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General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by ajwilli1 on July 01, 2020, 02:45:57 am »
Has it really been 5 years?
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on June 15, 2020, 07:27:53 am »
The world was falling apart. Slowly collapsing in on itself and sinking into a deep dark void into which no light could escape. That was how it felt to Mona Koenig at least. She felt as though the ground was opening up under her feet at every step and in each of those moments, she could feel herself being pulled down. Down and down into an uncertain stygian ocean of black tears. Dean and Mica Koenig's only daughter had spent the last five days crying endlessly in the darkness of the house her parents had spent their final years in, and Dean had spent his remaining ten after Mica's passing. The shades of course had been drawn. No light allowed in this place. No light shed into this tomb of a house that had never felt so empty to the young woman before. Sometimes she walked from room to room disconsolately weeping to nothing and no one, speaking to ghosts who weren't there. She hardly ate. It didn't seem right to her. Looking at all the things in the cupboards that her father had enjoyed. It seemed wrong, even though he was gone, to want to eat any of it. She didn't sleep. Not until the specter of unconsciousness came over her like a wave and washed away everything in a sleep plagued by dreams in which she wandered an empty world in search of something she was afraid she'd never find without the help of her father.

Purpose. The lack of purpose crushed her. Crushed her like a great stone slowly working it's way down onto her to squeeze the life from her. On the sixth day, Mona had no more tears to cry. They'd left her suddenly and inexplicably with the only evidence of their existence being the angry red furrows they'd carved into her cheeks like rivers carving canyons, and the sore irritated scales of her face. She'd touched her face once and winced, but didn't feel the furrows she'd expected. Her upper eyes finally opened. They could not weep, and so when Mona was out of sorts she'd simply shut them to keep them from becoming irritated. With them open, she could see better. The house was dark and empty and cold, but by the seventh day she could start to see it again. She could begin to eat again, but she still felt guilty about eating her father's food. On the eighth, Mona realized she hadn't fed the chickens in a week.

"Oh shoot... She mumbled, feeling more guilt coming on. By now, the chickens would have begun to starve or escape. Where would that leave Mona then? As beshitted as she felt, she still had some small responsibilities. Responsibilities she could latch onto, a small island of purpose in a roiling sea of uncertainty. She tried to turn it into a more robust purpose, but couldn't. The chickens had been kept by and for her mother, but Mica had passed when she was only ten years old. What was the purpose of the chickens if Mica wasn't around to enjoy them? Mona had been headed for the back door when these thoughts occured to her and she had reeled, slamming her back to the wall and sliding hopelessly to the floor as the world once again opened up beneath her, and the tears came flooding back.

A little while later, the back door creaked open. The sound was an ungodly level of loud in the late afternoon air, and many attempts had been made to fix it. Even Catnip though had been unable to solve the age old problem of an overly creaky hinge, so it had stayed as was. The grass was getting long, but not so long that the morning see would soak Mona's legs and shoes when leaving the house in the morning and fortunately the chickens would have had plenty to eat. The light of evening was still bright enough to smart her eyes, and so Mona had squinted at the ground when slipping out. As a result, she didn't see the young rodent featured lady leaning on the high fence post with an empty grain bag until she'd called out to her.

"There you are ma'am. Ms. Arti- we, Ms. Walker was beginning to worry about you."

Mona looked up sharply, surprised and embarrassed at realizing how she must look. The lady winced to see the way Mona's face had been punished by her grief, and the small but noticable impact not eating for a week had done to Mona's figure.

"What... What are you doing here Rosia?" Mona asked after a long time wrestling with her vocal chords. Her voice was muffled and strained. Struggling to hold back the water works in front of others. Rosia was one of Catnips chosen, an acquaintance but not quite a friend. Still, they'd been on friendly terms.

"Ms. Walker asked me to come and help you. I uh, I would have done it without being asked of course but um... I've been we, I mean to say, I... I fed your chickens..." Rosia explained with the nerves if someone who didn't often interact with others. She made a small gesture towards the pen where the Koenig flock pecked at the ground and scratched, greedily snatching up grains to fill their craws with. She stared for a long time at the birds, her mind swirling with the thoughts of the fatherless life ahead of her, and didn't see Rosia come up and gently take her hand.

