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NaNo 2013 PrologueOn the morning Ethel Sumner sent her son to his death, all was quiet.
The Sumner family, like all families in their town, played a strange game. Anually, for the past three years, all families were entered into a lottery. And though the Sumner family had 'won,' the feeling of 'winning' was very much absent. This had been hard for Ethel. And she'd be doubly damned if it weren't going to get harder.
The region was in the midst of a four month drought. The Sumner family was a family of farmers, a mix of five adults, three children, and unrelated crew hands. The previous week Eric Sumner had let go two of his best ranch hands. They simple couldn't afford to pay them anymore. Rainless periods on their world were not unusual, but damn if it weren't the farmers who were always hit the hardest.
But as the sun peeked over the horizon, the bright dawn had given way to gray as storm clouds rolled in. Ethel packed her son's knapsack for the las
Geiger's CourierAs I walked, the blue of the desert sky began to fade. I pulled my hood over my head, even though my machine body needed neither protection from the sun nor shelter from the wind. Simply put, I didn't like the feeling of the unending void above me, looming, watching, infinite. I knew I shouldn't have such feelings, so I ignored the rationale and allowed my hands to move as they pleased.
I adjusted the leather strap. The sky was pale. Gray. Stars blinking into view, I refused to meet their eternal gaze. As I walked I was dying. As I walked, I was not yet born.
But as I laid my feet in a careful pattern, one in front of the other, I didn't notice. Day, night, it didn't matter, for I'd been given the unenviable position in life of a courier, and I neither knew nor cared for anything else.
Not yet, at any rate.
My body was a vessel for my vague sense of self, for I was water gathered between shaking palms, a cup half-filled, a fleet lif
TDST blurb and dedication - Crit Me???BLURB:
It all started out with a dead fish.
That's a stupid way to start a story, but it's true. My name's Jeremy Cutter, and I am… well was… a cop. Nowadays, I'm an agent for the Transdimensional Teams, and it's my job to police crime all over the multiverse.
Yes, multiple universes exist, and yes, they are connected, in Spectra of one hundred-and-eight on the nose. Conceptually cool, I know. But ever since a world called Regalia opened pathways between the worlds, new and spectacular forms of crime have been springing up like daisies. Drug dealers that cross dimensions, impossible boxes with white energy, people with wings running cons, anything and everything to make the classic dishonest buck.
My team is a sassy cyborg, a little girl and her magical pony, a lady with wings, and a stoic one-eyed man in a pinstriped suit. I might be in over my head. I might also be losing my marbles, ever since a magic box exploded on my
The TDST, 2727.
I closed the door to Elitiana’s room quietly.
"Krathax, you got anything in that tin can of yours on this world?"
"Yeah, a little, why? The Royals don’t really bother with this place. Low population, less than amicable living conditions. They probably just harvest ice for their snow cones, or whatever."
Lumiel frowned. I smirked. "How about physiology? Everyone’s eyes are…yellow and stuff?"
Krathax folded his arms over his chest, his blue-and-red eyes looking upwards to the ceiling. Invisible file sorting, probably, and pursed his lips and pondered. Somehow, the man always looked cheery, even when in permanent-winter surviving and blind-girl saving mode. "It’s genetics," he said at last. "98% of the population have eyes that are yellow, 2% have blues. It’s part of their adaptation to the winter environment. Thicker skin, better conservation of body heat, deeper visual penetr
The TDST, 25, 2625.
I awoke with the intense feeling I was being watched. In my dreams, I'd been locked in a house. A giant ivory eye was looking into the windows, and no matter where I ran in the house, there it would be. Even the tiny windows of the bathrooms, there it would be. Watching.
I had been terrified.
Awake, I looked around, left and right, up, down…my tiny apartment was empty. But my heart still thudded in my chest, a freight train of instinct, a fire of bad omen.
There was a rapping on my door. And just like that, all my terror focused into a stiletto of annoyance. Still half-clothed, I tore the door open and snapped, "What?"
Cassidy, in a brown skirt and vest, looked shocked. She stared at my chest with an embarrassment unique to a fifteen-year-old girl, and mumbled an apology. I gritted my teeth at her and she shied back. My annoyance melted to regret and instantly to sadness. A cathartic need to confess welled u
The TDST, 24PART IV: THE INEVITABLE
I was losing my mind.
Stuck in the Between, out of the information loop, pretending I should be calm and what, happy?
It was the third day of me asking. I was getting ruder about it, too. Instead of asking Lumiel in the halls, or at the daily meeting with Beedle, I'd decided to go to her room. Her quarters were in a separate atrium, where other Irians lived. I rapped on the door that was hers until my knuckles hurt.
Finally, she opened the door, narrowed her eyes, and hissed, "What?"
"I want to interview Snowman."
