https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/178387948914/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_pfegq3huNm1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Faudio_file%2Fjacksgreysays%2F178387948914%2Ftumblr_pfegq3huNm1u7pteb

A/N: 3 of 8 in the Ode to 11010201 voicemail series! Also, I don’t know why I always end up with Disney Channel references. -_-

~

3 – R’s failed voicemails – 11 months

Hi, you’ve reached R Chacone the, uh–fuck.

Hi, you’ve reached R Chacone, the Chief Resource Officer of–wait, do I?–fuck.

Hi, you’ve reached R Chacone, the desk of me–shit.

Hi, you’ve reached the voice mail box–what? no, what? god, no–okay.

This is R Chacone and you’re… fucking watching Disney Channel or some–what the? what am I saying? God, okay.


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/178353839963/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_pfeglxnHaQ1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Faudio_file%2Fjacksgreysays%2F178353839963%2Ftumblr_pfeglxnHaQ1u7pteb

A/N: 2 of 8 in the weird Ode to 11010201 voicemails

~

2 – R to Patrick – 7 months

Hey Patrick this is R! I’m, uh, stuck in traffic but you probably know that because I’m not in the office and I should be as… a… you know… dutiful employee should be at this time. Anyways, I was just calling to let you know, um–obviously I’m late–if you could let the Mathieson company, uh, the-their people–oh god–um, if you could let them know that I will be in as soon as possible and, you know, just stall for time, maybe… um… I mean, I–to be honest, if you want to just go ahead with the meeting without me you—I’m pretty sure you know the, uh, info better than I do, and, uh, as evidenced by this voicemail you are more, uh, eloquent and will probably… solidify this deal… sooner… and better than I–anyways! That’s not why I’m calling… yeah… did–sh-should I pick up anything on my way in? I mean, given the state of traffic, it’ll probably be lunchtime by the time I get back to the office… Okay! Call me back!


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/178321256541/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_pfegbduTU41u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fa.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_pfegbduTU41u7ptebo1.mp3

A/N: I was stuck in absolutely terrible traffic a few weeks ago, and in order to prevent myself from frothing about enraged, I recorded a series of voicemails on my phone set in the Ode to 11010201 ‘verse. So not the best quality in any way, shape, or form.

I’ll be posting them in order of creation, not necessarily chronological order, so… enjoy?

~

1 – R to Iris – 8 months

Hey Iris, it’s R. Um. I know that I said that I would stop calling you, uh, but, it’s been 8 months since we’ve spoken and a lot has happened since then. Um you–you might know that, uh, I moved… to New York. I um, I have a new job. They, um. They, uh, they seem to really like me here for some reason. They, um. They seem really close to each other and I–I like that, you know? I’m not very good at making friends, but I think I could be friends with these–with my coworkers–and they seem… They seem like family, and I guess that’s why I’m calling because… you know… how–how weird it is to be… almost family with these–these people that I’m being paid to work alongside when I haven’t even spoken to my real family in eight… months… I guess I just wanted to see how you were doing and if, maybe, you know, just start up the conversation again. Or, just, start one at all… You’re probably wondering why I’m calling now instead of… you know, earlier, like, um, I mean I–you know, um, our birthday was two months ago… yeah. That, um, that happened. And, um, I didn’t call you then, but, um, in my defense you didn’t call me either so… I guess we’re both a little bit at fault for that one, aren’t we? I, um… shit.

Erase message.

Ode to 11010201 AU ficlet (2018-08-04)

A/N: Continues from here

~

Zim wakes up on the ground, aching and stiff and what he imagines having a hangover is like, but he wakes up and that’s all that matters. He breathes and regrets it, feels like he’s burned his lungs. Feels like he’s burned everything really, even air seems to scrape against his raw nerves.

He struggles to turn, spots Kevin and painstakingly crawls that way. His fingers shake checking on his best friend–what if Zim was too late? What if the curse had hooked itself too deeply? What if taking the curse from Kevin killed him anyway?–but there is warm skin and a steady pulse and all that there is room for in his heart is relief.

“Impressive, octant,” says a voice Zim doesn’t recognize. He turns toward the sound even though his muscles screech in protest, he is tired from even that minimal effort, panting, pressing his cheek into the ground.

There are an unfamiliar pair of shoes not even a yard away, “Risky as fuck and terribly inefficient, but impressive nonetheless,” says the person attached to the unfamiliar shoes.

