The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:27 pm

The cheering of the masses downed the clatter of hooves and the humming of the hovercraft, as the royal party came to the stop before the circus. The cries redoubled, as the king himself emerged from his craft, followed by his lovely wife, young daughter and their personal bodyguards. The crowd nearly exploded with joy, as the king approached the gate and paid to enter, with his own hand.

Cooper smiled as the gate lowered and King Theodore walked through. The man looked the part of a king, tall enough to look most of the circus performers in the eyes (save for the freakshow’s giants of course), with a strong body, speaking of exercise and a good diet. He handsome, his square jaw clean shaven, blue eyes bright and commanding and his shortly trimmed brown hair not showing a hint of gray. His blue suit looked like a modified version of the ceremonial uniform worn by his soldiers outside, made look like more civilian.

“Your Majesty” said the ringmaster, removing his top hat and bowing deeply, trusting his people to pay proper respects as queen and princess Kathleen joined the king, “Welcome to my humble show. It is an honor to have to you personally come visit us, on this most special day for your lovely daughter.”

“Sir Smith” countered the king, walking forwards as Cooper straightened and the dukes with their families began to enter behind him, “Thank you for gracing our home once again. It had been much too long since a collective talent, the likes of which you have assembled, has visited us.”
Last edited by Irish Wolf on Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Its easy to be brave behind a castle wall
Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion
A king's son is no nobler then the food he eats

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NorthernSoul on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:46 pm

Kate followed closely behind her father, her gaze not lingering for too long upon anyone. She was dressed in a silver ceremonial gown which was cut close at the waist and hips then fell, in heavily embroidered folds, to her feet. On her head was the simple circlet that symbolised her coming-of-age. To her own mind, the stark cleanliness of the silver robe and head-piece was a horrible juxtaposition to the blood she'd spent half an hour scrubbing and rescrubbing from her hands the previous night.

Her eyes widened for just a moment when she saw Atticus, standing idly beside Cooper, waiting for her to notice him. Relief flickered across her features, though she had told herself again and again that it would be alright. After all, who would truly do that to themselves unless there was the prospect of regeneration. The rumours she'd heard about the night-time acts had been clear in that detail- the marvel had been not only in the performer's self-control but also in his miraculous revival the next day- and she'd tried so hard to put her faith in them. He looked different, however, in the light of day. When he wasn't breathing through gritted teeth with blood spattered across his tattooed torso. Less savage, more... tired.

Atticus raised one eyebrow sardonically then turned his eyes back to the King, wondering if she regretted ever requesting her own private viewing of the show after all.

Kate hurriedly diverted her gaze once Atticus had calmly looked away and nodded in agreement with her father.

"Yes, far too long, Sir Cooper," she said, with a forced radiant smile. "I believe this shall be my best birthday yet! You must not be a stranger for such a length of time again."

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:31 pm

Cooper beamed, his attitude towards the unfathomable nature of his liquid silver eyes and the inability for anyone to really tell where he was look, shifting to enjoyment. While face the king and acting like the monarch had all his attention, he had been looking at the princess. He noticed the widening of the eyes and the relief that spread across her pretty face, when she looked at the tattooed man. His heart went out to her, knowing that she had carried the guilt of believing she had killed him, permanently.

“Your highness” said the ringmaster, turning slightly to bow to Kathleen, “I shall always endeavor to be in system, as often as I can, although the harsh realities of life often keep my company from your alluring presence. Now then, you did not come to visit, just to hear me prattle on. My good man Atticus here, will take you to the royal box while I set the show in motion.”

Turning, Cooper parted the sea of circus folk with a wave of the hand, opening a path to the big top, while those who were suppose to the perform first used the motion to hurry to the backstage area. Slipping into the maelstrom of moving folk, he left the tattoo man to lead the procession of royalty and nobility on a grand tour through the caged animals, before delivering them to their seats. Behind the king and his family, the first of the Archdukes walked through the gate, after paying admission, although it was done by their bodyguards, not by themselves or their family members.

--------------

Cooper peaked through the curtain a little while later, watching as the benches were filled with the cream of this world’s society. Dukes rubbed elbows with Counts, Marquises, Barons, Earls and knights. He then turned his gaze to look over his assembled people. Last night he had given a little speech before they started but that was a special party, this was the real deal and everyone knew what to do.

“Let the show go on” he whispered softly, before walked out into the middle of the ring. Filaments in the tent material blocked out much of the sunlight, turning the inside dim and allowing the roustabouts working the lights to focus everyone’s attention on the ringmaster.

“Lords and ladies” began Cooper, in a voice that just seemed to demand you pay attention to every word he said, “Thank you all for coming to see our humble show. We will not disappoint but amaze and leave you awestruck. Today’s show begins with a display of agility, flexibility and years of hard work from our full acrobatic troop!”

