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Topics - Little

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1
Movies / Shutter Island
« on: March 23, 2010, 12:19:43 am »
I'm suprised there isn't a thread on this great movie already. I saw it and really enjoyed it, and the plot twists were good, too. Anyone else seen Shutter Island?

2
Spore: Creation Corner / [NC] Index
« on: July 02, 2009, 12:58:51 pm »
Little: The Robespierre
Neoadept: The Skirin
Zolinn: The Vacilions
Gec(my favorite Mod): The Zeldon
Josasa: The Slorvs
Razonatair: The Sanli
Darth Grievi: The Volmai
Patman33: The Nor
Yannick: The Casei
Dacmat122: The Kuyrudam
Bagder Man 22: The Gui, The Neo-Quasits

Likewise, though some of the other new guys are getting together to make another NG like area called the Novus Cluster.  We plan on it being a star cluster orbiting the main galaxy so the two can interact, but honestly the continuity you guys have set up over the years is a little scary to dive into, so we'll be sticking to the cluster for awhile.

Basically, the Novus Cluster is 'new' Spore Role-Playing Galaxy, although it orbits around the old one. It's an opportunity for anyone who doesn't know the long history and politics of the Old Galaxy to be able to just jump right in to Spore Role-Playing with a creature. The few of us that have currently made Novus Cluster creatures will be content to stay [NC] for a while, but we eventually hope to see some old faces rejoining the Spore Role-Playing board.

Until then, feel free to make a species and send it to the stars! We'll be waiting for you in the Novus Cluster!  :)

3
Spore: Creation Corner / [NC] The Robespierre
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:01:05 pm »
Artist Renditions!


Special thanks to sgore for the epic creature and to Zolinn for the colouring and shading!


A very, very, very, big thank you to Gec for this awesome picture! Guess who's my new favorite Mod?  ;D  :-*


History

The Robespierre’s are a race that evolved on the planet Krzos. The world was a lush and teeming place, covered by great oceans and forests. The Robespierre evolved from a species of fish, but they were quick to forsake their aquatic heritage and adapted to a life of prowling on the ground for fruit and then swinging back up into the trees with their long back arms. The standard arms positioned lower on their bodies were used for scooping up fruits and berries that lay on the ground. As their focus shifted downwards to the ground, they began to make warbling cries to indicate to other Robespierres that food had been found, the cry heeding any fellow Robespierre to come join in the feast. Robespierre’s also became shorter as their focus on foraging increased, and their backs were bent over in the relentless shuffle to pick up food, the longer arms growing longer still as an escape route on lower branches of small trees. Their senses also rearranged themselves over many generations, with their ears placed on their backs and their eyes onto their stomachs. Another curious result of their behavior was that having two eyes became simply inefficient, so the Robespierre adapted again, having one dinner-plate sized eye instead of two small ones, using their eye for seeing food, their ears for detecting their predators, and their long arms from escaping into the trees. As the ecosystem flourished around them, predators began to pick up on the distinctive feeding call and would wait in the shadows as the Robespierres gathered to eat before attacking. As a result, the cries that rent through the sky ceased and Robespierre’s developed a completely silent mode of communication: they communicated with their eyes.  As this odd system began to grow more intricate and detailed, Robespierres could coordinate movements, locations, and crude plans over flashes of colors.
___

If their cycles had gone uninterrupted, the Robespierre may just be an archaeological footnote of some other species, but alien intervention prevented them from that dreary fate. An alien species planted a Monolith on Krzos, and a small pack of Robespierres stumbled upon it while looking for food. One gentle touch with their standard arms and the Robespierre achieved crude intelligence. The pack grew slowly, the usage of tools allowing the inferior Robespierre to survive. Eventually the Robespierre developed into tribes and eventually cities, carving out a civilization based around the Monolith, the Monolith releasing information that would push society forward to the Robespierres on a bi-centurial basis. The Robespierres had mastered farming along the shores of the Cromwell River and had a complicated culture with its own art, and a layered political system when the first crack in Robespierre society occurred.

The Robespierre were in the Bronze Age at this point.

The Robespierre government was ruled by a council that had the power to veto any decisions the elected assembly made, and the council was bitterly divided over one issue: who should own the Monolith? Two religions had sprung up around it, the differences inconsequential but significant enough to the devout so that the sides harbored deep resentment towards eachother. As tensions built over which faction would end up possessing the centre of Robespierre society. As the council members bickered, the priests insulted their opposing numbers, and over half of Robespierre society gathered spears and crude swords. The two religious factions met on the steps of the Monolith Monument, and the taunts and jeers began as the two sides stood apart. After a few short moments of escalation, the two sides clashed, the clang of metal hitting metal and the revolting sound of metal piercing organs. As the fight reached its bloody crescendo, a swirl of colors suddenly blasted out of the top of the Monolith, the amazing display dazzling the Robespierres into stopping their fight as they looked up and saw the intricacies of their language telling them a message, only this wasn’t one of the planned dates. The Robespierres looked up to see the message, forgotten weapons dropping to the ground from their idle hands.

The message simply said, ~“ War will be the death of your civilization. Murder will be the death of your civilization. Conflict will be the death of your civilization. Peace is the only true way...”~

When the final hue faded from the sky, the Monolith abruptly fell into a seemingly infinite number of black dots. As the Robespierres merely stared at the large pile of what looked like black dust, ancient neural-networks were activating in the pile, setting up plans and instructions. The black pile began to shift into a whirring cloud, and all the Robespierres took a step back as it rapidly expanded along the tiled steps of the Monument. The cloud grew exponentially in the span of a few seconds, enveloping the Monument completely. The Robespierres merely stood still in shock, many weeping and thinking the world was ending because of their petty struggles. When the cloud abruptly shrunk back into a massive pile, the Robespierres all knelt down and praised the memory of the Monolith for having the wisdom to spare them and they vowed they would not tread down the path of war ever again. The black pile reconstructed itself into the Monolith with that whirring noise, and the two former armies ran off to tell others of the message.
___

Civilization continued on a more peaceful course. Different nations developed, cities prospered, culture flourished. The capital city of Tok was divided between nations, the country of Momaw gladly allowing the city to be split up to allow other nations access to the Monolith, which was still the center of society. Competition between nations and individuals still existed, but on an entire new battlefield:  economies. Economic warfare had become the vent of anger, the medieval society of the Robespierre masters of economic manipulation, many merchants bankrupting whole countries to destroy other guilds composed of rivals. The global economy was unstable, but governments cracked down on the instability, forcing merchants to enter guilds and play the game with their own money and resources, as well as forcing them to provide safety nets for where their operations were based. The measures worked, and soon the economy was thriving against a background of guilds rising into wealth and plunging into poverty. The backbone of Robespierre society was set, and technology advanced as nations worked together to push forward.
___

The Renaissance of the Robespierre was the invention of banking, which acted like strongholds in their wars. To bankrupt a guild now, rivals would have to infiltrate via accounts and deposit massive sums and then wait. As the unsuspecting bank spent the money, more accounts would be opened. When the bank finished using the cash and fell back on the cash made from loans, the mole accounts would all withdraw, forcing the bank to close due to debt. The art of economic warfare only grew more sophisticated as the Robespierre exited the Renaissance, and the next big leap in science would only push the complexity further. The Robespierre Industrial Revolution neatly coincided with the invention of electricity. Electricity caused the hasty invention of the telegraph, which meant as long as you were near a telegraph station; communication with nearly anyone could be almost instant. Society and the economy leaped forward, the technique of interchangeable parts leading to a massive rise in the economy. Robespierre society began to shift, gathering around their workplaces in small communities while guilds only grew, often bringing whole supply and production lines under their control. Guilds that went through the struggle of acquiring a whole production chain often underwent an internal   revolution, the guild leader being deposed in favor of a leading council. Guilds that controlled production chains also had to manage every facet of the line, from the health of the community that gathered around the workplace and the local bank to the shipping of raw materials. These guilds often underwent the transformation into corporations, responsible for maintaining the local economy and providing a safety net to the local inhabitants while taking guilds into their folds. The telegraph also lead to the invention of instant banking, with account balances and figures transferred quicker than many could even begin to comprehend. After the vast economic struggle for supremacy, the largest corporations were the only ones standing, with the smaller guilds and corporations merely absorbed into their infrastructure.

