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About Literature / Hobbyist Vivi la tua storia26/Male/United States Recent Activity
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Literature
Driven
Have you ever been to the French Catacombs? They are a truly fascinating place. Down through the Gate of Hell, the final resting place of over six million souls after being displaced from their former homes in the old church cemeteries. Just think of the history, the stories you might hear if those old bones decorating the walls could talk... Well even without that, there are still stories to be found.
On my third trip into the tunnels, I went without any guide or escort; I was interested in the places they don't show you when you're in a tour group. I wandered alone in the darkness for hours, stopping to take notes on anything that caught my eye and keeping a careful map of my progress as I went. From a distance, the passage looked like a nondescript alcove in the wall of a dead-end tunnel, identical to any of the others I'd seen on my previous visits. When I approached, however, I saw that it was in fact a narrow hallway of rough stone. My light didn't reach the end of the passage fr
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Literature
FFM 2016 Day 11: An Evening Chat
The candles were lit, the circle was closed, there was really only one thing left to do. God I was really going through with this, wasn't I? It was one thing to know that I'd followed the correct procedure down to the letter, and that I had the full backing of the council in an endeavor that was generally forbidden by the Code of Magi, it was something else entirely to actually call forth a demon. And not just any demon, one of the original Fallen; a being that had celestial power coursing through its system along with the infernal. Put simply, this was entirely out of my league.  But this was my city, I'd made it my job to protect it, and near as I could tell this was the only way I had a snoball's chance in hell of doing it.  
That didn't mean I had to be comfortable with it. If this went bad, there was a decent chance that I'd be able to make it out alive; I had a few tricks up my sleeve, and I'd have plenty of space to take advantage of, on account of the summoning circle
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Literature
FFM 2016 Day 8: A New Home
"Oh yes," Bleeder took a step into the central room and nodded as he examined his surroundings. "Yes, this will do nicely." The bare concrete floors and pillars were illuminated by harsh overhead lighting, throwing shadows over the otherwise empty space. It was spartan, but it had potential; a few steel frames and glass panels, and it would match the aesthetic Bleeder had in mind perfectly. He moved across the floor with odd, jerking motions, as if he was held up and pulled along by unseen strings like a puppet, a worn-out real estate agent trailing a few steps behind him.
"I'm thinking we can set up a bank of display screens on this wall," He mused out loud, gesturing to one side. "Stow the servers and other electronics in the smaller side room, there should be plenty of space for what we need to keep tabs on that masked nuisance running around the rooftops." He gave his escort an ironic grin. "Get some stylish, yet comfortable furniture so monitor duty isn't completely unbearable- I'
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Literature
FFM 2016 Day 7: Party Crashing
The stars were up to something, he was sure of it. Like all astronomers, Mark had been dumbfounded when the stars in the night sky broke from their until-now consistent pattern of movement and appeared to be on a path to converge with one another. While his peers were still desperately seeking an answer as to what had happened to them, Mark had hit on something that seemed so obvious- Stars are actually sentient beings- and was now working on a question that seemed far more pressing: What were they planning?
From what anyone could tell, the point where the stars seemed intent on meeting was hundreds of millions of lightyears away from earth. So they wanted privacy, it would seem, at least for now. On top of that, many small stars seemed to come into being all at once around the gathering before slowly fading away over the course of a two or three days. Not stars, perhaps, but...weapons? Were the stars going to wage war on earth? And possibly other planets that harbored life out in the
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Literature
FFM 2016 Day 5: Last One Standing
Sometimes, Justin Dawes hated his job. Sure, the pay was phenomenal, the hours fit him like a tailored suit, and he'd made some of his best friends ever, but then there were the nights like this one. Dark, stormy, his coworkers randomly disappearing on their patrols or dropping off comms without any explanation. After trying and failing to get a response from one of them, Justin sighed and turned to the person he shared the control room with.  "I'm gonna try and find out what happened to Jenkins. If the boss checks in, let her know we've got a problem."
Oliver nodded as he got up to leave. "I'll be watching the feed from here, I'll let you know if anything looks off." Justin left him behind and began retracing Jenkins' patrol route. The warehouse they were set up was badly lit and badly laid out; Jenkins and the other guys could've simply gotten lost. That didn't explain why they'd gone silent as well, perhaps, but batteries died all the time, right? It's not like this kind of ent
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Literature
FFM Day 4: To Start Anew
