n3m3sis43: ((FMAB) Mustang and Huuuughes otpppp)
This is chapter 3 of Cliffton book 1. The first section is a reworked version of chapter 2, section 1 in the previous rewrite. The second is totally new. This didn't turn out the way I expected. I need money for every time I say that. As always, concrit is much appreciated. Rip me to shreds. I don't mind. Warning for language because, um, Devin.


If you're reading Cliffton for the first time, here are the previous chapters so you can catch up:
Prologue | 1 | 2


wherein we finally meet the insurgents )
n3m3sis43: ((FMAB) Huuuughes and Winryyyy)
Concrit much appreciated. This is chapter 7 of Cliffton book 1, now edited and hopefully beta-ready. This one didn't go through major rewriting except for the final section, but I did edit for voice and add a bit of context all the way through. If you are looking for the older version for comparison purposes, it is here.

If you're reading Cliffton for the first time, here are the previous chapters so you can catch up:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


nothing really happened today )
n3m3sis43: ((FMAB) Huuuughes and Winryyyy)
This is chapter 2 of Cliffton book 1. Concrit is much appreciated. The original version of this story was a <800-word attempt to cheer myself up after I wrote "Pretty Buttons". It did not, in fact, cheer me up at the time, in case you were wondering. If you're curious, the original version's over here.

If you're reading Cliffton for the first time, here's chapter 1 so you can catch up.


this one's pretty much cute and has no warnings besides f-bombs )
n3m3sis43: (Default)
Yup, this story goes along with "Beautiful Disaster". It takes place on the same day, and there are no warnings unless accidental abuse of cold meds counts as a warning. Or maybe "Devin is a crazypants"? But he doesn't do anything scary in this one? Haha.


we'll go with no warnings )
n3m3sis43: (Default)
Title: Everything You Touch
Prompt: Loss and Zombies
Bonus? Nope
Word Count: 3227
Rating: R
Original/Fandom: Original (Cliffton)
Pairings (if any) Nope
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con etc): Language and depression, death
Summary: Sometimes, the only way forward is backward.

not the quickest quick fic I've ever written )
n3m3sis43: (Default)
Title: You Make Me Smile
Prompt: X for XtremeWarrior (see summary for song lyric that inspired the story)
Word Count: 2182
Rating: R for f-bombs and, um... subtext?
Original/Fandom: Original (Cliffton)
Pairings (if any): Still Not a Pairing!
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): Epic ridiculousness? None, really.

Summary: This story was inspired by the following lyrics from this vocal trance remix of "Love Story" by Nadia Ali from Armin van Buuren's State of Trance collection. I have a weakness for vocal trance. Also, Wes and Devin are not a pairing but for some reason this is "their" song in my mind. A song called "Love Story". I know, I know. Shut up. :D

cut for song lyrics and silliness )
n3m3sis43: (Default)
Moar Cliffton. This one takes place the day before Barefoot, Uphill, Both Ways. No warnings, unless you need to be warned for Devin showing redeeming qualities.




Wes starts babbling about the fucking Reaping Festival before I've even had my SynthBrew. Not that I'm listening. I just grunt at the appropriate places and again when he hands me a steaming mug. Doesn't stop him from fucking talking, though. Nothing ever does.

It's not until after I'm showered and semi-awake that his words start to register.

"And there's a carnival with rocket racing and rides! We can get FunCakes, too. I love FunCakes!" Wes is chattering away like a warrior bat on StimTabs. In our four years living here, he's never once mentioned the Festival. This year, though, he's on a fucking mission. He's so excited, I wish I didn't have to burst his happy little bubble.

"Um, Wes?" I remind him when he finally pauses to breathe. "We're helping Kalen with those explosives today."

"Oh." His face falls, and I can't stand how deflated he looks. "I forgot."

"Maybe we'll finish up early?" I offer. "We could go after. Why the fuck not?"

"They have MegaSlushes, too," Wes says, his grin so huge I can't help but smile back.

Well, that settles it. Blue MegaSlushes are my fucking favorite.

cut because it's all about what makes you happy )
n3m3sis43: (Team Prose (mine - phase 4))
Do you ever depress yourself with your own writing? Is that just me? Does this happen to normal people? I depressed the crap out of myself with Pretty Buttons. Apparently, [livejournal.com profile] theun4givables felt bad too, because she wrote this sweetness. Well, I don't know if "sweetness" exactly describes it, but awwww. Devin really doesn't deserve Wes.

