Talk Radio

May. 3rd, 2014 11:15 pm
birthright_npc: (Default)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
"...and here's some weirdness, just in. Some folks a little down South from Vegas are reporting a whole lot of - and get this... Flesh and blood falling from the sky. Someone just rang in to say it's like a regular butcher's shop just got turned upside-down, but law enforcement says there are no - we repeat - no known aircraft fatalities, explosive or otherwise... Kind of a mind-bender, huh? We'll be back, right after these words from our sponsors."
wolfs_daughter: (Default)
[personal profile] wolfs_daughter
"Echo, can you take Gabe home? His dad called and said he's working on something, so he can't come pick him up. And his mom works weird hours. I know it's a little out of your way since you live in Searchlight, but I'd really appreciate it."

Marta's voice cut through the silence, and Echo looked up from putting away the art supplies. The older woman was a retired schoolteacher who'd opened Cornerstone after moving to Nevada from Denver. She was short and chubby, her once-black hair shot through with wide swathes of white. The hybrid liked her because she sensed her goodness, and the children the center took care of during the day gravitated towards her with ease.

"Sure," she said easily, finishing with one task before adding, "Just let me clean up these books and then I'll get my keys. Tell Gabe he can either wait in your office or outside."

"Thanks, hon. Drop me a note in the morning, and I'll give you some money for gas."

Other People's Lives )
dirtywhiteboy: (Boyish)
[personal profile] dirtywhiteboy
Albuquerque, five months ago

He didn't know why he was waiting. All the signs were there that she was the one, and she burned so bright that he couldn't stop staring at her. He could barely sleep during the day anymore. So why was he waiting? If he wasn't going to do it, he should move on.

You don't want to be wrong again.

Lingering )
birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Hey, Grace, I think your boyfriend wants to walk you home."

"Hush, he'll hear you."

The first speaker, a college student named Michelle who'd been hired to wait tables because the night shift didn't conflict with her class schedule, snorted and rolled her eyes. The tall, skinny guy had been coming in every night for nearly a month, and while the chili he always ordered was good, it wasn't that good. And he was a good tipper, too.

The blonde's shift was over, and she was hanging up her apron in the back room. Wondering if her 'boyfriend' would leave before she re-appeared. She knew it had been a mistake to start talking to him when he'd left that first overly-generous tip. Charlie would be furious if he thought she was flirting with somebody.

Pure Psychotic Devotion )
birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
"I been cheated...

Been mistreated...

When will I be loved?"


Linda Ronstadt's voice on the jukebox was the only noise left in the room. Sure, the song was ten years old, but the classics never went out of style. The mirror behind the bar was shattered, and glass shards crunched under a pair of boots as a blonde of medium height walked through them to get to the register. She futzed with the contraption for a few minutes, and the cash drawer finally opened with a muted ding.

Here Comes Trouble )
st_clare: (What?!)
[personal profile] st_clare
The conversation with Rhiannon must have jarred something loose.

Julianna went to the university after leaving the park, took care of some paperwork in her office before preparing her notes for the next day's class. They'd replaced her secretary with someone new and more competent, so she no longer had to worry about lost or misplaced messages. Sifting through the small squares of paper, she made phone calls by their order of importance, finished cleaning out her 'In' box, then closed up her office and locked it.

A trip to the grocery store later, she cooked dinner in her kitchen, then cleaned up the dishes. Nathan was staying over that night. That was something that was happening with more frequency, for reasons she was unwilling to examine. Sometimes it was best to let things flow as they would.

They slept, eventually. The night outside was mild, a breeze ruffling the sparse trees that grew on the edges of the complex. There was no moon, but there were stars. Another tenant walked across the parking lot, carrying a bag of trash to be tossed into the communal dumpster. Somewhere, an owl hooted.

