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The Avalon Chronicles

Discussion in 'FanFic' started by Errhile, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    Also, shame on me for forgetting this important bit:

    Big thanks to one of our faithful fans, jherazob, for providing me with invaluable brainstorming help
    in coming up with the Angels' new callsigns!
    Thank you, friend! And do not worry, I fully intent to deliver the prize I promised you... If the story
    one day ever gets to Ariadna... So maybe do worry a bit?... :sweatsmile:
     
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  2. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    TAGs of Avalon Data Files:
    Education System of PanOceania


    School education in PanO usually begins in a child’s 7th year, with an option for staring at age 6 if the child is emotionally and intellectually fit for it at this age (which is a subject of examination by assorted professionals).

    School starts with 6 years of primary school (formally divided into “introductory” in years 1-3, and “basic” in years 4-6).

    At age 13, it is time to switch for junior high school (taking 3 years). This is the limit for mandatory education.

    After that, there comes senior high school (another 3 years - with some exceptions). One who has graduated from a senior high school is considered to have completed their secondary education, and fit for university-level education.

    University-level educational institutions accept students based on their achievement score in senior high - usually, scores in the subjects that matter for a given field of study (if there are less spaces available, the bar tends to be raised). Specific achievements (like scoring in a contest of some kind) and extracurricular activities count for extra points*. In most cases, university takes three years to a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), and then another 2 to 3 years to get a master degree (after that, you can go for a doctorate, where the timetable becomes really fuzzy). In some cases, studies may skip the entire concept of a bachelor degree, and go straight for master’s (5-6 years).

    • Remember the talk Alex had with Diego about her further education? Participating in a TAG-Soft programme in high school is likely to get her extra points if she tries to go for an university that also runs a TAG-Soft team.
    Similar entry requirements are in place for senior high and some junior high schools (only the real high-end high schools need to discriminate between candidates in such a fashion). However, combined institutions - like Roberto Rocha Preparatory Academy - tend to make sure that their elementary school’s graduate has enough points to enter their junior high, and so on.

    Exact names of school types vary by dominant culture and language of a given area.

    Apart from typical senior high school, a few other school types exist as alternative for post-junior high education:
    • Specialized senior high. Usually this means a technical high school, mixing your typical high school curriculum (usually oriented towards science that’s relevant to their field of study - those folks aren’t big on humanities) with specialized practical knowledge. A graduate, in addition to holding a complete secondary education certificate, is also a qualified technician in a given field - computers, mechanics, construction, but a number of medical specialties also exist: you can easily get a dental prosthetics technician’s qualification that way. And yes, they are required to do internships during their education. Specialized senior high tends to take 4 years (one year longer than general-type senior high), and their graduates tend to go for university-level education in the same or similar field. Among the youth, students of that type of school are often perceived as consummate & unredeemable geeks (especially the more science / tech oriented ones).

    • Arts senior high. Similar idea as behind specialized senior high (and takes 4 years too), but it cuts on generic curriculum to fit extra arts time. These schools tend to specialize in specific art type (visual arts, music etc), and while they give students a broad education within a given field of art (for example, visual/fine arts high school is going to include drawing, painting, sculpting, computer graphics, photography, pottery and whatever else they can find instructors for, into their curriculum), they also make sure the pupils can and will practise on what they’re really good at. This type of school isn’t really numerous, and classes tend to be very small too (sometimes it is less than 10 kids on a given level in an entire school!). If you attend an arts high, expect other youth to perceive you as an eccentric, oddball, quirky artsy type by definition. In many cases, there’s good reason for that!

