23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Dolphins are assholes.Hello again! Everybody knows the drill, but I will repeat it anyway: This is an exercise in character development. The purpose of this is to flesh out our characters by having them interact with other people's creations. That out of the way, our setting this time. A lone outpost, situated in the middle of a thick jungle. Think Heart of Darkness.
Aleister wiped the sweat from his brow. He brought his hand up to his head to block the light of the setting sun. His hand smelled like death. A mosquito buzzed by, landing right behind Aleister's ear. He thought about swatting it, but didn't. He waited a minute, and the itch of the mosquito's feast subsided. He watched as it flew off, presumably to its family, or whatever sort of thing mosquitoes had to go home to. Home. What is home? Do I even remember? Did I even have one? Flies landed on the windowsill next to his hand. They crawled all over his arm, their little feet rubbing against his skin. Oh yeah. It was a hut. A little mud hut. Aleister sighed and flung the personal space invaders off of his arm. Outside, past the treeline, he could see things scurrying. Abnormal things. What were they? A large bipedal thing rumbled through the underbrush. It stopped, standing stock still. The shadow turned and looked at Aleister. Their eyes met, and became locked. For almost an eternity, both parties stared at one another. Then, without warning, the thing flashed a cheeky grin and leapt back into the growing darkness. He sighed. When would he get to live this place?
edited 20th Feb '11 9:27:19 PM by KSPAM
(OOC: This is one of the perfect moments to start such a thread. I'm having a week-long 'reading break' — and I use this opportunity to create what others read! Mwahahaha. On this thread's note; I suggest we try keep a strong story direction this time. The drive which sets the story in motion. Too often have we lost interest because of this lack of focus, and I hate to see these great stories come to a premature end.)
She finds the lush, wavering green of the forest alluring. But not as alluring as her Jeremy Derringer no. 3 adventure paperback novel — her cute nose buried in the beginning pages. Yomiko Readman, in her safari outfit (complete with safety hat), pays half her attention to her surroundings, and often finds herself tripping upon a loose tree root or stumble across an anthill as she imagines Jeremy exploring vine-grown Mayan remains. Eek! It's Yomiko's month off from both Agency and substitute teacher work. Coinciding with her purchase of a Jeremy Derringer serial, she has decided to enjoy herself, immersed in the Yucatan wild. The July month is especially humid here; as the moist air makes her sweat buckets through layers of 70 SPF sunscreen. Occasionally a glimmer of sun peeks through the tree leaves. It is very beautiful. Yomiko has declined the services of a well-ventured guide, instead deciding to venture the jungle alone — after being dropped off from the bus station. But she's not likely to get lost, not with the guiding help of her navigational jeejah. She's turning the page with one hand (Jeremy entering a long lost temple.. ooh.), as she holds a slicing machete with another. For the pesky, overgrown obstacles. If you perk your ears, the Yucatan jungle is brimming with nature's life; dragonflies' buzzing, the cicadas chirping their songs, and the chirpings of birds. Out the corner of her eye, Yomiko notices somethings sticking out of the bushes. Looking up from the novel, she spots what looks like a lone, wooden hut in a cleared-out space. This especially piques her — ooh, she might finally meet a native face-to-face! Besides, her legs are starting to ache from the walk. Strutting over to the hut, she wipes some of her sweat off with a hand, and she heads over onto the hut's porch, where she chances to rap her knuckles upon the gnarly door. "Hello?" Yomiko half-whispers. "Is anyone home?"
Dolphins are assholes.Company? Aleister opened the door to face the cute woman who looked so very out of place here. "Uhh, hi. If you don't mind me asking, why exactly are you here?" Aleister said. It couldn't be a vacation. This place was the armpit of the world, who in their right mind would vacation here?
Yomiko makes a cursory glance at the man standing before her — but not before immediately introducing herself. She lays the book aside, and tips her hat up to show her adorkable face better. Her coke-bottle glasses subtly magnify her wide open blue eyes. "Hello! My name's Yomiko Readman!" she promptly greets. "I'm just another jungle explorer.. I stumbled upon your place. My feet are getting tired. Is it alright for me to rest myself at your home, mister?"
