Caledon

Far From Home: Chapter 10 – Coming Home

The water here is cold. Memories of a childhood I knew could not be mine flowered in my mind; giggles and splashes with fingers trailing in a steam and cold water flicked at friends. If I tried that now I wouldn’t even know if the few fingers I had left froze solid and snapped off. Now only the custom-made fleece-lined leather gloves kept what was left of my hands safe from injury and the elements. The childhood squeals of joy faded until only the quiet lapping of my oar in the river and the occasional bird cry from the bank remained. I liked it that way. Memories were useless out here, they would only slow me, make me careless, drag me down with them. What was gone was just that, gone.

I looked ahead, my landing point approached, a stream flowing into the river where the forest at the base of the mountain dipped to meet the lake. The trees in the forest were snow-draped as if a funeral shroud had been cast over them, white and smothering…

“You’ll have to wear this under your clothes,” the doctor from the slums stood in my room and held up long white underwear. He’d been coming every day since my return. The hospital in Caledon offered me accommodation in the local sanatorium, promised me a job, promised me rooms, promised me a prison with lunatics for cellmates. I declined. I had a home. I had a jungle. I left and I went home only to find it had gone, burnt to the ground, not a trace left. I sat on the sand and didn’t move for three days.

I saw things. They spoke to me. They pointed and they laughed and they danced.

On the fourth day the rain came. I sat on the sand and made believe the rain streaming down my face were the tears I could no longer weep. It rained for a day and a night.

On the fifth day I left the island. I didn’t know where else to go so I travelled back to where it all began. Back to the epicentre. Back to Steelhead.

People stared. They whispered and pitied and taunted and joked. In Steelhead my misery was compounded by the unruly children that inhabit an underworld no adult can hope to enter without their permission. Oh yes, the Steelhead Scamps thought me great sport.

I wasn’t sure where to go, so I went to the slums to find the doctor. He stared. They all stare. Still, he helped. I don’t know what he said and to whom but by nightfall I was in a comfortable room in a nearby hotel. From my window I could see Spirit Lake flowing out into the river as it passed through the wilderness of St Helens.

“You’ll have to wear this under your clothes,” I turned from the window (how many days had I stood there staring out into the isolation beyond?), “and these gloves I’ve had made for you. Likewise your boots and socks. You are going to have to protect yourself if you are insistent about going through with this.”

I stared at the while underwear in his hands and the other garments on my bed. “Thank you. Is everything else ready?”

He sighed, “Yes. There’s a canoe and supplies ready and Lunar has stamped your purchase order. You’re the proud owner of very remote, very isolated forest by the mountain. I’m guessing that will make you happy, eh?”

I looked at the man with concern etched across his brow and said nothing. He shook his head and placed the long thermals on the bed, “Well at least promise me you’ll make our agreed meetings. Every two weeks. If you miss one, I’ll only come looking for you and neither of us wants that; I hate the great outdoors with a passion, you know.” I tried a smile but my skin wouldn’t move like that any more so I just nodded and told him he had my word.

The next morning I set a hat on my head, wrapped a scarf around my face and walked away from the hotel, away from the city, away from the scamps and everyone and everything. I checked the canoe and set off rowing, I let the river take me for a while but I liked to row, the exertion warming me in the frigid morning air. Since the fire, since Shade, The Erase, the would-be killer, since my recovery, winter had come to these parts and it held the land fast in its white silence. There was no one around, not a living soul for miles, and it was perfect. I looked down at the river, clear and blue beneath me.

Steelhead St Helens

The water here is cold, I thought to myself…

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The End.
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

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Far From Home: Chapter 9 – The Erase

The meadow was burning.

The flames were licking up my body, my fur curling back and burning off.

A beautiful girl with wings of fire stood amid the conflagration and looked at me with cobalt stars where her eyes should have been.

My skin was bubbling and melting away like wax.

Her hand extended through the flames, reaching for me in the fire.

My bones exposed to the flames began to crack and split.

The girl was mouthing something to me, her face full of fear and concern, “Chosen Unit Antfarm! You must wake up! It is coming!”