The government quickly took action, separating the corporations from stability as they did with the guilds. Even though society clustered around their workplaces and banks, the sway of religion was still incredibly strong, with the Monolith receiving well over three billion pilgrims on its steps annually. Religion and government had been separated, so the government could make the best decisions for the people it ruled and the church could make the best decisions for the people who followed it. Poverty was virtually non-existent, the corporations always needing more workers to fill out their ranks. The government taxed the corporations; giving back the benefits to society while making corporations give the communities they upheld a safety net if they fell.

 The differences between nations began to blur. Nations unified by trade joined together and eventually only a few superpowers remained, all on good terms and focused on maintaining economic stability and providing the best life for their citizens. The few remaining blank spots on maps began to disappear as steamships were invented, the voyages government sponsored but free reign given to corporations over the newly discovered lands as long as they adhered to the laws restricting them.
As nations joined together, corporations grew apart. The invention of the assembly line at the end of the Industrial Revolution ushered in a new age of productivity, only driving up the intensity of the competition between economic behemoths. The invention of the light bulb allowed factories to open two shifts when they had enough workers, only ramping up production. Any resource rich areas were quickly tapped for raw materials, causing governments to institute environmental protection laws that forced corporations to renew and revitalize land that had been used to harvest materials. The Robespierre entered a second Golden Age, with the population booming, technology advancing quickly, and the bottom line always growing bigger. The Robespierres lived in their tight-knit communes, driving a short distance to work in their new vehicles, grew their own food, and were happy as could be, apart from the occasional flood or hurricane.
___

Robespierre civilization could only go up. The invention of the computer by a government-run think tank led to drastic increases in Robespierre understanding of math and physics, the first solid application of the computer being a crude missile launch six months later. The missile rose through the sky and twisted sideways, the crude engine failing as it veered sideways and increased in speed. The rocket promptly died completely, the engine exploding, and it shot down towards the ground, blowing apart as it smashed into a lake. Improvements to rockets were made using upgraded computers, a whole government taskforce tasked with making a better computer and a separate task force to make a better rocket. Robespierre government had found itself a challenge it could apply to: sending a rocket into space, and it cheerfully did so two years and twelve launches later. The first Robespierre astronaut would come later, but the foundation had been set.

The corporations did note the invention of the computer, but deemed it uninteresting at the time. The failed missile launch was amusing to the general population, but most didn’t find it newsworthy. Technology ploughed forward, corporations and guilds continued to rise and fall, but now something bigger had been set in motion. Within three decades, computers had been streamlined and shrunk, development costs plummeting as new materials and methods were devised to create them. Every so often, the Robespierres would stop on the street as a missile rose into the sky, and they’d watch as it plunged back down into the testing zone. The public usually regarded these events with a laugh and a shake of the head before continuing on their way, until one day, the rocket didn’t come back down. The first Robespierre satellite had been launched, and it contained a colour and written history of the Robespierre, the launch a major victory for the government. On the edge of the test zone, the whole Rocket Research Institute was cheering and their eyes were all a thick shade of green, their joy evident. Later that year, the Omega Corporation picked up the designs for a home computer and began manufacturing, pushing the first home computer on the market. Within two months, the cheap computer had broken nearly every sales record in Robespierre history, a feat that put the newly-merged Omega Corporation at the top of the economic food chain.

Within that decade, the first Robespierre was put into space and safely returned, gliding along the Cromwell River before slamming into Luther Lake. The Cloud, a system used to link computers together without cables was pioneered and released by Omega Corp, and competition brought down the price and size of computers drastically. In the following years, it was not an uncommon sight to see businessmen and factory workers sitting side by side on the steps of The Monolith, one managing stocks electronically while the other flashed moods to friends through a webcam.  A small asteroid belt was discovered inside the solar system, and corporations banded together under the flag of profit. As the government colonized the two moons, the Omega Corporation joined with Flight Inc to form Star Limited, the world leader in everything from computers to asteroids, as the advertisements sang. A small automated mining fleet was sent out asteroid Beta 3, and after large deposits of iron and gold were found, the rush to the stars began like a gold rush. Mining colonies set up, research colonies set up, and still more clamored to be sent off on rockets. New technology flooded in from government think tanks and corporations alike, everything from vast shields to protect colonies from asteroid impacts to mining lasers that could slash through an asteroid’s cold rocky crust like a corporation slashing through a start-up.

It was around the time work on the first FTL engine began and the last nooks and crannies of the solar system were being mapped, a Robespierre Colony Director with minor political ambitions proposed an interesting idea to the government:  ‘What would happen if there were other beings out there, and they weren’t friendly? They’d murder us.’

The government was genuinely disturbed by the notion, but they conceded that if there were other races out there, they might do more than peacefully trade. This lead to a massive undertaking by the Robespierre government, and for the first time in six thousand years, they were building weapons and defenses.  Massive shield generators were built and positioned in major cities; banks of missiles crammed with explosives were buried underground ready to be fired at a moment’s notice, and the population of Krzos was drilled in what to do in the event of an attack. Many corporations purchased weapons for use on their colonies, not wanting to be caught with their guard down, and satellites bristling with sensors were set up at the edges of the solar system. As the first FTL drive was completed, tested and perfected with the intensity of a corporation over account balances, and mounted onto a ship, all preparations for defense were completed. The ship was prepared, a staff and crew selected and trained, and the final sensors mounted. Over one billion Robespierres showed up or watched the launch of the ship, at first screaming up like a regular rocket and as it broke the atmosphere, it began to blur as it disappeared into the darkness of space...

One of the sensors on the edge of the system detected a brief blip as it screamed past the icy ball, and the captain smiled as the ship ventured into unknown space, their home planet far behind them.

Future Updates Can Be Seen Here

4
Storytelling and Roleplaying / We Need To Change The Way We RP
« on: June 15, 2009, 07:35:19 pm »
I recently have been having a problem with role-plays at GamingSteve: I feel like my character doesn't matter. Well, take a more leading role, the major players say, but that isn't the problem. The problem is that my character doesn't matter, that he won't have an impact on the plot. The major players have already scoped out the plot into the far future, and they merely cram the characters that haven't been assigned a role in their plot into whatever role needs fitting. Any deviance from the planned plot is met with the major players characters quickly shoving the plot back into line with their characters, and any complaints are stifled with, "You can be lead or you can lead."
Complaints of not having enough control over the role-play itself are met with directions to sign up as a Villain next Arc. The plot of the role-play is followed to the line, with no room for the players to make major adjustments or plot twists. Everything has already been planned in advance by the major players.

Shouldn't it be the other way around, with the role-play building around the actions of the characters rather than the characters sticking to the plot? The role-play should be built from the ground up, the basic points of the plot mapped out, yes, but not enough so that if the players decide to make a major deviation from the plot, it can continue along without any scars of the previous plans showing. The players should have more input than the major players, the collective actions of the group building the story rather than the plan concocted by the major players forming the plot. The players should be free to form the plot without the limitations of a plot already put in place by the major players, and the major players should be able to accept changes to their role-play and roll with it.

