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Literature
The Golden Age Chapter 3
While the Giga wars officially ended 42 years earlier, in practise the two main states of the world, the W.E.R. and the P.R.E. were still very much at war. Unfortunately old animosities don’t disappear so easily, especially when the animosities are held by the two most powerful states on earth. This of course had materialised in many forms. Both nations had been desperate to get as many on their respective side as possible and this had lead to many conflicts most notably in the former African continent. But there was another region that both wanted to get their hands on. Even before the Giga wars, space travel had long been a viable business area, but after the states were established, the whole thing heated up. Before long, both sides had set up space station hotels for the rich members of their states to take an alternative holiday. Of course, they didn’t stop there.
It wasn't long before both of them had set up colonies on different sides of the moon. They had started of
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Literature
The Golden Age Chapter 2
On the other side of the Atlantic in a flat in east London, Ian Clarkson was getting ready for work. As he tied his tie, Ian looked at himself in the bedroom mirror. He wasn’t an interesting person to look at, being a 37 year old white male with dull brown hair and simple glasses. But he had a job to do and he intended to do it every day in order to bring home the metaphorical bacon. After adjusting his glasses and making sure his belt was on tightly, Ian walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen of the flat he shared. Upon entering the kitchen, Ian saw Grace his flatmate sitting at the table eating her own breakfast and checking the news on her phone. Ian said good morning to her, before opening the cupboard and taking out a synthetic loaf to put in the toaster. While he was waiting for it to cook, Ian turned on the radio to hear the news.While he could have easily done it on his phone, Ian had a thing for the radio. At that time, the news simply repeated the reports of wha
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Literature
The Golden Age Chapter 1
Uberyork, Greater Northern America W.E.R. 42 AJ (After Justice)
Upon opening his eyes, Sam Hopkins (aged 19) was somewhat disappointed. He’d been having a wonderful dream in which he was in bed with millionaire supermodel Olivia Chapman and was understandably cross to discover that he had not in fact slept with the girl of his dreams but was still in the Uberyork eastern district home for adolescents. Pulling himself out of his bunk, he heard a voice say in ever cheerful tones “Morning buddy!”
Sam looked out from the bottom bunk where he slept every night to see Brad, the guy who’d been assigned as his roommate in the home.
“Good morning” Sam replied in an ever so slightly melancholic manner. Of course, despite Sam’s attempts at dodging the conversation, Brad picked up on it very quickly.
“What are you miserable about?” he asked while climbing down from the top bunk “You got crap classes today?”
Sam shook his he
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Literature
The Legend Of Pokenia Epilogue
A few weeks later
Ethan and Lilly had been making their way through the Viridian forest for a while when the clearing they were looking  for came into view. The two of them walked through the  trees to where the resistance base had once stood and went over to what stood in it’s place. Namely a huge stone monument that had been erected in honour of Leo, Pa, Zoe and all the other pokemon who’d died under Odium’s hand and had fought to defend the world from his evil. Lilly took out a small bunch of flowers she’d brought a day earlier and laid them down before turning back to her father
“Leo’s watching over us you know” she said
“Is he?” Ethan laughed
“Yeah” Lilly nodded “And Zoe and Pa. They’re all looking down on us”
Ethan rubbed Lilly’s head “I know darling.”
For a few seconds, the two pokemon simply stared in silence. Then Ethan spoke again
“I’m glad you
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Literature
The Legend Of Pokenia Chapter 51
Aaron opened his eyes to find himself lying on a red platform made out of rock. To his relief, the rest of the pokemon were all lying around him.
“Guys!” he yelled. A second later, the pokemon began stirring and getting up from the floor amazed by what they were seeing
“What’s goin’ on?” Harley muttered “Can’t a guy get some peace around here?”
Buck shook him causing Harley to awake. As Harley took in what he was seeing, all he could say was “Oh my Arceus”
The platform the group were standing on was located inside a dark swirling void that seemed to go on for all directions. Scattered across the void were platforms all made out of the same red rock.
“Where the hell are we?” Joel asked.
“I think it’s called the Distortion world” Hilal explained “From what I remember in the legends, it is the home of the legendary darkness that attacked Pokenia all those years ago”
“So basica
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 50
Odium then dragged Serena through the castle until they arrived at his throne room. When they arrived, Harold and Tim were already waiting for them. Shortly after, the Gastrodons arrived.  As soon as they did, Odium snapped his fingers. The Gastrodons proceeded to slither up to Serena and stand with her. Odium then walked over to his desk
“My loyal followers! The time has finally arrived! The moment where I shall transcend ordinary pokemon and become a being with power on par with Arceus himself!”
Odium then glanced at Serena who looked away with disgust. Harold then raised his wing
“May I ask a question your majesty? How exactly do you propose to accomplish this admittedly enourmous task”
“I’m glad you asked me” Odium grinned before flipping up a small compartment on his desk. Odium then pressed a button causing the wall behind to raise which revealed an enormous complicated machine. The Baron then removed the red chain from around his ne
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 49
The group followed Sam through the tunnels of Newmoon castle. After a short while the tunnel began to lead upwards. Then wooden structures appeared on the wall.
“Nearly there” Sam told the group “Now I hope you’re prepared. Very few pokemon that are against Odium have entered this castle and lived to tell it”
Joel shivered. Lilly on the other hand stepped forward with her old sense of optimisim
“We’re more than prepared! After all we’ve been through, this is gonna be our grand final!”
“Yeah!” Molly added “We’ll show that Odium just who’s boss round here!”
“Now that’s what I like to hear!” Sam smiled “For years, Newmoon island has waited for change and now we might just get it!”
The group then followed Sam a little way further until they came to a set of stairs. At the top was a large metal hatch
“Right then” Sam said “We go through there and we
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Literature
The Legend Of Pokenia Chapter 48
As Mavis’s goons advanced on the group, Aaron frantically tried to get the Z-ring to work.
“Come on you stupid thing!” he yelled, frantically shaking it in the desperate hope that it would unleash a secret power that would destroy all the Newmoon troops surrounding them.
“Forget it!” Pa yelled “That thing’s not gonna save us now! We’re doomed!”
“No!” Aaron yelled with a mixture of fear and disappointment “It’s got to work! It has too!”
But it was all  in vain. No matter what Aaron did, the Z-ring just wouldn’t work.
As the Newmoon troops began their attack, all seemed hopeless for the group. Then a voice yelled  “Out of the way mate!”
The group were then amazed to see several Newmoon troops get sent flying. A second later, a trio of pokemon crashed into view. The group were even more amazed to see who they were.
“Looks like ya need a hand there!” Garrett said. Wit
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia chapter 47
The group spent the rest of the night at Angus and Oscar’s cottage. Lilly stayed with Leo and didn’t speak to Ethan at all. While Ethan was upset by this, the rest of the group were more concerned about what was awaiting them tomorrow. They were of course going to walk straight into the belly of the beast, Newmoon island where the entire fate of Pokenia rested on their operation succeeding.
As he lay in a makeshift sleeping bag Angus had put together, Aaron was unable to sleep. Partly because he was worried about having to face off against Odium himself and if he was able to succeed. He tried to reassure himself by reminding that he’d not only taken down a legendary pokemon all by himself, but he also had the power of the completed Z-ring and his friends to assist him. But it wasn’t just that. He worried about Serena. Was she ok where she was? Was she even still alive?
Aaron scowled. If Odium had so much as laid a finger on her, he would make sure Odium got what
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia chapter 46
As soon as the battle began, a glowing energy field encircled the room leaving Aaron and Giratina inside it and the rest of the pokemon outside
“What gives?” Aaron asked
“Just a precaution” Giratina replied “We can’t have your friends interrupting this battle now, can we?”
“No problem!” Aaron raised his arms into an attack pose “I’ll take you down regardless!”
Although Aaron was trying to sound tough, inside he was genuinely afraid
“I like your attitude!” Giratina laughed “You’ve certainly got guts!”
“How bout this for guts!” Aaron then launched a brick break attack at Giratina. To his surprise however, the attack barely even registered.
“Sorry, I forgot to mention” Giratina smiled “I’m a ghost type. Fighting type moves won’t work on me!”
As Aaron considered the implications of this, Giratina spoke again
“If you wish to concede defe
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia chapter 45
The inside air of the Sinjoh ruins was only slightly cooler than the desert outside. Much like the Snowpoint temple, the corridor the group stepped into was dimly lit by a series of torches.
“Now stay close” Hilal told the group “There’s bound to be many a dangerous trap lying in wait for us.”
“Ya know, I never got the point of putting traps in places like this” Pa grumbled “All it does is make our job a lot harder”
“It deters potential thieves” Anibesa replied “Many a grave robber has come to this place attempting to steal the riches from within. And all have failed”
Pa gulped to himself as the group continued making their way through.
A short while later, Molly had turned on her tail light to give the group better vision. As they turned a corner, the group saw that the walls of the next corridor were covered in strange black letters.
“Ere guv?” Rod nudged Ethan “Don’t dey look a bit
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 44
The air at Newmoon castle had turned sour. When she’d arrived back, Mavis had locked herself in her room in despair and shame, refusing to come out. Odium of course was furious about this, partly because he cared about Mavis but mostly because his attempts at taking down Aaron had failed yet again.
The baron was attempting to drown out his stress and anger by throwing himself back into his work. As he continued writing up his notes and going over documents, a knock was heard at the door. Barely looking up from his work, the Baron asked “Who is it?”
“It’s us your majesty” Victoria’s voice replied
“Your most trusted servants” Edmund added
“Have you got news?” The Baron asked
“We have and I think you’ll like it”
“Then don’t just stand there! Come on in!”
A second later, the door to the Baron’s throne room opened and the two Gastrodons slithered in.
“So what is the news?”
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 43
The group  continued trekking through the Pastoria swamp for some time. Eventually, the trees began to thin out and the mud and water that covered the ground began to fade away. Pretty soon, the group found themselves emerging under an open sky. In front of them in almost every direction was a vast desert with sand stretching as far as the eye could see.
“Oh goody” Daniel grumbled “We’ve gotta cross that!?”
“At least it’s not as dirty that ruddy swamp” Charlotte said to him sternly
Daniel huffed “Alright alright. I’ll do it but I won’t like it”
Aaron laughed “You sound just like Serena”
The trek across the Haina desert almost made the group miss the Pastoria swamp. While it was less dirty (although considering it was still a load of sand, that wasn’t really saying much) the desert was scorching hot. To make things worse, the group had only brought along a finite supply of water.
“I
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 42
As Ethan and the others hurried through the camp, they were worried beyond belief. Although Aaron had admittedly survived some tight scrapes before, that didn’t make their fear of him being blown to bits any less terrifying. While they were hurrying through the camp, the whole place was in complete uproar. Newmoon soldiers were running left to right panicking at the thought of their place coming under attack. Ironically, they were so worked up by all this that they failed to notice the actual intruders running through the place.
Eventually after making their way through the camp, the group eventually arrived at a smouldering pile of wreckage.
“Oh my Arceus” Deborah said shocked. Billy Bob and Emily Sue ignored her and simply hurried up to the wreckage
“C’mon” Billy Bob said “If we’re lucky, there might be somethin’ left of yer friend”
The couple then began to clear away the wreckage. Without a second thought, the rest of the g
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Literature
The legend of Pokenia chapter 41
For the last few minutes, Irons had been placed in a leather sack. He knew he was moving, but he didn’t know where although Irons had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be a nice place. After a while Irons had lost track of the time he’d spent in the sack only to find it being thrown on to what he assumed was the floor. Then the top of the sack was cut open and a pair of arms dragged Irons out.
Irons found himself inside a large tent. He was being restrained by Joss while the Gothitelle from earlier stood in front of him. Next to her stood a foreboding female Salamence. Irons was the first to speak
“Dagnabbit! Whatcha kidnapping an ol’ man like me for? Don’tcha know ah’m frail and-“
“Oh put a sock in it” the Salamence said “We know all about you and how you’re the most powerful pokemon in Pastoria swamp, so you can quit playing the frail old man act”
“Yeah!” The Gothitelle added “While you
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Literature
The Legend of Pokenia Chapter 40
Charlotte was practically at the end of her tether. She and Daniel had been trekking through the Pastoria swamplands for a fair amount of time and to say it was an unpleasant experience was an understatement. While Charlotte grumbled to herself about the muddy water they were constantly stepping in, Daniel simply kept leading her through it. After a while, Charlotte stepped into a puddle that was much deeper then she’d imagined and sunk right up to her neck. She climbed out and let out a frustrated moan.
“Oh come on Charlotte” Daniel chided “It’s not that bad”
Charlotte scowled at him “That’s easy for you to say! My favourite dress is ruined and all because you’re so obsessed with being the greatest hero ever.”
“And it’s an honourable goal to want” Daniel shot back
“But why do you want it this bad?” Charlotte asked him “Surely you don’t have to do something this stupid to get it”
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Beastie Boys 'Intergalactic' by dsantat Beastie Boys 'Intergalactic' :icondsantat:dsantat 362 46 Pris alone - Blade Runner by Harnois75 Pris alone - Blade Runner :iconharnois75:Harnois75 360 22 Baron Samedi by AlixBranwyn Baron Samedi :iconalixbranwyn:AlixBranwyn 514 16 Summer Is Coming At Bendy by fnafmangl Summer Is Coming At Bendy :iconfnafmangl:fnafmangl 1,308 217 Sailor Mercury by redheaded-step-child Sailor Mercury :iconredheaded-step-child:redheaded-step-child 621 77 Gutter Punk - Color by wackycracka Gutter Punk - Color :iconwackycracka:wackycracka 455 133 Homestar Runner Halloweenies by Gpapanto Homestar Runner Halloweenies :icongpapanto:Gpapanto 107 103 Commission by Chibikki-ikki Commission :iconchibikki-ikki:Chibikki-ikki 39 6 Space Invaders  by toonaddict2017 Space Invaders :icontoonaddict2017:toonaddict2017 9 2 Night Jerusalem by Leonid Afremov by Leonidafremov Night Jerusalem by Leonid Afremov :iconleonidafremov:Leonidafremov 208 3 Margie by Kipichuu Margie :iconkipichuu:Kipichuu 91 5 Coastal View Cross Stitch by ShiroiKoumori Coastal View Cross Stitch :iconshiroikoumori:ShiroiKoumori 169 74 30 Years Of Bosses -2011- by TheBourgyman 30 Years Of Bosses -2011- :iconthebourgyman:TheBourgyman 4,457 923 Tokyo street by arsenixc Tokyo street :iconarsenixc:arsenixc 7,180 178 Ferrari Testarossa by The-Transport-Guild Ferrari Testarossa :iconthe-transport-guild:The-Transport-Guild 6 1 Sweets Paradise by NovaReeee Sweets Paradise :iconnovareeee:NovaReeee 354 19

