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Current fuuuck got exposed to COVID a couple days ago. Don't feel sick but its still kinda spooky
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the hat stays ON during sex
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you got a fat ass and a bright future ahead of you. keep it up champ
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No mind to think,
No will to break,
No voice to cry suffering;
Born of God and Void.

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Smith's Rest, New Anchorage | Administration Offices
January 16th, 2677

Demetrius wandered down hallway after hallway, looking lost as could be. He was supposed to be waiting for his physical with the rest of the pilots. Unfortunately Demi happened to take a wrong turn on the way there, and he found himself in a completely different wing of the complex. Moving on quick feet, he kept one ear open for the sound of approaching feet so he could 'stumble' into a side room. After waiting a breath, he'd pop back out and continue to explore. Was this going to mean trouble later? Probably, but he was bored out of his skull and couldn't handle sitting around. And he wouldn't admit it to Mara but he was worried, too.

Graham was hiding something. Demi was sure of it. A backwater like New Anchorage didn't need and shouldn't be able to afford to bring so many NC pilots up to the ass end of nowhere. Megafauna and waster bandits? Yeah, right. This place had enemies. It had secrets. And Demi wasn't about to wander into danger blind and deaf, hoping his piloting skills could keep him alive. That was how Mara did things. But Demetrius? He had...other ways.

There, His quarry lay before him. A door marked with the name he'd heard earlier: Alvarez, M, Operations Administrator. This was where he'd find his answers and he'd spent longer than he'd care to admit looking for it. Demi waited, pressed against the corner, and listened for awhile. Once he was sure no one was coming this way, Demetrius glided over to the office door and tested it. Locked.

'It can't ever be easy, can it?' He grumbled to himself, pulling his datapad out of the duffel bag hoisted around his shoulder. Approaching the keypad beside the door, Demi waved his personal device in front of it, and waited for a moment. Lines of code dashed across the datapad screen, and the door's keypad started to blink: red, red, The lock clicked, and the door slid open.

Taking one last look to make sure the coast was clear, Demi stepped inside, shutting the door behind him. He scanned the room for a moment before approaching the office computer, rubbing his hands together. "Alright, buddy. Time to tell me everything you know about this place."
I don't want to drag my feet with this any longer so, unfortunately, I think I'll have to drop out. There were a lot of kickass concepts and posts for OU and I enjoyed reading 'em all, but I just haven't been able to put out posts as of late. Lotta different factors that I don't want to get into as they'd just look like excuses for not writing. Don't want to hold down as important a character as Wonder Woman if I can't consistently put out quality posts. Do want to thank Bruce, Henry and Hillan for all the work they put into this game and games prior, and I hope its still in full swing by the time my motivation's returned!

peace and love and all that shit, catch ya on the flip side, ect ;)

Hoster I

A morning mist rose off the Blackwater Rush, its pale threads carried over the Kingsroad on a gentle breeze. They danced and weaved their way between horses, wagons and people alike. They blew pass banners furled around their poles, hanging lazily in such an uninspiring breeze. The people seemed just as weary as their flags. Their eyes were a puffy read. Their feet dragged along the cobblestone, heavy as bricks. Some of the riders were moments from slipping out of their saddles. On the horizon the sun was only just beginning to rise out of its own bed, the first of its rays just barely breaking through the trees. Everyone seemed to be afflicted by the early wake up call- save for one.

A mare as pale and grey as the mist trotted along the river's shore. Quicksilver was as surefooted as any palfrey, carrying her little rider along with an easy grace. For his part, Hoster did his best to make it easy on her. The two had ridden together for three years now, and he'd grown to understand her well; he'd had quite a fine teacher.

"A little closer, now," he told her, pressing his heels into her sides. "I think I see them."

The water was fast here, perhaps even faster than the Tumblestone, and it made it difficult to see underneath the river's surface. All that mist swirling over the Rush didn't help matters either. Still, Hoster had sharp eyes, and he swore he could the shapes of fish swimming underneath the water. He rode further down the shoreline, making for a break in the sheet of vapor.

'There!' Hoster thought, grinning to himself. There were over a dozen trout, scales shining like rainbows, all racing down the Blackwater in a fat bunch. He swore he'd seen just this same school all the way back at the God's Eye, almost a fortnight ago. Was it following the Tullys all the way to King's Landing? An older man may've thought it silly, but Hoster thought otherwise. It was an omen, mayhaps even from the gods themselves. Something magnificent was going to happen at the Targaryen-Arryn wedding, and his family was meant to bear witness.

