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|Mediocris (Chapter 2)
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|Author:||Chichindrich [ Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:45 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Mediocris (Chapter 2)|
The sun rose over Forumopolis, bathing the city in its golden rays. Users dragged themselves out of bed, went about their routines, their motions, their lives. Doing what they had always done, morning, after morning, after morning. Going places they had been a thousand times over, all out of habit. All for the sake of
It becomes hard to notice things, when all is the same. There may be new people, a new place every now and again, perhaps even a new feeling, if one gets lucky. But it is only a matter of time before it too gets pressed into
Did anyone notice the boat offshore? Doubtful, at best. It was only a boat. Just like the others, stationed at the docks. Why should it be any different? Yet, it was. Ironic, that the whole of what will be, may never have been, if someone could distinguish from
For the figure standing at the helm was anything but that. He, for it was indeed a man, stood at a similar height, similar features, and similar clothing. But one could not look at him, very closely, and think that he was not
The figure straightened, his dark, tattered cape billowing in the morning breeze. He silently walked to the rafts onboard. He spoke only a few words to the captain.
“Be ready. When I am in position, the stroke must fall.”
Minutes later, a small raft deposited its one-man crew at the docks. Minus his cape, he blended in well. No one looked at him very closely, for none wanted to take the effort to break from
Amazing. What was once a luxury will soon be forgotten. Amazing, what people will be willing to risk, betray, destroy, and sacrifice, just so things can be
Yet, this story is not about them, for they shall get nowhere. No, to save what is lost, to redeem what is gone, it will take those, who truly are
Above the Average.
They say that there is no greater city than Forumopolis in all the lands of the internet. Coincidentally, over ninety percent of “they” tend to live in Forumopolis. But the other ten percent say it’s not bad. Situated on the inner part of the tip of a cape, it is an epicenter for, well, everything. The overland routes stretching through the northern grasslands all come through the city eventually. With the sea to the east and south, it is unrivaled in naval trade. Such a town would seem a prime target for pirates, bandits, or even other cities, but miraculously, the city has never seen war. With such a large income, Forumopolis has the finest defenses anywhere. Its security forces are limitless, its fleets vast, and its leadership, wise. From the Council Halls, the crown jewel in the center of the city, the Administrators and Moderators sit unparalleled in power and might. Yes, the city was indeed grand, but it is doubtful Douglas is noticing any of it, as his alarm has just gone off.
Loud, high-pitched blaring, the universal language of “wake up long before you want to”, filled Douglas’s apartment. Shuffling under the covers, he rummaged for the off button. Rising sleepily, he slowly donned his daily clothes, jeans and whatever shirt happened to be on top of the pile that morning. He was heading to the kitchen when he noticed something about his pockets. After a quick rummage, he groaned. Of all the things to feel in your pockets, one of the worst is an empty space where a wallet used to be. He grabbed his keys and rushed out the door, thinking to himself, Wait, why is my alarm on? It’s Saturday! Ugh, this is the last time I try to drink 15 root beers in one night…well, maybe the second to last time.
After thinking over where he could have left it, Gizmo’s Bar was suspect number one. As he walked, Douglas looked at the morning sky with dread. Another day, another frustration. Something had been bothering him for the past month or so. He was pretty well-off by any standard. He worked in the Council Hall, namely as a liaison. The pay was good, weekends off, and you were usually home by eight. Despite all this, he had been feeling a bit off. Something just wasn’t right. Life was good, but there was an indescribable something missing. Approaching the door, he thought, What is wrong with me? I thought this feeling would just pass, but that was a month ago…Thoroughly discouraged, he stepped into Gizmo’s.
Gizmo’s bar was famous for one thing: the odd ability to serve a customer anything he asked for, provided it was food. The saying went, “If you order it, and we don’t have it, it’s free!” To this day, no one has scored a free nothing. Douglas walked in. There were still a few early birds about, but the bar was mostly empty. After a quick, unsuccessful search of the place, he sat down in his usual spot, wondering if it was possible he world was conspiring to make his life miserable. Gizmo (the owner since the dawn of time) walked over, sensing his distress.
“So, you forgot something last night?” A nod.
“Hmm, wouldn’t happen to be this?” the bartender said, plucking a wallet from his pocket. “I noticed you left it here, so I made sure nobody stole it.”
“Oh, um, thanks.” He quickly took his wallet back and resumed studying the counter.
“You know, you look a bit more troubled than usual. Indigestion from those thirteen root beers you had last night? Good try by the way. Thought you were really going to do it this time.”
“No. My stomach’s fine.”
“Worried about the riots? They’ve been getting out of hand as of late. Council’s been talking about sending some of our own troops to help.”
Douglas thought over this one for a while. Sure he was worried, who wasn’t? The administration in the town next over, Bonus Stage, seemed to have gone insane as of late. Higher taxes, absurd restricted access for most of the city, no wonder the people were running wild.
“I don’t think so. I mean, I am concerned that they might come here, but I don’t think that’s it.” He sighed. “Gizmo, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve got a good job, nice apartment, anything anyone could wish for. But I just feel…out of it. I feel like I’m missing something, I don’t enjoy things as much anymore. I live like I always have, hoping that I’ll wake up one day and magically be better.”
Gizmo slowly nodded, then said, “You know, maybe your solution could be your problem.”
Mentally, Douglas rolled his eyes. Typical. The barkeep knows all the answers to life’s questions, but it’s easier to figure out the answer yourself than to get him to talk straight. “Whatever. See you later, Gizmo.” He climbed off of his seat, and walked outside, watching as the sun rose higher in the sky over yet another day.
|Author:||Chichindrich [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:25 am ]|
If you were to go to the Roffle Waffle at approximately 10:00 am on a Saturday, order breakfast, and sit in the far back corner, you will have unwittingly disturbed a good amount of the general populous. Why? Because Mr. Sparkle will have to sit somewhere else than his usual spot, because Schmelen took his seat, because Rusty took her seat, because Pizza Trophy took his seat, because topofsm took her seat, all because Ath-a-late, whom seat you have just taken, took his seat. But you’re not in this story yet, so life goes on as normal.
Ath-a-late (or Ath, as most people call her) was going about her usual morning rituals, which mainly consisted of eating waffles at the Roffle Waffle and reading the daily newspaper. She grimaced at the headline: “Police Fighting Rioters, Bancount Over 500”. She was about to read further when she heard someone say, “Excuse me, is this seat taken?” Shadowfox was attempting to balance his waffle tray, paper, and coffe, and wasn’t faring too well. “No, go right ahead. I’ll be finishing up soon.” After a short awkward silence he asked, “Well, it’s good that those rioters are getting put in line.”
Ath shook her head. “But did it have to come to this? I mean, 500 banned is nothing to sneeze at. A lot of people here have friends and even distant relatives over there. I think if it just becomes a war zone, then nobody wins.”
“Would you rather that, or an anarchy where hundreds, if not thousands more would have suffered?”
“I would have rather the government shape up and take back control with as little bloodshed as possible!” With the small talk crashing and burning, she finished her breakfast and rushed out the door.
In comparison to our last player in this soon to be ending exposition, Ath was a bit worse off. She was the janitor at the local museum, The Archives. She got along well enough, perhaps not as well as Douglas, but that was good enough for her. Happy was her usual mood, with mildly disgruntled being the usual worst she got to.
When The Archives grew nearer in sight, Ath immediately knew something was wrong. The police tape across the front door, not to mention the 20 some-odd squad cars parked in front might have helped a little. The curator (the newly promoted IantheGecko) was sitting on the front step with an officer.
“Now, you are absolutely sure that everything was locked up last night?”
“Yes. Everything was locked. I checked them myself.”
“Have you had any recent layoffs? Anybody with a grudge to settle?”
“No, not to my knowledge.”
Ath stood to the side, away from the action, just observing. Ian was allowed to leave, and he spotted her. Running over, he asked, “Ath! When did you get here? Were you working last night? Did notice anything weird? How about out of the ordinary? Conspicuous? Striking? Think hard! Was there anything suspicious going on?!”
“Calm down Ian! What’s happened?”
He took a few deep breaths, then continued, “I’m sorry. I’ve been running about since this morning, and I haven’t gotten time to even breathe…I got a call from the head security that one of the exhibit’s pressure sensors had gone off. When I got here, I found what had happened: somebody managed to sneak in without tripping the alarm, replace the artifact with a ball of identical weight, and sneak out. All without being caught on tape! The only reason the alarm went off is because his weight fell off the podium.”
“But, but, that’s…impossible!”
“I’ve been telling myself that since this morning. The very foundations of The Archives is on solid rock. No way in there. There’s no sign of a forced entry, and everything’s been locked. I just can’t imagine how anything could have gotten through.”
“What was stolen?”
Ian frowned. “It’s odd, really. If it were me, I’d have gone for the expensive stuff. Turns out all the thief wanted was that weird stone thing. You know, the one that the team of archeologists brought from their last dig.”
She nodded. Everyone on staff knew about that one. A month or two ago, a strange, perfectly round stone was brought in. All tests to check its age, composition, and purpose were failing horribly. Good thing for the museum though. Nothing brings in the crowds and money like some mystery artifact.
Ian sighed. “I guess this means that The Archives will be closed until further notice. Looks like you got an early vacation this year.” He trudged off inside. Walking along the sidewalk, Ath thought to herself, Well this is a fine mess. I wonder who stole that stone? They can’t sell it, far too recognizable. And as far as we know, it has no feasible use…Why even bother… She was so deep in thought, she nearly ran into a passerby. “Whoa! Sorry about tha—Douglas!? What are you doing here?”
“Hmm? Oh. Saw the flashing lights and thought something was up. What’s going on?” She related the events as best as she could. Douglas mulled it over, then said, “Well that’s weird. What was stolen?”
She was about to respond when her intuition kicked in. Not sure if it’s legal/will get me fired. Best play it safe. “Uh, I’m…not sure. I’m only the janitor. Speaking of occupations, shouldn’t you be at work? It’s almost 11.”
“I thought I told you before, guess not. I get weekends off now.”
“Hey! Good for you! Man, I bet you’ll be mod before you know it!”
“Yeah, I guess…”
“You okay? You are decidedly not thrilled.”
“I don’t know. Just got a lot on my mind, I guess…”
He shuffled off, with slightly more than a pronounced slouch. Ath frowned. This was not the Douglas she remembered from when she last saw him. Come to think of it, where’s he been for the last month? I don’t remember seeing him at all… “Douglas! Wait!” she called out as she ran after him.
Okay, so obviously, my "once-a-week" isn't working. I'll do my best to update bi-weekly, or whenever I finish the next chapter.
|Author:||Dndrhead [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:29 am ]|
Is there like..A sing up or something?
|Author:||Chichindrich [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:06 am ]|
No. If there was, I would have said so in the first post. If I need characters, I'll post something at the end of a chapter.
|Author:||DS_Kid [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:12 am ]|
Pretty good stuffs. You folks make me want to work on my Forumfic more often.
|Author:||Dndrhead [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:06 am ]|
Was just wondering...
And..This is just too...Well, I'll give it a "Fair" an "Average". =P
|Author:||Chichindrich [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:06 pm ]|
And don't worry. It gets a LOT less emo later on.
|Author:||Capt. Ido Nos [ Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:01 pm ]|
What are you talking about? Emo is all the rage these days!
|Author:||IantheGecko [ Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:59 pm ]|
Awesome sauce. I forgot about this story. ^^;
|Author:||Capt. Ido Nos [ Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:20 pm ]|
Apparantly, so has Chichi. What gives, little rooskie koala?
|Author:||netzen [ Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:19 am ]|
This is good, you need to keep it up.
|Author:||Chichindrich [ Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:17 pm ]|
Holy Snapplejacks, Batman! It's actual interest!
Ummmm. To be honest, Junior year is sort of happening now...Fortunately, that will all be done with this Friday, so I'll try to crank out the next chapter over the break. I'm not promising any sort of regular updates, but I'll try to do some more work on it. The next chapter's a little tricky, but I've got it semi-well planned out afterwards. Haven't forgotten it yet!
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