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Everything posted by ZincAboutIt

  1. Vivica clapped her hands twice and bounced on the balls of her feet a little. That sharp smile had crept back onto her face, and Bennington curled and uncurled his tentacles over her shoulder, eager as ever. "I'm always ready for cinnamon rolls!" She said with a wink, then looked to Sierra. "Excited yet? I'm excited. Can't you feel it? The potential? The unknown, waiting to rush forth and sweep you up and transform you and carry you somewhere else?" Vivica danced on the spot a bit - probably too much coffee, Viv - then smiled at Grey. "Well, this is your department! Lead the way!" @Snipexe @Shard of Thought
  2. >> Welcome to the A.C.E. Records Database. Please enter qualifications. --------- Deb Stancel closed her laptop and rubbed at her temples, squinting into the bottom of her cup and wrinkling her nose at the light dusting of coffee grinds sitting there. She glanced at her watch - a real watch, none of those absurd fabrial devices some Rosharans swore by - and sighed. Half-past nine. With one final glance at her watch, Deb rose from her desk and tugged at the end of her uniform jacket. It was a deep olive green with orange trim, and it matched her pants. Indeed, it matched nearly everything in her cramped little office, as was fitting. This was Alleycity Excavation, and those were Alleycity Excavation's colors. If she was lucky, she'd find a few more competent souls to pad ACE's ranks today, and a few more orange and green coveralls would get churned out for them. No such thing as luck, she reminded herself, smoothing her hair as she rounded the desk and headed for the door. She needn't have bothered; her hair was already as smooth as a sheet of ice, her bun a perfect ring of blonde. A place for everything, and everything in its place. That was how things got done - that was efficiency. And if Deborah Stancel was one thing, she was efficient. She slid a clipboard and pencil off the end of her desk before turning the knob on her door and walking out into the hallway. People scurried this way and that, accountants, engineers, pencil-pushers. They bobbed their heads to her as she passed them, and she returned each nod with one of her own. Smaller, of course, but still. Decorum was to be rewarded. Everything in its place. As she neared the large meeting room at the end of the hall, she spied Farren, one of her assistants. He gave her a deep nod, then straightened up to look her in the eyes. "Ma'am," he said briskly, awaiting her reply. The corner of her mouth quirked up just a bit. "Good morning Farren. Has anyone arrived yet?" "Not yet, Ma'am," Farren said. "Though, it is only nine thirty. The recruitment ad specified a ten o'clock start time." "Nine thirty-six, to be precise," Deb corrected. "It is always important to be precise, Farren. Still," she said, catching him before he could apologize, "you are right. Arriving too early is inefficient. Let us wait then, and see who has answered our call." Farren looked at her, a question in his eyes, though he did not voice it aloud. Deb sniffed a little. "Speak, then. I can practically hear you thinking." Her assistant blushed a bit, but did as he was told. "Waiting, well, it just seems a bit... dramatic for you, Ma'am." Deb raised an eyebrow at Farren, almost cracking a true smile at the young man. "Contrary to popular opinion, Farren, I am human. Allow me this one failing." Farren blushed deeper and cleared his throat. "Perhaps I should go in and, um, wait for you then, Ma'am. Let the applicants know what to expect. If... if, um, that's alright with you, of course." Deb jerked her chin at the door. "Best not to keep them waiting then," she said, and watched as the young man slipped gratefully into the meeting room. She would have laughed, but then, it was not the time for laughter. Not here, not now. Not with what was at stake. Whatever is down there, we'll need all our wits about us. All the wits we can get. Laughter was for later. For now, she waited.
  3. Corette pursed her lips, then looked over the scouting group. She pointed towards Allri. "Allri behind me at the front - we'll want her Tin on at the very least. Between the two of us, we should catch any surprises. Researchers and those with minor combat experience in the middle of the line. Easier to keep an eye on them that way." She nodded at Althea. "You can stay with them if you wish, it would probably be wise to keep a Radiant with them anyway, unless you want to place yourself elsewhere. Fighters or those with defensive experience should either be up towards the front or in the back. We should keep everyone all going the same direction. No stragglers, no one gets lost."
