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Author Topic: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths  (Read 1401 times)

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Offline MagsCaelTopic starter

Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« on: August 29, 2019, 06:15:02 PM »
*ticka ticka ticka tap* *tap* *ticka ticka, tick*
Her fingers paused in different positions on the keyboard. Was there article even going anywhere, or just 'round in circles?

With a sigh, Maggie erased her last sentence and then discontinued her work entirely. What was she even trying to say? She was an investigative journalist without an angle to her story -- heck, without even a story. Classically speaking, she needed a beginning, middle and end for that. So what did she have; okay, she scrolled back up; sort of a beginning; a track of a middle that could do nothing but derail at this point; so no ending.

Another sigh.
At least if this had been one of those times where she felt passionate about her material and just had to work out the words a little more, communicate the vision more concisely. But she wasn't even invested.
She closed the wordpad without saving.

Her third sigh brought to mind a passage from a novel where one character said to the lead, that every time you sigh you lose a drop of blood. The lead subsequently sighed so heavily he was sure he'd lost a whole pint. Maggie felt she was heading for some serious lose at this rate, too.

Setting her chair into a swivel with a motion of her foot, she braked soon after with her opposite.
"It's because this isn't my story." She stated to herself, in a tone like she'd realized this a while back and had already admitted it at least once.

Maggie had lucked out BIG time working for an online news magazine, but her boss's idea of a fulfilling story clashed with her own. Not all the time. Right now though, Maggie had been going through some stuff. Maybe "right now" wasn't the correct time qualifier as the most major thing happened a year ago. Last month it was to the day. Other things had also transpired. To her, her friends. Throughout the world at large.

It made Maggie question, not for the first time but stronger, why things happened. What purpose things served. Who were they serving? When was enough, and how to manage through until then. She half smiled: the Five W's. Journalism at its heart.

She had to get up.
She moved from her desk by the window, and the room that they'd since re-converted after last year's events, headed for the kitchen yet pausing by the ajar door to her bedroom.

In it, on the bed, was her husband. Feeling a lot of what she was, she knew, only more personally. He'd been dealt a certain hand in life that, for the most part, he faced with a steady stride. Some days though, some weeks, that stride buckled. This was one of those "beat down" times, and his coping/processing mechanism, selected from off the proverbial shelf of them that he had, was to be in his own world. Radio headphones on, forearm over forehead, and eyes closed. Not restfully.

"That's what I want to figure out," Aggie said in a resolved whisper. It wasn't a given that just because her husband had his headphones on that music was actually emanating from them, and she didn't want to draw attention to herself by speaking any louder. That being said, her volume was less of a conscious decision and stemmed more from her mood.

Finishing her movement to the kitchen, Aggie got herself a drink, still thinking, then left her husband a note.
Got to chase a story. Don't worry, nothing dangerous this time -yet! She included a playful face.
I've got my cell. I can pick up dinner. Call me for anything. ~Mags <3

She stuck that to the fridge with a sports car magnet, grabbed herself a couple of Clif bars from the cabinet, added them to her carrier bag already packed with her camera and notebook, and set off.

"Where am I even going?" she half-asked herself as she left their apartment.
A concrete answer didn't matter though, She had an impulse and an instinct.

The track record of those two things carrying her to answers was solid so far.
A/N: Just realized I should mention, I'm looking to roleplay with people who bring their own characters (either spur-of-the-moment or ones you've had going for a while); I'll be playing Mags' husband, too. Just wanted to clarify I'm not looking for that role to be filled!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 06:20:52 PM by MagsCael »

Offline Athron

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths (Open for 1-2 Other Players)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 02:40:43 AM »
As was usual in those busy days, Rogger had saw himself forced to stay some extra hours at the office. Oodles of documents waited over his desk, waiting to be fulfilled or thoughtfully revised. Tons of contracts, reclamations and other kinds of soporific bureaucracy. “Five years of my life studying at college for this…” He thought for himself while he moved an awful lot of papers from one place of the desk to another.
He was a black man, more than 30 years old. His face was characterised by strong and firm traits. His eyes where so dark as his hair, combed in a classic way, as he was asked to do by the enterprise’s administration. His office was little more than a ridiculously small room, filled up by metallic shelves and his desk.

After looking at his watch, he sighed stressfully. “Only one more and I’ll go back home”. His tired gaze passed over the paper, reading complex and confusing labyrinths of technical words. Suddenly his eyes opened widely, giving to his face a tone of disbelief.

