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2 days ago
Current Today Show 9-11-01 ~ Live on NBC as Tragedy Occurred [s l o w e d + r e v e r b]
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2 mos ago
40 hours into the mass effect remaster. gameplay is good but not sold on the plot changes. wish garrus would stop saying "reaper? i hardly know her!" laugh track on the normandy is a weird choice too
6 likes
5 mos ago
fine, since you asked so nicely officer, i will confess my crimes. since i was seven years old i have refused to match any socks in my sock drawer. i practice sock hookup culture. i am a slut
7 likes
5 mos ago
sad news for anime and r&b fans alike as the cult classic "neon genesis d'angelion" has again been postponed. film challenges viewer and character psyches alike with simple question: how does it feel
1 like
5 mos ago
well, fuck me, if no one else is gonna ask. how does a job turn out to be a scam that fast? what tipped you off
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Nicole was a little flummoxed by Cordelia's dancing at first. She'd always been fantastic on her feet, sure, but her expertise in that area came from years of floundering in mosh pits or bouncing up and down, working up a sweat beneath the disorienting strobes of Hasta's club scene. They were different beasts than something as elegant as this waltz, and girls like their new teammate weren't usually the kind of guys or girls Nicole was pressed up against in the writhing throngs of partiers at home. The social aspects of this whole affair - helping all the girls look their fashionable, neomilitaristic best, helping them with what to say to mingle, maybe some winks at the fellas and some compliments for the girls - she could nail. But like at a club, there was always the anxiety that she could roll an ankle and completely eat shit while trying to look sophisticated.

Cordelia's whispering might have gone a long way in that regard, but she felt the noble-born girl taking the lead in their dance and decided to cede control to her for the first phase of their dance. Her words made Nicole think of Astrelle again with a twinge - it was hard to believe that her roommate had disappeared in the night the way she had, or been reassigned away from them. Had her family pulled some strings at her own insistence to get her pulled out? Was that even possible at this point? Had she struck someone a little too closely for comfort with her conspiratorial mindset?

“But that won’t happen with me. I’m here to stay. Please count on me.”

"Ha." The storm cloud over Nicole's head broke, and the redhead grinned impishly at the new girl's oath of loyalty. "Alright, roomie. I've got your back, you got mine. Score."

The waltz brought them closer together; she felt the gems inset in their navels touch like the tines of forks, sending a tingle through her body that sent her teeth burrowing into her lip.

“Would you like to try taking the lead, darling?”

Nicole laughed aloud and decided to give the second phase of their dance a whirl; thankfully, the song was a bit livelier, and as with many casual applications Nicole found herself more graceful and fearless when performing precise movements. It was as though she was now permanently in her element, fleet-footed and incapable of falling. It felt fantastic. After a while, even waltzing did too. She was about to ask Cordelia if she was into a drink when someone tapped her new teammate on the shoulder and offered to take her - Nicole Cognoscenti, perennially friendzoned just a month ago - off Cordelia's hands. She looked the girl offering to trade out Cordelia's place in their waltz - exotic-looking, with eyes that twinkled and hair that drank in the light around them. Nicole looked over to her own partner and felt her heart lurch slightly at his appearance - golden-skinned, amber-eyed, serious and surly, so like her own childhood best friend she had seen off with a knuckle touch. For a second she was tempted to run over to him and double-check it wasn't him in disguise, trying to fuck with her a little; she wanted to quiz him about weapons, music, or mocking passers-by based on their appearance, all favorite pastimes of his. She remembered the last time she had seen him, in the soft shadows, hazy lights, and pouring rain at the top of the White Tower. Jericho's hair had been plastered over his face, the color of dark chocolate with midnight streaks, and a single streak of crimson that he so carefully and regularly dyed. He chewed on the soaking-wet ends as he wished her goodbye.

She searched this cadet's hair; there was not a single trace of red. She felt bad for sizing him up like a replacement puppy. He was handsome, incredibly so, but he wasn't quite material for bumping fists in the courtyard.

She giggled, both out of amusement that she was being so heavily courted and from imagining how her torch song would be reacting to her attitude right now.

Goddamn it, Nicole. All the girls in the world who are capable of saving it, and the gods pick the one that thinks every boy from Osca looks alike. You're a danger to yourself and humanity in this shape. If I could go back in time ten years I would throw you from the monkey bars and save us all.

