Voicemail

Apr. 29th, 2020 02:59 pm
dollpocalypse: (phone: in undies)
[to the sound of rapid typing and potato chip-crunching in the background]

You're on with Topher. Sure, fine, leave a message if you have to.

Voicemail

Apr. 29th, 2020 02:59 pm
dollpocalypse: (phone: in undies)
[to the sound of rapid typing and potato chip-crunching in the background]

You're on with Topher. Sure, fine, leave a message if you have to.
dollpocalypse: (!?: i KNOW crazy right)

As a 24-year-old boy genius with two PhDs under his belt, Topher didn't find it difficult to line up job interviews that interested him. For the most part, they were all the same: interesting at first when they tried to woo him, but then inevitably also boring; nothing could hold his interest past the second round of getting-to-know-you bullshit.

But then there was this one place in L.A. where he had made it through three decreasingly cryptic rounds of interviewing before he even learned the scope of the job, and the paperwork he'd had to sign before even being offered a final tour of the office was ridiculous. But Topher didn't need an easy hiring process and, in fact, didn't want one. Based on what he knew of the job, the song-and-dance was worth it. So he showed up to the tour with his hair combed and wearing a too-large grey jacket that vaguely resembled the top part of a suit. By the end of the day, he was going to have a job as chief programmer at an underground facility that rewrote people's minds.

Read more... )


{from dollhouse 1x13, epitaph one. not for broadcast because of location, of course!}

dollpocalypse: (considering: king of my castle)
"Dude, Aleida, it's only twenty microliters of the ethidium bromide for this variant on the gels," Topher called as he walked briskly through his lab, pausing only to flick the lab assistant in the arm. "Are you trying to sabotage my whole life and authorship and future livelihood? You're better than that."

"Sorry, Topher," she squeaked, but Topher was already halfway across the room on the way to the food and beverage fridge, which was stocked with dubious bagged sandwiches and 10-liter bottles of Mountain Dew Code Red. He seized one of the bottles and tossed the cap at the nearest trash can (it landed in the sink), fully intending to finish the bottle before neeeding to re-refrigerate became an issue.

"Brandon, are you working next Thursday?" he called to another asisstant after his first long swig from the bottle, which he was holding with one hand while he scanned his calendar in his phone with the other. "There's a prospie walkthrough at three and I gotta get out of here for an interview downtown by then. You're in charge. Just say you're the undergrad lab founder/director and do your best smartass-motherfucker-with-a-nasal-condition impression, no one's gonna care. Wear my lab coat, the monogrammed one you got dry-cleaned for me last month. My resume's in the Google Drive if you wanna brush up. Everyone else play along." He gave some long, meaningful looks to students who had proven ill-suited for the task of lying in the past.

"Where's your interview?" piped up one of the girls, perched on a stool at a microscope station. Topher wasn't sure of her name. Mia? Tasha? It could be almost anything.

Topher scrunched up his face as if in thought. "You know, not sure," he answered. "Didn't put the full info in my phone. I'll figure it out before I get there, probably."

There were snickers from the work-studies. Topher so enjoyed a captive audience. Although judging by the skeptical looks on some of the students' faces, not all of them believed him; he was pretty sure at least a few thought he was acting casual to seem cool and arrogant. While they weren't wrong, he actually didn't know who he was interviewing with today; all he had been told was that the organization had serious security and no public face and he'd know in due time. It sounded a lot like a sketchy Craigslist connection, but Topher was too curious (and desperate for a fantastically cool job) to pass up the interview. Assuming that it was an interview and not a hit on his life -- anything was possible when you were a senior on the valedictorian track at Stanford and already had most of the credits for a Master's. (Not to brag. But then, Topher loved to brag.)

"Anything I need to know right now? No-- okay, I'm peacing out," he said, tossing back the last of the Mountain Dew and then aiming the bottle at the nearest trash can. He missed, but didn't pick it up. "Text me if you need me. And don't play this Spotify playlist again. It's depressing in here."

[[nfb! open for calls and stuff, sure.]]
dollpocalypse: (conv: casual)
The reason it had taken Topher so long to leave was because he just wasn't a hundred percent sure of where he was going after this. His parents wanted him to travel, but Topher just wanted to play video games and nap between now and Stanford's September 15 start date. So it had taken him some time to sort that out with his parents (video games won).

