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Everything posted by liamc2

  1. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"] My pager is going, it?s quite loud. There?s a moment as my brain warms up and decides that it doesn?t need any of it; I drift back asleep. The doctor in me is always prepared, always ready, and I find myself jerked awake with a shock. Pager. Pager is [i]important.[/I] I must have fallen asleep while talking to my Tracheotomy patient. I stand, and the blanket wrapped around me slips to the floor. My head?s full of cotton, but the embarrassment rising through me forces it away. [I]I fell asleep on the job[/I] My patient is also asleep, and the little whiteboard he was using during our conversation has been put on his bedside table. I check my pager and start running. It?s an emergency page, someone is crashing. The nurses will be stabilising, but a doctor has to be there in case it all goes wrong. I jump down the stairs, hitting the second floor in record time. There?s a couple local wannabe toughs in my way, but my urgency and the authority of the scrubs gets them out of my way. I don?t even want to know what they?re doing in my stairwell. It seems half the city drifts through here to see family. We hardly enforce visiting hours, people generally move on when they realise how much in the way they are. Guilt still plucks at the souls of the city?s worst. I?m in the room, and I can see Michael. His blood pressure has dropped to dangerous levels; another intern is already there and resuscitating. A couple nurses are standing by, looking concerned. ?Liam,? the intern says, ?he?s going, I can?t?I?He can?t be stabilised. I don?t know what?s wrong.? The machine announces that the heart has stopped. ?Start it up again.? I say, trying to keep my voice steady. ?He just keeps dropping. I?ve got to call it.? The intern is babbling, a sleep zombie. I put my hand firmly on his face and shove him out of the way, hard. A nurse takes his place, while the other makes a small satisfied noise. I return to basics, and the scene plays out again. Michael?s life is back on its tiny shelf. His blood pressure is dangerously low still, and it seems to be getting lower. ?Doctor!? The nurse opposite me calls out. ?Look at his blankets!? I see the tiny spots of blood, and rip the covers back. It?s a mess, he?s bleeding out. This is worse than bullet wound. All of the sutures seem drenched in blood. Something has gone wrong in surgery, terribly wrong. ?Prep him, now! I want him back in the OR. Hook him up again and get the Surgeon back into the game. I want him to fix what he?s broken, now!? Hours have passed. I?m in filthy scrubs again, feeling more drained than ever before. Michael is stable. A number of sutures had been?well?lost. It was like he?d burst them. The medication mustn?t have been strong enough, he may have woken up, thrashed in pain and promptly knocked himself out. It?s happened before. There is an alternative?but once you start becoming suspicious of foul play, you never get any work done. Stitch them up and send them out. No questions. You stayed alive that way. I change again and start scrubbing myself clean of the boy?s blood, hopefully for the last time. My eyes are really killing me now, like they?re filled with dust. I know I?ve been off shift since halfway through surgery, and I need to get my head down for a blessed eight hours before the next round starts, but I need to make a phone call. ?Ha, eight hours.? I mutter to myself while the phone rings. ?Maybe eight hours total per week. Hello? Is this Ms Grace? Yes, this is the Doctor from earlier. I?m just ringing to inform you that we have just taken your brother out of surgery again. He is stable, and ordinarily we do not make calls like this, but I felt it important to tell you that he required further surgical attention. Yes. Yes he suffered internal bleeding due to some suture work going wrong?? I let the sentence hang as long as I dare before continuing. ?Yes, he is stable and recovering. We feel he may have woken up prematurely and reacted badly. He may have done the damage before being knocked out by the pain.? And I?m a flying monkey that enjoys jazz music and collecting silver spoons. ?Yes, he?s a strong kid. No doubt he?ll take anything thrown at him. I?ll keep you posted. Bye.? I hang up and lean back in the chair, sighing. I put my feet up on the bench of the nurse?s station and fold my arms before closing my eyes. ?If anyone asks, I?m not here.? I announce, ?I?m done for the day. Unless it?s important, of course.? [/SIZE][/FONT]
  2. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I've had a root canal before [bah, so many many dental appointments] and I have to say, it was [i]awesome[/i]. I'm not going to go into the details of the procedures, in case you get wigged out, but I thought the whole affair was kinda cool. After the anaesthetic and the whole nonsense, if you have a good dentist you're going to be fine. I don't know of anyone who was traumatised by root canals. If anything [thanks to the local] it's a little uncomfortable and you feel a little dehydrated afterward. Don't stress about it ^_^ PS: The whole left side of my face was numb and I went to get lunch because I was starving = amusing in hindsight. I couldn't taste a thing, but it smelt oh so gooooood[/SIZE][/FONT]
  3. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I have to say DW, I didn't realise how much I missed you until now. [I live too far away to watch you sleep, but I'm trying]. I haven't laughed so much and so frequently, in a long time. Comedic timing, absurdity and a distorted reality. So many different types of perfect humour that leaves you reeling...it has to be a [b]DW Production[/b] ^_^[/SIZE][/FONT]
  4. liamc2

    Writing Stoked

    [SIZE="1"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"]Hey, sorry about the long time between posts. I had to work out a little character development before I was happy with what you see here. Enjoy. True to form, it's another long one again. Harlequin: Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with Hervey Bay. I wonder if it shows through? ~_^[/FONT][/SIZE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"] Thane’s phone rang as he pulled back into his parking space. He answered it just as the Decemberists started on the lyrics. “Sixteen Military wives- “Detective Senior Constable Stoke speaking.” Thane stayed in the car, searching for the sausage roll his mother had sneaked into the bag of pastries. [i]“Is that any way to speak to your Grandmother?”[/i] Thane choked, coughing sausage roll over his dashboard. “Morning Grandma, did Dad call you- [i]“Your father was right, you do need to get away from that awful job of yours. He and I were just talking now about how serious you’ve been of late. I don’t know dear, you were always such a serious baby and now you have such a serious job. Couldn’t you have just been a journalist like your Grandfather or something like that?”[/i] Thane rolled his eyes. His father must have pulled something sneaky to cut the conversation short enough to get Grandma Stoke to call so soon. [i]“…as I was saying, your father said you’re coming up today. I’ll start on a nice lunch and expect you before eleven.”[/i] Thane blinked. Images of bizarre salad ingredients danced before his head. Eggplant with pineapple and bacon bits, artichoke hearts with prunes… “Grandma, I’d have to leave now to get to your place before eleven.” Thane yawned for effect. “I haven’t slept since yesterday.” [i]“So? Whose fault is that? I’ve been up for two hours already dear. Had a lovely run on the beach. If you haven’t slept, that’s your fault. Lunch will be served at eleven.”[/i] Thane put a hand on his face. “Grandma, I haven’t had a proper sleep in twenty four hours, I’m not about to go driving on one of the most dangerous highways in Australia- Thane took his phone away from his ear and looked at the screen. “You hung up on me?” Thane rubbed his face angrily and groaned, putting his phone back in his pocket. He got out of his car, slammed the door closed, and relished the opportunity to stretch. He looked at the now rising sun and sighed, knowing full well he’d be driving for five hours soon. [i]I need to have a shower, get some clothes. Shave. I definitely could do with a shave.[/i] Thane thought, making his way around to the front door. [i]Almost six, still can’t believe I was at the bakery that long. Kei’s friend should be here in the next hour or two, I hope she got some sleep…[/i] The front door smashed open, taking Thane by surprise. Mrs Petrovich stood on the threshold in a violet dressing gown, violet slippers, and dark brown cane in one hand and a black rubbish bag in the other. Thane retreated automatically at the sight of the cane. “Mr Stoke!” Mrs Petrovich shouted, pointing her cane at him. “Help an old woman down these stairs!” Thane fought his survival complex and, against his better judgement, stepped up. He gently took the plastic bag and held her surprisingly frail arm, helping her walk down the stairs. “Thank you.” Mrs Petrovich spat, snatching the bag from Thane’s arms. “I can throw that out for you if you like, Mrs Petrovich.” Thane offered, acting more charitable than he felt. Mrs Petrovich paused and peered up at him with her beady eyes. “I will do this!” She hit Thane hard with her stick. “You wait here and help an old woman back up stairs again.” Mrs Petrovich hobbled off to the rubbish bins around the corner, leaving Thane to rub his bruised arm. He waited patiently and Mrs Petrovich hobbled back, allowing herself to be lead back up the stairs and to her room. Mrs Petrovich hit him hard again and shouted, “No running!” Before slamming her door shut. Thane opened his mouth. Thane closed his mouth. [i]Let it go,[/i] Thane thought while he deliberately ran up the stairs. [i]You’re moving out soon. Wait, I’m moving out soon?[/i] A grin slowly appeared on Thane’s face as he unlocked his front door. [i]I’m moving out![/i] Thane carefully closed the front door behind him and left the paper bag prominently on the counter for Kei to find later. He made his away past the couch, noting that the TV had already been turned off. Kei was curled up with the blanket from the spare bed, dozing. Thane went into his bedroom and quickly grabbed clothes and threw them into his gym bag. [i]I’d better take work with me, he thought,[/i] collecting his laptop from the table. [i]Lord knows Grandma will object, but maybe working at a beachside café is what I need to get through my case paperwork.[/i] “Mmm, Toddy, don’t go to work yet…” Kei mumbled from the living room. Thane froze, waiting for another outburst. Blessed silence. He finished packing and quickly scribbled out a note for Kei, not daring to wake her and say goodbye himself. He picked up his bags and made his way out to the front door. “Ugh.” Kei pulled the blanket over her head, and mumbled something unintelligible. Thane continued to scoot out of his unit. [i]I’m such a coward.[/i] He thought, as he put the note next to the bag. Thane regretted heading north the minute he left the suburb and hit the main road. Thane sat on Lutwyche road for what seemed like hours. A combination of construction, and a lack of common sense, had lead to a series of minor accidents. The radio wasn’t much of a relief either. He could pick up a commercial station on FM, but all it was doing was telling him to avoid the road he was already trapped on, while the AM station was giving him news updates about the cases he was already working on. Thane frowned at the noise of the road works, and turned the radio up. [i]“A spokesman for the police has recently informed the press that an official announcement will be made later today. An Ipswich man has been arrested on suspicions of Armed Robbery and Grievous Bodily Harm. He is expected to be charged with over thirteen counts of-[/i] A large truck pulled up alongside Thane’s car, and the AM station dropped out. Thane sighed and turned off the radio. [i]Probably for the best.[/i] He thought. Traffic eventually cleared up and Thane managed to weave his way to the Bruce Highway. Any feelings of fatigue he had gradually cleared up as the sun rose steadily and began to put warmth into his bones. As he drove further north he wound his window down and enjoyed the hints of the sea on the breeze. There were trucks behind him and the odd caravan in the slow left lane. Thane was almost surprised at the amount of holidaymakers cruising along, but then he remembered that the first of the schools had finished for the summer. He groaned as he remembered the Schoolies rotations he had to do back when he was still in uniform. Dealing with drunken high school graduates wasn’t his favourite thing to do. It was the only time when he had to patrol the Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise, and he was grateful. Night time patrols weren’t pleasant. [i]And yet I became a detective. Go figure.