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Balcerzak

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About Balcerzak

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  • Birthday 04/23/1983

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    gaming
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    Eden Prairie

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Blazing Sword

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  1. "Oh yes, I wouldn't have missed that for Aeon," Linus agreed as Hitomi explained that the sight of Carmen in full maid regalia would have certainly drawn at least the two of them to the docks sooner or later, if not the whole team. Motherloader's arrival had him on edge for a few moments, but thankfully the fellow seemed to have no indication of throwing around any imagined clout today. ...At least, not yet. That's not to say Linus was pleased with his over familiar manner either, but if Irvine was content to stick with just being minorly annoying, he could deal with it. Hopefully he wouldn't get too flirty with Sheridan, and the awkward smile on the serf's face led him to believe she shared that worry. But for now the G-frames seemed to command a greater interest than anything else, thankfully. A couple of the comments--Melanie's and Karina's if one wanted to be precise about it--actually gave Linus an idea. Half of it was born of good-natured generosity, but he'd be lying if the other half wasn't maybe helped along by healthy hormones. "Maybe some of us should volunteer to help out, do you have any extra costumes?" Even engrossed as Carmen was with the cat, it couldn't hurt to ask her questions. "Either male or female spares, not sure who might be interested." Then he turned to address the team. "This is not required, of course, if it's even possible. By all means feel free to mingle, enjoy the G-frames, or anything else. But volunteering would certainly be looked at fondly." Linus had been panning his gaze around the recruits, happening by chance to finish as he reached Karina. It was honestly just subconscious, he hadn't planned on trying to threaten or coerce anybody; they were all official team members now anyway, there was nothing hanging over their heads anymore. But maybe the ones with weaker showings yesterday might step up to the plate today of their own accord? The bzzt of an incoming message, from Flambre it seemed, kept him from adding anything further. A quick couple presses and a response was fired off. He doubted Makala had any fitting butlery clothes, and he wasn't even sure he'd want that one in a service role capacity: Nothing fancy. Just casual clothes is fine. Then there was the masked man's query to deal with. "A good point. If there's some splitting off, we do want to be properly regrouped before fifteen hundred. Hmmm, suggestions, Hitomi?"
  2. Jade blushed again at Lavinia's further teasing, picking on her sloppy choice of wording. Sitting up, hunching forward a little, she turned her head over her shoulder and looked back at the vampire. "I... when I said. I meant... Haaa," exhausted sigh. "I just meant the feeding thing, not the bathing thing. And you were the one worried about the humans getting the wrong ideas in the first place! So, night seemed... natural." Why was she so weak to the archer's cruel jokes any way, she wondered briefly. But Lavinia was right about one thing at least. "Mmm, you have at least one good point, though," Jade stopped craning her neck for a backward view, faced front, and slowly stood, exitting the bath. "We probably were getting close to the limit there." She walked over to the towels, grabbed one, and began drying her hair, listening to anything the vampire might say back. As for her evening plans... "I'll definitely accompany you. Now that playtime is over, it's only right to get back to business. I'll help out with the restocking, show you what skills I do have, and then... that will be the right time for us to negotiate what it's worth to you to keep me along. I'm sure we'll settle upon an agreement that works for all parties," a slight smirk finally found its way across the zombie's face, as she looked forward to situations she felt she'd have the upper hand in, for a change.
  3. Thankfully the public transit was uneventful, nothing worse than some edge case making a spectacle of themselves and giving everyone nearby secondhand embarrassment. But the destination was soon enough arrived at. Linus was pretty sure the red hair he'd seen when exiting the metro belonged to someone he knew--though they deep in the crowd, and several cars closer to C-142. No point pushing or elbowing to get through, though, he'd get to the destination soon enough just going with the flow, and if it was who he thought she was, well, maybe she'd be a little skittish without Hitomi and her friends around? Thankfully the small stream of people that peeled off left the bulk of the crush behind, and things became much more manageable. It was hard to say how many were headed this direction with the estate's special attraction in mind. Linus hadn't seen any advertisements, but there had to have been something put out there somewhere, because this did seem slightly heavier than normal traffic for people going about just random other business elsewhere in the docks. Ah, there was a sign now, so close that it had little practical effect of drawing customers, but at least let those who already knew be reassured they were in the right place. And there were Hitomi, Carmen, and the cat, with the redhead he was following having just joined them. Waving as he approached, though most eyes--and