Haunted )
brian_campo: (attitude)
[personal profile] brian_campo
The girl’s name was Susie. She had brown curls that snaked out from her head like Medusa and strange eyes, too light for brown, too murky for green. She was not quite human, not quite demon. Her left wrist bore tattoos inscribed to keep the demon’s nastiness at bay and, near those, scars from where she’d attempted to slice, burn, or chew them off at various stages of her life. Nothing worked. One day she’d gotten fed up and attempted to hack off her arm, but the tattoos simply migrated to her neck.

Go on, behead yourself, they dared.

Susie sat like a pretzel, legs and arms twisted, a violin resting on her lap. “What do you want me to play?”

“Whatever you want.” Brian rubbed the back of his neck.

“Anything?” This seemed a hopeful question. Her lips pursed with pleasure.

“Well, not the Devil Went Down to Georgia, but basically yeah.” He was still residually high on a mixture of marijuana laced with PCP and he was concerned that the Charlie Daniels Band didn’t make for happy thoughts.

The Right Notes, the Wrong Thoughts )

What?” Susie stood up, alone and out of place in a reconstructed drawing room.

“I’ll call you later.” He jumped off the stage, which might have been a bottomless pit, a dark chasm, the way his brain was misfiring. He started up the aisle. Outside, the sunshine shrank his pupils into black dots. He was sweating. In a hurry.

The door drifted closed.

Susie kicked her violin case.

“Asshole.”
rhiannon_lee: (pic#6816067)
[personal profile] rhiannon_lee
She skimmed the wall with her back, creeping into the midway place between bedrooms. Duncan’s and hers. Her shoulder nudged a candle sconce and Rhiannon reached up to catch it.

I can’t do this now. I can’t.

What was she to do? Carve symbols into a man and let an innocent girl wake up to his cries for help? Slit his throat and leave him bleeding between his sheets so that Iliana could stumble down the hallway in the morning and find him dead? It wasn’t right, and yet there was little left to Rhiannon to do. Duncan had to go; even if she delivered proof of his wrongdoing to the Council on a silver platter and let them sort through the mess, it didn’t change a simple fact: Rhiannon had been dropped off at his doorstep and now she had to uphold her end of the bargain.

More than that, Rhiannon knew, she no longer wanted the Council to take care of it. She wanted to hurt him. Badly. She needed to make him pay.

A Pinprick )

The Spare

Feb. 17th, 2014 04:55 pm
rhiannon_lee: (brick wall)
[personal profile] rhiannon_lee
The portal had substance. It slid over Rhiannon’s skin like a cold gelatin. She had never gone through a tear in space-time and did not know what to expect. Would she be disassembled and put back together on the other side? Or was it more like Elfleda had folded the fabric of the universe in half, allowing her to take a short-cut through the material?

She emerged on the front lawn of a residence of no particular consequence. There were clues as to its location. The sky held roughly the same number of clouds, and the air felt no different in terms of humidity or temperature. All around her, succulent plants sprouted sharply from rock and barren landscaping. It was still night.

Rhiannon closed her eyes and huffed a small laugh. Nevada. Duncan was in Nevada. He had hidden in plain sight. She ducked into the driveway between a pair of trash cans, where she removed a dark knit cap from her pack and put it on, tucking her ponytail inside it. She put on gloves and lifted her hood. Although it wasn’t crucial to conceal her identity, she wanted to limit the chances of a neighbor glancing out a window and placing a pale brunette at the scene of the crime.

Her fingers trembled as she picked up the bag.

Don't Think )

Science!

Jan. 16th, 2014 02:24 pm
birthright_npc: (Searchlight)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
It started with science.

A bunch of overworked, underpaid lab geeks were cooped up in a government facility, using their impressive IQs to conjure the truly macabre: drug-resistant bacteria, super viruses, chemical weapons. Then came the animal testing and, along with it, injections of toxins and elixirs. When the work was complete, the scientists patted themselves on the back for a job well done. They had created supplements capable of turning soldiers into super-humans, weapons that could turn enemies into piles of lifeless goop, with a few weird 'experimental accidents' along the way.

