Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Natives combine worship and criminal justice


By Bolero News Services
Photos by Namida Giulia

AMAZON -- Three accused criminals were executed Sunday after a hasty trial, which was also part of a native sacrifice ritual to the god Supay.

Jack Andel, Cain Knight, and Quinn were put to death in the span of less than an hour, their guilt or innocence judged by the vote of a mob that had gathered to witness the executions that immediately followed judgement.

Prior to reading the charges to the accused and explaining why they’re probably guilty, Chieftess Khaing Zar of the Xocó recounted the proud native tradition of murdering people for Supay.

“For all past time, in the lands of desolation, on the pyramid of death, the priests and priestesses paraded to the bloody sacrifices at the top of the great step-pyramids. The souls taken there by the terrible Lord Supay were given to the gods and the bodies of the wicked burned for all eternity,” Zar told the raucous crowd that had gathered for the ritual/trial.

Andel, who was forced to wear a pink tutu, was charged with a number of crimes, including aggravated assault, vandalism, robbery, attempted rape, and slave trading.

Among the dozen or more accusers was Zar herself, who claimed Andel subdued her, removed her loincloth, and sniffed it.

“Almost every tribe and faction has brought complaints against you,” Zar shouted at Andel.

Andel was defended by renowned Amazon attorney Persephone Bolero, who said she advised Andel to plead guilty to the charges and beg for mercy, as ingratiating himself to the "kangaroo court" was his best hope for survival.

Andel, however, went against his attorney’s advice and attempted to explain his actions. He claimed the Xocó chieftess was lying about the loincloth and that he was actually the victim of all his accusers. He said that his penis was stuck in a zipper, and when he attempted to get help for his predicament, he was wrongly attacked.

"Ya'll jumped me and hit me firth,” Andel, who has a speech impediment, stated in his own defense.

Bolero also spoke in her client’s defense, stating that, despite being alone with the accused for nearly an hour, Andel did not attempt to rape or otherwise harm her. For reasons that remain unclear, Zar nor the mob jury found Bolero’s testimony convincing.

Zar left the decision as to Andel’s guilt or innocence to the crowd. There were few sympathetic voices in the mob, which demanded Andel be put to death immediately.

Zar then detailed how in the past those sentenced to die would be put to death in a far more egregious, ritualistic manner, which included cutting out the hearts of the condemned. The chieftess said a prayer to Supay and then ordered Andel’s execution to be carried out.

Andel attempted to beg for mercy shortly before he was beheaded to great cheers from the mob.

Speaking after the trial, Bolero expressed her regret that Andel didn’t follow her advice.

“Andel retained the services of one of the best lawyers in the Amazon but chose to pursue his own strategy,” Bolero said. “It was a fatal mistake.”

Quinn, last name unknown, was accused of murder, blasphemy, and using foul language.

“No fucking way,” the woman said in her defense and was executed shortly after.

Cain Knight was accused of grievous bodily harm stemming from a series of attacks over the course of the week preceding the trial.

Knight protested that he was not given the opportunity to lose his virginity before his execution and began maturbating in his cell as he awaited trial. For this, he was held in contempt.

"Okay miss chieftess, before I say a word in my defense, can you turn around and spread your legs so I have a nice view before you kill me?" Cain testified, which apparently sealed his fate.

Shortly before his head was removed from his body, Knight swore he’d return, but did not provide any specific details on how precisely that would happen. After his beheading, Elizabeth of the Xoco castrated Knight’s headless corpse.

Following the triple execution, the Xoco held a dance celebration. The jubilation of the party did not appear to be dampened by the violence that preceded it.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Tales of the Lost: Monsters of the Amazon















Chapter 3: Heroes
By Persephone Bolero

(Tales of the Lost is loosely based on actual roleplay adventures had by Persephone Bolero in the Amazon in SL. To start at the beginning, go here. Photos courtesy of unsplash.com.)

"Graveyards are full of failed heroes. They saved no one, and they all had other options."  - Aries

This is where the story starts to get more complicated. People gravitate toward convenient, simple ways to understand those they hate, fear, or even love, and the source of all human ignorance is the mistaken belief that anything about our nature can be understood in strict black and white terms. Not everyone is an angel or a monster. Many of those who live in the Amazon thrive in a vast, ambiguous grey swamp. Aries is one of them.

Driven by the lustful madness Miss Shards’ serum had induced in me, I threw myself at him as soon as he closed the door. He asked no questions and offered no small talk. He seemed to have no qualms about taking advantage of a florid woman showing up naked at his door. And quite frankly, in my state at the time, I would have had no patience for any hesitation. I wanted to be had.

I fell to my knees in the narrow aisle at the center of his camper, opened his fly, and removed his cock. For a moment, I quietly beheld it resting across my palm.

I was six years old the first time I saw a penis. At least that’s my earliest memory of seeing one and being cognizant of the visual differences between boys and girls. Jason and I were in first grade together at El Rodeo Elementary. He lived four doors down from me, and his family had a pool with a splash pad. His father starred in several blockbuster action films, which we used to watch together on the giant screen in his family’s guest house.

We could spend hours alone and unsupervised in that house. In the course of changing into and out of our swimsuits, we’d engage in some innocent games of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Though I’ve seen plenty of penises since then, after all this time, they still appear alien to me, like some kind of abnormal growth on the body. At the initial sight of one, I often recall Jason awkwardly pulling his swimming trunks down in front of me, and I again feel that confusing mixture of fear and captivation.

Aries swelled in my hand like a carnival balloon, and I had him in my mouth before I could talk. I set aside the plastic bottle Miss Shards had given me and brought that free hand around to the small of his back. My mouth watered profusely, and saliva dripped off his shaft onto my chin each time I pulled my head back. Murmurous breaths fell from my nose as my lips slurped over his length.

Once he’d hardened completely, he placed his large large hands over both sides of my head and held it still as he thrusted between my lips, stretching them painfully to their fullest extent. As black men tend to be harder to swallow, my eyes were watering.

Under the circumstances, I found it difficult, or more precisely, impossible to explain what Miss Shards wanted me to get from him, and by the time he pulled himself from my mouth, I’d forgotten all about it. I just wanted him in every way a man could have me.

He grabbed my arm, twisted it behind my back, and bent me over his bed, which sat atop built-in drawers and cabinets secured to the rear of his camper. With his hand spread across my head, he pressed my cheek into the mattress. His initial, aggressive thrust from behind was so abrupt I was seized by a sharp sting deep inside me. It was immensely satisfying.

Hours later, I was nearing my third climax. The air was warm and damp and thick with the smell of sex and sweat. Dawn was coming through the square air vent screwed open in the ceiling over Aries’ bed. I was straddling him, and there wasn’t enough room between the mattress and the ceiling to sit up. So I laid upon his chest and slid back and forth upon the sweat wetting our skin. The camper creaked metallically with my motions.

Photo by Nick Jewell
My orgasm produced a cry that was as weary as it was breathless, and as soon as it began to subside, I became uncomfortably aware of how sore I was inside. The aching desire I’d felt waiting for him on his porch was replaced with a dull ache below my abdomen.

Through the night, we’d gone through every position possible in his cramped camper, and what he’d ejactulated into me earlier had dripped out while I again took him into my mouth, thirstily trying to keep him hard so we could continue. I managed to maintain his erection and resumed my desperate, relentless pursuit of carnal satiety, prepared to catch his next spurt when it arrived. But he’d yet to come again. And I needed him to if I was to get Miss Shards her sample.

So despite the pain after my last orgasm faded, I continued to ride him. My hands gripped his shoulders; my breasts slid over his hard chest. My breathless gasps pecked at his neck. Yet, despite my efforts, I could feel he was growing flaccid inside me. I opened my eyes and could see it on his face. He was done.

Without a word, he softly pushed me off him. The sudden absence in my vagina stung for a moment, and my face held a moue. He slid down off the bed, hunching over to keep from hitting his head on the ceiling, and sauntered fifteen feet down the center of the camper. His wet semi-erection swayed in front of him as he walked.

“Come back here,” I said breathlessly, patting the mattress. “Come on. One more time.”

“Nah, I’m good,” he replied simply.

“You can’t be done.”

“Well,” he said as he rummaged through a cupboard over the propane stove, “I am.”

He sat down on one of the self-facing benches that were his dining room and pulled down the Murphy table. He shot me a smile as he peeled back the the pop-top lid on a can of Vienna sausages. He dipped his fingers into the can and pulled out a dripping wienie. He popped it into his mouth and then held the can out toward me. I shook my head.

“I need your semen,” I finally got around to saying as I pulled a sheet over my breasts. “Miss Shards is going to kill me if I don’t bring it to her in that bottle.”

He let out a quick, short chuckle and slurped another sausage into his mouth. With it bulging out the side of his cheek, he replied, “Did she make you drink something?”

I glared at him with disbelief. “You knew I was drugged, and you fucked me anyway?”

“I didn’t know for sure until you mentioned her, but I had my suspicions. Would you have been happier if I said no?”

He had a point, which was irritating. I moved on. “It was an injection. Do you know what it was?”

“Some alchemical shit,” he said. “She can make stuff that does strange things to a person.”

He maneuvered out from the confining dining table and opened one of the drawers under the bed. Digging through a disorganized assortment of junk to the back of the drawer, he pulled out a cigar box. He set it on the mattress and flipped open the lid. Nestled among rolled joints, a flip lighter, and bags of dried cannabis was a teardrop-shaped bottle. The embossed glass was murky and green, like an antique perfume bottle. The atomizer had been replaced with a mismatched cap, and inside the bottle was a clear liquid. Aries set the bottle in front of me.

“She once put that in my beer. Suddenly, my dick couldn’t get hard. And believe me I tried. I spent a whole day looking at porn and trying to get it up.”

There was a time when I wouldn’t have believed in potions and serums, but I’ve seen far more mystifying things in this jungle. It was now quite plausible to me Miss Shards would have a serum that could make me lust insatiably for a man whose name she whispered in my ear or make a wanton man like Aries lose all potency.

I picked up the bottle and examined it in the dawn light. “Why would she do that to you?” I asked, my words coming through a wide, sleepy yawn.

“You remember Anastasia?”

“The Russian girl that made rum? Didn’t her distillery burn down?”

“She was Greek or some shit, and the distillery didn’t burn down. Shards blew it up, but Anastasia somehow escaped that blast. She then went into hiding. But Shards knew Anastasia trusted me. She slipped that potion in my beer and said she’d trade Anastasia for the antidote. Until I delivered her, Aries was going to be a deflated man.”

