HomePortalGalleryFAQRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Atourist: Story

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Atourist: Story   Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:28 pm

(01)


She wakes early, as usual. The peach-toned light trickling through the pale curtains of her bedroom window usually slants across her face, with the way the bed is in this cramped bedroom. But she doesn’t mind too much. Sometimes it gives her a head start on everyone.

After another few drowsy minutes, however long, she sits up to avoid the increasing light across her pillow, yawning briefly. For once, she doesn’t go over to the window to look out, deciding that she’ll go and take a proper walk instead. Maybe look around for any new Pages going in.

As she pads barefoot across the ordinary white carpet to the large clothes chest opposite her bed, she glances briefly at the door leading from the bedroom to the general atrium of her profile-apartment. It’s closed and locked, of course, because that’s how she keeps it. But it still unnerves and annoys her that the administrators of the fortress of Facebook would design a juxtaposition of rooms like that, would design apartments so publicly. And then there were the rumors of them installing cameras in the main areas of profile-apartments…

She takes a set of dayclothes from the chest and closes the lid. Well, the bathroom is off the bedroom in any case, and she had made certain that Facebook had nothing out of the ordinary there. Time to wash up.

--------

Half an hour later, she emerges from the bedroom into the atrium room, smoothing her still-damp hair without particular concern. The sun has risen, if only barely, and the slightly discolored orange light is streaming through the large east window into the main room. She looks up at the large, tacky, fluorescent yellow analog clock on the wall, which reads 6:42 PD. Early enough.

She navigates around the glassy display cases and comfortable chairs that stand in various places throughout the room. There’s really too much clutter, but Facebook does occasionally give incentives for this sort of thing… Eventually she reaches the front door mat and stops to take a pair of gunmetal running shoes from the shoe rack, slipping them on and retying the dark laces.

Once she’s out of her profile-apartment, it’s only a short way down the odd exposed spiral staircase on the outside of the building to the level of the streets. She’s lucky to live high enough in a building block to see the sunrise but not high enough to have to use the elevator.

The streets are paved with asphalt, unusual for a fortress. It’s still a bit rough in places, but it’s one of the better existing materials for streets. More importantly, though, Facebook can afford it - along with the strategically placed mirrors on the sides of buildings, which serve to route beams of light along the streets even at night.

At the base of her own building, she pauses for a second, facing east, considering the streets.

The offset street that’s ahead on her left goes east, to some of the forum-halls that are so rare in the Facebook fortress. The road she’s on (and where her profile-apartment’s address is located) goes north-south, and is more of a major thoroughfare, an easy route to various other large roads and eventually large-scale Page buildings. To her far back left, a smaller road leads to a network of loop-shaped back alleys, leading to large numbers of various small businesses then out the other side.

She rubs at her lower left cheek with one knuckle in an unconscious gesture. Where to go?



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:23 pm

(02)


On a whim, she decides to go south. She hasn’t been through the alleys in a while, but there’s always something new on the thoroughfare.

She strolls along the west edge of the street, the cobblestones slightly coarser there. A few people are out along the streets; some nod to her, others hurry past, as usual. No one she recognizes here.

Along the sides of the building blocks, wherever there aren’t windows, there are banners and advertisements. Briefly, she stops to look over one of them. Looks like a concert… Indigo Bullet Machine, Hirundo, and Gyro Shovel, some well-known names. Some of her friends might be getting tickets. Olivia Tyren and Nav Haast are into that kind of thing, although she can’t remember whether Nav is still on vacation or not.

As she continues south down the side of the thoroughfare, she occasionally notices a Wanted poster among the various ads. Almost all are for the Acolytes. Although the S.P.A. Monitor police and the Login Guards do an excellent job patrolling the borders of the Facebook fortress (and the NGHUIDRCFoG of course), there is the occasional Acolyte who slips in. Not that most of them can be identified once they take off the full-body armor they wear into battle, although a few don’t wear such equipment.

One of the building blocks on the east side of the thoroughfare is actually an office of the Facebook moderators and administrators. The logo is emblazoned near the top. Really, they’re probably not as interesting as the fully public apartment building blocks where people actually live. She’s always wondered what’s inside, though, even if she hasn’t had the courage to barge in.

Just then, one of the glass ground-floor doors to the Facebook office building block opens, and a familiar figure emerges. He looks around the street cautiously, spots her and waves, then strides entirely around the corner of the building, heading east with a purpose ingrained in the thud of his leather shoes against the cobbles.

She’s only known him a few weeks, and still doesn’t know his name (nor does he know hers). Just to herself, she’s called him “Black Hat”; although it’s admittedly a stupid nickname, he can usually be identified by the odd semi-flat piece of headgear he wears. He seems to work as some sort of Facebook staff, but she’s never located his real office or even his profile-room.

