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(AoH)[1.1] NERDFEST!

Craig ST

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This thread is for team 1 which consists of Chance, Crimson Spider, Psi-Warrior, and Visage

Every August for the past 6 years nerds from all over the west coast, and indeed from across the United States would make the pilgrimage to the Moscone Convention Center in Bay City to pay homage to their particular brand of Nerdage.

Everything from Comic Books to Role Playing Games, Anime to Tactical Miniatures was represented. If it was a geek hobby, it was represented. Sam Weston; A.K.A. ‘The Mariner’ watched all the activity from behind on of the main stage curtains. The Exhibition Level of Moscone South was an enormous space which could be split into three separate rooms, but the con had grown in size over the few years since it’s inception that all three rooms were needed.

The main stage that Sam now occupied was located on the western wall of Exhibit Room A and from there he watched what appeared to be a frenzy of activity. This was his fourth year at the convention and his third putting on some kind of show. He originally got involved when an independent artist approached him about creating a comic book about his exploits. He came to the convention to help promote the book and as the comic got campier and more ridiculous, so too did Sam’s appearances at the convention.

This year the plan was to have Mariner “attacked” on stage by a “robot,” put on a melodramatic but obviously fake display, where he finally defeats the machine and its “evil creator.” Sam sighed and wondered if Talos or The Samaritan ever had to put up with this kind of crap.

OCC Stuff
Okay so I’m going to give everyone a post or 2 to establish where they are and what they are doing at the convention. My next post will me the beginning of Mariner's show.
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"I'm not really sure if this was such a good idea after all.", Cassandra said as she clumsily tried to navigate herself through the crowd. She was wearing a costume mostly made of Papermache vaguely resembling Talos. Her red hair was hidden underneath her plastic helmet which was a replica she had bought at Nerdvana.

"Why didn't you choose a female character to Cosplay?", said Dave half mockingly waiting for Cassandra to catch up.

"Who ever said Talos was a guy? Underneath that suit could be a girl - just like me.", replied the young woman as she stumbled over her own feet. Her suit wasn't really that off and she did resemble Talos, albeit a very small version and far less intimidating than the original. Her performance did resemble more a robot dance than Talos imposing battle stance, though.

"You'll see - Talos could also be female - you're just jealous, that's all! Jealous that you didn't come up with this absolutely awesome idea first.", the young witch explained as she stumbled yet again.

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"Whatever you say." Dave replied, helping Cassandra up yet again. It wasn't really possible to mention the fact that Talos' gender identity, if there really was one, was definitively male. He himself was wearing a rough approximation of the helmet and armor worn by Gimli, son of Gloin from Lord of the Rings.

Cassandra rolled her eyes. "Your Gimli thing is soooo cliche." Dave snorted and elbowed her lightly. "I think the classics should be honored now and then, Cass." They passed a sign promoting the Mariner's presence today, reminding Dave that on impulse, he'd stashed the Psi-Warrior costume in his backpack. But seriously, would it really be needed today?

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Devin slid the Bestiary 3 into his backpack, keeping it wrapped in the con's bag so he could keep it as a memento. This was one time of year he truly loved living in Bay City. Where most people had to drive for hours (or days) to get to the con and enjoy it for the week it was here, Devin was literally twenty minutes away. He took a second to glance around for his buddies, quickly spotting them at the assorted booths nearby. 'Pickles', Evan and Troy were clustered around the World of Warcraft booth paying more attention to the night elf booth-babes than anything else.

Devin never really dressed up for these things. When a few pics of him dressed up as Link from The Legend of Zelda got out at school a few years ago, the torturous backlash from his peers was enough to scare him away from ever trying it again. Today, Devin was just, Devin. Jeans and Converse, a geeky t-shirt that displayed an old Nintendo controller on it and read "Old School" and a black, zip up hoodie that was so baggy that hood -when pulled up- enveloped his face like a Jedi's cloak. All he was missing was a name badge that read: "Hello, my name is: 'Social Retard'".

"Guys, we don't even play WoW." He said quietly as he approached his friends.

"No," replied Pickles, a tall, soulless ginger, whose real name was Tom. He was a good guy and a lot of fun to be around. He'd known Devin the longest. "But have you ever wondered how they get their boobs to stay in that outfit? I mean, dude, they're huge. Evan, go ask, I wanna know."

