Vigil: a character driven sci-fi RP (Started/Open)

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

After hours of snowed-over forests and plains, the tram finally comes in sight of its destination: the great city of Vigil. Even from a distance of at least 200 miles away, Vigil seems to dwarf everything around it. You feel that shouldn't be surprised that Vigil literally rises far above the clouds... it is a double-decker city after all. Though you can never see them clearly, you've read about the Upper City's many architectural marvels - from the fine obsidian glass domes and windows to the multitude of deceptively jagged bridges and skyscrapers; some sources even claim that some districts of the Upper City closely resemble a set of stalagmites... or an unfathomable number of hands forever grasping and groping upward, as if the entire city was not content with the immense stature it had already attained, and lusted after much greater heights.

Then your eyes are drawn down to the infamous Lower City, where the Oil Spill Riots led to the worst massacre of any police force in human history. Even after six decades of strenuous and near-constant clean-up efforts, the Lower City's streets are still stained with oil and blood... and a few areas are still flooded by both. Though after six decades of decay... who can tell the blood from the oil? But don't be alarmed, traveler, the Lower City also offers its own... delights.

Ah, here we are, here's your stop...

Before you go, however, I have a couple of tips for you:

1. Make sure to get enough sun - between the Ceiling, the Spires, and the wonderful Northern Canadian weather... sunlight isn't easy to come by in this town.

2. The closer you are to the Center, the safer you'll be.

Take care, friend.

-----

Further note on the city itself: while Vigil is not yet complete, it is mostly finished. It is both operational and habitable. What needs to be finished in it would mostly be relatively minor issues. However, one of the 14 fusion reactors is still being set up. Only 13 are active at the moment. Also, you may have noticed that there appear to be some gaps in the lore for this RP. This is deliberate. My thinking is thus: not every character is going to know everything about Vigil at the start (or even at the finish), therefore, this is the most lore that anyone starts with. When the RP starts, I will periodically release more lore as it becomes relevant or if it just seems like it could be nice to know at the time. But for the most part, whatever your character shouldn't know at first, you won't know. Everyone starts off with a different piece of the puzzle in this one. The ability to investigate further is not required to enjoy this RP, but it definitely helps.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT POST YOUR CHARACTER SHEETS ON THIS THREAD! That would defeat the entire purpose of having a "secret" section of your character's BIO. So again, DO NOT POST YOUR CHARACTER SHEET ON THIS THREAD, or I WILL be forced to reject it automatically. If you want in on this RP, you HAVE TO PM me the sheet.

ALSO: Experienced forum RP players will probably have noticed the lack of a "Personality" section. This is deliberate. I've played a few RPs that did have such a section... and I noticed that people tended to stick with that personality and their character never really changed that much, even when experiences in the RP should have been traumatic enough to warrant a drastic altering of their psyche. So, there is no personality section here. You may, if you like, make a brief note of your character's personality on a piece of paper, but don't post that note in your sheet or I WILL reject it. I don't want to know your character's full personality right off the bat, I want to get to know your character in the RP, and, I also would like you not to feel 'married' to whatever personality you start with. I want to see characters change in this RP, even if only slightly. Thank you, that's the last note on characters here.

Equipment:
There is no kind of armor whatsoever here. It would be a bit pointless since all guns both civilian and military are on the nanometer scale. Anything capable of deflecting such small and fast moving projectiles has not been developed yet.

A note on the wound system: your ability to do any damange at all with a gun depends entirely on your accuracy with said weapon. I.E. whether you hit your target at all, and when determining what kind of wound it is... where you hit your target.
Which is why different weapons have a different range of wounds they do if they hit. Its really a lot simpler than it sounds. If I were trying to be realistic, I'd be have us doing trajectory and force calculations for every single bloody shotgun pellet.
That wouldn't be very fun, so we're not doing that.

So... character slots:

Vast Majority of NPCs - Me.

Two other characters - Me. (TBD for now)

Gibson-Wells family - JoJo

Rival Family - Open, but you need to convince me that you can handle playing a wealthy character or characters responsibly. Your bio should include an explanation as to how your family/character got so wealthy. Preferably by starting a corporation.

