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Author Topic: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)  (Read 6667 times)

Hellraiser

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #180 on: 22 September 2020, 15:21:30 »
I think the fact that the Clans had already taken 3 "Supers" captive shows that, as was stated up thread, the supers are not all powerful.

Lisa has a very unique ability in that nothing can hurt her & in turn while not strong when she hits something, IT is forced to crumble.

Baba Yaga smashed them with mother natures raw chaos.

But the author made it clear that most of the sups can't affect mechs.

The Super/Cop even said, if the elementals had known ahead of time & been prepared they could have taken him out easier.

It sounds like Lisa's "Team" had the right combo  (Super Techno, Raw Lightning, & Ritual Magic) to actually hurt Clan Tech.

As we saw the stealth girl & the clan warrior in the new armor suit didn't do so well.

We know that DC Vibro Katanas can cut down an Elemental & it seems like the Techno turned that chain into a sort of vibro weapon.

I honestly wonder if the USA Spec Ops Supers had that kind of Juice to pull off this kind of attack.

And I think the Surrender was really just to get a way to assimilate the clan tech while not really giving up control when you have 300+ millions of US citizens to a couple thousand Clanners.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #181 on: 22 September 2020, 15:25:00 »
A combination of shock and awe, and overwhelming force in a limited area. Plus, the fictional US government was prepared to write Washington state off for their own reasons, preventing government-sponsored supers from getting involved. I suspect there are people in the chain of command (Chiefs of Staff, anyone?) who will be asking pointed questions right now.

And the whole story is basically impromptu supers turning invaders into chunky salsa.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #182 on: 22 September 2020, 15:57:53 »
there are some parts after the Yakima fight I'll be cutting, because they suck and don't contribute to the story.

I'll do this after I get some sleep.

There are also parts I regret how I wrote them-but only because I think they could've been done better, more explanation of what was going on, better scenes, better delivery on the Clanners...

and maybe at some point, I'll work on that, too.

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #183 on: 23 September 2020, 00:10:26 »
"It's the math." Governor (ex) Gregory tells the court.  "Eleven million people in Washington State, around three thousand people total with the Clan force.  their vanguards overwhelmed everything the Federal Government had in the state.  EVERYTHING, but they don't have a supply line, and couldn't reinforce or expand their numbers without help.  In that kind of math, the cold calculus says that my job as governor was to protect the citizens."

"You surrendered, and you cooperated with the occupation, how does that work?"

"Simply put, they can kill our people faster than we can overwhelm them, and they were desperate-a little cooperation in the present and once things are settled, they would be absorbed.  The Normans were absorbed into England.  China swallowed the Mongol hordes.  None of my staff knew we had someone like Judah Lees in the state, or that Lisa Quentin was as powerful as she evidently is-and we had no way to use them if we had known.  My choice was a temporary political disruption as the price to preserve eleven million people until there was an option."

I'm sitting in the back of the courtroom, and at least O'Ryan's letting me do my protection detail duty out of costume, dressed like every other cop in the building in a uniform I'm not sure I've actually earned yet.

but Louis Jefferson, the first Captain Liberty in the 1940s wrote that costumes have an impact-and he's right, in his case it was the difference between the super-soldier hero who defeated BlitzJaeger at Monte Cassino and was even respected by the KKK, and an ordinary black man in Jim Crow Alabama.

I've been reading his memoirs lately.  a little eye makeup and some lip gloss, a state patrolman's uniform, and I walk right past the same press that would have mobbed me in costume.

It's like a blindness they get.  I don't even have to dye my hair.

apparently Clark Kent was onto something in the comics-a pair of glasses and a suit and nobody in the fiction recognizes Superman.

I'm just observing as lawyers take the former governor's statement for the Grand Jury, just another witness in an open hearing because the defendant waived the right to have the proceedings closed.

Her logic makes some sense.  lay down soft, let them move in, then absorb them.  It's a sensible approach considering what kind of raw power differential was in play.  It rankles me, I saw how much support there was for resistance, but her fears of brutal reprisal make sense, she saw the defeat at Fort Lewis, and how fast the Clan Wolf troops went through the very best we had available.

we didn't even have what Jefferson called a 'Wisna'-no bold final stands until Yakima, just one-sided slaughter by a superior force with total control over the high ground, someone was going to collaborate, and it was our governor, who claims she just wanted people to survive.

It's hard to stay angry with that.  Not impossible, but hard, because I saw  how much power the light units of Clan Wolf were tossing around.  If they hadn't voluntarily limited themselves we'd have been dead out there.  it was only exploiting their own cultural drives and having someone explain those drives that let us pull Yakima off at all.

I'm pretty sure Katya Kerensky did the same math, which is why their occupation force had such a light touch-their leaders...did they expect to follow the Governor's script?  it's worth asking someone who knows about.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #184 on: 23 September 2020, 09:18:47 »
there are some parts after the Yakima fight I'll be cutting, because they suck and don't contribute to the story.

I'll do this after I get some sleep.

There are also parts I regret how I wrote them-but only because I think they could've been done better, more explanation of what was going on, better scenes, better delivery on the Clanners...

and maybe at some point, I'll work on that, too.

Just curious if these are drafts or if you have them pre-typed first.  I know stuff I write goes through multiple iterations!

It reminds me of something James Roberts said about writing Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye:  One challenge to writing is that sometimes the fans have better ideas than the author does  :))
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #185 on: 23 September 2020, 09:21:35 »
Just curious if these are drafts or if you have them pre-typed first.  I know stuff I write goes through multiple iterations!

