I don't care how you frame it or spin it, but I want elements of romance, humor and horror. How you interpret and use that is up to you.

You have 2,000 words and until sometime before the end of day February 1st, 2020 US CST

If you accept these terms, please :toxx:

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 15:26 on Jan 21, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Flesnolk posted:

End of day in which time zone? :toxx:

whooops, US CST.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Maritime Law
1,513 Words

Gullet clamped one eye shut and squinted into a dingy stolen urn he had been using as an impromptu decanter. Moonlight reflected off rippling liquid and moist clumps of mold that bobbed at the surface like tiny islands. The wine-stained ends of his mustache curled up in delight.

“There be enough drink left for another round, lads. Be passing them cups my way.”

Tankards, chalices, and oddly, more urns circled the funeral pyre as Gullet sloshed drink into each.

“Here’s to the captain, the finest, and most fashionable man I’ve ever known!” Gullet exclaimed, raising a chipped tankard for the cheer.

“Ay!” The other sailors cheered raising their drinks in turn.

“I remember it like it was yesterday… There I was, mending a torn jerkin when the door to my shop flung open. A tan, pointy-toed, brogue suspended in air lowered slowly to the creaky wood floor with nary a sound, and flowing out of that shoe like
the current of powerful stream was the most curvaceous, rippling, calves and thighs I had ever set my eyes upon.”

The crew grinned acknowledging the truth of Gullet’s declaration from their own experiences.

“He sauntered over resting a blood slick cutlass on the lapel of his tattered navy commander’s jacket. His legs were bound up in something the likes of which I’d never seen.”

“The captain stood there in indigo dungarees that ran from ankle to waist, or at least that’s how it appeared, but upon closer inspection, I saw they clung to him like hose! More like some sort of form fitting pant. Soft like a bab’s breath, yet pressed
against those shapely legs and cleft buttocks like they’d been painted on… I couldn’t help myself but to reach to touch them.”

“The captain swatted my hand away and briefly looked on me with contempt. I found myself mighty afraid then, thinking surely my life was at its end, but the captain looked down on me with that hopeful glimmer in his eye and said in that singsong,
inspirational voice, ‘I require a tailor, and I’ve been told there’s no finer tailor in all of Britain than Seamus O’Hennessy,’ I stared at him in disbelief.”

“I looked out my door at billowing smokestacks from razed homes and guards slain in the street, women and children screaming, and this fine-legged fool, the most blood thirsty bastard’s son to ever set sail, is looking for a tailor. I laughed in his face thinking perhaps I’d already died.”

The sailors laughed.

“Sure enough, though. The captain clapped me on my shoulder, helped me to my feet and forced me onboard.”

Gullet wrung his thick wool Monmouth cap in his hands. “I thought myself hostage at first.”

“To be fair, Gully… you kind of were.” A crewman said.

“Ay.” The others agreed.

Gullet laughed.

“True, true… But what I found with you devil’s sons of whores and drunkards was a family.”

The others nodded solemnly.

“The Captain had an odd sense about him.” Yorgen said.

Yorgen sat in a ruffled, stained slops whose white fabric was now a permanent creamy shade of yellow no matter how much he washed them. Black breeches slid out from underneath them cuffing just below the knee into buttoned garter hose. His silk coif and satchel of panacea identified him as the surgeon, and to no one’s surprise, a burgeoning apprentice tailor.

Yorgen’s needlework was impressive. He had stitched up arteries, severed limbs, and attached makeshift prosthetics at sea with only a single death under his diligent care. When Gullet was kidnapped, it was only a matter of time before his surgical needlework became fashionable needlepoint.

“That he did, Yorgen, that he did.” Gullet responded, encouraging nods from the other sailors.

“I’ve sewn up livestock, mums, and dastardly sea sailing crooks all my life, but I never had a passion for it until I met the captain.”

“I had just gotten done delivering twins in the midst of a raid when the captain swung open the door to my theater with Johnny, sea take his soul, in a wheelbarrow.”

“To Johnny!” the sailors cheer.

“Johnny is sitting there, with a fabric gag tied around his mouth to stifle his screaming, and gobs of blood are oozing out of three missing limbs.”

“I looked to the Captain, and I say… ‘I can’t help this man, he’s missing both legs and an arm, what happened to him?’ The captain turned towards me, impeccably charming with long curls flowing out of his favorite feathered tricorne, and he says, ‘He’ll live, but you’ve got to save him, and I heard there’s no finer surgeon in all of Britain, than Yorgen Dunnow.’ The praise didn’t do much for me, I knew Johnny was a gonner, but those legs…”

“Those silk smooth, carved granite, thews were packaged like presents inside their skintight casings. By the nine, was I intrigued… At a loss for words, I cleaned Johnny up. Attached two pegs to his legs and tidied up what was left of his arm. The captain was ecstatic, and I had never felt prouder.”