It definitely had not been because he was sentimental about packing up his room. No sirree. Topher was just fine packing up all the spare dice, leftover paintball guns, bits of old explosives and his futuristic desk-thing on his own, and throwing away things like preteen girl shoes and old Christmas presents was even easier. He was fine. Really.

It was just -- three years in one place was a long time for a just-turned-18-year-old. He wondered if he'd ever come back here.
dollpocalypse: (considering: king of my castle)
It was a little dishonest, Topher thought, to claim that this whole Admitted Students Weekend was a true immersive experience in Stanford student life and then have prospective students stay in hotels. On the other hand, he had had more than enough of dorms over the past four years, and a rare opportunity to sleep without some rando from Kansas (just as an example) five inches away was a pretty sweet deal. That was the best night's sleep he had had in years.

Despite having to wake up annoyingly early for a day full of campus walking tours and Science and Engineering Quad tours and something called an "ice cream social," which sounded like a weird blend of delicious (ice cream) and unpleasant (social), Topher was liking this Admitted Students Week thing so far. There was a family one room over from him in which one daughter kept crying because she hadn't gotten in and didn't see why she needed to be dragged along on her sister's 'victory tour.' That was a nice ego boost. And according to some kid on Reddit, if Topher timed his public transit rides correctly, he could skip out of the Volunteering and Public Service lecture, get some In-N-Out, and be back in time for dinner.

So far, he thought he'd like college. Now all he had to do was graduate high school this weekend.

[[open for phone calls!]]
dollpocalypse: (conv: condescending)
Topher should have been packing, but instead he was doing something much less productive: watching and rewatching the Manticore Era III game trailer and writing an email to his graduating class.

To: Class of 2014
From: c.brink@fandomhigh.edu
Subject: Party


Grads-only party on the sixth floor after the ceremony on Saturday. It's my birthday weekend so chip in for snacks. You can bring guests unless they're like your mom.

-Topher

The email actually took longer to write than you'd think.

[[open for replies and visitors!]]
dollpocalypse: (genderswap: deer meet headlights)

"Deal with it, fucker," Taylor sang into her headset as she took a multiplayer companion's head off on her laptop screen. The squawk of outrage from the dudebro across the country - central Wisconsin, to be exact; Taylor had checked his IP - was music to her ears. The guy had had some truly worthwhile gender-specific comments to share about Taylor's avatar, so he had to be destroyed. Simple enough.

She took a sip of Mountain Dew, leaned back in her chair, and then scrambled for her controller so she could stop another teammate from reviving the asshole. She grinned when she heard the guy's groan of frustration, which included a profanity-laced imperative directed at Taylor. "Gross," she said. "No way, dude."

[[establishtastic. meet taylor brink!]]

dollpocalypse: (dorky: in undies)
Thanks to a series of events that he would prefer not to recount, thank you very much, Topher now had a slight pea soup problem on his Stanford hoodie, and his generally bad clothes-washing practices meant that he was just going to order a new one online and keep wearing this one until the new one arrived.

He was going to do so well in college.

In the meantime, he was filling out a roommate questionnaire online with the door and window open and his pop music playlist playing just a touch too loudly. Honestly, he was feeling pretty good today, pea soup be damned.
dollpocalypse: (fact: messy desk)
Topher was annoyed.

He had had a Creepy Construction Worker communicator (which in itself was cool) and access to the network that it ran on (which was much cooler), and now he didn't. All thanks to Riley.

Well, mostly thanks to Electroclash, if you wanted to get technical. The point was that Topher didn't think it was his own fault. But he'd wasted his time with the ECHO and hadn't learned much beyond one dumb person's name, which didn't do a lot of good seeing as the supposedly "multiversal" internet seemed pretty determined not to show any results on the good doctor. And he still didn't know what a stupid Vault was, besides the place where Barry Plodder kept all his money in the wizard bank.

He could sketch the communicator from memory, but that wouldn't do a lot of good without access to the network. There was a small chance that he could make his laptop try to reconnect if he constructed something really similar to the ECHO, but that probably wasn't going to happen.

...Definitely wasn't going to happen. Still, sketching the dumb thing was at least more useful than sitting around and sulking next to Broca II, so he sat at his desk with some mechanical pencils and started to do just that.