Critiques


Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the worst drawings I think I've seen on the entire site. The image is extremely poorly coloured. Th...


One of the first genuinely good works of art I've seen in a while The first reason is that it's very well painted. Even the smaller par...


Ah Sonic ocs. The worst kind of recolour. Like most of them, this looks exactly like any other Sonic OC. In fact (and I may be wrong he...


Great image if I do say so. The colours of the image are very warm and striking which is a good thing as it means that anyone who see's...

Activity


Last night I decided to run a test on Clip Studio Paint to see what it was like making comics. To say that I failed epically would be an understatement. Mainly because I didn't understand jack about the various layers and how they work.

So I thought I'd ask you clever people how the various layers in Clip Studio Paint function in such a way that even a total imbecile such as myself can understand
As you probably guessed, this thread is about the best tracks for when you're chilling out. Feel free to share any. And I'll give you all a few of mine:

Tangerine Dream: Love On A Real Train www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9wo0c…

Jean Michel Jarre: Calypso 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQsjTb…

Aphex Twin: Blue Calx www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgmXnr…

Boards Of Canada:Music Is Math www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7bKe_…

Steve Roach: The Other Side www.youtube.com/watch?v=78GQoT…

The Orb: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nL1-j…

Talk Talk: I Believe In You www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSg2OI…

Moby: Porcelain www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhZnEa…
While the Giga wars officially ended 42 years earlier, in practise the two main states of the world, the W.E.R. and the P.R.E. were still very much at war. Unfortunately old animosities don’t disappear so easily, especially when the animosities are held by the two most powerful states on earth. This of course had materialised in many forms. Both nations had been desperate to get as many on their respective side as possible and this had lead to many conflicts most notably in the former African continent. But there was another region that both wanted to get their hands on. Even before the Giga wars, space travel had long been a viable business area, but after the states were established, the whole thing heated up. Before long, both sides had set up space station hotels for the rich members of their states to take an alternative holiday. Of course, they didn’t stop there.

