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If Music Be The Food Of Love

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If Music Be The Food Of Love Empty If Music Be The Food Of Love

Post by Aardvark-Alice on November 5th 2013, 8:58 pm

If Music Be The Food Of Love
A Back-Alley in Chicago

If Music Be The Food Of Love Sadhfsdf_by_aardvark_alice-d6t6ugo

A faint mist rising from the tarmac, the city emerged out of the obscuring rain in all its clarified, metallic splendour. The straight-edges of the towering buildings were beaded with dribbling raindrops, tracing their way down in crooked paths, and the droplets that clung to the sleek surfaces of the executive cars and various transport vehicles that scooted by ignorantly were dragged backwards, their tracks following the contours of the automobiles in correspondence to their velocity. Leaking out of the backs of these vehicles in subtle plumes of grey, exhaust gases rolled around the doorsteps of the buildings that lined the road, though no feet stepped outside these doorways, in fear of getting dribbled on by the liquefied clouds that decorated the frames of every door and windowpane as if diamonds dropping off of a delicate necklace.

Casting one's eyes away from the main road, there came an alleyway, where the walls were wired with metal staircases and had their window-eyes boarded up with rough planks of wood. Deeper into the alleyway, and the stench of waste rose up from the underfoot mists, its source evident from the various types of dumpsters and bins that festooned around the feet of the decrepit apartments. Hidden between two large dumpsters, there came a small drainage cove, where a raggedly-dressed man was leaning against a metal grate, waiting for the rain to stop so that he can emerge into the freshly-washed world like a virus particle into a healthy body. Due to his slightly hazy senses, it took Naris a while to notice the after-storm mist roll into his little cave of cover, but once he did, he let out a grunt as he crawled out of the sewage nook and stood up, blinking a few times as his sight adjusted to the white, overcast light of the day.

After a couple of stretches and a deep sigh of contentedness, Naris pondered on what he should do with his day. "I fancy myself some grub," he mumbled to himself idly, scratching a rough patch on his exposed shoulder as he shuffled over towards one of the dumpsters to find himself some dinner. Halfway through his sojourn, he sneezed explosively, his head being thrown forwards, though nothing more was made of it, aside from a sweep of the back of his hand under his nose to wipe away the mucous, as well as a large sniff and a phlegmy cough to clear his throat. Kicking over a stray storage box to step on, he clambered up to the height of the large dustbin and began to rummage for his lunch. As he languidly scraped through the piles of decaying garbage, he began to sing, in a surprisingly good key and tone to his voice:

"It ain't easy being damn poor,
Gotta beg, or end up a whore;
And when you sleep in the outdoor,
You wake up with an ass so sore.

But, when I feel I'm losing hope,
Or feel like I'm in need of soap,
There's just one thing that helps me cope,
So I don't whine and I don't mope.

It's coke! Coke! Glorious coke!
You snort it up and let it soak!
Makes me forget that I am broke!
Make me feel like a super-bloke!

It's coke! Coke! Nothing can best it!
Once in my hands, no other can wrest it!
I'm proud to say, now that I've confessed it;
It's coke! Coke! COKE!
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If Music Be The Food Of Love Empty Re: If Music Be The Food Of Love

Post by SecretSquirrel on November 6th 2013, 2:13 pm

Pat. Pat. Pat. Hard-soled shoes hit the pavement. They were connected to a dark, dark suit. He had a wide-brimmed hat pulled low and a wool coat. The cold northern air kept his coat near him, but it constantly pulled away when he dropped his guard. Beneath it, black suit, black tie, black shirt, black collar. Black socks. Black shoes. Black gloves. He felt a rain drop on his back, and paused to look at the sky. Black was the color of his actions, and the color of his path. It was the color of his face as well, as a tight scarf was pulled up over his nose. Only two blue orbs were visible between the hat and the scarf. A black scarf.

Black. Professional black.

There were no stars in Chicago. Not this time of year. You'd have to be very lucky to catch even the light of a helicopter or airplane. No, the stars too, are afraid of the night. The streets were afraid of the night. Even the buildings were afraid of the night. But the man in black? He was not afraid of the night.

Pat. Pat. Nothing.

The soles stopped. The man in black could hear singing. Acceptable singing. His hat turned side to side in search of the sounds, which cracked through the noise of the city like a axe into a creme brulee. It was garish, yet picturesque. The hat pondered, tilting slightly, before the body followed the hat toward the alleyway. The shoulders, widened through the size of the wool coat and the sharpness of the man's figure, swung like a small door opening up to the alley.

