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      Vote for Valucre [June]   05/16/2017

      Voting for the month of June is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread

Wade

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About Wade

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    Citizen
  • Birthday 08/27/1996

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    Male
  • Location
    Dimension C-137
  • Occupation
    Student

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  1. ooc

    My vote goes to one post. We're five people (besides you), and the pace of the thread could get bogged down if all of us had to take a turn to ask questions or simply react if we have none. Stuff like that tends to work better in a smaller-size groups, in my opinion.
  2. Alice gave Gekko a quick study, then swung back her gaze to Dingo. “Alright, we’ll hunker down here and wait it out. Gekko, scout ahead and get back to us as soon as possible. Don’t go too far, though.” With that said, Alice, Dingo and Garkarat set off to relay their plan to the crew. Shortly after, everyone set to work on strapping down the cargo so it wouldn’t fly away. Few workers skilled in magic attempted to waterproof the cargo with a variety of spells, while the rest either used personal charms or any extra tarp they could afford to spare. Over the course of their work, a threatening breeze brought with it the mingling scent of ozone and wet jungle, and soft rumbling, like a tiger’s, could be heard not too far away. Nearly half of the morning’s sunlight (and counting) fell victim to the grey clouds, but what Alice found most concerning were the Salkaleo. For the first time since she’d seen them, they appeared nervous. “They’re not going to run off, are they?” Alice asked. Some of the creatures had begun stamping their feet, making it difficult for the builders to tie them down. It seemed doubtful that a few lengths of rope could keep one in place in the event it decided to take off. “No,” one man told her, though he didn’t seem confident in his answer. “At least they shouldn’t. They know they’re safest with us.” Alice looked into their frantic eyes and hoped he was right. Pivoting on her foot, she retreated to her tent. Inside, she swapped her military jacket for a plain grey raincoat she had bought in Greenwitch Port, and flipped the hood up as she stepped back out. By now the wind had turned violent, and workers were either scrambling to apply the finishing touches to camp, or taking shelter in their tents. Alice spotted Dingo under the roof of a wall-less tent, and marched over to join him. A quick wave sufficed for a greeting, since the wind made it difficult to be heard. Moments later, the rain came crashing down all around them. It was instantaneous, like someone flicked an on-swtich. The light pitter patter Alice was accustomed to in the city was replaced with a heavy pounding, where droplets fell at a perfect forty-five degree angle. She tugged at her hood when it risked coming undone, and her vulgar muttering was lost amid the howling wind. It was at times like this that she hated guard duty. No, it’s at times like this that I hate my job. The rain, combined with the wind, made it difficult to maintain watch over camp. Keeping her eyes from squinting was an impossible task when facing a certain direction, and the reflective curtain all around them obscured everything, from the wagon sitting twenty meters away, to the very edge of the clearing. If something crept along its perimeter, she’d have a hard time spotting it, and that worried her. As if to accentuate her worry, the first lightning bolt struck.
  3. @roboblu The first thing I noticed were the trench coats. It was bright outside, and the sun gave their brownish figures a dull luster, kinda like vomit. There was roughly fifteen of them all bunched up in a mob, and I had the faint idea that they weren’t here to join me for a smoke. Carter was inside holding down the fort. No doubt harassing the bartender now that he had no one to talk to. I wanted to buzz that fancy chip in his head, tell him ‘Hey man, get your shiny ass out here’ but I wasn’t going anywhere near my phone. One of the coats was already pointing his gun at me, and reaching for my pockets would only end in a fatal case of bullets. I took one last drag of the cigarette, then crushed it under my heel. “Gentleman.” I nodded curtly. “Anything I can help you with?” By now, they had surrounded me. The entire front of the bar was lined in pukey fashion, and the sudden amassing of uniforms signalled to bystanders that it was time to clear out. “You remember who we are?” the man with the gun asked. Of course I remembered. “Might have to refresh my memory. I’ve run through, like, eight gangs recently.” “You shot our boss two weeks ago.” “Like I said, I do that a lot. Gonna have to be more speci-“ In that instant, someone laid a fat one on me. Stars flared across my vision, and bone-deep pain splintered in my right cheekbone. An involuntary groan fled my lips. I felt my hands ball themselves into fists, but I let the moment pass. Slowly, I brought my head up to look the coats in the eyes again. The one to my right (presumably the one who hit me) was breathing heavily, and I wasn’t surprised to find barred teeth in the marks of a tantrum. “We should just kill him!” He spoke in a harsh whisper, his hands all ablaze. “Right here, right now!” The one with the gun gave him a calm look that put my stomach on edge. “And then what? Let the fuck who hired him run free?” “He’s screwing with us!