The others nodded.

“Of course, Johnny died before the night was over, but the Captain just had a way about him. He was mesmerizing.”

“Ay.” The others agreed.

“I vowed then to never lose another patient, and I owe it to the captain for giving me the motivation to do so.” Yorgen said.
Again, the group nodded solemnly.

Finally, Edgar who had been preparing fish and vegetables for made it clear he was going to speak.

He retched first, clearing his throat from a bit of mold that clung to the back of it, but with another drink and a loud, phlegm-filled hack, the ogreish cook leaned forward to speak.

His torque blanche drooped towards one side and swayed with his jowls as he darted his eyes about the pyre circle.

He was a portly man dressed in garments that were all once white. They had taken on various hues from different stains and patches, but the underlying outfit was mostly the same. Eight buttons arranged in two columns at the center of the garment with a white linen smock draped over the legs from where the waist began, secured with folds and knots.

The coat was missing sleeves, and some of the patches, though more or less identical in color, were made of different fabric giving the outfit a unique appearance in spite of its accumulated grime; linen sewn next to column of silk that sat adjacent cotton twill layered in ways that added elegant decoration to the otherwise homespun apparel.

Edgar looked stern and his cheeks reddened as he silently worked himself up.

He let out a pained grunt and began to cry.

“There, there big fella’. We know how ye feel about the captain.” Gullet said patting Edgar on his massive back.

The three grew silent and politely paid their respects to the captain, but then something came over the group.

“So…. Who gets to keep the pantaloons?” Yorgen asked.

The thee nervously looked at one another with fake smiles plain to see on their faces.

“Well… I figured, I provided the most value to the party as the one who puts clothes on our back.” Gullet said clearing his throat.

“Well, I’ve known him longer than you.” Yorgen said. “I should probably take the pantaloons, right Edgar?”

Edgar was simpler than most, but he grunted and shook his head ‘No.’

Gullet spoke up then.

“See, Edgar agrees with me! I should have them.”

“Edgar grunted louder and shook his head ‘No,’ for a second time.”

This had the three staring back at each other in a deadlock. Other crewmen kept quiet as tensions rose.

Yorgen leapt at Gullet first making Edgar upset.

Gullet rolled into a patch of soft grass and took on new stains in doing so.

“Ye dare come at me? Well then so be it!”

Gullet drew a sabre and charged Yorgen who drew his own sabre in turn. Edgar charged in with a ladle.

Suddenly, the ghost of their captain manifested over the pyre.

“WAIT!” the captain said. “What about the friendship and family each of you learned you had in the crew?”

Yorgen had used the pause to prepare his flintlock pistol and shot Gullet point-blank in the chest causing him to crash backwards to the ground.

Edgar’s jaw fell and the ghost of the captain grew irritated.

“What did you have to go and do that for?!” the ghost protested.

Yorgen shot at the ghost and was disappointed when the bullet passed through him.

The ghost of their captain gasped.

Edgar brought his steel ladle down hard on Yorgen’s head just as Yorgen loosed another round into the ogreish man’s body.

Yorgen cracked his head on a boulder on the way down and Edgar cried as he pawed his giant hands at the gunshot wound.

“Perhaps, we can all have it now.” Edgar said dying alongside Yorgen and Gullet.

The onlooking crew agreed to toss the jeggings onto the pyre with their majestic owner after that.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Even tho I participated and came close to losing all three(including this one probably :v:)

I'll crit every TD story in the last three weeks by 2/8

I will validate your words with my words

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Azza Bamboo posted:

Would animal/roomba week want my crit?

I'm not an elitist square who gets off to nerding out over the minutiae of ~~werd writing ruels~~ but for the sake of freeze peach and balanced discussion I could give you my entirely valid REAL, HARD WORKING MAN opinion.

:rolleyes: Show me you can beat Flesnolk

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope


Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Azza, Fles, about 12 hours to get your brawls in.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

The Mummy at Tazumal
882 Words

Brown bone, broken ceramics and burnished bits of once ornate metal were scattered throughout the exposed burial chamber. The mummified remains of a woman layered in colored clays stood erect at its center.

Over time, the clay had eroded revealing the corpse beneath the surface, but the relative lack of moisture had kept the body in excellent condition. So much so that it gave the eerie appearance of a person sleeping.

Chiho hovered her gloved hands over the mummy and swallowed hard as she looked down at the face of the woman.

Skin ranging from tan to orange was pulled taught over plump cheeks. Crimson paint turned ochre stained the mummy’s full, wide lips. Closed eyes stood out as heavy mounds with thick bushels of lashes erupting from them. The bridge of her nose was hooked slightly with small protruding nostrils that looked like they might twitch in the open air, breathing in desperate breaths for the first time in nearly eight-hundred years.