It reminds me of something James Roberts said about writing Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye:  One challenge to writing is that sometimes the fans have better ideas than the author does  :))

this has been mostly cold-posted, straight from brain to page, no intermediate steps.  (except when I've had to look something up.)  Probably the biggest reason I've missed the hook with Katya Kerensky and Delta galaxy.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #186 on: 23 September 2020, 10:02:13 »
From the H! Network Fan Forum...

Rockit2thamax (verified):  New post guys, finished downloading the vid from the Tonasket fight. 

Seahawkfinestfan: Oh my gawd...She broke his arm!!

Grognard_The_King (Verified): Holy crap, did he just drag her face through that cliff?

Rockit2thamax(Verified): yah.  She was coughing up granite dust for hours, it looked like cement.  Auntie Columbia looks like one tough gal.

Seahawkfinestfan: I can't believe...how old is the redhead in frame 285?

Rockit2thamax(verified): Thirteen.

Starblazer (Verified): thirteen.  Highest body count on the team, don't piss her off.

Seahawkfinestfan: They let a little kid fight?  EW. That's SOO wrong!!

Starblazer(Verified): Phoebe's still on the team and she's got thirty six separate criminal kills on her record, it's public now, the Governor had to pardon her to keep her out of prison.  We're working on getting her to actually attend treatment and counseling.  it's easier now, since all our identities are public and there's funding to do it.

Seahawkfinestfan: What about her parents?

Starblazer (verified): Moira's pretty pissed Phoebe got hurt, if you're going to ask about biological parents, Phoebe's dad  is 'unknown' and her mom was a statistic before she was six-not my words, hers.  The fun part is going to find a seventh grade teacher who is okay with a double-alpha tech genius sitting in on classes, we might have to hire a tutor instead.

Seahawkfinestfan: You're on the team? which one are you?

Starblazer (Verified):  I'm the one slinging plasma beams at the Clanners, Cowboy hat and duster-that's me.

Seahawkfinestfan: YOU? you're a kid too!

Starblazer (verified): I'm a teenager, not a kid. (Sniffs snootily) ;P  Anyway, I've got school this morning.  Yes, we're kids.  The grown ups were, for the most part, busy elsewhere.  Now, I have three classes to make up and extra homework every night, plus training sessions and duty days. It's not all like H! network makes it look, even when your parents are rich like mine.

[Moderator PBK has entered the room,
Moderator PBK has sectioned off chat for private discussion between Rockit2thamax, Starblazer]

Rockit2thamax (Verified): You still planning to come up for thanksgiving, Starblazer?

Starblazer (Verified): Since my parents decided to go ahead with the divorce? yeah, I'll be there, your mom doing the cooking?

Rockit2thamax (Verified): Yes.  Me and the little brother have been cleaning up grandma's old house for guests.  If shit's getting too real over there on Mercer, you can come up and stay a while?

Starblazer (verified): You know, I think I want to do that.  Mom and Dad will be pissed, but it would be nice not to come home from training to a house that feels like it's about to be a warzone.  I think that road trip with your Aunt and forming the team is the best experience I've had since I was six...including having to have shrapnel dug out of my legs and back.  Besides, I want to see you. :)

Rockit2thamax(Verified): [blush!!] You too.  don't get hurt before you come up!!  Will the cute couple also be coming?

Starblazer (Verified): Yeah, and Moira's bringing Phoebe-though she's threatening not to if Phoebe doesn't keep up with her therapy.  Kid's getting it from all directions, the shrinks, of course, because DSHS always wants shrinks, so she tells me, but there's also the lady from Dept. of Education trying to help her get past the dyslexia and start reading actual paper instead of skimming it off the computer with her magic brain.

Rockit2thamax (Verified): Bus is here, gotta go. Kiss!

[Rockit2thamax(Verified) has logged off, Private room ended.]

[Starblazer(Verified) has joined General Chat]

The core rules for interacting with me:

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #187 on: 24 September 2020, 23:05:51 »
The Federal heroes finally showed up with Federal Officials a week after Election day, and they've been debriefing the Wolves, getting mostly the same information Monroe already got-an alternate timeline, one where Supers didn't appear, but technology progressed in some weird directions.

not to mention politics going weird.

Vice President Buchanan...excuse me, President Arthur Buchanan (until January 20 anyway) directed DHS to send a team up to the spaceship.  O'Ryan managed to turn it into a negotiation, and got a few hooks into the whole mess that proves just how scary-smart the guy really is.

and I've got Captain Republic, the third one drinking coffee forty feet from my new desk in my new job for Washington State.

There have been three men who carried the name since World War Two.  The first one died of colon cancer in 1982 and I never met him, the second one was replaced during the late Reagan administration and is rumored to live in Montana.  This is number three, and he's been wearing the red-white-and-blue camo since 1988, and the first time I've seen him in person, is right here in the WSP Superhuman Affairs office in Wenatchee.

For those of you who live under a rock, I'm not joking about the camo.  It's digital pattern and it's absolutely not going to camouflage anything, being red, white, and blue.  It's been the costume for America's premier 'top dog' superhero since 1988, with variations mostly revolving around how the mask is configured.

"You know, Quentin, you could be my successor." he's got a southern drawl in public relations events, but in here, away from the cameras, he's got a new england twang that almost sounds like he should be selling books in boston.

"Not interested, sir." I tell him, "besides, didn't they retire the flight backpack at the same time the guy you replaced retired, sir?  I can't fly."

"There's more to the job than flying."

"Yes, sir." I nod, "You also have to train, and there's a selection board, and frankly, I wouldn't pass the psych, never mind the background check."

He sits down in my Cube, across from me.  "You seem alright to me." he tells me.