"Okay." Evan said casually with a shrug. They guy was shameless and never refused a dare.

Devin managed to grip his jacket just in time to stop him. "No, don't bother them. They're working, besides they deal with enough nerds salivating and asking them inane questions, let's try, for once, not to fit that stereotype."

"Whudjuget Dev?" Tom asked, thumbing through his pack. "Bestiary 3? Dude, Nerdvana has this at twenty percent off right now! You got gipped, Dave coulda hooked you up."

"I know, but this is my one book." Devin blew it off, not really concerned with Tom's appraisal of how he spent his money. "Every year I get one book from the con, this just happened to be the only one I still needed, I'm sure Dave'll understand. Besides, I need the new demons in here for our game on Sunday. The fate of Princess Tempesta's Kingdom rests in the hands of a few brave heroes guys, and brave heroes need scary as hell demons to battle."

Speaking of 'Princess Tempesta'," Evan smirked, since his favorite past time was giving Devin hell about his crush. "You talk to her yet? How'd your grand plan for meeting up at her house and professing your undying love go?"

"I, uh... hit a few snags." Devin said, not mentioning that the whole plan blew up into a 'save Tempest from a gang of thugs' marathon. It was The Crimson Spider who spoke to Temepest, not him.

Troy, the youngest of the group (by one a year or so), finally spoke up, seeing that Devin was not enjoying being put on the spot. "Let's talk on the way, Nathan Fillion is doing a signing in ten minutes and we're going to be last in line as it is. I wanna see if I can get him to spill anything about the new Castle season."

"Screw Castle!" Evan stated firmly. "They need to bring back Firefly damnit!"

Quickly Evan found a hand on each of his shoulders as Devin and Tom led him off. In unison they replied, "Let it go, dude. Let it go."

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"X-ray vision," said the man...boy? Daniel honestly found it a hard line to place. His current customer was probably physically in his late 20's, or early 30's. Emotionally...?

Twelve. Maybe.

The way his eyes kept tracking back to the World of Warcraft booth babes left no doubt as to the motivation behind his request though. Daniel had to choke back a snort as he envisaged the cover of that comic book. First issue, by writer and artist Daniel Blake; The Insatiable LEER! And he'd have a sort of pulp detective outfit on with the brown trenchcoat and rumpled-looking suit and tie...except his head would be completely in a tight hood, with those googly, swirly-lensed 'x-ray glasses' they sold in the back pages of...well...comic books.

The Leer was just looking at him though, and Daniel realized he hadn't replied yet.

"Uh, okay, that's cool. Little hard to draw though. What if I make your eyes kind of swirly inside, to show you see more than mortal man can?" he said, working hard to keep his face straight.

The Leer thought on this, then checked his watch. "Shit, I'm gonna be late. Hey, maybe later. Have a good one."

Daniel watched his lunch money walk off and sighed. The guy in the booth next to him, selling little handpainted miniatures, grinned and said, "It's tougher than it looks ain't it?"

"I managed to get a few sold this morning," Dan replied, a little defensively. "I figure it'll pick up in the afternoon...evening. But you know? I figured people'd want normal super powers, right? Like, flying or super strength, or whatever. That...is not what people have been asking for, and I'm starting to feel like I need to dive into a swimming pool full of pumice to get the dirt off."

His neighbor laughed. "I hear you. Every now and then someone asks if I have any figures not on the shelf. I learned a long time back that the answer to that...is no. Not 'what do you want, I'll check.' It's no. Everything's here. There's no catalog. Don't tell me what you're looking for, and sure as HELL don't tell me why."

Daniel managed a rueful smile at that, even as his stomach lurched sympathetically. "Yeah...I'll bet. Well, learning experience then." His eye caught the big digital clock they'd set up near the ceiling and widened. "Almost time for The Mariner. Shit, I'm not gonna get a good seat now." He grabbed his sketchbook, then stared at the easel and paper on it. "Would you mind keeping an eye on this for me? It's cheap, but still..."

"Don't worry," the miniature-selling man assured him. "Not that I can really do much to protect it here, but I'll throw some minis at anyone who makes a try for it. Cheap ones. A couple. Best I can do."

