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 The Coin Rule

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Hope Lightfoot
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PostSubject: The Coin Rule   Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:49 pm

Hope Lightfoot flipped the coin for the third time that day.

Tails.

She sighed and started walking forward in the busy London street. Tails meant she wasn't supposed to spend money taking the tube or the bus. She had been living on the "coin rule", as she called it, for five days now.

She was running out of money and she had no idea what to do.

The people around her rushed past her without glancing twice. She was a very common type: not too beautiful nor ugly, only passable. Her long dark hair was kept on a braid to avoid the windy days -- there had been this one time a few weeks ago when she got her hair stuck on a mailbox and it took all evening to get it free because she refused to let the policeman cut it free. Of course, all her whining didn't do her any good and he cut it anyway. Her hair was much shorter now and kept getting loose on her braid.

The mere memory of the mailbox incident made her feel embarrassed, like it had just happened. She shook her head and tried to focus on the path ahead of her.

It was a chilly November day in London, and the heating in her new place wasn't very effective. It was the second time in nine months that she had to move out and look for a cheaper (and smaller) room. The previous one she had rented about three years ago, and she really liked the place. Unfortunately, she was dismissed from her job at Tom's Diner, which left her no option but to search for some place cheaper. She did have more money saved in the bank, but she refused to use it. It was her family's inheritance and she refused to touch it.

Hope sucked as a waitress. She broke more glasses in one day than any other employee in a month. She was pretty sure she had set a new world record of breaking glasses, but no one rewarded her for that.

It was in that moment, while thinking about how her life would be just a bit better if she wasn't so clumsy, that she turned a corner and bumped head-first in someone walking in the opposite direction.
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Brax
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:43 pm

Braxien looked up startled from the machine he held in his hands. He was about to blurt out, most probably, a rude statement, but held it back long enough to see who it was first.

"Sorry, it's my fault, it's this machine you see?" Braxien smiled, pointing jokingly at the machine, which bleeped in protest. "Where are my manners, Braxien Lythis. And who might you be?"

Braxien looked down at the machine, which began to bleep loudly, a brightly coloured arrow pointed behind him before fuzzing and…

Kaput.

"You have to be joking! I was on that trail!" Braxien started to slap the machine in frustration. He turned and looked in the opposite direction, but saw nothing, nothing out of the ordinary.

People wandered by, in their own bubble of thoughts, too busy and always in a hurry. That's maybe why he came back to London, even with traveling around the galaxy. That and that there was a fading trail of comic radiation.

He spun slowly in a circle, clicking his tongue against his teeth. "Cosmic radiation…where the hell could it have come from, it's not from Earth's origin…so…"

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"Look forwards into life, not backwards...otherwise you may find your face planted into the back of a lamp-post." -Flannagan
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:18 am

Ah, London. Big double decker buses, soldiers with funny hats and people with funnier accents. Well, from their perspective she had a funny accent too. So what was Nicole Baxter doing a continent away in Britain? Seeing the sights, listening to British folk talk, oh, and getting the voice in her head to shut up for once. Which was probably the only reason why she was enjoying herself on this unexpected vacation. The Cyber Planner had said not one word since they arrived. There was a feeling of relief, and a feeling of dread. A quiet Planner was a plotting one. What’s it was hoping to do here was beyond her.

She gripped the camera in her hand, taking random pictures of random strangers. She liked photos where the people didn’t know she was taking a picture. It looked more natural, more interesting. She snapped a photo to her left, just catching two strangers running into each other. She snickered under her breath, zooming in on their surprised expressions.

Oh wait, didn’t she know that man? Braxien Lythis. She jumped at the sudden inclusion, so used to the days of silence. She felt the Cyber Planner uncoil from its long ‘nap’. It felt more energized than usual and she felt a biting pain in the back of her head. The balance titled ever so slightly in the Planner’s favor. She leaned against the wall, biting back a hiss and a sob. Another percent devoured by the voice inside her head. She would’ve laughed if she wasn’t so terrified. Miss me?

“Repairs,” she whispered into her scarf, knowing the answer already. Affirmative.
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Hope Lightfoot
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:39 pm

A bit confused, Hope looked up at the tall man standing in front of her.

"Sorry, it's my fault, it's this machine you see?" the man smiled, pointing jokingly at the machine, which bleeped in protest. "Where are my manners, Braxien Lythis. And who might you be?"

Hope shook her head. My, my, is he handsome or what?, she thought with herself. "Well, I'm Hope..." she mumbled, but soon the little machine he was holding began to bleep very loudly and she felt that he hadn't heard her, because the next second he was slapping the object in frustration, mumbling all kinds of weird sciencey things.