“ “I know. And he’ll he pay for it later.” The man suddenly dragged his gaze back to me, and I spotted something sadistic in those cold blue eyes. “I promise.” The fatter, angrier man huffed on, then slowly he managed to regain his composure. Taking a step back, he readjusted his fedora. Meanwhile, the gunman resumed our little palaver. “So this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to give us your guns, then you’re going to come with us. Try anything funny and we’ll shoot you. Clear?" “Crystal,” I said flatly. The man nodded. Just as he gestured for one of his guys to grab my guns, the bar door creaked open. An enthusiastic voice rang out behind the wall of coats. “Gentlemen, hello!" A pause. "Is there a problem here?” A couple of them turned around, with a few more craning their necks. “Look pal,” I heard one say. “You better walk away if you know what's-“ In an abrupt flash of movement, the man’s head spun a solid 180 degrees. He died instantly. The metallic hand that punched him quickly swatted at another coat’s face, sending him crashing into a few of his buddies with a wide backhand that also killed him. Not missing a beat, I whipped out my revolver, and fired off six hasty rounds. Next thing I knew, I was darting down the street. A cacophony of vulgar yelling erupted, and the sound of gunfire preceded the bullet whizzing past my ear. I heard a heavy pounding of steps rapidly catch up to me, and, quickly, I looked back. Carter, in all his titanically huge and robotic magnificence, was behind me. “You don’t know much I love you right now!” I shouted between breaths. “Believe me, the feeling’s not mutual.” Carter replied in his usual cheery tone. Bullets pinged off his back but he didn’t seem to care. “Boat?” I yelled. Unbeknownst to me, Carter shook his head. “It’s under repair right now.” “Fuck.” I kept running, arms pumping and legs swinging. Carter and I careened down random alleys and streets, twisting and turning with no real indication as to where we were going. A few times I nearly crashed into someone, whereas Carter actually plowed through a food stand without slowing down. The shouting at our heels gradually receded, albeit ever so slightly. A little more distance between us and- “Oof!” You guessed it, I crashed. Rounding the corner, I ran into someone with enough force to send them toppling. I lost my balance and fell with them, though I shot my arms out in time to avoid landing right on top of them. I let out a hasty excuse, “Shit, sorry!” and began scrambling to my feet when, oddly, I froze. Lying below me were familiar green eyes I’d completely forgotten about. The same bronze skin, chestnut curls; all that was missing was the dirt and grime, and the ragged sailor’s uniform. “Cora?” A firm hand on my shoulders immediately snapped me to my senses. In the background, the vulgarities I’d been running away from grew louder by the second. “What are you doing? Let’s go!” At that moment, the Pink Spoon Bandits pounced from the alley. A quick “There!” later, and they were shooting at us. Carter hunched over Cora and I, arms spread out protectively. Bullets ricocheted off his metal shell once more, and bystanders screamed in all directions. Some even began shooting. Twisting his hand slightly backwards, Carter unleashed a blind torrent of green fire. A man screamed like a wild animal in the background, and I didn’t know if it was a bystander or one of our pursuers he hit. Either way, the gunfire had been interrupted, if only for a moment. Carter’s eyes flickered madly for a brief second, alternating between electric blue and synthesized green. His hand slightly shook. “Teddy, if you don’t get up right now, I’ll kill you myself."
  4. I didn’t even get to fire off more than a “Hey wait!” For a solid fifteen seconds, I sat there with my mouth hanging open. Everyone in the bar was looking at me. Half were giving me the pity stare while the other half probably thought I deserved to get wine chucked in my face, and it wasn’t until I glanced around with an ill-tempered glint in my eye that people went back to minding their own business. I managed to pick up my jaw off the table and get it chewing again, but that humiliating sense of bewilderment I felt left a bad taste in my mouth no amount of stew or alcohol could get rid of. What the hell was that? A few minutes passed before the waitress decided to make another appearance. “Is everything okay?” The question was slow and measured, just like her approach. “Well, uh…” I shrugged when I couldn’t find the words right away. “I don’t think she’ll be coming back.” “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” She paused briefly. “Was she your…?” “Just an acquaintance,” I said curtly, setting my spoon down. “Can I get the bill, please?" “Of course.” The waitress nodded and left, but not before placing a daring hand on my shoulder. When she returned with the promised piece of paper, I exchanged her a handful of silvers for my own copy, then moved for the door. Outside, I began to walk the streets aimlessly, when all of a sudden my iCrystal started to ring. I whipped it out, and the call screen read Needy Badger. I sighed, then pressed the green button. It was time to go back to work.
  5. ooc

