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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][FONT=Century Gothic][CENTER][B][U]Distopia[/U][/B]

A group of scientists and leaders sat stone-faced around a large table. Each of them were focussed on a dusty screen in the centre of the table, a small laptop recovered from the Bad Lands on an expedition ten days ago. One of the scientists, a man with youthful looks but weary eyes, leant over to switch on the video that had been found on the laptops hard-drive. He sat back against as the video crackled to life and rested his chin on his knuckles, his expression turning to one of worry as a man?s face showed, his eyes sunk and his skin sweaty and pale as he spoke hurriedly into the webcam to record his account.

[I]?It?s growing darker outside as I record this, th-the clouds must be moving in faster than we expected. I?m not sure what year it is, or even what day?the sky is always twilight and the sun is never out?there?s no way to tell time, it?s maddening.? [/I] He gasped and his eyes twitched away from the camera as it crackled again before he continued speaking, his tone more urgent than before.

[I]?We were here on an expedition to d-discover the Old City, it?s rumoured that there?s an old hospital here that still holds many useable medicines that our people need for survival,?[/I] another break in transmission and the camera is adjusted, [I]?There was supposed to be food there, too but?we must have gotten lost, because all we found was a bunker full of only two days supply of tinned food. It must be an old military base or something.?[/I] He gulped and his breath quickened as it became obvious he was finding it hard to breathe.

[I]?We were ambushed by creatures, no, monsters that seemed to be human but just?just couldn?t have been. There must have been an accident, but I don?t know what?s going on anymore. We called them Drifters, those of us who are left. They killed two of our men and dragged away the bodies; Christ in Heaven knows what will be done to those poor people??[/I] something in the background seemed to hiss, like gas escaping a pipe.

[I]?I?m almost out of time here, the storm is directly over us now. I?m leaving this video to warn you that this situation will only get worse, as you no doubt realize. If our calculations are correct then we missed our target by miles and ended up far east of the Old City. The medicine will still be there, in the hospital, and countless stores of food should be left, too. There is no other record of these findings because our government was too arrogant to even take notice of a few eccentric scientists?please, whoever you are, if you want your people to have a hope of living?find the Old City restore the trade routes. It?s your only hope.?[/I]

Finally the transmission ended for the final time and the screen went blank. Worried faces glanced at each other for some kind of idea of what to say, but no words could be found. This video was groundbreaking and life saving and all present knew that they should listen to it.

One man stood and nodded to his colleagues, [B]?We?ll form a team?[/B]

The year is unknown and time is hard to tell now. The only way the last of humanity manages to keep some sort of track on their miserable planet is by the coming of the storms. They signal the start of a new year, humans can only guess, and they have manage to keep a primitive sort of calendar based on this fact.

This world that has been created is a by-product of nuclear war is an utter wasteland. Human ignorance made it the way it is, and now only a few humans still survive. 186, to be exact, and they all live in one area, the only area to still contain fresh water and semi-fertile soil. It is, in fact, the only place that ever gets any sunlight. For a short amount of time every Storm-Year, sun break through the passing death clouds and showers the land with rays. It?s the only time of the year people feel truly safe.

The Drifters are a race of devolved humans, those who, instead of hanging onto their humanity and trying to save the planet, adapted and changed so that they thrived where humans failed. They don?t need water or natural food such as fruit and vegetables. They survive on flesh and blood and bone marrow is a speciality for them.

Farming is now a speciality and only certain buck have managed to survive through all that as happened. They are now tamed and on the day when sun breaks through, people eat meat. For the rest of the Storm-Year they try to ration the needed food. Corn is the main produce the humans can get to grow, but peas and tomatoes also do well. All of these plants have changed from their predecessors, as they?ve had to adapt to the new soil and lack of water. Most vegetables, for example, have much tougher skins and don?t contain as much water as they used to.

The Old City was a myth to the current generation of humans, but the discovery of a video from long ago made it certain that there was such a place. If it is found, so much help will be able to be sent to the remaining humans, and what?s left of the city will be built up again in an attempt to start re-building the planet.

