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About desolate

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  • Birthday 12/09/1988

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  1. I, Henrietta

    Now the lights came on. Very helpful. Noel preserved battery power by putting the crystal back to sleep, and reattached the key-ring to a belt loop. Henrietta's attempt to illuminate the situation made it worse. He had no idea what a "logic bomb" was, or that those two words even went together. From his perspective, it sounded like they had a traditional bomb of the exploding variety. Terrorists were a lot more lethal than thieves. It didn't seem like Sabiya and Thancred—his two unknown "followers," as it were—cared about being blown to bits. Both of them ran off ahead, promptly ignoring Yuan. Noel didn't go anywhere. "Hi You-anne. Is that how it's pronounced? My name is Noel." He pointed after Sabiya and Thancred. "Is that east, or are they guessing?" Noel hadn't seen anyone pull out a compass, or look around much at all. He squinted through the yellow haze to read the signage on both exits. From what he could tell, one went in and one went out. It didn't make sense for terrorists to go back in to the Monroe Foundation. Towards, you know, the bomb. "I'll catch up," he said to no one in particular. After he found and acquired the nearest fire extinguisher and a box cutter for good measure, Noel headed toward the out-leading hallway where everyone else had gone, assuming that was in fact the mysterious east. Since no one had exploded yet, he wasn't concerned with scary things like tripwires. It might have been because it was a bonus of being last or next-to-last, or because the bomb he was imagining was a remote-controlled one. Briefly, he considered if he had improved enough over the past year to convince a bomb to not explode. What could a bomb possibly want? There were abandoning buildings in need of a good demolishing all over Hell's Gate. Why settle for blowing up the dinky Monroe Foundation? He supposed being known as the spirit that exploded a national treasure might be hard to compete with sheer volume, but explosions weren't known for their intelligence. It wouldn't like the fire extinguisher. Ritual sacrifice? What would his "companions" think of that? Noel remembered his last companions' faces when he summoned those octopuses—if that's what they could be called. Instead of doing anything productive during his time catching up, he thought up a plausible contract, and a palatable way to seal the deal, for the spirit of a bomb that didn't actually exist, all because Henrietta wanted to sound smart.
  2. I, Henrietta

    He should known that it was his feathers that were going to get ruffled. His cool exterior cracked when Henrietta said second in line. Noel thought he had already coped with his older brother's death, but her words were an unintentional object lesson in grief that felt like a punch in the gut, and it showed in his strained smile. At least no one could see his fists clench under the cloak. Despite her flippancy, Noel appreciated the answer that followed, and he had a hard time staying angry at a young woman whose laughter would turn away any suitors who might have otherwise overlooked that tree-bark she called a face. Maybe later he could chat someone at the Foundation up about those flawless bindings for his studies on possession. He sank into the middle of the group as they toured onward, dragging his feet all the way into the dome. Victory. A premature name and a worrying concept. Noel couldn't deny that it was remarkable, nor that the Gaian Orthodoxy was right to err on the side of caution. Henrietta seemed to have many of the qualities his mother ascribed to the Monroe line, like an emphasis on progress to the exclusion of morals; and he, for one, did not want a Monroe plugged into the preeminent source of modern knowledge. No doubt she had a litany of justifications and rebuttals prepared, until the lights went out on her chance. When the tourists dropped, Noel wasn't happy about becoming a makeshift bed. It began with someone grabbing him in a vain attempt to regain balance, then another actually falling on him, and before Noel knew what was happening, he was on the cold, hard floor under a few sleepy-heads. He let out an, "Ow!" when a security guard stepped on him on the way to Henrietta. Once the initial danger evaporated, Noel squirmed out from under his temporary bunk-mates and rose up in as dignified a manner as possible—hard to do when he had to turn his head away and pull someone else's hair out of his mouth. Noel was trapped. He was obviously a prime suspect. Corporate espionage, kidnapping, and several counts of assault with a controlled substance... not to mention the last "kidnapping" he was involved in had opened his eyes to far more than he was prepared to know. Just the thought of it hitched his breath. The only comfort was there was an out. If he helped Henrietta, then his name was cleared, the lawyers and public relations weren't needed, and the only consequence was knowing whether this was the same. House Trasimene and the Monroe Foundation could settle debts over the rescue attempt later. Time to act. Who knew when the finger-pointing would start? At the hole, Noel pulled out a key-ring, on which there was only one item of note besides keys: a small crystal ball that hung from its own chain and lit up after a thumb-press. A page from the text Magical Malpractice projected from the device, blurry and tinted by the yellow warning lights. He clipped the key-ring to his clasp, and stroked the crystal ball between his thumb and index finger to rotate the angle of projection, and illuminated metal bars across the ceiling of the room below. Since he couldn't see it, the floor wasn't close enough for him to jump. Noel glanced at Henrietta, sat down at the edge of the hole to scoot down onto the nearest bar, and muttered, "Just a glorified jungle gym." His descent, however, was not glorious; he inched across the bars, found a pipe or duct of some kind to crawl on, rolled off onto a pile of boxes at the top of a shelf, and climbed down to the factory floor at long last, knocking over all sorts of things, some fragile. Once he was down there, he unhooked the key-ring and checked his immediate surroundings with the projected image.
  3. I, Henrietta