“Dr. Shigeki.” A small voice said.

Chiho stared at the mummy, puzzled and amazed.

“Dr. Shigeki…” the small voice repeated drawing Chiho’s attention that time.

Chiho turned towards the voice and her assistant Sergio was staring back at her, patinaed with sweat, his rippling physique was something of a treasure itself.

Sergio was young and his Japanese was terrible, her Salvadorian was no better, but his anthropological research was remarkable, and had earned him a place on Chiho’s team.

She wiped her brow and smiled at Sergio.

“Sure, that would be great.” She said, sizing the young man up.

She extended a hand and he helped her to her feet.

The two of them looked down at the mummy in awe.

“It’s like she’s still alive almost.” Sergio said, eyes fixed on the corpse.

“It’s certainly an impressive find, and older than the Children of Llullaillaco, by a couple centuries if what we know about Tazumal is correct.” Chiho remarked.

“Still… why do you think they put her here? If B1-2 hadn’t partly collapsed, we would have never found her.”

“I don’t think anyone was supposed to.” Chiho answered again as she studied the dead woman’s features.

The mummy’s hair remained in thick clumps of braids that had fused with clay, and Chiho had decided to leave most of the body encased for safer examination back at their facility.


The next morning, Chiho was the first on the site. Her head was pounding, and she felt a bit feverish.

“Good morning, Dr. Shigeki.” Sergio’s voice called out from somewhere below the scaffolding they had set up.

Chiho looked down at Sergio from the mouth of the burial chamber and he recoiled a bit as he saw her.

“Are you ok?” Sergio asked, concerned.

Chiho was confused.

“I’ve got a bit of a headache, but I feel fine otherwise.”

Sergio thought it rude to say, that she didn’t look it and climbed up the scaffolding instead to get a closer look.

“Dr. Shigeki… I think you might have Chagas.” Sergio said seriously looking at Chiho’s flushed face and swollen eyes.

“It’s the curse of the mummy.” Chiho said in a way that simultaneously seemed light-hearted and completely serious.

“Nice, that’s a good one,” Sergio said chuckling, “but I think you should probably see a doctor, at least the camp physician. There are kissing bugs around here and that definitely looks like Chagas.”

Chiho nodded at Sergio, dismissing him silently as she massaged her temples which throbbed like hammers clashing against anvils.

“For now, let’s just finish cataloguing all the other materials buried alongside the mummy.” She said trying to focus, “I’ll stop in with the camp physician this afternoon.”

“You promise?”

“Do I promise?” Chiho smiled at Sergio who seemed extra handsome with his concern for her wellbeing. “Sure, I promise.” She said.

Sergio smiled in recognition, but his concern hadn’t been abated.


The next day, Chiho returned to the site, not having seen the physician and worse off. Her right eye was nearly swelled shut, and her voice came out in strained whispers.

“Dr. Shigeki!” Sergio shouted seeing her.

He climbed the scaffolding and looked Chiho over.

“You definitely need to go see someone! You look terrible, I’m sorry for saying it, but really, you look terrible.”

Chiho gasped as she looked in a mirror Sergio had to offer and he was right. She looked horrible. Lips swelled up, throat tight, eyes nearly swelled shut and skin red and rashy.

“I’ll take you myself. Let’s just go to the doctor right now.”

Chiho’s head was swimming, and she looked over the remains of the unearthed burial chamber.

“Do you think the woman was sick? Maybe with Chagas?”

“I suppose it could be a possibility… any reason why you think that?”

“Her eyes and lips are swollen. I thought it was just preserved well… well, I mean it is, but doesn’t she look… you know… swollen?”

Sergio looked at the mummy and nodded to himself.

“It's a hell of a coincidence, but you might be right. It really is the curse of the mummy.” He said.

“The curse of the mummy.” Chiho replied.

The two laughed even though it hurt for Chiho to do so, and then finally, Sergio said, “…but seriously, you need to see a doctor.”

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Azza Bamboo v. Flesnolk
I didn’t exactly give you an easy prompt to work with, but you managed to put words to it. I was looking for elements of Romance, Humor and Horror and left it to each of you to interpret. It’s no secret that I am an unlearned plebeian and I won’t have much in the way of technical advice, but I will tell you if the story felt like a complete story and how well you satisfied the prompt.