VPD Detectives and Patrolmen: 2 slots open. Your bio should tell me which desk you're working on: Vice, Arson, Fraud, Theft, Homocide, SVU, or just patrol. Your bio should also explain how your character got to that desk (if any), and how they joined the force... as well as a motive for joining.

Criminal underground: 3 slots open. You can either be a member of the Canadian Syndicate or the local arm of the Chinese-Korean Triads.

Vigil Resident/Citizen: 4 slots open.

Tourist/Non-resident: 5 slots open. Your bio should include a reason for your visit to the fine city of Vigil.

Note: I've decided to allow for more criminals and VPD officers/detectives.

And speaking of which...

Accepted character sheets...

EDIT: I seem to have hit the arbitrary, and unspecified character limit for the Escapist, so I will be posting the rest of the accepted character sheets in separate posts from now on. I will repost them on the group-page once I get that up and running.

I think you left out some information about the outside world. The countries, geo-political structure, etc.
I know that this is a lot of work, but having this massive city standing means that a few thousand years had passed since this present day...yet we have a Korean Union. So a quick rundown will be greatly appreciated for when I start constructing a character.
Just to be clear, I think that the way you look at age is... uhm... a tad strange. I find it hard it takes 40 years for people to go through puberty. You should consider re-thinking that.

TheIronRuler:
I think you left out some information about the outside world. The countries, geo-political structure, etc.
I know that this is a lot of work, but having this massive city standing means that a few thousand years had passed since this present day...yet we have a Korean Union. So a quick rundown will be greatly appreciated for when I start constructing a character.
Just to be clear, I think that the way you look at age is... uhm... a tad strange. I find it hard it takes 40 years for people to go through puberty. You should consider re-thinking that.

I'll leave the details about the outside world to TheDoctor455 since he knows it best but me and him have already discussed the setting together and I can confirm the RP occurs sometime in the year 2455. As far as I'm aware Canada and the United States both still exist in this world in some form too, since I mentioned both in my submitted character sheets and they were approved without quibbling those particular points.

JoJo:

TheIronRuler:
I think you left out some information about the outside world. The countries, geo-political structure, etc.
I know that this is a lot of work, but having this massive city standing means that a few thousand years had passed since this present day...yet we have a Korean Union. So a quick rundown will be greatly appreciated for when I start constructing a character.
Just to be clear, I think that the way you look at age is... uhm... a tad strange. I find it hard it takes 40 years for people to go through puberty. You should consider re-thinking that.

I'll leave the details about the outside world to TheDoctor455 since he knows it best but me and him have already discussed the setting together and I can confirm the RP occurs sometime in the year 2455. As far as I'm aware Canada and the United States both still exist in this world in some form too, since I mentioned both in my submitted character sheets and they were approved without quibbling those particular points.

.
Since people can reach the age of 150 with relative ease, wouldn't such a person be a renowned master in his field? So many years left for you to perfect your work and develop in other fields, it seems like a dream.

The only trouble I have is with the aging process here.

TheIronRuler:

JoJo:

TheIronRuler:
I think you left out some information about the outside world. The countries, geo-political structure, etc.
I know that this is a lot of work, but having this massive city standing means that a few thousand years had passed since this present day...yet we have a Korean Union. So a quick rundown will be greatly appreciated for when I start constructing a character.
Just to be clear, I think that the way you look at age is... uhm... a tad strange. I find it hard it takes 40 years for people to go through puberty. You should consider re-thinking that.

I'll leave the details about the outside world to TheDoctor455 since he knows it best but me and him have already discussed the setting together and I can confirm the RP occurs sometime in the year 2455. As far as I'm aware Canada and the United States both still exist in this world in some form too, since I mentioned both in my submitted character sheets and they were approved without quibbling those particular points.

.
Since people can reach the age of 150 with relative ease, wouldn't such a person be a renowned master in his field? So many years left for you to perfect your work and develop in other fields, it seems like a dream.

The only trouble I have is with the aging process here.

I'm pretty sure the Doctor's intention is that the aging process is only slowed when someone has already physically matured, that a 40 year old could resemble a young adult because they have aged very little for the last two decades, not because they aged at half-speed from birth. I am sure of this because one of the characters I intend to write is a child and their mental and physical ages match.

