Tyrannosaurusrex, The Contributor

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A Short Story! on 2/28/2019 6:41:15 PM

    In Pursuit of Perfection, Grayson’s crowning achievement was born of the perfect storm of sweat, ability, and luck. Each week the magnetic chef stood in front of the lights, the cameras, and the adoring crowd to create the perfect dish. He was one of the lucky few who loved their lives. It was nearly impossible not to. He spent his off time romancing models, driving expensive cars, drinking fine wine, and eating food that would take most people to heaven. That was if he wasn’t already busy skydiving, attending parties, and checking off the bucket list of the average American. His work life was more unreal than his personal life. He was paid to do what he loved and there was never a day that he resented getting up and putting on his apron. By design, his show lent most creative control to him no matter how much executives tried to interfere. In Pursuit of Perfection was a cooking show that defied cooking shows because Grayson never knew exactly what his recipe was going into the show. As the name would suggest, he would innovate and experiment to create the perfect dishes. Fresh off of making the perfect plate of spaghetti and meatballs, Grayson dove head first into his viewer suggestions for his next quest.

     Network executives began to breathe down his back as he toiled away for weeks, narrowing down the recipes he would be airing on his show. He’d never worked this hard in his entire life and this dish was becoming more elusive the more he worked. Grayson began to feel like his quest would never end. Icarus had finally flown too close to the Sun and there was no way he could get out of this maze. He continued with his apparently Sisyphean task out of a dogged determination when lightning struck. He had hit that critical threshold and narrowed it down to only a few ingredients. He was finally ready to announce his next project. Executives were thrilled at the prospect of being able to start another season of the show, with a queue of perfect “dishes”. Only one mattered to Grayson, the rubicks cube he was so near to solving. “It’s been too long my fellow perfectionists! I am happy to announce a new season of In Pursuit of Perfection where I finally create the perfect pizza.” Media was ablaze with comments, from joy to disbelief to conspiracy. The fans screaming their anticipation were met equally by those questioning the subjective standards of perfection. Amusingly, Pizza Hut seemed to be unable to turn down this pizza related publicity and purchased a handful of advertising slots to air commercials on repeat every time an advertisement for his show graced the airwaves.

     As the day of his show approached, nobody knew that Grayson had continued his experimentation. As much as he tried, he couldn’t resist the temptation. He had already created the perfect pizza. He would be going through the motions of discovery on the show, but he knew where he needed to end up. At least he would be going through the motions if the show had not been inexplicably canceled. Outrage exploded from nearly every corner, with Grayson leading the charge. Protesters lead by the former television chef marched the streets of the network demanding an explanation and demanding the show be reinstated. The protests were met with predictable silence but then followed by unpredictable gunshots. Grayson Rochard had been shot.

    It had been 7 years since that fateful day. The public mourned quickly and moved on quickly, his time in the limelight had ended. Once a beloved hero, Grayson now lived in the shadows. In the seven years that followed the assassination attempt, he had survived several more from who appeared to be various government agents. Several dictators had demanded his recipe book and they apparently aimed to collect from his corpse. The US Government seemed to be quite willing to believe he was dead. All the while, Grayson couldn’t imagine how a television chef’s recipes could have attracted so much attention. He must have stumbled on another more dangerous discovery in the course of his experimentation. No matter, he would never let his creations get into the hands of someone that could abuse them. They were all he had left. All he had of his life, his love, and his legacy. He would die before he saw them stolen and twisted to anyone else’s purpose.

    Grayson heard the soft sounds of footsteps ringing against the stone down the long corridor of sewer he now called his home. He thought he had found the perfect place to hide, always migrating through the extensive underground systems. Nobody would think to look down here for a former celebrity and even if they did, they would have a harder time finding him. He hid into the shadows and drew his hunting knife to prepare an ambush for whoever had the misfortune of stumbling on him. A man wearing night vision goggles and brandishing a semi automatic machine gun stalked carefully down the sewer corridor. The sound of shots bounced off the wall, magnified by the acoustics of the tunnel as he was ambushed by a knife wielding chef who had apparently learned other skills to keep himself alive. He grabbed the fallen agent’s weapons only to look up and see another adversary, this one in a red coat with a crimson red large brimmed hat. Grayson raised the pistol he had hastily taken from man he had just killed and leveled it mercilessly at the new intruder. He pulled the trigger several times but what he saw afterwards couldn’t be explained. What he saw was a man in a large red brimmed hat effortlessly dodging the bullets. Grayson tossed the pistol and scrambled to get the machine gun only to find his assassin had already closed the distance. He felt a blade to his throat and looked down to see a pizza cutter. His eyes widened in confusion at the unorthodox weapon a man that could dodge bullets was wielding. The man in red began to press the sharpened pizza cutter to the former chef’s neck and as he sliced Grayson’s jugulars, gave the man the explanation he so truly deserved. “You were warned. Nobody outpizzas the Hut.” 

To Hell with COG on 12/31/2018 5:04:18 PM

I would also be willing to lift economic sanctions if Jason himself came to this thread and publicly admitted to being either a twatwaffle or a human centipede from outer space.