He took a gold wedding band from the cigar box and slid it on his finger, something he stole no doubt. I took a joint from the stack and held it between my lips. He flipped open the lighter and touched it to the end. My words grunting as I held the smoke, I asked, “Why did Miss Shards want her dead?”

“Fuck if I know, but it pissed her off she survived the blast. Shards does not like losing control like that. She was determined to find the girl and punish her for not dying.”

I exhaled, and the cloud plumed through the small space. Holding the joint between my fingers and tipping it at him, I said, “Well, clearly you got the antidote, so you must have handed Anastasia over.”

“Nah, I didn’t hand her over,” he answered. He pulled on a pair of loose jeans he picked up off the floor and took a seat at the dining table. “Shards was going to do terrible things to Anastasia, and I tried to talk her into leaving. Hell, I begged her to go, but she wouldn’t do it. Not unless I went with her.”

I studied him a moment. “She was in love with you,” I surmised.

He nodded solemnly. “She was going to suffer a terrible death, all because she couldn’t let me go. So, I did the only thing I could do. I pushed her off a cliff and told Shards she committed suicide. Shards then told me the potion would wear off in a week and gave me that bottle.”

My jaw hanging and eyes wide, I peered at him with disbelief. “You couldn’t just break her heart and tell her you didn’t love her back?”

“I was a complete asshole to her, and she still loved me anyways. There was no talking her into leaving. She was convinced she could make me love her. The only way to save her was to kill her. The point is Shards has a way with her magic. And that’s why there’s no way I’m letting you give her my spooge.”

“She’ll kill me, Aries.”

“And what do you think she’ll do to me if she got my sperm?”

“Why don’t you hunt her down and kill her?”

He laughed as I drug on the joint, its end glowing. Feeling mocked, I narrowed my eyes at him as the smoke seeped from my nostrils.

“You know how many people have wanted her dead?” he replied. “Yet, with no allies, operating entirely alone, everyone who has ever come after her ended up dead or worse. I remember she hung one assassin by his ankles and flayed him.” He grimaced with disgust and shivered. “His corpse was a mess. And now, she’s killing all us Hoplons.”

“What are you talking about?”

His long arm stretched across the camper, and he pulled a box of saltines from the cupboard on the opposite side of it. He placed a cold wienie between two crackers and shoved the whole sandwich his his mouth.“That fucker Yaakov. You know him?” he asked, cracker crumbs shooting from his mouth.

Yaakov was some kind of Mossad soldier, and he had a hatred for women. The stories varied as to why he ended up in the Amazon, but after dealing for so long with fanatics in the powder keg that is the Middle East, he came to South America on some kind of covert mission with the seams of his psychology ready to snap. Something finally broke him, and he disappeared into the jungle blazing with psychotic rages.

He spoke English with a thick Israeli accent, and his breath always smelled of vodka. He had a way with traps, which he set all over the jungle. The men he captured he robbed to support himself. With the women who found themselves hanging in his nets, he took more than their valuables.

“Yeah,” I said bitterly, trying not to picture his face or the smell of his breath. “Yeah, I know him.”

“He went after Shards. I told him not to do it, but he could never stand it when someone made fun of that tiny dick of his. Shards made some joke about it, and he just stewed over it for a month. Somehow, he got her in one of his nets. Then, the dumbfuck just let her go after he was done with her. I guess he wanted her to live with the shame. When I heard about what he did, I knew he’d be dead soon. I didn’t think Shards would come after us all. We have been disappearing one by one ever since.”

“Disappearing?”

“No one has seen any bodies, but we assume she’s killing us. She’s probably just doing it slowly. And Yaakov was the first to go missing. I hate to think what she did to him.”

I slid down from the bed and dropped the end of the joint in an empty beer can. It sizzled in the little bit of beer at the bottom. I pulled the sheet around me and took a seat opposite Aries.

“Good. That fucker deserves it,” I said and took a saltine, crunched it down, and swallowed.

“Fuckin’ Yaakov,” Aries replied, shaking his head regrettably. “Never should have let him join us.”

“Isn’t it dangerous for you to be hanging out at your house? She surely knows where you live.”

“Shorty, Blane, and me, we all headed south down the river. We were boating away with a wide wake behind us. We weren’t sure we’d get out of here, but we also don’t have much to lose. Then I realized I forgot something that I couldn’t leave behind.”

No one is really sure where we are in the Amazon. Maps never match up, and compasses seem to deceive as much as guide. Somewhere in the billion acres of unbroken rainforest lies this lawless world. There are those who try to leave. Most are never heard from again, but a few return. Those who do always have a story about how they either couldn’t find what they once had in the outside world or they missed something they had in the jungle. It’s as if the jungle lets some go only so they can learn they will never truly leave this place.

“What’d you forget?” I asked.

He tapped his finger on the plastic table top, knocking the ring against it.

“You risked your life for some ring you stole?”

“I didn’t steal it.”

“You were married?” I asked skeptically.

He nodded.

“What happened to her?”

“I’ll tell you another time. Anyways, when I saw you sleeping naked on the chair out there, I knew I was safe, at least for the night. If Shards wanted me dead, she’d have been waiting for me.”

“Well, if you don’t fill that bottle up, she’s going to kill me, Aries. If you’re leaving, what difference does it make what she does with it?”

“I might want to return one day, and she might even be counting on me doing so. She’s clever that way. Why don’t you come with me?”

I shook my head and replied, “Thanks, but I can’t.”

“You won’t leave your refugees behind,” he inferred.

“They need me.”

“You need you too.”

He picked up a duffle bag from under the table and set it on top. He unzipped it and pulled the opening wide. Inside were clothes, a paperback book, a revolver, shotgun shells, and a flask. He slipped the ring inside the pocket of a pair of jeans and then added the green bottle of potion to the collection. He turned his back for a moment to grab a hoodie. When he turned back toward me, I had my hands under the table. He rolled the hoodie up, shoved it in the bag, and zipped it closed.

“You remember when we first met?” he asked.

“I’d rather not, but yeah. I remember.”

“You were wearing those Gap shorts and a skimpy t-shirt. You looked like you just walked out of a mall.”

“Blane cut those off me,” I pointed out bitterly. “They were my only clothes.”

Aries shrugged indifferently. “You found more. At first, I thought you were just another naive city girl.”

“I was.”

“You were from the city and inexperienced, but you were not just another naive city girl. When we took everything you had, there were no tears. You looked at us with those fierce blue eyes, and then you spit in Blane’s face.”

“He gave me a black eye for that,” I recalled without any humor or nostalgia.

“He’d have given you more than that if I wouldn’t have stopped him,” Aries stated before he sucked down the last sausage. “But I saw something in you. I figured if we let you go and you survived another month, you’d be ready to join us. Instead, next thing I hear about you, you’re pimping out girls to get penicillin.”

“I wasn’t pimping them out. They agreed to it. Sex is a commodity like any other, and I pooled our resources to trade for needed medical supplies.”

“You could have sold those girls off to slavers for more than a year’s supply of antibiotics and helped a lot more people,” he replied. “You are a survivor, Persephone, but you make the same mistake my wife did. You’re always trying to do the right thing, which isn’t always the best thing. You raise that monkey girl of yours--”

“Her name is Kiki,” I shot back quickly.

“Whatever,” he replied with a dismissive flick of his wrist. “You won’t flee Shards so you can run your refuge and care for your pet native. Are you still paying tributes to that chief of the Yaktoru?”

“I’m not a whore,” I answered too defensively, giving away more than the answer to his question.

“I didn’t say you were,” he replied with a slight smirk. “But Shards will find you. And when you’re dead and no longer paying the tribute, the Yaktoru are taking their territory back. Then, the refuge you built is gone and never coming back. Sometimes you have to look at all your options and make the choice that’s going to produce the best result for everyone, for the long term. That’s what I did with Anastasia.”

“You murdered her so you could get a boner.”

“I saved her from an agonizing death,” he retorted, leaning over the table toward me. “Yes, I got my dick back, but you’re missing the bigger picture. It was the best option for both of us.”

“You could have helped her escape.”

“If I’d had tried, I’d probably be dead too. You’re only a hero if you succeed at saving people, and that’s why heroes are so rare. Lots of people try to do the right thing for others at great risks that usually fail. Graveyards are full of failed heroes. They saved no one, and they all had other options. You don’t have to fuck everyone over, but you also don’t always have to be a hero. If you don’t get out of here, Persie, you will die and everything you built will be lost. Why not live unheroically for once?” He reached across the table, laid his hands on mine, and spoke earnestly. “Then maybe you can come back one day and rebuild.”

He was truly trying to save me, which was touching. It would be easy to dismiss his attitude as one of selfish cowardice, but the truth is it takes courage to live as he does -- making choices no one will every thank you for, much less sing songs about. I wish I could be like that. Maybe I’m too vain or just too weak. And maybe one day it will get me killed. But I know who I am.

“Can I have some clothes?” I asked as I pulled my hands out from under his. “I don’t want to walk home naked.”

He leaned back in his seat and sighed disappointedly. “There’s a shirt in the closet,” he answered with a nod toward it.

Inside the tiny closet was a button-up shirt on a hanger. It hung halfway down to my knees. The sleeves had blood stains on them, and and I had to roll them up to get my hands out from under them.

On the inside of the closet door, tucked into the frame of a mirror, was a photo of Yaakov, Blane, Shorty, Trey, Aries, and a few other Hoplons. In their living room surrounded by stolen furniture, tasteless decorations, and electronics, they were holding beer cans up and toasting victoriously to the camera. Trey held a chain which was connected to a collar around a naked blond girl’s neck. She was sitting on her knees, surrounded by murders, rapists, and thieves. She didn’t look particularly frightened or upset. She just stared vacuously at the flash of a camera.

When I stepped outside the camper, Aries was standing with the duffle bag at his feet. His shotgun was slung across his shoulders, and his machete was sheathed on his belt.

“I think this is goodbye, Persephone,” he said.

I walked up, slid my arms around his waist, and pressed my cheek into his chest. He returned the embrace loosely.

“Good luck, Aries.” I said and meant it.

“You too, Persie,” he said, and he meant it too.


Unsentimental as always, he then just walked off, hacking at the jungle with his machete.

When he was gone, I opened my hand and gazed the green bottle in my palm. I could have asked him for it, but he’d already refused to give me what Miss Shards wanted. I wasn’t going to risk him saying no. I guess sometimes I do make the unheroic choice.

With the potion in the green bottle, I had a way to defeat Miss Shards. I walked back home, my steps lively, and went over my plan again and again in my head. I was going to win this.

