Jump to content

Ace

Members
  • Content Count

    968
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    15

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Ace got a reaction from carrionjackal in A daring train robbery [western]   
    Hey folks, @amenities @carrionjackal @Sanonymous and @Wade
    Opening up discussion on our course of action after Shize's announcement and imminent departure.
    If there is enough interest to keep this thread going, I propose a small GM team of 2-3 people to share responsibility for story-advancing and pacing. (Simple system: Active background discussion on, say, Discord, where we collaborate on GM actions and trade off on making the actual IC posts.) (And yes, I would volunteer to be one of them). 

    That is, if people are invested in keeping this going.
    I've noticed that most of the players in this thread have mentioned things going on in their lives right now, and I anticipate at least a decent possibility that we'd all just rather let it go. I'm fine with this option, but just so you all know, I am happy to give it the old college try, too! 
  2. Like
    Ace got a reaction from princeben07 in Family First - A Valucre Announcement   
    Sending you good vibes. Hope all is okay, man ❤️ 
  3. Superlike!
    Ace got a reaction from supernal in Lack of motivation to RP   
    These things may seem irrelevant, but I feel a little of myself radiating from your comments, so I thought I would share some things that have made a difference for me in the past. If I'm way off base here, my apologies and I meant no offense. 

    First, I can certainly understand OOC happenings impacting your motivation. The will to write can be fickle. That's why it's important for me to set a mental boundary; Muse is allowed to have this much influence over me, but at some point I sometimes have to write anyway. Making writing a practice, like yoga or journaling, helps give some of that control back. It can be hard to be creative or generate the right thoughts and words in these moments, though. I use Speare to churn out content when in this situation, or when the writing comes with great difficulty for any reason.  It is a paid application, so I really do hesitate to recommend it, but it has been immensely helpful for me from RP to work or class-related writing. It just makes *getting the words out* easier than a blank page on a word processor. 

    If this particular issue (keeping a diligent writing practice) speaks to you, I also recommend these excellent books: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Also this essay: "Learning to Work" by Virginia Valian.   (If it's not a problem for you, I recommend the books anyway! Just not so much the essay lol) 
    Also, if you're internalizing these negative remarks people make about you, or if you're being mired down by generalizations and assumptions that you bring on yourself, like "My ideas aren't as good as I thought, (so I have no motivation to write)" or "I can't write without a strong bond to my partner," or "I'm in too gloomy a mood to write," then I have to recommend something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This book is rich with exercises that can beat procrastination or fallacious reasoning, even if you don't have full-on depression or a mood disorder, and you can get free access to guided CBT by downloading an app like Wysa (my favorite) or Pacifica. it's great to bring out in the moment, to help pull you out of any distorted thinking/funk. 
  4. Like
    Ace got a reaction from jaistlyn in Lack of motivation to RP   
    These things may seem irrelevant, but I feel a little of myself radiating from your comments, so I thought I would share some things that have made a difference for me in the past. If I'm way off base here, my apologies and I meant no offense. 

    First, I can certainly understand OOC happenings impacting your motivation. The will to write can be fickle. That's why it's important for me to set a mental boundary; Muse is allowed to have this much influence over me, but at some point I sometimes have to write anyway. Making writing a practice, like yoga or journaling, helps give some of that control back. It can be hard to be creative or generate the right thoughts and words in these moments, though. I use Speare to churn out content when in this situation, or when the writing comes with great difficulty for any reason.  It is a paid application, so I really do hesitate to recommend it, but it has been immensely helpful for me from RP to work or class-related writing. It just makes *getting the words out* easier than a blank page on a word processor. 

    If this particular issue (keeping a diligent writing practice) speaks to you, I also recommend these excellent books: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Also this essay: "Learning to Work" by Virginia Valian.   (If it's not a problem for you, I recommend the books anyway! Just not so much the essay lol) 
    Also, if you're internalizing these negative remarks people make about you, or if you're being mired down by generalizations and assumptions that you bring on yourself, like "My ideas aren't as good as I thought, (so I have no motivation to write)" or "I can't write without a strong bond to my partner," or "I'm in too gloomy a mood to write," then I have to recommend something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This book is rich with exercises that can beat procrastination or fallacious reasoning, even if you don't have full-on depression or a mood disorder, and you can get free access to guided CBT by downloading an app like Wysa (my favorite) or Pacifica. it's great to bring out in the moment, to help pull you out of any distorted thinking/funk. 
  5. Thanks
    Ace got a reaction from Die Shize in Family First - A Valucre Announcement   
    Sending you good vibes. Hope all is okay, man ❤️ 
  6. Like
    Ace got a reaction from Die Shize in A daring train robbery [western]   
    Hey folks, @amenities @carrionjackal @Sanonymous and @Wade
    Opening up discussion on our course of action after Shize's announcement and imminent departure.
    If there is enough interest to keep this thread going, I propose a small GM team of 2-3 people to share responsibility for story-advancing and pacing. (Simple system: Active background discussion on, say, Discord, where we collaborate on GM actions and trade off on making the actual IC posts.) (And yes, I would volunteer to be one of them). 