edited 20th Feb '11 10:08:56 PM by QQQQQ
Easily entertainedTwo figures trudged through the jungle. The taller of the two was a dark-skinned man, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, with his hair in cornrows. His face was sharp, almost hawk-like, with a hooked nose upon which rested a pair of silver glasses. At his hip rested a revolver, loaded in case of any trouble. In front of him, wielding a machete, was a small, pale, childish-looking woman with brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a white blouse and a flowing, ankle-length white skirt, hacking away at the underbrush and grumbling. She said, "damn this jungle, Isaac. Remind me: why are we in the steaming asshole of the Earth again?" Without waiting for an answer, she finished, "oh, right, so Sigmund can have his precious goddamn flowers!" With a sad shake of his head, Isaac said, "Alice, quit your whining. This place is a bitch, yeah, but these 'goddamn flowers' have some very valuable genomes. Unheard of anywhere else on Earth..." Alice cut in, "so why don't we let someone else gather them, then steal them before they get back to the States?" "Shit, I'd love to. But none of Sigmund's competitors are crazy enough to come out here." "I don't blame them. So, where are we heading?" Isaac said, "some outpost, damned if I know what it's called. Might not even have a name. Probably just some huts, and any motherfuckers tough enough, stupid enough, or desperate to live here." Alice suddenly stopped, and motioned for Isaac to stand still. Several moments passed, before she brought her blade down upon a snake that Isaac hadn't even seen. She picked up the creature's body with a twisted smile and said, "on the bright side, I think I've found my dinner!" Isaac rolled his eyes and said, "Alice, tell me you're going to at least cook that thing." Slinging the snake over her shoulders, ignoring the blood it spilled on her dress, she said, "maybe. Depends how hungry I get. Hey, check it out! Something vaguely resembling civilization!" They sighted a mud hut, and caught a glimpse of a woman entering it. As they approached the hut, Isaac yelled out, "hey! Civilization! You guys got room for us to crash? And, uh, this is gonna sound kinda strange, but you see any blue flowers with red centers?"
edited 20th Feb '11 10:12:32 PM by KillerClowns
Yomiko hears the crunch of footsteps behind her — turning around, she spots two other travellers, just like her. A weathered man, and his petite companion. They have said something about red and blue flowers. She says, "Mmhm.. I heard there were some flowers like that in the about. I've read about them in the traveller's guide. Blaue-Rouge Blume? I think they're called? I haven't seen one yet.."
edited 20th Feb '11 10:19:16 PM by QQQQQ
Easily entertainedIsaac said, "yeah, that sounds about right." He then paused, examining the woman before him, and, with a polite bow, extended his hand and said, "what brings a fine woman such as yourself out into this part of the world? An explorer, perhaps? Allow me to introduce myself: Dr. Isaac Rose, Head of Field Research at Western Amalgamated Agrichemical. And my friend and bodyguard there would be Alice Snow. You'll excuse her if she seems a bit sharp; she has a good heart, really." Alice replied to this comment with a scoff of disgust, but Isaac ignored her and continued. "We're looking for a few samples of Blaue-Rouge for research back in the States; I won't bore you with all the technical details, but if the preliminary tests were correct, we could do wonderful things with this rare and beautiful plant." Alice gave Yomiko a cursory glance, and rolled her eyes at Isaac, before turning her attention to Aleister. She put the snake in front of him and said, "You look like the kind of bad motherfucker I make a point of making friends with. So, I got us lunch. Wanna help me skin it? Izzy's a vegetarian — we'll see how long that lasts — and I think Glasses over there might get a bit nervy about eating anything that isn't raised on a farm, so hopefully it'll be just us. Dibs on the heart." Without waiting for a response, Alice began skinning the snake with her machete, visibly slavering over the thought of cooking and devouring the creature.
edited 20th Feb '11 10:41:04 PM by KillerClowns
Yomiko thinks of the agricultural organizations, constantly researching and refining their goals on growing crops better. So far, they've helped alleviate world starvation with the introduction of Golden Rice(R). They have done a lot of nice things for people. She looks at Dr Issac, smiling, and happily shakes his hand. "Blanc-Rouge has many unique medicinal properties, " she's reciting from her mental library. "Some research has said it has reversed cancer processes — tested out on one sickly chimpanzee named 'Marla.' It is quite a rare plant indeed.. known to grow near the tropical equator regions, like here. It's like a miracle." She begins to blush, scratching the back of her neck. "Sorry.. I like getting excited." A beat, and then she adds, "Maybe, once we've rested and all that, I can try helping you with your search, Herr Doktor."
edited 20th Feb '11 10:55:47 PM by QQQQQ
Hello againGoing to try something different this time, "normalising" one of my characters.