Choshin ran through the streets accompanied by the sounds of gunfire, explosions and screams, the cacophonous soundtrack to a world turned upside down. Okinawa was in chaos. The unthinkable had finally happened: The Americans had landed on Japanese soil. He had been at the market when the first shots rang out, soldiers appearing out of nowhere to direct the civilians into hiding so as not to interfere with their task of defending Shuri Castle.
Choshin had other things on his mind. His family, his students, his home. His dojo. So he bolted through the side streets and back alleys of ToriHori, managing to keep ahead of the line of battle, though at one point an artillery shell landed so close that the detonation threw him from his feet. When he finally reached his destination his heart sank. The roof and one of the walls had collapsed inward, and the building was an inferno. His whole had been in that building, and now it was on its way to being little more than a crater. He tried to ent
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Literature
FFM Day 3: Shelter Me
Rob had had a tough week. Work had gotten crazy busy, and on top of that, there were rumors of layoffs coming, with Rob being just new enough for his head to be on the block. Shame, that, he'd just begun to hit his stride there, and his supervisor had told him outright that he was going to be up for a promotion in a couple months. Nothing to be done for it, just bad luck.
Of course, Rob should've known better than to mention it to his family. If only he'd spent less time playing around and more time focusing on work, maybe they wouldn't fire him. As if they didn't know what 'layoffs' were. But he knew the incoming job loss was just how they'd decided to frame their latest attack on his hobby. Time heals all wounds, but that doesn't mean much if the blades are still as sharp as ever.
Rob was a musician. When he was sixteen, his parents, of all people, got him a guitar, and he'd done what all teenagers do in that situation: Started a rock band with some of his friends. It was a fun coupl
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Literature
FFM Day 2: Last Night
You open your eyes and...No, that's not quite right, is it? You know that you closed your eyes not long ago, and now you can see, but it's like you skipped that step in the middle. In any case, your vision comes to you and the first thing you notice is the landscape. You can't quite make out any details, on account of everything seeming just a bit blurry. As if the world is drowning in fog or a thick haze. But your attention quickly moves on from the view as you realize something: You're falling.
Or maybe flying? It's a fine line, sure, but the distinction is an important one. You can't be certain, though, it's impossible to tell through the fog whether the ground is rushing up at you uncontrollably, or even whether you're moving at- Oh, never mind, you seem to have found the ground safely. And the world around you is a bit clearer, too. You recognize this place, you've been here enough that it has a sense of familiarity to it.
And now, with the uncanny feeling that you've done all thi
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Literature
FFM Day 1: A Life-Sized Surprise
Eli hated going to the dentist, but as his uncle was fond of reminding the young monarch, people expect their rulers to look a certain way; a king needs a perfect smile. So he kept his appointments. It wasn't like there were that many of them, and there were never any concerns that the physician brought up, but the visits still scared him. When the time came for Eli to see his arch-nemesis, he had one comfort.
Well, technically two. Sir Reginald Thrummingpaw III, and Patches the Fierce, a pair of stuffed Pandas, given to Eli by his parents before they passed and the throne came to him. Every time he had to go to the dentist, he brought the two plush bears along, and their soft familiarity helped keep him calm through the ordeal. The dentist and her assistants always made a fuss over how calm Eli was during his exams and cleanings, but they didn't see how hard he clutched the two pandas, or how the tension almost visibly faded when they finally stepped away from him at the end of the ap
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Literature
The Trial
Ambrose rushed through the streets, pausing every few dozen steps to consult the swinging of a small, crystal pendant dangling from one hand.  The near-constant dowsing took a lot of the aspiring young magician, but he'd been lucky to even get this shot in the first place, there was no way in hell he'd throw it away over something as simple as losing track of his quarry's position. Of course, the plan could backfire and leave him drained of energy at a crucial moment later, but he'd rather take that chance than waste time stumbling through the lower city hoping he came across the ritual site he was looking for, even if there had been time for it. Coming to a halt in the middle of an intersection he checked the crystal once more, taking note of the change in swing since his last stop. "Finally," he muttered under his breath, darting down the street to his right, barely managing to dodge between the other pedestrians.
The large chair felt almost too soft as Cyrus settled back into i
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Literature
The Glory of the Blank Page
The blank page is arguably one of the most terrifying parts of any creative endeavor. Whether you're an artist, a musician, a writer, or a creative of some other stripe, the prospect of beginning a new work is often more than a little daunting. You start with nothing, an empty void that will (hopefully) transform into your finished work, your latest Opus. But first you have to lay down your first bar, or brushstroke, or sentence. That first step, the springboard that will launch you on your way to turn inspiration into realization, is vitally important. Even if it gets changed or removed in later revisions, it will be the foundation you build upon, inexorable from the final result whether it's visible or not, and the notion of that can be intimidating as all hell. But sometimes, no matter how scary that blank page can be, it's just as unthinkable to give up as it is to press on. Because you have a vision in your head. A song, story, or picture that you want to share with anyone and eve