"You have to be joking! I was on that trail!" As he spun and looked around them, Hope couldn't help but do the same. There was nothing out of the ordinary: people passing by, a tourist girl leaning against a wall, holding out a camera, an old man reading a newspaper... What could he possibly be looking for? "Cosmic radiation…where the hell could it have come from, it's not from Earth's origin…so…"

Hope raised an eyebrow at him. If this was any other bump-into-a-handsome-stranger situation, Hope would be all in for the flirting, but she felt truly confused by this man in particular, so she quickly dropped the flirt option. "I'm sorry... Are you lost? Do you need any help?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:42 pm

Again, he spun around and feeling dizzy, he stopped. It was all too much to take, finally, the arrow managed to point him into the right direction and he began following it, passing the tourist girl, holding a camera.

Running past, something clicked into his mind, he had seen the girl around before…Nicole--Wait, Braxien didn't want to mistake an ordinary tourist girl for Nicole, which would make him sound a bit stupid.

"Right! Cosmic Radiation, you following?" Braxien asked behind him to Hope. He had run out on to the street, a car rushed around the corner and…

Smack!

Braxien lay on the floor, the machine underneath him, he needed to move, get out of all these…why were people gathering around him? In a single thought, he managed to realize what he had done. The silly thing of not looking both ways before crossing the road.

His arm was soaked, blood slowly dripping through his shirt. Many people were asking him questions, all fuzzy.

"Look, I'm alright…I'm f…fine…" Braxien attempted to get up but his legs couldn't support his weight. The passerby's looked at him in a mix of horror and shock. "Do…not…touch machine…"

With that, he passed out.

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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:47 am

Oh damn, it was that time traveler from before. Her nose crinkled in some sort of disdain, lowering the camera slightly to study him from afar. Still waving around his detector and looking for something strange again. Which reminded her. Why hadn’t she built one herself? Ah, right. Cyber Planner was more worried about building barely functioning robotics than more practical things. And it blamed her for its incompetence. Probably corrupted data.

Her thoughts were interrupted as Braxien strode past her and she took a habitual backwards step. Something about trying not to be noticed programmed into the back of her head. Since their first meeting had gone so well, she wasn’t too eager to follow after him. No more aliens and running around for her!

She was just about to head off when she heard the screech of brakes and a sound close enough to something soft hitting metal that she was pretty sure what happened. She turned around to see the man almost buried under the hood of a car, bleeding all over the ground. She rolled her eyes. There are times when I am glad I’m fused to a competent human. For once she actually smiled at the Cyber Planner’s words. He attracted trouble.

Nicole approached the scene before her, recoiling slightly at the scent of blood. She wasn’t squeamish… as long as she couldn’t smell a thing. “Hello,” she said, nodding to Hope. “Don’t worry, he does this all the time.”
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:53 am

((OOC: oooh dear this is good! \o/))

"Right! Cosmic Radiation, you following?" Hope heard Braxien say, even though he was a fair amount of strides ahead of her.

"Cosmic radiation?" Hope asked, confused. She wasn't very sure why she did it, but Hope just strutted behind him, trying to keep up. Maybe he was a lunatic that had ran away from some local mental institution, or even from home. Maybe he was playing her for a fool. Either way, she didn't have this much fun ever since she went to live with her biological family back in Norwich.

He kept walking very fast, always a few strides ahead of her, and that was when it happened. Hope saw the car rushing in their direction, very fast, and Braxien was focused on his device. "STOP!", she screamed, albeit too late for him to hear her.

When she got close enough, people were beginning to gather around his limp body in the middle of the street.

"Hello" the tourist with the camera approached her. “Don’t worry, he does this all the time.” American, Hope concluded by her accent.

She looked at the woman, a bit shocked that she seemed so cool with the whole situation. "You know him? Come on! We've got to help!" and she didn't hesitated: she pulled the American woman closer to Braxien limp body, just in time to hear him say: "Do…not…touch machine…"
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:02 am

Braxien groaned as his senses came back to him. He rolled onto his side and manage to move slightly away, but not enough as the crowd, too, followed.

"Get off," Braxien moaned. He grabbed the machine and stood up, wobbling all over the place. He ignored the pain and headed slowly down the road.

The crowd muttered and began to follow him, only increasing Braxien's pace. He looked over his shoulder and saw Hope and Nicole.

"Stopping people following me and trying to save the universe? Difficult."

The machine was still functioning, going through a state of flux, this way and that. He walked around the block, hoping to stop the crowd and now, an ambulance. They stopped him and he turned around.

