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In CANCELLED. 24 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Location | Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas Time | 11:32 AM / London Time | 7:32 PM / Moscow Time | 9:32 PM
Interacting with | AJ @TootsiePop / Val (mentioned) @Dirty Pretty Lies / Nate @spooner


If they had been in Reno, or Salt Lake City, or even the weed-infested hive of Denver, Aleks would have snapped by now.

It was uncharacteristic for the roughneck nights of the oligarch's heir to appear on his face, but a combination of unfortunate events had conspired this morning to put actual circles underneath Aleks' eyes and a jittery, impatient energy into his fingers. Monica's departure the previous night had been something he had been forewarned of; her parents, forever pushy about her choice of undergrad degrees, had summoned her home for another one of the strict talks they loved to subject her to. AJ hadn't been warned, but that wasn't particularly shocking, either. In any event, it wasn't the end of the world - we'll meet up after Thailand, they had promised each other with a hug and kiss, and Monica had ridden off west again in the dead of night to confront the hydra of a demanding family unit.

Yessi had proven a more unpleasant surprise. This morning he had returned from his run (four miles in the desert, a rare treat that was up on the 'dumb fucking maneuvers' list between pissing onto an electric fence and dragging Beyonce online) to wake up his best friend with his typical candor in the face of her tequila-fueled benders and found her violently ill, curled up in the cabin she'd staked out and dependent on a bottle of pills to even stay conscious. He had wanted to stay with her once it became apparent that she was in no fit state to travel, but when she had finally managed to get a message out between the waves of side-wracking vomiting, he could make one coherent sentence out between the foreign curses and the groans of discomfort - you love Vegas, dumbass, go to Vegas. Only that directive, plus the thought of AJ alone on the road during this mess, managed to get him away from Yessi.

She promised she would catch up, and he believed her - maybe she would even bring a fucking car that could function in the heartland - but that didn't change the fact that the lonely Nevada drive without Yessi made him feel as though he'd lost something vital. Like he'd tried to hit the gas pedal only to realize he'd lost his fucking legs to a shark, or something. Only occasional speakerphone calls with AJ and his playlist filled the funeral-like silence inside Aleks' Lotus - and even the music lost its succor without fighting over music choices with Yessi. Listening to 7 Rings a million times was less endearing when it was him looping it instead of her.

Even AJ, Aleks' last and strongest bastion of brotherhood, had been a wreck. Aleks had taken up his normal role as AJ Tyler's shadow; even here in the lounge, Aleks was rooted firmly beside the Gearheads' ringleader, kicked back on the couch beside AJ with one hand around his shoulder and the fingers of the other holding his cigarette to his mouth. But it hadn't been an altogether pleasant experience.

AJ brooding over the end of his relationship was something he could deal with, but AJ brooding over the beginning of Val's was another animal entirely - and truthfully, the new power couple was starting to make a vein throb even in Aleks' temple. When his autopiloted brain had heard the cries the night before, it brought a wry smile to his face while he performed his card tricks, and he supposed he had even fallen into a sort of half-sleepy reverie to them. While AJ had been volatile, one wrong word away from an explosion until they were in the cars, Aleks had actually found Valeria's afterglow kind of adorable. When AJ had stopped to fix an angry glare on her, sweltering and furious in the California heat, the beleaguered Aleks - in the middle of trying to salvage Yessi's health and travel status - had been looming over his shoulder to fix his pint-sized friend with an exhausted smile and a mouthed Good for you.

But that had been in California. They were in Vegas now, and they were still fucking going on about it. He'd had great sex before, too, but sex was like a phone call with your parents. Too much of it too often would only make it a fucking chore - and none of your friends wanted to see it or hear a fucking word about it. Hearing coy dialogue about Nate's dick size like they were still fucking fifteen was almost enough to make him dig one of his cigarettes into each ear.

He had gone through a lot of cigarettes since leaving Yessi. He had even caught himself about to light up in his car - a survival instinct that overruled any of his normal rational thought - around the state line. He had switched to candy for a while after that, but by now he needed the smokes again. It wasn't the healthiest of breakfasts, especially not in regular intervals for four hours, but the fucking hobo they had somehow picked up for the ride seemed to live off the same diet and keep some measure of his roguish good looks. Aleks didn't even want to get started on that acquisition. Losing Yessi and gaining the hobo who had given her his stale-ass weed in the first place was like cutting off his arms and replacing them with fucking pool noodles.

At least they had AJ's cousins to look forward to. AJ seemed exhausted by the very idea of them, which was fair, but Aleks didn't mind. The small handful of occasions he'd met the Kables, they had always taken to him fairly easily. But even he was in no mood to deal with them on an empty stomach. The burrito boy was right. Aleks tilted his head up slightly, chin resting on the small hint of his lean chest that lay revealed by the two shirt buttons the Russian had undone.

"I want," Aleks took a long, deliberate drag off of his cigarette, which did nothing to help the cavernous feeling in his stomach and chest, "more burgers. Greatest American food. First round is on me."

