Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Halker/Stacker, 2

Mature Content
The following content is not appropriate for all audiences.
--

Antenor and Associates. Imposition to Impost; Impossible isn't in our dictionary.

If we ever had an office, I figured I would find somewhere to custom-print a dictionary that was missing a few choice words. Not that A&A needed an office, because there are some things nobody wants to discuss face-to-face, and the internet was my alibi.

The best way to describe my job would be to call me a liaison. I connected people who needed services with those who provided them, and provided a certain degree of security for each. I wouldn't say I performed any laundry, but my clients tended to use cash where my associates used bits, and both gained a small degree of cleanliness when they passed through my hands.

My phone beeped again when my girls were coming in for third period, and found themselves having a run-in with a gym teacher. I wouldn't say I kept tabs on all of the school faculty, but there are some that definitely deserve it. There were rumors floating through the school mill that... Continue reading on DreamCruder

Friday, March 27, 2015

Halker/Stacker, 1

Mature Content Warning
The following content is not appropriate for all audiences.
--

1My alarm sounded, and the first thing I checked was that my little girls had made it to school just fine. The alert showed clear on my phone just like it had every day, and I settled back on my pillow with a sigh of relief. The new code was working dependably, good news for all that I paid for it. As long as nobody spotted the little trojan--and nobody should--everything was going to be alright.

I climbed out of bed and woke up my computers before grabbing some breakfast, started my simulations running before I hopped into the shower, and finished, dried, and dressed before settling down in the one place that I spent more time in than my bed: my computer chair.

I leaned back, holding my mug of orange-and-lime juice, and watched the feed visualizations cycle through. When everything came up clear, I pulled up my inbox and started working my way through the flood of correspondence that always awaited me.

"Antenor and Associates" was the name all these people were so keen to talk to, Antenor himself, if they could, but I hadn't the patience to tell the lot that he died three thousand years ago, if he ever lived at all. Instead, I spoke for him, never letting on that most of my "Associates" were darknet contractors who lived more hidden lives than I.

My phone beeped again, and the alert popped that my girls were slipping out the gymnasium doors for a smoke instead of second period. I tapped a few keys and switched on the cameras on their phones, concerned, but it was just weed. For me, that was small fry, not worth making a fuss over, and this semester, second period was health class. As seniors, that meant... Continue reading on DreamCruder

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lines

called over one-by-one
a small cup and a splash of water,
my daily dosage, my cup of win,
trying to make life no harder.

drain the cup and drink to it,
toasting nameless medication;
don't choke on the yoke
that keeps my monsters reigned in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Raw Negation: The Titan-Tithed Fey, pg 4

First Page - Previous Page
--

Twosop reached into his bottomless bag and pulled out a battered copy of the Dhevinomicon. With it, he cast The March Giveaway - Win 1500 Points, and the points spilled out all over the ground. His lesser party members gave him dirty looks until they noticed Fey’s minions losing their footing.

Fey dropped to one knee, holding its head in its hands, murmuring, "Two Weeks Late... Two Weeks Late" over and over again, then used its Routine skill to completely heal itself! Its grimace reverts back into a grin.

Twosop reached into his bottomless bag and pulled out a battered copy of the Dhevinomicon. With it, he cast Yowza, and stopped a dozen of Fey's minions in their tracks. Toffy, far behind the rest of the party, scuffed out his last spell and drew out Art Project, re-buffing his crew.

"Use Tap Titans," bellowed Fey, and its armies mustered new strength, shifted their formation, and charged.

Toffy, scuffed out his last spell and drew out New Products, re-buffing his crew. Twosop shouted "New website! And even then I complain...," and the minion bearing down on him stopped short, confused. He took advantage and dealt a killing blow. It dissolved into one more pile of dust.

Toffy desperately threw his hands into the air and summoned his Psychic Magic Eight Ball. A disembodied voice belted out, "still alive," vibrating the ground as it did, but not enough to cause anybody, least of all the hordes of Fey's minions, to stumble. However, some of them did start laughing enough to be momentarily distracted. Toffy, scuffed out his last spell and drew out Terry Pratchett

The twins finally harmonized, weaving into the Ode of Feeling free ..., before their voices cracked again. Their song confused the titans, momentarily disrupting the Fey's source of power. Fred de'Cease murmured what sounded like "Transplant, Transplant," in a thick foreign accent, and the minions around him started attacking each other instead.

Fey used its Routine skill to completely heal itself!

Toffy desperately threw his hands into the air and summoned his Psychic Magic Eight Ball. A disembodied voice belted out, "star spinner," vibrating the ground as it did, but not enough to cause anybody, least of all the hordes of Fey's minions, to stumble. However, some of them did start laughing enough to be momentarily distracted. Toffy rolled his eyes, picked up his staff once more, and slogged on. Again he scuffed out his last spell and drew out Arbitrage, re-buffing his crew.

"Use Brain Wars," bellowed Fey, and its armies mustered new strength, shifted their formation, and charged.


--
Next Page - All Pages

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The 44th Brotherhood, 2

Brother Togo darted around behind the store, into the shadows of the alley behind the strip mall. The cry wasn't originating from there, but he could hear echoes of it from its scrounging inhabitants. He squatted next to a ginger alley cat, her back arched and fur erect defensively.

"What is it, little sister," he murmured to her, offering the outside of his left hand to her.

She bit into it, and though his eyes watered, he didn't pull back. She growled a warning cry, deep in her throat, and he waited patiently.

"You know me, little sister. What is it?"

She growled again, clenching her jaw tighter, and when her neck tightened and jerked, anyone else would have jerked away in fear, he continued to wait. Then she let go, sniffed his hand, and caressed the puncture points with her rough tongue. Though blood welled up quickly and soon dripped from his hand, Maiga smiled despite the injuring and the pain.

"No apology is necessary, little sister. It is but one more scar." Indeed, the meat of his left hand was pitted with many similar patterns of marks. "What can you tell me of the cry?"

In no words at all, only fleeting pictures that flashed through his mind between his affinity to her kind and the blood shared, Maiga Togo found himself drowning. Only when Father Fen-Lei took his arm and helped him stand did Brother Togo realize he'd blacked out. He walked in a small circle, stretching his cramped muscles, before joining the Father in their car.

"How long was I out?"

"Long enough for the ice cream to melt." Before Maiga could offer his own apology, Father Fen-Lei assured, "It's no bother. Your little friends care little about the coldness of their cream, and they were more hungry than our own sheltered creatures."

"Still, Brother Abut won't be happy."

Fen-Lei laughed. "Then Brother Abut can go shopping next time, instead of burying himself in his paperwork."

Friday, March 13, 2015

The 44th Brotherhood, 1

Brother Togo stopped in the middle of bagging his groceries and tilted his head. He could hear a strange sound, just on the edge of his hearing, and it was in pain. Something was wrong, very wrong.

Father Fen-Lei glanced at him curiously as he loaded the conveyor belt. "What is it?"

Maiga shook his head. "I don't know. I think--"

"Just go."

He nodded his head in thanks and rushed from the grocer's.

The father shook his head, offered a quick prayer to Bast, and resumed unloading their cart.

MindGames: As The World Terns 3

Previous
--

"Look, I'm sorry, but there's no payout on this one."

"What do you mean, no payout?"

Tern had rehearsed this all in her head, but things too often didn't go to plan when talking to people. Computers and numbers were so much easier to work with. "An independent candidate won the election. Odds were negligible, she didn't even make it into my book."

"If somebody had asked, what would you have offered?"

"Maybe two hundred to one."

"Two hun-- that would have..."

"Yes, that would have squared your bid."

"Look, just give me my refund and we'll call it square."

"No. You gave your print, you knew the risks. OPB doesn't give refunds and neither do I."

"Then I'll take it from you."

"No, you won't. I'm neutral; always have been, always will be. I don't bet against my own book. You'll have to fight everyone who backs my book, everyone who has won a cent off me. That's a long list and there's some people who are a lot more scary than you are. They accept my book and don't get refunds; you get the same deal."

"But--"

"No." Tern hung up the line. Her voice was steady and her mind was clear, but her hands were shaking. Sometimes she hated this business, but every word she said was true.

--

"Hello?"

"Soria, it's Tern."

"What have you found?"

"Sisyphus's R&D department is selling something I haven't found on the black market that's doing really well for reasons I don't really want to know. I'm sorry, but that's all I've got, and it took pulling a lot of strings to get that much."

"That's alright, you've done more than enough. How much of my portfolio is on them?"

"About a third."

"Sell some of it off. If they're dealing something under the table, I don't want to be there when they fall."

"Smart move. There's a new start-up doing some remarkable things with 3-D printers selling way low right now that's selling voting interest in."

"How do you feel about it?"

"Good enough to pick up a couple percent of their stock on my own."

"Did you?"

"I did."

"That's enough recommendation for me. If I sold all except for, say one hundred shares of Sisyphus and bought into this new start-up, how much would I be looking at?"

Tern whistled. "Just a moment, let me run the numbers." The line was silent for a few minutes. "Ten percent controlling interest."

"Do it."

The line was quiet for a few seconds more, and then "It's done. You now have a ten percent voting interest in Fifth-Dimensional Thinking, Inc, ten percent of their shares, and an honorary position on their board of directors. You're also down to a mere one hundred shared of Sisyphus Medical which is less than five percent of your portfolio.'

"Thanks, Tern."

"You're most welcome."

--

Excerpts from Tales of Vidar: Payout

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Raw Negation: The Titan-Tithed Fey, pg 3

First Page - Previous Page
--

Fred de'Cease yanked his Fused Glass Seahorse Earrings Blue from his neck as it started to smoke and threw it to the ground. It shortly exploded, crippling an inattentive minion. Toffy desperately threw his hands into the air and summoned his Psychic Magic Eight Ball. A disembodied voice belted out, "plug in, play," vibrating the ground as it did, but not enough to cause anybody, least of all the hordes of Fey's minions, to stumble. However, some of them did start laughing enough to be momentarily distracted. Toffy rolled his eyes, picked up his staff once more, and slogged on. Fred de'Cease yanked his Birds in the Tree Fused Glass Necklace from his neck as it started to smoke and threw it to the ground. It shortly exploded, crippling an inattentive minion.Despite all the lost pendants, his neck still strained from all those that remained; if nothing else, he didn’t come unprepared.

Fey used its Routine skill to completely heal itself! Its grimace reverts back into a grin, before dropping to one knee, holding its head in its hands, murmuring, "Good, Good, Meh, Good... Good, Good, Meh, Good" over and over again. Whether it is crying or laughing is unclear.

Toffy, far behind the rest of the party, scuffed out his last spell and drew out Atoms, re-buffing his crew.

"Use Ore Miner," bellowed Fey, and its armies mustered new strength, shifted their formation, and charged.

Sandra cast Badge for Awkray, then dove for cover as it bounced off Fey's defenses back at her. It cut a swath through the minions around her and blew a hole where she had been standing. Sandra Copycat cast a magical shield, using a potion of FREE ART and Fursquared to enhance her power. The Fey scoffed at its fragility. She had just enough time to catch her breath before he shattered it.

Toffy, far behind the rest of the party, scuffed out his last spell and drew out Hard Reboot, re-buffing his crew. Fred de'Cease murmured what sounded like "Forever, Forever," in a thick foreign accent, and the minions around him started attacking each other instead.

Toffy desperately threw his hands into the air and summoned his Psychic Magic Eight Ball. A disembodied voice belted out, "living tempo," vibrating the ground as it did, but not enough to cause anybody, least of all the hordes of Fey's minions, to stumble. However, some of them did start laughing enough to be momentarily distracted. Toffy rolled his eyes, and recast the spell. This time, the voice belted out, "but it's warm in here." They laughed harder. Toffy rolled his eyes, picked up his staff once more, and slogged on.

--
Next Page - All Pages

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dark Friend

Mature Content - The following piece may not be suitable for all audiences.
--

the vultures are spinning with corpse below,
waiting for signs not to show,
hoping for flies and fearing for breath...
that last shudder and the cold of death.

weight on shoulders hindering moving,
keeping the bedridden from revolting,
can't stand up straight or budge from this spot,
half tempted to encourage the rot.

waking from happiness, waking from sleep,
waking from the magical world we keep,
waking from a night much too short
with humors aching without a snort.

it's just wanting the pain to end,
whether by light or fate's dark friend...
fearing to disappoint my self
when my moods disappoint my heath.

MindGames: As The World Terns 2

Previous
--

"Hello?"

"Tern? It's Soria."

Tern sighed silently, relieved that it wasn't someone calling to complain. "What can I do for you?"

"I was checking in on my investments, and saw a spike that concerned me. Do you have some time to take a close look?"

"Absolutely. Just a moment, let me pull your files up."

Tern did more than keep the biggest book on Vidar, she also managed investment trading for those who permanently lived there. Of them, Soria was not only one of her biggest clients, but also one of the friendliest. Some people could get so terribly destructive when the market took a swing for the worse, and act as if she had something to do with it. Tern pulled up Soria's account and paged through her investments.

"Huh, now that is strange," Tern confessed. Sisyphus Medical stock was spiking unusually quickly, a behaviour that was more typical of tech companies and start-ups than long-term behemoths like heath and wellness corporations. "Let me take a dig around and see what I can come up with. I'll give you a call back."

"Thanks." Soria cut the call.

--
Next
Excerpt from Tales of Vidar: Touring