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Topic Started: Mar 22 2018, 03:13 PM (645 Views)
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do you want to go to war, balakay?
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ross studied the tiger with an apt, yet cautious degree of attention. He didn't move. The animal was mere feet away from him, and he kept very, very still. To do otherwise would mean certain disaster.

He twitched.

The tiger's eyes darted over to him, and instantly the big cat held its breath, ready.

This was it.

The tiger yawned, and stretched out on the rock it sat on, distracted by a bird as it flew overhead. It really was true, Ross thought to himself as he pushed his hands away from the chain linked-fence. Tigers were really just great big cats.

((Ross Miller continued from Ew, adulting.))

Turning away from the tiger enclosure, Ross adjusted his baseball cap and by proxy, his sunglasses, and began to walk in the other direction. Like most days, he was letting his feet decide where he was going to go, and as far as impromptu birthday presents to himself went, this one hadn't been a half bad idea. There hadn't been a whole lot going on at home, his parents naturally having been rendered barely conscious by their party the night before, and so he'd gotten up, left them a note on the fridge, and headed out for the day.

It had been... years, perhaps, since he'd even thought of visiting the zoo, but when the ad had popped up on his computer as he'd been browsing (nice work, adblock plus, real quality work), he'd taken notice. There was a special for Sunday admission, and being as today was Sunday? Hey - it worked out. It was a nice day, and being as he'd spent his birthday evening engrossed in a particularly intense session of Rimworld, Ross figured that he owed it to himself to at least get a few rays of sunshine. Besides, it was something new.

His mind floating back to the tiger he'd been watching for the past few minutes, Ross couldn't help but wonder what kind of a logistical nightmare it would be to keep a tiger in his home as a pet. His mom was allergic - as was he, to an extent, but that wouldn't even be the worst part. Tigers required a lot more food than the average house cat, and it was a lot easier to shrug off the odd cat scratch or bite than it would be to shrug off a tiger scratch.

Chicks would dig it though. That's for sure.

Hey, if the Walking Dead could expect people to suspend their disbelief enough, and Mike Tyson could apparently have one in his yard at times (which he didn't altogether disbelieve), then what stopped ordinarily old Ross Miller from keeping a big ol' tiger in his backyard?

Money, amidst other things.

Stopping in front of a different animal pavillion, Ross sauntered down the pathway and looked at the sign in the middle of the fork. Apparently, he could go right to visit the spider-monkeys or left to check out some penguins. Smiling, he shrugged to himself. That was a no-brainer, really. The possibility of having poop flung at you, or ... penguins? Duh. Penguins! Heading down the leftmost path, Ross couldn't help but wonder what it was about penguins that attracted so many people. They were flightless, funny-looking birds that lived in the arctic. So why the phenomena?

Walking through the atrium and into the winter-birds area, he couldn't come up with anything better. That was it. They were birds (generally revolting creatures, in Ross' own opinion) that couldn't fly. What made a bird a bird? The fact it could fly! Hilarious! The fact that they looked kind of goofy was just a bonus. As he walked up to the glass viewing area, his brow furrowed. So here he was... and yet? No penguins?

Dammit.

He waited. One would have to show itself sooner or later. Besides... he had the time.
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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Cicada Days
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(ooc continuation tag)

Penguin dudes were affected by their walking monkey visitors. Fax (warning, that there is one of them downloads). Least as far as Charelle understood what the fuck the graphs and the science words even said. Something about, humans do something in the general vicinity of big cute dopey birds and they can't get their game (bow chicka, plus, wow wow) on.

The particular penguin exhibit in Westing Park was host to a small family of Chinstrap dudes, identified by their fur pattern swag that made them look fashion as fuck. Mostly distributed in Antarctic places and... south, in general, just the overall concept of 'south'. Where was that shit found? South. Where south doesn't matter, just. South.

She'd volunteered here last summer and when she'd asked around bigshot boss people had said, 'we got them because their habitat was crumbling' and there had also been a bunch of words that probably hadn't been in English.

She liked them. Dudes were shy but cute AF.

As she entered their habitat some dude was chilling.

... C H I L L I N G.

Think about it.

Charelle vaguely recognized him as Ross. No last name, just Ross. Cool (emphasis) dude. She'd never tagged him as the animal fan type. If he was, well. Earned himself a few points, he would.