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Literature
Freewrite -- Patience
You think I don't know how they talk about me? The things they whisper behind my back? Coward. Fool. As if they have any notion of what approaches. Is it cowardice to not rush headlong against a greater power? Is it foolishness to hide from an unwinnable battle? They see me act in the interest of self preservation and believe me to be driven by fear. I know what comes, and even if they do manage to put aside their petty differences long enough to stand together, in a frontal assault they stand no chance; my participation in their so-called plan would change nothing. But when I told them this, when I allowed them the chance to benefit from my considerable experience, I was met with scorn. So be it.
Let those overzealous children sprint towards their graves, time is on my side. I will hide in the shadows, plotting and scheming. I will eke every small edge that can be gained as I quietly bide my time, gathering the strength I will need. If I have one advantage against the coming ha
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Literature
The Puzzle
The door was child’s play-- an unencrypted keypad with a four-digit access code, talk about amateurs. Hyde couldn’t really blame them though, the perimeter was supposed to be nigh-impenetrable. Besides, it’s not like this room was all that important, just a backup server farm in case the main cluster went offline, and it hadn’t seen any actual use since its installation. Well until ten or so minutes ago, that is. There was a sharp hiss and he could practically feel the smirk coming across his companion’s face. “Alright, Belle, I got the door, but hang tight for another second while I deal with the--” Not listening, she stepped into the room and I was cut off by an alarm and the sound of boots running towards us down the corridor. “You know, one of these days you’re going to remember to wait for me to give the all-clear before you rush in like that.”
With a grimace Belle dashed to the back of the small room and plugged a drive
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Literature
Crevoke Prompt: 'Bond Irrelevant Tower'
Jace shuddered. "That's a long way down."  The ground beneath the tower seemed to sway beneath him as he looked at it. A laugh from just above him drew his attention back to the task at hand.
"Don't worry, the fall doesn't matter; if we drop off the side of the building it's because the defenses activated, which means we'll be dead long before we get back to the ground anyway." Ellia actually managed to sound excited by the prospect. "Of course, if we have any kind of warning we could let go ourselves and take our chances..." Jace couldn't help but wonder why he'd agreed to this stupid endeavor. He didn't have to think long though, Ellia was his oldest friend, and she would've come with or without him, she might as well have someone to watch her back once she got in. If she got in.
It was slow going, and there were some close calls, but the pair finally  made it to an unsecured window, someone obviously thought the extreme height of their office precluded them from standard s
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Literature
A Reluctant Return
Ian McTaggart was a magician by trade. Quite a good one too, though not very well known. He knew all the standards; pulling a rabbit from a hat, guessing which card an audience member had pulled from a full deck or how to make a coin vanish and reappear across the room, but his favorite was the cups and balls. It was such a simple trick, even with all its variations; you pick up a cup, show that there’s nothing underneath it, then put it back down. When you pick it up again, a ball has miraculously appeared. More than any other effect Ian performed, the cups and balls wasn’t about the trick, it was about how you manipulated the audience’s expectations and drew their attention away from events that were happening right in front of them, artificially creating what amounted to a miracle so minor it hardly deserved the name, yet still leaving the shocked onlookers with an incredulous sense of awe and wonder.
In recent years he’d performed his own version of the worl
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Literature
First Encounter
You've certainly made a name for yourself, this past year. Most of the heavy hitters have left town, they're calling this city a "Dead Zone" for organized crime. For the past month the worst you've had to deal with is the occasional stick-up artist or purse snatcher...At least until a few days ago, then it seemed like everything was worse than ever. Where before you had bank robberies, now you had bomb threats. Muggers prowling the streets at night were replaced by murderers acting in broad day light. And there were just so many! You couldn't save everyone. This had to be the work of one of the families come back with a vengeance. The Russians? The Irish? Both, working together? I can only imagine the look on your face when you found out it was just little old me.
You weren't bad, as far as would-be heroes go, but despite your success, you were still untested. Yes you could frighten the petty thugs enough to keep them hiding in their holes, and irritate the various crime lords enough t
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Activity


