cabri's Inner 'Verse

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Entries on 12-December 08

Abandoned 1-06

Posted by cabri, Dec 12 2008, 03:58 AM in 'Verse Fiction

After loading up with our least lethal weapons -- an air rifle strapped to my back and a .17 air pistol to my calf -- I replaced my .45 with a .22 air pistol at my hip and moved back into the corridor. Seemed likely at this stage of the ambush that the enemy was gone, and no sense having a lead bullet smash an important instrument or piece of machinery. I flinched at another [clang], but, again, there was no follow-up sound. TARDIS or ship? After a few indecisive moments, I decided it was better to check on the ship status than look for hidden crewmembers or hostiles. If the ship were on the verge of diving into a nearby star, friend or foe wouldn't matter. Library it was.

Our library was unusual for a ship in this region of space (except for liners of course) but we considered it our greatest asset. We had a semi-permanent population of passengers, nearly 20 just now, who had no real destination except not standing on dirt; and our library (and archives and computers and TARDIS) gave them the illusion of planetary living without the pesky lawmakers who made that living difficult at times. None of our passengers were particularly good, but we did try to ensure newcomers weren't actively evil for both the passengers' safety and ours. Surveying the damage, seemed to me we had fallen down in that regard this time.

Turning on the lights had illuminated a scene right out of Bedlam. Books apparently had been tossed around like confetti with coffee cups and framed photographs smashed on the deck. Once I walked further in, however, it looked likely that all of the debris had been used as ammunition aimed at invaders. I groaned in dismay. This could only mean that our pursers had been caught out without a weapon. Again. Jamie had the excuse of being from a planet where guns were outlawed (and was periodically fined by the Captain whenever he was caught weaponless) but Larraby knew better.


Entries on 15-November 08

Abandoned 1-05

Posted by cabri, Nov 15 2008, 06:29 AM in 'Verse Fiction

Abandoned 1-05
My footsteps sounded so loud! I resisted the urge to tiptoe -- hard to tiptoe in workboots at any rate -- and paused only when I reached the main entryway. I glanced quickly into the library then through the opposite corridor to the dayroom, both of which were dark and silent, then picked up my pace again until I reached the closed hatch to the Captain's office. The status board showed that it was sealed but of course as First Mate I have access to all parts of the ship, even the Captain's office.

It was empty and in its usual state of cleanliness, making my nose prickle at the smell of spoiled coffee cream and moldy sandwiches. From the extent of the mold, I calculated that it had been at least a week since the assigned flunky had cleaned it last, but that was more or less average: it was hard to catch the Captain on the lower decks; he spent most of his time on the bridge or in his cabin.

I reached under the back of his desk, flicked a switch, and pulled the desk away from the bulkhead. A little drawer slid out of the bulkhead. Checking my clothes, I found a stray hair and spiraled it into the drawer. It slid back into the bulkhead and, a second and a faint gasp of compressed air later, a much larger drawer spanning the entire width of the desk sprang a centimeter or so out of the bulkhead.

I wrestled the desk further away from the bulkhead (costing me one smashed index finger and a future bruise on my right knee) and pulled the drawer completely out. There was no way the Captain had accessed its contents when the ship was taken over -- every weapon lay snugly in its little plastic cradle, every piece of ammunition packed tightly in the small bins set into the sides of the drawer. This was our last-ditch arms stash in the event we were cut off from the cargo bay and armory.


Entries on 2-November 08

Abandoned 1-04

Posted by cabri, Nov 2 2008, 01:21 AM in 'Verse Fiction

It took a minute or two for my sensible sanity to return. I froze, then backed away from the hatch, hugging myself in fear. Well, if that didn't inform the invaders I was here, nothing would! I waited several minutes, rubbing my sore hands, but there was no sound, no comms, no vibrations except the normal background ship noise. Which meant the status display was correct and I was completely alone. I shuddered in despair and buried my face in my hands.