It wasn't long before both of them had set up colonies on different sides of the moon. They had started off as simple moonbases, but soon grew into fully fledged cities where various citizens began migrating to in an attempt to find work. Considering that the moon was known to be full of precious metals, the whole thing turned into a massive mining war with both states attempting to get an edge over each other.

Of course, to computer technician Elanora “Diesel” Johnson, this whole contest to see who could be the most powerful in the moon wars meant nothing to her. She’d moved to Lunacity W.E.R.3 years earlier in order to find a job that would put her computer degrees to good use instead of spending the rest of her life slaving away in a dull coffee shop in the New Melbourne suburb of the E.A.M. (Eastern Australia Metropolis). Being that the computers used by the main corporations on the moon were extremely sophisticated to the point that some claimed they actually surpassed human though, there existed a fairly large demand for technicians and Diesel had soon found herself a job and a small apartment to live in. At this point in time, she was heading to a local coffee shop named Luna Sea that she frequented before going on shift. Said shift was scheduled to start in an hour giving her plenty of time to have a drink of imitation coffee and go over the news .

When Diesel entered the shop, very few customers were there. The tables were mostly sparse with just a couple of people sitting down staring at their phones. Diesel ordered her usual, before sitting down at a spot she usually liked. She then took out her phone to see the Lunaville W.E.R. news. The main story of course was of a mass shooting that had happened in a W.E.R. gym two days earlier. The group claiming responsibility for the attack was the usual suspects, a radical political movement by the name of the L.I.F. (Luna Liberation Front). The group had formed a couple of years earlier and their demand was simple. They wanted the moon to be an independent state from Earth allowing it to govern itself as it saw fit. Of course, the governments of the W.E.R. refused mostly since the moon was a key part of their economy. But the L.I.F. were persistent. Their activism had started with things like distributing leaflets and petitions. When the government had cracked down on that, they’d gotten more violent with shootings and bombings. Admittedly the attacks were less common then they were a few years ago, but that hadn’t stopped most of Lunacity W.E.R. from being on edge. To make things worse, the L.I.F. never seemed to end, no matter how many arrests and crackdowns Lunacity W.E.R.’s government carried out.

Diesel then looked up from her phone briefly to see a brown haired man in a red boiler suit enter the cafe. He was carrying a small black bag and seemed somewhat nervous as he walked around. Diesel tried to ignore him at first. After all, she had her own problems to deal with and she couldn’t spend ages thinking about every so and so who walked into her life. A few seconds later though, she had a change of heart.
“Hey?” she called out causing the man to look at her “You ok?”
“What’s it to ya?” he replied in a slight american accent. Diesel smiled nervously
“Oh nothing. You just looked a little concerned about something and-“
“Well I’m totally fine” The man said “I’ve just got some things to do and I’ll thank you kindly not to interfere!”
Diesel threw up her hands in defence “Sorry mate. I was only trying to help.”

With that, Diesel got back to her coffee. However she kept a discreet eye on the man. He continued to look around the shop as though he was making sure that nobody was watching him. After a while, he sat down at a table just across from her and began checking his phone. Diesel shrugged and got back to her own phone and her coffee.

She’d only been doing this for a few minutes when the man got up and walked out of the cafe. Diesel looked up just in time to see him walking out of the shop’s doors. It was then that she noticed something. The man had left his bag under the table. So Diesel decided to do the right thing and rushed out of the shop after him
“Hey!” she called out as soon as she stepped out of the shop “You forgot your-!”
Before she could continue yelling, a terrific explosion burst from the shop and blew her clean off her feet. Diesel opened her eyes a second later. Her ears were ringing and the coffee shop was in shambles. The front doors had been blown off their hinges and the interior was in complete disarray with the tables tipped over and the unlucky patrons who were inside laying unmoving across the shop floor.
“Fuck” she thought shocked. Diesel then wondered to herself just who the man was. There was however only one real conclusion to the whole thing
The L.I.F. had struck once again and Diesel had very nearly been a victim.
The Golden Age Chapter 3
A much shorter chapter this time that was delayed due to a short vacation.
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On the other side of the Atlantic in a flat in east London, Ian Clarkson was getting ready for work. As he tied his tie, Ian looked at himself in the bedroom mirror. He wasn’t an interesting person to look at, being a 37 year old white male with dull brown hair and simple glasses. But he had a job to do and he intended to do it every day in order to bring home the metaphorical bacon. After adjusting his glasses and making sure his belt was on tightly, Ian walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen of the flat he shared. Upon entering the kitchen, Ian saw Grace his flatmate sitting at the table eating her own breakfast and checking the news on her phone. Ian said good morning to her, before opening the cupboard and taking out a synthetic loaf to put in the toaster. While he was waiting for it to cook, Ian turned on the radio to hear the news.While he could have easily done it on his phone, Ian had a thing for the radio. At that time, the news simply repeated the reports of what was going on in the african territory wars. Everyday the citizens of the W.E.R. listened in in the hope that their brave troops had managed to push back the P.R.E. forces and help bring another part of the former African continent into the glorious ways of the W.E.R.
“So what’s on the agenda at work today?” Grace asked Ian.
Ian looked up from his food. In the background, the radio had finished the news and was now beginning the top 40 music countdown for that day
“Not much” Ian replied “Just the usual reviewing the new film releases to make sure they comply with the W.E.R.’s guidelines”
“Sounds more interesting then my day” Grace smiled “I’ve got a couple of regular clients coming in for the usual jobs and we’ve got two new people coming in that’ll hopefully enjoy our service enough to-”
At that point, Grace noticed that Ian was completely focused on his breakfast and didn’t appear to be listening to her
“Do I bore you?” she asked
This took Ian off guard.
“Of course not!” he replied confused. Grace looked sceptical
“Then why are you trying to avoid conversation?”
“Sorry if it looks like I’m ignoring you” Ian smiled nervously “I’m not trying to. I’ve just got a long day in the office ahead of me”
“Doing what?”
Ian briefly hesitated “Thinking about what I’m gonna be doing in the office. You know I’ve got some new films being brought to my attention and I’ve got to make sure it’s all fit for viewing”
Seeing that Grace almost looked somewhat hurt, Ian quickly tried to save face
“Hey don’t worry, I’m sure being a hairdresser is a great job too. Now I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got to finish my breakfast.”

After the two of them had finished, Ian and Grace said their goodbyes and set off for their respective jobs. Ian’s job took him on the underground to central London. After he stepped out of the station a tall white rectangular building came into view. Above it’s doors were the words Department of Media Monitoring although most people just called it the D.M.M.. Ian took great pride in working here as the D.M.M.’s job was one of extreme importance. They monitored the media of the UK to make sure that nothing was said which could be damaging or cause havoc. This included simple office work going over films and tv shows and checking that everything corresponded with W.E.R. standards or field work travelling to people’s homes to check for illegal material. Ian mostly did office work although he had done a few field jobs though not for a couple of months. Stepping into the lobby, he scanned his id badge into the computer by the entrance. The doors opened and Ian made his way to the nearest elevator to head to floor 3.
“Another day of keeping the public safe” he thought to himself while riding up in a tightly packed elevator.

The 3rd floor of the D.M.M.’s building was full of office cubicles arranged in a grid format with office drones scuttling about and typing things on computers (though not at the same time). Ian always hated this job. After all, the lower floors always got the stuff like teen mags and porn. Ian always wished the people at the top would be kind enough to transfer him to a higher floor watching the latest blockbuster movies. But he didn’t have much of a choice as he had to pay the rent somehow.
As he walked up to his cubicle, a voice behind Ian said “Hey Ian!”
Ian turned around to be greeted by a man with dark black hair who was slightly younger then him
“Oh hey Doug” Ian said “Everything fine at home with that girl you live with?”
“Of course!” Doug replied “We sent off the paper work to register a birth yesterday. Hopefully this means we’ll be able to carry on our legacy a little”
“That’s great” Ian tried his best to sound enthusiastic “And I guess it’s great that you won’t have to waste time with the whole child raising thing”  
“Yeah I know!” Doug grinned “It means that I can continue working productively without having to waste time bringing up my child in the great ways of the state!”
“I’ll talk to you later” Ian said turning away“I’ve got a whole lot of stuff to type up”
As he walked away, Doug (oblivious as ever) replied “Yeah sure! I’ll speak to you on break!”

