As It Seems: A Chill Semester

Mid-Week Taster: "A Late (Night) Discovery"
A peek into the nigthly activity of one Ginger O'Flannery

She scribbled furiously. She often scribbled furiously. And she was muttering to herself. She often muttered to herself. But not this loudly.

“Why the fuck do they get to judge me. DO THEY THINK I LIKE SMASHING IN HEADS?!”

She paused in her muttering.

“Well…I mean…I don’t. But I do like the sense of accomplishment. I accomplished something. I mean, sure it didn’t work, but it was to protect them. That was brave! That was brave, dammit! Why the hell is it that Barbie and Kate can be so fucking brave about spilling blood for rituals. I know thousands of rituals. I’ve never spilt blood for one. I mean, I’ve gone through it hypothetically dozens of times. And I’ve used human blood from the blood bank. But not my blood. FUCK!”

She stabbed her antique, Occitan letter open down into the desk blotter. It pierced through her 18-month calendar and left a neat, ½ inch gash, right alongside 20 other similar gashes. She glanced down at her phone, to the text message she wanted to send. The recipient field said “Barbara / Barb”. She still couldn’t bring herself to call her Barbie to her face. “When you get close to people, that’s when you realise that they’re already gone. Or that they really aren’t that close to you.” She put her head into her hands and sighed, her elbows edging away the piles of papers around her on the desk. “I just want them to see me as impressive. I’m committed and brave, too. I have success, too. I mean, I have a PhD, after all.”

She scowled down at her blotter and grimaced as she tugged the letter opener out of it. She lifted the paper and peered at the cavities underneath. “Hate having all these holes under my calendar pages,” she muttered. She stopped short suddenly, the lifted pages trembling in her hand. “Oh my god,” she said. “That’s it. That’s the answer. If we make partial symbols all over campus, each made of pertinent points, like a connect the dot set up, and we spill blood over them all at the same time….that’s how we could make a portal big enough to bring a whole weather pattern over from the other side. Maybe even the whole manor. And then the symbols would be made of blood themselves, so they’d be even stronger. Grooves creating blood channels, and all of them interconnected. That’s it, that’s how we do it!!!”

She jumped up from the desk with the letter opener still in her hand. “This!” she exclaimed loudly, “Maybe this will be a profound enough idea to get their attention. Stupid Picley, always getting all the attention for doing nothing! Well stick this in your eye, Pickle-eye. I have solved our conundrum. That’s why there’re symbols all over the campus. Hah!”

She heard a creak in the hallway behind her. The door to her office was closed, so she couldn’t be sure, but the hallway typically creaked only when someone was walking by. She frowned, her lips pressed tightly together. It was a bad habit of hers, shouting out loud, especially when she had discovered something novel. But her work occurred so late at night that usually no one else was around to hear her. She waited, frowning, the letter opener brandished at an angle towards the door. But she heard nothing else, and after several minutes of waiting she turned and went back to her desk. She sat down, replacing the letter opener with a gleaming fountain pen. Soon the only sound was that of her scribbling furiously.

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Mid-Week Taster: "This D.J."

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A cold, foggy morning on the campus of CSUSK. The athletic field blanketed in fog.

A lone figure stands on the track. From the pocket of her San Kaissa Rooks hoodie she pulls her phone, navigates to the music app, and pulls up a playlist: “Morning Workout”.

She begins to run.

[If I did this right, the picture is a clickable link…]

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Season 2, Session 6: Put it on Ice (EoRP)

October 27, 2017. Events traverse the line from bad to worse as the Homecoming game begins and a sinister force reveals more of its dreadful intentions—all while the Oracle staff scramble to find answers with their new insights before it is too late.

Player Cast:

David L. – Barb Oldroyd
Desiree – Basil Carruthers
Renae – Kate McFadden
Sage – Ginger O’Flannery

A recording of the session can be found here.

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Mid-Week Taster: "Careless Whispers"

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“Remember when you said that to me? ‘I really love your intensity.’ When we were first dating. God, you’re such an idiot.”

Barb smiled as Thomas put his head back, wincing.

“Oh Jesus. Did I really say that? Well. What can I say? I was pretty smitten.”

“Smitten, huh?”

“Yeah. Smitten.”