  4. Wow that is amazing. That also explains why Fatebreaker suggested it to me
  5. I don’t think so, personally.
  6. Vivica took another sip of coffee too, then smiled and pointed at Sierra. "That's a nice glare, y'know that? Real top notch actually. I mean, in another few decades and with a little - uh - enhancement, you might even be able to kill people with that look. I know a guy, actually, though he's constantly looking for new lab assistants. Keeps killing them on accident, you see. On second thought, maybe you don't do that. Makes department meetings really awkward." Vivica rubbed her nose again, then tucked some of her hair back behind her right ear. "I think we're going to have fun. Well, I'll have fun. Grey might have fun too. Not sure about you, but hey, that's two out of three! Oh, and Bennington of course. He always has fun when we're testing things out, don't you Bennington?" She grinned up at the octopus, who spun lazily in the air, tentacles curling with anticipation. "So actually, that's three out of four. Even better! Tell me - and it's important you be honest with us here - how high would you say your pain tolerance is? And how do you feel about cinnamon-sugar topping?"
  7. Good evening! Have some art! Vivica & Bennington. Viv has two distinct modes: Crazy, and Very Crazy Rig and Allri from the "Into the Dark" thread: And some more DA Karaoke night this time featuring Voidus
  8. That makes sense! :]
  9. We should put it to a vote imo. Let the community pick. I always end up deleting the Psyche category anyway and loop it into Personality myself though, so I suppose others could also do that too.
  10. I agree, the extra category is confusing. I'm in favor of combining those two categories into one.
  11. This meme basically made itself
  12. From the album RP Doodles

    Lita as she appears in Era 4. "Gonna open the doorwayTo the in-betweenComin' and goin'As I please" Sketching soundtrack: Dead Posey - "Boogeyman"
  13. Vivica beamed, and like a passing squall, the vivid and imminent danger in her face was gone. She clapped her hands, giggling, then looked over at Grey again. "Wonderful. Wonderful! Now we're cooking!" She said. "Speaking of cooking - Grey, do you think the snickerdoodles and the chocolate chips are still necessary? Just the chocolate chips? Just the 'doodles? Oh! Decisions, decisions. Hmm, Bennington, do you happen to have a copy of the New Employee Handbook?" She patted her pockets, checking to see if she had any loyalty spikes on hand, then pulled out a piece of shortbread instead. The octopus, who was still pulsing with a dark purple light, gave her a skeptical look. Vivica sighed at the lack of appropriate spikes and popped the shortbread cookie into her mouth. "Don't you sass me," she said, pointing to the thin air above her right shoulder this time and speaking in between chewing. "I'll turn you into a tea cozy if you're not careful. Oh, what, you think I'm bluffing? Well, we'll see next time I have someone over for tea, won't we?" Vivica sneezed, aspirating shortbread crumbs all over the front of her lab coat, and gave a little sigh. "I don't suppose either one of you are secretly blowing a dog whistle, are you? Incredibly high frequencies always make me sneeze. No? Well, it was worth an ask." @Snipexe @Shard of Thought
  14. "Ah, there now," Vivica said, watching Sierra. "The ember flares." Bennington slipped over her shoulder and twined himself around the young woman, who was oblivious to his inspections. "As to what you agreed upon, well, you followed me here, didn't you? Followed a Denizen into an Alley, down and down and down, and now here we are. Drinking. Talking. Having a nice time - except now you're just being rude. Rude and dull." Her smile sharpened, slicing a white edge into Vivica's pale skin. "Is there truly nothing you want? Nothing? No hunger, no desire? No question that you're dying to answer, no experiment you're eager to run? Just an empty girl in an empty alley with empty thoughts? And if that's the case... well, why are you living at all? You're tired of life? Well, we can help you with that. We can help you either way." She looked at the blood staining Sierra's clothes. "Haven't you ever wanted to tear the world apart," she whispered, voice shaking slightly with fervor, "just to see how it works? To build it again, better this time, just to prove that you can? The snake devours its own tail - creation, through destruction. The end, hailing the beginning. You can rebuild yourself here, any way you want. You say you have nothing left? A lie." Vivica held up the spike between her fingers, and Bennington pulsed with a deep indigo glow, swimming a slow loop around the both of them. "You have plenty of blood, and hunger. You can rebuild from the ashes, Sierra." She offered the girl the spike, blue eyes wide and shot through with red vessels. Exhaustion transcendent to gleeful madness. "All you need are a few nails." @Shard of Thought