"I spent ninety seven days under torture watching people being murdered, unable to do a damn thing about it, including most of the survivors from my unit, after which, I tried to kill myself as soon as I was out of their hands." I remind him, "I am not okay.  not okay enough to serve as a national symbol or rallying point."

"You did alright..."

"Only because we didn't have better options at the moment." I shrug, "You were busy.  If the Clan Wolf invasion hadn't happened, they'd be interviewing you like they did after you saved the Challenger crew, or the Columbia.  I mean, you were holding the locks up in Panama after that terrorist bomb."

"Just grunt work, miss Quentin." he tells me, "you stopped everyone from making a terrible mistake."

"I didn't do it alone, and it wasn't something I should be doing."  Here I fiddle with my cup of pens, "I feel like an imposter, sir."

"We all do." he tells me, "Everyone who's put the costume on and done the service? we all feel like we're just impersonating someone.  Jefferson wrote about it, his successor warned me about letting that 'get in the way' of doing the job.  YOU already proved you can overcome it, and frankly, I'm getting older."

"You're a class double alpha contact telekinetic with flight and B level invulnerability, sir." I quote his official Herowiki entry at him,  "That's the public numbers, anyway. the first guy who carried the title you've got would be classed as a D-rating today, and the second guy was considered high C.  all three of you have something I don't."

"What's that?"  He asks.

"Training and preparation." I remind him, "I have, what, basic marine corps CQB that I haven't practiced ni months, I'm taking night and correspondence classes to learn how to do the non-combat work my job requires, I never prepped to have powers, never trained to master them, didn't want to do this in the first place..."

He laughs, "You sound like Bryan." he tells me,  "My predecessor-he was drafted into the role after manifesting, and Jefferson spent five years training him before retiring."

"But...the selection process?"

"Newish." He tells me, "the process for selecting for the role was set up under Carter, but didn't see any use until Bryan submitted his first resignation in '81.  The Defense Department managed to stall him until he had me trained up to replace him."

"Seven years?"

"It takes a while to find someone with powers, then you have to sort and pick from the ones you can find.  The DoD can use the Moriarty Process in a pinch, but that kind of requires being willing to risk the lives of hundreds of volunteers to get one viable candidate, and that's simply unacceptable." he tells me, "that's part of the reason SF 12 and the forty-series SEAL teams use cutting edge equipment-we won't put human beings through that kind of process again..." he sips his coffee, "We're not the Communists, and we're not the ****** nazis, burning three hundred lives to make three supers is morally and ethically abhorrent.  It's a line that isn't worth crossing again."

I know people who'd debate that, but I won't.  I agree with it.  "What's going to happen now that Uncle Sam's actually involved again?" I ask him.

"Well, my support group's interviewing the Wolf people, and another group's going to be evaluating your team on an in-depth level." he tells me, "we'll go through the cert process, some psychiatric evaluations, basic powers testing and exams, then for as long as you've got an active costumed identity, you'll have to go through it again next year.  The kids will be getting scholarships and sponsors until they reach the age of majority and can register for selective service, at which point, they'll probably be sent a letter in the name of their fellow citizens inviting them to report for duty for up to four years with a recall availability for the following eight."

"And the Wolf people?" I ask.

"are being offered expedited immigration with enlistment papers." he tells me.  "It's practical-the military has the best infrastructure we've got for that job and the only real means we have to limit their antisocial tendencies short of the prison system..which is a system that should be used only for real criminals, not soldiers who've surrendered and have nowhere else to go...in the meantime, your record as a Marine was pretty good, Miss Quentin-before you were captured, and you know this is an age of inclusion, someone's gonna offer you a slot in the selection process for my job, and you should consider taking it."

"I have a lot of personal shit to deal with, sir." I tell him, "I'm not sure I want to be 'America's Hero'."

"Don't reject it out of hand just yet, okay?" he tells me.






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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #188 on: 24 September 2020, 23:46:04 »
Fine fine story!
As I understand it, the Trial fight is sorta framework and that is fine. 
Writing big dang hero fight scenes involving a dozen plus characters is time/effort/ink intensive.
Kudos for that chapter alone!

for those of y'all complaining & nitpicking: 
Go crack open the brand new 2020 TECHMANUAL to page 7.
Read carefully and then...
be grateful.

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #189 on: 25 September 2020, 00:14:14 »
[pov shift, 3rd Person...]

Steve Palmer is one of the 4 wealthiest men in North America.  The Palmersoft 'Doorways' software is the most used operating system in the world, and if you include the pirated copies and illegal derivatives, it's ninety percent of the computer market, ninety five if you include all versions from Doorways 2.0 and later.

A life's work begun in the 1970s when he was busy dropping out of Stanford to work with a group of friends on what they were sure would be a revolution.  They'd initially been beaten to the punch by Apple, but their comeback in the eighties crushed Jobs-partly with the help of contacts at IBM and Smith Corona and a recognition that making too much exclusive would limit who wanted to develop for Palmer-Dos, which later became Doorways with a quietly pirated copy of a project abandoned by Xerox.

he'd married once, divorced, and again, and divorced, and finally married Belinda, who gave him a son...a son that is an enormous disappointment.

While Steve Palmer is undoubtedly a genius level IQ-he turned a hobby into the largest and most aggressive tech company on earth-and Belinda held enough degrees and doctorates to qualify her as Mensa material, their son Ernest is...

achingly average despite every effort put forward to produce a brilliant intellectual mind, the fact is, some kids just aren't talented when it comes to the very things that made Steve Palmer a household name and Belinda Ygret Palmer a nobel nominee.

Ernest was simply not...talented, and his late-middle age, almost-ready-to-retire Father's dream of a Dynasty died on the boy's pre-SAT scores.