"Yo, Geller." Shitty white people shows references ahoy. Wait, wasn't she half white? Didn't she actually like Friends as a show? Anyway. "What brought ya? Thinking of volunteering, I can tell you they treat volunteers well. Free breakfasts on weekend shifts." She casually strutted up to him with the usual THICC hip action with the old fashioned mom jeans and weeb print top (NI-HON-GO), and casually tossed herself onto a bench nearby, smiling at him carefree-ly.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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((Forrest Quinn continued from Sketchy Behavior))

The sunny southern weather meant those sunny southern high temperatures and the possibility of a sunny southern barbeque. That whole concept put Forrest in a bit of a bind, she didn't eat meat or anything that had a face if you listened to a certain psychic vegan. So the whole barbeque experience for her had always ended up boiling down to her dad grilling her up some halloumi cheese skewers until her other dad had to remind him that she couldn't have them and the vegetable skewers were inside Dave you always do this. Ok, so it didn't go entirely like that; her dad wasn't called Dave for one. Unfortunately, the barbeque had run out of gas, so her fathers had gone to buy some and they had rescheduled. It had however left her with a large gap in her day. To fill that gap with something enjoyable and fulfilling Forrest had decided to venture out of her den and head in the wide world. First, she had donned a dark gray Nashville Predators tank-top that looked like it had been pulled directly out of the eighties, it had a blue and white striped upside triangle in the middle and faded text to go with the logo, it was pretty great in all honesty. She had also put on her best pair of weathered and beaten denim shorts.

With her headphones stuck to her head, Forrest had boarded a bus going nowhere and ended up at the zoo. Plans weren't her strong suit. The zoo had come up as the next stop on the bus and she had decided that she'd spend the day at the zoo, looking at animals that she didn't keep at her house. She had also decided to use it as a fox scouting trip to see how the fluffy little guys acted, convincing her parents to let her get one was still a work in progress. Maybe for a little while longer or maybe until the heat death of the universe. They were proving tough to crack with this specific request.

After paying her way into the zoo and grabbing a map Forrest had set off in a clockwise fashion around the enclosures, eventually finding a herd of guests she joined onto. The tourist life was the one she was living at that point and it was pretty great. Latching onto the back of the tour group for a bit had been a great experience. She got to go around the enclosures and hear small talks about each animal inside. She had broken off from the rest of the group to listen in to a talk about Jaguar and how apparently they were the honey badgers of cats and that was how she had ended up alone. The only other group she could have blended in with was a young couple with a small child and there was a chance they'd notice a new addition...although there was always a chance. So, left alone, Forrest had retreated inside to the more intimate confines of the penguin enclosure.

The lack of penguins or drums was a disaster honestly.

Luckily there were two humans inside. Not inside the enclosure, they were just out in the viewing area. Viewing each other...because the enclosure was empty you understand. The two people were her best friend Charelle and Ross surnameneeded. Yeah, this was fine, she was cool with this.

"So are these the new ninja penguins I've been hearing about?"
Forrest Quin - At the Zoo
Bret Carter - On a date
Aliya Kimia Nemati - In Training
Arizona - Practicing
V6
V5
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Whoa, damn. While the penguins had yet to reveal their tricky little selves, there was a far more interactive duo that had materialized within the viewing area before him. The first was someone who was vaguely familiar to him, though not someone whose number he had programmed into his phone, for instance. Charelle was a pretty easy going girl...

Girl... was that right? He recalled hearing through the grapevine that some of his fellow students preferred to identify as gender non binary, but damned if he could remember whom, or how that worked, but he had a vague recollection of hearing Charelle's name... he thought? He was going to go with girl for now, and if he got corrected, so be it.

Blinking momentarily to himself, he pulled his train of thought back on track. Charelle was easygoing and while they weren't friends, he'd never had a negative interaction with her. So that was rad. Smirking at the somewhat expected Friends reference, he waved a greeting at Charelle as she approached.

"Volunteering, huh?" He shrugged. "Hadn't really thought about it, to be honest. But what kind of a monster would I be to turn down free breakfast?"