Have you ever been to the French Catacombs? They are a truly fascinating place. Down through the Gate of Hell, the final resting place of over six million souls after being displaced from their former homes in the old church cemeteries. Just think of the history, the stories you might hear if those old bones decorating the walls could talk... Well even without that, there are still stories to be found.

On my third trip into the tunnels, I went without any guide or escort; I was interested in the places they don't show you when you're in a tour group. I wandered alone in the darkness for hours, stopping to take notes on anything that caught my eye and keeping a careful map of my progress as I went. From a distance, the passage looked like a nondescript alcove in the wall of a dead-end tunnel, identical to any of the others I'd seen on my previous visits. When I approached, however, I saw that it was in fact a narrow hallway of rough stone. My light didn't reach the end of the passage from where I stood, so naturally I ventured into it in hopes of finding something of interest.  The passage was maybe five feet wide, with a slight curve to the left as I delved into it --I lost sight of the entrance not long after I started. A brief while later, no more than three minutes, though at the time it felt longer, the path opened up into a chamber unlike any I'd seen before or have since.

If pressed, I'd call it some kind of ritual chamber. There were long-extinguished candles scattered around the floor, most of them burned down to stubs and tipped on their sides. Several were still upright in the center of the room, marking the tips of a six-pointed star that had been inscribed into the stone at the center of the circular room. The star was enclosed in a circle and thirteen smaller symbols were carved into the gaps of the design. There was even an altar, a large stone had been fashioned into a rectangle and placed opposite the chamber's entrance, then topped with a pair of larger candles and what appeared to be the stand for a book, though said book was nowhere to be found.  I spent nearly an hour in that room, taking careful notes, making sure not to leave out even the smallest detail, including faithful recreations of the large symbol and each of the smaller ones it contained. Something about that room made me feel... Driven, I guess you could say, I had to find out what it's purpose was.

When I finally turned to leave, my eyes were drawn upward to the domed ceiling, and I stopped in my tracks. Suspended on a nearly invisible wire, hanging only two or three feet above my head, directly above the strange symbol on the floor, was a chandelier. It was fairly small, but intricately made, from dozens of nearly-identical parts. At first glance, they appeared to be wood or maybe smooth stone, but as my eyes took in the details I realized the fixture was made of bones. That sent a chill through me; bones were common enough down in these tunnels, but aside from that chandelier there were none to be found in this chamber, surely that must mean something? My fingers itched to take the pen out of my pocket and add another sketch to my notes, but just didn't seem adequate for this. Instead, I carefully reached up and held the chandelier in one hand, then used my other to cut it free from the wire.