hands--seemed to be on the catears, Linus also nodded briefly in the direction of Sheridan, trying not to stare. That would give the wrong impression... though she certainly would have earned it. Maybe it was her field, or maybe it was just a silly dumb thought to begin with, but he found an easy smile spreading across his face. "Hey, save some for me," Linus joked and laughed, though he actually wasn't intending on vying for a place in line with the ears. The tail happily wagging back and forth was almost another story, catching it almost by accident as he raised a hand to place on Carmen's shoulder, letting it twine briefly through his fingers before freeing it on its merry way again. "Good call on this, Hitomi," he turned his head and agreed with his partner's judgement, then returned his attention to his other friend. "And you, make sure you go easy on her, can't have you breaking one of our new stars."
  4. Feeling Lavinia shift beneath her clued Jade in to what she had actually done. A brief moment of distress, as she remembered something about morals half heard from earlier, and she wondered if things were going to get weird, if this had been the wrong idea from the start. But that was soon enough put to rest when the vampire remained as calm and collected as she'd been this whole time. The merchant had worried over nothing, just a simple repositioning. Settling back into the calm feeling from before Jade listened to Lavinia talk. She had to giggle as the vampire proclaimed her lucky. Something this small and insignificant, yes, clearly that was why she'd been brought back from the dead. That's not what the woman had meant, clearly, but the zombie couldn't help but find it funny nonetheless. The joke was followed by a rather sensible suggestion, though. So sensible Jade couldn't even pretend to get upset about it if she'd wanted to. Which of course she didn't. Even if the vampire had suggested it from selfish motives--though she claimed not to have--that was no black mark against it. A proper dose of selfishness was the ingredient to success in all trades. What did trouble Jade somewhat, was yet another reference to her being good-looking. She'd have been happy to hear such a thing when she were alive. The merchant knew she were no pampered princess, not about to have a shot at winning a pageant against a real beauty, but she'd have been willing to play along, to want to believe. But now? Jade had finally become more or less comfortably numb to the pervasive casual racism about her condition. If she let herself come back around to have any sort of pride in that aspect of herself again, well that would only make it hurt more the next time someone cringed back, or she were denied a service she really shouldn't have been. ...Not to mention she objectively was a far cry worse in that regard than when she'd been alive to begin with. Gently shaking her head, Jade replied, "You don't need to butter me up so much to get what you're after. It makes sense, we can do it when everyone's asleep, even, to keep anyone from being disturbed." Protestations aside, though, she allowed herself to be hugged, settled into it. And hearing how Lavinia's comment was phrased, she couldn't help but answer back. "That would be nice, wouldn't it? If a warmth of the heart like this could somehow become a warmth of the body for you? And if it doesn't work this time, then next time instead of you hugging me, we should try it with me hugging you? Ah, but I'm getting ahead of things, assuming failure already, how gauche of me." She reached out and gently pulled the arms around her even closer, an apology for her lack of faith, and an attempt to help make it happen.
  5. Linus had noticed a fair number more eyes on him than he was really used to all morning, as he'd been moving about the station on various errands, both personal and Odyssey related. Being entirely truthful, becoming this much of a public figure, in this kind of way was ruffling his feathers a little. The thing with Matsuo would have been fine on its own, but the news reports on what went down at Stratus levied a different kind of attention. While he'd been hoping to find a good place to regroup with the gang in the afternoon, he'd been kind of striking out. Somewhat discouraged, he'd decided to indulge in a bit of a late lunch, and was lounging not too far from a metro entrance, finishing off the last bit of shake when Hitomi's message came in. The flashy DataDyne building across the street, and some of the more annoying animated billboards lining the sidewalks did their best to bid for his attention, but he shut them out with ease and focused on what was really important. It was a cross of surprised and relief, actually. He hadn't thought about gathering by the docks, but it made a certain amount of sense. And well, with the promised company that just meant fewer reasons to refuse, even if he'd already been eying a competing venue--which he wasn't. The bit about food and drink was the only disappointment, given he'd just indulged but, well, you can't win 'em all. "Sounds awesome, on my way now. P.S. I'm not taking sides on this one. I know better than to play kingmaker with you two. All I'll say is I hope you guys kept the stakes sensible." It was a very short message, but it covered all important bits.
