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The Scarecrow's Dance

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Week 1
    Day 7

    You walk onto the train leading from Old View to Farm 2 with everyone who just attacked you and after half an hour of listening to their agricultural humdrum you snap! Do you mind, all of you… tell me, please… what the HELL, was that… about? Because out of nowhere you say "we're gonna fight but don't worry if we won't like you we'll just throw you to the wilderness". Is that the usual "high-regard" to human life you have on the farms or is it just anti-Urban bigotry?
    You obviously caught them by surprise since now they're all quietly staring at you. The girl in uniform finally goes, "city-kids", skittish aren't they? And everybody laughs.
    "Hey, you can't really blame him, they know how to tame people between all of them concrete and glass monstrosities" says someone who looks about 15 years-old. The guy with the beard from before continues "well I suppose that wasn't the best of welcoming committees but we had to see if what made you come all this way was false pretenses". I have to say, you're out of shape and probably tired but you kept going and your technique is a bit rusty but all in all… well, good enough to work with. "Uniforms" added, if this was a scheme, making you fight when you're tired is a good way to notice if anything is up. My name is Brigid by the way and this is, she points to the "the beard", Brad… we just call him Beard. The rest introduce themselves and you get to the Farm Station. It has many isolated carts instead of actual sized trains. You're still angry and more tired than you ever were. Beard takes you to his house and leads you to a back room. All you see there is a mattress on the floor but you're just glad you can sleep laying down tonight. "Sorry about the basic conditions but I didn't have time to find a proper bed". That's perfect Brad, thank you. Stretching would be a good idea before bed.



    …after releasing your sore muscles you just collapse onto the matt.

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Week 1
    Day 6

    You arrive at the train station on the coast of Old View. You're not really sure what to do next. There were no signs explaining how to get to any of the farms and you don't want to ask anyone from the city how to get there, or worse – one of the info machines. Miro told you not to contact him until you'll get to farm 2 and then "someone will tell you what to do". Yeah but how am I supposed to get there? You see one of the local Protection Crew official heading your way. Should you run? Miro didn't give any clues as to how to behave… "I spent too much time trying to calm you down man, I have to go now but don't worry, someone will look after you". The woman in grey and brown uniform (the local camouflage) stops right in front of you and says in a loud voice "we were expecting you yesterday, the cart is outside. This way". You have no choice but to follow her, hoping no one other than Miro knows what really is behind this.

    She takes you through the station's exit and you can see another rail in the distance. Suddenly she turns to you. I don't know what Miro was thinking but we're not going to let you get into to the farm so easily. A group of people in civilian clothes get out from behind a building and start to encircle you. One of them, with a beard and massive boots says, "don't worry, if you're any good you'll be safe behind field and garden#. Good at what? Standing up to yourself. And if I'm not? We'll pack you up and send you to our friends at the in-betweens… Don't worry sweetheart, the woman in uniform says, you'll only fight one of us a time...



    it's finally over and you stood your own. "This way" the man with the beard starts walking and everyone else follows him. Just another day in your new incomprehensible reality. You wonder what tomorrow would bring.

    #local phrase…

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Some more background

    The train finally got to Old View. It used to be a resort town for the wealthy before the collapse of the old ways and the train station was built right on the coast. Now days it served as the only connection between the farms and the metropolitan region of Selunerini, unless you meant to walk around or through the mountains to get from place to place. The urban governments controlled their respective surroundings. Everyone travelled by rails unless they were permitted to use vehicles. Nature was restored in some places and paved asphalt roads were destroyed. The different metropoles signed treaties and lived in relative peace. Their governments or Mayoral Offices* held military pacts to keep control over farm lands and natural resources, leaving just enough to anyone who lived outside the cities to sustain themselves and not raise a successful armed resistance

    *since they were effectively modern city states they had Mayors but they are home to tens of millions to hundreds of millions citizens, which is more than a lot of the old countries.

