Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

The Ivory Dame Caper   Leave a comment

Full-size photos at my Flickr stream

It had been a long day, a day in a string of days filled with lots of nothing. Business lately was flatter than a Martian flat cat; and brother, that’s flat. Even the weather was depressed; it had been spitting rain all day, the kind of rain that ate holes in ceramacrete here on Chania 3, nice and acid.  Anyway, I was sitting in my office, fighting the latest battle in the age-old war between income and expenses. As usual, the expenses were winning; I hadn’t seen a clipped credit in weeks.  I was already a month behind on the rent; the landlord was beginning to give me the fish eye and tap on the commlink on his belt every time he saw me, which was turning into every morning as I walked in the lobby.  I knew what that meant; he kept the name of his favorite bouncer on speed dial there, some critter big and blue and with six arms.  When that guy bounced you, you stayed bounced.

I was getting ready to give it up for the day, when there was a knock on the door.  A knock on the door meant one of two things:  the landlord’s bouncer, or a paying client.  Right at the moment, I couldn’t be fussy.  If it was the bouncer, he’d just rip the door off if I didn’t open it, and the landlord was in the right, anyway.  If it was a client, I might just make enough out of this to stave off Blue Boy’s advent.  I keyed the door….

…and knew that this case was probably gonna be worth big credits, and that I was in a whole lot of trouble from the get-go.

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Late Hallowe’en House   Leave a comment

SUPPLEMENTAL, November 3:  Something happened as I was publishing this article — I probably fell asleep at the keyboard — and the fashion details didn’t get added.  They’re at the end now, with apologies.  Also with no links, as that’s the longest part of the process, trying to chase down moved or vanished landmarks.  My apologies for this.

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We were hoping we would get this shoot finished before Hallowe’en hit, but just too much RL intruded to let us get our looks just right, and then photograph everything and get it written up.  However, the costumes are too good to not show off, and the house is still there as of this writing, if you don’t want Hallowe’en to end!

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Jem and I were walking about in the French Quarter of New Orleans, when she announced to me that she had just put a down payment on a house. “Would you like to go see it?”

“Well, sure,” I replied.

“Great!  Come along with me, then.”  And she started walking off deeper into the French Quarter, and up an alley.  At the end, she unlocked a gate that screeled like a soul in anguish, making me perk my brows in surprise.  And then up a path, on a piece of property far larger than you’d expect to find in a big city outside of a park, until she stopped at the end.

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“There it is!  What do you think?”

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Cyborgs of Fantasy

It was a Saturday evening, two nights before the official public première of The Land of Fantasy’s new revue, which Lady Ariel Sherman and her writers had christened Nights of Fantasy.  Newsstream writers, critics and celebrities from across several stellar cubes of planetary sectors had been invited to a preview of the show, and an after-party to celebrate.  And the mood of the people milling through Sherman Mansion at that party, hosted by herself and her husband, Lord Adam Sandhara, gave Ariel every encouragement that the reviews soon to be written and off-hand interviews to be given would be strongly in the positive.  Her smile gleamed almost as much as the sheen of the garden lights from her golden integument as she moved through the crowd of information-hungry reporters and celebrities who toasted her with sparkling etrinya wine and air-kissed her when they saw her.

Four years ago, such an event hadn’t been needed.  The news coverage of the freeing of over 700 citizens of the Limlight Republic from bondage, following their near-total conversion into cyborg “pleasure workers,” had still been fresh in the public’s mind when the original version of Ariel’s revue premiered.  Now, Nights of Fantasy needed to compete in the market alongside the other entertainments on the pleasure planet Videra, and that meant publicity.  Ariel had set the marketing group her theatre always used to work on it, and that included Dara Furtano, the young woman who had arranged and masterminded this party.

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Young indeed, Ariel thought as she spotted Dara under a wooden gazebo in the garden and went over to speak with her.  Figuratively, Dara was less than a year old, though she had been born over twenty years before.  Dara had requested that Ariel provide the means to convert her into a ‘borg herself, for reasons that still mystified Ariel in some ways.  Ariel had resisted every request — until an accident at the theatre had almost killed her and her daughter, Zana.  Dara, nearby at the time, had saved them, which placed Ariel in lifedebt to Dara; and, after more discussion, had agreed reluctantly to the conversion.  She had found no cause to regret that concession; indeed, Dara, already an excellent publicist and marketing executive, had grown even better with her now total recall of needed data, as well as the ability to synthesize solutions on the fly.  And her already present beauty had been intensified by her conversion into a silvery cyborg.

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“Dara, if I had to give the night a review, I’d say you’re what they used to call a boffo success,” Ariel smiled as she stepped under the gazebo.  “Thank you so much for what you’ve done for us.  And you are as charming as could be in that gown!  I thought it would look good on you.”

Dara smiled back, if shyly, and dipped a small curtsey to her host, the fuchsia folds of her dress billowing about her in the bob.  “Thank you back, lady.  The same could be said about you, how well the show went off; it was fantastic!  And your dress is lovely, too.”

“Something I pulled out of my closet; I hadn’t had a decent place to wear it until tonight, and I don’t think you can find it anywhere now.  Who knows, but it may come back into style after tonight.”