Getting it back up to the surface unnoticed was difficult, but not impossible. The same was true of getting back to my home in America. Back home, I hung the chandelier in my study and began to research. I was certain that chamber was important somehow, and if I was going to figure it out, those symbols were the key. The symbols were an eclectic mix, Judeo-Christian symbols like the Seal of Solomon next to the demonic sigil of Dagon and what looked like ancient Mayan script. Individually, they were easy to track down and learn about, but looking at the inscription as a whole, I was coming up empty. Looking into summoning circles yielded some progress, but it was slow going, and I kept getting distracted by the prize I'd brought back from the chamber. Some quick digging was enough to learn that while the bones' original owners had been a variety of different ages, what they did have in common was that they were all male, and all were jawbones devoid of teeth and ripped from the bottom of their skulls. The more I considered the chandelier, the easier things seemed to fall into place with my research on the symbol. Before long, my studies consumed me.

Now, I've finally had my epiphany. Late last night, when I was already half asleep, everything finally clicked. The chamber, the symbols, the chandelier, I know what it all means. I know what I have to do. My notes are perfect, I can easily reproduce the circle from the catacombs. The ritual is harder, but I think I've found the right one, the one that the people who set up that chamber never got to finish. Now, there's only one final bit of preparation left to me: The chandelier.

It's incomplete, I must finish it.
Driven
This is my entry to All Hallow's Tales 2016 (Link: memnalar.deviantart.com/journa…). For the unfamiliar, the contest involves being given a prompt in the form of an item from a Cabinet of Curiosities, and mine was "A chandelier made of human jawbones. All male." That made the French Catacombs seem like a good place to start, and the ending followed pretty quickly after that. Getting from A to B took a bit longer than I anticipated, but we got there, and to quote LRR: "Never didn't have it."
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The candles were lit, the circle was closed, there was really only one thing left to do. God I was really going through with this, wasn't I? It was one thing to know that I'd followed the correct procedure down to the letter, and that I had the full backing of the council in an endeavor that was generally forbidden by the Code of Magi, it was something else entirely to actually call forth a demon. And not just any demon, one of the original Fallen; a being that had celestial power coursing through its system along with the infernal. Put simply, this was entirely out of my league.  But this was my city, I'd made it my job to protect it, and near as I could tell this was the only way I had a snoball's chance in hell of doing it.  

That didn't mean I had to be comfortable with it. If this went bad, there was a decent chance that I'd be able to make it out alive; I had a few tricks up my sleeve, and I'd have plenty of space to take advantage of, on account of the summoning circle taking up my entire workshop. That put all kinds of valuable materials and texts at risk if it came to a brawl, but a circle that was too small would likely fail, resulting in the energy involved being released as an explosion or possibly just releasing the entity contained with in. In this case both would be equally bad, so I was willing to risk a little property damage.  

Time to get to work. I began the ritual, chanting in Enochian, infusing each word of the angelic tongue with the force of my will. The chant was on the lengthy side, but at least there wasn't any silly dance I had to do along with it. My voice grew to a crescendo as I completed the spell and the candles scattered about flared along with it. Silence followed, eventually broken by a gruff voice behind me. "I answer your call, mortal."

I turned around and saw him sitting casually in my deskchair. He looked much like any other human, but with slightly stretched limbs, and an almost rail-thin body. Oh, and he had feathered, bird-like wings. He had originally been an angel, after all. "Engral," I greeted him cautiously. Demons were supposed to angry when you summoned them, not kill-the-puny-mortal-on-sight angry, but I-demand-to-know-why-you've-disturbed-me angry at the very least. Engral looked decidedly more relaxed, but that could easily change in the blink of an eye.

"I must confess, you're not who I was expecting to greet me this evening." So he knew. That wasn't really a surprise, when someone wanted to call forth an entity from the pits, it had ways of getting advance notice. Unless someone does it with absolutely no forethought or planning, apparently.

"It seems you already know about the Coven, they were going to call you tonight to destroy the city. I called you first so I could stop them."

The demon chuckled at me. "You're would have me lay waste to your enemies in a preemptive assault that would likely confuse their puny minds and shake the very core of their beings? How delightful."

I shook my head, that plan was a disaster waiting to happen. I had something much simpler in mind. "Not at all. I just want to keep them from being able to summon you. The members of the Coven are already paranoid and worried one member will attept to use you to destroy the others along with the city, if their ritual fails, they'll all take care of each other for me. All you're going to do is stick around here until dawn, at wich point the circle will allow you to return home."