For your own understanding, I will be assessing primarily on these things:
  • Did you include all three elements into your story?
  • Did you make those elements fit together in a sensible way?
  • How well did you write it? (I can’t replicate or explain what good words are, but I know em’ when I see em’)
And Then I Got Sticky
A story about miners trapped beneath the surface of the planet, trying to escape, and navigate to the surface while avoiding a conscious slime. After digging for a week prior to the start of the story, and ending up on a path that would likely result in their deaths, the protagonist has come up with a plan to try and save the crew so they can find rescue, while potentially risking his own life. The plan begins, but then there’s a hitch with the fan systems circuitry and the miners find themselves at new risk even as the sapient wall of slime approaches our protagonist, his impending doom is secured as he has to risk electrocution to restart the fan. Contemplating that demise over melting in slime, at that pivotal moment, the slime manifests as a woman, a woman who restarted the fan saving the lives of the miners and allowed them to leave after making contact with our protagonist whom then, perhaps in a bit of insanity, contemplates what it might be to court the slime.

Do you include all three elements?: Yes, but some of the humor is metaphysical that might not work on its own.

Did you make those elements fit together in a sensible way?: Yes. Although we don’t know what they were mining for, we do know that their activity led them into perilous situations that were further complicated by the slime, that you also use to satisfy the romantic angle of the prompt.

How well did you write it?: There are some definite told over shown sections that could be further expounded upon and a few places where wording seemed to interrupt the flow of reading.

Overall: On a scale of Perfect – Excellent – Very Good – Good – Satisfactory – Unsatisfactory – Poor

I’d place this between Satisfactory and Good. Nothing too crazy, with some bits seeming rushed or compressed given the amount of the word count you ended up using, but I think you took a difficult brawl prompt and carved out something respectable that could be improved with some sentence reworks and more evocative descriptions of what was going on over some sections that seemed like itineraries. Thank you for your submission.

Still Lucky
The world has come to an end and researchers, lovers, the only people left living are making the best of it. It’s bleak and mysterious from the start. The humor is more subtle and personal, but romance and horror are strong. We don’t know much about the characters other than that they are resilient, but also “lucky”, which is a nice irony with the title and their predicament. The title in a sense serves as both a point and question, and having Miriam bring it up is solid. You also home in on dread fairly early what with the drumming and howls of what might be wind, then you jump to the terrifying with the parasitic/reality defying/manifestations? It’s a bit unclear what exactly happened, but the result couldn’t be clearer. Weird interdimensional eyestalk creatures soliciting our self-defeat, blood snow and a world in flames washed down with the last bit of wine to celebrate the last bit of love.

Do you include all three elements?: Absolutely, but the humor is less directed and more circumstantial. I thought romance might be the harder angle to work in this prompt, but where Azza went a bit meta-and-direct, you went introspective and subtle. Both have their merit, but I think your approach works well given with how strongly you center the rest of your story on the other elements.

Did those elements fit together in a sensible way?: The subtle humor and romance fits perfectly, the horror fits in that situation outside of our control sense, but isn’t directly explained. It’s made up for with overall presentation. There is less overarching clarity as to what’s going on in the world, and the story shines through the character’s ambitions and that’s solid.

How well did you write it? There is some fantastic imagery in here, but there are parts where some more editing might have helped. Additionally, the world building and story contained was good, but more importantly mysteriously intriguing, but it’s definitely a time where I wanted more words to help form a more complete image in my mind.

Overall: On a scale of Perfect – Excellent – Very Good – Good – Satisfactory – Unsatisfactory – Poor

I’d say this is a solid Good story that could be Very Good with careful editing and additional usage of the word count.

Final Judgment:
While Azza does deliver in full pretty evenly on all of the prompt elements, Fles has managed to do so more elegantly scoring more strongly on the inclusion of the elements and how well the story was written.

I think you both did well, but with Azza landing between Satisfactory and Good and Fles landing firmly on Good. I have to hand the victory to Flesnolk.

I’ll address my specific criticisms with some quotations and sentence reworkings later this week.

If you feel ways about this, either of you really, come at me.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

SlipUp posted:

Hey Anomalous Amalgam, we've got unfinished business. AA is a fitting nickname cuz you're gonna be anonymous when I'm done with you!

Brawl me.

You left me for dead when last we met, but I've become more powerful in that time. I'm sorry, but I'm going to leave you in the dirt covered with your own bad words.

It's time for ROUND 2

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Chili posted:

Good. I am here for round 2.

Go forth, my lovelies, and craft me a story.

A story that, because it's so well written, I can smell it.

Take up to 2000 words and like until 2/19 at 11:59 Eastern.

If you want a flash song for inspiration, request a choice of four and I will supply that as well.

:toxx: Can I get some inspirational song choices?

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Chili posted:

The song chili thinks is just, objectively, the best song:

Probably risky, but I've had a prehistoric persons story rooting around my noggin for a while so I'll take this one.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope


Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

How I Met Your Mother
354 Words

Strands of hot, melty cheese stretched and pulled taut before snapping and curling back towards the pizza. Jerry lifted the slice towards his mouth and devoured it in three, near inhuman, bites. Strands of cheese clung to his cheeks like veiny rivulets as he chewed eagerly, listening to Hugh tell a litany of stories that flowed seamlessly into one another.