The screech of curtain rings brought them out of their reveries. It was the ER doc. “Ms…Oldroyd?” he said, looking down at his chart. “Dr. Choi.” He nodded briefly to Tom before continuing. “Well, your vitals look like they’ve stabilized, your temperature is looking good…”

Somewhere nearby, someone started moaning. It was ghostly, mournful. Barb had to focus to hear Dr. Choi clearly.

“…incipient hypothermia,” he was saying. “Which is very strange, especially considering you were down in the boiler room, correct? If you don’t mind, I’d like to admit you for overnight observation.”

Barb started to protest, but Thomas was already standing. “No, doctor, I don’t think that will be necessary. If you say Barbie is good to go, then I think we’ll be going. Thank you for all your help.” He held out his hand and Dr. Choi shook it, but the doctor didn’t really take his eyes off Barb.

The moaning was getting louder. Barb couldn’t hear anything but the wailing now. She put her hands to her ears and shut her eyes tightly.

The moaning stopped. “Hon?” It was Tom, leaning in, a look of concern on his face.

“Sorry, it was just that person and their wailing. I hate hospitals…” Tom shot a worried glance to Dr. Choi.

“Uh—what wailing, dear?”

Barb felt her stomach drop. “You didn’t…?” She could tell Thomas was about to say something, so she jumped off the triage bed. “I’d like to get changed out of this gown so I can go back to the real world. Thanks.”

Tom stepped out with Dr. Choi, who pulled the curtains shut behind him. Barb knew they were talking to each other now. Dr. Choi was probably telling Tom to keep an eye on her.

She dressed hurriedly, her fingers fumbling with buttons and belt loops.

“Fuck.”

It really had been terribly gallant of him to defend her down there in the boiler room. All the horrible memories from so long ago had threatened to come rushing back in on her like a tsunami, like in her recurring dreams of being on a beach and watching that tidal wave sweeping in… She’d been so scared, felt like she was a frightened child all over again. And he had defended her, just like he did before. Or at least that’s how he’d always told the story. If she concentrated really hard, she could almost remember him finding her, all alone and terrified. But maybe that was just a false memory built off Tom’s stories?

Barb sighed, picking up her purse.

Basil didn’t deserve that black eye, even if she’d said so at the time. She knew she’d have to apologize to him, make it up somehow.

“Fuck.”


The drive home in Tom’s Subaru. A comfortable silence. Tom letting Barb be alone with her thoughts. He obviously had a lot on his mind as well.

At the corner of Camino Real and Ocean, Tom stopped for the light. Something whispered in Barb’s ear.

“Where are you?”

A voice as cold and lonely as a sepulcher.

“What!?” Barb jumped, as if goosed by an electric shock.

“What?” Tom asked, startled by the sudden outburst.

“Oh. Nothing. Sorry. I’m still a little jittery.” Barb reached down to her purse, pulled out her phone and plugged in her ear buds. “I’m going to listen to music for a while.”

She popped in her headphones and quickly picked something with plenty of bass.

“We miss you. We’re so lonely.”

The voice again, coming up through the music.

Barb gritted her teeth, determined not to let Thomas see her start again. Finding the volume control on her phone, she casually turned up the song until it was uncomfortably loud, even by her standards. The voices were still there, somewhere in the background, but she couldn’t hear them anymore.

Not really.

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Season 2, Session 5: A View to a Chill (EoRP)

October 27, 2017. The staff of the Oracle push themselves to the breaking point, as internal strife threatens to tear them apart and two of their number fall through the snowy bracken and into a strange new land…

Player Cast:

David L. – Barb Oldroyd
Desiree – Basil Carruthers
Renae – Kate McFadden
Sage – Ginger O’Flannery

A recording of the session can be found here.

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Season 2, Session 4: An Icy Reception (EoRP)

October 26, 2017. The pieces start to come together for the staff of the Oracle, revealing some truly haunting possibilities.

Player Cast:

David L. – Barb Oldroyd
Desiree – Basil Carruthers
Jade – Ritch Picley
Renae – Kate McFadden
Sage – Ginger O’Flannery

A recording of the session can be found here.

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Season 2, Session 3: The Freeze Out (EoRP)
Try to find the edges.