When I finally stirred from my grief and fear, I went through my desk and found dressings and gloves to protect my bleeding hands and the bottle of gin I kept for restorative purposes (it's amazing what a shot of gin can do for people expecting vodka). I used a bit of the gin on some extra dressings and patted the area over my head wound until one of the dressings came back clean, waited a bit, then patted again -- no blood. At least I wasn't bleeding out. I checked my weapon, grabbed another box of ammo, and opened the hatch a couple of centimeters.

The corridor seemed brightly lit after the near-dark of the office. I squinted but it was impossible to see the corridor on the other side of the library hatch: the emergency light over it was aimed right at me. I also couldn't see through the main corridor hatch across from the library. I took my pistol out of its holster, kicked my hatch wide, ducked and spun to check the corridor the other way. Nothing. The TARDIS door at the end of the corridor looked stable, although it wavered and swung in a way that still unsettled me after two years on this ship.

I peeked back starboard which was still as clear as I could make out. I didn't know why I was bothering - it was perfectly obvious that I was the only human on the ship. What was I expecting, an alien monster? But that brought back memories of childhood and sneaking off to watch horror vids with Artemis, then hiding in the attic until Father promised all the monsters had gone to Beatrice's house and were terrorizing her instead. That trickle of doubt kept me from relaxing. I wished Father were here.

I sighed and stood up. This is ridiculous, cab! I scolded myself. You've always been sensible and prepared for whatever happens. What's up with this? I sniffed in disgust at myself, squared my shoulders, and walked as boldly as I could to the library hatch.


Entries on 26-October 08

Abandoned 1-03

Posted by cabri, Oct 26 2008, 03:56 AM in 'Verse Fiction

The next time I opened my eyes, the pounding had retreated to a more manageable level. It took me a couple of moans to get into a sitting position but I made it and, brushing my hair out of my eyes, I discovered that I had collapsed into my own blood pool. The stickiness of it was everywhere and I shuddered in disgust.

I looked around again. The comm was right where I had seen it last although it may as well have been yards and yards away for the amount of time it took me to crawl to it. I rested a moment when I finally picked it up -- the room was spinning again and I couldn't have read the screen anyway -- and as the sound of my breathing softened, I heard a |clang| from somewhere on the ship. I froze. The clang didn't repeat immediately and there were no other sounds so I took a much-needed breath, crawled to the hatch, and squinted up at the status screen. It had gone to black, which meant it had been at least half an hour since the intruders had left. Considering the stickiness of my blood on the floor, I figured it had to have been at least a couple hours. Unless they had been in and out more than once. That thought made me grimace -- if I had woken up while they were in here... But I hadn't and I was still alive so no sense in dwelling.

I brushed at the black screen and it came alive. Normally green was the predominant color of the display, but I was dismayed to see our systems status was very nearly solid red. I wavered to my knees to reach up and lock my hatch. If there was anyone still on the ship they could see the hatch had been locked on any status screen, but since I was in no shape to defend myself I could at least slow them down.

The screen cycled automatically to the next display, which was life support and biometrics. I checked for other survivors -- "No!" I gasped. According to the display, I was the only one alive on the ship! How could -- how was I -- what ... I couldn't get my thoughts straight. We were a tight crew, we would have died to protect each other... I shook my head and then I couldn't stop until I cried "NO" and pounded on the hatch loud enough to wake the dead.