Boss fights to bad dates, once Hugh got going you were just in for the ride and Jerry didn’t mind one bit. Hugh ran his mouth while Jerry filled his. Somewhere between a story about a flat tire and his aunt’s wine addiction, Hugh decided he needed a drink, and Jerry agreed, as he wiped away skeins of loose cheese onto a napkin.

He got up from his chair, all six and a half feet of him, and turned smack dab into a cartoonishly dressed burglar. Wool knit balaclava, leather gloves that some how managed to only cover about 50% of his hands, and a stolen red pleather purse with an owner frantically chasing after it.

The burglar groaned as he crashed onto the sidewalk. Jerry who had begun to process what was happening, with the rationale that only five beers and four slices of pizza could provide, leaped into the air, all three hundred pounds of him, and dived onto the thief like a drunken wrestler.

Debbie caught up just as Jerry had pinned the crook, but between beers, pizza and sudden heroics, his stomach took a turn for the worse and he regurgitated his booze fueled dinner all over the burglar.

Debbie and Hugh stepped back and began to retch, as the burglar vomited through his balaclava, thoroughly disgusted with chewed pizza chunk and bile infused beer that had seeped through his mask.

Then Jerry, nauseated by the display, vomited again, causing Debbie and Hugh who had been holding it together up until that point, to finally let loose the contents of their own stomachs.

When the police finally arrived, Jerry had against all grotesque odds, managed to get Debbie’s number, while pinning a vomit caked criminal to the ground no less.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope


Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Against all odds, I have somehow triumphed over you meat bags. This being the case, I want you to look forward towards the future, far beyond the span of our mortal reign... I want you to peer into the nebulaic dreamscapes of our mechanical descendants and bring back fantastic stories from their dreams about what may be. Your human life has ended, your machine life has begun.

When you sign up I'll give you three images from Artbreeder

Put simply, not a lot of constraints here - take the images, stew over them, extrapolate and present a story so that you too may sit upon this blood throne.

If you request a flash, I'll give you a song to draw inspiration from, but it'll be metal.

Sign up deadline: Friday, February 14th 11:59 PM US CST
Submission deadline: Sunday, February 16th 11:59 PM US CST
Word Count: 1,000 words, an extra 500 with a flash song.

Dreaming Machines...?
  • Me, AA
  • Adam Vegas
  • Yoruichi

Organic Transcription Devices...?
  1. magic cactus - Demilich - The Planet That Once Used to Absorb Flesh in Order to Achieve Divinity and Immortality
  2. Thranguy - Mortiferum - Archaic Vision of Despair
  3. a friendly penguin
  4. Azza Bamboo
  5. Djeser
  6. Doctor Eckhart - Blood Incantation - Inner Paths (to Outer Space)
  7. Simply Simon
  8. Carl Killer Miller
  9. crimea - Witch Vomit - Squirming in Misery
  10. Ironic Twist
  11. QuoProQuid :toxx: - Krypts - Sinking Transient Waters
  12. Pththya-lyi
  13. crabrock
  14. Antivehicular
  15. Uranium Phoenix - Phrenelith - Deluge of Ashes
  16. Chairchucker
  17. Captain_Person
  18. Communist Bear
  19. SurreptitiousMuffin
  20. Entenzahn
  21. Sebmojo
  22. Applewhite

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 21:46 on Feb 16, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

magic cactus posted:

IN hit me with that metal flash.

Demilich - The Planet That Once Used to Absorb Flesh in Order to Achieve Divinity and Immortality

Thranguy posted:

In and flash

Mortiferum - Archaic Vision of Despair

Djeser posted:

writing about robots??? a strange departure for me but i'm in

Doctor Eckhart posted:

In with flash

Blood Incantation - Inner Paths (to Outer Space)

2nd batch coming in the next hour or so...

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Simply Simon posted:

Cool prompt wanna write about robots in

Carl Killer Miller posted:

I am extremely IN

crimea posted:

In flash.

Witch Vomit - Squirming in Misery

QuoProQuid posted:

:toxx: in. Flash me.

Krypts - Sinking Transient Waters

Pththya-lyi posted:

I'm in with every atom in my positronic brain

crabrock posted:

per the discord discussion i am going to pour my soul into a story and it will be terrible. in

Round 3 inc.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Phrenelith - Deluge of Ashes

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Chairchucker posted:

I will write a thing

Sorry I missed this on the first pass!

Communist Bear posted:

I can't believe I'm doing this, i'm quite scared, but In.

Want to flex my writing muscles a little bit and could do with some critique.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

sebmojo posted:

This means in btw

Ah, I thought you were just sassing our fellow combatant.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Applewhite posted:

Time to start writing again. I'm in.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Subs closed. Go forth and write stories.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

And that's a wrap!