JoJo:

TheIronRuler:

JoJo:

I'll leave the details about the outside world to TheDoctor455 since he knows it best but me and him have already discussed the setting together and I can confirm the RP occurs sometime in the year 2455. As far as I'm aware Canada and the United States both still exist in this world in some form too, since I mentioned both in my submitted character sheets and they were approved without quibbling those particular points.

.
Since people can reach the age of 150 with relative ease, wouldn't such a person be a renowned master in his field? So many years left for you to perfect your work and develop in other fields, it seems like a dream.

The only trouble I have is with the aging process here.

I'm pretty sure the Doctor's intention is that the aging process is only slowed when someone has already physically matured, that a 40 year old could resemble a young adult because they have aged very little for the last two decades, not because they aged at half-speed from birth. I am sure of this because one of the characters I intend to write is a child and their mental and physical ages match.

.
Oh, Grand. As for non-residents, do you think that certain specialists would be called into the city to perform task A or task B?

TheIronRuler:

JoJo:

TheIronRuler:

.
Since people can reach the age of 150 with relative ease, wouldn't such a person be a renowned master in his field? So many years left for you to perfect your work and develop in other fields, it seems like a dream.

The only trouble I have is with the aging process here.

I'm pretty sure the Doctor's intention is that the aging process is only slowed when someone has already physically matured, that a 40 year old could resemble a young adult because they have aged very little for the last two decades, not because they aged at half-speed from birth. I am sure of this because one of the characters I intend to write is a child and their mental and physical ages match.

.
Oh, Grand. As for non-residents, do you think that certain specialists would be called into the city to perform task A or task B?

Sorry, what tasks are you referring to?

As for the geo-political situation... umm... did you read the plot section?
I bring up the fact that Korea is a united country again... and that this isn't a good thing.
As for other details... did you read the setting? I mention that the U.N. is now housed in the Central Spire in Lower Vigil. Well... I don't mention it by name but I do imply it under the "Gibson District" part of the setting.

Also, I didn't say the city was finished at any point in the OP. All sectors of it are functional, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

TheIronRuler:

JoJo:

TheIronRuler:

.
Since people can reach the age of 150 with relative ease, wouldn't such a person be a renowned master in his field? So many years left for you to perfect your work and develop in other fields, it seems like a dream.

The only trouble I have is with the aging process here.

I'm pretty sure the Doctor's intention is that the aging process is only slowed when someone has already physically matured, that a 40 year old could resemble a young adult because they have aged very little for the last two decades, not because they aged at half-speed from birth. I am sure of this because one of the characters I intend to write is a child and their mental and physical ages match.

.
Oh, Grand. As for non-residents, do you think that certain specialists would be called into the city to perform task A or task B?

Dr has the final say on submitted character sheets but that idea sounds plausible to me, I'd say go for it.

TheDoctor455:

TheIronRuler:

JoJo:

I'm pretty sure the Doctor's intention is that the aging process is only slowed when someone has already physically matured, that a 40 year old could resemble a young adult because they have aged very little for the last two decades, not because they aged at half-speed from birth. I am sure of this because one of the characters I intend to write is a child and their mental and physical ages match.

.
Oh, Grand. As for non-residents, do you think that certain specialists would be called into the city to perform task A or task B?

Sorry, what tasks are you referring to?

As for the geo-political situation... umm... did you read the plot section?
I bring up the fact that Korea is a united country again... and that this isn't a good thing.
As for other details... did you read the setting? I mention that the U.N. is now housed in the Central Spire in Lower Vigil. Well... I don't mention it by name but I do imply it under the "Gibson District" part of the setting.

Also, I didn't say the city was finished at any point in the OP. All sectors of it are functional, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

.
Maintenance, for example. Installation of highly-advanced systems in the city, etc.
I did read it, but y'know that there are plenty of other things that should have gone on in the world in 400 years, which is why I'm a tad surprised.
The city isn't finished? Well then this makes my character mighty useful. I'll get working on him pronto.

By request of the TheDoctor455, some background information on one of Vigil's most successful business's, Northstar corporation.