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:57 pm

Laine kept an eye on the Royal family’s arrival. From her location it was difficult to see anything but their forms approaching Cooper. The princess’ dress was lovely in sunlight. Cooper went through the formal greetings and Laine saw him part the crowd. Taking her cue, Laine made her way backstage. Her act would be at the beginning of the show.

The backstage was a cluster of performers and crew all doing what they needed to do to ensure the show went well. Laine found a quiet spot. A short time later, Cooper’s voice rang clear and even backstage she could hear it as Laine stretched out her body a bit. The events of the morning were causing her to lose focus on the act and that could mean danger for her once she was up in the ribbons. She stayed out of the way as two tightrope walkers headed out. Through the curtain she could see them climbing. Her act was next.

Arms stretched above her head, Laine worked hard to push all her worries out. Arms came across her body and her music played in her head. Closing her eyes, Laine mentally went through her entire act. Laine’s head swayed and body went through her movements. A large exhale at the end of the music only she could hear and Laine opened her eyes. Cooper was standing backstage, in a conversation with the one of the tumblers. Quietly, Laine came up behind him. Her arms slid around him and she pressed her head into his back. He'd know that what the gesture meant and for a second she worried that he would be upset that she hid something from him. A large hand squeezed one of hers, relief came in a small wave. Holding on for no more than a few seconds, Laine released him and headed for the divide in the curtain. The tightrope walkers were almost done.

Laine slipped between the curtains as the crowd applauded the previous act. In the dim light, the blue ribbons tumbled down and Cooper’s voice rang out again. Laine began her ascent up the ribbons. Once at the top, Laine wrapped one ribbon around her waist. She hung onto the other, leg extended behind her. The lights turned onto her and the music began.

Unlike the night time act this music was lighter. Laine’s costume was a sparkly green bodysuit and her blonde hair was tucked up. Laine swung her leg to the front and turned herself upside down. Legs wrapped the ribbon and her hands released herself. She arched back, looking like an upside down bird. Grabbing the ribbons, her body pulled up and legs released her. A climb up and she freed herself from the coil at her waist. One ankle twisted in the ribbon. Once she felt it catch, Laine released her hands and fell. She heard the collective gasp of the crowd and smiled. The wind whipped at her ears and she fell. The silk tightened around her ankle and Laine was stopped. Arms extended, her free leg came to her knee and then extended out. She grasped the free ankle and began to pull her leg this way and that. Toes touched her head and her body twisted this way and that, her ankle keeping her from plunging to the ground below.

Laine flipped herself upright again. Keeping her ankle looped, Laine grabbed one ribbon in each hand and leaning back extended her free leg towards her head. Holding it there for a breath, Laine quickly brought it in and flipped her body. Now, holding the ribbons behind her, she arched her body out. Laine continued to flip, arch, pose and stretch on the ribbons.

As her music began to end, Laine decided to change the act. No one in the audience would really know that it was different but she wanted to try the move Atticus had helped her with. Laine’s mind briefly wondered if he’d be watching. Her heart sank slightly remembering that last night he hadn’t even taken his eyes off the floor. She pushed the thought of Atticus from her mind. A pull of her arms brought her upright, the ribbon went around her hips and then a leg through a loop in the one ribbon. Affixing her back leg so both were open, Laine took a big inhale. “Here goes nothing...” With that thought, Laine leant her body back and began to slide down the silks towards the ground. Down and down she slid, much further than she had with Atticus and this time without the net. The ground was coming up towards her. Laine pulled upright and the silk caught, stopping her. She was only a few feet from the ground. Laine hadn’t meant to go that far but the exhilaration had made her forget to stop.

The music ended, Laine gracefully released herself from the ribbons and landed softly on the ground. A smile stayed on her face as she deeply curtsied and then exited the ring. Entering back stage, her heart was pounding and the adrenalin made her cheeks flushed. It had been a good performance.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NorthernSoul on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:52 pm

Atticus' expression dipped briefly into a frown as Cooper suggested he lead the Royal party up to their usual seat in the stands. He wasn't sure who the ringmaster thought he was punishing: Atticus or the Royals themselves. But he nodded all the same, and led the little group along the rag-tag row of circus performers and through the gate into the area at the back of the big top which was usually off-limits to the public.

"I don't believe I remember you from the last time, Mr..." said the king as Atticus limped ahead to hold open the gate. He walked through, closely followed by his daughter and wife, uniformed bodyguards never far behind. "You're a performer, I presume?"

"Tanner, your Majesty," he replied. "And yeah," He paused to roll up his sleeve, demonstrating the tattoos that covered his lower arm. "I am a performer, but I won't be in the show today."