(To be continued…)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Urcaguary for prosperity but not greed
















By Bolero News Services
Photos by Namida Giulia

AMAZON -- Are natives starting to embrace prosperity and wealth?
 

A crowd of Amazonians Sunday continued a wave of religious fever that has swept the jungle in the past year with another tribute, this time to the Urcaguary, god of wealth. The ceremony included an auction of men and women that raised nearly 10,000 Amazon Coins for the Incan.

Sunday's event follows on the heels of a tribute to Ekkeko last month, which was also a tribute to a god of prosperity and abundance. 

Despite these tributes to gods associated with money and material acquisition, Chieftess Khaing of the Xoco insists Sunday’s tribute had nothing to do with materialism.
 

“As long as natives have forests, are warm at night and well fed with a good supply of rum, materialism is irrelevant,” Khaing stated. 

Khaing went on to describe materialism as an “opiate” that makes people unhappy. 

“If through greed they take our forests, Lord Supay, god of death, will poison the air and kill them all. You’ll see!” Khaing warned. 

Priestess Eve Fintan, who is not a native of the jungle, had a very different take on the Urcaguary tribute. Fintan, along with her husband Dylan, owns and operates the Catadore Resort, which Forbes Travel Guide describes as, “a piece of luxury in an area of the Amazon that otherwise offers few comforts for travelers.”

In a speech during the tribute, Fintan said the success of the resort is due to her faith in Urcaguary.

“If you know me, you know I've preached plenty day in and day out about what the god Urcaguary will do for you if you believe in yourself and take risks. Just look at me!” Fintan exclaimed to a sizeable crowd of worshipers. "Our family and business counterparts have thrived because Urcaguary...duh."

Speaking after the tribute, Fintan pointed out the abundance of resources to be exploited in the Amazon. 

“I don’t think people realize just how rich this place is -- all the cures hidden in the jungle’s vegetation, the wealth buried in its caves, including emerald mines, diamonds, and gold,” she said. 

In his speech at the tribute, Dylan Fintan also suggested the success of the resort was connected to faith in Urcaguary. 

"Not long after our son was born, we started paying tribute to Urcaguary, with offerings of gems and coins, and things started to turn around for us. We were able to find more investors and broke ground on the Catadore Resort,” he said. 

In her speech at the tribute, Khaing had some words of warning for those who are greedy. 

“Worms, snakes and spiders slither over the skulls that lie amongst the sparkling jewels. But remember that diamonds are forever and if you are greedy and avaricious, you'll get nothing whilst you sleep,” the chieftess warned. 

Speaking after the tribute, Khaing explained the worship of a god of wealth is not in conflict with her condemnation of materialism and greed. 

“Because we love Lord Urcaguary,” she explained, “we emulate him and like shiny things too, especially gold, not because we’re materialistic, but because it’s pretty, doesn’t need polishing, and Urcaguary tells us it’s sacred. Besides, gold can be traded for rum and everyone knows that’s vital to Amazonian life.”

Salisabil, an employee of the Catadore Resort, also spoke at the ceremony, offering a few of her own thoughts on greed and materialism. She pointed out today there is a much wider variety of products for people to consume.

“Are we more greedy than before? I don't know, but we all enjoy a little greed. Some yearn for gold or clothes. In my case it is ice cream,” she said. “'But is greed always good? I am not so sure. Some people rob and hurt others to gain possessions."

She went on to express concerns about energy development and its impacts on the jungle. 

“We cannot live without the jungle, and if we let greed destroy it, then all our lovely shiny things will be no use at all,” she said. 

Following the speeches, a “date auction” was held. Chad Sheriffe and John Regan of the Renegades, Henry Vyceratops of the Bandits, Elizabeth of the Xoco, Persephone Bolero of the City of the Lost, and Tantrica of unknown origins auctioned off their fine company. 

A dance party was also held, including a contest for best dressed. Syd Staaf was awarded the 2,000 Amazon Coin prize in the event. 

Staaf did not return requests for comment as of press time.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tales of The Lost: Monsters of the Amazon

Photo by Persephone Bolero
















Chapter 2: Angels
By Persephone Bolero

(Tales of the Lost is loosely based on actual roleplay adventures had by Persephone Bolero in the Amazon in SL. To start at the beginning, go here. Photos courtesy of unsplash.com.)

When I arrived at Aries’ house, he wasn’t there. Inexplicably, I still ached for him after the nude, eight-mile hike from the cenote. Prepared to wait as long as I needed, I sat in one of the tattered plastic folding lawn chairs on his makeshift porch, the plastic strips pressing into my ass as they sagged. I pulled my knees up against my body, covering my nakedness as best I could with my legs.

He lived in an old thirty-foot Airstream camper perched on a hill above the river. Its chrome exterior rusted in the rainforest climate. The tires sat deflated beneath it, overgrown with broadleaf vines. How he got the wheeled abode into this remote location without roads to access it, I couldn’t begin to guess. And I had never bothered to ask.

A frayed awning rolled out from the top of the facade upon diagonal arms. Between lawn chairs were TV trays covered in shotgun shells and gun enthusiast magazines. A stack of worn paperback novels filled a milk crate turned on its side. Tools, buckshot, and jars of gun powder scattered over a coffee table, marked with a few circular water stains. Two plastic pink flamingos stood guard in the front yard.

I picked up one of the magazines and fanned myself as I tried to breathe in the dense humidity. I was growing thirsty, and whenever I felt thirst, I would think back to those first days in the Amazon. Time in this sweltering jungle moves like amorphous reflections on the flowing river, but if I had to guess, I’d say it has been about ten years since I was first cut off from civilization and encountered the monsters of the Amazon.

Some are violent and controlling, like Miss Shards; the others are just cruelly indifferent to other people’s suffering.

I had been lost for three days, with nothing more than a shoulder pack and the clothes I wore. The trickle came out of the base of a thin crack in the rock, and a tablespoon of water collected on the shin-high ledge. The moment I spotted it, I dropped my shoulder pack and got down on my knees. I planted my lips on the ledge and sucked on the meager offering. And when I’d sucked the water away, I licked the wet rock ravenously.

It was nowhere near enough to keep me alive, and the drops replenishing the puddle were agonizingly slow. My throat felt as if it were lined with sandpaper, and flakes of skin clung loosely to my cracked, bleeding lips. My tongue, coated in a thick paste, felt larger in my mouth.

I collapsed onto my stomach and my heart pounded rapidly against the soil beneath me as I gasped for breath. My strength was gone, and I could no longer walk more than forty or fifty feet before I had to rest. I was constantly swarmed by insects feasting on my exposed skin like buzzards.

I had awoke in the hotel three days before, the beaches of Ipanema radiating through the balcony’s sliding glass doors. My head throbbed from a hangover, and I could still feel in my bones the bass thump from the clubs we hopped into the early morning hours -- a dozen twentysomethings from Los Angeles tearing up the night scene of Rio de Janeiro.

My boyfriend, Wesley, was in the shower. I checked the time on my iPhone 3G, pushing my uncombed hair off my face with the other hand. It was nearly eleven in the morning. There were multiple text messages from the friends I’d taken with me on this vacation in Brazil.

“Wake up, princess!” Brad had texted, followed by some smile emojis.

“Come have breakfast w/us,” Tina wrote an hour before.

I dropped the phone back on the nightstand and got to my feet. Stepping on a used condom did not help my nausea any. I lifted it by my toes, peeling it off the carpet, and dropped it in the trash can.

“Wesley,” I grumbled.

I slid my arms into a robe, tied the belt at my waist, and shuffled over to the dresser, upon which sat eight dollar bottles of water next to the television. As I drank away the alcohol-induced dehydration, I read through the pamphlets in a display stand. “Hike the jungle!” one title read, the black letters animated upon a verdant green background. It had seemed like a great way to spend the afternoon before we hit the clubs again.

Now dying of thirst, I was fading in and out of consciousness. I’m not sure how long I laid on the ground before I heard the voices. The language was primitive, exotic. After listening longer, I confirmed I wasn’t hallucinating. There were people near -- a man talking, a woman laughing.

“Help,” I cried out. My weak voice was just a raspy whisper. I took as deep a breath as I could and called out again, louder, but there was no response.

I struggled to stand up and lift the shoulder pack, which contained an empty bottle of water, the wrapper of a protein bar I ate before I got separated from the tour group, and my battery-dead iPhone. I staggered in the direction the voices came. My mind was jumbled with fear and exhaustion, and my vision was blurred. I kept calling for help in gasps as I pushed languidly through grasses and vines in the shade of the jungle canopy.

I finally emerged from the tangle of vegetation into a small clearing and stumbled towards the couple. So eager to find help, I didn’t register what was happening until I was within ten feet of them.

She was on all fours, and he was kneeling behind her. They were both nude, except crude jewelry. The man had a bib of bones hanging from his neck, which rattled as he thrust his hips forward. His long, black hair draped over his muscular arms. The woman was adorned with stone and beaded jewelry woven in her hair and wrapped around her arms. Their cheeks were smeared with red paint, and they both had black tattoos all over their dark brown skin. I averted my eyes.

“I’m sorry. Please help me. I need water,” I begged. With my tongue dry and swelling, I spoke with a lisp.

He continued to thrust into the woman and grunt, undeterred by my presence. His hand was planted on the small of her back, and he slapped his pelvis against her backside repeatedly. Her breasts swung beneath her as she turned her head to look at me.

Assuming they didn’t understand what I was saying, I pulled the empty water bottle from my shoulder pack and gestured as if drinking from it.

“Please. Water. I need water,” I tried to explain. “Wa-ter.”

The woman twisted her head to look back at her lover and said, “Hele i kēia wahine.”

“I’m really sorry to intrude. I am just so thirsty.” I clasped my hands together pleadingly.

The man stopped thrusting and sighed. As the woman stood up, his engorged, uncut cock flopped out of her. Twigs and dried leaves hung from her knees. She started to walk toward me, her brown skin glowing with sweat, her unsupported breasts sagging. She made no effort to cover herself, anymore than the man did.

“Thank you so much,” I said with relief. “Again, I’m really sorry--”

The woman narrowed her eyes and snapped at me, “Aʻole ʻoe ʻoe ma nēia, e ka ʻūnania.”

I shook my head with confusion, unsure what she was trying to say. She then shouted the same phrase again, her arm extending out with a jerk as to shoo me away.

I stepped back and held up my hands defensively. “I’m sorry I invaded your privacy. I really am. I just need water, please. Where can I find it? I’m dying--”

“E hele ʻoe, kēkia!”

“I’m sorry. Please help me.”