[/i] Thane mused while indicating and merging lanes. Road signs were indicating that his two northbound lanes were becoming one, a frequent occurrence along the lengths of the Bruce Highway. Thane finished merging and noted the double lines next to him as the highway narrowed. He heard honking behind him and in front, causing him to check his mirrors. “Son of a-! The breath caught in Thane’s throat as he slammed on his brakes and veered out of the way. A tiny hatchback screamed forward, continuing along after forcing Thane off the road. It had been over the double lines, driving towards oncoming traffic and a large transit truck. As the hatchback driver lost his nerve, he merged into Thane, forcing him to leave the lane and ultimately the highway. Thane sat in his car, blinking. His engine chugged briefly and then died. “Child in the back seat.” Thane had received a vivid image of the back of the car as it blew past. He noticed everything, including the driver casually flipping the bird at him. “Child in the back seat, driving irresponsibly with a [i]child in the back seat[/i]. You ran the wrong person off the road, buddy.” Thane appeared calm, despite his inner fuming. Another car had pulled over; the driver walked up and knocked on Thane’s window, checking to see if he was all right. Thane smiled, pulled his phone out and showed his Police ID. The Samaritan driver laughed, and walked back to his car. Thane dialled. [i]“Queensland Department of Main Roads.”[/i] “This is Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke of the Brisbane CBD, I wish to report a traffic incident.” Thane listed off his identification number to the operator for confirmation. [i]“Thankyou DSC Stoke. What was the incident?”[/i] Thane attempted to be blithe, “oh I was just run off the Bruce Highway by an idiot in an early model silver Toyota Echo. License number six-seven-one, golf-jim-foxtrot. Incident occurred about two hours south of Maryborough.” [i]“Thankyou DSC Stoke. The Police have a highway patrol car in the area and are already currently pursuing this particular motorist.”[/i] Sirens wailed as a red highway patrol Holden screamed past, Thane felt his car rock slightly in the car’s wake. “Thank you,” Thane said, “and goodbye.” Thane hung up and turned his engine over. The Corolla didn’t respond. “Don’t you start with me.” Thane pumped the accelerator and tried again. The car started and Thane breathed, checked his mirrors, and smoothly made his way back onto the highway. Half an hour later he saw the patrol car and the Echo pulled over on the verge. He allowed himself a small smile and whistled tunelessly. The day was bright, skies were clear, and it was becoming a pleasant journey. He enjoyed the rest of the trip, amusing himself has the radio randomly picked up different stations along the lengths of the highway. He was content just driving, enjoying the road just laze out behind him. Thane stopped for fuel in Maryborough, relishing the opportunity to stretch his legs and walk around. Not much had changed in the town since his last visit. A new string of fast food places, another video store. The city centre still retained its small town feel, dry and flat with just a hint of the ocean. He left Maryborough behind him, knowing it’d creep under his skin if he stayed there long enough. Child protection was a sad part of Police duty, and Thane had been called out many times by the Department of Community Care. He was looking forward to that placement in his early days, Maryborough being so close to the beach and near enough to his Grandma, but he didn’t cope well with the daily grind. Years later and for all the toughening up he had gone through, he couldn’t stand being in the town for more than an hour. Thane hit Hervey Bay limits and began to slow down to suburban speed, noting the drops from 100, to 80 and finally 60. A musical introduction started in Thane’s pocket. “Hello Grandma.” Thane said, putting the phone next to his ear. [i]“Hello dear. Where are you?”[/i] “Just reached Hervey Bay, Grandma. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” [i]“You aren’t driving now, are you?”[/i] Thane paused in thought, “…a little?” [i]“You should know better than that, Detective Constable! I’ll see you soon.”[/i] Thane put his phone down, frowning a little. [i]Detective [b]Senior[/b] Constable, Grandma.[/i] He thought, a little embarrassed at the rebuke. He hadn’t bothered to bring his bluetooth headset, simply because he felt like a complete idiot when driving with it on. He only ever used it for work, and only then because he didn’t like breaking the law on the job. [i]It’s not as though I need to shift gears or anything.[/i] He said, justifying himself. Thane crossed through a couple of the roundabouts that plagued the Hervey Bay roads, narrowly avoiding drivers that seemed to be cruising with their eyes closed. The main road was clogged with traffic, as always, but it cleared up as he headed to his Grandmother’s suburb. He parked in front of a typical block of flats and pulled his bags out of the trunk. He picked up the cake from the front seat, managed to close the door with his knee, and made his way around. “Hello Grandson!” Grandmother Stoke called through the screen door. “Hey Grandma.” Thane allowed himself to be ushered in, stepping into the welcome cool of the tiny living room. “How was the trip?” Thane reflected briefly before answering, “not too bad. Good drive all in all.” Thane’s Grandmother nodded and peered into the cakebox, “oh, did your mother make this?” She asked. Thane dropped down gratefully onto the cool leather couch. “Yeah, her specialty.” Thane listened to the fridge open and close, as the box was no doubt shoved in there. Thane’s Grandmother was fanatical about keeping desserts cold, even if it was meant to be a hot pie or strudel. One of the little quirks that made up the whole of the woman. Thane closed his eyes and listened to the table get set. He was sure he was supposed to help or be a dutiful grandson, but he just listened to the wave of one-way conversation. He enjoyed his Grandmother’s still very English accent as she mentioned the cost of fruit, how much difficulty she’d had with the internet recently, how the local bowls club turf wasn’t up to scratch since the water restrictions… Thane jumped awake as his Grandmother smacked him on the forehead. “Well, are we going to eat or not?” She asked, looking at him pointedly. “Um, right. Sorry Grandma.” Thane rubbed his head and made his way to the kitchen table. There was a spread of galactic proportions. A variety of salads and meats sat on the table, and a loaf of bread. An old hand at this, Thane proceeded to butter two slices of bread and began to build a giant sandwich. Across from him, his Grandmother did the same. After the meal, feeling full and drowsy yet again, Thane found himself back on the couch with a mammoth slice of chocolate cake on a plate in his hand. He wasn’t even remotely interested in it, but made a few futile attempts at devouring it, by stabbing it occasionally with a fork. “Now your father has told me that you’re having some incidents at work.” Grandma Stoke said, pointing her fork at Thane while looking over her slice. Thane struggled up in his seat before answering. “Yeah. I’m seeing the future. Or, what could happen if I did something that I was about to do or something that someone else could do if I didn’t do something…” Thane was amazed he was talking so freely about something that he found to be so bizarre. He was more amazed when his Grandmother nodded and continued eating her cake. “Mhm, your father told me about that.” Grandma Stoke set her cake down. “I remember when this happened when he was starting to date your mother. Now, I was surprised at first, but then I remembered. [pindent=1]“You see, back in England I was dating a chap who I found to be rather dashing. He was a local lad in my village, but he was so impressive with his motorbike and his leather jacket. His parents were gypsy folk-[/pindent] Thane groaned mentally. [i]You have got to be kidding me.[/i] -that decided to set up shop and raise their family. Well, we were dating and my parents didn’t approve, so that made me just love him all the more.” Grandma Stoke paused to eat more of the cake. “As I was saying, young girls can be incredibly stupid. So I was. One thing led to another and he disappeared and I knew I was pregnant with a gypsy child. No one else did, but I knew. I was terrified. It wasn’t the time for this sort of thing, my parents would have locked me away and I’d never see my child. [pindent=1]“Now I knew your grandfather then, we grew up together and he always fancied me. When I told him my horrible secret, he immediately proposed and we got married straight away. Then we moved to town because of his job and my family were none the wiser.”[/pindent] Thane sat in silence. It didn’t seem proper to be discussing something like this in such a matter of fact way, while scoffing giant slices of cake. Grandmother Stoke looked at Thane, “Oh please, my parents weren’t too bright. They were just happy I settled for a sensible boy and they had a grandchild. [pindent=1] “So I was happy, I’d forgotten about my gypsy wastrel boyfriend. My son even looked like his adopted father, and no one was any the wiser. Life was good in London, I had everything I wanted, and then the package appeared.”[/pindent] Grandmother Stoke put down her plate again and looked at Thane, making him feel all the more uncomfortable. Thane ate more cake and tried to look indifferent. Grandmother Stoke continued. “A little old woman stopped me at a flea market while I was pushing your father around in a pram. She complimented me on the child and said I needed something for such a special boy. That he would need something for when he came of age. [pindent=1]“I was flattered, but confused. She looked at me, and said ‘this is Rance’s child, yes?’ I was shocked, because I hadn’t heard my wastrel of a first boyfriend’s name in years. I stammered out vain protestations, but she pressed the box into my hands.[/pindent] [pindent=1] “ ‘Rance has gone home.’ She said, ‘this contains everything his son will need to know about his life, when it happens.’ She put the box under the pram and then completely ignored me, as thought I wasn’t there.”[/pindent] Thane realised he was expected to react. He continued eating cake, trying hide his mirth at the silly “old gypsy woman” voice his Grandmother put on when quoting. “So I kept it, and gave it to your father when he came to me with these incidents of his.” Grandmother Stoke stood up and brushed cake crumbs off her track pants. “As a matter of fact, I’ll get it for you now. It answered every question that young Oliver came to me with.” Thane sat in stunned silence while his Grandmother made her way arthritically out of the room. He was more confused and uneasy than when he had first arrived. He was also full of cake and three giant sandwiches, which didn’t help the matter much. [i]Do the houses here come with old people smell built in, or does it gradually grow into the walls?[/i] He mused, trying to ignore the inner disquiet he felt. His Grandmother came back, holding a solid and intricately carved box the size of a thick phonebook. She handed it to him, and sat back down in her armchair. “Well, go-on.” She said. “Open it.” Thane looked down at the box, noting the Celtic knot pattern on the lid. He paused, and then ignored the anticipation. He flicked the box open. “…wait what?” Thane exclaimed. Grandmother Stoke said nothing, but her eyes sparkled. Thane peered back into the box again. “It’s…empty?” He said, feeling rather put out. Grandma Stoke cackled delightedly. “You reacted exactly the same way as your father did when I gave him that box.” Thane closed the lid and opened it again, looking at her quizzically. “Is this some kind of Zen?” “No dear. I made up the entire story.” Grandma Stoke laughed again, wiping a tear from her eye. “Though I must say it’s grown a little since I told your father.” Thane closed the box held it shut, stubbornly ignoring the laughter that wanted to escape from him. “Are you serious? Then what’s the deal with the box?” “Oh that’s been in my family for generations. I don’t know how old it is, but my mother gave it to me when I was a little girl and I’ve had it ever since.” Grandma Stoke smiled and looked at her unimpressed grandson. “Don’t give me that look, dear. It was only a bit of fun. [pindent=1]"Though I must say I am a bit insulted that you think I could be stupid enough to end up unmarried and pregnant.”[/pindent] Thane put the box down, determined to continue to be unimpressed. Grandma Stoke rolled her eyes. “I grew up with your Grandfather, we were best friends and then as we got older it became love. We did the proper thing back then and ran away,” she laughed again, “which I can tell you didn’t impress my mother. We did get married in London and we did have a bouncing baby boy, Oliver. Your father. Your great grandparents were placated by the cute little baby, and all was forgiven. Then we moved to Australia…and it took a long while for them to forgive us for that.” Thane sighed. “So you’re telling me that- -I know absolutely nothing.” Grandma Stoke smiled again. “Yes, that’s true. Your Grandfather might have known something-God rest his soul-but he never told me anything about it. He had already passed away from a heart attack when your father started having those incidents. So I just made something up. I couldn’t keep a straight face through it though.” Thane looked at his hands. “Huh.” He managed. Grandma Stoke stood up and patted him on the head. “You’re on your own, dear. There is good news though.” Thane looked up, “oh?” “We have enough seconds left over from lunch for me to not worry about cooking dinner, and I still have your father’s old surfboard in the shed.” Thane grinned. “Sounds good to me.” [/SIZE][/FONT]