"Hoster?" A voice boomed from down the road. "Where'd that damned boy run off to now?" That was the voice of his father, all thunderous and hard. It was the same voice he used on the drilling fields, when the men didn't have their hearts in it. Hoster pulled at his reins and kicked hard, driving Quicksilver back up the shallow slope and onto the Kingsroad once more. Knights from other houses offered the boy greetings as they parted, letting him through. A pair of serving hands nearly dropped the boxes they carried as Hoster came galloping by. Lord Bracken's daughter blew a kiss his way and his cheeks flashed red. He kicked Quicksilver a little harder, then, hoping to outpace his own embarrassment.

He found his father riding alongside a number of other prominent lords and their sons. Ser Tristan Vance was telling a story of how he and Malwyn Wayn- who looked sick as a dog beside him- had gotten into a drunken brawl over the same tavern wench before recognizing one another. Lord Rowen Cox was laughing so hard he could barely breathe, and Garth Mooton had to cling to his saddle to keep from tumbling off in his fit. Hugo Smallwood, the man Hoster had squired for since his youth, looked much less amused- he had a terribly awkward smile on his face that said he'd rather be talking of anything else. All together, these were some of the finest warriors and knights in the riverlands.

Robert was practically swallowing his wineskin when he caught sight of Hoster riding up. Upon seeing his boy he let out a surprised, gargled yelp. In one, fluid motion he tore the wineskin from his mouth and slammed it into Tristan's face to shut him up. Tristan yelped as well, and let out a string of angry curses as he tossed the drink to the ground, clutching at his nose.

"My beloved son!" Robert Tully cried out, trying not to choke as he rode forward to meet Hoster halfway.

To his credit the boy tried to look as if he hadn't heard a thing, throwing up a hand in greeting to his father, and then to his many friends. Some of the men returned the gesture, others were shamefaced, and still more ignored him all together. Hoster looked back to his father. "You were calling for me? Is something the matter?"

Turning his destrier- called Dream- about, Robb motioned for his son to follow him away from the retinue so that they might speak more personally. He was a tall man, especially on the back of his horse, and he had a lean sort of strength to him. Hoster was sure it was some kind of miracle his father hadn't grown fat and crusty yet, what with how he drank and ate. Even now, not even an hour after rising, Robb had been drinking. Men like Lord Eustace Bracken were round as wagon wheels, yet Hoster never saw him eat like Robert did.

Once they had ridden up the column a little ways, Robb spoke. "We aren't far from the pavilion grounds, now. We'll be there before the sun is highest in the sky, gods be good. I just wanted to check on you- see where your mind is. Are you excited?"

Eyes to the sky, Hoster mulled over the question for a moment before answering. "I think so." He had enjoyed tournaments a great deal as a boy, but as time marched on and his circumstances changed, they seemed different, somehow. Less thrilling than before. Still, there was fun to be had, even if he couldn't play a part in it.

Robb's face twisted into the slightest of frowns, like he was trying and failing to hide it. "This will be one for the ages. Every man to call himself knight is making his way to King's Landing, and you'll get to see me unseat each and every one of the bastards."

Hoster's face lit up. "Uncle Alesander, too?"

That got Robb grinning. "Oh, yes, the Knight of Pretty Things will no doubt be there. I only hope he has the balls to knock his goodfather on his ass." He sniggered.

"I hope Myr comes with him," Hoster turned in the direction he thought Highgarden might be. "Feels a lifetime since we last spoke. She promised she'd bring me all the best books in the Citadel the next time we met."

"Uhh...yes, of course." Robb coughed, wrinkling his nose when he thought Hoster wasn't looking. The boy was, and he felt a pang in his chest, but he said nothing. Silence passed between them for far too many minutes. They continued to ride on, with Robert glancing back over his shoulder at his pack of friends, and Hoster staring off into the distance, his mind in Oldtown.

A shape appeared in the sky, dragging Hoster's attention to it. It was a massive bird, wings spread wide, and it was circling over the Blackwater Rush below. He recognized its kind for a river hawk: a bird that preyed upon small woodland creatures, other birds, and- most famously, fish. The hawk was slowly descending toward the water in large, seemingly lazy circles. It was far from lazy, however, for the bird was hungry and sought to catch its morning meal. Hoster felt his breath catch in his throat, and his blood pounding in his ears. 'Don't do it,' he begged. 'Go find a hare, or...or a field mouse. Something!'