The Daily Scribe - Business Edition - 4th February 2455

60 seconds with Lionel Gibson-Wells

image

So Mr Gibson-Wells, why is Northstar Corporation investing in a place as impoverished as Newark?

Well, it's quite simple that when a district isn't invested in, there'll be less jobs available for residents and thus they will become even poorer. I believe there is a moral imperative for those in business to give opportunity to the less fortunate, even if that means sacrificing a slight margin of profit.

What would you say to reports that some Newark residents oppose the plans to build a new mall which you revealed last week, particularly as some homes may have to be demolished to make way for the construction work?

You can't please everyone, I'd urge those residents to send their views to the Vigil planning committee so the authorities can reach a fair and impartial decision.

I hear the released blueprints include a church in the center of the complex, could you elaborate on this...

Certainly. I intend to continue supporting the Newark residents after this construction project has finished, in addition to being a place of worship the St. Augustine Free Church will also provide discounted child-care, education classes for adults and many other community services.

Wow. What are your future plans after this project is finished?

Sorry Phil, that's confidential! I can say I hope to spend more time with my wife Sophia and our beautiful daughter though.

Interview conducted by Phillip Huang, 2nd February 2455

Northstar - a short history


Northstar Corporation was founded in 2395 by John Edward Gibson-Wells after the late investor sold his share of the Gibson's family cybernetics business, with the view of starting up his own company. Northstar's first project, the now infamous "Umbrella" building in New Exeter district, was widely considered a great success and in the following half a century has been followed by numerous other construction and investment projects including most notably renovation work on the Central Spire and the Oil Spill Riots Memorial Garden. The business experienced difficulties in the late twenties and came close to bankruptcy but since the mid-thirties has resurged stronger than ever. Since the death of John Gibson-Wells three years ago, his son Lionel Gibson-Wells has refocused Northstar towards investment in the more deprived areas of Vigil, which has culminated in the Northstar Newark Mall project announced earlier this week.

Interested, already working on a sheet (It might take a while).

Yeah, this sounds real fun. Time to come up with some characters ideas and fill out a sheet.

Completely shameless bump.

TheDoctor455:
snip

Out of interest, how many more players are we looking for right now? What sort of time frame can we expect the RP to begin in?

Got room for one more? I'll send you a sheet when I can.

This looks to be a very complex RP... I'm not terribly experienced with those, but we all gotta start somewhere, right?

Do we have a potential start date yet?

Two questions, mostly on posting rules.

1) Why first person only and no third person?

2) Why is there a time minimum based on paragraphs? Is this just a suggestion or a must follow 100% rule? This sort of discourages lengthy description or even more meticulous scenes like two characters interacting with eachother in conversation or if a gunfight/fist fight breaks out.

Just wondering about the justification behind these choices before I commit.

HellsingerAngel:
Two questions, mostly on posting rules.

1) Why first person only and no third person?

2) Why is there a time minimum based on paragraphs? Is this just a suggestion or a must follow 100% rule? This sort of discourages lengthy description or even more meticulous scenes like two characters interacting with eachother in conversation or if a gunfight/fist fight breaks out.

Just wondering about the justification behind these choices before I commit.

1) First-person is an experiment. I think it might help players get even more into the heads of their characters. Then again, it might not. As I said, its an experiment. We'll see how well it works out.

2) As for that, well... the idea was to come up with some way of advancing the in-game time without players having to rely on me to tell them too much. I would be happy to hear suggestions for a better balance on this. (its also to slow the rate of posts down a bit).

JoJo:

TheDoctor455:
snip

Out of interest, how many more players are we looking for right now? What sort of time frame can we expect the RP to begin in?

So far, JoJo... only you've submitted me sheets that I've fully approved of. I've gotten some ideas from other prospective players (2 so far, one is probably dropping out entirely), and two drafted sheets. I've sent both sheets back with some feedback for what should be fixed, but both are probably going to be in after the details are sorted out.

As for a timetable... I'm hoping to get at least two characters in every category before we start. Even then, I'm inclined to wait for players to invite whoever they like (yes you can do that, please do so if you know anyone who role-plays on this site, thank you!)... but if it gets to be too long of a wait... (the end of this month to beginning of October...) then I'll be more inclined to start with whatever we have at the time, and leave the remaining slots open.

