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  #1  
Unread 9th of July, 2009, 14:11
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Chapter 1: Unexpected Guests and Opportunities

Ward 2B is usually pretty quiet in the afternoons, the artificial sunlight pours from the artificial sky above the synthetic grassyard and gardens, other guests are variously reading, eating, chatting or playing to pass the time. There are only a dozen or so people to be seen, many are off working their shifts. From the sounds of their complaints it amounts to drudgery. Cleaning, assembly line work, and other manual labour, all alongside other unpayed workers. Rumor has it that people who are talented enough to warant the exciting jobs get moved to better quaters but there is an equal amount of fear that the people who are occationally escorted out of here with smiles on their faces and are never seen again are being separated from the herd so they don't give the other sheep ideas.

You are all seated around one of the interactive tables ostensibly eating lunch. Its been a few hours since your group therapy session. A friendly looking gnome walks up with his tray as if to join you but seems to sense he would not be welcome and moves on, carefully avoiding eye contact.

Last edited by SinbadEV; 9th of July, 2009 at 14:18.
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Unread 9th of July, 2009, 15:28
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Asando barely gives the gnome a glance and thinks to himself. Just what I need, another twisted misshapen freak to come sit by me. His eyes dart between the deva and goliath already sitting across from him then back to the gnome as it begins to move on. He takes the aversion of eye contact as a sign of fear and chuckles to himself. Whatever...

His attention returns to his muffin (apple and blueberry of course), bacon and hashbrowns. The remains of his eggs he realizes look like an evil face staring back at him. Asando blinks his eyes and he swears bacon eyebrows seem to invert farther as if his plate is getting angrier by second. The hashbrown beard frames in the face whose blueberry and apple toothed muffin mouth appears be opening to devour Asando. Quickly he activates the table's feature that clears his plate and watch as four mechanical arms save him from the killer breakfast. He thinks to himself, That was a close one! His adrenaline is pumping and the danger seems to pass. Carefully he looks for enemies hidden on his companions plates.
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Unread 9th of July, 2009, 19:56
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Another spoonful of the soup is dutifully consumed and with a sigh Caliban sets the wide spoon down into the ugly matching bowl crafted from some non-descript greyish material. Despite the ugly surroundings, the soup itself was something the chimeric man found aesthetically pleasing. Rose-tinted liquid with a few strange blobs drifting about just below the surface. The blobs were possibly some kind of semi-solid dumpling. Then again they could also have been some kind of tiny jellyfish. It was only a moment for idle curiousity, perhaps if he had cared the table would have informed him.

Caliban ordered his food at random, not caring what it was that he ate for he found no enjoyment in the act. Everything tasted like damp ashes in his mouth. Running two of the fingers on his right hand around the ring finger on his left, a slim umber-brown digit, he ponders whether his lack of sense of taste was an accidental result, some limitation, of the damned surgery which had formed him or a concious choice of whoever had orchestrated it.

For a moment, there is a memory. Rain. Lightning above. Thunder rumbling below. And Caliban, if that was the name of who he was at that time, set down his boot upon a small muddy foothill. He was at the front of... Leading...

Again he slips away from the memory, one of a the few little pieces which came to him at odd times. What had conjured it? The food? His reflects upon his lost sense? The strange little gnome looking hopefully at their table? In spite of the situation, Caliban smiles and closes his eyes to try and set the fragment into his memory.

Returning to the conversation, he sees that the gnome has thought better of joining them, and scoops up one of the whitish little objects from his soup and swallows it down. Setting down his spoon once more, he looks up at the others,
"Another day in paradise waiting to be told whether we'll be gutting fish or picking cotton."