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Thanks for participating this past week!

Ascending to the blood throne is QuoProQuid for writing a story that all three judges agreed, each arriving at the conclusion on their own, that your story had it

Everyone sing praises for the muse of technologies foretold, aspire to be as great as them!

There are a few failures, but as for the HMs, DMs. 2 of each

The Ill-Made Robot by Antivehicular
Dreamt the End by Carl Killer Miller

Mass by SurreptitiousMuffin
First Date by sebmojo

...and then last, but not least...
The Bower Man by Applewhite

Anomalous Amalgam fucked around with this message at 07:42 on Feb 18, 2020

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

The Shepherd by Communist Bear
I think you made great use of your images to craft an interesting story that comes across as poignant, yet hopeful with an ominous sense of ambiguity to it.
There is an obvious journey filled with peril, and the recursive aspects of it provide a decent sense of dread.
I feel the plurality of the individual was intentional and it threw me for a second, but once I saw what was going on, I felt that it worked well. (But if I did misinterpret that, please let me know).
I felt like you told a complete story and told it well.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Cuckoo by Crimea
Post-human apocalyptic themes completely met! I like your story, but I feel like some of the driving elements in your story ended up being a bit too ambiguous where I feel the story would have been stronger if some of the details were more grounded instead of fantastic.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Melodies of Life by Simply Simon
There are a lot of things wrong with this one I feel. At times I feel like you have inklings of decent ideas showing through, but the overload of sci-fi jargon, percentiles and an attachment to the prompt that relies on knowledge of the linked image where exposition would have been better.
There is also action that just feels tacked on and unclear. I’d like to see this cleaned up, but at this time, I think it veers off topic with a too literal interpretation of the prompt.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

The Endless Falling Ashes of Dead Stars by Uranium Phoenix
So this has a lot of potential to be something really good, but where it gets lost a bit is in the scope that seems to shift from the macroscopic to the microscopic in ways that belie the extensive knowledge/ability of the “lifeforms” you seek to represent.
This was Good though, I thought it fit the prompt and the world building included is neat, but there are times when it feels like you squeezed in supporting detail only because it was relevant to the backstory. It feels necessary, but the way it gets framed in parts seem more like I’m reading an overview of history instead of contextual information directly relevant to what your characters are doing. I don’t know if that makes sense, I’m probably explaining what I mean in a not great way, but like I said. I like this story.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Life from the Void by a friendly penguin
There are times where the narrative feels awkward just because I feel like I myself am being told my story by this awakened, mutating intelligence.
However, I do enjoy the parallels you establish between normal human routine and breaking out of those confines. Even down to the proliferation of the species and this new proliferation of ideas.
I feel like it could benefit from another editing pass and expounding upon the imagery you’ve established, but you tell a complete story that is unambiguous in its intent. This is cool.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Hopelessly Human by Doctor Eckhart
You’ve crafted something very good. Relatable, futuristic, but not unrecognizable. Then most of all, purpose seeking and innocent. You attach real human issues to the protagonist in a good way, but a second pass highlighted things that lend themselves towards trope and cliché where you might have worked a different angle.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Wasteland Pastoral by QuoProQuid
You tell a pretty fantastic story here. This impossible, unknowable “emotion” of a burgeoning artificial intelligence juxtaposed against the foreshadowed self-preservation of our own species is conveyed elegantly.
I’d say this is Excellent.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent :siren: WINNER! :siren:

The Ill-Made Robot by Antivehicular
Your story has a very grown-up children’s story feel to it which is cool framing because it was done well, and I think you make good use of the prompt, but I feel like there’s just something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. In terms of the writing, I’d say Very Good, but the lead up made me feel like it was going to be a story of accepting one’s place, and it ended up being a story about transformation, but I feel like the established narrative doesn’t support that ending.
Thematically, I think it’s very appropriate and the sci-fi elements woven in support the world lore in a way that lends to the existential searching your protagonist is going through, but the fact that their happiness is contingent upon re-fabrication, programming and modification inadvertently gives the story a shade of cynicism, in my opinion.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent HM

The Bower Man by Applewhite
First off, and by no fault of anyone other than myself, it’s nice to read a story that isn’t directly SF! This hits all the notes for an urban legend tale, and is told in the personal, conspiratorial, tone that friends trying to scare one another might use when telling ghost stories, etc.
That said. The writing is comes off as conversational. You tell the tale in a way that fits what you were going for, but there’s not enough “ghost story” to actually package it as a ghost story.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent :siren:LOSS!:siren:

The Last Laugh by Thranguy
I kind of feel like it’s intentionally irreverent, and it works in places, but comes across as strange in others. That said, there is a good bit that made me smile for it being unabashedly pessimistic.
This is short and sweet because I think the writing is good, but I’m at odds with aspects of the set up. Specifically, the mechanical’s human attitude. It just didn’t resonate with me, even thought it is intentional to showcase how exhausting it has been to go through iteration after iteration.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Mass by SurreptitiousMuffin
This is pretty surreal and seems like a close interpretation of your prompt images. It personally took me a couple reads to understand that “I” was in fact a doll and the Chirurgeon was their creator/captor. Kind of nightmarish at times, but also I feel like it strikes a good balance of telling your weird story, while also conveying entirely human, inhuman, sapience.
However, while on prompt, and properly written, I feel like I’m missing out on story that seems to be told more like prose poetry.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

First Date by sebmojo
I chuckled a few times reading this one, but ultimately, I feel like stuff is tacked on, or part of something flying over my head.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Dreamt the End by Carl Killer Miller
Yeah, this story does have it too. You’ve struck close to something with this one I think. I think you made a very good use of the overarching prompt. I also like that some worn human is running dream simulations for a robot that’s just trying to feel real.
I don’t have much in the way of criticism here. Fairly metal, Fairly SF, Fairly on point.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent HM

Robot Girl by Pththya-lyi
You cram a lot into this one. You didn’t take a flash and exceeded word count! However, I do like your story. It’s 100% bleak, but the set up for the story and final act is strong.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

I, Nazi Death Robot by Chairchucker
lol, this is a different change of pace! There are definitely some funny bits, but I’m going to have to set this at just OK.
Fail – DM – Poor – OK – Good – Very Good – Excellent

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

In, but I'd like an assignment please!

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

In & flash plz

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

flerp posted:

yeah in flash

An actual baby needs to have an appointment of great significance like a president, monarch, religious icon, etc.

Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Chili posted:

One final bump back to 2/29 at 11:59 Eastern.

1,563 Words

The ripe scent of soiled furs lasted only a moment as the oppressive glacial air layered over the odor until it was only a muted must. Itok’s discontent wriggling left no room for doubt.

Kana let the straps of the cradle harness become slack as she lowered the baby towards the ice-slick ground. The baby mewled at the exposure to the bone-chilling cold, but the next leg of their journey would be the longest, most arduous and one they had to take without stopping.

Eysa, who had trailed ahead of Kana and Itok, stood with her father’s spear at a peak that overlooked something that seemed nearly impossible. A jagged gash bisected the earth in front of her, leaving jutting columns of ice-covered stone and winding crevasses that seemed nearly cloaked in total darkness. If not for the occasional twinkling of moonlight on new ice, there would be no light at all in those passages that awaited them.

She had once seen a tree split by lightning in the time before The Crossing, and for a moment, she thought this was like that, the raw potential of nature unleashed completely, but as she continued to examine that frozen abyss, she thought it more like the fetid, decaying remnants of a gored carcass; the frosted pillars like splayed ribs from a blackened hollow. Only, ice had long since claimed this carcass. The land here had been ravaged.

Kana and the refastened Itok came to stand alongside Eysa and the family stood in silence realizing the chasm that awaited them, The Rend as Iko had come to call it, wasn’t merely just desecrated land ruined by nature. They feared it was one of the many doors to the domain of the Night Mother, herself.

“We have to cross this without stopping?” Kana thought. Her daughter voiced what she felt like saying.

“This is just not possible. Crossing this, let alone doing it without stopping… Mother, this cannot be done!”

Iko and the other hunters explained the necessity of this with great urgency when they returned from scouting.

“Should we be forced to take the chasm, we must do it without stopping. There are… dangers there.”

If only their bridge hadn’t collapsed, if only they hadn’t been split from the rest of the tribe.

Kana thought of Iko’s bewildered, furious face as he pleaded with the rest of the tribe.

His pleas fell on deaf ears. Many families lost or willingly left people behind that day.

Iko shouted across the ravine, “I’ll find you!” and descended into darkness. A darkness similar to that of the chasm Kana peered into.

“You heard your father and the other hunters. We’ve no choice, but to take The Rend and your father was direct with instruction. We cross it without stopping.” Kana finally said.

Eysa opened her mouth to protest, but promptly closed it, feeling the truth of those words from her own assessment of the situation, no matter how seemingly impossible. If they were to take it at all, they did it in one go, without stopping.


The descent into the chasm took place on a winding path that curved into darkness. Kana and Eysa had taken the last of their camp kindling and animal fat to make torches. They wouldn’t need the extra supplies if they made it across, so they invested every resource available to them in ensuring their survival across the chasm that their tribe had intentionally tried to avoid using.

Itok fell into an uneasy sleep as they made their way steadily down into the darkness of the chasm. The bounce of Kana’s gait and the diminished light soothed him. Oddly serene, the quiet baby’s demeanor lent steel to Kana and Eysa’s wavering nerves.