The Leaders are forming a team of six people, each of them specialists in their own field. They will be sent on a trek to find the Old City and bring back vital medicine and food for their fellows. But there are many perils besides the Drifter out in the Bad Lands, and the group of human travellers will have to cross uncharted land and maybe even have to battle through a Storm. The lands are dominated by beasts unknown to humans, beasts that stalked the land billions of years ago?
Not everyone in the team may come back home safely, but one thing is for sure, the success of this mission decides humanities fate.

[SIZE=1][LEFT]Okay then, my last RP bombed, so I?m hoping this works better. (Note to self: Chapter system=not good.)

I'd like to clear something up about these Storm clouds (death clouds). They really are deadly. Imagine them to be akin to pyroclastic flow (that reall nasty stuff volcanoes have a tendancy to vomit up). They burn, they carry ash and sand, which you breath in. They choke out the sun because they're so thick and they're made up solely or carbon dioxide. More than a minute in there and you're a goner.

I?m going for a different approach to the sign ups in this, so you?ll have to work a little harder to impress me. And, like all of my RPs, I value quality of players over quantity. I?d like 6, including myself, but if I don?t have five others who I feel are up to snuff, then I simply won?t have five. I?ll choose as many as I see fit. Equally, if there are more than five really good sign ups, I?ll gladly take more in. With hat said, the sign up:

I?d like your sign up to be done in the following format: I short story. I know that sounds a bit much, but hear me out.

Instead of having the usual name, gender, biography lot, I?d like you to incorporate all of these things into a piece of writing and present that to me as your sign up. You can write it however you want, but I need to get a feel for your characters and what his/her skills are.

[U]The things I?ll need you to cover in the writing are:[/U]
?Characters name
?Approx age
?Personality and how they act with others
?Profession/skills (Some old professions will still apply, like a doctor or scientists, but think about the land you?re in, there isn?t going to be much need for a surgeon, so apply skills in more inventive occupations)
?Rough outline of their history, beliefs in Old City, motivations, etc.

And that should be it, I?ll post my story later on in the week and I look forward to seeing the sign ups.

Oh, one last thing. Seeing as there are just under 200 people left in the world (that we know of) I seriously encourage character interaction. If you?re in the middle of writing your short story, then post it so others can see where you?re going with it. Talk with others in the Underground, discuss relationships between characters. Have fun with the storylines, you know?

One last note: Short stories don?t have to be novels, but I?d like all sign ups written in font size 2, black text and about a page and a half in word minimum would be good.

[COLOR=Red][B]Edit:[/B][/COLOR] Jokopoko has raised a couple of questions which I should have added beforehand (my apologies).

Despite the fact there isn't an exact year, imagine this to be Middle 21st century.

Also, the capabilities for very advanced technology is there, but the parts aren't. However, it's rumoured that the Old City has more than enough rescources to start building new things.

[COLOR=Red][B]Edit2:[/B][/COLOR] (Not doing well, am I?) I forgot to mention that, if you can, attach a picture of what your character looks like. If you can fit their appearance into your sign up, then you don't need to. Garg, afterthoughts are a *****.[/LEFT][/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=indigo]?I?ve heard it called the ?suicide mission?, what are your thoughts, Randy??

A young, determined man sat across from me. His face was timid and anxious, almost lusting for my words. His clothes, as tattered as they were, were neat and as clean as he could possibly muster. His hands were delicate and shaky as he wrote down every detail, or movement, I made. He was studying me, just like a good psychiatrist should. I hated the way he pried into my soul, or rather, what was left of it. But, it was suggested we talk to someone before setting out, and I?m not going to no priest for comfort. It was odd, I hated the idea of this man reading me like a book, but I stared back and knew he was doing this for me. There was nothing arrogant, or conceited about him. This kid genuinely wanted to help me. I might have the mind to come back to him if I survived this mission.

?Well, Dr. Lee, I guess it?d be good to start off with my childhood,? really random of me, but that?s who I am, Randy ?Random? Pierce. And here I sat, before this young doctor, about to spill my life?s story. I remember how I felt, as if it happened yesterday. The one thing I remember going through my mind, over and over again was I just hoped I wouldn?t start crying. How pathetic would that be; a 32-year-old man sobbing like a little girl who misses her dead fish to a complete stranger, a man who was ten years my junior. It was what I wanted to do so badly, but knew it would?ve brought about an even more awkward atmosphere.