It makes no sense

Caliban gestures at the arms sweeping away Asando's leavings and continues with a vague smile upon his lips,
"I really am curious to see exactly what form our low-level labours will take when we live in such idle luxury."
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Unread 10th of July, 2009, 19:42
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"Perhaps hunting vile sewer rats, armed with nothing but a table knife," Gierith muses as he watches Asando's muscles tense in reaction to something. Perhaps the gnome? Why would anyone be afraid of a little runt like that though?
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Unread 11th of July, 2009, 06:41
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Viktor ate the drivel served from the replitron mechanically. It wasn't that the food was necessarily bad in nature but it all tasted like ashes to him, it was as if his taste buds had dined on something better and had not forgotten the memory even though his mind had; more likely it was the deep depression he was slowly sinking into. His tongue was not the only thing that felt want, he craved to feel the the sun light on his face, even though he could not remember feeling it, his hands itched to cut open flesh and be bathed in innards -a thought that highly disturbed him-, his lungs burned for fresh unfiltered air.

Viktor was drawn out of his introspection as something passed by the table, a gnome. Upon seeing the little creature his mind goes haywire, as well as his eyes, scanning the little creature. In his minds eye he saw diagrams depicting muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems all labeled with their names and function. Unknowingly he began muttering them out loud “Cranium, vertebrae, clavicle...” Suddenly he catches himself and refocuses his attention on the meal hoping no one heard him. this would not be a good time to start going crazy Viktor he thought to himself I definately need to get out of here
He manages a weak smile and adresses the rest of the group "What ever they want us to do cannot be much worse that rotting in here."
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Unread 11th of July, 2009, 07:23
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Asando's, Viktor's and Gierith's attentions are drawn to a strange noise, like a rhythmic humming noise coming from the direction of the private rooms. Shortly after, Viktor is the first to notice a handsome man dressed in a well fitting suit (collar unbottoned, no tie) and an attractive young lady dressed in pants and a blouse, enter the common area from the room you know to be occupied, and as such notices him turn and do something to the door with a strange device.

You all watch as the handsome man and attractive young lady mill about the room together. The man seems to notice the Replitron and they head over to it and order a Triple Grande Vanilla Latte and a Decaf Tall Carmel Mocha Macchiato with Half-Fat Whip. These are apparently hot drinks as that is what the device dispenses. The man takes the two drinks and hands the smaller to the young lady and they casually continue to mill about the room in evident curiosity.

For no particular reason that you can discern, as he's taking in the scenery and enjoying his drink he meanders over to your table. With a winning smile he addresses you as a group, "Hello, My name is John Smith and this is my associate Violet Smith…" Violet interjects, "No Relation." He pauses momentarily smiling down at her then continues panning his focus around the group, "… how are you enjoying your stay here at…" he trails off as if looking for the right word to use.

You all feel strongly compelled to finish his scentence for him and, in fact, help him in any way possible.
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Unread 11th of July, 2009, 17:19
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"this stagnate, unnatural pond of exploitation? Well, so far it's been quite nice. Except for the fact that I've been returned to life, likely through no request of my own, and for the 'service' which I never requested, expected to perform 70 years of servitude. Yes, except for that part, and the eerily unnatural structure. Besides those two things - oh, and the fact that its boring as watching grass grow because everyone here is without memory. Besides all of that, well, I guess it's great. The food is good I mean."
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Unread 11th of July, 2009, 22:37
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"This wonderful land of candy and sweets? Oh, I would say it is ab-so-lutely DEVINE. I mean whats not to love, here we get replicated food to feed us what ever we desire which is moot since we cannot remember what we desire, a soulless shrink to asure us that this mindless ressurection was in our best interests, and all the paranoid company we can stand. The best part about the stay? These trendy jumpsuits, I mean who wants a tailored suit when you could have these" Viktor stands up and pretends to model his orange jumpsuit I swear to what ever gods that are keeping eyes on me, I will stab this man with my very spoon and steal his suit if he gives me the opportunity "Magical Candy sweets land is just SWELL" He cocks his head to the side and winks at the man while giving the thumbs up sign.

Last edited by Greyroar; 12th of July, 2009 at 09:38.
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Unread 12th of July, 2009, 01:40
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When John has managed to assess the situation he's enrapture, "Well that's brilliant, indentured servitude has been done before, but this is just… wow…"

Violet interjects obviously appalled at both the situation and John's seemingly approving attitude, "Sir!"