This, I think, would allow for the players to have much more choice in what the role-play should be about. I have nothing against the current system we use, but I think that the proposed system of letting the players in the role-play build the experience rather than it being all planned out by a select few. This would require a talented group of role-players to pull-off, as to prevent the plot simply decaying and the role-play dying due to drop outs, but we already have an extremely talented group of role-players at GamingSteve, and with this new system, the game would remain spontaneous and fun while still being a great experience for all involved!  :)

5
This stems off an idea I had for a roleplay. This is my first Mafia, so I'm going to keep it relatively simple. There is space for a large number of players. The game takes place in a small town that's been relatively unaffected by a massive nuclear war. The army general stationed in a nearby base promptly occupies the town and turns it into a dictatorship. Most of the townspeople are merely grateful for the General getting the power back and the water running and just resent the rule, but a small group decides to openly rebel. A murder or two ensue, and the paranoia ramps up, perfect for a Mafia style game  ;)

The rules are still open to change and discussion, so please tell me if something could be improved!  :)

I just reworked the ENTIRE game, adding many, many, many roles compared to before. This looks to be a much better experience than before, so come on in! :D

Faction: Townspeople
-Wins when the Army Faction, Communist Spy and the Revolutionary faction are destroyed


Faction: Army
-Knows who is in the Army faction
-Wins when Revolutionary faction destroyed
-Has to outnumber Townspeople to win


Faction: Revolutionaries
-Know who the other revolutionaries are
-Can vote to kill one person a night
-Wins when the Guard faction is eliminated
-Has to outnumber Townspeople to win



Players: 12
Person21
Badgerman22
Spartan King 95
Grangan
Flamester
Kenobro
Neoadept
eropS
Kenotai
Yannick
Alwayswatching
Summoner

Graveyard

6
Everything Else / Swine Flu
« on: April 27, 2009, 04:29:39 pm »
Confirmed cases in a few countries, including my country.  :-[

So, are we screwed? WHO moved the Pandemic Alert scale up to 4...

7
Storytelling and Roleplaying / Untitled (A Little Story)
« on: April 21, 2009, 10:30:37 pm »
Special thanks to Brandon and Ink!
Untitled
By Little

The room was dim, and all Aahil Bari could see was dim shapes. He was terrified, and he felt dizzy. He was certain he had been drugged with something. God, he had been so stupid! A passport problem was obviously a setup in retrospect, but he had fallen for it like an ignorant fool. He opened his mouth and let out a long, tired, sigh. He had been taken to Custom, and had been sat down in a room across from two stern-looking Customs Officers. Then one had said, “It’s him.” And he had been smashed on the head with something. Then he had woken up in the trunk of a car, and they thudded across a pot-hole riddled road, each hole slamming Aahil against the hard metal of the trunk. When light had come at long last, he only saw the daylight for a moment before being stabbed in the forearm by a syringe. Now he was sitting in a ****ty little room with light filtering across the cracked, grimy, floor from under a battered door. He was bound tight against something hard, most likely a chair, but moving his head made him feel terribly light-headed. The wisps of greying hair at the back of his head felt heavy, probably matted with his blood from the head injury. Aahil sighed again, idly beginning to wonder what they were going to do to him. Torture seemed likely, and he felt even more tired when he realised hours of agonizing punishment was ahead of him. The last time he had been tortured, he had been in much better shape for it, too. This time, it might send his heart teetering into oblivion. Twenty years ago, he had even managed to keep his mouth shut while the revolutionaries shocked him with their damning probes, now he would burst into tears and spill his nation’s most treasured secrets at the sight of those small metal teeth.

Abruptly, the door was thrown open, slamming against the wall. A moment ago, Aahil had been lamenting the lack of light. Now he just wished for the gloom again. He shut his eyes tightly, but the light still felt too bright. After a moment that seemed far too long, he cautiously slid open his eyes amidst scraping noises. A chair had been brought into the room, and a bald man dressed in a simple that had no mercy in his eyes sat in the small wooden chair. Aahil turned his head from side to side, feeling woozy as he did so, but he established he was in what looked like a refurbished closet. Racks of sharp-looking instruments lined wooden shelves, and Aahil’s heart sank. As he began to lament his fate, the bald man slapped his across one wrinkled cheek and screamed, “LOOK AT ME! NOW!” Aahil quickly shifted his head back to face the bald man, fighting a wave of nausea as he did.  The bald man smiled wickedly and said, “Cooperate with your next visitor. If you don’t, life will become much less pleasant, and much more painful.” Aahil nodded rapidly, feeling sick as the bald man stood up and walked into the well-light corridor. Aahil rapidly ran over his limited options; it was bleak. A short while later, a well-dressed man with what looked like groomed hair walked into the closet. The black business suit looked incredibly out of place, as well as the man’s friendly smile and jolly eyes. The man looked like someone Aahil would’ve gone out for a drink to discuss work, sports, and politics back when his home country wasn’t turning into the sequel to the war in Iraq. Aahil cautiously watched as the business man sit down in the rickety chair. Aahil smiled weakly and asks with the accent of someone who isn’t quite accustomed to English, “Am I back in Iran?” The man seemed to find this immensely funny, and burst out laughing. After the business man had calmed down, he chuckled softly and replied, “Good God, no! If you were back in Iran, you would’ve been snapped like a twig and your body would’ve been thrown into a crematorium already. Now, I just need to ask you a few simple questions.”

 Aahil nodded frantically, shoving the dizziness into the back of his mind as he did so. He knew that the next few minutes could be the difference between life and death. The man smiled happily at seeing the nods, and continued, “Now, we know your Aahil Bari. We know you used to be the head of Iran’s Development of Nuclear Alternatives. We know you stole the bomb from the Russia within the last decade, when there were whispers of your country developing nukes for themselves. We also know that you were in charge of overseeing the contingency plans in the event of an American invasion, and that you did not stay to see your plan in action. There are quite a few angry rebels back in your home country who would like to see you dead, understand?” Aahil cautiously replies, “Yes, I understand.” The man with the well-groomed hair claps his hands happily and grins as he says, “Good! Now, where is Warhead 168B Classified Russian Armament, or as your colleagues and you nicknamed it, Atomic Fire, heading? The contingency plan is activated when your president gives the signal, and he gave it twenty-three minutes ago. We have a little over seventeen hours to go. What road does it travel along to escape the storage facility?” Aahil’s mind races, recalling the details, saying each fragment or location as his fading memory spits it out.
 
 The man’s smile grows wider with each phrase. The plan was to drive it in a small, discreet, convoy to the nearby town of Ajhbah. Once in Ajhbah, the most powerful operational nuclear weapon would be shipped by military plane to a location out of country. Aahil didn’t remember the location, and despite repeated requests from the man in the suit, was not able to disclose it. Aahil curses inwardly at his crumbling memory, he had known it twenty-five years ago, and now he couldn’t remember it to save his skin. He was almost ready to cry as the man in the black suit drew a knife from his pocket, Aahil flinching as he brought it towards his seat. The knife didn’t slash into skin, but rather rope, the discarded bindings falling to the ground in a heap. Mumbling prayers under his breath, Aahil stands up weakly as the man says, “Well, we’re not going to kill you. You’ve been useful. We’re letting you go.”