THIS IS WHY THEY ARE NOT CANON.

Anyway, this fanfic is not even smutty, so that means everyone should read it and love on my awesome friend. Yay. :D
n3m3sis43: (Team Prose (mine - phase 4))
Do you ever depress yourself with your own writing? Is that just me? Does this happen to normal people? I depressed the crap out of myself with Pretty Buttons. Apparently, [livejournal.com profile] theun4givables felt bad too, because she wrote this sweetness. Well, I don't know if "sweetness" exactly describes it, but awwww. Devin really doesn't deserve Wes.

THIS IS WHY THEY ARE NOT CANON.

Anyway, this fanfic is not even smutty, so that means everyone should read it and love on my awesome friend. Yay. :D
n3m3sis43: (Default)
Title: Security
Prompt: I Laughed So Hard and What Would _____ Do?
Bonus? Nope
Word Count:
Rating: PG-13 for f-bombs
Original/Fandom: Original (Cliffton)
Pairings (if any) Nope
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con etc): If you click the link at the bottom, then um... emotional abuse?
Summary: What does Brendan do when he thinks no one is watching?


Spying on Brendan was supposed to cheer me up - a joke at his expense. My typical asshole shit. I haven't been feeling so fucking hot. Needed some kind of comic relief. Wes makes me laugh, but he asks too many questions. I don't want to fucking talk.

Setup was a breeze. Brendan's a creature of habit - showers the same time every fucking morning. With the camera placed, it was simple. Our security system is fucking epic.

What a disappointment, though. Other than his tighty whities, Brendan's not that funny. All he does is exercise. 3 hours of weights, plus the punching bag - comes in at random times to pound it. Rage issues. Fucking creepy. Probably better I'm keeping an eye on him.

But what I saw today - I don't fucking know.

He keeps this tiny robot on his bedside table. Says goodnight to it every night. Weird, but who am I to judge? I've got my share of fucking quirks. Today, he came in, looking like I fucking feel. Picked up the robot, just looked at it a while.

"Devin was right about me," he finally whispered. "My own brother hates me - I'm fucking worthless."



Yup, it's another cheerful day here in Cliffton. Hey, at least it's only 200 words of happiness? Double drabble! This one takes place, um, a few weeks after this other super happy story. I swear I will write something goofy again for this universe. And maybe someday I'll write one where Devin has redeeming qualities? Maybe.
n3m3sis43: (Default)
This piece is back story for Wes and Devin. It takes place 3 or 4 years before Polemic.




Why do they even have a class this early? I wonder. 6:30 am is inhumane.

Holding my breath, I take a swallow from my institutional paper cup. The SynthBrew here is terrible, but I need it this morning. Even the aftertaste is enough to induce a full-body shudder; it's all I can do to keep it down. To my left, someone bursts out laughing.

"Dude, that's my reaction to the Brew here, too."

Looking up, I see a guy about my age with spiky dark hair and a bleached-blonde goatee. He looks far more awake than I am. Flashing me a cheery smile, he takes the seat to my left.

"Hey. I'm Wes." My new classmate offers his hand. I shake it, stifling a yawn.

"Devin." I mumble, gulping down another mouthful of foul brown liquid.

"Nice to meet you! Devin's a cool name. I like your ponytail." Wes has obviously had his SynthBrew already.

Hoping it will shut him up, I grunt in response.

"Do you like SimFighting?" he continues. "What's your favorite weapon? Mine's the rocket launcher. Only you have to be careful not to use it inside a small room. Did that once and exploded myself and my whole team. Oops."

I groan out loud. Is this guy gonna yap at me for the whole hour and a half?

"Hey, Wes?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sure you're a really great guy and all," I say, "but I'm pretty much the polar fucking opposite of a morning person. So do you think I could at least choke down the rest of this swill before we make with the friendly chatter?"

"Sure, dude." Wes looks a little hurt. "Whatever you say."

I finish my repulsive cup of SynthBrew in blessed silence. By the time it's gone, the professor has entered the room and begun lecturing. Sociology 101 sounds interesting in theory, but I can already tell the actual curriculum will be a total waste of time.

"Unlike our City," the instructor drones, "the Other Side has no social structure. The lives of its people are pure anarchy. Lack of proper regulation has led them to develop dangerous and violent natures."

Yeah, glad I got up at the ass-crack of dawn for this. Never heard that before.

