Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Usul Walks Amongst Us Again!   Leave a comment

Day 283 / 4751 C. E., Vidran, planet Videra —

A rather neat little café and wine bar had been constructed near Ariel Sherman’s home, and the golden cyborg tried to drop into the place at least once a month.  Normally, top-name entertainers tried to keep their private time to themselves.  Ariel Sherman, CRO, COV, and one of the best-known performing stars in the quadrant, almost always managed to pass her time quietly in this café, whether by herself, with members of her ‘borg family, or friends from town.  Partly, it was because this was Videra, and the laws of the pleasure planet that was Ariel’s home and place of work could be summed up in a sentence:  “Feel free to do whatever you want, so long as it does no harm to yourself or others.”  Native Viderans were apparently taught this in the womb; they were always exquisitely polite, there when you needed help, and otherwise let you live your life in peace and quiet — not antisocial, just understanding that you wanted to pursue your pleasure and had the right to do so without interference.

Which was what Ariel was doing now, sitting in the café alongside Dara Furtano-Fa, her close friend and fellow ‘borg.  The pair were hanging out beside the coffee bar, with frothy drinks in hand or beside them.  Between bouts of conversation, whenever someone passed by carrying a similar beverage, Ariel would smile and exchange a few words of greeting that were distinctly ritualistic in form.  Dara had learned the words instantly, of course, from listening to Ariel and the others, but they meant little to her.  After another lifeform, this one a Zovitchian with lemon-yellow skin and a nearly flat nose in its elongated head, had bowed to them both and clinked his cup against theirs, Dara turned to her mentor and friend and murmured, “And you really don’t know that much about what this is all about?”

Find out what it’s all about on the next page

“Everyone Comes to Rick’s”   1 comment

Notice:  large, and graphics intensive

Complete album of full-size photos on my Flickr stream

Continued from previous article ….

Extracted from Web site of The National Inquisitioner (tabloid), November 26, 2017, “Hollywood Glam” column by Ramona BelGrande:

Hollywood shone someplace other than in Hollywood last night, as luminaries from across all the fields of the film industry gathered in Van Nuys, California – yes, Van Nuys – to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the New York première of Casablanca, the little film that many consider the greatest movie ever made.  To commemorate the occasion, Warner Bros. caused a recreation of elements from the famous movie sets, especially Rick’s Café Américain, to be built near one of the runways at the old Van Nuys Airport.  A few parts of the movie’s airport scenes were filmed at this airport, and the studio persuaded the City of Los Angeles to close that runway for the night.  Everyone who could bought or otherwise acquired a “lettre de transit” (a ticket) to the event; there have even been rumors of deals made on the black market to obtain the precious tickets, not unlike in the film.

The party consisted of two parts – an open-to-all street carnival, with entrance fees going to charity, conducted in the streets of the “old souk”; and the star-studded extravaganza party in the evening.  The carnival was well attended by everyone in the morning; but many celebrities pulled away in the afternoon to prepare for the black-tie affair – almost as big an affair as the Red Carpet on Oscar Night.  After all, “everyone comes to Rick’s.”

And what a night it was!  Notables from around the world, as well as descendants of six of the stars, attended the function.  Grandchildren of the original playwrights and screenwriters, as well as a member of the family of director Michael Curtiz, were also present.  And, as you can see from the photographs, styles and fashion ran rampant.  Some came to the soirée in modern fashions from New York, Paris and Milan; many more chose to channel classic Forties Hollywood glamour.  And others created a wild yet wonderful fusion between the past and the present ….

Learn more about the party on the next page ….

Flying In to Casablanca   1 comment

The chartered airplane – a vintage dual-prop Lockheed from the 1940s, painted to resemble a similar plane from “history” – was much too old to carry modern-style amenities, such as food or bar service; if you wanted things like that, you needed to fly on a 767 or similar modern jet, with lots of space to waste.  But it was not that long a flight, in any case; and this plane was somewhat roomer between rows of seats than newer designs.  Lisavet Darchiev used the extra room to stretch her legs in front of her.

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Tales from INSILICO — For the Working Girl   Leave a comment

Taking a smoke break outside of the strip club near the station’s main promenade, the bleached-skin woman tries to gather her energy and determination for the next round back inside ….

I work in the chorus doing three shows a night
Wearing fishnets and feathers under blinding white lights
I’ve served shots to hard hats who had booze on their lips
Been fondled and leered at for an occasional tip
And it don’t get no better, but it can’t get no worse
For the working girl’s world is the size of her purse

From Detroit to Des Moines it’s the same ugly scene
I’m a cog; you’re a wheel
He’s a king; she’s a queen
From the smokestacks to the meat racks
When you’re eyelined and curled
There’s a lot to be said for the working girl

Sweating for sweet water just to run through your hands
Six kids in Cleveland for one wedding band
Tied up to a mill loom for the minimum wage
A nest egg’s a daydream that never gets laid
And it don’t get no brighter, but it’s clearer to see
There ain’t no working girls like the ones on T.V.

From Detroit to Des Moines it’s the same ugly scene
I’m a cog; you’re a wheel
He’s a king; she’s a queen
From the smokestacks to the meat racks
When you’re eyelined and curled
There’s a lot to be said for the working girl

 

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I’m wearing:

  • Head: Akeruka Monika 2.5
  • Body: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Ivory
  • Eyes: IKON Sovereign (Quicksilver)
  • Hair: Letituier Samba
  • Nails: Absolut Vendetta Elisa
  • Attachments: Vista ProHands hands 2 Maitreya Lara feet 4.1
  • Outfit (including shoes): Violent Seduction Erebus (dress, heels, panties and pauldrons) (gacha) (red)
  • Jewelry: Zuri Rayna Shazney earrings and necklace
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: Zibska Didane (slot 3)
    • Lipstick: Zibska Sable (slot 4))

Photographed at INSILICO region

The Ivory Dame Caper

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

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.

new-house-1

“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.

dara-and-ariel-1

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.

dara-and-ariel-2

“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.”

dara-and-ariel-3

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The details:

Harper (Lady Ariel Sherman) wears —

ariel-closeup

  • 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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