It didn't listen. The hawk folded its wings against its body and dove for the water. There was abrupt chaos as it splashed and kicked up the water, obscuring Hoster's view. For a moment he could hope it had failed, but only for a moment. Its wings spread wide again, beating against the air as he left the Rush behind. In its clutches were three or four fish, scales shining with a dozen colors in the morning sun. They wriggled and writhed, panicked, and bleeding. There were too many for the hawk to hold in its talons, and one managed to slip free, falling back into the water to swim away, bloodied though it was.

"A fine haul," Robb said from behind Hoster. The boy did not seem so impressed.

Pride of Man
Somewhere Under the Indian Ocean

Under dark waters a steel behemoth slept. It had a head of steel-reinforced glass, crowned with ever-rotating rings. The thing's body had flesh of off-color steel, and from it eight fins extended out at regular intervals. Each of these fins was fixed with a monstrous engine at its center. Many protrusions dotted its surface: observation bubbles, antennae, windows and other nautical devices of unknown purpose. A thin line stretching the length of its belly, like a docking bay sealed shut. From bow to stern the beast measured near a thousand feet long and had to weigh many tens of thousands of tons.

Upon the neck a name was branded: Pride of Man. Three months ago that name had featured in every headline, prime time news slot and internet blog the world over as Argonautica International announced its maiden voyage. They called it the first fully submersible cruise liner- the first of many to come- and it was meant to lead the way in revolutionizing deep sea commercialization.

It was a pet project of one Veronica Cale, a multi-billionaire pharmaceutical mogul and heavy investor in Argonautica International, and it was plagued by problems from the start: Its original designers had been fired halfway through the project, the technology crucial to the ship's functioning was highly experiment and so closely guarded a secret that most of the engineers had never even see it, and the crew's training had been rushed to keep to the originally announced schedule. Experts and talking heads alike had torn Cale apart throughout the process, but she'd pushed ahead with it anyway, determined to prove it was possible. The vessel's first, major test would be a months-long journey from the harbor at Gateway City to the deepest point in the Indian Ocean, the Sunda Trench.

Today marked that journey's end.

The Pride lumbered to a halt at the mouth of the trench, engines sputtering and spitting boiling water from their heat vents. A long day's travel had exhausted the vessel as much as its occupants, but their destination lay open before them: a canyon draped in shadows, crawling with strange creatures and alien plant life. Two giants stood guard at the threshold, carved from and into the cliff face behind them. They wielded a spear in one hand, a shield in the other, and bore heavy armor not unlike that of ancient hoplites. Unfortunately for the archeologists that had joined the Pride's voyage, time had smoothed out any distinguishing features from the statues and ruined the runic text ascribed along their bases.

On the morrow the passengers that paid to do so would mount smaller submersibles to travel into the trench itself. For tonight, though, they would celebrate a successful trek across the world with a gala in the main dining hall. Hundreds of passengers would attend, all dressed up in their finest silks and putting on their best faces for the woman of the hour. There were ambassadors, CEOs, celebrities and superstars from almost every country on the map. There would be much dancing, eating and drinking- oh so very much drinking if miss Cale had anything to say about it.

It sounded like a hell of a time to Captain Wilde. She had hoped to attend half an hour ago, but she was trapped on the bridge. Snags in the final routine checks of the night, if her chief officer was to be believed. She was a tall woman, gaunt and pale as milk. Glassy-eyed and dour, the captain leaned against the railing of the observation deck, staring through holographic displays and reams of data. "All signs show normal," she sighed, "as they did the last eighteen times we ran this."

Her gaze went down and to the left, where the CO was crowding their sonar technician. "Eddy, this is a waste of-"

Eddy threw up a hand to her, his eyes never leaving the screen. "We adjust, then. Set pulse transmitters standard bearing: one-one-five. Pitch thirty degrees down. Widen beams." The technician repeated his orders to confirm and followed them. He was trying his best not to sound as bored as the captain.

The first mate was tense. Sweat trickled down his round features, gathering under his fatty jowls and slicking a too-thin beard. Eddy was a portly man of fifty years who wore his officer's uniform well. Too well, Wilde had told him. He'd been out of the navy damn near a decade, now, but he was as stuffy and ill-tempered as any commissioned man she'd met.

"Have you finished with your delusions yet, Ed? I have a date with a tall glass of red with curves like ya wouldn't believe, and you're keeping me from it over...what, exactly?" The captain whinged.

"Sonar pinged." He said.

"Sonar pinged." She repeated in a low-pitched drawl. "It was a glitch, man. An aberration in the machine. We haven't seen a ship for forty days."

