Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Four Stars Chapter Fifteen

Previous chapter: An Upsetting Week.

Chapter Fifteen: A Resolution of An Upsetting Week.

Hera decided to conduct a war in one of the games she was assigned to at the computer club. It was a pantomime game that started in a burlesque house in an alternate America, and the players were vaudeville performers turned militia. Hera's character, Channah, was a chanteuse gunmaster. Much like Hera, the chanteuse had black hair, brown skin, and sky-blue eyes, while wearing fine blue clothes. Hera made Channah go to the central inn of VaudeVilla in order to seek out team mates.

After Hera posted her mission on the bulletin board, she screened the applicants. The applicants included two belly dancing sorceresses who could play castanets, a cancan dancer who was handy with a gun, three tap-dancers who knew fisticuffs, and one warrior who performed strongman tricks. Hera made small talk with the virtual performers, then led them on a short mission before her real big act began. The strongman decided to mock her as he had slightly better stats.

"Dumb nuts! Loser! There's no such thing as a black with blue eyes!" the strongman typed into the game, along with some other insults directed at Hera's ethnic background after she tried to reason with him. Hera bit her lip till it turned pale, then threw the player out of her group.

"Channah, what the hell?!" one sorceress typed. "That was one of the strongest warriors in our team!"

"I'm not going to stand for insulting remarks, not on my watch," Hera typed in reply. "That guy should keep his mouth zipped about races."

"You idiot! You're having a dance battle very soon and that guy could have helped us win."

"If you watch my conducting, you all should do fine," Hera replied. "Stop worrying."

Unfortunately, the other team members decided to snub Hera and ignore every single one of Channah's gestures later. They ended up losing the danceoff as the players were penalized for not working together. Finally, when the players were sent back to VaudeVilla, Hera blew up. She sent a barrage of messages criticizing all her team mates for their selfishness, then logged off in a sulk.

Hera took the late bus back home, still brooding about her failed game mission. She shoved the fare into the bus driver's hand when the bus stopped near her home, then hopped out. As Hera skulked to her house, she noticed the big black dustbin sitting by the sidewalk.

"Should I kick it? Nah."
Hera entertained the idea of kicking the common dustbin over, before dismissing it as a waste of her time. "I won't get banned, that's for sure," thought Hera. "Vaudeville Journey allows flaming as long as it's within the boundaries of the game. Insult the character, not the player, that's their motto. But to be on the safe side, I didn't criticize their race or looks."

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The next morning, Attie had the day off and was jogging on the treadmill upstairs. She wore a skimpy crop top and shorts, exposing her midriff and long legs. Francesca thought it was over the top to dress like that.
"Attie," said Francesca. "Do you know how to dress properly?"
A slapped Lion.

Attie gave her young cousin a stink-eyed glare. "I am dressed properly," she said, getting down from the treadmill and walking to Francesca's room.

"Showing off everything you have isn't dressed properly, it's crass," said Francesca, as she followed her cousin. Attie was admiring her lean frame in the mirror.

"I'd rather be crass and grown-up than someone so childish that she still saves for tidbits! Put that money to better use."

"Then who's the idiot who borrowed my money? You! Give me my ice cream money, you dolt!" Francesca yelled, slapping Attie. Attie slapped her cousin back and tried to throw her down, but Francesca grabbed Attie by her legs and tripped her up.

She slapped back.
Attie wriggled out of her cousin's grip and got up. She then pounced, knocking Francesca to the floor. Francesca kicked her cousin and Attie finally stepped on Francesca's hands to get her to stop.

Attie put her hands on her hips and grinned at her cousin. Francesca rubbed her forehead in pain. "I still think you're crass," she said.

"You're still childish," Attie remarked.

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That evening, at dinner, Attie confided her annoyances to Hera. "I've had enough, Hera. Failed missions, arguments, that sort of thing? I'm tired of it."

Hera gasped. "Really? We've all had our run of bad luck this week," she said. Francesca continued nibbling at her steak.
"I've had enough!"
"What do you think is the best cure for bad luck?" asked Attie.

Francesca chimed in, "I don't think it's really bad luck, it's from you being cooped up."

"Don't tell me off about being cooped up, you little grouch! You're the one who doesn't like meeting new folks."

Hera remarked, "Hey, Fran's got a point, we might be tired of seeing each other day in and day out and only heading off to work."

"What are you gonna do, then?" said Attie.

"I think I'll head out to town by myself sometime this week," Hera replied.

Next chapter: Hera's Day Out.

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