Ohhhh, yeah, she could hear him loud as day. That probably just proved her subconscious point - which meant it was worth taking under advisory. She grinned at the girl so gallantly offering to take her off Cordelia's hands, and outstretched her own to the almond-eyed cadet.

"I'd love to, babe," she said amiably, with a similar twinkle to her own partner's in her eye. "Nicole Cognoscenti - Hasta Vice."
Personally, Liyah might have loved to spend all day bantering with brash asari maidens and telling all sorts of jokes about vorcha doctors. But she had directed her attention to the killer robots that they now knew were awaiting them inside Daezike's nerve center. Her new commander's intel had certainly dropped the ball, but for the most part she'd expect everyone to go in knowing that there would be home security for a big-shot accountant anyway. Verifying that security's existence was trivial. Dealing with it was going to be the trick.

Their turian had a slick, salesman-like quality to his confidence, the kind of guy who had honed his smooth talk bantering with squadmates and pushing his luck at Citadel bars. Liyah could recognize another bullshitter at a glance. But to question a turian's martial or infiltration skill would usually be a losing bet, and she found herself curious what exactly he could be capable of. It was better to find out what everybody in this brash group of assholes could do sooner, rather than later.

"The mechs will probably all be networked together to share combat data and alarms," she told Sivus. "Disabling them would work, or maybe even screwing with their IFFs if we're worried about anyone following us in through the open door. I might be able to help in that regard, but since we have a quarian babe--" she beamed at Key "--you might be in safer hands than mine when it comes to that little trick. She could cook something up for you to upload in her sleep, whatever we choose."
Liyah had spent a little too long shackled to the Alliance military to be particularly offended by brusque jerkoffs whose orders preceded them on their way through the door. The quarian seemed to be cut from the same shithead cloth, too, and she still had no idea what to make of the wrinkly, toothy new arrival - if that was what passed for exotic in the galaxy, Liyah could understand why some of the less adventurous among humanity might be happy settling down in Terra Nova or Eden Prime. The turian and the shaved meathead both seemed a little full of themselves, too, but she would be grateful for the banter at least. The asari...well, there was no chance of objectivity there. She had a legendary weakness for asari anyway, and they had a weakness for her. Like the hopeless, horny idiot she was, she winked at Lantea's reassurances about the vorcha lifespan, but that was about all the charm she was able to inject into the room before their CO stormed in.

Honestly, even he didn't really bother her. Henriques may not have been interested in making friends with anybody in the squad, but one look at him told Liyah that she wouldn't really have been too thrilled to be his friend either. Besides, if someone from the Alliance really felt like being unpleasant, they were more than capable of doing so - this barely qualified as impolite considering some of the meatheads they had watching military prisons. Freelance starship captains were even worse, all obsessed with the idea of being dashing gunslingers to the point where they were dicks to their crew for no reason and to no effect.

Liyah bounced off the couch at the end of their briefing, fully satisfied now with why she'd been drafted for this. Would it have been nice to have a break, go off chasing rogue turians at the far edges of space? Sure. But that wasn't really what she was equipped for or being compensated for at the end of the day; busting nerdy accountants and shitty books was what had sprung her out of jail in the first place, and she was more than happy to keep delivering as long as it kept her on the Citadel. Even in a shithole Ward like this, street food abounded on every corner, right?

Her main disappointment was that she wouldn't get to drive; her mouth quirked a little in disapproval as the quarian called dibs before she did, but she shrugged it off. At least there weren't any krogans or anything to crowd up the Skyhawk's backseat. In fact, she was even able to squeeze a seat next to the asari. Fuck yeah. If you have to go one day, it might as well be at the hands of a hot woman who turns you into soup in a nightmarish fusion of biotics and malfunctioning tech. Beats cancer.

Something that had been bothering her from the briefing pulled her out of her distractions.

"Well, it is the Presidium. I'd be surprised if we ran into an army of mechs, and home security systems should be a cinch to get past," she mused, "but we should expect her to have some kind of panic button on standby - if she hasn't already started mashing one. Any idiot who feels C-Sec bearing down on them can wipe files from off-site, right? Do we have a backup plan for retrieving anything if that happens?"




