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Snow Captain and the World of WhereverThisIs
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Player Name: Archy
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Archy Dresner

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Sep 24 2014, 01:47 AM
Archy had scoured the area, detecting bits and pieces of information, but something was... off. There were the fundemantal particles associated with his Cherynobyl, but there were also heavier substances, indications of a fusion reaction or at least, materials involved in one. That was something you would either find in a fusion reactor or a fusion bomb. Given this was a fission plant, with all the fuel needed to make a fusing explosion, he suspected there was more to this place than his.

As he drew closer to the reactor, radiation levels began to spike. His suit would protect him from most of it, but it wouldn't be wise to venture inside the core or above the building. By thsi point, he'd put Eve's harness and bag on, and had proceeded to make his way around the reactor building. He took advantage of the chaos. No one was paying him any mind, as so often happens in disasters.

Eve occupied herself by sticking to cover and keeping overwatch of the human. She felt better with her stuff again. It was weird for an animal to feel naked, but she had felt just that without it.

"I'm picking up indicators of a neutron reflector" he thought to her, "a vaporized one, anyway... Would they use that in their core?"

"Not if they were wise."

"It would certainly make depleted fuels... perkier."

"Something like using Chemo to slow hair growth."

"Yea..."

Though it was a valid point... The reactors here used Fission, the splitting of the mighty atom. This process literally transformed one element to another. Uranium eventually decayed into lead. Bit by bit, it ceases to produce heat, radiation. Some reactor designs could compensate for this, run longer with less, but this reactor would predate them. It came from the seventies, when nuclear fuel efficiency was only a question when it came to how many bombs a uranium mine could make.

Overtime, reactors were upgraded. It happened in the US all the time. Yearly shutdowns and overhauls, to say nothing of the extensive refits given to nuclear aircraft carriers. Entire reactor systems could be removed, gutted, and rebuilt. The reactor design though, it was scary enough, flawed enough. Would they have risked making it stronger?

He started to approach the rear loading docks, they were the safest entry point to the plant. Nuclear Security was a myth in this time period, even the U.S. would grant anyone a tour of a nuclear missile silo. The same was true here, he could walk right in. Here though, the loading dock afforded him a chance to dig through important papers, manifests, records, see if there had been any materials brought in to explain this oddity.
Sep 19 2014, 02:32 PM
Name/Alias: archy

How did you find The Aurora?: here already

Contact details: (optional)

____________________________________________

Application Progress:

Name: Dan Warden, goes by “The Mechanic”/“Mechanic”

Age: 34

Gender: Male

Race: Human

Affiliation: None Yet

Homeworld: “Scavenger” Earth

Weapons: Commonly carries: 1911 0.45 colts, various knives, a toolbox/backpack, and a rifle or shotgun.

Appearance:

He’s a backwoods redneck if there ever was one. Commonly seen wearing military camos, it’s hard to figure out much about him from a distance. Up close observers will notice his brown eyes and strong build. His hands and skin are torn up in places, worn, burned, and otherwise beaten into a strong leathery material rather than the soft skin associated with modern humanity. Lastly his hair, when not covered by a hat or helmet, is a greasy mess, potentially slicked with oil or mud. It’s not to say he doesn’t bathe, because he does, but it just doesn’t last long.

Clothes-wise, he is almost always in military camos, with the IR protection perfectly intact. Generally they’re desert tan, but on occasion he uses the US Army’s forest green patterns if he’s in that kind of area. His pockets have some hard to read maps and a variety of tools, which changes by day and project.

Personality:

In brief, he’s rough on the outside, but soft on the inside. Newcomers are given the arms-length treatment, the gun-barrel length treatment until he knows them. Sure, a tire change or a bit of gas can be sparred, but he’s not going to go much past that. His world is rough and cruel, it’s everyone for themselves and he sticks to that more or less.

Now, if you can get past that rough exterior, there’s a few surprises waiting inside. He’s from a rough background, he’s learned his trades and skills out of necessity, but he’s as gentle, calm, and altogether helpful as the best of preachers and doctors. Need a friend, need, a ride, need a temporary home, or anything? He’s there for those he trusts. In his side time, when he could research, he wanted to be something more interpersonal, a doctor, a medic, or something. Unfortunately, times have changed him and blotted out his dreams.