Entries on 22-October 08

Abandoned 1-02

Posted by cabri, Oct 22 2008, 02:01 AM in 'Verse Fiction

I rolled over only to find that it was possible for the pain to get worse. Breathing in short gasps, I managed to get up onto my right elbow and looked around the office. The green light from the status display above the hatch wasn't much but it was enough to show signs of a struggle, or perhaps just the result of surprise. My comm was on the floor and my favorite scroll nearly torn off the bulkhead. There was something dark on the deck under my shoulder. I hitched myself up a bit more and touched a sticky liquid, nearly congealed. My own blood, I guessed. I explored my skull gingerly. There was stickiness to the hair above my right ear and I pressed harder against my skull --


Entries on 20-October 08

Abandoned 1-01

Posted by cabri, Oct 20 2008, 05:15 AM in 'Verse Fiction

A click awoke me. I lay still in the dark for a moment, ready for battle, when I realized it was the loose screw on the air duct in my office that I'd always been meaning to fix. I relaxed and a millisecond later a wave of nausea swept over me, closely followed by the dull drum of my heartbeat heightened ten-fold in my ears, my sinuses, my eyes, my brain. I couldn't breathe. It was like somebody had stuffed me into a steel drum and was bouncing a football on it, the vibrations shaking my entire body. I managed one gasp, then another, then I heaved a breath all the way from my boot heels. A couple heaves later, my brain had enough oxygen to set off an alarm. 'Why am I lying on the floor of my office in the dark?'


Entries on 29-February 08

Tell Me! Tell Me! Wait, Don't Tell Me!

Posted by cabri, Feb 29 2008, 11:45 PM in Life in the Slave Pens

I'm still a relative newcomer to the internet. This was brought home to me by the new flurry of activity surrounding Dollhouse, Joss's new series.

This will be the first time I'm heavily involved in a forum for a show in production. I belong to other boards for series like Heroes and Burn Notice, but I tend to avoid topics about the episodes during the season because I'm always running behind. (I work nights and have to tape everything.) Besides, those aren't my boards, my home boards, the places I have to go each and every day, so no great loss if I go a couple of weeks or months without visiting them and seeing stuff.

But now Dollhouse is prepping for production and there's all kinds of new stuff floating around. Casting sides are out -- heck, I'd never even heard of casting sides until yesterday! People are posting bits and pieces of dialogue, talking about characters that weren't in Ausiello's post, and I'm sitting here thinking, But I don't wanna know! Except I do! Unless it's an important plot point! Or if knowing ahead of time will stop it being funny!



Many of the people I know were around for Firefly's initial run and are old hands at this kind of thing. Now I'm going to have to pick my way through rumors and speculation, plot detours around spoilers, and stick my fingers in ears and sing 'lalalalala' whenever one of the actors says to Crrrraig, 'Well, I can't tell you much, but I can tell you that ...' I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!

It's going to be a looooong six months.

icon_eek.gif

Because I really want to know!!! icon_wink.gif


Sittin' On The Dock Of The ... Um, Docks, Part 3

Posted by cabri, Feb 29 2008, 02:54 AM in 'Verse Fiction

[NOTE: I'm thinking of re-doing this into non-'Verse because of where it's headed (after this entry). If so, I'll be editing the two earlier posts too, possibly even making all 3 readable icon_wink.gif]

I took advantage of the quiet and rested for a moment. The room we were in looked like it had been a standard reception area with a counter and a door on the opposite wall. Most of the floor was gone, but there was enough around the edges that we could inch our way over to the door. I felt Charlie tug on my sleeve. I looked down and he was pointing not towards the door but towards the blank wall to the right of us. I frowned, trying to see better. Through the gloom I could barely make out the remains of a banister hanging precariously over empty space. I looked back down at him and shook my head. He nodded again and pushed me hard to the right.

"Hey!"

I clapped my hand over my mouth. How stupid can you get? I thought, my shoulders lifting upwards to my ears to try and hide the rest of me, just like a turtle. "Pretty gorram stupid, I guess," I muttered under my breath, then glared down at Charlie when he tugged at my arm to get me to shut up. I heard the scrape of a chair in the distance and grimaced. Since we were by then standing in the middle of the doorway, my only choice was either to go right or to climb over Charlie. I had no idea if the door opposite us was even usable, so right was my only logical choice.

