SCRAP PAPER.

Started by NejinOniwa, February 26, 2009, 09:04:36 PM

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NejinOniwa

By hell, keep on blazing the cannons, Aurora-tan. -w-
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

stewartsage

Wall o' text time!


The last shell had fallen five minutes before.  It had been a twelve and a quarter inch mortar shell the nearest anyone had been able to tell.  Not exactly the sort of thing their erstwhile opponents in the Harrington trench could whistle up at a moment's notice.  Of course they'd known that; it was just the punctuation to the preparatory bombardment.  The infantry would be along before too long no doubt hoping to find the defenders too dazed to put up much of a fight.  The shock was waiting for them instead.

It wasn't raining, hadn't for days either.  Mist and clouds still clung desperately to the earth as close as they dared.  No doubt that was why they'd been receiving regular calls from Mr. Whizz-Bang all morning and the trench raid the night before.  The Platoon Sergeant stepped over one of the grey uniformed figured mired in what passed for a floor in the duck boardless ditch.  Passing by one of his fellow Riflemen leaned against the opposite side trying to clean his rifle in between wracking coughing fits, the Sergeant patted him reassuringly on the shoulder.  He passed two more soldiers huddled inside their tattered overcoats and sundry headgear, murmuring platitudes as he slipped through the thick mud trying to keep his weapon out of the water. 

Usually this would've been the sort of thing the Lieutenant saw to, and she was a damn sight better at it then he was the Sergeant thought with a disappointed huff into his mustache.  However, his Lieutenant was the object of his trip down the trench.  At the end of the 'habitable' portion the platoon occupied Rfn. Portis was peaking over the parapet's remains in the direction of the Harries' lines.  Below the watchful soldier, somewhat out of the mud, the aidman they'd picked up during the advance held the fragile looking officer upright enough to wrap some of his bloody bandages around her chest.  At first he thought his commander had already passed into the next world; there was a faint crackling, rasping noise audible now that he'd stopped squelching through the mud.

It was hard to see the stain of blood against the dark green of the Lieutenant's uniform.  The hole in the raincoat was obvious enough as the body snatcher draped it over her.  He stepped back, sticking his hands inside his coat wiping the blood and dirt on his presumably clean tunic.  Sitting upright on her own, the Sergeant was reassured as the wounded officer slipped her arms into the coat.  The rustling noise hadn't stopped yet, but the Sergeant tuned them out.  He cleared his throat.

"Whas' the good word Sergeant," voice cracking, as she placed a hand on the aidman's shoulder and pulled herself upright.  Finishing buttoning the coat and refastening the leather equipment belt she bent nearly double wheezing.  He reached out to hold her up, and the black circle armband grabbed onto her suspenders.  In a moment the platoon leader straightened back up, bloodshot eyes starred out at him from under the trench cap's brim and ear flaps.  Other then the rain cover and chinstrap it wasn't that different from his.  All of them but the medical man wore the old hunting horn wreathed '90'.

Continuing as if nothing was wrong, the Sergeant cleared his throat before pulling a stained and crumpled piece of paper from one of his pouches.  Sniffing he held it out, "Last message over the wireless ma'am."

"Mm," She mumbled, waving off the body snatcher, "See what you can do for the men, SBA."  Mouthing the words as she read them, the Lieutenant looked back up at the tall Sergeant when she finished. Wheezing slightly harder in a fashion that was probably a sigh, she looked over at Portis who still stared out across the middle ground.  "You read this, Timothy?" She finally asked. 

Shuffling best he could in the mud, the stooped NCO shook his head, "No ma'am, found it folded like that on Gregson's body."

"Entire front withdrawing, battalion retiring soonest, cannot afford to relieve you, act as you think necessary.  Hobson.  How generous of our company commander," with some effort she pulled her boots out of the mud and slung her rifle, clearly intent on retracing her Sergeant's steps.  Falling in silently behind her, the Sergeant watched as she slapped backs and made light conversation with each Rifleman they passed.  A quick word about properly shining shoes before the next inspection, concern about a cough, bumming a cigarette, handing out spare clips from god only knew where; the Sergeant noticed a few outright smiles among their command.