The unfamiliar legs bend, lowering an unfamiliar body and an unfamiliar head with an unfamiliar face attached so that Zim can see the stranger.

Unsurprisingly, Zim asks, “Who are you?” Voice rasping out from his damaged throat.

The stranger shrugs, dismisses his question, asks one of her own, “What made you think you could survive the curse, octant?”

This time, Zim shrugs. Or tries to. More of an attempt to twitch his shoulder, leading into a full body flinch, which causes him to groan in pain into the dirt.

The stranger sighs as if Zim were purposely avoiding her question. As if this were all a ploy to get out of it.

She presses a to his forehead, mutters something too low, too quick for him to parse, and a cool wave washes over him. No more pain.

“Better?” The stranger asks, and Zim nods, too surprised to be anything but truthful. “Now if you don’t mind, octant, answer my question.”

That’s the third time the stranger has called him that, but he keeps that confusion to himself.

“I didn’t,” he croaks. At her confused furrowed brow, he elaborates, “I didn’t think.”

Rather than look skeptical, as the doc might, or irritated, like Belinda, or even horrified, as Kevin will be when Zim tells him what happened, the stranger huffs a quick, soft laugh. A smile curves her mouth, almost fond, “Yeah, why am I not surprised?”

Zim thinks that’s something he would like to know, too, actually, but the stranger continues–both answering and confusing him further.

“Oh, octant, you’re just like your mother.”

Ode to 11010201 AU ficlet (2018-07-30)

The curse is spreading through Kevin’s body–poison coursing through his veins–and the only counter Zim and the doc have managed to find is death of the host. That’s one shitty cure.

But Zim’s been able to burn it away, use the hosts’ hearts as foundation, turn his penchant for literal fire into a more figurative, ethereal fire. He has an idea, a desperate, foolish hope, but if he can’t save Kevin then what’s the point of doing all that work? All that research? What’s the point of being magic if he can’t protect the people he cares about?

Doc Kaiza isn’t here to stop him–she’s back at the clinic, more research and calling on her contacts, too slow for what matters–and so it’s just Zim and Kevin and the eldritch entity steadily, thoroughly, working its way through Kevin’s being.

If Zim can’t stop it here and now–before Kaiza makes the call, the final decision to sacrifice the one for the whole of humanity–then Kevin will die. One way or another.

One way or another, Zim is going to prevent that.

“You can’t make fun of me for this,” Zim says to whatever is left of Kevin in Kevin’s body, “For at least two weeks, okay?”

Kevin doesn’t say anything, because the eldritch entity has already taken control of that part of him–an hour ago it made a horrifying screech which shook the town–but his nose crinkles in a familiar tic of confusion, and that’s good. That’s great. That’s all Zim needed.

So he darts forward, shoves a hand over Kevin’s nose–because that at least, in part, is still his, still human, even as the rest of his him lashes out with more power and wrongness than should be possible–and waits for the body to open its mouth. Either to breathe, if it still has to, or to screech once more, defending its terrible existence.

When it does, Zim seals his mouth over it. Less like a kiss and more like he’s trying to literally eat Kevin’s face, a giant bite intended to swallow down more than the chili cheese fries from the Tommy’s Burgers on Orchard Street.

The entity shrieks and it travels directly into Zim, down his throat and into his lungs, the force of it rattling and ominous. But Zim doesn’t stop. He inhales, he pulls, from Kevin into himself, curse drawn within bronchioles to capillaries to heart where his internal fire lives.

Kevin’s body drops to the ground, and Zim would check on him but it’s not done yet. The fight’s still going.

The curse is no longer in Kevin. That’s good, that’s the best thing that could happen. Now Kevin won’t have to die.

Now the curse is in Zim.

He doesn’t scream. Doesn’t have the extra energy to scream. Has to focus on damming the flow, shoring up his very being because the eldritch entity is hungry and not one for mercy.

Zim’s magic manifests itself as fire. Zim can use the hearts of hosts to burn away the curse. Zim’s magic lives in his heart.

He will burn the curse out of himself.

Survival is secondary.

~

A/N: I have a few more ask box things you said prompts in my ask box and I swear I will get to them, but considering my really bad writing habits lately I figured something unrelated to the ask box event was better than nothing?