If you had given the Laurus team an anonymous poll on which of them would be most excited for the Inaugural Ball, it was likely that all of them would have put Nicole at the summit of their ranked choices - save perhaps Nicole herself, who thought it was pretty goddamn egotistical to list herself at the top of anything like that and listed Dana just to be humble. Still, the Hastan girl had made no secret of her excitement about the upcoming event, and had fussed over the perfect subtle ornaments for Penny and Dana to wear without clashing with their official uniform. It was great to shop with Vanna, too - Nicole had never hurt for money growing up, but that didn't make her family outrageously wealthy, either. Having a daughter of the Duodecim to do brunch with made things like footing the bill for rings or piercings a cinch. Her anticipation had mounted in tandem with Penny's anxiousness at the prospects of a party, with plenty of hot guys and babes to take runs at wooing a fully-fledged Ars Magi.

Then, one night, she had arrived back at their dorm from a jaunt to the city with a pair of gyros for her and Astrelle to split and found the Lennox girl, and every one of her material possessions, gone from the dorm. Nicole may as well have spent every night there alone. Not so much as a black hair in the shower. She had munched on both gyros alone and tried every technique under the sun to try and get some sleep, from quiet songs on her phone to sleeping naked to every idea in between. Nobody she texted, nothing she listened to or touched or tried to think of, lulled her to sleep for more than an hour. The next night was much the same, and the night before that. Had she failed the test somehow after all? Did her parents pull some strings to get her home after her near-brush with death against the Class C? ...Had it been Nicole's fault? Or was it something to do with the questions that her roommate had posed of Nova Lux and the Ars Magi since the day they'd met?

The questions had consumed Nicole's sleep, and they had come to visibly haunt her in both demeanor and with light circles under her eyes that she'd resorted to expertly covering up with makeup. Tonight, her eyes glittered with scarlet shadow and she'd made sure to put her nostril and navel piercings back in, to give the big city girl a little bit of exotic flair. But her eyes lacked the glitter of her makeup and studs, and they kept scanning the crowd for a familiar shock of black hair - or at least a telltale shade of violet.

"Nicole Cognoscenti. Considered by many to be a leader among her peers, with a discerning eye and a lightness on her feet. It is my utmost pleasure to make your acquaintance. My name is Cordelia Whittaker, and I am to join this team. It would be my greatest honour that you afford me a dance.”

The fifth girl they had been seated with broke Nicole from her reverie, and she felt her heart leap like a panicked gazelle for a moment. She looked around for someone else who the elegant-looking cadet may have meant to refer to, and found only the curious stares of her team in response. Did one of you girls tell her I was leader? No, no, Vanna's our leader, right Vanna? But when her eyes traced the gorgeous bone structure of their illustrious Duodecim teammate, Nicole quietly blanched as she realized that Vanna had no intention of throwing her the lifesaver.

"Teaaaam leader," she repeated. "Yeah, that's me?"

"Wait, are you Astrelle's replacement?"

Nicole's fingers closed tightly around her skirt as Dana and Penny got up to leave. She had half a mind to go with them at first, to seek solace in their boundless optimism and exasperation respectively, but as she surveyed the boys they'd scoped out, none of them really...struck Nicole as her type of guy. There were no brooding golden eyes, no full lips with haughty, arrogant smirks, not even a shade of skin darker than a barbecue potato chip, let alone a rich mocha. No fists worth bumping there.

She smiled at their new teammate and stood up.

"Yeah," she agreed amiably, taking her hand and lacing their fingers. "Dance my socks off, babe."
"Get up," the asari urged her for the third time, with an even more forceful shake of her hookup's shoulder.

The young human, her beauty only slightly marred by the open mouth and trickle of drool upon the chic pillowcase, stirred feebly at the imagined assault on her sleeping form. Her eyelids only rose, with great reluctance, at the implicit tingle of biotics that made her hairs stand on end and roused her to wakefulness. Her eyes rolled back into her head sleepily for a moment, with a yawning "Huh?" as she sat up and rolled her shoulders. Her black hair fell into her face, and when she lowered her arms she parted it over her forehead with a sleepy grin at the owner of the apartment she'd shacked up in for the night.

