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Poll #1999063 Hey, it's Matthew!

Hey, it's Matthew!


Still alive!

Sup, LiveJournal? I miss you!

Questions meme! (part one)

Questions from brilligspoons!

1. What is your favorite novel?

Oh jeez. I'm going to interpret this as "what novel have you returned to the most over the years," because trying to pick a FAVORITE is just too hard.

So, with that in mind: Jumper, by Steven Gould. Ostensibly YA, it concerns Davy, a young man who discovers he can teleport. It's the perfect blend of coming-of-age pathos, action, humor, romance, and genuinely heart-wrenching and dark drama. I can't recommend it enough.

2. If you had to choose between being a director and being a screenwriter, which would you go for?

Director, hands down. A screenplay is a guideline, at best a blueprint, for the finished film. A road map. Very important and necessary, but the film comes alive in the hands of the director. That's where the "magic" happens.

Of course, if I was a screenwriter, I could sleep till noon and work from home, but still.

3. In your opinion, what made X3 an awful movie?

Ha! Y'know, it's been such a long time since I've seen it, so some of my recollections may be a bit hazy. But the script was terrible. Scott and Charles dying didn't serve any story function other than to provide an "oh shit" factor, the humor and the heart of the other films wasn't there, Magneto destroys the Golden Gate Bridge for NO REASON (apparently audiences in San Francisco "boo"ed that scene when it came up in the trailers for the film, which is awesome), the special effects were kinda lame, and it was a terrible mish-mash of two of my favorite storylines from the comic (The Dark Phoenix Saga and Gifted) that didn't live up to the standards and expectations of either.

4. North by Northwest or Rear Window?

Rear Window. North by Northwest is bigger, bolder, and funnier, but it has some script problems I can't get past. Rear Window on the other hand, is small, intimate and creepy, has one of my favorite examples of visual storytelling in the opening shot, and as much as I like Cary Grant, I'll take Jimmy Stewart over him any day of the week.

5. What is your favorite webcomic?

Sam & Fuzzy. Funny, heartfelt, incredibly well-drawn, and with a genuinely deep, suspensful, complicated, and massive plot that never stops being interesting. Think Bone, but with ninjas. And, dare I say, better.

Questions from paper_tzipporah later!

If you would like me to ask you five questions for you to post in your own journal, comment with your favorite kind of fruit and I will oblige you!


The Paxton Conundrum, part twenty!

After a couple weeks of being sick, Paxton is back! When we last left our intrepid hero, you and Bradley had just escaped from the hospital in a stolen BMW. With the cops on your tail, you know the best thing you can do is get out of town, fast. Because if the cops get their hands on you, not only will you never find out what happened to your sister, but it will be all over for you, as well.


"Where are we heading?" you shout to Bradley, over the velvety roar of the BMW's engine. When there's no reply, you glance to your right, to see that he's passed out again.

Great. Well, given that you've killed at least four cops and seriously maimed a couple more, you should probably get the hell out of town. You can figure out the details later once Bradley's awake.

You hit the accelerator hard and drive like crazy for a few blocks, putting as much distance between you and the hospital as you can, as fast as you can. Once you've gone ten or twelve blocks, though, you ease off, dropping back down around the speed limit. No sense getting pulled over for speeding.

You figure the fastest way out of town will be to take I-84 east, into the Columbia Gorge. You'll pass quickly out of populated areas and be able to lose yourselves in the wilderness, if need be.

You get on the freeway and get in the middle lane, keeping pace with the flow of traffic. You keep checking the rear view mirror for black and whites, or for the flash of emergency lights, but you don't see anything.

Bradley stirs. "Where?" he murmurs.

"We're out of the hospital," you assure him. "We're heading east. I'm getting us out of town."

"No," he mutters. "Airport."

"Are you insane? That's probably the most heavily secured spot in town, to say nothing of the fact that it's the first place they'll look for us. Wherever we're going, we can drive --"

"No!" he snaps, apparently regaining his strength. "We need to be in San Francisco ... tonight ... meeting ... contact ..." His strength flags again.

