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Chibi-Czar
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   My name is Bill. Actually my name is William Jacob Robinson, but only when my mother catches me doing something wrong.
   This is where I work, the Car & Pool Paranormal Research Center. Yes, I've heard them all before. It's a paranormal investigation firm. You know, like those three terminal virgins from X-Files? Now technically I'm the SysAdmin but my real job is to sit around an be me. You see, weird things happen to me. Let me rephrase that; really weird things are constantly happening to me. I'd give you examples but it'd just end up coming out as a false range, which is one of my pet peeves. (Really, you talked about everything from airplanes to zebras? Where did sodomy and English muffins fall in there?) Let's just say weirdness gravitates towards me.

   The hot goth girl sitting across from me is Raven. That's her real name; her parents are on the hippie-ish side of things. They named her Raven. No last name, just Raven. Seeing as how things of an occult nature gravitate towards me, Raven took a fascination in my life.
   We met during the time a vampire was regailing me with the story of his unlife. (Helpful hint, there's no good way to say "no" to even the most trivial requests of a powerful undead creature.) She really annoyed me at first and I avoided her like the plauge. Then she started putting out for the privilege of watching the freak show that is my existance. I must admit, not one of my proudest moments but hey, I can do that, I'm still a teenager. As it turns out, her annoying attributes become less noticable the more you get to know her. As it stands we're not dating but I like to think of us as friends with benefits.

   The vanilla looking guy with the pasty complexion is Ronald Silverman. He normally goes by Ron but I call him Silver, which he doesn't seem to mind. For the past two hundred years since his great-great-grandfather emmigrated to America, the Silvermans have been accountants. His father is an accountant and runs the family business. His older brother and younger sister are both accountants and work in the family firm. Their mother is the executive secretary. Currently Ron is studying to be, you guessed it, an accountant. While he's studying he interns at his family's business. He doesn't actually work here, though with the amount of time he spends here you'd think he does. Between school and interning, I get the impression he spends all of his free time with us.
   Ron had his life set out for him since before birth. It's a dull, boring, monotonous life. That's why I think he hangs around here. Simply by standing near me you expose yourself to events that you normally only hear about in myths, legends, and tall tails. I provide the excitement he so desperately needs in order to carry on with the life that was chosen for him and not disappoint his family. He's resourceful, has been bred to handle numbers, and is surprisingly good in a fight. Plus, like all accountants, he has a secret insanity that proves useful in our line of work.

   The girl Ron is hovering over at the computer is Rachel Goldstein, or as I call her, Gold. She's the other reason Ron spends so much time around here; together they make Silver & Gold. Though she's in her twenties, she's built like a junior high student. Now, I'm not stupid. I'm a college student at the age of sixteen. Rachel makes me look like an idiot. She's already got advanced degrees in physics, engineering, mathematics, and chemistry.
   She's fascinated with me. Or more poingantly, she sees me as her own personal guinea pig. You see, weirdness generates weirdness. (Rachel actually is working out a mathematical formula/proof of this.) As a result of my constant exposure to large quantities of weirdness, I myself have been known to manifest paranormal activity. Rachel is a bit obsessed with figuring out why so many weird things happen around me and why I have certain abilities.
   Of course, her interest in me might be more personal than that. I noticed a marked increase in scans and tests by Rachel recently. A real prick asked me how I could claim to be heterosexual and drive a Vespa. Raven responded for me saying it had to do with me compensating for an overly large penis. She then went on to describe how annoying it was to spend as much money on lubricant as she did simply to be able to comfortably, and I quote, "Fuck his summer sausage of a cock." Rachel happened to overhear this, as did most of the people in the building as she said it quite loudly.

   The guy who just walked in is Richard Car. Everyone calls him Dick. Well, everyone but me;  I call him Prick. He's the prick I mentioned earlier. Technically he's my boss. In reality, he needs me more than I need him. If it weren't for me then he'd actually have to go and look for weirdness. He resents that fact and frequently brings the fulls force of his prickishness to bare on me.

