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Private Insert Coin, Receive Frustration

Discussion in 'Pandopolis City' started by Jack Bauer, Jun 3, 2019.

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  1. Jack Bauer

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    "Aww, look at that," he managed to feign his surprise under a tone of disappointment when Sebastian's screen turned into a ball of smoke and flames. It was hard to believe a little jab about girlfriends could cause so much distraction to someone who so casually deflected everything else, but Jack only dismissed the notion with a smirk. "Well, the next time you feel like running on down to the arcade, you're welcome to invite her instead of me." And he stopped himself from suggesting this girl would probably be better competition for Sebastian as he motioned for the flight stick.

    "Now alright, you let me start another game and hand over the controls to me. Time to show you how it's done." Everything he picked up through observing had to at least get him the same progress as Sebastian, else experience would somehow simply fail him...


     
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  2. Sebastian

    Sebastian Stardew Valley

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    Sebastian just sighed as the game rubbed it in how badly he lost. As if he couldn't tell that already. Jack's words weren't really helping either.

    "Maybe I will," he replied, sounding utterly like a teenager. He barely managed to keep from stomping away from the game just because. Instead, he was able to restrain himself enough to give Jack the space and gesture for him to take over.

     
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  3. Jack Bauer

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    It was go time.

    Jack seized the flight stick and tossed another lighthearted remark Sebastian's way. "Now, there's no reason to be a sore loser." On came the display with the touch of a button and he was in the air. Virtually. "Let's just take this nice and slow at the start like you did." The light of competition was in his eyes as he waited for the approach of the first few bogey planes, conserving ammo and slowing the overheating of his gun by firing in little bursts, testing their track early on. There was even a slight smile on his expression as his stream of bullets clipped one of the enemies, and he received a little dinging sound for his efforts.

    "You see that?" he grinned over his shoulder. Jack immediately had to correct himself as he drifted towards the ground, and things progressively looked a little shakier as he was required to deal with two or three at a time soon enough. The smile was gone as he noted for himself it was taking longer than Sebastian for him to line things up properly. "Haven't got me yet -- haven't got many of them either," he murmured as his eyes flicked about, anxious as the targets piled up like a long cashier line.


     
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  4. Sebastian

    Sebastian Stardew Valley

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    "Sore loser?" Sebastian repeated with a scoff, "who's being a sore loser? Not me, that's for sure. I didn't even lose. I just... didn't win." He only glanced away for a second, ready to defend his stupid point if he had to.

    "Yeah, I see," he said, "you're doing great at not having to fight anyone." It seemed like his strategy was just to hit the other planes a few times before making a hasty escape. Not the best idea, in Sebastian's opinion, but he was willing to watch it play out.

     
  5. Jack Bauer

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    The dipping and ducking strategy that Jack seemed to favor began to fall apart quickly when he received the first knock to his plane. A voice let him know the wing had been clipped; in record time compared to how long Sebastian lasted without such a problem. He blew out his cheeks and looked stressed out of his mind as the controls began to misbehave, intentionally delaying his inputs and pitching the gun at the wrong angles as the plane was wobbling. “The hell is this?” he whispered frantically, pulling up every so often to lift the aircraft a little higher, but it was constantly in a decline. “This isn’t fair at all...!”

    His professional approach to things disintegrated as he fired at random, spraying the bogeys in an attempt to clear the screen as quickly as possible. “You definitely made this look easier...” Jack admitted, visibly frazzled. “Sonuvabitch...”


     
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  6. Sebastian

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    Sebastian watched in mild amusement as Jack quickly became overwhelmed. It helped when Jack even admitted he made it look easy, which was a slight ego boost, to be honest. Not that he was spiteful or anything, it was just funny to see someone struggle with a game.

    "Yeah, that's not too easy to come back from," he said, "if you get through the wave, you'll get a little health back, though. You'll just have to shoot the others down. Might be a little late for advice, but you might want to focus on one at a time."

     
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  7. Jack Bauer

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    “Right, right,” he answered Sebastian with half a care. Jack curled his hands around the controls a little tighter as the sweat had begun to make his palms slick. “Just got to get through this wave, and then I’ll be... a third of the way of catching up to you.” Clearly he sounded pessimistic about making it that far, but the enemies began to thin. Just when he thought he was getting a hang of flying only half-stable with one wing, an in-game character had only just warned him that the last of the baddies were on the way before a bullet shaved off his jet’s other wing.