    That is, if people are invested in keeping this going.
    I've noticed that most of the players in this thread have mentioned things going on in their lives right now, and I anticipate at least a decent possibility that we'd all just rather let it go. I'm fine with this option, but just so you all know, I am happy to give it the old college try, too! 
  7. Like
    Ace got a reaction from Wade in A daring train robbery [western]   
    Hey folks, @amenities @carrionjackal @Sanonymous and @Wade
    Opening up discussion on our course of action after Shize's announcement and imminent departure.
    If there is enough interest to keep this thread going, I propose a small GM team of 2-3 people to share responsibility for story-advancing and pacing. (Simple system: Active background discussion on, say, Discord, where we collaborate on GM actions and trade off on making the actual IC posts.) (And yes, I would volunteer to be one of them). 

    That is, if people are invested in keeping this going.
    I've noticed that most of the players in this thread have mentioned things going on in their lives right now, and I anticipate at least a decent possibility that we'd all just rather let it go. I'm fine with this option, but just so you all know, I am happy to give it the old college try, too! 
  8. Like
    Ace got a reaction from Fierach in A daring train robbery [western]   
    Hey folks, @amenities @carrionjackal @Sanonymous and @Wade
    Opening up discussion on our course of action after Shize's announcement and imminent departure.
    If there is enough interest to keep this thread going, I propose a small GM team of 2-3 people to share responsibility for story-advancing and pacing. (Simple system: Active background discussion on, say, Discord, where we collaborate on GM actions and trade off on making the actual IC posts.) (And yes, I would volunteer to be one of them). 