Around me, the meadow was burning. The beautiful girl’s hand found mine, slender fingers webbed with fire curling around my dissolving bones. She pulled me forward through the flames and into her embrace. Her wings closed around me and she said {Chosen Unit Antfarm! You must wake up! It is coming! The Erase event is here!}

My eyes snapped open. Shade hovered and bobbed above me framed by a light brighter than anything I’d ever seen. I closed my eyes against it and was looking up into the girl’s face again {Hold on to me, Chosen Unit Antfarm. We must flee!} I wrapped my crumbling arms around her and held tight. Her wings unfurled and beat down into the flames of a world alight. We rose above the fire into the air and beneath us the meadow fell away into smoke and chaos. I closed my eyes.

The city fell away beneath us, Shade flew high and fast and I steeled myself for a glance behind us. A cry of horror stuck in my throat as my body froze. From horizon to horizon and standing over three hundred feet tall a wall of crackling energy roared towards us, its surface streaked with blots of plasma the colour of my nightmares it devoured and deleted everything in its path. It was if the universe itself had torn open and all the light in Heaven was flooding out, pouring itself on the earth and scouring it all away. It had reached the tower blocks on the far side of the city and I watched in awe as they simply dissolved and crumbled to nothing, erased as if they had never existed. The wall of energy roared unstoppably towards us with a sound like an entire ocean being poured over a cliff higher than eternity.

{You must wake up, Chosen Unit Antfarm!} Shade was shouting over the scream of his world being deleted.

“Wake up? But I am awake!” I shouted back.

{Not here! You must wake up in Not Shade!} He flew fast but my weight was too much for him and I could see the Erase catching us, screaming towards us as the city between us fell into its bottomless maw.

“It’s… it’s eating everything!” I gasped, my mind all but overcome with the terrible beauty of what was happening in front of my very eyes. How many people had it killed? How many lives had it snuffed out, deleted, erased from history? How many of those people must have stood, unable to flee, and gazed in both fear and wonder at the wall of screaming light as it washed over them?

{You must wake up! Shade is lost, but other worlds can be saved. This is why you were Chosen. You must wake up!}

“But how? How can I wake up?” I bellowed, “Tell me how and I will! Tell me!”

The light shot from the robot again, it drilled through my skull and the world around me was overlaid with another. My eyes saw two lives simultaneously, the light of never pouring from the Erase and the crowd of people in my hospital room. My ears heard both lives together, the roar of eternal obilvion closing in on me and the voice of the doctor in my hospital room “If he makes it through tonight it’ll be a miracle. After that, who knows my dear, who knows.”

{Youuuu must makkkkkkkke iiiiiiiiiiiit. I caaaan takkkke youuuu no fuuurther. Choooosen…}

The light snapped off, the worlds split and we fell from the sky. Shade’s light’s blinked briefly and went out forever. We crashed through trees, branches cracking like bones beneath us until we hit the ground hard. Shade bounced away out of sight with an empty metal crash. A moan eased from between my lips and I felt the edges of sleep curling around my skin…

NO! I would not sleep! I would not sleep!

I forced my eyes open. The light of the Erase powered towards me, the city now gone and the short stretch of countryside that led to where I lay would soon follow. I pushed up on my elbows, pain exploding inside me until I was facing the beast. “YOU WILL NOT TAKE ME! DO YOU HEAR ME YOU BASTARD! DO YOU HEAR ME!” I was but a speck of dust before the hurricane, but I felt far from powerless. I had squashed my rage down for long enough. Fear had paralysed my anger and kept me meek, but no more. My fury boiled over, rose to the surface and focused my mind like a falling angel. The Erase was not going to take me. I was going to take the Erase and no power in any universe could stop me. With the trumpet call of a capricious and cruel God seconds away from me, I closed my eyes.

I was above the meadow and it was burning. I opened my eyes and looked at the beautiful girl holding me above the flames. Thank you, I mouthed, but let me fall. Her cobalt eyes widened in horror, NO! she mouthed back. Please, I said silently, you must. I smiled at her and with tears of diamonds she let me go. As I fell back into the fire I closed my eyes…

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To be continued…
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

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Links to other blogs and stories:
1) The Great Erase is a tale told by Salazar Jack and you can read more here and here.