  15. Ooh, these are all good points kenod! I like that loyalty spike idea especially.
  16. Honestly I do not think the DA has guild politics.
  17. Vivica caught her spike, then balanced the flat edge of it on the end of her index finger as she took another sip of coffee. "Mmm," she said softly, though whether she was musing over the coffee or Grey's suggestion, even she wasn't quite sure. Vivica looked at Sierra over the rim of her mug, feeling vexation vie with disappointment and... something else. Boredom? Yes, that was it. "That could work," she replied, then moved up towards Sierra, pocketing her spike as she did so. Vivica put one slender finger under the young woman's chin and tipped her head up so she could look in the girl's eyes. "It has been a while since I've gotten to test my snickerdoodles." Vivica's finger left a red smear on Sierra's chin. "This girl is barely an ember," she said, clicking her tongue. "So little left. So little to scrape out of the mixing bowl, and I'm bored. She's barely even enjoying her coffee - the best coffee." She took a step back, pouting a little, then looked up at Bennington. "What do you think, Bennington? Is she worth a few cookies? Or is she more of an... ingredient." Her smile returned, and she looked over at Grey, raising a brow as if to say 'Your call.' @Snipexe @Shard of Thought
  18. Question: would the whole of the DA even support the creation of the Alleycity? I suppose a few Alley entrances would be necessary but the Alleys themselves exist in a separate reality do they not? Would every DA member want a city? I’m actually rather curious about this. RPing internal guild conflict could be fun.
  19. Corette moved through the cavern, finding the scouting team grouped in twos or threes, chatting and resting. It could have irked her, being sent around by Stancel like just another underling, but the rounds allowed her to watch and listen, catching snippets of conversation as she passed along the news. She circled around the center of the camp, winding through the outskirts at first, talking to the stragglers. Whisper sat curled up under one of the stone trees, face inscrutable, eyes watching. Corette gave the girl a nod, told her they'd be moving on and where to assemble, then moved away. Some of the people resting near her seemed oddly jumpy, more nervous, more... isolated. Corette forced her curiosity downward, away from the girl and her machinations, and went on to find the others. She spoke the same message to Sarah and Allri, then to Karin, when she found her. There was a larger group at the center of the camp, and she could see Adren speaking with Althea and Wes. The boy was anxious as a new initiate, all quick glances and poorly-concealed second guessing. He clutched the glass cage containing the tiny creature they'd found, and Corette suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. This was no time to be collecting pets. But, well, it was hardly her problem. She stopped beside the group, meeting Althea's cool, ruby eyes. The Ghostblood leader was a slender rod of ice, frigid and unreadable. But also brittle, Corette guessed. Keeping so much of oneself covered, tucked away - she probably considered it a strength, and to an extent, she would be right. Only a fool wore every emotion plain on their face. But her total lack of emotion was a tell in and of itself. It was entirely possible that Althea genuinely didn't feel much of anything - Corette had met plenty of people like that, in the Alleys. But she'd already shown concern, kindness, alarm, and worry for the people around her. Maybe not on her face - but through her actions. She protected these weaker ones like a mother hawk. So, not unfeeling. Distrustful. Afraid. Distrustful of others, sure. That was wise. Corette wouldn't trust three quarters of these people to tie her shoes for her, let alone watch her back. But hiding one's own joy, hiding a simple smile, a look of interest, a caring glance, even when her behavior betrayed these emotions plain as daylight. That spoke of a distrust of herself as well. A fear that she shied away from. Like so many others, Althea was afraid of what she could not totally control. A brittle kind of strength, indeed, and easy enough to crack should someone find the right place to snap. "The Director wants us to scout the next few caverns," Corette said, voice cool, but pleasant. "We are to assemble at the far wall, where the tunnels begin. Judging from the map, the next cavern will be the Mirror Cave. From there, we'll go on to The Well." The Well. Corette kept the hunger from her voice and her eyes, though she allowed some excitement to color her face. She was growing tired of sitting around, waiting. The image of her and all the other crowded around the deep blue of The Well tugged at her like the pulse of Allomancy. "We'll be meeting there in fifteen minutes. Gather what you need, and get ready." @Sorana @kenod @I ♥️ Rashek @I think I am here. @Rushu42 @AonEne @everyone else