They reached the other end of the line, where the blue jacketed sick bay attendant was smearing something on Wallace's arm.  Funny, he hadn't even noticed the man was from the Naval Brigade before now.  The Lieutenant exchanged a few words with her surviving Corporal before hobbling back to his side.  For a minute they stood staring at each other, the Lieutenant nearly fell backwards tipping her head back.  Sniffing again, the Sergeant broke the silence, "What's the plan Lieutenant?"

"It's their spring offensive, and we're being faced by Harrie Marines," she stuck her hands in her coat pockets.  The Sergeant nodded, encouraging her to continue despite understanding full well the weight of that sentence.  After a moment, she did tugging at her cap brim before finishing somewhat lamely, "They're out for blood."

"Yes ma'am" the Sergeant replied flatly.  The Lieutenant shrugged, dirt falling out of her hacked off hair, "And no Rifleman has ever tried surrendering."

"Guess not," he shifted the rifle sling, "I should assemble the men?" Taking one hand out of her pocket, the Lieutenant wheezed and crackled before nodding.  "Ever onward," she managed to get the battalion motto out between gasps.  Standing up on the firing step as the Sergeant set off to gather the survivors, not including the dead Signaller Gregson's bugle, the Lieutenant surveyed the terrain in front of the position.  Same as every other middle ground across the front; shell craters, barbed wire, wrecked obstacles, ruined trees, and dead bodies as far as the eye could see.  She regretted the loss of her binoculars, even if it really wouldn't have done much good anyway.

With a sigh, and a supporting arm around her torso the Lieutenant stepped back down into the mud of the trench.  Dragging her feet through the mud, she slogged down to what had served as the middle of their position able to take stock of the remains of her platoon in one place.  Uniformly covered in the filth and damp prevailing in the trenches they'd inhabited the last month.  Dark rifle green cloth had been marred with ragged holes, tears, and splotches of dried mud.  Kit in various states of disrepair, she noticed Portis and Eisner had gone as far as picking up new rifles from the dead raiders.

Six men, three women had formed one long line with Cpl Hobson and the sailor at one end.  At the other her Platoon Sergeant stood waiting, the rest of the 'platoon' at shoulder arms in deference to the mud beneath their feet.  As she drew even with the body snatcher, the Sergeant quietly commanded, "Port, arms!"  With as much ease as possible with the assorted wounds and maladies common among the troops each Rifleman brought their weapon across. 

Each one pulled the bolt back, as she passed allowing the Lieutenant to give them at least a cursery inspection.  Stopping in front on Hall, she leaned closer, "Sergeant Urquhart, please note that Rifleman Hall will need a replacement weapon.  Stock is badly cracked."

"Please bring this to my or the Sergeant's attention Hall, before it's this big," She indicated the obviously bound together furniture before stepping back.  The Sergeant was still scribbling in his notebook with a stub of a pencil by the time she reached the end of the line.  Nonchalant despite the increasing difficulty with which she drew a breath, the Lieutenant returned the Sergeant's subdued salute.  The tall man was still stooped down to keep his head below the trench, "Platoon and attached personnel present or accounted for ma'am."

"Excellent, excellent.  Load your weapons gentlemen!  Make sure your identification discs are around your neck!" She said, pulling back her coat sleeve to check the time.  It had stopped late the previous night, or so it seemed.  Letting the coat settle back over her wrist she reached into it again with her other hand.  Pulling out a silver policeman's whistle, sticking it in the corner of her mouth she unslung her own weapon.  Resting a hand on one of the remaining ladders, she shut her eyes and listened to the clank of equipment as the they formed up behind their leaders.  When it seemed all motion had stopped, the Lieutenant slowly opened her eyes. 

Clamping down on the whistle the Lieutenant took a shallow breath and with all her might blew.  Beaten in by routine, the shrill blasts propelled the tired soldiers up the ladders and over the parapet.  The sudden noise and motion had apparently stunned the Harrington defenders.  Not a single shot met them from rifle or machine gun.  The Sergeant felt a tug of hope in his heart as his section made it past the ten yard mark; tired legs pumped hard through the thick  mud, egged on by the sound of the whistle.