Far From Home: Chapter 8 – Mercy Dash

One Minute Earlier…
Mack, the nightwatchman, breathed hard and was sweating despite the cold wet night; he was an old man who had thought such exertions were long behind him. He’d helped subdue the suspect until the town constables had arrived and then dashed off to fetch Doctor Roundtree. To his surprise, he’d met the grim faced doctor rushing into the hospital grounds, apparently already aware of the night’s events.

Mack struggled to keep up with Roundtree as the clearly furious man strode along the corridor like an angry bear. The room ahead of them was bustling with people with young Doctor Hayes at the centre of the chaos surrounded by a gaggle of nurses.

“SILENCE!” bellowed the older Doctor. Everyone fell quiet, even Doctor Hayes, “Now tell me Hayes, what has been happening?”

“It’s the Antfarm man, Doctor Roundtree. She tried to kill him with opium!” the younger man was gabbling, trying to put everything into one sentence and failing.

Two of Caledon’s finest constables shuffled through the hospital staff and out of the room, between them a hooded figure hung, iron handcuffs on her slender wrists.

Roundtree stepped up the woman and took hold of her hood, “Sister Grace! If you have killed him…” he said as he pulled it back.

**{}**

Five Minutes Earlier…
“I’m coming, I’m coming” Roundtree said irritably. Someone was rapping on his front door in an entirely unnecessary fashion, “I hope you have not damaged my paint!” he added as he opened the door to the cold night.

No one.

He narrowed his eyes and glared into the dark street “If I catch you rascals, I’ll box your ears!” he shouted in to the night.

“I’d rather you didn’t,” the voice from the shadows was deep and commanding.

“Gods! You made me jump!” snapped Roundtree, clearly flustered. “Who are you and why are you skulking out there? Come on, speak up! What is the meaning of all this nonsense?”

There was the faintest of ripples in the shadows as a man dressed entirely in black with his face hidden beneath the rim of a striking top hat stepped forward into the light and replied “Who I am is not important, safe to say I am a man of science and medicine such as yourself. Why I am here is far more important as I think you will find we have a patient in common, the burnt gentleman in room fifteen and he is in great danger.”

“You’ve come to my house to tell me that? I know he’s in danger you fool! I’m his doctor!”

“You misunderstand,” the night caller spoke over the doctor, “He is in danger right now, from a killer in your hospital…”

**{}**

Ten Minutes Earlier…
“That is enough of that, Sister!” said the young nurse from the darkness of the room as she reached out to grab the wrist of the cloaked and hooded figure bent over the bed. The woman beneath the hood whirled round in shock and with a shriek jabbed the glass pipette at the nurse. There was a shimmering in the inky shadows, as if the night was unfolding like a black flower kissed by moonlight, and the young nurse was replaced by a beautiful creature of wings and teeth and eyes of pure cobalt fire.

The woman beneath the hood gasped, too terrified to scream or run. A nightmare made real fixed its terrible eyes upon her and she fainted dead away.

The creature looked down at the face beneath the hood and coolly registered her shock before she once more slid into the shape of a young nurse and walked out of the room and into the corridor. Behind she heard the night nurse enter the room and bark orders to fetch the nightwatchman and the duty doctor.

**{}**

Twenty Minutes Earlier…
It was there again, that tang, that wave, that sense. She was back. Amarantis Belfire looked down from her vantage point on the roof and peered at the hospital with her glowing blue eyes as if trying to peel away the layers of brick and plaster and paint so she could see inside. Somewhere in there a killer in the guise of a healer was making her way towards her next victim as surely as a spider crept over its web towards its trapped, helpless prey.

She had to do something! She leapt into the night and to the rain-wet stones below. From the shadows emerged a non-descript trainee nurse who, after straightening her uniform and checking her hat was attached correctly, briskly made her way inside and headed for room fifteen.