Aahil smiles, feeling tired as he is escorted out of the building and into a waiting cab by the bald man. The cab winds through the dark night’s streets after Aahil requests it take him to a hotel, and he dozes into the backseat. If he had been paying attention, he might have noticed that the tab meter did not go up, but he was nearly asleep when the driver stopped the car, got out, opened his passenger’s door, and gestured into the dark. Three men wearing body armour step out of the shadows, two holding sub-machine guns with suppressors on the barrels, and the third holding a rusty switchblade that had been stolen off a drunken fool stupid enough to try to mug the men the night before. Aahil wakes up from his doze, blearily looking around as the driver hauls him out of the cab, the engine idling on the deserted street. Aahil says, “What? Where am I?” in a confused voice. The man holding the switchblade steps forward and plants it in the old man’s neck, quickly dispatching him as his companions steal their victims wallet, ID, and few items of value. The taxi driver smiles as the body is dumped in the alley, the three armoured men casually walking back to the cab. They all nod, and the driver says in fractured English, “Another good mugging. Target disposed of, looks like theft. See you if we need you again.” They all nod one last time, then the driver climbs back into his seat and the three men melt back into the shadows.
___

The warm night was still, only disturbed by the rumbling of a powerful motor. Headlights pierced the night as the first guard Jeep drew closer and closer to the firing point.  Jason Clark smiled as the breeze blew across his bare scalp.  After that old scientist had given Jeremy the location, Jason had gotten onto a private plane and flown immediately to Iran. It wasn’t cheap, but he wanted to be there when his taskforce took the greatest weapon on Earth out of its rightful owner’s hands and gave the final piece needed to fulfill Jeremy’s goal. The team was split in two, twelve members prone on a dune overlooking a curve in the road, and the other half split in two, the two halves stationed on opposite sides of the road. The first Jeep now more than a gloomy sight, and Jason puts his eye to his scope. The detail was amazing. He could see the brand of cigarette on the box that the Jeep driver kept in his right pocket. As the Jeep sped down the road, Jason sneaks a glance at the rest of the convoy: a long semi truck cushioned between two pickup trucks filled with guards, and the two Jeeps. He’d seen better protection on normal loads of conventional weapons, but Jason couldn’t blame the Iranians. They were busy fighting each other and the invading American troops, half the guard crew probably having deserted. His thoughts were cut short by the Jeep entering the firing zone, and Jason quickly put his eye back to the scope and refocused on the cigarette package. His finger tightened as he smiled, and the troop next to him screamed, “GO!”

The initial bang was ear-shattering, echoing across vast dusty plains. The hard cracks of automatic fire follow seconds later, before the expressions of bewilderment have even left the guard’s faces. Within thirty seconds, the whole convoy has been brought down by a concentrated stream of superheated lead, and the group Jason commanded had converged on the idling vehicles with the other teams, dragging away bodies. Jason runs around the back of the semi-truck, his team already ahead of him. As he turns the corner, he smiles as he sees the truck’s back has been kicked open. Six men were rolling out a dark container with warning signs plastered on it in a dozen languages. Jason smiles as a troop from his squad brings down two coolers, and sets them down on the side of the road. The twenty-four men gather around the cooler, each being passed a glass. They talk of things to come as they drink, and by the time they need to move the bomb, each one is dreaming of a new world, one where America cannot extend its tendrils of military might anywhere on Earth. Everyone clinks their glasses together, and throw them to the ground. Jason already has visions of mushroom clouds behind his eyelids, and he smiles when he closes his eyes, his imagination bleaching San Francisco skies crimson with a mushroom-shaped ball of fire shattering the skyline.
___

Jeremy smiles, custom-tailored business suit stained with oil, but he hardly notices. He stares at the naked atomic warhead that was resting over panels that would simply slide open, the bomb’s cold steel disguising the inferno inside, the inferno that would bring the greedy, self-absorbed country to its knees and open its eyes. Jeremy grimaces, reflecting on the mishaps that had been Iraq, Darfur, Sudan, Afghanistan, and soon to be Iran. Nothing would change, and Jeremy knew he had to make the change. Many months of work, millions of dollars, and many nights had been lost, but his plans had prevailed. Jeremy would devastate his own country to open the country’s eyes. Long masses of urban sprawl would no longer lay abandoned, factories would stop killing cities with the smog, and people would retract the shutters on their minds and see the state the world was in. The new idiot in charge of the place would be brought down, and a new leader erected in his place, someone who knew how to change things, how to make the world a better place. Jeremy smiles, thinking of the numerous Russian blunders, from leaving the bomb unsecured to keeping the theft a secret. If they had informed the United States, it’d be much more difficult to smuggle the thing. The Iranians were forming another insane religious dictatorship, the sane elements fighting the insane elements with the Americans shooting at anyone who looks remotely like a terrorist. No doubt they’d be far too distracted to notice the bomb was gone until the new regime was settled or destroyed. Jeremy smiles and stops leaning past the arm of his chair, settling back in his seat. Jason, his trusted gun nut, was sitting on his right. Brandon, his strategic advisor, was sitting to the far right. Jeremy idly thinks that Brandon choosing San Fran for the blast was a good choice. San Francisco was a mess of drug addicts, foreclosures, and industrial waste. Jeremy chuckles as he thinks that maybe he didn’t need a nuke, he just needed to light a San Fran junkyard on fire and watch the buried chemicals explode! He gradually stops chuckling and looks out his window, seeing the wing and beyond that, the wide expanse of the Pacific. The azure blue beauty was covered with tumors of abandoned rusting ship hulls. Jeremy leans back and sighs, wondering where his country went wrong.

A sudden curse from the cabin and Jeremy curiously glances towards the thin metal door. The same curse, a resounding, “What the **** are you doing?! ****, what the hell!?!” comes through the metal door. Jason disengages straps his seat and begins to walk towards the cabin, edging past Brandon. Jason slides open the door and begins to yell, “What is going-” before he’s brutally cut off by a burst of gunshots. The co-pilot screams, “Eat that, you crazy bastard! There’s a missile coming, this is over!” Jason stumbles back, falling back into the aisle as blood begins to leak from his mouth onto the floor. The co-pilot yells back into the cabin, “I’m not James, you piece of ****! Don’t move! I’m Henry Farnden, NSA! There has been-” While the NSa agent had been frantically screaming about how things were under control, Jeremy and Brandon had both removed small pistols from inside their suits, and had both fired at Henry. Henry’s face disintegrated as the captain screams, “Anti-air missile incoming, and we’ve just entered optimum blast range!”
Jeremy sighs and pulls out a remote control form the second pocket in his suit. No time to make sure the bomb’s trajectory was correct, or even to release it. If the missile hit, optimuim effect would not be achieved. As he flipped back the panel that revealed the red button, Brandon turned his attention away from the two corpses that laid in puddles of blood and looked at Jeremy.

“What are you doing? We’re supposed to survive, and I’m supposed to have a position in the government-”

Jeremy sighed as he pressed the button. Brandon had always been too power-obsessed from the start, and he’d be damned if he was going to let another power-crazed bastard take over the government. It was all for the greater good, and Brandon didn’t fit in the plan. Electricity flowed through the wires as the button depressed, and Jeremy’s last hope was that humanity would put this lesson to good use.
___

As Bryan Elder and Curtis Brady walked to the top of a hill on the outskirts of Sacramento, they were pushing their bikes along with them, and a cloud was descending over their lives, although they didn’t know it. The pair of eleven-year olds had just enjoyed a pleasant day of hanging out together in the woods near Curtis’s house, and were going to bike over to Bryan’s house for supper and then a sleepover. Both boys were excited at the prospect of staying up late and watching horror movies until early morning, but their trains of thought were disrupted by an incredibly bright flash of light. Both boys brought up their arms to shield their eyes, and both said at the same time, “What the hell?” They both hopped on their bikes and began to rode down the hill as a loud crack hit their ears. They both stopped and waited on the sidewalk staring at the people who were staring agape at the crimson cloud. A few moments later and after brief discussion, they decided to ride back and tell Curt’s mom first. As they jumped on their bikes and began to ride, a hot breeze hit their back and ruffled their hair, the breeze carrying the radioactive dust that would slowly circle around the globe.

8
Movies / Slumdog Millionaire
« on: April 04, 2009, 11:06:30 pm »
I'm suprised this hasn't been mentioned. I just finished watching it, and it was great!