?I-If that?s where you?d like to begin, have at it,? he smiled. Now that I think about it, that?s the first time I saw someone smile in my presence. Interesting. Anyway, I began my sob story with this eager man and his scribbling.

?I don?t know where exactly I was born, and I don?t remember anything before the age of nine. Yeah, strange, I know. Memory develops much earlier than that, but I kid you not, I cannot come to grasp a single trace of my life before I moved into Old City. I can?t even be sure if the woman and man I called my parents were my real parents. Supposedly, there was some freak accident when I was around three. My mom--that?s what we?ll settle with for now--said our house got plagued with carbon monoxide, you know, the stuff you can?t detect with your nose?

Something about how I was asleep while the babysitter neglected to check up on me, and the detector never went off. So the only reason why I?m alive is because the ***** of a sitter passed out just as my parents walked in the door. Unfortunately, she lived. She and I were in the hospital for months with severe brain damage and all that jazz. After that, my parents said I was never the same. I was sort of irrational, reckless, and had problems remembering the simplest of things. Like, I forgot how to, at the age of five, tie my shoelaces. Just randomly, out of the blue. It was strange, my dad told me. He said that the day before, I was tying my laces without any hesitation or questions, but then I just looked at him like I was lost.

It got progressively worse, I began to forget my own age, or my name, or if I had gone to the bathroom. Remember, this is all what I remember now of what my parents told me after one, peculiar and unexplainable day. It was my ninth birthday, and I remember it so clearly. I was sitting on the couch, watching the news, when all of a sudden, I remembered that I had to take out the trash from the night before so that the garbage men could pick it up at precisely 9:30 AM, right before I watched my favorite cartoon. At first, I didn?t realize that I?d remembered, and just went about my business. I remember my mom staring at me from the kitchen table as I walked back into the house, gently shut the door, and washed my hands. This was everything I?d never remembered to do. My parents were always having to tell me what to do.

Then, I went back to the couch and flicked the channel to a cartoon station. My mom started crying and called my father at work. He came home immediately and started asking me what my name was, and who they were. I couldn?t understand what their problem was. This is where they told me what happened, and I sort of went into a recluse-mode. It really ****** me up, you know? Not knowing what the hell was going on, not knowing whether I remembered not remembering anything, not knowing how old I really was or who I was. It was, just a really ****** up time. But, to test that it wasn?t a fluke, the next day, I remembered every single detail. Down to the pajamas my mom was wearing, and what exact cup she was drinking coffee from.?

I paused right here to take a look at Dr. Lee. He was blinking in confusion as well. I offered him one of my cigarettes, and I remember him telling me ?I don?t smoke; it kills people.? That made me laugh out loud, because, it was ironic that he was afraid of cigarettes rather than the poisonous air we breathed each day. But, I shrugged it off and continued.

?Anyway, within a couple of weeks, my father got a better job opportunity in Old City. We moved there, and lived there for a good ten years before moving out into the country. We weren?t too far out in the country. I still had friends, well, somewhat. I never quite made many friends.?

?Because of your memory thing?? Dr. Lee interjected.

?Well, yeah. I still had smidgens of problems with it, but it was more along the lines that I would sort of blurt out random nonsense. When I saw a doctor, he told me everything that I uncontrollably said were things that had been suppressed, or things I had unconsciously absorbed from the environment around me. It was like, he explained to me, the fizz in your soda bottle. You shake it up, but never remove the lid. Once you do, it just bursts out and is hard to control, or predict when to shut it off. ?

?Very interesting,? Dr. Lee set his pen down and rested his elbows on his knees. See, this is what I liked about him. A very down to Earth kid, and really interested in what you had to say. It made me feel a bit out of place, but then I couldn?t help but savor being taken in so intensively. I didn?t like to talk just to hear my own voice, and that?s how I had felt for the longest time. Like no one was actually listening, no one cared. Not even my own parents.