"Ah, I see," said the king, as Kate stepped through into the area where the animal cages were housed. The nearest cage held a great Pachydon; an scaled elephant-like animal from one of the core planets which was used in one of the clown's acts. Its spiny trunk batted the bars of the cage as they party came closer and Kate pretended to be fascinated with it as her father continued. "The sideshow then? I regret we won't have time to see much else but the show itself today. But I shall make a point of it the next time you visit."

"Just the sideshow," said Atticus, putting enough emphasis on 'just' to make Kate wince a little. "This way, your Majesty..."



Once the Royal party had been taken through the performers' area backstage, Atticus led them through one of the side entrances at the top of the tent that was connected to the 'Royal' box (although on other planets, it was the box for whoever was the most important dignitary watching that night) by a long walk-way that allowed the rest of the audience to watch them enter from below. Once they were seated and surrounded by a ring of bodyguards, Atticus limped around the side of the box and leant against the side, settling down to watch as Laine's ribbons unfurled from the ceiling and pooled on the floor of the ring like waterfalls.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Selene Durlan on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:05 pm

Karenza dipped her head in mock respect at the passing “nobles/leaders” they had not earned their titles and positions through respect or battle. These humans weaseled and back-stabbed to elevate themselves and some were simply born into their exalted stations. The feline woman was grateful the princess was more interested in Atticus than anyone else, for she could not have faked any niceties toward the prissy child.

Once the royal group passed the welcoming crowd, they began to send their body guards to purchase tickets and trinkets. Meanwhile the performers and circus hands set to work on last minute preparations for the performance. There were all forms of props and animals being shuffled about, jostling for their place in the queue of performance acts. Karenza spotted several panther assistants wheeling her selected cats into the line. She had no intention of topping last night’s performance, the audience could not tell the difference anyway. Whether she risked life and limb it was all the same to them, large feline predators running around doing tricks.

Giving an irritated flick of her tail, karenza strode off toward her quarters. Intending to change out of her current outfit and don her beloved jewelry with a few black feathers added for effect. Halfway there she saw Hawks hurrying in the direction of his housing unit. Everyone was grouped about the main tent, so very few people were drifting near the housing area. It was a perfect opportunity, Karenza slipped out of her dress. She would retrieve the silly thing later, but right now her prey was near and alone.

It was lucky that Cooper decided to make all the temporary housing roofs sturdy. Or her stalking would have ended abruptly as she leaped easily onto the first roof. Staying low she jumped from roof to roof, hardly making a sound. An almost giddy feeling filled Karenza, it was like being in trees again. A sleek predator hunting from above. Her pulse quickened as she drew closer. Hawks made his final mistake by trying to take a shortcut between two buildings instead of staying on the frequently traveled main “street”.

A black shadow blocked the sun for a moment as Karenza landed in the narrow space, a mere twelve inches behind Hawks. The man was fast; he turned with lightning speed, his whip already arching into the air. The feline was far faster of course, but she still admired his fighting spirit. One hand lightly chopped him across the throat while her other arm pressed into his arms and chest. He was pinned against the wall. She towered over him in height and easily outweighed him in muscle.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:52 pm

The lights followed Laine, as she walked backstage amid cheers, whistles and the sounds of hundreds of striking palms. Feet stamped against the stands until the lights refocused on the middle of the ring, where Cooper stood, positively beaming. Not only was he pleased about the performance all of the acrobats had put on but that their mistress of the ribbons had done so without a hitch. He had been a little worried about her, after her strange actions this morning and then before she went out, when she embraced him, it had felt more like a cry for comfort, then a call for companionship, like it normally was. Whatever was wrong, which he hoped to find out, at least wasn't effecting her ability to put on a good show.

"Lords and Ladies" boomed the ringmaster, "For our next act, we have a treat for you. A new addition to Cooper's Grand Traveling Menagerie and Circus, our next performer is a little shy, so I'd like everyone to sit back, relax and remain calm for her. Now then, never seen before by any audience, I present to you, the young Miss Effie and her wonderful illusions!"

Thrusting his arm behind him, the lights raced to the middle of the backstage curtain, where one of their newest members of this vastly extended family was suppose to come out. He hoped she would appeared gracefully or at least appear. Effie had pleaded with him for the passed few days, ever since he had told her that the opening show on Corsivin, would be her first, to postpone it. He knew that if he had let her convince him, then she's beg out of the next show and then the next planet and so on. She needed to come out and at least try it. Hopefully, the other performers would be giving her encouraging words right now and the crowd would heed his request to make her time out in the spotlight, less frightening.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Northgaze on Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:44 pm

Hawks watched the royal party with interest. Perhaps there were a few lonely noblewomen that would appreciate some company later. The rich colors of their clothing dazzled him, the royals loved to wear bright and deep colors it seemed. Hawks agreed with most of the choices, though he would have stuck to the red/orange part of the spectrum himself, with bits of black stuck in for contrast. All too soon the procession was over and the crowd began to dissipate, the circus people heading one way and the royals the other way.