Adel hacked at a vine that tried to impede his progress through the jungle. The German mercenary-explorer was kitted out in some of the finest gear money could buy. His machete was a work of art, as was his handgun. Even in the sweaty heat of the jungle he kept his bullet proof vest on - though it breathed so well it was like wearing a tank top. Blue eyes examined his GPS, he should be getting close. The glossy screen reflected his strong features, and he couldn't help but flash a disarming grin. He wasn't a vain man, he just knew he looked very good. Too bad no lady friends were here to enjoy the perfect image of sweat beading over his honed body. There wasn't much to do as he marched through the wild jungle, other than fantasise about women or brood on his dreams. Most were understandable - echoes of action he'd seen, or idle dreams of another life. But one reoccurring dream - not frequent, a few times a year at most - had an impossibly beautiful lady. She sang, and he followed, and he found himself in a place like a carnival house of mirrors. All the reflections wrong, different. A doctor, Chinese, female, handicapped, a father. But he'd always end up facing on of him dressed as if a knight at a ren-faire. Then he'd wake up. With a triumphal yell, Adel hacked his way into a clearing. In the middle of which there was a hut - his destination - and a few people. And maybe, his target. He stalked over to the hut and knocked on the open door frame, "Room for one more?"
Sneaky BastardElena woke to the sound of birds singing. Although there was something weird about it; it sounded like those tropical birds on Animal Planet. She opened her eyes and found herself face to face with a blue and red flower. That was also weird. She had no memory of planting flowers near her bed. She looked past the flower and saw the dense vegetation around her. As she sat up she sighed with resignation. For most people waking up in a jungle would be cause for alarm, but for Elena it had a sense of familiarity. Not the jungle, that was new, but having to deal with Marcus’ ‘practical jokes’… She sat up and realized that she had been lying in about five centimeters of mud. Her black, tailored suit was about as dirty as was physically possible. The same could be said of her hair, albeit with the added feature of being full of bugs. She hoped nobody she knew would ever see her like this, or she’d be called dirt blonde for the rest of her days. She brushed of some of the mud and stood up. She could hear voices close by and set off towards them. She soon found a small clearing with some huts. There were several people standing around chatting. She spoke up as she entered the clearing. ‘Does anyone know just how far from New York I am?’
Easily entertainedAlice continued skinning the snake. "Should've brought a skinning knife, " she muttered, but carried on with her machete. As her blade approached the head, she said, "ooh, why not?" and plucked out one of the snake's eyes. She then gulped it down like a grape. "Nothing quite like free-range, " she muttered as she resumed her work. Hearing Yomiko talk about the plant's medicinal properties, Isaac felt two emotions. The first was worry. Some competitor was doing their own research on the plant. The second was a brief pang of guilt. No doubt Sigmund would patent the genome and keep the supply artificially low. It'd make them all even richer, sure, but... Isaac shook the feeling off. If Sigmund didn't patent it, somebody else would, somebody worse. That was the way of the world, and there was no hope fighting it. Isaac heard more footsteps, and turned to see a woman covered in grime, and a massive man that reminded him of one of Sigmund's ex-boyfriends — though Isaac knew better than to say so out loud. Isaac supposed he might of just been hoping, though: if the man was straight, he'd be some nasty competition. But he didn't seem like the sort the German girl would be interested in, at least. The woman asked how far she was from New York, and Isaac said, "welcome to the Yucatan. You're a long way away. I'd keep my head down; I could be wrong, but I think we're in cartel territory." Turning to the muscular man, he added, "you look like you're here to end some lives. Hunting cartel, or some other poor sunnuvabitch?" Remembering Yomiko, he turned to her and added, "pardon my French."
listenSwatting a fly away from his face, the tall, brown-haired man entered the clearing on the side opposite from where Elena entered. He was obviously not dressed for a jungle trek and seemed to've somehow gotten there by accident, as evidenced by his nice dress shirt and dark-wash jeans. He also had two bags slung over his shoulder. His reddish eyes looked over the bunch, and he noticed the snake. "You plan on eating the rest of that snake, or something?" He said in his Sicilian accent.
edited 21st Feb '11 8:55:56 AM by CrystalGlacia
Sneaky Bastard’Don’t worry. I’m quite used to organized crime, ’ Elena said. ‘As for the Cartels, my boss once turned Juárez into a warzone because one of those tried to double cross him. I doubt they’ll risk a repeat demonstration by harming his protégée.’ Despite her outwards confidence, Elena was unsure. None of those present inspired much trust in Elena, not even the woman in the safari clothes. It could well be that she’d been dumped into some kind of crime deal or mercenary camp. The number of very large men did suggest the latter. It also made her painfully aware of how small and helpless she really was. She hadn’t seen the last man approaching, and almost dived for cover when he spoke.