  5. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I have to say, I love where this brainstorming is going. My suggestion for making this Podcast work would be to create a forum for such things and then recruit new moderators specific for the podcast task. We have some of the most dedicated moderators on the web, we might as well use them. Not to mention that if the mod in charge of podcast collaboration disappears, you can always recruit someone new and get the ball rolling again. It'd actually be pretty impressive to see a Podcast team working together, frequent changes and new flavours for OB Radio ^_^[/SIZE][/FONT]
  6. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]*puts on black beret* I enjoyed it, you've conveyed emotion brilliantly of a situation that many have gone through at some stage or another. [Hooray for relationships]. I particularly enjoy these lines here [b]"Well done, a small voice says to you/For holding on that long"[/b] To me I appreciate the almost seemingly sarcastic tone there. I dunno, it could be just me reading that, but I enjoyed it none the less. [Welcome back][/SIZE][/FONT]
  7. [quote name='Ravenstorture'][color=darkgreen][font=garamond] others have left, and the rest have changed their names beyond recognition! [/font][/color][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I hear you. I feel kind of stupid when I look around and have no idea who people are now >.>;[/SIZE][/FONT] [quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Remember Lathum Adytum? [/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]That was awesome fun. Apart from [b]cloricus[/b], who I'm assuming was one of the two friends you're referring to, Raven? There are a ton of RPG's I always wanted to see the end of, and I'm not just talking about one's I was involved with [>.>;]. It's a shame to see ideas just hanging there...flapping in the breeze before they eventually drop into the forgotten archives of oblivion...[/SIZE][/FONT]
  8. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]Are you saying that I can't visit, and use fireworks irresponsibly, in America? If a man can't use gunpowder with reckless abandon and state approval in America, I don't know if any of my dreams will come true any more...in America! Maybe I should just chill with the fluffy owl and his awesome stranglehold on the Texan barbecue monopoly. [That would make an awesome board game, by the way]. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  9. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I whistle to myself as I wash my hands carefully under the taps. I may be more than zealous when it comes to cleaning, but it?s with good reason here. Even if we don?t have the equipment and even if we?re only just up to WHO minimum standards, we can still be clean. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my rounds smelling like an operating room. Patients tend to be put off by that sort of thing. I?ve already removed my operating gown and cap, just washing my hands. Taking my time washing my hands. Enjoying the little wave of exhilaration that comes from a successful surgery. I turn off the water, and then realise I still have my bloody medical scrubs on underneath. ?Great. Just great.? ?Doctor, the family is here now. They?ll want to see you.? One of the nurses looks at me from the door, ?and you?re needed again upstairs. Tracheotomy patient is ready for decannulation.? I look around, in a vain hope that The Surgeon is free. No such luck. The only way The Surgeon has survived here was by refusing to leave the OR and refusing to visit with patients. He keeps it totally impersonal and just works like a mechanic. Totally unprofessional behaviour, but it works for him. And no one is going to call the last OPH surgeon on his bedside manners. ?Thank you nurse, I?ll be right up. What room?? I take off the bloody scrub top and toss it in with the used surgical ones. The nurse throws me a green surgical one from the shelf next to her. ?Room 241.? ?I?ll be right up.? I pull the green surgical scrub shirt on, ignoring the clash it has with my blue medical scrub pants. ?Anything I should be worried about with the family?? The nurse turns to leave, ?well he was admitted by police, and his sister is social services, and they were all accompanied by a soldier. Interesting bunch.? Soldier. That explains the dressings. Oh well. Social worker. Damn, I?m hoping I don?t recognise her. OPH Doctors don?t get along with Otaku City social workers. Probably because we?re not available for useless conversations about a patient we had to discharge early for faking ill health and stealing drugs. ?I?m on my way up. Tracheotomy patient still in 312?? ?Yes Doctor.? It takes a few minutes for me to get from the OR to the ward that the kid-Michael according to the chart I picked up somewhere-is recuperating in. I don?t even pause at the doorway, but march straight in. I learnt fast that the last thing you do is allow yourself an opportunity to be caught waiting outside a patient?s room. Family don?t like their relative?s doctors hiding in corridors, and nurses assume you?re free to do something. ?You must be Michael?s sister.? I flick open the chart, speed-reading notes that I dictated not more than thirty minutes ago. ?I?m not going to ask how he got into this state, nor am I going to press details. None of my business. Suffice it to say that Michael is allergic to bullets and he should avoid environmental exposure.? I try to smile, but the sister just stares at me, unimpressed. I hide behind my chart, like any good unnerved intern. ?We?ve pulled out the last bullet, which was here,? I hold an x-ray up to the light, ?which caused significant internal trauma. He?s lost a lot of blood, but we have him on fluids and we performed a transfusion in surgery. His heart took a hell of a lot of damage, but he?s a strong guy and he pulled through.? I flick my eyes up at the still unimpressed and silent sister. I sigh and close the chart, tossing it to her. She catches it, looking surprised. ?If you?re interested, it?s all there. You know he?s going to be here for a while, you probably know everything you need to.? I put my hands in my pockets. ?In this place, he?s out of my care until something goes wrong. Page me if you want, Lord knows everyone else does.? ?Shut your white trash mouth, get back here and tell me what the hell is happening to my brother.? I notice the boiling rage behind her eyes. Ah well, I?m on familiar ground here. ?He- ?The whole unvarnished truth, or I?ll give ?invasive procedure? a whole new meaning for you.? For the first time I notice the other people in the room. The soldier, and the very unhappy looking policeman who seemed all too ready to exercise his right to be over-protective of this woman. I sigh, knowing that I?ve let the rush of this place get back into my bones all too fast. ?I?m sorry,? I manage, regretting how quickly I?ve forgotten myself again. ?May I sit down?? There?s a curt nod. My about face of attitude has probably given her reason to pause. I?m not used to people actually wanting to know what?s wrong with their loved ones, but from the looks of things, this isn?t a normal case. ?Your brother, Michael, he?s in a serious state. From the front door crash cart to the surgery, I?ve been monitoring him. He?s a strong kid that wants to live, and that?s the only thing that?s keeping him going.? The room remains silent, so I fill the gap. ?Like I said, he has lost a lot of blood to internal bleeding from the bullet we had to retrieve, and a lot more to the bullets that went straight through. We?ve put him on a transfusion in the surgery and we have him on fluids now, as I said. My concern is that, while he [I]is[/I] alive, the damage has already been done. [pindent="1"] ?I?m sorry to say this, but there is a chance of brain-damage. His heart stopped twice on the way in, and with his amount of blood loss, his brain may have been severely oxygen deprived.[/pindent] [pindent="1"] ?I started his heart again very quickly in both cases, so I may be expressing baseless fears?but with the blood loss?it is likely. Another concern is his severe pre-renal acute renal failure. Severe hypovolemia combined with the abdominal haemorrhaging and one of the bullets actually nicking the kidney?I?m afraid Michael is most certainly not out of the woods yet.?[/pindent] I hate delivering bad news to people who understand it. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  10. liamc2

    Writing Stoked

    [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"] ?Thanks for letting me stay here tonight, Thane. I don?t think I could stay there with all those police cataloguing things.? [i]No, you couldn?t have.[/i] Thane thought, but he kept it to himself. Kei slipped her small carry bag to the floor, and made her way to the couch. She slumped into it gratefully and automatically reached for the remote on the coffee table. ?Do you have cable?? She asked, sitting up high enough to look at Thane over the back of the couch. Thane closed the front door, ?no. I?m not home enough to watch it. Waste of money, really.? ?Huh.? Kei slumped back down. ?Your place does seem to lack some homely touches.? Thane looked around. He had a two bedroom unit, in Spring Hill, that was part of a two-storey complex that seemed to be confused as to what era it was built in. It had shag-pile carpet with stucco walls, but a bathroom that seemed to be straight out of the 90?s Solar Rheem hot water system commercials. It seemed comfortable enough to Thane, but he could see Kei?s point, he hadn?t changed anything since he moved in three years ago. ?I mean,? Kei continued, ?it?s as well furnished as a holiday home. It wouldn?t hurt to get a few creature comforts.? Thane rummaged in the kitchen before responding. He was eager to avoid serious conversation as Kei apparently was. ?I just sleep here, I don?t entertain.? ?Obviously.? Kei flicked through channels idly, ?Don?t you want something nice?? Thane set down a mug of hot chocolate on the table in front of Kei, before sitting down on one of the other armchairs with a mug himself. ?I do. I?m saving up for a flat in the city, remember?? Kei stirred the mug idly, ?oh look, you didn?t forget the marshmallows.? She sighed and sat up, looking serious. ?Thane, what do you see when you look at me?? Thane?s mind blanked. He tried to hide his awkwardness, pre-occupying himself with cooling his drink by blowing carefully on it. [i]Hooray for props,[/i] he thought. ?I see a girl who?s determined to take control of her own life.? He leant back in his chair, peering over the top of his mug at her, ?someone who?s dedicated her life to helping others. You work hard, don?t take any nonsense and yet you still have remarkable compassion.? ?Really? Well I was going to go with silly little girl who?s so bad at her chosen major that she couldn?t tell that her fiancé apparently leads a double life.? Kei put her mug down and looked up at the ceiling. ?Tell me, Thane, were you suspicious of him from the start?? Thane said nothing. Kei rolled over, ?I was. I really thought he was repulsive. He smoked, he was vulgar, and he [i]liked country music[/i]. I thought he wasn?t the man for me. Gut instinct, straight off.? She sighed. ?But there was another guy at work who I really wasn?t interested in, and he wouldn?t take no for an answer.? ?Let me guess, recent psych graduate new to the job, total sleaze who thought he?d get favours if he hooked up with his boss?? Thane did his best to keep a straight face. ?Pretty much.? Kei peered at him, ?if you so much as smirk I will hit you so hard that it will take a team of psychiatrists years to reassemble your thoughts enough that you could still only barely even remember where you put your keys! ?Todd was available and the only way I thought I could get this kid to leave me alone was by saying I already had a boyfriend. I don?t know, the lie was suddenly truth. A few friends had introduced Todd to me; he was so nice, always offering to do the odd job for me here and there. He even helped Dad build a ramp and railing at the house so Mum wouldn?t hurt herself using the stairs.? Kei looked sullen, ?my brothers couldn?t even be bothered to do something like that.? ?How are your brothers?? ?Complete and utter tools, thanks for asking. Don?t change the topic." Kei sighed again. ?It only took a little while for me to ignore all these bad thoughts about him and convince myself that he was a really great guy. I duped myself, and almost married him. Good thing you?re the only one I told about that, I guess.? ?I was so looking forward to conducting that ceremony, too.? Thane smiled at her, putting down his now empty mug. ?Shut it.? Kei wiped her eyes and exhaled heavily. ?It?s just so hard to believe. What was that gun doing there? What if it had gone off while we were sleeping there? Oh no, what if I had found it? ?Tell me the truth, Thane. What were you so distracted by tonight?? [i]No lies. She can read you like a book.[/i] Thane?s smile disappeared, ?do you really want to know?? ?I?m a big girl, despite evidence to the contrary.? She wiped her eyes again. ?Tell me.? Thane sighed. ?You?re not going to like it.? Kei glowered at him and pulled a tissue from the box on the table, blowing her nose heavily. ?I don?t care. I need to know.? [i]Can I run? Maybe make it to the balcony and to the car park? I could down the street before she even realised. We?re only two storeys up![/i] Thane grimaced and swallowed his cowardice. ?I?ve been doing a lot of case work for the past while. Mayank and I think there?s a single gang behind all those hold ups that have happened recently. When I first sat down to dinner and really looked at Todd, I was thinking how much he reminded me of a man mentioned in witness reports and identikit mock-ups.? Kei remained composed. ?Why didn?t you say anything?? Thane looked blank, ?are you serious? How well would that have gone down? Oh durr, I think your boyfriend is a armed robber and part of a gang that operates out of Ipswich/Inala suburbs, that has successfully pulled of a series of heists in recent weeks, durr.? Wild gestures accompanied Thane?s delivery. When he ran out of steam, he put his hands down, feeling rather self-conscious. ?When you put it like that, I probably would have died of embarrassment and hated you for being overprotective and jealous.? ?See?? Thane pointed an open hand at her. ?That?s exactly my point. I thought those thoughts were just from working too much and maybe being a little overprotective of my girl. Todd probably wouldn?t have taken my comments well either.? [i]Whoops. Shouldn?t have dropped the name.