By "proper regulation," the professor means "constant monitoring of all neurovision implants". Thanks to my contacts on the Splinternet, my own implant is free of such impediments. I can use it whenever I want and even pick up signals from the Other Side. Turning it on, I tune out for the rest of the class with an episode of NebulaQuest. It's not brain food by any means, but it'll keep me awake.

After the lecture ends, Wes gets up to leave with a tentative wave. I start to feel guilty about the way I've treated him. After all, he seems like a nice enough guy.

"Hey, buddy," I say. "Sorry for being such an ogre earlier. Like I said, I'm really not a morning person."

"It's all good, dude." Wes's expression brightens. "So, do you like SimFighting?"

* * * * *

"Brace yourself," I tell Wes. "You're gonna feel a little pinch."

Adjusting my laser-imaging goggles, I squint at the neurovision implant still inside his brain. I take a moment to steady my hands and then begin making the modifications. When he feels the pressure of the laser screwdriver, Wes flinches. It's a good thing I have exceptional reflexes. I correct for his movement and keep working.

"Hold still, buddy," I tell him, "or the only profession you'll be fit for is cooking VitaFries."

"Dude," Wes moans, "Being a fry cook couldn't be much worse than the profession I've already been assigned."

"Hmmmm?" I murmur absently.

It's not that I'm uninterested in Wes's plight. I'm just too focused on the task at hand to respond in any meaningful fashion. The last thing I want is to turn my friend into a drooling myrmidon. Fortunately, Wes doesn't require much input to carry on a conversation.

"Yeah, dude," he continues in a sad voice. "I'm supposed to be a Floral Arranger."

"What's wrong with flowers?" I muse. "They're cheerful."

"They're boring," Wes corrects me. Then he laughs. "Now that I know you like them, though, I'll be sure to bring you the samples from my classes. You can put 'em in your pretty, pretty hair."

"I've told you before not to call me 'pretty'," I growl. "It's especially inadvisable when my screwdriver's inside your brain."

It's nice that he's feeling better, though, even if it's at my expense. Biting my lip in concentration, I disable the restriction circuits on his implant. After that, I make the final tweaks and pull off my goggles.

"Okay, I'm all finished. Now sit back, relax and enjoy 9999 channels of neurovision goodness."

"Are you serious, dude?" Wes looks like a kid in a candy store. "Where do I even start?"

"Channel 4242 airs NebulaQuest nonstop," I say. "It's a pretty cool space exploration show."

"Space exploration?" Wes yells, clapping his hands in glee. "How awesome would that be?"

He's such an excitable guy; sometimes just talking to him makes me tired. Still, he's pretty much the only person I've met in this City who doesn't make me want to claw my own eyeballs out.

"The plots aren't exactly believable, but if you can get past that it's a lot of fun."

Wes doesn't answer. He's already staring off into nowhere, completely entranced.

* * * * *

Fidgeting in my hard plastic chair, I wait for the Examiner to arrive so my Professional Placement Interview can begin. My appointment time was 7 am; I've been sitting here since 5 minutes before that and it's now 7:30. The Testing Room is just large enough to hold a tiny table and two chairs. Above me hangs a single bare bulb. Dressed in a suit and tie, I'm beginning to sweat under its harsh light.

The door opens and a small, thin balding man walks in and sits down across from me.

"Good day," he says. "I am Examiner Farlan, and I will administer your Placement Interview today. And you are?"

"Devin Renton." I offer my hand; he ignores it. Right off the bat, I can tell I'm going to love this guy.

"If you're ready, let's begin." Clearing his throat, Farlan continues. "What is your greatest strength?"

"Well, I'm fucking brilliant - "

I'm kicking myself the moment the words are out of my mouth. Exactly what evidence am I supposed to provide for my self-professed genius? Somehow, I doubt my ability to hack CompuPanels or my expertise at illegal neurosurgery are going to impress him. More likely, they'll just get me thrown into a Reprogramming Facility.

Farlan's eyes drill into me, awaiting elaboration. For the first time I can remember, I'm at a loss for words. A painful amount of time elapses. Finally, Farlan clears his throat.

"Duly noted," he says. "Perhaps we should go on to the next question. What is your greatest weakness?"

"Well, obviously, it's my big fucking mouth," I laugh.

Farlan gives me a wilting look.

"Um, I'm good under pressure?" This would be hysterical if it weren't so tragic.

"Clearly," Farlan says.

* * * * *

Standing outside Wes's quarters in Multiversity Housing, I pound on the door. It's barely 9 am on a Saturday but hey, he's a morning person. I'm starting to wonder if he's still asleep after all when he throws the door open, looking chipper as ever.

