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Author Topic: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology  (Read 2085 times)

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2022, 02:59:05 AM »
Zap! (Part 7)
Rose suddenly perked up from her grumbling.

“Oh, that’s right! My cute little darling… if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know what I’d do with myself. Let me tell you, I wouldn’t have thought for the life of me that I’d be owning a cat, or any kind of animal whatsoever. But lil’ Whimsels…” She shook her head, a bright smile across her face. “He was a stray that happened on my doorstep the day I was fired. The whole town had gone mad, but he was there to cheer me up through it all. All my life I thought plants would be the only thing I’d need, but Whimsels showed me the world.”

Rosemary sat there in bliss and euphoria as she reminisced, her eyes lost in space.

“I’m guessing this was the date the Spark happened,” said Mira.

“The Third of the Third. I wouldn’t forget it even if I was dead.”

“Two years then,” Jack quipped. “The report said you lost Whimsels yesterday. Anything strange you noticed about him the days leading up to his disappearance?”

“I wouldn’t say he was strange… more like… eccentric!” Rose replied.

Mira raised a slight brow. “Eccentric? A cat?”

“Oh, you could tell right away he wasn’t any ordinary cat. He’s a smart one. Always figuring out how to sneak away to who-knows-where, and still find his way back home. Sometimes he’ll take with him little trinkets and knick-knacks and put them in his sleeping basket.”

“You mean the cat’s been stealing?” Mira said, shocked by Rose’s words.

“You know how animals are… they can’t help themselves!”

“Do you have the basket and these trinkets?” Jack asked.

“I do indeed. They’re on top of that cabinet just behind you.”

Jack turned around to see a rather large-sized wicker basket with bedding jutting out from its sides. He stood up from the chair and, tiptoeing from his shoes, slid the basket out from the top of the cabinet, before catching the remarkably heavy basket before it fell to the floor.

“By Joves! This basket is heavy!” Jack cried out.

“What exactly are those?” Mira asked, peeking into the basket. Jack took one of the trinkets out, a gold pocket watch… out of many pocket watches. Why were there so many? He opened the watch to find a picture of a man and a woman inside. Perhaps one of the neighbors. Jack then opened another pocket watch, this time showing a family of four.

“Do you mind if we keep these?” Jack asked.

“Good heavens, no! They’re Whimsels. And he’ll definitely want them all there when he gets back, if he does.”

“These are likely stolen from your neighbors, Rose. I think it’s best we take them for now. Before we end up filing a report of theft for the missing watches.”

“Is that a threat?” Rose asked.

Mira quickly rushed to Rose’s side. “No, not at all! Jack just likes… being upfront about things. Why don’t you let my partner take care of the watches, and we can talk more about Whimsels, okay?”

Rosemary eyed Jack up and down his figure before settling back down at the table.

“Fine. But you best give them back before you leave.”

Jack nodded. “Of course. You’ll have them back in no time.”

With the old lady back to sipping her tea, Mira continued her line of questions. “So, what does Whimsels’s routine look like?”
« Last Edit: August 22, 2022, 01:30:45 AM by Operative13 »
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2022, 02:58:49 AM »
Zap! (Part 8)
Soon after, Jack and Mira returned to the Constabulary with a sizable number of notes more than the single-page file they left with. The front entrance was now all but vacant of the large crowd that had gathered that morning, with only a handful of custodial workers sweeping away the confetti and polishing the marble tiles still covered in black soot.

“Looks like the party’s ended,” said Mira as she flung the passenger door open.

“No one wants to stick around in a place filled with soot, that’s for sure,” Jack replied as he shut the driver’s door and approached the car’s trunk. “Did you get all the answers you need from Rose?”

Mira took a look at the notes. “Whatever I could get from her. It’s strange though… She knows Whimsels has a knack for wandering around the neighborhood for who-knows-how long, but immediately files a report when he went missing yesterday. I asked her what made her call then, and it was because he wasn’t in his usual spot that morning. Don’t you find it weird for a cat to follow a routine?”

“I’ve never had a cat, so I wouldn’t know. But if I were to guess, Whimsels loves following routines. That’s probably why she called.”

“Collecting watches. And watches with pictures at that. I’m pretty sure no pet ever does that. What exactly is it doing with all those trinkets?”

“Looking for something, or someone, maybe. Or it could be a habit. I wouldn’t know which is which. It’s a cat, after all. It might be doing it for fun.”

Mira rolled her eyes. “A cat stealing watches for fun? It’s not one of those birds that steals whatever shiny object there is from people.”