To Hell with COG on 12/28/2018 5:08:57 PM

After my long hibernation I come back to this crap? I've felt like the overall quality of the COG games has begun to diminish and looking at what happened, it's easy to see why. Of all the people to pick a bone with, Avery seems to be the least of them. One would actually have to try and be a giant asshat in order to do that. Jason's attitude is troubling for a vast number of reasons, not the least of them being that I actually like Avery.

That being said, I think COG is headed towards hell from the atmosphere that Jason appears to be creating. Right now, COG is enjoying its status as the big game in town. It seems like Jason is happy to marginalize and abuse authors because to him authors like Avery are all replaceable. He's happy to take their money and then smack them around because "where else will they go?" He's too stupid to realize that in writing, like any other profession, not all writers are equal. 

The fact that people would feel the urge to message you privately to show support over a clearly not private issue indicates to me that Jason is creating a climate that is going to encourage either an exodus or a mutiny in the long run. My only hope is that his inevitable Kurtz-like veil rending is public so that no matter where he goes after this, he'll be reminded of how he treated the people he actually depended on to make a living.

help me with this noob on 12/5/2017 4:05:11 PM

Hold up there. We want to troll this newbie not torture him in ways prevented by the Geneva Convention.

help me with this noob on 12/5/2017 4:04:09 PM

Maybe you could suggest he write a storygame about Jesus loving dragons?

Morgan's All Purpose Argument Thread on 11/9/2017 2:06:41 PM

Your homophobia is entirely hateful and respectful. Nobody chooses to be homosexual, it's an innate attraction. You think if people could simply elect to stop being gay that they would have endured the centuries of abuse they've eaten at the end of religious and societal discrimination? The mere insinuation that your religion is anything but hateful and bigoted towards homosexuals is so surprising I wonder if you've actually read your religious text cover to cover.

If you're asserting that people choose to be homosexuals, then you are disrespecting and undermining the struggles of the LGBTQ community that have tried so hard to gain acceptance for simply being who they are. If you're asserting it's not a choice, then God created homosexuals. That implies that God is either malicious or incompetent. What loving God with his head on straight would create LGBTQ people if he hates the orientation?

I've heard it argued that it's not the people that are hated, it's the "act". Stephen Frye addressed this argument pretty beautifully. God creates people as they are, but then to a very select subset of people he says "Yeah I know I made you to love other men, but you're going to have to live your life doing something opposite. Where everyone else is allowed to find happiness in partnerships and love, you don't get to. You never get to have sex, get married, or do any of that. However, feel free to live in a society where everyone else around you gets to do that and throw it in your face." That's a rather monstrous and hateful edict. 

It's nice to see that you're starting to embrace your homophoibia, but please don't pretend like your religion encourages you to see LGBTQ people as anything more than subhuman. 

Morgan's All Purpose Argument Thread on 11/9/2017 1:56:06 PM

I'd also like to point out that if God is omnibenevolent, why would he create a mechanism for forgiveness that demanded human sacrifice? Why not just offer forgiveness and salvation to people without murdering and zombifying his son?

If God is omniscient, he already knows who will accept salvation from the moment they are created. This means he's intentionally creating people he knows without a doubt would be sent to Hell to be tortured and punished for all eternity. What kind of maniac brings someone into existence knowing that the vast majority of their existence will be spent in unimaginable and infinite torment?

Morgan's All Purpose Argument Thread on 11/7/2017 1:09:21 PM

It's never really dead, it's just waiting for the right moment to strike again.

Morgan's All Purpose Argument Thread on 11/6/2017 8:57:45 PM

Like the Energizer Bunny.

Is This a Good Intro? on 10/19/2017 5:48:51 PM

I like feel of the introduction, it enforces that the universe continues without people. I love this idea of humans being crushed by the weight of the universe in some sort of grand scale natural selection. You have a gift for creating imagery that is powerful and I was riveted by the story. 

I don't know what the significance of the repetition is. Is the implication that humanity was given a second chance and evolved much in the same militant way they did the first time? Are the aliens going to be the "deities"? There are a lot of questions this intro raises that you can answer in the story. That's what a good introduction does. It makes the reader wonder what's going on in a good way. 

I think a good place to go from here is what the humans are generally like now. It seems as if they were bombed back into an age before scientific development, in which case it would be fascinating to see which knowledge is preserved and which is lost over time.

In terms of mythology, I don't think it would be too complicated, provided that you don't introduce the mythology as a massive information dump. If you start revealing the mythology as it becomes relevant to the culture and tie it into what's going on, I think it'll enrich the experience. For example, your character might be observing a new fertility ritual that might serve as a segue into talking about the diety of fertility. Just make their introduction organic, and they'll be memorable.

Personally, I think the really big draw for me is not the destruction of mankind as we know it, not necessarily the aliens that did the devastation, but how humanity adapts and is reborn through that. Do they find themselves subjugated by the aliens, or are the aliens just watchful protectors experimenting at creating a utopia? You have all the makings of a very compelling narrative and anything you can do that will give us insight into the state of humanity both culturally and physically would be welcome.