This isn’t “canon” Ode to 11010201–if anything can be considered canon for that WIP original ‘verse–but I have an idea and needed to write it, but I didn’t even get to the scene that I wanted to but I needed to stop here because it’s nearly four in the morning and I have work in a few hours so hopefully I’ll still remember what I wanted to get to after I sleep and do stuff later today.

Also, maybe don’t get your hopes up about my writing schedule resuming normal levels because I was cast in an upcoming Bindlestiff show even though I was only supposed to design lights so I will be busy again.

Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Untitled brainstorm/ficlet (2018-03-28)

A weird and somewhat embarrassingly cliche dream. Unsure if a weird manga-like world where everyone has animal features or if it was more the symbolic but the following:

A young jaguar cub, hurt and hungry and lost in a massive city of cement and steel. An old turtle, scarred but kind, happens upon him and adopts the cub. They leave the city and live in a small house in the country, where the turtle has many strange visitors but they otherwise live as happily as they can.

The turtle tries, of course, but reptiles are not so good at childcare, not like mammals. In an effort to do the right thing, the turtle looks for any trace of missing jaguar cubs. They take a trip to Brazil in hopes that will make things easier, but no avail. They are both a simultaneously disappointed but relieved by that.

The jaguar cub grows up. The turtle grows old. The turtle dies.

Turtles live long, but not forever, and this turtle lived a long and dangerous life.
That life catches up with the jaguar, but not in a bad way. The turtle had many businesses in the city and while he does not need to supervise them, the jaguar does have to introduce himself to them especially in this upcoming month. The turtle was also once a loyal servant and advisor to a great dragon.

That dragon has a son who has declared his intention to court the jaguar.

The jaguar is bewildered. The jaguar does not understand that the dragon son is royalty. The jaguar has no idea that the month long festival in the city in honor of the royal family (and in a Cinderella-esque attempt to get the dragon son betrothed to the many eligible beings in the city).

The capybara, a third generation immigrant from Brazil who manages one of the turtle’s-now-jaguar’s businesses and is the jaguar’s friend as he navigates city rhythm after a life of sheltered, country living is completely aware of all of this and amused as hell.

The scene I specifically dreamed:

“And you’re sure you’ve never met him before?” Capybara asks, wiping down the counter. It’s unnecessary–she has exacting standards and excellent employees–but she finds the movement familiar and soothing.

She’s not the only one, clearly, as Jaguar sleepily blinks at her in response to the question. She waits, patient, Jaguar will answer her soon enough.

“Hm,” he hums, trying to recall. She likes that he is not quick to speak, considers his words before he utters them. “I was mostly out in the country and the town we lived in was so small I can name everyone. Grandfather had visitors from time to time, but they were all adults…”

Capybara waits once more, he is not finished speaking, she does not believe in interrupting people. And anyway, she thinks this quiet recollection suits the the half lit closed bakery.

“… we did travel, once, to Brazil when I was younger. But I don’t remember interacting much with anybody besides Grandfather. Surely I would remember?” Jaguar sounds so honestly confused that Capybara attempts to answer:

“If you were young enough, maybe not,” she says with a shrug, “Most everyone’s childhood memories are… hazy to some extent. Though if it were such a significant meeting that he decided to court you after all these years, it would be harder to forget.” And given who Dragon is, it’s unlikely that their meeting would have been anywhere but in this city.

But Jaguar’s gaze has drifted off, clearly struggling with a particularly barbed thought.

Capybara’s family has managed this bakery for Turtle since they immigrated here decades ago. Her grandmother was the one who suggested the trip to Brazil. They sent care packages of traditional baked goods twice a month up until Jaguar temporarily relocated to the city and he came to the bakery on a near daily basis instead.

She knows some of Jaguar’s background. Not enough to interrupt as he wrestles with his memories, but enough to be there when he finally breaks away.

“… maybe Before?” Jaguar says so hesitantly, so reluctant yet brave, that Capybara reaches out to give him a comforting pat. Jaguar gives a shaky grin in return and they put the moment to rest.

After a pause, Capybara asks, “Regardless of the why, are you okay with this situation?” Because Dragon or no, if Jaguar isn’t okay, Capybara will throw down.

He looks up at her, startled, then away, almost shy. Poorly trying to hide a smile.

Capybara nods, “Then we proceed in such a way that you will be happy.”

~

So I guess this means that it’s set in Japan? Because… surely this is hella some kind of cheesy manga set up, and also the idea as capybaras as established immigrant population is so good for my soul. Shout out to my fellow second/third generation immigrants!