With a grin, Dan nodded and vacated his booth, hurrying across the crowded convention floor with his good pencils and pens in a case in his left hand and his sketchbook in his right. Maybe he'd be able to get a signature. The Mariner was something of an inspiration to him.

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"Whatever you say." Dave replied, helping Cassandra up yet again. It wasn't really possible to mention the fact that Talos' gender identity, if there really was one, was definitively male. He himself was wearing a rough approximation of the helmet and armor worn by Gimli, son of Gloin from Lord of the Rings.

Cassandra rolled her eyes. "Your Gimli thing is soooo cliche." Dave snorted and elbowed her lightly. "I think the classics should be honored now and then, Cass." They passed a sign promoting the Mariner's presence today, reminding Dave that on impulse, he'd stashed the Psi-Warrior costume in his backpack. But seriously, would it really be needed today?

Her costume wasn’t really that bad but if she kept stumbling over her clumsy feet it would soon look like the most battered version of Talos’ recent design. Maybe she should've asked Kamiko to help her create it...

Cassandra couldn’t really make out what Dave meant by the classics. Did Peter Jackson rip someone else off or was Dave referring to Tolkien being one of the classics? Sometimes it drove her nuts and she didn’t like to feel dumber than she was – being the worst student at the Covenant wasn’t really doing much for her self confidence and at least in Geek-Kingdom she was a girl... and those were a rare breed.

Unfortunately she wasn’t the ‘hot’ Nerdy-Geekgirl type. Cassandra was a plain jane with red hair - her most remarkable trait, and her glasses which were huge. Since Talos’ Helmet was actually the kids-size model there was no room for her glasses to wear without either cutting open the Helmet or damaging the glasses... so Cassandra decided to go without. That wasn’t such a good idea, since without her glasses Cassandra was blind as a mole. It didn’t stop her from getting angry at Dave.

The young witch stumbled against a life-size model of an World of Warcraft Orc and pushed her finger against its broad chest and started ranting, “There’s no actual proof that Talos is Male. Only because his voice is modulated to sound Male doesn’t mean he is. Have you ever talked to him or asked him in person? Maybe he doesn’t even know the difference, being a robot and all, you know? So I’m fighting for his, ‘his’ as in neutral,”, she was doing quotes with her other hand as she explained herself, “to be female if he chooses to. Only because ‘he’s’ big and clunky, doesn’t mean he has to be Male.”

Cassandra was taking a deep breath for her second round of ranting never realizing she wasn’t talking to Dave but to a plastic replica. “Anyway – What do you mean ‘honor the classics’? The Hobbit hasn’t even been released yet and you’re talking about classics? Only because the Trilogy is roughly 10 years old doesn’t make it a classic. I think it’s timeless, especially the extended cuts. You should’ve payed more attention to the making offs and web-minis. Are you even in the club?”

Being angry at Dave didn’t really work well. Cassandra had a crush on him and right now she was rather glad she couldn’t make out his face without her glasses. It helped being angry without really being... angry. Maybe he’d notice that she actually liked him but somehow they ended up arguing about the tiniest things. Of course Dave was right most of the time, being the expert and such...

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Dave flushed in embarrassment as Cassandra started ranting and feeling angry, even if she was ludicrously focusing on the nearby Thrall plastic statue as the would-be debate opponent. She was such a nice girl, and did he have to set her off a lot?

These were the sorts of things that made the comic store staffer feeling very very awkward, and he tentatively approached his friend as if she would turn around and maul like a tiger. "Cass? I'm sorry, it was just my opinion... and I just meant Tolkien in general... Are you alright? You're talking to the plastic Thrall."

At least he wasn't alone in feeling like the nerdy scrump of the world - sure he was Psi-Warrior, but there were plenty of active good heroes in Bay City in the end.

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  • 4 weeks later...

“Plastic Thrall?”, Cassandra asked incredulously poking the huge statue as if making it come alive suddenly and not make her look like a complete idiot.

“Ahem, of course!”, she said stepping backwards and turnin sideways with clumsy precision hoping to have faced in the right direction. Then she walked forward towards Dave’s voice pointing a oversized pappmaché fist at him.

“Where are we heading to anyway? I can’t see a thing with this helmet. How on earth does Talos see anything? With one eye shouldn’t he have called himself Cyclops? I suppose that would infringe some copyrights, though... although I think Talos should have the rights for that name instead of a fictional character.”

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