?Yeah, so you can imagine how that affected my, um, sexual and personal relationships. I tried to date, but every one failed. ?You?re just too much all at once, I can?t keep up? was always the verdict to the end. I don?t mean to be so ?out there?, and I really do try to keep myself in line. But whatever. Continuing, this also made it hard for me to get a job. I held all sorts of jobs; from waste management to secretarial jobs. Nothing worked out, and when the big bang happened, it didn?t matter.?

?So, what have you been doing all this time, Randy? How did you get to the mission??

Oops, I had forgotten about his original question. It happens, right? I tried to put together how I came upon this mission everyone called the ?suicide mission?.

?I sort of, fell into it. Quite literally, so to speak,? this is where it got a bit complicated. See, the destruction of humanity left me an orphan. I was alone, and had no means of money, food, or help. So, I did what every other desperate person did, resort to finding my own means of survival. Stealing. I didn?t really want to say this to Dr. Lee. He was too kind and trusting. If I had told him the truth, I was afraid of him kicking me out and sending the small law after me. But, I had to say something.

?You ?fell? into it? I?m a bit confused,? he chuckled.

?Yeah, funny story actually. I was up on the roof, fixing a hole. It was right above a meeting room, and dirt and **** would blow down into the room. So, I offered to fix it for a glass of water--you know how water is precious now, and a piece of food. Bread, cracker, I didn?t care. Neither did they, because the took my offer and extended it to repairing things around the building.?

?Who?s ?they???

?Oh, the owners. I was passing through one day, and heard them talking. That?s how it all started. So, anyway, I was on the roof and after I patched up one hole, I fell through another. I fell clear through the ceiling of the room, landing on the table. Right in the middle of their meeting, can you believe that? I thought I was a gonner, but they asked me if I could go on this mission, seeing as how I was such a good handy man,? I guess I said too much because Dr. Lee tried to stomach a laugh. He quickly apologized and took up is pen again.

?So, you?re a contractor. What do you think will happen on this mission??

?Well, I just hope that we can come back safely and with everything we need to try and survive again.?[/color]

Let me know if I need to add/change anything, J-dawg. I also included a pic of what Randy looks like. [/size]
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[COLOR=Black][SIZE=1]''Minoko! Come down and eat with the rest of us before we take your share!''
[I]Crap...[/I] I thought, [I]I'm always late in the mornings...why can't they just wait?[/I]
''Oi! 'Urry up then! Wots takin ya so long eh?''
''Yeah! It's not like we haven't waited long enough already, get outta bed you lazy little *******, hahahah!''
The last voice came from just outside my room, and my neighbour stuck his head around the door, ''Come on, I found something interesting. Come see it before the others find out I'm hiding it! quickly!'' he said in a hushed voice.
I got up, my long black hair in a tangled mess and, still in pajamas, walked straight into the wall across the hall.
''Mother *********!''
Man it hurt like a b**** that morning.

Each time I woke up, the same thing happened. It was like a ritual. Get up, hair in a tangled mess, pajamas on and walk into the wall.
''Okay I'm awake now,'' I said as I hopped up and skipped downstairs.
My neighbour followed, shaking his head ''I don't know how you can do that every morning and not suffer from concussions or whatever, freak, hahah.''
He said that about every 4 times I would get up. Considering the fact that the lack of sun meant no real 'morning' I usually just ignored him.
As I hopped over the last step - it broke if you stepped on it - I had a look at the small old appartment I was living in. Pictures of random friends of other people living in the housing establishment with me. Of course I'd met just about everyone from the photos at some point, but depending on the frequency that I used their names, or saw them, I just kinda forgot them.
''Who the hell's that?'' I asked, pointing at a tiny photo glued onto the side of the small kitchen bench.
''Oh, that's one of the guys that's organising the thing I wanted to tell you about. Go get your food and come back in here, hurry up!''
I suppose Ryan was sort of excited about what he wanted to tell me - oh, that's right, Ryan's the neighbour I was saying about - so I ran into the eating room and grabbed my share of food. As I turned to go back to my buddy, one of the taunts from the guys around the table caught my attention.