[[door mostly open, post totally so!]]
dollpocalypse: (?: sup with this theme?)
There was one thing that no one had warned Topher about before he left for his college interview on the mainland, and that was the matter of what to wear. So out of a desire to avoid being judged childish by the alumni interviewer, he had gone all out and put on a suit. After lint-rolling away the glitter still lingering on the shoulders from the last school dance, of course.

Other than the awkward moment when the interviewer asked why he was so dressed up ("Uh... church," Topher replied after a long enough pause to make the lie obvious), the interview had gone well, he thought. Sure, he could have made the answer to the question about his biggest weakness sound less obviously rehearsed, but he got in the right amount of self-promoting and even got a grin or two out of the interviewer when he answered a question about his inspirations with a Space Battles quote.

So he was feeling pretty good about it when he got back to his dorm room and tossed his suit jacket to the floor before flopping on his bed. Now there were only two more weeks to go before he found out Stanford's decision, and then he could stop feeling all twitchy and nervous and start feeling twitchy and excited instead.

[[door and post open!]]
dollpocalypse: (tech: computer)
Technically, there was still a week and a half before the restrictive early action application was due, but it so happened that on this one occasion, Topher had finished all his work before he was supposed to.

His grades were awesome, his forged letters of recommendation were positively glowing, he was eligible for an interview, and his Stanford-specific essays were... well, the important thing was that they existed. He'd written one of them in programming code. The Common App essay was a little trickier, since they were big on defining moments and most of Topher's sounded like they were straight out of a weird fantasy movie, so he'd written about getting to know Peter. Obviously, he presented the 'hacking super-secure military files' thing in a very positive light and bullshitted the ending, but he thought it sounded plausible enough. Everyone liked a tech genius who helped an innocent peer learn the whereabouts of his war hero brother, right?

So, after drumming his fingers on the desk and looking it over one more time, he hit 'send application.' Then he texted his mom, letting her know she could stop emailing him about getting this done already, please.

[[door and post open! fun fact: the essay-in-programming-code idea is totes stolen from one of my best friends in high school, who totally did that and got accepted.]]
dollpocalypse: (bfflz: with printy sierra (haunted))

Mostly copypasta and no new characters, but it seems to be about that time and everyone likes info posts, right?

The smartass )

The Shadowhunter )

The snarker )

The slacker )

The specialist )

The scientist )

The stubble )

And me )

dollpocalypse: (bfflz: with printy sierra (haunted))
The cool thing about one guy quitting on "moral grounds" right after the flyers had gone out about Take Your Daughter to Work Day was this: Topher now had said scientist's office for the rest of the summer. It was a little too fancy-schmancy for him, and it could use a fridge and a trampoline and maybe some posters of superheroes and cats hanging off of , but it was a place to hang out that wasn't the conference room when the team was working on "intern-unfriendly" (i.e., high-clearance-level) projects in the labs.
 
Also, his chair was insanely comfortable.
 
When he got a call from Billy in the middle of the day, Topher was pretty excited about the opportunity to show off his new digs, so his response to Billy's weirdly-worded request to stop by was a resounding "Duh." Making out in an office was supposed to be hot, right? He just... might want to turn off the surveillance feed out of his office first.

Vital testing apparatus disabled.

Perfect.

[[for the reality warper, and NFB for distance, please! thread may contain mentions of what amounts to dubcon.]]
dollpocalypse: (!?: oh hey whassat)
"And this," Topher said, swiping his ID badge against the sensor on the door that he and Victor had just arrived at, "is the surveillance room. For watching the test subjects mess up and stuff. It's kind of also a break room, 'cause most of us eat in there and there's a fridge and a popcorn popper, but its technical purpose is surveillance."

The badge sensor was lighting up red instead of green, and Topher frowned, swiping his card again. When it lit up red again, he paused and just tried the handle. It opened.

"Guess it isn't locked." Darn. He'd felt really cool swiping his badge everywhere. "Anyway, here it is."

The room did look a lot like a break room, in that it had a number of couches and it smelled like coffee, but the flatscreen video monitor that all the couches were facing was showing a feed of a flustered-looking thirty-something man in an orange jumpsuit firing portals at a wall. Most break rooms didn't have that kind of entertainment.

"So yeah," Topher said, flopping on a couch to watch. "Questions, comments, concerns? Want popcorn?"