    A picture I guess of Old View Train Station
    Click image for larger version  Name:	oldview_train_station.PNG Views:	4 Size:	486.5 KB ID:	626437

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Day 5: rest

    You slept all right, visions of little children taking you through the forest and into a derelict structure where their skin turned inside out and teeth started coming out, filled your night. Your back hurts, your knees are screaming at you and Miro is nowhere to be seen… well why would he be here, he was probably winding you up. You get out of the compartment and see Miro waiting in the corridor… "hey, I didn't wanna wake you". You should have, that was horrible. Well anyway, he starts speaking looking solemn, I activated the tracer on you last night after we talked… he glance to his sides and gets closer… and it was already on from a user name outside the Crews.

    What?!?!?!... Look, we have some time – I hacked one of the lower crew's authorization codes and "sent you" to help on an urgent project. You need to take the shuttle to Old View and from there get to Farm 2… wait what? Don't interrupt. I need to be back to "Sky-ers"* morning briefing but something is definitely up. I don't understand, you tell him. I'm not important at all. Why would this happen? Are you winding me up?- because I don't care if you're in the Crews, I will Fff… e-F you up… or something. Miro puts his hand on your shoulder to calm you down. I'm not joking, I'm afraid. I need you to calm down and trust me. You are working on mapping Illegal Zones within Selunerini right? Yes, you looked it up? Yeah, well there's something going on in there, I don't know what it is yet but your terminal was feeding an outer source. You mean criminals? No, it came from inside the Glass Tower#

    Since you left Miro on the train, some four hours ago, you couldn't stop that overwhelming sense of doom growing inside you. "My life is a pulp fiction, conspiracy novel, except it's real". You remember that one time you explained to Miro where the term pulp fiction came from, he thought it was about orange juice… funny, the places your brain runs off too when it can't take the current situation anymore…

    *Special forces of sorts… A capable, intelligent, highly trained and dangerous Protection Crew Unit.
    #The Mayor's office, building of government.

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Day 4
    Miro was enthusiastic when you called, but that's the kind of guy he was, happy. Not being stuck in an office all those years since your ways parted seemed to amplify his positive radiance… but, he can't see you tonight. "They're not telling us what's up but we're all doing overtime. I have some time tomorrow morning". Okay but I have to say Miro, I don't feel comfortable going back to the office, or home. "I'm sure you're exaggerating like always, but since you won't tell me what's up I can suggest taking trains all night". Okay thanks. Where do you want to meet up? "Tell you what, I'll find you. If you're worried enough not to go home I don't want to give out details over the phone". Okay, well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow. "Take care."

    Surely I don't have to be on trains ALL night. I can move from place to place… you get off and walk into a market center. After loitering about you spot a "Free Leisure Zone – for public use". You take the opportunity and head to the sports corner. Not really sure how to use the machinery, you start a simple workout next to it.



    That was not even at the same level as first week basic training but it's a start. You walk into an all-night deli and order pasta with a vegetables side dish. And… well why not, "I deserve a treat"; the double dark chocolate cake. Getting in shape is one thing, I'm not actually overweight (excuses, excuses …). You pay with tokens, rather than give chip points and get a funny look from the counter keeper. You don't look like the type for tokens, not with an office bag and suit. You find the stop for the train going on the outer ring of Selunerini. It's old and has compartments, not to mention a really long route. You find a compartment and try to fall asleep on the bench which, proves not difficult at all considering the evening you went through.

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Day 3
    You woke up, went to work did the reading, reporting, mapping, computing… all those stuff. But somehow, everything was different. You had a strange kind of energy, which is funny considering you hardly slept and everyone kept stopping you in the hallway and bobbed their heads into your cubical to ask how you are. It must be the feeling from that fight. You had no idea you could perform so well, for someone who's last spar was during those 3 months at university when mandatory civil protection duty came up. You tell yourself you have to start training again, for the sake of pretending you can kick ass in the very least.