  20. Vivica sat in the darkness of the little room, back pressed up against two corners, knees to her chest. She focused on the nearness of the walls, the closeness of the air. She was fine, she was safe. These were the Alleys - this was her home. And yet, her breathing continued to come ragged and hard, her heart continued to hammer in her chest. Bennington's form had dimmed to a barely-visible glow; she could very nearly see through him completely. "Bennington?" She whispered between gasps of air. "Don't go. Please, don't go." Even here, alone in this tiny, dark closet, Vivica felt the terror hounding her. She could smell the smoke curling through the air, curling through her nightmares at the refugee camp, then the orphanage. A decade of nightmares, of red light dancing and crackling every time she closed her eyes. Vivica bit back tears, clinging to the sinking raft of her lucid thoughts. The fear, the memories - they were all too much. She knew that she was strange, that she was mad, even. Vivica wasn't stupid. Ten years of constant wakefulness did not come without a cost, but for the most part, Vivica was in control of her insanity. Usually. She could fight it harder, she knew. Vivica could claw her way out, she could sit here alone with the memories and the fear, and that rusting smell of smoke and charred flesh until she was a weeping, shivering mess. That was an option, and one she had taken a few times before. But it hurt. It always hurt. And really, what did it matter if she was a little more crazy than before? No one in these Alleys escaped unscathed - nearly everyone was broken. Grey had been right. What was the point, really, of trying to patch up all the cracks? Better to simply embrace them. Only then could she get some real work done. Vivica felt her grip slacken a bit, allowed her mind to flee beyond the doorway into... elsewhere. Wherever it was that it went during times like these. And with that portion of her mind went the vast majority of her fear. Vivica stood, feeling herself smile in the dark. It was a wide smile, a little too wide, with too much teeth and not quite enough mirth. She flicked on the lights, absently scrubbing at one eye, then picked up one of the cookies that sat on a small table just inside the door. As she took a bite, she tried to remember what it was she had been so worried about, but it was like trying to peer through murky water. Vivica shrugged, chewing in satisfaction, and patted her pockets. Her notepad still sat inside her coat, and her pen was still behind her one remaining ear. She took the spike out from her pocket again, flipping it in the air and catching it over and over before remembering why she'd come down here in the first place. The coffee maker. Sierra. Her smile widened, white and hard, and from behind her head something moved into her line of sight. It was Bennington, but... different. Where before the little octopus was a rounded, glowing collection of luminous violet tentacles, now he appeared larger, sleeker, his tentacles longer, his body a deep indigo that pulsed with a darker light. Vivica grinned up at him, and some of her wild, mirthless joy was reflected back to her in his own eyes, which were narrower and keener. More calculating. "You've changed your clothes, Bennington!" She said, slipping another cookie into her pocket and flipping the spike in her hand before opening the door and striding back into the Alley. As she walked back towards the EHD break room, a little spring in her step, she caught the tail end of Sierra's sentence. "I don't care," the girl said. "It doesn't matter anymore." Vivica opened the door again, still smiling that hard smile, Bennington floating above her shoulder with a predatory grace that his earlier form had lacked. Her eyes fell on Sierra, then on Grey. She pulled a cookie out from her coat pocket. "They're delicious, of course. Your handiwork, I assume?" She bustled over to the coffee maker, filling herself another cup and taking a sip. "Thanks for the closet. As you can see, I'm totally better now. Not even sure what I was so worked up about!" She turned her gaze on Sierra now, cocking her head and flipping the spike over and over and over again. The girl didn't seem very happy, which Vivica found odd. She'd offered to show her around, hadn't she? Even taken her to get the best coffee ever. And still, the girl seemed morose. It struck Vivica as remarkably ungrateful, and she felt a little frown crease her brow even as she still grinned at the girl, turning her smile into something a bit feral. "That's hardly the enthusiasm I was hoping for," Vivica said, looking over at Grey. "Has she been like this the whole time I was gone?" @Snipexe @Shard of Thought
  21. Corette wrung the last bit of dampness from her hair and combed through it with her fingers, standing quietly when she saw the figure of Stancel moving towards her through the mist. The main camp had been settled, and everyone had taken a bit of rest - even Corette. The hot spring had been a glorious surprise, though she hadn't quite managed to get rid of all the glowing violet fungus in her hair. A tiny ribbon of it still peeked out through the rest of her dark hair; she didn't much. Once she was back in the Alleys, she'd find a way to wash it out properly. As it was, she rather liked it. She smiled slightly as Stancel approached, her hair still somehow neat and perfect in its bun after at least twenty-four hours underground. "Director," she said. The woman gave Corette a sharp nod, her keen amber eyes moving over the cavern once before coming to rest on Corette again. She seemed a bit troubled, as well she should. Corette had pointed her in the direction of the wall mural a few hours ago, and she had spent the better part of their period of rest trying to analyze it with her