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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Mood is Write, May 6, 2015.

  1. You heard a sneeze, and then fell into our world?
    Imagine a city of spires and transluscent irridescence. Imagine it looks like the castle in the center is made of jellyfish, all different heights and sizes, and that the land has not seen war in so long that it has forgotten what bloodshed is like.

    Now imagine, what happens when someone not of that world hears a sneeze while going about his or her daily life, and then falls into the bed of someone powerful in that world, and must cope with living in a land where warriors are useless and people know things that aren't spoken.


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  2. I heard a sneeze, and then fell into your world? Apparently.
    I'd describe a beautiful city with jellyfish too, but Curtis is from Maine. They have snow in the winter. Does that count?


    Image Artist: Bruno Gauthier Leblanc

    Name: Curtis Thomspon

    Age: 26

    Description: Curtis was a corporal in the United States Marines at the time of his disappearance. He grew up in Portland, Maine with his mother and younger brother. Never one for books, Curtis decided to join the Marines after dropping out of college. He was about three quarters into his first term of service before he disappeared. Ever since he joined up, he allowed himself to fill the role of a soldier quite well. He didn't pity himself on a lack of education, instead he figured if he was good at following orders and firing weapons at things, then he might as well stick with it.

    Curtis doesn't hold himself in very high standards, but he does expect them from his younger brother, Paul. In short, he feels that his brother should succeed where he failed and so far, Paul has done well as a student.

    Curtis himself is a rather mellow kind of guy. He wasn't as boisterous as others, but he wasn't immune to the effects of being around boisterous squad mates and it may have rubbed off a bit. He isn't intelligent book-wise, but he isn't dim. Just because he's not a book person doesn't mean he's clueless. At the time of his disappearance, Curtis was beginning to wear down, however. It had been a long tour and the signs of succumbing to the stresses of military life had begun to show. He was nearing the end of his tour of duty, but he could not deny that he was experiencing fatigue from service.

  3. In the blistering Iraqi heat, the inside of the Humvee felt like a boiling pot within a boiling pot. Curtis wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his gloved hand for what felt like the hundredth time today; and it was only 12:30. It was another routine patrol, but the daily heat made each one a pain. Now that summer was rolling in, the heat had gone from painfully hot to just below unbearable. In the seat next to him, Corporal Phil Crawford began to light a cigarette. He was nervous. Curtis was nervous. The entire squad was nervous. They were driving through dangerous streets in a country far away from home. Why wouldn't they be?

    Things were getting ugly. Every day you'd hear more about patrols getting hit or attacks being made on places that were supposed to have been secure. Only yesterday, he'd heard about some guys from Charlie company getting hit by a car bomb. The bombs were the worst. Insurgents would wire bombs and hide them in the middle of a street. They could be hidden anywhere; a pile of rubble, a car, a garbage bin. You wouldn't know it was there unless you got close enough to see tiny little wires going into something; either that it went off.

    Covered in about 130 pounds of gear, the heat was becoming worse now that the sun was fully up in the sky. Curtis was about to ask for one of Crawford's cigarettes when the squad leader driving the Humvee swore. A pair of cars blocked the road. He used a radio to tell the Humvee behind them, the one carrying the rest of the squad, to start backing up. Before he could finish, something hit the roof of the vehicle hard enough to rock it. There was a loud bang with it and Curtis' ears rang as he and everyone in the vehicle began to get out. As soon as his ears began to clear, he could already hear the telltale popping of gunfire. He saw some of his squad mates take cover in an alleyway, so he followed.

    The first thing he heard when he could make out voices was his squad leader, Sgt. Robert Brooks, yelling into his radio. He couldn't see the guys who had been in the other Humvee. It wasn't long before they were ordered to go inside the building they were taking cover behind and return fire from the windows. They kicked the door down and filed in. Brooks had Curtis fire from the second floor across the street at what were supposed to their attackers, but they couldn't see anyone. They were still being shot at, but it was hard to tell where it was coming from. Regardless, Curtis knocked some potted plants off the window ledge and began to fire with his rifle.