**{}**

Two Hours Earlier…
The incinerator room was thankfully empty. She pushed the laundry cart over to the large, belching fire and carefully opened the heavy metal door. The body in the bag was heavy, she’d have to feed it in feet first and hope it folded up as it went. It was hard and she grunted as she struggled.

“Ere’ I can’t have you doing that!” She froze. The old boilerman was stood in the doorway, looking at her with a stern face lined with soot. She didn’t know what to say, just stood there as he limped his way towards her and the body in her arms. “Let me ‘elp yer, eh? Can’t have ladies lumping around great ‘eavy loads now can we?” She mutely shook her head, lowered the sheet-wrapped body back into the cart and backed away. The old man gave her a grimy smile and bent over the cart. She inched her way behind him until her fingers closing around the stout wooden shaft of a coal shovel lent against some pipework. He stopped, suddenly surprised, and began pulling back the sheets “Ere! What’s this?” She raised the shovel high over her head. An arm rolled out of the wrappings “Bloody ‘ell! What’s go’in on?” He turned to face her. The shovel sliced down once. Twice. Three times.

Panting, she closed and locked the door and went back to her grizzly task.

**{}**

Five Hours Earlier…
Ward Sister Grace strode down the scrubbed corridors of Caledon’s Regency Hospital as she headed towards the laundry room and Trainee Nurse Rain. Terrified nurses peeled back and gazed down at floors before her as she stalked past. She was a fearsome beast at the best of times, but it was clear from her face that someone, somewhere was in for one hell of a roasting.

**{}**

Thirteen Hours Earlier…
Trainee Nurse Rain looked up from under her bonnet at the fuming Sister and found her staring at the wretched figure on the bed.

“Sister?” she ventured timidly.

Without shifting her gaze from the patient, Sister Grace said in a voice dripping with ice “You will report to laundry and work there until further notice. I do not want to see you snooping around here again, am I understood?”

**{}**

Now…
Doctor Roundtree pulled back Sister Grace’s hood and gasped, “Nurse Rain?” The young woman was almost unrecognisable, her face twisted into a terrible mask of rage and fury. She spat at the Doctor, cursing him with words foul enough to shock a navvy, she bellowed at him demanding release so she could end her patient’s suffering. Her strength, fuelled by her raw, naked anger was terrible, but the constables held her fast until she became calm and once more went limp between them.

“Why? Damn you, tell me why!” he demanded, his voice shaking with barely controlled anger.

“To help, you stupid stupid man,” she said simply, an ice chill dripping from her lips.

“You call this help? It’s murder, damn it! Murder!” hissed the doctor.

“I help them escape their pain. You merely prolong it, you arrogant bastard. You and all your kind, you just want to watch these souls writhe in agony to satisfy your twisted need to feel like a God.”

Her eyes were twin points of hatred, each carrying the joy of more murder than he could imagine. A shiver ran down his spine, “You… you accuse me?” he demanded.

“I do.” She had gone limp and compliant between the arms of the constables but it had been a ruse. She leapt forward, an animal snarl on her lips as she dove at Roundtree. The police caught her and yanked her hard to the ground, but not before she had bloodied his nose with her forehead.

“Good god!” he stammered, staggering back with blood streaming from between the fingers he held to his face. “Get this filthy animal out of here! Get her out of my sight!”

“Physician heal thyself,” she chuckled as they dragged her out and man handled her into the night.

Roundtree held to his face and entered the room to see if his patient was dead. Amazingly he could see his chest rise and falling in slow, unsteady breaths. Could nothing kill this man, he thought?

“Will he make it?” asked a nurse.

Roundtree looked at the burnt man in the bed and wondered about what Nurse Rain had said about keeping him alive to prolong his suffering. He sighed and through a handkerchief said, “If he makes it through tonight it’ll be a miracle. After that, who knows my dear, who knows.”

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To be continued…
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

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Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Amarantis Belfire takcles the killer here and then Doctor Roundtree here and here.

