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Everything posted by Iofiel

  1. I have returned with another cute code: this time an Aether Wyvern hatchling, free to a good home. Code is 'ooZec'
  2. I have a couple of fun codes, free to a willing home: A Sunstone hatchling with the code 'OinkJ' And a Split hatchling with the code 'CurJR' Both are caveborn. Have fun!
  3. CB blue-banded dragon hatchie with the rather cute code 'LZMan' (Lazy Man?)- free to a good home!
  4. Oh..... Oh no. I ugly laughed.
  5. And that's done it! Thanks so much for all the help!
  6. I'm trying to unlock the chicken breed in my encyclopedia- I have all other stages except the egg, thanks to some helpful threads on the forum, but all the scrolls I've visited thus far have hatched chicks. If you have a chicken egg on your scroll, would you be so kind as to post a link to it, so I can see? Much appreciated!
  7. I happened to catch a CB Ice Dragon egg that I don't need- free to a good home! Claim my eggs/hatchlings!
  8. This Valentines event has given me a couple of gems. Which is good because the holiday kind of makes me... queasy. I'd rather be playing JRPGs. (I did have one previously with the code 'otduq' (odd duck), but I liked these ones better and had to scramble to snatch them up. >_>)
  9. I didn't even notice that one of my hatchlings had a cute code until just now, but I'm laughing. http://dragcave.net/view/MsYou
  10. I recently acquired a Ridgewing with the code 'ICpe2.' I... honestly don't know what I can add to that. >.>
  11. Gift report: Iofiel -> Athaessa: Gold egg Metallic: Right over here, bbs.
  12. Gift Report: Lyricmaniac -> Iofiel: Gold Metallic received: Thank you so much! (Seriously, utterly thrilled to bits over here. I would offer cake... buuuuuut there's this pesky internet in the way.) EDIT: I've also got a Lumina metalfail available, if anyone would like it. Drop me a line! http://dragcave.net/lineage/9ZISG
  13. Forum ID: Iofiel Scroll Link: Right this way. PM Link: Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring, banana phone~ <3 Proof that I read the rules: Shiny happy people.
  14. I have had one success breeding a Golden Wyvern x Turp (it is, in fact my only breeding attempt with the Turpentines). Got a Turp egg from the attempt. Here 'tis!
  15. C0INs, a Golden Wyvern (whose mother was a Silver Dragon, no less). Had a good laugh over how fitting it was. ^^
  16. Alcohol. My body doesn't produce the enzymes that metabolize it- instead, it reacts as though I've just downed some deadly poison. Which is to say, if I have a glass of wine, I'm liable to spend the next hour hunched over the toilet in abject misery. FUN. Or, if I try and tough it out (here read: enough to get the average person drunk), my brain tissues become inflamed as they absorb the alcohol particles, which makes them press against the sides of my skull... resulting in seizures and hospitalization. DOUBLE FUN.
  17. I spent most of last night wedging myself into the scaffolding of a gorgeous, late Victorian-period opera house. While wearing a cocktail dress. I was doing this so that I could snipe one of the audience members in the head. Why can't my usual life be this cool? ;3; The dream opened up with me standing in line, in a queue to go in through the front of the aforementioned opera house. It was night out, and I had my hands wedged into my armpits in response to the drop in temperature. The fact that I was wearing some clingy satin-print dress with straps for sleeves didn't help- I could feel goosebumps popping up on my arms every time a car went past. "I cannot believe you got me into this getup," I growled under my breath to the man standing next to me.' My dream!employer -a man by the name of Michael Heller- just smirked at me and straightened his lapels. As always, he looked immaculate- dove gray suit, with a thread count I didn't even want to try and guess at, over eggshell-pale pinstriping. With his fair hair and complexion, I would have thought the choice in colors would make him look washed out. All it did was make his eyes pop. "Relax," he replied in an undertone, guiding me forward with his fingertips on my arm. "Helene did a good job. You look fine." "I'm wearing heels," I snapped (as much as you can snap, when you're speaking barely above a whisper) "If I break an ankle I will kill her." "Have to look the part," he replied, with a smile just a bit too broad and smug to be comforting. Heller had a point, of course -he usually did- but that didn't stop it from seriously grating on me. I grabbed the back of my foot, straightened the insufferable stiletto heel, and fought down the urge to punch my employer in the face. The reception area was very art deco, with sweeping archways and railings that looked like they'd been carved from burled walnut. Most of the floor was covered by lush, dark red carpeting, which I'm sure would have felt amazing if I'd been able to wiggle my toes in it. As it stood, however, I had to stay on the linoleum tiling or risk toppling over onto one of the staff. We were traveling abroad at the time. In my dreams, I have a concrete identity, you see: I'm an Internal Affairs agent for a juggernaut of a megacorporation called FIAT. We'd come here at the request of the city's representatives- political lobbying disguised under a veneer of hospitality. More accurately, Heller was the one who had been invited; I was along for the ride because one of the aforementioned representatives had been digging a little too deeply into FIAT's financial trail. Internal Affairs has always maintained a policy of eliminating weaknesses in the company's infrastructure before they became a problem. It was just the representative's bad luck that he happened to be a part of said structural weakness. Thankfully, the man had not been above a little well-placed bribery. He had asked Heller to meet him here, ostensibly, so that they could set up the exchange. I let myself be passed around as part of the pseudo-cordial introductions ("Mr. Heller, so glad you could come. Such a pleasure to meet you at last, allow me to introduce my wife..."), and mostly kept my mouth shut as I looked around for a place to set up. Getting past security hadn't been difficult. The dress I was wearing was so damnably form-fitting that, at first glance, there would be nowhere to adequately conceal a weapon. They hadn't thought to double-check the assortment of unobtrusive, stereotypically feminine objects inside my handbag. And, if all else failed... I ran my fingertips along the inside curve of my left forearm, tracing the miniscule seam nestled between the bones of my wrist: the dense blue vein that wasn't actually a vein at all. I'd cross that bridge when I came to it. If everything went according to plan, we'd get out of here without the need to play any trump cards. While Heller chatted up the nouveau riche, I crept up to the second floor and went in search of a good vantage point. I found it above one of the VIP boxes: a network of scaffolding that housed a few unlit spotlights. It wasn't ideal -if