[[for victor!]]
dollpocalypse: (conv: surveying my handiwork)
Topher had two main things that he was doing today, because doing only one thing at a time was boring and something only stupid people did, in his opinion. First, he was melting down turret bullets, a very precise process that involved wearing gloves and goggles in addition to his usual lab coat -- both very obviously awesome additions to his ensemble. And secondly, and somewhat related to that one, he had discovered Instagram, which was popular with the other Aperture R&D technicians probably on the basis that they could make their pictures look just vague enough to not break any rules by posting them.

So, new Instagram user cbrain was now posting a lot of very ugly-looking, green-filtered pictures of test tubes full of liquid with the name on the side of the tubes blurred out. And somehow, he was acquiring followers with impressive speed.

It was one of those days where Topher was genuinely amazed that he was only a rising senior in high school. That had more to do with his first task than the second one, but internet fame was impressive too.

Also he was controlling the lab playlist for the first time. An intimidating task, to be sure, but he'd eventually just gone with meta for wookie noises. Everyone loved them.

[[I really wanted to do an Aperture post with this icon because I'm legitimately horrible. Open for calls and such! Mod your instagrammy pictures of vagueness.]]
dollpocalypse: (twenty: smug)
It wasn't that Topher was nostalgic for high school, because his life was really, really awesome these days. But... he was super nostalgic for high school. Seeing the guys again last night reminded him that he never left his office these days, he didn't really have any friends besides the people he worked with, and he worked in a field that would likely horrify most of his friends from back in the day, even if Billy was the only one he'd told about it.

Don't get him wrong: he didn't have any regrets about what he was doing with his life. Zero regrets. None at all. But before his portal left, he was just going to take a lap around the part of town where he'd most often felt like one of the white hats back in the day. Just because.

When his phone rang -- his ringtone was the meta for Imperial March, and didn't that feel uncomfortably appropriate -- to notify him that the portal back to LA was going to be ready to materialize in ten minutes, he surprised himself by quickly typing out a text to Ivy asking her to reschedule it for an hour or two later, and then sitting down on the ground with his phone in his hand and his back to one of the warehouses that he thought might have been the one he remembered as being Tony's. (It wasn't.)

He just needed a minute.

[[open!]]
dollpocalypse: (twenty: smirk)
It had officially been forever since the guys' last drinking night, so with the six of them all on the island for a weekend, there was really no excuse not to have some kind of gathering. And since Topher's hotel room had space on the ceiling and awesome futuristic-looking furniture, there was pretty much exactly no question about where this gathering would be.

And with an alcohol tolerance that had been drastically reduced by going almost fourteen years without drinking at all, Topher stood a very high chance of getting stupidly drunk tonight. It was probably going to be hilarious.

The bar was stocked to capacity with, among other things, every necessary ingredient for every girly cocktail ever invented, and Topher had hauled the entire contents of his office's Drawer of Inappropriate Starches onto the table for the occasion. (Ivy would get more for him before he got back to LA, he was sure. ...He was mostly sure.)

"B-t-dubs, there's astronaut ice cream in the bathtub," Topher announced loudly to everyone. "...No idea why it's there. But Ben gets last dibs."

Cruel, Topher. Cruel.

[[for the 20-years-older nerds! let's see if two decades made them more responsible.]]
dollpocalypse: (twenty: lol)
Clad in his finest suit, Topher was halfway through a Mountain Dew and trying to decide whether or not he knew the way out of the park when his phone rang.

"Go for Brink." The person on the other end of the line sounded urgent, so Topher took a sip of soda. No, more like a slurp. "No, I'm not at my -- I'm not at my desk, Boyd." He waved a hand, bored with the response he got. "What do you mean, 'what do you mean?' I'm. Not at. My desk. Am I speaking Swahili?"

Boyd spoke Swahili, apparently. "Of course you do. Listen, Boyd, I'm off today. I know! First time for everything, right? So whatever you need, talk to Ivy. No, really. I've got a feed of my office straight to my phone and I can't wait to see her face when you --" He held his phone away from his ear, examining it. "And... you hung up. Okay. Bye, Boyd! Have fun with Echo!"

Okay, he was talking to the empty park right now. That was sketchy. He should stop that.

Topher ended the call, swiped around on his phone, and pulled up that office feed. Sure enough, there was Ivy, fidgeting as she paced around the office, clearly intimidated by the power that came with being in charge of things for the first time since being hired. It was entrancing.

[[open park!]]

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