"NO." Lumiel tried to close the door. I stuck my hand and foot in, effectively wedging myself inside the frame. "I've told you, no!"
"I want to interview Snowman," I pressed.
"Cutter, get out."
"Fine!" I shouted, slammed my palms against the door, and pushed myself back in the hallway. I grabbed the doorknob and pulled, slamming the door. I almost caught her fingers in
The TDST, 2323.
I was lying on my back in the grass outside the Radar Research Center, staring at pictures I'd taken on my phone. The Between base, the fountains, the way the atrium ceiling lit up like auroras. Cass, Krathax, pictures of San Francisco, even one of Jennifer the Art Student. The blue grass of this other Princeton, the pretty green co-ed I'd passed. I paused my impatient leafing when I got to Lumiel's picture, the one I'd taken earlier in the afternoon. She was sneering, her eyebrows peaking villainously.
You're a sad little man, C. What are you, without the rules of the SFPD to hold you on a track? You can't decide if you want to kill the guys who beat up that girl or just let 'em fall to the whims of the law. You can kill them, you know. The Interviewer really did hint you have a 'license to kill.'
"No one dies," I mumbled.
Okay, if you say so. I think you're a teenager again, wanting to test your boundaries.
The TDST, 2222.
We collared Emily at her class and escorted her away. Her classmates stared and gawked; apparently TDT presence was a big deal. If kayaking was Emily's cover, she'd already done her illicit business on the lake. So, the girl had no problem throwing a royal fit as we hauled her off.
"What is this? I haven't done anything!" Et cetera. Her whining created an auditory parade all the way to the campus PD office, where we borrowed an interview room.
We all squeezed the little gray room with the one-way mirror. Interview rooms like this were a Transdimensional constant in any world that resembled mine. Emily was still whining until I interrupted.
"We know you peddle the dope, kid."
Emily's mouth snapped shut. She looked at me dead on. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Your neighbor ratted you out."
"I don't even know my neighbor."
"He saw the thugs in suits, Emily," I accused. "And named you as a local dealer of noir."
I Will Protect You (Skylox)
The cave was dark. The night outside was cold. The thunder outside echoed deafeningly against the cave walls even though there was no end to the labyrinth of a cave system in sight.
As I walked through the cave, I couldn't help but wish that Dan could have joined me on my expedition for some gold - butter - ore. Cave knew the caves better than anyone. His name had a meaning, after all.
I was almost certain I was close to the surface as I heard raindrops pounding above me. I couldn't help but smile as I quickened my pace, holding my torch up high.
Then a terrifyingly familiar scream split the air and I stopped dead in my tracks, my blood running cold. My eyes widened and I spun around to look into the darkness of the cave behind me. "Adam." I whispered. I broke into a run back into the cave. "Adam!" I shouted, calling out to him.
He didn't respond. I ran faster. Wherever he was, he was in trouble. I had to
Qwuedeviv Crew 52: Mr. Smith is an Ideal Athlete
“Kitty? Here kitty, kitty.”
My ears perked up but I was still face down on the pillow in my favorite cardboard box.
“Kitty.” I heard again.
I grumbled and pushed myself up partially. Cedric hadn’t quite picked up on the fact I wasn’t exactly the same as their Earth cats. Oh well, another day.
I crawled out of my bed. Command Center and such didn’t seem fully coherent yet so I had to rely on my own knowledge. I navigated through the door and blinked a few times to get my Visual Scanners working—eyes that is. Or well that is the closest thing I can relate my high tech properties to. A doctor would call them the same exact thing but how boring is that?
“Right here.” I commented and waited to hear him again.
“Oh, there you are.” He appeared from behind and picked me up before I could protest. “How you feeling today, Kitty?”
Qwuedeviv Crew 52: It's Just Like in the Movies!
I was awake bright and early—I think noonish or so. I had already started the day out right by munching on a bowl of sugared flakes of Earthian meal and had every intention of going outside to frolic in the yard. The land serpent was out of commission after I had cut it open with the scissors the other day.
Oh yeah, some time had gone by since the previous log but nothing had been particularly noteworthy. In fact, despite how intense and life changing the events that day should have been, life had gone completely back to normal. Mr. Smith had never hunted me down; Cedric hadn’t even asked me more about my resources and knowing such coded military language. No, he had more important things to rant about apparently.
Things like telling me to clean up after myself. Wash the dishes. Use the lint brush on the chair if you’re going to insist on sitting on it. Wash your clothes every once in a while. Don’t stand on the table. Wash your paws, brush you
Qwuedeviv Crew 52: Chapter Eleven
Across the parking lot and back towards the forest that I had pranced through earlier I charged onward in an all-out sprint. I probably didn’t look like anything more than a bluish gray blur. Mr. Smith was chasing me and calling out to me. I couldn’t really understand what he was saying but I also didn’t want to.