I managed to slip into the corner without opening my big mouth or tripping over something. We leaned against the wall and listened to the guard's footsteps. They were slow, with a pause at each doorway, and were getting slower after each pause as if the guard was uncertain. Finally his shadow appeared on the inner wall, grew larger as he stuck his head into the room, and then disappeared when he moved on. I let myself breathe again but didn't dare move since the walls between the rooms were so thin. He checked three more rooms, stopped, and then began retracing his steps. I held my breath just in case but turned out it was unnecessary: his cough started up again within steps and continued all the way back to the loading dock.

Charlie and I looked at each other and heaved sighs of relief. I pointed to the door and pushed him lightly but he shook his head, went up on tiptoe, and whispered in my ear "No floor!" Man, I was batting 1.000 in this place!

Closer inspection with dark-adapted eyes revealed that our situation wasn't as hopeless as I'd thought. The banister hanging in space had been fastened to the now nonexistent floor to prevent falls into the stairwell; the stairs themselves were just a couple feet in front of us and looked as if they were still solidly attached to the wall. Sure, there was no banister on the lefthand side and a distinct sag towards the center of the room, but if we were careful and tested each step we might get low enough to jump to the floor safely.

Charlie moved to go first but I pulled him back; his weight might be enough to weaken a step that would fail when I stepped on it, but if I made it down he was more than likely safe. For once I was right. Only one of the steps tested iffy and I avoided it; the rest creaked slightly with my weight but held. Charlie simply skipped down them, an old pro at these steps.

But now we were even further below the street level. There was enough light coming from above to show debris scattered on the floor, but nothing else. Charlie put his finger to his lips until I nodded, then made his way over to a black doorway, presumable to the central hall. He turned the corner and vanished.

I didn't care for the way we kept going down. The farther down below ground you go in any building, the less likely you'll find a way out. I was hoping this level would have an old cargo elevator to the outside -- even if it didn't work, we could probably climb up the shaft.

Charlie was taking long enough that I was starting to get worried. I paced along the edge of the shadow, my eyes automatically trying to pierce the darkness along the side of the room. My efforts were rewarded with the faint gleam of metal -- or was it plastic? -- from underneath the stairs. I stepped closer, brushing aside the cobwebs, and crouched down to inspect my find. It was a little disc, no more than 2 cm wide and maybe a quarter of a centimeter thick. It had an almost oily appearance, the gleam shifting in the light -- I wasn't quite certain that it was my own movements causing this. There was no dust on it, astonishing in this extremely dusty room, though perhaps it was dropped recently. I couldn't see any track in the dust that would indicate if it had bounced or rolled at all.

Picking it up, I nearly immediately dropped it again. I frowned. It had felt oily, too, a very weird feeling as if it were actively repelling my skin. I tried again and this time cupped it in my other hand. It almost looked squirmy. I couldn't imagine what it might do but it could be worth a pretty penny in the right place. I tucked it into my breast pocket and made sure the flap was securely closed because it felt like it was about to jump right out.

Another few minutes of wandering aimlessly through the shadows passed before I noticed that the blackness of the doorway was slowly brightening.


Entries on 31-January 08

Come Back, Little Gossi!

Posted by cabri, Jan 31 2008, 04:28 AM in Life in the Slave Pens

It's been an odd week. This past weekend, almost out of nowhere, gossi reveals he's looking for someone to take over the boards (although I think that math thread helped him to that decision icon_rolleyes.gif ). Naturally my first selfish thought was "What about Goners?". (If you aren't familiar with it, gonersmovie.com was IS a site in search of a movie and was IS also run by gossi. I went so far as to PM gossi who basically said he had no idea what he would do with Goners. I told him I'd start a thread asking for suggestions and went off on my merry way.

I hate to admit it, but I wasn't that upset about BC changing hands. I figured this would be a good chance for me to cut down my presence here and online in general. There are lots of people here I enjoy posting with, but this isn't my home forum, not the way Goners is. Goners is like Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came. Sort of like RWD, except I'm not as wicked smart nor as (let's face it) mean as those people can be. That's not to say they're mean all of the time, or half the time, or even a sixteenth of the time. But when they get sarcastic and start going for the kill, I make tracks for the nearest exit. And then I come back an hour later because half the time somebody will say something truly silly and the thread will take a 180-degree turn and next thing you know they're talking about how awesome GB would look in chocolate -- and nothing else.