There were shouts ahead now, and the crack of a single rifle was audible even at this distance.  Daring a look sideways, he saw that every other survivor was still standing.  Turning his gaze back to the front, the Sergeant didn't even notice as the whistle stopped blowing.  Portis and Hall pounded past the Lieutenant as she dropped face first into a shell hole, eyes glassy and a bloody foam on her lips.  Private Vernon slowed for a moment.

A pair of rifle shots came again from the opposing trench.  The first bullet exploded the fair haired soldier's gun stock, sending splinters through his torso.  He didn't have much chance to cry out; the second was better placed.  High velocity eight millimeter bullet striking him in the forehead, he was probably dead before the body sagged to the ground.   A mortar shell, no bigger than the kind infantry sections carried, burst between the Lieutenant's section and the Sergeant's.  Oblivious, the Riflemen had but one goal in mind.  No one tried to take cover or shoot back yet.  The second shell removed that option for Portis and Hall.  A well timed shot landed right in front of the pair, ending the need for a new rifle and rendering the other girl's careful study of the enemy works fruitless.

Both wings pressed on for a time.  The Marines didn't seem to think it sporting to use their machine guns, and the mortarmen were relentlessly derided for lessening the marksmen's' sport.  With ten guns to meet each attacker it wasn't long before the survivors were no more.  Hodgson's section had made it the furthest, with the Corporal himself hanging over the wire in front of a machine gun nest.  The wiry Platoon Sergeant was riddled with bullet wounds, no single one fatal, he lay on his back in the mud.  At least it wasn't raining, he thought as unfocused eyes watched the grey clouds driftoverhead.

He could hear the Harries daring to leave their trenches, arguing whether the 'Gawd daymed Lauras' would sacrifice that many men in a ruse.  They put stock in the retreat rumors though, and slowly the grey jacketed men began to emerge from their trenches.  The mortarmen were being forced to drag Hodgy's body off the wire while the others hunted souvenirs.  And survivors.  The
Sergeant couldn't feel the chest rending pain anymore.

"Where's that officer at?" one of the marines, a Corporal by his insignia, elbowed the corpsman with him, "Bet she's got cash or some jewelry right?"  His friend shrugged noncommittally.  The reconnaissance squad had reached the other trench now, and from their jubilant arm waving it was apparently empty.  Stopping by the body of a man dressed in the field service blues of their opposite numbers he began rifling through the aidman's pouches for something more immediately useful then cash or jewels.

Despite losing a companion, there was a second person that joined him in the search for the Laura officer's body.  Their Captain was out in the middle ground now, ordering men to pick up enemy identification disks and any papers they could find.  The Corporal called him over to the shell hole, having decided risking pissing off the old man wasn't in his best interest.

"Search'r Allendale," the crusty old marine said.  Hands in his trench coat he watched the Corporal roll the woman over and start going through her belongings.  He handed up a paybook, an empty map case (of course, he grunted), a crumpled unit roster, a couple of personal letters, ID tag, and side arm.  The last the Captain waved off, "Keep it an' anythin' else ya find boy."

Eagerly unbuckling the officer's pistol belt, the Corporal went ahead and reached for the shining whistle lying in the dirt.  Then hesitated, shivering at the thought of its shrill tone before sticking it in his pocket.

==========================================================

"So who are they?" a Harrington Army Brigade Major, lounging behind an expensive wooden field desk, asked.  He took a puff of his cigar, trying not to blow smoke towards the Marine officer.

The same surly Captain dropped the worn papers on the desk's polished finish, "'ccording to this No. 5 Platoon, 'D' Company, 90th Rifle Battalion."

"Rifles eh?" he murmured, leaving a trail of grime as he pulled the scattered scraps of paper towards himself, "That explains their little charge."

"Yes sir, suppose it does sir." the Captain replied stoiclly.  When the staff officer cracked open the pay book, he cleared his throat.  The Major raised an eyebrow. Taking that as his permission to speak, the Marine seemed hesitant for the first time, "Belonged to the platoon leader sir, Second Lieutenant Heinz."

He cleared his throat again, "Interestin' case, corpsman says she died from blood loss and a punctured lung.  Somethin' 'bout subcutanos air leak or somethin'.  Dropped dead leadin' the suicide charge."

"As you said Matt, interesting," the Major continued to flip through the paybook, adjusting his glasses periodically, "Were you planning on joining me for dinner and a few hands of bridge this evening?"