 -Sweet mother of god…- he said loudly while looking at some details of the next pages. It was fascinating. Only an extremely canny reader would realize what does documents really meant, taking into account its implication and the information from other attachments. At first it would seem just a simple error with the numbers, but when focusing on the minutiae, one would understand what it actually meant. Then at his right he saw an envelope, since then hidden down the papers. Rogger got it and read an inscription in the envelope itself: For the inconvenience.

He opened the envelope at looked inside it. It was full of 100 dollars banknotes. And it was a big envelope. He gulped. The temptation was so powerful, but Rogger, surprised, found within himself enough will power to let it back on the desk. Such kind of practises where against all his ideals. “No away” he thought, while he got his phone to call the police. “Wait, can I even trust the police?” He felt a shiver in the back. “I cannot trust anybody… Well, perhaps…The press!” He remembered a journalist outstanding for her skills and fearlessness. In a newspaper website, he easily found her phone number. “Maybe, if I can tell her staying anonymous…” he thought while he dialled Maggie’s number.

Offline r72666

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths (Open for 1-2 Other Players)
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 10:06:09 AM »
Chase was bored out of his mind. It had been days since his boss last called, and while not really hurting for cash, he wouldn't have minded something to do. Maybe it was really just an off day. And, all things considered, he supposed he should be happy with the relative peace, lately. His life as a fixer wasn't as exciting as actually doing the dirty stuff, but it had just the right amount of thrill and compensation to keep him coming back to it. After all, he'd stayed pretty faithful to the job title, being called upon to make sure crime scenes and messy locations were back to pristine condition with as little evidence as possible. There was something about being privy to a situation better left in the dark that tickled him just right. It gave him a sense of power that there were things he knew and was trusted with that could affect a lot of people. Morality was somewhat of a vague concept to him, he supposed. He just did what he wanted. Weirdly enough, he doesn't take pleasure in dishing out any sort of pain. His interest in all this was mostly mental, and he was fine with that.

He blinked once, and wondered where his mind had taken him to be thinking about these things. Sighing, he decided that maybe the ceiling had enough of his stare. Sitting up from his bed, he grabbed his white trainers, put on a grey, well-worn, almost frayed, jacket, then headed out of his apartment. Without really any destination in mind, he resolved to simply meander the rest of the day away. Maybe he'll overhear some juicy secret from stressed out people while sipping coffee in a cafe. Or maybe he'll get to hear another quarrel from a couple in the park. Whatever the case, he was a hoarder of secrets, so while he may not have a place to go, there was a goal in mind. There were more interesting and, more importantly, personal things to figure out. He just had to go out and find them.

Offline MagsCaelTopic starter

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 07:37:20 PM »
(OOC: Intrigued by you both - thanks for joining!
Back to business...)

Maggie walked on down the street but part of her was, figuratively, still back at the apartment. She knew it was safe to leave Michael alone, but then again could she ever really know? If anything happened she'd get an alert near immediately on her phone - near enough that she could call for an ambulance just as quickly as if she were there beside him. If necessary - and of course race back home, but....

bzzZZzz bzzZZzzz

Speak of the devil - rather, the devil device.
Her phone was already in her hand and she raised it to her eyes to read Michael's text. Only it wasn't a text. She had the phone on vibrate instead of ring and this was an incoming call. Not even from Michael.

Maggie squinted at the number. It displayed no caller ID she recognized. Did she know the number? She was pretty sure no.

Far from being the type to ignore random phone calls, because you just never knew -unless she had already sat down to dinner, then sorry caller try back later- Maggie was on the cusp of answering when she plowed into a man (Chase).

"Ohff!" she stumbled off balance, her bag taking her down the rest of the way to the ground.
Sprawled in a position as if she'd come down sideways from a kneel, Maggie looked the few feet ahead of her where her phone had slipped to from out of her hands -luckily after she hit the pavement and not from standing. She hated people who went around with cracked phones and didn't want to have to count herself in that set- still vibrating with the incoming call.

"Sorry," she said more offhand to the man she ran into as she moved to recollect her phone.
Said offhand because, though Aggie was a polite person, she sort of had a tendency to collide with people more than the general person, and it was always a toss-up if they'd even notice, so.

Why? She was an attractive blonde, the type who usually got noticed, maybe with some stereotypical assumptions made about them.
Except remember that bit about Maggie lucking out BIG time with her job? The reason it was such a big luck-out was for the fact of her condition.

See -or not-, Maggie was invisible.

Rather, unperceived by most of the general population: not seen, heard or felt. Literally. At least not to a believable degree.
Let's just say, Maggie was the stuff ghost stories were built on.