    Well shit, it looks like you might not be getting that post, actually. Work kept me on 3 hours past my end time, and now I'm scrambling. I could try to shit something out late tonight after my Father's Day plans, though I dunno how well that'll work out (might be a late post tomorrow). Consider me skipped for now, and start the clock on Ederan's turn so I don't waste any more of your time. Sorry guys.
  6. ooc

    I've been following them since the beginning, my ninjas. You'll have your post tomorrow.
  7. “Mm,” Garkarat hummed, watching the dwarf plod away in grim silence. He spared Alice a listless glance, which she returned in playful fashion, and shook his massive head with a sigh before marching off towards his crew. Alice folded her arms and observed, smile widening ever so slightly as the builders got their first, disbelieving look at Gekko. “Don’t worry, he’ll fit right in,” Alice commented offhandedly. She gave Dingo a quick pat on the shoulder, then drifted away to go alleviate some concerns. By the end of the hour, everything checked out. All builders and materials were present, and Garkarat was in the final stages of preparations. Alice witnessed a few handshakes, alongside similar pats on the back, and soon the minotaur joined Alice at the tip of their formation. “I think we’re ready,” he said. “Everything good on your end?” “Yeah,” Alice nodded. “Dingo’s watching the rear, and Gekko will be in the middle. I’m taking point with you.” “Good.” Turning around, he cupped his hands around his mouth. “Alright, everyone! Time to move!” Rallied by his cry, the crew set forward. Greenwitch Port was behind them within the minute, and one by one they were swallowed by the enormous tree line. A dense canopy cast them in shadow, and the dirt road ahead of them parted the forest in a span of roughly four meters. Already they could hear the rustling of leaves around them, small critters scurrying in response to the sudden noise and movement, and Alice was sure she had spotted a camouflaged lizard in passing. “Ever been in the jungle?” Alice asked after a while. Garkarat shook his head. “No, I tend to stick to the city. Only reason I accepted this contract was because they bumped up the pay after no one wanted to take it. You?" Alice shook her head as well. “I think I’m going to miss my shower.” A low chuckle rumbled in the builder’s throat. “I didn’t expect you to be such a diva.” “Who wants hairy legs?” “You’re talking to a minotaur,” he reminded her. “True,” Alice conceded. "I hear some of you guys are big on smelling stuff. Body odour factor into that too?” “Are you asking me if I like being surrounded by sweaty guys all the time?” “It sounded cruder in my head but yeah, that’s what I was leading up to." Garkarat took a moment to think about his answer. Contemplation broke out across his features, and he spoke in deadpan tone. “Wouldn’t you?" Alice laughed. ————————— Three days passed, and the party had waded their way into the thick of the forest (though they had made their camp in a rather large clearing). While there were no severe incidents to report, the trek hadn’t been without its share of danger. Nocturnal predators were notorious for prowling their perimeter at night, and on one occasion a few men got chased out of the river by a plant during a quick bathing session. Nerves were frayed and people didn’t sleep well, but luckily the mounts were nowhere near as skittish. Where the builders tensed whenever a flock of birds erupted in the distance, the Solkaleo seemed to pay no heed. Frequently, Alice debated whether they were just oblivious or indifferent. Now, however, she had woken up to an entirely different debate. “Looks like a storm,” Garkarat asserted, echoing her thoughts. His head was tilted skywards, beady black eyes reflecting a blanket of ominous clouds. Alice spoke in between spoonfuls of porridge. “It’s coming in fast. What do you think?" “I don’t know,” the minotaur admitted. “The village is just a few hours away. Maybe we could tough it out?” “That or we find shelter real soon. Either way, we can’t stay here.” A pause followed by a yawn ensued. Slowly, she stood up. “Let’s go have a powwow with my team.” A minute’s searching led to a small circle comprised of Alice, Dingo, Garkarat, and Gekko. In even less time, Alice explained the situation in a calm yet urgent tone which indicated the need for a quick decision. “We’re not absolutely sure if it is a storm,” she said uncertainly. “It’s a big risk but we could keep walking towards the village since it's only a few hours away. Otherwise, we find a cozy place nearby to wait it out. Dingo, Gekko, what are your thoughts?"
