Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
Permission Prompt challenge piece - Opinions requested.
Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:58pm

Preferably neutral opinions, hence the lack of name. Apologies if that's wigging anyone out. If you guess who I am, please don't out me, at least not right away.

I was challenged to write a Permission piece using a fairly old Nosgothic vampire, using the prompt "The agents must navigate a food fight to get to the coffee." Qualities I was meant to address in the challenge include vampires' weakness to water, arrogance, and need/desire for nothing besides blood.

I had an idea right away, so I went ahead and pulled about 800 words out of my butt, and now I submit them for the Board's review. So, let me know: if this were part of a real Permission attempt, would it pass muster?

Shimon rustled his black wings in quiet agitation. "Partner of mine, is it truly crucial to cross this dark sea of humanity?"

Caprice nodded. "Buddy, I need coffee like you need blood. This is happening."

However, they both hesitated. Beyond the doorway where they stood, the Cafeteria was in a full-spate riot. Food items of questionable provenance flew wildly in all directions. Agents climbed on chairs and tables to gain a better vantage; others scrambled under the same tables or else fled for the doors. Every so often, someone would escape and go pelting by the pair, leaving a spatter of mashed potatoes in their wake. Of course, mashed potatoes were the best-case scenario. Tantaflaf was almost always on the menu, and Shimon's keen vampiric senses identified what he would almost swear was brains. Not that he objected to viscera himself, but he hadn't heretofore had the impression that most humans were so open-minded about their food.

"I should have left that callow Martin to rot in his shell," he muttered, echoed by a low tremolo deep in his syrinx. "Now the fledgling is safe and sound back at the castle, and here I am, bound to a human with a death wish."

Caprice snorted and tossed her brown ponytail over her shoulder. "You're so dramatic. What's the big deal? It's not like they're throwing holy water and wooden stakes."

"For your information, mortal, we are not vulnerable to piddly splinters of wood. However, the chance that they may indeed be throwing water is one that I do take seriously. Water burns my kind like acid."

Caprice put her hands on her hips and took another good look around. "I think anything in a cup has probably spilled by now."

"Wonderful. So I shall only burn my feet."

"Can't you just, you know, fly over it?"

Shimon arched a long, sculpted eyebrow at her. "My wingspan is over nine feet wide, and there isn't enough clear space to get up to speed for a takeoff." He adjusted his circular spectacles—an affectation that he thought made him look distinguished. "The more I think on it, the more I find this endeavor to be pointless. I will learn nothing of undoing the corruption of demons here, so I will leave you to your hunt and go spend my time on something more fruitful."

He rose onto his toes from his crouch, unfolding his long, blue legs, and turned to go.

"Oh, no, you don't!" Caprice grabbed his hand and hauled in the direction of the doors.

Shimon let out an involuntary screep! in surprise and flapped for balance. However impressive he might look at his full height, he was lighter than his size would suggest. "Let go of me!"

"No! I'm getting my coffee, and you're helping. Put that ridiculous wingspan of yours to good use and cover me." She threw all her weight into pulling him toward the Cafeteria.

He could have just sat down, and that would have been the end of it. He was stronger than any human. More powerful, indeed, than most of the other species in Headquarters. And perhaps that was why he allowed himself to go along with it. He could just imagine this impetuous young mortal running her mouth about how the big bad Razielim was afraid of a little food fight, and the thought was perfectly abhorrent.

"Very well," he growled, baring his fangs. "But we do it my way."

He picked his partner up and tucked her firmly under one arm, ignoring her cry of protest and her tiny fist pounding against his rib cage, and sprang forward. Rising to his full nine and a half feet of height, he stood above most of the comestible carnage and bounded over people and furniture alike, wings extended for balance and for the occasional boost. He couldn't get a full downsweep, but even a partial was enough to provide acceleration and knock some idiots down along the way.

Finally, he leaped over the service counter and deposited Caprice on the floor beneath the coffee urns. She sat still for a moment, dazed at the suddenness of it all, and straightened her windswept hair and clothes.

"Wow," she said.

"Yes, yes. Get your coffee so we may be gone. I do not know if this cover will remain adequate for long."

She nodded and pulled her thermos out of her backpack, located the regular coffee, and filled it. Once the lid was securely refastened, she looked up at Shimon and nodded. "Okay. I'm ready this time. Let's go."

He looked down his nose and grinned. "Caprice, I have changed my mind. I do not wish to carry you again. I will see you back at the response center if you survive. Good luck!" He vaulted the counter again before she could react.

"You bastard! Get your feathery blue butt back here!" she shouted, but in three heartbeats, he'd cleared the room and was gone.

Bio notes:

(Or, Things I couldn't work into the story, but thought worth mentioning for context.)

Shimon is a Nosgothic vampire of the Razielim clan, from an AU timeline in which they were not eradicated by Kain. They have evolved to resemble the Ancient Vampires, with increasingly bird-like traits each new period of evolution. (See this lovely lady's LoK-related gallery for reference.) Shimon's wings and syrinx are fully developed, marking him as a very old burdy. He is a historian with an interest in the corruption inflicted on his homeworld by the demonic Hylden, and by extension the corruption of Mary Sues and other badfic influences. While humans aren't treated like cattle in his time, they are used as slaves. He sees them as entertaining pets at best, idiotic cretins fit only for food at worst.

Caprice is your basic World One college girl who joined the PPC for all the usual reasons. She loves her fandoms, she's not afraid to get down and dirty for them, and she's a bit of a smartass. She likes classic monsters, but she's not a gamer, so she doesn't know much about LoK, let alone AUs of it.

I know the first critique I can think of is that Caprice is less developed than Shimon. However, my challenge was based on the supposed difficulty of writing a Nosgothic vampire in the PPC, so that's what I focused on here. Were this an actual Permission attempt, I'd make up for it in the other prompt.

    • So, it was me.Neshomeh, Thu Nov 17 11:30am
      I'm a little sad there wasn't more of a response—I was curious!—but I get that anonymous posting freaks people out. Oh well. Thanks, hS and Tira, for being good sports. {= ) Now,... more
      • Called it.Huinesoron, Thu Nov 17 11:37am
        Seriously, you didn't spot the acrostic? I am sorely disappointed in you, Neshomeh. As for Shimon == Nume... interesting. I guess what I want to ask is, other than 'acting like he's better than you', ... more
        • There's an acrostic?Neshomeh, Thu Nov 17 12:12pm
          ... So there is. And I did miss it. Phooey. {X D I figured you'd know exactly what was going on, though. My process for translation started with basic personality, including stuff like sarcasm,... more
          • Bleep and Avian Physiology.Bramandin, Wed May 24 11:51am
            I have my second-generation Nosgothan vampire use dermal Suebeprophen patches. She admits that she doesn't know if she's allergic to Bleeperin.
    • I like it!Tira, Mon Nov 14 10:51am
      I know I'm not a Permission giver, so this is more of a general opinion, but I found it a great read. I know nothing about LoK, but I like the characters a lot, and I find myself hoping that Shimon... more
    • I can give it a stab.Huinesoron, Sat Nov 12 4:17pm
      Hey, that's a good idea, I should try that. No, wait, I shouldn't. :-/ Anyway, I can at least throw a few thoughts at you, good and bad: I think you've done a good job of differentiating your agents' ... more
      • A few answers.Anonymous, Sat Nov 12 4:56pm
        I don't want to say too much for fear of giving up the game, but: These guys have both a larynx in the usual place and a syrinx at the bifurcation of the trachea, from whence his birdy noises come.... more
  • Click here to receive daily updates