  6. The battlefield was still a bit of a chaotic slog, but for their part they hadn't lost anybody and they were making very good progress. That said, enemy elites were starting to pose a very real threat, especially to people who had either taken a hit or two, or who were burning through ammo or energy reserves fast. Thorvald was doing his best to manage the team: a few words of encouragement here or there, pitching in on cooperative suggestions, and stepping into the way of oncoming fire, all as circumstances dictated. And he'd noticed yet another opportunity to keep up this good work. As luck would have it, he should even be able to manage this one while continuing to keep a close eye on a couple of vulnerable--no that's not quite the right word for Lieutenant Kim, given her prowess--on some high profile friendlies. "Puppet, swinging in to assist. Great work on that salvo back there, but you're looking like you're getting pretty dry. Recommend you think about finding time to restock and refuel." Then he braced himself, there were a lot of heavy cannons, a lot of unknowns, and a large portion of his herd had begun moving further west. But Odin could handle this. Thorvald casts Shield, moves to 12,16, attacks Deimos 5 with Rocket Barrels supported by Tarquin's Full Output Railgun.
  7. "Beautiful...?" Jade no more, now dusky rose quartz, the merchant protested. "I think you... ah!" But her words were cut short as sharp canines slipped their way beneath the surface. Despite the exhortation not to move, the zombie found herself unconsciously arching her back further, but squeezing down on the rim of the tub with one hand, and Lavinia's leg with the other, her motion was kept relatively in check, the vampire's hand only sliding slightly along her stomach as it helped maintain her in position. Jade hadn't quite known what to expect, but the feeling was better than she could have imagined. It might have hurt some, were she still living, but instead she just felt small points of pressure. That just meant the strange sense of pleasure coming from the exchange--whether it was as simple as being desired, needed, appreciated after so much time alone, or whether it was some vampire magic, the zombie couldn't say--that the deepening delight came with even less in the way of drawback than it would were she a normal 'victim'. Accompanying, but apart from, Lavinia's humming, Jade felt warm tingly sensations dancing along her nerves, and even underworked as they'd been of late, they remembered enough of their job to carry things along. It was breathtaking, and since she didn't much need air, there was no fearful sense of desperation as the seconds passed one after the other, bleeding into minutes before she remembered to inhale. Then it was over, and the piercing points parted from her neck. Swinging the pendulum the other way, from tension to relaxation, with scarcely a conscious thought behind it, Jade slumped to a resting position, her back falling against Lavinia's waiting body. "I know I said I don't sleep," she started, "But after that, I almost feel like I could." A small, pleased chuckle punctuated the statement. "There's a... strange sort of serenity you've left me with. Is that normal?"
  8. While the zombie had thought she'd prepared everything necessary, she must have forgotten something, or else the vampire was just more comfortable with some of her own tools. The slight wait gave her time to reconsider, but even trying to imagine up possible fallout from the worst case scenario possible didn't manage to come up with anything worth backing out over. So Jade simply stretched a little, limbering up, awaiting Lavinia's return. When she did climb back in, the vampire sounded more amused than annoyed by the suggestion, when she declining to partake from the blood that would obviously spill during the procedure, preferring instead that legendary location of lore, the neck. Maybe it was like the difference between using silverware, or eating with your hands? At least Jade hadn't offended her, though, judging from how it seemed. She easily could have, without meaning to, so she'd have to be more careful in the future. As the vampire began to caution her that it might hurt, before remembering her audience and realizing there was no need, the exchange elicited a slight giggle in response. Jade tried to keep it light, so as not to disturb the procedure with unnecessary motions, and was mostly successful. A few wiggles on Lavinia's part and some tugging later, and foreign object was free. "Toast, huh?" Jade echoed back, a bit in disbelief from the comparison. Rotating her arm a bit, working the shoulder and reveling in its being back to normal, she added an afterthought, "Well, at least that still sounds tasty, even if I can't quite imagine it. I was a bit worried it might come off... spoiled, or something. Somewhat silly concern, I guess?" She waited until Lavinia finished stitching her up, then rested a gentle hand on one of the scars just above the vampire's knee. "If you ever need the favor returned, just ask. But for now," Jade leaned backward, arching her neck, back of her head almost resting on the vampire's shoulder. "Left or right?" She twisted her head slowly side to side, and prepared to relocate to the other shoulder if that were said to be more convenient.