Location | Red Rock
Los Angeles Time | 9:11 PM / London Time | 5:11 AM / Moscow Time | 7:11 AM
Interacting with | Ellie @Bee (Mentions: AJ @TootsiePop, Yessi @Hoekage /    pink 


The Gearheads liked to say that Aleks never slept. Obviously the idea was ludicrous at face value; after all, Yessi alone had seen him fall asleep a hundred times, and he was sure once or twice he'd dozed off on the couch at Monica's place watching movies with her. Once he'd fallen asleep behind the wheel while driving AJ away from a drunken, tearful argument - another death throe in the forever war that was his comrade's relationship with that forgettable gossipy twink. Luckily AJ's vision had been bleary from salt and whiskey, and he hadn't caught on to Aleks' brief recharging period. It was for the best. Even Aleks' corpse would have made for a better driver than AJ operating under...ideal conditions. But from an outside perspective it certainly seemed true. Aleks was on call like a doctor, a doctor who made a habit of appearing in parking lots or at bars with more scrapes and bruises than his patients when summoned. You ain't never had a friend like him.

Part of being a well-mannered, hyper-engineered, sexually fluid post-Soviet Terminator with a lack of personal drama and a head full of bedroom secrets and ideas that were as debauched as they were highly classified meant that part of Aleks was always mentally prepared for whatever the remaining parts of their fucked up Voltron-esque auto-clique was throwing at him. In lieu of sleep, generally that meant falling into a sort of sleep mode - a series of patterns, simple activities that required no higher function. Shuffling cards was near the top of this list of the T-800 'Aleks' Model's approved autopilot features - sitting directly below handjobs and above chin ups.

Jesus, no wonder Yessi thinks I'm a head case.

But hey, which one of them was the lunatic who thought it was okay to barter off their dearly beloved's fucking stuff for a sport they didn't even like? If he started selling off Yessi's jewelry in order to go watch water aerobics, Aleks guessed the first words out of her mouth in Spanish wouldn't exactly be fucking 'te amo.'

Ellie is talking to you.

The arrival of a friend was enough to snap Aleks out of his reverie; the abrupt break in his concentration was almost enough to send the deck flying, turning what was a simple overhand shuffle into an impromptu game of fifty-two pickup. Instead, he corrected; the cards all landed in his hand, a half a dozen at a time sliding along into a uniform deck, with no rounded corners of askew cards to detract from the set's perfection. He looked up at his fellow Gearhead and pursed his lips in a faint smile, colder and more rehearsed than the warmth of a chocolate brown eye winking closed and open at her.

"Hey," he greeted her simply, "yeah."

He started shuffling again, although this time he directed his attention up to Ellie instead of towards the cards. There was someone to focus on now; the autopilot was no longer an option.

"I learned at Piccadilly," he explained. "These days it's nothing but a tourist trap, but it's also a quick and dirty choice for a field trip. We went when I was in Yearrrrrrr...6 or 7. 7. One of the attractions there was this douchebag from Italy, skimming fifty quid at a time off of foreigners who didn't know better. So I gave him fifty quid at a time, let him think I was son of a shepherd Russian boy, and eventually I knew every trick in his book. Last time Yessi and I were in Vegas I made the money back, so it was a solid investment. And it's a fun way to distract your drunk friends."

Aleks turned his head slightly towards Yessi, taking a long drag off of the Manson Family peace pipe. He heard his best friend make a playful joke about them all being murdered while high. More like I'll be murdered and she'll wind up one of his wives. If the bearded newcomer was actually a cult leader, he pitied him. Yessi wouldn't even believe that he was at home exercising instead of eating another girl out. Good luck making her believe in Heaven's Gate.

And AJ...

He took a long, shallow breath and shrugged his eyebrows in the direction of their wayward, fearless leader before looking back to Ellie. Instead of the weed or booze that many of the Gearheads liked to indulge, he unfolded another strawberry Starburst and popped the candy into his mouth, letting it settle into his right cheek.

"This turned into a shitshow fast, huh?"
Firuzeh looked at the group, weighing her options for a moment. She knew they all viewed her as an immature fool likely to die as soon as the bullets flew - or at least, that was her own impression. She looked ahead into the tunnel, closing one eye as her vision shifted into infrared. There was little she could make out in the tunnel immediately to their front, indistinct temperatures and shapes, but nothing that signified a life form lurking in wait.

“I’ll take point.” She piped up after a moment’s silence, tapping her temple, “Cybernetic lets me see in infrared, if there’s anything hiding in the darkness I’ll pick out their body heat before it’d ever be possible to see them with the naked eye.”

“I’ll head up front too,” piped up the crew’s most amiable (and charming, and handsome, and for sure the most humble!) component, easy-going grin already firmly painted across his face. He had been looking at the body expressionlessly, watching the poor fucker marinate in the darkness and sewage they were now intent on navigating, but the thought of leading the charge through such enticing dangers had breathed life back into his upbeat demeanor.

“I ain’t no fucking good to anyone stuck back here. Might be that I’d be more good up there. And if anything jumps out or bumps into us, seems I’m the most expendable too. Fuck yeah.”