What did others think?  :)

9
Storytelling and Roleplaying / A Little Problem (Poll Game)
« on: March 17, 2009, 06:58:49 pm »
Your hands are steady as you draw the bead on the target, cupping your eye to the telescopic sight. A face fills your view, and you realize with horror that it's the President. You want to take your finger off the trigger, but you can't. The world seems to slow as you pull the trigger, simultaneously bracing against the powerful kick. The charming young face that had enraptured millions, the face that had held firm ground against the most powerful corporations, the face you yourself had voted for, explodes like a watermelon hit by a cannon shell. You withdraw from the scope, shaking. You see uniformed guards with a large insignia stamped on their shoulder, the insignia the flag of the United States. They look more like Getaspo Officers then bodyguards, and their hands are clutching assault rifles. They begin to wheel in your direction as the crowd panics as one, fleeing the podium where, only moments ago, their leader had been endorsing a war against the United Soviet States...

You wake up, drenched in sweat. Your eyes slam open, and you survey your small apartment. It's covered in layers of pizza boxes and dirty clothes, and the only things in the room that have a resemblance of order are the small computer desk sitting to your right and the bulletin board hanging on the far wall.  On the desk is a old computer and while the screen is dark,  you know it could light up at the tap of a single button and show you all your careful research. The bulletin board is covered in news paper clippings, various printouts with lines of erasing black across names and dates, and your own frantic scribbles that attempt to link one idea to another. You sigh, and swing out of bed. After sloughing on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, you tug on your only window's shade. It curls up on itself, and you gaze outside. A gentle snow is falling, and the vagrants, transients, and Cruise junkies that inhabit your crumbling slum are all thickly bundled in tattered clothing. After viewing outside, you throw on a thick coat and pull back down your shade, putting it in it's original concealing position.

You cast your eyes over to the computer desk, and scoop up your cellphone, which wakes from it's electronic slumber with a beep and the whisper of a brand name. You flick open the phone and drudge through the menus that lead you to your inbox. Technology has never been your strong point. Ignoring news updates from the government-controlled National News, you see the text you were looking for. Kurt wants to meet at his place, and the associated string of not quite random characters allow you to determine it's a one-on-one meeting at his house. You smile to yourself, a tired smile that looks out of place on a twenty-four year old. You take a few long steps across your apartment, and open the door. Stepping out, the door closes behind you and clicks four times, each click signifying another lock slamming into place. Locks weren't cheap these days, but better safe then sorry. Walking through the maze of corridors on your floor, you arrive at the elevator. A sign declares it to be broken. You curse, and begin the long walk of twenty flights of stairs.

As you walk through the decaying ghetto where you make your home, you make sure not to look at the Police Cameras directly. If you seem suspicious, they log your face down in a computer somewhere, and that is never good. You stuff your hands into your pockets, protecting them against  the bitter cold as your reflect on the times you and Kurt have had together. High school, collage, working together at the Mega-McDonalds, sharing a small flat. Marcus had been there for most of it too, but he was working with one of the North Side IT companies, and it was vicious competition. The infrequent phone calls to Marcus showed he was tired as hell and working hundred-thirty hours, but he still managed to send the group confidential information occasionally.

You weave through slippery streets, watching a white blanket cover the city. The occasional car comes by, but not very often. People with cars usually didn't live south of the Wall. After a half-hour walk, you arrive at a small home in a slightly better district of South Side. Small, battered houses lined the streets of this parts, and the problems which plagued most of the other districts. Kurt lived in one of the best districts, and was able to do so since he began the sport of what he called 'bar blackmail'. Your unsure what exactly this means, but it must bring Kurt a steady supply of income. You stroll up the driveway, and knock on the thin wooden door. No answer. You ring the doorbell three times and knock on the door three times, the group's code for saying, 'Hey, it's a friend.' Still no answer. You begin to get nervous. You know group protocol for this situation, but this seems different. You know Kurt has to be home, he does his job(whatever it is) at night. There are no signs of foul play or police involvement, and besides, he is your best friend. Couldn't hurt to go in and look around, but then again...

10
Art / Little Stories PLEASE MOVE TO STORYTELLING/RPING
« on: March 04, 2009, 04:29:59 pm »
Well, I decided I'm going to begin hosting various short stories I've written. I'll post them in this thread for your viewing pleasure. I think I still have a few floating around in the nether regions of the Storytelling board, but I can retrieve those later. Enjoy!

Arson
By Little

Jason Larson smiled a smile that didn’t fit his face at all as he bent over the porch, can of gas extended in his hands. The night was dark, the only light he had was from the moon’s pale light, the house was black, and the gasoline smelled good. He stepped back on the dry wood, not worried about any signs he was leaving behind. He poured gas over his muddy foot prints, and takes a step towards the house, splashing gas on the walls of the building. He fumbles a book of matches out of his pocket, dropping the can of gas. He looked up, and the glass glinted. A sliding door. Easy to break, and probably not alarmed. Jason stood still for a moment, weighing his decision. He could leave now, never lighting a single red head, or he could shatter the door. Beyond would be combustible living rooms, flammable kitchens…

He picked up the can of gas and threw it at the glint. The door shattered with a loud noise, and Jason held his breath. He looked at the neighbouring houses, which could be mistaken for abandoned. Nobody looked out, and no lights turned on. He was okay. Jason reaches in through the gaping hole and finds a small lever. He flips it and tugs on a smooth metal handle. The door slides soundlessly. Jason smiles and steps inside, his black business shoes patting down the carpet.

He retrieves the can of gas, and flicks on a light. He squints for a moment or tow,, examining where he was. The room has a large couch, soft carpet, and a TV system with an admirable selection of game systems hooked up to it. On the far side of the room, next to two wooden doors is a large foosball table. On the wall across from the door is a mirror, with a cute note hung above it reading ‘WIPE YOUR SHOES’. Jason looks like a mess. He’s pale, black hair greasy from lack of a shower, and a layer of stubble covering his chin. His tie is loose, red and black pattern covered with pine needles acquired from when Jason leaped through a hedge to reach his jackpot. His office attire is slicked with mud, and his shoes are covered with smears of gas. Jason casts nagging doubts out of his mind and begins pouring gas onto the couch…

Jason ran out of gas after the living room and the hallways, so he raided the garage for more ‘supplies’. After pouring various liquids out of various cans all marked with ‘DANGER: CONTENT FLAMMABLE’ onto the floors and furniture of the dining room, master bedroom, boiler room(which, unbeknownst to Jason, contained a large cylinder filled with roughly five hundred galleons of heating oil) and something that looked like a palace converted to a walk-in closet, Jason fled back out onto the porch. He sniffs, detecting an odd musk under the odour of gas. He realizes it’s the smell of paint-thinner, emanating off him. It’s what he drenched the master bedroom in. Four empty cans of paint thinner lay discarded at the foot of a wooden staircase, numerous empty cans of gas scattered throughout the house, and a few empty cans of 10W30 oil piled on the maple table in the now oil-soaked dining room. Jason snickers, think, ‘The Saudi’s should come and plant a few wells in their dining room.’ He fishes the tattered book of matches back out of his pocket and draws out a single wooden stick. He draws in a shaky breath.

Why was he doing this? He had a job, a nice apartment, and didn’t normally like lighting things on fire in the earliest hours of the morning. He had just been walking to his car when he had spied a nice looking house, and the thought, ‘I wonder what it would look like on fire.’ had flown through his mind like a hurricane. He had looked the driveway, and there were no cars or recent marks. He figured they were on vacation, and before he had even completed the thought, another had popped in. This one was, ‘Just a little fire. Just a little one…’ and Jason had decided he had absolutely no business lighting anything on fire. Jason’s mind threw up a few counter arguments (which Jason, for the life of him, couldn’t remember now) and before he had known it, he was standing on the porch clutching a can of gas.