  9. Jade hadn't expected Lavinia to twine their fingers together, but it was gentle, calm, and came with explanation. The merchant was still a little embarrassed, her ignorance was causing laughter after all, but on the whole things could have been so much worse. And her voice was pleasant to listen to like this, so she let her continue without interruption, even though a couple bits there were interesting enough to consider interjecting. When the archer had finished, Jade nodded and slowly spoke, "Fascinating." It was true, of course, she was learning a lot. Maybe it wouldn't have been necessary had circumstances been kinder, but given the hand she'd been dealt Jade appreciated getting this information now. There was a bit of melancholy about the situation, but nothing insurmountable. Though hearing the vampire wonder if there were frozen blood in stock was a different sort of sad feeling, and perhaps one she could rectify. "Umu," Jade murmurred a little at first, then pulled her legs in and turned around in the tub, showing her back to Lavinia. Glancing over, she put a hand on her shoulder and began to explain the idea that had slowly started to form. "I hadn't got around to truly fixing up that hit I took int the fighting yet, the arrowhead's probably still in there but it's such an awkward position, you know? Digging it out would surely get some blood flowing, and--I'm not sure how appetizing it'll be, but... I'm at least room temperature, and if the bath's been helping out any, probably better than that, which has to help the taste, right? If you're willing to help me out, you're more than welcome to it, and if it isn't enough... well," Jade paused, and looked down into the water. "Wouldn't want you to go hungry after you started, so you could finish up somewhere more traditional, if you like."
  10. Jade nodded in response to hearing Lavinia's views on smoking, and had begun to reach for her pipe to take a puff when something else the vampire said caused her to pause. Relish the feeling while it lasts. So that meant, Lavinia didn't feel anymore. Didn't feel anything? A frown on her face, the concerned zombie rerouted her arm, bringing her hand to rest on the top of her companion's where it rested atop the rim of the tub. "Can you not feel this, even? How long did it take, before..." Jade bit her lip, wondering how many years she might have left. The sober news also had the effect of evaporating most of her unease and uncertainty about the situation, or maybe that was just a byproduct of Lavinia herself being so at home with things--treating everything so matter of fact. Once they'd gotten to talking, it was almost easy to forget they were just casually naked in a tub together. It was unlikely she'd feel awkward again unless someone made it awkward, and that didn't seem to be either of their intents. So settling back into her end of the tub, pipe forgotten for the moment, Jade listened to the rest of the vampire's story. The additional details about the general purpose of Marina's reconstruction travels, and the specific thorn growing out of Mixoco that needed to be removed, helped to fill in several missing pieces for the merchant. Then came the renewed offer for a shared purpose, and Jade nodded and smiled. Leaning forward a little, lips slipping into a bit of grin, she began, "You realize this is the part where I'm bound by merchant's code to try to haggle with you over precise terms, don't you? But," she paused and shrugged her shoulders. 'Strange coincidence' was certainly right, but even without it there was something about this that felt... genuine. "I was hoping to relax and settle into a good mood, and excessive business talk would probably spoil things. Can we leave it as 'Definitely interested,' and worry about the details some other time?"
  11. Jade heard Lavinia enter the main room and close the door behind her, and in instinctive curiosity turned to the bathroom's adjoining doorway. The zombie couldn't see anything, obviously, as was typical for inns with this sort of setup, the bathroom's door was constructed to face the wall, rather than into the main room directly. Privacy concerns, and everything. She waited a few moments, to see if the vampire would come into sight, perhaps dragging a chair to sit in as they spoke about whatever she'd had in mind, but the sound of metal hitting the floor rung in the fact that Lavinia would be taking Jade up on her somewhat foolish invitation. The zombie turned her gaze at this, peering down now at the surface of the water, looking somewhat bashful. Even if she couldn't see anything, it wouldn't be right, staring out the doorway like that. One piece, two pieces... almost a dozen pieces she heard fall--the archer was incredibly well armored, wasn't she? No, she mustn't get so distracted, she'd been asked a question, hadn't she? Pushing her hands against the bottom of the tub, Jade raised herself up and slid backwards, till her hips arrived at the bend in the basin, and she leaned against the rising slope now in a more sitting position than the prone sprawl she'd been in earlier. It would be only necessary, after all, for this arrangement to end up working out. "Uh, hmm. Well. Yes, I suppose I still feel temperatures, though not like I felt them while alive. It's much more, muted, I guess? The hots aren't really hot, so much as, hmmm. I could put my hand in a fire, and it would just feel like the gentle warmth of a sunbeam. Nothing oppressive, just enough to know--" it was there. A sunbeam, really? She was using that as her choice of comparison for innocent warmth when talking to a vampire? Embarrassed at her blunder, Jade hugged her knees to her chest briefly, burying her face up against them, even though Lavinia wasn't yet there to look at her with disapproval. "I'm sorry that was... it'd be like there was a cat sitting on it or something. That's what I should have said. A-Anyway, similarly, pain isn't so severe at it used to be either. No sharp piercing feelings or rough scrapings, they've all been replaced by more of a... dull tugging sensation than anything. A faint notice that something happened, but without any urgency or agony." Jade fell into silence, just in time to hear the final rustlings of folded fabrics, followed by faint footfalls coming her way. She didn't turn and look, not right away, not