Is there still room for a criminal underground character?

Deu Sex:
Is there still room for a criminal underground character?

Yes, there is. Only one other person is still drafting a character for the criminal underground.
So have at it.

EDIT:
Phew! A crappy internet connection that often half-asses everything sure takes it out of you... when trying to beat it into submission and force it to do what you want it to do properly, and with a smile.

Damn you Verizon! *shakes fist at them*

Just a question, would we be allowed any sort of neural interface augs for a character? As in the character is a programmer or IT kind of person and this would be in place to help them do their job by directly linking them to a computer rather than typing. As for hacking, this would be a two way street, as the character themselves could have their brain hacked.

Rainboq:
Just a question, would we be allowed any sort of neural interface augs for a character? As in the character is a programmer or IT kind of person and this would be in place to help them do their job by directly linking them to a computer rather than typing. As for hacking, this would be a two way street, as the character themselves could have their brain hacked.

Hmm... I'm still debating that idea in my head really... a few others have (or seemed to) propose similar ideas before... I'm not quite sure where I stand on "brain-hacking"... it would probably mean that either A) I come up with a cyber space sort of 'level' every time someone tries to hack something... or B) I come up with a separate set of rules for hacking. Hmm... I guess, if pressed, I'll go with A).

Already have one guy interfacing with machinery as part of his job... I guess I don't have a problem with someone else doing it too... as long as the jobs and characters are distinct enough. Hint: the other guy is basically a nuclear physicist/technician brought in to help get one of the fusion reactors up and running.

What was your idea, specifically?

Oh, and as for hacking, I'm afraid that unless you've got the military-grade version of that kind of aug, you can only access computers that your character already has access to, and even then, only the parts of that computer that you already have access to. If you want a military-grade aug, you have to be a soldier or a member of the VPD.

Or... a member of the criminal underground. But, that carries its own price with it. Your choice.

TheDoctor455:

Woah, my sheets! Thanks for answering my earlier question by the way, one more for the record. Over the last few hours I've had an itch to make some lore (perhaps a map or a flag for example), do you mind if we create stuff like that or do you already have things in mind which aren't in the OP? Any creations could be put through you via PM if you want before being posted public if you wanted to review them.

JoJo:

TheDoctor455:

Woah, my sheets! Thanks for answering my earlier question by the way, one more for the record. Over the last few hours I've had an itch to make some lore (perhaps a map or a flag for example), do you mind if we create stuff like that or do you already have things in mind which aren't in the OP? Any creations could be put through you via PM if you want before being posted public if you wanted to review them.

I'll say this now, and I'm addressing everyone on the RP here:
If you have an idea for additional lore, feel free to run it by me in the RP.

I reserve the right to accept, edit, or reject your idea/s as I see fit, however.

TheDoctor455:

I'll say this now, and I'm addressing everyone on the RP here:
If you have an idea for additional lore, feel free to run it by me in the RP.

I reserve the right to accept, edit, or reject your idea/s as I see fit, however.

Cheers for clearing that up. Since I'm a fan of flags and enjoy making them, here's my proposal for the flag of Vigil:

The two horizontal bars represent the upper and lower city, whilst the star represents both the northern position of Vigil and the unity of it's people. The "U.N. blue" background represents the fact that it's inhabitants are descendants of immigrants from all over the world, and the red and white in the centre of the flag represents the city's Canadian identity.

EDIT:
Here are the last of the sheets I've gotten up to this point. We're starting.

And JoJo, love the flag. Thanks. I really like how there seems to be a clear barrier between the two halves of the red. Very nice touch.

Right, as I said... we'll start as soon as I get the group page going... and repost all of the current sheets there.

Also... I'm going to allow anyone to post news (if that's even possible) onto the group page so that anyone can post lore if they like... or to simply post a warning that they might be out for a bit or something.

If it's lore, PM the material to me BEFORE you post it on the group page. Thank you.

EDIT: The group page is up! Join now!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/view/Vigil-RP?added=1

Edited out, because its not up to par. Posting it when I see how to fix it, and after the first post.