Upon sitting down at his office chair, Ian groaned to himself. Doug was a guy who always seemed to hang around Ian like a bad smell. Despite his irritating nature, Ian always felt compelled to stand and listen to the guy. He wondered why he did it. Probably because in a way he felt a bit sorry for Doug. Doug was the kind of guy who went along with whatever he was told to do by the state. What made him different from the thousands of others who did this was his bubbly nature. The guy had total trust in the W.E.R. and it’s great ways. Which was probably why he was so productive.
Ian groaned and logged into his account. The first thing he was shown was a report from one of the higher ups which read

Hi Ian, we’ve got the copy of Teen Wow! for you to read over. There shouldn’t be anything too offensive, but you can’t take any chances can you?

Below it was a link to the file for the Teen Wow! edition for that week. After the W.E.R. had taken over, paper and print media was pretty much extinct and everything was online. Teen Wow! was one of the more popular webzines among the teen demographic (Hence the name) and was often assigned to Ian’s department to look over
“I guess it ain’t too bad” he thought to himself “I could be stuck looking at the mature women porn publication again…”
With a heavy sigh, Ian began going over the magazine to make sure the whole thing conformed to the W.E.R.’s demands.

Ian spent nearly two hours reading over the magazine’s various pages. As usual it was the same old dross about looking good, the latest celebrity gossip and the dieting/self help columns. When Ian finally reached the end of his report, he declared the publication satisfactory and unlikely to offend anyone. As soon as he sent it off, Ian had mixed feelings. On one hand, he felt glad that he’d gotten the bloody thing out of his hair. But on the other hand, that meant that he’d just have to go through more of them until he reached the end of the shift. Ian opened the file and silently cursed. His next publication to review was a crude low level pornographic magazine “for women who liked real hot beefcakes”. While most porn had largely been written off in the W.E.R.’s attempts to provide such blessings like gender equality throughout the state, the occasional publication was allowed to satisfy the masses although they were more likely to be aimed at women.
“Let’s just get this over with” Ian groaned.

Before Ian could begin his report of the magazine, a hand tapped him on the shoulder. Ian turned around to see a tall employee with a grizzled black beard, by the name of Paul standing over him
“Can I help you?” Ian asked
“We’ve got to head to room 7FB” Paul explained “There’s a big field job that’s about to be carried out and the guys on top want you on it”
“Great!” Ian thought “ A little change of pace from reading dross magazines!”

Ian then followed Paul to the meeting room where several of his work mates had already gathered. Paul walked up to an electronic board and pressed a button on a small control panel to the side. Immediately an image of a rather crude looking website appeared on the screen. It’s background was an ugly yellow and the text on the webpage, a dull red. The title at the top read “The truth behind the W.E.R.”. Below it were several links that read shocking statements such as “Why the W.E.R’s views of gender equality create more problems” or “Why the banning of religion was a bad move”
“As you can see” Paul explained “This website has been causing trouble for the UK branch of the W.E.R. for several weeks. We’ve tried many tactics to remove it. We’ve had it removed from search engines and we’ve tried having it removed from our servers. But it just relocated to the deeper regions of the web. Of course we’re concerned that young people could access it and start holding dangerous views that could threaten the sanctity of the nation.”
Paul then pressed a button and the image on the board changed. It showed a rough map of the greater London area with a red circle in the southern area of Lambeth.
“A few hours ago, our cyber detectives were able to get a reading from the site’s IP address and back trace it to this region here. Our job now is to get to the address before the site’s owners realise they’ve been traced and permanently put them out of business”
Another worker raised his hand “Do they know they’ve been traced?”
“We can’t be sure” Paul replied “Our methods are usually discreet, but they’re not perfect and it’s possible they may already know we’re coming. That’s why we’ve got to get moving. Any other questions?”
Nobody in the room responded
“Good” Paul nodded “Now let’s go!”

The standard equipment in a team like this included a metal helmet and bulletproof armour to protect against attacks. Surprisingly operations like this often featured violence from the perpetrators, so of course the appropriate measures had to be taken. The kit also included a baton, pepper spray and even a handgun for times when offence was the best form of defence. As Ian and the others poured into the back of the van, Paul set the coordinates into the van’s driving computer before joining them. He then produced a map of the property.
“The house is part of a small neighbourhood and has no garden. As a result, half the team will take the back to prevent them from escaping while the rest of us will cover the front”
Paul then looked at another member of the team
“Frank. I want you to lead the rear team”
“Understood” Frank nodded. Paul then pointed to another part of the map
“We think that the servers for the site are located in the house’s basement. When we enter, the first thing we do is secure the occupants before heading  into the basement and destroying the servers. We’re also gonna have to sweep the house to make sure that the site hasn’t been backed up on a stick or something”
“How many of them are there in the house?” Ian asked
“ We’re not sure, but according to our surveillance teams, we think there’s two men and a woman.” Paul explained “The problem is that they know they’re doing illegal things and so they don’t leave the house that often. They’ve had a neighbour buy food for them who we are in the process of apprehending for aiding dissidence”

A little while later, the van pulled up to the street where the house was located. Ian followed Paul to the front while Frank lead his team round the back. When they were all in position, Paul gave Ian the signal. His squad then charged at the front door and knocked it out of it’s frame with a single kick. The squad charged through the front hallway and into a nearby kitchen where two young men were standing.
“D.M.M.  freeze!” Paul yelled . Both of the men were scruffy looking young men who looked exactly like the sort of delinquents who would cause trouble in any situation. The two of them quickly realised they were both outnumbered and outgunned and held their hands up. The men were then forced to the ground and had their hands restrained,
“Right then!” Paul demanded “We can do this the easy way or the hard  way? Where are the website’s servers?”
“I don’t know what you mean” one of the men grunted. Paul slapped him hard on the back of the head
“Do you think we’re a bunch of fucking idiots?” he spat “We know your site is based here! We know this! If you don’t cooperate, you’ll be facing additional charges of obstructing justice! So cough up!”
“What do you think we are? Fucking spineless!?” the other man replied angrily “We’ll never-“
The first man then shushed him
“It’s in the basement below the laundry room.” he said, half mumbling
His partner scowled at him, but remained silent. Paul yanked the man to his feet and put a gun to the back of his head
“Take us there!” he demanded.

Ian and the others followed Paul and the man through the house while two over members of the squad dealt with the man’s partner, to a dirty old laundry room. The man then walked over to the floor with Paul right behind him and opened a trap door.
“You go first” Paul ordered. Knowing he didn’t have much choice in the matter, the man obeyed.
The inside of the cellar was made of bricks with a cold hard floor. In the corner were a group of old servers which were still quietly humming away. Paul turned to the rest of the officers
“Right lads, unpack the flamethrowers. We’re gonna burn this prick to the ground”

The unpacking and assembly of the flamethrowers specially designed for this sort of job took a couple of minutes. As they were nearly finished, the group heard a noise from upstairs. Then Frank stumbled down the steps with a young woman.
“Sir!” Frank saluted “We caught this individual in the upstairs bathroom. She was attempting to upload something through her phone which we’re certain was a copy of the website”
“Did you stop it?” Paul asked. Frank simply nodded. Paul then walked up to the woman and looked her over. She was very plain looking with short blonde hair. Even from where he was standing, Ian could see her trembling. Then she lashed out at Frank. Everything that happened next seemed to happen in slow motion.
The woman snatched Frank’s gun from its holster and punched him in the face knocking him to the floor. As the rest of the officers got ready to tackle her, she aimed the gun at them
“Any of you fucking pricks move and I’ll shoot!” she screamed. For a second, nobody dared to move.Then Paul tried to diffuse the situation
“”Now just calm down-!”
“No!” she screamed “You’re not gonna take away our freedom!”
As Paul approached her, she then began to panic. In desperation, she pointed the gun at Ian
“I’ll kill you!” she screamed “I mean it”
Ian then grabbed his gun and pointed it back at her. However this didn’t discourage her
“You’re really gonna shoot me! Then go ahead and do it!”
Ian hesitated. He’d fired the gun on the job a couple of times, but he’d never actually had to kill someone. As he fretted over his dilemma, the girl began to pull the trigger
“What are you waiting for!” she screamed “Fucking do it!”
As she pulled the trigger a little tighter, Ian panicked and pulled his trigger.