"Ahh, hey," she yawned again, craning her chin up and her neck back until she heard a pop. "Breakfast already?"

"You need to go," her one-night stand said forcefully, the telltale blue aura of a biotic wave slowly dissipating around her right wrist. "Now. My bondmate is getting off work in an hour, and she is never, ever going to know you were here."

"...Oh," the human mumbled, reaching over her shoulder and scratching her cocoa-colored neck half-heartedly. "You're really shouty this morning, huh. Do asari feel bad dreams worse than we do or something?"

"I didn't sleep at all. I was up half the night listening to you playing Galaxy of Fantasy next to me in bed. On a work computer, by the way, all that traffic goes back to the asari embassy. So thank you for that headache this morning."

"Okay, alright, I get it..." Lorena Aaliyah Negasi grumbled, standing up and scanning the floor of the apartment for her clothes. Through the window that stretched along the length of the bedroom wall, she could see the hustle of Citadel traffic; something in her tired mind sent off an alarm, warning her that she had, indeed, made her commute to her new assignment that much harder on herself. Her plan had been to pull an all-nighter and leave a few hours early, after some drinks and some fun at a club here in Tayseri Ward. Tayseri was an asari-dominated arm of the Citadel where drinks and fun seemed to come cheaply. But asari were much nicer at night, when they were looking to blow off some steam on humans they thought guileless, than they were when it came time for those humans to hit the road. She was learning that lesson to her chagrin now. Her punishment for drifting off in the middle of a game, she guessed. Her eyes located her outfit near where she had left her packed bags.

"Is it cool if I at least shower?" she asked, stifling another yawn as she padded over to where she had drunkenly left her clothes six hours prior. The asari's eyes followed her as she walked, which only reinforced the smug, if only semi-conscious grin on the human woman's face.

"No," the asari said firmly nonetheless, as Liyah lifted her clothes up in an artless pile under her arm and began sorting through them. "I don't want you leaving hairs in my shower, she'll figure it out the second she sees one. Volus have an eye for details like that."

"Wait, she's a lady volus?" Liyah asked curiously, pulling on her pants legs. The asari's lips - mmmm - retraced the last three words incredulously; she couldn't have looked much more shocked if Liyah had told her that her bondmate was killed in a traffic accident that morning. The human shrugged defensively as she wriggled the previous night's shirt back on, fingering the small stud in her navel just south of where her top stopped covering skin.

"I've just never seen a lady volus!" she protested. "I just didn't know they could be a thing. ...Why would she check the shower, then? How does the shower situation work around here? Actually, how does that work when you two-- "

"Get out, Lorena."

"Ahh, ehh...actually, just Liyah, I don't really like when--" she started, before the asari put hands on the small of her back and began physically guiding her towards the door. When she was in front of it, Liyah dug her heels in for just a moment and turned back. The asari had used Liyah's alabaster jacket as a buffer between her palms and actually being forced to touch the skin of the human she'd spent the night with, and when Liyah was within a boot's distance of the apartment's exit her one-time lover relinquished the jacket back into Liyah's waiting arms as though it were poison. "Okay, okay! Just really fast--you did log out of Galaxy of Fantasy before you turned the computer off, right? You're really not supposed to turn it off without logging--"

"Out." The teal fog of death had begun to congeal around the asari diplomat's arm again, and Liyah, taking her final hint, performed her walk of shame with arms raised placatingly all the way to the elevator, back to a CRT station.




Thankfully for Liyah, the cab ride to Bachjret Ward required little effort on her part apart from staying awake. Even if that had been a problem for her by the time the cab arrived, the view of the Citadel, even from the lens of stop-and-go traffic that she viewed it through, was more than enough to keep her transfixed. She had thought herself no stranger to the congestion and bustle of space stations, but even Tayseri Ward alone was busier than ten Arcturus Stations. And that was the seat of Alliance power!

Whenever she got too sick of looking out the window at the same skycars, she made idle chatter with her cab driver, a gruff turian who she nonetheless managed to charm out of his shell after a few minutes of earnest questioning about the volus sexuality and gender spectrum. It turned out the confusion that the idea fostered in her was galactic, not just limited to her ignorance as a human on the galactic scene. That made her feel a little better, even if afterwards she started to wonder if the turian had really been ignorant, happened to be an idiot, or was just fucking with her. She liked the idea that they were all equally stupid.