Soon the show would begin! The hustle and bustle of the performers and their assistants was exciting; Hawks’s hangover had been improving greatly, putting him in an unusually good mood. Even better news, Aiden was striding purposefully towards the fire-breather. They met halfway across the field; a small bundle was quickly passed between them before being tucked into Hawks’s pocket. No words were exchanged between them. There was no need to. Hawks was in a dangerous position and morals needed to be compromised.

Giving a last check over his props and equipment backstage, Hawks was horrified to discover his mouth apparatus missing. Perhaps the single most important object of his act was nowhere to be seen. Taking a deep breath he tried to calm his racing thoughts. [i]Where did I last see it? In my room or the training yard?[i] Wasting not a minute Hawks hurried off to inspect his practice area, it was the closer location and was liable to take longer. He muttered angrily the whole way. Thankfully the search did not take long. He quickly discovered the case and its important contents was sitting snugly just under the bench near the left entrance to the yard.

Hawks made sure this time to put it securely in his pocket. Heaving a sigh of relief, he began the return trip to the big top. However his vanity stopped him, maybe he looked a bit disheveled after his frantic search. It would be best to make a quick stop in his room to fix any wayward clothing or makeup in the mirror. Hawks thought nothing of taking a shortcut between two of the small houses, his thoughts only on the intended destination. A shadow passed over Hawks’s back, alerting him immediately to the presence of another in the alleyway. With a practiced hand, he yanked a whip free and turned at the same time. A monster from nightmares greeted his gaze. His other hand flew to his pocket; the bundle was his only chance of escape. What his panicked brain had at first taken for a monster was in fact Karenza, an almost worse sight to behold.

Her very body exuded anger and predatory grace. Hawks’s hand closed around the bundle, but suddenly he was struck across the throat by Karenza and flung against the wall. He gasped and choked for air, his vision narrowed and waned. Finally air reached his lungs and he took great big gulps of it. Hawks knew his predicament was dire. He could not begin to comprehend why Karenza say the need for such a retaliation. It wasn’t as if he had broken her feather duster, or maybe he had. Diplomacy was his only hope in this situation; he did not want to be forced into using the bundle. In his current pinned position delivering the contents of the wrapped object would prove challenging in its own regard.

Keeping his voice calm and level he asked, “Why are doing this Karenza? Is there anything I can help you with? I'm sure we can reach an understanding.”

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid."

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:19 pm

Laine was overjoyed. Looking at the other’s waiting their turn she saw the newest addition to the circus standing there. She looked terrified. Laine’s heart went out to the poor girl. Just slightly shorter than Laine, Effie was tiny, wisp of a thing. Laine gave the girl a smile and walked over to stand beside her.

Cooper announced the girl’s act and Laine was sure Effie might bolt. “You know, the first time I ever went in front of a crowd I thought I was going to lose my lunch. My father came over to me and he told me, Lainey pretend they are not there.” Laine chuckled. “I started laughing. I mean really, just pretend the audience isn’t there? Was he crazy?” Her arm went gently around the young girl’s shoulders.

“No matter how hard I tried, I knew....people will say pretend they are naked, pretend they are all bunnies. Me, I like to remind myself that they don’t know what my act is supposed to be. That I am going out there because I was born for the silks.”

Laine brushed the girl’s blonde hair off of her shoulder. Effie’s hair was like Laine’s, long and wavy. Perhaps she’d show the girl how to pin it back, keep it out of her eyes for her act.

“Effie, all you can do is go out there, focus on what you do. Play with the light, doesn’t have to be over the top. Just be you. I’ll wait for you here.” Laine and Effie stood at the part in the curtain.

Laine waited with the girl. She’d go out when she was ready.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby EtteOhEtte on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:31 pm

Effie felt like her world was going to end. While that may have been a tad overdramatic somehow she'd managed to convince herself that this performance would be the end of her life as she knew it. That wasn't exactly true, but Effie had a gut feeling that if she couldn't put on a decent performance her value at the circus would most certainly dwindle. Standing backstage, her hands knotting into the topmost layer of her crinoline skirt, Effie was close to perhaps simultaneously bursting into tears and fainting. She had considered running, but figured it would have been the less viable option as she didn't really have anywhere to run to and would not only embarrass herself but the rest of the circus along with her.

Feeling a arm on her shoulder Effie was pulled from the discouraging depths of her currently pessimistic psyche and back into reality where she met the eyes another performer, Laine. She listened as the more experienced entertainer told her about her first performance and Effie agreed, pretending the audience wasn't there was crazy. There were just too many people to ignore.