Thunder, Perfect Mind(For the sake of keeping things even slightly sane, I'm going to use a kind of parallel universe version of this character. Please note that the name is not an homage to a semi-well-known character of the same name, but a minor historical figure. Specifically, the man who stabbed Private Donald Black. But considering how arcane that tidbit is, it may be subject to change. Eventually.)
"Lovely." Mouth twisted, Ianto sighed and lowered his left hand carefully to his side, attempting to avoid brushing the edge of his khakis. He failed, and a faint stinging pain rushed up his arm, which was at this point a light shade of pink. He closed his eyes, then inhaled softly, releasing his breath with a quick blink before resuming his pace. There were many disadvantages to a total lack of pigment. This was but one of them. More pressing, he thought, was the matter of his eyesight. He had broken his glasses several hours prior, leaving his field of vision a vast and colourful blur, sometimes gaining clarity with a decrease in distance but always just short of the palpable, as if he were in some kind of dream. And considering the bizarre nature of his situation, who was to say that he was conscious? After all, when had he last even heard a human voice... "You plan on eating the rest of that snake or something?" His head whipped around with sufficient speed to allow his oversized and battered Panama hat to slip over his eyes, leaving him temporarily in total darkness. Whilst struggling to readjust his now overwheming source of shade, he stumbled headlong through the greenery and right into the speaker of that baffling phrase. Prying hat from head, Ianto found himself facing a pair of angry eyes nearly as red as his. His mouth twisted again, and he choked on a word: "Lovely."
listenThe Italian-accented man looked to be about thirty or so. Finding a random boulder to sit on, he looked rather tired. "Damn, I work a twelve-hour shift and find myself in friggin' Mexico? Just my luck. Can't wait to hear what my wife says about this."
edited 21st Feb '11 12:18:24 PM by CrystalGlacia
Hello again"Possibly, " Adel grinned, "Officially I'm on a rescue mission. Some botanist went and got lost around here, who knows what happened to her. Might be that she was 'napped by some cartel. Best to be prepared." Adel looked over his companions, for a hut in the middle of nowhere, there were quite a few visitors. And a very diverse group. He wasn't sure what to make of all the people dressed as if they were back in civilisation, though. "We're a colourful bunch, aren't we? What brings all you here?"
Thunder, Perfect MindIanto stared around slowly at the clearing, absorbing what details he could thoroughly. A low mud hut, the ground before it dotted with several small boulders, on one of which sat the well-dressed man he had stumbled into. In and out of the hut, a small, blurred group of people. He was surprised to see that few seemed, as well as he could gather, to glance in his glance direction; he was used to attracting stares, both for his pallor and, according to his few friends, his attractiveness, although he could never particularly see the appeal... He was, for a moment, relieved. He walked towards the group.
Easily entertainedIsaac shrugged, and said, "I'm here for a flower. Blaue-Rouge. Blue, with a red center. It's rare, but very useful..." Isaac paused and said, "hey, hold on a sec. You mentioned something about a botanist?" He stopped. It couldn't another of Sigmund's lackeys; he wouldn't dare send anyone other than Isaac and Alice to a place like this. Had one of their competitors had sent someone without Sigmund noticing? Or maybe she was an academic. Academics were known to risk their lives for the ideals of science, and enough of them had a tenuous enough grip on reality that they'd underestimate the risks. There were cartels... and, rumor had it, worse things... out here, but Isaac knew enough university professors who'd risk it for a chance at tenure. Of course, there was always the chance her presence had nothing to do with the Blaue-Rouge, and was just some poor fool in over her head. So, cautiously, Isaac asked, "can you tell me anything about this botanist? I can't help but be concerned for my fellow scientists, after all, and we might be able to work together if you find her." Alice, meanwhile, continued her work; the snake would soon be ready for cooking. She'd have been long done with a proper knife, but such was life. While she finished up, she examined the group. A weird bunch; several seemed surprised to be in the jungle at all. Something was clearly at work here, though she didn't know what. She took a whiff of the air... but, no, there wasn't even the slightest hint of the taint of the Eyes and Teeth here. She was almost disappointed. Mages were dangerous, but it was ever so satisfying to watch them squeal like pigs, desperately trying to bargain their way out of death... and the eternity of agony they knew awaited them on the other side. But if there was magic involved here, it wasn't any she knew. She hoped that if another type of mage was involved, they'd be just as amusing to kill.