Far From Home: Chapter 6 – Killing With Kindness

Sister Grace stood by the patient’s bed with a look of shock on her face. Only yesterday Doctor Roundtree had diagnosed coma due to an overdose of opium. He wasn’t supposed to make it through the night. He was, she thought, supposed to be dead! And yet here he was, his lidless eyes once more focused, his gauzed wrapped lips twitching in thirst. She bent down, took her trusty pipette from a pocket in her gown and dripped water into his mouth. She moved her lips to the side of his head where his ear had been and said gently “There there, Mr Antfarm, you’ll be better soon enough I promise you, I’m here to help and I’m going to take good care of you. I’m going to take all your pain away, I promise.”

Behind her, unseen by Sister Grace and standing stock still in the doorway, Nurse Rain’s eyes grew wide with the shock of what she saw.

“Nurse! Are you planning to start a new career as a door, by any chance?” Doctor Roundtree’s voice boomed out causing her to jump. Sister Grace stood bolt upright, slipping her pipette away into the folds of her uniform and glared at the young trainee. “Sister Grace, I’m sure this wee child could be better employed if she were actually allowed into the patient’s room, don’t you hmmm?”

“Er, yes doctor,” Sister replied, never taking her furious eyes from the young girl’s face, “I’ll make sure she is properly employed, mark my words doctor, mark my words.”

Nurse Rain gulped hard and felt an icy trickle of fear run down her back. Sister Grace’s livid gaze was too much for her and she dropped her own to her feet, her cheeks burning red as she moved into the room allowing Doctor Roundtree in.

“Now, let’s look at our patient shall we?” he announced the room, his tone patronisingly jovial. He moved to the the bed and gasped in surprise, “Good Lord! He’s conscious!”

“Yes,” said Sister Grace quickly, “I had only just discovered that myself,” she glared at the young girl covering by the door.

“Well that is excellent news, looks like you’re off the hook eh?” Roundtree said jovially whilst looking into his patient’s eyes.

“I beg your pardon!” exclaimed the ward Sister.

Roundtree looked up at her angry face, “Oh don’t take me to heart Sister, I merely meant that if he’s pulled through then there need be no investigation into any accidental overdoses. Now, have the patient cleaned up and I’ll return after lunch, eh?” He span on his heel and breezed past the young nurse without even seeing her. She looked up from under her bonnet at the fuming Sister and found her staring at the wretched figure on the bed.

“Sister?” she ventured timidly.

Without shifting her gaze from the patient, Sister Grace said in a voice dripping with ice “You will report to laundry and work there until further notice. I do not want to see you snooping around here again, am I understood?”

“Snooping!” Nurse Rain protested but was cut dead with a single stare from Sister. It was a stare that would have stopped a runaway train. It was a stare that would have made a bear turn and flee. It was a stare that drove the young trainee running down the corridor, tears steaming down her face. She would come back, she would. She would come back help because she knew that what the poor man in room fifteen needed more than anything was her help.

**{}**

The moon was hidden behind clouds, a dull drizzle soaking the night. Inside room fifteen, a figure reached into its cloak and pulled a small glass pipette and a bottle of opium from a pocket and bent over the terrified face of the burnt man. “There there Mr Antfarm, I’m here to help you. You’ll be better soon. Let me take your pain away.”
Far From Home 5

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To be continued…
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

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Far From Home: Chapter 5 – The Erasing, Part 1

“Danger?” I asked the disembodied voice? “What danger? From you?”

{No. Not from Shade. Danger is to your other Unit, Chosen Unit Antarm}

I was confused, “Why do you call me chosen unit? What is my other unit?”

{Chosen Unit is you, you were chosen. Your other Unit is in grave danger, Chosen Unit Antfarm}

My thoughts were slowing, my head filling with water “I’m tired, you know” I said, “funny to be tired in a dream.”

{You are not dreaming Chosen Unit Antfarm. You are in grave danger. You must not sleep Chosen Unit Antfarm}

The voice no long pulsed through me, instead it wrapped around me like a warm blanket. The world faded out and the floor caught me.

**{}**

I dreamt.

I dreamt of the meadow.

I dreamt it was on fire. My nose filled with the stench of burning flesh.

I dreamt my skin was burning away, melting off my body like wax. The muscles and bone beneath gleaming in the hungry flames.