    That is, if people are invested in keeping this going.
    I've noticed that most of the players in this thread have mentioned things going on in their lives right now, and I anticipate at least a decent possibility that we'd all just rather let it go. I'm fine with this option, but just so you all know, I am happy to give it the old college try, too! 
  9. Like
    Ace reacted to Die Shize in Family First - A Valucre Announcement   
    Thank you all. Input like that is always encouraging to read.
    This is all, as supernal stated, ultimately a ‘game’. That’s why we tell each other to put real life priorities in front of Valucre, be they family, marriage, school, work, etc.
    But in that same respect, Valucre is not just a game. A game to me is something that I can pick up and put down without much daily thought; a PS4 and a TV. Guys, even when I’m not on the site, I think of its roleplays and its people and my characters as much as an author does with a series of novels.
    What we have right here, ladies and gentlemen, is a community. It’s a hobby. It’s a willing commitment. Fantasy football, chess clubs, sports teams—they’re all still for entertainment, but they’re no less important for those involved.
    So I’m fading from more than just a pick-up-and-put-down. Valucre is a home away from home, not in any obsessive or unhealthy way lol, but it is that much more real to me and my writing joys since there are real people here.
    But you haven’t seen the last of my length just yet! I’ll be around here and there, segregating the can-do’s from the can’t-do’s. Then, in the words of Spike Spiegel: “Whatever happens, happens.”
    /sad face at sad faces
  10. Like
    Ace reacted to supernal in Ain't that just the way   
    Jericho nodded his appreciation at Levi, thankful for the extra pair of eyes when raiding the kitchen. He rummaged the potted plants she pointed out to him, clearing the row of nutmeg and sage, crushing and ripping them with his bare hands, letting them drift from his fingers into the center of a little copper pot he took from a cupboard. To this he added handfuls of garlic, lavender, and cinnamon, evoking the depths of their mystical properties by their expert combination, and by the influence of the chant even now rumbling from his diaphragm.
    "Should we drop Velleh off here?"
    "I'm good with it."
    "He'll hold up long enough if it's just a bunch of swords and guns barreling towards us, but if there's anyone decent with magical theory in their numbers they'll be able to disjoin the necromancy pretty handily without me here to keep it up. Not instant-like, but probably inside of a minute. Pretty narrow window for us . . . but I'll take what I can get.
    "I'm just thinking it might be better to take him with. Right now the only person close enough to have seen that Velleh was snuffed is snuffed himself. From a distance Lev's plan might work, might still be able to make a play like he's a hostage."
    As he spoke, as he worked and his hands moved with practiced eased to measure amounts and combine elements and perfect ratios, Jericho's eyes returned to the ultrablack gauntlet over his right hand over and over again. He couldn't deny its power. He couldn't deny how good it felt every time he acted through it, every time he took hold of a sentient being's life-force and absolutely dominated it, because if he did then he would be making himself fat for its trap. If it could it would feed until it was the one wearing him, rather than the other way around.
    So, while he still had the resolve and clarity of mind, Jericho determined to vent only a little of its power over time and to do so only when circumstances were most dire. Once they were back at HQ, he could spend some time taking it apart and poking around its guts to come up with safeguards. But until then . . .
    Matte got the hatch open and Levi led the way down to the cellar. Jericho took point behind the two of them but shouldered his way to the front when they didn't keep advancing. Jericho's eyes lit on the door, the padlock, and Levi's picks, in that order.
    "I can crack that but need you to cover my back and buy me some time. They're almost here."
    'Almost' was putting it lightly. The punctuating mark to Jericho's statement was the sound of static flooding the air, the white noise hum of dead air, and a rolling scent of ozone; they had only the time it would take for Velleh's security detail to maneuver between the racks of wine to the exit they were currently huddled around.
    Jericho packed the padlock's mouth with a helping of his powdered concoction, jammed the file into it. With a single prick from the point of the gauntlet to his finger, a drop of his blood touched the file and slicked down into the powder, igniting it with a magnesium-like flare.
    "Forty seconds."
  11. Superlike!