“We don’t know that until we start talking with the neighbors. We’ll start by looking through the watches and identifying the people in them. Maybe they can tell us more about this ‘cat burglar’ we have here.”

Jack popped open the trunk, revealing a large mechanism with lenses, bulbs, and rolls of paper. Flipping a lid open, he took out a large paper roll filled with tiny puncture holes before closing it back and handing it to Mira.

“Get this to the Optics Department when you pass by.”

Mira gawked at the size of the roll. “Jimmies, Jack, how many takes did you make?”

“52. The cat’s been busy.”

“Great, another day of busy work… you’re gonna help me transcribe all this, right?”

Jack didn’t say a word. Instead, he began walking up and into the Constabulary, to which Mira followed right beside him.

“You can’t seriously leave me to do all this work myself! This is gonna take me ages to get through!”

“Sorry Mira, but I have other important business to go through.”

“The Gooluks again? You heard what the Chief said. Quinn and Chase already have that covered.”

“I still need to stay up to date, and besides, they’ll need my input on what they find. If you need anything from me, I’ll be in the Organized Crime Department.”

“But…!”

Before Mira could utter another word, Jack disappeared among the sea of officers wading back-and-forth among the halls of the Constabulary, leaving her with Whimsels’s file and the roll of paper from the optics machine.

“Sure… I'll just write this all up myself. Again…”

Just as she turned around, Quinn and Chase came pacing down the hallway.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2022, 03:10:03 AM by Operative13 »
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2022, 02:57:35 AM »
Eris, Corporal of the Gallian Defense Force

Eris, a dreamer with a penchant for action

An old friend of Adelais, Eris always had a mind for action. She struggled in academics during her school years, but Eris excelled in sports and blew past her history and literature classes. This wasn't enough to graduate, however, and it was then that she met Adelais as her mentor and tutor. The two quickly bonded over their shared interests in changing the world, and explored several ideas on how they could better themselves and the community. However, their friendship would diminish after graduation, as they had to choose their new paths in life. Adelais chose to pursue a career as a Curator within the Great Library of Atlas, teaching would-be knowledge seekers the secrets stored within the Library's shelves. Eris, on the other hand, chose to enlist as part of the Gallian Defense Force, helping those in need and serving her community with her own two hands. Eris stops by at the Library of Atlas at times to read up on the latest news, though she seldom speaks to Adelais since their split from school. Perhaps an idealistic mind like hers would be a valuable supporter for Octavia's new initiative at the Library...
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2022, 02:58:30 AM »
Zap! (Part 9)
The hard clatter of Quinn’s marching heels on the polished marble flooring rang out among the spacious hallway. Like a ship cutting through ocean waves, the constables were quick to part ways for her and her attentive Custodian following close behind.

As the two approached, Mira locked eyes with Ms. Quinn, then to Chase, who averted his eyes. Quinn, with her fancy purse swinging behind her, raised a brow and suddenly stopped at the young girl carrying the large rolls in her arms.

“My, my, Mira! What are you doing here all by yourself?” Quinn asked her.

“Jack and I just got back from Cliffside, interviewing the woman with the lost cat. All of this…” she said, lifting the rolls of paper in her possession. “...are pictures of pocket watches.”

“Watches? Is she a thief?”

“No Ma’am. It’s the cat.” She paused. “At least we think it is.”

“What makes you think it’s the cat?” Chase chimed in. “The lady could just be using it as an excuse to steal from people.”

“They all have photos of families inside them. I don’t think an old lady like Rose would have a reason to steal watches with just those photos.”

Quinn looked around. “Where is Jack? Did he run off to hide somewhere again and leave you to do the paperwork?”

“Speaking of Jack, he’s actually waiting for you at Organized Crime. Wants to get an update on the Gooluks.”

Quinn scoffed. “Well he can sit outside my office all he likes. I’ll just run off to Cafe Lapis until he gets bored and finds something else to waste his time on.” She then turned to Chase.

“What about the case?” Chase asked.

“You’ll take care of all that, won’t you Dear?” she said in a charming voice.

Chase blushed and nodded. “Y-Yes Ma’am,” he diligently said.

Mira, however, irked at Quinn’s flirtations. It annoyed her to no end that Quinn always found ways to flaunt her natural beauty, even to stave off work just as much as Jack did.

“And while you’re at it, perhaps you can help poor Mira take care of her rolls at the Optics Department. I’m sure you two can divy the work together, won’t you?”
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2022, 02:58:49 AM »
Zap! (Part 10)
Mira knocked on the door to the Optics Department, a prominent sign hanging on the front printed in bold red: “CLOSED”.

“Did he switch the sign again?” Chase asked.