    Crawford set up next to him. The two fired single shots from their M16's down at the street. Curtis saw someone lean out of window across the street. He saw the little flashes of an AK-47's muzzle and heard the pops as he ducked down. Little puffs of dust shot up where the bullets landed and one of the potted plants still on the window shattered as a shot tore through the clay. He began to peek out of the window when he saw the same figure holding something a lot longer over its shoulder. An RPG. Curtis shouted what he saw and threw himself away from the window. There was an ear-shattering blast as the explosive hit just above the window. Curtis lay there for a while, his ears ringing again.

    He started getting up and amidst the pop of gunfire, the yelling of orders, and the ringing of his ears, he heard an unusually clear sneeze. He couldn't tell if it was his or someone else's. He was about to look over to see if Corporal Crawford was alright when the he simply fell through the air.

    A man carrying 130 pounds of gear plus a 7 pound rifle, covered in dust and sand simply fell through the air and smashed whatever was below him.
  4. The sneeze was tiny, like a child's, and sounded both near and distant. Everything went still. The world shifted, like a wave in thick syrup, and Curtis could feel neither heat nor ground. The wave passed, and the world returned to normal, as though no time had passed.

    His balance was thrown off, and another wave overtook him, less slowly than the last, less sluggishly. It left just as quickly, and the next came faster. Another and another followed, and between each wave, he could see a frame-by-frame film of the events around him. It moved independant of him, and wave after wave rolled over him, bowling him around and sending him into walls and stiff soldiers as the strange force bounced him around reality until he saw streaks of grey appear.

    Another wave, and the one beneath him tore open violently. The next wave sent him into it and trapped him there, and as he watched from below the world, from a grey void filled with fine particles, another wave closed the gap, and he was alone, save a few discarded ammunition shells, a potted plant, and a confused stray cat. He began to sink slowly, accompanied by cat and plant and shells.

    He sank slowly, and the dust parted as he moved. There was no sound, even when the cat meowed. He couldn't smell anything, or feel anything but his gear. The place was colder than any place he'd ever been, and sucked the moisture from his skin and hair.

    There was no source of the grey light in the place beneath the waves, nor were there any shadows.

    The falling felt like days, and eventually the cat curled around Curtis's shoulders, eyes wide as it sought safety in the unnatural place it found itself.

    Just as it seemed like a thousand years had passed, Curtis could see something below-- ripples like waves, and tears as he fell rapidly toward them. The tears showed various soft shades and colors, and then he felt it-- heat and gravity and hunger and thirst and a soft mattress underneath him. Above him, the ripples disappeared, and he could see a massive dome above him, draped with transluscent, pastel fabrics like a pretty princess bed from a child's story.

    The cat hissed and darted off, and nearby, someone quietly snored, unaware of what appeared so nearby.

    If he looked around, he could see the room was massively large, and fitted with pale-colored furnishings. There were drapes that seemed to separate different places, a small pool, a vanity that glowed with soft light around the mirror, and several cushioned stools.

    The bed he rested on was large-- big enough for six or more of his fellow marines to sleep on at once without feeling too crowded. It was round, and only one person other than him occupied that large space-- a tiny woman, who was maybe four feet tall, with dark hair longer than she was tall, illuminated only by the dim light that came through the round ceiling.
  5. It took Curtis a while to acclimate to his surroundings. It looked like a really fancy kid's room. The cat's hiss startled him and he fell out of the bed. He was still on edge. The last thing he remembered was trying to get away from the window and...

    Curtis raised his rifle. He was beginning to realize he had no idea where he was. He only subconsciously acknowledged that his helmet was gone. It must have fallen off when he threw himself away from the window. Or did he leave the Humvee without it? He couldn't remember. Where were the other guys? Where were the insurgents? He had questions, but no answers. Being in the middle of a fight when he was transported had left him agitated. He was still in combat mode. Hell, he still had sand on him. He could feel it on his fingers. He'd cut off the tips of his gloves so he could move his fingers more easily and sand always got in the little spaces between his exposed fingers and the gloves. It was in his pants too. Sand always has to get in your pants.

    He pointed his rifle at the figure in the bed. Whoever it was, they were tiny. As ridiculous as it was to point a weapon at them, Curtis had no idea what was happening. He tentatively called out to see if they were awake.

    "Hey. Hey, you. On the bed. Get up."

    From the corner of his eye, he saw a potted plant. There were a few spent ammunition casings on the floor too. Were they his? Had he brought those with him?
  6. The figure shifted, and the person sat up. She was tiny and wore a pure white nightgown with long, flowing sleeves. She blinked at the man, confused but unafraid as she slowly blinked herself to full awareness. "Hual yu?" She asked, her voice quiet and sleepy. She rubbed at one eye with the heel of her hand.

    The room slowly became lighter as, presumably, the sun outside rose. "Ele deeyu canplan?" She leaned forward as she crawled toward him on hand and knees, and her hair nearly tripped her before she sat on the edge of the bed and smoothed her nightgown.

    She wasn't Iraqi. Too white. She looked like some kind of European mutt, but tinier than a Chinese, and she wasn't speaking Arabic. "Yu loohk hannyi." She leaned toward him, and in the dim light, he could see her pale eyes inspecting him. She rose slowly, then rested her hand on his weapon and leaned on it as she used it to help herself stand. She murmured as she noticed just how tall he was. "Dahl..." She murmured.
  7. Curtis didn't feel threatened by this person, but he was still confused. And nervous. Less than five minutes ago he was on the receiving end of an ambush, and now he was in some kind of bedroom with a stranger he couldn't understand. His ears still rang a little from that last blast before the sneeze. Big bangs close up always hurt your ears for a while.

    He stepped away from the girl and lowered his weapon so that she'd have to remove her hand from his rifle to keep herself upright. For several reasons. You don't let someone else touch your weapon while you're holding it, plus it was loaded and could still fire, and lastly, firearm training teaches that you only point your gun at things you know you may need to shoot. Curtis didn't intend to shoot this stranger.

    "Do you speak English? Can you understand me? I'm a US soldier. I need to know where I am?"

    He tried to look composed, but he was covered in grime and sand. Things were still coming to him. Little details about his body that were becoming apparent as the adrenaline began to ebb away. He hadn't even noticed the warm liquid snaking around his eye and down his cheek, for example. He must have cut his face on something during the attack. Once he'd noticed it, the cut on his brow began to sting, but he ignored it.

    Combat had a tendency of doing that. You get all these cuts and bruises that you don't notice until after everything's over. Every now and then you even have a guy who was shot in the arm or leg, but didn't notice until a few minutes later when someone points out the blood on them. Those little cuts and bruises were probably all over his arms and legs, now that he thought of it. It was starting to feel like it, but it wasn't anything new. He'd been bounced around plenty, it was to be expected.

    "English? Do you speak or know anyone who speaks English?"
  8. The tiny woman hurriedly righted herself after he pulled away, then flushed and stood properly and stepped toward him, only to stop as he spoke.

    Halfway through his second question, she flinched and shied away, then did it again when he proclaimed he was a soldier, and she fled to the other side of the bed when he asked where he was. She nearly tripped over her long hair in her rush

    Not only was this man huge, he was growling at her. She bit her lip as she carefully kept the bed between herself and him. The strange man was bloodied, and wore strange clothes, and had she not caught a glimpse of his face, she would have thought him a monster.

    "Hyalyu ladish?" She asked. "I dihnahin duyu!"

    Despite her unease, she didn't scream. Her eyes dropped to his gun, almost like a creature who had just seen it used to deadly effect. "Hualyu duhanele?" Her eyes didn't leave the gun, and the sound of footsteps approached from a door beyond the tiny woman.
  9. Curtis had gotten a variety of responses to the question "Do you speak English?" ever since he ended up in the Middle East. Everything from irritation to fear and even a few who'd just ignore you; he'd seen a rainbow of responses to those four words. When people shied away from the question, you usually gave up and asked someone else. Too bad there was no one else. So Curtis just gave up.

    He took a second or two to get a hold of his surroundings. He sighed, a little nervous and a little annoyed at the stranger's uselessness thus far. He turned around to see a door, probably the way out. He turned back to the stranger again, and shook his head. He needed to know where he was. He rubbed his hand on his chin to wipe off the little red line of blood before it started to drip onto the floor. His exposed fingers felt unkempt facial hair and warm liquid. He hadn't shaved in at least a few weeks. He hadn't given himself time, but that didn't matter now.

    When he heard the footsteps, he snapped his rifle up to his shoulder and pointed it at the door. His nerves were on fire again. He still didn't know where he was and for all he knew, whoever lived here had a penchant for gunning down guys like him. His body was tensed up again and he waited for whoever was there to open the door. He swore that if they so much as raised a weapon, he'd open fire. At this point, fuck target confirmation.

    As soon as the door opened, he shouted,
    "Freeze! Get on your knees!"
  10. The tiny woman stared at him as he pointed his gun and shouted. He was growling so much!

    A second woman was behind the door, dressed in all grey. She had red-brown hair tied in a ponytail that hung loosely over one shoulder. Rather than act shocked, she slowly raised her hands above her head. Something like feather touched at the man's mind, and the second woman looked briefly toward the white-clad woman.

    Another feather-touch brushed against Curtis's mind, and then latched on like iron, and it became hard to move for a few moments before the sensation passed.

    More footsteps approached at a run. "Plenceshyi!" Someone shouted, a male voice, frightened and alarmed.

    "No!" The tiny woman who was originally in the room shouted, and the footsteps stopped immediately. "Heh mi plabel!" She turned to look back at the invader, then indicated the gun with an open hand before she mimed putting something down. Her eyes never left him.
    #10 The Mood is Write, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  11. Curtis obeyed and lowered his weapon. Tentatively, but the rifle barrel went down. He kept eyeing the man who'd come running, however. This guy looked like some kind of law enforcement; maybe a guard. The woman who opened the door, however, seemed to be in charge. At the moment, it didn't look like he was being arrested or anything. At least, not yet.

    This new woman was dressed ornately and oddly, at least she seemed that way to a person who'd gotten used to seeing everyone in combat gear. It didn't help him figure out his whereabouts at all. He had shouted at her when she came in, but then again, he would have shouted at anyone who came through that door. It's what you did in a hostile country. You shouted at people. You shouted at your own guys to try and figure out who was doing what. You shouted at bystanders to get down and get the hell away. You shouted at enemies and called them all sorts of swears and monikers while you took cover to avoid being shot.

    He wasn't sure about what he'd felt just now. To be honest, things were getting stranger and stranger. In the end, all he could really do was ask questions again.

    "Where am I? Is there someone I can talk to for help?"
  12. The man in the doorway turned, as though remembering the shout from the woman in white-- the first Curtis saw in this place.

    The woman in grey hurried over to the woman Curtis saw first and whispered to her, positioning herself in front of the smaller woman protectively as the man spoke again. Both flinched at "where", "there", and "for", and the woman in grey glared at Curtis. "Sdaglahlien."

    The woman in white was thoughtful a few moments before she stepped out from behind her maid-- the woman in grey. "Rrr." And then she shook her head.

    The woman in grey looked ready to faint.
  13. Curtis had never seen someone physically recoil from being asked a question. People who spoke no English weren't unusual in his line of work, but the women's reactions were beginning to seem strange. He spoke to them like he'd been trained to speak to all civilians. Speak loud and clear, with a calm tone of voice. Don't forget to speak slowly in case their English isn't very good. It was very textbook, but he guessed these people must have some kind of thing against it. He could only guess.

    He took a deep breath and tried not to look at the maid and the young woman. As unimposing as they seemed, the way they acted and spoke... frankly, it was starting to creep him out. Even the room was starting to get to him. It had been a long time since he'd seen luxury like this. Even if some might not find it that luxurious, Curtis had spent the past year and a half in a third world country. The last time he'd been near luxury was in a hotel in Baghdad, over nine months ago; one that had been gutted by a cruise missile. All the luxury had come spilling out long before Curtis and his squad got there to check it as part of a patrol. The most luxurious place he'd seen in over a year wasn't much more than an empty wreck, but at least the expensive carpet had still been there. Compared to that, this room looked like a palace.

    Curtis risked a glance over at the women. To be honest, they might be a little confused too. Confused, but not dangerous. He wasn't sure whether they'd even understand the gesture, but he figured there was no harm in trying this. His rifle was still slung around his shoulder and it rested in his hands, aimed downward in a neutral position. He slowly pulled the rifle over his shoulder and then pushed it back. With the sling, it hung from his back so he didn't have to carry it. He looked back at the women and opened his palms to make it obvious. No gun.

    Unfortunately, there wasn't a way for him to put the sand and beat-up appearance away. They'd have to settle for the absence of a weapon.
  14. The white-clad woman watched him, then nodded and looked toward the door. Moments later, running footsteps and the sound of panting emerged from the open doorway, followed by the sight of a mop of curly brown hair, pale skin. The young man wore a white tunic with bare arms, and wore a large grin. "Ledhmi ply!" He cried eagerly as he approached at a half-run, eager to cover the distance. As he stood in front of Curtis, it became clear that, though taller than the two women, he was still very short.

    The first woman curtis saw nodded-- the two had similar features, and as the young man approached, his grey eyes-- a match to hers, became clearly visible. "Hello. I am Plince Nilh. You ale in my sistel's loom. She is the Plincess Legent." He spoke slowly, and his pronunciation was off at times. His words slirred together, and he struggled with the hard sounds. "The Plincess says you ale glowling a lot and being scaly." He said more quickly. "Do you speak English?"

    As he said those words, the prince's eyes brightened. "Ale you flom Ealth?" Now he was speaking still more quickly.
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  15. Curtis was relieved to hear something he actually understood. He didn't know if he should shake the man's hand or not. He settled for a short, tired salute.

    "Yeah, I mean yes. I speak English. Look, I need some help, my name is Corporal Curtis Thompson, I'm a United States Marine. I've been separated from my unit and I need to know where I am."

    The guy's accent was weird, but he'd seen worse. At this point, he didn't care about accents. He needed information. If this guy could get him back to his unit, he'd do the best he could. His biggest worry was about his squad. Back in basic training, he and every other soldier were taught to watch out for their team mates. It created a mutual sense of duty. Everyone watched everyone's back so that they all came back alive. At least, that was the idea. Unfortunately, it also created a sort of paranoia when one was taken away from their unit. It was a sort of, What if I'm not there and someone dies? kind of feeling. It's what kept some vets coming back into the service. The fear that their absence would cause the death of someone. Someone they might know or even be friends with. It was also affecting Curtis a little, especially since the last time he'd seen the others in his squad, they'd all been engaged in a firefight.

    "Look, I'm sorry about your sister, but I need to get back to my unit."

    The fact that the prince had asked him if he was from Earth also began to sink in.

    "Wait, Earth? Wh-Why do you ask? Where are we?"
  16. Even the Prince winced slightly as Curtis spoke, but shrugged it off more easily than the two women did. "We'le in Pehl-la. Unfoltunately, I can't help you get back home, since the seclet was lost genelations ago. We'll stalt lesealching more about how to get there again to tly to help you get back, but until then, we can only offel oul hospitality." He smiled, eyes shining. "I always wanted to meet someone flom Ealth!"

    The Princess spoke up. "Ha-alyu shayeen?"

    Nilh spoke to her at some length, and she nodded.

    "Ahl osp-in." She smiled at Curtis. "Ehen pou he-is shcaly."

    Nihl looked toward Curtis. "The Princess says she'll host you as hel guest even though you'le scaly." He paused a moment. "If you tly not to use 'R' sounds, she won't think you'le so scaly, and I can teach you how to talk like we do, so you can undelstand and be undelstood. It will be vely quick."

    "Plinseshyi!" The woman in grey looked toward the Princess, worried, and the two spoke for a few moments, looking at Curtis now and then.
  17. Everything after being told there was no way to return sort of just went over Curtis' head. He was having trouble taking in what he'd just heard. So he wasn't even on Earth? And the people here lived in a whole other world entirely. He couldn't quite wrap his head around it, and despite all the present evidence approving of what the prince had just said, Curtis didn't want to believe it. It was a little too crazy for him.

    "I... So you don't have any way to go back? No way at all? There has to be something. Look, you don't understand, if I don't go back people could die! Okay? I need to go back."

    Curtis took a few steps back. This was all too much for him, he needed to take a seat. He looked around and decided to sit on the bed. The frightened women could stand to be a little more frightened. He looked back at the prince and almost pleaded for a way back.

    "So there's really no way to go back? Nothing?"

    He had to be dreaming, but he felt wide awake. Being told you'd gone from hostile territory to another world all within the last five minutes wasn't an easy pill to swallow. Curtis let his head droop into his hands. He felt the rough weave of his gloves press against his dirty face, reminding him that he was fully awake. He took a few deep breaths to try and bring himself down to a manageable level.

    "How long? How long will it take to get me back?"
  18. Nilh blinked, taken aback by the man's panic. "I..." He scratched his head slightly. "I don't know, but I'll pelsonally fund the lesealch to get you back home-- and help with it, if that helps you feel bettel. I'm a... Mensa?" He paused. "Genius. That's the wold." He glanced toward his sister briefly, who nodded and gave a small, absent-minded wave. "Can we make you comfoltable until then, at least?"

    The woman in white-- the princess-- approached and shot a glance to her brother, who flinched slightly. She sat beside Curtis.

    "My sistel wants me to teach you to speak the quick way. It might hult. You need to take off your hat."
  19. Curtis glanced up at him and nodded. He tried to keep himself calm, and thankfully succeeded. Another thing you learned in the military is that panicking can be the worst thing you can do in a situation. Curtis took a deep breath and spoke. He paused first, careful not to use R's since it seemed to bother them.

    "Okay. Okay go ahead. Do it."

    He sounded a little defeated, because he honestly was. If all he could do was wait, he would wait; but he hated waiting around.
    It didn't really matter if whatever they were doing was going to hurt. His face already hurt. And his arms. And his chest. And pretty much everything else. He probably had room for a little more hurt before the day was over.
  20. The prince placed a hand on either side of Curtis's head, then shoved his forehead against Curtis's-- by yanking the taller man down.

    A flood of knowledge hit Curtis like a speeding tank. The grammar rules were just like English, but the writing system was made of such corrupted letters, and they only pronounced about half of them...

    It wasn't even its own language at all-- just a corrupted dialect of English, and now, as the princess spoke, he could understand.

    "Alyu panhyi?" translated to "Are you done yet?"

    "Mhm. He's deaf, so it was hald, but he got it." The prince let go of Curtis with a smile. "Also, he's hult all over. I'll get the High Pliest to send one of his doctols."

    "His loom is all leady for him, at least."

    The two reacted to each others' words quickly, without a pause before speaking in reply.