    Ace got a reaction from supernal in Ain't that just the way   
    While Jericho rummaged through the dried spices, Levi let her diffuse mind go to work. Instead of groping—groping around the room for an answer, groping for ideas—she took the scantest moment to to pause, close her eyes, and breathe in.
    It was enough. The environment in the kitchen was warm, balmy, and something fresh and aromatic just barely hung in the air.  When she opened her eyes again, she registered light. Grey irises switched instantly in the direction it came from and spotted a window. She sprang for it, leaping over the elder cook's unconscious body. Only a thin hook-and-eye latch locked the diamond-grille doors shut, and Levi swiftly unfastened this and swung the window open.  Robust sunlight filled the kitchen, glaring off the surfaces of hanging pots and pans, and her body formed a stark silhouette, craning forward slightly through the opening.
    Yes! There was a long, narrow terra-cotta box hooked beneath the window, filled to the brim with soil and dotted with fragile green shoots and sprouts. "Jericho, here!" Levi squawked, and quickly stepped away from the window to give him space to shop the herb garden for components.
    As she let that task go from her mind, already moving on to the next, she noticed Matte removing a ring of keys from the woman Levi had vaulted over in her hurry. He used it to open a hefty wooden door in the floor in the corner of the room. "Nice," she exclaimed, breathless and high-spirited from the urgency of the moment. 
    "I'm good with it--if he can keep up the enchantment that long." Either way, it would probably serve them better to leave the merchant prince behind: Animated and fighting back, he would give the guards reason to pause. Until they figured out he was dead, their priority would be to see him safe, right? And if the magic extinguished.... then he was just dead weight. While he waited to see what Jericho did, she would maneuver just around him and into the cellar. Quick as Levi was, either one of her companions would outrun her over long distances, so she'd taken to the habit of acting without waiting for confirmation from them. To keep moving. 
    She took the short flight of stone stairs briskly. The cellar was dim, but not dark: lit from inside by glowing amber lamps, burning arcane energy, that hung two-to-a-wall around the perimeter. It didn't look too promising...  but Levi explored on, past rows of casks and dusty bottles. On the far side of the room she felt a draft, and as she approached the opposite wall, spotted a pair of heavy wooden doors. "Exit down here!" Levi raised her voice and called back to them before approaching nearer. The floor sloped upwards here, and there was another short flight of about six stone steps leading up to them. They must bring the wine down from the outside, here. 
    Levi saw with dismay that the doors were chained together and sealed with a great, heavy metal padlock that must have been five vertical inches across. She tried pushing her shoulder into the door, to judge how weak it might be in its cradle, but it didn't budge. The slabs of wood were solid and dense. 
    The other way, then. Her hands went to her sides, feeling around in her pockets for the two thin steel files that she'd started to carry when her investigation in Casper began to pull her into an underworld of secrecy and corruption; when getting around obstacles had become a necessary life skill. It was possible that one of the others had a faster method for circumventing locked doors, but if they did, they would steer her out of the way. Until then, better not waste a moment. Levi dropped to one knee and got to work--gingerly--for fear that the sturdy metal fixture might just snap her tools.
  12. Like
    Ace got a reaction from princeben07 in Limited or Expiring GM Services   
    It'd be great for getting more veterans to participate with and cultivate new members. or for encouraging GMs to collaborate on ideas for adventure hooks even if they don't necessarily want to take on the full responsibility of seeing the thread through to completion, or then sharing that responsibility with your collaborators. Playing tag team?!
    Note that these are the kind of ideas that you're not necessarily so passionately invested in that you couldn't bear to give up control, but fun stuff like (to make an example out of Shize) "you know what would be great? A train robbery! But not fourteen weeks of it..."
    I'm envisioning a club for Limited GMs also... 
    Yeah, I'm in. 
  13. Like
    Ace got a reaction from supernal in Impressive First Impression...Or not. Definitely not.   
    Take it from me, who could probably have spent more time at this. (?) It's a pretty helpful way to go! 
    Welcome!
  14. Like
    Ace got a reaction from carrionjackal in [ASK] The Oatpeak Train Robbery   
    @amenities @Die Shize
     