For a minute, she stops walking, and wonders if she should bother going after him, maybe even check out the Facebook office building block, or just move on for now.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:47 pm

(03)


She decides, after a moment, to head east after Black Hat. He hasn’t been around lately, and besides, it’s a way of avoiding the option of going into a Facebook office block-building.

It doesn’t take too long to catch up to him, even if he is going rather faster than most Facebook members, and she falls into step next to him. “Hi.”

“Oh,” says the man in the dark headgear, apparently surprised that she followed him. He’s looking distinctly disheveled today (if just as immaculately clean) – unshaven, his bright blue tie and slate-colored suit a bit rumpled. “Hello. … How’ve you been?”

“Not bad, I suppose,” she replies. “Fewer people barging into my profile-room at odd hours… nice but strange for Facebook. What about you, though?”

He laughs, a sharp sound with its edge pointing away from her. “I’m good enough. Only the usual. Something’s come up, though, business - I’m just preparing for a trip.”

“Mm.” She doesn’t know whether to ask much more. “Always the unexpected.”

“Some things you just can’t plan for,” he says darkly. “Well, I guess I’ll see you sometime. Have to be off now, sorry.”

With a nod, she slows her pace, letting him go ahead. “’Bye then.”

As “Black Hat” strides away, she has the distinct impression he is muttering something else. Something like “Or you’ll hear about me.” Against her better judgment, she pauses to watch his progress. He seems to have put her out of his mind and is turning into an alley where an entrance for one of Facebook’s mysterious, barely-maintained storage facilities is located. Unlike the main road, the storage-entrance alleys are cool and shady, devoid of posters and ads.

Impulsively, she has the idea to follow him in, or at least take a look at one of the other storage facilities. But no… she would have to follow him to get into one, as most are locked. Then again, she could head out to the main road again… or really anything.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:33 pm

(04)


As rapidly as she can without looking suspicious, she follows “Black Hat’s” path, hoping that she won’t be too late to see him go in. To her great relief, though, she skids into the shaded alley’s beginning and is able to see which door he’s going through, just as his leather shoe disappears inside the entrance. Moreover, he’s left the door open, as if he’ll leave soon as well.

But once she’s reached the door, for more than a moment, she is paralyzed by indecision. Is it really prudent to go inside? If “Black Hat” really is an employee of Facebook, he could be dealing with things that are in the storage facilities because they pose a danger to ordinary members.

Of course, though, that would be silly. If that were the case, then why would he leave the door open? Dismissing what could be her better judgment, she ducks into the yellowy darkness of the storage facility, where just a few huge utilitarian lights seem to be shining from the ceiling.

As her eyes adjust, she realizes “Black Hat” is nowhere to be seen… but so much else is.

Heaped in cubic orderliness around her are countless crates of varying size – some with lids, some without – containing what are almost certainly the possessions of former Facebook citizens, members who decided to leave their profile-rooms permanently. Each and every crate is stamped or stickered with a full name and address, the details of previous ownership.

Her eyes nearly glaze over at the staggering array of objects – furniture, documents, cases and books… mirrors and jewelry (she flinches and refocuses her eyes when a glint from a hand mirror almost blinds her). Facebook must pay at least some of its construction debts with these appropriated possessions… and who can say what they do with the information in the various documents? She wonders if all the storage facilities are like this, or perhaps contain even stranger things.

In any case, since she was sort of following “Black Hat” without his knowing, it might be prudent to get out before he does. But then again, there are actually corridors through the stacked containers of semi-junk, and she could explore a bit before he leaves.

As she takes a step, she can just barely hear him far ahead for a second. It sounds like he’s talking to someone… but who would be in here? Possibly a caretaker of this storage building?

Again, she considers.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:49 pm

(05)


She supposes that if she followed “Black Hat” here, she should at least determine who he would be talking to in here.

As she cautiously shadows the rows of boxes, she can begin to hear the conversation quite far from its source. There’s also some kind of light source near where “Black Hat” is talking; his odd hurriedness is evident, and it seems that either his errand is something official, or that something has agitated him enough to make him abandon his usual inconspicuousness.

The first voice she hears, though, is not his.

“… somewhere else in the fortress?” An unfamiliar female voice.

A long sigh, apparently from “Black Hat”. “We underestimate Facebook. As many fools as there are in its staff, there’s always one sly moderator. Once they catch on -”

“But,” says the other voice, argumentative. “Are you sure they have? It took an insane amount of work to get you in here, and it’s going to be just as hard to get you out safely. Let alone back in again, if it comes to that…”

Behind the crates, out of the conversationalists’ sight, she wonders what they could mean. Facebook freely allows members to leave, wherever and whenever they wish, just like other fortresses. Only the de-registration process is difficult.

“It’ll be much worse if I stay and they know.” A cadence of annoyance creeps into “Black Hat’s” sentences. “I don’t care if it’s a Pascal’s Wager, I’m not putting my safety under the sword. Where’s my gear?”

