The Take! Forum

The Take! => The Safehouse => Topic started by: Django Durango on September 17, 2019, 07:45:28 AM

Title: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on September 17, 2019, 07:45:28 AM
See, when I wrote clowntown fic, I was able to be so prolific with it because I wrote those little Cash Bonus (https://archiveofourown.org/works/2717516?view_full_work=true) stories all the time. But I haven't done that in a long time so now my writing skills are pretty stiff. Gotta get back into shape with it and you can help!

In this thread, you may ask questions or suggest things about the plot/characters and I will try to write little stories in response. These stories will be added to the Library (http://thetakegame.com/library/) - making it canon - and your name and suggestion will be attached to the entry. There's probably gonna be ones I can't do for whatever reason, but I'll let you know if yours falls under that.

---

Added October 17th, 2019
Quote
[Thus far,] I've answered some of your questions directly instead of writing stories and if I do that, it's 'cause I'm intuiting that it is a direct question and not a prompt. If that's not the case, feel free to say so, but also bear in mind that some things really don't (and in fact shouldn't) have a deep lore backstory.

2. Consider all stories posted in this thread to be first drafts and living documents. I go back through these and edit them, and so the text will change over time. I've done that even with the Exit Strategy stories after they were posted. With rare exception, I don't make changes to the story itself. You don't need to worry that actual plot elements will change. I just improve upon it, make it more clear or fix mistakes or describe things in more depth. Writing is one of those things where if you don't do it as often as you should, you start to suck at it, so I'm still working to get back up to my clowntown level of quality. And as I see things that I could have done better... well, I do them better.

To get us started, here's a suggestion PaupersRun gave me a million years ago.

Quote from: PaupersRun
Say Cairo, Sable and the rest come across another member of this Syndicate known as Bram. You think "reference to Bram Stoker", right?

Well, after a bit of conversating, they find out he was trying to call himself "Brom", like Brom Bones from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", and now he's all butthurt by the fact he can't change that.

Nothing major, just thought it'd be a tad funny.

Quote from: PaupersRun
Ok, just realized you don't pick your code names with Syndicate. Ok, here's my revamp:

Brom wanted to go by, well Brom, and said so to whoever you talk to while becoming a part of The Syndicate. He got told that's not how it works, and he's thinking "Ugh, fine, whatever."

Once his registration is done, The Syndicate picks Bram as his codename. He swears they did that on purpose.

Ok, how about now?

"What about this job?" Dixie said, holding her phone up for Cleo to see across the table. "Codename Braum. Doing an art gallery in Topeka."

"Why would we subject ourselves to driving through Kansas?" Cleo asked, not looking up from her smash burger combo. She was not helping to search because a hamburger required two hands to eat and she didn't want to get grease on her phone's screen.

"Wait, Topeka is in Kansas?" Dixie asked.

"It's the capital of Kansas, honey," Cleo confirmed patiently. Then, curious, she asked, "Where did you think it was?"

"I don't know." Dixie's face scrunched up, wondering that too. "Not Kansas. How valuable could the art from Kansas be?"

"Well, hold on," Cleo said. She tilted her head to the side, considering. "With a name like Brahm, he might have more insight on the Kansas art scene than we're giving him credit for. If he's named for the composer, maybe he's not a complete philistine. Maybe there's something special moving through there."

"Yeah, well, it's spelled like the ice cream store," Dixie said around a mouthful of Frito pie. "Maybe he's just a goth kid and Dracula and Alucard were already taken."

"There's a remote possibility that it's a Legend of Sleepy Hollow reference," Cleo mused.

"Wasn't Brom the bad guy in the movie?" Dixie asked.

"More than Ichabod himself?" Cleo said. "The man was trying to marry a girl for her money."

"You wouldn't name yourself after the dickhead in the movie though, would you?"

"You might if you thought he was in the right. Or if Ichabod had too many syllables to be used as a codename."

"Okay, hold up," Dixie said, chuckling at this turn in the conversation and waving her hands in a "stop, stop, stop" gesture. "We're gettin' away from the important thing here.

"We can't tell anything about what this guy knows about the art scene in Kansas by his name alone, 'cause he ain't the one who woulda picked it. His controller did and that don't do us shit. The only real thing we know about Braum's taste is that he is going to Kansas to steal art, which means he ain't got none unless he's stoppin' for ice cream on the way."

"Keep looking then," Cleo said. She took another bite of her burger.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on September 18, 2019, 08:29:46 AM
So before I fucked the forum up, Paupers Run suggested weapon backstories for Cairo's and Sable's named weapons. I'mma hold off on Sable's, but here's the Nasty Gal for you.



"Mmhmm, and what kind of weapon do you carry?"

"Weapon?" Cleo asked.

"Yeah-huh, your gun," the bored controller seated on the other side of the desk elaborated. "You can't rob a bank with just a mean face."

"I'm really more of a burglar than a-"

"Ya still need a gun, hun." The controller clicked her mouse of a couple times. "Look, go out, buy a gun, and come back tomorrow. I can save your application, but I can't activate your account if you ain't got your equipment.

---

"I have more than enough to buy it," Cleo said. "I don't see what your objection is." It was a combat shotgun, the most intimidating-looking weapon in the racks at All Star Pawn. It had a sloppy, jagged engraving on the receiver that read "Nasty Gal". Cleo considered the inscription damage and felt it should've made the weapon less expensive, but intuited that the shop owner thought the narrative it created increased its value.

"My 'objection'," the elderly pawn shop owner said, making finger quotes, "is that this ain't a weapon for some Ivy League rich girl who won't appreciate what she's got. This was used as a prop in Black Beignets, held in the hands of Trini St. Romain, with a certificate of authenticity. It says Nasty Gal on it and you ain't no nasty gal."

His refusal to sell was utterly ridiculous. She had the money, she would certainly pass the background check. And yet, she couldn't buy the stupid gun because she wasn't "nasty" enough.

Cleo rolled her eyes and left.

---

She then spent the rest of the day watching the shop from her rental car in an alley across the street, waiting for the shopkeeper to leave.

She could have just bought a gun somewhere else. She should have. But now she wanted this one. Cleo just couldn't abide a world where she was denied access to anything, especially when she had the money. She knew this was ridiculous, that she'd let herself feel the same way to a prop from a movie she'd never seen and assumed was terrible as she would an artifact in a museum, if only because someone else was keeping it out of reach. But she did feel that way and a mere pawn shop was not going to keep her out.

She waited until the last shop on the street closed down. Then she pulled her car around to the back of the pawn shop. The front door and windows had bars, but in her experience, people didn't often think much about the back door. She figured there was a good chance the heavy metal door could be opened with nothing more than a piece of stiff wire. Slip the wire in the jam, slip the latch and-

The alarm sounded!

No matter. She knew where the gun was. She dashed to the gun case, smashed her elbow into the glass, and had the Nasty Gal in hand within seconds. Her first smash-and-grab! Cleo ran straight back to the back door, but she paused before exiting. She reached in her pocket and threw a wad of cash totaling $2800 into the store. The wad exploded into a shower of bills and wafted down to settle on the floor and counters. With that, she threw herself in her car and got the fuck outta dodge.

---

The pawn shop owner arrived on the scene minutes later. It was very clear to him who did this. Only one thing was stolen and it had still been paid for. Petty thugs didn't leave you enough money for the stolen goods with change leftover to buy a new gun case. He rifled through the bills one more time, just to be certain of the amount. That's when he saw the the handwriting on one of the bills.

In a tidy cursive, there was a note.

"Who's nasty now?"

The store owner chuckled. He stuck the bill in his pocket. He still had to call the police since it was a firearm that had been stolen, but he decided to keep that bit of evidence to himself.




Sorry that took a couple days. I had to do some logistical research. Here's some fun facts!

Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on September 21, 2019, 06:40:51 PM
Pretty cool, breh.

Well, if I'm going for three...


Cleo and Dixie are getting breakfast at a diner the day after a heist. A cop asks to take a seat at the table next to theirs. However, across from that seat is the insider The Syndicate got for that job, and they are looking pretty nervous.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on September 22, 2019, 12:50:43 PM
I want to clarify, "they" innthat prompt is referring to the insider being nervous.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on September 24, 2019, 03:02:55 PM
Unfortunately - cause I think this is a neat damage control situation - that kind of scenario is unlikely for a couple of reasons.

Part of the point of the Syndicate is to minimize contact between moving parts. They would have arranged the inside men, and the robbers would never actually meet them. It's possible that you might, as a crewman, have to actually interact with an insider in the field, but not at the level of jobs that Cleo and Dixie were getting. So even if they were in the same place like that, they likely would not recognize the inside man or that that was why he was acting all wiggity.

Also, it's just good sense not to stick around after a job. They might stay just long enough for breakfast if their hotel has it complimentary, but they wouldn't be trying to take in the local flavor post-heist. Staying for breakfast at the hotel (which would be open only to guests, so no locals) is risky enough in Cleo's estimation, but Dixie loves a muffin she didn't pay for.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: CunningValentine on September 25, 2019, 01:56:36 AM
What is Black Beignets about?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on September 25, 2019, 03:16:07 AM
I ain't written a whole screenplay or nothin', but...

It's a mid-70's blaxploitation movie in the same vein as Coffy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffy) or Foxy Brown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxy_Brown_(film)), where the protagonist goes undercover and enacts vigilante justice against drug dealers and other criminals, except this one has three women and is set in New Orleans.