Satisfied and slap-happy, they waited for their just rewards. Except that no bonuses came.

It was inevitable that a guy named Randy would get good and pissed and steal a random sample from the lab.

He hid it in his metal coffee thermos and left the facility. He arranged to meet with an interested party at an out-of-the-way diner in Nowheresville, USA (aka Searchlight). When questioned, he unscrewed the cap to show the product for sale, his hands shaking as he passed the thermos to the buyer.

Getting the dropsies wasn’t part of his plan.

The glass casing shattered. Liquid met air, contents crackled and fizzed, and the chemical went airborne. Suddenly Randy was not Randy anymore. The whites of his eyes turned iodine-orange. Boils popped to the surface of his lips. His tongue swelled. All of it culminated in a red haze of rage that saw him lunging across the table to pummel and gnaw on his buyer, who had the same idea at the same time.

In less than a minute, the entire dining room was hell-bent on carnage. A glass window shattered. A trucker ran into the street.

[Thread: Open]
birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The Desert Queen, the city’s newest boutique hotel, went from concept drawings to physical structure in record time. Local magazines hailed it as an architectural marvel. A newspaper columnist referred to it as a tourist’s wet dream. Behind closed doors, it was called worse things: a rush job, a fool’s errand, the hotel that dirty money built. People suspected that contractors cut corners to meet the deadlines of anxious city developers, and more disturbing, that building inspectors were bribed to pass it with flying colors.

The hotel was a modern work of pink-tinted glass and polished steel. Though only seven stories tall, its towers rose at sharp, impossible angles meant to mimic the shape of a royal crown. Hotel rooms pitched diagonally over a landscape of bubbling fountains, rippling pools, and greenery so vibrant that gardeners joked it had been painted. Even the marble tiles around the toilets were imported from Italy.

It opened with a flourish at the end of summer and was booked solid through Easter. All were poised to breathe a collective sigh of relief until the first sign of trouble: a crack in the foundation, first reported by a maintenance worker on New Year’s Eve. Then a second crack… this one in a load-bearing column in the lobby.

When the first spire buckled, the steel yawned loudly, sounding like the bellow of an exotic beast. Chunks of plaster plopped into the water. Jagged cracks appeared in the windows. Then flooring began to spill out, and bits of wire and pipe. A squadron of fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances wailed and honked as they approached on Las Vegas Boulevard. A lone news helicopter circled overhead in the night sky.

Then a second spire snapped like an insect wing. A mixture of building materials, furniture, and people teetered precariously over the stone plaza. Guests shouted and pointed. Some took pictures. Within moments, all hell broke loose.

[Thread: Open]
tiny_dancer81: (Black and White)
[personal profile] tiny_dancer81
She just wanted to see if she could do it, that was all.

Theresa had picked a no-name bar off of the Strip rather than somewhere she'd been seen before. There was fake wood paneling on the walls and plastic ferns in wicker baskets on spindly-legged tables. The fat bartender hadn't even asked to see her ID. The room smelled like cigarette smoke and booze. It was almost last call.

She'd been nursing a beer for a while, something from the tap. It had gradually become room temperature, then warm, because she was barely sipping at it. Damned good thing it didn't taste like much, since the only thing nastier than animal blood was warm beer.

Reverting to Type? )
birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
After the New Year's Eve show at a place called The Dive, Las Vegas nightlife has even more to offer. The concert was a modest success, featuring local bands that were reviewed in a column in the UNLV newspaper. There were rumors that an agent from a record company in the crowd that night, but that hasn't been confirmed. According to the bar's promoter, Theresa Mitchum, there are plans for the near future to lure in more acts and expand the establishment's place in the local music scene. Hope everyone had a great time at the show!