Of course there were those, like her family, like her two best friends, like Michael, who could perceive her as wholly as they could anyone.

As for those in the non-perceiving set, it could be that they couldn't see her at all, or they might glimpse her apparition-like. Maybe not even whole body, just some ghostly arm or face.

Unfortunately, a lack of visual presence didn't translate physically, hence Maggie's higher tendency to collide with people. Except the physics were off- the person hit may feel her as normal, and just bizarrely be left wondering why it felt like they hit somebody when it didn't appear anyone was there, or it could feel less apparent. More like a nudge or just as if they lost balance on their own.

But for Maggie, the impact was unmitigated no matter the perception level.

And that perception level also applied to her voice. To non-perceivers, it could go entirely unheard, as if she never spoke aloud at all, or it may come across disembodied or whisper in the wind-like. Hence her offhand "sorry". If Chase didn't perceive a collision with someone, a 'sorry' wouldn't really matter.

Nevermind the chance he could possibly still hear her well enough, even if he couldn't perceive her much otherwise.

The specifics of her condition were variable like that. The levels of touch, sight and sound didn't have to match.

Yet they were, come whatever degree, consistent across technology.

Which meant it was just as much of a perception toss-up if the man on the other end of the phone would be able to hear her voice.

Forgetting about Mr. Collision Man, Maggie answered the phone all-the-same; you just never knew: "You've called Maggie Veray and she is speaking. What's your story?" On paper her answer could sound curt, but in voice there was an agreeable edge to the directness. A hint to her spirit.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 07:41:53 PM by MagsCael »

Offline r72666

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 02:03:29 AM »
The pursuit of secrets isn't a noble course of action. At least, not with the way Chase does it. There's no drive to actually do anything with the secrets. Blackmail, justice, truth, all that is irrelevant. What's important is that he knows the secret - that's he privy to something that only a select few know. The fewer, the better. That said, he's trained himself to try and pick up even the most minute detail. After all, puzzling out whether what he learned was substantial enough to satisfy him was a game all on its own. Mysteries were best while unsolved, but still satisfying come the conclusion. Well, sometimes they were, anyway. The buildup sometimes takes on a life of its own, leading to an anticlimactic disappointment. But what's life without a little risk, right?

As if on cue, just as that last stray thought crossed his mind, he felt himself bump into something, full force. Luckily enough, his balance wasn't too compromised and it was at most a tumble for him. What did disorient him, though, was that he couldn't quite see who or what he just hit. In fact, he was slightly incredulous that someone as perceptive as him didn't see this person coming whatsoever. What's more, he couldn't quite recall the physique or texture he felt at the moment of impact. He picked up on that little detail almost immediately. Ask him now and he'll swear himself blind that there was no one, nothing there, to hit! With that, he abruptly stopped and took stock of the situation, unaware of anyone else in the vicinity. So focused on the situation, Chase almost jumped out of his shoes when her an eerily disembodied voice whisper an apology seemingly right next to his ear. It was discordant, hardly reminiscent of any voice he knew. To be honest, if kind of freaked him out a little.

He was almost starting to panic, unsure if maybe he was spiked with drugs or fed some substance without him knowing. However, it was exactly during that, caught in a moment of confusion and hardly concentrating, he managed to see a hint of blonde hair a few steps away. There was no logic to the build of the figure, more like a passing apparition or a trick of the light. In his haste to focus on just that, the image seemed to pull away. Frowning, he instead looked elsewhere and focused on a random object in the street, keeping the approximate location of the blonde hair in his periphery. Ironically, the image sharpened somewhat, as much as things outside your focused gaze could be. There was someone talking on the phone, and he caught a name. Maggie Veray. There was a sharp burst of clarity in that moment, and he clutched at his head to fight what seemed to be an impending headache. It was gone the moment he shook his head, though, and with it any trace of whatever he might've thought he'd seen.

In that moment, Chase felt inner turmoil, caught between excitement from his recent experience, and worry for his maybe deteriorating mental state. Man, he needed a drink.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 02:05:44 AM by r72666 »

Offline Athron

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 12:27:09 PM »
Roger struggled to understand the journalist's faint voice, but he still managed to understand what she was saying. "Hello, this is..." He hesitated a few moments before giving his name. They could be listening, and he didn't want to take the risk "For now you can call me Mr. Smith" It was the first thing that came to his mind "I have evidence of a series of... legal maneuvers, with unforeseeable dimensions and implications. I’d like to talk about it in person, in a public place... and keep my anonymity"

While holding the phone between his right shoulder and his face, Roger picked up at full speed everything that might be necessary. A score of folders filled up with all kinds of documents. They hardly fit in his backpack. The eventual consequences of what he was doing flooded his head mercilessly. He could not go to the police for legal protection. Trying to get into witness protection and testifying in a trial was synonymous with suicide. He couldn’t think of any other options besides fleeing abroad. But where? institutions from more than 20 different countries were involved, and a few international organizations too. Perhaps central Asia? A small country in sub-Saharan Africa? What if they manage to cover it up and it never comes out? He would have to flee and hide for his entire life. How was he supposed to do such a thing in the middle of the information age? He didn’t have a choice, though... did he?