It's got its fans, but not enough to qualify it as a cult classic. Most people have never heard of it.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on September 27, 2019, 05:21:55 PM
All right, new idea.

Cleo and Dixie are working a job with a pair of siblings (gender is at your discretion). These two are constantly bickering and sniping at each other, with C and D (maybe the driver as well) being stuck in the middle of it.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on September 28, 2019, 07:13:08 PM
Do y'all enjoy meeting random Syndicate members?  :D
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on September 30, 2019, 05:17:44 AM
Kinda. Helps to see the trainwreck the gals are leaving behind.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 05, 2019, 04:01:58 AM
"We should approach quietly," Method said.

"You would say that," Madness said.

"Of course I would." Method replied evenly. "It's the only logical way to go."

"Except running in guns a-blazing and scaring the shit out of everyone so they don't have time to think or fight us."

Method started in on some deapanned reasoning involving fight-or-flight response and the variables it brought into the situation but Madness' eyes glazed over. Cleo and Dixie glanced sidelong at each other, sharing a look of acknowledgement that they had brought this on themselves.

Twins. You rarely ever got the ones with the telepathic link that put them in perfect sync. Instead, you usually got a pair of fuckin' Geminis, at odds on everything up to and including the hiest plan.  Siblings - especially twins - were always way too comfortable with each other and not comfortable enough with anyone else. It created problems. A lot of times, siblings were so concerned with each other that they couldn't fit anyone else into their awareness. Or like today, they'd be too busy trying to argue to agree on a course of action.

Cleo and Dixie usually avoided jobs where the other crewmates were visibly siblings. The jobs had been coming up dry lately. The Syndicate had grown by several hundred agents and that meant the job distribution was thinner. So they took the job with these twins (whose codenames really ought to have been enough of a fuckin' clue that it was a bad idea) and now they were gonna pay for it.

---

"They gave us zero point ones!" Dixie bitched.

"Obviously," Cleo harrumphed, scowling at her own phone. "They have to explain why we came out with such a pitiful take and they weren't going to downrate each other."

"That is such a load of shit though," Dixie said. She slammed her phone facedown on the diner table in disgust. "Madness was the one who deviated from the plan and created a panic."

"You would think by now, Method would have figured out how to reign his sister in," Cleo huffed.

"Or, you know, they could work separate of each other," Dixie said. "It's fuckin' weird to still be joined at the hip when you're out of school. Hell, it's still weird in school, but at least there I can understand. I mean, who'd want to be friends with those two?"
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: CunningValentine on October 09, 2019, 12:18:17 AM
How did Sable and Cairo meet?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 10, 2019, 04:42:00 AM
Have this while I think about that.



"Is this where I can sign up to be a bank robber?" Chester asked timidly. He held up a cellphone with a Hole-in-the-Wall app profile open on it, since he was sure it was not clear what he meant, being that this was the headquarters of a cellphone app that catalogued dive bars. The receptionist's eyes widened and without a word, he immediately punched in an extension on his phone. He stared down at the panel of lights until one lit up.

"Take that elevator," he said, pointing to it. "Don't press any buttons. It'll take you where you need to go."

"Thank you," Chester said, giving a grateful smile. He pressed the call button for the elevator and boarded when the doors opened.

Standing there, he wondered why he was not given a floor. Where was he supposed to go? The building had six floors. He was about to just pick one at random so he could get off and ask for better directions, but the elevator began to move, not up but down.

A secret basement, he thought to himself. Neat!

---

He'd been greeted at the elevator by a woman in a prim skirt suit and led to her office. She took the phone from him.

"Where did you get this?" she barked.

"I found it on the floor of my bank," Chester answered, quailing under the harshness of her question. "Behind a potted ficus."

"And how did you get into the backend of the app?"

"It just opened to it when I unlocked the phone."

"There wasn't any kind of passcode or swipe pattern on it?" she asked, incredulous. She leaned forward, bearing down at Chester, as if it was his fault the phone's previous owner didn't secure it. Chester shrunk into his chair and shrugged.

She pressed the power button on the phone and, sure enough, it opened the Hole-in-the-Wall app, bypassing the frontend and automatically logging into the backend. She navigated to this fool's profile to find out who it was who was threatening their entire operation. The profile loaded, revealing the phone's owner to be an agent codenamed Clippy. His profile photo had a black-and-white filter, though, meaning the agent had been reported as deceased. Pity, she thought. No one to make an example of.

"Um, look, ma'am," Chester ventured. "I don't care that all this is illegal. I'm not gonna tell anyone. I just want in on it."

She gaze snapped up from the phone to examine Chester's face for motive.

"Have you ever committed armed robbery before?" she demanded to know.

"No, but I'm not afraid! I could be a great bank robber!"

Her eyes practically rolled out of her head, but then something flashed across them. Like an idea or a realization.

"All right. In recognition of your service here today in bringing this grievous breach of security to our attention, I will put you on a crew. It'll be an easy introductory job. I'll even have a firearm requisitioned for you."

Chester's face broke into a bright grin.

"Thank you, ma'am! You won't regret this!"

She didn't acknowledge his thanks, ignoring him to scribble a note on a post-it note. When she finished, she ripped it off the pad and handed it to him.

"Take that to the end of the hall, turn left, and go through the third door on the left. The controller in that office will get you set up.

Chester hopped out of his chair and accepted the post-it note.

"Thank you again, ma'am! I'm really excited about this!" He waited for a response, but gave up and left when he realized she was finished with him.

He shut the door behind him and read the post-it note.

"For immediate assignment on Accounts Payable team. - Verdandi"

---

The controller let out a low whistle when he read the post-it note. Normally with a novice he'd ask why they were interested in the work and make sure this wasn't going to be a waste of time, but in this case, he would get in trouble if Chester backed out now. So instead he sat back down behind his desk, gestured for Chester to take a seat opposite, and started setting up his profile.

Chester looked around while the controller filled in the information. He read the name plate on the controller's desk - his name was Zeppo - and took in the books on the shelf behind him. Mark Twain, William Faulkner, James Thurber, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, H. L. Menken.

"So..." Zeppo said. "You ever rob a bank before?"

"No," Chester admitted. "But I've seen it done in movies. It can't be that hard, right?" It was clear he needed reassurance.

"Nah, it's a piece of cake," Zeppo said. "All right, so your codename will be Mitty. Now that's your new name basically, so forget your old one. Your crewmates are only to know you by your codename." He pulled a cellphone out of a box of them, poked and swiped at the screen for a few minutes and then handed it over.

"I've already set you up for a job on there," he said. Mitty took the phone and looked at the screen. The job was a bank branch in Montana with three crewmates. Cleo, Dixie, Frenchy.

"All ladies, huh?" Mitty said, both nervous and pleased.

Zeppo smiled. "Hey, if I managed to get you a date too, you can thank me later." He knew Mitty wasn't going to bag any of those chicks. He stood and directed Mitty out the door. "Head back to the elevator and I'll have it send you to Wardrobe. They'll get you your uniform and take your profile photo."

"Thank you so much!" Mitty said.

"Don't mention it."

Zeppo watched Mitty head back down the hall and turn the corner. Assigning a fresh recruit who hadn't even had the chance to disappoint yet to an Accounts Payable team? The cruelty of it weighed on him.

He looked forward to forgetting what Mitty looked like.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on October 10, 2019, 04:57:18 AM
Huh, the secret origin of Mitty. Think I started to figure halfway through.


Now a part of me wants to see a bit of insight on Frenchie (or was it spelled Frenchy?).
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 10, 2019, 04:59:54 AM
You're right. It was Frenchy. I feel Frenchie is the better spelling, but she was named for the character in Grease who spells it with a Y.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 15, 2019, 02:44:59 PM
How did Sable and Cairo meet?

"So Dixie? That's a pretty..." Cleo twirled her hand around, pretending to think of the right word, "Confederate codename.". She was curious to know if Dixie was aware of or oblivious to the implications behind it. She knew it might be unwise to start this conversation in the van on the way to a robbery, but if Dixie's codename implied what she thought it might, then she'd probably never work with Dixie again. It'd be better to know if she should be watching her back now than be betrayed later.

Their crewmates on this job, a man called Savoy and a woman named Chartreuse, looked upon this disaster in the making silently. Savoy had a look of deep "oh no" on his face, but Chartreuse looked like she had a ringside seat to a sold-out fight and popcorn in hand.

Dixie raised an eyebrow at the question. "Are we really gonna have this discussion now?" she asked.

"All right, well, my controller wanted to call me Plantation Slavery but it got cut off in the computer," she said. Chartreuse snorted at this snide remark, but then stifled herself quickly when she saw no one else laughed. Savoy's eyes darted between Dixie and Cleo, waiting to see where this was going to go. No one said anything.

Dixie was aware of what her codename suggested, but thought it was rude to be asked about it by someone she'd only just met. Especially someone who knew Syndicate agents didn't pick their own codenames. Obviously, the appropriate response to such a lapse in manners was to be equally rude back.

"So I saw on your profile that you're kinda new to the game, Cleo. The phone psychic thing not workin' out?"

To Dixie's surprise, Cleo actually snickered. Dixie grinned.

"You know controllers ain't got no imagination," she said. Savoy and Chartreuse visibly relaxed at the situation's defusing.

Cleo nodded. "Mine called me Cleo because I said I studied Egypt in school."