Back to Goners. So I made my thread and got lots of suggestions, all of which said "don't change it!" except QuoterGal's -- she offered to host it if gossi was truly set on getting rid of it, but she also suggested a "Joss Whedon Development Hell" site where all the little projects Joss hasn't yet brought to fruition could be suitably obsessed over. That would be something gossi wouldn't have to spend a lot of time on (with good mods like QG and GE -- but not me! icon_razz.gif) and we would be happy to pay for our memberships.

The next day Goners was gone. icon_eek.gif I hurriedly came over to BC to check on it because I'm almost sure all of gossi's sites are on the same server, but BC was okay, Dollverse was okay, drivefans was... Hmmm, drivefans was gone. This was almost to be expected since nobody posted on that site anymore except two or three overly obsessed people (yes, I was one of them icon_razz.gif). But the fact that drivefans is gone bodes ill for Goners. It sounds too much like a deliberate takedown, rather than a hardware or software issue. I PM'd gossi but it wouldn't go through because he's either turned his PMs off or he's deliberately blocking me. icon_sad.gif Either way, he doesn't want to hear from me.

So we're at an impasse. Is it down or is it gone? Gossi's not talkin'.

If it's just down, I hope gossi doesn't take the opportunity to dump it forever. If it will take money to fix it, we would be more than happy to chip in. We offered to let gossi make it a paid membership board a long long time ago.

If it's gone, I'm ... at a loss. There's a lot of stuff on that site that people would've liked to archive. Is it permanently gone gone or archived gone? Can it be resurrected on another server with another admin? We just want answers.

But if it's gone gone, gossi has answered a question that has puzzled Gonersarians for millennia: Who is the Gossiganger?

Gossi is the Gossiganger.

icon_razz.gif

Let's all just hope it's down or archived gone. I don't think gossi would deliberately trash everything we've done over the past two years. Even gossi has had fun on Goners a time or two, and of course he loved being the Goners "expert" on Whedonesque. icon_wink.gif

I don't know if he'll ever read this or if he'll even return to BC at all, but I have two things I want to say to him:

I'll miss you, gossi. I hope everything's okay.


Entries on 24-November 07

P : R 4.02

Posted by cabri, Nov 24 2007, 09:12 AM in Stuff I Like

Wow. Sarah Jessica Parker! Even I know how much of a fashion icon she is. I'm not surprised there were some tears shed.

Victorya's dress was near perfect. Except I didn't like the scarf/sash/ribbon, but I'm just not a scarf/sash/ribbon kind of girl. I think it's a shame they can't use the plaid on the vest in the version offered at Steve & Barry's, but I understand why. The dress you and I can buy will be either black or burgundy with a gray or black vest. Dress for $19.98, vest $14.98. They're reporting you'll be able to buy it now. At first I couldn't figure out how they managed it, but I always forget the shows were taped months ago. icon_redface.gif

Elisa, Elisa, Elisa. I didn't think she'd pull it off, but Sweet P offered some honesty and that seemed to work to pull in her more outré creative decisions. It was a cute outfit, definitely not something I'd wear but the dress was nice.

Christian got his hand slapped. Better for him to get it over with now, maybe he'll pay attention and last through to the finals. This is not about you anymore, Christian! icon_rolleyes.gif Last week was "show us your vision" week -- from now on it's "client, client, client".

The losing outfit? I was surprised Marion wasn't fabric-savvy enough to know that knit would stretch like that. He said in an EW interview he's too avant-garde to be successful at this kind of challenge, but gee he couldn't design a simple skirt? When SJP picked him, she said she liked his "color sense and sophistication level". He let her down on both counts.


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