   The old guy that just came in behind Prick is Gene Pool. His name is just one more piece of evidence that women should not be allowed epidurals during childbirth. He's our benevolent benefactor. He's a rich old guy who has a history with the occult. He pays for most of our research and expenditures.
   He likes me as we've both gone through extrodinary weirdness in our lives, though in all truth his weirdness was on average more lethal than mine. He and Raven don't get along. He once made a comment about how he usually ended up having to kill people who looked like her.

   Well, I guess the introductions are over with.


Last edited by Anony-mouse on Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:13 am
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*applauds*
good hook, good carry-through.

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Sat Nov 27, 2004 12:09 pm
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I'm thinking about changing the title. Which do you think is better, "Sans Normal" or "Sans Sanity"?

Code:
   Raven always tries to piss Mr. Pool off, push his buttons. As of yet she has seen only limited success.
   "So, Rach, like I was saying, I really enjoy giving head. The problem is that Bill here won't let me. He claims he doesn't like getting brained. Can you believe it? A guy who doesn't like blow jobs!"
   Watching Raven go after Mr. Pool is entertaining in the same way as a crash safety test. It's fun to watch, as long as you're not in the car.
   For his part, Mr. Pool didn't even flench. "Oh, that's because he hasn't been circumscised."
   The SUV barreling towards the concrete wall a sixty had sure been cool right before I was placed in the passenger seat. I know Raven and she isn't going to let this go.
   "How would you know that?" Damnit, Raven, don't look at me. Shit! I can feel the crosshairs on my forhead. "Have you been fucking the old man behind my back?"
   "Oh, come now. I haven't done anything like that since I was in the Navy!" That's why Mr. Pool is cool. He's one of those rare people whose views were so far left when they were young that they still seem liberal today. "No, I can spot an uncut gentleman from a quaurter mile away. It's all in the way they walk. Now, back in my day, we had more respect for the prepuice. Not like you kids today, oh no. These days you kids go lopping the stuff off left and right, slinging around your scalped peters like those kooky Jews."
   Silver and Gold look like deer in the headlights. I'm a hairsbreadth from bursting out in full laughter.
   "Really now, I just don't get you people. Always wandering around in the desert, constantly slicing off each others' foreskin, never feasting upon the sweet, sweet pork... Mmmm, Pork... Where was I?"
   I don't know if the guy's senile or just has a sense of humor. Maybe both.
   Of course Prick doesn't have a sense of humor. He clears his throat to interrupt Mr. Pool's meandering diatribe. "As Mr. Pool was saying, we've got a job." Prick opens the manilla folder he's holding and begins to read from it. "An old, condemned building is apparently haunted. Workers are all scared off. The workers got their Union involved, the no good wastes of flesh. So now manegment is having to deal with a bunch of ignorant, underclass, wetbacks' superstition. We're supposed to go in and investigate, then give an all clear back."
   Can you see why I don't like him? He runs a paranormal investigation firm. I know that he's seen actual ghosts first hand on two seperate occasions. Now for some reason he assumes that just because they happen to be wage labourers that they're just being superstitious. I just have to call him on this.
   "You arrogant, racist, anally perforated cock! Are you implying that there ISN'T a ghost? Aren't you the one who works at a paranormal investigation firm? Aren't you the one with a degree in Parapsychology?" That felt good.


Last edited by Anony-mouse on Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:56 am
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Sans Normal. Alliteration belongs firmly in 18th-century poetry, and in hell with the rest of the damned.

Hee hee. "Sweet sweet pork."