"Dude! What are you doing here?" He pauses, noticing my formal attire. "Oh yeah, your Placement Exam..."

"Yeah, that," I scoff. "No big."

"So you rocked it, right?" Wes says.

"If by 'rocked it', you mean a promising career in waste-processing technology maintenance, then yes."

Wes's face falls.

"Dude, I'm sorry," he says. "I know how you feel."

"At least you don't have to touch raw sewage?" I offer.

"But I hate my assigned profession," Wes sighs.

"You know," I tell him. "I know some people on the Other Side. Kinda thinking about moving there."

"The Other Side? Aren't they all maniacal killers over there?"

"From what I've heard, a lot of them kinda are," I say. "But not all. At least over there, we'd be allowed to do what we wanted for a living."

"Yeah!" Wes perks up in a flash. "We could be like those people on that one NebulaQuest episode who survive by stealing technology and modifying it to suit their needs."

"Dammit, Wes!" I say. "I'm already sorry I introduced you to that show. That'd never fucking work in real life. Now are you coming with me or not?"

"'Course I am, dude," he replies. "Wouldn't miss it for the world."
n3m3sis43: (Default)
This piece is back story for Wes and Devin. It takes place 3 or 4 years before Polemic.




Why do they even have a class this early? I wonder. 6:30 am is inhumane.

Holding my breath, I take a swallow from my institutional paper cup. The SynthBrew here is terrible, but I need it this morning. Even the aftertaste is enough to induce a full-body shudder; it's all I can do to keep it down. To my left, someone bursts out laughing.

"Dude, that's my reaction to the Brew here, too."

Looking up, I see a guy about my age with spiky dark hair and a bleached-blonde goatee. He looks far more awake than I am. Flashing me a cheery smile, he takes the seat to my left.

"Hey. I'm Wes." My new classmate offers his hand. I shake it, stifling a yawn.

"Devin." I mumble, gulping down another mouthful of foul brown liquid.

"Nice to meet you! Devin's a cool name. I like your ponytail." Wes has obviously had his SynthBrew already.

Hoping it will shut him up, I grunt in response.

"Do you like SimFighting?" he continues. "What's your favorite weapon? Mine's the rocket launcher. Only you have to be careful not to use it inside a small room. Did that once and exploded myself and my whole team. Oops."

I groan out loud. Is this guy gonna yap at me for the whole hour and a half?

"Hey, Wes?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sure you're a really great guy and all," I say, "but I'm pretty much the polar fucking opposite of a morning person. So do you think I could at least choke down the rest of this swill before we make with the friendly chatter?"

"Sure, dude." Wes looks a little hurt. "Whatever you say."

I finish my repulsive cup of SynthBrew in blessed silence. By the time it's gone, the professor has entered the room and begun lecturing. Sociology 101 sounds interesting in theory, but I can already tell the actual curriculum will be a total waste of time.

"Unlike our City," the instructor drones, "the Other Side has no social structure. The lives of its people are pure anarchy. Lack of proper regulation has led them to develop dangerous and violent natures."

Yeah, glad I got up at the ass-crack of dawn for this. Never heard that before.

By "proper regulation," the professor means "constant monitoring of all neurovision implants". Thanks to my contacts on the Splinternet, my own implant is free of such impediments. I can use it whenever I want and even pick up signals from the Other Side. Turning it on, I tune out for the rest of the class with an episode of NebulaQuest. It's not brain food by any means, but it'll keep me awake.

After the lecture ends, Wes gets up to leave with a tentative wave. I start to feel guilty about the way I've treated him. After all, he seems like a nice enough guy.

"Hey, buddy," I say. "Sorry for being such an ogre earlier. Like I said, I'm really not a morning person."

"It's all good, dude." Wes's expression brightens. "So, do you like SimFighting?"

* * * * *

"Brace yourself," I tell Wes. "You're gonna feel a little pinch."

Adjusting my laser-imaging goggles, I squint at the neurovision implant still inside his brain. I take a moment to steady my hands and then begin making the modifications. When he feels the pressure of the laser screwdriver, Wes flinches. It's a good thing I have exceptional reflexes. I correct for his movement and keep working.

"Hold still, buddy," I tell him, "or the only profession you'll be fit for is cooking VitaFries."

"Dude," Wes moans, "Being a fry cook couldn't be much worse than the profession I've already been assigned."

"Hmmmm?" I murmur absently.