This wasn't to say that the boy was outright dumb.  a firm B average in the private schools, would be considered excellent in anyone whose parents didn't tip the scales hard into the border between brilliant and super-genius.  Believers in 'genetic destiny' and eugenics would have the same frustrations the two parents had with their son, and harsh measures on top of harsh measures to force the boy into fitting with the percieved 'destiny' of his parentage yielded...rebellion.

the Palmers didn't produce a second child, both believing firmly in the idea of population control, each had elected for surgical procedures to prevent another offspring-only to discover, afte the fact, that their one legacy contribution to the world was an average student, with average athletic ability, who wasn't even particularly handsome as he got older.

Three strikes and no chance for calling a retry, they drifted apart, and chose to simply forget their son existed most of the time (aside from assuring that he had what was considered appropriate in terms of schooling and upkeep, both tasks handed off to hired people.)

Palmersoft would go to the Board of Directors when Steve retired, and the beginnings of the rift leading to a termination of the Palmers' 20 year long marriage were already in the works, when Ernest finally showed a unique talent...

and by then, of course, it was too late for all three.  Ernie, for his part, recognized that his parents love was conditional, rooted in a demand that he be exceptional in some way other than being their son.

And he'd seen enough to recognize this isn't the norm, even before he linked up with Lisa Quentin and became part of a sort of 'extended family' that included a trio of similarly talented young people, and Lisa's small gaggle of relatives from Eastern Washington.

Valerie Quentin was almost his age, and she liked him.  when you're in an emotional pressure cooker surrounded your entire life by people who fake their feelings in public? you learn to sort the real from the false.  Valerie was like her aunt- thin, slight, a little harsh, except Val liked him.  this is pretty important to a kid who knows enough to know when the cheerleader wants you because you're the quarterback and not because she wants you.

It was enough reason for Ernie to look at demands from each of his estranged parents, each offering, effectively, bribes to side with them in the separation, each proposing escalating offers to have him over to their chosen locations where he could be paraded about as a 'superhero' for thanksgiving...and reject them both, in favor of the multi-hour drive east across the Cascades to the Quentin Ranch, where instead of being 'our son, the Starblazer', he could be 'Our friend, Ernie.'

for Ernest, this isn't even a choice that's difficult.  Seventeen years he'd tried like hell to get his parents to notice more than his flaws and failure and averageness, and he had somewhere to go, this year, where the pallor of disappointment and conditional affection simply wasn't going to ruin things.  Not this time.

Besides, Judah was letting him drive the Pontiac for part of the trip, and Ernie liked muscle cars.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #190 on: 25 September 2020, 00:19:44 »
Wait, he's basically Balmer's kid?
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #191 on: 25 September 2020, 09:21:40 »
Wait, he's basically Balmer's kid?

In a universe where doors are preferred over windows!   ;D

I really like the character backgrounds.   I think they're pretty realistic, considering some of the Vietnam veterans I've dealt with IRL.  I can think of some people I know who fit Ernie's background too.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #192 on: 25 September 2020, 12:20:21 »
[more third person]

Tonasket, 1986...

Her mom was in the shed outside with Mister Hendricksen, who wasn't her father, 'working mommy's job'.  On the television, Big Bird was trying to get Maria to understand that Mister Snuffleuppagus was real.  Lisa thought that was really funny-that the adults couldn't see Big Bird's best friend.

Lisa wished she had a friend like snuffy.  it would be better than being in the house alone while mommy worked for Mister Hendricksen out in the steel shed out back, but maybe momma would be worried if she started having friends like that.

Momma worried a lot.  This was the third place they'd lived this year, and she didn't like some of the things Mister Hendricksen did to her mother at night.

Not one bit, but he was better than George, who tried to make Lisa take her pants off and that was why they left Oroville.

On the television, the police are friendly, but Lisa knew that her mother was afraid of them, though why, she didn't know, only that before Oroville, when they were in St. Helens, Lisa talked to a friendly police officer in the store, and they had to leave St. Helens in a hurry at night, and all her toys and most of her stuff.

the sun was up, but she could see bright red and blue flashes on the window-shades, and so she hid, because that's what her mother told her to do when red and blue lights were nearby, and Lisa was a good girl and did what she was told.

there was a noise from the front of the house-the loudest smash she'd ever heard, and from her hiding place under the sink, she could hear boots slamming through the house.

There was shouting outside, and inside the trailer.  "Police! everyoen come out!!"

Lisa stayed where she was hiding, as boots tramped in the kitchen, and she heard cupboards opening, and slamming closed.

But then, she heard her mother yelling at someone, words indistinct, and a wt smack she'd heard before.

Lisa came out of the cupboard and latched onto the first thing she saw-a man's leg, and she sank her teeth into it...

"BOOM!!"

"Jesus CHRIST BEKKER!! You moron!!"  there was another man there, holding the man sh e'd bit by the arm, lifting both of them off the floor, "YOU ALMOST SHOT A KID!!"

the man holding Bekker off the ground, lifted Lisa away from him with ease, and surprising gentleness.  "We. do.not.shoot blind!!"  the man's skin was the same color as coffee, or chocolate, and he was big.

Lisa had learned a lot at home, when momma wasn't busy.  the word on the chest of the big dark man was 'Monroe' and it was right across from a star-shaped badge.

"What's your name?" he asked gently, careful not to hold her so it hurt-unlike how Mister Hendricksen would sometimes grab her.

"I'm Lisa, where's my mommy!?"

"Hello, Lisa, I'm Linus."

"It says monroe on your chest!"

"That's my last name, My first name is Linus...Your mommy is in a lot of trouble, Lisa..."