Out of all the possible outcomes and eventualities I had prepared for in summoning a nearly legendary demon, what happened next was nowhere on the list. "Even better." I simply stared at him, speechless as a grin split across his eerily human face. "It's been so long since I've gotten to simply talk with a mortal, this will make for a nice change of pace." He gestured with one hand to the fireplace on the wall opposite him. "Is that a kettle, by any chance? Come, brew some up and let's enjoy a nice chat, shall we?"

FFM 2016 Day 11: An Evening Chat
After dropping the weekend because I had stuff going on (Eldritch Moon pre-prerelease and Monster Hunter:Generations demo, if you must know), I'm back in it today.

I really like the idea here, hope some other folks do too.
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"Oh yes," Bleeder took a step into the central room and nodded as he examined his surroundings. "Yes, this will do nicely." The bare concrete floors and pillars were illuminated by harsh overhead lighting, throwing shadows over the otherwise empty space. It was spartan, but it had potential; a few steel frames and glass panels, and it would match the aesthetic Bleeder had in mind perfectly. He moved across the floor with odd, jerking motions, as if he was held up and pulled along by unseen strings like a puppet, a worn-out real estate agent trailing a few steps behind him.

"I'm thinking we can set up a bank of display screens on this wall," He mused out loud, gesturing to one side. "Stow the servers and other electronics in the smaller side room, there should be plenty of space for what we need to keep tabs on that masked nuisance running around the rooftops." He gave his escort an ironic grin. "Get some stylish, yet comfortable furniture so monitor duty isn't completely unbearable- I'm not a monster, after all." Bleeder whipped around, causing the realtor to stumble back half a step, "Of course there has to be enough room for me to pace around while I think, this can be a mentally taxing business, after all.  As for the other side room... Well I don't think it'll ever be necessary, but we might as well convert it into some sort of cell or... Tell me, does it still count as a dungeon if it's on the same level as the building it's attached to?" The friendly chuckle he let out didn't seem to match his appearance at all.

"Yes, I do believe this is the perfect base. No, that sounds immature. Lair? Hmm, I'll have to think about it." He threw back his long coat and the lights flashed across the numerous throwing knives that lined the garment. The realtor flinched away at the sight, but Bleeder simply chuckled again.

"Oh, don't worry, friend. I'm not going to kill you," He reached his hand into a hidden pocket and withdrew several thick stacks of money, tossing them at the other man's feet. "I'm paying you for a job well done. Thanks to you, I have a seat from which I can conquer the city."

FFM 2016 Day 8: A New Home
I went off-script today, no prompt, no theme, no challenge, I just sat down, started typing, and this is what came out of it.
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The stars were up to something, he was sure of it. Like all astronomers, Mark had been dumbfounded when the stars in the night sky broke from their until-now consistent pattern of movement and appeared to be on a path to converge with one another. While his peers were still desperately seeking an answer as to what had happened to them, Mark had hit on something that seemed so obvious- Stars are actually sentient beings- and was now working on a question that seemed far more pressing: What were they planning?

From what anyone could tell, the point where the stars seemed intent on meeting was hundreds of millions of lightyears away from earth. So they wanted privacy, it would seem, at least for now. On top of that, many small stars seemed to come into being all at once around the gathering before slowly fading away over the course of a two or three days. Not stars, perhaps, but...weapons? Were the stars going to wage war on earth? And possibly other planets that harbored life out in the universe?

Not long after the weapons tests first became noticeable, one of Mark's few colleagues who harbored similar ideas about the truth of the situation presented his own viewpoints on  the stars' plans. "I think they might just be throwing a party." He grinned at the incredulous look on Mark's face and elaborated. "Think about it, they're sentient, and obviously don't mind each other's company, so why would they only gather together for the sake of going to war? Look at the size and duration of those temporary mini-stars, I don't think they're weapons at all. I think they're like fireworks for beings that exist on a different physical and temporal scale than we do. It's gotta be a festival."

The more Mark thought about it, the more he found himself agreeing with his friend. The two of them began to run it by their peers in the scientific community when someone brought up a point neither of them had noticed, engrossed as they were in their own research.  The earth was moving through space, apparently towards the gathering. Not pulled along by the sun as it led the way, but with the sun relatively positioned as if it were a friend ushering the earth along.