The woman then swung her fist and struck my right temple. I fell to the ground, holding my hand over the cut she gave me. The man stood behind her, his erection pointing at me mockingly. A guffaw erupted from him as he watched his lover attack me, his contemptuous grin bearing large, crooked teeth.

The woman kicked me in the thigh as I scrambled backwards on my bottom, trying to get some distance from her. She then grabbed my hair, and threw her fist into my nose. I screamed, my eyes closed tightly as the sting consumed my skull. She pulled her other hand from my hair, keeping strands of it locked in her fist. I turned over on my hands and knees and crawled away frantically, my nose leaving a trail of blood behind me.

“Aʻole ʻoe ma ʻaneʻi!” she shouted before she stopped chasing me. The man was doubled over with laughter.

I crawled through high grasses, their sharp blades leaving thin cuts on my hands, legs, and arms. I didn’t go far before exhaustion overcame me. I flopped down prone, and as I lay there trying to catch my breath, bruised and bloodied, I could hear the couple had resumed again, him grunting and her moaning. Nausea washed over me, and I heaved dryly, coughing through the convulsions as my conscious slipped away.

I awoke sometime in the middle of the night. My skin was cool and dry, my nose sore and clogged. I shivered weakly. My tongue had swollen to the point it had little space to move in my mouth. The effort to set my shoulder pack aside and roll over on my back left me breathless. The mosquitos covering my sweatless skin stirred and swarmed before they settled back down on me to feast.

As I lay there panting, I gazed up at a moonless night sky. It was the first night that clouds had not hung over me, promising rains that never came.

The stars were bright and distinct, and there were so many of them. A thick band gathered at at the middle of the sky. All my life, I’d slept under the neon glow of megacities. I had never seen the natural night. It had always been there, hiding behind the electric glare of a billion lights. Sadly, this spectacular display would be the last thing I’d ever see.

I wondered how long it would be before my remains became skeletal, requiring weeks of forensics to identify before my parents and friends were notified. Would animals scatter my parts, making them harder to find? Would I just vanish without a trace?

I thought of my father, whose meteoric success in entertainment litigation always eclipsed my dismal performance as his daughter. Would he mark my disappearance as the last of my failures to embarrass him?

My mother, Dr. Gertrude Vogel-Bolero, the renowned UCLA mythology professor who chose my name over my father’s objections, would work my tragic disappearance into her career. I could see the cover of her next book, “Demeter cried: How Pagans Grieve.” The readings at bookstores would be well attended by her army of Wiccan admirers.

My friends would sincerely miss me. They would have alerted authorities in Rio about my disappearance by now, and maybe search helicopters had been dispatched. But even if searchers had flown directly over my head, they wouldn’t have seen me through the jungle canopy.

If I had thought to bring a lighter, I might have lit a fire. If I hadn’t wandered off with Wes for a surreptitious tryst, I wouldn’t have gotten separated from the tour group. If I wouldn’t have blown so much of my trust fund on a vacation to Rio for me and all my friends -- immediately after my twenty-fifth birthday granted me access to it -- I’d be safely cruising Ventura Boulevard.

Looking up at the twinkling sea, I connected a group of stars into a constellation that looked just like the face of my father peering down at me, as he always did, with humorless disappointment.

“Well, daddy,” I rasped sadly in the darkness, “you were right. About me. About everything.”

What a truly fitting end for the master underachiever I am. I began a hard sob as I surrendered to a lonely death laden with regret. My hand flopped over my face. My dehydrated body could produce no tears, and my eyelids stuck together when I shut my eyes. My fingers curled into the soil beneath me, grasping at the Earth I was soon to leave.

There was rustling near me, and at first I thought a boa constrictor had come to squeeze the life from me. I was too weak to fight, scream, or escape, and perhaps it would be quicker than dying of thirst. Then the figure in the darkness began to sniff at me. The animal, whatever it was, started to drag my shoulder pack away. I grabbed it, but the animal easily pulled it from my weakened grasp.

“Kee kees,” the thing said. It was a girl’s voice.

“Help me,” I moaned. “Water….water.”

“Kee kees,” the girl repeated. And then she moved away into the darkness. My hand reached out toward her, feeling blindly and touching only air. I faded again into unconsciousness.

I awoke to the splash of water on my face and shook my head reflexively. My eyes had stuck shut, and I had to force them open again. The early rays of dawn were warming the jungle, and I could see the girl. She leaned back skittishly as I looked her over. She was completely nude, a young girl in her teens. She had African features, a flat nose, and dark skin. Her head was covered in an untamed nest of dreadlocks tangled with twigs, leaves, and petals. My shoulder pack was wrapped around her leg, and she drug it behind her as she crawled. She had filled my water bottle and was holding it over my face.

“Oh god, please,” I begged, lifting my head and extending my tongue toward it.

Cautiously, she tipped the water toward my lips. I lapped desperately at the spill. And when I managed to sit up, I took the bottle from her and gulped it down.

“Thank you,” I said as I cried with relief, water dripping from my chin. “Thank you.”

“Taa yoo,” the creature replied slowly, watching me with interest.

“Thank you,” I said again.

“Taa yoo.”

I realized she was just trying to repeat what I was saying. Of course, this native girl wouldn’t speak English. I smiled at her and held up the bottle. “Thank you,” I said slowly.

“Taa yoo.” She smiled back.

I tipped the bottle back and gulped every drop away, and just as quickly I threw it up again. Desperately, I lowered my face into the pool of clear vomit and lapped it up, dirt and all. The girl watched me with a curious stare.

I looked up, my cheeks dripping. “I need more water,” I told the girl. “Please. Water.”

“Waa...waaher,” she said.

“Yes, water. Please.” I shoved the empty bottle at her and repeated, “Please, water.”

“Plea...waaher.” She took the bottle and started to crawl away. I reached for my shoulder pack dragging behind her, and she jerked it away.

“Kee kees,” she said insistently.

“That’s mine,” I said.

“Kee kees.”

“Okay,” I said as I flopped back down. If she could save my life, she could have my damn shoulder pack. “Just bring me water, please.”

She darted off into the jungle saying over and over, “plea waaher...plea waaher.”

I fell back to sleep and awoke to her dribbling water on my face.

“Plea waaher,” she said and handed me the bottle.

To avoid throwing it back up, I sipped intermittently. As I gradually hydrated, the naked, feral girl pulled and tugged at the zipper tab of my shoulder pack, as if she’d never seen such a thing. I showed her how to open it, and she zipped and unzipped the pack over and over, captivated with this trivial thing.

When she found my dead iPhone 3G inside, I reached for it. She cradled it close and said, “Kee kees.”

“No, you can’t have that. That’s mine. I need it.” I placed my hand on my chest and used her word. “Kee kees.”

She nodded her head agreeable. “Kee kees.”

“No, it’s mine,” I said. “Kee kees.”

“Da. Kee kees.”

It then dawned on me. “You’re name is Kiki.”

“Da,” she replied and gave a single nod. She apparently understood some English.

“I’m Persephone,” I said and coughed. I took a sip of water and then repeated my name a dozen times for her as she struggled to pronounce it. The most Kiki could manage to say is “Per.” It was likely her native language contained clucks and chirps, and the sounds of the English language would be too foriegn for her mouth to easily produce.

“Kiki,” I began to explain as I snatched the phone from her hands. “I need this to find rescue, to call for help.” I then twirled my finger to illustrate a helicopter. Kiki just looked at my hand with confusion. I slid the phone into my back pocket, and Kiki’s face held her pouting moue.

“You can have the shoulder pack,” I said and patted it. “But the phone is mine.”

She then went back to opening and closing the zipper, forgetting the phone entirely. Over two hours, I sipped, and when the bottle was empty, I could stand again. I asked Kiki where I could find water.

“Plea waaher,” she repeated again and again and started running, on all fours, to the east.

I staggered behind her, trying to keep up and having to rest often. She led me to the source about a mile away. It was a clear pool near a small stream in the network of waterways that braided through the jungle.

The water was sweeter than any bottle of Evian I’d ever had. By the time the sun set, I could blink easily again. My tongue had shrunk down to its normal size, and my skin began to sweat profusely, even as the air began to cool.

Kiki foraged some wild mangoes for us to eat, and I gorged on them. I smiled at her, my cheek bulging with mango. “Thank you,” I said, pulp shooting from my mouth.

“Taa yoo,” she replied and took a bite of her own mango. She then laid her sticky hand on my arm and said, “Per fren.”

“Per fren?”

“Da.”

“I’m your friend? Friend? Is that what you’re saying?”

“Da.”

With a delighted smile, I nodded. “You’re my friend too, Kiki.”

That night, I curled up under a tree by the gurgling pool and slept peacefully. Kiki woke me up near dawn. She tugged excitedly at my arm hard enough to drag me a few inches.

“Kiki, stop,” I whined, but she insisted I follow.

As annoyed as I was in my tired state, I didn’t refuse my rescuer’s request. Perhaps she was leading me to help.

With my shoulder pack dragging behind her, she led me a half mile away to the edge of a cliff where the stream tumbled into the jungle four hundred feet below, dissipating into a fine mist. Before us, stretched miles of lush, unbroken jungle. The rainforest climbed hills on the other side of a vast valley probably forty miles from where we stood. Small clouds hovered over the jungle canopy, and the dawn light shot yellow rays over the endless greenery.

“It’s pretty,” I said, bewildered. “Absolutely beautiful.”

“Pitty,” Kiki said, kneeling beside me on the edge of the cliff. She looked up to me. “Per pitty.”

I smiled down at her. “Kiki is pretty,” I replied.

“Taa yoo.”

I took the last mango from the shoulder pack, sat down, and sunk my teeth into the flesh of the fruit. Kiki extended her hands, palms up, a sweet gesture asking to share in the meal. I offered her the fruit, and she took a bite before handing it back to me.

We sat for hours, watching clouds drift down the valley. Birds swooped over it all, as animals in the trees leapt from branch to branch, most moving too fast to be seen by anything other than the shake of the leaves they disturbed. For the moment, everything was right with the world, and I forgot how lost I was.

And that’s how I’ve managed to survive so long in a jungle full of monsters. The Amazon has its angels too.

I was asleep when Aries finally came home. I stood up and his tall stature cast a long shadow down over my naked body in the light of dusk. I didn’t know what to say, but I guess my hopeful gaze conveyed the reason for my visit. He bared a wicked grin as his leer drank me in.

He walked past me and unlocked the door. Holding it open, he said, “Come on in.”

As I stepped up the extendable metal stairs and crossed the narrow threshold of his camper, he smacked my bare bottom.

“You have any water?” I asked.

“There’s plenty,” he answered. “Help yourself.”


(To be continued….)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Tribute to Ekkeko seeks to bring prosperity to Amazon





By Bolero News Services
Photos by Namida Giulia
 
AMAZON -- The Amazon erupted with drums, tambourines and horns as a procession of about 30 devotees of the god Ekkeko paraded through the jungle, shouting praises to this god of prosperity and abundance. 


The parade began at Mapinguari and moved northwest, past Cenote, before finally arriving at a makeshift altar in the box canyon north of the dolphin pond.
 

The faithful then laid down offerings of gold, booze, flowers and coins at the foot of an altar revering Ekkeko, a god portrayed as a man holding a cigar in his mouth and carrying trunks of wealth.
 

Priestess Eve Fintan, who was a key organizer of the tribute, said she believes the ceremony will bring greater contentment to the god’s worshipers.

“I hope they get to experience the joy that Ekeko brings into so many people's lives if they just acknowledge him,” Fintan said.

She also warned that she believes a lack of faith could present an existential threat to all mankind.

I am “hoping the world doesn't end and all, given how people forget to worship,” the priestess said ominously. 


The tribute to Ekkeko is the latest in a number of other reverential ceremonies over the past few months to other native gods and goddesses. A tribute to Mamma Alpa revered the goddess with an orgy at the Love Temple. A tribute to Chasca Coyllur, goddess of flowers and protector of maidens, blessed children of the Amazon.

At a tribute to the sun god Inti, Fintan, in her capacity as a priestess, ended the virginity of a young man, in a bold display that quite possibly converted a few men to the native faiths.

A tribute to Mama Chocha last month was disrupted by a tornado, which rained down blue fish from the sky.Perhaps owing to Ekkeko’s influence on prosperity, the weather for the latest tribute this past weekend was much more pleasant.

The mythology of Ekkeko dates back to the Tiwanaku, a pre-Columbian civilization that existed in what is today western Bolivia, from about 550 to 1000. The god is associated with prosperity and fortune.

Xocó Chieftess Khraing Zar, after consuming a healthy amount of rum, led a prayer at the altar.

“Oh great lord, Ekkeko, your infinite spirit is our source of abundance,” the chieftess said, her words taking on a bit of a slur. “We know that you guide us in getting our blessings according to our inner desires.So, we put our faith in you. Please make our lives rich and abundant.”

The chieftess also spoke of Honey Katz, a Xoco sister, who is currently battling an illness. Zar asked everyone to keep her in their thoughts and prayers. 


“She’s a genuinely kind, caring soul, who even fed Harold [a notoroious Raider], with Xocó pies. So she’s much loved by us,” Kar said.
Mantis Battle, an Amazon native with no tribal associations, described some of the mythological background of Ekkeko. Battle said the story of Ekkeko goes back to a man named Iqiqu, who was full of such goodness he brought harmony wherever he went.

“All the people in his village loved him,” Battle said.

Battle also warned of Ekkeko’s jealous side. He said a single woman who has a statue of Ekkeko in her house will remain single, as the god will undermine any attempts to find a suitor.

“He would see to it that all male suitors refrain from courting that woman. He will adore her and will not permit a new man into the home,” Battle said, speaking at a celebration after the offering.

He said a single woman can still revere Ekkeko with a shrine outside the home in a prominent place where it would be seen.

Cento, who is a non-native, spoke on Ekkeko’s significance to settlers. He attributed his survival in the Amazon to the god. Cento explained that he was shipwrecked and nearly starved to death, and then the god visited him in a dream to give him reassurance.



 "Fear not stranger, he implored, you are not forsaken but all shall be provided for you. I am a gracious and generous god,” Cento told the audience at the offering. “And so it was that upon awakening I began my new life, my new journey with renewed strength and a confident spirit.”

At the dance following the ceremony, Cento said he was pleased he was asked to speak at the offering.

“I was chosen to speak for the settlers. I was quite surprised but consider it a great honor,” he said.

With regular tributes to the native gods and goddesses occurring frequently in the Amazon, Fintan commented with cautious optimism on what it could mean to the people that call the jungle their home -- and possibly the entire world.

“With more people showing proper faith and reverence to the gods and goddesses that rule over the world, there just may be some hope for all mankind,” Fintan said.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Tales of the Lost: Monsters of the Amazon



Chapter 1: Monsters
By Persephone Bolero

(Tales of the Lost is a fictionalized version of the roleplay adventures had by Persephone Bolero and her friends. Most names have been changed and details modified for narrative effect. Photos courtesy of unsplash.com.)

The rock beside me exploded, and splinters of stone stung my thighs and hips. The sound of the shot followed so closely I wasn’t sure which happened first. I frantically scanned the overhanging ridges of the cenote for the shooter.

Every morning before my coffee and shower, I walk to the clear pool, strip away my clothes, and plunge from the overhanging ridges into the cool waters below. It washes away the night’s humidity and any residual sleepiness.

After a brief swim, I will usually sit on the dock and think as the water drips off my body. I used to think of iPhones and Uber and sushi bars and spin classes. The memories became a sort of tally of every single thing this jungle stole from me.


I don’t yearn for these urban luxuries quite so much anymore, and I don’t see my life in the Amazon the same way. I lost the City of Angels, or maybe it lost me. Whatever the case, the only luxury I yearn for now is peace, and it’s the monsters of the rainforest that steal it away.

It took me a moment to spot the rotund figure on the top of the ridge with the rifle trained on me. The shape was Miss Shard's, and though I couldn’t see her face, I could feel that crazy look in her eye zooming down that scope at me. I scrambled back, splinters from the rustic boards of the dock burying themselves in my bare backside.

The second shot grazed my arm and slammed into the limestone behind me. I froze, trembling where I sat as a thin line of blood seeped from the wound.

“Persephoneeeeeee,” Miss Shards sang, her voice echoing around the stony walls that surrounded the pool. Then she ended her little song on a flat note: “Get up here.”

The lump in my throat bobbed, and I held my injured arm. “What do you want?” I called back.

“Get up here,” she repeated. The thoughts in her head must sound like the thud of a cudgel. She never answered questions, and it was an act of procrastination that I ever posited any to her. She never saw the value in explanations. She wanted me to do something, and as far as she was concerned, it seemed, that was all the explanation she should ever need to give.

My clothes, weapons, and shoulder pack lay right where I left them up at the top of the overhang, and that is precisely where she stood. She was skilled with a rifle. The first shots were intentional misses. I knew another shot would not be.

I considered diving into the water and swimming through the cave under the pool. I had traversed its dark length a couple times just for the challenge, but then I had been calm. If I made a mistake fleeing my attacker and got turned around in the cavern, the air in my lungs would bubble away like a deadly hourglass. My daughter, Kiki, would wait at our home, crying my name for weeks and always wondering what happened to me.

The thing about Miss Shards is she responded to compliance. I was likely to survive if I gave her whatever she wanted. With the monsters of the Amazon, sometimes submission was an effective survival strategy. And even if she were to kill me, it’d be better I died where my body was likely to be found. At least then Kiki would know I never abandoned her. I got to my feet and walked naked up the rickety stairs to the top.

There’s no greater sense of vulnerability than walking up nude to someone who has a gun trained on you. It’s a situation I often face in the jungle, and I’ve never gotten used to it.

Her eyes guzzled me down like a cheap beer as I approached, the limestone rough on the soles of my bare feet. I put an arm across my breasts. The other hand lay over my vagina. I approached her diffidently, my eyes looking past her muddy boots to the pile of clothes I left behind.

Miss Shards was not a slender woman, and crude tattoos stretched across her wide belly. She always wore jeans that were too small for her, and her flesh pushed over the top of the denim that dug into her waist. Her sleeves were always long, and sweat stains spread under her arms. The way she dressed exuded an air of discomfort, and it made her appearance as oppressive as everything else about her.

I stood there, eyes down upon the rocky surface, waiting for her to speak. She slung the rifle over her shoulder, the stock bumping against the fanny pack at her back. She then just stared as I trembled before her.

After suffering under her gaze for a long moment, and I blurted out demandingly, “Can I have my clothes, please?”

“No, you can’t,” she pounced immediately, the answer delivered as if she were just waiting for me to ask so she could deny the request.

She took a few steps to close the distance between us, and I started to step back when a wet cough burst from her, splattering my breasts with blood. The abruptness of it made me jump. She wiped blood from her lips with the back of her hand, and for a fleeting moment I thought my attacker may very well drop dead right in front of me. I would not, however, be so fortunate.

Miss Shards reached back with her bloody hand and unzipped the pouch hanging behind her. She withdrew a syringe and a vial. My wide eyes were glued to it.

“What is that?” I asked.

“Oh, just a little something I’ve been working on,” she said casually, as she pulled the plunger back and filled the syringe. She tapped bubbles off the inside of glass with her fingernail, the clinking sound so delicate yet so menacing.

“You’re not going to inject with that, are you?” A question. Pointless.

“Give me your arm,” she replied flatly.

I began to sob and beg, my words shaking with terror. “I don’t want to die. Oh god please, I don’t want to die.”

She grabbed my arm by the wrist, yanking me forcefully toward her. I whimpered. “If I wanted you dead, you’d be dead. This isn’t going to kill you,” she said callously. She slid the needle into my arm before I could pull away or protest further. A gasp sprang from my gaping mouth, and I looked away. “At least I’m pretty sure it won’t,” she added.

A fire crawled from the injection point toward my shoulder. The world spun around me as darkness ate at the corners of my vision. My knees buckled and I hung by my arm, secure in Miss Shards’s grasp.

I always hated needles. For as far back as I can remember I couldn’t get a shot without panicking. At five-years-old I was too young to understand what the shot was for. I called it an “incokalashun,” mimicking as best I could the big word my father used when he explained why I was going to the clinic in West Beverly Hills. He was always using big words, and then he would get impatient with my confusion.

One of the nurses smiled at me kindly, telling me my brown pigtails were pretty, distracting me as the other nurse prepared the syringe.

“You’re my brave little girl, aren’t you, Persephone?” my father told me, his hand on my back. An entertainment lawyer, he held to strict codes of Los Angeles business fashion, such as they were in the late 1980s. His hair was slicked back and shiny, a loose tie flopped between the suspenders holding up his pleated slacks.

I looked up to him and nodded eagerly. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, but I wanted so much to make him proud. When I looked to the nurse, I saw the needle disappearing into my little arm held in the woman’s large hands. Next thing I knew, I woke up on the exam bed.

“I’m sorry,” I said hazily.

“It’s okay, sweetie,” the nurse who liked my pigtails replied. “You just had a little accident.” I could smell vomit on my sky blue dress.

My father rushed me out the door of the clinic and into the car, the front of my dress soaked wet. He wouldn’t even look at me.

“I’m sorry,” I repeated as he buckled me into the leather front seats of his Maserati convertible sports car.

“You embarrassed me in there,” he said.

Despite his disappointment, he took me for ice cream. It’s how he always punished me. He’d give me a reward I hadn’t earned, and then let me suffer the guilt as I enjoyed it.

“Persephoneeee,” Miss Shards was singing as she firmly slapped my cheeks, alternating between left and right. My eyes opened and tried to focus on her blurry face. Her other hand was placed firmly against my labia, gripping my crotch to hold me up until I regained consciousness. As my legs began to hold my weight again, she began to rub my sex. She pressed herself against me, pushing me against the rough tree bark.

“Stop,” I said, trying to speak clearly but still too weak to do much more than mumble. My effort to push her hand away was just as feeble.

She brought her lips close to my ear and shushed me gently. “Let it take effect.”

“I want to go home.”

“Soon.”

“Am I going to die?”

“Probably not.”

She leaned back, and I could smell her breath. It had the metallic ketosis scent of someone whose diet consists almost entirely of meat. I whimpered again as her fingers sawed uncomfortably between the halves of my labia. My head spun every time I tried to focus on her face. It rolled weakly on my neck.

The calm began to seep in very gradually, forming as a kind of pink pleasure at the back of my head before blooming into a fluffy white euphoria. My eyes rolled back above my spreading smile. My wetness began to develop between my legs, smearing on her grubby fingers. As my hips rocked, the skin of my backside scratched against the tree bark. I began to moan softly, as a pleasured calm replaced terror. I closed my eyes peacefully.

“Fuck, you are such a sexy girl, Persephone,” she said in a sort of hissing growl.

One of my feet scooted a few inches further from the other, my legs opening to invite her touch as my heavy breaths peppered her face with my moans. I reached forward, absentmindedly, and laid my hand on her hip. She took her hand off my sex just long enough to roughly swat my hand away. My eyes sprung open to see the index finger of her other hand pointed at my face. She returned the swatting hand to my sex and forced a couple fingers inside me.

“Don’t you ever touch me,” she admonished.

“I’m sorry,” I begged as her fingers dug uncomfortably into my opening.

I continued to offer my contrition and her glare softened. She uncurled her fingers and began to fuck me with them. My breathy moans replaced the apologies. I reached back with the hand that had been swatted away and gripped the bark behind me. I closed my eyes again.

My climax was nearing. I could see it on the back of my eyelids, like the warm rays that rise on the horizon just before dawn. Miss Shards leaned her face forward again to bring her lips to my ear, her breath warm upon my lobe.

“Can you hear me?” she asked softly.

“Uh huh.”

“Aries,” she then whispered.

Suddenly I could see his face appearing in the rising sun in my vision. His black skin covered in a coarse beard--I could feel it scratch against my cheeks. A bandana wrapped under the thick dreads sprouting like a fountain from the top of his head, and I could feel the tufts against my palms. The defined sinew of his biceps exuding a violent power as his arms wrapped around my body. And I could feel Aries’ cock as it disappeared inside me again and again in hard, relentless slaps that sent my breasts shaking upon my body.

Miss Shards’s voice penetrated the fantasy. “You will go to him,” she was saying. “You fuck him ‘till his dick turns blue, and then you get his cum in this bottle. You hear me?”

“Yes,” I blurted out between breaths.

“You have 72 hours. You find me. Don’t make me come find you.” The warning was as serious as a lump in my breast.

She placed the small, plastic bottle into my hand and curled my fingers around it. I gripped it tightly as I shuddered against the tree, my orgasming song echoing through the rain forest. Aries’ wicked smile, clear in my vision, faded into a cerulean haze, which itself was overcome by the fluff of clouds as bright as my smile. And all that gave way to a peaceful, dreamless sleep.

When I awoke, Miss Shards and my clothes were gone. I looked at the plastic bottle in my hand. The blood on my arm had dried, as had Miss Shards’s blood on my breasts. My recollection of her and what transpired between us returned gradually as I got to my feet and determined where I was. My head felt like it was packed with nails. Covering my nudity with my arms and hands, I started back toward home.

But with each step came thoughts of Aries. They were fleeting, salacious splashes of fantasy: me spread over his bed on my belly as he grunted from behind, bouncing upon his cock as the water in a steamy hot spring sloshed around us, my body wrapped around his as he stood in my shower. Try as I might to turn my thoughts away from him, something pulled me back into the fantasies, and droplets hung from the fur between my legs.

I walked down the path toward the river, where the path forked into two directions. The left path went down to the banks, where my boat was tied at the dock. The other went up into the Central Raider Lands, as I called them, where Aries made his home.

I paused at the fork, my hand covering my pussy. It was no longer there to hide my nakedness. Absently, I was rubbing myself. I took my hand away and folded my arms as if to secure my hands in place, but the effort did nothing to turn my thoughts away from Aries. I took the right path, toward the man’s house, an angry hunger driving my steps toward his bed.

(To be continued…)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Amazon Factions Meeting - (Applies to All Combat Players)


Amazon River in SL · Post
Amazon Factions Meeting - (Applies to Call Combat Players) 08/01/19
  Posting as Eve 

[18:58:58] Melissa: Thank you all for coming. Please abide by the rules behind us, if you have questions there is a cube here just click on it, but we will have a question portion at the end and don't want to keep you longer than we need due to the time zones

[18:59:58] Melissa: So we have been noticing several issues that we want to address tonight that we keep seeing happening during fights, caps, and rp'ing captives. There have been multiple reportings, which reporting is fine, but should be the last resort. Maybe if we can address those issues here, then we can move forward and take care of them now so we aren't dealing with them over and over again. There are new factions appearing and new people coming in and we would like these habits broken and not passed onto them and to not keep seeing the same things reported time and time again. Everyone makes mistakes, but most can be avoidable.

[19:01:19] Kylie Storm : caughs Burn the mouthpiece

[19:01:57] Melissa: The first issue is the use of gestures and the use of smiley faces during rp. I am going to give you some examples from note cards that have been submitted. Names have been removed, but faction names have replaced them. This has been done so everyone can see it is happening all around and not just in one group.

[19:03:16] Melissa: MERCS: HAHAHAHAHA.....HEHEHE!
MERCS: :P

Other common smileys that make leaders cringe, brackets or not

^^
Hi ♥
✰★Hiiiii!✰★

[19:04:27] Melissa: Gestures (using the same posted things over and over to replace having to type out something in rp):

ROUGHNECKS: I tie the woman's feet and hands
ROUGHNECKS: and take away all the weapons
ROUGHNECKS: I'm looking for hidden weapons
ROUGHNECKS: I take away all
RENEGADES: approaches the downed person and removes all weapons and comms devices, inspecting them for any other hidden weapons...
RENEGADES: takes the weapons and comms, emptying out any ammo and throws them out of sight as far as he can.
BANDITS: gets over the downed and carefully and quickly inspects for all the stuffs or weapons could be
BANDITS: ties wrists and ankles very tightly, rollyng arround a strong rope. Afther that grabs it and takes as prisioner

Please stop doing this in rp and in local chat.

[19:06:05] Melissa: When you are rp'ing with someone give them time to reply back, don't just keep on posting and posting, put everything into one post and then wait for a reply.

BANDIT: "not you, the other one"
BANDIT: "the ugly one"
ROUGHNECK: /me looks to (name removed) "well thats no good, would you like a beer? sometimes that helps"
ROUGHNECK: /me shrugs "oh well then no beer i take it"
ROUGHNECK: /me looks to (name removed)  "you want one?"

[19:07:35] Melissa: Harold?

[19:07:50] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: I'm not happy that you called us here saying its a surprise and now you are scolding us
[19:08:00] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: I thought it was like a party

[19:08:08] Melissa: moving on
[19:08:18] Melissa: since that is not a question

[19:08:30] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: its not just stating my opinion

[19:09:05] Melissa: Well Harold we are addressing all the issues that keep getting reported, so there are issues
[19:09:16] Melissa: sorry you don't think they are important

[19:09:29] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: I think they are but you didnt tell us

[19:09:39] Eve Fintan: Moving forward.

[19:09:52] Melissa: Here is a big issue that is being reported, people using OOC issues and using them IC. If you haven't learned about it ICly then you cannot use it in rp. If someone IM's you and pisses you off in your IM's you cannot use that to attack someone ICly, since they didn't insult your character. You cannot threaten someone in IM's and then bring it into the RP. For instance:

Bandit: I will hunt so and so down and make their life fucking miserable because you are an asshole

[19:10:46] Melissa: This will not be tolerated, keep it IC at all times. Also, do not get in someone's IM's and be a dick, if you can't be an adult about it then walk away. If you can't separate IC and OOC, then stay away from each other, don't fight each other, don't rp each other, don't shoot or dart someone and say it is an accident when both parties know it isn't. Also, don't be a dickhead and threaten to run someone out of the amazon using their RL information against them because you don't want them here, that is shitty and petty and will not be tolerated at all. We recently had a player take a break from Amazon due to such. This type of thing will not be tolerated. Those who do it, know who they are. Discontinue the IC conflict with people you have such deep OOC issues with or face consequences.

Nobody should be mixing OOC arguments into the roleplay either:

BANDIT: "if these are best fighters in Amazon  ... jesus we need to bring in GOR so we we can have real fun"

[19:10:46] Melissa: Gor is not something that exists in our IC world in Amazon. This statement is a mix of ooc and IC and doesn't belong in local chat, even if its in the form of an emote.
[19:12:26] Melissa: Any actual questions before we move on?
[19:13:22] Melissa: Chad

[19:14:50] ĆĦΔĐ: Thanks for holding this meeting, I just wanted to say that in the semi-recent past I've had a couple of RPs go into OOC all because the person didn't understand or didnt want to understand what I was saying and trying to get the RP back on track.  For example pointing out powergaming.  How would you do this?  I am made to just be at the will of this person os can I expect to have a reaction when an action is taken on me?

[19:15:18] Melissa: Eve will be going over that next... great question.

[19:15:24] ĆĦΔĐ: ok

[19:15:26] Melissa: Ash?

[19:15:29] ღ Ash  ღ: i think i am misunderstanding above about taking weapons and coms.... what is the issue there?

[19:15:46] Melissa: The issue is using pre-made gestures
[19:16:32] Melissa: Mantis?

[19:17:06] Mantis Battle: Hello there, im a fairly new player here in Amazon but i do have some thoughts about maybe helping out in that Regard. Even tho those Reports will probably keep going, Wouldnt it be best to bring those people into these RP Classes that they can learn from their mistakes? I mean you got basically the Names of those people and most of those around are not fluent in English. So it might be a probably good idea to offer them Help, have a Place they can turn to next to the Faction or those people around them.

[19:18:05] Melissa: Good question, we do hold rp classes but it is up to the individuals if they attend or not. By addressing them all here we are hoping to cut down on them now and then go from here if it still continues
[19:18:29] Melissa: Harold?

[19:18:33] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: I have an another opinion. All this is good but there is no incentive to do this. How about we have explorer , local and expert. Or a higher role which gets some extra privileges so people have an incentive to move up. Either that or make it harder to become a local. It could be any incentive, but incentivize it is the idea.

[19:19:23] Melissa: We are discussions with things, you can submit that to the mp and it can be discussed

[19:19:32] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: cant you relay it
[19:19:38] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: i thought thats why were here

[19:19:54] Eve Fintan: This will all be logged and reviewed. :)

[19:19:59] Melissa: Well I can, but as you all now it carries heavier weight when it comes from one of you too.
[19:20:02] Melissa: Syd?

[19:20:02] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: perfect, thank you

[19:20:09] Syd Straaf: Are there actually people who don't use pre-made gestures for searching and binding caps? I can't think of anybody I haven't seen do that often if not always. If everyone finds the need to do it maybe the system needs to be looked at rather than the use of gestures. Also, I really hope leadership isn't planning on enforcing para rping, because there are a whole lot of people here who do not like that style of rp and just won't do it.

[19:21:09] Melissa: We aren't asking for para and understand a lot do not like it, but there are many who do not rp at all... they just talk, a simple one or two sentences is fine.

[19:21:13] Kylie Storm : applause syd

[19:22:06] Eve Fintan: Anything from one line to para is acceptable. Gestures have been brought up several meetings as "not RP" and highly discouraged. Many use it. Some don't. We're reminding you that when we see it in reports we frown on it.

[19:22:48] Melissa: Okay after these next 4 questions we are going to move on

[19:22:50] Eve Fintan: Especially when someone is using them to try to bind and drag 8 people ;)

[19:22:54] Melissa: Syr?

[19:23:00] Syrissa Broono: This question also about Ashs .. some people don't type fast.. by the time we go over with our captives of taking off their weapons and binding with any coherent way of rp'ing it will get the captive downed. We can be attacked for typing out at 45 wpm or less for slower typists and down.  Why not use the gestures keys for that? I think we need another rp class instructor as well.
[19:23:22] Syrissa Broono: captor*

[19:23:35] Melissa: Well Hope is also leading rp classes now and we can have others do it too.
[19:24:18] Melissa: After Hope we are moving on, you can save your question for the next round

[19:24:26] Syrissa Broono: impromptu classes are not for me.  So you think making it easier for us to type out three sentences are not rp?

[19:25:32] Eve Fintan: Again..gestures are not considered RP.
[19:25:34] Eve Fintan: Zeta

[19:25:49] Zeta: Not a question, a statement. I never use gestures in RP, and if anyone uses a search gesture on me - not naming my weapons - then I'll tell them OOC I retain all my weapons until they do it right. I'll also tell them if I have anything 'hidden' for them to find.

[19:26:19] Eve Fintan: Flame

[19:26:22] Lil Flame: OK. I haven't been here very long and I dont use gestures when I down someone and I will say using a gesture is kind of a benefit cause by the time you type your rp binding and weapon and com removal someone is gonna shoot you in the ass. So why cant you just have those who use gestures revise to fit aparently your satisfactions and or the complainers?

[19:26:49] Eve Fintan: We don't encourage the use of gestures in RP at all.
[19:26:51]  Eve Fintan:  Hope

[19:27:09] Hope: When I was in a faction, most used hot keys.  This was to get everything out fast so the captive is bound, gaged, can't walk and have no weapons or way to contact with coms.  It all comes through and giuves the captive no time to respond.... also, why do you bind feet?  Everyone's nest line is walks them to their base.  You have  long enough to type.

[19:28:46] Eve Fintan: Agreed. A quick line can be typed. Its not quite as easy, especially if you are trying to bind more than you can realistically carry.  Still, the fact remains when we see reports with gestures in it and people arguing about what is and isn't RP those trying to win at all costs and using gestures to do so  don't end up in a good light.

[19:29:11] Melissa: Especially when they are super generic
[19:30:41] Melissa: One gesture doesn't not cover all especially when you are pushing 3 gestures in a row it doesn't give the person a chance to respond
[19:31:30] Melissa: Okay we are moving on... your questions will be answered at the end of the next section.

[19:32:33] Eve Fintan: OOC in Local/ OOC in Brackets:

Just don't do it! There are so many ways to avoid using local chat for OOC discussions. I get it. Some of us are in Amazon for long periods of time, cooking, decorating, chatting. While we may always be prepared for RP, as expected when on the ground level of Amazon, we may not always be /in/ RP. That is what group chat, IM, and conferences are for.  When you are discussing things OOC as a group or just hanging out and taking a break from RP, don't start to litter local chat with ooc talk.

[19:33:11] Eve Fintan: Things like:

Hey guys. I just rezzed in, what's going on today?

Ugh lag...

I just got a new dance hud for 200 Lindens.

We need to script this food supply barrel so it gives to whoever has a group tag.

All of this is ooc and doesn't belong in local chat. In fact, taking such talk to your group chat may even draw some of your inactive faction members back to Amazon to see what's going on.

There is a common misconception that once we use ((brackets)) its okay to use OOC in local chat.  This is to be kept to an absolute minimum.  A quick ((AFK)) in local chat is understandable. Everyone responding is not needed:

((tyt))
((hb))
((ok))
((back))
((wb))
((thank you))
((yw))

It just makes a mess of the roleplay.  The goal in ALL of our roleplay, even that involving combat, and even when idling with friends is: KEEP OOC OUT OF LOCAL CHAT.

[19:34:25] Eve Fintan: Examples of what not to do:

[17:45] BANDIT: (( My limit is 15 mins and it's been 40 ))
[17:45] HEATHEN: (my limit is 15 also)
[17:45] BANDIT: (( and I just checked with admin and you cannot sit on that ladder ))
[17:45] BANDIT: 15 mins more for me then I TP out

INSTEAD:

IM the captor:

Hello, I see you're still busy fighting others or overwhelmed with too many captives. As my limits in my profile state 15 minutes with no RP, I will remove myself from this now. Don't worry about me rejoining the fight.

[19:35:16] Eve Fintan: If we decide to stay chained to a person or in their cage arguing with them about our limits OOCly in local chat, and then we go report them to Leaders, it doesn't make us look much better than the person we report.

NOTE:  1 Roughneck dragging 8 Bandits around (completely unrealistic) and posting a gyazo in group chat, with shaming and drama is a dickhead move and it was addressed along with the cheating, but that doesn't license us to go ooc in local.

Another thing not to do:

[16:38] BANDIT: (( XXXX you are being a dick head.... when XXXX capped me, after i was playing with XXXX NOT YOU, XXXX was there on the SAME sim as i was ))

Why not open an IM or conference and politely sort this out? If they can't do that,  they should both agree to end the RP and find someone they can play with without getting emotional.  If anyone gets this upset over pixel violence, maybe they should be a green spirit.


[19:36:54] Eve Fintan: And now to address the question about powergaming.
[19:37:09] Eve Fintan: More things not to do:

16:50] ROUGHNECK: (don't drag me. I am sitting. you have to rp how you make me stand up)

[17:23] BANDIT: (( last time, wear the ballgag i fastened on your head please ))
[17:24] RENEGADE: (( you didn't give me the opportunity to negate it ))
[17:25] RENEGADE: (( I didnt get the chance to respond, its powergaming ))

A proper response would have been something like:

RENEGADE jerks his head around doing his best to avoid the ball gag, but to no avail, his words muffled as his mouth was promptly plugged. He glared heatedly at the bandit.

[19:37:48] Eve Fintan: Please don't be a spoil sport. When you have been downed and bound, consider your body under the other player's control.  Let's not be high maintenance captives, OOC nitpicking and purposefully being difficult.  Combat RP is already chaotic and fast paced, adding to it is poor sportsmanship.

Of course you can emote fighting back, but ultimately go with the flow. You're defeated.  Don't be quick to accuse others of cheating, look for loopholes, or attack people oocly for small mistakes. You win some and you lose some.

[19:39:06] Eve Fintan: Now I will cover the reporting process...and we will move on to answer some questions before we wrap up.

[19:39:25] Eve Fintan: Reporting Others:

If you've tried to sort things out directly with another player with no luck and you feel you must report them, use the Mouthpiece and be prepared to share a log. Logs will be taken from both sides and Amazon Leaders as a team will review them objectively.  If you report something, but we find you at fault too, both sides will be held accountable for all that we uncover in the investigation.  This means that if those in the logs are not roleplaying at the standard that an explorer needs to meet to pass a seeker, their standing as a local is in question.

[19:40:59] Eve Fintan: Keep in mind that whether you are the one being reported or the one doing the reporting, when there is a pattern that your name is always in reports, it does not put you in a good light. As mentioned earlier by Mellie, reporting others should be your last means of trying to resolve an issue. If you cannot keep your RL feelings out of the roleplay or routinely pursue combat and conflict RP with people you can't even manage to hold a polite OOC discussion with, eventually people start to see you as the problem.

[19:42:19] Eve Fintan: Lately, we see reports of 'combat roleplay scenes' riddled with OOC arguing in brackets. The brackets don't help anything. It tells us these players are having an OOC fight and using their combat meters as extensions of it. That's not what the combat feature in our spirit is for and Amazon Leaders are not tools to attack OOC enemies with either.

[19:42:58] Eve Fintan: Ali?

[19:43:01] Ali: I don't know if this is valuable or not but why can't we just all agree that if we are downed our weapons are removed and not worry about it anymore. instead of having to type  "removes weapons" all the time.  just an idea.  if you are shot by bullets or arrows you wouldn't have the energy to use weapons anyway

[19:43] Eve Fintan (viviana.ruby): Hmm...thats something to think on. :) Will pass that on thank you Ali.
[19:43:50] Eve Fintan: Harold?

[19:44:00] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: If the majority of the fighters don't care about using gestures just for the bind and then rp normally, is leadership going to have an issue with that? I don't care if people use gestures for that and none of my caps ever do either as long as we rp well after. I don't want to micromanage their rp. Let em use a gesture or two as long as its not annoying and a million of them. If they are clearly trolling I'll call a guard. But its never happened. Sometimes the problem is the person complaining and not who is being complained about. Who cares so much about one rp being a gesture if the rest is wonderful? You don't even want those people here. The ones who don't care about such petty stuff are the ones you want here.  You screw up the momentum in combat if you stop and write a paragraph. Yall don't fight so yall couldn't understand. Why don't we vote?

[19:45:06] Melissa: I get attacked and fight so don't use that argument

[2019/08/01 19:45] Eve Fintan (viviana.ruby): This is a good question. When people come to us complaining about each other, that's when BOTH sides are under scrutiny. If you are all having a good time and having fun, I doubt Leaders will be chasing you down saying hey don't do it that way do it this way. When you begin report wars or IMing leaders and nagging them and tattling...then it allllll comes into question
[19:45:43] Eve Fintan: Kylie?

[19:45:47] Kylie Storm : I think one way to avoid gestures in capture rp is to simply consider yourself bind and no weapons upon capture then we can end all the gesture.  Fact is we are in groups that fight and we dont  have time to sit and name each weapon to be removed. To address Eve and the comment about how we talk ooc to our factions and friends.   we are not puppets and yes its a RP sim but we are still human and have friends here. I think that is just too much control over the residents here and I don't like your suggestion one bit.

[19:46:24] Eve Fintan: Well this is actually not my suggestion this is an Amazon standard that you are being reminded of. OOC doesn't belong in local chat.

[19:46:24] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: sorry out of turn but im down to do down is cap

[19:46:27] Eve Fintan: Henry

[19:46:36] Henry Vyceratops: .i never used gestures and do now sometimes.. sadly due to the fact that a lot of fighters are super sore losers and will try to find any hole they can to have hidden this, that, and that too... if you do not type a epos like war and peace , they find some stupid excuses . I think the whole gesturebating after downing is solely because some insist on being a dickhead . my 2 cents on that

[19:47:07] Syrissa Broono applaudes Kylie

[19:47:35] Melissa: To answer Kylie, Eve also gave suggestions on what to do to keep OOC out of local... there are group chats and conferences.

[19:48:24] Eve Fintan: :)
[19:48:26] Eve Fintan: Olenka

[19:48:44] Olenka: There is no doubt ... it is already clear. anyway i think the excessive use of gestures is boring and unimaginative.

[19:49:27] Eve Fintan: Thank you :) Wiz?

[19:50:09] Wiz Elswit: I was just going to ask how someone could intereact with being bound when they are downed and unable to function, but I think it got covered

[19:50:22] Eve Fintan: ok :) Zeta?

[19:50:33] Zeta: Just checking, by logs, you mean local chat logs only, right? Because IM or group chat log sharing gets into TOS territory. - And there's *always* time to emote a capture. RL captures aren't instantaneous. Unlike RLV...

[19:51:40] Eve Fintan: Yes, Zeta. Local chat logs. And when we get them from both sides it tells us lots. Clearly if you have spoken to a person in IM and it didn't work out...we will have a bit of investigating outside of the logs...but yes we want a log provided from local for why you were complaining in any case that there was an interaction in local chat.

[19:52:42] ĆĦΔĐ: I just wanted to touch on the gestures as well because this was a point in one of the recent OOC meetings and I thought it was covered thoroughly from both sides.  In a one on one encounter there isnt much need for them but in a group v group battle there is when you can be hit while standing over someone in the midst of their allies also fighting.  I think thats where the gesture being used in this facet evolved from, as soon as the fighting is over all can RP

[19:53:21] Eve Fintan nods.  Group on group battles can be messy and that is why we focus on separating ic and ooc.
[19:55:11] Eve Fintan: When everyone is just having fun and not freaking out over small mistakes, much less nitpicking and drama happens "Oh you didn't take my knife" "oh my feet are still tied."  All this comes from ooc emotions getting mixed into the IC fights.
[19:55:13] Eve Fintan: Syd

[19:55:24] Syd Straaf: Just to add my support to what was said earlier, I've had this in my profile for a long time: If you forget to rp searching me, taking my stuff, or tying me up I will still most likely play as if you did it. I think it's petty to take advantage of a minor oversight like that. Rp is still preferred, but don't stress over it.

[19:55:41] Melissa: I noticed that one day Syd and love it.

[19:56:17] Eve Fintan smiles. Yes, go with the flow once downed. Really, it saves so much drama and this debate about gestures vs typing up emotes.
[19:56:25] Eve Fintan: Kylie

[19:56:29] Kylie Storm : When you are downed and we touch the leash, the hud tells you that you can not walk and you are captured. maybe that should be enough. I agree with Syd, the rp id the important thing.

[19:56] Eve Fintan (viviana.ruby) nods, "Good point"
[19:57] Eve Fintan (viviana.ruby): Zeta

[19:57:05] Zeta: I find myself slightly surprised to be agreeing with Chad... but then I wonder, why would anyone be trying to cap in the middle of a battle? if you're *not* in combat, though, RPing with your captives, surely a shot would be considered interfering with RP?

[19:57:47] Eve Fintan: We are CARP. We did not ban rescues. People can join battles. It was voted on.
[19:58:10] Eve Fintan: Mantis?

[19:58:15] ĆĦΔĐ: Exactly.  and rescues sometimes keep coming and coming and coming. To the point where there are too many people to RP with.

[19:59:06] Melissa: well you guys voted and so the rescues were let back in

[19:59:06] Mantis Battle: As someone that has been moderating lots of mass battles and faction wars in different sims and communities i have to say this discussion about Hack n Slay = Roleplay is getting a bit out of hand. Some of us enjoy Roleplay when fighting is involved, some of us dont enjoy it. The big issue here is dont force your viewpoint on others.Hell i am a Para Rper. I write Novels. I still sit down and enjoy a good fight now and then. But i always wrote the emotes about binding and capturing without gestures. We had a simple rule, name the weapon or the weapon type. and it will be taken. Weapons that are hidden need to be addressed beforehand.. so *IF you have the time for that, IM the Captive, ask them *Politely to name their hidden weapons IF you are searching for them. Emoting it. We had a rule in our community about a 3 sentence Capture Limit. Some used gesture, some didnt. As long it is all Fun for everyone it is okay to use gestures, but you have to specify the Weapons otherwise these specific weapons are still there.

[20:00:41] Eve Fintan: Yes, find compatible roleplay partners.

[20:00:55] Eve Fintan: To wrap up, let me just say, we don't like demoting, we prefer you work things out like adults.  So please heed our advice tonight and work on improving if any of this has applied to you, whether you are an experienced Amazon player or new to the jungle.

[20:01:13] Eve Fintan: A lot less drama would happen if people would just keep calm, stay IC and keep the ooc out of local chat. Remember to keep the IC and OOC separate in your head and also in where you are typing. After a heated battle or conflict scene, its good practice to IM the other player(s) "Thank you for the RP! See you next time :)"  This serves as a reminder that our IC enemies are our OOC friends.

[20:01:49] Eve Fintan: If you have OOC beef with someone, consider giving them a clean slate. Make amends privately and try to move forward. If that doesn't work, avoid them :)
[20:01:58] Eve Fintan: Will answer Zoey and then Harold then done.

[20:02:02] Zoey: .

[20:02:32] Eve Fintan: Harold

[2019/08/01 20:02] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ (harold134): Is there going to be some turnover in leaders? I see many have left. We got more seekers lately but what about others?
Why don't we go back to the old way. Make the faction leaders the leaders... laughs. Me. If there is conflict, you can hold the faction leaders responsible for sorting out their people. People who know them and they trust, instead of a guard they never spoke to in their life.

It will be better to listen to the ideas of the faction leaders too, rather than the hand picked leaders, many of whom get into the role and then disappear and never actually roleplay in the jungle. Keep them for their roles but not for their ideas. The best ideas will come from the people and the faction leaders or rep can relay these ideas. They have to listen to their people or they wont have a group.  If you get the ideas from the people via faction leaders, the active people will get what they want and they will bring more, I gurantee you.

[20:03:28] Syd Straaf: some of the factions don't have leaders

[20:03:39] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: Syd you are leader of the raiders
[20:03:42] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ laughs

[20:03:47] Syd Straaf: no I'm not

[20:03:51] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: yeah yeah

[20:03:56] ĆĦΔĐ: come on Syd

[20:04:15] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: but you are good at conflict resolution so youd be a good candidate
[20:04:21] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: theyd want you too

[20:04:22] Melissa: Here is the thing Harold, some of these issues have been discussed with the leaders of the factions and nothing has changed.

[20:04:23] Syd Straaf: I'll not have a bunch of non-Raiders decide the leadership structure of the Raiders

[20:04:31] Kylie Storm : can i shoot harold no for arguing with syd?
[20:04:34] Kylie Storm : laughs

[20:04:39] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: im done

[20:04:43] Eve Fintan: We do still appreciate Faction Leaders or even just old school Amazon players offering their members guidance to keep them playing within guidelines. As far as if we are bringing on more leaders anyone interested can put in a request with Tantrica, faction leader or not.

[20[20:04:56] Kylie Storm : oh come on
[20:05:03] Kylie Storm : grins

[20:05:09] Goldeneyesblackheart: I must say, I am liking Harold today

[20:05:12] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: Can we make a group of faction leaders and give them some offical powers of conflict resolution?
[20:05:17] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: over*
[20:05:25] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: and ideas

[20:05:45] Zeta: So some leaders can do nothing while others enforce even the rules they don't like?

[20:05:59] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: It will all be under the current leaders and tan

[20:06:10] Syd Straaf: we could just act like adults and treat everyone with respect, then we wouldn't need more leaders with powers

[20:06:15] Kylie Storm  whispers: Thank you all for the comments you made and lots to think on for sure, now can we burn down the Mouthpiece?

[20:06:17] Melissa: At one point you guys were doing that, and then quit

[20:06:27] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: We already have leaders with power, we always will
[20:06:36] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: But it will better if they are the people on the ground

[20:06:38] Melissa gives a slow clap to Syd "Amen"

[20:06:43] Eve Fintan: Agreed Syd! Thank you all for your attention and all the ideas. This log will be on the blog

[20:06:55] Kylie Storm : I for once agree with Harold

[20:07:05] Ĥȧɼoレđ ƑƦƟϻǟƝ: winks at Kylie

[20:07:18] Zeta: That's only because you want to soot him...

[20:07:31] Kylie Storm : was that enough to get our of your cell free?

[20:07:46] Melissa: Thank you guys for coming, we appreciate it

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