Immediately, the gun’s barrel exploded and blasted a bullet right through the girl’s skull. Parts of bone, brain and blood burst out the back of her head and splattered across the wall behind her. Her lifeless body then slumped to the floor. The officers present all breathed a collective sigh of relief
“Thank fuck that’s over” Paul sighed before helping Frank up. He then walked over to Ian who was panting heavily and laid a hand on his shoulder
“Nice job there son. You really saved our hides.”
Ian nodded, but remained silent
“Right men” Paul said turning back to the officers “Now that that’s over, let’s get on with the destruction like we originally planned.

The torching of the servers went well. Ian and the others watched with delight as the flames licked over the metal of the machines burning them away,twisting them and turning them black, wiping out any trace of the website from the internet. Paul smiled with satisfaction. Once again him and his officers had played their part in keeping the W.E.R. stable and preventing a repeat of the giga wars. After the servers had been completely wiped out, Paul gave them their next orders
“Right lads” he ordered “I want you to search this house and make sure they have no backups of the site or any illegal materials.”
He then turned to two other officers
“Cooper! Brown! I want you two to assist me in processing the owners of the site. They’re gonna be facing a long prison sentence”
Cooper and Brown both saluted “Yes sir!”

The rest of the house looked as though it hadn’t been cleaned in the better part of a decade. All the rooms were filled with garbage and objects scattered across the floor. In the bedroom, the sheets of the bed appeared to have not been washed for months. Ian was sent up to the attic of the house. He was sent by himself as the attic was judged to be the least likely to have dangerous things in it and Paul thought he could use something a little less dangerous. As he climbed up the ladder into the dark cold room that made up the attic, Ian was still thinking about what he’d done. Whipping out his flash light, he began the search for contraband items. Looking around the attic, he could see the room was mostly barren of features with the exception of a few cardboard boxes. Ian opened one and shined his light in to reveal it was full of useless crap like old coat hangers and dirty clothes. The whole time though, he did it all on autopilot.
“I killed her” he thought “Snuffed out her life in an instant”
Ian then tried to reassure himself
“Don’t worry about it. She had it coming. After all, she was threatening you and she was an enemy of the state. She’s only got herself to blame for getting her head blown off…”
Ian then sighed “But I didn’t have to kill her” he thought “ I could have just wounded her or…or…”
At that, he stopped. Ian saw something on the wall opposite. Shining his light, he saw a part of the wall where the paint had peeled away slightly. And something was lurking behind it. Ian rushed over and peeled away the remaining paint causing something to fall out with a quiet thud.
Ian shone his light on the object. It was a small bundle of paper held together by some sort of cardboard that allowed it to open like a clamshell. On one side of the cover was text that read “The Divine Comedy. By Dante”
Ian blinked. He knew damn well what this object was.

It was a book. Once popular among the ignorant masses until the W.E.R. had been established. Before they came along, books caused nothing but untold misery and hurt numerous people emotionally. Of course this had all contributed to the Giga wars which the W.E.R. had bravely ended. It was such a momentous occasion that they’d even got rid of the old calendar based on some intolerant religion and replaced it with After Justice to commemorate the day when humanity reached utopia and all were happy and equal.
Ian frowned. He’d have to report it to Paul for destruction. Yet as he looked it over, Ian was curious. Why would this small insignificant object be so destructive and dangerous to the great and powerful W.E.R.?
As he stared at the cover, Ian decided that surely one little peak couldn’t hurt. So he opened it up , shone the torch on the pages and began to read the words inside.

         When half way through the journey of our life
I found that I was in a gloomy wood,
because the path which led aright was lost.
And ah, how hard it is to say just what
this wild and rough and stubborn woodland was,
the very thought of which renews my fear!
So bitter ’t is, that death is little wor-


“Ian!” Paul’s voice called out causing Ian to stumble “You alright up there?
“Yeah I’m great!” Ian replied “Just finishing up! There’s nothing of value up here”
“Well we’re nearly finished clearing up the rest of the house” Paul said  “You come down and I’ll give you the briefing”

When Ian stepped down from the attic, Paul was there to greet him
“You ok?” Paul asked concerned
“I’m a little shaken” Ian replied “I’ve never had to kill someone before”
“If I’m honest, you look like shit” Paul told him “You think you can handle the rest of the day?”
“No I don’t” Ian groaned “I know this is asking a little much, but you mind if I take the rest of the day off?”
“I guess that’s fair” Paul replied “You just head back with us and then head home when we get to the office”
Ian nodded “Thanks”

The journey back to the offices in the van was one of the longest Ian ever took. Not only had he lied to Paul about there being nothing of value in the office, he’d also stuffed the book into a small carrier case on his suit. Normally these cases were only there so that the officers could take objects back with them to be analysed. Of course they certainly weren’t supposed to be used to smuggle contraband items. If Ian got caught there existed a very good chance that he’d be sent off to a correction centre. He shivered at the thought.

When the van arrived back, Ian discreetly went back to the uniform deposit area and carefully slipped the book out of the case. Stuffing it under his shirt, he hurried back to his cubicle and quickly slipped it inside his briefcase. Just when Ian though he’d gotten away with it, a voice behind him said
“Hey Ian!”
Ian spun around to see the concerned face of Doug staring back at him.
“What do you want!” Ian snapped. Doug held up his hands
“Sorry mate. I just heard what happened on the job and I was a little concerned about you”
Ian sighed “Sorry. I’m just a little on edge. In all the years I’ve been doing this job, I’ve never had to kill someone”
“It’s all right” Doug patted him on the shoulder “That sort of thing will shock anyone at first. Just look on the bright side”
Ian rolled his eyes “Which is?”
“You’ve managed to uphold the sanctity of the W.E.R. and done your part in keeping the nation safe”
“Thanks” Ian replied “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got the rest of the day off”
As he walked away, Doug replied “See you tomorrow!”

As soon as he got back to the flat, Ian poked his head around the door
“Grace?” he called out. No reply. Ian rubbed his hands together with glee and walked into the bedroom. He then closed the blinds to stop others from peering in and sat down on his bed (being that him and Grace slept in separate beds). With a high degree of anticipation, Ian took the book out of his briefcase and began reading over it. Although he found it slightly difficult to understand, Ian was nonetheless fascinated by what he was reading. In fact he actually lost track of the time doing so.

Ian had just reached a rather fascinating chapter on a place called the city of Dis when he heard the door open.
“Oh crap” he though “Surely they haven’t found out already”
Ian then quickly slipped the book under his bed and went outside.

When he left the bedroom, Ian was relieved to discover that it was only Grace. However she looked a little concerned
“What’s wrong?” he asked
“I got a phone call from your boss earlier” she replied “About what happened on the job”
Ian smiled reassuredly “Oh don’t you worry about that. I’m fine now. It’s just an occasional hazard on the job”
Grace frowned “Are you sure? It sounds really horrible”
“It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it’s still pretty bad” Ian replied “But I should be well enough to go in tomorrow. Now how about dinner?”

As Ian picked at his synthetic steak, Grace stared at him. She worried about him sometimes. The job he did was always demanding and she had a strong suspicion that Ian only stayed on for the money. Finally she decided to say something to break the ice.
“You know, I’ve been thinking…”
Ian looked up “About what?
“Maybe we should register to have a child. I mean neither of us are getting any younger and…”
“I don’t think I’m ready just yet” Ian replied. Sensing Grace’s disappointment, he quickly spoke again
“But maybe in the near future-“
“You always say that” Grace groaned “Every time we want to do something, you find an excuse. Sometimes I think it’d be much better if I moved out into another flat”
“Of course not!” Ian replied “I like having you around. It’s just that I’ve got some significant projects to work on at the office at the moment. But I assure you that when the workload decreases, I’ll put in the first application”
Grace folded her arms “Really?”
“Of course” Ian replied “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need some sleep. So I’ll see you in the morning”
“What about your food?”
“I’ll wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge” Ian replied.