History:

The world was in pretty good shape for a while. Dan’s life started and went pretty well until sometime around elementary school. Then the plague came, and the wars came. Luckily, he was immune to the plague, though most of the others weren’t. It was as if the world had gone completely insane. He spent time on the streets scavenging material to buy, sell, recycle after the economy was destroyed. He grew up like most, dirt poor. When he was old enough, the military drafted him due to shortages in man power.

Over the years to follow, he was trained as an infantryman and a mechanic, then deployed to the middle east. The area had become a major battlefield in the new world war, fighting for the oil reserves. Gradually, things just got worse and worse. Eventually, nuclear war broke out, the Earth became divided, resources scarce. Luckily, Dan’s unit was spared, none of the super powers would hit a significant resource. The oil fields were safe.

It’s been years since then, a new sort of colony has been started, now that contact with the other nations has gone unanswered. There was nothing from the US, nothing from Russia, nothing from Europe, just complete silence. The locals and what other survivers formed a new country, a new place to live, for now. Here, Dan’s become one of the head mechanics, watching over a motor pool. Over the years, the other mechanics have siphoned into the rest of the country, taking on new trades. He’s since become the only person at his particular garage.

Sometime following the war, things became strange, with little portals being found around the area. The people have managed to prosper by exploring, trading with, and stealing from other worlds. It’s not quite a common thing, trips into other worlds are military, managed, and approved ahead of time. Only trips into secret portals or uninhabited/claimed worlds are permitted.

This is also how his ‘daemon’ was discovered. Kind of. On one of the scavenging missions, his friends came across an interesting little artifact designed by a long lost civilization. It created a companion from a person’s synaptic activity, manipulated some particles to build it, and then just served as a sort of embedded neural link. It turned out to be a very, very interesting time.

Other:

“The Mechanic”, his name, or perhaps position as a head mechanic came about during the creation of the new colony. They needed people who could fix things and it turned out he was good at working on basically everything. For a time, his garage wasn’t limited to just trucks and tanks. There were stacks of radio equipment, defective weapons, and at one point even a few jets and helicopters. Between his ‘free’ time to tinker in the past and a childhood spent having to make do with whatever he had, he’d turned out quite crafty with just about everything. He generally believes that given time, there’s nothing he cannot eventually repair.
____________________________________________

Dæmon Name: Astrid

Dæmon Animal: Unknown/Shapshifts

Dæmon Appearance:

Astrid is most commonly seen as a Lynx-like creature. She has soft, brown and tan fur, yellow/brown eyes, and a habit for mischief. She’s most readily set apart from other daemons by a few little traits. There’s first off, her ability to shapeshift, not being a true daemon. Second, there’s the cybernetic components inside her that permit the shift and provide some minor strength enhancements. Lastly, there’s her toolbag. Life is formd around necessity and hers usually necessitates being a four legged toolbag.

Dæmon Personality:

Astrid is a more open version of Dan and a bit of a polar opposite. She’s kinder to others and pushes him to be nicer, the voice of old reason. Part of that is a little twitch of mischief, using humor and other little tricks to losen her human friend up some. When pushed, having her trust broken or kindness turned against her, she’s more destructive, more vengeful than Dan. Where he would shoot and incarcerate before killing, she’s ready to kill from the beginning.
____________________________________________

Role Play Sample:

Another day, another project, another annoyance.

Dan grumbled as he got out of bed, he’d been supposed to be ‘off’ today, but at the last minute there was a sudden need for someone to haul a water tanker out to one of the more remote outposts. Of course, there weren’t any regular truckers on duty, so he’d have to do it. Astrid was, unfortunately, as perky as ever. She was out of bed and nipping at his pantleg, working to drag him up.

He glared down at her, thinking, “hey, behave,” not that it helped any. She heard him, and she still refused to stop. At last he grumbled, swinging his other leg out of bed and standing up. He wasn’t that old, but if you worked days like him, you’d understand the idea of not wanting to do a damn thing for a year. Just, lay in bed and watch the sun make it’s daily circles. Well, tough, that wasn’t today.

Astrid cheerily went out to grab her toolpack and rummage around in the kitchen for snacks. A short while later, Dan came out and grabbed his patrol bag. It had a full water bladder, important tools and other small things. His toolbox was already in the truck, ready to go. He didn’t even bother looking for th cat, as soon as he was at the door, she came up right behind him.