"Um... Do you want to talk about it?" She asked. Mona's chest hitched a little and her own bucket began to slip out of her grasp.

"No..." She husked, but then after another long silence in the cool evening air and in a much smaller voice she added, "yeah..."
General Discussion / Re: STILL ALIVE
« Last post by Bubbadoo on June 06, 2020, 11:02:19 pm »
Oh nice, any chance I could get a invite to the discord? I like to look back here from time to time and I'd like to do the same with discord if that's ok
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by BadSniper on May 27, 2020, 01:31:03 am »
Do I win yet?
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by ApatheticExcuse on May 03, 2020, 08:03:52 am »
General Discussion / Re: Last Man Posting: -50% SHENANIGANS
« Last post by Caconym on April 15, 2020, 05:21:16 am »
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on March 24, 2020, 07:49:03 am »
The Casino was empty today, out of respect for the recently deceased and the young lady he'd left behind. A lot of establishments were closed in fact, even those operated by people migrated to the area after the events that had made the man a hero to the New Paris refugee center, now called the New Paris administrative building. A town had sprung up around that center after the influx of people coming to New England and the establishment of the Big Smoke Caravan Company. In fact, life had become relatively pre-cataclysmic in New Paris. So what if the rare undead lurched its way into town and the world outside had become something not nearly but almost entirely fantastical? Life was stable, and people could still mourn the dead in peace.

"Charity!" L shouted across the lobby, "Get your butt over here! Family meeting! And put whatever it is you've fished out of those pockets back!"

There came a hushed "shoot" from the front of the casino, near the always in use coat room, and after a moment a young mouse featured women shuffled hurriedly from behind the Casino's broad crescent shaped front desk to present herself before L along with the other "employees." It was easy to tell, even among their oddly uniform kind, that the boss of the outfit also happened to be their mother. To look at the dour head of the casino's security though, you'd never know he was their father.

"You've all done really well this month, staying out of trouble. Cept' Macie, who isn't here right now because as we all know, she's gone and got herself arrested again. Kurt, Abby, Dwayne, you three can go." L said, giving the last with an approving grin.

"Aw, ma, why do they always get to skip the meetings?" Said Charity. Chyna stood close next to her, picking something out of her unusual black fur. Several of L and Mohammad's thirteen children had been marked out as unusual in such a way, making known to the father some small mutation he himself had no knowledge of until testing for the cause.

"Because Kurt, Abby, Dwayne, and Remington are good boys and girls, and the rest of you aren't. You've all been taking things from customers. You've done well this month, but that doesn't mean you haven't been doing it. None of you are quiet as bad as Macie..." L explained harshly, leaving the comment about her most ill behaved daughter hanging for a moment. Of all the children, Macie was the most overtly criminal. Most of them had small vices, mostly picking pockets or small slight of hand thefts from hotel rooms when the traders were in town, but only Macie had the gall to outright threaten and rob others. A bandit well and true was Macie Stuart. Her recent bit of "work" had landed her in the New Paris big house for two years. Two years, or until L paid her bail. L would pay the bail after all, but only once she'd thought Macie had been punished enough. L could swing the cash for it. After all, the casino had been her finest and most profitable gamble. "But I still don't appreciate it when clients come to me asking about 'lost' property, only to go and find one of you suddenly had more allowance than you should or suddenly come into a fancy new piece of clothing or toy or something."

The children stood nervously in a line, knowing that they'd done wrong but seemingly helpless to stop. L was mad at them, but she still loved them all. After a long moment of silence, she sighed. "What am I going to do with you?" After an even longer silence, one of the children cleared his throat. Andre, one of L's better behaved kids, quietly piped up.

"Uh, ma? I uh, gotta get to work. The next scav crew is heading out this afternoon..."

L grinned again, Andre was a crook like her other kids, but he at least had a job outside the casino. One that won him some favor not just with her, but with the whole family. "Yes sweety, while you are out do you think you could look for new pinball machines?"

"I suppose ma." Andre said, perking up a little. He had his burglary game, but that was becoming less and less of a focus for him. His talents were better put to use in this other more noble trade. "Might have to go further afield for that though. Most of the machines we've seen close by have Auntie Catnip's mark on them."