Mira grumbled. “That weasel always does this. The sign is not meant to be your free nap time!”

This time Mira banged on the door, shaking its frame from its hinges.

“Open up, Lenny!” she yelled.

No answer. Chase and Mira exchanged annoyed glances.

“I’m counting to three! If you don’t open up, I’m bashing this door down! One! Two…!”

The lock clicked open. As the door swung loose, an unshaven man in glasses with unkempt hair and a white long coat stood over the two adolescents.

“I’m busy. What do you want?” Lenny said nonchalantly.

“You know this is in the middle of working hours, don’t you? The sign is always supposed to say ‘Open’. As in, you don’t lock the door and keep us from doing our work!”

Mira shoved the large paper rolls onto Lenny as she pushed her way inside.

“Devils basket, what’s all this?” Lenny asked, staring at the enormous amounts of rolls in his arms.

“Photos taken from a cat lady. There’s fifty-odd copies of them there.”

“The missing cat case? Oh no. No no no no,” Lenny dropped the rolls onto his desk, where more stacks sat nearby. “I’ve got more important things to copy over than some pictures of a cat. You’ll get your copies when I clear out the backlog.”

“How long will that take?” Chase asked, looking at the various developed photos hanging from strings strewn across the room.

“Two weeks. Take it or leave it,” said Lenny.

“Two weeks!? I’m not waiting two weeks for photos!” Mira screamed.

“And that’s counting all the overtime I’d have to do just for these rolls. I’ve got more time-sensitive stuff that needs to be handled. Your cat’s going to have to wait.”

“What? Like the Gooluks?”

“Exactly. Like the Gooluks. Now if you excuse me, I need my nap time before I crash and burn, along with all the photos that need to be finished here. Now run along and let me do my thing.”

“But…!”

Before Mira could object, Lenny had pushed the two out of his office and locked the door once more.

“Damn it!” Mira cursed, making her way down the hall back to the Custodians Department. “How am I going to get those photos now?”

“To be honest, I kind of pity Lenny,” Chase said. “New state-of-the-art technology and he ends up working overtime to make sure it comes out right. He’s asked for more assistants to put these photos out on time, but the Chief keeps pushing him off. Not a priority in the budget, she says.”

“Well maybe if he isn’t taking naps all day, maybe we can actually get those photos. What happened to good-ol’ fashioned snapping photos?”

“Remember what happened two years ago? We lost almost all the originals. Now we make sure to get copies. In triplicate.”

“He can triplicate my foot in his rear if I have to wait two weeks…”

Chase looked away for a brief moment, a thought swirling in his eyes. “Maybe I can find a way to expedite your request, Mira.”

Mira blinked. “You can?”

“Not sure, but I can try to pull some strings. Ms. Quinn’s very well connected. I could perhaps give a few knocks to some people I know, and they might get Lenny to work on your case.”

“Oh please do! You have no idea how much trouble this would save me.”

“Don’t you worry. I got it handled.”

Chase then started darting off in the opposite direction. Just as he did, Mira came to a sudden realization.

“Hey wait! Aren’t you going to help me with the paperwork!?”

“It’s not that hard!” Chase yelled back. “I’ll be back soon!”
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 03:13:28 AM by Operative13 »
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2022, 03:25:06 PM »
I will definitely get around to reading this at some point, along with your other stuff as well!!!
but in the meantime, keep it up :D
and also awesome art you've got there :D
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Offline Operative13

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2022, 10:01:56 AM »
Different update this time around. It's been a long dream of mine to one day create a manga series of my own, and while I have plenty of other stories running through their paces, that hasn't stopped me from cranking out new ideas to share with you all. If you'd like to see more of these kinds of works, let me know your thoughts in the replies below! Every feedback helps guide Project Octavian's direction, and the more I get, the more I know exactly what needs to be put out!

Without further ado, I give you Curations of a Bibliothec! Enjoy!

Curations of a Bibliothec - Pilot
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Project OCTAVIAN - A Short Stories Anthology
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2022, 03:17:08 PM »
Very nice first page, both setting the scene, introducing the character, as well as their personality.
I'm reminded automatically of Magus of the Library given the story title and obvious book connection.
Do you want feedback on the art as well?

I would suggest keeping your stories separate, even if they are part of the same project, as it might make it harder to read through all the different stories if they are posted all in the same thread, just a thought. You can always keep a separate contents/project thread to keep a track of the different stories.
Art: Manga / Fanart / Requests (closed) / Other Art | Manga Stories & Projects
Other Stuff: Tutorials / Craft / Cosplay | Feedback & Critique Welcome!