Her driver seemed skeptical that she had the district name right, and to prevent herself from looking like a hapless tourist she doubled down on the name Batia even though she had no idea if that pronunciation was anywhere close to right. Right or wrong, that's where he took her. The traffic lessened up here considerably compared to Tayseri or even Zakera Wards, although here and there Liyah could see telltale signs of the gentrification that had apparently begun to plague the latter. The inner workings of the five arms of the Citadel meant little and less to her right now, although subconsciously her brain was cataloguing the info her driver rattled off to her for future use. That was a habit she'd picked up even before her time onboard starships as a Corsair, back when she was skimming money off the top from clueless assholes in Arcturus who wouldn't miss it. It was always the smallest nuggets that gave the game away.

She found Livilla Towers in short order, and after a cheerful goodbye and generous tip to her driver - footed for her, knowingly or not, by her asari lover from the night before - she managed to breeze by the complex's security guards and into the elevator with zero fuss. Recalling the door code for the relevant apartment listed in her dossier, the human inputted the digits and walked in to find a small bustle of noise. Clearly, she had been among the last to arrive - with a little luck, not the very last. She dropped her bags at the first space that seemed unoccupied and used a boot to push them out of anyone's walking path.

"It's pretty crazy out there, huh?" she asked brightly, leaning against a wall and out of anyone's way. "Traffic from Tayseri was--oHHHH fuck."

She had turned at the rasping voice that came from the entrance of another room and jumped slightly to see a vorcha standing before them with a toothy grin. She jumped slightly; having spent the last year and change in the Terminus systems, she had encountered only a scant few of the aliens, but she had hoped each encounter would be her last. Quickly she managed to parse the use of proper pronouns and, overwhelming her immediate adrenal response, she realized this must be one of their teammates. With a little chagrin, she plopped down on the couch, kicking one leather-clad leg over the armrest of the well-worn furniture.

"Hey yourself," she grinned sheepishly. "Sorry, you're totally cool. I thought I saw a bug back on that wall, and I'm not great with bugs, so...okay, you freaked me out."
I can live with or without a Discord server. As far as my CS goes, that'll probably be done tomorrow afternoon or tonight, I have a pretty major exam I need to knock out before then.


[ERROR: Data Transfer to PANDORA unable to complete. Suspected Signal Interference. Retry? Y/N]

Gypsy's cockpit came alive with the rapturous cries of sirens, a cacophony of alarms and lights that many on Earth had fretted would never have reason to go off. Her emerald screens were alight with orange, pings dancing like wildfires in a brush. Unlike many of the other Orbitals on the ground team, Chiron Works had designed Gypsy Soul's sensor suites for such an eventuality. The unknown signals were quickly parsed by her Orbital and identified for what they truly were - bodies in unfitting graves, no different from the pilots in their pods, men at war, or the old men on Earth, hundreds of years ago, left in wells to keep until spring. So it was not the reaction of her systems being overwhelmed by stimuli that disquieted Gypsy; it was the almost-emotional note from her machine itself at the feeling of parsing their new data, half in ecstasy and half in anguish.

//Engage communication suite? Y?N?//


"No."
Her heart went out to her virtual counterpart, tempered with some disappointment of her own. True, it would have been a little too neat to knock out every one of her employer's primary directives all in one go, and then go about a life of lazy napping and caring for some unique little planets on the hydroponics lab, but such a climax to her life would have been as boring as the idea of death - convenient, and all too abrupt. "They're beyond hearing us now."

The fervor in her cockpit died down; lights stopped blinking, and the sirens ended like the piteous wails of a child, slowly tapering into a whimper. Only the ringing in her ears remained.

[UPDATE: Data Transfer f̵r̵o̵m̴ PANDORA completed. Cached tactical data dumped to PANDORA.]

<<Gypsy Soul, live, raw and uncut. My sabre is having power issues.>>

She weighed how best to put the momentary existential crisis of her Orbital.

<<Movement is unimpeded...but some of my systems are feeling a little down in the dumps. She likes to sleep through most big updates.>>
Yeah, I could handle this being either Casual or Advanced as well.
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