    The Outlaw
    Billowing clouds of dust kicked up under the trampling of their horses’ hooves, throwing grit and gravel shrapnel behind them. “Yah!” Rooster snarled, snapping the reins against the stallion’s shoulders. Faster boy, come on!  Wind-blown particles stung her face, leaving fine red welts on her high cheekbones. In the heat of the moment, she’d forgotten to raise her mask. She narrowed her eyes, and through the protective screen of lashes, watched Arn draw close to the car coupling and shoot her a quick, inquiring glance and a tip of his head. 
    Rooster nodded once. She was riding slightly to the outside of her partner with respect to the train, and steered another foot or so wide to create space for what was about to happen---though, regrettably, she wouldn’t get to see the feat with her own eyes. Had her own to focus on: Keeping her feet right, and untangled. Keeping alive.  
    “Steady,” she entreated her horse, placing her palm flat and firm against his neck. Please fucking God, be steady. Then she wrapped the reins around the saddle horn and out of her way. Rooster leaned forward. gripped the horn with both hands and carefully slipped her feet out of the stirrups. Her abdomen flexed hard, and then smoothly, fluidly, she thrust herself upwards. Suspended. She had just a fraction of a second to activate her core, drawing her knees in to her stomach, and touch back down in a kneeling position on the saddle. A similarly swift movement flashed peripherally through her field of vision to the right, and she heard Arn’s boots chnk! sharply as they connected with iron. 
    Suddenly riderless, Arn’s mare slowed her gait and slipped backwards from sight, leaving empty space between Rooster and the Vanguard. The outlaw reached her right hand forward and took the rein where it draped near the stallion’s sweat-gleaming neck, gentle pressure urging him to the right to close the gap. He performed smoothly, earning another approving pat from his rider. The beating sun and the blood surging through its veins had made the creature’s body searing hot to the touch, but the touch now was more important than ever. She spoke to him with her hand, and the animal understood. 
    All this had happened in the span of only five or six seconds, and it would be over before the count of eight. Rooster looked to the right and saw Arn, one hand holding fast to a ladder on the end of a boxcar, the other extended towards her. She filled her lungs with a deep, steadying breath and wrapped both hands around the saddle horn, shifting her weight onto her arms. One leg slid forward, the bottom of her boot finding purchase on the saddle, then she pushed off with her heel and stood onto both feet. Rooster let go of the horn, keeping a low center of gravity over half-crouched thighs, knees bent and ready to spring. Her eyes fixed onto Arn’s.  
    And before she had a chance to lose her balance, Rooster leapt. Her hand found Arn’s calloused, outstretched one as naturally as if they had practiced this all their lives. The bounty had just better be worth the effort. 
  15. Superlike!
    Ace got a reaction from supernal in Limited or Expiring GM Services   
    It'd be great for getting more veterans to participate with and cultivate new members. or for encouraging GMs to collaborate on ideas for adventure hooks even if they don't necessarily want to take on the full responsibility of seeing the thread through to completion, or then sharing that responsibility with your collaborators. Playing tag team?!
    Note that these are the kind of ideas that you're not necessarily so passionately invested in that you couldn't bear to give up control, but fun stuff like (to make an example out of Shize) "you know what would be great? A train robbery! But not fourteen weeks of it..."
    I'm envisioning a club for Limited GMs also... 
    Yeah, I'm in. 
  16. Like
    Ace got a reaction from jaistlyn in Limited or Expiring GM Services   
    It'd be great for getting more veterans to participate with and cultivate new members. or for encouraging GMs to collaborate on ideas for adventure hooks even if they don't necessarily want to take on the full responsibility of seeing the thread through to completion, or then sharing that responsibility with your collaborators. Playing tag team?!
    Note that these are the kind of ideas that you're not necessarily so passionately invested in that you couldn't bear to give up control, but fun stuff like (to make an example out of Shize) "you know what would be great? A train robbery! But not fourteen weeks of it..."
    I'm envisioning a club for Limited GMs also... 
    Yeah, I'm in. 
  17. Like
    Ace got a reaction from supernal in The way ooc   
    Nope, I wasn't confused, just didn't want to invalidate anyone else's post. Although, I do like those ideas! So thanks for the material to run with. ?
  18. Like
    Ace got a reaction from amenities in The way ooc   
    Nope, I wasn't confused, just didn't want to invalidate anyone else's post. Although, I do like those ideas! So thanks for the material to run with. ?
  19. Like
    Ace reacted to amenities in Ain't that just the way   
    “I don’t know,” responded the monotone Matte to Jericho’s hiss, “but there’s a huge bath in that bathroom.”
    Even the best agents get caught in the headlights sometimes! That’s why teams of us are sent for jobs like this. At least, that’s what Matte told himself. He had to, because when the incredulous guard turned his attention to them after barging in, Matte was not only still in the process of wiping the room— he had only just begun. While the merchant prince himself had been cleaned, there were still easily noticeable, sharp spray patterns of crimson across the carpet and spread up Velleh’s desk.
    Matte’s palms, emanating black vapor that selectively ate blood to dust, were pressed against the bloodstained carpet fibers as his round face turned blankly up at the unconvinced guard. A uniformed man kneeling in the blood of the bodyguards, the assumably alive Velleh alive and taken hostage, would be the confused intruder’s last sight before Jericho flexed the power of one of Zengi’s Gauntlets. These, destroying their ilk, was the very purpose of Michael Commager’s existence. When the guard fell, Jericho was as an abyss; a void that called to Matte. When Jericho looked around, in perhaps the millisecond when he was most vulnerable to the gauntlet’s ravenousness, his and Matte’s eyes would lock.
    Sir, a vibration emanated into Matte’s head from a tiny red pearl beneath the surface of the right side of his neck. The voice was soft, feminine, had changed in recent months to be most appealing, unstartling and perceivable to its host. I have reconciled the signature that man's gauntlet just emanated with the source of the Casper plague.
    What does that mean? Matte became tense. Would this go completely upside down? Did he do it?
    No, this is the other gauntlet; but I believe it means we can find who did. Beginning diagnostics.
    Jericho quelled the dose of tainted energy administered to his greater stalwart mass and employed his undead, and the three moved like they had done this before, all in their own capacities. The brunette Matte left his cleaning assignment, black energy dripping from his fingers and dissipating as they burst through a door into a study. Matte stopped. Grabbing a book and opening it, he placed his hand flat against its spread pages before placing it on the floor.
