[Big Maul] Come to the Office, Young One (C 1.5, J 1.6)

edited April 2014 in Big Maul
Jet Black,

You're in the office, staring at the pic of Cache, as before.


You come in to see this scene:
Decompression time. I walk toward the back of the stage and hit a button with my foot. A trapdoor opens (we might use it one day for special effects like ghostly appearances onstage) and I head down a rickety ladder, closing the trap above me. Move through the mazelike tunnels beneath the theater, to my cozy little claustrophic office space. Remove the prosthetic dangler, toss it on a huge stack of magazines and CDs. Pour myself a shot of whiskey. Then collapse into my favorite chair, feet up on the desk in my favorite thinking position. Take a sip. Let the pressures of the day fall away, just for a few minutes...

On the wall opposite, I have pinned up a sketch Jackbird once drew. I'm staring at it now. It's a picture of me and Cache on the opening day of the AMC, arms around each other's waists, dap as hell, beaming. Fuck, we looked good together. Ze was so beautiful before the breeze took away the spark in zir eyes and twisted her motions into weird angular jerks. But our connection was beyond physical. We were like one mind, back in the day. We finished each other's sentences, feeding off each other's energy in a continual loop of better and sexier ideas. We were partners in every sense. Together, we felt we could take on the hole fucking world. Those were the good old days.

That's all I want. To be back there again, with Cache at my side. Make that happen.

Finish my drink. Sit there staring at the picture for a while.
What do you do?


  • I move through the door, carried in on the Maelstrom. There's sand on the floor. Drifts in the corners. All that blood on the water has me humming.

    "... smoke on the horizon"
  • edited April 2014
    Cache enters my peripheral vision. I'm still feeling buzzed and elated from the successful show, but the whiskey and fatigue have settled me down considerably. My eyes, looking exaggeratedly white framed by my darkened skin, drift to take zir in.

    "Reading my mind, are ya? Come sit. Have a drink." I push a stack of magazines back with my foot to make room.
  • Jet shoves the magazines out of the way, and I close the space between us. Left hand glides scant millimeters over his shoulder, before I fold up into the seat, "You killed out there."
  • edited April 2014
    "Well you know, there's no second chances." I pour a couple fingers of whiskey into a brown glass pillbottle, hand it to zir.

    "Besides, I saw you watching." Tip my empty glass, offering a silent salut. "As you know I aim to be an artist's artist, to bring meaning and innovation to the stage, rather than mere entertainment. But very few are capable of telling the difference."

    Pour myself another one. "You are the closest thing I have to an intellectual critic, my dear Cash Machine."

    (Woops - didn't intend to go there so soon. It's been a long time since I called zir that, and things have changed. I take a lingering sip, and hope it hits zir ears as casually as it came out of my mouth.)
  • edited April 2014

    "Cash" is something they had in the old days of the lux civs. I've never seen it and I don't really understand how it worked, but apparently every buddy had so much lux eternal back in those days, they couldn't keep track of who owned all the things. So there was this "cash" stuff that was a paper that let every buddy know who owned some thing and who didn't.

    If you saw some thing you wanted to own, you couldn't just jack it when nobody was using it. Because every buddy needed to know who owned every thing. So you had to go to the "Cash Machine" which was a computer that made the cash, you had to tell it what you wanted to own. The machine would make the cash, and then you could own the thing. It's all very confusing. But I saw a picture in a magazine once, of people lined up all proper like little ants to get their cash from one of these machines. Every buddy always wanted more of that stuff, so these machines were constantly busy. I showed it to Cache. I said it was just like zir clients lining up all proper, to own a little piece of zir time. After that I started calling zir "Cash Machine". But only when we were alone. Private joke.
  • "Cash Machine". He did call me that once. Context is... shakey, and there was a hitch in his voice right after he said he. He cut himself off short. He didn't mean to say that. He's uncomfortable. I wonder what would happen if I...

    I take a dram from the whiskey, tasting it slow. The luxe fire coating my throat, filling my stomach. Filing down the edges.

    "You need to use tape on that supercock. The straps are too loose." I drain the whiskey, set the pill bottle on the closest flat surface between us. I pick up a small square of celluloid framed in white tape, angle it to the light. It's a single frame, showing Single Frame Roy

    "The crowd ate it up, but I know you're un-satisfied with the result."
  • "Of course I'm unsatisfied, that goes without saying. But it's hard to define. Sometimes I think it's an altitude problem. I can adjust for different altitudes by working on more than one level at once. Case in point: Sex IS freedom, so that's pretty easy. But sometimes it seems more like a translation problem. Like... Like when you're trying to say something you know perfectly well, but there isn't any word for it? At least not in the locals' language."

    I set the glass down.

    "Do you know what I mean? Do you and I speak the same language, Cache?"

    (Wow, I am moving way too fast. The air is getting charged in here...)
  • "When the cretans are at risk of missing the point, just make sure you do it with fucks or blood."

    Amber rye sloshes into my bottle, and I administer another dose, "If you did another blood opera, you could destroy this crowd. Make it six episodes, draw it out, you'll have capacity for months." Drain down another dose, and I see myself encased-- a spider caught in pungent amber.