  8. In the middle of all my talking, something had changed in Cora. I didn’t notice it at first, since I was too busy weaving bits of my past into an abstract for her. Then I saw the way she smiled, how her posture relaxed into something warmer. The difference was subtle, muted, yet stark all the same. Truth be told, it caught me a little off guard. Compared to the girl I met on the skiff, the vibe she gave off was totally different. It was possible it didn’t mean anything- maybe she was being polite. Maybe I was just imagining the whole thing. My eyes flickered to her smile again. Nah man, that’s the real deal. Unknowingly, I began to grin as Cora suppressed her own. I took a sip of my drink, followed by an orange slice, and then all of a sudden it was Cora’s turn to open up. “I grew up in Last Chance,” she said. “And not the good part of Last Chance, either." “Really?” I raised my eyebrows in surprise, the honest kind free of judgement. “So you grew up in La Ultima Opportunidad.” I leaned back in my seat, struck by memories of my time in Last Chance. A lot of it came in flashes, indiscriminate in their range of importance, and I glimpsed things like CDF patrols, cobblestone streets, people lining up outside a bakery, or a pack of fourteen year-olds shooting it up in an alley. They possessed a certain duality that was reflective of the city, and suddenly I found myself thinking about the walls, big blue towering things you could see for miles. "Aye, son, don’t let those Argus shits fool ya. This city’s less of a fortress than it is a prison." I nodded. “Yeah, I can see why you’d want to leave. Shame you ended up here.” Something delicious slowly crept into the air, and I tilted my head to catch a better whiff of it. Approaching our table was our waitress with two steaming bowls, and upon setting them down I felt my mouth water. Fat chunks of lobster poked out from below a sheen of liquid orange, complimented by an assortment of bell peppers, onions, okra, and chopped basil. I took a spoonful, put it my mouth, and my tastebuds practically sang. “Oh, that’s so good,” I said, pointing enthusiastically to the dish. An occasional sip in between bites kept me from eating too fast. “So, what did you do in Last Chance? I can’t imagine there was a lot of sailing to be done there."
  9. An interdimensional being sent to Terrenus by his master to become a fed. Well, that’s fucking weird, Alice thought. She sipped her tea sceptically, reserving any questions she had for herself. It wasn’t an unfeasible story, given Valucre’s standards, but that didn’t make it sound any less dubious. It would be something to think about during the mission, if anything. “Good to know.” The rest of the meal went by relatively quickly, and soon they were splitting the bill by the host stand. Upon payment, they followed the main road to the designated meeting spot near the edge of town, where some of the builders had already begun to gather. More trickled in as the clock ticked closer to the deadline, and Alice had taken to sporadic conversations with the crew to make sure everything was accounted for. Most of them utilized Salkaleo as pack mules, large insects native to Biazo, favoured for their docile nature. What they lacked in speed and aggression they made up for in bulk and strength, with thick hides, fat torsos, and two powerful digitigrade legs elevating them to heights of up to eight feet. They had a distinctly alien appearance, and the fact that they seemingly possessed neither head nor face further emphasized this. All they had were six eyes twitching out of sync, running twin lengths of their oblong bodies. Heavy gear saddled their backs, and a few even had carts attached to them. Finally, the head builder made his appearance a little ways away among the townsfolk. Alice spotted him instantly, thanks to his towering stature, and waited until he lumbered closer before approaching him. “Garkarat.” She offered him her hand. “Glad you made it. Sleep well?” The minotaur shook her hand, dwarfing it. “Aye,” he boomed in a sonorous voice. “Though I can’t speak for all of my men. Half of ‘em are still spooked about going into the jungle with only the two’s of you." "Well, if it makes them feel better, you can tell your boys there’ll actually be three of us.” “Three? Yesterday you told me two.” “Things have changed,” Alice declared. “My partner just informed me that he hired extra help for the mission. They’re supposed to arrive shortly.” Garkarat seemed pleasantly surprised. A nod of approval followed. “And where is your partner?” “Over there.” Alice jerked her thumb back at Dingo. “The one in the suit.” The head builder’s eyes locked on to the agent in question, and a look of scrutiny tensed across his face. “I was expecting another soldier. Like you.” “You and me both.” Garkarat didn’t seem reassured by this comment. “Can he fight?” “Dunno, I just met him today.” Alice shrugged. “Told me he could.” Now he was looking at her. “Be serious." A thin smile tugged at her lips. “Did you know he’s a newbie? Technically, so am I.” “Not funny, Alice.” “Oh, I’m completely serious. C’mon, why don’t you go meet him?” Alice led Garkarat to where Dingo was standing. “Dingo, I’d like you to meet Garkarat. He’s the head builder of this operation.” The minotaur tilted his head down to Dingo, then slowly extended his hand. “Pleasure to meet you. Alice told me you hired an extra set of hands?"
  10. I like Alice 