He watched as she tossed herself down haphazardly on a nearby bench, and almost on cue, the second arrival made themselves known, and this one he was slightly more familiar with. Forrest Quin was not only a louder presence around the school, but had a louder look about her. The rainbow-coloured hair was a dead giveaway and her reputation and music tended to precede her. DJ HELL KITTY as she was known in the music scene, was also not necessarily someone that Ross found himself chatting with on the regular, but they were friendly, having shared a few classes together in prior years. Shooting her a nod as she approached, he looked back out over the penguin area and threw his hands theatrically in the air.

"Y'know, some days a guy wakes up, has breakfast, and realizes that - damn, I REALLY need to go and see some penguins." He cast a hand out towards the empty pen. "And what happens? It's invisibility cloak day in penguin-land. It's a real dick move on their part! I'm downright offended." His feigned outrage had the thick stench of fromage, and the put-upon vitriol was designed to get a smirk, if nothing else.

Shifting his face back into the real world, he took another look out into the pen. The animals must have been in for feeding, or perhaps they'd all gone for a collective swim, or... he wasn't sure. But they sure as hell weren't here.

"So what brings you ladies out to the zoo? Surely we didn't all hear the telepathic call of the penguins, did we?"

At the word ladies, Ross flinched in a barely perceptible manner at himself. The last thing he wanted to do was mislabel or use the wrong pronouns: he never wanted to make anyone feel bad or wrong, but keeping track of it all was something he found a little difficult. Once he knew if someone was hoping to be addressed a certain way, he always tried, but... that he couldn't remember right now drove him a little crazy, and he hoped that he'd gotten it right.

Or at least that if he hadn't, that they knew he wasn't doing it on purpose.

His mind flew around in far too many directions. Gender questions, rainbow-coloured hair, and a lack of penguins. Outwardly though, he just smiled at the two newcomers.

Ugh. Dammit. Life was hard.
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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"Mike Wazowski," the quickest meme response to a 'what kind of monster' question. Actually shit, come to think of it. That had been an accurate pronunciation on the first try. No scope 360 tier.

Actually, speaking of monsters.

Charelle didn't turn around to take stock of Forrest because she pretty much didn't need to. How long had they been friends and DJ...friends for now? Charelle swore she'd just woken up someday and found a best friend for life and then also that other one who was cool and didn't afraid and liked to boss them both around about stuff. There was like... always Forrest and Mikki. They were the very fabric of realty. And reality, in addition.

There was never not a time when Charelle could randomly expect to run into Forrest unplanned because she was pretty sure neither of them had enough brains between them to feed a zombie apocalypse.

"Let the penguins breathe, my man. 'Sides, you're filing customer complaints to the wrong species." Charelle wasn't immediately glancing at Ross, or glancing at him at all, she was giving Forrest the finger (pointer, not middle, okay maybe a little middle too to be edgy) and gesturing for her to get onto the bench beside her and be friendly and social and shit.

"You know Ross I'm pretty sure neither of us actually know why we're here. But I'm not gonna speak for this one." This one being the one in rainbow hair, durr.
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Strolling over to where her friend was sitting Forrest haphazardly plonked herself down on the bench and watched Ross give a Shakespeare worthy performance lamenting the lack of penguins. It was quite good, in a bad and silly way. Meanwhile, Charelle was probably her best friend and most definitely her life wife. A partnership and system they had both silently accepted at some point in the past. The decision made while in a mind-altered haze of some origin or other. If they were at a party Charelle would be the one to make sure that Forrest's drunk-self didn't do anything really really dumb. If that was possible but sometimes shit happened y'know because living was hard.

As things were now though they could just enjoy the company of the other and have some fun with someone they didn't know as well.

"Sorry man, penguins aren't my totem animals. I'm bonded with snakes mainly so I can hear their thoughts." Throughout her entire explanation, Forrest's voice stayed the same it always did. Flat, perpetually bored. "I'm here because the bus brought me here."
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Ross raised his eyebrows, chagrined. Yikes. Tough crowd. He gave his two classmates only a cursory glance as they both set up shop on a nearby bench. This was a hangout, he supposed. Perhaps it was prearranged? Shit. The last thing Ross Miller wanted to do was intrude upon someone else's social outing. Of course, he'd been here first, so...

Screw it.

He made the decision quickly: he wasn't leaving unless the two girls made it perfectly clear that he wasn't welcome. Besides, he wanted to see some goddamn penguins. They'd pop out eventually, he was sure.

"Snakes?" That was interesting. The slithery amphibians were usually a love-it or hate-it proposition for most people, and most folks he'd come across tended to have a strong reaction to snakes, one way or another. Forrest, he supposed, would be another mark in the positive column. He raised his hat and scratched the back of his head, setting it back down once the particular itch had evaporated.

"Far be it for me to speculate what happens when you come across someone who identifies as a mouse." He smirked as he paused for effect. "Or a rat. Plenty of those around town."

Turning away from Charelle and Forrest for a moment, he craned his neck to take another look around the penguin enclosure. Still absolutely nothing happening. Really felt like a microcosm of the year so far. Even though it was the big senior year and all that, it felt like a whole lot of nothing going on around town. Hopefully events of interest, like the absent penguins, would pop up soon. He faced the two on the bench again, leaning against the guardrail.

"Just another lazy Sunday, huh? To be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure what I'm doing here, either." He shrugged. "Figured it might not be the worst idea to get some sun on this pasty-ass skin of mine." Ross held out an arm, half admiring his pale flesh. That was the cost for being a redhead, he supposed.
---
The Future

The Past

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Snakes.. SNAKES??

Charelle put an arm around her life wife's shoulders. There were dudes and dudettes and misc.gender-ees in this school who wished they could get as close into Forrest's life and space as Charelle could. Eh. She'd set 'em up if they asked nice. And offered apropos tribute ideally in the form of hella money. (note: Charelle did not actually offer her friend's relationship status for monetary transactions)

Man, dude was really on his penguins. Had to relax. The penguins would come when they would, or wouldn't come otherwise. Easy logic to get, Easy life to live.

"She'd rat-tle 'em up, for sure." She casually slid the emphasis onto the syllable part that was the pun, nice and not-so-subtle. Whoa, Charelle was a joke genius.

Charelle peeped white boy's marshmallow flavor skin. Hey, not bad. Dude had good shoulders, that was some optimal geometry right there- though to be fair Charelle kinda just liked people. People in general were attractive, no denying it. Yes, even that people, whoever you just thought of, Charelle was so down.

"I mean if you want to tan I think it'd be choice. Gotta get the even crisp though. Shirt off, fuck it shirt off." Charelle popped and locked a shoulder, hummed the flute part too.
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Wait, did he think she meant she identified as a snake? Like a furry? Awwwwwkkkkwarrd. To be clear, she did not identify as a snake. Her eyes went slightly wider and darted over to Charelle in an exaggerated fashion as if to say 'You hearin' this?'.

Meanwhile, the conversation continued without her as she partook in her little performance. As far as Forrest knew the best way to get the sun was to not hang around in the penguin enclosure. There was like the riverfront that would have allowed for peak sunbathing and chilling with friends while also not putting you on the floor of what fundamentally worked as a footpath for people who wanted to look at large flightless birds. Although maybe the penguins were Ross' friends. Maybe he could talk to them...wait that was just Penguindrum again wasn't it?

Taking a look at her own arm Forrest assessed her paleness when compared to Ross. He was paler although she wasn't doing herself any favors. Her sun diet mainly consisted of whatever she happened to get when moving from place to place.

As Charelle continued speaking and dancing Forrest spoke.

"Chase a check, never chase a bitch." She nodded sagely. "Words I live by."

This was how things went when they were together. Two people being idiots and enjoying each others company. Plus Ross was a good conversation partner.
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Ross snorted in amusement as his arm fell to a rest by his side. The penguins having seemingly decided to take the whole damned afternoon off, he continued his lean against the guardrail, turning to face the two. Smiling, he shook his head, giving his pale arm another glance.

"Me, tan? Pfft, nah. Maybe in my wildest dreams."

As the words left his mouth, Charelle started to dance on the bench, having made some sort of a reference that went right over his head and pulling Forrest along for the ride. He didn't get it, so he didn't even try to understand, he just smiled politely at the display. Catching on to music, or lyrics, or song titles was really a weak point for him, and so he just assumed it was some sort of new fad thing that he didn't get and left it at that. Instead, he continued his earlier jibe at himself.

"My skin actually has two colours: white, and bright red. I could take my shirt off and stand out here in the sun, but then you'd get people mistaking this for the lobster exhibit," he gave a sheepish shrug. "And honestly, I don't think anyone would want to see that."

The joke was a common refrain for him during the summer months, and most of his friends were familiar with Ross poking fun at his own skin. The best he'd ever get would be a light browning, and even then, his skin tone was still shades lighter than most of the people that he knew. Sunburns were horrible anyway, so most times that he ever found himself on a beach, he tended to keep the shirt on, just to be safe.

Helped in the self-consciousness department, too. So hey, everybody won.

Speaking of winners, Ross had definitely noticed that the two in front of him were closer than the average pair of friends. Personal space bubbles were certainly a thing, and the two women sitting before him seemed to have one that overlapped. That was cool. Unlike some of the more backwards, backwoods Tennessee populace, Ross had zero issue with same-sex couples. Good for them for finding one another. More than he could say for hiself, these days.

Oh no - he stiffened as a thought occurred to him: had he interrupted a date? That would be awful, and the last thing he wanted to do. If there was one thing that Ross Miller tried to avoid being, it was a cockblocker. The term was grossly inappropriate, and here, even... just flat out incorrect, but... he brushed away the tangential thoughts. He'd best ascertain if that was the case, and quickly.

"So," Ross raised his sunglasses and set them to rest on his cap. "Do you two come here often? Honestly, I keep forgetting we even have a zoo in town."

Nice line, Ross. He mentally chastised himself. It was a half-step away from a bad pickup line. Of course, nobody would ever make that connection outside of himself. He chastised himself once more. That foot sure tasted delicious.
---
The Future

The Past

Meanwhile...
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Hell yeah she saw the 'murking look Puella Magi Forrest-chan shot her way.

🐦


Charelle sent one liner texts with her left hand.. And cuddled Forrest's waist with her right... She took a potato chip... and ATE IT (translators note: she didn't actually do that)

Oh and also she kept up the dance move too, no need for hands when she had the pop-off shoulder roll, Autobots rollout tier.

🐦


"Hey don't make assumptions about what I want to see Ross, I happen to enjoy shellfish." Like, okay. Dude was hella alfredo sauce white and on some level acting like he'd never seen two girls platonic-like all over one another but who the fuck cared because to Charelle, it was like. Other people could have as many levels as they wanted with all their complexity and confusion yadda yadda, Charelle was just working on her one level all the time 24/7 365 days 420 years and she was just, like. Chillin'.

🐦


And wait, did they even come here often? Like maybe separately, but together? Charelle was having a hard time following two whole conversations at once and she almost started blabbing about DJing with remixes of Future songs out loud in broad daylight (the HORROR) but she managed to at the last second turn her vocalizations the way of OG Lifewife:

"I mean shit, I don't think we do. Like, do we?" And Charelle tried to sign something to the effect lazily, Ross' way-

🐦


Shit, whoops. Charelle rolled her eyes and casually let the phone drop with a tip of her hand. Hit the bench with a little cracking noise, one corner first, the others skidding along after. "Well if you keep forgetting why are you here?

Logic's not adding up." The Logic wasn't biracial enough, rip.
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"I should take up rap," Forrest said as the conversation continued. "I'd drop bars like the prohibition."

She did, in fact, do vocals sometimes for songs they made but that was more because her voice had such a distinctive cadence and because she sounded slightly passable more than any real notion of skill at doing vocals of any sort.

Not that it really mattered.

While she had originally intended to spend her day wandering around the zoo like a ghost, the change in the scheduled brought about by the discovery of her lifewife was like going from the black and white of Kansas to the technicolor of Oz. There was a fancier way of working that metaphor involving Chattanooga somehow but Forrest didn't have it in her to think that up. Things had gotten more colorful with the presence of her Charelle was the point here. Ross helped.

The shining sun of their southern state beat down and lit the zoo up, giving a slight glow—although more noticeable in Ross' case—to everything like they were about to go to the west. That was something she had done a few times but only with chemical help.

In the meantime, the boy in front continued not to know exactly how to approach the situation he found himself in.

"We don't come here often. Last time it was just to talk to the peacocks so we could find out how they became so fabulous. Sadly they're born that way, so my only hope is surgery." She thumbed over her shoulder at Charelle. "This human'll be fine though."

She shrugged again when Charelle asked about Ross forgetting they had a zoo.

"Sometimes I forget we have a zoo but that's mainly because my dad calls my room The Zoo."
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Ross nodded knowingly in Forrest's direction. That was an all-too-familiar parental refrain, he figured. His room wasn't the neatest room around, and if it wasn't a zoo, it was a cave, a dungeon, or it looked like it had been hit by a hurricane. Or a tornado. It was good to know that no matter what era he lived in, or whom he ended up speaking to at any given time, parents would always be sensationalizing the state of their children's rooms and comparing them to natural disasters.

He planned to avoid doing that to his kids. He'd break the cycle, and all that.

"Heard that before, myself. Must be page two in the parent handbook, or something." He glanced at Charelle, and shrugged at her almost accusatory question regarding his own presence at the unlikeliest of places.

"Honestly, I showed up here on a little bit of a whim. I was kind of bored and figured I'd hop on the bus to the mall. Saw an ad for the zoo, and said fuck it, we'll do it live!" The long-ago viral reference was mainly for himself, but maybe of the two of them would get it. Then again, perhaps not. No matter.

Mind flipping back to the mention of the peacocks, Ross turned his head once more and glanced out into the enclosure. They still outnumbered any potential flightless birds. It was amusing, his insistence upon waiting around to see some penguins - he didn't even care for birds, not even at all.

"I know a few people who you could probably put in that peacock pen right alongside the birds. Though they're not exactly the fabulous sort," he furrowed his brow. "Rather the kind that believe that pick-up artistry is an actual art. Real winners, you know."
---
The Future

The Past

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"I'd drop bars like the prohibition."

"Make lines like soup kitchens."

Fuckin' icy hot.



"We don't come here often. Last time it was just to talk to the peacocks so we could find out how they became so fabulous. Sadly they're born that way, so my only hope is surgery."

"This human'll be fine though."




"Honestly, I showed up here on a little bit of a whim. I was kind of bored and figured I'd hop on the bus to the mall. Saw an ad for the zoo, and said fuck it, we'll do it live!"




"Sometimes I forget we have a zoo but that's mainly because my dad calls my room The Zoo."





... Oh shit, she had to actually like respond to something someone had said at some point probably. Like sure she could check out of the conversation, cash out with all of the discounted sixteen bucks she'd spent on the ticket. But Forrest was there, meh. Charelle was like, usually, a better friend than Random Access Making-for-the-exit.

"The writer of that ad? Steven 'Colbert' Einstein." Got'em. Probably.

"Anyways." Actually Charelle's brain had skipped a record and skipped on the logic connecting her ideas. Just how she rolled. "So the conclusion.. Steal the school neckbeards and raise them free range in Forrest's bedroom. Charge admission."

...

"Nah, honestly, gonna ixnay that shit. Can't do that to my main girl here." Charelle should have been tossed into one of the exhibits because she was hanging off Forrest like a monkey off bars.
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They were now broadcasting from 2008 based on the reference that just got made. There were probably scanlines all over the screen. She raised her hand in front of her face and waved it back and forth to confirm. There were not, luckily they were still in the world of 1080p, praise be. Glorious colours that spread out beyond the realms of techni. No lead paint needed over here.

Ross was talking about peacocks now which considering the lack of penguins was fair enough. They didn't exactly have anything to discuss regarding the black and white penguins. Plus they were in colour now. The topic of conversation was now moving towards something Forrest would prefer it didn't. She knew well enough what Ross was describing from the parties she went to.

They stayed to one side assessing the herd then once they had spotted a target they broke off. Moving through the crowd like long grass, their approach measured, planned. Get close, lean in, whisper something, maybe an offer is made. A mating ritual conducted if needed. As the night runs on time, music and alcohol blending together to create a feeling from nothing. Brain fuzzy just like their vision a decision is made and a response given. The hunter takes his prey in his arm and exchanges a look with his fellows as he departs. Another night, another trophy. She shuddered. She had been there, senses given over to the experience. It was a good feeling, the interest and how could they not be interested? She was a DJ, she drank, did drugs, combined with how she looked. Attention could be as intoxicating as any drug.

"I think my room is too full anyway, what with Drake, Bitey, Frank the Pale Rider, Greg and me."
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