When asked about what implications this might have on the pair's new theory, Mark could only say one thing: "I guess we've been invited to the party."

FFM 2016 Day 7: Party Crashing
Back in the game after dropping yesterday (I just couldn't get any ideas to converge, I wound up with 4 different stubs that just went absolutely nowhere). Today's theme was the Japanese Tanabata festival, and I briefly thought about making something in reference to how obsessed with Japanese pop culture I used to be, but wound up going this route instead.
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Sometimes, Justin Dawes hated his job. Sure, the pay was phenomenal, the hours fit him like a tailored suit, and he'd made some of his best friends ever, but then there were the nights like this one. Dark, stormy, his coworkers randomly disappearing on their patrols or dropping off comms without any explanation. After trying and failing to get a response from one of them, Justin sighed and turned to the person he shared the control room with.  "I'm gonna try and find out what happened to Jenkins. If the boss checks in, let her know we've got a problem."

Oliver nodded as he got up to leave. "I'll be watching the feed from here, I'll let you know if anything looks off." Justin left him behind and began retracing Jenkins' patrol route. The warehouse they were set up was badly lit and badly laid out; Jenkins and the other guys could've simply gotten lost. That didn't explain why they'd gone silent as well, perhaps, but batteries died all the time, right? It's not like this kind of enterprise was particularly stringent about upkeep.

A clattering noise came from the shadows up ahead, and Justin reached for his flashlight to take a closer look. "Jenkins? I think your radio went dead, bro. Let's get you back up to the control room so we can get that handled, yeah?" Silence. Damn.

His radio crackled to life and almost made him drop the flashlight. "I found Jenkins, someone put him down and tossed him in a corner. So dark out there the cameras almost couldn't pick him up. You should come on back, it's not safe to be alone out there, dude." Justin looked at the nearest security camera and nodded.

The walk back was always scarier than the walk out. He took the exact same path, but it just felt more vulnerable; like knowing there was safety at the end of the walk seemed to guarantee that if something was going to happen it would be now. But he was one of the lucky ones, whatever or whoever was out there never came for him. And it didn't tonight either. He finally got back to the control room and opened the door with a relieved smile. "Thanks for the heads up, Ollie, it's pretty creepy out there tonight."

The room was empty. "Ollie?"

FFM 2016 Day 5: Last One Standing
Day 5's theme was Omission, the basic idea of looking at what wasn't in the scene, letting the real story lie between the lines in the subtext.  My first thought on seeing that was to do something about The Masquerade, because that's a concept I absolutely love and don't play around with often enough.

Then I woke up and had this idea. Kind of an homage to stealth games, stuff in the vein of Splinter Cell, Batman Arkham, and even Dishonored. The ending was a little longer, but as I went to post it I decided spur-of-the-moment to cut it short and end it with a bit more tension still alive.
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Chapter 1 of MegaTokyo bears some resemblance to Chapter 0, insofar as not a lot happens. Unlike its predecessor, however, Chapter 1 has less of a tendency to jump around between a bunch of different story threads. Oh make no mistake, they're all still present, but the focus is mainly placed on two of them. For those of you following along at home, today we'll be tackling comics 134 through 194. Now let's dive on in.

We start off the morning after last chapter ended, with a brief look at our leading ladies. Nanasawa's put two and two together and realized Piro's the one who gave her that railcard, and wants to pay back his kindness. Hayasaka thinks she should "Let him have his 'I did something nice for a pretty girl' fantasy." A cut to Piro, Largo, and Ping shows us how they made it through the night without a place to stay: they slept in a park. Piro heads off to work and instructs Largo to look after Ping, a directive which he immediately ignores in favor of trying to stop the darkness he thinks he unleashed the day before. This upsets Ping and we get a subtle reminder that she's a robot when she uproots a telephone pole and tries to beat Largo with it. This is part of Ping's slightly-flawed 'rejection algorithms,' the code monkeys at Sony wanted her to be realistic, including how she deals with heartbreak, after all.

