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Messages - Eater of Clowns

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2821
Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: Are you a Snob?
« on: April 14, 2011, 08:58:40 pm »
I think everyone is a snob when it comes to certain things.  I mean, it's a side effect of having distinct tastes about anything at all.  Snobbery goes in both directions, though, and an avowed Bud drinker that thinks higher brow beers are for pussies is just as much a snob as the high brow beer drinker.  I wrote something about that not long ago, actually.

My friends always tease me about having snobby tastes, but it's very infrequent that anyone is actually offended by it to my knowledge.

2822
I'm sure I could keep going.  I'm not certain what to do with The Hessian, but then I wasn't certain what to do with Hayes and Sams either and those turned out okay.  For some reason in this project, I'm actually way less confident in prose than I am in dialogue.

2823
Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: The MAN Laws. A silly listing.
« on: April 14, 2011, 12:59:45 am »
On a serious note, I've always thought devising some hackneyed rules for manhood qualifies as one of the least manly things it's possible to do.  All they ever say to me are that guys are coming up with excuses as to why they're so manly, when really the manliest thing would be to just say "I'm a man, therefore whatever I do is something that a man does."

2824
“You’re at the pub and there’s this girl,” he started.  Lesson one of the class.  The briefing room his school.  A single Templar his student.  Onlookers readying for their excursion subtly strain to hear over the bustle of their routine.  “There are plenty of others around, and maybe on another day they’d be the ones on your mind.  But today it’s this one girl, all the thoughts going through you shared by just about every man in there.  That’s how the Nessies work.”

The lone templar says nothing.  He listens to this, his new teacher.  In the corner, a chaplain watches the exchange.  Hearing the introduction, a few Templars scoff and shake their heads.  A few others glare at the ones who do.  It is not their lesson, and the instructor pays them no mind.

“It’s a pheromone.  You don’t notice it’s there, but you feel its effect.  That girl in the bar is putting them off and the Nessie in the tunnel is doing the same.  Only instead of going for your prick, it gives you the fear enough to make you stupid.  One of the effects of the juice is to stop you noticing it.”  He’s not a big man, like some of them.  He’s not a warrior like The Old Man, or even just a skilled nut like Tom.  He isn’t a giant, or a mercenary.  He watches.

The ones who scoffed are listening again, but they’re skeptical.  Pheromone or not, you felt the fear.

“That’s one of the many little things that the juice kills.  With all of those dead, you can focus on the big things, which is necessary to stay alive when you’re first coming down here,” the teacher went on.  Out of the tunnels, the men talk.  There are some that they don’t speak about, some whose stories were tragic ones.  Then there are some they speak about in awe and reverence.  Men like Samson.  Then there is this man, the teacher now, asked about from templar to templar in curiosity, sometimes in rumor and sometimes in fact.  He wears a watch set eight hours behind, they say.  It’s because he’s living on borrowed time, they say, cheating death not by a step ahead but by a corner behind.

“But you and I need the little things.  Giving the little things their due respect is what brings us here, and in time will bring others here as well,” he says.  Then there are the rumors that he isn’t cheating death, but chasing it.  That he’s been swung upon by Nessies and lived without a scratch.  That he even stands and waits for their strike, hoping this will be the one that does it.

“Nessie is not as strong as is rumored.  They are fast, and they can destroy us even through the metal, but that isn’t from sheer strength.  A Nessie strikes like a spring.  Before its appendages swing, it winds itself up.  In a matter of seconds, of course.  Every muscle in its body tenses, lends itself to the blow.  Like an expert fighter that uses his whole body to throw a punch.”

The templars have stopped readying.  To the last, they sit and listen.  The classroom of one has become a tutorial to the lot.  Seeing this, the chaplain standing by moves the group out.  He knows what the man known a The Hessian is about to say.  To the average templar, it’s dangerous knowledge.  It takes a special sort to use it effectively.  It takes the sort sitting before him now.

“You can see this in the templars who have survived.  The ones whose armor was merely cut, rather than their entire bodies.  The strike wasn’t wound up, maybe done outside the creature’s instinct, maybe interrupted by a blow, a jab to a boxer rather than a right hook.  Look at the page in front of you,” he gestures to a single sheet given to his student.

“On that Nessie is a red dot, a sizable enough area to hit under normal circumstances, but it might as well be a pinhole when you’re fighting.  That spot is where the spring coils up, where all the energy that will kill you is stored.  I don’t know what rests there, maybe some kind of heart.  But that’s the little thing that you need to know better than your girlfriend’s clitoris,” he says.  He leans in close to the student for the next part, near a whisper.

“And it’s dead useless unless the spring is coiled.  So you stand before a Nessie and you wait.  You hold.  You watch.  You hold.  Just when the fucker is about to unite your skull with the servo suit, you hit that spot.  Only that spot,” The Hessian stands back again, adopting his casual tone.

“All that stored up energy will release.  The pressure of the thing’s blood will push your weapon back if you’ve still got it in there.  If not, it’ll spray out not unlike a fire hose.  That’s what I’ve taken to calling The Burst.  You don’t need to be a genius to do it, nor a brute.  You need to be able to read the things on some level.  Now get yourself ready, you and I are heading out.  You’ll watch me for a few kills and then we come back here to train your striking.”

2825
I've been working on a scholarship essay from the Ayn Rand foundation. On the Fountainhead.  :vom:

I got to the rape scene and gave up. Gotta love spark notes.

That the one with the $10,000 scholarship?  They had it around when I was in high school.

2826
Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: CRAMULUS
« on: April 11, 2011, 10:45:09 pm »
Funny how the people who get along well here and contribute content don't get shat on, but the people who come in trolling do.

GOSH, IT'S JUST SO STRANGE AND UNEXPLAINABLE.

But the post that got Cram to speak up was a noob who used the word "crazy" in a post in a casual "I might be a little bit crazy" way, then got flamed out as much as someone who shows up as a self diagnosed aspie or some shit.

It was a bit on the ridiculous side, and in no way do I support a policy of niceness or anything to noobs.  We just need to recognize that, yeah, sometimes people get shat on because of someone that came right before them, or because we're having a bad fucking day.


Yeah I just plain didn't remember that correctly.  My bad.  Left for sake of honesty about my own stupidity.

2827
And that, Good Reverend, was the result of my holy quest.

2828
You have to ask a lot of questions.  Then you need to answer them.  That’s as simple as paperwork is.  The questions you think, the answers you write down.  The more of them you answer, the more foolproof your paperwork.  The line they always give us is that it’s admissible in court, which means it’s under the scrutiny of lawyers, which means that to prevent them from asking a difficult question you need to have a mind one part sneakier in order to have answered it already.

More people get involved.  More minds devising questions.  More heads wrapping themselves around answers to what’s never been asked.  Then it piles up, be it electronic or dead tree.  And they store it away.  They store it away for two years, at least, in case anyone ever asks a question that they might need an answer to.

There’s the who are you paperwork.  The what have you done paperwork.  The does anyone else want you paperwork.  Behind it, a system, and operating that, probably a dispatcher.  That dispatcher, probably griping about the system.

The system’s a dinosaur.  It spurts out hieroglyphics, it tosses out codes and its operating manual has a couple pounds on me.  It’s unwieldy, anti-user, and infuriating.  We keep wondering, even in a department that managed to switch out of Windows 2000 in 2010, when they’re going to update it.

Thing about the system is that it works.  It’s used statewide by every agency, recording and communicating with each within seconds.  It searches national databases and it prints them out in what may in all honesty be a devilishly clever disguise to prevent untrained eyes from reading it.  Preventing even well trained eyes from reading it as well seems to be a secondary effect.

State of the art means power.  It means expense and it means maintenance.  Dated means reliability, stability.  It means knowing that what you need is there, putting the decision to not use it in your hands.

Yeah, not use it.  The system means you don’t worry about it, it’s in your control.  And once it’s in your control, you can decide what to do with it.  The criminal history of the inmate coming in?  That can wait, because you have an officer on a motor vehicle stop who needs information.  The inmate probably isn’t going anywhere.

It’s easy to lose your head when you’ve got all these things to prioritize.  Panic is highly underrated.  If you control it, you can get things done faster.  But if you don’t, you’ll make bad decisions.  It’s the copper that’s out there doing the job, living the intensity.  It’s the ambulance driver that’s calming a patient while talking on the radio.  It’s easy for dispatchers to get caught up.

Randy gave me a speech when I was new up here.  Randy, aptly, is a degenerate pervert, a molester of inanimate objects, and a fluent, if course, speaker of the classic language Innuendo.

“Let me explain something to you.  You are God up here.  Everyone that calls you for information, with a request – they cannot get it done without you.  Make them wait.  You are God.”

Dispatcher speeches tend to be short.  We don’t have a long enough period of down time for any more than a sentence or two.  Randy was right.  We’re the deities of law enforcement, keeping the wheels turn.  Thing about being a god though.  Everyone asks you for something, and the majority don’t ever thank you for it.

2829
The phones go off in the evenings.  We are not receptionists.  We are dispatchers.  A receptionist is someone who is there to help you.  A dispatcher is someone who you are interrupting from doing actual work.  So when the receptionist turns the phone off in the evening and you get a voice that sounds like it would happily toss you a heavy stone while you drowned, you are talking to the dispatcher.

“Dispatch.”  That is all.  It is the department, perhaps the name of the speaker.  No ‘how can I help you’ or ‘how can I direct your call,’ just ‘dispatch.’  In fact, we don’t really want to help you.  It just happens that helping you is the fastest way of getting off the line.

“Hi, I’m not sure if I have the right department.  I’m looking for the caseworker for NS unit.”

“Administrative staff has stepped out for the day, you’ll have to call back tomorrow during business hours.”
Click.

We don’t take messages.  We don’t take them from one staff member to another, we don’t take them from civilians to inmates.  We connect you to the right phone extension or to the right person, and the faster we can do this the happier we’ll both be.

“Dispatch.”

“My boyfriend got locked up and I want to put money in his canteen.”

“I’m going to send you to the inmate information line.”  Transfer, click.

That’s because we know how communication works.  You get the gist but the details get all mangled up.  And when you’re giving a story with details, it’s the details that get questioned.  Can’t answer a question about something we weren’t directly privy to, so we send you to the person who was.  We are the middle man, and we are more than happy to cut ourselves out.

“Dispatch.”

“I’d like to speak with Officer Smith.”

“I’m going to send you to the control desk.”  Transfer, click.

The phones rings and one of seven people are on the line.  The first can’t string a thought together, but can manage a sentence.  The second has something clearly in mind, but can’t actually speak it.  The third doesn’t understand that you can’t solve all of their problems.  The fourth manages to talk without a fraction of a pause, somehow not breathing.  The fifth can only speak in shrieks.  The sixth is your boss.  The seventh is an actual nice person.  One through six overlap.  In two years I have spoken with seven a total of three times, and they probably only qualify because it was a very short conversation.

Then there’s the calls coming from a line that you can tell from the ID are going to be misdials.
“Sheriff’s Office.”

“Hello, is this Dr. Springer’s office?”

“No, this is the Sheriff’s Office.”

“What number is this?”

“It’s the number for the Sheriff’s Office.”

They never believe you.  Like you were mistaken.  No, sir, you’re right, this is Papa Gino’s Pizzeria, answering for a county sheriff’s office three times was my mistake.  Let me offer you some bread sticks.
But every so often the phone can be difficult instead of a nuisance.  It is for these reasons that Pete has learned to avoid it.

Pete’s the newest hire, the only one with less time than me, and holds the title of the reddest human being I’ve ever met.  The office is thankfully devoid of sharp objects, because I’m fairly certain he is composed entirely of blood, which upon disturbing would then spray like a power wash through our equipment.  Pete’s a simple guy.  The processes of the office that have an established solution are the ones he’s quite good at.  They don’t require very much judgment or, well, thinking.

The phone is where that gets complicated.  People are on the other line of that thing, and they are notoriously untidy.

Pete’s more of an ambulance call kind of guy.  The ambulance calls on the radio, they tell you the hospital they want to talk to, and you patch their signal through to that location.  Clean, simple, totally unlike humans on phones.

So rather often, they get me.  And, worse, they get me when I’m busy.  And, even worse, they might even get me when it’s so busy that I haven’t had a moment to eat my supper.  Hungry people are funny things.  Call me at one hour and you’re just an inconvenience.  Call me at another and you are an obstacle preventing me from undertaking a biological imperative which falls under the category of a requirement to live.  That needs to be addressed suitably.

“Dispatch.”

“Hi, I wanted to know if someone is there.”

“Yes.  Several people.  Thanks for checking.”  Click.

2830
So, since there is actually no way I could be more cynical about my job, and since there's no grand mystery to solve, I went wth highlighting Vimes' strong ability to describe the mindset and proper method of police work.  Here's part one, of three, one for each week on the quest:

A good copper does the job that’s in front of them.  A dispatcher that does the job in front of him is ignoring the jobs to the left, right, behind, and probably another one or two also in front of him.  There’s two parts of the job.  The waiting part, that’s where the punch clock turns into a shackle.  Then there’s the working part.  That’s when your field of vision needs take on certain aspects of the house fly.  You aren’t a dispatcher unless you’re absolutely miserable doing either.

Nobody’s perfected this more than Mick.  You meet him and he’s personable enough, the kind of guy that was always a bit of a hot shot in his youth that’s put on a bit of paunch after a marriage and a couple of kids.  Then the radio goes off.

“Uuugh,” he pronounces.  He dispatches, and he’s done, then, “sickening already.”

The pronounced groan is how we identify him.  The conversation generally goes “Who did you work with last night,” and the response is, “uuuugh.”

Now a dispatcher is a funny kind of character.  They don’t like people very much.  They like being the ones with all the information.  They need things to be organized.  And they need to not care a whole lot about it.
You get someone who cares too much, and they’re going to be broken by Daniels.

Daniels is the K9 officer, and there has never been a more appropriate match between a job description and the person who does it.

“Daniels to Dispatch.”

“Uuugh.  Go ahead K9.”

“I’m out on Route 34, westbound.  Small vehicle disabled in the left turn lane.  I’ll be standing by.  Just for the log, show me out on Route 34, westbound with that vehicle.  It’s in a bad spot waiting for a tow.  Show me out with it.  For the log, Mick.”

For Daniels the log is magic.  It is salvation, a witness to life’s every event.  And with Daniels, there are a lot of events.  Broken down cars, drivers without licenses, lost motorists, confused elderly, unregistered cars, warrants, everything.  And all of it for the log.

“Sickening already,” Mick says.

You have to let him do it.  The only thing worse than groaning and taking every call we get is, for him, having someone else do it.

“Daniels to Dispatch.”

“Uuugh.  Go ahead Daniels.”

“Yeah I’m out with that vehicle.  Driver says she’s broken down, already called for a tow.  Do me a favor, Mick, get on the line with the police department and see if they can send a tow.  Sometimes they’re faster.  And show me standing by in the log, Mick.”

“Received.”

Today is Sunday.  Sunday is always a punch-clock-is-your-enemy kind of day.  With the exception of K9 Daniels.

“Daniels to Dispatch.”

“Dispatch.”

“You can show me clear of that location, for the log.  The towing company showed up.  So I’ll be off the scene en route back to the station.”

“Received.”

Infinitely.  Because some coppers actually do the job that’s in front of them.  It’s just that for some, the job seems a lot more alive.  You spend a few weeks with Daniels and you notice a pattern of things just happening around him.  For anyone else, it would be a day as normal.  But for Daniels, a day as normal included no less than two tow trucks, a drug search, a bilingual interpreter, three reams of paper, more reports than most entire agencies can accomplish in a year, and a quick chat up in the dispatch room with a guy who just can’t seem to sit still.

Mick hates it, but that’s because Mick hates work.  It’s not that he doesn’t like to work, it’s just that work qualifies as something.  Work being something, and things which Mick hates being everything, the natural conclusion is one stubbornly pessimistic dispatcher.

I like Daniels because he’s a nice guy, and that’s all there is to it.  Nice guy who has a way of getting under people’s skin, but a nice guy.  I’ve worked with a copper who does nothing.  He goes through the motions, having us do all the paperwork, moving about for the sake of looking busy, and then when it comes time for him to take action he simply doesn’t.

That one was why I don’t hate the log.  It’s about liability, and a dangerously inactive copper is more than ready to make excuses as to why he’s dangerously inactive when that sort of thing gets noticed.  And dispatch is where the blame tends to go.

So you sit, and you wait.  Sitting in the office you can’t make things happen.  But when they do, you do them all.  You make the little world of policing go around, to make sure a copper that’s moving about isn’t doing so in one place.

2831
Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: CRAMULUS
« on: April 10, 2011, 04:37:27 pm »
THIS WHOLE THING MAKES EOC A SAD.

CRAM IS GOOD.  ROGER IS GOOD.  PD IS GOOD.

WHY ARE NOT FRIENDS? 


:cry: :cry:

2832
Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: ROGER: Not even once
« on: April 10, 2011, 05:57:48 am »
I love how surreal these are all getting.

This.   :D

2833
I love the idea of naive Sams getting mixed up with a hooker.  And it makes a bit of sick sense.  He's out.  Where the fuck does he even start?  This looks like as good a place as any.

2834
These are great, CPD.   :)

Thanks, Eater of Clowns.

I kinda wanna swing the arc to where James and/or Constable Wilkins end up with the Paynites and Payne, fighting to save the school from the monsters AND the law enforcement agency . . . but I'm kinda reluctant to cross over into the Paynite arc - stepping on toes and all that.

ETA: I am seeing all sorts of posts on the last few pages of this thread that I did not notice before. Either everyone was posting at the same side or my connex is whack.

You know, I never said Sams is dead.  And I haven't much thought about what to do with him above ground.   :wink:

You wanna run with it or do you want me to?

By all means, if you have any ideas, go for it.   :)

2835
These are great, CPD.   :)

Thanks, Eater of Clowns.

I kinda wanna swing the arc to where James and/or Constable Wilkins end up with the Paynites and Payne, fighting to save the school from the monsters AND the law enforcement agency . . . but I'm kinda reluctant to cross over into the Paynite arc - stepping on toes and all that.

ETA: I am seeing all sorts of posts on the last few pages of this thread that I did not notice before. Either everyone was posting at the same side or my connex is whack.

You know, I never said Sams is dead.  And I haven't much thought about what to do with him above ground.   :wink:

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