''Hey, how old are you? 4? We ain't your parents baby girl!''
[I]...last nerve Antoine, last nerve...[/I] as I thought this I pictured myself strangling the asshole.
My parents had been kind people and they had allowed Antoine into our home when he was homeless. He had mooched off us ever since. When my parents passed, he did't shed one tear. Not a single one. He then proceeded to attempt to take over the residence.
I spun on the spot, grabbed him 'round the throat with a crab-claw like grip and dragged him down onto the floor. He attempted to roll out of my hold but I dug a sharp nailed finger into one of the pressure points near his neck. He froze instantly, not daring to move an inch further.
''Who's roof are you under? Mine. Who's parents were kind enough to let you into my house? Mine. Who saved you from being dragged along on that kamikaze mission to find that ********** 'Old City' myth? Me. Watch your mouth s***head, or I'll send you out into the next storm that passes over this house.'' I released him, then rethought my actions and almost apologised. Unfortunately for Antoine, he had picked the wrong time to make a rude gesture at my half-turned back, and I slapped him across the cheeck, leaving two light cuts from my nails.
'And for your information, 'I'm 23 by the way. I just like my sleep. It's the only place where you aren't these days,'' I spat at him.
I picked up my food and walked slowly into the other room where Ryan was waiting impatiently, yet quietly. He'd heard what had just happened. The other guys around the table in the eating room were silent as I glared at them all, daring them to utter one word.

''He's just a dickhead, ignore him dudette,'' Ryan said in his big-brother voice.
''Yeah yeah, whatever. Just get on with whatever it was you wanted to say already.''
He pulled out a small article from a paper he'd picked up around town somewhere.
''There's another exhibition heading out to look for the Old City. I was wondering if you were interested. I want to go myself, but...''
''You're such a wimp. Jeez.'' I rolled my eyes, ''Just because you have a cancer in your lung. As if you're not going to die someday soon anyway. Just go and be satisfied that you managed to pull off something bigger than a high school prank, eh?''
Although my words were hardly comforting, Ryan understood what I meant. He didn't have long left in his life, we all knew it. The doctors said he was inoperable as there were no leftover lungs in the organs department of the hospital. He was better off going out there and living out a dream - finding the 'Old City' that was apparently out in the badlands. I hardly believed that crap, but if it would make him happy to just hear me say I believed in its existance, I thought now was the time to finally give in and say so.
''Look...alright, maybe I will go. But you have to come with me. We go together all the way. We're going to find your Old City, and all the supplies you need for an operation.'' I smiled slightly as I said this and Ryan nodded, a new glow in his face, his eyes sparkling.

''So what do you think they're going to want with a part-time cook, part-time excercise instructor and a dieing mechanic?'' I asked my long-time pal as we hurried down the main street towards the building where we supposedly signed up for the new kamikaze mission.
''Minoko, slow down a bit eh?'' Ryan breathed in and out heavily as we jogged towards our destination. I turned back to see him fall into a coughing heap on the sidewalk.
As I quickly closed the 20m gap between us, I saw him cough up blood.
''Holy ****'' I screamed.
All of a sudden my nerves got the better of me. I swayed from side to side, almost spinning around looking for someone who might be able to help us out.
''Help! Someone!''
The few people who were out just stared oddly, appearing to have no idea what was happening, even though my friend was in the middle of a footpath in clear sight, coughing up masses of blood.
''For chrissake, will anyone help?!'' I snapped and ran over to the nearest person, ''Go to the nearest doctor's office and grab Bob Crandell will ya? I gotta look after my buddy.''
With my nails digging into the poor guy's arms he was probably going to just run off.
Everything seemed hopeless...I slumped to the ground and put my head in my hands.

The coughing stopped.

''Mate? Are you ok?'' I took my head out of my hands and began to stand up. I looked over to the still figure lying on the footpath. ''Ryan?''
No response.
I screamed.