Uh… please be kind if you have anything to say about this ficlet. I am so soft.

Some more world building details under the cut in the very unlikely chance that I want to revisit this ‘verse:

Tbh, Dragon family is more a mix of royalty and crime family than just pure royalty. So, yes, Turtle was once the right-hand man of a yakuza boss.

Jaguar is hella into parkour. Jumpy cat is more accustomed to trees but he’ll make do with buildings.

Jaguar might have been part of a human trafficking ring that a rogue gang had which the Dragon family discovered and broke up, but only after a warning visit telling them to dismantle willingly or be destroyed. Hence, Dragon meeting Jaguar previously?

Jaguar also hella escaped on his own, like the same day the wrath of the Dragon family was enacted upon the rogue gang, and was kind of scraping through on his own for a few days until Turtle found him.

Dragon has been infatuated with Jaguar since their possible original meeting as children in that shitty situation. But is emotionally collected/competent enough to know that an idealized version of a person isn’t enough to establish a relationship alone. Hence, courtship.

The city has no idea that Dragon already has a future spouse in mind, all they know is that he’s receptive to one. So everyone is getting a little crazy.

At one point, there is a parade for Dragon which he does not show up to because he and Jaguar are watching it from a rooftop and eating some of Capybara’s pastries.

Ooooooh

Chompy Maiden flies so sweet.
To all the ships in the Bone Fleet,
She smiles sharp and wide and well,
Then bites their shields and hulls to hell!

Chompy Maiden is so strong,
She can never do a wrong,
‘Cause all the enemies she hits,
Explode and get all wrecked to shit!

So if you think you can destroy
Chompy Maiden, she’ll enjoy,
Your crit ones and awful luck,
Your plan has failed, your ship is f–

FIRE!

Ode to Chompy Maiden, jacksgreyson

Just wanted to say how much I loved seeing Sweeper’s second bit! I also loved the power-play Sister’s got going on, there. Can’t ask for help without reminding people you’re better than them, huh?

😀 Thanks! I think this might be that last part for now? It’s getting plotty…

~

For all that the outside of your sister’s stronghold is a mess–officially a foreclosed warehouse covered in grime and rust–the inside is well maintained and clean. One of the few things that you share. The hardwood floors practically gleam despite the dim hallway lights, not a cobweb in sight even on the obnoxious wall sconces or the pretentious drapes.

The fabric of your clothes may be old and worn in comparison to the luxuries of the place, but there is no denying they’re clean.

As you pass by, you nudge one of the trinkets on display; not enough to push it off the shelf, but just enough to offset it from its original spot. The metal still shines, no fingerprints, of course.

There is another guard standing outside an ornate door at the end of the hallway. You stop before it at the third door from the end, less ornate, but for all the meticulous tidying, the one with the most wears and marks. You knock.

The second guard stares at you, assessing, and does not look away. The first guard was more for appearances, in training perhaps, or your sister’s version of a receptionist. This second guard is tactical. Let her enemies think she is behind the guard, behind the nicest door, they walk right past her and within her second guard’s reach.

Alternatively, the second guard does have a better shot at anyone entering this third door from the end.

You do not knock again. You stare back at the second guard.

After what seems like a yawning eternity, the second guard nods, greets you, “Sweeper,” and walks over to open the door for you.

You nod back. You say, “Thank you, Deuteronomy.” You step through the doorway.

Your sister’s office is a disaster, desk overturned and files flung across the room. Shattered glass glitters on the floor, water and aquarium plants strewn alongside it, but that is not the worst of it. A body lies–blood pooling around it, gone dark and nearly matte with time–on your sister’s second favorite rug.

Your sister, sitting on the floor cross-legged puts out her cigarette on its face. Flings the butt carelessly into the pool, it sticks, tacky. There is no blood on her clothes, but there are still some spatters on her face, her neck, beneath her fingernails in crimson moons. Changed, then, but not showered.

It is quite the mess.

“Sweeper,” your sister says. She does not look pleased to see you, but this, of all things, you do not take personally.

None of your clients are pleased to see you.

You do another scan of the room, lingering on the bodies’ face. Not someone you recognize off the top of your head, but your sister has always been more of a people person, and no doubt she’ll tell you its identity soon enough. You eye the life size portrait of your grandmother, slightly askew from where it hangs on the wall.