Central Spire/Gibson-Wells District, Lower Vigil, Northwestern Territories, Canada. March 20th, 2455. 11:15 AM; Northwestern Times News Room/studio; Chris Navidson reporting

"Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I'm Chris Navidson and this is the midday edition of the Northwestern Times," I begin, speaking in a clear and thoroughly practiced voice as I shuffle some blank sheets of paper around the desk, "Today's weather is the same as it always is: freezing cold with a... remote chance of blizzard as the first signs of Spring start to crop up. In entertainment, the most highly anticipated horror film of the century will finally see release in a few days, and we have an interview scheduled with the minds behind the first ever film adaptation of the hit 21st Century cult-classic, The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, set aside for later this evening. A rabid controversy is spreading through the sports community when the news broke out that Lag has officially been added to the Olympic games and..."

I press my right hand to my ear as I receive a tip from the hidden ear-piece.

"This just in, the VPD have located another body matching the MO of the Brain-Melter," I hate that title, we've got no business giving titles to murderers, "As with the previous victims, the body of one Janice Kapp was found dead, displayed on an apparently random person's coffee table. While it is still too early to tell, Homicide expects that the autopsy will confirm that the body is completely brain-dead. In other news, the Korean Union has finally deigned to send an ambassador to meet with the UN over the decades-long dispute over the UN's decision to withhold the plans for fusion reactors like the ones that supply all of Vigil with clean, safe, and free energy."

Another hour or so of this to go. I hate doing news like this. Feels so... disjointed... so removed from the real world. Oh well. Helps pay the rent at least.

Leon Florzeni, Café sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455; 11:15 AM
As I approach my destination:Cafe sous le lueur d'espoir I begin thinking.

So this is the place? Rosy told me to come here when I get the chance, its much safer and cleaner to socialize here than in a bar. Time to get something to drink I guess.

And then my worries began, I never really learned how to control them, only how to not make them someone else's problem. I end up moving in place, but then the mother of all worries comes to me. What if My boss is here!?

On second thought, what if their prices are too high, or if boss is there!? OH GOD NO! Not him, he's everywhere. I swear he is! What if he arranged that I go here so he can stalk me easier? No, not going in. I'll stay outside until I calm down at least.please don't be here, please don't be here. Why would Rosy do this to me!? Maybe if I get her a gift, she wont do it again. That one horror movie, maybe that, yes, she'd like that I bet. SHE'S MAKING MY LIFE A HORROR MOVIE RIGHT NOW.

Laurens van der Wal, Café sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455; 11:20 AM
While sitting at one of the tables drinking some tea, my Boss called me.

Picking it up, she didn't even say hello or something, no she started already talking about that damn ambassador.
"Yes Margriet, I know that the ambassador for the Korean Union is coming. But just like the last time I told you, I don't know when they will arrive. Heck, I don't even know if the ambassador is a she or he. I even talked with that creep of the Chine's ambassador and even they don't know anything.
Yes I know that, but if even they don't know that, than that basicly means no one knows till they show up here. Oke, Oke. I will do that.
Remeber, you got the German and Deense ambassador coming at around 15:00 to talk about the Waden islands and your dinner has been booked with that guy at that place you wanted. Oke see yeah, I got to finish some stuff here first." Hanging up my phone and grabbing my head and shaking it slowly.

Why must she be such a pain in the butt sometimes. No ones knows anything about them, but nooooo she thinks I can move Heaven and Earth and find out who they are.

Letting go of my head, I grabbed my cup of tea and started looking through some of the news items on the laptop in front of me.

Michelle Daniels, District 14, 914 Overlook Drive, Lower Vigil, Northwestern Territories, Canada. March 20th, 2455. 11:25 AM

I sighed as my eyes slid one last time over the scene of the crime. Or at least where the crime ended up. It was a nice house. Owned by nice enough people, understandably put off by finding the corpse of some early-teenage girl they didn't know in their living room.

It was a nice living room. Bigger than mine, pictures of family and friends, fair entertainment system... that was the only part I could claim I had over them. Comes with living by yourself, I suppose, even if I don't use it as much as I should.