Pat. Pat. Patpatpatpatpat pat pat pat. Pat. Pat.

The black figure stood in front of the homeless man as he finished his song. The figure was about four feet away, on the opposite side of the alley. He could see the ass of the man who was searching for food in an abandoned dumpster. He opened his wallet, and pulled out a single 100$ bill, and tossed it forward, hoping that the man would notice.

"Tell me your story." He said, voice obscured by the scarf over his mouth. His breath was visible as it leaked from around the fabric and floated into the night air.

He then put his hands back into his pocket, and waited patiently in the shadows.

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If Music Be The Food Of Love Empty Re: If Music Be The Food Of Love

Post by keblinky on November 6th 2013, 7:01 pm

Row-Echelon had been walking for quite some time before he realized it was after sundown in Chicago. He shouldn’t be outside. This was the kind of time when you would get stabbed for wearing the wrong color of socks. Though wrong was such a subjective thing in reference to socks. It wasn’t like there was some mathematical equation that determined what the correct color of footwear was. Well… taking this into account, Row-Echelon made a mental note of the fact that there wasn’t an equation available. He would have to invent one.

Accidentally turning into a back alley, the mathemagical construct gave a blank stare at the scene before him. A man clad all in black was standing next to someone who was quite clearly homeless. On the ground was a hundred dollar bill. Row-Echelon strode over, picked it up, and handed it to the man in black. “From previous experience, I remember that leaving money in the street will result in it being stolen. Perhaps you should guard your possessions with more care. Unless this was intentional. In that case however, everything I just did was useless.”

Turning to the homeless man, Row-Echelon decided to bless him with the gift of charity. Extracting a wrapped up sub from his satchel, he placed it on the ground behind the man. He wouldn’t eat it, and had only bought one to look like he belonged in that café with the free wifi. But now someone less fortunate than he would have food. And so that was considered a good deed, right?

“So sorry if I interrupted anything. I mean, unless you could use some company. In which case I could stick around.”
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If Music Be The Food Of Love Empty Re: If Music Be The Food Of Love

Post by Aardvark-Alice on November 6th 2013, 8:01 pm

It took Naris a bit of time to realise what was going one, which was usual, considering his near-suicidal addiction to cocaine. Pulling his head out of the dumpster while holding a damp plank of wood in one hand and a mouldy blanket in the other, he stared blankly at the two strangers that had seemingly taken an interest in the situation. He didn't care at all for their reasons, but if there was a buzz that he could possibly sap some emotional stimulation from, he wasn't going to pass it. "Story, whu'?" Naris asked rhetorically, before the irritation in his nostrils caused him to sneeze violently, head thrown so far forward that the momentum threw him off his already off-balance legs and into the dumpster head-first.

After a slight pause, a groan echoed out from inside the metal container, before two bony hands, fingernails thickly loaded with dirt, gripped the edge of the dumpster. Naris then pulled himself up and out of the trash, though did not consider to swing his leg around, instead simply rolling over the edge and falling out of the other side, flopping onto the floor, face-down. Shifting his face from the stubbly concrete, his eyes immediately fell upon a sandwich that the technical-sounding guy had just placed on the ground. Sulphur-yellow eyes widening into the vision of two lightless suns, a large grin mechanically stretched upon the homeless man's dry lips, before he seized the stray lunch with his hands as a kitten would a ball of wool. Racing into a seated position, with his knees drawn up slightly as if protecting the fresh prey he had just caught from the sights of competition, he ravenously began to devour the sub, crumbs dropping into his lap like sharp, browned snowflakes.

While he didn't care at all for his own image or the feelings of the other people, Naris felt obliged to fulfil common politenesses, just for now, as to see if these two would make possibly useful acquaintances. "Stay if you wish, generous sir," Naris spoke to Row-Echelon with his mouth half-full, his voice as sweet as honey, if not for the traces of indisposition in the back of his throat. He then turned his dull eyes to the shadowy man, who had originally thrown some form of currency at Naris, but was since returned it. While Naris could have protested to cause a fuss, he honestly couldn't find the care to drive him; he was perfectly capable of stealing things to keep himself alive, and life on the streets supplied more mental stimulus than it did in the comfort of a walled box. Naris did not like to be caged up. Swallowing his mouthful, he addressed the shady dude. "Just your ordinary, drug-addicted, pointy-eared, broke-as-fuck homeless guy," he answered with incredible ease, considering there was no emotional imprint to attach to his words. "Why're you interested, bub?" Eyes still set on the man, Naris took another edacious bite into his sandwich, wolfishly tearing his section off of the main loaf and chewing it unashamedly.