    A spider, nonetheless. I begin the first threads of a web, "Remember the frenzy you got at the end of your Beeber Cycle? They tore each other apart, and we had steady tickets for six months." I smile, light an unlabeled menthol. Stale, flat ice slides across every surface the smoke touches.
  • edited April 2014
    I do remember that. "Except I'm not sure I want that kind of frenzy anymore. I thought that way once, but it's become too easy to drive them to things like anger, fear, violence or sex... Do they eat it up? Sure. Can't get enough of it. But isn't that a part of the problem? They live in that shit already! They're hiding their true animal desires by covering them up with fictional animal desires. But I can inspire more than that! And that's what I'm unsatisfied about, what the show failed to get across. It's in there, but it got buried under the plot. It's that fucking translation problem again. Bob the B? He's not just a guy in a particular situation. He's a godzone symbol, see? He's every buddy. He doesn't just save his cocksman crew. He saves THE HOLE FUCKING WORLD."

    I lean forward, touch the back of zir hand with one long index finger. The old Cache once said things like this to me. I wasn't capable of hearing them then. Will ze hear me now?

    "I'm repeating myself, Cache. It's a formula and I know it by heart. I've mastered this genre. I have expanded to the edges of my domain. I can handle any shift in altitude, but the translation problem is a tough one." Straighten up in my spinning chair. "I need to find another way. A way to get beyond the shallow crap that fills most peoples' heads most of the time. A way to wake them up and make them behave less like rutting animals, and more like fucking heroes. A way to actually change them. I need to find it. I need to get deeper."

    The other part remains unspoken. The part that says "but I can't do it without you".

    I'm still wearing greasepaint. I turn to face the mirror on the bookshelf behind me. Open jars of cream and alcohol, dip into them with a small folded rag, and begin shedding the evul Doctor Osama.
  • This could be interesting. "What about the Breeze? Why not make something about the Breeze and Muzak maybe. Doesn't get much more topical than that."

    He sees me as something in need of fixing. I've been filled up. The Breeze fills me. It's the flimsy parts that got blown away only. It's called the breeze, remember?
  • edited April 2014
    Consider Cache in the mirror for a long time, while removing the final bits of makeup. That might have been the last topic I'd ever expect zir to bring up.

    But it - just may be - brilliant. I turn around to face zir, looking like my beautiful translucent self again. Another long stare. Wheels are turning.

    "I'm listening..."
  • Smoke slides slow out of my mouth, over lips, and I inhale deep through my nose. "You could do anything. The Breeze is everywhere, but what if it isn't just a phenomenon. What if it's alive? A thinking thing," I hold the glass awkwardly in my right hand, and fill it again before knocking back half of it. My limbs don't work in straight lines anymore, "What if the hero of the cycle is the Breeze?"
  • edited April 2014
    My eyes narrow as I try to imagine what that would mean. It gives me a strange feeling, like I'm looking at the back of some thing that is actually the front. I remember what Playboy said earlier, about fixing and braking being the same thing.

    "If anyone but you said that, Cache, I'd tell them they got it backwards and disregard their input. But you..." Treading carefully here. "You know about the breeze... in a way that most don't." Nodding my head slowly, eyes moving, unformed ideas swirling around my head like leaves in the breeze.

    We have a month to figure it out. There will be time for research. Just now I remember that I still have some things to do.

    I stand up, take the glass from zir hand and offer zir an arm to grab. "I want to check out today's selection of outmaulers in the small theaters. Mind if we walk and talk?"
  • I take the offered arm, but my hand on it is stiff, my movements out of synch from Jet's. "The Breeze is more than we could possibly understand. It will, eventually, have it's way with all of us. At least we'll all be going in the same direction."

    I can feel the Breeze on my face, even here. Feel it whispering between the syllables of Comfortably Numb clanging around my head. It caresses my face, touches me. Holds me. Beckons me. Every moment of every day. I feel it, and I will know it.

    At that, I Open My Mind to the World's Psychic Maelstrom +1xp
  • Also, Cache, let's see some dice.
  • (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 14)
  • Cache, that wild sensation of lust and power rushes into you, like a whiff of something delicious when you're starving. Enough to make you salivate.

    Mari's luring new people up to your little room, just like you asked. One of them is that guy GNC, one of Hottopic's crew. Playboy just got her rocks off with Burrito King, and she's wandering off. She murdered Godiva when he was trying to force himself on Hottopic earlier.

    Oh and by the way, Sweet N Sour is about to throw down with the AMC crew right above you. He's hunting for you, but you know he's out to fuck with Pickles for ratting on you about those keys. Take +1 Forward against Sweet N Sour.

    Jet Black, Cache helps zirself up with your offer, but as soon as ze stands, zir eyes roll back and ze jerks a couple times, then falls into your arms.

    Cache, you come out of that moment and you're in Jet's arms.

    What do you do?
  • I'm not surprised, that whiskey has a kick. I'm holding zir up, pulling zir to my body with my other arm. "Y'alright?"
  • My second set of vocal cords activate, I'm harmonizing as I speak, "SweetsgoingtokillAMCtogettome."

    Eyes wide, every muscle tense, "Godiva is dead" I grab Jet's face, pull it down to mine. Hands splayed on either side, my face inches from mine. My lips grazing his, my voice still a dual-tone whisper, "I can feel it moving under my skin! I can hear it behind my eyes!"
  • edited April 2014
    The first sentence clatters in my head, the others are barely even heard. This is not a drill, nor a joke. Cache - the new Cache - never jokes.

    Grab zir hand and pull zir through the maintenance hallways, running. We're heading for theater 3... no, change of direction - up that ladder!

    We're going to the roof.
  • edited April 2014
    Alright, Cache and Jet Black, go here.
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