"Yep. And even the most urban Texan accent sounds like 'dumb hick' anywhere else. Thus 'Dixie'."

---

"There must be, like, fifty pigs out there," Savoy said.

"I hate when they just sit there like that," Chartreuse said. "Like they plannin' somethin'."

"Surely they wouldn't move in on us when we have ten hostages," Cleo reasoned. "It's too dangerous."

"I think staying here any longer is getting dangerous," Savoy said. "There's more cops showing up by the second. Maybe we should leave right now?"

"Without the score? I don't think so," Cleo said.

"Dixie is takin' her sweet-ass time," Chartreuse noted, checking her watch. "But it ain't even hot yet. Calm down, Savoy."

"No, we need to leave," Savoy said. "A fucking SWAT van just pulled up."

"We're not leaving yet. Dixie isn't finished," Cleo said.

"Fuck it, leave her then. We're all gonna get caught if we stay here any longer!" Savoy said. He started to walk to the side door, but Cleo grabbed his arm.

"No one is going anywhere yet," Cleo barked. "If you go out there by yourself, they will catch or kill you. We stay together and we leave as a group like planned. Both of you wait here and guard the hostages while I see what's keeping Dixie."

Savoy didn't appear completely convinced, but he was cowed enough to stay put. Chartreuse nodded and swept her gun across the array of zip-tied civilians on the floor to remind them to remain still.

Cleo made for the back office. When she turned the corner and looked in, she found a security guard had Dixie pinned to the floor, knee in her back and hand over her mouth to keep her from calling for help while he called his catch in over his walkie-talkie. The guard's back was to the door, but Dixie saw Cleo and her eyes went wide in friendly recognition, as if to say "Ah, there you are! Been waitin' for you."

"Yeah, I've subdued one of them. There's three more in the front," the guard said into his radio. He didn't hear Cleo creep up behind him and raise her shotgun. She slammed the stock into the side of his head and he went limp and fell over.

"My hero!" Dixie said from the floor. "Did you get a psychic vision that I was in trouble?"

"No, we all thought you were taking too long." Cleo smirked down at her. "The others wanted to leave without you." Cleo helped Dixie to sit upright. She saw then that the guard had tied Dixie's hands behind her back with his tie.

"How resourceful," she commented.

"Dude, you don't understand though-"

"What? Is it not what it looks like?" Cleo guessed.

"No, it's exactly what it looks like," Dixie admitted. "But this fuckin' guy, man! He hid behind that door and fuckin' watched me crack this safe for like ten whole minutes. Had the drop on me that whole time and I never even knew he was there. He waited until I had the safe open and was pulling the gold out and then he grabbed me. Like he was lettin' me build up charges or something." Cleo moved to untie her, but Dixie pulled away.

"Whoa! Aren't you gonna take a picture first?" she asked.

"Of you? Tied up like this?" Cleo asked to confirm. "Isn't that really embarrassing for you?"

"Totally, but that's part of the fun. Everybody does it. When you save someone from a shameful situation like this, you get to take a picture."

"I've never done that," Cleo argued.

"Well, today's your lucky day too then! Come then, we ain't got time to fuck around."

Cleo was going to argue that taking photos during a robbery was fucking around, but then realized that it would be quicker to just take the damn picture. She pulled out her phone, opened the camera app, and said, "Say cheese."

Dixie put on her most winning smile. Cleo couldn't help but laugh.

"All right," she said as her laughter trailed off. "Let me untie you now." She put her phone back in her pocket and knelt down to untie Dixie's wrists.

"What is the point of taking a picture like that?" Cleo asked. The knot was really tight so she reached up to the bank manager's desk to grab a pen to work under the loop.

"Well, for one, they're just funny," Dixie explained. "Also, if you roll with someone on the regular, you can bring it up all the time and embarrass each other by showing them to people. But mostly, it's nice to have a collection so that when it happens to youuuu," Dixie frowned sheepishly over her shoulder for emphasis, "you can go back through them and be like, 'Aww, well, it happens to everybody at least once.'" Truth told, it happened to Dixie quite a few times, but Cleo didn't need to know that.

Cleo finally got the knot loose and the tie fell away. Dixie shook her arms out and rolled her shoulders.

"Where's my gun?" she asked. The two of them glanced around.

"Here," Cleo said, reaching under the desk to grab the pearl handle she saw peeking out. She handed the hefty revolver over.

"Thanks. And thanks for coming to get me." Dixie raised her voice so her crewmates in the front could hear her. "Instead of leaving me to rot like some other chickenshit motherfuckers I know!"

"We still here, ain't we?" Chartreuse called back. "You get that fuckin' safe open yet?"

---

Thanks to some quick thinking and grand theft auto on the part of their driver, they were now making a chill, unnoticed escape in the police SWAT van instead of the white van they arrived in.

"Ha! You got arrested? By an unarmed rent-a-cop?" Chartreuse cackled. "Did you get a picture?" she asked Cleo.

Dixie gave Cleo a didn't-I-tell-ya look and Cleo snorted.

"Go on then," Dixie said. "Show 'em."

Cleo got out her phone and showed Chartreuse and Savoy the photo Dixie made her take. They laughed at Dixie's silly face.

"Oh, I got toooons of those of Savoy," Chartreuse said, getting her own phone out. Savoy blushed hard, but he laughed along with the rest of the group as Chartreuse showed everyone her collection.


---

(http://www.thetakegame.com/images/CairoText001.png)



True story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTuXPzTjnro), kinda. Also, I did not spell Chartreuse correctly a single time while writing this.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: CunningValentine on October 16, 2019, 06:16:25 AM
That was a fun story.

How often does getting cuffed during a job happen?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 16, 2019, 08:51:43 AM
It depends.

Up until they leave the Syndicate, it probably happened to Sable about once a year or so. Since she's usually the most mechanically inclined on any crew, she'd be in the back by herself cracking the safe while the rest are managing the scene. You get focused on listening for the pins to drop and you stop paying attention to anything else and suddenly you find yourself at a disadvantage. As long as your crew is paying some kind of attention, though, one would almost always be rescued from this kind of situation in a timely manner, which is why she wasn't terribly concerned about it and can have fun with it.

Cairo probably has about ten or eleven pictures of her by this point. Her favorite is of Sable wearing handcuffs and giving two thumbs up like the Fonz.

Sable only has one or two of Cairo because it's far less likely for crowd control to be caught unawares. The entire point of lobby work is to be aware of your surroundings and there's usually nothing splitting your focus. Plus, Cairo's bigger and stronger so that makes her harder to subdue.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on October 16, 2019, 09:08:02 AM
So, what's the significance of Savoy and Chartreuse's codenames?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 16, 2019, 09:11:03 AM
Savoy is a lindy-hopper in his spare time and Chartreuse had on nail polish in that color when she signed up.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on October 16, 2019, 09:13:55 AM
Well, I guess I have something to post in the "TIL" thread now.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 16, 2019, 09:18:04 AM
Are we gonna learn about lindy-hop? Oh hell yeah!
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on October 17, 2019, 02:07:45 PM
So I'm having a ton of fun with this and it is improving my ability to bang out stories with the increased swiftness. I'm even planning out the next demo update's stories, just FYI. However, I wanna add a couple things to this and I'll put this in the OP too so

1. I've answered some of your questions directly instead of writing stories and if I do that, it's 'cause I'm intuiting that it is a direct question and not a prompt. If that's not the case, feel free to say so, but also bear in mind that some things really don't (and in fact shouldn't) have a deep lore backstory. For example, every Syndicate agent's codename is given for a reason and I'm always happy to tell you what that reason is, but controllers don't think too deeply about that. Most of the time, they're literally just trying to think of anything to put in that textbox that won't come up as taken already.

2. Consider all stories posted in this thread to be first drafts and living documents. I go back through these and edit them, and so the text will change over time. I've done that even with the Exit Strategy stories after they were posted. With rare exception, I don't make changes to the story itself. You don't need to worry that actual plot elements will change. I just improve upon it, make it more clear, fix mistakes, or describe things in more depth. Writing is one of those things where if you don't do it as often as you should, you start to suck at it, so I'm still working to get back up to my clowntown level of quality. And as I see things that I could have done better... well, I do them better.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on October 31, 2019, 05:25:29 AM
Well, it's been a while, so let me pitch another tale.


Cleo and Dixie are at a safehouse with another Syndicate member just after a job. Their fourth guy isn't there because he got shot down by a police sniper.


Or rather, that's what C and D were told by the other guy. But the 4th guy bursts through the door, and he looks LIVID at the third guy.


Also, I'd like to pitch the Syndicate guy's names this time. How about:

Serpent for the guy our gals get to the safehouse with, and Nero for the guy who came back?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 04, 2019, 08:15:42 AM
Cleo and Dixie are at a safehouse with another Syndicate member just after a job. Their fourth guy isn't there because he got shot down by a police sniper.

Or rather, that's what C and D were told by the other guy. But the 4th guy bursts through the door, and he looks LIVID at the third guy.

Also, I'd like to pitch the Syndicate guy's names this time. How about:

Serpent for the guy our gals get to the safehouse with, and Nero for the guy who came back?

Serpent's too on the nose for a guy like this, but Nero I can work with.



The mood was always somber when they came back from a job without a crewmate.

Everything had been going fine, tripped alarm notwithstanding. Cleo and Dixie had a decent assembly line going. Cleo was bagging up sculptures and then tossing the bags to Dixie, who in turn tossed them into their driver's van.