“What is it you need swept?” you ask your sister, but you already suspect what it might be; you do not turn away from that askew portrait to face her. Your suspicions are confirmed when she, too, looks to the portrait.

Or, more accurately, to the vault door hidden behind the portrait.

~

16 days until the show!

Ooo~ Count me intrigued. Is Sweeper a name, a nickname, a title? I feel there’s an implication of extra-normal skills–my mind leaps immediately to the supernatural, but I could also see it being simply very high competencies. And it sounds like there’s an antagonism between “you” and the sister–is she your boss, or only that guy’s? I’m SO CURIOUS

Thanks! Uh…. actually this was meant to be more of a one-shot sort of thing, but since you expressed interest I suppose I could get into it a little more… I definitely did dream up the further world even though I only wrote this little snapshot so…

Enjoy!

~

You stand and feel the weight of yourself, your exhaustion, in your joints. Knees stiff and near to creaking, echoing up your nerves. Your calf itches. Slowly, so as not to move more than necessary, you lift your opposite foot to scratch at it. Quietly, you put your foot back down.

The man standing guard outside the door glances at you, then away, dismissive. Your weight resettles along the soles of your feet. You are so tired. Your sister is cruel.

Would it hurt anyone to give you a chair? It’s been almost two hours since you were ambushed on the train. What a hypocrite. You cannot keep her waiting, but your time, apparently, is worthless.

You tamp down the anger, will your heartbeat to slow, you do not have the luxury of anger here, not in your sister’s stronghold. The man standing guard, as if sensing your disloyalty to his boss, glances your way once more. This time his gaze lingers, his mouth twitches, but he stays silent and looks away again.

He wears a suit, well tailored, or so you think, you are not an expert in mens formalwear. So like your sister to multitask, make her employees protection and eye candy both.

You are not self-conscious about your own appearance, rumpled and casual it may be. You were on a train that smelled of piss, heading home after a day of cleaning more and other bodily fluids. If your sister wanted you gussied up just to wait two hours in her chair-less waiting room, she should have let you go home and shower.

Your knees start to buckle. You have no idea who you’re trying to impress. The guard? Your sister? Clearly you’ve already failed on the former, and the latter has never been impressed with you. You allow your knees to bend, let gravity pull you down further. You might as well sit even if there are no chairs.

You feel much better. From this new angle, seated cross-legged on the floor, you notice the scuff marks on the guard’s shoes. Your exhaustion pulses. You let your eyes droop. You could nap, maybe, just a quick one to shore yourself up before seeing your sister.

A beep sounds from the guard’s wrist. He glances at his watch, at you, at the door, before reaching for the handle. “Sweeper,” says the guard, “Boss will see you now.”

For a moment you are filled with hate before you tamp that down, too. As it recedes, you imagine saying something witty, something cutting, but you let it ebb further into apathy. This is your sister’s stronghold.

You get to your feet.

Untitled (2018-03-20)

You’re on the train, night gone dark outside, lights streaming smears across the windows. Your eyes blink slowly, heavier each time, behind your sunglasses. You know you look like a massive tool, but the fluorescent lights of the train are so bright and also you can’t accidentally make eye contact with another passenger.

You blink again, slower, lingering longer closed.

One headphone in your ear because at least one means occupied but both reduces your awareness and that just cannot be done. You are sitting alone, but you are not looking for company. The train car you’re in smells mildly of piss, but better than the vomit of the first car. And plus, everything in the city smells mildly of piss.

You blink once more, the voices of strangers making jokes in one ear, and when you open your eyes fully you are not alone. You don’t startle, only because you are too lethargic to startle, but you do tense. Slowly shift away.

After two stops, after your seat mate hasn’t said anything, you begin to gradually relax. Another two stops and you’ll be disembarking. No worries.

As the next stop approaches, your seat mate stands, and you relax even further, relief washing over you.

Except then your seat mate looks back at you. Makes eye contact with you–somehow, despite the sunglasses–and says, “Well, come on. Don’t want to keep your sister waiting. Boss has a job for you, Sweeper.”

You tense all over again, caught, but stiffly and swiftly make your way to your feet. Adrenaline has replaced the lethargy in your blood.

Your sister is not one for patience. You shudder to think what she’s done that requires your services.

~

A/N: It feels like forever since I’ve written, so here’s a small thing to exercise that part of my brain again.

22 days until this show!