The crackling of frozen foliage and thin ice underfoot left them wary, but it was the constant feeling of being watched on those narrow paths that eroded the confidence they had built for themselves.

Then somewhere after the first hour of determined travel, they heard a bestial cry. A whimper from something injured.

Eysa’s heart felt like it was beating against her ribs and she felt the blood that pumped from it course through every inch of her body. Adrenaline-heightened awareness homed in on that whimper. She tightened her uncertain grip into something unflinching and leveled the spear she held at the light consuming darkness in front of her.

The flame from Kana’s torch licked at the frigid air and filled the tiny space with the overpowering scent of burned oil, and she felt at that moment a great sense of dread come over her as she contemplated what else might be smelling the acrid smoke she produced. She watched Eysa inch forward and as if tethered, moved herself, not leaving her daughter’s side for a second.

However, neither of them expected what they found just around the bend of their twisted passage. A giant, emaciated, saber-toothed tiger laid on its side with its entrails spilling out of freshly rent lacerations across its abdomen. Blood spilled out in coppery scented crimson, but the beast still managed to futilely snap at the prey it had failed to capture.

That it had been tracking them, Eysa was certain. She had smelled the stiff mange of the creature previously, thinking it just another blurred scent in the icy winds, but she was certain of it, gazing down at that pitiful, gaped creature. It had been following them. That unseen set of eyes that had skulked about the frozen bluffs and the sky-piercing stalagmites of ruptured earth.

Only now, the beast itself had been preyed upon. Ruined by the same savagery it sought to deal them, but by what?

An undulated, clicking, chirp rang out from an icy bluff just above. Moonlight reflecting in the darkness revealed it was shiny on the blood coated caruncle of a giant, bird-like, lizard. It had tufts of iridescent feathers sticking out of scaly limbs bent at sharp angles, attached to even sharper claws that dripped steaming droplets of blood onto the ice beneath it.

It let out a piercing shriek that finished like a chorus of growls and leaped down at Kana and Eysa, and the now very awake Itok.

Kana dropped the torch out of panic as the creature landed in front of them. The sparks that flew from it bought them a necessary moment of preparation. Their legs began pumping against the glassy ice before their screams found their way out of their throat, but the screams did come, and echo throughout the twisting paths like mocking wails distorted on the unending wind.

The clatter of talons leaping and landing from platforms or padding down the passage behind them grew closer with each passing second.

Kana, while still sprinting, managed to unfasten Itok from the cradle harness, and clutched the baby tight against her chest as she ran through the winding darkness towards the chasm exit.

Eysa was just ahead of her, spear raised, looking over her shoulder back at her mother and brother.

They ran through the darkness, panting out steam-laden clouds from their exertion.

Kana’s foot snagged in a small crag of weak ice. Eysa turned back. Kana’s eyes widened as the monster leaped down, six curved talons raised, to rake across Eysa’s exposed back.

Eysa howled out in agony but held the spear firmly in her grip. Hot tears ran down her cool cheeks as she backed towards her now seated mother who trembled in a seated position, fear completely immobilizing her and the screaming Itok who was oblivious to the fate about to befall him and his family.

The blood flowed freely from Eysa’s shredded tunic, but the wiry child faced down their encroaching doom with a sense of aloofness that she had learned from her father, and although he was good with a spear, she knew she was great with it.

She would only have one chance to strike the beast down. Monstrous as it was, she knew it was still something of flesh, another predator in the chain. Nearly on top of her mother and brother, she crouched completely and waited, spear tip raised.

The lizard thing leaped again, all six foot talons raised for further evisceration, and found Eysa leaping back at it. Seeing that open swath of unguarded flesh between its lethal claws, she sprung from the ground like a coiled snake and plunged the spear deep into the monster’s body. It’s claws ripped flesh from her shoulders as it writhed and slid down the length of her spear, collapsing on top of her.

She pushed and wriggled the spear for good measure to ensure the creature couldn’t savage her while she was pinned to the ice, shouting in a berserk frenzy all the while.

And then it was dead.

Bleeding out from terrible slashes in arms that would be useless for many moons, Eysa called for her mother who was already prying the large, twitching monster from atop her daughter.

Kana knew she would be unable to carry both Eysa and Itok beyond the chasm, she was in the midst of contemplating leaving Eysa behind to seek out help when the musk of a great and many people carried forward on the wind. Then the glow of orange on the icy walls of the chasm just down the path.

She smiled and held her family close.


Anomalous Amalgam
Feb 13, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo

Doctor Rope

Azza Bamboo posted:

well, you've done your worst, I have the loving avatar now. I have no reason to worry any more.

You can only grow more powerful from here.

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