Lisa didn't miss that Bekker, whose shirt under the black was green, was running out the door, the sound of retching outside.

For three days, Lisa stayed with Linus and his wife, while someone from his wife's work tried to find relatives. 

***

the place Linus took her after three days was strange, the house was huge, it had windows near the ground and wasn't skirted, and it wasn't an apartment.  The old man who met the car out front, was skinny-looking and wrinkled.

it would take until they let Lisa see her mommy in jail before she believed these people at this big house far from town were her family, that she had a grandpa and grandmama, and that the red-haired girl in cowboy boots yelling at the men was her Auntie-because momma never talked about having sisters, or brothers, or parents, except when she drilled Lisa in 'cover stories'-which were lies to keep them both safe.

It would be years before she learned what her mother had been hiding her from, and why when the television started talking about superheroes, Aunty Cindy would either change the channel, or turn it off and refuse to turn it on for the rest of the night.


[Now, back to Lisa-vision]
2008...

"...this is where your uncle Troy died, where Sun-Primal tore his arms out of their sockets."  Cindy explained.  "He was one of the six that hit us that day, looking for your mom."

"oh jesus, Grandad said Troy died in an accident!"

"Yeah, we invent stories to tell ourselves, when the truth's...worse." Cindy told her, "Margot shot the son of a bitch, it took her nine tries to kill him, and while she was trying, he was tearing our oldest brother apart with his bare hands."

"Margot? she hates guns!"

"Yeah...she got three of them, Lisa-regeneration doesn't help if you knock out the brain-stem, and powers aren't much good if you're so hooked on having them you don't realize your 'bulletproof' can be overcome with enough gun...come on."

I follow her out past the former equipment shed.

"This is where uncle Gerald was killed.  He managed to go down fighting, and took Speedvixen down before he bled out.  wounded Mister Moonshadows too, I was supposed to be hiding over there-" she points at the well-house, "only I wasn't, which is why Mister Mooney didn't come out of the shade of the pumps and grab me.  Instead, I was over where they killed Jack, and I had his carbine, so when Moonshadow popped out under the truck we had parked there, I didn't even really have to aim-pop-pop-pop and half-jellied brains everywhere."  she pauses, "That was the first night, they killed eight of our hired people, both of the boys, and wounded dad, but we got three of them before we legged it for the north stretch."

"Why are you telling me about this now?"

"answers, truth, the fact you have the powers your mom joined that cult to get?" Cindy shrugged, "because I have to make it make some kind of sense to me what happened all those years ago? most of the hands who survived the siege moved on before the end of the year.  I think the only guy in the area who remembers is old man Marsden, and that's because he was on the gun line with us when the last of them assaulted the cabin on the north side of the property.  He lost two of HIS sons, the third one, your friend Isaac's father? was in Pullman.  he skipped the fighting and what had to come after, skipped having to clean up the aftermath..."

"What did you do?"

"We loaded the bodies into a wood-chipper and buried whatever we couldn't get rid of any other way." she tells me, "at that time, you have to understand, Dad was in with some extremely bad people out of asia, and at that time, a 911 call had a response time measured in hours anyway.  we disposed of the bodies, reported the deaths of my brothers, buried their remains where you've seen the headstones, and tried to pretend everything was normal...but dad did manage to end his overseas business relationship, told them the cops were getting too close, even accused them of ratting us out to DEA."  she sighed, "You and your mom were in the wind-we didn't even KNOW about you until Linus Monroe showed up two years later and I found out I was an Aunt.  Dad might've known something, but even if he did?"

"yeah?"

"He wouldn't have talked...but the Cultists, they didn't know he didn't know anything, or maybe they did, they didn't get your location from us, and we killed the ones who came looking."
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #193 on: 25 September 2020, 12:44:04 »
There are boxes in Grandad's hunting cabin on the north side of the property.  Old wooden orange crates lined with waxed paper and mothballs under the floor boards.

Cindy showed me how to get at them.  The stuff, was stuff mom left behind her when she left for college, stuff my grandparents put away because they couldn't bear to look at it, and kept put away because everyone wanted to forget it-but nobody wanted to just get rid of it.

Her fourth grade Lady Liberty costume, a box full of periodicals from the sixties and early seventies-'True Adventures' and other supers-focused stuff.  a couple of photo-albums that weren't ruined by moisture, my mom in high school, my mom winning a science fair in junior high, notebooks and papers from chem class and U.S. History.

The Nicole  Quentin who went to the University of Washington in 1978 doesn't have much resemblance to the woman I remember who couldn't stop selling dope and running with criminals.

"My sister was brilliant." Aunt Cindy tells me, "She really was. she was also all-in on the idea of 'humanity's next step'."

"my mom was a hero-groupie."  I can't believe what I'm seeing at first, but the stuff is old and I recognize her handwriting in some of the diaries and journals.

"I was too." Cindy tells me, "Not as far as she was-but until the attack, I admired superhumans and super heroes...and then, after? I hated them."

"And now I am one." I observe.

"yeah...and I love you, Lisa, but...it's hard to explain."

i sigh, and put the box down.  "No, it's not.  I'm still me...I think, anyway, only...really messed up.  Mom joined that cult Morgause formed because she dreamed of being a superhero, and they acted like they were-until it turned out they weren't...then she left, and they tried to chase her down after the feds raided their compound in Oregon... and they came here, and you saw people you thought you admired acting like complete monsters."

I sit down and take my aunt's hands in mine, "And now, your niece, who you practically raised while grandad and grandma got sick? turns out she's a super, and you've got to resolve that with twenty four years of living with a nightmare just around the corner...and I came back into your life and I was scared."

"YOU were scared?"