"Me, I like to remind myself that they don’t know what my act is supposed to be." This made Effie's eyes light up with a bit of hope. Laine was right, this was her first act, they didn't have any clue what she was about to do. She could make a writing mass of tentacles by accident, faint, and then just glow on the floor of the ring until someone hauled her away. Sure, it wouldn't be the best performance, but the crowd wouldn't even know if they all played it off like that was just the way her act was rehearsed. “Effie, all you can do is go out there, focus on what you do. Play with the light, doesn’t have to be over the top. Just be you. I’ll wait for you here.”

"Thanks" Effie managed to crack a smile, but fought back some nervous tears that desperately wanted to escape her ducts. "I really, really needed that." She said in a small breath with a hand on her chest. For a moment she considered just clinging to Laine until Cooper got fed up with her, but then she remembered that whole "embarrassing herself with the rest of the circus" bit she'd gone over moments before. Giving Laine one last small worried smile and shooting Cooper a dejected "why would you do this to me" look, Effie walked out into the ring. The first few steps were the hardest, and maybe even a little slow. Worrying that she was taking too long Effie made her next few paces quicker.

The crowd was silent save for a few hushed whispers, none of which Effie could hear over the sound of her own heartbeat. At the center of the ring she stopped to stare at the crowd, and the crowd stared back. Rows and rows of what almost seemed like leering monsters from the top of the planet's social hierarchy glared down at her. For a moment Effie felt like she was going to faint, her vision got blurry and if only for a moment her eyes began to roll back into her head. Breathing in she fluttered her line of fake eyelashes and her vision cleared as she knotted her hands tighter into her skirt. Inspecting the crowd a bit harder she realized their faces weren't quite as malicious as she'd initially envisioned; They were more curious if anything.

Comforted by this along with the space between herself and the people in the crowd she remembered, they didn't know what her act was going to be. She un-knotted her hands from her skirt and clenched them one more time to stop them from shaking before she raised up her arms. And then, in one fluid motion, brought them down. Before anyone could blink a wall of light was pulled down before the crowd, looking vaguely like a veil made of fireflies over a pastel film. A few people flinched, and most squinted before the light dimmed. This instilled a new-found confidence in Effie, as now the crowd couldn't see her, but she could see them.

Slowly the lights began to take form, turning into opalescent shapes of the people in the crowd. In a situation that mirrored a moment just minutes ago, the crowd stared at the lights, and the lights stared back. People closer leaned in, and their dopplegangers leaned in as well, noses almost touching as their real counterparts squinted to take in the view. A few of the fake shapes even reached an hand forward, and passed their fingers through the cheeks of the people their were mirroring. The reaction was favorable even if a few people were a bit unsettled. From behind her wall Effie smiled and spread her arms out before quickly pulling them back together, causing her wall of copies to mesh together and twist and take a new form that reeled backwards in a fluid motion to the center of the ring. At the center of the ring a large snake coiled around Effie and then unfurled, bobbing along the edge of the ring, flicking out it's luminescent tongue at people in the crowd. At the end of it's round the snake began to dissolve headfirst into an elephant which inspected the crowd with its trunk.

Finally, the elephant took the form of a flock of swans. Unfortunately, without any reference to go by holding multiple shapes proved to be hard for Effie, and midway through a transition into another shape three of her swans diffused back into the lights above. Effie bit down on her tongue and tried to keep from panicking, moving her arm in a circular motion above her head to collect the swans before the lights could escape her. Knowing she couldn't just end with that Effie opted for something somewhat simple to end her act, and changed the light into the vague shape of a butterfly. The creature flapped it's large wings over the crowd until she couldn't find it in her to hold it together anymore and it slowly dissipated into the lights above which lit up the ring before dying down.

In the center Effie stood, glowing. Her neck and arms blotted out by the black body tape she'd rolled around them. Raising what looked to be a phantom hand she waved at the crowd, and flashed a smile before turning back into a path of lights that led her to the curtain. Once behind the curtain Effie did all but throw herself at the acrobat, her breathing uneven and her voice hysteric and unsteady.

"Oh my god." Effie gasped, hugging her own arms with an unsure smile. "Oh my god I can't even--" Words escaped her as she tried to form a coherent thought about what had just taken place. She wasn't sure what emotion to tack on, but despite being wary of any sort of pride in her first act she couldn't wipe the dumbfounded grin off her face. "W-was that all right? I didn't, I mean, oh man, at least I . . . " She didn't finish the train of thought very well at all, and worried if asking if her performance was any good looked like she was too desperate for approval. Shivering a bit she shrugged and breathlessly said "If I could I--I think I would do that again."

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Selene Durlan on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:54 pm

Karenza’s muscles rippled in pleasure. Her primal desires wanted to make the kill and gorge on the delicacy of human flesh. It had been ages since the last time. However she would not give in to such base desires. Her greater intelligence overrode the instincts, for the moment at least. Besides, this type of revenge was likely to be sweeter than mere death and food. Karenza waited till Hawks caught his breath, “I couldn’t have you singeing me before we had a chance to speak.” She said as in explanation for the rough handling. The feline laughed at the man’s question, a sound akin to a purr and growl combined.