    You get up to go home but a couple of steps into the lobby, one of the guys at the newbies room comes up to you. Hey there, he says. I heard you fought off some scumbags who tried to take advantage of the crash victims, I heard there were five of them, that's seriously impressive, I think. How did you do it? A bit confused, you turn to him and say, well there were only two and I don't suppose they were very good at violence or I wouldn't stand a chance. But thanks man, I appreciate this, I need to go though, nice talking to you. You turn and haste to leave (who would want to spend the extra 10 minutes waiting for the train because someone they don't know wants to hear battlefield stories). Sure man, you take care now… but I heard you still have something they want... You turn abruptly back to him but he's no longer there… You look around the lobby trying to find him but he simply vanished. Your heart rate rises a bit but you tell yourself it's probably a stunt… the fresher's team probably had a bet or something. You go out and look up at the sign alerting when the next train would arive… Great, you missed it. 20 more minutes – infrastructure works delays. Now they remembered.

    You decide to go to a nearby bar. You need a drink anyway. There's one a block and a half away with dim lights and a band, well, there was one last time you were there. You start walking. The evening is cold but clear. As you walk you remember some of your training and look behind your shoulder every few steps. Nothing out of the ordinary. People with office, plastic, back-packs, just like yours are hurrying up and down the streets… Wait! was that the guy from the lobby??? You stop to hide behind a bridge pole, just leaning against it casually. Surely enough, a few seconds later the guy from the lobby passes you. He stops, looks behind and spots you. You don't know why but you turn the other way and hasten your pace – You can get to a busier street and take a different train. You look back… he IS following you. Should you start running and draw attention to yourself? That's not the best idea. People who usually stayed to serve on the Protection Crews were not very sharp but had magnitude on their side. They wouldn't mind beating anybody up, for good measure, even if that's the wrong person. You can take a shortcut through the back streets, walking fast, crawling and climbing over fences and pieces of furniture…



    You can still see him behind you. He's definitely in better shape than you but a train is at a stop a few steps away and its doors are closing. You run and skid inside. The doors closes and you get up to peer through the narrow window. He's outside, standing, looking composed, as if he has missed his train but, it's okay, he'll just grab a drink at some bar until the next one shows up.

    What, is going on you ask yourself. You should report this. You take your phone out of your bag and pause. You give it a few moments and call an old acquaintance, someone who stayed to serve on a Protection Crew rather than finish academic training.

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  • Gandhalfit
    replied
    Day 2
    You wake up and try to remember where you are. Everything hurts and your eyes don't really want to open but anxiety makes you sit up and open them. The hospital corridor is full of other beds with more patients and people in white coats walking around. One of them notices you and comes over.
    Sorry we couldn't find you a room. I just need to do some more tests and decide if you can go. Okay look at the dot on my screen please… Wait, what happened, how long did I sleep? A day and half, you were at the crash, you're not concussed but we couldn't wake you up… A day and a half!?!?! I have to go, I have things to do… If you're referring to your job, don't worry, they already took your stuff. Now I have to do these tests or you can't go. What do you mean "took my stuff"? They said it's government property and gave us a form, something top secret, it's funny you don't remember being "Top Secret", I'll add another brain scan. Now would you look at the flipping dot and you can ask questions at the desk, later.

    Okay, I think you were just exhausted. Everything reads normal. Do you have any questions, regarding your medical condition! Well I have these pains sometimes in my back. That's normal for someone who sits around all day. Here! Do these whenever you have the time. The white coat shows you a diagram of exercises and your release file and sends it to your personal directory via the barcode on your wrist. She continues: I recommend you take up some more exercising and go down to only 3 cups of coffee a day, our tests showed an irregularly high amount of caffeine, even for someone from the civil service.
    The white coat turns and leave. You get to your feet and to the front desk. There, you scan your wrist on the screen and it reads back:
    "Report to main services at 08:00 (yesterday).
    Your habitat permit is no longer valid. Your belongings will be kept at your place of residence for 5 more days.
    Have a Productive Day".
    Great, can't even get into an accident without being considered a burden. Might as well get started on those exercises.