Hello again((OOC: I just had a moment of Fridge Brilliance (sort of) of who the botanist can be!)) Adel shrugged, "Sure, I guess." He wasn't naive, his gut was telling him something wasn't quite right. Something was odd here. But nevertheless he pulled out his notes, "Dr Pela Springs, 34, a professor from Humboldt University in Berlin. She didn't leave any notes on what she was after. Here, " Adel handed over a passport photo of a lively woman, who could have easily been a gypsy performer. Her russet hair was tied up in a multitude of small braids, some of which held what looked like jewellery at their ends.
Sneaky BastardElena was slowly coming over the shock of suddenly being in Mexico. Judging from the rather diverse lot that had gathered it was clear that this was no single organization. More importantly, a lot of them didn’t seem dressed for the jungle. ‘’Then maybe Marcus didn’t have anything to do with this after all.’’ Then one of them mentioned a blue and red flower and she remembered what she woke up under. ‘Excuse me, but what’s the deal with this flower?’ she asked. ‘Is it rare or valuable?’
listenThough he had just spent twelve hours holed up in a hot restaurant kitchen and really did not feel like cooking at the moment, the Italian man still went over to the woman trying to cook up the snake, his bag of kitchen knives in hand. "If you don't mind, I can finish preparing that snake the rest of the way for you." He figured that since this was his area of expertise, he might as well try to lend a hand. Why not?
Dolphins are assholes.Aleister kept his silence, clinging to it. So many people in such a short time. He hadn't been with this many since- Since April 1st, 2035 The scent of gunpowder filled his nostrils, mixing with wafts of fire and burnt flesh. A single fresh corpse now hung from the trees behind him. The rest couldn't see him but he knew he was there. Aleister could see his cornsilk hair and look into those blue eyes, feeling the smooth chill of his mind encroach on his with grasping claws. The sweat became beads of blood which ran through the grooves of his clammy palms. It hurt but he clenched them. He turned around to face the trees. Nothing was there. The sweating slowed, and his shaking fists unclenched. It wasn't real. It never was. A wave of nausea hit him like a loaded freight train, threatening to tear him apart. For a moment, he could again smell roasting human, a sickly peach smell that quickly gave way to rancid garbage. "Excuse me." Aleister hacked quickly, running inside the shack. Bent over on his knees, he rode the wave, bucking and finally unclenching his stomach. It rained acid, burning his throat and throwing a solid punch to his stomach. He vomited up his dinner, and then kept wretching until his hacking dried up, and he became still.
edited 21st Feb '11 4:45:52 PM by KSPAM
"Oh— my!" Yomiko interjects. Seeing the hut's inhabitant looking sickly, running hurriedly inside brings him to the forefront of her attention. She heads past the other travellers, remembering to wipe her feet along the rug (It's rude to leave mud inside) — and heads over to where the retching noises are. She sees the man, bent over on his knees, oh gosh it smells awful, the rancid, rotten egg smell of vomit. Yomiko pulls out some napkins from her pockets. "Mister?" She lays a gentle hand on his back. "Are you feeling alright?"
edited 21st Feb '11 4:49:07 PM by QQQQQ
Dolphins are assholes.Aleister rose slowly. He turned to look at her. She was holding something in her hand. Was it tissue? Slowly, he reached out and took one. He wiped his mouth clean of the waste, and threw the tissue in the trash. "Thanks." he said, voice empty but not quite insincere. Without another word, he picked up a pail and trekked outside to fetch some water. This mess needed cleaning.
edited 21st Feb '11 5:14:59 PM by KSPAM
She looks the place about, noticing just how natural this home feels. If you smell past the stinky vomit, there's the aromas of exotic ingredients, like chico beans and then, I think there's the S&S Poc Choc too. Yomiko's sure she has only tasted the tip of the iceberg back at the two restaurants she dined at— She ought to join with the rest of the group now. Yomiko danubes back outside.
edited 21st Feb '11 5:25:02 PM by QQQQQ
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