His gaze turned on to the envelope, loaded with cash, still on the table. He only had to take it and move on with his life... That was more money than he could make in a whole year or more. Much more. If he took it, he could simply go home, rest, and enjoy for years all kinds of luxuries he could wish. Roger did not understand how he was able to resist that temptation, it did not seem possible, but still, it was. There was no purely logical reason for not taking the money. It might be difficult to launder it, but that would not be a problem if it was spent in small amounts. Possibly he managed to refuse the money because it was stained with blood.

As he could, he put on his backpack and walked to the door of his office at a brisk pace. While waiting for Maggie’s answer, Roger kept thinking about what he would have to do in order to survive what was to come.

Offline MagsCaelTopic starter

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 01:36:52 PM »
Maggie was at ease that she could be heard. She had a feeling this was something big, even before most was said, and she didn't want to have to miss out due to her "condition".

She raised her brows at the "Mr. Smith" bit, mildly amused, but she got it. It wasn't the first time a source desired anonymity.

Now, 'legal maneuvers, with unforeseeable dimensions and implications' was a little less readily understandable, but the gist was all that mattered. She was dying to know more but also had a sense of, well....was this a life threatening situation? If it was to her source, it could be to her. But in a way, that made Maggie almost all the more willing. She liked to be there for people, especially if they felt they didn't have anywhere else to turn.

She thought of Michael though.
Wanting to help others was one thing, and to protect them, but at the expense of the ones she loved.

Except there was one of the benefits of being unperceived.
And how major could this be, really?

"Alright, Mr. Smith," Maggie answered, "how about we meet at..."
She listened to what sounded like him gathering papers while she thought of where to meet.

Sometimes when people requested in-person, she'd call on one of her best friends, Ria, to pose as her. Maggie would first go up and confirm if she, herself, could be seen or not, and if she couldn't, she'd stand by Ria, feeding her what to say while Ria was the one who actually interacted. An actress at heart, Ria had no trouble delivering Maggie's dialogue as her own.

Ria was at home today, so if Maggie went that route, she'd want to select a location that wouldn't bring her friend too far out of her way. Spur-of-the-moment request as this would be.

Except two reasons redirected Maggie from that route.
For one thing, "Mr. Smith" could hear her. There was a chance he could see her, too. But she couldn't very well go on her own just with a chance - well she could, and then if he couldn't see her she could fire off a text to his number which her phone now had, say she was running late, *then* call Ria. But the second reason trumped this.
That sense that this was heavier. Heavy enough that Maggie would prefer not involving Ria so directly.

Mr. Smith's request for a public place yet to also keep his anonymity gave Maggie the perfect idea.

"-at the mall. In the new computer cafe there. We could each sit at our own tables and do our conversing online. If you have anything physical I need to see," Maggie, again, had a distinct feeling he did. Hence her idea that they'd not just meet online, but would actually be in the same location-

"-we'll arrange a discreet exchange."

On another hunch, or rather a second thought, she asked: "do you think this is safe to discuss over Email?" sweeping strands of hair behind her ear with her free hand.

She waited for his answer, but if it was 'no', she'd keep their meeting location the same -assuming he agreed to it- and just meet up in-person at the computer cafe instead of online. With the hope she didn't have to get assistance....Maybe she didn't either way.

On a quick third thought, quick enough that it came to her ahead of "Mr. Smith's" answer, Maggie added: "we could alternatively do the separate table plan but keep talking over the phone."

Now she hoped she wasn't doing that thing she did where her thoughts fired faster than the other person could keep up with - or even than her own sense could keep up with. But Maggie was a little known for being a quickfire. It was in fact Michael's nickname for her. Used only on the occasions it was warranted.

Offline Athron

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 04:27:37 AM »
Roger tried to remember where the computer cafe was. It was almost on the other side of town, he would need an hour or more to arrive there, even if he rushed to the mall. That was not necessarily bad, though. If he got away from his house, office or any other place he often went to, it would be less possible for him to get caught.

