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Thread: Beyond the Second World: The First Knight [Rated M] (IC)

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    Default Beyond the Second World: The First Knight [Rated M] (IC)

    OOC
    Rated M for mature themes, abusive and foul language, drugs, alcohol sex and other related themes


    “Welcome to the first annual World-Con. Tickets please?” Receptionists asked the guests lining up long enough to wrap around the massive building. The phrasing repeated itself as more and more joined in, the area growing as those chatted and laughed, the atmosphere overjoyed at the excitement of the event. Located in one of the largest convention centers built in Cali, people from all over had begun to flock to the location. Local leaders and pioneers in scientists could be seen mingling with gaming presidents and internet personalities. Even hollywood actors had come to admire the event, figuring publicity this huge could make them famous around the world as the event finally opened to the populace at large.

    The hot humid air outside competed with the cooling A/C held inside the hotel, the Californian air only serving to push people inside.

    “Greetings and welcome to the first annual World-Con!” The host bellowed into the mic, getting cheers and shouts from the packed auditorium. His voice echoed true around the room from hidden speakers, his image displayed on big screens dotted around the football sized room, lush carpeting still cleaned from the day prior.

    The massive atrium held avenues to all the major events, having become a staple to the world of sports and science for all. Boasting nothing but praise, the Guidesman Hotel was the pinnacle of comfort for its guests.yet was a beacon for hospitality and comfort, beating out some of the most expensive for their prices.

    “First off, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for coming to this momentous event. We here at the Guidesman Hotel are more than excited to host the first one of a kind event, one that aims to better the world we live in! In just a few hours, the conventions and panels will open up soon, and I’m more than eager to visit a few myself. First and foremost though, I would like to announce our gracious creator of this event, and allow him a few words of joy, Mr. Lekey!” Mr. Guides rattled on, motioning his hands to the side. Shifting spotlights spun and moved, highlighting a cloaked figure resting on the side of the stage. As the crowd applauded and cheered, Lekey gave them a friendly wave, mechanical arm shimmering in the lights as he moved towards center stage, followed by a halo of lights around the stage.

    “Thank you Mr. Guides.” Lekey offered warmly as he took the mic in hand, waiting for the applause to die down so as to not scream just to be heard across the first row.

    “Before I get into it too much, there is a small story I wish to share. If you noticed my arm, you’d see its a prosthetic. I honestly lost my real arms in a war not long after birth. I lived in a small village, where these such beauties were unavailable for the longest time. It wasn’t until I moved to the larger cities that I even had a chance. I was elated when I got these, as they opened a whole new world to me, one previously beyond my grasp.” Lekey started, getting a few sympathetic chuckles at his joke. Clearing his throat he started up again.

    “Over the years I have seen both the beauty and carnage in the world, from leaps and bounds in technology and social desires, yet all swallowed by the ravages of war. I want to change that, and this will be the first to do that. This event, not only is it a chance for all to gather, from sports fans to robot enthusiasts, I want this to show the world the good it truly can do. That not all must be war and carnage.” Lekey spoke bravely into the mic, his eyes glimmering with a light that boasted a true passion, one that could inspire others with just a look. The room had fallen silent, eating up his words and held with bated breath on what was to follow.

    “Finally, that dream has come true, and I can see all my hard work come to fruition. A full week of the best and brightest showing the world that everything can be solved by just talking, that nothing is out of our grasps if we truly put our minds to it.”

    “So, I wish to formally welcome, and finally begin, the first World-Con. Let me hear the joy that you all have, that each and everyone of you feels here to celebrate what the world could, should, and shall accomplish! Let even the heavens know of your passion!” Lekey commanded into the mic. He was met with a wall of sound, reaching into the rafters, rattling the very stones that surrounded them. Voices blended into a cacophony of joy that pulsed from every being like a wave around them.

    “Let the World-Con BEGIN!”

    "Even Dreams, can be a nightmare"
    Spoiler: Click it, I dare ya! 




  2. #2
    Your daily overdose of cute
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    Gwen held tightly to Toby's handle as she listened to the insistent rumble of hundreds maybe a thousand all talking at once. She could make out a few words, occasionally a shout but for the most part it was just wordless noise in the back ground. She gave a small start though when a new voice was clearly heard, welcoming them and then it got quite. She listened quietly to the passionate voice speaking to her about his wishes, his desire for this event. It was quite moving. She wanted the same thing to, but a part of her really doubted that it could be obtained so... easily. She supposed though that nothing worth achieving was easy.

    "That's quite the dream, isn't it?" Her father whispered to her. She cocked her head in his direction with a slight smile. "Well, with the sound of so many people here I'm going to assume its working." "Right, right." Her father chuckled.As the crowed erupted into the loudest roar yet Gwen had to clamp her hands over her ears to muffle some of it and she could feel Toby shift at her feet, another whine lost to the roar of the crowed. When the noise finely died down she pat him. "Me to bud, Me to."

    The sound of people getting up and filing out of the atrium was a clamor of sounds on its own. peoples voices talking in a mesh of whispers, laughter and yelling from one person to another. So much noise. she rubbed Toby's nose as she and her father waited for the crowds to thin out a bit before they started to get out of their seats. "Where should we go first?" Her father asked. Gwen tilted her head towards the ground as she thought. "You still have the schedule?" she asked.

    She waited as she listened to the rustle of paper being pulled out of a pocket and being unfolded as they paused out in the hall. People bustling past them. "Lets see." He mumbled fiddling with the pages. "We could go to the the music convention." "Ordinarily I would, but with this many people I doubt I'll be able to enjoy the music." She responded quietly.

    "Look! awww its a dog!" Gwen's face took on a small frown at the familier words. A kid who didn't know better was one thing, but young adults who should know by looking at his vest really annoyed her when they tried to come up to her working dog. "Hi puppy." Was there two people? No she was cretin she could hear three. She pulled Toby back from the offered hands she was sure they were stretching out. "Please, Leave him alone, he's working." She said quietly.

    "Are there any conventions for ..." she paused. "people like me?" she asked her father who hummed as he started flipping through the pamphlet. Toby grumbled and Gwen could make out the soft cooing sounds just below her. She pulled Toby back behind her. "Please, Leave him alone." she repeated. "I don't see you going anywhere." was the sulky reply. Gwen sighed before she reached out for her father, taking the sleeve of his shirt and clicking her tongue to signal Toby that they were moving.
    P.K.'s character locker ~ P.K.'s word works ~ P.K.'s Idea store

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  3. #3
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    As the last words left Mr. Lekey's mouth, TJ slipped a hand over her lips to stiffle a giggle. "...know your effing passion..." she paraphrased, her giggling intensifying. The speaker was really on a roll, and she was finding it hard to suppress her laughter. ...and the people were all in... A callused hand fell onto her knee, firm pressure applied until she turned her head to look at her "friend" Jimmy. Her brows lifted in question as she struggled to get control.

    "Just how much did you take?" he asked as he stared intently at her dilated pupils, his mouth set in a frown. "You need to settle down doll, we got work to do. Can't just dip into the supplies like that..." He gave a firm tug on her arm as he yanked her to her feet, the crowd starting to push past the last row of seats. "Put on your dealer face...and mingle..."