The body was gone, thank God. Autopsy had her now. Though the smell wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. At the very least, they'd need to replace the carpet and table. As usual, the place was virtually undisturbed. Literally the only thing out of place was the tape marking where the poor kid was found, and the fact that there wasn't anything on the table it marked.

I didn't even know why I was still there. We had combed the place top to bottom while we were there en masse, and hardly found anything not belonging to the victim or the innocent family. I honestly couldn't tell you what I hoped to find. Maybe I was just hoping for divine inspiration, or that the perp was dumb enough to come back to the scene of the crime while a cop was there.

The family that owned the house were in a nearby hotel (mostly due to the smell), but they didn't want to talk to anyone right then. Neither did the parents of the girl. I couldn't blame them. I took out my phone and sent them both an email, which boiled down to, "Here's my number, call me if you can think of anything you can tell me about what happened." I also put in a personal apology. It didn't do any good, but it made me feel better. I like to think it helped them a bit, too.

Sighing again, I turned to leave. There was nothing here but tape and that damn smell. Eventually, even that would be gone. But not for long... soon enough, I'd be doing this all again. Same thing. Different houses, different faces, different victim... same damn thing. It was enough to drive a woman to drink.

I started walking back toward the tram to get back to the office. Might as well tell them I couldn't find anything new.

Again.

.

Lionel Gibson-Wells, Morwood University of Vigil, Gibson District, March 20th, 2455, 11.30 AM

"...and that is the end of my lecture on the state of capitalism in the 25th century, thank you for having me here today as a guest speaker. Any questions?"

I let out a deep sigh of relief as an hour of public speaking finally drew to a close, I couldn't wait to be out of the stuffy lecture theatre and regretted accepting the director's offer to speak in the first place. The students opposite me probably felt the same way, despite being a patchwork of different colours and non-conforming hair styles, their faces all shared the same melancholy expression of having suffered an hour of boredom. All except one.

I groaned inwardly when I noticed the solitary hand raised above the throng of youth, as if in defiance of her peer's apathy. The girl looked to be about twenty, her cap jauntily balanced on one side of her unkempt mane and a row of studs lining her bottom lip. I could already tell just from her appearance she was going to be one of those self-righteous left-wing activist types who seem to emerge spontaneously from college populations. With a sinking feeling, I nodded in her direction.

"Yes?"

"What are your thoughts on the families due to be evicted from a number of streets in the Newark district if the city courts give permission for your corporation to start work on your new mall?"

It was a monster of question, I don't doubt that she'd likely been waiting the entire session to say it but I wasn't going to give the girl the satisfaction of putting me in a corner. Luckily I had an answer ready prepared for questions like these.

"It is firm Northstar policy not to comment on legal proceedings without consulting our attorneys and legal department first, thank you for your concern though..."

With that I barrelled out of the door before anyone had a chance to delay me further and strode down the corridor, eager to make my escape before the place was filled with students. I checked my phone briefly, nothing important, just a couple of texts from my wife. I quickened my pace further, I wouldn't hear the end of it this lunch if I was late to meet her and Charlotte yet again.

.

Sophia Gibson-Wells, Tram Platform 94, District 11, March 20th, 2455, 11.45 AM

I don't know whether it was his perfectly chiselled jaw, his tantalisingly unbuttoned shirt, or his confident stride, which made me notice him first. Beneath his clothing barely concealed muscles rippled, golden brown whenever fabric ended. A leather briefcase causally hung from one arm. For a second he glanced in my direction and gave me just a hint of a smile, then like every other stranger on the busy platform he was gone, lost among a churning sea of humanity.

"Mama, Mama!"

The piercing cry of my daughter brought me back to reality. She sat on the bench next to me with a Pretty Pony magazine spread across her lap, looking up indignantly with her dark wide eyes.

"Mama, when is Papa going to be here?"

"I don't know honey, soon I hope..." I replied wearily, mentally preparing myself to hear the question at-least five more times. To my extraordinary relief, at that very moment my pale doughy husband materialised from the crowd.

"Papa!" Charlotte shrieked and jumped up to hug her father, letting her magazine fall in a heap onto the pavement. I picked it up, impressed as always by the progress my daughter was making with her reading. You wouldn't have guessed that she wasn't even due to start school for another six months.