    Then he turned, catching hopping down a spiral staircase just as Jericho burst through a door into the kitchen. As the waitstaff fell,Matte couldn’t help but notice that one of them was young. He whisked to her side and lowered her to the ground before examining the rest of the kitchen for an exit to a wine cellar. The crystal at his neck, normally a cool and unnoticeably entity, hummed against Matte’s jaw in a manner he had come to find comforting. Information feels good when you have something meaningful to do with it. Finding the hatch quickly and realizing it was locked, Matte returned to the older of the waitstaff and removed a key ring on an extending clip from her waist.
    “Should we drop Velleh off here? Maybe he can hold off the good ol’ boys as we slip out this way.”
  20. Like
    Ace reacted to supernal in Limited or Expiring GM Services   
    The idea is basically as follows - I think that a lot of people enjoy orchestrating aspects of story but on a smaller scale than it takes to be an immersed and engaged GM. On a forum a storyline could cycle through a dozen players and span months, if not years, before reaching resolution. This can be daunting, especially for people that just want to dabble in it and aren't sure if it's something they'd enjoy doing on so long a term 
    Solution? Smaller scopes and shorter terms
    Basically that the GM would offer to GM but only for a set number of posts, or a set number of pages, before they hand over anything they may have planned out to another GM or to the group of players themselves to do with what they will - follow it or jump off the rails or some combination of the two
    I plan on doing this myself over the next few weeks or months to see how viable it is and how fun it is for me as a GM and for others as players, but figure the more the merrier 
    Is this something you would offer as an experienced or inexperienced GM?
    Is this something that if you came across you would participate in as a player?
  21. Superlike!
    Ace got a reaction from Die Shize in [QUEST] [CLOSED] The Last Regret - Episode 1: Opportunity   
    Honestly, Levi mused thoughtfully, the corner of her mouth twitching as if almost to smirk. Seems like a decent bunch of guys. Good chemistry.  Though the one did seem to linger over her hand with scandalous intentions, she simply withdrew from his grasp and leaned back in her chair, effecting an easygoing, unperturbed attitude. And happily, the sound of the door unlatching commanded attention. Even hers. 
    Her posture straightened again (she made no move to stand) and she turned her eyes to the door with open interest. The newcomers carried an intense energy into the room--both of them. The general, in his arresting attire and gravity of presence, naturally attracted her observation and deference.  
    “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. For those who may not be aware, I am Director-General Willem Acosta of the Department of Intelligence for the Civil Defense Force.” 
    General...  A tiny crease appeared between Levi’s eyebrows, just a shade darker of silver than the textured, pixie-cropped hair that crowned her head. She hadn’t expected such a high-ranking confederate at this table. General Acosta. Had she seen him on the news broadcasts in Casper? She thought she might’ve. Jeez, Ma, check it out. Heh. But, Levi wondered, glancing at the second figure. Who’s the woman? 
    Acosta’s next words brought her back.
    "...I would not be sitting here with you if I did not deem it to be necessary. Know, too, that you would not be sitting here with me if I did not deem you to be necessary.”
    A mind hardly wanders after a remark like that. 
    “Major, if you’d please.”
    Levi watched as the officer retrieved a stack each of pages and dossiers, and accepted the NDF issued to her with a smooth sweep of the hand. Whatever. Reaching for an array of pens ordered neatly in the center of the table, she plucked one up and, with a brief glance at the contents, scribbled a sharp signature at the bottom and slid it back across the surface of the table. 
    Then she took the dossier, no small amount of keenness to the velocity of her grab. She began flipping through the pages, pausing at the documentation of the influenza outbreak. Disease. More disease. Levi’s lips pressed together grimly. 
    "You might be wondering if they hold information on either of the two parties sitting across from you—the CDF and Justice—"
    Her eyes flicked upwards, but from the corner of her gaze, she attended to the woman in black. And…? She waited for him to finish the list. He didn’t.  
    …? 
    And what about her, the shadowed woman. Did she just--shift? Not a fidget, not enough for that, but there was something.
    Nalgiers continued, "Besides, you’d only read a few sentences on our Justice friends..."
    Friends?  This time Levi did allow her eyes to slide freely to her neighbor, with great effort managing to keep all signs of confusion or surprise from her face. It would look like a perfectly natural shift of attention, as if directed simply by the major’s calling of their organization to attention. The way partners would not avert their eyes from one another, but let insignificant glances pass between them.  Inside, though, she was staring. 
    And maybe, if one looked closely enough at the minuscule pucker above her brow, the constriction of her pupils, it mightn’t have been a perfect deception... 
    The woman--she’d called herself Capria? Yes, Capria -- answered first, coolly and confidently reserved. Levi wondered that she wasn’t made of stone. At least this gave the junior of the two a chance to compose her thoughts. The skillset Capria ran through was imposing, to be sure, but Levi for one was glad for the vital presence of a healer. And one item pricked her curiosity. An herbalist. With any luck, they could come back to that one later. After they’d gotten to know each other, her mind retorted drolly. 
    Then it was her turn. She drew a breath through her nose and quickly recalibrated, again paying special care to the impassivity of her expression. Levi turned to face the four soldiers, specifically, and though she didn’t share the older one’s obvious geniality, she did have an agreeable, homey sort of demeanor. 
    “You all look the type I’d want to watch my back,” she started, and her mouth curved upwards. “But I’d say, I’m at least the type that could watch yours, too.” In the few short months she’d been associated with them, Justice seemed to have left its mark. Levi slipped so easily into the jargon of a military or, at least an organized force, that it surprised even her. “Reconnaissance mainly. Small unit tactics, when you need to get in and out quickly, maybe without attracting a lot of attention. I, ah-- I’m curious, too. Maybe more than anything else, that’s what I do. Unanswered questions bother me,” she smirked, “So I discover the answers, make connections---and quickly, for that matter. It comes in handy, being able to think in a pinch.”   
    While Capria, she suspected, held something back from her response for surreptitious reasons, Levi’s list was short from being undeveloped. Maybe she didn’t have the grooming her colleague did. The professional lexicon, the training, or the sophistication. Even magic was--so far--out of her realm. But she spoke confidently, at least, about what she did possess.  