I dreamt I screamed and screamed and screamed.

**{}**

I opened my eyes and saw the face that was both mine and not mine looking back at me. Curious how it was curved, big and round. With a slight smile I realised I was looking into a large glass bubble the colour of steel. I moved my head back and could see I was looking into the lens eye of a beetle-like collection of metal and wires hovering above me. I was led on the ground looking up at what I guessed must be a robot.
Far From Home: Meeting Shade

{Chosen Unit Antfarm} it spoke to me, its mechanical voice urgent {I have stabilised the connection but you are in grav…}

“Grave danger, yes I heard. I remember.” I yawned a soul-deep yawn, “What is this danger? Who are you?” I struggled groggily to my feet.

{I am Shade. I am the city, the oceans, the forests, the sky. I am all you see here. The danger is to your other Unit in not-Shade. A non-you Unit wants to shut it down}

“But this is just a dream, Shade, just a dream.” I smiled.

The robot whirled and hummed, {Negative. Units have split. Chosen Unit Antfarm in Shade and not-Shade. Unit in not-Shade currently malfunctioning. Repair process started. Non-you Unit has begun shutdown attempt. Relay available. Download initiated}

“Huh? Downlo…ARRRRRRG!” I began to ask before a thin beam of light shot from under the robot’s lens directly into my eyes. My mind was filled with the image of a small hospital room, it was night and bent over the only bed in the room as a figure hidden by a dark hood and cape. Whoever it was had a small bottle in one hand a pipette in the other dripping something into the mouth of the patient beneath them. The patient was in a bad way with what looked like burns to his whole body. I knew without knowing that it was me and that the mysterious figure was not a doctor on night rounds. The image blurred, faded and was gone. The download was over.

“What the hell was that?” I demanded.

{Relay from not-Shade} Shade informed me as if the fact were simple enough to be understood by a child. I struggled to my feet, the hovering machine humming gently as it kept up with me.

“And not-shade is?”

{Not Shade}

“Of course. And I am there as well as here?”

{Correct}

“How? How is it possible?”

{Dimensional split evident. Reason for split unknown}

“So you are saying this not a dream?”

{Correct. Shade is real. Not-Shade is real. Split between two is real}

I had the strangest feeling that this all should surprise me, terrify me even, but it didn’t. Although not sure why, I took this information calmly, “Can we start at the beginning?”

The machine whirled slightly {Time is limited Chosen Unit Antfarm, yours and mine}

“OK, we’ll have to be quick then. Stop me if I’m wrong. I’m not dreaming, I’m really here but I’m also led in a hospital bed badly burnt and with someone there trying to kill me, correct?”

{Correct}

“Right, and here is a city called Shade and you are the city, or its monitor, correct?”

{Correct}

“Do you know how I got here?”

{No}

“But you said something about a dimensional split?”

{Correct}

I stared at the robot before realising that was the entirety of its answer. “Well, care to explain what that is?”

{A energy force large enough to achieve escape velocity would be required to break through the walls of the multiverse. Speculation is not within my nature, but evidence would lead to speculation that you encountered such a force and were transported to Shade dimension from your own and the process split your units in two}

“But how can I be here and there?”

{Unknown}

“Speculate?”

Again a long pause from the robot.

“Shade?”

It hummed briefly and gave a click {Your unit here is not your unit. Speculation is your other-unit consciousness is here in this not-you unit}

I looked down at my body, at hands I didn’t recognise and at a reflection of a face I knew was not my own, “Makes sense,” I said to no one in particular. “But then,” I addressed Shade again “where is the person who owns this body.”

{All units have been erased} It’s cool, mechanical voice could have been reading the shares index or shipping forecast.

“I’m sorry? What did you say” I struggled to make sense of what I had just heard.

{All units have been erased}

“All units?”

{All units have been erased}

The city was empty. I hadn’t seen or heard a single soul. Coffee steaming in cups. Half-eaten food. Not one single person. No bird calls. No dogs. Nothing. No one.

{All units have been erased} Shade repeated as I slumped against a wall on legs suddenly made from string…

{All units have been erased}

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To be continued…
All the “Far From Home” posts can be read here.