He sighed, wondered aloud what the hell he was doing, and struck the match. He dropped it onto the dry wooden porch and began to run. He feels alive.

___

Jason sat at his desk, gripping a cup of Starbuck’s coffee like it was a life buoy. His little cubicle was messy, and very plain, except for the few pictures Jason had put up. A picture of his family (Mom, Dad, and his brother, Mitch) a few funny quotes, and a calendar with a pictures of beautiful cars. He had groaned when the alarm had woken him up at 7:45 that morning. His head had been pounding, and he smelled like gas, although he couldn’t remember why. When he was taking a shower, he had remembered. In shock, he had almost called 911, but arson was something you get put away for, even if you plead temporary insanity.  While he shaved and put on fresh clothes, he wondered what the hell he was going to do. He had checked the news before leaving, and a suburban house exploding was the top story. Police said they had suspects, and that it was almost certainly arson. The word suspects had sent chills up his spine,  not used to the paranoia of that word associated with him. He shudders and spins his chair around to face his monitor. Elder needed a report by tomorrow. Jason cast all thoughts of his crime out of his mind with some difficulty, and tries to focus on his work.

___

Mark Johnson looked over the scorched remains of what used to be a auto-repair shop with a shake of his head. You could hardly tell it used to be a building, let alone a repair shop. They had cordoned off the area, and were combing it for clues. This was the fourth arson in the past three months, and Mark was getting worried. Each time was a more intense blaze, more calculated. Although Mark had busted bigger cases then this, it still made him nervous when an arsonist was out there. He ducks under the yellow tape and walks over to a rookie, who was kneeled over and looking at a section of black earth intently. He walks up to the rookie (who obviously wasn’t with his Arson Unit, his men were much more professional) and flashes a winning smile.

“Mark Johnson, Arson Unit. What’d you find there?”
The rookie looks up, picking up what looks like what used to be part of a blasting cap. He gently rubs off a thin layer of charcoal, and smiles. A blearily smudge is on the piece of plastic.

“Mr. Johnson, I think I found a fingerprint.”

___

Jason taps a few keys on the time frantically. His forehead was beaded with sticky drops of sweat. This was his fifth ‘outing’ as he called them. Each time, the rush was bigger, and each time was a little more complex. He had gone from gas and matches to blasting caps and professional accelerants to timed charges. Each one drained his bank account progressively more as his equipment became more difficult to acquire, but Jason had stopped caring. He was on the roof of General Auto’s regional manufacturing and administration plant. He had attached a charge to one of the six massive oil tanks that powered the plant. He was ten stories up, and he could hear the faint blare of cars below. He felt giddy. He flicked the timer, set it for ten minutes and pressed the START button. He ran to the rickety elevator that had brought him up here, and it took him down five stories. He calmly stepped out of the rickety elevator and entered the normal one beside it. A businessman holding a black suitcase ran to catch the elevator. Jason cursed under his breath as the man run in, the doors reopening as they detected movement. The doors shut as the man ran his curious eyes over Jason.

The man says, “You don’t look so good. You okay?”
Jason replies, “Yeah.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah…”

Jason sighs with relief as the man leaves on the fourth floor. He looks at his watch, eight minutes and ten seconds left. He rushes out of the elevator as it reaches the first floor, pushing past several well-attired businessmen and a few rough-looking engineers. The small group looks after him as he darts around the corner. He looks around, and spots what he was looking for: a fire-alarm. He pulls it and starts running towards the front exit. He knows the assembly lines and computers would shut down, and the building would be evacuated. He would never actually kill someone. Jason sprints towards the exit, being joined by a panicking horde of office workers. He glances at his watch as he gets outside. Six minutes left.

___

Five minutes later, the large crowd that was formed of the evacuees was getting restless. Several line workers were loudly wondering if they got overtime pay for the time they wasted, while administration workers were complaining about missed appointments. Jason worriedly glanced at his watch. Less then thirty seconds left. As he eagerly watched the building, a hand clasps his shoulder. Jason spins around, startled. A kind looking man is holding out a wallet and smiling calmly. A card labelled with ‘Sergeant-Johnson’ is next to a gleaming police badge. The undercover cop says, “Mark Johnson, with the Arson Unit. Mr. Larson, we have a few questions that we’d like answered-”
 
The building explodes in a cataclysmic explosion of fire, spraying debris into the crowd. Several people scream, and the crowd lurches away from the building as fast as possible. Jason decides to run with them, but before he can do so, he is tackled by three more undercover cops. His head slams into the pavement. His head feels dizzy, but he can still feel his arms being handcuffed. Jason sighs as debris rains down and the pillar of fire slowly begins to diminish.

___

Jason Larson was sentenced to twenty years in prison for five charges of arson, destruction of personal property, possession of illegal materials, multiple charges related to debris wounds, and resisting arrest. He begged temporary insanity, but it was not granted. The media covered his case, and wrote him off as another insane arsonist. Their coverage matched the attitude. The police had searched his filthy apartment before the trial and found twelve more charges…

Jason’s closing statement in the case was, “I don’t know what came over me. I would’ve never harmed anyone, I swear…”

He was unavailable for interview, which isn’t good, because I woke up last night smelling like gas. The news is covering a massive fire which consumed multiple beach houses, and I can’t recall where I was last night. The voices in my head aren’t my own…

11
PC Games / Nationstates 2
« on: November 05, 2008, 05:43:41 pm »
The sequel to the original Nationstates, which was a fun little nation manager, not much player interaction, but amusing to see your decision's affects. It's based off a book, I believe. The first game is quite popular, and the developer recently released the public beta of the sequel.

I joined up and made an alliance for GamingSteve. Unfortunately, war between nations has not been implemented yet(:() but trade and diplomacy are.

My nation is located here: http://nationstates2.com/g/nation/sherdia/summary

Alliance page: http://nationstates2.com/g/alliances/world62/communityofnations

We're on World 62.

12
The Legend of Captain Drake
By Little

This is a story told a thousand times, mostly to small children. Most would call it just a scare story, but it is not. Andrew Drake did exist. He did mysteriously go missing. And no one knows why. Many claimed mutiny. Some claimed insanity. More still claimed navigation errors. But the thing that really made them disappear was another legend, which also turned out to be all too real…

Captain Andrew Drake yawned. He took another sip from his compact warming thermos, filled with a cheap brand of coffee. It was another long shipment of high-end electronics through the notorious forbidden zone. Andrew Drake lacked (some said to a foolish extent) the almost superstitious fear that made other traders avoid this place. But going through cut down travel times by almost half, and that had made him incredibly rich. He had bought bigger ships, more crew and more guards, and even two large escort cruisers to protect him and his ship. You could never be too careful with all the Charlish Pirates around.

A sudden jarring jerked him out of his doze. The ship had braked rapidly.

An officer of his yelled loudly: "Asteroid ahead! Ship has been stopped! What are your orders?"

Andrew Drake buzzed the ship’s intercom and said: "Put three locaters on it. We can come back later and mine it."

He intently watched the three orbs shoot out the front of the ship and slam into the asteroid.

Suddenly, the lights went out with a faint pop. An inhumane and slightly robotic voice came over the intercom.

"Hello, trespassers. You have launched a projectile attack on a Monta weapons platform. We give you thirty standard seconds to enter the correct authorization code."

The emergency lights flicked on. Captain Drake screamed in confusion: "What authorization code!?"