"I knew how you felt about people with powers, Cindy...and here I am, with powers...and friends who have powers, and one of those friends wants to date your daughter." I tell her, "it's obvious why you'd feel...be...upset? I couldn't imagine a world where you wouldn't be, I'm kind of shocked you've taken this so well! Supers cost our family a hell of a lot, took loved ones from you, screwed up my life, our lives!"

so we have a good mutual cry.
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Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #194 on: 25 September 2020, 13:17:44 »
My cousin Lucas doesn't look much like my family.  His father lives in Portland, with a wife and two daughters close to Lucas's age, and somehow, Mrs. Benoweth (his biological father is Doctor Benoweth, and a pretty good heart surgeon with a wandering eye) not only tolerates my cousin's presence, but invites him to their home regularly in the summer months and sometimes for christmas.

Lucas is the only black kid in school when he's home...well, half, anyway.  he was my Aunt's second kid, fathered on a doctor's hunting trip eleven years ago, while Cindy was working as a short-order cook at the place she now owns.  Dr. Benoweth is prompt on his child support payments and generally, the whole thing is shockingly cordial.

I met the family of my cousin-his 'other' family, once or twice.  This year, Lucas is down in Portland with them, leaving Cindy and Valerie and...well, me, to get the house in shape for visitors, lay out the linens and clear out the spider webs, and generally make the home my grandparents left to us grandkids in trust, look and be presentable for human beings to actually stay in.

"Do we know who's coming?" I ask her for the hundredth time.

"Let's see...Moira and Phoebe, Judah Lees, Petra, Ernest Palmer, Linus Monroe." she counts off.

"So...two turkeys?"

"We're stocked up, Lisa." Cindy tells me, "Lucky for me, I only have to stock beer for the adults, which is you, me, Linus, and Moira...unless you're bringing a date."

"I don't have a date."  I confess.

"Oh come ON!"

"what can I say?  the dating pool for Lisa is remarkably dry." I shake my head, "I don't have your fantastic ginger magnetism, Cindy, and most of the men I know are old enough to be your dad.  I just don't foresee anything cool coming from giving some vietnam vet a heart attack in bed!"

"What, not even trying, are you?" she scolds me with a laugh.

"not currently." I sigh and finish folding the guest linens.  "You invited Monroe?"

"If you hadn't, I would have.  He's single again."

"I know." I give her a level eye, "You've got your eye on him?"

"And claws out." she tells me.  "He's a good man, history aside, and he'll be a good role model for Lucas when he hits his teens."

"I know he's a good man, I work with him, remember? and we've both known him for most of my life..."  It's true. Monroe drove me to the court when mom was arraigned for the second trip to prison, and he was there for me when she got arrested for the third time...and for a lot of those events she should have been there instead of out getting into legal trouble...

in a sense, he's been part of the family already.  I know his first wife thought he was given how often he was right there when I was growing up.

almost like he knew something.  "Cindy...was mom involved with him?"

"No." she tells me flat out.  "They were sort-of-friends, I guess, I know he visited her in jail and they would meet for coffee in town...but..."

"She was, wasn't she?"

"No, not like that." Cindy is being evasive, she's got this tell.

"So like what?"

"She was...it's complicated, Lisa." Cindy tells me, "You should ask him when he's up here."

"Why can't I ask you?"

she sighs, "it's not my story to tell."
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Euphonium

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #195 on: 25 September 2020, 13:45:04 »
@Cannonshop, if you haven't already written the next bit, please don't read the spoiler tags, I don't want to accidentally influence the story you want to tell.

I'm getting a "Luke, I am your father" vibe here.
« Last Edit: 25 September 2020, 14:52:12 by Euphonium »
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #196 on: 25 September 2020, 14:31:04 »
@Cannonshop, I've you haven't already written the next bit, please don't read the spoiler tags, I don't want to accidentally influence the story you want to tell.

I'm getting a "Luke, I am your father" vibe here.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #197 on: 25 September 2020, 14:51:16 »
Same here.
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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #198 on: 25 September 2020, 16:42:31 »
I'm getting a "Luke, I am your father" vibe here.
You're not the only one
Same here.

I'm recalling a Worm Fanfic that subverted this: "You are not my father, and I'm not jumping off this tower."  Well it used mother, but the joke stands.

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #199 on: 25 September 2020, 18:49:54 »
MODERATOR NOTICE

Folks, we've had some political commentary about real-world events and/or jurisdictions in here.  Knock it off.

Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #200 on: 26 September 2020, 01:00:08 »
The kids showed up first, Valerie was out the door like a shot when Judah's car pulled up and Ernie got out, I can't even track how fast she's talking to him.  I guess the barrier between 26 and 15 can be pretty far sometimes.

Still, I give Judah and Petra a hand getting out.  He's still pretty frail-looking, and he shakes when he moves.  Petra's still getting used to the temporary prosthetic while her replacement's growing at the Wolf medical research lab they opened at University of Washington.

"so good to see you both...where are Phoebe and Moira?"

"They're coming up about five minutes behind us." Petra tells me,  "Phoebe found out you only had 56K service out here, and insisted on doing something about it, so she got Moira to pay for a van and filled it with...toys after doing something to the engine."

"what kind of something?" I'm a little uneasy.

"Um, I don't know." Judah tells me, "we'll have to see."

The next car up the drive is Monroe's state-issued cruiser, flat gray with state plates on a 1998 Ford Panther-body Crown Vic.  I can see he's got a passenger with him before he pulls to a stop and gets out.

"Monroe, that better not be your gi-"

the passenger gets out and I shut my trap.

"Cindy!!" Monroe grins big and my aunt doesn't even pretend she's being coy, just kind of glomphs him, then asks, "Who's this?"