With a shake of his head, Eddy looked back and up at her. "All eighteen of those checks showed all functions nominal. There's something out there large enough to set off the passive sonar."

Wilde paced back and forth. "Maybe it was a whale."

"At six thousand meters?"

"Or a rock. A big rock."

"Finding it would've been easy, then. Whatever this is moved."

Or maybe," Wilde pointed down at him with a long, accusatory finger. "We've all been down here too long. Seen nothing but water and more water. Maybe in his desperation for even the tiniest kind of excitement, our esteemed colleague- whose neck you've been breathing down, by the way- imagined it."

The tech didn't turn around, but he seemed to sink into his chair at that suggestion. He kept his eyes on his equipment.

The captain pressed. "We all have our delusions, my friend, its nothing to be ashamed of! For example, I thought I might get to drink, dance and fuck tonight. But alas, I'm in here, supervising you gentlemen in your search for Moby Dick."

Eddy finally had enough, taking a step toward his captain. "Perhaps, captain, you'd like to exercise your position of command and call off our pointless search?"

She scoffed. "I have half a mind to-"

"Contact!" The technician screamed, cutting her off. "We- we have contact! Bearing three-zero-eight, degrees...its passing underneath us!"

Wilde felt her blood go cold. "I'll be damned. Maybe you aren't crazy." She stood straight and called up the sonar display in front of her, tracking the ping. There it was. It was a little red dot swimming through a sea of green, disappearing and reappearing with each chirp. Its movements were slow. So damn slow it barely seemed to crawl across the display.

"Contact is now inside minimum range, sir!"

Her voice caught in her throat as she went to call for cameras, but Eddy picked it up for her, bellowing out in that commanding tone of his. The bridge's skeleton crew rushed to fulfill the order, sending word down to the drone bay to deploy units one through five to the bottom stern. Five visual feeds popped up before her, sending her information from each of the active drones.

"Pitch up!" Wilde called, shaking out of her stupor. "Pitch up and quarter-rudder left. I don't want whatever that is scratching up the bottom of my fuckin' ship. Edward, what is it?"

"Unknown, sir!" He yelled back, running to a different station. "We need a visual first, but-"


"It looks big." He breathed, his voice shaky and dry.

Everyone on the bridge went quiet. Someone from the engine room was yelling complaints at the captain through a speaker, but she ignored them. Her attention was absorbed fully by the screens in front of her. The ocean was pitch black at this depth. The only light came from the lamps and windows all along the side of the Pride and from the swarm of drones themselves. Beams of thin light cut far into the distance, but they revealed nothing but more water...nothing but ocean and shadow in every direction.

"Operator One," Wilde glanced toward the section of the bridge where the drone operators sat. Most of their seats were empty- their usual occupants off enjoying the gala, unaware of their troubles on the bridge. "Move down, see if you can't light up the sea floor." It was too dark underneath them for her comfort. She thought they'd gotten quite low before bringing the Pride of Man to a halt earlier. Had they really pitched up that quickly?

"Descending." He confirmed, guiding the fat, ocular-shaped machine into the depths. Its feed sounded with the buzzing of its propeller and the beeping of its instruments; it was loud and overwhelming. The shape of the Pride disappeared high above it, other drones also, eventually, vanishing into waves. It was alone, now, so deep that not even the flood lights pierced this far down.

Wilde could feel her throat go dry, a lump forming within. She glanced between the depth meter and the main feed, anticipating the first sign of sand or rock. 'Surely we should see the floor by now...'

She looked to the other operators. "Can any of you see Drone One?" She asked, and all at once the different machines began their search. Several tense seconds passed before a roaming beam caught a glint of metal. It was drifting above a sea of blackness, its own flashlight pointed straight down into the void.

"Contact has not reappeared on sonar." The technician called, his voice cracking. "Its still under us."

"That drone's all but pressed on the sea floor." Eddy growled. "What the hell?"

The drone crashed into something unseen, cracking the camera and knocking the lamp from its mount. Its beam went flying, drenching the screen in darkness. Operator One let out a string of curses as he tried to get the drone back under control as it spun and whirled through the water. Its other drone companions raced into the black to find it, but without the guiding ray of its lamplight the round little thing was all but lost.

Wilde and Eddy were shouting, demanding a second pair of eyes on the situation, but no one could get it for them- nor could they explain what, exactly, had happened to Drone One.

Though it offered no visuals, its auditory systems were still running. Still picking up the buzzing of its own propeller, and the off-beat beeping of its malfunctioning equipment. But there was something else, too. Something so low and distant that the propeller drowned it out.