After he’d left, Grace thought to herself
“There’s something strange about Ian. Maybe it’s just the stress from work… But I don’t know. I’ll see how he is in the morning and if he still seems shaken… I’ll have to call the doctor”
Grace then shrugged and went off to get some sleep for the night.
The Golden Age Chapter 2
Chapter 2 of my new story. Since I started writing for this site, I've wanted to do a story with multiple plot lines. So this is finally my chance to do so as you can see here.
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As is typical with a Mrgreen36 thread, the topic explains it all. What games had the best soundtrack? Feel free to give examples.
And as usual, I'll give a few of mine to get the ball rolling:

Wario Land: The Shake Dimension: By far the best soundtrack I've ever heard in a 2d platformer with every style of music imaginable included: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC99fY…

GTA Vice City: Admittedly I'm biased towards 80s music, but it's still a great soundtrack: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqFwDl…

VVVVVV: Shockingly I'm a big fan of this game. But all jokes aside it has one of the best chiptune soundtracks I've ever heard www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0gOUm…

Smash Bros Wii U: The best archive of Nintendo songs bar none:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbVcPU…
Uberyork, Greater Northern America W.E.R. 42 AJ (After Justice)

Upon opening his eyes, Sam Hopkins (aged 19) was somewhat disappointed. He’d been having a wonderful dream in which he was in bed with millionaire supermodel Olivia Chapman and was understandably cross to discover that he had not in fact slept with the girl of his dreams but was still in the Uberyork eastern district home for adolescents. Pulling himself out of his bunk, he heard a voice say in ever cheerful tones “Morning buddy!”

Sam looked out from the bottom bunk where he slept every night to see Brad, the guy who’d been assigned as his roommate in the home.
“Good morning” Sam replied in an ever so slightly melancholic manner. Of course, despite Sam’s attempts at dodging the conversation, Brad picked up on it very quickly.
“What are you miserable about?” he asked while climbing down from the top bunk “You got crap classes today?”
Sam shook his head “No it ain’t that. I guess I’m just a little bored?”
Now Brad was puzzled “Bored? How can you be bored? We’ve got a great life here in this community with everything we could hope for and no adult responsibilities. You can’t be bored!”
Sam smiled “No I guess you’re right. I’m just not a morning person.”
“Of course you ain’t!” Brad smiled back “Now what do ya say we get some breakfast”

Breakfast in a W.E.R. (Western Earth Republic) adolescent home was always the same standard meal of synthetic bread with synthetic coffee and artificial fruits or if you wanted something different, a choice of cereals. The new breakthroughs in food technology had meant that nothing ever needed to be made from earth materials which meant in turn that the earth’s ecosystem was never ever damaged. Sam had pretty much eaten this for breakfast every day since he’d turned 3. As he stared at the toast slice he was eating, Sam briefly wondered what they’d eaten before the W.E.R. had been established. He guessed they’d all had to eat nothing but crap and been really miserable before the W.E.R. constitution had been established bringing justice and equality for all. He then wondered what people ate in the P.R.E.. From what he’d heard, the place was a complete shithole with children being raped on a daily basis and all women treated as less then human, the complete opposite of the glorious land that was the W.E.R.. And yet, he briefly found himself wondering how much of that was true.
“Don’t be an idiot!” he snapped to himself “You know full well that you live in the most glorious nation on earth. You’ve been provided with a roof over your head and free education to prepare yourself for tomorrow. Don’t be ungrateful!”

After he’d finished his breakfast, Sam retreated to the men’s bathrooms to brush his teeth and wash his face. Normally he’d be undergoing a full shower, but he was running a bit later then usual and decided to save himself a bit of time. As he finished brushing his teeth, Sam looked up and briefly stared at himself in the mirror. His eyes were baggy from his constant lack of sleep and his black hair was all scraggly. Sam quickly combed it to make himself look at least a little bit presentable and not like he’d been pulled up a blocked drain. After he’d done that, he changed into his school uniform, gathered together his books and headed off to the bus station.

Upon arriving at the bus stop, Sam noticed that there were very few people around. A quick glance at the electronic timetables explained why. The bus that Sam was supposed to get had already come and gone and to make things worse, the next one that took him were he wanted to go wouldn’t be arriving in another 45 minutes. Combine that with how long the journey to get to the school would take and he’d be extremely late.
“Shit” he thought to himself. I’d better start walking.

The journey through the streets of Uberyork was pretty uneventful. The streets were busy with the self driving electric vehicles that took the various residents to their jobs while the buildings were still showing as many adverts as they could cram. Of course this was all in line with the W.E.R.’s philosophy which went a little like “Money makes the world go round. Spend it on the stuff you can afford as you might be dead tomorrow and that’s that”.
As Sam rounded a corner onto a street containing a bunch of nondescript buildings, he briefly thought he’d taken a wrong turn. His worries were soon put to bed when he noticed at the end of the street, a large bank called Bertrand Savings and Loan which he always remembered passing on the bus journey to school. It’s gaudy red sign was hard to miss.
Sam then began making his way down the street to cross over onto the left hand side when he saw something he’d never noticed before. Sitting in a doorway of some grey nondescript building was a man. This man was different from the rest of the people passing him and ignoring him though. He looked much older with dirty clothes and a grey beard that looked like it had never been washed in it’s life.
“He must be homeless or something” Sam thought. Sam then continued his way down the street trying to ignore the man. After all he was a poor loser who’d most likely chosen against the brilliant ways of the W.E.R.. Yet as Sam walked past, he found himself briefly looking at the man. Just for a second. But as he did, the two of them’s eyes met and the man nodded slightly. Sam quickly looked away and hurried down the street without looking back.

Not long after his encounter, Sam finally arrived at the school. Checking his watch he realised he had a good five minutes to make his way to the first class which was Gender Studies with a Mrs Mcgrath.  As he entered the class and took a seat at his usual spot, Sam felt somewhat gloomy. Gender studies had been part of the curriculum ever since the W.E.R. had been established. According to the people at the top, this was a good thing if they were going to maintain the standards of equality the world had previously lacked. As soon as the class had settled, Mrs Mcgrath spoke in the usual commanding tones she used when starting a lesson.
“Ok class if you’ll please take out your personal device and log onto the website where you’ll find today’s assignment. First read through the essay carefully as it’s one of Brianna Grey’s best and most well known.”
Sam removed his personal device from his bag and logged on. Personal devices were assigned to everybody living in the W.E.R. territories as soon as you were old enough to have one. They contained everything you’d ever need from news applications all the way down to games and entertainment apps. Sliding his fingers across the touchscreen which had come standard, he soon logged onto the college network and found the essay. As the teacher had explained, it was by renowned feminist Brianna Grey and was entitled “Damsels in distress and how they degrade females”

Sam sighed as he began to read. It was typical of Brianna’s work in that it took an old fictional trope that had largely been banned in fiction since the W.E.R. had come to power and explained why it was necessary to ban it in order to promote full equality between men, women, genderqueers and any other genders that had been discovered. In this case, it argued that the damsel in distress trope did nothing but promote women as weak objects who only exist to be rescued by big strong men and therefore was degrading to both of those genders in typical Brianna Grey style.
As he read through it, Sam wondered why Brianna was so well regarded. For the first time, he’d noticed how one sided her essays were and how they never even gave examples of the trope in context. Although he tried to continue reading, Sam finally decided to ask Mrs Mcgrath a question.
“Miss?” he said raising his hand. Mrs Mcgrath looked up
“Is there a reason why you’ve stopped reading your assignment?” she asked in a derisive tone
“I just want to ask a question” Sam replied. Before Mrs Mcgrath could do her usual tactic of telling him to get back to his work, he managed to say “I just though that the trope could be interpreted another way”
To his surprise, Mrs Mcgrath replied “Oh really? May I ask what flaw a male like you has found in such a well written essay”
Sam felt annoyed by the teacher’s insult, but he ignored it
“I just thought that the damsel in distress trope could also be seen as a gesture of love.”
Taken aback, Mrs Mcgrath opened her mouth to speak, but Sam was quicker
“I mean wouldn’t it be nasty if you found out the woman you love had been captured and just thought, screw this I’ll leave her to herself”
“Don’t talk such garbage!” Mrs Mcgrath snapped “Brianna’s theories are flawless. If it wasn’t, the G.E.R. would not have made her essays required reading in gender studies! Now sit down and get back to your work!”
“Why do we need gender studies anyway?” Sam asked “From what I’ve seen, women have complete rights in the W.E.R. and-“
“Silence!” Mrs Mcgrath yelled causing Sam to go quiet “That sort of thinking is commonplace in places like the W.E.R. It’s men like you that  dragged down women all those years before the W.E.R. was established and we need classes like this to remind us of how women should be treated! Now stand outside the class until you can behave like a W.E.R. gentleman is supposed to!”

