Archive for October, 2010

Falloutfit

31 Oct

(Voting has, of course, closed for WW. The update will come midway through today. Night actions/conversations are a go, if you want to get them out of the way.)

For Halloween (or, more accurately, the Friday before Halloween), I fashioned myself a Vault 13 costume. I did this because I enjoy playing Fallout, indulging my freakish nerdiness, and having nobody at the party get my goddamned costume.

Wearing this costume was a terribly educational experience, one that imparted in me many solid life lessons. Chief among these is that, if your aim is four and a half hours of uninterrupted wild jackass dancing on hard surfaces, such as platforms and tables, ideal choices of footwear do not include loose-fitting hiking boots. Just a heads-up.

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Condominium

31 Oct

I wake up when the sunlight hits my eyes from the beautiful picture window opposite the headboard. The light is warm and bright and clean, and it makes the white satin sheets glow like the skin of angels. I pull myself upright, and for the first time, I don’t worry about anything.

I get the box of shredded wheat from the pantry. It’s stocked with enough food to last for weeks—cans and boxes and bags of delicious food, as much as I want, all for me. I stand there for almost an hour deciding what I want to eat first. Then I take up the box of shredded wheat and take it out into the living room.

There’s a wicker chair set up facing the television, right next to the closet and across from the front door. It’s my favorite seat in the whole condominium.

The television’s on. I like to leave it on. I like the noise.

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The Pig Girl, Part 5

29 Oct

This is a new update in the Pig Girl series. This one was shelved a bit during my sickness and moving, so if you need to refresh your memory, you can cycle through to the previous installments using the links at the base of this post.

Pipe Wrench wasn’t surprised to see that the camp had clotted around the diner entrance. People looked up from their preparations and conversations as he came out, then resumed as if they hadn’t seen him.

He didn’t mind. He knew he was respected, he knew he pulled his weight, and he knew–to a man–what the people in this camp would do for him. But he also knew that no matter how hard he fought, laughed, and led, he’d never be Leader. No-one else could be.

It’s possible that if Leader was killed, he’d take his actual position. He might assume Leader’s job. But he wouldn’t even be close to being Leader. People would follow him, and take his orders like informed suggestions, and they wouldn’t rebel or kill him in his sleep. They wouldn’t plot against him behind his back. They wouldn’t really talk about him at all.

How long had they searched that sidewalk looking for where the bearded man’s rifle had fallen? When they found it in an unfixable pile of splintered wood and junk metal, they were disappointed. Genuinely disappointed, as if they’d wanted the thing for themselves. They knew one hundred percent that if they found it, it was going to go straight to Leader, and that was why they were so invested it. Pipe Wrench could never inspire that kind of dedication. He was a little afraid of anyone that could.

Probably everyone was a little afraid of Leader. It wasn’t a Machiavelli fear; it was the kind of fear you’d feel kneeling before your messiah. It was awe.

If Leader was killed, Pipe Wrench wasn’t sure what he’d do.

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Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Incident Seven

28 Oct

EDIT: I’ve got the next Pig Girl half done, but I don’t want to post just 50% of it. I’ll update after class today (Friday).

When the lights went out again, Stopen van Hamertijd was over at the buffet table, prodding dejectedly at the potato delicacies and wishing for a pinch of salt and some oil. As the chaos welled up again, he remained there, hands spread out carefully and feet planted so as not to get swept up and crushed in the throng. It was a surprisingly shrewd survival tactic, and as it turns out, it was totally insufficient.

Three of the goggled guests approached Stopen. One stepped up to him and planted a hidden blade in his throat, killing him all but noiselessly. The other two glanced at one another behind the third’s back…until finally, one shook their head, and the two of them replaced their blades.

When the lights came back on, there was only one body facedown on the buffet table.

Stopen van Hamertijd (Manny) was assassinated. He was an Aristocrat.

Day begins now and ends Saturday.

 

The Cyrodiil Look: Cahmel’s New Travels (Let’s Play Oblivion, Part 11)

27 Oct

Edit: Fixed a few typos. Keep in mind that I finished this at such a late hour that I had to shake myself awake three times during the editing phase.

When we last left our dedicated hero, he was wandering around the Imperial City aimlessly. Okay, yeah, I guess I’m supposed to meet up with the Thief’s Guild or whatever, but they didn’t actually specify a day for me to meet them on. Maybe they’ve got nothing better to do than hang around a specific garden every single night of the year, all waiting for some random mug-fondling ex-con who may or may not be showing up. So far, this guild is reminding me less of a shadowy crime network and more of those guilds that spam the chats looking for applicants. You know the ones: “<Knights of Dragon Legion> is looking for members! No experience or equipment needed. Bank alts welcome. Acknowledgment of fellow guild members optional. You can pretend we’re a cool group or something. Make up some raid statistics, we’ll back you up if anyone asks. Garish, tasteless tabard will be provided. Contact GL Cookierandom for more information.”

The Imperial City is a touchy subject for me, because it’s honestly one of the stiffest disappointments Oblivion has to offer. There are many things that Bethesda, for all of its good qualities and areas of expertise, is absolutely incapable of doing. Chief amongst those is making a city that feels more like a metropolis than, say, a smallish medieval-themed outlet mall. Vivec was where they got closest, but that’s cheating—it’s not so much one city as a bunch, it’s full of generic patrolling NPCs, and it only feels big because its architect was M.C. Goddamned Escher. Anyway, every other “big” city they do ends up feeling like someone abandoned a suburb and didn’t bother to evict the tremendously ugly, broadly humanoid squatters.