John Falters then looks at the group with a confused, then apologetic smile, "Not to indicate that I approve of or intend to make light of your situation fellows, but you have to admit they have a pretty good racket going on here. Their costs to resurrect and care for people are trivial because it's done by slave labour and in turn they have an endless supply of slave labour because they can resurrect uninsured people and saddle them with a debt large enough that it immediately triggers the indentured servitude clause and because they are also the ones who have extended the credit, they essentially pay themselves twice." He takes a deep breath, "I wouldn't be surprised if they were providing death insurance policies just to pick up the people that they miss and might even be working defense contracts expressly to get first crack at the uninsured. My word that's a monumental conflict of interest… but their profit margin must be astronomical, they can probably buy enough public good will and pay off enough politicians to get away with it." John seems lost in thought, giving you a chance to talk again.
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Unread 12th of July, 2009, 07:48
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Ignoring the pointless complaining about the siuation they've all found themselves in and this 'John's' facination with how profitable it is for Thaumco Asando just asks simply, ''Who are you two?''
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Unread 12th of July, 2009, 11:07
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John grins, "We've already introduced ourselves, haven't we?"

John looks around with a confused look on his face, sips his his drink, and speaks again, grin back in place. "Well, best be off, thanks for the chat." Then he walks off towards the spare room, followed closely by Violet."
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Unread 12th of July, 2009, 12:54
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Viktor muses compaired to those two, I think I prefer Floyd's company then he addresses the group, "creepy buggers eh? Must be more puppets of Thaumco; at least these ones are alive, though one could speculate as to the state of their possesing a soul"
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Unread 13th of July, 2009, 13:21
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"I don't think so. At most, they may be here to earn our trust. But whatever is going on - they certainly know more about it than us. It might be good to take the chance to talk to them again if you see them out in the common area."
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Unread 13th of July, 2009, 19:39
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Raising an eyebrow, Caliban shares his thoughts,
"Part one of the aptitude test, I'd... speculate."

Almost to himself he adds,
"I seem to be behind in almost everything, but those two did not look like smiths to me. Not that I am sure what they looked like, at all really. Then again, what's in a name and all that."

Raising his voice slightly, so that his companions might hear more easily, he adds,
"Might be for the best to put on a braver face in future though. Yes, sir. No, sir. Two bags full, sir. And all the rest. Afterall the better we do at the aptitude tests, and I really do not get the feeling they will be a direct or obvious examination, the more chance we have to-"

Caliban makes a complicated gesture with his deformed hands, letting the more or less empty motion fill in the obvious ending to his sentence.
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Unread 14th of July, 2009, 05:08
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When John and Violet reach the spare room door they pause and seem to be discussing something in low tones, Violet seems to be upset with John.
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Unread 14th of July, 2009, 10:53
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"Look" Asando says while pointing at the two Smiths. He tries to train his ears on the conversation and listen in on them.
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Unread 14th of July, 2009, 12:03
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With a curious eye, Gierith peers at the couple. "I think you might be right," he says to Caliban. "Although it sure felt good to tell off this Thaumco."
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Unread 15th of July, 2009, 05:40
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Viktor rises from his seat at the table, "I think I could go for something to drink." He then walks over to the Replitron hoping to over hear a bit of the conversation while selecting his beverage.
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Unread 15th of July, 2009, 11:16
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Asando casts an evil eye at the backs of the two strangers that decided to make small talk with his group. For some reason an anger boils within him and he gets up from the table. Asando glances around at his companions and opens his mouth as if to say something, but thinks better of it. Instead, he walks toward the couple with hot drinks in hand and approaches quietly hoping to overhear part of their conversation. Asando strolls up right behind the man and stands quietly until he has their attention. With curious eyes he just stares at them, waiting for one of them to address him.
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Unread 15th of July, 2009, 12:01
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Asando and Viktor are unable to hear very much of the conversation, though Asando hears enough to confirm that Violet is upset with John and John is trying to defend himself.

Their distraction allows Asando to get right behind them before they notice him, this proximity allows him to understand that Violet seems to think John should do something that John seems to think is would be interfearing with something he doesn't fully understand.