    And then Levi paused, and seemed to be working her mind around what next to say. The way she glanced from the lower-ranked soldiers to the head of the table, and made eye contact with Major Nalgiers, and even General Acosta. Her hand dropped and gestured toward the open folder in front of her. "I think I understand now, why my name came up." She said, chiefly to the two men who might have had something to do with that decision. Then she faced Hayden and his team again, her face bearing a distant frown.
    "I'm from Casper," Levi began slowly, as if that statement alone should carry some weight. And it should, if any of her present companions kept abreast of events outside their borders. Last Chance had had their own troubles lately, she knew, but just as the holo-arrays had broadcast images of the violence in Last Chance into her world, they would also have sent visions of the plague in Casper out of it. The gore--what used to be bodies, but couldn't be called that anymore. Just black blood and shredded pieces of organs, smeared across the ground. Littered bones by the thousands. The young operative curled her lips tightly inward, the dark visions bringing a deeper crease to her brow, then continued.
    "After the necromancy that started the plague was sealed off, remnants of the disease still remained in the city. It mutated. Became weaker, but still ... spreading. That was when the Phoenix ordered an emergency response be organized. I was... one of those, in the Contagion Management Unit. That's where Justice found me, investigating an, ah, anomaly in the symptoms of the dead." 
    "So..." Her lips turned up half-heartedly into a cold, bitter smile. "I guess you could say I have relevant experience." 
  22. Like
    Ace got a reaction from amenities in Ain't that just the way   
    Her mouth open, about to observe an approving 'neat trick!' to Matte's stunt, the verbal salute evaporated instantly at the precipitous turn of events.  A mindless, disoriented "Unhh--" burst out instead. Levi had started moving in the direction Jericho waved even before she recognized his meaning, and when she did, it was too late to mind her disgust. She'd barely enough time to slip under the outstretched arm and, with a quick maneuver of her outside hand, tug it downwards a few inches and into place around her shoulders. It was a good fucking thing Levi had a fast processor, but even as she snapped reflexively into action, her mind darkened; The three of them could have had the reflexes of a cat, the cleverness and cunning to match, and she had a feeling it would have changed this course of events exactly zilch. They were damned anyway.
    "Ever so sorry about that old bean."
    From several feet behind her, she heard Jericho greet the guard in an affected--posh and hopelessly tanked burlesque, and she almost barked laughter. Use it, something snarled at her. A visceral impulse to bolster the deception, to make it work. Levi craned her neck around. Matte was kneeling on the floor, looking absurd, and the palace guard's full head and shoulder were visible through the gap in the door as he tried to push his way inside.  Doesn't matter, it snarled again. Levi showed the guard that ludicrous grin, looking titillated by the rascally bacchanalia into which he'd apparently stumbled.
    "Indisposed!" She hooted and turned back to face Velleh as though he were a perfectly normal, perfectly alive, participant in this farce. She nudged him with her free hand, still sniggering. "Just wait til they see us after anoth'r bottle, amirite Velleh?" 
    The sentry's eyes moved from Jericho to Levi, and then to Matte, who'd apparently finished taking care of the trace evidence in the carpet and righted himself in a feeble effort to save face, and Levi understood the outrage on his angular face immediately. He didn't buy it. "What in all the hells is going on here?" He roared and, springing forward mightily, shoved past Jericho and into the study. "SIRE-" then, "YOU. Step away from him immed--" 
    Levi didn't hear the rest. She did all she could think of in that split second, wresting her body back around until it was positioned where it needed to be relative to that of the cadaverous prince, raising her foot off the ground and her right hand flying to her hip. She brought the flat sole of her foot down sharply, and thrusting slightly forward, into the back of Velleh's knees, causing the body to fall into a kneeling position on the floor beside her, still facing away from the door. At the same time, she drew that knife--which had gotten so much use in the last hour already--once again from its home and whipped her arm around with deadly precision, holding its razor edge demonstrably close to Velleh's throat. The irony was not lost on her. 
    If she'd had time to think, she would've silently willed (bellowed at him psychically, if that were a thing she could do) Jericho to puppet an outcry of pain and surprise from the corpse, but a blaze of faith in his reflexes kept her from making eye contact with their captain and giving anything away.  "THAT'S FAR ENOUGH," Levi barked at the guard, projecting her deepest, gravest voice.
    "I'll cut his throat, I swear," Levi menaced, then paused just long enough for the guard's eyes to find hers. He curled his fingers around the hilt of his curved sword; He'd recognized the cold defiance in her glare. "Don't do anything stupid," she continued. "This party's got one too many already. Now, call us a transport. He's--" Levi sneered at her hostage, nostrils flaring in unmitigated disgust. "--coming with us. You'll get him back after we get safely back to Alterion. You understand." 

    She could hear the urgent stampeding of footsteps from behind the door -- more than one, and getting alarmingly close. Fuck, fuck, fuck, she thought. Then she remembered the door she'd noticed earlier, the one she'd barely acknowledged as a kind of service entrance. Her eyes flashed upwards to meet Jericho's, then Matte's, and she jerked her head towards the door, not knowing where it led or even if they could open it. If they could--if they had just enough luck to find it unlocked, and if they moved quickly enough, maybe they could lock it behind them and slow down their pursuers.
    "Plan B?!" She cried. 
  23. Like
    Ace reacted to vielle in Church On The Hill   
    such shaping fantasies;
     
    [ Coth: Ópera ston Aéra ]
     
    Míra is almost startled at the sudden appearance of the man poking his head into the room, quickly drawn from the reverie she had briefly sunk into, the moment the conversation had petered out into companionable silence. She blinks once, twice, trying to place his features; is he from the Silver Screen, or a worker she had contracted? When the man opens his mouth and speaks, it is there that Míra finds her answer.
    “Pardon me Wally, uh, Miss Míra. If there were some books or scrolls, we could benefit from some religious text. Where could we get our hands on something like that? You know...if I may be so bold…”
    Unfolding herself from her casual perch on the armchair next to the window, Míra smiles at the artist with languid curiosity. “You may be so bold, sir. I believe I may have a few books on the Cothic Church in my library, as well as some sacred texts. My secretary should be able to get them for you in due time, but if you’d like more extensive information, perhaps you could make a visit to Father Constans? He is the head of the Church, and he might be able to give you far greater knowledge than what my collection of literature can provide.” She takes a pause to give him a more thorough appraisal, and something twinges in the back of her mind, something that calls for more information, more study.
    “What is your name?” Míra asks him, fingers tapping against the wooden veneer of her desk.
     
     
    @Annabelle Higgins
     
     

    such shaping fantasies;
     
    [ Coth: Ópera ston Aéra ]
     
    It is not quite the artform she is most skilled in, but Thea can definitely see the appeal that actors find in their own honed craft, the feeling of being capable to take on the world with a mantle tailor-made for a story yet to be told. Perhaps this is what Jude feels, standing in the spotlight in the heyday of his prime, before—well. Before.
    “That’s all well and good, Penelope. But do we really need to bring all those chocolate?”
    Thea gasps, a hand flying out to clutch at her chest in mock horror. “Chocolates are the comfort food of the soul, Clarence! I rather think we need all of—”
    The sound of clapping finally registers in her mind, and the next words in the imaginary script die an early death on Thea’s tongue. Her cheeks color at the sudden intrusion of this stranger, and embarrassment crawls up the length of her spine at the apparent compliments the man begins flinging out in her direction.
    “Outstanding. Positively, sensationally, exquisitely outstanding. Like a page right out of Conquest of Paradise! You have quite a talent, my dear.”
    Thea looks down, unable to meet the man’s gaze. It rather feels—it rather feels like he means the opposite of what he had just verbalized, and the thought makes something sickly churn in her gut. He introduces himself, a rather complicated name that immediately flies out of Thea’s mind the very second the man finishes rattling it out, and then another, shorter name that does not ring any bells; she cannot say she recognizes the stranger or confirm whether he is indeed one from their artistic ranks.
    From the corner of her eye, Thea watches Jude stir in his sprawled pose, caught in the inbetween of the waking world and the dream theatre, and it’s all she can do to pray he does not wake up from all this racket. She’d rather not see what exactly could transpire the moment he mouths off while his restraint is dulled from a rude awakening.
    Just as she musters the willpower to move in her friend’s direction, Dash moves just slightly in front of her, as if he is the shield between his self-proclaimed protégé and the stranger, and so Thea stays her ground, albeit with increasing worry pooling in her gut.
    “Mr. Zollenstar, I’m afraid we aren’t yet ready. Our next show won’t be ready for a few weeks. Come back another time if you want to get tickets.”
    “Erm,” Thea blurts out, unable to help herself, “sorry—uh, that was rude,” she mumbles in Dash’s direction, then raises her voice once more, “but, um, what business brings you here today, Mr. Zollenstar?” She can very well be polite to anyone, thank you very much.
     
     
     @jaistlyn @Die Shize
     
  24. Like
    Ace reacted to Wade in A daring train robbery [western]   
    Posted. It’s much shorter than I wanted it to be, but I’m low on time, so I stuck to brevity. Next post will have some more meat on it for sure. 
    Keep up the solid writing, fellas.
  25. Haha
    Ace got a reaction from Csl in ℝ??ᗪℓ? ϻẸ Ťʰi丂   
    I mean, no, but is it suuuuuper awkward if I also say... that I don't hate it? LOL 
×
×
  • Create New...