Bella

I like this story... it's sad, but epic at the same time...

And you're really good at describing these war things. .w.

NejinOniwa

#213
http://nejinoniwa.deviantart.com/art/Decripification-210063728

MR@S, NOW WITH 69% MORE Cupertino Catgirl in Grave PerilRAPE.
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

Bella

LEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRD, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

;______________;

NejinOniwa

Poem tiem.
Quote from: Wonderings of a WandererJourney.
What is a journey for?
Where is it headed?
Why is it needed?
Or is it simply deemed as likely enough to succeed?

Is it a necessity for life itself?
Is it possibly the very definition of an individual's existence?

Journey.
When is a journey taken?
Why is it important?
Where does it start?
Who takes the first step?
And who, in the end, is left behind?

The questions' answers are yourself and mankind;
Which goes where depends only on what you bet, and what you bet on.
But undeniable truth is that if you bet on nothing, you will always, always lose.
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

Bella

#216
Just to prove I haven't died (as a writer), I present the first three pages of @Leopard-tan chap. 7, "Ringmistress"

...
...
...

It had happened again.

Leopard felt herself becoming damp with sweat.  It was partially due to her current surroundings – god, mainframes throw off a lot of heat, she fumed while cooling herself with a hand-fan – but that was not the main source of her current discomfort. No, her current distress was the direct result of sharing a small loveseat with Multics, a powerful OS-tan who seemed to find her particularly ... disconcertingly ... captivating.

It occurred to Leopard that perhaps Multics' interest was a mirror of her own – for she was quite fascinated by the sorceress, a commanding woman a little over her own height and resplendent in a rich purple gown of rococo styling. Leopard's curiosity had been sparked long before Multics' even entered her field of vision; she had become committed to finding out as much about her as she could the moment she stepped into her world.

...

This side of town was more contemporary-looking than the section she had seen the previous evening; there were no quaint brownstones, shabby storefronts or ancient brick buildings – instead, industrial structures of concrete and glass instead dominated the landscape. 545 Technology Square was no exception; the massive block of a building towered nine stories high, looming far above its structural companions and the surrounding thickets of trees. Leopard and Selectric had stepped out of the sunlight and into its cool shadow as they approached the entrance; situated under a large archway, a solid wall of glass punctuated by two sets of double-doors and bronze sign announcing, in bold block letters, the building's address. The interior was quite in keeping with the architecture of the building; its great, cherrywood-paneled lobby was appropriately modern. Almost familiar to Leopard, Twenty-First Century girl that she was.

So when Leopard approached that normal-looking ninth-story office door she had been astounded to see a stone labyrinth within; likewise, she was utterly mentally unprepared when Selectric took hold of her hand and stepped through the portal. Closed Spaces – those code-produced cocoons existing on a spatial plane separate from, but part of, the real world  –  were at least supposed to be fundamentally inaccessible to non-software beings.

Leopard's hand grew warm in his grip – throwing him a questioning look, he pulled her through the doorway. "I need you in order to enter," he replied, letting go of her, "a software-tan of suitable power can stabilize my existence within."

Although it accounted for her presence here, the explanation did little to quell Leopard's curiosity; and it certainly didn't answer the much larger question of how a physical being could enter the immaterial realm of code at all. Remembering Selectric's cryptic remarks about visiting other dimensions ... and the realization that this strange town seemed to break many of the rules of the outside world and her own assumptions of the past ... Leopard held her tongue. Besides, she presently wanted nothing more than to marvel at the beauty of this place; closed space could take on any configuration, its details and dimensions being limited only by its casters' power and ability to manipulate code. This one took the form of a long, curving tunnel, with a smooth marble floor and ornate mural-adorned walls that arched upward into vaulted stone ceilings decorated with elaborate mosaics. The space would have been distinctly subterranean-looking if not for the fact it was rather well-illuminated, its interior bathed sunlight turned multicolored through stained-glass skylights at the peak of each vault.

"Is this CMS' place?" Leopard finally asked, her voice interrupting the soft clacks of footsteps and their echos through the corridor.

Selectric gave a small laugh. "I wish, but even she isn't powerful enough to make something like this. No, it belongs to Multics-"  this name rang a bell somewhere in Leopard's mind – she was sure she had heard it once, somewhere, but couldn't assign a when or where to the recollection – "It's actually her defensive structure. Eight concentric corridors... rings... protecting a single room at the center – her home. She doesn't usually force her friends to go through the trouble of walking them all, but I'm afraid she's been in a strange mood lately..." Selectric stared off into the distance with a grim look; Leopard drew the conclusion that he didn't want to talk about it and she obliged him by not pressing the point.

"So you and Multics are friends?" Leopard asked, moving the conversation in a different direction, "I was under the impression that your people only associated with their own kind."

"I am, thankfully, free of any nationalistic and xenophobic perspectives – a fortunate result of traveling the world and interacting with people of other cultures on a regular basis, something that can scarcely be said for many of my Armonk-locked countrymen..." he paused and frowned slightly before continuing. "I go back a long way with Multics' family – remember how I was telling you about my first time visiting Cambridge?"

Recalling their previous conversation, she gave a small nod.

"Yes. Well, the reason I came here in the first place was because I was hired by CTSS – that's Multics' mother – to do some clerical work, filing, typing and the like. Our acquaintance quickly moved from professional to personal, and we keep in touch even though my employment here ended some time ago. I still do the occasional odd job for her ... I guess I left a good impression?"

Leopard could believe it: she'd known Selectric for little under a day and had quickly, if not cautiously, formed a favorable view of him.  For all her journeys into the past, just a handful had discovered her true identity; Selectric was the third to do so, the second to actually believe what she said, and the first to offer her any real help in studying the past. He seemed nice – too nice – and she couldn't shake the feeling that there would be some ulterior motive greater than simply wanting information about the future; though the optimist inside her held out hope that he really was acting with good intentions.

They approached a barrier in the tunnel; it was a solid wall, save a stone door in the middle. Selectric gave the door a push and it slowly rolled open; "Welcome to ring seven," he said, ushering her through.

...

It had taken a little over an hour for them to pick their way, back and forth, to the center of the labyrinth - 'And that was with the doors unlocked,' Selectric had reminded Leopard, 'Thank god we didn't catch her in a bad mood.' At long last they had reached the core of the maze; a finish line that Leopard found decidedly anticlimactic.

"This is where she lives?" she stared incredulously at the tiny stone fortress that Selectric called Ring Zero; the windowless structure, perhaps fifteen feet across, looked disturbingly like some sort of medieval prison-cell.

"In a manner of speaking," Selectric replied before knocking on the chamber's door; a muffled request for identification issued from the other side, and Selectric announced himself. Several sets of locks could be heard clicking open and a moment later the door swung outward; Leopard, who had been expecting a small, dark space, was momentarily overcome by the bright light within. Eyes adjusting, she came to the realization that there was in fact another, completely separate and quite large closed space before her. So surprised was she by this clever nestling that it took her a moment to fully register the strange woman standing in the doorway; decked in an ornate dress and generous supply of jewelry, with sharp – if slightly reddened – eyes and long dark hair.

"Forgive our tardy arrival, Multics-sama," Selectric apologized, bowing slightly as he lifted Multics' slender right hand and planted a kiss atop it, "I hope you saved us some tea?"

"Of course," she replied, waving them inside, "I wouldn't allow a guest – I mean to say, guests," she corrected herself, glancing at Leopard, "to go thirsty." Leopard felt intimidated by the woman's stare; not in the same way that she had been menaced by OS/360, no, she had a distinct feeling that Multics was no berserker – and that she was also far keener than any of the IBMs she had encountered. Instinctively shifting her gaze away from Multics', Leopard settled her eyes on her bodice; the lavender silk was blotched with small dark stains. Coupled with her puffy eyes, there was only one conclusion that Leopard could make - She's been weeping.

But the most unsettling realization occurred when Multics turned around; Leopard nearly jumped when she saw the set of feathery grey wings protruding through her veil of hair. The right wing was drawn close to Multics' body, much in the way a bird carries its pinions while at rest; but the left hung down, swaying limply to the rhythm of with Multics' gait. Leopard was no expert in avian anatomy, but she knew a broken limb when she saw it; between the injury, the tears, and Selectric's comments about her odd mood, she started to wonder what exactly had happened to her

Multics led them through the chamber, a circular, neoclassical-style sunroom. It was large and bright but very cluttered: filled with ornate furniture of every variety, a large canopy bed, cabinets, chairs, a dining table and paper-strewn desk, it gave Leopard the impression that this wasn't just Multics' hideaway but actual home – and personal museum, if the fine artworks and artifacts interspersed throughout the room and rows of bookcases lining the otherwise fabric-and-wainscot-covered walls were any indication. Beautiful though it was, the space – like the rest of the building – was uncomfortably warm (an unfortunate side effect of housing dozens of inhumanly-hot computers) and would have been downright suffocating if not for the breeze filtering through the large windows.

Past a thick stand of potted plants, they entered a sitting area: two small, bright red couches and several armchairs surrounded a large coffee table, which hosted a tea-set and platters bearing a variety of pastries. CMS-sama was stretched out on one of the couches, sipping a cup of tea and nibbling at a cookie; Selectric poured himself a drink and took to the nearest wingback chair. Multics sat down on the opposite couch; patting the cushion beside her she beckoned Leopard. "Please, I would like to know more about you, Miss..." she waited for Leopard to fill in the name.

"Uh... Macintosh." Leopard felt slightly ashamed at her inability to concoct a more imaginative alias – It's my last name, for pete's sake – but it did carry the benefit of being impossible to forget and common-sounding enough to not arouse suspicion.

...
...
...

It goes on from here. Hopefully it's not too random/rambly, but this is like the fourth rewrite and I can assure you it's not gonna get changed around again (aside from minor spelling/grammar fixes and the like) =___=

NejinOniwa

Reading this on a bloody 'pad, so i can't make a properly sized response, but YEEEEAH. Also DAT CLOSED SPACE.

-w-
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

Paul

Beautiful. want more! :D

Bella

Glad you guys like. It inspires me to move forward with the story, even with the difficulties I've faced...

Bella

#220
Edit: HEY, YOU. GO READ THIS. I promise there are fewer spelling/grammar errors than in the versions posted here.

...

From where I left off, the conclusion of Chapter 7, Ringmistress:
...
...
...

"Miss Macintosh," Multics smiled as she took a seat beside her, but Leopard wasn't convinced - there was sorrow in her eyes, a certain unnatural strain in her grin.

"I trust your evening went well?" CMS queried, green eyes darting from Leopard to Selectric.

"Extremely well, but perhaps a bit tiring - eh, Macintosh?" Grinning, he extended a hand and patted Leopard on the shoulder - causing her to blush again - dammit, he's doing this on purpose, isn't he?

CMS released a string of girlish giggles; "Really now?"

Between Selectric's touch, CMS' tittering, her close proximity to a powerful, possibly traumatized mainframe and the stuffy environment, Leopard began to feel quite warm; presumably because of her copious amount of flushing, Multics became aware of her discomfort and handed her the lacy little hand-fan she had been using. Grateful, Leopard gave a thank-you and immediately started fanning herself, the short bursts of fresh air providing a small comfort.

"I mean to say, we were up 'till midnight discussing matters of business." Selectric reached forward and plucked a danish from the platter; between bites he spoke. "But enough about us; how have you been, Multics-sama?"

Multics' pleasant expression faltered. Shifting in her seat, the uninjured wing moved a bit and Leopard eyed it warily - she had no idea why she found those feathery appendages so bothersome, being the owner of a rather conspicuous set of feline ears and a tail herself, but they were. "How do you think I've been?" Multics began, a mocking tone to her voice - blushing a bit, she caught herself, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way - it's just, I've been about as well as can be expected, nearly having lost a limb and all. It's gotten a lot better in the last three months... but the doctors don't think I'll ever have mobility back..." staring into the middle-distance, Multics began absentmindedly tugging at the feathers at the tip of her left wing. Leopard tensed up a bit - Okay, I am sharing a couch with a traumatized mainframe.

Setting her teacup down emphatically, CMS grimaced. "And you know the worse part of it? The bitch who did that to her is still here -" Multics threw her a scandalized look but she continued speaking, "Living right across the river in fact, South Boston. Can you believe that girl's nerve?" she spat, her expression pure vitriol.

Leopard hadn't expected to see the poised noblewoman become so upset - nor Multics so dejected. She  was starting to feel like an intruder - a familiar enough sensation at this point - but this felt somehow different from the other raw moments she had witnessed up-close and personal in the past. There was a charge in the air now, an emotional thundercloud that threatened to let loose at any moment - and she didn't want to be caught beneath it when it did.

It was too late. Tears welling in her eyes, Multics began to speak, her sentence fragmented by fits of sobbing - "I-it's Unix, dammit - if she had nerve enough to attack me she has n-nerve enough not to le-e-eave-" burying her face in her hands, she collapsed against her large skirt.

If the name spoken was anything other than 'Unix', Leopard would have been concerned with Multics crying and nothing else. But it was not that way - the name spoken was Unix, the-circa-1969-one-and-only Unix, the genetic fountainhead of every Unix-san to come - herself included. The expression on Leopard's face, which had registered somewhere in the spectrum of mild anxiety before switched to shock - horror even - eyes wide, mouth gaping, as she considered the implications. My god, I've found another of her victims, she mulled bleakly, marshaling her reaction into something less conspicuous. She had acted too slowly - Selectric was staring at her, obviously aware that she knew something.

By this time, CMS had come over to console Multics; Leopard, who was thoroughly mortified - and stunned - was more than happy to get up and allow her to take the seat. Moving closer to Selectric, she nudged his shoulder. "Should we leave?"

He nodded. Clearing his throat, he checked his watch - "I hate to have to leave now, but we're supposed meet PDP-chan at twelve... I wouldn't want to make her upset, you know how she gets when she's mad." He gave a weak smile in spite of the circumstance.

Multics, who was now sitting upright and wrapped in CMS' embrace, nodded a bit. "I understand... have a nice visit, and bring grandmother our regards. Just... make no mention of this, please? I wouldn't want to stress her more than she is already."

Selectric nodded. "I wouldn't think of it. Say, would it be too much work to drop us off on the ninth floor? I don't want to have to walk the labyrinth again."

"Of course not. Farewell, Selectric; it was nice to meet you, Miss Macintosh. Please spend more time when you visit next, alright?"

In an instant, Multics' closed space - the labyrinth, sunroom, everything inside of it - disappeared; the office hallway from which they had begun their journey took its place. They were back in the real world.

. . .

"What's the significance of Unix?" Selectric asked, as they approached the building's exit. "I was watching you as Multics spoke... when she said that name, you looked terrified."

Suppressing her fears - chiefly, the fear that Selectric would refuse to work with her any more because of what she was about to reveal - Leopard answered. "It'd be better if you asked what isn't significant about her - she's my great-grandmother."

...
...
...

I'll probably just go ahead and publish this to dA, even though I'm not totally comfortable with it. I never am. Gotta write up some notes and what not first. -w-

NejinOniwa

TOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHHOHOOOOOO~~~~ <3
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

Paul

I wonder how that relationship between Multics and Leopard will work out... (yuri?!)
That is, if Multics can overcome the fact that Leo is the great-granddaughter of Unix, else -> possible bloodbath?

Keep on going, that story is a pleasure to read!

Bella

Quote from: Paul on June 25, 2011, 09:06:36 AM
I wonder how that relationship between Multics and Leopard will work out... (yuri?!)

Uhhhh.....

ehhhh.....

^_____^;;

*pats head*

Yeah, maybe, who knows!

Quote from: Paul on June 25, 2011, 09:06:36 AMThat is, if Multics can overcome the fact that Leo is the great-granddaughter of Unix, else -> possible bloodbath?

Keep on going, that story is a pleasure to read!

Most of Multics' hate was fixed firmly on Unix - I don't think any of Unix' children or grandchildren would have been in danger of incurring her wrath. Mild disdain, maybe, wrath, probably not. So that probably wouldn't be a problem if Leopard and Multics got together.

Thanks so much! It really motivates me when I hear that people are enjoying it. : )

Aurora Borealis

This is great work!

Good thing Multics only has her hatred fixed on the root of her problems and not take them out on Leopard as revenge-by-proxy! But I would imagine that Multics at that time would be appalled to think that her monster of a daughter (or so she thinks) went on to have many descendants, yet from meeting Leopard, she can take some peace in knowing that at least one of them isn't like how Unix was at the time.