Years ago this type of conflict would have been solved by conducting a proper duel, per to the sacred laws from her planet. However Karenza had long been separated from her own species; and Hawks could never hope to have a chance against her in a fair fight. No, she would give him a job. Perhaps afterwards he would wish to fight her instead. Karenza leaned toward the cowering Hawks, her razor sharp fangs hovering mere millimeters from his left ear. “There are many things you could help me with.” She whispered in a suggestive manner. “Though, right now I would ask only one task of you. I am often lonely at nightfall; I wish to always have a male companion during this time of the day while we are planet-side. It will be your job to acquire and deliver them to me.”

She softened her grip slightly; it would not do to have Hawks pass out before giving his answer. The fire-breather certainly took his time replying. Karenza grew restless and began to think he might need another smack to kick his brain into gear.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Northgaze on Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:07 pm

Hawks did not like the hungry look Karenza was sending his way. Maybe she was thinking about how he might taste or….Stop it! Those thoughts just made him more upset and he needed to have a cool and level head in this situation. He even attempted to wiggle a bit hoping to loosen her hold. But it was no use he was pinned solidly. A chill went down his spine upon hearing Karenza’s laugh. What did that mean he wondered silently.

He quickly found out Karenza’s plan. She wanted him to be her personal boytoy procurer. He found the idea ridiculous; he had far better things to do than go find men for a humanoid-cat. At night was he designated drinking time and he did not want it to be interrupted. Hawks almost voiced these opinions to her, but checked himself when he noticed the way she was glaring at him. “Of course, I would be delighted to help you with your loneliness problem.” Hawks replied smoothly. “Now that that matter is settled, I must get back in time for my act. I can’t be late again, Cooper would flip his lid.” Taking full advantage of the lighter pressure, he began to slowly edge away.

And he would have been home free, except for the small bundle that suddenly dropped from his hand. Time seemed to slow as Karenza glanced down at the unassuming draw-string pouch. Hawks was still pinned firmly against the wall, so the feline woman was the only one able to retrieve it. While he had to watch in horror as she brought it up to her face for a closer examination. He had to get it back and now! Before Karenza could open it he reached out and tried to pull it from her hand. As a struggle began between the two over the pouch, neither could hear the tiny sounds of stitching ripping.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:51 pm

As Effie was embracing Laine backstage, the lights came back on out in the ring. Slowly they pools of light circled the edge of the ring before coming to focus on the ringmaster. The crowd was silent, either awestruck by the dazzling display of lights, all controlled by a young girl without the aid of technology or still mindful of Cooper's instructions. A broad smile nearly beamed under the great, curled mustache, as the last light focused on him and he slowly looked from one end of the benches, to the other before settling his gaze at the royal box.

"Well folks" boomed the circus owner, his voice filling the big top , "How did you like the young Miss Effie!?"

The audience cheered. The clapping grew into something, which could have been compared with the clattering of a heavy machine gun. Cooper slowly raised his hands, as the volume increased. While the applause wasn't for him, he seemed to soak it up, like a plant drinking in the rays of a sun. After a little while, less then a minute to be sure, he brought his hands down and the crowd quieted, eager to see the next act.

"Lords and Ladies, your in for a treat" the ringmaster continued, drawing attention away from large shapes setting up props across the ring, "All the way from the mother world, Earth itself, I bring to you, master animal trainer Grylls and his preforming apes!"

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby klikxx on Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:22 pm

Taking their cue Grylls and his performing primate troupe spilled onto center stage to take their places. Led by a menagerie of tumbling female chimps outfitted in mock cheerleader outfits energetically encouraging the crowd to its feet the performance was proceeding seamlessly without a hitch. Even the construction of the two tiered pyramid took shape remarkably smoothly to the master trainer’s whip culminating with the reemergence of Harry vaulting high over the formation before making his escape quickly up the mock flag pole with the spoils of his earlier panty raid in hand.

The brilliant spotlight followed the agile primate on his journey to the balled the top a hundred feet above the stage. Harry neared the top to hang his trophy and a solemn hush fell over the crowd. The silence was not out of concern for any action of the performer but to the revelation unveiled the brilliant illumination. Basking in the spotlight several feet above the primates position upon the pole's apex, a young girl and her doll perched precariously upon a curtain rigging platform. The young child, perhaps four years old, was instantly discounted as part of the act, punctuated with Kathleen’s panicked cry at the sight of her niece bursting through the silence.

“Lizzy!”