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Sun Nov 28, 2004 9:13 am
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Code:
   The place we're supposed to check out is on the edge of town. That meant two hours of hell fighting traffic to get there. Only Gold and Prick have the class C liscense needed to drive the equipment vans. Only one person besides the driver can sit in the ops van. Gold always tries to drive the equipment van so only one person has to sit next to Prick. Prick was pissed off still because of my comments during his briefing, so he insisted on driving the EV. I think he was planning on some passive-agressive bullshit along the way. It doesn't matter as we played rock-paper-scissors to see who got to ride with Gold in the OV. Believe it or not, there's a trick to RPS that can let you win best 2-of-3 everytime.
   So here I am, riding with Gold. After a bit she starts chatting me up. Like almost everything with Gold, her idea of small talk revolves around science.
   "I've noticed that you have an unusually high rate of success playing rock-paper-scissors. At first I just put it off to blind luck. I've been keeping track, though, and you average in the high ninetieth percintile. Do you get latents before you choose? If you do, it would be an excellent way to set up an experiment."
   I'd really like to hear what Gold sounds like during sex. It'd probably be something like, "Oh yes! Now adjust your inclination by four degrees North and lenghten your thrusts by three centimeters!"
   "It's not para stuff," I reply.
   "Then are you using a statistical model similar to counting cards in Blackjack?"
   "Nope. It's soft science, not hard science."
   "Psychology then? Body language? Voice stress-analasis?"
   "Not Psychology, Sociology. There are always two people playing; that's a group." You can tell her interest is piqued now.
   "So how do you do it?" She's starting to look at me more than the road. She can be completely oblivious to her own survival when her curiosity is stoked. She's the type of person in horror movies who doesn't run when it's obvious the killer is in the house but instead tries to figure out the mystery behind the murders.
   "I can't tell you if I'm dead," I say, nodding out the front windshield. I love the way her had snaps straight as she pulls the van back into only one lane. "Thanks. Now I'll tell you if you promise not to reveal the secret to another living soul or use this knowledge for evil."
   She actually smiles at that. Sure it's a thin-lipped, nervous, fleeting little smile, but a smile none the less. "I promise," she assures me.
   "Okay, first you have to realise that the other person is going to be trying to predict your move even as you're trying to predict theirs. The trick is not to out think them but to know how much to out think them by.
   "The intelligence of a person dictates their first move. If they are of average intelligence, then they'll start with paper. This is because a person of average intelligence will choose rock when they are young, thus experience teches them that they'll have a better chance at wining if they choose paper. To counter this you should usually start with scissors. Since scissors is the rarest seen of the three choices it will through them off. They'll then revert to rock most often. This means you choose paper. Even if they stick with paper it'll just be a tie. The third go, they'll have pushed out of their old archeitype and go for scissors or they'll go back to paper. You should go scissors if you want to be safe, rock if you're daring.
   "If the person is of above average intelligence, it changes things a bit. They still start with paper but they don't revert to rock in the face of your scissors. Instead they'll do scissors because they think that you think they'll do rock, causing you to do paper. That's why you're going to go rock and thow them off. They'll assume you'll think they'll change to rock to counter you next logical move of paper, so they'll go scissor again. You'll just stay on rock and win. The exception to this is if the person gets nervous or anxious, they'll switch back to paper. You have to watch their eyes for this so you can counter with scissors.
   "Now, you can't distinguish someone who is a brilliant genius from someone who is severly retarded. This is because the truly brilliant and the truly stupid will both do nothing but rock. All three times, rock. This is devistating to most strategies because you out think the other person by not thinking at all. If you don't change from rock, the other person is continually trying to figure out what your next move is going to be and precluding the possibility that you're employing the strategy of no strategy at all."
   I can practically hear her brain thinking. I know that she's already processed my initial data and is now running mental simulations of her own to test the outcome.
   "That's brilliant!" she exclaims. "If it actually works like you say, this could form the basis of a briliant psychometric system! You don't have to worry about social differences or experiences because everyone has played the game since childhood! Its ubiquity even stretches to most other countries in the world! We'll need to set up a series of controlled experiments along several other intelligence tests to insure an accurate baseline. Maybe even give them the em-em-pee-aye two. We'll need some initial data to write a report, get some funding... This could an amazing step forward in providing imperical evidence for psychological testing! And the underlying precepts of the choices made, that in and of itself is an intruiging application of Interactionist Sociology. Why I could-"
   I really hate interrupting her when she's obviously having so much fun but, "Gold, would you mind pulling out of oncoming traffic for a second?"
   She snaps back to reality again, just in time to miss hitting a Toyota. She glances at me sheepishly, afraid to remove her eyes from the road again, and says, "Sorry about that."
   I try and force my most reassuring smile and reply, "Oh, don't worry about it. Only your half of the van was over the line anyway."
   She seems to like that.