As soon as Sam got into the corridor, he instantly sulked. It wasn’t fair. All he’d done is asked a question that was bothering him and he’d been torn apart for it. Why did he even bother trying to speak his mind. Surely that was exactly like what the P.R.E. did (At least they were like this according to the news media he’d read)
“Oh don’t be an idiot!” Sam snapped to himself “They’re perfectly justified in what they do. It keeps order and provides us all with a land of justice and equality”
Sam then thought for a second. That’s what he’d always been told while reading about the history of the W.E.R. and he’d always assumed it was true. But now that he thought about it…
“Is it possible?” he thought “The world I live in is a lie?”
Sam then shook his head “Of course not! You live a perfect happy life with a roof over your head and true equality and justice for all!”
Before Sam could continue his musings, the class door opened and Mrs Mcgrath stepped out. Although she didn’t seem as angry as before, she still had a look of disappointment in her eyes.
“Can I talk to you?” she asked. Sam said nothing
“I’m disappointed in you Sam” she replied “You used to be a terrific student. But I’ve noticed that your work has started to slip-!”
Sam tried to defend himself “I was just asking a question!”
“I know you were” Mrs Mgrath replied “But you have to watch what you say. What is it we always say?”
Sam looked at her and refused to speak. Not to be deterred by another chance to repeat state doctrine, Mrs Mcgrath replied “Nobody has the right to yell fire in a crowded hall. What you were doing was blatantly contradictory to a major state doctrine. You could have very well upset somebody”
For a second, Sam said nothing. Then he decided to get it over with
“Sorry” he said, half mumbled
“That’s fine” Mrs Mcgrath replied “Now get back in class. You’ve still got a few questions to answer”

After surviving the class and a rather dull maths session, it was time for lunch break. Sam did his usual habit of getting the synthetic lunch that was being served before finding a place in the canteen to sit alone. To his dismay, a trio of girls lead by the it girl of the school, Becky Davies sat down just across him and started discussing the tv shows and music that they watched. Sam sulked to himself and tried to ignore them. Unfortunately they talked just loud enough that he was forced to listen to every second of their conversation.
“Oh my gosh, did you see the last episode of At Home with the Dallas’s?” one of Becky’s friends asked
Sam rolled his eyes. At Home with the Dallas’s was the show that everyone who was supposedly cool watched. Sam however had only seen it once and decided that that was more than enough. The show followed the lives of the Dallas family, a super rich family living in the upperclass suburbs of the San Angeles megacity. Sam had often wondered why they were famous in the first place as they hadn’t actually done much except be rich and attractive.
“Oh my cash, I know right!”  Becky replied “That Josie Dallas is like sooo pretty! I wish I had her dress-“
“Bullshit!” Sam blurted out loud enough for Becky to hear. Immediately she and her friends looked in his direction. Realising that they were now looking at him suspiciously, Sam decided to make the most of it
“That show is a bunch of bullshit!” Sam replied “I mean why do you even watch it? It’s just privileged talentless idiots standing around trying to look pretty!”
“Fuck off!” Becky fired back “Josie Dallas is an inspiration!. She’s so pretty and talented and-“
Sam scoffed “Talented? Don’t make me laugh! She doesn’t do anything worthy of fame except get her hair done on tv. If I went on tv and had my hair done, would that make me an inspiration?”
“No way!” spat one of Becky’s friends “You’re ugly and stupid!”
Sam rolled his eyes “So if I’m attractive, that automatically makes me a good person? Even If I murdered some innocent children, it would’t be a problem if I was attractive!”
“Shut the fuck up!” Becky was now extremely worked up “Josie Dallas is a legend whether you like her or not! Loads of people like her and the Dallas’s so saying that they’re bad is saying that the majority is wrong!”
“And loads of people like snorting cocaine, but that doesn’t make it a good-“
At that, Sam had to duck to avoid a cup that Becky was throwing at his head. She then screamed in rage and ran out of the cafeteria in tears. Sam then got back to his lunch, feeling slightly smug about himself. Until shortly after when a teacher walked up to him
“Sam Hopkins” he said sternly “The principal wants to see you”

Sam had never really liked Principal Mitchell. Although he’d rarely spoken to him directly,the man always came off as a snob who took pride in being the most important person in the school. When Sam arrived at the door to his office, he hesitated before knocking at the door. “Come in” said the principal’s upperclass sounding voice.
Sam opened the door to see the familiar grey haired form of Principal Mitchell sitting behind his desk. When Mitchell saw him, he briefly chewed his lip before saying “Ah Sam Hopkins. Do take a seat” and gesturing to the seat in front of him.
With some reluctance Sam did so. Mitchell then tutted before speaking.
“What are we going to do with you?” he asked in snide tones “Today you ask bad questions in your class and you upset another student so badly, she has to retreat to her safe space” (A place on college campuses to help students recover from being told things that upset them such as things that go against the W.E.R.’s glorious doctrine.)
Sam said nothing. Mitchell continued “We’re beginning to get very concerned about you Mr Hopkins. Over the last few months, your work has suffered badly and your behaviour has become more… questionable shall we say. Is there something that you’re not telling us?”
Again Sam didn’t respond. Mitchell leaned forwards. “Sam, I’m only asking this for your benefit. We’re all very concerned about you and we want nothing more then for you to leave college to become a fully functioning member of the state”.
Although Mitchell was trying to sound concerned,Sam sensed that deep down, he was mocking him
“No sir. I’m just under a lot of pressure at the moment”
“Well that’s a relief” Mitchell smiled “I had a fear that you’d secretly decided to become a P.R.E. agent.”
Mitchell laughed again at his own joke and Sam forced himself to smile. Mitchell’s demeanour then became more stern
“Now listen. I don’t want to have to talk to you about this again. If you carry on the way you’re going, you might just have to attend voluntary rehabilitation. Do you understand?”
Sam nodded “Yes sir”
“Good. Now get going. Your next lesson starts in a couple of minutes and you don’t want to be late”

Sam then had to sit through another two crappy lessons. The first being a politics class in which he and the other students were taught more about how the capitalist economics of the W.E.R. were the best way to govern a country and how they were better than the politics used in the P.R.E. which had lead to untold misery and injustices against the people of the P.R.E. states. Then the day concluded with an english lesson which was largely uneventful until the very end.
As the class were getting ready to leave, the teacher spoke.
“Before you go, I have an announcement to make. As you probably know, the school is breaking up for the holidays in a few weeks and we have something planned to celebrate”
At this, the whole class went silent in anticipation. The teacher smiled before speaking
“We’re going on a day trip to the San Angeles arena in order to see Superstar live in concert!”
Everyone in the class cheered including Sam. However, inside he was thinking “Oh fuck”
Superstar were a popular boy band that had formed a few months earlier and were currently the it band that everyone loved. Everyone that is except Sam. You see, while most people loved their feel good pop tunes about love and partying, Sam couldn’t help but notice they sounded exactly the same as every other artist on the radio. Of course he didn’t mention this, because they were a good band that everyone loved, but he was already dreading the trip. He’d do it though whether he liked it or not because the whole thing was compulsory anyway.