You do the calculations in your head. It's a twelve-hour drive to San Francisco, minimum, and it's already past eight in the evening. If Bradley has a contact he needs to meet with tonight, driving won't cut it.

And if this meeting concerns finding your sister, then you need to make sure Bradley makes his meeting.

"Fine," you snap. "Fine! How are we going to play this?"

You look over. He's passed out again.


This poll is closed.

How are you going to proceed?

Bradley must have already bought plane tickets. Check at the desks of the major airlines.
He probably arranged for a private jet. Check with the smaller airlines.
Just buy two tickets on the next flight to San Francisco. Maybe the cops haven't given your names to the TSA yet.
Sneak into the airport and steal an aircraft.
Commandeer an aircraft already ready for take-off.


The Paxton Conundrum, part nineteen!

Sorry I missed yesterday! Here is your serving of Paxton for the weekend; I'll be back with part twenty on Monday!

Cornered in the hospital! The only person who might know the whereabouts of your thought-dead sister is slung unconscious over your shoulder! Hospital security is on the way, and the cops are not far behind! And the cops ... are out for blood.


You make a break to the left, towards the visitor parking lot. You figure the ambulance bay will be crowded, possibly with more security. Down just leads to the basement, and up to the roof. There might be a Medivac chopper on the roof, but you've had enough helicopters for one day.

What you need is a car.

You hear shouting behind you, a call to stop. You resist the urge to turn around; after all, you know what you'd see. Security has no doubt arrived, and are no doubt this very moment giving chase. You try and run faster, but Bradley's weight is slowing you down, and making you awkward, as well. You don't so much run down the hall as stagger.

You make it to the automatic doors at the end of the hall, though, and burst out into the sunlight, blinking. It's late afternoon and the sun is low in the west, but still high enough to make you squint.

Then you spot exactly what you need.

There's a man in his thirties a few feet away, pulling his silver BMW up into the white loading zone. Either he doesn't realize he's not allowed to park there or he doesn't care, because he stops the car, kills the engine, and starts for the automatic doors, tossing his keys in the air and whistling to himself.

You put your head down and charge.

He doesn't see you until it's too late. Your head smashes into his belly, and the combined weight on you and Bradley sends all three of you tumbling to the ground. Bradley rolls limply away, the BMW guy starts to lift his head, dazed, and you have managed to pull yourself up into a crouch. You see Mr. BMW starting to get up, so you punch him, hard, and he does down. His head makes a sound like an egg cracking when it hits the sidewalk, but there's no blood.

His keys are laying a few feet away. You scoop them up and look around for Bradley. He's blinking, shaking his head. He looks confused. "What ...?"

"No time," you say, pulling him to his feet as the automatic doors slide open again. Two men dressed in hospital security uniforms run out and point towards you. "Get in the car!"

You unlock it with a touch on the keypad you've taken from the unconscious man. Bradley staggers around to the passenger side door as you're strapping yourself in on the driver's side. You lock the doors scant seconds before the security guards reach the car and start pounding on the window.

You start the car. It comes to life with an almost sensual purr.

"You buckled in?" You glance at Bradley. He nods.

"All right then." You shift into first gear.

The security guards scatter as you burn rubber.

This poll is closed.

Where to?

Back to the park, to retrieve the gun. Surely the cops must be gone by now!
To your apartment, to get some things and plan your next move.
The sports supply store, for weapons. You're gonna need major hardware to protect yourself.
Just get the fuck outta town! Worry about the details later!



Not feeling great tonight, so no new Paxton tonight. There'll be one tomorrow, though. Go vote in yesterday's chapter if you haven't yet!

I'm having second thoughts about getting a super 8 camera. It would be fun, but I think a digital HD camcorder would be a smarter investment. Yes, it would cost considerably more up front, but it would be more useful, I think, and cheaper in the long run.