And then it happened. The asteroid split down the middle with a crack that could not be heard through the wide vacuum of space. It opened wide, revealing the thousand, tens of thousands of missiles, pointing straight into the vastness of space that the ships occupied. A massive sea of green lights flicked above each and every missile. Then the lights above the missiles went out for ten seconds. The ship was silent except for faint beeps from computer consoles, each crew member staring out a window silently. Then, above three missiles, a red light turned on. The missiles engines blared loudly as the deadly projectiles flew towards the three ships. The crew of the escort ships and the main ships hardly had time to blink before the missiles accelerated. One impact registered on each ship's external sensors for a fraction of a second before the explosion. The ships blew apart. There were no survivors…

The asteroid closed slowly, guarding the edges of a vast civilization that no longer existed. It was guarding pointlessly, but that didn't register on the automated computers controlling the missiles. When it had finally closed a few moments later, it went into stealth mode, endlessly waiting for the next impact……

13
Criticism, comments, and pointing out of my errors would be appreciated. I would like an artist, someone who would be able to draw a map of the beginning situation, and of the end situation. PM me for details.


I should probably start this from the beginning. My name is Tyler Richards, and I run a book shop in Vancouver. I come from Canada (what Canada? Ha ha). I like to write, and to read. I took over the book store’s operations last year, when I was twenty-one. My uncle ran the book store before then. We sell government certified books. We also are a part of a smuggling operation that smuggles weapons, explosives and dope. We haven’t been caught yet, but I have a good exit plan.
 
My uncle was hooked up with the smuggling operation six years ago. It was run by one of my old classmates, Santiago. We had kept in touch. He lived in Mexico. Eight years ago, he was an exchange student. Mexico is an independent country, after the revolution of 2012. America took over Mexico in 2001 and Canada in 2003. Mexico fought its way to freedom, but we haven’t yet.
 
The United States had begun a decline into a police state, starting in the 1980s. The USSR, on the verge of collapse, paired with the economic power that was the rapidly expanding Communist China. The dying USSR gained new strength, and the US began to get paranoid. First, American citizens lost the right to have untapped phone conversations, then right to a lawyer, and then the right to a free trial. The government did this subtly, over about three year’s time, with a blizzard of new bills hidden in the usual crap.
 
The new America withdrew from NATO and began a harsh crackdown on complaints and free speech. You can have a visit in the middle of the night, be executed in your home, and have your friends and family interrogated easily now. It’s a constant nightmare of mine. I don’t have any children or a wife, but being killed along with my Uncle Rick would be bad enough. Quite frankly, anyone with opposing views was screwed.

The Warsaw Pact disbanded, with Poland and the Czech Republic declaring independence for the Soviets and joining the EU, while Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were absorbed into the Soviet bloc. Japan is still free, as China won’t invade them. I’ve heard some pretty convincing rumours that Japan is very well armed. Australia has non-aggression pacts with both sides, and is used as a stop for journalists, spies, and the like who need a safe place to hide.
 
The Russians are attacking Europe, which became the European Union in 1992. All the countries in it are still independent, but they co-ordinate on issues involving international trade and warfare. More often then not, it’s probably the latter. The EU is in full-blown war with the USSR. Poland and Finland have fallen to Russian advances, with most of the front line being a mass of barbwire, mines, and trenches. It’s like a modern World War 1, except instead of mustard gas, it’s AIDS in a air spray and instead of mortars and biplanes, it’s high-precision infrared guided shells fired from artillery behind three miles of trenches. A few contacts of mine are in the trenches, and they say it’s a hell of trench collapses, rats and illness.
 
Books are mostly banned and burned. Anything with even remotely controversial content or ‘revolutionary’ content is banned. I sell a lot of children’s books. I also run an illegal book store (which sells any books besides children’s books and government approved books). The government has written several instruction manuals on how to be a good citizen and how to report a traitor to this wonderful nation (Just dial 1800-456-7890 and they will be jailed, my ass). This makes the business I run a little more risky, as I have to watch for government spies that come in and ask for an ‘illegal’ book.
As this story starts, I’m just tending shop…

___

I yawned as I looked over the day’s newspaper. More crap about the ‘foolishness and idiocy’ of the Communist forces that battled against the EU, a few job offers for low level factory shifts, the usual REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVTIES TO 1-800-456-7890 and today’s honoured citizen, who betrayed his entire family(who were potheads) and submitted their names to the police. I slapped the paper down on the table in disgust as I saw another large headline on the second page. It was ‘Communists recruiting terrorists in America!’ I read through the article. It basically said anyone can be a terrorist and report anyone to 1-800-456-7890 if their acting weird. Hell, according to them, most of my close friends are terrorists.

I dropped the paper down on the counter and stifled a laugh as a young woman bouncing a child on her shoulder walked in. She roamed through the store, picked out ‘How to Raise a Pro-America Child’ and walked over to the counter holding her purchase. I smiled nervously as she handed over a twenty and said, “Did you read the paper today? They had a good article on terrorists at home. That’s awful that fellow Americans can betray other loyal citizens, huh?”

I nodded as I fished out her change from the register, voicing my agreement. She took her change and left the shop, clutching her book in one hand and gently holding her baby with the other.

I walked out from behind the counter, flipped the sign that said ‘Come in, we’re open!’ to ‘Sorry, we’re closed!’ I grinned as I went through the door behind the counter, pass the rows of extra legal books, and then went through a plain wooden door. I quickly went down the wooden stairs concealed behind the door, and turned the corner.
I smiled at the three revolutionaries sitting on stools in my basement, sitting in front of the four large bookshelves that contained all my illegal books. They were about as old as I am.

 The one sitting closest to me was named David Harrow. He had blond hair, blue eyes, was tall, and skinny as a stick. He dropped out of high school in Grade 11, and devoted himself to toppling the government ever since. I was a good friend with David. He was in my Grade 11 class. The one sitting next to him was called Alexander Burnett. Everyone just calls him Burn. I’ve known him since Grade 9. He had a degree in Engineering, and was an amateur construction foreman. He also had a brief career in demolition with explosives. He cleared out a lot of old down-town buildings. The one sitting furthest from me was known by Pull, but his real name was Curtis Pullman. He was a quiet guy. I met him last year. He was a solider in the war against drugs. He deserted three years ago, but Pull is still good with a gun.

Dave was holding a burlap sack with something clunking around in it. The objects sounded heavy. I smiled and said, “Hey.” as I walked by him. I grabbed George Orwell’s 1984 off a small pile of books and left my basement, holding the book tightly as I strolled up the stairs. Once I got to the top, I yelled, “I’m leaving, guys! Locking the door behind me!” I crammed the book in my backpack, shrugged it over my shoulders and went outside. It was raining slightly, so my backpack got slightly wet. The book was fine, as the pack was slightly waterproof, but I still quickly hailed a taxi and went home.

___

David grinned as he opened the sack and tipped it upside down. Two large white blocks fell out of it. Burn stared at the blocks and muttered quietly, “Is that CDE?” Pull nodded slowly, not speaking, but staring at the blocks in amazement. David smiled, “Don’t ask where I got ‘em from, but Burn, do you think you can still apply for that podium construction job, the one for our beloved mayor, Patrick Ferreria?”    Burn nodded gleefully. Pull just smiles and says, “I’ve reserved the hotel room two weeks in advance. I have a clear line of sight. Meeting adjourned? If we succeed in killing the bastard, we’ll recruit a few more members.”
____

Two weeks later...

I smiled nervously as I scanned the crowd. Where the hell were David and the others? It was raining, but I didn’t think they’d ditch because of that. A week ago, David told me to come to the Mayor’s speech, telling me there will be a nice surprise, and he doesn’t even bother showing up.
I looked at my watch, to discover its 12:06. Where the hell was the Mayor, anyway? He should’ve started talking six minutes ago. I turned around as I hear a car, no, not a car but a limo sliding across the wet pavement. There were a good fifty people around me, and they all started to cheer as the Mayor stepped out of his limo. I started cheering, too. The Mayor was a thin man, with dark hair and darker eyes. He ran this city brutally, with major help from the Anti-Terrorist Police and the string of bloodsucking lawyers that seemed to constantly be giving him advice. As the frantic yells of support and praise petered out, the Mayor yelled, “SORRY I’M LATE! LUNCH WAS DELAYED!”