   As we pull up to the site I get a weird feeling. Not the sense that something terribly weird is about to happen to me, but something else I can't place that sets me at disease.
   We all pile out in front of the vans to plan the route for our initial scan. There are several buildings layed out before us that we're to investigate. Several buildings are in various states of demolition, while the others are in various states of decay. Unused demolition vehicles litter the area.
   Raven is holding her laptop, still scanning data from the screen. While I get to mouth off because I attract weirdness like a magnet, Raven gets to do it because she's the god of executive assitants. Seriously, she could get paid ten times as much working somewhere else if she wanted to. She types two-hundred words per minute, she has orginization capabilities that border on the supernatural, she reasearches better than anyone I've ever met, and she anticipates your needs so well Gold is partially convinced she has limited precognitive abilities (in reality she just has great empathy for others when she wants to).
   Apparently Raven found something doing her standard background check on the way over.
   She dives right in without any formalities, "The buildings used to be low rent tenaments before they were condemned. There seems to be a history off paranormal activity here."
   "It's probably under-reported, given the economic make up of the neighborhood," says Prick. I hate it when he's right.
   I'm mildly shocked as I suddenly realize why this place made me feel weird. With so many ladmarks altered due to the demolition I didn't recognize the place, but my subconscious must have. "Of course there's a history of paranormal activity. I used to live here."


That RPS trick really works. Go try it.


Last edited by Anony-mouse on Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:29 am
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Hot damn. Still rockin'.

Also, for RPS, the easiest way to win against the most people is to hit whatever would have lost last time. If the person does paper in round A, do rock in round B, etc. Most people, once you start winning, will automatically try to beat their move by copying you, the winner. In the case above, scissors would have won A: Rock beats 'em in B.

That only works as long as I'm the only person that knows it, of course.

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Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:37 am
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Now what would happen if you LOST round one?

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Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:07 am
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Whatever would lose to whatever won last round, is what I meant.

I was tired and not explaining good-like.

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Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:46 pm
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You know, when I started writing this, I had no real intention of extending it past the introduction. The only reason I did was because I got feedback. I'm a feedback whore. ^_^


Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:17 pm
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Whore!

I demand more writings. Now!

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Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:10 pm
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Tozetre wrote:
Whore!

I demand more writings. Now!

*FAPP*FAPP*FAPP*FAPP*FAPP*

Code:
    Raven shakes her head, obviously doubting me. "No, you must be confused. This place has been condemned for the last ten years and the reports only occur--"
    "Within the last three to four years?" I ask, interrupting her. "Yeah, that's when I lived here alright."
    "The landlord was renting out apartments even after the buildings were condemned?" exclaims Gold, obviously disgusted with such an obvious display of greed. "That's horrible!"
    "No, no one was renting the place out. That's why they refer to it as squatting."
    And they go and give me that look! Back during the Industrial Revolution, the bourgeois had convinced to populous that the rich were rich because they were inherently better and the poor were poor because they were lazy ne'er-do-wells. Though the thought that the rich are inherently better has been removed from most of the populous, there remains a general sense that being poor is somehow a personality flaw.
    "Look, I'm okay with the fact that I was homeless. You guys don't need to pussy-foot around it or anything."
    Prick doesn't say anything because he already knew I was an urchin in my younger days. In fact, that's how we first met.
    "If we've got a floor map, why don't I go get you guys wired up?" I say, changing the subject.

    Even though they hired me for my unique ability to attack weirdness, I do actually run their tech stuff. Before I came along, they used to upgrade their hardware every six months. Two of the three people who work here are power users, after all. I convinced them to skip the upcoming upgrade cycle and wait for the next one and go wireless. At the time the new wireless standards were still having some of the kinks worked out. By time we purchased our current system, everything was running smoothly. They hadn't believed me when I said it would increase their productivity and efficiency. Now they wouldn't know what to do without their nifty portable gear.
    I open up the back of the equipment van and pull out everyone's basic. We refer to it as a basic, but it's really a wireless ready combination cell phone, two-way radio, and PDA. It has two USB ports on it. We plug a combination microphone and camera headset into one that we use for communication and recording phenomenon.  We use the other port to plug in our scanning equipment. I talked them into the expense of going digital on all their gadgets. This allows us to send real-time data anywhere in the world as it's coming in. It also allows us greater storage capacity of data.
    I boot up all the basics and make sure they can reach the network in the OV. There's a server in the OV that acts as the basics' gateway to our VPN with our office. It's cheaper than having each PDA dial in wirelessly on its own. The OV also has a wireless switch in it so as long as we're within three hundred meters of it we can even talk using VoIP.
    If you haven't understood any of this, that's okay. We can't all r0x0r.
    I bring all the gear out and start passing it around.