[/i] Thane reached for the box of tissues and offered it to Kei, as she started to cry. [i]Idiot, idiot, idiot![/i] ?Thanks,? Kei muttered weakly. ?I?m so sorry, Thane.? ?What? Whatever for?? Kei rubbed her eyes vigorously before replying. ?Because I love you for doing your job. But? I have to hate you for not doing it sooner.? Thane sat in a stunned, almost embarrassed silence. Kei sighed and rolled over onto her back, clasping her hands on her stomach. She said nothing, making the moment all the more awkward. [i]Right. Glad that?s out in the open then. Tonight has been just super so far.[/i] Thane reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his little official black notebook and flipped it open. He clicked his pen and held to the page, before carefully asking, ?And how does that make you feel, ma?am?? Kei looked over at him, momentarily confused. She laughed, no-she [i]giggled[/i], and wiped tears from her face again. ?Oh shut up, that?s not even funny!? She threw the pillow that she had been resting her head on and laughed again. Thane caught it and put it behind his head, ?thanks for that, my neck was getting a little strained.? ?You?re lucky that wasn?t a mug.? Kei sat up and finished the last of her drink. ?Could still be a mug, if you don?t watch your mouth.? Thane laughed and stood, ?you want another?? ?Anything stronger?? Thane walked over to the kitchen, ?nope, you know the house rules.? ?You?re such a health nut. I can?t get started in the morning without coffee?or go to sleep without it, for that matter.? Thane chuckled. ?Suck it in, then. You?re going to have to tonight. The second bedroom is set up if you want to sleep there tonight. It?s a little crowded with boxes though, Dad kindly pulled all my beloved childhood treasures out of storage and dumped them here last week. I haven?t got around to doing anything with them yet.? Thane had visibly relaxed, grateful that the serious talk-and his responsibility in it-had ended. Kei sat bolt upright, ?video tapes as well?? Thane groaned and rolled his eyes, ?yeah, all the classics as well.? ?Do you have?[i]Milo and Otis[/i] in there?? Kei had both her hands on the back of the couch and was facing Thane with hopeful puppy dog eyes. ?Don?t know what you?re talking about.? Kei waggled an admonishing finger, ?don?t lie to me, I distinctly remember you saying to me in semester one, ?Interpersonal Processes and Skills? that your greatest secret was that you loved that movie and how you were planning on taking that secret to the grave. I confided to you that I loved it too and we both pinkie promised to never reveal our shame to anyone else!? Thane paused mid pour. ?Curse your excellent memory, woman. I?ll give you a drink with extra marshmallows and dig it out for you.? Kei smiled and chirped, ?thank you, Thane.? Thane handed her the refilled mug and made his way to the spare bedroom. ?Thane, can I use your phone?? Kei set her mug down. ?I?m going to have to ring my old flat mates and see if I can move back in.? ?At this hour? Won?t they be a little unimpressed if you ring them at three in the morning?? Thane pulled the phone from the charging cradle and handed it over. ?Steph works night shift at the Mater Hospital, I can ring her there. Once my stuff is back there, I?ll move back in with Mum and Dad.? Thane stopped halfway to the spare room again. ?Wouldn?t it be easier to just move straight home?? ?Only if I told my parents I had moved in with my boyfriend.? ?[i]Ohhh[/i]. I [i]see[/i]. Hm.? Thane entered the spare room and began rummaging in the boxes, calling out, ?what a tangled web we weave, Kei!? ?Shut up, I?m on the phone!? Kei replied. Thane found the tape quickly, but sat on the bed and waited all the same. He felt he?d intruded too much into Kei?s life already, and didn?t want to interrupt whatever venting was happening on the phone right now. He checked his watch idly and kicked his shoes off, toes relishing the freedom. [i]Dad would have started at the bakery by now. He thought, lying back and staring at the ceiling. Mum would have finished with her least favourite pastries and would be moving onto her favourites. Dad would be chewing out the apprentice for being late, and ignoring the poor kid?s excuse of oversleeping. ?Get a louder alarm clock!? he?d say.[/i] Thane smiled to himself, momentarily content in the soft quiet of the room. Realising he had a golden opportunity to be finally free of his disgusting work clothes, he began to change. [i]I need to talk to him, he told me to come to him with any new?strangeness. I think this new turn of events counts as the colossus of crazy scenarios. A big ten on the scale of strange. Haha, scale of strange?[/i] Thane flopped back down on the bed and closed his eyes, drifting into a pleasant half-asleep state. ?Thane!? Thane jerked upright at the sound of Kei?s voice and was halfway to the door before his brain realised it had stopped being asleep, and that it might need to be able to talk soon. ?Hm?? Thane blinked. ?Whatsthematter?? ?Sorry, I didn?t realise you were sleeping.? Kei looked concerned, ?it?s been a bit of a crazy night?um. Steph said she was fine with me moving in for the weekend, no one has taken my room yet. We had a good chat and she said she?ll pick me up from here when her shift finishes at seven this morning.? Thane smiled, ?oh okay, well that?s good then.? ?Yeah, after I hung up I noticed you had a new message and, well, I checked it. Sorry.? Kei smiled sheepishly, ?force of habit. Your Dad rang at around two am, I think we were driving here around then so you must have just missed the call.? ?Ahuh. What did he say?? [i]I?m so tired my face hurts. Augh. I should not have fallen asleep.[/i] ?Apparently both the apprentices-I still think it?s weird by the way, how bakers have apprentices- Thane nodded and rolled his hand, encouraging her to keep going. -oh right. Well apparently both the apprentices haven?t showed up and he has a massive order due at nine and with the daily bread quota he and your mum are swamped and can you come in please as soon as possible because it?s your day off today.? Kei smiled, ?he sounded a bit harried, you might want to go.? [i]That?s awfully convenient.[/i] ?Kei, I?m not about to leave you at home, alone. Especially after?well, everything that?s happened in the past few hours.? Kei smiled, ?I?m okay, really. I just need time to get my head in check, and I?m going to have to prepare myself for Steph?s special brand of compassion. I?d forgotten how useless she is at caring?until I made the mistake of calling her. No idea how she manages to cope as a nurse.? Thane put a hand over his mouth. Kei rolled her eyes and looked sulkily at the television, ?well I guess it?s her patients that have to cope with her?probably why she was put on night shift in the first place?? Thane laughed. ?What?? Kei glowered. ?It?s the truth.? ?You have a tendency to ramble, and be brutally honest, when you?re overtired.? Thane patted her on the head. ?Are you sure you?re going to be okay by yourself?? Kei sighed. ?I?m going to be fine, like I said, I?m just going to need time. I have Milo and Otis for company, and your cat, wherever he is.? Thane frowned momentarily, ?I?ve been wondering that myself. Steve has a tendency to hide for days on end.? [i]And, for the record, I don't believe you. But I'll respect your independence.[/i] Rather distorted theme music started to play as the tape started to roll. Kei fast-forwarded through commercials for long-forgotten movies and slumped back down onto the couch. ?He?ll turn up. Whenever I crash here, I seem to wake up with him sleeping on my face. If I nod off before Steph gets here, he?ll turn up and I?ll be finding cat hair in my nose for the next couple of days.? ?Lovely.? Thane commented. ?I?ll call you when I finish at the bakery, okay?? Kei yawned and waved him away sleepily. ?Okay. Bring me some of your Mum?s croissants.? [/SIZE][/FONT] I got impatient. Here's the next scene. PS: Sorry Rurouni, I completely spaced. I must admit, Dead Zone isn't my favourite show, but I can see your point. I want to avoid that sort of direction entirely, though. I don't want Thane to become so self important. He's not a character that's going to take on world events, he's just going to do his job like a normal copper ^_^ [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"] Thane made his way down the interior stairwell as quietly as possible. His neighbours had complained recently at the noise he made when he came and went for work. The complaints always stumped him, because he barely made a sound as he went up and down the brick stairwell. He figured it might have been the lights, however. The ancient fluorescent tubes always made a racket when they were turned on, and the special button for them always buzzed when the lights were about to go out. To keep his own sanity and respect his neighbour?s wishes, he practiced navigating up and down the steps in the dark instead. [i]Seven, eight, nine, ten! Palm on wall, twist on right foot, one, two, three, four?[/i] Thane clicked the door open and dropped silently off the last few steps to the concrete car park. [i]Nice.[/i] The forgotten aluminium and glass door slammed shut behind him. A bedroom light in unit 1A flicked on. ?Is that you, mister Stoke! I warn you before! I call police if you keep disturbing my sleep!? Thane cringed, deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, slunk down around, under the building, and into his unit?s tiny garage. Above him, a baby started crying. A young female voice called out, ?shut up, you old bag! He is the police.? Thane turned the engine over, slowly reversing out and into the lot. ?Who are you calling old bag! I am Mrs Petrovich, you will respect your elders- Thane shifted into drive and hit the road, ignoring the nightmare that he?d unleashed behind him. Mrs Petrovich was a lovely old Yugoslavian lady, but she had the hearing of a bat at night, and a tendency to hit him with her cane whenever she felt he had woken her up. Combined with her terrible memory, she now seemed to just hit Thane on principle whenever she saw him. Thane felt this humiliation was rather unbecoming of a twenty eight year old Detective Senior Constable, and made a point of telling her as much. Unfortunately this resulted in her calling him a liar and beating him even harder. [i]Kei?s right, I should probably move.[/i] Thane mused. [i]I have more than enough for a deposit in my account already. Plenty of job security and a clean credit statement?that should sway the bank. I could get a flat in one of the new high rises off Mary Street in the CBD. Just near the new station.[/i] Thane fiddled with the radio, wincing at the inordinate amount of static that deafened him when he turned it on. He drove a 1989 Toyota Corolla that just seemed to never want to die. Its only fault was that the useless analogue radio couldn?t be tuned?and the cassette player gave nothing but a loud buzz whenever he tried to play something. He always planned to get around to replacing it, but could never be bothered to go through with it. Thane switched from FM radio to AM, knowing that twirling the broken knob was pointless. [i]?ABC local radio, with the hourly news update??[/i] The radio descended into static as Thane droved past a large apartment complex [i]??shots reported at an Inala address?witnesses praise swift police response??[/i] Thane bit his lower lip, pumping the accelerator when the Corolla?s engine decided to stutter. One of the problems of an old automatic was that is suddenly decided that it didn?t need to worry about keeping itself going. The car revved back into life and managed through another set of lights, carrying Thane around the last corner and into the tiny parking lot behind his parent?s bakery. [i]??Child is still reported missing, anyone with information on young Michael?s whereabouts is strongly encouraged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000, that?s 1800 333 000. ?And now, the coast report. Great weather for fishing today with a high tide at-[/i] Thane sighed and turned off the radio and engine. He was tired, but the smell of fresh bread, wafting from the vents above, revitalised him. He rubbed his face and climbed out of the car. He found his father inside, pulling a large tray of Tiger bread out of the industrial oven and setting it aside to cool. ?Hello, son!? His Dad called, smiling. ?You must have got home late, I rang you hours ago.? Thane smiled, noticing the two, rather sullen, apprentices feverishly packing loaves of sliced bread. ?Yeah, I did. Had another incident.? ?[i]Really?