Firuzeh looked back at the man volunteering himself for point alongside her, and grinned. "You saying you feel like playing booby trap detection? That's the vibe I'm getting. More power to you, but I'll let this do the finding for me." With a mechanical finger she tapped the ring of her eye socket. "Nevertheless, good to be on the front with you. I'll try to save some for you if we run into anyone."

Jackson sidled up from his original haunt, near the back of the unit, to stand near Firuzeh; the cowboy seemed unperturbed by his surroundings or by the tiptoeing and wriggling he had to do to skirt around the body. The Turian had the right of it, as far as movement was concerned; they were a large crew, and it’d be a real son of a bitch for a third of the crew to be shaved right off the top, even if it meant more room for the survivors to stretch their legs back on the ship. The hardass turian and the batarian were a good fit for holding up the rear, and he had no concerns about their ability to do so. But he felt like a weak link back there, and if it came to combat in these cramped spaces, nobody was going to be doing much fighting at the ranges they would need to fire at. If it came to hand and hand, Jace alone would be able to kill four times his number, and the techno-sadist beside him seemed to value her own capabilities in a fight.

He gave the Persian woman a look for the first time since dinner the previous evening. He’d seen a few like her during his years in the galaxy’s seedier combat circuits - men and women who had been so thoroughly damaged putting their bodies on the line for petty cash that they spent on third-class hatchet jobs and prosthetics. Occasionally, the idea proved successful, if sacrilegious to the body; in theory any cyborg was a pain in the ass to defend against, and the slap of a titanium arm or leg against flesh would render an average human’s leg insensate with pain. In Jackson’s experience, the jobs were shoddily done, and the visible buildup of scar tissue and poor grafting work done where sinew met steel were as obvious as tattooed bullseyes.

The work done on this broad was similar to those back-alley surgeries at first glance. To him, it looked as though whoever had done Firuzeh’s work had a decidedly more utilitarian purpose in mind when welding her cybernetics on. The same tell-tale signs of grafting had been visible the night before, in more casual attire, but there was nothing so shoddy as the body modification that Jackson had seen done to poor, desperate fighters in his time. Firuzeh seemed far more capable of wreaking havoc with that arm, too. The limb seemed to be the extent of the work done on her, but there may just as easily have been shit done to her on the inside that had required a more subtle touch than the arm. After all, she’d said she had infrared, right? Not his problem.

He was happy he wouldn’t be on the receiving end of her - at least for a while. At least he’d gotten a look at her that hadn’t prioritized what her ass looked like.

Jace stuck a hand up in a wave and winked at her, carefree and seemingly ignorant of his surroundings, in response. A callow gesture on its surface? Sure. But notably, he had taken care to steer away from the krogan who was pillaging the poor dead fucker’s omni-tool for information, and he was careful not to talk over the crew members discussing the state of the corpse or the meaning behind it.

Firuzeh nodded, returning the gesture with her free hand. She did not care to examine the body in detail like the rest of the team did - everything relevant to her had been plainly evident after a scant thirty seconds of investigation. Her focus now was on whoever had inflicted the killing, as as the party pulled what information they could from the body, she periodically scanned the darkness of the looming tunnel, though she did not expect to see anything. Whoever it was, whatever it was, it would have long ago moved on from the scene of the crime.

She looked the man over, noting his build and stature. Clearly, he was accustomed to fighting, and from the look she could feel him giving her, he too was sizing up her own competency should things get hairy. “How do you want to handle this?” She murmured, gesturing to the tunnel ahead, “I reckon I take the lead and let you lot know if I see anything. Don’t want to give away our presence with a bunch of flashlight beams.”

“And I’ll shoot over your shoulder,” Jackson agreed genially, his grin leaving her and falling onto the body and those gathered around it. By now their crew had dissolved into squabbles over what would be done if the third party that had left this poor bastard had already reached their target - or worse, taken her off the chessboard entirely. Jace inhaled through his teeth and let out the breath imperceptibly, grin fading into a pair of pursed lips.

"Only if it was that easy. What if our target's dead or captured? What do we do then?" one of the scruffier humans in the party asked. Fucked if Jackson could remember his name right now.

Ho-ly hell, this is gonna head sideways.

“Well, way we’re goin’ so far I think any first-rate crew could beat us to the punch,” the cage fighter jested. “If somethin’ more polished has already gotten to her and cleaned her clock, might be that we don’t need to be fuckin’ with ‘em.”

The conquering hero (both myself and my character) are finally done! True to my word, I got it up before I slept.

Which I will now do. Congrats to everyone who got their sheets in; like I said, they all look great, and I hope we all have a great time playing together.
I'll still have this up before I sleep. Just parts of the bio section left to do, as well as equipment and haunt.
Yikes, I fucking hate campaign finance law. Yesterday took a lot out of me but my sheet will be up today. Everyone looks great!
I've been neck deep in the start of my summer Constitutional Law courses, but I have a part of a CS laid out and when I've submitted my final brief of the week (which'll be tomorrow) I'll be able to get the rest done. Just as an indicator of where I'm at.
Don't think I don't see you, @Blitzy and @Plank Sinatra.

i'm writing legal briefs in one tab and a CS in the other. i don't have time to banter with you, knave
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