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The details:

Harper (Lady Ariel Sherman) wears —

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  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure (Gold)
  • Eyes: Less is More CyberEYE v3.0
  • Hair: rezology May Rose
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhance hands and feet
  • Gown: [sYs] Majestic (vintage)
  • Shoes: Vero Modero Murcia (vintage)
  • Accessories: Adam n Eve Opera Gloves for SLINK Hands (Black); Anachron group gift cigarette holder; Chop Zuey French Kiss suite (bracelet, earrings, ring, necklace) and Lala in Love wedding suite; Heth Haute Couture Royal Star brooch (you’ll find this on the men’s side; I’ve borrowed it for Ariel’s Republican Order brooch)
  • Makeup (eye application order): Oceane Body Design Metallix Eyeshadow (Purple); JUMO Vega eyeliner (Black 003); *BOOM* Liquid Glaze (vintage); Mystic Canvass Pucker Gloss lipstick (vintage)

Jem (Dara Furtano) wears —

dara-closeup

  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure (Ice)
  • Eyes: Less is More CyberEYE v3.0
  • Hair: rezology Kunai
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhance hands and feet
  • Gown: Chop Zuey Tizziana pink gown, inspired by John Galliano designs, complete with bracelet and earrings
  • Shoes: KC Couture Cassiopeia sandals
  • Gloves: Sweet Tea Formal Gloves (Fuschia [sic])
  • Makeup (eye application order): Oceane Body Design Cat2 eyeshadow (Fuchsia); Zibska Innes lipstick (05); FATElashes v2.0

Photographed at my home

Most poses by PosESioN; conversation animation by [RNP] Animations

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Tholosa, the Witch-queen

October’s here!  Time to start getting in gear for Halloween, and I’ve got just the thing here.  I was going to just publish these on Flickr, but at least a few of them are pretty decent; so I’ll do the same thing here as I did on there, publish them with text beneath to explain each scene in my story.  It’s definitely a first for me, I’m not sure what Harper would have to say about this one.  But if she can publish her stuff on here, so can I, and she’s been encouraging me to. You get to judge how I do.

Fair warning disclosure — there’s a lot of large pictures here.  Have patience if it takes a little for them to load, please.

You can see the entire original collection in full size in the album on Flickr (aside from several I’m adding in here to help bulk out the collection, or that I reshot with Conan to improve things).

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Tholosa the Exalted, the Witch-queen of the Empire of Oshor Chih — known not as The Exalted by her enemies, but as Tholosa of the Grave — takes her ease in her palace’s apartments, beneath a statue of one of the strange gods she worships.  Even in the gloom of her rooms, this strange woman, who has conquered and absorbed into her empire kingdom after kingdom, glows with a shell of power.  This encourages her unlettered slaves to believe in her as a goddess, and puts to use the undesirable effect of all the sorcerous protections she has cast about her in self-defense.

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Like a Thief In the Night — Part II

This is Part II of the story which was begun yesterday.  In Part I, Ellen entered into a slightly shady “gene-jig” clinic to prepare for a “job,” the details of which we don’t know of yet.

But we shall shortly….

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One month later —

The evening sparkled, as it always did at the Hotel Capulus, in the Resort Districts of Metroplex 84. No matter the actual weather conditions, the night sky twinkled with stars and a bright full moon, and the sun was always warm in the daytime, thanks to the hotel’s climate-controlled dome. The guests glittered as well — only the elite’s elite (there were always super- and substrata in any social class, even if the levels were as shallow and artificial as wealth and social or political standing) could get a reservation here. Daytime or nighttime, men and women came to the Capulus to relax, to meet, to transact business or attend events, and always to dance and preen in the time-honored game of “king of the social hill.”

The end of the story, and a LOT of photos, on the next page.

Like a Thief In the Night — Part I

The following is a shortened and altered form of what is becoming one of my pieces of short fiction.  The below is Part I; a link to Part II is at the end.

Note: one or two photos in Part I may qualify as minimally NSFW.

Ellen 1

“Can a person steal happiness? Or is it just another internal, infernal human trick?” — Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

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2236 C. E. (201 A. M. – Anno Metroplex)

The door to the orbital station’s “medical bay” slid open, and Ellen Kuan stepped through, confident enough from the technical side that she had made the right choice in gene-jiggers. Messing around with the genetic makeup of your own body was never a recommended thing — one reason why gene techs were so closely regulated. This house was as regulated as any other — but they were also discreet; and discretion was something Ellen needed lots of discretion in her own peculiar profession. She much preferred not tinkering around with what nature had provided (and it had provided well in her case). The payoff for this job, however, was too big to resist — a slice of better than 50 million credits — and so she had come to this clinic, knowing from three previous times that she would get both things she needed: a professional, quality job, and silence. Unless she blabbed herself, in which case it was well understood that the clinic’s owners would sing like an Antarean bluebird in mating season.

The story and photos continue on the next page.

7th Oscar Fashion Photo Contest – Final Update and Our Gowns

Notice: graphics intensive

There’s three days left to the Oscars ceremony on February 28, and we have a good selection of entries so far for the blog’s Oscar Fashion Photo Contest. But there’s always room for more. This is your last call – there’s fifty grand in cash prizes (in lindens) to the placing photos, and L$25,000 goes to first place; so get your entries in now!

One note: submission cutoff will be extended past the usual midnight SLT deadline, as I’ve been called to Orlando for a family event over the weekend. I won’t be able to lock the group, as I normally would. So you folk will benefit; anyone who hasn’t been out for their photo shoot will have maybe four to five extra hours max to submit. Use the time well, grasshoppers!

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Turn the page for short fiction, and photos of what Jem and I will be wearing this year!

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