[/i]? Mr Stoke asked, ?again? What happened this time?? Thane looked pointedly at the two apprentices, ?Dad, why are they bagging loaves by hand? Did the machine bust again?? ?No, your father told them they had to bag the entire order themselves, by hand, as punishment for being late again.? Thane?s mother said, coming back from the front room. ?Hello dear, you?re looking a little worse for wear.? Thane rubbed his eyes again, ?yeah, it?s been a long day and an even longer night. I?ve been up since four yesterday morning. Had to go in early to sort out a few of my other cases so could leave early enough to get to Kei?s place on time.? ?Poor thing,? Mrs Stoke said, kissing him on the cheek as she went past with a tray of caramel tarts. ?And how is she? Married to that boy yet?? Mr Stoke pulled another tray out of the oven, ?Todd or something, wasn?t it?? He asked. Thane felt awkward again, ?well, she was. And now she?s not. Getting married, um. Dinner didn?t go well.? ?Oh you didn?t finally confess your love for her before the first course, did you?? His mother called out from the front room. ?That?s a serious breach of etiquette.? She came back out again and patted him on the side of the face, ?you?re supposed to wait until after dessert, when everyone?s too full to get worked up. I though I raised you better.? ?Ha ha, mother.? Thane rolled his eyes. ?No, something much worse than a confession of a non-existent love happened.? ?Really? Was it because of another one of your episodes?? Mr Stoke tossed his son a croissant, fresh from the last batch. Thane gave a pointed look at the two apprentices, who were now trying to make as little noise as possible so as to be able to overhear. Mr Stoke followed his son?s gaze. ?What? Oh them?? He waved a hand dismissively, ?they already know. Don?t you, boys?? ?Yeah, Stokey.? One of them called back. ?We were here last time he came in and told ya about all that weird stuff.? Mr Stoke nodded back at his son, ?see? No problem.? Thane stared at his father. ?Come on boys, Mr Stoke and the Detective Stoke are going to have a private chat.? Mrs Stoke had re-entered the back room and was now shooing the grumbling apprentices outside. ?You have a thirty minute break, Lord knows you don?t deserve it.? The two apprentices looked torn, but scattered when they saw the glowering look Thane gave them. ?Thirty minutes!? Mrs Stoke called out to their retreating backs, ?or you?ll never get this order done!? The door slammed and Mrs Stoke sighed, throwing her hands up in the air. ?I don?t know, give them an easy job that gives them security for life and all they want to do is run off at the drop of a hat.? Mrs Stoke grumbled, making her way back to the front room. ?Heaven knows what they?re running off to do at this hour of the morning, it?s not as if anything is open?? ?There?s a twenty four hour McDonalds about five minutes run from your back door.? Thane suggested in an almost hypothetical tone. ?Not that I ever found that out when working here before school. Or that I could get there, order some hotcakes, and still catch my bus further down the street to get to school on time.? Mr Stoke laughed, ?I did wonder where you used to run off to after work. I thought you had plenty of time to make it.? A scandalised voice cried out from the front room, ?[i]Thane![/i] You told me you had to leave quickly because you needed to get to the study hall!? Mrs Stoke poked her head through the doorway, ?[i]not[/i] to get hotcakes!? ?In my defence, I did study quite well when I had hotcakes in me.? ?It?s a wonder you even got to university. What else don?t I know?? Mrs Stoke had both hands on her hips now. Thane laughed, ?We-ell I may or may not have deliberately slept in til ten all throughout my first semester of uni, even if I had an eight AM lecture, just so I could break the stupid sleep cycle that I got from working here. ?Oh, and tonight I had a very uncomfortable moment where I saw Todd, Kei?s fiancé, kill both her and I with a shotgun that I suspect has been used in a number of armed robberies. Then I was snapped back to a rather normal kitchen with a normal menu as though nothing had ever happened.? Mr Stoke stopped laughing and frowned. ?What set this off?? Thane shrugged, ?me attempting to act on another episode that had Kei finding said shotgun, and Todd killing her with it.? ?That?s?disturbing, son.? Mrs Stoke said, looking worried. Thane folded his arms. ?You?re telling me. Believe me, I didn?t say anything after that. I made an excuse to enter the room where I saw the gun, found it, and set up a convoluted series of events that lead to the gun?s existence being discovered by the authorities.? ?Where?s Kei, now? How?s she coping?? Mr Stoke asked, half-heartedly moving more bread from the oven. ?And don?t think I haven?t noticed that you?ve tampered with evidence to convict someone you [i]suspect[/i] of robbery and who [i]hypothetically[/i] may have killed you.? ?She?s at my place, watching a movie and waiting for a friend to pick me up.? Thane raised both his hands, ?before you start, she told me she needed to be left alone and if Todd is innocent, it?ll come out in court. If he has a licence for that gun, he?ll get off. Unfortunately.? Thane looked uncomfortable, and changed the topic of conversation before his parent's responded. ?So didn?t you guys desperately need my help here or something?? ?Well not any more, really. That useless pair showed up just after I called you. We?re ahead of schedule.? Mr Stoke said, ?and the bloke who called in the order changed the delivery time to midday.? ?How are you coping, son?? Mrs Stoke asked, placing a gentle hand on Thane?s shoulder. ?Pretty good. It?s just sort of?strange. Things are becoming more clear, and it?s becoming true.? Thane squinted, ?it used to be so hard to understand this stuff, but now it?s like second nature. I don?t even have to think anymore, I tune in to this weird channel in my head, and I see what could happen or what will happen.? ?Same thing happened to me, once upon a time.? Mr Stoke said. Thane looked up, ?are you serious? And you didn?t tell me?? Mr Stoke looked sheepish. ?Well, I wasn?t sure. You sort of reminded me, and then I went back to look at my journals to have a look. I vaguely remember some incidents, but nothing on the scale of what you?re talking about. ?When I was about twenty-three and getting ready to propose to your mother, I was under a huge amount of stress to find a bakery to work when my boss went bankrupt, I had no idea how to get money for a wedding, let alone time for your mother.? ?You proposed to me when you were twenty-four though, dear.? Mrs Stoke said, looking confused. ?Well, I was twenty-three and was about to buy the ring, and then I sort of froze up and saw myself talking with a mate from the old bakery, I wrote him a cheque and signed a contract for this place.? Mr Stoke gestured expansively; ?the next time I wanted to propose was a month or two after I had this place stable and earning good commercial bread money. Then I saw your mother rejecting me, saying that she couldn?t quit her job at the hotel to make bread, because she trained as a pastry chef and that?s what she wanted to do.? Mrs Stoke nodded, ?I would have said that too. Why haven?t you told me this before, dear?? Mr Stoke laughed, ?I thought I was a little crazy, had a little too much imagination at thinking things through. Over time, I just forgot about these little incidents entirely. Last episode I had was just after my twenty-fourth, after I opened to the public and deliberately created a need for you as a pastry chef. I knew you were having a tough time and then everything froze for me, I just had one crystal clear image of you and I working together with our wedding rings on.? Mrs Stoke gave her husband a hug and a kiss and said, ?that?s sweet dear.? ?So you just stopped seeing stuff? No more kooky zone outs or episodes?? Thane asked, genuinely interested. ?Not a thing.? Mr Stoke smiled, ?I guess I just wasn?t stressed about stuff. I?d made all my important life decisions by that stage. In my journals I?d written that I hadn?t had the experiences in over a month, and that I was glad they hadn?t happened since.? Thane?s countenance clouded, and he looked down at the clean concrete floor. He sighed and asked the obvious, ?so?you never told anyone? No-one at all?? Mrs Stoke looked at her son, ?I didn?t even know, dear. I?m as surprised as you are about this whole thing." She looked at husband, "Maybe these visions run in the family?? ?That?s why I went to my mum.? Mr Stoke nodded, smiling at his wife. ?When I asked her about giving your mum the family wedding ring, my episodes sort of came up in conversation. What she told me, really opened my eyes. There?s a dark secret to learn, my boy. You need to go and see your grandmother up the coast if you?re going to get through this.? [i]You have [b]got[/b] to be joking.[/i] Thane thought. [i]Dark secret? Apart from the fact that grandad faked his way into the country with dodgy papers?[/i] Mr Stoke frowned. ?Trust me son, you need to go and see her.? ?And take this cake, oh and I have some croissants for you to share with young Kei.? Mrs Stoke handed over a brown paper bag and a cake box. ?Do you want a sausage roll or something? I think I could spare a pie.? Thane didn't respond, and looked at the large chocolate cake in his hands. [i]So I?m going to see grandma in the land of the living dead. I really don?t like Hervey Bay.[/i] He thought. [i]But I guess it couldn?t hurt. I need to get away from this city anyway. The next few weeks are going to be a little crazy.[/i] ?And don?t even think about testing that icing!? Mrs Stoke called out. ?I?m wise to your little tricks, my boy.? Mr Stoke showed his son to the back door with a firm hand on his shoulder, ?good luck, Thane. Drive safe on the highway. I?ll call ahead for you so grandma knows you?re coming.? ?Thanks Dad.? Thane made his way for his car, ?does any of this make sense to you? I can?t even believe the words coming out of my own mouth sometimes.? ?If you can?t believe yourself, who can you believe?? Mr Stoke opened the car door; ?I think you?re going to have to make up your mind about this pretty soon, son.? Thane started the engine and drove home, his father?s words in his ears. [i]?Don?t lose what I could have had, Thane. This is a gift that you can?t afford to waste.?[/i] [/SIZE][/FONT]
  11. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I lean over the young man, checking the dressings that are already far too red. The kid in front of me is completely out of it; someone saved his life, though. He?s breathing, fast and shallow, but it means his heart is still working. Pulse is very low, I?m having to check right on his neck. Son of a? ?He?s in shock.? I?m already preparing CPR, in the corridor. A nurse comes towards us, wheeling a prepped defibrillator. Cardiac arrest in three? ?Cardiac arrest! Clear!? I imagine the pulse of life going through the paddles and into this kid?s struggling heart. He?s lost way too much blood, and it?s still draining out of him like a leaky bucket. No time, no time! I charge again and a nurse puts more pressure on the worst of the dressings. It?s not kicking back in, son of a- ?Clear!? Another pulse, the kid coughs. Good sign. Pulse is back, even better. Another bag of fluids is hooked up to give the body?s peripheral resistance a shot at getting the cardiac output up. His heart?s working too hard with too little. It?s shutting down again, I can feel it. ?Clear!? All hands off, the stretcher stops again. All eyes are on this boy, and then his heart does what I?ve been praying all this time for it to do. We?ve finally got enough fluids to stay in his body. Total peripheral resistance is up. Vasoconstriction, blood pressure is up, cardiac output is up?lucky bastard. I think he may actually be stable. I lean in to his face, noting the blueing around his lips, ?you bloody better stay this way, you hear me?? I allow myself a small smile at his victory. He?s breathing remarkably well for someone who?s already had his heart stop twice. I focus on his heart, nothing else. He?s breathing, he?s stable. He?s unconscious, but the last thing I want is for him to wake up screaming and put himself in another heart attack. We?re almost at the OR. He?s almost out of my care, the relief is oozing off me but I keep focused, I keep my finger on his faint pulse. The swing doors crash open, the orderly opposite me and myself bear the brunt of the blow of the doors as they crash back again. The kid is still stable. Stay stable. Stay stable. Keep breathing. [i]Keep breathing![/i] He?s not breathing. I?m not breathing. ?Don?t you dare.? I mutter, every word almost a scream in this hellhole of a world. He [b]breathes.[/b] I breathe. I see The Surgeon standing in his room, next to his workbench. Both of his gloved hands are upraised, as though guiding in a lost plane to a darkened runway. I?m locked to the kid?s pulse. He?s not much younger than I, but they all look so small, when they lie here. Otaku City claims more of her children. Strong hands pull me back; prying the one I saved from my grasp. It?s a relief, but part of me screams in frustration to be allowed back. The voice screams to hold that young life again, and to be allowed the right shield that heart from almost inevitable death. ?Doctor. You need to scrub up.? A nurse has already put clean green scrubs over my bloodied blue ones. I don?t understand, my job is done here. Why do I need to scrub up? The Surgeon speaks, ?Liam, I need you to stand in as anaesthesiologist.? I swallow. I breathe. Life surfaces again. ?Hit it.? A stereo starts, the music of the street flows into the room, caressing the broken body of one of its own. We work, we cut, and we sew. The bullet is found, internal bleeding halted. I keep his brain out of it, keeping an eye on the gauges as the Halothane flows. Despite myself, I grumble at the anaesthetics we have. Halothane isn?t used in the bigger hospitals, the better funded hospitals. We have Halothane because it?s on the WHO list of minimum requirements for a basic hospital, and that?s enough for Otaku City. I?m afraid. I?m afraid because I haven?t studied anaesthesiology. I?ve only hobbled together a basic understanding of it, and understanding only taken from observation and research. I?m afraid because Halothane has a history of triggering cardiac complications, and given the circumstances of this patient?s arrival, it?s not the best thing to use to keep him out of it. It?s all we have though. I shouldn?t worry, it looks as though this kid?s decided he?s going to stay alive. A Golden Patient, if there ever was one. The Surgeon is done. We?re done. I breathe again. For once, the stress is gone. I?m free. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  12. [quote name='Gavin'][SIZE="1"] Also, the Court idea sounds cool, but for just to fun of it, I think jury members should have to be selected completely at random, just for the fun of people complaining in AIM conversations that they'd gotten jury duty.[/SIZE][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]That would be [i]brilliant[/i]. The OB Court would be an excellent event, very tongue-in-cheek. We have had a lot of fun, creative, [and rewarding] events here on the boards. Forgive my memory, but we haven't had a really serious event. I'm not talking a creative writing challenge involving macabre and gritty adventures, but something that really involves people for who they are. I would like to suggest a mature OB Interview event, something along the lines of [b][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enough_Rope"]Enough[/URL] [URL="http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/"]Rope[/URL][/b] or maybe even [b][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson_%28TV_series%29"]Parkinson[/URL][/b], with multiple guests, at the same time. It would be nice to see members really opening up about themselves, talking about their lives, goals, aspirations. What drew them to the boards? What are they grateful for? It would add a strong human element [a face behind the avatar, even] that I think we could really benefit from. That's not to say there wouldn't be humour in this, or there would be questions the interviewee [i]had[/i] to answer [hence the two examples I gave]. This event would have to be run by an empathetic, compassionate and dedicated individual, that won't be afraid to ask the hard questions. The brilliant thing is that we won't have to always rely on the regular faces seen on the boards, or hear from the "typical guest." All members on OB have lives and fascinating backgrounds, they are [i]all[/i] people with stories to tell. That's not to say I wouldn't mind knowing more about our moderators, I'm just suggesting that this event wouldn't need to worry about having its options limited. I'm not sure how you would go about producing this event, however. Posting a list of questions and having the interviewee respond to them, just doesn't have the dynamic needed for this sort of thing. It'd need to be an interactive event between the member and the interviewer. Maybe an IM interview that gets transcribed here? A live feed on theOtaku that we can see happen real time, and that gets transcribed here later? [Hm, there'd be a lot of coding there..] I'm not sure, this may be a little too serious for an OB Event. I honestly believe, though, that we could all benefit from such a mature look at who we are as a web community. There are some amazing, inspiring, personal stories here, I'd like to see them heard.[/SIZE][/FONT]
  13. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"]Slade idly played with his phone, enjoying a brief moment of silence to assemble his thoughts. ?Everything all right, sir?? Slade put his phone back in his pocket and re-buttoned his coat against the sudden chill. He was not amused, but he didn?t show it. He wanted to contain this new development as much as possible before the media had a field day. The Sun, in particular, had been rather uncharitable of late. ?Are you okay, Detective Inspector Slade?? Slade cleared his throat. ?Yes, Constable Peel. DI Llewellyn was just informing me that she?s placed the child in the care of Protective Services.? Constable Peel looked at Slade quizzically, knowing that the half conversation he had heard was more than enough to let him know that something different entirely had happened. He opened his mouth to say as much, and then noticed that the previously friendly DI Slade had a storm brewing in his stony countenance. Constable Peel nodded, ?good to know, sir.? Slade said nothing. Constable Peel decided to put his foot in it. ?That kid will be nice and safe there, better than being in a hole in a wall with a crazy mum.? [i] ?Detective Inspector Slade. Come in DI Slade. This is Bravo Golf?[/i] Slade unhooked the radio microphone from Constable Peel?s chest, who almost visibly flinched under the Detective?s reach. ?Go ahead Bravo Golf, this is DI Slade.? [i] ?We have eight more Greenwich incidents reported across the greater metropolitan region. This is your show, please advise.?[/i] Slade ignored the incredulous expression on Peel?s face and replied, ?Understood Bravo Golf. Call in forensic to all eight incidents. Cordon off the streets. I want every person who was even in earshot of the incidents to be talking to a bobby in the next thirty minutes. Am I clear?? [i] ?Loud and clear, sir. Will detectives be attending these scenes??[/i] ?One Homicide and one Child Protection. I?m assuming these incidents are perfectly spaced out to accommodate each region?? There was a stunned silence. [i] ?You are correct, Detective.? [/i] Slade muttered to himself, ?someone wants us to waste our time,? and said over the radio, ?One Homicide, one Child Protection Detective to each crime scene. They need to be seasoned and know forensic. I want them all to report to me in my office in the next three hours, understood?? There was silence from the radio room; someone in there was obviously trying to decide whether they wanted to take responsibility for a logistical nightmare, or whether they wanted to say no to a Detective. [i]??understood DI Slade. Bravo Golf out.?[/i] Slade re-hooked the radio back to the silent Constable. ?DI Slade, sir!? Constable Delaney was at a half run, obviously excited about something. ?Sir! Forensic have arrived, they want to know if they can go through, or would you like to double check for more false walls first, sir?? Slade straightened up and looked at Delaney, ?son, did they tell you to rush down here and say that? Why didn?t you just use the radio?? Delaney looked taken aback. ?Yes sir, he did sir. Told me I needed to say it in person.? Slade squinted up at the level on the block of flats, where he could see the white cover-alls of the forensic team. ?Constable, you can go back up and tell that two-bit Photographer, Wash, that he needs to pull his head in and get on with his job. And to stop trying to bait me with new Constables.? Delaney had the decency to look sheepish. ?Will that be all, sir?? ?No.? Slade smiled, in a this-isn?t-funny kind of way. ?If you keep allowing yourself to be bossed around by every idiot in forensics, or with a camera for that matter, you?re never going to work with me again. Move it.? Delaney looked visibly relieved, not at all disappointed by this prospect, ?yes sir, sorry sir.? Slade glanced at, the still silent, Constable Peel. ?Oh, and another thing. Constable Delaney?? ?Yes sir?? ?Tell your skipper that I?m officially requisitioning and transferring Constable Peel here to my department, and that your skipper will need to take care of the paperwork and put it on my desk.? Constable Delaney?s mouth dropped open, ?our skipper isn?t going to like that, sir.? Constable Peel didn?t seem to like that either, his face was ashen and he looked as though he was going to pass out. Slade looked thoughtful, ?is your skipper Sergeant Michael Bloom?? ?No sir, Sergeant Lennox. Bloom is our Guv- I mean, it?s Inspector Michael Bloom now, sir.? Delaney had subconsciously taken a slight step backward while delivering this information. Constable Peel was looking morosely into his, now cold, cuppa. He was trying very hard to not get eye contact with Slade. Slade laughed, ?it?s about time the old bastard got his dues. Excellent, makes this easier. Pass on the same message to Inspector Bloom for me, then. He?ll know who I am.? ?Yes, sir.? Constable Delaney twirled his cap and added awkwardly, ?good luck Robert, I?ll see you at the pub after, alright?? Slade cleared his throat carefully, and Delaney positively sprinted back to the flats. Peel summoned the courage to speak. ?Are you serious, sir? What do you need me for? I only just finished my first year out and I?m supposed to be in traffic next week?? Slade steered Constable Peel towards his car. ?I need a Constable to do a hell of a lot of paper work and data entry. The biggest case the Met has ever seen is hanging over our heads and my partner and I are not going to have time to sort out the little details.? Peel swallowed. ?Yes sir.? Slade unlocked the Rover and slid into the driver?s seat. Peel reluctantly sat in the front seat, carefully removing his helmet again and sitting it on his lap. Slade started the engine and began reversing out into the street. They had gone through two sets of lights before Peel opened his mouth to speak, when they had stopped at the third. ?Sir?? Slade shifted gears and absentmindedly revved the engine. ?Mm? What is it, Constable?? Peel fidgeted and faced Slade, ?is this because I overheard DI Llewellyn tell you about the young lad disappearing?? Slade let out the clutch and set off through the green light, ?not exactly, Constable. But I like the way you think.? Peel looked down at his helmet. ?Um. Thank you, sir.? ?Constable Delaney didn?t notice how the walls matched up, did he?? Slade indicated and turned down a little side street, taking one of his shortcuts. ?When did you notice something wasn?t right?? ?Honestly, sir?? Peel looked up at Slade. ?That blood, all over the floor. It sort of looked like it had pooled almost under the wall, near where that woman burst out. I noticed it but there was?so much of it?I?? Peel looked green again. Slade reached out and flipped the Constable?s helmet upside down, holding it like a bucket. ?Don?t throw up on the leather, there?s a good chap. I had enough trouble cleaning out DI Llewellyn?s smoke aura, I don?t want to worry about your lunch.? Peel groaned. ?I?m certain you don?t want to cleaning up your own sick to be your first impression of the department either.? Slade allowed himself a small smile. ?Robert, I?m impressed that you noticed such a tiny inconsistency. I knew something was up, but I didn?t have evidence why.? Peel leaned back in his seat, breathing heavily. ?Thank you sir, sorry sir.? Slade indicated again and pulled into the department?s parking lot. ?I will warn you though, if you don?t bring evidence directly to my attention immediately, or try to pin your discoveries on a lie or someone else to avoid responsibility, I will transfer you back to where you came. ?You?ll work the traffic night shift for the next three years, understood?? Peel?s stomach churned. ?Yes sir. Won?t happen again, sir.? Slade opened his door. ?Excellent. I?m sure you?ll fit right in then.? Slade waited until the young bobby had composed himself and had gotten out of the car. He was probably being too hard on the lad, but if he didn?t put the fire on now, young Constable Robert Peel may never enter the CID. He had talent, that much was obvious; he had a sharp eye and possibly a keen mind that might be useful to Homicide. The poor kid just needed to get his sea legs and maybe an injection of confidence. Peel inhaled deeply and put his helmet back on. Slade watched him take in the sheer size of the CID, and smiled another mirthless smile. Maybe it wasn?t such a good idea to introduce him to Chase so soon. He stepped up toward the CID building, not asking Peel to follow, but knowing he'd follow in his wake. Only one way to find out. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  14. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I rush along the crowded corridors of the disinfected hellhole of my life. Fresh out of med-school and the only place I could get an internship is in the infamous Otaku Public Hospital. Lucky punks I graduated with decided to not tell me when options opened up. Every student for themselves when it comes to a placement. Everyone got cushy jobs in cushy hospitals in outer suburbs. I find so late that my only option became OPH. Hell, I didn?t want to come here, I want to help people. If I want to help people...then I?d better start here as an intern. One of five interns stupid enough to choose a hospital that has the highest demand for blood donation in the region. One of five interns that used to have a glimmer of hope about bettering mankind. One of five interns that are either going to get knifed by a patient, killed by a mugger, commit suicide from stress, or survive it all and die from a heart attack before their thirtieth birthday. What am I thinking? How rude of me. I?m Liam. I?m the intern that runs the hospital. Don?t think I have delusions of grandeur or something, because I don?t. I?m just stating the truth. The resident that?s supposed to be mentoring me always disappears like some kinda ninja. Doesn?t spend any time in the wards, if he can help it. All the other docs are pretty much the same, too. They phone their work in. Don?t ask me how they do it and still get paid. The second my internship is up; I?m out of this town. I don?t care if I?m needed, or if me leaving makes life harder for the other interns, this job is killing me. I don't sleep any more, and I'm not even noticing. I?m ordering nurses around that know more about practical medicine than I ever will, I?m using equipment that has been stolen and re-bought from gangs so many times that we could be renting it, and I?m retrieving diabetes medication from a pharmacy that has more steel and bullet-proof protection than Y2K nut?s bunker. ?Doctor, we need you.? Not someone else, apparently. They need me. We?re down to three interns now, the other two cracked and spend their time in the morgue, and they?re busier than we are up here. I need to get insulin to kid that?s already in shock, and if I don?t inject it myself I?m pretty sure her crackhead mother is going to put it in her own veins before you can say ?surprise!? ?It?s a kid, face got cut up real bad. Looks like he?ll lose sight in one eye.? I hand the chart back, ?stop the bleeding, stitch him up and send him home.? The nurse gives me a cold look that makes me wish I hadn?t opened my mouth, or come into work today at all. ?Doctor, I know that, I?m telling you because his face got cut up by some idiot with a filthy old beer bottle.? I stop mid step. ?Have you taken samples from the wound site?? ?Mmhm.? ?Do you have them?? ?Mmhm. Here you are, [i]Doctor[/i]? Sarcasm drips off her every word, putting a special emphasis on Doctor. OPH used to have a microbiology lab, used to have a biochemistry lab, too. Local gangs heard the word ?lab? and proceeded to bust up the joint and steal all our equipment to use to make meth. The scientists that used to be in the lab got cut up bad, and they weren?t even trying to stop the punks. Now uni grads desperate for a job to pay off their student loans are still too wise to fill the empty positions. Enter me. I did a bachelor degree before medicine that specialised in all the tests that our scientists used to do. Because we don?t have any scientists, and because our equipment gets swiped so much, the City Health Department dug up lab equipment so old that even the theiving punk?s granddads around here wouldn?t recognise it. Lucky for a few of our patients here, I actually trained on it. I?m an intern that doubles as a scientist on the side, I spend every night brushing up on old tests and old methods to use old equipment to find out what microscopic things are killing people here. ?Okay, put the kid on fluids and send him to paediatrics. There aren?t any beds so you?ll have to improvise. I?m pretty sure the residents won?t miss their couch from their on-call room so you have my permission to use it.? I try to deliver my instructions as quickly as possible, knowing that I don?t have much time left before this insulin is going to be useless. ?Do not start general anti-bacterials, it could be a mycological infection. Hell, he may even be completely clean if we?re lucky. Tell the nurse on ward duty in paediatrics to keep a watch for septic shock, if she can?t do it, tell whoever brought the kid in to keep an eye on him and watch for fever or a jump in heart rate. If he goes into shock, then you can page me. But right now, I need to deliver this injection? ?Yes Doctor.? [i]?Crash cart coming in!?[/i] Damn it. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  15. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"] I finally get around to reading through this thread only to get rick rolled...and I don't care : D Good job, Ace. You're using the right amount of humour to keep the story light and entertaining. Excellent use of music lyrics as well. I'll keep coming back for more ^_^ [subnote: I know this was brought up ages ago, but what about Open Office? My old housemates and I use it all the time. Got to be better than notepad and it's freeeee][/SIZE][/FONT]
  16. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]You have brought this upon yourselves, I must say. [b]Otori Takeo[/b] from the [i]Tales of the Otori[/i] series by Lian Hearn, just to add some angsty bizarre and often amoral fiction. [b]Artemis Fowl[/b] and his bodyguard, [b]Butler[/b] from the [i]Artemis Fowl[/i] series by Eoin Colfer [b]Thomas Ward[/b] and the [b]Spook[/b] from the [i]Wardstone Chronicles[/i] by Joseph Delaney. And finally, to prove all my tastes aren't from fantasy fiction, [and to throw you through a loop] [b]Mma Precious Ramotswe[/b] from [i]The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency[/i] series by Alexander McCall Smith. Awaaay! *whoosh* [/SIZE][/FONT]
  17. liamc2

    Writing Stoked

    [quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Two things. 1: Good to see you back and writing for your own amusement just as we'd discussed.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"]It's good to be back ^_^[/FONT] [quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"] 2: My god, my eyes. [b][i]MY EYES![/b][/i] Your font is so teeny tiny it's a strain to even consider reading more than the opening lines. Sure the html formatting gives it a very neat feel, but your readers shouldn't make themselves blind trying to struggle through the second paragraph. Not that the content itself is a struggle to read of course.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"]Yeah, realised the size was a mistake the second it loaded. All fixed now. Bigger without ruining the effect I wanted, I think[/FONT]
  18. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][size="2"] [CENTER][IMG]http://syf.250free.com/stload/stokedheader.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke sat comfortably at the small rectangle IKEA table in the small kitchen-cum-living room of his dear friend, Kei Nalren. He was ignoring how uncomfortable budget plastic chairs can be, how disgusting his suit was after a full work day in the hot summer sun, and most of all how much Kei’s new boyfriend looked like a man easily picked out of a witness report. Thane measured Todd out the corner of his eye. [i]Just over six foot, well built, shaved head. Had far too much sun, stank of cigarettes, sweat and cheap beer. Facial features matched a number of identikit pictures that had been mocked up for a number of active cases. Kei is head over heels for him.[/i] Thane put down the mental case summary as protective jealousy and far too much time spent in the office. He had spent the past few weeks trying to confirm, with witness and police reports from a number of cases, that there was a rather effective gang behind a number of violent armed robberies. They’d so far moved their way from the suburbs and even struck a 7-11 in the heart of the central business district. Kei said something and Thane forced a laugh, eating another forkful of roast lemon chicken and fidgeting yet again on the hard plastic chair. He really had to leave work behind. “Todd and I have some wonderful news, and we have something important we need to ask you, Thane.” Kei said, reaching for her boyfriend’s hand. Thane was only half listening, too busy trying to negotiate a piece of stray potato onto his fork while trying to avoid looking at Todd’s incredibly tanned face. He really wished he hadn’t worn his work suit. Between Kei’s baggy slacks and Todd’s blue Singlet, he felt like he was on official business. Kei frowned and reached over the table, slapping his forehead. “Oi, are you listening?” Kei demanded, before settling back into her seat. “Todd and I have a very important announcement and we’d like you to be involved, if you’d stop zoning out and thinking about work every two seconds.” Todd laughed and Thane gave a sheepish grin, “sorry, a lot on my mind these past few weeks.” [i]Life could never have been this complicated. Ever since my birthday, this past month has been sheer madness…[/i]he noted to himself. Kei smacked him in the head again. “Ow! Alright, I’m listening!” Thane growled, sitting up yet again. “You have my rapt attention.” Kei smiled. “Well you know how Todd and I have been going out for a while now?” [i]Only two months,[/i] Thane thought, [i]I guess that’s a while.[/i] “Well with me moving in and everything…we decided to invite you over to celebrate for another reason, other than the housewarming I mean…uh. Well..” Kei blushed and looked uncharacteristically bashful. Todd broke in with his gravely tones and finished for her, putting his hand on top of Kei’s. “I proposed to her. We’re getting married!” Thane blinked. His heart stopped, his eyes widened and his jaw slackened. He wasn’t surprised at the announcement; he’d been expecting that to happen for a while now. Kei was a beautiful young girl and a dedicated psychology graduate with a promising career ahead of her as a Team Leader in Child Protection. She was, in his humble opinion, a good catch. She had a bubbly, cheerful, personality that caused many people mistakenly classify her under the stigma of “blonde,” despite her jet-black hair. Those that assumed she was a pushover or a slouch when it came to work were often surprised by her steel core and no-nonsense attitude. Todd was the third guy that had summoned the courage to propose to her. Admittedly he was the first person to show interest in her that wasn’t from a studious background. Being a construction labourer he couldn’t be further from Kei in worlds, but Thane had mused that it was the sheer “blokey” package that had attracted Kei in the first place. All of her previous boyfriends had been university shut-ins that didn’t get out in the light that much. Todd wasn’t an issue right now, apart from the fact that Thane couldn’t remember the guy’s last name. Thane had frozen up in shock because he was having an episode. Ever since his twenty-eighth birthday he had moments where he froze and noticed things. He had thought he’d been having a few too many late nights, too much caffeine and too little square meals, but these episodes had continued to become clear and real. What had been put down originally as instinct and imagination could now no longer be ignored. Despite quitting Red Bull and V, he found his episodes becoming more lucid, and harder to forget. Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke was staring into the middle distance in a private view of a tiny hell. [i]Kei was standing in the flat’s tiny bedroom, now tidy with everything cleaned away and organised. She was moving the bed again to make room for more furniture. Thane could see the wedding ring with a bizarre clarity on her finger while the rest of the room seemed grey and lifeless, like old security footage. Kei hefted the headboard of the bed again, making enough room for her to stand between it and the wall. From there, she pushed it to the far side of the room. She turned around in time to see a perfect white, flat, rectangle of gyprock wall fall to the floor. Puzzled, she stepped closer and looked inside the hole. Thane watched things become fuzzy as the room jumped, his vision now complete with a cliché timestamp and red recording dot. Todd and Kei were close quarters now, struggling with something. Kei was clearly upset, hair spilling out of its usually neat pony-tail. Todd’s expression was frozen with grim determination as he wrenched whatever they were fighting over. Kei slumped forward and slid down to the floor, her lower back a shocking mess. Kei was dead.[/i] “Thane you stupid idiot” Kei smacked him the head again. “I’m not going to tell you another bloody time, okay?” Thane closed his mouth and shook his head, looking from the still laughing Todd to the seething Kei. [i]Todd killed Kei with a sawn-off shotgun! I need to stop this! I need to do something![/i] “You’re listening? Good.” Kei settled herself. “Todd and I, we want you to marry us. I know you’re a Justice of the Peace, and you have the power to do it. You’ve been my best friend for more than ten years, and I would be honoured-no, [i]we[/i] would be honoured if you would be the celebrant that marries us in the official ceremony.” Kei smiled encouragingly at Thane and asked again, “will you?” Thane smiled, still trying silently not to freak out, “of course, I would love to. I mean, yeah. Anything!” Kei burst into tears, and hugged him, laughing with joy. Todd chuckled and got up; announcing he had celebratory drinks stashed somewhere. [i]I need to tell her, now while Todd is out of the room![/i] Thane opened his mouth to whisper, and blinked. [i]Todd overheard the conversation in the hallway, Kei’s furious cry and protestation, when she realised Thane wasn’t joking. Todd wasn’t going to jail. He had a few mates that’d cover for him and get him a new life out west. Maybe Roma, there was construction happening there. Or even a stint in the mines with a new name. Carefully he put down the bottle of red and went back into the bedroom he’d come out of and shifted the bed, reaching into the hole in the wall for the sawn-off shotgun he’d hidden there. He came back into the kitchen-[/i] Thane broke into a sweat as he felt the sear of the shot rush through him and Kei. Kei broke the hug and sat back in her chair, hands clasped in her lap. “I’m so happy, I could scream!” She laughed and wiped the back of her hand under her wet eyes. “Now tell me what’s been distracting you tonight. You’ve been completely out of it.” Thane was acutely aware of Todd’s gaze as he politely declined the offered glass of red. “I’ve just had a series of hard cases to go through, crazy workload. And I’ve just realised that I have a court case Monday that I need to have paperwork submitted for. I’m going to have to call Mayank now and get him to put it through for me tomorrow because I’m not in. “It’s my long weekend this week and there’s no way I’m showing my head in there on a Friday, otherwise I’ll never get out of there.” “Mate, I know how that feels.” Todd said, leaning back in his chair. “You get in on site to drop off a tool or something as a favour, and the next thing you know you’re laying mortar for a brickie that’s behind schedule and you’ve spent ten hours on site, unpaid.” Thane laughed, “yeah. Can’t say that’s happened to me, but I’ve been snowed under by someone else’s paperwork.” He turned to Kei, “mind if I make a call? It’s got to be private I’m afraid.” Kei rolled her eyes. “You’re still switched on after hours, aren’t you? No wonder you never left the library at uni. You can use our bedroom, it’s the only room with a door apart from the bathroom and I don’t think you’ll get reception in there.” “Cheers.” Thane got up and shook Todd’s offered hand, trying to ignore his reassuringly firm grip and his words of gratitude. “Sorry again guys, I’ll be right back. I’ll be expecting dessert.” Thane said cheekily, poking his head back into the kitchen. “There might be ice-cream in the fridge if you’re gone for less than ten minutes,” Kei called back. “Silly boy.” She sighed and shook her head, smiling at her beloved. Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke cradled his phone on his shoulder while putting on disposable gloves that he always kept inside his suit jacket pocket. While he had silently grumbled about his work clothes before, the Detective in him was triumphant that he was always prepared. Careful to not make a sound, he shifted the bed carefully across the carpet, noting the now obvious “hidden” panel in the wall. His phone was ringing, trying to get in touch with his partner, Detective Senior Constable Mayank Ahimsa. Thane made a point to never lie; it made court appearances less embarrassing and the paperwork easier to manage. Also he had morals and wanted to uphold the law. But he liked justifying himself with almost amoral reasons so he didn’t feel like he was coming over to self-righteous or a bit of a wanker. Possibly this reveals more about DSC Stoke than what he would like people to know. “Gotcha.” Thane muttered, pulling the ugly looking double-barrelled shotgun out of the hole. [i]“Got who, Stokey?”[/i] Mayank sounded as though he’d just been woken up, which he had. “You’ll know soon enough. It’s nothing good, either.” Mayank yawned. [i]“Why are you whispering?”[/i] “Thin walls and I’ve confirmed evidence of illegal firearms in Kei’s fiancé’s flat” Silence. [i]“Kei’s getting married? You told me she was open to the idea for a little Indian brown rice.”[/i] “First of all, there’s something wrong with you. You’re married with kids. Second of all, your Indian brown rice, as you put it, is outclassed by her current steak and two veg. Thirdly, you’re ignoring the issue.” Thane hissed while delicately removing the two shells from the shotgun and the other six he had found in the hole. [i]“Why are you telling me? Arrest the guy already. You’ve still got your ID if I know you well enough.”[/i] Mayank yawned yet again. [i]“You do know I’m on an early tomorrow, right?”[/i] “I tried that-was going to try that, rather. It didn’t go down so well.” Thane winced, knowing how his colleague had responded to the first time he summoned the courage to mention his episodes to him. [i]“Dude, that is so awesome. Did he like shoot you? Did you get phantom blood?”[/i] Thane sighed and placed the piece of gyprock on the floor, as if it had just fallen there by itself. The bed had been shifted carefully to one side and luggage placed carefully. Anyone who walked into the room could easily assume that Thane had stumbled across the little cache by himself. From the amount of tiny bedpost imprints on the carpet it seemed that the bed had been relocated frequently. No fingerprints, covered. [i]“Didn’t answer me. Seriously, phantom blood? Got to be better than that homeless guy you “knew” was a witness that would testify.”[/i] “No phantom blood, but I did snap out of it when I felt the hot lead shot enter my vital organs” [i]“Wicked. Oh, I sent two plainclothes officers in vests around to pay a little visit. Frantic call about a shot heard in your area. I can get SERT on standby if you want me to?”[/i] Mayank was completely professional now, his tone completely denying the fact he was an utter child. “Shouldn’t need them. Don’t want to draw too much heat from the higher ups over this. Just in case there’s an inquiry.” Thane blinked and took in what Mayank said. “What do you mean by there’s a report of a shot heard in my area?” [i]“Your flat even, the witness was quite specific from a private prepaid phone. You owe my daughter a new SIM card, by the way. And a slab of Cadbury for services rendered. You’d better get moving. Oh and I have it here you reported promptly five minutes after the first emergency call, owing to how long it took you to discover the source of the shot."[/i] “I finally got through to you Detective! Can you submit those forms I need for court on Monday? No, the other ones. No I don’t need that at all, just what I’m asking for. Great. I’ll see you Monday.” Thane called out loud enough to be heard outside the room, and added in a harsh whisper, “You idiot, you have no idea what I have to do now.” [i]“Kisses. I know how the system works better than you do. You’ve got about four minutes. Kay, thanks, bye!”[/i] Thane hung up and looked around the room. [i]Heat higher up. Lights?[/i] He looked up at the large lampshade above his head. [i]No…that’s just stupid. Got to be logical. What idiot hides bullets from his girlfriend in a ceiling light lamp above their bed?[/i] Thane looked back at the hole and noticed the power point below it, and had a flash of real inspiration. He fussed frantically in the hole with the ammunition and wires before silently resetting the board and bed. He called out while removing his gloves, “hey Todd, you might have rats or something man. Something’s scrabbling around in here.” “Yeah, we can hear them moving around in the kitchen, I was hoping they hadn’t got to the bedroom again.” Todd called back. [i]I’m doing this too well; he’s not expecting anything. Surely I don’t sound that honest?[/i] “Rats? In our bedroom?” Kei shrieked, “you told me there weren’t any in the place, you said you got it fixed!” Thane stepped out of the bedroom far enough to be seen by Kei in the kitchen, and reached back, slamming the bedroom door shut. He heard the muffled crash in the room he was hoping for and grinned at the silent couple. “Now that I have your attention, come on guys. You’re almost newlyweds, we can’t have you bickering now.” Thane sat back down at the table, “I believe you said you had ice-cream for me?” [i]Come on, come on…[/i] “You were lucky. There’s a little vanilla left.” Kei set three bowls down and served out the ice-cream. “I don’t have any caramel topping but there might be some chocolate?” “None for me thanks, love.” Todd grabbed his bowl and nodded to Thane, “so what is it like being a copper?” Thane blinked, his mouth dried. He saw the results, and swallowed to reply carefully, “it can be rewarding.” There was a loud crack of an explosion as the first shell was set off by the wires Thane had carefully stripped, exposed and placed so as to perfectly catch at least one of the falling shells. The brass covering of the base of the shotgun created a bridge between the wires and began to heat up. It was enough, the shell exploded and the shot scattered as it was supposed to. Unfortunately, the shot had landed facing the kitchen. Thanks to a support beam a large amount of the lead was deflected, but the rest made it to the kitchen, hitting the ceiling, the refrigerator, Todd’s shoulder, the microwave, and Todd’s lower back. Thane felt the shot brush his ear lobe and realised with some bizarre euphoric calm that he had survived possibly the most ridiculous way one could die from a gunshot. Kei was unharmed, but freaking out over her crazy fiancé. Thane told her to use her basic first aid training to staunch the bleeding, while he investigated and called the police. “This is absolutely insane.” He called out to Kei, while retrieving the shotgun and shells from the hole. The uniformed police arrived ten minutes later, and it wasn’t until he had given his statement and Todd had been taken away for hospital treatment and probable prosecution for a spate of armed robberies, that Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke added to himself, [i]and I absolutely love it.[/i] [/FONT][/size]
  19. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I think you'll find that, by merely reporting this incident, there will be an alarming increase in copy-cat vigilantism. The board should fear revenge attacks and "counter terrorism" exercises in the near future. Are these truly dark days on the internet, where people put on a false guise and masquerade anonymously without fear of justice? [/SIZE][/FONT]
  20. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I think you'll all find that the only way to get gangs to wear Wal-mart bandannas is to simply generate a massive and overtly kitsch advertising campaign. I'm pretty sure you could make red and blue bandannas the coolest things around with a really simple advertisement made by the people who really know how to sell [u][i][URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9COTOUH4qU"]awesome.[/URL][/i][/u] Bandanna sales would got through the roof and we could make millions! Socially disadvantaged sub groups are really responsive to condescending advertisement campaigns! : D Wait, we're trying to stop wal-mart from selling gang colours? [/SIZE][/FONT]
  21. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I miss my enthusiasm for the boards and for RPG's. Uni sort of sucked that out of me :( One would think that with graduation and extra time I would be here more often...but then I discovered World of Warcraft. Hm.[/SIZE][/FONT]
  22. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]I believe the inclusion of Aloysius Knight of Matthew Reilly's [i]Scarecrow[/i] would make things a little interesting. Rincewind the wizard and His Grace Sir Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett's [i]Discworld[/i] series Sosuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! Usagi Yojimbo from the same titled series by Stan Sakai ...hm, I have so many characters spinning around in my head I'm having difficulty picking which ones. I may be back.[/SIZE][/FONT]
  23. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]"When relocating coffin from this gravesite, please confirm the presence or absence of fingernail marks on the inside of the lid." "This is why you don't run with scissors."[/SIZE][/FONT]
  24. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]Well my screen name came from about 5 minutes thought when I was sitting in front of OB many years ago. My first name and the initial of my last name. Completely unoriginal, I know. The "2" is there simply because I believe "liamc" was already taken or something. I had a couple chances to change it, but I never really bothered considering most people knew me as [b]Liam[/b]. It'd feel sort of, well, [i]wrong[/i] to update it now after all these years. Besides, "everyone" knows me by [b]liamc2[/b] anyway :P Subnote @ Aaryanna's signature: Ha! I completely had forgotten that DK was a fluffy owl[/SIZE][/FONT]
  25. [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"] I find myself not finishing games more often than not. There's only a few that I have finished, simply because I really enjoyed them or found the pace appealing. Here's a handful: [b]Final Fantasy X[/b] My housemate owned it and I loved playing it, but I was about 9 hours gameplay in and I just couldn't stand playing it any more. The story was intriguing but the monotonous hours of fighting and...well..I hate to say it but I found it [i]boring[/i]. The obvious nature of the railroad story movement irked me also. Yet I don't really hate the game, just wasn't for me. [b]Neverwinter Nights[/b] Actually, I loved this game. Cost me $20 and it was well worth it. It ran well for the first 10 minutes and then I lost sound, then suddenly I had stop motion animation...yet I completed the first chapter because it was so much fun. The system requirements for the game were minimal [considering how old it was when I got it] yet it was awful on my PC. Years later I was advised by a tech friend that my soundcard may have been the cause.. [b]Oblivion[/b] System heavy, but ran pretty well. Finished its prequel Morrowind and enjoyed it. Only reason why I stopped playing was because a: holidays were over and it was so time intensive and b: I [being me] managed to construct a set of armour that rendered me entirely invisible to the monsters in game. Great fun at first...but then I found it too easy and the areas I was up to by then were much to hard for my char to survive thanks to my "circumvention." Ruined the game for myself, though I'm very tempted to pick it up again now I have time.. [b]Zelda[/b] Any one of them. *avoids lurking death*. Fun games, but I lost interest when it became a chore to get through the never ending dungeons. That and there wasn't a decent save function drove me nuts. Sorry. [/SIZE][/FONT]
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