"Auntie Catnip won't mind if you cover over her marks with the casino's, and if she does then she won't be after you about it. She'll come to me and I'll smooth things over. She owes me a favor anyway." L mused, then said, "Don't forget your sandwich sweety."

The man stood quietly behind L, put away the old phone he'd been playing with and reached into a paper bag on the card table next to him and fished out a long object wrapped in brown paper. "Andre, Salami and three cheese on white with mustard." Mohammad mumbled while rummaging, then offered it with a faint, and some might think fatherly, smile.
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by RedVulnus on March 22, 2020, 01:11:13 am »
As Drifter sat down in the booth at the bar TJ finished ordering their food and drinks.The pub hadn’t changed since he’d left a half year ago and neither had the clientele he noticed as he scanned the room. He recognized a few faces, namely the troublemakers that always frequented anywhere that sold or traded alcohol, but no one that he thought would cause him problems.

He was shaken from his observation by the feeling of TJ sliding into the booth next to him and leaning against his side. Quietly putting his arm around TJ Drifter enjoyed the quiet moment. For just a second the rest of the world faded away.

That too passed as their waitress brought their drinks and food a few seconds later. TJ handed her a coin before she started off towards another table and the two started to eat. A breakfast of steak and eggs with toast and sausage, TJ with an order of juice and Drifter with an irish coffee.

“So that was my trip, how were things here?” Drifter asked as he cut into the steak and took a bite. He was surprised at how good the steak tasted and took a moment to savor it.

Shrugging TJ finished his mouthful of egg and said “Same old same old. Alice never lets me do anything interesting anymore, just over see the workshops and then makes me check the post office every other day. She doesn’t even want me to go with the scavenging parties..”

Drifter didn’t say anything for a moment, taking a drink of his coffee, but he did notice TJ trailing off and his frustrated tone of voice. Of course he understood why Alice was a bit overbearing with TJ, the two had basically become brother and sister after all, but still it was odd just how overprotective she was.

“But I guess it’s not all bad, things are pretty safe around here. I get to check out all the newest stuff the engineers here make and try some of it out too. Sokolov even let me shoot the fifty cal converted AK he had specialty made for him.” TJ said in a not so successful attempt to sound cheerful.

“Sounds like fun. Tell you what though I’ll see if you can come with me once Alice and I talk about these parts she had me run to go get. A trip to New Paris at least.”: Drifter said, smiling at the look in TJ’s eyes in response.

“Alright, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to New Paris. Wonder how the place is doing.” TJ said before taking a bite of his steak. Drifter was still perplexed by the fact that TJ needed to eat. How TJ explained it was that his system took the food and converted it into mana that his body both needed and naturally produced. Still odd to think a skeleton needed to eat.

They finished their meal in relative silence and then decided to go for a walk while they waited for Alice to get back. As they left Drifter decided to ignore the whispered insults about TJ and himself as they walked by. He didn’t need another fight today.

Alice meanwhile took her leave and made the trek back to Walkerville. She watched birds fly overhead and listened to them sing. Her radio was still turned off as she walked and tried to enjoy the surroundings without thinking about Dee. Eventually she passed through the gates and made her way to her house.

That still stung, her house. Flicking it on she called over the radio “Drifter you better be here by now, you know where to meet me.”

Drifter arrived after only a few minutes and Alice saw TJ stop and lean beside the door. Another few minutes and they were in the basement as Drifter said “So now I finally get to know what this big secret project is?”

Alice walked around the table that lay in the middle of her basement as Drifter stopped at the base of the steps. “ that what I think it is?”

Pulling the sheet off Alice revealed the body of B-23, which in it’s current state looked like a collection of parts jerry rigged to work together mixed with bits of the human body. What was there that was human was connected to a machine that simulated the normal bodily functions such as a beating heart and breathing lungs. Drifter stared at this for a few moments before shaking his head “Hell no. I’m out and I’m taking this shit with me.”

Alice took the few steps necessary to close the distance and grabbed Drifter’s arm “Oh no you aren’t! I run the organization that pays you Bandit and I paid you extra for this!”

Drifter stared at Alice through the helmet he was wearing and evaluated his situation. The man on the table was similar to her father but he knew he was different. He’d seen the man fight. “Alice, I know you haven’t really gotten over your dad’s death but that guy on the table ain’t him and he never will be.”