Both of the voices recede (or quiet) for a minute, as if they’re looking behind another row of crates. She doesn’t dare try to look out yet, as they could be anywhere. It turns out to be a good idea, as she hears the faint beat of footsteps returning not long after.

“… even if you’re fleeing, I’m staying right here.” The other voice sounds resigned.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise.” There is a slight clank, then an unmistakable noise of lightly scraping metal, like a steel sheet being removed or replaced. “Fortune provide.”

“Fortune provide.”

She hears what must be “Black Hat” walking past the row where she’s hiding, although his gait seems heavier than usual. Although the other person could be anywhere, she’ll need to do something to get out ahead of “Black Hat” anyway if she hopes to escape notice. And of course she does, because something is strange here.

Setting off at a half-run, trying not to trip or crash into crates, she manages to leave the sound of "Black Hat's" footsteps behind, quietly hurtling out the door before he can turn the various corners to see out. She only slows down once she reaches the main east-west boulevard, out of breath but glad for her running shoes. The question is, where can she go now? Or should she possibly try to conceal herself and see where "Black Hat" goes next?



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Tue May 01, 2012 1:38 am

(06)


Conveniently, there is a row of large half-rusted bins for paper ucycling, arranged in the Heermann’s-grey shadows along the north-heading street. She might have usually taken a moment to wonder where they would eventually be moved to, but right now she’s busy diving behind them for cover. And she is soon glad she did.

In the semidarkness of the heavily shaded south alley, she can see a figure is emerging from the door of the storage facility that she just exited. Though she tries, she can’t suppress a tensing of her shoulders.

The individual is clad completely in primary-blue armor, complete with a face-concealing helmet, and holds a double-handled sword the color of pale clay. A double-barreled jetpack is firmly attached to their back; an emblematic dark-blue cloth belt is tied around their waist.

It’s an Acolyte.

Is “Black Hat” an Acolyte, or is he colluding with them? Is it him or the other person under that hooked-visored helmet?

She continues to watch. The figure emerges from the alley into the morning sun once no one else is in immediate sight along the east-west road, and breaks into a sprint, heading east. The agility of the figure is remarkable, given the amount of armor they’re wearing.

Indecision overtakes her as the Acolyte dashes east and away. Technically, the Acolytes are outlaws within Facebook’s walls. Even around its perimeter, the Suspicious and Piratical Activity Monitors patrol for them. But would she really turn one in?



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu May 10, 2012 12:42 am

(07)


No, she realizes. She wouldn’t turn one in. There's no incentive.

Plus, Facebook doesn’t have any way of recording what she's doing, so she can’t be called out for not acting. The S.P.A. Monitors and Login Guard will just have to take care of it themselves.

She peers out farther around the ucycling bins, and as if on cue, a Login Guard whisks past the entrance to the road she’s on, leaning grimly into its wheeled stride, apparently in pursuit of the Acolyte. The automaton-like beings are strikingly unobtrusive in the Facebook fortress… except at times like this.

The Login Guard’s feline afterimage is long gone from her retinas by the time she emerges from behind the metal bins. No one else has appeared in pursuit, and the doorway in the alley to the south has remained shut since the Acolyte first emerged.

Idly, she pushes open the hinged lid of a particularly oxidized-looking ucycling bin. Various papers, in shades ranging from white to grey, lie in a collective heap inside. The very grayest of the memo-type sheets have probably been ucycled many times by now, and might be destined for use in a poster after their next reconstitution.

One of the papers is coincidentally an old Wanted poster for the Acolytes, and she picks it out with the hand that isn’t supporting the ucycling bin’s lid. This one has little info at all, simply listing that they almost always wear armor and are wanted for “acts of subversion, inciting the people, and acts causing general mayhem”. Their motives are still unknown even now, but a few examples of armor have been found and described to the public. Also, the part about “inciting the people” has been taken out.

Strikes by the Acolytes against various “social”-oriented fortresses are rare. Mostly they’re simply stunts to sway public opinion away from disfavoring them. The best-known, though, are their daytime heists, which are frequently unstoppable. Entire teams of fully-armored Acolytes will appear without warning, bundle up containers upon containers of supplies and equipment, and rocket over the fortress walls individually. Heists of that kind have generally gone down in numbers since the S.P.A. Monitors took up watch outside the fortresses that employ them, but of course the Acolytes are just as slippery for it.

She flicks her wrist and sends the outdated poster skimming into the back of the bin. There’s plenty of other documents in here, some of which are sure to be interesting and/or scandalous, but she can’t read every one.

For a moment longer, she continues to scan the papers in the pile. The dull thud of apartment doors opening has begun to sound in the distance – probably just people heading out to work or play – and the sun is shining down the east-west road just south of her present location.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Sun May 13, 2012 8:41 pm

(08)


No particular document catches her eye, and she closes the lid of the bin as quietly as she can. She’ll try to remember the location, though, as there could always be something interesting put in later.