    Jack got to experience a brief span where his plane descended on its own and his flailing around with the controls could do nothing at all to salvage him. His game was over with a spectacular on-screen explosion. Dammit! he growled, shoving the controls away. The outburst was enough to get a few heads to turn in the arcade. As he crossed his arms and wiped his hands on his sleeves, he stared downwards and fumed at a little slot at the bottom where three orange-dyed tickets crawled their way into view, adding to the nine that were already waiting to be claimed from Sebastian’s run.

    “Here,” Jack ripped the chain off and tore it again to give himself the portion he earned. The larger strip, he handed off. “Your winnings. Go crazy with 'em.” Upon slipping his tickets into his pocket, he decided to move the conversation elsewhere rather than how unfair it was that just a few precise hits were all it took to best him. Perhaps in a more rational state of mind, he could suppose any real plane with smoke billowing out of both engines was a complete loss too.

    “Let’s find something else to do. Something more my style.” Whatever that meant.

     
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  8. Sebastian

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    Jack admitting that he was nowhere near where Sebastian had been took some of the fun out of it. What was the point of joking about it when he already said it? Beating a dead horse wasn't as enjoyable as being original.

    Still, Jack's outburst at his loss caused some chuckling out of him, especially when people around them were so scandalized. "Ooooh, you said a bad word," he joked, accepting the tickets with a grin.

    "I'm sure there's something you'll prefer," he said, being surprisingly optimistic, "maybe, like, the more physical ones?" He was willing to give basketball or air-hockey a chance. It was only fair, right?

     
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  9. Jack Bauer

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    Jack just glowered at the kid and briefly checked the other arcade-goers; there didn’t seem to be any youngsters getting a talking-to by their guardians to suggest they needed a warning not to repeat the agent’s words. “Put a cork in it, alright,” he replied, hushed. “I heard you say the exact same thing. Just quieter, that’s all.”

    With that, he had begun to wander again, taking the initiative to select something with better odds to his favor. It still had to be something Sebastian would enjoy, however, and he paused at the sight of a row of driver seats and steering wheels like some kind of race would maybe even things out -- but Jack was done controlling virtual vehicles for the day.

    Then he spotted it, towards the center of the floor: there was a wide type of screen with two pistol handles holstered in front of it. One was a fire-engine red and the other a robin’s egg blue. “Oh, look at that...” he whispered through his teeth, interested immediately. And from what it appeared it was a typical on-rails shooter with a bunch of enemies scattered behind crates and perched above in balconies; was it set in some sort of deserted prison?

    Jack leaned over the console with intrigue and felt better about a two-player mode being available. “Sebastian,” he beckoned over his shoulder. “Let’s do this. We split the tokens between us and we’ll do a mission.”


     
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  10. Sebastian

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    Sebastian chuckled and replied, "yeah, I remembered to keep my voice down." It was more fun to tease Jack than Sam. Jack at least got what he was talking about most of the time, unlike Sam and his eternal good cheer that couldn't be penetrated.

    The two were searching the arcade for a bit, before Jack brought Sebastian's attention to a shooter. Not exactly Sebastian's best genre, but he wasn't going to admit that. Instead, he nodded carelessly and replied, "works for me."

     
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  11. Jack Bauer

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    "Great." It was all Jack needed to hear; Sebastian signing on. They'd see who had the quicker reflexes now for sure.

    In went a pair of his tokens to start things up, and he chose the blue pistol on the right. He figured it'd be a smart move for his shooting stance, anyway. "Now this is neat," he remarked as he raised the grip. Unnaturally smooth and plasticy for a weapon, Jack was grateful at least to have a matching-color crosshair sliding around the screen in front of him as he aimed for the two-player mode button. A little click of the trigger and the stage select appeared.

    "So if we're working together, let's agree to cover our half of the field first," he suggested, gesturing with his hand to split the screen in two. As he inspected the little sight line along the top of the gun. Though he guessed the game was trying to be a little realistic, God only knew a little kid wouldn't think to stare down the barrel like that; on this model the aid was a little too shallow anyway.

    Jack went ahead and picked an abandoned factory level, and while it loaded, the story was nowhere to be found except for the objective to eliminate all the goons in red. Finally, there was one last pause to teach the players that once the pistol clip was empty, one had to aim down off the screen for a second to reload. "Ready if you are," he smirked.


     
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  12. Sebastian

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    The two took their places at the game, and Sebastian took the opportunity to fiddle with the gun a bit as Jack picked the level. He'd never even come close to holding a real gun, not even toys, so this was definitely a new experience for him.

    "I'll do my best to avoid kill-stealing," he replied. It was a good idea to keep from letting one side get overwhelmed, but kill-stealing was a worse crime in his opinion. That was always just a dick move.

    Finally, he glanced up at the screen, holding the fake gun up to the screen. "Ready," he said with a smirk. He doubted he'd do much better on this than on the flying one, but it seemed like fun, anyway.

     
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  13. Jack Bauer

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    Go time again.

    After a brief loading screen that messed with Jack's expectations a little bit, a set of double metal doors shot open on-screen to a lobby of sorts, where six, no, seven enemies were waiting, with much bigger, more-impressive rifles drawn. A shabby front desk, a few crates, a couple building foundation columns let the bogeys partially hide. He simultaneously snorted and started firing at the middle of his half of the screen; there was no cover for him or Sebastian, apparently -- just a cartoony beating heart in each corner with the number 10, the number of bullets each of them could take.

    And Jack grasped the concept very quickly: a sliver of each bad guy was visible to let the observant mark their locations, and one or two at a time they'd poke their upper bodies and their barrels out to prepare to fire. That was the agent's cue to cut them down quick. As he reloaded his virtual clip for the first time he got a small adrenaline rush through his veins -- this was very immersive indeed.

    His side was clear after a few more shots to finally pick off someone taking an extended time in cover. Jack glanced over and butted his crosshairs into Sebastian's half, firing rapidly.
    "You have to hurry Sebastian, before they shoot...!" he criticized, glaring at the enemy with all the severity of a trained killer.


     
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  14. Sebastian

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    As someone who didn't play fps-es all that much, Sebastian's reflexes were much less developed than Jack's. He wasn't bad at the game, of course, but he was definitely surprised when he glanced over at the other half of the screen, only to notice that Jack had already taken out most of his enemies.

    Snorting, he refocused on taking out his own opponents. It wasn't easy, since they seemed to keep jumping back into cover before he could even shoot them, only for the next one to pop out. It was like they were intentionally trying to be annoying rather than threatening.

    "I know what we're supposed to do," he retorted at Jack's obvious advice. He just barely managed to keep from getting annoyed when Jack started taking his kills, since he had only managed to get two of them by the time Jack pitched in to help.

     
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  15. Jack Bauer

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    This combative game of whack-a-mole where the enemies kept dipping in and out of cover was hardly an annoyance to Bauer already. After all, who in reality would want to stay in the line of fire for long and get shot? At least the programmers nailed that aspect, for the randomness only quickly taught him to seize upon the soonest opportunity to unload his entire clip into the pixelized silhouettes.

    As if Jack wasn't already winning an invisible victory over Sebastian, there was a small line of numbers in each man's corner alongside the life counter. He was a little too busy to worry about his ever-increasing score, which ticked up a little from every successful shot or leapt an even higher amount to whoever delivered a bullet that killed. Jack was satisfied clearing the lobby mostly under his own power; he just did the reloading gesture and watched intently as the view on the screen began to float onwards through the hallway up ahead.


    "I'm finding this pretty cool," Jack chatted away amicably. "You know, I never got to train at CTU with a video game. There's no ringing in the ears at the range, no having to pay for your own bullets..." He let that thought go as a small siren blared and another eight enemies sprang up, with most immediately ducking down. They had all the convenient crates and wall protrusions to hide behind, only this was in a narrower corridor. If Sebastian didn't hurry, Jack would mow them all down again himself as he fired away reflexively.


     
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  16. Sebastian

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    "Yeah, much better," Sebastian replied, clearly focusing more on the game than Jack's words. He was glancing over at their scores every once in a while, noticing with some annoyance that it was a pretty one-sided fight. Not real annoyance, of course, just the good-natured, competitive kind.

    It certainly helped when they got to the next level, and he needed a stronger drive to get those baddies dealt with. "This place is so perfectly set up, you'd think the people who own this place were expecting a firefight," he commented, amused. The sacrifice of realism for fun.

     
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  17. Jack Bauer

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    "You'd be surprised..." Bauer began, trailing off as he sprung his crosshair on the first goon that emerged on his side of the screen and dispatched it. "Warehouses, abandoned facilities and factories, I've gone in shooting to all kinds of these places." All sorts of weapon training revolved around the art of analyzing and exploiting cover, of positioning and precision so that agents could stay safe and manage to hit the meager portion of body parts some ten, twenty, thirty yards away. Terrorists weren't so dumb either.

    "Criminals don't bother a lot of the times emptying out the places they're using as hideouts. Besides, when a unit swarms in to raid it, the bad guys want things to be as much of a mess as possible. Ambushes, traps; just chaos." Having spoken like a mentor, however gruffly, he coasted the barrel of his gun along and casually cleared his half of the corridor. In his spare time he reloaded and nonchalantly looked across to what should be Sebastian's baddies; he picked off an extra one that had descended later into the picture on a rope and was suspended in the air taking shots with a handgun. It was probably a few bonus points in his pocket for making the bogey drop motionless to the grey, gritty floor.

    Bauer ignored when one of the last remaining targets finally got a bullet in and took him down to 9 health, but it happened so fast in the flurry of activity he couldn't blame himself or his companion. After all, in most situations when the adrenaline is pumping, it was better to take an imaginary hit on some unknown location than get the sting of a limb being bored through, or worse -- a lucky shot connecting with the crown.


     
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  18. Sebastian

    Sebastian Stardew Valley

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    "I get the point you're making," Sebastian said as he kept barely grazing some of the baddies on his side, "but now I'm just picturing a bunch of criminals in an abandoned warehouse arguing about the feng shui. Can't do crimes without the right ambiance, right?"

    He was learning more about the nature of combat than he was really expecting, though. It was an oddly educational experience, playing random games with a friend. He doubted hanging out with Sam would be quite so edifying.

     
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  19. Jack Bauer

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    Jack guffawed. "Fang what?" he gave the kid a prying glance as the bad guys were mopped up.

    After a momentary pause the screen proceeded further into the lair's inner sanctum, down the hallway the pair cleared out. He had plenty of time to reload and balance the little toy handgun in his grip again as he pestered Sebastian. "Is that the thing that gives people good luck if they keep their furniture clean or whatever?" There was a genuine laugh out of him as he rolled his shoulders, a pair of large double doors ahead. "Out of all people I wouldn't expect you to sound like an old homeowner."

    The game warned them by radio before bursting through the portal that they had to move; this chamber was out in the open. And sure enough it was; a factory floor with motionless conveyor belts and walkways with railings that traveled alongside the lengths of machinery. Whatever this place was, it had the room to keep a hundred men working at a time, and it seemed as though that many enemies were prepared to greet the players. A dozen combatants were already in view, most of them in the walkways overhead that bridged between the machines. Cover for them was scarce, however, the screen didn't slow to let the pair pick their targets; automatically they moved, towards the figures in red and black trying to gun them down. "Look alive, Sebastian...!" Bauer had to stop himself from hollering as he frantically fired back. This approach was throwing the agent off already; the screen shaking with the running movements was realistic, one could argue, but not very helpful.


     
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  20. Sebastian

    Sebastian Stardew Valley

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    "Feng shui," Sebastian repeated with a shake of his head, "it's some bullcrap about how keeping your house decorated a certain way will, like, organize your energies or something. I never bought into it myself, but my mom was obsessed with it for like a year until Demetrius had to pull out some big presentation to point out it was pseudoscience. Pretty sure he was stuck sleeping in his lab for a week after that."

    Suddenly, the game went into overdrive trying to kill them, and Sebastian had to bite back many curses when things started getting more hectic. His shooting was even more wild as he tried desperately not to fall behind Jack's impressive lead.

     
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