    TJ nodded, finally managing to get her feet settled under her. She was feeling no pain...or remorse. Two hits of acid had her feeling just fine...and ready to tackle her fear of crowds. It had been a daunting task just to get her out of the car, and Jimmy had told her to get herself in shape. So she had...but perhaps it had been a bit much. Giggling again, she straightened her back and wiggled her way into the herd of cattle, pretending to be one of them, knowing she actually looked the part for once. She had a fresh shower under her belt and some new clothes, compliments of Jimmy. Even her hair looked good, all fluffed and shiny with a recent cut. Her NIN t-shirt was the bomb and the tight fighting black Levi's made her feel almost normal. Almost...

    Allowing herself to be guided outside with the push of the throng, TJ took a look around her, her expression one of wonder. She had never expected to find herself in such a place, the offer from Jimmy coming as a surprise after she had gotten herself the boot at work. Just a silly altercation with the new manager, a few coarse words spoken a little too loudly, and out she went...and after she had given the diner a few of her best years. Hah! No matter, she was in a better place. She suppressed a smile, finally putting on her work face to appear approachable and friendly. Such a hassle... It didn't take her long to read the crowd, moving amongst the horde towards a potential buyer. Her red-rimmed eyes and casual saunter were a trademark of hers when she was feeling fine. Lightly brushing her hand against the long-haired man's arm to get his attention, she looked up into his face.

    "Looking to party?" she asked with the slightest of grins.

  4. #4
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    "Well at least there's booze." Zeke grumbled around his whiskey and coke glass as he was hunched over the long crescent shaped bar on the bottom floor of the convention hall. Somehow, his buddy Carl had talked him into hopping on a plane and flying out to Commiefornia where a guy like Zeke could be arrested for simply saluting the flag or being paler skinned. So far he'd been lucky, there were lots of fancy screens and shiny toys to distract the blue-haired crazies from jumping on his back and trying to dox his googlespace or something.

    Still one thing this cesspool of Neo Socialism has going for it was pretty girls in swimsuits. Which alongside the booze might make this "nay-cation" tolerable. He tossed another few bucks on the bar and took his class for a walk. All this was like pig Latin to the dusty cowpoke, he wasn't sure how drunk he was when Carl talked him into this. Probably had something to do with Carl winning the tickets and not having a girlfriend to drag along, so he picked the one currently unemployed friend he had and wined and dined him with offers of booze and babes. Such a cruel world in which we live.

    He cringed lightly at the announcement "official" opening the World-Con. "Y'all a little late, ole Zeke's been here for a spell already." He drawled to himself as he took a wide path around some overweight people dressed up in costumes of some kind. They looked like robots..or cats...or catbots...or roats the Southern man didn't know all he did know is they looked like they were gonna just and take his picture and you just can't allow that when across enemy lines like this. He supposed he could throw his drink at them, but that's sacrilege and a waste of Southern Comfort. So with a low grumble he meandered around glancing at the displays. Nothing very interesting...or at least nothing he knew a lick about. But the A/C was nice.

    Eventually he found himself in front the stage and the biiiiig screen the Silicone valley fop was still up there. The loudspeakers made his ears hurt, so he moved on and considering there was some obviously wasted filly turning tricks through the crowd prolly best he avoid her ass as well. These city folk don't take too kindly to Southern Honesty.
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 07-28-2019 at 08:08 PM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Shatter the fools and walk the path towards the Light.



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  5. #5
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    Default Co-op (Moon and Siks) Brawls and booze

    With one sale under her belt, TJ surveyed the crowd again, snickering when she saw the cowboy that glanced her way. He stood out...like a sore thumb...as the saying went, and she decided to follow him for a bit, her curiosity peaked. It was like forcing her way through molasses, the crowd too dense to properly navigate. If not for his hat, she would have lost him. And that would have been a shame. She came up behind the well-built man after a short while, her hand grabbing at his shirt.

    “Hey cowboy...looking for something?”

    Curse his desire to not waste good whiskey! Trying to protect his glass as he dodged around the sweaty masses of the convention center. The chick from the crowd had locked onto his rugged features and thought he would be an easy mark!

    Too bad for her Zeke was broke as fuck! But he didn’t need to let her know that, so using any evasive maneuvers he could, he led her away and hopefully towards some security. But the gold digging urge was strong with this one and she got her meat hooks in. Now normally Zeke was a regular gentlemen, his momma raised him right with manners between lessons on how to skin and gut wild boars. But he was a surly drunk. Pulling away he stumbled slightly pointing his almost full glass her way.

    “Naw you g-ge-et on back to yor street corner ya’hear!” He slurred trying to get away.

    TJ paused, her face screwing up something fierce as his accusation hit home. Just who did he think he was? She flipped him the bird, then swung at the glass in his hand.

    “What the fuck? Up yours asshole!”

    Zeke half stumbled half dodged the assault on his booze downing the glass in one gulp before pointing at her again.

    “No!..*hic* I ain’t gonna pay to put it up yours! And you...do…*hic* just try to assault a man’s bever..bever...booze!” He slammed the empty glass into a trashcan trying to pick which of the three women before him to glare at...he chose the one on the right.

    TJ shook her head, a predatory smile coming to her features as she watched the drunk man try to put together a coherent sentence. She was high, but good, as long as she didn’t try to move too fast, her brain buzzing at incredible speeds. She moved in closer...slowly...finding herself almost nose to nose with the asshole.

    “You take it back, you fucking twat, I ain’t a whore.”

    As the filly moved closer Zeke reacted with lighting speed...or at least as close to that as he could...some number of drinks in. Grabbing her shoulder or part of her chest he quickly wheeled back and headbutted her. The headbutt sailed a little wide but still conked the side of his forehead onto the side of her forehead. Still he pushed her back glaring at the right woman this time. “Well...ob..ob...bvoisly not a good one. Y’all usually got...curve…*hic* Unless...a..j--j--hhon is fixn’ for...a *hic*...boy.” He staggered back placing his hand against a column trying to remember to glare at the middle girl.

    She back-peddled a few steps, catching her balance when she collided with another man, his hands uprighting her with a quick motion. He asked after her, his words ignored as she bellowed in rage. She ran forward...a mistake...and slammed her body into his with full force...another mistake. She tripped over her own feet, her body way ahead of her brain as she sought to seek revenge. “Feel ups ain’t free asshole…” she blurted, her own momentum halted by his chest. If he went, she was going too.

    The girl had more meat than Zeke expected, he wrapped his arms around her in a kind of bear hug, but she had hit him at one of those pesky one foot stumbles drunks are known for. She collided and he fell backwards into the empty space behind them. He landed hard on his back saving her from the brunt of the impact. She smells nice for a calico queen. He thought before he drunkenly rolled and pushed her away before backrolling to his ass his head and eyes swimming. “I ...already told ya...I...ain’t..*hic* payin’ for anythin’” Go-an’ tell...your...pimp he’s...got...better..l-lu-luc *hic* takin’ Pappy’s...moonshine...than...beddin’ me!”

    Infuriating little prick, TJ thought as she managed to get to her knees, a scowl plastered on her face and a glare in her eyes. “I wouldn’t bed ya’ iffin you was the last man on Ear…” she replied, her words cut short as she lost her balance and ended up back on the floor. She rubbed her forehead tenderly, her reaction to his headbutt a bit delayed. “Stupid cowpoke asshole...sonofabitch...that hurts. When Jimmy finds out...you’re gonna be toast.” Again she rose to her knees, using the pole Zeke had been leaning on to right herself. She wiped at her seat of her jeans out of habit, her head lifting as she thought to throw another jab, her eyes catching a familiar face instead, narrowed blues aimed in her direction.

    “Jimmy…” she breathed, torn between feeling relief or dismay. Her hands went up defensively. “It wasn’t my fault...he came after me…” she said, pointing directly at the only cowboy in sight.

    Zeke had managed to get back to his feet looking to make a hasty exit, but found himself somehow in a corner by a closed off staircase. It was then the woman’s pimp showed, he wasn’t much to look at. Looked more like a crackhead or pizza delivery boy than a pimp. No crushed velvet suit or big feather in his hat, but this is the modern day, pimps gotta change with the times too.

    Jimmy glared at the teetering cowboy his fist clenching and his mind racing. He couldn’t just let some honky hurt his fuck buddy, but this guy was jacked and even drunk he didn’t look like he’d be a pushover. But this could be a great way to get some free sex out of TJ instead of cutting into his stock and profits to get her pants off. It was decided then, stepping between the two Jimmy said in his best authoritative voice.

    “Ok asshole! Think you’re a big man huh? Pushing around women? Time to teach you some manners!” Others had gathered around the sight of the small confrontation, all kinds of rubberneckers and phonesnappers. Zeke sighed heavily he was getting sober and this shit was getting old. “Listen *hic*...here…*hic* you stupid fuckin’...fuck. I-I ain’t got time for you an’ your...your whore!”

    Jimmy scoffed and charged Zeke swinging a wild haymaker for his face. Even in his drunken state the cowboy saw it coming. Lifting his left arm he blocked the hit then slammed the palm of his hand squarely into the man’s diaphragm knocking the wind out of him and putting him onto his ass before he staggered back his arms swinging weakly looking for the next target.

    The short time that transpired between getting to her feet and Jimmy standing up for her honor was enough for TJ to get a little sense back into her head and she realized it was time to stand down. Her “boyfriend” was struggling to his feet and the cowboy was waiting for the next attack. She got between them, putting an arm out in either direction. Already they were surrounded by spectators looking for first blood and it was only a matter of time before security arrived. Bad news did not even describe what would happen if she or Jimmy was caught with their stash.

    “He’s ain’t worth it,” she said as her hand was taken and pushed to the side. “Jimmy…” she tried again...and then the blonde was moving past her, knocking into her only enough to slide her away. “Jimmy! We need to go!”

    The dealer swung again, Zeke’s face the target. He feigned to the left, striking a boxer’s pose and swung a second time. But his luck ran out, the first strike hitting the man’s lower jaw, which was like stone, but the second hitting mid air. He growled, determined to make good on his heroic deed.

    Zeke grunted at the hit, then quickly followed with a quick uppercut before his powerful hand grabbed Jimmy’s neck lifting him high into the air before smashing him headfirst into the hard floor, the sudden movement making his head swim causing the man to fall backwards himself, finding himself stumbling down the closed staircase. His drunken body thudded and a series of angry curses barked up from the darkness.

    Sudden silence...TJ stood frozen for a few beats and then she rushed to Jimmy’s side. He seemed dazed, but at least he was conscious. The cowboy was obviously alive as well, his voice from the lower level full of venom. Space was becoming limited, the crowd closing in, and the girl felt her anxiety climbing. She pulled at Jimmy’s arm, urging him to stand, trying to ignore the blood that was streaming from his nose. “We gotta go,” she pleaded. “We can find him later...exact revenge...spike his drink. Whatever.” She doubted he was in any shape to take another swing at the cowboy, especially since he was no longer in sight, but knowing him like she did, she knew he hated to lose...at anything. She slipped his arm around her shoulders, helping him walk towards the lobby bathroom, casting one last glimpse towards the spot the other man had fallen.

  6. #6
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    Matt was more than excited to finally have made it, if not a bit tired. The flight had been exceedingly long, and being so used to night shift left his days feeling rather exhausting. Right now though, excitement was keeping him awake enough to listen to the speech by Lekey, strange as it was. A sign of altruism that he had ever seen. Despite that, he couldn't help getting swept up in the crowd and enjoying every moment of it. The words had his heart pounding the entire time he listened, and the crowd only made it more unreal the whole situation. Never did he imagine being able to see a scientist sitting with a cosplayer, next to a gun-nut. He was pretty sure he had even seen a cowboy chilling somewhere with a drink in his hands. A scene out of some cliche anime for sure.

    "This is gonna be a great week." Matt cheered to himself as the crowd began to move, joining the throng of people after giving his body a full length stretch and feeling muscles pop and roll under the skin. The crowd was thick, moving like a massive wave towards the doors and ready to explore the event. Matt himself was thinking of hitting up a quick shower before doing so, hoping the hot water would be enough to wake him up more, and take care of the jet lag from getting here.

    Though the plans for a shower got delayed when roped into the bottleneck of people watching a confrontation building. The cowboy from earlier was now in a spat with some woman, maybe his date. The woman struck something in his mind, but couldn't place it as he watched the two argue some before they started throwing hits and each other.

    *So much for the hope for humanity* Matt thought bitterly as the argument escalated into a fight, and even worse as a new man entered the field. Even if he didnt want to, he knew the man, the local drug dealer who had half his team hooked on some sort of drug. Looking to the girl, thats when it clicked. She was his arm candy and potentially a dealer on the side. Matt was already thinking of calling out to them, but thought better. He was here for a good time, and didn't need to get involved in something like this.

    As the fight grew worse, Matt was a bit shocked to see Jimmy knocked flat, and the Cowboy sent rolling down the stairs, punctuated with a string of impressive swears. IF he ever did get a chance to meet him, Matt wanted to learn those words for his workplace, maybe even use them to scare off Jimmy from his workers.

    "Well, shows over and time to shower up." Matt spoke to himself as he could see security finally push through the crowd, one peeling off to follow the couple who headed towards the bathroom to make sure they weren't too badly injured, and the others to check upon the health of the drunken cowboy.

    "Even Dreams, can be a nightmare"
    Spoiler: Click it, I dare ya! 




  7. #7
    The Art Vandal

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    Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

    Time: 0700.
    Morning Before World Con Festival.
    26 Hours Before Expected Deportation.


    ♪ ♫ ♪

    Through the halls of a mediocre apartment complex, the sound of music blared from a barely furnished studio flat on the highest floor level.

    ♪ ♫ ♪

    It was a sound that came from the wee little nest that Roisin Rushe (aka Voyager Extraordinaire) had called home for the last six weeks—her possessions barely surpassing that which could be carried in a backpacker’s rucksack. Well, unless one counted her drunken purchase of a Batman Deluxe Toddler Sofa Set, her assortment of colourful posters that brightened the otherwise blank white walls, and of course…

    Betsy, the Viper’s Bowstring hemp plant that Ro had been nurturing for some weeks, hoping that a commitment to take care of something outside herself would bring some semblance of responsibility into her wayward life. So far she had managed to not kill Betsy, which the cheerful Irish chickity was pretty damn proud of, if she did say so herself. Why... she even felt like a regular green thumb, she did.

    Time to turn up the music.

    ♪ ♫ ♪

    Sure, it was a wee bit early in the morning for such noise, buuuut... one little song wouldn’t hurt anyone... right?

    Besides, she had to return her key to her landlord in an hour and then she would be gone forever. So it was okay. (By the way, Roisin tends to exaggerate at times, so GONE FOREVER was probably a bit of a stretch, but still. From what she’d heard, a five year ban—or something—was likely, so it might as well have been forever, eh?)

    Oh well. Irregardless of what the future held, worrying seemed as pointless now as it ever did to the little bird. So instead she simply turned the shower knob that she was currently standing beside, peeled off her pajamas, and stepped into the steam and cascading water that looked so inviting and cloud-like.

    A girl’s gotta be clean before journeying into the down and dirty streets of Washington for her last hoooorah! And hopefully a root beer float. I’m really going to miss those once I’m back in Ireland.

    As the tempo of the song began to rise, Ro broke into a little two step as she started to soap up her hair. This side-to-side bob quickly evolved into a full blown shimmy, as she absentmindedly sang along to the foreboding lyrics that accompanied the otherwise upbeat melody:




    I took a little journey to the unknown
    And I come back changed
    I can feel it in my bones
    I fucked with the forces that our eyes can't see
    Now the darkness got a hold on me
    Holy darkness got a hold on me

    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh
    La-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da
    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh
    La-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da

    How long, baby, have I been away?
    Oh, it feels like ages
    Though you say it's only days
    There ain't language for the things I've seen, yeah
    And the truth is stranger than my worst dreams
    The truth is stranger than all my dreams

    Holy darkness got a hold on me
    I have seen what the darkness does
    Say goodbye to who I was
    I ain't never been away so long
    Don't look back
    Them days are gone

    Follow me into the endless night
    I can bring your fears to life
    Show me yours and I'll show you mine
    Meet me in the woods tonight

    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh
    La-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da
    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh
    La-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da

    Yeah, the truth is stranger than my own worst dreams

    Holy darkness got a hold on me
    I have seen what the darkness does
    Say goodbye to who I was
    I ain't never been away so long
    Don't look back
    Them days are gone

    Follow me into the endless night
    I can bring your fears to life
    Show me yours and I'll show you mine
    Meet me in the woods tonight

    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh
    La-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da
    Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh...


    ♪ ♫ ♪


    Oh.

    ...

    ...

    Dafuq?


    Startled out of her little song and dance, Rosie’s eyes shifted towards the wall directly to her right, from which a swift pounding of fists sounded from the wall shared with the apartment next door.

    “ROSIE... NOISE,” the raspy voice of an older female shouted before breaking out into a nicotine fit of coughs and cackling.

    “DO YOU FUCKING MIND?”

    Oh.

    ...

    ...

    Shhh... ugar.


    “I, uhrm. Shit. Sorry, Susan.”

    Roisin scrambled out of the shower to turn down the music, leaving water tracks behind with absolutely no intention of drying any of it up. “This is my... swan song?” the lass shouted up in jest to ‘Susan’ (which was not her neighbour’s actual name, but a nickname that Ro conjured up during their last run in) as she dried herself.

    At this precise moment, just outside her bathroom window directly opposite the pane of glass, a robin having its breakfast on the hanging feeder that had been filled with fresh seed a few days ago. Bird watching was just so mesmerising.

    “Don’t worry, Sue. You won’t be bothered by me much longer. Not after...”

    Spoiler: Tilting her head, Roisin soon became utterly distracted by the robin 

    ...today.

    Sticking her forehead up against the glass, Roisin sighed.

    This is the last time I’ll see you, she considered as she watched her feathered friend flutter its wings. What beautiful colours it had, ones that gleamed gently in the sun as it feasted in contentment. The robin had been a regular visitor to Roisin for some weeks and, just like her little studio nook, she felt rather sorry to say goodbye to the bird.
    Last edited by Leanna; 08-08-2019 at 05:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Little ball of fire
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    Charlie parked his rental car and sighed, trying not to calculate how much the company was going to charge him after he returned it in a week. Already, the shiny Mercedes SUV was covered in dirt and dust on the outside, the inside full of feathers, loose strands of hair and fur, a few spilled seeds and some other things that were typical of a vet who was - since his graduation - constantly on call. Since he had landed in California a few days ago, he was already invited to operate on a couple zoo animals in L.A. and San Francisco, administered mandatory shots as a large cat sanctuary, been asked to act as a consultant for a marine rescue and was now saddled with nursing a young lynx kitten after his mother abandoned him. With the creature too young to be introduced to the sanctuary, Charlie now had a constant companion with button cute features and a heart melting meow. Said beast was currently napping in the back seat inside his cage, cuddled among the blankets and the fluffy dog bed Charlie had acquired in order to reduce the kitten’s anxiety.

    Running a hand through his messy hair, he turned the engine off and slid out of the car, grabbing his messenger bag and slipping it over her head. Opening up the back seat, he slowly transported his sleepy companion from the large cage into a carry on, making sure that the bed the kitten seemed to love was comfortably tucked among the mesh.

    “Day one of seven buddy,” he smiled unenthusiastically, locking the car and starting towards the entrance, carrying the spacious cage with both arms. The security at the door frowned as he approached but by some miracle, Charlie had his badge out in the open so they let them through without much questioning. The younger one of the two security guards did follow the cage curiously but his job prevented him from focusing on the veterinarian for too long and soon his attention was drawn back to the people streaming into the huge convention centre attached to the grandiose hotel.

    Inside, the area was flooded with people as far as the eye could see. Men and women, children and elderly couples, cosplays and world-class professionals were all pushing their way through the crowds, trying to get to an auditorium or simply desiring to look at a particular stand that caught their attention. The whole area was stuffy even though the AC was working in overdrive and although the vents did force out cold air into the crowd, there was little they could do when so many people were present. Muttering curses under his breath, Charlie made his way towards the stand he was to be working with for this convention, elbowing when necessary and ignoring the surprised gasps and excited squeals as people noticed his companion. The kitten, now fully awake and curious, sat in the cage near to Charlie’s body and gazed around him with bright green eyes, his head turning this way and that.

    “Scuse me, coming through, no you can’t pet him, keep your fingers to yourself, thank you,” Charlie snapped out answers as though he was getting through a tongue twister, swatting away a few people too daft to hear him. Finally, half-dancing, half trying to avoid three elbows and two people about to step on him, he fell onto the booth, the kitten meowing in protest at the slight turbulence near the end of his journey.

    “You’re late, O’Neill,” Eleanor raised a thin eyebrow, looking at him with disapproval over her thin framed glasses. Dressed in classical conservative fashion with a white lab coat on top and her engraved nameplate attached to the front, she was exactly the kind of doctor that one associated with the words ‘research’ and ‘breakthrough’. And with absolutely no tolerance for fun, Charlie thought to himself quietly. “The conference started half an hour ago.”

    “I had to feed Berlioz,” Charlie responded, reaching into the cage to fish out the kitten who sniffed the air around him curiously, his eyes taking in all the action around him. “How could I say no?”

    “You should start transitioning him to solid foods,” Eleanor responded coldly before leaning down and pulling out a piece of jerky. Waving it for the kitten and seeing that his interest was fixed on the good smelling treat, she gave it to him. Berlioz immediately started to gnaw at it, his little paws trying to keep it up and close to his mouth. “He looks like his teeth could use the exercise.”

    “I have been trying but he is such a cry baby,” Charlie complained, slipping the kitten back onto the soft bed within the cage and reaching for his own lab coat. “He won’t sleep anywhere except on that bed or under my duvet.”

    “He’s a wild animal, Charles, not a pet,” Eleanor shook her head, looking over at the front of their station where a few of her young assistants were happily answering questions, going into discussions and showing off the interactive displays. “Are you ready for our talk at 11?”

    “It’s that soon?!” The words were out before Charlie could stop them and he looked sheepishly as the woman took in a sharp breath.

    “When Dr. Schwartz recommended you to me, I was expecting someone that could at least keep the time straight,” Eleanor beckoned one of the girls over, shooting the young man a glare before addressing the young assistant. “Kenzie, take this fluff-ball under supervision. Noone is to touch him. Dr. O’Niell and I have a presentation to survive. And stop making such eyes at the young vet - he doesn’t notice it anyway.”

    “Notice what?” Charlie blinked before looking at the blushing girl in confusion. “Right, if he gets fussy, give him one of the bottles of milk, attach it inside the cage with a tinge of honey on the tip. If he starts crying, you can give him a chewie toy - he loves those. And don’t forget to check for signs of overheating!” The last words he yelled, dragged by the scruff of his neck through the crowd by Dr. Swann towards one of the auditoriums. When the stand with the cage were out of sight, he faced the direction they were going, curiously looking around the convention, unable to identify anything interesting.

    “Now remember, advances were made in cloning technologies with dna extracts - assuming the research holds, this will mean a whole new world. We can preserve endangered species, restore the ecology and --”

    “Create a mass amount of problems,” Charlie muttered under his breath but unfortunately his companion heard.

    “Look, I know you disagree but,” she paused just outside the backstage door leading to the auditorium stage. “For the love of god, just get this over with. We may not create a solution but if we don’t try, we are sentencing the world to a death I wouldn’t wish on my enemy.”

    With that, she nodded to the crew and one of the men dimmed the lights as Dr. Swann pushed the door open to a great round of applause and cheer. Sighing, Charlie looked at the light coming from the stage and plastering his well practiced smile onto his face, jogged to catch up, blinking at the brightness and waving to the darkness that was the crowd.

  9. #9
    Poppa Squirrel
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    Default Kris & Storm Co-Op: Enter Scott and Billy

    She scanned her surroundings as though she was not really part of the scene, or even a human, but rather some kind of metallic eye that needed to absorb and gather data. While the tumult increased, it muffled as her mind process the question of ‘what the hell she was doing here?’.
    Was she invited? probably... by someone? and whom? ... but was it really important to know? … No it was an unneeded data that really didn’t need explaining, however a hand gesture that looked like an enthusiastic monkey wave captured her sharp gaze, and she focused on it like a raven aiming to capture a golden coin. When said person moved closer, she was surprised to see his smiling feature, "Did you call for me?", she asked gently, but without any real emotion in her voice.

    "I sure did". He was humble looking man. Not too shaggy, but not too clean. Wearing a suit of long sleeves and tie, he looked almost unfitted to the situation.

    "Do I know you?"

    The man solidified, his expression surprised as his blinking eyes were the only part of his body moving, "You're joking right?"

    "No... am I?", she seemed to pause to actually consider the possibilities of amusement and found it to be lacking.

    "Don’t you remember? I... I invited you...", he said slowly stuttering.

    Well that sure answer some of the puzzles

    "You mean you want to tell me you got here by a whim?"

    "No... I had tickets obviously, however everything else regarding as to reasons for being here and how eluded me"

    The man began to laugh, "I didn't take you for a drinker. You must have drank a lot when I was not looking".

    "I don't believe I did", She then paused and then realization sunk in. She did it again. A thing which her friend Sarah called a selective mind hive. But trying to explain this person that her brain functioned with much data to preserve and was hardly sparing any space to his existence was too much of a bother. Now she recalled they did met the night before, and he did gave her the ticket, and she did nodded and left before he said anything else. Was it Sarah birthday yesterday?

    “You know what, yes, I am a drinker!". She said suddenly. Maybe him believing that she was drunk was a little more considerate than telling him that in her world he was probably less than an insect. It was probably the least she could do if he was indeed the one who got her the tickets.

    "Okay then, bye!", she heard him calling behind her but she was uninterested. In fact the whole situation was very stalling. She considered the possibility of just leaving there and then, but instead she aimed herself for the bar. It was the least she could to justify this worthless time wasted.

    The day was nothing other than a normal California day, the entrance to World Con was spectacular as the promotional material and webinars had advertised. Once inside, it was more lavish than even advertised. Scott maintained a nonchalant demeanor as he mingled among the other attendees. It was obvious who the A Listers were, they were the ones that had the ‘paid’ people around taking ‘casual’ phone video and pictures that were obviously well rehearsed. A slight chuckle to himself reminding him why he never took jobs in Plastic City. Plastic City, where plastic surgery seemed as common as ordering morning Starbucks.

    As Lekey bagan his intro, Scott kept a careful focus on the words the man spoke. Another anti-war activist? If so, what war dominate corporation is bankrolling their mouth piece. As the crowd seems to eat the intro up, the only sound Scott makes is an occasional sigh as he sips the orange juice obtained from one of the bar stations.

    As Scott gazes haphazardly among those attending this function and cheering wildly at yet another Corporate speech that more than likely is a side venture for a military weapons lab, that would make sense with the speaker promoting stopping war. As his mind drifts on how this was going to be spun, the side show begins with TJ, the Cowboy and the other begin to grow a crowd, Scott simply gaze in the direction of the crowd thinking for a moment if those were part of the whole show being put on by World Con. Perhaps some device would separate the group then go on sale.

    Once it becomes obvious that those were just drunks, Scott taps his glass for another orange juice. The bar area is near deserted less a rather attractive brunette close to him. Looking in Rivka’s direction, offers a soft smile and almost jokingly
    “Not going to go watch the show?...” nodding in the direction of the larger gathering crowd gawking at the disturbance, his tone a little more formal “...name’s Scott by the way, interesting start to this conference don’t you think?”

    “Hmmm”, Billy said softly, as if only now noticing the ruckus, “I suppose”. It was the most interesting thing to happen around here… but just not enough to seize her full attention. She then gave him a second glance before turning around and drinking from her glass, “Billy”, she said at last, “You like violence? I can suggest better shows on T.V”.

    A grin came to Scott. A casual response “Violence, nawww, more find it a spectacle if not even staged to draw more attention to this convention. Violence sells headlines. Now for the important thing, what kind of TV shows can you suggest?”

    The woman certainly is intriguing. Somehow the first impression he had was the woman might be rather talkative, filling hours with ‘me me me’ yet she seems comfortably direct. On the other side, he might just be a complete bore to her. In either case, Scott watches as the side show seems to be breaking up. Taking a moment to look into Rivka’s eyes inquires

    “So what brings you to World Con?...” a slight cringe shutters through his internal thoughts ‘could you possibly have asked any more a stock question’ before continuing “.. looks like the side show is at least done. Personally I have found this WC thing exciting so far, about as exciting as watching an egg boil. With any luck the exhibits might be better than the show they are putting on.”

    With that, Scott decided he has said enough, how literally boring could he possibly be. Still looking to Rivka he wishes he could have made a better first impression. Despite his desire to just crawl into his glass, he keeps his gaze on her with a natural smile she seems to bring out of him.

    “Eggs….”, she drank her cola before answering his first question, “Regarding how I got here?”, she took out a ticket and flap it in her hand, “Apparently someone gave it to me, or so he claims and I guess I will settle for this”, she seemed to be focused on the ceiling as she talked about a few titles of some shows and quickly briefed them to suggest them to Scott, such as ‘Wine in the dark’ which talked about a married couple dealing with their daughter who had a serious drinking problem, and ‘Axe in the yard’, which fully followed the story of Richard Borith, a serial killer who got caught recently and was questioned to get some ideas for a late night horror show, “I suppose now you need to tell me your name?”

    Scott kept his attention on Rivka as though the rest of the attendees were not even there. ‘Now I suppose you need to tell me your name…’ … the question sounded promising, so far he has not driven the lovely woman sitting close to him away. ‘Whatever you do kiddo, no lab results talk tonight’ he mentally coaches himself.

    “Name’s Scott, Scott Summers…” as he glances around “... might not be in luck, don’t see anywhere that eggs are available, could I interest you in perhaps a light dinner? Seems the big hurrah for day one might be over, and the sideshow seems to have died down. I think I saw a nice little food court that seemed to have nice things…” his tone goes to a slight chuckle “...who knows, they might even have eggs.” He resumes his friendly tone with a smile which will not leave his features “Billy it was, right…” not ready to press the woman for a last name. He is enjoying this short time and wants to make sure he doesn’t mess this up.

    “How curious”, Billy said slowly considering the idea of how easily people willing to give others tickets and food, or the idea that someone could easily find his appetite after seeing such vulgar display. Sarah, her best friend, would never be able to.

    “Okay”, she said.

    With that, Scott stands glancing quickly in the direction he believes he saw a small food station of sorts earlier. Looking to Rivka, he extends his hand in the direction of the food court, or at least as best he can remember. With the crowd having dissipated from watching the earlier couple creating a disturbance, Scott offers

    “Shall we Billy… “ feeling oddly comfortable around her, now focusing back on an earlier thing she said about the ticket to the event she was given and the ‘so He claims’ she said earlier “...you here with a colleague or a friend?” The last thing he wants to have is a jealous 6 foot 6, 280 pound linebacker type boyfriend show up aggressively inquiring why he was talking to his girlfriend. Even if so, there is something about this woman that causes Scott not to care. He is with her now and he is enjoying her company.

    “Not that I recall”, she said after looking at his extended arm and then moving for the appointed direction, “Not that I care for that either. But the tickets were nice change of air. So tell me… where is your girlfriend? Or boyfriend, I don’t judge”, she seemed to be talking seriously and without a hint of amusement, “Or are we about to join your significant other? It seems rather odd for a person like yourself to come here alone”. Not as odd as herself, but she was already used to the idea that she acted as she pleased while others finding her behaviour abnormal.

    Scott simply smiled as the comforting part was over. She does seem to be without a date which he would definitely have lost the bet on that one. She is stunning yet without a date, first thought was that her date might have cancelled last minute. As that drifts through his mind ‘or boyfriend, I don’t judge’ brings a slight chuckle.

    Starting toward where he recalled seeing food being served earlier faces a quandary. Does he mention he has no girlfriend, would that be taken as he is damaged goods and should be kept away from? Well, it was put out there, she seems to be quite a direct woman, something Scott finds pleasant. His tone offers a slight hint of humor

    “My boyfriend couldn’t make it…” with a slight chuckle before resuming a pleasant tone “... not really. Currently don’t have a girlfriend nor a significant other…” a grin forms thinking ‘currently, pastly, nor I was figuring futurely too’ drifting in his mind again. “...Now as far as being odd that I would come alone… I think you beat me to that thought, it is unusual for beautiful women to attend events solo. In not prying too much, could your boyfriend not make it, or might he be joining you later?”

    It would totally shock him were she to mention being unattached yet holding out hope that that might be the case. There is another possibility, perhaps she is with one of the many publications covering World Con, if so, perhaps her camera crew of photographer has not arrived yet. No matter the case, he is enjoying the time he has been with Rivka.

    While some girls be blushing hearing such lovely words from handsome looking man, Billy still looked unbothered and somewhat too fixed on the question, “Hmmm…”, Billy tilted her head, “I don’t seem to be able to keep those… relationships I mean”, she nodded and addressed the issue as though she has been asked to give an answer to a simple math problem, “I have a close friend, Sarah. She says I’m a sociopath. I suspect she may be right, but I never checked. Too much effort and money invested, and I can function well in society as it is”, she looked at Scott for a long moment, her eyes narrowing at him, as though she was trying to read more into him, “You are not like me… you are talkative. You are behaving as they expect you to. You are attractive, you are shaped well and even dressed nicely and seemed somewhat witty and dare I say wealthy?… however…”, she nodded again, “You are wearing a mask, aren’t you? Nice. Even I was tricked to assume you are someone else… maybe you are more like me than I initially thought…”, Billy was already by the country putting some ruffled eggs on her plate with some salad handing him a plate in the process so he can put in some food, “There is some bacon over there. I heard those are good, but I don’t know. Grandparents were strict about not eating those unkosher things. Not that I am religious mind you, but still… you should grab them before they run out”.

    The more Rivka speaks, the more fascinated Scott becomes with this woman. As she selects the ruffled eggs and salad, Scott takes the offered plate, offers in the same polite tone

    “A mask? Don’t we all wear some form of mask from time to time? Now as far as bacon, I will pass on that, not for being anti bacon but more that the chicken pasta salad looks to die for…” with a smile grabbing a second plate “...would you like me to get a small plate for you too? You can return if it suits your taste.” as he heads for the chicken pasta salad tray. The important matter is out of the way, this attractive woman is not in a relationship. It is becoming slightly obvious why, she is by no means a chipper helium balloon inhaling barbie doll cheerleader that so many men seem to go after. She is direct, obviously holds nothing back kind of woman, not someone to bring on your arm at social cocktail parties or corporate gatherings to make an impression to the executives … one someone has to be strong to interact with, not physically but strong in one’s self, someone that will not sit silently listening to their partner go on about their day, more someone to have stimulating direct conversations with, no, not what men typically seek yet someone that fit Scott’s thought of the ideal woman he had given up trying to find years ago. As he fixes his plate, he continues

    “You do have a somewhat idea of me, I suppose I do act the proper Scott while at events, ‘don’t be yourself, they would frown’ is always on my mind…” as he pauses a moment in thought “...hummm, Billy the sociopath… many times I find titles assigned to people simply for speaking their minds. I have had names given to me too … witty has not been one of them…” with a soft smile “...I can say I don’t think I am like you, really though, are there ever two people alike? How boring would that be… similarities yes but I am sure you are uniquely you, me, I am … well, me. I will say that I am enjoying the time I am with you.” while placing a second helping of chicken pasta salad on the second plate for Rivka looking toward a couple empty tables “Shall we grab a table before someone else gets to them? I would really like to hear more about Billy, then I could tell you the drab Scott story.”

    Billy tilted her head. He knew her name, was there really a reason to know more of someone before forming an opinion? Was there another motive to such friendly gesture? She would have probably said no or either got up and left, but so far he proved not to be a bore and those people are rare. Even with her best friend Sarah she will often end up getting up and leave while she speaks when she finds her talk too dragging. Sarah used to take offense, but these days she simply laughing, understanding she may have spoken too much. It did help that Sarah was now in a steady relationship with that guy Tom. They should both be boring together after all, this is human nature after all. “Yes”, she said to his suggestion, “We do need a table to eat properly”, she grabbed the chicken pasta salad plate, wondering how many brave people have fought to die for this meal, “Hmm… Chicken gladiators…”, she muffled to herself as she ate, “Your deduction is correct. This is a tasty meal”, she opened another cola can and put a straw to drink from it, “So, masked Scott”, she nodded, not stopping eating, “What else would you like to know aside of name?”

    Scott still has a grin from the ‘chicken gladiators’ which Rivka muttered earlier, he continued: “Aside from Billy’s name, I have a whole gamut of things I would like to know, I imagine the first would be ‘What lies behind the mask Billy wears?’ though I would also figure that you might not wear a mask, would I be correct with that?”

    ‘The Mask’, the hidden side those in proper society sneak behind. Even he has needed to put this mask on on occasion when presenting findings to those on the higher floors of the research facility. This short interaction is going far better than he imagined it could possibly be. Scott reaches over to his glass taking another sip of his orange juice before adding

    “It would be nice if you might offer whatever you feel like telling me about yourself…” with that, there is a slight laugh under his breath “... you know my name, not all of my mask, now I ask you to tell me about yourself… I must sound like such the typical guy. Should I start with the Scott story and mutually share who we are?”

    “I am not sure if I should be bothered with asking more details about you. You are, after all a stranger and someone I don’t see immediate gain from. I am not sure if our goals align or even if I want to get to know you, however…”, she scratched her left cheek, “You are one of the few people who didn’t back away after 10 minutes around me… so let me wear a mask and be less rude and ask you to tell me more about you. It will also make me feel easier to be around you I guess, as you will be less of a stranger. So by all means, go ahead and give me details about yourself Mr. Summers, but try to make it less of a bore and more interesting to the ear”, she nodded, “And try to cut words as much as possible. And don’t lie, I will know”, she drank from her cola again as she looked straight at him, “Talk as though you are filling sign up app. Brief, short, interesting and to the point”.

    Scott slides an empty plate to the side and sips some more orange juice setting the crystal glass on a napkin set on the table before him. A trace of humor

    “I lasted 10 minutes? So let’s see where round two takes us…” before resuming a normal tone “...so the short to the point of the maskless Scott. First, I do not lie. There would be times I would withhold but not lie. I find this unpalatable to most, so make sure you really mean for me not to lie. With that, I am not the life of the party, so to speak. The short resume on Unmasked Scott is I am an army brat, currently living in Dupont Washington and work at a moderate sized Research and Development lab. I enjoy conversations on current events though I find too many consider ‘conversations’ to be listening to their point of view only. I like quiet walks in the evening, stimulating books and movies. I think we also have the number 10 in common. You mentioned driving people away in 10 minutes, for me it is more likely in 10 days or less. I am not fake nor do I like fake people.”

    Scott looks this time into Rivka’s brown eyes, a softer and gentle smile on his lips with his tone to match “So masked Billy, that is the app home screen version, so I guess the question now is do you swipe right and hear more, perhaps move your mask a little, or do you swipe left. The other option is just to smash your phone to rid all traces of Masked Scott.” the last said with a trace of humor in his tone.

    “Hmmm”, Billy said, “Not bad”, she drank from her cola, “I am a Jew. I have been sent aboard when parents decided to be separated. My grandparents are, surprisingly enough, live not far from here. I do not smoke, nor do I like the smell. I have spent a lot of time studying and doing small works and even though I have a master degree it is of no importance, as I ended up being a clerk, farther away from anything I was taught. I decided I really like the idea of working early and rot at home late at night. Best way to make cash and also keep a watch on my own financial state. I have no mask. I either speak what I think or I don’t”, Billy nodded, “I am also not a tinder app, but you are good looking, so I don’t mind checking you in bed, it will at least make things less boring, I suppose?”

    Where others may have found Rivka’s direct manner of speaking improper or intimidating, Scott finds her increasingly interesting and refreshing. A Masters Degree yet does not shove it in anyone’s face. The ‘I don’t smoke and prefer those I had with don’t smoke too’ did not even have to be mentioned, Billy seemed to address this part first. Financially stable yet does not ask for a bank account status before talking to him. A slight smile forms as he is in thought on those who walk away from this amazing woman, it is their loss that he is thankful for.

    Finishing his orange juice, his tone still polite

    “A tinder app is the last thing I would consider you. Rather you will admit such, I find you smart, attractive, somewhat surprised you are unattached. I was somewhat regretting my making reservations to this World Con, at least until I walked in to see you…” a slight sigh “... gawd, that has to sound like the worst pick up line ever. But seriously, I am happy we spoke, should you give me the chance, boring is the last thing I will be.”

    Scott stands holding out his hand “If you will do me the honor Billy…”

    Billy looked at his hand and then at her plate. She finished a few more mouthful bites and drank her cola before getting up and taking his hands, “Okay. I will bite. But please try to be less of a bore and then you won’t need to worry about the 10 days limit”.

    Signature created by the awesome .Karma.

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  10. #10
    Your daily overdose of cute
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    Default Co-op Bettwen P.K. and Breggo!

    They had been walking around for a little bit now while her father was flipping through the pamphlet. She figured for an event like this it was quite large. There had to be something that she could attend and enjoy. Perhaps a language seminar or booth, Braille reading? Heck even a booth of of puppies and kittens would do.

    “Ah, here’s one.” Her father started, making her pause for a moment against the stream of people, most of which seemed to be paying enough attention not to run into her, thankfully.

    “There’s some braille books for sale at a booth down in section C, looks like the author will be there for some book signing for a few hours, and beside that booth there’s an exotic reptile booth.” She could feel her father shudder a bit as he mentioned it. He didn’t particularly care for big snakes, or anything with scales really.

    “They really didn’t group anything together.”

    “Probably to make different cultures mingle better.”

    “I suppose.” Gwen said. “But I wouldn’t mind heading that way, you can leave me at those two booths and find another one nearby you like.” She told him.

    Her father chuckled nervously. “That sounds alright.” He agreed taking her arm and leading her through the crowd.

    “Charles, go and mingle. Charles, leave the kitten to grow up,” Charlie muttered to himself, clearly mimicking what Dr. Swann had told him after she released him from the presentation. While he had been on the way back to his small charge, the doctor made it clear that she would take no more canoodling the kitten under her watch. Regardless of how spoiled he had gotten, he would be returned to the wild eventually and it was in his best interest not to get so attached to his handler. Charlie disagreed completely but he was stared down and bluntly told to go get lost for a couple hours unless he wanted to continue to be part of the expedition to the Himalayas. Defeated, he sulked away to explore the convention, discovering an interesting section on reptiles and deciding it was a good time to update his knowledge on squamata serpentes, more commonly known as snakes.

    Wandering closer to the stands, he stood to the side, listening to the author of some book go on and on about ...frankly, Charlie stopped caring pretty quickly, mentally deciding that this piece of literature was in fact useless and the man a quack. Somehow, he ended up watching the crowd, his attention drawn by a service dog, guiding his owner along and the children constantly trying to stop and pet him before their parents - or sometimes the woman’s companion - shooed them away. Something about the way the dog moved caught the vet’s attention and he started to observe and analyse the animal’s movements, trying to figure out what it was. It seemed nothing, the animal simply shaking his head once in a while, sometimes taking an odd step here or there, stumbling just ever so slightly to seem an accident or poor flooring.

    “Excuse me, move,” Charlie ordered to the people, kneeling before the dog and reaching for his ear matter-of-factly, so confident that the animal itself didn’t really know how to respond. Flipping it up, he tilted it to observe, feeling the puffiness of the skin under his fingers and his nose picking up on the slightest of odors.

    Gwen had been quietly conversing with her father as they attempted to navigate the crowds, growing closer to the reptile booth and the braille booth. So far her father had found one booth he was interested in that wasn’t too far off, they settled on a time to meet back up after they split. All the while her father would kindly ask a child or someone else to leave her dog alone if their parents didn’t get to it first. At least they were kids.

    Just before her father was ready to step away Gwen felt Toby press against her leg suddenly coming to a halt making her almost stumble over him, Thankfully Dan was just quick enough to keep her from completely tumbling to the ground. “Excuse me sir.” He started as he helped her upright. “Could you please back away?”

    “Mhm, mhm,” Charlie nodded absently, making no move to move and instead fishing for his phone. Giving the hound a quick pat, he flipped on the camera light and shone it down the ear channel, looking with curiosity at the infection there. “Come look at this.” He turned to look at the girl and her...father he assumed.

    Gwen frowned as her father held her gently by the shoulders. The offender still wasn’t moving. And when he spook Gwen’s first words had to be. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Her exasperation wasn’t hard to miss. Maybe coming to this event wasn’t a good idea it was always such a hassle trying to go out in a large crowd because someone always wanted to pet her dog or love on the pooch. Which was all fine and dandy till she tripped down a flight of steps to her death because someone was distracting her dog.

    She took a deep breath as her father gave her a calming squeeze before he stepped around to kneel down beside the young man curious about what he could have possibly seen that cause him to act so.

    “See? The redness in the canal? And this?” Charlie shuffled so that the man could take a look, ignoring a few curious bystanders. Reaching up for the girl and completely ignoring her comment, he made sure she could feel the thick ear of her dog. “Your guy here has an ear infection - thankfully, we caught it early. Untreated, he will get disoriented and stumble more, plus the smell from his ears will start causing him to be less keen with his nose. Now it’s a quick fix - an easy prescription. How long has he been looking -” he paused, then added, “- or feeling this way?”

    “Oh.” Dan said as he took note. Listening to what the man said, though the annoyed expression on Gwen’s face didn’t leave even as he took her by the hand and helped her feel his puffy ear.

    “And you couldn’t just kindly ask to see my Dog’s ear instead of startling us both and almost causing me to fall?” she asked. She took a deep breath to calm herself closing her blind eyes for a moment. She left Dan to answer the man’s question. His less than subtle change in his question marked him as observant enough to realize that he was a seeing eye dog and she was blind.

    “Well, we took him to the vet a week before we left.” Her father mused. “I’d say he’s been feeling this way probably getting off the plane, maybe the day before?” Her father suggested. Gwen rubbed Toby’s head as the two spoke.

    “I’d love to have a chat with your so called vet,” Charlie muttered, rolling his eyes. Giving the pup another pat, he stood up and pulled out his usual notepad and pen from the inner pocket. “Here, get him a set of antibiotics - make sure it’s amoxicillin. Feed if with peanut butter but make sure he gets it. Also, buy some of the organic antifungal and anti-bacterial shampoo and give him a good bath, gently massaging the ears. If the vet protests against the prescription, tell him to give me a call.”

    Ripping the paper, he gave it to the man and put his stuff back in his pocket before dusting off his hands. “Veterinary clinics and airports are, unfortunately, some amazing environments for pets to catch infections and diseases. Next time, when you get home, just dab his ears gently with diluted alcohol, it should help prevent disease.”

    Dan took the paper and read it over and nodded to the man. “So you are a vet yourself?” He inquired as he pulled out his wallet and carefully placed the paper where he wouldn’t forget it.

    Gwen crouched down next to Toby scratching his neck. “Next time, you should tell me.” she Spoke to Toby quietly who cocked his head in her direction. Sometimes she had the funniest feeling that he did actually understand the intricacies of what she was saying. If only she could understand him that way.

    “Aye, hm, me,” Charlie blinked, his attention having already flipped to the snakes in terrariums not far. From the way the crowd was gathering, it must have been something interesting and Charlie wasn’t about to miss it. “Excuse me, Dr. O’Niell at your service. I must leave you now - I will miss my colleagues talking about the squamata serpentes. If you need a reference or need anything else, find me later at booth #543 down in section J. I am a part of Dr. Swann’s Feline Future exhibition.” Nodding to the man and the girl, giving the poor mutt a pat, Charlie strode away without so much as a look, making his way closer to the terrariums and not always bothering to apologize for the people he accidentally elbowed out of his way.

    Even with her lack of sight Gwen could practically feel the opened mouth, unasked question as this Dr, O’Niell left in something of a hurry and Gwen could track him through the crowd by the occasional protest. “Well.” Her father started. “He’s a pleasant fellow.”

    “Pleasant.” Gwen snorted. “Not what I would have called him.” she said standing. Informative, smart even but also kind of oblivious.

    “We could always visit Booth 543.” Her father teased lightly.

    “I’d rather not, if this Dr. Swann is anything like him.” Gwen said standing. “I think I’ll just go to the book stall.” She told her father who nodded as he finely pocketed his wallet. “I won't be to far.” he promised as they parted.
    P.K.'s character locker ~ P.K.'s word works ~ P.K.'s Idea store

    1x1 = 5/5 Multi = 3/5 PW = 1/2
    Spoiler: Other things. 

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