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Come Halloween

26 Oct

Last midterm is tomorrow, sickness is just about kicked–after tonight, I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands to get some of these series running again. On top of that, I’ve been working on a side project, a short story I’m going to put up here around Halloween. I don’t want to share too much of what I’ve written, but I thought I’d give a brief preview:

Maple Comb turned out to be as far from as civilization as Leroy could get on a half tank of gas and forty-five dollars. He hadn’t planned to go there; he hadn’t even known that it existed. But three hours into the trip, when the rain was drumming on the windshield and his tires were slipping on the muddy road and the strains of Johnny Cash on the radio were getting choppy and distant, the words appeared in his headlights and he knew he couldn’t go much further.

In his midnight delirium, the road was a thing surreal. The flickering of the pine trees he passed was the only indication he was moving, and the aches in his bones and neck were the only indication he was still awake. Even in his state, he could acknowledge that the time for him to be behind a wheel had long since passed. He was going to park his vehicle somewhere in Maple Comb, and it was either going to be inside a lot or wrapped around a tree trunk.

It was another twenty minutes before he marshaled the will to stop.

 
 

Spoiler Warning

25 Oct

Perhaps you wonder where I’ve been, besides sick and midterms-studying-for. Well, the answer is, I’ve been working on this for Spoiler Warning:

Don’t ask how long this took to do.

Fun fact: with the exception of Shamus in the background, none of us are drawn to resemble our real-life appearances. It’s difficult to explain why, although there’s obviously the fact that I haven’t really seen a picture of Josh or Mumbles, which is lending credibility to my they’re-actually-figments-of-my-imagination theory.

 

Von Rutskarn’s Magical Murder Tour: Assassination Six

25 Oct

One of Kurayami Chitose’s gifts was the ability to retrieve–at a moment’s notice–an amorphous platitude that sounded impressive to Westerners. The things had gotten him out of more scrapes than he could count. Usually, they didn’t even have to be particularly relevant to the situation; the things his Grandma said as an excuse for not doing her share of the housework, for example, had a knack for getting him out of much more serious predicaments. The trick was to say them in a slow, deliberate, overly formal register, whereupon Europeans would trip over themselves praising the hallowed wisdom of his ancestors. It was actually kind of funny.

When he couldn’t think of anything, he’d just make something up. Anything with a flower or an animal in it generally got a free pass.

And so, when the party rounded on him and demanded he remove his mask, he had Plan A all laid out.

“Do not be distrustful of he who draws away from you,” he declared, “for this is not the act of the wolf, but of the rabbit.”

He’d just come up with that one. It was pretty good, he’d thought, but the crowd didn’t look like they were having it. Perhaps they weren’t in an especially cultured mood.

He cleared his throat, then tried–as soon as the shouting died down-“As the darkness draws nigh, seek not the shadow. If there is work to be done, it must be done in the light.”

That was a real one. His Grandma used to yell, “Turn the damn light on, I’ve got things to do and I can’t see for crap.” It was not, however, especially relevant to his situation. Desperate, he turned to the one that had always saved his neck before:

“The stirring of the white lotus in the tiger’s breath causes a wind through the flags of the mind.”

That was his last resort. It was hand-crafted to carry the maximum payload of mysticism, exotic imagery, and unabashed, gobsmacking lunacy. It would keep the average man busy for ten minutes admiring its poetry before he realized he had no idea what it meant, and then for another twenty while he tried to figure out a plausible interpretation. It often bought him enough time to get away with murder.

And it probably would have done today, if the bullet weren’t already in the air before he reached the last syllable.

Kurayami Chitose (KBF) was lynched. He was an Assassin.

Night begins now and ends Wednesday night.

 

Down With the Illness

22 Oct

Just wanted to give you a bit of a heads-up on why there hasn’t been a fiction post so far this week: namely, I’ve been sick since, like, Monday. I’m more or less functional, but I’ve been trying to get more sleep and it’s been taking me longer to get my work done, so the most time consuming stuff–the fic–gets put aside.

I’ll get that and the DD done as soon as I get the chance. If necessary, I’ve got a filler article/fiction piece I’ve been holding on to for an emergency.

Right, time to get on that sleep thing. See youse tomorrow night.

ALSO: Okay, it looks like the Minecraft post–for some reason–is glitched out for some viewers. Honestly, I’m not sure how much I can do to fix it. I’ll take a look at it tomorrow and see if I can figure out what specifically is causing the problem.

 

Griefer Madness: A Test

21 Oct

Here you have it–a test of our most recent endeavor.

We bought the game for an LP almost a year ago, but could never get Skype and Fraps to play nice until recently. For this successful test, we have had many tests that were less successful. This is something of a triumph.

A few notes:

1.) We’re eventually going to give it a name and title card, but we’re still in deliberation over that. Besides: this is a test.

2.) This is our first foray into Blip.tv. There are a few advantages of Blip, like competitive loading speed, decent quality, generally inoffensive advertisements, and we get money when you watch this show. These are just a few of the features we are pleased to present to you as viewers, especially since we get money when you watch this show. So, I mean, if you want to watch it like a couple times, that would be okay, is what I’m saying.

3.) I think I might have been using the wrong microphone? It’s hard for me to tell–sounds a bit off. I’ll make sure to double-check before the next session.

4.) We might get on a few guest commentators.

5.) For the first couple bits, we weren’t actually sure we were going to post what we were recording.We get money when you watch this show.