Part of an online article written by P.J. Halstrom
birthright_npc: (Las Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
Bulletin: Clark County and surrounding areas can expect a blast of winter weather this weekend. The storm will bring snowy conditions and winds of up to 20 mph to the viewing area. The Las Vegas metro may see accumulations of 2-3 inches on Saturday night. Outlying areas may see 3-5 inches. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution. Conditions will improve late Sunday. Temperatures are expected to rise into the upper 40s on Monday and the 50s on Tuesday.
birthright_npc: (blow confetti)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The festivities on the Las Vegas strip were your basic police nightmare. A mile-long stretch of the boulevard was blocked off to traffic so that revelers could stagger drunkenly down the middle of the street. Food trucks and street vendors sold pizza, cheese steaks, popcorn, cotton candy, and plastic cups full of beer. Some sold pre-mixed margaritas and daiquiris. At each major intersection, a stage showcased performers and music pumped from speakers mounted on the light posts.

It didn't seem to matter that it was December in the desert. There was plenty of body heat to go around.

At midnight, several large screens would broadcast a countdown before fireworks lit the sky.

[Thread: Open to Anyone]
birthright_npc: (liquor bottles)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The Dive, which was prone to a gritty atmosphere, had been transformed for New Year's festivities. A rotating disco ball hung above the crowd, as well as a web of streamers. Colorful lights lit the stage for its five-band line-up, which began with a local cover band and then transitioned to new wave, punk, synthpop, and glam rock acts, all staples of the year in music.

By 11:15 p.m., the crowd was slap-happy and drunk, thanks to happy hour prices on drinks and $1 Jell-o shots. The patio smelled like barbecuing meat and nacho cheese. Merchandise for the Dive and the bands moved quickly.

The world was halfway through the decade and antsy for the second half to begin.

The Fraying Nerves were wrapping up a five-song set and about to clear the stage for the Death Spirals, a band whose hairstyles were a fire hazard.

[Thread: Open to Anyone]

House Call

Dec. 26th, 2013 05:47 pm
holiday_pirner: (30)
[personal profile] holiday_pirner
Holly walked to the main entrance of the no-nonsense block of tiny, identical apartments. She peeked over the large basket in her arms to study the numbers listed next to the rusting buzzer. The brunette shifted the weight to one arm; all she could find was a gift selection made up for a New Year's Eve celebration, but she had a hunch that flowers would have been much more awkward.

She poked her finger against Rhys' number and heard nothing but incomprehensible static. "Hello?" Holly pressed again. "It's me. You know, the only person who would be visiting you."

The British girl swore inwardly, then out loud as she pressed the button again. "Shit, that sounded mean. I'm sorry. Just let me in, someone's going to think I'm casing the place."

Tapping her foot, she studied the contents of the basket and waited. After a moment, there was an earsplitting buzz, and Holly was able to swing open the door and scoot inside before it locked back into place.

She paused, deliberating, when she heard a door clicking open down the hall.
birthright_npc: (Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The grand ballroom of the Skylark Hotel was awash in shades of forest green and gold. The charity ball had been arranged to benefit a local children's hospital, and so a large percentage of the proceeds from the door tickets and bar would be donated to renovate the facility. A two-story Christmas tree towered over the buffet tables of festive finger foods and chocolate fountain, and people had placed unwrapped toys under the limbs to be delivered to the hospital the next day. Champagne flowed freely. There were two stages for the live jazz musicians that would play all night. Santa's scantily clad elves wandered about the room with trays of shrimp and caviar. A dance floor took up the center of the space underneath a gleaming chandelier and there were beautifully decorated round tables on the edges of the room.

The ticket price was manageable, and a few tickets had gone out free for radio promotions and the like.

Luckily for the undead, the decor did not include wall-to-wall mirrors, though there were a few on the high ceiling.

In various corners, Vegas performance artists entertained to ooohs and aaahs. For instance, there was a man eating a gleaming sword in the corner.

Thread: Open to Anyone

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