When Sam got to the bus stop to head back to the home, he stood and waited for the next bus to arrive. Soon after though, he had a thought
“You know. I might just walk back this time. It’s good exercise anyway”
And that’s exactly what he did. Sam walked his way home grumbling to himself. Of all the trips they could have arranged they went with a concert to a crappy pop band.
“I guess I shouldn’t be selfish though. Everyone likes them and I guess they can’t be too bad…”
Sam then shook his head
“Oh what am I thinking! They’re total fucking shit and-“
Sam’s train of thought was then derailed by a scene in front of him. A few feet down the street, a rough looking man was angrily holding somebody up against the wall. For a second Sam thought he should just walk on and ignore the whole thing. After all it was’t his problem. This soon changed when he realised that the person being held up against the wall by his throat was none other than the homeless man he’d seen earlier in the day. Sam stared at the scene in front of him for a few seconds. Nobody else on the street was present and if he didn’t intervene, he had a feeling that something bad would happen. So at that moment, he made his decision.
“Hey!” Sam hollered as he ran up to the two men. The thug who was holding the homeless man against the wall turned and looked at him. To Sam’s surprise, the thug panicked and fled, leaving the homeless man to stumble to the floor. Sam rushed over to him
“Are you ok?”
The man nodded “Thanks son. If you hadn’t been there, I don’t know what happened”
“Hey don’t mention it” Sam blushed slightly “I just did what I had to”
The man smiled and patted Sam on the shoulder “What’s your name boy?”
“Sam..Sam Hopkins”
“I’m Charlie” replied the homeless man holding out his hand. Sam shook it
“Tell me something” Charlie said “What’s’ life like for the young people of today?”
Sam was taken aback by this “It’s ok I guess-“
“Don’t give me that crap” Charlie replied grinning slightly “You’re different from the rest. Surely you see how fucked up this world is?”
Sam now felt uneasy “No…I’m fine thank you”
“No you’re not” Charlie leaned in close to Sam revealing his unshaved beard was clumped together in several lumps. “You tell yourself over and over again about how you’re happy and content. But deep down you know that this world ain’t a good way to live. You’re secretly unsatisfied and wish for more, but you don’t say anything because it’s been drilled into your head over and over again how bad it is to think what you’re not supposed to think. Am I right?”
Sam went silent. Charlie laughed
“I am right aren’t I? Now what were you going to do when you get back to wherever it is that you live?”
Sam thought for a second “I guess me and my friends would watch a movie together on Interreels-“
Charlie looked interested “Interreels? What’s that”
“It’s a state service that lets us watch movies and shows all we want for just $5 a month” Sam replied.
Charlie sighed “I guess you don’t go to the cinema anymore. When I was a kid, in the days before the Giga war and the W.E.R. my dad used to take me to the cinema every week to see what was on”
“What’s a dad?” Sam asked
Charlie sighed “Sorry I forgot they abolished the whole family business and put kids in homes. A dad was the guy who put you in your mom’s belly. Then they’d raise you until you were an adult and left home”
Sam was fascinated by all this “That’s what it used to be like? Before the Giga wars and the W.E.R.?”
“Did I stutter?” Charlie replied jokingly. He then smiled “Yeah those were the days. Now of course it’s all about what the W.E.R. wants meaning people like me end up on the streets”
Sam looked around nervously “Well thanks for your conversation, but I gotta be back at the house soon.”
“Of course” Charlie smiled “You’ve got places to be. Just don’t forget about ol’ Charlie will ya”
“I won’t” Sam replied. As he walked away, Charlie spoke again
“And don’t stop thinking! No matter what you’re told!”

Unfortunately, Sam’s journey to the home took longer then he thought. By the time he arrived it was late in the afternoon. When he let himself inside, Sam was greeted by Brad
“Where the hell have you been?” he asked “We were just thinking of starting the movie without you”
“I walked back” Sam replied “And got myself a bit lost.”
“Well it doesn’t matter anyway” Brad replied “We’re gonna be watching the new Turbo Fighters movie and I know you’ll love that. It’s the one where they all team up together for the second time”
Sam groaned inside. The Turbo Fighters franchise was one of the biggest movie series’s in the G.E.R.. It followed a group of powerful heroes who fought using amazing suits and powerful vehicles. Of course it wasn’t just a small series of films, instead being several interconnected films with tons of merchandise and even some tv shows thrown in for good measure.
“No you can start without me” Sam waved his hand dismissively “I’m too tired for the movie”
Brad was surprised “You sure? I thought you loved those movies”
“Yeah I do” Sam replied “But I’m worn out. You go ahead and watch it and I’ll catch up with it another time”
“Well…ok” Brad looked around uneasily “I’ll tell the guys you can’t make it”
“Thanks”
Sam then left Brad, walked up to his room and flopped on his bed thinking about what Charlie had said. Could it be true that he was actually unsatisfied with his life?
“No! Of course not! I’m just overworked! Yeah that’s it!”
Sam then got up, turned on his computer and connected to his favourite chatroom. To his joy, his best friend online MrKru47 was also online. Sam connected to his chatroom and the two of them began chatting something like this

AmazingSam25: WUD?
MrKru47: Not much. You?
AmazingSam25: Just got out of watching new Turbo Fighters. Lol those movies are so dumb!
MrKru47: IKR? They’re just a load of explosions and action scenes. IMAO Sword Chronicles tv show rox more
AmazingSam25: Not seen it. Will check it out
MrKru47: You should, It’s the shizzle. G2G BRB
AmazingSam25: OK


Sam then sat back in his chair and chuckled to himself. Of course he was fine. Besides the weekend was now on and the world was his oyster. He loved being a member of the W.E.R. which was so much better then the P.R.E.
Sam then blinked. But was it really? He was still thinking about this as he lay in bed at midnight before drifting off to sleep with Charlie’s voice still ringing in his ears
“Don’t stop thinking! No matter what you’re told!”
The Golden Age Chapter 1
After a little break to put the house back together after the Pokenia afterparty, I return with a little story featuring characters of my own this time around. It's a dystopian sci fi story based on my own fears and predictions for the way the world is heading. Be warned, if your only experience with my stories is the happy go lucky adventures of fictionland and Pokenia, then you're in for a pleasant surprise

The story itself was inspired by a lot of the dystopian fiction I've read in the past. In particular I was inspired by Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar, Neal Stevenson's Snow Crash and the comic strip Judge Dredd
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You all may remember that in an earlier thread I mentioned I had started doing digital art. Well I'm pleased to announce that the whole thing is taking off perfectly. Although I've hit a wee snag recently and thought I'd ask you all for some advice.

I just thought I'd ask how you go about making buildings and backgrounds look convincing and not like a bunch of blocky shapes. Any and all advice is appreciated
Since the forums have gone without their recommended dose of Mrgreen36 for a while, I figured it's time to change that with yet another terrific thread. And so, just like the topic bar says, what would you include in your dream house?. You don't have to include every last detail, just share some of the things you would want in your perfect humble abode.

As for me, mine would have:
A rumpus room specifically for my extensive video game collection.

An extensive library with all my favourite books and comics as well as a music corner with every one of my favourite albums included on vinyl complete with authentic 70s record player.

An 80s style bar complete with collection of the finest arcade games of the era and even a pinball zone for added flair.

A home cinema system with dvds of all my favourite films and TV shows.

A personal bowling alley since 10 pin bowling is the only sport I'm good at.

And to top it all off, the house would be located on an island just off the coast of southern England and come complete with steampunk styled minisub to allow me easy travel to the mainland and back.
In recent weeks I've started drawing digitally. Although I ain't brilliant at it, I'm gonna keep practising and might even share some of my work on the site.
So I thought I'd ask the experts here, what advice can you give for a budding newcomer to the world of digital art?
Today, after nearly two years of typing, I've finally finished my latest story for the site!
I'm so happy in fact, that I thought I'd let the DA forums join the celebrations!

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Mrgreen36
Max Green
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
Born in late December during the grunge era, I hail from jolly old England. I mainly write fiction although I've been considering branching into other forms of art. My dream is to be a published comic book author.

Politically I lean to the left, and consider myself a devote Christian. I'm not a creationist though and fully believe that religion and science can coexist. I'm a big fan of gaming (particuarly Nintendo), Japanese culture, Science fiction and Classic rock music

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:iconalevesper:
AleVesper Featured By Owner May 20, 2018
Some time ago, I remember you saying that Princess Mononoke is your all time favorite movie and (for whatever reason) I've been kind of itching to watch it lately. Along with the other Ghibli films.

You've always had pretty good taste. Got any other movie recommendations?

Sorry, I know that sounded weird. :noes:
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner May 21, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Hmmmm....
How about the 1988 fantasy film Willow starring a young Warwick Davis in the title role?

Or Westworld which was recently adapted into a not as good tv show. It was also written and directed by a pre ER / Jurassic Park Michael Crichton
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:iconalevesper:
AleVesper Featured By Owner May 21, 2018
Willow's really catching my interest. I think I might have actually seen a scene or two from it as a kid. :noes:

I'll definitely check that out. Thanks man! :la:
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:iconpsygcosis507:
Psygcosis507 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, Mrgreen36. Would you like to see my gallery?
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Why? Do I know you?
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:iconpsygcosis507:
Psygcosis507 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You may know me from college.
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:iconilyaev:
Ilyaev Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Ah long time dude!
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Hello. May I ask why you're commenting on my profile? I'm not offended, it just came outta nowhere
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:iconilyaev:
Ilyaev Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
I’m fairly sure we chatted years ago, I had other accounts though~
you popped up on my visitors wedge thing and recognized your icon :3
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Oh right.
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