"Loving this efficiency, Dixie," Cleo said. "It's truly some Henry Ford shit."

"I know! I don't think I've ever seen this many bags at once," Dixie agreed. She swung another bag into the van. It landed on the pile of bagged sculptures and made both a crunching and a shattering glass sound. Dixie winced.

Cleo looked up at the sound and gave Dixie an admonishing glance.

Just then, Southern burst into the gallery. He and Nero, their crewmates on this job, were supposed to be in the lobby holding off the cops.

"Nero's just been killed! We need to leave!" he said.

"Are you sure?" Cleo asked, looking back into the lobby. If he were only injured, they had a responsibility to make an attempt to get him out of the scene.

"Positive," Southern said, climbing into the back of the van. "This antsy pig on his first day of class got spooked and shot him right through the eye. I killed him back, but we gotta go or this is gonna turn into a bloodbath."

Cleo and Dixie didn't need to be told twice. Cleo zipped up the last bag, threw it to Dixie, and jogged the rest of the way. They both climbed in, careful not to step on the bags, and pulled the doors shut behind them. Southern banged his fist on the back wall to signal the driver to leave.

The ride to the warehouse the Syndicate had provided was silent. Southern got out his phone. The light from its screen illuminated his face as he reported Nero dead in the Hole-in-the-Wall app. The pointed absence of a fourth was a reminder to the rest of them that they need to be vigilant about their surroundings. It killed the jubilation that should have come with a score so big as to be swimming in duffel bags.

Of course, the post-robbery workload of such a large score contributed to the dampened mood too. They had stolen 27 expensive sculptures from the art gallery and only broke two. Now all those sculptures had to be inventoried, individually packed, and loaded into a truck. From there, Southern - who was lead on this job - would be responsible for delivering them to the Syndicate's nearest depot.

Again, the assembly line was put into place. Cleo itemized each sculpture, making note of descriptions. Dixie would then wrap them in bubble wrap. Southern was in charge of building boxes and packing the boxes.

"You know," he said, breaking the silence, "it's not all bad. The take will be split into thirds instead of fourths. We'll all make more."

Cleo raised an eyebrow at that, but said nothing. Dixie didn't even look up from her bubble-wrapping.

"No, it won't," she told him. "His cut goes to whoever he left in his will. It's in the manual."

Southern faltered in taping the box he was packing. Cleo spied on him over her clipboard, watching his expression. He looked a little like he was struggling to swallow, but he kept working.

They went on like that for another half hour, completely quiet except for the sound of packing tape being rolled out. As such, they all heard when a car pulled up outside. All of them froze and listened. It could be the police, especially if Southern had killed one of them. There was a tacit agreement between the Syndicate and law enforcement, but killing each other made the terms hazy. The locals often took it personally.

The sound of footsteps approaching thudded through the walls. Dixie was the only one of them still carrying her weapon. She slowly hovered her hand over her revolver. They all watched the door.

The knob jiggled, but didn't open. When they arrived, they found it sat unevenly in its frame, making it hard to open and close. They hadn't been able to get the deadbolt to turn either. A moment later, the door flew open and banged against the wall, kicked in by the person on the other side. Dixie yanked out her gun out of its holster and pointed it at the intruder.

It was Nero.

He stood in the doorway for a moment, furious face scanning the room, then his head snapped to focus on Southern. Nero pulled something out of his pocket and threw it at Southern. It glinted in the fluorescent lighting as it flew through the air, seeming to unfurl a little. Then it hit Southern in the face and fell to the floor with a metallic clatter.

"Motherfucker!" Southern said, reaching for his mouth. Nero rushed at Southern and pushed him down. Southern reached out behind himself to catch himself. His mouth was bloody, cut open from the thing Nero had thrown at him which they could now see was a pair of handcuffs. Nero kicked Southern in the side. Southern tried to roll away. Nero kicked him again. And then again. And again.

All this time, Dixie still had her revolver trained on Nero. She looked to Cleo to see what she made of this.

"Nero, what are you doing?" Cleo shouted.

Nero didn't look away from the ass-kicking he was dishing out, but he explained in between kicks.

"This son of a bitch," kick, "watched me get tased", kick "and he just stood there," kick, "and let it happen."

Nero gave Southern one hard final kick in the stomach to ensure he wasn't going to be pulling any surprises. Southern curled into a protective ball.

"And then he watched them cuff me and drag me off to the police van. Didn't lift a finger. I was lucky I had my clip key on me."

"Is that true?" Dixie asked, turning her gun on Southern.

He didn't answer. He only gurgled out a moan through his mangled mouth.

"It is," Cleo said. She moved to loom over him, to look more imposing. "You thought if you let him get arrested, you'd make more money."

Southern squeezed his eyes shut and whined.

"We were lucky he couldn't carry that many bags by himself," Cleo said to Dixie.

"Well, what are we gonna do with him?" Dixie said, coming to stand over Southern too. She still had her gun pointed at him.

"We're going to ruin him," Nero said. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and opened the app, but he groaned in frustration.

"Ugh! He marked me dead so I can't review him," Nero said. Then he kicked Southern again for putting him out of his way.

"We still can though," Dixie said, whipping her phone out her back pocket. Cleo pulled hers out of the breast pocket of her jacket and they set to work.

"Watched... one of our... crewmates... get arrested..." Dixie dictated as she typed out her review with her thumbs.

"Lied to us about a crewmate dying under the false assumption that fewer surviving crewmates would net a higher cut," Cleo read aloud as she typed out a much longer treatise on the circumstances of this job.

"0.1" Dixie finalized.

"0.1" Cleo concurred. "I assume you'll be giving him a 0.1 when you get reinstated?" she asked Nero.

Nero just kicked Southern again in reply.

"Well, his career is over, but I'd feel better if he were taken out of play entirely," Cleo said, crossing her over arms and staring down at the pitiful pile of kicked ass at her feet. "He's clearly a danger to the whole profession."

"Well, you can have it quick," Dixie said, straightening her aim, "or Nero can kick you to death." Southern's eyes widened in terror. "Your choice, sugar," she said to Nero.

"I have a better idea," Nero said. He reached down for the handcuffs he'd thrown at Southern. He picked a tiny object off his belt and used it to unlock the cuffs.

"What is that?" Cleo asked.

"A clip key," Nero said. He held it out in the palm of his hand so they could see. It was a tiny - less than an inch - but functional black plastic handcuff key. It had a little clasp, so it could be clipped to clothing. "I never leave home without it." He clipped it to his belt loop and turned his attention back to Southern.

Grabbing him by the hands, Nero dragged Southern's slack body over to a support column. Propping Southern up against the column, he handcuffed the man to the post.

Nero stood up and surveyed his handiwork.

"Do you ladies have any 'incriminating evidence' that you'd be willing to part with?" he asked. "I know it's less money, but I think it's worth the sacrifice."

"Sacrifice, my ass," Dixie said. She went over the to the bags of sculptures that had yet to be unpacked and collected the two bags they had set aside. They contained the broken sculptures.

"We ain't losin' a dime over this," she said, plopping the bags down next to Southern. He looked up at Dixie miserably.

"Don' look at me like that," she said, sneering. "You play dumb games, you win dumb prizes."

"We'll call the cops on him once we get this stuff in the truck and on the way," Nero said. "I'm sure they'll be real happy to see him since someone strangled a cop on his way out of the police van."

"Wow, how'd ya do that?" Dixie asked.

"Well, if they're foolish enough to cuff you in the front, what they've really done is given you a garrote," Nero said, demonstrating how one might loop their bound hands over someone's head and strangle them from behind.

Dixie watched this pantomime and nodded her approval.

"I feel like I've learned a lot today," she mused aloud.




So the clip key is based on the Tiny Inconspicuous Handcuff Key or TIHK (https://tihk.co/collections/urban-survival-gear/products/hk2-handcuff-key). And while I was checkin' to see if this company still existed, I found that not only do they still exist, but they have more products now. Including this one (https://tihk.co/collections/urban-survival-gear/products/evademodule).

Which inspired this story.



"Hey Cleo! Look at this."

Dixie googled the tiny handcuff key that Nero had mentioned and found the website that made them. And they had other products as well.

Dixie showed Cleo a product that looked like a bullet vibrator. However, instead of a tiny battery-operated motor, it contained four lock picks, a "bend to fit" tension wrench, the handcuff key, two different kinds of lock shims, a Kevlar saw, a diamond rod saw, a ferrocerium fire rod, three waxed jute fire starters, and a ceramic razor blade.

"'If your occupation or recreation takes you into dangerous situations," Dixie read aloud, "you'll want to have an EscapeModule on hand... or wherever you can keep it hidden. Just 3.2" long, this tiny o-ring sealed module houses lifesaving escape and survival tools.'"

"Apparently, you can use the casing as a flint too," Cleo noted.

"Sounds like it depends," Dixie said. She read on. "'Included in this order (but not fitting inside the module) is a small petrolatum packet for just about any survival use you can imagine.'

"Hmmmmmmm, it sure is weird how the lube doesn't fit inside the thing. Where do they expect you to keep it?" Dixie said, playing dumb.

"Yes, I love how deftly the copy dances around what it's for," Cleo chuckled. "Are you going to buy it then?" she teased.

"I gotta be honest," Dixie said. "I'm-a two minds about it. On the one hand, am I gonna walk around with a dead bullet vibe in just in case? No. It probably sets off metal detectors. But ya know if ya ever get in a situation where this'd be handy..."