    You renewed your permit with only a minor fine for being late. The human clerk at the special requests office said "regardless of your accident, documents should be filed regularly, surely someone who works at the Mayor's office should know that". At least it's all over, I guess it's back to normal now.

    So he got there by complete chance you say? It would seem that way sir. And he has no idea who those muggers were? No sir, it's kind of lucky that he kept them there for the Purple Boots to find really. Lucky you say, inspector Slarick? I don't believe in luck. Keep the surveillance on him inspector. Even if he doesn't know anything, the in-betweens may try to get to him…

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  • Gandhalfit
    started a topic The Scarecrow's Dance

    The Scarecrow's Dance

    Ammm a somewhat confused and hopefully interesting background to some workouts...

    Week 1
    Day 1
    In the city of Selunerini everything was happening. It was one of the new world marvels. After the nation states have collapsed, taking the mega-cities of old with them, there were only a handful of places in which someone could feel safe. But the city was ruled with wisdom and cooperation between the Mayor, Economic Committee and Protection Crews. The citizens had a lot of power when it came to personal life and their Neighborhood Associations held regular elections. That makes a person feel good that they live here instead of in one of the subordinate supply villages or worse, at the "in between" zones.
    The nice feeling you get from thinking about the grand history of the city and your fortunate situation as a city dweller shrinks as the fuliginous skyline penetrates your thoughts through the train window. You wonder how you'll manage to find the time to read all the reports about the new illegal zones in the city, map all of them out and assign it all to the surveyors, all by yourself. Then there's also the Neighborhood's Association- you need to call them about renewing your habitat permit. You've been chasing money since you graduated, not seeing your old friends anymore, not to mention finding someone new. Suddenly, life on a faraway farm or even a tent in the wilderness don't seem so bad.

    As the train slithers along the tracks, the little screeching noises that arise from the train's floor are "getting a bit loud aren't they?" as someone standing near the faraway window mentions. Yeah, they are, you think to yourself but it doesn't last long - lights on the train go off and there's a loud bang. Next thing you know you're rolling around and thrown out a broken window…
    The ground is cold and wet. You get up and seem to be fine, miraculously. No broken bones as far as you can tell. Far away you hear the sound of sirens and close to you a startled voice says, he's up! Let's go man. You turn around and two young gentlemen have taken the liberty to sort out your bag for you. Hang on, says one of them, in a different voice. The bag only had this stupid calculator and his phone, the chips are probably on him. The man pulls out an electric rod and slowly moves towards you. "Okay, hand them over" he says.
    I haven't fought since section training and that didn't involve weapons, you think to yourself. Hey, listen (well why not try to reason with them) that's a very expensive calculator, there's a reason it's its own device, and you could probably get more than it's worth. Oh yeah, it's got a mayoral logo on it man, they'll be on to us before we can make 16 steps*. Just hand over your fortune chips and we'll be on our way. I don't have any chips on me you tell them (and that's true, people think if you work for the mayor you're wealthy… then why am I taking the train???). I don't believe you but I don't mind checking he says. The two figures approach, there's only one thing to do now%



    [*A Selunerinian reference to the assassinated Mayor Parkview who was poisoned and managed to get to the screen (phone) which was 16 steps away from his chair to alert his bodyguard, but still died.]

    (%Remember, when fighting two or more people, keep moving so you won't get between them and fight one at a time. If you can, grab a hold on one – choke and knee that person while using him as a shield against the other one/s and get away when you can)


    You manage to fight them off, moving around all the time. The gentleman with the electric rod gets injured by one of your kicks and falls over. Shortly after, the Purple Boots arrive (finally, man, I'm really out of shape) Everybody down one of the purple boots bellows. You take out your employee card and out of breath you hand it out to one of the soldiers. After a short questioning they take you to a nearby hospital. So many things left to do but the anesthesia is powerful… tomorrow, maybe.
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