    • Trade school. Not formally a “high school” - finishing it doesn’t give you formal complete high education certificate (you can’t get into an university, unless you do a supplementary high school course. Very few trade school graduates do bother that, however). General high school curriculum is cut to a bare minimum, and trade course is fit in the space vacated. Typically, this type of school produces people trained in manual labor of some kind - if you’re lucky, you may end being a well-trained craftsman with practical experience (internship is also a part of the curriculum!), for even in this day and age, hand-made things and personalized services can be highly sought after. If you’re unlucky, you turn out being fit for a job that would better (and often is) be left to automated systems. Local educational authorities are expected to review labor market needs for tradesmen every year and make sure trade schools don’t produce unemployable graduates, but it does hardly work as it is intended to. Needless to say, trade schools are low-prestige, and attended by kids of the lower social strata. They are commonly perceived by other students as uncouth, uncultured and downright primitive (which is not really justified, but that’s the trade school’s student type that does catch the eye & public attention often enough to make it a stereotype). No class-conscious student of the Roberto Rocha Preparatory Academy would be ever caught dead* in the same room as a trade school student.
    • Rubbing your elbows with them - or even more than that! - while “slumming” can slide by, assuming “slumming” is your thing, but it is one thing to have the reputation of someone who lives dangerously, parties on the edge and has contacts in the unsavoury circles, and completely different thing being even assumed to have anything in common with the teenagers form that other side of tracks!
    A “class” is a fixed group of students from the same year following the same curriculum together*, and usually is coeducational. Some schools, primarily those ran by religious institutions, maintain separate male and female classes (or may be simply one-gender-only schools) - this is uncommon, but not unheard of.

    • Unless, for practical reason, it is reasonable to mix, match and separate. The most obvious case being PE that is often coed in the introductory years 1-3 of the primary school, but always separate-by-gender thereafter. On the other hand, boys or girls from two different classes in the same year may be taking their PE together, if pooling them makes a study group of sensible size.
    In higher standard schools like the Roberto Rocha Preparatory Academy, classes are composed of 15-20 students (and gravitating to the lower end of that spectrum), based on psychological evaluation. In underfunded, understaffed and overcrowded schools - like the St.John’s - a class tends to be 30 children or more (though even there these rarely exceed 40 students), usually thrown together ad-hoc.

    Since there might be (and usually are) several such classes in every year, they are usually identified by a letter (year 1 - classes 1a, 1b, 1c and so on, the same kids will be in classes 2a, 2b and 2c, respectively, next year). Barring transfer to a different school (or class, but that is rare), the group will retain its composition till the end of a given education cycle - you got landed with those folks in junior high grade 1, you’ll have to deal with them till the end of that school, and you’d get another group in senior high.

    Usually, a class in a senior high school (and often in junior high) is profiled towards a given area of study: “humanities”, “science”, “math” & “life science” (or their combinations) are the most common specializations, followed closely by “sports” (less common can include “business”, “media”, “art” and even “military”). A profiled class takes extra education in a given area of study (and might get some classes not included in a general curriculum, but appropriate for their profile). A school typically runs at least one humanities and one science (mixed) class at each level, so you can choose when signing up.

    A class is usually taught by the same teachers over the entire course of its existence (same Literature teacher, same Math teacher and so on). Also, a class is assigned to a specific teacher to be their caretaker (so called “homeroom teacher”, customary, a teacher within the class’ profile).
    • GM’s Note: For a full disclaimer, I instinctively and unthinkingly started using this whole system because it’s more or less how things work in our country, so it was natural for me. Didn’t give any thought to it maybe being different until things indicating it were already put down in text and published and it was too late. :P
    The typical school year schedule is based on the Earth calendar and independent of the seasons on the other planets, and is as follows:
    • I Semester: August 1 - October 6;
    • Semester break: October 7 - October 13;
    • II Semester: October 14 - December 22;
    • “Winter” holiday / New Year break: December 23 - January 6;
    • III Semester: January 7 - March 17;
    • Semester break: March 18 - March 24;
    • IV Semester: March 25 - May 31;
    • “Summer” break: June 1 - July 31.
     
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  3. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    TAGs of Avalon Data Files:
    Avalon Planetary Data


    System: Malory
    Parent Star: Nimue G1V (Yellow Standard)
    Average Orbital Distance: 1.1 AU (System Position: 2)
    Day Duration: 26.5h E-standard
    Year Duration: 405d E-standard, 367d local
    Axial Tilt: 25.3 degrees
    Planetary Radius: 0.87 Earth
    Surface Gravity: 0.92g
    Hydrographic Coverage: 85%
    Moons: 1, (Moon Radius: 0.93 Earth Moon)
    Planet Population: 1.4 billion
    Off-Planet System Population: 4.7 million (mainly asteroid belt)
    Owner: PanOceanina
    Government: Lobby Democracy
    Government Head: Prime Minister
    Capitol: Port Arthur (Morgana)
    Anthem: “In The Apple Tree Grove”
    Primary Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Malay.
    Principal Industries: Aquaculture, Undersee Mining, Asteroid Mining, Farming
    Orbital Elevators: 1, Class B
    Wormhole Connections: Acontecimento, Human Edge, Paradiso, Varuna, Svalarheima
    Circular Routes: C2, C6, C9

    Capsule:
    The second new habitable planet discovered after the EI War, just three years after the end of the conflict (discovery date: 2183 AD / 71 NC, March 7). First surveyed by the PanO probe Svargeey Ghoda, transitioning through a newly discovered wormhole from the Descoberta (Acontecimento) system.

    Landmasses consist of two continents: Morgana (South America-sized) and Merlin (Australia-sized), both located with their major bulk in the south hemisphere’s temperate to subtropical zones; and several major islands and archipelagos scattered about over all the globe.

    Local flora is lush, energetic, and expansive (though not to the Paradiso degree).
    Local fauna dominantly consists of fish in all aquatic habitats, and various insects and arachnids, some of prodigious (up to small dog) size, on land and with some species also aquatic.
    The fauna is as a rule not aggressive towards humans, and mostly tends to ignore or avoid them (though there are some notable exceptions, like Ramjet Wasps). In fact, some of it can be domesticated and is kept as pets.

    The local biochemistry makes both local flora and fauna mainly non-poisonous and non-venomous to humans and other Earth organisms (but see Ramjet Wasps again), and vice-versa; but equally the makeup makes both-way edibility provide very limited to no useful nutrients.

    The planet’s name was derived from the trees dominant in Morgana’s temperate forests, whose smallish, dark-red fruit bear striking visual resemblance to Earth-born apples. The “Avalon Apples” are in fact built similar to litchi fruit - the shiny dark red outer skin a rigid but brittle shell, gelatinous pulp within, and a single large seed at the core. The taste is more bitter than sweet, and, like most local flora, they pass through the human digestive tract almost completely without effect except for their water content. Still, the apples have their fans and are used as ingredients or decoration in several local recipes.

    The first colonisation wave were predominantly Spanish and Portuguese speakers, so despite most of the local official nomenclature being English-derived, the culture of the planet possesses a distinct South American slant.
     
    #43 Kathara_Khan, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  4. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    Personally, I'd guess the everyday lingo in the streets of Belo Horizonte is rather a Portugese / Spanish hybrid (patois is the word, I guess...), thugh of course this depends on how many people rely rather on their comlog translation rather than actually using their language skill.

    Sure, Minuette can speak both clear Spanish, clear Portugese (and a couple of others), but I'm damn sure she's fluent in the patois, too.

    Also, I was surprised to read that mere 30 years (just one generation!) after colonization Avalon has such a huge population (I mean, just short of 3 billion!). But I've talked this over with @ Kathara_Khan, and decided not to argue about it :P
     
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  5. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    As I understand it from the fluff I've read, in everyday life most people rely on Lingua Qantronica to communicate, having their comlogs translate in real time, and don't bother learning foreign languages.
    Building on this, I've come to assume for my own RPG fluff use, that actually learning and using someone's language to talk to them is though of as a sign of high respect, and valued in politics, business and professional circles. It's also great for a pickup artist - as long as they really know the language, instead of faking it with comlog help... Or at least don't get caught, as Simon painfully learned with Eva... :laughing:

    I have since checked my facts - serves me right for not doing so before! - and found that I may have indeed misremembered and miscalculated... Or maybe not. The matter was severely complicated by CB since changing their mind on the Infinity timeline.

    According to the old timeline CB gave us long ago that I was using, and my best calculations (said timeline is a bit vague), the official "now" of the Infinity setting was the year 73 of the O-12 New Calendar, or Anno Domini 2185 for us. Paradiso was discovered 43 NC / 2155 AD, a full 30 years in the "past". I am however unable to locate the population data for it I used when planning TAGs of Avalon, and which, to the best of my recollection, convinced me that my population numbers for Avalon 28 years after it's discovery were more-or-less on point. I may have just made something up and convinced myself I read it instead...

    Now, in the recently published RPG, the official "now" of Infinity is set to the year 67 NC, with no easy reference to our old calendar I could work out. Paradiso was discovered in 29 NC, 38 years "ago", and, even with the war ravaging it, claims a population of 1,2 billion.

    So yeah. I might have to shave 1-1,5 billion or so from Avalon's population, I think... :tonguewink:
    [EDIT:] And have done so now.
     
    #45 Kathara_Khan, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  6. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    @Kathara_Khan, @Errhile , thank you very much for sharing this. I can see how much love and effort has been imprinted into this little world of yours. I really enjoyed all the characters. And I can almost imagine the session when Diego roundhoused Gema :screamcat:.

    Is it wrong for me to imagine Shelke like Chiquita from Jormungand? Somehow she gives me a similar vibe (making her one of my favorite characters, even if she's just a minor one)

    Looking forward for more, and I plan to steal a page from you guys and add a Dramatis Personae of my cast of characters. I found it very useful.
     
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  7. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    Happy to hear from you here, and even happier still that you're enjoying our efforts. :blush:
    And yeah, that moment was something, alright. Didn't quite expect that... :fearscream:
    Still, what was I expecting with Diablo? :smile:

    Not familiar with Jormungand, so I had to do a bit of research... And yeah, I can definitely see that! Chiquita is a pretty perfect fit for Shelke (who does seem to be somewhat popular with the fans :sunglasses:), from her looks, personality, to even professional abilities. Kinda eerie coincidence, seeing as I've never heard of the series while creating Bell...

    So, what's your bet? Is Shelke a Shasvasti infiltrator gone native? Or just a messed-up in the head spec-ops veteran? :smirk:
     
    #47 Kathara_Khan, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  8. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

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    I'm hoping for this outcome though she will most likely end up being the other option.
     
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  9. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    And just the opposite for me :P
     
  10. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    I'd say a regular Spec-Op if you ask me. My Husam Spec-Op, Agent Valentine, has a similar tendency to unnerve even her friends; so I think it's a Spec-Op thing. Maybe it's because in the world of Infinity, all of the teams are supposed to be doing Black Ops, and to have these individuals marked as Spec-Ops in a group doing "Special Operations" must mean they are some sort of boogieman, or worse, a John Wick type, that gets called to kill the boogieman.
     
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  11. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    Heh. I really should open a betting pool for this one of those days... :smile:

    There's something to it, I'm sure.
    While I don't think Bell and John would be very good friends - he seems a tad too humorless individual for that - if someone ever really hurt her "little miss Eva"? If Roger and Dorothy didn't have that tight hold on her leash? You can bet Shelke would go all John Wick on the perpetrator. :smilingimp:

    Also, I'm disappointed no-one seemed to take note of that time Bell mentioned "being shipped back to Satori"... :smirk:
    Though, knowing her, she may well have been just joking.
     
    #51 Kathara_Khan, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  12. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Blush all the way down to her ankles would be my guess.

    My roommate wanted to know what I was laughing about.

    And a similar prank got pulled on my first sub (command was NOT amused...), using one of the brownies served that day.

    You say that like those are two separate possibilities... :smilingimp:

    But seriously, all the specops guys I've met have been very intense individuals, even more than the basic Marine grunts (and we had pretty high-speed Marines on base!). Even the guy I knew before he went SEAL was a much different person after training.

    Submariners like me end up a different kind of intense, GTFO of my way if it's operational, otherwise as laid-back as possible. Body-checked the Captain into a missile tube once during a drill when he didn't get out of my way fast enough, he waved off my apology and said 'I want you to do that if someone is in the way!' :fearscream:
     
  13. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    I did. But it is inconclusive to me.
    So, she claims to have been doing time in a Satori, it sounds.

    But this may mean anyone who stepped onto Imperial Service's / Imperial Security's / Imperial Intelligence's (and Counterintelligence's) toes hard enough, and needs to be kept in a convenient place for future use.
    The use is either due to what they know (if they haven't been milked & grilled for infirmation thoroughly enough yet!), what they can do (some skills aren't that easy to replace) or whom they can be used as bargaining chip against. Somehow, I don't think they'd be storing there someone they had no future use for - there must be limited capacity of a Satori, and resources, while vast, aren't endless either. On the opposite, the state Empire would always find space for one more Kuang Shi.

    So, Belladonna Shelke (if that is her original name at all!) could easily be of any SpecOp breed in the Sphere, as well as Shasvasti infiltrator. Including the possibility this isn't her original body, either!
     
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  14. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    I'd like to note, the "intercourse" part of the translation was not intentional on my part. It just seems Google Translate has changed it's mind sometime when I wasn't looking... :sweatsmile:

    I mean, sure, Shas infiltrators are spec-ops by definition, and for one of those to "go native" would require them being pretty thoroughly messed-up in the head by definition again. So yeah, in that sense, she may well be both at once. :smile:

    Just as planned... :smilingimp:

    I thought that went without saying, really, that anything and everything about the Belladonna Shelke that we know and love, starting with the name, the body and face, and ending with the winning personality, may be a total fabrication... :fearscream:
    Especially if she's a Speculo. :sunglasses:
     
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  15. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    I don't know, she seems too eerie to be a Shas in disguise. I always expected infiltrators to really look like Bob from Accounting, unassuming, plain and boring; which makes the backstab all the more painful.

    Concerning Alex and Nyree, dibs on being First Mate of the Al-Ree Ship! :hearteyes:
     
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  16. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    Thanks for confirming it was not just my Civilian apreciation, although to be fair, I'm quite intimidated by anyone with Military background.

    Also, thanks @Section9 for sharing your sub experience. I'll remember to keep it in mind when writing in-ship scenes.
     
  17. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    There is another possibility you omitted in your analysis. Shelke may have indeed spent time in Satori... Not as an inmate, but as a warden or "debriefing specialist"! :smilingimp:

    Well, that's when they're "on the job", with a mission to accomplish, where being too flashy would indeed usually be a hindrance. Being now free and on her own time, she can let loose a bit, let her hair down... :yum:

    Maybe in a few years. Seeing as one of them is barely 15 now... :blush: But yes, seeing as I've got to captain all of the ships at once, a capable First Mate for at least one would be very welcome. :smile:
     
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  18. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    Also, I have a little something for you all.
    At this point, I can't really say it's something I'm planning to do. It's just an amusing idea. If that point in the story ever comes, it will probably be far, far off in the future... Though who knows, maybe I'll get some use out of it.
    Initially was going to mail it to Errhile alone, but I think it does make for a funny "teaser/trailer" style announcement, and at least some of you may get a chuckle out of it... :yum:


    Warrant Officer Diego "Diablo" Ibarrez of the Nomad CJC has fought many battles. In his life (and one death!) he has confronted enemies both domestic and foreign, human and not; ruthless aliens, fanatical terrorists, impeccable enemy state commandos, amoral media vultures, irate school principals, misbehaving, hormonal teenagers, and their asshole parents.
    Now however, he faces a challenge none of his previous training and experience has prepared him for...
    His prospective PanOceanian parents-in-law!

    Avalon Chronicles, entry XX:
    "My Big, Fat, Neoterran Wedding."

    :laughing:
     
    #58 Kathara_Khan, Jan 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  19. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    Time for little visual update.

    For the first time since two years (has this been going on so long already? :openmouth:), I have revisited the main Anjos de Rocha portraits, and given them a little face-lift using the experience with Kisekae I acquired in that time, and some additional options implemented in the program since.

    Most changes aren't very dramatic, though some are bigger than others. The thing I'm happy about most, is me being finally able to give Morgan something much closer to the proper hair-style! :sunglasses:

    Ladies and gentlemen: Anjos De Rocha!
    [​IMG]
     
    #59 Kathara_Khan, Jan 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
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  20. Kathara_Khan

    Kathara_Khan Capricious and Whimsical

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    All of you'll probably be happy to hear, we have just played the next episode!
    Now, me turning it into a story for you might again take a month or two... :sweatsmile:
    But the highlights you can look forward to?
    One: Nyree's birthday party, and the gift Alex gets her... :kissingheart:
    And two: Octavia dislocating an asshole's wrist! :fearscream:
     
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