“Alright, git in” he said, opening the door. She wasn’t going to fit on his lap, and he certainly wasn’t eager for her to try. It was an Army 2.5 ton truck with a tractor hook up, not a luxury truck. It’d be just a tad cramped inside for her to get on his lap.

Astrid looked up at him briefly before jumping up on the step and then into the truck, in one smooth motion. “Good, lets just get this over with” he grumbled, hauling himself in, starting the truck and rolling out into the yard. This was where things got annoying.

He checked in the mirrors, carefully backing up. She stuck her head out, offering tiny tidbits of guidance. Left, right, slower, right, until he made it. After a quick bit of hooking up, they were rolling across the sandy countryside under the roasting desert sun. Their fill up site was at the edge of the occupied zone, then they’d skirt the main habitation and industrial zones heading to the outpost to drop their tank and then return. It was a day long affair.

By the time they parked at the filling station for lunch, the morning sun had pushed the temperature into the high nineties, if not past a full hundred. “Why couldn’t you live somewhere colder?” Astrid asked as they got out. It’d take an hour or two to pump the tank full, they were going to take advantage of a diner and cool air conditioning.

“I do live somewhere colder,” he said, “there’s ice in places at night.”

“Great, don’t know if I should sit by the fire to stay warm or sit on an ice sheet to stay cool.”

May 25 2014, 02:30 AM
Welcome to hell.

Archy was distinctly displeased with where he was. He'd been lucky, his past five worlds were all fairly modern. There was a cabin in the woods, he did some offroading, he took a trip to the stars, he had a pretty good time. Now however, he was here. Early twentieth century England. That'd be great if it were in his world, he'd steal an Army-issue Jeep, get a ride in a BF-109, and maybe a P-51. So, here he was, sneaking through the streets looking for an Inn or something.

Before too long he came upon a sign, 'Flat for Lease.' That'd work. He bundled up his gear in blankets to make it appear to be a homemade backpack, did the same to Eve's, and removed her vest... If you've ever tried to force water down a horse's throat, you have a ten millionth of an idea what it is to get Eve out of her vest.

Alright, cleaned up as best as possible...

Eve looked like any old Snow Leopard, big, fierce, fluffy, and naked. Archy looked like an idiot who'd spilled ketchup all over himself, or who had lost a battle with a fountain pen. He had a few dozen stories ready to go. So, he knocked on the door nice and loud. There were lights on inside, presumably, someone was still home. Well, hopefully, the home-owner, was still home.

Before too long, an old German man hobbled to the door. Some talking, discussion, and a bit of haggling later and Archy had a room for a year, paid in full. The old man lead him around to the side door, which opened into a stairway and lead him to the upper floor of the building. There was a fireplace, wood stove, electrical lighting, some windows, three main mains intended to be a living area, kitchen, and bedroom, and then there was the bathroom. It was all pretty straightforward and basically furnished.

"Danke" Archy said to the old man, Helmut. It helped to negotiate when you spoke a bit of the negotiatee's language. He left and then the two set to settling in. Archy found a safe in a closet, he stored his and Eve's stuff there for now. He next set to cleaning up the clothes he'd gotten off the dead guy, setting up his bed and going to bed. It was cool, but, he had Eve to keep him warm. The large snow leopard laying up against him.

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

The next day, Archy got up and with Eve went to buy clothes. He got a trench coat, some nice pants, shirts, and a new backpack, which appeared to be military surplus. On his way back to his room, he saw something rather disturbing.

Across the street he saw a boy, kicking and screaming being dragged from his home. His parents were crying, pleading with the men taking him. Apparently, the boy was a sinner. Eve flicked her ears, listening to a few mutterings across the street of him being unfaithful or a demon worshipper or something. It was an interesting tactic.

OOC: Is that a good enough public-facing excuse to kidnap someone? Also, go for any people present...
May 7 2014, 03:52 AM
“It’s time to hit the road.”

“What road?” Eve asked, looking all around as her tail twitched about behind her.

They were in the middle of nowhere it seemed. The ocean stretched ahead of them, to the sides, and behind, proceeding off into infinity. It seemed as if they were standing on water out in the middle of the ocean. Then, ever so slowly, they began to rise, revealing a metal deck plate, and gradually, the angular sides of a flying ship. It was sleek and almost torpedo-like except for it’s wide shape. As it rose, there was the rush of water over it’s sides and the comparatively quiet roar of its engines.