    Noel wanted Henrietta to know who he was. He was dressed in a garish red cloak that had caused him to be thoroughly searched before the tour. A three-pronged piece of silver clasped his cloak; it resembled the pincers and tail of a scorpion, a symbol of the shamans at House Trasimene. The Monroe Foundation was an economic rival, and he wanted to get to know one of their competitors. Fetishes had already been phased out of several markets due to advances in engineering, advances Trasimene lobbyists usually opposed. Their feud was older than he was; Noel had grown up hearing his mother's rants about Useless Eustace, the Monroe prodigy of the previous generation. He wondered what she called Henrietta... More like a Comedietta, he imagined her saying. Golems were particularly problematic to him. A construct created in the image of man to perform man's work—or to usurp it. Given the Law of Parallel Symbolism, how long would it be before like produced like? There had already been one such incident. Nevertheless, opposing golems on a legislative level was futile. Golems were rooted in Gaian tradition, and propaganda that questioned one's faith tended to be an effective tool for the ambitious and industrious. Granted, the propagandists were on both sides. Golems were easier to possess than laborers, especially the rudimentary ones. You wouldn't want to give a merciless undead creature an avenue of slaughter to destroy your poor children's future, would you? Omitted from marketing materials: undead creatures don't want to be golems. When he inherited the family assets, Noel questioned whether he had the stomach for such an intense level of advertising and competition. During the presentation, Noel stood up front in center and stared at Henrietta. After he had talked himself into leaving the house for the first time in a year, he had practiced not blinking just for this occasion. Now he wanted to see his return on investment in awkward... but the more he stared, the more he wanted to offer her some lotion. Whenever it seemed like their sight lines crossed, he smiled. For the most part, it was authentic. There was a certain amount of sense to what Henrietta said; as far as he could tell, the Monroe Foundation was genuine in its desire to spread prosperity. A teaching initiative—government contracts aside—was a compassionate use of resources, even if he thought what the people needed were role models and not literal models built in a Monroe basement. Before they reached the climax of their learned journey, it was question time. Noel flung his right hand up in the air. "Hi Henrietta. What model of golem was used in the Biazo Incident?" he asked. The Biazo Incident was a tragic event that happened a handful of years ago; it involved binding people, who had been killed in a disaster, to golems in an attempt to save them. Noel didn't consider it a mark against them like some might, but it wasn't exactly a tactful question to pose in mixed company. Tactics over tact, he could practically hear his mother's approval.
  4. Let's talk about Thread Invasion

    Nope. It's always been rare. @Praetorian has been brainstorming a player-vs-player "invasion zone" if that type of activity interests you.
  5. Yeah. Multiplayer difficulties are Bronze, Silver, and Gold. I might try a Silver match tonight... but I don't want to pull my hair out on a work night.
  6. ME:A Bronze is way more difficult than ME3 Bronze, which is a difficulty I barely touched. Not used to the keybindings. I keep fat fingering the Cobra missiles.
  7. Profile Picture Problems

    Yes, @supernal should do it... It looks like the patch removed the ability to differentiate between disallowing direct photo uploads and importing from an image host's URL. Now it's an umbrella setting, and I suppose they made the change since it all goes to the same place in the end. I set it to 500kB for now, but that's subject to change. Please check to see if you can "Import from URL." Thanks.
  8. Hello, are you around at the moment?

  9. A few reckless edits to the database later and Nox's accolades are restored. @supernal@Nox@Tebo
  10. Roleplay Preferences

    On the bright side, we seem to have moved past the era where organizations are staffed and headed exclusively by centuries old beings who act like 20-somethings.
  11. Welcome to blended learning. Wait until you take a class and realize it's just an online class that requires you to be in the classroom.
  12. Summoning Ideas

    It's a good idea to go with. Do it.
  13. All three teams in our department were downsized to the size of one team, and we're budgeting for more work than last year. If that wasn't enough, everyone on my team is new and has no experience.
  14. Terrenus | AMA (Ask me anything)

    Terrenus is a theocratic kingdom. The state-sponsored religion is Gaianism, their monarch canonized himself as a saint, his title is Saint-King, and there are various levels of zealotry. I don't think there's a 100% zealot area, but it isn't like you couldn't make one up! The current regime is only 27 years old. The Crusades that freed Terrenus from the Legion of Desecrators actually did "Make Terrenus Great Again." Patriotism has only grown since then because Terrenus' enemies are numerous, endless, and mostly homogeneous. As a player-run group, no. As a background in-character force that exists and can be interacted with, yes. I don't know much about the Dominion, though Hell's Gate is massive and I doubt that everyday life is bogged down by swarms of cultists. Like you won't go cabbage shopping and find the Dominion in your lettuce.
  15. I wanted to create a separate, evolving campaign map for Biazo Isle, factionalize it, and host a war between multiple player-controlled parties—something large and ongoing rather than a single pitched battle that's stripped down to a typical T1 fight with a different coat of paint—anda set of different ground rules. That said, the time investment is too steep based on past experiences. This exactly. At least the War for Dasua Barony was an improvement over its predecessors... I think.