the lights were on during the production, I would be partially backlit and hard-pressed to find a suitable hiding space- but it was at an angle that gave me both a clear shot at my target's seat, and a tolerable avenue of escape. Standing on the lip of the balcony, I clamped my teeth over my bag and hauled myself up by my forearms. I hadn't thought about the damned backless heels (there was a heart-stopping moment when I thought I'd lose one of them right onto the head of a man standing below me), but my ascent concluded without incident. Clearly, whoever was in charge of the establishment didn't think much of cleaning the hard-to-reach areas; the scaffolding was covered by at least a quarter-inch of dust. I held my breath and inchwormed out along the metal struts, locking my heels around one of the lights as I went. The dress, I suspected (upon glancing down at my black-streaked arms), was ruined. Safely wedged into position, I began pulling out and unfolding the pieces of sniper rifle, locking them together while trying to muffle the sounds of their assembly with my torso. I knew how to assemble such a weapon by touch, though I shuddered to think of what all the dust was doing to its delicate internal workings. It would be just my luck if I went to all this trouble, and the wretched thing jammed. I don't remember most of the actual performance, except that I think it was a rendition of Turandot. What I can remember of the songs sounds vaguely correct. Also, the soprano had an incredible set of pipes. I was lucky. They weren't using the bank of lights I was hidden in. I waited until the end of the second act; most of the time up until that point had consisted of waiting for everyone to sit down, making sure I had the right targets, and working through my set of exit strategies (there were four). "You realize," I whispered into my headset, "that as soon as I pull this trigger, all hell's going to break loose." "Is that a problem?" "Nah. Just letting you know that if you want me to pop his wife, you're going to have to find a way to isolate her during evacuation. I don't think I can fight through a crowd this size." "Don't worry about that. Just focus on your primary target." It was hot up there; stiflingly so. I could feel sweat trickling down the slope of my nose, and to make matters worse, part of my hair had come loose from its tie. I had to fight the urge to swipe at my face, squinting down at my target's balding pate through the scope. I pulled the trigger just as the lights for intermission began to brighten. It was quick. I saw him lurch forward into the next chair with a wet pop, like a broken-necked doll. Clean entry, messy exit. I didn't wait for the screaming to start before starting my descent: I only had seconds before the security teams could pinpoint the bullet's trajectory. The sniper rifle itself was unimportant- I'd already swept it for prints and tissue samples; the make was unremarkable and could have been assembled by half a dozen weapons manufacturers. I kicked off my shoes and jammed them into my bag as I ran down through a narrow side corridor; I had to find a bathroom and wash the dust and grime off before anyone saw me. I could see (and hear) security personnel charging up the stairs behind me; when I nearly ran into one of them, I executed a trick solely available to the provenance of the Dreaming. "Scatter," I whispered, grabbing a handful of air and blowing gently out against my palm. A handful of shadowy copies of myself shattered out in all directions, each one darting off in a different trajectory. It would buy me some time (and lessen my chances of someone seeing my face), but that was all. Thankfully, nobody did catch me- though judging from the commotion, it wasn't for lack of trying. I let myself get caught up in the flow of panicked theatre-goers and slipped out the front door without incident, straightening my dress as I slowed to a walk. Someone caught my elbow as I rounded the corner, but -after a brief jolt of adrenaline- I realized it was only Director Heller, looking as tidy and unflappable as always. "How'd I do?" I asked him as we walked, flashing him a broad smile. He returned it with a wry smirk. "Excellent work." He dropped his coat around my shoulders as we disappeared into the night. "As always." He paused, and allowed himself a pained wince. "I don't envy their dry-cleaning bill, though." It wasn't actually the end of the dream -there was a train ride, and some other, minor dream-type stuff- but it was the end of the most interesting bit. It's rare I have a mission go off that smoothly. It pleases meh. :3
  18. ALL RIGHT I'MMA DO IT, BEBEHS Here's the really, really quick rundown. The recurring setting of my dreams is a city ('Midpoint'). A city-state, in fact, consisting of nearly fifteen million people. It's a port city built into the hollowed-out side of a mountain- each section is obliquely crescent-shaped, like the mushrooms that grow on tree trunks. They advance slightly up with each level (marina, residential, business-residential, business, business-industrial, industrial), culminating in the headquarters of the governing body. In this case, it's a megacorporation calling itself FIAT (Future Integrated Advanced Technologies), which is one part energy company and one part defense contractor. In Midpoint, you either work for the company, you let them buy you out, or you get crushed underfoot. I happen to fall into the first category. I am a member of their Internal Affairs division- a saboteur, specializing in wetwork. Or murder for hire, if you prefer that term. My arch-nemesis is Dr. Vandor Sforza, a neuroscientist who dabbles in genetic engineering. He's in his mid-forties, about 6' 6", and is quite possibly the scariest goddamn person I've ever encountered in my dreams. A while back (going on ten years now), he decided that he wanted me as a specimen- I heal much more quickly than the average human, for one, and this made me of interest to him. The downside to having vivid dreams is, I can feel pain in them. You see where this is going. I did escape, mind you. Repeatedly. We're currently in kind of an uneasy truce- he can't touch me because I'm under the Director of Internal Affairs' protection, and I can't touch him because he's under contract with FIAT. Which brings us to the dream in question; the one I said was a friggin' WALL OF TEXT. And man oh man, I was not kidding. Are you ready, chill'un? Here we go. --- If you were to ask me how I wanted to spend my nightly sojourns in dreamland, “lying flat on a table while my mortal enemy uses a scalpel to gouge a monstrous, body-surfing parasite out of my right arm” would be pretty much at the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with these nightmares, I didn’t really get much of a choice in the matter. The dream started off innocuously enough. I had some time off between assignments, and was spending it down at the marina- namely, looking out over the water with my feet in the bay. It was a calm day; there was hardly any wind and only a few wisps of cloud creeping