scholars. Stancel wouldn't have time to devote much personal attention of the mural, which Corette imagine rather rankled the woman. She seemed the type who wanted to personally ensure everything herself. Did you notice? She thought at the woman. Did you notice the missing piece? Corette hadn't managed to find the other mural, the one Corette suspected predicted the fate of the original team. But she was sure it was here, somewhere. Part of her wanted to stay and search for it, but a larger portion wanted to press onward, down towards The Well. Whatever was down there, it was something worth finding. ACE certainly thought so. Did Stancel know what lay under that redaction in the document cache? What was growing down there, in the darkness? "You've done good work so far," Stancel said, fixing Corette with the weight of her attention. "I trust your team has found the respite to their liking?" So formal, Corette thought, but simply nodded. "I'm sure they're eager to press on. So much left to explore, after all." Something in Stancel's expression seemed to relax a bit. "Excellent," she said. "Yes, that's excellent. I was just coming to let you know that your scouts will need to scout further ahead today. We'll set up a main camp here; as always, be sure to notify me of any developments." Corette felt her smile widen a bit. "Of course, Director," she said smoothly. "I'll go wake the others." Like a wraith, Corette slipped off and disappeared into the warm mist. ---- Lita blinked at Okame as the Horneater ripped a chunk of moss free from a stone and popped it into his mouth, commenting on the flavor profile. "Well," she said, watching him chew, "I see that sarcasm is utterly lost on you. Duly noted." Laurelai had knelt down and begun inspecting the moss, her tone shifting from incredulous to excited as she watched the looping light regenerate the hole Okame had torn. Lita listened with half an ear, moving a little deeper into the cave with her Tin as high as she could stand. To her eyes, this cave was one great tangle of electric green light rushing and pulsing in tiny, gleaming rivers. She tried to follow the light, see if it was heading somewhere in particular, but it seemed like Laurelai was right. It looked more like a circulatory system than anything else. The light flowed around like blood through veins, moving through the cavern as a whole instead of towards another destination. Lita was nowhere near the level of Laurelai's scholarly prowess, but even she could admire the possibilities here. If this was indeed naturally-occurring Stormlight, this moss could revolutionize Surgebinding on the Alleyplanet. And this is only the first cavern. Lita felt her heart beat a little faster at the prospect of even greater treasures, deeper secrets buried further down. There were miles and miles of tunnels down here. What else would they find? As she continued to step through the cavern, Lita marveled how the light seemed to reach every corner. Anywhere the moss grew, the light followed, flowing out and glowing in rushing arcs. Every corner... except that one. Lita stopped walking for a moment, blinking her eyes and actually lowering her Tin now. All the light was a bit disorienting. As her sight adjusted, Lita could see that, yes, the light from the moss seemed to disappear in one corner of the cave. Something was obscuring it. She stepped forward again, crossing the distance and kneeling down about five feet away; she turned her Tin back up again. This time, the lump of darkness resolved itself, though Lita had a hard time accepting that this was what she was actually seeing. It was a pile of... shoes. Just shoes. "What in the Survivor's name..." Lita picked up a chip of rock and tossed it at the pile, feeling a bit stupid as she did so. What did she think was going to happen? The shoes would jump out and eat her? I've been walking the Alleys too long. When the pile of shoes failed to resolve themselves into an Eldritch horror and consume her soul, Lita moved forward again until she was within arms' length of the pile. She reached out, picking up one shoe at random. It was small, probably a child's shoe. A scuff of dirt marred the side, but other than that, it was new. Lita cocked her head, feeling a tiny drop of unease nestle within her though she couldn't quite say why. She turned, holding the shoe in one hand. "I thought you said no one else had been down here?" She called towards Okame, then waved the shoe at him. Lita set it down, then picked up another. This one was a man's shoe - the right shoe. Lita looked back at the child's shoe. Also the right one. She frowned, then picked another at total random. Another right shoe, a woman's heel this time. The knot of unease deepened. If there was one thing six months in the DA had taught Lita, it was that there was no such thing as a coincidence. She'd bet her own metal that every single shoe in this pile was the right one. So where were the left ones? Wrong question, Lita. She began setting the shoes in the pile out in a row, chewing her lip as she did so, thinking. Where are the people? @Voidus @Invocation
  22. Is it a grievous error if I'm one day late for the Alleycity prompt? Because
  23. Where is that quote from @I think I am here.? Anyone in particular? Also, I finally inked and colored this sketch for "Gold."
  24. I did indeed make the Honor Coffee one, thanks for the shout out @AonEne!