    "If you were here, can you give us some details about the activity that went on?" asks Silver.
    "Sure," I say, "There was only one really major thing. Some dimensional flux or the other caused the building to get tangled in space and time. Just walking down a hallway would accidently drop you on another floor or even in another building. It dissipated after a week or so."
    "That's amazing!" exclaim Gold, scribbling notes like mad on her basic. "And that was the only massive occurance?"
    "Well I didn't actually spend much time here during the day; I just slept here mostly. Despite common belief it takes a lot of work just to survive when you're on the street. Besides, with all the junkies and the crazies around here, it was safer to spend your time elsewhere."
    Crap, now Gold's giving me the sad puppy-dog eyes. Can't they understand that I don't feel sorry for myself? I choose to run away from my foster parents. I was completely on my own and I SURVIVED. I don't just mean I made ends meet, I mean I lived through it. I'm proud of that.
    "Oh, I almost forgot!" I say, the memory rushing over me. "There was that time that thing from the old refrigerator we found in one of the basements ate Sam. Damn, and he was my best friend too."
    "That's so horrible!" says Gold, bordering on tears.
    "Sam was a dog, Gold," I explain. "Don't worry about it. Me and my crew got it back into the 'fridge and chained it in. We hauled it over to the industrial section over there and tossed it into an incinerator. There's nothing left of it."

    Raven loads the map into the telemeeting software and Prick starts outlining the routes we'll take when making our scans.
    "There are only four buildings left undemolished. We'll split up and do separate scans to save time," Prick says.
    "Who's running ops?" asks Silver.
    Silver and Raven love to be out in the field where the actions is, so they hate working ops. Gold prefers to run ops and Prick is indifferent as his name will come first on any paper no matter what. Unfortunately they have the most expertise with the equipment and thus are needed in the field when we need the scans done right. I'm not allowed to work ops. We found out the hard way that you don't sit the guy to whom the big bad monster will be inevitably drawn beside all the shinny and expensive equipment.
    "I'll be running ops. I don't need to schlep heavy equipment around when I already know we're not going to find anything. Rachel, I want you to take the EMR scope to building A. Raven, you're running the sonar in building C. Ron, take the gravitometer to building E. Bill, take the multi-suite to building F." As he talked he drew out the routes on his PDA with a stylus. "Since you lived here, is there anything you want to add, Bill?"
    "Yeah, one of these days I'm going to switch your ass-floss with razor wire." See, that's a good insult because it not only implies physical harm to him but it also implies that he flosses his ass on a regular basis.


Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:14 am
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Highly enjoyable. For some reason, I keep expecting a Scooby Doo reference, though. ^_^

MORE LITERATURE-FAPPING IS NEEDED! FAP, DAMN YOUZE!

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Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:02 pm
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*hands SC a bucket*

Fill it, bitch. FILL IT OR DRINK IT!

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Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:15 pm
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Christopher Fiss wrote:
For some reason, I keep expecting a Scooby Doo reference, though. ^_^

O_O;

Oh, hell! You mean that show actually imprinted on my subconscious!? Hmm... which one's Scooby? Shit, now I'm going to HAVE to make a Scooby-Doo refference. Are you happy now?


Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:13 pm
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you, sir, are not allowed to stop writing.

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Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:45 am
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Heh, you see I'm an insomniac. When I can't sleep I usually either take a long walk or write. I actually spent most of last night sleeping peacefully, thus part 5 is horribly unfinished. ^_^;

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Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:34 pm
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HAHAHAHAHA!!! I wanted to post this story to Fanfiction.net, but they took down their original works section. Thanks to a certain thread on the forum I had the brilliant idea to post ot under Harry Potter as a Hermione/Ginny slash fic! Te worst part is, there is just enough possibility that this story could (though it won't) end up at Hogwarts that I figure I'll be able to string along a couple dozen people for at least five or six more installments. (EG)


Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:08 pm
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The original works section is here. If you had an account before the fission of FF.net and FP.com, then you've got one.

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Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:31 pm
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Better late than never. ^_^

Code:
   Prick turns his nose up in a very prickish manner and proceeds to the ops van without saying anything else. I'm amazed, he usually doesn't let me just have the last word like that.
   The four of us who are going to be scanning congregate around the equipment van and pick up our gear. We do a quick mike check and then head for our respective buildings. It was weird for me. You know how when you come back to a place you had lived as a child and everything seems so much smaller?

   Ah, the first scan. How can I describe it? It's like your first kiss. All anticipation and nervousness because you're sure that something that so many people have invested so much time and money in has to be the greatest thing ever. And then it's over and you're left wanting more.
   During the first scan, we're only scanning a fairly small area for a fairly small amount of data. We usually don't find anything right away. When we do it's a matter of blind luck.
   The whole thing is similar to an research dig. When you first get to the new site, you're so very excited. Five hours and only three inches of dirt later, when you've found nothing but random gravel, it finally sets in that this is going to be work.

   Right now I'm running the Multiple Suite Scanner System, multi-suite for short. I want you to think of a modern, cutting-edge cellphone. It's a tiny piece of equipment, right? Now compare it to the early ones back in the eighties. Now think of a modern laptop. A thin, light, powerful computer that you can take almost anywhere with a battery life of hours. Now compare it to those old 286 laptops that weighed thirty pounds and whose battery lasted all of ten minutes without power. Now think of the tricorder from Star Trek. That's basically what a multi-suite is, but it's the size of a professional news camera and can't scan for alien life-signs.
   The multi-suite is one of the tools we use to determine any oddities in the environment. We measure the environment thoroughly to rule out things like high-voltage power lines, contamination by radioactive materials, random planetary alignments, and atmospheric anomalies (think swamp gas and Venus). The multi-suite measures barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, ionization, air quality, sub- and ultrasonic fields, and radioactivity.
   To use it, I walk around slowly with it on my shoulder. It scans and sends the info to the server in the OV. Congress enacted a law that requires cell phone manufacturers to allow for some way to trace the phones down, for things like 911 calls and FBI Big Brother activities. Most accomplish this through a GPS chip. Our PDAs are Java enabled, so we use a script to correlate our position with the scans. After we finish the scans, we'll usually spend a week organizing data before any sense can be made of it. This is not the standard procedure in this field. It's the standard of the scientific community. Prick wants to be published, so he does everything by the book. Observe, theorize, experiment, publish; Francis Bacon would be so proud.