"Look, Im fine!" Braxien said, they ignored him. "STOP TOUCHING ME, I AM PERFECTLY FINE!"

They looked at him in shock and he gave a huff of satisfaction before limping back to the spot where the machine was malfunctioning.

"Hope, have you noticed anything unusual or weird? Sci-fi-y?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:48 am

“Yes, uhm, long story,” Nicole said, waving her hand as if to dismiss any further questions about the subject. “Move him, I’ll grab the little scanner.”

Of course Braxien had other plans, like getting up and wandering off despite his injuries. She took a step back, and brushed herself off, peering at the silly man and his antics. “Ah, well, never mind then,” she said, giving Hope a sheepish smile. “I suppose we should follow him before he gets run over by who knows what.”

She caught up with him in three strides. “What are you doing in London? More laser beams and flying spaceships?” Her one eyebrow rose as she gave him a tiny grin. “Or is it her turn to do something ridiculous?”

She turned to address Hope as he began yelling at the people following them. “My name’s Nicole Baxter, nice to meet you.” She offered a hand with a smile. “His screws are a bit loose.”
She raised her camera and took a picture of the poofy haired lady out of impulse before snapping some shots of London. “And here I was hoping for a nice vacation… Maybe you can just drop me off at my hotel? I think it’s a few blocks from here. One adventure is enough for me.”
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:21 pm

Hope was feeling very confused. As Braxien rose from his puddle of blood and started wandering about, followed by the crowd, and the American woman started speaking as if she had met him in other somewhat strange situation, Hope felt caught up in something she had no business in.

She couldn't walk away anymore. The man was bleeding and the American woman acted as if he was crazy, yes, but as if he also had a point.


“My name’s Nicole Baxter, nice to meet you.” She offered a hand with a smile.

"Erm... Hope Lightfoot" she glanced at Braxien. The crowd had finally gone away. "And it's a great thing that your hotel is close by! We can take him there and patch him up a bit, he can't go on like that!" Hope decided, turning to Braxien. "And what do you mean, 'something sci-fi-y'?"

But as she grabbed Braxien's good arm to give him some support, something clicked in her mind. "Wait. My coin..." she put her free hand inside her pocket and took her special coin out. She flipped it and caught it in the air.

Tails. Like the last five times.

She flipped it one more time. Tails. And one more time. Tails. And one more... Tails. And one more... Tails again! "Okay, that is weird. It's the tenth time today that I flip this coin and it's always tails... I mean, what are the chances of that happening?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:33 am

Braxien spun around to face Hope. "What are you on about a coin?"

"A coin that only seems to flip tails…now that is…sci-fi-y." Braxien said, after Hope had demonstrated what she had meant by only flipping Tails.

He wondered whether the cosmic radiation had anything to do with it, but none the less, he looked at the device, contenting itself beeping away.

Braxien glanced at the crowd, the ambulance drivers walking over to him and dispersing the crowd on their way. He shook his head, taking a few steps backward. "Oh, hi. Nicole, nice to see you again."

The ambulance drivers stopped a few meters away and their hands went to their foreheads, but quickly changed the idea of it. Braxien tilted his head but didn't say anything as the machine in his hand began pointing frantically at the drivers.

"Hope, Nicole. Where is that hotel you were talking about?" Braxien asked, sounding alarmed. He then whispered. "Just tell them a hotel on the other side of town, they aren't ambulance drivers."

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PostSubject: Re: The Coin Rule   Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:58 am

Something sci-fi-y? Well, she could certainly quality under such a vague description, though she’d never say that out loud. Most people didn’t like having a Cyber Planner around, even if it was just in her head, and right now it was about as deadly as a fluffy blanket. Well, as long as she didn’t run into any Cybermen that was.

“Take him to my h-hotel? That wasn’t what I meant with-“ Ah hell. Now she really was going to be swept up into this whole thing. All she wanted was a nice break from the boring flats of Oklahoma and its stupid tornadoes. Now there was trouble again. “Yeah, just around the corner, then up the street,” she sighed, taking the lead.

The demonstration of the coin was heard, but not seen as her eyes remained fixated on her surroundings. Was it on this street, or was it on another street? This area was looking less and less familiar. “The chance of getting ten tails in a row is 0.098%,” Nicole said without much thought on the matter. Then she clamped a hand over her mouth. Damned Planner and its compulsive calculations!

“Yeah, I’d say it’s nice to see you. But you attract trouble like cats to catnip.” Like the trouble he managed to gather at this very moment.

”Tell them a hotel on the other side of town.” Like she knew! “Tourist? Hello?” She waved her camera in his face. She hissed into his ear, “I don’t know where the hell anything here is!”
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