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Author Topic: The Forum Birthday Cycle  (Read 7701 times)

Offline JMack

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The Forum Birthday Cycle
« on: May 05, 2015, 11:45:31 PM »
Prepare yourselves...

The link to Episode 1: A Birthday Gift for Xiagan
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/general-discussion/member-birthday-calendar/msg100580/#msg100580

Episode 2: Saraband and the Dark Howard - May 6,2015
Spoiler for Hiden:
Miguel woke in the dark, and remembered the terror. It wasn't fair. It was his birthday, and here he was, hiding behind the shoe rack. Amazing that he could even fall asleep. He seemed to remember a dream. He'd been talking to the great Saladin at Jay Gatsby's house on Long Island when suddenly his cell phone had rung, it's green light flashing on and off, on and off ... Yes, that's what woke him. The damn cell phone was ringing and ringing and ringing. If he'd dared, he would have turned it off neatly when he'd realized it was their way in. Instead, it sat on the rug on the other side of the closed door, thrown away in haste, in the wrong place. Miguel hated messes. But he hated the Forum even more.

It hadn't always been this way. Once upon a time, the Forum had been a place of peace (mostly), intelligent conversation (sometimes) and acceptance (usually, unless people we're discussing book 25 of WoT). Until He came. No. Not He. It.

Atku.

The phone rang again, and Miguel tried to cover his ears with something he pulled down from a hanger. Oh, that was kind of nice. But damn it, the ringing!

He heard footsteps in the building hallway and keys in the apartment door. Thank Fitzgerald! Roger was home.

"Roger!" He called. "Roger!"

"Miguel?"

"I'm in the closet."

The door opened and the bright room lights hurt his eyes. "I can see that." Roger stood looking down at Miguel wrapped in his pajamas. "Miss me? Hey, did you know your cell phone is ringing?"

"Don't answer it!"

But Roger didn't understand, and before Miguel could cry out, it was too late. Roger picked up the phone, pressed answer - and @Eurog was summoned and gone. His empty clothes fell to the rug.

Miguel stumbled forward and picked up the phone, cradling it in his hands. "No," he sobbed. It should have been him. If only he'd been faster. If only he'd been braver. Why couldn't it have been him?

And then it was. The phone rang again. @Saraband disappeared from every plain of real existence, into Fiction.



He apparated into a red room.  It held one chair, an ugly lamp, and a wooden bucket. Red walls, red floor, red ceiling.

A voice sounded from somewhere in the room, but Miguel couldn't locate the source. "Welcome, Saraband. Your punishment will begin shortly."

"What have I done? What's my crime?" Miguel pulled himself up to his full height, whatever that was. "Is this justice?!"

The voice paused. "Think of this crime and punishment. Just without the crime part."

"This is not right," Saraband complained. "The forum is supposed to be a place of enlightenment and sharing. And you've made it into a place of torture, argument and tedium. Like the rest of the Internet.

"And," he continued, now slowing down for emphasis, "what have you done with Eurog?"

"Wait a second," said the voice. "I've been dying to know. Is that pronounced like 'euro,' plus 'gee' or like 'your' plus 'og'?"

"What does that matter! It’s Portuguese, sort of, so it’s weird. What have you done with him?"

"He's awaiting punishment."

"What punishment?"

"We were sort of hoping you could tell us. We don't have many records about him, you see. We know he's a dentist, so we thought that all through. You know, make him do a root canal on himself with no anesthesia, that sort of thing. But it's not very clever, right? So then we thought, well, what does every dentist fear most?"

Miguel waited. But when the voice said nothing more, he lost patience and said, "Are you asking me?"

"Not really. But you're supposed to say 'yes?' or 'go on' or something like that. It's polite." The voice paused again.

"Go on," said Saraband, through gritted teeth.

"Oh, good. Yes, well, I think what dentists fear the most is still being a dentist twenty years from now."

"That's actually... true, I think."

"So that's his punishment. He has to stay a dentist."

"Yes, but that's sort of boring."

"Hail, Captain Obvious!" bleated the voice.

"So who else are you punishing?" asked Miguel, curious now in spite of himself.

A screen unfolded from one of the red walls, and the image of a godlike Goat with massive twisting horns and a blazing blue sky behind him appeared. The eyes of the God peered out at Miguel with intense interest. "You really want to know? Excellent."

The screen shifted and Miguel saw into a blue room. @Elfy was chained to a blue chair, and his head was immobilized by brackets connected to the seat back. Whip thin wires were attached to his eyelids forcing his eyes to stay open, unblinking. A book hovered in front of his face. Elfy couldn't look away for a single moment.

"What's the book?" whispered Miguel in horror.

"We rotate between Sanderson and Lawrence. After too much exposure to either one, he starts to rave, so we switch to the other. Soon he's screaming about that one too, and we switch back."

"You're a fiend.  Um, what about @Arry, is she here?"

The screen dissolved to a yellow room, where Arry stood over a whack-a-mole console. As Miguel watched, cans of spam popped up from the holes and Arry tried desperately to hammer them back down. But they were so quick and she couldn't quite keep the game from getting out of control.

Miguel found himself giggling slightly. "OK, who else?"

"Want to see @xiagan?" said the Goat.

"I thought he stayed in the real world? He sort of had something to do?"

"Well, some things don't take as long as you'd think. We got him back before too long."

"What's his punishment?" asked Miguel, tapping his fingertips together unconsciously.

The Goat looked at him keenly. "Do you want to try setting one?"

"Oh," said Miguel. "Oh." Miguel thought about how he was always such a nice guy, always the thoughtful fellow, the gentleman, the scholar. He thought about all his Forum friends, trapped in this upside down goat rodeo of a world.

"Fuck yeah!" he said.

The two got down to business and it didn't take long. They set @D_Bates to writing critiques of every monthly contest entry since the beginning of time - and gave him a word limit. They made @Lady Ty write "Dragons are naughty banana benders" 10,000 times on her prison wall, in baby dragon blood. For @Raptori and @Saurus, they thought of forcing them to memorize every book of Realm of the Elderlings, backwards; but decided it would be better to require them to forget every book of Realm of the Elderlings. From @wakarimasen to @Rukaio Alter to @Giddler and everyone in between, they dreamt up the vilest, most disgusting tortures ever devised.

After hours of this, Miguel pushed himself back from the monitor completely spent.  His pulse was pounding, and he'd bitten so hard through his cheek that he tasted the coppery tang of his own blood. "I'm Grimdark!" he exclaimed, spitting out a bolus of bitter spit.  "At last! No more Mr. Nice Guy. I'm as bad as Jorg! And I love it!"

The Goat looked at him, smugly satisfied, and said, "Ah. Mission accomplished." The screen went dark and folded back into the wall.

"Wait!" said Miguel. "Wait. We were just getting started. There's so much more to do!" The voice didn't answer. "No! Come back! I can help you! We haven't punished @Brighteyes or Dr. Chill Chilli con Carne or, or @Overlord! I want to punish Overlord!" But the voice was gone, and Miguel was alone. The horror of his punishment crashed in upon him, and he descended into madness.

*****

In a chamber hidden deep in the Forum, a small, innocent-looking goat pushed back from his desk, setting the @Jmack mask down.  @ScarletBea stepped into the room carrying cake, but Atku barely acknowledged her. She thought she'd escaped punishment, but the God of Goats knew it was just a matter of time before she fully understood the depth of her predicament.

All was as it should be, he thought. Except that he knew it wasn't. He didn't have all of the Forum's regulars yet. It was just a matter of time, of course. There was nothing to worry about.

*****

"An idiot he is!" screamed @Yora, striking his gnarled staff against a rock jutting up from the sodden swampy ground. "Do or do not! There is no try!"

@Henry Dale tried once again to raise his x-wing from the muck. "But my friends need me!" he moaned. "And I'm stuck here with a short, green, German puppet trying to do the impossible!"

"Oh, get out of the way," said Yora. "Disappointing. Impatient. Foolish is this padawan learner." He raised one bony arm and crooked his fingers just so. In fact, he peeked at them to be sure they were just so and adjusted the middle pinky. With a deep look of concentration, he pressed a button on the floor and a hidden lever lifted the model x-wing from the clutch of the swamp. "This is the power of the Howard," he said. "You must master genre, and world building, and the precise taxonomy of monsters - but only really cool ones - before you can hope to use the power of the Howard for good. If not, seduced by the dark Howard will you be."

Henry shuffled his feet and tried to ease the pain in his neck. And why exactly, he berated himself, hadn't he just stopped off in Japan like he'd planned to?

*****

In his cell, Miguel lay and dreamed. He was still plagued by visions of Grimdark. But somehow this was mixed in with other things. It was, after all just one day after May the Fourth. He dreamt he was standing in front of a figure encased in black goo. "I love you, Han Solo," he whispered. "Baaaa" the figure answered.

*******

Meanwhile, in the state of Texas, Caleb fell off his chair and woke, blinking, his law texts scattered around him, scrabbling for his pistol. "I think I know," he said blearily. Then with more confidence: "I think I know!" But he didn't dare say it out loud again. In a private place in his mind, Dr. Chill Chilli con Carne, whispered to himself: I know how to defeat the Goat."

END OF EPISODE 2


Interlude: coming your way May 25...  And here it is!
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/general-discussion/the-forum-birthday-cycle/msg102993/#msg102993

Episode 3: Revenge of the Gunschwinger
Here it is! Maybe a wee bit early.
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/general-discussion/the-forum-birthday-cycle/msg104396/#msg104396
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 09:21:38 AM by Jmack »
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Offline Saraband

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 11:50:12 PM »
I heard there's a very nice guy having a birthday tomorrow, the 6th of May. No idea who, though.

 ;)
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Offline Raptori

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 12:16:53 AM »
I think the bar was set pretty high in the first episode, I have very high hopes for this series.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 05:21:39 AM »
Now I'm intrigued. Go on. (Or do we have to wait a month for the next issue?  :P)
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Offline Henry Dale

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 06:39:59 AM »


Awesome series Jmack  ;D
Looking forward to more of those!
But off to japan I go now, see y'all. :p

Online ScarletBea

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 07:46:30 AM »
Now I'm intrigued. Go on. (Or do we have to wait a month for the next issue?  :P)

There's a clue of when the series continues in a thread of this mighty forum ;D

As any good writer does, Jmack heard my ideas and used 0.00001% of them ;) thanks for the filtering hehe

And pssst: 'Elderlings', darling, not 'Ancients' :P Aktu should know that!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 08:16:38 AM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Saraband

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 09:46:36 AM »
Awesome, awesome gift @Jmack  ;D I love how you squeeze all the little bits you know about each person!

I'm going to print this one and have it nearby for whenever I'm feeling down, as it just made me laugh so much  :D
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Offline JMack

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2015, 10:55:49 AM »
Now I'm intrigued. Go on. (Or do we have to wait a month for the next issue?  :P)

Definitely a month.  ;)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline JMack

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 10:56:47 AM »
Now I'm intrigued. Go on. (Or do we have to wait a month for the next issue?  :P)

There's a clue of when the series continues in a thread of this mighty forum ;D

As any good writer does, Jmack heard my ideas and used 0.00001% of them ;) thanks for the filtering hehe

And pssst: 'Elderlings', darling, not 'Ancients' :P Aktu should know that!

Hey, I used your punishment indea for Lady Ty!   ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2015, 11:09:28 AM »
My birthday the 25th of May
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2015, 11:18:29 AM »
Hey, I used your punishment idea for Lady Ty!   ;D
Hence the %, hehe
But it's like I said, good writer, left my 'bad stuff' (being polite) out ;D

My birthday the 25th of May
hmpf that's not on the list!!!
Go tell Xia now to update it, please... we don't guess, do we? 8)
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Offline JMack

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2015, 11:59:19 AM »
Holy crap, I have a lot of typos in that thing. It's almost embarassing.
Must fix. Must fix.
Must go to work.
Must fix.
Work.
Fix.

Coffee.
Yes, Coffee.
Then work.
No, fix.
Oh, heck.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2015, 12:04:40 PM »
Hey, I used your punishment idea for Lady Ty!   ;D
Hence the %, hehe
But it's like I said, good writer, left my 'bad stuff' (being polite) out ;D

My birthday the 25th of May
hmpf that's not on the list!!!
Go tell Xia now to update it, please... we don't guess, do we? 8)

I don't know you call yourself shy but here you are bossing me about x and kicking Jmack out the paws until he writes hehe
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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2015, 12:18:14 PM »
I don't know you call yourself shy but here you are bossing me about x and kicking Jmack out the paws until he writes hehe

 ;D
I'm not shy, I'm introvert, 2 different things, hehe
And the bossing is in your best interest: if your birthday's not on the list you don't get a story 8) Of course, you may not want a story... or Jmack might be too busy to write (nobody wants a story from me, trust me...)

...
By the way, does a goat have paws?

...
Apr-Jun seem to be quite busy with regular birthdays!

...
Raptori's not on the list either
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 12:21:43 PM by ScarletBea »
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Online ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: The Forum Birthday Cycle
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2015, 12:30:51 PM »
Oh, the cliffhanger! Please, tell me right now how Chilli is going to deal with the Goat. I can't wait!   :( ;)

Good job, Jmack!  ;D
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