    1. Wade

      Wade

      Thx bb <2

  11. Alice didn’t answer immediately. It wasn’t until an awkward moment had passed that Dingo realized why. “Drinking on duty,” Alice remarked evenly. A pointed look crossed her eyes, and Dingo and his cup were on the receiving end of it. “You’re playing with fire.” She kept her eyes on him a few seconds longer, then relented her gaze back to the grill. Quietly, she plucked bits of fish to put on her plate, before abruptly taking a sip from the cup he’d poured for her. “I expect you to be more careful in the future, Private Doe.” Her tone was sardonic, dangerous, yet reassuring at the same time. “It’d be a shame if someone were to report you at the start of your career.” She glanced up one last time, unsmiling, and the warning was clear. You better count your lucky stars I’m not a stickler for rules. “As for me,” Alice resumed in between bites of food. “Joining the military was never my decision. Not really, anyway. Before this, I was busy robbing banks and smuggling cargo in Tia.” She paused to let the surprise sink in. “Eventually cops got me, along with the rest of my gang, and we all got life sentences. I was sent to a supermax prison, and I sat in my cell for two weeks until F.I.S.T. came knocking.” The memory came to her easily- every detail, every moment, all captured with crystal clarity. Dingo’s presence only made it easier to remember, and it was almost like she was back in the interrogation room with the same suit sitting across from her. The irony of their partnership was not lost on her. “Word I possessed exceptional fire powers reached their ears, so they were in the neighbourhood for recruitment. Offered me a choice: enlist, and they’d consider dropping my charges after a few years of service, or refuse, and I’d get to rot in a cell for the rest of my life.” Alice parted her hands in a grand, sarcastic gesture. “So here I am.” Alice reached for her cup, emptied it in one go, then slid it across the table. She gestured to a sign near the entrance which read No outside food or drink allowed, and twirled her finger in way that said, Hurry up and put it all away. “If you’re worried about my leadership, don’t be. I have no plans to go back to my old life.” She waved away the notion with her chopsticks. “Now, if the ex-criminal can tell you about her past, I think you can tell me a little bit about yours or these qualms about your legitimacy."
  12. Alice nodded. She understood his frustration at being kept in the dark. Moments ago she knew next to nothing about Dingo Doe. Now he was shedding some light on his case, bringing into focus the question of his ‘legitimacy’ (whatever that meant) and how he wasn’t an official agent yet. She could only piece together so much of the puzzle from that alone, but it was enough to provide her with a clearer, if not vague, picture. If she wanted the rest, she would have to pry later. Believe me, Dingo, this is the norm. “He better be,” Alice replied flatly, in response to the topic of Gekko. There had been nothing about him on the report, and she found herself mildly annoyed. Either the surprises ended soon, or there would be an interrogation. In the event of the latter, better to do it over lunch. “Sure, but I pick the place.” She slid the file in her desk one last time, locked the drawer, then led them outside. It was hot and humid, like any other day in Biazo, and being so close to the water only made it feel muggier. They wove through a crowd of sailors and island natives as they strolled about Greenwitch Port, attracting a reasonable amount of attention along the way; Alice, in her military uniform, and Dingo, in his fancy suit. The streets were a melting pot of trade and small-time business, with several fish stands dominating the majority. Seemingly every restaurant revolved their dishes around fish, and it was after a few minutes of browsing that Alice decided she was in the mood for seafood-style Weland barbecue. Upon stepping inside the establishment, they were led to a small booth. At the centre of its table rested a built-in charcoal grill, with two pairs of chopsticks positioned on opposing sides. A waitress swung by to serve them tea, then took their order before returning with several plates of varying raw foods, such as razor eel, marinated algae shark, spicy coconut ray, and so on. A flick of the switch flared the grill to life, and Alice began to neatly lay pieces of food overtop. “So,” she started, still focused on the grill. “Cards on the table. You tell me about yourself, I’ll tell you about myself.” She put down the chopsticks and sipped her tea. The fire crackled, and the smell of fish cooking slowly wafted into the air. “Skills, background, the boy band you style your hair after. Anything I should and need to know."
  13. C4-TR A robot and its demon PERSONAL Serial Number: C4-TR Nickname: Carter Species: Magitech robot Gender: Identifies as male Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Profession: Courier / Smuggler PHYISCAL Height: 7’3" Weight: 380 lbs Eyes: Electric blue Plating colour: Bone white and galaxy blue Build: Tall and imposing, broad-shouldered, humanoid Voice: Lax and cheerful PERSONALITY Demeanour: Happy-go-lucky. Nonchalant. Talkative. // Dry. Sarcastic. Insensitive. // Fearless. Resolute. Bold. // Eccentric. Unpredictable. Alien. ABILITIES Strength: Can flip a truck if he puts his back into it. Durability: Takes more than a few bullets to kill him. Demon Fire: Green fire which corrodes inorganic matter, and rots organic matter. Repeated use leads to loss of mental control. Machine mind: Carter’s essentially a computer with a personality. He can compute stuff, has an eidetic memory, and do all the robot things. HISTORY Hey man, I’ve got this one figured out. Promise. For now, all you need to know is that Carter’s a magitech robot inhabited by a demon, and he runs a respectable business as a Courier, and a non-respectable business as a smuggler. Might own a boat or an airship.
  14. My eyes widened ever so slightly as Cora inhaled her Old Fashioned. I might’ve almost snorted too. It hurt my soul a little to see that whiskey just disappear, and yet I found it incredibly amusing at the same time. Here I was, sipping my own bit by bit, and there she was, making me look like an absolute wuss. In the moment, I couldn’t tell whether she just lacked class (look at her, you imbecile), or liked to party really, really hard, but uh… I was feeling a little bit of pressure. Figurative brow wipe aside, I nodded my head receptively. “I can, but first,” In one daring swig I downed the rest of my drink, then promptly waved over the waitress. “I need to catch up.” When the waitress arrived, her eyes locked on instantly to our empty glasses. She hid her surprise rather well, considering she’d been gone for less than two minutes, though being a former server myself, I could practically hear the warning bells chiming in her head. “Can I get you guys another round?” she asked pleasantly. “Yeah, let’s try something different actually.” I flipped open the menu, looking for something Cora couldn’t pull any more magic tricks on. Three seconds later, I found the perfect option. “Can we get two Fishbowls please?” More warning bells. The waitress smiled, nodded, disappeared for a minute, then came back with two large glass bowls glowing positively blue. Oranges, lemons, and cherries floated at their surface, alongside a trio of red straws and a stylish umbrella. The candy eel at the bottom sold it for me, and I sincerely hoped Cora was about as crazy for girly drinks as I was. “So.” I took a sip. “Casper.” I took another sip. God damn, this is good, I thought distractedly. “It’s, uh...” I drummed my fingers against the table. Where was I supposed to start? “It’s very pretty,” I proclaimed lamely. “Probably the prettiest city in all of Terrenus. Only place that comes close to it is Tia.” I paused for a shameless moment to give my answer a little more thought. Think of home. I spoke more confidently this time. “The city’s built on a slope, so you’ve got this amazing view of the Southern Sea no matter where you are. When I lived with my parents, our house was built near the top, and we could see the whole city from our balcony.” I made sweeping arc towards an imaginary horizon. “Used to sit there all the time to read a book or to just watch. Sometimes when I had pocket change lying around, I’d go down to the fish market to grab lunch. They have all these crazy things you can’t find anywhere else, like Shark Drakes, Emperor Clams, Demonfish…” I kept going on about food before moving on to the weather (bo-ring), all the ships you’d see at port, Valvale Garden, the city’s general vibe. Even things I personally missed, which felt unexpectedly cathartic. “Sorry, I’m probably talking your head off at this point."
  15. What the hell kind of a name was Dingo Doe? Alice could only raise an eyebrow when she saw it. Dingo Doe, she repeated mentally. Sounded like something you’d hear in a kids’ cartoon. No doubt the drill sergeant and the rest of bootcamp got some mileage out of it. She rested her chin in the flat of her hand, and flicked the page. The file was light, a barebones exhibition whose only highlight was its name. This Dingo guy was a private like her, except he belonged to F.I.S.T. Alice didn’t know why the higher-ups would assign a federal agent to escort-duty (or why a private should monitor another private), and it made her wonder whether she was just the muscle to some bureaucratic bullshit she was unaware of. A knock on the door disrupted her thoughts. Promptly, she closed the file and stuffed it in her temporary desk. “Come in.” The door swung open. In came a man dressed in a grey suit, looking every bit the fed Alice had expected. He was tall, roughly the same height as her, well-groomed, and seemingly all business with that serious expression on his face. In other words, a stiff. Alice sighed imperceptibly. “At ease, Dingo,” she drawled, not even bothering to salute. “No formalities here, please.” She gestured for him to take a seat, studying him all the while with her sober blue eyes. “I’m Private Pendleton, but call me Alice. I’ll be your partner for this mission.” In a few quick motions, she snatched a different folder from her desk and leaned back in her chair. “I’m going to assume you’ve already been briefed on the mission; we escort the builders from Point A to Point B, Point B being Biazo Abbey. It’ll take us about a week and a half to get there if all goes well, though the wildlife here is known to be exceptionally dangerous, so I wouldn’t count on it.” A lazy finger turned the page to a map. “The path’s relatively straightforward. We follow a road that cuts right through the jungle, all the way up until we hit the mountain.” Alice traced the same finger along said path. “Cargo’s going to slow us down going up, but at least we’ll be out of the woods. “We meet up at the village gate in three hours, then we leave. If you need any extra supplies, I’d check out the village right now. Might want to grab something more comfortable to wear while you’re at it.” She looked up at him. “Any questions? Comments? A joke, maybe?"