October 25, 2017. With Ginger locked in her study at home furiously researching what happened to her father, the rest of the Oracle staff try to create a cohesive picture of the sinister goings on at CSUSK from the various and scattered puzzle pieces they’ve been handed thus far. But how do you solve a puzzle when each section created reveals three more empty spaces?

Player Cast:

David L. – Barb Oldroyd
Desiree – Basil Carruthers
Renae – Kate McFadden
Jade – Ritch Picley

A recording of the session can be found here.

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Mid-Week Taster: "Going Full Barnacle"

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Barb stood at the bar, nursing her cocktail. Thomas had just gone off to check on how much longer the wait would be. He hadn’t thought to make reservations, even though sifud. was the hottest night spot in San Kaissa at the moment.

“What am I even doing here?” she wondered.


“Hi! Who had the Yia Yia Mahi?”

Thomas gave a discreet signal.

“That makes you the Brie & Berry Salad,” said the server, laying a rather outsized dish in front of Barb.

“That looks good,” Thomas said, somewhat lamely. Barb mustered a half-smile. She’d inadvertently filled up on oyster crackers at the bar.


“No, no, I’ve got this!” Thomas insisted, handing the bill to the waiter. Barb put her purse back on the adjoining seat.

Their plates cleared, small talk long since dispensed with, a silence settled over the table.

“Thomas…?”

“Yeah, Barbie?”

“Never mind.”

Barb stared out over the waters, looking at the lights on the docked boats.


A soft rain pattered on the roof of Thomas’s car. The sifud. parking lot was mostly empty now. Not that he or Barb could see that, thanks to the fogged-up windows.

Barb sat back, brushing a bit of hair off her sweaty forehead. Tom still knew his way around the back seat of a car. He was good enough that Barb was able to overlook the garlic breath for the most part. Why did he have to order that fish plate? Barb was surprised to realize she was a little disappointed to realize things weren’t going to go past simply making out tonight.

She gathered up her purse, preparing to head back to her car on the other side of the parking lot. It was quiet and dark outside. She realized her heart was beating with fear as much as passion.

“Tom?”

“Yeah, Barbie?”

“You think you could introduce me to the guy who runs your kung fu dojo?”

Thomas smiled, that trademark roguish grin that still made Barb melt. “It’s called a ‘kwoon’—dojo is a Japanese word. And yeah, I’d be happy to introduce you to my sifu. You interested in learning kung fu?”

Barb opened the door, ushering in a chill breeze. She returned Tom’s grin with one of her own. “Yeah, maybe.”

Thomas’s farewell words—“Call me?”—were muffled by the shutting of the door. Barb’s heels clacked on the slick asphalt as she pulled her knit cardigan tighter around her shoulders. The shadows seemed to pursue her all the way to her Acura.

Looking back, Barb noted that Thomas had been good enough to wait until she got in her car before starting up his own and driving off. Barb started her car, put it in gear, but then paused. She stared out the windshield across the darkened parking lot, now illuminated by her headlights. Was that a snowflake she just saw drifting through the lights of her high beams?

She shook her head and drove off.

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Mid-Week Taster: Kate's "Cheets"

Maybe it already exists, but I came up with a “Chitter” logo that I’d like to share, as well as a few of @Kate_Cant_Wait ’s “cheets” (“tweets”), sent during the time period of our last game:
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@fooz_bro Dude, RU avoiding me?
@mike_stanson_PhD-Candidate omg when RU going to change your handle. Such a turnoff #lame
@barb-Droid I wuz gonna ask, is that your real name?

What is up with the freak snow? Anybody? #sankaissasnow #sankaissa2015 #sankaissa2014

@fooz_bro Hang my bra on the knob again #killafool

Can’t even believe these children graduate high school. #studentscantwrite #wtf #retakehighschool
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^Kate on the first day.

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Season 2, Session 2: Cold Case (EoRP)
We Got the Band Back Together

October 24, 2017. We finally see the completed staff at the table as the clues continue to pile up. Old faces and old flames emerge; will these notables help or hinder the new investigation? Four days until the Homecoming game, and the Oracle staff is digging deeper and deeper into the mire of CSUSK’s past.

Player Cast:

David L. – Barb Oldroyd
Desiree – Basil Carruthers
Sage – Ginger O’Flannery
Renae – Kate McFadden
Jade – Ritch Picley

A recording of the session can be found here.

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