Alice said “You’re my friend, I thought you were going to help me!” she shouted at him.

For a moment Drifter questioned himself. But then he remembered what B-23 had done five years ago and shook his head. “I am Alice, even if you don’t think so. And before you think about threatening me with your little postal service I’ve got just as many friends, some of which are very dear to the both of us.”

Alice stared at him for a few seconds. He could see the mixture of emotions in her expression as the two sat there, both quietly moving their hands towards their holsters. Then she let go and turned away cursing Drifter under her breath. “See you around Alice..I hope things get better.”

Walking back outside TJ fell into step beside him. As they made their way towards the gate TJ said “Why do I have a feeling we’re not going to New Paris?” and Drifter sighed. Then he began to explain things.
Rec Room / Re: A History of Time to Come
« Last post by saltmummy626 on February 11, 2020, 04:40:50 am »
The whistle over the chapel let loose it's mournful howl, signalling the coming of dinner and the start of the evening break. Not that there was anything keeping the people working in the chapel of Agmen from taking a break whenever they wanted. It was more about keeping the faithful from over working themselves. Long ago, when the workshops had been first completed and Catnip's train had been moved into the chapels berth, the mechanic found that Agmen's adherents would easily lose track of time and work themselves half to death in the pursuit of creation and invention, and so she had installed the whistle to remind them not to do so. Hammers and wrenches would be set aside, aprons and goggles hung up, and welders switched off as Agmen's followers prepared to cool off and unwind for an hour. All except one. In a quiet corner of the chapel, a lone Misling taps away at rivets in a piece of metal.

"Why can't I get this right..." She mumbled, adjusting her die preparatory to bringing down her tiny hammer onto the too cool metal. Tap tap tap, and a sigh. Rose didn't want to use the riveting machine, it could ruin the detailing on the piece, but lacked the talent of her mentors for manual work. Catnip would tell her the problem, but Catnip was busy. Catnip was at a funeral and would be away from the chapel workshop for several days. Visiting her would be out of the question, tactless even. Rose set down her hammer and die, and frowned at the work before her. Steel rivets littered the table with only a few actually in the metal she was working with. It was just a simple decorative plate, and she'd been working on it all day. An embarrassing amount of her time had been poured into it. The filigree she'd worked so hard to get just right was perfect, but the rivet work was less than ideal.

"Steel rivets have to be heated every few strikes Rosey." came a familiar voice from beside her, making her jump a little.

"Ms. Walker! You startled me, what are you doing here? I thought you were going to a funeral?" Rose asked. Catnip had come up on her so quietly that she'd not noticed the low tap of the cane on the hardwood floor of the chapel. The old mechanic rubbed the bridge of her nose where it had been broken and mended and broken again on several occasions and smiled warmly, and a little sadly.

"Dee's funeral ended hours ago. Kathrine and I stayed awhile longer to say our goodbyes, but... Well, we can't linger long. Your details are nice." Catnip explained. The compliment wasn't a surprise, the mechanic some of Agmen's faithful called "artifex" was very free with her compliments. Despite how common they were, such small accolades were still greatly appreciated. More appreciated was the advice that usually came after. "Heat your rivets to red before tapping them down and rounding them off. As soon as the metal starts to turn dark, heat it up again." She watched the young artist for a long time, giving advice here and there on how to strike each rivet, how to hold the torch, and how much heat to apply.

"It's done, I think." Rose said as she set aside the hammer and held up the plate of decorated metal. "Thank you Ms. Walker."

Catnip waved away the thanks and looked at what the girl had wrought. Simple spiraling patterns on a cylinder of super alloy, a purely decorative sleeve of metal for a truly important piece of Catnip's own revolutionary technology. The final part of a vortex engine. Rose was one of Catnip's special few, her chosen individuals, to work on the rare engines. It didn't matter to Catnip that Rose had very little mechanical aptitude, Agmen himself had shown Catnip who to select to replace her. Rose had been one of five. She watched the way Rose moved the sleeve in her hands with a dexterity that belied her lack of skill.

"Rosey?" Catnip said finally, "Can I ask you a favor?"
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