It's not that I'm uninterested in Wes's plight. I'm just too focused on the task at hand to respond in any meaningful fashion. The last thing I want is to turn my friend into a drooling myrmidon. Fortunately, Wes doesn't require much input to carry on a conversation.

"Yeah, dude," he continues in a sad voice. "I'm supposed to be a Floral Arranger."

"What's wrong with flowers?" I muse. "They're cheerful."

"They're boring," Wes corrects me. Then he laughs. "Now that I know you like them, though, I'll be sure to bring you the samples from my classes. You can put 'em in your pretty, pretty hair."

"I've told you before not to call me 'pretty'," I growl. "It's especially inadvisable when my screwdriver's inside your brain."

It's nice that he's feeling better, though, even if it's at my expense. Biting my lip in concentration, I disable the restriction circuits on his implant. After that, I make the final tweaks and pull off my goggles.

"Okay, I'm all finished. Now sit back, relax and enjoy 9999 channels of neurovision goodness."

"Are you serious, dude?" Wes looks like a kid in a candy store. "Where do I even start?"

"Channel 4242 airs NebulaQuest nonstop," I say. "It's a pretty cool space exploration show."

"Space exploration?" Wes yells, clapping his hands in glee. "How awesome would that be?"

He's such an excitable guy; sometimes just talking to him makes me tired. Still, he's pretty much the only person I've met in this City who doesn't make me want to claw my own eyeballs out.

"The plots aren't exactly believable, but if you can get past that it's a lot of fun."

Wes doesn't answer. He's already staring off into nowhere, completely entranced.

* * * * *

Fidgeting in my hard plastic chair, I wait for the Examiner to arrive so my Professional Placement Interview can begin. My appointment time was 7 am; I've been sitting here since 5 minutes before that and it's now 7:30. The Testing Room is just large enough to hold a tiny table and two chairs. Above me hangs a single bare bulb. Dressed in a suit and tie, I'm beginning to sweat under its harsh light.

The door opens and a small, thin balding man walks in and sits down across from me.

"Good day," he says. "I am Examiner Farlan, and I will administer your Placement Interview today. And you are?"

"Devin Renton." I offer my hand; he ignores it. Right off the bat, I can tell I'm going to love this guy.

"If you're ready, let's begin." Clearing his throat, Farlan continues. "What is your greatest strength?"

"Well, I'm fucking brilliant - "

I'm kicking myself the moment the words are out of my mouth. Exactly what evidence am I supposed to provide for my self-professed genius? Somehow, I doubt my ability to hack CompuPanels or my expertise at illegal neurosurgery are going to impress him. More likely, they'll just get me thrown into a Reprogramming Facility.

Farlan's eyes drill into me, awaiting elaboration. For the first time I can remember, I'm at a loss for words. A painful amount of time elapses. Finally, Farlan clears his throat.

"Duly noted," he says. "Perhaps we should go on to the next question. What is your greatest weakness?"

"Well, obviously, it's my big fucking mouth," I laugh.

Farlan gives me a wilting look.

"Um, I'm good under pressure?" This would be hysterical if it weren't so tragic.

"Clearly," Farlan says.

* * * * *

Standing outside Wes's quarters in Multiversity Housing, I pound on the door. It's barely 9 am on a Saturday but hey, he's a morning person. I'm starting to wonder if he's still asleep after all when he throws the door open, looking chipper as ever.

"Dude! What are you doing here?" He pauses, noticing my formal attire. "Oh yeah, your Placement Exam..."

"Yeah, that," I scoff. "No big."

"So you rocked it, right?" Wes says.

"If by 'rocked it', you mean a promising career in waste-processing technology maintenance, then yes."

Wes's face falls.

"Dude, I'm sorry," he says. "I know how you feel."

"At least you don't have to touch raw sewage?" I offer.

"But I hate my assigned profession," Wes sighs.

"You know," I tell him. "I know some people on the Other Side. Kinda thinking about moving there."

"The Other Side? Aren't they all maniacal killers over there?"

"From what I've heard, a lot of them kinda are," I say. "But not all. At least over there, we'd be allowed to do what we wanted for a living."

"Yeah!" Wes perks up in a flash. "We could be like those people on that one NebulaQuest episode who survive by stealing technology and modifying it to suit their needs."

"Dammit, Wes!" I say. "I'm already sorry I introduced you to that show. That'd never fucking work in real life. Now are you coming with me or not?"

"'Course I am, dude," he replies. "Wouldn't miss it for the world."

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