The main focus of the chapter kicks in when Largo, after throwing Ping off his trail, notices Miho and decides to follow her all sneaky-like. Turns out she's on her way to school, and Largo gets roped into being an English teacher. Before we go much farther that bears some discussion. Largo's plan is to use his new job to keep an eye on Miho. At least at first. Right from the start, when he introduces himself to the class, you can tell that he's pretty into teaching, even if he's not teaching the right subject. In later chapters we'll see that Largo legitimately cares for his students, which will be one of the first signs pointing towards the fact that he's not just a hallucinating madman. Anyway, he starts class, sees the Ping has snuck into school as well (though as a student) and freaks out when he thinks she's still trying to murder him. Shenanigans ensue, including jumping out a third story window and challenging Ping to compete in a game that's described as "Dance Dance Revolution, with punk music, in a moshpit," but the important part is that Largo has some facetime with Miho, which will be relevant later this chapter.

Piro spends this whole time at work, where the most relevant thing that happens is Yuki comes by (she skipped school for this) to return his sketchbook and bag, and while doing so her friends catch her and are convinced she likes Piro. From what I can tell at this point, Yuki herself isn't too sure how she feels about Piro. She seems largely interested in his artwork, but there's more to it; she's using the feelings evoked by the drawings to try and get a read on the person who made them. Not that she has any real way to know it, but she's building Piro up in her mind, into something much more than he is in reality. There's a reason people have the saying "Never meet your heroes," and Yuki's setting herself to run into that face-first in future chapters.

Piro, meanwhile, is grateful for her for returning his belongings...Then embarassed when he discovers she wrote notes on all the drawings, like "That bra is cute, but looks uncomfortable. Is that why she's sad?" He makes it through the rest of the work day and goes to find Ping and Largo to let them know they have a place to stay now (The store's owner is letting them stay in the storage space on the third floor of MegaGamers), but first he runs into Miho, who apparently recognizes him from somewhere, and tells him to remember to charge Ping's battery so she can be ready for school tomorrow morning, then walks off. Later, we see Miho musing to herself about Piro and Largo, saying that in the flesh, one is exactly what she expected while the other is very different. So apparently are undead queen is acquainted with the heroes. Well I'm sure you know the drill, more on that in future chapters....

Nanasawa finds out that evening that her benefactor had been spent the night in the park but now lived above the store. Hayasaka also gets on her case for not eating. Nanasawa gripes to herself on the way to her regular job that she just wants to be able to support herself without having to rely on her friend like she has been. This is a side of Nanasawa we haven't really seen previously; this independent spirit and desire to be her own person winds up being an important part of her character later, as does her understanding side, she's not resentful of Hayasaka's help or guidance, more like sad that she still needs it.

So after her shift ends, Nanasawa orders two meals from the cook and takes them over to the store and knocks at the door, looking to pay Piro back for the railcard and maybe get to know him a bit better. When the door opens to reveal a pants-less Ping, though, Nanasawa's expectations for the evening plummet. As we'll see next chapter, Nanasawa doesn't exactly take this news well, but that's where this chapter ends.

Chapter 1 is another slow burn; once again a bunch of things happen that don't pay off until later. The main focus here is on Largo getting his job and buiding up the mystique surrounding Miho. Largo takes to being a teacher pretty well, he obviously thinks he has knowledge and skills that are worth passing on, and the students seem to have a good time as they learn it, even if it's not what they're supposed to be working on (It actually reminds me of School of Rock a bit). What we see of Miho is all about setting her up as the story's main mystery. Is she really some dark mistress like Largo thinks? What's her interest in Ping? Where does she know Largo and Piro from?

There'll be (some) answers next week, when we take a look at Chapter 2!

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b4k4-san
Vivi la tua storia
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thank you for the watch!
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Thank you so much for the watch O u O
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Thanks for the watch
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Hey thanks for the fav! :D
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Thank you very much for the watch! <3
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Not a problem. How could I ignore Pookie and Yuri's reccommendations? XD
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<3 I hope you enjoy what you see!
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Thanks for the fav! :)
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not a problem :)
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