I dunno. Thoughts?


The Paxton Conundrum, part eighteen!

Posing as injured bystanders, you and Bradley -- the only key to your sister's supposed whereabouts -- manage to slip away from the park where your stolen police helicopter crashed and exploded. You're in the hospital and you've been treated, but the doctors have discovered that Bradley's wound is not from the crash, but from a gunshot! Hospital security is on the way, and the police aren't far behind!

(By the way, those of you who voted to shut down power to the hospital, shame on you. It's a hospital!)

The only option? Grab Bradley and run. THIS IS ...

Yanking the IV out of your arm, you stand. Tearing the curtain separating your bed from Bradley's away, you step forward and say in what you hope is a menacing voice, "back off."

There's a doctor and two nurses standing around Bradley's bed. They seem to be too busy gaping at you to back off as you've commanded, so you shove the nearest one, a female nurse who can't be older than twenty-one and looks sixteen roughly aside. She stumbles back into a rolling tray and falls to the floor. The tray clatters loudly to the ground a moment later, sterile instruments flying.

The doctor and the other nurse automatically move to help her, and you seize the opportunity to yank the IV from Bradley's arm and, much as you did in the park, hoist him over your shoulder. You stagger, still a bit whoozy from the sedative they gave you, but you manage to steady yourself. Kicking the fallen tray out of the way and shoving past the doctor and nurses, you look right and then left, trying to get your bearings and find the exit.

"Hey!" You feel a hand on your shoulder and you whirl around. The other nurse, a man in his forties, has an angry expression on his face. "Put him down!"

Your foot lashes out, the sole of your shoe smashing into the nurse's shin. He howls in pain, a howl that becomes even higher pitched when you drive your knee into his groin. He falls to the ground beside his co-worker.

The attack has left you off-balance, though, and Bradley's dead weight isn't helping. You stagger back. Your head swims, the room spins. There seem to be people standing about, watching you, but you're not a hundred percent sure they're real.

Security will be here any minute. You've got to get out of here, now.

You take a couple uncertain steps. If you can.

This poll is closed.

Where to go?

Right, towards the ambulance bay
Left, towards the visitor parking lot
Up, to the roof
Down, to the basement


I'll impregnate that bitch!

Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones was bad-ass. Things are finally picking up pace; shit be getting real in Westeros, yo. I'll save my full review until the season's over (and even then I'll probably save it for the podcast), but if you're not watching this show already, START.

In fact, this episode was so awesome that it's inspired another (brief) poll! Spoilers for episode five below the cut.

What was the most horrifying moment in this week's episode?Collapse )

THE PAXTON CONUNDRUM, part seventeen!

When we last left our hero, a daring helicopter escape from the police station had turned into a desperate battle for survival in a damaged chopper! Managing to put the wounded bird down in a North Portland park, you were able to cut the unconscious Bradley -- the only link you have to your missing (presumed dead) sister -- free of the wreck and get to a safe distance before it exploded.

But you're wounded. He's wounded. And the emergency crews are on their way.


The sirens are getting louder, and you realize you don't have the time or even the strength to haul Bradley away from here. He's lost a lot of blood, more than you, and you don't think you could wake him even if you tried.

You briefly consider leaving him and running for it, but then you'll never know what happened to your sister.

Realizing you only have one option available to you, you pull the pistol from your belt and quickly dig a shallow hole with your hands in the shadow of a large oak tree. The ground is soft and you're able to create a shallow indention in the soil fairly quickly, and soon you're shoveling fallen leaves over the hole to conceal it.

Glancing around, the sirens getting louder and louder, you take two quick strides and pick up a large, unusually shaped branch from the ground and set it on top of the spot where you buried the gun. You study it critically for a moment, but you don't have time for anything better. You just hope the emergency crews keep people away from here and that some kid doesn't find the gun.