''And you're sure about this? You know how dangerous this is?'' the man asked me through a one sided glass screen. I felt like I was talking to myself.
''Yes, I understand it all. I almost put myself in for the last one actually. Lucky I had to step down from that position eh?''
''We have more information this time. The last expedition travelled too far east, and this time we think we've worked out the probable directions slightly better.''
Slightly? What was I getting myself into...still, this wasn't for me, this was for Ryan. We made a promise, and I was going to keep it.
''Ok, I'm in. Let me know when we're to leave two days prior to the departure'' was the last I said before I left.[/size][/color]
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[size=1]Just so you know that I have every intent of signing up for this RPG, I'm posting this little placeholder here until I have a spare moment to edit it. That'll probably be sometime tomorrow... only a few midterms left.

So, until I have a free moment, this'll stay here. Hope you don't mind, Mods. :p[/size]
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[SIZE=1]Just letting you all know that I'm happy with the sign ups so far (and I look forward to yours, Alex).

I know a couple of others have told me they'd be signing up, and I was going to leave this open for quite a while anyway. I won't be starting this until late next week, so keep your eyes open. I'll edit this with my sign up when my muse returns. =/[/SIZE]
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[Color=DarkSlateGrey][Size=1]Sari set her head in her hands. What was she doing here? Why sit through this tedious interview just to find out she could not work? She knew the answer, it was the same one every time. ?We?re sorry Ms Jeil, but due to your problem, there?s nothing we can do for you. You will need to try again at some other area.?

Sari had gone through every district in the entire human encampment and no one wanted her. All because of her mood swings. Those damn mood swings, even the Drifters did not deserve what she had to endure.

It only came in the quiet. Those feelings. Sari knew that they were just phantoms of what she held back all those years ago, but for them to haunt her so horribly, it just was not right. Hate, Depression, Worry, and Anger. Those four, Sari feared them the most. In a way, they were like parasites, waiting for their turn in the driver?s seat. All the while thriving off Sari?s pain and suffering.

Hate and Anger, the color of red and the feelings Sari first felt after the Drifters mowed her family down. They had lived in a building of sorts with about three other families towards the outskirts of the encampment. There, they lived off one another, supplying food and water when someone was running low and so on. It was that night roughly 15 Storm-Years ago that showed Sari the dark side of people.

The Drifters had entered the encampment at the shift of the guards. Their first and closest target was Sari?s building. No one ever heard them coming. Screaming aroused Sari from her slumber and a wave of fear washed over her. Standing over her sister?s bed was a Drifter and it did not look like it was eating the sheets.

Frozen to her bed with fear, Sari did the only thing she could think of. She grabbed the piece of pipe that lay by her bed. Her fear slowly fading, Sari jumped out of her bed and slammed the pipe down on the Drifter?s head, causing it to buckle and fall to its knees. Sari then hit it again, throwing it to the ground. She then proceeded to pound in its head, while screaming obscenities left and right.

The other two Drifters, skin and innards hanging from their mouths, came flying and tackled Sari. She knocked them off and kept them back with swings of her pipe. She finally connected with one of them throwing it into the other. Sari then went down upon the two, beating both their heads inward. It was not until twenty minutes later, after a bloody and teary Sari emerged from her apartment, that she realized that everyone, including the authorities, were standing right outside, just listening.

From that day on, Sari lost her trust in humanity. Which lead to Worry and Depression. After what little was left of her family was disposed, Sari was sent to the hospital to work. There, while working with the distant staff, Sari learned everything she knows now about medicine. From treating Drifter bite, to radiation poisoning, Sari is ready for almost anything.

Now, with 29 Storm Years, Sari Jeil needed work. She had lost her girlfriend to sickness that no one could cure. Her girlfriend had brought in what little comfort they had and now Sari was left alone, but that?s the way it always had been, being alone. No one wanted to talk with her. They knew about what she had done. How she reacted and how it affected her life.

The door opened and the man smiled at Sari. ?Ms. Jeil, I?m happy to inform that you have been chosen to take part in the expedition. Do you know the details??

Sari nodded. She had learned everything she could about Old City. For her, it was like a new start. Maybe, just maybe, Sari could find what she lacked in her life. Maybe, Sari could find penance from the ghosts from her past. Maybe, she could finally allow her family die.

Until then, Sari would have to wait. It was all she could do.[/size][/color]

I'm so sorry this took so damn long. I'm still not sure it's enough, but that's what the RPG's for, right? :P
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