It was a combination of the shrill exclamation of her name and the sudden blindness brought on by the intense lighting the cause the girl to lose her grip upon Abigail. The plummet of the red haired doll was soon mimicked by her royal playmate as the young Elizabeth instinctively reached to save her childhood companion only to topple head over heels from the suspended scaffolding herself. Those who dared to watch could hardly believe their eyes as the heroic chimp snatched the free falling flower out of mid air as he clung to the flagpole with his three remaining appendages. The youngster clung to Harry as Cooper’s crews quickly moved into place to complete the rescue initiated by Gryll’s primate performer. An elated roar of gratitude erupted through the crowd as the child was returned safely to Princess Katherine’s welcoming arms.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:17 pm

Laine stood at the part in the curtain and watched the girl play with the lights. It was hypnotizing to watch them move and change for the girl. Laine forgot how nervous Effie had been as she watched the elephant take shape. The lights changed again. Laine’s eyes were wide with a childlike wonder. The small glowing girl in the middle of the ring waved to the crowd and turned to run at the curtain.

Laine stepped back as Effie split the curtain and almost leapt at her. A laugh escaped her lips as Effie’s excitement bubbled over, becoming contagious. “It was wonderful Effie, a great first appearance.” The tiny girl wrapped her arms around herself, stating that she thought she would do it again. Laine nodded to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. As she led Effie away from the curtain, Laine smiled, “Cooper wouldn’t have let you go out if he didn’t think you could do it and now you know you can. Congratulations Effie!”

Behind them the crowd was clapping loudly, Laine looked at the girl wondering if Effie realized all that was for her and her lights.

The crowd quieted and backstage little noise came through from the primate act as the two women sat, allowing their adrenaline to settle down. It wasn’t until a panicked cry pierced the air that Laine even gave it a second thought. She stood quickly and ran to the split in the curtain. She watched the little girl drop the doll and then fall. Her breath caught in her throat as Harry caught her and returned her to the princess. Laine shook her head and let out a sigh of relief.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:29 pm

There were always mysteries surround Cooper's Grand Traveling Menagerie and Circus, ranging from the owner of the circus himself, to how the performers managed to do their acts. However, the biggest and most remembered mystery of the circus's visit to Corsivin, was just how did Elizabeth manage to get up into the rigging? Not only did the young royal have a nanny looking after her, but she had been seated with her three older siblings and a bodyguard at the start of the show. Then the question became, how did she get passed the roustabouts, who were shooing folks away from the tent supports, lights and other parts of the big top that might cause an accident or disrupt the show in any way.

In the follow five weeks the circus was on the planet, private detectives and planetary police made investigations. The nanny was interviewed, the bodyguard questioned, roustabouts grilled in small offices but answers were never found. The best that could be given, as they the four year old had managed to do what every child her age wanted to do, explore on her own and with her small size, had slipped under the radar. Not satisfying and not comforting to king's sister, the girl's mother, Elizabeth would spend the next few years under consented surveillance, by no less then five nannies.

For Cooper, when his augmented eyes caught the girl up in the big, hot lights, it was something right out of the nightmare. For the first time in his life, after doing much, seeing more and having been places what were not for the weak of heart, he felt stark terror clutch his heart, as the dear thing lost her grip on the scaffolding and began to plummet towards the ground. This was it, the end of everything he had spend the better part of twenty years working on, was at hand and he was only able to watch it. Unless the hand of God intervened, they would have to disband when the girl hit the ground. Oh they might be able to linger on for a few years, maybe another decade, out in the fridge, out running the story about how a little girl died but in the end, no one was going to want to hire his circus or go to it again.

And then, a miracle. The deformed chimp, who had been climbing up a tall mast, reached out and caught the child. The circus's clowns, who had come racing out with several tarps they used in their acts, hoping to create enough layers to save the girl, dropped the large pieces of cloth and gathered around the base of the pole, as the ape climbed down, the girl clutching at his arm. Hands rose from the crowd of painted and outlandishly costumed actors, once the girl was within reach and they bore the prize across the ring, to the royal box, handing the child up to none other then Princess Kathleen.

Cooper sagged against a pole, holding up the backstage curtain and sighed with relief. The little girl was fine and his people would be as well.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NorthernSoul on Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:09 pm

Atticus actually took a step towards the edge of the walkway when Laine lent back and let herself slip down the unraveling ribbons. She was falling too quickly, leaving it for too long before she brought herself back up. When, without a second to spare, she gracefully adjusted her centre of gravity and came to a abrupt stop with her toes only a foot away from the sawdust, he exhaled a breath he didn't realise he'd been holding in. A few moments later the lights went up and the audience erupted into applause. Atticus might have been the only person in thousands who wasn't clapping at the figure standing in the middle of the ring. To his left, the Royal family were no less enthusiastic in their appreciation. Even Kathleen, who'd seen a version of Laine's act before, was laughing at the spectacle. Atticus himself could only grip the railing of the walkway tightly and look down into the bowl of the big top, trying to quiet his racing heart.