After a few moments they finally notice Asando and catch his gaze awkwardly. After a guilty glance at Violet, John says, "Ah, hello again, Is there something I can do for you?"
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Unread 15th of July, 2009, 15:14
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"Well yes in fact..." Asando pauses a moment for dramatic affect and to assess how disturbed they really are by his intrusion, however... he does not pause for long, "I was just wondering, and please correct me if I am wrong, if you knew anything about my past before I came to reside here at Ward 2B? You seem familiar to me" a complete lie, but he continues with his story all the same, "and... well, I know this may seem strange, but..." Asando turns to the lady and asks, "Were we once lovers? I have a feeling that I know your scent... and..." he looks at Mr. John Smith and adds, "much more." At the last he smiles seductively and returns his gaze to Violet.

The young rogue is being guided by instinct alone, not knowing all the rigorous training he's been through to perform this type of fast talking deception, but taking to it as a bird takes to wing despite his lack of memory of his life before now.

Asando is hardly interested in the answers the couple may provide to his blunt questions and instead focuses on their body language in an attempt to discern truth from lies in their response.

At the same time though he senses danger in the air, then wonders idly if it might just be his imagination, but he is comforted by the fact that he has weapons to defend himself with on his person. Another strange 'fact' occurs to him in this moment as well... that he knows full well how to use such weapons. And to deadly effect.

Quickly switching his eyes back and forth between the couple he awaits their response...
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Unread 16th of July, 2009, 00:47
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Asando may feel confident about his ability to talk his way in and out of situations, and at least Violet seems to fall for his line. From her reaction he sees that, somehow, the possibility that they have met before is comical, but that she has taken the notion as flattering.

Meanwhile, John sees through him immediately and rolls his eyes at Violet's positive reaction. "Obviously in your amnesia you have forgotten your manners, I don't appreciate being lied to."

Violet gives him a dirty look and addresses you with a pitying look, "I'm sorry chum, we don't know anything more about your past then you seem to."

You sense that Violet is telling the truth and trusts that while your story can't make sense, she believes that perhaps you knew someone who looked like her. You also sense that she is hiding something unrelated to your line of questioning. Unfortunately, John's negative reaction to you has caused him to put on a poker face and avoid your gaze.

You have an irresistible feeling that you should walk away now, you recognize that this feeling is causing you to act against your will but it is impossible to resist. As soon as you are out of what would be earshot for a normal person you hear John turn to Violet and say, "See, they're a bunch of ungrateful buggers."

You hear Violet respond by saying, "How can you know they are ungrateful if you haven't done anything to help them?" before you are too far away to hear.
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Unread 16th of July, 2009, 05:46
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Unsuccessful with his eavesdropping, Viktor settles on a tall glass of cold, chocolate milk then begins to walk back to the group but descides not to. Instead he walks over to where the gnome is seated "Mind some company?" he inquires in his frendliest voice.
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Unread 16th of July, 2009, 10:54
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Murwinkle eyes Viktor you warily for a moment, then smiles an says, "I would relish it!"

As Viktor sit's down the gnome begins by putting his had across the table, "I don't believe we have been formally introduced, my name is Murwinkle and I'm told that in my former life I was a fisherman. They say I had no death insurance but they were able to cease assest to cover a good chunk of my ressurection fee, so it's likely I'll be out in only fifty eight years. I do hope I can remember who I was in that time, I'm anciouse to remember what posessed me to become a fisherman instead of something sensible like accounting... I'm sorry, listen to me blathering on, you have me at a disadvantage, I don't believe I caught your name?"
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Unread 17th of July, 2009, 06:00
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"The name's Viktor." He extends a hand for Murwinkle to shake, "Your story has a familiar ring to it *chuckle* I think you are one of the fortunate to have been told about your previous life, the rest of us get to play a guessing game. You should join our 'group' I have a feeling that if we stick together it will be harder for Thaumco to pull the proverbial wool over our eyes. Plus I think Asando maybe Xenophobic."
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