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Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Amarantis Belfire watches over the burnt man here.

Event RP – What is it and how is it done?

It struck me today (quite out of the blue – I wonder why our minds work like that, suddenly popping an idea or memory up when everything else about us in engaged in thoughts and activities totally unconnected) that I had missed off an important definition of roleplay in SL from my list. Doubly important when I realised that I actually don’t know how it works.

Event RP: Where people get together to take part in a pre-planned event that is in itself an act of semi-staged/semi-improvised RP (as opposed to people at an event deciding to undertake RP).

A good example of this would be the naval battles staged by Steelhead’s very own Master of the Waves, Hotspur O’Toole. Another good example, and one that has always stuck in my mind, is the Martian attack on Caledon in 2007 (one blog extract to illustrate what I mean here).

I can see the end result of the Martian attack in the plethora of Caledon and SL Steampunk blogs (around July 2007) to piece together how people fitted in to the RP, but what I am less clear on is how such an event was organised. Specifically I’d like to know:

1) How many people were ‘in’ on the gig? Was it just a few of the boss/management team or was it a large affair with many organisers?

2) How were people assigned roles? Was it just a free for all come-shoot-at-the-aliens affair, or did people have to report in and be assigned a task?

3) How did the mechanics work? Were the Martian craft scripted bots or were there people behind them? How did combat & damage to people & property work, if at all?

In short, if I (by “I”, I mean Steelhead as just “I” on my own couldn’t do it) wanted to stage a similar event – let’s say a Godzilla style attack on the city – how would we go about it?

If you have any ideas or tried & tested solutions, please be so kind as to drop them below 🙂

Looking for a new home

I’ve been in SL for two and a half years now, man & gazelle, but I’ve never really had a home. Even my currnt home point is the Eleanor Theatre in Phobos because that means I can beam back there if I crash out during a show.

Best I can recall is:
I was born in Braunsworth I think – I can no longer remember as I never stayed there but went wandering.
I ended up in Nova Albion but only to camp.
I moved to an abandoned infohub in Murray.
I bought a small plot on a private island called Gembong East.
I finally made my home point the theatre when the show quickly became the most important thing in my SL.

Apart from Murray I have never been part of a fixed community, and even that was just standing around chatting and booting griefers. I don’t count the show as although the troupe are my friends, it’s not a fixed community and, with only a small number of exceptions, there is no interaction outside the show. I have wonderful friends in SL, but timezones mean I rarely see them beyond the show. I need a purpose to come in-world and outside of the show I’m struggling.

I guess what I’m suffering from is loneliness.

I’m willing to bet that when Darien Mason contacted me about writing with him in The Lost Journal he had no idea what he would set in motion; I certainly didn’t. I want to be part of a wider comminty of roleplayers and writers. I want to feel the energy of creation I get from writing and taking photos. I want to have adventures and fun outside the show, and not just on my own all the time.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been exploring, on this blog and others, what it means to roleplay in SL and I’ve moved from a place where I wanted the perfect sim/RP experience served on a plater, to wanting to get in with a far more open and looser system. But where?

Caledon has always scared me because of its size – too easy to simply get lost I think and my views on it have been coloured by an earlier attempt to find a sort of home there. New Babbage is amazing but I don’t have the skills needed to be there – it’s a big boys place. Nova Albion/Bay City are places I have lots of love for but Bay City more about city life there and Nova Albion’s roleplaying days seem long behind it. Cowell/Kahruvel are places I simply adore but nothing goes on there. Outside of that it’s all film and book roleplaying and outside of a 1940s noir setting I’m not that interested (1).

But one name keeps coming up. One name that seems to involve community and lightness of touch that appears to allow a hell of a lot of creative roleplay to spring up despite not being a roleplay sim. It’s a place that takes in strays, a category I think I fall smack bang into. That place is called Steelhead.

I think this is it. I’m almost certain I’m going to move, abandon my beloved old HBA Island forever and find a new home with new stories to tell, ones where I’m not the only voice and player.

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(1) Especially in frigging vampires.