But first, there's a few things to randomly mention. It's December, and to quote a Paul Simon lyric (which I have NOT had the chance to inflict this song on him yet), I've "been walking through the Christmastime". I have two christmas gifts to get out still (all the ones I've sent have arrived though), and I've been having fun spreading Christmas cheer anywhere I can find it. (I deny the rumors, though.) Cards still need to be done and mailed (although I got my card from valliegirl Thursday, I think). Just busy.
Not only is it Christmastime, but it's finals time, and I'm pretty busy. Not only do I have a lot of crap due this week (although I found a VERY legit reason to bring my N64 to school and play a game on the projector...) but finals are the week following. I'm wondering, though, if my MCSE teacher would let me out of the final if I could produce a pass on the real test we're studying. And it's network infrastructure. Half the stuff I already got in Cisco, and that which I don't can be picked up in a week and a half.
And it's grad skewl application time, too. Trying to make sure I have letters of recommendation where I need to file them and making sure applications get finished...gah, it's a freaking mess. So much to do, and so little time. I'm gonna go insane...oops, I am already. Anyway, Berkeley app is due Jan. 5, and it's the most important of the bunch. Because that's where I want to go. Hopefully the GRE scores are enough to push me over the top. Worried.
Anyway, that's the state of the katster this evening. I'm getting a bit manic these days, this may not be a good thing, but we'll play with it, until something happens.
Now for Nicole
Anyway, Nicole is my character in Will's GURPS game. She's a parapeligic, and is thus confined to a wheelchair. One of the two clips posted here is the story of how that happened.
Here's her character sheet.
Below are a couple of clips from the story I'm working on. How she met her boyfriend, John, and the accident.
[first clip -- they're freshmen. And Nicole doesn't believe in the idea of love at first sight...]
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Like most teenager's ideas, there was more to it than that. But sometimes good ideas gone bad can lead to things you would never expect.
That's the way it was at lunch. Nicole Hollister was trying to eat lunch, study the MIT guide to lockpicking, and ignore her best friends chatter on all the cute boys in school. And Sarah wasn't making the ignoring all that easy.
"And then he smiled at me, Nicole...he's so good looking, I can't believe he came from Warren Middle."
"And I've just got to know him. His name is John. And he's blonde, and he's so cute and I've just got to get to know him!"
"Yep." Nicole turned another page. Sarah looked over at her. "Lockpicking, huh? Isn't that illegal?"
Nicole looked up from her papers. "No. Not always. I mean, what if your mom locks her keys in her car?"
"She calls the tow truck."
"Right. And the tow truck driver lockpicks the car door to get at the keys. So, it's a useful skill."
"Okay. So...can you lockpick?"
"A bit, I'm not very good at it."
Sarah got a devious smile on her face. "Can you get into somebody's locker?"
"I can get into my own, I've been practicing on it." Nicole looked down at her papers again.
"Could you get into, say, John's locker?"
"Oh no. No. Not a chance. I got in enough trouble over picking my own lock. I don't need another afternoon with Mr. O'Reilly."
Sarah looked at Nicole. "Pweeze? I'll owe you forever."
Nicole sighed and put her papers in her bag. "I'm going to regret this, but...lead on, Macduff."
That's how Nicole found herself crouched next to a locker, attempting to pick the lock with a couple of wires. Sarah played lookout, keeping an eye out for the dreaded Mr. O'Reilly, the vice-principal. But Sarah of course got off on her own tangents, and started chattering. Nicole again tuned her out and spent all her concentration on getting the locker open.
Thus, when a hand touched her shoulder, she jumped three feet into the air. A voice asked bemusedly, "So...what did you want in my locker?"
Nicole looked up to where the voice had come from and saw the most gorgeous blue eyes she had ever seen staring back at her. She just stood there, not knowing what to say, and not having the power to form words at that precice moment.
Sarah finally started paying attention to her lookout duties, saw the person who had just startled Nicole, and joined them. "We were just lockpicking it."
The boy to whom the blue eyes belonged to nodded. "I see. And why my locker?"
Sarah smiled. "I wanted to see what classes you were taking."
The boy returned the smile. "There are easier ways to figure out my class schedule than breaking into my locker. I'm John Sheffield. So, who's you and your silent lockpicking friend?"
"I'm Sarah Barstow, and this is Nicole Hollister." Sarah gave him one of her most charming smiles.
"I'm sorry for the lockpicking," Nicole suddenly said, the words all spilling out of her in a rush. "Sarah's good at talking me into things I don't want to do."
"Aww, I don't mind. I've been watching you try to pick your own. O'Reilly's a jerk for hauling you in on it. I'm honored to be your first true victim." He grinned again, and Nicole nearly melted from the thousand watt smile.
Unfortunately, as timing seems to happen in high school, the bell rang. John handed the wires sticking out of the key lock back to Nicole and twirled tbe combination lock.
Sarah grabbed Nicole, who seemed to have become rooted to the spot. "Looks like somebody fell hard," Sarah said, as they disappeared into the crowd of high schoolers changing classes. "The somebody who told me I was crazy for keeping up with the guys."
"I think I'm in love..." came the response from Nicole.
[second scene: day after graduation...crossroads in more than one way...]
It was the Saturday after graduation. John and Nicole had just left the movie theater and were driving aimlessly around Sacramento.
"You ready for Penn?" asked John suddenly, as he negotiated around a car stopped to make a turn.
"As ready as I'll ever be. Why?" Nicole looked at John, who was frowning at the road.
"No reason. It's just going to be different than here. I'm not sure I'm going to adjust well."
Nicole looked out the front of the car. A green light lit the intersection they were about to enter. "It won't..."
There was a horrible rending of metal upon metal, and a horrific sound that she later realized was John's scream. It was the last sound she heard from him before she lost consciousness
She woke in a bed. Something hadn't seemed quite right though. She attempted to wiggle her toes, and was quite puzzled when they didn't seem to respond. Nor did her knees or any other part of her body below the waist.
Her mom floated into her field of view. She was dressed in her clerical collar. Nicole looked at the worried face of her mother, and blurted the first question. "Where are my toes?"
A frown crossed her mother's face. She seemed torn. Finally, her mom asked, "What do you remember about Saturday night?"
"John and I went to the movies, and then we drove around Sac talking about life..." Nicole winced suddenly, hearing the sounds of that night. "Where's John?" Nicole watched her mother wince at the question. "Is he okay?" she asked.
Her mother sighed. "John died en route to the hospital Saturday night. A drunk driver ran a red light and smashed into John's door. The doctors say you were lucky to live--but it's going to be different from now on."
"And my toes? Where are my toes?"
"Your toes are where they have always been. Your back, on the other hand..."
*shrug* it's not all that good, but it's not horrible either. There ye go.