Looking around some more, you see a few people staggering to their feet a few meters away, obviously having been knocked to the ground by the explosion. Hefting Bradley over your shoulder again, you creep closer and then drop to the ground a little ways away from the others.

Just before the emergency crews descend upon you, you remember that while your injury could be explained away by flying debris, Bradley's injury was a gunshot wound. But then it's too late, and you're on a stretcher, in an ambulance, at the hospital. Somewhere along the way someone gives you a shot of something, and you pass out.

When you wake, you don't know how much time has passed, but your hand has been stitched up. You feel groggy, no doubt a side effect from the sedative, but much stronger, too. You realize you have an IV in your arm.

Your bed is surrounded by curtains on three sides, and you hear voices.

"Was there anyone in the helicopter?"

"The police aren't saying."

"Did he maybe crawl away from the crash and then pass out?"

"Could be. He was the only one at the scene with injuries not related to the crash."

Damnit. They'd discovered Bradley's gunshot wound.

"Are the police on their way?"

"Yeah, they should be along any minute."


"Well, get security over here in the meantime."


This poll is closed.

Security's on the way! The cops aren't far behind! What do you do??

Tear the curtains aside, hoist Bradley over your shoulder, and run for it
Intercept the security guard, overpower him, and get his uniform
Slip away before the cops show up and save yourself
Grab a hostage and demand they let you and Bradley leave
Sneak down to the basement and shut down power to the hospital; escape with Bradley in the confusion



As promised, here is the long-awaited continuation of The Paxton Conundrum! Feel free to click the "Paxton" tag to get caught up, but don't feel like it's necessary. You can just as easily dive right in!

A brief recap: You were contacted by the mysterious Bradley, who claims to have knowledge of your sister's whereabouts -- the sister you spent the last year thinking was dead. One thing led to another, and you found yourself having to bust Bradley out of the police station and steal a chopper. The chopper was damaged in the escape, and you crashed in a park in North Portland. Bradley is unconscious, held fast by a stuck seat belt -- and the helicopter is about to explode!


Spotting a twisted piece of metal on the floor on the chopper, you reach down, grab it, and begin frantically sawing at Bradley's seat buckle. The metal is sharp and the seat belt is old; your makeshift knife goes through the frayed cloth like butter. It cuts so easily, in fact, that you put too much force into the action and manage to slice open your left hand.

Cursing, you fling the straps of the ruined seat belt aside and hoist Bradley over your shoulder. His clothes are quickly smeared with your blood, but you're more concerned with the smell of gasoline filling the cabin, and the crackling sound of flames from the tail rotor.

Grunting, you stand, staggering a bit under Bradley's weight but then steadying yourself. You take a couple hesitant steps backwards, then, once clear of the wreckage, you turn and break into a run. Bradley's weight slows you down, you're already exhausted from all you've been through this afternoon, and you're now losing blood besides, but you put everything you've got into getting as far away from the chopper as you can.

Behind you, there's a sound like a sharp intake of breath, then a roar. Thunder booms, metal shrieks, and you suddenly find yourself sprawled on the grass, Bradley's weight pressing down on top of you. Heat washes over you and your squeeze your eyes shut, convinced that this is it.

But the roar fades, the heat subsides, and soon all you can hear -- other than the ringing in your ears -- is the crackling of flames behind you. That, and the excited shouts of people.

Yeah. Anyone who didn't see the chopper go down sure as hell saw it going up. You need to get Bradley out of here, now.

Unfortunately, you're exhausted, bleeding, and lugging around an unconscious man. And Bradley's the one who knows -- theoretically -- where your sister is.

Sirens join the excited babble of voices. Fire trucks? Ambulances?


This poll is closed.

Now what??

Find a place nearby to hide, until the cops and everyone leaves.
Try and wake Bradley so you can escape on foot.
Find a car and steal it.
Leave Bradley, save yourself! Ditch him and run for it!
Pretend you were injured by the falling debris and hope you can make your escape from the hospital before the cops show up.