"You'll be thinking to yourself, 'If only' the whole time," Cleo said, trailing off into a peal of chortles.

"Yeeesss!" Dixie said, dragging her hands down her face in hysterical acknowledgement of their newly amended reality. She recovered and added, "Plus, being able to say you're going to pull an escape plan out of your ass and then actually follow through? That's comedy gold, right there."
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on November 04, 2019, 09:14:14 AM
Ooh, now I'm wondering how Nero's review is gonna go.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 05, 2019, 04:23:03 AM
Cleo would dock him .5 for getting zibbity-zapped in the first place (crowd control needs to be aware of their surroundings after all) but would give him high praise in the review for his resourcefulness and preparedness. Dixie would give him the full 5 for not only escaping police custody on his own but also for coming back to see to it that this guy wouldn't be out fucking other agents over in the future.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on November 07, 2019, 09:25:36 AM
Me again, this time seeing how one of the ladies handles without the other.

Specifically, Dixie is hitting a diamond exchange with a crew of Syndicate randoms. But as they're about to start, a non-Syndicate crew, starts their own robbery, and they're definitely more vicious than Syndicate.


You don't have to make this before Dixie met Cleo, but definitely have her as MVP. Maybe getting shit on for credit in pulling the job through, but still.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 07, 2019, 11:53:49 AM
It'd have to be pretty early in the timeline because as the Syndicate gets larger, there are fewer and fewer indie crews out there.

Have this in the meantime. Babby Sable.



"Okay, you're good. Go!"

Summer pulled the plastic cap off the heel of her boot and let her pocket knife fell out of the hollow into her hand. Peeling out the Phillips screwdriver bit, she set to work unscrewing the battery panel of a Laser Lock on some hapless kid's locker.

In this post Columbine world, being caught with a weapon on school property - even one as dull and useless as the blade in her pocket knife - had ridiculous consequences. So Desi, her best friend, was keeping guard at the door to the outdoor halls. They weren't supposed to be in the hall this early either, but getting caught in the building before the first bell was an infraction they - especially Desi, as a straight A student - could talk their way out of.

Summer had a good thing going with these Laser Locks. The infomercial for them started airing earlier that year. In it, kids pointed their little color-coordinated remote controls at the Laser Locks on their lockers and the locks popped open instantly, no combinations or keys needed. It shaved valuable seconds off a mid-day locker trip that might otherwise make it impossible to get across campus in the five minutes given before the bell rang, earning one an inordinately high punishment for tardiness. Or it would, if Summer didn't prey on these locks.

"You know, I'm gonna miss this when you go off to college," Summer said as she twisted the screwdriver. Desi had been accepted to Turnbroke University. Summer didn't know much about colleges, since she'd never planned to attend herself, but she knew it was one of those fancy-ass schools that impressed people when you said you went there. "I'm gonna have to find a new lookout."

Desi huffed and checked the window again.

"I'm not going anywhere. I can't afford it and it was a waste of money for my mom to apply. I'm just gonna do community college here."

"That's bullshit," Summer said. "You can get scholarships."

"Not enough to go to Turnbroke."

Summer rolled her eyes. Desi always was a pessimist.

Panel off, the batteries inside fell out into Summer's waiting hand. She pulled a couple of dead batteries out of her skirt pocket and replaced the ones she was stealing. Then she screwed the panel back on. She'd put the stolen batteries in her CD player on the bus ride home that afternoon.

"Why d'you put dead batteries in there?" Desi asked. "To add insult to injury?"

"Nah. Without the dead batteries, they'd know as soon as they tried to open it that someone was stealing them because the lock would be too light," Summer explained. She put her knife back in her boot heel and stomped her foot to secure the plastic cap back into place. "But if I put dead ones back in, then they just think the batteries died. And they'll put new ones in that I can steal later when my CD player dies again."
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Kit-Cat Clock on November 08, 2019, 11:05:34 AM
Either Cleo or Dixie suddenly discover that it is the other's birthday. Maybe they make a ahem subtle mention of it because they're expecting a gift, or maybe the info is gleaned accidentally. Regardless, a scramble ensues to throw something suitable together.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 12, 2019, 12:41:35 PM
So like, I have chosen to kind of weave the birthday thing into what I was gonna do anyway so this isn't the full extent of where I'm going with that yet, but here, look. We're actually proceeding in the plot!

I am working on yours, Paupers Run.



"All right," Sable said. "Moment of truth."

Cairo picked up the hotel phone, flipped the yellowed calling card over, and dialed the number she'd jotted down ten years ago. Sable leaned in close to hear since they weren't going to risk putting the call on speaker and being overheard.

The phone rang once. Then again. Then the click of connection.

"Good morning, Miss Laurendeau's residence," a woman's voice answered. Cairo knew this woman was definitely not Bijou. Bijou had a comically affected transatlantic accent. There was still a remote possibility that Bijou still lived there, if this woman was just answering her phone.

"Hello. May I speak to Bijou please?" Cairo chanced.

The woman on the other end was silent for a moment, then said, "May I ask who's calling?"

"Oh, my apologies," Cairo said, having forgotten to introduce herself before . "My name is Cleo."

"Cleo...?" the woman trailed, prompting for a last name.

"Just Cleo."

"I see. May I put you on hold?" the woman asked.

"Yes, of course."

They waited. A moment later, an older woman's voice asked, "Hello? Bijou speaking."

Sable nearly choked in surprise at how this woman just answered so readily to her codename, not knowing who was on the other end of the line.

"Uh, hello," Cairo said, a bit startled herself. But this was Bijou. One did not forget a fake accent like that. "You may not remember me, but we met several years ago on a job. You gave me your calling card-"

"Oh, I never forget a face, darling," Bijou said.

"It was pretty dark at the time," Cairo said, positive that Bijou couldn't possibly remember her.

"We met at Mimi Vanderhausen's, correct? In 2009? We were... admiring her collection of Fabergé?"

Cairo leaned back and stared at the phone for a second. "Wow, you remember that?"

"Darling, you scared the hell out of me!" Bijou explained. "It's not often I meet colleagues while I'm working. Let alone someone quite so imposing. I thought you were on Mimi's security team until I saw you had a mask on too. So how have you been, dear? Are you still working with the Syndicate?"

"Actually, that's why I called," Cairo said. "My partner and I were thinking about leaving, striking out on our own. But we don't really know anyone outside of the Syndicate. We were hoping you might be able to help us."

"Oh dear," Bijou sighed.

"Oh dear?" Cairo asked.

"I'll help as much as I can, of course. But I definitely think you're in for an uphill battle. There's not a lot of unsigned talent left anymore."

"Surely we can scare up two crewmates," Cairo said. "We're really more worried about finding a launderer for now. We're sitting on a pretty big pile of dirty clothes and we don't have anything to wear, if you understand me."

"Hmmm. I don't know any launderers personally, but perhaps my fence does- Actually, a marvelous thought has just occurred to me," Bijou cooed. "Yesterday, he told me about this friend of his who's just come off a long-term engagement too and is looking for work. You should see about meeting him."

"Oh, uh, we're really doing more of a feasibility study at this point, not conducting interviews," Cairo tried to defer.

"Oh darling, you really must," Bijou said. "You're going to find that the world outside the Syndicate is very small. You'll want to have as many options as possible if you want to have any hope of making this work."

"I don't know. I really would rather discuss the logistics before we get anyone else involved."

"Trust me, you'll want to meet him. He's in Las Vegas right now for a car show. Go! You'll have fun, take a nice little vacation before you start this new crew." Sable perked up at the idea of going to Las Vegas. "In the meantime, I'll speak with my fence and we'll see who we can find with availability. After you speak with his friend, come up to New York and we'll figure the rest out."

Cairo didn't think now was a good time for a vacation and she didn't want to involve any more people in this conspiracy than was necessary. Sable watched Cairo's face to see what she was thinking and didn't like the conclusions she seemed to be reaching. Sable grabbed the notepad and the pen  off the nightstand and scribbled out a note.

It's my birthday next week.

She held the note up and did a seated we're-going-to-Vegas shimmy because how could one argue with that?

One couldn't and so Cairo relented, giving an annoyed nod, but she smirked when Sable hopped up from the bed and did a silent celebratory happy dance. At the very least, they'd be able to launder a little of the cash themselves through the casinos to fund a decent time.

"All right, we'll go to meet this guy," Cairo said into the phone.

"Fabulous!" Bijou said. "I'll get the details and call you back."

"Thank you so much for all your help, Bijou," Cairo said.

"Think nothing of it, darling. I'm always happy to help someone get out of a bad contract."

Cairo hung up the phone.

"Vegas, vegas, veeegas!" Sable sang as she did her Vegas dance.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Cairo said in mock-annoyance. It was convenient though. She hadn't actually known it was Sable's birthday. They'd never exchanged gifts or acknowledged birthdays the whole time they'd been working together. Now that Cairo thought about it, it was sort of strange.

"How come you've never mentioned your birthday before?" Cairo asked.

Sable stopped dancing and stared at Cairo for a second before looking away.

"It wasn't that big a deal in my family, that's all," Sable said. "Grew up poor, you know? We'd have cake and all, but it wasn't that different from any other day. So I just don't think about it, I guess."

"Oh." Clearly a change of subject was in order. "Well, what do you wanna do on your Las Vegas birthday vacation then?" Cairo said, getting out her cellphone. She ran a search for Las Vegas attractions. "Look, we could see some sort of male revue called Thunder Down Under. Oooh! Or - well, I know it's your birthday, but maybe we could see The Titanic Exhibit too."

"Hey, it's a vacation for both of us," Sable said. "If you wanna see something boring, we can see something boring."




The Titanic Exhibit is NOT boring, just fyi.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 12, 2019, 12:57:19 PM
Also this.

They were in the Titanic Exhibit gift shop. There were necklaces for sale, with pendants made from supposedly genuine pieces of coal brought up from the Titanic's wreckage.

"That seems rather tasteless," Cairo commented.

"That shit's probably haunted," Sable said.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 17, 2019, 09:19:02 AM
Specifically, Dixie is hitting a diamond exchange with a crew of Syndicate randoms. But as they're about to start, a non-Syndicate crew, starts their own robbery, and they're definitely more vicious than Syndicate.

You don't have to make this before Dixie met Cleo, but definitely have her as MVP. Maybe getting shit on for credit in pulling the job through, but still.

So I am still working on this, but I thought you might like to know a little about why it's taking so long. You've actually kinda given me a bit of a challenge here.

See, one of the things I try to be mindful of in my stories is not to let any one character come off Too Cool for School. Remember how when John Wick was announced for the PAYDAY roster, and the copy had Chains practically shaking in his non-slip shoes over trying to get Wick (who is supposedly an old friend with whom he has a rapport) to wear a proper mask, as opposed to the selection of sunglasses he never wears in the movie? Or how Hoxton was written from Crimefest '14 through the Housewarming update, when people finally started to backlash against his characterization? Where he was the sassiest sumbitch on the crew, and also had most of the good ideas, and also just took it upon himself to burn the safehouse down but no one minded because that was one of Hoxton's good ideas and Hoxton is so so so cool anyway that he gets away with being a jerk-ass to everyone, and now that he's called in his vast estate of resources he's also responsible for all the good things the crew has?

That kind of shit comes off like a 12-year-old boy wrote it.

Usually, the way I avoid this is to break up all the cool points among characters. You'll still get some disproportion due to characterization (Cairo is a lot more cerebral than Sable is, for example, so she gets fewer one-liners but is responsible for more crafty idears), but in general, doing this makes for a fairly even distribution of Coolness so that no one is coming off as the Hoxton on the crew.

That becomes harder, though, when one character is explicitly supposed to be MVP and also when the rest of the crew are filler characters.

I'm not saying I can't do it ('cause I can). Just that it's a fine line to walk and it requires a little more finesse than most of what I've done so far, 'cause most of my usual avenues of egress are not present in this prompt.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on November 17, 2019, 11:59:41 AM
Yeah, maybe MVP wasn't quite the right word. I didn't mean like "single-handedly saves the job", but did a splash more than the randoms.

Maybe that happens, but the crew downplays it more in their reviews of her. Something more like that.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 21, 2019, 02:13:01 PM
Things were going quite well, if Dixie said so herself. This was the first time she had applied to be lead on a job. It earned one a ten percent bonus for taking the responsibility of seeing that the score was delivered to the local Syndicate depot. The rest of her crew were out front sweeping loose diamonds off tables and displays and into duffel bags. The diamonds were small and of mediocre quality, but the sheer quantity of them would net a decent profit. Because things were going so well, Dixie was in the back office, cracking their wall safe. She didn't expect to find anything worthwhile, but she had the time and cracking safes was what she did.

At the last tumbler falling into place, she turned the handle and yanked open the door. A stack of bills sat on top of some official looking papers. She snatched the bills out and put them in her jacket pocket: a tip on top of her lead bonus! This job was turning out real well.

Until the gunshots sounded out front.

It was not common to fire one's gun during a Syndicate job after the initial civilian scare. Even if the police showed up, they usually did not interfere directly as it could endanger civilians. The occasional hero cop might try to thin a crew's ranks with an opportunistic shot sometimes, but for the most part the agreement the Syndicate had with law enforcement kept gunplay to a minimum.

The shots fired out on the sales floor were therefore cause for suspicion. Dixie drew her revolver from her hip and peeked around the door frame.

Two of her crewmates, Selznick and Mallard, had with their weapons fixed on two other people in Guy Fawkes masks who were pointing their own guns at them. Her third crewmate, Fontaine, was curled up in a ball in the middle of this stand-off, whimpering, gasping for breath, and bleeding all over the floor. The three civilians lying in a neat row on the floor along the back wall shook in fear and hid their heads under their arms.

Dixie crept out of the office, staying low to sneak behind the display cases. Joining her crew out there would tip the scales in their favor over... whoever these guys were, but if she could manage to sneak up on the one who was standing closest...

What Dixie lacked in height and might, she made up for by carrying a massive firearm. The Ursa Striking Bear revolver was five pounds and ten inches of intimidation, a fact this V for Vendetta cosplayer realized when Dixie jammed its barrel into his back.

"Why don't you set that gun down, sweetie?" Dixie said, prodding him with her own. "Nice and easy, don't want it to go off." He bent down slowly and set his assault rifle at his feet.

"Mallard, come get this," Dixie said. Mallard came over to collect the weapon, never once taking his eyes or his own weapon off the other guy.

Once Mallard and her hostage's weapon were out of reach and the odds were significantly back in the Syndicate agents' favor, Dixie shoved her hostage. He stumbled and fell. She kept her gun pointed at him. When he turned over, she asked, "Are y'all, like, protesting the robbery?" She gestured around at the scene. "The fuck is this?"

"These guys just burst in here and shot Fontaine," Selznick said.

"Why'dya do that?" Dixie asked her hostage.

"We were gonna steal your take. Billy says it's easy to steal from Syndicate crews 'cause they're not real robbers."

Dixie rolled her eyes. She figured that much.

"No, honey, why did you shoot Fontaine," she clarified.

He seemed reluctant to answer so she pulled the hammer back on her revolver to convey her impatience.

"Billy always shoots a civilian first off," he spat out. "So they know he'll shoot any of them if they act up."

"Shut up, Charlie!" Billy said, shifting his aim off Selznick and on to Dixie. Selznick jumped on the opening and fired his shotgun at Billy, hitting him in the gut. Billy reflexively fired his rifle as he fell, and the bullet clipped Dixie's ear. Dixie's hand darted up to hold her stinging ear and she swore loudly. Charlie saw the opening and made a motion to get up, but Dixie trained her gun back on him to get him to stay down.

Selznick darted forward and snatched up Billy's rifle from where it lay next to him.

"Okay, good hustle, Selz-y, but one inch over and I would be dead," Dixie pointed out.

"Sorry, ma'am," Selznick said.

Dixie gingerly prodded her ear and hissed.

"God, there's, like, a chunk missing. That's gonna heal up pretty." But no matter. "All right, you two," she directed Selznick and Mallard, "Get Fontaine into the van. You," she said, pointing at Charlie. "You are now in my crew." She waved her gun at him in a pope-like blessing. "So start loading these bags in the van."

"Or what?" Charlie said defiantly. It surprised Dixie, as Charlie had come off pretty passive this whole time. It was annoying, given the obviousness of Or What.

"Or I will shoot you," she ground out, "and your buddy Billy here, and I won't miss like Selznick did," she said. "Chop chop, motherfucker."

Charlie begrudgingly got up and picked up a pair of duffel bags. He followed behind the rest of the crew as they carried Fontaine as gently as they could.

Dixie huffed at the ceiling and reached up to poke at the missing chunk of her ear again.




Gonna have to add that clipped ear to her model.

As far as the reviews go, I think it only really pays to downplay someone's contribution when you failed to score outright. So while generally, you may not leave a glowing review of your crewmates, you wouldn't downvote them without just cause if you still completed the heist successfully. So in this case, while they probably wouldn't be effusive in their praise, they wouldn't downvote her much either. A 3 is a perfectly inoffensive, middling score and they'd all probably give 3's or 4's, as would she.

Think of it kinda like airbnb reviews. There's a lot of tension between guests and hosts re: reviews because if you, a guest, review a host who had a shitty, falsely advertised property, they would leave you a retaliatory review saying you were shitty guest regardless of what quality a guest you actually were. And that would, unfairly, make it hard for you to book future properties. And because it's all very bureaucratic and a huge case of he-says/she-says, you will never get that shit resolved or corrected for truth. So everyone thinks twice about really sticking it to their crewmates unless there is a really justified cause because it comes back around.

Cleo and Dixie ended up with the scores they did because they had a slew of bad luck, which can really fuck you in the Syndicate. And why the peer review system is wildly imperfect. It should be noted that, in this bad luck streak, they also downvoted a lot of people and lowered their scores too. And not all of those were cases where the girls were the ones in the right.

Part of their joy in striking out independently is freedom from the review system.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on November 28, 2019, 03:11:23 AM
Happy Thanksgiving! Have a story.



"How long do you think it'll be before they start lookin' for us?" Sable asked. Cairo was driving, so Sable had her feet up on the dashboard and was eating Sour Punch Straws.

"I don't expect that they will," Cairo said. "As long as they never find out we're working outside of the app, they should have no reason to think we haven't merely retired."

They drove along for a while in relative silence, save for Sable's gooey chewing, the radio, and a beep every so often from the police radar detector, until Cairo's face shifted into a pensive frown.

"Frenchy could be a problem," she said.

"How?" Sable asked. She didn't look up from the candy straw she was peeling apart from the rest in their plastic tray.

"It depends on what she knows. We don't know when she disappeared or where she fucked off to." Cairo considered the angles. "If she knows we took the money, she could report that it should be incoming."

"Wouldn' be in her interests though," Sable said. "That was her job. Means she'd be responsible for making sure the money came in."

"Logically, yes, but she might report the score to explain why we didn't get the plates. If she does, she'll be on the hook for the money, but it'll also point the finger at us."

"Should probably check if the reviews are in then," Sable said. She reached down the floorboard to dig her phone out of her backpack purse. She flicked and swiped for a while, going through the newly pain-in-the-assened login procedure for the Hole-in-the-Wall app's secret backend.

"I tell you what, if we end up leavin', I ain't gonna miss this shit," Sable said. "You log in, and now they send a passcode in a text message and then you have to go back to the app and type - not paste! - but type the fuckin' combination in. And it's, like, twelve fuckin' digits, so you gotta go back and look at it three times before you can get the whole thing in. And then you gotta hope like hell you didn't mistype it or you'll be startin' all the way from the top."

Cairo's face scrunched up in empathetic frustration. She hadn't tried to log in since the day of the bank robbery so she'd yet to contend with the new two-factor authentication that the app had patched in yesterday.

"Ugh, finally," Sable said. "Reviews, reviews... Nothing from Mitty, obviously. We should report him dead." Sable opened up his profile, tapped the Reporting Options button, and notified the app of his death. His profile photo reloaded with a black and white filter when Sable backed back out.

"Nothing from Frenchy yet either. Might as well rate each other up while we're in here," Sable said. "How did Cleo do? Five, of course."

"You should at least take some points off for the utter mess I made in the lobby," Cairo demurred. She had tried to aim below the waist to minimize causalities, but there was only so much care you could take when you were shooting buckshot.

"Pffft!" Sable scoffed. "I, for one, am happy to have less cops to deal with. And they started it anyway. They got exactly what they had comin' to 'em, endangerin' civvies like that. 'Sides," Sable said seriously, "if this whole thing with Bijou doesn't pan out, we're gonna want our ratings as high as possible. Lemme have your phone so I can give myself a five."

Cairo reached into the breast pocket of her jacket and handed her phone over. After a few moments of frustrated cussing, Sable said, "There. Fresh fives. What do you want to rate Frenchy?"

"Let's wait on reviewing her. Since we don't know if she knows that we left with a score, we don't want to tip our hand or give her a reason to downrate us. We'll let her make the first move."

Sable shrugged. "Fine. What about our no-show driver? Hopscotch." Sable snorted at his codename. "Can we review him?"

"I don't see why not."

Sable brought up his profile on Cairo's phone.

"Huh," Sable said.

"What?" Cairo asked.

"Hopscotch here's got almost a perfect rating. Four point nine."

"That's impossible. That has to be a mistake," Cairo said. "There's no one way anyone has a rating that high. Especially not a guy who flakes on jobs."

Sable nibbled her lip. "What if he didn't flake on the job?" she proposed. "What if somethin' happened to him?"

"Such as?" Cairo scoffed.

"I dunno. Car accident?" Sable said. It'd be the most obvious thing.

"A four point nine driver got in a car accident?" Cairo reiterated to illustrate how absurd that was.

"He mighta had to drive through Mississippi on his way, who knows?" Sable shrugged defensively. "I just can't figure why a guy who had a score that good would fuck it up by not showin' up. It might not-a been deliberate."

"Maybe he thinks if his score is that good he can afford to ditch a job from time to time."

Sable shook her head. "Nope. His reviews would say so if he was in the habit. Nothin' but recommendations. Pfft!" Sable chuckled. "Well, this guy thinks he's an asshole, but still said he's a great driver."

"I don't care how great he was on everyone else's job. He didn't show up to ours so he gets a zero from me."

"Yes ma'am," Sable said. She gave him the score and tapped the confirmation button. His rating went down to a 4.8. Sable set Cairo's phone in the cup holder and went back to her own phone to give Hopscotch a zero from her own account. There was a new email notification on the lock screen.

Sable opened the email and read it. It was a scan of a hand-written letter from her old school friend, Desi. Sable used a mail forwarding service who would accept her mail and scan it just for Desi's letters.

Sable frowned at the contents of the letter.

"Bad news?" Cairo asked.

"Desi says they started up some call center for a phone company and they're taking him off farmwork detail to work there instead. He ain't happy about it. And he's up for parole soon too." Sable exhaled and blew her bangs out of her face. "Gonna have to tell him not to get his hopes up."

"Is the call center a pay raise at least?" Cairo asked, trying to find a bright side.

"They don't pay inmates in Texas," Sable said. She leaned her head on the window and stared out, mood soured by the news.

Cairo glanced over. That was no way to look when you were on your way to Las Vegas. Luckily, something to perk up Sable's mood was peeking over the horizon.

"Look," Cairo said when it came fully into view.

It was a simple blue sign with white letters.

Welcome to Idaho

"We're not in Buttfuck, Montana anymore," Cairo said. "Now we're in Buttfuck, Idaho!" She checked the GPS. "Just seven hundred and seventy-eight more miles before we're back to civilization."
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 02, 2019, 04:26:24 PM
Got a few ideas, actually, but I'll start with the Christmassy one!

A Syndicate fella that's named Scrooge (based on McDuck, but crews don't often figure that), and how he ironically hates taling jobs in December because of the constant jokes. Maybe have our friend Braum there to sympathize with names.


And here's a twist... maybe no Dixie OR Cleo! I don't know why, but I feel it'd be interesting to have other Syndicate members having gripes.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: CunningValentine on December 04, 2019, 08:29:20 AM
How did Cairo and Sable end up joining the Syndicate?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on December 05, 2019, 07:19:00 AM
A Syndicate fella that's named Scrooge (based on McDuck, but crews don't often figure that), and how he ironically hates taling jobs in December because of the constant jokes. Maybe have our friend Braum there to sympathize with names.

I don't like Scrooge as a codename (which is a shame 'cause Simon fkn loves Scrooge McDuck.) Like, I know I was glib about it on twitter 'cause The Rules about codenames are intuitive to me so that really is my personal process for coming up with them, but I realize now there's actually a number of parameters for codenames. It's just that, much like deciding if I need help or if I can Pistol Messiah myself up, it's a decision I make in about two seconds based on a bunch of variables.

Like, with some exception, I always try to go for two syllables because you gotta imagine shouting this name over a gunfight. You want a name that won't easily be confused for something else. The "oo" sound in Scrooge just begs for misinterpretation. A second syllable would go towards preventing that. This also rules out most common surnames, which is why for example, in my clowntown fic, Houston drops his "Wilson" codename when he joins the crew. It didn't matter when he was a lone cat burglar and never used it practically, but it's too likely there's a cop named Wilson too, you know? Also bears mentioning that originally Overkill were going to rename Houston to "Hawk" but changed it for probably similar reasons. It sounds like too many other words, not least of all "Hox".

Then there's just mouth feel. The "oo" sound also closes up the throat, which makes it unwieldy for shouting. The "aw" sound in  Hawk does it too.

Concept's good though so here's this:



"I don't know, man. I feel a little iffy about this job," Savoy said. "But I can't tell if it's a gut feeling or if it's just because working in places decorated for Christmas feels like a bad omen."

"Bad omens? We got fuckin' Rudolph up here guiding the sleigh tonight. There isn't a better omen than that." Nero smartassed.

"Wow, that's an original fuckin' joke," their driver, the aforementioned Rudolph grumped. "Why don't you tell one I ain't heard a million times before?"

"Damn, Scrooge, who pissed in your porridge?" Nero asked. "I was just trying to lighten the mood."

"Look, man, if I wanted to hear the same tired-ass joke over and over, I'd go back to working retail," Rudolph said.

"It's not even the reindeer, is it?" Braum asked to both commiserate and change the subject. In his experience, the codenames were almost never actually about the thing they seemed.

"Nope. Rudolph Valentino," Rudolph said.

"Was your controller that woman with all the black and white pictures of movie stars in her office?" Selznick asked excitedly.

"Yep."

"She was my controller too!" Selznick said. "Her office is wall-to-wall photos of old movie stars. It's like the Brown Derby in there."

"Yeah, she wanted to go with Sheik but it was too short, she said," Rudolph explained. "And Valentino was too long. So now Christmas is way fun to work every year 'cause everyone thinks he's the first guy to think up a smartass comment about the driver being named Rudolph."

"Well, fuck, man, sorry," Nero said in a way that belied that he had no sympathy at all for this salty son of a bitch. Dude needed to get some Christmas spirit.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 07, 2019, 10:51:20 AM
Alright, next prompt.


Cleo and Dixie are running to the escape boat (yeah, switching it up a bit) with their crew for the day. However, as the last guy's getting in, some other Syndicate guy is running up begging them to let him in. For one reason or another, his crew left him behind, and now he's gotta bum a ride or get arrested.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on December 10, 2019, 07:44:02 AM
Just as they had the score secured and everyone was seated on the escape boat, they heard someone call out to them from the end of the dock.

"Wait! Wait!" a man's voice shouted to them. He ran towards them and everyone pointed their guns at him. He either didn't see or didn't care. He approached anyway, stopping at the edge of the dock. He doubled over, hands on his knees, and panted. After he caught his breath, he stood upright again.