When Cooper came out to introduce the next act, he turned to leave and begin the slow descent of the stairs down to ground level. He'd seen the show hundreds of times before, after all. He'd made it to the top of the steps when the burst of lights that glowed on the metal supports of the tent gave him cause to stop and turn. That was right; it was Effie's first night. He'd not thought much of the introverted girl when Cooper had first recruited her, giving her a few weeks at most before the pressure of regular performance got to her and she went back to wherever she'd come from. It seemed, as always, he'd been wrong. Cooper knew best.

Atticus watched until the butterfly Effie had conjured (there was no other word for it) out of thin air flapped lazily up to the roof of the big top, resplendent with the kind of neon chemical light that looked as if it should have come from the bioluminescence of some deep sea fish. Then she released her hold on it and flecks of light streamed past Atticus like rain as they merged with the lights behind the stands and the ring was cast back into dimness. Amidst the applause, he left and wasn't there to witness what happened next.




Clutching her niece to her, Kate looked around at her father and uncle for a signal for what to do. Her father's expression had already morphed from one of relief to anger whilst her uncle's was still lax with the former. She let Lizzy tearfully run to him and was immediately picked up and shielded from the scene by her mother's cloak. The King was already standing and, with thunder in his brow, sharply beckoned for Kate to do the same. Without a word to the rest of the Royal box, the closest members of the Royal family left, hastily surrounded by their bodyguards as Kate tried yet again to figure out what exactly had just happened.

How had Lizzy, who barely reached Kate's hip in height, gotten up in the rigging of the tent? She was sure it was nothing to do with the circus, although she did not know why. Perhaps the embarrassment and shame of last night had paradoxically made her more likely to look favourably on the crew and performers of the travelling show. Lizzy must have slipped past unnoticed, or found some secret path that only someone as small as her could traverse. Her father, on the other hand, would never agree. Inwardly, she sadly resigned herself to never seeing Cooper's show again. They'd never be allowed to step foot on the planet after this day and Kate would never again relive the memories of last night with more adult eyes.

She was wrong, but only slightly. They were indeed allowed to stay but only until the investigation into the incident could be resolved. After that, the circus was ordered to fall back upon its nomadic ways and never again would they be allowed to set foot on Kate's homeworld again. Not even Cooper's favour with the King could save them from that fate.

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Re: The Greatest Show in the Universe IC

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Irish Wolf on Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:27 pm

Roughly five weeks later, June 23ed, 2589 A.D. Terran Standard calendar.

Cooper Smith stood on a empty field. The tents had been taken down, the cages packed up, generators powered down, barriers removed and all carried up to The Traveler. The people were gone too or mostly gone. Only a few roustabouts remained dirtside, all of whom were already sitting inside a shuttle, ready to leave what had become the only consent stop the circus had ever known. An air of sadness had hung over the field for the passed few days, as they had bustled about, getting ready to leave. After the investigation about how Elizabeth had gotten into such a dangerous situation, had come a royal decry, evicting the circus permanently from Corsivin.

The ringmaster wasn't angry about it, only terribly sad. He personally would have shouldered most of the blame with the girl's nanny but doubtless she had already been fired and a kingly temper was something far reaching. It was wrong however, to punish the entire population of a planet, for a series of mistakes no one could have foreseen, with the banishment of a circus, who's arrive sparked a star system wide holiday. Still he had managed to find enough people, sympathetic or grateful enough to him, to get Princess Kathleen's birthday gift delivered to her rooms in the palace, along with a message drone, with a homing signal attuned to the The Traveler and a letter, just for her. If she ever talked her father around or once her coronation took place, she could send for the circus to return and they would. She had his written promise.

The tails of the crimson coat, which made his costume, fluttered in the wind whipped up from the engines of the shuttle. Racing over the bay, where Starryport was built, was a strong storm system. It was time to leave or get arrested for lingering. The circus owner sighed softly, turning his liquid silver augmented eyes towards the royal palace, which he could see rising above the city. Taking off the black top hat, he slowly bowed, deeply, almost touching the ground, in his grandest fashion. His free hand scooped up a fistful of earth.

"Please" Cooper whispered, as he straightened up, "Call us home one day."

Settling the top hat back on his crown, the ringmaster poured the dirt into a small bag and tucked it into a pocket. Walking over to the shuttle, he hopped inside. The door hissed shut, sealed and the shuttle rose from the ground. As it shot over the city, racing towards stars, the storm broke over Starryport, as if the planet was weeping over the permanent removal of Cooper Grand Traveling Menagerie and Circus from it's soil. A few hours later, the massive titan class freighter broke orbit, heading for a point on the edge of the solar system.

Their next stop, one Dark Carnival.

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