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Post by SecretSquirrel on November 6th 2013, 8:48 pm

The hat looked down at the bill in Row Echelon's hand. "Perhaps you should keep it, then." the Man in Black said to Row Echelon. He gave a quick nod. "To most people, it is a month of food. To me, it's a token of trust." The Man in Black said, quietly.

He stepped back, further obscuring himself into the blackness. "I make it a habit to meet those less fortunate, and to make myself acquainted." The wind blew through the alley. "It pays off, in the long run." He kneeled down, looking closer at Naris. "I've noticed. The homeless watch. They watch, all day long, and no one watches them. No one listens to them. I noticed that a few years ago."

He paused, letting the air grow thick in the wake of the wind. Everything was still and quiet. The sound of a car, far away, broke the silence momentarily. The kneeling black figure shivered once, and then his head began to turn. That black hat turned and then lifted toward Row Echelon.

"It seems like the only one here without an alibi is you. So if you're going to be keeping my token of trust, put it to good use, and tell me why one such as yourself seems to find pity on the homeless."

The statement was terse, and strong. The Man in Black knew better, though. He knew when a person just arrived randomly, versus someone who made a conscious effort to be in a location. He awaited the answer to his question with bated breath.

Or, at least it would be, if his breath wasn't visible in the cold, black night air.

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If Music Be The Food Of Love Empty Re: If Music Be The Food Of Love

Post by keblinky on November 7th 2013, 12:09 pm

Row-Echelon gave the homeless man a polite nod. Or at least, a nod that could be interpreted as polite, actions weren't inherently one thing or another, where they? Unless you somehow channeled all the neurons sparking in your brain and all the hormonal cocktails coursing through your veins into some audiovisual representation that was. There was probably some sort of 'superhero' with a power like that. Really, that power would be useful for others. It would make them easier to understand, these humans were needlessly complicated.

"My interest in the well being of the homeless is simply an attempt to honor certain societal customs. Is charity not an important value to you humans? I've read through more than a few religious texts, the Torah, the Bible, the Vedas, all of them seem to stree charity as an important part of the human experience." He hoped that answered this man's question. He didn't have any ulterior motives, he was just trying to fit in. How hard could it be to assimilate into such a primitive culture? Apparently much harder than he had expected.

Now turning to the homeless man who had eaten his sandwich, Row-Echelon decided to proceed with questioning. He was curious about a few things. "So, how is it that your skin is yellow and your ears are tapered? You resemble one of those creatures called 'elves' that appear quite often in fantasy novels. Is this your nature, or were you mutated? If these questions seem impolite, I did not mean them to be so. And if you wish, I may trade an answer to one of your questions for an answer to mine. Anything you want to know I suppose." Row-Echelon just hoped this didn't seem even more suspicious to the man in black. It probably would sound suspicious though, with his luck!

Oh well, at least he might get an answer or two.
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Post by Aardvark-Alice on November 8th 2013, 6:45 am

So, this weird guy who seemed obsessed with the shadows was giving his tokens of trust out to random strangers? Yeah, that wasn't a tad suspicious. As this man continued to talk, Naris found himself bustling up into a cackle as one part was mentioned, momentarily choking on his mouthful as he did, coughing up a lump he didn't chew properly and spitting it out to the side. "A habit of meeting the less fortunate?" Naris giggled, "Then you ought look at yourself, sir, for those who measure life by currency are really ones to pity." He shook his head lightly, the smile still wide on his face as he tutted a few times, before taking another bite of the unthanked sandwich. One would think that the two had swapped positions in terms of their wealth, but affluence could certainly be measured in one of a million ways. Naris had no other words to share on the shadowy man's other words though. Nobody watched the homeless, and that's what made life so much more free, even without economic freedoms; society was a prison, and Naris was not having anything to do with that.

"Read the Bible, too," Naris commented, vaguely, "It's pretty shit." Swallowing down his mouthful, he came to the question asked by the mathematically-guided automaton, laughing dryly at the comparison; his mother used to say that his father was ever so excited when he realised that his child looked like an elf. "Yeah, jumped right out of a fucking computer screen," Naris chuckled, before the frivolous expression dissolved in less than fractions of a second, dropping into a look of complete seriousness. "No, really. I couldn't take my inventory or XP points or anything, it was a complete culture-shock." Intense stare fixed on Row-Echelon, he finished off his sandwich as he considered what to ask this metallic-minded figure. He specifically said Naris could ask anything he wanted to know, and this guy certainly seemed educated and worldly, whether it be installed or experienced.

So, after dusting off his hands and discarding of the paper his food was wrapped in with a careless chuck, Naris rose to his feet, having to stoop a bit as to level his eyes with the second guest of the evening. "Tell me," he started, pupils darting from one of the construct's eyes to the other, as if each eye was a tennis player competing in a miniature game of tennis. "What's your philosophy concerning the world?" It was a big question, and perhaps an extremely vague one too, but he was sure that the man/thing could handle it.

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Post by SecretSquirrel on November 8th 2013, 2:42 pm

The Man in Black tilted his head slightly again, his curiosity growing further. "A man is measured by his ability to survive. Fortune has nothing to do with potential. affluency is an effect, not a cause. What matters, survival.... well, that's energy, and time. Energy and time makes work. Work is focused by a Will. Will creates change. That is my philosophy. My job in this world is to use energy and time to adjust how change is created. That is all." The Man in Black put one gloved hand on the ground, and looked carefully at the hobo. "You have time and energy. That's value." He silently stared into the eyes of the hobo, his own eyes peering deeply into them. The Man in Black was judging, silently, looking for the opportunities to change the world to his will. "I find time and energy in useful application, and then I make deals. For the use of a little time an energy, I can guarantee an unimaginable return. And not just money. But substances as well." If Naris could see the Man in Black's mouth, he would see a small smile.

The Man in Black cleared his throat and stood up, backing away from the Hobo. He turned toward Row-Echelon. He was quiet. The whole alley was quiet. Eyes leaned forward in expectation of speech, ready to hear what the enigmatic man was about to say. Was he going to cut down Row Echelon? Commend him? Dismiss him? Or worse? How would one even tell if he had a weapon on him? Whatever weapon he carried, it too would be black. In the night, a weapon would be indiscernible from the shadows. The shadows shivered, ready for the man to accuse Row-Echelon.

"Go on. Keep talking." The man said. His voice was calm, not accusatory, but his judgement still stood.

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Post by keblinky on November 10th 2013, 8:14 pm

“My philosophy concerning the world? As long as force is equal to mass times acceleration I’m happy. Really, it’s not hard to please me. If the laws of physics could just stop being broken, that would be amazing. I know with all these sparkly magic princesses running around appearing to be, as the Japanese would call it, ‘kawaii’, that the laws of physics will never just stay safe. But if I’m somewhere where they are safe, then that’s a nice place to be.” Row-Echelon just wanted his knowledge of math to be ENOUGH. He really didn’t care about the state of things otherwise. “Oh, and I think everyone should have a grasp on mathematics. THAT’S all there is to it.” He had forgotten about teaching for a second.

Turning to the man in black, Row-Echelon decided to engage him in conversation. It was, after all, the polite thing to do. “So you want to change things? Why? Simply for the sake of change or to ‘improve’ society or some other even stranger motive?”
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Post by SecretSquirrel on November 10th 2013, 9:07 pm

The Man in Black nodded at the two individuals, and reached into his pocket for his wallet once more. He drew a small piece of paper and a miniature pencil. He looked down, scribbling a name and address into the page. "You have a gifted view on the world."  He seemed... content. Maybe even smug. "Take this."  He finished writing, and handed the paper to Row Echelon. "Contact that name. Ask him about... oh..."  He paused, bringing a hand to his chin in thought. "...let's say, a certain pattern. A code."[/color]  He suddenly raised his eyes in realization. "Ah. That's it."

The note read, as follows:

Leo Booth
Museum of Contemporary Art
3 PM, Fractal Exibit
He lowered his hat again, looking directly at Row-Echelon. "Ask him about the Mandlebrot set."

The Man in Black then nodded at Naris. "And you. Remember my face. We'll talk again, soon."  He put his hands in his pockets, and then turned away from the group.

Pat. Pat. Pat.

He stopped, halfway turning around to say more."Oh, and that money? I'd use it to buy crack. Use that crack to do something... impressive." He tipped his hat once, and then continued walking, quickly blending into the dark black night.

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