His tie, mask, and gloves marked him as Syndicate agent too.

"Please," he huffed, putting his hands up to show he was not planning to pull anything, "let me come with you. My crew's all been arrested. I've been running from cops since 9:00." It was now 11:35.

They had room on the boat; it wouldn't have been a problem to let him board. Yet none of them lowered their weapons. Cleo, Dixie, and Melrose all looked to Dauphin. He was lead on this job so it was up to him if he wanted to take the risk.

"How do we know you're not an undercover cop trying to get us all arrested too?" he asked.

"I'm not!" the man on the dock said. Panic rose up in his face. How could he disprove that?

"If you're a Syndicate agent," Cleo said, "show us your profile."

Relief swept over his face. He reached into his back pocket and whipped out his phone. Unlocking it and swiping around for a moment, he turned the screen's bright face to show them.

His codename was Vermouth. He had a 2.2 rating and he looked a lot less sweaty and harried in his profile picture.

"What do you think, Dauphin?" Melrose asked. Cleo and Dixie had lowered their weapons, but Melrose steadfastly pointed his shotgun at Vermouth.

Dauphin regarded the profile on the phone's screen. It wasn't that he didn't believe Vermouth exactly. If he could make a decision without answering to anyone, he would've already let the poor guy on. It was more that it was still possible for the police to fabricate a fake Syndicate profile and even if this guy was legit, Dauphin didn't want to be known for taking risks with other agents' freedom. The peer review system made the work so much more political than it needed to be.

"What's the codeword?" he asked.

Vermouth scowled.

"There isn't any codeword! Man, if you're gonna leave me to go fuck myself, just say so already."

"All right, get in," Dauphin said.

"The fuck was that about?" Dixie asked, leaning over so Vermouth could climb over her into the boat.

"If he was a cop, he probably would have tried to guess the codeword or say he forgot it," Dauphin explained. "But since he's an agent, he knows there isn't one." There was still a remote possibility that Vermouth was a cop and just had a lucky guess, but Dauphin wouldn't be getting any bad reviews for not attempting to check. Worst case scenario, if Vermouth did turn out to be an undercover cop after all of this, they could kill him and throw his body overboard.

"Clever," Cleo said.

Vermouth flopped down in a seat next to Dixie and let out a heavy groan of relief. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes as the boat gently pulled away from the dock.

"Why didn't you just take your mask and gloves off?" Dixie asked.

"What?"

"Why didn't you just take your mask off, dude? The cops caint be hasslin' everyone in a gray suit. That's why they make us wear them."

"I can take the mask off?" Vermouth said, bolting upright. "I didn't know I could do that!"

"You're supposed to do that," Dixie said. "God, does no one read the fuckin' manual?" Cleo snorted at Dixie's exasperation.

"I thought I wasn't supposed to take off the mask. It's part of the uniform."

"Sure, not during the robbery, but afterward?" Dixie said. "I mean, this ain't The fuckin' Warriors, dude. You don't have to wear your colors when you're trying to hide."

Thankfully for Vermouth's pride, they were now leaving the marina. The boat increased speed and the water was choppy enough that everyone had to focus on staying seated rather than berating him for his inattention to protocol.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 10, 2019, 10:02:00 AM
Huh.

Y'know, when I pitched this, I weirdly hadn't considered "the rest of his crew got arrested" as the reason Vermouth was on his own.


Anyhoo, bringing up the uniform brought me to my next prompt:


A Syndicate guy, Banshee, is getting pissed at his controller for cutting into his money from his first job just because he had the wrong gloves on. Y'know, saying something like "They're gloves, the fuck's the difference?!"

The guy has material as an average robber. Somewhere between 2.7 and 3.2 on the app, so it's not for lack of brains that he used different gloves.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on December 11, 2019, 06:52:13 AM
Oh, this is easy! I'mma type this shit right in the box, don't even need to break out Notepad.



"They're still nitriles, what's the fuckin' difference?" Banshee complained. He crossed his arms obstinately.

"It creates a Mr. Black situation, Banshee," Wintour explained with steely patience. "If you show up to a job wearing black nitriles when everyone else is wearing blue like they're supposed to, then your crewmates get jealous of you and resentful of the uniform. Then all of three of those crewmates are going to show up to their next job wearing the wrong color gloves, which perpetuates the disruption in team morale. It creates a ripple effect that could lead to people trying to disregard the uniform entirely, which would in turn create problems with crews being recognizable as such to civilians. And if civilians cannot immediately recognize you as a Syndicate agent, they're more likely to resist and interfere with your work which could lead to causalities."

"Besides, the pattern on the tie was designed specifically to embrace the blue in the nitriles," Wintour added. "Without that blue for it to draw on, you look like you can't dress yourself. You may as well be out there wearing black shoes and a brown belt."




They wouldn't cut into the money though over that though. That's the kind of thing that just needs a reprimand.

Also, I am working on yours, Cunning.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 13, 2019, 10:56:21 PM
So, I think it's Cairo's turn for a spotlight heist without Sable. However, I want to change things up by giving a pitch sentence or two, and you can build the story around that. Here goes:


" 'Oh for God's sake, would you idiots stop with this diet Bonnie and Clyde bullshit?!' Phryne spat out to her teammates as Cleo started emptying the smaller safe. 'Newsflash, it ain't gonna save your marriage!' "
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on December 16, 2019, 09:44:00 AM
Is that a Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries reference I see?
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 16, 2019, 10:14:23 AM
Yes, but I only really know of it through PushingUpRoses.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on December 20, 2019, 11:53:03 AM
So I am working on both of the remaining prompts in this thread, but they will probably not be done until January. They're both turning out to be conversational finesse situations (which take more work) and like everyone else, I've got holiday shit going on besides.

So yeah, let me get Christmas and New Year's out of the way and I'll get back to work.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Paupers Run on December 23, 2019, 04:41:07 AM
Y'know what, post Cunning's story first whenever you can. I feel like I keep cutting him in line with my prompts.
Title: Re: Total Request Live (Ask Questions or Suggest Things and I Will Write Stories)
Post by: Django Durango on January 14, 2020, 07:20:29 AM
How did Cairo and Sable end up joining the Syndicate?

Just Sable 'cause hers happens early enough in Syndicate history to be interesting. I might go back and make this longer later, but I'm tired of sitting on it and this should give you a general idea of the circumstances.



"There's one more stop on the tour. If you'll follow me back into the elevator," the tour guide said as he pressed the call button.

"This place is pretty cool," Summer said to fill the time while they waited for the elevator to come up. "I didn't think we'd ever see stuff like this after the dotcom bubble. And y'all're making actual money this time around?"

"Heh, yes, we're doing quite well," the tour guide said. The elevator arrived and they both got on. The doors slid shut and the elevator descended.

"So Summer," he broached, "I'm afraid there was an ulterior motive in offering you a tour of our headquarters."

"Aw fuck, this isn't like that thing where the police say you won a drawing for a boat and then they arrest you when you come to get it, is it?" Summer asked. She was making a joke, but the fact that she was stuck - trapped - in an elevator rose a few ranks of importance in the back of her mind.

"Well, to be honest, it is a little like that," the tour guide said. "except instead of arresting you, we'd like to offer you a job."

Summer stared. She couldn't quite process what he'd just said. She had been joking, but it kinda sounded like this guy knew she made her money by robbing gas stations. Summer debated internally how to respond to this. She didn't want to just assume that's what he was saying though. hat if she was misunderstanding the situation? She didn't want to tip her hand. She had to say something though.

"What?" she asked after a too-long pause.

The tour guide chuckled.

"Yeah, this is always the hardest part. We actually used to track people like you down through the app and approach them in public because we thought it was safer that way. A lot of us ended up getting shot though so now we ask people to come here."

Summer blinked at this admission and then asked, "What?" again.

"Right, sorry," the tour guide said. "To cut the crap, we know you're a gas station bandit. We'd like to offer you an opportunity to pull robberies for us."

That took all the ambiguity out of it. They knew. Summer wasn't caught yet though. The elevator had to open sometime and when it did, she could just dart out and make her escape.

They were already at the second floor and a moment later, the floor number display read "1".

But the elevator didn't stop. It kept descending.

"What the fuck? Does this elevator ever stop?" Summer asked.

The tour guide chuckled.

"We're going to my office in the subterranean levels."

"They give tour guides offices?" Summer asked.

"I'm not really a tour guide," he said in a stage whisper, as if she should've picked up on that already and he was reminding her.

"Okay, but wouldn't it have been easier to wait until I was trapped in your office to tell me you were gonna... blackmail me?" Summer ventured a guess.

"We tried that, but people tend to bolt up and run for it the second you tell them you know they're a bank robber and then we'd have to chase them down. We found the elevator ride was better because you can't run anywhere. It's just long enough for us to state the situation, let you get the panic out of your system, and then calm down," the not-tour guide explained. "And we're not blackmailing you either. We're offering you a job. You're welcome to turn it down."

The elevator finally stopped and the doors slid open.

"If you'll come with me to my office, I can tell you more about it," the not-tour guide said brightly stepping out of the elevator and waiting for her.

Summer hung back. Should she? It could still be a trap. Although if it was, Summer still thought there had been better opportunities to spring it. On the other hand, she was intrigued. She'd never been offered a job before and -

The elevator doors were shutting. Summer hopped over the threshold before the doors could shut her in.

The not-a-tour guide snickered.

"Yeah, okay," Summer said.