He liked the idea of conversing online. However, it was a risk. After all, monitoring a person's online activity was even easier than in the physical world. Perhaps he could create a new email account, and use it to explain the nature of the situation. Nonetheless, The crucial and specific details should be discussed in-person. It was just too risky to do it over Email. That reminded him that he should get rid of any device they could track him with...
Roger carefully listened to the bunch of diverse ideas coming from the other side of the phone and tried to answer all of them one by one.

"I think we can get in touch online in order to clarify what all this is about. Nevertheless, I'm afraid it would be better if we could speak face to face about the most relevant details."

A "discreet exchange" sounded good for him. The less attention they attract, the better. "We can keep talking over the phone, of course. I'm OK with that." He was going to buy a disposable phone later, anyway. "I got some documents which might be crucial, though. They are the proof of everything. Maybe I could leave them in a specific place, so you can pick it up later"

While he spoke, Roger was walking through the same aseptic and depressing corridor he walked by every day. This time, however, it was different. It was so late that not a single soul could be seen there. He was completely alone. Silence imposed its suffocating presence. He felt upset, uncomfortable, endangered. There was nothing to stop anyone from kidnapping him or even killing him right there. There were no possible witnesses, the security camera footage would be deleted, the police would turn a blind eye, and no one would worry about his death anymore. It would be portrayed as a "tragic accident". He began to make quantum leaps, almost running. I needed to get himself out as fast as he could.

Offline MagsCaelTopic starter

Re: Putting Wholeness to Half Truths
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 02:52:15 PM »
Maggie thought there was a bit of hesitation, but couldn't tell if it was from her quickfiring or Mr. Smith figuring out if the specified location worked for him. She put her brakes on this time, though, and waited for his answers. She latched onto the part about picking the crucial documents up "later".

"I know a security guard at the mall. They're not working today, but if you think it sound, maybe you could hand the documents over to security, saying it's something for him. They'll put it in his locker and he'll be able to retrieve them tomorrow. I can have him let them know you're coming so they won't think anything suspicious about it, and I can be at the mall in roughly an hour. Public transit willing."

So now she was definitely involving another person, and a loved one, as the security guard she knew was none other than her husband. Except Maggie felt more comfortable with this involvement than playing the Ria card. For one thing, Michael wouldn't be the one directly dealing with this person. And anybody else to whom these documents might pertain, would expect Mr. Smith, likely, to go to his *own* security. Randomly giving something to mall security would look a puzzle, not a red flag.
Plus, there was the fact that Maggie wasn't one to work a story and leave Michael in the dark.
He was a super trustworthy individual. Any story she worked on, even if she didn't get his physical assistance, he knew about and often at least provided another opinion or perspective on. He'd know about this one way or the other and if it was higher on the risk scale, would likely involve himself anyway. Not in a pushy way. More of an escort service if Maggie had to go places more shady than the mall. And in a level-headed way if Maggie was leaping before she looked.

* * *

Maggie arrived at the computer cafe just a little later than she would've preferred, but near as she could tell with a quick visual scan around, she was the first to arrive. Leastwise, she didn't notice anybody who seemed particularly intent on meeting with somebody. Everyone there seemed rather content in what they were doing - surfing the net, enjoying a beverage or a baked snack. Mr. Smith could've been good at appearing cool of course, but somehow Maggie thought he wouldn't be that that, given his disposition over the phone and the apparent gravity of things. But hey, people could always surprise you.

Maggie chose a seat at a counter that ran along one wall. Most of the other patrons occupied the tables, not the counter. It seemed the less popular spot which meant the best one for this sort of meeting.

Using a trick she picked up over her years as an unperceived, Maggie set her *carrier bag on the stool and instead of sitting, stood beside it - strap still over her arm. This way the seat would appear occupied, and if anybody attempted to make off with her bag, they'd get a surprise.

She took out the smaller of her two notebooks, and a pen, and waited. She -though collected- certainly appeared like she was waiting for somebody, for those who could see her, and kept her eyes on the entryway for the subject in question, whether or not they could.

*(A/N: A "mechanic" of Maggie's invisibility that I forgot to mention: if she's holding items -or wearing them- they're invisible with her. Think of it like they come under her "field" of invisibility. In this case the bag is now visible since she set it down on the chair, but her notepad and pen would be invisible with her, not like floating in space. A couple posts back when she tripped and dropped her cell, her cell would've been "suddenly" on the ground, and then "suddenly" not there anymore -once she picked it up- to a non-perceiver).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 09:38:36 PM by MagsCael »