I slipped on some of the needly leaves from a tree and went tumbling head over heels for some unknown length of time. Felt like an eternity. When I had finally stopped my helpless roll I caught sight of Mr. Smith—upside down. Or well, I was actually upside down, but whatever.
He had stopped at the edge of the Earthian parking lot. I guess Earthian Instructors couldn’t travel on the dirt like I could. Lucky break.
I didn’t want to take any chances of him following after me though so I broke out into a full on sprint clear back to Cedric’s yard. Everything on my journey back flew by in one giant smear. If I ran pa
Qwuedeviv Crew 52: Chapter Nine
Getting the ‘cactus needles’ out was not a fun process. We had worked on the easier ones earlier; the ones in my paws and such. I wasn’t about to trust the Human to deal with the others though. No one touched my tail, and Hindquarters was a sensitive region.
“But they’ll get infected.” Cedric insisted again. “And sore. Then we’ll have to take you to a vet or wherever you take an alien cat and get you treated or something.”
“Not to mention you won’t be able to sit.”
“I’ve always preferred standing.”
He huffed and tried to grab one stuck in my tail fur anyway. I got out of the way and hissed.
“Oh come on.”
He crossed his arms and stood there rigidly, tapping a foot.
“Well obviously you just want to hurt then, is that what it is? You want to have to go to the v
SWtCW: The Home Guard pt. 3Surface of Achilleas, Palladia
Barriss stood amongst a sea of armored durasteel and rubble as they fought in the shadows of the Juggernauts and tanks. The Separatist forces used their own tanks and droids to box them in, but the turreted weapons on the HAVs kept them at bay as Barriss advanced with her infantry deeper into the city. She'd managed to reestablish communications with Master Luminara, apparently the other assaults were proceeding with mixed results. The Achilleans were fighting tooth and nail for their homeworld and Barriss' men, despite being some of the best soldiers in the Republic were getting their teeth kicked in though they were making the Separatist forces pay for it. They weren't going to dislodge her forces from their position anytime soon.
Conradin swore as his tank's turret swiveled and blasted the rampaging fighter tank as it shot by. The Republic LAV took the hit and flipped over and slammed into a building as its repulsor vane snapped off from the AAT's shot
War and Wings: Chapter 15--Prelude to Orsis Part 2
Continued from Part One
Ratchet looked up and was grateful to see Optimus Prime looking down at the colorful bundle with an inquisitive smile.
Optimus was not the biggest 'Bot on Cybertron, but he easily rivaled Megatron in height, standing head and shoulders above Ratchet. This meant that Io was just shy of his waist. But, while Megatron exuded guile and cold calculation, inspiring fear, Optimus radiated honesty and wisdom, putting the small flyer at ease though he towered above her. Ratchet could feel her calm in his spark, and he too felt the comforting reassurance of the large 'Bot's presence. Even the general design of his frame was calming. Unlike Megatron, whose body was built for labor turned war machine, the slenderness of his design reminded everyone that he had been created for peace--functionally a data clerk--whose modifications were merely the result of the necessities of war.
War and Wings: Chapter 15--Prelude to Orsis Part 1
Moving quickly, not wanting to make Prowl and Optimus wait any longer, Ratchet and Io left the daunting visage of the Grand Oratory behind them, crossing the Promenade and slipping between a series of closely nested buildings toward a combination of roadway and pedestrian ramp, one of the more direct routes between the Grand Oratory and the Hall of Records.
Their trodfalls echoed as they attempted to make time, the tinny taps of Io's heel-turbines submerged into the boom-flaps of Ratchet's metal-and-rubber support struts, legs stretched out in front of them, their pace a little short of a sprint.
Ratchet considered Io out of the corner of his optic. She wasn't looking up at him, though the old medic was quick to notice that her lips were set into an exuberant smile.
He allowed his own features the freedom to replicate the expression.
As far as he was concerned, life couldn't get any better than this. Having Io name him as her partner, running beside her down the streets of
SWtCW: The Home Guard pt.4Surface of Achilleas, Palladia
Barriss watched the man in front of her. She could sense his emotions, they were a swirl of turmoil. He was uncertain of what must be done. In his shoes, Barriss would harbor no doubts. Her objective would be clear. Take her enemies prisoner and facilitate the rest of the battle. Yet this man, Conradin Hadranus, was uncertain of this simple fact of the war they were fighting. He stood on the brink of eliminating a major command of the GAR and could not make the final step now that he had seen the face of his enemy. His doubts were...charming, if naïve and he was about to make the wrong decision, she could already tell.
“I...I don't accept.” he said with a shake of his head. “I don't want your surrender. I just want your army to withdraw from Achilleas and her space.”
Barriss smiled at him gently as if he were a child. “You don't understand, that is no longer an option. Your forces already matched ours, with the arrival o
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More