"A long conversation, some years overdue." Monroe tells her, "Get out of the car, Bryan, we're here."

the guy who gets out seems vaguely familiar, which is weird, since nobody in my catalog of 'people I know personally' is walking around with a ruined left eye and a scar running from brush-cut salt-and-pepper hair across their nose and to the other side of the jaw.

"This, ladies, is Bryan Cecil Hawkes." Monroe tells us.  "He used to wear the Captain Republic costume, and he's got some over-due conversations with Lisa."

"What?"

"Long over-due, very awkward conversation." Linus adds.

I know where I've seen that face.  dusting pictures on the mantle..."Who?"

"We should take this inside." Hawkes states, "or send the kids inside and have it out here."

The Captain Republic costume traditionally covers the entire face, this is because the first one was black in Jim Crow america and he didn't take it off until the fifties.

the current guy is younger than this man, and taller.  "Why do I know your face, sir?" I ask.

"There's a reason." he tells me, then he reaches into his jacket, and produces a faded photograph.

it's mom, when she was younger than I am, with that swoopy hairstyle they liked in the seventies...and a young man with similar features. "this isn't you."

"No, that's my son." He tells me.  "This is going to be a very awkward conversation, and I have to give my apologies, but she..." He taps my mom's half of the photo, "...told me to stay away...and to my shame, I did."

holy shit.  "Who knew?"

"Charlie knew, Magda of course...they didn't know the whole story, but they knew about Richard and Nicole-the two of them even visited here in '79, when they were going to get married."

"Did she-did they?" I ask.

"As far as I know they never filed formal paperwork, but they were together until just before you were born."

"What happened?"

"Someone had to make a choice, and my son died." He tells me, "but your mother lived, and so did you because that choice was made."

Cindy tenses up, "You knew." she accuses him.  "How much of it do you know?"

"this is why it's going to be a long and awkward conversation." the old man states, "I've been putting it off for over twenty years."

"valerie, could you and Ernie help Judah and Petra inside to the living room, and fetch them some refreshments, please?" my Aunt asks.

"Yes mom...come on!"  My cousin and my sidekick (sidekick?) lead the others into the house.

I walk over to the porch, and open the ice-chest.  this being a gathering and supposed to be a celebration, the beer is schmidt in cans, slightly cheaper than Keystone and love in a canoe for quality, but cheap.

i toss my aunt two cans, and Hawkes one, "Let's go around back, let Valerie greet Phoebe."

We adults file around back.

"So, you knew." I'm not ready to start accusing yet.  "How much?"

"I was there the day your father proposed to her, I watched them both fall into Morgause's little cult, and didn't interfere, then I had to interfere."

"Had to?" I ask.

"You're alive." he tells me, "because I had to do a thing no parent should ever have to do." his one eye is tearing.

"What did you have to do?"  I have a bad, bad feeling about this.

"He was going to gut her like a fish on an altar...for power.  Six months pregnant and he was going to...I had to stop him...and as a result your mother lived, and my son died.  The only good from it, was that my stopping him seemed to break whatever hold Morgause had on her, and she did the smart thing, ran and hid."

"When did she tell you to stay away?"

"Do you remember St. Helens at all? the town, not the crater."

"Vaguely, I was..what, four? five?"

"You were five.  Red Star and Red Guardian hadn't cost me an eye yet, so it was pretty easy to get close dressed as a police officer, checking up on your mother and seeing you for the first time."

THAT was where I saw him before...younger.

"She told you to stay away."

"She did." he nodded, "And i stayed away...but..."

"But not forever."  I note, "Did you know about the attack here?"

"Only in the aftermath, I caught Charlie in town after the attack and found out when I tried to warn him it was coming that they'd already come here...we had a chat, he shot me, I bled, not as much as I deserved. I spent the next  ten  years making sure the ones that slipped the net didn't get far...but I missed that first group."

"William mentioned your resignation was in '81."

"First one, yeah...and I used up a lot of leave of absence chasing down the ones that didn't make it into the wanted posters, making sure they didn't know where Nicole Quentin was, laying false trails, until I was sure I had them all."

"What were they doing?" Cindy asks, "Why were they going to carve up my sister?"

"Pacts with extradimensional beings, trying to summon beings that they thought would grant them power." he tells her, "Lovecraftian stuff, only Morgause knew enough to make it work, which is how she got most of her 'knights'...including my son."

"Did you get them all?" I ask, morbidly curious.

"I...don't know." he tells me.  "I don't know, but I know I tried...and your grandfather tried on this end after she was arrested...and Linus did his part too-but without knowing a tenth of what was going on."

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #201 on: 26 September 2020, 01:47:29 »
Oh dang, I didn't see all these twists coming in that story.

So where is the Star Commander anyway?
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #202 on: 26 September 2020, 02:06:02 »
The other was too simple. This tangles things nicely. Well executed, Cannonshop!
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #203 on: 26 September 2020, 06:19:36 »
[POV shift, 3rd person]

A prison camp wasn't necessary, but housing for the Wolf Clan personnel was.  fun fact: areas which have seen a sharp economic decline tend to have a lot of unused  and idled real-estate, and Gray's Harbor County suffered a lot of sharp economic decline in a very short period of time this decade.

Effectively, the city of Aberdeen/Hoquiam (really two cities, but both close enough together and sharing enough common assets to effectively be the same city, especially with the reduced local population) has become 'Wolf town', the relative isolation, combined with existing property and aging infrastructure making for a good laboratory for Clan Wolf's technicians and a safe environment for the long process of transitioning a few hundred science-fiction super-warriors into a lifestyle that doesn't include fighting deadly duels over minor insults.

a similar 'Wolf town' has gone in at  Hanford, this time mostly populated by crewmen from the stricken Pack's Den, while Moses Lake has become, effectively, the storage lot for the Clan's dropships.

Plans to integrate Fusion engine technology into the power-grid as a supplemental to the Bonneville Power Authority dams along the Columbia and its tributaries means that for Wolf AsTechs used to the demands of the Warrior Caste, there's plenty of work at a remarkably relaxed pace.

The fourth largest concentration being areas along the I-5 Corridor that suffered heavy damage during the invasion.  Reconstruction efforts, and distributing the Clan personnel where their skills and training (or raw physicality) can be employed best, has kept the relative peace...for now.  at just over a month since the invasion began, protests have been light,  and nearly 1000 patents have been filed through the Liaison office with the Federal Government, providing a source of long-term income for the surrendered Clan warriors, technicians, and support caste as they begin the long process of integrating and assimilating into the local culture, as well as a means for the Clan as an organization to begin paying restitution to the families of those killed in the opening battles.

this latter part, being why the Clan itself has not been disbanded.  The advanced weapons might be nice, but without the infrastructure to produce more, their value is more in line with a curiosity for engineers to ponder over and attempt to learn from, and a net loss in terms of actually honoring the terms of the Yakima Trial-which would be a gross violation of Honor.

Not that every scrap of military hardware that could be loaded on a flatbed hasn't been sent to sites like Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, or Nellis AFB in Nevada, or Edwards, and so on-they are being tagged and loaded for precisely the purpose of being reverse-engineered by the military and military contractors nationally, but rather that even a nation with 358 million people in 2008 can't just absorb 2000 or so people from a completely alien culture without needing some intervening steps.

For the wolf Clan personnel, seeing the lifestyle of the average american is a bit of a shock, especially in areas that were NOT hit by the invasion or its aftermath.  Particularly  jarring for them, is how spread out everything is, and discovering what it is like to live in communities where commuting to work doesn't involve extensive, efficient, public, transportation but instead relies on inefficient, loud, crowded, stinky private vehicles.

and having to learn how to obey the laws, while driving a car.

former Star Commander Paul is learning how to be a highway patrol officer, and being the rookie, he's spending this thanksgiving as second-seat and backup to an experienced WSP officer who's being paid double-time and a half for working on the holiday.

he's already learning that 'boring is good' because 'exciting' means innocent people are getting hurt on a day they should have been at home (or some semblance thereof) with those they love (or at least like), and not on the roads experiencing pain and suffering from accidents caused by holiday depression, dislocation, and chaos.

It's 7 PM and the senior officer with him, has already warned him that the four accident scenes they've dealt with thus far, are 'light' for a holiday.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #204 on: 26 September 2020, 06:38:06 »
[lisa-vision again.]

I add a place setting for Hawkes.  It's not forgiveness, it's basic decency.  The man is family whether or not he's acted like it for the last twenty six years, and today is a holiday meant to forge or reinforce those bonds.

"...he's my grandfather, Valerie."  I get to explain it to the kids while Cindy sets him up with a room for the night.  "On my father's side, Monroe found him."

"Oh wow, like a hallmark special!" Valerie's sweetness is sometimes a little annoying.  I honestly don't know where she gets it.  her biological father is a complete and total ass, who never made a single child-support payment and if there's truly any such thing as karmic justice, will die of some crotch-rotting disease in a gutter somewhere.

"Yeah, just like a hallmark special." I lie.  'hallmark presents; stories you wish you never heard' doesn't begin to cut it.  But I'm not going to be a poor hostess, and Cindy would have a tough time trying to be-her instincts as a businesswoman and pillar of the community are too strong.

Phoebe and Moira arrive a little late-there was an accident on the highway and they had to detour around it, but they don't arrive so late the food's gotten cold.



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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #205 on: 26 September 2020, 15:42:49 »
[out of story]

To be honest, this time it's not so much running out of ideas, and steam, it's running into a sort of paralysis where there are so many that could go so many ways and conflict with each other.  (imagine a crossroads with fifty different spokes, a cloverleaf or two, and some hyperspace gateways and being faced not with 'how do I get there' but 'where do I want to go next?')

and of course, there are the errors in what's posted, and the mistakes that cut off potential lines and directions, and plots,and character developments and so on.

and then, there's apparently been some shennanigans outside the story, which kind of suggests maybe I should stop with this now, and not go back to it lest there be problems created that limit my ability to access the site.

so...

tying this one off, here, before someone (else?) decides to be offended at the fictional opinions of my fictional characters about their fictional politics and culture beefs in their fictional world.

I think the next one I'll try is something more thoroughly separated from the familiar.  Maybe revisit the zombie idea, or anthropomorphic ungulants or something...hmm...

Orcs?
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

georgiaboy

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #206 on: 26 September 2020, 16:05:30 »
Orcs


That brings back a memory of Modern Orcs in a paperback novel from back in the Late 80's-90's called "Grunts"


Modern Orc Soldiers on Harleys with machineguns.
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worktroll

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #207 on: 26 September 2020, 16:17:45 »
If you ever felt tempted to revisit "Liz Ngo Goes to Hell"...
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Dave Talley

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #208 on: 26 September 2020, 17:16:24 »
this could work as a hub for others to work in, like Thieves World or 1632
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DarthMetool

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #209 on: 26 September 2020, 17:51:30 »
As much as I wanted to see more, I can understand stopping here.  People sometimes don't understand that unreliable narrators are unreliable.  That unreliable factor makes a story better, in my opinion.

And, yeah.  Orcs.  Go for that, maybe.
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