“We’d better head inside” the snow leoaprd said, turning and descending a set of stairs flush with the hull. As soon as Archy followed, it sealed shut behind them, another section of armor inseparable from the rest.

This was the Tekar Enali, an Asarian exploratory ship. It was built to go everywhere, under water, through the sky, and up to the stars themselves. Some months ago, Archy and Eve stumbled through a portal and found themselves in an Asari city, gasping for air. Some talking and rushing later and they found themselves among remarkably friendly hosts.

The Asari stand a good eight feet tall, have blue skin, skinny bodies, long thin arms, and enormous, black eyes. The creatures almost seek like something from a ’50s sci fi movie, and they’re real. They tend to live underwater, but they can breathe air. They’ve developed a more scientific society than most worlds permit, letting them push on the bounds of what can be done. They’re currently in what appears to be a fairly utopian state.

After the first few weeks, Archy and Eve began to pick up on the more subtle aspects of their culture. Where most worlds had issues with government, poverty, corruption, war, and so on, the Asari have conflicts inside about where to allocate their time and efforts. More recently, there’s been a trend towards wasteful projects or dead ends. It’s related to having a bad idea generator just screaming in the public mind.

Still, the people had welcomed Archy with open arms. They welcomed Eve with a thirty five and a half foot pole. She had tried to kill a few, thinking their water flooded home was some kind of trap. Those few learned a respect for pissed cats. Over their short time in that alien place, the two came to see many wonders of machinery and advancement, but it just wasn’t home. They were now headed to a portal to send Archy and Eve on their way. In the future, they may discover a method of locating, creating, and closing the portals. There was already a project started, founded on Archy’s ideas of high EM distrubances from his chaotic homeworld.

Now, they stood on the bridge with Captain Er’pak. “I’m surprised you are so eager to go” he said, “we would have gladly welcomed you, had you chosen to stay.”

“Thank you, but, as lovely as your world is, it just isn’t home” Archy answered, looking out at the viewscreen as they rose into the sky, “how would you feel in a world without science or where your studies were forebidden, or where there wasn’t technology to reach the stars or prosper as you do? It could be nice, but it wouldn’t be home.”

“I understand” the captain said, “I imagine perhaps were I so displaced, I would make every effort to return home as well.”

Ahead, the helmsman began to adjust the thrusters, bringing them to a gradual stop. “We are in position” he announced. The portal they detected would now sit within one of the ship’s science bays.

“Let’s go Archy, as you’re so eager” he said, leading the way back into the ship, “though before we part, we do have something you may find useful.” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small device designed around Archy’s phone. It was a sort of armored case. “We built this to help you in your own studies. It contains several sensors we’ve built, you should learn their purposes over time. It’s designed to mount around and protect your communicator.”

“Phone” Archy corrected, “not that it gets signal.”

“Well, it may now, the receivers on this may access other worlds if you can get near enough a portal” he said, “or perhaps it’ll detect only the radiance of the stars. We’ve never built a device such as this. We’re guessing at how to make it function with your ‘phone’.” He passed it to Archy, who slipped his phone into it. The edges seemed to swell in, holding the little device in nice and tight.

And then they were in the observation room. It was a tall, all white room. It would be disorienting to spend too long in there, it was just a constant room, nothing seemed to change and time seemed to freeze. There wasn’t even any evidence of observers, so as to prevent even their interaction from creating bias.

There by the portal were their bags and materials. Archy knelt down by Eve and began to strap on her vest, camelbak, and rucksack. She already wore her communicators around her wrists and hidden in her ear. He then stood and gathered his stuff, the tactical vest and attached pack and the heavy rucksack he fitted over it. They’d been resupplied with material for quite a while and now were ready to venture onto the rough life of travelers.

“Good bye” Archy said, standing by the portal. He stepped through and carefully began to look around. It was an attic of some sort. There was a triangular roof, nice furnishings, and in general all the niceties of home. Eve sensed no panic from him and followed through behind. As soon as she was gone, the Asari all let out a sigh of relief. That cat scared the hell out of them. It was ironic, given that they treated nuclear material as toys and her as an atomic bomb.

Through the window, they watched the ship descend and resume it’s course off into the distance. They were going to study some strange cloud formations in their far north. “Alright, lets see this place and then get some leads” Archy said, pulling his pistol and heading for the stairs. He’d learned to sweep buildings carefully, and well armed, rather than just go about blindly. It took no time to find it more or less empty. Whoever lived here was a very, very, wealthy person. Just the sort of person to pry some intel from.

They found an office, lined with all the strappings of someone who had far too much money. It was clearly the sort of place just such a person would stop in at least a few times a day. So, they setup an ambush, waiting behind the door. Eve had climbed up on a tall shelf and perched herself, ready to strike. It was a tight fit, snow leopards weren’t considered big cats, but she wasn’t small either. Luckily, she was a good climber. Archy, for his part, just waited at the door, silent.

Once someone came in, they waited until the door began to close. Archy stepped forward, both hands on his .45, leveled at the person’s head. Eve would slam down atop and bite at the neck of whatever animal followed. Just to get a good hold, she wasn’t taking chances. They’d seen pictures of a tiger, so, she was ready for something big.

“Do nothing stupid, and you’ll live to see another day” Archy said, “do something stupid and you’ll have soup for brains, assuming these bullets don't just splatter them across the wall.” He paused briefly to let that sink in, “I am a traveler of sorts, long story short, I’m here now, wherever the hell here is, and I need to know a few important bits. What town, country, and planet is this? Who is the current dominant political structure? And are there any large monstrosities outside?” The last question was quite relevant, there was a world that greatly resembled the age of the dinosaurs, giant monsters and all.


OOC: I’m hoping the ambush isn’t too over the top. I wanted to write in as much as I could for the first post and this seemed the best manner to manage the ambush. Tis' hard to mount a good counter attack with distance + pistol at hand. It looks like it’ll be one post per day for me w/ school schedule it seems.
May 4 2014, 07:11 PM
Name/Alias: Archy

How did you find The Aurora?: Google

Contact details: None/site pm’s preferred

____________________________________________

Application Progress: Just started, long thought on.

Name: Archy Dresener

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Race: Human

Affiliation: Neutral at introduction

Homeworld: Unknown

Weapons: Carries 2 conceal subcompact .45 cal pistols, 2 combat knives, and a small stun gun

Appearance:

In general Archy stands about 5’ 11”, has short black hair with a slight curl starting at the tips, and icey blue/grey eyes. He can be found dressed either to blend in with society or to survive in the field, leaving him often dressed in jeans with cargo pockets, hiking boots, and a nice polo, or military camos with a tactical vest. Get up close and you’ll see he’s bult almost to be a linebacker, almost. His shoulders are broader than average but not excessive, he’s fit overall. On his wrist there’s a smart watch which he’s set to connect to a matching device on his daemon.

You’ll often find him wearing a large backpack of some sort. He has a rucksack which holds most of his important posessions and a camelbak daypack which carries the most important tools and materials to have them at hand and in case of emergencies.

In worlds where technology has not yet reached the point of advanced materials and electronics, he tends to disguise or hide his electronics and acquire local clothes to blend in. For the case of Lyras world, he wears pants, a nice shirt, and a trench coat of some sort packed with pockets and stuffed with tools. He carries his pistols in concealed holsters.

Personality:

Archy is the picture of paranoid genius. He’s introverted, suspicious, protective, and curious. It makes for an interesting combination. Not many people get to be close to him, he doesn’t trust anyone else, and if you do get to know him he’s the best friend you’ll ever have. At least, that’s him in a nutshell.

He can be related to Sherlock Holmes, Nikolai Tesla, C.S. Lewis, and the fictional character John Shepherd (SGA), somewhat depending on which camp you're in for psych theory. In the Myers/Briggs classification system, he's an INTJ. An analyzer and applier of data. While you wouldn't bring him to a party, he is the guy you want in a lab, a tight situation, or just all hell breaking lose.

He grew up being a bookworm and documentary geek. He'd have watched stuff like Modern Marvels, Extreme Engineering, How it's Made, etc. From a mental standpoint, he has good retention and sort of looks for the logic of what he learns. There's some kind of reasoning to everything and he naturally picks up on that. When school came around, they'd cover history or science and he'd ask the teacher a fairly obscure question that was well beyond the scope of elementary school. He had all A's, was as different as you can get, and the kids picked on him.

When you grow up around bullies and shallow people, you see the pattern and you distance yourself from them. He doesn't trust anyone at first. The people he was around were flakes, friends in science class and trying to throw him in the mud at recess. He's not friendly towards others unless they exhibit the traits he associates with good people and himself.

History:

Archy grew up on an Earth-like world, not too unlike Will’s. There was modern technology, society, and relatively peaceful things overall. His world however, was set apart by nature. The planet’s magnetic field was unusually powerful, causing it to experience exceptionally adverse effects. These were especially present during solar flares. People would have to stay indoors, technology was built to a higher standard, and even then in places there would be mass blackouts.

Sometime around when Archy became a teenager, things took a dinstinct turn for the worse. The magnetic fluctuations became stronger and the effects more adverse. Just as Asriel used a massive amount of energy and the Earth’s powerful magnetic poles to open a doorway, people in Archy’s world were accidentally creating small portals just with minor interactions. There was no immediate response, it took months to get the world governments working on it.

During one of the frequent solar storms, Archy was shoved through one such portal by the bullies. He hadn’t had a chance. It was a strange world and he was on his own. The portals would close as soon as the magnetic fields weakened after the storm. It was scary, being alone. He had to learn to survive and for a time, was more like an animal than a person.

Eventually, he gathered the basics to survive and made a bit of a living going from world to world and just getting by. Eventually even being a paid thief and spy on occasion. This proved to be a mix of very rewarding and very painful. Particularly with his most recent ‘job’. It was corporate espionage in a relatively advanced world. He was supposed to break into a science lab, steal some files and documents, then get on his way. It didn’t go so well.

During the break in, he stumbled upon a device akin to a linear accelerator used in physics research. The machine was seeing light use and some level of construction, making it an easy passage way through parts of the building. As he moved through it, there was a test underway to examine the magnets. They’d be taken up to a fairly low level with the internal temperatures sticking to just a few degrees below freezing. It’d test the cooling system for leaks and collect data on the magnet’s efficiency under unusual conditions.

These are the sort of magnets which can crush a bus down to about the size of a penny without even trying. They’re extremely powerful. The test began and Archy experienced probably one of the most painful things a creature can without dying. Up until this point, he hadn’t been able to see or interact with his daemon, she was still a part of him. After this, less so. The magnets attracted the dust, the dark matter that made her. It literally ripped her clean from him. It gave them the witches ability to be separate yet whole and only served to amplify their protective natures.

In the time since then, they’ve tried to find alternative ways of making money and surviving. On some occasions they outright rob a bank, others they find a legitimate means as travel guides. More recently, they came upon one of the subtle knife’s portals leading to Lyra’s world.

Other:
____________________________________________

Dæmon Name: Eve

Dæmon Animal: Snow Leopard

Dæmon Appearance:

Eve is a full grown snow leopard, her fur is the typical white with black spots, her eyes are a cool grey-blue like Archy’s and her body well toned for running, climbing, and even being a bit of a pack mule for Archy. To that end, she has a vest designed for large animals. It has side pockets and a backpack section which detatches via quick release clips. On her forepaws are two band like devices, which serve as a sort of emergency communications for her and Archy. They have a variety of uses and are controlled mostly via small muscle movement and a sensor connected to her ears. Typically, they try to disguise the advanced material in worlds where the technology doesn’t yet exist using whatever local materials they can get ahold of to cover them.

Dæmon Personality:

Eve, like Archy, is an intellectual forced to learn fear and protectiveness. She’s acted as his protector, sounding board, and occasional rescuer throughout their travels. When they’ve been ambushed, they’ve fought together, when they were scheming something she refined their plans and played the devil’s advocate, and on a few occasions, helped to break him out of various jails and sticky situations. Left to her own devices, she’s always planning on her own. Who will turn against them next, what will go wrong, and what best will get them through their present struggles?


____________________________________________

Role Play Sample:

Today was going to be a good day.

Archy and Eve had come upon a fairly peaceful area for once. It was the back woods of Pennsylvania far into the north. In an advanced world it would take you no less than an hour to move between towns, if you had a car to zip around at breakneck speeds in. Big stores like WalliesWorld and MacD’s Burgers were a special two hour trip deep into the towns farther to the south or a three hour trip into New York. There were dirt roads and farmers fields and you would have to rely on them at some point to get where you were going.

This was right about where the duo emerged. They were far up one of the hills, shrouded in trees as it overlooked the valley below, wide swatches of farmers’ fields and a town far in the distance on a small lake. It was even the peak of summer, meaning highs in the 80’s and lows in the 60’s. They could camp and relax without too much to worry about and venture into town if they needed anything. For explorers like them, it was a pretty ideal arrangment.

Looking down at the valley, Archy pulled his binoculars from one of his vest pockets. Ahead and below was an asphalt road, there were cars in this world just like his and Will’s. Life here had developed on a similar path to his own or perhaps it was his own in one of the calm times. Eve didn’t know, she didn’t have the exact memories of their homeworld. To her, it was just another forest, another valley, and another town.

“Alright, lets head up top and see about camp” the human said, putting the binoculars away and proceeding up the steep hill. It’d be more accurate to call it a mountain. That’s what the southerners called the area, ‘we’re going up into the mountains’ they’d say. “If we’re lucky, there’ll be a spring or something. Save us from having to go carrying water uphill.”

“I’d rather a cabin” Eve said, “if we’re going to have a vacation here, it’d better be a nice one.”

“Well, we could strike it right on the head and find an empty one to break into” he answered, continuing his ascent. As he rounded the top, he began to see wood, supports, roofing, and finally, buildings. Instantly, he snapped to alertness. This could be a trap, this could be a problem, this could be anything. Though, as much as he looked, no one was around.

Eve backed off to take cover in the woods. If there were hunters here or if this world had no daemons, or at least, no visible ones, she would pose a challenge to explain. Archy moved on alone, wandering around buildings here and there, until a park ranger of some sort found him.

“You look’n for trouble, bub?”

He froze and turned slowly to see who or what had found him. It was a human, though she had no daemon or else she had an insect for a daemon. “No, no” he said calmly, “I’m heading north, I figured I could save time just going right over this hill. I didn’t know anything was up here.”

“No one does, at least, not in the summer, this is a skii resort.”

“Really now? I don’t suppose you have any vacancy then in any of these cabins?”



Before too long, Archy had their cabin. Eve would be quite pleased. He could already feel her tail flitting around in the woodline. She was an interesting puzzle, a tough as nails girl who had a thing for some of the simple niceties. It tended to help her relax.

Once the ranger had moved on, he smuggled Eve into the cabin, watching to be sure no one had spotted her. Inside she immediately went to the A/C and nosed at it until the temperature was set to the fifties. It’d make it rough to go outside, but quite enjoyable indoors. “Now THIS is the way to go” she said, “and we’re only paying for one head.”

“Between the two of us, I doubt we’ve got half that” Archy said, dropping his rucksack, backpack, and such before walking over and undoing the straps that held her ruck sack on and then undoing her camelBak and vest, “makes it a bit of a ripoff.”

“For ten bucks a night, that’s a damn cheap ripoff” she answered, stretching out now as she was free of her burden. She jumped up on th couch and rolled over on her side happily. “And how long do we get the luxury suites?”

“Just a week, but that should be long enough to figure out our next move and get going,” he sat on the couch next to her, leaning over and almost user her neck as a pillow. Her fur was always so soft and comfortable. It calmed him down just to relax there in that cool little house atop that cool little hill. Years ago, he’d nearly died when she appeared but now, he’d say it was worth the risk.

“A week, a month, an eternity” she answered, they knew the time would blow by in a heartbeat and then they’d be back out in the woods, back hunting, and back to looking for a job to do. Last time it was helping the AII with a drug bust… and before that helping the IIA cover a failed one up. She chuckled, “if we were to EVER get a real job, the resume would look like a spilled bunch of letters, regardless of what world we’re in.”

“Is the snow leopard, relaxing in high power A/C, in a private cabin in the middle of the woods complaining about our income and generous… benefactors?” he asked, looking at her smuggly.

“No” she answered simply before shifting around some. Before Archy had much chance to move, his daemon was half laying on him and holding him to the couch. Her revenge for him countering her point about their employers. Just like any other cat, she was getting comfy regardless of what was in her way. It was just like when cats jump on a computer keyboard or repeatedly into a person’s lap, except that she weighed 150 pounds and was much better at staying in place.

“Good night Eve” Archy sighed, getting comfortable. A nap would be nice after all that walking and the work of getting to this world in the first place. It was midday and it was bedtime.

“Good night Archy.”
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