After Lionel finally extracted himself from our five year old's sticky grasp, we briefly embraced as parents do and then taking one of Charlotte's hands each, we made our way to the café for lunch.

.

Charlotte Gibson-Wells, Café sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455, 11.50 AM

Midnight Glitter is my favourite pony, ever since I was three when I first watched Pretty Pony. She's the smartest pony who lives in a library and all the other ponies come to ask her for help with things and she's not just smart but also really pretty and has lots of friends. She's got black hair like me too. Mama had just asked me what I want to eat for lunch because we were at a cafe with Papa so I was thinking what Midnight Glitter would have.

"Uh, I want spaghetti..." I mumbled, then remembering when Maria taught me quickly added "please!"

Mama said what I want to the waiter so I turned around in my seat to see what was happening around the café but everything was boring to look at. The people were boring, the food was boring, even the animals were boring! There was a man with an umbrella on the table next to us but he wasn't even doing anything, he was just holding his head in his hands. I stared at him for a while but he didn't do anything different. It was the worst café I'd ever been to.

Laurens van der Wal, Café sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455; 11:55 AM
Where is that damn waiter? I want to pay already. It isn't as if I am in France or something.

Looking around for a waiter, I spotted something familiar.
That face, I have seen that face before but where?
Booting up my laptop, I noticed that I still had 10% power left. That would leave me with only 1 hour of battery power left. Hoping that the accesses code I was given for the wifi still worked, I tried to login only to find out it had expired.
"OOOH COME ON! REALLY?" I shouted in frustration.

Getting out my phone, I set it to personal hotspot. There go's my phone bill.

After a couple of minutes searching I finally fond out where I had seen that face before. It was on my bosses list of people she wanted to meet, Mister Lionel Gibson-Wells. Every time I tried to contact him, I got stonewalled by that blasted secretary of his. Well she isn't here now, so I win you b*tch.

Standing up, I first retrieved one of my businesses cards from my bag before making my way towards him, leaving my bag and laptop behind on the table. Wouldn't want them to think I would go a way without paying now would I?

"Eeehhhmmm, excuses me sir. But do you happen to be Sir Lionel Gibson-Wells?"

Leon Florzeni, Café sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455; 12:00 PM

I watch as a man who was shouting earlier walk over to a very familiar man. I fixed my posture and gave a quick smile to the girl at their table who was staring at me. I didn't want to seem like a creeper to the big man. I enter the cafe and order myself a cappuccino and take a seat at a table near who I think is Mr.Gibson-Wells.

You know you almost couldn't find your wallet when you needed to pay, don't mess up again. Standing in one place screwing around doesn't seem to give you many respect points either. I will wait to talk to to him when he is able to talk, don't want to force my stupidity on someone else ahead of time.

I notice that I'm staring at the group, and turn away. I look down at my drink, it has a little heart on the top, how cute.

Ok, I got the chance to improve my quality of life, all I have to do, is tell Mr.Gibson-Wells about Boss and he'll no longer be a threat to me!

Suddenly, I remember seeing a Pretty Pony magazine on the table, a show which I had seen Rosy watch one day after I came back home. I was surprised because the show was for a much younger age group. I didn't say anything about it because she might have gotten mad at me, what if I research that show so we can watch it together one day?

Maria Taylor. Cafe sous le lueur d'espoir, March 20th, 2455. 12:05 AM.

I look around at the tables to see if anyone's in my section today. Mr. Gibson-Wells looks to have deliberately sat just outside of my section... again. He hates acknowledging that I exist in public. I'm not really surprised, I just forgot for a moment. Oh, looks like we've got a few new people in... and they're both in my part of this dive. Works for me I guess. I walk over to the nervous looking man that decided to sit dangerously close to Lionel's booth. Poor fool, he has no idea what he's trying to get himself into. I cough politely to announce my presence to him once I reach his table.

"Afternoon sir," I begin putting every bit of squeaky-clean charm into my voice, "My name is Maria and I'll be your waitress for today," I try my damndest not to gag on my own tongue, "Have you had a chance to look at the menu yet? Today's special is..." I glance back at the sign behind me, "The Vigil Kitchen Pizza Burger."

I just manage to hold in a barf at the concept.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked