I fooled around in GIMPshop yesterday and made a couple things.
If you haven’t seen the Red Stripe beer commercials, go look them up on Youtube and enjoy.
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot.
“I knew the second he shook my hand that I had to have him. Too bad my circle wasn’t even *on* his Venn diagram. While he moved on to shake other hands and do some networking, I decided to flip fate off. I was going to drag that man into my world and make him mine…”
((Work safe, unconventionally conventional fiction snippet; just humans.))
Our department was large next to the others at Wexley U. Bio had three full time professors; business boasted four. My department, comp sci, housed a happily family of fourteen. Vaughn was our newest arrival, and he clicked with everyone immediately. I wanted to click a little harder than that though. My passions lay outside of work, unlike the rest of the department. I’m a gamer, you see. Like you couldn’t have told that from my office, right? ‘Oh no Dr. Treacle! This is my PDA, not a PSP. Those colored gems are my filing system!’ Thank God that at least here in the comp sci offices, dinosaurs still rule. Well, one dino at any rate. Anyways, I kept as close to Vaughn as anyone in the office but avoided making a move. I couldn’t move until I had a plan.
“So that’s where you come in.”
“Me? Sis…you’re nuts. You realize you’re nuts, right? For fuck’s sake–” My brother Peter swiveled around in a slow circle in his chair, pushing off with one foot and trying not to meet my eyes.
“I need you. I need this. Help me out?” I stretched across my desk towards him, fingers extended. His spinning slowed to a stop, and he filled my hand with his with a lung-emptying sigh.
“Why do you need me for this? It’s…creepy, you know.”
I mock-punched him, and got most of a grin back. “I want to make a schedule. I want a series of activities, and eventually games, that will bend him from a card-playing computer nerd to an obssessive compulsive gamer geek. There must be an order that will grab his attention and indoctrinate him. What game hooked you on RPGs, for instance?”
Peter rolled his eyes back as he rewound Peter-the-movie in his head. “Uhhh…well, Dragon Slayer I guess. I didn’t actually play it though…just watched Ken kill slimes.”
Now I rolled my eyes. “One you actually played, please.”
“Shining in the Darkness then. Good start.”
“But that’s so old… The graphics are a put-off and the sound was terrible!”
Peter shrugged. “That’s the one that set the hook. Later on there were the Final Fantasies, but I didn’t find those until VII came out.”
I made a note, and brushed orange bangs out of my eyes. “Alright, fine. What about a FPS?”
“Normally, I’d say to go with Wolfenstein 3D. But seeing as how–”
“–he’s German, yeah yeah yeah. Alternative!”
“Quake. Nailguns are fun for all races and ages!”
We built up the list over the next two hours, but Peter couldn’t help me with the initial hook. Wild plans about luring Vaughn into a bombshell shelter stocked with games were disturbingly persistent throughout my ponderings, but I finally came up with a better/legal approach. Peter watched me stand and straighten behind my desk, before squeaking over the tile floor to my office door.
“LAN party!” The call stretched out five seconds, and by the time my lips closed people were already shuffling towards the long table right outside the break room. I might be the only hardcore gamer in the department, but we had plenty of casuals and a couple Counterstrike freaks. Vaughn stepped out of Treacle’s office, dark eyes sweeping the scene. God, I wanted to stroke that perfect geometric beard of his!
“You have time to play games?” He asked the air, while wandering over towards the table. Half the department had collected by then, carrying personal mice and bounty from the vending machines. I meandered over with him, until we stood side by side watching the transformation of professors into trash-talking fraggers.
“On Wednesdays? Yeah. Half the students neglect their assignments, so everyone’s inboxes are much lighter on Wednesdays. Here, I’ll get you set up. You can at least watch,” I grinned, pointing him to a computer on the end of the table.
“Oh, no. Miss Roberts, I do not play games on computers. I fear I would never get any work done if I did!” His smile was half-embarrassed, and his tone sounded less than firm. I leaned in closer, lips just above his tweed-covered elbow (god he’s tall…), and whispered.
“The lowest score per month has to treat the office to lunch. Treacle’s made fifteen kills in two months! You can top that. Not playing will just land you with the lowest score and a hefty bill every month.”
I watched his eyebrows crouch like strafing caterpillars. Slowly, he pivoted and stepped sideways…sitting down in the chair I’d offered.
“I will try. What game is this we will play?”
I dangled a glittering CD towards him, finger snugged in the center hole. “Unreal Tournament.” A curse went up from Matt, probably defeated by proxy settings again. Peter caught my eye, waved, and wandered out. Vaughn booted up the game, and chose a fast character with low health.
“Here, go with the grenade launcher. That’s it. Okay, now join the game… Great! Here are the controls…” I leaned in across him to take the mouse and demonstrate, feeling a trace of his nervous sweat on the textured plastic. He smelled faintly like pipe tobacco, and I felt like a mare as my nostrils flared and drank in that scent…
As soon as Vaughn was running around without getting stuck in a corner, I claimed my own computer and joined the game. A few minutes later, I was lost in a stone temple. Energy bolts of green and pink lit up a corridor just as I entered. Over on my left, Treacle groaned like a lovesick orc as I caught a glimpse of his torso splattering the wall. Three seconds later, an explosion singed my character. Dodging between pylons, I fell a story into a courtyard. I spotted Vaughn’s character there, spraying Atul the network tech with pistol shots. Many missed their mark, but Atul went down at last. I felt like clapping, until Vaughn’s grenades bloomed beside me in orange and white. No time to dawdle!
“Doublekill! Good!” Vaughn muttered, grinning and clicking like mad a few feet away.
You’ll be mine yet, you tasty kraut.
Just a good example of what comes out if I just get the mood and start writing, leaving revision for later. I don’t know where it will go, I don’t know if I’ll be able to tie anything together, and I certainly don’t know if it’s any good. Sometimes I get the feeling that my sense of humor is so odd that the only person smiling over certain lines is me. o,o I can only hope that’s not the case, ;K)