until they were almost on top of her in fact. But she did eventually, and was surprised to find the vampire's body was not the marble statue of perfection she'd been envisioning. No, her canvas was painted with scars, including some ringed ones that looked unhappily familiar. A slight wisp of a wry twist took the zombie's lips as she turned to look at her own right hand, where every finger sported a similar marking just above the first knuckle. She should probably say something, but what? Uneasy silence on her part, but Jade made sure to give Lavinia ample room as she slipped in on the other end of the tub. She nodded at the expression of thanks, then froze slightly at being passed the buck about which topic to begin things with. The slightest glance to the sidetable she'd brought in provided an easy out though. "You don't smoke, do you? I'm such a fool, I should have prepared an extra pipe in case you did..."
  12. When Jade opened the door, the sight laid bare her earlier mistake. Lavinia's words ought to have been enough, but there had been a slim chance. It might've been the vampire that had gotten her memory confused of which inn it had been that had that nice round soaking space, recessed into the ground and rimmed by heated stones--spacious enough for maybe four at a time to indulge in it--and which had had a more conventional setup. Now, there was certainly nothing wrong with the tub here, it was certainly luxurious by any standard--a full length footed basin large enough that one could stretch out very comfortably in, to such an extent that only maybe the tips of their toes and fraction of their forearms would hang out, exposed, over the edges. But add a second person, and well, while it wouldn't necessarily become terribly cramped or anything, it was certainly not what she'd originally been envisioning while extending the invitation. Not to mention, the merchant was beginning to feel self-conscious about her scars. A vampire, lord of the night, was an existence standing at the top of the hierarchy of undead. Lavinia's body was probably flawless, most certainly in comparison to her own, which she'd had to stitch back together on more than one occasion. Jade found herself wishing she could still get drunk, and manage to lose her concerns the easy way, but her body rejected the influence of any toxins these day, lumbering on unphased. Well, what was done was done, and what would come would come. The zombie brought in a small side table from the main room, putting her self care kit atop it, and also her pipe. She could at least rely on that to calm her some if needed, though the effect was all mental. Making sure the water was heated appropriately, she then begin filling the bath, a task that was soon enough finished. Lavinia would probably be arriving any moment, a brief stop at her own room being all that stood between them. A small pause, eyes closed, and Jade calmed herself enough to disrobe and enter the tub. Out of anyone, she could expect the vampire to be the most accepting. What had she called her again, 'a fellow immortal'? That kind of inclusion was a comfort she had almost forgotten, with reactions like the innkeepers' being more the norm. Things would be fine. As a knock on the door announced her guest, Jade called out. "I've left it unlocked. Took the liberty of getting everything set up and slipping in first," she added, before nervously--in spite of all the convincing she'd just given herself--biting on the mouthpiece of her pipe, then stealing a quick puff or two.
  13. Well, that was the pincer done and dusted, time to catch back up to... Abigail took a few seconds and glanced at the radar readings. Jesus, everything was so far away. Two choices really, north or east, and both the closest enemies were a long ways out. In her second of indecision, Jess led the Riese east, essentially making the decision for her. Better to stick nearby, especially with it limping along in poor repair. "Cally, let's floor it and head for that Cressida there, you see the one?" The merc was finding herself falling into a familiar rhythm, and it really did a lot to stave off some of the unease that would otherwise have been eating at her. As long as she could focus on what was immediately in front of her, and who was right next to her helping her do so... things would turn out fine. It was just the way things worked. Abigail to 10,7 beam magnum vs cress 6
  14. Not sure if If I should bring this to you, or another mod, but I've noticed something strange in one of my topics.

    This one:

     

    For some reason, people can't download the patch file that is attached to my starting post. I signed out to check, and sure enough it says it's not available, even though I just deleted it and reuploaded it again.

    What's the problem here?

     

    1. Balcerzak

      Balcerzak

      I didn't catch this notification the other day, I'll look into it after work if it's still being a problem.

    2. DiogoJorge

      DiogoJorge

      Sorry, but your friend Eclipse already helped me. Thanks for your attention anyway.

  15. Wagon Wheels "Dorian," Jade mouthed quietly to herself, cementing the name in her memory through use and association. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance." When Lavinia offered to accompany her, and fill in a few more missing details, perhaps things that had been jogged by having run into the gentleman standing there before them--would she mind, "Not in the slightest. You're more than welcome to join me, whether you want to get in and soak yourself, or even just sit on the sidelines."
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