But the captain heard it. She shouted for the operator to shut it off to much protest from the man trying to regain control. He relented, after a moment, and now all they heard were the beeped warnings of broken parts and the tumbling, twisting currents.

"Can you hear that?" Wilde whispered.

The others on the deck were silent, straining to hear something between the beeps. Nothing had ever felt louder than that damned beeping.

Eddy closed his eyes and listened. He could feel it tingling at his ears, at the edges of sensation. Like a touch so light you'd swear it was never there. Focusing, he reached out to meet it. It was the rumble of a far away thunderstorm. A single drum beat echoing for miles. Less a sound and more...that ambient, not-sound that lay behind everything else, that humans weren't meant to hear.

And it was getting louder, he realized, the more he thought about it.

"Fuck." He heard Wilde mutter. "Fuck, fuck. Its so loud. How can't you hear that?"

He turned to look at her, meeting her eyes. "I can hear it, too."

It rose to a cacophonous crescendo so overwhelming that Wilde, Eddy, and half the bridge crew dropped to their knees. Their anguished screams confounded and terrified their compatriots, who looked between each other for any explanation as to what was happening. Some called for medical personnel to be brought to the bridge while others rushed to check on their captain and her first officer. Everyone had questions yet no one had answers. In those few, panicked moments, no one thought to check the camera feeds.

Four drones remained operable, their nose-mounted lamps and cameras pointed into the black beneath. They could see it moving. Those shadows on the sea floor did not rest as previously thought, but instead writhed and twisted as a living thing might. They squirmed away from each beam, as if its radiant touch caused them unspeakable agony. Dark hands slipped free from the mass, thrashing out at the nearest drone. It crumpled under the impact and went spinning into the distance, its lamp flickering out. Other hands, emboldened by this success, raced to crush and slash at other machines, snuffing them- and their hateful little lights- out one by one.

Static filled each of the screens.

Captain Wilde couldn't see them as she lay on the floor of the observation deck, staring up at the ceiling. That horrific sound still played at the edges of her awareness, kissing her ears and dancing away before she could take a hold of it. "God," she breathed, pushing up onto her elbows. The word had to be forced out between her teeth. She focused all her energy on sounding out each letter, as if talking was the hardest thing in the world. The sound was teetering off in severity, thankfully, so she was no longer completely debilitated, but everything still felt off- like she was swimming through syrup.

Someone grabbed her under each arm and pulled her up to lean her against the railing, but she was only vaguely aware of it. She was cursing under her breath. Her eyes were glazed over and bloodshot, and she could feel something wet and sticky in her teeth. There was a vague, aching pain stretching the length of her body, but from whence it came she could not say. Wilde grabbed the deck railing in front of her, staring forward. She was looking for something- something...important.

Other things were happening around the bridge. People were running. There was lots of yelling. It was loud. Too loud. Wilde strained to listen, trying to catch something specific. Even just a word would do. Something that could ground her while her head swam. "He's not getting up!" Somebody was screaming. They were screaming it over and over and over. "He's not getting up!"

"W-what happened?" Wilde slurred, looking around. Her head was pounding, but she was sober. Why was she sober, again? "I...I need a drink."

A man was standing in front of her. His mouth was moving, and she heard him talking, but she couldn't understand a lick of it. He was all dressed up in white, with a red symbol snaking around his arm. Was he a medic? Did she need a medic?

Suddenly the bridge shook, knocking Wilde off her feet, her forehead slamming against the rail on her way down. The medic went tumbling over her head, tripping over the railing and falling to the floor below. People were screaming. An alarm was going off. There was a sound like metal being sheared apart. Wilde blinked rapidly, turning to try to see what was happening, but her head was exploding by now. Red light filled the room. She could see someone laying against their station on the other end of the room, unmoving. Someone else was scrambling on their hands and knees up the stairs, a trail of blood in their wake.

She didn't bother trying to get to her feet again. Instead, she turned over onto her belly, and flicked her eyes around the bridge. Sparks were flying from broken machinery, metal plating was torn asunder in several places, and water was leaking in through cracks in the glass bubble that surrounded the bridge. It was only then that she noticed just how dark it was outside the bridge. The floodlights were either gone or off, and the water was as black as night. She blinked again, and saw the wicked face in the black. Captain Wilde prayed to every god she'd ever known.
@Cybermaxx House thief's.... great sheet so far, correction for House Frey of Rosby, they'd be a Crownlands house, and thus owe fealty to KL.

Fiiiixeddd ittt
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