   Boredom sets in and the small talk begins. "So is it weird being back here?" asks Silver, his voice is clear and fairly crisp. We're obviously still within range for digital communication.
   "A bit," I reply, "Everything seems smaller. I've grown half a foot since I lived here."
   "What was it like?" he continues.
   "What was what like? I mean, it's just a place to sleep, really. Not all that different from any other place. You'll have to be more specific." I never know how to answer those sort of broad questions. I do much better with limited questions.
   "Well, were you scared sleeping here?"
   "Not really scared. More like cautious. It was dangerous, but the danger was manageable."
   "Didn't you ever worry about someone coming after you in your sleep?"
   "Nope."
   "Didn't you ever feel alone?"
   "I wasn't alone. I had my crew with me."
   "Petty thug? It figures." Prick decides to join in.
   "It wasn't a gang. We just looked out for each other."
   "How many were in your crew?"
   I have to think about that for a second. "Well, there's me, that's one. There was Benny, Joshua, Sarah, and Kylie, so that's five. Carla was only with us for a little while before she got picked up."
   "Is being an orphan anything like it was in Dickens?" asked Silver.
   "No, not really. It might have been back in Dickens' time but not now."
   A moment of silence. I wait through it. Eventually boredom will win out again and he'll start questioning me again.
   "How did you guys get food? Did you steal it or something?"
   "Not really. Sure, we'd shoplift stuff every now and then, but not on a regular basis. Sometimes we'd go to missions and soup kitchens. Mostly we just bought it like everyone else."
   "Bought it?" I can't see his face but from his tone of voice I can tell the idea that people living on the street actually purchase food to feed themselves never even crossed his mind.
   "We all worked." I say. It came out harsher than I intended it. I guess I resent the implication that I wasn't taking care of myself.
   "What do you mean, 'you all worked'?" he just can't seem to wrap his mind around a fairly simple idea. I suppose should have more sympathy, he is trying to alter his entire perception of society, but I just can't seem to muster it.
   "If you all worked, why didn't you like rent an apartment together or something?" Up until now Raven has been pretty quiet.
   "We couldn't. The system was against us."
   "That sounds like a cop-out to me."
   "No it's not." I wanted to say, 'Go fuck yourself,' but decided it would be better to enlighten her. "In order to rent a place, you have to have valid ID, evidence of employment or Section Eight, and be eighteen or older. Josh was the oldest of us and he was only fourteen. We couldn't give out any ID, even if we had some, because they'd do a background check and call the police to come cart us off to come lock us up."
   "They wouldn't put you in jail just for trying to get a place to stay."
   I suppress the urge to tell her to fuck off again. "Sure they would. Have you ever seen a group home? They're little prisons, only worse because no one in there did anything to deserve it. And that's if you're lucky enough to make it into a group home. Most of the time they didn't have any beds so they'd throw you in juvenile detention or a juvenile psychiatric hospital."
   "So where'd you guys work?" says Silver, trying to divert the tension.
   "Benny worked as a lookout for a drug dealer. Josh was a cooker in a meth lab. I worked throwing fish and sometimes I'd work as a leg man laundering money for the guy Benny and Josh worked for. Sarah and Kylie were hookers."
   There's silence again. I can almost read his mind. 'But Bill isn't evil. I don't think he'd hang around evil people. But I've always thought people who do those sorts of things are evil. Maybe it was just the circumstance he found himself in that made him do that? No, couldn't be. If that were the case then I'd have to change my world view, which I know is right for no good reason.'
   I climb the stairs to start scanning the next floor. Silver seems to be taking his time mulling over what I said. It has been my experience that the longer it takes a person to respond to this conversation, as I've had it several times so far, the better. If he takes the rest of the week to talk to me about it again, so much the better.
   Raven starts talking far sooner than I would have liked her to. "Hooking is not a job," she says.
   "The exchange of services for wealth, it's a fucking job. What the hell! You think it's fun or some shit?" I surprise myself at the level of anger in my voice. I didn't mean for my words to come out so harshly but she's talking about my family.
   "So where'd you guys sleep here?" asks Silver, again trying to avoid the oncoming fight.
   "We stayed on the sixth floor. It was above the transients and hobos who stayed near the ground floors and below the crazies who for some reason love heights. The only one's we'd have to look out for were junkies from the crack den on the floor below us."
   "Are you near your old place?" he asks tentatively, unsure of my reaction to both the question and the environment.
   "Nah, we didn't stay in building F, we stayed over in A because--"

   Have you ever had a moment of blinding clarity about fifteen minutes too late to stop the oncoming disaster? I probably should have mentioned that piece of information earlier but the thought never occurred to me. It was quite stupid of me. Of COURSE whatever it was would be living near where I used to stay. That's just the way my life is, I leave a trail of weirdness in my wake.
   "Gold, you okay?" I ask nervously. I just realized she hasn't said anything in a god awful long time.
   "Hey Rach, you there?" says Silver, suddenly catching on. His voice cracks as she calls out.
   "Rachel? Rachel, are you all right?" Even Prick sounds worried.
   "Check her GPS," I say to Prick.
   A moment that feels like eternity later he replies, "She's on the fifth floor. Her signal isn't moving."


Last edited by Anony-mouse on Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:24 am
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Chibi-Czar
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Hell yes. More.

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Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:08 pm
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The W00T continues.

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Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:17 pm
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