‘We’ve Missed You’: Mystic Lake And Little Six Casinos To ...

Love? Give it six months

Love? Give it six months

Warning: this story will contain mentions of unhealthy relationships and adult themes. The main character also has some character traits that may differs from your own, please do keep that in mind.
Review and comments will be appreciated
(Customisation)
There once was a dashing bachelor
(That looked like )(uses the OH male feces)
Face 1
Face 2
Face 3
Face 4
(Hairstyles)
James Bond (black slick backed)
Don Diego Vega (dark brown wavy hair slicked back long neck)
Steve Rogers (Short blonde side swept hair)
Agent J (Short kinky curls)
Is this him?
Yes
No (go back to customisation)
What is his name?
(Default: George)
(Surname)
(Default: Bishop)
There he meets
A beautiful woman
A handsome man
A beautiful woman
Face 1 (Asian; has pale skin, dark almond eyes, straight black mid-back hair with a mid-part)
Face 2 (Hispanic: has tan skin, deep brown eye and over shoulder-length volumes wavy hair with side bangs.)
Face 3 (Afro-American: dark skin, expressive brown eyes with long blackish brown chest-length kinky curly hair.)
Face 4 (Caucassian: pinkish skin with freckles, clear blue round eyes, collarbone length layered dirty blonde hair)
A handsome man
Face 1 (Asian: pale skin, dark almond eyes, straight black hair put up in a pompadour style)
Face 2 (Hispanic: tan skin, with slicked back wavy hair that always looks like it is coming undone.)
Face 3 (Afro-American: dark skin, expressive brown eyes, with a crewcut with tight natural curls.)
Face 4 (Caucasian: pinkish skin with freckles, clear blue eyes, dirty blonde hair in a Taper haircut.)
As the two peoples eyes lock across the room. The sensation of a pull drives them to get closer to one another.
As the dashing bachelor offered his hand his partner gladly accepted it. Leading into a dance that lasted the rest of the night.
The whole world faded away to the sound of the Jazz band, their breathing and their dancing.
As their lips moved to meet...
???: “Oh come now Joanna, you know that is no way that would ever happen.”

(Record Scratch)
Joanna: “Oh for craps sake, George I was getting to the best part.”
George: “Forgive me for finding it uncomfortable that you have decide how my love life is going to go.”
Lance: “He does have a point there sis.”
Joanna: “Way to stand up for your sister Lance.”
Lance “Look I’m all for love conquers and all that jazz but it is kind of difficult to make a love life for someone else.”
George: “Thank you.”
Lance: “I mean he isn’t a completely lost cause. I’m sure some desperate soul will take him.”
Lance: “I mean he’s got dads looks, and he managed to get with mom when they were young.”
Lance: “That might make up for his zero tact.”
George: “Your faith in me is awe inspiring.”
Lance: “Oh cheer up. With your upcoming trip to Vegas, maybe you’ll have luck in love and not just on the poker table.”
Joanna: “Maybe you’ll meet someone special!”
You snort, finding the idea silly.
George: “I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Chapter 1: One night in Vegas
In an underground speakeasy decked out in old decor from the 20th centuries first half. You sit there nursing your drink. After a long day at the office you love nothing more than when you can enjoy your secret fancy. Dressed up in an old-fashioned pinstripe suit and a fedora. You feel like a king, this little piece of haven in Chicago that seemed to be frozen in time.
You feel your friend beside you stir, he himself having to relax from work as well as dreading an upcoming event.
After his fifth sight you opt to actually talk about it.
You take a swing of your drink and decide to talk about the elephant in the room.
Or more accurately you decide to talk about the issue in pre 1940’s slang
George: “Your bear cat of a sister still giving you a hard time?”
Jeremy: “Noneofya.”
He mumbled.
George: “Look Pally, I known you since we were scrubs and had squat. What's eating you?”
Jeremy: “That dame will chisel me out of every dime I own.”
George: “Stephie acting like a Big cheese cause she is getting hitched?”
Jeremy: “She wants everything spiffy and I’m quite sure her ankle biters will be paying the bills. My folks are on my case regarding my dame.”
You think for a moment. Jeremy and Katie had been together for four years. They got one another, they lived together.
George: “Stephie’s lucky her guy thinks she’s the Cat's meow.”
You said reflecting on everything you ever heard regarding Darren, he was a good guy. Definitely not the smartest but he loved Stephanie like she was the only woman alive. You just wondered why anyone would want to spend time with that woman.
Jeremy: “Alright, real talk.”
Jeremy said as he dropped ‘the act’, we were no longer hot shots in the prohibition era. We were now just George Bishop and Jeremy Jackson a financial advisor and a computer wizard.
George: “In all do honesty I do not see why you need to go there? Aren’t bachelorette parties strictly female?”
Jeremy: “They used to be, but I am quite sure I am not going with them to be pampered like the bridesmaids.”
George: “Then your function is?”
Jeremy: “If I were to guess, fall guy and pack mule.”
Jeremy: “I think she is also doing it to brag, that ‘she did it first.’ To rub it in Katie’s face.”
George: “You never really care what your sister does. Why now?”
Jeremy: “Because they are pressuring me and Katie. Not just my family but next to everyone we know. ‘When is the wedding? What is the venue? How many guests? Are you going to have it this year?’ Look I love my girl, but none of us is in rush to walk down the aisle.”

Yeah, you know, you were the first one Jeremy told about his plan to propose. You were happy for him but at the end of the day it was up to Katie and Jeremy. Not you or their families. However the rest of the world seemed to think differently.
Mom: “Oh sweetheart, happy valentine’s day! Are you spending it with someone special?”
George: “Mom, you know I am not looking for someone.”
Mom: “Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find that certain someone sooner or later.”

Yeah, it isn’t enough your sister is married and your brother is utterly twitterpated with his boyfriend. You need to ensure your oldest is also with someone.

Boss: “Mr. Bishop, I must say. I am impressed with your work ethics, but we have decided to go with Mr. Robinson as the face of the company.”
Never minding the fact that you worked twice as hard as said college.
George: “I understand. May I ask what made you choose him?”
Boss: “We did research and found that your college would be favourable, due to circumstance.”

Translation: we wanted a man that was married and not the workaholic bachelor.


Stranger 1: “You see that guy over there?”
Stranger 2: “You mean the one with the RBF?”
Stranger 1: “Yeah, probably one of those loners, will never find anyone.”
Stranger 2: “I mean who goes to a restaurant like this alone?”

Honestly? You can’t have a meal alone?


George: “Yeah, I know that feeling.”
Jeremy: “Seriously.”
Both of you take a sigh.
Jeremy: “But in all honesty. Thank you for coming along, I really appreciate it. Would probably loose my mind if I went alone.”
George: “Of course.”
  1. It would be a shame to lose my partner in crime.
  2. My boss would be pissed if I didn’t.
  3. Who would turn down free drinks?
Jeremy: “Yeah sounds about right.” *Choice 1*
George: “Remember how we got back at Marcus Thatcher?” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “Oh, I remember. Too bad he didn’t check the file we sent, it might have saved him some embarrassment.” *Choice 1*
George: “Big tough football star being fooled by ‘two scrawny’ freshmen.” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “And we were hailed as heroes for a month.” *Choice 1*
Jeremy: “Wait, don’t tell me HR department has been on your case.” *Choice 2*
Geroge: “Yep, too much overtime.” *Choice 2*
Geroge: “Never mind I make sure that everything is quality controlled.” *Choice 2*
Jeremy: “Geesh. Well glad to know I could be of service.” *Choice 2*
Jeremy: “Ah there it is, I knew you had a hidden agenda. *Choice 3*
George: “Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, when have I ever hid something from you?” *Choice 3*
Jeremy: “Alright fair, you are honest to the point of insult.” *Choice 3*
Geroge: “You asked for my opinion, besides those shoes where ugly as sin.” *Choice 3*
Both of you laugh, you had been in each other’s life since kindergarten. You where the odd ducks, most kids and adults always considered you to be cold or judging. Even if neither of you had that intention.
Jeremy raises his glass.
Jeremy: “To intellectual companions.”
George: “To intellectual friends.”
You said as you raised your own drink in a toast.


The weekend finally arrived for the trip. You arrived at O’Hare airport with a good three hours to spare. You crack open the book you brought with you.
It was a supernatural detective story you received as a gift on last birthday a few months back. While you applaud your sister for trying, it was still jarring to follow all the supernatural deus-ex-machinas that discarded real detective work.
So that is how a 31 year old was reading a supernatural book in broad daylight.
George: ‘ with gun drawn, Duskraven made her way down the basement, the surroundings smelled of blood and muck.’
Geroge: ‘Romano’s empire was now in full display in front of her. Fae, lined the walls, eyes hollow and only the movement of their chest indicating they were still alive.’
George: ‘Duskraven took out her polaroid camera, it was a risky but if this would ever have a chance to justice. Her leads and information would need to be solid if she wanted to take down the vampire cartel. She just hoped the light for the camera would be noticed.’
George: ‘With a blinding light the entire basement lit up temporarily blinding her, when she regained her sight again a new horror met her eyes. Multiple pairs of hungry red eyes.’
Jeremy: “George!”
You tear your eyes away from the book in your hand.
There is Jeremy and Katie, hand in hand. Seeing them together was always a happy occasion.
Katie and Jeremy met at your favourite speakeasy a few years back. You didn’t blame your friend for becoming interested in the ICU nurse. Curly red hair and big blue eyes. Even if the courtship had started out rocky due to both of them being so shy. They overcame that hurdle and found something they wanted.
Sometimes however you wished you didn’t feel like you were interrupting them.
George: “Good morning, is Stephanie and her friends also here?”
Katie: “No they had a sleep over at Daria’s house. So they will be carpooling.”
You look at your clock and it was about two hours before the plane would take off, your bags where checked in and you were ready to leave and get to the section where the gates would be. But there was still no sign of Stephanie.
As you though you heard a rumbling sound.
Both you and Katie looked at Jeremy as a sheepish grim grew on his face.
Katie: “Told you, a ham sandwich wouldn’t hold.”
Jeremy: “It will hold till lunch, which is a few hours away.”
George: “You sure that is a good idea?”
Jeremy: “Tell you what, I’ll go if you come with me and Katie.”
Katie: “So what do you say?”
McDermott's
· Sure, I could have a bite. (💎12)
· Perhaps we shouldn’t
Diamond Choice:
George: “Alright, let us have something to eat.”
Jeremy: “Good! Airplane food leaves much to be desired.”
Katie: “You always think with your stomach.”
Jeremy: “Yet you love me.”
Katie: “Yes, odd isn’t it?”
You make your way inside and stay in line.
You look at the menu and order
· Breakfast burrito
· Bacon and scrambled eggs
· Fruit and oatmeal
You order your food along with a big coffee. You all slide into the booth, Katie had her yogurt in hand both of you looked worryingly at Jeremy’s breakfast.
(Tilting tower of pancakes)
(Holy crap!)
You swore for a moment both you and Katie was reading each other’s mind.
‘He is going to puke.’
George: “Hey Jeremy, think you can get some napkins?”
Jeremy: “Sure.”
As he left you plied a few pancakes away, making sure that you saved the top one so he wouldn’t notice. Katie making sure the tower didn’t fall.
She gave a thumbs up, thanking you.
George: “So Katie, how have you been?”
Katie: “There is always a lot of things to do at the ICU, sometime I wonder where humanity is headed.”
George: “Really, that bad?”
Katie: “How would you explain having a locomotive lodge up your rectum?”
George: “How did that happened?”
Katie: “They claim they fell on it, if I had a dollar every time this happened I wouldn’t have any student debts.”
You shake your head, you have been thinking a bit about what Jeremy said at the Speakeasy. You had also noticed that something was up with Katie, she was on edge.
George: “Katie…”
1. “Did you want to go on this trip?”
2. “Has Mr and Mrs Jackson been pressuring you?”
3. “Do you want to get married?”
Katie: “In all honesty no, but Stephanie has made me a bridesmaid. I need to partake in these things. Even if I wish I didn’t.” *Choice 1\*
George: “Why?” *Choice 1\*
Katie: “I wish I could care as little about protocol as you do, but she is Jeremy’s sister, if I say no it might affect my relationship with Jeremy and his family.” *Choice 1\*
Katie: “Yes, I mean no, I mean… it’s complicated.” *Choice 2\*
George: “How come?” *Choice 2\*
Katie: “I’m 30 years old George, time is ticking. They want grandchildren to spoil.” *Choice 2\*
George: “And you have to be married to do that?” *Choice 2\*
Katie: “Of course I love Jeremy.” *Choice 3\*
George: “That wasn’t the question, do you want to get married?” *Choice 3\*
Katie: “It is just so big, all those expectations. I… it scares the crap out of me.” *Choice 3\*
George: “Listen, I will tell you something.”
You said using your stern voice.
George: “Jeremy loves you, he chose you. You chose him. That is the truth at the end of the day.”
Katie looked at you, a shy smile graced her lips. She mouthed a thank you.
Jeremy made his way back to you with a great pile of napkins. You all begin to take part of the meal. During the entire meal Katie and Jeremy’s shoulders touched and they looked as content as they could be.
(‘Loving it’ you had breakfast at McDermott)
None diamond choice:
George: “Let us just sit down and relax, we should be in Las Vegas at 1 am. Knowing Stephanie we will probably eat something there before heading to the hotel.”
Katie: “Maybe, I’ll get some water at least.”
Jeremy: “Good idea.”
(‘Not hungry’ you didn’t have a McDermott breakfast)
As all of you wait for the supposed ‘bride’ you hear commotion.
Sure enough you see a brunette with a close to permanent scowl on her face. Followed but two very flustered women.
“There you are! WHERE have you been?!”
Her tone is as pleasant as you remember, nails on a chalkboard.
Jeremy: “We have been here waiting for you.”
Stephanie: “You aren’t even going to help me with my bags. What type of brother are you?”
Jeremy: “Well we are here, we have about half an hour before the plane leaves. So let’s get to the gate.”
Stephanie just huffed. Storming away.
George: “Wow she is in a good mood.”
You state sarcastically.
Jeremy: “Yeah she gets like that some time.”
Jeremy: “Just try not to set her of, she can be a handful.”
Katie: “I mean how bad could it possibly be?”
You were never the very superstitious type, but you were quite sure that Katie just opened Pandora’s Box.


From the time the plane touched ground in Nevada everything that could set of Stephanie did.
Stephanie: “URRGH!!! where is that shuttle! He is LATE!!”
Jeremy: “They told us like five minutes ago there is traffic jam.”
Stephanie: “Then he should have planned it earlier!”
Stephanie: “I will not wait an hour! WE have a schedule to follow!”
George:’ This coming from the woman that almost missed the plane to her own bachelorette party.’
Daria: “They say it is only another 15 minutes.”


Stephanie: “I DON’T CAREEEEE!”
Stephanie: “What do you mean that our suits where not booked?”
Receptionist: “You never sent in the deposit for your stay.”
Stephanie: “THAT WAS GEMMA’S JOB!”
Gemma: “I told you, the suits needed to be paid for by the same person that booked them.”


Stephanie: “You are a bridesmaid, you are supposed to make things work!”
George: ‘Honetly…’
George: “Sigh…”
Stephanie: “THIS ISN’T WHAT I ORDERED!”
Waitress: “Yes it is, you wanted a calamari.”
The poor waitress looked exhausted and probably wanted to be anywhere but here, not that one could blame her.
Stephanie: “NO IT ISN’T! I wanted the pasta with bacon and cheese.”
Katie: “A cabonara?”
Jeremy: “Stephie we are at a seafood restaurant.”


George: ‘IS she ever satisfied?’
All of us where back at the hotel, Stephanie insisting that they ‘needed’ a new set of clothes for the casino and club they were planning on hitting. Jeremy looked ready to just give up.
George: “You know, you could simply say no to her.”
Jeremy threw an exhausted glair at me.
Jeremy: “If it was so simple neither me, you nor Katie would be here right now.”
George: “And you wouldn’t be here doing this Sisyphean task, which obviously brings you missery.”
Jeremy: “Yeah well, I still want my parents in my life, if I didn’t do this, they would never let me live it down.”
What to wear to the casino?
· Tuxedo 007 (💎 15)
· Basic black
Diamond option:
Jeremy: “You look like James Bond.”
George: “I’ll have a martini, shaken not stirred.”
You said and an amused smile spread across Jeremy’s face.
None diamond choice
“I Think I’ll stick with this.”
“Fair enough, I am too exhausted to care anyway.”



Jeremy said with a tired smile. You both left the room, making our way to one of the pulsing centres of the strip.
There in the golden casinos you thought finally your luck would finally turn for the better. That the glamorous atmosphere would rub off on the soon-to-be bride. Causing her to stop doing her impression of a screeching barn owl and let ALL of them enjoy Sin City.
Well it seemed to have worked, for now.
Both you and Jeremy where at the black jack tables, enjoying yourself. While the ladies were back at the slots machines.
Jeremy folded a while ago, it is just you and one more. You looked down at your cards a jack and an ace. You opponent opposite you had this confident smirk on his face. But you saw how the sweat was running down his face. He was bluffing.
George: “Hum…”
  1. Act as if you have a bad hand
  2. Act arrogant and self-assured
  3. Do not react at all and watch the man squirm
You decide to let your brows furrow in what would look like frustration. The man opposite you lets the edge of his mouth turn in a smirk. His confidence boosting with every minute. *Choice 1*
You decide to put on the theatrics, giving a smile like the cat that ate the canary you look at your opponent. That is growing more and more agitated by the minute. *Choice 2*
You keep your face natural, a lot of people often comment that you look angry whenever they see you. You could only assume it was true because your opponent was practically squirming in his seat. *Choice 3*
When he reviles his hand, you pause for a moment before reviling yours.
You won.
George: “I’ll be taking these.”
You said as you dragged them back chips and split them evenly between you and Jeremy. You had started with the same amount of tokens. Even if you did work with money daily, this was one of those occasions you allowed yourself to be a bit more relaxed regarding that subject.
Jeremy: “Nice one.”
George: “All in a day’s work.”
Jeremy: “So what next?”
Before you could answer you hear commotion from the opposite side of the casino. The screeching voice meant that Stephanie was somewhere in the middle of it. Both of you sigh, knowing that your happy hour was over.
Sure enough there at the era leading into one of the shows where Stephanie and her entourage, all of them except Stephanie wearing baby pink dresses and Stephanie herself wearing a sash reading ‘all hail the bride’ along with a tacky tiara probably worth a five dollar bill at most.
She was screaming at a bouncer, while all the others tried in vain to calm the soon-to-be bride.
Stephanie: “You are an idiot! What service is this!?”
When we had arrived there was already an audience forming. Yeah this was common whenever Stephanie was involved. ‘Drama Queen’ had been your nickname for her during high school for a reason.
Jeremy: “What happened?”
Bouncer: “Your friend here slapped one of your dancers, something about them stealing from them.”
Stephanie: “I am the BRIDE! I am not supposed to have to pay for anything during my bachelorette party.”
Jeremy: “Stephanie, what about we get some fresh air, okay?”
Jeremy said as he tried to deescalate the situation. He gently grabbed her arm, but Stephanie was having none of it.
It felt like it all happened in slow motion, Stephanie turned around and a closed fist and rage connected it with Jeremy’s face. Your friend flew back and hit his head on the floor pretty hard. Stephanie didn’t even care to check what state her brother was in. Katie flew to her fiancés side and the sight of your friend’s bleeding face was enough to make you see red.
George: “Alright enough.”
  1. Scold her
  2. Embarrass her
  3. Give her the evil eye
George: “Stephanie, you are way out of line.” *Choice 1*
Stephanie: “No I am not!” *Choice 1*
George: “You have taken no responsibility during this trip, you have been rude to every member of the party, you have caused a scene at every place we have been to. Do I need to keep going?” *Choice 1*
Your voice is like ice, you swear the temperature just dropped a few degrees. As you pointed out everything she has done during the less than 24 hours you been together. *Choice 1*
Stephanie looks angrily at her bridesmaids as is she is waiting for them to defend her. *Choice 1*
They do not, they know you are just stating the truth. *Choice 1*
George: “Your own brother did not want to be on this trip, he begged me to come along. Doesn’t that tell you just how vile you have been acting?” *Choice 1*
Stephanie: “You listen here…”*Choice 1*
George: “No you listen for once in your life!” *Choice 1*
You rarely let your emotions out but Stephanie was a special case. *Choice 1*
George: “If this is how you treat people, do not be surprised when Darren leaves you at the altar. He deserve better than this.” *Choice 1*
With that as a closing line you left, Jeremy might need to get to the hospital. He was worth more than Stephanie would ever be in your eyes. *Choice 1*
As you leave you are quite sure you hear someone applauding. *Choice 1*
With determined steps you made your way to one of the waitresses. *Choice 2*
George: “Excuse me.” *Choice 2*
You hand her a 50 dollar bill as you grab a big jug glass filled with beer and briskly walk back to Stephanie that is still screaming profanities. Because of her back being turned to you she didn’t see you. You saw how people began to take out their cameras and phones. No one made a move to stop you. *Choice 2*
With one quick movement you had poured it over her and a shriek of surprise entered your ears. *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “What the fuck is wrong with you!?” *Choice 2*
George: “Are you done with your little temper tantrum?” *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “What!? How dare you!” *Choice 2*
George: “You have been acting like a spoiled five year old since the moment we landed. I am surprised no one has done anything until now.” *Choice 2*
Stephanie: “You are so not coming to my wedding!” *Choice 2*
George: “It isn’t a loss, I was never here for you. Now excuse me I have more important things to deal with.” *Choice 2*
You left Stephanie to deal with the people that had gathered for the ‘show’ and she began to scream at them and calling them all sorts of names. But no one was intimidated, they found it hilarious. *Choice 2*
You grab hold of Stephanie, until she has no choice but to look at you. She is screeching, calling you every slur and bad name in the book. Your hands are firm on her upper arm, you just hold no squeezing, no pushing. You keep your eyes locked on her, you must have stood there quite a while until finally her defiant stare became weaker and weaker. *Choice 3*
You kept hold of her until she burst out into tears. At that point you let her go. Knowing you had knocked her down a peg. *Choice 3*

But Stephanie wasn’t your main concern, Jeremy was. You moved to stay with Katie and Jeremy, the crowd parted as the red sea as you walked by. All in stunned silence. *Choice 3*


George: “Are you sure you’ll be alright?”
Jeremy grimaced at the questing, blood still trickling down his face from where he had been punched. Luckily the nose would heal, the only question was what colour it would be in time for Stephanie’s wedding.
Jeremy: “I’ll be fine, Katie is here too. She knows what she is doing.”
Katie: “Having your fiancé being a nurse does have its perks huh?”
Jeremy: “Yeah one of many.”
The two of them smile at one another, before Jeremy turn back to you.
Jeremy: “Think you can manage your own?”
George: “I think I can stay out of trouble for one night.”
Jeremy: “Maybe, see you tomorrow George.”
Katie: “Have a nice night.”
With that the two of them made their way up to the hotel rooms.
You decided to check out the hotel bar. Despite being 10 o’clock it was surprisingly empty. Some people where there, some having already had a few to many.
But what caught your eye was a stranger sitting at the end of the bar.
There sitting in a knee-length ocean blue dress was a woman, leaning over resting her elbows at the counter. She had a faraway look in her face as she absentmindedly stirred her drink. *♀*
There sitting a young man, nursing his drink. His blue vest and slacks combo suited him well with the crisp white shirt. His attention seeming being elsewhere. *♂*
You sit down by the bar and is about to call on the bartender when I noticed a man, clearly intoxicated made a move on the man/woman at the end of the bar.
Drunk Idiot: “Hello there, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
The person in question just rolled hehis eyes. Clearly not in the mood to be the object of drunk admiration.
Drunk Idiot: “How about you and me go up to my hotel room and get to know each other a bit more.”
Haven seen the man/woman in question do every none-verbal que but slapping the idiot you decide enough was enough. He had disturbed you and the rest of the bar enough.
With the smoothest and coolest tone of voice you could muster you cleared your throat to get the drunk man’s attention. It wasn’t appreciated to say the least.
Drunk idiot: “What the hell do you want prick.”
The smell of alcohol radiating off him, one would think he had bathed in vodka. It was surprising no one had tossed him out from being a nuisance earlier.
George: “I do believe that you are bothering him/her. Please stop.”
George: “Look we are old friends, its noneofya business so bug off.”
George: “Oh really, then what is your friends name?”
Drunk Idiot: ”What?”
George: “What. Is. your. friend’s. name? If you are old friends you should surely know it.”
Drunk Idiot: “It’s ummm… Terry.”
???: “That is not even close.”
With both of you staring straight into him, mentally cornering him.
Drunk idiot: ”Screw this.”
The man declared in frustration and with that the idiot stormed off leaving both of you alone.
After making sure the guy was out of sight you turned back to the stranger.
He/She gave you a grateful smile.
???: “Thanks’ I really appreciate that?”
George: “It was nothing.”
You said making yourself ready to go back to your seat.
???: “Wait!”
The stranger called after you, out of sheer politeness you turned back around.
He/she Seemed a bit nervous, what now?
???: “Can I at least buy you a drink?”
You thought for a moment. You were on your own, Jeremy was probably nursing the bruise with some painkillers and you did not want to risk running into Stephanie or any of the bridesmaids. It also felt wrong to not take the opportunity to experience Vegas however.
So you accepted.
???: “Well What’s your poison?”
He/she asked in a joyous tone.
  1. Matrini
  2. Old Fashioned
  3. Red Wine
With a quick wave they called the bartender over.
???: “So what brings you to Vegas?”
George: “Bachelorette party.”
???: “Did it have anything to do with that brunette that slapped one of the dancers and had security physically lift her out?”
George: “Bingo.”
???: “No one got seriously hurt?”
George: “Thankfully no.”
With that the bartender served the drink and the stranger slipped a 50 dollar bill.
You lift the glass in a gesture for a thank you. And let the beverage slip down your throat. It was nice, it was a good year and the taste was strong but not overpowering.
You noticed that his/her eyes were on you, almost as if they were trying to decipher your character.
George: “What are you doing?”
???: “Trying to get a read on you, some say what you order is often an indication of who you are.”
George: “Really? Then what can you say about me?”
You asked, deciding to humour them.
???: “I can say that that you are a man that know what he wants and how you want them.” *Martini*
???: “You are an old soul, you probably know your liquor well. My guess you have a great library at home.” *Old fashioned*
???: “You are quite classy, and you can find a way to get drunk before noon.” *Red wine*
With that you give an amused chuckle.
George: “Well there is some truth to that statement.”
You take a look at the drink they self are nursing.
(Dark n Stormy)
(Humm...)
George: “If I were to do the same to you, I guess you have a sweet tooth and might have wanted to be a pirate at some point.”
At that comment the stranger began to laugh. It was the infectious kind of laugh that made someone warm form the bottom of their stomach.
???: “Alright you got me there.”
He/she then stuck out their hand.
(My name is..)
(Default name: Skyler)
George: “‘Skyler’ it is a pleasure to meet you.”
You said as you shook it.
You take in Skyler’s look. You had to admit that they were an attractive specimen of a man/woman.
George: “The name is George Bishop.”
Skyler: “George Bishop, how professional sounding.”
He/ she said as if they were tasting your name in their mouth.
George: “Well I do hope so, would be difficult to be an advisor if people believed I was a joker.”
Skyler: “Ah, so you are one of those people that look at you and stamp ‘rejected’ on every paper?”
George: “I believe that I am fair in my judgement.”
George: “How about yourself?”
At that their eyes fell.
Skyler: “Right now, I’m a 30 year old trying to figure out my next move.”
George: “How come?”
Skyler: “Lost my job due to relationship issues between my manager and her boyfriend. Apparently, me being friendly was mistaken for flirting.”
Skyler: “What, they want a grumpy Greeter at the door?”
George: “That is unprofessional.”
Skyler: “Yeah, well relationships are messy.”
George: “Agreed.”
Skyler: “I must say the way you handled that woman, it was surprising.”
Skyler said in a genuinely impressed voice.
George: “You were watching?”
Skyler: “Kind of hard not to, I’m surprised half the hotel didn’t hear her.”
George: “Someone had to show her she isn’t the Queen of Sheba.”
Skyler: “What are your thought on marriage?”
You shoot up a bit, a bit startled by the blunt question.
George: “My thoughts?”
Skyler: “You seem like a guy that know what he thinks. I want to pick that brain a bit.”
It had been a while since someone had so blatantly flirted with you. To be fair you were a bit surprised. Dating had often been a minefield for you.
George: “Marrige…”
  1. It’s an institution
  2. It’s a partnership
  3. It’s indescribable
George: “Historically it was a way to ensure land, money and heirlooms where added into a new household.” *Choice 1*
George: “It was also a safety for children back in the day, since basterds often faced quite a few challenges from being born out of wedlock.” *Choice 1*
George: “It is a symbol of trust, that you do have someone that you can count on.” *Choice 2*
George: “But at the end of the day, if you are unfair to that partner hey might not stay.” *Choice 2*
George: “To describe marriage is like trying to describe oceans and water. Even with similarities we can see, gathering it all in an explanation would probably not give a fair judgement.” *Choice 3*
Skyler: “To me it’s a promise. ‘To have and to hold’ it is silly in this day and age were people divorce left and right for trivial things.”
Skylers eyes became dark, falling into deep thoughts. You had never been the poetic kind, but there was a sweet sentiment in Skyler’s view on things. Your parents where still married over 30 years now. Your sister was due some time in December, your brother was off celebrating a two year dating anniversary and your paternal grandmother still loved her deceased husband dearly.
To you it just never happened, perhaps it wasn’t for you.
George: “That we can agree on, people are so afraid they will settle. At the first sign of trouble they leave.”
Skyler: “So that woman form before… how long do you think her marriage will last?”
George: “If she acts like she did tonight, I wonder if her husband will even stay for the ceremony.”
You looked at your new companion and in an unusual turn of events you called the bartender over.
George: “Can I buy you a drink?”


With that Skyler smiled, deciding to keep you company.
Sometime later you awake to the sound of your alarm clock.
You feel a splitting headache, you drag you hand over your face as you do you feel a cold metal band around your finger. Pulling back as your eyes focus you see that it is a plain sliver coloured band.
(is that?)
· Oh no…
Feeling more sober than ever before you realised just what a mess you got yourself into.
George: ‘I just got married in Vegas.’
Well, you’re screwed.
submitted by ItLivesLover to Choices [link] [comments]

The Featherlight Transmission, Ch. 3

A little while later, I'm in Sector Seven, home of fancy restaurants, galleries, theaters, casinos, and the kinds of whorehouses that get called “social clubs”. I’m already in the general area, and I’m hungry after being harassed with forms for an hour and a half. There’s a place I like here.
It's colorful, clean, and loud in Sector Seven, with a wide-open circular plaza in the middle. Music always in the air, and all kinds of signs begging you to come look, come see what we've got going on tonight. The funhouse of the single-digit folk. You can come to Sector Seven, but remember - you gotta pay if you wanna play.
Being in the Inner Ring, you generally don't see many of my kind in Sector Seven. Most people milling around here are those with heavy purses, and the kind of leaky generosity that for some reason only reaches the hands of politicians and others of their kind rather than hospitals or schools. These kinds of people generally don't like looking at slabs, because we track mud all over the carpet and sometimes accidentally eat their dogs, so we tend not to be welcome in the establishments here. However, the unavoidable fact is that while slabs are definitely ugly and gross, the rich skinnies up here sure as sugar aren't going to be cleaning, fixing, or lifting anything heavy anytime soon, so even here you'll see some of us mixed in with some other poor skinnies that come in from the Outer Ring to do the dirty work.
But of course, everyone's gotta eat. So, if us grunts can't come and spill beer all over the nice white tablecloths, we'll just have to take our credits somewhere else, thanks. And that's where Gulder's Grub enters the picture.
In an alley off the side of Circle Seven, there's a shadowy little spot for people like me. It's not big, but it's an oasis in the middle of a desert of glitzy places that ask an entire month's rent just to come in. A little corner for the ones that actually do all the work. A couple little shops with everyday necessaries, a dingy bar or two, and some diners, all in the shadow of the great towering monuments to that goddess of Sector Seven: Pleasure.
The main (and only) attraction here is Gulder's. It doesn't look like much, just a metal shack with a clapboard menu and a window, but the nosh that Gulder slings is so good that there's always a line, and sometimes you'll even see people in fancy clothes standing in it. You can get a slab-sized sandwich so tasty it'll make you cry, and you can get it without having to take out a third mortgage.
I’ve built up a grave appetite, of a magnitude that only Gulder's is mighty enough to slay. I'm standing in line, behind a skinny in oil-stained overalls. It's nearly lunch, so I've got a while to wait before I get to the front.
The people here are either too tired or too depressed to pay me any mind, which suits me just fine. It’s one of the reasons I like coming here. It’s a misfit shelter. I even know a few arcanists that are willing to come out of the woodwork for one of Gulder’s sandwiches. Believe me, you’d be willing to risk your skin too, if you knew what this alley smelled like. The heavenly aromas bring out all kinds of hungry crazies.
Speaking of which, here's a squirrely-looking slab boy over by some tables that's decided to take his face out of his sandwich and aim it toward my face. I lock eyes with him. Or try to, at least. He can't keep his straight. He's a sizable bit of product, somewhere between six and a half and seven feet, maybe around five hundred fifty pounds. Average enough by our standards. Judging by his lack of clank, jittery eyes, hairless head, and general air of frothy paranoia, I'm guessing he was kind of a shrimpy fella before his procedures.
Those are the dangerous ones. These cats are why every Watchman carries a canister of slabkiller gas when they're out on patrol.
Take a little guy who, let's be honest here, was never destined for great feats of academic achievement. Now put him in a desperate situation. Traumatize him. Make him grow up poor. Give him a tiny dick, make sure he gets plenty of bullies to deal with, both in school and out. Kill his parents, or make them hate and abuse him. Tell all the girls, or boys in some cases, not to look at him. Fire him from his job. Maybe give him a terminal illness, or fill him up with so much unprocessed rage that fire comes out of his nose every time he sneezes. Box him into a corner, put him in a cage so nasty that the only way out is to get slabbed.
It'll work, the cutters at the slab lab say. You're prime material, just what we needed, they say. But he isn't. He's scrawny, malnourished, unintelligent. A sad mess in the shape of a young man. But hey, slabbers need meat. And here it is, direct off the streets. It's not like actual people would ever volunteer for something like this, so we'll make do with the kind of guy that needs the money. So they'll give him some cash, put him on the table, and chop him up anyway, knowing full well that his unimpressive body and sub-average brain won't be able to take it. And he'll come out the other side a twitching, confused, angry kid, with hormones leaking out of his ears and more mental and emotional scars than physical ones, living inside the body of a giant.
You haven't taken him out of that cage. You've just made him strong enough to drag other people in with him.
I zoom in on him and sure as sunrise, he's got an aggression inhibitor bolted to the side of his head, wire running down to meet up with the back of his neck. It's a big one, too. This kid must have some bad habits. Without it, the hot sludge running in his veins would send him into a psychosexual meltdown of nightmarish proportions. Within fifteen minutes he'd either collapse and start seizing until he swallowed his own tongue, or cave to the voices in his head and start raping people to death until someone shot him.
He's still trying to look at me. Hard to maintain an intimidating glare when your eyeballs keep slipping off whatever you're trying to stare down. I think he's jealous of my own eyes. My implants, that is. My old pair are probably fertilizing some grandma's apple tree somewhere.
I never got nystagmus like a lot of these kids do. Years after my change I could see as well as I did when I was a teenager. That’s the main freebie biomancy gets you - an unnaturally healthy body, even after enough experimental surgeries to make the most puritanical Brotherhood zealot sweat. My body just mutates around additions and edits, keeping me extremely alive whether I have any say in it or not. Pyromancers get to shoot fire out of their nose, hydromancers get to make the fountains dance, heiromancers get to write laws that reality itself has to obey. My only trick is being too alive to kill, among a couple of other fun things. But hey, if you’re gonna have one trick, not dying is a pretty good one to have, I think.
This kid has no clank at all other than his inhibitor, fitting with my observation that his vitae is weak as fuck, despite all his implants and injections. Red, and very low, like a lonely coal. His brain was barely holding itself together after basic slabbing, so there's no way he'd be able to tolerate any kind of optional features. Probably doesn't even have bone reinforcements. He's got maybe five years before he's a twisted-up pile of slime. If he doesn't kill himself or get executed first.
I smile and give him a little wave. He scowls at me, still trying to meet my eyes. Defiant. Cute.
From here, there's only two options, depending on his personality and how well that inhibitor is working. He'll either burn one of his last synapses to realize that I'm bigger and smarter than him by a pretty significant margin and go back to eating his sandwich like a nice little porkbrain, or decide against all logic that I'm a bit too uppity for his liking and I need to be taught a lesson. I'm about halfway through the line, so I figure I've got enough time to share some of my wisdom before lunch. I keep smiling at him.
Yep. That did it. The sandwich, which right now should be the most important thing in this guy's short little life, has been laid down. I am now his entire universe, and I couldn't be happier. He stands up from his table and starts stomping his way over to me. He's doing the thing all these gutter slabs do when they want to look extra scary and impressive*.* Squaring his shoulders, pushing his chest out, holding his chin slightly up, and flexing all his muscles at once, so his veins stand out under his skin like bridge cables. Personally, I always thought this pose made a guy look like an erection throwing a temper tantrum, but hey, what do I know? Maybe that's the point. I know I probably wouldn't try to tussle with a giant, throbbing, foul-tempered penis in work boots and coveralls. Who knows what kind of fluids you'd get on you?
Now he's within smelling distance. The delightful melange of grease, sweat, and testosterone wafts over me, and suddenly I'm reconsidering lunch. The rest of the line has done a curious thing, bending away from me to form a comfortable and distant semicircle. People around here know the drill - they're pretty much on autopilot. Once you see two trains crash head-on multiple times a day for a few years, you learn to just step calmly out of the shrapnel zone.
He lines up on me, about ten feet away. Close, but not so close that I could grab him. Smart. Not the first time this guy's taken exception to someone's behavior. His vitae is flaring, but it’s still sort of pitiful - just a kind of weak reddish glow, like a spoon accidentally left on a stove.
The palooka does his best to get me in his wiggly sights and grunts, “Got a problem, fuck?” His voice is hoarse, like sandpaper rasping over gravel. Probably smokes a lot of scrub to dampen the pain in his joints.
Most skinnies he does this to are probably wetting themselves by this point, so, considering he has somehow mistaken me for one, he probably expects me to do the same. Instead, I do what any respectful predator does when he meets one of his own kind, and show him my teeth. All fifty-eight of them.
I opt to leave the eloquence at the door, guessing this meat pie probably wouldn't appreciate it anyway. “Yeah. You're really, really ugly. You look like a butt. And you smell like what comes out of a butt. You should take a shower. Smelly.”
Okay, not exactly award-winning trash talk. But you try making your insults dashing and stylish using only words with two or less syllables. It's hard!
His pink face screws up in an expression of both pain and skull-popping fury, making his hairless head look like a wad of used chewing gum. His inhibitor is shocking him, telling him to cut it out. But he doesn't. He's angry enough to push through the pain.
I can understand that.
He lets the rage out of his chest with a roar, then puts his head down and charges me, very plainly trying to tackle me to the ground so he can turn my face into mince. I do what a slab almost never does.
Dodge.
This probably wouldn’t work in most other situations, because I’m huge and not very maneuverable, but so is this guy. I step around him as cool as you please, and he steams past me. He keeps going for a bit, but then catches on to the fact that he hasn't hit anything for a suspiciously long time, so he skids to a stop and whips around.
He's way past words at this point. He's getting shocked so bad I can see smoke coming from his implant. It'll blow if I don't tuck him into bed quick.
I don’t even need any magic for this. He’s making it way too easy.
Chunky charges again, but this time I don't move out of the way. I plant my back foot, then thrust my hand out right as he reaches me, mashing my palm right into his nose. He stops cold in his tracks with a sad little whimper, arms stretching toward me pitifully.
Fortunately the kid's got a weird tiny head, so I'm able to get a good grip on it. Thumb on his right ear, fingers wrapped nicely across his jawbone and temple. I lift him up a bit for leverage, then throw his head into the pavement like a bouncy ball. Being connected by a neck, the rest of his body follows suit. His chin makes a fun crack when it hits, and his neck bends at an angle that four out of five physicians probably don't recommend. He stops moving.
I bend down and wipe the sweat and spit off on the back of his shirt, then check his breathing. Feel around his neck vertebrae. His vitae is still there, but even dimmer. He's fine. Way sleepier than he was a minute ago, but alive. He'll wake up in half an hour wondering why everything above his shoulders feels like it got run over by a cargo train. And if he's lucky, he'll find he's gained some perspective on pointless violence, especially when aimed at one of the only guys in the city that outweighs him. If I'd been a Watchman, he'd have been sprayed with slabkiller and packed off to Sector Seventeen for recycling so fast he wouldn't even have time to notice how dead he was.
I stand up and give the line a coy smile and a wave. A couple nod at me in respect. I saunter slyly back over, and the guy I'd been ahead of lets me back in my spot.
Most gutter slabs are like a bottle of fizz in the back of a truck on a bumpy road. Over time, the pressure builds. The drugs, hormones, and supplemental brain tissue needed to integrate and coordinate the extra muscle result in a boiling pot of blind, directionless rage. For most, working hard all day doesn't let enough steam off. The extra starts to collect. With society saying that other ways of release aren't acceptable, while telling them they have to stay in line and put up with all the looks and comments, they reach a point where they pop. Usually all they do is smash up their own apartment, or fight it out with another slab in the same predicament.
But sometimes, when they're right on the edge, and another little kid screams at them like they're some kind of monster... they become one, for one horrible moment. And once you're a monster, you can never be anything else, ever again.
So, out of a sense of obligation to my dumb, angry brothers, I keep an eye out for the ones that look like they need a hard, thorough bit of percussive recalibration. I throw some goofy words at 'em, they fall for it, then I give 'em a nice whack on the head. They go to sleep for a bit, wake up with a few bruises, feel stupid, and remember what it is they need to be focusing on. Or at the very least they remember my fist in their face, which is enough to take the hot out of anyone's sauce, in my opinion. And then they stay out of trouble. Better for them to get a couple ouchies from a real monster than to cross that line themselves, I think.
I’m a mage, but I’m a slab too. It’s hard work being this distinctive and altruistic.
After about nine hundred years, I'm at the front of the line. I check the time. Almost noon. Yippee. I'm almost starting to feel it, too. The thought of quietly enjoying my meal at home and then taking a nap after the day I've had is almost enough to bring a tear to my eye. Metaphorically, that is. My tear ducts are cauterized shut.
The guy in front of me gets his order. It's a slab-sized sandwich, which I find strange, because it's almost the size of his thigh. But then I remember that skinnies can just slice a slab's sandwich like a cake and feed an entire family of four for a day or so. He's probably got kids at home. Pretty economical, when you think about it.
He tucks his monster meal under his arm and goes away, and I step up. I've got to take a knee in order to give my order, on account of how the shack's window only comes up to somewhere around the middle of my chest.
I peer into the greasy dollhouse and there's Gulder, the man himself, right in my face. I like Gulder. He serves enough slabs and weirdos every day that my awful mug suddenly appearing in his line of sight doesn't give him a heart attack. Everyone he sees, no matter what shape or sort, is just a receptacle to place a sandwich into, and I can't help but respect him for that. He's kind of a funny-looking fellow. On the short side, but borderline spherical from sampling the fruits of his labor, with no hair and a big black mustache like a push broom. From a distance he looks like two pink circles with a wide black line drawn through the top one.
He catches the green glint of my eyes and his caterpillar eyebrows go up. “Hey! This guy! Long time no see, Tiny! How you been? Keepin' outta trouble?”
See, the joke here is, Gulder calls me Tiny because I am, actually, a remarkably large person. An appellation that unexpectedly juxtaposes against the reality of the situation, in an example of what is sometimes referred to as “irony”. This is technically humor, but it's difficult to recognize after it's had its skull caved in with a lead pipe, wallet stolen, and left for dead in an alley somewhere. I'm so sorry, Humor. You deserved better.
I reply, “Oh, you know. I try to keep outta trouble, but trouble just can't keep outta me. It's 'cause I'm so handsome, y'see. Trouble just can't resist.”
He laughs. “Oh for sure. Pretty boy like you probably has more than his share of attention.” His smile melts off. “Hey look, thanks for cleaning up that mess over there. That one comes by pretty often, but he was starting to make me nervous. Times is hard enough without a puffed-up bully harassing my customers. Now he knows you come by here sometimes, maybe he'll cool it. I'm buying your lunch today.”
I wave a paw and scoff, because that's what you do in situations like this. “C'mon, it was all the work of twenty seconds. You probably could’ve given him a firm poke with a spatula and he would’ve fallen over, guy was as stable as a castle made out of cookies. It wasn't nothin'.”
He shakes his head and holds his hands up insistently. “It wasn't not nothin', champ. You went outta your way when you didn't have to. You spend twenty seconds showing a creep the inside of his own face for me, I spend twenty seconds making you lunch. Fair's fair, I insist.”
There's no point trying to shout him down. He's a Sector Seven man with a business that prints its own money, but I can tell he's not from here. Probably grew up in one of those Outer Ring slums where generosity is as rare as rain and being paid a favor is something that simply cannot be tolerated without swift, righteous vengeance. These cats are trained from childhood to treat an act of kindness like a declaration of war. Try to out-nice one of these slum knights and you'll both end up bankrupt.
“Alright, pal, I'll let you foot the bill this time. But only because I know you'll beat me up if I don't.”
He brandishes his spatula at me very seriously. “You bet your stitched-up ass I will. You want the deluxe with the works and extra mustard, right?”
“Yes I do, and you might as well throw in a basket of fried squash too, seeing as how you're paying and all.”
“You got it, champ. Be just a minute.”
About a minute later, I've got my bag, and I say my goodbye. I'm glad I stopped by. Not just because it's the best sandwich someone else's money can buy, but I also got to box a disaster waiting to happen. Can't have the riff-raff messing around and giving one of my favorite joints extra headache. And the whole possible prevention of senseless death thing, et cetera.
Now I gotta get back on the train. Hopefully I can get home before this bag gets cold, but who am I kidding, you could leave Gulder's stuff in a gutter for a week and it'd still be tastier than half the food in the city.
I step on the ostentatiously ornate Sector Seven platform, scan my ID, the alarm goes off, people give me dirty looks and clear out of the way, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t even care. I’ve got a greasy brown bag of heaven and they don’t, so there. This sandwich means I win today, citizens.
Interestingly, one person doesn’t clear off of the platform. He’s an old, old man, standing on the steel plates a distance from me. He’s a little bent, and holds a simple wooden cane. Very weathered, browned skin, like he’s worked in the sun his entire life. White beard, wild wispy hair like snow being blown off a mountaintop. I can’t get anything from his facial expression, he almost looks half asleep. I didn’t hear the system go off before me, so he’s not an arcanist. Maybe he didn’t hear the buzzer?
His vitae is… weird. You ever see diagrams of magnetic field lines? The two fields of concentric loops wrapping out and back from the poles? It looks like that, kind of. Long, lazy loops of gray energy, radiating out in steady pulses from the center of his chest and dissipating once they get a good ten or so feet away. There’s something else there, too. The lines closest to him have this sort of yellow shimmer that fades as they go out. The whole web smells… almost like ozone, or electrically charged metal.
Like I said, weird. Gray is a really rare color in vitae, like silver, gold, white, or black. And he can’t be an arcanist, even though that’s what this kind of weird pattern usually suggests. Unless he just didn’t scan his ID? He’s playing with fire, if that’s the case.
The train arrives, and I get on. The old man steps on too. He sits down gently on a seat toward the front of the car, and I stand a respectful distance away in the back. He crosses his spindly arms around his cane, leans his head forward, and falls asleep, apparently. Just like that, his long robe/coat thing wrapped about him like a blanket.
This isn’t totally unheard of. Most people get off the platform when an arcanist scans in, but a very few just ignore it and get on anyway. Something tells me this dusty tomcat isn’t exactly late for anything, so he must be too old to care. It’s the first time I’ve had any company on the train in months.
I’d like to talk to him, but I’ll let him sleep. Far be it from me to wreck up an old-timer’s rest. He’s probably earned it.

[this story has over 30 posts now, which you can find through my reddit profile. hundreds and hundreds of pages of ol' Featherlight. and i update pretty much every week, so you can look forward to more ♥]
[you can read this story on Royal Road too, if that's the kind of thing you're into. reviews would be greatly helpful for a new guy on the scene ♥]
[if you think this story is good enough to pay for, why not flip me a tip? i'd appreciate it ♥]
[and thanks for reading ♥]
submitted by CadaverCommander to HFY [link] [comments]

GTA VI Credible Leak ?

UPVOTE THIS POST SO IT DOES NOT GET BURIED ... *** FOLLOW ME TO GET MORE INFORMATION IN THE FUTURE.
UPDATED WITH TRACKLIST AND RADIO STATIONS
here is my ID badge that i use to get in and out of work. ( Name and picture is blurred for my protection.) date 2019-2020.
https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR
Everyone has been waiting, a credible leak for Grand Theft Auto 6. I will not be stating my name or anything, this is a personal throwaway account, But I do work at Rockstar Games. This next addition to the title will be keeping the tradition of roman numerals, ( GTA VI ) but I will often refer to it as GTA 6, to make things easier.
be sure to read everything, as I have taken the risk and time to leak a lot of vital information.
First off I’d like to state that all previous leaks about GTA 6 is a hoax. All of the leaks regarding GTA 6 taking place in any other area than Vice City, is a hoax.
I will be breaking down the characters, storyline, and more.
Grand Theft Auto VI is designed to be the most developed video game in history, and redefine open sand box games, letting the player fully immerse in the world and storyline.
In Grand Theft Auto 6 the game will take place in Vice City, but the previous storyline leaks etc, is all fake. The plot is completely different,. The game will host 3 protagonists, one being a middle aged white man named Johnathon Brooks, but is often referred to as John. John is going thru a mid-life crisis, and lives on the returning area called Starfish Island. John essentially is a life long career criminal, and exposes the player to a new crime element, fraud. John was born in Carcer City, and moved to Vice City at age 17, after running away from his foster parents, not much is known about his previous life before then, except he was in a very poor family.
John got into the fraud game in the early 2000’s, and he is 38 in game. he earned his money thru many fraudulent activities like credit card fraud, bank fraud, and did a few small bank jobs, and laundered his money with his own car wash business. He lives in a $1.8m mansion that he bought with his illicit gains, and the FIB are on to him. He borrows money from the local gang in Little Haiti, where fraud is very prevalent, and he starts getting back into his older habits to pay off the gang. The FIB notices this, and he ends up doing dirty work for the FIB, in order to keep his freedom.
The second character is Samuel “Shotta” Stevens, who is a member of the Haitian gang. He is a black, Haitian based character with more character development, than Franklin from GTA 5. He is 26 in game. The game also focuses more on crime, and the gang element. The player will experience the brutal reality of the gang life in Vice City, in the slums of Little Haiti, from loan sharking and repossessing the unreliable clients, to brokering the sales, that being kilos of cocaine, for the South American Cartel. Samuel lives in a Section 8 apartment, in the Little Haiti Neighborhood with his grandmother, Amy.
Samuel just wants to move out of the hood, but loves the gang lifestyle, and this gets him caughtup in the FIB drama with John. The FIB cuts him a deal also, if he can snitch out his gang, which the player can choose to cooperate, or refuse. This will change the storyline of Samuel dramatically.
If you choose Option A: Snitch on the gang, You will snitch on the gang and work with John, who will show you the ropes of Fraud, and you both will defraud the bank of Schlongberg Sachs, commit multiple heists, and become a protege of John. Or of course you can choose, Option B: Refuse. Refusing will make Samuel a target of the FIB, and this causes him to gain more respect from his gang. The respect system from San Andreas is back, but new and improved. Samuel will expand his gang operations from Little Haiti, all the way to the Vice Keys, and beyond.
The Third Character is a man named Xavier Gonzalez. Xavier is a latino man born in Vice City, he is 40 years old, and a cocaine kingpin. He lives in Downtown Vice City in his lavish $1.5m penthouse. Xavier is friends with John from the beginning of the story. Xavier is apart of the story no matter what option you choose, providing cocaine to John to sell, OR, Providing cocaine to both John AND Samuel, to sell together, and to strengthen the gangs funds. The gang system is similar to Red Dead Redemption 2’s system, and also has elements of GTA San Andreas. Xavier is also tied in directly to the nightclub business as well, having stakes in the returning Malibu Club, now run by the Jimenez Family, a latino Mafia, who has ties directly to the South American Cartel.
Each Character has a different personality and lifestyle, and will be a exceptional experience for the player. Former characters from past GTA’s will be making appearances. Luis WILL be returning, being a manager of the Malibu Club, Stranger and Freaks missions are returning with a more in depth story for every one of them, and Michael De Santa and his wife, Amanda, will be returning also, living in a beach house, although their children will not make any appearances. The both do not play a VITAL part in the storyline, but will have stranger and freaks missions for any character, with all different outcomes. For example, passing by the state penitentiary, you may just recognize Lamar Davis, in a bluish grey jumpsuit, embellished with a pair of handcuffs wrapped around his wrists, demanding for a ride.
The map of GTA VI, will be bigger than GTA V and RDR2 combined, having several counties, having Vice City, based on Miami, the Vice Keys, based on the Florida Keys, The Everglades, based on the swampy Everglades in Florida. The game will also feature Orlando, which is named Corlado, and Tampa, named as Gulf Shore City, but downsized a bit. The game will feature sprawling countryside outside of Vice City and Corlado, with countryside towns, named Canisville, Centura, and Sentinel Point, along with towns along the Vice Keys. There is an Air Force Base, based of off Eglin Air Force Base, named Fort Sentinel. The Ocean is the Atlantic Ocean, with more shipwrecks to discover, plants and animals, and more. The game itself has as many animals as RDR2, and the player can hunt if they choose, although this is just a more of a minigame. Vigilante Missions will be back, along with Taxi Missions.
Character Customization will be better, from the belt on your waist, to the socks on your feet. Choose to your liking of luxury watches, rings, chains, earrings, featuring plain jane, to diamonds and rubies, emeralds, and more. Belts can be worn along with hightops, to lowtops and boots, and dress shoes. Pantlegs can be tucked into the footwear you choose, if the option is available. Tattoos will be back, along with hair customization. John is white so he can tan, or be sunburned, and the core system from RDR 2 is back aswell.
Tattoos will feature opacity and can also fade over time. You will be able to adjust the size of the tattoo. It will be able to be placed on over 10 different area of the body depending the size.
Since the core system is back, you will have to also bathe, to stay clean, otherwise you may notice changes in your cores.
You will have to eat to replenish cores, so you can cook in your safehouse, or go eat out in a restaurant, whether it be fast food or upscale. All characters can have relationships with women, similar to GTA 4 and GTA San Andreas. You will be able to buy extra safehouses around the map, and the amount of vehicles will be the same amount that are in GTA Online, and more. Every vehicle will be returning, and first person mode will be more enhanced, with more realistic vehicle interiors to immerse the player into every aspect of the game. South America will not be apart of the game, only Vice City and surrounding Areas.
Skills from GTA V is also being integrated back, along with exercising, to boost strength. Agility is a new added skill, and Strength will affect how hard you punch, kick, or melee in general.
Special Abilities so far, will not be coming back. This may be tweaked before release, but if they return, it will not be a major part of the game.
Car Customization is more advanced, different leather trims can be changed colors, along with wood trims and marble trims. You can add satellite radio, which lets you listen to radio stations in Los Santos, and Liberty City, but so far there is only two stations from each of those cities. You can also listen to all the radio stations across the counties. Neon is back, new spoilers and liveries as well, Along with different colors of tint. Subwoofers will be a standard upgrade as well.
Los Santos Customs is gone, and Pay and Spray is back, along with Viceland Kustomz, and Sentinel Bike Shop. You can also modify certain parts at the car dealerships.
The drug dealing system from GTA: China Town Wars is also returning, but a bit revamped. This is where the post office system comes in, from RDR2. Pounds of Marijuana sourced from Los Santos delivered by mail, to a post office near you. From weed to tabs of LSD, all the way to meth, heroin, and cocaine, you can reap major profits.
Casinos will be returning as well, one being a resort, others being small-time casinos. You will be able to rent a room in the casino and resort. The casino is named as the Malibu Casino and Resort.
Gunplay is improved with new realistic sounds. Interiors are just as detailed as GTA V or RDR2, if not more, I’d say. The insurance system from GTA Online will be integrated into GTA VI’s story mode, so losing a vehicle will not happen.
There is an abundance of new and old activities, that being over 50 strangers and freaks missions, drug supplying, or drug running, similar to GTA TBOGT’s drug missions. You can hunt, as stated before, but is more of a minigame than a money maker. You can fish as well, as fishing is a very popular sport, in modern day Florida.
There will be four strip clubs scattered around the map, one of them named Vanilla Unicorn South East, which is owned by Trevor Phillips, who is planned to make a cameo, only to be featured in a cutscene so far.
Nightclubs as I stated before, will be a thing. There will be 3 nightclubs, where you can take part in a few activities, like dancing, where you can meet your date in game, or drinking and smoking. Expect SOLOMUN, and BLACK MADONNA to return. You will see in game appearances of them DJing in the nightclubs. No other DJ’s will return.
Bounty hunting will not be a thing, but dirty work for the FIB throughout the story will be similar. Pool and bowling is returning, along with player skills, exercise and working out also is a thing, as stated above earlier.
Convenience stores and gas stations will feature many products you can purchase. Snacks, that being Phat chips, (different flavors yield more health and core restoration) candy bars, ( EgoChaser, Meteorite, Zebra Bar, and more) drinks, (E Cola, Sprunk,) Alcohol, (Pisswasser, Champagne, Logger) Redwood cigarettes, and cigars. The stores will be setup similar to RDR2’s store system. You can rob the stores, and also start a protection racket, and extort them.
Pharmacys will be in the game, to purchase portable med kits, or you can rob the pharmacy for drugs and money.
The way you eat can also affect your character’s health, and weight. Similar to GTA San Andreas’s system.
Merryweather will return, but won’t have the same presence as it did in GTA V. Merryweather ends up not being able to operate on U.S. soil, and goes out of business as a hit is put on Don Percival, by one of the returning characters from GTA V.
An advanced parkour system is integrated as well, similar to GTA IV’s.
Gun stores will be prevalent as this is based off of Florida. The homeless man who found the diamonds, from GTA TBOGT will also make an appearance as a gun store owner, as he has proceeded to purchase and start a gun shop in the area of South Vice Beach.
The black market for weapons is featured in this game as well, similar to fences in RDR2. You can also craft bombs/projectiles if you have learned to.
Realism is a goal of this game, without being too overwhelming. Guns and weapons will need to be cleaned. If you shoot a gun, you will smell of gun powder, this may be noticed by civilians or police officers, and they will make comments about it. If you have not bathed, you may just get absurd insults slurred at you. If you have blood stained on you, and you smell of blood, people may give you weird looks, or may just make a call to the local Law Enforcement.
As for those who DM me or ask about Strangers and Freaks, or mysteries and riddles, the paranormal world will be featured in GTA VI. You may encounter serial killers, or creepy sightings in dreary areas. Strangers and freaks will all have its own unique storyline.
The weather system is IMPROVED SIGNIFICANTLY aswell. Hurricanes do take place, but only during certain parts of the storyline, and floods may occur in marshland areas and anywhere away from mainland.
Melee Combat system is based off of strength, and Agility, which is a new skill, as stated above, and is improved heavily. Hand combat is influenced by strength and agility. Based on how hard you hit the opponent, you may bruise them, and bruise yourself. The chainsaw is returning as well. The limbs and gore is back from RDR2
Dialogue System from GTA San Andreas and RDR2 is back, and improved, with different responses every time.
GPS and Navigation System will be improved, showing the quickest routes, from alleyways to the freeway. Every street will have a name, and the GPS voice from GTA IV is returning as well, get ready to hear “Turn Left in 500 yards, Bing Bong.” Planes will have autopilot, and you can fly to each city with plane tickets, or on your own.
Driving mechanics will be similar to GTA IV’s, but combined with the smoothness of GTA V’s mechanics. Damage to the vehicle will be more detailed then ever, featuring airbag damage as well. EVERY Vehicle will have its own selected weight, and handling, to improve the player’s experience.
Six star wanted level is back, with FIB being the 6th star. There is multiple law enforcement agencies. VCPD, GSCPD, CPD, SPPD, Highway Patrol, FIB, IAA, Viceland State Patrol, as well as the NOOSE. You will not be shot by cops for just staring at them.
Being arrested results in you serving time, similar to RDR 1’s Jail time mechanic, showing you all of your charges while you sit in a cell. The first time you get arrested it will show your character being booked, and you will have to take a mugshot and be fingerprinted. Depending on the county or city you’ve been arrested in, you will be known to local law enforcement and even law abiding citizens, depending on how severe your charges are.
Random events are more realistic than ever. depending on the wanted level you’ve attained, there is a system similar to the bounty system of RDR2. The more crimes you’ve commited that have gained attention of law enforcement, you have a chance of getting your hotel room getting kicked in by noose, your safe house getting staked out by undercover FIB, even being pulled over if you have commited a number of crimes in the same vehicle. You may witness muggings, or even be mugged yourself. You will encounter situations with homeless people to the rich and famous, with all different outcomes.
Real Estate as stated before, will be available to all three characters. Businesses will be available, illicit and legal, from businesses to launder cash for the gang, to illicit businesses like credit fraud rings, to counterfeit cash.
Safe houses will be available as well. A penthouse in Corlado, a modern mansion on Starfish Island, a beach house on Ocean Beach, a small quaint house in Canisville, a traditional house in Gulf Shore City, a vacation-style home in the Vice Keys, to small apartments in small towns like Centura or Sentinel Point. Each character will be able to purchase any of these properties, but it will be tied to just the one character that purchased it.
Hotels and Motels will also be available to rent rooms and bathe in, one being the Gulf Shore motel, a dingy motel room for cheap, perfect for someone wanting a cheap stay. The Malibu Casino and Resort near Vice Beach, a 5 star luxury stay, with a two-story penthouse with a jacuzzi the player can bathe in, with views of Vice Beach, and the nearby Ocean Beach. There is 4 hotels and 2 motels scattered across the map, each with unique interiors and different amenities.
Purchasing vehicles you can enter a dealership, or purchase online and have it delivered to a garage. Pegasus Concierge is returning. Certain stolen vehicles will have trackers, and will not be able to be modified, same as GTA V.
The stock market is also returning, BAWSAQ and VLSM ( Vice Land Stock Market ) and can reap heavy profits as well.
Time goes by: This game is set in 2017-2019. Times will change thruout, buildings will be completed as they were in RDR2, radio stations will not play all of the music in the tracklist at first. Instead it will play newer music thruout the storyline. You will still hear older and newer songs too after completion.
Character customization is not just clothing, tattoos, jewelry and hair customization. You can also purchase 3 different phone models. an iFruit phone, based on the iPhone Xr, a Badger phone, or a Whiz Wireless. You will also be able to purchase ringtones, as you were able to do in GTA IV. You can also purchase an iFruit watch, based on the apple watch, which you can take calls on, if you change your settings.
Depending on how rough you play, clothing can wear and tear. Examples: jumping out of a moving vehicle, falling off/on rocks, tripping on certain props.
As stated above, NPC’s will notice the clothing you wear, the way you look or smell, the car you drive, and the jewelry you wear, and will make comments on it.
Crouching will be back, the same as RDR2, and the cover system is nearly the exact same cover system as RDR2.
ALSO Expect a Special Edition, AND Collector’s Edition, similar to RDR2.
The game is set in the summer of 2017 to 2019 as the storyline proceeds. This game WILL BE PS5 Exclusive, for the first month. The in-game experience is like no other, PS5 also has a new controller design as well. It is projected to not release until later 2020, AFTER holiday season BUT MAY BE DELAYED. I have broken down the storyline, key elements of the game, and if anyone has anymore questions I will be happy to answer. I know so much about this game as I’ve been working on it since the start, and I’m not afraid to get in trouble, as this is a throwaway.
I will not be responding to negative comments, claiming this is fake, because I will not waste my time with non-believers, only true questions.
all content is confirmed unless it has been mentioned by me to not be officially confirmed already, and anything may be scrapped before release as cut content, but is unlikely
*PLEASE UPVOTE. I do not want my effort and the risks I am taking to go to waste. I want this to not get buried. *
if you have questions or WANT MORE? (screenshots or photos as proof, radio stations, confirmed tracklists or more) Send Me A Chat.
You may see songs from previous games, as Rockstar may have the licenses still, or has renewed them.
CONFIRMED SONGS, AND RADIO STATIONS.
Satellite Radio: Liberty City
Beat 102.7- Hosted By DJ Whoo Kid
Beat 102.7 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/To0Wi8c
Liberty Rock Radio- Hosted By Iggy Pop
LRR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/5dCcVwB
Satellite Radio:
Radio Los Santos- Hosted By BigBoy
Radio Los Santos Logo- https://imgur.com/a/XUqjEed
Los Santos Rock Radio- Hosted By Kenny Loggins
Los Santos Rock Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/KxkMMd6
LOCAL RADIO STATIONS
NightRide FM Hosted By Kavinsky
NightRide FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/bb0hXDP
Corlado’s Hottest Jams 103.7 Hosted By Feliciá Williams and DJ Diamondz
CHJ 103.7 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/eWauMMj
V-Rock FM Hosted By Couzin Ed
V-Rock FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/9zQUsAE
Vice City’s Retro Mix , 104.7 Fm Hosted By Fernando Martinez
VCRM 104.7 FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wdrjsLH
Vice City Classic Hip Hop Hosted By DJ slick slim
Vice City Classic Hip Hip Logo- https://imgur.com/a/f859okr
Viceland’s Country Radio (VLCR) Hosted By Derrick Jones
VLCR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/VwZ1jw3
GSC-EDM FM ( Gulf Shore City EDM Fm ) Hosted By Gulf Shore City FM.
GSC-EDM FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/2zAlvsR
The Sunrise Fm ( Reggae music ) Hosted By Marshall Peters
The Sunrise Fm Logo- https://imgur.com/a/ea639SV
Vice Rap Radio ( VRR ) ( modern florida rap ) Hosted By DJ Josué Da Kidd
Vice Rap Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/F6qeX0U
The Groove 109.2 Hosted By Vaughn Harper
The Groove 109.2 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/vuon14i
Baila Ahora Radio (modern spanish station) Hosted By Amada Abrantes
Baila Ahora Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/TpBFTTd
Interesante Musica Radio ( modern and old spanish music ) Hosted By Selená Martinez * Los Hermanos Rosario, La Dueña Del Swing * los reyes del merengue, El Baile del Beeper - Versión Merengue * Celia Cruz, La Vida Es Un Carnaval * INDIA, Marc Anthony, Vivir Lo Nuestro * Felipe Muñiz, Marc Anthony, Deje de Amar * Ivy Queen, Dime * Monchy and Alexandra, Alexandra
Musica de Clásico FM ( Salsa ) Hosted By Pedro Simmóns
Flash FM ( 2000’s and 90’s pop) Hosted By DJ Toni
Flash FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/iWIYd8s
Ocean Beach Classics FM (80’s synth pop) Hosted By DJ Teri
OBC FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/5C1JVGJ
The Wave 103 (Slow/Vocal Synthwave + Indie Synth) Hosted By Adam First, Trish Camden
The Wave 103 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/Ku0amCT
Centura County Country Hits ( newer country ) Hosted By Rick Hanson
Centura County Country Hits Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wppVRMu
The Keys Rock Radio ( mix of rock) Hosted By Gerald Ritsky
The Keys Rock Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/JpWpA8x
Viceland Lithium Radio ( Hardcore Rock, Heavy Metal ) ( VLLR ) Hosted By VLLR.
VLLR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wOsEIlj
Trap House Radio ( Trap Rap ) Hosted By DJ BlueBandz
Trap House Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/lyG3FGA
Anarchy Radio 98.5 FM ( Alt Rock, Punk) Hosted By Jason Lavigne
Chatterbox Vice City Talk Radio
CBVCTR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/FKko1f1
CTR Corlado Talk Radio
-host, Lazlow - Fernando Martinez
Viceland News Network VLNN
VLNN Logo- https://imgur.com/a/yaBucdY
Host- Vanessa Hopkins, Weazel News. - Updates on weather and Weazel News
Ignore this below.
Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical. Ignore this below.
Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical.
Along with the No phone, No photos policy, It will be very difficult to get OFFICIAL screenshots. Here is a official, accurate sketch of the GTA VI Minimap and cores design
https://imgur.com/a/ghyoRb4
Here is the sketch of the mini map on computer.
https://imgur.com/a/D0Qj0EP
I will be uploading more sketches soon.
FOLLOW ME FOR MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON
Here’s my Rockstar badge / ID. it is dirty, apologies. The rockstar logo, imprinted on the card itself, along with my photo, blurred out, my name below it, and the expiration date, years 2019-2020. this is only an ID to get into the building. since i have released a bit of proof, stop spreading misinformation
https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR
You can still trust my leak, but here is a legal disclaimer so I cannot be targeted.
Ignore this below.
-legal disclaimer. this is fictional and not proven, this post is not associated with taketwo or rockstar games in any way, shape, or form.
submitted by aFloatingPineapple to u/aFloatingPineapple [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5 - Round 1 Wrap Up Part 1

The results are in for Match 29.
It was the final few hours of the Taste of Fortuna, an event which had transformed so much since its inception, yet still remained the most popular of public showcases for culinary creations of all levels of acclaim, persons passionate about food, though increasingly joined by those simply wishing to peacock.
As much as their camera crew tried to watch the action of the player characters, of course, the two most famous local celebrities who had received some considerable camera time had at once been commenting live over the events in their own ways. There wasn’t much time left on the show’s production schedule; this episode, though the final one shot for the first season, would be the first Being So Normal to air… Capitalizing off the recent success and gossip that was sure to come of such a unique Taste of Fortuna, Producer Million Dollars had shrewdly suggested. These hours of footage and Cairo spending so much of it AWOL would lead to a crunch time hell for post-production, on their own side in particular, but damn if it wouldn’t be worth it.
CaraMel Dansen, wide-eyed and mouthed, looked over the sheer positivity which had spread like whatever was the opposite of a plague among every single booth there, recommending one another and especially Bad Apples, and to the cameras she couldn’t help but say, free of any vitriol, “they’re not at each other’s throats, trying to one-up one another, or anything like that… Everyone here is pointing guests towards that big cake, but they also all seem so. So appreciative of each other’s foods, one another’s skills, and people are hitting up stall after stall until their wallets are empty! Has it been this cooperative in over a century? Has the event found touch with its-”
“Yeah, that’s nice and all, but it’s hardly Stand action,” Well, in one case, their spirit was. Cairo’s Peach Pit, in particular (still drawn by Boy George!), serving hosting duties on their user’s behalf, took attention away from CaraMel’s musings and towards the sole booth which, rather than riding this wave that gradually lifted everyone else up, had sought to do its own thing heavily, resulting in a stand that had bursts of massive popularity in between the lower numbers of the round in ‘off’ time, “check out what’s going on there, though… Hell of a costume, right? It reminds me of that scene in ‘The Last Unicorn’ where they stuck a fake horn on the real thing so average people could see it..! A taste of a live Stand battle for everyone!”
“Stay back!” Zebra, as the man with the even stranger real name of ‘Ice Station’ was nicknamed, warned, “the sun’s down. It’s too dangerous!”
His own Stand, cloaked and dubbed ‘Horror-kun,’ beckoned a finger towards London Lovett, whose eyes lit up. His voice, quivering and austere, asked, “it’s time?” and Horror-kun simply nodded.
In and above the crowd, an epic battle, astoundingly improvised in such short notice, ensued, teleporting about, scythes swiping, fists flying, both persons involved in the battle proud to see it, only for London to fall to his knees. “I’m not enough…” He whispered, gazing out to the crowd who had, finally, become pretty sure that this was a bit, and safe to approach. As his grinning partner stomped his feet, he grew louder. “I need your belief in me. I need to feel your pulse resounding through my chest! Come on, let me hear you stomp to the beating of your hearts! Lend me your power - your spirits - and I can do this!”
Not long after, he leapt forward, dealing the finishing blow and causing ‘Horror-kun’ to disappear, the crowd cheering as he stood there.
Of course, the baggage boy who volunteered himself knew his part here. Sure, he wasn’t really usually the type to cheer with childlike glee, but his blood was pumping and he needed to steer this show into a way for these people to buy food. “YEAH!” He made himself yeah, “YEAH! You were like, the coolest! The way you were all, bam! And he was all, pow! You guys are the. COOLEST.” Then he looked to a piece of paper in his hand. “Oh, uh… Yeah! Hey everyone! Thanks for helping London save the world from the forces of Horror-kun! And to show how grateful we are, everything’s 30% off for the rest of the night! Come and get it!”
“Now that is a damn good show,” the sentient Stand said, cool-toned and impressed, leaning towards CaraMel slightly. “Like, even you’ve gotta admit, something like that is top-tier.”
Through the excitement of London Lovett’s battle with Horror-kun, the sentient Stand’s eagerness to see it, and the massive crowd going and buying things up in the aftermath, something seemed to snap in the young chef, whose lip trembled as she stormed off.
Th-that was so… It’s everything I don’t want this place to be..! Her feelings were petty, on some level mad that people were having a good time in a way that she didn’t like or approve of, that people might learn from this example, and so she ran off, booking it through the stalls and trying to force a massive smile.
“Like an eagle-eyed foodie, I spy trouble…” Purple remarked, having himself thoroughly enjoyed his time with BADD here, in spite of Pandora Anada saddling him with the nickname ‘Afton’ early on in spite of his lack of slaughter perpetration.
Pandora Anada, then, concurred with a frown, “one of our cohosts, the one who ran this, she’s ran off… This doesn’t make the game over, does it?”
Ryuga, having been focusing on food, looked the scene over, tugging at his shirt collar. “Yeah, I’ve seen that kind of look before… You two take over one last time. I’m going to talk to her.”
Which was how, sulking at a bench, Ryuga encountered CaraMel, simply standing there quietly, unsure quite how to broach the conversation until she looked over at him, holding out a piece of the ‘Concept of Love’ cake he’d made and sliced up. “It’s, uh… On the house. Hey, I don’t know you well, but are you okay?”
“Thank you…” CaraMel whispered, calming herself with a forkful of the stuff, shuddering and smiling wistfully as the experienced baker felt it along her tongue and vanish into her gullet. “It’s amazing…” And then, she found herself able to speak more, looking at the rush of customers to Elephant Bones. “That… Street performance stuff. None of it is about the food here, and that’s… That’s what this whole thing should be all about! Passionate chefs, and goodwill between them, and-”
When he realized she wasn’t going to finish, Ryuga answered, shaking his head. “Chef Dansen… They’re doing the same thing that we are, in their own way. Sure, that sort of thing isn’t to my tastes, either, but I can still see the effort behind it, how cool it is, their skill with running a menu of their choice, and I’ve stopped by there myself at least once during this festival; what they’re serving is really good, too. You shouldn’t… Make yourself miserable because people are having a good time.”
“But it’s getting more attention than anyone’s food, and if it takes them to the top people might-”
“If they win, that’s fine by me,” Ryuga answered then, “I mean, sure, I would like to, but I didn’t want to be on Cairo’s show in the first place, any more than you wanted them here… Even if we did, it wouldn’t be okay to hold whatever happens against them. Pandora and I, we just did what we’d meant to here anyway, with the added pressure of cameras. I don’t think I regret a moment of this… It’s been a great day. That’s what matters to me most right now.” He looked around then. “I’d love to talk more, but… I should probably get back to our stand now. Are you going to be alright?” He waited to see her nod, looking genuinely slightly better, and then started off. “Talk to you later, then.”
As he left, CaraMel could have sworn that she’d seen a strange form, one different yet similar to the dragons which had only briefly emerged to help cut the cake, perched on Ryuga’s back, flickering in and out of existence quickly. I don’t even know what his Stand can do, but it can change..? He doesn’t even seem to have noticed it…
With a massive sale on the Elephant Bones coming into play in the final minutes, Bad Apple continued to sell food as they were.
When 9 PM hit, all that was left was for the final last-minute orders on either side to be made.
Pandora was humming happily and floating the orders to people with a, “remember always to live, laugh, love… Have a good lovely evening also.”
Purple chuckled. “You, Pandora Anada, are yet the only person I have met to say that and sound so non-artificial… As if the words are truly profound to you.”
Zebra, too, was finishing up serving orders, then, the airport baggage boy and London disappearing behind the grill to handle those final discount orders. Despite the booming attention they were getting, he couldn’t help but wonder about the pending results. “Did we play it up enough..? We were fighting uphill this entire time, and I can’t shake the feeling…”
“Dude, relax,” the stoner helping London said, his overplayed enthusiasm for the sake of helping him win chilling to his usual mellow wit, “we’ve been pulling in numbers… I mean, so has everyone else, but we’ve been pullin’ in more, and a rising tide raises all ships, yeah?”
“You make good points…” London agreed in his post-’battle’ calm, “you should come work at Elephant Bones full-time. We could always use more, and that bird you admire so much is there…”
“Huh?” He seemed confused. “You, uh… Do realize I live literally the entire ‘Earth’ away… Uh. A-D to you outsiders. Biit of a commute for a guy with a suspended driver’s license… Honored, though, really, just to be asked.”
Cairo’s voice came through then, for one of the first times in hours, where they were walking around on a date, that anyone had glimpsed the supposed host. “Alright, everyone, I can see you’ve completed every transaction. No way to pad it out now… Fall in, it’s time for us to announce results!”
The six were exhausted, then, and shared some of their thoughts with the cameras when prompted hard to, but otherwise, waited patiently, sweatily, for the well-groomed host and the also very sweaty and tired-looking event organizer, Cairo and CaraMel, standing side-by-side, to announce the results.
“So?” CaraMel asked, at least in a better, if resigned, mood from before, “who won this show of yours? Your people have been filming for nearly twelve hours after all…”
“…Being So Normal is a show dedicated to the celebration and uplifting of the Stand User, to show the world what we’re capable of so we don’t have to live like some secretive underground.” They turned towards London in particular, earning a mildly disappointed but overall even face from BADD, but slight satisfaction from them. “Stand Users can be heroes, superstars, top-tier community figures, and we can encourage the best of the world while being the best in the world. I thoroughly believe that, and I know who for damn sure lived up to the spirit of this show more… And the people who lived up to that are definitely London, Zebra, and… This guy!”
“I did what I could,” Purple tried to quietly console.
The bagboy elbowed him. “Their next line is a ‘but,’ I can feel it…”
“But,” Cairo continued, “the numbers don’t lie… On top of boosting the sales of every single person around here, and making them want to stick around, Ryuga, Pandora, ‘Afton,’ you wound up serving exactly as many customers in the end, to the one, even if you were just… Running a restaurant stall. You barely even gave us any prime Stand footage..!”
Despite his words earlier, Ryuga looked like his heart skipped a beat, genuinely proud of his accomplishment. The smile typical to Pandora’s face grew wider, and Purple Kid, then, spoke with renewed vigor, “I did not at once doubt us! I’m an invaluable ally, aren’t I?!”
The winner is the Taste of Fortuna, Cairo’s episode having no winner and both teams scoring 70!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Graveyard Shift 14-16 BADD GUYS managed to catch up in votes in the nick of time, but in the end, easily the most consistent and frequent votes were for those calling to make the match a tie.
Quality BADD GUYS 23-22 Reasoning
JoJolity BADD GUYS 23-22 Reasoning
Conduct TEAM 10-10
CaraMel, for whatever her reasons, asked to step away with London and Zebra, wanting to tell them something somewhere more quiet and ensuring them it was important.
Cairo, of course, was professionally obligated to not act bitter about how one half of the side didn’t really have much Stand shenaniganry whatsoever, so they spoke with a smile. “That was… Quite the showing, seriously! I don’t know that Peach and I would’ve gone about it the same, but… Not bad, yeah. Good work rivaling each other completely and leaving no conclusive winner!”
“I’m proud of what me and the youngsters did, yes,” Pandora agreed, nobody able to tell if she had missed the tension here or simply was billowing past it with positivity, the slightly intimidating woman a never-ending wellspring of good vibes, after all. “Good food we can stand by, happenstance resolving in our way, I’m sure there is some love in the air… All of it is very nice-as-icing.”
“We really were just trying to make the best Taste of Fortuna possible… This was our way, and Elephant Bones had theirs,” Ryuga said, slightly uncomfortable at the host’s word choice and implicit disappointment in their lack of a ‘loss,’ but refusing to let it ruin the good feeling he’d had about the day. “And you got us to be in your show, in spite of us adamantly refusing.”
They could tell that even the most skillful editing possible probably couldn’t make BADD GUYS look like the episode’s antagonistic side here, especially with all the positive talk about them, so c’est la vie. He was right, after all; there was still a really good episode buried in these hours of footage!
“Everyone is the victor here, Cairo,” Purple reassured them, “me most of all, I like to think, but fret not, for soon, days from now, Being so Normal will drop! And oh, the fantastic episodes you’ve filmed right here in Agora Row for its first season.”
“Yeah, you’re right… We’ve had some bumps along the road,” they said, “but stuff like that building match in the warehouse, and even that fight in sOOp at the mall ended as good as they could. It was just a matter of course that with CaraMel and Peach watching it, the Taste of Fortuna would go well too.”
“Bumps along the road?” Ryuga asked in a somewhat tired, dry tone. “Never mind… I’d like to start cleaning up now, if you don’t mind.”
“Next to godliness and have a good home,” Pandora remarked with a nod, “ahhh… Stop by again some time, won’t you? But we’d rather you not trick us into being on your show more…”
A tall, broad, bald man in sunglasses, utterly eclipsed by an even bigger man beside him, were also among the last of the crowds to disperse. Chief Churchyard held a piece of cake and plate in one hand, a plastic fork in the other, both utterly eclipsed in size by his palms as he took demure bites. Mr. Jones was coolly sipping warm bone broth.
“Mm, I gotta say, Church, I came here to get some tips outta watchin’ a young legend like Cairo film their show live, but this cuisine is top-of-the-line! Lucky you gettin’ the last slice of cake, though.”
“Feels like a million bucks,” Churchyard answered between bites. “Somethin’ like this is just what we needed after the last few months… What with the fatal duel at that baseball game,” he paused then, as if stopping himself from saying ‘which Cairo filmed,’ “and the serial killer turning out to be that girlfriend of yours, so many people moving away and selling their houses… You hear the buyer’s gonna tear those down and build new apartments or something? Black Angel hasn’t been around as much lately either… Think I scared ‘em off?”
“Heh, you sound concerned ‘bout the feelings of someone who beat my boys blue. They a personal friend, officer?” Jones answered, chuckling, sipping more broth as Churchyard visibly tensed. “Relax, just messin’ with ya. You’re too good-hearted sometimes… Hurts more people than it helps for a lawman to be like that.”
Churchyard blinked, visible through his glasses. “You… seriously think that?”
Nearby, a trio of young women glanced towards the very tall men, all various degrees of cross.
Jillian Heart shuddered a bit, backing from them. “After all he did, all that’s been said about him, he’s just out in the open socializing like it’s nothing… He should be rotting in some cell, not laughing it up with an officer.”
“That guy… He’s a pain in the ass, and Mr. Jones is gonna make a monster out of him.” ‘Lou’ Reed was wearing a ‘#FreeStone’ t-shirt under her open leather jacket, hair down and kept out of her eyes by a black headband, clenching her fists. “We have a chance to set things right here and now, before he can corrupt anything else.”
Violet, clutching her still scarred torso, frowned. “Lou, not here… We’re in a crowded public place, and people are trying to have a nice time. Don’t throw yourself into this…”
“Ruining one night to stop so many others from being ruined too sounds worth it to me,” she answered, stepping forward again. “Jill, text Gioia, she should still be around here. Together the two of us can easily-” She gasped a bit, wincing and feeling a sharp if mild stinging in the back of her neck. “Nngh, how big are mosquitoes around here..?” She rubbed at her neck, blinking and looking at her friends. “Uh, totally spaced out there… What were we talking about?”
Violet hurried in front of her now, giggling a bit, “oh, just small-talk shit, ya know how it is. About how glad we are to just be having a nice time, Stand Users all over and not being in mortal danger… Ya know? Stuff ‘round all the Campuses have been, like, totally hectic lately.”
“Heh…” Jill mused, playing along with the shift in the scene. “That’s Midnight Sun for you… Arts, Culinary, Law, Social Work, whatever school, you’re gonna have a time and a half.”
“I’m used to worse, so honestly attending there might be kinda chill if anything,” Lou answered, shrugging with a casual grin, “I’m just happy you’re all alive and stuff… And have you tried all of the food around here? I’m gonna be so sick tomorrow but it’ll be sooo worth it for how I feasted today.”
“That’s the spirit…” Violet said with some amusement. “I mean, even with stuff like that fight in Professor Kirk’s sculpting room and the Institute Library, you can still do shit like campus games, yeah? …and I still have no idea how the Assassin game I ran to mess with those guys went in the end.”
“You made people play that game to jerk ‘em around and then ditched before it ended?” Lou raised an eyebrow. “That is rich.”
A perfect set of ears overheard all of that and so much more, to the point where it was a little bit overstimulating to try and discern literally everything, honestly… But Metra Doria, who Los Fortuna and the world knew as TD/MD, wasn’t one to shy away from an event like this, where exactly the sort of people she might be seeking could be.
She was accompanied, of course, by her ever reliable agent and friend, Thutmose, who in recent times had seen a 100% decrease in his role of cowing to outside pressure to turn Stand Users on one another, concerns of retaliation for which had prompted him to spend more time around Metra again.
“That’s definitely the voice of ‘Worm,’ from those streams… But I can’t really make sense of it,” she thought aloud, using her ally as a soundboard. “I mean, these are guys who turn their own casinos into arenas and stuff, and he doesn’t seem like the sort… You got any hunches?”
“Unfortunately, I do not…” Thutmose shook his head. “When that performance at the Alexander Dickinson went so amazingly, it saved our friendship and our professional relationship, and I am completely grateful for that, but Mr. Sins isn’t quite as willing to chat my ears off anymore now that he doesn’t stand to gain much from me besides a punching bag…”
“So we’re at a bit of a roadblock on all sides,” Metra said with a pout, before remembering an incident shortly after that fight in traffic they showed to the dark web.
She’d said in private a bit ago, “I was supposed to meet with one of those guys after that, but all I got when I went down to the meeting spot was a note with this weirdly perfect, almost machine-like handwriting from him, saying something about how they were followed by the winner of that fight, he got spotted, and now there was too much heat to hang around and chat… Talk about unlucky, huh? Blocked because people were trying to do the same thing…
“Well,” she said in the present, “we’ll just have to try harder to get to the bottom of it all, won’t we? Worst-case scenario, though, even if I never get another lead again, at least I just had a nice day without any trace of that Fox guy hanging over my shoulder.”
Peres Straviat’s Clinic, near The Devil Blue, Waterfront District, 9:56 PM Peres Straviat sat back in front of a computer, mouse in her hand while her stand took care of the keyboard. Together, they navigated through a mess of spreadsheets, contracts, and other such bits of classified information. The screen was currently open to a sheet documenting The Devil Blue’s Niter sales and the expenses spent on gathering them, and the situation was… complicated.
The past few months had been turbulent, with a boom in their supply followed almost immediately by a drastic drop (the latter of which likely occurred due to The Ocean Soul having been defeated by an incredibly annoying “villain” and a somewhat less annoying dog.)
The Ocean Soul hadn’t been killed, but it had been weakened and had become incredibly cautious, leading to the drop. With the drop in the luxury good’s supply came an increase in demand, and the only people capable of keeping up with it were The Devil Blue, in no small part due to Peres’s own assistance.
Following her research into the effects of The Ocean Soul’s ability, Peres had figured out how to create imitations of Niters with her stand. They weren’t as good as the real thing, but when people wanted them that bad, they certainly accepted a small drop in quality if it let them get their hands on Niters.
Then again, the Niters didn’t matter much - they weren’t the true focus of her research, and at the end of the day, this was nothing more than a “milestone” along the way. What truly mattered was not the Niters, but managing to capture The Ocean Soul. Before the train of thought could continue, Peres was interrupted by three loud knocks at the door.
“Hello~! Peres, are you in here?” from behind the door came the familiar voice of Modern Holiday, her business partner. “Whatever, I’m coming in either way!” and with that, he opened the door, and light flooded into the room as the bright-eyed man stood in the doorway. In his hands were multiple plastic bags with a “Taste of Fortuna” label, filled to the brim with all sorts of food.
“I see you brought something along with you. How was the festival?” Peres asked. “Oh, it was great! There’s so much good food there, I’m stuffed!” Holiday jubilantly said. “And you still couldn’t help but bring more with you.” Peres jokingly remarked. “Of course I couldn’t! This is a once-in-a-year opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it! Not to mention that you haven’t gotten to- OH! I forgot to mention that I saw a stall for the Elephant Bones there!”
“The Elephant Bones? Were they the restaurant that that ‘Glitch’ woman you met a while back worked for?”
“Yeah! They did a whole big routine there as well, giving one of their stands a costume and everything! And there was this other group of stand users that made a massive cake and showed it off to everyone, and their food was so good! Here, see for yourself - I got you a piece!” Holiday said, beaming, as he took a small box out of the bag and placed it on Peres’ table, before opening it to reveal a slice of cake and handing her some plastic cutlery.
“Well, it sounds like you enjoyed yourself.” Peres said, taking a chunk out of the cake and tasting it. “Hm. Good cake.” “Yeah! I knew you would like it!” Holiday said, placing the plastic bags by the entrance of the room, before grabbing a chair and moving it over so that he could sit down in front of Peres.
Holiday stretched back in his chair and yawned before speaking. “So, putting that aside - Cairo’s gonna launch Being So Normal soon, yeah? You think we’re good to go before Vitus starts harassing us even more than usually?”
“Hmm… Hard to tell. We’ve made significant progress in our preparations for capturing the Ocean Soul, but once the footage from the fight against the Ocean Soul is publicly released, I’m certain that Vitus will make his move as well. We might have managed to prepare quite a bit ourselves, but he’s got significant influence, both within ODIN and outside of it, and I’m certain he’ll try to use sabotage in the future.”
“Yeah… Well, at least we’re better off than we would have been had we not cooperated with Cairo in order to get the footage from the fight, yeah? Who knew that the cameras would end up capturing that weird hermit talk about the secret to summoning the Ocean Soul? Without us finding out about that before Vitus, we’d have been so screwed!”
In response, Peres shrugged, but it was clear that she was still somewhat antsy about the whole situation. “Possibly. Not that it matters anymore - we got the footage, and we’re taking steps to make sure that our plans will be successful. No use thinking about what might have happened.”
Holiday sighed. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Still… I can’t help but get nervous about this all, you know? We can’t underestimate Vitus, or any of the other stand users in this city for that matter, and if we screw this up, then… Well, I’d really rather not think about that, and I’m sure you don’t either, yeah?”
“You’re right in that regard, but you know I’m not backing down on this - it’s a risk we have to take. I… I can’t afford not to.”
Back in Agora Row, a public park near Sweet FA Mall - Roughly 10:45 PM
The Elephant Bones trio had a bad feeling about getting dragged out into the empty park by the host who had been less receptive to their show, especially when she proceeded to say she needed to do some stuff back at the Fest and would be back in a moment, proceeding to run late as hell in the process.
Still, though, in time, CaraMel Dansen came back, enthusiastically greeting them with a, “hey, hey, sorry for the wai~t! You just get so busy when you’re organizing the largest culinary event in the city and your coworker on the University Board drops an entire reality TV event on you about it, you kno~w?”
The bagboy nodded, sagely. “I know the feeling… Happens to me every hour on the hour.”
“I’m not in a joking mood, little man.” She snapped on the man not too many years younger than her, and quite taller, before turning to London and Zebra. “Anyway, uh… Sorry if I read as hostile there. Nerves, tensions, life’s work, you know how it is.”
London, having no small supply of exciting stories, some in the not-fun way, nodded. “I can feel it… We got really on edge too, just knowing Bad Apples were here, and then it all wound up good. Ryuga even came by and just… Talked to us, during the proceedings.”
“All that walking around and we tied them…” Zebra was still a bit in disbelief. “But you didn’t need to drag us all out here just to apologize, right? What’s the real reason for the secrecy?”
“Well, I so completely just came out here to apologize off the cameras that that’s part two of my apology, actually!” She popped her foot. “See, things are about to get really hectic in the Slums, for… The first time in awhile. Because people are moving in to try and arrest a very very important person, by the time it’d take you to commute back there, it’ll probably be on the verge of a chaotic full scale war in the streets!” She brought her hands to her cheeks Home Alone style and shook in place somewhat. “So poor, poor Elephant Bones is probably one of the least safe places to be right now… I’d suggest you check into some nice hotel or something and just wait it out, maybe warn any of your friends to hang low!”
“Danger out there, huh..?” London asked, “honestly, you’ve just made me more curious about whatever’s going on out there… Though I imagine you’re only telling us this because we can’t do anything to get in its way.”
“Yep! I may have been against the move, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna undermine my colleagues! You can’t get in the way, so I wanted to suggest you get out of the way as a show of good faith! At least for a few days…”
“I don’t suppose that’s making you reconsider our job offer at all, is it..?” Zebra asked the bagboy.
“Yeah nah, not really vibing with that… But hey, if your place gets wrecked in whatever riots or police attacks or whatever else goes on out there, I’ll do ya a solid and foot the bill to have one of the best builders where I live come take care of it. Just, uh… Don’t get too chummy with him if that happens, yeah? Old man like, actually kinda gets uncomfortable at that kinda stuff.”
London, Zebra, and the Elephant Bones gang don’t have any way to change what’s happening in the Slums right now, but a LEGO sculptor and the most mushroom-based of the city’s motorcycling vigilantes are fighting the Slum Queen, who stands accused of the murder of Andrew Tiffany. You still have a day to influence the outcome of that with your votes!
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[The Featherlight Transmission] - Ch. 3

A little while later, I'm in Sector Seven, home of fancy restaurants, galleries, theaters, casinos, and the kinds of whorehouses that get called “social clubs”. I’m already in the general area, and I’m hungry after being harassed with forms for an hour and a half. There’s a place I like here.
It's colorful, clean, and loud in Sector Seven, with a wide-open circular plaza in the middle. Music always in the air, and all kinds of signs begging you to come look, come see what we've got going on tonight. The funhouse of the single-digit folk. You can come to Sector Seven, but remember - you gotta pay if you wanna play.
Being in the Inner Ring, you generally don't see many of my kind in Sector Seven. Most people milling around here are those with heavy purses, and the kind of leaky generosity that for some reason only reaches the hands of politicians and others of their kind rather than hospitals or schools. These kinds of people generally don't like looking at slabs, because we track mud all over the carpet and sometimes accidentally eat their dogs, so we tend not to be welcome in the establishments here. However, the unavoidable fact is that while slabs are definitely ugly and gross, the rich skinnies up here sure as sugar aren't going to be cleaning, fixing, or lifting anything heavy anytime soon, so even here you'll see some of us mixed in with some other poor skinnies that come in from the Outer Ring to do the dirty work.
But of course, everyone's gotta eat. So, if us grunts can't come and spill beer all over the nice white tablecloths, we'll just have to take our credits somewhere else, thanks. And that's where Gulder's Grub enters the picture.
In an alley off the side of Circle Seven, there's a shadowy little spot for people like me. It's not big, but it's an oasis in the middle of a desert of glitzy places that ask an entire month's rent just to come in. A little corner for the ones that actually do all the work. A couple little shops with everyday necessaries, a dingy bar or two, and some diners, all in the shadow of the great towering monuments to that goddess of Sector Seven: Pleasure.
The main (and only) attraction here is Gulder's. It doesn't look like much, just a metal shack with a clapboard menu and a window, but the nosh that Gulder slings is so good that there's always a line, and sometimes you'll even see people in fancy clothes standing in it. You can get a slab-sized sandwich so tasty it'll make you cry, and you can get it without having to take out a third mortgage.
I’ve built up a grave appetite, of a magnitude that only Gulder's is mighty enough to slay. I'm standing in line, behind a skinny in oil-stained overalls. It's nearly lunch, so I've got a while to wait before I get to the front.
The people here are either too tired or too depressed to pay me any mind, which suits me just fine. It’s one of the reasons I like coming here. It’s a misfit shelter. I even know a few arcanists that are willing to come out of the woodwork for one of Gulder’s sandwiches. Believe me, you’d be willing to risk your skin too, if you knew what this alley smelled like. The heavenly aromas bring out all kinds of hungry crazies.
Speaking of which, here's a squirrely-looking slab boy over by some tables that's decided to take his face out of his sandwich and aim it toward my face. I lock eyes with him. Or try to, at least. He can't keep his straight. He's a sizable bit of product, somewhere between six and a half and seven feet, maybe around five hundred fifty pounds. Average enough by our standards. Judging by his lack of clank, jittery eyes, hairless head, and general air of frothy paranoia, I'm guessing he was kind of a shrimpy fella before his procedures.
Those are the dangerous ones. These cats are why every Watchman carries a canister of slabkiller gas when they're out on patrol.
Take a little guy who, let's be honest here, was never destined for great feats of academic achievement. Now put him in a desperate situation. Traumatize him. Make him grow up poor. Give him a tiny dick, make sure he gets plenty of bullies to deal with, both in school and out. Kill his parents, or make them hate and abuse him. Tell all the girls, or boys in some cases, not to look at him. Fire him from his job. Maybe give him a terminal illness, or fill him up with so much unprocessed rage that fire comes out of his nose every time he sneezes. Box him into a corner, put him in a cage so nasty that the only way out is to get slabbed.
It'll work, the cutters at the slab lab say. You're prime material, just what we needed, they say. But he isn't. He's scrawny, malnourished, unintelligent. A sad mess in the shape of a young man. But hey, slabbers need meat. And here it is, direct off the streets. It's not like actual people would ever volunteer for something like this, so we'll make do with the kind of guy that needs the money. So they'll give him some cash, put him on the table, and chop him up anyway, knowing full well that his unimpressive body and sub-average brain won't be able to take it. And he'll come out the other side a twitching, confused, angry kid, with hormones leaking out of his ears and more mental and emotional scars than physical ones, living inside the body of a giant.
You haven't taken him out of that cage. You've just made him strong enough to drag other people in with him.
I zoom in on him and sure as sunrise, he's got an aggression inhibitor bolted to the side of his head, wire running down to meet up with the back of his neck. It's a big one, too. This kid must have some bad habits. Without it, the hot sludge running in his veins would send him into a psychosexual meltdown of nightmarish proportions. Within fifteen minutes he'd either collapse and start seizing until he swallowed his own tongue, or cave to the voices in his head and start raping people to death until someone shot him.
He's still trying to look at me. Hard to maintain an intimidating glare when your eyeballs keep slipping off whatever you're trying to stare down. I think he's jealous of my own eyes. My implants, that is. My old pair are probably fertilizing some grandma's apple tree somewhere.
I never got nystagmus like a lot of these kids do. Years after my change I could see as well as I did when I was a teenager. That’s the main freebie biomancy gets you - an unnaturally healthy body, even after enough experimental surgeries to make the most puritanical Brotherhood zealot sweat. My body just mutates around additions and edits, keeping me extremely alive whether I have any say in it or not. Pyromancers get to shoot fire out of their nose, hydromancers get to make the fountains dance, heiromancers get to write laws that reality itself has to obey. My only trick is being too alive to kill, among a couple of other fun things. But hey, if you’re gonna have one trick, not dying is a pretty good one to have, I think.
This kid has no clank at all other than his inhibitor, fitting with my observation that his vitae is weak as fuck, despite all his implants and injections. Red, and very low, like a lonely coal. His brain was barely holding itself together after basic slabbing, so there's no way he'd be able to tolerate any kind of optional features. Probably doesn't even have bone reinforcements. He's got maybe five years before he's a twisted-up pile of slime. If he doesn't kill himself or get executed first.
I smile and give him a little wave. He scowls at me, still trying to meet my eyes. Defiant. Cute.
From here, there's only two options, depending on his personality and how well that inhibitor is working. He'll either burn one of his last synapses to realize that I'm bigger and smarter than him by a pretty significant margin and go back to eating his sandwich like a nice little porkbrain, or decide against all logic that I'm a bit too uppity for his liking and I need to be taught a lesson. I'm about halfway through the line, so I figure I've got enough time to share some of my wisdom before lunch. I keep smiling at him.
Yep. That did it. The sandwich, which right now should be the most important thing in this guy's short little life, has been laid down. I am now his entire universe, and I couldn't be happier. He stands up from his table and starts stomping his way over to me. He's doing the thing all these gutter slabs do when they want to look extra scary and impressive*.* Squaring his shoulders, pushing his chest out, holding his chin slightly up, and flexing all his muscles at once, so his veins stand out under his skin like bridge cables. Personally, I always thought this pose made a guy look like an erection throwing a temper tantrum, but hey, what do I know? Maybe that's the point. I know I probably wouldn't try to tussle with a giant, throbbing, foul-tempered penis in work boots and coveralls. Who knows what kind of fluids you'd get on you?
Now he's within smelling distance. The delightful melange of grease, sweat, and testosterone wafts over me, and suddenly I'm reconsidering lunch. The rest of the line has done a curious thing, bending away from me to form a comfortable and distant semicircle. People around here know the drill - they're pretty much on autopilot. Once you see two trains crash head-on multiple times a day for a few years, you learn to just step calmly out of the shrapnel zone.
He lines up on me, about ten feet away. Close, but not so close that I could grab him. Smart. Not the first time this guy's taken exception to someone's behavior. His vitae is flaring, but it’s still sort of pitiful - just a kind of weak reddish glow, like a spoon accidentally left on a stove.
The palooka does his best to get me in his wiggly sights and grunts, “Got a problem, fuck?” His voice is hoarse, like sandpaper rasping over gravel. Probably smokes a lot of scrub to dampen the pain in his joints.
Most skinnies he does this to are probably wetting themselves by this point, so, considering he has somehow mistaken me for one, he probably expects me to do the same. Instead, I do what any respectful predator does when he meets one of his own kind, and show him my teeth. All fifty-eight of them.
I opt to leave the eloquence at the door, guessing this meat pie probably wouldn't appreciate it anyway. “Yeah. You're really, really ugly. You look like a butt. And you smell like what comes out of a butt. You should take a shower. Smelly.”
Okay, not exactly award-winning trash talk. But you try making your insults dashing and stylish using only words with two or less syllables. It's hard!
His pink face screws up in an expression of both pain and skull-popping fury, making his hairless head look like a wad of used chewing gum. His inhibitor is shocking him, telling him to cut it out. But he doesn't. He's angry enough to push through the pain.
I can understand that.
He lets the rage out of his chest with a roar, then puts his head down and charges me, very plainly trying to tackle me to the ground so he can turn my face into mince. I do what a slab almost never does.
Dodge.
This probably wouldn’t work in most other situations, because I’m huge and not very maneuverable, but so is this guy. I step around him as cool as you please, and he steams past me. He keeps going for a bit, but then catches on to the fact that he hasn't hit anything for a suspiciously long time, so he skids to a stop and whips around.
He's way past words at this point. He's getting shocked so bad I can see smoke coming from his implant. It'll blow if I don't tuck him into bed quick.
I don’t even need any magic for this. He’s making it way too easy.
Chunky charges again, but this time I don't move out of the way. I plant my back foot, then thrust my hand out right as he reaches me, mashing my palm right into his nose. He stops cold in his tracks with a sad little whimper, arms stretching toward me pitifully.
Fortunately the kid's got a weird tiny head, so I'm able to get a good grip on it. Thumb on his right ear, fingers wrapped nicely across his jawbone and temple. I lift him up a bit for leverage, then throw his head into the pavement like a bouncy ball. Being connected by a neck, the rest of his body follows suit. His chin makes a fun crack when it hits, and his neck bends at an angle that four out of five physicians probably don't recommend. He stops moving.
I bend down and wipe the sweat and spit off on the back of his shirt, then check his breathing. Feel around his neck vertebrae. His vitae is still there, but even dimmer. He's fine. Way sleepier than he was a minute ago, but alive. He'll wake up in half an hour wondering why everything above his shoulders feels like it got run over by a cargo train. And if he's lucky, he'll find he's gained some perspective on pointless violence, especially when aimed at one of the only guys in the city that outweighs him. If I'd been a Watchman, he'd have been sprayed with slabkiller and packed off to Sector Seventeen for recycling so fast he wouldn't even have time to notice how dead he was.
I stand up and give the line a coy smile and a wave. A couple nod at me in respect. I saunter slyly back over, and the guy I'd been ahead of lets me back in my spot.
Most gutter slabs are like a bottle of fizz in the back of a truck on a bumpy road. Over time, the pressure builds. The drugs, hormones, and supplemental brain tissue needed to integrate and coordinate the extra muscle result in a boiling pot of blind, directionless rage. For most, working hard all day doesn't let enough steam off. The extra starts to collect. With society saying that other ways of release aren't acceptable, while telling them they have to stay in line and put up with all the looks and comments, they reach a point where they pop. Usually all they do is smash up their own apartment, or fight it out with another slab in the same predicament.
But sometimes, when they're right on the edge, and another little kid screams at them like they're some kind of monster... they become one, for one horrible moment. And once you're a monster, you can never be anything else, ever again.
So, out of a sense of obligation to my dumb, angry brothers, I keep an eye out for the ones that look like they need a hard, thorough bit of percussive recalibration. I throw some goofy words at 'em, they fall for it, then I give 'em a nice whack on the head. They go to sleep for a bit, wake up with a few bruises, feel stupid, and remember what it is they need to be focusing on. Or at the very least they remember my fist in their face, which is enough to take the hot out of anyone's sauce, in my opinion. And then they stay out of trouble. Better for them to get a couple ouchies from a real monster than to cross that line themselves, I think.
I’m a mage, but I’m a slab too. It’s hard work being this distinctive and altruistic.
After about nine hundred years, I'm at the front of the line. I check the time. Almost noon. Yippee. I'm almost starting to feel it, too. The thought of quietly enjoying my meal at home and then taking a nap after the day I've had is almost enough to bring a tear to my eye. Metaphorically, that is. My tear ducts are cauterized shut.
The guy in front of me gets his order. It's a slab-sized sandwich, which I find strange, because it's almost the size of his thigh. But then I remember that skinnies can just slice a slab's sandwich like a cake and feed an entire family of four for a day or so. He's probably got kids at home. Pretty economical, when you think about it.
He tucks his monster meal under his arm and goes away, and I step up. I've got to take a knee in order to give my order, on account of how the shack's window only comes up to somewhere around the middle of my chest.
I peer into the greasy dollhouse and there's Gulder, the man himself, right in my face. I like Gulder. He serves enough slabs and weirdos every day that my awful mug suddenly appearing in his line of sight doesn't give him a heart attack. Everyone he sees, no matter what shape or sort, is just a receptacle to place a sandwich into, and I can't help but respect him for that. He's kind of a funny-looking fellow. On the short side, but borderline spherical from sampling the fruits of his labor, with no hair and a big black mustache like a push broom. From a distance he looks like two pink circles with a wide black line drawn through the top one.
He catches the green glint of my eyes and his caterpillar eyebrows go up. “Hey! This guy! Long time no see, Tiny! How you been? Keepin' outta trouble?”
See, the joke here is, Gulder calls me Tiny because I am, actually, a remarkably large person. An appellation that unexpectedly juxtaposes against the reality of the situation, in an example of what is sometimes referred to as “irony”. This is technically humor, but it's difficult to recognize after it's had its skull caved in with a lead pipe, wallet stolen, and left for dead in an alley somewhere. I'm so sorry, Humor. You deserved better.
I reply, “Oh, you know. I try to keep outta trouble, but trouble just can't keep outta me. It's 'cause I'm so handsome, y'see. Trouble just can't resist.”
He laughs. “Oh for sure. Pretty boy like you probably has more than his share of attention.” His smile melts off. “Hey look, thanks for cleaning up that mess over there. That one comes by pretty often, but he was starting to make me nervous. Times is hard enough without a puffed-up bully harassing my customers. Now he knows you come by here sometimes, maybe he'll cool it. I'm buying your lunch today.”
I wave a paw and scoff, because that's what you do in situations like this. “C'mon, it was all the work of twenty seconds. You probably could’ve given him a firm poke with a spatula and he would’ve fallen over, guy was as stable as a castle made out of cookies. It wasn't nothin'.”
He shakes his head and holds his hands up insistently. “It wasn't not nothin', champ. You went outta your way when you didn't have to. You spend twenty seconds showing a creep the inside of his own face for me, I spend twenty seconds making you lunch. Fair's fair, I insist.”
There's no point trying to shout him down. He's a Sector Seven man with a business that prints its own money, but I can tell he's not from here. Probably grew up in one of those Outer Ring slums where generosity is as rare as rain and being paid a favor is something that simply cannot be tolerated without swift, righteous vengeance. These cats are trained from childhood to treat an act of kindness like a declaration of war. Try to out-nice one of these slum knights and you'll both end up bankrupt.
“Alright, pal, I'll let you foot the bill this time. But only because I know you'll beat me up if I don't.”
He brandishes his spatula at me very seriously. “You bet your stitched-up ass I will. You want the deluxe with the works and extra mustard, right?”
“Yes I do, and you might as well throw in a basket of fried squash too, seeing as how you're paying and all.”
“You got it, champ. Be just a minute.”
About a minute later, I've got my bag, and I say my goodbye. I'm glad I stopped by. Not just because it's the best sandwich someone else's money can buy, but I also got to box a disaster waiting to happen. Can't have the riff-raff messing around and giving one of my favorite joints extra headache. And the whole possible prevention of senseless death thing, et cetera.
Now I gotta get back on the train. Hopefully I can get home before this bag gets cold, but who am I kidding, you could leave Gulder's stuff in a gutter for a week and it'd still be tastier than half the food in the city.
I step on the ostentatiously ornate Sector Seven platform, scan my ID, the alarm goes off, people give me dirty looks and clear out of the way, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t even care. I’ve got a greasy brown bag of heaven and they don’t, so there. This sandwich means I win today, citizens.
Interestingly, one person doesn’t clear off of the platform. He’s an old, old man, standing on the steel plates a distance from me. He’s a little bent, and holds a simple wooden cane. Very weathered, browned skin, like he’s worked in the sun his entire life. White beard, wild wispy hair like snow being blown off a mountaintop. I can’t get anything from his facial expression, he almost looks half asleep. I didn’t hear the system go off before me, so he’s not an arcanist. Maybe he didn’t hear the buzzer?
His vitae is… weird. You ever see diagrams of magnetic field lines? The two fields of concentric loops wrapping out and back from the poles? It looks like that, kind of. Long, lazy loops of gray energy, radiating out in steady pulses from the center of his chest and dissipating once they get a good ten or so feet away. There’s something else there, too. The lines closest to him have this sort of yellow shimmer that fades as they go out. The whole web smells… almost like ozone, or electrically charged metal.
Like I said, weird. Gray is a really rare color in vitae, like silver, gold, white, or black. And he can’t be an arcanist, even though that’s what this kind of weird pattern usually suggests. Unless he just didn’t scan his ID? He’s playing with fire, if that’s the case.
The train arrives, and I get on. The old man steps on too. He sits down gently on a seat toward the front of the car, and I stand a respectful distance away in the back. He crosses his spindly arms around his cane, leans his head forward, and falls asleep, apparently. Just like that, his long robe/coat thing wrapped about him like a blanket.
This isn’t totally unheard of. Most people get off the platform when an arcanist scans in, but a very few just ignore it and get on anyway. Something tells me this dusty tomcat isn’t exactly late for anything, so he must be too old to care. It’s the first time I’ve had any company on the train in months.
I’d like to talk to him, but I’ll let him sleep. Far be it from me to wreck up an old-timer’s rest. He’s probably earned it.

[first chapter's over here if you missed it] [and here's the previous one] [thanks for reading ♥]
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