across the sky. The streets harborside are narrow, cramped cobblestone, and what buildings aren’t stucco warehouses are made almost exclusively of brick or stonework. The wooden roofs are ancient, weatherbeaten wood. It was midafternoon, high tide, and I was feeding bits of funnel cake to the drab, silver-grey fish patrolling amongst the algae-encrusted pylons below my knees. The air smelled very green, full of salt water and rot, the boats creaking gently as they bobbed this way and that with the swells. Then my phone rang, startling me so much that I almost fell into the water (which would have been embarrassing; the first thing I did was look around to make sure no one had seen me jump). I fished the cell out of my coat pocket, expecting it to either be a call from HQ- or maybe my sister, calling to ask if I wanted to go out for drinks later. If I’d bothered to look at the screen, I might have thought to check the caller ID. Instead, I just clicked it on and raised it to my ear. “Poliet.” * “Good afternoon, Nemu.” I froze, my tongue adhered to the roof of my mouth. I knew that voice- the smooth, cultured baritone; a confident vocal tone that seemed to perpetually border on the smug. It was a beautiful voice. And that just made me hate its source that much more. “Doctor Sforza,” I said. “How’d you get my phone number?” “I asked for it, of course,” he replied calmly, as though the answer should have been obvious. “My organization is under contract with FIAT, if you recall. I simply dropped your name.” So help me, I thought, if it’s the last thing I do, I am going to find the person responsible for that and murder them. “Is there some particular reason you’re interrupting my time off?” I tried (unsuccessfully) not to grind the words out through my teeth. “Or are you just calling to annoy me?” “As a matter of fact,” he said, “I find myself in the… unenviable position of asking for your help. It is a matter I think you’ll find of some interest.” I allowed myself a bitter laugh. “You have got to be kidding me. What possible motivation would I have to help you?” I could practically feel him smirk. “My continued goodwill?” He cut off my incredulous snort. “…No, I rather thought not. Very well, suffice it to say that if you do this one task for me, I’ll owe you a favor.” There was a pause, stretching beyond the uncomfortable and edging into the strained. “Will you hear me out?” I pinched the bridge of my nose between my free hand’s thumb and forefinger, and let out a long, heavy sigh. “I can’t believe I’m agreeing to this.” The comment had mostly been addressed to myself, and I knew I’d be kicking myself for it later. Sforza was a slippery ***, not to mention a dangerous one. But barring an obvious loophole, he generally did keep his word. Most frustratingly of all, now I was curious. At night, a deserted loading dock is like the nave of a ruined cathedral, open to the moon: all impenetrable shadows and lifeless geometric shapes, lit by halogen floods. As it turned out, Sforza’s problem was connected to the incident that happened a couple weeks ago, when an entire section of the transit tunnels had been sealed off due to ‘contamination’. He didn’t elaborate on what had gotten into the subway, but apparently his organization had acquired a sample of some kind. A short time before I’d received Sforza’s call, however, the entire facility had gone dark. No attempts to call for help had been made; no survivors reported. The whole place had simply been put into lockdown, and apparently deserted. He wanted me to go down, look for survivors, and retrieve any data or information on the project that I could find. “I still don’t get why you need me to do this,” I groused, as my unlikely companion punched his combination into the door mainframe. “You have people; get them to take care of it. Or hell,” I added, as the door shuddered reluctantly open, “petition Director Nieves**; she’s got manpower aplenty.” Sforza swept past me into the complex’s foyer. Even by the dim light of the flood lamps outside, I could tell this job was going to be trouble. The room was in a stare of complete upheaval: chairs and file cabinets knocked over, the contents of desks scattered (in some cases, the desks themselves had been completely upended); clearly, whoever had been here when the hit the fan had tried to leave in a hurry. On top of that, there was a strange, persistent noise coming from somewhere in the room; the sound was repetitive and mechanical, but I couldn’t pinpoint its origin. I sifted through some of the paper sheets littering the floor, squinting through the gloom in an attempt to make out what they were. From the look of things, mostly spreadsheets. “To be honest, I’m not entirely certain what’s down there,” my nemesis replied, over by the far wall. “I’d rather not publicize this unnecessarily, nor do I care to risk my personnel.” Click-click clickclickclick. “Hm. Electricity’s down.” At this point, I’d managed to locate the source of the odd whirring I’d noticed earlier: there was an elevator in the wall behind the receptionist’s desk, one door slightly ajar. It kept trying to close, but stopped with a hollow thunk and withdrew after about an inch of progress. I pushed the doors open –there was no car, a fact that didn’t seem odd to me until after I woke up- and peered down the shaft. I could see light coming from maybe fifty or sixty feet below, and said as much. Sforza replied that every level of the facility ran off an independent power source, and that to get to it I’d have to abseil down the elevator shaft. I suppose in retrospect I should have been more wary, but in the Dreaming my upper-body strength is a lot more considerable than it is in this world. Moreover, I’ve done exactly that kind of maneuver on more than one occasion- though I’m usually climbing up, not down. It’s a good way to avoid patrolling security when you’re on your way to a target, though it can be a nuisance if someone gets into the car underneath you and starts it up. I looped a foot around the cables and swung out into space. It was dark in there; aside from the glowstick clamped in between my teeth, the only source of illumination was a thin band of light far below. “So instead,” I commented, as I peered apprehensively into the void, “you’re risking me. Fantastic.” Sforza gave me a wry look. “Oh, do spare me the melodrama. Out of all the entities I’ve encountered lately, you’re the one most likely to come out again intact.” One corner of his mouth pulled upward into a thin, humorless smile, and he leaned forward. “If you like,” he said in a conspiratorial whisper, “think of it as an experiment.” I was not reassured. I descended slowly, hand-over-hand, listening to the creak and twang of the elevator cables and hoping to god that the missing elevator car wouldn’t suddenly drop onto my head. Once I actually reached the source of the light -surprise surprise, another set of doors- I had to grip the cables with my legs and use the blade of the short sword I carry as a makeshift prybar. It's not as risky as it sounds. The sword is more than a sword- it's the physical manifestation of my willpower (or conviction) in the Dreaming***. And, ultimately, it's as strong as I believe it to be. I've sheared through steel pylons with it. There was a heart-stopping moment after I got the door open, though, when I felt myself slipping and thought I was going to fall. I had to grab for the edge and haul myself out through the doors by my forearms. Not fun. I was in a broad, linoleum-tiled hallway, the walls a queasy off-white lit by banks of narrow blue lights. It made everything look sickly and washed out- including the huge smear of drying blood that ran the length of the floor and disappeared around the corner of the far wall. It was about two feet long, and from the pattern it made, it looked like someone had been making a try for the elevator when something had hit them, knocked them down, and then dragged them off somewhere. That was also why I'd had difficulty in getting a grip on the floor when I was trying to pull myself in. I hadn't noticed until that moment, but it was all over my hands. You know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? The feeling that you've just made a godawful mistake, but it's already too late to turn back? Yeah. That was the feeling I had. Whoever it had been, I could tell just at a glance that they wouldn't be getting up again. Even in a world that doesn't always operate by conventional standards, no one could lose that much blood and survive. So much for survivors. I couldn’t leave now, though: if whatever was responsible for the carnage got out, it might threaten the rest of the city. I wasn’t having that. Oh, , I thought. I suddenly felt very tired. And this was supposed to be my day off, too. I gradually became aware that the air in the hall was dense and humid- almost stifling. The ventilation system must have been shut off, maybe in an attempt to keep the unknown contaminants from spreading. Aside from the persistent hum of the light strips, the hallway was oppressively quiet. Because of this, and the way acoustics carried, every step I took sounded as loud as a gun being discharged. I hugged the wall and crept along the corridor. There were doors interspersed along the walls, each one set with a window of fogged glass. I tried peering through them, but all I could see were vague approximations of offices: furniture, potted plants, little else. Most rooms were locked when I tried the handles, and I didn’t dare open them by force lest the sound attract unwanted attention. As I proceeded, following the smear on the ground, it became clear that whatever had happened here, there had been a hell of a struggle involved. Some of the fogged-glass windows were cracked; others spattered with blood and some kind of tacky, unidentifiable goo that clung to my fingertips in threads when I touched it. Doors were hanging drunkenly from their hinges. Bullet holed lined the walls in increasingly erratic patterns, as if the people using them had stopped trying to fire in controlled bursts and resorted to simply spraying everything in the vicinity with slugs. Eventually, I found myself leaning against a broken door that I could move. Shouldering it aside, I poked my head into the room and immediately wished I hadn’t. It had been a small, private laboratory at one point, I thought. Cabinets and drawers lined the walls, and there were whiteboards on the far wall decorated with incomprehensible diagrams. In the center of the room, a low metal table, possibly intended to hold chemistry equipment, had been set up. There was a woman lying on top of it. Early forties, average height, skin that was probably dusky at some point but had gone pale and grayish from blood loss. Her throat had been almost completely torn away, as if someone had taken a sharpened melon baller to her. I could see vertebrae and shredded bits of gristle poking through the missing space. Her arms were in tatters- from their positions, it looked like she’d tried to fend off her attacker and been overpowered. Blood coated the floor, the walls, even the ceiling. She’d clearly been dead for some time- the gore soaking into the linoleum was almost completely dry. I backed out and continued on, checking the other offices as I went. It was just more of the same- most rooms were empty but utterly trashed; others contained mutilated corpses. I was examining the process of examining the body of a man whose arm had been torn almost completely free of his body, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. Someone had just stood up from behind an upended couch, a few feet away. It looked, upon cursory examination, like a person. Or rather, it looked like a sculpture of a person, crafted by something that had never seen a human being before. The entire left side of its face was bifurcated by a long, narrow gash full of black, waving tendrils- a bit like a bivalve mollusk when it’s opened up to feed. The right side was bedecked by a series of black, perfectly circular eyes. These were about the size of grapes, and ran diagonally from the gash down to its mouth. Its flesh was waxy white –translucent enough that I could see the veins beneath it from some distance away- and seemed almost to writhe across its skeletal structure. When it saw me, it let out the most godawful sound I’ve ever heard- like a baby’s cry, but rising exponentially in volume and pitch, and terminating in something almost like white noise. The inside of its mouth was full of what looked like tiny, twitching insect legs. Its throat bulged, and it spat a handful of long, glistening, gelatinous filaments at me. When they coiled around my arms and lashed across my face, they instantly adhered with the strength of tensile steel. They felt like sandpaper coated in paste. Caught off guard as I was, it almost yanked me clean off my feet. “HOLY !” I croaked, and yanked back on the tendrils as hard as I could as my feet began to slide. Instead of hauling the creature toward me, I wound up barely managing to drag myself to a stop so that I could regain my balance. The thing across from me made a horrible chittering sound as I drew my sword and brought it down on the crap holding me. It rebounded off the tendrils as if I were hitting gummy concrete. Letting out a stream of profanities most certainly not meant for polite company, I slammed my weapon down onto them four or five more times, as hard as I could, until they finally parted with wet, meaty tearing sounds. All the while, the monster had been getting steadily closer; it was at that point only just out of arm's reach. When it lunged at me, hissing, I curled the middle finger of my right hand over the index finger to brace it, and drove my hand forward at its eyes. I missed my intended target, as it jerked its head to one side at the last second, and my fingers instead raked a shallow gash in what I supposed was its cheekbone. I quickly seized it by the throat to keep it from biting me, trying to keep it at arm's length until I could stab it in the face. I realized that there was no blood coming from the gash in its cheek at the same time the monster twisted in its own freaking skin, leaving my grip dangerously slack. As I watched, the skin along its spine rippled, and then the whole monster opened up like a puzzle box. The thing inside was, arguably, much worse. At first glance, it looked a little bit like a giant centipede. It was perhaps a foot and a half wide, five feet long, and shiny black all over. Its underside was dotted with long, jointed legs and waving, translucent tentacles; its sides were lined with clusters of eyes and lashing, pencil-thick tentacles. Its mouth was that mollusk-like gash I'd seen poking out of the body's face. It had embedded itself in the corpse of one of the scientists, burrowing into it like a maggot into an apple. I did the professional thing; the one any highly-trained wetworker who encounters eldritch monstrosities on a regular basis would do: I jumped backwards, spat a shocked “WHAT THE ?!” into its face, and tripped over a desk chair. Fortunately for me, even if my brain had temporarily vacated the premises, my instincts were still present. I righted myself before I could crack my head on the floor, and when the thing inside the corpse snapped forward and tried to bite my face off, I creased its forehead with the pommel of my sword. All it got for its trouble was a split exoskeleton and a mouthful of wrist guard. BANG-BANG BANGBANGBANG. I hadn’t even been conscious of drawing the gun, and it took a second for me to register where the percussion –deafening in an enclosed space- had come from. I glanced down at the smoking barrel, then up at the thing attacking me, in time to watch it slide to the floor in a rapidly-expanding puddle of clear fluid and oxidized gore. I collapsed, more than sat, on the desk behind me, waiting for my teeth to stop chattering and to see if the creature would get up again. It’s happened before; monsters you were certain were dead surging to their feet for a last, frenzied attack. Sometimes, standard ammunition doesn’t even have an effect. It might have just been waiting for me to turn around. A few minutes passed, and eventually, I managed to heave myself to the floor for a better look. I almost wish I hadn’t gotten one; there was no clear seam, for example, where the centipede-thing merged with its human corpse. They sort of ran together along the spine, like melted candle wax. I got the feeling, though (regardless of how out-and-out bizarre some of the Dreaming’s inhabitants can be), that these were two entirely separate beings. My mind drifted unpleasantly to the thought of Cordyceps fungi. Now, more than ever, I just wanted to find Sforza’s goddamn data and get the hell out of Dodge. I didn’t know what other unpleasant surprises were waiting for me in the depths of the facility (considering Sforza’s particular taste for playing with syringes, lots), and I didn’t want to find out. I spent a few moments seriously considering the possibility of going “ this, I’m out of here”… then sighed, checked the magazine in my automatic pistol, and went back out into the hallway. It sloped gently downwards, seeming to go on forever, though the different sections were interspersed with (locked) elevators and (equally locked) doors leading out to emergency stairwells. There was little variety in the décor; oftentimes the numerals painted over the doors were the only indication that I’d reached another level. This facility was much more sprawling, horizontally, than Sforza’s base of operations, and the further I went, the more obtuse the placement of the walls became. I was in the middle of debating whether or not I should find a ball of twine to mark my progress, when a realization slowly dawned on me. I couldn’t hear my footsteps any more. I looked down at the floor, and realized that it was no longer covered in linoleum tiles. Instead, I was walking on a carpet of some dense, sprawling organic matter- like creeper vines, or maybe ivy, but much broader and lacking any type of foliage. The vines themselves were a vague, rusty reddish-brown in color, packed densely together in groups of three or four and anchored to the floor and walls by clusters of smallish tendrils. They were oddly spongy to the touch, and made my skin tingle- a little bit like touching bleach powder. When I rested my hand against the wall for a moment, the vines twitched under my fingers, and I jerked backward in surprise, palm tingling unpleasantly. The vines grew from an unidentifiable source deeper in the facility- I could see them stretching away into the distance, growing denser and gloomier the further they went. The rooms I checked were also covered in vines, though less so than the hallways- tendrils crawled across the ceilings like Christmas lights and disappeared into cracks in the walls. There were more of the weird centipede monsters, as well- I opened a door to one office and found that there were at least twelve of them inside, all standing perfectly still, shoulder to shoulder. It took them a few seconds to notice me, but once they did, they all lunged in unison, making a sound like a buzzsaw cutting through meat. I jammed a steel office chair under the door handle, and covered the next two levels of the complex at a dead sprint. Eventually –by means of crawling through ducts, the occasional skirmish, and a great deal of exercising the greater part of valor- I found what I was looking for. It was inside a large, circular room that appeared -to my eye- to be some type of monitoring station- the walls were paneled in video screens, although only a handful of them were showing something other than static. Beneath the aforementioned screens, the room was bordered by a single continuous platform, apparently a communal desk if the scattered papers, coffee stains, and banks of glowing keys were any indication. A single laptop remained standing, its screen glowing cheerily with what looked like chemical diagrams. Not bothering to pore over the contents, I bundled it inside a discarded briefcase I’d found near the door, stuffed a couple of notepads sitting beside the computer in after it, and snapped the latches shut. Unwilling to risk losing my acquisition after all the I’d gone through to get it in the first place, I fished a pair of handcuffs out of my pocket and clipped the blighted thing to my wrist (yeah, don’t ask where I got those). As I turned to leave, internally mapping out my escape plan (because there was no way in hell I was going to backtrack through all those things), I heard a sound coming from the room adjacent to the one I was in. It was a low scraping- not the skittering of centipede legs, but more like someone shifting furniture or debris around. I hesitated, listening intently for a few minutes, and just as I was going to chalk it up to coincidence or some other horror setting an ambush, I heard a voice. “Hello?” it said, the tone so reedy and hoarse I had to strain to hear it. “Is someone there? Oh god, oh god, please answer me; please don’t tell me I’m all alone down here.” I crouched down near where the sound was coming from, putting my head nearly up against the wall. It had to be coming from the next room- I’d tried the door earlier, but it had been locked. “Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” It might not have been the most reassuring thing to say to a possible survivor, but that would have made the first one I’d seen since going down the elevator shaft. And there are things in the Dreaming that can mimic human voices. They like to call out for help in order to lure in fresh prey. I was not going to get my face bitten off for a sudden display of blind compassion. There was more scraping beyond the wall, followed by a rough, rasping cough. “I work down here,” whoever-it-was replied after a moment. “I stayed behind to salvage some of my research, and the roof collapsed. I'm stuck.” . Knowing full well that I’d probably be kicking myself for it in short order, I got up and walked over to the door of the room the stranger was in. “I’m coming in,” I said, putting my face so close to the steel frame that my lips were practically touching it. “If you move or do anything else I don’t like, I swear I’ll put so many bullets in you-” I punctuated the statement by backing up and putting all my weight into a solid kick to the door. There was a loud CRACK, but aside from that, the assault didn’t seem to have an effect. Nor did the second kick. The third, however, almost tore it from its hinges, swinging the door open hard enough to leave a dent in the wall. I exhaled slowly as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. The stranger hadn’t been trying to trap me after all- I could see him from the doorway, pinned under a section of drywall and shredded electrical wiring. It was a man, possibly in his mid-thirties, and so thin I felt I could probably break him in half if I tried. His lab coat was covered in a fine layer of insulation dust- so was most of his skin. He had a raw, pinched look to him, as much from worry as from his uncompromising facial features. It took some doing, but I did eventually manage to lever the drywall up long enough for him to crawl out and prop himself against the desk it had fallen on. Upright, he was shorter than I was, though not by much. I wasn't sure how I'd missed it before, but his hair was vibrantly, eye-smartingly pink: shaved almost off on the sides and done up on top into a curling wave of tiny braids. It reminded me of some of the hairstyles common in the lower ranks of Midpoint. "Yeah," he said, wiping dust off his face with a sleeve. "South Quarter." I hadn't realized I'd been speculating aloud, and he responded to my surprise with a wide grin. It displayed a truly stunning array of white, serrated teeth. I was not actually put out by the display. As I've mentioned before, Midpoint is populated almost equally by humans and 'near-humans'- people who look almost normal, but not... quite. Clearly, this man fell into the latter category. "My name’s Cray," he introduced himself, holding out a hand for me to shake. "Cray Jeschonik." “I’m Nemu. Sforza sent me.” I jerked my head in the general direction of ‘upstairs’. “Can you walk?” His smile abruptly metamorphosed into a wince, and he glanced down at the floor, testing his weight gingerly against first one foot, then the other. "I think my leg's broken." “That’s just great,” I grumbled, restraining the urge to grit my teeth. The only survivor in this godforsaken hellhole, and he turned out to be a cripple. My luck, all right. At his crestfallen look, I sighed and bent into a crouch, pointing at my shoulders with my free hand. “Climb on. I can’t carry you, but you can lean on me. We’re getting out of here.” Together, we half-walked, half-limped out into the hallway. In spite of his size, Cray weighed next to nothing; he draped himself across my shoulders like a blanket. In retrospect, that should have been my first warning that something was wrong, but it wasn't until he slammed me into the wall that I realized something had gone awry. The ‘vines’, which had been steadily increasing in number since my sojourn into the offices, reacted instantly: snaring my shoulders and upper arms and anchoring me solidly to the wall. “Cray, what the-” I began. The protest died, unfinished, when he smiled at me and opened his mouth. It kept opening. The skin everywhere above his mouth peeled backwards like a crumpled-up sock, bunching as it went and obscuring all of his facial features save for that black, cavernous maw. It was lined with rows of backward-facing teeth, like those of a Dune sandworm, and they seemed to go on forever. I tried to wrench myself away from the wall, but the tendrils held me fast. I could feel them boring through my clothes and the Kevlar body armor underneath like a horrible, fast-growing slime mold, creeping gradually toward my skin. The harder I struggled, the tighter their grip became. I felt myself sliding toward full-blown panic. I did the only thing I could think of: I cocked my fist back, and tried to punch the thing that was not Cray in the face. Its mouth closed on my wrist with a grinding, toothy crunch, and I was yanked forward with whiplash-inducing force. I watched my forearm, then my elbow, disappear down the monster’s gullet as it chewed its way upwards. All the while, it was whipping its head back and forth and increasing the pressure; it was like sticking my hand into a garbage disposal (and then possibly pouring Drano in after it). I heard something snap –I think it might have been one of the little bones in my hand-, and distinctly remember thinking It’s going to tear my arm off! Somehow, with a supreme effort, I managed to rip myself free of the clinging tendrils, and walloped not-Cray in the face with the steel briefcase attached to my wrist. It didn’t hurt it, but I must have caught it off guard, because it reeled back and let me go with an angry screech. I didn’t bother sticking around to fight. The vines in the hallway were now quite obviously animate, and were slithering toward me at an alarming speed. I bolted, hurtling down the hallway in an oblique ‘holy mother of god anywhere but here’ direction. As a result, I almost knocked myself unconscious by running headfirst into an emergency exit door. I yanked it open, ducked inside, and slammed it shut again with as much force as I could, slumping against the frame and trying not to hyperventilate myself into unconsciousness. The arm that whatever-the-hell-that-thing-in-the-hallway-was had tried to eat was, somewhat remarkably, still attached. My coat sleeve was shredded, and I could see a lot of deep, nasty-looking lacerations underneath (the skin around them was turning bruise purple, and throbbed painfully), but all things considered, it could have been worse. I staggered up the staircase, cradling my injured arm against my chest, as I listened to the deep, hollow crash of the facility levels sealing behind me. Either Sforza had surveillance installed in the emergency exit, or he’d finally gotten the security systems up and running. When I sprawled out into the room I’d started this whole ordeal from, Sforza was slouched in a chair near the middle of the room, one long leg slung over the other, fingers steepled in front of his chest, and looking insufferably smug. With his gangly build, he reminded me of a human stick insect. The scientist glanced up as I entered, crow’s feet at the corner of his eyes crinkling into what could, with effort, almost pass for a smile. “Nemu,” he said, resting his jaw against the curve of one hand. “Did you find my data?” I just growled, breaking the handcuff chain with a quick jerk, and dropped the entire thing into his lap. It took all of my willpower to resist throwing it at his head. As I turned to go, however, he grabbed my wrist. Pain flared in my fingertips and I rounded on him, the beginnings of a tirade on my lips. My anger died, though, when I saw the look on his face. He flipped my hand over and pushed the shreds of my sleeve up toward my shoulder, his lips drawing into a thin, bloodless line. “How long has your arm been like this?” I followed his gaze, and sucked in a breath as I saw my entire forearm had turned an uncanny shade of chartreuse, and was swollen to almost half again its usual girth. Worse yet, the lacerations hadn’t healed. That… doesn’t happen. My rapid healing is the only reason I’ve survived this long in the Dreaming at all. These wounds weren’t even terribly deep. Sforza stretched the edges of one of the lacerations out, and from its depths, I could see tiny black filaments waving back and forth. "God dammit," he spat. Had I not had a long and storied history with the man, I wouldn't have thought he could move was fast as he did. One moment I was standing in front of him, the next, I was bent backwards over the nearest desk, my arm stretched flat out against the metal as he pinned me down with a knee and drew a scalpel, still contained inside its packaging, out of his coat pocket. "Hold still." I didn't have time to respond before he stripped the paper off of the knife with his teeth, and laid my entire arm open from bicep to wrist. I screamed, as much in surprise as pain, and tried to jerk away from him. He was, however, stronger than he looked. My arm stayed where it was, and as I watched, he reached into the laceration with two fingers and began by increments to rip out a long, squirming, many-limbed shape. So that's how I finished my evening- flat on my back on a table, watching my nemesis lever a horrid little centipede-thing out of my arm. I dimly remember snarking that he 'owed me a new coat' at Sforza, and of wanting to throw up a bit -particularly when I saw the little holes the monster had bored into my freaking bone- but it all blurs into white at that point. It's unusual for one of my dreams to actually have a concrete ending, and how and why it managed to pack itself into eight hours of sleep time, I've no idea. Maybe it's the influence of who I was working for at play, or maybe I was just really into it. Sforza, incidentally, still owes me a coat. *-Nemu Poliet, the alias I currently use in the Dreaming. **-Valencia Nieves, the commander-in-chief of FIAT’s armed forces. **-*Lots of people have these. I guess if you’re going the Inception route, you could think of them as totems- they take the form of whatever the person manifesting them thinks has power. Mine just happens to look like a sword.
  19. Oh, such dreams I have had, my friends. I could tell you about them, but I warn you, you had best be prepared for a wall of text. I have kind of an obsession with detail, you see, so my synopses tend to be pretty freakin' long. Also, my dreams take place in a recurring location, with a recurring cast of characters. How and why my brain packs all these things into an eight-hour period, I have no idea, but there you have it. What say you? Ludicrously involved story time with Io? Yes? Yeeeeeeeeeeees? : D
  20. I don't suppose one of you kind and awesome people with internet connections faster than mine would be willing to catch a couple of these eggs for me? I'd appreciate it hugely- connection's been down at work all day, and I really want a couple of these eggs. ;3; Thanks for the help, calenlass! .3. I owe you one, mmmyeeeees.
  21. Mmmm'kay, most of these are scrounged off another forum I frequent. They're fairly short compared to most of the dreams I've posted there, but... meh. Whatever. Anyway. A few vignettes out of my dream journal, from me to you: ---- Last night I dreamed I had to keep a friend entertained while she waited for... an aircraft, I think? Possibly a taxi. So I put on a puppet show for her, except the puppets were autonomous, and were bunraku-style puppets. One puppet cannibalized another puppet because she saw glorious spectral visions, and the first puppet wanted to see them too. The cannibalized puppet's innards were made of screws, fishing wire, and dead leaves. Don't ask me, man. I just live here. ---- I dreamed last night that I was in a bombed-out city. The fires had long ended, but the wet smell of ash and rain still lingered. I took refuge in a wooden temple, a statue of Kannon dominating the center of it. While I rested, my companion went mad and started to devour his own hands; stripping the flesh off a piece at a time with his teeth. He kept mumbling something about idle hands, and I thought he'd be a liability so I took him outside and shot him in the back of the head. I slept. I woke because someone was in the temple with me. It was someone I knew, from a long while ago. She'd been bleached totally white - apparently by some kind of supernatural force. We talked about old times until the morning. It was very odd. ---- Wow. Nothing like waking up from a dream wherein you're at a wedding and everyone you know (or damn near) points and laughs at you, and you have to stab them all out of a vague sense of self preservation, and go looking for the bride and groom to ask them 'What the [censored] is wrong with you people?" but can't find them because they're hiding from your wrath. Anyway. Woo, that was weird. ---- I woke up to the feeling that I'd missed a call - that something TERRIBLY IMPORTANT had passed me by. My reaction, rather than the usual 'worry about it' was a '[censored] it!' And so I got up, hopped in the shower, and started the day. Despite the weather, or perhaps because of it... I haven't felt normal today. I've felt like I'm stuck in a cyberpunk sort of world, one that's cleverly disguised by lacking cyberware, but nevertheless has the same ethos. Unfortunately, this means my natural reaction is to look for 'possible targets'. ---- (From a conversation with another forumite) So. Remember I mentioned the scariest dream I've ever had took place out in some kind of marshlands? I was on the very outskirts- they go all the way down to the water's edge, and I was walking along this narrow stretch of beach that connected said swampy area with the sea. It was dead calm that day- just a little bit of wind; the waves calmly lapping at the sand. The fog had rolled in- it was so dense I could barely see thirty feet in front of me. It made the trees -there were a few of them, stunted and leafless, some distance from me- look like hands or claws thrusting up from the ground. Now, don't get me wrong. Normally I love weather like that. But the tide was coming in, it was getting late, and because of the fog I couldn't find my way back to the path- the further I walked, the closer it brought me to this sheer cliff face studded with sea caves. And I remember it was cold- I had the collar of my coat turned up and my hands jammed in my pockets but the wind still cut to the bone. And then everything went... still. Not in the classical sense, mind you- the wind was still blowing and the tide was still coming in, but there was a feeling in the air like the whole world was holding its breath. I looked out to sea. There, moving through the mist, some distance away, was a string of pale, globular lights. The illumination they emitted was bright enough to cut through the fog, but not enough to show what they belonged to, and they all moved together in this smooth, undulating motion... like they were connected somehow. I don't know how large they were, because my depth perception was messed up on account of not being able to see the horizon. But they must have been at least twenty feet in diameter. And then I realized that I could hear something coming from their direction, these appearing-and-disappearing lights: a single note, somewhere between that of a flute and a person, so high-pitched it rested on the very edge of sound. It just kept going on and on without breaking, until the lights finally vanished into the mist. I don't know why it frightened me so badly. All I know was that I was rooted to the spot, almost incoherent with terror; I couldn't wake up and I suddenly, absolutely did not want to see what the thing in the mist really was. --- (from a more recent thread) Last night was a prime example of some of the weirdness that goes on in my dreams, my friends. It is also a prime example of not taking things at face value; namely, just because something looks bad, it doesn't necessarily mean it is bad. I was walking through a dense coniferous forest, following a paved road that obviously hadn't seen use or upkeep in quite some time- there was plant matter sprouting from cracks in the asphalt, the road was rough and spotted with potholes, and in places the pavement had completely worn away, leaving only gravel in its place. It was very quiet; aside from the wind in the trees I only heard a couple of birds from time to time. And then, without warning, the entire scene wrenched sideways and vanished. In my dreams, this is called a 'shift', and it's more common in areas of low habitation: things are constantly in a state of flux, subject to change without notice. It can take the form of the ground suddenly turning liquid beneath your feet, or two wildly different biomes suddenly inhabiting the same location... or, as in this case, an abrupt change of location. I found myself standing in the main hallway of the most bizarre estate I've ever seen. Everything -everything- was covered in black-and-white tile. It was like being inside a chessboard, or perhaps a freakishly large public restroom. And there were mirrors absolutely everywhere- tacked up on the walls or leaning against the furniture, most of them oddly-shaped or hanging askew. Speaking of the furniture, it was the only source of color in the building. The chairs and footstools were all covered in deep, wine-red velour; the tables were carved out of mahogany (or perhaps cherry wood). I had to focus on it to avoid giving myself a headache- the way the tiles were arranged, it made the room seem to twist drunkenly. My best guess is that it was an optical illusion (I don't want to think about the alternative). As I walked through the adjacent rooms and hallways, looking for any signs of life, I began to notice something out of the periphery of my vision. Something was following me. Several 'somethings', in fact. The glimpses I got of them were a pretty clear indication that I would not enjoy a closer look. The universe, alas, was conspiring to deny me any peace of mind that night. A part of me wishes I'd never thought to look into the mirrors. The drunken twists and turns of the building were even worse when viewed through a mirror, and to top it off, I finally had a chance to see what was dogging my steps. It's difficult to describe what looking at them was like. The closest equivalent I can come up with is that it was like looking into a kaleidoscope: their bodies didn't make any kind of sense. Rings of thin, solid-black eyes arranged in the center of three faces, almost completely flat and conjoined at the top of the skull. Impossibly long, slender arm sprouting from a biomass with no distinguishing features at all. Extensible mouths bristling with curved, needle-sharp teeth. And those are just the aspects I can describe. When they separated, which was not often, there was no common trend between any of them. Some looked a little bit like humanoid skates. Others had the spindly, devolved look of the things you find in underground streams, or at the bottom of the ocean. And others... I don't know, geometrical patterns or fractals. They slithered in and out of the mirrors, passing through the glass as easily as if it were water. They were, I might add, absolutely terrifying to look at. Not because they were ugly, but because they looked so mind-bendingly wrong. I think I may have been hyperventilating at that point. If I wasn't then, I sure as hell was when a multitude of spindly arms erupted out of the mirror to my right, grabbed me, and dragged me inside. If the creatures were weird, what was inside the mirror was worse. It was a little bit like being inside a giant insect hive, except everything was made out of sickly, yellowish-white cobwebs. It was like being inside a cocoon. Before I could scream, a hand slapped itself over my mouth. In texture it was similar to risen, uncooked dough, but the grip was remarkably strong. Anyway. Long story short, I would have panicked at that point. But then the creatures spoke to me. They explained that they weren't trying to hurt me (which was hard to swallow with so many teeth that close to my face, let me tell you); that they were, in fact, hiding me. Apparently, the thing that inhabited the mansion outside of the mirrors was far worse- that the house was essentially a giant spiderweb, and that it had been leading me unwittingly toward the source. But because its attention had been elsewhere, the pale things -which were the master's unwilling 'eyes' and 'hands'- had concealed me before it had realized I was there. They smuggled me out of the mansion, and deposited me, via another mirror, into my own apartment. I think I've made some new friends. ---- I'll see if I can dig up some of the longer 'story arc'-type dreams, if you guys are interested in seeing them. Sometimes the stuff that goes on in them is pretty cool. There's a city controlled by a megacorporation, which uses railguns for antiaircraft defense. Lovecraftian horrors! Assassinations! Adventure! My terrifying arch-nemesis! SCIENCE! : D ... I need to get a life. >.>