After another quick glance back and forth along the east-west road, she sets out west along it, dusting the rust off her palms. It’s best to get out of any area that an Acolyte just passed through… And most people actually have their profile-rooms to the west of where she is now. Maybe she’ll visit a few friends.

The road once again takes her past the north-south thoroughfare where she lives. It’s still quiet on the streets, other than the whispering tread of her own shoes and unseen market carts clattering through nearby alleys. Most of the noise is above - people leaving their profile-rooms, and once the squeak of a Facebook office window opening.

She looks up and around at the various buildings, trying to remember who lives where. Despite her casual acquaintance with several people, like “Black Hat”, she officially has few friends or contacts that she displays in her profile-room for Facebook’s census. Mostly, they -

Oh, that’s right. One of her “official” friends lives in the building just ahead on her right. A visit to his profile-room can’t hurt - he’s never home anyway.

She veers right and begins to ascend the outside staircase of the block-building. Her destination is eleven floors up, so the elevator is tempting, but she figures she might as well get some exercise… not that she needs it today, with running from Acolytes and everything.

The climb is mildly boring. There’s nothing really all that special about the view from this apartment-block, and it’s almost rewarding when she reaches the eleventh floor. Almost.

Sitting obstinately at the corner of the building, vertically offset from the ordinary profile-rooms by half a floor, is the corner profile-room of O.S. Shoya. She’s still unsure how a normal person could afford one of the rare corner apartments in a block that has one - none of her other friends have anything that large. Unsurprisingly, Shoya isn’t normal.

She knows what to expect, and pulls open the door. The Spartan white interior has the soundless anti-echo of emptiness. Shoya is never at home - she’s only met him once, when he was apparently on his way to a meeting. He seemed very young that time, almost larger-than-life, intense and energetic.

Today, she crosses the furnitureless profile-room to the update-wall, an area of a profile-room where most people would leave notes about their current activities on a bulletin board. Shoya’s only update note seemed to be a proverb, and was a small rectangle of paper that read “The greedy wish to acquire their prize in no time. The ambitious know that there is plenty of time later.”

Another strange saying. She shrugs and turns to the wall with public messages from other people, which is much fuller.

One, from an Alice Theynu, catches her eye: “thank you for the gift OS! sorry you couldn’t be at the wedding, it was a lot of fun.” She wonders carelessly what a “wedding” is, or was. Some kind of ceremony, probably. She can always ask a Login Guard - they’ll know something about Alice, if not what “wedding” means.

Most of the other messages seem to be from people Shoya hasn’t kept in touch with well. Only one other is unusual - it isn’t signed with a Facebook-standard signature, and is pinned with one of Shoya’s own blurry white tacks: “Shoya- Saw your ad. We seem to have the fork or similar. Will be @ BZPower if you’re interested, 12th this month. (opp/hyp)d Exeter+Azout”

She retreats from the message-wall. Anything else around?



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Mon May 21, 2012 11:56 pm

(09)


Unsurprisingly, nothing else in the room seems to be of interest. The lone Facebook-standard glass case is empty except for a single piece of paper, on which a drawing of a clawlike jointed hand has been partially sketched. It’s time to go.

The same route, down the switchback of stairs, takes her into the street again. More people are out now, strolling between buildings or rushing to workplaces. No one she knows is around, and she passes by the passersby without salutations.

As she continues west, a brief reflection of metal shines from the entrance of an alley and reaches the corner of her eye. It takes a second to register, but when a realization hits, she backtracks. Why not ask while she’s here?

“May I inquire…” She waits at the entrance of the alley and falters for a second. It’s never clear what the proper form of address is, if there is one.

In the narrow semi-street, the suggestion of a form straightens, its head seeming to turn. “Yes?”

“Have you ever heard of a, of ‘weddings’?”

The Login Guard shrouded in the alley considers, laying down the tools in its hands. “Unusual. Weddings are not common at all. Generally, a wedding is a sort of joining between two parties. In the familiar use of the word, it is a formal ceremony involving the ritual marrying of two people, who might then live together.”

“Marrying,” she says, thinking out loud. “Usually people just say ‘joining’.”

“It is a seldom-seen word choice,” says the Login Guard, but they offer no more on the matter.

“Alright.” She supposes it can’t hurt to ask something else. “… Are there any events of any kind at the BZPower fortress this month?”

“The Triple Fortress? It depends what sort of event you’re talking about, as long as it’s scheduled. Many things occur there, so we’d need specifics.”

Although she realizes it’s sort of prying, she’s still curious about the odd note from Shoya’s profile-room. “Two people, together, arriving on the 12th and probably staying there only briefly.”

“There are several people who’ve said they’re arriving on the 12th. Do you have a name for either person?”

Exeter is a common name, so she goes with the other choice. “Azout.”

“There is only one pair who matches those criteria.” The Login Guard nods. “Bernhard Azout and Sherman Exeter. Biological researchers. I have to ask that you keep this discreet. There is no particular danger in their arrival being made public, but they travel inconspicuously and do not wish to be followed.”

She is taken aback by the request, but doesn’t let it show. “Thank you then. I’ll leave you for now.”

“You’re welcome.” In the alley shadow, the Login Guard picks up its resounding-hammer and continues with its testing of the wall’s strength.

Out on the east-west avenue again, she blinks away the momentary searing of the sunlight and starts walking in no particular direction, deciding her destination as she goes.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:56 pm

(10)


She veers east, giving some idle thought to why Shoya would be associating with obscure biological researchers. Perhaps he’s interested in a career? As far as she knows, he’s been unemployed for some time. But no, the note on his wall said something about an ad of his own, and mentioned a “fork”.

Really, she had to admit to herself she barely knew Shoya. The fact that he was considered her friend was just a random possibility that had emerged as reality… probably. There were a few coincidences that were hard to ignore.

The first time she heard of him, it was at one of Olivia Tyren’s infrequent parties. Generally she avoided parties, but at that time it had been a while since she’d seen Olivia, so she decided to stop in. In the course of one of the parallel conversations of the other guests, someone mentioned – what was the name… – whoever it was mentioned offhandedly that their friend O.S. Shoya was looking for old official Facebook posters, such as anti-Acolyte notices and lost/found lists. After asking Shoya’s address, she decided it would be easy enough to give him the stack of outdated posters she owned, and one day walked to his profile-room to leave the posters along with an identifying sticker in his mailbox.

Eventually she received a polite note from Shoya (pinned on the board in her own profile-room), saying he was grateful for the posters and that he had been specifically searching for one that she had given him. She responded with a note of her own, and for a brief time they held the sort of voiceless conversation-by-correspondence that tends to happen only in the Facebook fortress, where paper is plentiful.

As their correspondence ended, she impulsively left him a request document for official friendship, having decided she had few enough “friends” known by Facebook anyway. It was not long before she received it back for her to submit, but Shoya’s angular signature on it seemed to have been scrawled dubiously, the letters faint and halfhearted.

By now, she knows better than to expect much else from Shoya. He simply doesn’t keep close ties, and despite his peculiar youthful enthusiasm, she’s inferred from her own experiences and a few stories from others that he travels too extensively to keep in touch with most of his acquaintances. On the occasions that she’s gone outside the Facebook fortress to visit the NGHUIDRCFoG or elsewhere, she certainly hasn’t encountered him. The only person she knows who’s seen Shoya outside of Facebook is Myra Haast, Nav’s scientist sister.

Speaking of Nav, he has to be back from vacation, now that she thinks of it. Who knows where in the fortress he is, though – he spends a lot of his time attending seminars and concerts. As much as she makes fun of him to his face for his constant listening, the Hirundo concert he took her to was actually quite nice. At least she can usually find him somewhere in the fortress, unlike Shoya.

It’s still fairly early in the morning, the sun low, and she has to look away as she passes by some of the lighting mirrors. The maintenance officers really ought to take a better look at the adjustment at some of the mirrors in the street.

She nearly trips over a higher cobblestone as she looks back up at where she’s going. Already she’s back to the intersection where she lives.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:59 pm

(11)


It’s been a while since she’s passed through the forum sections properly – other than that incident just this morning. Maybe she’ll take a stroll through to the East Exit, albeit on a different route.

She follows the offset geometric swerve of the road as it heads east, but ducks into an alley that she knows will take her on a longcut that circumvents the main road. Most of Facebook’s alleys off the thoroughfares are dizzyingly tortuous, but this one forms a vague crescent, curving back to the east-heading street. And this lane is minimally questionable in character, simply being the alternate outlet for the offices that border it.

The morning sun percolates faintly into the narrow way – unlike today, it’s often darkened in the alley. As she passes underneath a familiarly indecipherable sign – “RB/SKV” etched harshly into its wood – above what appears to be a lawyer’s office, she waves down a side alley at a vegetable vendor she knows. He doesn’t have any food in his cart at the moment, so he’s probably just left one of the back exits of the nearby market forums, though she can’t be sure.

A pair of darker-than-slate Stone Pigeons bursts into the air in front of her, and she flinches before moving forward again with a slight frown. Somehow, the birds still manage to startle her when they take off out of the gloom. They’re nothing special, though, unlike crows – at least, people think crows are special.

Ahead of her, out through the final stretch of rightwards-curved alley, is the grandiose grandeur of Facebook’s jury-built forum section. Every building is utterly without individuality, and quite unlike the tall glassy apartment-blocks and office-blocks of the interior of the Facebook fortress, these are built of sandstone, a bit low-slung and formidably blocky. A strong tan hue shows even through the wash of bluish indigo paint on the forum-halls’ walls, and she is always tempted to think of them as “dwellings” rather than forums.

At the mouth of the alleyway as it opens onto the forum-lined street, she pauses to look around. She isn’t about to head back directly west – why go past the Acolyte-inhabited storage building again? – but other than that, there are plenty of places to go.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:41 am

(12)


Then again, she was already heading to the East Exit. Best not get distracted by every little thing.

As she veers left through the intersection to stick to the right side of the boulevard, she spares a handful of glances for the dwel- no, forums – the forums to her left and right. There are already a fair number of people in them, and it’s an even more impressive number considering the low proportion of Facebook members who frequent the forum buildings. In contrast to these adobe-style-ish dw- … forums, other fortresses apparently had great roomy forum-halls – she’d heard from her unofficial friend Uven Volesen that a place called the Triple Fortress far to the southeast has their forums arranged in skyhall-like designs with bridges over the streets. Uven is a bit of a forum buff…

The forum buildings don’t take up much of the overall area of the Facebook fortress, and after only a minute or two, she leaves them behind. She also notices that the tide of her fellow members out on the street has nearly petered out by the time she reaches the outermost strip of buildings in the fortress: the outlying apartment buildings.

Much like the forums, these dwellings (and they are dwellings here) are only two to three stories tall and more than a bit tan. They’re the shortest apartment complexes in the fortress by far, and cost some amount less than the inner-fortress residences like her own – she’s not sure how much they actually cost, as she never really looked at them as an option. They have a nice view of the outside landscape, but are farther from most things. In fact, she realizes, it’s already taken her a little while to get this far. Living out here wouldn’t be nearly as convenient.

Down a graffitied side-alley, past a bizarre flag waving from a wall-mounted pole, someone with indigo hair darts through the opening of an intersection, catching her peripheral vision for a second. The sun is getting strong already, and the shadows weak. Maybe she’ll get into the shade herself after checking out the East Exit… or Maybe Not.

As she approaches the squared-off shape of the East Exit’s arch, she idly tries to recall what she can about the deep-rooted, overused cultural concept of Maybe Not. It was somehow associated with a long-gone prophetic philosopher, who insisted that nothing was certain except death…

But the East Exit is just ahead, so she puts Maybe Not out of her mind for the moment.


<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:29 pm

(13)


Just before the East Exit, she slows at the sight of a Login Guard leaning against the arch, and unhooks her tan fabric wallet from her right pocket lining as she draws near.

“Name and membership proof?” The automaton turns its catlike head in her direction and stands up properly. In response, she flips open her wallet at its single fold.

With a turn of its head, the gesture more avian than feline despite the appearance of its face, the Login Guard scrutinizes the small ID for several seconds before withdrawing. “Very good. We’ll see you shortly… have a nice morning in the Appspace.”

She smiles back at the Login Guard and makes her exit through the Exit, hooking her wallet back inside her pocket. The automaton knew just as well as her that she wasn’t prepared for any long trips. Time for a look around.

Past the shadow of the East Exit’s arch lie the tents of the Appspace, with a few irregular access aisles to the outlands beyond. Many of the tents’ occupants are selling accessories for the various games enjoyed by Facebook’s denizens – maybe even most, though she doesn’t usually pay much attention. Some are simply proprietors advertising for their businesses located within the Facebook fortress. There are probably other variations on the themes of the tents…

Beyond them, there isn’t much out here. Most of the expanse of the landscape is taken up by sage and rosemary brush, with the occasional buckeye or olive rising above the tough smaller shrubs. Despite the occasional hills, everything looks remarkably flat from just outside the East Gate… but the major eastbound route out from Facebook has to wind somewhat to maintain its flatness. Some of the caravans and transport wagons that come and go have difficulty driving over the small hills.

There would’ve been more to see out the West Gate, but that’s a ways through the Facebook fortress. Besides, this is less crowded… and more natural, she supposes, though that’s not really what she’s here for. Not that she’s here for anything.

On that note, she was actually thinking of doing something…



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:41 am

(14)


As there’s not much of interest to her out here – and as it’s already getting sunny – she supposes she could pay a visit to the forum buildings, where Uven is probably loitering.  It’s usually quiet in the forums too, but at least there might be relevant things to see.  The Appspace at the East Gate doesn’t hold much for her.

With a shrug, she turns to pass back into the Facebook fortress proper, giving a brief wave towards the Login Guard, who barely reacts to her return even as she walks past.  All still seems to be more or less quiet in the outer dwellings and apartments; she glances into their dividing alleys as she continues up the main road, but no one is there.

The forums are just ahead, and she tries to look for any sign of which building hosts which discussion.  There are a fair few categories, the majority of which are oriented towards help and community-service, but they tend to change building without warning – one of the only reasons Uven still takes an interest in them, as activity can be sluggish.

But as it turns out, she’s in luck.  A few blocks ahead of her, Uven himself is crossing the street to enter a forum building on the left.  She speeds into a slight run, hoping to catch him before he disappears too far into the forum’s interior.

She skids the final bio to the door, angling in through the entryway. “Hey, Uven!”

As he turns and sees her, Uven’s gaunt face brightens slightly. “Hey, look who’s in the forums for once.  What brings you here today anyway?”

“Just nothing to do.” She makes a vague gesture. “Took a walk… and swung by Shoya’s place, but there’s not really anything special going on today.”

Uven looks blank for a second. “Shoya… Oh, him, right.  Yeah, I don’t know him that well or anything, but he headed southeast a couple days ago.  He mentioned he was heading to the BZPower fortress – I hear it’s an interesting place, I’ve only been past it once.”

Nodding noncommittally, she leans back against the Facebook forum’s wall, trying to come up with a question for him.  There’s got to be something to do that Uven would know about.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:56 am

(15)
 
 
Maybe she should ask about the forum arrangement – she has no idea how things are set up right now, or even what this rather houselike forum currently is. “So, where exactly am I as of now?”
 
“Oh, things haven’t changed that much.” Uven makes a superfluous general gesture. “This particular forum is still part of the Directions section – people have trouble finding their way around this fortress, and that problem isn’t ever going away.  They haven’t switched things up recently though, if that’s what you’re asking.”
 
She risks a dig at his beloved forums. “Seems like they need a ‘Directions to the Directions Forum Forum’ sometimes.”
 
Uven just laughs and nods. “Yeah, they’re not great at announcing their building transfers.  I still haven’t gotten a job with the forums…”
 
She shakes her head at this and leans against the rough wall.  Facebook’s staff needs enthusiasm like Uven’s, and the least they could do is put him to good use.  Personally, though, she’s usually not all that interested in the Facebook forums. “Any new developments in the forums, then?”
 
“No!” He sounds exasperated. “Just the same old people asking the same old questions.  That’s the problem with community help forums, people just ask duplicate things without seeing if their question has already been answered somewhere.  The Facebook authorities never answer anyone, though, and I suppose that’s why it’s a ‘community forum’, so they don’t have to.”
 
“I’d hope other places do a better job then,” she says, fidgeting.
 
“Oh yes, they do,” Uven says irritatedly. “Yes, this place is mediocre because it has no real competition and the help forums are just an afterthought.  Real forums do it well.  I hear Shoya’s taking a trip down to the Triple Fortress, for instance, and they do alright as places of their size go…”
 
 
 
<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:26 pm

(16)
 
 
“So he is heading down there?” she says, the mention of the BZPower Triple Fortress jogging her memory.  Wasn’t there something on Shoya’s message board about that?
 
“Yep.” Uven shrugs. “Business apparently?  I saw him heading out-fortress here the other day, he said something about someone finding one of his things he’d lost.  Never sure with him.”
 
“Hm, okay.” After a moment, she returns Uven’s shrug. “Just wondering.  I was just… thinking about going down past the Triple Fortress’s way myself.” Almost unbidden, the words fall out.  Why did she say that?
 
But in the moment, she realizes that she does want to go traveling.  To do something, anything different from Facebook’s norm.  Even the Acolyte she encountered escaped eastward, and she decides to go with what she said.
 
And Uven seems interested in her supposed travel plan, saying “I didn’t realize you had traveling in mind.  Last we spoke, you thought you should find another -”
 
She makes a small grimace. “Yeah, employment, I could use that.  I guess.  But I need something to occupy my time, whatever I do.”
 
“So you’re going traveling.” Uven nods, understanding, then straightens a bit eagerly. “Hey, could I come with you?”
 
She has to roll her eyes at him. “Don’t you ever get enough of forumgoing?”
 
“These forums, but I just said I’ve only been to the Triple Fortress once.  Plus I don’t like to travel alone, and if you’re already going there…”
 
“Fine then, come along.” With a nod at him, she moves to go. “Last-minute decision, so I’ve got to go and pack if I… if we’re going soon.”
 
“Absolutely.” He nods firmly. “Don’t leave time for second thoughts, traveling will be good for you.  Can you do tomorrow?  I’ll get the edibles.”
 
“Tomorrow,” she decides.  The rest of the day will be enough to get her things together. “Yes.  See you, Uven.”
 
“See you!” He waves as she walks into the street again.
 
 
<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:02 pm

(17)


It’s already the setting-off day, and that surprises her suddenly. It’s like the previous afternoon melted away in no time. She slings her double pack off her shoulders, setting it on her feet as she waits for Uven to show up at the East Gate.

It’s been a long time since she’s traveled, but she’s not sure why. Since she lost her job she’s just been living off savings and drifting around the Facebook fortress anyway. At least now she has a vicarious reason to head east and start living for a reason again…

“Hey, Uven!” Shading her eyes, she waves at the lanky man lugging his pack out of one of the side streets west of the gate.

“Hey, you’re early.” He finally secures his pack over his shoulders. “So it’s not hugely important, but we didn’t talk about how we’re going to go. Do you want to start off by riding with a transport caravan, or just head out walking?”



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:26 pm

(18)


She looks up at the sun and decides a journey on foot wouldn’t be the best idea. “We’ll stick with a caravan out of the area. I’m sure we can take one of the ones out over that way…”

Uven nods, looking relieved, and steps up beside her. “Of course. We can always continue on our own later, no point in not taking a caravan when it’s easy to.”

They walk on together, pausing to hold out their IDs to the Login Guard, then heading under the shade of the gate when the automaton waves them on. The major dropoff point for non-supply caravans is quite close to the East Gate, fortunately, and she can see one arriving at the large roundabout already.

“How are your parents, by the way?” Uven glances at her as they approach the caravan point.

“Oh…” She’s taken aback, if only slightly. “Doing well the last I heard from them. They’re just so far away.”

Uven nods thoughtfully but doesn’t say anything. They’re at the edge of the caravan dropoff point already.

There’re three caravans, and as they make their way into the sandy clearing among the buckeyes, one of the caravans is already departing and another seems to be closing up.

“Only one more spot!” calls the caravan driver from the stoop of the remaining carriage. “Departing in an easterly direction, passing by the Google Fortresses en route to the Psarakam Desert and Triple Fortress…!”

“Hrm.” Uven turns to her, frowning slightly. “Well, one spot. We don’t have to strictly travel together if we’re each with a caravan, so we could split up, unless you want to stick together?”



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:11 am

(19)


“Not much point in coming out here together if we’re not going to stick together, is there?” She shakes her head. “There’s no rush, anyway.”

Uven nods and unslings his pack, setting it on the ground. “Fine by me.  There has to be more traffic headed through…”

“There always is.” She agrees and strolls off along the edge of the sand turnaround.  The lone carriage present is already beginning to depart, and more must be on the way – there’s already another couple of groups arriving, a little later than her and Uven and just behind.

It’s been some time since she last came out here, as the only reason to come would be to get a ride out from the Facebook fortress.  The scenery isn’t much different from nearer the fortress, with the same low scrub of sagebrush and rosemary as is common almost everywhere in the area.  There’s shade at the edges of the clearing itself, though; it’s somewhat of a hollow, with larger trees in its bottom, the buckeyes and olives arching over the well-packed ground.

She veers over towards the tallest trees, a cluster of oaks that shelters the predictable travelers’ shrines.  Both are simple, wood and metal, though of course the Coin miniature shines half-and-half from the Marzian shrine.

She’s never been one to put faith in travelers’ shrines, so routine and humble.  What do they mean, anyway?  Safe travels, maybe, but only one of the religions that puts up travelers’ shrines around here is the comforting kind – Marzia, with its protection of all those who fear, and the reassurances of its bright Coin.  The Shrines of Gen Sed, on the other hand, are a mystery.

Who knows why anyone would follow Gen Sed, the Vast Thirst, the Longing, the Desert Heart?

But she looks over at the Shrine of Gen Sed, actually curious now.  Should she look closer, or…

A carriage is rolling in, though, and she wonders if she should hurry up to be sure there’s room ahead of the groups that arrived just after her and Uven.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Lignar
Mysterious Figure
avatar

Posts : 8269

PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:01 pm

(20)
A quick look at the Shrine of Gen Sed can’t hurt, right?

She approaches the weathered shelter frame. The backboard has mostly words she doesn’t recognize, spiny runes from the language spoken far east of Facebook. All she knows is that the language is phonic instead of pictographic.

But there are two lines in her own language, both faded and almost impossible to read…

The imprint of… in… land…
Under what sun… others, still living…

It almost looks more like vandalism than words meant to be on the shrine, though it’s very old. Certainly it looks different, painted rather than carefully etched like the runes. And no one seems to maintain the wood-and-bone Shrines of Gen Sed, so it’s possible the painted words mean nothing, even though the lines remind her of something. What are they part of?

She tilts her head and frowns at the shrine. But with the movement of her head, something glints, wedged in the corner formed by the perpendicular sideboard. A key? –

“Unless you’re praying to Gen Sed, here’s our ride,” calls Uven, interrupting her examination.



<|-ATOURIST-|>

_________________

Back to top Go down
http://codrexmagna.forumotion.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Atourist: Story   

Back to top Go down
 
Atourist: Story
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Toy Story LEGO + MATTEL WWE
» Is death essential to good story writing?
» Campaign Story Challenge : ERA, "The Mass" Story
» Thinkaway's "Collectors" Toy Story Figures
» Possible story idea

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Codrex Magna :: Creative Discussion :: Codrex Magna Fiction-
Jump to: