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Messages - Sinitrena

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1
Wiggy: I'm sad you removed your story. I read it shortly after you posted it and enjoyed it, but I was very tired when I read it so I remember very little. Still, an interestting take on the topic - even though your definition of "pilgrimage" was fairly wide to begin with.

WHAM: I think it was a good idea to modify your story. The first version wasn't bad by any means, but the revision does clear a few things up. For example, it was a bit confusing in the beginning who is talking (I think, there were a couple of days between reading the two versions.). Your story is great when it comes to world-building, and definetely hints to a larger world behind it. What would happen if thw dead come back to life? And it's interesting that it's basically set after most stodires take place. The living fighting the armies of the dead? That I've read often enough, but a world that has itself arranged with the fact, at least to some degree - that is new and faszinating.

Baron: It's always strange to look at the world throught the eyes of something non-human. I feel a bit sorry for Battuta, he came so far and gets absolutley nothing for it. Poor guy.

Babar: I'm always happy when we get a bit of peotry around here, especially when it's well written too.


Best story: WHAM
Best scene setting: Babar
Best or worst protagonist: WHAM

2
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 30 May 2018, 21:33 »
Endeavour?

3
Rose

She has never walked this path before. She has never noticed how the forest stops, just stops a few meters from the road, as if someone had cut a photo in half. It changes suddenly, the green of the woods makes room for a tiny speck of empty land, empty in so many more ways than the lack of nature. It is not like there is no green, there is grass and even a flower here or there, but it seems so unnatural. It is unnatural, a hill build by some people, protecting the houses and animals in the forest beyond from the noises of the highway. A guardrail protects it further – people wandering aimlessly where they are not supposed to or cars from drifting away from the road? She doesn’t know. Neither. Both. She never really thought about it, never cared.

She has never been here before. It is not true. She has been here a thousand times, driving past the forest and the artificial hill on the highway, not really knowing the name of the village just a couple hundred meters away, or that the bridge she is heading towards now is a pedestrian path connecting – nothing really. It leads from the village to the forest on the other side and then maybe to some fields or a little lake. She still can’t bring herself to care. Maybe there is another village further ahead. Maybe there are people here who prefer to walk to work that way?

The path is nothing special, really. Just some trampled down mud, a bit of pebbles here and there and puddles, a lot of puddles that nearly make here slip from time to time. She still isn’t all that steady on her feet. She is too proud, too hurt to wear anything but the – fairly sensible – high-heeled boots she loves so much. But with the artificially stiffened leg, it is more than painful, more than difficult. Her balance is off too, with the left arm still in a sling and the whistling in her ear she can’t get rid of since... Yes, since then.

It has stopped raining hours before she started her slow and painful walk. But her pants’ legs are still wet from the water on the ground, her shirt is still soaked through from the sweat that also glisters on her forehead and itches on her scalp. And her cheeks are damp from the tears she hasn’t been able to shed before now.

As normal and unremarkable the path is, as not special and not worthy of any attention, for her, now, in this very moment, it is her whole world. It is the end of her whole world. When the path reaches the bridge, it becomes stone and brickwork. It is older than the street below, as strange as this may seem. But the bridge was here before the highway got four lanes, before the cars sped along it with 120 km/h, before the earth was piled up to form a barrier. Even the handrail is just unshaped stone, stacked and solidified, but still brittle and old. In a way, it is even romantic, even beautiful, with the forest in her back, the sun just setting behind the trees, and the smoke rising from the chimneys of the village. If the noise of the cars rushing past weren’t there, if the fumes of the exhausts wouldn’t reach her nose, if only her memories were different. If.

But they aren’t and from her vantage point so high above the street, she sees the dent in the guardrail on the other side of the highway. The glass is gone, the metal scraps, the blood, the stone, the single stone taken from the bridge or out of the forest, they are all gone. Her green Polo, a present from her parents to her engagement, the tatters of her white dress the fireman had to rip from her motionless body, the tiara she had worn the whole day, feeling like a princess just once in her life, they are all gone. Her fiance - no husband, he was her husband then – they have taken him as well.

He never reached the hospital. That was just an empty shell. In the grave, there is nothing but broken bones and bruised flesh, clothes he hated, the watch he loved. But here, here they laughed for the last time, here they looked at each other, here they closed their eyes at the same moment, he with a smile on his lips and her name on his breath, she with screams so deep ingrained in her very being that she still hears them in her mind.

She stops for a moment on the bridge. She looks down at the cars, sees them like he saw them. Blurry lines of light and shadows. Specks of colors here and there. Splashing water from the rain, swirled up by the wheels on the ground and the constantly, hypnoticly swinging windshield wipers. Unremarkable, normal, like the path she never really thought about before.

For someone it was not normal enough, not interesting enough. The people in the cars were nothing to think about, nothing to notice, nothing to care about. The stone was thrown in the early hours of the evening. It was a small stone, just about as big as a fist. It was deliberate. She doesn’t know how the police came to this conclusion. Is it really important? Is it important who threw it? Or why?

It crushed into the windshield of a car driving past underneath the bridge. The car was going fast. The people inside were laughing. And then the laughter died in their throats. The stone broke the windshield. It flew right through. The driver was hid in the head. The car swiveled from the road. There is a dent in the guardrail now.

She has to climb over the handrail and then walk a couple meters beside the highway – how far is it? How far did they swerve before they hit the guardrail? - and then the guardrail to reach the dent. Police and cleaning crews have taken care of the wreck. The rain washed the last traces away. People driving past, they see nothing to remind them of her husband or her car or the accident.

She stands there for a moment, well aware that she is not supposed to be there, that it is dangerous for her, dangerous for the people driving past. But the flowers in her hand, the simple wooden cross she had carved herself, they need to be here. They need to be laid down where he died, not where his empty shell remains, not where people only cry and mourn. Here they laughed, in the car driving past, here they hoped. Here she told him of the child. His name is burned into the cross and roses grace it with their blossoms. Her so long unshed tears water it. Her sobs call it to life, to the life he would not live.

She stays there long, kneeling on the side of the emergency lane, as cars rush past her and soak her with the rain of the street. The memorial leans against the guardrail now, precariously close to falling over. In a few days, it will be gone, but for now it stays.

Painfully slow, she gets back to her feet. Again and again she looks back as she walks away, leaving him forever. The airstreams of the cars rattle the cross and sway it, but still it stands. With every look she expects it to fall over and in her mind this would allow her to fall, the stop walking, to break down. But it doesn’t fall, not when she climbs back over the guardrail, not while she walks besides the highway, not when her stiff leg gets caught in the handrail and she struggles to get back to the strange familiarity of the path. It stays upright as she hobbles back up the steep bridge and as she stops on its highest point again.

She waits for it to fall. It would allow her to give up. She would climb over the handrail again. She would fall onto the street. Her body would strike into the windshield of a passing car...

It does fall. When she turns her head, when the rain starts again, when a car drives too close to the emergency lane, it falls. The scream is still in her head, the screeching of the tires, his breath that is too weak to produce a sound, calling her name. She presses her hands on the handrail, she heaves herself up.

And then her hand wanders to her belly, feeling for the kick.

4
Site & Forum Reports / Re: Trouble posting
« on: 27 May 2018, 18:11 »
I had the same problem about a week ago. The next day it worked again, so I didn't think much of it.

5
I've sent mine in too.

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Group Stage First Round

Russia 3 - 1 Saudi Arabia
Egypt 0 - 3 Uruguay
Morocco 1 - 1 Iran
Portugal 2 - 2 Spain
France 3 - 1 Australia
Argentina 3 - 1 Iceland
Peru 2 - 0 Denmark
Croatia 1 - 1 Nigeria
Costa Rica 0 - 2 Serbia
Germany 2 - 2 Mexico
Brazil 3 - 1 Switzerland
Sweden 3 - 1 South Korea
Belgium 2 - 0 Panama
Tunisia 0 - 2 England
Colombia 2 - 1 Japan
Poland 4 - 2 Senegal

Russia 3 - 0 Egypt
Portugal 4 - 2 Morocco
Uruguay 2 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Iran 0 - 3 Spain
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
France 2 - 0 Peru
Argentina 4 - 0 Croatia
Brazil 4 - 0 Costa Rica
Nigeria 1 - 1 Iceland
Serbia 1 - 2 Switzerland
Belgium 2 - 1 Tunisia
South Korea 0 - 2 Mexico
Germany 2 - 1 Sweden
England 4 - 1 Panama
Japan 2 - 0 Senegal
Poland 1 - 1 Colombia

Uruguay 1 - 1 Russia
Saudi Arabia 0 - 0 Egypt
Spain 3 - 1 Morocco
Iran 0 - 4 Portugal
Denmark 1 - 2 France
Australia 0 - 0 Peru
Nigeria 0 - 4 Argentina
Iceland 1 - 0 Croatia
South Korea 0 - 3 Germany
Mexico 2 - 2 Sweden
Serbia 0 - 4 Brazil
Switzerland 0 - 0 Costa Rica
Japan 1 - 2 Poland
Senegal 0 - 2 Colombia
England 3 - 1 Belgium
Panama 0 - 0 Tunisia

6
Congratulations, Wiggy. I'm looking forward to the next topic.

7
I just casually checked the runs of RPG Limit Break

Quote from: RPG Limit Break
a week-long marathon of RPG speedruns (finishing console-style role playing games quickly)! RPGLB is an annual event where attendees come to perform speedruns or support our efforts to raise money for NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.

and noticed that Heroine's Quest is on their schedule for this Saturday, May 19th, 12:15 PM (they don't give a time zone, so I'm not completly sure when this is).

Apparently, there is also a bid war for the character class, that's currently at $0.00.

I thought some of you might be interested.

8
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 16 May 2018, 18:47 »
Correct (nod)

9
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 16 May 2018, 17:03 »
Still no.



Hint:

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
I went from guest stars to recuring (one person in the second pic) to (one of the) main character(s).

10
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 15 May 2018, 19:41 »
Nobody? Try this pic:


11
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 14 May 2018, 21:34 »
Yes to Ted Rooney, no and no to The Closer and Major Crimes.

12
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 14 May 2018, 20:30 »
MacGyver (the new one)
of course that is correct.(nod)

It was fairly easy.

Next:


13
The Rumpus Room / Re: What's on TV?
« on: 14 May 2018, 18:19 »
MacGyver (the new one)

14
Two very different entries. This should make it easier to vote - it doesn't.

WHAM: That was one depressing story - or should I say suicide note, because that's what it is. It tells a story, yes, but very limited to the perspective of the writer. To some degree, it treats the reader as someone who should know what it is talking about (the unspecified illness, "That night I told you the truth.") but at the same time doesn't go far enough. It's supposed the be read by the partner of the writer (I was about to write girlfriend, then I realized that you never disclosed the gender of either character.), who would know certain things ("We got a dog. We couldn’t have children") It falls a bit under the As You Know Trope I'm sure you noticed: These are very tiny details, so all in all this is very well written.

Wiggy: First of all, welcome, I don't think I've seen you here in the FWC before. I feel like I read your story before, not the exact same one, but the same concept: victorian setting, dinner party, time travel, accident. But it must be over ten years since I read this other story, so I can't remember the author or where I read it at all. As Blondbraid already pointed out, I really like that you can tell from the writing alone in what time period this story is set. Other than that, you made me do math! 8-0 Your ending implies that the time travel failed because of three points: 1. rotation of the sun system around the Milky Way (ca. 280 km/s) 2. rotation of the earth around the sun (ca. 29,78 km/s) 3. rotation of the earth around its own axis (depending on latitude between 0 (North and South Pole) and 1670 km/h - this makes for London as the example I will use because it's a likely place for your story: 1039 km/h or 0,289 km/s) The character was gone for three minutes: 3x60x280 + 3x60x29,78 + 3x60x0,289 = 55812,35 km That's how far away the accidant should have happened. Even if we only take the rotation of the earth axis into account (assuming a fixed point of some kind), it is still 3x60x0,289 = 51,95 km (And I really hope I didn't make a mistake somewhere in my logic here and made of fool of myself) Anyway, my point it that your protagonist cannot leave the party and walk, or take a hansom and reach the town square in a reasonable amount of time. Besides, the town square would not be 51 km away from a house in the city and nobody would walk that far for a visit (you can reasonably walk 5 km/h; 50 km would therefore take 10 h). In short: Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale ;) (Sorry, I just noticed that the distance seemed off when I casually read your story and did a bit of research.)


Now, after you all struggled through me doing math, here's the more interesting part: My votes:

Best Character: WHAM
Best Fail: Wiggy (I swear it's for the fail of the character, not the writer! :-*)
Best Writing: WHAM
Best Story: Wiggy


Edit: That's my source for the speed of the earth: https://www.wasistwas.de/archiv-wissenschaft-details/wie-schnell-dreht-sich-die-erde-eigentlich.html (In German, sorry)

15
Competitions & Activities / Re: Game pitch competition
« on: 13 May 2018, 15:51 »
No sorry, I didn't even submit anything. I had an idea but didn't get around to write a proper pitch. But I voted for #5.

My guesses:
#1 Sinitrena

Sorry, I didn't submit anything either.

16
Selmiak, you obsequious rule follower, you!  I accept your submission. ;-D

You accepted selmiak's entry. Shouldn't it be in your list, joke entry or not? (roll)

17
Competitions & Activities / Re: Game pitch competition
« on: 08 May 2018, 11:50 »
I voted for #1 with 6 and 8 as close runner-ups. I like the mystery presented in 1 even though it tells little of the story or potential game play.

#7 is an interesting read. It's a fascinating topic and philosophical problem but I doubt it would work as a game. Time-jumps are just not a good game mechanic, even for games released in chapters. That's a concept for a book, not a game.

18
NOT FAIL to enter this competition

Awww, I was kinda counting on everyone who didn't enter being declared the automatic winners.

Unfortunately, you have to at least say that you intend to enter in order to fail to do so. :-D

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Job Experience

He knelt behind a hedge and peeped through the window slightly above his head. It might have been a rather undignified position, especially for someone of his standing, but he tried to ignore the feeling. What had to be done had to be done.

His long black robes stuck to his sweaty skin and gave him the impression that he was being cooked alive. But he didn’t care. Well, he tried not to care. The same held true for the pollen irritating his nose and the inviting screams and laughter from the pool just a house away.

He adjusted the thick-rimed glasses that always seemed to be askew and tried to listen for the thousands time to the voices in the room he spied on but there were too many other sounds and the glass was nearly as thick as that of his glasses. There was the banter of the couples by the pool, the buzzing of the bees, who really did not want him there, and the even more annoying buzzing of the mosquitoes, who had already decided that he was an inviting meal. He swatted at them but they always came back. Once, he squished one of them under his palm just to get rid of it but of course the voice of his supervisor immediately droned through his head, reminding him of his position and of the fact that he only had one try – and killing a mosquito was not part of his job. And the little bugger got up again as if nothing had happened. Of course.

All in all, the day did not go as he had wished and imagined it.

He was told that he would feel it when the right time came, that an indescribable and unmistakable shudder would run through his very bones. That was the only description he got and it was not very useful, especially not for someone just starting the job, who got already sent out on his first mission all alone.

He was just about to fish the silver pocket-watch from the depths of his robes – why did it always slide down to his crotch? - when a shriek and the unmistakable feeling of a handbag connecting with the back of his head startled him from his musings.

“Pervert!” The woman’s screeching was loud enough to get the attention of the pool party and probably the noisy neighbors of the whole street and he had no choice but to scramble up to his feet and run, accompanied by some more hits of a handbag that had no right to be as heavy as it was.

He stumbled over the hem of his robes, fell over the hedge, desperately trying to reach the street and some semblance of safety, and his scythe slid out of his sweaty hands. Somehow, he got up again and then he just remembered running and stumbling for the next few minutes.

Behind the safety of a shed in some random garden he wondered not for the first time how he was supposed to stay inconspicuous in the traditional clothes he wasn’t supposed to remove.

“Screw it!” he cursed between heavy breathes and a coughing fit. Why couldn’t at least his asthma go away now? Wasn’t it bad enough that his eyesight stayed as before or that he was still slightly overweight? It just wasn’t right.

He couldn’t do anything about the things he always considered shortcomings of his body, but there was certainly something he could do about the stupid robes that even shackled his ankles when he just tried to walk in them, let alone run. He dragged the heavy cloth over his head, nearly knocking the glasses from his nose, and revealed shaggy red hair, yellow shorts that had seen better days and a multicolored shirt that would hurt even the eyes of the most fashion-challenged person ever. He considered removing the heavy high boots that were also part of his uniform but decided against it. It was late in the afternoon and the summer sun had cooked the asphalt for the last ten hours now. There was no way he would walk bare-food over the hellish ground.

He took a deep breath and steeled himself for the walk back. Fumbling for the silver pocket-watch again, he started to walk: slow, as was proper for his standing, but missing all the dignity his teachers had tried to install in him.

Even though he did find the watch, he did not really look at it, only letting it wander from hand to hand and finger to finger. He was proud of his skill to let a coin dance on the back of his hand like it was nothing, but even a small pocket-watch is not the same as a two-euro piece. The watch was thicker and the clockwork made the body rounder and heavier. The silver chain entangled his fingers and the trinket slid through his shaking palm. It bounced a few times on the ground – right into a dog’s poop.

“Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn it all to hell!”

Of course he had to pick it back up. There was no way around it. He would lose his job immediately if he lost the watch or destroyed it.

He had no handkerchief or even a rug, though he desperately needed one for his runny nose as well, and so he wiped the silver on the flap of his shirt, adding a distinct smell of shit to an already slightly off-putting odor of sweat. Luckily, he couldn’t smell it. His nose felt like it was filled with a whole field and he was breathing through his mouth anyway.

Also luckily, the watch was not damaged. The silver still shone bright and blinding in the afternoon sun, the lines of the engraving were just as impossible to make out as before, and the single hand of the golden inlay of the face still ticked mercilessly closer to its destination. Which it had about reached.

“Oh, shit!”

He started running again. At least, now there were no robes to make him stumble or angry women behind his back. When he reached the street again he sighed with relief. Apparently the screams of the woman hadn’t been loud enough to drag all her neighbors onto the street. As a matter of fact, it still lay there as empty and uninteresting as before. The houses all looked the same from the front-yards: A hedge, a driveway, a brown door, a white wall. There was nothing to distinguish one from the other. Even the house numbers seemed to look the same through the hazy gaze of the exhausted runner.

He looked down on the face of the clock again. The hand had nearly reached its destination and he just couldn’t remember what number his client was supposed to live in. He had done the research all alone, as was expected of him, he had planned the operation, he had learned the ins and outs of the people living there, but now he didn’t seem to remember any of it.

The hand reached its highest point, where on a normal clock twelve would be, and where one of the many markings on his clock was, but he still didn’t feel what he was supposed to feel. Hadn’t he attuned himself properly to the aura of the man he was supposed to collect? Had he missed a step in his preparations? He couldn’t tell what was wrong, just that something didn’t go as it was supposed to.

He was out of time. If he didn’t reach the client at the appointed moment, everything could go awry, the very fabric of the universe was at stake. At least, that is what his teachers had told him. But the feeling didn’t come, the unmistakable and indescribable shudder just didn’t run down his spine. He started to run again, without any destination in mind.

And then he heard the scream. He was never so happy to hear somebody scream. And it even came from the right window! Finally, his luck had returned and destiny would be able to proceed as it should. And for the first time that day he felt like somebody who knew what he was doing.

With an audible plop he appeared in the room facing the street and the hedge that had served as his hiding spot. With nothing but his will he made himself manifest behind a young woman sitting in front of a computer and playing a game. White headphones pressed down the pink spikes of her hair and blared music into her ears that he only heard as distant babbling. She didn’t react to his sudden appearance.

He stretched his body to the full impressive size of all his 1,71m and intoned with the deepest voice he could muster: “Do not be afraid, for I am your destiny.” It wasn’t his fault that his voice sounded slightly squeaky and nervous, was it? “Fear not what is the way of all life!” He was so proud of his words. He had rehearsed them over and over. “I am to be your guide on your path through shadows and...

Unfortunately, the girl didn’t seem to hear him. At least, she didn’t react right away. Apart from him speaking, the only thing happening was the game going on. The girl furiously mashed buttons on her controller and only when the tiny figure on the screen turned in a circle and fell to the ground in a sea of red, did the girl take a deep breath and sighed. “Not again.”

... death. Fear not the way all must take sooner or later, Link, for I am death incarnate.

The girl wrinkled her nose just as she was about to select Save and Continue on her screen. “Jimmy?” she called to her dog, “Did you poop in the house again? How often do I have to tell you...” She stopped in the middle of the sentence when she finally noticed the stranger in her room. She hesitated, then she took off her headphones, leaving the game and her dead character behind.

“Who are you?” she asked.

He was a bit peeved that nothing seemed to work as it should but he tried to keep calm and dignified. “I am Death – I am Death Incarnate, Guide through the Underworld and I am here -

The girl cocked her head and held up her hand, stopping his speech. “No, really, who are you and what do you want in my room? I’ll scream and my mom has a really heavy handbag.”

“I, I am – I am Death Incarnate, tasked to come to guide you, Link, through a world of...

“Wait, wait a second. Link? As in Link, the hero of Hyrule?” A part of her told her to be afraid of a stranger who just appeared out of nowhere in a locked room with a closed window, but she just couldn’t bring herself to fear him. He looked too ridiculous with yellow shorts and black boots and a shimmering scythe in his nervously shaking hands. She started to laugh instead.

“What?”

“Zelda?” And when he didn’t react: “You never heard of Zelda?”

“I, I loved A Link to the Past when I was still alive.” He shook his head, trying to clear it. What she was insinuating just couldn’t be, could it? A quick look to the screen confirmed his greatest fear. A fairy fluttered on the continue screen. He scrambled to find the right words to salvage the situation. “I am,” he squeaked, “I am – I am Death, I am – I have to reap a soul or else I’ll lose my job. Help me, please.” His words ended in a desperate whisper.

The next thing he saw was the darkness of the realm of the reapers and the next thing he heard was his supervisor yelling at him: “We do not reap the souls of video game characters. They die over and over again. They fall under Paragraph 67 a, Exception 88, Immortal Beings in Virtual Environments. Did you not read the handbook? Did you not notice that the clock had millions of end points? Did you not realize that you could not connect to his soul? How ignorant can you be? How dare you show yourself to a mortal still alive and well? How dare you remove your uniform and desecrate our position with such undignified behavior? How dare you...

19
There are some problems with flags, but text might clutter the game pages.

In the end, it's just important to make this information available and searchable.

20
Site & Forum Reports / Suggestion: Languages on game page
« on: 01 May 2018, 18:27 »
This thread got me thinking that there is absoluetly no way to tell what languages/translations are available for games, unless it's mentioned in the descriptions. It would be really great if this could be added at some point - on the games' pages as icons maybe and as a search function.

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