That was the last thing I heard before a loud shock wave threw me to the ground. A bristling wave of heat washed over me. My ears were ringing, but they weren’t ringing loud enough for me not to hear another bang. It was the sound of a gunshot. I heard a faint scream of pain, then a series of hard, loud clacking noises. I began to stagger to me feet, weaving drunkenly through the crowd. The clacking noise turned out to be automatic fire, fired from a man in a black suit standing near the limo. He seemed to be firing into a hotel across the street from the limo. I began to run, as did half the crowd with me. Nobody tried to stop us, but I wondered where the little group of terrorists that met bi-weekly in my basement where…

I found out three days later, in the airport. I was sitting down, waiting for my flight to arrive, when I spotted the day’s newspaper headline: TERRORISTS BEHIND MAYOR BOMBING CAUGHT! I was so intrigued to see if David, Burn, and Pull were still alive, I bought a copy. I was pretty sure it was them, because whatever rattled around in that bag wasn’t marbles. I read the article and frowned, saddened by their pictures. Burn had gotten a job as the podium the Mayor was going to make his speech on. Burn planted the explosives under the podium, timed for when the Mayor had just started getting into his speech and past praising the government. Unfortunately, the Mayor was late. Pull, who was in a hotel room across the street, shot the fleeing Mayor in the foot. A bodyguard had thrown threw the screaming Mayor into the limo and open fired on Pull. The room he had fired from was supposedly riddled with shots. David and Burn were arrested the day after, evidence in Pull’s apartment tying them to Curtis Pullman. They were supposedly executed yelling, “You’ll never catch us all!” Knowing them, it was probably, “We have rights, goddamn it!”

Problem is, now that David had been caught (and probably tortured), he could tell them about me, and I don’t want to die. Santy (my friend down in Mexico) told me he’d use his contacts. I bought a flight ticket down to Mexico. Santy told me he’d use a few friends he has in the real estate business to set me up with a small house for a cheap hundred grand. I thanked him profusely over the phone.
The flight was uneventful. The papers back home did eventually call the public to hunt me down as a mastermind behind the ‘devastating terror attack’ but I’m in Mexico now. They can’t touch me down here. I’ll go back to America (Canada?) once the government’s thrown out.
I live nicely on my savings, reading my books. I do wonder if the Communists will take over Europe. At least I’ll be safe….


BREAKING NEWS!
BERLIN HIT WITH NUCLEAR MISSILE!
[/u] [/b]

September 24, 2017- The Russians finally did it. They may have started the Final War. At 7:46 PM today, the German city (a crucial fortified position of the European Union) was hit with a twenty-four megaton nuclear missile. London, Paris, and other major European cities have gone into lockdown, with the Fallout Vault experiment being put online mere moments after the initial reports came in. Dear readers, seek shelter if you live in a potential target or fallout zone. Negotiations with the Commie bastards have begun, but what happens if the talks are a smokescreen? Russian troops have begun a strong push forward into the Union, while Iran has surrendered to Communist Chinese forces. I’d bet my job it was out of fear. The United States have released a statement claiming any attack on them will result in immediate devastation for the offending country. The United South American Coalition has expelled all Communist diplomats, and several riots have broken out in front of the embassies of Russia and China in various countries. The countries of USAC have also issued embargoes against Russia and China, and claim any more dramatic mistakes like this will result in USAC joining the war on the EU side. EU troops have fortified the cities Magdeburg, Leipzig, and Dresden as a final fallback point for East Germany. The Czech Republic has begun a last attempt to drive out the invading Russians by deploying the FIELDS project, resulting in devastation of Russian forces in the Czech Republic. Poland and Austria have fallen, supposedly with a spike in civilian casualties as an attempted revolution against the new Communist puppet government, with brutal crackdown by stationed enemy infantry forces.

Our own reporter, Benjamin Sheridan, is covering this attempted rush for freedom and the clamp of the Communist menace on these countries. Expect a few articles on happenings in Poland next week. Berlin itself is devastated, with roughly 1.5 million casualties. Our sympathies are expressed to any and all of our surviving readers in this devastated city, and we’d like to inform you that the International Red Cross is coming to your aid within the next 24 hours.

We here at Modern Times would like to tell Mr. Bykov he made a terrible mistake in ordering the strike and should go boil his head in molten iron.

What Inspired This Move on Pg.3….

14
Spore: Roleplaying and Story Games / [NG]First Contact
« on: May 22, 2008, 09:14:59 pm »
After a recent scientific breakthrough, a enterprising scientist at East University broke the communication barrier for the Consquars. The East University quickly set up a small but powerful broadcaster that would send a message composed of numbers into the Galaxy. The numbers were the location of the Consquar system in the galaxy, determined by the astrological branch at the West University. Students, staff and scientists alike are now waiting to see if a message is sent back through space....

After an hour, most of the students have gone off to study in their respective subjects, but a few still huddle around the machine in the lounge that produces an irritating static...

15
Spore: Creation Corner / [NG] The Consquar
« on: May 21, 2008, 04:51:55 pm »
The Consquar


(A Consquar)

The Consquars inhabit a small solar system, consisting of three planets. Two of them are floating balls of magma close to the sun, and the other is a desert-like planet dotted with mountains. The Consquars live in the shade of these mountains, gathering water from small streams that most of the mountain sides have.

Consquars are a basic bipedal, using the two hands in front of the mouth mostly for maintaining a firm grip on food, which the two larger hands below pass up to them. the average Consquar is around five feet tall, and usually has brown/reddish fur that insulates them during a long eight month winter. They have excellent hearing, which helps them as their eyesight is slightly below 20/20. They have good balance and a good sense of smell, far better than a human's sense of smell.

The Consquars live in a democratic society, where a leader is elected every two years. They follow a system that states that society is above the individual. Consquars are paid in a Tier system, where mundane jobs(factory worker,seamstress, etc) get paid a small amount in Tier One, government jobs and other jobs(mechanic, technichan,secretary,most average jobs) get paid slightly more in Tier Two, and specialists such as doctors and operators of advanced scientific equipment are in Tier Three.

There is not that much of a wage difference, with Tier Three getting paid about forty more Quasars an hour than a Tier One. Government officials(surprisingly) do not abuse the system. Currency is valuable, but goods are more valuable, as many cannot make them. This has made Consquar shrewd negotiators and bargainers, as when you can't make a piece of furniture and all you have is a sleep-roll, you need to get good prices.

Scientists,philosphers and other such professions do not receive wages, and live at one of the three Universities, where their goal is to get better at their career to help advance society. There is no other faction is Consquar society than  the government, and the Consquars themselves are highly peaceful, more likely to solve a conflict by arguing and slander than fighting. Reputation is highly important to the Consquars, as if you can't be trusted by others, who's to say you won't rip society off?

This society formed six hundred years ago, when the Consquars were still divided into countries. These countries did not settle disputes with wars, but rather with economical battles over trade routes and prices. This changed when the Consquars were stuck with a deadly plague, which killed roughly sixty percent of the population. Investigation into the source of the plague led to the discovery of the fact that the plague in the beginning had been limited to a single country. If the countries had been working together, they realized that a quarantine could have been set up and aid sent to the country to help it rebuild. The horror of the realization that over half the population had been killed due to countries inaction led to the formation of the democracy the Consquars use today, as well as the brutal markets that are a standby from the past.

Consquar art is highly abstract, often showing a mix of colors as art. Consquars do not believe in reproducing physical likeness of themselves, as they believe that you cannot outdo nature. The large majority of Consquars are atheist, many saying they need proof anything beyond a mortal realm and if it does, it should at least give society some proof.


Thank you for your time. Full credit to Inkling for the picture and creature design.  :)

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